Saturday, December 29, 2007

Imaginary Botanicals - Stripes finis

Imaginary Botanicals - Stripes by Sam Sarah Design Studio
32 count Silkweavers Dark Tan linen
Recommended WDW and Gentle Art floss

I finished up my Imaginary Botanicals series last night. I'm so happy with how it turned out! :-) I started back on A Quaker Study by CHS. I'd love to finish this one up by the end of next week. All part of the plan to finish up all my WIPs. We'll see how much I manage before I feel compelled to start something new.

Clancy had a good first day of our four day trial. No Qs but he had a good Open Jumpers course - he missed his weave pole entrance and an even better Novice Standard run. He did everything but hit his contact point on the A-Frame. He was just inches from our first Standard Q. We still have three more tries! Cross your fingers for us. :-)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sleigh Bells Ring finis

Sleigh Bells Ring by The Sunflower Seed
32 count Silkweavers Dark Tan Linen
Weeks Dye Works Floss

Here is my finished Sleigh Bells Ring. As you can see I finished it into a box. I used the box method used by Blackbird Designs (instructions are from BBD Secret Garden Necessity Box). I love how it turned out. I did add the little tree to the right side to make it fit better on my box.

Tomorrow Clancy and I are participating in a four day agility trial. I'm hoping for a couple of standard Qs. Wish us luck!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

rap up of 2007 ornaments

I did the finishing work on the last three ornaments of 2007. I look forward to 12 more next year. :-)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

from my house to yours...
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

almost on vacation :-)

Here is my progress on Stripes. If I had done this flower first, I doubt the other two would ever get finished! :-) It's so unflower like so far and since I'm working from a copy and have put away the color chart, I'm not even sure what it's going to look like when it's finished. But I'm about a third of the way done so almost to the home stretch. I'd like to get about a half of the way done before I have to put it up on Friday to work on a couple of last minute (second!) Christmas gifts. I have a little stitching to do yet and I have to do some quilting. I'll be busy this weekend for sure. Tomorrow is my last day working until January 2nd. Yeah!

Thanks for all your warm wishes for Summer. She still has her eye stitched closed and it will remain that way for two weeks. Right now she has a 50/50 chance of keeping her sight.

I'm thinking about goals for next year. I want to complete a couple of my WIPS - well, all of them actually. :-) The one that is crying out the most is Marquoir ABC. I have not worked on it in eight months and I actually dated it 2007. I got to the half way point and just put it aside. And it's such a pretty piece it deserves to be finished. I also want to finish St. Reatham in time next year to enter it into the Silkweaver's Stitchers Showcase contest (I managed to enter 12 pieces this year). The other three on my WIP list are all totally doable and I plan on having all three done before winter is over. They are: Sampler of Stitches from the Drawn Thread, Toccata II also from the Drawn Thread and Quaker Study from CHS.

I also want to do several items from my waiting in the wings list, most notably, Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. I'm pretty sure I got a $50 dollar gift certificate for Neeldecraft Corner from my sister for Christmas and that will go a long way toward buying all the NPI silk I need. I would also like to do my Cirque des Cercles from Ink Circles. I had to have been one of the first people to purchase this chart and I haven't even put a stitch in it yet. Also high on my list is Celtic Band Sampler by Homespun Samplar - that one is all ready to go. Most of the others are smallish pieces and I should have not much problems getting to most of them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

little progress

I want to finish up with my Imaginary Botanicals series so I started on Stripes on Monday morning. And as of today hardly have anything done. I'm having a hard time staying awake on the train - both ways. In fact yesterday morning I didn't even bother taking my stitching out of my bag. I just sat down and settled in for a nap. :-) I plan on working on this until Saturday and then I start on Sleigh Bells Rings from Sunflower Seed Designs. Thanks again Kathy! It was kind of you to send me this chart. It's perfect (quick and easy) for my exchange on the 25th.

My friend Peggy's pug, Summer had a terrible accident yesterday. She is Peggy's one eyed pug and is doing great in agility. Last trial she earned two Qs in jumpers! We both had high hopes of her earning her novice jumpers title in the new year. Well anyway, yesterday Summer got in a scuffle at home with one of the other pugs and her remaining eye popped out. This is not an uncommon injury to pugs because some pugs eyes bulge out more than others. Peggy and her son rushed her to the vet and her eye was put back in and then temporarily stitched closed. Summer is going back to the vet today so the damage can be assessed. Please keep Summer in your thoughts today. She is a rescue and we have a feeling that love, kisses and laps were not common in her past and she deserves the best possible outcome.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Productive weekend

I got a ton done over the weekend. First off I finished stitching Toy Shop Sign from CHS and did the finishing work. So cute! I did it on the recommended 36 count Lakeside Linen using the DMC conversion.
Next I stitched the above design (I can't remember the name) from Erica Michaels using the recommended 40 count Lakeside Linen and assorted Crescent Colors cotton floss. And even did the finishing. :-) And I even found time to stitch one more. This is Snowflake Heart from Wild Heart Designs from last years JCS Ornament issue.

This is a photo of how the tree is currently looking. Much fuller from last year! I still have to finish off the other two ornaments I stitched from last week plus the one above but I have met my goal of 12 ornaments this year. :-) I need to quilt myself a little tree skirt to finish off the look but I'm very happy with it this year. Oh, and I need a star. :-)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Snow Bunnies finis

I finished up Snow Bunnies from Little House Needleworks yesterday - so cute! I did it on the recommended 32 count linen using the recommended DMC colors. Today I started CHS Toy Store. I don't have enough stitched in yet so no progress photo. In a prefect world I'll be finished by Monday. :-) But you know how that goes. I'd also like to finish into ornaments the couple that I have stitched. I need to put up my tree this weekend.

I've joined a couple of exchange groups - the Birthday Exchange Group and the Hooked on Exchanging Group. Question for those of you who have done the birthday group before. Do you stitch something for your recipient as well as buy a couple of little things? This is all new to me. :-) But I want to get more involved with my fellow bloggers and this seemed like a great way to start.

Thanks to everyone who emailed me a chart with a sleigh in it, had a suggestion or even offered to look for one for me. Kathy found me a perfect one that is just the right size and pretty easy to complete (all whole crosses :-)) and has sent it to me. It's from Sunflower Seed and it's called Sleight Bells Ring. Thanks so much Kathy! I can't thank you enough. :-) You guys are the best.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

sleighs anyone?

Finally a stitching update! :-) I've been working on a couple of ornaments over the past couple of days. Here is my progress on Snow Bunnies from Little House Needleworks. I love this little piece! I have a couple more ornaments ready to go and I hope to have them finished by the end of next week or I'll be short of my goal to complete 12 this year. Time sure did get away from me.

Does anyone have a freebie of a holiday piece that has a sleigh in it I could have a copy of? I don't have anything at all close, free or not that has a sleigh in it and and none of the four ornament issues I currently own do either. Sleighs are the theme of my families gift exchange this year for Christmas and I have no idea where to go with this and I'm running out of time to buy one and have it sent to me.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

An amazing day :-)

I would like to introduce you to the AKC's newest titled dog, Clancy O'Shay, NAJ! :-) Today Clancy completed his first AKC title in spectacular fashion. He completed a Jumpers With Weaves course rated at 44 seconds and 110 yards long in 26.5 seconds - a first place finish. It was a pretty difficult course and no other dogs in his class even finished. I had tears in my eyes as we finished. He was just amazing. We are now competing at the open level in Jumpers. In the standard agility level, we still are looking for that elusive first qualifying score but have come very close in the past two trials and we have one more shot at it tomorrow. Excuse the photo, I just noticed that Clancy is huh, quite the happy boy. ;-)

And if the day was not complete enough I had a package in the mail today. I wasn't expecting anything and I was quite puzzled when I looked at it. I recognized the return sender's name but I wasn't expecting anything since we were arn't currently trading anything. I opened it up and inside was the most beautiful scissor bob I have ever seen! :-) I could not believe that someone thought to make me a give. I gave Tracy a chart a couple of weeks ago in the spirit of paying it forward. She expressed interest in it and since I really like her blog and her work inspires me, I sent it to her. Never in a hundred years did I expect such a kind give in return. Thank you so much Tracy! I'm quite humbled by your generosity. I had no idea that when I started to blog a year and a half ago that I would become involved with such a kind group of people. I will take a better photo when I'm not so wonky, it's been a long couple of days and I still have one to go but I could not let a day go by without thanking her.

isn't this beautiful! The colors are wonderful and there is the cutest little button on the backside. :-)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Day one success!

Today was the first day of Clancy's first four day agility trial - Hounds for the Holidays in Milwaukee WI. We earned another 2nd place and qualifying score in Jumpers with Weaves! One more and we have our first novice title. We have three more chances in this trial and I've got my fingers crossed. :-) And Clancy has his paws crossed too!

No stitching today - the light was terrible at the trial location. :-( I might try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

First snow and catching up

I'm really behind things - I just started on my Christmas ornaments (this is the La-D-Da, Yule Flower) but I did manage the first one yesterday. Boy do I ever hate stitching on black! This was a good project to find that out on, very quick! :-) I just today managed to catch up with the blogs I read but I didn't have a ton of time to make comments. I hate when that happens.

We woke up this morning in Gurnee to find around six inches of snow on the ground and it's still snowing! Sure is pretty but to avoid the roads I'm working from home again today. I took Aoife out for her first romp in the deep snow. I'm still not sure if she liked it or not. The other two pugs don't mind it at all. Here is Aoife and Clancy in the tunnel. As you can see the snow is still flying.
Then I had an idea, wouldn't it be cute if I could get them in the tunnel for our Christmas photo? As you can see, it didn't really work out! Aoife just wanted warm feet. Even roast turkey couldn't change her mind. :-)

Many, many thanks for the kind words you left regarding my Alpha piece. I had a couple of new commentors also. That is always nice. I'll link back to you if you have a blog.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Alpha Sheep Finis

Alpha Sheep from Sheepish Designs (part 3 of 3)
32 count Wichelt Latte Linen
Recommended NPI Silks - 2 over 2

I finished up Alpha Sheep this morning. :-) I love how all three look together and the colors are so bright.

In case anyone is interested in doing all three pieces together on one piece of linen like I did, here is the NPI silk fiber skein count. I started the piece will all new skeins of NPI silk. At the end of section 2, I purchased additional skeins of 222, 224 and 746. When I was finished with Alpha Sheep, part 3, I had only used the extra 222. I'm not very frugal with my floss usage and I literally had none of the 224 or 746 left from the first skeins. So I doubt if you did this piece on 32 count 2x2 you would need the extra skeins of the 224 and 746 and certainly not at all if you did it on 36 or 40 count.

Monday, December 03, 2007

almost done

I heading into the home stretch of Alpha Sheep. Just a couple more days work and I'll be finished with all three. It's a really large piece since I did mine on 32 count linen. I would have used 36 count but as I had a perfect size and color of the 32 count laying around how could I not use it. :-) A lot of people have been commenting that they would like to do this piece together like I have. I recommend it, each piece was super quick (took me less than a week each) and the colors are great! Sorry though, I have already traded away my three charts.

On Saturday the pugs where sitting in the together in the perfect group. So I took a quick photo. Then I thought, since the are behaving so nice, why don't I try for a Christmas card photo? So I put them in this years selected accessory and gave it a go. Even though they took some good shots, them being on the couch just wasn't working for me so I tried outside. I couldn't get them to sit close to each other. :-) And I didn't like the background so I ended up with a ton of outtakes. I'll try again later in the week on a more neutral background.

Friday, November 30, 2007

And the winner is...

Sheepish Designs, Alpha Sheep! I decided to work on this piece and get it finished up. Of course it won't happen in November but by the end of next week for sure (I'm hoping). I have been working at home much of this week and a couple of days next week also so I'm missing out on at least three extra hours of stitching time every time I stay home. As a result, my progress suffers. Speaking of finishes in November, what a dismal month for finishes. Only three! For me that is a poor month considering that two of the finishes were very small. Of course I did work on St. Reatham for more than a week and made huge progress there, but I would have loved to see a couple more things finished.

I'm closing off the week with a pug picture. This is what I always envisioned when I became a multi-pug household. All three pugs nestled together, taking a nap. :-) This is the first time its happended. :-)

I have updated my for sale or trade list. The link is to the right.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Imaginary Botanicals - Dots Finis

Imaginary Botanicals - Dots by SamSarah Design Studio
32 count Silkweaver Dark Tan Linen
Recommended Weeks Dye Works and Gentle Arts Floss

I finished up with Dots this afternoon. I love the two of them together. I can't wait to see the third (Stripes) go on the linen. It's going to be to the left of Swirls.

I had to order another skein of one of the colors for Strips so right now I'm not sure what I want to start on next. Part of me wants to finish up with what I consider one project and another part of me wants to finish up part three of the Alpha Series by Sheepish Designs - Alpha Sheep. And yet another part of me wants to do a couple of Christmas ornaments. I ordered a bunch of fabric cuts from Drema last week so I'm ready to go with at least five or six from this years Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue.

So many projects - so little time! :-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Imaginary Botanicals - Swirls finis

Imaginary Botanicals - Swirls by SamSarah Designs
32 Count Silkweavers Dark Tan Linen
recommended overdyed floss

As I predicted, I finished up with Swirls last week and started Dots right away. I was hoping to finish it by the end of the long weekend but I was sick with a bad cold all Thanksgiving through Sunday and I didn't feel much like stitching. I'm hoping to finish up Dots by the weekend. I love how they look together. I can't wait to start on Strips.

Because I was sick, I canceled most of the plans I had made for the weekend. But that made the pugs happy because they had me to themselves for four whole days. :-) Here is little Aoife taking a nap on the pillow palace that she made. She is growing so fast!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Have a great Thanksgiving!

I'm almost finished with Swirls - I'll tie this one up tonight. Right now I'm not sure what I'll work on next. I'm feeling like I'm in a Alpha mood - it would be great to finish the Alpha series by Sheepish Designs before the end of the month. But who knows, maybe I'll start on the next botanical design.

Have a great thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate it!

Monday, November 19, 2007

We did it!

Clancy and I earned our first AKC (American Kennel Club) Qualifying score in Novice Jumpers with Weaves! And it was even a second place finish! As you can imagine, I am a very proud mom. :-) This means we have our first leg for our first AKC title. And we were "this" close to two more Qs but I have to blame myself and not Clancy for our failure. He did everything I asked him to and for one of the events, I didn't stay by him and I know he prefers it and in the other case, I pulled him off course with a bonehead move on my part. But in any case, I feel like we are well on our way. Our next trial is in two weeks and it's a four day trial so we will have many more attempts at Qs.

I have videos of the weekend and if anyone wants to be bored and watch them or just see what agility is all about, let me know and I'll forward my account name. I had to set them up unsearchable or I would just post them here. I have an old boyfriend who is practically stalking me online and I don't want him to have anymore access into my life then he already has found. :-( The whole thing is just sick. :-( But enough negitive talk on such a happy day!

I didn't find a second to put in stitch in Swirls all weekend. But I'm making good progress in any case and I should be finished with the first flower by the end of the week. I've already had to pull out one of the recommneded threads because it matched another color almost perfectly. :-( I hate it when I get such a different dye lot from the model. And by looking at this photo, I might have to pull another color because it's blending into the background too much. The model was stitched on a pinkish color and mine is Silkweavers Dark Tan and it's really a close match. Bummer.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A new start

This is where I'm leaving St. Reatham for now. Not to bad for five days work. :-) If I had to estimate how much I have completed, I would have to say I'm quarter of the way done. I really need to work on this piece more but I have so many other things to work on and they are all shouting at me.

Here is my new start - Swirls from Sam Sarah Designs. I'm doing all three Imaginary Botancial pieces on the same piece of linen width wise.
While I was taking photos of SR, Aoife wanted in the action. Can you find the pug??

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

First page - complete! :-)

I am "officially" done with page one! :-) Woohoo! Only seven more to go. ;-) As soon as I finish the motif I'm working on, I'll be pleased with this round of stitching's progress. My next project with be the Imaginary Botanicals and I'll start that as soon as the thread I ordered arrives.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Slow stitching weekend

I didn't get much stitched done at all this weekend on St. Reatham. The plan had been to at least finish the big motif but I fell short of that. I had plans with friends and Sunday was a really lazy day - napping with the pugs was the most important thing I did all day. :-)
I haven't posted a photo of the puppy in a whole week! Here is the cutest picture of Aoife and Molly. It's taken Molly a while to warm up to the idea of yet another pug in the house but I think she is finally there. I caught them taking a nap together Sunday afternoon. Aoife loves to snuggle.

Clancy was of course with me on the couch. He always pulls the pillows out of order to make a little nest. It's so cute.

I'm ending today's post with another pug photo but this one is not my pug. This is Molly and she belongs to my friend Peggy. This was taken at Pug Dog Nationals in Pennsylvania last September. The look of determination is incredible. She is a great agility pug.

Friday, November 09, 2007

At long last, progress

I'm making progress with St. Reatham, not fast progress but progress none the less. So far this round I've completed the round motif under the F and G, a couple of the tiny ones and have started on the of the three largest motifs to the left of the center. My goal for this bout of SR stitching is to finish the big motif I'm working on and then start back down on the left side of the piece. I realized this morning I still have not really completed one page of the chart. :-( I'm going to make sure that no matter what I'll complete page 1.
Isn't this piece huge?? I can't believe I even started to tackle it. :-) Sorry about the bad photo, in order to work on this piece on the train, I wrap the linen around my five inch hoop. It keeps the piece small and manageable and helps to keep in clean since I have only the back side of the piece facing me. Here is link the what it will look like finished -
I did a little birthday shopping and here are a couple of the charts I ordered. It's the Imaginary Botanical series from Sam Sarah Design Studio. There are three pieces in the group, Swirls, Dots and Strips. They are really cool and I'm going to stitch them on one piece of linen. It's hard to tell here because they are stitched on different colored backgrounds but they use the same colors of fiber just in different amounts. I'm planning on ordered the fibers today and this is what I'll start next when the supplies arrive. So I'll work on SR until that happens.

Have a great weekend!