Tuesday, 28 November 2017

November WIPocalypse and a Find

November's overcast weather has encouraged me to stay indoors and stitch more. At the beginning of the month I started stitching on some Christmas name trees which will be finished as ornaments and gifted. You can see them on my previous post. When I'd finished with them I felt the urge to start on a new, larger Christmas piece. However, after browsing through my stash, I'd narrowed things down to 3 or 4 charts but I couldn't make up my mind. In the meantime I picked up my recent Halloween stitch by The Primitive Needle, Annie Hyssop's Harvest Moon. Here's where I am at this point.



With Halloween done and over with I just wasn't feeling it for this piece so I dug through my charts and decided to go with Plum Street Samplers Yuletide Welcome. I spent the morning stitching the windows for the house and once again my mood changed. The piece was larger than I wanted to work on at this time and I was looking for something with more of the reds and greens. I knew exactly what I was needing to start......Heartstring Samplery Sing We Then Merrily



I love working on this one and put it down only recently to start another Christmas ornament for a friend. I can't stay away from it for long though and I plan to pick it up again tomorrow. That's it on the stitching front for this month.

Saturday I made a trip into Ottawa to attend our church bazaar. I wasn't looking for anything in particular and was actually browsing through the books when I noticed something. That thing was what appeared to be a set of transfer ware plates. My friend Gwen was just pricing them. I picked one up to have a look and on the reverse was a stamp from Colonial Pottery in the UK and the words Togo which I now know is the pattern name. I looked up and Gwen had priced them at $5 for the four. "Sold!", I said. 

Now I have admired transfer ware in the past but never had any of pieces of my own. Most comes in a blue, red or brown colour but these plates are a teal green. 






I Googled Colonial Pottery when I returned home and found out that Togo referred to this particular pattern and that it was circa 1890! I couldn't believe my luck. Not only did I purchase some beautiful transfer ware but a pattern that is quite old and quite rare.
With the exception of one plate, they are in very good shape with some minimal ware on the gold plated edging. The fourth plate has a small chip but it is on the reverse of the plate. It also has a small spot which appears darker and looks almost like a tiny burn mark. It is such a small area though that it is difficult to notice and not something I am worried about. I was just thrilled with my purchase! I love the roses on it. Perhaps someday I'll stumble across more of this particular pattern.

Today I spent the afternoon putting together an outdoor winter planter. I did this for the first time last winter and I had hung on to some of my materials such as the birch logs and pine cones. I picked up some greenery at the local grocer and set about to tackle this again. When I'd finished it looked like something was missing. I wasn't happy with some of the cedar and pine which just weren't draping the way I wanted them to.

 I hopped into the car and went searching for some incense cedar which I had spotted earlier but neglected to buy. I also found some boxwood and added a bundle of it to my purchase. The incense cedar was perfect! It drapes so nicely and smells wonderful. I added a bit of the boxwood to the back of the arrangement, watered everything and pulled the planter out of the garage and settled it in front of the house. As I was doing this the snow began to fall and before I knew it I was in the middle of a snow squall! Things settled down a bit later but the snow fell softly for a couple of hours. Here's a pic of my arrangement in the morning light.


See you all next month and happy stitching!

Sunday, 26 November 2017

November Smalls

November's smalls look more like December since I have been concentrating on some Christmas stitching. So far the stitching is complete but the ornament finishing is yet to be completed. 
These are name trees, designed by Helga Mandl. I ordered them from her 3 years ago and tried to contact her again to order more but I have not had any response. Does anyone know if she has retired from designing?

These trees are fabulous because when turned on their side the branches of the tree spell out a name. 







In case you haven't figure them out they're Violet, Chris and Robert! I also have some Mill Hill treasure stars to add to the top of these. A Christmas tree has to have a star, right?

I have a few other charts of name trees to stitch in the future. Some are Helga's designs and some are from M Designs which I ordered years ago. I'll have some pictures of the finished ornaments on next month's Smalls post. See you then!

Monday, 30 October 2017

October WIPocalypse

October has been a very busy month at our house but fortunately most of my stitching took place in the first week. It really is a relaxing therapy when one is stressed, lol! 

I finished up my Stacy Nash Tribute to Summer. I took her idea and used my maternal grandparents' initials on it. 



Following that I worked a bit on With Thy Needle & Thread Acorn Gathering Sewing Roll. Love those squirrels!


Then my stitching took a back seat to my son's wedding. I picked up my gift for them from the framer and was thrilled with the lovely job they had done on it. Chris and Violet loved it and displayed it with their guest book at the reception.


I'll post some wedding pics later this week.

Now that everything has somewhat calmed down I was free to make a new start. I chose The Primitive Needle Annie Hyssop's Harvest Moon. I've waited a long time to start work on this sweet stitch! Since Lisa's patterns are now out of print, it was difficult to find this one at a reasonable price. I'm stitching it on 32ct Weeks Dye Works Tin Roof using the called for floss.


It won't be long before I put this down and get started on some Christmas stitching. I've already started in on a small project for Violet for Christmas. See you soon!


Saturday, 28 October 2017

October Smalls

It won't be long before fall is on its way out and you know what is right behind it! I can't believe that things have moved so quickly. We have been blessed with wonderful weather this fall. It seems it was the summer that wasn't! I had a few days of quiet before my son's wedding settled in so when I picked up my needle it was just following our Thanksgiving. I chose to stitch this piece as a reminder of our many blessings. This is Threadwork Primitives Give Thanks.


I haven't had the opportunity to finish it off yet but when I do I was thinking of mounting it on this board. What do you think? If it doesn't work out then I will do a small pillow finish.


A year has passed since Chris' wedding proposal in pumpkins.



Now we have been blessed to receive Violet into our family. I have a daughter-in-law!! Here is a sneak peek from the wedding. I'll post more pictures in a separate post next week. See you then!




Thursday, 5 October 2017

September Small

There has been very little time over the last month for my stitching. I managed to finish this little small just a day before the deadline. This month's stitch is Pineberry Lane Old Black Cat & Friends #2. 



I missed the deadline for posting last month's small. Actually I went to post it by the deadline but the link wasn't up yet and then I forgot to go back and add it later. So for those who haven't seen Old Black Cat & Friend #1 you can follow this link to see it.

I also realized that I 'd never posted a picture of my small stitch by Heartstring Samplery. It's called With My Needle and I finished this one at the end of our summer holiday in August.



See you next month!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

September WIPocalypse

This month has been the hottest September on record! This is the summer we didn't get and now that fall has arrived summer is reluctant to let go. We are still in the throes of the heatwave (at its hottest 99 F and 90 F today) although thundershowers are forecast for tomorrow along with a drop in temperatures. Normally I'd be spending my mornings out in the gazebo stitching away with my coffee but it's been far too hot to spend any length of time outdoors.
Wedding preparations, doctor and dental appts. and a return to a post summer routine has taken up a good portion of my time. Nevertheless I've managed to squeeze in about an hour of solid stitching most days. 
Here is my progress on Tribute to Summer.



The flower border is time consuming but I'm getting there. The flowers were charted to be stitched using Gentle Art Lambswool which seemed to be too pale. Then I tried stitching them with a white which was far too bright. So I settled for alternating the colour using Lambswool for some and alternating with Straw Bonnet for the others. I would love to have this finished before the wedding but time is running out and my days have been busy.

Other than a Halloween small which I will be posting this Friday, I have done no other stitching than this. I hope to get back to the other two new starts later in October. Happy Fall!

Friday, 1 September 2017

August WIPocalypse

I feel like I never had enough time to stitch this past month but when I look back at my pics of my progress I realize that I accomplished more than I thought. 
Towards the end of the month I started two new projects. Both are on 40ct linen so the going will be a little slower than usual for me. I prefer the outdoor light when working on 40ct so there will be no evening stitching on these projects. I have a daylight lamp but I still prefer the real thing. The first pic is Quaker Friends by Threadwork Primitives. I love that motif! It's a monochromatic so it will go a little faster than the other. The second pic is of my meager start on Acorn Gathering Sewing Roll by With Thy Needle & Thread. I'm stitching this on a lovely, mottled piece of Picture This Plus Legacy.




I'll continue to plug away at these two over the next month. In addition I made significant progress on Stacy Nash Tribute to Summer. 


I stopped working on this a couple of weeks ago because I wasn't sure what colours I was using for the flower border. The called for Chamomile for the leaves was a brown colour which looked nothing like I was expecting. The centre of the flower is stitched in Chamomile. Apparently the dye lots for Chamomile used to incorporate a lot more green than they do now. So I've been playing around with different colours. That first flower in the border has two different shades of green for the leaves right now as I try to decide which I like better. One is GA Piney Woods and the other is GA Green Tea Leaves. I toyed around with the idea of changing the colour of the flower which uses the called for Lambswool but have decided to leave it as is. 

Wedding preparations continue to take up a lot more of my time lately as I take the boys for suit fittings and search for a dress and shoes for myself. As of last week I've been successful in finding a dress but I'm still on the hunt for shoes.
 Our weather has been quite a bit cooler lately but I hope we can squeeze out a bit more warmth before fall officially takes place!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

August Smalls

I only had the time to complete the one small this month although I really had hoped to get the companion piece to this one done as well. 
With cooler days and nights prevailing, fall is on my mind more these days. Consequently I chose a Halloween stitch for this month's small.
Here is Pineberry Lane Black Cat and Friends.



I had a lovely piece of Witches Brew by Dames of the Needle that I had been itching to use for an upcoming Halloween project and it fit the bill! Fortunately I have enough of the fabric left to complete the companion stitch to this. With luck I'll have it finished for next month. 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

July WIPocalypse

Wow, two posts in one day!!

Although I was on vacation for a good part of July I managed to finish two special pieces. The first is a house warming gift for my sister Laurie. It's a little overdue since she's been in her condo for almost two years, lol! It's a Blackbird Design and is called Summer Jubilee. 




It's off to be framed very soon and I can't wait until she sees the finished product!

The second finish was picked by my son and future daughter-in-law as a wedding gift. I had several wedding charts in my stash but this is the one they chose.



It will also be off to the framer very shortly. I breathed a sigh of relief when the last stitch was in on this one. I wanted it finished in plenty of time for framing and since the wedding is in October I have lots of time.

I continue to stitch on a piece by Heartstring Samplery called With My Needle 1807 and I've started a new stitch as well by Stacy Nash called Tribute to Summer Sampler. I should have pics of both next month. The camera wasn't charged when I tried to take pics today.

Our vacation was a little different this year. Traditionally we head to Muskoka, boat in tow, to spend a week or two on Bala Park Island. This year we decided to take the money we would normally spend on our holiday and give it to my son for his upcoming wedding. 
So instead we left for Sault Ste. Marie for the wedding of a former youth choir member of my husband's. After the wedding we crossed into the US and travelled to the Boyne/Charlevoix area of Michigan for an overnight and then on to my sister's home. After spending a couple of days catching up with her we then departed back across the border to Windsor, Ontario where my mother lives as well as Bob's brother.

We had a great visit with everyone and enjoyed the scenery in northern Michigan which is an area I haven't really visited. 
Here are some pics of our adventure.


Heading to the wedding in Sault Ste. Marie

Flowers line the streets in Charlevoix

The waterfront in Charlevoix


Lights sparkle at dusk in Charlevoix

 A view of the lake in Charlevoix



Tempting treats!


 Charlevoix Bay in Boyne City



Enjoying the view in Boyne City

Sharing laughs with my sister

A visit with my nephews Alex(lt) and Patrick(rt)

A busy, wonderful vacation but I'm happy to be home once more, needle in hand.

July Smalls

I just returned from a vacation spent visiting friends and family. Although no stitching took place, a good time was had by all! I managed to complete one small this month.



I'm hanging on to this one for now. It will eventually be made into a small pillow. I try and keep a few pieces aside that are already stitched to use as gifts for family and friends as the need arises. So into the drawer it goes!

I also wanted to show you the needlework that I spotted on the altar of a church I was at recently. Our choir went to a small church in Quebec which is only open during the summer months to sing an evensong. I had seen this altar before but never had my camera or phone with me to take a picture. 



It was quite beautiful and almost looked like a tapestry of some sort.

Earlier in the month I headed out on a road trip to Syracuse, NY to meet up with some of my US stitching friends as well as some from Sudbury, Ontario. We choose Syracuse for our meetup because it is the most central spot for all of us to get to. We spend the weekend catching up, visiting the local cross stitch store and stitching of course. Here's a pic of the entire group who met.


One of the things we enjoy doing during our weekend is stopping by a tag sale that takes place in Rome, NY where our friend Misi has several booths. Misi is known for her amazing candles, potpourri, and scented decor. In addition there are some lovely antique items for sale. Misi also made all of the bee skeps and stepping stones you see in the photos.






Cathy found this sweet watering can and although you can't see it she also found a tobacco basket.



I love this stepping stone!



Here is sweet Misi packaging up my order.



As you can see from my bag, I managed to come home with several goodies!


Following the tag sale we stop in Fayetteville at A Stitcher's Garden cross stitch shop.




This year one of the ladies from the shop invited us to her home for a BBQ. There was a pool for the kids and we all had a blast!


Thank you so much Gail and Pat for your hospitality!

I also have to show you the wonderful belated birthday gift I received from my friend Tee. She made me the most amazing strawberry emory. It has the year and my initials on it.


She also made a gift for each of us to remember our weekend by. It's a needlebook but unlike one I've ever seen before! It has our initials, the year and some Sweet Annie tucked in a pocket.



All in all it was an awesome weekend and we can't wait for the next one. 

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