More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Thursday, November 30, 2006

December Goals and SBQ

Its that time again... another month has passed, and another is starting!

November - Recap

Stitch last TWRR - Done
Finish Celestial Fob - Done
Finish Dragon Needlecase class from TW - Done
Finish Mini Autumn Sampler class from TW - Done
Stitch Sweetheart Tree RR - Done
Stitch an ornament for exchange - Did two!
Noah's Sub... if there's time - Yup!

December Goals

Stitch an Ornament
Stitch a Freebie
Finish a Page on Noah's Sub
Finish Mini Cottages 4

Wow! This is why I love setting manageable goals each month... it really helps you to realize what you've accomplished. Sometimes you think you get nothing done... then you look back at those goals and voila! You've actually accomplished something! Because I was feeling like I had gotten very little done in November. I hope my goals for December are modest and achievable. With time off for Christmas... they should be.

Now catching up on those SBQ's again!

Q : Do you stitch Christmas ornaments? If so, how many do you stitch each year and for whom? If not, why not?

A : Yay an easy one to answer... if you know me then you know my answer is "well duh!" Of course I do! Some would say I stitch a lot of them. I think this year I'm up to 15 ornaments. Now where do they all go? Every year I give one to each of the secretaries and my co-worker, then there's the ornament exchanges I sign up for. There are ornaments for friends and family. I think they make fantastic and thoughtful gifts.

Q : How do you secure your thread when you begin a new one? Specifically,do you or have you ever used a waste knot?

A : I don't use a waste knot when I stitch... that would be a waste of time... then I'd have to go back and secure that thread. My stitching friends know I like to get stitching, and not waste time on silly things like tucking threads in later, gridding fabric or the like! When I start a new thread I leave a bit of a tail on the back of the fabric with one finger I hold that thread off to the direction I'm stitching in and catch it with my stitches... voila its secured with minimal stitching time wasted. Life is all about maximizing stitching time.

Well lately I've had a serious case of want-to-start-it-itis!!! Sunday evening before bed I got Tour Des Marques by The Silver Lining all kitted up. This is a piece that Beth, Christin and I have been intending to stitch as a SAL for the last two years. I think we're finally getting to a stage where we might actually start! Both Beth and I are ready to go, Christin is waiting for her fabric to arrive. We haven't sorted out when we'll be working on this piece. Seems like 2007 will be the year of the Stitch-A-Long between Tour and The Castle. I am happy to say we've corrupted another stitching friend into joining Chrisitn, Chrisanne and I (and many of you online) to stitch The Castle on Saturdays in 2007! Yes, Beatrice (you've seen her photo in many of my "Brighton" stitching activities) is going to join us, and I think this will be her first TW how exciting! My fabric has arrived for the Castle, and soon I'll have to start putting floss together, for that New Year's start! Chrisanne... are we going to stitch in the New Year again???

Since the weekend I've been working on Noah's Sub when I have time... always wishing I was working on something else! LOL I do like this project but can't get obsessed with the piece like I do others. Well, I was also bad... I did make a small start this week... I couldn't help myself! I started Jennifer Aikman-Smith's Moon Dragon a pattern Jennifer gave to us during her Celestial Fob workshop. I plan to put Teresa Wentzler's Sun Dragon on the other half of the fabric! But I'm only letting myself work on it a wee bit at a time so that Noah's Sub doesn't take a back seat... again... and again... and again!

Off to stitch!
Photo : Siberian Iris from my gardens.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Yes! Its Done!!!

Thank you for sticking with me through my stitching marathon this weekend. I continued to work on Mini Autumn Sampler by Teresa Wentzler (a class from the Creativ Festival this year) all day and... I finished it!

The drawn thread in the border were a new challenge for me, I've managed to avoid it for quite a few years. In the end it really wasn't as daunting as I thought it would be... except when you have to cut. Why is the first cut always the scariest???

Mini Autumn Sampler

Teresa Wentzler

Back to Noah's Sub (can you tell I tend to avoid this project???)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Another Marathon

Now that the groceries are done... and I got to play coffee fairy at Todd's work this morning (a Timmie's run for the guys since there isn't one nearby and they're working Saturday) its a chance for me to settle in and stitch!

This weekend its an Indiana Jones Marathon! Before starting the first movie I started ormentifying an ornament I stitched a couple of months ago (I just haven't had much time for finishing lately!). While the glue dried I started up Raiders of the Lost Ark and pulled out Mini Autumn Sampler, first I snapped a before picture.

I think I made descent progress during the first movie, working on the grapes and another pear.

After Raiders I completed the finishing on Blackwork Noel a freebie from Glory Bee. I'm very happy with how it turned out. Then it was a quick sandwich ... stitching can make a girl hungry you know!

Now onto Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom...

Here's my Temple of Doom progress! The grapes are done.. what a practice in patience it was all confetti stitching!!!

Onto Indian Jones and the Last Crusade... my favourite!

We actually ended up taking a bit of a movie break and watched 2 shows on TV before getting back to the marathon, so this image shows about 4 hours of progress... I'm getting there!

Now to contiune on my my Harrison Ford theme, I've moved onto Star Wars IV : A New Hope.

Last night I couldn't really be bothered to update but here's my progress at the end of Star Wars IV

My next movie was The Empire Strikes Back... about half way through that I finished the over one row... and went to bed. This morning I'm back at it again.

I imagine I'll be able to get started on the cutwork areas today... I think.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Progress Pictures and a Little TWRR

I think its about time I tease you with some progress pictures... don't you think?

For the first time since Monday I've been able to sit down and work on Teresa Wentzler's Mini Autumn Sampler. Its coming along beautifully, but slowly. I've now got four pieces of fruit stitched up in that over one section. Next I'll tackling some grapes!

Since I haven't had the time or been in good lighting situations I've been able to also put some time in on Michael Powell's Mini Cottages 4! Boy is it really coming together now. I just want to focus on it... but I shouldn't also being that its on aida its a great travel project.

Finally like I promised Noah's Sub! Which I worked on last weekend at the retreat.

Oh and a little treat for you! My Teresa Wentzler Round Robin has come home! There is still room left on it, so I'm going to baste more squares and its going to go around to some of my good stitching friends... Christin, Beth, Ann, Beatrice, Adriana, and Kathy. Hopefully I have enough room for everyone!!! Then I'll have to figure out what kind of border to put around all the blocks!

This and That

I haven't really given you a good update in awhile of what I've been up to! So much I think I'm running myself down!

Last Friday Christin and I went and saw Guns N' Roses in concert. Every once in awhile someone may ask you... where's the oddest place you've stitched? Well I can now say I've stitched waiting for a concert to start! I had heard rumors that G n' R was going to run late... so of course I brought along my stitching! Christin was kind enough to get a quick pic. of the momentous event!

What a late night that was!!! The show didn't end until 2:15am! By the time I got Christin home and got back to my place... it was after 3am! Oh boy what a long day, I had worked all day Friday as well! Unfortunately for my poor sleep deprived self, I didn't have the luxury of a nice lie in on Saturday. I was up at 9am and hitting the road shortly after 10am. On my way to pick up my friend Beth who had a lovely home made soup and sandwiches waiting for me. From Beth's place it was off to the Butler Creek B&B in Brighton for the Knowledge and Needles Retreat.

We were first to arrive so we got to stake out prime stitching spots in the living room! This year was Beth's first year at the retreat and she just loved the B&B, I told her it was beautifully decorated and so relaxing. This year it was a smaller group, about 7 of us. I wasn't surprised when by 4pm I had to go take a nap before dinner... I was pooped! Shortly before midnight Beth had a happy dance! She finished The Silver Lining's Poinsettia over one! Its just stunning!

I didn't take a lot of pictures that weekend... I was trying to stitch! I think I was too unsettled all weekend to get tonnes done but I did make visible progress on Noah's Sub. I did get this one of everyone settling into a delicious breakfast! Our choices were eggs Benedict or apple pancakes. This year I tried the pancakes they were awesome! By 11:30 we were all packing up, as usual I was sad it was ending! I probably would of headed back to Ann's place for a few more hours of stitching before going back home, as I prefer to make it a leisurely trip.

But I had to get back home to make a cake! My sister had decided we would be celebrating my Nephew's 12 birthday Sunday night. So I had to drive back home 3 hours, bake a cake, clean up, start the laundry and be at my sister's for 6pm. Of course the cake was still warm by the time we got there so it had to sit outside for about an hour and a half before I could decorate it... with the help of my 5 year old niece. As you know little kids like to put on lots of candy all over the place!

Nick had a friend over for his birthday and as a joke his friend got him a lovely tiara with pink fluff! Totally hilarious. The minute I snapped a photo of him Nick said this is going to haunt me for life isn't it? Well what else are aunt's for. From the moment Nick unwrapped it I could see Emma eyeing that tiara. Boy did she want it! As usual little girls get their way!

This week has been a lot of running around and a little stitching... well not much. Today in the mail (technically yesterday now I suppose) Ruth's Sweetheart Tree RR arrived. Well I was a good girl and actually managed to get it stitched tonight! Its so pretty too! My selection is the square on the right.

Sweetheart Tree Round Robin - Ruth's

Blooming Hearts c2003

Using : DMC cotton and perle, mill hill beads, flowers and paillettes

I also received in the mail today my frist ornament of the season. This one is stitched by Anu for the annual TWOE its so pretty! It'll be a lovely addition to my tree.

Well I should go to bed! Perhaps tomorrow I'll provide you with progress pictures!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Canadians... Please Consider This

I'm not often one to suggest we all do something but the Dominion Intitute has a petition they are asking people to "sign" online.

In the near future we will loose our last World War I Vet (I heard there are only 3 left in Canada) and they would like to ask Prime Minister Harper that the last WWI vet. has a state funeral.

I think this is very good idea and very important.

Here's the link to the petition.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Dad!

Just a quick post to say a Happy 65th B-day Dad!

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Little Progress

I really should share progress pictures with you more often, shouldn't I? I have to admit I like "surprising" you with HD's wth the whole project finished instead of feeding you a little bit at a time.

I didn't really get as much stitching as I'd like to done tonight... I spent so much of it on the phone! With my Mum and with my guild's President. But I do feel like I made progress on Teresa Wentzler's Mini Autumn Sampler!

I also got to work on Mini Cottages 4 today while waiting for various appointments. I should get some more time to work on it tomorrow since I have a guild executive meeting and I don't bother to go home between work and the meeting.

Lately I've been getting a lot of ribbing about Todd... little jokes along the line that he dosen't exsist. Todd dosen't socialize in the same circles as I do, so my friends start to wonder if he really exsists since they never get to see him. Well you're all familiar with Hunter... so I can't fake this picture... the best job I can do without Todd giving me the middle finger when I try to take a picture of him!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The End Of A Round Robin

Well, this is it... the end of the TWRR I've been in this year! I received Sylvia's piece rather late during this final round... it should of been in the mail over a week ago. Oh well, it'll go into tomorrow's mail... wait no it won't its a day off for government employees... but not me! Nope I've got to go to work.

I stitched the bottom band, a section of the border from Teresa Wentzler's Peacock Tapestry. I hope Sylvia is happy with the end results!

Now onto TW's Mini Autumn Sampler!

Sharing a Model and SBQ Catch-Up

So far, I've had a wonderful stitchy weekend! I haven't left the house since I came home on Friday night... after doing all the groceries and going out for dinner with Christin and her Mom. It was a nice evening. I've been stitching the weekend away on Sylvia's TWRR, which I should be able to finish today! Then I'll be moving onto another class piece from the Creativ Festival, Teresa Wentzler's Mini-Autumn Sampler. This one will probably take me more than a week, unlike the other class pieces this has quite a section of over one.

I think I can also finally share with you a finish from before the summer. Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams gave me the choice to stitch any one of her class pieces from this year's Creativ Festival. Of course... I chose the dragon!

Overdyed Dragon

c2006 Dragon Dreams
Creativ Festival 2006 Class

Now to catch up on several SBQ's!

Q : If you were to come across a sampler chart that caught your eye and appealed to you, would you or would you not stitch it if it had a morbid or "creepy" saying on it? If not, why?

A : Knowing my personality this is probably what would make the piece more appealing to me! I like things that are strange and a little off the wall... as long as its tastefully done.

Q : How did you decide on the title of your stitching blog? Was it random,or does it have a special meaning to you or about you?

A : My blog's name isn't random at all! Once after stitching a model for Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams in record time in some correspondence she called me a Black Belt Stitching Wizard! So I took it and ran with it! Thanks Jen!

Q : How many different brands of "complete" embroidery floss sets do you own? How do you keep track of it? (i.e., spread sheet program, index cards, palm pilot, etc.)

A : I only have one complete set and that's for DMC cotton floss. There really is no point in having a full collection of any of the specialty fibers because what are the chances in actually using each and every one. DMC is commonly used throughout the needlework industry and I can assure you my stash gets a regular workout!!! I've tried to track my DMC floss on a spreadsheet, but I'm the worst at keeping up to date. So I've just given up keeping a system. As for my specialty fibers they organzied first by type of floss (silk/cotton/rayon, etc) then by company then by colour name/number. This why when I'm looking for something I can find it quickly.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Another Ornament Is Born

... and I can't share it with you again! Sorry! This time I picked something out of my comfort zone for me to stitch. Its not perfect, but its pretty darned good!

I look forward to sharing it with you when its been received.

Now I'm off to sort out Sylvia's TWRR!

(Photo : columbine from my gardens)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Another Little HD

Unfortunately no piccys for you this time. I sat down today and stitched the first of two Christmas ornaments for exchanges I'm in. I know I've got this baggie full of ornaments, but I've shared them with you all and what fun would that be sending off an ornie the world has seen?

So I stitched up a freebie that caught my eye some months ago. I totally changed the colour lay out and I think it looks quite wintery now. Of course I'm head over heels with the beaded edging I did on my Celestial Fob so I did another beaded edge. It looks fantastic. I did take pictures and will share those with you sometime in December. This ornament exchange I'm organizing through my BB Needle and Thread (link in the sideboard)... and still taking sign ups.

This evening I started my second ornament this one is for the TWOE (Teresa Wentzler Ornament Exchange). I'm a little disappointed to hear that this year there are only 15 participants... in the past the exchange used to be huge! I think that just shows what an impact there was on the community when the Just Plain Chat forum was removed a couple of years ago. I know Teresa's reasoning, and I understand it as it started taking the focus away from what she originally intended. Many of the stithcer that used to hang there have settled on various boards across the internet. I miss those days.

I'd like to get these ornaments finished up before the week is out, and finally move onto Sylvia's TWRR. Which has been sitting in my stitching bag since I received it. I just couldn't focus stitching on it until I finished Celestial Fob and Needle Guardian were done. I haven't even decided what I'm going to stitch on her RR.

(Photo : clematis growing in my front garden)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Beam Me Up Scotty... Its Done!

Needle Guardian
Teresa Wentzler

I've done it! I've finished my Needle Guardian... and I've finished it! I completed the stitching during Star Trek III : The Search for Spock. Took a break from my marathon and did the finishing.

For the finishing on this I kinda improvised. The directions with the needlecase say to sew the felt at the center to the inside of the needlebook, and whola! Well I wanted to hide the back of my work, this being a TW the back isn't usually pretty! So I broke out my new sewing machine and finished it by machine instead of by hand. I sewed a plain white cotton to the back of my stitching and put the felt inside and sewed down the middle. I'm incredibly happy with the results!

The Front

The Back


Space... The Final Frontier

This is my weekend voyage...
To watch as many movies in the Star Trek franchise as I can... stitch as much as I can...

Here's where I am at the start of Star Trek I... Teresa Wentzler's Needle Guardian (below)

Several hours later, and I've finished watching Star Trek I. Also all that bonus material! So here is where my Needle Guardian Stands (below). Onto Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan.

I've just wrapped up Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan and all its Bonus material... that was quite a bit of stuff to watch and I've moved right along with my Needle Guardian!

I'm now just starting up Star Trek III : The Search for Spock, there's not much left on my Guardian... just a few more beads. Also... a lot of nun stitch before I can start the actual finishing!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Oooh I Feel Like a Celebrity!

If you go over to Teresa Wentzler's Blog... I got a personal mention in her current entry about the Creativ Festival in Toronto!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Needle Guardian Tease

Like I've mentioned several times now in my past entries I've been working on a class piece by Teresa Wentzler, the Needlecase Guardian. Well I've finally finished the guardian portion of the needlecase tonight... minus a few beads. I'm now getting into the "border" thank goodness, not a complicated one compared to some of the other designs put together by Teresa.

I'm sure you've noticed I've really not blogged as reguarly as I used to this fall. Life is just soooo busy! Work is non-stop with the increased student population this year. I've been working on several things at guild... one of them is pretty darned cool, and I'm so excited about but nothing is firm yet so I just don't want to risk sharing prematurely. On top of all that there's Taekwon-Do.

I am so looking forward to this weekend! I'm going to stay home, watch my Star Trek movie box set and stitch, stitch, stitch! I've not stayed home in ages!