Saturday, April 30, 2016

Plenty of action

It has been a very busy and very fun month. Not only did I spend time cross-stitching, I started a knitting project and quilting lessons.

First up, my progress on "The Bookshop"

Of course I intended to be further along with this project since I would like to have it completed by the end of July but a few new projects got in the way.

Projects like these:


 4th of July Fence Rail for Uncle Sam Nutcracker table



Thanksgiving Fence Rail for Thanksgiving Nutcracker table

If someone had told me six weeks ago that I was not only going to start quilting but loving it I would have laughed. No way - not Margaret - no quilting for me - I have so many other things I love to do - why should I bother?
I remember talking to Dorothy in the morning and discussing our hobbies (D quilting and me cross-stitching and reading). And what did I do that afternoon - I signed up for a beginners quilting course. And oh my goodness, I'm loving it. Now I must tell you that I truly feel that the experience is so good due to the teacher I have. Kelly is gifted not only in her quilting habits but also in her teaching ability.

The 4th of July fence rail is my original project.
For those of you who are looking at it and thinking "oh no, she hasn't cut the borders long enough!" have no fear, there is method to my madness.

Kelly suggested we make a second quilt at the same time in order to get practice what we had learned.
Well I had enough fall colored fabric from a applique quilt I thought I would be able to make in 2005. Of course as a beginner that didn't work out but I can now put that fabric to good use.

Our next lesson is on May 24. We will then learn how to sandwich and quilt.
By that time I have to have at least on quilt top completed.

As if that wasn't enough I've also started knitting again.
Monday mornings a group of us get together at the Sew & Quilt shop for Critters (crocheters & knitters).
So I pulled out a skein of bouclé that I bought while we lived in Michigan and started the Faux Mobius Cowl (pattern included with yarn). The yarn is incredibly soft - love it.
When the cowl is finished I will be going to our daughter as I know she will love it for the cold winter days.


Of course I'm reading too.
Brenda chose such a wonderful book for our children's classics read.
This was truly my favorite book since I last posted.

Yearling


Currently I am reading:

Cover art

This coming Monday our book club will be discussing:



Well friends that brings April to a close.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter

Easter Hugs Pass Them On

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Launch of SES-9

The SES-9 rocket was launched last night after 3 cancelled attempts over the past 10 days.

 launch picture at Cape Canaveral 
taken from www.spacex.com

The weather for the first three attempts was picture perfect. Unfortunately last night is was cloudy and foggy in the distance.
The following pictures show what was visible from Flagler Beach (about 90 miles north of Cape Canaveral). Still quite impressive. Especially IRL.




Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Busy but fun month.

February was a very busy, but also a very fun month.
DH's brother and SIL from Michigan visited us from the 10th until yesterday.

On Valentine's Day we drove down to Fort Lauderdale and boarded the Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam for a 7-day cruise through the Caribbean.


J&C and DH & I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversaries within six months of each other and they suggested we take a cruise to celebrate. 
It took us a little longer than expected to actually go. Between our move to Palm Coast last year and our children and grandchildren's visit here in December we didn't have time for a cruise.

However, in February we finally put everything on hold for a little while and away we went.
We visited Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay and had a great time - good company, delicious food & wine and lots of long (and I mean long) walks on the various islands seeing the sights.

I did manage to stitch during the month as well.
Actually, I met my February goal by completing the 2016 ornaments for the grandchildren.
I hope to finish/finish them during March.


I imagine I don't have to tell you which one is for our granddaughter and which one is for our grandson.

During the last week J&C were here we took day trips to St. Augustine, Kennedy Space Center and Amelia Island.

We also spent several evenings at Flagler Beach hoping to see SpaceX's SES-9 communications satellite in the sky after it was launched from Cape Canaveral.
Sorry to report that the launches were scrubbed as it would have been so nice for our Michigan family to be able to experience this.

My favorite book this past month was:


"The Glass Kitchen" is a quick read. It will make you smile, shed a tear and surprise you with a few twists and turns.

Currently I am reading:

Point of interest
On our visit to Amelia Island I found out that both David Baldacci and John Grisham have homes there.

As soon as I have a pictures of the completed ornaments to share I will do so. 
Should we see the SES-9 from Flagler Beach as it shoots into space I will also try to post a picture.

Until next time - happy stitching, reading and everything else that makes your life GOOD!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

February already?

It's hard to believe that January has come and gone and February is here already.

As promised in  my last post I will now tell you about the stitching projects I am planning to concentrate on in 2016.

First up "The Bookshop".

In January I completed Page 6 of 15.
Although I hadn't had much time to stitch in the second half of 2015 I feel I'm on a roll again and hope to have it completed and framed for our son's birthday at the end of August.

Having said I'm on a roll again I must backup a bit and let you know that there won't be an update on this piece at the beginning of March.
My BIL and SIL will be arriving from Michigan on the 10th and flying home again on March 1.
While they are here I will work on something that needs a little less concentration so that I have loads of time to chat.

Secondly the 2016 Christmas ornaments for the grandchildren.
You may or may not remember that I stitched "The Nutcracker Suite" for my husband in 2008.
 

Since Opa collects nutcrackers and the grandchildren love them I thought it might be nice for each of them to have a nutcracker ornament.
I will be stitching the nutcracker on the right for our granddaughter but will be changing the colors to pink and purple (her favorites).
For our grandson I am stitching the nutcracker beside it (the one with the sword). In his case I am changing the blue coat to his favorite color of green and may adjust some of the other colors as well.

Grandson's ornament has been started. I am stitching it on 18 ct. Aida with DMC.



I find that finish-finishing ornaments stitched on Aida is easier than those I have stitched on linen or lugana.
Do you have a fabric preference when finishing small pieces?

My third 2016 project will not be finished during the year but I am hoping to have a least six motifs completed by December 31.


Brenda H. and I started this as a SAL in 2014.
Up till now this is what I have stitched.

At the beginning of this year Brenda & I talked about stitching one motif per month but I'm already a month behind so I'm now trying for six motifs instead.
I know Brenda understands.

Now I may surprise myself and you by doing some finish-finishing in February instead of stitching on the ornaments. 
We will just have to wait and see what works during the month.

For all my fellow booklovers - my favorite January book was:
 

I am currently reading:
Circling the Sun 

Till next time,
Margaret

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"60 is the new 20" by Margie Taylor

2016 got off to a good start.
I decided which stitching projects to concentrate on (more about that in another post) and began a new year of reading.
Stitching is my passion, reading my addiction. Hey, things could be much worse. :)


What better way to start my new reading year than with a book written by a friend?
Margie
sent me her newest book, "60 is the new 20" "A light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek look at boomers by one of their own", for Christmas.
The weekend after New Year's Day (a weekend which would normally have been a downer with our children and grandchildren far away again) was a perfect time to spend reading, remembering, chuckling and laughing.

Oh Margie what a great read!
There wasn't a chapter which didn't either bring back a great memory or give me insight into not only you then (gulp - 50 years ago), through the years, and now; but also a look at myself and all the other 60 plussers.
Yup I had/have bad hair days, fade to black and have a bucket list.
I also have wonderful memories of long summer evenings in Fort William, Ontario, Christmas caroling at Westmount Hospital, and Friday evenings listening to local singers and bands at the Royal Eddie (making one rum and coke last as long as possible).

Read Margie's book and rediscover yourself.

Go to her website margietaylor.com, meet her and listen to Margie read from Chapters 4 and 14 of the book on the podcasts shown on the right hand side of the home page.
Listening to the podcasts is great. Margie has a lovely reading voice - a voice I remember well from Mr. Hyatt's English class 50 years ago.
Then do yourself a favor and read this "boomer's guide to aging with grace, dignity, and what's left of your self-respect".

"60 is the new 20" is a real treasure, a book you will read and reread.
 

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Short overview of 2015

With the ringing in of the New Year I felt it was time to make a decision about this blog - either close it or put some effort into bringing it back to life.
Since I have wonderful memories, especially of my first years of blogging, I didn't want to just "leave the building" so here I am on January 5, 2016 with an overview of 2015 and a promise to myself and you (if anyone reads this) that during 2016 I will blog at least once a month (during the first week of the month).
If at the end of 2016 I do not feel satisfied with what I have written and the overall experience I will say farewell.

Let me begin by giving you a short overview of 2015.
- DH retired
- we moved to Palm Coast, Florida
- children and grandchildren were all home (from Bremen, Germany and The Hague, The Netherlands) in December during which time we:
  1. celebrated our 40th anniversary in a wonderful day at the Kennedy Space Center
  2. celebrated Christmas
  3. celebrated our grandson's second birthday
- reconnected with a classmate after almost 50 years and discovered that she is not only just as nice a person as she was then but that she is an author. Meet Margie here. She sent me her book "60 is the new 20" for Christmas. I will tell you about it in an upcoming post as I read (loved) it this past weekend. 
- read (too) many books
- stitched less than normal
All in all it was a busy year.

Now to the whole point of this post - a stitching update with pictures.

"Blue Snowman"
designed by Linda Bird - Imaginating, Inc.
stitched 2/2 on 32 ct opalescent Belfast linen
with suggested DMC colors

"Kolibri"
from Borduurblad #61
a gift from DD's children for my 2014 birthday
stitched 1/1 on 18 ct white Aida
with my own choice of DMC colors
made into bookmark for DD
"Gingerbread Cottage"
a Medeiros Needlecraft Design
from Just Cross Stitch 2007 Special Christmas Issue
made into 2015 Christmas ornament for granddaughter

"The Decorator" 
by Full Circle Designs
from Just Cross Stitch 2007 Special Christmas Issue
 made into 2015 Christmas ornament for grandson

"The Bookshop"
as it stands December 31, 2015

I'll close off with a few of the books I enjoyed during 2015.
"The Hours" Michael Cunningham
"Ventoux" Bert Wagendorp (Dutch)
"The Giver Quartet" Lois Lowry
"The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop" Lewis Buzbee
"The Sun Also Rises" Ernest Hemingway