Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January- A Busy Month & Seattle Weather

Weather Update in the Seattle area-
Still no snow on the ground.  Haven't had any snow at all this winter.  Not much rain, so not much snow in the mountains for skiing.  It also means not much snow pack to melt off for water next summer. It is in the 40's today and forecast to stay about that all week. Keeping all of you in the bitter cold in my thoughts and prayers.
It has been a busy month!
But I have got a lot of stitching done--

This is a block I stitched for a surprise for a friend in a local guild. 

I bought this quilt top on ebay.  Love the black toile! It came with the matching binding. I sewed the binding (4 rows) along the top, folded it over, and put buttonholes in it.  Now it is my new shower curtain!
I visited a friend over Martin Luther King weekend.  She lives in the southwest corner of Washington state.  This is the view from her deck.

Mouth of the Columbia river at sunset as it moves into the Pacific ocean.

This is the Megler bridge that crosses from WA state to Astoria, OR.  It is overcast and foggy, but you can get the idea. Mt St Helens (that erupted in 1980) is just to the left of this photo in the distance.

And a sunny day picture of the last bit of land that juts out into the Pacific Ocean.
While I was there, I finished sewing the binding down on this baby quilt. It went to DD #2 at her baby shower.

I also made DD#2 a diaper bag with turtle, giraffe and crocodile on the inside.

It was a kit from JoAnn Fabrics. I used the lining fabric for the outside and vice versa.

Two more blocks for my Red Home quilt are finished.

I finished Jardin Prive's Joyeux Noel aux Rennes.  I put a cat button in the spot where a backstitched teddy bear was charted.  And I hung colored bulb ornament buttons instead of the white buttons on the pattern. I haven't decided if I will add some vintage lace or trim on it, but I will get a few more buttons for the bottom row of the tree.

This afghan is almost finished.  It is the first one I have crocheted in over 20 years.  A friend gave me the purple yarn and I used a JoAnn's 25% off entire order coupon for the oatmeal yarn.  The yarn was already on sale and the total cost with coupon was $18.  The oatmeal yarn takes on a grey look next to the purple yarn. 

I started a new Shepherd's Bush stocking for GD#1 and it is moving along quickly.


And I started Barbara Jackson's Merrily, Merrily ornament.
I got a surprise in the mailbox on the day after Christmas.  No, it wasn't the IRS.  :)
I was called for jury duty and it starts next week.  Thankfully this is just the 2nd time in 30 years and I will go. Last time I was selected to be on a jury for a drug trial.
My blogoversary is approaching in February!  It is 4 years since I started this blog.  Oh, where does the time go?? I will be coming up with something for a giveaway and will have more about this on my next post. 
Have a great week!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 Goals

My 2014 Goals-
1. To continue learning and dabbling in quilting.  Nothing too complicated or advanced.  I have a flannel quilt kitted that I would like to put together.  And a Christmas wallhanging.  And I have 3 WIP quilts that need to be worked on.
2. To finish off my term as treasurer in my local EGA chapter.  I love the ladies in this group and it was they (and others) who inspired me to start my ebay business (see more below).

3. Participate in 5 local retreats.  No stitching classes in 2014.

4. No SAL participation in 2014 so far.  And I have decreased the clubs I am in to 3-Ladies Prim Society, Shepherd's Fold and Fairies in My Garden (Australian).

5. New starts I would like for 2014-
SB Christmas stocking for Grandaughter#1
SB Christmas stocking for Grandaughter#2
Barbara Jackson Tea Time Basket
Carolyn Standing Webb Miss Hannah's House
Seasons of Home Basket-wool applique project
FMG Tilda Sewing Box
PSS The Flood
Renaissance Designs 8 Candles Glowing
Several smalls (including ornaments for exchanges)

6. WIP's to work on in 2014-
Catherine Theron No Place Like Home Needlebook
Catherine Theron Hidden Magnolia
PW Button Brag Book
TD Tropical Jazz
3 Quilts Mentioned Above
Debbie Stiehler American Patchwork Basket
2012 SAL Sopresa
Gay Ann Rogers Hollyhock House
Xmas at HRH
L'Atelier Perdu 2013 Stitch Me Club
Plus many more that I could work on, but these are the ones I am hoping to work on :)

7. To continue to grow my home ebay business.  
During a retreat last summer a discussion was started because a guild member passed away and her children donated her substantial stash to our group.  Many ladies have no families that are interested in their stitching or stash but they have invested a LOT of money into it.

 So I thought to help them out by using my 16+ years of ebay experience and sell stash for them.  It has been a bigger success than I could imagine!  My office right now is full of stitching items to sell.  And I have been approached to sell things besides stitching (Boyds Bears, antiques, Daisy Kingdom, Build-A-Bears, etc) No, I don't advertise.  All my business has been thru word of mouth or from this blog. (If you would like to hear more about this service, click on my profile on the right column of this blog and then click on email.)

8. To slow down and enjoy the journey. I have another grandson due in March.  And my daughter has already asked if I could watch him one day per week starting in July.

Thanks for taking time to stop by my blog and especially for leaving a comment.  It makes my day to hear from you!  I'm off to prepare the house for the baby shower I'm hosting on Saturday.  Have a great weekend!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013 Review

I will keep my 2013 review short and sweet-
1. I took 7 classes in 2013. Here they are-

None are finished. Most are barely started, see pic above.
2. I attended 3 local stitching retreats.  Loved them all!
3. I finished my first year as Treasurer of my local EGA chapter. I have one more year left in my term.  For those of you in EGA, we are the chapter who puts together kissing pillows for soldiers.
4. I participated in 7 SAL's or Clubs- Sal de Maryse, Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year, Ladies Prim Society, Prim Sisters Club, Stacey Nash Club and Maggie's Club with Country Stitches, and Sweet Stitches Club with Shabby Fabrics (I completed none of the items in this club and will be selling the whole 12 months if someone is interested).
5. I dived a little deeper into quilting and completed three baby quilts and my 1988 quilt.
6. I finished two large WIP's-Holiday Patches and PS Alphabet. Both at the very end of the year.
7. I finished a total of 62 items but will not bore you with all the photos.  Check out the slideshow on the right sidebar of my blog entitled 2013 Finishes.  I counted as finishes blocks for quilts that aren't finished.   Is that cheating?

... was the new addition to our family of little Brooke.  She is 4 months old now and a real charmer.  Laid back and easygoing.  We will keep her!

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 Catch Up

I have been sick.  Yes, the old winter crud.  And a cough that lingers on and on.  But I will not complain as we are not getting all this winter snow and cold. 45 degrees today and no snow, wind or rain.
All my year-end posts have been put-off, but I'm ready to catch you up on the doings At Willow Tree Pond :)
 I had one more large WIP that I wanted to finish in 2013.  I just couldn't face looking at it in 2014.  So here it is-

Prairie Schooler Alphabet
Ecru Congress cloth 
My conversion to overdye threads 
 I was going thru so much GAST Dark Chocolate that I decided to use DMC 3371 early on for all the block outlining. The final stitches were put in yesterday, so this is technically my first 2014 finish.  I put 2013 in the stitcher's hoop on letter X months ago and I am going to leave it.  This one will probably need a custom frame and I will ask DH to work his magic.

Here is my Christmas tree today.  The train is already down and the presents are long gone. Notice the Gay Ann Rogers tree top angel on the top. And the Longaberger Christmas baskets around the bottom.
The red package garland is from my mom's tree as I was growing up. She had 3 strands and neither of my sister's wanted them.  Then I was so lucky to find 2 more strands on ebay after over 2 years of looking for it.

I was very happy with the way it looked this year.  It has 4 new stitched ornaments from exchanges this year, plus 2 that I stitched myself. 

Here is the piano top.

Here is the mantel with the Hallmark houses for Sarah Plain and Tall on top and my 7 finished Renaissance Designs 13 Days of Christmas. Yes, number 8 is on the plate for 2014.

I also put up an old American Girl Christmas tree in the kitchen with mini ornaments including an old Peanuts nativity.  It is already put away for the year, but I left the tree up until next weekend because I'll be hosting DD#2's baby shower. Then the tree will be put away.

Santa was very good to me.  Here is the Accuquilt Go Baby I got along with 7 dies. There is a funny backstory. DD#1 signed me up on the Accuquilt Facebook page last summer for some giveaways they were doing.  I didn't win anything, but they got my email address and eventually sent me a 20% off coupon from their website.  So on Black Friday I was able to put it to good use :)
I also got 2 $50 gift certificates to my LQS. Woo Hoo!
I also gifted my 3 daughters with something from my Christmas stitching. 
DD#1 took this-
Christmas in My Heart-All Throught the Night-Bonnie Sullivan
DD#2 took this-

Jardin Prive Christmas Sampler (can't remember the exact name)
DD#3 took this-
Susan Kerndt's Florentine Holiday

This is my New Year's Day start for 2014. 

This is just one of several Barbara Ana designs I purchased for stash enchancement.  Speaking of stash enhancement, remember this-

I ordered the kit from a shop in Colorado-(this is a link but it doesn't like to show on my blog) A friend started assembling the pieces last year for this project.  I was constantly amazed at the lengths she had to go to for the threads, fabric, etc.  Not to mention the expense.
(I'm also following Mary Corbet's NeedleNThread blog since she wrote about this six months ago and I didn't see it )
I hope you made it to the end of this long post. There is a lot more to cover in my next post.  I want to do a 2013 year in review and 2014 goals.  And give you an update on my new business.
Stay warm and have a great weekend!