Thursday, February 15, 2018

Cross Training?

 First, not a chair of bowlies, but a chair filled with unsorted floss.
 This is not all the floss I own; it's just the floss that needs to be sorted and organized.  I suspect there is more lurking in my home somewhere!

It's been years since I've cross-stitched.  All of these were purchased because I love them, and all have been languishing for years.
 I love Marjolein Bastin and started this years and years ago--so long ago that the charts are worn along the edges.  The code for the colors has been lost.  I tried to get new charts, but the American distributor refused to provide them because they are copyrighted and offered to sell me a new kit, which they don't even have.  Not happy with them since Lanarte Europe says support is available through local vendors.  Fortunately, a friend who knows I love Marjolein Bastin gifted me the Leisure Arts booklet years ago, and I kept it, so I'm able to do a sort of work around. However, between the chart, the books, and the deteriorating edges of the chart, it's slow going, and I can't work on it exclusively because it can get exhausting.

To provide some simpler productivity, I also pulled out these other three projects, also begun over ten years ago.  I still love them, so I know I chose well.
 Bee Thankful is a janlynn project.

I have no idea why I never got beyond the "Spring." I also have charts for the other three seasons, but clearly Spring was more inspiring.

I also love this Winter-Early Spring.  The booklet and the project got separated, and I was delighted to be able to reunite them this week.

I do have countless more cross stitch projects, both started and still in their packages.  I may thin out a few.

Then there was the thimble conundrum.  My antique sterling silver thimble won't stay on my finger--which means my fingers used to be a lot fatter. Of course, all my non-silver thimbles are also too big.

In fact, during the years when I was hand quilting, I used a size 8 or 10 of the metal model in front of the photo. Today I purchased the leather thimble, which will work for cross stitch.  I don't see much hand-piecing or hand quilting in my future.  I purchased the blue one too, but it doesn't fit that well over my fingernail, even if they are shorter today due to my fresh manicure.
All the above are just part of the counted cross stitch revival, a benefit accompanying my recent official retirement.  I'm still knitting, quilting, tatting, et cetera.  I'm thinking about creating a needlework schedule because it's so easy to focus on one thing and exclude others.

The birds below are being stalked by one of the stray cats my 85 year old neighbor insists on feeding.  They are doing a great job of avoiding him/her, even when he perches atop the wall and pretends to be a statue.  I had a hard time getting a photo of them.  Their coloring is beautiful, but I have no idea what kind they are.

Today was a special, lovely day.  Gray, cloudy, rainy, snowy, and a bit of sun too.

My hair is coming out by the handfuls; I may be bald by Sunday! I'm hoping some of my friends will bless me by going along to try on wigs and hats this weekend!
Happy stitches,

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Can I Blame Busy Bee?

I made a fabric purchase today, the first one in months and months.
These are pale teal, not turquoise.

 This moring was Busy Bee Quilt Shop's annual Pajama Day Sale.  I'm pretty sure that there is evidence to indicate I can't blame them--since I'd even taken the time to stop by the shop yesterday to see if they had some fabrics to go with a project I'm planning and for which I already have the other fabrics.  I had to go get some blood drawn and the shop is very close to the lab.

The subtle prints did not photograph accurately either.

However, I did not see the Asian fabric until this morning.
Pre-shopping was a great idea since I knew exactly where to go to grab bolts.  Yesterday the owner told me a lady had come in and taken all kinds of photos to help her when she returned today.
They had two cutting tables going, and I arrived just a few minutes after eight, so the shopping experience went fairly quickly despite the number of customers.

Now, seeing these together, I may have to use something else for the planned quilt and combine these in a new quilt so they can live happily together.  We'll see.

I need to launder and iron them, and put in some time in my sewing room to get some clutter organized so I can actually sew.

We're having a very windy day, and as I sit here, I'm watching one of the cats my neighbor feeds sitting statue-like on the wall, undoubtedly hoping to convince any bird seeking shelter from the wind that he's totally harmless.  I hope he fails!

(Day 10 is not, so far, the worst day, and I'm glad the oncologist was wrong about that.  I just wish I had more energy and endrance.)

Happy quiltmaking and knitting,

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Back to Quiltmaking?

I finally went into my sewing room to consider what to piece or quilt next--for the first time since my December 29 surgery.  Decision--didn't make one that had anything to do with quiltmaking.  Sorry.

A lot has happened since that sugery, and, as a result, I've decided to start a second blog.  So many people have been affected by cancer, and I'm thinking the most injured of them do not want to read about anyone's cancer adventures on a quilting or knitting blog.  I'll let you know when that one is up and running.

A summary of what has happened in the meantime:
The cancer was identified as ovarian: endometroid, Stage IIb, so the outlook is good.
Healing from surgery was slower than I would have liked.
I realized I could not continue to serve kids, including sick kids, when my immune system will be wiped out due to chemo.
My new school graciously accepted my resignation--although I feel like I've left them much too soon.
I've had a port implanted for chemo and had my first treatment a week ago. The current plan is for six treatments three weeks apart as long as the blood tests come back with acceptable results.
If we can maintain that schedule, my final treatment will be two days before my Engineer receives her master's degree.
This entire journey has seen only a couple of downers the entire time, and I've received more blessings than I can count, faster than I can write them down.
My first retirement check should arrive about March 1, and my daughter and I are all set up for the new insurance coverage to kick in.

So, no new quiltmaking decisions firmed up yet, but I'm ready to immerse myself in color very, very soon.

When I post to the new blog, I'll post links on this blog and FaceBook. The first post is here:

Happy Quiltmaking and Knitting,

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Post surgery

I'm enjoying this view from what may become my favorite chair for a while.

Flowers on the left from the special ed staff at my new school, flowers on the right from my daughter, her friend, and his parents.  Journal for recording the things I'm going to forget otherwise.  And the lovely prayer quilt that's already bringing blessings.

We did not get the DaVinci robot, which was a blessing since the tumor was wrapped around the ureter and required more extensive surgery than predicted.  We still don't know what kind of cancer and won't for a while, so we can't make a treatment plan yet.

My hospitalization was filled with blessings from start to finish. I thought I knew what "peace that passes understanding" is and what it feels like.  I'm astounded by how much more/better/blessed it really is.

Absolutely everyone I came in contact with proved to be a blessing.  However, I will exclude the woman who phoned today and asked by name to speak to my mother.  When one is recovering from surgery and one's brain is at the height of malfunctioning that the pain drug creates, having someone ask to speak to one's deceased mother, giving limited information as if I had done something wrong, etc., can be very disconcerting.  I still wonder where the caller's head was.

The pain medication is doing a good job, but about one hour into the dose, my brain isn't--but then my brain clears and the pain is still under control.

Blessings, everyone,
and happy knitting and quilting.....
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