Saturday, 26 February 2011

SAL Saturday

Last weekend I spent most of my time feeling sorry for myself. I was home alone, trying to rest my back and hip and bored out of my mind. Everyone seemed to have something to do except for me. So this weekend I decided to do something about it and organized an impromptu Saturday SAL. I sent the message out to my Tuesday night group, distributed directions and got busy planning. The result was one fun filled day with 9 stitchers, doing what they do best...... stitching, eating, talking and laughing. I know it was the boost that I needed and I think it lifted the spirits of everyone present. One of the highlights was checking out my stash with much ooohing, aaaahing and fondling of fabric. Then there was the food. Although we were 9, we had enough food I'm sure to feed 9 x 9! Well ,maybe not quite that much but you get the picture.

There were some newbies joining us this time. Karen is one of my coworkers and is never able to come stitching on Tuesdays because of commitments with her children. It was great to have her join us and she's going to try her darndest to free up an occasional Tuesday in the future.

Mike joined our Tuesday night group this past fall and took the opportunity today to bring along one of his coworkers. Nancy has been considering joining the Tuesday night group and this was a chance for her to meet a few of us and see if the fit was right for her. I think she'll be out on Tuesdays in the future!

Sally and Diane are both regulars in our Tuesday group but had never been out to my little village to stitch with us. It was absolutely wonderful that so many were able to come and I hope that once I'm finished work we can do this more often. Here's a few more photos from our afternoon.
Lori & Nancy followed by Leslie & Diane

Sally (lt) and Roseanne (rt)

Clarisse enjoyed the day too. So much so that I had to put her away in my bedroom for a short while. She insisted on climbing into everyone's bags and at one point she took off running with one of Karen's skeins of DMC in her mouth.
Any for anyone who parked themselves on the seat where she normally takes up residence they were subjected to having their hair sniffed. A regular nuisance she was!
Being the hostess, I didn't really get a heck of a lot of stitching done. I tried spending some quality time with Spring Quakers but just couldn't concentrate enough so I switched to my Maison No 4.

Here's where I'm at with the 2 designs over the past week.

I have a few things I'd love to order that were released at the Nashville Needlework Market but they will have to wait until
next month. My budget for February has been blown!
Here's why...... Rose Quaker by Stickideen von der Wiehenburg and a new release by Jardin Prive ... Sampler au bouquet I.

I also managed to find an interesting design on Ebay. I've been looking for an Adam & Eve designs to stitch and came across this one quite by accident. It's by A Mon Ami Pierre and is called Paradis Perdu.

Thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to drop by and tell me how much you love my new framed stitch, Spring Lace. It's occupying prime space in my entrance and is receiving soooo many compliments from my visitors. I've grown rather fond of it myself!
I hope everyone is enjoying their own time to stitch this weekend. Spring is just around the corner!

Friday, 18 February 2011

First motif completed

I couldn't resist the pull any longer and so begins Spring Quakers by Rosewood Manor. I loved this design the moment I set eyes on it! I'm using the recommended Valdani floss and really enjoying it. This particular floss is overdyed and comes in a 3 strand spool. I'm using all 3 strands so there is no need for separation which is what the chart indicates. The colours are really beautiful and vibrant and show up great on my Queen Anne's Lace fabric. Unfortunately this picture really hasn't captured either one all that well. The lighting is so poor by the time I'm home from work. I started with one of the bigger motifs and it used all but 3 of the floss colours. It might take me awhile to complete this one but it is definitely going to be worth it!
Spring Quakers is too large a project for me to carry into work so I have a new travelling stitch. Tra La La's Maison No 4 is perfect for this and has a lovely spring feel to it. Most of these charts use DMC floss. However this particular one had DMC conversions for 2 overdyed floss. These 2 called for Atalie threads which I assume are available in France. I liked the colour variation for these 2 so I substituted with what I had in my stash. I'm using CC Razzleberry and GAST Currant instead.

The framers called this week with another of my finishes. As you know, I'm trying to get as many of my favourites framed as possible before I retire. Spring Lace by Whispered By The Wind was next in line. I absolutely love this frame but I when I picked it out I wasn't thinking about my wall colours at home. I wish that my walls were darker than they are. It would show this one off so much better. It's such a gorgeous frame!

My back is pretty well back to normal now. Thanks once again for all of your well wishes! My car returned on Wednesday and it looks so good. They even cleaned the inside which if you ever rode in my car you would know really needed it. I don't think I've seen it look this good since I first parked it in the drive! The weather here the past couple of days has been really mild and a good deal of our snow has melted. However temps are supposed to drop overnight again with some more of that white stuff forecasted. And I was just thinking that perhaps I could ditch the boots!

Monday, 14 February 2011

For my sweetheart

Finished just in time for the big day! I put the final stitches in this on Sunday afternoon. I ended up restitching the word True because it looked like I'd stitched it with only 1 strand of floss rather than 2. The floss is by Silk 'N Colors and the colour is In the Burgandy. It's a 12 strand floss and I think that somehow I managed to split one strand into two. It wasn't noticeable but I feel much better about it. This is to be framed and will hang in my DH's office. I'm going to let him pick the frame that he wants.

I had to work this past weekend so Bob took me out for dinner to celebrate the holiday on the Friday night. He made a reservation at our favourite tea house in the village of Williamsburg. Once there, we ran into another couple who are friends and asked them to join us. It was a truly enjoyable, relaxing evening and a great way to celebrate Valentine Day.

I have a new start to share but I'll save that for later this week. I'm heading to bed now. They're calling for a flash freeze overnight and I imagine the roads will be rather tricky tomorrow morning. I'm driving a rental since my car is now in for repairs so I'd rather leave early and take my time. I never feel as comfortable when I'm not driving my own car.

Thank you for your continued well wishes for my back injury. I've improved considerably since last week .

I'll leave you with a picture of a gift that I received from a friend at Christmas which I think is really appropriate for Valentine Day. Trish knows how much I love Jim Shore collectables as well as cats and added this beauty to my collection. It's called Cozy Heart. I hope you all had cozy hearts at the close of this Valentine Day.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The North Wind Doth Blow

It most certainly does! That wind has been quite active and bitterly cold leading to increased time indoors to finish this sweet piece...... Little House Needlework North Wind. This has been a wonderful design to stitch but I've made an error which I won't let happen again. I chose the fabric for this piece from my stash. It's a dove gray Monaco and there was a paper pinned on to the fabric by the seller with the dimensions. I didn't check it, just folded it, found my centre and began stitching. Halfway through I realized that the fabric wasn't as wide as I'd anticipated! I only have an inch on either side of the border. I'm hoping that when John goes to stretch it, he can sew on another piece of fabric and perform a miracle. I won't make that mistake again. I'll make sure to measure each piece of fabric myself after I've purchased it. That said, I really enjoyed stitching on the Monaco and I'm checking my stash to see if I've got any more of it.

Following my accident last week I'd hoped to get in lots of stitching with my extra time off work. However my back has not cooperated. Keeping my head bent as I stitch results in more pain in the upper back and at the base of the neck. I also found things more uncomfortable when I returned to work this week. The commute into work didn't help matters any either. So I think I'll be making an appointment with a physiotherapist to help out. I consider myself very lucky especially when I think of one of my coworkers who also had an accident last week. She lost control of her car on black ice, rolled it three times and ended up landing upside down. This all took place during a snowstorm on Highway 401, our major east-west highway in Ontario. They had to break the glass in her window to get her out. She suffered a laceration to her forehead and she also has whiplash. We're all so glad that she's alright. This highway has a high volume of transport traffic and things could have been so much worse.
I want to thank all of you for the lovely get well wishes and concerned comments which you left for me. It has really helped knowing that I have so many great friends who care so much. Your concern has really touched me.

Following my NW finish, I brought out Fair, Kind, True, hoping to get it completed by Valentine Day. It's moving along nicely and I just may have the stitching completed in time but the finishing will come later. I also love the fabric I'm using for this one. The colour is Earthern by Picture This Plus and I think I will be ordering more of it. The fabric looks too light in this picture. It's a really lovely hand dyed sand colour. Fabric colours never seem to come out right in my pictures. I'm not sure if it's the lighting or what but I can never get them right!

I'll be bringing out Cast All Your Cares this weekend to put in some more stitches. However it's a little too big for taking to work with me so instead I've found another start. It's called Maison No 4 by Tra La La and I love the colours used in it. The colour scheme fits in very with Valentine's Day. I also couldn't resist the pull of Spring Quakers any longer and I finally put in my first stitches yesterday. I'll have a picture of my progress soon.
Last week I was thrilled to find out that I won the Pumpkin Challenge on Becky's blog. I've won a gift certificate for the online stitching store of my choice. I've chosen 123 Stitch and I think I will hang onto this until after the Nashville Needlework Market. I'm sure it will result in lots of new must-haves for my stash! Thank you very much Becky! The challenge was a lot of fun and really got me motivated especially in regards to finishing.

After the arrival last week of the hawk in my tree, I haven't seen any of the little birds around. Or any of the birds for that matter! They've all been in hiding. However the bright sun today has brought them all out again. Here are a couple pics of the some of the visitors to my tree today. I believe the small bird is a gold finch, fluffing her feathers to keep warm.

I hope all of you are keeping safe and warm during all this rotten weather. While we here in North America are shivering, our friends Down Under are having a bit of a heat wave. Maybe they'd like some visitors?!

Thursday, 3 February 2011


It's not Alanis Morrissette's song I'm referring to, but the fact that I decided to go into Ottawa a day early for an appointment and stay overnight to avoid the hazardous drive during the next day's impending snowstorm only to find myself getting rear ended on dry roads!! Yup, I think I must have a permanent target sign on any car I drive. This time I was heading to my Tuesday night SAL after which I would join my DH and spend the night with him in Ottawa. I had an early morning medical appointment which I didn't want to cancel and snowmaggedon was slated to make an appearance in the early morning hours on Wednesday. I was driving through rush hour traffic and had just come to a stop behind a long line of cars when BANG!!
I found myself being thrown forward and then back, my seat even flying back and dropping on its rails, as I was pushed into the car in front of me. So naturally, damage to the car front and rear. The man who hit me was from out of town and driving a rental. He hadn't seen me stop early enough and when he slammed on the brakes they locked and he ran right into me.

I immediately felt the impact in my back and the next day my DH convinced me to pay a visit to the emergency department at our local hospital when I'd returned home. Six hours later I was told that I had some whiplash, given some pain killers and sent home to rest from work for a couple of days. I always thought that whiplash resulted in pain only in the neck but apparently not since most of my pain is concentrated in my upper back. So here I sit, on an absolutely beautiful day post snowstorm, feeling sorry for myself.

I'm watching our neighbour's tree, shown in the picture above, where these little fellows reside. The chickadees have all been stopping by our feeder to stuff themselves after hunkering down all night during the storm. We received a little more out here than the Ottawa area did. I believe it was between 20 and 25 cm which is 8-10 inches for you non-metric bloggers. I just happened to glance out our back door and spotted the snow covering the old BBQ sitting on the deck.

It's shaped into the most perfect mound! I hate to see it get disturbed.

I'm trying to get some qualtiy stitching time in since I'm home but I can't sit for very long before the back signals me it's time to get up and move again.
Either that or the pain killers make me drowsy and I drift off into LaLa Land.

My progress on Tuesday night at our SAL was understandably meagre. I just couldn't concentrate so I chatted with the others and walked around the table, checking on what designs they were stitching. There wasn't the usual crowd out. I assume that some were expecting the snow to arrive that evening and didn't want to get caught.

I've spent most of my time this past week concentrating on Fair, Kind, True. I would love to have it done in time for Valentine Day even if the finishing isn't complete. Sorry, the picture is a little cockeyed.

I finally pulled out North Wind this past weekend and gave it some of my attention. It's coming along nicely. It won't be long before all I have left is the border. Gotta get that robin in there first though!

The week before last at our Tuesday night group we had a real treat. Maria and Louise from our group used to run Crafty Ladies, our retreat blog and they organized our fall and spring retreats. They have found it time consuming and wanted to devote more time to other pursuits so Laura, of Enchanting Lair fame, has taken over. She sent down a box of some of her beautiful hand dyed fabrics for us to look at, drool over, fondle and oh yeah .... buy!! There were so many that I would have loved to go home with but I limited myself to these three. All are 32 ct, two are evenweaves and one is a linen.

The one on the right is the linen and its a one of a kind colour. It's really gorgeous and I can't wait to find something to stitch on it!

OMG, I can't believe it! I just glanced out the window and spotted this fellow sitting in my tree. I believe it's a small hawk and usually I only see them in the country, not sitting on a branch in our neighbourhood!
Fortunately I had the camera sitting right beside me on the table, grabbed it, and got this shot. As soon as I stood up to get a better picture, he flew away. If you look closely at the photo you'll see his head was actually turned and he was looking my way!
I hope that those of you living in the US and Canada in the path of the recent snow have managed to make it through with no major problems. Apparently the storm hit 1/3 of the US! It has moved on now and is battering the eastern coast of Canada. I must say we've been lucky here so far this winter. This was our first major snowfall which is really unusual.
I'll leave you with a picture of Clarisse. I think it was Judy who recently asked if I had any recent pics of my sidekick. This one was taken as she sat at my feet watching me stitch. I've been trying to get one to show you just how beautiful her blue eyes really are and this one is it.

Keep on stitching!

February TUSAL

Wow, I can't believe that the month of January is gone already! I'm sure many of you are just as happy to see it go what with all the wicked weather it brought. The new moon is upon us and here is my TUSAL pic for the month. I've decided that this container is great for the monthly holdings but while I'm actually stitching, I use this smaller bottle.
It's about the size of a spice bottle and is great for collecting up a few weeks worth of orts. After that I dump it into the main jar at the end of the month. I bought 2 of these last year in the craft department of a friend's store. I keep one upstairs in the living room where I stitch on occasion and the other resides next to my stitching chair in the rec room. Each bottle has a cute little heart and watering can attached to it.
I've got a few more pics to show you of my WIP but I haven't finished with that yet so I'll save it until my next post which will hopefully be tonight.
Keep warm and Happy Stitching!