Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Treetop Walking and Zip Lining!

OK, so this is an off-topic post, but I wanted to share with you what I did on Saturday. Bill and I went on an Eco Adventure Tour that involved walking across 10" planks 50 feet off the ground! I must say, it was more terrifying than I expected. At the end of our walk, we were treated to a 330 foot zip line to the ground. Our tour also included a suspension bridge, a tractor ride and a visit to some of the caves in the area. The grand finale was a 1000 foot zip line ride. I literally jumped off a cliff! Unfortunately I don't have the footage to prove it, but I do have some video of Bill and I "enjoying" the first zip line. You get to hear me scream like a little girl!

If you ever have the opportunity to do such a thing, be sure to take advantage of it. It is a once in a lifetime experience and, although it was scary, we all need a good scare every once in awhile, don't you think?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Stitcher's Weekend

I have some pictures to share with you from the stitching retreat I attended over the Labor Day long weekend. This retreat was held at Kathy's home on the shores of Lake Ontario. Kathy is the other Canadian participant in the International RR. She has an inspiring and wonderful view of Lake Ontario. What stitcher wouldn't want this in their own backyard?

The lighthouse on the point in the first photo is one we visited earlier in the summer when we were camping.

On Sunday, we were spectators at an outdoor wedding that was held on the public property next door to Kathy's. It was a beautiful spot, but a bit windy.

Despite all of the excitement, I did manage to get some stitching done. On Saturday I worked on the heart for Carolyn's RR.

Carolyn's RR

Here I am handing the RR off to Kathy.

On Sunday I started the Happy Birthday stocking and have since completed it. This stocking clearly dates me!

Happy Birthday

I am working on another stocking that I hope to finish today. I have ordered the Halloween stockings which should have arrived last week. I received the bill for them, but no stockings yet. Not usually the order that you want to get things in!

Yesterday, I finally picked up my finish from the framer. I think it turned out quite well. I had originally planned to hang this in my craft room, but instead I hung it in the dining room and replaced an ugly pansy print that was there.

Each Day is a New Beginning

That's my stitching update for this week. I will have more finishes to share with you soon!

Friday, September 4, 2009

So many stockings, so little time!

So I think it's fairly obvious by now that I am not very good at posting on this blog on a regular basis. :P However, the flipside of that is that I have a lot of stitchy news to report!

Here is a picture of the stocking that I finished. The only thing it's missing is a hanger.

Sweetheart Sampler
by Blackbird Designs

I had also finished stitching another of the stockings, but I made a tragic mistake. I stitched the stocking too close to the first one! That means that I did not have enough material for a seam. Oh, I was not pleased with myself at all! So I fretted about this for awhile and then decided that there was no other option but to stitch the stocking over again.

Following from that mistake was the decision to forego the fabric that I stitched the first two stockings on, and instead purchase cuts of the R&R fabric that the patterns called for. I had to mail order those since nobody seems to sell R&R fabric around here. When I received the fabric I decided to go back to the beginning and start stitching the January stockings. I have one finished so far - Auld Lang Syne. I think that instead of finishing these into stockings as I go, I am going to build up a pile of them and finish them all at once. We'll see if that ends up being a wise decision or not!

Auld Lang Syne
by Blackbird Designs

This morning I received a package of charts that I had been anxiously awaiting. Have a peek at what I ordered -

In case you can't see it that well, my haul included:
  • April, May, June & July stockings by Blackbird Designs
  • Merry Christmas By The Letter by Lizzie Kate (first two charts)
  • Love Notes by Plum Street Samplers
  • Quaker Turtles by With My Needle
The types of charts that I enjoy stitching have changed dramatically. Before, I very much preferred stitching large designs like the Celtic Ladies by L&L. Although I still love those designs, I now find myself being drawn mostly to seasonal charts. I want to eventually be in a position where I can swap out designs in my house depending on the time of year. I think that's why I love the stockings so much, and also why I ordered Love Notes (reminds me of Valentine's Day) and the Lizzie Kate charts. Actually, I didn't realize that the main Love Notes design was a pincushion! I'm still going to go ahead with my original plan and frame it and hang it on my bedroom wall. Of course, now Blackbird Designs has come out with August and Halloween stockings (which I must have!), and the next sections of the Lizzie Kate charts are out. Ah, a stitcher's "work" is never done!

My Hugs and Kisses WIP has not been forgotten. I have put some stitches into it, although I think it's going on the backburner for awhile until I get some more stockings done.

I've also stitched my heart on Marian's RR as part of the ongoing Friendship Sampler RR.

Marian's RR

I have actually met the lady that I mail each RR to. She lives near my mother-in-law and I met her this past summer while we were up camping that way. This weekend, I am attending a stitching retreat at her home. I am excited, as it is my very first retreat! I am planning to sit outside by the water since the weather is supposed to be glorious, drink wine spritzers, chat with the ladies, and stitch stockings all the live long day!

In other stitchy news, I still have not gotten Each Day is a New Beginning back from the framer's. It's been exactly two months today! I will not be taking any pictures back to this store for framing. First the framer was on vacation, then the store was closed, then I was away so wasn't able to pick it up, and now the store seems to be closed again. I can't leave a message because the voice mailbox is full. It's too bad. The owner of the shop is a nice lady and quite helpful, but I can't get past how hard it is to get hold of her and how unreliable the store hours are. Tsk, tsk.

Wishing you all a wonderful long weekend. I hope you have beautiful weather too!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Round Robin & Hugs and Kisses

It has been awhile since I had received a mailing for the International RR. I finally received two - Ann's and Simone's. Here are pics of the hearts that I stitched on their samplers. I used Cherry Bark by GAST on Simone's and DMC (can't recall the number) on Ann's.

Simone's RR

Ann's RR

I've also made decent progress on Hugs and Kisses. I am loving it more and more as I complete each motif.

Each Day is a New Beginning is at the framer's and should be back any day now. I also spent part of yesterday afternoon finishing one of the February stockings by Blackbird Designs. It's so cute! I still have to make the hanger and finish the other stocking though, so I'll wait to post pictures until that is done.

Well, I'm off to go for my (almost) daily walk. Have a great day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Long time, no blog

Hey everyone! Hope you are all doing well out there in stitching land!

Since my last post, I have finished stitching and backstitching the Letter L. She looks awesome so far! However, I am frustrated to no end with the beading! I have beaded before without issue. Now it seems that beads that are in the same row do not want to line up. After about the fifth bead or so, consecutive beads start to move either higher or lower than the bead before it. I'm not sure why it is doing this. I'm using invisible thread to attach the beads. I will never work with this stuff again if I can help it!

The only thing that I can think to try is to start at the other end of the row and work in the opposite direction. Perhaps someone has a suggestion for me to try?

I also received Hugs and Kisses in the mail a couple of weeks ago and have started on it. My LNS doesn't carry any fabric by Lakeside Linens, so I am stitching it on a cream-colored fabric called Edinborough. The fibers are Gloriana Threads. This is my first time stitching with silk threads. They sure do have a wonderful feel to them, but I was blown away by the price. They are definitely cost-prohibitive, especially for someone who is unemployed! But I did want to try them at least once.

I have finished the central motif and am starting on the one above it. I chose this design because the colors complement my bedroom well, which is decorated in green and red.

This weekend I am headed up to visit my parents. My sister, niece and nephew will be going to. It is approximately a four hour drive, so we don't usually get to visit too often. It is very quiet there and the pace is much more relaxed, so I will certainly be getting some more stitching done.

Take care everyone!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Look at what I won!

I'm very excited! This morning I received an email from Belinda at Blue Ribbon Designs (actually, I received it last week and thought it was her newsletter and was planning to read it when I had more time). She told me that I was selected as one of the winners in a contest she had held a few weeks back. I am one of those people who never wins anything. Instead, I usually watch other people around me win.

As a winner, I was allowed to have any one of her charts for free. I picked Hugs and Kisses.

Hugs and Kisses
by Blue Ribbon Designs

This is my favorite BRD chart, and I don't have it yet. I almost missed out on receiving the chart, as she was getting ready to pick another name since she hadn't heard from me. Thank God I read that email in time! The chart also comes with designs for needlework smalls. I am going to start with the sampler first. Hopefully it will come in the mail before the weekend. I plan to start on it right away. :P

I haven't been doing much stitching lately, as job hunting is taking up most of my time. Still, yesterday I did manage to finish the fairy on the Letter L. Here she is, minus any beads or backstitching.

It would be awesome if I could get her done before my new Blue Ribbon Designs chart gets here, but I think that is probably too ambitious.

Hope your stitching is going better than mine! See you next time!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sweetheart Sampler Stocking Finish

I am happy to report that I have finished my second stocking from the Love is in the Air booklet by Blackbird Designs. I think it's just dah-ling!

Sweetheart Sampler
by Blackbird Designs
Fibers: Gentle Art Sampler Threads
Fabric: 28 ct. Autumn Field Linen

Instead of starting yet another stocking, I put some 32 count French Lace linen on my scroll frame and started the Letter L by Nora Corbett. What you see in the progress pic is the fairy's dress and her leg. It's coming along nicely.

And, as promised, here are pictures of the cards I made for my Mom's birthday and for Mother's Day.

A friend of my sister's had seen the invitations that I had made for my niece's First Communion, and now she has requested that I make a single keepsake invitation for her own daughter. I'll have to find some time to fit that in between job-hunting and wall-painting!

Hope you have a warm and wonderful day!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Day with the In-Laws

I had a great day yesterday with the in-laws (how often do you hear those words uttered?!?). I took the ladies around to the cross stitch stores that I frequent. I bought all of the supplies for the Letter L by Nora Corbett. One of the shops already had the chart for the Letter M, so I picked up the chart and threads for that one is well. I still need fabric for it though. Here is the floss toss for L -

And here's the floss toss for M, against the fabric for L. The linen pictured is called French Lace since they didn't have the Waterlily linen in stock. I will probably use Waterlily for M.

My original plan was to stitch both L and M for my sister-in-law and finish them into cushions. However, I think I will stitch L for her and stitch M for my niece Madison. I thought it might be better in case Laura is not a fan of the pattern or of my finishing job. But if she loves it, then maybe I could stitch M for her later.

I also made what I thought was an impressive-looking cake for dessert at dinner last night. It doubled as a birthday cake since all of the boys in the family have their birthdays in May. Bill's (my husband's) is on Monday.

I can't wait to start stitching on M. I probably won't be able to start until tomorrow though. Today I am attending my niece's First Communion, and then I have to prep for a job interview that I have on Monday. Wish me luck!

Friday, May 8, 2009

First stocking finish

I finished the first stocking from the Love is in the Air booklet by Blackbird Designs. I love it. It's just so cute. I ended up frogging two of the hearts at the top and restitching because I didn't like how I had done them. I think I was still getting used to stitching with hand dyed thread at that point. I am going to wait until I have more itty bitty stockings stitched before I finish this one.

Be Mine
by Blackbird Designs
Fibers: Gentle Art Sampler Threads
Fabric: 28 ct. Autumn Field Linen

I couldn't wait to start on the next one, so I dove in right away. Here is my progress so far.

Sweetheart Sampler
by Blackbird Designs

My husband's side of the family is coming to visit us on Saturday, so I made a Mother's Day card for his Mom. I've been a little tired of making cards after doing all of those invitations, so I used a pre-cut card to save myself some time. I also used another of those gold foil roses that I had bought at the CreativFestival. I think it looks pretty good for really not being in the card-making mood.

I'm thinking of possibly putting Celtic Summer back on my Q-snaps and making some progress on her. I also need to get started on the Letter L by Nora Corbett. I am stitching it for my sister-in-law and hope to finish it into a cushion for her for Christmas. She will also be coming to visit this weekend. We plan to visit some cross stitch shops. I think that I will buy the supplies for this new start then, and just tell her I'm stitching it for my sister.

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Finish to Share!

I am very excited to have a finish to share with you. Here is Each Day is a New Beginning, in all her unframed, unironed glory!

Each Day is a New Beginning
by Kooler Design Studio
Fibers: DMC
Fabric: 14 ct. White Aida

I love how bright the colours are, but I'd forgotten just how stiff Aida is. I'm really not a fan of the fabric anymore. I was planning to get it framed last week, but I just lost my job so I will wait to frame her until I find another one.

The CreativFestival was OK. I was expecting a lot more cross stitch booths. I think I counted 5 or 6. But it is the smaller of the two yearly shows. I did buy some card making supplies and some gifts for my Mom. Her birthday and Mother's Day fall on the same day. She makes jewellery and sells it on consignment, so I bought her this -

Now, I've never made jewellery before, so wasn't entirely sure of what to buy, but I thought these glass beads and especially the crystal pendant were pretty.

For myself, I bought some brads, no-set eyelets and foil 3D decoupage sheets. The foil sheets are beautiful. I'm already thinking of Christmas because I bought two sheets of Christmas themed motifs.

I didn't realize the decoupage sheets were die cuts until I went to take the picture. I used one of the golden rose motifs to make a Mother's Day card. I also made a birthday card using different materials. I was very thankful that they were die cuts because I was under a time crunch and I'm not sure that I would have gotten both cards finished otherwise. Unfortunately I mailed the cards yesterday and forgot to take a picture. I will have to snap some pics when I'm visiting my parents.

My final purchase was some hand dyed fabric called Firelight. I also found some Czech glass beads for my stockings. I thought I would have to use Mill Hill beads, but it seems like the Czech beads can be found in fabric/sewing stores. They only had 2 of the 9 I was looking for, but it's a start! I will post a picture of the stocking when it is finished. It's almost there.

My last stitching update is on the RR. I finished stitching on Karin's sampler in the DMC conversion listed on the chart.

Karin's RR

I think that I will treat myself to some stitching time this morning. But first, coffee! Have a great day everyone!