Monday, 24 January 2011

Brutal cold results in more stitching

I think that's what the headlines should read in my corner of Ontario. And brutal it is. My outdoor thermometer read -33 C when I awoke this morning. That's -27 F for all those of you who don't deal in metric. The days are supposed to start getting warmer tomorrow but for now I'm happy to stay glued to my stitching chair. I've got 2 days off work due to my weekend stint and I'll gladly take them. It was a horrid week, weather wise and work wise. The finale was putting out my back yesterday which is another reason why I'm glued to my LaZyBoy. It's about the only spot where I can comfortably sit.

As a result of all this numb bum, I have a small finish and a new start. First off, A Cat In Snowman's Clothing. This was a really fun stitch which is probably why it finished off so quickly. It combines three things which I love...... cats, cardinals and snowmen. So many of you have left such sweet comments regarding this stitch and so here's a big group [[[hug]]] for all. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave a message.

I haven't quite decided how I'll finish this little guy yet. I'm not very inventive when it comes to finishes. Perhaps I can find a sweet frame for him.

After seeing some lovely Valentine designs being stitched on in blogland I decided to get on board and promptly searched my stash. Here's what I came up with - Fair, Kind, True by Midsummer Night Designs. I originally wanted to stitch Plum Street Samplers Beloved but I didn't have all the necessary supplies on hand. Fair, Kind, True calls for the use of GAST Cranberry but I've substituted with Needle n Silks In the Burgundy. I just love working with silk floss. It just seems to glide through the fabric. Speaking of which, the fabric is a lovely piece of 32ct Earthen lugana by Picture This Plus. Here's my progress so far.

I'm itching to start my Spring Quakers but I've vowed not to touch it until I get a little bit further through Cast All Your Cares. But every time I pass my craft room, it's like a magnet is drawing me in and I usually end up drooling over the design and fondling the fabric. It's a sickness, I swear it is, lol!

Many of you may know that as my retirement date comes closer, I'm getting a lot of my previous finishes either framed or stretched prior to framing. I know I won't have the extra cash flow handy to do this in the future. Two weeks ago, Michaels had a framing sale and I dropped off one of my stretched finishes for framing. Bob picked it up for me on his way home yesterday and here it is - LHN Nature's Beauty!
Now I'm headed back to my warm chair. It's much cooler here upstairs. I try to keep from turning up the thermostat too high and rely on the gas stove in the rec room to keep us cozy.
Have a great week and keep warm!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Weekend stitching

I had a very quiet weekend and spent a good portion of it stitching. I'd originally planned on heading into Ottawa but after working overtime on Friday evening, when the morning rolled around I just felt like staying put. I did the prerequisite cleaning and then pulled this number out of obscurity. Yes, it's Cast All Your Cares.



I figured I'd better get moving on this one. I'm stitching it for a friend who has requested it for her new condo and she's moving in the spring. Hopefully I'll be done by then. I made fair progress on it . I've posted a before picture as well to show where I left off.

When I'd tired of this one I pulled out my new start, Hillside Samplings A Cat in Snowman's Clothing. This one is really stitching up quickly. This is one of the first patterns that I accumulated in my stash and I don't know why I've waited so long to pull it out. It's funny how my mood dictates what I'll stitch.

I put some time in on it yesterday night at our regular stitching get together and managed to complete the border. I didn't hang around after that though because the weather had turned and a snowfall was making the roads treacherous. Better to get home before I tired any more since I knew it would be a long drive home. And it was!

My fabric has arrived for Spring Quakers and this time it will work much better than my previous choice. I've sort of put it on hold until I get some more stitches in on Cast. I'm so taken with this one that I'm afraid that once I get started I won't want to work on anything else!

Last post I neglected to mention the lovely award that Lana passed on to me. I'm touched that you thought of me for this award. I'm now supposed to list 5 things you don't know about me and pass the award on to 5 more. However I can't pick just 5 people out of all of your fantastic stitching blogs which I love to check in on. As far as I'm concerned you are all worthy of the award and consider yourselves gifted.
I know that many of you have been having some pretty wicked snow dumps lately and I certainly hope your weather has been improving. If nothing else it certainly makes for some serious stitching time!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Off to a good start

The year is definitely off to a good start. Last evening marked my return to the Tuesday night stitching group. I'd taken a bit of a break - a combination of weather conditions, fatigue and work overload. It was so good to be back and when I arrived I was pleasantly surprised to see that Dani had joined us for the evening. It was good to see her again since it's been quite some time since we've stitched together. I'm hoping she'll join us again in the coming weeks. My attendance will still be sporadic until spring although I'm hoping to join the group at lease once a month.

My visit with family in Windsor was a good one, although hectic. We had only 3 full days to catch up with everyone. We ate out for lunch and supper all 3 days that we spent there! I'm glad to come home to a home cooked meal again. I did manage to make a pitstop on our way there at Thread & Eye Needlework Shop. They had some buttons on hold that I need for one of the LHN monthly ornaments. I also picked up a new Qsnap and some small cuts of linen. After all, one can never have enough fabric!

One of our evenings out visiting involved a trip across the border to Michigan to visit my sister. We don't usually exchange Christmas gifts anymore but this year she spotted something special for me that she just couldn't pass up. It seems she was shopping in a Hallmark card store and couldn't believe her eyes when she spotted this ornament.

There are many of you who won't recognize this but if you
were born in the 50's or 60's you might remember the Chatty Cathy doll by Mattel. She was on the market from 1959 - 1965 and was second in popularity only to Barbie. I loved my Chatty Cathy doll. I had the original blond blue-eyed version and my sister had a dark haired one.

When you pulled the string on the back of the doll she would recite one of 11 different phrases. Well, this Hallmark version of the doll also has a string on her back and thanks to little watch batteries within her recites the same 11 phrases in the exact same voice.
In the photo below there is a picture of us and our cousin with our dolls. I think this was either Christmas 1962 or 1963. That's me on the left, my cousin in the middle and my sister (who doesn't look totally thrilled!) on the right. This picture sits on my dresser and my granddaughters discovered it during their visit at Christmas. I had just finished discussing it with them and telling them which one was their Grandmaman. What a coincidence to receive this nostalgia gift shortly afterwards. Thanks sis!

After returning home from our visit, I found the next gift waiting for me at the post office. On New Year's Day Angela drew two names for her end of year giveaway. She'd stitched 2 lovely pillows and I was fortunate enough to have my name drawn for one of them. How great is this, starting off the new year with such a fantastic gift?! Since my name was drawn first I chose this sweet LK finish.

Isn't it pretty? I love the fabric she used and her stitching is great. I was surprised at the size of the pillow too. It was much larger than I thought it would be. Although the holidays are over, I've left it out on display in my living room. I just can't put it away yet! Thank you so much Angela. I will proudly display it each Christmas.

Although my visit with family was a hectic one, I did manage some progess on my North Wind.
This is such a fun stitch. I took it with me last night to my stitching group but I'm afraid I didn't put in too many stitches. Far too much catching up to do! I also made a start on A Cat in Snowman's Clothing but I don't have enough done for a picture yet. Shortly though.

DH has just left for his first choir practice since the holidays and once again I'm spending a quiet evening at home. I fully intend on pulling out my stitching but quite often I find myself nodding off, needle in hand. Am I the only one who does this?
I hope everyone is having a super week. I know I'm certainly enjoying all the Crazy Challenge pics on the blogs. Keep 'em coming!

Monday, 3 January 2011

TUSAL - January

So I've finally joined the TUSAL. Follow the link to check it out. Sharon's enthusiasm for the giveaway basket was just too much to ignore! Hanging on to my orts has never been something I bothered doing before this but I'll give it a go. I've dug through my cupboards and so far all I could find for my orts was this small ( it looks much bigger in this picture!) hurricane. I removed the candle from it and dumped my meager orts within. I can't imagine filling this but we'll see.

The weekend has been a washout as far as stitching is concerned. Work was absolutely crazy and my stitching didn't even come out of its bag. We're leaving bright and early in the morning for our trip to Windsor. There are just some flurries forecast but you never know what you'll run into. Thanks to all of you for your well wishes on our journey!

With any luck I'll be able to get in some stitches during the car ride.

More updates on my return. And maybe some new stash too!!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

A new year and a new start

I hope everyone had a happy New Year. Ours was very quiet. In fact I rung in the new year by myself since my DH laid down for a cat nap around 8:00 pm and was still sleeping at midnight. New Year's Day we spent the day cleaning up a bit and later some friends joined us for supper. A most enjoyable evening indeed!
As of this writing my tree is down and most of the Christmas decorations are packed back in their boxes until next year. I usually leave some things up until Epiphany but on Tuesday we are heading to Windsor to visit our families for a few days. I know that when I return work will be waiting and then I won't have time for anything.

I made up my mind in early December which design I wanted to stitch next which was Rosewood Manor Spring Quakers. I was only waiting for the fabric to arrive. When it arrived, the week before Christmas, I was disappointed. I ordered the specified fabric which is PTP Valor and found that it was far darker than I really wanted. So I've decided to go with Queen Anne Lace instead. Of course I didn't have a large enough piece in my stash so I used some of my Christmas money to purchase some on ebay and I'm awaiting its arrival. In the meantime I had 2 other pieces kitted and ready to go. Eenie, meenie, miney, moe..... I chose LHN The North Wind. Waiting in the wings is A Cat in Snowman's Clothing by Hillside Samplings. I had a problem finding a link to the latter. I think it's been out of print for awhile.

So here's a photo of my new start so far. I've chosen a 28ct Dove Gray Monaco to stitch it on.
I'm working the displaced weekend right now so I'm not getting in as much stitching time as I'd like. Perhaps in the car when we head out on Tuesday.
I've been enjoying all the wonderful pics being posted of your choices and new starts for the Crazy January Challenge. Although I'm not participating, I'll be eagerly checking in to see your progress pics. I'll post some more updates when I return from my trip (which includes a visit to Thread & Eye in London!). I hope to put in some stitches on Cast All Your Cares again too. Have a great week !!