Thursday, May 31, 2007

Going for it

I've decided not to stop working on Blackstone Fantasy Garden until it is finished. That should be over the weekend some time - I only have 24 blocks to go. I'm looking forward to saying good-bye to this piece for sure. :-) I started it last November. I had no idea then it would turn out to be a seven month project.

I hardly did any stitching last night - I started working on BFG and got a little sleepy around 7:00pm. I put my head down for just a second on the couch and two hours later woke up. I guess I was sleepy! I just went to bed at that point. Feel great today though. :-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

making progress

I'm currently working on the u shaped blackwork portions. Each one takes over a hour and a half! That's why I'm doing them now - I want to get them over with. :-) I'll do something smaller next round. I'd love to finish this piece in June. Then I can safely move onto another medium size piece -like Cirque des Cercles, another Ink Circles design. I keep seeing finished CdC on other blogs and I just want to get mine going. I really need to see if the linen and silk thread I purchased will work together.

I did work on Marquior last night for a couple of hours and finished the right hand side border. However when I got the bottom of the border I was one row short! I looked for at least 30 minutes for where I was off and could not find it anywhere. I'll look again tonight with fresh eyes but I think if I do find it and it's not within a couple of inches of the bottom, I'll work on a plan to compensate for it. There is so much going on with that piece no one will ever notice and I bet within a couple of weeks I'd have a hard time finding it. At least that is the plan. :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Block one finis

I finished up block one of The Village of Hawk Run Hollow yesterday afternoon using the recommended linen and NPI silks. Only two to go!! I'm loving this more and more. It's so big on 32 count. I'm going to break the bank framing it. :-)
I also found time for a couple of other things. Here is my May Ornament-Stitch-Along, a small one this month, Santa Keeper from The Drawn Thread (a freebie from their site).
I was done with block one and my ornament and it was only early afternoon yesterday so I went through my stash to see what I should work on as Marquior ABC wasn't what I really wanted to do (bad girl). So I pulled out Blackstone Fantasy Garden to work on while I watched a Star Wars film fest on DVD (in honor of it's 30th anniversary). I was glad I picked this up because I really love it. This time instead of working on a quadrant at a time, I worked on a single motif until that motif was finished. It is quicker working them this way as you really do get into a rhythm. I'll work on this until St. Reatham Thursday and then it will be June and I can start on something totally new. :-)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Quaker Samplings II Finis

With My Needle
Quaker Samplings II
32 count Sugar Maple by Lakeside Linens
Milady's Teal by Crescent Colours

And both my Quaker Samplings - I like the two different colors together.

I finished up Quaker Samplings II last night on the train ride home. I put in the last couple of stitches as the train pulled into the station. :-)

I didn't do anything else the rest of the night. I got home and took the pugs for a nice long walk. Then I started to putz around outside and didn't even come into the house until after 8:00pm. So I quick ate some dinner and then crashed out on the couch. Sure felt nice! I'm working from home today but it will be slow. So many people are taking the day off now before the long weekend. It will be a good day. Maybe I'll work on St. Reatham when I have a chance.... Or maybe not.... :-)

My lead on Beatrix Potter's Quaker Sampler did not pan out so I'm still looking for a copy. If any one knows of someone who is still selling it please let me know. I'm looking for a copy.

If you celebrate Memorial Day, have a great long weekend. If you don't still have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I put St. Reatham in my bag this morning for St. Reatham Thursday but when I got on the train I decided to try to finish up Quaker Samplings II. And almost made it! Just three letters to go and then the date on the bottom of the piece and I'll have my matched set of samplers. I will finish this up on the train home tonight. I'll post the finished photo tomorrow with the first one I did. As for SR, I figure I'll just make up some time tomorrow.

Here is Block One of the Village - I didn't have as much time as I thought I would last night because I had a special mid-week pug meetup. My group is being featured in the local paper and they needed to get a picture of the pugs at play for the article. It should be cute. I'll post a link when it comes out.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

closing in on a finis

Just a row and a half of letters and I'm finished with Quaker Samplings II. I have to admit I feel like I've been working on this forever but it's really only been two and a half weeks. :-) I've become a finishing junky. :-) This weekend I have an agility trial with Molly and it's my ornament weekend so I picked out something really small - a Drawn Thread freebie. Hopefully I will be able to finish it before Sunday night.

I did work on The Village last night as planned but since I was not able to leave work early as I had hoped, I didn't get much done before I had to leave my home for agility night with the pugs. Tonight I'll have my chance of being half way on the block. I'm pretty sure I'll finish this block before the end of the month but I don't have much of a chance of getting caught up with Marquior.

This morning I purchased Beatrix Potter's Quaker Sampler so I can participate in the Quaker Inspired SAL. It's another biggie - 301 x 271 so I'll need to purchase some linen for it. I'm feeling a little thrifty so I'll probably so go with 32 ct cream Belfast Linen. Not sure yet what thread color to choose. I'll have to look at the DMC color chart and see what catches my fancy - maybe a deep green? This will most likely be the only big Quaker I'll do - I just don't see the need to keep doing the same designs over and over again. And I have a list an arm long of other big projects I want to do: The House of Hawk Run Hollow from CHS, Paradigm Lost and the Spottes from Long Dog Designs, Garden Stars from Ink Circles, CHS Alphabet series and ...... You get the drift. :-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A little snake

There is a cute little snake at the bottom of block one of the Village - I can't wait to put her little eyes in. :-) I'm making pretty good progress. The chart I have pinned on the linen is half of the block so I stand a good chance of being close to half way if I get in four hours tonight. The plan is to be finished by Monday so I can enjoy my Memorial day off in the garden.
Here is my Quaker Samplings II - I'm now working the letters. I didn't finish the motif on the bottom left until this morning. I took a little nap on the way home yesterday. Thank goodness for the train! I still need to add the date but I'll take care of that tonight or tomorrow night. I'm still pretty sure I'm on target to have this finished by the weekend. Katrina let me know yesterday that the next two Drawn Thread Alphabet charts are on there way to me. :-) I want to work on those as soon as they get here. I can't wait - I loved the first two and they were so quick to stitch up.

Monday, May 21, 2007

My Treasured Workstation Finis

My Treasured Workstation is finished! Yeah! Thank goodness this is over! :-) I think it turned out nice but I'm not sure if I'll ever do anything with it. I did learn a few things regarding finishing that will carry over into other projects and that really was the point of the whole thing.

I didn't do much other crafting than that the entire weekend. Sunday evening I did make a start of Block one of the Village but I don't have a progress picture. Tomorrow I'll have one for sure.

Here is my progress on Quaker Sampler II from With My Needle. I'm almost finished with the motifs. I should be done by the time I get home from work tonight and then I start on the alphabet on the top of the piece.

Here are a couple of more pictures of my workstation showing the inside pieces.

Thanks for the kinds words over the past couple of days - Molly is almost 100% and I'm also feeling much better. :-) Now if I could just get rid of this darn cough.

Friday, May 18, 2007

St. Reatham Thursday

Here is my progress from my second St. Reatham Thursday. I did a little (and I mean little) last Thursday while on vacation so I'm not counting it as an official day. :-) My new camera really picks up the colors in the linen. This project is pretty easy to lug around. I'm using a hoop instead of Q-snaps (all my three sets are busy) so it just tosses into my stitching bag so I can bring it on the train. So St. Reatham Thursday's are just that - all St. Reatham. That extra three hours from my rides will help this piece progress faster.

Here is Quaker Samplings II - I'm at the bottom margin now. I'm hoping to have this piece finished by next week but I don't have any plans on working on it over the weekend so that might not be enough time. We'll see.

I've been quite sick since I came back from my vacation - I have no idea what I picked up but in any case I'm really looking forward to doing nothing all weekend. It will be nice outside so maybe the pugs and I can go for a nice walk. As for stitching, I plan on finishing My Treasured Workstation and starting block one of the Village. Have a good one!

Here is one more photo of St. Reatham - it really shows the linen color well.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

You can't keep a good pug down

Thanks for all your kind words for Miss Molly - she is almost back her normal self - if judging by the gusto in which she ate her steamed white rice and boiled chicken breakfast that is! :-)

I'm 75% complete on the Village of Hawk Run Hollow! Yeah for me! I finished up block six last night. Only three blocks to go. I'll start on block one Friday or Saturday because today is of course St. Reatham day. :-) I'm stitching my Village on 32 count Lakeside Linens, Sand Dune which is the recommended linen using the recommended NPI silks. I did have a little time to start on the finishing work for My Treasured Workstation and did what is probably the most hardest part of any finishing job... I cut the piece apart. I find it so nerve racking to cut into a finished piece of linen. And I have a feeling I'm not alone out there.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Molly girl is sick :-(

My poor Molly is sick - diarrhea and vomiting all night and this morning poor baby. If she is not better by the time I get home from work, off to the vet we go.

Above is my progress on Quaker Samplings II - I'm almost to the bottom in the right corner. I love it when I make such nice progress on a project. I did have time to work on the Village last night and I finished another horse and rider. Tonight I'll finish up Block 6. I sure would like to have a little time to start finishing work on My Treasured Workstation but since last nights horse took two hours and I still have two to go... You do the math! LOL! I don't think I'll be stitching for more than four hours tonight especially if I have to keep an eagle eye on Molly.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

back to the village

I started back on the Village block six last night. And made a ton of progress too! As you can see, I changed the name of the blacksmith to Clancy O'Shay, my boy pug. I'm sure he was very flattered. :-) I only have three horses to go on the top and I'm finished - about four hours worth of work I think, hopefully I'll be done tomorrow night because tonight is agility so I won't have much stitching time. I've decided to work on the shortest of the remaining three blocks for May which is block one. It will go the quickest and hopefully help put me back on track. Speaking of getting back on track, it will help that the sections of Marquior I need to complete this month are also on the smaller side. Sometimes it just works out.

Here is Quaker Samplings II - as you can see, it's really coming along. Hopefully I'll be finished by the end of next week - I'd love to start the new Loose Feathers. I have the prettiest light green linen to stitch it on and I'm already to go as the chart and fibers arrived last week while I was on vacation.

I'm slowly catching up at work and my blog reading. Boy you guys sure were busy last week! I saw some very pretty things out there.

Monday, May 14, 2007

back to work :-(

Back to work but I'm taking it slow so I'm not too overwhelmed. Above is my progress on Quaker Samplings II - I'm using the recommended Lakeside Linen in Maple Sugar with the recommended fiber, Milady's Teal. I'm happy with the progress I made while on vacation. I'll continue to work on this as my train project until it's complete.

I'm way behind on all my monthly projects - I need to get moving on The Village and Marquior both and this weekend I'm scheduled to finish My Treasures Workstation. The finishing kit was waiting for me when I got home Saturday. I was very impressed with the kit - it looks very complete. I do have to purchase some different green ribbon. The one that Judy Odell sent does not match my green at all and I think it will make a difference with the finished project so I'll go out and find something different.

I'll close with a few more pictures of my vacation - Alaska really is beautiful and I encourage everyone to try to get there someday.

This is the view from our helicopter ride to the top of a glacier

Glacier Bay from the ship

A second photo of Glacier Bay showing the ice field we could not pass.

Sitka - a very pretty port town

A giant sea star taken from the underwater boat ride in Sitka

Sunday, May 13, 2007

be it ever so humble

(my parents and brother on the glacier)

Well I'm home! And does it ever feel nice. I picked up my two babies from my friend Peggy's house this morning and they were sure glad to see me. I love being missed. :-) The cruise went well, but take my advice, don't go to Alaska in early May. The weather was horrible. We only had one and half nice days - take is where the temp was above 45 and it was partly sunny.

Our trip to Seattle on Saturday morning while very early in the day, was uneventful. And my luggage arrived when I did. :-) Our first full day of the cruise on Sunday was a day at sea. Not much happened and the weather was pretty awful – cold and rainy. But what can one expect from Alaska in early May? We all just kinda laid around and relaxed. That is until after lunch. The seas were very rough and for the first time in over six cruises, I got seasick. I can’t even begin to tell you how horrible that was. I finally went to the doctor in the late afternoon and got some seasickness pills. I felt a little better by dinnertime but really didn’t feel 100% until Monday morning.

Day three of the cruise we visited Juneau, the capital of Alaska. The weather was spotty at best. My parents, my brother Mark and I booked a helicopter ride to a glacier. What an experience that was! I can’t say enough about it. The sun even put in an appearance. Day four was cruising to the into the Hubbard Glacier area. What a bust that was, it is too early in the season to get close to the glacier because of the ice field is still in front of it. We could not get within many many miles so we could not see or hear the calving This was too bad of course, on my last cruise to Alaska it was one of the highlights and this glacier was supposed to be even better than the one I saw back then.

Day four and five were spent visiting two small port towns. Crappy weather there also but we did take a couple of neat tours. One was an underwater boat ride and the other was a boat ride to the Misty Fjords. Very pretty. Our last full day of the cruise was cruising back to Seattle after a short stop in Victoria BC (I want to go back there) and as luck would have it, the only truly nice day.

While I was on vacation my pugs were on a vacation of a different sort. They spent the week with my friend Peggy, her family and her five pugs! I checked in part way thought the cruise and they were having a blast. I sure did miss them.

I have found time to stitch and I’m making nice progress on Quaker Samplings II from With My Needle. As with QSI, it’s a lovely project to work on. I'll need to wash this piece when I'm finished, it's a little soiled from all the carrying around I did and I spilt some water on it and the colors ran a bit. Bummer.

Here is my April Ornament - Topiary IV from Hillside Samplings, I finished it right before I left on vacation.

I never could log into Blogger the entire time I was on the ship - the wireless was not working. :-(

Thursday, May 03, 2007

busy, busy, busy

I'm almost packed and ready to go. Work is very hectic while I prepare to be gone for six whole work days. I hate it when I start to pay for a vacation even before I leave! No time for stitching - thank goodness for the train or I would have done nothing over the past couple of days. I'm almost finished with Topiary Ornament IV from Hillside Samplings. I'm working on joining the two sides and I'll be done before I get home from tonight. I have a new camera and so far I'm so happy with it! My stitching pictures are close up and not the least bit fuzzy and the colors are much truer than they were with my last digital camera. I bought a Canon Power Shot SD800 - I had been using a three year old Sony. Such a difference!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

slow evening

I didn't stitch a darn thing last night. :-) And to tell the truth, I'm not overly stressed about it either. I think I'm going to slide into my vacation and that starts with no commitments. So if I get to the Village I'll get to it. If I don't, no biggy! :-) I did continue to work on my ornament but since I took two lovely naps not much was done there either. Tonight is agility with the pugs so I think I'll do a little work on my packing. That way if I feel like stitching tomorrow, I'll be able to do as much or as little as I want. Ah, I love vacations.....