Goals for 2018

Happy New Year! If you have made it this far, you are to be commended. I worked my 12-hour shift on New Year’s Eve and am glad to spend time with family. Our plans are pretty simple for the 1st. DH is off work when I am for the first time in several years so we have some brief shopping to do. We need to find 1-2 plants for his new office at work and an air-tight container for the basmati rice after we open the bag.  DS gave me a rice cooker/steamer/slow cooker for Christmas and we have already tried Jasmine rice. DD loves it as the rice came out like her favorite sticky rice. There was a small amount left after the first trial of cooking rice this way so I grabbed it to make a carrot/rice/peanut butter loaf for lunch on Sabbath.

We are also taking DD and DS out for the new Star Wars movie (tickets through my work) and a meal. Tentative plans are to try out Blaze Pizza that has just moved into our area.

Goals in no particular order:

  • On the 1st and 15th of each month – continue with ornaments until August 2018 when I will begin Brooke’s Books Advent Animals on the 1st and the 15th of each month to be made into ornaments. Most of the kitting up is complete for the next four months with the exception of one Dinky Dyes skein and a few beads. January also will include the ornaments from December 2017 that were not stitched.
  • On the 1st and 15th of each month – crochet 1-2 pieces of Nativity set with BFF.
  • FFO all ornaments by Thanksgiving.
  • Continue to work on DS’s Christmas stocking which I have started on 28 count MCG evenweave in white. My goal is to complete the cross stitching and then FFO this stocking as well as DD’s.
  • Restart DH’s Christmas stocking on matching 28 count MCG evenweave in white. DH has his stocking but it was originally stitched 25+ years ago on 18 count Aida and is much smaller than DD’s and DS’s. It is another one from the Cross Stitch and Country Crafts needlework magazine and I have to find another copy of the pattern as my copy has vanished. 😦 If I am really lucky I might also get this one done.
  • On the 1st of each month, start and hopefully finish by the last day of the same month – knit one pair of socks for myself. My sock drawer has one pair of wool socks, one pair of wool footies, and one pair of cotton socks. Everyone else in the family is good with wool socks so I am going to use up some of my sock yarn and fill my drawer. New Year’s Day will need to be used to continue with some lovely two-at-a-time socks I started in 2017 and also kitting up 11 skeins and patterns for the remainder of the year.
  • Cross stitch monogram fairies on wishlist. These cannot be shared because of who reads my blog. 🙂 The first pattern and fabric need to be ordered, especially since one is on sale.
  • Start and finish a quilt that is king size so we can use it as a bedspread. Pattern has not been chosen yet, so this may end up going on my Goal Wishlist below.

Note: One major Pathfinder event in March could hold up some of the above goals, but that is perfectly fine. I will work around that.

Note 2: Going back to college will not happen in August as DH has started his Master’s program and combined with two kids in college at least through December 2018, someone needs to be able to keep everything else going. DD has indicated that she is tired of school and so is taking three classes this semester and three in the fall and hoping to finish by December 2018. DS will still be in college in 2019 so for now I am not sure if I will begin in January 2019 or not. Stay tuned.

Goal Wishlist (this depends on time and energy):

  • Complete Christmas shopping/crafting for 2018 by Thanksgiving 2018. Shop a bit each month.
  • Knit sweater ornaments for Christmas tree – one per month – from scraps.
  • Finish sweaters for DD (only part of a sleeve and weaving in ends left) and DS (barely started on sleeves).
  • Knit cardigan and vest sweater for myself to help wardrobe.
  • Crochet Caron Cakes handbag.
  • BFF and I want to learn how to make hairpin lace. For me it is the last part of the Advanced Crochet Honor that I have not completed to receive the patch.
  • Plant early spring garden, summer garden, and potentially fall garden. Maintain, harvest, and process results.

I think it is best to stop there. All of this will need to be transferred to my Goal Calendar (personal handmade booklet for notes) and I need to kit up the various items that are for specific times. Hopefully I will be able to post once or twice a month as to how this is going and if it is not ambitious enough or too ambitious. Any more often would be “icing” because I don’t want to cut into my crafting time any more than I have to for normal personal activities that are not crafting. If the preparatory work is done, there is a good chance I will meet my goals. Wish me luck as I am sure I will need it.


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End of the Year 2017

Happy New Year’s Eve! Another busy year has snuck by before I knew it. A lot has been accomplished and while not all goals have been met, many have been finished. Since my last post much has kept me busy which has kept me from posting, so we will finish up this year and hope that 2018 will see more consistent posting from this corner of the internet.

Thanksgiving was a busy but thankful day. A shift was covered at my work and DH pulled a shift at his work. However, thanks to some careful planning by all we were able to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner in the evening.

Black Friday was largely ignored as DH had to work and neither DS or DD wanted to brave the crowds. A quick trip to the grocery store for food for the coming week was all I was willing to brave. Other extended family and friends went out and braved the crowds, but we chose to either shop online or not at all.

Cross stitching continued on a pillow top for a Christmas for DSIL. It is very hard to make something for her and I didn’t really want to purchase a gift when there is plenty to use in my stash. Since she is a fan of all things “Jane Austen”, I finally stitched up the freebie from the Gazette64 website and made it into a pillow for her bed. She was very pleased with it. 20171223_154102This project was started on November 14 and has now been gifted. The fabric is a scrap of 18 count Aida with DMC colors 157, 162, 211, 310, 321, 333, 742, 744, 794, 813, 824, 869, 919, 951, 966, 3078, 3706, 3713, and 3815. Cotton fabric was cut into strips and added to all sides with a solid lavender back. The lace was a scrap that I had in my sewing stash and the buttons were from my button box. A 12″ x 16″ pillow form is in the middle.

During this same time when I was working on this project, I started and finished the ornament from Prairie Moon. This ornament was completed on November 20. 20171120_205631This one was a challenge to complete on 14 count Fiddlers Cloth and if I were to stitch it again, I would complete it on an 28 count evenweave or linen. The colors were all of the called-for DMC as listed in the 2008 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue.

Unfortunately after this ornament, I was unable to complete my goals for the 2017 year:

  • Two more ornaments on the 1st and 15th of December
  • FFO all of the ornaments stitched for the 2017 year
  • FFO DD’s stocking

The two ornaments have been moved to January 2018 and hopefully I will complete them as well as the two slated for the 1st and 15th of January. Fabric and supplies have been purchased during the sale at Joann Fabrics to complete the ornaments and the stocking.

In the meantime, no laziness was allowed for this household. After Thanksgiving the final 30 quarts of applesauce were put up and stored on the shelves. Work continued on the headband and mitten set for our niece and on the 29th of November a pair of socks were cast on for a Christmas present for ex-DBIL who came in for Christmas. The socks were knitted using the Jogless Hiking Socks pattern on Ravelry in fingering weight yarn (dark blue) from Joann Fabrics by Debbie Norville with strips of a scrap of contrasting wool (tan) from KnitPicks. 20171216_205858The first sock in the pair was finished on December 16 and the second sock was finished on December 22. For some reason my second socks usually go faster, particularly this pattern because I know there is just a quick change and then a few more rounds. There is one more skein of the navy blue left and if I can find another contrast, I hope to make a pair for me in 2018. The numbers will have to be reworked as this is much to big for me.

The headband was finished on December 25 and mitten #1 started. Unfortunately, I don’t have a finish picture of the headband and only a WIP picture of the mittens. I have to remember that starting a mitten late at night isn’t a good idea because I was ready to start thumb stitches and realized that the mitten was way too big for the intended recipient. So everything was ripped back and restarted on the 26th. By the 27th, everything was completed on the first mitten except the thumb. Mitten #2 was started on the 28th and finished on the 29th except for the thumb. It is hoped that by the time this post appears, the thumbs will be completed and the headband and mittens wrapped to be given to our niece for her birthday. 20171229_205848This year I chose to use a sport acrylic yarn in a lovely bright orange. The color here is a lighter and slightly duller shade but you can see the pattern.

And yes, in the midst of everything, we did celebrate Christmas. Our tree went up the Saturday evening after sundown after Thanksgiving. 20171216_094715The lighting isn’t great, but you can see that when I took this picture, we had experienced our first snow of the year. You can also see that there are no presents because Scooter likes to sleep under the tree each day.

Our first snow was December 15 and only about 3/4″. However, we received 4-5″ on December 23 and it is still hanging around a bit. 20171223_122002This was the view out the front door after a bit of sunshine and a little bit of melting. We received the rest of the snow on Christmas Eve as I was driving home from work.

This is a bit of a long post, so I will write a separate one about my goals for 2018. Even though I didn’t complete all of the ornaments I hoped to, I did complete most of them so I have set up more goals for this year and already have my calendar book (homemade planner for all things crafty) to keep track of what I work on and when. Look for that post following this one.

Thank you for all of your continued support and encouragement through my sporadic posting this year. May the New Year be the best yet for each of you!



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Update 11-18-17

As usual, life is busy with crafting, canning, Pathfinders, college, and making sure DH has everything in place to start his Masters in January. You would think that with the holidays coming, other than working hard on Christmas gifts, things would settle down a bit. However, that is not to be. I will be going in to work three times this week: 12 hours tomorrow, 3 hours Tuesday, and 4-5 hours on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving will have to be handled carefully as I also need to make sure and cook a full dinner. DS has volunteered to help and my BFF is giving advice on the turkey as this will be the first time I have ever cooked one. Usually DSIL takes care of the turkey, however they are eating elsewhere so it’s up to me. Wish me lots of luck. The rest of the dinner is easy as I have done all of it before.

Thankfully we don’t have any traveling to do between now and the first of December…but you never know. Plans have been known to change. And December more than makes up for it with the following Pathfinder oriented events: a 3-hour one-way trip and back on December 2, three appointments of 2-4 hours each on December 9, and a 3-4 hour one-way trip and back on December 16. That doesn’t include the usual Sunday work days and appointments in between for the kids. Oh well, let the busyness continue.

So to catch up from the end of October, I will try to just make some brief notes:

  • Dyeing of fabric was done early in November with coffee grinds. It is light and I’m not sure I like the  mottling, but it is a good first try. I may try to darken it, but not until after the first of the new year. Too many important projects ahead of that.

    The piece on the left is a pale peach Aida that I included in my dyeing. I think I will use some tea to re-dye it. The one on the right looks better in the picture than in reality. However, with the right project, I hope it will be a good fit.

  • On November 1, I started the latest Christmas ornament. It was completed on November 8 after many comments regarding the unique dress/robe on the angel. This ornament is by Little House Needleworks and found in the 2008 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue, stitched with DMC on the other half of the above peachy Aida before it was dyed. 20171109_092216
  • On November 13, I decided it was important to try for one more attempt at turning the rose hip jelly into actual jelly. It was still more like syrup despite appropriate pectin, so I recooked with more sugar–after tasting to make sure that it wasn’t too sweet already–and re-canned. This time I ended up with 20 pints and am hopeful that it will set up as I boiled it forever to reach the appropriate temperature. DH and I have determined that if this does not work, we will just enjoy it as really nice homemade syrup because it does taste really good.
  • DS’s bedroom window that was warped and would no longer shut was also letting in cold air. DH measured the window, placed the custom order and we waited the two weeks for it to come in. When it arrived, we had to wait a week because of weather, however last Sunday DH and DFIL were able to put the new double-paned window in and it has made a world of difference. And just in time for the lower temperatures. DS is quite pleased and we hope that over time we will be able to replace the rest of the windows with the same type as was used for his.
  • November 14 was quite productive as I was able to finish the baby blanket and also made my first batch of sour dough bread from my new starter.

    There are two loaves of rising dough in the picture on the left and you can see my new Ball jar that is huge and perfect for my starter. I will be making another batch this coming week. The blanket is nice and soft, perfect for a baby. The intended recipient was born on November 1 and won’t receive the blanket for a bit yet as his mom is on maternity leave. I may call her however, and slip it by her house so baby can enjoy keeping warm considering our much colder temperatures (well below freezing quite a few nights).

  • In an effort to keep getting all of my projects completed, I started canning the applesauce from the Pink Lady apples that DH and I had gleaned. The first five-gallon bucket of apples was brought in, quartered, cooked, processed through the Victorio, and ladled into hot jars. After lids were added and rings tightened, the jars were placed into the canner to boil in hot water for 25 minutes. So far so good. While the first canner was processing, I finished the jars for the second canner as I ended up with a total of 11 jars for the 15th of November. When the timer went off for the first canner, I proceeded to lift the hot jars out of the boiling water so I could add the remaining four jars. However, one of the jar lids decided for the first time ever in my life, to pop off, ring and lid, as it cleared the top of the water. Right behind the ring and the lid came boiling applesauce that hit my right palm and between my thumb and first finger. It also splattered on the stove and the floor, but the jar did not shatter and not quite 1/4 of the quart of applesauce was lost. I was not that much concerned about the mess as about the fact that my poor hand was burning dreadfully. I immediately began running cold tap water over it. Thankfully our tap water is very cold as it comes from our well. I filled the kitchen sink and kept my hand in it for well over an hour. I was home by myself and had to wait that long until DH got home from work. It hurt too much to take it out of the water for very long, but at least I was able to re-seal the jar, put the rest of the jars in the canner and process while I was standing in the kitchen with my hand in cold water. DH pulled out the first aid kit when he came home and after drying my hand, put something called 2nd skin and then wrapped my hand in gauze. That stuff is amazing because within 24 hours my hand was only a bit tender, with no scarring or blisters, and I was able to think about making bread on the 17th.
  • The same day that I burned my hand, DH began burning the tumbleweeds, wood, and leaves in the back yard behind the garden. He was able to get quite a bit of it completed before the mist turned to rain. We are hoping that he can finish more this week or next so that after he sprays for weeds, we can shovel it into the raised bed, cover it with two bales of straw and maybe plastic so that it can compost over the winter. Then all we will need to do is add the diatomaceous earth and soil from the recycling center for our new raised bed garden next spring. We also have to drag out the old box springs, turn them upside down and make them into a bed that we will fill and plant next spring with strawberries. We are trying to repurpose things instead of dragging them to the dump when we no longer need them.
  • My knitting has been limited as a result of the above, but I have been able to do some cross stitch. I have the next ornament by Prairie Moon started as of the 15th, as well as a Jane Austen inspired pattern from the Gazette94 website that I had printed out years ago. The ornament is part of my continuing effort to get some ornaments made for this year, and the Jane Austen pattern is for a Christmas gift.

    There are a total of five girls with flowers above them, their names and more flowers below them. Then you have a border around it all. The colors were not specifically listed so a floss toss with the help of DD was necessary. I am hoping that I will finish that in time to frame for a Christmas gift. The ornament is another angel and I hope to finish it very soon. My hope is to be able to FFO most if not all of the ornaments stitched so far this y ear over the Thanksgiving holiday. I will use scraps on the back of each and ribbon from my sewing stash.

  • Lastly is some knitting that I hope to finish by Christmas. This is the beginning of a headband and mittens for our niece. The headband is cast on and I have 17 more repeats before grafting the two ends together and then stitching the mittens. After that I need to cast on a pair of socks for her dad who will be in for Christmas Eve. 20171118_185926Hopefully I can do the knitting in the car on the projected trips as well as spare moments here and there as I can’t cross stitch in the car very well.

And finally, new glasses have been ordered after a lengthy discussion with the eye doctor as to what I hope to accomplish with a new prescription. There is a definite change to the prescription bifocals, but this time I hope to have glasses that will allow my cross stitching without having to look over the top of the glasses with the project held really close. The new glasses should be in by the 27th of November and I have to admit I can’t wait.

I think this is plenty long and the dryer and washer are both beeping so I had best go get that done before sneaking off to sleep. If I’m not back to post before Thanksgiving, please have a wonderful holiday for those who celebrate! Enjoy your family and count your many blessings!

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