Welcome to A Crafter's Corner! I love to create crafty projects, and would love to share some of my creations with you! If you are interested in scrapbooking, stamping, or papercrafting, these are the venues I use most often. Enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Not Very Balanced Today

From this Side of the Pond

We are back from our Florida vacation, and I can't wait to share the good times, and some bad that happened on the trip. That is for another day though. Today, some hodgepodge questions!

1. Where do you go when you need some inspiration?  I love to be outside, weather depending, so that is probably my preferred place for inspiration.  I don't tolerate high heat or humidity very well, but I think I do pretty well here in Indiana.  I have ten beautiful acres with trees, a creek and a pond. With my dogs, I can walk around, or sit quietly on the porch swing and listen to the birds. I will go out in the sun, a light rain or the snow. I would be perfectly content listening to the waves hitting the beach, but I don't have that here!

2. What's under your bed?  It's embarrassing to say, there is a lot there!  A few years ago, hubby and I hiked up Pikes Peak in Colorado.  We bought very nice backpacks, thinking we would continue hiking. They are stored under the bed, and haven't been touched in a very long time.  Under the bed I also store plastic containers that have rolls of Christmas wrapping paper in them. Since the boys never came upstairs to our room, it was the best way to keep our kids from seeing the paper until Christmas. The boys are grown now, but I have just never changed this routine.  I also store extra table leaves under the bed. Keeps them safe and out of the way.

3. Thursday, February 22nd is National Chili Day, National Margarita Day, and National Cook a Sweet Potato Day. Of the three which would you most like to celebrate? Is that likely?  Looks like I need to go shopping! I love chili, but it doesn't sit well with hubby, and just he and I at home now, I can't do that.  I love sweet potatoes, but out of the three choices, I can guarantee we will do Margaritas!  I have been a little indulgent in some alcohol since our vacation last week-it has been helping me sleep at night, when an injury I incurred otherwise keeps me awake.

4. What are you 'snowed under' with right now?  Unfortunately, not snow!  This has been the craziest winter in Indiana this year! Yesterday it was in the mid 70's, and today the 40's. I miss the snow. But, to answer this question, I am 'snowed under' with schoolwork.  I am so close to finishing my BSN. I need to be out in my community, acquiring 35 hours of face to face interviews so I can finish a paper. Being on crutches right now, I am struggling to move much, and it causing a little stress. 

5. Tell us three to five things that make you feel balanced?  Carving out time for my hobbies is something I haven't been able to do in years.  I now allow myself to stitch in the evenings. It relaxes me.  Getting some exercise is very balancing for me.  I returned to running last summer, and it feels amazing.  This is week two with no running, and I am feeling very sluggish.  I am not allowed to put any weight on my right leg, so I need to find new exercises I can do for now.  With crutches, not running at all, I am feeling sooooo unbalanced right now!  Getting outside, camping or hiking with my hubby works wonders for me, and us.  Sometimes, hubby's days are long, and he just wants to sit and relax when he gets home. It is easy to feel ignored, and very frustrated being home so much.  When we go hiking or camping, we give undivided attention.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  Two years ago, hubby and I took a trip to Florida, to see our son graduate from his military training.  It was beautiful down there, and we really considered becoming snow birds, staying there all winter.  We just returned from a vacation in Florida, and have immediately noticed a difference in the way we felt down there, and how we feel at home.  I am thinking next winter, we might just spend a little more time in the south, and gradually, we might just make that transition to snowbirds every winter!  

If you would like to play along with Wednesday's Hodgepodge questions, go visit Joyce, her blog is From This Side of the Pond.   Even if you don't want to play, it's fun to see how others answer.  Thanks for stopping by today, have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday, time to share a little Hodgepodge about me.  I am actually on time this week!  I am linking up with Joyce, at From This Side of the Pond.

1. January 24th is National Compliment Day. Is it easy or not so easy for you to accept a compliment? Share a recent compliment you've given or received.

  I love to give others a little boost by complementing them.  For me, accepting a compliment is not as easy as giving though.  I recently received a compliment from one of the postal workers in our little local post office.  More than once he told me that I looked really nice that day.  Since I was dressed for an important appointment that day, I took his words as a hint that I should stop going out in public in my sweats and no makeup!

2. Ten little things you are loving right now.

  I am loving my husband leaving early in the morning, and I get a few quite minutes to stitch.
  I am loving heating the house with the outdoor wood boiler.  I can turn up the heat without thinking about the cost of gas!
  I have been scrapbooking again this week, and I love playing with paper
  Hot tea.  I am having a heart scan done today, so no caffeine, no coffee. Love my peppermint tea.
  Watching snow fall.  I don't have to be outside, so I get to enjoy from my warm house.
  Our Jack Russel puppy likes to snuggle in my lap with my blanket
  Cold weather! As crazy as that sounds, I like to run when it's only 32 outside, I don't overheat.
  I am loving running. I started a half marathon training program, a big undertaking.
  Leggings-I never owned any until just recently, and I am hooked. I won't wear them outside the house though.
  I am loving the woman's devotional book that I read every morning.
3. Would people describe you as a positive person? Do you see yourself that way?

Positive people find something to look forward to every day, they celebrate the small stuff, they're kind, they stay busy, accept responsibility for their actions, forgive themselves, know when to move on, and resist comparisons

Which action on the list would you say you do regularly? Which action could you add to your life to give you a more positive outlook? If you're a positive person, what's something you do regularly that's not on the list?

Yes, I think so, and yes I do.  From the above list, I think I find something to look forward to every day.  Usually, it's something simple, like knowing it is my running day compared to a rest day.  Something that I do regularly that isn't on the list above is think of something to be thankful for.  I have a family member recently diagnosed with cancer, I am thankful I have knowledge to share, I can answer some of her questions when they strike at weird hours when she can't pick up a phone and call her doctor.

4. Homemade chicken soup, beef stew, or a bowl of chili...what's your pleasure on a cold winter's day?
 Chili all the way! I just bought the fixings, preparing to make a big pot this weekend.  My husband has a sensitive stomach, but he will be out of town all weekend, I am going to pig out!

5. The best part of my day is....

  First thing in the morning after everyone leaves.  My youngest is living here temporarily, but he works an hour away, so he heads out early.  I grab a big cup of coffee, throw my blanket over my lap in the recliner with the puppy, and I stitch while i listen to youtube videos.  I used to stitch first thing in the morning when the boys were little, before they had to get up for school. It is so relaxing, and I get a lot done.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

  One of the few shows that hubby and I like to watch is Blue Bloods.  We aren't dedicated to anything on TV, but if this is on as we are flipping through, it's our choice. We always like the scenes of the family gathered around the dinner table, chatting about events.  It's not just the fact that it's family, it's several generations of family.  And they have been together enough that they know each other.  When our boys were growing up, we always ate dinner together as a family.  Now everybody feels so spread out, and other than the holiday meals, we don't see each other.  I am trying to bring us together again.  I have made an effort, at least once a week, have my local sons, and family, as well as my in-laws over for a meal.  It can be a lot of work to cook and clean for that many people every week, but I am hoping our grand daughter will know her uncles and great grand parents a little better than if we didn't try.  Tomorrow is our big meal this week.  Maybe I'll get a head start, and make the dessert today!

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Late to the Party

My dear friends, I am late with my TUSAL report. I had good intentions. I started to type this post two days ago, and realized I was too early. Instead of typing and scheduling it, I waited because I thought I would get to it on time. Instead, I was caught off guard with picking up the dear granddaughter from school, and having her stay the night with us. I was unprepared for her, but loved it nonetheless.

Back to business-TUSAL. A Totally Useless Stitch Along. I have participated with this in the past, but it has been a while. I have been stitching up a storm the past few months, so maybe I will be able to participate with this all year. What is a TUSAL you might ask? To get all the details, check out Daffycat's blog, she hosts this fine adventure!

In my picture below, I have my ORTs from the past month. There were some that got pitched when I was stitching in the car, but overall, I was pretty tight with my threads. They aren't cheap, so I use as much as I can squeeze out of them!
This little plastic tube is about six inches tall. It has been perfect to keep beside my stitching chair, and with a lid, the pieces don't fall out when my puppy knocks it over.

I can't show the threads without also showing what I have stitched. I have finished two pieces already this month! I am participating in Stitch From Stash on Facebook, so I have every intention of finishing more of my works in progress.
My most recent finish is this piece Simplicity, by Little House Needleworks.  I started this two years ago right after my dad died.  I had only done a couple of rows on the sheep, and put it away.  I struggled with linen, but I was stitching in hand.  Now that I have started using a tension hoop, it is much better. I have the entire series of these Little Sheep Virtues.  I am participating in the Facebook series SAL, so maybe these will be out of my stash pile this year.

Another finish this month was by Lizzie Kate.
I bought this as a kit in December, it had the fabric and buttons with the chart.  This stitched up so quickly and I loved it! I bought a frame yesterday and next Christmas it will be displayed.

I had a few other pieces I have finished stitching, might as well show them since we're here.
The bookmark I started for my granddaughter this past fall. It took longer than I thought it would, but it is fully finished. This had a lot of backstitching, but I don't mind it.

Another Lizzie Kate piece, A Little Snow. This is really not a good picture, I don't think you can see the brass charm on the letter S.  I bought this as a kit three years ago, it came complete with charm, beads and fabric. I don't know why it took so long to get to this, I completed it in only a couple of weeks! I can't wait to display this next winter.

And my biggest accomplishment-
Autumn ABCs by Little House Needleworks.  I did this in one month as a SAL with the Facebook group.  I absolutely loved stitching this.  I have the needlework ABC piece to do, all kitted up.  After I complete a few more pieces, I will buy the Winter ABCs pattern.  I don't think I am very happy with the mat on this piece. I think it is just too big like this.  I am going to leave it together for now, but I see myself having this redone in the future, taking the mat out.  I also think the white floss doesn't show very well on the fabric I chose.  Maybe I'll just have to restitch it on something else! Since my walls are blue, this really looks nice hanging up.  I left it up until just yesterday, when I moved it to another room.  I know Autumn is over, but I didn't want to hide it away. It is in the guest room, only my granddaughter goes in there, she didn't even notice it, so I think it will be ok.

Well, that's quite a bit of sharing for today.  Several pieces finished.  Maybe next week I will have to show the pieces I picked up from the framer this week.   It feels good to finally be really enjoying my stitching goodies.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!

Friday, January 5, 2018

My Hodgepodge

I really enjoy reading various blogs. I love when I am visiting a blog, and they have a list of their favorites on a sidebar, occasionally I find someone new that I want to follow. With the cold temperatures right now, puppy and I are spending a little more time than usual snuggling together under a warm blanket, reading. I have found quite a few new blogs recently, which have encouraged me to think a little more.   I like it.  Sometimes I think I am just going through the motions with schoolwork, not really thinking about things that I can apply to my life right now.  I used to write the Simple Woman's Daybook prompts in the past, but I am ready for some new thoughts to ponder.  Joyce, whose blog From This Side of the Pond has some fun questions, which she calls Wednesday Hodgepodge. Yep, I know it's not Wednesday, but I just found this, so I thought I would give these a shot this week.

1. It's that time of year again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, or genera uselessness) in 2018. You can read more about the decision making process and word meaning here, but this year's top vote getters are-

unpack, dish (as in dish out the latest rumor), pre-owned, onboarding/offboarding, nothingburger, let that sink in, let me ask you this, impactful, Cofefe, drill down, fake news, hot water heater (hot water doesn't need to be heated), and gig economy

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?

There are several words on this list that I have never heard such as nothingburger and Cofefe. It's hard to say I would eliminate something I have never heard-although spell check on my laptop tried to autocorrect Cofefe into Coffee! If I could choose, I would get rid of impactful. I am bothered by poor grammar, and this just sounds awful to me!  There is a word that I hear misused ALL. THE. TIME. But it is a word that we cannot get rid of, "seen".  When I hear someone say, or type! that they just 'seen' something, that is worse than fingernails on a chalkboard. Doesn't anyone know how to say they 'saw' something!

2. What's something you need to get rid of in the new year?

Unfinished projects.  I love crafting of various sorts, but I seem to start things, and never get them done. I have quilts, cross-stitching, painted rocks, and the list goes on. I either need to finish, or dispose of some of these projects that are cluttering my closets.

3. Where do you feel stuck?

I feel stuck in my career.  I am a nurse, currently unemployed. This is by choice at the moment, as I am pushing through the last semester to finish my BSN.  I want to work, make use of the education I have worked so hard for. At the same time, I don't want to go back to the constant struggle of punching a time clock, working every other weekend, being on call all the time. I want a job that will make a difference, but I don't want to go back into a leadership position.  I loved, loved being a hospice nurse, hated being a Director of Nursing.  I have always wanted to teach, but that would require going back to school for my Masters, ugh.  I am just stuck.  First step to get out of this feeling, is finish the classes I am in. My semester ends in March, it's almost over!

4. January is National Soup Month. When did you last have a bowl of soup? Was it made from scratch or from a can? Your favorite canned soup? Your favorite soup to make from scratch on a cold winter's day?

This week, I made ham and bean soup.  We had an eleven pound ham for Christmas dinner, and there was a big bone, with a lot of ham left on it. I put the bone in the slow cooker with a bag of northern beans, a whole onion cut up, and let it simmer for the day. It smelled heavenly!  We ate soup with some cornbread and a salad. It was perfect this week. I remember my grandma in Tennessee making ham and bean soup with cornbread, makes me smile. I eat canned soup for lunch pretty often, since I am home by myself during the day. When I was in the car all day seeing patients, I even ate soup from the can, cold. I prefer split pea and ham soup, or clam chowder, I could eat them every day and be perfectly happy.

5. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in 2018.

Hubby and I are planning to do some traveling this year, and I am looking forward to finally making use of our RV.  Three years ago, we downsized from the big 40foot with all the slide-outs, to a smaller one, it can even fit through a drive through!  I have only used this RV with hubby twice, once right after my dad died and I needed to get away to nature, the other time last year when we took dear granddaughter to Santa Claus Indiana.  We take our first adventure next month.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

It's cold right now. We had -21 degrees Tuesday morning.  Some areas of the country are experiencing weather they just aren't used to; snow, frigid temps or winter hurricanes. But here in Indiana, we get snow, the temperatures get cold. I like winter. I have lived in Texas where it was warm for Christmas, and I hated it.  I like bundling up in sweaters and blankets, drinking hot tea.  I like watching the snow glisten in the sun. And I really like walking outside when it's cold. There's not a lot of traffic, not a lot of dogs out barking at me. It's peaceful.  My family tells me I only like the winter because I am not working, do not have to leave the house every day, but truth is, I have done it.  I lived out of my car every day as a hospice nurse, driving through the snowstorms, bundling up because the car heater didn't have time to warm up between patients.  I loved the winter then too.  I am mindful that not everyone tolerates the cold as well as I do.  We have brought the outside pets in with us this week, and thankfully it will warm up this weekend and they can go back outside.   I am sorry for those of you that do not appreciate this season as much as I do, but today, it makes me happy.

On that note, I think I will bundle up and take a walk.  Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018, Starting off on the Right Foot

What a beautiful day today is, even if it feels a bit chilly! Like so many across the country, Indiana has been hit with below freezing temps. I have always loved winter more than any other season. I don't mind if it's cold, because I can always add another layer. I would prefer it we at least had pretty snow to look at with these temps. We have had just enough to cover the grass that we mowed in December, not enough to dig out the tractor to plow off the driveway. I am thankful that this morning, when dear hubby woke at 4:30 and stated it was -21, at least I knew I did not have to spend my day in and out of the car. My years as a hospice nurse, I would have spent the day driving through snow drifts from patient home to home. Today though, I start the process of taking down my Christmas tree. I did not plan for this today, so I am not taking on the entire task. But every day, I am picking up pieces of tinsel off the floor. I don't know if my cat or puppy either one is intentionally playing, but I know it can be dangerous, so I am not taking any chances. Today, the tinsel. Tomorrow, the non fragile ornaments.

Today is a calm day, hibernating, but yesterday, not so much. I started 2018 off on the right foot, literally! I ran my first 5K of the year. In. the. COLD.  The past six months I have been running, and loving it. I decided that this will be the year I will attempt a half marathon. I have signed up with a group, Indy Runners, and a half marathon training program. I have also set a goal to run at least a 5K every month. I had to get started! Hubby and I had travelled to Tennessee over the weekend, to take our oldest son his Christmas gifts, since he could not come home this year. When I realized there would be a run within 15 minutes of my son's house, I signed up. This was of course, before I saw the forecast. And before I really thought it through. My son is less than 30 years old, of course he had to stay up and ring in the new year! And we couldn't not stay up with him. So at 1:30am, I finally crawled into bed, and sleep evaded me. I woke not feeling rested, and with a headache. I drank water throughout New Year's Eve, because I knew it would be better for me. It didn't matter, I should have had more wine. My son, such a good sport, surprised me yesterday morning and ran with me! 

My son and his girlfriend run half marathons. This year, their goal is to complete a marathon. For him, running 3.2 miles was not difficult. This was his territory, running along the river in Knoxville. I am not used to the elevation, or running the hills. And it was only 13 degrees when we started running! I had finally reached a decent pace running at home. My best time has been just over 28 minutes. I was disappointed that it took me over 33 minutes, and I felt like I was letting my son down. He stayed right beside me the whole time, never pushed me, never made fun of me. I am not happy about my time, but I am happy I didn't start the year by backing out on my goal. I have my first month's race done! I'm thinking the Hot Chocolate race might be good in February.  One of the things I like about the races is the t-shirt. Sometimes the shirts are really nice for weekly runs. Sometimes instead of shirts, you get a hat. This race, we received fleece blankets, a first for me. I loved it! 

The six hour drive home from Tennessee yesterday, I was snuggled under my blanket, trying to sleep away the headache. 

While we were in Tennessee, we went for a walking tour of Knoxville. Hubby and I had been to the city before, but never really explored it. We were tempted to ice skate at the rink that was set up, instead we were content to reminisce about trying it in Chicago when we were there for our anniversary years ago. We did stop for a picture by the ice rink though!

We had such a wonderful New Year's weekend with our oldest son and his girlfriend. I look forward to seeing them again next month, when we travel to Florida to start the first adventure on our bucket list of travel plans.  I hope you had a wonderful New Year's celebration as well. Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Never Too Old to Learn

When I stayed in South Carolina with my son several years ago, I spent a lot of time sitting around while my son practiced riding dirt bikes. He was at a training facility, so that was his purpose. I could only watch the boys riding the same track so many times in a day.  It was at this time that I first discovered blogs, and Postcrossing.  I don't know how I discovered either one, but I have really enjoyed both of them!
In case you have never heard of Postcrossing, it is a website that you can join for free.  The whole purpose is to send and receive postcards from people you don't know in other countries. Your address is only provided to one person at a time, as your name comes up on a list to received a postcard. You start out sending one postcard at a time until you get established, and gradually you can have more than one in the mail at a time.  I have participated on and off almost five years already. I have sent postcards to countries I have never heard of!  I am including a screenshot of the map of where my cards have been sent, or received from:

The red lines indicate cards I have sent, the blues lines are postcards I have received. This is fun to see. I wish my boys were still young enough we could have a map on the wall, and use this as a geography lesson. I never appreciated geography when I was growing up, now I wish I had paid attention more, but, you're never too old to learn new things. You never know what kind of picture your received postcard will have, I like to see ones that show something native to the country, like this one of "Kissing the Blarney Stone"

I always thought the Blarney stone was just an old wives' tale, I love this!  And I love this one I just received this week:

Unfortunately, the sparkle doesn't come through on this photo, it's much prettier in person.

I have received over 130 postcards over the years. I'm thinking I would like to start a scrapbook specifically for these, they are so much fun to look at.  I used to collect stamps with each of my sons as Cub Scout projects, so even the stamps from different countries are fun to compare. I encourage you, if you are looking for a new hobby, Postcrossing is something to look into, even my husband looks forward to seeing each postcard as they arrive. It's nice to receive something other than bills or junk mail in the box once in a while!

That's it for now, thanks for stopping by, have a great day!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December Challenge

Welcome to December, already! Where have the past eleven months gone? I for one, am happy to see this year end, and welcome in a new beginning in 2018! It seems crazy that is just around the corner.

While scrolling through blogland recently, I stumbled across a photo challenge for the month of December. As a scrapbooker of sorts, I like to preserve memories, and this was a perfect way to document this month.  Whitney, from Come Home for Comfort shared a post of prompts to help photograph some of the things that make the holidays so special.  Looked like fun to me! Here are the  first few days that I have followed through with so far, I need to catch up today.

Day 1, the prompt was red.  For me, looking out my window at a 16 foot inflatable Santa, is a lot of red!

My husband and I had a lot of fun putting him up in the yard last weekend, when the weather was perfect for being outside! We smiled at the memory of my youngest son wanting to buy this for his dad when he and I were staying in Oklahoma together. We had to find a way to load up the heavy box, bring it home with us, and hide it from dear hubby. On Christmas Eve, our three boys were able to set it up in the yard as a surprise for their dad to find the next morning. Such a pleasant memory.

Day 2, the prompt was lights.  I miss the days when we would hang icicle lights all the way around the rooflines of our house. Since the new roof and gutter guards, we can no longer do those. None of our neighbors light their homes the way we used to when our children were younger. Something we see every year however are the lights around the county courthouse.

Greencastle is one of the older cities with the big courthouse in the center. It's not tall enough to make a perfect tree, but I'm glad the city hangs these strings from the rooftop.

Day 3, the photo was prompted by sweets.  I know a lot of people stress over baking for the holidays. I do not. Hubby and I realize we both struggle with weight issues, and with both of our fathers being diabetics, we do not do a lot of sweets. Every year however, I have M&M's on the table, in a special jar.

My middle son did not always enjoy crafts like his mom. But crafts are a popular activity in Cub Scouts, and I was thrilled when my child cooperated with his den leader in elementary school and made this candy dish. It is a simple mason jar inverted on a chicken feeder. But my son made it, and it has survived over the years. I love it! The fact that I collect snowmen only adds to its appeal for me! I made the mistake of not having candy in it one year, and I took a lot of harassment from my family. I haven't missed a year since.

I hope to keep up with this photo challenge throughout the month. These will make some wonderful memories for me to save for my family. I hope you'll come back to see the other traditions we love, and maybe join the challenge yourself. Thanks for stopping by!