Wednesday, 27 February 2013

February Ornament

For this month's ornament I decided to stitch a saying from one of my favourite novels, Little Women. It had been years since I'd first read this and when I was gifted with a Kobo reader, Little Women was one of the free books that came with it. This Christmas I picked it up and read it once more, enjoying it just as if it were the first time I'd read it. Following my finish I remembered that I had this chart from The Sampler Girl in my stash. This passage was taken directly from the book. 

It stitched up a little larger than I expected so it may end up being a small pillow rather than a tree ornament.

Monday, 25 February 2013

February WIPocalypse

Here's an update on my WIPocalypse progress for the last month. There hasn't been much stitching since my post last week but posting everything once again, all in one place, shows me just how much I did accomplish this month.

There were three Valentine finishes for the month, the first one was done as part of my commitment to an ornie SAL.

The Stitcherhood Love freebie

Threadwork Primitives Endless Hearts

Plum Street Samplers Lovely You freebie

I've also finished one other small which I can't picture yet since it will sent out as a RAK just as soon as the sewing is complete on it

I started stitching St. Patrick Bird by Heart in Hand Needleart.

My two larger pieces continue to progress.

Blackbird Designs Awake The Dawning Day

After taking this picture I realized that I have to frog out the word Cold and stitch it again. It's sitting up one row too high. Grrrr!

I'm not sure what's next on the list. I'm itching to do some Easter or spring themed smalls. As for larger designs, there are a few that have caught me eye which are being released following Market. If I stick to my WIPocalypse list, Fruit of the Spirit might be the next start. I already have it all kitted up and ready to go.
I hope your week is off to a good start. I'll be checking on your progress soon!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Framed Finishes

Many of you will remember that I stitched a piece for my friend Trish last year as a thank you for the use of her sewing machine and help in finishing some of my smalls. She chose With Thy Needle & Thread Birds of a Feather which was a 3 part mystery stitch. I've had this piece finished and stretched for some time now but Trish wanted me to accompany her to the framers when the time came. 
Two weeks ago we were finally able to make the trip into the city together. Here are the results of her frame choice.

Trish loves primitive and wanted a frame to match her style. Here's a closeup of the frame.

I also brought a piece of my stitching that I wanted an estimate on for framing. I always work with the same lady, Kelly, at the shop. She now knows exactly what type of frames I veer towards and we work really well together. I had brought Plum Street Samplers Olga with me. Kelly found the most fantastic frame for it and then gave me an estimate. To my surprise Trish told her to go ahead with the framing and give her the invoice. When I protested she told me that she never knows what to give me for my birthday and this would be an early birthday gift (my birthday is in May). I was blown away!
She insisted and here's my lovely early gift.

Isn't she fabulous? I adore the frame which just compliments the whole piece so well. Thank you very, very much Trish for this awesome gift!

So far this week I've been stitching on a couple of smalls. One is for a RAK so I can't share it but the other is a St. Paddy's Day stitch by Heart in Hand Needleart called St. Patrick Bird. 

I didn't feel like heating up my iron so it's not the greatest pic but you get the idea. I'm using the same fabric for this as last year's Got Luck? freebie I stitched.

The sun is brilliant today and I feel like getting out for a bit so I might just wander down to The Gathering House and visit the Friday afternoon quilt group that gathers there. I might even take a few pics. 
Thank you all for your lovely comments on my last post. I shared the pic of the blackbird on FB and so many others told me that they had also seen signs of spring's nearby arrival. It seems the songbirds are making music in the morning at some locations and the time change to daylight savings is just around the corner. It can't come soon enough for me. Happy weekend!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Better Late Than Never!

Yesterday I finally finished off a couple of Valentine pieces I had stitched. One was from last year and the other is a recent stitch. I had planned on having these finished in time for Valentine's Day but there was a death in my ex-husband's family which meant I was ferrying the boys to and from Ottawa to Cornwall where the wake and funeral took place. Only my eldest son drives and he was not able to make the trip so Mom ran the roads again. 

As you can see from the pic below, I was also involved in our church's Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. I flipped those flapjacks from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm and didn't feel much like eating any after that, lol!

My first finish was a Valentine freebie which had been offered by The Primitive Hare as part of a contest last year. I finished the stitching last year but never got around to the final finishing until now. 

The Primitive Hare May Love
stitched on 32ct Sassy's Sugared Coffee
using Victorian Motto red floss

The second finish was offered as a freebie by Plum Street Sampler in 2009. You can find the chart here. I just finished the stitching on this on Valentine's Day.

Here's a picture before I finished it as a pillow:

Plum Street Samplers Lovely You
stitched on 32ct Pink Sandy Beaches
using Gloriana Rose Violet

And after the finishing:

Both pieces will be lovely additions to my Valentine decor next year. I still have two other finishes from this year waiting for final finishing touches. Perhaps they'll get done this weekend...... or not!

This past weekend I also picked up my two main WIP. I only devoted one evening to BBD Awake The Dawning Day.

The rest of my free time I spent on Heartstring Samplery Baby It's Cold Outside. I am loving this one!

I still have to finish frogging out that letter O above the house. I wasn't paying attention and started stitching the word Look ( as in look at what you're doing!) instead of Listen. That's what I get for watching TV at the same time!

I need to get my act in gear and start stitching a RAK for the Random Acts of Stitching Kindness blog next.

As a Valentine's Day gift my DH had planned on taking me to dinner at one of our favourite spots, The Village Antiques & Tea Room. Unfortunately, the night of our reservation we were hit with a massive snowstorm which left us with another foot of snow. When we tried to rebook, we found out the tea room is now closed for a week due to health reasons so our dinner has been postponed for now.  Instead we spent the day with a trip to the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary. 

We took our new camera with us in the hopes of getting some good pictures of the deer that roam the woods as well as the birds. Here are a few shots from our day. First stop - the birds. The chickadees will feed directly from your hand! We brought some sunflower seeds with us.

 Not one, but two!

A Tree Sparrow

The Red-Winged Blackbird, a sure sign of spring!

Then I caught a flash of red!

Soon after, this male cardinal landed on the snow in front of me.

On to see the deer now. Most of these deer are fairly tame and reside in the woods of the sanctuary. They know the sound of cars and will emerge from the woods looking for handouts.

Is that a car I hear?

I'll just take a peek over this snowbank and see.

Yup, that's a car alright! Might be treats coming!

I love this little one! Look at those eyelashes!

One of my favourite shots of the day.
Time to head home

We spotted this fella after we'd left the sanctuary while on our drive home. This particular cornfield actually had about 25-30 deer in it.

Hightailing it home!
I hope I haven't bored you with the pics from our day. I love taking a drive out to the sanctuary. It's also a great spot for snowshoeing, cross country skiing and hiking. Hope you enjoyed the visit!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

February TUSAL and a Lovebird

Lots of reds, pinks and whites for this month's Valentine TUSAL.  The reds have actually originated from my Maple Leaf stitch this past month and the pinks are from a little freebie I'm stitching called Lovely You. This one was offered by Plum Street Samplers last year.

I'm moving very slowly on all my stitching this past week. There has been virtually no time for stitching of any kind. This Thursday will be the first time I actually have to sit down and stitch in almost 2 weeks.

I received a lovely Valentine package in the mail yesterday from Bekca. This is actually from a birthday giveaway that I won in November but Bekca has been busy with her studies which is far more important as far as I'm concerned. I told her she needn't worry about the giveaway but a little email I received from her informed me of a Valentine parcel winging its way to me.
The Valentine heart pictured with my TUSAL contained a sweet little note and here is what accompanied it.

Beautiful trims, variegated floss, buttons, an adorable button heart ornament and the vibrant red felt on which the items lay. 
Thank you sooo much Bekca!! It was such a cheery package to receive especially after a rather stressful week around here. I tried hanging the heart ornament this morning but Clarisse found it rather fun to bat back and forth! I'll have to find another location to hang it where she can't reach it.
I hope to be back very shortly with some new updates for you. Until then I hope you all enjoy a very sweet Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Winterlude and fresh starts

Every year in Ottawa they celebrate winter for a period of 17 days  which they call Winterlude. This past weekend was the start of the celebration. Sunday, after church, the weather wasn't too bad. A little overcast but not as cold as I expected. We decided if we couldn't beat winter we might as well join in and so we headed on down to Winterlude to join in the fun. 

Ottawa is home to the Rideau Canal which in winter becomes the longest skating rink in the world. The rink is 7.8 km long and runs through the heart of downtown Ottawa, starting not far from the Parliamaent buildings. If you follow this link it will take you to a webcam where you can actually see part of the canal and watch live photos of people skating by. If it wasn't for my darn old arthritic hip, I'd be out there skating with the rest of them. I'm just afraid of falling and doing further damage to it. My DH never learned to skate and says that he likes skating but it doesn't like him! In the pic below, our National Arts Centre is located to the left of the canal with a view of the Parliament buildings in the distance and on the right you can see the tops of the Chateau Laurier hotel. The many buildings on the canal host souvenirs, hot beverages and our famous Beavertails, a hot pastry, my favourite one coated with cinnamon and sugar.

Instead  of skating we paid a visit to Confederation Park which is home to the ice sculptures. Every year there is a sculpting competition which this year included 26 carvers from 11 different countries.
Here are some pictures I took of the winners:

Pairs Competition

First place - Epilogue- team from France/Poland

Second Place - Rhythm of the Seas - team from Philippines/Canada

Third Place - Birchtrees Dream Summer - team from Russia

Single Block Competition

First Place - Spider - Philippines

Second Place - Courtship Dance - Japan

Third Place - Maple Polar Bear - Russia
Here are a few other sculptures I liked as well.

Polar Bear
Plus I spotted this little guy on top of one of the sculptures. Trust me to find a cat!

We had a great time wandering around and checking out all the other activities. I'll post some more pictures of our day on my next post. 

I also treated myself this week with two new starts, a small and a larger piece. 
The small is a freebie from Plum Street Sampler for Valentines.

Sorry, I got a little lazy about ironing this piece. I'm using a Gloriana variegated floss for this one but I'm not sure I like the striped effect its giving. What do you think?

My larger start is Heartstring Samplery Baby It's Cold Outside.

I'm stitching this one on the recommended Picture This Plus Ale fabric and loving it!
Hopefully I can get in lots of time tonight on this piece or perhaps my BBD for my friend as I meet with my Tuesday night group.

I hope your week is off to a good start!