Friday, June 30, 2006
I love pixie dust.
Well we just survived the 1st week of summer vacation! It started out with great sunshine and fun at the kiddie pool in the park. Then an allergic reaction to make-up crayons kept the kids away from their beloved wading pool for two l-o-n-g days but finally the rash has vanished. Then today has been a day filled with beautiful bouts of sunshine in between bouts of thunderstorm. We got cought in the 'wall' of rain once but it was a fun experience, people in cars smiled and laughed at us running crazily. We were being crazy 'cause we did enjoy singing in the rain after all. ;-)

Although we were pretty busy, with the two kids at home, I tried my best to keep on with stitching progress. I didn't do as good as I had hoped for but it still is progress. The fairy is starting to look like she is wearing a hat. I actually missed stitching on this piece, it's fun to do a few rows of simple X's even if I have to stitch them one by one. The missing parts in her face and the eyes and mouth, I know it looks odd, I will add them in soon.

Fleur de Lys is on break for a few days, I finished Row 1 and am pretty pleased. It looks a LOT better than I expected for my 1st sampler. The 2nd row is only backstitching so it should go well... I hope. Then the 3rd row is a simple speciality stitch so progress should go well with the sampler.

Now to keep with tradition here's Joy's question of the day! LOL! I keep having questions and basically this blog is where I can get a few answered. ;-) Today's question is a basic one but I have to ask, what are needlerolls used for? I often see charts for them but I am not sure what the purpose of them are, it would be nice to know before I make one.

Tomorrow is Canada day celebrations but in Quebec we have another meaning for this day. It is the official Moving Day for many, many and many more quebecers. Most people that rent apartments have their 12-months lease start/end with july 1st. It is a very crazy day on smaller streets and there are moving trucks EVERYWHERE! For the last few years tv crews from other countries have been filming some of this phenomenon, apparently it's quite unique to see so many people move on the same day. Oh well, I'm just happy Big Fox isn't working as a mover this summer 'cause he'd never be home again. The Canada flag is a cross stitch design by Lynne Nicoletti, she has created a collection of designs that include hidden images in them. Very neat!

Hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend. :)

Monday, June 26, 2006
Again with the question,
How do you end your floss? I know how to start by either leaving a lenght and stitch over it along the way or the loop method which I like and makes a neat start but not for overdyed floss. The problem is with ending the floss though, I usually will pass under 4 stitches and cut my thread. How about when you do blackwork or backstitching without stitches around to tuck the thread under?

Shoot! I totally forgot about Fairy day on June 24, wish I had remembered, though possibly it had something to do with not finding my wings that day. LOL! ;) I hope a few of you celebrated with pixie dust and whatnot! I hope to stitch the freebie fairy from Passione Ricamo, isn't it just beautiful? I really like the arabesque alphabet collection they made as freebies too. Now here's my question, how do you know how much floss you need for solid color project? Is there a way to calculate it or do people just buy extra floss for a 1-color project?

I never made it to stitching the fleur de lys flowers this weekend. That's ok, I put a schedule for fun and no pressure at all, I am still learning to stitch so I am not going to worry about speed yet. On that note, I will pull out my daughter's fairy project this week, she will be happy to see me work on it for a while.

Big Fox started a new job today, it's a really good one with a union and all the stuff that a 'real' job includes. He has 15 days of working to get into the union then his job is assured. So the countdown begins... 14 days left. ;)

Saturday, June 24, 2006
First, a huge thank you for all of you who left me birthday wishes. They warmed my heart in the best of ways. :) Big Fox gave me a 2 page wide magnetic board, which is perfect for stitching my sampler. On the left I can read the chart and of the right I see the instructions for the sampler. :) My mom gave me a gift certificate for new clothes which I so badly need but I keep hoping I will magically loose a few pounds first. LOL! My magical powers must be off because it hasn't been working. ;)

I am amazed at the difference backstitching makes. I had some trouble on the church but I am satisfied on how it looks. This is a learning piece after all, I'm all by myself in this so I do my best. I hoped to get the Montreal sampler for my birthday but that's ok, I will get it on my own at a later time. I am a big shopaholic so I will try to hold off getting the chart until after I finish this one. I have already bought floss for ±3 other big projects so I won't be left dry when I am done the sampler. Also I am having a blast trying to see what project to stitch from Barbara's generous loot! I am thinking ornaments on some smaller pieces. :)

To keep up with my Big Fox drama, yesterday when the kids got up, they saw that he hadn't come home to sleep. It was my daughter's last day of school before summer break and he had promised all week he would go to her class recital in the afternoon. My son had an all-day activity also and it broke his little heart also. He even asked me in the morning if daddy had left an email for them. Ack! My heart ached so much for them. When at around 11am Big Fox just stormed in the house like nothing happened, let's say he got an earful from me... His 'excuse' was perhaps a good one but my kids hearts were broken and he just doesn't get it.

We ran to the park to see if our daughter's class was still at the wading pool. We caught up with them just before they left, when she saw her father, her eyes just light up. I told her he'd be there for her recital and she gave me a huge hug. I knew that she'd have a great day from then on and it was important for me that she enjoys the last day of school. They were eating in class so it would be a good 3 hours for her before the recital. Our son went to China for the day, well at least visited the neighborhood. LOL! He talked to his 'teacher' about daddy, I don't blame him but then let's just say it doesn't stay private when the teacher's learn stuff like that. The community center is quite small yet everyone knows everything about everyone...

Big Fox starts his new job on monday, this is a good job, the best he's ever had actually. Within three weeks he would be in the union and let's cross our fingers it will mean a better future. Let's hope it involves a better family future too, a cat has nine lives, I am not sure how many more chances we can give Big Fox. The kids are growing older and each event affects us more and more each time.

Off to stitch, I have to finish the hungarian stitches so I can move onto the fleur de lys. It's celebration today, a huge holiday in Quebec and the weather is wonderful out. Perhaps we shall install the tent and sleep outside even? ;)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Number 29!
Today I am a year older, I turn 29 years old for the first time. LOL! I believe some people stop counting after that age. On the other hand turning 30 has been on my mind a lot these past few weeks. I am very far from what I had imagined my life would be or my dreams for when I would be thirty. I still have a year to change that, we shall see what adventures this new year will bring me. At 29 years of age, I never thought I would see my two kids start school, I never knew I'd be blessed with having two children to start with.

Now onto stitching, less than 10 days ago I won a contest on Barbara's blog. I received her package yesterday but let her know that I would torture myself and wait to open it today! It makes it even better to have received a birthday present from the Netherlands if you think about it! ;) Now could I get a better gift or what? I think my fabrics stash just tripled. LOL! I even got some beautiful floss including some SILKS!!! This will be something very new for me to try. I couldn't be more excited!!! :) Barbara, thank you, thank you, thank you, who knew Dumbo would make me win so much. ;)

I didn't quite meet the schedule I had row my Fleur de Lys sampler but I shall be right on track for Row #2 on June 24! The second row is composed of fleur de lys which are the flower emblem of our province. June 24th is St-Jean-Baptiste holiday, our fête nationale for all quebecers, I believe it compares to July 4th in the USA. It usually is the first official day where all kids start their summer holidays so it is celebrated with a big bang. Also it's all about french on that day and how many quebecers want to seperate and politics are just not my thing. ;) We prefer small gatherings and picnics rather than joining the half-million people that listen to a concert in a park. So hopefully on St-Jean-Baptiste I will be stitching my fleur de lys and participating on that day in my own special way. ;)

After having quite an eventful weekend with Big Fox sleeping elsewhere... we celebrated father's day on monday then my birthday the next day. I think lack of sleep caught up because by 9pm last night I was already in bed snoozing, how is that for partying? LOL! Some better news are coming our way though so happier times should finally happen for us. :)

Saturday, June 17, 2006
Not the stitching progress you expect,
Last week I bought a scroll frame and didn't know what to expect, would I like it or not? At first I was pretty intimidated by the scroll bars but it's been going well. I still prefer the ease of my 'fake' Q-snap though, so I may invest in more at a later time. My fabric store sells 2 sizes of quilting frames that look just like the Q-Snap but at a fraction of the cost. I sure wish they had more sizes, right now I have tubes to make up 11X11, 17X17 or 11X17, not very practical for smaller pieces or samplers though. What can I say, it takes time to build up stitching stash, either patterns and floss or accessories like scissors, needles and all that. Maybe if I cross my fingers really hard, I will get a needleshop gift certificate for my birthday! ;)

This may look like little progress but I have spent quite some time of this. I can't wait to try out the specialty stitches even if they scare me a whole lot. LOL! You have no idea how happy I am to stitch this sampler, I just like it so much but of course, couldn't have been busier all week. I did find that if I put the kids to sleep earlier we all win, they are more rested and I.... get to stitch. Sneeky, right? ;)

In the past week, I have been cheating and stitching a different way... I have been knitting most of my stitches these last few days. ;) I just finished a pair of socks and already started a new pair using Regia Cotton. I don't recall knitting cotton socks before but these will be great for summer wear. I need full concentration to stitch so the knitting is good to keep my hands busy when I'm outside with the kids playing in the yard and times like that. Perhaps if I started a few small projects I could stitch more throughout the day but for now I just aim to stitch at night.

Jeremiah Junction country bloomers

Just got this in the mail and saved with shipping half of what it would have cost me to buy it locally. Ever since I first saw it, I have loved the Country Bloomers but I didn't know the name so couldn't figure out who had designed it. Luckily I noticed many liked it too and found the bloomers on a few blogs. Some stitchers are so creative and changed some designs for the bloomers, as for me, I'll just go basic and do it as charted. I am too scared to change anything to be quite honest. LOL!

wings of courage dragon dreams

When I bought the scroll frame I received this chart from my mom: Wings Of Courage by Dragon Dreams

Have a nice weekend, we have full rain for the next 2 days, just like last weekend. At least we like the rain, the garden too so we just wear raincoats and jump in each puddle we meet. Makes the day more fun if you ask me! ;)

Friday, June 09, 2006
A great designer!

I am smitten! After reading on a board that Jeannette Douglas was an easy person to communicate with, I took my courage and emailed her. I had a question about the embellishment package I received for the Fleur de Lys sampler. Within a very few hours she replied and I am simply smittened. She sounds like such a great designer, very generous with her time and knowledge. Now, more than ever I can NOT wait to start the sampler, all fears I had about learning new stitches have vanished. I feel more confident that I can do it. She gave me the assurance that I was lacking. I can learn something new and frankly this isn't rocket science right? I even bought linen to stitch on for this project. I am so scared though. LOL! Just whip stitching the edges has been nerve wracking enough, the linen seems so much lighter than the Jobelan I am stitching on.

Download Issue 4 of The Gift of Stitching Magazine completely free!

Freebie alert, you can download a free issue of the Gift of Stitching. I was eager to see what was hiding in this online publication. It's a great way to see what you'd pay for if you did buy it. It's a freebie, what's not to love? ;) I love freebies, I am in fact building quite a collection of charts, I can't wait to start but for now I am trying to keep focus on just a few projects at a time. I know how many knitting wip's are lying all around the house. I'd like to prevent that from happening with stitching projects too. ;)

I thought I'd share a little something I just stumbled upon online. I know many like to stitch while watching a movie but how about stitching while listenning to a classic book? I just started chapter one of A Little Princess last night. I was brought up in a french province so I never got to read many classics that are in english, guess I am catching up now. ;) The catalog is called LibriVox and they have a few books at the moment, I'm loving the children's literature.

Special thank you to Barbara for doing a contest on her blog, in a big surprise, I won guessing her current wip being Dumbo. I think being around the kids helped me out on this. LOL! ;)

p/s: Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to comment in the past weeks. I am a bit overwhelmed at home and didn't have the time to respond to each stitcher but please know that it touches me a lot that you read and comment on my little blog. :)

Saturday, June 03, 2006
Gotta love online shopping!

I have received my order from Traditional Stitches yesterday and I am happy to report that the sampler from Jeannette Douglas is even more beautiful than I expected. Imagine how happy that made me! :) Then I spent my afternoon sitting outside checking the Just Cross Stitch magazines I bought. The two M Designs patterns offered in the issues were totally worth it, I am eager to stitch the Joy and Peace trees!

I also went window shopping on Ebay and clicked a buy-it button, oh dear! LOL! I should mention that I found something unsettling though. One seller was selling hard to find charts, after searching a bit, I found out they were selling pages from a magazine (that is easy to find old issues of). Now if it were said in the auction, I guess it would be ok but they are selling the patterns at the same price the whole magazine sells for. At least in a mag, there's a potential of liking more than just one pattern. So that's that, my wish list grows longer each day. I am starting to see which designers I like and themes that appeal to me.

Fairy update, I am now up to the face. I will be changing the hair color but Ladybug wants me to keep the blue eyes. I was trying to make the fairy look more like her but she's the boss. I am itching so bad to start other projects though, at least the DMC colors I can stitch small rows of half cross and back. All that single cross stitching is boring me. Lesson learned, don't buy 90% of hand dyed floss for a full piece. Last night was the 1st time I dealt with cutting a length of floss. I didn't know how long to cut, I felt so foolish but this is my first non-kit piece. Since the beginning of stitching this fairy, I have been using hand dyed so haven't had to cut floss lenghts yet. LOL! I wonder if there's some sort of rule of thumb so that I don't waste too much.

Now here's a question for the very few that stumble upon my blog. How do you buy fabric? Do you buy by the yard/meter at your local needle shop and then cut it up as you need it. Buy what a pattern suggests or buy some fabrics and then use from stash when you start a project? At the moment, I am kitting my charts, so I buy floss and fabric so that all is ready for when I will start it. I'm not sure it's the best way as I have to go to the LNS each time I buy a new chart. I want to start some little quick stitches like ornaments and freebies that are available online. I don't think I should just buy tiny pieces of fabric each time and I feel like I'm bothering the seller each time I go in with questions, boy do I have questions too. ;) Also how does one build a floss stash? At the moment I am buying DMC floss as each pattern requires but I don't know how to store them. I am still quite disorganized with my stitching, I'd love to know how people store there work in progress, floss and all that.

Off to stitch I go. :)