Thursday, December 10, 2009

Meet Chloe

We have a new member of our family!
She is actually the same Schnoodle mix (Schnauzer-Poodle) as Bella is - but with very different colouring. We picked her up almost 2 weeks ago now, at only 7 weeks old - such a little baby. And after auditioning about 2 dozen different names, we finally decided on "Chloe". After a fretful first night, she is making herself at home with her big sister Bella who absolutely adores her.
Stu, on the other hand, has decided to be the old crochety guy and steer far clear of this interfering, noisy (she insists on barking at him) puppy-thing. Although he has to admit to a few perks - he really does like her food!

Beware of lots of puppy pics!
Aww, their version of 'spooning' - so sweet to see them sleeping together - next to my desk!

I finally put the last few stitches into a huge Christmas present - whew, this is such a relief. This is as close as I like to be to a deadline without feeling panicky. Pictures will have to come after Christmas once the recipient has received it. And now its back to a little self-Christmas stitching - this is a freebie that I found through Gazette94's blog:
I started off using the DMC variegated thread and of course ran out too quickly. I thought this variegation was the same when I bought it at Michael's but once I got it home, it had too many pinks. So its back to regular DMC - mixing a couple different colours in to try to get some variegation. And I've been working on an ornament for an exchange too. Time to put my finishing skills to work.

And a little baking ~ banana-walnut bread ~ gluten-free of course!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Halloween finish - a little late....

Thank you - thank you for all your sweet comments, welcoming me back to the Blogging World. I really have missed this kind of contact with other stitchers and its so heartwarming to have you still coming back to my blog. I'm trying to make the rounds of all the blogs in my sidebar and slowly but surely I'm getting there.

I don't have too much to show for my week but my daughter Kelly sent me a picture of the the Halloween banner I made for her last month.
Its called Lost Spirits, by Birds of a Feather and its stitched on a piece of 28 ct linen called Fossil - I think its by Picture This Plus fabrics. Its a really gorgeous brown shade and I would love to get more of this, because I have a couple more Birds of a Feather Halloween charts and I think this works great. Don't you love the Pumpkinhead girl at the bottom!

This weekend can't come fast enough - Sunday is a stitching get-together at Clare's and it sounds like there will be a houseful. I'm taking my camera so I'll have pictures! Have a great weekend all!!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Is it really November?

I'm back in blogging land! No real excuses as to where I've been or why - but I guess I found I had overloaded on responsibilities. Something had to give. And then procrastination set in....

I've been around and lurking and commenting here and there and stitching and quilting and knitting and reading to my heart's content! Well almost - work does tend to get in the way somewhat.

Wanna see some pictures? Because after all, that's what we are really about. If we can't do it all, we can at least look at pictures of people who stitch and quilt and knit wonderful things and imagine that we will some day too.

This is what I did on my summer vacation - really. Lo How a Rose - in a Christmas book that I begged, borrowed and pleaded to get because I had seen it so many times in so many places and I knew I had to make this one for myself. Luckily Clare had the book and she lent it to me just in time for my August vacation. It took about 8 days of dedicated stitching to make and Ta-Da - I'm in love with this piece. I used only DMC for it - no fancy threads here - and I dug out a piece of Lakeside Linens 36 ct linen that I had in my stash. I used one thread over 2 because I wanted a lighter, lacy feel for it. Its been relegated to my bag of finished pieces (BFP's) until I can scrounge up enough $$ to get this one framed.

This is Yule Sampler by Primitive Needle. I finished it last week and I am still in shock that I got something done before a holiday took place, instead of my usual finishing of it after the fact. Again, DMC's, not the called for Crescent Colours, because although I have a healthy selection of CC's, I didn't have one bloody skein that was called for. This was done on Lakeside Linens River Willow 32 ct. Its such a cute little piece and I really enjoyed it.

"Greetings" by Blackbird Designs, from their Peppermint& Holly book. I started this last week, using mostly GAST (with a little DMC, because of course I don't have all the ones that are called for). I'm using the rest of the Lakeside Linens piece of 36 ct fabric that I used for Lo How a Rose above, but 2 threads over 2 this time, for better coverage. Don't you just love BBD's!

And I finished up 2 Hallowe'en pieces, that have already been put away and given away....before pictures were taken (Gasp!). One day I'll get a picture of those.

I made this wee quilt to actually hang something on one of the walls for a change! Its only going to be 24" x 36" when finished and its just waiting to be quilted now. I used the Square in a Square technique - classes that I have been taking with Marg since last January! The main quilt that we are making is a ways from being completed, although we only have 2 classes left. I have lots of very pretty blocks made but I was needing to see something finished so I got this one put together with one of my favourite blocks, I think called Ribbons.

The urge for a new start isn't limited to my stitching - it takes over quilting too. This is the start of 'Log Cabin Squared' using two 'chelsea buns' from Sanctuary. Chelsea buns are rolls of fabric that are 1 1/2" strips from one fabric line, this one called Sanctuary. Really could the manufacturers make things any easier? But I wish they would get away from these yummy food titles for these things.

And lastly, a peak at something waiting to be quilted, using 2 charm packs from Blackbird Designs, called Beach house.

Whew, that was exhausting! Bella thinks so too :-D

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April update

Time for a little updating, well long overdue for a little updating actually. (inserting sheepish grin here)

The spring bug has bitten me and I really haven't wanted to be at my computer any longer than I have to - which has been far too long actually since work has been horribly busy. Leaving me little time for the more important things in life - stitching, quilting, knitting, walking my sweet little puppy, and the lesser ones - cooking, cleaning, laundry.

I received a wonderful package from sweet Melissa who sent along a gorgeous selection of coloured linens! Oh my, how beautiful these pieces are! I have to make sure to stitch just the right design on these to show the amazing colours. And how kind of Melissa to send these tasty linens along to me!! I'm sorry the picture just doesn't do them any justice.
At our stitching retreat (last post) I had a lesson on hand applique from my lovely friend Marg, which I sorely needed. My previous attempt at hand applique made for one very sad looking heart. But after some wonderful tips from her, this is what I have managed to get accomplished~
Uh, just don't look too closely at this please! This block is part of Block #7 for Leanne's House, which has been hanging about waiting for me to assemble for far too long. Of course I think I spent a year trying to get those final 3 blocks send to me after a horrendous experience with an online shop. Here is what the rest of Block #7 will look like, once I get the rest of the embroideries finished. But I haven't stopped stitching completely. I'm still plodding away at Mirabilia's Elizabeth and the Lavender Sky. My recent stitching hasn't been as exciting, since I've been working away at the frame area, which is full of very dull colours, but once done, looks far more interesting. Funny how you can work away at blobs of colour and placing a few random stitches here and there but when you back away from it, it really starts to look like something~
And I have to post a picture of sweet Bella. Hubby took this pic of her, while she was sitting in my chair, waiting for me to get home again. She hasn't grown very much and has stayed quite a small wee dog, but all the better to pick up and snuggle with!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stitching Retreat

What a fantastic weekend! Ann (of Knowledge & Needles fame) organized a stitching retreat at Timber House in Brighton, just off the shore of Lake Ontario. And this place is gorgeous, huge windows 3 stories high, with tons of stitching room with beautiful natural light. Of course we all still came armed with assorted Ott lights and magnifiers as you can see from the pictures, that is all 18 of us! The bedrooms were lovely with big comfy beds when we needed to rest up for the next day of stitching. And food - well there was lots of it and it was all delicious. I neglected to take my camera to Ann's house where hubby Dan cooked up a scrumptious feast for us on Saturday afternoon. And of course a quick trip into the shop for some must-haves followed that.

I have lots of pictures of the stitching retreat to here goes!
This is a shot of the great room, that I took from the upstairs dining area~

A shot of the dining area upstairs~One of the lovely bedrooms~

Awesome windows~And in case you are wondering what I did during this fabulous weekend~
This is Flock of Birds by Blackbird Designs. I started it on Friday shortly after we arrived at Timber House and finished it up last night. A quick, very sweet little design :-D

What a great weekend! Thanks Ann for organizing such a fantastic weekend for us all, its no wonder your next 2 retreats are already booked solid!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I have some finishes to show ... finally!

My latest beauty, hot off the needle, and beautiful she is, even if I do say so myself. This is Sweetheart Sampler, a Loose Feather pattern from Blackbird Designs. Its an oldie but a goodie. I stitched this on the recommended fabric, 30 ct Kansas City Blend by R&R Reproductions, but once I started with the large alphabet, it looked far too chunky for me. So I switched to stitching over-1 thread and I was much much happier with it.
Uh, if you note at the bottom, it says Valentine's Day and I'm only just over a month late for this lovely occasion, or even better really, 11 months early for next year!

Next its pincushion-y time!
This is Buttons & Pins, also by Blackbird, finished on 40 ct remnant and finished into a pincushion. I found the crushed walnut shells recommended for filling these (bird cage litter in real life) and I love the weight and substance this filler gives these.

Small Tokens, one of the Nashville releases for Blackbird Designs. This is finished on 32 ct antique white linen with some very sweet crocheted trim. This one made a wee gift.

This Friday I'm going to a Stitching Retreat with ladies from Knowledge & Needles! This is my first weekend retreat and I am so excited. I just have to figure out what to pack. I think its time for a new start or two! My excuse is that I'm not taking my Dazor magnifier, so I will need some larger-for-my-old-eyes fabrics, and since most of what I have on the go lately is 32-and-up, well that's just as good an excuse for a new start as any I can think of.

I'm still offering up my contest (see last post) for a new phrase for finished-finished. The winner will get a lovely little something that has been finished-finished.

Meanwhile I better get back to working on my PhD (Project-half-Done) - a new phrase I learned last night!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What's the word for.....?

'Eggs' by Shepherds Bush, stitched on 32 ct antique white linen, with GAST and DMC

I finished up a quick little Shepherd's Bush piece last night ~ Eggs for Easter. Sometimes its just easy to pick up something and finish is in 2-3 days, I needed that quick finish. And shockingly for me, its actually done well in time for Easter. I am notorious for being on the back end of holidays. I start something before a holiday comes but never get it finished in time. I'll do a fabric dive later and see what I have to finish-finish this.

Speaking there a word for finishing that I can't think of? I call something finished when I'm finished stitching it. But then there's the actual 'finishing' of it, that is making in into a finished piece, that I think I need a proper word for.

May be I could start a contest - whoever can come up with the best word for the actual 'finishing' of a stitched piece into something - needlebook, scissor fob, ornament, whatever. I'll gift a 'finished' object to whoever comes up with the best word.

Marj and I drove to Ann's Knowledge and Needles Open House on Sunday to see all the latest goodies she brought back from Nashville. It was so nice to see her and Dani and Christin and a few other ladies there. I was very very good and kept well within my budget.
Quakers & Quilts by Rosewood Manor, which calls for Valdani threads, which Ann also had but I didn't indulge in. And Celtic Cross by M Designs which I have coveted for a long time now.

And check out this lovely piece of Graziano gingham linen Ann had in stock - its perfect for this new Blackbird Designs piece called A Flock of Birds which is in the newest My Heart is True book. Ann is carrying several different colours of this and I was so happy to get it. Now I can't wait to start this lovely design - its my favourite in the new book.

And speaking of Blackbird Designs, Sue started a new blog for Blackbird lovers. Be sure to visit to see everyone's gorgeous stitching!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Warning - very picture heavy!

What can I say about Cuba other than we had a perfect time! Beautiful country, beautiful weather, beautiful people = wonderful vacation. Although we seemed to spend most of our time at the poolside, we did get for a wonderful hour-long walk each morning along the ocean, spent a lot of time in the various restaurants, bars and buffet, and we did get in to Havana for a day trip. I wish I could go back tomorrow!

I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking...The main building
View of the first pool
The hottub...come of my favourite spots!
Ahhh, the ocean!

The next hotel had a lighthouse!
...with such cool cars from the 50's.
On a side street - looking into a courtyard.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Gasp - look at this treasure trove of knitting loveliness! I was blown over the other day by getting all these wonderful gifts from dear Nancy, a wonderful stitching/knitting/quilting friend.

The knitting/stitching bag at the top is the most gorgeous bag, with all kinds of extra pockets for slipping in a little sustenance to keep a knitter/stitcher going strong! There is a lovely book of knitting stitches, and to the left, an ingenious worm binder, yes, that's right, a worm binder. Its perfect for holding all our circular needles (which are my favourite, uh circular needles, that is, not worms). Some new sock patterns which are my most favourite thing(s) to knit and an absolutely gorgeous purple/blue/green flat of wool called Flat Feet. Its been hand painted after being knitted by machine. The idea is to start unravelling as you knit so come up with your own unique pattern. How cool is that? No more balls of yarn to get tangled ... or played with by not-so-innocent little puppies. I am still in awe of all this lovelies and have had the most fun by taking everything out of my new bag and playing with it all. Thank you, Nancy!!!

Stitching-wise....I'm still at my CHS alphabets and I expect I will be happy dancing very shortly. But meanwhile I couldn't resist a little detour, with one of my new favourite designers, Blue Ribbon Designs~
Valentine Wishes - stitched on 28 ct Blush Pink Cashel, with GAST threads.

Sorry for the dark pictures - its endlessly gloomy around here - with another day of rain....yes, that's right rain. It has turned our snow into glops of messy disgusting piles. But the cold air is returning tonight and I'm sure it will turn everything back into a skating rink.

Fine by me....I'm on the final countdown because a week today hubby and I will be vacationing in Cuba - hot sun, white sandy beach, stitching in one hand, and a mojito in the other!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Moving on!

Thank you all for the encouragement to keep with my CHS alphabet. Seriously I was ready to toss it aside for greener (actually snowy) pastures, but with so many ready to do some happy dancing with me, I felt I couldn't let anybody down. So the alphabet made its way back on the stitching hoop and W for Willow got finished off last night. Then I moved right on over to 'X'.

Lookee what the mailman brought home this week - my Quaker Friendship RR, completed! Isn't it gorgeous! Everyone did a fantastic job stitching on it. I used a DMC variegated thread for the centre motif and asked everyone to chose one of the matching threads to stitch their section. I really wanted to see the change-over from each person who stitched on it and I think it turned out beautifully. This poor RR group has had some issues with someone who left the group and absconded with 3 people's pieces and threads! Unbelievable to have someone drop off the face of the earth and keep others' RR's. We were so lucky to have lovely Valerie step in and take over and unfortunately then get swamped with RR's. Thanks Rowyn, Edgar, Donna, Carol and Valerie for stitching on this beautiful keepsake for me!!
And finally ~ I've been tagged by Melissa to name 5 addictions. And if you haven't dropped by Melissa's blog, be sure to swing over that way and check out her gorgeous stitching (and knitting :0D)

5 addictions (well, I'll name the top 5, or we'll be here for a while)
1. Stitching ..... of course!
2. Quilting.
3. Blog reading.
4. My doggies.
5. and my newest downfall ~ Honey Ginger Green tea (President's Choice brand).

Have a great stitchy weekend!