Friday, 30 May 2008

Happy Birthday Chris!

It's official, I have finally survived the teenage years! As of today my youngest son Chris turns 20, putting an end to those fun-filled? years. All three of my boys are now in their twenties.

Happy birthday honey!

Chris is my love bug and is never afraid to hug me in front of his friends. No matter where he is or who he is with, the last thing he says to me when we're talking is, "Love you Mom". Chris loves to experiment with his hair style and colour and I figure that I'd rather have him experiment with that than with other things! Recently we found a few pictures of him with his change in hair style over the years. I've posted a few. I think his natural colour is now a light brown... I've kind of forgotten what it looks like normally. Actually right now he has grown out the last colour and cut his hair short (I'm a supervisor now Mom, I've got to look the part) but I don't have any recent pictures of him. Since he is now living and working in Ottawa I see very little of him. We'd hoped to get together this weekend to celebrate but we're both working. So we've set a date for next week.

As you can see from the pictures he started out blonde. Then came the red in Grade 8. The Mohawk followed in early high school. The colour varied from red to yellow to black. When he was too lazy to put up the Mohawk with hairspray it fell in his forehead in a mass of waves. Next came the Blue phase although thankfully his mood was never blue! Finally we have what I refer to as the Skunk!

I have a cupboard full of hair colour and none of it is mine! BTW I was wrong. His hair is no longer its natural colour. He informed me tonight that it's black and looks very cool. I'll judge for myself at our dinner next week. Chris we love you no matter the colour!! Enjoy your day!

It's been a pretty stressful week at work and it's not over yet since I work this weekend. However I did manage to get some stitches in on Weather Wise.

My floss arrived this week for All Things and now it's kitted up and ready to go. I'm also in the process of doing a floss toss with various fabrics for another Helga Mandl tree. This one will be a Christmas gift for my youngest sister. Creative Poppy has 2 sets of her ornamental tree patterns. Each set contains 5 different patterns. I'm trying to decide beween either the Snow tree or the Merry tree.
That's about it for now. It's supposed to be a rainy weekend here . Perfect if you're working.
Great for stitching too. Enjoy!

Friday, 23 May 2008

CdC revisited

Finally, after a long absence, I was able to spend some quality stitching time with CdC. I've really missed working on this one! When we headed off to our family wedding last weekend I made sure that it was the only piece of stitching I took with me. That way I wouldn't be tempted to work on anything else. We were headed for the town of Fergus, ON where the wedding was to take place. However we made a little detour on the way and first visited the city of Waterloo where my DH wanted to purchase some music. I knew that he would be spending a fair amount of time browsing the selection so I took my stitching in with me. They have a lovely bench just inside the door by a window and that is where I spent my time waiting and stitching. Over the course of the weekend I managed to put in about 8-10 hrs of time on Cirque in between travelling and the wedding. I'm pleased with the progress I've made and now I'm giving it a rest in order to pick up Weather Wise once more. The picture isn't the greatest but I took it at night and I find it doesn't show the true colours all that well.

We had such a fun time at the wedding, reconnecting with all my cousins and their families as well as my one and only Aunt and Uncle. It was my first visit to Fergus and it's a lovely town with lots of beautiful old homes and quaint shops. On the Sunday following the wedding we paid a visit to the neighbouring town of Elora to attend a church service and found that it was equally quaint. We definitely hope to pay a return visit to the area and spend more time checking things out. Following a family brunch on Sunday we said our goodbyes and headed off to Toronto where we paid a visit to some of Bob's cousins. Then it was off to Cobourg for an overnight visit with a friend. The Victoria Day holiday on Monday we returned home. I would have loved to get started preparing some of my gardens but the weather did not cooperate. This weekend promises to be much better with lots of sunshine and the temperatures climbing.

During my absence my lilacs opened and it seems I have a lot more blooms than last year. I've been trying to find a white lilac bush at the local nurseries to add to my garden but haven't had any luck. I love the white ones as much as the others and find that they are more fragrant. I spotted some at an abandoned farmhouse on my way home from work yesterday so I made sure I had some shears with me today so that I could cut some and bring home.

Following the holiday I found an envelope waiting for me at the post office. Inside were some cute Barbara Ana charts. I stumbled across this designer quite by accident. I think it was when I was checking out some of the pieces submitted on the Freebie gallery. I loved her designs! They are whimsical and very bright with the use of lots of colour. The gallery led me to her site where there are quite a few freebies available for download and from there I also found which vendors were carrying her patterns. You can view them at Barbara Ana Designs.
So of course, being as obsessed as I am, I immediately ordered three!....Don't Bug Me, Hand Over the Coffee and Warm Winter Wishes. I plan on taking one of these with me to the cottage this summer for some fun stitching. There are several more I'd like to add to my collection but I can't be too greedy, at least that's what I keep telling myself!

Time for me to scoot now. I've got plenty to keep me busy in the garden today. I'm hoping to finish off most of my backyard planters as well. With any luck I won't be too tired afterwards and can spend some time this evening on Weather Wise. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I just wanted to take some time and wish all of the mothers and grandmothers out there a very Happy Mother's Day! Here's hoping you all had a most relaxing day. This year my birthday fell on Mother's Day so I had a double celebration. Unfortunately I had to work the day but as far as work goes it was a pretty quiet day and I managed to sneak in quite a bit of stitching time. When I returned from work Bob bbq'd our supper and then we shared my birthday cake with our friends who live two doors down. My sons are all busy at the moment but they checked in one by one. I will be seeing two of them later this week. I also tried out that new stitching chair of mine last night and gave it my seal of approval. That is one comfy chair!

I spent all of my time stitching on Weather Wise. It's coming along quite nicely with the exception of some frogging this evening on the lettering. It always amazes me that I still haven't learned how to count.. duh!! I had stitched Red Sky first only to discover when I started the next line of words that I was out by one row. So some minor frogging occured and then a re-stitch of those words. Here's my progress so far.

Prior to working my weekend I had my days off on Thursday and Friday. Thursday I took a trip into my LNS where I picked up the wedding piece I'd taken in for framing. They were a couple of days late in the finishing because the framer wasn't happy with the frame. They re-ordered it three times before he was satisfied with it! You know he's doing a great job when he's that particular about things. I didn't need the piece though until this week coming and it was done in plenty of time. Here's the result.

From the looks of it I didn't do such a great job of focusing on this picture. Sorry!

Time to head off to bed now. I'm back at work tomorrow and we have another busy week ahead of us. I'm only home on Monday evening and my poor CdC has yet to make it out of my stitching bag!! I'm missing it!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

A new chair

Here it is!!! My new stitching chair is a birthday gift from my DH although my birthday isn't until Mother's Day. I suspect that this will be a combo gift which is just fine by me. I couldn't be happier with it, it's just sooo comfy! I've had it now for a full week and have yet to spend any time stitching in it though. Any stitching I've managed to accomplish has been done on the fly either during breaks at work or between events in Ottawa. Since last Wednesday we haven't stopped. It's been one of those weeks where everything seems to fall during the same time period and all you do is run.

Our busy time started last Tuesday with the arrival of the Jamaican National Chorale. Seventeen members of this group arrived in Ottawa to participate in a joint concert with my husband's choir The Bytown Voices. They were billeted at the homes of various choir members. We are just a little too far from town to have anyone stay with us. From the time they arrived it has been one rehearsal and party afterwards every other day until Sunday's concert! We have had a blast!! During this period we also had a friend arrive from London, Ontario to give an organ recital in Ottawa and another friend was ordained as a deacon in the Anglican church on Thursday evening. I would work each day and then travel up to Ottawa in the evening for the various events. Bob stayed in Ottawa for a good portion of the week. During rehearsals I would listen and stitch. I didn't accomplish a lot but I do have some pictures of the little bit I worked on. Secret Flower Bed is getting nearer to its finish while Weather Wise is just getting started. For the first time in a week I have no plans tomorrow evening and I'm hoping to pull out my much neglected CdC. I've really missed working on it!

With no quality stitching time to relieve my stress I thought I might be a basket case by the end of the visit. However there was so much fun and laughter with the Jamaicans that it more than made up for it.
On my first evening with them I learned that they were all coming out to our place for a pot luck on the Monday evening following the concert. This was news to me. 'What can we bring on Monday night?', they asked. Monday night... what's on Monday? Boy were they surprised when they found out I didn't know a thing about it! Bob swears he told me 2 or 3 wks ago but I know I would have remembered that 40-50 people were coming for dinner!!
Really though, potluck suppers are not a big deal. The only problem was that the house was a mess since we hadn't been there much and I had to work Monday before they arrived. So Bob and my son Daniel got busy and had the place looking darn good by the time I arrived home. Our guests arrived within the hour and a good time was had by all. We were 49 in total and filled the house from top to bottom! Some migrated out to the back yard but our Jamaican friends found it just a little too cool for them to spend any length of time out there. Most arrived without coats and wouldn't you know it, our temps dropped into the 50s and 60s while they were here. We had no problem with that but they were freezing! We got a collection of jackets, hats and gloves for them but I heard a lot of complaints about having to wear stockings and closed shoes. Following our meal there was a sing-along by the piano. With that many voices raised in song I know the neighbours were wondering what the heck was going on at the Jones'!
Thanks to my son we were able to get a group photo of both choirs before they left to head back to the sunny shores of Jamaica.
The best part of the whole visit was finding out that we are doing a return visit to sing with them in either January or February of next year! Can you believe that now I'm actually looking forward to winter returning?!

I also had another lovely surprise this past week. You will recall the USA tree which I stitched as a Christmas gift for my sister. Well, since I have not much experience in finishing, and definitely a lack of time, I decided to take advantage of Vonna's finishing service. I'm not sure but I think I might have been one of her first customers! Dear, sweet Vonna did a fantastic job of finishing this piece as a flatfold ! Just look at how closely the fabric matches the tree. Isn't it great? I'm so excited about it and I haven't even seen it in person yet! The photos are courtesy of Vonna. For all those of you out there who are lacking in these skills, as I am, I highly recommend giving her service a try. You won't be disappointed!!

This post seems like it's full of too many pics but I just had sooo much to show and tell! I hope you're all having a super week. I return to work tomorrow after taking a much needed day of rest today. Happy stitching everyone!