Monday, 1 May 2017

April WIPocalypse

A rainy, cool April resulted in a lot stitching here. I love Blackbird Designs and it seems I have a number of them on my list of must stitches for this year. The latest finish is one of their new designs from market and is called It's Spring Fever.

I love all of the blues and browns in this piece. It was a fun, quick stitch and as soon as it was finished I went to work on another of their designs. This one is from the August 2003 issue of Just Cross Stitch and is called Summer Jubilee. I'm Canadian but my sister lives in the U.S. and I thought she might like it for a housewarming gift in her new condo.

I'm stitching this on R&R 18th Century Blackbird linen with one strand and I'm enjoying it very much. Love the collection of colours chosen in this one.  
I have another Blackbird Design all kitted up and ready to go after this one which is also a new release called Winter is Past.

I also finally finished up Paper Snowflakes just as winter left us and spring arrived. This is a design by Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle & Thread. Love the border on this one!

As promised, spring has arrived along with the rain to grow those May flowers. It was time to add a bit of spring decor to the house.

This candle and potpourri arrangement, along with the thread waxers that follow are from the talented hands of Misi at Gable House Goodes. The potpourri is her own scent called Tulips, the candle is a spiced Chai and the little bee skep candle smells of honeysuckle!
Here are a couple of the lovely thread waxers that she made.

That's about it for this month. Hopefully May will be just as productive. After all, outdoor gazebo stitching has arrived! 

Friday, 28 April 2017

April Smalls

There's been much more stitching than usual over the last month. It must be all those rainy, miserable days that did it! Who feels like doing anything except stitching on days like that? I managed to finish two smalls, another slightly larger piece and I got started on a new project. In addition, I did some final finishing on some pieces which was long overdue.

I'll show you my new start as well as the larger finished piece on my next post for WIPocalypse. One of my small finishes is for an exchange gift at the Prim Stitchers Society retreat in Columbus, Ohio which I will be attending later next week. I don't want to spoil the surprise so I'll show you that next month after retreat is finished.
My other small finish is for a friend's birthday. I haven't given it to her yet but she doesn't follow my blog so it's safe to post it. Here is J'Aime Les Boutons (I Love Buttons), designed by Danybrod.

As you can see, I added bone buttons along with some others from my collection as well as some lovely lace which I found in an antique shop last summer. This pillow is larger than it looks. I stuffed it with wood shavings and crushed walnut shell. I hope she likes it!

The remaining pillows are ones that you have probably already seen the stitched pieces on my blog over the past year and now I finally got around to finishing them up.

The next one is filled with dried lavender and it smells sooooo good!

This year Canada celebrates its 150th birthday. In celebration of this, Jeannette Douglas has released a series of Canadian Patriotic Snippets. 
There are 12 charts in the series and 2 are being released every other month throughout the year. I have the first  4 charts and hope to get started on them in the coming month. They can be stitched as individual pieces or as one in a framed piece. I'm looking forward to adding a few of these to my display bowls.
 Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Monday, 3 April 2017

My March Small

I'm running a little late with my post which seems to be the norm for me anymore. I had one small finish in mind which had to be completed by month's end.
When my granddaughter was here at Christmas she told me that she wanted me to stitch a hamster for her birthday in April. She had even Googled hamster patterns and found the one she wanted. Of course the one she wanted was only a picture of the chart and I had no idea if it was an illegal copy or not. I was able though to see the designer's name on the pic. 
After searching online I found out that the design was from a 1990 Just CrossStitch issue. I managed to snag a copy of the magazine on Ebay. Wouldn't you know it! The design was full of everything I dislike...... half stitches, quarter stitches, backstitching and the use of blended threads. I tackled it with gusto and managed to complete it in a little over a week's time. 
It's amazing what you will do for you kids and grandkids, lol! 
 Here is Hamster, designed by Cathy Livingston.

The original design also contained some long stitches which were meant to be blades of grass. I started to put them it and found they just detracted from the main design so I pulled them all out and left things as is. I'm going to get out the sewing machine next week and stitch this up as a doorknob pillow with a sweet little hanger.
I hope she likes it!! 

Sunday, 26 March 2017

March WIPocalypse

It seems I got a lot more done this past month than I was expecting especially since it was a short month. 
I had a new start in February. It was originally released as a Valentine design last year but I didn't get around to it until this year however I think that once it is framed I will keep it up all year round. Here is Threadwork Primitives Wandering Heart.

This is stitched on 32ct Cherry Pit Brown linen by Dames of the Needle and it gives a lovely rosy glow to the whole piece. I thoroughly enjoyed stitching this and look forward to seeing it framed up. I started this on Valentine Day and it took me a month to complete the design.

I needed a break from Paper Snowflakes but once Wandering Heart was complete I dug it out once more and I'm enjoying it once again. Sometimes you just need a break from a piece for a short time and then you come back to it focused once again.
As you can see from the pic, I'm nearing the finish line on this one!

I'm hoping to have this completed by the month's end. I have a couple of new Blackbird Designs ready and waiting for some attention. 
Later in the week I will post again with a pic of my Smalls SAL finish for this month. It's for my granddaughter. Shhhh, it's a surprise!

Spring may arrived according to the calendar but winter is trying to hold on to it's coat tails. Yesterday and today we woke to snowfall although it has stopped now.  Here are a few of the spring visitors to our feeder over the past 2 days.

Slate-Colored Junco

Purple Finch

Here's Mr. Finch again

Mr and Mrs Dove

 Mr Cardinal, peeking out

There have been numerous chickadees dropping by but they don't sit long enough for a picture. During yesterday's snow I hear a familiar call from the neighbour's yard and spotted these Bohemian Waxwings huddled together. There must have been 20 of them in the tree. I'm sorry about the quality of the pics. It was just too great a distance to get a clear photo.

Our neighbour beside us took down their giant pine tree this past November. It was home to a large number of birds and I was afraid that would put an end to the visitors at our feeder but as you can see from the photos our feathered friends still like to drop by for a meal.
See you soon!

Saturday, 25 February 2017

February WIPocalypse

My post will be brief for this month since I've had some minor surgery on my hand and the dressing & bandages are making it difficult to type this. I'm doing the 2 finger peck, lol! 

I am so pleased to tell you that this month I had a finish of a WIP that has been 3 1/2 yrs in progress. I have always loved This Is The Day but it has been shoved to the side repeatedly in favour of other starts. I was determined that it would be completed this year. This Is The Day is designed by Hands To Work Designs.

I'm so pleased with it! I ran into one problem towards the end and that was that the dye lot of the floss used for the background on the lettering and numbers was completely different from one skein to the other. I don't know why I never clued in. What I did instead was to find a similar colour by another company and use it instead. So the background on the lettering is stitched with one colour and the numbering with another. I think they matched fairly well. The colour of the fabric didn't photograph all that well. It is darker than it appears in the pic.

Following this finish I dug out Paper Snowflakes once more and settled in. Here is the most recent progress pic.

I am actually a little further than this pic indicates as I am almost finished the snow woman's skirt now. 
In addition I have another new start by Nan Lewis of Threadwork Primitives called Wandering Heart. I'll have a pic next month as I'm not very far into it yet.
I'll also have these bandages off by next month and can type more easily. Thank goodness it's my left hand so I am still able to stitch!

Thursday, 23 February 2017

February Smalls

February's weather to date has allotted lots of stitching time. I managed to finish up a large project that I've been working at on and off for 3 years. I'll show pics of it on my WIPocalypse post later this month. In the meantime I got started on one of several smalls projects I pulled out. 

This one stitched up more quickly than I expected. It's by Blackbird Designs and is from their book, A Stitcher's Journey. It's called Tulip House Stitching Companion.

I'm going to finish this one off on a small primitive slate, similar to this finish I did a little while ago.

I wanted to show you the sweet Valentine's package I received from Gable House Goodes this month as part of their seasonal candle club.
In addition to a candle you receive a seasonal mix of potpourri and often some wax melts. The club is closed for this year but I believe it starts up again in the fall.

 Look at those lovely, little roses! They smell heavenly too.

Despite a fairly recent dump of snow the weather has turned rather mild and has attracted a number of feathered friends to our feeder. Here is a sampling of what I observed this week.

 I was thrilled to see the cardinal since he hasn't made an appearance for quite some time. As for the robin, he and a number of his friends stay in the area for the winter. There must be a good food supply for them. Love the purple finch too!

Now I'm off to join my local craft group for lunch and then a couple of hours of stitching. I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Monday, 30 January 2017

January WIPocalypse

It's a beautiful, sunny day today..... the first time we've seen the sun in a couple of weeks! Although the sun is very welcome, the overcast, rainy and snowy days have lent themselves to some great stitching time. 
I continue to plug away at This is the Day but basically I'm just filling in the background stitching so no new progress pic.

I have done very little on the Plum Street Sampler piece I started just before Christmas. It's called Pomegranate Santa and I think I just don't feel like stitching a Christmas piece right now. I will get back to it eventually but for now here is my meagre progress.

My latest start is one which is almost a companion piece to my earlier stitch, WTN&T Heaven and Nature Sing. This is also by With Thy Needle & Thread and is called Paper Snowflakes. There is a similar deer in the piece but instead of the angel there is a lovely snow woman in this one. How do I know it's a snow woman? Well if you follow the link to the completed pic of this you will see that she is wearing a dress! Here is my progress so far:

I'm really enjoying this one and although I haven't quite got to my snow woman yet I don't think it will be very long before I put my first stitches into her. This piece is moving along quite quickly.

There's not much else happening around here right now. I've been hunkered down indoors most of the time. The weather has been so miserable that my Tuesday stitching group has had to cancel for the past 3 weeks. Even the birds have remained hidden with the exception of this lone mourning dove. I suspect that the fact there is a hawk in the area has driven them all into hiding.

So for now I content myself with my stitching, catching up with some taped TV shows and finding new recipes to try out. Oh yes, and always looking for another start!