Wednesday, January 29, 2014

WWW or What I’ve Been Working On Wednesday - Staying Calm

Trying to stay calm, that’s WWW. Had a call from my doctor yesterday. The news was not great. I have cancer. Trying to stay calm. Went for an appointment with her today to discuss what the next steps should be. Just trying to stay calm. It is the most common of female cancers and the most treatable. That’s good. Will need to have surgery soon to remove the offending organs. OK – still staying calm. Why? Not “why me” but why am I being calm about all of this? Because I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand. I know my God has my back and His purpose for this is for good. Jesus told me years ago that everything was going to be okay. I believed Him then and I believe Him now. He has never ever failed me. And so I am calm and secure knowing that I am in His loving hands.
Because of this though, I have not achieved a lot for this Wednesday’s post. 
C is for Circle Flash Card

I plan to have my “C is for Circle” flash card finished so I can damp stretch the three cards in time for finishing them on Friday.

I’ve unraveled my laces and trims so they no longer look like this:
but are being stored neat and tidy like this.
Tidy laces and trims ready for storage

I finished a scarf for my grandson using some leftover fleece with a basketball design on it. He really doesn’t like wearing scarves or hats so I haven’t gotten a good photo of him with it yet. But I will.
Jaden and his new scarf

The last thing on my desk is all of the journaling/organizing books and handouts my daughter has given me for this year. I really want to start filling out these tools but keep putting it off. That is why they are now spread out on my table along with some washi tape she has given me and some colorful pens I bought recently. I’m trying to tempt myself/ encourage myself into getting started. Once I start I will be into it. Funny how that getting started seems to be the hardest part.
Journals, worksheets, pens and tapes

Happy Wednesday!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Step Back!

I’ve been working on some projects hoping to get them to a place where I can finish them on Friday for some FIF posts. While working on getting the embroidery done on the three remaining geometry/shape flashcards that I started a while back I realized something that I may have even posted about before.
That is the need to sometimes step back well actually step away from the project in hand.
 C is for Circle Flash Card
I was working in the C is for Circle card and on the largest circle I was contemplating covering the entire circle with the chain stitch using the different colors I have used on the other cards. But it just didn’t seem right. So after the first three rows of turquoise I stopped. Still not sure what I wanted to do, I rather liked it as it was but I was seeing it up close. So I put it aside and looked at it once in a while. Still wasn’t sure.
Three unfinished cards
Then I put it up on my design wall and stepped back. Yes I like it just as it is! Filling in the entire circle would be too overpowering for the other two cards in the set.

All four flash cards
Of course when I add the fourth card to the mix it would probably be okay to fill it in but I think when I do the third circle I can fill it and it will help balance the cards as a whole. Now to decide what stitch to use in the third circle.

So my hint for Monday - take a step backwards to see the whole picture!

Stepping back for a better look!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Well it’s Saturday!

I missed posting my WWW - What I’ve Been Working On Wednesday.
And I missed posting my FIF – Finish It Friday.

I haven’t been working on much this week so I wasn’t into posting my lack of progress. I really should have worked on a few items that I would like to get finished, they may have even been fodder for my FIF this week. But I didn’t. I did do some stitching on a quilt I’m putting together for Wounded Warriors. I picked up the “kit” at one of my Friendship Stitchers gathering and have been slowly working on it. I discovered that it didn’t contain the correct amount of pieces for the design so I need to check my stash (and maybe buy some fabric to supplement what I have! LOL and excuse to shop for fabric!!) And I did have another order of button yoyo flowers from my Etsy shop that I needed to get in the mail. But that’s about it.

First of four flash cards
When Friday rolled around I kept thinking I could finish my first set of geometric shape flash cards. But when I looked at it I would not be able to finish them on Friday because I needed to damp stretch them once the embroidery was done and that would take overnight to dry. So scratch that. 

Then I thought about doing a fleece scarf for my grandson that I had planned to do from some leftover fabric from this project. 
Grandson with his sleeping mat for school
But that didn’t get done either. I know I’m not the only one who has days where the time just seems to drift away and not much gets done but I don’t like having those days very much.

So I think I’ll try and make up for it today by moving a few projects forward in preparations to getting them finished.

Oh yes and my daughter contacted me with another project she would like me to do so we have some planning and prototyping to do for that.

Just Keep on stitching!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sometimes Ideas Just Pop Out Of The Blue.

I had meant to post this last Monday but I couldn’t find the items to take photos of so I put it off thinking I would do it on Tuesday (has Monday night tips and tricks become Tuesday tips and tricks?). Well that didn’t happen either because it was late Tuesday before I found them and I had to dash off to my quilt guild meeting.
Plastic Paper Clips

These were something I bought thinking I could use them as an aid when I was working on something. My idea did not work (and it took me a long time to remember what the idea was but I did remember whatever it was it did not work!). And I was a little bummed because I had spent a few dollars on something that I could have spent elsewhere. Oh well!

I have since remembered what the original thought was. I came across a hexagon project I have been slowly working on and the “aha” moment came. I thought these little clips could hold my hexagons together as I stitched them to each other. That did not work. They do not open up enough to grasp the thicknesses of the fabric and the card stock.

So I put them aside thinking maybe they’ll land up in a garage sale one day.

Then the other day I was working on sorting out my ribbons that had gotten all tangled up when I thought “hey maybe I can use those clips to hold the rolled ribbon nice and neat and keep them from intertwining with each other”. So I searched for the clips and tried it out. Happy camper here! Worked on most of my loose ribbons (a few were too thick but that’s okay).
Clips holding my ribbons nice and tidy

Now I may just have to go and purchase some more of these!

Happy Camper!


Friday, January 17, 2014

FIF:Finish It Friday Week 2!

Here we go! I’ve been thinking off and on all week about what I would like to finish today. As I mentally went through some of my candidates I had two that stood out. Unfortunately when I started examining them to see how close they were to being finished I had forgotten some of the steps I wanted/needed to do. So I decided they would not be accomplished today. That leads me to think I should make notes to stick with the item as to what still needs to be done to them. That way I will have a plan for getting them to the finishing state (always good to have a plan right?). And then I will know when they will fit into a finishing Friday. Some Fridays I will probably have more time to work
on something and some Fridays a little less time. Here’s the top two that didn’t make the cut.
Top two projects that needed more than a little work

So now what to do for today? I’m still trying to pick something that will take a small amount of time to finish mainly because I need to give myself some encouragement. If I choose something that needs more than a little work and I don’t get it finished I will be disappointed. (Well I know I shouldn’t be disappointed as long as I have moved it along towards being finished.)
So here’s today’s project. I have a few button barrettes that just need the clasp added and they will be ready to list in my Etsy shop (well ready after I take some photos!). I also have one of my own that needs repairing. The purplish one has an ink stain on the back so that will go into my private collection. (I need a purple one anyway!)
Easy finishes just add clasps

I’ll be back later with the end results!

fingerless glove replacement

Oh yes and my son lost one of the fingerless gloves I made him and he asked if I could make a replacement for it. So I started it yesterday and finished it today.

Happy Finishing!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

WWW or What I’ve been Working on Wednesday

Here it is Wednesday again (and it's almost over too! Oops it is over. Oh well.)! I’ve finished all of the blocks of the month for 2013 for a group project I was participating in at the Arlington Quilt Guild. Yes I was four behind and had to be finished and turn them in last night. Here are the last five. The fall leaves one had to be redone because my seam allowances were way off and my choice of fabric for one of the blocks didn’t not sing for me. Here’s the first one and it’s replacement.
Fall Leaves 

Then these followed:

I “won” (we all received one of the sets by having our names drawn) the blue and white blocks. I kind of wanted the black and white/red and white ones but I’m okay with blue and white. I’ve always loved that combination ever since I was a kid. I actually carried around a page from a magazine of a blue and white bedroom that I dreamed about having. I may even still have the page somewhere. I don’t think I would want that for my bedroom now but I still love blue and white.

The other thing I’ve been working on is FME. That’s free motion embroidery. But not the pretty colorful flowers that your grandma or in my case that I embroidered on pillowcases but a doodle type of FME on loosely woven fabric. My first attempts at this process were dismal not to my liking. They were ok but I found it a little difficult to do. I finally got the courage to try again and discovered that I had been using the wrong type of hoop to hold my fabric. It had a ridge on the top and bottom so that the fabric was not flat on the bed of the sewing machine. Once I switched to a different hoop I was off and running. After listening to Karen Ruane talk about her process several times I realized the other mistake was not running the machine fast enough and not moving my fabric around slow enough. Sort of like trying to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time. But I finally got the rhythm of it and now I want to do more!

The only thing now was my hoop was round and I kept hitting the edge of the hoop with the FME foot. All of the work was done in the round. I wanted a more rectangular piece to work with but didn’t care for removing the fabric from the hoop and re-positioning it. Then I stopped at JoAnn’s for some yarn I needed and decided to look around. I found this square hoop that looked like it would work. So I’m giving it a whirl!
Trying out the new hoop for free motion embroidery

One thing I found out was the "frame" is too high and I had to take off my FME foot and then insert the hoop and put the foot back on. That was a pain. The other thing is the hoop is too wide for the arm of my machine so I had to think about how to maneuver around the hoop. Just takes practice. And I do like it.

And I’m still trying to straighten up my work area. I can find things and get more sewing/quilting/crafting done now but I still have more to do.

Happy Stitching!


Friday, January 10, 2014

Welcome to Finish It Friday!

Years ago my dad told me that his mother always said “Don’t start anything new on Friday because you will never finish it”. I don’t know why he told me about it, maybe I was starting a new project on Friday. Maybe he knew that I had a lot of unfinished projects and thought I had started them on a Friday.
I do have a lot of unfinished projects. No shame. They are in that state for a lot of different reasons. Not necessarily because they were started on a Friday. I honestly don’t have any idea if any of them were started on a Friday.
But just thinking about what my dad said made me think I would start a “Finish It Friday”. On Fridays I will choose something that is almost done and could be finished easily in one day. That will be my project for that Friday.
So this is the first Friday of my new plan.
I have a tub (not a really big one!) of projects that are almost finished. Some knitting and crocheting that just need finishing touches. Like weaving in the ends of a scarf I made my son-in-law for Christmas and a pair of fingerless gloves I made my daughter. Then there is stitching together a cowl, a head band, and a pair of fingerless gloves. All easy, doable get it done projects! I think this will be a good start for me. Then I plan to identify other projects that are close to being finished and prepped them for next Friday. This should also encourage me to work on projects that are in the WISP stage (Works In Slow Progress) that will require more than one day to finish.
I must confess though, it is difficult to not start a new project today.
Hmmm should I note what day I start a project on? Just to see if any of them happen on a Friday? Or should I deliberately start a new project on a Friday to see what happens and test out my grandmother’s theory?

I wrote this post at the beginning of my day. Now here at the end of the day are photos of my accomplishments for my first Finish It Fridays.

Changed my mind. I decided to post this now so I have some accountability. I was going to post some before pictures now but just got an urgent call from my daughter. She is recovering from surgery and needs some help with her son. So I’m leaving to go enjoy them. I have my projects packed to go with me. Be back later with the results!

Hey I'm back! Here are the projects I chose for today:

Projects to be finished today

Yes they really are that simple! A scarf with tails, fingerless gloves with tails, fingerless gloves to stitch up and three cowls to stitch the ends together. That's all that was lacking before they could be labeled done!
Projects done!
And done! Well except for the brown cowl. That had to wait because I didn't have enough of the yarn to sew it together. Miscalculated. Now I need to check my stash for a brown that will blend in or purchase another skein of this yarn.
Not a lot of work but a good start to encourage myself that this is doable! Thanks for looking!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

What I’ve Been Working On Wednesday

I know, I know it’s Thursday. Still trying to get on track with my postings. I’ve been busy doing some design work for the Quilters’ Guild of Arlington. No not a quilt! A postcard for our upcoming May Festival of Quilts Show and a bookmark detailing our meetings, workshops and general information.
I haven’t used Photoshop for any design work for quite a while. It’s been a re-learning process and of course I just jumped right in with no pre-planning. That reminds me of why I should do some paper sketching first I think. I was in a hurry last minute deadline you understand. Now in hindsight it probably would have gone a lot faster and smoother if I had paused to sketch my ideas first.

Front of the Post Card
Here’s my results. 
Thankfully they were well received!
Back of the Post Card
 If you will be in the Dallas area the first part of May (May 2nd and/or 3rd) come check our show out!
Bookmark Front
Bookmark Back
Other than that I’m just trying to straighten up my work area so I can find things and get more sewing/quilting/crafting done. Still have a little more to do and then of course organizing everything will take a little more time. My husband’s comment was “wow now we can actually see the floor and walk around in here!” I think I’ll take some pictures when I have it done and post them up so I can remind myself of how good it looks de-cluttered and hopefully encourage myself to keep it that way. We shall see!

Happy Designing (and straightening up if you are like me)!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Needle in ear plug
Yes a double oops! This was to be posted first on Monday and then yesterday as part of my Monday night tips and tidbits but I forgot. Yes I’m trying to get back to posting on a regular basis!
In an earlier post I had this item in a photograph and said I would explain it later. Well it is now later.
The red thing is an ear plug (unused!) I stuck my piercing needle (just a regular embroidery needle) as far in as I could. Now I just grab the ear plug and start piercing my paper. It gives a little cushion but I can still feel the needle. Makes it so much easier on the fingers. And when I am done I can just stick the ear plug needle into the foam for the next time I need it. Easy to spot too because of the red color. So far I have not had the needle come out of the ear plug.

Happy Stitching (or in this case piercing)!


Sunday, January 5, 2014


Here we are at the beginning of another new year. 2014. A fresh start. We’ve spent the last few weeks of 2013 remembering the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. When God became man. We have the time wrong but really we should be celebrating the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God Almighty, every day not just on certain occasions. Daily. Celebrate. King of kings.
That is going to be my word for this year.Celebrate. I know people celebrate special occasions – birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, new jobs, retirements, etc. But I want to celebrate every day. Every ordinary day. By thinking on Jesus and praising Him. By honoring Him first of all in my life. By remembering and returning to my first love.
Some of the definitions given for the word celebrate are:
  1. Publicly acknowledge (a significant or happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity
  2. Honor or praise publicly
  3. To make known publicly, to proclaim
  4. To praise widely or to present to widespread and favorable public notice
That is my intent this year. As I seek to live more in His Presence. This is where I want my main focus to be. I’m going to celebrate Jesus each and every day. In different ways. But always. Sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small ways. But all ways.
I know my soul and spirit rejoice when I am in church and praising Him with song and uplifted hands. I want to feel that rejoicing every day. The intensity of it. Every day. No matter what I am doing. To celebrate. Life. Love. Peace. Joy. Daily.
I plan to delve into the book of Acts because I believe that’s what they did in the beginning. Not a solemn, quiet, controlled celebration full of ritual and routine. No a daily exuberant celebration. One full of joy and wonder. One full of gratitude and sharing. Publicly.
Social media watch out as I overcome my shyness through the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. I don’t expect a big bang or explosion. Just a slow, quiet expansion of His Presence in my life. Lord help me to be brave. Help me Lord to overcome my fear of what others may say or think. Help me Lord to focus on You and the plans You have for me.
Help me Lord to celebrate You!

Happy to be His!