Start of winter

 So, in my last post, I said February was either the end of winter or just the start - this year it's just the start.  Like most of you, storms have lined up with little respite in between.  Unlike many of you, it hasn't been Arctic cold (although much colder than average) and we haven't yet lost power (although we were as prepared as we could be in case we did).  The latest winter storm warning has been lifted and it looks like we'll warm up into the high 30s F for the next couple of days so the ice should all melt off before the next storm hits on Monday.

The birds have been mobbing the feeders all week.  Most of them are seed eaters and the ice has covered all the grasses they rely on through the winter.  No unusual sightings this week, but a couple of robins (American robins are in the thrush family while European robins are in the flycatcher family so same name/different birds) are hopping around in the yard right now.  They will appreciate a bit of a thaw.

Before we get to the making, I have been very remiss in showing pictures of this young lady:

Cassie is almost 8 months old now and is a very happy, smiley little girl.  She is also very much a little night owl.  Although today she seemed to be much more of a morning lark - I guess there's just too much going on for her to miss any of it.  

Sooo, making happened and it all aligns with the two SALs that I'm also doing check-ins for.  

First, the easiest SAL you'll ever participate in   TUSAL is hosted by Sharon at It's Daffycat (clicking there should take you to February's post).  If you want a no stress event, this one's for you.  If you craft there are always little bits of leftovers.  Save them up in a container rather than tossing them (or wearing them to work on your pants) and every month on the new moon (I said "full moon" in my last post - sorry for any confusion), post a picture and then link over to the check-in post.  Here's the bits I've generated since the beginning of the year:

My actual stitching fits perfectly into  Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  It is the perfect way to say "thank you" to people that have given you stitching goodness or to highlight gifts you are stitching or show stitching that you can shoehorn into the theme.  Stitch, take a picture and post around the 15th of each month.  Jo said she keeps the check-in open through the end of the month so plenty of time to get your check-in done.  My two focus pieces fit the SAL perfectly Goldie and Japanese Zen Garden.

Goldie was charted by Heaven and Earth Designs from a picture my SIL took of my in-law's dog and will be a Christmas gift some year for the in-laws.

In my last post she was here and now she's here

I decided that as there was miles and miles of blue stitching once her head was finished that I would complete one color in the head and then do one or two lengths of blue.  I am afraid that if all I have left is all that blue, I'll stall out and I really would like to get this finished sooner than later.  She's done on 28-count antique white Monaco with DMC - 1 over 1 with full crosses.

The next piece is Japanese Zen Moss Garden by Chatelaine.  This will be my son's when it's done.  When I finished in January, it was here  and today it's here
I'm stitching this on 32-count Summer Sky Jobelan with Martina's DMC conversion (except for a couple of threads that didn't have a good substitute) and the called for PTB and beads.  I was making very slow progress on this one.  I thought it was just a lighting issue, but it ended up being a magnification issue (guess 32-count is now my limit with my current glasses).  I moved my magnifier over and things are now moving along nicely (after I fixed all the miscounts).  Zen is on the frame through tomorrow.  

Even my knitting falls into Gifted Gorgeousness as this is for Baby W.  I was not happy with the way the blanket was looking so I ripped it out and started again.  I am much happier now.  Here is the whole blanket and here is a closer look    I have some work to do on uniformity but I suppose an individual bubble won't show up in the hundreds (thousands?) that will be in the finished blanket. This is three full repeats of the pattern, so only 20 more to go.

As I mentioned, Zen is on the frame until tomorrow.  I hope to finish the corner bit and maybe do some of the specialty stitches in the center before it goes away until next month.  Temperature Tree by Stitchin' Mommy will be going on the frame Sunday.  I hope to finish the branches and get caught up with the leaves fairly early in the "leftover" days in February.  I'll spin the wheel of projects to fill in the rest of the time.

Hope you are all well, safe and warm.

Start of winter