Sunday, 30 December 2012

Favourite reads of 2012

I am trying to get back into the habit of blogging. I decided a good topic would be sharing some of my favourite reads this year, as I've done in previous years. 

I limited the favourites to Ten!
  1. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman - a sad but beautiful story and one that makes you think about what YOU would do under those same circumstances. Often life's rights and wrongs are not so black and white. We can do right by one person but wrong by another. In the end we all have to face consequences of our actions. Got me quite teary, this one.
  2. Tell the Wolves I'm home by Carol Rifka Brunto - what is love? Is it one flavour or many? This story about Junie and her story surrounding her beloved uncle Finn, before and after his death. I was very touched by this one.
  3. The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman - ahhh, I see my theme here, another book where love plays a key role. It's WWII and a young Jewish couple falls in love, then married only to be separated by the German invasion of Czechoslovakia. The description of the Prague is beautiful. I love the ending of this book.
  4. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - with the wintery weather, this would be the perfect book to really imagine the story to life!
  5. The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon - this story reminded me of The Help in some ways as it deals with prejudice. In this case, how society used to treat mentally handicapped people. The story is set in the 1960's.  I listened to the audio version ready by Kate Reading. 
  6. Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin - well, thank you Mr Rankin for bringing back Rebus! I was overjoyed to see Rebus' return and he is in fine form.  For those who know the series I am sure you will agree!
  7. When will there be Good News by Kate Atkinson - this is Jackson Brodie #3 and I did read #4 as well. I love this series!
  8. The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen - this is the second in the (Crime/mystery) series translated into English. I can't wait for the next one. I like the development of the characters.
  9. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - I talked about this one almost a year ago as I'd read it in January. This is a biography of a remarkable man who survived WWII on the Pacific side.
  10. My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss - loved this. Luisa has a blog and this is a memoir and cookbook.  
That's it for this post and it will be the final post for 2012.


Thank you for all your support of me and this little blog. Wishing you Good Cheer for a Happy, Stitchy-fun-filled New Year! 

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Where did it go?

Good morning! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. Here's what I'd hoped Santa would bring me, of no monetary value - my stitching mojo! Where had it gone? 

While I was busy working these past 5 months, I was too tired, especially my eyes, to stitch. I would wander around the house sometimes and look at my framed pieces and wonder - how did I manage to do all these? How did I manage to have the patience to put in all those little x's? 

So, yesterday, I decided to start on a small piece (80x80). After a couple of hours I'm thinking "really? I used to enjoy stitching?" *sigh* You get the picture! So now I get why I see many of you sometimes say you have started on too many projects. Perhaps that's what I should do, just start on another one and see if it feels right, then maybe I can find Just-The-Right-Thing! 

Meanwhile I can show you some stitching I did in the summer. Somehow, sometime, I can be clever and I made these early for presents. The first one is for Marie as we were Birthday Exchange partners. This is a Blackbird Designs chart.


The second gift is for Glenna. When I saw the bunny freebie, I just had to make it for the Bunny Lady! ;-)  I love that card too.
So, I'm off to see which design will finally entice me to keep stitching!  The cats are all happy they can show themselves off again on the blog, but don't disturb their snoozing! 
Thank you for welcoming me back with all the wonderful comments in my last post! I really felt they were my best Christmas present!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

So. We're Still Here! Merry Christmas!

I know, I know "Where have you been?" (Me, I mean, not You). I finished work on Wednesday for this year and was going to write a post called "Out of jail for Christmas".  Hmmm, maybe not very politically correct as I was referring to work (tee-hee).  But I was just pooped on my first day off work so I thought I would wait till Friday. Then, you know what Friday was, end of the world, right? Why would I want to waste time writing a post on my last day on earth?!!! 

OK, that was all very tongue-in-cheek.  How are you all? I have indeed been in jail of some sort - captured by Work! It's been a crazy 5 months and definitely goes with the "be careful what you wish for" saying. The first 3 months were something out of Tales of the Brothers Grimm variety - fighting ogres in deep dark forest, winning some battles, and running away to fight another day, all that sort of thing! ;-) 

I am so pleased to be off work for almost two weeks. I really need to get myself back to myself. I have not stitched, I have not blogged or only visited blogs once in awhile. Really, me bad indeed.  But we all have our way to turning inward to conserve our energy when things are stressful. You know what I mean!

So, for now, I just want to say "May your Days be Merry & Bright".  Merry Christmas! I hope, once I get all the Christmas things out of the way, to be back stitching in a few days!
Ho-Ho-Ho!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Yikes!

It was bound to happen. Silver linings have clouds in front of them. Work has gotten crazy busy. Late last week the company went through corporate-wide budget cuts (again). Last time it happened I got cut and had to look elsewhere for work. This time someone else got cut and I got to inherit more work. It doesn't mean more money, just more work. Yes, I just have to be thankful I have work, I suppose. 

So, that means I am going to take a break from blogging. It's just too crazy right now.  I haven't had any chance to stitch. Instead I spent a few hours working at home today! Oh well, Feast-or-Famine in action!

I do have some finishing to show you though as a "parting" post. Before I went back to work I decided to do some little pillow finishing and I completed two. I also got to try out stitching with some 1/8" chenille trim that I received in an exchange. I just love how it just picks up and accents certain colours in a design.

Here we go. I'll just let the photos speak for themselves.







I so enjoyed finishing these! They are just stuffed with poly-fill. I love the skinny trims. I will definitely do more of this style of finishing!

Well, my dears, know that I am thinking of you even if you don't hear from me. I haven't been online much and please do excuse me if I have not been corresponding as much as I have in the past. I am just trying to keep my head above water!

Thank you for your visit. Hopefully it won't be long before I am back stitching and posting. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of summer! xoxoxo

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Elizabeth Savilles, framed

Here is my Cinderella, Elizabeth Savilles, all dressed for the ball! We'll start with a close up of the frame. 


She is now hanging right over my work table so I see her every day. Now that I see the photo, she looks splotchier than she really is. Some of it may be reflections off the glass. Anyway, I am so pleased!

Thank you for your comments and well wishes in the last post. I am still adjusting to my new work schedule. I did not stitch at all this past week nor did much of anything else! It will take awhile to get into a state where I can carve out time to do other things when I get home. I confess I have not been visiting blogs nor answering emails much but I'm sure you understand. My goal is at least try and keep posting once a week! 

This is probably the shortest post in a long while and if I sound tired...well, I am! I am happy though!

Thank you for your visit. We have company from out of town coming for dinner so I'd best get a move on! Have a great week!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Summer's Here!

Hello, my dear stitchy friends! Thanks for your well wishes and emails about my new job start last week. I survived and am still smiling! It was  an exhausting week as you can well imagine after having months off work. In addition I am spending 2 hours each day on public transit and we are finally having very warm summer weather here! If we had a pool I am sure I would've walked into it each evening when I got home!  

As it was, I think I laid down on the yoga mat each evening and zoned out for half an hour or so to revive myself. Needless to say, very little stitching or anything else happened last week, including making a coherent sentence in the evenings! 



It is August, and the "dog days of summer", as they say, are here! It is also a provincial holiday today and that's why I am home and can blog. Thank goodness for a 3 day weekend to balance out my first week back to work!
I did pick up some framing so I can show you a new sampler wall! But steady on, let's look at the new pieces that I picked up. 
I love this first piece (above) for Nellie's Garden Revisited. Originally I had selected a brown frame but then I thought I would do the unexpected (as my framer noticed) and picked something fancier. I quite like it! 

The next piece (below) is Permit Me not to Stray by Heartstring Samplery.  I had picked out a really pretty frame then gulped at the price and had to scale down by choice. This one will do nicely!
I have a third piece, Elizabeth Savilles, but I will save it for next week's post as I don't know if I will have much stitching to show for awhile. 

However, we did manage to pull pieces together for our newest sampler wall. It is in a small corner of our living room, a dimly lit corner at that so it was difficult to take a good photo. Here it is. I call it my "Blonde Ambition Wall".
I do have a habit of moving my framed pieces around. I actually "stole" one piece from another sampler wall to complete this one. What do you think? 

On Saturday morning I was dressed almost all in white and my DH said let's take a photo of you under the banana tree. One click. We didn't realize my eyes were closed till today. Oh well. I was probably trying to catch up on my sleep! lol. The banana plants are loving the heat!

BTW, someone asked me if our banana plant has ever produced fruit. Well, last September it had flowered and it started to fruit up. However, as you can imagine, it was too late in the year so the fruits never made it but it was a first!

Here is a photo of part of the front garden. All I need is a dog smack dab in the centre of the lawn to complete the photo! ;-) 
Someone asked me where to purchase Little by Little charts. I could not answer your question as you did not have an email attached to your profile. The answer to your question, however, is that you can purchase them at Homespun Samplar.

Well, that's me for another post. Hope I can keep up posting weekly even if a little at a time. Thanks for your visit. I am hoping for the temperatures to cool a little around here too! Take care and have a wonderful week!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Last day of Summer Vacation

Hello! I'm so glad so many of you enjoyed Julius' post last week! He was mighty tickled to read the responses! ;-)

Today is, what I consider, the last day of my summer vacation! Tomorrow, back to the "real world" of Working! This past week has flown by quickly. I got a lot of things done on my to-do list but, as you know, that list is ever growing! As much as I know I should take some time just to "chill out" I think sitting still would make me crazy right now!

I did finish stitching Mecklenburg 1775 by "Little by Little".
 Here it is, without the "floral decorations" -
This was a quick stitch. I used all the recommended DMC floss on 35 count Parchment. I did substitute the white flowers for blue and mauve ones after seeing how the white wasn't standing out too much on the linen. 


What's next, you ask? I don't know. I've started bringing out my "smalls" to try my hand at some newer-to-me finishing skills. We shall we what I come up with!


We are back in the sunshine again. Our banana plant in the backyard has been thriving.
Thank you for stopping by. It's been fun these last four months to be able to stitch and blog more on a regular basis! I like this next photo that my husband took. It reminds me to look up and appreciate the expansiveness of the world out there.
Take care! Have a wonderful week and enjoy the start of August! (Now, I can cross 'blog post' off my things-to-do and go to the next thing!) Cheerio!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Guest Blogger: Mr Julius

Hello there! Mom calls me Mr Julius but you can just call me Julius. She's just making fun. 

I'm hiding in this box, you see, because Mom has been bouncing around the last couple of days going "Yippee Yippee Skippeee!!!" all over the house because she says "she's got the job". I don't know what she means. She has lots of jobs, like feeding me and the Daze (aka Daisy), and grooming us, and playing that silly ball game with me. 

Nonetheless she seems very excited and she's been making lists of stuff she has to get done before she "goes back to work". Hmmm, somehow that doesn't sound like that will be good for me and the Daze. 
Anyway, she says she's so busy that I can be her Guest Blogger this week!  Ahem...here goes!

A surprise from Scotland
In addition to her excitement over "getting the job", Mom came back from the mailbox the other morning doing the bouncing thing again. Apparently, this package arrived in the post. I sniffed it first to make sure it wasn't treats for me and the Daze. 

Mom says they are from here friend Ann in Scotland. She was so excited when she opened this package as she doesn't own anything from "Sajou" and then there are two Liberty fabrics. I tried and they are not edible so I don't know why she's so excited! Anyway, Ann has a lovely kitty called Poppy. I think she would be a lot of fun to play with. 


Mom and her stitching
Well, Mom was so stressed out waiting to hear about "the job" that she kept starting and stopping on projects. Finally she mumbled about "Oh, just stop thinking too much and stitch this one!" So here is what it looks like this morning. She said it's a design by "Little by Little" called Mecklenburg 1775.


While in her stitching room, I spied this old bunny pincushion that she's pulled out of the cupboard.  Hmmm. I must've been staring at it with my tail twitching because mom said "Don't even THINK about it, Julius!" That always means I can't play with something. *sigh*

Gardening
Mom loves to garden. That's another job she has around here. I love it when she brings flowers into the house. She found out in the spring that I love to munch on tulips so she stopped bringing them into the house. Then it was rose season and I found I liked roses too! Hmmm. I haven't seen many roses come into the house lately. I've been eyeing this neat striped rose that Mom calls Purple Tiger.

I've seen this flower in the garden. I thought it was called Scabby Knees at first, but then Daisy said "it's Scabiosa, silly!" Oh that Know-it-All!


And now, it's time for my nap. Mom says to say hi and thank you to all you nice people for coming by her blog and all your help with helping her get her job, whatever that means! She said if people like my post, she'll let me do it again. 

Signing off, may you have pleasant dreams.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Elizabeth Savilles 1841 sampler - fini!

Good Saturday morning to you all! It's a beautiful day and I have lots of good things to tell you!

The Job Interview accomplished!
First off, thank you so much for all your positive thoughts, prayers, emails, comments wishing me well on my job interview. It went very well yesterday and I have a verbal commitment for a job. I am holding off on doing the Happy Dancing until I have official word as things have fallen through in the past. 

That may happen next week so I will keep thinking positive on the outcome. Big thank you and cyber hugs to all of you! 

Elizabeth Savilles 1841 Sampler
Here comes something I CAN do a Happy Dance about - Elizabeth Savilles is finished! I'll let the photos speak for themselves! 

 And here she is  (Ta-da!) all dressed up with roses from our garden.
*Sigh* Love. Love.Love! 


The following two photos show Elizabeth compared with the cover of the chart and what my original attempt with the recommended fibers look like. Quite a difference, wouldn't you say?!!! 
I am so glad I decided to try restarting Elizabeth back in June. I started this sampler on June 8 and finished her on July 9. The minute I get confirmation about my job I am taking her pronto to the framer's!  I want to have her hanging on my wall so I can see her every day and remind me of the lessons I have learned this year. I also want to say that I was inspired by many stitchers and their own versions Elizabeth Savilles.


Info on my version of Elizabeth Savilles
Many of you had asked so now you shall receive! 

Linen: 36 count "Celtic" by Stitches and Spice in Australia. 
Now I had purchased a 1/4 yd maybe two years ago and it was around $28 which was comparable to other linens. This spring when I tried to order it at the Needlework Show I found the cost had jumped to $42! Yikes. I shall have to wait on ordering it . But if you look for a light creamy linen with some splotches of pinks and tan/brown I think that would work nicely. 


Floss: Belle Soie silks for the most part - 
Attic Tea (Weeping Willow)
Poison Apple (Bucks County Red)
HDF Qunice 1401 - (Innocence Rose)
Rose of Sharon - Philadelphia Red (I didn't use this too much)
n/a - Quaker Swan (I didn't use white on this piece)
Tortoise Shell - (Prov.Brown)


Other floss used BS Angel Blush, BS Walk the Plank, DD Red Dust, SNC Burnished Gold, BS Mudpie


I did not use a 1:1 conversion and that is because often times the chart says to stitch something in green (for example) that I think should be another colour - like a couple of the birds. I played with using whatever colours I had on hand and what my mood dictated! ;-)


Signing off! 
Well, this has been a long post so I will start wrapping up. I have struggled to find my next project and I have started and frogged 3 projects already! I hope to settle down to something this weekend now that the interview is over! 


Here's handsome Danny wishing you a lovely weekend and the breeze will sail over your wings! 

TTFN!  

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Breathless & running

Good Sunday morning to you all! My mind is so preoccupied these days that the best thing to do for this post is to do it by categories. Here goes:

Framing 
While I have had time off working I had hunted down some inexpensive frames and they've been put to good use! Here are the five lined up on stage for a bow! (clap clap clap)
 

Margaret Harris by Blackbird Designs
Eveline Cunningham by Blackbird Designs
Pinkhouse Sampler by Little by Little
Silk Sampler by Birds of a Feather
Brown House Sampler by The Middle Row
Revised Sampler Wall 2012
This sampler wall was already in existence but I swapped out one and replaced it with the Brown House sampler. I liked it there better than what I had before. 

Giveaway won
I won a basket giveaway from Marly. The box was filled with extra goodies such as two charts and the lovely box. Thank you Marly! I love them all!

Giveaway won from Marly
 
Update on Elizabeth
I am close to finishing Elizabeth Savilles so I won't show any photos today. Some of you asked whether I can share a list of the fibers used. Absolutely! I will do that when I finish the sampler.

Update on Job Search
Breathe breathe breathe! OK. So I was so hypered two days before the interview (that took place last Tuesday) that I spent my time reorganizing everything around me! And cleaning. Crazy but very productive with good results. 

What I learned was I need more practice with interviews! It's been a very long time since I've had to do an interview so good lesson learned. I have not heard back and I am not expecting I would get the job but that's ok as well, you know. 

The good news is I have an interview this coming Friday for a job I really, really want to get. So, bubble-makers, keep'em coming! lol. I actually have gotten a stack of library books out to do research and homework for this interview because it will be dealing with  subject matters that are new to me. Hence, my reference for being preoccupied these days!  

Summer is here at last! 
The cats are loving the sunshine!

I don't know that this is a very coherent post but you get the picture of my state of mind! It's very focused on the upcoming interview and not much else! Breathe breathe breathe! 

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!