Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Begins

The month of June has just flown by in a flash, our weather has turned to our rainy season and with it the stifling humidity has made breathing a little labored.  My morning walks have begun earlier and some days moved to the gym rather than the park.

While the temperatures rise outdoors I find myself spending more time inside,  in addition to getting some letters written I've had time to visit the library for a few books to read which I can add to my reading challenges. 

I have a few crafty projects underway after making several Greenman embroidery pieces I thought it time to try a Greenwoman piece and came away with a lovely pattern.
 I began my current project knowing I wanted to use floss with herbal and greenery names so I was off to my local needlework shop.  I found what I was looking for in Weeks Dye Works and Gentle Arts flosses,
I love the colors but the floss does tend to knot which had me using shorter lengths of floss and yet it still tangles.   So I am taking my time and giving a whole new meaning to slow stitching.

My progress so far, I decided to once again go with the amber for the eyes and used a variegated floss DMC 111, the acorns are both done in brown shades of DMC floss.

I also finished a between the main projects piece, it was a free pattern from the DMC Stitch A Long Facebook group.
 I experiments with this piece leaving loose ends of floss as part of her hair, I like the effect and want to use it again on a future project.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What's been going on.

Wow! Can you believe Memorial day is here?  Where does the time go? So often I ask this question yet I still wonder, then I take the time to look around me and see what has been accomplished in those days.
Some of the time I'm tending the plants in my garden or pulling weeds and clearing debris, watering and repotting, it all takes time and as I grow older and move a little slower the time doesn't stop and wait for me to catch up, it keeps moving.

On Friday all my potted plants had to be  moved to make room for supplies and equipment that will be used to stucco my house.

Then mid way through the weekend the rains came from sub-tropical storm Alberto visiting us this weekend.  That can't be good for the grass. Sigh!  The groaning of the cement mixer all day Saturday made the day seem extra long, why wasn't the time flying by then.  The headache I woke with in the morning stayed with me most of the day.  The sun stuck around most of the day as well and by 8:30 Saturday evening the workmen left for the day. 

Sunday morning started off with some rain and clouds then gave way to sunshine and the return of the workman.  The cement mixer didn't drone on all day but the work did and right outside the window where I was stitching away.

And stitching I did until the Aine piece was completely stitched

The next time I work a Sashiko piece I will be sure to use sashiko thread, while the perle cotton that came with the kit did the job I found some of the stitches look thicker in places which could be because of the twist. 

I completed the Green Man embroidery May 11th, this is another Urban Threads pattern and not my own design.  
I worked im on 100% cotton muslin and  used 2 strands of DMC embroidery floss 890 is the main green color and 987 and 986, for his eyes I was trying for amber and decided on DMC 111 which is a variegated floss I think I got the look I wanted, he is about 8x8 inches and I think this one will be framed.  

I am designing a few new pieces to embroider but now that all the stucco work is done on the house I need to spend time rearranging my plants and the garden in the front and the back.  June 1st begins the Florida hurricane season so I need to get everything in place so when the winds blow through I can move stuff quick and efficiently. And with all the rain we've had this week some of the plants may need larger pots.

I really need to get back to posting more often so I am going to try at least for a weekly post.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Warmest Wishes for a Wonderful Beltane.

My wish for you on this lovely May Day!

The wheel of the year has turned once more, the day of Beltane stopped at our door.  
I wish for you a very magical day, with the blessings of the Goddess sent your way.

And here is a lovely Beltane Chant by Doreen Valiente.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Time Flies, the Wheel Turns to Beltane

It has been a crazy month with lots of hustle and bustle, running hither and yon and trying to keep on an even keel and stay healthy.  Not always easy but doable.  Early this year I had some great news in regard to my blood work all my numbers were back in the normal range, my main goal was to get my A1C down out of the pre-diabetes range and I'm happy to say I did.  When I opened the page with my test results I did a little happy dance and when I saw my doctor a few days later I had to restrain myself to chanting I told you so.  At the end of 2017 she had wanted me to start checking my blood glucose which baffled me because I wasn't diabetic and my numbers did drop a bit so I didn't really understand but I told here if there was no change I would try the daily testing for a few months.  Now there is no need.  I am currently working on lowering my cholesterol a bit more, even though I am in the normal it has been elevated over the years and as a heart attack survivor I like to keep it in the safest range I can. 

On to my garden, with the winter freezes we had here in Florida my garden took a big hit and I lost the majority of my plants when on more than one night the covers used to protect my plants came off in the wee hours of the night and truth to tell on several evenings I didn't check the weather report and missed the freeze warnings and the alerts I usually get via email somehow didn't quite make it through, or maybe I had to sign up again after a year. 

On the upside, several of my plants did survive and began blooming in the early days of Spring and are still surprising me this week.
The Jasmine is cold hardy so I was happy to see all those fragrant white flowers appear on the equinox in March.
I bought a few little daffodil plants because they just sing spring and I placed them along side my succulent plants one of which I lost.
The daffodils would be placed on my outside altar later in the week for my spring ritual.  I think for once I'm glad to have only container plants for the past two years other wise I would have lost quite a lot more.  The 2 rose bushes are gone and so are the 4 hibiscus plants and the mandevilla, so on .
The Orange Canna lily survived the freeze being a perennial makes a big difference but I really thought she was lost than last week she gave me this lovely flower and a few new shoots poking through the soil.
The Mexican petunias have also come back though not all of them but I'm quite glad these did, I cut off all the dead parts and they are just filling out nicely.

Friday I went off to purchase a few plants to add some spring color to the drab front yard.  My house is gray so the color is an improvement
The new plants consist of lantana and penta to attract butterflies, lavender and rosemary because I just love them both though I haven't had any luck growing lavender in about 4 years but I keep trying. There is also a lemon balm plant.
This rosemary was just so lush and full I had to buy it, I will transplant all the new plants into the larger pots this week, the bag of soil in my garage I thought was potting soil is actually garden soil, great for flower and vegetable beds but not so great in flower pots.  I hope to have a thriving garden in a few weeks.

On the crafting front I have been busy working on my hand embroidered projects, I am still working on the Urban Threads Greenman pattern and happy to say nearly finished with the embroidery.
I'm looking forward to finishing it because my fingers get sore pulling the needle through the extra layer of fabric I have for the backing and the pattern is printed on stitch and wash product and after moving the hoop around it tends to move about and wrinkle at the edges, though smooths back in place easily enough.

My newest hand embroidery is this piece I call  Entering the Forest Clearing on Beltane Eve. Just when I thought the stitching was complete I noticed there was no ground to stand upon. I must have 'erased' the ground when I was pressing out lines when I made a few changes. So literally I am back to the drawing board. Some day I will learn not to make changes midway through my designs.
I am currently reading The Witches of New York by Ami MacKay, as part of the 

This book Baba Yaga by Toby Barlow  was also read for the challenge  last month. It wasn't my cup of tea but I finished it, I think for e I just kept waiting for it to get interesting and it didn't.

I chose Crone level as my goal which is 16-20 books, as per the rules from the website (link above):
  • Any full length book that includes a witch as a main character or includes major witchcraft elements counts. They may be fiction or non-fiction. However, they should not be reference books which are not read cover to cover-I will leave this to your discretion.
I have read a few other books for this challenge though I don't always snap a photo because I am forgetful.

Midsummer Night's Mischief ,Bell Book and Candlemas, Yuletide Homicide all by Jennifer David Hesse, these are a cozy light mystery. 

My most recent non-embroidery project was these cute little Goddess/Spirit dolls using craft clothespins, bits of fabric, beads, buttons and charms.
These work up quickly and really have spirit to them.  The clay faces are made using a mold and air dry clay.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Where was I and what I was doing.

Time has really gotten away from me and its been a few months since my last significant post here. Since my last post most of the time I was home, I have battled two more bouts of the flu which left me lacking energy and hoping I had seen the last of the flu season, so far I have.

The deep freezes throughout late January and February left my garden lost despite my best efforts to protect the plants by covering them, its gardening and its always a risk but as January moved on the rhododendron bloomed
and is still blooming but the rain today has stripped most of the flowers from its branches, the Canna Lily I thought was lost to the freeze has shown she is made of hardy stuff and is producing some lovely green leaves I don't expect flowers till July.
Today despite heavy rains, hail and tornado warnings I noticed my Jasmine has bloomed, what a perfect symbol for the 1st day of Spring.

I have completed a few hand embroidered pieces two in time for Ostara and the Spring Equinox
This Goddess with March hares is a simply prayer flag for the garden area and this March Hares with Full Moon I haven't decided how to finish it yet, though an altar cloth or wall hanging is high on my list of ideas.
The March Hares with Moon was stitched on a piece of old dress linen that a friend sent me, as soon as I saw the fabric I knew I wanted to embroider on it so I cut off a piece after printing my design onto stitch and wash away product, chose my colors of DMC cotton floss and started to stitch.

The piece I made for Brigid's day turned out lovely and was inspired by a beautiful drawing by Mia Anthonia Fries Orsted
my hand embroidery
original drawing by Mia Anthonia Fries Orsted
I made a sweet heart for Valentine's Day as part of the EGA stitch along for February which was to do redwork.
I also have a few hand pieces I made
crossed fingers
Bruja and moon
holding the moon
I have a few more hand pieces I will eventually stitch and then put them together and see what comes out, all the hands are done on scraps of fabric.
I am still working on the Urban Threads Greenman though he is taking longer than I expected for a
few reasons, #1 I printed the pattern out onto the stitch and wash away product I love and I enlarged the pattern which would be fine but before I stuck the pattern onto the fabric to begin stitching I added a backing fabric so pulling the needle through is a bit hard causing my fingers to cramp and get sore rather quickly.
 #2 reason is when I started to stitch him I was in no real hurry to complete it but now it seems like it will take till next Beltane to be done.  I had thought to take out the stitches and remove the backing fabric or to cut away the backing fabric that wasn't stitched, I did neither, continued on stitching and made some progress.
I read a few magazines, and a few books in between stitching and other things which will be a post for another day.