More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Boy am I behind on my blogging! I got a couple of presents last week that I've been wanting to share with you but I've either not had time at the computer or like last night my internet connection went down, so I wasn't able to!

Christin was such a sweetie and got me an early Christmas present this year... I think she's just determined to see my Peacock Tapestry framed before the year is out! She had me take Peacock into my LNS to have it stretched, and paid for it! I've tried twice to stretch it on my own, but I've just not been happy with the results so I decided it was time to have the professionals do it! Of course I'll still do my own framing. It'll look wonderful when its up on the wall!

The next gift I received came in the mail late last week! I got a surprise parcel from Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams who I model stitch for. Inside the parcel was a copy of each of her new releases at Charlotte earlier in the month. Each was autographed and had a personal message. Also in the envelope was a huge bag filled with Caron Wildflowers and Watercolours! Ooooh what luxury. But the best thing in that parcel? Was the special thank you message she had printed on the back of the Dust Bunnies chart for the world to see! It says : " Thanks to Model Stitcher Dani Baillie whose nimble fingers stitched up both designs in record time, warned me about fiber usage and made me squeal with scans of bunnies in progress! You are a true gift to this designer and have become a wonderful friend as well!" So touching! Thank you Jen for such kind words!

Last night I indulged and started a new project! I started a wee kit I bought from Ann at her shop Knowledge and Needles (Ann has retreat pictures on her website too!). Its Sweetheart Tree kit called "Don't Bug Me" Its so cute!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Retreat Report... a little late

Yes, I'm sorry my retreat report (nothing really too exciting or earth shattering to report really. Gosh now I don't really recall what I wanted to talk about exactly.

Le Meyow

Friday morning Christin and I packed up our clothes and stitching stuff and headed off to Kingston. Of course, while packing after turning my back I discovered somebody didn't want me to leave. Hunter knows when I'm packing that black bag, I'm going away for a bit. Friday I dropped Christin off at her parents in Kingston and I spent the night at our friend's Beth's. Its become our tradition over the years, Christin has a visit with her family and I get to visit with Beth, stitch, and eat her fantastic cooking!

Saturday morning Beth and I packed my poor little car with all our stuff. Its amazing how much stuff three ladies will take for an overnight stitching trip. Its also amazing how much CRAP you can fit into the hatchback of a Hyundai Accent! I really should of taken a picture of it! Next year... We met up with Christin and off we were back in the car and on our way to Brighton!

Les Banners

We arrived at Ann's (owner of Knowledge and Needles) before noon, and we weren't the first ones there! Already there were Carmen, and Colleen (my Celtic Banner SAL mates), Carmen's Mom, and Marj! What was the first thing we all did? Well of course Christin, Colleen and I all pulled out our finished Celtic Banner's Carmen was almost done hers! So out came the cameras too! It was an impressive sight! We also managed to enable two stitchers to buy charts, fabrics and order the specialty fibers. Ahh there's nothing like enabling!

Adriana, Our Oldest Stitcher At Retreat

Soon after we arrived everyone else started to show up as the day starts off with a pot-luck lunch. As usual we were going to starve... LOL we brought more food than necessary! Everything was different and delicious! The total number of visitors to this year's retreat (the 7th) was 25. The retreat started out seven years ago as an overnight get-togethers of members of the Teresa Wentzler BB but that group has kinda dwindled over the last couple of years but has been growing with local stitchers... who I love to influence and encourage them to stitch over two! Now out of the group I was the younges stitcher there, but I was so impressed by our oldest stitcher! Adriana who has come the last couple of years with her daughter Beatrice. I was quite shocked to find out that Adriana had just turned 90!!!! Not only was she 90 and looked nowhere near that age, she still stitches... get this... on evenweave! If there's anyone I want to be like when I'm 90 (if I make it that long).

Ann (standing) & Beatrice Playing Handywoman

What's a retreat without a minor hiccup? We were sitting in Ann's new sunroom that she and Dan managed to finish just in time for the retreat (what a wonderful stitching room, I'm jealous!) when we started hearing water. All of us in the sunroom just assumed it was the hot tub. After hearing it for quite awhile Beatrice when out to see what it was. The hose which was providing water to the matron where Christin, Beth and I were going to spend the night had burst! Ann and Beatrice did an amazing job fixing it! (notice the duct tape? )

Since there were so many stitchers the poor puppies got shut into the garage!

Une Surprise For La Hostess With Le Most-ess

Just before dinner I presented to Ann on behalf of the group a little pressie from all of us. Actually, for the second time this summer I had instigated a Top Secret Evil Plan! About a month before the retreat I sent out e-mails to as many of the stitchers attending letting them know that Ann didn't have any hand dyed fabrics! A sad situation that had to be rectified and quickly! Ann was overwhelmed by the gesture and the selection of fabrics we had pulled together! I love instigating Evil Plans!

Now for assorted pictures from Saturday :

Kathy - Whose a Riot! I sat next to her all day!

Beth - My other hostess who can cook like there's no tomorrow! Mmmmm... And I just love her company!

Adriana (left) and her daughter Beatrice

There were 8 of us who spent the night, the next morning we were totally entertained by Ann's husband Dan who stayed away all day on Saturday. He made all of us bacon and eggs for breakfast! What service! Also Dan is an excellent cook!

We left early that afternoon. I spend all year looking forward to this weekend, so its always sad when it ends.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Happy Dance!

Finally! Blogger is letting me upload photos! That's why there hasn't been a retreat report. Perhaps I'll finally pull one together tomorrow since its too late tonight!

Here it is my quilt square for my friend Misty. Its the Friendship block from Sewing Seeds of Friendship, Hope and Love. This paticular block is by Karen Weaver.

Night everyone!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Off To Retreat

This weekend is the 7th annual TWBB retreat at Knowledge and Needles in Brighton!

So take care, and I'm sure I'll have plenty of pictures on Sunday/Monday!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Late SBQ

I suppose before I get this week's SBQ on Wednesday I should answer last week's!!!

Q : Do you have an organizational system for your fabric? If so, what is it? If not, what do you store your fabric in?How do people store their fabric, especially those small but potentially usable pieces? Do they sort by count? How do they label it or otherwise know what each piece is?

A : Do I have an organizational system for my fabric? Hmmm not really. I do keep them divided between standard fabrics and hand dyed fabrics. I keep my fabric in a set of large plastic storage drawers. Currently my fabrics on fill two drawers.

One drawer contains all my standard fabrics, these are not hand dyed. If the fabric came in a plastic bag that is labeled I tend to keep it in that bag. If its not in a bag from the vendor sometimes I'll put it in a large ziplock bag (I know, I know plastic isn't the best for fabric, but its convenient) and I write on that bag the type, colour and count. If I'm lazy and I don't put it in a ziplock, I write the fabric info on a piece of paper and pin it to the fabric.

The other drawer contains all of my hand dyed fabrics. Again they're marked the same way.

As for small pieces that are big enough to be ornaments but not too small to be useless, I put them in a ziplock bag (all my scraps go in the same bag). Each piece is labeled with a piece of paper with all the pertinent information. Of course I do have "mystery fabric" in there too

I'm puttering along with Misty's quilt square. I keep getting these urges/impulses to start a large over one project! Ack! Help me!

Todd has finally realized I'm serious that he's not going to get Gone Fishing any time soon. He was a little shocked about that. .. Good.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Ornament/Freebie HD

Its Freebie SAL weekend over at Needle and Thread BB so what better way thank to kill two birds with one stone! Not only did I stitch a freebie, but a freebie ornament. It stitched up in a day!

Copyright : c2005
Stitched on/with : 30ct Macaroon Linen using Silk N' ColorsIn the Burgundy and Caron Emerald
What did Todd think of his present? What can I say the asshole in him came out this morning (excuse my language). He barely looked at it and when I said it was for him he made a rude comment about using it to wipe his hands. Needless to say its gone into my finished project bag and won't be coming out for a long time!

Now I can focus on Misty's quilt square.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Finish!

Yay finally! Gone Fishing is finished! Despite the fact that I like this piece it was quite a chore to stitch it. I don't think I've ever had a project that actually puts me to sleep! This one certainly did! I'm not sure if its because the lack of difficulty, the lack of colours, or that stitching 46 stitches on a row in the same colour just isn't exciting! I certainly didn't get much done on it yesterday since I couldn't stay off the internet! That high speed connection certainly makes surfing more tempting! Today I actually fell asleep 3 times! It might of been for 20 minutes or so at a time but every time I'd start working on Gone Fishing my eyes would get heavy!

Anyhow, here it is in all its glory (albeit crooked, getting used to the new scanner) :

Gone Fishing
c1998 Heritage Stitchcraft
28ct Antique White Jubilee/DMC floss

Todd is sound asleep, so I can't show it to him.

Next I'm starting my freebie, Noel Blackwork by Glory Bee.

P.S. I'm interested in selling or trading this chart, simply e-mail me to make a deal (you can get my address via my webge)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Life is Good!

The house is clean... and I now have high speed internet!!!

If you contact me using my sympatico account please use my hotmail address until you receive my new e-mail.

Random Ramblings

Hmmm where to start?

Well this evening I got an amazing deal on an HP all in one printer! I was in Wal Mart not looking for one... actually I was looking for clear quilting thread when this printer caught my eye! $54.00!!!! Its such a deal its almost criminal! Its a pretty good printer too! I was a little worried at first, over the quality of the printer being such a low price, but its pretty good. I'm not huge into printing high quality photos so it'll do nicely!

Now I need you to cross your fingers for me on Friday! I have a local company coming out to the house tomorrow, they specialize in delivering high speed Wi-Fi internet to rural areas. Sometime on Friday they'll be coming out to do a site survey and if I have a line of sight with the transmitter they'll go right ahead and install. Oooh I so hope I d
o, I'm tired of connection at 28.8!!!

While driving to an instructor's meeting for TKD I saw deer in the road! I managed to get close enough and out of my car to get pictures of a doe and her fawn. They're not the best pictures because I had to ta
ke them quickly as they were getting ready to take off! I also found a little visitor in my yard on Tuesday! Actually we've had a lot of frogs lately!

Since I have to be at home Friday for this hopeful install I'll have a day for stitching...and I may shock Todd and clean the house. Hopefully I'll be able to finish Gone Fishing and get a start on my freebie for the Needle and Thread SAL that is this weekend!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Yup, she's done it again... she's dancing. That's what you're thinking right? I just finished off my addition to Renee's Teresa Wentzler Round Robin. My additon was the inner rose border from Teresa Wentzler's Rose Tree In Bloom. Renee wanted bands that suited a Victorian them I thought the roses suited that.

My next goal will be to finish Gone Fishing when Todd's not around. When he is around I'll be working on a stitched block for my friend Misty's quilt. I think I have decided what I want to do for that but first I need to look at the chart and make sure I either have the threads or easy access to them.

I am also overwhelmed and pleased at the positive comments I've gotten in regards to The Castle SAL starting on January 1st! The more the merrier I say! Like I said its not a firm commitment at this point anyone can change their minds. Just something for you to think about! Anyone is welcome to join in and if you don't have the ability to post your pictures I will certainly help you with that!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Something To Think About

Kind Blogger readers, let me put a bug (oops Thanks Carol for pointing out my typo!) in your ear...

Christin, Chrisanne and I have been discussing doing a SAL starting on January 1st (see plenty of time to think about this). We have decided the three of us will be working on Teresa Wentzler's The Castle.

I'll have to find the perfect hand dyed for this piece!

So think about it, let me know if you'd like to join us in the New Year.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Small HD and Lots of Progress

Well I'm home, and as promised here's my HD from Thursday night. This is Zebra from Lanarte. Chrisanne and I watched movies, and stitched, and ate and talked about stitching. I only just got home this afternoon. I think I'm also finally getting used to sleeping in her daughter's single bed without a fear of ending up on the floor in the middle of the night, killing either Donkey or Shrek!

After I finished the Zebra I pulled out Todd's Gone Fishing and boy I got a lot done on that! I can actually see the end now. Of course now that I'm home I'm working on that TWRR and getting it done and back out in the mail again!

Sigh... tomorrow is the last day of my vacation. I'm not looking forward to going back to work.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Happy Dance In Cornwall

Yes! I've done it again, I've got my dancing shoes on here in Cornwall. Since I'm away from my home PC there won't be any picture until I get home tomorrow night. Chrisanne is sound asleep (well she did work all day) so no one can witness my finish until morning. I finished off a little Lanarte Kit called Zebra its stitched over one with two threads using the tent stitch (half stitch) and two strands.

Tomorrow we have a Lord of the Rings marathon planned, hopefully my stitching hand will hold up! Its a little sore from almost two weeks of long hours of stitching! Chrisanne suggested it would be perfect for working on Noah's Sub. But I think I'll work on Gone Fishing, Todd's late b-day gift.

Yes I did start my TWRR last night, and no its not finished. I really don't like to travel with RR's so I left it at home, I should be able to finish it before the weekend is out... I hope.

Well, this morning was a pretty expensive morning! I took my car to my favorite dealer as the front end/steering "didn't feel right". Turns out I needed a new bearing on the right side, and four new tires! I knew I needed tires but I was really trying to put it off until the late fall so I could go ahead right to winter tires.

Tonight I had the most interesting thing for dinner... Newfie Poutine! It was not bad but I think I'll probably stick to regular poutine in the future. What is a poutine? Many of you non-Canadians may ask. Well let's start with the basic poutine, its something that came out of the Province of Quebec. You start with french fries, but not any old kind of fries, they have to be from a chip wagon next you top those fries with gravy and curds. Curds are a cheese which I understand are not available in the US I think it has something to do with the way they are processed. That's your basic poutine. However a Newfie Poutine you take those basic ingredients add hamburger, fried onions and mushrooms. I know sounds really gross doesn't it? Actually this is the first time I heard of it tonight. Imagine its like having your fries and burger all mixed together. Another type of poutine I had once that was very good was topped with smoked meat! Salty as heck but great for preventing hangovers if you've been out at the bars all night, into the wee hours!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Holy Flying fingers Batman!

I stitched up three little freebies this afternoon/evening! Cathy from my BB was kind enough to send me an extra copy she had of the latest Brittercup Designs freebies! So I stitched them up... I couldn't help it!

Portrait of a Cat - Over Two/Over One

Portrait of a Dog - Over Two

Being Wednesday its also time for this week's SBQ :

Q: For those of you who use hand or over-dyed floss, how do you store it?

A : I don't really do anything too special for my overdyed/hand dyed fibers. I keep them in floss-a-way bags on rings. They're all stored in a Nantucket Basket I bought on Cape Cod with a dear stitching friend of mine. Actually that basket is now overflowing. I also label each baggie with the brand name, colour name, and number. They are there ordered by brand and alphabetically by colour name, if there's no name
then by colour number.

Super-Big Happy Dance!!!

Yay! Its done! Its done! Its done!!! Celtic Banner is finished! I'm not sure exactly how many years ago, but I think I started this piece about 3 years ago on New Year's Day. For the first two years I only worked on it on New Year's Day... not really making any progress at all! This year with the support of Christin, Abi, Colleen and Carmen as part of a SAL I really finally started to work on it this year! Also with some goading from Chrisanne, as we were supposed to have stitched this together and she finished it that year that I started it!

So here it is :

Celtic Banner c2000 Marilyn Leavit-Imblum of Butternut Road
Stitched on : 28ct Cashel Linen, Heritage - From Surgar Maple Fabrics
Stitched with : DMC & Caron Wildflowers

My next project will be my TWRR unless the temptation for a quick little freebie wins over!

Just Hours To Go

I think another 4-5 hours and I'll have Celtic Banner finished!

If I didn't have to do shopping earlier today (which took all day) it would of been finished.

I did get more Cedar, so all is good!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Questions About Books...

Ann asked me in a comment on my last entry about books and reading. She wanted to know if I read Terri Goodkin.

Alas, another author I keep meaning to pick up. I used to be a hard core fantasy reader... actually that's all I would read. Over the last couple of years I've been spreading my wings a bit more (I suppose as a Library Tech. I should). I still read fantasy, my current novel that I'm reading is a doozie its "Eyes of God" by John Marco its over 700 pages I'm about half way through it.

My next book will be Confessions of a Shopoholic lent to me by my friend Marj she says its a hoot. Over the last couple of years I've read some classics, young adult, and mainstream fiction.

Ann also asked about David Eddings and George R.R. Marin. Two more authors I haven't read yet. I think my list keeps getting longer!

Some of my favorite authors are C.J. Cherryth, Robin McKinley, Patricia Kennally Morrison, and Tara K. Harper. A few of them have stopped writing, and some of them have changed genre.

Also, I don't read as much as I used to. Part of it is time not having enough of it... or it takes away from my stitching time. When I used to ride the bus (in another life when I lived in the city and didn't have a car) I read a lot! When I was a teen I would inhale a book every week to two weeks. Now it sometimes takes me months!

Those were the good ole days!

ARGH! The Ort Jar Can't Save Me This Time!

Insert your favorite swear words here!!!

I'm on the 2nd to last row on Celtic Banner and I have run out of Caron Wildflowers Cedar!!!! (more swear words). I've checked the ort jar and there's not really any salvageable bits in there... and well there's just too much! I just need an arm's length or two! Argh!!!!

Its a) too late to go to the LNS
b) if it wasn't a statutory holiday

So tomorrow on my running about I'll stop by the LNS to see if they have any... but they're well known for not having threads in stock (I won't be holding my breath when I go there). I have a back-up plan. I've e-mailed Christin and asked her if I can steal a little bit of her Cedar from her Celtic Banner if I can't easily buy any tomorrow!


No HD for me tonight. But at least I can keep working on the areas in the last two bands that don't need Cedar.

Celtic Banner Progress and SBQ

Well its been a VERY productive couple of days stitching while I've sat on the deck at the cottage working on my tan! I can see an HD in my future!

We had a spectacular sunset on the lake a couple of days ago, I just loved how the clouds got lit up by the setting sun!

Finally another late SBQ :

Q : Do you have a favorite needlework tool that you like to work with?What is it and why do you like using it?

A : I really don't have any paticular tools I use beyond scissors and needle! Last week's SBQ covered the topic of scissors. Now my favorite needle has to be by Piecemakers#28's! If you haven't tried them... I seriously suggest you try them. When you stitch, it feels like a hot knife going through butter! Now in terms of actual tools the one I do use from time to time is the Star detailer, its used to pull a small bit of thread trough the back of your stitches when its too short to use your needle.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Blogging Slacker!

Wednesday August 2nd...

Well here I am blogging to you from Beck's Shore on Mississippi Lake! Well not really blogging since we don't have phone service at the cottage. I'm just typing my entry into my word processor on my laptop and the next time I'm at the house I'll copy and paste it into Blogger. When that will be I'm not sure... probably the next disgustingly humid and hot day.

I think its been ages since I last blogged, over a week I'm sure. I started to blog yesterday when I was at the house (disgustingly hot and humid) but my computer was getting really blogged down by the latest upgrade to McAfee, which I had just installed so I gave up. I'm not sure if I like the new software yet or not, we'll see. If it continues to slow down my poor little lappy top then you can be sure I'll be logging a complaint.

Soooo you may wonder what have I been up to? Well I've not only been up here at the cottage surviving the hot weather and lack of internet connection.

Thursday of last week, I picked up my nephew Nick in the evening as I had a top secret evil plan I wanted to implement starting earlyish Friday morning. What did we do Friday? Well I woke Nick up at about 7am... disgustingly early for a boy on summer holidays! Threw him into the car, and started driving East. Thecouldn't a point I couldn't keep it hidden from him where we were heading, to Montreal. But what were we going to do in Montreal I wouldn't say, it was a top secret evil plan! As I started getting closer to downtown Montreal, and more nervous because only once had I driven further than the West Island (the area I grew up in) it became obvious to Nick that I was following the signs to
La Ronde.

For both of us it was our first time at La Ronde, for Nick it was his first time he was tall enough to go on the roller coasters! We spent the entire day going from ride, to ride, to ride! We went on absolutely every roller coaster that was open (one was closed)! Nick's first roller coaster ever as a doozie too! For our first ride we went on the stand up roller coaster that had two loops!!!! What a brave kid! (he's 11 by the way) from that point on I think he was hooked. If it spun, went up in the air, went in circles or flipped you upside down we went on it!

When we were done all the rides it was getting to be about dinner time. I was nervous about leaving the park, as when you go to places like this, there are signs leading you there but no directional signs to get you back home. Surprisingly enough it was really easy! We crossed the bridge, and whoila! There was the 720 to take us back West. For dinner I treated Nick to a REAL Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwitch, not those things place outside of Montreal call smoked meat. We went to McBay's in Dollard Des Ormeaux on Boul Des Source, not far from where I grew up. Nick agreed, it was the best ever. After dinner I took him to see where me and his Mother grew up. Then it was time to head West, back to Ontario where the street signs are English.

Saturday/Sunday were spent up at Todd's Grandmother's cottage on Black Lake. I have to say that's my favorite place to be. Its so peaceful, and beautiful. I think it helps that Black Lake is a private lake. We were there with Todd's Uncle and a bunch of his cousins. Nick had a great time.

We arrived here at Mississippi Lake on Monday and pretty much been here ever since. Nick is still enjoying himself. We've been swimming and fishing every day.

Now onto more mundane things like... Stitching! In all honesty I haven't stitched much so far on my holidays. When I have been stitching its been on Celtic Banner, I have the finishing bug for that piece! Not far now! This is my progress as of this evening. Once Celtic Banner is done, and I'm back at the house I'll be moving onto the next installment of the TWRR that arrived just before my holidays.

I suppose I should share my August Goals with you!

July Wrap Up :
Stitch TWRR - Done
Stitch one Ornament - Done
Stitch two Dragon Dreams models - Done and done
Work on Celtic Banner - For sure!

I did also have two little starts in there- my latest travel project, the Lanarte Zebra and Gone Fishing by Heritage Stitchcraft for Todd (which hasn't been finished).

August Goals :
Stitch TWRR
Stitch one Ornament
Finish Celtic Banner
Finish Gone Fishing
Finish Lanarte Zebra
If I'm enthusiastic, work on Noah's Sub (next on the WIP killing list)

Now I never answered last week's SBQ :

Q : Many of us have a few paihave a embroidery scissors and some even havea "collection". How many pto share scissors do you have? Feel free toshare a photo of your favorite pair or pairs with us!

A : I think I have somewhere between 4-6 pairs of needlework scissors! I have one pair of cheapies that I bought at Wal Mart when I was desperate one day. I have several pairs of Ginghers and one pair of Dovos, which I have to say are my favorite (pictured hercouldn'ten I saw these at the local LNS I couldn't help but buy them and I'm so glad I did! I haven't seen Dovos like these ever since! I call these my ladybug scissors as the handles are red and black. This beautiful fob I received a couple of years ago in a fob exchange all the way from Malaysia!

Earlier last week I finished off one of my ornaments into an angel as the kit showed. This is Lori Birmingham's Jack In The Box

Off to stitch while the boys play caveman, and burn wood!