Monday, February 29, 2016

A Smalls WiPocalypse?


Thank heavens for an extra day!  Here's my small, finished about ten minutes ago and of course, would really like to have had four buttons for it.......only three could be found!
2002 JCS Ornament Issue
Cabin Pinkeep
The Prairie Schooler


Though obviously my version is NOT a pinkeep and I made another change, dislike stitching with black so used a brown DMC, thought it was more log cabinish too.  A lovely peaceful, lots of straight lines design, loved it!
And onto the next SAL!

I picked up BBD's Friends with You which I have moaned about commented on before.  It's been a long time in the stitching, too long to be honest but fingers crossed and the creek don't rise, one more burst and I'll be dancing!  Here's where I was

and one of the complaints I have about the piece is that what you see in the photograph as regards thread colour is not what you get, and what I'm getting so far is a LOT of pink but.......

slowly, it's coming together and I'm liking it more, apologies for the fuzzy picture.  Another small complaint is the layout (at least for this one) in the book My Heart is True, is that symbols and supplies are on one page, six pages later comes the chart and then the colour picture is on the back of the book!  I had to resort to a well placed paper clip in desperation!

For information on both the Smalls SAL and the WIPocalypse SAL, click on the logos on the right of this post.  Whew, I did it!  Another winter storm is expected tomorrow so more indoor play for me!

Whoops, nearly forgot to answer the February question, which stitched piece displayed gets the most plaudits.......well, it used to be the Eileen Bennett Band Sampler that I finished a few years ago, but living in an A-frame house, straight walls are now in short supply, lol, so most of my stitching is on one of the guest room walls so not seen by too many.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness...still BAGS of time!

Okay, well, maybe again a bit of Tail End going on, but not a WORD, Miss Jo, as it's still February and I get to wear the Gorgeous crown for about the next 30 hours or so.........if you are taking part in the GG SAL and haven't entered the drawing there is still time.  All details on Jo's blog along with how the SAL runs.
I did actually finish the first piece I'm going to show you, on the actual 15th........yes, I did, Jo, so there!  Then, of course, could I find that blessed wee charm?  I've been tripping over it for months now and just when it comes time to actually use it.......gone!
It's a GG piece because the chart belongs to Lynda who was kind enough to let me borrow it after our Round Robin was finished.  I made a couple of changes, one being the bird, since I had the charm, thought it was perfect for the roof instead of the stitched one.  The other change came through misreading the symbol for the big leaf on the right and using the blue thread.  I rather liked it, so decided not to stitch as charted and just picked up whichever of the threads I thought looked good in that particular spot..... I think I'll probably frame this, would be an excellent display piece for the autumn.

Her Sampler
Carriage House Samplings

My other GG piece is very small 30 x 30 stitches and comes via Jo, read what she says.......lifted from her blog with permission.
Finally, I was emailed about a craftivist project recently - Stitching for Syria,  Here's what the charity Concern says about their work
"At Concern we run a host of activities helping Syrians caught up in years of war. These include teaching Syrian refugees and poor Lebanese women embroidery. Selling what they make gives these women a vital income, and the sessions themselves bring warmth, hope and friendship."

And here's their website to find out more - Concern.  Basically, you sign up and they send you a free chart which you stitch and mail to them to make a hanging for their centre in Lebanon to bring hope to the women that go there.  A donation would be nice too!  It's a small pattern, only 30x30 so shouldn't take long to stitch.  The project has literally only just been launched this week so needs all the publicity it can get!

As Jo says, it's a small piece and took maybe an hour and a half?  It's a GG piece because
Frances (no blog) sent me the fabric AND the thread
Jo told me about it
Concern sent a free chart
and a stitched piece is going back to Concern
The thread has rather a good name for this project too, it's Dragon Floss Treasured Friendships!  I'm going to do a couple more and would encourage you all to join in.  I would be happy to post any US pieces to the Concern office in London.
It's been a gorgeous day here in Michigan, we had a winter storm go through on Wednesday and Thursday, all schools closed and a committee I'm on gave up trying to meet in February and we'll aim for our usual day in March.  All the snow has pretty much gone which is good as it was the wet heavy stuff that came up from the south (not that we're blaming you, Ohio, lol) and the snow blower in chief was gone again too.  The quickest turn around ever, got in on the last plane on Friday, arrived home around 1 am and eleven hours later was driving to O'Hare to catch a flight to the UK!  Not surprisingly, he has Gold status already with American!
Well, that's it for me, but of course will be back tomorrow with the Smalls and WIPocalypse SALs.  I know, need to get organized!
Will leave you with this, which was installed in the Lake House a fortnight good and kinder than you need to be!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Cookery Calendar Challenge for January or what shall we have for dinner?

Good afternoon, dears,

Squeaking in at the last minute to link up with Penny, blogging at The Homemade Heart who issued a challenge to all of us who dread the words......

"What's for dinner?"

"What on earth shall I cook tonight?"

I, um, "bent" the rules slightly, partly because I didn't follow the instructions and partly because the WT got a bit of a telling off from his doctor a couple of weeks ago.......

My first choice was from a new Weight Watchers book, Fresh and Easy, that came out to coincide with the Smart Points changeover.  Slightly irritated that I had to buy the complete set of chopping board, lidded bowl and possibly something else in order to get the book but I'm glad I did, most of the recipes are for one or two people, which is helpful.

I chose the Butternut and Bulgur chili since I have a LOT of different grains idling in the cupboard.  I'm not sure whether it was because I doubled the recipe (originally for one), but we both decided the smoked paprika called for, overpowered the whole thing.  I'm not giving up on the recipe though, I thought I might try it with garam masala instead, which goes well with winter squashes. No picture as I forgot!

The second book is where I strayed off the straight and's actually a library book but I am fully intending to buy it and the companion piece so hope it still counts!  Mark Bittman is (was) the cookery writer for the New York Times and wrote the ubiquitous How to Cook Everything.  About seven years ago he got a stern warning from his doctor, overweight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, very close to succumbing diabetes etc and as a result the Vegan Before 6 diet was born.  Since the WT had received a much less stern warning from his physician, I thought we'd give it a go and I must say, the dear man has entered into the spirit of the thing with more enthusiasm than I would have thought.  Mark you, he WAS leaving the next day for a week in the UK.......but he's back and still seems keen!

So, what did I make? 

This, an utterly delicious salad, again using grains from the cupboard, this time quinoa.  MB suggests what he call building blocks, foods you cook ahead and store in the fridge to use at different meals.  I have to say, an excellent suggestion, the quinoa appeared throughout the week in the meals I made and I'm going to find something else this week from the cupboard.  The recipe is called Sweetgreen Quinoa Salad and is from the delectable and sadly not in the Midwest (only around the DC and NY areas) Sweetgreen chain of restaurants.  Mark points out that this salad is best in the summer with fresh tomatoes and corn, but it was pretty good with snow on the ground in February too!  The recipe serves four, so gave the WT a second helping then I had lunch on the Monday.  Definitely a keeper!
A slight moan about the cookery book as opposed to his first VB6 nutritional information to calculate the Smart Points.

This was fun and next month I promise to follow the rules of choosing only ONE cookery book and making it one I own!  Thanks, Penny!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

WIPocalypse 2016 or what's first out of the Cupboard of Hopeful Projects?

It's all go, innit?  I'm back with what I hope will be a monthly post to here, the WIPocalypse SAL.  I was one that fell by the wayside on that one too, to here's to better things in 2016!

Quaker Diamonds has been on the go for a long time, not sure exactly how long but it's a lovely stitch.  I chose a smaller count than Karen suggested and only use one strand of the Valdani threads.  I've (almost) completed section 1 so it's been retired to the Cupboard of Hopeful Projects for a while and Anniversaries of the Heart is getting some attention.

So, slightly backward, I'm Gillie, living in Michigan for the past three years, married to the World Traveller who does, lol, and this year I am using the Marie Kondo method on my stitching along with other areas of my home.  If it doesn't spark joy, then thank it kindly and send it on to where it will give pleasure.  I have some charts and some kitted up projects that come under that category, my tastes have changed, the project is too big etc.

So, to help with my Kondo-ing........and stitching.......

I've continued on with Jo's lovely GG SAL for the second year and you may well find some giveaways of the above mentioned charts offered there......

and this one, Measi's SAL, Heather's Smalls SAL and a varied collection of SALs offered by the lovely Kaye at Kitten Stitching, not to mention a monthly smalls challenge and WiPs progress album over on Friendly Stitchers so I reckon I shall be soaring to new heights, don't you?

I am purposely not recounting my WiPs as the total might send me into a rapid decline and/or panic attack.  I'm just seeing what drops out of the Cupboard of HP each time!

Thank you, Measi, see you again later this month!

PS when I was typing in the labels, the Cupboard of Lost Causes came up, think Hopeful Projects more positive, don't you?

A quote ...from the much loved and missed Sir Terry Wogan.......

"Could it be that behind every great man there's a woman working him with her foot?"

Goodnight xxx!