Monday, 29 July 2019

July WIPocalypse

Summer is here and the living is easy! Would you believe I didn't touch any of my cross stitch until mid month? Even then I only worked on small projects until this last week. My small finish can be seen on my previous post. The weather this spring was so lousy that as soon as better weather arrived we took advantage of it. However now the sticky humidity has arrived which forced us indoors and out came my stitching.

I've been concentrating on The Scarlett House Mary Ann Farmer this past week. I made significant progress from my last post.



The lettering on the centre portion is stitched over one and stitched up very quickly. I actually enjoy over one stitching and I had just finished working on a name tree which used the over one.

I almost forgot to show you the finish I had right at the beginning of July. It wasn't finished in time for Canada Day this year but I'll have it ready to go for next year. As you'll see it was designed for Canada's 150th birthday celebration two years ago so I'm a little late to the party, lol! Better late than never! This is Canada 150, designed by Jeannette Douglas.

That's it for this month. I hope you're not melting the way we have the past few days. More reasonable temperatures are called for later in the week. Lots of visits for us this coming month including a stitching get together. I can't wait!

Saturday, 27 July 2019

July Smalls

Just one quick little Small finish to post for this month. This will be a Christmas ornament for a friend whose moving to Hawaii! Shhh! It's a surprise! This is the Aloha Tree by Nouveau Encore Designs.

This is stitched on a 32ct Silkweaver Solo opalescent Lugana using Silk 'N Color Turquoise Fields.

I took this finish along with the name tree from last month's finish and got everything ready to do my final finishing yesterday. I was annoyed as heck when I discovered that I had misplaced my sheet of mat board to use in the ornament finishing. It was residing with all my other craft materials, that is, until we emptied the room for the new hardwood floor. The craft room was the third and final bedroom to have new floors installed and since everything has been placed back in the room the mat board has gone missing in action. I had just purchased it recently and it was a fairly large piece too so it can't hide just anywhere. I have one last place to look and if it's not found then it looks like I will be making a trip to Michael's tomorrow. I want these ornaments finished before I go on holidays in August. Of course you know I'll find that mat board after I've bought a new one, lol! See you next month with a pic of both finishes and a new small as well.

P.S. Someone has taken over my stitching chair in the gazebo!!!

Monday, 1 July 2019

June WIPocalypse

I spent the better part of June getting immersed into something that I haven't done for awhile....reading a book! Consequently my stitching suffered somewhat but I'd temporarily lost my mojo so I didn't mind. After completing 3 novels I'm now back on track and my stitching has resumed. 

Mary Ann Farmer has progressed a little farther than I expected from last month. Here's my progress up until now.

It's coming along, slowly but surely. I don't feel much like starting or working on anything else at the moment although the Autumn Quaker I started in May is calling to me on occasion. For now I'll continue with this as I search for another small to stitch for July.

Our hardwood floors are almost complete. We had wanted to do all three bedrooms, using our income tax refund. Well Canada Revenue had other ideas and our refund wasn't quite as large as I was expecting. So the decision was made to only do the two largest bedrooms. In the meantime I did a little digging and checked things out only to discover that Canada Revenue had made an error. Turns out that they forgot to include the income tax that my hubby had paid on his self employment income. When that was corrected we were owed a considerable amount. So bedroom number 3 will be done albeit a little later than the others. Here are some pics of the finished rooms. We managed to find the same hardwood as used in the main living areas which had been installed ten years ago!

Here's a pic of the original flooring installed 10 years ago.

 It's all the same flooring. It just appears a different colour at times due to the lighting in the rooms. We are thrilled with the results and look forward to completing the final room.

I wanted to share this little sewing kit that my son Jeff picked up for me at a local flea market.

I thought it was darling! He also gifted me with an oval antique frame with the bubble glass. It currently houses the picture that it came with. Someday I hope it frames a piece of my stitching!

Finally I'll leave you with a picture of my recent framed piece that I picked up. I think I finished the stitching on it about 18 months ago.
This is Stacy Nash Tribute to Summer.

Today is our Canada Day holiday and we're off to a BBQ with some of the neighbours later this afternoon. Should be fun! I've offered holiday greetings in an earlier post to my Canadian friends but I'd like to take the time to offer wishes for a Happy Fourth of July to my American family and friends. Enjoy!

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Happy Canada Day!!

Happy Canada Day wishes going out to all my family and friends, far and near!! Enjoy your day and stay safe!!

Friday, 28 June 2019

June Smalls

I lost my stitching mojo for the first part of June. By the time I felt like stitching again there wasn't much time left in the month for the start of a new project. Instead I dug out a Christmas ornament that I had started late last year but never finished.

This is an M Designs tree that I've stitched for a friend.

When I'm stitching one of these trees on an opalescent fabric I don't see the need to add the beads. The fabric itself lends that extra bling. However this fabric had no opalescence so I chose to add them. I guess I wasn't looking at the pattern all that closely and I didn't realize just how many beads there were until I got started. I think it could have done without quite as many but I was already halfway through the beading when I clued in! Finding just the right colour was challenging too because I wanted a contrast to the floss.

The final finishing of the ornament will take place next week. Rain is forecast which will keep me indoors and this will be the perfect project to pass some time. 

Summer here has been delayed because of our cool, wet spring. The heat arrived last week and everything is blooming all at once. I snapped a few pics of the garden flowers while I was out watering the other night.

This is the latest that my irises and peonies have ever bloomed. Our annual visitors, the waxwings, also haven't arrived yet because the berries on our neighbour's tree haven't ripened yet. Most years the tree is already picked clean of the berries and the waxwings are on their way. For awhile there this spring I honestly thought we might not see the warm weather. When it did arrive the humidity and storms arrived right alongside it.

I'll leave you with a pic of Clarisse and me enjoying some time together in the gazebo. She likes to be as close to me as possible, lol!

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Mary Ann Farmer - May WIPocalypse

As promised I now have an updated photo of my Mary Ann Farmer sampler. I finally took her off the frame this morning to move the fabric so I grabbed a couple of photos at that time. 

The lighting is terrible here today. Once again it's overcast and I can't get a decent picture of the actual fabric colour. It looks too washed out in these pictures. The picture below is closer to the actual colour. 

I'm using a Silkweaver Solo 36 ct linen. I used to have a lot of these fabrics in my collection but I ended up selling a lot of them because my tastes in stitching changed and I was using more neutral fabrics. I'm thinking that perhaps I'll try ordering a few more from them. It's such lovely fabric to work on.

On a side note, I have a question for you regarding what type of iron you are using to press your linens. I find mine just isn't getting hot enough, even with the steam setting, to remove a lot of the wrinkles from the linen. I had this problem a few years ago and so I purchased a new iron. Perhaps it's just the fact that as the iron ages, the heat isn't as hot. I'm just curious as to which type other stitchers are using.

I won't have any Smalls stitching to share this month. With our renovations it was too difficult to try and get to my stitching supplies and dig out the necessary chart, floss, etc. They are coming to install the new floors this Friday so it won't be long before my house is back in order once again. Yippee!
See you next month!

Sunday, 26 May 2019

May WIPocalypse

With the renovating taking place here this month I've stuck to only the one project. I can't find any of my other supplies, lol! Everything is spread all over the place. However I'm finding this month's stitch very relaxing. 

This is The Scarlett House Mary Ann Farmer 1834. I'm stitching this on a Silkwearver Solo 36 ct linen with the suggested NPI silk floss. I had a conversion all set to go using my Vicky Clayton Hand Dyed Fibers but I forgot that I had the premium silk and it's thicker, the equivalent of two strands of regular silk. It was too thick for the 36 ct linen so I ended up ordering the necessary silks I was missing.

I'm actually a lot further along than this picture indicates. I have the whole top border done and I've several other motifs completed. I'll post an updated photo later this week. I just don't want to take the piece off of the Q snaps right now to photograph it. 

Our hardwood floor installation was to take place this past Wednesday however it was delayed because they had to hire another installer. It's now scheduled for this coming Friday, May 31st so we have spent a bit more time than expected living in the mess that it all entails. My hubby's clothes are currently in his dresser in the garage while some of mine are down in the rec room.  My stitching supplies are scattered between the rec room, the dining room and our closet. It was just easier to stick with the one project rather than trying to dig through everything to find my project bags. The Rosewood Manor Summer Quaker will get some attention next month. Until then I'll be back later this week with an updated pic of Mary Ann Farmer. See you then!

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

April WIPocalypse

April showers bring May flowers......well I haven't seen any flowers yet but we sure have seen enough showers to last a lifetime! We've waited so long for spring and it sure has been a long time coming. All those rainy days I spent putting in several hours of stitching time with this beauty, Blackbird Designs Moonlight Visitor.

I stitched this in thanksgiving for my niece and I didn't plan it but I managed to put the final stitches in on her birthday. I'm hoping to stitch a piece either in memory or in thanksgiving for every member of my family. These are for my own collection, not gifts, and so far I've finished a piece for my niece, and three pieces in memory of my father, my aunt and my maternal grandparents. I'm in no hurry with this plan and when I see a suitable design for someone I'll work on it.

I also started Rosewood Manor Summer Quakers on the first of the month. I'm also in no hurry for this piece and pick it up whenever I feel it calling. Several years back I stitched Spring Quakers by the same designer and vowed that I would stitch another of the seasonal quakers at some point in time. Now is that time. I'm stitching this on the same count fabric,28ct, so that they can be displayed together. I'm enjoying this but I'm no longer used to stitching with the 3 ply Valdani. I've been stitching so much with one strand that I find this so thick!

My second start for this month is The Scarlett House Mary Ann Farmer 1834. I don't have enough done for a progress pic as I only started it this morning. I'm using a lovely 36 ct Silkweaver Solo piece of linen. I had to wait several weeks for the silks to arrive that I was missing so it didn't get started quite as soon as I'd hoped which is why Summer Quaker was substituted in the meantime.

Just these two projects will keep me busy for some time and bring a little taste of that summer so long awaited. Happy stitching!

Saturday, 27 April 2019

April Smalls

I had hoped to be spending time outdoors by now stitching in our gazebo. Mother Nature it seems has different ideas though. Spring has arrived (at least our snow has gone!) but cold temperatures and lots of rain have resulted in more time indoors than I had planned. 
You would think that would lead to more stitching but that hasn't been the case this month. I managed to squeeze in this small Easter finish just in time for the actual day.

This little finish is from the chart by Kathy Barrick called Bowlful of Bunnies. I had thoughts that it would be finished into a little tabletop pillow in time for Easter celebrations but things didn't turn out that way. However I did manage to finish off one of the small stitches languishing in my finish pile into a pillow. 

I've shared this stitched finish here before but this is Country Rustic Primitives He Is Risen. I love the simplicity of the piece and I finished off the back of it with a simple grey wool. 

I'm not sure just how much stitching I'll be getting done over the next several weeks. We are in the process of emptying all our bedrooms of furniture and removing the existing carpets in preparation for the installation of hardwood floors. Some painting of the rooms will also be taking place. Consequently the remainder of the house is a mess since all the furniture from the bedrooms has to be stored somewhere and that somewhere is in the rec room,  upstairs living area and in the garage. To save money we are moving the furniture ourselves as well as removing the carpeting. A bad back prevents me from doing as much as I'd like so I have to rely on my husband and what free time he has left at the end of the day's work. Somewhere in all this prep work we also have to find time to clean out the gardens and open the gazebo for the summer. Help, lol!!
It will all be worth it in the long run but I can't promise an entry for next month's small. I look forward though to checking in on all of you to see what you've been up to!  

Sunday, 31 March 2019

March WIPocalypse

March was an extremely productive month for my stitching. Miserable weather meant we didn't venture out much and my stitching was often in my hand. I managed to complete two designs, one I showed you last post and a surprise finish.

First up is Blackbird Designs February Hearts. As much as I loved this design when I first saw it, it certainly proved to be a challenge with the differences in the floss dye lots. I kept going though and did finish it. I can't say I'm 100% happy with the results but it's not all bad. Unfortunately this wasn't the best lighting in this pic.

I stitched this on 28 ct Lakeside Linen Mocha using Gentle Art floss. It had been quite a while since I'd stitched a large piece on 28 ct and it didn't stitch up quite as quickly as I'd hoped. That basket proved to be a challenge as I could easily lose my spot on the chart.

When I finished this one I had no idea what I wanted to work on next. I spent several days looking through charts and rejected each one for one reason or another. I knew I would be placing an order for some of the new releases at the upcoming Needlework Market but it would be several weeks before I had those in hand. 

While I was cleaning out the closet in my craft room I found a bag. When I opened it I knew what I was doing next. I found a WIP which has been around for several years. In fact I picked it up again last year and posted some pics here if I remember. Once again it never got finished and was hidden away in the bag. I decided that this year was THE YEAR! Believe it or not I was entering my eighth year of working on this project. The design in question..... Paradis Perdu by A Mon Ami Pierre.  Within a couple more weeks I had finally finished it!!

This piece was started on 7 Jan 2012 and finished 20 Mar 2019, a little more than seven years from the time I started it. It is stitched on 28 ct Queen Anne's Lace using Vicky Clayton Hand Dyed silks. It's just one of those pieces that kept getting put aside in favour of something else.  I am so happy that it is finally complete!

My market purchases arrived this week and I'm browsing through them this weekend to see which design I'd like to start next. So many choices! 

March Smalls

I spent most of the month of March working on two larger WIPs but I did manage to squeeze in a small finish for the month.

Pineberry Lane came out with some sweet designs for St. Patrick's Day last year and I decided to stitch one up to add to my bowl of small pillows that I display each year. 

This is called Basket O'Luck and is stitched on 36 ct Dixie Sampler Hand Dyed Italian Lace using DMC. I had the time to finish this into the pillow but it seems my hubby has stored my pine shavings and my crushed walnut shells in the garage in a location which I can't reach. I keep meaning to ask him to bring them back into the house but it always slips my mind, lol.  Sooner or later.......

Monday, 25 February 2019

February WIPocalypse

I spent most of the past month working on small projects which can be seen here. This past Monday I picked up my larger WIP to try tackling it once again. Don't get me wrong, I love the design. It's just that I've had such a difficult time with it in terms of the floss colours. This is an older design from the Blackbird Designs book, A Fine Collection and because it's an older design the dye lots have changed for many of the called for floss. I didn't want to spend more money ordering floss which still might not work so I've dug into my stash in a search for just the right shade or another skein of the requested floss. In some cases I've stitched and then frogged out a section three times because I didn't like the looks of it.

Here's my progress up until now......Blackbird Designs February Hearts. 

I'm stitching this on a 28 ct Lakeside Linen Mocha. I haven't used 28 ct for some time now but I thought the colour suited the piece. I'm still now sure if I love the colours. I think it will grow on me more with time.

I really don't know what I'm planning for my next start. I've been checking out the Nashville Needlework Market to see some of the upcoming releases. There are several this year that I like so I might treat myself to two or three pieces. In particular Heartstring Samplery, The Scarlett House and With Thy Needle and Thread each have a piece that has caught my fancy. 

It's a cold, blustery day today so I'm about to sit for bit with a cup of blackcurrant tea and stitch for a while before supper. Looking forward to my quiet time with needle in hand!

Friday, 22 February 2019

February Smalls

Plenty of snow dumps in our area during the latter part of January and continuing on into February have led to plenty of time for hibernating with my stitching. As my thoughts turned to Valentine's Day, I worked on this pretty stitch for the occasion.....Blackbird Designs Sweetheart Pincushion. 

The linen I used for this design is a lovely 36ct from Dames of the Needle called Sweeney Red. One of the two floss colours used is WDW Fawn. Fortunately I had two skeins from different lots because the first skein was almost identical in colour to the WDW Sandcastle being used as the other colour. There were no variations in colour between the two and I ended up doing some serious frogging and hunting for another skein. I'm really pleased with the end result though. As usual, final finishing will come at a later date.

My second finish for the month is a sweet little winter design released by By The Bay Needleart called Chilly Winter. This is the second of two designs released under the same title in this chart.

I'm hoping to get around to stitching the first design in this series as well. I'd love to finish the two little cushions to add to my winter displays next year.
Since I've finished these smalls I've had trouble settling down to stitch anything else. I've been doing a little reading and browsing the needlework market's upcoming releases. I am considering stitching another of the Blackbird Designs strawberries and there is a Threadwork Primitives pincushion which I'm interested in too. Decisions, decisions..... See you soon with a post of my larger work in progress.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

January WIPocalypse

First month of the year and I'm off to a great start. Record cold temperatures and two significant snowfalls have made for lots of indoor stitching time.
As I'd hoped, I managed to complete two of my major WIPs that were carryovers from last year. 
I'm thrilled to share my first finish which is Plum Street Samplers Pomegranate Santa.

I thought that I had started this in early 2018 but it turns out I actually started it in early December of 2016! It's about time I finished it off, lol!  I dragged my feet of this one many times. A lot of frogging took place and all that snow at the bottom border was time consuming. The shading on the pomegranates turned out better than I expected. I just couldn't seem to keep focused on this one for some reason but I am very pleased with the final results.

My second finish was equally satisfying for me as I'd started it in late September of 2017. However I must say that I enjoyed working on this finish. This the The Primitive Needle Annie Hyssop's Harvest Moon.

It was the colours which first drew me to this design, in addition to the fact that it was a Halloween piece and I love Halloween. As I stitched it I loved every little motif that developed. I can't wait until it's framed. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long!

My first new start for 2019 is one that doesn't even appear on my WIPocalypse list of hopefuls. As I as browsing through my charts I came across this design. Prairie Moon The Good Shepherd is one which I first started stitching in 2007. I wasn't happy with much about it at the time. I disliked my fabric choice and finally put it aside for a couple of years. Then I decided to do away with it and restart it if I ever got around to it again. Fast forward to Jan. 2019 and this is that time. A fresh start with new fabric and a new conversion of the silk floss has made me fall in love with this piece all over again. One final motif and I will actually be complete!

So are these sheep, or cows? 

Can you tell how much I love this one?! I'll have the final pic of the finish for you next month.

I've also made a small start to another Blackbird Designs piece which also doesn't appear on my list. Are you starting to see a pattern, lol! 
This piece comes from the BBD book, A Fine Collection, and it's called February's Hearts. I found an older piece of fabric which worked but it's 28 ct so I'm using two strands of floss for coverage on this one.

 Not much to show yet but hopefully more by next month. 

The cold let up a bit today and we had a couple of visitors to the feeder. I believe this is a male House Finch along with his mate.