Saturday, April 26, 2008

CreativFestival Goodies...

My friend and I tossed our respective children to our DH's for the day (kids were in school for most of it, so they did get off easy) and spent a wonderful day at the festival.

We wandered, we shopped, we mused on crafts we weren't into, we visited with friends, we sat in on a lecture, we took a workshop, we did a make-it-and-take-it. Basically, we had mucho fun.

Here's the stash acquisitions:

I bought the 'Crabby All Year' series from Raise the Roof - it's the ultimate antithesis to all the monthly series out there right now. It says things like for February - Love Stinks or for April - Taxes or November - Relatives.... You get the idea... :-) I also picked up a copy of TW's Fantasy Collection because it was shockingly cheap - too good to leave behind, even though I know I own at least 2 of the charts in the book already. I also picked up a kit that makes a little tuck away pillow. I've made tuck aways in the past, but the instructions with this kit are better than some I've seen as scaling the pillow for different sized designs is clearer. At some point I'll give it a go.

More stash:

I found a cute little needlepoint canvas of a ladybug with all the fibres for a good price, some fat quarters for as yet undertermined things, a bobbin holder that's purple, and some Piecemaker 26s. The Piecemakers were astonishingly cheap - and I bought them from a sewing notions booth. Happy days all around.

Let's see - class & make-it-and-take-it:

On the left it a little bit of the Thunderline Brocade that was a 45-minute workshop that we took. It was taught by Anna-Marie Winter and happily used one of my favorite fibres, Silk Mori. The stitch is really pretty and will make a nice background or filling stitch. I enjoyed it, plus, I got to break out the new tacks I found at the dollar store - they've all got happy faces on the ends and pretty colours. I'm so easy to please it's stupid.

In the middle isn't a class, but it's stash. I found these little zippered purses in a booth - they were cheap, well made and will make great little fibre pouches. On the right is a make-it-and-take-it class - I made a little hexagonal box. Very cute, very easy, no sewing. It isn't completely finished as I have to stitch a little design for the top (the design was included in the kit) and stick it on. It was lots of fun. ;-)

My new toy:

This light is from the Daylight company - and get this - it runs on 4 AA batteries!!!!!!!! Is that not the coolest thing? It is very light, gives a really bright light (comparable to my OTT floor light) and can clip on to a stitching frame (it has a little lead that goes from the battery base to the clip). It has an AC adapter too, but it'll be amazing to take with me to classes - I won't go blind and I won't be tied to sitting near an outlet anymore. This is good. This is very good. Added bonus - we got an amazing deal on it, so it didn't bankrupt me either. I like new toys.

My last acquisiton of the day:

What's in the tin, you ask? Well, I don't know. One of the shops at the show was selling these tins. The catch? You have to go to the store for a class that will use the contents of the tin. We won't know what we're making until we get there. It sounds like a lot of fun, but I doubt I'll be able to wait until the end of May (when I'm taking the class) to open the tin. We'll see how long I hold out. :-) Watch this space for when I decide I can't wait anymore.

Off to play with my new toys!


 Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ahhh, that feels better...

Well, finally got back to my new template and mokeyed around with it until I'm happy. I think it'll do - lighter anyway since Spring seems to have arrived finally!

No pictures today - just working on the models.

Tomorrow the CreativFestival opens and I'm spending the day with a friend at the show. I'm looking forward to it, but know there will only be enough happening to keep me interested for one day - the spring show isn't much to remark upon, but I'll see what I see.....

I will answer a couple of SBQ's, since I'm here 'n all.....

From April 3:

Suggested by Terri (
What items do you consider essential to your needlework that you keep in your stitching bag?

The permalink to this post is:

Let's see, for me it would be needles, two pairs of scissors (one for metallics, one for other fibres), a dololly, 6 inch ruler, laying tools, pen, highlighter & clear post-it flags. Magnets too if they're currently unattached to a project....

From April 10:

Suggested by Jennifer (
What is the most complicated piece you've ever completed?

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Well, this is a complicated question! I guess it would be any piece that I've done that involves more than just basic cross-stitch. I've done lots of different stitches on lots of different pieces. I can't really say any one screams out 'most complicated'. They all have their challenges, don't they (even if it's just finishing them)?

And finally, from April 23 (coincidentally, my 14th wedding anniversary too...):

Suggested by Christine (
How do you handle blended threads? Do you kit the blends up before you
start a piece, or do you grab what colors you need and blend when the
need arises? If you kit up the blends beforehand, how do you store
them? Do you have another option for blends to share?

The permalink to this post is:

Hmmmmm - well, let's see... I guess it would depend on the complexity of the piece overall. For a large TW, I imagine I'm likely to pull the blends together before starting as best I can and I'd likely wind them on bobbins and label them for ease of use. For something small though, I'm more likely to just blend as I need to - although I may pull out a magnetic needle card and leave a needle threaded with a blend (and labeled appropriately) just to make things a little easier. I guess it would just depend!

Well, off to wrap a birthday present for a birthday party DS#2 is attending tomorrow evening, then maybe I'll catch ER before bed!


 Tuesday, April 22, 2008 undergoing renovations, please be patient!....

When Life Intervenes.... blog seems to go to pot. I am still here, I am still reading blogs and I am occasionally commenting on them. Really.

So, what's been going on??? Well, let's see.... Just after my last blog post my parents returned from a holiday in Cuba. They had seen enough snow (they live about an hour North West of where I live right in the middle of something called the Snow Belt - trust me, they get snow!) and wanted some sun and sand. Well, they didn't get too much of either - on the 4th day of their trip, my mother slipped and fell in the bathroom of the hotel, breaking her left wrist in two places! A trip through the Cuban medical system had four people holding her down while the doctor straightened and re-set her wrist. Can you say ouch??????

She returned home upset, weepy and in a cast that went from her armpit to knuckles. She has never before broken a bone and was just really undone by the whole experience. I made her go to her own family doctor for an x-ray and sure enough, her wrist was not set straight. So another week passes before she gets an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. I made the drive up to my parent's house and drove them both to the surgeon (my dad doesn't see very well and isn't the best at driving in unfamiliar places - my mom wasn't driving anywhere, so that left me). Luckily the surgeon felt that he didn't need to re-break and re-set her wrist but instead took off the monster cast, straightened her wrist to his satisfaction (a somewhat painful experience for my Mom, but it beats surgery) and set her up with a handy, dandy fibreglass cast that ends a couple inches below her elbow and leaves the knuckles on her hand free.

It was a stressful experience all around, but Mom is on the mend now and will get her cast off in another week or so - then she'll have a splint for another week or two, then off to physio most likely.

Anyway, don't go to Cuba.

In more stitch-related news - I am working on two models right now, so my time is mostly spent there. However, I did manage to squeeze in some time on a few other projects, so here's the skinny:

First up, Nantucket Rose or The Big Grey Blob:

She's coming along nicely and I'm enjoying her, but I'm really getting sick of 5 shades of grey. I'm heading into greens next...

I started to lose a little of my stitching mojo after I got to this point on NR and realized that I really needed to do something that doesn't involve little x's. Don't mistake me, I'm still a cross stitcher, but I really needed a change of pace, so I picked up one of my class pieces from last fall. It's called Triangulations and it has been designed by Anna-Marie Winter:

I was strongly reminded about why I love Japanese-style embroidery. It's just so *pretty*. The dark blue is stitched in Kreinik Silk Mori - and believe it or not, all the little squares are stitched with the same fibre. I used 4 strands of Silk Mori and my laying tool and a good chunk of time. It was heaven. The lighter blue is Silk Serica which is a pain to work with (if it happens to catch on the canvas it frays and goes bad, very, very bad) but I do like the finished effect. I'll go back to this one the next time I'm fed up with little x's.

My friend and I continue to progress on our sampler from the CreativFestival:

Now, before you hit comment - no, I did not spell Creativ wrong. No, it doesn't need an E on the end. It is the name of the Festival - CreativFestival - no e. Does it drive me loopy? Yes. Am I tempted to add the e? Yes. Will I? No, because then I won't be describing the festival. The proofreader in me squirms every time I see it (I'm the proofreader for A Needle Pulling Thread). Someday I'll get over it, right? (Sorry for how wavy it looks - I haven't got it mounted straight in my Q-snap and didn't feel like fixing it!)

And finally, because I have the resistance of a gnat, I had to start this:

I have to give this one points - it stitches up fast and easy. It's my reward for when I've spent some time on the models. I think it's saving my sanity there - more black fabric.

Off to work on the models for a bit - then maybe I can make that thing say Love instead of Lov. :-)


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