More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Really? Canada Post Managed What?

Last week on the 21st I sent out three parcels, two to the US and one to Australia. There was Heather's Neighbourhood RR to go out (US), my very late Blogaversary gift for Julie (US), and my Needle and Thread Ornament Exchange (AUS). Wouldn't you believe that they all arrived at their destinations within the last 24 hours? How did Canada Post manage that? Sometimes it takes forever!

So now, onto the items I can show you! First Julie's Blogaversary gift!


Internet Freebie (don't remember where I got it from)

Stitched one over one on 28ct White Jubilee

Next Alison's Ornament

Christmas Stocking
c1999 DMC
Design By Barbara Jackson
Stitched on 27ct Linen with DMC Cotton & Metallics

Back in 1999 DMC were putting out a line of annual ornament kits. Well it turned out that this idea only lasted two years. Which is such a shame. I have to say I'm impressed with myself over the finishing of this one... its a fully lined, functional stocking!

I've not really stitched much tonight. I think its half because I had stuff to do (framing jobs) and half because I couldn't settle down. I don't think I stitched more than an hour! Oh the horror of it all! I'm sure I'll make up for it over the weekend!

Here are the fruits of my labours from the last few nights. I'm sure my client will be pleased with them!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Paradigm Lost SAL Week 5

Well I didn't meet my stitchy goal for tonight. I figured last week that I would be done the alpahbet on Paradigm Lost tonight. Well I'm one and a half letters shy! If I wasn't so keen to finish The Castle I'd probably wrap up that top line tomorrow. Alas it shall wait for next week!

Tomorrow I WILL finish my framing jobs. LOL watch, I've probably just jinxed myself!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Framing Frustrations!

Argh! I'm pissed off at myself! As I've previously alluded to, I've got two pieces to be framed for a client. I had picked a very lovely and quite expensive molding (over $5/ft!), this evening when I got home from work it was time to get cutting. I'm very careful, I check my measurements, and off I'm cutting with my compound mitre saw in the basement. I take my pieces upstairs and I start cleaning up my ends and trimming down using my mire trimmer. I always like to get one side down to the right dimensions then as I trim the opposite side I realize oh I must of grabbed one of the top or bottom pieces. Nope... argh! I've cut it one inch too small!!! The worst part is I had enough but not enough to cut two more 22 1/2 inch pieces. Crap! Crap! Crap! Now I've got to go out buy a new 9ft length and seeing as its my mistake, guess who pays for it? Yup I do! Actually what that means is I won't make any money on the job. Todd and I have had a little chit-chat and he thinks I'm wayyy undercharging, and he's right.

This morning we woke up to more snow! So here's my lovely snow covered spruce tree. We're supposed to get over 2cm of snow overnight. Sounds like we've got more coming over the next few days. Urgh!

I got a lovely little surprise in the mail! A beautiful skein of GAST in Mistletoe! How appropriate for the season! Thank you to my Belgium mystery gifter! I'll have to find just the right thing to stitch with it.

Oh well one frame is made now, I guess I can have dinner and stitch!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Photo Hunt #82 "Classic"

When I saw the theme of classic the first thing that jumped into my head was why, Classic Cars! Well do I have any pictures of classic cars? Nope, and being that there's snow on the ground we won't be seeing any around here for months! So what did I come up with for this theme? A classic past time that can still be seen around here from time to time, The Hunt. I came across the local Hunt Club once fall afternoon, driving the back roads to my parent's house.
I've put in more time on The Castle tonight the wing is coming along nicely. Originally I was going to cut and put together two frames, I quickly discovered I couldn't get at my compound mitre saw, Todd had so much crap in the way! Oh well, there's always tomorrow!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Final Weekend Progress

Boo hoo, the weened is over! I wish it was Friday night and I had the whole weekend in front of me to stitch. Deep down in my heart I am a one at a time kida girl. Yes I know that sounds just a little naughty... I mean I like to focus on one stitching project at a time. I feel like I get so much further with it when I just work on that one project. I think The Castle is a prime example of this. Barely a month ago I was just about 1/2 way done this project, now I'm into the final 1/4 and honestly its the page with the least stitching! Here's where I am at the end of this weekend.

Hannah, yes I do my own custom framing. Initially I learnt for myself (now I do framing for friends and co-workers), I was tired of paying a fortune to get the smallest piece framed! Did you know that the average framer's mark-up is 300% ?!? I have a really great supplier within a 15 minute drive, the staff there now knows me by first name, I do enjoy stopping in to pick moldings and mats. Whenever I have a question or I want to talk over how I'm going to do what I'm visualizing they're happy to help, I mean I'm no competition for them. Their main business is wholesaling but they have a busy custom framing business as well. Hannah if you're interested in seeing some of the framing I've done check out this post from earlier this year. I've framed stitching, photographs, watercolours, oil paintings, a baby's first outfit. You can get very creative with framing.
By the way I'm a huge procrastinator when it comes to framing stuff for myself.

All In A Day's Work

I would of posted late last night, but my ISP was down for some maintenance.

First we woke up to a very pretty morning outside, this was the view out of my kitchen window yesteday morning. There are definate advantags to living in the country sometimes, you're not looking into your neighbour's kitchen in the morning.
I worked away pretty much all day on The Castle. I did have to run out for some framing supplies for a job that's due by December 1st. Oh and then there was a nap too! I accomplished what I wanted to, finished all the backstitching on the top right hand page!

Yesterday afternoon I had such a treat, Kathy came online on MSN messenger and we had a real long chat! Its the first time we've managed to hook up online since she left Canada in October. It was so good to get caught up!

This morning, its not so pretty outside, but once I'm done online I'll start working on my last page of The Castle. At some point I'll take a break and build two frames.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Photo Hunt #81 " Pink"

Pink hmmm I had to think for a moment becuase I'm not a pink kinda girl. I figured I'd have something pink and flowery and yes I did! I took this photo of the eccanasia (sp?) in my garden this summer.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Time For A Little BS

Back stitch that is....

Normally I don't bore you with pictures of the same project several days in a row. However... I hit a milestone tonight, I finished all the cross stitch on the top right hand page of The Castle. I've put it away for tonight, but tomorrow I'll be ready to start backstitching! Guess what I'll be doing this weekend???

I do have some running around that has to be done, and framing supplies to pick up and a few jobs to start that need to be done and returned to their owners soon. So that will cut into the precious stitching time.

We've had more snow today... but no time to take pretty pictures for you. Needless to say we've had about 9cm in the last two days. When I grow up I'm going to be a Snowbird like Kathy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Paradigm Lost Week 4

Urgh... look what I woke up to this morning. Not impressed I tell you, I am not a fan of winter. Thank goodness I had a brand new spanking set of winter tires put on my car on the weekend (thanks Dan for hooking me up!), my drive to work was not bad ... except for being stuck behind a snowplow, it was slow going.

I can't believe a month has gone by since I started Paradigm lost! I made decent progress tonight. I stitched up letters H-N and a bit more of the top border. I'm still enjoying this project.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stash 'n Progress

First the important stuff.... Happy 13th Birthday Nephew Nick!!!!

Oooh I'm a bad girl... I promised you stash photos on Monday and I didn't produce. I also hoped to make mega process on my Castle. Guess what happened? Yup I was in bed by 9:30! So tonight I'll make that up to you!

First the stash...

3 New Charts - Ink Circles Cirque des Cercles and Kaleidoscope and one of the JBW Stockings

2 pieces of 32ct linen - One natural and one Ray of Light Belfast. The Ray of light is the prettiest yellow ever! Nice and soft. I don't know what I'm going to stitch on it yet... but I had to have it! I'm sure you all know that impulse???

Here's my latest Castle progress. Tomorrow night I'll be pulling Paradigm Lost out again.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Castle Update

Hi everyone, sorry I haven't blogged in days! I just haven't felt up to it... but in the meantime I did work on The Castle.

Isn't it moving along big time????

I got some stash over the weekend and I'll share those goodies with you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

PL Week 3

I didn't get in a lot of time with Paradigm Lost tonight. Its my Dad's 66th birthday today (Happy Birthday Dad!), and I went over for a lovely dinner of roast lamb, Yorkshire puddings, potatoes, and veg. I did take PL with me but you don't get as much done when you're visiting and talking.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Photo Hunt #80 "Practical"

Here is an ever so practical porta-potty in a not so practical situation... Hmmm this was in the park that my school backs onto. Hmmm wonder who did that?
Well my dragon has a head! Now I can focus on the castle and turrets on my current page. Tomorrow I'll be ignoring The Castle for Paradigm Lost. So stop by to see my progress on PL. I honestly would like to keep working on The Castle but I should be good with at least one of my SAL and stick to what I said I would do... which is working on it once a week.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Its All About the Fabbie

In the last twenty four hours have had quite a few questions about the fabric I'm using for Teresa Wentzler's The Castle. Its amazing what a fabric can do to a design, it can make it or break it... it can also make each person's piece look completely different.

When I was selecting my fabric for The Castle, right away I knew I wanted sparklie fabric! This is a fantasy design and it needs that shimmer of the other world. Another effect I wanted was of a stormy/cloudy day, I wanted to give it a bit of a brooding feel... I also thought this would make the colours in the wings just pop. Because the castle is on an island I wanted the look of water. I surfed high and low, trying to find just the right fabric for me. This was one of those times where it HAD to be hand dyed. I finally came across Heavenly Sky by Sugar Maple Fabrics.

Once the colour was chosen it was time to pick exactly what fabric to stitch it on. Now linen takes dyes much heavier than the evenweave fabrics so I decided to go with an evenweave. I didn't want the colours too powerful, then the eye would of been drawn to the fabric and not the design (this is a peril all of us hand dyed fabric lovers must watch for at all times. Sometimes you really are better off going with a standard fabric.). I wanted to stitch my draggie on 32ct so that ruled out my favourite fabric, Jubilee (as it only comes in 28ct). Therefore I ended up with 32ct Lugana which also is available in opalescent... just perfect! So the colour was chosen, the fabric type selected.

Now my final challenge... starting the project! My long-time blog readers will know (or you can easily tell) I'm a big fan of the top left start. If there isn't an obvious top left I'll start top center and work my way down. This wasn't going to work for The Castle, because I wanted the mountains in the background (which are to either side of the island) to sit right on the colour change from water (aqua blue) to the sky (greys/purples). Which also led to a constant worry of mine until I actually got my fabric and started... where was the colour change going to be on the fabric and would there be enough room to place the design where I wanted it. For this project I had to start in a totally odd spot for me and that was with the mountains off to the side in the distance. To be able to do this I first had to locate where the colour change was so that the mountains could sit on that line. Next I folded my fabric in half vertically to find center. Finally and the most frustrating part was counting from the center to the start of the right hand mountain. From that point onward I've been working on the design one page at a time, I'm currently on page 3 and the page I'm sending for the end has not as much stitching.... I hope ... except for that big honkin' wing!

Tomorrow night I should be able to finish off the rest of the head/neck and move onto the castle of my current page. I'm really into this piece right now and it'll be a shame when I have to put it down for an RR or something with a deadline!

Sorry there's no photo tonight but Blogger is being mean and won't let me upload one!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Birth Of A Draggie

This morning started with a wonderful surprise! I was wrapping up the finishing of Julie's little giftie which I've owed her for months when the phone rang. LOL honestly I don't get a lot of phone calls and often its my Mum calling. However there was a familiar voice on the other end of the phone... it was Kathy! She's still down in Houston, Tx. helping out her sister, but will be on her way to Arizona soon... she says once she's there she'll have better internet access and she'll be back blogging, commenting and wreaking havoc on the net! Kathy, I can't wait to see how all your projects are coming along!

While I wasn't running about this weekend, which there wasn't too much of I was stitching (at times napping... I'd have to say that's probably my second hobby!). I've been working really hard on The Castle, the dragon is finally taking shape and here's where I am at bedtime tonight.

I'll keep working on this piece this week, except one evening for Paradigm Lost. I'd like to see this baby finished before 2007 is out.

Lest We Forget...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Photo Hunt #79 "Smelly"

What smells worse than fish? I think fish stink! That's probably why I don't eat a lot of fish, I think of that fishy smell and ick! This is a pike that Todd caught this summer on the Madawaska River in Arnprior, Ontario.

Last night The Castle got a little luvin' and I'm hoping to give it some more attention today. I'm not sure how much as we're going out to the parents to help with some downed trees (well Todd's doing that). I'm taking my stitching and we'll see what happens!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Photo Hunt #78 "Curvy"

More Photo Hunters catchup tonight... I'm afraid I'm still dreadfully behind!
#78's theme is Curvy, and I thought this staircase fit the bill nicely. This is an older photo from August of 2002, its the view down the staircase inside a Cape Cod Lighthouse. Don't ask me which one, because I honestly don't remember. This photo is from a very memorable trip where I met up with one of my online friends from the UK, Hannelore. We spent a week bombing around in my car in the southern Massachusetts area. I can't even remember how many needlework shops we hit... but it was a lot! I think any and every one that was in driving distance! Boy did we have fun!
I didn't get in a lot of stitching time tonight (but I did work on The Castle), I stopped at my parents house for homemade soup! Mmmmmm! Mum made soup and cheesy bread sticks, oh my! Even better she let me bring some home for lunch tomorrow (I was wondering what I was going to have for lunch!). I stayed for a few hours and had a nice visit. Before heading home I stopped into the dojang for the first time since June when I stopped going to Taekwon-Do due to an injury. Oh boy I thought I missed it before this visit. I sure miss it now! I'm very tempted to go in next week and take a class and see how my feet hold up! I miss Taekwon-Do.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Paradigm Lost SAL Night

Sooooo tonight I pulled out Paradigm Lost and got some letters stitched up! This is such a nice piece to work on. I look forward to working on The Castle again tomorrow night!

Return Your Books On Time... Or Else!

There are days I get to have fun at work! Today was one of those days. We have a Police Foundations course at the school I work at, and the teacher arranged to have a couple of officers from the Ottawa Police Tactical Force come in today to speak to her students and the law class as well. Working in the library I get to sit at my computer, catalogue books and watch the presentation. The boys didn't even hesitate when I asked to have my picture with one of the "big guns" LOL! I'm so glad I carry my camera everywhere!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Look Who Came Out To Play!

Sorry I haven't blogged in a few days. Sunday Todd and I had a lovely dinner at my folks and we were full of roast chicken and all the goodies associated with it that when I got home I never thought to turn on my computer! Oh my!

Yesterday I have to say was a little bizzare. I was exhasuted and we went to bed at 8:30pm... now I normally go to bed at midnight so that's VERY early for me. At some point in the evening while we were sleeping the phone rang (and normally that's not an issue because I'm up). Well I'm guessing it did becuase I suddenly woke up with the phone in my hand and a voice saying ont he other end that it was so and so calling. Honestly I must of been in such a deep level of sleep that I didn't hear the phone ring but somehow I still picked it up and answered it. I hope I made sense last night LOL! Has that ever happened to you?

Well this evening I finally finished the stitching of the blogiversary gift I promised back in September. So now to decide on how I'm going to finish it... I am almost done the finishing on the ornament I stitched over the weekend, just a little cording to attach. Now speaning of cording... Christin, Chrisanne what did you do to my cording drill? When I started using it the poor thing fell apart in my hands! I know Chrisanne made a bunch of cord when she was last here but would that really make a cording drill fall apart in your hands? I'm missing it already and I need to replace it!

Since I finished all my current obligation and top secret stitching The Castle finally saw the light of day! Yay! I worked on the wing tonight and thought I'd share a picture with you!

Barbara - yes the photo in my last blog entry was taken by me... that's the few from my backyard.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New Stitching Blogger

Hey everyone! I just discovered that my partner from last month's biscornu exchange had decided to start blogging and her first post was about the biscornu I sent her. So please drop by and welcome her to the blogging world!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

For Lynn -- Michael Powell

Lynn sent me a comment and asked me if she could see my Michael Powell I mentioned in an earlier post this week as she wasn't familiar with him.

Well Lynn you're in for a treat! His stuff is just wonderful, colourful, and fun! Here's a link to his website for you to take look at all his stuff. Michael Powell is a Welsh artist and in the last few years a lot of his hart has been turned into cross stitch! Oh yeah when you're at his website be sure to become a member he has some nice little freebies. Also every now and again one of his designs tends to show up in UK magazines.
Some of you may wonder where do I buy my Michael Powell kits/charts from... well from one of my favourite shops : Knowledge and Needles

Here are the MP's I've stitched so far :

Mini Cottages 1-4

Mini Cottages 8

And My current MP WIP Mini Cottages 5

Photo Hunt #77 "Original"

Here's a little more catching up with those Photo Hunts, I fear I'm wayyyy behind. The theme for hunt #77 was Original. What could be more original than two of my own needlework designs?
I designed these over Thanksgiving weekend 2002 when I couldn't sleep at night. Sometimes the best inspiration comes at 3am!
I finished stitching up my ornament exchange and I'll look into the assembly of it tomorrow... maybe. So next on my list of must-dos is a gift for Julie who won my Blogiversary draw back in September. I've picked what I'd like to stitch for her pulled fabric and thread. I've made a small start on it tonight, but its getting late and my eyes are getting tired. I'll continue to work on it tomorrow.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Photo Hunt #76 "Paper"

Paper... I have to say if you're a cat owner you'll have experienced this. You get some paper... it could be just a sheet, it could be a newspaper, magazine, a book... or even tissue paper. Your cat is drawn to it. Whoila, that paper becomes a kitty-bed!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

November Goals

Its a new month and time to review what I wanted to get done versus what I did get done!

October Recap

Work on next neighbourhood RR that comes in - yes! Completed way before the mailing deadline
Work on The castle - yup, hit the 1/2 way mark
Work on Tour des Marques - yup
Stitch Fair & Square rd 3 - yup
Stitch gift - nope
Stitch ornament - nope

*Shortly after Thanksgiving I got a model for the magazine A Needle Pulling Thread so I pretty much dropped everything until it was done.

November Goals

Work on Neighbourhood RR if one shows up this month
Work on The Castle
Work on Paradigm Lost
Stitch ornament for exchange
Stitch gift (must do!)

I'm sure that somewhere in there I'll also work on my Jeannette Douglas class pieces and that Michael Powell I've been toying with for months!

Tonight I've picked out and started stitching the ornament for my exchange at Needle and Thread... unfortunately something once again I can't share with you until its received by my partner!
Photo : one of the church roofs in Ganenoque that just caught my eye.