Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Stitching at the cottage

That's what I hope to be doing for the next 11 days. We're heading out tomorrow afternoon but only going part of the way, stopping to visit a friend overnight. That way we should reach the cottage Friday morning, avoiding all the Toronto traffic headed in the same direction that afternoon.

I've packed a few new stitching projects for my holiday. I've already started a new ornie by Schoolroom Samplings called Country Santas. I'm working this one on a scrap of linen I found in my box. I'm not a big fan of linen but this one is lovely and I'm quite enjoying it. Having my granddaughters here for the past few days has meant that not much stitching activity has taken place but here's my effort so far.

I'm also starting Waxing Moon's Witches Garden which I've had in my stash for quite some time now. Then of course I have Cirques des Cercles and my other new Tantes Zolder pattern. I've also got All Things by Abbey Lane Designs kitted up as well but haven't decided whether or not I'll bring it. I'm afraid that if I do, nothing will get done on Cirques and I really want to get back on track with this one. Come rain or come shine I'll be stitching!

I've had a super time the past few days with my granddaughters and my oldest son visiting! On the Monday we even managed to get all three of my boys home at the same time so we had a full house. The girls are getting sooo big! The youngest, Summer, is already starting to speak which is quite a bit ahead of her older sister. She has a lovely head of curls! Oceanne knows me now and calls me Grandmaman. Her vocabulary includes a lot more English than before though she does speak mostly French. For now, I understand her and she understands me but the time will come when that will change since she resides in an entirely French community and my French does have its limitations. My son is hoping to put the girls in an English school so that they will be bilingual. Until the girls are a bit older we stay at home during their visits with outings to the park and swimming. By the days end they were exhausted and so was Grandma!!

The visit was far too short and today we headed back to their home. They were good as gold in the car, an improvement from their first trip here. They're getting used to the long ride now. It's anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 hrs depending on traffic. I remember travelling those long trips with my boys when they were young. My parents lived 8 hrs from us and as good as they were there came a point when everyone was tired and we could hardly wait to get there!

At this point I'm going to head off to bed. All the driving has worn me out and there's more to come tomorrow. I haven't even packed yet either. Since I don't have a laptop I won't be blogging until my return unless we make a pit stop at the local library. Even then I won't be able to post any stitching pics until my return. See you all next month!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Bloggaversary gift received

Pam has informed me that she received her bloggaversary gift so I can now post a picture of it here. It's by Lizzie Kate and is called Friendship Begins. I wanted something special to show my appreciation for all the new blogging friends I've made and this pattern seemed to fit the bill.

It really was a fun stitch. I was trying to decide how to personalize it and Dani was here that day for a SAL. She took a look at it and suggested that I put our initals on the teacups. Brilliant.. why couldn't I think of that! I took her suggestion and was pleased with how it turned out. I've got some more pictures here to show the ititials, side view and the fabric I used for the back. I was so encouraged by the results (Thanks Vonna for the tutorial!) that I tried another one this week with my Butterflies.

I used the time I had off on Monday and Tuesday to finish not only my Butterflies but Weather Wise as well. My aim was to get both of these finished before I head off on holidays. I really didn't want to pick up WW. I just wasn't in the mood. I only had the grass, walkway and border to finish but it was sooo boring and I just wasn't looking forward to it. However I persevered and here are the results. This one is going to be framed at a later date (when I have the money!) and will go on the wall either in my guest bedroom or my new craft room.

Being encouraged by the results on my first pinkeep I decided to give it another go with Butterflies. I'm learning as I go along. This time I used a little too much glue when applying my quilt batting to the matboard and then didn't wait long enough for it to dry before I started centering my stitching. Consequently I ended up with small depressions in the corners where my stitching stuck to the glue underneath. I used a hair dryer after to try and lift it but wasn't entirely successful. However I can live with it ( perfectionist... I can't believe that's me saying that!) and when it's sitting on the easel it's really not that noticeable. I've proudly sat it on my coffee table in the living room and can't believe that I actually completed it

Next I'm going to try an ornament finished as a pillow but it won't be anytime soon since we're heading off next week on vacation!! I'm officially finished work now until Aug. 5th!

Before we actually leave for the cottage in Muskoka we'll be having some more fun because my granddaughters are arriving here tomorrow evening. Where my son works in Quebec, all the plants shut down for the last two weeks of July for vacation. Originally he was going to drive up here but his partner still has to work for another week and she needs the car so we have to go to Drummondville and bring them here. I mentioned my plans to my ex-husband and asked if he wanted to share the driving and then we could each have a few days with the girls. He thought it was a great idea so he is picking them up this morning and bringing them to his place. Then he will drop them off at my place on Sunday evening and I will keep them here until Wednesday afternoon after which I will do the return trip to Quebec. It benefits both of us, saves us some gas money and we both get time spent with our grandchildren. I'm so lucky that our divorce was amicable and we can continue to stay on good terms and work things out in instances like this. It's better for our children as well.

I've made a start on another of Tante Zolder's patterns this week. I'm not sure what I'll nickname this one. I enjoyed working on Butterflies so much that I printed out another of her freebies and got started. I'm using another Dinky Dyes floss which is an overdye called Pacific Sunshine. The colours are just so restful and perfect stitching for the cottage.

I'm also in the process of doing a floss toss with different fabrics so that I can start my Christmas gift for my youngest sister. You will recall I finished the USA tree for my other sister. I think I'm going to do M Designs Peace tree for her finished as a flatfold rather than an ornament. I'm saving the ornaments to give as gifts next year. I had Mary at M Designs do up some personlized trees for me to stitch some ornaments as gifts.

Now I'm off to decide what I can come up with for supper tonight. My DH does most of the cooking around here lately and I've rather grown used to it. He's working a little later tonight so it's my turn and I haven't got a clue what to do. Any suggestions?!!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Up, up and away!

At Cornwall Lift-Off of course! This was my first time visiting the event. I'd mentioned it to my son a few days ago and then I saw the pictures on Dani's blog and knew that I definitely wanted to go. Since I work in Cornwall, Daniel and I decided to head there after I was finished work today. The weather forecast was good so at least that was in our favour. Before I left work I received a call from Chrisanne to let me know what time the balloons took off. She told me that she and Dani were heading down there again and we hoped to catch up with each other.

I've seen hot air balloons take off before but never so many at one time and I've never been this close before. The colours of the balloons were so vibrant and it was just breathtaking to see them rise. Daniel couldn't believe how big the balloons were. I think we shot about 100 pictures as they all took off. I've got some video as well . You'll find it at the end of this post.

Before the lift-off we did run into Dani. Chrisanne was saving their seats for the concert tonight. However because I'm working again tomorrow and I'm just beat, I decided not to stick around for the whole evening. Instead Daniel and I parked our chairs under a tree just outside the admission gates and listened to the first couple of bands from there. Cheap, eh?! I wasn't going to pay the admission when I knew we weren't sticking around for the big act.

As for my stitching... well, I'm almost ready to start dancing! My butterflies are nearing completion and with any luck I'll be able to finish them off tomorrow after work (or at work if it's as quiet as it was today!). I'll wait and post a picture when it's finished. In the meantime I've started a little snowflake ornie. My DH's godmother gave me a whole bag full of pieces or aida cloth which she no longer could use. It seems her eyes are just not strong enough any more for stitching. I've haven't stitched on Aida in the longest time. I've found this piece of green and thought I'd try that for the ornament. It does seem rather bright though! Not sure I'm going to like this one.

I also hit the jackpot on Friday. I took a drive into Winchester, which is the next village over from us, in order to visit their dollar store for some greeting cards. Look what I found when I got in there.....boxes and boxes of trim.
I just couldn't resist and after all, it is the dollar store is it not? Now I have just about every colour I'll ever need. I also found another fabric store in Cornwall today which I'd completely forgotten about. Next time I need fabric I'll have to pay them a visit and check out their prices.
I've got a couple of days off after working this weekend and then just three more work days before the start of my summer holidays and the cottage. Yippee! Time to start planning what stitching I'll be taking with me.

Monday, 7 July 2008

A stitching treat!

It really was a treat to stitch in the company of such super ladies. I'm referring to Dani, Christin, Kathy and Beatrice. Dani had a SAL this past weekend at her place where we all got together. I landed in Saturday afternoon and stayed until later that evening since I don't live as far away as Kathy and Beatrice and wasn't spending the night. We had soooo much fun... lots of stitching, laughing, stitching, talking, stitching, eating... well, you get the picture! While we were there we each took out our Paradigm Lost projects and my Cirques des Cercles to show off our progress. It's amazing when you see them all in person. Each is the same but yet so different and you can't appreciate the work until you see them altogether like that. Check out Dani's blog for the picture. This was one of those times when I really wanted to have my camera handy but my DH left the house with it before I could get my hands on it. He was headed off to do some boating with friends and wanted photos as well. I guess the early bird gets the worm!

During most of our time stitching I worked on my butterflies.
This is as far as I got before I ran out of floss. I knew that somewhere I had more hidden at home but had yet to find it. Today I found it at the same time as another skein arrived in an ebay order. Now I have more than enough!
I also managed to finish off a little ornament. It's from Val's Stitchin' Stuff and is called Ho Ho Ho. It's stitched on 20 ct opalescent lugana. This was a really quick and fun stitch! I've already started work on my next one.. a snowflake ornie.

My secret stitching is now complete and I only have a small amount of finishing left to do. Pam, I would have had it done by the weekend but the SAL was just too tempting. I'll email you as soon as it's in the snail mail.
Warning: Picture intensive!

This past Tuesday was Canada Day and Bob & I spent an absolutely fantastic day in Ottawa. We headed in first thing in the morning and took in lots of the days activities including the RCMP Musical Ride on Parliament Hill and numerous free concerts at the National Arts Centre. The weather was perfect... sunny and not too hot. We spent a lot of time walking around the hill and market area and got lots of great pics. As you can see from this photo, there were a lot of others doing the same! They estimate that by evening 75,000 people were out downtown celebrating.

The photo on the left was taken at one of the many concerts we took in. This one was of Unisong, a 400 voice choir with members from across Canada, accompanied by the NAC orchestra. Excellent! On the right is the clock tower at Centre block of the Parliament buildings. In front of it you can see a portion of the huge stage set up for the numerous outdoor concerts.
Above is the view down the Rideau Canal , through the locks and out into the Ottawa River. In the distance you can see Gatineau, Quebec. The structure on the right is the Chateau Laurier Hotel.
I had reservations about going downtown with all the crowds but it really was a lot of fun. The day ended with an incredible fireworks display set off from barges at five different locations on the river. A good time was had by all!

Today marks my seventh wedding anniversary to the most incredible man! Bob, I am so glad that you walked back into my life (34 yrs after we first met in grade 4!). Life has never been quite the same since, full of lots of love and laughter. Happy Anniversary honey!