Thursday, 24 September 2009

Welcome fall!

It's been an absolutely gorgeous fall day here and fortunately for me I'm not working today. Even better, I've done nothing other than stitch and shop! I spent my morning stitching on my Nantucket Summer Sampler. Sorry it looks a little lopsided in this pic. I'm really enjoying my time spent stitching on this one. The colours are so pretty and I love watching the scene unfold. While I was stitching it I realized that I'm always stitching a season behind. Here I am doing a summer scene when it's now fall. When summer was here I was stitching my Spring Lace. It seems that it takes me the entire season to decide on a piece, kit it up and get started. I'm sure I'll decide on a Christmas piece once the holidays are over and I'll be into a Halloween piece over Christmas! It's like I'm trying to hang on the season in my own way. Oh well, at least they get done.

My Cricket Halloween freebie is coming along nicely. I'm sure to have this one completed in time for the season. I'm getting the itch to start something else but I'm not sure what yet. Big or small, ornament or not?.....who knows. I was going through my stash when my latest purchase arrived. It's Blue Ribbon Designs Black Cats and Flying Bats. I loved the idea that you could do a number of ornaments from this or one BAP. Yup, I can see me starting this one in November! The upcoming Winter White Woodland is also along the same lines. Follow the previous link to also see a sneak peek of their Autumn/Thanksgiving sampler. I love it!! In fact I love all of their latest releases. Think there's enough time in my schedule to fit them all in? Not, lol!

Life has been a little less stressful lately so I've had a bit more energy. This in turn has led to my making it to the past 3 Tuesday night SALs. I'm really enjoying my time spent stitching with these ladies. I relax as soon as I walk in and the evening passes so quickly with lots of fun, laughter and stitching. Mind you, some of us have found that the frogs follow us home afterwards since we're spending far too much time socializing and not enough time counting! Such was the case for me this week but it was a small area concerned and I sent those pesky green fellows packing shortly afterwards.

The weather has been cooperating during my travels to stitch and I'll go as long as I can 'cause I know that once the winter slush and snow arrives I won't be making too many appearances. One of these times I'll remember to bring my camera and snap a few pictures of the gang.

Fast forward a day and remember those famous last words I dared mention about life being less stressful? Yeah, right! I'd planned a lovely outing with some friends to the village of Merrickville for a girls' day of pampering but such was not the case. A family emergency took me back into Cornwall for the day along with a pitstop at work where a small problem had cropped up. Fortunately, things were not as bad as they seemed originally and I did end up spending a lovely afternoon with my son and made it home in time to stitch outside in the sun for an hour or so.

Upon arriving in our village, I stopped by the local used bookstore to drop off some books I'd finished reading. The store operates on credit. You drop off books for which you are credited a sum and then you can take more out. Quite often I don't manage to find anything that day and so I run up a tally until my next visit. Today however was a different story. I hit the jackpot! Within minutes I managed to find all these lovelies: The Book of Negroes, 3 Philippa Gregory novels - The other Boleyn girl, The Virgin's Lover, and The Queen's Fool and a Lisa Jackson book, Malice. And all for the whopping price of $15 which is what I'd just received for the books I'd left behind! The books are in excellent condition... like new. Mind you I don't promise to finish them as fast as I found them. My leisure time is limited and if I'm stitching I'm not reading and vice versa. But they'll be waiting for me on some rainy afternoon.

I'm anxiously awaiting the arrivals online of the newest purchases at the St. Charles Market. There are so many talented designers out there and I love checking out all the new additions. Carriage House Samplings' Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow is one of my favourites.

Renovation update: The kitchen cupboards were to have arrived this past Monday but the truck which was carrying them broke down in Quebec and is awaiting a part replacement. Jeez, you'd think they had more than one truck! Kitchen flooring is now in as well as the hardwood flooring and we've got our quote from the painters. Think I might be changing my mind on colour though. Those paint chips never match what ends up on the wall. We bought a trial size and today Bob put some up on the wall which is coming down. Ugh! What looked like a nice dusty rose on the chip has translated into a much darker rose with a heck of a lot of lavender tint to it. Maybe it's just me. I shy away from darker shades and usually pick a pastel. This time I thought I'd be brave. Who knows, maybe it will grow on me!

Now it's back to the grind for another 7 day stretch. I'll check in with another stitching update after that. Happy Fall!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

A Restful Week (even if it doesn't seem that way!)

I don't know what it was about the past week's holiday but I'm actually feeling more relaxed than after my week in Muskoka. Maybe it was the glorious weather which was lacking for most of the summer. Or maybe it was the good company and time spent stitching which contributed to my relaxation. In any case it was a great week!

It started off on Tuesday with some R&R at home and then some great fun stitching with the weekly SAL in Ottawa. That's where I started my next BAP.... By The Bay's Nantucket Summer Sampler. I'm trying to hold onto summer in any way, shape or form! I love stitching on Donna's works. They really appeal to me.

Wednesday I started tackling the job of packing up the contents of my kitchen cupboards in anticipation of our forthcoming renovations ( that's after sleeping in an extra 3 hrs than when I'm working!). Isn't it amazing how much energy one has when sleep is part of the equation? I made great headway and rewarded myself by spending the afternoon stitching on the back deck. I put aside NSS in favour of my Cricket Collection Halloween freebie which is coming along nicely.

Thursday the weather was still holding which called for a boat ride. My DH auctions off a boat ride during a silent auction fundraiser at our church each year. Last year's winners were unable to join us each time the weather cooperated so finally we were able to fulfill our commitment this week. Our friends joined us on the Ottawa River for a rear view of the Parliament buildings and the PM's residence. It was an absolutely beautiful day. We took our time, snapping tons of photos along the way. I've posted a few here including:

1.The Parliament buildings (that's the library building in the foreground and the Peace tower in the background)

2. The Prime Minister's residence

3. The National Art Gallery alongside the double spires of Notre Dame Cathedral

4. The Supreme Court

Friday morning I headed off to Cornwall to pick up my son Dan and then we were off to visit my son Jeff and my granddaughters in Quebec. I hadn't seen them since Christmas! Usually Jeff tries to get to our place during the summer but his vacation didn't coincide with ours this year. Whenever I tried to choose a weekend visit, either he or I was working. Finally things worked out for us. He works an extended work week Mon.-Thurs. so that every Friday they finish at noon. The girls were anxiously awaiting our arrival, their noses pushed on the screen windows watching for "Amma Inn". That's how I'm known to the youngest. Grandma Lynn was anxious to see them too. We spent the afternoon reading books, watching a Disney movie and making towers of blocks. Dan spent the afternoon catching up with his brother although he's also Oceanne's choice of playmate as you can see from these pics.

The girls speak only French but understand most English. I can understand French so we get along pretty well however I was having a really hard time deciphering what the youngest, Summer, was saying. Turns out I'm not the only one. Jeff says she speaks a mix of French and jibberish with a sprinkling of English words thrown in. She's pretty soft spoken so you have to listen closely to get anything. After listening to her repeat the same sentence several times and not getting anything I turned to Jeff for translation. Basically she wanted me to pick her up and hug her although she wasn't quite using the proper words. I felt so bad because I'd just been answering yes to her when she was quite adamant! From that point on she spent a good portion of the afternoon on my lap. The day was over far too quickly but we made a webcam date for next week.

Saturday I did something that I haven't done in ages. I baked! Must be that fall feeling in the air. The end result was a batch of date squares and an applesauce loaf cake. I kept a very small amount for us and the rest I took into church with us today for the coffee hour following the service.

After church we paid a visit to the Parkdale Market in Ottawa which is one of our favourite haunts on a Sunday afternoon. I love seeing all the fresh produce on display along with all the flowers. The fall season being on our doorstep, todays' choice were mums of every colour. I wanted to take them all home with me but settled on just one in a hanging basket. Besides, as Bob reminded me, I already have a couple others at home gracing our front porch. Our remaining purchases were some tasty tomatoes ( there are samples available), little red potatoes, crisp MacIntosh apples and sweet coloured peppers as seen in the photo below. Even if I don't buy anything, I love the sights and sounds at the market.

Our day ended with Bob barbequing steaks for dinner with a friend. Now our company has headed home and I'm preparing to stitch for an hour or so before bed. (Maybe not, I've just finished this post and it's now almost 11:00pm!) Then's it's back to reality at 5:00 tomorrow morning. Ugh! Well it was heaven while it lasted! Hope we all have a great week and that stitching is very much a part of it.

(Our view heading home from Quebec)

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Stitchin' in spirit

This weekend is Kathy's SAL at her lovely home on Lake Ontario. The weather is perfect, the company great, stitching is the main activity and I'm at home working. What is wrong with this picture?! I told Kathy that I wasn't able to make it but I'd be stitching right along with them in spirit every chance I got. Fortunately for me work has been fairly quiet and I've been able to do just that. Add in the fact that I'm following Dr.'s orders to rest following my day surgery and stitching becomes my preferred activity. I know, I know... What am I doing working in the first place? Finding a replacement for me on a long weekend would be next to impossible and weekends generally involve less work than weekdays so I'm working my weekend and taking next week off. In any case I've managed 2 finishes in the last few days.

First off is Nature's Beauty which I really should have finished weeks ago but I've been very lazy lately. I just love it and now the hunt is on to find a fabric to use in my flat fold finish. I'll pay a visit to my local fabric shop on Tuesday. I'm really pleased though with my second finish. Not that it's anything special, it's just the fact that this one was sitting in my pile of UFOs and I managed to stick with it. I replaced the yellow floss called for in the pattern but I'm not sure if my choice is much better. It does seem to show up a little more than it did before. I haven't decided what to do with it just yet. I don't think any of my finishes are going to be displayed in the near future anyways since I'm in the process of packing things up for our renovations. By the time they're done with everything we'll be heading towards the Christmas season. Oh wow, that's really depressing! I'm still waiting for my lost summer.

I started in on another Halloween quickie yesterday. This one is a freebie from The Cricket Collection. I haven't done enough for a pic yet but hope to have one soon.

Bob thought it would be a perfect day for a boat ride when I was finished work so I met him in Morrisburg at the boat launch. However the water was a lot rougher than we were expecting and it was pretty cool at the river so we scrapped our launch and headed home. Instead I took a nap before supper. Bob on the other hand was drying out since he slipped and fell into the river during his launch attempt. Fortunately his cell phone is still working and the contents of his wallet are laid out on the dining room table in various stages of drying. I was very good about concealing my laughter since there were several people watching our endeavours. However if the shoe had been on the other foot I'm sure that Bob would have taken great delight in my misfortune!

For all of you at Kathy's place this weekend, I'm thinking of you and hoping you're having a super time. I hope to see you sometime very soon. In the meantime, keep those needles smoking!