Thursday, 22 November 2007

It's here!

Snow, that is! This is the view that greeted me this morning as I stepped outside. This is actually a picture of my neighbour's home across the street. I know that by the weekend it's supposed to warm up enough that most of this will melt but I really hate to see it starting so early. It's pretty of course and does brighten up all those browns in the landscape now but I just dread the driving to and from work in all this. It seems the older I get the more nervous I am about driving. I never thought I'd hear myself say that!! I love driving but it's some of the idiots out there on the road that I'm worried about. They never seem to slow down enough in this weather. I actually headed out to work this morning but the plows had not been out around us yet. It was more of a thick slush on the roads since the snow is so wet and it just kept dragging me towards the shoulder of the road. That wasn't bad but I had two close calls with other motorists sliding towards me. At that point I turned around, called in to work and took a snow day. I haven't done this more than 3 or 4 times in my 16yrs of commuting so they can't complain. Driving in snow is one thing, snow/slush is another!

With the weather making it a perfect day for stitching I finished off Baby Spots. I ended up frogging out the stork and redoing it in a white rather than the whitewash called for. I pleased with the results. I think it pops out better. Thanks to Rebecca, I've got back my bookmark to Focus on Finishing and have found a tutorial for making a cube. This is how I've decided I'll finish this piece. I've got some fabric that I think will work and now I just have to head out for Michaels for some ribbon. The plows have been out now and the roads are not nearly as bad although we are expecting more snow over the course of the day and evening. We have to head into Ottawa for choir practice this evening so we've decided to leave a little earlier so I can get my supplies. Bob has said he'll drive, whew!! We're also going to check out Ikea to see if we can find some storage solutions for all of my supplies as well as a table of some sort to put in my craft room for finishing projects. Yeah, we're actually going to make it my room!!

Last night was week 4 of my CdC SAL. I've finally caught up to the group and I'm able to stitch along with them now. Normally I'll be stitching this on Tuesdays but this week I had to attend a wake that night so it was Wednesday instead. In answer to Suzanne's questions, the thread I'm using is a Vicky Clayton premium silk and the colour is Dragon Hoard. Yes, I'm crossing each x individually in order to get that variegation. I'm really pleased with the results so far. Thank you all for you positive comments. I enjoy hearing from each and every one of you!
Now it's off to Ottawa for my supplies!
PS : I almost forgot - Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends. Hope you have a safe and happy holiday!

Monday, 19 November 2007

Some fantastic news!

Most of you do not know that when my youngest granddaughter Summer was born last year it was found that she had several holes in her heart. They told us that a couple of them were quite small and would close over on their own but one hole was fairly large and it was felt that she would probably need surgery to repair it. She has been on heart medication since birth and has been monitored closely by doctors in Montreal at the children's hospital. My son Jeff just called to report that following this week's checkup in Montreal the hole has healed on its own and she will no longer require surgery. The doctors were a little suprised themselves since they really thought that surgery would be required for this one. We are all thrilled!! Although this is really quite common in newborns ( more than I realized!), it is still worriesome and you hate to see a young child go through a surgical procedure such as this. She does have a slight case of asthma at this time but could outgrow it at some point. They no longer have to make the frequent visits into Montreal and can be followed now by their own local doctors. We can now take her name off of the prayer list and thank God for our many blessings. What a lovely first birthday present!! She will be a year on the 27th.
Since that phone call I have been too excited to sit still and stitch! I was rather restless anyways tonight and can't seem to stay on any one task for any length of time. Perhaps I'm overtired. We were out last night in Ottawa for a performance of Handel's Messiah and only returned home at midnight. Then it was up at 5 for work! When I booked the tickets originally I wasn't supposed to be working today. Then they changed our schedule on us. I wasn't about to give up the tickets though. We were in the first row with the soloists right in front of us and this was a special treat for my middle son Dan. He is gaining an appreciation for classical and choral music thanks to my DH's influence. He had expressed an interest in seeing a performance of this at some time and was very excited to hear that our friend Stephen was going to be conducting it this fall. I got just as much pleasure out of watching his reaction as I did listening to the music. It was a great evening.

I'm just about finished working on Baby Spots. I decided to restitch the stork in white and have just finished frogging out the original stitching. It won't take long to restitch it and all that is left after that is to attach the diaper pin charm and do the finishing. I'd love to finish it as a cube if possible. Does anyone know of a tutorial out there for this?

I'm finally caught up with the others in my Snowbird's SAL. I'll be able to stitch alongside them on week 4 this Wednesday. This is the night that most of the group is doing their stitching on. Most of the time I will be stitching on Tuesday nights since it's better for me however I have to attend a wake this Tuesday night. One of my coworker's mother died this weekend.

I've posted a pic of my progress up until now on this CdC SAL. I apologize for the lousy colours in the photo. I just didn't have good light when I took it and was too tired to have another go at it. It's so much fun watching everyone's progress on this one as well as the progress of those stitching Pardigm Lost. They are two lovely pieces and a real delight to stitch!
Well I'm off to bed now. Things are catching up with me now and I'm making far too many errors as I type this!

Monday, 12 November 2007

A new start and a visit to Drummondville

Thank you all for your comments regarding my Baby Spots piece. I'm not sure yet whether I'll backstitch or not. I think not but I'm waiting until I'm finished the whole thing before I decide. Speaking of which I better get a move on it. I just got a phone call this morning that the girl who it's intended for as a gift has just gone into labour early. Her due date was Nov. 25 and I knew they had decided to do a C/S on Nov 21st but I guess the little one has decided to jump the gun!! (as I'm writing this I got the call that the baby arrived this morning! Now I really have to move)

Thank you also for your kind comments on my framed pieces. Judy had asked me about Michael's and if I thought they were good for framing. I haven't had any problems with them. They have a large selection of frames and the finishing has always been very nice. Mind you I generally use them for my smalls and take my large pieces to my LNS. I like using them whenever they have a big sale on their framing. My DH reminded me that I did take one of my larger pieces to them that I had done for my Mom and they did a lovely job. I've posted a picture Judy to show you.
Last week was absolutely horrendous at work. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that I was off for a week starting on the Saturday. So consequently I didn't get much stitching in. I was just too tired in the evening. Saturday morning I took my son Dan and we headed off to Drummondville to visit my eldest and his family. The baby will turn a year old on the 27th and I'm not able to go up at that time so I took all her birthday gifts up with me. My DH always works weekends so he can never go up with us unless he's on holiday. It was a long drive there due construction but it was worth it. We had a lovely visit with them!

The girls are getting so big! The oldest, Oceanne, is talking up a storm now and it's a mix of French and English but heavy on the French of course. The baby, Summer, is pulling herself up on everything now and it doesn't look like it will be long before she is walking. Then the fun starts!! I took my role of grandmother seriously and spoiled them rotten while I was there.

Since I had lots of presents for the baby I didn't want Oceanne to be left out so I brought her a little toy telephone which rings and plays tunes. For Summer we'd found the cutest rocking horse. Only it's a cat not a horse! It sits low to the ground and is made for ages 9 mos to 3 yrs so both girls will get some use out of it. It plays Beethoven music as they rock and when you squeeze the ears it meows!! Both girls spent the afternoon playing . They missed their naps but were good as gold. I decided to give Jeff and Mimi a break at supper and prepared a stir fry for all of us. After that it was time for the return trip home. I'm hoping to be able to pick them all up at New Year's to spend a few days with us then since I have to work Christmas.

Sunday was the start of a new piece for me. As I've mentioned before I've joined the Snowbird's SAL and I'm stitching Cirques des Cercles. My fabric arrived at the end of the week and I was really disappointed in the colour. It wasn't quite the colour green I'd been expecting. So I took another look through my stash and found a beautiful Silkweaver Solo that I thought would work. My floss is a Vicky Clayton silk called Dragon Hoard and it's really lovely. I like the way it's shaping up on the fabric. CdC is so much fun to stitch that I think I'm going to have a hard time putting it down. Most of the group is stitching on Wednesdays but I think it will be Tuesday for me. Bob works up in Ottawa on Tuesday nights and I can usually get a lot more stitching accomplished when I'm by myself. I'm playing catch up right now since the rest of the group started two weeks ago.

Tomorrow is a cleanup day around here for me. I'm going to try to get all my summer clothes packed away and sort out the winter things.
Then I have to sort and put away my stash which is lying all over the place in my bedroom. It's beginning to take over the room! Hope you're all having a good week and get lots of stitches in!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

To backstitch or not to backstitch?

Since I had Thursday and Friday off work I was able to make some significant progress on Baby Spots. Now I'm wondering if the floss called for on the stork stands out enough on the fabric I've chosen. I really didn't think the fabric colour I've been using differed all the much from the chart. I'm using a potato lugana instead of lambswool linen. The DMC floss choice for the stork just doesn't seem to make him stand out enough on this fabric. In the picture it actually looks a bit better than the real thing. So.... do I backstitch the stork or not and if so, what colour should I use for Bs? Or... do I frog out the stork and restitch him in white? Any and all comments are welcome. Personally I think I should restitch it. I'm hoping that when this piece is done I can try finishing it off as a cube.

My fabric for my Cdc SAL has finally been shipped. I'd ordered it on the first of October but I suspected it might take a little longer because I'd chosen a Kiwi Illusions fabric which generally takes 2-3 wks to arrive at the ONS. Sure enough they emailed me to say the fabric had arrived and was shipped on Wednesday. The SAL started on Nov. 1st ( although a few jumped the gun!) so I'm hoping I don't end up too far behind. If you check out the Snowbird's SAL you can see the group's progress.

I spent most of the week cleaning up my gardens and planting some tulip bulbs. With any luck the squirrels won't get them this year. Last year I didn't have as many come up as I thought I'd planted. I remember my Mom planting bulbs in the garden only to find them coming up in her yard or even in some of her planters when spring arrived thanks to said squirrels!
Now the only thing I have left which I really want to get done is to pack away my summer clothes and bring up the winter ones. Ugh! Depressing isn't it?
My DH recently took in one of my pieces to be framed as a wedding gift. One of the gentleman in Bob's choir recently turned 87 and surprised us by announcing he was getting married today. His wife died about 7 yrs ago and 5 yrs ago he became good friends with one of the ladies attending his church. They have been constant companions since but most of us thought that they were just that.. companions. Particularily since there is a 20yr age difference! Guess they fooled us!! We only found out about the wedding 2 wks ago so I pulled out one of my pieces waiting to be finished and gave it to my DH to take in and have framed. It's by Dinky Dyes and is called Cottage Garden. I wasn't able to get it there in time otherwise so I let Bob decide on the frame. After all the gift is from both of us, right? Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend the wedding either because I had to work.
As well I've posted pictures of the other two pieces I recently had framed during one of Michael's half price sales. I'm really pleased with the Brittercup Best Buddies.

Hope you all remember to put your clocks back an hour tonight! Gotta love it, an extra hour of sleep!!