More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Stitching

I had a lovely weekend of stitching, when I know I should of been doing other things... like say cleaning the house, doing some exercise, you know mundane things like that. This afternoon I went into town and stitched with my friend Manon. We've not gotten together in a long time, so it was nice to settle in for an afternoon of stitching!

When I got there Manon had a lovely gift for me! This gorgeous red scarf! She knitted it just for me and I look forward to dressing up my favourite jeans and black top in the near future with this pretty!

Before heading out to stitch, I of course stitched a little bit at home. I started my next ornament on 40ct linen. This is my start on Damask Ornament B, this time in Gloriana Cranberry. It'll be gorgeous when finished. I didn't work on it at Manon's as I want to be settled in at home in my stitching chair under my Ott-Lite when working on something so small.

For the rest of the afternoon and into this evening I really enjoyed pulling out this gem, Blackstone Fantasy Garden from Ink Circles. I haven't touched this piece since September! I look forward to working on this piece again sometime!

More 40ct Madness

Now that I've done one ornament on 40ct linen, why not do more right? Today I spent the day working on two more ornaments in the Damask Ornaments series I started a short while ago. What have I learnt from today's stitching? Don't work on 40ct all day long. Boy my eyes are just done for tonight! I better get my beauty rest so that I can spend tomorrow afternoon stitching with my friend Manon!

Here's the results of today's madness!

Damask Ornament C
Cross Stitcher June 2007
Stitched with 1 strand Caron Waterlillies Midnight
Stitched on 40ct Newcastle Linen

Damask Ornament D
Cross Stitcher June 2007
Stitched with 1 strand Waterlillies Emerald
Stitched on 40ct Newcastle Linen

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Its Home! Its Home!

Yay! Today my neighbourhood round robin came back home! I want to say a huge thank you to all the wonderful ladies who worked on my piece, I just love it and what you stitched on it! Yes, I do have two spare spaces and they will be filled by my friends Christin and Kathy.

Also on the stitching front, tonight I finished the "top secret" stitching project. So now I'll be able to switch over to ornaments (yes, more) I don't have as many as I'd like to for gifties! These ornies, I'll be able to share... Yay!

I am feeling much better now, thank you everyone for your well wishes. As I mentioned in my last post, the flu certainly can help on the weight loss front. I went and weighed in last night at a different Weight Watchers meeting (one in the next town over). I've dropped 5lbs in the last week! Eeek! So the trick is until my next weigh in, to be cautious with what I eat, be active, and so on (hard to do with my work Christmas Party tomorrow). This way I can do the least damage to my 5lbs loss. This current loss means I've hit the 50lbs milestone! While I'm happy about this I'm not swinging from the chandelier, if I can sustain this at my next weigh in then I'll truly celebrate.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An Ornament

Hey folks, sorry I haven't blogged in a few days. I came down with the flu last night, and I've still got it. So I definitely didn't make it into my Weight Watchers meeting tonight. There's one in the area tomorrow evening and if I'm well enough (aka I don't have a fever anymore) then I'll go and get weighed in. One thing in my favour, I suppose is I wasn't able to eat until late tonight, so I hadn't eaten in 24 hours. Hopefully that 2lbs gain from last week is gone??? Of course the flu is not the best way to loose weight.

I'm working on another top secret stitching project again! This time its a gift for someone who I know reads this blog so I can't share it... again! However over the weekend I did stitch up an ornament so I'd have something to share with you. I've been wanting to try out 40ct linen for awhile and I got a piece back in October. I have to say my first go at 40ct wasn't bad at all! Now I didn't even try to stitch in hand, I used q-snaps and good lighting!

Damask Ornament A
Cross Stitcher June 2007
Stitched with 1 strand Gumnut Stars #489
Stitched on 40ct Newcastle Linen

There are three more ornaments in this series and I plan on doing them all.

Oh yeah! Also, late last week I received my fair and square exchange from Stephanie. She stitched a pair of gorgeous squares for me and they will be a fantastic addition to the quilt I'm going to make down the road with them!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Concert Time

Last night my sister-in-law (well I'm not married but that's what I call her) gave me an early Christmas present! We went and saw Chris Cornell in concert, Mobile opened for them.

After going out for dinner we got at the venue in time to catch the opening band, Mobile. They're a group out of Montreal, I've enjoyed what I've heard from them on the radio. I also really enjoyed what at the show, I think I'll be buying some of their music sometime soon.

About 45 minutes later Chris Cornell (formerly of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, and Audioslave) hit the stage! Terri and I almost got right up to the barrier and we were right by the base speakers. Boy we were rattled to our bones, but it sure was awesome when they closed the show with Spoonman!
Here's some of my shots from the show!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Speed Bump

Well I knew the roll I was on at Weight Watchers was too good to be true! Last night the scale wasn't kind to me at all. I had a feeling it wasn't going to be good. I gained 2lbs over the past week! I'll blame the pot-luck food this weekend. It really is to gauge just how much you eat with a pot-luck.

I'm still continuing on a productive roll stitching-wise. Unfortunately I still can't share anything! I've done the finishing on my smalls exchange, now to just get that in the mail. My personal ornament exchange is all stitched up, but I probably won't have time for the finishing until this weekend. Its a stunning ornament, I'll have to do that one again for myself. I'm now about half way through my fair and square piece.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wonderful, Productive Weekend!

Wow, I had a fantastic weekend! This weekend was the Knowledge and Needles Retreat at the Timberhouse in Brighton. It turned out to be a perfect weekend for stitching since it rained so much. Several of us kept having aspirations for a walk, well that never happened. It seemed every time we mentioned the word walk, it would rain even harder!

Ann and I headed over to the Timberhouse shortly after dinner and Beatrice was there shortly behind us. We got ourselves and our stuff settled into our rooms. We also took the opportunity to explore the other guestrooms before the other stitchers arrived. The Timberhouse was the perfect setting for a retreat! We had enough rooms for a total of 18 participants, a large gathering area (where they also hold receptions, etc) for us to congregate, and enough comfy chairs and couches for all! It wasn't long before Beatrice and I were stealing wing-back chairs, love seats, and a few tables out of the guestrooms. Before we knew it, it was 7pm and the gang was starting to arrive!
Boy did we stitch and eat! Friday night some of us stayed up until 1am. I had finished up my smalls exchange piece on Thursday night and during the day I had started my personal ornament exchange. I continued to work on that and made good progress. Saturday I tried to go to bed at a reasonable time (imagine I was ridiculed for going to bed before Ann!) but I couldn't sleep, so I got back up a while later and soon was joined by Beatrice... we stitched until 3AM! Saturday night we celebrated several HD's, everyone was just so productive! Sunday we had until lunchtime to stitch before the retreat started to break up.
Breakfast by the Timberhouse staff
Dan's Lunch
Food, boy oh boy! Friday night we had nibblies (pot luck), everyone contributed some sort of goodie! Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday was put together by the Timberhouse staff, they had some great healthy choices for me! We had a late lunch on Saturday and boy we were in for treat! Dan has been taking cooking courses over the last few months and is turning into quite the chef! Lunch consisted of a pork tenderloin cooked with apples, a baked apple, and red cabbage. Dessert was pana cotta. Dan certainly outdid himself this year the food was excellent!
Waiting for lunch!
Dan preparing lunch with lots of doggie-help!
Dan - showing off his chef's outfit - hat courtesy of his partner in crime!
Dan & his sous-chef
Dessert waiting to be served!
In the end my weekend was super productive! I finished the stitching on my smalls exchange, also the stitching on my ornament exchange. I finished my small tonight, and started on my Fair & Square round 10 piece! I'm catching right up!

Now I'm just going to let the pictures from this weekend do the talking!
Ann & Marie Paul - at lunch

Wendy - So happy to be stitching!

Ann, Marie Paul, Bernie, Wendy & Joyce

Marie Paul stitching away!

Beatrice - At Breakfast

Rebbecca and her Mom

Friday, November 14, 2008

Safe N' Sound

Despite the rain and winds, I arrived safe and sound at Ann's house in Brighton! I was fed a wonderful dinner, followed by a little relaxing, some stitching, time in the hot tub (boy did my body need that), more stitching... and I've been told to sleep in tomorrow (I left my alarm clock at home anyhow!)! What more can a girl ask for?

Tomorrow evening will mark the start of Ann's annual B&B Retreat! I look forward to checking out our new digs at the Timberhouse and seeing everyone!

I'm almost done the stitching for my smalls exchange, that should easily get wrapped up tomorrow. Unless there's a lot of prep. work to do for the retreat, I'm always willing to offer a helping hand!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Personal Ornament Exchange Received

Earlier this fall I entered into a personal ornament exchange with Angela. Angela has been great and has stitched, finished and sent her ornament to me! Me, on the other hand, her ornament is next on my to-do list! Here's her lovely ornie!

Today boy did I have an active day! I guess I'm trying to stock-pile my activity points because I have a feeling I won't get so many in this weekend. Even though I've packed some clothes good for going for a walk or a run, I doubt it will happen! Today at lunch I went for a 30 minute power walk. Then after work I went and spent about an hour at the gym. After that it was home for a healthy dinner and back out the door to Taekwon-Do! Whew!

I'm really looking forward to hitting the road tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lest We Forget

Today is Remembrance Day, where we remember all who have fought and died serving our country. At work as usual the staff and students put on a wonderful and poignant ceremony. Each year they out-do themselves and make it a truly memorable event.

Sorry I haven't blogged in a few days. I really wanted to but I was just pooped! I think its all the exercising I've been doing! Its been a busy couple of days. On Sunday my Mum and I went to the matinee at the National Arts Center, where we saw Spam-A-Lot. Oh my goodness! What a riot!!! I haven't laughed that hard and long in ages! If you get the opportunity, even if you aren't a Monty Python fan, go and see it!

I'm now about half way through my smalls exchange piece. Hopefully I'll be able to wrap it up this weekend! I'm hopping back in the car on Thursday night and driving back down to Brighton. This time around its to attend the Knowledge and Needles B&B retreat! This year we're staying at a different B&B unfortunately our old hosts sold their home and are no longer in the B&B business. This year we're going to try out The Timber House, a hop, skip and a jump from Lake Ontario. I'm looking forward to this weekend and seeing my Brighton and Kingston friends!

Once again, this week the scales at Weight Watchers were kind to me. I am happy to report for the third week in a row, I've lost another 1.5 lbs! I have to say that the last three weeks have been very consistent and I'm very happy with that.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Finally! A Happy Dance!!!

Finally! I feel like I've been working on Margaret's Neighbourhood Round Robin forever! I'm sure its only been about 2 weeks but it feels like a long time. I really like how the piece I chose turned out and I'll look forward to stitching the full design in the future for myself!

This is the whole RR

The Van Tassel Farm
Sleepy Hollow
c2007 Cross-Eyed Cricket
Stitched with DMC cotton

Now I'm about to embark upon several smaller projects and they're all for exchanges so unfortunately I won't be able to share any of them until they're received! I think first off I'm going to start with the Smalls Exchange since that deadline is most immanent! I've got a good idea of what I plan on stitching and finishing it.

Photo Hunt #131 "Lazy"

Boy am I so glad the weekend is here! It feels like it was a very long week to me, I'm tried and sore! I am still plugging away on Margaret's Round Robin, but fingers crossed we'll be celebrating a happy dance tomorrow!

So since I don't feel like taking a picture to share my progress with you (since you will see the piece in its entirety) I'll entertain you with another PhotoHunt.

This theme is "lazy" what's more lazy than the life of a cat? Sleeping 18 hours a day? Playing is cool no matter how old you are? Eating whenever. Not having to cook or clean. That sounds like the perfect, lazy life to me!

Here's my baby, Hunter!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Good Cause To Stitch For

If you're looking for a good cause to stitch a little piece for one was pointed out to me. Donna has started a blog Stitching For A Cure. Essentially what she is doing is auctioning off a Christmas tree for Christmas 2009, decorated in breast cancer themed ornaments. All the funds raised will go to the American Cancer Society.

So go and check it out : Stitching For A Cure and if you're up to the challenge please participate and get your friends stitching too! I've already signed up.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Photo Hunt #130 "Sad"

I don't have any pictures that I see as truly sad. However, I did come across this picture, the willow tree at the back of my property in winter. Winter is coming and for me its the saddest time of year when everything is asleep and we hunker down waiting for the world to come alive again in spring.
I am not looking forward to the upcoming winter!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Round Robin Update

Wow, Margaret's round robin is taking much longer than I expected! I'm still not done! Of course being busy and praying to the treadmill gods take up a lot of time! Here's her RR so far, hopefully it'll be done by the weekend.

I had another good night at the scale! I lost 1.5 lbs this week, I'm back up to 45lbs lost, actually 45.5 to be exact! C'mon 50!

Monday, November 03, 2008

November Goals

Its the start of a new month, this means its time to review how I did on my stitching goals for October and what I plan to get done this month.

October Re-cap

Stitch Margaret's Neighbourhood RR - Almost done
Stitch an ornament - Yes
Stitch Blogiversary Gift - Nope
Work on Pomegranates and Pears - Yes

November Goals

Finish Margaret's Neighbourhood RR
Stitch Fair & Square Round 10
Stitch Personal Ornament Exchange
Stitch Smalls Exchange
Stitch Blogiversary Gift

As you can see, I've got quite a few deadlines coming up! I must of gone on this flurry of signing up for things, LOL. Oh well none of them will be massive pieces so I'm not too worried.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Weekend at Ann's

First I want to start off by saying I had a wonderful weekend at Ann's! I left work on Friday pretty tired, worn out, bone weary, and sore (did I forget any descriptors?). The last thing I really wanted to do was hit the road for yet another weekend away from home. Deep down inside I think I wanted to stay home and hide in my bed! However, I have enjoyed the ornamentifcation tradition Ann and I have kept going for a number of years. So I packed the car (again) and headed out after work.

There is something about visiting with Ann and Dan that is just so re-energizing to my psyche. I went there exhausted and sore and I came home this evening feeling like myself again. There is something about going there that makes me truly rest and relax, maybe its because Dan makes me laugh... a lot!

Friday night I arrived after 8 PM at Ann & Dan's, Ann's shop sign Knowledge and Needles was a warm, welcome beacon on the dark road just outside of town. I got out of my car to be greeted by the girlie dogs, Paddie and Mollie! For some reason this weekend they wouldn't stay still long enough for me to get a good shot of them to share with you this time! It was nice to settle in in front of the wood stove and visit with Ann before an early night (well early for me).

Saturday we had to be up early, to drop off my car so that my winter tires could be put on for the season. Dan took me up to see a house he was paining in Brighton, it had the most amazing view of Lake Ontario! I could of easily sat on that deck for the rest of my life and snitched away! Every room in that house looks over that view, the architect/planner was a genius with this house! Before Ann and I could get to Ornamentifing we had to do some running around.

Once we did get started though, this is what Ann's sun room looked like with just two of us making ornaments. How we did this in the past with 4-6 people together I don't know! It was nice for a change, just the two of us (and less stressful). We were both surprised when we found it took us the entire day to each put together about 7-8 ornaments each!

Here's Ann's bounty of ornaments.

For mine, I used Ann's trees in her backyard for a little creative photography.
Victorian Lace Ornament

1992 Santa

Partridge In a Pear Tree

Santa Stick-Up 1

Santa Stick-Up 2

Holly Ornament

Prarie Schooler Freebie

After Saturday's finishing frenzy, I now have a total of 11 finished ornaments for Christmas 2008. Its not as many as I'd like to have, I guess I'd better get stitching once my obligations are done!

Today Ann and I had a relaxing day with some stitching, and of course lots of chatting!

Now onto something that just makes me sick! Ann is the owner of Knowledge and Needles, a little shop in the back of her home. When you go into Ann's shop you are entering her home, always warmly greeted by Ann and the dogs. Not only does Ann have a great selection in her little shop, but she's always more than willing to help stitchers, to teach you, to help you find something that's no longer in print or that you don't know where it came from. Ann is happy to take her own time track it down and get it for you, there is never an extra cost, just a smile.

This is why I'm just DISGUSTED on Ann's behalf! If you go to her blog, you can read about how several stitched items have gone missing from her shop! Five pieces that Ann knows about (several tea towels and a cushion) that were on display in her shop are gone, stolen! This is upsetting! What is more upsetting is that two of the towels are Christmas gifts for her family, Ann had these on display in her shop to help sell product and someone took them!

This is someone who has been into her home, who has spoken with Ann, has been greeted enthusiastically by the dogs and served with a smile. This is a stitcher, and I've often said there's a stitcher I haven't met that I didn't like, never one that has given me that feeling that they couldn't be trusted. Perhaps stitchers aren't the rare breed I thought they were.