Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Books, Quilt and Neighborhood

It has been a very busy week or so around here. We have had visitors from Denver for the past few days and then our two sons were here for the weekend. Dad and the boys did some male bonding watching race cars at Mosport. Mom stayed home and stitched and quilted.

Progress for the week is:

First up - finished Book of Stitches. I had some trouble putting this together. I am not a big fan of hand sewing since I'm not very good at it. I need a lesson in making stitches that are hidden. I made an error with the corners too. The instructions said to trim the corners and when I did, they frayed. I should have sent this off to Vonna's Finishing Service. However, this one is for me, so I can handle it's little errors. I am so happy to have this off my list.

And it just wouldn't be one of my posts, if Blogger didn't flip a photo sideways. Don't you just love it!
Next up - Judith's Neighborhood
Judith has asked us to pick one of Maryse's houses. My choice - the August House. Why? My birthday is in August and my home is yellow with blue trim. I think her RR is going to be just beautiful.
I received this and stitched it in four days. I was on a roll and just could not put it down. It was quite the challenge for me as Judith asked that we all stitch in the same direction. I, of course, stitch in the opposite direction. Many thanks to Annemarie for telling how to do this successfully. You turn the fabric and pattern 90 degrees and stitch sideways. Lo and behold, when you turn it around, you are stitching in the right direction. How cool is that!
And here is her neighborhood so far.

Next up, a little piece of Marjean's RR. I have got some stitching done on it. This is just a teaser. I will let you know what pattern I have chosen once the stitching gets further along.

I have done a little sewing and quilting this weekend while the boys were bonding. My grandson Hunter will be two in September and it is time for his room to have a little character. He is crazy about Thomas the Tank Engine so Gramma has decided to add a little color to his room.

His valance:

Since I took this photo I decided the curtains needed some punch and I added a three inch navy strip to the top of the fabric.

And his quilt:

It is sandwiched and ready to be quilted. However, I have developed some muscle spasms in my neck and upper back so sitting at the sewing machine does not seem to be in my near future. I think I will tie this one instead. I have picked a nice bright red for the binding. I will make him a matching pillow and purchase decals for his wall. It has been such fun doing this for a little one.

I need to answer a couple of questions here from previous posts.

The dragonfly cubit is from the Cross Stitch and Needlework magazine from November 2007. If you would like I can send you a copy of the pattern - just email me.

The candle ornament is in a pamphlet from Dimensions called Holiday Elegance and it is #330.

The snowman stays in my RR - he is the tour guide for my neighborhood. I have put in a note that my neighborhood is about the people in it and to please add a snowman to their block if possible and/or if they wish they can add a companion to my snowman. I've also named him "Cheer".

I am looking forward to this weekend. We are having a stitching retreat at my home. I have 4 out of town guests coming and several of the local stitchers will be in and out. We will eat too much, talk far too much, stitch lots and hopefully, have lots of photos for you next week.

Thank you for the award nominations this week. I have decided to pass on listing any specific blogs. Like many of you, I find there are just too many great blogs and wonderful stitchers out there to list specific blogs.

I am struggling with my isp still. I read all your posts as they come into my google reader but am not commenting much as it is just too slow. Please bear with me and when I get to Arizona in November and am back on high speed, I will be all over the place LOL.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Stitching and Wedding Cakes

Warning Photo intensive Post (finally)

First up, this is the Round 9 Fair and Square that I sent to Sandra G. in Portugal. It is from an old cross stitch magazine that I tore out the pages. That was in the early days before I realized that stitching was becoming my passion (obsession) and that my tastes change at any given moment. It is stitched on 32 count antique white lugana.

In return, here are the lovely squares she stitched for me. I have no idea what the pattern is but it is very pretty and I love the blue. It will reside in the basket with my other squares until I have enough for a friendship quilt. Next up, is my completed ornament for the month of August. It is part of a set of 8 and I may well do some of the others. It is done on Silkweaver 32 count Blue Fusion. I finished my Prairie Schooler "Autumn Leaves". I love the colors in this one. This will become a flatfold when Barb has time to get a group of us together to make it up.Do you recognize this stitch? If you notice, pages 1 and 8 are not the same size as the middle page. You got it. I stitched it on the wrong count fabric, so I am restitching pages 1 and 8. Lesson # 233 (I think) label your fabrics. How I got these two pages a different size is beyond me. Next up, I have signed up for a Winter Themed Neighborhood RR on the Worldwide Round Robin board and here is my layout with my block stitched. I love this snowman - he is just the cutest. The saying at the top is "There are no friends like snow friends."Now, I have a problem and I need some advice. For some reason, I did not read (Lesson #1 that I need to repeat) the word neighborhood when I joined this RR and so my plan was to fill the blocks with snowmen. Well, that's not gonna work. The other blocks will be winter houses and I can request that a snowman be included wherever possible. My question is - do I leave my snowman in or tear him out and stitch a house instead. Opinions please.
And in my mailbox this week, was the most stunning Mirabilia RR I have ever seen. This belongs to Marjean of Linen and Lagniappe. One of her stitchers has backed out and I have offered to stitch a block for her. I have the pattern picked out, the threads pulled and a couple of stitches started. I love Mirabilia and am looking forward to stitching this for her.
And last, but certainly not least. I have done very little stitching this week as my hands have been busy. A good friend of mine is getting married tomorrow and my wedding gift to her is her cake. And so you see, one completed wedding cake. The bow is just laid on top. I will attach the bow and ribbons after it is delivered to the reception hall tomorrow.
I also baked 2 slab carrot cakes to be cut and served iced with cream cheese icing. The top layer of her cake is carrot and the middle and bottom layer are styrofoam. I prefer not to use all three layers of cake when the weight may cause a possible collapse. We do not need a wedding cake disaster.

And now you know where the wedding cake comes in.
Becky - yes, I made the little ort box. If you would like any more information please feel free to email me.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Relaxing at the cottage

I know you are all in shock - two posts in as many days. What can I say - I've been busy.
We had a lovely two weeks at our cottage in Northern Ontario. It is a little more rustic than home but very relaxing. The weather was not the greatest - can you say RAIN!!!!!! but we managed to pass the time. I love to fish for bass when we are there but the weather simply did not cooperate so - no fish (sulk).
This was the year for my DH's high school reunion and the 100th anniversary of the Town of Englehart so our first week was very busy. We had lots of guests at the cottage and there were lots of stories told. I am surprised my DH lived to adult hood if half those stories are true.
One morning, I am standing in that big picture window looking out at the lake and looking back at me was a lynx. I was so astonished, I forgot my camera. I looked at him and he looked at me and he slowly strolled off. Driving in to town one day, my SIL saw a mother black bear and her two cubs on the gravel road about 1 1/2 miles from the cottage.
I did manage a photo of one beautiful sunset between the raindrops. This is our view looking up the lake from halfway down the hill in front.
My husband's brothers and sister and their spouses came to visit for a few days (the 4 of them own the cottage together). It is nice to get together as we all live in different cities and live very busy lives. Believe it or not, they all get along very well and we have had no conflicts with sharing the cottage. The in-laws like each other too so we do very well.
We took the time to visit some friends while we were there and I took along my camera. We went for a ride on their lake in their float boat and look who was flying around!
That's right - a bald eagle. Our friends informed us there is a nesting pair in the area and this is the first time they have ever seen one on their lake. The bald eagle was recently taken off the endangered species list but they are still few and far between. What a treat to see one in it's natural environment.
As we were sitting on the dock, chatting away, I snapped this photo. You know, every once in a while, you get that one lucky shot!!!
Because the weather was so lousy, I did get some stitching done. I will share one photo here and the rest in my next post.
First, here is the biscornu and scissor fob that I sent to the lovely Carol of Garden of Stitches.
This is the Clover and Thistle Biscornu from the July 2008 issue of Cross Stitch and Needlework and it done on 32 count hand dyed lugana from Silkweaver. The color is called Mountain Rose.
The thread is one of the mystery threads I bought in the spring. The scissor fob I made up myself. The little square you see is a folded travelling ort box.And blogger is up to it's old tricks. As you see, it is sideways!!
And last, but not least. You may remember that Carolien won my blogaversary back a while ago. It took two months for the snail to carry my package to her.
Here is the cubit I did for her. They are several other things in the package and she wrote the most lovely post on her blog.
I can no longer find the info that went with the cubit as keeping a piece of paper with that info for two months is beyond my capabilities. I am sure, with some searching, I could find the pattern again if anyone is interested.
Thats all for this post. Will post again in a few days with more stitching pictures. When it rains, you do get lots of stitching time.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Birthdays in August

Hi one and all. We have returned from the great beyond of Northern Ontario. I will post a note about our cottage adventures and my stitching progresses in the next few days but I have a couple of things to share with you first.

As you know Beatrice and I are BFF and have been for many years. Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler contacted Beatrice and I at Ann (Knowledge and Needles) suggestion. She has featured Beatrice's mother Adriana (who will be 92 on Friday) as her Stitcher of the Week. I was on vacation and missed out on the opportunity to contribute to the article.
Adriana is the most amazing woman and the most beautiful stitcher I have ever met. She introduced me to the joy of stitching and has stitched along with me for many years. Please go here and read her astonishing story - she is an inspiration to us all - www.victoriasampler.com/E-news/03Aug8_2008.htm

It was Beatrice birthday last week and mine yesterday - see we even share birthdays.

Here is the wonderful gift she gave me yesterday. "You will always be my best friend. You know too much"

No wonder we have stayed friends all these years. Love you Beatrice.

From Dani and Christin I received a gift certificate to Knowledge and Needles which took me all of 20 seconds to spend. The certificate helped me to purchase this:

Lizzie Kates - Christmas flips!!! I am a big Christmas fan and am looking forward to my new start.

My DH, for my birthday, has paid for me to attend a stitching retreat in Gananoque in October put on by Knit One, Stitch Two (formerly The Cross Stitch Cupboard) with the above mentioned Dani. I have never been to this retreat and am really looking forward to it.

I received some gorgeous flowers from my friend Suzie. These are from her own garden and she made the arrangement herself. Isn't it stunning!

I also received a beautiful candle from my DS and DIL that says "Grandchildren fill our hearts with joy forever". I tried photographing it but it just didn't work. Trust me - it is lovely.

Thanks to all for my birthday wishes and even though I am now on the far side of 50 (56) I still feel 25 at heart.

To Beatrice - Happy Birthday my dear friend

To Adriana - Happy Birthday. You are truly an inspiration to us all!!!!