January 31, 2022

Craft Day -

Five Crafters - Five Finished Projects!

Oh, my gosh! I had so much fun Saturday. I drove an hour and a half to Portage to meet up with my dear friend, Linda and her family. We first met in 1976, when I became friends with her, her husband, sons and daughter, Marie. I stood in Marie's wedding, and later became friends with her daughter, Adrienne. When I arrived at their home on Saturday, Adrienne's daughter - Linda's great-granddaughter, Annabelle - came running to give me a big hug. Now I'm getting to know extended family better, too. This weekend, I got to spend more time with Marie's daughter-in-law, Misty.

Our project was to decorate four precut, sanded, and pre-stained blocks with specialty papers, vinyl letters and other embellishments. We chose our fabric themes, and then decoupaged them to our set of blocks. A blow dryer was brought into service to make sure the adhesive and coating were completely dry before proceeding with the rest of our project.

Once our letters were adhered to the blocks, we sifted through Marie, Adrienne and Misty's copious collections of embellishments to finish our decorating. We were all done around noon and then took photographs of each of us proudly standing with our own sets of blocks. Can you guess which set is mine? (Keep scrolling to find out.)

Dear Friend, Linda (wearing her gorgeous, handknit sweater!)


Linda's daughter, Marie with her beautiful blocks

Marie's Daughter, Adrienne with her vibrant blocks

Marie's daughter-in-law, Misty with her Valentine blocks (and son!)

Me, with my farmhouse-themed blocks

I chose papers that have a beautiful, little bird with nest and eggs on the "L" block; a paper flower on the "O" block; morning glory paper on the "V" block ; and a laser-cut wooden bird on the "E" block. I chose muted papers that reminded me of the farmhouse. Marie had quite the paper assortments, as evidenced by the variety of finished blocks.

I love seeing the personalities of each of my friends shine through in the elements chosen for their block sets. Even more, I loved seeing my friends again, and we've agreed to do a new project together once a month. As soon as the weather warms up, the ladies will come to the farmhouse to play, too. We've missed each other, and this is the perfect excuse to make sure it's not so long between visits. I'm already looking forward to the next one.

January 30, 2022

January 29, 2022

All That Glitters...

My Completed Lucky Clover Pin

See that cheesy grin? That's the satisfied smile of someone who just completed approximately thirty hours of needle dancing to create a sparkling Lucky Clover Brooch class piece. 

I sent photos off to my instructor, Clara, who immediately posted them in her Instagram account (@clarastitching). She was full of praise for my first effort, and I reciprocated with a full critique of her awesome teaching skills. I also told her I'd gladly take another class from her. (She gave us a hint in our last class session, and we all told her she has to teach the piece she showed us!)

Lucky Clover Brooch - Front and Back

Here are closeup photos of my brooch. Rather than using felt for the back, I chose to use cork fabric instead. (BTW - What a perfect use for all the little scrap pieces I have!) Of course, I had to add a tiny acorn to the back of mine as a little label.

So, there you have it. It's not perfect, but it's a first effort at a new technique. I wasn't expecting it to be perfect - even though I did my best. I am proud of what I created, and know what to do differently next time. I'll treasure this one as my first gold work piece, and I'll definitely be starting another piece soon. I have all kinds of ideas swimming around in my head...and supplies already in transit to my studio.

I'm heading to Portage, Wisconsin today. Remember, I lived there for eight years before I married Handsome. I have a dear friend, Linda (who I've written about before) there, as well as her daughter, Marie, Granddaughter Adrienne, and now a fourth generation. We're like family, our lives are so intertwined.

Today is a group craft day. I have no idea what we'll be working on. It's my first time attending, but I know that someone usually chooses the theme/project, and gathers all the supplies. I can't wait to see what we'll be making! I'll tell you all about it next week.

Have a great Saturday!

January 28, 2022

Almost There...

Lucky Clover Brooch Project - Almost Ready To Cut Out

I know I said I wouldn't share more photographs until I was finished with my brooch, but I'm so close. I just had to share. Wow, do the check purls ever add a sparkle!

Only A Few More Purls To Add

All I have left is that one little area on the right side of this bottom petal. I'm going to complete that and then cut the clover out of the hoop to turn it into a brooch. I'll share the finished piece tomorrow. I'm so close to done, please cross your fingers that I don't mess it up at this stage. Coffee, then cut. Wish me luck with my Lucky Clover!

January 27, 2022

Class Night...

Lucky Clover Brooch, Ready For Class Session Two

My final class session was last night, and I was all caught up on my project. (The red arrows are pointing to the last step from the last class session.) I didn't stitch last night, choosing to take really good notes as I watched our teacher's instruction instead.

Clara demonstrated the final steps of stitching out the clover, and then showed us how to finish it into a brooch (or hair clip, for those who chose that option). Her instruction was detailed and informative...and completely enjoyable.

I have a hair appointment mid-afternoon today, but I'll be otherwise engaged in needle dancing when I'm home. I really want to complete this piece now.

I don't know if you're on Instagram, but if you are, consider following @clarastitching. If you love needlework, you'll enjoy watching Clara stitch. You'll also learn about upcoming classes there. I'm going to keep my eyes open for her next one, for sure!

I'll post final photos once if have all the rest of the stitching and finishing completed. I should be done by the weekend.

January 26, 2022

It's Me Again...

 Hi, Everybody (Again)!

Mom wants to apologize to you for droppin' the ball yesterday. So, here's what happened. Mom uses an editin' program for her videos called iMovie, on her ancient, circa-2009 computer. Those two things make for a fatal duo.

Mom did all the work to create her usual high quality pet videos, only to find that the dang thing wouldn't upload into YouTube, even though she gave it overnight to try. It stalled in her computer. I'm not gonna say she was miffed, but was she ever miffed!!

So, when she got up yesterday mornin', she decided to drag her hinder into the current decade and find out how all those teenagers are postin' such cool videos on Instagram. She ended up downloadin' an app called Videoshop™, and she started over again. 

So, without further ado, here's a better version of what she would have given to me yesterday to share with you:

 direct link: https://youtu.be/Dbq8E7Q0lO8
 Hope you think it was worth the wait. Personally, I think I'm adorable, albeit a little snarky.
Now, I can sign off for this week.

I'll see you again next Tuesday. 'til then... 

"Been There, Chewed That!"

January 25, 2022

Tuesdays With Tag - Heads Are Gonna Roll...

Coolin' My Heels

 Hi, Everybody!

I had a video planned for you today, but noooooooooo. The audio/video department here at the farmhouse failed to do their production part. As I sit writin' this, it's still uploadin' so I can embed it in my post. I'm more than a little peeved.

Soooo, Mom has promised me another day this week. As soon as she my videographer finishes the upload, I'll write a new post. Hopefully, that will be tomorrow. If not, I'll get a day after that. Sheesh. It's hard to get good help these days.

Super sorry for the inconvenience. I'm as bummed as you are.

I'll see you again very soon. 'til then... 

"Been There, Chewed That!"

January 24, 2022

Birthday Girl...

Happy Aunty Holding The Birthday Baby

This sweetheart - my great-great niece, W - turned one yesterday. There was a Birthday party with family, balloons, great food, and lots of little kids. I really enjoyed holding this baby, who only a few months ago was in her shy stage. Her big sister (in her terrible twos) still wants nothing to do with this aunty, but the Birthday baby was all smiles and cuddles for me today. squeee!

The Birthday Baby With Our Gift To Her

I chose to make a matching monogrammed pillow to the one I gave her big sister when she was a baby. This one had a slightly darker shade of pink than her sister's, and of course, the monogram letter was different. The nursery fabric was the same.

After all the hubbub died down, her mama said she was really hoping I'd make another for their second baby, as she'd loved the first pillow so much. She was really tickled to see it when they opened the package.

This is my studio photograph for my records. As I said above, I used the same nursery rhyme-themed fabric that I used for the pillow I made for her big sister. I love how it turned out, and I'm so happy that her parents love it, too. I knew I needed to make the second one when I saw a picture of their first child's bedroom with her pillow visible in a place of prominence.
I drove home from the party yesterday afternoon with a smile on my face. It was a sunny day for a drive, even though it was so cold. It was a perfect day to celebrate a Birthday, and spend a little time with family.
I have a few bookwork and housekeeping things to do in the studio today. It's supposed to get even colder tomorrow and Wednesday, so I'll make sure the Barn Girls have plenty of cold weather bedding to keep them warm out there. Tag has a few things in mind, too, so he'll tell you all about his activities tomorrow. I'll be back on Wednesday. I just heard the coffee maker, so I'm off to grab a cup!

January 23, 2022

January 22, 2022

Weekend Update...

Lucky Clover Brooch Goldwork Project In Progress

I'm on a roll now. I only have one more step to do to be finished with this week's lesson. I'll do that over the weekend - or at least by next Wednesday's session. 

My teacher put replacement check purl fiber in the mail to me yesterday, so I'll have it in plenty of time for our next (last) class. I can highly recommend Clara's classes. She's a great instructor, and she's very responsive to questions and/or concerns. The class is well worth the money. I'm learning a lot.

I hope you have a great weekend. We're currently in deep freeze mode, and the wind is beating against the farmhouse as I write this. I'll be attending a birthday party for a little great-niece who's turning one on Sunday. I'll tell you one thing. This girl is going to be bundled up for the drive to her home! 

January 21, 2022

Making Progress...

Lucky Clover Brooch Class Piece In Progress

I would have gotten further along had I not done the outline (the first time) in the wrong metal. sheesh I removed it, and then restitched in the correct purl, so I'll contact Clara today and purchase more of the fiber I ruined. I'll need it for next week's class. facepalm

Even so, I got back on track and now I'll progress to the next steps today. In spite of my error, I'm really enjoying this. More tomorrow.

January 20, 2022


Zoom Goldwork Class Setup

Last night was the first session of the "Lucky Clover" Zoom class I took to learn goldwork techniques. It's taught by M. Clara Warschauer. She's @clarastitching on Instagram. 

Our class was 1-1/2 hours long, and I spent much of the class taking notes and watching her techniques. I'll be doing my homework between now and the last session next Wednesday. 

Clara is right in saying that goldwork is easier than it looks. An added plus is that the gorgeous metal components really elevate wherever they're used. 

I'll share updates as I continue to work on my piece, and of course, you'll see the finished brooch. If you listen carefully, you might even hear me giggle as I work on it.

January 19, 2022

Whatever Handsome Wants...

Handsome's New Handknit Wool Cap
...Handsome gets.
After I finished my pair of socks, Handsome requested a new wool cap. I'd purchased a whole, beautiful, big ball of wool tweed yarn that - when woven - creates Harris tweed fabric. I doubled up the yarn and got to knitting.

The result? A new cap for Handsome - knit up in one day. It fits him well, and he loves it. It's supposed to get really cold(er) by Thursday, so he'll be able to road test it. I'll try to get a photo of him wearing it during daylight hours. He's so cute handsome.

Today is a bread baking day here. I'll take care of the Barn Girls first, then enjoy my first cup of coffee. I'll officially start my day after that.

January 17, 2022

Tuesdays With Tag - Winter Nappin'...

Who Can Resist My Adorableness?

Hi, Everybody!

It's been cold and snowin', so that means I'm toasty-warm and sleepin' in the house. I had no idea Mom was takin' my picture until she showed these to me. I couldn't even believe I look so adorable when I'm "checked out".  Come on, now. I only ask for honesty.

I Don't Even Snore!
I'm sorry I don't have anythin' excitin' for you this week. Mom was determined to finish those stoopid socks, so hangin' out with me took a back seat to that. Are you feelin' sorry for me? It's okay. I really do like sleepin' at Mom's feet while she "creates". 

Knittin' is especially nice, 'cuz she's not gettin' up and down and disturbin' me all the time, like she does when she sews. It's exhaustin' to have to get up, too, so I can see what she's doin'. This way, I can just veg...somethin' I do like a pro!

I think I'm gonna ask Mom if we can do somethin' special for next week's post. I know I must be borin' your socks off these days. I mean, just admirin' how handsome I am can't carry me every week! Thanks for visitin'. You know I've been waitin' just to give you a smooch. muaaah!

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then... 

"Been There, Chewed That!"

Possum Socks...

They're Finished!
As I write this post, I'm doing a happy dance in my finished socks! I completed my possum blend socks on Sunday (finally!), and immediately put them on.

Before I show me wearing them, I want to clarify something I needed to learn, too, about the critter that contributed to the composition of my yarn.

On the left of the image above is the North American Opossum - the only North American native marsupial. I have watched and fed them on our property since the first winter we owned the farmhouse. These are nocturnal and beneficial, eating up to 5,000 ticks each per season. They rarely carry rabies because of their low body temperature. They carry their babies in pouches, much like kangaroos, and they're docile - even though they look fierce when they're cornered. They'd sooner "play possum" than attempt to harm a dog, cat or human. I love them.

The New Zealand Possum on the right, is "A native of Australia, the southern hemispere possum is an introduced pest to NZ that destroys native wildlife, endangered birds, forests & spreads disease to livestock.  Heavy culling is required to keep possum numbers under control." (The copy in quotes is from the Skeinz website that produced this yarn.) The two skeins I received were a gift from my long-time friend, Marrianne, who lives in New Zealand. 

Now that I've cleared that up, I know you want to see my new socks!

They're A Perfect Fit!
As soon as I completed tucking in the tails from beginning and ending these socks, I slipped them on. They were a perfect fit.
I Love Them!
The yarn is a blend of wool, alpaca, nylon, and possum. The combination makes for a perfect sock yarn. They're so soft and warm...and I love the color.  Can you tell I love them? Squeeeee! I'm also very happy to be finished.

Handsome thought they were nice, too. I thought he'd be asking for a pair of socks, but rather, he asked me to make a warm winter cap for him. I have just the yarn and will share more later this week. For now, I'm going to enjoy this finish.

January 16, 2022

Sunday Scripture...

I Corinthians 16:13-14


January 15, 2022

Uncooperative Thumbs...

Knitting The Heel Flap

I'm knitting as much as my arthritic thumbs will allow. I knit until I can't and then I take a break. This sock would usually take me a day to knit, but my thumbs are howling after an hour or so. 

I knit; stop to take a break; knit; repeat. I'm trying not to be frustrated, but...sheesh. This issue usually goes away as quickly as it flares. Eventually, I'll be back to pain-free, but for now, my thumbs are giving me grief. I'll get this sock finished over the weekend, but my hopes for having it finished by today's post were dashed by my temperamental hands. Sorry to disappoint. These are really going to be beautiful...soon. I'll just keep plugging away as I'm able, and I'll aim to have them finished and photographed for Monday's post.

January 14, 2022


I Was Distracted!
I had so many plans for yesterday. I even made a list! Of those things on my list, I only managed to knit in the afternoon. That went well. sigh 

It started shortly after I got up. As I was getting dressed, I rconsidered the "DeClutter" plan I have for this year. My tiny farmhouse closet is overflowing. I decided to pull a number of pieces out of my closet and set them aside to give away or donate. Then, I went downstairs for my morning coffee. Plans were quickly modified.

Handsome had ideas for how to spend a portion of our day, and, considering how I put him off as I made Christmas gifts, I said, "Sure! Let's go." After coffee, feeding dogs and cats, and a bit of cleanup, we were on our way.

So, I'll try again today (she says, chuckling). I know I'll finish that sock. I'll share the pair with you tomorow. We'll see what else I accomplish after that. In the meantime, I hope you have something good planned for today and this weekend.

The Birthday Boy
Last, but certainly not least...Happy Birthday to Son #2. Today is his Birthday, and while we can't be together today, we will be soon so we can celebrate the anniversary of his birth.

January 13, 2022

Knitting Or Needlework...

My Current Embroidery In Progress

While yesterday was much warmer than Tuesday, it's still that season where Wisconsin is not as balmy as our former January days in Florida. That means, I'm more likely to spend my time indoors than out.

Sometimes it's no blessing to have so many options for occupying my time. (Of course, I say that tongue-in-cheek. My blessings overflow and for that, I'm grateful.) The top of the list right now would be completing either this embroidery or that second sock. 

Handsome and I had a lovely meal and visit with our neighbor, Mary Jane yesterday. We were invited for lunch, and it was late afternoon when we got back home. We had such a nice time, but by the time we took care of the dogs, it was time to make our evening meal (we usually eat at 7 pm). Then I caught up on a few other necessary tasks. As a result, I neither knitted nor embroidered.

I have studio work today, but I'm actually scheduling time for handwork so I'm not just spending time at the computer. I have items to list in my Etsy shop, which takes time. My alarm will go off to tell me when it's time to back away from that so I can play. Let's see if I can finish that sock.