Friday, 29 January 2010

My Home Town

Here's a neat video for going into the weekend! It is made by some very talented locals recently, especially to welcome you to Vancouver! The time lapsed 'photography' is pretty cool. Enjoy!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Oh my! Kindle or iPad?

In my last post, I'd said I wanted to talk about the Kindle. I'd wanted to get your thoughts on it, especially if you own one and whether you like it. Well, as technology changes so quickly, yesterday Apple announced the iPad. Oh dear. More techie toys, more decisions. I'll just ride this way out for awhile and see what happens. But I would like your thoughts on it.

I don't have any stitching progress to show. I was diverted with other things this week. So I am cheating and showing you the sampler wall I made last year. I hope to build another sampler wall this year!

I did want to mention to anyone looking for Sheepish Designs charts. I found that this shop in Victoria, B.C. has Betsy and Alpha Menagerie and a few others. (I was looking for 'Aires of the green' which they don't have.) Email them and find out. They don't have a lot but that's where I bought my Betsy and the Alpha charts last year. I know some of you were looking for these. And hey, the prices are great! Good luck.

You know, I have a lot of fun with the Giveaways, ever since I made it a rule to ask a question. I just love reading your answers! As to your birthday wishes, a lot of you are quite modest and just want more stash! Somebody said to go to a Stitching Retreat! Yeah, I have never been, that would be fun. Terri takes the cake though as she wants to go to Paris to shop the Flea Markets. Yeah, I'm coming along Terri! A lot of you have said you just want more hours in the day so you can stitch! Awww, I think we all agree there!

Another thing with Giveaways is sometimes you make new friends. Eva lives in the Czech Republic and we've kept in touch. She is expecting her first baby in late March. Do go and say hi sometime. She gifted me with this lovely award.

Thank you, Eva! I am supposed to pass this onto 5 blogs but that's always difficult. Please feel free to pick up this award for yourself and say I said so! You can do a link back to this blog.

Remember the giveaway closes the end of January 31. Please go to the previous post to leave a comment.

The weekend is almost here. I wish you a happy one and I hope I can make more progress on my stitching so I can show you next time! Thanks for popping by!

Monday, 25 January 2010

100th Post Giveway

A very short post to tell you of the giveaway I'd mentioned on my last post. Here it is:
With One Accord
by Heartstrings Primitives

The giveaway will include the chart, all the floss, and also a piece of 32 count linen (not shown in photo).

So, here are the rules:
  1. Please leave a comment on this post only that you would like to be entered. Ensure that I can contact you, which means either your email is in your blog profile, and if not, please leave it in the comments.
  2. Tell me, what do you wish for your birthday this year? Please don't tell me world peace and all. This is meant to be silly and frivolous ok? ;-)
That's it. Easy Peasy. This will close Jan 31. I will announce the winner next Monday.

OK. So, just to walk the talk and be silly. Here's what I wish for my birthday:
  • Pair of scissors from the French Needle (that takes care of 'silly and frivolous')
  • a Kindle (more about that in the next post)
  • lots of arty / crafty things from all the talented artists I've seen on the blogs, etsy, etc!
That was fun! See you soon, hopefully with some stitching progress though I have NOT picked up a needle since the last post! yikes! Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 22 January 2010

99th Post

Thank you for all your lovely comments about the sewn items. That's one thing I can say about them - they are more cuddly than any cross stitched items I've made as these mostly hang on the walls!

OK, so back to stitching. I'm working on Birds of a Feather by Blackbird Designs. I'll start off with this Mexican looking basket that seemed to go on forever with the stripes!

But it's a wonderful piece to stitch. Here's where I am today:

Imagine this piece with a tan! The colours are unfortunately so washed out in the photos. The linen is WDW Parchment and is a lovely soft tan colour. For those who wish to stitch this, there are some errors in the chart but you can easily figure them out by looking at the colour photo.

Now, for those of you on the 'dark side', here's my current scissor collection!
Just arrived courtesy of Yuko! Thank you! These are just beautiful!

My Kelmscott collection

OK. I can hear you say "you need to diversify and get some silver ones, and more gold ones, and what about ones with coloured handles?" How about these for a laugh? I love these scissors from the French Needle - how about this one, or this other one, or ...quick, get the smelling salt! I feel a fainting spell coming on! Oh my word, I adore them! But no, I don't think they are coming to my home at all, but a girl can dream! ;-)

Well, tis the weekend, and right now I see some sunshine out there! I hope you have a good weekend and if the weather is poor, that you can suggle down and stitch. This is my 99th post. The next one, being 100th will have a giveaway.

Thanks for coming by! See you soon!

Monday, 18 January 2010

One thing leads to another - a pleasant detour

On Saturday afternoon, I was getting ready to choose and prep linens for various projects. Out came the trusty sewing machine (I have to set it up each time) as I like to zig-zag the edges of the linen. After that, I looked around to see if there were anything else requiring my sewing machine since I had it out already.

Here, I will back track a few days. As you know I've told you I've been organizing my 'stuff' and in the process I weeded out 2/3 of my quilting fabrics and donated them, finally after hoarding it all these years, to the local quilt guild. They made and donated 500 quilts last year so they were happy to get this donation, and I was happy I gained some storage space.

In the process I 'found' some fabrics and an old unfinished lap size quilt. On Saturday then I decided to try my hand at stitching a new cushion cover, as you see below. Start small, right?
I just loved this fabric, all caramel and pinks and creams! From there I made another one in a square shape in the same fabric, then another two in rich pinks, and another two for my DH's man-chairs. Now, this happened over the course of Saturday and then Sunday.

By Sunday afternoon I had made 6 cushion covers and felt pretty bonded to my sewing machine! I felt more confident and eyed my unfinished quilt with guilt and hope. The quilt was already sandwiched with batting and partially quilted 'in the ditch'. What it needed was really to finish the binding. To make a long story short, I decided to do a "quick and dirty" finishing job with my machine. My quilting teacher would've tsked at the finishing!

Here is the quilt with a couple of new cushion covers made.
I was just relieved that I finally got it finished and can stop feeling guilty! You wouldn't believe how good that'd felt! Now I can put my quilting guilt and days behind me!

...and happily go back to cross stitching. THAT was the detour courtesy of my sewing machine!

I received a couple of new charts today from Country Stitches.

The charts themselves are huge which is a good thing for my poor eyesight. However, I was surprised at the size of each design! Jane and I will do a SAL on "Be Kind and Be True", which on 32 count, will be finished at about 10 x 12 inches in size. That's way bigger than I'd imagined from the photo. This would be fabulous to do over one I think though that's not something I will attempt.

I'm so enjoying my time off (can you tell?)! I've been going for walks more often and am feeling so much better. I want to share a photo with you on our walk today. This is in a nearby park. Two days ago, this was a pond and people had little motorized boats out on the water. Unfortunately the pond has shrunk now to a puddle.

Thank you all you scissor-obsessed stitchers out there! I certainly enjoyed all your comments. They were so funny and I could feel your obsession all the way here in my neck of the woods. If you see me with a photo of a flower frog with scissors, you know I will be beyond hope! ;-)

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, 15 January 2010

First Happy Dance of 2010

It took me longer than I'd expected, but then I had a lot of things on the go. Here is the Happy Couple!

And the whole scene looks like this:
My Betrothed Sampler
by Birds of a Feather (BOAF)
used recommended floss, linen may be Lentil from Lakeside Linens

I did change the tips of the flowers to use Pumpkin Patch. Also, I hadn't realized that there is a deliberate extra stitch in the upper and lower borders on the right triangle. Oh well, I made do.

I am very happy with this. BOAF designs always make me feel happy even if there are sometimes more colour changes than I would like. This one was pretty 'tame'. The next BOAF chart I want to do is this one:
A Very Fine Sampler

I've wanted to stitch this for many years so finally I will tackle it but first I just found and ordered a piece of 36 count Barn Owl and will wait for it to come before stitching it. What I have in the picture is 32 count.

So, while I wait for that, I think I will go to another favourite designer I haven't stitched for awhile, and that is Blackbird Designs.
Coincidentally, the name of this is "Birds of a feather" and is a reproduction sampler. I am using all the recommended floss except for the last two on the right hand side (bit more toned down). I am going to stitch them on 35 ct WDW Parchment, a new favourite!

If anyone is looking for linens, I happened upon this sale and bought some for meself! It will take a couple of weeks before they will get here so I can't tell you what they are really like yet but thought you might like to take a look.

This week, a giftie arrived from Anna. I love that hair, very nordic!
We were afraid it might have gotten lost in the post but it did arrive and this cute little ornament will adorn our next Christmas' decorations! Thank you Anna!

Is anyone starting to get excited about the next (Nashville) market? I AM! I saw this on Alma's blog - oh my, I want it NOW! The design reminds me of ones they did a couple of years ago and I hope they are going back to doing some samplers again! Well, I suppose the waiting is half the fun! It's nice to see some sneak peeks!

I want to mention some things from my last post :
  1. We are NOT experiencing snow here at all. I was only showing a photo from Winter 2009. This year so far it's been buckets of rain and irony of ironies we could use the snow this winter because we are hosting a little event called the Winter Olympics! Oh well, the event is 4 weeks away and the weather could change!
  2. I will reuse that frame you saw last week. I actually found 3 maybe 4 older framed things (not all stitching) where I might reuse the frames - trying to score some points for the "Make Do" motto.
  3. I have found a new home for my ship sampler. Thank you Catherine!
Oh, finally, a little hint of things to come. Did anyone notice the little pair of scissors in my picture above? I bought this tiny, innocent little pair before Christmas and it arrived a couple of weeks ago. Since then, scissor-mania has started! Yes, you've infected me! In particular I want to "thank" Miss Jane for "inspiring" me. Look at all those scissors in her post!

That's it, dearies! I appreciate your visits and your comments. Keep well and have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

What? Snow?

Hello, dear friends! I just love reading your comments and some of the comments on the last post just made me howl with laughter! Some people are SO sensitive about the weather!

Joanie - Spring bulbs!! SPRING BULBS!!! Listen Missy, you just come right down to Upstate NY, the frigid capital of the entire Northeast!! RIGHT THIS MINUTE! You need a good dose of sub-zero temps and a ton of snow. LOL!!!!

KarenV - Wait...just back up a second. You live in Canada, right? Where it snows, a lot, generally, right? And I live in the middle of the UK, where we get a light dusting of snow every 10 years or so, yeah? So how come I'm sitting looking out at 3 inches of the stuff and my poor garden birds are wondering what the heck is going on and you have spring bulbs?!!!! LOL ;)

Hence this picture...hark, is that snow I see?
Yes, that's a heck of a lot of snow ... last winter! We had a wild winter last year, totally out of character for this area of the country. It was a frozen world for weeks on end and that appears to be what's happening in many areas this winter. (Hey, at least I'm not torturing you with pictures of the little spring bulbs sprouting greens!)

There were other comments too responding to my query about the French General fabrics - thank you!

As you know I have some free time from work right now, which has meant going through that long wish-list of things we all want to get done! To that end, I haven't been stitching so much. Here's a bit more progress on My Bethrothed Sampler. At least the rider has a head and the horse has a behind (I'm sure there's a funny joke in there somewhere...)
Not a great photo. It's been dark days full of rain here. I've been experimenting with the colours to finish off the tips of the flowers on the border. The design calls for 2 stitches of Dried Thyme tipped with one stitch of Deep Sea. If you click on the photo and look on the left border, you'll see that I am experimenting with putting in either 3 stitches of Pumpkin Patch, or 3 stitches of Deep Sea. Not sure what I'll do till the end I think. The intention was to bring a bit more colour to the flowers. What do you think?

In the process of tidying up I found a couple of old things:

The framed piece is by Cricket Collection. I don't even have the chart any longer. It was probably stitched sometime in the early 1990's as I used aida and hadn't discovered linen yet! I am pondering whether this is 'me' anymore and whether to re-use the frame for other things and do something else with the stitching like making it into a pillow. In the photo the aida doesn't look too bad but IRL it's a cream which is pretty bright compared to other linens of my framed pieces so it almost stands out like a beacon!

This next one is from a Leisure Arts leaflet called Old Samplers II. It was stitched on aida. It's not 'finished' as in framed or making it into a pillow. I am not going to do anything with it. Does anyone want it? I'll give it to the first person who tells me they want this and I'll send it as-is.

OK, we've come to the end of the post. Thanks for hanging in there with me. For that, you have early notice that there will be giveaways coming up soon as a result of my tidying up efforts, so watch this space!

Have a wonderful week and I hope the weather behaves better soon for my friends in the snowy deep-freeze! Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Here we go! A new decade begins...

The rain actually 'paused' today so I thought it would be safe to come out and play. I went for a nice walk today and I can see bulbs starting to show sprout! However, winter is still a babe yet and we've been fooled before with mild weather, then a cold snap in February and even in March!

We celebrated the ending of one year and the beginning of a new decade with friends. I bought 2 bouquet of flowers, almost identical. One for my friend, one for me!
I love he colours of these flowers - lime green, sunset orange, and snowy whites.

After the holidays I slowly got back to stitching. Here's my progress on My Betrothed Sampler. I love the girl with the bird!

Getting back into a new routine took longer than I'd expected. I've been busy re-organizing stuff which means things get messier before they get tidier! Which also means it's harder to find things at the moment! (Oh, and that also applies to my little grey cells too!)

In the process of buying boxes at IKEA for storing floss, etc. I found this -
A new rug! Originally when we saw it we'd bought it for the dining room. When we got it home DH said "I think that's too much reds and pinks - you take it for your room". "My room" is where I stitch and store my 'crafty' stuff. I just love this rug as it makes the room even cozier!

*sigh* I really wish I had more clever things to say but this is about it! I do have a question though - I have seen some lovely red/cream types of fabrics from the French General. Do you know a good place to buy this fabric online? I am thinking just fat quarters for making little pincushions and such.

Thank you for all the lovely comments from my last post. I couldn't have done all that stitching without you guys - the encouragement and cheering are wonderful of course, and I also like getting all the inspirations from your blogs too! So, here's to another great stitching year all around!