Monday, April 22, 2019

Whatchaupto?

Hi, stitching friends!

Whatchaupto? (Translation: What are you up to?) I closed my Facebook account about a year ago, and since then, my blog has become my only "social networking" medium for keeping in touch with my family and friends. (Hi, Mom!)

Here's what I've been up to the last month:

1. Halloweening...



Continuing work on Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow, and I'm on track to finish by my September 1 deadline. Square five is so colorful, and with the nautical theme, I think it's my favorite. It took a long time to stitch because except for the strip at the top, it's fully covered in stitches. I was relieved to finally finish it, but it was so much fun. I thought about changing the color of the mermaid's skin to be more flesh-colored and less white, but then I thought, no, when I'm underwater, I look pretty bleached out, too!


Square six is half of a two-square spread in the middle of the design. It was hard for me to stop at that hard line on the right and not go pull out the pattern for square seven. I don't like leaving things unfinished!

2. Tracking Time...



I've put in 31 hours on the Summer Schoolhouse SAL with RJ and Mary from Stitching Friends Forever. (For my non-stitching readers, SAL stands for "Stitch-Along.") This is my first SAL, and I'm really enjoying it. I'm using the called-for fabric and threads, stitching over one on 28-count mushroom lugana. Do you like over-one stitching? Sometimes when I start I groan a little bit, but then I get into it and stop complaining! You can read more about the SAL and see photos of RJ's and Mary's progress at their blog linked here: Stitching Friends Forever.

This is the first time I've ever tracked hours on a project. It's mind-blowing to consider how many hours go into a project, isn't it?

3. Gifting...


Many of you have experienced firsthand the generosity of our friend Robin in Virginia. When Robin heard that I wasn't going to do the SAL with RJ and Mary because the patterns were cost-prohibitive at the time, she sent me the entire series. I'm still simply over the moon and in awe of her kindness. I asked what I could do in return, and she suggested that I make an ornament for her wrought-iron ornament tree. So, I made this little guy for her....


The pattern is called "All Dolled Up" by Little House Needleworks. I stitched him while we were on vacation in Oregon in December last year and finished him just for Robin. The "coal" eyes and buttons are matte black beads. I stitched the ornament on 28-count coffee/tea-dyed linen. The ornament is laced onto foam core, which is mounted on a fabric-covered backing. Handmade cording, a fabric bow and a fun "2019" charm finish it off.

I used the called-for threads, except I substituted coffee-dyed white thread for the white in the snowman. (To do this, take a skein of DMC white and drop a little bit of strongly brewed coffee on the thread here and there - a little goes a long way. Let the thread dry and voilah - a rustic white thread.)

4. Reconnecting...


April has been a great month so far. I've reconnected with a friend from high school I haven't seen in almost a year (or more?!). I spent a weekend with my husband and friends at their cabin in Crouch, Idaho. I spent Easter weekend with my mom, and we celebrated my niece's 19th birthday. My niece has grown into such a lovely person. She is a freshman at Boise State studying chemistry, and it was awesome to be able to help her celebrate.

5. Gardening...


I started a garden. We have a large (24' x 36') garden spot in the backyard, but I'm just not up to anything that big this year. My husband dug up a 3' x 3' spot for me, and we pulled out a 2' x 4' raised bed we used several years ago. I planted onions, carrots, kale, lettuce, beets and ONE cherry tomato plant. I LOVE growing a garden - from the planning (see the diagram to the right - I am a total planning nerd when it comes to the garden), to the day when the first little sprouts peek through the soil, to the harvesting and especially the eating....

This year's garden is scaled waaaay back from years past, but the last garden we grew was such a disaster that I needed some time to get over it. (We brought home some organic tomato plants, and it turned out they were all diseased. One by one, every plant in my garden died.) We usually have great success, so fingers crossed this will be a good year. We are only planting one tomato plant - we are still a little wary from last time.

6. Dreaming...



And, hmmm.... what else? Oh, yeah! Shawn and I booked our next trip to the Oregon coast for December. Don't you find that the anticipation of a vacation is almost as good as the vacation itself? So for the next eight months we will be dreaming of the beach....

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope your spring is bringing you fragrant flowers, hopes in bloom, warm weather and lots of time to stitch.

17 comments:

  1. Love your Hawk Run Hollow stitching - gorgeous!

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  2. Wonderful progress on your WIP.
    The Schoolhouse Lesson is so beautiful. I like it very much.
    Nice gift for Robin.
    Manuela

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  3. Love all your stitching and the cute snowman .
    I can't wait for my holiday but a long time to wait yet .
    Have a fun week.

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  4. Nice to hear from you.
    Your Halloween cloth is getting more and more beautiful. I also like SAL embroidery and have already worked together with my friends on some patterns. Oh yes, you are right. Over time, you do not even worry, only when you write down you can see how long it takes to complete such a great job. And how many hours are it only on your Halloween towel.
    This is a great ornament for Robin. She will certainly be very happy.
    Oh yes - anticipation is also a great pleasure.
    Enjoy the time. Hugs Martina

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  5. Fabulous post! The ornie you made for Robin is beautiful. I like your idea of coffee dying white thread - thanks for the hint.

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  6. Oh your stitching is so pretty Meg....as I am getting older my stitches just aren't what they used to be!! That Robin...she is a dear. Like you, I love our community of stitchers here in blog land. I know she will love that sweet snowman. I need to get started on my Christmas ornaments for this year as well as a birth sampler for baby Joshua. If I start it now I can add name and date later. We still do not know his middle name. I need to look through my WIPs and choose one to work on today. I did not stitch at all yesterday as I had so much to do when we got home. But I am wearing my Stitching with the Housewives shirt so hoping to get a selfie in in to post on Chelsea and Priscilla's facebook page. As for gardening, I leave that to my sister, Kristi. She has a big garden every year. I sure enjoy it in the winter, eating the frozen veggies.

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  7. The Hawk run piece is gorgeous. That Robin is definitely Miss Congeniality of blogging. We have alll been blessed by her sweetness. I love the ornament you made her and I had to put that schoolhouse series aside for now. I so want to stitch it, but I tried to do it two over two and it is designed to be one over one as it was just too large to keep the cuteness of the design. I will go back to it later, butI know it will take lots and lots of time to do it.
    Enjoy the garden! I do love to try and grow things.

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  8. Meg, what a fun post to read with my coffee this AM! Congratulations on getting the 5th block finished and half of the larger block finished as well! You have made good progress on your SAL stitch. I can't thank you enough for my sweet snowman ornament. I finally put him away as the last time I left out a snowman, we had a very late April snow. Your garden plan looks good and I will pray that you end up with a healthy crop of fresh veggies. What a lovely beach picture you share and yes, it is good to have a vacation to look forward to. Enjoy your week!

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  9. Great progress on HaHRH. Love your finishing on the gift to Robin. It looks super pretty on the dark fabric. I'm doing just a 4'x4' garden this year with just zucchini. It's been awhile after getting hit with squash bugs one year and then mildew the next. The squash bugs also attacked the sunflowers I had growing in the same section. Here's to a bug-free garden for the two of us!

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    1. Oh, not the dreaded squash bugs! They are AWFUL! Getting rid of them is gross, and nearly impossible. Even if you don't have them, if a neighbor has them, you do. Here's to bug-free indeed!

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  10. What a great post, Meg! I always love catching up with all you've been doing... First of all--your cording on the gift for Robin!! Wow! A++++ job on everything :) I'm sure she loves it :) (It's so funny as I just pulled that chart yesterday and am thinking of doing it as one of my monthly ornaments!) Your Halloween at HRH is just wonderful--I know I'll never stitch this one (my interest in Halloween stitching has just about disappeared since my dad died on Halloween in 2014) so I love watching yours grow!

    Good luck on the garden--ours fell victim to a horrible tomato fungus that was on plants that were sold from Home Depot back in 2009. It affected much of the northeast/mid-Atlantic tomato plants and the fungus got into the soil. Very sad looking gardens since then. My husband is not growing his tomato plants in a container on our patio. Anyway--good luck with yours :)

    Nice progress on your SAL--and you know I don't mind stitching over one :) Just prefer to keep it on 25 or 28 ct. That last sampler I finished had the beaks and legs of the birds done over one on 40 ct. Now, that was pushing it a bit :)

    Your planned getaway looks wonderful! I'm sure you can hardly wait til then! Enjoy your week, Meg ♥

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  11. Yes!!! Robin is such a super generous, kindhearted dear!! Love the gift you made her! I miss growing veggies since moving to the apartment. I hope your garden grows very well this year Meg!

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  12. Hi sweet Meg! I really enjoyed your post tonight. Your Black Hawk is fabulous and moving along so nicely.

    Your gift to our dear friend Robin is so lovely. I love how you finished it. Great job with the cording. I want to learn how to do that so much. I know Robin will cherish your ornament. Great tip on dying thread...it looks amazing. I've made that ornament but that was when I just put a ribbon hanger and a bow on them so I think I need to doll it up.

    Your garden is going to be wonderful...nothing like home grown veggies.

    Your planned vacation sounds fantastic and I know you will enjoy time away with your sweet Shawn. RJ

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  13. Meg, Robin is truly a sweet soul...how generous and kind hearted to forward you those charts for your SAL....it is looking great, by the way. I used to keep track of my hours spent on a project until this year....it just got too tedious or I'd forget to write it down. So now I'm just keeping track of what fabric/fibers I use and any changes I make.
    The Hawk Run piece is wonderful and I especially like the nautical block too!
    Your gift to Robin is adorable and I know she loves it: I will have to try that tea/coffee on the white DMC....love the look of that.
    Wishing you success with your garden!

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  14. Meg, I'm so impressed that you are keeping on track for your Sept finish of HRH. It must be so rewarding to have 2 more blocks done!! I had a good laugh about your looking bleached out under water too!!

    Robin is such a sweet, generous person and I know she appreciated your LHN ornament. Your cording is terrific!! What method do you use to make it? Love that you added the charm for the year on it too, well done!!

    You are doing great on the SAL, I'm doing my best to catch up. My husband has a small garden, my favorite thing to eat from it is fresh tomato sandwiches in the summer. I think tomatoes the rest of the year are bland and barely worth eating.

    You must have been so disappointed last year when all the plants were diseased and you missed out on the tomatoes. I hope you have better luck this year. Mary

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  15. Love the stitching, Meg. I will have to live vicariously through your garden since we have a very nibbly deer population in our neighborhood. Yes, my heart broke right there with you when I read about your diseased plants. Wishing you much better results in round two. I’m looking forward to your beach trip too. I really do enjoy others enjoying the blessings of life’s. Just makes my heart smile. Judy

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  16. Oh wow, I love the Halloween so far!!
    Your SAL with RJ and Mary looks great. I do like stitching over one, especially on 32.
    How very sweet of Robin to share her patterns with you, and what you made her is cute.
    Your garden looks like it's going to be delicious! We have too much shade to have one.

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