Monday, December 31, 2012

As The Year Draws To A Close......

...I avoid the numerous "Year In Review" TV shows.  I just can't stand them.  So much sadness in the World in 2012.  But so much beauty in my own little world.  More snow is predicted for tonight and I must admit this gives me such a childish delight!  New Year's Eve is my least favorite holiday so I will be happy to stay at home.

Meanwhile, indoors............  Carmella admires my most recent Etsy purchase.  I've been doing rather well in my sales of little doll leotards in my Etsy shop.  So much so that I've been turning around my profits into purchases from other sellers, most often sock yarn.  I have my eye on a few more that are on "New Years' Sale" today.
A bit of crafting going on to.  My continuing love affair with felt.....these snowmen are from a kit my mother sent me many years ago.  Seeing as they were just heads I had to find an interesting way to display them.  Lime green and aqua blue seems to be all the rage this year.

Another pair of socks is on the needles and I have several pieces of fabric laid out for doll clothes.  My 2013 goal is to make my 16" fashion dolls a Downton Abbey wardrobe.
Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year 2013!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Christmas Card

I have received so many beautiful Christmas cards from around the world.  I thank each and every one of you.  I'm afraid this is it for me......the feeble "generic cyber greeting".  I have wasted too much time and postage went up AGAIN so here I am.  The feeling is there though, my friends.  Some of you who drop by my oh-so-neglected blog, on-line friends via Facebook, re-connections from days gone by, cross-stitch buddies, fellow gymnastics geeks.  I treasure all of you and the many new and interesting things you bring to my life.
It's been dull and rainy here for nearly a week.  Not a single flake of snow.  Somehow the dreariness seems to reflect the overall mood of the world these days.  So much violence, sadness and grief.  It does put my own whining and complaining into the proper perspective though.
As usual, I sepnd my days stitching, crafting and knitting; and my evenings with the gymnasts.  This odd mix suits me well.  I still love to feed the birds and my passion for gardening has moved indoors in the form of terrariums.  My latest on-line obsession has become Pinterest.  Who'd have thought that my compulsive cutting and pasting and saving things in three-ring binders would suddenly become the latest Internet craze.  I missed the boat again!!
My little Etsy shop filled with dolly leotards and gymnastics cross-stitch chugs along in it's own little niche of "fans".  Actually I've done surprisingly well.  My profits are almost instantly reinvested into another Etsy seller's shop.......usually felt, cross-stitch patterns or sock yarn.
So you see, as the world spins blindingly fast and we all hover at the edge of the "fiscal cliff" I remain very much the same.  I think I should feel badly about this, but I don't.  I've always had this "escape mechanism" that kicks in when things get stressful and confusing.  I know I can create things with needle and thread, with soil and seed but I can also create my own happiness.  I feel so blessed with all I have and the wonderful people in my life. 
My Christmas wish for all of you is that you may find your own special happiness in your own unique way.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Autumn Garden & Craft Sale

On Saturday 22 September my neighbor Kelly is opening up her beautiful "garden trail" for our first annual Garden and Craft Sale.  We are setting up our tables amongst the trees and garden ornaments and selling our wares.  Mine, of course, are mostly cross-stitch, doll clothes and other crafty items.  Kelly is selling potted perennials, Joann has her reclaimed fabric bags and totes and Sharee has her gourd creations.  There may be a few other crafters joining in also.  Hopefully the weather will be as glorious as it is today.

Just a slight nip in the air and bright sun.  The terrariums should be OK.

My latest finish is Prairie Schooler #159 "Fall Fields".
I'm still undecided as to what type of bow to put on this wreath.  Just a little something to cover up the ends of the cat-tails.  Any suggestions?

Then there are the bake-sale items.  A distinct pumpkin theme going on here...........

Even Carmella is trying to help.  She's on a break at this point.

Wish me luck with the sale!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Color Purple

The weather is still warm enough for things to bloom, and this time of year it seems all the purple things are coming out.

Including some "nail art".  I can't wear fancy clothes or jewelry to work, so I have to find another outlet for my artistic nature.
There are a few orange things making their appearance too.  My selection of teeny-tiny pumpkins.  I have to head out to the flea market tomorrow to find some larger ones for my Autumn display. 

I had planned to go to the Wool Festival this weekend, but finances are just not looking good for that to happen.  I have some money in my PayPal account from etsy sales, so i did a little on-line retail therapy the form of some lovely pieces of felt in shades of yellow & orange and a set of 7 different brown shades.  Ah, I just can't escape my obsession with the seasonal colors!
Pet snap of the day is our dear old Bud.  Yes he is getting quite elderly.  Joe even called me while I was away in New Jersey to say that Bud may not be here when I got back.  But all seems well, or rather as normal.  He seems no better or worse the mid August.  I am on the hunt for a heated dog bed for him.  He absolutely hates coming inside or being "trapped" anywhere (Joe had suggested our laundry room).  Bud loves our barn and Joe has cut a whole in the side of it and it has become the giant doghouse!  Last year a large pile of straw and blankets were suitable because it was a mild Winter.  I don't know what is predicted for this year, so better safe then sorry with the heated dog bed.

It is a regular craft-a-palooza around here this weekend.  On the 22nd my neighbor is hosting a big Garden/Craft Sale.  I really have quite a bit for my display table.  I hope the weather holds out.
Hoping everyone has an enjoyable weekend.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Summer is officially gone.  Not that you could tell by the 87 degrees F day out there.  The thunder storm clouds are rolling in and I can sense the change.  As most of you are well aware, I don't do well with change.  I do love the change of seasons, but it brings on this melancholy feeling.  A sense of time passing too quickly, of things that must be left behind, commitments that must be met.  Tonight we start back to the Fall training schedule at the gym.  Though I am happy to see all my girls again after three weeks, I do miss the peaceful time spent here at home.

Again I managed to 'survive' the visit to my childhood home in New Jersey.  I work myself into such a frenzy over this every year and every year I manage to accomplish so much there and help my parents with so many things.  I always leave there with that dreaded sense of change again, because after the first few anxiety-filled days I get into the habit of living in their house again.  I become part of their daily routine, now regimented by the schedule of pill-taking and doctor's appointments.  I think they welcome my "interruption" in that lifestyle.  I bring them back to a time when it was just school, the grocery store, library, and a TV set that was only tuned in to baseball or the daily stock market report.  But as soon as I had settled in there a bit, it was time to come home.  I immediately poured my nervous energy into crafting some new terrariums.  These two are a tribute to my love of the seaside.  I didn't get to "The Shore" this time around.  My mother's health doesn't allow her to get out much, so we bypassed that annual trip to my aunt and uncles house at the beach.

I comfort myself also with my "therapy" of knitting socks.  The 'round and 'round repetitive nature of knitting socks is so soothing to me.

The daily life of my bird friends is changing too.  I filled up the hummingbird feeders one last time.  They love the sugar-water I put out, but soon it will be time for them to move on and I don't want them to linger here too long into Autumn.  This lovely Goldfinch enjoys his treats too.

The season also brings about the harvest.  Although we are not a large working farm, we get our share of veggies.  Mostly tomatoes ans cucumbers this year.

Joe planted four rows of sweet white corn and had a bit of success with that.

I missed my sweet animals so much for the 9 days I was away.  The one who missed me most of all was Roy.  He is always calling for me to come and play or give him some treats.  He is one of the most talkative cats I've ever had.

I strive to enjoy these pleasant days of Indian Summer.  I think of Autumn crafting and yes, even Christmas gift-making.  The Midwest Wool Festival is coming up on the 15th and 16th and I hope to post some photos of that next time.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm So Done!

Done with a selection of cross-stitch items, that is!  I finished up "Pride & Glory" by Threadwork Primitives.  A little late for 4th of July, but at least I'm moving out of my funk and getting things done.  I also finished some Christmas ornaments in anticipation of a craft fair I've been invited to on  22/23  September.  My neighbor Kelly is opening up her farm and extensive gardens to local crafters/ knitters/ gardeners/bakers, etc. to sell their wares.  Her lovely wooded area will be filled with tables to display and sell our items.  More then likely we will be doing a lot of bartering/trading amongst ourselves.

Selection of Prairie Schoolers

Also on the "done" list are these three terrariums.  I plan on selling them at the September Craft Fair also.

I've found the most interesting succulent plants at Lowe's and Home Depot.  Of course they are labeled simply as "succulent plant" so I don't know the proper names of these oddies.

Done with the first test competition of the new gymnastics season.  We are still months away from official competitions but a few of my girls attended a camp this week to work on their skills.  I was invited to judge their mock meet on the final day of "Olympic Week".  Here I am with Lily, Abby, Ellie and Jen.

On the stitching pile now (yes I am creating a pile again) is Prairie Schooler's "Fall Fields:.  I just love these colors.  I love everything about Autumn.  By that time of year things have calmed down on the travel/anxiety front and gymnastics is in full swing.

In regards to finding peaceful things, this little guy found me instead.  He actually found the neighbors down the street, Roy and Sharee, but of course every cat I encounter instantly becomes MINE.  Two years ago they were found by lovely Blackie.  Now Blackie has a new friend, Deuce (as in black cat number two).  The two seem to get along pretty well and Deuce loves the numerous dogs at Roy and Sharee's house.  Blackie, well not so much!

Blackie (on the deck) and Deuce having a snack together

And here he is, the epitome of relaxation, kitty Coal.  He seeks out my lap even on the hottest day.  There have certainly been some hot ones lately.  I don't mind it though.  The excessive heat keeps the cats close to home, usually just lounging on the patio in the shade.

I, on the other hand, will be close to the TV for the next two weeks.  Dolly Jillian and I are all geared up for the Olympics.  Here she is sporting her London 2012 commemorative leotard.  My Etsy shop is going crazy with sales of dolly leotards this week.  I love it!  Of course the earnings are turned over almost instantly into more crafty stash.

Thank you for the kind comments and encouraging words.  As I find a more even keel I hope to post more often and share more accomplishments rather then griping all the time.