Thursday, August 30, 2007

Coussin Mandala

August 29, 2007

This is my Mandala, designed by Mariska and pattern purchased from The French Needle.
Nancy and I were doing a stitch along on Fridays for the longest time then we both sort of abandoned the project. I hauled it out last Friday and became intrigued once again and worked on it all weekend till I ran out of thread!

I contacted the distributor, from whom I bought the thread here in Canada but alas they have none of this older dye lot. Then I contacted the dyer ( and she may be able to help me out. The problem arose because there was a bad drought in her part of England last summer and somehow the drought affected the composition of the water which in turn affected the way the colours dyed into the thread. Which explains why the second skein of Hampshire clay I purchased last fall is so different from the one I bought in the spring. Anyway sassalynne is going to try to find me a skein of the older dye lot and she also said she was doing some dyeing this week so I am hopeful that I will be able to get thread to finish the project. If I can't then I will have to pull out the outer border and the pillow will be a smaller version than originally hoped for. I don't know why I did that outer border before finishing the inner potions.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A finish, a middle and a beginning

August 27, 2007

Molly from Carriage House Samplings...

It's Good to Be Queen from one of Mary Engelbriet's books
Last year the Thursday Stitchers took part in a round robin. We stitched nutcrakers, International bears, cats, penguins, teapots, all our tomorrows children, a Christmas piece, initial angels, and probably some others as well. This year we are embarking on a stitch along. A couple of months ago, Cross stitch Gold magazine published a couple of teapots in successive issues. Some of us are doing the blue one and some the yellow one. We will have an impressive collection of tea cosys, pillows and pictures when we finish them. I am doing the blue one.
No sign of the sign.

Friday, August 24, 2007

In the great scheme of things...

August 24, 2007

I got to thinking yesterday that in the great scheme of things , a stolen sign, while annoying and agravating, and bothersome is not really the end of the world. No one broke into my house (that would cause outrage) and no one harmed anyone I love ( that would cause murderous thoughts or worse). Actually I read in the paper recently about two different tradesmen who had their vans stolen, both full of the tools of their trades worth thousands of dollars. That is far worse than what happened to me. So I will carry on and still hold out the hope that the sign will be found in a ditch somewhere and restored to its sign post. In the meantime Dan found the old battered sign and it hanging outside.

I must thank all of you for your comments and commiserating with me. I really needed to just let that anger out!

However, onward and upward.

I want to share a lovely thing that happened to me a few weeks ago. My friend and framer Judy (About Framing, Belleville, ON) attended a church rummage sale where she found a quantity of red evenweave for ...are you ready? $1.00
She promptly bought it and called me to tell me of her find and to give it to me!
Kathy and I had been looking fruitlessly for just such fabric to do M-designs Christmas tree on.
There was a lot of fabric so I decided to offer a piece to any of my customers who purchased an M-design Christmas tree (for $7.50 CDN) .
That offer goes for any of my blog readers as well. If you want a piece of red 25ct evenweave to stitch this tree on, it is free with the purchase of a pattern. This is a picture of mine...actually I am hoping to make it into a flat fold and give it to Judy and then stitch another for myself. I have already printed off Vonna's flat fold directions for doing so!

Beatrice has started her Christmas tree, is doing it in a bright green and it can be seen on her blog.

BTW, I have a couple of pieces of 20 count and the rest is 25 count so if you want to get any, specify which count you want.

Thanks for your patience with my little rant yesterday.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I am soooo angry

August 23, 2007

Some stole my "Knowledge and Needles" sign right off the post at the end of the driveway last night.
Dan noticed it's absence when he left at 6 am for work. I took the dogs for their walk and scanned all the ditches in the direction of our walk but obviously the miscreants did not go in that direction. I saw a couple of people I k now and asked them to keep an eye out in the ditches for it...because, let's face it...the sign is of no earthly use to anyone else but me! Heck it is not even suitable for burning. It's heavy duty plastic or something!

Anyway Rod drives around in his truck over various back roads and he will watch and Andrea was on her run and will also keep a watch for it. These are people I see regularly when I am out with the dogs. I just called the police and reported it, not that I think they can do anything but I want it on record somewhere. The sign has been vandalized in the past but using it as target practice for a beer bottle or a snowball is still a far cry from actually taking it away!

Oviously our dogs are lousy watch dogs since nobody heard a thing!

I think I need to do a bit of stitching to calm down! Actually I have made great progress on "It's good to be Queen" and as soon as I get some batteries for my camera I will share a picture with you.

Sorry for the rant but really...these little thieves need a hobby or a job or community service or to go back to school or something!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Retreat 2007

August 21, 2007

I think this link is the easiest way to show the pictures that I took at the retreat on Saturday

As you will be able to see, we had a great time and there were some fabulous stitching projects on display. I did something different when I was loading the pics from the camera to the computer and could not, for some unknown reason, upload them easily. Putting them on my website seemed like the least burdensome way to go and they had to be posted there anyway.

At any rate, as you will see we had a great turnout and lots of fun. As usual the food was excellent and no one went away hungry. We saw some devious enabling going on and also got to see some amazing works in progress.
The four Tours de Marques come to mind. The seven Celtic Banners can be seen on Christin's blog at...
It was wonderful to visit with some old friends and to meet some new ones as well. Chrisanne, Rebecca, Linda and Sylvia were all very welcome. However I must tell you Rebecca, that Sylvia and Linda went off home without their name tags...How are they going to know who they are the next time they go someplace? (I'll have the tags here for them in November when I see you and your mom again)

I am very tired so I am going to curl up in a comfy chair and do a bit of stitching on my me project...Mary Engelbriet's "It's Good to be Queen" pictures will follow on a later post!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Retreat 2006

August 16, 2007

I had another whole blog figured out in my head but this morning blogger wouldn't let me load the picture I wanted so I am settling for pictures of last year's retreat. The top two pictures are of some of the avid stitchers who joined in the fun and the bottom one is of our two dogs who were banished to the garage for the day. Man I had forgotten that the garage was full of stuff last year that was going to David's new place. They had not moved yet so we were stuck with a garage full of stuff and my poor little car had to be outside for about a month! Oh well it was summer. week I'll have pictures of this year's retreat.
I must warn retreat participants who read this that in addition to noticing my clean baseboards, you now also need to ooh and ahh over the incredibly clean floors in the kitchen, hall, bathroom and laundry should also commiserate with me over my aching knees!
Cleaning on my hands and knees like that reminded me of my Mom who was the ultimate housekeeper and who I vividly remember cleaning on her hands and knees. Back then after washing the floors she also had to apply paste wax and then polish it...we did have an electric polisher.
This is one of those family stories that got told again and again. And oh my, I believe it must have happened around 50 years ago!!!One day Mom had just finished the above mentioned cleaning and waxing and up to the door came my brother Ken and his buddy Larry. They had been playing somewhere and their rubber boots (and the rest of their persons as well no doubt) were covered with dirt and mud. Mom looked at them and wagged her finger and threatened..."If you boys come in here and track mud all over my clean floor, I'll, I'll, I'll take your heads off!" At which point my brother Ken turned solemnly to Larry and said with a perfectly straight face... "That's right Larry, there used to be a big family of us here, now there are only 4 left. She took the heads off all the rest." Larry, already a pale kid, turned a few shades lighter and very soon high tailed it home.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Adriana

July 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Adriana! The above is a picture taken of Adriana last year at the retreat and today is her 91st birthday! Have a great day Adriana and I will be seeing you on Thursday at our regular Thursday Stitcher's group and again on Saturday at the retreat.

I do like having pictures in my blog.

Since I have no stitching to show for my last couple of weeks and since I doubt that you all want to see a picture of our sparkling bathtub or the soon-to-be dust free baseboards I will content myself with a shot of the 4 Celtic Banners which were proudly displayed at last year's retreat. They inspired Barb, Kathy and Beatrice to do a SAL and stitch their own banners which I haope to have here on Saturday for another photo!

Yes, I have not been stitching since my return from holidays, I have been cleaning! Dan went on a bit of a cleaning frenzy last night when he got home from work (see above reference to sparkling bathroom) and the yard is looking pretty good as well once the trimming was done...that was last night also! I had cut the grass during the day... well the few green bits that were left..It has been so dry here everyone's yard is dry and crispy.

Today I have to clean the baseboards and tonight we will shampoo the dining room carpet which I admit really needs it.
The baseboards? well...I must admit that they are something I do not particularly notice anywhere...last week in Edmonton I was at a party at someone's home and truth be told I did not even notice if they had baseboards never mind if they were dust free... however Dan notices these things and ours will be clean for the weekend, well the downstairs ones anyway! I hope everybody notices!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


July 14, 2007

These are the three charts I purchased from Marlene at Stitcher's Heaven in Edmonton. I am interested to see if anyone around here is interested in any of them with an eye to maybe stocking these designers in the shop. I already have a few of Dimple Designs but so far have not stocked any of the Pinn designs. The Ukranian one is a local Edmonton designer I believe.
So far I have not roused myself to get back at my stitching. It is unusual for me to go this long without it! However I am still quite tired from the holiday and the travelling and I do have about 30 stitchers coming to the house on Saturday. I suppose I should be doing something to prepare for that! Maybe some cleaning???
I am actually thinking about the food and the chairs and taking steps to make sure we have plenty of both... I mean really what more do we want? People know enough to bring their own lights and as long as we all have place to sit and can ooh and ahh at each other's stitching everything should be OK!
It is a rather enabling weekend!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Back to Blogdom

August 13, 2007

After a week and a half away from home I am back and ready to get into a routine again.

Alas I have no pictures for this entry since not only have I not been stitching but I have not been taking any pictures, in spite of being on vacation since last Tuesday. I don't count going to the racetrack and dry camping there from Thursday to Monday as a vacation. However it was at the racetrack where I put the last few stitches in Molly from Carriage House Samplings. She needs a few backstitches so that her arms show up on the fabric. My fabric choice was just a bit too light for her skintones.

Tuesday to Sunday was the real vacation to Edmonton for a reunion of my old teaching friends from 1978 to 1981. We had a wonderful reunion and it was great to see people again and marvel how if we didn't see any of the people who were children back then, none of us would have changed a bit. Amazing how the children are now adults and older than we were when we were in Europe together but we are all still the same as we were !!

I did visit an Edmonton stitching store called Stitcher's Heaven and had a very pleasant 40 minutes there visiting with Marlene , the owner. I came away with three patterns I don't have in my shop and will post a picture of them later this week. Marlene's shop is bright and spacious and had a large collection of fibres and fabrics and many designers who I do not carry. It will be good to have another Canadian shop I can recommend to stitchers if I don't happen to carry what they want.

We also had lots of time to see the beautiful city of Edmonton and were toured around by locals who obviously have great pride in their city. The red eye on Sunday morning was a bit of a challenge but we got caught up on our sleep both Sunday morning after we got home and when we went back to bed early Sunday night. My sleep deprived body clock should be re-adjusted by now.

My next challenge is to get the house ready for the retreat this weekend. I have some tidying up to do and will try to de-dog hair the house as best I can!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Christmas stocking

August 1, 2007

This is David's Christmas stocking present. He is the last one in the family to get a stitched stocking because I could not find a pattern I liked that I thought reflected his interests. So finally I got my act together and realized that I was going to have to find one on my own.

Enter a friend of Dani's who likes to transfer pictures into cross stitch patterns, because "They don't design cross stitch for men so I make my own!" Anyway I sent a picture of David's race car (a three-quarter midget car) to Jim and after much e-mailing back and forth he came up with this excellent pattern of the car. I tried to post a picture of the car itself but blogger did not like it I guess because it would not load.

After getting the cross stitch done I fiddled with the rest of the stocking and finally came up with this simple design of his name and the checkered flag border and the Can-Am Midget Racing Club crest in the middle. David was president of the club for two years. I just cut the crest off one of Dan's shirts and bonded it to the fabric.

I am very pleased with the end product and I think David will be also.

So that is my second Christmas present completed for this year. Luci's Silver Lining Cactus (Epiphillium 2) was the first one.