Thursday, 29 March 2012


I am very touched and flattered to have received the Liebster Award recently from three individual bloggers! The three ladies who so graciously awarded me this are Nancy, Rhona and rosek1870
Liebster is German meaning favourite, dearest or beloved and the award is given to a favoured blog with less than 200 followers. 

Although I'm very happy that you think so favourably of my blog, I'm going to be a bit of a spoilsport here. I find it very difficult to pass on these awards to only a small number. I'm afraid that I might offend someone if I haven't chosen them. I have made so many blogging friends over the past few years and I would love to give the award to all of you! Plus, your continued visits and comments are all the award that I need. I enjoy sharing my passion with you and I'm thrilled when you take the time to stop and drop a line on my blog. Your continued visits and friendship mean so much more to me.
Thank you so much my friends and I hope I don't offend you by not accepting the award. That was never my intention!

I don't have a lot of progress to show you from this past week. The virus I have continues to linger. I thought I was over it this past weekend but it has rebounded and I'm feeling worse than ever these past few days. The virus is leaving me with a lot of fatigue and stitching seems to take so much effort. I have been doing a little more reading instead.
I do have a pic of Feather Your Nest to share with you. Most of the stitching was done before I became ill. 

I didn't have the required DMC for doing the house roofs in my stash so I substituted with some Victorian Motto floss which I won in a giveaway. Unfortunately the colour bleeds very easily, so much so that when I folded my fabric for storage, I found some pink discolouration on the fabric when I unrolled it. I'm going to have to be extremely careful with this one now. Just the heat from my hands seems to make the floss bleed. If I were to try and remove it now, the fabric would be quite stained. As it is, I had to treat the pink colour I found on the fabric with some spot cleaning. Fortunately I got out most of it. If I had known this was going to bleed this badly I would either have washed the floss first or substituted with another colour.  I'll know for the future!

The one day that I did venture out this week, I made a stop at my framer's to pick up a small Easter stitch I had dropped off. I stitched this one last year and only got around to the framing now. It's perfect for the upcoming holiday. 

LHN He Is Risen

This is a sweet little frame and I'm very happy with how it has turned out. 
I still haven't got my Easter pillows stitched up mostly because I haven't wanted to pass on this virus to my friends who help me with the aid of their sewing machines. I'm trying to get myself well enough to sing this weekend. Our choir is joining with two others for a production of Stainer's Crucifixion on Palm Sunday.It's an oratorio containing 20 movements for choir and organ. I managed to make it to our first joint rehearsal last weekend and it sounded so lovely that I don't want to miss singing in this one. 

I leave you with some pictures of my favourite mischief maker, Clarisse. Not long after I got in bed a few nights ago, I could hear a racket coming from the end of the hallway where our laundry hamper is located. Here's what I found when I got up to inspect.

I apologize for the blurriness of the photos. When I try and use a flash, this is the reaction I get.

Gee Mom, don't you know that hurts my eyes!!

The weekend is fast approaching. I hope it's a good one for all!

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Welcome to March's new moon and this month's TUSAL.  My little jars hold a lot of lovely pinks and greens from my Easter and St. Patrick's Day stitches. Definitely very springlike. In keeping with the great weather I took the opportunity to photograph these out in the gazebo for the first time this year. They have now been emptied and join the other orts in my large collection jar. I'll have to take a pic of that one next month.

Today my DH went over and picked up the mail for me at our postal box before he headed to work. "Another parcel!", he cried as he headed in the door. I wasn't expecting anything so imagine my surprise when I opened it to find this waiting for me within.

Of course Clarisse had to get her nose right in there. She kept sniffing the parcel and I think she was trying to go after the small feather which adorned it.

So who was this lovely parcel from? None other than my fellow Canadian blogger, Anne. Anne surprised me with a very cheerful Spring RAK. Just look at what was hiding inside that tissue!

Isn't it sweet? I immediately took it out back with me into the gazebo to photograph it alongside my honey bee watering can. After all, with all those spring flowers the bees won't be far behind!
I have given up sweets for Lent so those chocolates will have to wait until Easter morning but I will most certainly enjoy them then.
Thank you so much Anne for such a delightful gift!

Yesterday my DH brought home another treat for me from work. Many of you may know that Bob works as an organist and choral director at a large Anglican church. This particular church operates a soup kitchen out of the church hall which is operated by the city of Ottawa. There are several employees who operate the Lunch Club as it's known along with many volunteers. One of the ladies who works in the kitchen heard that I liked to cross stitch. Many of the people at the church have seen me stitching to pass the time as I wait for Bob. She brought in the following chart along with what she had stitched so far and told my hubby to give it to me to finish if I was interested. As far as he knows she doesn't want it back.

It's called English Garden and originally was sold as a kit. As you can see, she has stitched this on 14ct Aida. There are no threads with the piece. They've long ago been misplaced or thrown out. I love the piece and it was so thoughtful of her to think of me. I would definitely like to stitch it but should I start from scratch on evenweave or continue what has already been started? The back of the piece is quite messy with a lot of loose ends. Any thoughts? Has anyone ever heard of this designer before?

I spent my last afternoon outdoors for awhile. The weather will turn cool overnight and the temperatures will remain much cooler over the next couple of weeks. I'm not sure just how much the gazebo will heat up from the sun. Perhaps it will still retain enough heat that I can spend my afternoons out there reading or stitching. Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

In the Gazebo Stitching!

Spring has sprung and boy has it arrived here in a big way! We are having an unheard of heat wave for this time of year. Since the weekend the temps have been in the mid twenties Celsius which translates to the upper seventies in Fahrenheit. Today it's actually a glorious 27 C or 81 F! All good things must come to an end and this weekend the warm air moves out and we are back to more seasonable temps which means a drop of about 30 degrees F! Totally unreal....wearing capris and sandals one day and coats with gloves the next! No wonder everyone is getting sick! 
Illness hasn't escaped me either. I'm suffering from a virus of some sort which is supplying me with a sore throat, stuffed head and tightness in the chest. So I'm nursing myself by sitting in the gloriously warm gazebo, stitching my heart out!

I have two small finishes to show you this week. First up is my Sew A Brown Bunny. I started stitching this one with an overdyed Dinky Dyes floss I found in my stash which was in various shades of pink. I thought it would be a nice change from the green called for in the pattern. However the overdye didn't work out all that well so I pulled it and carried on in a DMC pink, the number of which escapes me at the moment. This one will be a pillow finish.

iStitch Sew A Brown Bunny
stitched on 32ct linen using DMC

The next finish is soon to be made into a carrot shaped ornament. Its from The Cricket Collection Rabbit's Delight chart. There are four ornaments in this series and I'm hoping to complete the one with the chicks next. 

The chart calls for 30ct linen but I had a 32ct Wichelt linen in Colonial Pumpkin which is a perfect colour for these little stitches.
So consequently my carrots ornies will be slightly smaller than those on the chart. The picture doesn't really show the colour well but if you follow the link to this chart I can tell you that this fabric is the same colour as the lighter fabric on the chart cover.

Having finished those two up I concentrated next on Feather Your Nest. This is a perfect spring stitch with its robin and robin's nest. I'm loving the colours in this one too!  

There are certainly plenty of robins in my yard at the moment, out enjoying the sun and digging up the worms from the soggy yard. 
My tulips are well on their way now and the lilac is even blooming. I even spotted some green shoots on my clematis and a lone viola in my garden.
Look at that blue sky!

 All this has me a bit worried since the warm weather has advanced their growth quite a bit and next week they will be thrown back into the cold. I hope everything survives! My sister told me yesterday that her magnolia tree in her yard has blooms on it which look ready to open and that is about a month ahead of schedule! She lives in an area further south and west of me but just the same, that's crazy!

We stored the lawn furniture in the gazebo but I haven't brought out the cushions yet because I just know we're in for some damp, cold weather in the near future. So for now I'm sitting on one of the plastic lawn chairs soaking up the sun while I can. 
Hope there's a little bit of spring in your neck of the woods!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The Cat's In The Bag

May I present my latest finish, the cat with an attitude, Olga!
Plum Street Samplers Olga
stitched on 32ct Zweigart Silvery Moon
using CC, GAST & WDW floss
I thoroughly enjoyed stitching this little beauty. I'm pleased with the colours changes I made to the design. Following my WIPocalypse post, I ended up frogging out the large pumpkin. I wasn't happy with its colour scheme and replaced that minty green with a GAST Limited Edition floss. I also decided not to add the vines on the pumpkins. I did actually stitch them on the small one but they really couldn't be seen so I pulled them out.

As I mentioned in my last post, my new start is With Thy Needle & Thread Birds of a Feather. I actually started this one in the fall but I hadn't got very far before I discovered that I'd turned the fabric in the wrong direction when I started and was going to run out of room. So last night I frogged out what little I had stitched and restarted. There's not enough to post yet but hopefully I'll have something to show you next time.

In addition I made a new start on another small, iStitch Designs Sew A Brown Bunny. I had an overdye pink floss that I thought would work but I didn't like the effect once I got started with it so I stuck with just a plain pink. I'm liking this much better.

Carol has designed some really lovely little stitches so if you haven't given any of hers a try before, go and check them out. They're quick stitches and reasonably priced. She'll send you the pdf which I just love because then you can get started on things right away.

The mailman has brought me some new stash additions this week. What a great way to start a week! First up is my giveaway win from Pickle Barrel Designs. Another blogger introduced me to her designs and I'm so glad that they did. Nancy had a giveaway in February to celebrate the release of her new design, Love LettersIsn't it cute! She sent me the kit which also contains the necessary Sullivan floss. This will be the first time I give these floss a try. Thank you so much Nancy for this wonderful gift! 

From Theresa at Shakespeare's Peddler came some more goodies which were actually bought with some of my Christmas cash. During the month of January, she offered a kit special for Blackbird Designs Christmas Garden with the fabric and silks. I also received a kit for A Wassailing. This kit was specially designed for the Williamsburg, VA retreat. Theresa had a few left over and offered them on a first come, first serve basis. I spotted this offer early, put in my request and was lucky enough to receive one.

I also received some charts last week from one of my favourite designers, Midsummer Night Designs. I've only stitched one of her designs, Forget Me Not but there were several others that I wanted to stitch in the future but just hadn't gotten around to ordering. When I went to order one recently I discovered that they're very hard to come by all of a sudden. It looks like she might have quit designing and a lot of her charts are just not out there now. Does anyone know what happened with this designer?
When I managed to find a few I snapped them up right away. 

I think Peace Inside will be my first choice to stitch.

Not much else going on. Hubby is sick with a cold and has stayed home today which is almost unheard of so I know he must be feeling pretty miserable. So far I've managed to escape the bug. It's another glorious, sunny day and I'll be heading in to join my stitching group later this afternoon. I hope you're all getting a taste of this wonderful spring weather!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

March WIPocalypse - Olga Has A Head!

The full moon has rolled around again so it's time for a WIPocalyse report. I added another start to my list to remind me of the season of Lent. 

La D Da Psalm 103
stitched on 28ct Blended Needle Parchment
using DMC floss

La D Da Psalm 103 was a quick stitch. Now I'm hunting for a suitable frame for it. I cut my fabric a little short,especially top and bottom, so I'm hoping I don't run into any problems with framing.
Following this finish I moved on to Plum Street Samplers Olga.

Olga has gained a head since my last posting. Isn't she just the cat's meow!? I love the expression on her face. She's got that look. You know, the one that says," Don't even think about it!"
That little appendage beneath her belly is actually the stem of a pumpkin resting at her feet.
There really isn't a whole lot of stitching remaining in this piece so I should have it finished off in a few days. Famous last words, lol!

Besides these two I also managed to finish two smalls, BBD Breath of Spring and PSS Got Luck. You can see pics of them on my previous post.

I'm pulling fabric and floss today for another small stitch. I have both an Easter and a St. Patrick's Day one in the wings. Haven't decided which I'll start first. Once Olga is complete I'm planning on moving on to With Thy Needle & Thread Feather Your Nest. It's a great spring start! 
Hope you are enjoying a good week and that there is some time to put needle to fabric.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Two Small Finishes

I'm in the mood to stitch smaller designs lately. They give the impression that you're accomplishing a lot more than you actually are. Let's face it, they just make you feel better especially when you're tiring of one of your BAPs. 
I finished two more smalls on the weekend and one of my friends commented saying, "Wow, you're really stitching a lot more than you used to."  
Not really, it just looks that way, lol!
First finish is BBD Breath of Spring. Loved this little design from the first time I set eyes on it. I will complete it as the suggested pillow finish. I've also included a pic of my backing fabric and this weekend I found the perfect lace trim to accompany it.

BBD Breath of Spring
stitched on 28ct Fairy Dust Lugana
using Crescent Colours Floss

I want to thank all those of you who helped me in finding some St. Patrick's Day freebies to stitch. Thanks to you I now have a small assortment from which to choose! My second finish comes from one of these charts..... Plum Street Samplers Got Luck

The picture doesn't do justice to the colour of the fabric. It's actually a lot more green than it appears. It has a lovely mottling appearance to it. I chose a piece of Silkweaver's Evergreen jobelan  and fortunately there is enough of the fabric left on which to do another small stitch. I couldn't find any St. Paddy's fabric at my local fabric shops so I purchased a fat quarter off of ebay and I'm awaiting its arrival to finish this as a pincushion.

This morning I opened my mail to find an interesting photo sent by my youngest son. It seems that a former coworker of his has designed a deck of playing cards. Each card in the deck is a sketch of either a family member or friend . This coworker chose to sketch Chris for the photo on the 6 of Clubs.

The sketch is actually a pretty good likeness, right down to the tattoo Chris sports on his arm and his ear piercing! Chris was the artist's supervisor at work and in his job Chris would open the store in the morning as well as make any necessary announcements, hence the keys and the microphone. The mike also signifies Chris' role as lead singer in his punk band. Chris' friend is creating these playing cards as gifts for his family during the coming year. What a uniquely personal gift!!

I hope that none of my blogging friends have been affected by the horrific rash of tornadoes which passed through the U.S. on the weekend. So many have suffered such devastating losses and my heart goes out to them. I will continue to keep them in my prayers.

That about sums things up for now. My second oldest son has been visiting here for the weekend and is sleeping in the room which contains my stash. I'm waiting for him to wake up so I can get in there to find my next start. At what age do they start to wake at an earlier hour? Or do they ever?!