Saturday, 29 June 2013

Fabulous Giveaway

Check out Kim's fabulous giveaway over at Wisdom with Needle and Thread. She is celebrating her first milestone in blogging and believe me, this giveaway is amazing! Congrats Kim!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

June's Ornament

I had every intention of stitching a Christmas ornament this time around. I even had the pattern all picked out and had put in a few stitches. Then I spotted this little fellow in my stash. 

The Little Stitcher Little Bluebird

I stitched him with the recommended floss, CC Deep Fennel which ended up not being quite as dark as I thought it would be. In any case he is finished and now I'm on the hunt for some matching fabric for the ornament finish. 
So my original start may well be next month's ornie!

Monday, 24 June 2013

June WIPocalypse

Summer's here! With its arrival has come some lazy, hazy hot days, the finish of school for many, holidays and lots of outdoor stitching in the gazebo.Up until this week the days have been quite pleasant for outdoor stitching but this week's humidity will keep me stitching indoors in air conditioned comfort, at least until the evenings.

Here's a look at my stitching efforts over the past month. In celebration of our upcoming Canada Day, I stitched up a quick little patriotic design. This one was originally designed as a U.S. patriotic finish but I've adapted it for Canada Day. 

Tree of Life Samplings My Sweet Land

Next up is the new start I promised at the end of last month's WIPocalypse. As you may remember, I had a lot of charts to choose from and I went with Shakespeare's Peddler Weeds Make Haste.

I got a good start on this one and it has progressed fairly quickly throughout the month. It's a fun stitch and perfect for the summer. I think I'm about halfway through it at this point.

I put lots of quality time into Fruit of the Spirit this month. It's coming along nicely. I'm hoping to have either this one or Weeds completed by next month's WIPocalypse post.

Lots of fun colours in this one. The picture really doesn't do it justice.

I've also completed an ornament for my monthly SAL which will be revealed this coming Wednesday.

My summer vacation won't take place until the end of August this year. For those of you who know me well, you know that my summer is not complete without a visit to Muskoka. I hope that by the time we head there I will have another couple of new projects to stitch dockside. One piece I do hope to spend some time on will be last year's late Halloween start, A Wicked Plant, seen below.

Look for some updates on this one in the fall.

As we reach the halfway point of this year (can you believe it!), I hope you are all well on your way to achieving your WIPocalypse goals. I know that I haven't yet started some of the pieces that are on my list but I certainly have achieved many others. I never did like following rules!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Some stitching, ships and friends

Albeit small, I had one more finish to add to my patriotic collection.
My Sweet Land is indeed a sweet little piece which I hope will have its final finishing done by Canada Day. A girl can dream, can't she?

Tree of Life Samplings My Sweet Land
No new starts yet. Instead I spent the remainder of the weekend stitching on Fruit of the Spirit.

What a fun design this is!  I love the pigtails on the little girl. Too cute! When I first started stitching this design, the fabric I had picked was labelled 32 ct. It wasn't until I got started that I realized that it was 36 ct. No problem, but of course I wasn't thinking about the over one. Then when I got started on those areas I found I was actually enjoying it. Who knew! Here are the over one areas I concentrated on this weekend.
First the lettering, 

followed by the cross, flower, bird and that adorable teensy strawberry.

I also swapped out all the bunches of grapes I had previously done and restitched them with the called for floss, NPS Lavenders. I much prefer them now. I think I'm going to stick with this piece a little longer. I have done some more progress on Weeds Make Haste but I haven't got a picture right now. 
Bright and early Saturday morning my neighbours had a garage sale. I wandered over to have a look and came across this little treasure.

This needlepoint piece was found in a box being used as a cushion between some china. When I asked what they wanted for it, they told me "Nothing." They had no idea where it had come from and they really didn't want it any longer. My payment was buying a glass of lemonade from their daughter's stand she had set up for the sale. I think I will place this on my dry sink. It's the size of a placemat but I'll use it like a small runner. I just need to tack down the outer trim.

Friday morning I had an opportunity to visit and stitch with some blogging friends, Dani and Kathy. Kathy was visiting with her son & family in the area and invited me over to join them for a short time. It was so good to see both ladies. I've missed getting together with them! Dani was stitching Kathy's Christmas sampler and Kathy brought out her Desert Mandela to show me. Check out their blogs for recent pics. Thank you so much Kathy for inviting me. The visit was short but definitely sweet!

This weekend also saw the start of the Tall Ships 1812 Tour, first stop Brockville, Ontario. Those of you who saw these photos on Facebook might want to skip this portion of the post. Originally I had planned to visit the ships with some friends on Saturday. Bob had to work and couldn't go with us. Then he told me he really wished he could see them and was there anything taking place on the Friday. I checked it out online and found out there was to be a sail past and native blessing of the ships late that afternoon. So Friday afternoon, we headed west to Brockville and arrived just in time for the ships' arrivals.  There was a total of 10 ships in all. 
A town crier announced their arrival.

The next shot is my favourite of the day. There were other much grander ships but I just love the look of this one with her sails and many flags.

As the ships approached the shore, there was a battle re-enactment and cannon fire suddenly made us jump.

Following the battle, some of the Algonquin peoples paddled out in a birch bark canoe to bless and greet the ships. This canoe was actually made with the help of local high school kids in their native studies class. The instructor is an Algonquin native whose grandfather was a master canoe builder.

During the sail past by the ships there were many modern vessels on the water which followed them. I like to call this next pic, Tall Ships & Small Ships!

Several of the American ships sported the 15 star U.S. flag.

The grandest of the fleet was Norway's Sorlandet which is currently on loan to Canada for Class Afloat, a program where young people have the opportunity to study aboard the ship while sailing throughout the world. I was disappointed that she wasn't in full sail.

One other interesting fact I learned was that the tall ship Unicorn is the only tall ship with an all female crew.


I was so glad that we decided to go on the Friday. It was the only day that all the ships were on the water. The remaining days you could tour them in port but their sails were lowered. I loved seeing them out on the water! The last time I saw any of these ships was in the seventies when they made an appearance in Windsor.
The tour continues now on to Toronto. From there, the ships will all go in different directions. Some will be going to northern Ontario while others will be joining more tall ships in the U.S. for 1812 battle re-enactments in locations in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin. The tour finishes up in Windsor, Ontario over Labour Day weekend.

Hope you enjoyed the Tour!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Framed Finishes

As promised I have some pics for you of some previous finishes which I dropped off at the framer recently. When I went to pick them up they informed me that one of the frames I had chosen, which was for LHN Autumn Hill, was no longer available. That meant I had to pick another frame. You have no idea how long it took me to pick out the first one! I have never had as much trouble picking out a frame as I did for that piece. However as luck would have it, I found another frame within 5 minutes and made arrangements to pick it up at a later date. I can't believe we found one so easily!

In any case, they did have my Magic Garden ready and my friend's BBD Awake the Dawning Day. Pam had picked a frame out for this one which I'd stitched for her as a housewarming gift. Here's how her piece turned out.

Pam prefers glass on her framing so I had a bit of trouble getting a good photo. Finally I turned off my flash and set the camera for low light. That did the trick! She is very pleased with the results and I'm so happy she likes it.

Next up is my finish of Magic Garden. 

I love, love, love it!!! The frame works so well with this one. Here's a closeup so you can see it a little better.

The pictures really don't do it justice. I originally picked a black frame for this and then at the last minute we found this frame by accident when we were searching for one for Autumn Hill. As soon as Kelly put it next to the piece I knew that that was the one. On the edge of that first pic you can see a bit of my first peony blooms from the garden. Here they are in all their glory. They smell heavenly! In fact the whole gazebo smells of them.

This afternoon I headed out to my local Wednesday craft group and  I'm so glad I had my camera with me. Here's a taste of what some of the group accomplished recently.

Thea's table runner

Lois' afghan

Shirley's Canada tote bag

What could be more Canadian than beavers,
maple leaves and a Mountie?

Fabulous work ladies!! I mentioned how much I admired that tote bag and Thea is determined to get me doing one myself. I told her I didn't enjoy sewing but she is determined. We shall see!

While in Ottawa yesterday I dropped by my favourite store, Homesense . I believe the American equivalent is HomeGoods. I could spend eternity in that store, lol!

Lookie what I found waiting for a home.

This little fellow will make a fabulous companion to the bird planter I posted earlier. Now I just have to find something to plant in him.
Any suggestions?

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Canada Day Start

Canada Day is fast approaching and I decided to stitch up another small to add to my collection. This one is a Tree of Life Samplings design, My Sweet Land, which I've adapted with a Canadian flag. I started this one late yesterday afternoon and hope to have it completed by the end of the week.

There are very few Canadian patriotic stitches out there so I usually end up adapting some of the American designs. Below are pics of the patriotic designs I've stitched so far.

Lizzie Kate Land That I Love
Canadian version

Little House Needleworks America
Canadian version
Vee and Co O Canada

San- Man Originals Patriotic Heart

In addition to my new start I spent a little time with Weeds Make Haste. I'm stitching the over 1 lettering right now and really love to stitch it outdoors because I find the light is so much better for this.

I didn't notice until I added this pic that I made a mistake on the maiden's dress. There is a border along the white portion of the dress near the bottom that I stitched right over with the white. I guess I was on a roll and just forgot all about it. Looks like I'll be doing a bit of frogging in the near future. I also changed her mouth colour and feel much better about it now.

My overdyed silk floss that I was awaiting for Fruit of the Spirit arrived yesterday. Now I just have to frog out the bunches of grapes which I've already stitched and replace them with the new floss. I really prefer the variation that the overdyes add to these and the strawberries too.

Not much else going on at the moment. It's a rainy, cool day so I plan on spending some quality time with my needle and baking up a batch of rhubarb muffins with rhubarb from our garden. Mmm!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Spring's Final TUSAL

Yes, this is the final TUSAL this spring. The next time I post a TUSAL pic it will officially be summer. Yippee! Let's hope the weather figures this out soon. 
Since summer is only about 2 short weeks away, I took a pic of my orts out in the gazebo which is where most of my stitching takes place at this time of year.

Colourful orts from Viktor and Irina, Fruits of the Spirit and my latest ornament for June's SAL. The orts don't actually amount to all that much since Fruit of the Spirit is being stitched with one strand of silk.

I sat my little jar of orts next to my latest addition to the gazebo. This landscape photo was a Christmas gift from my friend Trish and her husband which she said was reminiscent of my DH and his love of Muskoka. She immediately thought of him when she saw the Muskoka chair, the gazebo and the water view. The only thing she wished was different was that the boat was a motor boat like Bob's rather than a sailboat. This one was for Bob and the following one was for me.

This one made Trish think of Clarisse relaxing out in the garden although in actual fact you would never see my cat outside of the gazebo. She would very likely wander off and we don't want that!
I also have lots of potted flowers and hostas out in my garden too which can also be seen in the pic. Clarisse lays across my wicker love seat just like that, depositing her long white fur on the cushions.

We have been patiently waiting for the good weather to arrive so that we could display these in the gazebo and they are really lovely. Thank you Trish and Ken for such an awesome gift!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

A Fresh Start

After browsing through all my possible choices for a summer stitch countless times I finally made up my mind. Shakespeare's Peddler Weeds Make Haste was my final choice. I loved all the little motifs in this one, including the bee hive, birdhouse and the duck. Plus I had all the necessary supplies at hand. As it turned out,  I didn't go with the called for fabric of Tumbleweed Linen. I just thought it was too dark so I ended up choosing LSL Vintage Lentil which is closer to the colour on the chart's picture.  Here's the progress that I've made so far.

The colours are somewhat off in this picture. The camera's battery needed recharging and I just didn't have the proper light for a good picture. Hopefully my next update will be much better. The linen looks washed out and almost gray in this pic while it's actually more of a light sandy beige. I don't like the colour of the maiden's mouth so I'll be frogging that shortly. I don't know why they chose that particular colour. It makes her look somewhat sour and then it reminds me of the nursery rhyme Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow? However this garden won't have pretty maids all in a row!
I'm hoping this stitch doesn't take me all that long because I would still like to stitch another of the charts in the summer bunch. 

I visited my framer last week with my friend Pam and together we brought in 5 pieces for framing. I took in my SP Magic Garden and LHN Autumn Hill. Together we received 40% off of our total cost. The framer has various discounts depending on how many pieces you bring in at once. I did so well that I wish now that I had brought in another finish. It will have to wait now until the end of the summer or fall when we go back with our Halloween and autumn finishes. By then I should have A Wicked Plant finished up. I'll post pictures as soon as the current finishes return from the framer.

I took a walk around my meager garden last night to see how things were coming along. Several things have yet to bloom on account of the late spring I suspect. My peonies face north and are always late bloomers as are my irises. From these pictures you can see that it will be any time now.

Look at this patch of irises. I think I counted just over 20 buds ready to bloom.

A new variety of columbine in my garden this year:

More columbine:

The clematis bowed over with growth but still no blooms:

My new garden sentry:

A return visitor to the yard, anxious for berries that are not quite ripe yet!

And finally, Clarisse, patiently watching me from the gazebo and swiping at the screen each time I would walk by. She loves sitting on top of the bar fridge, watching those cedar waxwings.

I hope everyone's week is off to a good start. The weather is pleasant here - sunny but somewhat cool and a little breezy. I could live with this all summer!

Monday, 3 June 2013

A little help from my friends!

Last week I headed off to spend a day with some of my Wednesday craft group members, Thea and Shirley. They had offered to help me finish off one of my cross stitched pieces, Maisonnette aux Fraises. Earlier in the year I had brought this piece to the group along with some fabric and asked whether they thought I could finish it off as a wall hanging. I knew I would need their help because I'm not much at sewing.
We tried the fabrics I had brought and ended up only using the yellow one. Thea provided the others from her stash. Here's the end result!

Isn't it great!! I was absolutely thrilled with the results! The ladies enjoyed it so much that Thea asked if I had any more that they could finish off? Do I!! I think the next one we will attempt will be a fall or Halloween finish. Thank you so much ladies for your help. You're amazing!!!

I've done a little more stitching on PSS Fruit of the Spirit. I'm working with a HDF silk conversion and decided that I really preferred the overdyed floss used originally for the bunches of grapes and strawberries in the design. So I've placed an order for those 2 silks. While I'm waiting for them to arrive I'm stitching around them and working in other areas.

I've also had a new start since I last posted. Not enough to show yet but I'll post a pic for you either tomorrow or Wednesday. Can you guess which of my design choices I went with?

I just had to show you the colour of the sky behind our home that appeared a few nights ago.

Before I knew it the sun had gone down and then it changed very quickly to this:

Nature's palette is wonderful, isn't it?