Friday, December 29, 2006

Knit Shop Hop

I've been enabled! After being enticed to go on a shop shop with my so-called stitching friends, I have been lured into the world of hand-dyed merino and alpaca wool! Who knew this stuff could be so addicting? One soft touch of an aloe vera treated ball of sock yarn was all it took. Have I no willpower at all? Obviously not if you could have seen the balls of lovely self patterning wool that have now made up my newly formed Yarn Stash. And of course I had to treat myself to a set of Brittney needles, a set of 5, to further along my habit.

But this habit can't last too long....only a few days left to New Year's Day and my resolution - no more Stash buying! I'm starting up the wagon .... No pattern buying until something is finished. Of course that goes along with my other resolutions - eating healthier, exercising more, and any other bad habits of mine that I can think of and are really far too many to list here.

Hmmm, I wonder how long I'll last.......?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Its Christmas Eve!

One more day to go! The big day is just arriving too quickly and I want to just sit back and savour every moment.

I have been away from the computer as we were having serious internet troubles the past couple of days and I wasn't able to load anything, blogs or otherwise. So I'm afraid I'm far behind in blog reading and commenting. That will have to wait now until things get a little quieter after Christmas.

But I did want to at least get this in:

Merry Christmas, One and All!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

My RR Returns!

And here it is ~ my Prairie Schooler Country Seasons Round Robin ~ its back, just in time for Christmas! I am absolutely in love with this RR, it turned out just awesome! And now I can't wait to get it framed, and join another RR on the Robin's Nest! Thank you so much Vash, Lynn and Anne, who did such fantastic stitching.

I'm not quite ready for Christmas yet, but getting there. I still have some last minute wrapping to do and hope to find some time later this afternoon to get it done....before Kelly and Chris arrive. They are on the road now for their 12-14 hour trip. Ugh, that's an awful long ride!

I finally picked up my poor neglected Houses of Hawk Run Hollow and have put some stitches in the past couple of nights. I really love working on this and it makes me wonder why I've left it for so long. I hope to get a progress picture up soon.

And I have also been planning my Pay-it-Forwards for the new year and already have decided on 2 specific things to work on. Hopefully I'll be able to get these done in the winter and mailed out to Sharon , Vonna, Cindy, Su, and Rachel.

Beta blogger has not been cooperating again with my commenting on other blogs. I hope Blogger gets these little kinks worked out soon! But I finally was able to log in to the Monthly Ornament Blog that Nicki set up. This is a SAL for the fourth weekend of the month to work on ornaments and hopefully keep us working on some ornaments so we don't end up in December with no Christmas stitching having been done (like me :-( Anyone else want to join in?

Monday, December 18, 2006

One More Week to Christmas!

The big countdown is here - one week to go! And my shopping is done, just a little wrapping left to go.

I got my Christmas bonus last night and I really had a moment's hesitation before I opened the envelope....since I had already spent it, anticipating the amount I would get. I have never done that before and after spending years making the typical 'mother' comments, don't count your chickens and all that....I wondered if I had jumped the gun and overspent. So it was great relief that I felt when I saw it was the same amount as last year. Phew! I can now start stalking the mailman for the Mystery X kit from European Cross Stitch.

I had a nice little post last week about my taking the plunge and ordering Mystery X from Chatelaine and the kit from ECC. Even included a cool picture of all the silkies in the kit that I had snatched from their site. But Blogger decided it didn't like this post. For some weird reason, that particular post made my template go kerflewy. Even when I deleted the picture part of the post, it still pushed all my posts to the bottom of the blog. So I had no choice to delete it. Hopefully these little kinks will all get worked out soon. I think I'm able to start commenting again. Last week I ended up giving up on those also, since my comments were either published over and over or didn't show up at all, once Blogger forced me to re-register over and over.

And the countdown is on for Kelly and Chris - they arrive sometime on Wednesday night from North Carolina. They will be here for 10 whole days!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Happy Birthday Kelly!

My little girl is 21 years old today! I had to include a picture of her very first birthday party so here's a picture of her and I 20 years ago. Looking back at that, its hard to believe that much time has gone by and Kelly has fully grown in a beautiful young woman. Okay, okay, no more sentimental stuff here, Mom's are too good for that. I'll save it for when I see her in person!

And here is a picture of Kelly (on the right) last Christmas with Carrie and me. I love the family shots we had done last Christmas. It was actually a Christmas present for hubby but I think the pictures of all our family are something that we all treasure.

Happy Birthday, Kelly! I can't wait to see you in 4 more days!!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Guild RR

I finished up the latest exchange for the our Guild Christmas Tree RR. This is Cindy's and she wanted a more traditional theme with bright colours. Easy to find a little pattern huh? Not in any of the numerous JCS ornie issues that I have stockpiled. I had to revert to pulling out some of my C/S books and finally found something in a Donna Kooler book called 555 Christmas designs.

I decided on the pine bough with the 3 ornies and got these stitched and finished in the evening, so its ready to hand off at our Christmas party next week. I'm so anxious to see how mine is coming along, I chose Celtic Knots as my theme. We're not to see them until the finish and they have already been handed off 3 times.

I took apart my poor doggie ornie and as I thought there is minimal fabric left at the corners, as I had trimmed these when I put it together. I have to admit the picture looked better than he did in R/L, think of a stitched piece framed very wrinkled and not stretched well, and that's what it looked like with a too small piece of mat board stuck inside the ornie. So thanks for the great ideas - I think he's going to be finished into a little pillow instead. But if I have time...and the inclination for more stitching....I found 2 more similar style ornies in my JCS issues. One has a bunny and a tree, and the other a kitty and a tree. I still have the same gray linen that I used...another thought I had was to stitch the 2 new ones and make the 3 into a banner. Would look cute, eh?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Poor little ornie....

I found this ornie buried at the bottom of a box of Christmas things. I actually stitched it about 4 years ago for my son Nick. But I was definitely in an ornament-finishing funk at the time as I really did an awful job with it.

I originally tried to finish it with mat board and glue and ended up chopping the fabric around the edge far too short and I faintly remember throwing something into the snow in the yard after I burned my fingers one too many times. So I finally just sewed an envelope style ornie, filled it with piece of mat board (not large enough) and some quilt batting, and the result is a really messy little thing. Its also far too big to hang on the Christmas tree as its about 4 1/2" x 5".

But I feel guilty with this little doggy, I really should try something new with it but I have a feeling there is very little fabric left around the edge any more. Any thoughts?

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Christmas Gift

Brrr, its chilly out there today -13 C but bright and clear. Luckily the forecast doesn't have this deep chill lasting too long and by Sunday the temp will be back up to 6 C. Crazy weather!

And crazy time of year ~ I have big plans this weekend for finishing up my Christmas cards, wrapping presents, and some more shopping. And we have hubby's Christmas party on Saturday night.

Meanwhile I've made a little progress on my present for my boss Lynda. I make her something every year and she is very appreciative which makes it even more enjoyable to do. This is what I have on the go right now, its a small bellpull called Happy Snow Days from an older issue of Cross Stitch Collection.

Have a good weekend, all!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A new look...

It was time for a change to my blog template, Autumn is definitely over and although the outside isn't completely snow-covered yet....the ground is frozen and there has been frost and a light dusting of snow the past few mornings. Winter is a-comin'.....

And so is Christmas! For which I haven't done much of anything except to get our house decorated and the stockings up. Work has been crazy busy the past 2 weeks and one of our full-timers is off cruising her merry way around the Caribbean right now, so that means even more work. I'm hoping my poor arms will hold out!

I took a couple of pictures of stockings I made a couple of years ago. Bad mum that I am, I haven't stitching stockings for everyone...yet ;-D

I think I'll be posting pictures of Christmas things I have made in the past as my turbo needles have finally run out of octane. I don't think I'll have much of a chance for any stitching until the holidays come.

Did I mention I have a week off at Christmas? and that Kelly and Chris are coming home for the holidays!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lynn's Finished RR

C'est fini!

This is Lynn's completed Lizzie Kate round robin. I finished off Spring the other night, after Lynn (Autumn), Vash (Summer) and Anne (Winter) did their sections. It came out lovely and I think Lynn will be happy with it.

Sorry for the wrinkles in the picture, but this little piece has certainly done its fair share of travelling and has a wee bit more to do before it gets back home.

This is the last RR from the Robin's Nest to be done for this group and we're done. There are some new exchanges starting up and I think a new RR will be starting in the new year. If anyone is interested in joining, please click on the link.

And meanwhile I've started stitching on a Christmas giftie for my boss. Pics to follow....

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Clown.....and dragons, and castles and knights.

Do you know these clowns? Well the one on the left is my son, Nick, and the other his buddy Ian, who took part in the local Santa Claus parade this past Saturday. It was a chilly morning with the temperature hovering around the freezing mark but they still managed to hand out their fair share of candy canes to all the kiddies watching the parade.

Meanwhile at home, it was a busy weekend, with some house cleaning and decluttering, finally getting some drapes hung in my living/dining rooms, and valances, which were taken down the next day - didn't like 'em! And the house is looking ever so festive with our Christmas tree and decorations put up.

And the dragons, and castles and knights? Well I kept dreaming about them last night, after several games of Carcassonne over Saturday and Sunday. Carrie and JF brought it home after a game's night at a friends and introduced the rest of the family. I'm definitely hooked, or I should say, we are all hooked! There goes my stitching time!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

An ornament and Great News!

I received Leah's ornament from the Prairie Schooler exchange. Isn't he amazing! She did a fantastic job with the stitching, he's actually quite a tiny thing as he is stitched on what looks like 40 ct fabric. I'm so happy with this exchange and I hope Leah receives the ornament from me soon.

I edited this post to change the original pic to one that I swiped from Leah. And I included the PS ornie I stitched for her.

Thanks for everyone's comments on my Blackbird finish! These are great designs to work on, and not as time consuming as most of what I take on. Barbara, if you are interested in joining our SAL, please leave your e-mail and I'll have Eva (moderator exceptionale) send you an invitation to the forum.

As Vonna mentioned, I think I have high octane on my turbo-needles (I love that comment!) as I'm just finishing up with Lynn's RR. I hope to have a picture of the finished piece by the weekend. Now just 2 more RR's to catch up Guild one, which is still in the early stages so should be quick to do, and Ann's Neighbourhood, and I already have the design picked out and ready to start.

It was definitely a great day for good news ~ Carrie was offered a job at the new Durham Regional Cancer Centre as a radiation therapist. This was her first choice for jobs actually so she is absolutely thrilled! This is a new centre that is opening up in the spring of next year, so on the downside, she won't be starting until sometime between March and May, but on the upside, its only a 10 minute drive away. No worries about commuting to Toronto for a job! And on top of that, she was also offered a position on a scrapbook design team. I don't have the details of the name, but I'm sure its all on her blog. So she will have something to keep her busy until the paying job starts!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

When This You See

When This You See, by Blackbird Designs
Stitched on 32 ct Antique Ivory Belfast with DMC, GAST and WDW threads.
August 1st-November 26, 2006

I'm one of the last ones in our SAL to finish this.....but its done! This was a very pleasant piece to stitch on and I'm hooked now on Blackbird Designs. The more I see of them, the most I like. Well I guess that can be said for most cross stitch designers, at least where I'm concerned. I'm hoping to get this in to be framed next week along with a couple of other pieces....

Our next Blackbird SAL starts in January, its still up in the air if we start on January 1st or later on, to give everyone a chance to get their materials. The next piece is going to be Garden of Life. And since I joined Needlecraft Corner's Loose Feathers Club, I already have all my supplies so I'm ready to start. All others interested in joining us?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Finished Finish

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends!

Kelly and Chris made the 13 hour drive to New York from North Carolina yesterday to visit with Chris' family. And of course mother that I am, I was very happy to get the phone call that they had arrived safely. I'm sure they are feeling very full right now after a big turkey dinner.

My Noah's Ark bellpull was finally completed and handed off to baby Scarlett the other day. My sister had a family lunch at her new house for all the 'girls' and it was a perfect chance for me to give my niece the baby gift I had made. Being a cross stitcher herself, she was very pleased and I was very relieved!

And I finished up all the sewing on the Christmas towels I had been working on. I made 8 in total and gave 5 of them as gifts to my sisters and cousins. So that leaves 3 left, one for me and Carrie and Kelly.

And I have to post this picture of Scarlett. She is just such a sweetheart with the biggest blue eyes ever. As you can see from the picture, Carrie really just didn't want to put her down!

Tonight is 4 Saisons night - I'm hoping to get a little more accomplished so I can show an update.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Finish!

Bent Creek Snappers
on 32 ct Platinum linen, using DMC, GAST and WDW thread.

Started on January 1st, 2006 ~ Finished on November 18, 2006

Whew, a larger finish for me! I'm very happy with the way this turned out. I used two sets of buttons from Dress It Up sets, hearts around the border and teeny tiny buttons in the blocks themselves, instead of using the snaps that came with the patterns. These are really sweet and I will have to use them again.

And I got my parcel mailed out for the Prairie Schooler board ornament exchange. I took a scan of the ornament also and as soon as the recipient receives it, I'll post it.

I'm still looking for 4 more people for my Pay it Forwards. I'm afraid I joined in this too late and everyone has already signed on. Vonna has suggested a sideways swap, so even though you have already signed on with someone, feel free to join mine also!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Paying it forwards

I've been bitten! I've been reading about this for a while, on everyone's blog, but with Christmas just around the corner, I decided it was time for me to plunge in too.

I signed up on Rachel's blog to receive a handcrafted item. Now I'm going to "pay it forward" to the first 5 people who comment here and tell me that they would like to receive something from me. I will send you some form of needlework, and in return, you will add this same offer to your blog. Most folks are giving themselves a 365 day deadline to complete all five gifts, which sounds reasonable (though hopefully we won't need the whole year!).

Please comment, then email me (wjbolduc @ with your snail mail address so I will know where to send your gift, then quick like a bunny go post your own pay it forward offer! This will be a fun exercise in stitching and giving.

I love a parade

On Saturday night, we went to the local Santa Claus parade. We have no little children in the house any more to see Santa and pass along their letters, but it is so much fun to see all the floats and everyone who takes part. I love the night time parades, with all the lights and the music.

Here are Carrie and Jean-Francois, bundled up as it was a little chilly.

I love a pipe band, and there were a couple of brass bands too.

And what's a parade without clowns on scooters?

But it was definitely getting very cold so we were very glad to see Santa finally show up!

Brrrr, we even have snow this morning. Winter is definitely on the way.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Project Bag

I picked this cool pattern up the other day at the local quilt shop. It was to make a project tote bag and the kit actually included all the fabrics that I am using for my Guild sewing box. So ... well of'course I had to buy it!

I decided to make it first with some fabrics from my stash, because I didn't trust myself to make it with the sewing box fabrics, figuring I would destroy the whole thing and then wind up having to buy another metre of two of fabric.

But this thing sewed up so quickly and easily and its so cool!

There are 2 pockets on the outside of the tote, for storing scissors and assorted other goodies. On the inside, you actually sew in 6 of the large size Ziploc baggies (have I mentioned how much I love Ziploc baggies?) and these are great for keeping all your threads and miscellaneous goodies needed for a project.

There are Velcro ties to hold everything all in together, and voila! you're good to go! I love it. Now that I've made it once, I feel comfortable making it with the good fabric, but I love the batiks that I used for the first one too. Well I usually have more then one project on the go at a time, so I really need several more....;-D

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Graduate

We attended Carrie's graduation ceremony at the University of Toronto yesterday. What a wonderful moment for parents to see! The ceremony was held at Convocation Hall, a 99 year old building, which was also thankfully very warm, since I spent the previous 50 minutes waiting outside for Rick to come from work, try to find a parking place in downtown Toronto (a near impossible task) and find the hall where I was waiting with his ticket.

Really the ceremony was over too fast, given that Carrie had spent the past 5 years studying so hard. So now she officially has her Bachelor of Science Honours degree, with her diploma in Medical Radiation Sciences. Here is a picture of the graduates - Carrie in the centre with her friends Deb and Joanna.

And of course a picture with her mum and dad, too!

Friday, November 10, 2006

My letter K

I read this on Christine's blog and thought it would be a fun thing to try. She kindly assigned me a 'K' and I copied the instructions pretty much directly from her site (sorry :-)

Comment to this message and I will assign you a letter of the alphabet. Then go to your journal and post a list of 10 words that begin with this letter and what they mean to you.

Here goes:

1. K ~ Kelly, of course, my almost 21 year old daughter, is the very first person who comes to mind.

2. K ~ Kids, and I have 3 of 'em!

3. K ~ Karen, my oldest sister, who started me off on quilting and whom I have finally managed to drag over to the dark (but enlightened) side of cross stitch.

4. K ~ Kelsey, daughter Carrie's doggy who lives with us now. She is a Schnoodle and a wonderfully loving doggy, except that hubby keeps threatening to have her 'barker' removed.

5. K ~ Kitty cats, I love 'em but can't have them in the house because of hubby's dreadful allergy to them.

6. K ~ Kits, meaning cross stitch ones, that is, I still buy them even if it means I swap out the fabric and even the floss sometimes.

7. K ~ Knit, another hobby which I love to do but too many other things just get in the way.

8. K ~ Kangeroo, do you know I have never actually seen one of these guys in real life? Well not at any zoos, that is.

9. K ~ Knees, which I am starting to feel a little more tonight, especially since I started back on my 30 minute walks.

10. K ~ Kiss, this one thanks to Carrie, because you know all I seem to be able to think of are C-words? But this one means a lot to me too, so its best left for the end.

Whew .... I did it, and it was harder than I thought. I think its time for bed!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My house

Its finished and ready to pass along this weekend at our stitching get-together. This is my house for the neighbourhood RR that my stitching friends are starting up. It is a Prairie Schooler design, of course, as that's all I seem to be stitching these days.

And last night I finished the stitching on my PS ornament for the exchange that's due out in another 10 days. Now I'm sure its going to take me the rest of the 10 days to figure out exactly how to finish it. No pictures, the recipient may be reading this!

And I'm back on to B is for Blackbird, 22 blocks complete....4 left to go.

But today is Thursday which means its "Saisons" night. The past 2 weeks I've been working on the tree which means it looks like very little progress has been made, so no pics on that one recently either, sigh, its such a huge piece but I love it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Scrapbook Layouts

I had a great weekend - scrapbooking with my sisters. Here are pics of the 2 layouts I managed to get accomplished. I'm slow - I think I only have about 9,999 pictures left to do! My sister Elaine and I drove to our sister Karen's house in Kitchener and spent the entire day in her new craft room (complete with a well stocked fridge).

We spent the night and then went to Len's Mill where I picked up some absolutely gorgeous fabric to use for my Prairie Schooler blocks that I want to make into a quilt. I'm so excited to get going on this quilt finally, but I still have 4 blocks left to finish in the series. Where are those turbo needles when you need them? Len's Mill is such a great place for fabrics, there is just an endless assortment of everything you can think of sewing-wise. Now they have also increased their scrapbooking section as well, so we ended up spending a fair bit of time (and money) there before we headed out to come back home.

And stitching-wise I got a good start on my Prairie Schooler ornament for the exchange coming up!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Two New Finishes

My latest Prairie Schooler 2 finishes ~ C and D. I finished up C last night at the Guild meeting, I finally had a missing skein of floss that was needed for the grassy areas. And I did make some rather drastic changes to the 'D' block, to make it suit my taste a little more.

I'm so excited to see the end of this series - 2+ years and counting later. I have only A, B, Y and Z left to do (I started with X is for Cross Stitch and worked my way backwards since Y and Z were not released yet). That means 20 blocks! Do you think its time to start shopping for fabric to make these into a quilt?

Meanwhile I have become a crazed Prairie Schooler fan and can't wait for any of their new releases to come out. Which reminds me, I have a Christmas ornament to make for the PS Board, and the deadline is fast approaching.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Hallowe'en!'s a Mill Hill pattern I finally finished into a bellpull! Well it wasn't hard really, since the edges were already finished with the pretty orange checkerboard pattern. Its actually much nicer in person since all the beading doesn't show up in the picture.

I'm looking forwards to tonight with all the trick-or-treaters coming to the door. Of course the dogs don't appreciate being locked into the basement for the evening, they just don't quite understand why there are so many little people coming to the door.

Now to just find where I hid my candy away to.....:-D

Monday, October 30, 2006

Back Home!

We made it back home again late Saturday night. Whew, what a long drive, especially through so much rain and even sleet! The wind on the highways was incredible, at times it felt like it was moving the truck right off the road.

We had a fantastic time in Charlotte and even got to the ocean in Myrtle Beach. It was a little chilly but sunny so that made up for it and walking along the ocean is just amazing. We did a ton of shopping ~ at some outlet malls, Target, Kohl's, and of course Hobby Lobby and A.C.Moore. While I didn't find a ton of cross stitch goodies, I did pick up some great Lori Birmingham kits that were on clearance, for a sewing box, needle case, scissor fob, etc. And I also found some lovely fake-antique sewing accessories for my new sewing case that were 50% off. I love a good sale! Best of all I got a huge amount of my Christmas shopping done.
Here's a pic of Kelly and I on Thursday morning at Myrtle Beach.
And of course Miss Maisie, wearing the new coat that I knitted up for her. She's such a cutie and a ball of energy.

Friday, October 20, 2006

And We're Off!

First thing tomorrow morning that is! We're off to spent a week with our daughter Kelly at her home in Charlotte, NC. It will be our first time there and we are really looking forwards to it. I'm hoping to see some warmer weather that what we've had here, this fall has been so dull and dreary with way too much rain. Oh and of course, I can't wait to do some shopping, lots and lots of shopping!

I'm pretty much packed, we just have to hit the store to pick up some nibblies for the ride (12-14 hours - yech, what a drive!) , and the bank for US cash - for those wonderful toll highways, and any stops along the way. Its hard trying to decide what stitching project to take, most times I would love the idea of 12 hours of stitching time, but in a car??? with a teenage boy????

We'll be back the following weekend, I'm sure the week will just fly by.

Yesterday, Carrie and I met up with my sister Karen at the Creative Festival in Toronto. While there were not as many vendors as in previous years, the shopping was still just as good. The stitching designers have really started turning out, and its so great to meet these people in person - Crossed Wing, X's & O's, Heart's Content, that I can remember plus some great displays of La-D-Da, Heritage Stitchcraft, and the Historical Sampler Company. I know there were more....

Here's a few pics of my Stash-filled day:
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The last 2 pics are actually of quilting kits that I have been waiting to get since I saw them at the Spring Festival. My sister bought the 2 coordinating ones and eventually I hope to make them all. Hmmm, love my coffee!

Have a great week!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Its a Sewing Lesson!

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Saturday afternoon was sewing lesson time. We got Marj's sewing machine figured out and it works like a dream. A noisy dream!
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She managed to get a few of her smaller finishes done - Poor Jack, a freebie by Just Nan was made into an ornament to hang just in time for Hallowe'en. And the Kitty is I think a Bent Creek piece, but I'll have to check the name of the design. This guy is being made into a pillow. She also started the finishing of her M Designs' letters into ornaments for Christmas gifts.
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And I have most of my sewing box pieces covered with fabric and ready to assemble. It was a busy afternoon!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Some more Thanksgiving pics

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A few more pictures of last weekend to see! For some reason Blogger hasn't liked me this week nor has Photobucket, as neither site would let me upload any pictures.....But I have to get a couple more up, if only to remind myself of how great the weather was, because it feels like we're into winter right now. We have even had snow flurries!

I stitched this week on another PS alphabet block - C is for Cow - and its nearing the end, as soon as its done I'll get a picture up (hopefully) and that of my last finish D is for Duck. I did manage to play around with another photo hosting site yesterday and got the new Flickr multi-image thingy to work, which you can see on the right hand side. I just put up pics of all my PS blocks so far. I'm getting exciting that this is nearing the end - only 4 blocks left to go!

Marj is coming by today to give me a hand with my sewing box so I can get my homework caught up. I pulled out all my pieces the other day and had no idea where to begin. That will teach me for not completing that part shortly after the Guild meeting! Marj is bringing her sewing machine and I'll try to give her a bit of a lesson, as long we can get it threaded.

Have a great weekend!