More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

SAL Progress : Week 5, May Recap : June Goals

Well to keep myself on schedule (since it go so out of wack last week) I worked on Celtic Band Sampler again last night, once I get the current band finished I'll be done page 1 of 3 (and a wee bit on a 4th). I had a small attack of the froggies. Always seems to happen when I'm working with green floss. There must be some connection. I know why I made the mistake too. The band I'm working on, on the chart the last row goes onto the second page, there's no overlap so I put one stitch in the wrong place because I didn't line up the two pages properly. Rip-it, Rip-it. Anyhow I got all of the 500 stitched in this band now onto another shade of green next time I pick this up.

May Recap :

Finish bottom left page of Noah's Sub - YES!
Stitch 2 bands on Celtic Band Sampler - Got 4 done started the 5th
Stitch 1 ornament - YES!
Stitch 1 Wee Beastie - Nope, never even looked at them.
Stitch 1 Freebie - YES!
Stitch during the DD SAL - YES!

June Goals :

Finish 1 page on Noah's Sub
Stitch 2 Bands on Celtic Band Sampler
Stitch 1 ornament
Stitch 1 Wee Beastie
Stitch 1 Freebie
Stitch during the DD SAL
Finish Mini Mystery i

I don't think I'll get to stitch much tonight, I have my first soccer game.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Finally A SAL Progress Picture!

We're now going into our 5th week of the Celtic Band Sampler SAL. I've pretty much puttered with this piece all week. I didn't feel like stitching very much this past week, but when I did it was on this piece. I finished the next band this evening. I'm not sure if I'm going to stitch on this tomorrow night which is my regular SAL night for this piece or work on something else.

We'll see what mood I'm in.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Bloomin' Irises!

My next variety of Iris is now in bloom! It is oh so pretty, I think my favorite so far!

Today I'm off to help my Mum trace something for a quit, its a rather large one so she told me it would go faster with two people.

Last night I seemed to get my stitching groove back and made some descent progress on Celtic Band Sampler.

I also gave TW's Wedding Sampler a bath and TW's Peacock Tapestry is in a rinse bath right now. Its time to get some framing done... well at least start heading in that direction.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

25 Most Asked Stitching Questions:

I saw this on Renee's Blog and lifted it because I thought they were neat questions.

1. How old were you when you started cross stitching?
I was 13 when I first started to stitch. I re-discovered stitching when I was 21 in 1997.

2. Who taught you to cross stitch?
My Mum, she ahem, I mean Santa put a small cross stitch kit of a calico cat in my stocking when I was 13. My Mum showed me how to cross stitch.

3. What inspired you to begin cross stitching?
I wasn't really inspired when I was 13. I thought it was neat but didn't stick with it for very long. However in 1997 I was unemployed for 3 months (or between library contracts) and once the resumes are all out the day is pretty empty. I found a project I had started when I was 13 in the back of the closet I pull that out, finished it and the rest was history! I was hooked!

4. What has been your most difficult cross stitch piece?
Peacock Tapestry by Teresa Wentzler for its sheer size, blends and confetti stitching.

5. Do you have friends that stitch?
Yes because I corrupted my best friends and taught them all how to stitch. I've also made some awesome stitching friends via online communities such as the TWBB and Needle and Thread

6. What is your favorite stitched piece?
Its a tough call between Peacock tapestry and Mystery VI (or Indian Summer Reflections) from Chatelaine.

7. What is your favorite fabric?
Ahh that's easy, Jubilee!!!! Too bad it doesn't come in that many colors (thank goodness for hand dyed fabrics).

8. What is your favorite fiber?
Gloriana Silks! Its sooo soft!

9. What is your favorite needle?
Piecemaker 28's

10. Do you prefer black & white or colored charts?
Black and white please.

11. How many Works In Progress do you have at this time?
2 Noah's Submarine by Stoney Creek and Celic Band Sampler by Homespun Samplar.

12. How many UFO's do you have at this time?
1, Celtic Banner by Butternut Road

13. How many cross stitch charts/kits/mags do you own?
Too many to count! I'm a serious chart collector!

14. How much fabric do you have in stock at this time?
Qutie a bit I suppose but not as much as Carol (LOL)

15. Where is your favorite place to stitch?
In my living room, on the couch under my Ott Lite.

16. What is your favorite time of day to stitch?
Any time of day as long as I'm stitching is a good time of day!

17. How many pieces have you stitched in your lifetime?
My guess is too many to count! Getting near or over 100 if you count all the small projects and ornaments.

18. Do you give your stitched pieces away?
Yes I do form time to time but only to those who are worthy.

19. How many different fibers do you have in stock at this time?
Hmmmm this may be a long list...
DMC (complete set)
Caron Waterlillies/Wildflowers
Vikki Clayton Silks
Gloriana Silks
Silk N' Colors
Dinky Dyes
rainbow Galleries treasure braid, fuzzy stuff, wisper, splendor
Kreinik braid
Needle necessities
NPI silks
I'm sure I've forgotten some too!

20. How many pairs of scissors do you own?
At least 5. My two pairs of Dovos are my favorite!

21. Do you use stitching enhancers (lights, scroll frames...etc)?
Just an Ott Lite, well actually I have 2 one is the floor model and that lives by the couch, I also have the table top one when at home its on the computer desk but I take it with me when I'm traveling.

22. How many pieces that have been stitched but not yet framed or finished off in some other way do you have at this time?
Once again this can be best answered with : too many to count!

23. Do you have a craft/stitching room?
Of course! That was the deal when we bought the house he could have the basement I got a room upstairs for my stash and computer!

24. Why do you stitch?
I think its because deep down inside it placates the OCD tendencies I have buried somewhere.

25. What is your most memorable time related to cross stitching?
In 2002 when I drove all the way to a town south of Boston (10hrs per way) to meet Hannelore who was over from the UK. We spent an amazing week together. I'm hoping to get to visit her in the UK next summer!

Another Pretty In My Garden

Just thought I'd share a pic of the next iris that's in bloom!

Yay Terry!

Great news in the stitching world today! That's if you're a Dimples Designs/Terrance Nolan fan. Terry finally has a website! I got to meet him a couple of years ago and Terry is a really cool and nice person with fantastic designs!

Got Tagged Again - Movie Time

Earlier this week I got tagged again this time by Loretta
1) Total number of films I own on DVD/video:
Not enough in my opinion! Wow I'm surprised to find somewhere in the vicinity of 70

2) The last film I bought:
Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail

3) The last film I watched: Aliens

4) Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):
The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Fast and The Furious, Lord of the Rings. Pretty much all of these because they're great stitching movies!

5) Tag 5 people (I got 4)

Carol (you should love this one Carol!)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Itty Bitty HD

It took me longer than expected to have this HD. On Friday evening I started the latest freebie from The Silver Lining, California Poppy (c2005). I expected to have it finished by Monday. Funny when I make these declarations I seem to barely be able to find any stitching time. It turned out I was out all day Saturday, all afternoon and part of the Evening on Sunday. Then Monday I was in a funk and was wallowing in self pity or napping and didn't stitch at all!

So last night just before midnight I finished it! So here is California Poppy stitched on the recommended fabric, 28ct Queen Ann's Lace Joblean ... by the way I've stitched it over one.

Tonight after I got home I picked up Celtic Band Sampler for an hour, I obviously didn't get to SAL at all on Monday because I was "in a mood". I hope to spend the whole evening on it tomorrow after I get my bridesmaid dress to the seamstress for alterations.

Now there is a story in itself. Back in February myself and the other bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding picked out a dress we could both be happy with at Tiffany's Bridal Shop. Last week we finally get our dresses. I have never in my life spent 350.00 on something that doesn't fit! You'd think that for that much money and the 14 weeks it takes to get the damn dress that it would fit? (the other bridesmaid is swimming in hers!) Oh no! Its at least 6 inches too long (can you say tripping down the aisle), tight across the hips and the bodice is at least 4 sizes too big! So after spending that much on the dress I'm going to have to spend at least another hundred to get it altered! I've bought dresses from the mall just as nice that fit better! If I ever get married I'm getting it done on the beach, somewhere so expensive no one else could afford to be there! With none of this dress garbage. I love my best friend dearly but between the flight, dress, shoes, etc that will be needed for this one day I'll have spent well over a thousand dollars! Why do weddings have to be so expensive?

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

Q: How do you deal a "stitching slump?"

A: believe it or not this doesn't seem to happen to me too often or for too long. Sometimes I may need a break of a day or two but I never get in a lengthy slump like I've heard happens to other stitchers (at least not yet!). But if I'm in a slump I just don't stitch! I might go and read a book or do something different. I find that my stitching always calls me back.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Nice Day, Ruined

Well yesterday was supposed to be a nice day out for myself and some friends. The morning started out with my lower back in rough shape. I was fine lying still, standing, or sitting... anything in between was agony. But I'm a trooper I still went nursery hopping. The day did start out nice. We visited our first two nurseries before stopping for lunch at a pub with the best burger on earth! While at lunch it started to rain but we were still determined. We visited two more places, one a nursery on a farm the second a Herb farm. Then it was onto yet another nursery, that's when the trouble really began.

My scalp began to itch. At first I thought nothing about it. Then suddenly I realized uh-oh I'm breaking out in hives (always starts in my scalp... gosh I'm getting itchy just thinking about it). Now I didn't say anything to my friends, but I could feel my hives starting to work their way down my body. Worst thing was I didn't want to carry my bag around with me yesterday so my anti-histamines were at home (a handy place to be). We went onto the next nursery where my hive got worse by this time they were coming up on my face, and I had to be taken home. I was literally covered in hives upon hives, and a couple of welts several inches diameter! I mean thousands of hives. My hands, legs, arms, even one on my eyelid! It was the worse breakout I ever had! It took awhile but the anti-histamines and a very hot bath seemed to help.

But boy does something like that leave you totally worn out!

Now I did buy some plants for my gardens yesterday. I bought two more tall bearded irises for my iris bed. One is a peachy pink the other is really cool its a white iris but the ruffled edges of the bloom are purple! Tres cool I'll be posting a piccy of that one for you when its in bloom! I bought a second clematis because my first one looks so lonely on the huge trellis Todd built me last year. I bought a cute little bush (a shrubbery! Yes a shrubbery!) I can't remember exactly what its called right now but the variety is called Mago Tango... bought it just for the name LOL! I bought a couple of different flowers for my bed as well.

Today I have my nephew over. Actually we picked him up last night, I had promised and I couldn't let him down, I've been trying to co-ordinate a weekend with him for sometime now. Todd has a nice day out fishing for us... if the weather ever starts to look up. Right now everyone is in bed but me, for some reason I just can't sleep in this morning. So I thought I'd blog a little, catch up on my BB's and transfer some more of my CD's to the computer so I can download music onto the MP3 player I bought earlier this week (a very cool toy that is!).

So hopefully today will be better!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Signs Of Spring

This year spring has been slow to come to the Valley. Last night despite a protesting back I put my potatoes in the ground (Red Chieftans). Thanks for picking those up for me Dad! We'll be looking forward to those come August! Today I'm going Nursrey hopping with Chrisanne her Mom and Daugher. I don't think I'll be buying anything though (I had planned to) because my back is so bad now I might go into the clinic when the day is over. The only time I'm not hurting is either sitting still or standing still. I've done something to my lower back and nothing is helping! But I still can stitch.

So I thought I'd share something that has popped up in my garden!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Stitching Blogger's Question Of the Week

Well I'm a little behind this week but its been a busy and tiring one!

Q: How many strands of floss to you prefer to stitch with? Why?

A: For average sized fabrics (28/32ct) I use two strands, unless stitching over one. I've not really stitched on anything smaller (yet) so usually two. The afghan I stitched a couple of years ago was 4 strands, boy that thing ate floss like no tomorrow!

This weekend over at Needle and Thread (link on the side there) is our Freebie SAL so please stop by and join us! I'm going to stitch the new Silver Lining Freebie, California Poppy which arrived yesterday.

Another Blog Tag

1. Total number of books I've owned.
Too many to count... what do you think happens to someone who works in a library AND likes to read? Often books that I buy will end up in my library (if appropriate).

2. Last book I bought.
"The Eyes of God" by John Marco (Fantasy) I haven't read it yet!

3. The last book I read.
"The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" by Douglas Adams

4. 5 books that mean a lot to me.
"Blue Sword" by Robin McKinley
"Hero and the Crown" by Robin McKinley
"Indigo" (and the other 9 books in the series) by Louise Cooper
"Dark Horse" by Mary H. Herbert
"Wolf Waker" by Tara K. Harper

5. Which people would you most like to see fill this out in their blog?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Celtic Band Sampler Week 3

Here it is, tonight's progress on my SAL with Katrina and Carol!

Tomorrow night is guild night but before that we have an extra-long staff meeting/retreat at work so I don't expect to really get much stitching done. I think I'll be taking Michael Powell's Mini Cottages II with me. I don't think I could mess that up if I'm tired. I honestly don't feel like lugging the Sub around with me! I have packed up my framed Blackwork Princess for show and tell.
A Sad Day In The Stitching World...

I'm sure this will be the topic of a number of stitching blogs this week. Teresa Wentzler one of the premier fantasy designers has announced that she will be may I quote : "leave of absence" from cross stitch designing for the foreseeable future. For her full details please visit
this post over at the TWBB .

Its sad, because it was Teresa's
Peacock Tapestry that my eyes were really opened to what was possible in terms of stitching. Before seeing, and immediately buying a PT kit in Michael's I thought that most cross stitch was pretty simple and stitched on aida. Boy was I wrong! I was so glad to make this discovery. When I bought that kit I just fell in love with it, I opened it up I saw the fabric, the beads, and the metallic thread and my first thoughts were "oh no what have I done?" and promptly stored it in a cupboard for two years. All those different things instantly put fear into me. First I had to learn to stitch on evenweave? Attach a bead? Use sparklie threads, this was all so alien for me. So over two years I started to learn, and experiment, and explore the internet. It was getting on the internet, and exploring the TWBB that really opened my eyes to what was out there and that there was really no limit to what you could do with a needle and thread! I have since conquered the monster in my closet and stitched Peacock Tapestery, and more!

Teresa, thank you for sharing such talent with us, thank you for opening my eyes. And thank you for creating such a special place on the TWBB. Your new releases will be missed, but you've left us a large legacy in all that you have designed over the last 20 years!

Teresa is moving onto focusing her career on creating art, and this is a trend I'm seeing more and more from needlework designers. I know Jennifer of Dragon Dreams has been doing the same, at times focusing more on art and graphic design that cross stitch. I know that Terrance Nolan of Dimples Designs had to go back to the world of working a 9-5 job and designing only part time. I think designing needlework must be a luxury its not a job that brings fame or fortune, its something I get the impression that many designers do out of love.

So please support our designers, buy a legal chart and put a couple of bucks in their pockets!

Noah's Sub Week 4

Okay a little more upbeat now... I've finished all the cross stitch on the bottom page and started backstitching last night!

Tonight I work on Celtic Band Sampler my SAL with Katrina and Carol. Yes, Carol broke down and joined us in our SAL!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Dragon Dreams SAL Day

Well its the 3rd Sunday of the month which makes it Dragon Dreams SAL Day over at the Needle and Thread BB. Today I stitched up another one of the freebies offered in April at the Dragon Dreams Website.

Here's The April Fool's Dragonlet c2001

Now back to Noah's Sub!
Framed Something For Myself!

Well I finally did it, took a little time and finished framing something for myself! Here's Blackwork Princess from Dragon Dreams which I stitched earlier this year.

I'm almost done here online for the afternoon where I'll be moving onto stitching the Dragon Dreams freebie from April, the Dragon Jester.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

An Ornament HD AND I've Been Tagged!

Well, my dumb computer froze (dreaming of a new laptop...) and I lost my blog.. I was able to recover half of it but not the original witty comments I had for the tag game below. Lets hope I can remember what I wrote..

I finished the second ornament in my Ornament RR! Again these are all from the Just Cross Stitch 2004 Ornament Edition. I'm posting a link (linkety-link closeup linkety) so that the surprise is not ruined for the others in the group. This is Anu's selection, one ornament I was hoping would be chosen as it was fairly high up on my to stitch list. Not only because its so lovely but I got to spend some time with the designer and she's a great lady!

I've seen this going around on the blogs today, and I got tagged by Carol... so here it goes! I figured I wasn't popular enough to get tagged, so this is pretty cool.

The instructions are to complete five of the following sentences, and then to "tag" three more friends.

If I could be a scientist . . .
If I could be a farmer . . .
If I could be a musician . . .
If I could be a doctor . . .
If I could be a painter . . .
If I could be a gardener . . .
If I could be a missionary . . .
If I could be a chef . . .
If I could be an architect . . .
If I could be a linguist . . .
If I could be a psychologist . . .
If I could be a librarian . . .
If I could be an athlete . . .
If I could be a lawyer . . .
If I could be an inn-keeper . . .
If I could be a professor . . .
If I could be a writer . . .
If I could be a llama-rider . . .
If I could be a bonnie pirate . . .
If I could be an astronaut . . .
If I could be a world famous blogger . . .
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world . . .
If I could be married to any current famous political figure . . .

If I could be a librarian . . . Well I am one... kinda sorta, I'm an Library and Information Technician. However if I had my dream library job it would be in a Children's library where through the fantastically illustrated picture books would introduce children to the world of words and the joy of reading. I would have storytime and come up with fantastic summer programs for wee ones!

If I could be a musician . . . I would consider myself a well rounded person. I have absolutely no talent for music. I can't sing... you don't even want to ask me to! I can't read music. I can't say I have no talent at all since I've never had the opportunity to learn an instrument. When I do I'll be learning how to play the guitar. Who hasn't dreamed of being the lead guitarist for an awesome rock band? I'd want to learn to play rock and classical guitar with a Spanish flare (think Flamenco!).

If I could be a painter . . . I would paint for the world portraits of sleek purry furries. Cats that is! But not those cutise fluff balls sleek cats sunning themselves with their eyes half open as they doze in a patch of sunlight. Cats, being cats. And I would stitch dragons colourful and ferocious dragons! The world can't have too many dragons!

If I could be an athlete . . . I'd be the Women's Taekwon-Do World Champion (Itf of course). Then I would take those skills and become a famous Martial Arts choreographer in Hollywood.

If I could be a writer . . . I always wanted to write a book. And I used to write a lot... write all the time. I had all these great ideas for epic fantasy novels. But I don't write anymore. I don't know why is it lack of time, inspiration. Is it the fear that someone will read my story and laugh at me? But you can see my love for writing, because I was instantly attracted to blogging!

I'm Tagging Katrina and Dana because I can't find a third person to tag who hasn't already been and whose blog I like to read!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

Q: Given the option, would you rather buy a chart and get the material and floss together yourself, or buy a pre-packed kit?

A : Well that depends. I usually like to kit things up myself because I have a considerable stash. Also I've know from past kits you sometimes get sub-standard fabric or floss. When I'm buying the bits and pieces I know what brand it is, if its good stuff or not. Also sometimes I like to change the fabric colour or the odd fiber and what's the point in buying the kit hwne you're chainging everything? I also have to say that charts don't take up as much room as kits!

However when it comes to the Chatelaine Mysteries I like to buy the kits from European Cross Stitch. The main reason is because the designer, Martina uses a wide range of silks that aren't always easy to get all in one place. Also she uses Delica beads and Swaroski Crystal which I wouldn't even know where to go to get it! I know from ECS I'm getting good quality supplies in my kit and its all packaged so nicely!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Celtic Band Sampler SAL week 2

Well this is my second evening working on Celtic Band Sampler (remember I'm only working on this one evening a week). I'm very happy with my progress so far. I finished the first band and moved onto the second.

Katrina in N.Z. finally posted her first week's scan, funny we're starting at different points. So as the SAL goes on it'll be interesting to watch the same piece progress differently.

So here's my updated piccy!

Yesterday I received in the mail my first ornament for the new ornament RR I'm in. So I think I'll be getting that done this week before I switch back to Noah's Sub. Also this Sunday is Dragon Dreams SAL day and I've decided I'm going to stitch the April Fool's Dragon Jester, so the Sub might not see too much of the light of day this week!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Noah's Sub - Week 3

Just a quick post to show off my progress since last Sunday. I take my progress pics on Monday before I pick the piece back up again. I think if it hadn't been such a nice weekend, and with all the Mother's Day stuff I would of gotten all the XS done on the bottom page. Oh well that can always be the goal for this week!

Now back to my Celtic Band Sampler SAL! I'll have a piccy of that for you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

SAL Progress and Stitching Blogger's Question of The Week

Well I'm sure you've been anxious to see my SAL progress on Celtic Band Sampler which I'm doing with Katrina in NZ. Monday turned out to be a total disappointment for me! I was so tired I could barely stitch! So I thought maybe lying down on the couch for an hour would get me up and stitching... nope I just went to bed in the end! Who goes to bed at 8pm? So I continued my SAL day into Tuesday evening and got a lot done! Here' s my first scan :

Back to Noah's Sub now!

Now for the SBQ which is two questions this week :

Q1 : Do you finish all your finished pieces? (pillow, frame, etc,) If so,how do you finish the pieces? If not what do you do with them?

A1: Ummmm no. I am now caipable of doing all my own finishing be it sewing or framing from scratch (I build my own frames, etc.) But I seem to get lazy I have this zipper mesh bag just chock-full-o projects! I really need to get off of my but and finish them. For over a week now I've had Blackwork Princess from Dragon Dreams stretched, and with the mat cut. Have I made the frame yet??? Nope. Lazy bugger!

Q2: What is your opinion of Internet "freebies?"

A2: I LOVE internet freebies, I'm always on the look out for them. When I find something I like I always either save it to my hard drive or print it out. I especially love designers who put their freebies in a .pdf format. Its great, you can zoom in/out, and easy to save.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Noah's Sub Progress At 2 Weeks

Now first let me qualify this before you're amazed at my progress this is 2 weeks worth of work since I picked this project back up. I pretty much had the top left hand page finished (the sky) when I put Noah's Sub down a couple of years ago. Most of the stitching done on this has been over Friday-Sunday. I really kicked butt on it this weekend and I wish I was working on it again tonight, but alas I start my Celtic Band Sampler SAL tonight! Yay!

Happy Dance... on Saturday I did my taxes... I'm getting money back! Guess where its going?? Read the next paragraph and you'll see....

Okay folks, I have a new quote for you "Buying plane tickets is as predictable as the weather" (which means its not). On Thursday I finally persuaded Todd into flying down to Atlanta with me this summer for Claire's Wedding (instead of driving 17 hrs each way). Part of the sell was the tickets I found online at AA for 357/ea after taxes and fees. I waited until the weekend to give everyone (me, Todd, Claire) a chance to settle plans, etc. Well when I went to go buy the tickets last night... NONE LEFT!!! So we've ended up with tickets from another carrier at 570/ea our one consolation... its a direct flight. So word of advice world... if you see a good deal on plane tickets, buy them right away! Don't think about it, you can deal with the consequences later! P.S. my VISA is smoking!

I think my VISA will get to smolder a little more soon. The kits for Chatelaine's Mini Mystery J and Midi Mystery 1 are now up for sale on European Cross Stitch. I want to buy those now, last time I delayed in purchasing my kit they were on backorder for a month! But first I want to see if I can purchase my kits minus a couple of fibers I already have in my stash.

Yesterday afternoon Hunter was being super-cute! So I took some piccys of my little boy!

Now, I'm anxious to get off of the computer and see how far I can get on Celtic Band Sampler tonight!!!