Friday, November 30, 2012

An exercise in frustration...

Hi everyone!  I thought long and hard about posting this today.  You see, it seems everything I touch lately has been an exercise in frustration.  Between frogging and running out of materials, I've been a frustrated crafter.  Not to mention, I've been super busy with the holidays bearing down on us, so even when I can stitch/crochet, I run out of materials in the middle of my efforts and don't have time to run out for more.  Thankfully yesterday I was finally able to get some errands run and pick up some stuff.  Before I get back to stitching/crocheting, here are some pictures of what I've been up do.

I asked in my last post about what color to use for the flower basket in the middle of the circle in Quaker Harmony.  Thank you so much to those of you who responded, it's so nice to get a second opinion.  Most of you said I should use a lighter I finally bit the bullet (as I didn't like the color of the DMC substitute) and ran to my LNS for the recommended color.  I haven't had time to stitch just yet, but wanted to show you that I have stitched all the rest.  I don't think it will take me much longer to finish it, just have to find a chunk of that will happen any time soon.

Since I couldn't stitch or crochet I turned to another one of my crazies.  This one is coming along nicely, but now I've made it to the tree.  That's a HUGE chunck of stitching so we'll have to see how that goes now that it's started.  I love this pattern and really can't wait to see how it finishes off.  I'll keep you posted!

As many of you know, I've been crocheting a bit more lately.  I have been trying different weights of yarn/cotton and as I practice, I'm happy that my work has gotten more consistent.  I love how this new scarf is turning out.  Lavender is my favorite color, and this scarf will be light enough to wear any time of year.  It's made with crochet cotton (very difficult for me to work with right now, but I'm hooked...pun intended...and can't wait to see how this will finish out).  

I also found this lovely yarn and bought one skein, then came home to see what pattern I could find to make something with it.  It was working up so perfectly...the stripes falling in line so wonderfully, and I got halfway done...and you guessed it...ran out of yarn.  Back to the store I trudged to find that the skein I had bought was the LAST one of that color.  *sigh*  But...there are benefits in living in a metropolitan area.  There was another Hobby Lobby within driving distance, so off I drove.  Happily I found the same color, unhappily it was one digit off from the dye-lot.  *heavier sigh*  The colors seemed close enough so I's only for me, I'll see what happens.  I discovered when I got home, that though the color is off a teeny weeny bit, it doesn't seem to clash with what I had already done!  Yippee!!  When I asked my son where I had switched yarn, he picked an area that was in the middle of the original skein of yarn...and since he has a pretty good eye for color I decided I have nothing to worry about.  Here is a picture of my progress so far, I'm nearly done.  It's going to be a long one, but then I can wrap it around my neck like I used to.  It will really bring some bling to my ordinarily dull winter coats!  

Astrid invited my guys and myself to a football game last night.  What fun!!  The football team of the school her boys attend made it to the state finals, so off we all went to M&T Bank stadium to watch the final game.  The team was undefeated all season, and they won again last night.  What an exciting game, as they were behind in the first half, but came back with a vengeance and won in the final half.  It was definitely a nail biter!!  Unfortunately I forgot my camera, but I know Astrid and her hubby were clicking away so maybe if you check her blog, she'll have pictures up.

I will admit that I don't have a clue what is going on on the field, all I see are men in tight pants tossing a ball and making pig piles to try and stop it's advance down the field.  I did learn a few more nuances of the game last night, but it's still pretty much a mystery to me.  I guess if I'm going to hang with Astrid's family I better learn more about the game.  LOL  It seems if you plan to live in Maryland, you need to love boating and football...neither of which really appeal to me.  I love me some baseball, and hockey I can tolerate.  I'm definitely not a native!  Oh how I miss the crazy people of my  native Northern NY.

I've made a few ornaments for some people.  I have sent out Mouse's and she has already seen hers so I'll post a picture here.  I'm laughing to myself, as I try to make things for people that suit their personalities, and I thought this looked so "old world" and "British" so thought it would be perfect for Mouse.  The others who have seen it love it so much that I'm not sure they will like the ones I've made for them...I don't know if I should remake theirs or what I should do...*sigh*  Well, hopefully the others will know that I stitched them with love and with them specifically in mind and will love theirs just as much.  We'll see.  Anyway, here's a peek at Mouse's.

Off to see if I can actually finish something today and I finally have all the materials I need.  Wish me luck!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

So much to be thankful for...

Hi there!!  So sorry to have been absent for so long.  Life keeps getting in the way...I hope you and your loved ones had a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I'm thankful for the Lord's provisions...a loving family, a caring church family, for fast and abiding friends, for food and shelter, for His abiding Word, Grace, and Love. Praying you all receive His blessings today and every day!

It has been a whirlwind here, and I am still not back to work.  I can't imagine how I found the time and energy to do all that I did in the past while working full time, or maybe all the things that have happened in the past few years have aged me that much...LOL  Don't tell my husband I said that or he will never let me live it down!!!

It took me over a month, but I was finally able to connect with my buddy, Sonya, and she took me to a great Irish restaurant, Brian Boru, for my birthday lunch.  That would have been enough, but look what else she had for me...

Isn't it the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen?  She knows I love violets, and the cup is an antique with such an unusual shape...just like me!!  LOL  It's perfect, Sonya, I love it so much and love you even more!!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I wanted to make something very special for her special birthday last year and looked for months for the perfect teacup, then stitched a swan for a pincushion for the top.  You can find a picture here. 

I did do something this year that I have never done before and vowed I would never do.  I went out shopping on Black Friday.  I have to say, I could joke around with the employees at different places and hoped I made their day a little more pleasant, however there was one store I was in that someone in line was very sarcastic, and my husband shot her a short, sarcastic comment of his own.  It takes a lot to get under hubby's skin, and he rarely lets his temper show.  I was glad we were nearly on our way out of the store.  LOL  I must admit that we did find some pretty awesome bargains and with what we saved probably got a few things for free!  I love shopping for people and this year, since I haven't worked much, funds are a little short.  Hubby has decided to pull in the reigns and try to keep  my spending in control.  He's doing a great job!  

So...I have had some issues with my hand and have had to slow down a bit in the arts and crafts department.  I did finish up a couple of scarves for Christmas gifts and they are on their way to the post office as I type.  It's ok if I put them on my blog since people know what they are getting.  Here are a couple of pictures.  I have to admit, that using a different hook and type of yarn makes a huge difference in the size of things.  You can see when I put the grey and pink scarves together that though they were the exact same pattern, they are very different in size.  Whew knew?  I love making this scarf, it takes only one skein of yarn and I can make one in a couple of hours.  

I love the yarn from the grey scarf....I tried to take a closeup so you could see the sequins embedded in the yarn.  I thought it might be scratchy on my neck, but it truly is soft and cozy!!  So I'll be warm and sparkly..LOL

 I had never made a cowl scarf before, and this one was a lot of fun.  However my guage was off, I think it should have been a wee bit longer, but it sure is warm!!  I wish you could feel how soft the yarn was!!

I haven't had much time to stitch, and just when I think I might get a few minutes, something always pops up.  I will admit, I am getting very tiredI miss the energy I used to have.  I'm glad my hubby talked me into not going back to work for a while longer.  I'm hoping I can get my strength back one day, but for now it's good to scale things back.  I have had a little time, and here is my progress on Quaker Harmony from My Big Toe.  I have reached an impasse though...I started stitching a flower basket in the center of the circle but found I was a few stitches off.  While I was stitching, I kept thinking how much I didn't like the color (I wish I had taken a picture before I frogged it all) and found another color to substitute.  Now I'm still debating, which color do you like better?  The darker or the lighter?  I could really use your opinion, would you mind leaving me a comment?  I may even choose a third color, but would like any input you have.  The lighter color is supposed to be Williamsburg Red, but I was substituting a DMC color 3721.  The darker color is Bing Cherry from Crescent Colours.  Any suggestions?  Thanks so much for your help.

And on that note, I'll bid you a good afternoon.  Hope you are enjoying your weekend and are spending some quality time with your family.  I'm thinking about all those ladies who are at Harrogate this weekend, and wishing I could be there with them.  What fun they must be having!!  Can't wait to see your stash enhancement photos!!  *Hugs*   

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Veteran's Day Weekend...

I  know I must sound like a broken record, but just had to let you know about our weekend.  My Mom called last week and asked if we were free Veteran's Day weekend.  We weren't...but shuffled things around and made a mad dash to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to meet up with my sister and my Mom.  She had some things she wanted to give us that she didn't want to send through the mail, so we met halfway between our homes to exchange Christmas presents and to spend a little time together.  I love spontaneous events like this and in all honesty, it was nice not to have to drive the entire 9 hours one way to visit them.  Thanks, guys, for meeting us half way.  What a lot of fun it was and I hope we can do that again soon!

I started out as the driver to Pennsylvania.  Of course, since DH was sitting down...he fell asleep.   I tell you, the man can sleep anywhere!!

We visited Hickory Run State Park to see the boulder field that my Mom has talked about many times but I have never seen.  Apparently, millions of years ago a glacier deposited these boulders when it stopped it's southern advance.  I'm told you can hear water running if you stand farther out in the field, but the shoes I had on would not allow me to travel too far out and still balance on those boulders.  Next time I'll bring sneakers!!  It was astonishing and the pictures really do not show how big the expanse is where these boulders are.  

There are streams running all through the park with such clear water you can see to the bottom of the creeks.  

And there are a few dams along the way creating these lovely waterfalls.

One dam created this lovely lake.  I think we visited on the perfect day as it was such a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky...warm temperatures and not a lick of wind.  Made for some lovely reflections on the water.

This little chapel is next to one of the dams as well...and the sound of the water is so soothing.  I can see a wedding taking place here, can't you?

We stopped at this place to eat.  I can remember my Dad taking us here when we were small, and after having one of their famous foot long hotdogs with the homemade relish they tasted exactly the same.  It brought back a flood of memories of visiting my Grandmother and Aunts, Uncles and cousins.  It's been years since I've had one of those!!  They were my Dad's favorite and we never missed going to the Ranch Wagon when we were in town.

We didn't have time to see everyone, but we did stop to see my cousin as she was only a few miles from the park we visited.  We got to see her daughter and twin granddaughters too.  It was a fun visit.

I made these cross bookmarks for my Mom and sister...another thing I've been doing lately.  When the Pastor's wife learned I could make bookmarks, she asked me to make them for baby dedications and baptisms, so I've been trying to make them differently as I go along.  I like doing it...and wish they wouldn't tell them where the crosses come from.  Once people know you can crochet, then you get a lot of requests for things.  I guess I shouldn't complain...

Not much stitching has been getting done, but you can see I've been busy with other things at the moment.  The scarf I mentioned in the last post was given to my Mom as a Christmas gift.  She loved it, and was as surprised as I was that the sequins don't seem to bother our necks, you can't really feel them.  Now my sister wants one...LOL

So...that's all the news that's fit to print.  I hope you all had a great weekend, and that you were able to thank those who have sacrificed so much to protect our way of life.  They are not the ones starting the wars, but they are sent into harms way by the powers that be.  Most of the men and women I have met in the armed forces have been honorable, selfless people and I am thankful they do the job they do so we remain safe.  Thank you for  your service!  See you soon!  *Hugs*


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Moving on...

Well the past week has been quite exciting...LOL   I've been a wee bit busy with meetings and voting and learning some new crafts.  So without further ado, let me show you what I've been up to.

This is something I made yesterday after finding out that someone I know would like a scarf.  I'm pretty sure this is NOT what she  had in mind, but I had to see if I could make one just to satisfy my curiosity.   The original pattern I found here had yarn with beads embedded in it.  I found this yarn with sequins embedded in it.  It's not as long as I would like and have thought I might want to increase the length if I can figure out how many more stitches to add.  The yarn isn't as soft when it's been worked up as it is when you feel the ball of yarn.  So...what should I do with this?  Don't worry...I really have something in mind...but it's still a work in progress for me...LOL

I've been getting a little stitching done, but not as much as I would like.  Here is Quaker Harmony from  My Big Toe.  This is another of my crazies, and will make number 15 when I'm done.  The flower in the center of the ring is done in a color that I really don't like.  I can't decide what I should do...I stitched part of it, took it out because I realized I was a few threads off, and have been trying to decide if I want to change the color or what I should do.  Any thoughts?  The color they suggest is a light rust and looks faded compared to the other colors around it.  Decisions Decisions...LOL  Sadly, removing the color I had there left a pinkish tinge to the fabric.  Because it was a few threads off, I'm afraid it will show...*sigh*

Here's the new craft I mentioned above.  Astrid and I went to an arts and crafts fair last Friday.  We found someone demonstrating embossing.  Astrid likes to get her crafty on so we encouraged one another to get some stencils, the embossing tool, and some card stock.  We neglected to get the powdered chalk, and now we can't find it.  LOL  I found some chalk pastels and tried to see if it would work.  It's harder to work with I think, but I'm determined to make it work!!  I'm not happy with how dark the colors are, but I'll keep experimenting until I get things right.  Trouble is, this really stresses out my hand.  So does crocheting for that matter, but I can't stop  myself!  Everything in moderation I guess!!

Well, I'm so thankful the election is finally over.  I'm tired of the robo-calls that we were bombarded with...and the debates on facebook and other places.  It's not the outcome I had hoped for, and I worry about our nation and how it will survive the decisions made (same sex marriages, more casinos, and the dream act I feel are detrimental to our state) not to mention another four years under Obama, but as I wrote on facebook... President Obama will never understand or admit that he IS a part of God's plan, just as Pharaoh was a part of God's plan for the Israelites. All we can do is watch, wait and pray for God to reveal His strength and might. Nothing happens by accident, so I am watching and anticipating. To God be the Glory!  History tells us that every great nation has fallen from within and I am beginning to see the writing on the wall.  Still I believe we live in a great nation and I am thankful for the freedoms we still have.

I had to laugh, on the way out of the voting place there were Girl Scouts there selling cookies.  They asked if we cared to vote for our favorite Girl Scout Cookie.  Thin Mints are by far my most favorite cookie, and thankfully they haven't changed much since I was a young scout selling cookies.  So...I voted twice on November 6th, and here are my stickers to prove  it!

Last I'm going to leave you with a teaser.  While I was searching for yarn, I found this crochet thread...can you guess what I might be making with it?  I'll work something up, then you can see what it is.  How's that for a teaser to come back and check out my blog?  Haha...till next kind to one another.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Announcing the winners!

It's been a crazy week, with the hurricane, loss of power, the boys being home from work and school, and the possibility of Halloween being cancelled, but thankfully, plans moved forward, the boys are back on a regular schedule and we were able to attend our Halloween party last night.  I hope wherever you were that you had a fun night.  I had to laugh at a post my teenage son put on facebook yesterday, he arrived home from his party an hour before we arrived home from ours.  His comment was..."My parents party harder than me what's with this"  and all I can say is, where were you, son?  Here are some of the ladies we partied with!!  LOL  Guess next time you won't think your parents are so lame!  LOL

So, without further ado, I just wanted to announce the winners of all the giveaways!  First up is Tadamama who won The Prairie Schooler kit "Stitch to win against Breast Cancer".  Second is Samplers Silks and Linens who won the Lizzie Kate pattern "Peace Love and a Cure".  Last is Terri who won The Drawn Thread pattern "Box of Stitches".  I will be sending you all e-mails, so please be sure to look for something from Tickled Pink (often times it ends up in your spam folder) and reply with your snail mail address.  Congratulations!!  I'm hoping to scour through my stash soon and have another don't be too disappointed that you didn't win this time.

I mentioned before that I did some stitching while the storm was passing by.  I didn't get too much accomplished but here is a sampling of what I did do.  This is Quaker Harmony by My Big Toe.  I'm having a little difficulty stitching, there is still some soreness with my wrist and hand so I think my days of quick stitching is in the past.  Still I enjoy the time I do get to spend stitching.

I'll leave you with some pictures of our evening.  We had dinner, spent time pranking people, then played "Outburst".  Thanks to our Pastor and his wife for hosting the party, we had such a fun time!  *Hugs* 

 If you are wondering about the following picture, poor SW is afraid of clowns, and DH put on this mask and hid in the bathroom for her to find.  The knife is real by the way!!  Me thinks she'll have nightmares after this!
Last, but not least, I leave you with a picture of DH and myself...We are the fallen priest and angel.  LOL