Mar 13, 2019

Snail Mail Ain't What It Used To Be

In all my years of doing mailart (about 12 or so), I've never had one go missing or arrived damaged.  As they say, "All good things must come to an end."

If you've kept up with reading my blog, you may recall back in June I finished a Quaker mailart.  As a result of that post, Deb H in TX offered to do a private mailart exchange with me since I hadn't receive one from TX yet and she wanted to try her hand at making one.  Her end went just fine!  I received a beautiful mailart envelope from her:

She sent along some wonderful goodies, but I forgot to take a photo before I put them all away.  Even her hubby got in on the fun and got me a Texas quarter/postage stamp set -- very cool!

Did I mention all good things must come to an end?

I stitched up my mailart for Deb and sent it off.  It never made it to her. It got hung up in Houston.  When I sent a screen shot of the address on the mailart, Deb informed me I had the wrong zip code.  I transposed to numbers which is why it ended up in Houston.... Ugh!  And, this was after I told her I'd never had one go missing.  Technically, it didn't go missing... LoL.

It was a lonnnggg two week journey from Houston back to me.  Thank goodness for tracking info!  Apparently, the Chicago area wanted to see my mailart because it went from Detroit MI to Palatine IL (Chi burb), Elk Grove Village IL (Chi burb), Chicago, back to Palatine, and back to Chicago before heading to my house.

I rushed home that day excited to fix the zip code and send it back out.  I opened the mailbox to find this:

Despite being in plastic and hand canceled (non-machineable), it looks like it got stuck in a machine or caught in something.  It was REALLY dirty!!

Now that it has arrived safe and sound in TX, I can show what I created.

Thankfully, the front wasn't damaged or dirty.  I was able to save it and re-stitch the back.  I was so pleased that you can't even tell I had to cut it apart and re-do it.  Using my Crop-A-Dile Eyelet and Snap Punch and colored eyelets, I created holes through which I laced ribbon to close up the back.  I will be using this method again. It's so fun!

Can't even tell I had to cut off the back and redo it.  I'm pleased as punch about it since I've never had to do it before now.

Here's what the front looks like:

The button is from the Feathered Friends set by Dress It Up.  The stamps are from when I originally mailed it last September.  I'm ashamed to admit it has taken me this long to repair it and get it back out in the mail.  Thankfully, Deb has been very patient.

I also tried a new method of closing up the sides of the envelope. Normally, I whip stitch the sides closed.  This time, I used a decorative stitch on my sewing machine.  I really like how it turned out.

This mailart was created by combining several charts and changing colors to coordinate.  For the front, I used Sing for the USA by Brittercup Designs.  The fence was widened the fence so it would span the width of the envelope and added an additional clump of  flowers.  The back is a combination of Land That I Love and God Bless America -- both by Lizzie Kate.  I stitched it on 28ct hand-dyed linen with DMC floss.  To add a little sparkle, I used Kreinik Blending Filament #091 on the stars.

Until next time....

Mar 4, 2019

RIP Deborah

It's with a sad heart that I writing about a stitching friend, Deborah Markham, who passed away on February 22nd.  You may have known her from Yahoo stitching groups, her blog (Here), or from Facebook.  She was a friend to many, a wonderful hostess, a fighter, and created beautiful cross stitch.  I had the pleasure of meeting her and her husband Max (RIP) on several occasions:  With Wanda, With Nancy, and a few visits on my own to both her home and when she lived at Sarah Harding.  Deborah's obituaries can been seen HERE and HERE.  RIP, my friend.  You will be missed by many.

Until next time...

A Finish and a Close One

NIGHT LIGHTS QUILT I used a decorative stitch to add the binding and quilted the borders perpendicular.

I started this quilt before I enrolled in the Beginner's Class.  Before the class, I was self-taught using books and YouTube.  I finished this quilt on my own. 

Who knew quilts were supposed to have labels?  Not me!  I made one with my sewing machine.  It's not an embroidery machine but does have alphabet and decorative stitches.

It's not perfect, but it's so cheerful and makes me smile.

Since the weather has been so crappy dangerous, quilt class was cancelled two weeks in a row, then it was Valentine's Day so no class.  Week three class was on February 21st.  In week three, we learned how to square up our blocks, sew the blocks into rows, and then sew the rows together.  This is what I got done in class:

I finished my "homework" and added borders.  I made my quilt a lot larger than the 30x30" quilt the rest of the class is doing.  I wanted to be able to use my quilt as a blanket not wall hanging.

After I added borders, I realized one of the squares is not like the others.  Can you find it?

Our next class is this Thursday.  Since my quilt is a lot larger than everyone else's, I spoke to the instructor to get permission to do the quilt sandwich and start the quilting at home before class.

Until next time...

Mother Nature Has Been Very Angry

I think someone took Mother Nature's PMS meds.  This has been one LONG winter.  Spring cannot come soon enough!

January 12:  Snowed most of the day. Roads were terrible.

January 19:  More snow.  Three hours of shoveling and snowblowing.  Even Tyra wasn't happy.

January 21:  Actual temperature -15F.  Windchill temp -20F  Brrr!

January 22:  25F warmer. Winter storm warning from 9am until 4am on January 23rd.  4-8" snow accumulation.

January 23:  Fog and -20 to -30F windchill temperatures.  We ended up with 5" of snow.  Two hours of shoveling and snowblowing before work and two hours after work.  The upside?  I racked up over 20K steps according to Fitbit.  Another 4-6" forecasted.

January 25: Actual temperature -18F with windchill temps of -20F to -35F.  28F below normal.  We had a windchill advisory/warning until Noon.  High temperature on this day:  2F.

January 26:  Actual temperature -9F.  Freakin' cold!!

January 28:  More snow.  My area received 6-8".  Took me three hours to clear my driveway before going to work.  The upside?  17F temperature. 

 After clearing the driveway and sidewalk, I came home to this thanks to the street department.  Grrrr!

There's a yard light in there somewhere!
In case you're not familiar with Illinois winter weather, here's some humor for you:

January 29:  Windchill temps of -26F.  The governor issued a State of Emergency.  Lots of businesses and of course schools closed.

January 30:  Windchill temperatures of -45F to -55F.  I stayed home from work.  I did not want to risk being at work and then not have my car start.  Instant brain freeze when I went outside.  I had everything covered except for my eyes and forehead.

January 31:  -35F actual temperature. These negative temperatures were getting SO old!


February 1:  Three more inches of snow overnight.  Actual temperature -1F.  I could only shovel snow for an hour at a time before having to go back in the house to warm up.  Two hours after getting to work, it snowed again.  Thankfully, the latest snowfalls have been light and fluffy.

February 5:  Freezing rain and sleet.  Another winter advisory until Feb 6th.  6/10th of an inch of ice.

February 6:  "Walk Like A Penguin" day!  I put down over 100lbs of salt in an attempt to get rid of the ice.  I wore my strap-on spikes.  They are worth their weight in gold to be able to walk over ice.  More freezing rain overnight!

February 7:  Power went out at work due to ice.  My backyard looked like an ice rink.  Another 100lbs of salt used up trying to keep the ice at bay on my driveway.

February 8:  40mph howling winds overnight.  Windchill temps of -30F.

Incidentally, one year ago today I cleared 9" of snow off my driveway.

February 10:  That ice rink I previously mentioned?  I fell and hurt my back and neck.  My clothesline was put up between the garage and tree in the backyard so that I can more safely walk across the ice when I take the dog out.

February 11:  Emergency visit to the chiropractor.  My neck and back hurt so bad.  It brought tears to my eyes when the doc adjusted my neck.

February 13:  More snow!  3-4" of the white fluffy stuff.  After I cleared the driveway, it sleeted, and then snowed some more.  Sigh.  I woke to 1/4" of ice topped with snow.  Had to chip away the ice in order to clear the driveway after getting off work.  Snowblower broke down.  Ugh.

February 15:  60F temperature change in the past 24 hours.  Valentine's Day brought a beautiful 40F weather.  Today it was -27F windchill temperatures.

February 17:  Two inches of snow cleared before work.  Three more inches when I got off work.

February 20:  We didn't get the snow forecasters called for which gave me time to scrape the rest of the ice off my driveway.  Once done, I created a message on my snow bank for passersby:

February 27:  More freezing rain!

March 4:  -25F windchill temperatures and gusty 25mph winds.


Until next time...