Saturday, 6 December 2014

December WIPocalypse

I can't believe it but the year is almost over. This is the last WIPocalypse report for 2014. December is in full swing now with very little time for stitching.The above picture was taken less than an hour ago and signals the end of daylight for today. The day was mild although overcast and I'm not sure that we're going to see that full moon tonight. 

I don't have a lot of stitching to report since last month. I've completed a couple of smalls and started a larger project. My small finishes include Teresa Murgida's Keep Christ in Christmas and Jenny Hoffman's Ornaments for Christmas. Neither has its final finishing complete yet.

My new start and larger project is Plum Street Samplers Promised Lamb. I'm stitching this one on 35 ct WDW Confederate Grey. Not much to show yet but hopefully I'll have made much more progress by the new year.

I have a couple of other smalls that I want to start before Christmas but I'm not sure how much time I'll have.

This week my local village craft group got together as usual but we gathered for a potluck first. It's a Christmas lunch but our hearts were heavy this year since just days before one of the group passed away.

 Joyce was a breast cancer survivor of 13 years but just one month ago her cancer returned. I was shocked when I heard she was gone so fast. She was an amazing woman who loved crafting and loved sharing and teaching it to others. She had cross stitched many years ago but she loved quilting and knitting. She shared this love with so many children both at the campsite in summer and at her winter home in the south. When once asked how many children she had she replied, "As many as 100!". Rest in peace Joyce. We'll miss your ruddy cheeks and that precious smile.

We decided that our lunch would be a tribute to Joyce so we had a toast in her honour and then continued with our regular get together. I'm the only cross stitcher in the group. A lot of the ladies love to quilt, crochet and knit. Here's a small sampling of their current projects.

Beate with her crocheted German Christmas curtain

Lois' beautiful afghan

Monique putting together her sweater

Andrée's lacy ribbon scarf

Helen modelling her mitten

Virly's baby sweater

Virly is the lady on the left in the above picture. She's the oldest member of our group. I don't remember her exact age but I do know that she is over 90. She is not sewing and quilting as much now that she's moved into a retirement residence but here is a pic of the bag she completed last summer. Love those purples!

 So our lunch on Wednesday was the second of three potlucks I'm participating in this week. The final one will take place tomorrow night following my husband's choir concert. For each of these I've taken the same thing - pumpkin butterscotch gingerbread trifle. 

  It's been a big hit and I'm sure it will go over well tomorrow as well. Yummy!!

Enjoy your weekend and I'll be back with another post soon.

Friday, 28 November 2014

November Stitch From Stash

So I'm just squeaking in under the wire on this post too. We just haven't been home long enough for me to put in any time either on stitching or the computer. 
If you check my previous post you can see my ornament finish by Blackbird Designs which I found in my 2010 issue of the Just CrossStitch ornaments. I have every issue of these ornaments since they started publishing them and it's great fun to pull them out and go through them each year. 

I had two finishes this past month. The first was Fancey Blackett's Brooms by Pineberry Lane which can be seen here. The second was Blackbird Designs House on Acorn Hill. Here is a pic of the finish.

  I purchased 2 new charts over the past month - Threadwork Primitives Give Thanks and Christmas Fruit Basket. I was on a recent road trip with the designer, Nan Lewis, and she was kind enough to bring the one pattern with her so that I didn't have to pay shipping costs to Canada. Thanks Nan!!
The cost of these charts amounted to $23.48. 

So that pretty well sums up my spending for the month. 

I also wanted to share a pic of my Carriage House Samplings Pumpkin Farm which returned from the framer this month. I was so pleased with it as was my friend Thea for whom I stitched this one.


Not much else to report for the month. I'm going to sit down and stitch tonight for the first time in several days. I'm starting one from my stash by Plum Street Samplers, Promised Lamb. I know it won't be down before Christmas but hopefully it will be well on its way. I'll also be stitching up another ornament or two. 
Now I'm off to pull out my stitching. Yeah!!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

November Smalls SAL

I barely squeaked in my finish this month. I had very little time for stitching and only started this ornament this past weekend on the 22nd.I finished it up this morning. Here is Blackbird Designs Floral Gift from the 2010 Just CrossStitch Christmas ornament issue.

I found the perfect fabric to finish this off while I was away 2 weeks ago. I took a road trip to Akron, Ohio. The purpose of the trip was to attend the From Our Hands & Hearts show in Peninsula, Ohio. Now this show takes place quite a ways away from my home in Ontario but I combined the trip with a visit home to Windsor to see my Mom as well as a visit to Michigan to see my sister. Most of all, this trip was an opportunity to connect with several stitchers that I had been in contact with on Facebook for awhile. Pat, Jim, Jodi, Nan and Tee, it was a real pleasure to finally meet all of you. I had soooo much fun and look forward to connecting again in the future.

We had an awesome time! The show took place at Boston Township Hall, the site of a former high school. It was the perfect venue for this.

I tried taking photos during the event but there were so many people that it was difficult and many of my photos were blurred. To see some photos of the booths and items for sale just click on the link above for the From Our Hands site.

Here's a group photo taken of all of us while visiting a local quilt/needlework shop, The Fabric Peddler. As you can see, none of us walked out empty handed! A special thank you goes out to the owner, Barb Miller Moore, for making us feel so welcome.

lt to rt - Pat, Jim, Jodi, Nan, me and Theresa
 A special highlight of the event was meeting Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm.  Thank you Pat S. for sharing this pic with us.

Lori was delightful and made everyone feel so welcome. I loved her booth and all of her handmade items. I came away with a couple of her punch needle ornament finishes which will be hung on my little twig tree this Christmas.

Although I tried punch needle with not much success a few years ago, my stitching friends have convinced me to give it another try.

At the tail end of my trip, while visiting with my sister in Michigan, I got word that my MIL had died just 10 hrs short of her 96th birthday. I was to have joined her for lunch at her retirement home on her birthday. So instead I returned home to Windsor to help my husband's family prepare for her funeral while my husband caught a flight from Ottawa to join us. She was a remarkable woman and I have a lot more to speak of her but I will leave that for another post. It's getting late and my eyes are growing heavy.

I want to take this opportunity to wish all of my American friends and family a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family time and try not to get swallowed up by all that Black Friday madness!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

November WIPocalypse and morning visitors


So Halloween has flown by already and the start of the Christmas season is in full force. We had a lovely fall evening for our trick or treaters and several of our neighbourhood kids dropped by. Loved these little fairies! I wish I'd taken a pic of their wings. They were awesome! As of today there is still about 6 more weeks of autumn but winter is definitely creeping around the corner!

It won't be long before this year has drawn to a close. I'm pretty much stitching as much as I did last year but I've varied from my original choices as I knew I would. My stitching tends to go with my moods. Also new releases often easily sway me into veering away from my first choices. This month I stuck to stitching charts that have been hiding in my stash for a bit.

Two of those charts were finished in the past week. The first is a freebie design from The Primitive Hare called Witch's Kitchen and can be seen on my previous post here.
The second finish is my first of the Fancey Blackett series by Pineberry Lane called Fancey Blackett's Brooms. It's also my first stitch on 40 ct fabric.

I loved stitching this one and it won't be the last Fancey Blackett that I stitch!

The rest of the past month was spent putting in more time on my Blackbird Design, House on Acorn Hill. I've spent a lot of time making colour substitutions on this one because the dye lots of floss for my leaves were just too similar. I wanted more variation and I'm happy with the looks of things so far.

  Just the border remains to be stitched and this will be finished too. Mind you, that border is full of acorns and will take me awhile yet!

 Now my mind has turned to choosing some Christmas designs for smalls and one larger project. Nothing decided yet.
Next week I'm taking a girls' jaunt and meeting up with some of the stitchers and bloggers that I have been chatting with for some time now. I'm so excited! We are meeting up at the From Our Hands show in Peninsula, Ohio.  Two of the designers participating in the show include Stacy Nash and Lori Brechlin (Not Forgotten Farm). Nan Lewis of Threadwork Primitives is also attending and will be rooming down the hall from me. There are also several other blogging and F/B friends attending that I'm so anxious to meet! It should be awesome!!  I'll try and get some great pics to share with you upon my return.

The title of this post refers to some morning visitors who landed in at our place. Literally! Bob went out to change the seed in our feeder and suddenly they were flying in from all directions. Here's a few pics I snapped in the process.

This is the first that we've seen of the female cardinal since spring. In past years she always arrived with her mate around sundown to visit the feeder. This summer he came alone and we wondered if something had happened to her. This morning she was back with hubby in tow.

 The next visitor was a bit of a surprise. We've had woodpeckers visit us before but always the Downeys. For the first time we had the Hairy Woodpeckers visit. I first saw the female on the far side of the suet. I mentioned to my husband that this woodpecker was quite a bit larger and didn't look like it needed any food. 

Then I clued in when the male arrived that these were indeed Hairy woodpeckers. They average about 3-4 inches more in size than the Downeys.

Next Mr. Robin arrived. I think he should be travelling a little further south at this point!

I'm not sure but I think this little fellow is a Nuthatch. 
See you all soon!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

October Smalls SAL

I had really hoped to get in more than one small project this month but time just got away on me. Consequently this is my one and only Halloween small stitch which as you can see is still lacking the final finishing. This is Witch's Kitchen by The Primitive Hare and is a freebie which is available on her site here.

 I'm already scouting out some smalls for next month's SAL. My mojo has somewhat deserted me though and I just don't feel like any new starts. I must be sick!!

I know that winter is just around the corner but I was a little surprised when I came across this fellow on my way home late this afternoon.

We had a large number of the snowy owls in our area last year due to a shortage of food in their own habitat. The flew further south than they had ever been seen before. I wasn't sure how many we would see this year and I certainly didn't expect to see one here quite this early! Now I'll be keeping an eye out to see if others are arriving. 

My youngest son dropped by this weekend for a short visit. While he was here he decided to get started on some pumpkin carving for me. He picked out a pattern, got my pumpkin cleaned and scraped and then transferred the pattern onto the surface. After that he ran out of steam and I ended up carving out the pieces. This design was a bit of a challenge to carve but the results were certainly worth it.

This piece took about 2 1/2 hrs to complete so we'll see just how ambitious I am when it comes to doing another. 
Happy Halloween!!! 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

October Stitch From Stash

October has been one of those month where I seem to have lost my mojo for a good part of the month. I picked up a respiratory bug early in the month which I just can't seem to shake the remnants of. Most evenings I'm just too tired to stitch and my daylight hours have been taken up with other activities. Nonetheless I was rather surprised at exactly how much stitching I have accomplished. Most of this was done during the past week or so.

As you can see, Fancey Blackett's Brooms didn't advance too much this month.

 Carriage House Samplings Pumpkin Farm was finished off right at the beginning of the month prior to my getting sick. It can be seen at this post here. I dropped it off at the framer this week and will have it back in a couple of weeks.

With this finished off I allowed myself a new start from my stash by Blackbird Designs - House on Acorn Hill. I loved the colour scheme on this one from the very first time I saw the chart. As with many of the charts, either the lighting when the picture was taken or the dye lots of the floss result in far different results when you start stitching. Here are three of the main colours of floss that were called for in the stitching of the leaves and the acorn.

These are 3 different colours of floss but the dye lots of each resulted in 3 floss which didn't give me much variation in colour. The chart also called for Gentle Art Mulberry for some of the leaves and the lettering. My dye lot was so dark that it wasn't much different than the above colours. As a result I've done a lot of substitutions with this piece and I'm pretty happy with the results so far. My lighting here tonight wasn't the best. There really is much more variation in daylight between the different leaves.

I'm pretty close to a finish on The Primitve Hare's Witch's Kitchen.  I counted wrong and had to frog out some of the motifs on the right but all is well now. I should have this finished up by Halloween since only the border is left.

There was one chart I purchased last month that I forgot to include in my count but since it was my exemption month it doesn't count anyways. The chart in question was another Pineberry Lane Fancey Blackett pdf called October Ride. The only monies I spent this month were for the JCS 2014 Christmas Ornament issue. So I spent a grand total of $9.99! Yippee!!

Christmas stitching should begin any time now so I'm checking out my stash to see what goodies I can come up with. Stay tuned! 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Thanksgiving Greetings

A very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends from our house to your house!

Here are some shots of the beautiful fall foliage which I'm so very thankful that I get to witness in my small corner of the world. These pics were taken over the past couple of days during my travels throughout the country around our village.

I'm not sure what these flowers are, mums perhaps. All I know is that they looked so pretty lining this garden fence.
However you spend it I hope your Thanksgiving is a good one, full of family, friends and food!