Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Happy Hallowe'en!

It's perfect Halloween weather here, no rain, mild and a slight breeze. We're up to 87 spooky visitors so far but things are slowing down now and I don't expect too many more. That's down in numbers. Last year I had about 110 kids at my door and I really expected the same this year especially with such good weather. A few of the neighbours around me are retired and no longer opening their doors so perhaps that keeps the kids from this end of the block. After all, we always knew which were the best neighbourhoods to hit! My DS tells me another carload just landed in so we're up to 94 now.
Over the years Halloween was a big thing around our house. We always decorated inside and out and quite often my boys' father would answer the door in costume. I find now that my boys are all gone I don't feel much like decorating . Perhaps if my granddaughters lived closer I would. However I still like to carve my special pumpkins. That's what my boys always called them. Here's a sampling of this year's jack-0-lanterns.

The mailman brought me a special gift this week. At the end of the summer I entered a contest on Vonna's blog. She was celebrating her blogger anniversary and had a draw of which I was lucky enough to be one of the winners. She would make a special little something for each of us. On Tuesday my special gift arrived!! I just love it Vonna! I know I saw pics of it on your blog but they didn't do it justice. It is just the sweetest pinkeep!! Vonna knew that autumn was my favourite season and with this in mind she stitched up a pinkeep on that theme by Prairie Schooler. It's my very first pinkeep and has a place of honour on the dry sink in my living room. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

I've had another new start. A co-worker's daughter is expecting her first child at the end of November. Erin and my oldest son are the same age and often played together when young. I decided that I would do the Trilogy's Baby Spots as a gift for the baby's arrival. Although she already knows that the baby is to be a girl and has chosen a name, I've decided not to take any chances(or jinx things!) and will stitch the name last along with the date of birth. As you can see from my progress pic I haven't got very far on this one yet. I'm off the next couple of days and hope to put some stitches in on it then.

My Snowbirds' SAL has chosen tomorrow as it's date to start but I'm going to be a little delayed. Although I ordered my fabric on Oct. 1st, it has only just come in and was shipped out today. Let's hope Canada Post is good to me and there are no delays in my receiving it. Otherwise I'll just have to spend a couple of days stitching on it to catch up. There are two groups participating in this SAL. One group has chosen LD Paradigm Lost to stitch and the remainder of us has chosen IC Cirques des Cercles. I'm doing the latter. I've chosen a Kiwi Illusions fabric in a soft green (Apple mint) along with some Vicky Clayton overdyed threads called Dragon Hoard. If you check out our blog you'll see some of the lovely threads and fabrics chosen. I'm anxious to get started so I hope that fabric flies here!!

Well, Halloween is over for another year. The doorbell hasn't rung for 30 minutes now.
The final tally - 110! It seems we've equalled our previous numbers after all!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

My first flatfold

After returning to a very hectic work week I was very happy when this weekend arrived, knowing I'd be heading to another SAL. This time the hostess was Dani and the group is our Yahoo Southeastern Ontario stitchers' group. The SAL was slated to start on Friday evening with a sleepover followed by another full day of stitching and a flatfold tutorial. Some of the group were also staying over Saturday night. However I was sooo wiped out at the end of the week that I chose to sleep in on Saturday morning and join the group midday. Besides, Bob was playing an organ recital on the Friday night which I felt I should attend. It turned out to be a very interesting evening with several organists playing music for the macabre to celebrate Halloween! Following a very restful sleep I headed off to Dani's place in the morning and landed in just before noon.
It was the perfect day to stay put and stitch. The rain came down for most of the day but we were comfy cozy inside with stitching, movies, good company and all sorts of munchies.
The group consisted of Rebecca, Chrisanne, Christin, Dani and myself. This was my first time meeting Christin who is a very good stitcher and made me jealous with pictures of her stash closet in her apartment! Talk about stash, Dani then proceeded to show off her stash room!!
Imagine a room with binders full of charts, drawers full of beads and fabric as well as a wide selection of threads. On top of this she has a table and room to do her finishing. I wasn't thinking or I would have taken a picture for you. Thanks ladies! I mentioned these lovely stashes to Bob and he's considering re-doing our extra bedroom as a craft room for me !!

I managed to take a few pictures of the group although Christin was camera shy so I'll have to get her next time. In the left picture we see Rebecca and Chrisanne who are sharing an Ottlite because some of us forgot ours! Thanks Becky for bailing me out. On the right Dani is at work on her RR.

Christin was busy with TW The Castle. Check out her blog for pictures. She's chosen a really lovely piece of fabric. Chrisanne has a number of ornaments to complete (14 if my memory is correct) and tried her best to involve us but there were no takers! Rebecca was working on Xs and Ohs Children of Quilters which is to be a gift for her grandmother. I have a new start, PS Pumpkin Patch.

In the afternoon, Dani took the time to show both myself and Rebecca how to finish one of our pieces as a flatfold. She had emailed us earlier in the week with a supply list we needed so we were all set to learn. After cutting our mat boards she showed us how to lace our pieces rather than pinning them so that we'd be familiar with this method. I chose to do my HM Blood Donors and Rebecca had Lizzie Kate's Fall Y'all. After a couple of hours (and a little cursing!) I had a finish. It's not perfect by any means but I did it!! I'm planning on asking for some of Judy O'Dell's finishing books in the future as gift ideas.
Thanks Dani for all your help. Now that I've seen it done once I think I could manage another on my own.

Following this Dani had a yummy lasagne supper for us complete with Caeser salad and garlic bread. Yours truly supplied a Skor creme pie for dessert and then it was back to more stitching. Don't you just love it! Rebecca took her leave around 8:30 to head back since she was hosting a birthday party for her oldest the next day. I left around 10:00 to join Bob in Ottawa which is only about a 20-25 min drive away. We thought it was just easier to stay there for the night rather than return home since we were both in the area and would only have to return again in the morning for our church service where Bob is organist (an hour's drive from our place). This saves us some commuting time as well as giving us an extra hour's sleep. At the church there is a room complete with couches, kitchenette and bathroom which we take advantage of at times particularily in bad weather. We just leave a couple of sleeping bags at the church. They don't mind having us there because it's extra security for them having someone onsite.
Now I'm home again and headed off to prepare my lunch for work tomorrow. I won't have much stitching time the next couple of nights because I'll be busy carving my pumpkins and roasting seeds. Hopefully the weather will cooperate on Wednesday for all the Trick-or-treaters. I just love Halloween!!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Back to the real world!

As much as I wished the weekend would continue we all know that sooner or later reality sets in. So it was back to the grind this morning. After being spoiled with all the fine meals and snacks I found the hospital cafeteria food a little lacking!

Now I'm home I'm able to share some of my pictures of the weekend with you. The picture above is of the Gananoque Inn, a back view. The brick area at the bottom of the inn where you see the arches is where our stitching room was located. The area directly above that is the dining room. The outdoor patio wasn't in use at this time. The room I shared with Dani was in the main portion of the inn but several of the ladies had rooms in the area to the left where the flower beds are located. Some of these rooms have fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs.

Next you see me and Jeannette Douglas. She is just a super lady and I really enjoyed her class. In the picture I'm holding her newest piece we were stitching called Pomegranate and Pears. Below are Dani and another stitcher Caroline, checking out the project for the next day's class.

At the Saturday evening meal several of the ladies like to make the evening special and dress up. I didn't bring a dress but did have some dress pants and a fancier blouse with me. I thought Dani and I cleaned up well!

Next is a picture of some of the wonderful new friends I made over the weekend. Jeanne and Prima were also "newbies" and are looking forward to returning next year.

Sunday's lunch was a lot of fun with singing and door prizes. Some of the ladies at our table were teasing and saying how all the "newbies" win all the prizes. Right after that they called my name!
I won a lovely bath package including body silk and bath crystals

Dani's turn was next. If you've read her account of the weekend you know by now that Dani held the glass slipper in her goodie bag. I can't believe she managed to keep it a secret!! For being so quiet she won two beatiful oval picture frames.

Bob and I had a great finish to the weekend. He arrived at the inn on Sunday in time for sharing one of those great suppers with me. I figured I might not spend much time stitching after his arrival but not long after we finished our meal he asked if I wanted to go join my fellow stitchers for awhile (About half of the ladies were staying on the extra day until Monday). Turns out he wanted to watch the Boston/Cleveland baseball game! So I left him in the room while I joined the others for some more quality stitching time. Because of this I had a little happy dance later since I was able to finish Faith.

Monday we woke up to the perfect day. It was sunny and the temperature steadily climbed until it felt like August again. After another fantastic breakfast Bob headed off to explore the surroundings while I was booked for a full massage. This was the first time I've ever allowed myself this luxury and boy was it worth it! I could feel all the kinks working their way out. Although we'd had lots of room in which to stitch at the inn, the chairs just weren't as comfortable as my own stitching chair at home and consequently I'd ended up with a sore neck and lower back from being bent over my stitching all weekend. Apparently I wasn't the only one either. Several of the ladies had taken advantage of the inn's spa for the same purpose. After a relaxing hour being pampered I went in search of my DH only to find him booking a tour boat ride of the Thousand Islands. We had hoped to take the tour that Dani had taken a couple of weeks previously but it turned out that that was a 5 hr tour and it wasn't operating that day. Instead we booked a 1 hr cruise out of Ivy Lea. Ivy Lea is a little hamlet or village about a 15 min drive outside of Gananoque and it was on our way home. We had missed the morning tour boat out of Gananoque. So we joined the ladies for one last lunch at the inn, said our goodbyes and headed off.
It was the perfect afternoon for the tour . The last of the fall colours really added to the landscape. For those of you who are not familiar with the region, the Thousand Islands are a chain of islands which straddle the Canadian/US border on the St Lawrence River. They run for about 80km(50 mi) downstream from Kingston, On and are made up of more than 1800 islands. Some of the smallest of these only support a tree or shrubs whereas many others are populated by cottages. Here's an example of one of the smaller islands which supports a cottage.

Then of course there's Boldt Castle which resides on the US side of the river.

It was the perfect finish to a super weekend. Needless to say I've already pre-registered for next's years retreat!

Sunday, 21 October 2007

What a Weekend!

It's Sunday afternoon, I'm incredibly tired but I have had such an awesome weekend here at Retreat! Where do I start?!
I arrived on Friday afternoon at the Gananoque Inn which is absolutely gorgeous! Dani is right, the Inn is first rate and the food is incredible!. I got settled in my room and found my way down to the stitching room which they had set up for us. I couldn't believe the number of ladies already settled and stitching away. What a beautiful sight! I sat myself down and immediately a few of the women came over to introduce themselves. I felt right at home. After stitching for a couple of hours I was just thinking of taking a short break when Dani walked in the room. After catching up I resumed stitching. Shortly afterwards there was a welcome wine and cheese during which time you could mingle with the fellow stitchers as well as check out everyone's recent finishes which were on display. I had taken my "Touching the Autumn Sky" with me. During this time Dani introduced me to Jeannette Douglas who is an absolutely lovely person! It wasn't long before supper and what a meal! I had grilled salmon with risotta and it was soooo good! Dessert was lemon meringue pie. Am I making you drool yet? Following supper Dani and I stayed up 'til about 11:30pm stitching. She was trying to finish up the beading on her model piece.
Saturday began early with a hot and cold breakfast buffet. Classes started at 9:30. I was taking my first class with Jeannette Douglas. The other ladies informed Jeannette that I was a newbie to retreat and this was my first class so I was a "virgin"! Not by the time class was finished though! It was a relatively small group so Jeannette was able to help me out with some specialty stitches. What a treat! It was an all day class broken up by a couple of breaks as well as a lovely lunch. After class we had about 3 hrs to ourselves before supper. I was actually feeling a little sick from having concentrated so hard in class so rather than more stitching I took a short walk up the road to a lovely shop where the retreaters were treated to a discount for the weekend.
I picked up a few Christmas gifts and then headed back for some more stitching. Supper was once again awesome. I don't think I've eaten as much food before as I have on this weekend!
They really know how to wine and dine you! Following supper, goodie bags were handed out to all the retreaters full of charts, threads, etc. Then everyone's names were drawn to pick a gift . Everything was wrapped so what you picked was a surprise. I ended up with a book containing several needlecraft stitches and instructions. I forgot the most important part. When the goodie bags were handed out we were told that one bag contained a glass slipper. Whoever had the slipper was not to tell anyone and would find out why the following day. Nope, it wasn't me!!
Next, more stitching! It was about midnight when Dani and I finally called it a night but we ended up talking in our room until 2:00.
Consequently morning came very quickly! Another incredible breakfast buffet (including making individual omelettes!) and then off to the next class. I'd signed up for a Hardanger class. Dani headed off to another of Jeannette's classes. I really enjoyed the Hardanger. I was terrified at first but it really isn't all that difficult. I managed to cut threads in the right places at least!
I think the most difficult part for me was trying to decipher the pattern but by the end of the class I was getting the hang of it and had managed to complete the design for a scissor fob. The one thing I did learn was that I need to get myself another pair of very sharp embroidery scissors! The class only lasted for the morning and then off to the final lunch. At each lunch there is always a soup and salad buffet followed by your entree which for me was vegetable lasagne. Oh and did I mention the desserts? Over the course of the weekend there were things like chocolate mousse, strawberry shortcake, pecan pie, hot peach cobbler (which was awesome), lemon pie and chessecakes. During every break between classes there was fresh fruit, fruit loaves and fresh baked cookies! I think they're going to have to roll me out of here!!!
The day finished off with door prizes and what prizes! Some included a free framing, a gift basket full of charts, custom made frames, etc. My name was picked and I won a lovely gift set of bath crystals, candle and body silk. Dani also won but I'll let her fill you in on her prize. The final name drawn received a free retreat for next fall or spring since there's also a spring retreat! All I can say is WOW!
I'm using the inn's computer right now so you'll have to wait until Monday or Tuesday when I get home for some pictures. Dani has headed for home ( where did you go to anyways? I looked for you to say bye but lost you somehow!) and now I'm headed back down to stitch until my DH arrives to spend with rest of today and tomorrow with me. The stitching room remains open until 3:00pm on Monday since several of the ladies stay an extra day.
I think I'm very fortunate to have access to such an incredible weekend and will definitely be thinking about next year's retreat!
Thanks Dani for convincing me to go!!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Off to retreat!

Tomorrow after lunch I head off to my first Cross Stitch Cupboard stitching retreat in Gananoque, Ont. Cross Stitch Cupboard is my LNS in Ottawa. I've always known about the retreats but they have been so popular and I was under the impression that it was nearly impossible to get into the Fall retreat. It became so popular that they started up a Spring Retreat for those who could not get into the fall one. It was Dani who mentioned it to me in the spring at a SAL at my house. She had just booked and as far as she knew they were still taking bookings. It's cheaper if you share a room so she suggested we book one together. Sure enough there was room and I was in! The location is really lovely. The Gananoque Inn sits on the St. Lawrence River and offers a gorgeous view. If you check out Dani's blog entry for Oct. 8 you'll see a picture of the Inn. This year Jeannette Douglas is teaching a class which I've signed up for on the Saturday. Sunday I've signed up for a beginner's Hardanger class. I'm told by those who've been to these in the past that I'm in for a real treat! After the stitching weekend is over my DH is driving up to join me. We're staying an extra night at the Inn and we have Monday off to do as we please. We might follow Dani's lead and tour Boldt Castle or we may take a short drive over the border to Watertown, NY for some early Christmas shopping. I can hardly wait!

This past week I was included in the You Make Me Smile Award by Beatrice. Thank you so much Beatrice, you really made my day. I haven't been blogging long but it didn't take me long to learn what a lovely group of people stitchers are! They are all so friendly and generous with their talents. As a rule of the award I have to pass this on to 10 people who make me smile. I know that several of you have already been tagged but since I'm fairly new to this, I'm still adding to my list of blogs that I visit. However I do know that all of you have made me smile at some time or another! I enjoy reading your posts and learning stitching tips from you.

The list includes:

Rebecca of Rebel in Ontario

Dani of Black Belt Stitching Wizard

Vonna of The Twisted Stitcher

Cheryl of Clydeside Stitching

Karen of Little Cat Blogs

Lynne of Queen of My Domaine

Cyndi of Just One More Stitch

Pam of Another Day Gone By

Joanne of Aussie Stitcher

Mindi of What's Up With Wyora?

Please don't be offended if I've not added you to the list. I know that so many of you have been tagged more than once and I was hoping to introduce some new blogs to the list.

I've been feeling better this week and made some progress on Faith. Just the border and a bit more of the butterfly and it's a happy dance. Don't know if I'll get it finished on the weekend with all the other stitching I'll be working on at the retreat but I'm certainly going to try. I've got another project all kitted up and ready to go. I'm going to be doing The Trilogy's Baby Spots for a coworker's daughter who is expecting in late November. Now it's off to pack and get organized for the weekend. I hope to have lots to fill you in on next week! I'll leave you with a picture of my sweetheart Finnigan. He's pretty well an indoor cat but he was quite adamant about going out on the back deck this evening to check things out. After running around out there for a while he came in and promptly went to nap. This is where I found him as I headed down to the computer. What a life!!

Friday, 12 October 2007

Feeling better

At least that's what I thought this morning! I was feeling much better on Thursday morning and headed back into work. However everyone at work is passing this cold around, we are short-staffed and it was just crazy. Throw in the first cold, damp weather of the season and I sort of feel like I've rebounded tonight. Head's all stuffed up again and I'm pretty wiped out. Nothing that a bunch of sleep won't cure though! I'm working the weekend but it shouldn't be as bad as the past couple of days and then I have Monday and Tuesday off to regroup. Thank you all for your well wishes. I see a few others have managed to pick up the bug as well. Hope you're over it soon!

Okay so my battery's all charged now and I got some pics of those Prairie Schooler charts that arrived. I really love these! As soon as Faith is complete, I've got the small sampler from Pumpkin Patch all kitted up and ready to go. It seems I like their seasonal pieces the most. I still would like to get Winter Winds and I believe there is a Spring piece as well. However I'm not as fond of their Santas. I've always been a big fan of folk art but for some strange reason these ones just don't do it for me. However I have thought about doing one for my friend Trish. She absolutely adores folk art. She's commented on my stitching several times (favourably, lol!) and since she's not a stitcher herself I might be tempted to do one of these for her as a Christmas gift. Trish is one of those friends who has everything! She and her husband own a Home Hardware Store and Trish is the craft buyer for the store. I love some of the things she comes home with from the buying trips in Toronto.
I've also thought she might like something by Blackbird Designs. So if I run out of time as the holiday approaches I just might finish off the Country Garden I did earlier for her.

I did manage to get a few more stitches into Faith this week once I started feeling more human.
I haven't done nearly as much as I would have liked. I found myself nodding off more than once!Here's my progress so far.

If you get a chance, drop by Judy's blog and check out how she recently finished Faith. She changed the colour of the border and her butterfly and it looks fantastic!

Voting day in Ontario is over now and all the talk at work was about the Premier's announcement of a new statutory holiday in February. There was more talk about this than about who won the election! For those of you who live in the US and haven't heard, we are to get a new holiday on the third Monday of every February called Family Day. There were a lot of mixed thoughts on this. Several people thought that the amount of money in lost business revenue just wasn't worth it, since in Canada most stores and businesses don't open on stat holidays. Then there is the question of whether or not Heritage Day in Feb. will still exist. I know that this wasn't an official stat holiday but our hospital had adopted it and was counting it as one of the stats for staff. You can bet they're not likely to pay out for two stat holidays in the same month! It should be interesting to see what happens as a result of this.

Fall weather has officially arrived! For the first time, I had to drag out the fall jacket and actually put some socks on! I absolutely hate having to put anything on my feet again other than sandals. I expect on my days off I'll be boxing up the summer clothes and bringing out the sweaters again. Didn't I just put those away?!

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Not just the turkey was stuffed!

It appears everyone left the Thanksgiving meal feeling as stuffed as the bird itself! As for me, well I ended up with a stuffed nose. Yup, a lousy cold hit me on Saturday morning. Started as just a sore throat but by Monday it was a full blown cold. I was scheduled to work the holiday and you never call in sick on a holiday. It's just an unspoken rule. So off to work I headed, runny nose and all. My DH got the turkey in the oven for me after a few calls to me at work.( Which side is up when it goes in the pan? Do I add water to it?). I had prepared everything else in advance, thank goodness because by the time work finished I was finished too! I slept before the meal and had Bob wake me in time to do the gravy. Our guests had all cancelled. Nobody else really wanted to catch the bug. So I was able to come to the table in my housecoat since I had a fever by then. I wasn't able to taste anything so I headed back to bed very shortly. My two youngest sons were home though and they lapped it all up! One of the boys said it must be hard to be thankful when you're sick. I said it could be worse and I was thankful that this was the first time I'd had a cold in two years. Both boys were a very big help with the cleanup and took home large care packages of food. I stayed home from work today though since the cold has moved into my chest now. I tend to get bronchitis so whenever it reaches this stage I make sure I get lots of rest.

The downside to all this is that I haven't felt very much like stitching. I did take a few pictures of some of my stash which arrived. The camera's battery died before I could finish so I'll have more pictures to show later. Most of the fabrics are from Sugar Maple Fabrics. The larger one in the center is a Silkweaver Solo linen. Below are a couple of pictures of the charts I received. On the left is PS Trick or Treat and Shepherds Bush Pumpkin Stew.
On the right is Ink Circles Cirques des Cercles which I will be starting Nov. 1st as part of a SAL.
At this point all the rest of the charts turned out too blurry due to my fading battery. I just love the SB chart! I've never done one of their patterns before and this looks like it would be a fun stitch.

I talked to my oldest son this evening. He's the one who lives in Quebec with his two daughters. The girls have been sick with colds the past week and the youngest who is only 10 months ended up in hospital. Her cold had turned into brochitis (just like her Grandma!). Normally this isn't too serious for an infant but Summer has a heart condition. She was born with two holes in her heart. One has closed but the other is still there and she often has difficulty breathing. Now throw in the bronchitis and you see why she ended up in hospital. She is home now but Jeff says she is receiving breathing treatments and is on a pump. In addition they had to start her back on her heart medication. She is mending slowly but surely. She has to return in November to the pediatric hospital in Montreal where they are following her.
Jeff was feeling a little bummed out by all this and the fact that they don't really celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday where he is in Quebec. He says that they get the holiday off work but nobody really does anything special or prepares a special meal. I told him that it's time to instill some of his customs in his family. That way his girls will grow up with both their French customs as well as the English customs. I told him the next time he's home I'd give him a quick cooking lesson on how to do a turkey. After all, if my DH managed okay then Jeff can too!

I'm off to bed early now to get rid of this miserable cold. Hoping to feel much more like stitching tomorrow!

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

A very Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all my fellow Canadian bloggers! Although I'm working, we are celebrating on the holiday Monday since that works out best for my sons and our guest.
My plans are to cook the turkey overnight on Sunday so there is not that much to do when I get home from work Monday. I'm cooking things in advance over the weekend. As I write this I have a roasted red pepper soup simmering on the stove and the pumpkin pie will be cooked later this evening.
Except for today, the weather has been absolutely marvellous the past week. Warm temps and plenty of sun along with all the fall colours has just brightened everything.We took one final boat ride yesterday and then winterized the boat motor and got the boat covered and ready for storage. On my way home from the river I took this lovely picture of the sunset. The colours were so stunning I just couldn't resist!

Canada Post finally came through this week with a good portion of my much anticipated stash!
I forgot to take a picture during daytime hours so I'll post one in the next couple of days.
Included were several Prairie Schooler charts , some fabric smalls from Sugar Maple Fabric and the chart for my SAL in November. After looking at the new charts I wanted to start everything at once! However my common sense prevailed and I've limited myself to just one, PS Pumpkin Patch. I'll start it as soon as I've got threads. I've already picked the fabric. In the meantime I've put the ornament aside until I decide whether or not to continue with it and I've started LHN's Faith. I haven't got very far on it since I been overloaded at work this week and just too pooped to do anything at night. Here's a pic of my progress so far.

I've decided to join a SAL with some fellow southeastern Ontario stitchers for Nov.1st. The group is split in two, some doing Paradigm Lost and the others doing Cirques des Cercles. I've decided to try the latter and ordered my threads(Vicky Clayton) and fabric(Kiwi Illusions) this week. This is my first undertaking of anything of this magnitude and count on the group giving me a nudge if I start to tire of things or have any problems. It's always much nicer having the encouragement of fellow stitchers. The date for my stitching retreat is fast approaching, only two more weeks! I'm really looking forward to meeting some new stitchers from my neck of the woods.
I'm off now to finish up my soup and then perhaps some stitching. I'll leave you with a picture I took this morning. It was raining lightly and while I was sorting through some recipes at the dining room table I heard a loud cheep. When I looked out the window I spotted this woodpecker at our feeder. In the past we've had some downy woodpeckers visit but this one was larger and we think it is a Hairy Woodpecker. We're going to check it out with a birder friend of ours. Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, 1 October 2007

Ok, so I tried it...

Punchneedle that is. I spent Saturday afternoon at my LNS taking a beginner's class on punchneedle. The company was good, lots of laughs at our "expertise" and the time spent passed very quickly but I must say that I don't think it will ever replace cross stitch for me. If nothing else, after a particularily bad work week, it was very therapeutic with all that punching! Lol! With the whole group doing it, it sounded like popcorn cooking in the microwave. You can see in the picture where I first started in the upper left. The loops are pretty loose. By the time I finished I was starting to get the rhythm down pat and the loops were looking much more even and neat. I probably will try another piece at a later date. They'd run out of needles to sell and have some on order. The size of the bevel on the needles surprised me. They were as large as some of the needles we use in blood taking. And trust me, if you don't watch it you will stab yourself and draw blood! One of the positives of doing this type of needlework is that completion is much quicker. We finished this piece off in 2 hrs and we were new to this. An experienced stitcher could finish a much larger piece in an afternoon.

As for my ornament I'm working on, I'm very disappointed. The fabric isn't nearly dark enough and the snowman (being stitched with overdyed thread) is just blending in so that all you can really see is the word Joy. It might have shown up better if I'd just used plain white thread but at this point I don't know whether to finish it off or just call it quits. I'm not about to frog out all the white. I might just pick up something else.

All this time I've been waiting for my threads to start Trick or Treat Lane and the order hasn't even shipped yet! It seems they were waiting for a chart I'd ordered which was on back order and finally they just reimbursed me for the chart and are shipping the order out today.
So I'm kind of at a standstill right now! I've been thinking very seriously about the invitation I've had to join some friends in a SAL on November 1st. Some are planning to do Paradigm Lost and a few others are doing Cirques des Cercles. I think I've decided to go ahead with the latter. It's large enough for my first attempt at something of this magnitude! Now all I have to do is get my fabric and threads ordered. I really like the looks of one of the photos in the Cirques Gallery. It's done with some Vicki Clayton hand dyed silks. I don't care whether or not I'm using silks but I love this particular colour . It's called Dragon Hoard. Hopefully I can find something along these lines.

Thank you all for your help with my button dilemma on Blood Donors. I think I'm going to go with Cindi's suggestion of glue buttons mostly because I don't trust myself with the Tacky Glue. I'm a real klutz!