Monday, 30 January 2012

Monday Update

It seems that all our bad weather of late has resulted in some progress on my WIP.
I'll start with my latest finish. One of my WIPocalypse goals was to stitch more ornaments this year so I'm pleased that in the past month I've finished the stitching on not one but two. The latest addition is Prairie Schooler Winter ornament found in the JCS 2006 Christmas ornament issue.

This one took me longer than expected to complete. I always underestimate how long solid stitching like this takes. I'm quite happy with this one and hope to finish it off on some red felt.

With the arrival of my floss substitute for Paradis Perdu last week, I got busy trying the new shade out and seeing if it worked. It's the pale pink colour in this photo. I think it's a much better shade than the green-yellow called for on the chart. It resembles the colour in the picture much better now and I like the looks of it better in the stitching.

I grew tired of this one fairly quickly although I can't say why. In any case, out came BBD Eveline Cunningham. I've decided that this one will be in memory of my father who was born in December like Eveline. I still have to chart his name but when I went to print out some online graph paper I discovered that our printer is getting low on ink so the charting will have to wait a bit.
I also ran into some floss issues with this one. I didn't like the GAST Avocado suggested for the leaves and instead replaced it with CC Dandelion Stem. I'd pretty well finished stitching most of the leaves when I decided I wasn't happy with things so consequently the frogs were my companions for a bit. When I took this one off of the Q snap for a pic I noticed I still have a few leaves to restitch yet. You can see the old colour on the leaves at the bottom of the pic.

                                        Before the change of floss, seen on the bottom.
The colour of floss I changed to on the upper leaves.
So what do you think? Did I make the right choice?
These pics look a little washed out and don't show the colour of the fabric all that well. I'm blaming it on the lousy lighting these days. The sun was out early this morning but has disppeared behind the clouds once more. It seems we are expecting more snow with the possibility of freezing rain again tomorrow. I just received an email that once again our Tuesday group will be cancelling in light of the latest forecast. The weather certainly hasn't been on our side lately!
I'll also be missing my Wednesday afternoon stitch due to another dental appointment. With the possibility of being cooped up again for a few days, I've accepted the invitation of a friend to accompany her to a movie tonight. I think we're going to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I see it's been nominated for an Oscar for best picture so it should be a good one!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Some of my latest stitches that is! I picked up these three at the framers yesterday and I'm so very happy with my framing choices. First up is BBD Their Song.

I had a difficult time photographing this one. The light keeps reflecting off of the frame and with the black you can't see the detail all that much. The frame has a washed look to it and is pitted to add a dimension of age to it.

Next is BBD Sunflower House. This took me the longest time to make a decision on. I ended up taking it home with me and returning to the store the following day to make a fresh start in my decision. I think I made the right choice!

I saved the best for last. It's Rosewood Manor Spring Quakers. I took a closeup of the frame so you could see the colour and detail on it. It has a lovely shade of copper in it which picks up on some of the flowers. I'll let the picture speak for itself.

All of these frames were courtesy of my MIL who gave me a very generous gift for Christmas. Thank you so much Ruth for giving me the opportunity to frame these beauties!

Monday, 23 January 2012

First TUSAL of 2012 and some new starts

Although it's only been a month since my last TUSAL post it feels like it's been much longer. We've had a busy start to our new year here but despite that, a few bad weather days have allowed me to make some considerable progress on my new year starts. I thought I that I would have had much more in the way of orts in my jar, but being the floss miser that I am there's not much to show for what I've accomplished so far. The fact that I'm working with silks on one of my big projects makes me even more of a miser. I don't want to waste any of that lovely silk floss. So here's my little jar of orts to start things off with lots of browns in there from my turkey friend Gobble.

Now that Gobble is finished, I've pulled out two new starts. I really wanted to get started on Plum Street Samplers Olga but I was still waiting on some of the floss to arrive so instead I pulled out the bonus chart that came with Blackbird Designs Winter. It's titled Eveline Cunningham and was personalized for the designer's grandmother. The muted colours and the deer in this one were what drew me to it. I'm stitching it on a lovely, soft piece of Silkweaver jazlyn I pulled from my stash. I haven't settled on how I'll personalize mine yet. Naturally, right after I started it, the floss for Olga arrived. Daniel has expressed an interest in Olga and loves the look of the cat so it's quite possible that he will be gifted with this one at a later date.

I put my Paradis Perdu aside due to the colour issue I ran into earlier. I thought I could work around it for now but found I kept running into that pink colour. So what's a girl to do in the meantime? Start something else, of course!
I decided on Prairie Moon The Good Shepherd. This one calls for NPI silks but my silk budget is already maxed out on PP so I went with the DMC alternates.
I found the perfect piece of fabric for it in my stash. It's a linen by the Blended Needle who are no longer in business and the colour is Parchment. I've used some of this on a previous stitch and was so disappointed when I couldn't find any more of it. Then one day I was browsing on Ebay when I spotted an auction for the very same fabric and was lucky enough to get it. I only wish that it was 32ct rather than 28ct. If anyone out there has any of this they want to part with, I'd be more than happy to take it off of your hands!

Sorry, I was too lazy to take this one off of the Q snaps and press it.

I just started this last night and I'm enjoying to so much that I can't wait to put my needle to fabric again this morning. What is it about some stitches that soothe us more than others? In any case, this one is a winner in my books. It's a very cloudy day here today and even though I used a flash, these pictures still seem a little dull. 

We weren't around much on Friday and didn't have a chance to check our P.O. box. Last night on his return from work, my DH emptied it and there was my floss substitution for Paradis. It looks like this shade will work much better than the called for floss which I'm almost certain is a misprint. I sort of ran into the same issue on The Good Shepherd. One of the called for DMC  in the design is 719. There is no 719 out there, at least not that I could find. I know our Michaels doesn't carry the complete line of floss but I couldn't even find this one on DMC's listed colour chart. So instead I browsed online for an alternate conversion for the Needlepoint Silk listed and came up with 938 which is the correct colour but nowhere near the number 719. At least I have something that works!

I want to welcome all my new followers. I hadn't been paying much attention to my numbers lately and suddenly realized that I had passed 150 followers. I've been enjoying all the many comments filling my email and have added several blogs to my reader. I hope you stop by frequently. I love hearing from you!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Turkey talk

My favourite turkey for the past few months has been Plum Street Samplers Gobble. As of Sunday afternoon, he is finished and ready to strut his stuff.

Plum Street Samplers Gobble
stitched on 32 ct PTP Legacy
using DMC floss
I am certainly going to miss this fine fellow for he has accompanied me to various stitching locations in the last few months. I think he will look wonderful next Thanksgiving when he is framed and proudly displayed in my home. I do have another turkey stitch in the wings (pardon the pun!) by Bent Creek which I can always pull to fill the void.

Once more we were hit with a winter storm in our area on Tuesday only this time we received more freezing rain rather than snow. The surface of the snow now has a definite sheen to it and the snow crunches rather loudly underfoot. Last night it was so windy that I couldn't get to sleep for all the noise it was making! I could hear the cracking of the tree branches which are coated in ice. It reminded me of the ice storm we had here in the late '90s.
My Tuesday stitching group cancelled their get together because of the weather so I spent the day stuck indoors, stitching alone. It was just too miserable to go out.

I spent the time catching up on a few of my WIPocalypse goals. I managed to complete The Trilogy Secret Snowdrift which has been hanging around since 2009! This should have been a quick stitch but for some reason or another it has been sitting unfinished in my drawer. I only had a few things left to stitch on it - the last little penguin, the border, some long stitching on the snowmen's arms and attaching a couple of buttons. This will make an adorable pillow or wall hanging.

Now I figure I'm on a roll so next I dug out LHN Acorn Hill. If you remember, when I last stitched on this one in the fall I only had the inner border remaining but had run out of floss. Okay so I ordered the floss and I distinctly remember it arriving sometime before Halloween. I also remember cleaning up my stash room, having the floss in my hand and putting it away. It's the part about putting it away that I can't remember. For the life of me I don't know what the heck I did with that skein! I'll be darned if I was going to order another one so I took the opportunity to try out some of the floss I won during Victorian Motto's Christmas giveaway. One skein of that floss looked almost identical to the CC Brown Sugar that I had been using. I pulled it, started stitching and personally I don't think you can see much of a difference. If you look at the border stitched along the top of the house, that's the Crescent Colour floss and my inner border around the piece is the VM floss.

Little House Needleworks Acorn Hill
stitched on 28 ct Lakeside Linen Buttercream
using Crescent Colours floss and Victorian Motto
Paradis Perdu also received a little bit of attention yesterday. I finished stitching one of the alphabets and started on another. 

At the top of this design,beneath another alphabet, it is charted for you to put in your year of birth which coincidentally just happens to be my birth year. Then, under the small alphabet I've just finished, there is a spot for another year. This time though, the pattern calls for only two numerals. They have used 04 which I suspect is the year the design was stitched in. I haven't decided whether to put in all four numbers here or leave it just as 12. There is plenty of room for all four. I'm also thinking of somehow highlighting my initials in the main alphabet with a different coloured floss.

I haven't decided which will be my next new start yet. Anything that I've picked out I'm missing something, either fabric or floss. I'm expecting some orders to arrive within the next few days so I think I'll just stick to my BAP and some ornaments until then. I'm in the process of finishing off the Prairie
Schooler Winter ornament right now.

Time to get a move on! Today our Wednesday group meets and following that I'm heading out on a drive to pick up my son Daniel. He is going to spend a couple of days with us and then return home on the weekend. It's a beautiful, sunny day and the temperature has risen some so I'm actually looking forward to the drive. 

Saturday, 14 January 2012

After The Storm

Our two days of freezing rain and snow has finally ended and the sun is out once more. Temperatures have dropped and it's a crispy one out there but I love a day like this where the sun glints off of the snow and ice-covered trees. Winter has definitely arrived now! Below are a couple of shots I took from inside the house during the storm.

 A true sign that the storm is past comes with the arrival of the birds again. I heard the Blue Jay first thing this morning. His friend, Mr. Starling, looks a little chilled with his feathers all puffed out! The bird feeder pic also gives you an idea as to how much snow was deposited.

Thanks to the big orange machine the driveway is clear and I can get out without revving the car before I tackle the mound of snow left by the plow. 

I spent my time well during the storm, with stitching in hand and a cuppa my new favourite tea, Mint Chocolate Rooibos, which I highly recommend. The latter was courtesy of my youngest son at Christmas. To complete the picture, I put on the Lady Gaga double CD that Chris also gave me and stitched the day away.
Here's my progress on my BAP, Paradis Perdu.

I am really enjoying this one, especially those silks! Don't you just love the sensation as they glide through the fabric?

Gobble would have been finished last night but as you can see from the picture below I ended up frogging a section of the last border. I'd stitched it up too high, by just one hole, but enough that you could see the difference. I thought frogs didn't like cold weather but it's obvious that they don't give a hoot. Of course, I was sitting in front of a warm fireplace so that must be the drawing card! I also changed the date on this to the current year. I got ahead of myself when I stitched in 2011, thinking I could finish it by year's end.

My stitching will now be put aside until tonight. I plan on cooking a couple of casseroles for our casserole ministry at church. Their freezer supplies are dwindling. Then I'm thinking a chili would be nice for supper to warm up our tums. I also plan on having a look see to decide which project will be next up after Gobble's finish. Any suggestions as to which you'd like to see first from my WIPocalypse list?

A very happy birthday to my eldest son Jeff! Jeff is 31 yrs old today and because he lives 3hrs away I won't be able to spend time with him on his special day. Earlier in the week we sent him a Toronto Maple Leafs hoodie which he was thrilled to wear on his visit to meet Felix Potvin, a former goalie for the Leafs. Apparently Felix is coaching some hockey up his way and a friend introduced them. Jeff was in his glory, especially in Habs territory!
I hope you have a wonderful day hon. Love you!
Enjoy your weekend and keep warm!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

A Mail Treat

Over the holidays I learned that I was the lucky winner of Nancy's Christmas floss giveaway at The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe. This was a fabulous giveaway of 25 skeins, 20 yrds each, of Nancy's hand-dyed floss. I couldn't believe my luck when I found out I'd won! When I checked yesterday's mail, I found a package waiting for me. Could it be? Yes, it was the floss! Feast your eyes on this beauties!

Nancy is having another giveaway right now for some more of this floss so head on over and join in on the fun. While you're there, check out some of her great designs too! She is an extremely generous lady and loves to share her passion with her readers.

I wanted to show you what my middle son Daniel got me for Christmas. I have a wishlist over at 123 Stitch and Dan took it upon himself to check out my list.
He bought me this gorgeous chart and a needleminder to go with it. Dan knows I love deer which is why he picked this one and I was so thrilled with his thoughtfulness. Thanks honey!

I ran into a small roadblock on my BAP, Pardis Perdu. One of the floss used in the flowers didn't seem to match with the picture of the design. Now I know that these often aren't exactly like the picture but this one didn't even come close. The picture showed some flowers which appear to be a pale pink but the floss I had was a yellow-green colour and didn't go with the floss I'd already used in the design. Since I'd done a silk conversion of this I went back and pulled the DMC floss originally called for. Nope, no mistake on my part. It was the same colour as the silk I had been using. All I can figure is that it is a misprint in the chart. I paid another visit to Hand Dyed Fibers and chose another floss in a pale pink which will work much better. It's on its way to me now and in the meantime I'll work around that area.

I'll have another progress pic of Gobble for you on my next post. My camera battery ran out on me before I could get a photo. I'm nearing the end of this one now and hope to have it finished up by the end of the weekend.

With a finish in the wings I decided to start another small ornament for the Winter Challenge. This one is a Prairie Schooler called Winter. It's from the 2006 issue of the JCS Christmas ornaments.

This one is stitching up pretty quickly which means I can then pull out another start from my list! The weather is on my side as far as stitching goes too since we are receiving a nasty mix of sleet and freezing rain. It started early this morning and has been coming down nonstop.
Okay, so I just looked out the window and now it's turned to snow! DH has cancelled choir practice for tonight and we're going to stay put, snug as two bugs.
Welcome to all of my new followers and thank you for taking the time to drop by and check out my WIPocalypse post. I'm really enjoying this challenge too. I get to see lots of awesome stitching and meet lots of new stitching bloggers. What could be better than that?

Sunday, 8 January 2012

January WIPocalypse post

I'm happy to say that I have a finish, a new start and some progress to report for this first month of the WIPocalypse. I stated that I wanted to complete more Christmas ornaments for this year and my first one is done. My reindeer ornament is complete except for the final finishing.

Santa's Buddies
Designer: Angel Stitchin'
Fabric: 32 ct Silkweaver Sand
Floss: GAST and DMC

I know the tree is leaning in this design but it looks like I might have been leaning as well when I snapped the pic. One ornament done, several more to finish, I hope!

Next up is my progress on Plum Street Samplers Gobble. I've included a before pic so you can see exactly how much I've done. All of this has been done during the holidays, a lot of it while we were driving home to visit family. The border is repetitive so it's a good one to work on in the car.


I didn't think I'd made this much progress until I took the piece off of the Qsnap.
Mind you, I do think I will have to change the date on it. It seems I was a little too optimistic with this one!

As for my new start, this one will also be featured on Becky's BAP Challenge. I've been itching to start this for some time now. There's not much to show but here it is in all it's glory: A Mon Ami Pierre Paradis Perdu.

I'm using the called for count of fabric which is 28ct and I found the perfect piece of Queen Anne's Lace. Unfortunately you can't see the colour all that well in this pic. Hopefully I'll get a better one next time.
I'm stitching this one with Vicky Clayton silks and one NPI silk substitution. It's been ages since I've used silks and I forgot how much I enjoy stitching with them. Too bad I can't afford them all the time!

I've also started another winter ornament but don't have enough progress for a pic yet. I've managed to get in some quality stitching time the past couple of days but I have a busy week ahead so I'm sure there won't be as much to post next time.
I hope you have all had a great weekend and you are fully rested after the busyness of the holiday season.

Friday, 6 January 2012

First finish of 2012

Happy New Year! We are home once more following our trip to visit our families.
We've come home to a little more snow than before our departure but not all that much more. Weather is so unpredictable at this time of year and we had to delay our departure both coming and going on this trip due to winter storms along the route. I always breathe a sigh of relief when we arrive at our destination.

I managed to get in a little stitching time during my visit but a good portion of my stitching was done on the road. I've made some significant progress on Gobble and I'll be posting a pic on this month's WIPocalypse. In the meantime I have a small finish and a progress pic for you.

This ornament is one I started just before Christmas but didn't have time to finish. It's called Santa's Buddies by Angel Stitchin and is from the JCS Christmas 2009 magazine. As you can see from the picture, I'm very close to a finish. Only a small amount of stitching left and then the beads. Can you tell where all the beads are going?

My first finish for 2012 is one of my smallest finishes ever. It's by Trail Creek Farms and is called Winter. I haven't decided whether to finish it off as a fob or a small ornament. Once the finishing is complete I'll post a pic to the Winter Challenge which Becky is hosting. This challenge is a continuation of the Christmas ornament challenge but with a winter theme.

Winter by Trail Creek Farm
stitched on 32 ct Ayrloom opalescent lugana
using Six Strand Sweets floss
Very shortly I'll be starting my BAP for the year, Paradis Perdu by A Mon Ami Pierre. I just want to get a little further on Gobble first. I'm really enjoying seeing all the new starts out there in Blogland. There are some wonderful choices which find me straying from my list and checking out other charts. The temptation to purchase a few of these is so strong, but so far I've managed to resist and stay on track.

Our Christmas celebration was a short one but sooo much fun! All three of my sons arrived together and brought their girlfriends and their families with them too. We were 11 in number which I know is relatively small by some family standards but for us it's a big group. We got to meet Pasquale's children who are really delightful. The language barrier didn't seem to be an issue at all and the kids were so proud to try out their limited English with us. They were surprised that I understood so much French and in Bob's case, language wasn't needed at all. I woke up the morning following our Christmas to find all four kids giggling at the dining room table. Bob was entertaining them by teaching them how to cross their eyes! Here are a few pics from our fun.

Show Me The Money! which my sons were more than happy
to do after receiving such a generous gift.
In the next pic we are all sporting paper crowns. Does anyone else use the Christmas crackers which contain these? Each cracker pulls open with a crack when you tug on both ends and out falls a paper hat and a small prize. Growing up, we always had these at my Grandmother Kearn's house at Christmas. The crackers were hard to find for many years but are resurfacing and it's one of the traditions that I have carried on down through the years.

I want to thank all of you for the concern and best wishes you extended for my Mom and MIL. My MIL is 93 now and has slowed down quite a bit in the last year. Her mind is as sharp as a tack though and we love to visit with her and here her recount stories from her youth. On this visit we were able to gather as a family for dinner including some of Bob's cousins from Michigan. Only Bob's oldest brother and family were unable to join us since they don't live in the area.

My Mom was feeling well enough that we were also able to gather for a family dinner. Her days of cooking are over so we also met at a local eatery. Honestly, this trip has been about nothing but eating! We have done nothing but eat out for the past two weeks!! My recent weight loss has been seriously challenged and the scales showed an increase of 3 lbs damage. I'm glad to be home and back on track again.
Following our dinner, we returned to Mom's where I got to catch up with my sisters. Laurie has lost 60 lbs on WW and looks fabulous! Way to go Laurie! I hope I'm able to come close to your success.

The 3 Ls - Laurie, Lynn, Lana and Mom
My Mom is finally starting to get some answers to her health problems. I went with her to one of her doctor appointments and it looks like some back surgery is necessary in the next few months. In the meantime they are hoping to give her injections to freeze the problem area in the spine which should help control her pain and give her more mobility. She is still undergoing tests for some other health issues. She is so frustrated because she went from being quite active to a dead standstill. Since she is unable to get out much my sisters visit frequently. I'm the one who lives the furthest away and I only get home to visit a couple of times a year so Mom was very glad to have my company.

Now I've returned to the post Christmas mess at my place. We left the day after my sons so I still have to take down all my decorations. I'll get started at some of it today and finish taking down the tree tomorrow. I miss all the glitter of the season but it's nice to return to normal.

Looking forward to seeing more posts from all the fun challenges out there!
Happy stitching!