Friday, 27 February 2015

Spring Giveaway!

Look who's having a spring giveaway!

Did you guess correctly? That's right, it's Nancy over at The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe. Just follow the link over to her shop for a visit and to check out her wonderful selection of trims and floss. Then add your name to the comments for a chance at her giveaway. Don't forget to mention that I sent you!
Good luck!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

February's Smalls SAL

Good morning! It's another cooooold morning in my little corner of the world and snow is lightly falling. I'm supposed to join my local craft group for some stitching this afternoon. I need to get out but I'm so tempted to just sit and stitch by the fire with a cup of pumpkin tea beside me. I think perhaps this is my favourite tea!
However I do have to get in this month's Smalls SAL post first.

I have two small finishes this month. One is a Valentine finish by Stacy Nash designs and the other is for a dear friend and is designed by Annie Beez Folk Art.

The one for my friend will be made into a pillow but I'm thinking that the first design will be made into a finish resembling an envelope. It will take me a bit of time to work at this though since I'm really not into sewing and I tend to procrastinate. My friend Nan suggested this finish though and I think it was a brilliant idea for it!

Yesterday I received two of my finishes which I'd taken in for stretching. I know I could learn to do this by myself but it's very tedious and I don't think I have the patience for it. My framer John has offered to stretch the pieces for our Tuesday night stitching group and that way the cost of framing is broken up somewhat. Now I can at least display these on an easel until I have the funds saved for the final framing. Anyone who follows my blog regularly will have seen these before.... Heartstring Samplery The Strawberry Bower Sampler and Plum Street Samplers Promised Lamb.

 I had an order of fabric arrive this week from a new shop which I think I will be dealing with quite often in the future. I stumbled across it by accident while searching for a particular colour of linen and although it is in the UK, the currency exchange works out better for me than ordering from the US. As many of you may know, the Canadian dollar's value is very low at this time and between that and the cost of shipping from the US it's killing me to order anything. The exchange rate between the British currency and the Canadian dollar worked more to my advantage plus the shipping costs were a flat rate & cheaper and the package arrived a week earlier than if I'd ordered from the states.  I'm not sure why that is but it's not the first time I've noticed this.

 Each one of these Lakeside linen fabrics has an upcoming project kitted up and ready to begin. I just have to finish working on my current stitches first.

I found another treat waiting for me at the post office today. 

My dear friend Jodi had this made specially for me! You may recall that Jodi is one of the ladies I met at the From Our Hands show in Ohio this past November. Jodi and I had never met before and we shared a room during this trip. What a great time we had and I'm very fortunate to have met her. Thank you so much Jodi! I love this and it's already in use.

One last pic for you. I had heard there were a few more snowy owl sightings in our area recently so I took a drive on Saturday afternoon and to my great pleasure I found one!

 The snow really started to come down as I was searching and I almost missed him. He just blended into the landscape.
Stay warm and above all stay safe during this nasty, frigid winter. A local man lost his life out here yesterday in a head on crash on icy roads. So sad....

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Winter Doldrums

Those winter doldrums have hit and I'm afraid I don't have much stitching progress to show. I've been housebound too long what with all the snow and cold and I can't seem to settle. Just too antsy as I move from one project to the other. I've had three new starts during the past month but very little done on any of them really. Here's where I am at this point.

 I continue to plug away at Threadwork Primitives Wintertime. I'm looking at this and the lighting is really terrible. You can't see one colour difference from another. Sorry about that!

My first new start is La D Da Briar Rabbit. As you can see, there's no sign of the bunny yet.

This was followed by My Dear which is from Blackbird Designs The Gift is Small leaflet. Not much to show but this is going to be a lovely stitch!

The third new start is the one piece on which I've made the most progress. This is called Such Friendship and is designed by Annie Beez FolkArt. I may be stitching this design more than once since I have a couple people in mind which I'd like to gift this with. There are a couple of new stitches in this one which I'm learning as I go along. One is a Leviathon variation stitch and the other is the Rhodes Heart which I haven't tackled yet.

Besides my cross stitching I've been busy putting together a couple of photo books. One is of all the deer photos which I've taken over the years and the second one is a compilation of all the snowy owl pics I took during their visit to our area in 2014. I had a coupon for the photo books that was expiring at the end of February so I spent a lot of time on these so as not to have the coupon expire before I could use it. I'm happy to say that I managed to get them both done and ordered with one day to spare!

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny but bitterly cold day. Despite the cold, Bob and I decided to take a drive out towards the bird sanctuary and see if we could spot any wild life or feathered friends. We had a bit of success on both counts. About halfway to our destination I spotted from a distance what looked like a log resting on a tree branch. You can see it in this pic to the left of the centre.

Here's what  was revealed as we got closer.

Mr. Turkey was settling down for a nap.

There were lots of deer on the road which hightailed it (sorry, I couldn't resist the pun!) back into the woods as the car approached. 
We had been told to watch out though for this particular fellow as we continued on our route. Can you see what it is?

A little closer now:

Yes, it's a snowy owl!

  This is our first sighting in 2015. I spotted one lone owl at the end of October just up the road from our place. I was excited that they were back in the region but I hadn't seen another one since. Although there are not the numbers around as we had last year, I'm still glad to see one or two of them in the region. They're such beautiful birds and fascinating to watch.

Following this we finally arrived at our destination. The bird sanctuary does have a number of winter birds in residence but we visit mostly to see these lovely creatures.

 We've seen as many as 30 deer in this area but on this visit there were 2 moms and their yearlings. They were picking at some corn that someone had left for them and at times they moved out to the road to lick at the road salt.
As we left to head home we ran into this little fellow who was not shy and was quite proud to show off his fluffy white tail.

 We stopped one last time at the area town dock to snap a pic of the frozen St. Lawrence river. The trees in the distance are on the American side of the river and are part of a park where I camped frequently with my boys when they were young.

All in all it was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. We stopped and grabbed a Timmie's coffee on our way home and we discussed the fact that perhaps next year we can return to the area and make use of the trails available for snowshoeing. This year is out of the question as my knee replacement surgery is going ahead on Mar. 16.
I hope you are all finding ways to keep warm during this bitter winter and for those of you down under, enjoy your warmth while you can. Wish I could visit!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Snowy Day WIPocalypse

The snow is lightly falling on this February WIPocalypse and as you can see, I have some feathered friends visiting today.

 I have a finish to show you on this snowy morning. The final stitches were put in on Heaven & Nature Sing last Saturday on a day that was so cold you didn't dare stick your nose out the door. It was a perfect day for stitching by the fire and here are the final results.

This design speaks to me of quiet, peaceful snowy nights just like the one on which it was completed. Soft and quiet!

Since the previous finish I've spent a lot of time sorting through stash rather than stitching it. I had a specific piece in mind for my next start and discovered that I didn't have as much of the required floss as I thought I had. So this new start has been put on the back burner until my order arrives. What to do, what to do? Everything that called to me was a large start and I didn't want to have 2 larger pieces on the go at the same time. So until I made up my mind I pulled out my Threadwork Primitives Winter Time and put a few stitches in.

I also put in a bit of time with a stitch I started in the fall of 2013, This is the Day. No pictures yet though, hopefully by next post.

Yesterday was the night on which my Ottawa stitching group meets. I've haven't joined them for awhile mostly because I haven't felt like doing the hour drive in the cold winter weather. I made the decision to go in last night and I kitted up this little stitch to take in with me. It's by Stacy Nash and is called To My Sweet Pinkeep.

This pic tells you just how much talking took place last night and how little stitching because this is the result after 3 hours of stitching! The lighting here today is just awful so I apologize for the quality of the photos.

One last pic I have to show you is of the Christmas gift my hubby gave me. This year Bob gave me a gift certificate to my framer. I have so many finishes still waiting for frames but this was the choice I made. I finished Weeds Make Haste in July 2013 and really wanted it up on display because I have so few summer designs. This one is designed by Shakespeare's Peddler and I absolutely love this frame.


Thank honey for an awesome gift!

Clarisse is busy at her post, keeping watch over all the various feathered visitors. They woke her from her morning nap when one of the birds tried flying through our front window. The bird survived but Clarisse looks a bit stunned!