Sunday 30 June 2024

The June Roundup.

Here we are at the end of another month. The end of June!  The year is half way done.
We here in the Southern hemisphere have passed the shortest day, so now the long slow climb back to summer begins. but first we must endure Winter. Brr, we had a good frost this morning. 
So what did I achieve in June? 
Once again I surprised myself and I am delighted with my accomplishments.
1) The Chookshed challenge.
This month was number 10 which for me meant I must make progress on my Papaver Pizazz project.
I'm happy to say that this project made great progress.
And a squirrel was born. 
It got stuck though.
Next up is my RSC Kiwi blocks.
They were quite late in the month, but they are done. 
Next on my list is to Cross stitch a Christmas ornament.
I have yet to complete Aprils ornament.
It wasn't completed in May, though it did progress.
No progress was made in June.
I'm also to make 15 minutes progress on something every day.
This I did do.
Each morning before work I have worked on my Windswept blocks.
The pile is nearly complete.
The block A pile that is, there are still blocks B and C to do.
I have also been doing a lot of crochet.
This is also being counted as my scrappy project at the moment as I am using up all manner of bits and pieces and leftovers.
My place mats also count as scrappy projects.
They were fun and bright to make. 
My final monthly goal is to try a new recipe.
I have a new book, so lots of new recipes have made it on to my wants to try list.
This book is a keto recipe book. Which we are told will be good for Tony to transition to when he comes off his carnivore diet. I am soooo looking forward to that day.
In preparation I have already begun to transition to a keto diet and have been trying out a few different things. Cutting out the carb rich foods has not been an issue, sugar was a challenge though!
I've been using stevia. The first time I try something using it there is a mental adjustment to make, but I soon get used to it.
So new recipes....
This first one is chocolate bark.
And an amazing, dense chewy chocolate brownie.
Which is amazing after I zap it in the microwave for a few seconds and serve with cream.
So that is my goals dealt with, what else have I done?
I had a sewing day with my pal Debbie and made progress on my spots and stripes EPP project.
And at work I made a paper doll.
A second doll is in progress.
And that was the month of June. 
I'm off to see what July will be about?

Wednesday 26 June 2024

Midweek Musings...

My paper doll is completed. There are one or two things I would try doing differently but overall I'm happy with her.
The residents craft group and many of my colleagues have stopped to admire her and a few of the resident ladies have expressed a wish to make their own. 
I'm sure she has a name, but she didn't tell me what it is yet.
More windswept blocks have been made. I have only a few more of block A to complete.
Then it's on to blocks B and C.
I'm very happy that I opted to make this my before work project. Most work days I manage to complete a block before I leave the house at 06.45.
A lovely way to begin the day.
Today I had to catch up on chores before I could play.
Once I got in to my room I pulled out one of my drawers of blue scraps and made up my RSC Kiwi blocks.
Very happy with these lil' chaps.
I was supposed to be cross stitching this afternoon, but ended up doing crochet instead.
If I'm going to complete an ornament this month I really do need to apply myself. 
That said, my crochet is coming along nicely. LOL
DD in law Lee was here with the children at the weekend, she had finished sewing her hexagons together and wanted direction on what to do next.
We pulled papers then I found an off cut of batting and a backing fabric, then I left her pinning while I went to see to lunch and spend time with the little people.
After lunch I sorted out the tools for hand quilting.
I gave her a very quick lesson before they all climbed in to the car and waved goodbye.
For someone who has never done this before, and got the briefest of explanations about how to go about it from me, who has also never done big stitch hand quilting before, I think she is doing an excellent job.
Next time she visits I think we will be turning her quilted piece into a cushion cover.
That's my news update.
Two more days off, I still have some chores to complete, but plenty of play time too.
What to do?

Sunday 23 June 2024

This, that and some other things.

I've had a busy week. I made some changes to my Poppy quilt top. See the first full flower, next to the bud? I didn't get it aligned correctly with the stem and it was yelling at me. As the flowers and stems are vliesofixed in place I couldn't unpick and move anything. 
What to do?
I decided that another stem, correctly aligned was the way to go. OK so now I have two stems going up to one flower, but maybe the extra one has a bud hiding behind that big bloom. LOL I can live with that a lot easier than my previous effort.
You should never have an even number of flower stems, so I decided to add an extra bud also.
Much better, now to get on with layering and quilting.
Still thinking about that.....
Progress has been made on my ripple crochet. It looks more colourful in real life.
It's a very dull day here and difficult to get a nice photo.
At work we do crafts and other activities with the residents. I came across a video on facebook and decided to have a try...
She is made of rolled newspaper. I still have a long way to go. I'm hoping that after a practice I can help some of the ladies make their own paper doll.
Yesterday I spent the day at Debbie's house. The boys were away at a concert so we girls got together for a stitchy day. I took along my spots n stripes EPP as it really needed some love. I made up a bunch of hexie blocks.
And also added another row and a bit on to the top.
Again, sorry about the poor photo, it really isn't a nice day here.
Tired of stitching I also spent some time cutting and basting the border pieces. 
The speed I'm going at, the end is in sight, a long way away, through a telescope, but in sight. LOL
While I was doing that, Debbie was busy with some fabric that she has had for many years. She didn't say how many, but I'm guessing at over ten, so nicely matured. There was only the pattern in her head, and her fabric bundle. She asked for a little help to figure out what size to make the sashing pieces then set to work sewing up a storm.
It was quilted and she had started to close the binding before we said goodnight. I just had a message saying she was just about finished. She kept the quilting simple so as not to take anything away from the beautiful Japanese images on each of the blocks.
A quilt in a day.
It was a great day and we hope to have another soon. 


Sunday 16 June 2024

Mid Month progress.

So how am I doing on my list of goals for June?  Mid month is a good time to check things over.
Yesterday was club day, I took along a wee kit to make up some of my place mats. I only got one made.
I was busy chatting with the other ladies. Only one other lady opted to make mats using my pattern, but once they saw how easy they are to make and how pretty they can turn out others said they would make some too. One lady said that she was planning a huge colourwash bed quilt using the same technique.
Can't wait to see that.
So as you see I used some Kaffe scraps for this one and I have more than enough left to make more.
I didn't make my RSC Kiwi yet, but I'll get to them soon.
I just needed to clear some space on the table.
With that in mind I have spent a lot of today working on the applique poppies which are my Chookshed Challenge this month.
Very happy with my progress. 
I was watching another lady at club yesterday as she did some free motion applique/quilting.
I hope I learned enough to get this one over the line. Maybe even by the end of the month.
While I was tossing and turning at dark silly O'clock this morning my mind wandered to a bundle of blue and white squares that came to me in a bundle of someone else's scraps. Two rows of four had already been sewn together. 
A squirrel was born in the wee small darks hours and once I had completed the applique on the black and white quilt, out came the squares and before I knew the squirrel was in progress. The flowers on the black and white quilt are way too big for this piece, but I knew I had another pattern that would do just the trick.
As you can see I still have some leaves to add and maybe a bud.
I'll also need to look out a good border fabric.
That's as far as those two go today.
I have been making windy blocks before work, I'm very happy that I opted to keep that going. 
My cross stitch has grown, but only a little.
The crochet is growing steadily.
And I've tried not one but three new recipes!
A pal who is moving house was having a sort out and gifted me some new recipe books, very inspiring. More about that another time.

Friday 14 June 2024

Spot the Difference?

 My Chookshed Challenge has made progress this week.
You last saw it as a sad UFO freshly pressed after I had pulled it out of it's hidey hole.
All the leaves are now appliqued in place and even the first flower and a bud.
I'm rather pleased with how things are going.
Other projects have also progressed.
My crochet is growing and doing a great job of keeping my lap warm on these cooler days and evenings.
My cross stitch ornament has also grown a little, and I plan to do more once I am done here. 
Tomorrow is club day, I have two projects ready in bags, firstly some kits to make up my placemats as I am to do a quick workshop on those and also some EPP.
My poor Spots and stripes project has been somewhat neglected, maybe I'll make a little progress. 
That's my news, now I'm off to line up Bridgeton and refresh myself of the goings on in preparation for watching season three, while I cross stitch.

Tuesday 11 June 2024

I Found Wally!

Hmm.  Blogger what have you done to my picture?
Why is it so small?
I used the same device and settings that I always use but for some reason my image has shrunk!
Grrr Blogger!
Anyway grumbles aside this image is all I have to show for a weeks worth of crafting.
I have made some more of my Windy blocks and added them to the pile but aside from that I have mostly been busy with my crochet.
I'm using a basket full of yarn that I scored in a local Facebook page and also some that I scored at work.  The resulting blanket will go to work and keep someone warm. 
While my hands were busy hooking I was watching TV. The famous Isle of Man TT races have just taken place and Tony and I watched keenly. We do miss the races. This year we were watching the crowds as well as the bikes. We were looking for a very distinctive hat and jacket.
And we spied the jacket on the very last day.
See over there in the crowd, just above the greeny yellow M, there is a pair of lime green arms, holding up a red phone to take a photo......
That is our very own Janice. The writer of Jannimary blog and current tourist on the island of my birth my home for 45 years. 
In a recent post Janice asked, Where's Wally?
I found Wally!
I didn't manage to see Micks hat though, but I'm sure he wasn't far away.
There you have it, that's my news.
I'm off work with a very sore throat at the moment. Maybe that will give me more sewing time! 
I'm off to see if my brain can cope with cross stitch today.

Tuesday 4 June 2024

June Goals.

 My goals really don't change that much each month. The main change is the Chookshed Challenge.
This month that is #10 and as I mentioned in my last post for me that means I must do some work on a UFO. Papaver Pazazz.
I fell in love with this design as soon as I saw it and bought the pattern. Tony bought the fabrics as a Christmas gift in 2020 and I made a start is 2021.
I didn't get far. There are a lot of bias edges in the back ground which I had thought were awful, I was convinced they had more waves than the pacific, but now they don't appear to be too bad. LOL
The leaves were also a bit of an issue, with lots of wiggly edges. I tried to do blanket stitch and spent a lot of time picking it out. Then I tried just a straight stitch, I wasn't happy with that either, but now that I look again, while not the effect I want, it is perfectly ok so I will continue.
Not the greatest image, sorry it is still dark here but I want to get this post written so had to get a quick photo.
So that is goal number one. Not necessarily a finish, but definitely progress.
Goal number two.
RSC Kiwi.
Blue this month.
I'm sure I can find one or two oddments of blue. LOL
Goal number three.
Finish last months secret ornament.
And hopefully get another one done too.
Goal Number four.
On work days, make one block for my windswept quilt before I go out of the door.
Work at least 15 mins each day on a hand project.
EPP Cross stitch, crochet, what ever. 
And here is a pic of my latest crochet project.
I was given a basket full of yarn all weights and plys some full balls some mere scraps.
I said that I would make up a blanket to donate at work. It's not going to be terribly pretty but it will keep someone warm. I'm using Lucy at Attic 24's Neat Ripple Pattern.
I do like Lucy's patterns and her tutorials are excellent, I learned a lot from her when I was first starting crochet. I have used this pattern before and have to say I'm enjoying working with it again.
Goal Number five.
Work on a scrap project.
Well my ripple crochet fits in to this category.
I should hopefully be able to attend club this month and I'm the tutor!
I'll be talking the ladies through how to make my placemat design.
I'd like to get some more samples made up and have some kitted ready to sew along with the ladies.
Another scrap project I'd like to achieve this month is to make some bowl cosies.  I have colleagues asking for them. 
Goal Number six.
Last but not least...
Try a new recipe.
I've been busy on Pinterest. When the carnivore is done with his carnivore diet he thinks he might like to try keto. At least that is a diet I could join him on! So I have been pinning a few keto recipes. I may give some of them a try this month, though Tony still has a few weeks of his carnivore diet to go.
For those who have asked he is doing well, much better than I expected. 

His typical day starts with two slices of bacon and two scrambled eggs with a few shreds of grated cheese.
Lunch today is two cold sausages. (Not strictly carnivore due to the fillings but after a chat with our butcher he decided they would be ok).
For tea tonight he will be having pork fillet and some more eggs.
For snacks during the day he makes jerky.
We looked at shop bought jerky but it all has added sugar and flavourings. So he purchased a dehydrator and makes his own. 1 kg of topside beef per week is thinly sliced then thoroughly salted and peppered and spends 5-8 hours in the dehydrator.
He also has ice cream. We tried making one using our food processor, it was ok but he found it very firm so an ice cream maker was also purchased. The results from that are much better.
No, not bacon or beef flavoured. LOL
We use 500 ml thick cream, 4 egg yolks and a pinch of salt. Tony also cheats and adds a tea spoon of vanilla. In to the churn it goes and 10 minutes later he has lovely looking soft churn ice cream. 

New gadgets aside it is not a cheap diet and not something that we could afford for him to stay on for life. A kilo of beef stewing meat with added veg etc. used to serve us 5-6 meals, now it serves three to Tony. Keto will also have an added cost, those alternative flours and sweeteners are of course more expensive than plain old flour and sugar!
I'll keep you up to date with how things are going and of course I'll try to remember to share any great new recipes I find. 
Daylight is finally here, I'm off for a walk. 

Monday 3 June 2024

Chook Shed Challenge June.

My Chookshed project for #10 is to make progress on my Papaver Pizazz Quilt top.
I've actually gotten a little further that what you see on this image.
This is just the last photo I took.
I have the stems in place and have sewn on the first two leaves.
I wasn't enjoying the applique and there was a wave in the back ground which is why it found itself abandoned in a box.
Maybe a revisit will kindle a little love for it. 
Wish it luck.
So far all I did was pull it out and give it a good press. 
Of course I'll also continue to make progress on my Windswept quilt top.

Sunday 2 June 2024

May Round Up.

The month of May started with a burst of creativity. I pulled out my Debbie Mumm scraps and discovered I had made more blocks that I remembered.
It really didn't take long for me to make a few more blocks and complete the top.
Then things slowed down a lot!
I made some more of my scrappy placemats and wrote a requirements list and tutorial.
I made time to sew my RSC pink Kiwi foundation paper blocks.
Throughout the month I have continued to make up my scrappy triangle blocks and put some of them together making up a small quilt panel, planning to add borders, but after a day or two of thinking about it, I added some more blocks before the borders went on.
Much better.
Very happy to have a second completed top this month.
On a roll with finishes I completed the crochet blanket I started last year for my son and his lovely lady.
It is good to have it complete.
It was a close call though, look how much yarn was left.
I also found time to make progress on my Chook shed challenge, I've made up quite a few blocks.
These have now moved in to my morning slot and will hopefully progress nicely as I make up blocks before going to work.
I also tried out a new recipe.
This chocolate and peppermint slice was delicious.
I will definitely be making this one again.
Here's a linky if you are interested.

Is it just me or has blogger changed the way it does linkys now?  

Every day I managed to put in a minimum of 15 minutes of something stitch related.
And I have worked on three scrap projects.

One final note on my May progress.
I didn't manage to complete my cross stitch ornament.
So on that note, I need to go and find my June  Chook shed project and write a post about my June plans.