Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Thank you so much for the great comments on the table runner! Really these things are not hard to make, I use a sewing machine and quilt with the sewing machine also. No hand sewing for me! I used the charm pack so the pieces are already cut into 5" squares, so it really feels the work in organizing the fabric and preparing it is already done. And of course it all coordinates beautifully since its all from the same fabric line. What could be easier? I love these charm packs and have a couple more in my stash! I can't wait to tackle my jelly rolls, I bought them because they were a great price, $32 each, and I think I will use them in a split rail design to make a quilt top.

Tea anyone?

I found myself with a free morning yesterday ~ work has been very stingy lately, its either feast or famine. But it gave me time to play with my glaringly white fabric which I have to start Paradigm Lost, which is {gasp} starting tomorrow! November 1st is almost here!! I'm really not a white-white kind of person, I really much prefer warm colours and earthy tones and I have a gorgeous selection of Gloriana purple silks that I have been saving (ahem, hoarding) for PL. I didn't think I liked the way the silks looked against the white linen but since this is such a honkingly large design 363 stitches x 354 stitches, I need a huge piece of fabric. And dear Marg gave me a full yard of 40 ct linen that she had mistakenly bought at a craft sale we were at a few weeks back. So it was time to try my hand at tea-dying.

I used 2 bags of a black tea and 2 cups of water with a smaller piece of fabric to see what I would come up with. And wow, it turned this white linen into a gorgeous shade of amber! I was really pleased with the results. But actually I thought probably a wee bit too dark for PL with my purple silks. So I added a bit more water to the mixture and then took a deep breath and added my PL fabric. This piece came out much lighter, more of a tan shade, I guess between a cream and tan, and actually more of what I was looking for. I guess it was a little lighter than what I wanted, I played with the idea of darkening the mixture with another tea bag, but then I chickened out and thought I could end up something too dark. Besides it was time to take the kids to their dentist appointment.

So here is my final result~ the picture doesn't show the true colour of my final piece which is in the foreground of the picture above - its much nicer in RL. And I'm all set for our PL start tomorrow, my working copy has been made, and my needle is ready. Although I think a couple of the others have cheated and have started or are starting today. Well no Hallowe'en treats for them!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Shopping Stash

Here is a picture of some of my stash from the Toronto Needlework show. I didn't get too much cross stitching stash....but I did buy LHN's Home of a Needleworker, which I have coveted for along time! Mostly I bought quilting goodies, lots of fat 1/4's in lovely greens/peaches which were a great price, a pattern for tablerunners to make using charm packs, and of course a charm pack in some pretty fall prints, 2 jelly rolls in lovely dark fall fabrics, and a great kit to make a roly poly Santa. I took a picture of this cute little kit, and somehow lost the picture on my computer somewhere....??

I couldn't resist trying out my new pattern yesterday with the charm pack. The charm pack is a package of 5" squares of fabric which come from one fabric line. I think this one was called Autumn Bounty. All the fabrics of course coordinate beautifully so it makes putting something together so easy. So for dinner last night, we had this lovely tablerunner to grace the table:

We celebrated hubby's birthday Friday night and then on Saturday went to a surprise birthday party for my oldest sister! And Autumn has hit with a vengeance ~ the temperatures dropped to 0 degrees last night! Time to start on a new quilt I think!!

Only a couple of days to go until the Paradigm Lost / Cirque-des-Cercles SAL starts!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A very sweet gift

I am so loving my mailman these days, or mailwoman? I don't really see him or her, so I don't even know who delivers the mail. But look what he/she delivered to me from Annemarie ~ one of her wonderfully amazing floss fobs. This delightful fob is amazingly stitched with the tiniest of stitches. I am in awe of her stitching as I can barely see them, so I cannot imagine how she made them! She stitched our initials together on the back, and attached a skein of Gloriana silk in the prettiest of colours, called Autumn Arbor. Am I not incredibly lucky to receive such beautiful gifts from such amazing stitching friends!!!

I'm working at my finishing finishing of my PIF gifts, Monday/Tuesdays are always a wash-out for me because of work in the day and classes at night. Tonight daughter Carrie is bringing her Hallowe'en costume over for some fixing and added touches. The entire crew at the Cancer Centre are dressing up at pirates for Hallowe'en and she also has a party to go to this Saturday night. I hope to get these PIF's done and in the mail soon......I really want to get a couple of Christmas ornaments started.

On Friday, I'm taking the day off work to go to the Toronto Needlework Festival with my sister Karen. Of course there is absolutely nothing that I need, but when does that ever matter? I'm hoping to bring a little something back home with me. Its full of so much creative wonder ... cross stitching, quilting, knitting, scrapbooking.... it will take me the weekend to recover!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hallowe'en Exchange from Amy

I love a good mail day, I have been hunting down the mail man lately and all he has been bringing lately is junk mail, the kind that goes straight into the recycling bin....or bills, the kind that goes straight into the look at it later bin. But today is Friday and he blessed me with a sweet little package - my Hallowe'en exchange! This came from Amy (Amy Stitches), who I confess to not knowing before now, which is really another great thing about these exchanges, they introduce you to some wonderful stitchers that I would not otherwise have gotten to know.

And look at the most wonderful sweet little pillow she made for me! Its a design by Heart in Hand and she stitched it on a piece of natural banding and used this to finish into an amazing little pillow. Isn't it wonderful! I really love to see the way people come up with finishing things. Its truly inspiring and always wants me to push my creative limits to try more and more things.

And as usual, stitchers are the most generous people. Inside the cool little Hallowe'en baggy, were an assortment of gifties that only stitchers would squeal over - Piecemaker needles, a skein of Vikki Clayton silk called Pumpkin, a skein of Carrie's thread called Harvest Brew and some cute stickers!

Sorry, no stitching pictures from me! I've been hard at work, slogging away at the last of my PIF gifties and hopefully will be able to finish them up this weekend. Then I need to work on my Fair and Square blocks. Then its back to the Neighbourhood RR. I'm afraid my own stitching has fallen way off. But these other things are way too much fun.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

SBEBB Hallowe'en Exchange

Terry (Sylvyrdragonstitcher) received my Hallowe'en exchange. I stitched a design from Prairie Schooler (of course, when in doubt I always fall back on Prairie Schooler) from one of their newest books, #140 Pumpkin Patch. I had in my mind from the beginning to make a sweet bag, so once the I was finished the stitching, I dove into my fabric stash and found some matching Hallowe'en prints to use. I lined the bag with black fabric and found a package of my favourite chocolates to put inside - Lindor chocolate pumpkins!

I have to add a link to my sidebar for the newest blog addition: The Snowbirds' SAL. Dani and Kathy created this blog for all the stitchers who wanted to starting the stitch-alongs on November 1st for Long Dog's Paradigm Lost (which I am starting) and Ink Circle's Cirque-des-Cercles. New members are very welcome.....although the Paradigm Lost members are becoming quite 'lost' - we are fast becoming outnumbered by the Circled group! So we need some help!!! Please join us for the fun!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thank you Carol!

Isn't it so wonderful to get packages in the mail from such kind hearted stitching friends! Look what Carol made and sent to me for my birthday! She chose "W" for Wisteria from Nature's Alphabet, which she said was her favourite letter on the chart, and stitched this on 32 ct Autumn Fields Belfast, which is actually one of my favourite hand-dyed fabrics! It is such a delicate lovely little fob, I almost don't want to use it, but of course I can't wait to.

And the back side of the scissor fob is just as pretty as the front:

Thank you so much, Carol, for your thoughtful handmade gift! There really is nothing better to get in the mail :-D

I am still recovering from working in our provincial elections on Wednesday. It was such a looooong day, from 8:00 am and I didn't get home until midnight! Whew! Remind me again why I want to do my civic duty? Oh, yes, the nice pay cheque that will be coming my way in a few weeks :-D

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My Thanksgiving Turkey

He was finished in time and he was delicious! We had our Thanksgiving at the cottage on the weekend ~ although we had very strange weather for this time of year. Hot - hot - hot! I really didn't like it. I think I much prefer cool weather and bright sunny days, because did I also mention that it rained and rained and rained? Well actually I did see some sunshine for about 20 minutes and I darted about quickly taking some pictures in the sun. The leaves were glorious but it was far too wet to venture very far into the woods, which I really regretted, as I had looked forwards to some wonderful long walks.

Well all that rain did give me a chance to finish up my Harvest Time Turkey, and I worked on a PIF gift, and even pulled out an old WIP, my 4 Saisons Sampler! I had to chase the moths away to find that one!!

I'm afraid though the weekend did have a sour note, one of Nick's cottage friends drowned on Friday night. Nick spent the rest of the weekend with the boy's cousin, they are all the same age. It really just hits home how lucky we really are, how fragile life can be, and what a tragic Thanksgiving this has turned out to be for that poor family.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

From Harmien

All I can saw is Oooohhh, look at the lovely, lovely treasure I opened from my mailbox yesterday! Dear Harmien sent me one of her magnificent threadkeepers, handmade by her, and engraved with my initials! Isn't it wonderful!!! And she included these gorgeous silk ribbons in the most gorgeous shades of purples. What a fantastic birthday gift to receive!

Thank you so much, Harmien! Its taken a place of honour on my desk right now so I can eye the lovely ribbon colours frequently You certainly brightened up a very dreary day for me, especially one that had started out not very well with a very grouchy 15 year old! Teenagers, who can understand them?

Monday, October 01, 2007

New look, new month!

I found it! I found it! I know, a lot of you have already had this lovely magazine issue in your hot little paws for a while now, but for those of us north of the border, it can sometimes take several weeks before the Ornie Issue starts to appears on our newstands. And after prowling my favourite places, I finally found it at the local Chapters on Saturday afternoon! Hallelujah!!! I couldn't wait to get home and put my feet up with a cup of coffee to peruse all the lovelies inside. Well, not that I'll be stitching one any time soon, but wow, what are all the complaints about that I've been reading on messages boards anyways? I think this is a superb issue? There are lots of wonderful ornaments in here! So....I've been making my list!

And after reading lots of blogs recently and seeing so many changes, it gave me the bug to do something about mine too. So what do you think? Very autumn-y looking! I found a template that I liked, but it was very blue, which would be great for Winter, but not for Autumn, and I was about to hit the button for presto-change-o, when fear took hold. So it took a phone call to my sweet daughter who is much more computer literate than me, and she happily took over and made the changes for me, before I went ahead and quite likely destroyed my blog. And she even created a cool new avatar for me too! I knew there was a reason I had children :-D

Hubby and Nick were away most of the weekend, so it gave me lots of time for sewing, but for some reason my camera isn't wanting to work for me, so no quilting pictures to post....those will have to come! And sorry, no stitching pictures this time around, I'm working hard at my Hallowe'en exchange. Those will have to come too!

But today is a very special day to me ~ its the anniversary of my very first date with my hubby. We had a blind date set up by his brother ~ to a wedding of all things. That was 30 years ago today, 2 days before my 17th birthday. Who would have thought that meeting would have led us here today!