Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Carrie and I hit the mean streets of downtown Toronto for a shopping trip on Sunday. She needed a new dress for the wedding she is attending in North Carolina (no, not Kelly's :-) next month and her favourite store at the Eaton's Centre was having a store-wide sale.

Its so good to get downtown again after not having been there for a couple of months. The Eaton's Centre is always so spectacular when you first walk in. Its celebrating its 30th anniversary which is hard for me to imagine, as I remember when it was being built and when different sections of it started opening. Of course I used to spend every weekend there.

Carrie found a gorgeous dress, she's actually holding it here, its brown and white, and it fits her beautifully. She is eagerly anticipating where she is going to be spending her first pay cheque when her job starts at the Cancer Centre.

Carrie had to take this picture....her favourite actor, Wentworth Miller from Prison Break, modelling for The Gap. It took a few minutes to drag her away from this oversized image of her honey.

And here's me looking a little windblown - those downtown streets will do that to you. Of course what's a shopping trip without a Tim Horton's coffee?

No stitching to show.....all surprises going on here ;-D

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pillow Finishing

Thank you for all the great comments! Its really so wonderful to read these and know that other stitchers are looking at my work. Blackbird Designs are so much fun to work on, now that Gift of Life is finished, I'm wondering which one the SAL group will want to work on next.

Not a lot to show on the stitching front otherwise this week. And since I do love to have pictures of something, here are 2 pillows that I finished last weekend from last year's Shepherd's Bush series.

I am happy dancing though - Spring has sprung!!! Even though we are having showers on and off today, yesterday was gloriously warm and an amazing 11 degrees! It felt wonderful! Of course hubby and I had to enjoy it with a walk along the lake with the doggies. I am so glad the clocks went back early this year so we can get out and enjoy the evenings. The sunset at the lake was gorgeous and the colour of the water beautiful. Why didn't I think to take the camera!?!

This weekend is the Christmas Ornament SAL but I think I'll have to beg off this one. The fibre I was waiting on for my last PIF giftie finally arrived and I want to get started on it.

Oh and one more thing to show, I bought this magazine last week and have had it sitting on my desk all week so I can admire the cover quilt. Its called Spice Island Beauty and is shown made with batiks. I'm in love with this one, but its listed as 'challenging' and I don't know if I 'm quite up to that. But one can dream.....

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Blackbird Designs Garden of Life

Its finished, as of last night!

I couldn't resist going ahead with the stitching on this, especially since Marido from the Blackbird SAL so kindly sent along the French translation already charted. Originally it read "Friends ~ flowers in the garden of life" but I much preferred the translation as it sounds so much prettier. I even broke down and gave this fabric an iron before I took a picture. I am really not impressed with the fabric, I think its R&R 30 ct Natural, but its so stiff and creases so easily. Its definitely not one of the nicer ones I have used nor is the colour.

I have a couple more pictures to post of what I did on the weekend, but Blogger is not cooperating at all today. I think I'm lucky to have gotten these 2 pictures up, but its not letting me place them where I want.

We have such a dull, dull day here today, and more snow flurries. Where is spring?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Chatelaine Mystery X

An update, finally! Its coming although I hate to admit this is still February's section I'm working. Whew, talk about labour intensive and I'm not even adding any of the beads. Tempting though that might be, as you can see from the number of gaps, there are a lot of beads to be added and I'm starting to rethink having to add all these at the end.

I'm still working...slowly too...at my PIF gifts. I'm hoping this weekend to start working on some of the finishing of these projects so I can finally get a couple in the mail.

I went to a local scrapbook shop last night with Carrie and Kristy and totally fell in love with a new paper pack from DCWV called Once Upon a Time. Its absolutely gorgeous and of course it just had to come home with me! I have no idea yet what I'm going to do with it, I'm tempted to just put it in an album on its own and just admire the beautiful papers. But I might try to get a little more creative and as it says on the cover sheet, create my own fairy tale.

If anyone ever thought they might like to try their hand at scrapbooking, this is the paper for you! Its so pretty that you don't even have to add anything other than the pictures themselves, and not too many, because you don't want to cover up too much of the paper.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Computer woes

It died ... sometime late Friday night. And just wouldn't turn on Saturday morning at all. No warning, no strange noises (as happened the last time), just wouldn't start up. Its pretty scary how attached I have become to my faithful ol' computer and the internet. I felt lost for a full day while hubby scrambled, purchasing a new computer and reloading software, and transferred what data he could from the old system. Thank heaven for my little IT hubby, what would I have done without him? But then Sunday night, after spending a good part of the day, resetting my word processing programs with all my stuff and trying to re-access my favourite message boards and blogs, the new one died, again suddenly without any warning. Hubby managed to get some life back into her and get her running again, so at least come Monday morning I could get some work done, which luckily needed Word as it was the only thing running, until that afternoon when the keyboard froze and there you have it. A brand new beautiful system went downhill, never to be revived again.

Hubby very luckily brought home a new hard drive and spent the best part of the next 5 hours re-doing my system yet again.

Which brings me to the point of all this - how necessary this computer has become to my life, not only for work but for my sanity ~ blog reading, message board surfing, OLNS surfing. Watching the TV for hours just doesn't cut it. While I have to admit, I did get out for several nice long walks (and puddle jumping, Berta!) and enjoyed this gorgeous spring-like air, I missed my computer! Its back up and running, though very noisy, however I lost a lot of my old work, links, and even e-mails which were not backed up.

And I did get in a fair bit of stitching while watching all the operations going on about the computer desk. Now to find that cable for the camera, since my scanner has been decomissioned. Pictures are coming!

My latest update on Blackbird Design's Gift of Life. I think I am caught up with the SAL group?!?

Friday, March 09, 2007

More blocks from Leanne's House

I finished up the embroidery on my mini blocks from Leanne's House. I did my first applique piece (the heart) using freezer paper and it actually turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. And how cool that Michelle (Cozy Egg) and Sonya (Silver Thistle) have signed up for these lovely monthly blocks too! We will have to do a quilt-along.

Finally I feel some satisfaction to my craving for colour. Of course not when I look outside. We still have snow and although we have had day after day of sunshine, this terrible cold snap is doing nothing to get rid of the snow. Today the forecasters have started to call for temperatures about 0 degrees C, and then warming up for the weekend to a nice balmy 6-7 C ( high 40's F?). I can't wait ......

Nick has started his March break and he and girlfriend Kristy are off to the Toronto Zoo today. I miss the days when I used to take the kiddies, it was always a March break day trip for us. I don't day infringe on his special day planned for Kristy but I would so love to go! I guess I'm just a big kid too :-D


Thursday, March 08, 2007

PIF from Sonya

Look what Sonya (Silver Thistle) sent to me in the mail! This is her PIF - a stunning little cushion stitched in gorgeous shades of blue, and she sent some wonderful goodies, a sweet smelling sachet, a skein of Weeks Dye Works, a chart called Wee Hearts by Heart in Hand and embroidery scissors! Ohmigosh! I'm absolutely thrilled with the wonderful piece she stitched for me and to have sent all these lovely presents along with it! Thank you, thank you, Sonya!

I'm sorry that I couldn't seem to get a better picture of the detailing on this lovely cushion -Sonya's stitching is lovely and her finishing is wonderful! And I just realized I neglected to take a picture of the back where she sewed on a lovely charm.

I feel incredibly guilty as I have yet to get one of my PIF's finished and into the mail! I do have 2 1/2 done (yes, only 1/2 because I ran out of just 2 of those threads and have yet to run down to Michael's to find them) but that's only the stitching. They are still waiting for finishing. Where does the time go?

Thank you all so much for the suggestions for dinner the other night! I'm sure to use all your ideas up over the next couple of weeks when my dinner-turn rolls around again.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Leanne's House 1st mini block

I finished sewing all my mini-blocks together for Block 9 and last night worked on the embroidery. Here is my first mini block done! Isn't it pretty? Interesting combinations of fabrics too, I doubt I would have ever put this colour combination together, I'm far too staid in my own choices, so I really like how this project is forcing me outside 'the box'.

I have my other mini blocks ready to embroider too, but I really wanted to get back to some stitching on Chatelaine's Mystery X. I realized as I was printing out March's patterns, that I hadn't finished February's. I think I spent about 10 hours stitching and was only 1/4 into the February's chart. This was certainly a labour intensive one. Luckily she has lightened up for March so as to let us all catch up! A pic of that will be coming. I've almost reached the 1/2 mark and I love it!

Jean-Francois (the chef wannabe) cooked dinner for us last night Japanese-style and it was scrumptious. Pics for that will be on Carrie's blog I'm sure! Tonight is my turn for dinner ~ we started assigning each other specific nights for cooking so that it didn't fall always on one person (mine) and so far its worked out great and we are eating like kings. But I'm stumped for tonight's meal.....any thoughts?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Leanne's House

Finally! I ordered Leanne's House about 6 weeks ago from a quilt shop in Australia. I had started seeing this pattern everywhere, in quilt magazines, and bloggers (Nicki, for one :-D) who were working on it. Its offered as a 10 month block of the month club and I always seem to get pulled into monthly things like this (well, I think sucker is the proper word). I really like the fact too that this design combines patchwork with surface embroidery.

So after waiting and waiting and stalking my mailbox, the other day I finally had an envelope arrive from Australia. It was marked 'Checkerboard Strips' and that was it, about 20 strips of fabric, no pattern, no instructions. Very, very odd. I hoped the rest of it was just being shipped separately and it finally arrived yesterday, in an envelope stamped 'Delayed for compliance with Aviation Security Regulations, Australia Post'. How on earth could an envelope stuffed with fabric pieces and patterns be a security risk?

Oh well, never mind that, its here and guess what I'll be doing this weekend! I'm super-impressed with how everything has been packed up and sorted according to mini-blocks. The fabrics are just gorgeous and I can't wait to dig in. I'll be sure to get a picture up of my blocks as they get done.

Here is a picture of the finished quilt from an Australian Country Threads magazine:

And here is a picture I have to include, of Nick with his cute little girlfriend Kristy. She's such a sweetie, and so petite, he just towers over her!
We had a freezing rain storm last night and some of my shrubs in the back don't look like they have fared too well. Poor Jean-Francois was 3 1/2 hours getting home from work last night! But it seems like a lot of people have decided to stay home this morning, and hubby says it only took him 30 minutes to get into work. They are calling for rain all day today, and then more snow tonight. Crazy weather, its March, we're supposed to have spring soon!