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?

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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!


 Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Whoops! Where did May go?

Well, I finally looked at the calendar today and did a double take. What the heck happened to May? I'm sure I had at least another week left!

It's been a terrifically busy couple of weeks for me - mostly with kid stuff. DS#1 had a class trip (which was fun, but hot!) and we also had a meeting regarding his middle school placement. After much tooth-gnashing, brow-beating and frustration, I've managed to get him into a contained gifted program for the next 3 years. It hasn't been simple and I've had to wade through an enormous amount of political school crap to get here. At least it's over!

This week it's the school's Jump Rope for Heart event and somehow I managed to get myself put in charge of the volunteers and freezies for the kids. I'm lucky that there are so many willing helpers around the school so things will go well. Now we just need to get the weather to co-operate. It's gotten downright cold here today and we've had a couple of downpours already this morning and it's barely 10AM! I'll likely have to bring in my hanging baskets and plants tonight as they're calling for frost. In June. I can't believe it. I'm not sure if I can remember ever having frost in June here where I am.

Stitch-wise, I haven't had a heck of a lot of time to stitch this last week. I proofread a fantastic Canadian needlework magazine called "A Needle Pulling Thread" (there's a link to ANPT's website in my sidebar over there). I had to proof the summer issue last week and it took up a good chunk of time. I so enjoy this magazine and it's a joy to be the proofreader for it. Every issue gets better and better. The summer issue is fascinating! Go buy it once it hits newsstands! :-)

I have worked on the models some more in the last couple of weeks and I have started a little piece that I'll finish into a flat fold for DS#2's teacher. I'm stitching a piece called "School Treats" by the Trilogy. I found it as a kit at my LNS. It's all stitched with WDW and GAST fibres and it very sweet. It's going very quickly too as it's a lot of blocks of one colour. (sorry it's not the best photo - it's so wet and dreary here today that there's no good light to be had!)

School Treats Copyright © The Trilogy

I'm behind on SBQ's as well. Here's last week's:

How many needles do you use during a project? Have you ever loaded up a needle for every color? Do you use a new needle for every project or recycle your favorite needle?

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For the most part, it depends. Most often I will only use one needle. I love Piecemaker needles (preferably their 26s) and have a good number of those in my stash. My couch gets hungry and must periodically be fed needles, so I keep lots about. If I have a project that has a lot of confetti stitching, then I will thread up some needles with a variety of colours. It helps things go faster so that I'm not constantly re-threading a needle. One of the current models I'm working on was giving me fits and I found I was having trouble working on it. Then I got out my magnetic needle card (the one that LoRan makes), threaded up a bunch of the colours that were driving me mad and off I went. I am lusting after the Pako needle organizer thing, but I'm not sure if I'll buy it or not. I don't know that I'd ever have that many needles threaded up all at once! I finished 3 entire pages of the model in record time after that. I do throw out needles if they've lost their finish or are just icky to stitch with. If one has an eye that keeps shredding fibres it's instantly tossed.

Well, off to stitch - have to head into school soon to work with my little Grade 1's with their reading!


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