Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Sorry I haven't been around much! But where has the time gone? Why is it when I have time off work, that it just passes by so quickly? We had a wonderful Christmas and had all my family in for Christmas dinner - 18 of us! It was wonderful, if only I could have made Christmas last about 3 days, it would have been perfect.

I have a very special Christmas present to share, well not actually a gift from anyone, but one we had been promising ourselves, since we lost 2 of our dogs last summer. And here she is - she arrived on Boxing Day, little Bella!

Isn't she adorable!!! What a cute little puppy face. She is a Schnoodle (Schnauzer/Poodle mix) and 3 months old. She has currently become the Diva-Miss of the couch and chair and won't let any of the others get any attention while she is around. What others might you wonder? Well I have been dogsitting for Nick's friends the past 2 weeks, a Chihuahua named Mason, and I have Stu and Kelsey, Maisie and Maddie. That's a lot of dogs!

The kids are all off to various parties tonight and we are having friends over to help bring in the New Year... and yet another dog.

Just to get in a little stitchiness, here is a pillow I finished off in time for Christmas. Its hardly timely to show Christmas stitching but I thought the sentiment appropriate for tonight!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Love my new Santa!

Isn't it so nice to get lovely little packages in the mail ~ and this is what the mailman delivered yesterday - this sweet Prairie Schooler Santa ornament from dear Harmien! I love him! He's not taken his place on my Christmas tree just yet, I have him on my desk so I can look at him during the work day.

And I'm not just counting down to Christmas, I'm counting off those work days left. Luckily for me, the clinic that I work for is closing down between Christmas and New Year's and that means time off work!!! So holidays for me start on Christmas Eve!

Do you know about the new blog that has started for a Prairie Schooler exchange? Of course I couldn't resist signing up for this. And there is also a blog starting up for a Peppermint Twist SAL. I'm thinking of joining that one too! I love the New Year coming with so many great possibilities.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Christmas tree

Not the bestest picture, but I took it with my cell phone, actually I took several, feeling very touristy, of the Swarovski Crystal Tree at the Eaton's Centre in downtown Toronto. It is truly gorgeous and could be seen from almost all areas of this huge mall. I wish I knew how many crystal snowflakes were hanging from this tree, it was awesome!

Of course being Friday afternoon/evening, there were hoardes of people about, but that made it part of the fun. Hubby and I finished up our Christmas shopping, found a place for dinner, and then went to the St. Michael's Boys Choir concert. What a great evening!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

This and That

Where have the past few weeks gone? Work has been deadly recently - owing to the fact that we have gone from 3 full timers down to 2 - so much for a slow ease back into work. I honestly feel that I can't see the end of the tunnel. I have spent so much time on the computer, that once I finish up with work, that's it for me and the computer. Needless to say, I am very behind in my blogreading :-(

But it didn't stop me from taking Friday afternoon off so that Carrie and I could head down to the One-of-a-Kind Show in Toronto. I love this show - its absolutely the best show around and we love the Christmas show. Its so fantastic to see Canadian artisans and handmade items. I had thought to find myself a new coat, but didn't see anything that struck my fancy. I did get some wonderful smelling body butter, smelling of oatmeal and honey, yummm, and honey lip balm, which is so necessary for these cold winter days. Plus some delicious Christmas cranberry pot pourri and herbal tea. But the best was the new tea set that I had a hankering for - hand made stoneware - in a gorgeous shade of blue. I indulged in the teapot, cream and sugar and a small matching bowl. I did run out of money! May be the tea cups can come next year. You'll see some glimpses of my teapot in the pictures......

I received this in the mail last week from sweet Jenn (Sweet Pea) . She has been playing around with dying her own threads and has done a fantastic job with the colours. I was so lucky to have won this skein from her!! This skein is called 'American Girl' but she suggested we change it to 'North American Girl' for me! Thanks Jenn, I'm going to look for a special project to use your thread.
Here's a little finish from last month - Little House Needleworks Wool Needlebook, stitched on a 32 ct remnant (note shiny new teapot!).

And another small finish - Blackbird Designs Buttons & Pins, on a 40 ct remnant.

I started some Christmas ornaments - this is the Shepherd's Bush series that has appeared in the JCS Ornament issues, starting way back in 2000. I got the first 2 stitched already this week. I've been using a mixture of DMC, WDW and GAST threads and instead of using the silver charms, I used Kreinik #4 cord to make the cane and trumpet. Looks pretty good I think! Only 6 more ornaments to you think I'll have them finished for Christmas?

On looking at these pictures, I really think the finishing fairy is long overdue at my house!

One last shot of my wee Christmas tree. I have a sweet collection of handmade angels that I have found over the years at local craft shows and the smallest of these I have hanging on this little tree, along with a few ornaments that I made about 10 years ago.

We're off house hunting this afternoon - with the newlyweds Carrie and JF!

Monday, December 01, 2008

A Winter finish

Another finish - one I actually got done a couple of weeks ago but I don't think I posted a picture of it! Its not finish-finished.....I would really like to try making a flatfold. I have a couple other small finishes to show too, but I've got to get pictures first.

We decorated our house for Christmas yesterday - the tree is up and sparkling and the house is looking very festive - just in time for another snowstorm with a prediction of 20 cm. Luckily it ended up being mostly rain with some sleet and this morning the streets are fine. I'm so glad really - its too early for snow!

I feel like tossing all my stitching aside to make Christmas ornaments! Is it too early to start Carol's 2009 Christmas Challenge?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A new start

A new start - that's right, I couldn't resist the lure of this lovely Mirabilia design any longer. For some reason, I kept thinking about it the past couple of months and having an irresistible urge to start this design. Its called Elizabeth and the Lavender Sky and its #10, so a very early design by Nora Corbett. No beads, no Kreinik or specialty fibres, just good old DMC. I'm using a 32 ct antique white linen. You know it feels really good to work on a design like this, its been a while for me since the lure of Prairie Schooler and Little House Needleworks and Blackbird Designs has had me mesmerized.

On Sunday, I hosted our stitching group for our potluck lunch and get-together. There were 5 of us, unfortunately 3 couldn't make it but Marsha's sweet 3 month old future stitcher helped to fill in the gap. The time always flies when we get together, although not a lot of stitching usually gets done, but lots of inspiration fills the room! Sorry, no pictures, I didn't think of it until too late.

And I have been knitting a little more on my sock which has been a long time in taking the shape of a sock! I'm ready to start the toe decrease. And after watching Nancy give us a demo on Sunday with her new spinning wheel, I signed up for Ravelry. So may be there will be a little more knitting in my future!

Monday, November 17, 2008

And a RR makes its way home

What a great mail week! Look what found its way to my door, after making its way across Canada, the U.S. and Australia. My neighbourhood RR is finished!!

I love the houses that everyone chose for their areas and all the little extra's make it so fun to look at. I think I'll add a border around the neighbourhood and stitch in all the names of each person beside their home. Huge huge thanks to (starting at the top going left to right) Glenna, Carol, Nicole, Deb, (centre house is mine) Bine, Carissa, Karen and Leslie!

And now just a peek at some sewing/quilting I've been working on ~

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A stocking ornament

I finished up my first Christmas ornament of the year. I stitched the Blackbird Design stocking from the 2008 JCS Ornament issue. It stitched up so quickly that I went back through some older issues and found the candy cane design that I remembered seeing before, also by Blackbird Designs. The small square of fabric showing is what I used for the backing fabric.

But I'm not too thrilled with my finishing. I ironed the fusible interfacing to the back of each piece and then whipstitched both together but I found a lot of little threads kept slipping out. Any ideas on how to put these together without a smoother finished edge? Did I cut the margins too small? I really need some finishing classes!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Stitching

Some Halloween stitching has been finished! The first one is from the new Prairie Schooler Book 148. As soon as I saw this, I had to start it!
And a freebie from The Sampler Girl, called Quaker Boo. This is stitched on 28 ct Jazlyn called Pumpkin Spice, using good ol' 310 ~ black DMC.
A little more random stitching has gone on, including a little Christmas stitching. And of course I absolutely to stitch the Blackbird Design ornament from the new JCS issue, which was so kindly sent to me from a very dear friend. I'll get a picture once I actually have the little stocking finished.

One more week off work for me, and I am finally starting to feel like my old self again. If only I could make this week streeeeetch a little longer! But I'm feeling too guilty about the ladies who have had to do my work for the past few weeks.

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Back again

Thank you all for your good wishes for the surgery! Its hard to believe that almost 2 weeks have passed already ~ I think I was in a big of a fog last week and the days slipped by. The surgery went well - 4 hours of it, although the doctor was not able to do it with the small incisions and had to go for the large one to get all the disease cleared up. Which meant a couple extra days in the hospital and a slower recovery at home. I'm finally able to sit at the computer a little more comfortably, although I made sure I was able to get into a stitching position as soon as possible. Well important things have to come first!

I hope to start visiting blogs and get some more stitching mojo back. I've just been picking at a few different projects here and there without really making any progress on anything.

We had our Thanksgiving Day on Monday and although we missed getting to our cottage for our annual feast, Carrie and our new son-in-law JF cooked an amazing dinner for us. Why is it food always tastes so much better when someone else cooks it?

Here is a picture I snatched from Carrie's facebook page of our cottage - the back end of it! So pretty - I miss seeing all the beautiful colours up north.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Wedding Pics!

Hey ~ its been an amazingly busy couple of weeks and I haven't had much chance to post or read any blogs. Soon I hope to have lots of time for catch-up! Tomorrow is the surgery day for me and I expect to be back up and running very soon.

So in the meantime, here are some wedding pics! It was a gorgeous ceremony and reception, and although the weather was very cloudy, the rain held off and I think the overcast day made the colours in the pictures stand out even more. What fantastic memories we will have of this special day.

The bride-to-be~

Carrie and Maid of Honour Kelly~
With Mum and Dad~

The happy couple during the Rose Ceremony~

And finally....the kiss~

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Saturday!

And its only one more week until Carrie and J-F's wedding! There are so many last minute things to do in the meantime, on top of work....its going to be crazy. Kelly arrived last Thursday and the two girls were already off bright and early this morning to get started on their day. Later we have to visit the resort where the wedding will take place and a quick visit to the nearby town for the liquor license. I can't wait for the big day to arrive!!

I also had my preop appointment this week in Toronto for my own big day. The Friday after the wedding is my surgery date, when I am finally going to get rid of these huge ovarian cysts that have been causing so many problems and a hysterectomy as well to get rid of the endometriosis. Its funny really to be so looking forwards to surgery but I can't wait to start feeling better.

I've been getting a little stitching done, not too much, but I got this sweet little design finished up: Its called Buttons & Pins by Blackbird Designs. I just need to find some wee buttons to sew along the open space of the border and finish in into a pin cushion. I used a Lakeside Linen piece of 40 ct something, it looks like a pale old yellow, not as yellowish as the scan came out, but a soft pretty colour.
Most people pile up books and reading to do for their convalescence, not me, I have stitching projects lined up! I may not have time to check in again before the wedding, so have a great week everyone!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

And more Prairie Schooler

I think its pretty obvious, I love Prairie Schooler charts, I just can't get enough of them. I was just finishing up the 2008 Prairie Schooler Christmas chart, and working still away at Winter Wind (Book 133) , when one of the new releases came in the mail. This one is called When Witches Go Riding and I fell head over heels in love with it. I mean who could resist the picture of that wicked little witch dancing amongst her pumpkins? So I had to, I mean I really had to, get a start on this one too.

Here you go, a Prairie Schooler fiesta~

Monday, September 08, 2008

Fresh from the Framer

Its a Little House Needlework extravaganza! We just picked these up (along with the Wedding Sampler) and I am so happy with the way they turned out. Now I just have to figure out where to hang them up!
Sampler Lady by LHN, on 32 ct hand-dyed fabric, with GAST and DMC.
A Stitcher's Prayer, on 32 ct hand-dyed fabric, with DMC. Home of a Needleworker, on 32 ct hand-dyed fabric, with GAST and DMC.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Deb's RR

I finished my house section on Deb's RR last night and got started on my tombstone. I can't quite decide what gruesome saying to stitch on it...hopefully some inspiration will come to me. Unfortunately the colours in my section don't show up too well on this beautiful fabric. Then I have to put my little X-S figure in 'Heaven' and I'm done! Early this time too!!

Its the Labour Day holiday weekend, the last big hurrah of summer and we have some great weather forecasted. We are off to enjoy the last bit of summer weather at the cottage. Which means I better get my stitching bag packed like now!

And Tuesday morning, the kids are back to school. That always means a special dance about the house once they leave! I don't even want to tell you how much $$ I have spent on clothes in the past week. No new stash for quite a while .....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

WIP update

Thank you for all the kind comments on my Blackbird Designs finish! I haven't decided how to finish this one yet, framed or wallhanging or even pillow?

Here is a WIP update ~ the 2008 Prairie Schooler Christmas kit. Its working up quickly and I love using the variegated Crescent Colours with this.
And last night I picked up Deb's (Lavender Rose Ramblings) Neighbourhood RR. She sent along the charts she wanted us to use and all the flossies - silks, GAST and DMC! I picked out the chart I wanted to use, one of the Morbid Pithies from The Workbasket and got a start on it. Once I get this done, I'll decide which figure to put in 'Heaven' and my tombstone for the cemetery! Its quite a detailed RR!

My arms have been getting a work-out at night time which is when I do my reading - in bed! I have almost finished reading World Without End by Ken Follett, the sequel to Pillars of the Earth.
What a great book, it is as good as Pillars, and one of those books that you hate to see end. The characters are amazing and following their life in the shadow of this cathedral has been so interesting. But while I hate to see it end, the next time I pick up a 1000+ page book, its going to be a softcover!

I will get a WIP pic of Deb's RR as soon as I make a little more headway with it!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sunflower House

A finish...a finish! Yuko beat me to the end of Sunflower House, even though I had started before her! I think I must be a slower stitcher than I thought LOL!

Vickie at Hedgehog Stitchery had kindly asked if I had any stitched pieces I could let her borrow for display at her shop! What an honour!! I took some pieces over last night, only 3 framed pieces and several unframed. How funny that I felt at a loss to find pieces for her to display! I guess I have given a lot of my stitching away (mostly to my kids!) and I have a not so tiny pile of WIP's. Plus quite a few Christmas stockings/ornaments that are packed away at the moment. Still I felt it wasn't much to show for all my years of stitching....kind of strange really. I think I need to take some time and organize my stitching into an online album, for my own sanity really, because its hard for me to realize that a hobby at that I spend usually a couple of hours a day at, I feel like I don't have much to look at.

I also attended Carrie's wedding dress fitting last night and took my own dress in for some alterations. We got to see ourselves together in our dresses and Oh, my but we look gorgeous!!! Only 5 weeks and counting until the wedding!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Back home again

Holidays are over - and far too quickly! The weather I can't say was the greatest, lots and lots of rain but still, days spent stitching are never too dreary for me.

And I have a lot of pictures to show, be patient with me!

First off a start and finish:
Little House Needleworks 'Apples' on 32 ct cream linen with Crescent Colours

And another start and finish:
Little House Needleworks 'Reading' from the Little Women series, on 32 ct antique white, using Crescent Colours.
And next up, another start:

This is the Prairie Schooler 2008 Christmas kit, on the provided linen and Crescent Colours, once again.

And yet another Prairie Schooler start, Winter Wind. Of course I was missing just that 1-2 colours of DMC that i needed, so there are some spaces up top that need to be filled in.

We got home on Friday night but the end of our holidays has been tempered by Kelsey having gotten out of the house and now missing for almost 24 hours. We didn't even realize she was missing until about 2 hours after, as she quite often naps for a long spell after her running about at the cottage. Every one was out looking for her Saturday night but no luck. So the local animal shelters have been called, emergency vet clinics, and she is micro-chipped. We are hoping desperately that someone has taken her in and will call one of these places tomorrow, thinking that nothing would be open on Sunday. Please send good thoughts for her safe return home. Here's a picture of her ~

Updated (Monday) Kelsey is back home! A lady saw her wandering about near busy roads and picked her up for us. Unfortunately with the weekend, she was unable to contact any of the animal welfare groups we had contacted until Monday morning. As soon as J-F got the phone call, we were off to get her and bring her back home, safe and sound! Now to get that new dog tag with the proper address.....

Friday, August 01, 2008


We're just of today, I am officially on vacation for the next 2 weeks. Ahhhh, that blissful sensation of having absolutely nothing to do, I can't wait! We're leaving for the cottage tomorrow and yes, I still have a lot to do. Am I organized? Not on your life but the important things are already taken care of - my stitching. That bag was packed last night with lovely fabrics chosen and edges sewn over, with various little charts and threads all packaged up and ready for whatever delightful piece takes my fancy. There are absolutely no stitching rules allowed when I'm on holiday, just pick up a piece and stitch, for however long and for absolutely no reason other than for the sheer joy of stitching. I'm sure any neighbours who happen to see me during my vacation must think I'm absolutely nuts, I'm never without a needle in my hand, or cool refreshing drink either. Good thing I have 2 hands.

I have been stitching up a storm since I finished Love with a Capital L (which by the way is enjoying being stretched and pulled at the framers) and I picked up my Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. It wasn't hard to decide which one of my BAP's to return to, this one fairly jumped into my lap wanting some attention. I really think I should just focus my attention one BAP at a time if I ever want to finish one in the next decade. And here is a pic of the lovely H's, with House #4 finished and even a nice start made on House #8. Unfortunately H's isn't vacationing with me, if would entail dragging my glorious but majorly overweight magnifier, and since most of my stitching is done under a tree at the water's edge, that would mean extension cords, etc., and I really don't want the neighbours to question my sanity too seriously. And for some reason I really don't like extension cords next to water.

Before I blog off for 2 weeks, I'll leave you with some delightful pics of what my hubby has been doing in our backyard. Here is a before he started:
And here is a pic once he was finished with his saw and sledgehammer:
There's nothing like a good demolition project to put fire in a man's bones! Well, personally I don't understand the thrill of ripping stuff apart but nothing charges hubby up more than this. I just wish he was as thrilled with the re-building aspect. Meanwhile we have a lovely dirt mess for the doggies to enjoy chasing each other about. Of course they are awfully good about wiping their dirty paws on rugs and furniture once they come back in the house for a drink. I think I will be calling the landscapers when we get home....

Have a great 2 weeks!