Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Rest Time is Best Time

Around the house today at the homestead is a little cleaning with a couple of tea breaks. Much, much needed as it's been months since I had the energy or time to do so. Getting it back in order for guests.

The curtains and linens are all washed up and fresh.



Friends are truly the best therapy. This is true.
But sometimes the introvert in me calls for alone time to recharge my batteries for the next week.


Pick a cup and your favorite flavor of tea.


The kettle is on


Miss Abbie is saving my place for me


and the needles are at rest to enjoy the day.


It's hot and humid here but the view outside is nice and green. Thank goodness for air conditioning and good window views.


and enjoy the quiet if you can to get some much needed recharge-rest for the week.

I hope you are enjoying this Sunday day of rest wherever you are. And most of all are at peace, happy, and healthy.

Matthew 11:28  "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest"

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Mysterious Tiny Stitching Sampler Framed and Birthday Box Goodies


Making a final box of handmades for a special friend's birthday. 

I unfortunately couldn't attend her special 90th party as it was in June when I was having complications after my shoulder surgery. However, she knows I am sending her a gift. And I hope to see her soon when I am able.

 Her daughter and I were very close, like sisters growing up.
We reconnected the week of daddy's funeral and I was so glad we did. I miss the family alot.
Her mother was like a second momma to me growing up. She had all the attributes I would strive for in being a momma. She listened many times on her front porch and we would talk for hours.
She baked the best cakes I've ever eaten in my life. She was just as much a friend with a listening ear after school and at that time I so needed.

She was truthful, gave much needed wisdom throughout my teen years and the nicest ever. Her and her husband had 5 children. The first 4 boys and then a girl.
Her daughter was a bit younger than me but we grew up together like sisters.
I felt so honored to be invited to her 90th birthday party. I was so disappointed I couldn't make the 4 hour drive.
I still am in contact with her daughter again and we just started talking like we never had lost connection. I guess you could say she is one of Kindred Spirits.

I knitted these up at different times.

Today while rambling through my finishes but not yet "finished" in my stitching studio, I found a tiny one over one sampler I made in 2011. I can't remember the designer. Maybe one of you can jog my memory so I can give credit where credit is due.

I wish I also knew the fabric because it's a very pretty muted deep red.
I think it was supposed to be a pin keep because the other side of the pin keep I finished with the year 2011 (when my vision was better) was on the back also finished.



So I got a new frame from my stitching stash that I've had a while. It's about 2 x 3 in and framed it.


I thought it would be sweet to add to her box.


I have a knit scarf for the Fall and Winter, some local Shea butter soaps, 2 of the silk/bamboo facial cloths for the bath, and one all cotton dishcloth for the kitchen.


I tied them with sweet ribbon from my studio.


And added this framed piece I hope she will like.


I thought the frame was perfect. I believe this frame I got from Hobby Lobby for storage for finishes like this.

On the home front

Mr. Darcy and I have had a busy 10 or more days. About 2 weeks ago went to the eye doctor and had pain in my left one with glaucoma and a corneal problem. To make a long story short, I've been through 2 amniotic tissue transplants from 3 donors.
I had to go every day since then to the doctor for them to check it.
The second one placed because the area was not completely healed on Thursday.
This one didn't do well at all. My body I guess rejected it. By Thursday night hubby was calling the eye doc after hours and he drove from his house 2 hours away and met us at the clinic at 9pm. I had the most pain ever and couldn't tolerate any light at all without feeling like having electric shocks. Even sunglasses didn't help. I developed uveitis evidently. He removed the disc but had a hard time. My cornea was swollen and not getting oxygen. To a dark room with dilating drops twice a day for past 3 days until tomorrow. Also oral antibiotics, steroid eye drops (couldn't be helped even though making glaucoma not good), and dilating drops twice a day.

For the last 2 days, following all the medications and steroid drops, it's getting much, much better.
I can see the computer better with UV glasses though.

I'm so not a person to just lie down in a dark room but I had to.

I'm so glad I'm better. I hope tomorrow's visit I can stop dilating my eyes twice a day.

That is the second uveitis flare I've had. It's pretty much an autoimmune reaction. Was told to eliminate anything or anyone stressful 2 weeks ago when this started.

Working on that!

I hope to mail off this box tomorrow and get a good report from the eye doc.
I will probably he said have to go to a corneal specialist in Atlanta again for a check.
I think the worse part is losing vision in my left eye to be legally blind in it.
I'm so thankful I have 2 eyes.

Mr. Darcy has planned a much needed vacay for us soon. Hotel is booked.  He thinks I need a reprieve from alot of things happening at one time in the past year. 
I can't say I don't agree.

Just will make sure I pack a hat, sunglasses and my vitamins for energy!!!!!

I hope you are having a good Sunday and a healthy one.

I'm still listening to audio books all Ann of Green Gables. Audio version came in handy this past week.

To all my kindred spirits,

Jennifer


Monday, July 10, 2017

Bands of Angels lace shawl---Blocking


And Bands of Angels lace shawl I designed in memory of my father has been complete for a while now but just have not blocked it.  BUT, HERE it is drying.

I will share a few pics. I apologize for the blocking pads. These are el cheapo foam from Home Depot that I thought would work for blocking but definitely I struggled with it due to the join. They are huge. I could have used 3 of them.

On my wish list is knitting blocking mats from Amazon for sure.

I have never used blocking wires and I could have used more T pins but this is my shawl drying now.




The picot bind off is not blocked appropriately. I have to get more T pins so I can open up each picot area for a more finished look.

Otherwise, I'm pleased with it.



After soaking in a gentle teaspoon of wash and cold water for 30 minutes, I watched this shawl GROW! Of course lacework will do that.

The number of eyelet rows represents the number of months my daddy was sick with West Nile virus until he died. I knew when I designed this that what I had in mind was the last look on his face and what he could have seen upward as a host of angels. Hence, the name, Bands of Angels.






This is actually the "wrong side" of the shawl. I do not weave in my ends until AFTER blocking.





I love the yarn colorways.

Used Madelinetosh Lite in Antler (cream) and Hosta Blue (green blue/teal)



I definitely designed this to also have an angel wing effect.




I really enjoyed this light fingering weight from Madeline Tosh. One of my favorite brands.

In review, after soaking the 100% merino for 30 minutes in cold water, there was NO bleeding of colors or dye in the water. This is a good thing!


Here are a few pics before blocking. I know I had a couple of questions about whether blocking is always done after knitting. And again, sometimes I do not, depends on the object. But all lacework, I do because it opens up the design considerably.


I didn't measure the before blocking but after blocking the size is

19 inches x 60 inches





Mr. Darcy and I finished a Netflix marathan all day yesterday of 7 seaasons of a program and I cast on another project. I will be sharing that soon.

Over the weekend we enjoyed making fettacinni alfredo, pork chops, salads, and some fresh strawberries sliced up with ice cream and cake.

Summer is definitely here. It's steamy, not too terribly hot just humid from all the afternoon rains.

Soon to  have some fresh tomato sandwiches for lunch with lots of mayo, salt and pepper..

Yesterday morning, I enjoyed reading (listening)  the first half of Anne of Green Gables. I love that book!
You can actually go to You Tube and look up Anne of Green Gables read along and someone reads this audio with emphasis on characters kind of like Audible.

Click here to enjoy a good 4.5 hour read for part 1 while you enjoy busy chores or needlework.





There are so many quotes from this book I would love to use in a cross stitch design. 

From one kindred spirit to another,

Jennifer





Thursday, July 6, 2017

Unexpected Pops of Color






I don't know exactly who wrote this but it has a lot of meaning to me. 

Out of all the rainy days we have had lately a surprising pop of roses in my favorite colors and it reminds me that the simple things that can balance out some of the struggles we go through in life is real and a blessing. 

I hope today you find something pleasantly unexpected across your path that makes your heart sing.
My roses don't get the best of care much but they still surprise me with unexpected blooms that look so perfect in my imperfect garden of weeds.

What beautiful inspiration for selecting colors and fibers for our projects than nature itself.

With love for this Thursday,
Jennifer

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July! Apple Cobbler recipe


Need dessert tonight?

Apple Cobbler



This recipe is a little different than my usual cobbler.

But it was a definite winner at our house today!



Whipping Cream or Vanilla Ice Cream is perfect a few  minutes out of the oven,

and, also the aroma of all the ingredients cooking for 30 minutes in the oven will please the crowd!!!




~~~~~~~~and it will definitely go fast so prepare in a 3 quart long oval casserole dish.


The cinnamon, vanilla and butter are awesome.



You will need to preheat the oven to 350 degree F

Take about 8 medium size apples or enough for 2 cups here or there chopped in medium pieces after peeling.

Sprinkle a good 1/4 cup of brown sugar all through the cut up apples and stir and let rest for a few minutes.

Grease a 2-3 quart glass long baking dish with olive oil

Take all the cut, brown sugar coated apples and place by hand in the cassserole dish.

Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of cinnamon over the apples.

Then, with a mixer combine 1 egg and 1 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup of milk well.

In another bowl, put dry ingredient of 1 cup of self-rising flour

Melt 2 tablespoons of stick butter in a small cup 

With the mixer and sugar, egg, milk combo, mix in flour, melted butter and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Continue mixing the batter. This batter will be thicker and will produce a cake-like moist cobbler.

Pour all the thick batter over the apples evenly. Do not worry if apples are still seen. The crust will rise around them.

Put in oven to cook 30 minutes.

Take out of the oven and let rest 5 minutes or 10 before serving warm.

Top with ice cream or whipping cream.

In this recipe, I substituted Lactaid milk with no problem or detection of tasting differently.

We are having barbeque chicken in the crock pot, 3 color spiral pasta/egg salad with fresh veggies, corn on the cob and biscuits!


I hope you enjoy and have a safe 4th!

Jennifer

Monday, July 3, 2017

Pink and So Very Precious Baby Blanket finished


Hey friends!

This past week still recuperating from shoulder surgery and PT but had to cancel out due to another corneal ulcer on my eye. Last time this happened and I got an amniotic tissue transplant was December 2015.

Seems the eye doc said this one is deep and my left eye with glaucoma already and a scar will always have the potential to just exfoliate, or have ulcerative keratitis.  So drops in my eye with a bandage now for 4 days. Then Wed will get another amniotic tissue placed on the eye which provides alot of immunity building proteins and will be absorbed by my eye. Amniotic tissue is nearly the same as corneal tissue. I'm so thankful there are donors and I hope and trust the tissue has been screened well for no transfer of any pathogens.

However, in the wait, I was determined to finish the baby blanket I started many months ago.
I also added two bows. Interestingly enough, I found my gauge when I started it before my shoulder surgery was tighter than it is now. I have not washed or blocked it.

It turned out to be 23 x 28 inches.


  just putting it over the top of  my baby grand piano.


The very first cast on was started Oct 30th in an ICU waiting room.

Knitting provided much needed stress relief.


For the bows, I used a tutorial HERE at this blog with a variate of a slightly larger size.




 Pink and So Very Precious Baby Blanket

designed by Feathers in the Nest (blanket only not the bows)

2017 copyright

Yarn:  Bernat Baby Softee in Pink




This is a very simple beginner knit pattern that I may put in Ravelry. Will let you know if and when I do.

Craftsy.com has this yarn on sale NOW for the 4th. It's washable acrylic.
Check out the sale and get your color choices HERE


On the homefront today

We've had a ton of afternoon and nightly rains around here. Miss Abbie has found herself a hidey hole as we call it when storms are brewing by sliding under the sofa. I can't believe she fits under it but she does.

I couldn't get pics last night but I hope to when I can get our new guests all in a frame. Our cat Louise we had for a couple of years went missing in November. This left our male cat Jim Bob who is forever getting in fights. Well, right close to Christmas we had a stray, tiny and petite who looked identical as one of Jim Bob's descendants cruise over to see us and she stayed. We named her Noel.

Noel didn't get pregnant or we definitely would have been able to tell as she is a small cat herself; however, yesterday one by one, 3 kittens about 2 months old max came to eat with Noel. Seems they are all from a liter of somewhere but Noel watches over them like her own. They are definitely in that wild stage running and hiding up and down the side porch while Noel sits in a rocking chair and watches them pounce in the garden and through bushes.They are all variations of a cashmere gray coloring. The darker kitten Mr. Darcy named Stormy. The other two still having pending names. All three have perfectly white paws like they are dipped in paint.

The variations of gray and white with blue eyes are giving me ideas of a knitting project. :)

I can't believe July 4th is tomorrow! Here's hoping that you don't get rained out of the fireworks and have a good evening with the ones you love. Here in the North Georgia mountains, it's a steamy humid day. We have definitely had our share of evening rains.

Around the house on Mondays at the homestead is wash day. I got a little start yesterday but still have the sheets to do. I consider folding part of my at home shoulder exercises. :0



The Indian Mound in Sautee, GA near our home.

Till later,

Jennifer 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Time to Work on Some Americana


Good Sunday morning to you!

I pulled out this very old WIP on my frame with threads and put in my Americana basket by the sofa.
Last night I worked on finishing the pink baby blanket and only have 12 rows to go...... YEY!

I was itching to start some stitching on something Americana with Fourth of July near.



I mean, who doesn't like everything Little House Needleworks?

This is stitched on 28 ct so easier on the eyes.



My camera color still is not the best even with working on it but.........



It's ready to go while I catch up on some Poldark Season 3episodes 1 and 2!!!!!!!
I found those full episodes on You Tube last night.
Anybody else like Poldark?



My basket has a handle but it's put down in the back. I picked it up at a junkin' store last Fall.

I have to wonder as I pull out my long time WIPS why in the world did I stop them?

I kinda know but they are loved again. For some time and until my heart skips a beat to work on another.

That's one good thing about stitching and knitting. We can choose. We can plan strategically or go at it whimsically, with no reserve. 

This one will be mounted in a frame on the wall added to my sampler wall near the stairs with other Americana.

I hope your Sunday is going well. The day of rest.



Just ask Abbie.  If the sun is not shining on your blanket, just move the blanket to the sunniest spot in the room and soak in the sunshine. Sometimes we have to pick up and move to the light ourselves.

Till later,
Jennifer

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Knitting Washcloths --- Bamboo with Silk

Yesterday, I spent the day making a small gift for someone's 90th birthday! I will not be able to attend due to multiple factors but I wanted to so much. So these will go out in the mail when I'm finished.

I used Yarn Bee Hint of Silk from Hobby Lobby in the colorway Obi.
I love the colors and how they pool in different areas.
I used the simple Grandma's washcloth pattern on Ravelry. I think this simple pattern has been around for 100 years. 

CLICK HERE for the pattern

I love knitting with this fiber. It's 85% Bamboo and 15% silk

MUCH nicer than cotton. I think it's about the softest yarn I've felt. I found in reading that bamboo is absorbent like cotton and gets better with more use.



I will add 3 or 4 special little soaps I got from a local shop. They are awesome as I've used them before. Shea Butter yummy.


I have another skein of this Yarn Bee's Hint of Silk in an ivory color.
I want to make 1-2 more for this little package.


The full skein of ivory color is Silk Pearl.



This yarn has been in my stash for a year. Hobby Lobby was having a sale a year ago and I stocked up on this.

I did research the fiber's behavior before knitting as a washcloth and was surprised this is machine washable and can tumble dry on low heat.

The bamboo will stretch out again but the added silk is like knitting with butter.


I just realize that  with the solid color you get more yardage.
130 yards for solids
107 yards for variated



I found some baby patterns  using this yarn so I know it has to be soft and washable.
I found a pattern on Ravelry using this yarn for washcloths because of it's softness.

One skein made 2,  8 inch washclothes.

My gauge is a bit loose since I had shoulder surgery for some reason so I used a size 7 needle instead of the recommended size 8.


When I touched this yarn, I knew this would be so much softer than cotton.

I had about 15 yards left over from the skein. This can go in my Cozy Memories Blanket!!

About this time of year, Hobby Lobby has a sale on this yarn. Keep a look out for it. The colors are limited in the store; however, online I found other colors not in the store.

I totally think this yarn has so much drape and buttery feel, that I will in the future pick up 5 of them for a shawl.

I still am amazed at how many washcloth/dishcloth patterns that are on Ravelry for free!

I would not use this for a dishcloth. Definitely too soft and luxurious feeling. The perfect for a pampering washcloth/facial cloth.

On the homefront here, we have had our share of heavy rains and gloomy days this past week.
We are actually under a flash flood warning until 8pm tonight.

I hope your Saturday is full of rest and happiness!

Jennifer

Gadget

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