Puttering is the best word to describe the last few days around here... I'm still trying to get the very last bit of Christmas erased from the house. Everything came down yesterday morning but the tree and by afternoon it was un-decorated and missing the top half. I had 3 strands of lights on this year and one went out, but only half the strand. It's not supposed to do that. I tried fixing it on the tree but that was not happening so I waited until it came off last night to see what the problem was. First I replaced one of the fuses...who knew lights had fuses? No good. Then finally after starting to go light by light, the section popped on and just one green bulb was dead. After replacing the bulb and the green cover it was fine. I still don't know why that bulb took out 2 lights before it and the rest of the strand after it? I'll keep my fingers crossed and try not to use that strand next year unless I have no choice. Nothing worse than getting a fully decorated tree and THEN the lights go out. I still have the bottom of the tree to pull apart and stick in the tree duffel, but I'm gearing up for the job by writing a blog post.
Other than doing chores, I've been getting small things done on lots of projects. I started hand quilting the Little Red Schoolhouse quilt I finished in November. Nothing to show really.
I started the next embroidery block for the Sweet LOL sampler that I'm doing with some other gals as a BOM. In the original pattern, the Eagle block was supposed to be done on muslin with a dark gold floss. I open my packet to get my fabric and see a dark gold piece of background the same color as the floss. Not gonna work. So I picked what I thought was a nice light tan that showed up great with the dark gold floss and started sewing. Once I got the words done and started the gold, I couldn't see the stitches. What shows up as a big lump of thread, doesn't do as well with 2 strands. So I had to decide to toss and start over, or adapt. I chose to adapt. I picked up a very dark red and started sewing. It won't be the stately gold eagle, but I like it. I still have feather stitches to do above the words and I think I might go with a dark taupe color.
I got all my swap blocks done and out to my partner Carol. After I saw these little 9 patches when Darlene and Wendy showed them on their blogs. I fell in love! Since we were kinda done with swapping nickels, I asked her about swapping 15 of these each month and she was more than game. They are a lot of fun to make!I finished my embroidery sections for the cute tote bag if you remember, and I sat down right after Christmas to make the bag. I thought about doing it with homespuns and picked out a set of deep red, dark green and dark tan that I got at the quilt show last year. then I started thinking about what a tote bag demands. You stuff it full, slop it over your shoulder and it ends up slung on the floor. These homespuns were a bit looser weave and I realized that the potential for snagging would be really high. So, I preferred to use cottons. Couldn't find the right combination in my stash and had no other choice but to find some NEW cool fabrics and order them. They came yesterday morning and I am so happy. Just what I wanted. I'll sit down right after the tree is down and get to work on the bag.
I have so many plans for projects over the next year, so I hope to get better at planning out my time and getting things done. Plus I ordered a new pattern to start soon with another group of gals for a cool Christmas quilt. I'll share that story tomorrow. Not like I don't need loads more to do!