Thursday, December 27, 2012

SSCS Goodies

There is one Christmas swap I have been in since it started: ChookyBlue's SSCS. I got wonderful gifts from my partner, Shez at Shez Enjoying Life.
Here is the gorgeous ornament she sent me.  It found a home on my tree right away.
She made me a cute wall hanging and included Christmas buttons
and a piece of Christmas fabric.

My SSCS partner was Pamela at Simply Chic.
I crocheted her a snowflake using hand dyed yarn.
I made her a journal for her gift.

The journal was a lot of fun to make.  I will be making more of them this coming year.

Thanks, Chookyblue for another great SSCS swap.

Christmas Catch-Up

We had a wonderful Christmas holiday!  My son and his fiance came up from Brooklyn to spend Christmas with us.  Mr. E, mommy and daddy spent a lot of time here. The celebration was fantastic!  I didn't take many photos as I was enjoying the moments rather than snapping away.

For the first time in several years we have a full-size tree.  Of course, I had no tree skirt.  Therefore, I made one.  There are seven snowmen on the skirt, one for each person in our family.
One of our family traditions is to have a new pair of pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve.
Mr. E understood Santa Claus this year for the first time.  We set out a plate of cookies and milk for Santa.  Mr. E is taste testing one of the cookies before he went home for the night.
After he went home, it was time to put the presents under the tree.
Christmas morning was tons of fun.  Mr. E was excited Santa left him a note thanking him for the cookies.  Opening presents was exciting.  Mr. E's line of the morning was, "I help you open it!"  Followed by lots of oohs and aahs.  The rest of the morning was spent putting together this for Mr. E.
He loves marble mazes.  Let me tell you, this one is not coming down anytime soon!

Today we are getting hit by a Nor'Easter, lots of snow and sleet and ice.  It's gorgeous, but dangerous out there.  I'm hoping I don't have to go into work later today.

Sweet P

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Stitching Diversion

Ooops, I'm a little lax in posting.  Blame it on working retail and getting ready for Black Friday and Holiday shopping preparation.  I don't mind the busy weekend.  I work the closing shift which means I won't see the mad rush of people, but I will see the mess and that's OK with me.

Christmas swap gifts are nearly ready to be sent so this week I treated myself by starting a Monday Mini Mystery project by Laura J Perin at the Two Handed Stitcher.  She started the mystery two weeks ago.  Her mystery projects are quick and fun.  I have done them before, but so far this one is my favorite.

Thread choices:
  1. Caron Watercolors in Pomegranate
  2. Caron Impressions, Color 3041, a bright red
  3. Caron Impressions, Color 4022, a bright yellow
  4. Brown Paper Packages Trio in Citron
  5. Rainbow Gallery Hi-lights, color H365, a metallic rust orange and gold

Here is the piece with week one finished:

Here it is with week two finished:

Finally with week three done and the metallic thread added:

I can't wait for the next installment next Monday!

Sweet P

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Christmas Swap Gifts In Progress

I am involved in four Christmas swaps this year.  I always enjoy swaps this time of year because I know the recipients will enjoy what I make for them.

I've been crocheting snowflakes.  This week I blocked the ones I have finished.
I have been sewing a project or two:
There is another secret crochet project or two being worked on:
If you look closely you will also a book on making books from which I also have a project or two in process.

Are you one of my swap partners?  Do you wish you were?

What gifts are you working on for Christmas?

Sweet P

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Superstorm Sandy

Sandy came, she visited, she blew leaves all over the place and left us with only a few missing shingles.  We were lucky compared to the millions who have lost power and in many cases, their homes.

On Monday afternoon we went out for a little while as we had lost power and we were trying to determine how extensive the outage was.  When we came back to our house I let Mr. E play in the leaves and wind for a few minutes.

Hey, Dema, it's windy out here!
Round and round the leaves blow!
Look at me!  I'm a Rock Star!

Happy Halloween!

Sweet P

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Latest Projects

This week I've been working on a few different projects.  Last week I bought the book 100 Snowflakes to Crochet.  What a fun book!  On Tuesday afternoon I crocheted the first three snowflakes.  My pile of completed snowflakes are growing.  I need to spend some time weaving in ends and blocking them before we get our first real snowfall.
Mr. E is going to be a doctor for Halloween.  Every doctor needs a scrub cap so I stitched one up for him this morning.  Of course it has to be a sports-themed hat.
I've also been working on swap gifts, but photos for those will have to wait.

Are you making any Halloween costumes?

Sweet P

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Paper Play Today

Today I took a Bargello stitchery and made it into a book for a friend.  The pages are still a little curly so I can't show the inside of the book.
With leftover strips I made two Advent paper chains.
Now I need to decorate them.
What are you creating today?

Sweet P

Friday, October 12, 2012

This Post Brought to You by Mr. E

It's been a while since I posted about me and Mr. E playing in the kitchen.  This past Monday we had a baking session.  It all started two weeks ago when they stopped at the grocery on the way home from day care.  It was a rainy night and Mr. E wanted to get out of the car to get his cookie at the store.  Daddy told him there was a cookie at home with his name on it.  Well, when they got home he had to look at every cookie in the cookie jar and was upset because none of them had his name on it.

Dema to the rescue!  I mixed up a batch of sugar cookie dough using the recipe from The Decorated Cookie on Sunday night and on Monday morning we made cookies.

Step 1: Smoosh the dough
Step 2: Flatten the dough
Step 3: Roll out the dough
Step 4: Cut out the cookies
Step 5: Put the cookies on the pan
Step 5A: Try to taste the cookie dough
Step 6: Bake the cookies
Step 7: Write your name on a cookie and show it off
Step 7A: Be sure to make a Happy Birthday Dema cookie for me
He has been nibbling on the cookies all week.  Although he has to write his name on every one he eats.  I think I've created name writing cookie monster!

What have you been cooking in the kitchen?

Sweet P

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Vacation Wrap-Up

Last Friday hubby and I boarded a plane at 6 am and arrived in Phoenix at noon.  Hubby treated us to a weekend at The Arizona Biltmore before he began a long business trip.  Hubby goes to this hotel every year at this time for an industry conference.  This was my first visit to the resort.  Needless to say I loved it!  We enjoyed a weekend of total relaxation, including a four-hour stint sitting by the pool.  It was the first time in my life I have sat by the pool and done next to nothing.  I totally fell in love with the resort.

We stayed in the Ocatilla wing of the resort.  This wing has it's own concierge and lounge.  One of the perks is a continental breakfast (I know many hotels include free breakfast, but we are talking about a luxury resort here).  Anyway, one of the items served at the breakfast every morning is fruit martinis.  A simple, yet elegant way, to serve fresh fruit.  I think I'm going to start serving these for breakfast at home.
I did quite a bit of stitching while relaxing.
I made progress on my Milanese Pouch.
I crocheted a few hexi puffs.
I think the orange needs to be finished into a pumpkin, don't you?
I crocheted six snowflakes using the crochet thread I dyed last week. The two snowflakes on the right I added Guttermann silver metallic thread to the crochet thread.
Of course, I had to go shopping at least once.  A Google search of needlework shops in Phoenix produced Family Arts Needlework Shop.  The shop was a straight two miles from the hotel so I knew I had to go there.  The shop is a non-profit organization whose profits are donated to Stepping Stones Academy for scholarships for low income students.  The shop itself is wonderful, full of every thread imaginable and a selection of yarn and supplies.  The shop has one paid employee and every one else is a volunteer.

After walking around for several minutes, I finally chose this project:
I have never done a drawn or painted canvas project so I'm excited to start this one.
I purchased a few threads to get me started as well.  The top two threads will be two of the three balloons.  The yellow one will be the stars.  Blue and orange for the the gifts.  Variegated for the words and the pink for the background.
I was planning to walk back to the hotel so I decided this bag would be the perfect way to tote my purchase.
I so enjoyed a stay-cation with a long weekend away at the end of it that I told hubby it is going to become a regular October vacation for us.  I am relaxed, energized and ready for the winter holiday rush to begin.

Sweet P

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dyeing for Fun

Yesterday I played with more yarn and thread dyeing.  I used four different types of yarn and threads with blue and green Tulip tie dye.  The results are mixed.

Here are before photos. On the left is white Aunt Lydia's #3 crochet cotton. On the right white DMC cotton floss.
 On the left is Sensations Kashmira 100% feltable wool and Aunt Lydia's #10 bamboo cotton crochet thread.  Both of the hanks are cream colored.
Here are the results. The #3 crochet thread and DMC floss took the dyes completely.  The bamboo cotton came out slightly variegated.  Blue/purple from the blue dye and green/yellow from the green dye.

The wool didn't take the dye very well.  I don't know if the results would be different if I left the dye on longer or "cooked" it.  But I am leaving for Phoenix tomorrow morning and I don't want to leave the yarn wet.  The color variations are stronger on the wool.  I still like the results and will probably crochet projects that can be felted.

Today is a "finish" minimal tasks around the house day.  Tomorrow morning we are flying to Phoenix for the long, hot weekend.

What are you up to today?

Sweet P

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stay-cation in Full Swing

I am on day 3 of my staycation and loving it!

On Sunday I cleaned out my pantry.  One and one-half bags of bad food later here is what it looks like now:
Now I am inspired to start baking again!

I started a new needlepoint project on Sunday. I cam across this tutorial to stitch a small zippered pouch.  So, I had to start it.  Here is my progress so far:

Last week I shared my white snowflakes and the cotton thread I dyed.  Last night I crocheted my first turquoise snowflake:
I love it!  The dye made the cotton thread stiffer than normal.  I imagine when I get around to starching the snowflake it won't take much starch.

Today I am home alone - all day!  I'm headed downstairs to work on a couple of paper projects.  Tonight my favorite TV shows have season premiers and I can't wait!

What are you up to this week?

Sweet P