Wednesday 31 December 2008

A BIG Happy Dance

And it is finished. Dec 29th at 11:15 p.m.
Phew, I wasn't sure I would make it. It has been a joy and a pleasure to work on but I am happy it is done.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

The Sweetest Joy

May all your Christmas dreams come true - ours sure have!

Sunday 21 December 2008

Home for Christmas

As I write this blog, I am sitting in a hotel in Phoenix. Leo and I are flying Phoenix - Toronto - Ottawa tomorrow to go home for Christmas. Weather permitting, we should be home around 9:30 p.m. We are so looking forward to being with our family. Keep your fingers crossed and your prayers flying for us. Ontario has been nailed with one winter storm after another this week past.

One of the reasons I have been offline so much is that my fingers have been flying and then some. So, I have lots of finishes to show you.

First up, my Make a Wish for Edgar. His wish was for a Blackbird Design. I stitched "My Gift for You" on 32 count raw linen with the recommended WDW and Gast Threads. The wording is stitched over one. I finished it into a pyn keepe for him.

I finished crocheting the afghan for the lady who asked me to finish it for her. I then sewed all the octagons together and crocheted a border. I hope she likes it. It certainly turned out to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated.

Next up, Jackson's quilt, curtains and pillow sham are finished. Here is a photo of the finished quilt. He wanted yellow Caterpillar Machines and that's what he got!

Here is the finished quilt, the valance, the sham and I even found yellow construction vehicle Wallies for his room. The set will be given to him for his 4th birthday on January 12th or maybe before if he and I can't wait.

And then, Katrina's Hello Neighbor neighborhood arrived at my home. Here is the house I stitched for her. It came from an old Reader's Digest book and it was an article on a typical early American Sampler. I used bits of that, changed the colors and this is the end result.

Here is her neighborhood as it went out in the mail on Dec. 21st. I was the last person to stitch on her neighborhood and so it is on it's way home. Isn't it gorgeous.

Here is my selection of Christmas ornaments for this year. I had a day of finishing and minus some skin on the ends of my fingers, they are done. They have been bagged, tagged and distributed to their new owners.

I also sewed three casserole carriers for some of my friends as Christmas gifts but forgot to take a photo of them.

And here is Paradigm. I have been working on it the past few days and did a little on Friday night for the SAT. I had to tear out the entire motif that I am working on now as I had it in the wrong place but that's okay. Only 1 1/4 pages left!!!!!

And I found a new use for a cross stitch grid. We installed a new block driveway. I did not want plain 1 foot square blocks so I got out a cross stitch grid and designed my driveway. I researched Navajo rug designs and this is what I came up with.

At the front are two cacti, in the middle is a Navajo design called the rainmaker and in the back is the diamond shape that is found in many Navajo rugs.

I took the design out to Leo and his friend and said please lay the stones like this. They did!!!! Isn't it wonderful.

We have had lots of people walk and drive by since it was done. Leo and his friend laugh. They did all the hard back breaking work and all people can talk about is the design that I drew on paper. Don't you just love it.

And last but not least, here is the view on my porch the other night. No wonder they call the skies in Arizona - painted skies. Isn't that beautiful.

My family and I want to wish you and your families the Happiest of Christmases and Merriest of New Years. May you have a wonderful season filled with joy and a great deal of laughter.

See you in 2009.

Sunday 7 December 2008

Four Squared and Holland Surprises!

There are squares and then there are four squares. Check out all these beautiful squares.
First up are the squares I received from Jennifer H for Round 10. No information was provided but I love the variagated purple thread and the entire design. Nice work Jen.
In exchange I stitched for her a Quaker Freebie I found somewhere on 32 count lugana with DMC 4030.So kind of blogger to flip both of the next photos sideways. It just wouldn't be a blog entry from me without that!
And then Karen R. really hit the nail on the head. For the Christmas round at Fair and Square - look at the soooo handsome nutcracker she stitched for me. I just love him. I can't decide whether to make an ornament out of him or keep him for my friendship quilt. In return, I stitched for her "Redwork Snowflake" by Pamela Kellogg. I love this one and may just stitch it again for myself.
And the mail box held some more. Look at the lovely surprise package from Carolien that arrived in my mailbox the other day. There was a lovely Christmas card and a note from Carolien and her family.
Also included were some lovely Dutch candies, a chocolate bar that DH promptly ate, some little red packages - I can't tell you about them as they are gifts for some friends in Canada that I will deliver in December. And the most surprising and awesome of all ------ an Anton Pieck cross stitch kit. I love this Dutch artist and the amazing detail he puts into his work. I have this particular piece as a 24x30 3-D paper tole hanging in my home along with several other smaller pieces. Here is a closeup of the kit. Isn't it awesome!!!!
And in case you forgot LOL - here is my lastest progress on Paradigm. I am sure you are all tired of looking at it but I would like to finish it by years end so I am plugging away when I can.

I must apologize to everyone for my lack of posts and comments on the blogs. I seem to be in a blogging slump, if that is possible. I look at my google reader and have 274 posts to read and think "Oh no, I will never catch up". Please be patient with me as I try to work my way through all your latest posts. I have a couple of deadlines that I am scrambling to meet and that also keeps me away from the computer.
I have been tying my grandson's quilt - a job that should have taken my 1 day and has taken me 5. I still have to bind his quilt and make the matching pillowcase by Dec. 22. I also have an afghan to finish crocheting by that date. I did have a Make A Wish to complete. I got it done the first of the week and it went out in the mail. I don't think I will sign up for anything more until after the holidays. My stress level is going up as I try to complete all these things and this is supposed to be fun - RIGHT!
Take care everyone. I do appreciate you stopping by and will do my best to get back to you.
Many hugs from one slightly stressed stitcher to another!

Tuesday 25 November 2008

WOW!!!! and WOW!!!

Hi everyone. Before I get to my stitching progress this week, I have something special to show you.
I have a very good friend named Debbie who lives in Virginia. She and I met RVing several years ago. I have not seen her in a few years. She is a faithful reader of my blog. She is also an awesome stitcher although she is shy about it.

She sent me a gift this past week - check this out!

Spirit of Cross Stitch Angel
by Brooks Nolan
semi-kit of chart, perforated paper and beads

Angel and wings are done on evenweave, then stiffened and cut with scissors and exacto knife
Deb cut herself and in her words - it was made with "blood, sweat and not too many tears"
She then layered it with two sided sticky squares. She says that this Angel will protect me when I lose my stitching mojo and also help keep away the dreaded frogs.
I immediately hung it beside my stitching chair.
Thank you Deb. It is a special gift and I will treasure it always!!!!!

I also received a lovely gift from my friend Christin a while back and only now remembered that I did not show it to anyone. This is a beautiful scissor fob and I can tell she put much thought into it.

It is in my favorite color and check out the little nutcracker. Thank you so much Christin.

I have been stitching away this past week. Unfortunately, I can only show you my progress on Paradigm - 2/3 of the way through page 12!

I sent out 2 Fair and Squares this past week and I am busily stitching away on a secret exchange.
I also worked on Jack's quilt. I have the top done and his valance made. I have to go get fabric for the back and then will start putting it together.

Till next time every one - may the Cross Stitch Angel watch over you and your stitches.

Tuesday 18 November 2008

Stitching in the sunshine and in my comfy chair

Hello everyone.

I have been merrily stitching away. There is something about sitting in the warmth and sunshine that just makes my needle fly. I have a lovely rocking chair on my deck and it is a perfect stitching spot. There is only one small problem - I have to sit back in the corner or I get many visitors and the stitching stalls. Well, I'm not sure that really is a problem.
I worked on my Winter Neighborhood RR for Tami and got it finished - ready for mailing on the 25th.Don't you just love the Santa and his sleigh across the top.

I chose "A Tree in the Window" by Cathi Bussi from Better Homes and Gardens - A Cross Stitch Christmas 2004. There is a little snowman in the front yard and I must admit I have a soft spot for snowmen.
I also put some quality time in on Paradigm Lost. I love the Friday night Stitchalongs on the Let's Stitch blog. DH and I had a very busy week so curling on the couch in front of the TV Friday evening worked for me. I was able to put in a solid 5 hours of stitching. I am beginning to think there is a possibility of finishing this before years end. I have finished page 7 and am working away on page 12. (I am a leftie so work right to left).I have also completed my squares for the Christmas Round on the Fair Square blog but cannot post until it is received. It is off to Australia soon.
I have purchased the fabrics to make a quilt for my older grandson. He loved his brother's Thomas quilt and wanted one himself - so Caterpillar tractors, backhoes, and excavators are next on my list. I was even able to find wallpaper cutouts with yellow construction vehicles for his wall. Isn't the internet the most amazing place. Must remember to order them right away.
And, I've been tagged. I won't tag anyone else but in case you are interested, here are six things about me.
1. I am a pizza addict - I have pizza at least once a week and tend to sulk if it goes any longer than that.
2. My glasses spend more time on top of my head than on my face - I'm not sure why I wear them.
3. I love silky nightshirts and have many.
4. I am a sticky note fool. I have sticky notes and lists everywhere. My family just laughs at them all but I see them checking them out too
5. I love sparkling water - key lime. All my family and friends know I carry them with me everywhere and they think it is an accessory like my glasses or shoes.
Till next time - happy stitching everyone.

Thursday 13 November 2008

Back on track

Good day everyone. I apologize for taking so long to update my blog. There are times when life just gets away from you.

DH and I made the trip from Ontario to Yuma in good time. Traveling allowed for some serious needlework. My plans to work on "Noddy" fell through. Paradigm Lost was calling to me. Here is my progress at the end of the trip.
Since then, I have completed this page. The camera batteries are dead so will post a new photo next time. 9 paged done, only 3 more to go!

I spent some serious time working on an afghan for someone else. An elderly friend had been working on a crocheted afghan and could not long understand how to work the pattern. She brought it to me and asked me to finish it. It has been a bit of a challenge as my crocheting is a little different from hers and I have had to repair someof her squares that were not quite right. I finished the squares while travelling and started to put it together. I hope to have it finished by the end of this month.
After unpacking the van and stashing away all the stitching supplies I had brought with me, I made a run to the post office. Amidst all the flyers and junk mail was a lovely package.
Andrea fulfilled my wish from the Make a Wish Exchange. I had wished for a scissor pocket.
Well, this absolutely beautiful little pocket was in the package. Andrea was not sure about the color but I just smiled. She chose DMC 501 and 503 to stitch with. My PL is done in DMC 502. They are some of my favorite colors.
It is so carefully stitched together. The button is a beautiful pearl and the ribbon is so delicate.

I just knew I couldn't get through this post without at least one flipped photo and here it is!

I am now busily working away on the next installment of my Winter Neighborhood RR. Here is the last photo of my progress. I am currently working on the back stitching and hope to have a finish and happy dance soon!

After cleaning out all the dust from our home and believe me there was lots, it was time to pick up with our winter friends. Well, it was out for dinner, girls lunch out, lets go shopping and oh yeah - $350 to fill the cupboards and fridge with food. It is nice to be back with friends and enjoying the warmth and sunshine.

I have noticed that there are some new visitors to my blog. Thank you so much for stopping by and your lovely comments. I will try and visit your blogs asap. To all my stitching friends who stop by, you make my day. You keep me encouraged and excited about new things and all your progresses. Thank you so much for being you!!

Till next time - as Helen says - May all your frogs stay in their pond. LOL

Monday 27 October 2008

Another Week Flies By

We have spent this week with our oldest son, his wife and our beautiful granddaughter. It has been a very relaxing week and so it allowed for some serious stitching time. We have spent a great deal of time eating out and saying goodbye to our family and friends. I don't remember the last day I cooked a meal, and no, I haven't done many dishes either LOL.
On Friday, I set off to a stitching retreat at the Gananoque Inn in Gananoque for the weekend with Dani. You will find a detailed report and lots of photos on her blog. It was a great weekend with approximately 55 stitchers and knitters busily working away. There were some classes offered but I took the opportunity to stitch in large blocks of time and to meet some wonderful new stitchers. We ate far too much and ended up going for a walk in the pouring rain to digest the Chocolate Pudding Cake on one of the lunch buffets LOL!

This is the beautiful Gananoque Inn on the Saint Lawrence River at the entrance to the Thousand Islands.
Dani took a couple of wonderful photos that I shamelessly borrowed.. The first is of me sitting on the bed shopping online at Stitching Bits and Bobs. They have a great sale on - what more can I say and it is for an exchange!
The second is Dani and I dressed for dinner on Saturday evening. Doesn't she look great - so slim and with her new hairdo!
On the stitching front - I have finished Marjean's RR and it will go in the mail today. I think this is one of the most beautiful RR's I have ever seen and it was a privilege to stitch on it.Here is my completed White Christmas on her piece. Isn't she a beauty!

I pulled our Lady Periphaeria's Mystery Sampler and started on Page 4.

I worked on Paradigm Lost for the Friday night SAL with the Let's Stitch blog and the many other stitchers in the stitching room at the Inn. LOL - Blogger has flipped my Paradigm - it seems to do that every week.

On Saturday, I stitched some more on Paradigm, then picked up a mystery stitch and completed it.

Sunday, I picked up Noddy and got a large chunk of the back stitching done. I am trying to backsstitch as I go so I am not overwhelmed at the end. This is about 1/3 of the piece so far.

I will focus on Noddy in the car to AZ this week as it is on 14 count Aida and allows for the bumps in the road. I also have an afghan that I promised to finish for someone who is unable to do so due to age and ill health. My fingers will certainly be busy. So, if you see an ivory van with Ontario plates scooting down the interstate and the lady is looking down - you will know it is me!!!! You will have to toot your horn to get my attention.
Till next time...........

Sunday 19 October 2008

Swimming pool, fences and paint cans

Now, how's that for a title! Are you interested?
We have closed up our house for the winter and are now visiting with our youngest son, his wife and our two handsome grandsons. It has been one busy week and hence the title.
DS has had an inground pool installed this past week. DH has been very busy supervising the construction and chatting up the workers. Plus, doing some maintenance work for DS.
Our grandson Jackson's favorite color these days is blue and he decided he wanted a blue bedroom. Hence the paint cans. DIL was able to convince him to do only one wall in dark blue (Gramma heaves a sigh of relief) and so two days were spent by me painting his bedroom. I also painted the guest bathroom since I was already into painting mode.
And of course, when you put in a pool, you must put up a fence. So, the weekend was spent fencing in the yard. Our oldest son came down, our adopted son came over, youngest son and DH spent the weekend installing said fence and gates. DIL and I kept the two grandsons busy and out of the construction site. A great job was done by all and things are looking pretty good in the back yard here now.
And so, I did get some stitching done but not a large amount.

First up, here is the house I stitched on Michelle's Halloween Round Robin. I took several pictures but for some reason every one is blurry. This is the best of the lot. This is from an old Prairie Schooler chart called Trick or Treat from 1987. I like how it turned out.

You can see the house better in this shot of her RR to date. Isn't it just the cutest.
I participated in the Stitchathon at the Let's Stitch blog this week and stitched on Paradigm. The challenge this week was also to stitch on a Quaker design - so I accomplished both in one session LOL. I have finished the motif bottom left and am now working on the thistle on the left. Only 3 1/2 pages to go! Blogger as always, has picked one photo to flip and this is it!

We are packing up our belongings and moving to visit with oldest DS for the next week. I don't know what I will have for stitching time but will give it a shot.

Until next time, take care all!

Saturday 11 October 2008

Fair, Fall and Winter

One morning on my way to the washroom at 5:30 a.m. (I hear you groaning too at those early morning trips) I looked out my bathroom window at this amazing sunrise. Well, in my housecoat and slippers with camera in hand, I managed to capture this - God's beauty and grace. A few weeks back, I won a draw on Rowyn's blog for a kiwi bookmark. Well, the package arrived Thursday. Not only did Rowyn send the bookmark but she sent my own personal kiwi, and some gorgeous New Zealand tea towels. Now, the tea towels caused a chuckle as you know my opinion on dishes but I emailed Rowyn and assured her that I would hang them on the handle of the stove and admire them on my way through the kitchen.

Here are the beautiful Fair Squares I received from Mary Kathryn for the Halloween round. Aren't they beautiful. I don't know what color that thread is but it looks gorgeous. Thank you Mary Kathryn.

Here is my Autumn Leaves by PS finished as a flatfold. Several of us got together at Ann's this past week and did up a few flatfolds. Angie and I are off to Arizona soon so having these completed was a priority. Barb did a great job of showing us how they were done. I am pleased with the finished product.

Backing fabric for P.S.
Don't you just love this fabric. Beatrice and I found it at a quilt shop this summer and knew it would come in handy.

Here is my completed section of Sophia's Winter Neighborhood RR. This is PS December. It looks so nice on that beautiful fabric. It went out in the mail yesterday.

And as part of the Let's Stitch blog - Becky's challenge this week was a sampler so I did two jobs at once. I pulled out my Paradigm and finished page 8. So, I worked on a sampler and joined the Friday night SAT. Her challenge this week is to work on a Quaker design so I think I will put some more stitches in Paradigm.

Well, the van is all packed and DH and I are still speaking to each other. Part of the conversation concerned the number of boxes that said fabric and crafts. How do you explain that you need every cross stitch book and magazine in case you are looking for a pattern? Also, you need every kit and thread you have in case you need to start something new.
We close our house tomorrow. We will spend Thanksgiving with one son, then off to visit the second son for a week.
Take care everyone.
If you can, take time to view the sunrise. It will take your breath away.