Thursday, 30 December 2010

Year end Review - 2010

In keeping with what is now tradition, it's again time for the year end review!  My first year blogging was 2008, so being new I didn't include photos. In 2009 I knew better. Click on the dates and you can see the previous years' work.  Here we go for 2010:
My Bethrothed Sampler by Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather, by Blackbird Designs

Be Kind and Be True, by With Thy Needle and Thread

A Very Fine Sampler, by Birds of a Feather

Hannah Lovina Joslin 1856, by Blackbird Designs

Mary's Best Handwork, by With Thy Needle and Thread

Salinda Dunwoody, by Sheepish Designs

Betsy, by Sheepish Designs

Olga, by Plum Street Sampler

Tis the Season, by Blackbird Designs

Isabelle Johnstone 1854  (SANQ, Fall 2010 issue)

Wash Day, by Carriage House Samplings

Soweth Sampler, by Birds of a Feather

Monogrammed Pinkeep, by Stacy Nash Primitives (Exchange for Goldie)

for exchange with Annemarie

I also have 3 items I just sent off for gifts so I can't show them here.  Since the last post, I did sneak in the Soweth Sampler. It was a fun stitch.  

After 'Soweth', I started the Silk Sampler by Birds of a Feather. Here's the progress. 

Another WIP I will take to 2011 with me is Elizabeth Easton, by the Goode Huswife. 

I've really enjoyed the pieces I stitched this year. One thing that's been painfully obvious to me as the year wraps up is that I have some physical issues to tackle in 2011.  I will let you know how it goes. I am committed to getting better because I want to keep stitching, pain free, for many years to come. 

For 2011, I hope to stitch mostly from my stash. I know I will buy new things but I will focus on kitting up existing charts. To that end, I will de-stash and sell some charts and linens so watch this space.

Some projects on my immediate radar are: CHS Garden Glade, BN Lo, How a Rose, PS Boris, SP Sarah Woodham.  I hope to stitch more Carriage House Samplings, Goode Huswife, and Prairie Schooler in 2011. I do want to stitch at least one reproduction sampler... One thing I do know, however, is I change my mind all the time, so who knows? ;-) That's half the fun!

Lastly, I want to thank you for another wonderful year playing here in Blogland, all your wonderful support for all the ups and downs, and all your efforts with your blogs and stitching as well. Wishing you Health, Love and Happiness in the New Year! Cheers! 

Thursday, 23 December 2010

A Bath before Christmas!

The birdies are having their bird bath and getting spiffed up for Christmas!
 Wash Day
by Carriage House Samplings 

I want to thank Deb for showing this design on her blog in the first place and enabled us to harrass convince Kathy to sell it! I just love this sweet design.  I used silks from my own stash. I modified the design slightly in that I didn't stitch the alphabet.

If you want to see how it 'should' look, as per designed, go check out fabulous Cari's blog. She also just had it framed, along with other beauties, by Jill Rensel so they are all pretty awesome! See them all here

I received a sweet and beautifully decorated ornament from Anna this week. 

Wow, so pretty. Thank you Anna! I was amazed it arrived unbroken as well. Anna said in her note "if it arrives broken, just eat it! " ;-)

How are your Christmas preparations going? Ours have been very low keyed this year due to various reasons, which is just fine with me. We just went out this morning to get some groceries in our neighbourhood and the traffic! Oy, just let me get home and away from the crowds! 

Thank you for all your visits, for those who leave comments and those who are too shy to (maybe next year?).  I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season! (Now, please excuse while I indulge in a nap!)


Monday, 20 December 2010

Pictures Happiness

While dealing with the neck/back issues and being generally miserable, lo and behold, a phone call from the framer's just perked me right up. I don't know about you but I always wonder at my choice of frames while I wait for the pieces to be picked up. This time, I was just jumping with H-A-P-P-I-N-E-S-S! 

I shall start quietly and let the crescendo build up! First is a very appropriate piece for the Christmas season. 
Tis the Season
by Blackbird Designs

The next piece was framed in quite a different way than I had intended. The original in the magazine was framed in black and many of you have done the same and they look beautiful! When I went to my framer's and tried to find a black frame, she gave me the "are you sure?" look so we played with other frames and I am so happy with what we came up with. 
Isabella Johnstone 1854
from SANQ
I love how the roses on the frame echoes the roses in the sampler! Love it!

Next is my framer's favourite and I must admit we took a long time trying to find the right frame and when we did, we knew it instantly! 
Birds of a Feather
by Blackbird Designs
Oh my oh my, I just love the frame. It's like an old piece of tin, if you know what I mean.

Last, my absolute favourite piece of all time. If a piece of stitching was to represent me, this is it! I have wanted to stitch this piece since it was first published, which was probably 10, maybe even 15 years ago? I was always intimidated by the size but my confidence level has slowly increased in the last 2 years and I'm so glad I was able to finish it this year!
A Very Fine Sampler
by Birds of a Feather
I love it, love it, love it! I can sit and just stare at it and it makes me feel happy!  Here it is hung up and will be the centerpiece of a new sampler wall that I will complete in 2011.

I will sign off now. I'm careful about how much time I spent on the computer and stitching. Right now my shoulders are yelling at me to quit it! ;-) 
Thanks so much for visiting and your kind words about my health. I will be back with another short post before Christmas. I do have a new small finish to show! Take care and stay healthy during all the pre-Christmas rush!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Muddling my way back ... Stitching, that is.  After my last post, I took a week off stitching and did some very gentle stretches for my neck, shoulders and back. That seemed to help so I thought I could get back to stitching. Within the first half hour, my neck was complaining again! So, it's been  a see-sawing of ease off, ease back on. 

I decided to take a break from Elizabeth Easton and stitch some smalls for gifts. At the same time, I finally stitched this freebie for myself which I have wanted to do for over two years. I love this design and wish I could attribute this to someone but I had printed this off ages ago and I don't have the link. So, if anyone can help out as to who made this I will publish this here. (Edited to add link - Thanks to the ever talented KarenV, you can find this freebie and many more wonderful designs here.  Look under "Other". Many thanks to the wonderful designer, Isabel Grancedo!)

As you can see, I only did the Reindeer part. I think the top part of the design would make a nice skinny pincushion, don't you? I used the Belle Soie silks left over from stitching Isabella Johnstone. I really love the colours! They are Teddy Bear for the reindeer, Tortoise Shell for the bottom border, Attic Tea for the leaves and Poison Apple for the flowers.

Not sure how I will finish my smalls but I'd better get going if they are going to be Christmas gifts!

I've seen on many blogs the crazy winter weather that's already hitting the northern parts of Europe, and the US.  We had a week recently with two snowfalls, which was unusually too for our area. Fortunately the snow is gone now. 

I took some pieces in for framing so I will show them on my next post. It's true, isn't it, that we stitchers can measure our days by our stitching? Somehow the break in my stitching has made me a bit muddled as to what I should be doing with my time! I read more, I suppose, but I missed my stitching. Hopefully I will get back into it when the Holidays arrive and get a good long break.

Well, that's it for me.  For those enveloped by the snow, keep warm and cozy! Thank you for visiting and your greetings!  Have a great week!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Stitching and Reading

Let's see how brief I can make this post. My neck and back have been really complaining so I'm going to have to put a pause on the stitching and start back on some exercises to fix the problem! (Does that happen to you?)

The new start - Elizabeth Easton by The Goode Huswife. 

I am using the recommended DMC floss on 36 ct PTP "Legacy" linen. I love the linen which is just lightly mottled.

A wonderful quilt design on sale here.  I borrowed the photo from Bloom's site so you can see it. I did a bit of quilting many, many years ago and while I no long quilt I still admire the many quilts I see on the blogs. 
 I just love the colours Roz used on this quilt. 

Now, for reading.
Into the Blue, by Robert Goddard. I had heard about this book a long time ago. I found the audio version at the library and really enjoyed this mystery - all the winding backwards to get to the truth, and at the end, the philosophical question that is posed upon the reader. 

Room, by Emma Donaghue.  This was was recently nominated for the Man Booker prize. It didn't win but what a story!  Once upon a time, a 19 year old girl was abducted and kept as a prisoner for 7 years - I'm sure you will recall similar headlines in the last year or so. This story, however, is told entirely from the voice of a 5 year old boy named Jack, who was born during this 'captivity'. It begins on the morning he turns 5. 

I could write lots about the book. If you click on the link you can read more reviews on Amazon. I'm just amazed at the talent and insight of the writer. It's like a photographer can aim his lense at something and show entirely new views you hadn't imagined. I like stories that make me think as well as feel, long after the last page is read. 

I apologize for a very curt post. I'm in some discomfort and sitting at the computer doesn't help either! I will leave you with a photo of some of my roses, dried. I think they are equally beautiful, all their essence condensed before the petals completely separate. 

Thank you, as always, for your visits and your lovely comments. I hope I will return next time in better form! Take care and have a good week!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Post and Boast

Let's catch up and boast to my heart's content! ;-)

Boast 1 - Survived a hectic work schedule the last 3 weeks and our project completed successfully last weekend! Hooray! Now I feel like I've just finished a marathon - tired but happy. 

Boast 2 - Isabella Johnstone is finished! Here we go with lots of photos! 

 Isabelle Johnstone 1854
stitched with recommended Belle Soie silks 
on 35 ct WDW Parchment linen

This is a very pretty sampler and will be one of my favourites, I'm sure! I really love the reds in this one.

Oh, before I forget, I pondered the question as to whether only male 'cows' have horns. Thanks to Terri who cleared up the "mystery" for me:

In answer to your question....the sex has nothing to do as to whether or not a 'cow' has horns. It's the breed.

Boast 3 - Meet the new guy in my life - Sam, my Snowman Postman! 

Isn't he a handsome fella? He is the creation of Cathy or the wonderful Cheswick Company.  Cathy made this  one for me, but you can buy the pattern or kit to make one up yourself! I wasn't very confident that I would be able to do a good job, and since I was working hard I figured I deserved a custom order!  (warning - spending $alert$ - the site has many wonderful things!)
Here Sam has already brought me a lovely chart from my friend Nancy (no blog). She also sent me all the threads needed so all I need to do is find the right linen! Thank you Nancy! I love this design! It just says "Home Sweet Home" to me!

Boast 4 - Roses in November!

Our Fall has been fairly mild so a lot of my roses are still blooming. The bowl of pink roses are arranged using a flower frog nextled in a bowl. You can use them for flowers as well as for storing scissors!!!  ;-)

Boast 5 - the cute kitties. One minute wide awake. The next, snoozeville. 

Cats know how to Chill, don't they?

Well, that's it for this Post and Boast! Maybe another time it will be Post and Roast. Then there's the possiblity of Post and Toast. What other rhymes can I make with Post? Post the Most? - No, definitely not! 

Oh, one last Boast #6 - the fact that you visit and leave me such wonderful comments, often with a little cyber hug to lessen the load of my sometime heavy work schedule! That's so nice of you! Thank you!

I have a 3 day weekend so I will catch up on my blog reading and emails too. So sorry I've been very quiet there too. Mostly, this will be a quiet weekend to get a nap or two in and putter inside - doesn't that sound like just the thing on a blowsy, rainy day? 

Thank you again for visiting! Have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Just say "MOOooooooooo"

Does a cow have horns or not? Because I thought this cow was a girl, hence "Betsy, rather than a boy "Benny. As I was stitching it, I realized this cow has near invisible horns (stitched in that beige again). Interesting. I thought (silly me) I would look in wikipedia for a quick answer. There is never anything 'quick' in wikipedia because it has more things than you ever thought possible to learn about the cow

Here's "the red beast" in Isabella Johnstone:

So happy to have gotten to this part! I am using Belle Soie silks - very yummy. The leaves on the trees / shrubs call for Wheatgrass but I found that too light so I used Scarecrow instead.  Isn't this a beautiful sampler? I just love it!

We've been having a very mix bag of Fall weather. Fortunately this weekend has been sunny so I've finally gotten out to do some garden clean-up.  As a result, I brought some flowers indoors. 

The yellow flower in the first photo is a dahlia. The pink flowers are schizostylis coccinea, or kaffir lily.  I love this fall-flowering beauty. It also comes in a medium red colour. One note of warning about planting these - they spread everywhere! As pretty as they are when in bloom, they can look messy (grassy) when they peek up out of other plants where they don't belong. So, I've dug them up and will put them in a big pot so they can grow happily "contained".

I'm keeping heads down these days. I think there are two more weeks to this "madness" at work then maybe I can breathe a sigh of relief! :-)

Thank you as always for visiting my little corner of the world. Take care!