Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mid-week Update

Well, knock me over with a feather, Karen has kindly nominated me for this award. Thank you Karen! It's my first and firsts, as you know, are always memorable. I love the Audrey Hepburn look, don't you?
I think I'm supposed to list 5 addictions, which I did already on my last post. Oh, is it obvious to everyone but me that I left out my biggest addiction? That is blogging of course, visiting all your wonderful stitchy homes and seeing all the latest and greatest creations. How could I have left that off my list?!!! Maybe because it's as natural to me as breathing now that I don't even notice it anymore! Scary thought, isn't it?

I'm supposed to nominate 5 blogs for this award. You know, you are ALL fabulous so consider yourself awarded! Honestly, choosing just 5 would exclude so many wonderful stitchers and besides it feels like when you were in school and you had gym class and you had to pick teams or you were the one waiting, hoping to be picked...but then you're one of the last? I don't want to exclude anyone - just the fact that you stitch and you blog, well you're all pretty fabulous to me!

Thank you for all of you who left comments on my last post about experiencing problems leaving comments on blogger because of the 'word verification' issue. It seems although you've had problems you do end up successfully posting the comments. Sadly not me. I tried all your suggestions. I asked my DH, who is our in-house IT help desk, and he googled this problem. Apparently it is a known problem with no known solution at the moment. Why I am cursed - I don't know!

What I know is this - if you select the comment option (on blogger) where you want comments "embedded below post" - that's where I have had problems consistently with word verification. If you choose the first option, which is "full page" I have never had problems with word verification. So, if people would kindly consider (pretty please?) taking this route, that would be lovely! There are a few new-to-me blogs where I wanted to leave comments but I couldn't. I would email and let the blogger know except I couldn't find any email contact info.

So, what to do? Well, I have a blog so I will say hi to 3 people here. First is Theresa who has visited my blog and left lovely comments. Thank you Theresa! If you are still looking for the Gaelle Boissonard calendar, let me know. You can see Theresa's photos of her big move from Texas to CA on her blog - makes you want to go on a road trip!

Next is Siobhan's blog. She is stitching (and probably finished it by now) the Hands to Work sampler featured in the Jan/Feb JCS issue. It's just lovely! Even though Siobhan's blog is relatively new I'm sure I've seen her lovely stitching before in an album somewhere!

Last, but not least, is Danielle - another SB fan. I've seen wonderful snowmen and sheep and all sorts of wonderful things sprouting up her blog.

On the stitching front, with a big sigh of relief, I can tell you I have finished Family Sampler. Thanks Sue for giving me a nudge ("..and missy get back into your stitching eh!") See the nice Canadian touch at the end of that? Love it!

I will post photos of Family Sampler on Sunday. I had sent off my HOE Valentine Exchange last week and today have received my exchange in return! A lovely pillow made by April (no blog?). The photo can be found here.

I was quite surprised, happily so, that many of you commented on the colours on the calendar and are looking forward to seeing the wool that I bought. So, not to hold you in suspense any longer, here is a shot of my scarf in progress.
The yarn is 100% merino wool by Rowyn. It's scrumptious to touch. I just love it!

Well, my friends, it's time to go. TGIF tomorrow. Remember the chart giveaway to be drawn on Saturday. I will post on Sunday. Remember the old Billy Crystal "you r'ook marrrvelous, darlings!" on Saturday Night Live? Well, you are all Faboulous Bloggers. Go out and celebrate that! See you Sunday!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year, and the Year of the Ox. It's an excuse for me to post this lovely picture of Miss January from my Gaelle Boissonard 2009 calendar!

I love the colours in this picture. These colours must've been playing in the back of my mind for awhile. On Friday I wandered into a funky knitting store in my old neighbourhood, to check and see if I can find some nice yarns for sale to make a chunky monkey scarf for me to survive this winter with. Lo and behold I think I've managed to find a close match to the picture - oranges, pinks, specks of purples and browns! I hope to have some pictures of the scarf in progress next week.

Meanwhile, I've been tagged by Patti. This is the first tag I've ever had and I understand I have to list 5 addictions. Hmmm, here goes:

  1. Why I exist in Blog-land : Stitching! I liked it well enough before but now am seriously, hopelessly, and happily "hooked"!
  2. Shopping for things I like : Stitching stash being the worse (or best) of the lot!
  3. Books: the kind you can hold and smell and hug, and of course, read!
  4. Chocolate: I don't need a lot but I need good chocolate to be part of my life. Amen.
  5. Sushi: or just Japanese food in general. Maybe it's the soy sauce that does the trick?
Now I have to tag 5 people.
  1. Kellie
  2. Wendy
  3. Lisa
  4. Leena
  5. Annemarie
And now, I have to pose a blog question and need your help. Lately, I've had problems commenting on certain blogs, including the Year Long Prairie Schooler exchange. I've tried using Netscape, Firefox, IE. but they all present the same problem to me.

What happens on some of these blogs (Blogger only) is that I'm asked which profile I want to comment as. I choose 'Google Account'. I then fill the box with comments and press 'Publish'. Here I get back a box that asks me to do word verification...except there are no words visible for me to verify! Hence, I'm stuck and can't post a comment. It's very frustrating.

On most blogs I'm fine as many of you know I've left comments on your blogs in the last few months. But since last month I've noticed this happening with some blogs and I don't know why. Becky, who is managing the PS Exchange, didn't know what the problem was either because lots of other people have not had problems with this on that blog (and I did). So, if this has happened to you and you have found a solution, could you let me know please?

Life has been busy and I haven't picked up a needle in over a week. Hope to remedy that soon as I'm going through withdrawal symptoms!

Thank you for stopping by! Oh, and remember the giveaway draw is the 31st. If you are interested, please leave a comment on this post. Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mid-week Update

This week, a trip update of course!

On Sunday, I took the ferry across to Victoria. It was extremely foggy and we might as well not have been moving because you couldn't see anything outside. Then 45 minutes (half way) into the trip, we sailed out of the fog and into Brilliant sunshine! It was amazing. It woke everyone up and put smiles on everyone's faces. It was like coming out of the desert and finding an oasis - you can't quite believe it's real! I then took a bus from the ferry terminal to the hotel. When I got out it was so warm it felt like Spring! If not for lugging my suitcase, I would've skipped all the way to the hotel!

Yes, I was extremely lucky and blessed to have this sunshine the whole time I was in Victoria. I knew for a fact that heavy fog remained in Vancouver and is still here, and will still be here for days! Oh yes, flurries forecasted for the weekend. Lovely (not!).

But never mind, let's go back to more positive things. Some of you might remember that I get to visit a LNS when I am in Victoria. So that's where I hung out when I could! The first thing that hit me when I walked into the shop was that their knitting section is elbowing out the cross stitch section! The charts are now relegated to a few baskets that fit on a small dining room table. Drat! I mean I love the knitting stuff but I don't want the cross stitch stuff to shrink!

There was a sale basket so I rummaged and found a couple of charts at 70% off. But the real finds are to come! First, 2 Sheepish Designs that I was looking for before but couldn't find as I was told they are OOP.
Betsey

Sitting Pretty
There weren't a lot of designs left but if anyone is looking for Sheepish Designs you could contact the shop as they don't show up on their website.

Another interesting find is this design by Hands to Work. I've never seen their designs before and there were only a couple in the shop but I really liked this one.
More Favourite Primitive Stitching Bags

So, it was a productive stitching expedition added to the reason for the trip - w o r k ! Actually the work part turned out quite well and luck played into many parts of my trip. Thank you for your kind comments as well. I am feeling better now that I'm home! I'm catching up on blog reading and I hope to resume stitching soon!

I have just spent a couple of hours on here and I haven't even had dinner so I'd better get back to the real world. Thanks for popping by and keep up the chatter - I love reading them. Take care!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hmmm, how about a Giveaway?

As I write this, it's Saturday afternoon. It's lovely and foggy outside (no snow at least!) which makes me feel very cozy being inside. I'm still not feeling great, maybe partly feeling a bit stressed about the work trip and work coming up. *sigh*

So, very little stitching and I've given up the idea of finishing Family Sampler this weekend. "That's OK", my inner fairy god-mother tells me, "stitching should be fun and not an obligation! This isn't for an exchange so no deadline! Here, have a chocolate, dear, you look much too pale!"

Love my inner fairy god-mother.

As I was lazing around immobilized, I browsed through my stash. Then I thought wouldn't it be fun to do a small give-away. It's Inauguration day on Tuesday, and coincidentally my blog will be 4 months old . It's an excuse for a wee celebration, isn't it? And this chart give-away is very appropriate for the occasion.
Liberty House
by Blackbird Designs

While I have had this chart for a number of years, I have never stitched it and now it seems the right time to pass it on. If you would like a chance at this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post and I will do a draw on Jan 31. Please ensure I can find you by your blog or please leave your email contact.

Thanks for the comments about the audio books, by the way. I will take your suggestions to the library with me!

H'okay - I think my job here is done now! Have a good week!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mid-week update

January is a great month to try to set new goals, make some changes because we are all starting with that similar mindset. On Sunday I'd mentioned I have given myself a 'guideline' of a half hour limit each work week night in order to give myself an hour of stitching. Another thing I'm going to try and do is post twice a week.

I do realize that I will likely not be able to show much stitching mid-week but I would still like to keep blogging...so let's see if you like this.

This week's mid-week post is on Audio books.

Now, I haven't had much luck with these in the past because I've tried to listen to them while driving to and from work. That doesn't work for me as I can't pay enough attention to the story while driving. In November, I tried borrowing some books on CD from the library. It's good to try a variety.

The most important thing for me, I've found, is that I can tune into the narrator's voice. Sometimes you click with at that voice or you just don't. Some narrators can take on the suits of the characters so easily, donning them and taking them off in an instant. A good storyteller is absolutely mesmerizing. This doesn't mean the storyteller must be melodramatic. It just means how well the story can be told.

I wish I had written down the ones I'd liked in more details but here are some I can remember. The first one was Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier, performed by Emilia Fox. She is the actress who played Georgianna Darcy in BBC's production of Pride & Prejudice. She surprised and delighted me with her performance.

Another one I liked was Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. The narrator, I think, was Dylan Baker who was just amazing. I loved the Southern accents but he did a wonderful job with the characters. I really felt I was right there in the story.

While I was stitching Family Sampler, I listened to Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. This was an Oprah book club selection and a friend had leant me the book ages ago but I never read it. Before Christmas I found this at the library and decided to give it a go - it's 17 discs and about 21 hours in total! It is read by Kristoffer Tabori. What a fantastic storyteller. The characters come to life in his voice - a truly amazing performance. I really enjoyed this one!

Let me know if you have any audio books you'd like to recommend.

Now, about my trip to Victoria...we never made it because the planes couldn't take off/land due to fog. It's been foggy all week so our meetings got postponed to next week. This time we are going by car and take the ferry over which takes about 3 hours, door-to-door, each way! I'd better find some good reading material.

I've been feeling poorly this week and thankfully was able to get home earlier today and get a nap in. I can't be sick for this work thing coming up. I've been stitching little bits in the evening but really too tired to do much. Get this - last night, I was stitching the alphabets in for members of the family. Since our family is small I decided to add the cats' names (see sidebar). So, I stitched J for Julius, but for some reason I stitched C for Daisy. Are you laughing? C for Cat. Right. Foggy Brain syndrome so after I ripped out the C. Then I went to bed before I did any more silly things!

A little bit of stitchy talk. Here's "A Stitch in Time" by Workbasket. I loved it when it came out in 2005 but since I wasn't stitching then I didn't buy it. Now, it is in my stash.
Another chart acquired into my stash is this lovely one.
Marlene's Sampler
by Romy in Austria

At the heart of things, I really am an 'old sampler' kind of gal.

Thanks for stopping by. I know many of you are getting hit with awful cold weather again - take care! We have a bit of reprieve at the moment though I'm sure the white stuff is not done with us yet! See you soon.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Adjusting My Sails

Hello all you wonderful stitchers out there! Yes, it was back-to-work this week and I've had to adjust my sails accordingly. The snow stopped, the rains came and we still have snow. Actually what's remaining is very icy. I didn't use the car this week but was glad to enjoy the kindness of my neighbour to get to work and back. That means though, I've been on someone else's schedule.

My intent for January was to change my habit of visiting blogs every day after work. I've limited myself to half an hour. Yup! So, if your blog blinked for a second, that was me zipping through! My limit of half an hour is not just on blogs, it's the limit on anything using my computer! So far I think it's been working because the intent then was to enable me to stitch for an hour each night during the work week. I think the compromise has worked so far.

Here's an update on Family Sampler. I'm almost there but there are still lots of small bits of stitching to do, all over.
A closer look at the newer section:
I have also received some of my purchases from the December sales, appropriately Shepherd Bush kits! I love the three snowmen and hope to one day hang them together as a trio.
Left to Right - Red Snowman, Green Snowman, Christian's Snowman. Of the three, I am tempted to do the Red Snowman in February (red, appropriate for Valentine's Day!). There is a 'warning' included in the package (and on SB website) that some people have found a problem with the red linen bleeding. Has anyone had that problem? The solution recommended was to do the vinegar rinse but then I don't want to have that lovely red colour fade...what do you think?

Then there is the new Glad Tidings kit. Loved it the moment this came out. I have ordered some SB mats but not sure which I got as it was a sale on in-stock items. I will just have to wait patiently for the surprise.

Now, you may be wondering what I will stitch next. Actually, here are my January goals:
  1. Stitch the HOE Valentine exchange. (done)
  2. Organize the HOE 'package' and mail by Jan 23.
  3. Finish Family Sampler
  4. Stitch one Christmas ornament for 2009 Challenge.
  5. Start my neighbourhood for MM&IRR?
  6. or finish Quaker Alphabet first?
Hmmm, not a loss for choice. I also have the Prairie Schooler exchange next month. Fun Fun Fun.

It is Sunday afternoon as I post this. I have to adjust my sails once again not only to Monday but I'm supposed to be working over in Victoria for a couple of days. Hope the weather permits me to fly out tomorrow. If I get over there, I might just have to stop off at the LNS over there for a bit of stress relief! ;-)

Thanks for stopping by and I so enjoy reading the comments! Sorry the photos are a bit dark. I did rush through them today. Now I have to get packing and ready for work tomorrow. Have a great week.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Baa Baa White Sheep

...have you any wool? Yes m'am! Princess Sally Sheep also has three Perfectly Pink Posies decorating her wool.
Here's a bigger picture of my progress on Family Sampler. I have the border done and started on the little flowers all around.
I'm still enjoying stitching this a lot! Progress has been slow though because since my last post I decided I really needed to some tidying and cleaning. I'm glad a lot of it is done but it did take time away from stitching. I also did some tidying up of my cross stitch stuff. Since I have some exchanges happening this year I got myself better organized with the information in a binder and marked them in my calendar!

My first exchange is a Valentine one and I spent a lot of time agonizing over what to stitch! I finally came up with something which I stitched this afternoon. This will take some pressure of deadlines when I return to work tomorrow.

I have been admiring your blogs and all your finishes already! Amazing and inspiring!

Well, it's back to work tomorrow so I can have a means to support my cross stitch habit! January will be a busy month so at least I feel now I've gotten more organized to face it all! Thank you for visiting and have a good week!

Hi Ho Hi Ho Off to Work I go!