More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Annual Stitching Goals and Review

Well I've dragged out my stitching goals from 2006 and boy did I get WAYYY off track this year. There's what you think you'd like to do/get done and then there's what gets done.

2006 Goal Review :

Finish Noah’s Submarine - Almost got 1/2 done
Finish Celtic Banner - YES!
Stitch Santa Fly Fishing Stocking for Todd - Didn't even start it
Bug collector - YES!
Enchantment of Winter For Dad - Didn't even start it

2007 Goals :

Finish Noah’s Submarine
Finish Tour Des Marques
Finish The Castle
Stitch Santa Fly Fishing Stocking for Todd

This past year, I did manage to stitch 21 ornaments and finished 29 other assorted projects. Not too many big ones this year.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mini Cottages Happy Dance!!!

Wahootie I finished it!!! Its done! Last night while visiting with Ann and Dan I finished Mini Cottages 4. I finished the actual cross stitch on Thursday night and got a start on the backstitch. I figured the backstitch wouldn't take long on Friday... boy I was wrong! It took me until after dinner to finish Mini Cottages 4! Holy crap!

So without further ado :
Mini Cottages IV
Michael Powell Cross Stitch Art c2002
Stitched on : 14ct Aida using Anchor Cotton

And here's Mini Cottages 1-4 (click for bigger piccy)

Anyhow I have to thank Ann and Dan for a lovely couple of days out in Brighton! Before I could start my journey on Thursday I went and saw my Sport's Medicine Doctor to get the cortisone shot in the bottom of my heel. Oh my gosh I've gotten a lot of needles over the years, that one was painful! Then I could finally hit the road.

When I arrived an Ann's I was greeted by "the girls" Patty, Molly, and their visitor Maddie (all dogs). It didn't take Ann and I long to settle in to stitch. Shortly after my arrival, Ann's regular stitching ladies showed up. Ann and a good sized group of local stitchers get together every Thursday afternoon to stitch. (this is why I timed my visit for Thursday) We all got a wonderful surprise when Kathy showed up! Kathy and I have become very good friends in the last two years, and she's been down in Arizona for the winter. She's up to visit family over the holidays, it was so good to see Kathy! She wants me to fly down for a visit during March Break in 2007. We had a lovely afternoon of stitching and shopping in Ann's shop, Knowledge and Needles, I also came out of there a few bucks lighter. I bought Michael Powell's Mini Cottages 5 which is one of the Spanish Cottages and a couple of skeins of the new DMC overdyed cottons. Once everyone left Ann and I stitched into the evening.

Friday morning Dan treated Ann and I to breakfast out. Mmmm one of my favourite meals to eat out (not that I do very often). By mid-morning Ann and I were back at it again, stitching away, Marj drove out to stitch with us for the day. I was hoping she would stay to have dinner with us but she couldn't. Dan was a sweetie that afternoon, and washed my car and vacuumed the inside. He also vacuumed Marj's car! Then he made dinner, "Dan's Chicken" for Ann and I, it was awesome! What more could a girl ask for? Stitching, good food and a clean car! I stayed one more night, as usual I always hate coming back home.

So now I'm hoping to finish Moon Dragon by Dragon Dreams before the New Year starts... hmmm can I do it?

Tomorrow I'm back on the road again, off to Cornwall this time to stitch in the New Year with Chrisanne (this has become our tradition). We'll both be putting in our first stitches on The Castle at midnight!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ready For The Castle SAL??? And Progress

Well, I'm ready for The Castle (by Teresa Wentzler) SAL starting on January 1st, 2007 are you??? After January 1st we'll be working on it every Saturday. Many of us will be sharing our progress and experiences at my Bulletin Board, Needle and Thread in the Teresa Wentzler form. So if you're going to join in the SAL be sure to stop on by!

Yesterday I bought the last of the floss needed, and packaged it all in floss-a-way bags. I'm quite excited now!

After a nice day out with a massage, lunch, and a little shopping I settled in with some DVD's in the evening and continued to work on Mini Cottages 4. Not long now before I can declare this puppy done!

Today I'm off to go stitch with my friend Ann... after I get a cortisone injection in my foot. I'm afraid of how much this is going to hurt. I mean there's really not much tissue in the bottom of your feet is there? Hopefully this will give me some relief from the constant pain I'm experiencing with plantar fascists.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mini Cottages Progress

Its late, I should be in bed... of course I'm not going to work tomorrow so does it really matter?

Here's today's progress on Mini Cottages 4

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day Snow!

Lookie what I woke up to this morning! White stuff, I guess we didn't get it in time for Christmas but it showed up for Boxing Day. But I don't think its going to last too long.

For a fair part of Christmas Day I worked on Tour Des Marques. Its not so blob like now, and you can see a little "structure". I actually wanted to keep working on it today. However, I'd like to get a couple of things finished before December is over.

Today started out with a little elbow grease, getting my craft room back in order. Honestly, it was a disaster zone! You couldn't move around in there without tripping and killing yourself! Now, its clean, organized and ready for a finishing frenzy if the urge hits me! This afternoon we've settled in with DVD's and me with Michael Powell's Mini Cottages 4.

Monday, December 25, 2006

I'm Dreaming of a Brown Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone! I survived!

Well for the first time in my memory of Christmases in Canada, there's no snow!

Dinner with both families is over, the presents are unwrapped and chillaxing here on the couch with my laptop and the TV on.

Last night went really well, and now I understand all the talk about how tiring it is to put on a meal for a large group and how when its time to eat you're not hungry. My first guests arrived early... a bit of a surprise as I was just finishing my flight of the bumblebee and still in my pyjamas. Once all of my family was here (I had them coming over a little earlier than Todd's family) we exchanged gifts. My favourite gift is the one from my Mum she got me a chainmaille book I've been wanting called Chains By Becky I'm looking forward to making some of the projects from that. My Mum was also a sweetie and got me a bunch of silver rings!

About an hour later Todd's family arrived, we'll be exchanging gifts with them this Saturday as Todd's Dad works during the statutory holidays. Dinner went very well, and of course there was too much food! I made a huge lasagna and I guess it was good because there's only three small pieces left! I have lots of munchies to snack on for the next two weeks though. Once almost everyone was gone, except for my parents I was just wasted! I mean exhausted not drunk! I laid down on the couch with my pillows and quilt and just chatted with my Mum. I was in bed before midnight!

This morning Todd and I exchanged presents. I got him a lot of different and small things, Ferrari stuff, DVD's, he liked everything. Santa surprised me by stuffing my stocking for the first time! Santa has been stuffing Todd's for years! Santa go me a cute little USB mouse for my laptop! I'm already liking it! The cats got me a canister of caramel popcorn from the Boy Scouts. Best of all Todd got me the Digital PVR-Receiver I've been asking for! Yay no more missed shows when life is super busy!

So I didn't get any stitchy gifts... but that's okay you'd know that if you saw my craft room that is currently a disaster zone. I'll be cleaning that sometime real soon!!!

Today is Tour De Marques SAL day so guess what I've got all day to stitch on????

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Last Of The 2006 Ornaments

Merry Christmas!

Well I finally have the time and the energy to blog! Its been a long week with few free moments in between. Lack of free moments, and that I've been practically falling asleep where I stand at times. Its taken so much to get ready for today, Christmas Eve. For the first time ever I'm having my family and Todd's family over at the same time! Everyone is coming over for dinner tonight! Ack! Its taken a lot of shopping and preparing... and ick... cleaning!

While we're in the spirit and all that I'd like to thank all of you for visiting my blog and reading my nonsense! I would of stopped long ago if no one read what I put here. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and gets in lots of stitching... and if not lots of stitching lots of new stash!

Also there's been some last minute ornament scrambling as I realized I didn't have as many as I needed to give as gifts! This year's final ornament tally is : 21!

So here's the final ornaments and ornament finishing!
Portrait of A Cat - Freebie
Brittercup Designs

Gift of Hearts -Freebie
c2001 At River's End
Stitched on Mystery Fabric
Using GAST Cherrywine and Dried Thyme

Wevryn Christmyth Ornament - Freebie
c2006 Dragon Dreams

c2006 Prarie Schooler
JCS 2006 Ornament Issue

Intermediate White Work Ornament - Freebie
Teresa Wentzler
Stitched on 30ct Macaroon Linen
Using DMC Ecru

Shimmering Showflake - Freebie
c1999 Ursula Michael Desings
Stitched on Pweter Lugana
Using Vicki Clayton Midnight and Royal Blue

Since I'm now on holidays until January 8th I'm sure I'll be blogging much more frequently... and catching up on all that stitching!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I've Been Tagged

I got tagged by Loretta tonight with this meme : 5 things you don't likely know about me.

1. Deep down in my heart... I'm a Trekkie I once had my picture taken with George Takei (Sulu) at a Star Trek convention.

2. The first car I bought on my own was "Raspberry" aka pink!

3. I don't want to have kids.

4. Back in high school I asked Todd out... that was 15 years ago now. But I'm damned if I'll ask him to marry me. That one is up to him.

5. In middle school I was in the play Little Women, I played the role of Jo. I'm the only one who sounded like someone from the north where the play is set. (We were living in Texas at the time).

I'm going to tag...


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Finding Time For It All

What a week! And its only Tuesday! Stitching time has been at a premium lately and not much of that has been happening. I've not had a full evening at home yet this week and it might not happen for a few more days. I didn't get to stitch on Tour De Marques on Monday.

Between all the pre-Christmas events, and getting ready to have company on Christmas Eve I have managed to stitch one last minute ornament and found a little time for Noah's Sub.

This ornament I started at 4pm on Sunday when I realized I had to get a gift for the "Warm Fuzzy" exchange at work. Its a year long exchange of sorts at work where you pick a name and through out the year you give them little pick me up gifts. Since my Warm Fuzzy is someone new on staff and we don't really interact too much I can feel safe giving her a stitched ornament without giving away my identity. So tonight at my Guild meeting I finished up the stitching on the ornament and ornamentified it when I got home.

O Holy Night
c2005 Indigo Rose
JCS 2005 Ornament Issue
Mystery Fabric, DMC 310 & GAST Cherry Wine

Friday, December 15, 2006


Q : Do you have any good Internet links to tutorials for your favorite finishing techniques that you would like to share?

A : Yeah... my webpage!!! I've got a number of tutorials!
Photo : Hunter enjoying the sunshine on a fluffy blankie.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ornament #2 for December

Remember I said after I finished my last ornament that I'd pick Noah's Sub back up? Well I lied... I gave into my impulse and stitched up the Dragon Dreams Christmyth ornament for 2006, a Wevryn holding a steaming cup of hot chocolate! I'll finish him up for my nephew.

However I was a good girl... I did work on Noah's Sub for a couple of hours tonight.

Tomorrow is going to be busy... a full day at work, grocery shopping, and wrapping up my Christmas shopping! Oh my!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Happy 6th Birthday Emma!

Today is my niece's 6th Birthday! Boy she's growing up fast! Saturday after I taught 3 classes at TKD my Mum and I took Emma out for a special Birthday Day. We first went to McDonalds for lunch and some time at Playland. Next it was off to Build-A-Bear! Oh Emma was just over the moon! Once she took a look at all of the animals her choice was simple... a Husky Dog. We let her know that she could pick out an outfit for her dog. But according to Emma "Dogs don't wear clothes", she was very adamant about that! So 45 minutes later we left with Husky, a baby Husky, a leash and a dog bed. On our way out of the mall there was a group of massage therapy students giving 10 minute massages for donations to the Food Bank, so we got Emma her very first massage. We were quite amazed that she laid still the whole time, she really enjoyed it! Then it was time to go back home! I was pooped!

Sunday I had a blast! It was the Teen's Christmas Party at TKD. I had suggested that perhaps we go to Lazer Quest back when the idea of doing something for the teens came up. So that's what we did, 26 of us got to play two games of Laser Tag, eat pizza and donuts. What fun! I have to say I didn't too bad for a 30 year old! One game I came in 6th and the second game 10th... I got ambushed by the boys!
Prarie Schooler

Winter c2006

32ct Mushroom Lugana & DMC floss

Earlier this evening I finished that Prarie Schooler ornament I started on Friday. Its quite lovely. I'll have to think about how I want to finish this one. Then I started a new Stitch-A-Long. Christin, Beth and I will be working on "Tour De Marques" from The Silver Lining. I'm stitching mine over one on 28ct Bluebell Joblean from Wichelt. Its in that blob-like phase right now. We'll be working on this project on Mondays.

Tomorrow its back to the Sub.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Finish It Friday

Well, last night around 9:30PM I got the finishing bug! So I went with it and pulled out Sweetheart Tree's "Don't But Me (while I'm stitching)" to finally turn into something I can hang on the wall in my stitching area. I'm very pleased with it. I thought the stretching might be tricky since the piece is on linen. However, I must be getting good at lacing/stretching because with some minor adjustments it looked perfect! I guess my tip to you, if you're getting frustrated with stretching is just keep doing it, it does get easier!

I stayed home sick yesterday, with the cold I told you about earlier in the week. During my waking hours (when I wasn't sleeping!) I started the Prarie Schooler ornament from the JCS 06 Ornament Issue. This is my choice for an Ornament RR so I figured get it stitched up instead of procrastinating. I didn't finish it yesterday but I did make descent progress.

Its Saturday now since it was pretty late when I finished my finishing, that's why I didn't post it last night. I'm getting ready to head out of the house (sitting here eating a quick breakfast) to teach three classes at TKD. Then my Mum and I will be picking up my niece, Emma and taking her out for lunch (she's turning 6 on the 11th) and to Build-A-Bear for an early b-day gift. I've had a cold all week and ended up taking off a couple of days from work. I'm feeling better this morning, but I hope I have the energy to do all of this!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Ornament Exchnages!

Over the last few weeks I've received three lovely ornaments through the mail. Two of them were from the Teresa Wentzler Ornament Exchange and one through the Needle and Thread Ornament Exchange. The last one arrived yesterday so here they all are for you to see.

TWOE, Non-TW Exchange from Anu

TWOE, TW Exchange from Paula

NTOE from Shannon

Also its time to share another progress picture with you, this time of Moon Dragon from Dragon Dreams. This piece is a SWIP (Slow Work In Progress), since I'm not allowing myself to go all out on stitching this one (or it would of been done over a week ago!). I'm working on this piece on 32ct Natural Linen, one half will be the Moon Dragon the other half Teresa Wentzler's Sun Dragon. I'm only letting myself work on it one thread length at a time. Otherwise I think Noah's Sub would never get done. As much as I think Noah's Sub is adorable its a chore to stitch. But its coming along!

Oh yeah, I also made up two fobs today. One is a custom order through Knowledge and Needles and the second one (the dolphin) will be for sale at the shop.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Noah's Sub Progress

Well its been slow but sure work on Noah's Sub this past week. I'm still putting in the lower half of the sub. I feel like I'll be doing this forever!

I've got a bit of a cough, I hope this doesn't develop into a full blown cold!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Its About Time... Framing!

Back in December of 2003 I finished Peacock Tapestry by Teresa Wentzler. Its one of those pieces, that's truly a labour of love because its such a pain in the ass to stitch! It has a million blends, quarter stitches, and lots of confetti! I was determined to stitch it for my new (at the time) house. So I did.

I had a good idea it would cost me two arms and a leg to have it stitched... so it sat in my bag of finished un-finished projects. And it sat, and it sat. Until this year! Christin was a real sweetie and as an early Christmas present she had PT stretched for me at our LNS. Then again, it sat and it sat. Waiting for me go get some molding and frame it.

Saturday we both had to go out to my supplier to get some stuff framed up before Christmas (actually my stuff were for people at work, not anything I had made). Christin had a couple of Christmas pressies. While I was there I finally picked out something for PT. I had decided that the piece was ornate enough that it really didn't need mats or a fancy frame. Most of the PT's that I've seen framed over the years have been "over done" with a million mats and ornate gold frames. I knew I wanted a simple line in a nice dark wood. The first corner sample I pulled off of the wall was what I came home with.

Today I put the frame together... it did give me a little grief... actually I had a bit of a hissy fit... put everything away and went and took a shower. But its done now and it looks fantastic hanging above my bed! I am so happy I went simple!

Peacock Tapestry is a perfect example of how expensive custom framing can be. A couple of years ago I took it to a framing shop and had them put together an estimate for me to get this framed... I was looking at about $450.00 to get my poor PT framed. What did this weekend's framing adventure cost me??? Well the stretching was a gift.. and even if I had paid for it, the stretching was only $60.00. The 9ft length of molding that I bought... that cost $20.25! So in total to frame my PT that cost $80.25! It leads me to ask why the markup is so high if you go to a professional custom framer?

I haven't really had time to stitch this weekend, but I will shortly...