Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A little progress

Here is an update on LHN's Stitcher's Prayer. The wording is finished, now to get to the good stuff!

And after an unbelieveable amount of procrastination on my part, I finally decided on my colours for the Quaker Friendship Round Robin. I'm really not this bad normally but I sure had a mental block or a colour block when it came to deciding what to use. And what fabric to use. I made a mess of my stash, pulling out different pieces and trying different floss on them. So I finally settled on antique white...a little boring I know.
And I really wanted to use one of the DMC variegated threads since stash money is tight these days. I went with the deep purple/blue tone and picked out plain colours that went along with it when I stopped by Michael's. I'm going to ask each person in the RR to stitch their section in one colour and then I'll be able to see each person's section more clearly but hopefully it will all mesh together very nicely. I need a kick in the behind to get me moving on this since our first mail-out is April 1st!

Finally, here is a picture of Nick and JF taken on Good Friday. Can you guess where they might be?

If you said on the roof of our cottage, then you are 100% right!

They went to the cottage for the day to shovel snow off the roof, in anticipation of the Great Melt.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

I'm WIP'ing along with the Love Sampler. I actually finished the first 3 pages! Only 9 left to go. I know its creased and crumpled looking but isn't it beautiful? I'm so proud of how its coming along.

And I managed a wee start on LHN's Stitcher's Prayer. I needed something to do for the Guild embroidery meeting, and I can't very well drag the magnifier with me ~ a Tim's coffee and my goodie bag are about it.

And look who I found dozing away on the couch, exactly where she is not allowed to be ~ Miss Kelsey. She is obviously called Princess for a good reason.

Happy Easter and thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Love with a Capital L

This was my update picture as of Friday...but I've stitched quite a bit since then and have some of the wording done and border along the right hand side. Its coming along so nicely and I am loving working on this. I'm almost through my first skein of Gloriana silk. Let's see, that's 4 yards of 12 stranded silk, using 1 strand over 2 fabric threads, so that makes 48 yards of silk so far. Well, when you put it like that, my needle has been flying!

I have fabric ready to start LHN's Stitcher's Prayer as I would like to get this one going too.
We had rain yesterday and dark gloomy skies today which means more rain...and our snow is quickly disappearing. It was hard to imagine these great mounds of snow everywhere can so quickly be reduced to little piles of darkened yuckiness. Come on rain!

I am so stoked to hear about the new cross stitch shop opening in Whitby, Hedgehog Stitchery! Thanks Vickie for stopping by and letting me know. I'll be sure to pass the word along to our fellow stitchers who I am sure will be just as enthusiastic about having a real live shop to visit. There is nothing like seeing fabric and floss in real life to be re-inspired. And that its opening on the second floor of the Kniterary is a nice little treat to us knitters too!

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Town

After reading about Carol's (iStitchaholic) town and seeing the beautiful pictures, I thought I would copy her idea and do one of my own. I have to warn you though, I love history so this little insight to where I live is more geared to local town history than what's going on today.

Whitby is located on Lake Ontario, about 30 km from Toronto. We now have a population of 110,000 people. Although settlers arrived in Whitby in the 1700's, most settlement took place after the American Revolution, as a British resettlement for the Loyalists, with the development of the downtown area starting in 1836.

A view of Lake Ontario from Whitby shores, one of my favourite places to head for an evening walk or bike ride, as we have km's of finished trails along the shoreline.

We have a castle in downtown Whitby ~ Trafalgar Castle. These are the best pictures, I'm afraid! I nabbed them off the web and as you can tell we're not in the midst of winter.

Trafalgar Castle was built in Elizabethan style in 1859 by Nelson Reynolds, Sheriff of Ontario County. It has 15 towers, a receiving hall that is 108 feet long, secret passageways and a tunnel to Lake Ontario (which is actually quite far from the castle - I can't imagine the state of it now!). The castle is currently home to an all-girls boarding and day school for 240 students.

My friend Marj attended Trafalgar Castle school for 2 years and gave me this cool info:
The stories of the tunnel is true. And it was one of the stops on the Underground Railroad and there are even "pits" for the slaves to hide out in , in case of people coming to the castle. I know that much is true as we were taken down by our history teacher and shown them for a fact.
It is a really cool place to check out and every May they have their May Day festivities and Open house, which is really nice to go and see the school. Some of the residents from the Whitby Psych would work there in the kitchens and do the groundskeeping, supervised of course by the saner members of society.
We have an award winning, state of the art, new library which opened in 2005 and is huge at 54,000 square feet. This is also where we now hold our Embroidery Guild meetings, since being given the heave-ho from the church around the corner.

However I confess to appreciating the original town library much more... the Carnegie Library which was built in 1913 with a grant from American industrialist Andrew Carnegie. Its a law office today.
I have to mention the Whitby Psychiatric Hospital, located on the shores of Lake Ontario, just because it has always been the butt of too many jokes. It was originally built in 1913 and called the Ontario Hospital for the Insane (gruesome!). However once it was finished, it was taken over by the federal government as a hospital for convalescing soldiers returning from World War I before reverting back to its true purpose. At its prime there were 1650 patients living in this facility, which consisted of numerous 'cottages' to house the patients and treatment areas, in all over 40 buildings. It finally closed in 1995, and became quite an interesting locale for movie sites, and of course local teens. Most of the cottages are demolished now with a couple remaining for posterity, once the new hospital took over.
One of the buildings, now empty. There are tons of stories of the various hauntings of this place, as you can imagine. I, ahem, steered clear of them! All of the buildings were painted yellow, with red roofs, so easy to spot through the trees. I have to admit though it was sad that they had to go, although most were falling down anyways.

We have had a few famous residents ~ Leslie McFarlane lived in Whitby with his family from 1936 on. He was quite a famous writer, and wrote the Hardy Boys novels under the penname Franklin W. Dixon. His son, Brian McFarlane, went on to become a CBC sports broadcaster for the NHL. And you all know how we love our hockey!

And the one of the most interesting history bytes for last~

Is there anyone cooler than Bond? ...that's James Bond. Take the401 Hwy east from Toronto for 30 minutes to Whitby, and you can find street signs relating to the James Bond character, such as Ian Fleming Cres. During WWII there was a secret agent training camp here called 'Camp X'. It was located right on the shore of Lake Ontario where it could be reached discreetly at night by water from the USA.
One of the spy trainees was Bond author Ian Fleming, who went on to create the famous James Bond '007' character using knowledge he aquired here. Camp X was also influencial in the development of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); five future heads of the CIA were trained there. Today the camp's location is marked by a small memorial in the 17-acre, watefront Intrepid Park, on the Whitby/Oshawa border. 'Inside Camp X'author Lynn Philip Hodgson leads occasional guided walks of the site. There's also a 'Camp X' exhibit at the Oshawa Municipal Airport (see original lipstick-container dagger and posion gas pen).

I hope you enjoyed my little tour. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sampler Lady...and Stash

Sampler Lady by Little House Needleworks, stitched on 32 ct Lakeside Linen remnant, with DMC and GAST threads. Started Feb 10/08 ~ Finished Mar 10/08

She's done...she's done! I love how quickly these little designs come out! And isn't she so sweet! Now I have the Stitcher's Prayer to do and I would love to get these framed (with Home of a Needleworker) to hang on my sewing room wall.

I finally received my long-awaited package from Needlecraft Corner. I had re-signed with the Loose Feathers Club and couldn't wait for the newest Where My Heart Blooms to arrive. But then I went ahead and ordered a couple of other Nashville designs so I had to wait for all before it was sent out to me. So when I saw the box in my mailbox, I danced my way home, well actually more like slip/sliding on the ice (I hope none of the neighbours were watching).

I guess most of you have seen the Blackbird Designs piece, but have you seen this absolutely wonderful Quaker Turtles design by With My Needle? It came fully kitted and how much better to love fondling such loveliness?
I wish my pictures could do these things better justice. Aren't those Putford scissors so cute!
I wish I didn't have to work I could start one of these wonderful new things...but I guess I have to pay for them somehow.

Thanks for dropping by today!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Snow...Snow...and more Snow

It started on Friday and came with a vengeance on Saturday which was lucky really for all the commuters. The weather forecasters were telling everyone to stay inside and not to venture out. But did we listen? Of course not, we had to go wedding dress shopping! And the stores were empty so it was a great time to go! Carrie made her final decision and ended up back at the store that is 5 minutes from our house LOL! So the dress is on order, veil and headpiece too!!

Here are a couple of pictures of the aftermath~

Hubby measured snowfall on Saturday to be about 10" or 27 cm in our back yard. Poor doggies had a hard time as every time they went outside, they had to create new pathways for themselves. We are only 17 cm short of a new record snowfall this winter for the Greater Toronto region...yeah, whoopee....Its pretty until you have to start shovelling it!

On the stitching front, I started Love with a Capital L! And I love working on it. I decided on using the 40 ct lambswool linen, the colour worked a little better with the Gloriana Cranberry silk floss we decided to use, and the 40 ct gave me slightly more room for edging since I only had a fat1/4 of the 40 ct and 36 ct fabric. This is a picture after about 10 hours on it.
Thanks so much to everyone who drops by and reads my blog! Staci, I'm so happy you have joined the blogging world, I've tried tracking your blog numerous times and I was so grateful to find it! Here is the link everyone: Snippets and Stash. She's a new blogger and has some gorgeous pictures of her wonderful work.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Finish and almost finished

I finished my section on Carol's RR! I did the little cottage on the upper left side. Sorry I don't have a picture of the full piece ~ there are now 5 homes that have been built in this neighbourhood, but I don't have my camera at hand. This section of the RR is getting quite a forestry-feel to it, I hope Carol likes it.

I've also slowly been working at LHN's Sampler Lady in the past month. I've just picked it up randomly and put in some stitching here and there when I don't feel like working on the smaller counts of fabric, which so many of my WIP's seem to be in these days. I think its a good idea for me to have these smaller projects on the go, so I can see some real progress being made on them. I've used a mixture of DMC and GAST threads on her and she has come along so nicely.

I ordered Love with a Capital L from Papillon Creations, directly from their website. Its pretty cool that you can order directly from a designer, pay through Paypal, and then receive an e-mail with the pattern attached. So its done, all printed out and ready to go. We decided on Gloriana silk in Cranberry for the fibre and the only thing left to decide is the fabric. I have 2 different fat 1/4's in my stash: one is a 40 ct Lambswool Linen and the other a 36 ct Raw Linen. I drift from one to the other and can't decide which one to use!

And we have yet more snow this morning, cleaning off the car this morning to take the kids to school was not fun because there was a layer of ice under the 10 cm of snow. The streets have yet been plowed so that meant I got stuck once I backed out of our driveway, which was a challenge, and another challenge when I got stuck again, trying to get onto the main road. Winter...enough already....yuck! Spring can't come soon enough for me!