Saturday, 20 February 2010

Getting organized

After more than 2 yrs of waiting for the completion of my craft room, I decided to get started by putting together my shelf organizers. These were a Christmas gift from my MIL two years ago if you can believe it and they've finally been put together. Their final resting place will be in my youngest son's former bedroom (most recently our living quarters during the kitchen renovations). The room has been painted but the carpet needs cleaning and that can't be completed until we move out the massive amounts of accumulated junk. I don't figure that will take place until perhaps during my recuperation from surgery. Of course I'll need DH's help which means that we might be waiting until summer when he has more time off of rehearsals. By that time the weather is beautiful and who feels like staying indoors. Get the picture? We may be waiting several more years before this is completed! Retirement perhaps?

In any case, most of the cubicles have been put together with the exception of two. These consist of more of the 4 drawers type so I now know that I need more of the divider cubes. These organizers came from Michaels and I saw them shortly after the holidays so I'm hoping that they still have some around. DH is going to check for me tomorrow in Ottawa since I'm working this weekend and can't get there myself.

It's so great to finally have everything in one place where I know exactly where to find it. No more searching through my huge box of floss for a particular colour. They're now arranged in the small drawers, sorted by DMC number. I store them in floss bags which are arranged on rings by their numbers, 100s, 200s, etc. My WDW and GAST floss as well as other hand dyes are still in another storage box residing on these shelves until such time as I get another one put together. I have such a huge amount of fabric though, particularily hand dyed, that I think they'll remain in their current storage box. All of my freebie patterns are arranged by season in binders and the remainder are stored on CDs. I know that it still looks a bit disorganized but if you could have seen it before you would have died! My God but you don't realize exactly how much stash you have until you see it all in one place. It's easier to fool yourself when it's scattered about the house.
Because I spent a lot of my free time doing this, I spent less time stitching. Plus I'm too caught up in the Olympics at the moment. I thought I could stitch and watch but invariably the stitching is put aside as I get involved in the games. Here's my progress for this week.

First I managed to finish off my LHN Pear Tree ornament. Of course by finished I always mean the stitching since I never have time for the actual finishing until a much later date. The next ornament in the series, He's A Flake, arrived this week and I've made a small start on it as of today. Picture to follow later.

While I was awaiting its arrival, I took out my M Designs name tree for my granddaughter Oceanne. I've only worked on it for one evening but it's progressing fairly quickly. I can only stitch on this one at home because it's over one and I need my magnifying lens.

Finally I've put some time in on Nantucket Sampler. I really love this one and I'm getting lots of positive comments from my coworkers whenever it makes an appearance. Sorry about the bump in the centre. I just didn't feel like taking the whole thing off of the Q snaps.

My floss package and fabric arrived last week for Winter Mandala which recently appeared in an issue of JCS magazine. It's a Tracy Horner design and the silk floss are by Vicky Clayton.

I'm looking forward to this one. In the meantime I would like to start LHN Home of a Needleworker. Add to that another design I spotted in last year's Jan/Feb issue of JCS by Hands To Work designer Tracy Riffle called This is the Day which I fell in love with. It's stitched on 40 ct but I'm thinking more likely 32ct. I have some fabric here that I think will work well. Some of the floss will need to be ordered for this one though so it might take a back seat to one of the others. Then once Oceanne's ornament is done it's time to get started on one for her sister Summer. I think there's enough on my plate for now. But oh my how I love the new PS designs! Tortoise & The Hare is adorable!
I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day. DH was involved in a recital that evening. We did manage to make it to dinner but had to share our time with a guest who was also in the concert. We tried out a restaurant that I've been wanting to visit for some time now. Every time I would say to Bob, "We should try that one out some time.", he would respond with "I'm ready any time you want to take me!" Finally he took me. Although it's primarily an Italian restaurant, I had trout done in a balsamic sauce accompanied with a small pasta dish. It was heaven! I behaved though, no dessert.

This Friday following work I took a drive to the bird sanctuary near Morrisburg where I actually do more than check out the birds. The deer are also there in large numbers and are fairly tame. People drop off grain, apples and carrots for them. They know the sound of the cars and after sitting for a few minutes you will see them making their way out of the woods to check out the situation. I counted 16 surrounding me. I managed to get a few photos from the car.

Then it was off to feed the chickadees who land right on your hand to take their seeds. There were so many of them. I was alone so I couldn't get a picture of this but Bob is going to go with me on Monday and hopefully we'll get some good pics then.

I'll leave you with a picture of the sunset that I took on my way home. Hope you all have a good week. I know where I'll be.....parked in front of the TV each night as the Olympics continue. I might even get some stitching in!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

It's a perfect winter day!

Look at the lovely winter day that greeted me as I headed out my front door this morning. I just couldn't resist taking a picture. It's so nice to see such a blue sky. It's also the perfect day for the opening of Winterlude in Ottawa. This festival includes snow sculptues, ice carving and skating on the Rideau Canal. It runs over the next two weeks so I'm going to try to make it there this year and take some pictures to show you. It's been a couple of years since I last made it to the festival.

This was one of those weeks that I was so glad to see come to an end! It was a 7 day stretch for me since I started working last Saturday and the week just seemed to drag. I've still been fighting some sort of a bug and spent a good portion of my time sleeping so I didn't get in as much stitching as I would have liked. Whatever I'm fighting has taken a lot out of me and I haven't felt this tired for a long time. When I say tired I mean the kind where I'm trying not to drift off on my drive into work! Pretty bad, eh? After being sick for more than a month now, I convinced my DH to make a doctor's appointment and get checked out. The verdict, some bronchitis and pneumonia in the right lung. He's starting to feel much better now that he's on some antibiotics. Hopefully we are both on the mend now.

Despite feeling tough, I rummaged through my needle bags and found Nantucket Sampler to brighten things up. I tried to find an earlier picture to show you my progress but I can't find the CD that I backed them up on. I'm enjoying this piece so much! I love the colours and can't wait to see it finished. Off course the colour of the fabric in the latest picture doesn't come close to the actual colour. Why is it that fabric doesn't photograph well? I've been stitching this on an 11 in. Q-snap which is a bit cumbersome to work with. I'm going to see if I can fit the pieces of some of my various Q snaps together to make more of a rectangular shape. It will make things a little easier. My biggest challenge with this piece is in trying to keep the fabric clean. As many times as I wash my hands it seems I always manage to get some dirt on the fabric. Fortunately its on the portion which won't be seen when its' framed.

Besides Nantucket I worked on my LHN Pear Tree ornament which is getting close to a finish now. I'm surprised that I'm managing to get these ornaments stitched up fairly quickly. The next ornament in the series hasn't shown up yet in my mail and I don't expect it will for another couple of weeks. When the charts are released we don't get them as quickly here in Canada as they do in the US. Speaking of the US, some of you are really getting whalloped with a major storm! I've been watching the weather network and when I saw some of the pictures I was thankful that we weren't anywhere near the path it's taking. We've been really fortunate here that our snowfall is below its usual level for this time of year. It's certainly made for better driving conditions on my way into work. For all of you caught in the middle of the mess, stay warm and take care! It's perfect stitching weather.

Judy was asking how Clarisse was and saying that she hadn't seen any pics of her lately. So here she is.Look at the difference that a year makes! You never realize just how big they're getting until you look back at the photos. I know it's the same with our children too. The first photo was taken just last week. She's really turned into a beautiful cat.
Bob wasn't too impressed when he saw that she was up on the beds in both photos. He'll tell you that he doesn't like cats but he has certainly taking a liking to this particular one. He says that she's the closest thing to a little dog. She comes when she's called, plays fetch with her ball and now we've even got her to beg for her treats! The last photo shows her in action. We didn't have the flash on so it's a little dark. Now she's even started begging like this while we're eating our meals. Bob claims it's all my fault since I'm the one who gave her some small pieces of chicken when I was getting dinner ready one night. She caught on quickly and figures any food is fair game now.
I guess that's about it from here for now. I've got to get a bit of cleaning done because we're hosting a potluck dinner tomorrow for one of Bob's choirs. There's really not much work to it since they're bringing all the food. We just supply the location.
Enjoy your weekend everyone!