Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

I was surprised and pleased to receive this nomination
from Andrea at The Craft Room. Thank you so much
Andrea. You've already been nominated for this by a
half dozen or more people, otherwise I'd send one right
back to you. And if you want to see my nominees then
look at the Cross Stitcher's blog roll at the side of my blog.
Everyone listed there has a blog well worth exploring
and reading.

The fence is in!! Well, a good portion of it anyways. Still
have to back stitch the grid on the bottom, but at least now
it looks more like a gate. I'm pretty close to being half way
done on this piece now, and am sort of in the "mid project
slump" period. Neither nearly done, nor just getting
started so am slowing down a wee bit. But I won't quit on
this, else it'll never get done. I know me.

I've been trying to organize my stash in the limited space
that I have (at the moment) for it. I've been picking up
various types of drawers for threads and for fabrics,
seeing which ones work the best. I have two of the
above units now, and they seem to work great for either
threads or fabric. This is the newest, and since it
doesn't fit in my cupboard, because theres no room,
I've got it on top of the cupboard, for now.

In this picture you can see the two bottom shelves of my
stitching cupboard. Thread has to be kept secure thanks
to Rupert, who'll go into the cupboard when my back is
turned to grab whatever might be there to take. The
wire basket holds big charts, and the dark blue tin/box
on the bottom shelf holds small charts. But it's full. So
really tiny charts have gone into one of the plastic baskets.
For now.

And the top shelf holds more fabric, threads, accessories
and my binder of freebees. Charts seem to be the hardest
things to store, but have them in a way that's its easy to pull
out what I want without causing an avalanche. I guess it's
all a work in progress.

You want to see a craft/stitching room to die for?? Go
to Coni's blog - Spinster Stitcher and search out the
pictures of her incredible room. It is a room to die for!!
Wonder if she designs libraries?? Hmmm...

After finishing Shadow's Return mid week I picked out
another favourite author's newest book to read. This is
book three in Jacqueline Carey's second trilogy about
the land of Terre d'Ange.

The first series featured Phedre no Delaunay, courtesan and
spy, and Joscelin Verreuil, master swordsman, former
Cassiline brother, and Phedre's lover. The second series
features Phedre and Joscelin's foster son Imriel, who's
mother and father were traitors to their country, and who's
love for the heir to the d'Angeline throne threatens to
tear the country apart.

Jacqueline Carey writes books that are rich in detail.
She has taken our world and recreated it in a new and
unique and fascinating way. Not just the countries, but
their histories, their religions and their traditions. And
there is romance and passion in abundance. When I
read these books I really lose myself in them.

I will be sorry to reach the end of this series, but I understand
that Carey intends to write more books about Terre
d'Ange, although setting them in different eras from the
first two trilogies.

And a couple of graphic books/comic books came out that I
was delighted to find. I'm a huge fan of Lynn Johnson's and
I didn't know these two in the series were out until I found
them in the bookstore yesterday. I have pretty much all of
her books and am always reading through them and getting
involved in the lives of the Patterson family. The early
books were about Elly and John, and their young family. Just
short strips with funny anecdotes about raising a family.
But then the strips evolved into longer story lines, with
serious real life events mixed in with the humor. And the
artwork evolved too, becoming more detailed and real.
This is the only comic that has makes me laugh out loud,
and that I've also been moved to tears over.

Rain. Thunderstorms. More rain. For a summer that
experts were predicting was going to be hot and dry,
it's sure been a wet and somewhat cool one. Even when
it's humid theres been a breeze to keep things from
getting too unbearable. So the grass is still green, even
in those areas that are the first to turn brown and
brittle after a few days of heat and sun. And DH hasn't
had to water the grass at all yet this summer!!

I love coleus and always plant a few in the garden, under
our big shade tree. And I put some in this planter which
we put at the side of the house, just at the gate leading
into our yard. This spot gets some sun for a couple of
hours a day, but otherwise is in shade for the rest of the
day. The variegated leaves add colour to the spot and
visual interest. The flowers are negligible, and not the
main focus of this plant. These aren't as tall as they
usually get by this time of year because of the weather
I think, but they're coming along nicely all the same.


This 'n That.....

My mouth and tongue are pretty much back to
normal now, although it was Wednesday of this
week before I could say that. What a relief!!

DH had the old car appraised yesterday, since
it's been almost 25 years since the last time he
had it done. We took her out for a short drive
yesterday again, and maybe will do so again
today. Promised the neighbourhood kids a
ride too sometime. And parents too!

DH's company move is just about over, and now
comes the fun part. Unpacking and settling in.
And the necessary renovations to adapt the
new building to the needs of their work. It's
been a rough and exhausting few weeks for
him and he's covered in nicks, cuts and bruises
from all the lifting and packing. We've got
two weeks of vacation coming up soon, and
he's going to need it.

I guess that's about all the news for this week. It's been
awhile since I posted any cat pictures so here's Rupert
sprawled in one of the tub chairs enjoying his afternoon
siesta! What a life.

Have a great week everyone!! Cheers!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Good day to anyone who is reading this. It's nice to have you
coming by and visiting my blog. Hope you enjoy your time

As usual I'm beginning with a picture of the weeks progress
on my latest project, formally called Gate With Lantern, by
Graphs by Barbara and Cheryl. I love the visual depth that
is being achieved in this project, even with the main focus
of the project...the black gate....not yet stitched in. And it's
cool stitching the different types of brick work for the houses
on either side of the alley, and the gate's pillars.

Yesterday DH drove me up to the Needle Gnome in Acton
so that I could finally pick up some black DMC thread. We
took the old car to give her her weekly run, and it was a
nice drive with all the windows open, as that is the only
method of air conditioning that we have for her.

Although there were a fair number of charts to look through
at the store, the selection of fabric and threads to stitch with
were disappointing. Only DMC, and a bit of Carons Waterlilies
which were quite expensive and a few of another brand of
thread that I've never heard of. I ended up only picking up
the DMC threads that I needed.

It started raining here last evening around supper time,
and I believe that it's been raining through much of the
night. This morning it's been raining hard and steady,
which is annoying the DH because he got up early
yesterday to give the garden a good soaking with the
hose, which in hindsight was a waste of time. Ah well.
Above is a picture of the very wet, very pathetic looking
petunias taken this morning. There's nothing sadder
then wet petunias.

And in this picture you can see the red Straw flowers all
tightly closed against the wet. If the sun comes out later,
as the weatherman seems to be predicting right now,
then these flowers will spread open their petals to
reveal their yellow centres.

Last evening I sat in a chair on the front porch and watched
the rain come down, and listened to it taping against roof,
leaf and car. The birds were singing the evening to a close
and some were making their way to their nests and beds.
The air was cooling down after a long, hot day, and it smelt
of rain and wet grass. It was very restful and peaceful.

I caught up on some of the books that have come out
recently that I wanted to add to my collection. These
arrived this week and I'm delighted with the lot of them.
I think the majority of these are by authors that I've been
collecting for years, and are also part of various series that
I'm following. Specifically the books by Laurell K.
Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, and Jacqueline Carey. The
biography of Elizabeth Taylor is by J. Randy Taraborrelli,
and I've now got three biographies by him.

Nefertiti by Michelle Moran has been well reviewed and
widely recommended around the book blogging
community so I made note of that when ordering this
week. It does sound like it's going to be a good read.

Girls Like Us is a biography of three of the most
successful and influential women singers/songwriters
of the 60's and onwards, Carole King, Joni Mitchell
and Carly Simon. But I gather that it also covers
the history of women singer/songwriters through
that time period in general. It was brought to my
attention by a friend who loves biographies and who
found a review for the book in a Toronto newspaper.
I am really looking forward to reading this one.

This is my current read, and was also included in the pile
of books that arrived this week. One of my favourite
characters in fantasy literature was created by Lynn
Flewelling about 12 years ago and introduced in her
first book Luck in the Shadows. I am seriously in love
with Seregil (don't tell DH) and have missed reading
about his adventures since Flewelling finished the
trilogy that she started with Luck in the Shadows and
moved on to write another trilogy with different
characters, in another time, although still in the same
world as the first books. But now she's written another
book about Seregil and his partner Alec and I couldn't
help but pick it up out of the box it was delivered in
and start reading it immediately. I am enjoying
myself thoroughly. :)

I've had a traumatic week because of a dreaded visit to
the dentist. I have had serious issues with going to the
dentist for the past few years and am getting worse
each time. I usually start moderately freaking out when
making the appointment, and from there get progress-
ively worse as the time for the next appointment
approaches. On Thursday I went for a filling, which is
really no big deal when considered logically, several
days after the fact. But logic and practicality have
nothing to do with the situation for me.

We tried gas on me this time, which I've never had
before, to see if that would help calm me down. I was
so hopeful that it would pretty much knock me out
for the duration. Nope! Didn't do a thing for me.
After fifteen minutes of waiting and breathing in, I was
still stiff as a board, nails digging into the armrests,
and shaking like the proverbial leaf. So we went
ahead without the blessed relief of oblivion for me,
and eventually managed to muddle through without
the dentist loosing a finger, or me loosing my mind.

But the relief of surviving that visit has turned into
a bit of a problem. It seems that the dentist was a
bit over generous with the freezing, and along with
freezing my cheek and gums, he also froze my
tongue. I didn't know this. I've never had my
tongue frozen before. It never crossed my mind
that what kept getting caught between my teeth
during the evening might be my tongue. I thought
it just felt odd trying to close my teeth because of
the freezing.

My tongue is sore and perhaps a bit swollen on
one side, and you can see my teeth marks on it!
It's sore to eat, sore to talk and a general, all
around nuisance. I'm not impressed!

And I keep talking like thith becauthe my tongue
ith thore and feelth funny!

Hope everyone has a great week, with lots of
sunshine and lots of!!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Have you noticed that the first week that you start
and work on a new project you seem to get a ton of
stitching done on it, and then slow down after that
as the novelty and newness and excitement wear

I have been working on City Gardens every spare
minute that I have had this week, and it's been
so cool to see the blobs of colour turn into an
actual, recognizable street scape. Or perhaps
it would be more appropriate to call it an
alley scape??

I have got to get to a Michael's soon though
because in all my stash I have no DMC black,
and I'm gonna need it for the gate in the
centre of this scene soon.

The business that DH works for is in the
midst of moving to a new location and so he
had to work most of yesterday. And he's
been working an hour or so here and there
during the week after his regular hours.
It'll take about three weeks or more to move
everything, and get set up in the new

So there has been no free time to drive me to
Michael's. And with gas prices being so nasty
we prefer to make such "luxury" errands to be
included in trips we're making for other things
as well.

This week I received my monthly bit's from Stitching
Bit's n Bobs, and I've used my scanner, to see how they
show up vs when I take a picture of them with my
camera. Sharper picture, but the white background
doesn't show off the colours to their advantage. At
least not the softer colours. I'll keep experimenting
with it to see what can be done.

And a package of Lizzie Kate charts arrived from the
Ebay dealer that I won them off of a few weeks ago.
These little charts are cute, but when I stitch them I
am going to have to take them in to work and blow
them up on the photocopier to make things easier
on my eyes.

Same package: the charts in these packages are much
easier on the eyes so won't need "blowing up". I've
been browsing through these and picking out the
designs that I want to stitch first.

And these are the second part of another bid that also
arrived this week. Three more M Designs. I really love
the snowman sampler and the houses sampler. Very
pretty.My newest book start is another C.J. Sansom mystery
featuring Matthew Shardlake, which take place during
the reign of Henry VIII. Shardlake is a lawyer whose
patron is one Thomas Cromwell and it is at Cromwell's
behest that Shardlake undertakes an investigation into
the murder of another of Cromwell's men at a Benedictine
monastery. Shardlake's sharp mind and quick, dry wit
are coupled with a compassionate nature honed in part
due to his own physical condition, for he is a hunchback.

This is actually Sansom's first book featuring this
character. I read the second book in the series last year
after getting it on sale and enjoyed it's well researched
story and the author's ability to bring that period of
England's history vividly to life, in all it's corrupt,
filthy, colourful and terrifying detail.

Note: the cover on this edition of the book is pretty
hideous. How did they expect to attract readers
with such a dull, forbidding exterior?? I know,
we're not suppose to judge a book by it's cover...
but we often do anyways.


We continue to have mixed weather, with frequent
bouts of heavy rain and thunderstorms, which is
keeping the grass nice and green and lush even
though we're in the midst of summer. Usually by
this time much of the front lawn is a nice shade of

beige, and looking very sad.

Had a wonderful encounter with a tiny humming-
bird on Friday night while sitting out front stitching.
She was flitting around one of the hanging baskets
we have on a wrought iron pole in the front garden,
and taking nourishment from a bunch of Fuscia
coloured mini petunias. I was able to stand about
a foot away from her as she buzzed from flower to
flower. I could have easily reached out and touched

her. It was amazing. It lasted about five minutes,
and then she flew off, pretty much oblivious to my
presence. The only hummingbirds that we get here
are the Ruby Throated hummingbird. Wish I'd had
my camera with me at the time.

Saw this, loved this, ordered'll look wonderful paired
with the Tea Room. Love the frames LHN and CCN use to
frame their designs too, but I suspect they'd cost a small
fortune to ship up here. Duty and all that stuff, you know.

My friend won tickets to the premier of Mama Mia here last
week. She says it was wonderful. It opens officially next
weekend and she and I plan to go as soon as we can. It has a
marvelous cast (hello: Meryl Streep!!) and the scenery is
spectacular! We saw the live show here a few years ago and it
was fantastic. I love ABBA and saw them in concert once many
many years ago. It was incredible, and something I'll never

Well, guess I'd best get on with my day. Hope you all have
a wonderful week, with lots of stitching and lots of sunshine.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Good morning everyone. It's time to dance! Just a little jig, to
celebrate a little finish. I worked on this piece all afternoon on
Canada Day and got most of it done. A bit of stitching on my
lunch break the next day and it was done. This scan makes the
thread look like it's bright red, when in fact it's a darker shade,
but it's still a good representation of the finished piece. I really
enjoyed this project and will do another someday soon.

Meanwhile, I've put a few stitches into Cottage Garden,
but not enough to show, and I've made a new beginning.
I've started the design on the lower right of the chart
above. At the moment it's just squares of gray and
mauve, so not worth showing, but'll look
like the above picture. No fancy stitches, and just a bit
of backstitching, so this will be an easy project. But it
is solid stitching so will take some time to do I should

Sitting on the deck yesterday afternoon, while DH trimmed
the lilac tree, and the maple tree, and serenaded me with his
sneezing, I stitched away. And this is my view looking along
the back of the house. It's warming up at last, and perfect
weather for sitting and stitching.

And at the end of the day, after dinner, we went for a drive.
But we did it in style! On Friday, after three months away
being restored, DH welcomed back his pride and joy (aside
from me that is. Lol!). And here we are looking oh so
DH has had this car for about 25 years. She's a 1955 Buick
Special, four door, hard top. Her exterior is all original,
and so is the interior. The only work DH had done was to
the mechanics, such as brakes, and ... er ... stuff like that.
She's a tank! All chrome and metal.

She's been sitting in the garage for about 6 years, not
running and in need of work. This year DH decided it was
time to get her done before she got any more run down.
Of course he picked a dandy time to do it, with gas prices
now skyrocketing, but what can you do.

In this picture you can see a portion of the dashboard.
Pretty spiffy, isn't it? Love the curve of the dash, and
the wonderful retro look.

DH still needs to get new tires for her, and she needs
a few more trips around the town to get her working
up to speed, but it's great to be able to take her out
when we want.

There's a group of 1950's car collectors who meet in
the parking lot of a local grocery store once a week in
the good weather to admire each other's cars, and
socialize, and DH wants to go sometime. Should be
fun, but I refuse to wear a poodle skirt or saddle

I finished reading Silent in the Grave late last week, and
loved it so much that I had to start the second book right
away. This one is taking it's time introducing the March
family, with all it's gloriously eccentric family members,
and setting up the storyline, which is fine by me. I think
I'm on page 120 or so and so far there's been no murder,
although I'm sure that'll change soon. I am counting this
author as my favourite new author read so far this year.

Some more Ebay stash arrived this week to add to my
collection. My first M Designs charts are these three,
and there are three more to come. Lovely colour
choices, and a few specialty stitches to challenge my
limited skills.

And these Lizzie Kate charts also came from an Ebay
dealer. These are two different lots, with one repeat.
I'm expecting another lot of Lizzie Kates soon and if
there's repeats there I'll offer them to anyone who
wants them out there. I especially love the Valentine
design, the Easter basket, and Peace, Love and a Cure.

Work's been hectic because of first of the month, so
no stitching during my lunch breaks because I'm only
taking enough time to eat and read for a bit. Hope-
fully things will calm down again soon.

Have a great week everyone.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day!!!

It's a cool morning here, but the sun is shining and the
birds are chirping and DH is out in the garden puttering.
I can hear him sneezing now! All's right in our little
corner of the world.

Tried going to bed early last night so that I could be up
at a decent time this morning, but people were setting
off fireworks in the school yard around the corner and
since that went on until past eleven o-clock the going to
bed early thing didn't really work out as planned. Oh well.

Plans for the day include updating blog (check), cross
stitching on the deck, barbecuing dinner, and enjoying
the day. Housework? Nah!

The little design from Tantes Zolder (My Aunt's Attic)
has gotten the lion's share of my attention this week
and now you can actually see a pattern emerging. These
patterns are such fun to do and I hope to do more in the

Lynn at Kearnal's Corner is doing the butterfly pattern
from this site in the most gorgeous shade of blue. Do
go and check it out if you haven't already. It's stunning!

I did a bit of work on Violet too, and am pretty close to a
finish with it. I just have one bee to stitch, my initials and
the window panes to add. Then it'll be just two more
squares to do and this set of six squares will be done and
ready to frame...someday.

I'm using the scanning option on the printer that came
with my new computer to post my stitching pictures.
It allows me to post a sharper picture of the stitched
piece, and the colours are truer, but the pictures don't
appear to be clickable to allow for a closer look.

This week's garden picture is of the Gerbera Daisies that
were given to me as a birthday present from our friends
who run the Copper Kettle Pub in Glen Williams. I love
these flowers!! They come in exquisite colours and put
on a grand show. I've got six blooms coming up on this
plant right now. Behind it is a pot with some of my
geraniums in it. This variety has a beautiful leaf that has
about four different colours in it.

My current read is another recommendation of Jaimie's
and another excellent read. This is a mystery which takes
place in London in the mid 19th century. It's the first in a
new series from this author. The story is well written and
a good, enthralling tale, but it's the characters that are the
greatest delight. Deanna Raybourn has created a family who
takes pride in their eccentric and unconventional bent.
Their unofficial family motto being "I Dare". The dry
humor in this book is wonderful and I find myself grinning
like an idiot as I read. You can pick up a description of the
plot on any online bookstore site to see what it's all about.
And I recommend that you pick up the book too. I've already
got the second book in this series ready to go.


On Sunday my Mom and SIL came for a barbecue and the
weather, which has been what you'd call "changeable" in the
past few weeks, was pretty decent for most of the day. Mom
got to see the new computer, and was most impressed with it,
and we browsed through my stash and she saw some of the
newer stuff, as well as the projects that I've been working on.

Dinner was bacon wrapped Filet Mignons, and garlic shrimp
done on the barbecue, baked potato's and a mixed salad. All
most scrumptious! Desert was an old favourite of ours.
Mr Christie's chocolate wafer cookies and whipped cream (the
real stuff!!) put together, left awhile to let the cookies soften
into a cake like consistency and voila!! And easy peasy too!

Here's a web site that shows how it's made. Please note again:
we use real whipped cream. Not the fake stuff. It uses a large
container to cover the entire log properly. Don't be stingy!
Hmmm, and I make one long log, cover it with the whipped
creme at that same time that I put the cookies together, and
then leave it to soften. Instructions are on the cookie box.

I'm expecting some Ebay stuff to arrive soon. Mostly Lizzie
Kate charts, and some M Design charts. So I'm haunting the
mailbox when I'm home. No mail delivery today, dang it!
And yes, stash fondling is a favourite pastime of mine. I think
the next Victoria should be here soon too. Lovely!!

Hope everyone has a great week! To my Canadian friends....
Happy Canada Day.... and to my American friends ...... Happy
Fourth of July!!!