Wednesday, 29 January 2014

My first posting for the Smalls SAL

What was last year's Ornament SAL has become this year's Smalls SAL and I'm so glad to be a part of it once more. I gave you an early peek at one of my small finishes on a previous post but I have since completed the final finishing on it.

The Primitive Apple Spicy Winter Tea is a freebie pattern which can be found here. I finished this one up as a small pillow using crushed walnut shells for the filling along with a healthy dose of some Pumpkin Spice potpourri. It smells wonderful!

The Little Stitcher Give Love is also a freebie pattern which is found here. Another quick stitch but so effective when finished.

I also complete one of Threadwork Primitives Valentine freebies, found here

I stitched my own and my husband's initials.The original date on the design is 1856 and I know that makes the finished product look more primitive but I chose to change this to the year of our wedding.
I haven't decided how to finish this stitch yet but hopefully by next month's post I'll have the final finishing completed in addition to some new smalls.
Speaking of Threadwork Primitives, I took one of my completed stitches of Nan's from last year and finished it up as another small for my Valentine decor. I could have used a little more fill in this one but I ran short so it will have to do.

Here are my bowls of Valentine pillows.

I seem to have plenty for now but there are so many wonderful Valentine freebies out there! 
I've already decided on a small for next month's post so now I'm off to pull fabric and floss.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

My first Stitch From Stash post

Good morning all! It's a beautiful, bright but bitterly cold morning here in Eastern Ontario. A perfect day to stitch indoors with natural light. Being the crazy Canuck that I am though, I'll be venturing outdoors into the frigid temperatures to revel in the glories of a Canadian winter!

I am so pleased to have joined with many bloggers to take part in the first Stitch From Stash group. I joined this group to try and keep check on my addiction to increasing my cross stitch stash and assist my dwindling pocketbook too. The group is now closed to new members but please stop by see how well controlled we are, or not, lol! I am going to make every effort to control my spending and stitch only from my existing stash which btw is massive!

My first stitching pic is one that some of you may have already seen on previous posts this month. I picked up an older WIP called Paradis Perdu which I started 2 years ago and added a few more stitches to it.

Hopefully I'll stick with this one a little more than I did last year and get closer to a finish.

My first start of the year is a gorgeous, colourful design that was just calling out to me from the stash pile. Welcome to With Thy Needle and Thread - The Pink Sparrow Sampler.

My second new start is an older Little House Needleworks design, The Counting House.

I've already found an error in my stitching so I'll be frogging one of those sheep in the very near future.

All fabric, floss and charts are from my current stash. I didn't learn of this group until just before Christmas and joined as soon as I found out. However I am more fortunate than some in that my stash will still increase somewhat but not by my own hand. My son gave me a GC to 123 Stitch for Christmas and my MIL always gives me a very generous gift of cash, a portion of which I earmark for framing and stitching supplies. So I will still have a few new items arriving without having to use any of my own cash. This should satisfy my urge to spend without any major damage. Of course, Market is just around the corner though, lol! By then I'm sure to have exhausted my generous gifts.
I look forward to popping by your blogs and seeing what treasures you've found to work on from your own supplies. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

What a Hoot! First WIPocalypse of 2014

I hope everyone is off to a great start with this year's WIPocalypse. I know I am!You'll understand my title more once you've finished reading all about my stitching. If you check the pages below my header on the blog you'll see the page for this year's list of hopefuls. I've included quite a few larger projects so we'll see just how far I get this year.

I decided to start off the year with something that brought thoughts of spring especially since so many of us have had just a miserable winter so far. I wanted lots of colour, flowers, birds, etc. and I found just what I wanted waiting for me in my pile of kitted projects. Here are my first photos of  With Thy Needles and Thread Pink Sparrow Sampler. 

I'm really loving the colours in this stitch. I finished up that little dog this morning. At first I couldn't figure out what was in his mouth but now I see that it is a basket of flowers. Sweet!

Besides Pink Sparrow I pulled out another sampler that is just begging for attention. Remember A Mon Ami Pierre Paradis Perdu?
I'm surprised anyone remembers it as I haven't touched it since last winter! Here's where I left off......

and here is the stitching that I put in over the past week.

Slowly but surely!!

My first finish for the year was this ornament by The Primitive Hare called Welcome Santa - Ho, Ho, Ho.

I also stitched up this little quick stitch by The Primitive Apple. I hoping to finish this up into a small pillow along with another finish I completed for my 2014 Smalls SAL. I'll post a photo of this one at the end of the month.

When I woke this morning I had lots of plans for my stitching and then my husband called. He was on his way into work and called to let me know that he had seen two owls within a 5 minute drive of our home. Our area has become home to an influx of snowy owls recently which is rare for this area. It seems that there was an increase in the number of owls hatched this year in the Arctic and their food supply is running low. Hence their arrival in our neck of the woods. If you're a regular follower of my blog you will have seen the photos I posted recently that I snapped in the area. To date I have spotted 6 different owls and today I added number 7 to the count. 
The rest of this blog post is picture intensive with owl sightings so if it doesn't interest you, you should check out at this point.

The weather was overcast and perfect for sightings. We haven't seen any in the area of the past few days and figured they might have moved on. Boy were we wrong! As I drove along our usual route I looked up and spotted the first one flying overhead.

I slowed the car down, pulled over and waited to see where it would land. It was starting to snow and was difficult to see especially since the birds are quite often white against all that white. Can you spot where it landed in this photo below? Look closely now!

Here I am!

A little closer now....

Although I was parked at a fair distance, the owl grew uncomfortable with my stares and moved across the road to this post.

A little blurry so I inched the car a little closer so I could focus better.

Please turn your head!

Finally he had had enough of me and my intrusions and he took off where I couldn't follow.

A little further down the road I spotted this fellow watching the scenery at ground level.

He was a little too far away for a clear picture. Both of these owls tend to hunt in the same areas as do the other four which I have seen. Today I added a new owl to the group. I decided to head in a different direction and found this fellow right along a main highway scanning the fields for lunch.

These last few pictures were taken over a week ago on another of my owl forays.

The next one is a little blurry but I wanted you to see the feathered feet they have.

I've gotten a little carried away with all my photo shoots but they may never be in this area again and I feel I have been so blessed with this opportunity to view them. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Off to a good start!

The new year is off to a great stitching start. I think one of my most productive periods always occurs at the start of the year and over the next couple of months as we hunker down during the bad weather. There's nothing more comforting than sitting beside a cozy fire with the cat at my feet, a cup of my favourite chai or mint tea beside me and stitching in hand while the winter storms whirl around the house. 

You may remember that last year at this time I started in on Heartstring Samplery's Baby It's Cold Outside, pictured above. Last week I dropped it off at my framer and courtesy of a Christmas gift from my MIL, I picked out what I hope will be a fabulous frame for it. It should be ready in another week or so. I'll post a pic once it's back home on display.

As the milder weather melts all that white stuff outdoors, the landscape is turning into a mucky, charcoal gray mess. It's a stark contrast to the lovely pastel shades of my new year start. Here's an updated pic of The Pink Sparrow Sampler.

I've made one substitution so far. I've swapped out the requested Lexington Green with a Gentle Art Special Edition April Showers that I had in my stash. The Lexington Green was more of a gray colour rather than the blue colour which appeared in the cover photo. I know that these cover photos are often not a true representation of the colours in the completed pic but quite often I like the shades I see in the cover photo. Also there is the matter of colour changes in the dye lot which has thrown me on more than one occasion when stitching something. 
I know that I'll also be swapping out the Cornhusk for a different colour. It has more of a gold-green look to it whereas the photo shows a muted softer colour approaching a mint green. All in all though I'm pleased with the looks of this one so far. Kind of reminds me of spring and Easter!

I've finished the stitching on two smalls for my SAL commitment at the end of the month. Photos to come at that time.

Last week I pulled an old friend out of my neglected projects. 

Can you believe it? It's A Mon Ami Pierre Paradis Perdu. I haven't touched this one in nearly a year! I do enjoy stitching this but I think it's the larger Q-snap that's holding this which bugs me. On the weekend I completed the basket motif above, a couple of the tempting apples in the tree and the year, which is intended to be the stitcher's year of birth. Fortunately for me, my birth year is the one which was charted for this pattern. I really want to try and stick with this one more than I did last year if at all possible. The problem is that too many other projects are calling my name!

I also wanted to show you a picture of the lovely gift I received recently from my friend Anne. I met Anne shortly before Bob and I got married. Her husband and mine are close friends and when we finally met we were delighted to find that we both shared an interest in needlework. Anne knew that I like The Primitive Hare designs and so she stitched up this ornament for me from the JCS 2013 Ornament edition.

Thank you so much Anne! I love it and have left it up for a little longer to admire it.

I'm going to try and join in on my Tuesday night stitching group tonight. Last week the weather kept me home and it's been a few weeks since I've seen the gang. My BIL has been visiting for the past couple of days which has been great but now he's returning home and the house is quiet once more. Sometimes just a little too quiet!
I hope the winter weather woes are not giving too many of you trouble and for those of you on the other side of the world with summer well underway, I wish I was there! Whatever your season, keep on stitching.

I forgot to add my Happy Birthday wishes to my eldest son. Can you believe it, I'm the mom of a 33 year old?! I'm so proud of you and the incredible father that you've become. Enjoy your day honey and we'll visit you again soon!

Monday, 6 January 2014

A New Year and A New Start

Welcome 2014 and a Happy New Year to all! The holidays are over and the decor is coming down bit by bit. We leave our tree up until Epiphany and are just in the process of taking it down now.
The weather has been downright nasty, not just here but for many of you as well. I hope everyone has weathered the storms without incident. 

You may or may not have heard but it appears that the Snowy Owls have travelled further south than usual this year in search of food. Around here it is being reported that there are more owls being seen than in the past 40 years. Several people mentioned that the owls had been spotted on neighbouring roads in our county so on Saturday I headed out with some friends in search of these beauties. It wasn't long before we spotted our first one atop a tree near the railroad tracks, just a 2 min drive outside of our village.

I couldn't believe that this one was so close to town. I had to zoom in quite a bit to see it and snap a pic so it's not as clear as I would have liked. Off we headed, down the road to see if we could find one a little closer to us.

This one was sitting atop of a TV antenna on a farm property.

Another 15 minutes drive and this beauty was spotted on the wiring on a farm's lane.

She/He seemed a bit skittish and looked ready to take off at a moment's notice. We never got too close to them and used our zooms to get the pictures. Look at those talons!

On our return home we captured this fellow on top of a telephone pole on our route. He watched us very carefully as we rolled down our windows for the picture.

This last one is a bit out of focus due to my excitement at seeing one so close range. They are beautiful birds and I'm so lucky to have seen them in the wild. Bob and I are going to head out again this week to see if we can spot more. He was working and couldn't join us the first time. I would love to get a pic of one in flight!

I didn't get much time for stitching until the start of the new year. Over the weekend I finished up this little ornie which I started mid-December. I stitched it over one otherwise it would have been too large for an ornament. Completed, it measures 2 1/4 inches square.

This design is by The Primitive Hare and is called Welcome Santa - Ho, Ho, Ho. There were 3 different patterns in this design, two of which are for ornaments so I may end up stitching the second one soon.

Having finished up my Torah stitch, I can now concentrate on some new starts. I was going to start a winter piece but I've had my fill of winter lately so instead I picked out With Thy Needle and Thread Pink Sparrow Sampler. I've had this one kitted up and ready to go ever since I bought it. I love all the pretty pastels used in the floss colours.

Clarisse sat quietly on a chair beside my stitching spot, watching me intently.

I've continued my participation in WIPocalypse this year. If you're interested in joining us just click on the link for all the details. I recently completed my list of must stitches for this year. You can find it at the top of my blog under WIPocalypse 2014.
I've also continued in the ornament SAL which has now become a SAL for smalls. You can find it here at Stitching Lotus blog. Join us in the fun! I'm just in the process of finding a stitch for this month's small.
As well I've joined in on Stitch From Stash 2014 over at Mel's Epic Stitching. I'm hoping this will encourage me to stitch from what I purchased last year rather than adding to my ever burgeoning stash. You are allowed to spend $25/ month on any supplies you may need or a pattern if you must. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the year for least amount spent, etc. as well as a draw from all the participants. With any luck this will keep me on track with my spending. I'm letting my TUSAL participation slide this year. I think most people have seen enough of my orts over the past two years. 

I received two lovely gifts for X stitch purchases this past Christmas and can use these without penalty on my SFS. I've already ordered some fabric for upcoming projects with one gift. 

That about brings things up to date. I look forward to seeing everyone's choices for stitching this year and will be visiting some blogs in the near future. Take care and keep warm!