More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ornament HD... #10 for 2006

Yay another ornament done and dusted! This one... not counting the recent "buttonhole incident" makes number 10 for 2006! Wow, I've done quite a few this year. I'm behind in my finishing mandate... I've got 4 sitting in my finishing bag. I won't get them done this weekend, hopefully next.

This latest ornament is Christmas Tree by Twisted Oak from the 2005 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue.

For the next day or two I'll focus on Celestial Dragon. Next week I'll stitch up that TWRR.

Liz asked in a comment if I always stitch my borders first? Yes I do! Its one of my anal tendencies when it comes to stitching. Ever since I started stitching TW's I've been a "border girl".

Monday, April 24, 2006

Celestial Dragon - Focus Piece

Like I said in my previous post, its nice to have my stitching schedule back on track. Tonight is the once a week Teresa Wentzler SAL... I've actually decided that Celestial Dragon is now my focus piece so I'll be working on this piece most of the time. I'd like to have it finished for the fall. Do you think I'll get it done.

I didn't get tones of stitching in tonight, but I can see the progress!

I also worked a little bit on my April ornament. Its actually quite fun to stitch, I almost wanted to work on that instead of Celestial Dragon.

Lately I've been having these strange urges to start an over one Silver Lining Design. I don't know how long I'm going to be able to continue to resist! I really don't want to start another project... I feel under a lot of pressure when I have too many projects on the go!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Celtic Banner SAL

Yay I'm getting back to my stitching routine! Sunday is supposed to be my Celtic Banner SAL day and finally I've participated for the first time in months! Its nice to get back to routine.

It was also nice to update my webpage today (the reason why I haven't stitched as much today, it took me ages). I've felt like I've not gotten anywhere stitching-wise this year. A website can really help you realize what you've gotten done... a lot more than I thought. The projects are mainly smaller ones this year, but I hope to have some big HD's by year's end.

While I was stitching on my nametag this weekend I realized two things. First I don't have any fabric in my stash with a higher count than 32. I think I might invest in a fat quarter of 36ct fabric for my stash. I would of liked to have made my nametag smaller (its not really that big) but didn't have the fabric to do that. I did attempt stitching it over one but it just didn't work out. Trying to stitch my nametag over one made me yearn to do a large over one project. However I must maintain self control... otherwise I'd be tempted to start a Silver Lining design over one!

Its back to work for me tormorrow!


Its time to rush on over to my website I've posted a new tutorial today! You can now learn how to make a lovely nametag like the one pictured here! This is also my HD for yesterday, April Fool's Dragonlet an older feebie from Dragon Dreams.

I've also spent the afternoon updating my 2006 and Model Stitching albums at my webpage. So please, take a couple of mintues to stop by and check all the latest goodies!

Now I'm off to participate in the Sunday Celtic Banner SAL!

Friday, April 21, 2006

A New Look

So I thought it was time for a new look to the bloggie! I like this new look quite a bit, there's a kitty that looks like my Hunter baby! How appropriate! Now all I need is a Taekwon-Do Blinkie and my life would be complete. Anyone know where I can find one????

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Not Riverdance... Border Dance!!!

Wahootie!!! Take a look!!! Celtic Banner has a border and it met up like a dream!!! Over and over people who have seen me working on CB have told me I'm crazy and ask me over and over will the border meet up. Ha! Here's my proof! My border met up with no frogging necessary!

Can you believe the last scan I shared with you was early March? From now on you'll be getting lovely close up pictures!!!

So for now I'm going to put Celtic Banner to bed until Sunday. I'll be going back to my Sunday Celtic Banner SAL, now its a matter of just filling in the bands.

Tomorrow I'll start going through my stash, I need to stitch up a nametag both to wear at guild and to wear to stitching events. I'm planning on stitching an older Dragon Dreams freebie of a little Jester Dragonlet. I think that suits me perfectly. I love dragons, I was born in the year of the Dragon, I stitch for Dragon Dreams... and I love to have fun and joke around! So tomorrow will be the hunt for the perfect fabric for my nametag!

Now its time for the SBQ :

Q : Do you do obligation or deadline-based stitching? Why or why not? If you do, do you tend to get in over your head and why?

A : As a model stitcher I definitely do obligation/deadline stitching, its part of the job! I find I actually thrive under the pressure of a deadline, I work longer, faster, and just love it. I never really get myself in over my head, but I do miscalculate finishing points. When I'm working on a piece I'll look at my progress and say I'll be done in a week, a day... etc. I often under estimate I find it always takes a day longer or a couple of hours longer than I think to finish something. But I never under estimate that I totally miss a deadline. I've never gotten over my head... yet.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Model Happy Dance!!!

Well I have to say this year for you blogger readers hasn't been too exciting or stitching photo filled for you! I have to apologize but I have finished my 5th model of the year. Down the road I'll be able to share! I hope for the time being my photos from the Montreal Botanical Gardens have been entertaining you in the interim.

So after a marathon stitching weekend I finished my model for Dragon Dreams (stitched up in 11 days)! What a beauty, its going to be great class if you're at the CSNF this fall. Jennifer's got some great treats in store for her students! So I encourage you to check out the CSNF this fall in Toronto some great designers are going to be there (Teresa Wentzler, Jennifer Aikman-Smith, Terrance Nolan, and more!).

With the completion of this model I've pulled Celtic Banner back out! Yay! I'm going to get that border finished! Then Celestial Dragon will become my focus project... I'd like it done for October.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Cutting Disaster!!!

Well what I feared happened.... yesterday's ornament HD... its in the garbage!

The cut outs that had to be done inside the ornament at top and bottom to thread the ribbon through went fine on all four medallions. Then I cut the excess fabric away on all the medallions... gaining confidence with cutting. All medallions cut out nicely. Then I started to thread my first medallion onto the ribbon.

That's when disaster struck!!! My button hole stitch surrounding my cutout inside the ornament just ravelled away! It did this on all four medallions. What can I say, I have a hard time with this stitch. Also the stitch diagrams were very basic they didn't really show you how to turn a corner.

So its in the garbage... bye bye ornie!

Ornament HD!

Some of you have left comments about the flower on my last blog entry, it is yet another photo from my March Break trip to the Botanical Gardens in Montreal. I think that flower is a spider lilly or star lilly. I don't remember but I thought it was pretty cool! It was hard to get a better photograph of it. Today's picture is one of the many varieties of orchids they had there. When we stepped into the orchid greenhouse the smell was just heavenly!!!

Well I had a lovely day today! Originally I was going to stay home and stitch like mad on my Dragon Dreams model. But I'm far enough ahead that I decided to go and visit my friend Chrisanne. We visit, stitch, and watch DVD's a totally enjoyable day. Since models are super top secret I didn't bring it with me. Instead I finished my ornament for this month.... actually, its more like four. This ornament is from the Just Cross Stitch 2005 Ornament Issue. Its called Noel by From Nan's Hand. The design is four medallions made of kloster blocks and button hole stitch which when cut out will be threaded vertically on a piece of ribbon and will spell out Noel.

I have to say that button hole stitch hast to be my least favorite stitch I've ever done! I find it quite a challenge when I have to start and stop, to get back in the rhythm of the stitch. I haven't cut out these medallions yet, I'm almost afraid to. If my button hole isn't right the whole thing could fall apart! Maybe I'll find the courage to do the finishing on this one sometime this long weekend!

After I finished up the above ornament I pulled Celtic Banner out! Its gotten my attention twice in the past week! Last Saturday I took it with me to a visit with my Aged Peas, and worked on the border. I also worked on it today at Chrisanne's. There was quite a bit of cursing involved when I found one stitch too many in the section of border I had been stitching! Of course that mistake was made near the beginning of that section. So I had a visit by the frogs! If I finish my DD model before the weekend is out (which I expect to) then I think I'll try and wrap up that border on Celtic Banner and share an updated photo with you!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Its that time of the week folks!

Q : For those of you that stitch while riding in the car or on the train,how do you cope with the bumps and the motion? Do you have any tips for others?

A : Hmmm the best analogy I can give is its like trying to drink a hot coffee or my preference of hot beverage : a Cafe Mocha from Tim Horton's (mmmm... Timmies...). You just make sure you're not taking a sip when you hit a bump or you get burned. I really don't have any tips for stitching while being a passenger. If its familiar roads I knida know where the bad spots are and I just pause until its past. If you hit a bump the worse is you might put the needle in the fabric at the wrong spot. Just make sure you're not working on a complicated pattern!

Sorry I can't help better than that.

So what have I been up to the last couple of days? I've been working on that Dragon Dreams model. I imagine I might finish it this weekend! Yay me!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Gifties and More Models

Well I got gifties this week! On Thursday I got a nice parcel from Jennifer of Dragon Dreams! Inside was a beautiful shawl Jennifer knitted for me as payment for stitching "Time I Spend Stitching" for her. Also she slipped in a nice little b-day gift... one of her hand painted rocks he's so cool! I just love how she used the shape and contours of the rock to make up the image! Unfortunately I just couldn't get a better picture than the one here. Also in that parcel was my next model.

This one I need to get as much of it done before the Spring CSNF. Jennifer will have it on preview there. So guess what I'm doing today? This piece ... which of course I must keep top secret ;-) will be a class in October at the Fall CSNF.

I'm going to sit through season 4 of Law & Order on DVD and stitch all day! I don't have to be anywhere except my belated b-day dinner with my parents.

This week I also got my belated b-day gift form my Mum, a nice Liz Claybourne wallet. Of course you can't give an empty wallet so I also got money and a gift card for Costco. Last night I finally got my b-day gift from Todd. Unfortunately it wasn't anything exciting, just practical. He got me another piece of framing equipment, a
v-nail press from Lee Valley Tools. Ho hum, I suppose that's fine, I'm not really excited about it. I will have to play with it this weekend to see if it works and does a good job.

Well I'm off to stitch!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Q : Do you stitch "on the go?" (On the commute to and from work, during your lunch break, waiting for the kids, etc.) If so, do you have a specific "travel" project or do you just grab whatever you happen to be working on and take it with you?

A : Yes I do. Not on my commute... I drive. But if I'm not the driver I'm known to stitch on a lengthy drive. I do have a travel project, usually something small such as a ornament or a small project.

Monday, April 03, 2006

April Goals

Okay its a couple of days into the month so this is well overdue!

March Wrap Up
Stitch One Ornament - I think I did 3!!!
Stitch Two Models for Great Bear Canada - I'll finish the last one tonight
Participate in TW SAL - Up until March Break I did
Participate in Celtic Banner SAL - Up until March Break I did
Start/Finish Bug Collector during March Break - Yup!

My big projects are getting soooo ignored!

April Goals
Finish Great Bear model
Stitch two ornaments
Start Dragon Dreams model

Well I am not happy, I saw my sports medicine doctor today. We're trying to get my feet sorted out, I have chronic plantar flascitis. I have been told... no weight bearing sports for the next four weeks! All I'm allowed to do is swim or cycle. Urgh.

Coming Up For Air!

What a week! After a rather disappointing b-day I think when you hit one of those milestone you hope the people close to you would make it special. So that kinda set the mood for the week.

Tuesday I woke up with a sore throat... that developed into a nice sinus cold that's just clearing up this evening.

Work was INSANE! The provincial government dropped some money on all school libraries, here was the catch... we had to have it in the purchasing system by Thursday 3PM!!! Well I finally got my purchase orders down to the secretary by 12pm on Thursday... she was a SUPER STAR and got all of my P.O. transcribed into the purchasing system by 2:30! Wow you're amazing girl! I can assure you its not fun doing purchasing on that scale in under a week, also following certain parameters. On top of this, Wednesday afternoon I stayed at work late to set up the Scholastic Book Fair we had booked. Right after that I had to run further into town to attend a union meeting to vote on our new contract... I was quite relieved to find out it passed. Otherwise I would of been on strike on Monday! Thursday and Friday was my book fair, Thursday night I stayed at work until 7:30 PM!!! A full 12 hours! The book fair went well, I'm not sure if I'll do one again, its sure as heck a lot of work. I did have some fantastic parent volunteers that made the job much easier for me and allowed me to finish up our purchasing on Thursday! Friday after work I met up with some former co-workers from my first library job back in 1997, one of the staff was retiring. We had a lovely dinner downtown and it was nice to catch up with friends I only see a couple of times a year. From downtown Christin and I hopped in the car and did the grocery shopping. When I dropped Christin off she gave me my b-day gift... Law and Order year 4 on DVD... Yay! I LOVE all the Law and Order franchise! Also its great to stitch by. Needless to say it was well after 9pm by the time I got home!

Saturday morning I was up bright and early to roar way to the other side of town (120 KM round trip) to attend a Schwalm Workshop through my guild, taught by Barbara Kershaw. I was quite reluctant to enjoy the workshop at first. Actually, I thought I was going to hate it. I couldn't just back out, after I kept complaining that the guild wasn't putting on any counted thread workshops, just surface embroidery. I have issues with free form stuff, I really like the control of counted work. The workshop ran Saturday and Sunday 9am-4pm. I have to say Barbara Kershaw is an excellent and patient teacher! I was surprised to find I really enjoyed the class... and guess what I've even finished my piece! Its not been turned into the neck pillow its supposed to be yet... I still have some hemstitching to do... I'll do that when I have time. So please ignore the blue lines I can't was it until that's done!

Oh and I played soccer at 7pm tonight (we won!). Talk about not being able to stop! Tomorrow its back to work, no rest for the wicked!

Tomorrow I should be able to finish the model I have for Great Bear Canada. I'm also quite excited, my next model for Dragon Dreams will be on its way and its a fantastic design! I'm honored that Jen asked me to stitch it for her!