Sunday, 29 July 2012

Stitching and summer visits

Our household has been very busy this past week and filled with the sounds of laughter and children. Stitching managed to make an appearance here and there and I'll start by showing my latest progress update.

My Birds of a Feather Mystery Sampler continues to move forward, slowly but surely. I finished up the alphabet and have moved on to the lower portion of the graph. One thing I did notice was the lack of a letter I in this alphabet. Does anyone know the significance of this?

My stitching time was limited because of a family visit. Both my sister and her family arrived in town as well as my oldest son with his girlfriend and their children. The house was full! My sister's  family haven't seen Jeff since my wedding to Bob eleven years ago so there was a lot of catching up to do. My second oldest son Daniel was also able to join us during this time. My youngest son Chris now lives in the vicinity and he and his girlfriend were able to join some of us one evening in Ottawa for dinner. The weather cooperated and we had a wonderful two days together. Then my sister and family headed on to Quebec City for a vacation and Jeff and his family continued on their vacation with a visit to a water park near their home. I'm missing them all already!

Eating in Ottawa's Little Italy. Mmmm!
My granddaughters are on the left and in the centre.
The other children belong to Jeff's girlfriend, Pascale.

Daniel, Jeff and Pascale

The kids all got a kick out of this visitor to our bird feeder. 

I know that squirrels are often a nuisance at the feeders but this was a first for us. His antics kept the kids occupied for some time.
Notice our lovely brown grass in our front yard? We are still without any significant rainfall in our area and haven't mowed our lawn now for at least three weeks!

Once everyone had left, we started getting ready for our own holidays. We're planning to visit friends in Sault St. Marie, Ontario and from there head down through Michigan to visit my other sister and then on to Windsor for a family 40th anniversary celebration.
When we've returned home again we only have three days to wash clothes and get ready for our annual trek to Muskoka and the cottage. It's then that I'm likely to have a bit more stitching time.

My friend Pam called me early this week and asked if I was interested in joining her for a visit to The Morrisburg Antique Show in our area this weekend. Having never been, I jumped at the opportunity. The show takes place in a park on the shores of the St. Lawrence River. I had planned on bringing my camera but naturally, I forgot and left it at home. This is a small show but nevertheless, there was much to see. I came home with three small purchases. The first was a small iron which I'm hoping to use to display a piece of needlework on the surface.

Next I found some lovely buttons which will do nicely on some needlework finishes. Do I sense a theme here?

However my favourite purchase was this needlework stickpin.

I have no idea what count fabric this is stitched on but that stitching is really tiny. I didn't get a good look at it until after this picture was taken. I can't wait to use this on one of my finishes!

I apologize for my continued lack of comments on your blogs of late. The summer is just flying by and I don't want to spend it all indoors on my computer. I quite often read the postings in the evenings but I just don't have the time right now to comment on everything. I'm sure I'll get back into the swing of things once the cooler weather is back. After all this extreme heat I'm sure there are more than a few of us who are looking forward to fall!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Progress and a Pincushion

Slowly but surely this week has brought progress, both within the house and in my stitching. We have been undertaking a giant cleanup of our basement storage area which resulted in the recent garage sale. That was followed by a trip to the local church secondhand store with what remained from the sale. After all, someone might as well profit from what remained! Then a final trip to the dump got rid of what was of no use to anyone. All that remains now is a rearranging of what is left in the storeroom. That completed, we can finally tackle the spare bedroom which is to become my craft room at some point.

Although we were busy, I would often take a stitching break here and there since I still tend to tire since my bronchitis episode. I worked on nothing except BoaF. I'm just about finished with the tree and can now move on to stitch something other than leaves and branches. This weekend I added the birds to the tree. I really love the colours of these two. I even managed the over one on the beak and legs without too much trouble. Amazing!

I think I'll continue to stitch on this until my family arrive for their visit. Once they're gone again I'll get back to finishing up Magic Garden. I've already kitted up Plum Street Samplers Turkey Love as a possible new start. I say possible because I just got my hands on a copy of the JC Halloween special edition. There are several ornaments I'm just itching to stitch as well as several larger pieces. I love Ink CirclesWings and Things but I'm also sold on The Primitive Hare Halloween Town and Praiseworthy Stitches Trick or Treat. Decisions, decisions. What's a girl to do?!

The mail brought a special treat for me this week. Several times I had admired the tatting done by Cathy's mother which she displayed on her blog. Tatting is something which I had never seen until she brought it to my attention. Cathy takes some of her mom's tatting and turns it into the most adorable pincushions. Seeing these, I offered to purchase some of their work. However Cathy had a different idea and chose to gift me with one of their lovely creations. Here's what the mail held for me.

Aren't the colours gorgeous!!?  I couldn't be more thrilled with my gift! Thank you so very much Cathy. I'm off to write a note to your Mom to let her know just how much I admire her lovely work.

Mother Nature has seen fit to with hold the rain so the drought intensifies. I haven't been watering the lawn because of the conditions but we have been advised to water once or twice a week only for a short period of time and to give any trees that we have a short drink once a week. As I write this it's gotten quite overcast however there is only a brief shower forecast which is not nearly enough to help the farmers. I know that many of you in the U.S. are also suffering severe droughts and I pray that rain will arrive in time to save the crops. In the meantime, keep cool and keep stitching.

Thursday, 19 July 2012


The calendar indicates that the new moon will rise which means that once again it's time to snap a picture of those orts. Here they are, pictured in their favourite corner of my gazebo.

As you can see there are a lot of red and white orts resulting from my Canada Day finishes in the past month.

I had a few new additions to my stash arrive recently. First up are a couple of fabrics for finishing. I think that the one on the right will work quite well for my strawberry cottage finish. The other will be great as a backdrop to some of my Christmas ornaments.

The second parcel contained some Carrie's Creations floss which I ordered from one of my favourite ONS, Knowledge and Needles.
I told the owner, Ann, that I loved blues and just to pick several floss and surprise me. Here's some of the lovely assortment that I received. I can't wait to try them out!

No stitchy pictures today. I should have an updated pic of my recent stitching posted in the next day or so. As of Sunday I'm going to be a bit tied up for a few days. My son and granddaughters are arriving for a short visit during the time that my youngest sister and family are arriving from Windsor. There should be a full house and lots of fun going on around here during the early part of next week. Chaos, but fun nonetheless!
Enjoy your upcoming weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

It's Not All That Bad!

Stitching on 35ct that is! For weeks now I've been putting off starting With Thy Needle & Thread Birds of a Feather. You may remember that this is the piece that my friend chose for me to stitch for her as a thank you gift for all the time I spent using her sewing machine. She really preferred the 35ct which I had never stitched on before this. So fabric and floss were ordered and then promptly banished to the drawer of kitted projects once I got a look at the fabric up close. "There's just no way!", were my thoughts. "My eyes can't take working on such a high count."  Would she even notice the difference if I ordered the 30ct and stitched on that, I wondered. Yeah, she would, if only because I didn't want her too!

So this week, after finishing up Maisonnette aux Fraises, I dug it out of the drawer and with a determined attitude, I forged ahead. To my surprise, the stitching started off smoothly and continued in this way just as long as I didn't remove my little magnifiers. Okay, I can live with this! It's going so smoothly in fact that I'm even considering giving the 40ct a try in the near future. 

I didn't start off with the border on this as so many did but rather the centre which is my preference. So here's my progress so far.

I'm using the fabric and floss called for by the pattern. I will really be glad to be done with the tree though. I'm bored with the two colours already and anxious to move on.

As I mentioned above, I also had a finish with my Maisonnette aux Fraises. I love the cheery colours in this one but haven't yet decided how I want to finish things off.

Speaking of finishing, I also had another first last week. For the first time I sewed up a pillow using my very own sewing machine!
I haven't threaded a machine since highschool home economics class so my friend and neighbour, Michelle, came over to get me started. She went through the basics with me, checked out the tension and then had me practise following the seam allowance as I sewed.  When I'd gathered enough confidence, we brought out the pillow to be finished off for my giveaway. I can still use a little more practise but I was pretty pleased with the results. I only hope that Daffycat is!  The design is by The Sampler Girl and I added two of the lovely pins which I'd purchased from Nataly. It's winging its way to you as I write, Sharon.

The Sampler Girl Busy Nothings

The weather here continues to be hot and humid. Last night the weatherman promised rain but so far only a small downpour has taken place and the sun is out once more. So for now I sit in air-conditioned comfort and think of so many who don't have this luxury. The gazebo remains too hot to sit in during the day but I do manage to stitch there in the early morning with my coffee and again in the evening when the sun starts to go down.

Thank you for all of your well wishes. My bronchitis seems to be on the way out now and I'm feeling much better. Now I'm off to do a bit of straightening up. We had a successful garage sale on the weekend and there is still some cleanup remaining from it. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Travelling Pattern Moves On

This time the Travelling Pattern is going back to the UK. Cath, you're the lucky person chosen to be the next stitcher of Count Your Blessings! Could you please send me your mailing address and I'll get this mailed off to you right away. Congrats!!

For those of you who weren't chosen, you can follow the link to Cath's blog and throw your name in once more when she's finished her stitching. Thanks to all who participated.

Monday, 9 July 2012

And the winners are.......!

Before I show you who the winners of my giveaway are I expect I should show you the prizes, right?
First up, the stitched item. I stitched whenever I had a chance this weekend in order to get this finished by today. Although the stitching is now completed, I haven't had the time for the final finishing. This will be done within the next few days. I've set myself a deadline to have this mailed out by the end of the week.
This will be a pinpillow when completed. It's resting on the fabric I'll be using for the finishing. The design is from The Sampler Girl and is titled Busy Nothings and as the pattern reads, is inspired by Jane Austen's verse from Mansfield Park that reads:
It was a quick succession of busy nothings.

The Sampler Girl Busy Nothings
I changed up a couple of the colours required in this because I didn't have what was needed in my stash. 

Second prize: Some finishing fabrics from my local fabric store and a package of adorable bug buttons.

Third prize: A pair of bunny scissors and some retro buttons.

Sorry I didn't get these pics up earlier. After I announced the giveaway I came down with a nasty case of bronchitis so I didn't feel like doing much of anything. A good dose of antibiotics and cough syrup has me on the mend now and I'm feeling much better.

Now for what you've all been waiting for! I decided to use a sequence number generator to pick the numbers for me. This way none of the numbers get put back in the pot for draw 2 and 3.
Here's the sequence it picked. As it says, the numbers are generated from left to right across the columns. If you click on the pic you can read this better.

So are winners are:

First prize: comment #34 - Daffycat
Second prize: comment #2 - Beth
Third prize: comment #26 - Mindi

Ladies if you could please email me your snail mail address I promise I'll get these off to you by the end of the week. You can find my email in my profile. Keep in mind that Canada Post doesn't break any speed records with its mail. Your parcel should arrive in 2-3 weeks.

Thanks to all of you for participating in my giveaway. I enjoyed hearing how you love to spend your summers. It seems there are a lot of gardeners out there. I'm not sure if there are any gardens left though after all this heat! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Lynn's July WIPocalypse

Most of you may have already seen these pics on my recent posts but here are all my WIPocalypse stitches for the past month.

Maissonnette aux Fraises

Magic Garden Sampler

Patriotic Heart by San-Man Originals
Lizzie Kate Land That I Love
Shakespeare's Peddler Count Your Blessings
a Travelling Pattern
I've been ill a good portion of the last month so most of my stitching has taken place during the last week or so. I've also just about completed a piece by The Sampler Girl that I'm stitching for my blogging anniversary giveaway. I'll show pics once it's completed. If you haven't had a chance to enter the giveaway yet, get your name in quickly here. The draw will take place tomorrow, July 9th. 
Good luck!

Could You Be Next?

To stitch the Travelling Pattern, that is! Once more it's ready to hit the road again. Last evening I put in the final stitches on Shakespeare's Peddler Count Your Blessings

This was a quick stitch. I didn't make any changes to the design and stitched it with the required DMC. I haven't decided yet just how I'll finish it off. I want to thank Ariadne for choosing me to stitch this and now I'm giving one of you the opportunity to stitch it next. If you would like to be the next member of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pattern just leave me a comment on this post indicating your wish. I'll choose the next stitcher on Wednesday, July 11th. 
I'll have another post up shortly with my WIPocalypse update.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Canada Day finishes

Just in time to celebrate the holiday are two finishes especially for Canada Day. Okay, so the stitching is finished. I didn't say anything about the final finishing! That will take place at a later date.

First up is Patriotic Heart by San-Man Originals.

I found a scrap of 18ct linen in my stash and because I wanted this a little larger I stitched it over two. I know it probably would have looked better stitched over one but it was far too small then. Even over two on 28ct or 32ct made it smaller than I wanted. Coverage wasn't the greatest even though I used three strands.
I'm hoping to turn this one into an ornament. 

This morning I finished up my second patriotic finish. This one is Lizzie Kate Land That I Love.

The original calls for the maple leaves to be stitched in white on a blue background but I felt that this should resemble the Canadian flag more so I substituted the white with red maples. I have a maple leaf charm that I was going to stitch on the house but it turned out to be bigger than I realized and kind of took over the whole piece. What do you think about this little heart instead? I haven't stitched it on yet. I could find a smaller maple leaf but I think there are enough leaves in the design. I'm hoping to turn this one into a pinkeep or perhaps a pillow.

Although I'm almost finished the stitching on Magic Garden Sampler, I'm getting my fabric and floss all picked for another stitch. I'm now a member of The Sisterhood! Ariadne from Greece picked my name to be the next recipient of the Travelling Pattern. It should be here any day now. I didn't get to the post office on Friday so now I'll have to wait until after the holiday to check.  I'm also getting some projects kitted up to take with me on my holidays.

I thought you might be interested in seeing some of the lovely work that is done during my Wednesday afternoon craft group. The ladies do everything from knitting, quilting, stitching to spinning. As you can see from these pics, they are a very talented bunch!

Beate is currently working on this needlepoint. In the pics that follow, her sister, Thea, is showing off some of her applique work.

Thea hasn't been quilting all that long and I'm always amazed by her work! I'd love to give it a try but I could end up spending big bucks on quilting supplies and I think I already spend enough on my stitching! 
 Our little group is growing by leaps and bounds. I think we're up to 11 or 12 now. 

Our Canada Day will be spent quietly with friends this year. We've been invited to a BBQ at our neighbour's home. If time permits, we'll head up to Morrisburg afterwards to take in the fireworks on the water. I'll leave you with a pic of my son and granddaughters (both in pink) and his girlfriend with her two children celebrating St. Jean Baptiste Day in Quebec last weekend. The giant bonfire was lit at a park where the firework display took place.

Canada Day Wishes

Happy Canada Day to all my family, friends and fellow Canadian bloggers! However you choose to celebrate, I hope that it's a most enjoyable day!

Also wishes go out to my American blogging friends that they enjoy a safe and Happy 4th!

I have a couple of Canada Day finishes that I will post for you later in the day. I just have a few more stitches to put into the one.
Until then, enjoy!!