Saturday, 21 February 2009

Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards

Isn't that wierd? Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards. Who'd dreamt that up? Well, I have been work-stressed but I just kept at my stitching and now I bring you some desserts!

First, I started Friendship Gathering last weekend. It's from Blackbird's book "A Fine Collection". The reason I bought the book many years ago is precisely because of this design on its cover. Finally I had all the right materials to start stitching last weekend. Here's a progress shot.

I love the colours and I haven't stitched flowers for awhile so it was fun. Those big flowers, though, take awhile to do because of the colour changes but it was well worth it.

Here are three recently framed pieces.

The first is a modification of BOAF's Sally Spencer. I had replaced the alphabet with this little tune. It was an experiment and I wasn't sure about all the empty space I left behind. Back in December, I had a friend visiting from New Zealand who is studying design. I asked her advice on the empty space. She said if I filled the empty space and give it more 'structure' I would lose the playfulness of the design. The words seem to bounce around the middle of the picture like in a snow globe. I was so glad I asked her advice and I was really intrigued by all the elements of Design - I would love to take some Art courses!

Next is my SB's Family Sampler.

Close - up of the frame

This has lots of memories with it already because that was when I had all the cancer news. There are mistakes in it I didn't fix because (1) I was too worn out, and (2) I felt it was indicative of life - not perfect yet it can be beautiful and definitely rewarding!

Lastly, this is Primitive Needle's Of Female Arts. I love the frame that my framer suggested. It just seemed perfect for it.

Oh, I did get my camera on Valentine's Day and I'm so happy with it. It's a Canon Powershot A2000 IS. I had canvassed a few people and Canon seemed to be a popular brand. There are lots for me to still learn about taking pictures and I can tell this is a much better camera than my old one. Now I just have to learn to be a better photographer and learn how to better manipulate the images!

I have been enjoying some audio books. First, is my favourite book ' The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'.
I have read the book 3 times. I have given it as Christmas gifts. When the audio book was available at the library, I had to listen to it. It's just wonderfully done by a group of actors. Now, my wish is for this to be made into a superb film, with a wonderful ensemble cast much like Robert Altman did with Gosford Park. I would dearly love that!

Next is 'Never let me Go' by Kazuo Ishiguro, who also wrote "Remains of the Day". The audio book was read by Rosalind Landor (if I remember it correctly) and it's wonderfully read. Currently I am reading 'Black Swan Green' by David Mitchell. It is read by Kirby Heyborne and he is wonderful doing all the different characters in the story. Both of these books I probably wouldn't have read myself - they are quite different - but I am thoroughly enjoying being read to!

I have completed finishing on my Prairie Schooler exchange piece. It's passed the "I Love It" test. I really wanted to keep it but *sigh* off it has gone to its new home. Hopefully my partner will love it as well. It will probably be a couple of weeks before I can show any photos.

I am really looking forward to my next project which I have kitted out. The whole works arrived this past week (after what seems like a terminally long wait!) and I'm keen to start it. But first, I have to finish Friendship Gathering and I have to stitch for a Winter Quaker exchange next. (You'll just have to wait a little longer what the new project is!)

So, what have you bought from the Nashville releases? I have bought 'a few' things. Here are couple of designs from the Good Huswife that I loved.

Home Sweet Home
by Good Huswife
(I love that little chubby bird!!!)

Ida Mae Crowe
by Good Huswife

That's one funky lady bird. I can see myself traipsing through the flowers one day, when I'm retired, maye in the same polka dotted dress!

Thank you to everyone for your comments about getting the wrinkles out of linen. Even those of you who had the same questions as I did - I thank you because I didn't feel like it was just me! I will try them out and let you know in a future post.

Remember my pouting over not being able to comment? It's getting worse and I can't comment as I used to. So, here's a shout-out (love that expression from Siobhan) to Kellie - I've been enjoying the rotation that you've been doing and seeing all that lovely progress even though I can't tell you so directly!

So, it's the end of a long catch-up post on a Sunday afternoon. I think I'll have a nap before zipping into my sequined evening gown for the Academy Awards tonight...just kidding of course...sequins are so last year! ;-)

Have a great week. Thanks for visiting. I can't believe it's the last week of February already!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Valentine Wishes & Stitches

I just want to drop by quickly to wish you all a lovely Valentine's Day!

I finished stitching for my PS Exchange but, unfortunately, have no other stitching to show yet. However, that doesn't stop me showing off other people's lovely things! Paulette, of Plum Street Samplers, has come out with some lovely new designs. Here's one appropriate for tomorrow -

Love Notes
by Plum Street Samplers

It's so pretty! Paulette has also posted a wonderful Valentine freebie today. I am looking forward to stitching more of her designs this year.

Tomorrow I will be picking up a couple of pieces from the framers so can have something to 'show' on Sunday, hopefully. And if I'm a very good girl, Cupid might be winging in a new camera. I hope so!

I do have a question I've been meaning to ask for advice on - how do you get the creases out of your linen? If that sounds like a no-brainer question - then you know the magic answer and I would love to know what it is! I keep pressing/ironing the piece but it seems some creases are very stubborn! I am also careful with the hand-dyed linen as to not use steam (right?) Anyway, I would love to hear any tips and tricks on getting those creases out.

Spring is coming! Despite a dusting of snow earlier this week (or was that last week?) I can see little shoots coming up in the garden. My Hellebore (Christmas Rose) is blooming happily.

Have a great weekend and Valentine's Day. I plan to eat chocolates, indulge in a glass or two of bubbly, and hopefully get in some time to stitch! Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Look at this Beauty!

Yeah, I decided to get back on the horse and keep blogging. Yeah, it turned out the other way. Instead of staying offline to seek comfort, I stayed online, visiting blogs and peeking around to see any Nashville previews. You know, go with the flow. I'm so glad I did else I would've missed this great event at Barbara's blog - the birth of a new designer!

Barbara created this wonderful gorgeous awesome (is that enough superlatives?) design for her husband for Valentine's Day (awww). There was such an overwhelming response, including moi, for her to sell the design, and she has! I am including the photo from her blog.

Love of Myn
by Barbara Chatterton-Lurring

I love it. Thank you Barbara! I hope to see more designs from 'Chateau Chaos'! (Maybe it's the chaos that feeds your creativity - hmmm, interesting thought isn't it?)

I think it's just so exciting to see creativity blossom like this!

I don't have much else to post. I'm stitching an exchange so no photos to share. Um - my aunt decided not to have surgery. At 92 that may be the wisest thing to do. *sigh* We'll probably all go and visit her in a couple of week's time. She's not wanting visitors at the moment.

Take care, all. I am looking forward to seeing the rash of Nashville pictures over the next couple of days. Thanks for your kind comments. Have a great week.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The Cupid has landed!

Hello, my friends! I did say I would post when my partner received my HOE Valentine Exchange. I received an email from Jennifer yesterday that she has not only received it but is very happy with what I stitched for her. I am SO delighted! You can read about it and see her photos of the whole exchange here. Here are my photos.
The flirty side
The shy side

I didn't really have any Valentine appropriate design for the stitch, so instead I read about the things she likes and decided to design something just for her. I really like the idea of personalizing with an initial (if it's appropriate to the design). The floss was, appropriately for the occasion, Cupid (CC).

Boy, you can tell the difference between the quality of my photos and Jennifer's. I need a new camera!

I am just so happy that Jennifer liked the pinkeep. It was my first exchange so, as you can imagine, I was hoping it would be a success.

Thank you, my friends, for all your kind words. They put a smile on my face and I'm very grateful! Sometimes when people do offer such kindness, I feel embarrassed because I feel like such a drama queen! I do feel better and I'm sure your kind words had a lot to do with it!

I did spend some of that * weird * energy on finally organizing my stash! The stuff multiplied itself in several parts of the house so I got a few binders together and organized the charts by designer. That was a big job but I'm so glad I've finally got that done. I am also thinking of setting up a sale/trade thing sometime in the future. I was able to trade with both Yuko and Karen when they had their sale/trade so that gave me the idea of doing more of it!

I've got my next stitch organized but you will just have to wait as I haven't even put in the first stitch!

Thank you again! Take care and have fun browsing the new goodies from the Nashville Market!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

February - Love & Hope

I'm more than ready for February. January was a really unsettling month for me and I'll tell you why in a minute. I'm trying to start off the month with the theme of Love and Hope. On that note, I want to show you a lovely design exclusive to the Stacy Nash Group.
Isn't it beautiful? My friend Jane has written up more about this so you can find more photos, details on her post here. I really like Stacy's designs and now have quite a few in my stash. This is the year to finally stitch a few of her designs all in a go!

In January, I finished the HOE Valentine Exchange (probably still en route to my exchange partner) and SB's Family Sampler. I really struggled with doing the last bit of stitching on this one as I was having problems seeing the light cream floss against the light linen and doing special stitches at the same time. After frogging a few times I told myself not to risk any hurt to the sampler and just finish it up the best I can.

Family Sampler
by Shepherd's Bush

Please forgive me for the less than stellar photo. A new camera is on my wish list for my birthday coming up in the spring.

Oh, and the winner of the giveaway of the BBD Liberty House chart is Sue. Congratulations!

Now, I will tell you what's been unsettling me in January - it's the big C. Cancer. I couldn't believe that in one month, amongst 5 of us who have worked together at various times over the years, we have relatives or friends who have been diagnosed with cancer - all different types. The scariest, to me, is that they are all women (6), of all ages. This week, it hit home even more because my elderly aunt (92) has been diagnosed with it. She has been 'not well' for quite sometime but the diagnosis was delivered last week.

I don't know what to say - "Unsettled" may be the only word I can use. At the end of the day, what scares me the most, selfishly, is that this could happen to me. I was just out for a walk with a couple of women friends this morning and we talked about this. We all said, soberly, that we have to focus on our health more!

I've been travelling the blogosphere far too much since I returned from my business trip. I really need the solace of my stitching now so will probably stay offline for a bit - who knows if this addict can do it?!!! I will post when I hear from my Valentine Exchange partner that she has received her package (hope she likes it!).

Hey, to focus on more positive things - Nashville Market is coming! I've already seen new designs I want to stitch. Here is one that I am eyeing. It looks so bouncy and happy!
Earth Sampler
Primitive Needle

You can see more wonderful Primitive Needle designs here.

I saw snowdrops yesterday! I love them. They are so delicate and yet so strong to emerge from the depths of winter and herald the hope of Spring just around the corner.

Thank you for stopping by and thank you, as always, for your comments. Till next time, stay healthy and happy!