Saturday, December 14, 2019

What Delilah Did Presents Storyland Cross Stitch

I literally squealed when I saw Storyland Cross Stitch on the shelf at Goodwill. Then I flipped through it and realized that I'd mistaken it for another book that's on my wish list. That's okay, though, because there are patterns in this one that I want to play around with.



Every project in this book, even the ones labeled as for the courageous and determined, are simple. Most have only one color or floss.


I'll probably stitch some of them, but what I really really want to do is take the jackalope pattern and convert it to make a postage stamp quilt out of dark and light neutrals. Wouldn't that be the best thing ever?!


To watch my full flip through of the book, click the video below --

Friday, December 13, 2019

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {12/13/19}



Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

On My Needles in Mid-December

2019 is coming to a close and I'm thinking/hoping that I might be able to get all of these projects finished and bound off before the new year. There's also the pair of Finding the Yellow Brick Road socks, which are buried in a project bag. 


The shawl should be easy enough and so should the Toes in the Sand Socks. The second Smock Madness sock....Let's just say that this is the third time I've cast on for that one. If I make the first, I should be able to do it again, right?

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

{I've Been Reading} Space Mysteries and a Ghost Chicken

I knew there were going to be Kindle Unlimited books that I wanted to read and after a slow start I've finally started to find them!




A Frosty Mug of Murder by Contance Barker is the first in the Grumpy Chicken Irish Pub mystery series and I've never read a  cozy quite like this one. Ginger O'Mallory runs her family's pub which just happens to be haunted by a ghost chicken with a grudge against the pickled egg jar. When Ginger returns a stray cat and finds its owner dead, everyone she knows wants to get in on solving the mystery. All of the team work between the quirky characters made this one a fun read.



Fly Me to the Moon by Diane Vallere

I was curious about the Sylvia Stryker space mysteries, but not sure if I'd enjoy them or not. I was so wrong -- these are all kinds of fun!  Half Plunian, half Earthling, Sylvia Stryker has hacked her way onto the crew of a space cruise ship. She's more than qualified to perform the duties of the job, but things go wrong immediately. Starting with the dead guy in the uniform closet and continuing with her discovery of another stowaway. It's light-hearted and fun and Sylvia has a great personality.

Disclosure -- This post contains affiliate links. 

Monday, December 09, 2019

My New Christmas Tradition

We were going to skip the holiday open house at Deepwood and Bush House this year, but the boys wanted to go and I had to drive up to town for another errand anyway. 


I'm so glad we went! There were different volunteers working this year and even though it was our third visit to the two houses we learned a lot of new things. It also recharged my batteries a bit to stand in the spot where my husband and I  got married.

And speaking of Victorian houses and that sort of gorgouesness, I  found an amazing free quilt pattern this morning. The Row by Row Experience is now Quilter's Trek. You can read about the changes here. Hometown Gingerbread combines embroidery and pieced blocks and it's one of those quilts I definitely want to make. You can download the first two parts free by following the link. I know the color of the year is blue, but I'm totally doing one in black and white. Or black and tea dyed muslin.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Rethreading Every Three or Four Stitches...


One of my goals is to see if I can get Crocuses in the Windowsill done by the end of the year. The yellow flowers were feeling extra fiddly as I stitched a color, then another, then went back to fill in whatever little isolated patches were left. That's not my favorite part, especially when there are blended threads involved.

Monday night, it was actually going pretty well and I decided that if I was in the mood to rethread my needle every three or four stitches I might as well see what I do with the hedgehogs.


A couple of evenings of playing hide and seek with the missing stitches and the symbols on the chart and they're all done except for the backstitching!

Saturday, December 07, 2019

It's Been Six Years...

My husband was on his way to work Wednesday night and another driver crossed  the center line and clipped his side mirror. They didn't even slow down. When he called to tell me, it was too dark to really assess the damage and I'm sure his adrenaline was racing.

To say that I'm mad doesn't even begin to cover it....

By the light of day, it's not as bad as it first seemed. The side mirror is toast, but it's a piece that can be unbolted and we can order a replacement online which will cost less than our insurance deductible. 

It could have been so much worse. 

But whoever hit him and kept going doesn't know that it wasn't worse. 


It's also a little spooky that it was six years almost to the day of his collision with the drunk driver, only a few miles down the same stretch of highway.

Don't drink and drive and for God's sake, if you hit another car on the highway, STOP. (I'm pretty sure I didn't have to tell any of you those two things.)

Friday, December 06, 2019

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {12/6/19}


Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Things to Love About a Troublesome Shawl

There are things to like about this shawl. I love the colors and the combination of stockinette and garter stitch ridges, which are the same thing I did on the previous Wildstreak Shawl but look better on this one.



I absolutely love the combination of k2p2 ribbing and garter stitch ridges that keep it from flipping up at the bottom like the last one did.


What I don't love is that there were so many knots in the skeins that I now have eighteen ends to weave in. I also don't love that the loosely spun yarn was looking worn while I was still knitting.

I will not buy more loosely spun yarn no matter how cheap it is.

Monday, December 02, 2019

{I've Been Reading} Kindle Unlimited

For the past two months or so, I've been trying Kindle Unlimited. An ad had showed up in my Facebook feed offering three months for (I think) $2.99 and I'd been tempted for quite a while. It seemed like a perfect time to jump in and see if it was worth it.

My first disappointment was that the books that were formerly on Kindle Unlimited, the ones that made me want to try it in the first place, were no longer part of the program. I really should have checked that before I signed up.

In the first month, I read an absolutely awful horror novel. The problem with that one wasn't that it was "extreme," it was that was badly written and boring. I also read a not very useful book about boosting your writing productivity. And half of Harold the Haunted Doll: The Terrifying True Story of the World's Most Sinister Doll.  That one was entertaining, but I sure wouldn't pay the regular price for it.



I started the second month with Real Actors, Not People by Karen Musser Nortman. It's one of the Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries and my first reaction to the book was that I don't enjoy camping nearly enough to want to experience it vicariously through my cozy mystery reading.  I thought that I did, but when it came to campground showers and the configuration of hooks for hanging your clothes on I quickly changed my mind. The book does pick up its pace once all of the RVs are set up and everyone in the group has eaten and near the end it I got so caught up in the story that I wound up crying. (And it was real life camping experiences that made me aware of how scary the situation was...so there's that.)

With eighteen days left to go, I plan to cancel once my trial is up. I have so many other things to read, either library books or free Kindle titles or review copies from NetGalley, that this isn't working out for me. I found it hard to find Kindle Unlimited books while browsing on Amazon's site. Most of the titles I'm excited about reading are the ones I've found through the author's own self promotion and there are some I'm definitely excited about, but I haven't carved out time to read them. As few books as I've actually read so far, I think I'd be better off just paying for the ones I really want to read and maybe subscribing for a month at a time if there's a particular series I want to binge.

Are you a Kindle Unlimited subscriber? Do you find that it works well for you?

Friday, November 29, 2019

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {11/29/19}

Mom made a quilt top while we were at the coast last week, using fabrics from deep in her stash. 


The trucks were probably purchased with the boys in mind, but the orange triangles are a mystery. They might have been from the huge clearance sale back when Joann's closed a bunch of stores to reopen in new locations. I think they give the quilt the same kind of look as the old Little Golden Books covers had.




Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

{Thrift Store Temptations} All the Cornucopias and Another Conquistador

Do you remember my story from a couple of years back about the stranger who lectured us about cornucopias after I responded to my son's question with "it's a Thanksgiving thing?" I'm still annoyed with her, whoever she was, but at least she sparked a fun game. 


It's not uncommon that one of the boys will ask me what something at the thrift store is and most of the questions are legitimate....but Quinn is really good about catching my attention with something held just out of my line of vision when I least expect it.

I didn't like cornucopias before the incident with that lady and I've been liking them less and less. Although I do admire how skilled his is at ambushing me with them. I decided  to see just how many we could find in one afternoon.

The local Goodwill had seven, plus a ceramic one that's not in the picture. St. Vinnie's had the one in the picture above. The other St. Vinnie's had two (or three, if that decorative hanging basket counted as one.)


We also found this school scene. The little boy has a pair of scissors on his desk and a slingshot in his pocket. He may have something held in the hand behind his back. The little girl in the yellow dress has another pair of scissors behind her back and someone is obviously in trouble. WHAT is going on here? And why is it commemorated in a sculpture?


We also  found this fella. I apologize that he's kind of hard to see between the fan and the pool ladder, but at least they show how big he is.  The ax is removable. And thank God he was a hundred bucks because we could totally make him a lamp to make up for missing out on that other one and that would be ridiculous.


What unreasonable thing have you been tempted by lately? Did you resist?

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

{I've Been Reading} Someone We Know


I don't know which book it is that I have mixed up with The Couple Next Door, but I keep picking up new books based on the comparison. Someone We Know by Shari Lapena is another one of those, except this time it isn't "in the tradition of" it's by the same author.

A teenager has been breaking into neighborhood houses and snooping through their computers. When his mother finds out, she writes anonymous letters to two of his victims, apologizing for her son's actions. That sounded interesting -- I enjoy domestic thrillers that involve parents. But the focus here isn't on the teenager and his crimes, it's on a woman who left her husband and was then found dead.

There are at least nine different point of view characters and the author switches between them frequently, sometimes after less than a page. I never got interested in any of them enough to care who the murderer was or which affair (there are plenty) might have motivated it.

Disclosure -- This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Stitching at the Coast


The plan was to spend four days at the coast working on our quilts and sewing projects. I spent way more time with Crocuses in the Windowsill than I did in front of my Janome and I'm not complaining. Just look at all of those yellow flowers that weren't there last week! 


I probably should have brought the lighthouse I started on our last coast trip, but I decided to stick with what I've been actively working on. Pyramid of Skulls and the Emerald City SAL were both in my project bag but I never pulled them out.

As glad as I am that I made so much progress on the flowers, I know that once they're done most of what will be left is the windowpane in varying shades of blue and grey. That might get tedious. 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Our Coastal Sewing Room

Take a look at what we had for our sewing room last week! I got my sewing machine all set up and plugged in and....nothing. The foot pedal didn't work at all. I fought with it for a while before stomping angrily on it and thinking some bad words finally did the trick. 


I'll admit that I spent more time on my cross stitching than at my sewing machine, but I did get three bags done. One was a total flop, which sometimes happens when you're making things up as you go along. 

This one is my favorite...


It started out as a flour sack dishtowel I found at the dollar tree and with some fusible interfacing and a thrifted zipper I think I turned it into a pretty little knitting bag.



Friday, November 22, 2019

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {11/22/19}






Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 

Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Grandma's Favorite Thrift Store is Closing

I don't know for a fact that this was her favorite, but the one  we used to meet her at almost every week before having lunch and running errands so it's the one I always think of as "her" thrift store. It closed last week and I'm kind of sad about that. 


I'm surprised that it stayed for so long. The other half of the building was a K Mart that went out of business years ago and that space has been sitting empty ever since.

I never found much at this particular store and wound up scrolling back through all of my thrift store posts to see if there even was anything exciting. I remember one haul of quilting fabric and a 1980s Intellivision game console that we didn't buy but I still want.


I found clothes there for the boys to wear for the wedding. One afternoon we bought my youngest an entire shopping cart full of Charles Wysocki jigsaw puzzles.  Grandma was using her senior discount and we spent less than we would have for two brand new puzzles.

Quinn found a huge collection of Rose Tea figurines to add to the one we'd found at an estate sale a few months earlier. This was only the first bag. In total, I think there were over a hundred.


 We found a tabletop voting machine (and somehow I feel like I should clarify that we didn't buy it!) and the purple cow head.


On most trips we didn't  find treasures but one the rare occasions that they did have something great, it was a memorable something. The cow got taken off of the living room wall to make room for my cuckoo clock...now I'm curious where it wound up.

We went in last week, a few days before the store was scheduled to close, and half of it was empty and marked off with caution tape. It wasn't worth getting out of the car for but at the same time we're glad we went.


New stores have opened and I still have plenty of places to go, but I'll miss the chance to stop at this one now and then. I was always halfway looking for Grandma's black Subaru in the parking lot, even years after she was gone.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Look Before You Leap...Or Cast On

I wanted another easy shawl on my needles so I dug into the bin of Hobby Lobby clearance yarn and cast on with this stuff. The colors are gorgeous, bit it's full of knots and so loosely spun that it catches on every tiny hangnail or bit of rough skin. At least it was cheap. 


I didn't realize that I'd used a different colorway earlier this year and complained about the exact same qualities. Oops! I'd completely forgotten about that shawl and that yarn.

This is the last of my Yarn Bee Wildstreak and I definitely don't plan on adding any more of it to my stash. But I'm also apparently more forgetful than I realized.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

{I've Been Reading} Slash by Hunter Shea



Slash by Hunter Shea

I've written about several of Hunter Shea's books here on the blog. There a the series of books inspired by the ads in the back of old comic books, which were  gory fun. Creature was hard to read in all of the best ways. Slash falls somewhere between the two extremes, again in all of the best ways.

Ashley King became famous as a "final girl," the one who survived the massacre at the Hayden Resort. Five years later, she hangs herself in the basement of her home. She was never able to remember much of what happened that awful night and the killer, known as The Wraith, was never caught....but a note she left for her fiance sends him back to the decaying resort in the Catskill Mountains to find recordings that she left hidden there that night.

I love that the book combines the "final girl" idea with urban exploration. There's also an element that feels at first like a cliche 1980s horror trope but turns out to be something else. In this one and in Creature, Hunter Shea writes relationships that pull at my heartstrings. That's not something I can say about some of of the horror writers I've been reading lately, and it'll keep me coming back to read more of his books.

Disclosure -- This post contains affiliate links. The publisher provided me with an advance review copy.  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Crafter's Square

The Dollar Tree finally has their Crafter's Corner stocked! I've been back three or four times since the banner went up, hoping to find some of the things everyone was showing in their haul videos. 


This would have been the most awesome thing ever when my kids were littler. And it still is, but they're stocked up on supplies at this point.


I only bought at few things for myself. The utility knife will be great if it works (some of the online reviews were bad, but for a dollar I'll take my chances) and I'm hoping the clips will be good for sewing vinyl. I've also been wanting a chalk pen, so we'll see if this one does what I imagine it will. 


I'll let you know, and I'm sure we'll be back. According to the store locator, there's supposed to be a Crafter's Square near me, but that seems to be a lists of stores that will have it, not that currently do. I'm also seeing some of the products at the smaller stores, mixed in with the craft stuff there.

This could be a really good thing. Or it could get me into a lot of trouble.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Stitching Goals for November

I had stitchy goals for the month of November and, just halfway through the month, I've met them both. Maybe that means I'll finish these projects by the end of the year. Or maybe I'll get distracted and stitch on something else. Either way, I'm fine with it.

The Emerald City SAL is a freebie from Owl Forest and I don't know how I got so confused by this one. I started out about the same time as the first clue was released and got bogged down a bit with the house and tornado. I saw progress pictures on Instagram showing the completed city and thought it ended there.


You'd think that after as many times as I've read the book and seen the movie I'd know that lots of stuff happens after they get to the city. But I didn't realize until last week that there's a whole lot more to the SAL and it's all amazing. I'm making such fast progress on this one now that I know what's coming.


I'll admit that the window in the background is a little boring, but it's easy to stitch and it looks so fantastic once it's done. Looking at the symbols on the chart and focusing on a tiny bit of the project can make me forget what I'm working towards and those shadowy trees were a wonderful surprise once I stepped back and looked at the whole thing.

I haven't been working on much else because it's so tempting to keep stitching on these.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Embroidered Life the Art of Sarah K. Benning

The first thing that struck me about Embroidered Life: The Art of Sarah K. Benning was the fact that there's actual embroidery on the cover. It's machine stitching of course, but it adds to the gorgeous experience 


I've been following the artist on instagram for ages now and I love having her gorgeous embroidery in my feed. The book gives a deeper look into her creative processs and lots more close up pictures of her stitchery, making it possible to admire the individual stitches and even the backs of a few pieces.

Because the book is about her and not by her, there's a bit of distance and there are no patterns included, just a few descriptions of how she forms her stitches. It's fabulously inspirational eye candy.



If I have any complaints, it's that the cover invokes that whole "not your grandma's stitching" thing. This isn't that far removed from those vintage kits I collect.


Disclosure -- This post contains affiliate links. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {11/15/19}






Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 

Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.






You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter



Wednesday, November 13, 2019

{I've Been Reading} Fudge Bites



I tend to jump into the middle of  new-to-me  cozy mystery series if there's something on the cover that catches my interest and that's exactly what happened when I saw the description for Fudge Bites by Nancy Coco. A dead body found during an annual zombie walk? Of course I was going to read that one!

Halloween isn't a major part of the plot. As soon as everyone washes of their makeup, life on the small island gets back to normal with the residents preparing for the off season. A bigger part of the plot is candy maker Allie's concern about how lonely she'll be once her friends take off for the winter and the rennovations she's making to her historic hotel.

A lot of pages are taking up with the details of Allie's life, but the murder mystery itself is  the most fascinating part, especially the motives behind it. This one was a fun read.

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links. 


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