Thursday 30 August 2007

Some real progress

Well, it seems to have helped. It has been difficult but I have managed to stay with this one project. I have made some good progress. I am sitting down to watch "Marie Antoinette" so that should help the stitching time pass.

Sunday 26 August 2007

One piece at a time - well, maybe

Hello everyone. I had a little talk with myself in the last couple of days. I have several pieces on the go and nothing seems to be getting anywhere, so I decided to concentrate on one piece for a while. Since, the wreath is the beginning of this piece, I decided to work on it to the exclusion of anything else. We had visitors for the weekend so I did not get as much done as I would have liked but here the latest progression.Of course, having a friend who loves to shop, we had to stop by Ann's store on the weekend. After all my talking to myself here is my latest purchase! My Arizona home is all done in blues and I thought this would look really nice there. I will buy fabric later.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. Ours can't seem to make up it's mind. It rains one minute, then it's sunny, warm and humid the next. We desperately need rain. Our well is dry and we have no hope of it filling up until we get some substantial rain.

Thursday 23 August 2007

A new house in Annemarie's Neighborhood

Here is my contribution to Annemarie's neighborhood. Annemarie had left us free to stitch whatever. It did not even have to be a house. I chose this design. It is called "Ottawa Tulips" and it is by a Canadian designer - X's and Oh's. I had a specific reason for choosing this one. I wanted to add a little bit of Canada to her piece. During the Second World War, Canada sheltered Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and she gave birth to her third daughter, Margriet, in Ottawa. They designated land at the hospital as Dutch so she could be born in Holland. Each year since then Holland has donated tulip bulbs to Canada in thanks. There are literally millions of tulips planted in Ottawa - Canada's Capital - and the city has a huge tulip festival there every May.
The building is the Peace Tower in the center block of Canada's Parliament buildings.

Monday 20 August 2007

What a Retreat!

Hello everyone. Well, what a weekend it was. Can you imagine 24 stitchers with all their completed and WIP's all in the same house. It was bedlam but what fun! There was a great deal of chatter, a lot of admiring each other's work and very little stitching in the early part of the day. My DH says it is like a foreign language when we speak - designers, fabrics, threads, needles, counts, WIP's, SAL's, RR's, UFO's and so on. I don't know about you but to me it makes perfect sense.
It was so cool to meet fellow stitchers that I only knew from online - Wendy and Rebecca.
Wendy is going to do a SAL on Paradigm Lost in November with myself, Beatrice, Dani and Christin. Consider this your invitation to join us if you wish.
Wendy, Dani, Beatrice and Ann took lots of photos so instead of photos I invite you to visit their blogs for photos and I say DITTO!
I also met Chrisanne who had done the Instant Gratification Round Robin with myself, Dani and Jodi. Dani gifted me with my completed Round Robin at the retreat. Isn't it beautiful!

Dani also brought me a birthday gift. I have never owned any hand dyed fabrics and was thrilled to receive some pieces. She included a skein of silk thread from Australia, a Caron Waterlilies and a package of Piecemaker needles.The birthday card has the most beautiful photo of a swan. We have swans who swim into our bay at times and there are 80 breeding pairs in the area where I live, so the card was very appropriate. What a lovely gift! I am so lucky to have such a wonderful friend.

My heartfelt thanks go to Ann and her husband Dan at Knowledge and Needles. They took this large, noisy group of stitchers into their home and treated us all like family. Dan and Ann fed me Friday evening, as I tried to get a jump start on the weekend. Dan made the most wonderful breakfast for all the stitchers who stayed overnightSaturday and included myself and my guests, Dani and Chrisanne. The kindness and graciousness they both showed are above and beyond any LNS I have ever encountered. Thanks again Dan and Ann.

Friday 17 August 2007

Noah's Ark

This is my other WIP. This is Dimensions Santa and the Ark Stocking. It has been in and out of my stitching bag for a few years. It is on 18 count navy and I have trouble seeing the holes and working on such a small count. I use a magnifier some days. Other days I can see with no difficulties. Somedays it goes along smoothly and other days not so well. I am determined to stick with this one until it is finished. This is #5 in a series of Christmas stockings for my nieces, nephews and grandchildren. I don't think it will be done for this Christmas but maybe next? I hope by stitching on it only once a week I will not toss it to the bottom of the pile again. Yesterday was stitching at Ann's. Spent a great deal of time chatting and catching up on everyone's work since I had been away for three weeks. I did get a few stitches in Annemarie's RR but not enough to photograph yet. I am looking forward to the retreat at Ann's this weekend. I think Dani and Christin are planning to spend the night with me since Ann's place will be full. These girls stitch until 1 a.m. or later. I can't last that long but I always try.

Wednesday 15 August 2007

Hopping with Happiness

After you stop chuckling about some 55 year old chubby woman hopping around grinning from ear to ear on her very sore foot (plantar fasciiatis), you can read on. I received the most wonderful birthday gift in the mail yesterday. I was honored to receive one of Carol's wonderful stitched pieces in the mail today. Here is the lovely scissors fob she stitched for me. Thank you Carol!
I took some time this morning and finished my Sweetheart Tree Round Robin. I decided to put a paillette with a bead between the names and finish it as a bell pull. It took several phone calls to my fellow stitcher, Barb, as I could not remember how we finished the Celtic Banner. With her aid and encouragement it is done. Here is the finished product.
The rest of the day I spent cranky and out of sorts. I am a basket case when it comes to the dentist. I had to go today and get 5 little pinpoint fillings. I was a mess and it put me off my game most of the day. Dear Beatrice came over, put a fresh color on my hair and generally dealt with my less than stellar self. I did manage to find my pattern, gather my threads and put the first few stitches in Annemarie's Neighborhood Round Robin piece. It is not ready for showing yet.

Monday 13 August 2007

Some more finishes

Just in case you thought I sat in the sun and did nothing while I was at the cottage, here are a few more of my finishes. On the left is Jodi's Instant Gratification RR. I did the purple lazy daisy flowers and the green, peach and yellow quilt blocks. It was sent home to her at the end of July.

The snowflake on the left is from Cross Stitch Christmas 2002. I forgot the beads at home so I finished it this morning. On the right is Silver Thaw #3 completing that set.
My BFF Beatrice came by today and we exchanged birthday gifts and caught up on our happenings over the past three weeks. We talked about our stitching progesses and how much we are looking forward to the retreat at Knowledge and Needles this weekend.

Sunday 12 August 2007

Happy Birthday to me

Yesterday was my 55th birthday. I celebrated by seeing Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco with my DS and his wife. It was their gift to me. It was awesome, spectacular, jaw-dropping, amazing, incredible and totally unbelievable. Do you think I enjoyed it!! Unfortunately they do not allow any photography so you will have to settle for my description. You can see a little snippet on Cirque's website. DH stayed home and babysat the grandsons.

I will try to photo some of my work if blogger co-operates tonight.

The left snowflake is from Wren Song Designs - a series of three called Silver Thaw. This is #2. #1 is in an earlier post and identified incorrectly. #3 is done but did not photograph well so will include it in a future post.
The second snowflake is a completion from an earlier post. This one gave me lots of headaches but I am very pleased with the end result.
The third photo is my returned Sweetheart Tree RR piece. I have finished it and am quite pleased with how it turned out. I had originally done the lettering in 778 but it was too light and changed it to 316. I think it shows much better. I need some suggestions from everyone. I would like to add something between the names - either stitched or otherwise - any ideas? I am going to finish it as a bell pull.
Last but not least, is my Dimensions Circle of Love. I am stitching the wreath and will change the saying in the middle. I do not want to say too much about the finished project. It is for a family member and is a surprise.

Saturday 11 August 2007

Home again

Well, hello everyone. We are home from the cottage. What a wonderful vacation we had ! The kids tell us we don't get vacations because we are retired but it feels like it to us. The weather was absolutely beautiful. We had one little sprinkle of rain and the rest of the time it was glorious sunshine and hot weather. We spent lots of time swimming in the lake and in the boat catching fish. We spent lots of time with our family and friends. DH got in a little golfing and I managed a shopping spree. The clearance sales are on and I'm not one to turn down a bargain.

I did get some stitching done. I finished Jodi's Instant RR piece, finished my Sweetheart Tree RR piece except for the beads that I forgot to bring, finished 4 snowflakes and one not quite finished because I forgot the beads! I worked on my Dimensions Circle of Love, my Dimensions Santa and the Ark stocking and looked at my Christmas tree from the November 2004 Stitcher's World magazine and put it back in the package again. I had started this piece once and done about a third when I realized I was out by 1/2 stitch. It took me hours to take it apart and I had marked the pattern with a marker. I just can't seem to find the heart to try it again.
I did manage to load one photo - DS, spare DS, DH and myself after a successful fishing trip. (Spare DS is best friend to DS and he has become like a member of the family so we have two DS and a spare!