Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Things

I've been working on the Santa cross stitch, but I took some time to knit candy corn:

The pattern is from the Purl Bee (here).  I made mine using the recommended yarns, which I purchased last year, so I don't know if they are still available.  I had to use tiny double pointed needles to make this, which required much concentration, and resulted in much sweating and start-overs, but the end product isn't too shabby. Not as lovely as the samples on the Purl Bee website, but I am always happy when I expand my knitting skills.

Our apple trees bore so much fruit this year!  There are still so many apples on the trees, but they're beyond edible now.  Still pretty to look at, though.

Fall colors are so glorious right now.  I wish this season would last just a bit longer.  This is my view as I stand at my kitchen sink:

It's hard to tell in the photo, but outside I see bright yellow leaves and shiny red apples against an old worn wooden fence.

This room on the back of my house was originally a screened-in porch, but a previous homeowner converted it to a year-round room.  When that happened, my kitchen lost its one exterior wall, and the window over the sink became a pass-through.  I don't love having my kitchen in the middle of the house.  It's a little bit dark and doesn't get any natural light, but thanks to the pass-through, I do get a nice view of the family room and beyond it to the backyard while I work in the kitchen.

That chair the cat is sitting on is new.  Before I had kids, I had a plant stand there.  When my son was born I realized my plants were toxic, so I got rid of those and put a play mat there.  During the toddler years, we had a child-sized table and chairs there. When they outgrew that, I put a short craft and game table there.  That table was so short you had to sit on the floor to use it!  Over the years that became a clutter magnet.  My daughter piled so much stuff on it she could never find anything.  The final straw was when my husband stacked two huge rubbermaid containers there, filled with rock specimens for science olympiad. That area was a big junk pile in the room, and it stressed me out.  This summer I made my daughter clean her mess, and I donated the table.  I made my husband move the rubbermaid containers to the basement.  And I bought a swivel chair! Which apparently is for the cat...

Anyway, I like my view from the kitchen sink, both of my cleaned up family room, and also of my colorful fall backyard.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My next project

This is a photo of the kit, not the stitched piece itself

 I bought this kit a long time ago and never got around to stitching it.  The time has come!  It suits my mood right now for something traditional and basic, using DMC and regular old Aida.  I love the colors in this one.  My only issue is how I will finish Santa's mustache and beard.  The instructions call for gluing on those loops.  I'm not going to do that!

My kids are too old for this to excite them.  Either I will stitch it and save it for grandkids, or I will give it to my niece, who does have a little one who will be excited by Santa.

This is not my only project right now.  I have a crochet scarf I need to finish, another I'd like to start, and I have my eye on two knitting projects.  Oh, for more hours in the day!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What to do with old needlework

My daughter and I are collaborating on this Dr. Who cross stitch from Wee Little Stiches.  She is stitching the doctors, and I am stitching the TARDIS.  She is still a beginning stitcher, and while her work is very nice, it takes her a long time to stitch.  The TARDIS is very dense and, dare I say, tedious (lots of filling in of the same color), so I offered to do it because I want to keep her motivated.  She worked on the eleventh doctor first, and as she started him she said to me "I can't wait to stitch his fez!" That is a true stitcher's spirit!  There are always parts of cross stitch charts I look forward to working on more than other parts.

My daughter is slowly making over her bedroom.  We removed a bookshelf and replaced it with a desk.  We found some artwork to replace the pictures of fairies she had hanging on the walls, and now she is making this Dr. Who piece.  One of the things she removed from her room is this fairy cross stitch I made for her in 2007.  Honestly, it seems like I just sent that off for framing, but it's already been six years and she's outgrown it.

I struggle with handling outgrown needlework, not just stuff I made for the kids, but things I made for myself that no longer fit into my home.  Some pieces are obvious keepers, but other things I don't know how to handle.  Should I donate these things to the thrift shop without a backward glance?  Hang on to them as if they were precious heirlooms?  Try to sell them on ebay or etsy?  (I have never sold anything online before, and actually, I probably couldn't sell any of the cross stitch legally because of pattern copyright issues.)  What do you do with handmade things that you no longer feel a need to keep?

I also wanted to ask how everyone is liking their new reader now that Google Reader is gone.  I switched to Feedly as soon as Google announced Reader was going away, but I found it a little cluttered and confusing to navigate. (That may be my age speaking!)  I then tried Bloglovin, which I found easier to navigate, but just the other day I looked at my feed on Feedly and saw some really recent posts from quiet blogs that never showed up in my Bloglovin.  I wonder if Bloglovin works like Facebook and chooses what to show you, rather than just showing you everything.  At the risk of sound old and crotchety, I would like Google Reader back, and also the old Flickr, please.  Things change too quickly, updates tick me off, and I want the pace of change to slow the heck down.

One final question:  I've noticed that photos are disappearing from some of my earlier blog posts.  Does anyone know why that would happen?  Am I maybe running out of storage space on blogger?  I need tech support!