Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me :-)

I am almost done with block 10! And even better, I will finish today - I've got maybe two hours of work remaining. That's a load off my shoulders. I know I've been like a broken record in saying this, but I just don't want to get behind with this piece. I had to laugh, until last night, I didn't get what the motif was at the top - it's the fencing surrounding the apple orchard, duh! :-)
Here is Quaker Meetinghouse - I have finished one more motif on the left side. I probably won't have time to work on this piece today as I had to train ride, but I'm bound to have it completed by the beginning of next week. I'm going to make it my priority since it will be a leftover from my October goals. I don't have any family to put their initials on so I'm going to put a couple more little Quaker motifs on either side of the red flower. That should be cute.

Today is my birthday and I'm 44 year old. When did that happen? I certainly don't feel like I'm 44 and for all intents and purposes, my life is half over. You know, I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up?! :-)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Indian Summer

It was such a nice day yesterday! Sunny and in the mid-50's. Today is going to be even better - in the mid-60's! But I'm at work so I can't enjoy it. On Sunday I planted 100 spring bulbs in my new garden. Then I put all the gardens to bed for the year, cutting all the spent stems and leaves and covering the whole lot with hay. I managed to cut the grass and trim the yard, hopefully for the last time this season. Because of all this work, I did miss one of the Halloween parties I was planning on taking the pugs to. But I did make Saturday's party and have posted a couple of pictures. Katrina asked what we do at a pug Halloween party. Mostly it's for us people, we chat about our pugs and laugh at their costumes and antics and we get to enjoy hot drinks and donuts. The pugs love to play together and it really is fun to watch them run around and wrestle each other. Here are a couple of pictures (Molly is the sunflower and Clancy is the cowboy). I'll try to get better photos of my two tomorrow in their costumes. Clancy is really cute in his cowboy costume. I even made him faux-suede chaps!
I had major plans to stitch most of the weekend but I didn't get much done at all, I've been in such a funk lately. I wanted to finish up block 10 of the Village and as of last night I was about 75% there. The barn just needs it's chimney's and it's done and I have to do the little motif at the top. There is a chance I might have it completed by tomorrow night. And that's about it! Below is my progress on Quaker Meetinghouse, I did work on it on the way to work - I finished one of the smaller motifs to the left. I won't be finished by Tuesday that is for sure so I'm off my October goals a bit. I'm not that concerned however, because I added a couple of ornaments that weren't on my list. I need to think about what my goals are for November. I only have two projects other than my WIP's ready to go - Quaker Samplers I and II by With My Needle and Autumn Silhouette from Blackbird Designs. I'm not sure if I feel like doing another autumn piece right now. I might wait to see what the new loose feather design is and do that instead - it should be out any time now.

Whatever I didn't finish in October I will finish up for sure in November. I have a week off at the end of the month around Thanksgiving and will probably spend a lot of it stitching. I also need to get going on a small Christmas quilted wall hanging. Every year with my family we have a white elephant game and I always quilt something that goes with the theme we have chosen for the year. This year our theme is a sleigh. I found a really cute quilt of Santa in his sleigh.

This is a lot of work however, and I'm not really sure I want to go through that much trouble right now. I'm sure I could find a cute little ornament with a sleigh on it to cross-stitch. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

Friday, October 27, 2006

No stitching

I didn't do any stitching at all last night - I can't even remember the last time I just sat around and watched tv. I did manage to get to the fabric store for the last of the supplies for Molly and Clancy's costumes. That is tonight's project. I wish I could leave work early today to get a head start on it but I can't today :-( Boss will be in all day.

Here is my progress on Quaker Meetinghouse, I have finished the first Quaker motif at the bottom. I will work on another one on the way home this evening and then I'll put it down until Monday morning. It's going to be a Village weekend - all block 10. I don't think I will manage to finish the whole block but I'm going to give it my all.

Two Halloween parties for the pugs, one Saturday and one Sunday. They get TWO parties and I don't get any. How did life get so unfair?? :-)

The Chicago Bears play on Sunday - go Bears!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I have a new star!

Last night was Clancy's first night of agility class. What a little star he was! And he had so much fun. The class has a great mix of little and big dogs - four other dogs his size or smaller (one is his buddy Cleo, a black pug). Clancy was fearless as he learned each of the three obstacles we did last night - the tunnel, the a-frame and jumps (which he already knew from our work in the backyard). Molly was much more hesitant to learn new things but Clancy just got to work. Right now my biggest problem with him is keeping him from running in front of me. One of these days I'm going to step on him hard or go down myself trying to avoid him. But he is pretty smart - I'm sure it will only happen once - I just hope it doesn't hurt to bad when I finally stomp on his foot. :-(

Not much progress to report on either the Village or Quaker Meetinghouse. I did decide to continue my work on Quaker Meetinghouse as my train project so I'll work on that back and forth to work until it's finished - next week sometime. But my evenings and this coming weekend will be dedicated to Block 10 of the Village - I'm determined not to get behind. I'll even put aside my plans to do an ornament on Sunday to finish.

I won't get much stitching done tonight or maybe even tomorrow night - I have to sew Molly and Clancy's Halloween costumes! We have a party with my Pug Meetup Group on Saturday and a party at K9 Playtime (where we go to agility) on Sunday. Molly is going to be a sunflower garden and Clancy is going to be a cowboy. It should be cute.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

hump day!

I don't have much progress on anything to report today. I feel asleep on the train yesterday on my way home so I didn't get much done - just a little work on the red motif on the bottom. And since last night was agility with Molly, not much progress was done either on the Village. This morning I decided to bring the Village with me on the train as I am so far behind and I only have six days left of October to meet my goal of a block a month. I really don't want to get behind with this piece. I have a feeling if I let myself get behind with this huge piece, it will become too overwhelming and I will just put it aside to languish and all the money will go to waste. And I do have hopes of completing the House of Hawk Run Hollow and any other future pieces from this designer with the Hawk Run Hollow theme.

Anyway, back to the train this morning. It didn't go very well at all. The Village is really too big to work on on the train using my 11 inch Q-snaps (which is what I'm using right now). I never could get comfortable with the position of the piece and the small train seat. And I had to rip out about 30 minutes of work when I noticed that I started the top of the barn two rows off. :-( Grrrrr. Of course I'll work on it again tonight on the way home since it is all I have with me but right now I'm not sure if I will bring it again.

As mentioned above, last night was agility with Molly - she did pretty good last night. I was very pleased. If she wasn't such a diva, there is a chance we would have moved onto the next class by now. Which really I don't want to do as it is an hour later and doesn't finish up until after 10:00pm. I like to be in bed by 9:00 since I get up so early in the morning (4:45am) to make my train. Our next trial is in four weeks and I'm already worrying about it. I enjoy agility and would like to succeed with her. My other pug, Clancy, starts beginners tonight. I didn't think I was going to be able to find the money to take him to this session but some how I managed. The first session is going to be pretty boring since I'm used to full courses with Molly. It will be eight weeks of one jump, turn this way and one jump and turn that way. I know how important the fundamentals are but how boring. I have very high hopes for Clancy-Butt since he is not a diva in any way and just loves to please. Molly just pleases herself. Kinda like me.... :-)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


It's a chilly morning here - just below freezing when I got up. I had to scrape ice of my windshield! It feels much to early in the season for this.

Here is my progress on Quaker Meetinghouse - I'll be finished with the house before I leave work today. I plan on taking a lunch to finish it. Then I can do the designs under the alphabet. Then the fun part begins - the Quaker motifs. :-)

Last night I finished up the face of my Santa ornament and started to mess around with the fuzzy white fiber I purchased for his beard. And could not make it work. Crosses didn't work because the are small and all the fuzzy part of the fiber is lost so there wasn't much point. I also tried different needlepoint stitches to see if I could retain the fuzziness of the fiber while still looking nice. I could not find one I liked. So I'm not sure if it's going to work. I'll sleep on it a couple of more days before I decide what to do. It's too bad - it would look so cute with a fuzzy beard and mustache. And that is why I really picked this one out - so I could make the beard fuzzy. It's just another Santa face without it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A good week

I finished up Winter Arbor from the Drawn Thread last night using the recommended fibers and linen. These arbors stitch up super quick and I have now finished two of the four. I'm all ready to go with Spring but I will probably wait until January or so to start that one. I've got a ton of Christmas gifts to work on. I was thinking, wouldn't a tree on an ornament be pretty? I could use one of the ones below and just add a border.

I had a great stitching week - three finishes! And this morning I started Quaker Meetinghouse. And I managed to work on the Village block 10 a couple of evenings this week. For the weekend I plan on starting part two of Marquior ABC and hopefully put a little more silk into the Village.

Here were my office mates from yesterday at home. At least Clancy looked up once and a while to see how I was doing. :-)

I have no big plans for the weekend but tonight I'm having a fondue party with my parents. Dad asked for it a couple of days ago and we will light the fireplace on the desk and bundle up against the cold and enjoy a hot cheese fondue outside. It should be fun. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Not much happening

I'm working at home again today so no train ride in this morning but I'm sure I'll find some time today to stitch a little. I'm hoping to have Winter Arbor complete by Friday so I can start on the Quaker Sampler when it comes. I did manage to stitch a little on the Village - I'm finding oddly enough, that it's hard to get me to work on this piece but when I do I enjoy it. The feel of the silks is wonderful.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

No mail yet

I did have more extra time then I thought I would yesterday so I was able to work on both Winter Arbor and my Village of Hawk Run Hollow. I decided to work on a WIP (Winter Arbor) rather than start Quaker Meetinghouse and thereby creating yet another WIP. :-) Pretty clever huh? LOL! My new Quakers did not come in the mail and at this point I hope they don't until I've finished up Winter Arbor. I don't think I will have the self control necessary to put it aside for even a couple of days and the thought of even a small stack of WIPs is not fun to me. I have a past history of being more of a starter than a finisher and I do fight that tendency. It even drives me crazy to have large pieces like the Village and Marquior sitting around. I think I just need to relax a little more....

I received my Caron Cooper thread yesterday for my Quaker Reindeer from the 2006 JCS ornament issue. When I opened it I thought it looked a little funny. And then I realized that I purchased wildflowers and not waterlilies! The wildflower thread is a single stranded cotton - pretty thick and the waterlilies is of course a silk multi-stranded. The two can't be interchanged in a cross stitch application. So I need to order the Cooper again. Bummer, I wanted to start that ornament next.

Molly did great in agility last night - for the first run! She did the entire course off leash and she only ran off once and came back to me right away. I won't talk about her other two runs - the bad Molly was back... LOL!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A small finish

Here is my first ornament of the season - Winter's Eve by Country Cottage Needleworks. Cute little piece. My goal is one ornament a week with the finishing the following week. We will see how that goes! I usually overestimate what I really can do in a week so I will probably have to revise my goal at some point.

I don't have anything else to show today because there was no stitching on the train (see yesterday's post) and the Chicago Bears played Monday Night Football - and I don't get much stitching done when I'm watching my beloved Bears stink up the field. But all was well, they pulled it out in the end to beat the Cardinals 24 to 23. By the skin of their pants! Most of us Bear fans are trying really hard not to compare this team to the 1995 Super Bowl team but it's hard. A lot of us are all ready planning what we will be doing on February 4. And we all know it is way too soon to be doing so. So I'll try really hard to take it one week at a time.

I'm working from home today and tonight is agility with Molly so there won't be much stitching today. I think I'll work on Winter Arbor when time allows - I'm expecting my Quaker package from Drema today. And I know I'll want to start on that. I kinda wish I would have gone with a different thread color - I like it when my finished pieces look a little different from the model. But since I don't have a close LNS I can't go check out the colors in person. And I only know to true the disappointment of opening a package of thread that came in the mail containing thread colors I picked online and how sometimes the true colors are nothing like what I saw on my computers monitor.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Finished! :-)

I finished Flea Market Souvenir by Blackbird Designs yesterday morning. I'm not really happy with the way I joined section two to section three so I think I'll redo the embroidery stitches I selected. I used three different types of chain stitches but instead of looking like three different stitches, they just look jumbled. I used the recommended fibers with three different colors or R&R 30 count linen. I don't remember what they are, I just used left over pieces from my last few BBD designs. A warning if you want to do this piece - the count on the outside border is short on both section two (the house) and section three (the larger urn). You should add at least one flax and one blue to each section in order to have enough room to add your embroidery stitches. Otherwise you will run into the cross stitching on each side. I only added to section three but should have to the other one also. You can count on the photo on the chart and use that.

I also worked on my first Christmas ornament from the Just Cross Stitch 2006 magazine. I started with Winter's Eve from Country Cottage Needleworks. I had all the recommended colors in my stash! How about that? :-) I forgot to take a picture last night but I will tonight after I finish. Just a few more stitches to put in and I'll be done with my first ornament of the year.

Last night I decided I would start working on Quaker Meetinghouse for my train rides this week. I put everything in my tote bag last night and this morning when I opened the bag on the train to start working I realized I forgot to put in a needle! What a dummy I am. :-) So no start today.

This morning Part Two of Marquior ABC was made available. I downloaded it first thing this morning. This part looks like it will go super fast. And all blue for me!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Playing hooky

I'm at home today - I love to play hooky on Friday's! Shame on me... :-)

I'm making excellent progress on Flea Market - I will finish the middle part today and I think I will take the time to join the first to the second part today. I have a feeling that it will go a little slow because of my poor embroidery skills - so today seems like the perfect day.
No plans for the weekend - I need to get into the garden and do some of my fall stuff. And I've a ton of stuff to plant which I purchased a couple of months ago into my new perennial garden. So far all I've done is turn over the soil. If I don't get it done soon, it will be too late for this year. I'm still waiting for spring bulbs to come which I ordered two months ago. I'm going to call again today and cancel the order if they can't give me a date.
Yesterday it was snowing here! It's not unusual to have snow in early October but it always feels too soon! I'm not a fan of the cold and snow so I'm not looking forward to it at all. I'm a sunshine girl at heart. I have no plans for the weekend - but I do need to start quilting. I'm feeling terribly guilty that I totally stopped sewing this year. It wasn't even a gradual stop - it was just one day I was quilting and one day I wasn't. I have so many really pretty projects all ready to go. Maybe I'll go through my stash. That usually gets my creative juices flowing. :-)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Moving right along

I'm making good progress with part two of Flea Market Souvenir. I'm hoping to have this portion completed by Friday's train ride home. I almost hope that my supplies for my Quaker Samplers don't arrive until Monday - I have no chance of putting any silk into the Village if it does! LOL! I'm way to easily distracted by something new. :-) I know I'm not alone out there either. ;-) I had a couple of suggestions (thanks!) to try Ruth Sparrow's over one technique. I think I'm going to give it a go. I have been sitting on a Hillside Samplings project called the Flower Samplers and each of the four designs has a lot of over one included. And they are FULLY kitted with recommended Crescent Colours and linen - and have been since May or so. I think they would be a good choice to mess around a bit with. Of course the downside to doing over one on these is, they are 36 count and not the bigger count that I would be doing the Quaker Sampler book in (28 count is recommended). So I'm not sure if it's a fair test or not. Aren't these pretty? In the book, Lesley Rudnicki indicated that she will be doing one more flower book with three more flowers in it so there will be seven in total at some point. I received my supplies for Quaker Meetinghouse in the mail yesterday. On Karen and Tina's experience and recommendations with this piece, I purchased three skeins of the Cresent Colours Tartan Plaid. When I opened the package last night, all three of my skeins were there but one of the skeins was so different from the other two! Two were shades of medium blue, light blue and a teal blue. The odd one has no teal in it at all and is even a different sort of blue all together. I remember Karen mentioning that the same thing happened to her. So I'll work that odd one in here and there. How odd....

I'm so glad the work week is almost over - ok I know it's only Thursday but the fact I'm talking about the end of the week is a good indication of how it's been going. Friday please get here soon! In fact, I might even feel a cold coming on. Wink wink!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It's snowing again!!

Yesterday as I boarded the train for my ride home, a lady approached me and handed me my Winter Arbor. I did drop it leaving the train last Friday and she is a regular rider and sits in the same car that I do and has noticed me stitching everyday. So she figured rather than put it in the Lost and Found, she would give it to me personally when she saw me next and as Monday was a holiday (Columbus Day) and she was off work, Tuesday was the first chance she had. I'm so grateful that she did. All is well in Margieworld right now. :-) Of course I had already ordered new linen for it but I can use it I'm hoping for some of my Christmas ornaments. Here is my progress before I lost it.

I decided to stick stitching with Flea Market because that is where my momentum is right now. Here is my progress on part 2 - the house. Of course I can't take a good picture to save my life but the colors are so nice. I love Palomino for the house and the Teal Frost trim is very pretty.

I did a little shopping with Drema yesterday - I did purchase both With My Needle charts I wanted - the Quaker Sampler Book and the Quaker Samplers. I also purchased the recommended linen and the recommended floss for both Quaker Samplers. Drema said the floss recommended is Crescent Colours Milady's Teal. The teal part of the name is very deceptive - the color isn't teal at all. It's more of what Drema describes as shades of Williamsburg Blue (my favorite blue) around the DMC 930 range. I always assume teal is a blueish green but there is not a spec of green in this floss. I can't wait to get started on one of these two samplers. I've been wanting to do a true Quaker for a while now, since I finished up BBD Quaker Garden. I'm hoping I can get Flea Market finished before the supplies arrive. The Samplers are a medium size piece so I'm hoping I can do them on the train. I really don't want to work a large pieces during my commute.

As always, Tuesday evening is agility with Molly and it was another frustrating class. She just really wants to do her own thing and at one point I had to pick her up during a run and put her in a crate. She is so dead set on doing whatever she wants and that is rarely what I want her to do. After her time out, she did better and even better still when her reward for doing what I needed her to do was play with her flying squirrel. We think that toys are the key with her and not food. I start Clancy in two weeks. I wonder if I've learned enough with Molly to start him out better. Time will tell!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Flea #1

I completed part 1 of Flea Market Souvenir last night - I love the colors and felt like completing something instead of working on the Village. I don't like the placement of the personalization initial (the extra A at the top for Alma) so I didn't put in my initial. But then when I was finished last night I noticed how terrible the large eyelet looked mushed into the middle like it is. So I'm going to rip it out and move it to the corner. I think that will look much nicer. I'm not going to personalize my piece until I've completed all three sections and joined them with the embroidery stitches. Then I will be able to see where they really should go. But I'm already thinking maybe on either side of the small urn to the left. I'm also stitiching mine on three different colors of R&R. It should be pretty when finished.

I went to the lost and found at the train station this morning to see if anyone turned in my Winter Arbor - no one did. :-( I'm so bummed. I'll order the silks this week from Drema and look for the fabric again. I don't want this to set me back on my Arbor series. I really do love them. I do morn the loss of my Dovos though, those where kick ass scissors and it will be awhile before I will have the cash to buy another pair.

I started on Part 2 of Flea Market on the train in this morning - that house is going to take several days at least. And I'm already wondering if I have enough Palomino floss. Time will tell I guess.

I'm also fighting the urge to buy more charts. I really want to start on a Quaker piece and I love the charts from With My Needle. I want to do Quaker Samplings (I like both) and the Quaker Pattern Book. I talked myself out of ordering them on Friday but yesterday the desire to pick up the phone and order them was just as strong. Good thing Drema is closed on Monday's or I would have for sure! I'm hesitating on ordering the Quaker Pattern Book because I don't want to do it over one and if I stitch it over two on 32 count the size of the book will be 5 x 7. I think some of the beauty of this piece is the really small finished size when done over one. But my over one really sucks. I've yet to be happy with any over one I've done to date. So I don't know what to do. October is my birthday month so I can use my 30% one item to buy the chart. Maybe that will help me make up my mind. And I think I'd like to use silk thread but I have no idea on what color range to use. I like the idea of using a darker linen and using a cream or white thread. That would be pretty I think.

Maybe it is time to call Drema...... LOL!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Super bummed :-(

You are reading the blog of a very bummed person. Saturday afternoon was the first chance I had to stitch so I went over to where I store the tote bag I carry back and forth to work. It's a large tote bag with everything I could possible need for my commute - including my stitching. I reached in my bag to pull out my ziploc project bag for my Winter Arbor and it wasn't there! So I figured I must have pulled already maybe when I got home on Friday. I looked everywhere - in the house, the my car, outside, everywhere. No stitching. I think I must have left it on the train Friday afternoon. :-( What makes me so mad is I always look at my seat before I leave to make sure I haven't left something behind. But I didn't look on Friday because I was in such a big hurry. And I still had my headphones from my MP3 player on so if the bag dropped out of my tote, I would not have heard it fall. It's gone. :-( My Winter Arbor about 20% complete, NPI silks, hoop, and worst of all, my dovo scrissors with the cute little Shepherd's Bush Summer scissor bob I made last June. I did check with Lost and Found this morning at the train station but Friday's items don't show up until late morning. So there still is a chance I suppose that it will show up but I'm not really holding out much hope. And I do have the chart, it was still in my tote bag so I can purchase new supplies and restart.

Not to be a total downer, I did finish Part 1 of Marquior ABC. It looks super funny with just that one corner done with the rest of it so empty. It's only a week to go before Part 2 comes out. I also started Block 10 of the Village. I love the little worm coming out of the apple.

And I started on Flea Market Souvener as my new train project. But I didn't realize until I was on the train that my old hoop was bad so I have to stitch without it today.

Friday, October 06, 2006

It's snowing

I made progress on Winter Arbor - it's starting to snow :-) I can't even express how much I like using NPI Silk thread. I just love the feel of it as it goes through the linen. I can't believe I lived so long without it! I swear if I could go out and replace all my DMC with NPI I would.

I worked on Marquior ABC last night and I'm almost finished with part 1. My goals for the weekend are to finish part 1 (I only have 10 days to go for part 2) and to start block 10 of the Village. I think that is doable because I don't have a lot planned and several movies waiting for me to watch from my Netflix subscription.
Yesterday while taking a brief break during work and reading some blogs I enjoy, I came across a designer of cross stitch called Homespun Elegance - it just so happens, several people are working on different designs right now - where have these been all my life?! I can't believe how many of their charts I just fell in love with. I MUST have Hare in Flight and a couple of the welcomes. But what really caught my eye was the Gathering series and the season Delivering series. I love the folk art look and these are just so cute. I'll have to drive out to my closest cross stitch store to find some. Like I need more charts right now! LOL! Yes, I'm crazy.

I'm really glad it's Friday - I worked my butt off this week and that is not the usual way I operate at work. Next week should be more of the same. Tomorrow is my monthly pug meetup at the off-leash dog park close to my house. This will most likely be the last really nice weather meetup we have for a while. November is hit or miss and December through February/ March will be cold. But we still go - we just put coats on the our pugs. :-) They look so cute all bundled up.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Flower Folio Happy Dance

I decided to finish up Amaranth last night since I was so close to being done. I've completed a series I started in 1990! It only took 16 years! LOL! :-) Of course I pulled out the other three to admire them together and I noticed that Bluebells is shorter than all the rest. So I'm going to add a band to even it up. I'm sure it would look ok but I'm a freak when it comes to that sort of thing and I'd always notice it was short.

I did start Winter Arbor from The Drawn Thread on the train this morning as I'm still waiting for my Quaker Meetinghouse supplies to arrive. This one will go even quicker than Fall Arbor did - there are a few less specialty stitches in this piece - the trees are bare after all!

Yesterday I signed up for the Silkweavers Fabric of the Month deal - I went with the Wish List program. And I picked out mostly tans and creams and other neutrals! How boring of me. But I know what I like that is for sure. I can't wait to see what they send me first. I know I'll be able to use everything I get in the next couple of months on Christmas stuff. And once I get a nice stock of neutrals, I'll revise my list and put some colors on it.

I also had a good mail day yesterday. Peg, the fellow stitcher who's Secret Garden I finished off a couple of months ago, sent me two finishing books. http://www.lostinthreads.blogspot.com/ How nice is that? I didn't have any finishing books at all and have so far been just experimenting with how to do it. I've been doing OK but they would not hold up under closer inspection. :-) There are a ton of ideas and lots of tips. I can't wait to mess with some ornaments. Thanks Peg! Stitchers are great people and I'm grateful everyday that I got involved with stitching again.

The boss is back in the office so I'm busy as all get out. I'm already wishing it was Friday and the day just started. ;-)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A good time in agility

Molly was great last night in agility - she did most of what I asked her to and was off-leash 80% of the time. I told my teacher how frustrated I was last week and how last night made up for it. She said this is the way it usually goes, no progress - much progress. Our next trial is in seven weeks. I'm hoping we are much better prepared this time than last time.

I'm two-thirds of the way done with Amaranth. I can't believe I'm so close to putting this series to bed! :-) At one point several years ago, I thought I would never complete these and here I am three finished and one with only two or so days to go. I'm considering purchasing the Jill Rensel mats she makes to go with flower folios. I would like to have the outside dimension of the mat fit into a stock frame - maybe 5 x 7 so I can buy them less expensively at Hobby Lobby during their next half off sale. So I guess I need to email Jill and find out how it all works. For all I know, she has these finished mats ready to go and I can't pick out the outside dimension at all. I've never ordered from her but I'll find out.

I'm already thinking ahead to my next start - I need to pull out Block 10 of the Village and finish up part 1 of Marquior but both of those are my weekend/evening projects. For my train ride I don't know right now. I just purchased all my supplies for Quaker Meetinghouse and I'm ready to go with both Flea Market Souvenir and Winter Arbor. I think I should go with Winter Arbor. I love doing the specialty stitches. But I still have a day to think over it - I won't tie up Amaranth probably until tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Instruction frustration

I made great progress on the way home from work yesterday on my Shepherd's Bush Amaranth. But today on the way in it was a different story. I took me over an hour just to complete two small bands. In the older SB patterns (I can't comment on new ones as I don't have any) sometimes the drawn instructions leave a lot to be desired. What should have taken me just a short time, took forever because I had to figure out how to come up with a finished band with one bad picture. I find it so frustrating when the directions come up short. And I'm an experienced stitcher! I can only imagine what someone who is new to pulled work and band samplers would think when they try one of the older patterns. I wonder if the newer SB get any better. I love the Drawn Thread instructions - now those are clear. To be honest, it didn't help that I was crabby! :-)

We had really bad storms last night. Even the emergency broadcast system was activated. Now that is freaky. Where I live the signal is a siren followed by a male voice recording telling you what TV and radio station to tune to for more information. Hearing a disembodied voice through the thunder is creepy at best, terrifying at worst. It was a tornado not to far from my house - it quickly turned into Lake Michigan so it was over pretty quickly but the thunder, lightening and rain continued for hours. I didn't sleep a wink.

While working on my Marquior last night I discovered I made a counting error - a fixable counting error. I always follow this strategy when working on a piece - if I can fix it I will fix it. If it's involving multiple colors and the end result won't matter, I try to find a way to make it work. Well, last night the error I found was fixable - I was one stitch off on the side border. So I had to rip out a couple of hours worth of work - that is such a bummer. But I felt I had to - it's only part 1 after all and I want this piece to be all that it can be - and hell, I'll be working on the damn thing for 16 months so it had better well be a work of art when I finished! LOL! So out it came. So no real progress to report on that piece.

Tonight is agility with Molly so no stitching. I get to do my other highly frustrating hobby instead! :-)

Monday, October 02, 2006

A couple of smalls

Over the weekend I did start and totally complete two smalls from Trix or Treat by Blackbird Designs - Boo and Black Cat. I did both on my own hand-dyed 32 count linen. On Black Cat I used the recommended fibers Weeks Dye Works and on Boo I used Weeks Dye Works Sweet Potato. I took Karen V's tips on Boo backstitching around the piece and then whip stitching the front to a back with a bead every fourth stitch or so. I love how it turned out! Thanks Karen.

I did a start this morning on Amaranth from Shepherd's Bush - not much to see yet but here it is any way.
I also stitched a little on Part 1 of Marquior ABC but I didn't take a photo. I plan on trying to finish Part 1 up this week. We see how that goes! :-)

Nice weekend here - the weather Sunday was wonderful! 70's and sunny! The pugs and I spent a lot of time outside. There won't be to many more of these! Here they are helping me work at home last Friday.

September recap - I didn't do as much as I thought I would during the month. Vacation really put me off my planned completions. But I had fun so all is not lost. For October I plan on Block 10 of the Village of Hawk Run Hollow, finish Part 1 of Marquior ABC and start Part 2 on the 16th, Winter Arbor from The Drawn Thread, Amaranth from Shepherd's Bush, Quaker Meetinghouse from Midsummer Night Designs and Flea Market Souvenir from BBD. That should keep me out of trouble! If I have anytime left over, I will start on Christmas ornaments. It will be another full month.