B T W

Long time, no post!  The past couple of months have passed so quickly that I hardly know where the time went. I’ve spent the summer working on projects for my Etsy shop, The Queen’s Pincushion, and…more importantly…on projects for my daughter’s wedding in early September. I’ve neglected pretty much everything around here, including my blogs.

I’d planned to put off my apologetic posts until after the wedding, but Vicki’s post came in this morning’s email. I’m passing it on to all of you…right this minute…because it’s so important that it reach as many people as possible….as soon as possible.

http://vicki-2bagsfull.blogspot.com/

I hope Vicki’s request touches your heart and that you’ll pass it on to others, as well.

So Much to Do, So Little Time

I’ve been so busy creating pincushions this month that I’ve neglected everything else….like housework, and laundry, and dishes, and…and…and…

My house looks like a very strong hurricane has been through…..twice! I did a quick load of laundry over the weekend (because I was running out of unmentionables).  I finally bathed Millie (my Yorkie) … because Her Smelliness was looking so bedraggled and sad (not to mention her pungent aroma). She’s a much happier puppy today…and she smells like baby shampoo!  Meal preparation has been completely suspended…..thank goodness for the microwave and cold snack foods. Fortunately, I only have myself to feed….and I’ve kept Millie’s bowl full, so my guilt has been pretty easily put aside. (Did I tell you that I’m really good at rationalizing….and making excuses?)

In the name of creativity…and making the most of my sometimes elusive muse….I put everything aside and focused on getting The Queen’s Pincushion off to a good start. Creating the actual pincushions was the fun part….but there were a lot of administrative tasks, too. Setting up a new website, a new blog (or 2), taking photos, post-processing photos….and the list goes on. I still have a lot (read L.O.T.) of writing to do. Which brings me to . . .

My apologies for adding so few posts to The Purple Sweater lately (and all my many other blogs, too). I’m hoping to do better in the weeks to come . . . to share with you some of the things I’m making for my daughter’s wedding, a few other projects I have been trying to find time to work on, and (of course) new pincushions as I get them completed.

Here are two I finished over the weekend and posted to the shop this morning.

Confetti!

Confetti!

 

Buttons & Bows

Buttons & Bows

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did making them!

I Did It!

The Queen’s Pincushion is officially open for business!  I opened my Etsy shop yesterday. I’ve achieved my goal of establishing and stocking my shop by the end of June. I invite you all to come and visit often to see my confections. I add new ones about once a week. Here are a few examples of what you will find:

Pincushion for a Pasha

Pincushion for a Pasha

I love polkadots!

I love polkadots!

Understated Elega

Understated Elegance

There are lots more…and here is where you can see them

//

 

http://thequeenspincushion.wordpress.com

Am I proud?  You betcha!

 

Crochet to the Max

This is amazing! I cannot believe the size of the project…or the time she devoted to complete it…or how much fun the children will have playing there! What a wonderful gift for her community.

 

You’ll Never Believe What’s Inside This Wooden Structure … It’s Made By Hand and Awesome!.

First Project, Post CT Surgery

Wow! What a difference a month has made! I had my right hand surgery on April 10th…and the left hand done on May 2nd. It’s incredible how effective the procedures were. I haven’t had any numbness in either hand from the day the doctor operated on them….and they were both absolutely dead at times. It felt as if I had nothing at the end of my arm…nothing below my wrist. I’ve been having numbness for years and put off the surgery until I no longer had any other option.

Right up to the instant I realized surgery was inevitable, I was in complete denial about how bad my condition had gotten. I’ve been using “mind over matter” for years and only stopping whatever I was doing when the tingling became too bad to continue…then I would rest for a few moments until feeling returned…and continue knitting or sewing. I thought I could go on like that indefinitely. Not!

I learned that “mind over matter” had no effect on either hand. One simply cannot make a hand move when it is so numb that even the tingling is gone. Rude awakening! However, there is a happy ending….I’m regaining dexterity day by day and should have fully recovered my strength within six months.Yaaaayyy!

I couldn’t wait to get back to knitting and creating…this is a little Bluebird of Happiness I made as a housewarming gift for a friend who recently moved into a new “nest”

amanda005

He’s made from wool felt, feathers, a couple of cabochon “moonstones” , a couple of little black buttons, and a fine black wool needlepoint yarn that I’ve had in my stash for years ~~ filled with polyester stuffing. He’s two-sided and hangs as an ornament from a crocheted loop I attached (after this photo was taken) at just the point where he would balance evenly because his rear end was heavier than his front, so I had to place it up near his head.

What fun I had working on him with my newly un-numb hands! Since then, I’ve been knitting up a storm on a little cotton cardigan for my great-granddaughter. I’m making it in a size 3T because she’s growing so fast. When she was born, she’d already outgrown the little pink sweater set I’d made and never wore it. And she only wore the little booties I made last Christmas a few times before she outgrew them, too. She’s an adorable three months now and is an amazingly happy and calm baby…lots of smiles and coos, and practically never cries. Needless to say, her GG is delighted!

So, back to knitting….did you know that one can get calluses from knitting?? Who knew! During the weeks that I haven’t been able to knit I discovered that I had them on both forefingers and my right thumb—apparently from where they touch the needles and yarn as I knit. At first I couldn’t think of what had caused them and have been applying generous amounts of Vitamin E cream mixed with Bio-Oil and lanolin (my own inadvertent mixture—I poured leftovers into one jar). When I picked up my knitting again I had an Ah-Ha moment….but it took me a while to get there.

Do you have calluses from knitting? ;o)

SquareCat FeltFace….(with apologies to SpongeBob)

I whipped up this little guy as a quick gift for one of my Grand-Girls ~~ I have nine granddaughters…and one perfectly adorable great-granddaughter!! He’s made of wool felt and homespun fabric, buttons, paper, quilt-batting, polyester fiber-fill, and lots of love…mixed in with the few drops of blood that inevitably find their way into nearly everything I hand-sew these days. Carpal-tunnel surgery coming up soon! (am hoping that at least some of the clumsiness will improve)  [update in next post]

amval006

amval003

I just shared him with my neighbor and she wanted to take him home….looks like I’ll be making at least one more…

Aaaannnd Heeere’s PS2~

Purple Sweater #2 ~~

This is the front...

This is the front…

...the back

…the back

I've had these beautiful buttons for years. Wish I knew who made them so I could give them credit.

I’ve had these beautiful buttons for years. Wish I knew who made them so I could give them credit.

ps2004

ps2005

The photos of me are by Michael Oliver.

TA DA!!!

Here…at long last…are the photos of the original Purple Sweater. It took me a couple of weeks to decide if I was happy with the length of it…it seemed a little short. But I decided it’s really ‘just right’ … and wore it yesterday when I was out running errands. When I got back, a neighbor was kind enough to take the time to shoot some pix that I can share with you.

So….without further fanfare…Purple Sweater 1

The front...

The front…

The back...

The back…

PS1...done!

PS1…done!

Yours Truly...I think it's time for you to know me...Hello!

Yours Truly…I think it’s time for you to know me…Hello!

The two photos of me are by Michael Oliver.

Stay tuned for the unveiling of Purple Sweater 2…coming soon!

Welcome, Little One!

Sophie is here at last! A little over eight pounds of squirming, protesting, absolute love-at-first-sight. Invoking the instant memory of the first time I saw my own lovely daughter…she was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. (She still is!)

That moment in time is one that I’ve treasured over the years, especially on the occasions when a cherished new life has come into my world. I’m so glad that V has the opportunity to experience the sublime bond between mother and child that is an affirmation of life and the purpose of our universe. Sophie’s proud papa is totally besotted with her…the beginning of the lifelong bond between a little girl and her daddy.

Sophie and her family have such an adventure ahead of them…and I mean to play no small part in it!  Please join me in gratitude and prayer for their health and well-being as they begin their journey.

SOPHIE.01

Precious child…I am so in love!

sophie's xmas

Can’t wait to see her in them!

First Annual State~of~the~Blog Review

This evening I’m out “visiting” as a participant in Vicki Boster’s Grow Your Blog party. Her 2-Bags Full blog is one of my favorites…because her knitting is the stuff dreams are made of. She both inspires and intimidates me~~~and I love her for it. The fact that she actually completes her projects puts me to shame…but continually renews my quest to complete both of the ubiquitous Purple Sweaters. PS2 is sitting at my feet as I write…within hours of its final stitches. PS1 is on my work-table, complete (yes COMPLETE…assembled and everything!) and waiting for a couple of decorative buttons.  I’ll share both with you when they are ready for their blog debut.

While the purple sweaters languished in limbo, I did complete my scarf/shawl for Vicki’s Pink Scarf Project. This is Vicki’s photo of it, but you should see ALL of them..,just follow her from post to post~~ http://vicki-2bagsfull.blogspot.com/p/the-pink-scarf-project.html. Her magical photos beautifully showcase every one of the 427 scarves that were sent by Vicki’s enthusiastic followers from all over the world to warm and comfort women who have survived or are fighting breast cancer.

photos by Vicki Boster

photos by Vicki Boster

I managed to finish the Pink Scarf just before the deadline…having picked up and moved part and parcel into a new apartment…the logistics of which took most of the summer.*  What a relief to get it into the mail and on its way to the lovely woman who (I hope) is wearing it in good health.

Then,in late October, I began in earnest to make knitted scarves for all the folks on my Christmas list, plus a huge crocheted shawl for my daughter.  Photos of the ones I still have access to will follow ~~ I was so anxious to gift-wrap them and put them under the tree that I completely forgot to take pictures. You can’t imagine my feeling of accomplishment when I finished the last tiny stitch on the itty-bitty booties I made for the precious little girl who hasn’t yet made her appearance (she’s two days overdue as of today)…photos of those to follow, as well.  In the meantime…here’s what I finished last week for the shy Sophie Lee…

Teeny tiny kimono sacque, booties and head-band.

Teeny tiny kimono sacque, booties and head-band.

CSC_0075

back view

pk.009

inside front

Apologies for the poor photo quality…Still trying to figure out my DSLR…and in desperate need of a good backdrop. My ironing board doesn’t offer a lot of options!

And, that’s what I’ve been up to!  On to visiting more blogs ~~ I’m having so much fun!

Let me know what you’ve  been up to…your comments mean so much!

*The hardest part of moving into a much smaller apartment was having to pare down my yarn stash…and my fabric stash…and my paper stash…and bead/ribbon/trim/button-stash…etc….well, you get the idea. In hindsight, I have to say that the process was good for me…but at the time it felt like I was giving away my firstborn. What remains of my stash(es) is the best “stuff” that I’ve kept in boxes for longer than I care to reveal! Finally, I’m using it.

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