Monday, 4 May 2015

May WIPocalypse

Is it true? It's really May! Not only that but it's WARM!!! Actually today was warm enough that we need the air conditioning in the car and that's when we discovered that it's not cooling all that well. So as soon as I'm able to take the car in I guess I can add that to the brake job. Ouch! 
Actually I love the heat and I can do without the air most of the time. It's just that today was soooo windy that we couldn't hear ourselves talk in the car so we turned on the air to cool things down and quiet them as well. Wasn't long though before those windows were open again and we travelled the rest of our journey in silence. 

The warm weather is getting me motivated to stitch since I'm not able to garden yet. I'll be depending on my boys to help me out with that again this year. The first day of the month led to a new finish.... Primitive Betty's Pure & Pleasant.

I'm on the hunt now for some fabric to finish this one off with. I love the blues and browns which is what attracted me to this design in the first place.

BBD Button Box is back in my rotation again and I should have some updated photos soon.
In the meantime I had a new start..... With Thy Needle & Thread In Season. I'm just getting going with this one but loving every stitch so far! I'm using the recommended fabric and floss.

My WIPocalypse 2015 list isn't being whittle down a lot but as per the norm I'm adding new designs to it constantly.

I'm finally starting to feel more comfortable driving distances in the car and as a result I was able to see both of my husband's spring concerts with his two community concerts. I must admit though that after an hour drive each way and sitting for more than an hour that I was pretty darn stiff afterwards and tired to boot.
Sunday I decided to try going into Ottawa for the day with my hubby to church and then to brunch after with a friend. We picked an awesome day to have our brunch outdoors along the Rideau Canal at the Canal Ritz

 This is one of our favourite eating spots and let me tell you, it's a lot more enjoyable to see the Canal like this than the last time I saw it!

The Rideau Canal is known as the world's largest skating rink (7.8 km long or 4.8 miles) and they had a record breaking season of 59 continuous days of skating. Like I said, I'll take the current condition!

That about covers things here. I'll be seeing the surgeon for the first time this week since my replacement and getting the official okay to drive. Yahoo! Then watch me go!!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

April's Smalls

 This month I had my small stitched up very early in the month, just in time for Easter.

This is He Is Risen, designed by Jenny Hoffman of Country Rustic Primitives. There are very few designs out there that highlight the reason why we celebrate Easter so I was really pleased when I saw Jenny's new release. It was a quick stitch and it will be made into a pillow tuck when I'm feeling up to using the machine again.

Primitive Betty's Pure & Pleasant is on the home stretch now. I should have it finished up by day's end and so I'll hold off with a pic until it's completely finished.

I finally got around to finishing up Blackbird Designs My Dear from their leaflet The Gift Is Small. I wasn't happy with my dye lots of floss and put it on hold until I could decide what to do with it. In the end I used other overdyed threads in my stash as well as DMC to complete it. I didn't like the phrase My Dear on the piece and instead made it my own and stitched My Work.

  I haven't done nearly as much stitching during my recuperation as I had hoped for. As my physio routine increases in length and difficulty so does my fatigue level. I often find myself taking an afternoon nap. Besides that I can't seem to settle in one spot for very long. I sit a few minutes, then I'm up and moving around, sit down again for a short time, move around again. You get the picture. It generally results in not much of any one thing getting completed. I'm just not comfortable sitting, walking or standing for any length of time. A good portion of this is due to the stiffness in the knee which will work itself out in good time. Unfortunately the patient is impatient!!

I was pleased to see this fine fellow in his newly acquired summer coat! I love spotting the bright yellow again as they arrive at our feeder. In addition, last night we had a couple of visitors to our backyard which appeared to be going through some sort of mating behaviour. In any case the female wasn't impressed and kept slapping the male in the face before he finally grew tired and took off. For all I know, they're both males and were just having a tiff!

Sorry about the picture quality. It was getting dark, my battery was weakening and I was trying to take these through a dirty window. Photography at its best.....not!

I'm getting some new starts kitted up and hope to have some photos of my progress for you in the very near future. See you soon!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Out in the Gazebo Stitching!

The tulips may not be open yet but laundry is out on the line and the gazebo is back in operation so spring is here as far as I'm concerned! Our gazebo is actually more like a solarium and it maintains the heat of the sun as long as the windows are left closed. That makes it perfect to sit in during our recent sunny afternoons. The outdoor temp may be a bit cool yet but it's comfy cozy in the gazebo's interior. Bob got it all cleaned up on the weekend and found the cushions for the furniture.

 I've been spending some quality stitching time out there recently. As you can see, Clarisse is pretty happy that gazebo season is here too!

The warmer weather has prompted me to start something new for spring. This sweet little stitch by Primitive Betty was calling to me.
This is called Pure and Pleasant.

 I love the blues and browns in this piece and it's such a pleasant design indeed!

After some neglect I brought out My Dear which you may recall is from Blackbird Designs The Gift is Small leaflet. I wasn't happy with the colours as they appeared on my fabric and after some deliberation I have swapped a few floss for other variations. 

I'm still working with the colours as I go along. I might change the called for Parchment which appears in the chain motif to the right of the bird. It just doesn't stand out enough on this fabric which is a 30ct Abecedarian linen.
Here's another pic of the same piece in different light. I've also displayed with it some of my new bone button collection. I use these particular types of buttons a lot on my finishes and found these beauties on Etsy.

The floss I had on order for BBD Button Box has now arrived. I'm much happier with the dye lot on this bunch and hope to resume stitching on this piece soon.
Also I have another of the new market releases all kitted up and ready to go. Hopefully I'll have some pics soon.

I neglected to post pics of two other gifts which I received during my convalescence. My cousin sent me two of the sweetest needleminders. One is a witch's hat and the other is a red owl. When I went to take a pic I discovered that I've misplaced the owl already! It will turn up eventually especially now that I'm feeling well enough to get back to some light housework. In the meantime, here's the witch's hat.

My dear friend and stitching buddy Pam knows of my love of birdhouses and brought me the sweetest little tabletop version of what looks like a purple martin house or is it a church?

I am so grateful for the many cards, gifts, visits and good wishes from all my friends both online and locally. Your good cheer has certainly helped in my recovery. Physio is going well but does result in some afternoon naps after a good session! In just one week I've increased the flex in my knee by 7 degrees. I hope things continue to improve in this manner and I'm out and about more as the weather gets better and better.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

April's WIPocalypse

Happy Spring everyone! I'm also hoping everyone is enjoying a lovely and blessed Easter weekend. Things will be rather quiet here this year as I recuperate but we can always celebrate later.

One thing that I have had as I recuperate is lots of stitching time. It's a bit sporadic though since I can't seem to settle on some days but I am making progress and have a new start to share with you.

 This is Blackbird Designs Button Box from their new book In Friendship's Way.  I've decided to put it on hold for now though until some new floss arrive. I'm not happy with the dye lots that I have for the Old Brick (used on the flower on the right) so I've placed an order for more and hopefully the colour will be what I'm looking for. This particular colour is used quite a bit throughout the design including the bricks on the house. 

In the meantime I'm just starting to pick up again on BBD My Dear. You may recall I started this a few weeks back but I wasn't happy with some of the colours in this one too. So I've been through my stash and I'm trying out a few different combos to see what works. Wish me luck!

I did have two finishes recently. One is Country Rustic Primitives He Is Risen which I'm holding back as my Smalls SAL for this month. I'll post pics on the 25th of this month.
In addition I finished off this sweet little piece as a housewarming gift for a friend.
This is Threadwork Primitives My Work.

Finishing on this will take place later when I'm more comfortable sitting at my sewing machine. I'm also considering adding my initials to this right above the flower on the left. I'm checking out various alphabets to see if I can find something that will work in that space.

My friends and family have been very good to me following my surgery. I've received many lovely gifts and lots of visits which really help to pass the time. This week I received another lovely handmade gift from my stitching buddy Theresa. She made me one of her fabulous pinch pockets and personalized it with my initials. When I opened it I found a skein of DMC hiding inside! She used a lovely fabric for the lining and the backing.

She also sent me a BBD chart, Dear Friend, as well as a lovely cut of linen which has been hand dyed by Dames of the Needlework. I'm saving the linen for a Halloween project that it will work perfectly for.

I've also received more than 6 different flower arrangements! Several have already dropped their flowers but there are a few remaining to brighten up our home. Just look at the colours of these bright daisies! They've brought a touch of spring indoors.

 Then my youngest son Chris dropped by yesterday with his girlfriend and they brought me this gorgeous rose and a pot of Muscari, also known as Grape Hyacinth.

 I am so very blessed to have so many people who care for me. Thank you to each and every one of you who have made my recuperation so much easier. Hugs!!

I hope that all of you are as blessed as I am and that you and your families have a very lovely Easter!


Spring Fling Giveaway

Nancy over at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe has done it again. She's having an incredibly generous Spring Fling Giveaway. A winner will be drawn this Easter Sunday. Drop by and pay her a visit before then and join in the fun!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A Little Luck

With the month of March signifying the arrival of St. Patrick's Day and because we can all use a little luck, I decided to stitch up something with that theme for this month's Smalls SAL. I found just what I was looking for with this sweet little design by Nan Lewis of Threadwork Primitives. 

As soon as I saw this I knew I had just the right fabric to complement the design. I added a couple of old buttons and some matching trim from the dollar store to finish it off. I'm pretty happy with the results.

I'm now home recuperating from a knee replacement. I had a bit of a bad day yesterday but when I opened up yesterday's mail it brought a huge smile to my face.

  This sweet little ditty was designed and made especially for me by my dear friend Nan who has been thinking of me during my recuperation. Isn't it gorgeous?!  The fabrics are really lovely.She knows how much I love deer so she made sure there was one in the stitching and adding my initials was also special. It now sits on the table by my stitching chair, holding my scissors and spare floss.
Thank you so much Nan! I love it!!

I've had some new purchases arrive from my order following the Nashville needle market. I loved so many of the new designs and I will be starting on one of these in the very near future. You'll just have to wait to see which one!
 I'm just starting to feel well enough to get back into my stitching since my surgery. I was uncomfortable at first and found it hard to settle down. Now I have several ideas of spring pieces that I want to get started at. I hope to have pictures of some new starts on my next post. Until then, Happy Spring! 

Friday, 13 March 2015

A Quick Update

It's been absolutely lovely here recently. We've had a couple of milder days with lots of sun and our snow is melting, bit by bit. I know spring is on its way but I always dislike this time of year. The snowbanks are a dirty gray from all the road spray and there are potholes and puddles everywhere. Besides the potholes on the roads, the roads themselves start to heave and dip due to the freeze-thaw cycle. It's impossible to drive certain routes at this time unless you want to do some serious damage to your vehicle. 
On the up side, the days are longer and now the time change has occurred so are the evenings.

Today is a dull, cloudy day but despite that we've had a few visitors to our feeder.
 First came the purple finch and exactly why do they call it purple when it's obviously red?

He was followed by a common redpoll. We don't see as many of these. They are sub-arctic birds and only venture south occasionally. He looks a bit chilly, doesn't he?

We've heard robins singing but haven't actually seen one yet.

I've had some quality stitching and finishing time this week and have a few finishes to show you.

This is Threadwork Primitives Wintertime. As I finished stitching the border I realized a small error. I counted wrong on my deer to the right which resulted in the placement of the upper snowflake being too high by one row. Consequently the border touches it. At this point though I was not about to frog the whole deer and snowflake. It's my own unique version! Interesting though because this type of mistake would have driven me crazy in the past. Am I mellowing? Who knows, lol?

Then I finished up this sweet little pillow for a very dear friend. As soon as I laid eyes on this pattern I knew exactly who it was going to. The last pic is of the fabric I used for the backing. This design is by Annie Beez Folkart.

 I also finished up a cute St. Patrick's Day finish for this months Smalls SAL commitment but you will have to wait until the 25th of the month to see this one.

I've been working on Briar Rabbit over the past two days and I'm making progress. Just a couple of leaves, a couple of letters and the bunny himself and then this will be done.

The lighting here today is just the pits and I can't get a decent photo of my stitching. The fabric I'm stitching on is actually much darker than it appears.

A new start I have on the go is Threadwork Primitives My Work. 

 This one will also be going to a friend as a housewarming gift.

I've picked out a couple more small starts for Easter stitching including He Is Risen by Country Rustic Primitives.  
I also have a couple of ideas for some larger designs but they will have to wait until I get home from the hospital, during my recuperation. Perhaps one of the new market releases?

I probably won't be posting again until the end of the month after I'm home. I'll see how well I'm progressing with my physio, etc.
See you soon!