Thursday, May 24, 2007

Exchange Received

Well, the mailman seems to like me this week.... Look what I received yesterday!

This is what I received in the Dragon Dreams Exchange over at the Rotation Stitchers BB. I have *loved* this pattern for years, but never got around to stitching it. I love how it has been finished and the butterfly charm at the bottom is simply gorgeous. Reading is one of my favorite pastimes (besides stitching, that is) so it fits perfectly. Thank you so much to my exchange partner Sara.

I've also been busy in the garden - here's a couple of pictures of some of the baskets & pots at my front door. I'll likely not do much else out front as we are hopefully going to be re-landscaping the front entry way. Currently the path is so narrow that folks have to walk single file to our front door.....


 Tuesday, May 22, 2007

SBQ and a little finish!

I might be setting a record here - another post in less than a week! :-)

Thanks to all the kind folks who posted comments about my Dragon Dreams Exchange. I'm glad Ruth liked what I sent. I've never given a stitched gift to another stitcher before and had a bad case of nerves that my stitching wouldn't be up to par - or that my finishing wouldn't be! I've stitched for a very long time, but I've only just recently starting finishing things in ways besides framing. It took me quite a while to get over the idea of preserving every piece forever.... While some of my work is handled with all the care of a good conservator, I've come to accept and be quite happy with the realization that every piece doesn't have to be that way. It's allowed me to get in there with glue with some fearlessness. (heaven help me now!)

This past weekend was a long weekend for Canada - a time to celebrate the Queen's birthday and get an extra day off work! I spent most of the weekend in the garden catching up on my pots and my veggie patch. If the darn onions would just die down already so I could pick them, then I could finish getting my veggies in. Ah well, soon....

I did get in some stitching time - mostly working on my two models. They're both coming along quite well and I hope I'll finish them soon. With a bit of luck the designers will think they're coming along well too! ;-)

I did squeeze in one little thing for myself though as this chart has been yodeling to me for the last 3 weeks and I couldn't ignore it any longer. Here it is:

Ink Circles May 2007 Freebie Celtic Knot

Stitched on 32-count Opalescent Lugana - Daffodil by Silkweaver
DMC: 550 (Dark Purple), 552 (Medium Purple) , 554 (Light Purple)

I have had the Lugana for a few years now and have been looking for just the right thing to stitch on it - it's such a pretty yellow IRL and sparkly too. This freebie seems perfect on it. I may just attempt a back piece for it and make my first biscornu out of it, but we'll see. I've had a real hankering to stitch something from Ink Circles as of late. My LNS doesn't carry their patterns (gasp!) but I've yet to bring myself to order Cirque des Cercles - it would end up shoving everything else I've got to the side! I may stitch the Bouquet for Cheryl freebie next if I can find a good fabric and fibre in the stash horde....

Time for another SBQ!

This SBQ was suggested Juls ( and is:

If you could only stitch one more piece what would it be and why?

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Oh my is this a difficult question to answer. It would be so easy to say I couldn't possibly choose since there are so many I like, but somehow that feels like a bit of a cop-out to me.... So, what would I stitch? Well, I have to admit that I don't have a specific pattern in mind, but I would want to stitch a birth sampler for my youngest son, Bryce. I stitched this one for Cameron when I was pregnant with Bryce:

Note that I've blurred out the relevant details such as his full name and birthdate. I found this pattern in an old Cross-Stitch & Needlework (formerly Cross-Stitch & Country Crafts) and I loved it for its sentiment and elegance. So many birth samplers are so cutesy that they just don't appeal to me. I loved this one for its elegance. It's something that Cameron will hopefully want displayed in his own home some day.

I would love to do something similar for Bryce, but I don't want to stitch the same thing again - even if I did change the colours/linen/whatever it wouldn't be right to me somehow. He deserves his own special something, I just haven't found it yet.

So, in a very long-winded fashion, I guess my answer to the SBQ would be a birth sampler for my youngest son!

Time to get ready to head to school - it's time to help my Grade 1s with their reading!


 Saturday, May 19, 2007

Exchange sent and I've been tagged!

Egads, has it really been over a week since I've posted? Things have been somewhat crazy in my neck of the woods this week. I've been busy with my book club, school stuff (pizza money counting & ice cream day), stitching (naturally) and gardening......

I was part of the Dragon Dreams exchange over at the Rotation Stitchers BB and I sent out my package to my recipient this week. She got it yesterday and sounds quite happy about it. I'm relieved! Being my first exchange I was quite unsure of just what I had gotten myself into and I was hoping my finishing would be up to par. Here's some pictures:

Moon Dragon

Copyright © Dragon Dreams Inc.

Stitched over one on 20ct. mystery fabric using recommended fibres

I mounted the finished piece inside of what started out life as a jewelry box. I tripped over this box at a second-hand shop and just knew it would make a fabulous home for a stitched piece. I took the box apart, sanded and painted it black, lined the inside with some pretty fabric and then mounted my stitched piece.

I finished my piece relatively early, so I got ambitious and also stitched this for my exchange partner:

Letter 'R' from Dragon Alphabet

Copyright © Dragon Dreams Inc.

Stitched over two on 32-count mystery fabric with recommended fibres

I thought it turned out kind of cute and was another first for me - I've never actually finished a scissor fob. Hopefully my exchange recipient will overlook all the deficiencies in the piece. :-) I had some lavendar that I had dried last year from my garden and I stuffed a little bit of it in the fob to give it a nice smell. Hopefully it'll help remind Ruth that stitching is supposed to be a relaxing experience!

Then it was time to fill the newly lined box with a few goodies......

I included some Dinky-Dyes and another hand-dyed fibre by a Canadian company, some pretty little notecards I found whilst shopping and a container of beads in a variety of blues.

I hope Ruth enjoys what I sent her and isn't too disappointed in what I completed. This was a huge undertaking for me but I'm glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and tried something new.

Now for the tag. Meari tagged me for the current meme making the rounds, 7 random things. I'm not sure I can come up with 7, but here goes nothing!

Here are the rules: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules. You need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they have been tagged and to read your blog!

  1. I'm adopted. I was adopted when I was 6 weeks old. I have met up with some of my birth family, but sadly both of my birth parents passed away before I could meet them. It's been interesting meeting this whole other family.
  2. I speak a shocking quantity of languages. I can speak French, Russian, German and Danish with some fluency (although my Russian, German and Danish are decidedly rusty) and small smatterings of both Italian and Greek.
  3. I really hate any vegetable that has a smell when cooked - broccoli is a great example of this. So is cabbage. Yuk.
  4. I'm allergic to turnip. My mother tried for years to 'sneak' it into things like soups and stews, only to find me bowing to the porcelain god in the wee hours of the morning. I avoid it at all costs (and my mother has finally stopped trying to feed it to me!).
  5. I'm a techno-dweeb. I love toys, technology and cool stuff to play with. I had the most fun when I worked for Wireless at Nortel - we got to play with all kinds of new wireless gadgets.
  6. I met my husband when I was 14. We started dating when I was 16, got engaged when I was 18 and got married two weeks before I turned 23. Two kids and thirteen years later and we're still happy and in love. He's such a great guy!
  7. I'm an obsessive-compulsive dead-header of flowers. If I see a flower that needs dead-heading, I have to dead-head it. I've been known to do it at restaurants that have hanging baskets near the table where I'm sitting. I do it to my neighbours and friends gardens. When helping my son deliver papers, I'll do it at those houses too. I do it anywhere I see a dead flower head. Someone stop me before I get arrested!

And that's all folks! I'm not going to tag anyone else as this meme has been floating around for a while now and I can't think of anyone who hasn't already done it. If you haven't done it and would like to, feel free. Consider it free tagging!

Off to shower and garden a bit!


 Friday, May 11, 2007

I won! I won! I won!

I generally consider myself rather unlucky when it comes to contests and such. Imagine my surprise, joy and all around giddiness when I was informed that I won the blog candy offered at The Sparklie Things Blog (don't you just *LOVE* that blog name???) last week. It looks as if there are some amazingly yummy threads coming my way. I feel so blessed. Now I need to decide just how I'm going to pass on my good fortune as I can't just keep this to myself. Keep checking this space, you never know what I'm going to come up with! :-)

My spot of good fortune came at just the right time as between still not feeling well (I think I'm actually going another round with this wretched cold!) and other stresses I've been quite down for the last little while. Both my little darlings are causing me no small amount of stress as of late, but it's neither of their faults - it's just life. My oldest DS is getting ready to go off to middle school next fall. It should be a simple process, but sadly for him it's not. Cameron has been classed as gifted (don't read too much into that, it's only Grade 5!) and as a result he has to go through this long, involved, STUPID process to determine what middle school he'll be attending next year. It's causing me no small amount of stress as I'm continually jumping through hoops to make sure he'll get into a school with a contained gifted program and neither his current school nor his school board is being helpful at all! With a bit of luck though the whole thing will be resolved at the next meeting I attend on May 31. I was happy when Cameron was classed as gifted, but now I'm not so sure about the whole thing.... *sigh* Oh well!

My little Bryce has come out with his own set of difficulties too. He's been struggling a little bit in school - nothing hugely major, but the school felt we should have it checked out by a professional. So, one psychoeducational assessment later and it turns out that Bryce has Inattentive ADD with the added bonus of a writing disability. It explains a lot of his difficulties in school, but I'm still unsure of what impact this will have on the rest of his schooling. The upshot of the assessment is that he is considered to be at the high end of average intelligence - almost gifted in fact. It explains why he's been able to cope as well as he has up until now, but as academic demands increase, he may struggle more. So, now we know. Next up is figuring out what comes next!

So, that's why the stitching is suffering slightly. The models are still receiving attention, but not nearly as much as I'd like. I haven't really picked up much else, although for my birthday weekend I did finally relent and let myself start a project that has been waiting for me for at least 5 or maybe 6 years - L&L's Nantucket Rose. I haven't got much done on it yet, so no point posting a progress picture and it's not going to get much needle time until the models get done - they're my top priority. But it was a nice birthday treat to myself to start a project that has called me for years.

And it's SBQ time!

Today's SBQ was suggested by Ish ( and is:
How do you choose a project for an exchange? Do you pick solely onwhat you know of the taste of the recipient or are there other reasonsyou pick the piece you do?

Well, I'm participating in my first exchange ever, so I don't think I'll have a great answer to this one.... I'm just about to mail out my first exchange which is a Dragon Dreams exchange over at the Rotation Stitchers BB. Since the exchange is designer-specific, it was relatively easy to pick a project to stitch. I have to admit though that I had my finishing idea first and then chose the right design to fit the finishing. When I can post pictures that'll make more sense, really!

If I participate in another exchange then I would likely do my utmost to get a feel for what things my recipient likes and attempt to give them something they would like, even if it wasn't my taste.

Finally, here's a little picture of me with my boys with the birthday cake that they baked for me:

And yes, I'm grimacing in the picture. I was feeling quite awful at the time and really didn't want my picture taken, but DH insisted. At least the boys look cute (Bryce is at the front & Cameron at the back)! :-)

Anyway, I think I'll treat myself to some flower shopping for the garden - it's time to get a few baskets done!


 Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Story of the Christmas Spider.....

At the Spring CreativFestival I was able to make an adorable little Christmas Spider at a make it and take it from Dragon's Lair Beads. I think I finally may have managed a halfway decent picture of my little guy, but I apologise for all blurriness. My camera and I are having a little bit of an argument over just what 'in focus' means apparently. Here he is:

He also came with this sweet story of why every Christmas tree should have a spider on it:

A long time ago a housewife was busily cleaning for Christmas. the spiders fled upstairs to the attic to escape the broom. When the house became quiet the spiders slowly crept downstairs for a peek. Oh what a beautiful Christmas tree! In their excitement they scurried up the trunk and out along each branch. They were filled with happiness as they climbed amongst the glittering beauty. But alas! By the time they were through climbing, the tree was completely shrouded in their dustry grey spider web. When Santa Claus came with the gifts for the children and saw the tree covered with spider webs, he smiled as he saw how happy the spiders were, but knew how heartbroken the mother would be if she saw the tree covered with dusty webs. So he turned the webs into silver and gold. The tree sparkled and shimmered and was even more beautiful than before. That's why we have tinsel on our tree and every tree should have a Christmas spider in its branches.

I'm afraid I cannot attribute this text to anyone as there was no information written on the sheet. If you know to whom I owe an attribution, please let me know!

Here's this week's SBQ suggested Kathryn:

How many WIPs do you have? How many UFOs do you have? When does a WIP become a UFO?

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Ummmmm - well, I don't exactly count them.... I'm rather terrified of the thought actually! In terms of WIPs, well right now I've got 2 models on the go and I usually have another smaller travel project floating about with me too (an ornament or something along those lines). I don't have anything else large on the go as the models require top attention, since they're paying jobs..... I'm not sure how many UFOs I have but I do make an effort to pull at least one out every few months and finish it up if possible. Many of my present UFOs are from classes I've taken and I just haven't had time to return to the project. I personally consider a piece a UFO if it leaves the stitching basket beside the couch where my stitching nook is. If it's in the basket it's being worked on, even if I may not have touched it in recent months.... :-)

I'm finally starting to feel a little more human, but I'm still so stuffed up that I feel vaguely like I'm swimming underwater. I've done nothing useful with myself this week at all. Zero energy. I don't think I've even picked up a needle. That's how you know I'm sick!

Onwards and upwards from here, right? I've got to get better for Saturday - DH and my boys are baking me a cake for my birthday! :-)


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