April 28, 2017

A Needle Pulling Thread

I know it's hard to believe that it's not all knitting, all the time around here. There is actually quite a bit of machine and hand sewing going on as well. I'm even considering a pretty serious upgrade to my sewing machine which is about 15 years old but is in good condition and is quite serviceable. Upgrading is really not my specialty. I usually leave that to my Sweet Man who is famous for it. I'm the make-do-with-what-I-have-until-it-doesn't-work-anymore-because-I-can't-justify-replacing-something-that-is-perfectly-fine girl. Methinks that is about to change.

But I digress. I've been making a point to carve out time for embroidery lately and thought I'd share some of my favorite tools and supplies. There is something very soothing for me, about creating something with fiber and my hands. I sit with my hoop and floss or my needles and yarn and my blood pressure immediately lowers. Add a cat in my lap, a cup of tea and a favorite movie or podcast and I am practically asleep.

I have mentioned before how much I love Creative Bug. For $5 a month you have access to all kinds of classes. I put my membership on hold for a little while but was able to save a certain number of classes including Rebecca Ringquist's embroidery class. I've been embroidering since I was a wee girl but there is still plenty to learn. For instance, I was doing the backstitch wrong. What? It's possible that it's too late to change that but I'm enjoying learning all the stitches I didn't even know existed.

These are some of my current favorite hand stitching books although I have several more that I really love. Flora and Fauna are actually magazines that have a selection of crafty projects. You may still be able to get these back issues here.

Here are some things I love for embroidery:

Samplers by Pam Garrison, Charlotte Lyons and Rebecca Ringquist.
This clover hoop.
Needle Minders by Cynthia Cranes Pottery
Artbin sliding lid storage boxes
Frixion pens which disappear with the swipe of your iron.
A pretty place to store all of your supplies. This felt house is from Wisteria but was purchased many years ago and is likely no longer available.

By the way, no part of this post is sponsored. I just thought you might like to see what I enjoy using. There is something about trying a new craft or technique that just fires up my creativity. I have so many ideas that I can't wait to try. Of course to find the time I will need to put the knitting needles down more often. I'm not sure how realistic that is.

April 19, 2017

Gatherings and Celebrations

I'm finally getting around to sharing a bit of Emma's Murder Mystery birthday party. The hostess worked hard to create the evening with character descriptions, storylines and subplots. I couldn't wrap my head around it. Clue is my least favorite game of all time. It honestly just confuses me and makes me angry. I was clearly not the one to help plan this part of the evening but Emma had it well in hand. This was the perfect party for a writer to plan.

She did a great job planning and was also a huge help to me the entire day. My only tasks were goody bags, decorations and food. Oh and serving the party of 11 their three course meal. Perhaps not as easy and relaxing as it may sound.

The party was a huge success and the highlight had to be when the first of the two victims fell off her seat onto the floor and startled us all. Even Emma who had written it into the evening was surprised.
It was hilarious.

Daddy also got into character as the Butler and looked so adorable in his bow tie that it is going to be required attire now.

It really was so much fun. Exhausting but fun. As her group of friends continues to grow I have no idea how we are going to keep having these parties at our house. Although, I have to admit I'd miss it and she is always so grateful for all of the hard work involved and loves hosting her friends and they in turn love being hosted.

Her party seemed to usher in the season of socializing. Our many beloved months of hibernating and dropping out of the social scene are over. We loved every moment but we love this too. I think the balance is good for us.

The weather has changed here and it's warmer than usual for this time of year. The flowers and trees are blooming earlier and we have been able to spend some time in our favorite outdoor spaces. Weekend coffee and tea at the bistro table is always a pleasure.

We welcomed some friends over for appetizers and drinks last Friday before walking to Main Street for dinner. We dragged some furniture outside and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. The evening was everything we have come to love about life in our Village.

Sunday was Easter and the Easter Bunny came for a visit leaving behind books that required immediate attention. Em was all too willing to oblige.

She did manage to take a break for the annual competitive Easter egg hunt with her sister who was feeling under the weather. Hunting for eggs is serious business when there is money hiding in some of the eggs.

We had Easter brunch at the same restaurant we had dinner at earlier in the weekend. These are our 3 girls. The one in the middle is our oldest daughter, Sarah, who you've never met. She wasn't actually ours until a couple of years ago when she became Maddie's roommate. She is ours permanently now.

We were joined later in the day by our friends-who-are-practically-family for another egg hunt, dinner and some flinging-army-parachute-men-from-the-treehouse. Traditions. As much as I love the hibernating season, I love spending time with these people we have collected and surrounded ourselves with. They are truly like family we have chosen and I can't imagine our lives without them. They are what gives meaning to the gathering and celebrating. 

I want to take a moment to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the kind words you shared on my last post. We continue to be devastated by our loss. It's incredible the amount of things that remind us of her.  So many daily examples of how very loved and important she was in our lives. Our memories of her are wonderful but feel like small consolation right now.