Hi there people! It's been a long time. The time for me to post is LOOOOOOOOOONG overdue. So I'm here today ready to jump in with both feet and get this blog train rolling again!
The last time I posted was Thanksgiving. Even that was short and sweet. The holiday season was busy on this end and it left little time for blogging and certain other things of that nature. But the holidays were good here and it's nice that things have finally slowed down to the point that I can actually think about other things besides the daily grind.
I stayed busy with crafting. The week before Thanksgiving I started making Christmas Tree decorations for our tree as we had to start from scratch in the Christmas decoration department. That was great fun. It has long been a tradition in my family to make tree decor and that's something I've carried on with proudly through the years. It mainly has to do with LOTS of poster board, glitter and glue - and lots of patience. I managed to get a tree full of stuff made and then some: the 'then some' was extra stuff I made to send to my daughters in Tennessee and Florida. I'm still working on glitter creations as I've vowed never again to wait until Christmas time to start playing in the glitter. It will forever (or for as long as I'm able) be an ongoing process year round. It was just too much fun to box up and put away for another year.
I have several glitter things in the works to ship off to family in Texas and Arizona. These things will probably be a 'Christmas in July' completion and the recipients hopefully will be happy to have a little taste of the Christmas spirit in the middle of the summer heat. I was very pleased with what I completed and everyone else seemed to be also.
I also made Raggedy Ann's and Andy's out the wazzoo! I love making the Raggedies. Have been doing it for going on 30 years now. It never gets old or wears itself out. I love the timelessness of the classic Raggedy Dolls. The patterns for them have changed some through the years. But no matter the changes, I keep the clothes and faces as close to the original as possible. The only pattern company that produces the Raggedy pattern now is Simplicity. And I ran the gamut of pattern companies searching in the fabric stores and online. I had to purchase a new one and was somewhat disappointed with what I found. I used to use a McCalls pattern that I loved and bought repeatedly through the years as I would wear them out. But McCalls doesn't make it any longer.
What I found in the new pattern was the lack of iron on transfers for the embroidery of the facial features and the little heart on the chest. McCalls always included yellow iron on transfers for the embroidery. I used tracing paper under a self modified facial pattern instead. Also, the eyes have changed for fabric painting purposes. It also came with instructions to make a 'wig' to be sewn on for the hair instead of the classic sewing in of the yarn along predetermined lines marked throughout the scalp directly on the doll head. The pinafore has changed from a classic sash being sewn across the width creating the ties in the back to elastic being run through a casing. I tried these new pattern changes with the first doll I made and didn't like most of the results. So I revised the pattern enough to reflect the classic elements: an embroidered face instead of painted: the classic zigzag under-eyelash instead of the star burst type eyelashes surrounding the eyes. I did keep the elastic in the pinafore as this is a time saving effort and I do like the look of it. I also drew the lines on the scalp to sew in the hair. I made a wig with the first one and DID NOT like the look...and what a pain to make!
The ~best~ change to the new pattern was Andy's hat. The old pattern had me setting a top into the brim and the new pattern has me adding the brim to the top. Doesn't sound like much as I'm explaining it here but it is quite the difference when working with the pattern. Also the new hat is a little taller so it can actually be seen when looking at a front view of the doll. The old hat was rather short and couldn't really be seen from the front because of all the fluffy hair. You had to turn the doll to the backside to see it.
I completed several dolls the way I wanted them and they were a big hit for little ones at Christmas and recent birthdays. The Raggedies will be another year round project. I have lots of family with lots of little ones...and the birth of more in the summer. So the Raggedies will be a staple of this old gals perpetual repertoire.
I haven't done any knitting since the first part of October. I had some health issues to deal with and it kind of threw a wrench in the works where the knitting was concerned. For a while I was too sick to mess with it. By the time I felt well enough to do it again, I lost interest and haven't picked it up since. I picked up the sewing and the quilting again instead.
I have lots of knitting UFO's and am getting the itch to pick up the needles again. I need to finish all the stuff I've started before I take on new projects. But spring yarn catalogs are arriving and it makes me nuts wanting to dabble in new(er) knitted projects. I swear knitting is a disease. It's a lot like Alcoholism: It's easy to say I can put it down any time I want, but the need to do new and exciting things almost always takes over and I'm addicted again. Is there a twelve step program out there for knit-a-holics? Or quilt-a-holics for that matter? Or glitter ornament-a-holics? Or crochet-a-holics? Or Raggedy-a-holics? And numerous other craft-a-holic type stuff? Cuz if there is, I need a sponsor(s)!!!!!
On to other things~ A couple of weeks ago we made a whirl wind trip to the heart of the Pocono's in PA to visit my daughter and her family from Florida. Her husband had a job interview there and we jumped at the chance to make the six hour drive to see them. I saw my grand babies. It was soooooooo great. They're growing so fast and am keeping my fingers crossed (and everything else I can cross) that the son-in-law gets an offer and they move closer. Tampa Florida is a twenty two hour ride and something I can't do. So having them so much closer would be fabulous.
My Grandson Ayden, My Daughter Anna, and My Grandaughter Chloe Amidst Chloe Birthday mess!
In other news, my sister in Texas found out a few weeks ago that she's expecting again. Normally this would have been kind of run of the mill news in our family as the vast majority of the family females are Fertile Myrtles and seem to pop out babies like Pez dispensers. But my sisters' case is a little different.
First of all, this was completely unexpected and totally took her and her hubby by surprise. She thought she was DONE eight years ago. Secondly, she turned 45 this past December. She thinks she's too old for such a thing again...and her doc told her point blank that her eggs are old and that makes her high risk (doctors really have a way of making you feel good about yourself, don't they?). And thirdly, for her, getting pregnant was always a huge effort and never came easily. She has a daughter who's 22 and another who just turned 8. The 14 year gap between the first two was a big deal back then. The 8 year gap between the second two isn't as big, but big enough to keep my sister raising kids until well into her 60's. So by the time it's all said and done she will have spent 40+ years raising kids. Not that that's a bad thing mind you, but she was kinda looking forward to getting the eight year old raised and off on her own so that dear Sis could spend her golden years in some peace and quiet!
The best news is that Sis is healthy and the baby is too. Last week she had another intensive Ultra Sound and an amnio to look for Downs Syndrome and a couple of other things. All her tests came back with good results. She's now comfortable with and accepting of the idea and is looking forward to it. She's not so frightened any longer. She also found out it's another girl. She's thrilled. She loves the girlie stuff. Me too. Gets my brain to churning bout quilts and stuff! But I'm partial to little boys too...as I have three of each. She's due in June...just when the Texas heat has pretty much set in. But Central Texas heat starts to rear it's ugly head in March. Add storm season to that March through June and it makes for a rockin' good time y'all! :\ It can make for a pretty miserable pregnancy. Sitting under the the A.C. is bout all anyone in that condition can do.
But we're all happy everyone is OK and are looking forward to the new addition late spring.
In my absence from Blogger in the form of an author, I did keep up with what everybody else in blogland has been up to these last couple of months. It was so much fun to see your creations and families and fun. There were even a few sad moments out there. But I did read you all every time you posted and have been kept apprised of whats going on outside my four walls. It's always inspiring to me to see what you do in your daily lives on the home front and the creative front. Blogger is such a great thing.
In the near future, I will be setting up an Etsy shop as I have lots of things I want to put out there. My daughter and her husband in Tennessee use Etsy for their duct tape creations (Ductile Designs) and have great success with it. It has inspired me to expand my own creative efforts and show the world what I have going on. I will post here at some point the date of the opening of my Etsy. I'm so excited!
It's soooooooo good to be back here and have the creative juices flowing again, both figuratively and for real. I feel human again.
Valentines Day is sneaking up on us fast...and Easter is too. And then Summer. Oh where do I find eight arms and hands and 47 hours in a day to get it all done? I can hardly wait to figure it all out!
Have a knit pickin' good day y'all!