Thursday 29 November 2007

Paradigm and Crystal Tree

Here is my latest progress on Paradigm. At the end of week 5 I have completed page 3. Now, in case you are wondering why I started at page 3, I am a leftie and so started on the right side of the piece.
I finished the large motif on this page, did all the backstitching then added the small "a". After checking my placement I realized I was out by 1/2 stitch. It took some time counting and searching until I found that the R was the problem. With much grumbling and mumbling, I frogged the letters R and Q and the small "a" and restitched them. I ended up pulling a midnight shift as I would not go to bed until I had them all done. What is it with having to put back the stitches we remove right away! I am excited to be on to page 2 next week.
I have some progress to report on Crystal Tree too. I have picked it back up and I am making progress. I have been able to add a couple of Kreinik threads. I even got to stitch one present under the tree. For some reason, the camera actually did a better job of capturing the colors this week.

You will notice several new names in my blog list. Many of these are new stitchers that have joined the Paradigm/Cirque blog. Check them out when you can - Joyus, Tannia, Gail, Rob at Coastal Stitching, Lesley, and Mindi are the ones I can think of right now.

Tuesday 27 November 2007

Ornament Exchange and a surprise gift

I am sitting here munching away on a Snickers Nutcracker, smacking my lips and feeling guilty at the same time.

I participated in my first ornament exchange this fall. My partner was Becky K from Oklahoma.
Becky Thank you so very much. You knocked my socks off!

Someone told her that I was a nutcracker collector and she heard. Her exchange was amazing and I was stunned by all the lovely wrapped gifts.
I received a package of mixed beads, a package of Christmas stickers, a needle case, a package of Snickers Nutcrackers (that's right - the ones I'm munching on) and the most beautiful stitched nutcracker. He is hanging above my computer screen as I type and I look at him in awe every time. Becky says he comes from a Christmas bellpull design in a Better Homes and Garden Book called A Cross Stitch Christmas - Handmade Heirlooms.
The guilt comes from not saving the nutcrackers for my collection and eating them instead. Becky reassures me they came from her favorite gourmet chocolate shop - Walmart - so I should be able to replace the ones I ate. Don't you just love it.
Below is the stitched piece I did for her. This is a JBW design - Hearts of Joy - from the 1997 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue. I made it into a little pillow for her and added some other goodies to the package. Becky emailed yesterday that she received the package so now I can post it.

And note to self and others - don't send a package in a Skinny Cows ice cream box. They work great for ice cream but not as packaging. Becky says it was delivered taped together but thankfully intact.

Today I went strolling to the mailbox to see what the mailman had dropped off . Mostly it is 6 million pieces of useless paper from our bank at home and the odd advertisement. Well, I got the coolest little surpise today. I found a little envelope postmarked Belgium containing a skein of Carrie's Creations hand dyed floss called Snowflake in my box. A cute little hand stamped card is in the envelope but no name or indication of who it is from. Whoever you are, thank you for such a wonderful surprise gift. I looked at this little envelope all the way home with a big smile on my face and a real sense of awe and gratitude. What wonderful thing can I find to stitch with this beautiful thread?

I have finally found the missing fabric for my Little Book of Stitches. I had bought it at Michael's I guess and it is 32 count oyster. Now, I can go back to working on it.

I have not done a great deal of stitching this past week. I seem to have hit a bit of a lull. I have picked up several things, stitched on them for a bit then put them down and picked up something else.

I'm off to check out the Snowbird SAL. Take care everyone

Friday 23 November 2007

Happy Day after Thanksgiving

Happy Day after Thanksgiving to all my American friends, happy snowy day to my Ontario friends and a happy hello to everyone else.
Would you believe DH had me out of bed and we were standing in line at Staples this morning at 6:20 a.m. I have never shopped on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) before. DH saw a couple of things we thought we should have so there we were in line in the dark and it was only 42F. Can you tell I really wanted to do this!! We did get a great deal on an external hard drive for my laptop, 2 IPod shuffles, and I got some floss at 5/$1.00. We were home before 9 a.m. The crowds were quite tame at the stores we frequented but when DH went to Target it was crazy!!!! I did the rest of my shopping online. I bought a rolling tote for my sewing machine at Joann's and some stash at Stitching Bits and Bobs.
Here is the beautiful cross stitch wall hanging I won from Heather at Quilt or Stitch on her blogaversary. Isn't it lovely. It will have a special place in my home and thanks again Heather.
My BFF Beatrice contacted me to tell me that my mother's piece was framed and she would deliver it to my parents soon. I am pleased with the framing and I think my parents will like this. Thank you Beatrice for taking this to my parents. She lives close to them and can do this for me as I am in Arizona.
Here is my progress on Paradigm this week. I love this stitch and don't like to put it down at the end of the day. This particular day I stitched until midnight because I was enjoying it so much.
I have no progress to report on Book of Stitches. It has gone to the bottom of the pile until I resolve the fabric issue. I have bought two pieces of fabric and neither of them match. Oh well, I have two nice pieces of linen for the future.
Take care all.

Tuesday 20 November 2007

Stitching progress and a problem

I have happily taken a break from washing windows to post my progress for last week. I am unpacked and everything is in it's place. $280 later the cupboards and fridge are full and then we have eaten out 3 of the last 5 days. Maybe I should have waited on those groceries!! DH is off golfing this afternoon so I should have some time to stitch without interruption.

Travelling in the car to Arizona gave me lots of quality stitching time. Our activities here tend to end early evening so I have some stitching time then too.

I am off to Joann's this week. Their floss is on 5/$1.00 and I can't resist that. I am hoping to go through my floss boxes once I finish these windows and see what I need or might need LOL.Crystal Tree is finally coming together. I have finished the top 1/2 and now I get to stitch some presents and other colors as I work my way to the bottom of the tree. There is less confetti stitching in the bottom so I should be able to stay on track better. My neighbor came over to see my new projects and she wanted to see my stitching on the back. What did she pick but the Crystal Tree that is not my neatest piece because of all the confetti stitching.

I made some great progress on Paradigm too. This was one entire day in the car and I felt that I accomplished a lot that day. I am really enjoying this stitch.

I finished Page 3 of Little Book of Stitches and am pleased with how it looks. I have, however, run into a problem with this that I am not sure how to solve. When I cut the fabric I misread the number of pages. Therefore, I have 6 pieces of fabric and 8 pages. I do not have any more of this fabric in my stash and now I am trying to remember where I bought it to try and find another piece for the two missing pages. If I cannot find it, and I don't think my chances are very good, I may have to scrap these two pages and start over again. GROAN!!!!!!

Take care everyone and have a good week.

Thursday 15 November 2007

Bach and I stitching

Thought you might enjoy this photo. I am stitching on Crystal Tree at my sister's in Texas. At my left is my pattern, at my right is my thread box, on my lap and sitting on my fabric is my sister's cat Shiner Bach. I am holding a needle and thread in my hand. I was trying to thread my needle to start the next stitches and Bach decided that he would help me.
We arrived in Arizona late yesterday afternoon. We had a very busy and emotional two weeks visiting with my sister and Jim in Texas. He is doing better. Tiny little steps at a time. He can now move his right hip, knee and foot. The movement is small but we are grateful for each one.
It was very difficult to leave my sister on Wednesday but it was time to move on.
The weather is beautiful 84F and sunny without a cloud in the sky. It will take me a couple of days to unpack and clean the summer sand out of the place.
I am sorry that I did not keep up with everyone and their progress. Time just slipped by and there was never enough time to sit in front of the computer. Now that I am here I will do lots of catching up and look forward to seeing everyone's projects and progress. I will try and blog more often too.
Well, everyone gotta go - it is nine and dine at the local golf course tonight and DH is on the course and I am off to join him for dinner.

Friday 9 November 2007

Hello from sunny Texas

Well, it sure is warm and humid here in Texas. Glowing is not the word for what has happened to me this past week. We have been busy little bees and the property is looking good. Sherry has been busy with us and we have accomplished a lot.
I have managed some stitching time. My work on Crystal Tree this week has involved pulling out an entire section that was in the wrong place. I need a reminder of why I am doing this piece.
I have made some wonderful progress on Paradigm. I don't like to put it down at the end of the day and have a hard time not picking it up again the next day.
Until next time, take care all.

Sunday 4 November 2007

The snowbird has landed more or less safely

Well, hello everyone. Please forgive me for being so slow to update myself. It was a long 2 1/2 day -1700 mile trip from home to my sister's in Texas. I did get in some quality stitching time and my butt is square from sitting so long. I am one of those lucky people who can stitch in the car. When you have made this trip several times a tree is a tree is a tree.
I am coming along nicely with page 3 of Book of Stitches although it did not get too much work.

I got to start Paradigm on October 31st for the entire day. I really enjoyed this stitch and did not want to put it down at the end of the day. I can hardly wait for next Wednesday to stitch some more.
Crystal Tree is coming along really nicely. I have found that an extra-large pattern, a highliter and solitude are the answer to working on this piece. I have done very little counterstitching and that pleases me greatly. For some reason, Crystal Tree does not photograph well. Will have to play with the camera and see if I can get a better shot. I have also stitched a piece for the Ornament Exchange on the Needle and Thread Board and cannot show it until it has been received - late November.
Jim is making progress and is now at home. His being at home keeps my sister very busy so DH and I have done our best to pick up the slack for her. She calls me her "laundry fairy". We are trying to accomplish some odds and sods for her - you know - those things you never have time for. Our days are full. We are enjoying spending time with her and her family.