Friday, 30 December 2011

Wrapping up 2011

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. Doesn't that seem so long ago, and now we are on the verge of turning the page to a new year? 

2011 was an interesting year, a bit of a roller coaster ride! A year ago today I couldn't have predicted what was to come!

Stitching wise I started off doing quite well but it really tapered off when we left on our trip. Here's a trip down memory lane...
Lo, How a Rose by Brightneedle

Marlene's Sampler by Romy in Austria

Elizabeth Easton by the Goode Huswife

Good Cheer by the Goode Huswife

The Brown House Sampler by The Middle Road

Permit me not to Stray by Heartstring Samplery

Live in Harmony by Homespun Elegance

Ann Taylor by Hearstring Samplery

The Pinkhouse Sampler by Little by Little

The Garden of Eden by The Goode Huswife

Birdhouse Sampler by Prairie Schooler

School House Sampler by Birds of a Feather

Earth Sampler by Primitive Needle

Silk Sampler by Birds of a Feather

I am not sure what 2012 will look like for my stitching. Due to my neck & back issues, I may have to scale back to smalls or "smaller". I did decide to resume doing some exchanges again as that somehow I just fell off the exchange wagon, so that should be fun!

Since I couldn't do as much stitching this year I have been reading a lot. I logged a record 104 books! To see the list, go here.  

Some favourites:
  1. When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  3. The Bright Forever by Lee Martin
  4. The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy
  5. Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner
  6. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff 

Some fun reads:

  1. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  2. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
  3. Revolution by Jennifer Connelly
  4. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
New mystery/thrillers:
  1. The whole Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbo
  2. The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (The first of the Carl Mork series translated in English.)
  3. The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol & Agnette Fries (The first in the Nina Borg series translated in English)
  4. The Hypnotist by Lars Keplar (The first of the DI Joona Linna series)
Well, that's it for this year. I want to thank you for your visits, your comments and friendship. I wish you all a Happy, Healthy New Year!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Ooops - it's been awhile since I've posted and I feel very rusty. You know, the longer you put off posting, the more foreign it seems. 'Tis the season for...

...decorations Red and Green
...and reindeer...
...but most of all - Homecoming! Our boy arrived home safe and sound on Sunday and we're hamming it up for the camera! 

It's wonderful to have him back. I've been busy baking not only to feed him, but to give cookies and such away for Christmas gifts. 

So, you may wonder what I've been up too these last two months. Well, first I had to spend about 5-6 weeks intensively on getting a professional designation renewed. Then I've been taking time out because of my bad back. Time out from stitching I mean. I still did all the usual things, like working! 

However, I have been getting some new help in the way of a new chiropractor who gave me, bit by bit, small amounts of "exercises" to do.  Along with some acupuncture treatments, all these things have helped me tremendously.  So, three weeks ago, I decided to get back to stitching but with a small sampler.  Here is Margaret Harris from one of the Blackbird Design booklets.

See the difference between the white flower on the left vs the one on the right? The left one is very faint and is the called for BS Vanilla Pudding. The one on the right is BS Icing which is brighter and the one I will now use instead. The very faint flower on the inside right border is using BS Scarecrow. I'm afraid it will have to come out. It's so faint you can hardly see it. So, I can see substitutions being the norm here! 

I have to go slow with my stitching as just 1/2 hr of stitching makes my back start whining! Slowly, slowly I will go!

And here is one last framed piece to show you.
This is my first day off from work so lots of stuff to do before Christmas Eve as I am hosting the dinner! I will be covered with flour shortly!

Thank you for visiting with me now and all through this year. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! 

PS - Dear Santa: I know All-I-want-for-Christmas I already got with my boy being home safe and sound...but you know, if you happen to have a spare i-Pad at the bottom of your sack, I've been a very good girl this year! ;-) 

Monday, 24 October 2011

Cologne (Koln), Germany

Let's load up more travel photos (as I don't have much else to say)! 

Here is the Dom Cathedral in Cologne, Germany. You can read more about it here.  It is the largest cathedral in Germany and is just awesome to behold. There are loads more information on the net so you can google it to find more information.
 Our son walked the 100+ steps up to the bell tower. Here is the view from up high! It is pretty amazing inside and out!
Here is a bridge with an interesting "tourist attraction". Look along the walkway where the people are - see those colourful things along the bridge? No?
Here's a close-up. Thousands of people have put in these locks to proclaim their "love". It was really amazing to see!
Here we are on the Rhine River. There are many boat tours (well worth it). 

The view from the boat. In the evening we sat in one of those outdoor cafes for dinner - marvelous!  

And here is our little village of Bensberg, about 30 minute by train from Cologne. 

Oh, and at the end of the day, we trudge back to our castle (via a hill paved with cobblestones!). What a wonderful place. We were definitely the "Beverly Hillbillies" at this 5-star hotel though!
Some of the beautiful interior...

Finally, as we return from a mellow dinner at the village, here is the site that greets us!
 Oh boy, what a time that was! 

I hope you've enjoyed these snippets of our travels in Germany! See you next time!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Wanna see more framing?

What a silly question! Of course you want to see more framing! I always love to see how stitchers frame their lovely treasures.  But truth be told, it's because I have not picked up a needle since we got home. I'm very slow to go back to routine! At least jet lag is over! 

Here's Miss Olga, by the talented Paulette of Plum Street Samplers.

The frame was a "leftover" piece on sale and when I saw it I knew it was perfect for Olga. The colours of the photo don't do this justice. I'm looking at her as I type this as she is now sitting by my computer.

Next is Betsy by Sheepish Designs. I chose a very simple (read - "inexpensive") frame.  

I think I have one more to show but I gotta find it first! 

Thank you for your lovely comments on my last post. I will try and pull out more photos for another post. I think my mind is still in la-la-land, not quite grounded in "Home" yet. Plus I have been doing lots of reading so maybe that should be the next post! 

Well, that's it for now! Take care and have a lovely week ahead!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

There and Back Again...a Mother's Tale

The title is borrowed from a certain Mr. Baggins but aptly describes our absence these past 2 weeks. We have been in the south-west part of Germany visiting our DS, who moved there in late spring to work for 8 months. It was so great to see him and we had a lovely time! Now, where to begin? 

My DH is the guy with the camera and once that thing attaches to his arm, he is in action. He took over 1600 photos and videos! I am feeling overwhelmed with how to edit the lot so I just pulled a few to show you, just to get started. 

We begin in Stuttgart. It's a small city with about 1/2 million population - just the right size for us to start our adventure. I will start with some photos around the old Schloss (palace grounds).  

This is part of the great pedestrian shopping strip  (Konigstrasse) which goes on and on! The yellow banners you see in the center announce their own version of the Octoberfest.
 This is a section of the Berlin Wall.
This is the famous Mercedes Benz museum. The architecture is really interesting. You walk from one floor to the next like a spiral. 

This is my DH having fun with the one and only race car he will  ever  "drive"! 

Here is a very happy mom visiting her boy's place of work.
Here's the drink of Germany! We are at a homey restaurant in the village where our son lives. The restaurant is in a renovated garage in someone's house, right in the middle of a neighbourhood! The food was home-y and yummy! 

Here is part of Market Day (Saturday) in Stuttgart. There are many markets on market day. There is one for food as you see here, one for flowers , another for "fleas". The latter two are found in other squares. There is also an indoor "Market Hall", which, unfortunately we missed!
More royal 'what-its'. You know when you are traveled out when you can't remember names of things. This was turned into a museum. 
The last photo was taken outside the Chocolate Museum in Cologne. That was another part of the trip but I won't show that here. 

I also can't seem to add another line after the photo so I'll stop for now. We are still recovering from jet lag. Thank goodness it's the Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, and we have a lot to be thankful for. We had a lovely time with our boy. He's matured leaps and bounds and we are so proud of him. The weather was fantastic (in the low to mid 20 C) and the beer was good! 

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!  

Sunday, 18 September 2011

A Big Red House

I've been patiently stitching houses for Mary Gibson.

Here's a Red House
and a Blue House on the left
 and here's how she is looking since last week

I am really enjoying stitching Mary Gibson now that I am happy with the colours I've chosen so far. There will likely be more new colours introduced as I move 'up' the sampler. BTW, if I was to order a linen to stitch Mary, I would be inclined to get Vintage Light Examplar from Lakeside Linens. When I look at the antique Mary Gibson that's the linen I see but I used WDW Straw only because I had it in my stash, so I also have to adjust colours to fit.

Thank you for your enthusiastic comments in my last post! I loved reading each one of them! Now, to answer some questions left in the comments last week:

  • Following along the lines of "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" - Yes, Katrina, I will share my silk "conversion" when I'm finished stitching this piece. As I am stitching only from what I have in the stash, the conversion will not be 1:1 but you can see what silks I did use.
  • "Do you always start stitching from the bottom left?" Funny how habits form. I used to always start from the top left, then I started seeing how some people would start stitching from the bottom up so I thought I would try it. Somehow it just stuck!
  • I left the best for last - "What's a BAP?" - Well, the B stands for Big, the P stands for Project, and the A ? What do you think? I used to ask the same question until I figured it out. It's a Big Ass Project, or if you are more p.c. (politically correct) you could say it's a Big Awesome Project. OK? :-) 
The weather here has suddenly turned Fall-ish which means lots and lots of rain! So loud it woke me up the other night only because I was so un-used to that sound! We have had such a great August which lingered into early September. It's hard to see the sunshine go!

Lastly, here's Ann Taylor framed. I absolutely adore this sampler. Even though the picture does not do it justice, it's hanging on our living room wall which is a mild mustard yellow. The picture just seems to blend right into the wall, like it bloomed there - amazing. This piece was an absolute joy to stitch.
Well, my dearies, here ends another post. I hope you are well and enjoying a nice start to Autumn. Thank you for visiting. Have a great week!

Monday, 5 September 2011

My first B-A-P!

Finally, my first BAP. It's 293 x 304 and fits my largest scroll frame with a couple of inches to spare. (whisper - Joy, it has 12 pages!) Here's a peek at my new start. 
It's the Mary Gibson's 1824 Sampler from the Haselmere Museum.  I decided to stitch it on WDW "Straw" 35 ct linen. I happen to have a lovely piece hanging around and decided to use it. It's much more gold than what shows up in the above photos. I am also using silk from my stash and this trial-and error approach has caused a lot of frogging  when I am trying out colours to use! A bit frustrating and time consuming but I am happy now how things are looking.

As you can see, it's gonna to take me quite awhile to finish this one! Although I am usually a one project kinda gal, I may be taking breaks from it to do smaller pieces. We shall see how my patience holds up! 

Next up, I asked KarenV to finish one of my small pieces for me. The next two are her photos. She did a wonderful job and I just love it! Thanks Karen!

More framing! Actually, this next one is a re-use of an old frame. I had something stitched in aida, and when I saw that this Prairie Schooler piece fitted so well, I got my framer to do the switcheroo for me. Recycle and Reuse!
It's the last day of the Labour Day long weekend here. The weather is gorgeous and it has the beginnings of that lovely Fall nip in the air though still warm during the day. The kiddies, little & big, will be starting the school year tomorrow. Usually we see some traffic chaos the first two weeks of the month until people settle into a routine. Drive safely and enjoy the week!

Thank you for your visits and your comments!