More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Friday, September 30, 2005

The Stitching Week In Review

Well I got a fantastic surprise in the mail yesterday! First, my issue of the Just Cross Stitch Ornament arrived! There's a lot of lovelies in there but I haven't had a chance to pick out my favorites yet.

My next surprise was the first ornament in the Retro JCS Ornament RR from Anu. I can't wait to stitch it!

And the best surprise was a RAK! That's a Random Act of Kindness, Marissasmom2 one of the members from a BB I'm on. She sent me three charts from my wish list. Dragon Dreams Dancing Dragons and Fantasy Wedding Blessing and The Butterfly fairies chart from Lanarte!

Today I received another totally unrelated RAK from my best friend Christin. She bought me the two Dracolair Charts I've been wanting, the new Red Dragon Bookmark and phoenix! Wow that's five charts in one week!

Now for the review of my stitching week : I managed to find more stitching time this week than last. That felt great, I hate it when I can't find any time to stitch! I made a little more progress on Fire and Ice, I got in a great stretch of time in on Noah's Sub... Finally! I also made noticeable progress on my stocking.

Here are the piccys...

Fire and Ice - Black Swan

Dragon By The Fireside - Black Swan

Noah's Submarine - Stoney Creek

I just got the password for part 4 of Midi Mystery 1 so guess what I'm stitching on this weekend???

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

Q: Have you ever just quit a project while in the midst of it? (We're not referring to UFOs here, rather projects that you know that you'll never work on again.) Why? What did you do with it - throw it out,give it away, put it away?

A: Well this is easy... nope! I'm too determined to let something stop me! I may give it away once its done though.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Meeting Online Friends!

I'm constantly amazed by the people I meet through my online communities (stitching ones of course)! Today I got to meet Zoe who I have known for a number of years through the Teresa Wentzler bulletin Board. We were even ornament exchange partners a couple of years ago! She arrived in Ottawa late yesterday and called me to meet up at the Cross Stitch Cupboard today after work. The first thing we did was give each other a big hug! We wandered around the shop. I restrained myself and didn't buy anything! I'm practicing being on the wagon.

Then we went for dinner, we went to the Newport. Its a diner-style restaurant I like to take out of town people. It has a wide, reasonably priced menu. Its decor is also unique as it is the home of the Elvis Sighting Society full of memorabilia. There's even a red phone on the wall in case you spot Elvis! We had their most excellent pizza and visited for two hours. Zoe gave me a lovely gift of a stitched little pillow that said Forever Friends and a lovely hand dyed cotton from the UK.

The evening went by too quickly. I wish we didn't live oceans apart!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Chain Maille!!!

I've obtained my second goal for the day, to finish my Chain Maille Bracelet. This one uses enameled copper jump rings in a bright shiny green and a dark green. I wanted to capture the sense of dragon scales!

Now... onto stitching!

Queen's Chain!

Gosh do you ever feel stupid when you think you have a long way to go on something that you put aside ages ago and then when you pull it out you only take 10 minutes to finish it? This happened to the Queen's Chain bracelet I started back in August. I pulled it back out this morning and I only had about 4 more rings to put on and a clasp! Whoila its done!

So here's my Queen's Chain Bracelet done using rainbow titanium jump rings... I think I'd like to do one in silver now!

Next, on the agenda for this morning is my chain maille bracelet in dragon scale greens!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

September Ornament

Yay! It was nice to have a quick stitch for a change! I've finished the ornament I started on Thursday night (late). Here's Erica Michael's Joy from The Just Cross Stitch 2004 Ornament Edition.

This is stitched on 32ct Natural Linen using Gentle Arts Sampler Threads and Mill Hill Beads. This was the last ornament in the Just Cross Stitch 2004 Ornament RR I was in! My next ornament RR is just starting, a Just Cross Stitch Retro Edition Round Robin.

I guess this means I can finally work on that stocking tomorrow! I might also finish that queen's chain I started in August and work on my chain maille bracelet I started on Tuesday.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Stitching Week In Review

Hello Blog readers! Its time for the stitcing week in review, and a pitiful one at that. I did finally finish Mini Mystery J by Chatelaine so that's off of my list of things to get stitched!

Fire and Ice got a little more of my time this week, and here's the progress I've made :

Last night I started my last ornament from the JCS 04 RR Joy by Erica Michaels

Neither Dragon By The Fireside Stocking or Noah's Sub got any of my attention this week. This weekend's stitching focus is getting that ornament done and out of the way.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Happy Dance and SBQ

Yay!!! I've finally finished the dreaded Mini Mystery J! You know the one I've been whining about and not enjoying?

So without further ado here's Chatelaine's Mini Mystery J

Next on my list of things to stitch is the last ornament in my JCS 2004 ornament RR, then I'll go back to the stocking I've barely started. Boy am I ever finding it hard to find stitching time lately!

Now for the Stitching Blogger's Question of the week :

Q : What is the most challenging specialty stitch you have ever stitched?

A : Hmmm I think any new stitch the first time you attempt it, it is hard. With practice I think any stitch becomes easier. I can't really think of any stitch I complain about. I hear bullion knots are hard but I haven't had the joy of trying them yet!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Kudos, Lakeshore Guild!

Well, I must give kudos to the Lakeshore Guild from Montreal’s West Island!  Today was road trip day!  My Mum and I piled into the car at 9AM today, swung by and picked up her friend and off we went to Stewart Hall in Point Claire, Quebec about two hours away.

Stewart Hall is a beautiful setting for a needlework show.  It’s a lovely, old, stone house on the St. Laurent River.  The gardens and landscaping were also beautiful, but it was too wet a day to go walking around the property to check them all out!  At the door we signed their guest book and I was surprised to find admission to their show is free!

The show had over 200 pieces!  Wow!  I think among their membership they have managed to cover almost every type of needlework there was!  There was pieces from cross stitch to quilts!  It was nice that they had explanations of what the different types of needlework that were being displayed, everything was so well marked.

There were a couple of demonstrators on hand and I was just blown away by the woman there doing Japanese Embroidery!  Now that is something I’d like to try but have found out is VERY expensive!  I love the sheen of the threads, the precision of the technique and the simplicity yet effectiveness of the Japanese designs.

At the show I got to meet Julia who I’ve corresponded with several times via e-mail, and Heather who has posted on my BB.  They were this year’s show coordinators.  Girls you did a great job!

My Mum, her friend and I really enjoyed your show!  It was worth the drive!

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Stitching Week In Review...

Hmmm … how has stitching been in this house this week been? Hours have been few and far between! I’ve managed to put in a few precious hours here and there.

This week Fire and Ice got more time out of its zipper mesh bag. It got let out for walks at lunch twice this week!

On Tuesday I got a nice stretch of stitching in on Dragon By The Fireside Stocking (also from Black Swan like fire and ice). I had time to waste before meeting so I settled in a comfy chair at a Chapters Starbucks with an iced coffee and stitched. I’ve completed the first block on the cuff and have started the second.

Thursday part 3 of Mini Mystery J by Chatelaine was released and here’s one night’s progress on that… while watching the start of Survivor : Guatemala

For a second week in a row I’ve not been able to find the time to pull out Noah’s Sub.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Q : Do you stitch for events like weddings, engagements, or other things that might not last? If you have been unlucky and the two people broke up, what happened to your stitched gift?

A : Yes I have stitched for wedding gifts... actually 4 to date. Out of the 4 one of the weddings has broken up. But I didn't stitch something with names or wedding motifs. So the bride has kept it. My other 3 weddings they couples have stayed together. Most of the pieces have not been obvious wedding pieces or items that take months and months of work! Only one piece had been a wedding sampler and has taken a lot of time to stitch. That was for my best friend Claire. If you go back in my archives to July of this year you'll find the photos.

Part 3 of Mini Mystery J has been released today so I'm going to do my best to finish this piece by the time the weekend is over!

Off to stitch!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Stitching Week In Review

Finally!!! It feels like its taken me forever to finish part 3 of Midi Mystery 1 from Chatelaine. As usual her mysteries take a turn you don't expect. You think you've predicted what you're going to stitch next and Martina goes the other direction. I of course like what she's done with part 3 and I'm looking forward to part 4. With part 3 being done this means I'm at the 1/2 way point with this project!!!

Here's Midi Mystery 1 thru Part 3

I'm looking forward to the 15th of the month for the final and third part of Mini Mystery J... you know the one I don't like. I can't wait to get it finished, then I'll make it into a lovely bell pull for my friend Beth. I will tell you now, I won't be doing Mini Mystery K. I've found I and J to be so similar to each other that I have lost interest in the series. I found the gemstones were different enough that I wanted to stitch them all, but the Romantic Castles seem so similar to me.

This week I got in a good couple of hours on Fire & Ice from Black Swan. Here it is...

Today I'm going to cut my fabric and kit up Dragon By The Fireside Stocking from Black Swan... finally!!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

SBQ, and One Hell Of A Week!!

Q :Which way do you stitch (/// and then \\\ or \\\ and then ///)? Can you (or if you haven't done it before, do you think you could) change the way that you stitch temporarily if it is asked of you?

A : Hmmm well I stitch /// then
\\\. Could I change the way that I stitch temporarily, I don't think so. I've been stitching for over 8 years hard core now (though I've known how to stitch for 16 years) and I don't even think about stitch direction at this point. I think its also very unfair for someone to ask you to change your stitching methods as well. Even if it is for a Round Robin or some other project, I think that's part of the charm of a round robin, everyone's stitching styles are showcased. If I really had to I probably could but I'd probably sprain a brain cell or something because I'd be constantly thinking about it.

What a week I've had! It was the first week of school which is always quite intense, and tiring. I don't get the summer off but going from less than 10 people in the building to 16,000 (including all staff) is quite a change.

Wednesday I had my aspirin Challenge at the hospital... the good news, I am not allergic to aspirin! Yay, which means I can start taking my favorite medication for Migraines! So if you're a Migraine sufferer and live in the US or a Canadian that travels to the US pick up a bottle of Excedrin for Migraine (not available for sale in Canada) and give it a try! Most times I can take two Excedirn and I don't have to take my heavy duty, and expensive Migraine meds. But I was there until after 5 PM. It was a very long afternoon and from there it took me over an hour to get home since the test was at a hospital across town. I got home to a message that didn't make me happy and I had to leave again... I'm not going to go into details about what happened, needless to say I did what I had to do, and the issue has been resolved. But I wasn't a happy camper, I didn't get dinner until 9:30 and didn't get home until after 10 PM. Poor Todd, he had to put up with my nasty mood as well.

The only stitching I got done on Wednesday was a good chunk on Fire & Ice, my travel project while I was at the hospital for HOURS!

Thursday I had a meeting after work with my co-chair for my Guild's (OVGS) needlework show. I got home after 5 PM... had dinner... watched Coronation Street and was in bed shortly after 8 PM. I was exhausted after the last couple of days. I didn't stitch at all!!!

I didn't get to stitch yesterday either! I did my grocery run after work, Christin and I always go out for dinner after shopping. Then I went home, unpacked the car, took a nap for about an hour before getting ready to go to a TKD fundraiser for my buddy Jason who went to Australia for the World Championships earlier this summer and a end of year party. I had a great time, quite a few drinks... I'm a wee bit hung over!

Today I'm hoping to stitch A LOT! Todd has taken my car and gone finishing so I'm stuck here at home. Oh dear.

Off to catch up on my online BB's and such before I'm going to start to stitch.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I Hate Underestimating

I do it all the time, and I hate it! I always think I'll be finished a project or at a certain stage within a set amount of time. Well it rarely happens!!! I thought I'd be finished part 3 of Chatelaine's Midi Mystery 1 tonight.

Well I'm not.


Once again, a couple of more hours work to go before I can move onto my next start, that Black Swan Christmas stocking for my nephew.

Oh yeah! I got to work on Fire and Ice today while waiting at the allergist after my shot. There is an advantage to getting allergy shots. You have to hang out at the office quite a bit. I should have more stitching time on it tomorrow... I think. I have to go to the hospital for a special allergy test for aspirin. Imagine being allergic to aspirin. Do you know how many medications that rules out? Especially if you're a migraine sufferer? Aspirin is in many pain killers, its in advil, its in cough medicine. This will be a pain in the ass allergy if I test positive. So I'm hoping between doses I can stitch. Or at least read.

Onto more mundane ramblings...

How can anyone wear heels all day? Being the first day of school today I thought I'd make an effort... so I wore dress shoes. Owwwie my poor feet!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

September Goals

Yup, its that time of the month again... goal setting time! So in no paticular order here are my goals for the month.

Stitch part 3 of Midi Mystery 1
Stitch and finish part 3 of Mini Mystery J
Work on Noah's Sub SAL with Katrina
Start Dragon By The Fireside
One ornament
Freebie SAL - Finish Black Swan's Fire & Ice

SBQ, Friday Update, and More

Well, its been awhile hasn't it since I last blogged? Almost a week I think! Its been a super busy week with the kids coming back to school next week, lunches have been scarce and my help has been needed by the office staff quite a bit.

I also made a new acquisition Friday night... I'm very, very, very bad I finally folded and bought myself a laptop computer! Oooh I'm in heaven! Its not the fanciest one with all the bells and whistles or the fastest processor, but I'm very happy with it. I bought a Toshiba Satellite laptop, suits my needs perfectly! Now I can sit in my living room and work on the computer and I don't feel cut off from the rest of the house, tied to my desktop in a separate room.

Let's see... SBQ, I don't have the exact question here on my new computer since I downloaded the original question to my desktop but here it is roughly :

Q : How do you stitch? Using hoops, q-snaps, frames, in hand, etc. Have you tried other methods.

A : I stitch 98% in hand. I sometimes use my small 6x6 Q-Snap for small projects where I find it hard to handle the fabric (due to size). I have tried q-snaps, frames, not really hoops and I find them bulky and I don't like to use them. Stitching in hand seems to suit me best, and makes all projects fairly easy to transport because you're not lugging around massive frames or other paraphenalia. You just hold that fabric in your hand and you're ready to stitch!

Well I know its not Friday, but I've been kept busy with setting up this new laptop all weekend. I also took my Mum out for the day yesterday. However these photos were all taken on Saturday morning, prior to any more work being done on the projects.

So here's what I've worked on this week :

Part 3 of Chatelaine's Midi Mystery 1

Stoney Creek's Noah's Submarine

I promise, I'll get in some more stitching time today, and tomorrow since its a long weekend!!!