More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

Do you feel cross stitching requires patience?

Well I have two answers to that question...

No, it doesn't that's one thing that any stitcher says is "ooohh that requires so much patience" or "you must be patient". No I just go, I just stitch. Its a matter of following the pattern. I love to stitch it relaxes me and helps time pass in a constructive manner. Much better than just sitting and watching TV. Of course now I can't sit and watch something without some stitching in my hand, I feel lost!

Yes, it does. Patience is needed when learning a new stitch or working from not so clear directions. Patience is also required when working on that huge block of colour and you'd rather move on to something else... or maybe that's discipline?

Monday, August 30, 2004

Excellent Stitching Weekend

Well I have to say I'm VERY happy with the progress I made stitching this weekend!

Bandon Light House by The Silver Lining feels like its finally coming together! I've now finished pages 5 and 7. This means that the entire left hand side of the design is done! I got a small start on page 6 last night. I have only pages 6 and 8 left now! Oooh I can almost taste the end!

On Friday while at the Dr's office waiting I got a start on Celtic Heart from the August Just Cross Stitch issue. Between working on it at the Dr's office, while I'm at the computer and a bit at the cottage last night I've got the outside single stitch border done and I'm now working on the inner portion. Its hard to decide which way to stitch with this piece, having to decide what direction to go in when to carry the thread over some non stitched area or to just go with the flow. I'm glad the overdyed thread I chose changes colours very subtly, I think something with obvious colour changes wouldn't work so well.

Today I plan to put in more time on Bandon lighthouse.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Yes, Another Happy Dance

Finally! This is a piece I've been working on and off on for a couple of months now (since March-ish I think). It has been my travel project when I've gotten my ornaments for the month stitched. Since after working on it at the retreat this weekend I decided yesterday that it was time to get it finished!

May I present to you....

Michael Powell's Mini Cottages III c2002

Stitched on 14 ct aida using Anchor Floss

I've now gotten a start on my next project, its a wedding gift for a friend of mine who is getting married on Thanksgiving Day (Canadian one of course!). So this is a deadline project. I need to balance it with working on Bandon Light.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Stitching Question Of The Week

What would you most like your favorite designer to design next?

I think a subject matter I'd like to see designed is a SPECTACULAR phoenix. I can just visualize the potential this can have in terms of colour, fibers, metallics and so on. I think the one designer that could truly design the phoenix I envision would be Teresa Wentzler.
Retreat Recap... only 3 days late

This time of year is always my favorite, why? Because its time for the annual TWBB Eastern Ontario Retreat! Each year our host Ann opens her home, her shop and her RV to us! This retreat started well before Ann opened her shop Knowledge and Needles. The retreat is free(except for potluck contribution), and there is never any pressure to buy anything from Ann, but as Beth likes to put it we're often "polite".

This year a number of people had to drop out, which was disappointing Beth, Linda and Vicki (was to be her first time) all couldn't make it for various reasons... you were all missed! I know Beth was quite keen to go because she's finished 4 projects this year! Way to go Beth!!!!

I think on and off throughout the day we ranged from 15-20 people in various areas of the house stitching, talking, eating, and eating. We had a wonderful age range this year as well, myself youngest at 28 and the oldest, Beatrice's Mom at 88. Beatirce's Mom was an inspiration! To be 88 and still stitching! She was working on a beautiful Stonycreek piece with birds and a bridfeeder. I hope when I'm 88 I'll still be stitching away, I can't imagine my life without it.

It was nice to catch up with everyone who are regulars at the retreat and to meet the new faces. I always look forward to meeting up with Marj B, we get along so well. We also e-mail regularly and she's been great, keeping in touch with me leading up to and after my surgery.

I have to say one of my favorite parts of the whole weekend is "show and tell" we sit around the room and pull out all the projects we've finished or made significant progress on over the last year. It often leads to enabling! The star of the show this year had to be Beatrice's Mother of course!

This year the afternoon was more entertaining as it had been in past years. Ann had come up with an outrageous questionnaire where everyone one a prize! The prizes were all beautifully wrapped and stitching related. I won a couple of packs of beads in an Altoid tin. I won for having the most posts on the TWBB which I have to say is vergeing on 14,500 I think. The most distance travelled was by Carmen who came to Brighton from London via Petawawa! What a laugh!

As we hit the later hours of the evening our numbers started to dwindle. Staying overnight were about 9 of us, I had the privlidge of staying in Ann's luxurious RV! Sunday morning came with a nice sunny day. We sat around the kitchen table having breakfast, coffee, and putting in the occasional stitch on our projects. By 1 PM we all started to pack up our stitching and our newly purchased stash and headed for home...

Until next year...
Getting Ahead of Myself

Well, I was very bad and since part 9 of Mystery VI by Chatelaine was released on Sunday (a week early) I of course had to start it!!!! If I hadn't been a little depressed on Monday and couldn't get myself to do anything I could see this having been finished yesterday. But hey I shouldn't complain! September's installment is done in August!

Part 9 Full View

Part 9 Closeup

Since I'm on a finishing streak and I know I'm no where near finishing Bandon Light this month I'm going to work on finishing Mini Cottages III next!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Fabulous Fobs

Well I did promise you pictures of the fobs I made last week once they had gotten to their new owners. So here they are...

The following Fobs are for sale through Knowledge and Needles please visit the Website to get in contact with Ann to purchase one (they will eventually go on her website but just drop her an e-mail if you're interested in one you see here)

Blue Beads with Needlework Scissor Charm

Outrageously Pink with High Heel Charm - SOLD

Purple Stars with Imagine and Beleive Charms

Red and Black with Dragon Charm

Dark Blue Moons with 1/2 Moon Charm -- SOLD

Marj's Green Frog Fob, this will keep the frogging blues away from your project (not for sale)

Saturday, August 21, 2004

5th Annual Eastern Ontario TWBB Retreat!!!!

Yay! Its finally here, every year I count down the months, then weeks, then days to the annual TWBB retreat hosted by Ann. Today, its finally here and in less than an hour I can hit the road.

This will be my third year attending the retreat. Its an awesome weekend that recharges the stitching batteries. Ann has been kind enough to open her home (and her RV) to us for one weekend each year. The only charge : bring some food for pot luck, some sleeping gear (if you're spending the night), and stitching to show off! Its 24 hours of ladies chatting, eating, and hopefully getting in a few stitches. I've brought my digital camera so hopefully I'll have some pictures to share with you on Monday/Tuesday.

There is a real beauty to blogging, right now I'm sitting in a basement in Kingston before I head on an hour west of here to Ann's house. This weekend I've always taken it slowly, in stages. Yesterday Christin and I piled into the car... well Christin did the piling/packing since I cannot lift yet. I drove the 2 hours here to her parents house where we spent the night. Boy did driving 2 hours really poop me out! I had to struggle to stay up until 10pm. I'm only sleeping about 5-6 hours at a time right now because I have to lie on my back and after so long it starts to hurt. I can't wait until I can flip flop in bed again! Its funny how you can miss simple things like being able to lie on your side! I also have to admit my right side is a little sore from driving yesterday (I drive a 5-speed the only way to drive).

So its off to retreat we go!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

I HATE stitching Grass

When stitching there are certain things/subjects that just do not feel productive. I think stitching grass has to be one of those things. You see you're really not stitching anything you're just filling in and shading. So as you work for hours and hours you still feel like you've accomplished nothing.

I love it when I'm stitching something and you can see what you're stitching take place.

But this grass I'm working on now, nope. Just brown, grey, grey/brown streaks and blobs. I know its necessary to the whole of the piece but I'm tired of it now.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

A fobulous Day

Today I didn't get that much stitching done. I get a little annoyed each day when I really don't stitch as much as I would like for one reason or another.

Late this afternoon I went out to Dragon's Lair Beads and made six scissor fobs. Boy when you're making that many you start to run out of "inspiration". I think I prefer making one or two at a time. Five of the six I have made will be for sale through Knowledge and Needles in Brighton, Ontario. The sixth is for a friend I will be seeing at the 5th annual Eastern Ontario TWBB Retreat.

I've asked the owner of Knowledge and Needles if I can share scans of the fobs I've made with you, I'm just waiting for her reply. The one I've made for my friend I will share with you after the weekend is over... its only fair that she gets to see it first!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Stitching Question of the Week (actual one for this week)

If you were to stitch something to be passed on to future generations of your family as an heirloom, what would it be and why?

Actually I've already stitched the piece I WANT to become an heirloom. That is Teresa Wentzler's Peacock Tapestry.

Why do I want this piece to be my heirloom? I think its just the sheer beauty and complexity of the design. Its beautiful. Its the Mecca of all cross stitch designs! The only shame is I still haven't framed it!

Here's my Peacock Tapestry by Teresa Wentzler finished on December 1, 2003

Stitching Question of The Week (a week late)

What would your stitching confession be?

Oh boy I'm seriously trying to think of one. I know I'm not a perfectionist when I stitch. Sometimes if something looks okay, I'll say to hell with it and leave it. (unless its a model) My backs aren't perfect, I will carry a thread whenever I can.

Hmmm I'm stumped by this one. If you think I've got a confession I didn't own up to feel free to comment! LOL

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Recovery HD no.2 (or goal #2)

Part 2 of Mini Mystery F by Chatelaine was released this morning. Its taken me all moring and up until 10 minutes ago to stitch it up. I think this is the prettiest section so far! Of course now I have to wait until the 15th of September for the last installment (Martina, take pity on me???)

Without further ado ...

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Recovery HD no. 1 (or goal #3)

Yay my first recovery HD! I've finally finished my 2nd Christmas ornament for August, Dragon Dream's 2002 Christmyth Hippocampus. She's stitched on 28ct white Jubilee using DMC cotton and Kreinik metallics. I didn't have any of the 085 #4 braid called for so I subbed it with 850 #4.

Here she is...

Friday, August 13, 2004

Getting Back To Normal

Well last night I finally started feeling like myself again. I slept all day but got up in the late afternoon, after a slow walk up to the General Store to check my mail I finally started like sitting up and stitching! I ended up sitting up until after 1 am last night!

A bit help in feeling "normal" I got to take a shower today! Ahh the small things in life!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

A Rough Day

Well today I was sorer and a lot slower! I guess all the drugs from the hospital are getting out of my system. I haven't stitched much today, but boy have I slept. My Mum was great and came to spend the day with me. She also made me my favorite, Spanish rice. I had a craving at 1am last night :D

I haven't stitched much at all today but maybe I'll get some stitching done tonight.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Back From The Hospital

Over the last couple of weeks I've eluded to upcoming surgery. Well that was yesterday morning and everything went really well! I spent the night in the hospital last night, thank god for private rooms! I'm home I'm a little sore from time to time but I can stitch :D

Friday, August 06, 2004

Hmmmm Big Toe

My big toe is a little stiff/sore this morning. Last night at Taekwon-Do I did my last interim test as a first degree black belt. The next step is now my actual 2nd degree test. Which I hope to do in November if all goes well.

Why is my big toe a little sore? I had to break two boards using a turning kick. I must of hit it more with my toe than the ball of my foot for my toe to be a little sore and stiff this morning. But I broke the boards and not my toe so all is good. I did pass my test last night. For some reason I was very nervous about it... silly its not as if it was for my 2nd Dan.

Now Stitching... for not having to be anywhere yesterday I didn't get much stitching done. I've gotten in a couple of more rows on Bandon Lighthouse. Last night around 11pm I got the strange urge to bead. I mean, who gets the urge to bead? That usually something us stitchers hate doing. So I decided to bead part 2 of Mystery VI. I DO NOT want to leave all that beading to the end so I had set a goal to bead one of the earlier parts each month, that way at the end its manageable. I have to say the Delica bead colours are just georgeous and they shimmer so nicely!

Besides some stitching time yesterday I spent the bulk of my morning/afternoon organizing my specialty threads. Boy I didn't realize how many I had until I started! First I typed out the Brand, number and colour on labels on the computer. Printed those out and started sticking them on floss-a-way bags. I ran out of bags. So what I did have baggies for is tagged and on the correct ring (one for silks, one for cottons, one for rayons, and one for wisper and other strange fibers). The rest will have to wait until my next pay when I can pick up more baggies. I need about 88 more and if I recall I can get a package of 100 in Lewiscraft or the Cross Stitch Cupboard. I'm being real picky and I want the actual Floss-A-Way brand not the no-name ones you can pick up in Michaels.

I really like uniformity and I like everything to be the same.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Stiching Question Of The Week...

I've been meaning to start these a long time ago but never found the time. Now that I'm on holiday this week and will be on medical leave as of next week due to surgery I have the time.

If you could only finish one of the pieces in your stash as it is at the moment, what would it be and why?

Hmmm there are just so many pieces I want to stitch. I think the one chart that has been calling my name since I bought it two Christmases ago in Georgia during a TWBB GTG would be Celtic Sampler by Homespun Elegance.

Why? I don't really know, for some reason it just calls. Its a sampler which isn't something I normally stitch. I imagine it would be quick stitch (for me). I think I might stitch it up on that nice new piece of Wichelt hand dyed Joblean, Queen Ann's Lace.

Floss Filing Observations

Today I'm taking my stitching/computer/framing room in hand. Its time to start straightening up and putting stuff away!

Whenever I finish a project I take all of my floss bobbins from that project and instead of putting them away right then and there they get dumped into a little basket I got last fall from Jennifer of Dragon Dreams (see Jen I found a good use for it!). I put anything in this basket I've used for projects until I get the urge to file everything away neatly.

So here I am sitting at my computer and between web pages loading (stupid slow rural connection!) I'm organizing my bobbins into groups of 100's then putting them in order for filing into my floss boxes. You know what I've observed in the last couple of months the colours I've used the most are the 800's family! Mainly browns (ick). The second most are the 400's with again mainly gold/browns. Its neat to sit here and see what colours I've been using lately.

Hmmm I think its time to stitch something it totally gaudy colours!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Goal 2a Done!

I really should stop staying up late like this. But when something is almost done its so hard to go to bed!

This piece was definately a challenge, the Mill Hill Wisteria Tassel ornament. The challenge wasn't in the stitching but the assembling and creating the beaded tassels! I'm very happy with the end results. I'll have to show it off to Vicki tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Goal Number One Is Met

Yup, just finished part 8 of Mystery VI, its just one corner of the design this time and its very pretty!

Tomorrow I'm going to work on my Mill Hill Tassel Ornament.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

It's August... Goal Time!

July Review
  1. Mystery VI part 7 - Done!
  2. 2 Christmas Ornaments - Done!
  3. Wee Beasties Round Robin - Done!
  4. Mini Mystery F parts 1a&b - Done!
  5. Page 4 Bandon Lighthouse - Done!
  6. Work on Mini Cottages 3 - Yup!

This week Mini Cottages 3 has gotten quite a bit of my attention, so here is an updated scan of it :

I also managed to get Part 1 of Mystery VI beaded this month.

August Goals :
  1. Mystery VI Part 8
  2. Mini Mystery F Part 2
  3. 2 Christmas Ornaments
  4. Finish Bandon Lighthouse
  5. Finish Mini Cottages 3
  6. Start Celtic Heart

Urgh... Sleep Study

If you've every been lucky enough to go for a sleep study then you should know what I'm talking about. I do first want to say that everyone there was sooo nice and the facilities were great.

But... I had the worst sleep of my life ever. Of course you're trying to sleep with electrodes on your head, face, legs, two straps around your chest and you're all plugged in for the night. I honestly thought I had slept maybe two hours last night. However according to the data they received I fell asleep within 30 minutes... which is normal for me. That I even reached a deep sleep which actually surprised them. I did wake up a couple of times during the night as well.

And well it wasn't nice getting woken up at 5:30 am on a Sunday! Oh well hopefully there's a reason why I don't feel rested when I wake. Now I just have to wait for the data to be studied and a report sent to the Doctor.