Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Blogging break

After finally catching up on my Google reader, I'll now be taking a bit of a break as I head to Windsor to visit my Mom and MIL. My Mom hasn't been all that well the past few months and we are told that my MIL is starting to fail physically. So we both feel that that is where we should be right now.
I'm not sure if I'll have internet access or not when I arrive. I know that there is no wireless access at Mom's. In the past I've used a mobile internet stick. When the plan expired, I told them to cancel for now and I would buy pre paid data as needed. However when I called yesterday to add that data, nobody at Rogers seemed to know what they were doing and if it was at all possible. Yet initially I was told there would be no problem! Figures!! 
So you may or may not hear from me during the next week or so. When I return, I hope to have some stitchy pics for you on my latest progress.

I'll take the time now to wish the very best for all my blogging friends in 2012. I hope you all have a very healthy, blessed and Happy New Year!!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Final TUSAL post for 2011

I can't believe that an entire year of posting TUSALs has come and gone! It's been great fun seeing everyone's progress and I'm definitely in for 2012.
Not too much stitching this month.
I only managed to fill the one little jar which contains lots of reds,greens and whites! Lots of those colours were from my Jenny Bean Christmas. I've now dumped the contents into my large jar and will continue to add  to it what meager orts I have from now until Jan. 1st. I still have one last ornament for 2011 that I'm working on my I don't hold out much hope I'll finish it by the end of the month. After Christmas is over we are travelling to visit our mother's and will be gone for several days. Since pretty much only beading remains on the ornie it will be difficult to get done while I'm away. I can stitch in the car but I'm not even attempting beading. Looking forward to seeing all your posts in the New Year!

Friday, 23 December 2011

A finish in the Nick of time!

Yesterday was slated to be my finishing marathon for my granddaughters' Christmas ornaments. I saved myself some time by eliminating the beading. I tried a few different beads on one of the ornaments and wasn't really happy with the look. The ornaments were stitched on opalescent fabric and once I added the beads it just seemed to be too much. So I snipped off the few beads I'd added, stitched on my crystal stars and got started with the finishing. By noon I had both of them finished. I used the same backing fabric on each one but I ran out of trim to do both the same so each ornament has a slightly different look. Here's the results....
M Designs Name Tree - Oceanne
32 ct Silkweaver Solo opalescent
using DMC variations

M Designs Name Tree - Summer
32 ct Silkweaver Solo opalescent
using DMC variations
I'm pretty pleased with the results. It only took me two years to complete them, lol!
I took the pictures of them as they hung on my new little twig tree. It will be able to accomodate a lot more ornaments than my present tree. I had a few holes on the tree so I hung some little birds on the branches and hung a few of my smaller glass ornies as well.

I've been getting my list together for Measi's WIPocalypse. I have very few unfinished works so most of my list will be made up of new starts.

Two unfinished works that I do want to complete are The Trilogy's Secret Snowdrift as well as Plum Street Samplers Gobble.
Other works I'd like to stitch in the new year include the following:

1. Feather Your Nest by With Thy Needle and Thread

2. Paradis Perdu by A Mon Ami Pierre

3. Snow Day by With Thy Needle and Thread

4. Turkey Love by Plum Street Samplers

5. Tis The Season by Blackbird Designs

6. Olga by Plum Street Samplers

7. Prairie Moon's The Good Shepherd

8. Prairie Schooler's Garden Sampler - the Birdhouse Sampler

In addition to these I want to continue stitching more ornaments both for Christmas and Halloween.
Let's see how far I can get with these aspirations!

I wish all of my readers a very blessed Christmas and all good wishes for a Happy 2012! I thank you all for the friendship you have extended to me in the past year. I've been so very blessed to have so many stitching friends. Thank you.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Our tree, a finish and a RAK

As you can see, Santa is getting his list of the nice and naughty all ready for the big night! Which one will you be on this year?

Our tree is finally up. This year we decided to put it in our rec room however its usual corner has now been occupied by a computer desk. So after much discussion and some moving of furniture it now occupies the corner next to our gas fireplace. Fortunately it's not a real tree so it won't dry out. I love a real tree but it's not practical with us being away for a few days. I don't want my friends to have to look after the tree in addition to the cat.
I'm also posting a few of my favourite ornaments on the tree. Since most of these ornaments are breakable, I've only begun collecting them and displaying them since the boys grew up and left home. The poinsetttias are made of velvet and wired for bending the leaves. They fit over the miniature tree lights and look so pretty when lit! The tree skirt is one that I hooked when my oldest was just a baby. We dug it out of hiding this year. Unfortunately my tree top won't fit the tree since the ceilings are lower in the basement.

As you can see this was a gift from my younger sister Laurie

Laurie also gave me this moose.
Don't you just love his snowshoes?
This is the very first Christmas gift my hubby ever gave me.
I used to figure skate when I was younger.
He found this ornament when we were on our honeymoon.

These two are the newest additions to our tree.
I found a lovely surprise waiting for me in this week's mail. My cousin Sheryl sent me the sweetest RAK. It's a needleminder from Puffin & Company. Being the cat lover that I am I think you can figure out which one it is.

Isn't he/she cute? I'll say it's a female since that's what our kitty is. Thank you so much Sheryl!! You are such a sweetheart!

My Tuesday night group had their Christmas party and gift exchange last week. I tried out a new recipe to take with me..... gingerbread pumpkin trifle. It was awesome and I'll definitely be making this one again!

One of the members or our group likes to make beaded fobs which she then sells. I asked her to make me one of her fobs to go with my Dinky Dyes Oh Canada scissors. She did a fabulous job! I've posted a pic of the little charm as well which is a beaver. The beaver is our national animal although there are some recently who have talked about changing it to a polar bear.

This afternoon I finished another ornie for my collection. This one is Blue Ribbons Designs Red Birds for Peace. I finally finished up the over one stitching on the birds. They're weren't nearly as bad as I expected. The final finishing won't be done until the new year.

That about wraps things up for now (no pun intended!). I hope to have one final post before Christmas with a picture of my granddaughters' ornaments. I'm currently working on their finishing. I hope in all the craziness of the season that you each  can take a little time for yourself to relax and reflect. Just in case I don't have time for that next post, I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for a Happy New Year!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Jenny Bean's Christmas and an Exchange Gift

Just in time for the holiday, may I present Miss Jenny Bean's Christmas.......

Jenny Bean's Christmas by Shakespeare's Peddler
stitched on 32 ct Lakeside Linen Magnolia
using Gentle Arts Floss
This was the first design by Theresa Venette of Shakespeare's Peddler that I've ever stitched and it won't be the the last, that's for sure. I loved working on this one! I've had several comments by non stitchers who've seen me working on this that they really like the design and colours. Theresa has created a new design for the retreat in Williamsburg, VA and has a few extra kits left to offer. It's called A Wassailing and you can see a picture of it here. If you want one of the kits, you can put in a request on her blog. It's first come, first serve and I put in my request as soon as I saw the kit.

I also found the time to finish up one of the ornaments that I stitched last year. It's LHN Pear Tree and up until now it's been hiding in the bottom drawer with all my stitching finishes. There are several more ornaments hiding in that drawer which also should be hanging on my tree but there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to get them all finished. Finishing takes me forever! Before I even start, I could spend hours just trying to decide which fabric, trim, etc. I should use. I envy those of you who can finish up an ornament within a short period of time.

Speaking of ornaments, lookee what the postman brought me on Friday!

Not one, but two of the sweetest little snowmen! These cuties were an exchange gift I received from Patty. I have admired this pattern on several blogs where they have stitched this design and I was so pleased to see that I won't have to stitch one for myself now. They're both finished so beautifully and each one sports a little Hand Made with Love charm on the reverse.

Aren't they gorgeous? Thank you very much Patty! They will always have a treasured spot on my Christmas tree each year.

I have recently purchased a new tree for my ornaments. My existing little tree is too small to hold anymore. I've been keeping a look out for a small twig tree but I found they wanted a terrible price for the ones I'd seen. Finally, in my own backyard, I found a sweet little tree that is just perfect for my ornaments. I'll have a picture of it to show you on my next post along with pics of my main Christmas tree. My son Daniel helped me finish off the decorating on Thursday. It was his birthday and it's a tradition that he helps me decorate the tree on his special day.
Happy Birthday Daniel and thanks for all your help!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Another giveaway alert!

I just finished posting and went to comment on Nancy's blog at The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe when I noticed that she is having an additional Christmas giveaway. This one is for floss, trims and charts! If you have never checked out Nancy's pretties now is the time. She has some amazing trims.

Christmas decorating and an awesome giveaway

Slowly but surely I'm getting around to decorating our home for Christmas. Now that the boys are no longer here to help out, I tend to do things in stages over the course of a few days. Our tree is not up yet and won't be until later next week but I have found some favourites to come out of their year long storage boxes.

 This collection of snowmen sits on one end of my mantel in our rec room. Two  of the three were gifts from a friend.

I found this primitive angel several years ago. I can't remember where I found her but she has been a favourite ever since. 

This festively adorned couple are new additions this year. They are gracing the other end of our mantel. I originally picked up just the one bear on the left. Then I spotted its mate and she just looked so lonesome sitting by herself and I couldn't leave without the two of them. I know my granddaughters will adore them!

I'm changing things up this year with a lot of our decor. Much of it has been around since the kids were young and is getting a little outdated. I'm giving a lot of it to my sons now especially to Jeff since he doesn't have a lot of decorations for the girls. The picture below was taken on my visit to their place last weekend.

 Here is the birthday girl showing off her Christmas tree. All of the ornaments on that tree have been around since their father was a baby. I bought them for our first tree after I was married. Jeff was thrilled when I offered them to him and the girls are now picking out their favourites. The girls decorated the tree themselves which is obvious if you had seen the whole thing. Most of the ornaments are located on the bottom third of the tree!

I tried to get some decent pictures but it was one of those times when the girls were being silly and just not cooperating. I only managed to get a couple of halfway decent shots. Here's one of Oceanne. I just can't believe how much taller she seems to have got since the summer! She seems to be all legs.

You can see the results of their silliness in the next photo. They like to dress up as princesses but thought that it would be fun to dress up Dad this time. Jeff's friend Pasquale seems to get a kick out of his new look!

I'm frantically trying to get those ornaments done for the girls. All of the stitching is now complete and I'm at the beading stage. I hope to get started on that this evening. Christmas concerts have kept my DH and me rather busy so there hasn't been a heck of a lot of stitching time. Plus I seem to have a lingering headache ever since my dental work on Wednesday. They were drilling into my jaw for the implant and the freezing didn't take 100% which has result in this persistent headache. It's slowly receding and I hope to be back to my old self by weekend's end.

I spent all day today completing my Christmas wrapping. I prefer to get it all done in one day otherwise there is wrapping paper lying all over the place. That leaves my Christmas cards and baking remaining. Oh yeah and the tree. That should be up by week's end as we then celebrate my middle son's birthday as well as my hubby's. Bob's is on Monday and Dan's is on Thursday so we usually have a joint celebration involving chocolate cake of some sort. The two of them are chocoholics!

Now I'm off to try and get in a few stitches. Before I go, I wanted to let you know about the awesome giveaway that Nancy is having over at The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe.  She's having a fabulous giveaway of her own hand dyed floss. Definitely worth your while. I promise some stitchy pics next week

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Exchange received

A couple of months ago, Patty inquired as to whether anyone was interested in doing an exchange with her. I replied that I'd love to and so for the past several weeks I've been working on this little guy.
Winter Joy by SamSarah Design Studio,
32ct Sassy's Sugared Cocoa
Just Cross Stitch Ornament Preview Issue 2007

I had so much fun working on this one! Patty is a fan of snowmen so I also tucked in a few other little goodies with the ornament. You can sneak a peek at them on Patty's blog. I'm so glad that she was pleased with everything.

In addition to the exchange, I've been trying to get the M Designs name trees finished for my granddaughters. Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog will know that I have been stitching these over the course of the past two years. I kept telling myself that the girls were still young and there was plenty of time to get them done. Well, the girls are now 6 and 5 and their Dad recently asked me if I had ever finished them. Time to get moving! The stitching on Oceanne's tree is done and Summer's is almost there! These are my first attempts at over one stitching.

M Designs Name Tree - Oceanne

M Designs Name Tree - Summer
Once the stitching is complete, I still have to add the beads and treasures to both trees and then do the final finishing. Knowing me, that will take another week's work (or more!) before they are completely done. I'm determined that they'll receive these this year!

After my recent ornament finishing spree, I started another. This one is a Blue Ribbon Design called Red Birds for Peace. It was stitching up pretty quickly until I realized that the cardinals in this design are stitched over one. So it will wait until the name trees are completed before I tackle it.

I'm heading into the city shortly for my weekly Tuesday group. I skipped out last week because I just didn't feel like doing the drive into town. Tonight I'll concentrate on my JB Christmas which has been neglected lately. After all, I can't work on the over one stitching there without the use of my trusty magnifying lamp (which at the moment is still minus the lamp portion).

My visit with my granddaughters on Saturday was so much fun! I haven't had time to upload the pictures yet so I'll have one or two on my next post. I haven't been home a whole lot lately but when I have, I've been trying to do a little decorating for Christmas. Our tree won't be up for a little while yet but I have lots of other decor to spread around. Hopefully I'll have a few pics of those next post as well. Tomorrow I'll be spending a good part of the day in the dentist chair getting an implant. Wish me luck!

Friday, 2 December 2011


I spent a couple of hours on Wednesday afternoon with my crafting group finishing up some of my ornaments. Now only one of these is a new stitch. The other two have been waiting since last year to be beautified.
I don't own a sewing machine and to be honest, I'm not sure I'd even remember how to thread the thing. I haven't sewn since my home economics classes in highschool. So I rely on the generosity of several friends for the use of their machines to finish my pillow ornaments. I provide the materials, they sew the pillows, and then I do the stuffing and trim. I've talked about getting my own machine but all three tell me not to bother if that's all I'm using it for.
Here's the results of mine and their efforts this past Wednesday.

I have three or four more ornaments with backing fabric and trims all picked just waiting for me to finish them off. I'm not using a pillow finish on these and so I hope to get to them next week.
I have very few ornaments that are actually finished. My aim over the next year is to get enough ornaments done to decorate a second tree which is nothing but stitched finishes. In the meantime I have my small ornament tree which is holding the current finishes.

Once I finish off these remaining ornaments I won't have much more room on this little tree. So how many ornaments do I need for a bigger tree? Anyone out there who has such a tree in their home who could give me an idea? I'm guessing it might be two years before I have enough completed!

This weekend is a busy one. I'm heading to Drummondville for a belated fifth birthday celebration with my granddaughter. It's a 3 hr trip one way so I've been praying for good weather. They're further north than we are and often have much more snow and earlier than we do. Fortunately, tomorrow is forecast to be a lovely sunny day and my son tells me that what snow they had has melted with some recent mild temperatures.
I'm singing at a carol service for Advent tonight and then again on Sunday with our community choir. The season is upon us!!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Happy New Year

The season of Advent is upon us once more and in the Western Christian church it is the beginning of a new liturgical year. Advent is a preparatory season and is marked by a spirit of expectation, anticipation, and preparation. So many times I get too caught up in my preparations and forget to pause and remember what it is that we are preparing for. In our home we have an Advent wreath which was given by a friend to Bob and me prior to celebrating our first Christmas together. Every year since then our Advent wreath has graced our table. The lighting of the candles on the four Sundays prior to Christmas helps me pause and reflect on the true meaning of the upcoming season. On the first Sunday in Advent my DH always wishes our choir a Happy New Year. It is a gentle reminder to us all.

We had a house guest this past weekend so our weekend was a busy one but the rest of the week was fairly quiet which allowed me to finish stitching these two ornaments. The first is the companion ornament from Tra La La Duo de Noel. This one stitched up just as quickly as the first and I will be doing the final finishing today at our Wednesday afternoon group.

Tra La La Duo de Noel (ornament #2)
stitched on 32 ct natural linen
using DMC
The second ornament is a freebie called Winter Sampler by Carolyn Hofstede of Cosmic Handmade.  If there is no time for the finishing today I hope to get it done up by the weekend.
This was another quick stitch and I thought it appropriate for the beginning of Advent. 

Winter Sampler by Cosmic Handmade
stitched on 32 ct natural linen
using DMC
 As I sit here writing this there has been a dog, a golden Lab I think, making repeated trips from my driveway and then down the street. Each time he has been carrying something in his mouth. Whatever it is, I'm pretty sure it's not from my yard but I haven't figured out yet what he's doing. He's already made three trips back and forth. I snapped this pic quickly through the window as he trotted by. You can see that he is carrying something in his mouth.

 The weather has been mild this way and our snow has disappeared but rain has taken its place. I had hoped to walk to join the group today but I don't feel like braving the damp. I'm off a little early now to join them for lunch. Catch up with you later!

Friday, 25 November 2011

TUSAL Update

 Once again TUSAL time is here. My little ort jars are filling up with wonderful reds, greens and whites from all my Christmas stitching. I think we could probably determine what season it is by the colours in our ort jars.

I've been working on some ornaments this week for the challenge and have only one picture to share. You saw this little fellow on my last post but now he's all finished up into an ornament for my tree. For now I've hung him from the door to my grandfather clock.

I've almost finished the stitching on the companion piece to this one and hope to get it finished up at my stitching group next week. Tonight I'll be starting on another ornie. Then I'll take a break and get back to Jenny Bean's Christmas next week.
Happy Stitching!