More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I Hope Our Seats Are Good...

Don't you always feel the pressure when you're the one who has bought the tickets for a show or concert. You hope your seats are good... that you're not too far from the stage, that you're close to center. You just hope that the other people you're with aren't disappointed with your selection.

Last night I played out one of these scenarios. My Mum, Christin, and I went to The Phantom of The Opera at the NAC. I had bought tickets for us months ago I couldn't get us center seats but I did manage to get us seats in row EE in the orchestra. So that's on the ground level and the first rows are double letters then they go to single letters. As we're walking towards the front I notice that no double letters are starting. Was I wrong? Were double letters at the back? Oh dear. We keep moving forward....

WE HAD FRONT ROW SEATS! I just laughed! I guess when I bought the tickets they failed to mention/show on the seating diagram that rows AA-DD were being removed for the orchestra pit.

What an experience to see Phantom from the front row! Your really can see the costumes, the sets and facial expressions... and you feel like you're in the show just there on the edge watching everything happen... not that you're sitting in an audience.

But, boy, what a late night. After diving everyone home I didn't get home and to bed until at least 12:15am. Its now almost 7am I need to go to work and I'm beat!

Hmmmm... can I get away with sleeping through the first staff meeting of the year?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Truckin' Along

Sorry for no blog entry yesterday... I was exhausted.

I've been plugging away at Von's RR and hopefully should finish it by the weekend. Even if its not done by the weekend, I'll have to set it aside so I can get my Fair & Square exchange done. For some reason I thought the deadline was a little later in September instead of next Friday. I've picked a design I think my partner would like... but its a challenge because she's not a blogger so I can't go and read entries to get to know her tastes. I can only go by the brief blurb she gave. I need to make sure it'll fit the parameters set out by the rules and pick floss colours. The fabric selection is a no-brainier seeing as it has to be a 32ct linen in a neutral tones.
Exciting things are coming up for me socially. Yay! As I recently mentioned I've got my long weekend visit coming up with Kathy. I like to get in as much time with her as I can as she's a Snowbird and will be off to Arizona around Thanksgiving (the Canadian one). I can look forward to March though, she's invited me out for a visit again during March Break. Now to find the right priced flight. This time I'll go direct to Yuma, instead of stopping in San Diego for a few days (unless I find a flight to S.D that's such a steal that it makes renting a car worth my while).
Tomorrow evening me, my Mum and Christin are going out for a lovely dinner and to see The Phantom of The Opera! This will be my third time seeing Phantom (but its been more than 10 years since I saw it), Mum's second, and Christin's first. Fingers crossed that she'll be as awestruck with the production as I have been.
September 15th my Mum and I are going to see Genesis.
October I have two getaways planned. The first is a (I hope) long weekend getaway for me and Todd to the Ganenoque Inn. We've not been away together, just the two of us in a long time... we're overdue.
Then a few weeks later I'll be going back to that self same Inn, for the Cross Stitch Cupboard's Fall retreat where I'll be taking a class called Pomegranates and Pears from Jeannette Douglas.
Then finally, there's November when Ann of Knowledge and Needles holds her B&B retreat. This year instead of just one night, it'll be two. I'm so looking forward to all of these events.

I have to say the one I'm looking forward to the most is my long weekend getaway with Todd, I only just booked it today. I think Todd is looking forward to it too, its very hard to get him to agree to do anything or go anywhere. This time I just took the decision out of his hands, that an he has no excuse not to go.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sigh... The End of a Weekend

As each weekend has passed recently I've been regretting the end of summer. I have one more weekend... next weekend, the Labour Day long weekend will be my last one. For me that signals the end of summer as the kiddies are coming back to school.

Friday morning I packed up some clothes, and lots of stitching and hit Hwy 401 once again (the roads I was driving last weekend), this time in the opposite direction to visit with Chrisanne. It was hot and very humid the last few days! It got to the point that even stitching was so uncomfortable... I'm spoilt I really started to miss the AC at home! What was my body's response to heat and humidity? I kept falling asleep! You'd have to ask Chrisanne just how many times but I know I took several naps in my stitching chair at her house! How embarrassing!

While I could I worked on Von's Neighbourhood RR, but having all that fabric draped over your hands and lap on a very humid day got quite uncomfortable at times. However, at home today I worked on it pretty much all day and made great progress.

In between bouts of high humidity I worked on smaller projects....

Mini Cottages 5

August Ornament

For the long weekend I'll be hitting the 401 yet again... I sware my car will soon be able to drive myself there. I'll be visiting with Kathy and I'm really looking forward to it!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Am I the Only One?

Well last night I finished the final installment of Harry Potter. While I know of many of you went into seclusion the weekend it was released and didn't come out again until you were done. I didn't get my copy until the following Monday where I have to say that I was not driven to devour the book.

I'm not going to give any spoilers... but I have to say I was not impressed, I am disappointed with the novel. I felt that it in no way kept my interest nor stood up to the first six books. I felt that J.K. Rowling was dragging out the book to meet a page quota... parts of it just didn't encourage me to keep reading to see what would happen to Harry and his friends. Then it felt like the plot was suddenly to be wrapped up and bang the book was over.

I found this final installment rather empty it in no way lived up to the caliber of the previous novels. It makes me wondering... was J.K. Rowling rushed with this novel? Was she just meeting a contractual obligation? Who knows.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone was not as happy with HP7 as I was.
Photo : Morning Glory

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Q & A Time!

Tonight I finally got a real start on Von's Neighbourhood RR! Its a small start, since I got home and pretty much passed out on the couch for 2-3 hours! Seeing as I have no amazing stitching progress to really share with you I'll play a little Q&A tonight with the questions you folks have asked me over the last little while!

This first questions come from Karen I got this one while nearing the end of Noah's Sub :
Q : I know it's huge, but has it been a fun stitch or one you're just wanting to finish up as quick as possible?

A : I think I just really wanted the project done! I have to say I enjoyed the challenge of stitching such a huge piece but was it fun... at times yes (the animals) at times no (the large blocks of yellow/blue/green)

Q: Do you have a favourite animal/section on this one?

A : I have to say the porthole full of bunnies! (not the best photo!)

The next one is from Ann who as far as I'm aware doesn't blog but she always leaves me wonderful anonymous comments!

Q : Haven't you stitched this piece already once? (referring to Tour de Marques)

A : No I haven't, I have stitched a Silver Lining lighthouse a few years ago, Bandon Light as a model for the designer. (Also done over one)

Dawn is a frequent visitor and made me that lovely Dragon Dreams tin that I shared with you a few weeks ago. Her question is also in reference to TdM.

Q : Are you using both DMC and Anchor floss?

A : Yes I am, the design calls for both, Marc the designer often uses both DMC and Anchor in his designs and you can't substitute one for the other as they are both used to extend the colour pallate. Marc's sense of shading and detail is just amazing!

Another TdM question this time from Lauren whose blog I don't know her address for (Lauren if you can share that with me I'd be happy to link to you in this post!).

Q : Is it on blue fabric?

A : Yes its on Wichelt's hand dyed joblean line, 28 ct. Bluebell. Gives it a nice, light, summery feel.

Lynn is a wonderful woman and stitcher I got to meet earlier this summer. I look forward to when we can find time to get together and stitch again! She's going to be my roomie in October at the Cross Stitch Cupboard's Retreat where Jeannette Douglas is teaching!

Q : Your framing jobs are awesome! Does it take much time to do all the stretching?

A : Yes and no... it really depends on what type of fabric the piece is stitched on. Sometimes I lace, sometimes I pin. Also it comes down to how straight I get it onto the foam core the first time. Sometimes it has to come off and I have to start over. I rarely stretch a piece in one sitting, I like to put it down and pick it back up over several days. I find if you pick a piece up with fresh eyes you see what you missed the last time. You can also ask my close friends I'm very picky! I want things straight!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

8th Annual Brighton Retreat

This past weekend is of the weekends I look forward to the most every year! The retreat that Ann hosts opening up her home to so many people(and her shop … but shopping is not expected of us… almost everyone leaves with a little green bag anyhow. I mean who can resist an LNS that you can browse and re-visit several times during the day?) This year Ann expected a total of 30 people throughout Saturday. I have to say that this retreat is a great bargain! All it costs to go is : your time and gas to get there, something for potluck, and stitching to show off! Those of us who come from further out are welcome to spend the night, however sleeping arrangements can get creative! There are only so many beds. This year Christin and I are taking advantage of a new opportunity, to spend the night at Kathy’s who lives in the area. This will free up two sleeping spaces that we traditionally occupy (we’ve had dibs on the motor home for years!), so hopefully no one will end up on an air mattress. Not many people do spend the night as so many come from within easy driving distance. Meanwhile I’m only 3 hours away (one way) I do prefer to make it a longer trip.

I always find there’s a lot of preparation to get ready for this weekend! There are plans to be made numerous phone calls and e-mails. There is the decision of : what food to bring? For me that’s actually easy since I bring a big batch of chili every year… its become expected of me. Shopping for, and preparing of food. Oh and what to pack! Part of this year’s preparation was a flurry of framing!!! Between Wednesday and Thursday I built 5 frames, stretched three pieces, cut one piece of glass and cut one double mat! (see previous post)

Day One (Friday) :

Here we are mid-morning and the car is packed the house is locked up and ready to go! (oh and can’t forget saying good-bye to the boys)

Christin and I made our way to Kingston to stay with her parents for the night. We got there to find no one home and the place locked up. So we took a walk to the neighbours to get the spare key… it turned into a lovely two hour visit with Aunt Suzie. Eventually we made it over to the house and partially unpacked the car. While sitting, visiting, and stitching I noticed a certain little red car drive by several times… I had the sneaking suspicion that it was
Chrisanne missing the house! Yes it was she finally pulled in. According to her she was too busy listening to music, directions in one hand, smoke in the other and a can of Diet Coke on the go! How’s that for multi tasking! Also she says she was looking for the Canada flag that had fallen off of the mailbox (meanwhile we did give her a house number … ) and the house with no front step… which we didn’t know had been delivered on Monday. We did try putting the flag back several times but the wind just wasn’t co-operating.

Christin’s parents made us a lovely dinner and shortly after we got to settle in for a good long stitch! In the evening Christin’s Aunt Suzie and Aunt Carol pulled up and not long after so did Rebbecca who I discovered upon my first visit to her place that she’s just a 2 minute drive down the road! We had cake and ice cream to celebrate Christin’s birthday a few weeks ago. It was a great visit with lots of chatting, laughing and stitching!

Also we were treated with several lovely rainbows
Day Two (Saturday) :
We (Christin, Chrisanne and I) were up at a descent time (not disgustingly early) to get ourselves ready and the car packed again. This time we were heading out to pick up Beth before hitting the 401 to Brighton! We were the first to arrive ... if you didn't count Ann's overnight guests Carmen, Colleen, and Carmen's Mom.
(Left Colleen, Center Carmen , Right Carmen's Mom)

Rebbecca, her Mom and Aunt pulled in right after I did!
(Sitting Rebecca, standing Her Mom & Aunt)
We got there to a lovely surprise! Ann had stitched name tags for each of us! All of them had a custom motif that had some sort of sentiment to each of us. I got a lovely little castle! It took her months to do all the work! Also we must give her hubby Dan some credit too... he helped with the finishing.

Soon everyone started piling into the house, with cries of hello, many hugs and WIPS were whipped out and finishes ooohed and ahhhed over! (See Christin's blog for the finished pieces display... I never got a pic)

(Sunroom full of stitchers)

(Chrisanne left, Angie right)

(Four Tour de Marques... Mine, Christins, Beatrice's and Beth's)

(Wendy of Wendy Home at Work)

(Christin stitching away furiously on Guardian... we were so mean to her we would barely let her take a break! Expect an HD from her any day now!)

(Kathy... my dear friend! Very annoyed at me for taking her picture!)
6 Celtic Banners... count them, 6! Have you ever seen so many finished Celtic Banners in one place? Beatrice was a sweetie and did the finishing on my Celtic Banner... I just LOVE it Beatrice! Doesn't it look perfect hanging in my kitchen?

(Far left Jane?/Janet?, Center Adriana who just turned 91, and Angie)

(Left Judie (whose finished and framed penguins were under constant thread from Chrisanne), center Beatrice, right Barb)

(Marj with one of her framed pieces)

(Beatrice with the Framed Midi Mystery 1 I gave to her... I made her cry!)

I have to say the day was fantastic! It was full of friends, food and stitches! For some reason I had a hard time sitting still on Saturday. I tried to work on two different pieces, Michael Powell's Mini Cottages 5 and when I got sick of all that white Diane Graebner's Cats & Baskets. Here is my progress from the weekend on both projects.

I also got back from Kathy my Instant Gratification Band RR! Doesn't it look great!!! Thanks for your contributions, Kathy, Jodi and Chrisanne! I love each of your choices!

Day Three (Sunday) :

Sunday morning we were greeted with a bit of a dull day, but things quickly cleared up. Best of all we were treated to breakfast by Dan! He was in his full glory with his Shmanky Griddle frying up egg, meats and toast! Kathy also cooked up a great hash brown casserole. Of course eating was proceeded with more stitching! I was more settled and able to stitch on Sunday. By mid afternoon it was time for Christin and I to say our good-byes and head back to her folks in Kingston. Where I have to say much to my embarrassment I promptly fell asleep on the couch!

Later in the evening we sat down and I started teaching Christin's Aunt Suzie how to stitch ... I hope I was a good teacher!

Day Four (Monday) : Time to go home!

I have to say that this year the retreat was almost a mini-reunion of bloggers in attendance were :

Christin of Christin's Ramblings
Kathy of Kathy's Sit and Stitch
Beatrice of Stitching with a View
Rebbecca of Rebel in Ontario
Wendy of Wendy Home at Work
Ann of Knowledge and Needles

Be sure to visit their blogs to see what they had to say and what pictures they too!

Can't wait until next year!

TdM Monday!

Just a quick post to share tonight's progress on Tour de Marques I worked on it 2-3 hours tonight.

I'm back to work tomorrow for a few days.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Catchup Post No. 1

Hello Blog readers! Wow! Its been a week... sorry for the gap in blogging life has been so busy!

Where did I leave off... last Tuesday I think? I meant to share with you my new roof! The previous week while I was on holidays we had a new aluminum shingle roof put on and it looks fantastic! The bonus is... we never have to re-roof again!
Dosen't it look great?

Up tunil Friday night I hadn't stitched since last Monday! OMG what's wrong with me! I did try to stitch on Tuesday night, started Von's RR. I wasn't really feeling that great... ended up ripping out what I started! So I'll start over again today! I don't know why I do it over and over, stitching when I feel a headache/migraine coming on. I always rip out what I attempt to do.

Wednesday was SUPER busy! I spent from the moment I got home until 11:30 pm cutting and building frames... five of them! Thursday was much of the same... after all the running around I had to do and picking up Christin for Friday's road trip I finished up those framing jobs and cooked up a huge batch of chili that took me until 1am!

Here's one of the two pieces I did for my friend Marj

And the second piece for Marj.
This is one of my pieces, Sweetheart Tree's Sunflower on Gingham

A second of my pieces, Midi Mystery 1 from Chatelaine which I was going to surprise my friend Beatrice with as a gift for her! The last time I saw her she saw this piece and sighed and drooled over it. I enjoyed stitching it but never fell in love with the piece so I thought what better than to give it to someone who did!

My final framed piece, my first finish ever. I had this framed years ago and was quite appaled to discover what they had done to it! So a few years ago I stole it from my Mum and promised to return it, re-framed. I finally got around to it! Now I know its done right.
So this is where I'm going to leave you for the moment... I'll pick up next post with my Brighton Retreat report!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tour Des Marques Is Back!

Yay! I've picked up another SAL piece I had abandoned! I managed a few hours on Tour tonight, with over one there's only so much a girl's eyes can handle. I'm stitching this over one on 28ct.

Tonight I've started going through my charts and magazines for Vonna's Neighborhood RR. She'd like English style cottages and buildings. As you all know I'm a fantasy girl... so I've got to dig to find just the right thing!

I survived my first day back at work. I came back to find my palm scanner isn't loading the drivers for the socket scanner so I lost a day of inventory taking... but I certainly had more work to keep me busy. I did need a bit of a nap when I got home tonight!

I'm looking forward to the approaching weekend, its Ann's annual retreat where we oooh, ahhh, stitch, eat, and a few of us find spaces to sleep be it on the floor, in the shop or in the RV. I can't wait!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Castle SAL

Finally, I can get back to participating in the Castle SAL over at my BB (link in my sidebar). The last time I posted a progress picture from this project was April 21st of this year. So I did the math and I have 15 Saturdays worth of stitching to make up for! So I figure I'm allowed to work on this for 15 non-Saturdays to make up for lost time... right?

Anyhow this is my progress for this past Saturday August 11th. I did work on it a little bit on Saturday but I spent most of it finishing Kathy's RR. So to make up for that I worked on it most of the day today!

Tomorrow I'm back to work *sob* I'll miss being on vacation! When I get home I'll do some stretching on the pieces I need to get framed this week then I'll figure out what to put on the next Neighborhood RR and get going on that!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Kathy

Boy, a lot of my firends have had birthdays over the last few weeks! This time its Kathy's birthday she's enjoying Cirque Du Solie with family tonight, what a great gift!
Kathy and I met a few years ago through Ann. We've become fast friends over the last two years! She's had a very busy summer and I can't wait to see her next weekend!

Coincidentally, I finished Kathy's Instant Gratification Round Robin today! A nice little giftie for you Kathy! I've already got it tucked away in my stitching bag for next weekend.

This N' That

Hi everyone!

I stayed away from the computer quite a bit the last few weeks. Between wanting to get Noah's Sub finished (hard to do that when you're blog surfing), and a week at the cottage with no net access I've not been online much. I have many blogs I need to visit all of your comments have been piling up in my inbox (I always like to go back and visit the blogs of my commenter's). I know I got through a good chunk of them yesterday.

After finishing Noah's Sub I didn't pick my needle back up until late Thursday night. What am I working on now many of you are wondering. I've got a couple of RR's sitting in my craft room (three to be exact) and now they require my attention. The first one I'm currently working on is Kathy's Instant Gratification Band RR (small RR with quick turn around periods). Here theme is Christmas and I'm having fun picking bands to stitch on it. I should be able to finish that before the weekend is out. Also I'm going to see her next weekend at the retreat I'm going to so I'd like to give it to Kathy in person. Sitting in my stitching room are also one Neighborhood RR and one Sweetheart Tree RR.

Tomorrow I'll pick up The Castle and re-join the SAL over at Needle and Thread. I kinda abandoned it a few months ago to really focus on The Sub. I think I'm going to look forward to working on it again. I should also start working on Tour Des Marques again on Mondays with Christin and Beatrice.

Today I went framing supply shopping. Two are jobs for my friend Marj, I hope she likes what I've picked for her two pieces. Two are for myself, one is my first finished piece which will go back to my Mum. The second well its top secret for now...

I've been asked by many of you what will I do to Noah's Sub, well considering its size there's only one thing to do... frame it. When? Who knows!
Photo : From 2002 Purple Lustrife (sp?) found in wet areas its actually something you don't want to see, it is not natural to Canada and it will take over the space of native species quite aggressively. But it is pretty to see.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

2:30 AM and 70,400 Stitches Later

And.. here it is!

Noah's Submarine
c1997 Stoney Creek Collection Inc.
Stitched on 28ct White Jubilee using DMC
Started Summer 2002 finished Summer 2007

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Happy Birthday Christin!

Yay! Today is Christin's Birthday! Everyone go on over and wish Christin a Happy Birthday! The poor girl has to work on her special day!

Also yesterday was Beatrice's birthday! Happy Birthday Beatrice!

I should get stitching shouldn't I?

(Christin on left, Beatrice on right)

Soon... soon

Tippity-tap... tippity-tap.

Just warming up folks.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Now That's Progress & Goals

What a great day! LOL at least to me its been good. Despite some domestic goddess-like activities I had to execute I had the house to myself and I stitched!

I made fantastic progress on Noah's Sub today!

Here's what I managed to do in July and what I'd like to do in August :

July Recap :
Work on Noah's Sub - Yup!
Stitch one ornament - Yup!
Stitch Instant Gratification RR - Yup!
Stitch on any other RR's that show up - Yup!

August Goals :
Finish Noah's Sub
Stitch One Ornament
Stitch Kathy's Instant Gratification RR
Stitch Neighbourhood RR that shows up next
Stitch Fair and Square exchange
Work on The Castle

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Post Cottage Update

Well, I'm back from the cottage. There was a little debating on Monday if we were going to go to the cottage or not but we decided to go for it. We're glad we did and we're just back tonight. We had fantastic but hot weather! I honestly didn't get a lot of stitching done.

Here's how far I got with Noah's Sub, as I like to say... Didn't get as much done as I hoped...

While I was away I got this fantastic parcel from Dawn! She made me a beautiful tin with a Dragon Dreams design on the top, inside a range of blue DMC's and TW's Woodland Stocking chart! Thank you so much Dawn, you've obviously put a lot of thought into the parcel and hit every thing I liked!

I think I should be able to finish Noah's Sub this upcoming week. I have to stick close to the house while our new roof is being put on.