A sampling of my designs as well as personal stitching, and life in general.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I believe it is time for an offical smalls update.  The item I have finished is also a Turkey Trot item so that will be a bit early and hopefully another TT item will get finished by the 10th of March.  we shall see.

YOu last saw this in a semi-finished state as of Feb 14.  Well, I was so hooked that I kept going and going til my eyes went buggy or skating was on.  Here is a Whimsical Heart!

I admit that neither is a good picture but you still get the idea.  I haven't decided how to finish it yet.  I need to think about where I want to put it first then I'll know.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Since it is still cold outside, I decided to go with a new heading and try to ignore the remaining snow.
So I chose my favorite beverage.

And now another attempt to update.

My gift for Valentine's Day

ONe of the Turtle Trots and also a small - the begining of the year

At the end of Valentine's day - another update when it's time for smalls posting

My EGA chapter is doing this mystery piece.  January was the outline, Feb was block 1 - bargello. Then not another area until April.

Htis photo is terrible but it is a close-up of the bargello area.  Solid color, over-dyed then another solid.  I made a couple of changes to the pattern.

And that is the updates for the moment.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I need a new photo for the header.  Towards the end of last week, it rained, and rained and rained some more, along with thunder.  Hardily any snow left - mostly those huge piles in parking lots or under mail boxes.  Even the dusting we got this morning was gone by noon an it barely made it to 32 degrees.

Time to go photo hunting!

Monday, February 17, 2014

I know that a lot of entries have been about the weather so far this year.  Well, for my neck of Indiana, it has been an unusual winter.  The record for snow (50 inches) was created the winter of 1981-82.  I remember fairly well - we went east for Christmas with relatives arriving home just before New Years.  New Year's day it snowed and it snowed every single day for the next 6 weeks - not all large or little snows but still every day.  I had a child between 6-9 months old,dependig on when in the winter you refered to.  Somewhere is a photo of her propped against a snow drift and this winter we have already broken the record (50.6 inches) and that little one has a brand new baby this winter.

Today was the really weird weathre day.  Within a 2 hour period (possibly less), it rained, sleeted ice pellets,  snowed and had wind enough to bend my huge trees 2-3 stories) in the backyard.   I think the weather was confused as to where it was and was it supposed to do. 

I'm home most of tommorrow, with luck and will post photos.

Friday, February 14, 2014

This one is for the stitchers reading this.  May your frogs be few and friendly today.

This one is for all those trying to stay warm.  May you have lots of hot coffee, tea or other to help you stay warm this winter!

I hope everyone had a great day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Late, I'm late,

Turtle Trot was due yesterday.  And actually the photo was published on the 5th.

So for Freedom rings has been completed as well as Abigail (photo on Feb 5).  Freedom Rings was showcased on January 10th.  Two down and many more to go.  I seemed to have added a few additional items to my list - three that haven't even been started yet.  And this isn't counting my smalls I want to do for the year.  I may need to re-adjust the priority list.

This cold is slowing me down - I'm not stitching much nor I am I reading much.  I seem to doze, drink fluids, doze, repeat. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

The common cold doesn't care if you get a flu shot or not. It just comes along and wipes you out anyhow.  And that is how I feel - like a bull dozer came along and went wap!  Along with another 2 inches of snow this past week-end.  Maybe I'm developing an allergy to snow??  COuld it be so easy??  Nope - just a common, nose-dripping, everyday cold.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Festival of Broken Needles

On February 8th, all across Japan, Harikuyo will take place in Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. Hari-kuyou is a Japanese religious practice which is said to have started in the Edo era (early 17th century). Hari means noodle, and Kuyou is a Buddhist memorial service. Memorial services are usually held for spirits of the dead but it is also common to hold them for inanimate objects that have served well in life, or indeed that life depends on. There is an old Shinto belief that inanimate objects, as well as living beings, have a soul and spirit. The animists believe that to simply discard a tool that has served you well is disrespectful would anger the object's soul.

Known as the Festival of Broken Needles, it is a ritual of thanks and respect for tools of the sewing, tailoring and embroidery trades. It dates back 1500 years; women (and men) dress in fine kimono and gather together all of the needles they've used, broken and/or and worn out during the previous year. They proceed to the local temple or shrine, where a three-tiered altar is prepared. The lower level displays sewing accessories, such as scissors, thimbles, thread and so forth. The top tier offers seasonal fruit, and white mochi (ceremonial rice cake offerings). In the center section is a large slab of tofu or konnyaku (jelly-like substance made from konnyaku potato), into which everyone plunges the pieces of their broken needles. Sticking the needles into something soft is a way of showing appreciation to the needles which have been stuck through hard substances. The needleworkers also pray for improvement in their needlework skills.

Later they will be taken to a sacred final resting place. The tofu keeps them safe and not forgotten, yet because of being protected in the tofu they can do no harm with their points. In a second sense they are still present in life. The priest will incant a sutra, that reflects the passage of the needles from use, and invokes a Buddhist blessing that is passed on to the users of the needles. By showing respect to the needles they have used through the past year, they are offering thanks and requesting that the power and energy of the needles be present in the stitchers for the coming year, so that their skills may be improved. Priests will also sing sutras to comfort the needles, heal their broken spirits and thank them for work well done. No sewing takes place on this day.

In Japan, needles became commonly used in the 14th century. At this time, needles were precious and used with especial care, which probably led to the idea of doing "kuyou" for the needles, a religious ceremony to calm the spirit and put them to rest". Although it is originally a religious practice, in present days, it is widely known as a ceremony for needleworkers to show appreciation for the needles and pray for improvement in needlework skills. These days, many kimono seamstress and needlework schools still go to the shrine to attend the Hari-kuyou ceremony. Some needleworkers show appreciation by simply not doing any needlework on that day, thereby giving their needles a holiday.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

It snowed - again !

It has snowed again. 

This is the 2nd snowiest January on record, only beat by the blizard of 1978.  Overall, we are at the 4th snowiest winter.  Ironically, the first was 1981, my first full winter here.  I remember that it snowed on January 1st and every day until mid-February - not always bit snows but snow every day.
Anyhow, this time it dumped about 8.5 inches on us.  It drifted up to our front door and you culdn't go out the front.  So we went out thru the garage and shoveled and used the snow blower and back to the shovels for the icy parts, etc.

Did I mention I'm tired of snow?  I am!

Here is the view from the end of the driveway - that's my mailbox.

Then the other side of the driveway.  Unfortunately no reference point.

From further up the driveway

ANd I mentioned I've been stitching while waiting for the grandson and the various snowfalls.

This first piece is called Abigail by Ro Pace.  It is a gorgeous piece done mostly in metallics and all in pinks. It was originally done for an Virginia group that has a breast cancer workshop every year and ask various designers to design something special.  This is special!  I wish the photo would show all the glitiz!

This is an oldie by Charland.  I could not find the cover photo.  When I went into my stash for some threads, I saw this sitting on the shelf and wondered why is it out?  So I took it upstairs and discovered, it simply need the charm.  If I had planned something else, I failed to make notes. I did change several lines - like the area with the charm, the row with "z"in it and the last row.  
Now it's finished and just needs a frame.  Maybe when the snow disappears or the roads are passable or it's spring. Not too sure which will come first.

Stay Warm!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

No new photos today.  I promise some over the next few days.

Saturday it warmed up and rained hard all day.  Sunday, the temps dropped and froze and gave us skating rinks instead of streets.  Yesterday was in the teens and today they are saying we will be getting more snow, lots of snow.  I suspect that I will be stitching and reading more over the next few days.

During January I read 8 books for a total of 2939 pages.  Not too bad, I guess.