Monday, August 28, 2017

Utility Towels: 3rd, 4th, 5th, & 6th In Progress


We finished a few more utility towels over the past few days!
The one above was the one I was working on, this one below was the one I commissioned from my daughter last year... finally done.

This one below was the 2nd towel I commissioned from daughter just a couple of weeks ago. She's learning to be more business like and got it done in few days. At the moment she's working on one for herself. We might be adding a few hand embroidered towels to my shop this coming autumn, we'll see. It all depends on how much spare time she'll have while homeschooling, etc. .

I'm currently working on the 6th utility towel, this time in bluework. The pattern is the one I mentioned at the end of the previous post. Was trying to make some progress while watching news on the current conditions of Texas' hurricane Harvey aftermath. Hoping that all those affected are able to cope and find comfort. 

Being from a tropical island I'm very well acquainted and familiar with having to endure thru a few tropical storms and all the devastation that they leave behind. However, with much hard work and a positive attitude it is possible to make it thru.

I'm still in the midst of medical appointments. Still praying things are well, and if not, then to have the power beyond normal (that comes from above - 2 Corinthians 4:7) to endure! 
May all of you be doing well! Till next time!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Stitching Has Resume

Made myself sit and stitch a bit with my littles. Younger one is into embroidery at the moment,... now able to sit for longer periods of time and focus on stitching.
This time of the year is the time where I need to make my medical round to be sure things are going well. So many appointments, it can be a bit (or a lot) stressful at times. Even though I've been in remission for 8 years, sometimes after fighting a life threatening illness, there's a lingering anxiety that pops up mostly when not feeling well (without being able to pinpoint why), or when check ups are due. Sometimes I can say: "it must be the fibromyalgia", but sometimes it is hard to tell. Praying and hoping for everything to be ok! Really need to meditate a bit more on Matthew 6:34.
So while dreaming for these next few weeks to fly, I'm keeping myself busy. Back to my needle and thread for therapy. Also: homeschooling will resume shortly, considering to commit to an increase in volunteer work for the month of September, hoping to try new recipes at least twice a month, weekly baking during the Fall season, start entertaining friends again after the remodeling/construction work is completed in a couple of weeks, finding a new nature trail for some nice autumnal walks, etc. . 
I have the goal of increasing protein consumption to see if it helps with sugar cravings ;-). It must be simple in order to keep it up. So here is a quick tuna salad; low sodium tuna in water, sweet yellow corn, grape tomatoes, avocado, sprinkled with a bit of salt and olive oil. If I'm very hungry then I add a side of brown rice.

Hopefully the next blog update will be about another finished towel, or two! I have a new vintage pattern that I can't wait to stitch! Want a peek? Leaving a link below ;-).

Non-affiliated link:
A Vintage reprint of Aunt Martha's no. 3959,
Delightful Blue Bird Motifs. All the reprints come without 
the envelope, just so you know.



Friday, August 4, 2017

In The Kitchen and Outings


Pasta salads are a great summer meal or side dish. I made one this past weekend to carry in our lunch bags each day to our 3 day convention. I used GF pasta because one of my kids has a life threatening allergy to wheat. Kept it really simple: cooked pasta, poached chicken breasts diced, grape tomatoes, peeled and seeded cucumber diced, and semi-homemade Italian dressing. It kept well for 3 days in the very cold fridge. (PS: cute rooster embroidery is a Stitcher's Revolution pattern from Colonial Patterns, I blogged about it here.)

Another simple lunch or dinner is cod fish "stew" with root vegetables/tubers , a tropical dish ;-). You could practically use any other "meaty" fish. This was one of our staple dishes growing up. The tubers were peeled, roughly chopped and then boiled in salty water (with a bit of butter if desire) until thoroughly cook.  I usually steam the cod sprinkled with some of our favorite seasonings and olive oil. Once most of its own juice/liquid evaporates, I add a bit of tomato sauce, then the sliced/diced/chopped: red bell pepper, green pepper, yellow onion, and cabbage, a bit more seasoning to taste. Serve over white rice or root vegetables. Voila! Time to eat!

Do you like infused water? I do! From the skin of the cucumber, mixed with couple lemon slices, we had infused water.... very refreshing! 


Since my day was already being spent in the kitchen, I preset the oven and whip up bananas muffins. Sometimes I bake it in the loaf pan, but mostly in baking cups, much easier to handle for my little ones hands, plus she can serve herself.
I'm such a messy baker... LOL. 
A bit lazy too... I do not pre-measure ingredients. I measure, pour, and mix as I go. Do you pre-measure ingredients? 

On a side note, Jenny of Elefantz is an Australian stitchery designer (remember the pincushion I stitched from one of her designs here?) well, she recently started to share weekly recipes accompanied with easy stitcheries free on her blog. I started to collect them and will start trying them out this Fall! How kind, a nice treat indeed!

We are starting to have a few nice days here and there... with that autumnal feel that I love! The sunlight is already changing and that only signals Fall is in the air. As a mom with small kids, living with a chronic illness, we are not able to do as much as other families are able to do with their kids during summer break,... but I'm thankful for what I can still do with them. Still able to go out and about on good days and enjoy their laughter and squeals of joy. In turn they are very empathetic and understanding when mommy is not able to do as much. There have been a few outings: playgrounds, faith strengthening meetings, a couple of trips to the pool, shopping to replace outgrown clothing items, volunteer work, to the market, and more recently to our 3 day convention. All time well spent!

Now after all the activity my body is on strike, but hopefully not for long. So now, perhaps I can have some force down time and stitch a bit. Hmmm... what will be my next project?
Stay tune ;-)! May your August be a happy one! Till later!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Comforts

There are many things that can bring comfort, and they take many forms for each of us. 
This past week I fixed a childhood comforting breakfast as a treat.
Mom used to make for us, sometimes, cornmeal porridge by combining and heating up: whole milk, water, salt, sugar, and cinnamon stick (or ground cinnamon) into a saucepan, then added cornmeal and cooked until thickened and creamy. More like dessert than breakfast! Yum! In fact all our hot breakfast cereals where made in a similar way, be it oatmeal, cream of wheat, cream of rice, etc. Even cornstarch! Switching regular cow milk for coconut definitely takes it to the next dessert-licious level! 
Volunteer work also brings me comfort, and hopefully to the recipients too! Definitely there is "more happiness in giving than there is in receiving". Hoping some invitees can make it, we are so looking forward to our yearly convention. Every year gets better and better! Spiritually upbuilding and encouraging!
Fresh gigantic organic berries .... especially blueberries, I could eat a pint of these berries in no time. These were from a couple of months ago, end of spring beginning of summer. Delicious! A healthy comfort, indeed! 
Comforting and heartwarming to see that my husband took the wedding anniversary piece I embroidered for him to be framed. Meaning he will be hanging it in his new office once is completed.  
So yes so many things can bring or give comfort in a variety of ways! 

PS: Haven't finished the towel yet, have been taking an unexpected break from stitching this month. Perhaps August will put me back on needlework mode,... perhaps. Till later!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer Doings

Our summers tend to be busy; fun outings with the kids & friends, volunteer work, and yearly spiritually upbuilding Regional Convention. The basement in our new place is in the process of being finished which adds to an already hectic, but productive schedule.
Lately, when sitting to rest, I don't really feel like stitching... 3rd utility towel with the fruit theme is not done yet. However, while sitting I've been inclined to read for entertainment, transporting my thoughts to beautiful country sceneries (just finished A Fine Romance: Falling in Love With the English Countryside by Susan Branch), or looking out for autumn weather recipes (my favorite weather!), and just admiring the lovely embroidery in my stash of hand embroidery books. 
Didn't even get to bake the beer bread, will leave it for September.  Might even make it with apple or pear cider instead. 
Many of you might be also busy with vegetable or rose gardens. The heat is unbearable at times. We try to schedule our activities in the morning whenever possible. Whichever your summer doings are.... stay hydrated & cool! 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Beer Bread and Morning Glory


Brief update. Not much progress on my 3rd towel.
Browsing vintage patterns for future projects.

Planning to bake the Beer Bread (page 167) from Susan Branch's revised Heart Of The Home... Notes From A Vineyard Kitchen. It looks so easy to make, hopefully it'll taste good!

Leaving you with a simple, but lovely Morning Glory pattern for your stitching enjoyment! ;-) Part of a sheet in my collection of vintage embroidery transfers. 
Till later!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Kitchen Towel no.3 Update


Here's the progress so far on this 3rd utility dish towel. It's been enjoyable to add a few stitches to it here and there. Might work a bit on it this afternoon if possible (after folding some laundry). What do you call your kitchen towels: tea towels, kitchen towels, or dish towels?

The design is part of this vintage Vogart above. It is Vogart 611 Colorful Fruit Motifs for Dinette or Kitchen. In fact you can see the design I'm stitching illustrated on the envelope. The towels pictured on the envelope show a blanket stitch variation on the towels' edges/borders,  so pretty! I'm keeping my vintage Vogart intact for now, so ended up getting a scan from Etsy seller BlondiesSpot. Then as mentioned on previous post, used my ink jet printer and a sheet of Sticky Fabri-Solvy (by Sulky, the product also comes in a updated packaging with the name of Stick'n Stitch) to transfer the pattern onto my towel.

My lower back/sacrum area and back hip bone started to hurt earlier today (sigh), it is really killing me. This happens to me occasionally. Already took some over the counter medicine and most likely will get my heat pad ready once done posting this blog update, and perhaps squeeze a long nap too. Leave you with the picture above, the only kind of rose (for now) in the front of my home.
Till later! Have a nice end of June!






Monday, June 19, 2017

Fruits / Utility Towel no.3


Here are the humble beginnings or the 3rd utility towel ;-).
This pattern is a design part of a vintage transfer, Vogart 611.
I have an original copy in my collection, but this time didn't want to cut into it. Later I'll take a picture of the cover so you can see the other cute designs part of this transfer (storing my collection in my kid's room closet, have to dig it out).  Long story short, ended up buying a cleaned black & white PDF copy of it from an Etsy seller. 

I used Sticky Fabri-Solvy to print my design of choice, and paste it on a kitchen towel, as you see in the above picture. Picture below shows the back. Sometimes when you are press on time, or don't feel like tracing, this is a very nice alternative if you have an ink jet printer. Although you could also use this stabilizer to trace by hand, especially if it is a very small design.

It will also work very well for dark fabrics, which are hard to see through in order to trace. I try to squeeze a few patterns in one sheet of this printable and water soluble sticky stabilizer, so as to waste as little as possible. The package cost around $10.00 more or less (on Amazon where I get mine), the price fluctuates at times. Joann stores use to carry it, but now they only have the one that comes in a roll, you'll have to cut to size. I think they now carry a similar product, precut, that is also sticky, printable and water soluble. 
Picked my colors according to the suggestions shown in the front of the pattern envelope. The scan also comes with a color copy of the transfer cover for reference. Already started working on it! Hoping to be able to work on it a bit here and there through out this week. Little ones feeling much better, so we might be out and about a bit more. Perhaps in the evenings I could squeeze some stitching time.

May your week be beautiful and that all goes as you have planned!
Until next time!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Baking Poodle / Second Towel Finished

I did it! The second utility kitchen towel is finished!
So glad, now I can move on to the third one which is already in the hoop ;-). Any guesses as to what type of vintage design is next?

This second towel is fresh from the dryer. First, I cut the excess Sticky Fabri-Solvy and dissolved it with warm water in the laundry sink. Then tossed the towel in the washer with the rest of the kitchen towels load. A bit of ironing after it dried. Now is folded and put away with the rest. Not sure if I'll start on the 3rd towel anytime soon... my kids are now both sick with high fevers and sore throats. Thankfully my older one pretty much follows this family's "sick drill" with little help, but younger one is different story... at least she's keeping to her room for the most part which helps a lot, for her age that is a big accomplishment!

Before I go, let me share a common trick for doing satin stitch, especially if you have a bit of trouble getting the satin stitches even. First, outline the area with back stitch or split stitch, then go over it with satin stitch (like in the picture above). The outlining stitches serve as your point of reference for going in and out with your needle for the satin stitches.
Oh, and for those of you that missed it, I shared this design as a freebie at the end of this post. Let me know if you get to stitch it and posting it on your blog, etc. I would like to take a peek ;-).
Until later! 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

In The Making


Wasn't able to complete my utility towel, instead will show you the one my firstborn is working on. The pattern is from the book Beautiful Stitches by Susan Bates, which I enlarged. As transferring method we used a transfer pen. My daughter offer to stitch it for my new kitchen before the move. Above is where she is at, she started this past winter and doesn't really work at it regularly.

This picture above was taken this past winter. We were still in our previous home. She was working on it in the living room. I was about to eat a piece of homemade rum cake with tea ;-), when I saw how pretty it was coming along. Gave her several compliments, put my tea & cake down to take a picture of it. Hopefully she'll finish it soon. I guess 'the apple doesn't fall far from the tree'... in this instance, not a good thing. Makes me think there's room for improvement in the way I approach projects. We as mothers have lots of responsibilities and priorities, which can definitely justify why we do or don't finish something, or where we move it in our To Do List. However little things like this do have a subtle impact in our offspring, especially as such a tender age. 

Basic, simple life lessons like: "Finish what you start", "Be on time", "Work for what you want", "Delight in the work of your hands", "Keep your promise", "Be dependable", etc. , are picked up by our kids mainly through our example... what they see us doing, not necessarily saying. Interestingly, although we most likely are very good at those simple life lessons when it comes to what we have in the top of our list(s), but forget that little things count as much to those little ones whose eyes are on us. Just my thoughts. What do you think? 
I better get going with that utility towel right after posting this! ;-)
Hoping a beautiful week awaits you!
Till next time!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Housewarming Gift (Part 2)

This terrible cold virus got me good this time 😷. Being sick in a new home, having to miss spiritually upbuilding meetings and activities with friends, got me feeling a bit down and nostalgic. Short errand yesterday to nearby store to get a couple of groceries/produce and back home.

To cheer myself up a bit, decided to switch the decorative towels in the kitchen today. Put down the tea I was about to make for myself (chai latte is my favorite treat) and took a picture of these two towels since I've previously mentioned about gradually posting them here. Of these two, the orange one is now hanging on my oven door with the yellow one I posted on Part 1.

The green went back in its package and put away with the others, for another day. Orange and yellow are happy colors (at least I think so) so those are the ones that made it out today :-).  
Now, to the close ups...

How pretty! The needleworker that embroidered this towel did a lovely job! Lovely color combo too! This towel was ironed by the seller, since of course, she launders the vintage linens before turning them into decorative towels... this is why the stitches look a bit squished, but still lovely and delicate. Stitches used: stem, lazy daisy (aka: detached chain stitch), french knots, and straight stitch.
  
Same stitches used on this orange one, another beautiful and dainty design! And that crochet edge, gorgeous! I'm feeling a bit motivated to finish my utility embroidered towel ;-), the one with the Baking Poodle on it. Haven't been able to pick up my needle these past few days despite having to take it easy. Looking down to my stitching with a runny nose,... eh, I don't think so. 
Not sure if I'll be able to pop back in for another blog post on Sunday, but if I do hopefully I'll have the utility towel done by then.  So looking forward to feeling like my good old self again. Perhaps I'm on the mend, my nose behaved while typing this post...LOL. Let you go now, hoping you all have a lovely weekend!
(I ended up having to reheat my water to make my tea 😊☕. )
Until later!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Summer Cold :-(

Yes, I'm welcoming summer with a cold... how very fun... Not!
Hopefully you are all doing well! Didn't finish the Baking Poodle towel on previous post, so here is an old picture of a finished project. 

This kitchen towel embroidered with a rooster from a Stitcher's Revolution Iron-On Embroidery pattern SR23 Folksy Farm. I blogged about this project back in October 2016 on this post. Thinking in making myself a whole juice (smoothie with no milk or added sugar), don't have any oranges or tangerines handy, but everything else is either in the fruit basket or in the freezer ;-). Yes, indeed, heading to the kitchen now!
May you all have a great week ahead! Till later!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Baking Poodle (2nd Towel Update)

Guess what? Yes! Finally was able to do a bit of stitching!
The circumstances weren't the best, but by doing some embroidery I ended up turning a lemon into lemonade ;-). Below is the progress made so far. I modified the original pattern to fit my needs.

An injured lower back meant down time, so out my stitching came! Spent a couple of days housebound treating it.... it was so painful to walk, bend, reach, trying to sit and get up, etc. 
Much better now, thankfully! With lots of TLC, alternating between: heat pad, muscle ointment, medication, massage, and gentle movements. I'm almost back to normal! Here are a few other pictures of the progress (in regression).

Above, stitching at night with the help of clip-on-light. I was so close to be done that didn't want to stop, but my back was telling me it was enough. I'm afraid it may not be completed soon now that I'm better... you know, trying to catch up with everything that couldn't be done with an injured back. So close to be done!

At the time I had a taste for a piece of Lemon Poppy Seed cake with raspberries for garnish.. yummy!  If I bake it I'll probably eat half of it in a day or two (embarrassingly true). I never used to like the lemon homemade icing that I made, until I found a recipe online that called for butter in addition to the regular ingredients, and heating it in the microwave for (30 seconds? can't recall at this moment). It tastes great! No after taste of powder sugar... which I totally dislike. 

Stitching these french knots I hold the hoop upside down in order to be closer to that area for ease of stitching. I certainly do not bake wearing a pearl necklace ;-)... but it does gives the look of glamorous homemaking ... LOL. When seeing printed vintage advertising, it makes me wonder if ladies in the 40's did wear make up and high heels while doing chores. Do you know? 
Well, I let you go now ;-). Hoping next week will be a great one for all of you! Oh! Just in case you will like to stitch this Baking Poodle, I'm leaving it here for you ;-). Enjoy!!!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Hand Towel, Kitties!


One of the towels in my last order made it to my little ones' bathroom. I think this design could pass for a hand towel ;-).
Don't think this pillowcase design is vintage, since it's still in circulation by Fairway Needlecrafts Co. , design no.83079 Two Cats. They have it available on their website, and through other sites like Amazon, and 123Stitch.
Still it is as cute as it could be, and my little ones love it! 
They like hand embroidered items, so I'll be stitching a couple of hand towels (by request) for their bathroom... when I complete the few projects that are already hooped. 
Haven't been able to to stitch, but I think I might get a chance soon.
Hoping y'all have a nice week ahead!
Till later!








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