Friday, July 29, 2011

needle little love

I could probably list at least 20 things that scream summer to me and the majority of them would probably be on your list too....I'm wondering though, how many people would have cross stitching on their summer activities list?  Anyways, cross stitching is one of those quirky things that definitely make my summer things list and it goes all the way back to when I was in high school.  On the days when I wasn't at the swimming pool, my best friend, Kristi Evans and I would sit in my backyard in white Adirondack chairs and cross stitch the day away.  We'd pick tomatoes and grapes from her backyard garden (which conveniently backed up to mine) and eat them right off the vine.  I'm not sure there were too many other high schoolers stitching during the summer, but I could be wrong. 
25 years later and I still love to start a stitching project each summer.  This year, Kristyn sent me the patterns from Wee Wonderfuls.  They are the perfect summer project - fast and fun!  I finished the apples and the eggs as Christmas gifts.  
I loved how Kristyn framed hers with some fabric around the motif, so I copied her! (imitation is the best form of flattery, right?!)  Don't you love the punch the fabric gives to the finished project?
without fabric
with fabric
  The only thing I didn't like about these patterns was the absence of my dear friend....for the past couple of summers, Kristyn and I have stitched several projects during our summer visiting and in thinking back it has become a part of my special summer memories collection.  So when I needle little love, I pull out my stitching and remember all of the great memories spent with friends throughout the summer over our cross stitch hoops.  What's one of the quirky things that you love to include in your summer?  I hope you're making time for it while the days are still long and lazy.

ETA:  I'm linking up with Kristyn's ADVENTure post....more goodies added to my Christmas pile!!  yeah!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I'm loving....

It's the simple things that make me smile....
My favorite afternoon treat - iced coffee.  I used Pioneer Woman's recipe.  I like mine with breve and Truvia. ( I learned that breve is the cool way to say "half and half"...the Starbucks barista got me up to speed this week with java lingo.)  Anyways, this iced coffee is fabulous and I highly recommend you keep a stash in the fridge. 
Speaking of the fridge, I am loving my new juice pitchers...they fit my top shelf perfectly without hogging up the whole thing.  I got them at The Container Store.  That whole store made me smile!  (That container with the blue lid is my coffee concentration - yum!!)
I've been organizing and tidying up my drawers and closets and that in itself just makes me grin from ear to ear.
Working my way through Emma - she's a hoot.... I think I know some of the people in this book - for real!
Centipede on my ipad.  I love the game, but I hate those spiders...every time one gets me, I have to holler at them. 
My new perfume - Le Bohemian from American Eagle...and that card from K made my day....mail from a good friend always makes me smile. 
New school calendar/organizers....for $1 each. (one for each of my kids)   I'm not ready to really think about school, but I can always get happy about new school supplies. 
Fun, summer nail polish...Kenzie and I got these on vacation and the Fruitie Patootie is my favorite, although the orange is on my toes right now. 
How bout you?  What's got you grinning?  Whatever it is, I hope your days are full of summer smiles!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

7 days

I've been home a mere seven days this month....that's not much time for getting things done, so I've got some catching up to do around here.  My reason for being so absent around these parts is that first, Maggie and I went to Penn State for a basketball tournament and then the entire family went to Myrtle Beach for a much needed vacation.  Here are some photos that highlight our recent trips:
 I have some knitting started and some stitching done....and as a family we finished 5 books (collectively) making a new family record and in addition (or maybe because of)  we came home relaxed and rested.  In the meantime, I'll get some grocery shopping done, laundry attempted and I'll be back soon to share some projects with you.  Hope your summer is full of all the things you love.  Have a wonderful week!

Monday, July 11, 2011

last of the baby knits

I finished the last of my baby cycle knits....the baby raglan.  Beth sent me this pattern from a Debbie Bliss collection.  It was easy to knit with plenty of stockinette. 
This sweater was knit in pieces and then seamed together.  I haven't done too many sweaters that required seaming, so this one gave me some much needed practice in seaming.  I used this video to help me with the raglan seams. If you're wanting to work on your seaming techniques, this is a great little sweater to give you some practice.  
 I love the feel of this soft and silky. I used just over two skeins to knit the 3 month size.   Because the front and back are identical, I added a tag to the back so that it was obvious which side should be the front.  (I thought the raglans were a bit more precise looking on one side than on the other)  I also did a single crochet around the neckline to stablize it and clean it up just a bit. 
 That should do it for a while on the baby sweater front....although I do have enough yarn left over that I might be able to squeeze out a hat to go along with each sweater....we'll see! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

treasure found

I've been cleaning like a wild woman.  Purging cupboards and closets, organizing cubbies and crawlspaces.  We made a big trip to Goodwill this weekend and donated many boxes and bags of 'stuff'.  It feels so good to have some space in my spaces.  Last week, while I was going through boxes upon boxes of baby clothes that I'd saved, I found a treasure. 
This little quilt was my doll quilt when I was a little girl.  I haven't seen it in years.  My grandma made it for me and I remember having it in my room and playing on it as a little girl.  I obviously stored it away and had forgotten all about it.  What a wondeful surprise!  I gave it a good wash and hung it outside to dry. 
There are some quirky things about it....the edges are puckered because it was stitched with a wool yarn that has obviously felted.  The back, which looks like it was made from sheeting, has a couple of stains on it that I'm hoping the sun will bleach out.  
 The flowers are amazing.  I am guessing they were hand turned and sewn on piece by piece.  (No wonder under on this quilt!)  I can't imagine the work that went into this little quilt.  So much love.  I never remember having to be careful on it...I was just allowed to play with it and enjoy it. 
That seems huge to me now that I understand all the time and love that went into it.  My grandma made many quilts over the years.  She had a huge quilt frame in her back room for all the hand quilting.  I'm on a treasure hunt now to find all the beauties that she made.....I'll share them here as I find them.