Tuesday, 29 April 2008

An early birthday surprise!

As promised in my last post I now have some pictures of my new stash. I just loved both these ornie patterns when I saw them. Stone & Thread's Hoppity has such a lovely spring look and being a cat lover Val's Stuff Ho Ho Ho is right up my alley! Both will make great take along projects.

In addition, I picked up LHN Peace and Blessed are the Meek. Peace is one which I've admired on other stitcher's blogs. As for the Saltbox Scripture series, I originally thought I'd stitch all 4 on one piece but have since decided to do them individually. Finally there is All Things by Abbey Lane Designs. This pattern is based on a hymn which I've sung since I was a child. It has a lovely Quaker feel to it and I can hardly wait to get started on it! The floss is on order and I've only to find fabric for it now. I love working on charts like this where there are a number of motifs or squares to work. I never feel I'm getting bored and feel a sense of accomplishment when each little motif is stitched.

My craft room is becoming more of a reality. As soon as Bob is finished with his upcoming spring concerts we'll get started on cleaning up the room and preparing it for the carpet cleaners. Currently it's being used to store everything and anything! I started out using this room for my ironing and to store some seasonal things. However it didn't take long before it became the room that you throw things into when you're cleaning up the rest of the house! So consequently we have some work cut out for us to empty it. Once we're finished, the carpet cleaners will come in and do their thing. Then we can start moving in my craft supplies and glider rocker. I don't expect to do much stitching here but rather use the room for finishing projects and to store all my supplies. I still prefer to stitch in our family room where the gas stove resides to keep it toasty warm on winter nights. When the stove is not in use the room remains cool which is perfect for those hot, humid evenings.

I've been using my glider rocker as my stitching chair but I'm not really comfortable in it for long periods of time. Years ago I slipped on my mother's freshly waxed hardwood floor and landed on my tush, breaking my tailbone in the process. That area never completely heals and I have difficulty sitting for long periods of time without ample cushioning (besides my own, that is!). Church pews can be murder for me! Besides this, the chair sits rather low and now that I have a bum knee I'm having difficulty getting up without causing pain. I've mentioned in passing that I'd like to replace my stitching chair sometime but it was never a priority.

Last week my dear, sweet hubby announced that he'd like to get me a new chair for my upcoming birthday. He suggested I start looking around and trying some out. The chair had to be just the right height to make things easier for my knees, have lots of cushioning, and bigger arms. Sunday I found my chair! It's a lovely navy blue leather recliner by LazBoy and bonus... it was on sale 40% off!! It was a little more than the budget Bob had set but since the tax man owes me this year I'm contributing some to the purchase as well. We brought the chair home in the back of the wagon and it is installed in it's rightful place. I'd hoped to have a picture for you but Bob took off with the camera tonight so it will have to wait. Stitching updates will have to wait as well. The nice weather has been stealing some of my stitching time as I head outdoors in the evening for walks and catching up with the neighbours.

For now I'll leave you with a picture of some lovely swans I often see on my way to work. They reside on the pond of a farm I pass by and are in the process of getting their nest ready. As we approached for a picture, the male swam right towards us and fluffed up his wings, a protection measure I think.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Pitiful progress

As you can see from the picture above I've made very little progress on Secret Flower Bed. Let's face it, I started working on this on the plane on my return trip from Florida. That was almost 3 weeks ago! Plus I've put in very few stitches on Weather Wise and poor Cirque has been banished temporarily. Blame it all on the weather! Now that the weather is nice, there are just too many things that need to be done and it seems we have a lot on the go at the moment. I need to get outside today and start raking up the lawn. Now that the snow has disappeared I've found all those leaves that I didn't get to in the fall. I'm not complaining though because I sure have missed this weather. No coats, yeah!!

Yesterday Bob and I headed up to Drummondville to celebrate my granddaughter Oceanne's birthday. She turned 3 on Saturday and because I was working we had to postpone our visit until Monday.
I can't believe how fast the girls are growing! Little Summer is walking now and has already started speaking. She has a mop of curly hair which is usually quite wild since she won't still long enough for combing! Oceanne is learning more English now especially since Dad has been the primary caregiver. Both girls are very busy and the day passed by so quickly. I'd forgotten how much mess two little ones can make in such a short time! Before you knew it the time had arrived for us to head home again. I felt like I'd just got there and really wish that they lived closer to us. Here are a few pics of our fun afternoon.

This past Thursday involved a celebration of a different sort. July 2007 was the thirtieth anniversary of my employment with the hospital. Every April the hospital has an awards ceremony for all the milestones of the previous year including the retirees. In the past there was a quick ceremony in the cafeteria where the awards were handed out. Since our amalgamation however, there is now a dinner with entertainment including spouses. From the lab we had 3 of us celebrating 30 yrs, one celebrating 35 yrs and 3 others celebrating 15 and 20 yrs. Quite a lot of experience all told! For 30 years service I had the choice of a pendant or ring with the hospital logo on it. I chose the ring in sterling silver. We also received a pin initalled with our years of service that we can wear on our lab coats. It was a lovely evening and a good time was had by all.
My thoughtful MIL provided me with the lovely rose coursage!

Looks like tonight I have the evening to myself. I still have some work to do on our taxes. April 30th is the deadline for filing in Canada and I've been waiting for #3 son to provide me with some info so I can finish up his claim. Then I think we're done and can file. Not too much damage. My DH has to pay but I'm getting money back which will cover it and a little left over. The extra will cover the cost of carpet cleaning which I'm anxious to go ahead with because then I can go about setting up my craft room. Bob has told me to start looking for a stitching chair which he'd like to give me for my birthday in May. I'd hoped to head into Ottawa on Saturday to start looking but I've ended up with an overtime shift instead. That'll teach me not to answer the phone without checking the number first!
The postman arrived with some new stash this past week but I haven't got around to taking any pictures yet. Next post, I promise! In the meantime I'm heading outside to enjoy some sun and some stitching. Hope you can too!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

A finish for the framer

Saturday morning I put in my last stitches on The Wedding. I'd saved the personalization until last because I wasn't quite sure whether or not I wanted the year put in on the date of marriage. The pattern doesn't call for the year. In fact it's done a little differently in that there are no capitals used on the names or month and the actual date is stitched in a larger font than the month. After talking with my DH we decided that we really wanted the date to indicate the year as well. However fitting that in was another matter! When I stitched it as May 17, 2008 it looked a little off balance since the numbers are so much larger than the month. So then I tried putting it in as 17 may 08. However when I started stitching it where the pattern called for it, I found that the 7 was running into the letter p in the bride's name. So I made a slight adjustment and started stitching a little lower than where the chart indicated. If I put in the all the numbers of the year it just didn't look right. So I decided to leave the year as you see in the picture.It just looked more symmetrical that way.
I headed off to my LNS in Ottawa to have it framed where it should be complete in about 3 weeks. I'll post a picture when I get it back.

The weather here has greatly improved since my return home. Mind you, this weekend was a little cooler and rainy but overall the temps have been increasing and the sun has been shining. Along with those warmer days comes the melt. At this point the only snow left on the front lawn is the large pile at the foot of the drive where most of the snow from the plow was thrown. It's much smaller than it was but naturally it will be the last to go. Our back yard faces north and doesn't get as much sun so things there are taking a bit longer to disappear. I can finally step out on the deck though and make my way to the clothesline again. The first BBQ of the season took place on Friday. Bob did up some burgers that just tasted great. These were the first burgers I've had since October. I'm not much for fast food joints and prefer the home cooked variety.

As soon as the snow receded I found that my tulips were up. Just the leaves of course, no buds yet, but a joyous sight nonetheless. This weekend I also spotted shoots coming up from my bleeding hearts and even from my rhubarb plant in the back. The birds have all returned and already we have a family setting up their nest in our birdhouse. The cardinals pay regular visits to our feeder but only in early morning or just before dusk and they're very quick. The other night after supper Bob hollered to me from upstairs that the male cardinal was at the feeder. I grabbed my camera and managed to grab a very quick pic through the downstairs window. Unfortunately this window is not very clean and the picture looks a bit cloudy but he did sit still long enough for me to grab a couple of shots. This one is best. It's not very clear but I was also taking the photo through the screen on the window and the light was fading.

While I was visiting my Mom in Florida I saw some birds of a different sort. First was the mockingbird who showed up each day at the pool and serenaded us. What a treat! Then all week my Mom had been talking about the sand cranes that show up in the yard looking for food. She said if I saw them not to feed them otherwise they would poke holes in the screened porch looking for more. By the end of the week when we still had not seen them, my sister and I would joke. " What cranes would those be? Are they like the gator that sunbathes on the golf course?(not!)" On my last day the cranes showed up. Laurie had already left for home and missed them but I got some pictures for her to prove they existed. There was a male and female and when the female stood up, two babes ran out from under her! The babies were so cute and the mother let me get pretty close for some good shots. As for the gator, apparently my niece got a picture of him on her visit. I'll believe it when I see it!

With spring comes the urge for fresh starts which is exactly what I've done. Now that The Wedding is finished I kitted up and got started on Prairie Schooler Weather Wise. I'm doing the sampler with the verse Red Sky at Morning. I've only just put in my first stitches so still too early for a picture. I hope to have something to show later this week on Trilogy's Secret Garden as well. And with any luck, I'll even get some time in on CdC! Too bad that work has to get in the way!!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Great trip!

It was a funtastic, sunny week in Ft. Myers but as they say, all good things must come to an end. Why? Who invented that saying anyways?
I returned home early Friday morning feeling very well rested. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Sunny skies and temperatures between 82-88. It was so great spending time with my Mom and sister Laurie again. I only get to see them about once a year, if that. It was truly a girls' week.... lots of sunbathing at the pool, shopping and eating out.

One of the highlights of my trip was getting to meet fellow stitcher Deb of Lavender Rose Rambling and Martha of Gone Stitchin' . Deb and I had arranged to meet at the Barnes & Nobles in the Coconut Point Mall which isn't too far from Naples. I thought I'd arrived first but meanwhile Martha was already waiting and could see my lost look. At about the same time, Deb arrived and we all greeted each other together. We had a super visit! Lots of laughing and story telling and of course checking out of each other's stitching projects. Both ladies are great stitchers and I really enjoyed seeing their WIP. Ladies, thank you so much for such a warm welcome! Also a special thanks to Deb for treating me with lunch and a gift. Both of you have reinforced my feelings that stitchers are a very special group of people. Anytime you feel like heading north, you're more than welcome to visit my place!

All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better time and now my return to work on Monday is looming close.

I did manage to squeeze in some stitching time. I finished off my Checkerboard Bunny on the plane and have gotten much closer to finishing off The Wedding. All that's left is a small motif on the bottom left, a border, the names, dates and a small border beneath them. I want to try and finishe this off by the end of the week so I can get it in to the framer. I spent a little time on Cdc but not enough to merit a photo at this time.

My next small start is The Trilogy's Secret Flower Bed. It's all kitted up and ready to go. After I finish The Wedding, I'm planning on starting PS Weather Wise. Just trying to find fabric for that one now.
Gotta scoot now. I've got a house guest arriving later today and lots of cleaning to catch up on!