Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..............

What a crazy time it's been since little B's birthday. (guess I should call him big B now...) Thanks to everyone for your kind comments and birthday wishes for my miracle. He's pretty amazing all around, but then I'm his mom, I'm *supposed* to think that! :-)

I've been very pre-occupied with physiotherapy for my knee. I'm pleased to note that I've tossed the cane to the curb this week. I can walk fairly normally, although I think a turtle could pass me without too much difficulty. I can even manage stairs quite well, as long as I only have to go *up* them. Down is not good. Down hurts. Did you know down requires bending? My knee doesn't really *do* bending just yet......

I did have an ornament-finishing frenzy in the last few weeks. Every year a bunch of friends all get together for a cookie exchange and afternoon social. We pig out on each other's treats, then take some home to pig out on in private. :-) For the last few years, I've been stitching an ornament to go with my cookies. This year I was determined to stitch different ornaments for each package of cookies and I actually managed it:

(I know it's very yellow, but it was the best picture of the half dozen or so that I took!)

From all accounts everyone liked their ornaments. I'm quite pleased that I managed to get as many done as I did. The whole surgery thing really messed up my planning for Christmas.

Our Christmas tree finally got decorated this week and I even managed to hang the garlands around doorways inside. It's looking very festive - I'll have to try and snap some pictures, especially since we have 3 Christmas trees this year. Of course, my photography skills being what they are, they'll likely look dreadful, but I'll give it a go anyway!

It looks like we'll have a slushy Christmas here this year - while we've had lots of snow (lots and lots of snow), it's also decided to warm up and rain a bit, leaving us with slush. Yick. Oh well, at least it's not mud (yet)! :-)

Time for bed! More baking to do tomorrow - so far I've made 4 batches of fudge (peppermint & cookies 'n creme), rolled oat shortbread, chocolate cherry chunk cookies, coconut cranberry bars, gingerbread cake and chocolate chip orange zucchini bread. Anyone else gaining weight as I type? I can't wait to give it all away so that I can't eat it all!


 Sunday, December 09, 2007

Eight Years Ago.....

I got my own personal miracle:

This is the little boy they told us wouldn't survive the birth. The little boy they said *if* by some chance he did survive, he would have a litany of endless health issues - both mental and physical. The little boy who was 7 times more likely to die within the first year of life than every other baby. The little boy, who today, turns eight.

He's beaten all the odds. He's normal, healthy and clearly happy.

Happy Birthday little B. Every day with you is a gift, made more precious simply because you are here. I love you little one.


 Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas Meme

Found this over at the Stitch Bitch and couldn't resist....

  1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both, either - whatever comes to hand first.
  2. Real tree or artificial? Always real. It comes in, looks pretty, then leaves. What the heck do you do with a fake one the rest of the year???
  3. When do you put up the tree? Well, it'll move into its place of honour any time around the end of November to the first week of December. It won't be decorated until after DS#2's birthday, December 9.
  4. When do you take the tree down? I prefer to wait until Epiphany, but it usually gets taken down the first weekend after New Year's.
  5. Do you like egg nog? Yum. Yes. With Rum.
  6. Favorite gift received as a child? Can't think of anything in particular, but always got great things..... *shrug*
  7. Do you have a nativity scene? Nope.
  8. Hardest person to buy for? DH. Always claims he doesn't need anything....
  9. Easiest person to buy for? In-laws (all of them -BIL, SIL, MIL, FIL, nieces, nephews) - they make a list to pick and choose from!
  10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Mail, with newsletter. To far too many people.
  11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Could be the year I got a breadmaker (yeah!), but had to return it because we needed a VCR more. End result: DS' got a new VCR and I got.......nothing.
  12. Favorite Christmas movie?All of them.
  13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? 'Bout February. It takes that long to recover from the mayhem of November and December shopping. too. many. people.
  14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Don't think so.....
  15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Anything that isn't nailed down?
  16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Either. My MIL and I trade lights every few years (she has clear and I have coloured).....
  17. Favorite Christmas song? Only one?
  18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both. Travel to my parents and in-laws, but some time at home too.
  19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? I have children. Of course I can.
  20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel, to make DH happy. (I'd prefer a dragon if I could find one.....)
  21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Yes. This year - 23rd at the in-laws, 24th at my parents', 25th at home.
  22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Too many idiots in the stores, the malls, the parking lots and too many store staff who clearly don't give a flying fig about helping you (even when you're on crutches, in pain and looking very helpless!).
  23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Anything the kids have made or ornies I've stitches or received as gifts.
  24. Favorite thing for Christmas dinner? Anything NOT turkey.
  25. What do you want for Christmas this year? To walk like a normal person. To burn/destroy/maim my crutches. To skate again. To ride a bike with my kids again (okay, not till next summer, judging by the amount of snow on the ground right now, but still....) To be able to walk the block and a half to DS#2's school. To not need crutches. To walk.
But outside of that, nothing much. :-) Time with DH and kids, natch.

I'm spending much of my available free time working towards my dearest wish for Christmas. I met with the physical terror..., erm, therapist yesterday. Today began the serious torture. Two and a half hours of it. But, I did get upgraded to using a cane! Yipee?!?

Off to visit with my friendly ice pack again.....


 Saturday, November 24, 2007

Just call me stumpy.....

Well, here I am 4 days after the dude with the sharp pointy objects took aim at my knee. The surgery itself wasn't as bad as I feared - I was in and out of the OR in less than an hour. It took at least 2 doses of morphine to get me feeling comfortable in the recovery room, but after another few hours I was released to go home. I admit to being in a bit of a rush to go home since the hospital where I had my surgery is a good 40 minute drive from home, so I wanted to get home before all the drugs wore off.

I've been limping around with my crutches every since but I'm managing quite well. I have some physiotherapy to do 3 times a day to start re-strengthening the muscle that was cut in the surgery. If I take my pain meds about half and hour before doing the exercises I find I can manage quite well through them, though they still hurt.

Today the pain is much worse than the previous few. I doubt I'll manage much more time at the computer today, but thought I'd at least get one post in.

Before I went to hospital I was determined to finish off a little project that I had started over the summer - tooth fairy pillows for 2 of my nephews and DS#2. They got dropped in the mail the day before surgery and my nephews are presently enjoying them:

Toothasaurus Rex & Tooth Fairy Landing Pad Copyright © Dragon Dreams

Stitched on mystery linens with DMC and Kreinik

I modified one Toothasaurus to have red polka dots, by request of my nephew. It took me quite a while to get him looking dotted instead of like he had chicken pox. When I sewed them up I also made a pocket on the back on the pillow so the tooth fairy can leave money or notes if necessary (sometimes the tooth fairy just runs out of cash!).

Off to visit the ice pack.....


 Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm sure those pictures are around here somewhere....

I think the camera ate them. Really. All those pretty pictures of class projects and stash from the festival. They've gone AWOL. Notice I'm scowling at the camera. I don't think it's helping.

However, said camera *did* let me take new pictures of some ornaments I've stitched. Wanna see? Okay. Here.

Tipsy Tree © Charland Designs, Inc.
From the 2007 JCS Ornament Issue
Stitched on 32-count belfast linen with GAST and DMC

And look, there's *two*:

Joy © Lizzie*Kate, Inc.
From the 2007 JCS Ornament Issue
Stitched on 32 count fabric of some kind with DMC

Either I'll beat the camera with a big stick or beg it to give me back the other pictures. But at least I've given you something to look at in the meantime.

In other, less stitchy news, I finally saw the surgeon about my knee that has been troubling me since this past June. He looked, he saw and he decided. He's going to point some sharp, pointy objects at my knee. This. coming. Tuesday. Mama.


 Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Creativ Festival - Days 3, 4 & 5

(Note: After a lengthy discussion with digital camera, computer and blogger, we've agreed to disagree on the uploading of photos today. Blogger wins, I lose.)

More in the continuing saga of the this year's Creativ Festival.....

Day 3 had me downtown early as a friend had an early class while I didn't. The show floor didn't open until 10AM, so I sat in the lounge and beaded the model (which, incidentally is now finished and on its way back to the magazine! It would have gone last week, save for some back-stitch issues I had to work out with the designer....). When the floor opened I had my first tour around and naturally, picked up some stash....

First I grabbed Jeanette Douglas' special 20th anniversary sampler that she designed for the festival along with the special beaded trim kit that goes with it. It is so pretty IRL. Funnily enough I also have the 10th anniversary sampler in my WIP pile (guess how many years that has sat there???), so naturally I had to have the 20th as well. The 10th anniversary piece was designed by Charland Garvin from Charland Designs.

Next up in my stash acquisition was Dragon Dreams' Santa's Dragon. I was so intent upon picking up this chart that I actually didn't notice the stitched model in the booth until I was paying for my stash. I just needed the chart. Immediately. Clearly, I'm ill.

I did a round of 'business' at the various needlework booths - curiously enough for a good portion of the needlework-related booths I tend to work for the designers as a model stitcher or I was dropping in on my co-workers at A Needle Pulling Thread. I also managed to wrangle myself some more model stitching possibilities for a designer I have admired for years, so hopefully that will pan out at some point.

Business completed, it was time for lunch, another meander on the floor to the areas I don't normally go (I don't knit, crochet, scrapbook or want to buy a chamois) and then it was time for class.

Day 3 - Class: Teeny, Tiny Treasure Box

Instructor: Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams

Jennifer brought forth another great creation from her seemingly endless store of cool ideas. We stitched a teeny, tiny little treasure chest on perforated paper. It worked up very quickly and I almost had it stitched by the end of class. Once home, I finished the stitching in less than half an hour and then folded and assembled the treasure chest. To complete our little chest Jennifer also gave us (what else) treasure! Some pretty beads (one that even looks like a little dragon egg) that have left me looking at my bead stash in a whole new way.....


Day 3 - Class: Sleeping Dragon Ornament

Instructor: Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams

This piece has to win the cute, cute, cute prize. Jennifer showed us the most adorable little dragon, asleep and clutching his teddy bear. Another fast-to-stitch piece, but that wasn't where the creativity really began. Seeing that our little dragon is sleeping, clearly he needs a bed, right? Jennifer provided us with some felt to build a pillow and another larger piece of felt to make a bed. Then we had some fantastic supplies that we could use to decorate the bed. Sparkly, pretty things. Oh, the possibilities! I got a little overwhelmed with the thought of just what I would do (and it's a tiny thing!), but then decided I needed to meet my dragon before I could make his bed, so I stitched and spent time thinking about how I was going to make the bed. I think I've figured it out, but you'll have to wait to see the finished product!

At the end of the day, I had the great fortune to have been invited for a sleepover at a very good friend's hotel. You would think I was a little kid again - I was *SO* excited. After dragging all my assorted cr*p to the hotel room we went to a little seafood place near the hotel for dinner. We had the most amazing seafood shish-kabobs - swordfish (grilled), scallops, shrimp - oh! Talk about yum-o. I ate till I was ready to burst. We went back to the hotel and got into our jammies and stitched and chatted and caught up and just had the most wonderful time. It was just perfect and a wonderful way to spend time at the festival.

The next morning, however, proved to anyone and all that a) I should never attempt to drive without caffeine and b) that my friend has incredible patience and fortitude. Why, you ask? Well, you see, I don't drive much in Toronto. It is generally something that takes all my wits to manage. Can you see where this is going?

We decided to leave the hotel early and grab some breakfast at the convention centre (the hotel was going to charge an arm and a leg for the simplest of food!)...... I was clearly not awake as I completely neglected to notice what road we were on as we left the hotel parking lot. I was sure that we were on one particular street. Being so mind-numbingly sure of myself (note the lack of caffeine here!), I turned left, then left again, being totally sure I was heading south. Sadly, my brain was *not* functional - I was going North. I drove by some very obvious street signs that (if my brain had been working) would have clued me into the fact that I was, in fact, going in the complete opposite direction that I wanted to be going in. But I was clearly unable to grasp this fact and then spent the next half-hour or so meandering my way through an enormous portion of Toronto. Thankfully my friend didn't shoot me, yell, scream or otherwise become (not undeservadly) hysterical. She finally figured out where the he** we were (and she's not local to Toronto and I am!) and got us to a point where I could manage to get us to the convention centre. I'm an idiot.

I am eternally grateful that my friend didn't shoot me and drop my lifeless form on an unnamed corner next to a homeless person. I certainly deserved it. I think she's still even talking to me. I am an underserving wretch. :-)

After an extraordinarly rushed breakfast (remember, we left early, I got us lost, hence making us very nearly late), we each headed to our respective classes......

Day 4 - Class: Lacis Snowflake

Instructor: Kathryn Drummond of Gingerbread Girl

This class looked quite intriguing from the show brochure and I was sorry that there was only me and one other person in the class. Nonetheless, Kathryn persisted and took us through what I can only describe as a hardanger inspired piece. We satin-stitched a 66x66 box, then did a pulled 4sided stitch on the outside of the box. Next we moved onto cutting every 2 threads inside the box. I didn't manage quite all this in class, but I tried hard.... After all the cutting is done and the threads removed then a series of wrapped bars and dove's eyes create a really pretty snowflake. I do want to get back to this piece as it was simple and fast. I just need to remind myself that I do know how to do dove's eyes.

Once this class was over I had a mad dash onto the show floor - I had forgotten the supplies I needed for my next class!!!!!!!!!!! Doh!

Day 4 - Class: Monster Mix-up

Instructor: Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect with this class, but knowing Jennifer, I knew it would be entertaining, if nothing else. We were presented with a bunch of different charts all together - 4 different heads, 3 different bodies and 4 different legs/feet. All we had to do was select a head, body and legs/feet. I worked my way through the head in class, but haven't yet had time to get to the rest of my friend. It was interesting to peek at what everyone was choosing - they were all different and done in different colours as well! We were supposed to bring two different colours of DMC from the same colour family - one light and one dark. I will be using DMC 160 and 161 but the rest of my creation will be secret until it's finished.

I found this to be such an exciting class - there were so many possibilities! I've already got colours picked out in my head for another monster...... But I guess I'd better finish the first one before I start #2!

Saturday night was the banquet which is always interesting. Food was quite good all things considered and was enjoyable. After dinner they herded us (somewhat like errant sheep) back onto the show floor (which was closed by this time) to one of the stages set up on the show floor. We were treated to a knitwear fashion show as it is Vogue Knitting's 25th anniversary. They showed off some very neat and interesting knitwear pieces.

The best part though was at the end when a select group of designers at the festival showed off a number of one-of-a-kind specialty items that they created for the show. They were raffled off at the end of the night. Yet again, I came home empty handed (naturally) but (and this is a big but) my good friend WON! A gorgeous beaded belt/necklace/thing full of swarovski crystals made by William Hodge. It's amazing to look at - it's so pretty! I was so excited for her. I'm not sure the shock has worn off yet..... :-)

Finally we arrive at:

Day 5 - Class: Reflections
Instructor: Anna-Marie Winter

I'm sure by this point Anna-Marie was thinking I'm a stalker as I was in all but one of her classes. What can I say? More silk! More silk!

This piece is done in some beautiful sage-y greens - more silk mori and silk serica. It's a gorgeous piece and if I get it finished, it will look great in my dining room.

It was a full-day class but everyone seemed to have run out of stitching steam (me included) by about 3 PM. Everyone pretty much packed up and left. I toured the floor a bit and then left a little before 5 PM exhausted, happy and glad to go home.

Overall it was a great 5 days. There were some things that I wished had been different and some things that were just fine. I had a great time catching up with old friends and spending time doing what I love most - stitching.


 Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Hallowe'en or Happy Samhain!

Here's the two DS' with this year's pumpkin carvings - they design their own, Daddy helps carve:

And for the best Hallowe'en treat ever, go here. Isn't he darling?

Off to an emergency bulb planting session! (more on that another time!)


 Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Creativ Festival - Days 1 & 2

I'm back to the land of the living after spending 5 days in my version of stitching heaven. I stitched, I visited, I attempted to walk the show floor..... In short, it was wonderful.

Here's a review (and picture intensive post) of my first two days at the show.

Day 1 - Class: Solitary Flight
Instructor: Anna-Marie Winter

This was a full-day class (6 hours of instruction) and a wonderful way to start the show. I fell in love with this kimono in the show brochure. It's even more lovely in real life. Here's a picture of the cover picture for the graph:

And here's my progress on it when class was over:

It's difficult to get much done on this piece in class since the entire background must be stitched before placing the dragonfly and the grasses can be stitched. The background is stitched in Silk Mori (which I love) and the dragonfly and grasses done in a variety of golds from Kreinik. I can't wait to return to work on this one more. Did I mention I love working with silk?

After class was over I attended a welcome reception put on by the show. It wasn't really great or anything worthy of note, beyond the fact that door prizes were awarded (I didn't win a thing, naturally) and Anna-Marie gave a great (and short) lecture of cyber classes at NeedleArtWorks and awarded some $50 gift certificates for a cyber class (which I also didn't win :-( ).

Day 2 - Class: Triangulations
Instructor: Anna-Marie Winter

This was a half-day class again with Anna-Marie. The model for this class had many of us drooling as it's simply stunning. The fibres are just yummy to play with (again, more silk - did I mention I love silk????) and the overall size of the piece isn't too large. This will likely be one of the first projects I return to once the bleedin' models are finished.

Here's a picture of the graph:

And here's how far I got in class - although I admit to not adding any of the metallics in class because I'd rather save them for the very end. I find the metallics can mess up the silk, so I'd rather wait until I won't be working with the silks any more on the piece.

The dark blue is Silk Mori and the lighter blue is Silk Serica. It's so pretty in real life. It uses silks. I like silks a lot. Did I mention that already?

Day 2 - Class: Jade Dragon
Instructor: Laura from Enchanting Lair

The afternoon of Day 2 brought me to another short class, but this time from Enchanting Lair. I love little dragons and this one is done in some yummier than yummy silks again. I think I'm working up to an obsession with silks. But I digress.....

The piece uses Northern Lights, Caron Waterlilies and a bunch of Kreiniks. We didn't get a whole lot done in class as Laura was giving us great instructions, but I did get to play with the Northern Lights silks which are new to me. They were lovely. I'm still stroking one skein every now and then.

Here's the graph picture:

Sorry the picture isn't great - I'm no photographer! Go check out Enchanting Lair's site for a better shot. Here's all I got stitched in class:

I didn't get much done because I was listening more than stitching. Well, okay, I was playing with the silks a bit too. They're so pretty. And soft. And they glide through fabric like a hot knife through butter. Silk. ahhhhhhhhh............

I enjoyed this class thoroughly and enjoyed sharing ideas with Laura and talking about next year and some potential classes. That's all I'm saying.

The show floor wasn't yet open, so no shopping yet. After my class I went to the chatter about dolls given by Elinor Peace Bailey. It was an interesting chat and her dolls are simply stunning - they're so expressive and so far beyond my skills that it's humbling. Elinor is a very funny lady and although doll making doesn't appeal to me, I enjoyed the lecture.

I think that's all for today - I'm sure I've made a few web browsers weep and I apologise if the pictures were too much.

Just wait until you hear about my other classes, the banquet and the unintentional driving tour I had of Toronto.........


 Monday, October 22, 2007

The excitement is building......

It's only 2 more days until I'm in stitching heaven. That's right folks, it's almost time for my annual 5-day stitch-a-thon - the CreativFestival! I am so looking forward to this event. I'll be taking classes with Anna-Marie Winter and Jennifer Aikman-Smith, to name a couple of people. This show is the highlight of my year - great classes and time with friends I only see once a year.

My model is almost done but the DMC metallic is giving me major fits. If this keeps up, I'll likely beg to use a different fibre for the next one. I may even get on my hands and knees (if you could see the state of my knee and ankle, you'd know what an accomplishment *that* would be!).... Hopefully it'll be finished before Hallowe'en, although I admit to hoping it would be finished for the festival so I could return it to the magazine. I'm rapidly realizing that's just not realistic, unless I'd prefer no sleep between now and the festival.

This past weekend was amazing weather-wise - it was in the mid 70s the whole weekend which is extraordinary for October. DS#2 went to school in shorts today. I spent yesterday hanging up my Hallowe'en decorations and finishing off a little tuck-pillow:

This is only my second attempt at a tuck-away pillow and I have to admit to being quite pleased with it. It's not perfect by any means of the imagination, but I'm happy enough. It's just for me, so it doesn't really matter too much how it looks. It's hanging in my hallway for all to see. Hopefully no one will comment on the somewhat obvious fighting match I had with my sewing machine. Luckily it doesn't show in the photograph. Hmmmmm - maybe I should hang the photograph instead................

Off to fight my way through some more DMC metallic. *bleck*


 Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tis the season....

To change blogger templates. Or at least it seems that way. I think I've caught the change-template-itis that seems to be going about at the moment. I've been eyeing a 3-bar template for some time now and finally found one I like. I'll miss my big blue rose though. Maybe it'll visit again sometime...

My ankle is getting better although more slowly than I'd like. I'm off the crutches now as the swelling has gone down to the point where I can do two important things:

  1. Wear shoes
  2. Bend at the ankle

I'm still sore and limping heavily, but life is much easier when you've got two working feet. I saw the dr. on Monday and she had more blood work done. I feel like a pincushion but hopefully all this poking and prodding will tell us what is going on. I go back to the dr. on Monday.

In other news, I'm still working on my current model, but am seriously dreading having to use DMC metallic. If it weren't a model I'd replace it with some Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid, but sadly the choice isn't mine. If you hear any swearing, it's just me.

I'm so far behind on SBQs that it's almost laughable. Here's a few for catch-up:

July (gasp!) 19, 2007:

Which project (finished or in progress) are you most proud of? Explain why.

This is a difficult one to answer because I'm proud of every project and it's hard to select just one as the one I'm most proud of. They've all been challenges either for their sheer size or the complexity of stitches. I'm proud of all of them.

And yes, that's a wimpy answer.

July 28, 2007:

Have you ever thought of getting a rider on your household insurance to properly cover your stash (some of us have quite an extensive stash that an average household policy wouldn't fully cover) in the case of some sort of damage to your house that would destroy/ruin charts, fabrics, floss, etc?

Um, well, I think I've gone beyond the thinking about it stage. I actually have one. It's rather embarassing but I have numerous OOP patterns and an astonishing quantity of fabrics and fibres. DH has been told that if something were to happen to me that he needs to get someone from the LNS to come here and evaluate it all before selling it. I'm a dreadful collector of stitching stuff.

September 6, 2007:

Would you ever stitch one of your BAPs a second time? (This does not include starting over because of mistakes, bad fabric, etc., rather stitching something from the first stitch for a second time.)

Maybe, maybe not. I know I will likely stitch Celtic Christmas again for myself because I like it so darn much. I doubt that there are any other BAPs I'd ever stitch again. I can say with some assurance that there isn't a model BAP that I'd ever stitch twice. Once is more than enough for those! (some of the smaller model pieces I've done I would do again for myself, but the big ones - no way!)

I'll catch up on more SBQs later. Don't want to bore anyone to tears here......


 Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy belated Thanksgiving and what the heck have I done now?

Thanksgiving was this past weekend and I was this year's host. Boy, did I make food! Buns and squash and sweet potatoes, stuffing and turkey and cranberries. I'm still full, two days later.

My preparations were somewhat hindered by this new problem that started on Friday night and just kept getting worse. By Monday I was in the ER having a doctor look at me strangely. Here's why:

That distended thing on the left is my ankle. I included my right ankle just to show just how bad it is. I can't walk and I'm now on crutches and some really good anti-inflammatories. I won't be winning any skinny ankle awards any time in the near future.
What caused this? Well, we're not really sure. It might be rheumatoid arthritis, it might be plain old arthritis, it might be a viral infection, it might be just about anything.....
I'll be off to see my family dr. to get a referral to a specialist. Yes, this will be specialist #2 for me this year. Specialist #1 (for my knee problem) finally gave me an appointment for November. I think I'm falling apart. I told DH he should have purchased the extended warranty on me, but it'll be okay as long as he doesn't trade me in for a younger model! :-)
I may not be around much for the next while as stairs are difficult (computer lives in basement office) and I've got a model with a tight deadline to work on.
Hobbling off to stitch......


 Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A little bit of finish-itis and a little bit of start-itis....

Okay - here's some pictures of a little bit of finish-itis I had.....

Summer Island Sampler
Copyright © Jeannette Douglas Designs
Kit from a class with Jeanette

I took this as a class at CSNF a couple of years ago. I changed the wording from Summer Island to Paudash Lake as that is the name of the lake where my parents have a cottage. At some point I'll make it into a bellpull or something for them. I really like how this piece turned out.


Tooth Fairy Landing Pad
Design Copyright © Dragon Dreams

I worked on this over the summer, but wasn't happy with the dude's wings - so I frogged and re-stitched and now I'm much happier. Now I need to get this made up into a pillow, complete with pocket for those missing teeth. :-)

As for the startitis.....

I've had this piece kitted up for months and it's been calling to me softly, but persistently since then. I finally gave in and started it. It's the Bouquet for Cheryl freebie from Ink Circles. I'm stitching it on a really sparkly Silkweaver fabric whose name has escaped me with the varigated DMC whose number also escapes me. It's all upstairs, I'm in the basement and my knee is bothering me too much to dash up and down the stairs to get the right info! Suffice it to say it looks beautiful so far (at least to *me* it does) and I'm really enjoying just threading up a needle and stitching until I get to the end of the strand. Hence why the first quarter has been finished in record time. :-)

Sorry for the dim and dreary photos - it was a dreary day today and I had to photograph indoors.....

And in more exciting news - I finally got my hands on the latest JCS ornie issue today. I admit to having read a few review of this issue in various blogs and I was worried I was setting myself up for a let down. However, I'm happy to say that I've already made a list of over a dozen ornaments I really want to stitch. I can understand some folks viewpoints on some of the ornaments, but I've found plenty to stitch and am having trouble deciding what to stitch first. I'm glad to say that I'm not disappointed in this issue at all and I think it's another great issue in a collection of issues.

Well, it's late and I'm tired. I did my grocery run tonight for Thanksgiving (we Canucks celebrate Thanksgiving this coming Monday, Oct. 8). I'm hosting this year and have the big bird to prove it. Thank heavens for my convection oven!


Long time, no blog....

Life sometimes just gets in the way, doesn't it? I've managed to get myself thoroughly tied up with DS#2's school fundraiser this year and I've practically been living at school for the last few weeks. My house is a mess, the cat's litterbox needs attention and the hamster needs fresh water. Ain't fundraising grand?

I probably shouldn't have gotten so involved with this project, but I couldn't help myself - this fundraiser really caught my eye because it isn't the school doing fundraising or parents doing fundraising. This is a totally student-driven initiative. Our school doesn't have any outdoor play structures at all. All we have is a big grassy field. No soccer posts even. Nothing.

So, the kids decided they wanted to raise money for 2 new play structures - one for the Grade 1 - 5 students and another (smaller) one for the Kindergarteners. It's going to take 3 years (at least) and about $45,000 but they're determined. How could I not be a part of that?

I have been stitching too and I have some finishes to post, but haven't got time to get them uploaded right this minute. I'll try and add those later today. Stitching is my winddown time after spending the day surrounded by choclates and money! :-)

Off to visit the local back-cracker (i.e. Chiropractor!)


 Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mixed Emotions

Today I find myself happy, sad and excited all at once and for a variety of reasons.

Happy, because I finished my travelling piece of needlework:

The Spooks Are Out! Copyright © Waxing Moon Designs

Stitched on 32-count Natural Belfast Linen with recommended DMC threads

I started this piece back when we were camping this summer. The picture is a bit wavy because I really need to iron it! :-) I think I'll make this into a tuck-away pillow and hang it in my front entry-way to greet visitors as we approach Samhain.

I'm feeling excited because after many months of working, asking, begging, pleading, being annoying and so on, DS#2's school is finally going to get additional landscaping at the front of the school. It's taken months of work, but it looks now like it will happen. It's going to mean spending this coming weekend shoveling dirt to get the planting beds ready, but I'm willing to spend the time. Better news is that the school itself is willing to pay for the dirt, so it won't come out of the limited budget the parent volunteers have. Yipee!

The only downer to my week has been the newly invoked and equally newly revoked adoption record laws in Ontario. I'm an adoptee, so this affects me personally. Since around 1927 (but my dates could be totally wrong here, so don't quote me on that!) adoption records in Ontario have been sealed - meaning neither Adoptees nor Birth Parents could access anything but the most generic information about each other. For instance, I could find out that my birthmother was a nurse and was 23 when she had me, but little else.

Sometime in the 70s or 80s (again, I'm not sure of dates here), the government established the Adoption Disclosure Registry. Adoptees and Birth Parents could register in a passive registry, meaning that if an adoptee registers and his/her birth parent registers, then they would be matched up and could meet and find out about each other. Additionally one could request a search for birth family or adoptees. I registered for a search in 1993. At that time, searches took between 7 and 10 years (yes, that's years folks) to commence. I was contacted in 2000 to indicate that my search was about to begin. It was completed in 2001 with the location of my birthmother. This would be great, except for the fact that my birthmother passed away in 1999.

In 2005 the Ontario government finally passed a law that would open Adoption records for adoptees and birth parents. It would allow adoptees to access their original birth certificates and birth parents to access their child's amended birth certificate. Identifying information all around. This is good. The law came into affect Sept. 17. More good.

Sept. 19th a judge heard a challenge to the new law and struck it down. This challenge was brought about by 4 people - 3 adoptees and one birth parent. 4 people out of the thousands of adoptees and birth parents in Ontario. They felt the law violated their constituitional rights and freedoms.

An appeal is being launched and I imagine this will eventually end up in the Supreme Court of Canada, but I am left feeling unspeakably sad that yet again I am denied that most basic of information - my name and the name of the people who created me. I am one of the lucky few who does actually know this information already, but I would still like to have my original birth certificate. It's not fair to all those who haven't been so lucky to date.

I hope this law will come back into affect and soon. All adoptees and birth parents in Ontario have been denied this information for far too long.

If you're interested, you can read more about the judgement here.


 Monday, September 17, 2007


I finally came up for air today, looked around and realized it's been almost 2 weeks since I've posted anything. Ack!

What have I been up to? Stitching. Lots and lots of stitching. Sadly, I can't show you what I've been stitching though.... I've been frantically working to finish the one remaining model that I have kicking around - only to have the designer push back the release date, so I didn't need to work so frantically. I'm not unhappy though - I'm really far ahead now and can take a little break from the project to...................pick up another model. How do I get myself into these things???? :-) Luckily this model is quite small and it'll be finished within the next day or two.

I do have a stitching picture that I can post though! I finished one ornament I stitched earlier this year into an actual ornament:

This is the Merry Christmas Ornament from Glory Bee. I know the picture is a bit yellow, but it was late at night and I barely remembered to take a picture before it was packaged up.

You see, I had forgotten that DH's annual family golf tournament and Christmas gift exchange was coming up the weekend before last....... The gift exchange is just something small - we spend about $10 - $15 and I've gotten into the habit of putting a small Christmas ornament with my gift..... I had a real 'uh-oh' moment at around 10PM the night before the tournament when I remembered that I had stitched some ornaments, but couldn't remember actually making them into ornaments...... I dug through my stitching basket and what popped out but this ornament all made up with cording attatched and everything. Clearly the stitching guardians were watching over me!

As for the golf tournament, we had a good time as always. The younger kids (and their moms) usually play mini-golf while the older kids and all of DH's uncles go play a round of golf. This has been going on for over 20 years now and there are even trophies for mini-golf and regular golf. The trophy has 3 categories - Low Gross Score, Low Net Score and Most Honest Golfer. I'm pleased to say Cameron won Low Gross Score for mini-golf this year. It's his second year in a row to win Low Gross.... He was quite pleased with himself:

Cameron receiving the trophy for Low Gross Score in Mini-Putt from his Great Uncle Terry

Beyond that we're mostly settling into our new fall schedule with school, Scouts, Cubs and so on. It's always a bit crazy the first couple of weeks as we adjust to the new routine. Cameron is now attending middle school and has to ride the bus every day. School is good, apparently, but the bus thing has had some hiccups - late pick-ups, strange driving behaviour, extra early pick-ups, etc. I think it's sorted out now though as the driver has been coming mostly on-time last week. Today is a day off school for the kids as the school re-organizes, meaning they re-adjust classes and kids.

I'm off to make some lunch - the boys are hungry and I need to put the kitchen back together as I had it apart to wash the floor this morning!


 Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Back to reality.........

It's been almost a month since I've posted here - and what a month it's been! I feel like I've run from one end of the province to another, but then again, to a point, I did.

We spent the first week of our vacation camping at a place called the Pinery - it's about a 3 hour drive from our house. We camped with DH's family - his parents, sister & brother and their respective families. It made for a total of 16 of us. The kids ranged in age from 11 down to 1 (there's 8 of them). It was busy. It was noisy. It was soooo much fun! I didn't realize it but I failed to get a picture of everyone. Although with that many of us, I doubt there would be a good one anyway!

We returned home to do laundry, unpack some things, buy groceries and then drive up to my parent's cottage for another week. Unfortunately the weather didn't co-operate with us much as it poured rain for the first 4 days we were there. So the boys watched movies (when the power wasn't out) and played together. The last few days were lovely though and we were off to the beach to build sand castles and play in the water.

Returning home we found we had a lot of laundry, a lot of mail and a lot of cleaning up and putting away to do. Then the spectre of back-to-school shopping hit and we were off to buy new shoes, lunch bags and other sundries so necessary for a new school year.

This year does mark a big change for our family as DS#1 heads off to middle school for the first time. It involves riding a bus every day but we're really lucky that the bus picks him up and drops him off directly in front of our house. We're also lucky that he's the last one on the bus and the first one off, so he shouldn't be on the bus for more than a half-hour per day. I can't wait until he gets home to hear all about his first day at his new school!

DS#2 happily returned to our primary school for Grade 3. I really like his teacher (I've known her for a few years now) and I think he'll have a really great school year. Most of the renovations to our primary school are finished - they put on a 2 storey addition that has (at least temporarily) left us without portables. I imagine that as class sizes go down again (as legislated by our government), our need for portables will re-appear as there aren't enough classrooms for all the kids. But for now, we're portable free!

I did manage to stitch while on holiday, although not much. Many times the light was too bad or we had no electricity to power my OTT-lite. I did get some work done on one of my models and have since picked up another model (am I nuts?).....

Here's the non-model stitching I did:

These are two of the tooth-fairy pillows that I'm working on for DS#2 and two of my nephews. I couldn't find some DMC819 to finish the space-man, so I need to run to Michaels to pick that up. I don't know how I have 2 full sets of DMC, yet can never find one colour for any given project. Just how does that happen, anyway???

I also started a freebie from Waxing Moon called 'The Spooks Are Out':

I doubt I'll get much done on either of the above pieces for a while yet now as the models are just going to keep me too busy. One is so close to being done that I can almost taste it! :-)

Time to go enjoy a cup of tea and then go pick up DS#2 at school.....


 Thursday, August 09, 2007

I just couldn't resist this...

What kind of witch are you?

You are an Earth Witch! The Material Element of Earth is at your command. You feel out of your skin when confined to the indoors but instantly feel better once your bare feet are touching the Earth you love so much. You nurture all things you feel need nurturing and don't care what people think of you for it. Blunt to the point of having no tact, you don't like to beat around the bush, no pun intended. It takes a lot to get you riled up, but Goddess help the poor soul who gets to you. They'll probably end up 6 feet under... or deeper.

Common Powers:Geokinesis- the ability to move rock and metal with one's mind

Florakinesis- the ability to control trees, plants, and flowers with one's mind

Healing touch- the ability to heal another person with their touchShapeshifting- the ability to take on the form and abilities of another
Take this quiz!



That about sums up my visit with the radiologist last week. My knee got blown up like a balloon (I swear by the time it was done my knee was 3 times the size it was....), then I got to perform contortions worthy of any acrobat in order to get 360 degree films of my knee.

The good news - the radiologist couldn't see an obvious tear in my cartilege. The bad news - the radiologist couldn't see an obvious tear in my cartilege. The long and short of it is that we still don't know why my knee is causing me so much pain. I have to admit to feeling a little better now, but am still finding it difficult to sleep and if I stand for too long it hurts. We went for a relatively long drive over the weekend (a good 2 hours anyway) and I found that by the half way point I was just about ready to reach out and strangle DH as I was sure he was finding every single bump and pot hole in the road just so I could whimper in pain. More ice.

Now I wait until I can get an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon - likely won't happen until September now at the earliest. Wonder what tortures he has in store for me. *sigh*

I've been stitching on my model whilst sitting with my ice bag on my knee. It's coming along well and I'm really hoping I'll finish it early in September - maybe even by the end of August if I get more fibres from the designer. This piece eats perle cotton for breakfast! :-)

I did also pick up a piece I started for myself back in May for a little while as I've hardly worked on it at all. It's a large piece and I don't want to get too lost in it as the model work comes first. Here's the progress to date:

Any idea what the grey blob is? No? Okay, I'll give in. It's the beginnings of L&L's Nantucket Rose. I've literally had the linen for this piece for years and finally decided I needed to stitch it. But as I said, it's not getting much needle time as the model is my top priority.

The other big event in our family has been this:

DS#1 celebrated his 11th birthday over the weekend. It's amazing to think that he's 11 already. Time flies when you're having fun!

We're off camping on Saturday for a bit, then off to the cottage for a bit longer so I may not be around much until the end of August!


 Tuesday, July 31, 2007

And the pain continues..................

My trip to the doctor last week has proven fruitful to a point, I guess. I've been referred to an orthopedic surgeon. I've also been sent to have a knee arthrogram (you can read all about the tortures of it here.). It involves needles - that's good. Sadly, they're all going into my knee. All I can say is ow. I imagine I will find some more inventive words tomorrow around 1PM EST. Perhaps I should bring a gag???


In an effort to not think about the tortures of tomorrow I've been stitching a fair amount. When you consider that standing, sitting and walking all cause pain in various forms, it's impressive that any stitching has occurred. Then again, when I sit, I can sit with my handy ice pack on my knee. This is a very good thing.

For the most part I've been motoring on my last remaining model which I naturally can't show pictures of.... However, I did have some wait around time and hence finished one travelling project and made amazing headroads on another....

Here's the one I finished:

This is the last of a series of 4 ornaments that I've been working on for the last wee bit. It's from the June 2007 issue of the Cross Stitcher. I used good old DMC 310 and the same 32-count platinum belfast linen that I used for the other 3. I really like how these 4 ornaments turned out. I plan to finish the above one with some gold lame (can't find my French character to spell that correctly)-like fabric I've got and make cording in black and gold. I think it'll look quite stunning when all is said and done.

Next is what I'm working on now during those hurry-up-and-wait moments:

Toothasaurus Rex
Design Copyright © Dragon Dreams

This still needs some backstitching, so it's not really finished as of yet.... Soon though!

My little Bryce has been losing teeth left, right and centre (corn on the cob isn't an option right now...) so I decided it was time he had a tooth fairy pillow - especially since I've heard the tooth fairy has a hard time locating the tooth beneath the pillow due to its diminuitive size.....

Then it occurred to me - I've got two nephews who are a year younger than Bryce who are also starting to lose teeth like no tomorrow. So, there are two more pillows to come. Then you add in the two other nephews and two nieces who will all get to the tooth losing stage within the next 3 - 5 years.......................................................

I'd better get stitching.


 Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ow, ow and ouch!
Yes folks, that's how much it took to get my faithless vehicle out of jail, um, the mechanics place. What's worse is that it likely needs another couple hundred dollars worth of work done on it. Sadly neither my credit card nor budget can do that this month. *sigh*
And just to add a little fun and entertainment to the mix, my knee has started acting up again. You see, I've had a chronic knee problem since I was 12. I've done a variety of stupid, idiotic and painful things to it over the years - torn ligaments, dislocated kneecap, etc., etc..... I won't bore anyone with the gory details... Well, after the zoo trip with DS#2's class it started bothering me again - to the point where I saw a dr. about it for the first time in the better part of 12 years. Generally I just hobble along on my own when it acts up and it really hasn't been that bothersome until lately. One anti-inflammatory prescription later and much rest, ice, compression & elevation (ahhh, good old RICE) I was feeling better, but not quite my old self.
This week I got very tired of just sitting around and not getting any exercise, so I thought I would just try some gentle toning movements - some squats, leg lifts - easy easy, no impact and slow movements..... And now I'm limping again and discovering the joys of a bag of frozen peas applied liberally.....
Off to the dr. this afternoon. I feel an orthopedic surgeon in my near future. Bugger!
In other, more interesting and less whiny news, all this sitting about has got me plugging away on my remaining model at a good clip. However, I did decide to take a little break and finish off a really, really, really old UFO from a class I took at CSNF waaay back around 2001 IIRC. I was almost finished but ran out of the #8 perle cotton I needed to finish it - in two colours. I was lazy about getting more #8 and just put it off and put it off. Well, I finally ordered the last of the fibre and decided I'd finish it off.

A Dragon's Quilt
Copyright © Dragon Dreams
Stitched on 28-count Cobblestone Linen by Zweigart using recommended fibres (DMC Rayon, perle cotton, Kreinik #4 braid and DMC floss)

I really enjoyed stitching this piece originally and have no idea why I never ordered the fibres I needed and finished it years ago. Oh well, it's done now!

My garden has moved into hyper-blooming phase and many things are busting out all over.... Here are a few pictures of some of the things that are blooming today....

This is a daylily of unknown type. I rescued the daylily from a friend's garden - she had an overabundance of ditchweed at we call it.... I really love the colour of this lily - very rich and vibrant!

This is one of my Morning Glories. I plant these every year and usually by now they are thick with leaves and blooms. This year they are very scraggly and just not doing well overall. But, I am getting some very large blooms as this one shows.

This is one of my Hybrid Tea roses - Chrysler Imperial. Last year I had a really bad case of black spot on my roses but so far this year they are remaining spot-free and they're blooming quite well, all things considered. This rosebush has at least 4 other buds working their way towards a full bloom. My other Hybrid Tea rose is called Tropicana which was my grandmother's favorite rose. It'll be blooming in another day or two.

Off to get some things done!


 Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm ba-ack.....

Here I am home again after a lovely week at the cottage. The weather wasn't the greatest - it rained a few times and was quite chilly at night but we still managed to have a great time lazing about, playing games and watching the odd movie or two.

Being forced indoors was a good thing for me though as I finished one of the two models I've got on the go right now! I am *so* happy to have gotten one of the two out of the way. Now I can focus on the one that's left and motor through to the end of that.

We came home from our holiday early on Friday so that Cameron and I could hit our local Chapters for our copy of Harry Potter. Things were going along swimmingly until we stopped at a shop to get some black hair-spray (Cameron was dressing up in his Harry Potter Quidditch costume that I made him a year or two ago for Hallowe'en)..... We returned to the van, got in, turned the key - and nothing happened! GAH!

So half and hour and one taxi-ride later we made it to the book store in time to enjoy the fun set up at the store. I had pre-ordered the book in February so when we got there we just needed to pick up a wrist band and wait for midnight. The store had spots where you could get your fortune told, see some snakes and other assorted reptiles, play Quidditch and so on. It was fun and entertaining.

We lined up for our book at about 10:45 - after we each picked a book out to read while we were waiting.... At midnight Cameron set his stopwatch to time how long it took us to get a book and we had one in our hot little hands within 12 minutes and 53 seconds....

Luckily we ran into friends in the lineup who kindly offered us a ride home and Cameron and I settled in to read the first two chapters before bed. I managed to sleep for a few hours but then woke up early to read. I finished the book by Sat. afternoon. Cameron is a ways behind me as he's had to wait for me to finish. :-)

All I'll say here is wow. And I'm sorry it's over.

I suppose I should get on with laundry - there's an unusually large amount of it. I'm sure we only went away for a week, but the laundry pile looks as if we've been gone months!

Here's a picture of the boys out in the kayak. They loved paddling around in it while we were up this time - although you'll note that Bryce doesn't have a paddle. He's conned his brother into doing all the 'hard' work for him..... :-)

I sure hope that my van remembers that just because it's visiting it's favorite mechanic that there's no reason to bankrupt me with repairs...... :-(


 Friday, July 13, 2007

News, views and a brief change of locale!

Well it's been a typically busy time in my little corner of the world. Now that the boys are home from school for the summer, I spend most of my time prying them away from the computer (Mom needs time on the computer too), video games and TV and re-directing their energy to more fun stuff like large Lego project building, bike riding and playing in the great outdoors when it's not too hot..... My youngest DS is taking swimming lessons daily, so that gets us out of the house in the morning and often gives us an opportunity to head to the park for a picnic and some playtime in the afternoon, although it's been dreadfully hot and humid in the last few days, so we've been house bound, but not bored really.

I have managed to put in a little stitching time - mostly in the evenings after the boys are in bed. I'm working primarily on my models - one is almost done! I'll likely finish it in the next week. I did finish one more little ornament in the series of Damask ornaments that I've been working on - whilst watching DS#2's swimming lessons....

And here's the current SBQ!

Suggested by The Wagon (

What do you love to do that many people hate? What do you hate to do, but do anyway?

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I would have to say french knots and back stitch, although I wouldn't say that I love either of those stitches, I can do them with great ease and no bad feelings come with. I don't mind doing either of them - I've actually gotten pretty fast at french knots and can do them in rapid succession. I can do colonial knots as well, which I know may folks prefer over french knots, but I'm faster at french knots. About the only thing I hate would have to be confetti stitching. I hate having a back that looks like a rats nest and often confetti stitching leads to messy backs. I do it anyway though because usually the end product is worth the angst. It might just take me longer to resign myself to actually doing it though.....

I have mentioned in the past that I'm a cat person and am owned and operated by two little darlings. Here's a pictures of my diluted calico, aptly named Callie. She has an obsession with sleeping with her head on a pillow..... As a result, I regularly have to de-fur the couch she's sleeping on (velveteen + hairy cat = furry couch!)....

We're off to the cottage for the next week, but we're coming home in time to go to the Harry Potter Book Release party on Friday night. Can't wait to get my hands on #7! :-)


 Thursday, July 05, 2007

SBQ Catch Up

Well, since blogger is presently accepting posts from me, I think it's time I caught up on some SBQs. I've fallen dreadfully behind!

June 14, 2007: suggested Jennifer(

How do you store your WIPs and other projects that you have kitted up?

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I don't generally kit things up in advance, but current WIPs are usually stored in Ziplocs if they're of a compatible size for that. I also use some zippered bags that came with some curtains I purchased years ago - they're clean, sturdy and (my favorite part) free! I've also got a larger zippered bag that came with a set of sheet I purchased long ago. If a project is too large to fit in a Ziploc or one of my other bags then it generally lives in a pillowcase. Easy to transport and keeps things clean.

June 22, 2007: suggested by Kathryn(

When you start a new work do you look for something small, do you lookfor another huge project or do you consider your UFOs?

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This really depends for me. If I've just finished a large project, then I may very well kit up and start another large piece, particularly if there is a large piece that has been calling for me for quite a while. I often consider my UFOs or unfinished projects from classes I've taken as they are usually pieces I want to work on but haven't had time to get done. For the most part I think it depends on my mood at that moment.

July 3, 2007:

Do you consider yourself a "floss miser?"

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Absolutely. Or at least I do when it comes to pieces I'm stitching for myself anyway. When I'm working for a designer on a model, I tend to use floss more liberally as I'm far more concerned that the finished product be as perfect as I can manage. As a result, I'm more likely to use shorter lengths of floss and have more wasteage than I would on a piece that is just for me. DMC is so cheap that I don't worry overly much about 'wasting' it, but often find myself going 'for pity's sake, it's only 50 cents to buy another skein!' when I'm stitching down to the last iota of the thread. I'm definitely more frugal with my silks and other specialty fibres - if I've spent close to $5 or more on a card or skein, I'm going to get the most for my money!


 Tuesday, July 03, 2007

So, why does blogger hate me?

I know I'm not the best blogger in the world. I'm not even funny. Or entertaining. Just plain old boring me.

So why is it when I have a chatty post full of lovely pictures, blogger decides that I'm just not worth having around?

I've been trying to post for over a week. I give up. Uncle!

Maybe another time blogger will let me post pretty pictures. Until then - I have been stitching. Really. Stop laughing.


 Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Beginnings, endings and celebrations....
***Note that I started this blog post almost 2 weeks ago - it's taken this long for blogger to agree to let me finish and post it!

It's been an incredibly busy two weeks since I last poasted. I've been so busy I pretty much need to get the calendar out to figure out what the heck I've been up to!

First I went bowling with DS#1's Grade 5 class (fun, but noisy). Then DH and both boys went to the Scout Camp of the Century at a local park. There were over 300 boys at this event who camped out at the park for the weekend and did a huge variety of activities over the weekend.

This is just a small portion of the tents set up at the park....

That means I had a weekend all to myself - no kids, no hubby - ahhhh, bliss. I rented a bunch of chick flicks and mostly vegged on the couch. It was DH's birthday over the weekend while they were camping so when the boys returned home, we had cake and presents for DH. We squeezed Father's day in there too somewhere. I'm sure of it. I think. Okay, maybe.

The following week had me running to various meetings for both boys regarding their classes next year. This was a major event for DS#1 as he is heading off to middle school next year. It will be a large change for him, but one he is looking forward to.

A project that has been near and dear to my heart for the last few years finally got off the ground last week as well - the gardens at my sons' school. They have been horribly neglected for the last 3 years and were more weeds than anything. After begging and pleading with the school, a group of volunteers finally got permission to actually do something. So, we planted a few flowering perennials and drought-tolerant plants and weeded and weeded and weeded. We made an enormous difference in the appearance of our school in just a few days. The school board is supposed to be planting some shrubbery in August and then we volunteers will come in to add some spring-flowering bulbs and re-plant some of the tubers and bulbs we've rescued. I'm presently in possession of an enormous bag (it probably weighs a good 30lbs.!) of iris tubers that we dug out of the weed-bed....

This past weekend led us to a celebration for my parent's 40th wedding anniversary. Not too far from my home there is a Danish campground/park/retirement village/restaurant. My family goes there quite frequently as it's one of the few places around to find real Danish food and celebrations of traditional Danish events. This past weekend was the celebration for St. Hans Aften - a midsummer's celebration. There is a big bonfire, burning of a witch effigy (to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits) and fireworks. Handy that this celebration happens on my parent's anniversary. Two for the price of one!

My Mom and Dad (in an almost great picture of them - they don't photograph well! :-) )

The St. Hans Aften bonfire - shortly after the witch met up with the flames!

This week has had me preparing for a large event for our family - DS#1's graduation from his primary school. He has been at this school for 6 years now and will be moving on to middle school. Monday I spent decorating for the reception after the graduation ceremony and yesterday was the ceremony (in the 40+ C heat + humidity - can you say sweat???). It was an emotional day to see my 'little' boy graduate, but wonderful to see all those kids who I've known since kindergarden stand up and receive their certificates.

Cameron receiving his certificate from his principal. His teacher is at the podium with fellow classmates behind him.

Today I sent the boys off to school for the last time this year with gifts and flowers for their teachers. I can't believe that next year I will only be walking one of my boys to school everyday as my oldest will be bussed to a nearby school. I don't think it has hit me yet. I'm so proud of both of my boys - they've had a wonderful school year.

Of course, now I'm faced with what the heck to do with them until September. Gak. Why did I agree to be a SAHM again??????????????? :-)

Despite all this insane busy-ness, I have been stitching. Really. I mean it. Stop laughing. I have!

Okay, I'll prove it!

These two ornaments are from the June 2007 issue of The Cross Stitcher. They're very nice, quick and small ornaments - all done in one colour making them an easy, portable stitch. I've used a 32 ct. belfast linen in platinum and just used the recommended DMC fibres on them. There are actually 4 in the set, but the other two are in progress right now as my travelling project.


 Thursday, June 14, 2007

Finished Something!

After DS#2's zoo trip on Tuesday, I was worn out and bleary-eyed, so I decided I'd spend a little time finishing a couple of finished pieces (no matter how I phrase that, it sounds odd, doesn't it?).....

I made two flat-folds for two things I finished stitching recently:

The first one is School Treats from the Trilogy which I have finished into a flat-fold for DS#2's teacher. I found this really cool brick-patterned fabric for the flat fold which looks amazing with this piece. Made the cording too and found the ribbon for the sides floating around in my massive box of ribbons (someday I'll take a picture to illustrate just how bad my addiction to ribbon really is).

The second picture is Friendship Blooms by Lizzie*Kate that I stitched a while back. I have no clue what I'm going to do with it now that it's finished, but maybe something will come up. I made the cording myself for this too.

Silly me forgot to sandwich the ribbon for the sides in my flat-fold instead of gluing it to the inside.... I remembered - just not until after I had all the pieces of the flat fold glued together. Sometimes I am such a dolt! Oh well, with a bit of luck no one will notice but me! :-) (well, now, of course *you* will notice it since I just pointed it out, but maybe you won't tell on me????)

Off to scrub a toilet or two or three...... *sigh*


 Sunday, June 10, 2007

Weekend Adventures, Happy Dances & SBQ

It's been a gorgeous weekend here in my little corner of the planet. Friday took everyone by surprise though when in the late afternoon it became extremely dark (my solar lights came on a 4:30 in the afternoon because it was so dark) and very, very, very windy. I turned on the weather channel to discover that there were actually tornado warnings for my area and also for the areas where my parents were cottaging and my in-laws living. The heavens opened and deluged us with almost 1/2 " of rain in minutes. Then as suddenly as it appeared, it moved off. Lots of trees down or with large branches missing. We didn't lose power, but much of southern Ontario did for quite a while. Since then the weather has been gorgeous - sunny, warm and not too hot. I guess we're getting something back for that wretched Friday afternoon!

This weekend is a bit of a special weekend for the city of Brampton, where I live. It's called Open Doors Brampton and many of our architecturally interesting and historic buildings are open to the public free of charge. We rounded up the boys and spent some of yesterday touring our original courthouse and jail and our local Armoury. Here's a picture of the jail (currently undergoing some outdoor renovations). The jail also houses an art gallery that is presently displaying some amazing artwork done by local high school students. There are some talented students out there. I'm jealous - I can't draw stick people!

You can almost make out me and the boys in the picture too. DH is a bit of a picture-a-holic and we were all a bit annoyed with his endless 'stand together and smile' requests! LOL!

I did squeeze in a bit of time since I last posted to finish off two little projects that I've been working on. There was so little left to do on them that I just sat down and finished the darned things....

First we have my Small Spot Sampler by Timeless Designs:

Small Spot Sampler Copyright © Timeless Designs

Stitched on 32-count Belfast Vintage Linen - Autumn Field from Zweigart using a combination of Anchor and DMC.

For some odd reason I was procrastinating on the little row of eyelets. I like doing eyelets and am able to do them easily and fairly evenly, yet I drag my feet when it's time to actually do them. Silly, isn't it?

My second happy dance is the piece I wrote about in my last post, School Treats by the Trilogy.

School Treats Copyright © The Trilogy

Stitched on 32-count Vintage Antique Ivory from Wichelt Imports Inc. using a combination of GAST and WDW.

I really enjoyed this piece, but can't say anything good about the fabric itself. It felt like cardboard in the hands and was very stiff to work with. It actually has bends in it from the Q-snap - I can't recall ever having that problem with a fabric before. I have to admit, I'm kind of a Zweigart fan when it comes to fabrics. :-)

Finally to wrap up, here's this week's SBQ suggested by Ish (

What has been your most challenging project and why?

The permalink to this post is:

Hmmmmm - this is a hard one to say really. I've done a large variety of projects in my time using a variety of techniques. I can't pinpoint one that has been the most challenging as they all have had their challenges. I still vividly recall the wedding sampler piece I did for my BIL & SIL that I still refer to as the piece with the da** doves. It just about drove me loopy with all the shades of white/gray & BF. But maybe the truest answer to this question is that it'll be the project I haven't started yet..... I'm dying to try making a temari ball (I think I've collected at least 5 different books on the subject and many, many web links)... That will be the most challenging project, when I get around to it.... :-)

Back to the models!


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