Last Eye Candy Friday for August...

...already!

The only good part about August being almost over is that we are getting closer to winter. I hope we get enough rain this year, because things are looking pretty sad around here.  Fortunately, we have some plants in the garden that don't care if they get lots of water or are so confused they are blooming anyway.

The succulents don't care one way or the other. This Aeonium Schwarzkopf plant is doing quite well:

Schwarzkopf Black Rose

The figs have decided to set a nice crop this time. We've harvested about 20 so far, 17 more than last time:

Figs

The strawberries are really confused and are setting blossoms an fruit for like the third time this season:

Strawberry blossoms

And the tomatoes are still going strong:

Tomato blossoms

Up this weekend: Mostly quilting, with a side of chores.

I need to replace the quilt border that's too light and finish the straight quilting. Then I need to decide how to quilt the wider border. I have an idea, but I need to chalk it out on the fabric to see whether it will work. At least with chalk, I can brush it out if it's not going to work.

For Stealth Project #2, I need to make a couple of decisions about the finish work. Again, I have some ideas here and my final decision will be based on the amount of time it will take to do it.

In the cracks, I'll work on the chores, like running the vacuum monster and finding my kitchen floor. I also want to finish the current cross stitch piece. That's a stretch goal, and might not be realistic given the other things I need to do.

We'll see how it goes!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...and there is progress!

I can't show you the commission quilt, but I can show you the current state of my cross stitch piece.  This is Summer 9 Patch, a pillow kit from Pine Mountain Designs:

Summer 9 Patch, in progress

No, I am not completing one square and then moving on to the next. If I finish a stitching a color in one square and there is a lot of floss left on the needle, I'll stitch another square that uses the same color until I run out of floss on my needle. That way I can avoid changing colors as often., which can be a PITA with a small project.

WIPs:

Worked on:

  1. Summer 9-Patch (cross stitch)
    Completed 2 of 9 squares; 4 other squares in process
  2. Stealth Commission project (quilting)
    Almost done with the straight machine quilting.
    In the 2-steps Back category, I have to replace one of the borders that has a bleached-out looking section before I can finish.
  3. Stealth project #2 (quilting)
    Machine quilting is done. Need to prep for assembly.
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Empress handspun [Ravelry]
  4. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  5. No-Noro Hat for Halos of Hope (knitting)
    Started 8/15/15. Ribbing completed and design started.
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)\
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.


Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...including the weekend report.
  1. Between Thursday and Friday, I purchased 4 candidate spools of thread for machine quilting the commission pieces. I settled on one that matched the backing fabric the best. The other three spools will be used for other projects or for thread plying when I get back to spinning art yarn.
     
  2. I spent a good part of the weekend machine quilting the commission pieces. I'm trying to keep my perfectionist tendencies in check, with some success.
     
  3. I was down to the last 3 stitch-in-the-ditch sides of the main border when I noticed that one of the border pieces had an area that looked like it had been bleached. Not great when the rest of the border is varying shades of green. I don't know why I hadn't seen it earlier... Sigh.

    Fortunately, I always buy more fabric than I need and was able to cut another length. I'll rip out the offending border and sew in the replacement. At least I caught it before I machine quilted that section.
     
  4. I'm glad it wasn't as hot this weekend as it was last weekend. The weather allowed me to keep quilting into the afternoon of both days.
     
  5. When I wasn't working on the commission pieces, I was either reading or working on the Summer 9-Patch cross stitch project. The cross stitch piece is pretty mindless, to the point where it puts me to sleep!
     
  6. The Husband has been doing some work in ancestry.com tracking down his relatives and mine. He found some information about my father's family, which surprised me. Many of my relatives were farmworkers and I didn't think there would be many records of them. We spent some time talking about what the Husband found and what I remembered my mother telling me.
     
  7. Getting information about my father's family is always a challenge. When he died in 1961, most of his family drifted away from us and pretty much disappeared after my mother remarried. Only one family stayed close--they lived across the street from us--and my mother still visits with them.
     
  8. I called Mom and asked her some questions about my father's family and discovered that I had some of the stories wrong (like I thought my father's mother died young, but it was really her sister who did). In my defense, my mother does tend to use pronouns rather than names so it's easy to mix up the "she"s and "he"s.  I think we'll be picking Mom's brain about the family connections for a while!

Eye Candy Friday...

...and not a moment too soon! I'm very ready for a regular weekend.

Today's eye candy are the promised rose photos from the Immaculate Conception Church in Tres Pinos, CA. This church is where they held the memorial mass and service for my late Aunt Alice.

The grounds have some lovely old rose bushes. Some of my favorites are this yellow rose by the entrance of the church:

Yellow roses

This bi-color rose:

Full blown bi-color rose

This peach rose:

Peach rose

and this orange rose in a very sunny part of the grounds:

Orange rose

The church is across the highway from a landing area for hang gliders and paragliders. We got to see a few of them while we were there.

Paraglider in Tres Pinos 1

Up this weekend: Two whole days of crafting!

My plan is to spend the majority of the time machine quilting the commission piece. I want to see how far I can get. because the quilting is simple, It might be possible to finish this weekend unless I let creativity get the best of me!

I'll also spend a bit of time on Stealth Commission Project #2. It will take a backseat to the main projects, but I'd like to spend a little time on it.

In between, when it gets too hot to quilt, I'll work on a stitchery project or the Halos of Hope hat.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...I have a couple of new things I'm working on, but no photos.

With cooler weather, I hope to move knitting WIPs back into rotation as well as make progress on the commission piece.

WIPs:

Worked on:
  1. Summer 9-Patch (cross stitch)
    Started 8/14/15. Design is divided into 9 sections; completed 1.
  2. No-Noro Hat for Halos of Hope (knitting)
    Started 8/15/15. Ribbing completed and design started.
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Empress handspun [Ravelry]
  4. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  5. Stealth Commission project (quilting)
  6. Stealth project #2 (quilting)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)\
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...in which I am very thankful for an air-conditioned office.
  1. We went to my family reunion on Saturday. It was the hottest day of the weekend. In Hollister. With no air conditioning. UGH!! It was great seeing everyone, but it was difficult to be pleasant when you are really hot and sweaty.

    We were happy to get home even though it was only marginally cooler.
     
  2. There was a memorial service for my Aunt Alice, who passed away earlier in the year. It was held at the Catholic Church in Tres Pinos. When I was small, we used to go for services there. At least one of my brothers was baptized there. The church grounds have several grottoes and religious statuary, as well as many rose bushes. I took lots of photos, some of which you will see on Eye Candy Friday.
     
  3. I started a hat for Halos of Hope. My plan was to knit it on Saturday while I sat and chatted with family. That didn't happen...just too hot to knit!
     
  4. Sunday was only a little better. It was so hot that there was no way I could work on the quilt. Wrestle a quilt through the sewing machine? Just no.
     
  5. The temperatures have cooled slightly. As long as we stay close to home, it will be hot, but not as bad as San Jose.
     
  6. I finished the Sweet Summer cross stitch project:

    Sweet Summer, completed

    Specs:
    Started 8/2/2015
    Finished 8/16/2015
    Sweet Summer limited edition kit by Lizzie Kate

    It needs finish work. I'm not sure whether it will be a pillow or a picture. It's intended to be a picture, but I have limited wall space. We'll see what I decide to do. Nothing is getting finish work until I finish the commission quilt.

Eye Candy Friday...

...and it's getting harder to find something new to photograph!

We have a container filled with these red flowers (I think they are watsonia, but I don't know for sure):

Red flowers in the morning

The rose bush in the back yard seems to be happy:

Rose petals

And these magic lilies are going strong in our front yard:

Magic Lilies

Up this weekend: The 4-day family reunion started Thursday. We're only attending tomorrow because that's all I can handle. Fortunately, it's close by.

That leaves me with Sunday to cram in all of the things I normally do on Saturday as well as Sunday's tasks. I hope that I can get the machine quilting started on the commission quilt.

I'm going to take a few minutes to press the Sweet Summer cross stitch piece so I can add the beads and declare it done. I finished the stitching last night and I'm ready to work on something else!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...in which I don't have much progress to report.

I can show you this click-and-run photo I took this morning of the cross stitch project:


It's getting there!

I need to start another knitting project so I have something simple to work on during the family reunion. Inevitably, I will get antsy while I'm just sitting there chatting with people. I'll be much better off with something to knit. Maybe a Halos of Hope hat...

WIPs:

Worked on:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Working on row 34 of 62
  2. Sweet Summer (cross stitch)
    See photo above.
  3. Stealth Commission project (quilting)
    I am ready to start machine quilting this puppy!
  4. Stealth project #2 (quilting)
    Also ready for machine quilting.
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Empress handspun [Ravelry]
  3. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)\
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...another no-photo post.
  1. The stealth commission quilt is ready for quilting! My backing fabric arrived on Friday so I was able to sandwich the quilt. I love that the backing fabric is 54 inches wide. The quilt top is 43.5 inches wide, so there are no seams on the back!
  2. I'm working on a stealth side-project that related to the commission quilt. It's been percolating in my brain since I started the commission quilt. I've made it a reality and am pleased with how far I got on the weekend.
  3. I'm chugging right along on the Sweet Summer cross stitch project. I'm about 50% done with it.
  4. I'm past the half-way mark on the Beyond Antares (aka Equatorial Nights) scarf [Ravelry].
  5. I've been playing sys admin at home. I bought a refurbished MacBook Air and have been migrating my information from my old computer. For some reason the instructions for moving iTunes music from one computer to another did not work for me. It could be because I was going from a much older OS. I don't know why it wasn't working, but I finally found a method that worked. It only took a few days!
  6. Because I was so involved in the commission quilt, I didn't visit with the relatives on the weekend. Instead, we went out to dinner last night. That worked for me!
  7. I'm wishing that August would slow down a bit...I can't believe that kids are going back to school already. It seems like Summer just started...

Eye Candy Friday already...

...my brain didn't connect with the fact it was Friday until I got to work. I went to my regular Friday morning cycling class, knowing that the instructor would be Monique, who only teaches on Friday. And yet when I got home afterward, it didn't register that it was Friday and I needed to take some photos of the cacti that are blooming  in the backyard.

Nope. No flower pictures today. :(

Fortunately, I did take a picture of last night's sunset, which was gorgeous.

Sunset 8/6/15

Later, it rained and there was lots of thunder and lightening. It was very cool!  Sadly, the rain didn't last long.

Up this weekend: My sister-in-law and her husband arrive on Saturday for a visit. We'll probably end up over there on Sunday.

I'm still waiting for my backing fabric the arrive for the commission quilt. I'd love to be able to sandwich the quilt and get started on the quilting.

Other than that, it's the normal chores and crafts. I'm still not ready to go back to spinning yet, so I'll stick with the needlework and knitting projects I have in progress. I have enough to keep me busy for quite a while!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...and a sock club installment!

On Monday, I received the July installment of the Rockin' Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I like the yarn color, but the patterns don't do it for me.

Socks That Rock Lightweight in Berrylicious

The sock pattern has bobbles: I don't like how bobbles look and I hate knitting them. The other pattern can be knit as a scarf or cowl. I already have several scarves and cowls, so I'm not really looking for another one at this point.  Oh, well. Maybe I'll use the yarn for a weaving piece.

My latest cross stitch piece is coming along. It's a little on the cutesy side, but it goes with many of the summer pieces I've already stitched.

Sweet Summer, in progress

I'm seriously thinking about starting another needlepoint piece. I have several painted canvases in the stash as well as several charted canvas projects with the threads already pulled. It's worth a look...

WIPs:

Worked on:

  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Working on row 30 of 62
  2. Sweet Summer (cross stitch)
    See photo above.
  3. Stealth Commission project (quilting)
    The top is done. Waiting for the backing fabric to arrive.
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Empress handspun [Ravelry]
  3. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)\
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

F.O. Tuesday...

...and some randomness.

I started and finished a cross stitch piece over the weekend. OK, technically I started this piece in October of 2000. I placed a grand total of 6 stitched in the piece before I realized that I was supposed to use a single ply of floss, not two. So when I picked it up again on Saturday, I had to frog those stitches and start again.

This is the Sheep Scissor Companion:

Sheep Scissor Companion

Specs:
Started 8/1/2015
Stitching completed 8/2/2015
Kit by Ewe & Eye & Friends

The instructions that came with the kit are pretty minimal. There are no photos to show you what it looks like completed and there are no assembly instructions. Also, there's a tiny black button in the kit and no indication as to where it belongs. Based images I found on the web, it looks like the button goes in the middle of the heart. I'm debating whether I want to add the button. When It comes to the assembly, I'm just going to punt like I did with the other two fobs I made from this designer.

Randomness:
  • I started another cross stitch piece Sunday night. It's Sweet Summer, the Summer Limited Edition kit from Lizzie Kate. It's to be mounted as a picture, but I'm not sure whether that's what I'll do with it. I'm not happy with the quality of the fabric, but it's stitching up OK.
  • I finished the assembly of the quilt top for the commission piece. I'm very happy with the way it looks. I hope the backing fabric arrives in time for me to sandwich the quilt on Saturday!
  • I'm taking a break from spinning, at least until this month's Spin-In, assuming that it's not on the day of our family reunion.
  • I'm making slow progress on the Beyond Antares (Equatorial Nights) scarf [Ravelry]. It's my go-to project for Monday Craft Coffee/Night.
  • It's time to get serious about assembling the scissor fobs. I have at least four now,
  • And over the weekend, I found the instructions for assembling a pin poke. I have nor been able to do the finishing work for the Seaside Pin Poke that I stitched in 2004.  I had  the kit that contained all of the pieces I needed for assembly, but not the instructions. Hooray! Now I don't have to guess!  I do, however, need to buy glue...

July 2015 recap...

...didn't meet my spinning goal, but did pretty well considering that my wheel had issues at the beginning of the month and we had company right at the end of Tour de Fleece.

Finished:

  • 7/4  Sunrise handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Wild Card Bling Batt (2.5 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
    104.2 yds, thread-plied with copper and gold threads; bulky weight
  • 7/5 Lemon Lime handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Crazy batt (2 oz) from Faerie Mountain; 
    139.6 yds, thread-plied with green and yellow threads; 10 WPI
  • 7/9 Scaredy Sheep scissor fob (cross stitch) 
  • 7/10 Crazy Turquoise handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Crazy batt (2.0 oz) from Faerie Mountain
    87.5 yds, worsted weight
  • 7/11 Rust Verde handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Wild Card Bling Batt (3.5 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
    24.2 yds, thread-plied with copper poly threads; bulky weight
  • 7/13 Gradient Violet handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Wild Card Bling Batt (3.1 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
    102.4 yds, chain-plied; 10 WPI
  • 7/15 Wild Shell handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Wild Card Bling Batt (2.5 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
    95 yds, thread-plied with metallic silver thread; 9 WPI
  • 7/17 Wild Nile handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Wild Card Bling Batt (3.8 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
    215.9 yds, plied with rayon thread and green sequins; 12 WPI 
  • 7/19 Faerie Purple handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Crazy batt (2.0 oz) from Faerie Mountain
    117.25 yds. 2-ply, 14 WPI
  • 7/25 Santa Fe #5 (needlepoint)
  • 7/26 Clear Skies (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Wild Card Bling Batt (4.3 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
    55.8 yds, auto-plied with rayon thread; bulky
  • 7/30  Happy Wishes scissor fob (cross stitch)
  • Books:
    1. Spider's Trap, Jennifer Estep
    2. Mending Heartstrings, Aria Glazki
    3. Burn For Me, Ilona Andrews
    4. Whiskey Beach, Nora Roberts
    5. Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography, Victoria Price
Started:
  1. 7/4 Sunrise handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  2. 7/5 Lemon Lime handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  3. 7/6 Crazy Turquoise handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  4. 7/11 Rust Verde handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  5. 7/12 Gradient Violet handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  6. 7/14 Wild Shell handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  7. 7/14 Happy Wishes scissor fob (cross stitch)
  8. 7/16 Wild Nile handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  9. 7/18 Faerie Purple handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  10. 7/20 Empress handspun [Ravelry]
  11. 7/26 Clear Skies handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
Worked on:
  • Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Stealth Commission project (quilting)
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)\
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

WIP-it Wednesday...

...pretend I'm posting this on a break during my cooking marathon. ;-) WIPs Roll Call Worked On: Charred Teal Shawl (knitting) [ ...