Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Toddler Tuesday

We had a wonderful holiday weekend. Mr. E was with us for quite a bit of it as we had a blizzard and a cousin came over for a visit. Today was declared a jammie day and a cleaning day. Even Mr. E got into the cleaning the act by "cleaning" out his pool.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday Musings

Here it is Monday. The start of my weekend and the last week before Christmas. DH and I are done with Christmas shopping. All that's left is to wrap the gifts.

A few Monday thoughts . . .
  1. I loved the old Bloglines. I do not like the new Bloglines run by Merchant Circle. The font is light and hard to read. I can't figure out how to organize my feeds. Plus I lost all the posts I had marked as unread to I could go back to them and leave comments or get the pattern or recipes I wanted to keep. I'm not happy at all.
  2. I'm not a fan of Google Reader either. It's a little better than Bloglines. I don't like having to star items to mark them as an entry I want to go back to at some point.
  3. What RSS readers do you use other than Bloglines or Google Reader?
  4. I need snow for Christmas. I was ready for a snowy winter day today while sewing. But alas, the storm stayed south of us.
  5. I finished Mr. Sparkles last night. He is a Secret Santa gift for a co-worker. I think he's adorable.
Have a great Christmas week. I have to work Wed., Thurs., and Fri. Then I am off for four days. Hooray!

Sweet P

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I've been MIA for a few weeks and I apologize. I have been in a black hole since Thanksgiving and there is now light at the end of the tunnel. First I woke up the day after Thanksgiving with a horrible, nasty cold. I was the last one in our family to get it and it knocked me down real good for about three weeks.

On November 30, my father passed away from double pneumonia. He had been in a nursing home for four years, but to the end he was my dad. The Sunday before he died he joked with my niece about how crappy the Minnesota Vikings were playing this and that their year was over!

Here are my mom and dad on their wedding day - January 11, 1947.
The entire family, with the exception of one great grandson, including my three brothers and all their children, me, my sons, DIL and Mr. E made it to the service in MN. Mr. E had his second airplane trip and loved looking out the window the entire time. He also got to spend time playing in the snow. Here he is being King of the Mountain.
And trying to make snowballs.
It was the first time in 25 years the entire family had been together so we took the opportunity to have family photos taken. Here is my wonderful family (left to right): Brandon, my youngest son, The Hotel Man, my DH, Mr. E, me, Tasha, my DIL and Geoffrey, my oldest son.
Mr. E surprised all of us with his newest behavior: saying "Cheese!". He started doing it while we were having family photos taken. He stood in front of everyone who had a camera, posed and said, "cheese". He had everyone laughing!
My whole family
This is my lovely mom. Isn't this a fantastic photo of her?
If you've made it this far I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you don't celebrate Christmas, then I wish you Happy Holidays!

Sweet P

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Check This Out

This is my all-time favorite Christmas song. Enjoy it!

Sweet P

Friday, November 26, 2010

Foodie Friday

Thanksgiving has come and gone and I have the leftovers to prove it.The meal was our best Thanksgiving dinner yet.

The star of the meal was Bacon-Wrapped Turkey with Pear Cider Gravy. Accompanied by Sausage and Potato Stuffing, Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola and Crispy Fried Sage Leaves, Fresh Green Beans, Cranberry Sauce, Black Olives, Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls and Apple Pie with ice cream for dessert.
I also made a pot of Thanksgiving Wassail and enjoyed it all day long.

Now it's time to think about Christmas. We are having an early Christmas Dinner next weekend as my mom will be here visiting. Time to put my thinking cap on and plan the meal.

Have a great weekend!

Sweet P

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

May your day be filled with family, food, fun and football!

Sweet P

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday Works

A few of this week's projects in the works . . .

My snowflake is ready for beading
I crocheted a hat to go with a scarf I made for my DIL
Side view of the hat
A new needlepoint project . . . Tahiti by Kathy Rees of Needle Delights Originals
What are you working on this week?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Toddler Tuesday

If you are a regular reader of my blog you probably know by now that on Tuesdays I take care of my grandson, Mr. E. In an effort to keep blogging on a regular basis and not overload you on Mr. E, I'm going to make Tuesdays my Toddler Tuesday posts.

Today, he found a box of floral marbles while we were doing laundry in the basement. The box came upstairs and within a few minutes the marbles were all over the floor. Mr. E had a blast playing with them off and on all day.

In case you're wondering, nearly all of them are picked up, or at least the ones anyone has the potential to step on in the the next few days.

Sweet P

Monday, November 22, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday Musings

Random thoughts and questions on Monday morning . . .
  1. Do you wash your laundry in a certain order? I wash my bedding on one day. The next day I wash the loads in this order: underwear and socks, lights, darks and then all the pants.
  2. On a typical day off do you have a morning routine? I'm generally awake by 7. I eat breakfast and drink coffee and watch Good Morning America until 9. Then I spend my day playing with fabric, yarn or floss with spurts of cleaning and cooking in between.
  3. How do you feel about projects with zippers? I struggle with zippers and try to stay away from projects that use them.
Well, the clock on the wall says it's almost 9 am. Time to get sewing.

Sweet P

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Winter Tote Bag

I received my Winter Tote Bag package from Sabine the other day. Unfortunately, the postal service was not kind to the box. It arrived smushed on one end of it. The result was moisture got into the package and caused the red floss in the box to bleed on a few of the pressies and the tote bag.

Luckily only one side and the corners of the stitchery are red. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to clean it. I'm going to be using it anyway. Isn't the stitchery adorable? My favorite winter scene - a snow man!
Here is the back of the bag. I love the fabric she chose to use.
Here are the rest of the goodies: there is a package of teddy bears to stitch, red floss, a package of sewing themed buttons, pins, a stitchery calendar, a beautiful red plate and Christmas candle, an adorable angel and chocolate. The cookie recipe sounds yummy and I hope to try it soon. Thanks, Sabine!
Have you received your Winter Tote?

Sweet P

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Me and The Process Pledge

I took the Process Pledge because I love to think about my process when I am creating. I love the feel of the fabric as I work with it. Cutting it, pinning, sewing, snipping and pressing until I have a finished project.

I had every intention of documenting my process as I worked on swap packages. What I learned is that when I'm sewing I get into a Zen-like state and the last thing I want to do is stop to take a photo or jot notes about the process. So I though I would share a few random photos of what I've been working on the last week.

I made a puppet theater curtain for Mr. E.
I found the fabric in the remnant bin at the store and it jumped into my hands.
Here is my SSCS present . . . don't you love surprises?
This is not Coffee Time Studio,
but Coffee Time kitchen temporarily being used as a sewing space.
Yesterday afternoon I took an afternoon off from Christmas sewing and had ME time. On Sunday I found a gorgeous set of snowflakes to embroider at Polka and Bloom. I had to order the set and when I came home from work on Sunday night I transferred the pattern and yesterday started stitching it. I'm using a over-dyed blue and lavender thread. I'm thinking of adding beads to it instead of the french knots the pattern uses.
Well, the mailman just brought my 3-2-1 Winter Tote Bag package from Sabine. I'm going to sign off for now and open the package.

Sweet P

Monday, November 08, 2010

Finishes, Gifts and Smiles

Recently I joined Finn's New Year's Eve UFO Challenge. I pledged to finish at least 4 projects by Dec. 31. So far I've finished two projects. First up is Mr. E's Pumpkin Sweater. It was his Halloween costume, but it's big enough and warm enough for him to wear all winter.
My second finish was a coffee-themed table topper. I bough the panel about three years ago. The borders were added about two years ago. I was going to hand stitch it, but when I was cleaning out my stash closet I decided to machine quilt it and finish it. It is now on our dining room table.
I received two swap packages recently. The first one was a Scavenger Hunt package. My partner sent me four balls of Knit Picks allspice yarn, two hanks of hand spun yarn, At Knit's End book, spice drops, jelly beans, crochet labels, coffee and a small round frame.
I also received my FRIENDS swap package from Pam at Versana.
The gifts were gorgeously wrapped and were too pretty to open.
And here are the gifts: F was fabulous fabric. R was jar filled with red buttons and chocolate and topped with a red pincushion. I was an Indigo Bag and a skein of blue yarn. E was an embroidery book (and a Fair Isle crochet book). N was "Needful" things - two skeins of Caron Watercolor floss I need to work on a project. D was delightful cinnamon jelly beans.
S was this stunning silk painting Pam made for me. Isn't it fantastic?
And, just for fun, here is a recent photo of Mr. E and I.
Tomorrow I'll post about my Process on the Swap packages. I've been able to sneak in work time between working and taking care of Mr. E.

Have a Happy Monday!
Sweet P

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Making Pumpkin Cupcakes with Dema . . .
Don't forget the frosting . . .
Sweet P

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Process, Part 1

I was blog surfing the other day and came across The Process Pledge on r0ssie (fresh modern quilts) blog. I thought about it for a while and then decided I would participate in the Pledge. Here is my shaken and stirred Pledge:
I, Sweet P of Coffee Time Stitches, pledge to talk more about my creative processes, even when I can't show and tell every step of the way.
So, where do I start with the pledge? I have thought about this for a few days. It's next to impossible for me to describe every action or step I take in working on a project. I create under one of two circumstances. I'm either creating because I have a deadline (usually a swap deadline) or I'm creating because my muse has told me to create a project.

I suppose you may be wondering why I say I "create" instead of sew or quilt or crochet. Webster's defines create as a verb meaning: to evolve from one's own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention. I don't want to sound egotistical about my creations. Every item I create comes from my heart and becomes part of me. My inner muse expects me to create a little bit each day. If I don't spend time creating I can be one cranky person.

I decided to share my process as I create three sewing projects. Two of the projects have mid-November deadlines. These projects are going to be called Project A and Project B. You'll have to excuse the anonymity, but these are gifts and the recipients could be reading. The third one is a set of goodie bags designed by Monica Solario-Snow of Happy Zombie. I have been mulling over what to make for these projects for several weeks. I've changed my mind at least a dozen times and now I'm ready to start working in my studio.

This afternoon, I took advantage of Mr. E's nap time and wandered into Coffee Time Studio. Will you join me?

First up, you'll notice the sound track in my studio. I'm super predictable in my sound track choices. Nine times out of 10, Gettysburg is running on the DVD. I've played this movie so many times that the DVD is wearing out. Sometimes I put on Gods and Generals. If I'm in the mood for music then I play Jesus Christ Superstar. Each of these soundtracks provides just enough background sound so I can focus on my work.
Although I have written directions for every project, I often make my own set of cutting notes in a format that's easy for me to follow. This allows me to jot notes or changes I make to the project. Here is one page of notes for Project A. I have a similar page for the goodie bags.
Project B's directions were written well enough for me. I was able to start cutting the fabrics and pinning a few blocks before Mr. E woke up from his nap.
That's as far as I got on these projects today. I hope you continue to follow me as I work on these projects.

Sweet P

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Australian Stitchery Kits for Sale

I am de-stashing and am selling these six Australian stitchery kits I bought last year. Each kit comes complete with the embroidery floss, fabric and patterns. I am charging $20 per kit; plus $5 for shipping, if you live in the US or Canada; $10 shipping for international shipping. I will invoice and accept payment through PayPal. Send me an email at coffeetimestitches @ comcast (dot) net if you would like to purchase any of them.

Kits #1 and #2
Kits #3 and #4
Kits #5 and #6
Mr. E graciously let me take a photo of him trying on his pumpkin sweater before I put the final trim on it. It is big enough that it will last him a couple Halloweens!
I'm off to clean the house and work on swap packages. I hope everyone is having a great day!

Sweet P

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Playing With Fabric

Last Monday mommy and Mr. E spent the day with me. Mommy and I wanted to begin planning our Winter Totes. Mr. E was interested in what we were doing so I had mommy get a bag of my fabric scraps for him to play with while we were looking for our fabrics. She showed him all the scraps and he was interested for a few minutes, then went off to play.
Isn't this cupcake fabric yummy? It came in this week and two yards yelled at me to come home with me. I couldn't resist. After all, cupcakes go well with coffee you know.
My MIL sent me a wonderful birthday present last week. It started with the lovely sewing basket. Inside the basket I found a gorgeous seam ripper, a small pin and a glass thread bobbin for hanging in a window.
This small box was also in the basket. It's the perfect size to sit on the sofa table next to me and hold the items I don't want Mr. E to get into: my camera, our Flip video, cords for those items, my small notions tin, a container of stitch markers and any small items to keep out of little hands.
I finished my mittens earlier this week. I love how they turned out and they fit perfectly. I have one more end to weave in and they are ready for winter. I have enough yarn leftover to make a beret and hope to have it finished soon.
We had our first Nor'Easter of the year yesterday. Lots of rain, wind and snow in the higher elevations. Today the sun is shining, the sky is blue, but the wind is still whipping around. I'm off to play in the studio for a few hours before I head into work this afternoon. Tomorrow I'm off. It's the first Sunday I've had off when I can watch all of the football games! Hooray!

What are you up to this weekend?

Sweet P

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Skypeing With Grampa

Hubby is in Hong Kong right now. Before he left we set up our computers with Skype. Yesterday morning Mr. E got to talk with Grampa.

Hi Grampa! How are you?
Mwah . . . blowing kisses across the miles
I can see you and touch you . . . but I can't feel you.
Ethan likes to Skype with Grampa. Sometimes he has more fun playing with the keyboard than talking with Grampa, but it's still a lot of fun.

Have you Skyped today?
Sweet P

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Few Firsts . . .

I've been busy the last few days between sewing time and crocheting time. Recently a friend of mine asked me to make her a knitting needle case for her double pointed knitting needles. Yesterday I made her this one. It has 30 pockets for knitting needles. I hope she likes it. If so, she will be my first paying customer.
Last week I finished the Snuggle Sacks for our new nephews. Since I haven't had a chance to deliver them here is Hero modeling them for me. The pattern came with two designs. I made one of each design for them. This one is for Cooper and is made with Sensations Lodge yarn and Lion Brand Homespun Yarn.
Matthew's is made with Sensations Lodge yarn.
They are soft and snuggly and I'm sure will get lots of use.
And finally I finished my first mitten. The pattern is Ravelry download. The yarn is from NH Knitting Mama in Purple Haze. The pattern is easy and allows you to custom fit the mitten to your hands. I've already started the second one and should finish it the next day or two.
Yesterday was a sewing studio day. I actually made two knitting needle cases. The first one didn't turn out as well as I had hoped so I made the above one. Then, on a whim and because I love the variegated thread I was using, I pulled out a UFO from about three years ago. I quilted it and sewed the binding on the front. Today I am hand sewing the binding and another project will be done.

I really need to focus on my swap packages. I have four of them to make in the next six weeks. I'm not too worried about them though. I'll have fun putting them together and then fun opening the packages I get in return.

Happy Stitching!
Sweet P

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Happy Couple

After Harvey's creation yesterday, Erma begged to be come to life.
Here is the Happy Couple:
Now I'm off to the studio for a little while. Time to start planning a few swap projects.

Sweet P