More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Monday, December 29, 2003


That is definitely what I've been doing this month! I'm still not enjoying this model and I'm pretty much forcing myself to work on it at this point since the deadline is in 16 days! I find myself constantly on the computer, eventhough I don't need to be, taking a nap, little things to avoid this model. But oh the crunch is on! I was a very good girl today I did put in 9 hours on my model and at this point (almost midnight) I've had enough stitching! Maybe tomorrow I'll manage to finish all the cross stitch on page 3.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Behold... Mystery VI - Part 1

Here it is... the long awaited unveiling of Mystery VI - Part 1 c2003 Chatelaine. This took wayy longer than I thought it would! Its fairly dark in colour so far. I did make one change when it came to threads. I replaced the Anchor Marlitt used for the black leaf shapes and used black splendor Silk from Rainbow Galleries. Now I have to wait until February 1st for Part 2. I guess this means I can focus on that model now.

My webpages are being updated today so feel free to have a look later tonight or tomorrow to see what I've managed to stitch for 2003!
I Feel Like I'm Getting No Where Fast

When I downloaded the first part of Mystery VI and printed it out. I figured a good solid two days of stitching and it would be done and I'd be back onto my model. But alas! There is much more to this section than meets the eye! So far in this portion I've worked with Petite Treasure Braid, Vicki Clayton Silks, Gloriana Silks (very yummy), and Anchor Marlitt.

The Anchor Marlitt I am not enjoying. It doesn't seem to want to lie flat on the fabric, I do not like how it behaves. Or how it lies. But it dose have a nice sheen to it. All the cross stitch that is required in Marlitt I've done. However I just couldn't live with how it looked when it came to some blackwork/backstitching. The lines were not crisp and sharp which I love. So finally I ripped it all out and replaced it with Rainbow Galleries Splendor Silk. I would of liked to have found something with more of a sheen, but that's all my LNS had in black. It does look much better. Hopefully sometime on Sunday I'll finally have that scan up for you!

Friday, December 26, 2003

A Day of Rest!

Once again its been a couple of days since my last blog. Until you blog (unless you already do) you don't realize how hard it can be to do this on a daily basis. I like to blog before bedtime, a way to wrap up my day and share with you all my progress! The last couple of days have been filled with getting ready for Christmas... having my family over on Christmas Eve and spending Christmas Day with the in-laws. Todd and I have decided we aren't going anywhere today, we're just staying home and relaxing!

I had one small pre-Christmas finish. A little design from The Cross Stitcher December 2001 issue. Its called Happy Stitching. I thought it was the perfect little Christmas piece to stitch! You can see it here. I stitched it on Ivory Jubilee with DMC floss and Kreinik metallics.

Christmas Eve once the house was cleaned and the food was prepared to the point where I just had to cook and serve I had a couple of hours to sit and work on my model. Page 3 is now progressing nicely. Just before the family got here for dinner I saw that the password for Mystery VI had just been released... I never had time to go and see what Part I looked like :-(

Christmas morning I finally had a chance to look at and print out Part I of Mystery VI! Oooh it looks pretty and very much like Martina's other large mysteries. Once I took my brother back home I had about 2 hours to sit down and start stitching on it. I worked a little more on it last night after we got back from the in-laws. But I didn't last long, I was exhausted from the last two day's activities.

Guess what I'm working on today??? Hopefully I'll have a completed scan for you by bedtime!!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Descent Progress Today

Yes Sirrrr, I made some descent progress on my model today. I put in seven and a half hours. I've now completed page 2 and I'm onto page 3... there are 8 pages in this design. It looks to me like this page, 3, has the bulk of the stitching so I may be on it for awhile. But in consolation there's not much on page 4. Once I have the first 4 pages done that'll be the top half of the design completed.

I'm also getting anxious for Christmas... we'll finally be getting the first installment of Mystery VI. Oh I soooo wish I could dedicate every stitching moment to part one. But there's this model deadline. Hopefully I'll have some time to play with it on Christmas day. Everything is organized and ready to go.

My mind seems to wander lately when it comes to what I want to stitch! I want to start EVERYTHING... and work on EVERYTHING. But I just can't do that, I go crazy having too many projects on the go.

If I only had 4 arms...

Sunday, December 21, 2003

The Softest Silk

In the last year or so I've had the opportunity to stitch with quite a few different brands of silks. Last night I sat here at my computer catching up on my BB's and while I waited for the pages to load I was organizing my silks for Chatelaine's Mystery VI which will start on Christmas Day.

In the kit there are silks from : Caron, Needlepoint Inc., Vickki Clayton, and Gloriana. I've also worked with Rainbow Galleries, Kreink, Gumnuts, Eternas, and I'm sure I'm missing a brand or two there. I have to say the best feeling silk, the most sentuous and yummy feeling silk is from Gloriana! Nothing feels as wonderful as a Gloriana silk!

I can't wait to start Mystery VI

Oh geeze, has it been since Tuesday when I last blogged? I didn't realize so many days have passed! I went through the week in a daze with a very bad cold trying to make it through this last week of work! It took a lot of my energy but I managed to do it without taking a sick day! But it was oooh so tempting!

Here I am enjoying my first day of freedom from work! I'm now officially on holidays and don't go back to work until January 5th. What did I do on my first day? I slept for 15 hours... this really seemed to help my cold, I feel better... not 100% but better today. I went and picked my Mum up (she's sick too so we were in good company) and we went to her bead lady. I wanted to get the book she had asked for for Christmas and she needed some more beads. After a very nice visit with Carol we continued on to the Prior for lunch. We then bombed on back to Mum's house and were surprised to find my Nephew had been there for 2 hours while we were gone... we were expecting him at 4pm not 2pm. I stayed for a bit of a visit until I started feeling tired again.

I've managed not to take a nap today, this is good. I also actually stitched! Up until this point I had only managed to stitch maybe about 6hrs this past week. That is not normal for me so that gives you an idea about how crappy I've been feeling. Every day I'd get home from work and go straight to bed for about 4 hours get up for a couple of more hours then be back in bed until the next morning. So my model is not as far along as I would really like it to be since it is due in January. Which means I really need to bust a move on it! Tonight I've managed to put in about 6 hours on it so were at a grand total or 12 hours on the model so far this week.

Stitching and laundry is all I plan to do on Sunday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

No Stitching Tonight

My cold is still hanging in there, and I'm very tired tonight after going out for dinner and a short spin with the one armed bandits. So I'm just catching up on my stuff on the net then its off to bed for this girl!
Oh ick!

That's it, its happened! I have a cold! I started sneezing yesterday ... today I have a sinus thingiee going on. I just knew this was going to happen, figured it would the first day I was off of work for the holidays. Oh well... a couple of days early. Hopefully this cold will get out of my system by Christmas so I can enjoy my time off!

Well that much enjoyed snow yesterday became a curse today! The part of my drive that I thought might be a pain turned out just fine. It was the second half once I hit the main highway that was the problem. It took me about 50 minutes to go 3 exits! My entire drive usually only takes 20 minutes!

I finished the ornament I started yesterday Snowflake from the 2000 JCS issue by Margot Cook. The fabric is blue silk 32ct. Permin linen. The outer white border and inner white block are stitched with Gumnuts Silk from Australia and the blue/white varigated thread is silk as well, Ice Dragon from Vikki Clayton. Also mill hill beads. I'm very happy with how it turned out considering I totally changed the colours!

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Christmas Trees and Snowy Days

It seemed right when I looked outside this afternoon as I put up my Christmas Tree ... the white fluffy stuff was coming down... and its still coming down I think. There's nothing like the true feeling of Christmas being around the corner. I put up my new artificial tree, its beautiful. Its all decorated with hand made ornaments, there's nothing breakable this year on the tree because of the kitten. Who to my surprise hasn't tried to go up the tree yet. But he did try to chew on the lights as I entangled them and plugged them in to find any bulbs that needed replacing... bad kitty, kitty.

After the tree was put up, and other Christmas paraphenalea put out I sat down to figure out who was getting one of my stitched ornaments and which one. With that task done I feel a little more ready for the holidays. I preceded that with baking my famous soft ginger cookies. Out of all the goodies I baked last year these were the most popular so I made ALOT of them to go with the ornies.

With some more domestic goddess-like chores to follow I finally sat down to stitch tonight, and I decided to do one last ornament. I've been feeling the urge to stitch an ornament ever since I had that big finishing session! So I finally gave in. Its a small one and should be finished by tomorrow no problem. With this design I've played with some Gumnuts Silks and some Vicki Clayton silks, both very pretty.

I worked on my model on Saturday, and finally feel like I'm getting somewhere. I probably put in about 14 hours on my model last week. Hopefully I can put in more this week.

Five working days left...

Friday, December 12, 2003

You Find it When You're Not Looking For It...

Isn't that always the way. You find something when you're really not looking for it. That's what happened to me tonight. I met up with some friends from Cornwall and a friend of mine in town. We stopped into Michael's, Chrisanne needed to pick up some stuff. We're wandering through the frame section... there it was THE frame for Peacock Tapestry! The colour, the size the shape all perfect! I was drooling! Not only was it the perfect frame... it was 50% off. So the framing job I was expecting to pay $500+ for has just cost me 29.99 CDN. Better than that Christin says "here give that to me." She bought it for me! You can't have a better friend!

So now I'm going to see if my usual framer will just stretch the piece for me and I'll put it all together (I'm terrified of stretching even though I've taken a class on it!).

Here are the pics of the frame with PT under it

Full View

Corner View

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Six Working Days....

The countdown begins to Christmas Break! Boy am I ready for it! How do I know? I'm to the point of hoping... Wishing I'd get the stomach flu or a cold or something to stay home sick for a day or two! Or hoping for a day where the weather conditions are so bad that I cannot safely make it into work! Man oh man I'm ready.

Tonight I've gotten in maybe 3-4 hours on the model. The "sign" in the corner is done... now I can move onto the figures in the design.

Man this time of year is killing me! Killing my bank account actually. I always try my best every year to pay for Christmas in cash. I've already broken that rule by putting Todd's gift on my credit card! But so far I'm doing well on the rest. Not only do I have Christmas to contend with, I have two family birthdays within a week of each other in November then two more this week! So not only do I shop for Christmas I shop for b-days as well. Then after Christmas I have one b-day in January... one in February then I'm in March! These next few months are often fairly expensive and keep my account on the low side. Once again I'm down to gas money until my next pay day. Sigh... the Christmas shopping is on hold again. But at least I got those last couple of b-day gifts this week!

Sometimes I really hate this time of year!
The Decision Has Been Made

After a bit of a chat tonight with my head TKD instructor I've decided ... I'm going for my 2nd degree black belt in June. I've had my 1st degree since 2001 and its about time to move on up... or well it will be by June. So now here comes the work to get myself and my "fluffy" body ready for the physical test. I have no/little worries over the essay, the written test, or the technical test, its the physical test that is the true challenge for me! For my 2nd degree I have to : 250 push ups in 5 minutes, 250 sit ups in 5 minutes, 6 minutes of skipping, and 16 laps of the track. The push ups, sit ups and skipping I can do. Its running I have an issue with. So I've got to start working at it NOW! I have the treadmill so there's no worries there. Once the Christmas holidays start (7 more working days by the way) I will start a training program. I'll be happy as long as I can alternate a lap walking with a lap running. Its not so much that you run all the time and do it during a certain time frame, but that you make the effort... 16 laps if VERY daunting to a non-runner.

Now as for stitching today, put in about 2 hours on the model... dosen't look like I progressed much. Sigh.

Off to bed.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

A Little More Progress

I had a descent stitching evening for a change. I think I put in 4-5 hours tonight on my model. But its still slow going. We have a border... we have an outline of a sign, with some little flowers in it, and its shadow. Now I'm just filling that sign with white. Sigh... sometimes I don't understand why we have to stitch white on white. Seems like a bit of a waste at times. Do you ever feel that way?

Funny thing is ... I feel like stitching Christmas ornaments!

Monday, December 08, 2003

Finishing Frenzy, TKD Weekend

Today's title is pretty much the sum of my weekend!

Between Friday night and Saturday I managed to finish all of my stitched ornaments! All 20+ of them! Some I'm very happy with... almost impress myself at times and others not so... Most of these ornaments will be finding new homes with co-workers, friends and family. Maybe one or two I'll keep for myself.

All of my ornaments can be found on my website under the 2003 link on my stitching page.

Saturday I did go to the children's TKD Christmas party. It was not too bad, we put on a bit of a demo for the kiddies. Of course I didn't get to break a board :-( I LOOOOVE breaking, but for some reason never get the chance. I don't think its seen as a thing for girls to do maybe? Who knows.

Sunday I spent most of the afternoon and all evening at the TKD test. We were testing a lot of people. I included was taking a 1st degree intern test. I of course passed!

I didn't really get in any stitching over the weekend... maybe about 10 hours total last week. Which is pretty poor for me. I have however, tonight finished the border on that model! Finally moving on to the insides... I've already found a symbol used on the chart that's not in the key. Hopefully my contact will get back to me soon on that! For now I"ll just move onto another area of the design.

Saturday, December 06, 2003


Yup, that's my goal this weekend... I'm going to finish all 21 ornaments I've stitched this year. I've got a good start so far tonight but its late (after 1am).

My TKD instructor called asking if I'm going to be at the children's x-mas party (rolling my eyes here) so I suppose I should go eh?

So I'm off to bed.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Border Mania!

I'm now about 8 hours into my latest model, Kuspuks... and I'm still in never, never border land! And I'm sick of it. I know, I know why don't I just jump into the center and come back to the border later. I just won't allow myself... I can't... I'm afraid I'll have no motivation to finish the piece if I leave the boring stuff at the end. I like to treat myself by leaving the best part for last... you will have seen that with my progress pics on Peacock Tapestry... wouldn't let myself touch that bird until the very end!!!

After tomorrow is over 10 working days left until the holidays. I so need time off... I'm tired, headachy, feel like puking, and just burnt out. I need my holiday!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Well I Meant to Blog Last Night

Honestly I did! After a nice meal at the local pub with Todd I was feeling a little drowsy so I went to bed at 8:30... very unusual for me. You know what, woke up just as tired as if I had stayed up until almost 1pm!

I'm back at model stitching again. I have a deadline of January 14th for a piece by the Alaskan Artist Barbara Lavallee called Kuspuks by the Yard. I'm stitching this for Changing Tides Inc. a shop out of Skagway, Alaska. So far, not enjoying it... yet. I'm sure once I get into the piece I will. I think the first drawback is it is stitched on aida. Now that I'm a die hard evenweave/linen stitcher aida just seems sooooo blah! I can almost say I HATE AIDA. At first this piece of fabric was sooo stiff and awkward to handle, now that its finally softened up its not as bad. Another reason I'm not enjoying this piece yet is I'm stitching the border two rows of pink at the outer edge its 213 wide x 128 high. Can you say dull? This outer pink rows will be followed by one blue inner row. But I said I'd do it so I'd better get at it eh?

At the moment I'm looking forward to two dates stitching-wise. On December 25th the first part of Chatelaine's Mystery VI is being released! I just can't wait to start stitching with those yummy silkies. Then on January 1st some friends and I will be starting Celtic Banner from Butternut Road. Two things I need to do during my Christmas Holidays is organize my floss for both of these projects.

I'm really looking forward to the upcoming Christmas holidays... to be off of work for two weeks will be HEAVEN! I've been pretty much working non-stop since my holidays in early July. I'm looking forward to stitching, getting my 2004 projects ready, cleaning, sorting, organizing my stash, and updating my webpage.

Only 11 working days to go....

Monday, December 01, 2003

Dani... Where have you Been?

I'm sure my regular readers have been wondering where I have been, did I give up blogging? No I didn't! Was I on a tropical island? I wish!

Nope I've been on a single minded mission...


After a year and a half of work and 360 hours the pea bird is done!

Click here to revel in his glory!