Sunday, 22 November 2009

Hooray, the End is Near!

For those of you who have been following my tales of stress over the past two plus months, never fear, the end is near! Yes, very bad rhyme! But there is only one week to go until we implement (next Sunday). I'm so looking forward to it. Last week was so stressful for everyone that when I got home, I didn't turn on the computer, turned off my audio books and turned on jazz instead and tried to tune everything else out. I meditated with my linen and thread!

It's like studying days, weeks, months for the final exam, and as it nears I get calmer rather than frantic because I know I've done all that I could then I just let go, and ask for blessings that everything will go well.

But I have been stitching! It was my first time using AVAS silks - very nice. First, I'll show you the little bird.
She's just sitting calmly waiting for the rest of the stitches to bloom on the linen.
Sarah Salter, Sheepish Antiques

It's quite a lovely stitch and the colours are very vibrant, more so than what you see here as our days have been rainy and dark. I have some questions about silks but I'll save it for the end of the post.

Next is the second giveaway that I'd won from Beth of Heartstring Primitives. It's a lovely pillow filled with some lavender, and she attached a lovely strawberry emery as part of the package. The package was beautifully wrapped.
Thank you Beth for this beautiful giveaway!

While I'm at it, I'll post an exchange (SBBC) I did for Su for her birthday in October. That seemed so long ago! It was my first attempt at a needlebook ... I need more practice!
I was delighted to find that Eva has sent me this award! Thank you Eva!
Now, the tough job of having to choose 5 blogs to pass this onto! There are lots of lots of blogs I love and each for a different reason. Closing my eyes, I will pick 5 blogs that I haven't picked before (I think):
  • Tanya of Scarlett House because she's constantly inspiring me with those huge old samplers!
  • Glenna of Eye of the Needle for her samplers too (but secretly it's her bunnies)!
  • Laurie of Corgi Cottage because she's a new blog gal and we like spreading awards to new bloggers don't we? She's also been inspiring me with her A & E obsession!
  • Lois of Of Needles, Pins & Stitching Things because she's a new gal too and I've been so enjoying her stitching.
  • Cari of Serene Stitches because she's such a sweetie. Check out her latest starts!
Now, I think I am nearing the end of the post and will ask some questions about silks.
  • I've seen many of you do conversion from DMC to silks. How do you do that? Are there colour cards that you can buy? Or are there reliable conversions online, or do you just go to a LNS?
  • What's your favourite silk?
I think I've become a silk junkie! I've tried HDF, NPI, and now AVAS. I have yet to try Belle Soie and I'm sure there are more. Fun fun fun!

Well, it's time to go. My "boys" are wondering about lunch. I would love to hear your advice on the silks. Thank you for stopping by. To my American friends, Happy Thanksgiving to you! Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Windmills are tamer than Brick Houses

This windmill was easier to stitch than the brick house in my last post, but each has its own charm.
Here is the Windmill Sampler finished! Ta Da!
Windmill Sampler
by Examplar from the Heart
linen is 32 ct Nightingale by Birds of a Feather
floss - used mostly recommended and added a few of my own

I added GA Old Hickory (for the windmill), Chamomile (the lower branches), and Pumpkin Patch (to replace Old Brick) but I also swapped out colours as I felt like it and what worked against the linen I had used. I also modified/added some motifs from this great book Alphabets, Motifs & Borders by Brenda Keyes. I bought the book a few months ago and though it is barely 30 pages, it's been very helpful.

So, after doing the happy dance yesterday, I got down to the serious business of preparing linens for the next few projects. You know how much fun, and agony, that can be! Usually there's an explosion of linens in my room then everything has to be put back after all the cutting and prepping have been done.

Here's my next project, which incidentally I saw on Glenna's blog as well this past week. It's Sarah Salter, and I did pinch the photo from Glenna (hope you don't mind!). I am so looking forward to doing this one. I'm still waiting for one floss colour to arrive.

The above shows my linen (35 ct grab bag line from HDF) and the AVAS silks (missing one). Now when I was laying out the linen and floss for the photo I realized there's a heart shape right in the center of the linen that I had cut and trimmed. It was un-intentional but what a lovely surprise. (Can you see it?)

So off I went happily pleased at this little 'gift', attached the linen to my scroll rods and started stitching the border. Only then did I look down at the heart again and noticed 'the wart'. If you click on the photo you can see it. What do you call it if not 'the wart'? It's a flaw in the weave and it's bigger than one cross stitch worth. I pondered what to do. Should I leave it and hope it will work when I get there, or should I flip the linen now because the other side seems ok?

I frogged the little bit of border I had stitched and ripped out the stitching attaching it to the scroll rods and started over again. It was a bit of disappointment in that I'd felt I had wasted some time but I'm glad I did it because later on it might have caused me heartache ...or heartburn!

It's funny, isn't it? I was so enamoured seeing the heart that I didn't see that little wart on the side. Doesn't that say a lot about us? We see what we want to see, or not to see?

I've been on a bit of Sheepish Love trip lately and slowly finding old charts like Sarah. I especially love the Sheepish Antique charts. They are do-able for someone like myself who haven't committed to big honking samplers like some of the stitchers I've admired (you know who you are because I've told you!) :-)

A couple of weeks ago I received emails that I had won two giveaways! Wow, I've never won anything before! Anyway, the first of the two arrived from lovely Margaret down under.
It's a little kit to stitch a Santa and for putting in a locket. You can see a better photo of the finished item from Margaret here. She did a beautiful job stitching and finishing it. I hope I can too! Thank you Margaret!

I will show you my other giveaway won when it arrives in the mail, hopefully this week.

It is a DARK and STORMY day here. They forecast loads more of rain and possible flooding in low lying areas. Last year it was Winter Wonderland all through, this year it may be a replay of Noah's Ark? Hope not. Besides, our fair city is hosting the Winter Olympics in February so we could use with snow this year!

Thank you for your visits and your comments, especially your support during my crazy work period. They've been very nurturing to the soul. I wish you a wonderful week wherever you are, and hope you don't find any 'warts' in your stitching! ;-)

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Fear of Brick Houses

Where else but in stitching could one develop a fear of Brick Houses?
Sometimes you hit that Mt Everest in your piece of stitching, the one that seems to take forever to do! But what it taught me was patience and preseverance and led me to this...

A Weary World Rejoices
by Shakepeares Peddler

I changed the design slightly just to remove a lot of the motifs as I usually like things a bit more sparse. I added my blue birds of happiness, and a few snowflakes. I used all the recommended for fibers. I am very happy with this finish (and relieved that it's done!). This was yesterday and I decided to hop back onto the Windmill Sampler.

Last time I left you with this:

And as of now, it looks like this:
The Windmill Sampler
by Examplar from the Heart

I must say I am glad I put this aside before when I got so frustrated with it. The break was good because when I picked this up yesterday I was really enjoying it. Of course I had some time to ponder what colours I would use and put aside the GA Old Brick.

So that's my bit of stitching update!

Work-wise, we have 3 weeks left to when we implement the project. Think of it like it's 3 weeks to the Wedding date and you and your team have to have everything organized for a great wedding to take place. There are lots of organizing to do, last minute things, and of course things outside your control. I think it's like when you are in a marathon and you can finally see the finish line like a tiny beacon way up ahead! Can't relax yet! We are all pretty tired though and we try to prop each other up.

Meanwhile I'm keeping to my strategy of staying quiet and low key. One of the good things is that I've starting cooking and baking a bit on Sundays which helps with the work week. As I speak I have the slow cooker going and a pot of soup on the stove. Yum.

I probably have other things to say but I just can't remember right now! Still too many things swimming around with those little grey cells!

Thank you for stopping by and I always enjoy your comments and hearing what you've been up to! Have a great week!