More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Friday, January 31, 2014

January IHSW - Timberhouse Retreat 2014

I am behind on all of my scheduled blogging lately, so here is my belated IHSW (International Hermit and Stitch Weekend) report!  I hope this isn't going to be the trend for 2014, I'd hate to start the year off behind and continue the year that way!

I honestly didn't hermit at ALL the weekend of January 17-19... it was even BETTER than hermitting I was stitching with 17 other ladies at the Timberhouse Country Inn Resort!  As a group except for a quick little trip to do a little stash shopping most of us pretty much stayed inside warm and safe stitching!

Up until this past November the retreats I go to at the Timberhouse were run by Ann of Knowledge and Needles but now that she has become a Snowbird, she's not around anymore.  We all wanted to continue the tradition of our January, March, and November stitching retreats so Bonnie and I have taken over running them.  In all honesty Bonnie does much of the work as she's much closer to the facility than I am.  But I'm there as a sounding board, support and help whenever she needs it.  January was quite a challenge to get off of the ground this year.  Up until late November we had a full retreat and slowly people started dropping out.  That is quite a challenge and frustrating when you have people dropping out and needing to fill spots three weeks before a retreat!  We've learn a few lessons and will put a few things into place to hopefully reduce that stress.

On the upside, we had a few new faces there!  It was nice to spend the weekend with my friends Julie and Mylene.  Julie and I took a little selfie Saturday morning!  It was wonderful to get to spend a weekend with Teresa who I had previously met twice at the annual Knowledge and Needles open house that Ann holds near the end of August.  So I guess that's the upside of some of the usual retreaters dropping out, we get some new wonderful additions to the group!

I didn't really take any pictures this year...  My urge to take pictures seems to have left me this last year.  Saturday afternoon we did get out to Knowledge and Needles since Ann had left the keys for Bonnie and I to open the shop to anyone who wanted to do a little shopping.  I of course couldn't help myself and I did buy a few things.

I was also able to finally pick up the signed chart I had won off of Facebook from Norden Crafts.  They regularly give away charts and if your name is drawn its sent to the LNS of your choice to pick up.  I'm looking forward to stitching this one on 40ct in a gorgeous red!

... I like long romantic walks on the beach.... (please note down winter coat, snow on the ground and that Lake Ontario is FROZEN!)

On the way back to the Timberhouse, I wasn't in a very social mood so I took a little time by myself with my camera.  I stopped a few times on my way home AND I went down to the "beach".

Here are some of my shots...

Meanwhile back at the Timberhouse...

 Stitching-wise it was a productive weekend!  I worked on getting all of the white put in on the adorable owls in Three Little Maids.

Tall Snowman
cHeart In Hand
Stitched on: 32ct Belfast Linen - Autumn Field from Zwiegart
Stitched with: DMC & WDW

When I had enough of stitching with white floss I pulled out some of my other January starts which were ornaments and worked on those.  I managed to have three finishes!  So that's I think 5 of my 15 starts finished in the fist month of 2014.

Christmas Favorites Santa & Reindeer
cPrarie Schooler
Stitched on: Mystery fabric

As usual Sunday came around all too soon and it was time to head home.  Normally we pack up around lunch time but it was snowy, and windy.  I decided shortly after breakfast it would be best to start making my way home.  Instead of 3-3.5 hours to get home it took 5.5 hours!  Wow!

Check out both Bonnie and Christin's blogs they took a few more pictures than I did, many of the stitching on display.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Heart Shop Cats

On the weekend my friend Tracey and I puttered around the Valley.  We did some shopping as we went about our adventures, something we haven't done in quite some time... due to time and weather!

We went into one of our favourite Antique/Flea Market shops in Perth and came across Eddie this lovely shop cat!  He was a new addition since we had last been in there back in the fall.  He had to check out this box we wanted a closer look at.  After a chat with the shop owner we found out they had rescued him.  Makes me love that shop even more!

One of our last stops was at the Wool/Feed shop in Carleton Place.  Of course the feed shop (they also carry great cowboy boots which is what we stopped in to look at) had a shop cat... they of course would need one!  I'm sure this little kitty earns his/her keep.  I got a bit of a squeak when I didn't stop and give him/her a little love.

I just love going into a shop to find they've personalized it with a resident cat!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wipocalypse 2014

Besides getting caught up on my PhotoHunts you really haven't heard from me at all this month!  January is almost over and its been an exhausting month physically and psychologically!  I've alternated between not being able to sleep/sleep through the night the first few weeks of the month to now barely being able to stay awake!  Friday night I laid down for a bit at about 5PM I didn't get up until 7:30AM!

I have been stitching when I've had the energy to, but lets get caught up on all of the blogging activities I decided to take part in this year!  The first thing I've missed is the first Wipocalypse of the year!  This month it took place on January 16th!

With this first Wipocalypse we are to introduce ourselves, our projects and our goals for the year.

The Stitcher:
Most recent picture of myself

I'm know by my friends and the stitching community as Dani, I'm in my late 30's.  I am a Library Technician in a High School which I've been working at for 12 years now.  I live with my partner Todd and our two cats Hunter and Zeus, no kids.

My first finish - started in grade 8 (1988ish) finished 1997

My Mum first taught me how to cross stitch when I was around 12-13 years old when "Santa" left a little cross stitch kit in my stocking.  That first project, was a disaster!  I started another project as a teen in middle school but I never finished it until I was an adult, when I was unemployed for a few months in 1997.  Since that time, I've never stopped.  I've been stitching for 17 years now... wow!

I started blogging in September of 2003, that's 11 years now.  I like to think that I'm one of the early Stitching Bloggers.  I'm hoping to keep blogging for many years as long as the ability exists and the audience is still there.

Through stitching and blogging many wonderful people have come into my life.  I am very grateful for what stitching and the online communities have brought into my life.

The Projects:

 The Accolade (NOT a HEAD)
Started in 2006 most of the work has been done in 2012/13
Almost done pages 1-7 of 12
Stitched one over one on 25ct lugana

 Arabian Woman - Lanarte Kit
Started November 2013

 Prarie Schooler - Christmas Favorites
Started January 2014

 Camelot Mini Samper - Teresa Wentzler
Started January 2014

 Mini River Cottage - Michael Powell Kit
Started January 2014

 The Big Red - The Sivler Lining
Started January 2012 - barely touched since
One over one on 25ct Lugana

 The Fortunate Traveller - Teresa Wentzler
Started May 1 2014
Combination of over two and over one on 28ct

 Stitching Row - Bent Creek
Started January 2014

Three Little Miads - Heritage Stitchcraft
Started January 2014
Goals for 2014:
  • Finish all of my January Crazy Challenge Starts
  • Finish The Accolade
  • Finish borders and story on Fortunate Traveller
  • Make progress on Big Red
  • Stitch and finish a minimum of 12 ornaments

And there you have it... the first WIPocalypse of 2014

PhotoHunt Catch-Up, October 26, 2013

The PhotoHunt theme on October 26, 2013 was "stir"

This is another one of my Cape Breton, N.S. photos.  The Atlantic Ocean was being stirred by the wake of the lobster boat I was on.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

PhotoHunt - Vast

This week's PhotoHunt theme is "Vast"

This photo was taken during August of 2013 during my trip out to Cape Breton, N.S.  We were able to get up close to this grounded ship, it made me realize just how vast it was!

Friday, January 24, 2014

PhotoHunt Catch-Up, August 24, 2013

The PhotoHunt theme on August 24, 2013 was "Humble"

Again, another Cape Breton, N.S. picture but I took so many good ones there!  The beauty of my country, Canada just humbles me!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

PhotoHunt Catch-Up August 17, 2013

The PhotoHunt theme on August 17, 2013 was "swanky"

At the end of July 2013 I took an impromptu trip to the Charleston, S.C. area to visit my best friend Claire.  I have to say there are a lot of swanky homes in the historical district of Charleston!

Monday, January 20, 2014

PhotoHunt Catch-Up, August 10, 2013

The PhotoHunt theme for August 10, 2013 was "Blue"

Amazingly enough I actually took this picture just a couple of days before August 10th.  This was taken during my trip to Cape Breton, N.S. to visit my friend Tracey.  Her brother-in-law took us out on his lobster boat for the afternoon/evening.  It sure was a treat and look at all the blues I was just able to capture with my camera!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

PhotoHunt - Ripple

This week's PhotoHunt theme is "ripple"

I took this photo while walking around downtown Charleston, S.C. in July of 2013.  I was fascinated by these colourful flags rippling in the wind.

Friday, January 17, 2014

PhotoHunter Catch-Up, August 3, 2013

The PhotoHunt theme on August 3, 2013 was "guess"

Okay so I had to get creative with this theme... so do you want to guess what's on the other side of that hill?  LOL I don't remember!  I took this photo during my day on the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Crazy January Challenge 2014 Comes To An End

Its January 15th the final day in the 2014 Crazy January Challenge!  For the first fifteen days of the month I have started a NEW project every day!  I even finished a couple on the same day I started it.

Here are my starts from days 13, 14, and 15 more Prarie Schooler ornaments!  Top is a Santa, middle a cute little house in the snow, and the bottom will be an adorable snowman.  I'm looking forward to now finishing then finishing all of these ornaments.

On the other hand its going to be nice to get back to some regular progress on my WIPS.

Hope you enjoyed my Crazy January Challenge!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Crazy January Challenge Days 11 & 12

Being the weekend I was hoping to make some great stitching progress.  I did today, but Saturday not so much.

Saturday I had lots to do, like laundry in a washing machine that's not working properly (repair guy is coming on Tuesday)... that took forever and was an exercise in frustration!  I also had a cake to bake and decorate, was we were getting together as a family later that day to celebrate what would of been my Mum's 63rd birthday.  I'm glad we did that.

I thought I would be able to get in some good stitching time on Saturday so I started a small but ambitious project.  As you can see, I didn't get very far.  This piece was a class I took by Teresa Wentzler in 2008 called Camelot Miniature - its all over one!  I know I'm going to enjoy this piece when I really get going with it!

Today I definitely got in the stitching time I thought was going to on Saturday.  Today's start wasn't a planned one I was doing some work organizing my stash and this cute, chart just jumped out at me!  Today's start that I made great progress on is called Three Little Maids based on a Valerie Pfeiffer painting.

Just three more days of the Crazy Challenge to go!  Its a busy week ahead again so I'm sure there will be more small starts over the next few days.

PhotoHunt Catch-Up, July 27, 2013

The PhotoHunt theme on July 27, 2013 was "planter"

This was a tough one to find a picture for... then I remembered this really cool planter I saw during our trip to Quebec City in 2011 with Bonnie and her husband Blair.  This planter is literally made up of plants!!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

PhotoHunt - Door

This week's PhotoHunt theme is "door"

This past July I went to Charleston, S.C. to visit my best friend from high school.  We spent the good part of a day walking around the historic areas of Charleston.  I have to say that there were a lot of fascinating doors and doorways there... which happens to be something I like to photograph.  This door had a very majestic lion for a door knocker.

Crazy January Challenge - Days 9 & 10

I was quite exhausted by Thursday that I started to fall asleep in my chair with stitching in hand.  So I knew it was best to give it up!  Keeping things simple I started yet another ornament from the Prairie Schooler Booklet I've been working form all week.  I believe this one is a poinsettia.

Tonight I figured, why break the trend and started the angel ornament.

I'm glad with the way this week has been, that I was smart enough to pull this chart up, a nice big piece of linen and pull all of the thread.  Its really made this week's starts easy!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

January Crazy Challenge - Day 8

This week is proving to be a busy one!  After work started with a trip to Costco, a quick nap on the couch, my Weight Watchers meeting that was quite long tonight (introduction to Simple Start), and a trip to Wal-Mart.  Needless to say I wasn't even eating my dinner until after 8PM.

So I needed another quick start and since its all kitted up and all the colours were pulled I started another Prarie Schooler ornament from the chart I've been working from for the last few days.  Today's start is a pinecone.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Crazy January Challenge - Day 7

Alright, seven days in - seven new starts and eight more to go!

Like yesterday I've kept today's new start small.  Another busy night for me, since my Mum passed this past summer my sister and I started having dinner with my Dad once a week if we can.  I always take a little stitching with me so I was able to start today's project at my Dad's and I kept it small because I knew I wouldn't have a lot of stitching time once I got home

Today's start is from the same Prarie Schooler booklet as yesterday.  This time I started the reindeer.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Crazy January Challenge Day 6

Well many, many, many children in my area today got a belated Chrsitmas gift, a snow day for the first day back to school!  Sunday started out with snow, then later that night I could hear freezing rain hitting our windows, by morning it was rain... then by 11am it was all going to freeze over again.  Thus making the roads treacherous!  So it was a Snow Day and a lovely way to ease into going back to work, I was able to safely get out of the driveway and to the highway so it was off to work for me!

Despite there being a handful of kids at work I was still pretty tired and headachy by the time the afternoon rolled around.  I had my date at the gym for my small group session with the personal trainer (5 of us and a trainer, much more affordable than one on one with a personal trainer... which if money were no object I would so have one!).  I discovered I managed to loose 0.2lbs over the Christmas holidays despite being busy/lazy/sleepy/eating out/eating junk/etc...etc...etc.  So that made my day!

After a shower and dinner I settled in for about two hours of stitching, its now after 10PM and I'm sleepy so its time to share today's small, new start (small, because of first day back to work, gym, being tired).  This soon-to-be Santa is from Prarie Schooler's Book No. 172 Christmas Favorites.  I picked it up for a steal when I stopped in at Because You Count in Moncton, N.B. on my trip home from Cape Breton (where I was also lucky enough to be invited for dinner and a bed for the night to break up my trip home with Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams and her family!  I used to be one of her model stitchers.).

When I have time to get back to him, he'll be quick to finish.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Crazy January Challenge - Day 5

Today's start is a little chart/fabric kit I bought last fall.  The colours caught my eye and I thought, boy am I going to enjoy stitching this!  I'm glad it was a one day start/finish!

A Little Christmas
c2012 Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on provided fabric with DMC, WDW and GAST

Sadly that wasn't the case, I really didn't enjoy this stitch at all.  I'm pretty sure its the floss colours, the picture on the cover was much more vibrant.  I know that the recommended flosses were overdyed, I used the colours I had on hand and substituted for DMC when I didn't.  I'm not sure if that's what made the difference, why I didn't like it.  I think at some point I'll finish this as a little pillow and gift it to someone.

Alas, my holidays are over and I'm up early back to work, and back to the gym tomorrow!

January Crazy Challenge Day 4

Not as productive day on Day 4 of the challenge.  I took advantage of the warming temperatures (from almost -40c with the windchill up to -5c) and got out for a few hours, did a little shopping... got some groceries in the house since I'm back to work on Monday.  Then a nap was in order, it appears that bout of insomnia has caught up with me.

So today's new start, another Bent Creek design, small and I should of been able to finish it up in a day but I honestly didn't start it until the dinner hour, then there was that two hour nap...  Anyhow, here's Tall Snowman today's start.

I did also manage to do the finishing on one more ornament.  I couldn't tell you what this design is or where I got it.  It has been sitting in my finishing bin for quite awhile!  But I do love how it turned out.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

PhotoHunt - Aqua

Its a New Year with a new set of PhotoHunt themes!  Today's theme is "Aqua"

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word aqua is water, but not only water but the beautiful azure sea that I get to swim in when I go to the Dominican Republic each February!  I was lucky and caught this great shot of a net fisherman at work during my 2012 trip to the DR.