Saturday, January 25, 2020

Wool Box surprise ....!

I subscribed to a bi monthly (every other month) wool box from Primitive Gatherings. I figured, who doesn't like a surprise! I enjoy working with wool and Primitive Gatherings designs ... win win situation!

The surprise comes in a lovely box.
Not to ruin the surprise, I'll show you the second box I received.
Lots of fun stuff to work on.

Fast forward to today ..... I am about to receive the January box and I haven't touched the three (3) boxes I've already received.

Goodness, perhaps I ought to do something about it. So, to calm the practical me, I started the main project that was in the November box ... Winter in Wisconsin
Such a cute wool mat!

What have you been up to?

Thanks for stopping by. Catch you all later!

Knit whit!

A while back I posted about a sweater I was going to knit for myself.

Well, I found this cute yarn shop in Montreal called Espace Tricot, which is where I purchase the perfect yarn for this project ... an ethically sourced yarn from France. It's lovely to the touch!

It had been quite sometime since I had knitted and was amazed at how the sweater construction had changed. When I knitted many moons ago, I did it in five (5) pieces ... today, it's done in one piece. How cool is that?
The part I disliked the most about knitting was stitching the pieces together ... what an incentive to start knitting again! lol

I have completed the body and sleeves of the sweater and now, I don't know if I'm pleased with the way it turned out. Keep in mind that it hasn't been blocked and I still need to stitch the collar and pockets.
I would have liked a looser fitting sweater ... this is more of a fitted sweater. It fits nicely, just not loose.

Before I take it apart, I will ponder on it for a bit. Perhaps I need to completely finish it before I even think of doing the drastic!

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your day! Cheers1

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Beauty all around ...!

As evident from my lack of blog post throughout 2018 and 2019, I did not get a lot of quilting projects done. As a matter of fact, the quilt Beauty All Around just sat there. I had blogged about the machine quilting back in October 2018, as part of my "UFO Completion" project .... and there it sat, untouched.

Heck, I even forgot to blog about its completion!

In early 2019, I did gather the energy to actually sew the binding on.
And, manage to get a bit of the binding hand sewn ... 
But there it sat for quite some time until ... I picked it back up in July 2019
I was determined to mark this project "done". Seriously, wasn't it time I finally completed this quilt. I was so close. I cranked up the a/c ... like who wants a warm quilt on their lap in the middle of summer ... and got stitchin'.

Voila .... completed!
Can you imagine being so close and yet just letting sit there. Well, I'm glad I finally said enough is enough and got it done.

Sometimes we forget why we set a project aside ... for me I let life get in the way. I've also come to understand that when life gets challenging, it's important to not forget what makes us happy ... and for me creativity is my happy place. When I create, whether is is writing or quilting, it provides a place of sanity, a peaceful space. I hope you have found your place of sanity during your challenging times ... that's when it's the most crucial ... regaining a sense of peace during times of unrest.

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your creative outlet whatever it may be! Cheers!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

I made pizza .... From scratch!

I've been re-watching some baking classes I purchased from Craftsy. I though it was high time I practice what I have been learning.

I used the pizza dough recipe from Richard Miscovich's book From the Wood-Fired Oven
I love cookbooks ... more particularly, cookbooks that are personal ... that have a story to tell ... For me the recipes are somewhat secondary .... I just love to learn about other people's passion. I do not have a wood-fired oven but I do have an electrical oven that works amazingly. 

The recipe I used had a five (5) hour bulk fermentation (yes I used my handy dandy proofer) and let me tell you it makes all the difference in taste. I also used an autolyse ... meaning I incorporated the yeast and salt at a later time.

The toppings .... whatever I had in my fridge ... so it became a vegetable pizza!

The result .... Voila!
It looks a tad wonky on the right because .... let's just say I need to practice using a peel! No, it did not roll off the peel like in the movies! lol

Here is a side view ... check out that crust!
OMG, it was delicious .... whipped out the butter and ate the crust!

I have learned that the trick to a perfectly cooked pizza is a high oven temperature and a bread/pizza stone. I purchase my stone at King Arthur Flour (one of my favourite stores). It was a tad more expensive than other places but the stone is made in the USA and I didn't have to worry about any strange chemicals used to fabricate the stone.

Contrary from what most people think, bread/pizza or any other type of baking from scratch is really not that complicated .... and the results are out of this world.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in cyberspace. Catch you all later! Cheers!

Monday, January 13, 2020

Technology and my old Bernina 180 .....!

I remember buying an embroidery machine many many moons ago thinking I wanted to get into machine embroidery. So I purchased a Bernina Artista 180 ..... Yea, this is going way back.

I even purchased the fancy dandy Bernina Embroidery software Designer Plus Version 5. I mean ... I was going to get into it.

Well, I didn't. I found I needed to babysit the machine because .... every time I walked away something happened and a mess needed to be fixed. So, I started to use it mainly for making labels.

This fancy dandy embroidery software was back in the days of Microsoft XP. We're going way back and since I only use it for labels, why upgrade to the latest version .... Right?

Fast forward to today, this technology is considered archaic .... ancient .... but I still would like to use it. My old Compaq Evo N800C laptop that is programed to function with this machine is also archaic ... We're talking like ..... over 18 years old ... but it still functions well and has an amazing screen resolution. It was "top of the line" way back when I purchased it.

As you might have guessed, things are starting to fall apart ... like the USB ports. Back then it was all parallel ports .... so I need to use a USB to parallel port adapter.

I only have two (2) USB ports in the back of the laptop. And now, one of the USB ports on old faithful no longer works. I need two (2) ports for machine embroidery ... one for the USB to parallel mechanism and one for the software dongle.

I tried figuring the COM port on another newer laptop that still runs on XP but I could not get it to work. The driver software was no longer available for the Belkin USB to parallel port mechanism.

I seriously thought I would need to say goodby to machine embroidery .... I could not justify buying a new embroidery machine just for labels ....

I did a search for a USB hub that would work with Microsoft XP. Found this little baby ....

Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub .... why not give it a try. Seriously, what do I have to lose?

Well, wouldn't you know it it works!

Now I have access to four (4) USB ports .... and check this out! It's in direct communication with the machine!

OMG ... I'm stitching

I am such an happy camper .... I can still use my old Bernina 180 for embroidery along with Old Faithful.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in cyberspace and I do hope this post helps someone in the same situation I was in.

Catch you all later!  Cheers!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

A new project .....

A colleague at work became a grand mother for the first time. What better excuse to get the creative quilting juices flowing?!

I gathered all of my 1930's (feedsack) reproduction fabrics and became inspired to create ... the friendship star.

Which then turned into this ....

Time to fire up Penelope for the first time. I was a bit nervous not having played with her for so long ....  It was like riding a bicycle lol

It all came back to me.

What a great day it was! The quilt is machine quilted and the binding is ready to be hand stitched.

So glad Penelope is back in my life.

What have you been up to?
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