Monday, 29 December 2014

Sailing Away on a Houseboat

*Poof* Christmas went by so quickly and now the New Year is almost upon us! As we "sail away" from 2014, here's my last finish of the year... 

Noah's Garden by The Goode Huswife
I've wanted to stitch this for a long time and I'm so pleased it's finally done! I've even tried stitching it a couple of times and gave up.  This time it's stitched on 32 count mystery fabric with DMC, 2 over 2. I love it! It's so colourful and happy!

I really lazed around for a few days after Christmas but now I am finally getting back into action mode. Time to get ready for a New Year and that means some clean-up and tidy, some reflections and maybe, finally, some goal setting for this new year! 

One last thing, I did make up a page for my 2014 finishes for your browsing pleasure!

I wonder about my stitching goals for 2015. This past year I did do a lot of smalls which actually worked out quite well, so I might do that. I do miss my bigger samplers so I need to do a couple at least and make a dent in my big sampler stash!  My biggest hurdle with stitching is learning how to manage it while not aggravating my neck...

What are your plans for stitching? Any New Year's starts? Please DO TELL and share! 

I want to thank you to constant readers and new readers alike for your encouragement this past year. I've started two new hobbies - painting first, then sewing, and that's taken time away from stitching but you kept the seat warm for me, so to speak, to return to stitching. Thank you! 

I wish you all a Happy & Healthy New Year!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Ho Ho Ho!

A quick post today! (Three more sleeps till Christmas)! 

This past week has just flown by and my original plans to do some sewing has completely evaporated. I did sneak in this tiny freebie from Pineberry Lane called, aptly, Ho Ho Ho!
It's just the cutest little Santa. Thank you, Wendy, for the freebie!

Stitching was all I got to squeeze in. It will have to go into my finishing pile.  It's been a cooking and baking factory around here but after Christmas I hope it be the Sewing factory as I miss my sewing! Maybe then I can attack my finishing pile too.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas with your family and friends!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

My little collection of Christmas finishes

Hello there, happy stitchers! Are you busy or should I even ask? I have been busy baking cookies this past week and giving a lot away to happy munchers! I like doing it for precisely seeing the happy smiles, the gleam in their eyes, when they receive the home baked cookies.  I left some at a friend's doorsteps and she told me when she got home she ate three before she even hung up her coat! That just makes my day!

So, no fresh stitching to show this week but I thought I would collect what I have to show you. I stitched and finished more Christmas designs in the last year than I've ever done, which actually reminds me ... I have some I should dig up. They were meant to be framed but maybe I could temporarily fudge them to just hang on the wall, a la Marly!I love her displays!

Here we go:
My husband put up a couple of these IKEA picture rails above a work table recently and I so love them for I can quickly change the display. 

Here's my "bowl" for this year.
The little tree  highlights recent pieces from stitching friends Andrea and Paula (Kelmscott Designs).
Then of course, here is my quiet little helper. Daisy was "talking" to me this morning while I was staging and taking photos.  I love that pose!
Thanks for coming by and thanks for leaving me comments to read and smile at!  Have a great week, however crazy and busy it gets!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Tell Santa - Have you been...

 or Nice?

Such a sweet design from Blackbird Designs. I think this comes from the Christmas Garden booklet. I have stitched this once before for an exchange and I liked it so much I wanted to stitch it for myself.  

Here's a peek at my next project in progress. Any idea what the design is?  
It's been busy around here as I've been doing lots of tidy up, clean up, and decorating. I don't know where I'd gotten the energy from but I just went with it and got 'her done! Now will begin the Christmas baking! 

I need to take a break from stitching as well. I tend to just sit for what seems like hours at a stretch and now my neck feels like it's going to give me grief again so I'd better do something else! Does that happen to you with stitching? How long can you sit and stitch for at a time? I am just curious. 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you won't get strained by all the Christmas shopping! ;-)  Have a great week! 

Monday, 1 December 2014

My Pinzzz, finished!

A finish - finally! This is My Pinzzz, from Plum Street Samplers.

Such a pretty design! I love it!

We woke up Saturday morning to a light frosting of snow.  The weather is hovering around freezing mark and the roads are just icy.  But we have sunshine and for that, we can't complain!
The Christmas lights are already strung up and we are getting ready to decorate soon!

Hope your Christmas plans are taking good shape! Have a great week!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Starting with something small

Thanks for all your sweet comments on my last post. The article was also a push-in-the-back I needed to get back to stitching so I went stash diving for some smaller pieces. This first one is My Pinzzz, by Plum Street Sampler. Such a sweet design and the colours are lovely!

The cats love finding new places to do some "nesting". 

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Last Week of November and Happy Thanksgiving to my U.S. friends!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Hanging on by a (Stitching) Thread

Hello! Happy mid-November. Baby, it's COLD outside!  At least it's sunny though. 
This post is just to let you know that I and my blog are featured in the December issue of Cross Stitch Collection magazine (UK). Many of you probably know of the lovely Carol from Stitching Dreams and she was featured in this magazine earlier this year, and she passed on my name to the magazine too. Thank you, Carol! 

Here's what the article looks like:
I guess we all have our dry spells when it comes to stitching. Hopefully mine will ease up soon. In the meantime, I have been sewing. Yes I have! You can see my creations here

Thanks for stopping by!  

Monday, 3 November 2014

An Early Christmas Exchange

Hello and Happy November! Here we are awash in rain, but I hear some of you poor people have already been hit with winter weather! 

I have some stitching to show!  This is an early Christmas exchange I did with Paula from Kelmscott Designs.  She made me this cute ornament. It is adorable and will fit in nicely with my snowmen and santas.
I stitched from a freebie from Plum Street Samplers. It's called Emmanuelle. I chose not to stitch that word because of the over-one stitching. I replaced with "Joy" on the side. I used my own silks. I also outlined the dove with a gold floss to make it stand out more. 

Thank you, Paula, for suggesting the exchange. It got me back to doing some stitching again!

I also want to thank everyone for their comments and emails about my lighting question in my last post.  The picture below shows my old bulb which is 24W. They don't make that size anymore in the "Type B" bulbs.  I ended up getting a shorter bulb that's 18W but at least it fits the existing lamp and I can use that for awhile and not replace my lamp altogether!  It's not as bright of course but it will do for now.
Daisy's motto is to snooze through the rainfall.  Cats are so clever, aren't they? ;-)

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you are keep snug and dry!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Finishing some smalls and a Question for you

Hello there! Isn't time just zooming by? The rainy season is upon us but it's still fairly warm for this time of year, or so they tell us. A lot of the trees are still fully clothed in their leaves.

I have started working on some finishing of smalls that I stitched earlier this year. (All is not lost, she has not given up fully on cross stitch yet!)

The first design is part of "Forget Me Not" by With Thy Needle and Thread. I only stitched part of the design. I finished it with a green chenille trim and two little "rosettes".

This next one is the Merry Christmas Hanging Sampler from Pineberry Lane. I love her designs!
Oops. I ran out of the little rusty bells! I guess having them one one side is ok, but no, I gotta get more bells so I can make it a "hanging" pinkeep, as per its namesake!
Lastly is the lovely Beggar's Christmas. I love the "Beggar's" series from Nan of Threadwork Primitives. 
Hmmm. I think it's looking a little bare. Perhaps I need to add some chenille trim. What do you think? (Oh, that's not THE question.)
THE question of the day is, and I need your help with this - What type of lighting (e.g. lamps) do you use for your stitching?  I have been using a floor lamp version of the Ott-lite for probably 10 years. Just last week the bulb burnt out so I went back to Michaels where I had first purchased the lamp, and found that my model is no longer made, along with the bulbs! I searched online too and no luck.

So what lamp should I get? Another Ott-lite (newer model of the floor lamp) or what I've read recently, the latest and greatest - Stella (great but pricey)? I would love to hear what you use. Thanks in advance for your help.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

If you want to see Green...

We are lucky the weather has been kind and we are easing into Autumn with grace...

I started back to my acrylic painting class in September and here is my latest painting from a photo of apple blossoms.   I have to admit it took me awhile to get back into the swing of painting. I'd forgotten so much through the summer since I hadn't picked up a paintbrush at all! Good thing the same teacher was there to help.
I have stitched a Christmas exchange last week but, of course, can't show you that yet. I have found too that my body (neck, shoulder, low back) is not happy with stitching. I go back to the chiropractor for a snap/crackle/pop tomorrow then I should be fine. ha ha.

I have added more to sewn garments to my closet. Have a look here.

I leave you with some sunflowers drying up. I actually like them in this state as they remind me of Van Gogh paintings. 

Thanks for stopping by! Have a lovely week!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Fall is in the Air!

I went out to the garden this morning just to see what's been happening. I've been quite neglectful in the last while as the weather changed quite a bit last weekend. There are still a few things blooming but a lot of the plants are looking tired and worn out!

Remember the bushtit nest from the spring? Well, here's the evidence! The red roses are still singing though. 
I've been continuing my dressmaking adventures over in my other blog. Please come for a visit as I have more to show there than here!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

What remains of August

Less than two weeks and we are sailing into September! Already the air has hints of autumn and the rays of the sun seem somewhat tempered. I met up with Anne recently for tea and she asked how the banana plant is doing this year. Well, here she is... (the banana, not Anne!)

You can't really see it but there are many "pups" that have sprung up this year. Pups are what we call the new banana plants that come up. The one that flowered before died, which is what they usually do. This summer, the heat has been just the best for these babies! 

Speaking of meeting up with Anne, look what she gave me! I introduced her to a new fabric store and she snuck this in with her purchases then presented it to me after. Such a cute print! Thank you, Anne! I'll have to figure out what to create with it. BTW, it's called "Cat Dream"!

And here are the dynamic duo. Daisy, seeing the camera, said "What? I'm on?"
 Here she turns on the cuteness factor...Pretty hammy, I'd say!

How did you like the latest Market releases? There are always such wonderful designs. I was amazed this year by the Magical Mystery Tour series by the Blackbird Designs ladies! So cute. I especially like the Yellow Submarine and Octopuses' Garden.

Well, I'm listening to Pharrell and bouncing around while I post! Happy! I am off to post to my sewing blog

Happiness is the Truth.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Happy August, peeps!

Hello, lovely people! It's hot and sunny here. Almost feels like a mirage except for the fact that we have lots of fans going in order for us to stay sane! ;-)

I've had a nice break from blogging. I've been sewing my little heart out in July. If you doubt me, go see my new blog

Yes! I have created another blog called A Closet Full of Posies.  Literally, it's my sewing room with a closet to house all my sewed garments. I have wondered whether to put my sewing in this blog but after much consideration I decided to have a separate space for it. 

You will see that I have a post for each garment sewed. This way I can record what I learned while I made it and anything I want to change, etc.  I will try it and see how it goes. I will still keep this blog going but right now I'm just playing in another room. 

I haven't even been painting, let alone stitching! We did put up a couple of these great picture ledges from Ikea to house my artwork. 
You've seen all the fruit ones but the flower one is new-to you. I finished back in June. The bigger piece in the upper left hand corner is not finished yet. I am not happy with how the clouds are looking.  But, that's for another day.

I hope you've been enjoying a nice summer. It finally dawned on me that I think the weather pattern may be changing for us here. We used to get rainy cool summers but now we seem to get hot weather in July & August. Not a bad thing. My tomatoes are tasting yummier because of all the sunshine and heat! 

Even though I haven't been stitching, I am enjoying seeing all the lead up to the August market and the new releases coming soon! 

So, please come for a visit to my other room, but make sure you have a very many few minutes. I created 9 posts today! 

Happy Week!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Stopping by to say...

This is a quick post to say two things: 

First, a much heartfelt thanks to my friend Ann who has spoiled me with a wonderful package of goodies!  Am I a lucky girl, or what? I just love everything! 

The two pieces of fabrics on the left are Liberty prints! Yes, now you know who had started me on the Liberty madness! Thank you again, Ann! :-)

Second - we just finished watching the final match of the FIFA World Cup.  Big congratulations to Germany! Well done! What a great team, what a great match, what a fantastic World Cup this has been! I think it's the most exciting World Cup we've seen in awhile.   This game arouses passions around the world. See you again in four years! 

And that's me for this quickie post. Life is good. Summer is here and it's hot! (Hot for here.) Even the cats are moving slower! 

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Newest Obsession & Taking a Break

Hi all. I've been pondering about whether to just not write a post for awhile, or write a post then take a blogging break. Guess I decided on the latter as there are a few things to tell, and to show.

First off, thanks so much for sharing your advice about lighting and helping with my stitching problem on my last post. I actually have not done any stitching since my last post! But I have saved a few smalls that I stitched awhile ago so I will show you those, then I can tell you about my lastest Obsession!

First off, from Pineberry Lane - Merry Christmas?( Not entirely sure about the title.)  I have the funny reindeer and Santa. The reindeer is holding off like it's getting ready for a Disneyland ride (Thunder Mountain?).
Next is Beggar's Christmas from Threadwork Primitives. Love that series!
This one is Thankful Heart (I think) from Heartstrings Samplery. I left out the words and shorten the design from the bottom. I like the spareness of it though I think I might go back and add our initials. I love the colours! 
This last one is Land that I love from Birds of a Feather. I modified it to say Oh Canada!, which is the start of our national anthem. Love that cute design!
My newest obsession? It's related to stitching...sewing clothes for myself but the real obsession is getting my hands on some Liberty cottons for tunics and tops. *sigh* I will have to shop online as I can't find any of them here in a brick and mortar store. I would really prefer to see them in person so I can better gauge the scale of the prints, etc. If you have any advice in best place to get Liberty cottons and at a good price (and I haven't already asked you privately)  please let me know. Thanks!
Last year, I was gifted some pieces of Liberty cottons from dear Ann from Scotland.  I knew nothing about these cottons until there and I didn't really get obsessed with them till I tripped over finding a pattern that I thought was do-able for me. It's the Schoolhouse Tunic by Sew Liberated. Apparently it was quite the buzz online a few years ago when it first came out. 

My mom had also asked me to do some minor alterations for her and with my getting my sewing skills sharpened I just remembered that I used to do sewing for myself, that I have actually made some small quilts and I have a darn good sewing machine at home. I also found my serger from 20+ years ago tucked in a corner of a closet, dusted it off and will take it in for much needed maintenance.

So, as you can see, I've been bitten by the sewing bug and the fabric-holic bug!  While I haven't found Liberty cottons I did find some cheap cottons on sale so I can try out the fitting of the pattern and polish up my rusty sewing skills. I remember the fabric stashing bug that I went through when I was quilting. Well, it's back!

I've been spending a lot of time online looking for those cottons but also easy to sew patterns. This is a new arena for me and it's so easy to spend hours lost online! I gotta stop!

Meanwhile everything else have taken a back seat. Julius was wondering why my painting tray is empty! 

My roses seem to be finally in full bloom despite the up & down weather. 

So, we'll bid you farewell for awhile while I muck away at the sewing machine, the easel, the garden, and maybe some stitching! Oh yeah, and we've been watching the World Cup games. I don't know if it's my imagination but the games seem to be better than they were the last time around - more excitement, more goals.
Take care and we'll see you soon!  Summer will officially arrive in a few days!