Tuesday, 27 September 2011

TUSAL and The Tangled Skeins SAL

Is it really TUSAL time again? Seems like it was just yesterday that I posted the last pic. Is it just me or did September just fly by? So my two little ort jars filled rather quickly this month as I had 4 finishes, 2 which I haven't been able to share with you yet. My exchange gift is in the mail and I haven't completed the finishing on my other gift. The jars hold lots of lovely golden colours from Sunflower House, some black & white from Quaker Halloween and of course red & white from my LHN Canada finish. Then there are a few glimpses of browns from my new start Gobble.
Now these orts will be ceremoniously dumped into the giant ort jar! What colours will they hold next month?

I enjoyed the most fantastic day this past Saturday as 10 ladies from the Tuesday night group made the trek out to my little village for a day of food, fun and flying fingers! The rain held off and several of the group were able to sit outdoors in the gazebo. As the hostess I'm afraid I didn't put in too many x's. I was too busy jumping up to check on food and to make sure everyone was comfortable and had everything they needed. I also grabbed some pictures of the ladies as they stitched away. First off is the gazebo gang who were thoroughly enjoying their surroundings.





Do they look like maybe they're just having too much fun?!  This was the first  visit for both Jeannine and Barb and we're glad they could join us.

Now for the indoor crew.

Leslie with her Silvercreek Sampler stitch

Karen, who is stitching a chart she ordered of her home!

Lianne with her La D Da

Diane with her LHN Cherries

Dani with her Enchantment of Winter
It didn't seem to matter whether they were outdoors or inside ,either way there was a heck of a lot of stitching progress going on.
Here's a pic of my stitch, Gobble, most of which had been completed prior to the ladies' arrival.

Isn't he a fine looking fella? This is a really fun stitch and I plan on continuing with this one over the next couple of days. Apparently there are 3 others in the series, Give, Gather and Ghoul. I'd love to do them al eventually.

Jeannine and Leslie were so sweet and brought me a lovely gift both for hosting our day and as a retirement gift. Look at this fabulous Dolly Mamas stitch called Big Deal.

They said that as soon as they saw it, they thought of me and my blog! It's just too cute!! Thanks ladies!
In addition, Sally has started a newsletter for our group who call themselves The Tangled Skeins. Her first issue features my blog and my LHN Canada finish.

The Tangled Skeins newsletter, volume 1

Besides being a weekly reminder for stitching, the newsletter has upcoming events and links to ONS and will also feature stitching blogs. I think it's a fabulous idea Sally. I love it!

I want to thank each and every one of you that took the time to stop in and comment on my recent LHN Canada finish. Your comments just about had me bursting at the seams with pride! It was the first time I ever had a go at redesigning something like this and your favourable comments encouraged me to give this a try again sometime. Thank you all!!

That pretty well wraps up everything for now. I did receive a wonderful giveaway win in the mail today but I haven't had time to take pictures of it yet so I'll save it for my next post.
Keep those fingers flying!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

O Canada!

LHN America (Canadian version)
32ct Belfast natural linen
DMC floss and Crescent colours

True, patriot love.... That's what I see when I look upon my latest finish of LHN America (Canadian version). I'm really thrilled with how this one has turned out.

 When I first decided that I wanted to do this I thought that I had better contact Diane Williams of LHN. After all, I was making more than just a slight change. Diane gave me her endorsement and told me to go for it which is exactly what I did. I was still tweaking the design right up until the finish. I wasn't sure whether to go with 2 red maple leaves at the top or one white and one red. I tried stitching it that way and didn't like the looks so I frogged everything out and went with the red. Then it seemed like too much red with all the colour in the flag so I then added the small white maple leaf as well. I changed the colour of what were originally white stars at the bottom to red leaves. I decided to go with the blue roof on the house because I wanted there to be a little more colour in the finished stitch. Stitching the vine meant moving it over otherwise it would have trailed right through the center of the maple leaf in the flag. After I'd finished things up, there seemed to be an empty space in the lettering. I went in search of a button or charm and found just what I wanted in my stash, a sweet maple leaf charm. 

Now I can proudly display my patriotism each July 1st. This one will be framed at a later date. After all , there's no rush. Now I've given myself permission to start stitching on PSS Gobble. Yippee!!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The starting bug

With the finish of Sunflower House I got the starting bug once more. Actually I don't think I've ever got rid of it but I've managed to keep it at bay! However it took over in full force. What to do, what to do? As you can see from the picture above, Halloween was calling to me. This is Jardin Prive's  Quaker d'Halloween . You can't see the fabric very well in this pic but it's a very soft 28ct linen by Kiwi Illusions called Kauri. I'm trying to use up some of the fabric in my stash and loved this one when I dug it out. It doesn't show up all that well but it has a very nice mottling to it. The only problem I found with it was that the black wasn't covering very well at all so I switched to using 3 strands rather than 2. I don't like stitching with three but it covered much better and I'm happier with the looks of the piece now. This one seems to be stitching up fairly quickly. I've only worked on it for an hour or so on Saturday and then for a few hours on Sunday.

Earlier this week I managed to finish off the stitching on my gift to a fellow blogger and all that remains is the finishing. Today I also completed the finishing on my exchange piece. For the life of me though I can't find the trim that I want to use on it. I've searched everywhere for it. I had it out to show to a friend and it seems to have gone missing since then. I want to get this piece mailed off so if I can't find it in the near future, I'll be substituting with something else.

The only other stitching I have to show you is my Canadian version of LHN America. I dug this out again yesterday. I was determined to finish off the stitching on that house. As you can see, I got it done plus a little bit more. Once the fence was stitched I discovered that it was up one line too high. There was no way I was going to frog things out and start over! So the fence now has one extra plank added to the bottom of it.

I'm hoping to stitch a bit more on this one this evening at my Tuesday SAL. I'll also be taking a former coworker with me tonight. Karen has been trying to get out and join us for some time now but she is one busy lady with a young family that keeps her otherwise engaged! Finally she has a free evening so she'll be picking me up and joining us tonight. This coming Saturday I'll be hosting an all day SAL at my home for all of the Tuesday group. So far I think there are about 12 who are able to make it out here to our home in the village. It should be a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to it.

One other new start has been calling out to me this week and that's Paradis Perdu by A mon amis Pierre. I ordered silk conversions for this one and settled in to get started on it last week. I've already run into a roadblock. The silk conversion for DMC 934 is just too dark. I'm using Vicky Clayton Hand Dyed Fibers and the conversion they list looks more like black than the darker green. This one is used for a good portion of the foliage in the design so I frogged out what I'd put in and checked my stash for a substitute. No luck! I'd love to stick with a silk for this colour rather than going back to the DMC. Is there anyone out there who can tell me what is a good conversion for this colour?
Startitis seems to be taking hold firmly because I also have Plum Street Samplers Gobble all ready to go. I'm trying to hold off until I have my LHN Canada done but with Canadian Thanksgiving coming up in less than three weeks, I'd really love to start this one. Not that I'd ever have it finished by the holiday but it would definitely put me in the mood!

It' been a very busy week past for us. My DH and I spent a good portion of our time in the city last week. Bob gave an organ recital this past Sunday so rehearsal time occupied a lot of our time in the city. While he practised, I ran errands and went shopping. I managed to grab this picture while I was running around. Our church is in Chinatown in Ottawa which this past year put up a beautiful arch to announce your entry into the area. The arch is 12 meters tall and 12 meters wide. A team of 26 Chinese technicians and artisans came from Beijing to assist in the construction, decoration and painting of the arch. The blue panel in the arch has Chinese characters which say "Ottawa Chinatown". Five special metal coins were embedded in the arch as a tradition to bring blessing. The oldest coin was discovered in the Tang Dynasty with over 1000 yr history!  The lions on either side of the arch guard the gateway into Chinatown.
In the picture you can see the church where Bob plays, which is in the background and is almost dead centre in the arch.

That about covers everything here for now. It's turned out to be a lovely afternoon so I'm going to head into the gazebo for a little bit of stitching before Karen picks me up for the evening. Have a good week!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Sunflower finish!

BBD Sunflower House
32 Ct Ocean's Siren Lugana

This morning I put the final stitches in on what has been a delightful stitch. Blackbird Designs Sunflower House is now complete and ready to be stretched and framed. I've enjoyed this one so much that I haven't touched anything else in the past week.  I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out. If I had to do it over again I would swap out the colour of the stems and leaves on the sunflowers. I used the recommended GAST Grecian Gold but I'm not sure it worked all that well. I realized from the start that it might not work for me but I didn't have anything else in my stash that would. Ordering anything else would have prolonged my start by a couple of weeks and I'm trying to be a bit more frugal these days. I find it so hard to pick a floss anyways when I don't have a LNS and can't see the colour in person. So Grecian Gold it is!
Although it's not meant to be an autumn design, this one felt so much like fall to me with the colour scheme it uses as well as those gorgeous sunflowers.
Here are a few more upclose pics of the design. .

Don't you just love this house?

I noticed that when you click on this one and look at the left edge of the vase, you'll see Clarisse's contribution to the design.

Now I have to decide on a new start although I really think I should be finishing off some of the other WIP, but really, how much fun is that?

I've also got a few pictures of my newest stitching spot, our gazebo. I know that I posted a pic of the outside but I've neglected to show you how comfy it is inside. I spend most mornings out there with my coffee, stitching in hand, and again for a short bit after supper. Clarisse has  been joining me out there too but as you can see from the pic below, she was far too busy this morning!

My youngest sister Lana gave me this sign to post in the gazebo. It's the perfect sentiment! It was a retirement gift along with a really pretty bird feeder which hangs just outside the gazebo. Bob and I love to sit and watch the birds as we sip on our coffee.

The days are growing shorter and the evenings getting cooler in our little corner. On our way into the city yesterday we noticed how much colour is starting to appear on the trees. It won't be long before I'm digging out the sweaters once more.

Now I'm off to get ready for my stitching time with the Tuesday group. I'm heading in a little earlier to run some errands. A stop by the market for apples just might be in the works!
Hope you are having a good start to your week and that it includes lots of stitching time.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Stitching progress

Two posts in one day. Wow, I must have time on my hands! Turns out that the weather hasn't exactly been what we'd hoped for today. It's been overcast and cool all day. DH and I have both been rather lazy and spent the afternoon watching the ball game rather than cleaning out the back room. It's a good excuse!

First off I'm going to show you the lovely gift that Bonnie made for me. I hadn't taken any pictures yet so I couldn't post it earlier. The last time I saw Bonnie at a SAL at Dani's house I asked if she could make a beaded fob for me. She does such a lovely job on her fobs and several of the ladies showed theirs off. We don't exactly live close to each other so I had to wait until this past weekend when our paths crossed again. I wanted a black and white fob to go with my new scissors and Bonnie has done a wonderful job. Thank you so much Bonnie!

Isn't it pretty? I love how she's added a charm with my inital. It looks fantastic with my scissors, don't you agree? Thank you so much Bonnie. I love it!

I also promised some more stitchy pictures. Below you will find pictures of the two RR that Kathy has been stitching on. The first is a TW Band Sampler and the second is a Mirabilia of Pixies and Fairies . Kathy stitched the top band in the TW sampler and the pixie on the upper left in the Mirabilia piece.  I believe that it's Ivy. Lovely work Kathy! The others pictured  in the Mira are Poppy, Sweet Pea, Lilac, Amaryllis and Jasmine. It's a beautiful RR and I love the fabric chosen for it.

Finally I have some before and after pictures to show you of my weekend projects.
The first is my LHN Canadian version of America. It was a good piece to work on. Filling in all the white on the house didn't take much concentration and then I could listen to all that was going on around me.


When it was a little quieter, usually in the evenings, I would bring out my BBD Sunflower House.
This continues to be a favourite for me and I had many favourable comments on it this weekend.



I'm really pleased with the progress I made on both pieces. In addition, I worked on a third project but since this is a gift for someone who reads my blog, I won't be showing any peeks at the moment. Considering how much chatter and laughter was going on it's a wonder I got any stitching completed at all! Oh yeah and how can I forget about all the eating!! Thank you so much Kathy for opening your home to us. It was a delightful weekend that I soon won't forget!

The best kind of weekend...

A stitching weekend with friends, that's what the best weekend is! That's exactly what I was so lucky to have participated in this past weekend. On Friday afternoon I packed the car and headed for a road trip to join several friends in the Brighton/Trenton area. On the way I stopped and picked up Beth who is not fond of driving. She was great company for part of the 3 hr drive. Shortly after supper we arrived at Kathy's new home for the start of a fun-filled weekend. Many of you will be familiar with Kathy and her blog. We were expecting Dani and Christin to join us but Dani's Mum was ill and had been hospitalized just before the start of the weekend. Dani thought it was best to stay close to home and Christin wanted to lend some moral support. We were disappointed to hear they would not be joining us. Ladies, you were missed!

This year there were a number of people who were unable to spend the whole weekend with us but dropped in on either the Saturday or Sunday to spend a few hours stitching and laughing. Always lots of laughing! My sides hurt at times. Besides stitching we also had some instruction on yoga from Bonnie and Beth was brave enough to give it a go while the rest of us giggled and groaned at their antics. There was no flippin' way I could even think about getting down on the floor! Does this mean I'm not flexible?

This post is pretty picture intensive but the pictures speak for themselves and show the wonderful group of women who shared in the fun this weekend.

Our hostess!

Nan with the first finish of the weekend
Nan is going to be putting a quilt together with the PS Alphabet blocks. Several of the ladies have been working on the squares for her.

Beatrice and Barb, who is stitching RM Spring Quakers

Barb's HAED, Bubble Telescope

Isn't Barb's HAED incredible? After seeing Barb's progress, several of the ladies asked Kathy how she was doing with hers. Kathy's HAED was residing  in her trunk of kitted works and WIP. She promptly started emptying the contents of said trunk in her quest. Several minutes later, she had accumulated quite the pile which threatened to rise above her ankles as she dropped each work at her feet! We all agreed that Kathy won for the most WIP!

Kathy spent the weekend stitching on her round robin commitment, a TW Band sampler. I'll save the pictures of that for my next post. By then I'll also have some updated pictures of all that I worked on over the course of the weekend.

Bonnie, our yoga instructor (and secretary)!

Judy, Angie and Ann sharing some fun

Beatrice, who brought the most fantastic Reuben casserole!

Beatrice's Mom, Adriana, with her beautiful stitching

Ann of Knowledge and Needles fame

Ann was wonderful and would call and offer to bring any needed supplies from her shop prior to joining us each day.

Fran showing off her Jardin Prive Quaker
Fran also was stitching this wonderful Romantic Quaker below. Don't you just love the colours? I'm afraid I can't remember who the designer was on this one.

My travelling companion and yoga master, Beth

Judy and Claire sharing a laugh
Claire brought her copy of the newly released JC Halloween Collection Book for all of us to drool over. Tracy Horner's Halloween Mandela is enough for me to want to place my order right away! Bonnie also spotted a picture online of someone stitching Glendon Place's The Witches Wheel.  That was enough for us to put a call in to Ann to see if she had any copies in the shop to bring with her. She only had one and  inquired as to what the bidding would begin at! Since I had travelled the furthest, I was the lucky recipient. Ann will be ordering 5 more copies to complete the remaining requests.

Because this is a long weekend in Canada, the SAL continues until this afternoon. I returned home at supper yesterday since I wanted to spend today with my DH. After this weekend he returns to all his regular rehearsals now the summer is over and I don't expect to see all that much of him for the next while. I'm sure I'll be putting in a few more stitches over the course of the day and so I'll have some progress pics for you on my next post. I divided my stitching between 3 projects, my BBD Sunflower House, LHN America - Canadian version and a surprise gift for a friend. Tomorrow night I'll be stitching again as I join my Tuesday night gang. The fun continues!