Thursday, 27 September 2007

A finish...almost!

My button pack arrived today for my Blood Donor piece. Right after supper I sat down to sew them on. I sewed on the bats and ghost first but it wasn't until I reached for the little moon when I realized that this one had to be glued on. The same goes for the star. For the picture I've just placed them on. I'm afraid that I'll make a mess of things trying to glue them on. Can anyone give me any tips? Myself , I'd rather just get 2 replacements which can actually be sewn on.

The mail also brought me an early Christmas gift and I'm so excited!

I've been wanting a portable ott-lite for awhile now. So many times when I travel I can't stitch because I don't have the right light and I end up with eye strain if I try. Also one of our TVs is in our bedroom. Sometimes I'd like to stitch there while watching it but the light is really poor in that room. So I've been watching for a good price on one of the lights. When I found one earlier in the month I mentioned it to my DH and he told me he'd get it for me as an early gift. This way I'll be able to bring it with me on the Cross Stitch Cupboard Stitching Retreat in October. It also has a magnifying lens which is perfect since it seems I need that more and more each day!

I've been working an awful lot of overtime lately and not necessarily by choice. However the extra pay has allowed me a few extras such as some framing. Michael's craft store had a 50% off framing sale last week so I took a couple of pieces in with me to have estimates. I really only expected to get one piece done but since there were no mats involved I was able to get two done, Brittercup's Brotherly Love and Haunted Halloween. I'll post pictures when they're done.

This pic was taken on a recent boat trip on the St. Lawrence. The weather has been so great lately that after work I've been meeting my DH at the dock in Morrisburg where we've been heading out for short drives. We stopped at a marina in Iroquois to check it out and this is when we spotted this fellow. He certainly didn't seem bothered by our presence. I love herons and keep hoping to get a good shot of one as it takes flight but no luck yet. It won't be long before the boat is stored again until spring. Where did the summer go?

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

No stash yet!

I keep checking the mail but Canada Post keeps disappointing me. I'm waiting for some new stash from various places such as my SB&B order and some ebay wins but nothing is in sight yet! The last few times I've placed an online order I find that things have been getting tied up at customs. Not that I've had to pay any duty. It just seems to stall there. The order is shipped pretty quickly but it seems to take forever to get here. Or maybe that's just our post! I've also won a few Praire Schooler charts on ebay that I'm anxious to have a look at. I'm a new fan of this designer. Oh well, we'll see how patient I'm am!

I finished Blood Donors on the weekend but I'm waiting for the button collection for it to arrive. As soon as that arrives and they're all sewn on then I'll take a picture and post it.
I decided that I'd get started on an ornament next. I've gone ahead with the SamSarah Joy Ornament from the JC preview issue. The day after I got started I found the 2007 ornament issue was finally in the stores here. The ornament I'm doing appears in the issue with 2 snowman and spells Love. I'm using a combination of DMC and Weeks leftover threads that were in my stash. I'm using some lovely fabric from Country Stitch Kiwi Illusions. I bought a few pieces on ebay and was surprised at how nice it is. I really love the colours and it's such a soft fabric. The piece I'm using is almost identical to the fabric used in the magazine for this ornament. I haven't got enough done yet for a picture but maybe by the weekend I should.

I can't believe that October is almost here! The weather here the past two days has been warm and humid. I worked the weekend but my days off were Monday and Tuesday which were both lovely. Monday afternoon I actually sat out on the lounger for most of the afternoon and read my Harry Potter book. I'm almost finished the Half Blood Prince. With any luck I'll get the last book for Christmas. My DH never knows what to get me so I'll add this to the list this year.
On Tuesday I headed for the states and did a bit of shopping while our money is so close to par. I drove to Watertown, NY which is a 2 hr drive from my place. It's the first time in a very long time that I've been over to NY. We used to go on a regular basis since my ex-husband's family lives there. There's an apple festival held every year just outside of Syracuse which I'd love to go to again. It's much more than just apples. They have huge tents set up which are full of crafts. There must be 7 or 8 of them just packed with every type of craft imaginable. Plus of course, the homemade apple pies and fritters! It's held in a farmer's field with the fall colors of the Adirondacks as a background. I checked online and the festival still takes place but it's always on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Not really possible since I've always got the boys headed home for the holiday. But if any of you live in that area check it out!

I'm headed off to stitch now and watch the season premiere of my favourite show, Criminal Minds.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Still waiting

I'm still waiting for all my threads I ordered to arrive so I can start Trick or Treat Lane. I'm really anxious to get started on this one. Thanks for all your help and comments on my fabric choice. In response to Judy's questions, the original fabric called for is Lakeside Linen 28ct Autumn Gold. It makes up pretty well all of the background on the piece. I've decided to go with the fabric I pictured from my stash. I think it will look just as good. In the meantime I went ahead with a quick little finish. On Sunday I started Helga Mandl's Blood Donors Needed. This is just a cute little Halloween piece which is also appropriate since I work in a lab and take blood!
Here's a pic of my progress so far. I don't have much left, just the ghost, spider web and border. I'm waiting for the button pack to arrive. I've got LHN Faith kitted up and ready to go after this is finished. By the way Dani, I'm usually stuck in Ottawa for the whole day like that about one Sunday a month so I think next time I will take you up on your offer to stitch with you for a few hours. It's just too quiet by myself and the day seems to drag.

Today was an absolutely beautiful fall day, warm and sunny. It's just too bad I had to work! I'm hoping the weather holds out until my days off next Mon & Tues. I know it's supposed to be a little cooler by then but that's okay. We'd like to take a day and head either to Gatineau Park in Quebec or to Lake Placid in NY. It's about a 3 hr drive to Lake Placid so it all depends on whether or not we can get back in time for rehearsal for Bob. If time doesn't permit then we'll head to Quebec. The leaves are really starting to change now. I took a few pictures on my way home from work this afternoon. There are a couple of wooded areas where the trees change fairly early on .

I was online tonight checking out some of the new charts. Has anyone seen the new Mirabilia Christmas Tree? I like this one a lot more than last year's. I love the doves on it. I'll have to add it to my wish list which seems to be growing quickly! I should have some new stash arriving either this week or next. I was successful bidding on a couple of older Prairie Schooler charts. I'm also waiting for some fabric to arrive.

It seems my love of cross stitch is generating some interest at work. During breaks I take my stitching with me. Several women have come up to see what I'm doing and I've learned that there are a few who also stitch. One of the older ladies in housekeeping commented on my Gingher scissors. Since she doesn't have a computer and is not computer literate, I offered to buy a pair for her online. She just wanted a plain pair not the designer ones. I managed to find a pair for her for only $11 including shipping and she is just so thrilled! I've also got one of my male coworkers stitching now! He is just about finished his first piece, a snowman, and he tells me he's hooked. Also one of our secretaries is now bringing her stitching to work. She's currently working on one of those computer generated charts from a picture of her daughter. We're slowly starting to take over the table at break with all our charts, etc.!

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Virtual SAL

I had the perfect day today. I pretty well did nothing except stitch! The SAL that was planned at Rebecca's this weekend was not meant to be. We planned it at the last minute which often turns out to be the best kind. However this time things didn't work out for us so we decided that those of us who could would stitch at home. I'd hoped to finish off my BD Country Garden and did just that! I loved doing this piece and now I'm searching for other BD charts. I know I have at least one other in my stash. Sorry the pictures a bit on the dark side. I just couldn't get the light right. When I used the flash I ended up with some bright spots on the image so I tried the low light setting and ended up with this. It's so much easier when it's daylight. I'll try another one tomorrow.

Today was a washout for anything other than stitching. It was cold and miserable. We only had a bit of rain in the morning but it remained overcast until late in the afternoon when the sun finally started to show itself. When the sun finally came out I headed out to check on the garden. I took a picture of my welcome basket on the front of the house. For about a year now I've been looking everywhere for something to hang on the front of the house which would hold a planter of some sort. Finally this past spring I found this welcome planter at a nursery in Marionville which is about 20 min. from our place. They'd already filled the planter with an ivy geranium which really took hold. It's spread quite nicely and I just love the colour as well as the way it has started to weave its way under and around the wrought iron.

Now I'm off to decide what to start stitching next. I have to have something to take with me in the morning to Ottawa. It's one of those times when we're in town for the whole day. The church my DH plays the organ at is in Ottawa and following the service he's rehearsing for a recital he's playing in that evening. So until the actual recital I have about 6 hrs to kill! It's just too much driving to go home and come back again at night. Sometimes I head to the stores . My LNS used to be open on Sundays but they changed their hours and they're not open any longer on Sunday. So I'll take my stitching to pass the time.

The threads I ordered for Trick or Treat Lane haven't made their appearance here yet so I'm looking for something small to start. I had a look at this month's issue of Just CrossStitch where they previewed some of the ornaments from the 2007 JC Ornaments issue. I love the Joy Snowman by SamSarah designs. That's a possibility. Also from Patterns Online I downloaded a chart by Helga Mandl called Blood Donors Needed. Since I work in a hospital lab I thought it would be a cute one to finish for the wall in our blood taking room! I'm off now to check on fabric and threads in my stash.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Giving Punchneedle a try

I received the fall class schedule from my LNS online and noticed a class is being offered in Punchneedle. I was in their shop recently and saw some of the completed designs. They looked like they'd be a lot of fun to do so I was happy to see they're offering classes in the technique. Any fellow bloggers tried this yet? Anyways I've just left a message on their answering machine to say I'm interested and I'm waiting to hear back from them with the details. Classes are offered on Saturdays which is perfect since I often accompany my DH into town on those days.
In the meantime I've been working on my new
Blackbird Design. I haven't done a lot of stitching this week but what I have done is really enjoyable. This is my first Blackbird Designs pattern that I've done. It's called Country Garden and I'm enjoying it so much that it makes me want to run out and pick up a few more of their designs. Several co-workers have been commenting on this one as well. I had hoped to attend a SAL at Rebecca's place this Saturday and possibly finish this one up. However I've not been feeling all that well and decided not to do the drive but stay put instead. I find when I'm on a SAL I accomplish a lot more than I do at home. There just seems to be too many interruptions at home and I never seem to get done what I'd hoped to.

I received some of the threads I'm waiting for to do Trick or Treat Lane. I'm still going through my stash looking for fabric for this one. I have one piece of linen that could work but I'm not all that sold on the colour. Here's a picture of the fabric with the design. It's 25ct rather than the required 28ct so it would end up being a little larger. If I don't go with this fabric then that means I can't start this right away. I'll either have to take a trip into my LNS or have a look at what's available online. I prefer to look online since it's cheaper but that also means waiting for the mail. Here in Canada that can take awhile. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I'm hoping to head out to the apple orchard myself. There's one just a 15min drive from my place.
Mmmm, I can taste them already!

Saturday, 8 September 2007

A visit home

I've just had an unexpected visit home from my two youngest sons. Number 2 son Dan knew that I had a couple of days off work and was heading into Ottawa so he asked if he could join us. He has a friend from high school who is about to become a father anytime now (twins!) and wanted to visit for a bit since he figures he'll be tied up very shortly! At the same time, number 3 son Chris called and asked if we could pick him up and bring him home for a couple of days (he attends school in Ottawa). He was jogging home from work the other night and cut through an opening in a fence. It was dark and somehow he managed to hit the fence post with his foot. It's quite swollen and he's been having trouble walking on it. He told me about this a couple of days ago. When I suggested he have it looked at, he came up with all kinds of excuses - school had just started, he couldn't miss work, he didn't have time.... After trying to hobble about the last few days he finally gave in and asked us to take him to get some x-rays. Yep, it's broken! He has to wear an air cast for the next month and stay off it as much as possible. Yeah right, like that's going to happen! He's agreed to the cast but that's as far as it goes. He was heading in for an 8 hr shift at work today,claims he's a poor student and needs his spending money!
Sooo, I ended up spending my days off with both boys. Friday was a gorgeous day so we sat outside and caught up with each other. This was interspersed with various trips to clean out my cupboards! (Don't you have any snacks, Mom?). Chris' schedule this semester gives him Mondays and Fridays off. I wish I worked a week like that! However he has classes from 9 until 6 on Tues- Thurs. We rented the movie Premonition last night which I recommend if you haven't seen it already.
Then this morning I took Dan back to his place on my way to work and Chris rode back into Ottawa with Bob. Now I'm home and it's so quiet again! Isn't it amazing how when they're home all their friends seem to find out and the phone never stops?!
I managed to finish off Peaches the beginning of the week and I've made a new start on Blackbird Designs Country Garden. All this before the boys arrived, since there was no time afterwards. My french knots on the cats' eyes aren't showing up all that well. I hate doing them and suspect I'm not quite getting it right. Why do I find them so difficult? Any tips?
Anyways I'm enjoying my new start and hoping to get some more done tonight.