Signs of the Season….

 Sunday, October 31, 2010

As I wander my home, there are certain signs to tell me that Samhain arrives tonight….


Broom Hilda and her companion Fat Cat are roosting on the stairs…



Spiders and bats have found temporary homes dangling from the ceiling…


The local shopkeepers are open….


And the outside of the house is ready too!


First, we buried Cousin Jake and his friend, Lester Moore:


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And then we found that a friend has a wee accident on the front lawn:



The pumpkin bats have returned to roost for another year (personally, I think they’re laughing at our friend….)



Pumpkins have been carved:



The results:


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(On the left is a mask from Bionicle, on the right is DS#1’s answer to life, the universe and everything……)


Halloween stitching has emerged from storage:



And probably the surest sign of the season is one Callie waits for every October:



Her favourite lap.  Still no progress on getting Hazel to scratch her behind the ears though….




Happy Halloween to one and all!


Finishes and a new toy!

 Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yes, you read that right – finishes.  As in more than one.  Scary, isn’t it?


I spent this past weekend at the CreativFestival stitching my heart out.  It was wonderful to spend 4 days stitching and catching up with old friends.  I enjoyed every single class I took this year.


And believe it or not, I’ve already finished 3 projects from the Festival.  Granted, they’re small projects, but they’re actually finished.  Between the models I’ve been working on lately I almost can’t remember the last time I finished something….


First up – a Christmas ornament:



This is from a class I took from Jennifer Aikman-Smith from Dragon Dreams.  Actually it was a 3-part class – the first hour was spent doing some goldwork (with another instructor), the second doing some huck weaving (with yet another instructor) and the 3rd playing with this pretty ornament.  The worst part of this ornament was cutting the perforated paper, but I’ve mostly managed it.  Although, looking at the picture, I do see one tiny cutting error that I can easily fix (thankfully I didn’t cut off enough paper in one spot, rather than having cut off too much!)….


Next up, another DD piece:



Meet Jingle.  Isn’t he the cutest thing?  I didn’t actually get to take this class as I signed up for something else.  Luckily for me, Jen let me buy a kit so I could stitch him up.  I could make him up into a pin, but I might make him into an ornament.  I haven’t decided just yet.  for now, I can enjoy his cuteness.


And to round out  the finishes:



It’s (surprise!) another DD piece – a Dragon ornament (pardon the errant cat fur – I didn’t notice it when I took the photo).  The neatest thing about this guy is how dimensional he is.  His wings actually flap back from his body (I flattened them for the picture) and he’s holding the little Christmas ball.    To add some interest to this little guy, Jen let us all pick one Caron thread to use to fill in his wings and tummy.  Being shockingly true to form, I chose Caron Iris (well, actually Heather chose Iris, but considering how alike our colour preferences are, it may as well have been me doing the picking)….


We did have the choice to stitch the little ball or a candy cane or a gift.  I went for the ball.  I can’t explain why, I just did.  I’m quite happy with the result.  I just need to attach a hanger and I’ll be off to the races.


Now just so you don’t get any grand illusions about my stitching speed – I didn’t finish any of these ornaments in class (I am fast, but not *that* fast)….  I actually had yesterday off and I gave myself a very rare gift – an entire day to sit on my hiney and stitch only what I wanted.  Although I did stir myself long enough to go vote in our municipal election.  (I’m sad to say that my vote did no good as the folks in my town re-elected our current mayor whose motto seems to be – how high can I raise your taxes each year? and how stupidly can I spend the money?….but, I digress…..).


My pouch obsession has reared its head again and this evening I sewed this together:



Something cute for Halloween.  I admit that I didn’t really *need* to sew another pouch, but I really did want to.  You see, while I was at the Festival I made one really big purchase.  Thankfully my DH didn’t bean me over the head with it when I brought it home:



I finally caved and bought the sewing machine I’ve been lusting over for years.  It’s not fancy, but I didn’t want fancy.  I’m never going to be a terrific sewer, but the boat anchor I’ve been using for years now has driven me over the edge for the last time.  I decided I really did deserve a machine that didn’t make me want to tear my hair out every time I used it.  It’s pretty amazing – it threads itself with minimal fuss, it doesn’t make an ominous ‘clunk’ when you start sewing, when you hit reverse it backs up in a straight line and it doesn’t sound like someone released an enormous swarm of bees into the room.  Basically, it works!  (And if you really want to know it’s a Husqvarna-Viking Emerald 116).  So far I’m in love.


Well, I think that’s about it for tonight – I’m off to wrangle some more 8 year-olds in the morning so I’d better get some rest tonight….


Don’t forget to enter the 31 Days of Halloween giveaway over at Missy and Annette’s blogs.  I still can’t believe that I won one of their fantastic prizes.  I can’t wait for Canada Post to get it here.  I’ll be stalking the mailman for days and days……



 Thursday, October 21, 2010

I’m still stunned.  I’ve tried to enter the 31 Days of Halloween Giveaway over at Missy Ann and Annette’s blogs as often as I can (but I missed a whole pile of days while I was down in Lancaster at Stitching Jubilee).  I didn’t really think I’d win anything and it’s fun just to look at all the lovely things they’ve been making and giving away.  Isn’t it wonderful to see such generosity of time, spirit and skill?


But I guess the goddess was smiling on me today.


I won!


Aren’t I lucky?  I can’t wait to see what arrives in my mailbox.


If you haven’t already, do go over and enter yourself!  You might be the next lucky winner!


I’ll have to post an update about Jubilee later.  I’m busy at the CreativFestival this weekend – taking classes and helping out again in Enchanting Lair’s booth!


Have you ever wanted to stitch a painted canvas?

 Monday, October 04, 2010

But been too afraid to know where to start?  Well, have I got a giveaway for you.  Go visit Jane over at The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure and leave a comment on this post.  Jane is giving away a canvas complete with stitch guide.  Hurry – your name needs to be in today.  (and yes, I should have posted this earlier – I forgot, ‘K?)


And don’t forget to go visit the 31 Days of Halloween giveaway over at Missy Ann and Annette’s blogs!


Drive by posting….

 Saturday, October 02, 2010

I don’t have a ton of time – we’re leaving soon to go to the in-laws to celebrate an early Thanksgiving (for Canadians, Thanksgiving is next Monday – Oct. 11).


I spent most of today cleaning carpets – we’re in the midst of re-doing DS#2’s room and since we had all his crap, um really important stuff dumped out of his room (and all over every other square inch of the house it seems), I decided to clean the carpet in his room as I can’t remember when I last did it.  Then of course, since I had the machine out, I started cleaning a few other carpets (I call it hammer-and-nail syndrome – why is it when you have a hammer, everything seems like a nail?)…..


But, I did manage to get the sewing-machine-from-he** out so I could sew something kinda cool:



Yes, it’s another pouch.  I’m on a pouch kick for some reason.  Bear with me.


A while ago I was reading this post from Samplings from a Blue Ribbon Girl (a.k.a. Blue Ribbon Designs).  She mentioned the pattern she used to make her pouch and how generally easy it was.  So, I decided to give it a go and ordered the pattern.  You can see the result above.  Not bad for someone who is a pretty crappy sewer!  I’ve never tried putting a zipper into anything before and I really thought I’d struggle but actually it was the easiest thing.


I had some fun with the lining too:




‘Cause I just couldn’t help myself.  :-)


Well, I need to finish tidying up from the sewing and the carpet cleaning and I’ve got to pack my goop for an overnight stay at the in-laws.  If anyone has a direct line to the weather gods, could you tell them to knock it off?  All this rain has left me with a bummer of a migraine.  *sigh*


Today is Day 2 of the 31 Days of Halloween hosted by Missy and Annette.  Head on over and enter today’s drawing!



 Friday, October 01, 2010

Um, so, would the person who stole September please give it back?  I’m not done with it yet.


October is going to be a crazy, crazy month.  I’m starting to wonder just what I’ve gotten myself into….  I’m going to Lancaster for Stitching Jubilee, albeit as an employee rather than a stitcher.  I’ll be working in Enchanting Lair’s booth.  I’m really looking forward to seeing an American-style needlework show.


Then 4 days after I get home from that, I’m going to the Creativ Festival (Xinef – I know you asked if I was going.  I’ve lost your e-mail address so sorry for not e-mailing you!).  This year I get to be an anonymous stitcher, instead of a substitute instructor like last year.  I’m taking a bunch of canvaswork classes with Carolyn Mitchell and some hardanger too (I’ve done a fair bit of hardanger in my time, but not much recently, so it’ll be a good refresher if nothing else!).  I’ve got a few classes with Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams as well.  I’ll be busy and when I’m not in class, I’ll be back in Enchanting Lair’s booth too.


And somewhere in there I need to squeeze in a bunch of workshops too.  Sleep?  What is that?


Seriously though, it’s nice to be busy.


I’m afraid I have no pictures to share today – I’m working on a model (which I think I’ve found a big honkin’ error in my stitching – I think there’s a frog or two or three or thirty coming to see me….).


I noticed that Missy Ann and Annette are hosting a 31 Days of Halloween giveaway.  I’m sure it’ll be full of fun and wonderful things.  I added a button in my sidebar to the left.  Do go check it out!  Enter too!  You never know if you might win a prize!


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