More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Monday, August 29, 2005

Back From Retreat & Happy Dance!

Wow! Was I ever beat last night after a fantastic weekend! Every year I look forward to the TWBB Retreat in Brighton and every year I'm sad when its over!

Friday started out with Christin and I striking it out on HWY 15 (the scenic route) to Kingston. I'm so glad we stopped for lunch and a pit stop at Division Street instead of heading to the other side of Kingston without stopping. We must of been struck in traffic for about 30 minutes. It turned out there was quite a bad accident involving two tractor trailers. It must of happened at least an hour prior to us getting there because the OPP Forensic Teams were already there doing their measurements, etc. of the scene. I visited for a couple of hours with Christin and her parents before I left her there and headed to Beth's house. Where once again I was fed the most excellent and healthy meal! Here daughter even made a lovely cake for dessert.

Saturday morning we were up and at it! Getting food, and bags ready for the retreat. Sylvia showed up at about 10am she had already been on the road for at least 2 hours, she came up from Rochester, NY to go to the retreat for the first time. By 11am ish we were on the road and picking up Christin at the agreed upon spot. Lunchtime, and we're at Ann's house/shop! Stitcher's were already there and settled in and more were arriving just as we did! Now it was a flurry of unpacking and getting food out, so we could eat at 1 pm. Of course the Krispy Kreme Donuts Sylvia brought were attacked by us Canadians practically as they came in the door. Krispy Kreme is few and far between up here, boy they were good! The day was a flurry of show and tell, stitching, eating and shopping! As the day progressed local stitchers started to leave, and by the time we had dinner it was just us over-nighters. I finished Magic in My Needle by dinner time and started Black Swan's Fire & Ice. I barely made it to midnight, I was so tired! Our serious stitchers stayed up until 3am! And I know I should of stopped stitching around 10pm... I found a lot of mistakes and frogging in the piece I had started!

Sunday morning was more food, more stitching, and more food. Most of us left at about 3pm... I got home by 8pm.

Now for the shopping... I didn't spend a lot, but I was polite ;-) I bought
M Designs Letters O&P, Teresa Wentzler's Tropical Dream, and Valeri Pfeffer's Three Little Maids (sooo cute!)

Onto the Happy Dance! Here's Magic In My Needle c2004 from Dragon Dreams which I originally stitched the model for Dragon Dreams and now have stitched it for myself! He's a cutie!

Finally... Retreat pictures!!!! Names are underneath (I didn't take too many this year)





Beth... Being Polite

Marsha Giving Marj a Hand Spa

Marj Again... we all got hand spas that day!

Ann - Our Hostess with the Mostess getting her hand spa!

Tonight is Noah's Sub night! But first I have a meeting to go to and I better get outta here!!!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Runnin Off Again!

Well its one of my much awaited times of the year!!! Its time for the 6th Annual TWBB Retreat in Brighton, Ann kindly hosts this in her home every year! Today I'm off to Kingston to spend the night there before heading to Ann's on Saturday morning with Beth, Christin, and Sylvia!

So be good... and here's some Shrek and Donkey at Parc Safari pictures. I still haven't had time to edit them all!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Stitching Blogger's Question of The Week

Q : What's the largest project you've ever done? What's the smallest?

A : Hmmm Largest Finished project??? Well that would be Teresa Wentzler's Peacock Tapestry. But I think my current WIP of Noah's Sub is probably bigger. My smallest finished project is a Silk Gauze Siamese Cat I did for my Mum.

Oooh I'm getting excited!!! Its getting closer... the 6th Annual Brighton TWBB Retreat is this weekend! A chance to meet up with stitching friends I only see once a year, and to meet new ones! I probably won't be online all weekend but once again I should have pictures!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Noah's Sub Anyone???

Katrina and I have decided to continue our SAL tradition now that we have both finished Celtic Band Sampler. We both have Noah's Sub as WIP's and if you've got this chart or have this project on the go you know its a BIG 'UN! To keep our selves motivated we have decided this piece will be our next SAL starting in September. We've both already got this piece on the go but I'd be happy for other blogging stitchers out there to join us if you need the motivation like we do! I find this is a piece I constantly put down for other projects. Noah's Sub won't be my focus piece, as I want to get Dragons by the Fireside Stocking by Black Swan stitched for my Nephew in time for Christmas. So Starting on September 5th I'll be working on Noah's Sub every Monday night.

Last night I didn't stitch much. My head was bothering me once again. What I did get done was almost the entire beard on
Magic In My Needle from Dragon Dreams. But I did go to Taekwon-Do and trained. We did 10 patterns in a row (Tul) from Yellow Stripe, Chon-Ji to the first 1st Degree Black Belt pattern Kwan-Gae. Boy can that bring out a sweat!

Today I felt quite ill at work and had to come home before lunch time. I've slept the entire afternoon away once again (I did this on Saturday and Sunday). So this evening I am going to stay home, originally I was planning to go to TKD and take the Cardio TaeBox afterwards. But not a good idea on a tricky stomach. So I'll work on my Dragon Dreams piece some more!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Travel Project HD!!!

Yay I finally have finished my travel project! I started it back in March, and honestly it didn't get much attention at all for months! Working on it while we traveled to Tennessee in July really got me interested in the project, and now its done!

May I present Michael Powell's Mini Cottages 2 c2002
Stitched on 14ct aida using Anchor Cotton

So in the last year and a half I have managed to stitch Mini Cottages 1-3 and I have the kit for number 4 waiting in my stash. But I won't start it just yet.

I didn't get around to the Dragon Dreams SAL today on Needle and Thread. After doing our groceries in the early afternoon I had to have a lie down due to a migraine that came out of the blue. I slept all afternoon. We went for dinner at the SIL's then I've spent the rest of the evening wrapping up the BS on Mini Cottages 2. To make up for missing the SAL I'll make the piece I was going to stitch my next travel project. I originally stitched Magic In My Needle as a model for Jennifer so I know it can be stitched up in about 6-8 hours.

Oh yes sorry I haven't posted Shrek and Donkey's adventures yet, I'm not done editing all my photos (we took a lot).

SBQ, Friday Update, HD, and some Piccys!

I haven't had the time or been home to blog the last couple of days so here's a bit of a catch up post. There will be more to come (hopefully tomorrow) so watch out for Shrek and Donkey's Adventures at Parc Safari!

Okay, first the Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week...

Q : How often do you wash your fabric for each project? Do you wait until the very end until to wash it or do you wash it more than once?

A: Hmmm this sounds like a newbie question to me. I only ever wash my project at the end. If I've been stitching with silks and specialty fibers that are known to bleed I don't wash them at all. I just wash my hands a lot! I'm very careful with my fabrics, I never handle them unless my hands are clean, I don't stitch unless my hands are clean. I store them in plastic drawers that are pretty much dust free. When its a work in progress and I'm not stitching at the time its always put away in its zipper mesh bag, its not left lying around. If you take the proper precautions with your stitch you'll only ever have to wash it once, at the beginning.

Okay Friday update...

I wasn't home on Friday I was recovering from my day at Parc Safari with Chrisanne, Lindsay, Shrek and Donkey (that whole story will come soon... with pictures!). So I've finished Mini Mystery J part 2 on Friday night. Saturday morning I started working on Mini Cottages 2 and I should have a Happy Dance sometime on Sunday I'm just down to the backstitching... but its late so it won't all get done tonight! Once that's finished I'll be moving onto my Dragon Dreams SAL piece, Jennifer's new design, Magic In My Needle. Its all kitted up and ready to go.

Okay now for the piccys...

First my HD... part 2 of Mini Mystery J (still hate it will be giving it away!)

Next I found my TWRR!!!! And here's an up to date piccy. (where was it? Between the wall and my fabric drawers!)

Next the Cats were being cute, sleeping of course so I got a picture of each of the boys!
Here's Cuddles

Here's Hunter

Finally I didn't plant any sunflowers this year but a few rogue seeds got planted by the birds I guess!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

For No Thought of a Better Title

This post is just a mish mash of stuff... more and less to let you know I'm still alive. This week has been a busy one I've not been home one evening yet and it'll continue that way for a couple of more days! Monday night I went and trained at TKD despite part 2 of Mini Mystery J being available, but I need to start stepping things up at TKD.

Tuesday night since soccer is over I went to Cardio TaeBox just to get a good workout and sweat going (feeling fat lately). I worked on Mini Mystery J a little but ended up frogging part of it!

Tonight was my teaching night at TKD, I teach two classes every Wednesday. I made my students SWEAT tonight with lots of kicking drills. I'm quite pleased with how they went despite having a migraine, I think my advanced students actually enjoyed the class. I even joined in on a lot of the shield drills since the numbers were uneven and got a good workout too! I've worked a bit on Mini J while I've been here at the computer catching up on my BB's and Blogs, Coronation Street is on soon so I'll be getting offline to watch that and stitch until midnight.

Tomorrow is an insane day for me! I work all day then I'm off downtown to have dinner with people I used to work with at the Environment Canada Departmental Library. After dinner I'm hopping into the car and driving to Cornwall where I will spend the night. Firday morning Pennygwen (online name) and I will be taking her daughter to Park Safari south of Montreal for the day. I'm not sure if I'm coming home Friday or not it'll depend on how tired I am! The weekend isn't planned yet but I know my Mum wants to go out at some point so I might do that. We go shopping at bead shops, fabric shops, etc then go out for a very nice lunch.

I've been working away at Mini Cottages II during lunch/breaks and its really coming along! If I can work on it in the car on Friday on our way to Park Safari we may have a Happy Dance soon! Which means I'll have to pick a new travel project to stick in my bag. Oooh the choices!

So If I'm home Friday night I'll give you my weekly stitching update. If not it'll happen sometime over the weekend.

Oh yeah... still no leads on my TWRR.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Help Me Find My Missing RR!!!

Okay, I don't know where it is or if someone has it and I'm not blaming anyone because if it is out there somewhere its my fault and I can't remember who I last sent it to and it would of been anywhere from 6 months to a year ago that it was sent.

It must of been about two years ago I did a TWBB RR and afterwards there was so much space left on the fabric that I started sending it around to stitching friends and the like and people from this BB to help me get it filled! I've gone through my stitching room from top to bottom and I can't find it!

Here's a picture (taken after initial TWBB RR finished) if you do have it could you please drop me a line... I'm joining another TWRR and I'd like to send it around. Otherwise I have to start a new one :(
Two Weekend Happy Dances!

Wow I can't believe how much stitching I got done this weekend. The weather was nice up at the cottage on Saturday but it rained all day today (Sunday) so what did I do but sit inside and stitch!

Saturday night I finished Teresa Wentzler's Tole Heart from The Country Stitch Monthly February 1989 (thanks for the loan Erin!). Its stitched on 28ct Ocean Fantasy Linen from Silkweavers and it looks awesome!

So that night I got a start on the next project I packed for up at the cottage, from the same magazine issue, actually on the same page as Tole Heart was a design called Flower Bed, there's no designer listed so I can't tell you who it was by. Its a sweet little cat I finished this afternoon on 25ct Light Blue Dublin Linen using DMC floss.

For the rest of the afternoon I put in some time on Michael Powell's Mini Cottages 2, I think I might continue to work on it the rest of the evening. OR will I be tempted by my next start, again from the same magazine as the previous two HD's is Teresa Wentzler's Carousel Rabbit. Decisions, decisions!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Friday Updates

This is a new thing I'm going to start here on my blog, is a Friday Update. A chance for me to let you know how my current projects are coming along and share some pictures!

My at work project hasn't really gotten a lot of attention this week, but I did finish off another colour, so that's one shade closer to finishing (I like to try to stitch one colour at a time). Its tempting to turn this into a focus project instead of a travel project.

Here's Mini Cottages II by
Michael Powell

My focus project at home I got a small start on yesterday, but I wasn't feeling too well so I only got about an hour's worth of stitching (maybe less) into it. I have to say the colours look just stunning on the Ocean Fantasy Linen from Silkweavers! I should have this one finished before the weekend is out! However you'll have to tune in Sunday night for the piccys because I'm out at the cottage, I should be stitching in the sun. I won't kit up anything new to take with me if I do finish it on Saturday, I'll take Mini Cottages 2 along if I need something else to stitch on.

Teresa Wentzler's Tole Heart (Magazine Design)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Ornament Count Is Now ... 12 & SBQ

Well I've now surpassed my minimum of one ornament a month. I finished my second ornament tonight as promised in my last entry. I'm sure you'll be glad that I can show this one off! I just fell in love with this design while stitching it and learnt a new stitch, the Renaissance Stitch (the red/gold flowers) which is just gorgeous!

So here it is, Moss Creek's 16th Century Celtic Christmas from the 2000 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue stitched on 32ct Summer Khaki Belfast using GAST, DMC, and Rainbow Galleries Petite Treasure Braid (substituted it for the EVIL DMC metallic it called for). This is my choice for the Retro Just Cross Stitch Ornament Round Robin.

Now next up on the stitching agenda is Teresa Wentzler's Tole Heart from The Country Stitch Monthly, February 1989. I spent quite awhile going through my fabrics tonight to find just the right colour that would make the floss POP! Boy this was a hard one. I went through all my scraps, and almost all of my hand dyed fabrics when I settled on Silkweaver's expressions Ocean Fantasy. Wow! What a fantastic colour, I think it will work well for this design. I also put in a little time on Michael Powell's Mini Cottages 2 tonight and I'll bet getting back to that one on my breaks and lunch tomorrow.

Now for the SBQ...
Q:What do you do with the framed stitching that you keep? Do you hang it up and leave it in one place, never to move it? Or do you have a rotation, where you have one place for stitched pieces and switch them out according to mood or season? Maybe a mixture of both?

A: I do pretty much hang it and leave it there, but then I don't have enough of my pieces framed to rotate them and I really feel strongly about seasonal pieces that can't be displayed year round. I'm also not a very Christmasy person! Why pour your heart and soul into something that can only be hung for one specific day a year. Also putting into it the expense of framing, because there is no such thing as cheap framing!

P.S. I'm looking to buy/trade for the Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issues for 1997 and 1998, contact me if you're interested in getting rid of one of these!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Almost Finished

Well I'm too tired to keep stitching tonight, so no HD for me. I spent 3.5 hours this morning/afternoon cleaning the house from top to bottom. It gets pretty bad when I get into a project, I don't clean. I mean who wants to spend time sweeping and mopping floors or scrubbing the tub when you could be stitching. So the house should be good for another two months. LOL, just kidding. I started Moss Creek's 16th century Celtic Christmas ornament this afternoon. This ornament is from the Just Cross Stitch 2000 Ornament Issue. I'm stitching it on the recommended 32ct Belfast Linen. Boy its fun stitching over one on 32ct! Anyhow I just have backstitch vines to put in on two more sides and 4 flowers made up of several specialty stitches. Hopefully I'll finish this tomorrow. If I hadn't had a soccer game tonight it would of been done.
And For My Next Trick...

I just finished up the next ornament in the '04 JCS Ornament RR I'm in. So, I'm wayyy ahead now. I started it last Thursday and finished it up tonight. At first I thought I wasn't going to like it, just not my style. But in the end, its vibrant colours and cute button won me over!

Once again this is top secret, so clickie finger here and you can take a look!

On tomorrow's stitching agenda, another ornament this one is Moss Creek's 16th Century Celtic Christmas from the 2000 JCS Ornament Issue. This is my selection for the next RR starting in September.

So far I'm up to 11 ornaments this year!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Celtic Band Sampler Observations

Well I'm sad its over, I've finished Celtic Band Sampler and the camaraderie of doing a SAL with Katrina and Carol will fade too. It almost makes me want to start another SAL! Thank you Katrina for egging me on to start this piece. Its been in my stash for at least 3 years when I bought it at a TWBB Get Together in Marietta, GA.

I have to say I've really enjoyed stitching this piece. While I know Carol is finding it boring, but she also started two weeks later than Katrina and I and that may be why. I'm so happy with my fabric choice and how it turned out on 28ct African Daisy Joblean. Of course stitching this piece on 28ct (recommended fabric is 32ct) has made it end up being 9" wide and 22.5" high! Often when I start a piece I try to find something in my fabric stash before I go out and buy a piece, so in this case I settled for a larger count, but I think that's some of the charm of this piece that its sooo big!

Stitching it on 28ct means I ran out of a couple of colours. Now I was working from existing bobbins in my stash so I don't know if a full skein would do or if extra would be needed. Here are the colours I had to get more of : DMC 844, 831, and 315 colours I have barely any left are : DMC 3362, 500, 829, and 839. So if you're going to stitch this on 28ct be sure to pick up two of each colour just in case.

So now what's next on the stitching agenda? Tonight I'm hoping to finish up my next ornament which is from the RR I'm in. I should probably also start my ornament selection for the Retro Just Cross Stitch Ornament RR starting in September. Of course I'm also waiting for the 15th to roll around so I can stitch part 2 of Mini Mystery J. For the next while there are some small projects I want to do before I go back to something big (probably Noah's Sub or Dragon By the Fireside Stocking for my Nephew). I've borrowed an older magazine from Erin so I hope to stitch out of that Tole Heart and Carousel Bunny by Teresa Wentzler. There's also a small cat and a sampler I like out of the magazine as well. Oh the decisions, oh the agony!
Celtic Band Sampler Happy Dance!

I'll get a better pic in the morning.... its late and I'm going to bed!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

My Judy Dixon Freebie HD

A number of you have asked in my comments area if this freebie is available on the internet and what is the URL. Well I'm sorry to say it was a handout at one of the CATS shows a couple of years ago and is not online.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Weeks

Well I never got around to answering it last week and here we go, I get another one! Neither of these will have very exciting answers, but here we go...

Last Week's SBQ
Q: What is your most unique/interesting stitching quirk? (This could be something concerning the way you stitch, how you organize your stash,etc.)

A: Besides the fact that I like to stitch obsessively I don't have any unique quirks. I like to have my thread and needle ready to go for the next time I stitch when I put a project away. If this means next time I stitch I'm starting a new thread I will have that new thread started and enough stitches in to secure it so I can get going. I thought about this one all week and couldn't come up with anything interesting to entertain my faithful readers!

This week's SBQ
Q: Have you hand-dyed your own fabric? Why or why not? Would you like to try to do so?

A : No I haven't but then there are enough people out there who do such a great job I'd rather buy my fabrics from companies such as Silkweavers and Sugar Maple Fabrics, etc. I also that not all patterns lend themselves well to hand dyed fabrics. I use them only when its appropriate. I've noticed there are stitchers out there that put everything on a hand dyed fabric, sometimes it distracts you from the design. But then sometimes they add something special to the piece.

I was back to work today after an extra long weekend, and Mini Cottages 2 got the appropriate attention during breaks and lunch! I got two parcels in the mail today, first was my next ornament in the JCS 04 Ornament RR I'm in. The second was supplies from Traditional Stitches, boy am I impressed with the speed I ordered them on the 28th and they arrived today! These supplies are for another JCS Ornament RR that is starting up in September.

Tonight I'll be working on Celtic Band Sampler. On both Monday and Tuesday I managed to complete one band each day, maybe I'll get one more done today!!!