Friday, March 30, 2018

Eye Candy Friday...

...with the key word being "Friday."

It's been a really long week. I'm very tired of coughing and I want this cold to go away. And I really miss my yoga classes.

There is a lot going on in the garden right now. Birds are singing and things are blooming! We have tulips:

Maroon and yellow tulip

Tulips

Hyacinth:

Peachy hyacinth

Lots of daffodils:

Daffodil

Daffodil

The wisteria is looking lovely:

Wisteria

And we have baby apricots!

Baby Apricots

Up this weekend: My goal is to get closer to "well."

I haven't been getting enough sleep, but it has been better sleep now that I'm not coughing all night. I hope to catch up a little in this area.

I'm hoping that I can get back to working on the mermaid. I have not had the attention span to work on her in over a week. She is stalled, as well as the finishing work.

The only thing that has had any play has been the Mirabel handspun [Ravelry]. I am spinning the last ounce. I might not be able to finish that this weekend, but I'll get close!
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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and I'm getting better.

It's been a rough few days with this cold. Other than nights when I tried to sleep in my bed, I've been camped on the couch - my cats have been so happy! I didn't do a lot of my normal weekend routine, but I did manage to get the laundry done on Saturday. It took all day, but clean clothes were a priority. And I missed two days of work.

With all of the coughing, I was not able to work on much in the way of needlework. Spindle spinning was about all I could handle, and only for short sessions. Still, it was something.

I'm now on the upswing, but my energy level is very low. It takes a few minutes to recover from exerting myself - the half-flight of stairs I had to climb to get to the office took me a lot of recovery time! Anyway, I'm happy that the coughing is intermittent instead of constant.

We'll see how long I last at work today.


WIPs Roll Call

Worked On:
  • Mirabel handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Finished the 10th, 11th, and 12th cop and transferred them to a temporary spindle
  • Christmas 9-patch Pillow (cross stitch)
    Working on row 2, square 1.
Works In Progress, Did Not Work On This Week:
  1. 4-shaft sampler (weaving) [Ravelry]
  2. Attic Windows quilt for me (quilting)
  3. Charred Teal Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry
  4. Finishing work (Shepherd's Bush Christmas ornament.)
  5. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  6. Mother of Dragons shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  7. Rosewood Wrap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  8. St. Charles (needlepoint)
  9. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Bear Paw pottery (needlepoint)
  3. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)

Friday, March 23, 2018

Eye Candy Friday...

...and this cold has kicked in with a vengeance. Yuck!

In the garden this week: A cyclamen

Raindrops on pink cyclamen

Narcissus

Narcissus Triandrus Thalia

A daffodil bud with raindrops

Raindrops on a daffodil bud

Sunrise shadows on our backyard wall

Shadows at sunrise

And the sunrise on 3/17/18

Sunrise 3/17/18

Up this weekend: Trying to recover from this cold.

When I feel like it, I try to spin more of the Mirabel and work on the mermaid.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and I have another cold. Thanks to The Husband, who either caught another cold or had a relapse, I'm coughing again. Sigh.

What that means to my WIPs is that I don't have a lot of energy/concentration to work on things after work. There's been a tiny bit of progress since the weekend, so not a complete stall.

WIPs Roll Call

Worked On:
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    Still working on beading the bottom of the bubble cascade.
  • Mirabel handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Finished the 8th and 9th cop and transferred them to a temporary spindle; started the 10th cop.
  • Christmas 9-patch Pillow (cross stitch)
    Working on row 2, square 1.
  • Finishing work
    Completed 6 needlepoint flats and 2 pillows; started assembling a Shepherd's Bush Christmas ornament.
Works In Progress, Did Not Work On This Week:
  1. 4-shaft sampler (weaving) [Ravelry]
  2. Attic Windows quilt for me (quilting)
  3. Charred Teal Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Mother of Dragons shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Rosewood Wrap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  6. St. Charles (needlepoint)
  7. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Bear Paw pottery (needlepoint)
  3. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and the weekend report.
I spent a little time updating my Project Recaps binder. I had let it slide for a long time. I post monthly recaps on the blog, but I also keep a hard-copy of just the recaps in my studio. I keep them in a turquoise leather DayTimer binder and separate them by year, starting with the year 2000. The list of what I completed before 2000 is much shorter and is in its own section.

I printed the recaps that I was missing, punched holes in them, and placed them in the binder. I am now caught up to February 2018. Yay!

I made more progress on the finishing work:
  • Purchased 2 pillow forms and modified them to fit the 2 Pine Mountain pillow projects that I had already stitched.
  • Sewed backing on 6 needlepoint projects, cut foam core to fit inside, and hand-sewed them closed.
I spent a few hours spinning the Mirabel handspun [Ravelry]. I am now working on cop #10. I have spun approximately 2.5 oz. of the 4.0 oz. in the bump.

Progress on the mermaid has slowed. The beading in the foam area of the project is intense - there are so many beads in a small area. It is difficult to see where the next bead goes using normal lighting.

I pulled out my Dazor magnifier lamp, attached it to its holder in the Legend stand, and lowered the scroll frame to accommodate it. The adjustment puts the frame too low for comfort and my shoulders start to bug me after an hour or so. I have to stop more often, which slows down my progress. I might have to rearrange my seating in the studio to allow me to use the lamp in its own rolling stand. Right now there is not enough room to do so.
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Friday, March 16, 2018

Eye Candy Friday...

...in which we have both clouds and flowers!

It's been raining off and on for several days. We really need the rain, so no complaints from me. There have been some amazing rainbows that I have been unable to capture. They always seem to happen when I'm driving!

I tried to capture one on Wednesday, but by the time I parked and pulled out the camera, it was gone. I did capture some pretty cool clouds, though.

This is at the corner of Sydney and Cascade drive near my house:

Evening clouds 3/14/18

This is at the elementary school near my house:

Sun setting at Nimitz School

And this is looking down Cascade Drive:

Sun setting behind the clouds

The garden is very happy with all the rain. Our goji berry is setting flowers:

Goji berry flowers

and the grape hyacinth are blooming:

Grape hyacinth

Up this weekend: Nothing specific planned, just the usual chores and errands.

I'd like to get some new athletic shoes for the gym, but I don't know whether I'll be able to drag myself out of the studio!

I'd like to spend a few hours beading the mermaid. I have some finishing work queued up that I should also attack. I'd love to work on my weaving...it's been too long!

We'll see how far I get. :-)
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

WIP-it Wednesday...

...progress is slow this week.

The time change is affecting me more than I expected. Add to that a change in my workout schedule, and things are a bit off-kilter. I'm having no trouble getting up in the morning to do my workout, but having yoga on Monday and Fridays instead of Tuesdays and Thursdays means that I am doing 3 straight days of at the gym doing cardio. By the end of gym days, I'm more tired than usual and have no energy to work on my projects. I suspect that it will take a a couple of weeks to get back feeling normal.

Here's an updated look at the Christmas 9 Patch pillow project. Only 2 squares to go!

Christmas 9 Patch Pillow, as of 3/14/18

WIPs Roll Call

Worked On:
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    Working on the beading for the bottom of the bubble cascade.
  • Mirabel handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Finished the 5th, 6th, and 7th cop and transferred them to a temporary spindle; started the 8th cop.
  • Christmas 9-patch Pillow (cross stitch)
    Finished row 1, square 1; started row 2, square 1.
Works In Progress, Did Not Work On This Week:
  1. 4-shaft sampler (weaving) [Ravelry]
  2. Attic Windows quilt for me (quilting)
  3. Charred Teal Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Finishing work
  5. Mother of Dragons shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  6. Rosewood Wrap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  7. St. Charles (needlepoint)
  8. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Bear Paw pottery (needlepoint)
  3. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...yeah, I missed posting on Friday. I didn't have time to take photos before I left for work.When I got home, all I wanted to do was read and veg out.

Saturday was Spin-In. In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I wanted to make something green. The closest I got was zucchini bread. I used the recipe that I got from Mom with some modifications. I replaced the walnuts with pecans and I eliminated the coconut. The recipe says that it makes one loaf, but I think the loaf pans must have been pretty large back then. I ended up with 1 regular loaf and 3 mini-loaves.

Zucchini Bread

At Spin-In, I worked on my spindle spinning and made decent progress. I need to weigh the remaining fiber to see how much I have spun. My best guess is that I've spun a third of the 4.0 oz. bump. I hope to finish spinning the singles this month. I am so ready to do some wheel spinning!

In between baking, Spin-In, errands, and laundry, I worked on the Mermaid. I started beading the bottom part of the bubble cascade. It's opposite the tail portion that I have already beaded. The bubble cascade has tons of beads to give it that bubble look. It's very tiring to try and fit all those beads in a small area. I had to stop a few times when I caught myself placing the bead one thread too low. I took that as a sign that I needed a break!

I spent a little time working on the Christmas 9-Patch cross stitch project. I'm down to the last two squares, thank goodness!
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Wednesday, March 07, 2018

WIP-it Wednesday...

...sorry, no photos today. The two WIPs that have my attention don't look significantly different than the last photos.

I've been concentrating on spindle spinning Mirabel [Ravelry]. I'm now spinning cop #5, which represents about one ounce of the 4 in the bump. I have a long way to go!

I'm managing to get a little stitching done on St. Charles (needlepoint), but I quickly get bored with the piece and put it aside. I have finished the inside borders and can start on the fill-in stitches once I figure out how they work. It is not a regular tent stitch filling. It sort of looks like Vs, one left-leaning stitch, one right-leaning stitch, like \ / \ / \ /. I need to figure out where to start the fill-in stitches and then I can get rolling.

One reason these projects are getting more play that the others is that I can work on them at night while I watch TV in the living room. They are both easy to pick up and work on, unlike the shawls I'm knitting. The mermaid and the quilt are relegated to the studio because of their size. I can only work on studio projects on the weekends.

WIPs Roll Call

Worked On:
  • Mirabel handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Finished the 4th cop and transferred it to a temporary spindle; started the fifth cop.
  • St. Charles (needlepoint)
    Finished the interior blue borders; ready for fill-in stitches
Works In Progress, Did Not Work On This Week:
  1. 4-shaft sampler (weaving) [Ravelry]
  2. Attic Windows quilt for me (quilting)
  3. Charred Teal Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Christmas 9-patch Pillow (cross stitch)
  5. Finishing work
  6. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  7. Mother of Dragons shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  8. Rosewood Wrap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  9. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Bear Paw pottery (needlepoint)
  3. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)

Monday, March 05, 2018

Weekend report...

...I know, it's not on a Tuesday!

The weekend short story: I worked a long time on a few things.

I truly intended on making a lot of progress on beading the mermaid. I ended up spending only a couple of hours on her. I made some progress, just not as much as I intended.

On Saturday, I spent an inordinate amount of time doing the finishing work on a pin poke (pin cushion). I finished the stitching of the item in 2004. Every time I picked up the finishing kit to make the pin poke, I was put off by the directions. It's not that the directions were bad. It was simply that they were written for people who did not have the kit.

It told you to cut out the cardboard supports and the fabric, some of which was already done for you in the kit. Not a big deal, except that the instructions combined the cutting and the gluing steps. So you cut out a two circles of cardboard and glued something onto one of them. You didn't get to the second round of card board for another 2 or 3 steps. To my mind, it would have been better to cut out everything first and then proceed through the gluing and sewing steps.

Anyway, I decided that I needed to finish this thing and get it off my plate. It took me several hours with lots of breaks to get this thing put together. It looks fine, but I know what to do next time, if there is a next time.

This is the Seaside Pin Poke:

Seaside Pin Poke

Finish work completed 3/3/18
Stitching started 06/2004
Stitching completed 07/04/2004
Pattern: The Seaside by Eventide Designs

Once I finished that, I was in no mood to do any beading. I working on the spindle spinning of Mirabel handspun [Ravelry].

My mission on Sunday was to replace the decaying roller shade that covers the skylight in my studio. I keep the skylight covered when I am not in the studio to protect the fabric and other items from Sun damage. The shade itself was brittle from being exposed to the sun.

The opening is approximately 32x62-inches - not exactly a standard size. The Husband investigated replacement shades for me and found one that we could custom-order online. We brainstormed on what else we could use. We decided that a room darkening curtain panel would work and be less expensive than a custom shade. I bought a panel from Target that cost $20.00 and has a nice teal color that picks up some of the colors in the room.

I decided to use the roller from the old shade on because it already had the hardware mounted on one end of the opening. I cut the panel, leaving a seam allowance down the side and enough room for a hem on the end.  A quick stitch on the sewing machine and it was ready to hang. I put the roller through the existing hem and slid a narrow spring-tensioned curtain rod (also Target) in the other end. I mounted the roller in its holders, stretch the shade across the skylight, and used the tension rod to hold it in place on the other end.

I thought about taking a photo of it, but when it's closed, it completely blocks the light--great for the fabric, not so great for photos!

By the time I finished with that, I was too tired to work on the mermaid. I watched the Academy Awards pre-show and worked a little bit on the St. Charles needlepoint picture. I then moved on to spinning  more Mirabel.
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Friday, March 02, 2018

Eye Candy Friday...

...blog-and-run version.

Evening clouds:

Evening clouds 3/2/18

Apricot blossoms:

Apricot blossoms

Crocus with raindrops:

Crocus with raindrops

Up this weekend: Catch-up with chores and errands, followed by crafts!
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Thursday, March 01, 2018

February 2018 recap...

...and some actual finishes thanks to the Ravellenic Games.

Finished:
  • 2/10 Denali handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Alpaca-Silk (4 oz.) from Greenwood Fiberworks
    186.1 yds. chain-ply, 13 WPI
  • 2/19 Peacock Shades handspun [Ravelry]
    Purple and Teal Smooth batt (3.4 oz) from the Yarn Wench
    63.3 yards, thread-plied; Bulky
  • 2/22 Ravellenic Hat (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Books:
    1. Stolen Magic, Linsey Hall
    2. The Last Tudor, Philippa Gregory
    3. Eternal Magic, Linsey Hall
    4. Infinite Magic, Linsey Hall
    5. Magic Undying, Linsey Hall
    6. Magic Revealed, Linsey Hall
    7. Phantom Magic, Linsey Hall
    8. Secrets of the Tulip Sisters
    9. Fugitive of Magic, Linsey Hall
    10. Trial by Magic, Linsey Hall
Started:
  • 2/9 Ravellenic Hat (knitting) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress:
  1. 4-shaft sampler (weaving) [Ravelry]
  2. Attic Windows quilt for me (quilting)
  3. Charred Teal Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry
  4. Christmas 9-patch Pillow (cross stitch) 
  5. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch) 
  6. Mirabel handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]  
  7. Mother of Dragons shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  8. Rosewood Wrap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  9. St. Charles (needlepoint)
  10. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Bear Paw pottery (needlepoint)
  3. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Finishing work
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)

Hello, March...

...and thanks for more rain. We sure need it!

The cold continues to linger, but at least the coughing is reduced to a few times a day. I fell asleep a littel early last night, so I know it's still sapping my energy some.

Between that and work, I missed the WIP-it Wednesday post. I've included the WIPs list below.

There is not much going on in the craft area. When I feel more like myself, I'll be able to concentrate on my projects again.

WIPs Roll Call

Worked On:
  • Mirabel handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Finished the second cop and transferred it to the temporary spindle; started the third cop.
Works In Progress, Did Not Work On This Week:
  1. 4-shaft sampler (weaving) [Ravelry]
  2. Attic Windows quilt for me (quilting)
  3. Charred Teal Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Christmas 9-patch Pillow (cross stitch)
  5. Finishing work
  6. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  7. Mother of Dragons shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  8. Rosewood Wrap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  9. St. Charles (needlepoint)
  10. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Bear Paw pottery (needlepoint)
  3. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)


Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...it's been a week. The Husband continues to deal with his father's estate and taking care of his mother's situation. Any one...