Friday, 29 May 2009

Bug Bites

I got bitten this week by a bug ... the new start bug. This has resulted in a case of startitis which could only be remedied by a look through my stash and a subsequent new start. The mad itch has now abated and my needle is happy at work on its new project, Nature's Beauty by Little House of Needleworks. I still have several pieces of fabric by Sugar Maple Fabric in my stash although sadly SMF have now gone out of business. I chose a piece of 32ct linen in the shade Arthur. I've only just got started at it and it's not worth posting a picture quite yet. I'm also looking at some freebies that I'm anxious to try.Instead I'll show you my latest small finish, Bayview Estates. I thoroughly enjoyed stitching this little piece. It was my first By the Bay pattern and I'll definitely be doing another. I plan on finishing this one as a pinkeep. I'd love to do the Colony series and finish them all as one piece.
The pattern for this called for 2 over 2 but after I stitched the house I felt there wasn't enough coverage so I used 3 strands of floss for the tree.
I almost wish I could have done the house over but since it's a small piece I'll leave it as it is.

Next up is this week's progress on Spring Lace. I'd hoped to have a lot more completed on this one although I have completed one page. I had full intentions on going to the Tuesday SAL and concentrating on this stitch. I came home from work and planned a 30 minute nap before my drive into Ottawa. It was an hour and a half later before yours truly managed to drag herself out of bed. By that time I was out of sorts and the last thing I felt like doing was driving. I parked myself in front of the TV and vegged for the rest of the evening. This is one of the reasons I hate taking a nap after work. I end up feeling like a zombie for the rest of the night. I really must have needed the sleep though cause I had no problem hitting the sack again a few hours later. So I've only managed to sneak in some stitches on this one during my breaks at work this week. I'm off work this coming week so with any luck I'll get a bit further on this one.

The reason for my week's vacation is a quick trip home to Windsor. I'm not looking forward to the 8 hr drive but maybe I can stitch in the car. My DH is taking part in a recital to honour his former music department head at the U of Windsor. While he is in rehearsals, etc., I'll be visiting with my family which I haven't had the opportunity to do for several months now. My youngest sister is taking a day off work to lunch and shop with me and then the following day my other sister is driving over from Michigan to pick me up and take me back to her place in Livonia for the day. Later in the day Bob will join us and from there we are driving to Okemos ( a suburb of Lansing) to stay overnight with some close friends. This will be a real treat for us as well. Nixon and Bob can talk music while Ann and I stitch! Ann, if you're reading this, we can't wait to see the two of you again.
After our brief visit stateside we head back to Windsor to visit with our mothers before we return home again at the end of the week. We really would have loved to stay a bit longer to visit school friends but Bob has to work on the Saturday and I'm flying to Rochester, NY for a week for training on a new lab instrument. So if you don't see any postings from me for a couple of weeks you'll know why. On one of these visits to Michigan I'd love to drop by Stitching Bits and Bobs. It's a little out of the way for us though I think. If we'd had more time I'd make the effort.
I've been feeling quite badly about leaving little Clarisse by herself for the week but my son Dan has decided to stay at our place during our absence and keep her company.

Now that our lab accreditation is finished, work should have improved somewhat, right? Wrong!!
We've lost another tech due to illness and a meeting is being held while I'm away to figure out how to deal with the staff shortages. The summer is shaping up to be pretty hectic so I'm already counting down the days until I'm doing this:

Yup, stitching at the cottage has never looked better! Muskoka, here we come!! Have a great weekend everyone. With any luck I'll have a pic of the framed Cirque when I check in next.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A great weekend!

I'm feeling much more relaxed now. First I had a lovely Mother's Day celebration. My youngest son Chris treated me to lunch at my favourite deli in Ottawa for the occasion. Then I celebrated my birthday the following day at the home of my son Daniel. Bob, Dan and I had a lovely dinner at a local Greek restaurant followed by birthday cake back at Dan's place. Since the boys are all scattered now in different locales it's hard to ever get together with all three. My oldest, who is the furthest away, called me with his wishes.
Next our lab accreditation, on which I've worked non-stop for the past few months, finally finished up this past Friday. My area saw only one minor non-compliance which I have 90 days to correct. What was the first thing I did when I got home? I picked up my stitching which had been woefully neglected for most of the previous month. I didn't have too much time to spend with it though because we were expecting house guests on Saturday night and believe me, my house was in major need of a cleaning.

Cleaning finished, I headed out Saturday morning to spend a day at Dani's house for a SAL. What a great day! I got to see Dani, Rebecca, Beatrice, Kathy, Barb (all of whom I've stitched with before) and a new friend, Beth. I had not spent a day stitching like this in so long and I hadn't realized just how much I needed it. It was so much fun seeing everyone's WIP and catching up with each other. As you can see in the pictures, even Hunter got in on the act! Another SAL is already in the works for June at Barb's home but unfortunately I'll have to miss this one since I'll be away. When I returned that evening my guests had just arrived so it was perfect timing. Thanks Dani for a wonderful day! The proof is in the pics.

Left - Beatrice Right - Rebecca


Left - Kathy

Right - Barb
Bottom left - Beth

I spent a good portion of the time at Dani's working on my Spring Lace. It's coming along well and I'm really enjoying it. Last night after our guests had left I pulled out the little By the Bay freebie, Bayview Estate. I should have this one finished in the next couple of days. What to start next? I haven't kept up with any ornaments the past couple of months but I feel like I need a break from those anyways. After all I still haven't completed the finishing on most of last year's!

So I'm browsing through my stash trying to see what grabs my attention this time. The wind has picked up and the sky is turning dark so I guess it's time I got my wash off the line. Until next time happy stitching! I'll leave you with a picture of our provincial flower, the Trillim, which Bob photographed on his way home from work last week.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Wow!... has it been two weeks already?

I can't believe how much time has passed since my last post. We've been so busy around here between work and other commitments and I feel like we're only touching down at home briefly anymore. Poor Clarisse, she's been left on her own too much and when we do land in at home she gets so excited . It's just like a kid who's trying to get your attention, getting into everything! I have a lovely arrangement of silk cherry blossoms and pussy willows in my entrance. Well it seems she's taken a shine to them and each day when I arrive home I find little silk cherry blossoms all over the house. Pretty soon she'll have the arrangement stripped clean!

Unfortunately I don't have too much to report in the way of stitching. The only stitching I've done lately was with my Tuesday night SAL group. There were at least 15 of us out this past week and it was so much fun to hear what everyone had been up to and to see their latest stitching accomplishments. I really needed that break this week. Thanks ladies for a great evening! I spent my time working on my Spring Lace. I've had so many compliments on this piece. Everyone seems to be fond of the colour of the floss. I'd been feeling a loss without Cirque to work on and Spring Lace is filling the hole nicely. Sorry the picture quality isn't all that great. My camera battery is getting low and when that happens the pictures tend to look a little unfocused. I took this piece with me to my DH's concert last night and while they were rehearsing before the concert I sat and put in a few stitches. However, not long after I'd picked it up, I found that the frogs had paid a visit and I ended up tearing out the section on the bottom left. I'd started the whole thing one row down from where I should have been and of course it didn't match up with the upside down heart in the bottom center. That's what I get for stitching when I'm tired!

Renovations around here won't get started until after Bob's concerts are finished. At that point he will be finished with all his choirs for the summer and will have a lot more time to devote to our upcoming projects. I'll also be finished with our lab accreditation which takes place this coming week. I had no idea how much work was involved in preparing for this. I've put in several hours of overtime trying to get everything completed in time. By the time I get home from work I'm just too exhausted to tackle anything thing else. My birthday is coming up this Monday and when my DH asked if I wanted to celebrate this weekend I told him no. Too stressed and too tired. I'll celebrate when it's all over. The only bonus in all of this is that I got a promotion to a Senior Technologist.

Rebecca sent me an email this week to see if there was any interest in getting together for a SAL at her place. I gave her some dates but indicated that I could only go for the day rather than the whole weekend. Since Rebecca lives a fair distance from my place she asked Dani if she would host instead. Dani's place is a little closer and it makes things a lot easier when I can only go for the day. We really wanted this to work because we haven't been together for a SAL for quite some time. So next weekend is the date we've chosen. I think there are a few of us going and I can hardly wait! I've needed an outlet for all my extra stress lately and this will certainly fit the bill. It also marks the start of a much needed week of vacation.

I've really missed my time spent visiting all of my blogging friends. I apologize for not having dropped by lately and I hope to catch up with all of you very soon! There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day lately.I'll leave you with a picture of the latest visitor to my bird feeder. He's a red-breasted Nuthatch. I've seen several of these in the neighbourhood but this is the firt time that one has elected to drop by our place. I love how they hang upside down! Have a great week everyone and I hope to be in touch again sooner rather than later.