More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Monday, December 30, 2013

PhotoHunt Catch-Up - July 6, 2013

I really fell out of doing PhotoHunts during the latter half of 2013 and I want to get all caught up and start fresh with the 2014 themes.  Maybe this will also get me out there taking pictures again.  I seem to have lost that drive that I used to have for photography.

One of my good friend did pay me a very high compliment last week.  She was telling me how things were moving along well with her and her man, and that wedding bells may be in the future and she asked me that when the time comes if I would like to be her secondary photographer, to catch all those candid moments.  That is a VERY high compliment.  Also I wouldn't want the pressure of being an official wedding photographer... I don't have that much skill or the right equipment.

Anyhow the theme on July 6, 2013 was - Go

Go, go, go was all that kept going through my head when I did the Army Run 1/2 marathon back in September of 2011.  Espiecally at this point the 17 km mark out of the 21.1 km run.  My friends were there to give me a high five and encourage me onto the finish line!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

PhotoHunt - Shimmer

Alrighty I'm getting back on the PhotoHunt train!  I've got a bunch of catch-up posts coming up for you in January, I hope you enjoy them!

Anyhow this week's theme is "shimmer"

I took this picutre of the shimmering lighters and cell phones at the Pearl Jam concert in September of 2011.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ready... Set....

Not quite GO just yet!

For many years now I've had the tradition of starting a new project on New Year's Day. Slowly over the years my stitching friends have joined me and it's become an group event and we either agree on a project that we're all going to start or a theme.

This year's chart that we agreed upon was one that I picked up when I visited Stitcher's Garden back at the end of July. I had flown to Charleston SC out of Syracuse, NY and on my return is landed early enough that I had time to FINALLY stop at the LNS in Syracuse!

The stop was made extra special when Melinda and Erin (fellow bloggers) took time out of their busy day to meet me there! I can assure you I think I heard my Visa whimper a little! It's a great shop and I'm looking forward to going back at some point.

Anyhow, I digress.... The chart we agreed upon is Bent Creek's Stitching Row! For some reason this was a new to us chart though we discovered the design is about 2-3 years old. It so flew under my radar or I would of bought it ages ago!

Now I have to say in usual Bent Creek style the colours are.... Unremarkable. So I spend a good hour in my craft room (yes be jealous I have a whole room for my stash!), pulling out my 28ct fabrics I've got so much the drawer is about to spew all over the floor. Once I narrowed down the fabrics to 3 I played with fibres and narrowed it down to a piece of old Sugar Maple Fabrics I got years ago. The colour is called Moon Princess, love the mottling on this piece. Now the purples I've selected are for the letters, silver for the swirls, of course as I start stitching I may need to revise my choices as I go.

Of course now that this is all kitted up... I REALLY want to start it, but I'll restrain myself, New Year's is almost here!

Hunter was just looking so adorable today.....

- thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Busy, busy, busy!

Christmas is almost here and I think each and every one of us can agree, we're VERY busy right now. Friday night I very gladly turned off my 6AM alarm until January 6th!

I didn't realize it's been about two weeks since I last posted. I've done a little stitching, a little more finishing, out for lunches, breakfasts, parties, and getting ready for Christmas.

In the last two weeks I stitched and/or finished a few more ornaments.

I did the finishing on this last Lizzie Kate, just a simple beaded edge on this one.

I stitched up this ornament and finished it for my friend Tracey's sister. It's double sided from Rosewood Manor's Red Threads. This is stitched on mystery fabric using Carrie's Hearts on Fire. Again, finished with a simple beaded edge.

I stitched up this little piece at my Sister's request. She keeps asking me for a rude cross stitch. I thought this fit the bill nicely. This little pattern is from the book Subversive Cross Stitch, which is full of all kinds of not so nice sayings but with pretty flowers and what not. I've stitched this on 28ct white lugana using DMC and using Carrie's Hearts on Fire, Blue Dreams and Sassy.

I just finished up Dragon Dreams 2013 Holiday Treat! This chart can be found on the Dragon Dreams Facebook page. It is so cute and I'm very happy with the fabric I picked, 28ct Bedazzled Blur Lugana. I've stitched it with the recommended threads.

Last weekend I finally put up our Christmas tree! It's been a few years... I always find it best to put it up in stages.... First just the tree, so that the cats can check it out/climb/chew on it.

After an hour or two I'll decorate it. I've decided it was best not to put anything breakable on it as Zeus likes to chew on our fake tree!

I know I've mentioned in the past I work in a school. This last week we had spirit week, each day is a different dress-up theme. I think I totally rocked ugly sweater day! I stole Todd's Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, I got a lot of great reactions. To help you understand if you're not into NHL hockey, out local team is the Ottawa Senators and one of our biggest rivals is the Leafs! I've found you either love or hate them.

I'm now into the final preparations for having my family over on Christmas Eve, the first without our Mum. I've not changed anything from what we've done in the past. Hopefully we'll still enjoy the evening.

- thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

1/3rd Of A Happy Dance

Yesterday afternoon on Facebook Dragon Dreams released part one (of three) the 2013 Holiday Treat. When Jennifer started hinting on Facebook that a freebie was on the way I had pictures in my head of a snowball fight.

Look! Jennifer delivered! The start of a Dragonlet Snowball fight!!!! This is sooo cute! I can't wait for part 2 on the 17th!

Besides my choice of fabric, I did add a little personalization. I felt the unicorn's horn needed a little backstitch on an angle.

- thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ornamentification Part 3

Over the weekend I did the finishing on two more Lizzie*Kate ornaments.

This first finish is pretty simple, a little meh in my opinion. I used a heart shaped bead to echo the heart on the piece. At least I've used up some more beads. I think I should of actually finished this one with cord instead.

This one I'm soooo pleased with how it turned out! It took some experimentation. To get the beaded edge just right. Yes I beaded this myself, it's not a purchased trim!

I know some of you are dyyyying to figure out how I did this. Sooo I took pictures as I went.

I am just toooooo nice!

First make a back stitched outline on your ornament and backing piece of fabric, it has to be the same number of stitches all around. Thread a bead embroidery needle with Nymo. Secure it to the back and bring it up at a corner where your back stitch meets.

Thread beads onto needle, in this case I used six beads

Catch the back stitch on both halfs by running your needle under the stitch

Pull needle and Nymo through until your beads form a loop

Repeat until you're all the way around. Half way across the top for a hanger I strung a lot of beads onto the Nymo then continued the smaller loops/whip stitch all the way around.

- thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Ornamentification Part 2

I seem to have found my finishative and I've been working away at reducing my pile of ornaments that need finishing. Normally I do this sort of thing assembly-line style. This time I'm tackling them one at a time, and I'm finding this way I'm putting a little more flair into each finish.

I'm especially fond of this little fellow! This is Dragon Dreams 11th day of Christmas Dragonlet. These guys were free via the Dragon Dreams Facebook page last year. I stitched up this wee guy in honour of my Scottish ancestry. I just love how the finishing turned out, that he's sitting on a plaid fabric similar to the tartan on his tam and bagpipes. The cord is made with one of the DMC colours used in the Dragonlet, and I just love the jingle bells I added which were two different sizes.

My next finish is this little Lizzie*Kate Tiny Tidings that I stitched up a while ago. When considering what finishing touches to add to this one, I came across this great wired pom pom trim with silver tinsel. Again, just perfect.

- thanks for reading!

Monday, December 02, 2013


As this last week passed between life and stitching I found the time to put together my three recent Lizzie*Kate finishes.

Without any more fuss, here they are:

Believe already has a new home, I slipped it into a birthday card for my friend marline's Mom.

- thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

PhotoHunters - Game

This week's PhotoHunt theme is "Game"

I took this picture in Santo Domingo this past February.  Dominoes is the national "game" of the Dominican Republic.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Snow Day Fun!

Overnight on Tuesday we go a huge dump of snow, in the area of 20cm our first big snowfall of the year! Busses were cancelled, so I didn't have to rush to get into work ontime, but I still had to go into the school despite 95% of the kids staying home.

Here' sweat greeted me when I went out to my car in the morning. I was sooo lucky, Todd had gotten up early to snowblower the drive, brush off and warm up my car! What a sweet thing to do.

Since kids weren't around I decided I'd partake of a day of arts and crafts! We turned the TV on and enjoyed a Criminal Minds and CSI marathon. I had decided last week I needed something new to go into my book display for the Christmas season. I was tired of hanging garland and balls from the ceiling. So a Google search was in order!

I found this awesome idea, that involved recycling a book and would be just fantastic!

The process started last week when I cut apart a book (many have asked me what book, it was Pierre Burton's Last Spike), it was very liberating! Then I started rolling the pages into cones and securing them with a little scotch tape. I had shown this picture on Facebook, asking my friends of they could guess what I was up to! Someone jokingly responded "unicorns!" So it became "project unicorn".

On Wednesday I took in with me a sheet of mat board and my hot glue gun. I started construction!

There was one last finishing touch, but I needed to go to the dollar store to get some red and gold Christmas balls!

Look at my beautiful book page wreath! It fills my book display beautifully and I can't wait to hear everyone's reactions when they see it!

- thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weekend Stirching

Well it turned out to be the perfect weekend for stitching. Friday night I did all of my running around, Todd and I had a nice dinner out (which we rarely do) and I settled in for the weekend, especially when the snow started to fly on Saturday morning. I wasn't going anywhere (also had my snow tires out on just in time!).

I picked up this Lizzie*Kate chart with all the threads a couple of weekends ago at Knowledge and Needles when I went to the November Timberhouse retreat (I haven't blogged about it, but have pictures on my camera). I had been on the fence about buying it for awhile, until I saw it stitched up on Sally's blog, then I had to have it.

After working on the Accolade since I came back from retreat, I decided it was time for a bit of an over-one break, and these we're calling my name! I pulled out some 28ct fabric to stitch these on. Digging around for the perfect fabric I realized my 28ct drawer is ready to puke fabric everywhere... In other words it's getting hard to close it without some escapees. So I either need to start using this stuff up, or I need to buy more fabric to fill up my 32ct drawer which isn't even half full. I've been gravitating towards higher counts lately so of course the 28ct has been piling up.

So since Friday night I have stitched up all 3 Lizzie*Kate Flora McSampler 2012 Ornaments. They are stitched on mystery 28ct fabric using a combination of Weeks Dye Works and DMC threads. I also outlined each of the designed and did a backing piece so I can whip stitch these together... Whenever I find my finishative. I also included a motif from each pattern onto the back of each piece. I'm not sure if I'm going to just whip them together or add a beaded edge.




I really love the colours used to stitch these.

Since things have calmed down just over a week ago, not only have I been stitching quite a bit, I've started something else back up again. I've started posting to my other blog again after a long silence. I use this blog to talk about my struggles to loose weight, and to lead a more active and healthy life. I think I need it at this time in my life to get and remain motivated. I've been doing a combination of either treading water or drowning for quite awhile now, and I need to turn things around again.

- thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

PhotoHunt - Over

This week's PhotoHunt theme is "over"

I took this picture this past August during my trip to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  We took out to do some mackerel fishing from the small fishing town of Main-a-Dieu (translatest to hand of God).  When the day was "over" the fisherman cleaned some fish before scrubbing down his lobster boat.

Friday, November 22, 2013


For the last little while The Accolade (NOT a HEAD) has been receiving my attention.

Here she is, I last worked on her on Thursday night. I'm quite enjoying this piece.

- thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Farewell Adriana

I've been trying to compose this post in my head for over a week now. No words can do this woman justice.

In the wee hours of Sunday, November 10th, my favourite 97 year old stitcher went to Heaven. I'm not a person of faith but I know Ariana is up in Heaven stitching up a storm. This past Friday we said goodbye.

I am honoured to have known Adriana, been in her presence to call her friend. I've been so lucky to know this woman for the last ten years of my life, and I'm richer for it.

When I first met her I can recall that she was stitching on Aida, that she was too old for linen/evenweave. It didn't take much for us to encourage her to pick up evenweave again. She never gave up evenweave again, because she was "too old". Adriana taught me that age truly is a state of mind, she wasn't 97 years old, she was 97 years young.

She was a woman of deep faith, a lady who always wore a skirt or dress, she was a proper lady, kind to all, never had a bad thing to say. She was graceful and beautiful and would fill a room despite her petite stature. She was loved and we could feel her love for us.

She handled life in stride and with grace.

If I could grow up to be like anyone, I want to grow up to be like Adriana.

- thanks for reading!