Sunday, March 30, 2008

wow, Wow, WOW!

Yesterday the pugs and I didn't drag our sorry butts into the house into after 7:00pm. That's late for an agility trial and despite the good day Clancy and I had, we were all beat (all three pugs come to the trials). There was this huge brown envelope in my mail stack - it weighted a ton. I thought to myself, what in the world have I ordered now? And then I noticed it was Royal Mail. Now I don't know about you, but I get a huge kick out of receiving Royal Mail. :-) I looked at the return address and didn't know the sender and then it came to me - it's from my Biscornu HoE partner, Stephanie from the UK!

I opened it up and it was beautifully packaged and inside the smaller package was a beautiful biscornu. Stephanie stitched Tudor by Cross Stitch Direct on Periwinkle Mist linen from Silkweavers using fiber from Carrie's Creation called Clouds in the Sky. She finished it with two wonderful silver buttons and put a lovely bead and crystal detail on four of the corners. On the back, she put our initials and the date. Stephenie, your work is beautiful! But wait that's not all! She also totally spoiled me with the gift of a chart that was been on my wish list forever, from The Drawn Thread, An Open Heart. Also she gave me a delightful citrus smelling (my favorite scent by the way) bubble bar from Lush, a chocolate bar, some pretty gold pins, a piece of linen from Kiwi Illusions, a spool of ribbon and not to be left out, she sent the pugs a bag of treats!

I'm truly overwhelmed by such generosity. Thank you so much Stephanie!

As for Clancy and yesterday's trial, he is now Clancy O'Share, NA NAJ. We got his last leg for our Novice Standard Agility title! I won't mention how ugly a finish is was thou. ;-) But his first run of the day, his Open Jumpers is noteworthy. He was in fine form, perfect except when I did a bone head move and pulled him a bit before a triple jump. He lost his momentum and the result was a dropped bar. So his excellent performance was an NQ. And it was my fault, I hate it when I mess up and he is great.

So today we are all open - I'll report tomorrow on today's showing.

Friday, March 28, 2008

cute ladies

I'm making good progress on My Needle's Work. I'll start on the skirt on the way home from work tonight.

I was reading Nicole's blog yesterday, and she is working on LHN's The Sampler Lady and mentioned how she thought it would be a great companion piece to My Needle's Work. And it is! Thanks Nicole for pointing that out. I'm going to pick up that chart as soon as I can. And then I'll have two ladies. :-) Won't they be cute together?

Clancy and I have an agility trial this weekend in St. Charles. We have one Q to go and we have our Novice Standard Agility title. So that is our goal, one Q. Oh, and nice weave poles in Open Jumpers. :-) As for stitching dispite the fact that I always bring some along to trials, I never really put in more than a couple of stitches. But I'll drag my lady along just in case. At night I'm hoping to finish part 3 of my Papillion Mystery. I only have a couple of things left and I'm finished.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

another new start

Since I have such a hard time stitching over one on the train, I started My Needle's Work by LHN just for my train rides. This one will be pretty quick to stitch I'm thinking. In the evening I'll continue to work on Quaker Turtles where I can see the tiny stitches. I ordered all my silk for the Ink Circles Mystery. Now do I start it on the fat 1/4 of a light tan that I have on hand or do I order a special cut of Purely Primitive? I'm thinking I'll go with what I have on hand. I don't like to spend a lot of money of freebies. :-)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Gem Show #1 finis

Gem Show #1 by Courtney Collection
Vikki Clayton Premium Silk
32 count Silkweaver Shadowbrook

I finished up Gem Show #1 from the Courtney Collection yesterday. It was a quick stitch and I think it would look great as a pillow. I would like to do another in a contrasting color but I have too many other things to get to right now to stitch it again right away.

Carol S received my HoE Biscornu on Friday and she says she likes it. :-) Here it is. I really enjoyed making this one for her. It's only my second and I did everything according to the instructions and it's huge! Or at least bigger than I thought it would be. :-)

Peachy Biscornu by Heirloom Embroideries
28 count Antique White Linen
DMC floss and DMC Pearl Cotton

Here is a snap that Carol took of the whole thing. I made her an Easter basket. :-)

I had the hardest time picking out something to start on today. I'm in the middle of working on part 3 of the Papillon Creations Mystery but I didn't want to work on that while on the train as it's in Q-snaps for that's harder to work with on the train. I pulled out Quaker Turtles from With my Needle and My Needle's Work by LHN and had the hardest time deciding. I ended up going with Quaker Turtles which is over one. It sure is hard to work over one on the darkish train. I might change my mind for the rest of the week and work on QT at home and My Needle's Work on my commute. But in any case, I feel asleep after only 30 minutes of stitching so I didn't take a photo. :-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Heart of America Finis

Heart of America by Little House Needleworks
Recommended fibers and buttons
32 count French Vanilla Swirl by Silkweaver

I finished up Heart of America this morning. It's so cute! I made one change to the Old Glory block, it had the year of the start on it but since my year of start was the same as my completion year on the acorn block, I changed it.

I'll spend my weekend working on a couple of other WIPs, namely Gem Show and part 3 of the Papillon mystery. We are expecting up to 9 inches of snow today and tonight. It's been snowing steady since morning . It's pretty but I'm so sick and tired of snow. And all the old snow had almost melted away. The poor robins!

I'm going to be also stitching the Ink Circles mystery as soon as I receive my silk and linen. I picked out Hand Dyed Fibers from Vikki Clayton. I'm thinking of using Purely Primitive from Silkweaver but I have to buy a big cut of steal it from something else I have kitted up. Right now I'm thinking of stealing it. :-) Here is a picture of the silk on French Vanilla Swirl but I think it will look better on the slightly more grey Purely Primitive. I think it looks nice, a bit more muted that what I thought I first wanted but it all goes nicely together.

Have a great weekend

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

quick update

Here is my progress on Heart of America. I'm really moving right along with this piece. I was hoping to have it finished by the weekend but I'm not sure if I will or not. I'm finding myself distracted by other things. :-)

Monday, March 17, 2008

lazy weekend

As you can see, not much progress was made on Heart of America. :-) Too many other things kept distracting me from stitching this. Including other stitching! :-) I'm almost done with the quilt block, just need to finish Freedom and do the back stitching around the quilt. Then it's onto the two boxes to the left. Those are the two biggest blocks and I wish now that I didn't leave them for last. Hopefully this week, I'll finish this piece.

On Saturday I received my Vikki Clayton HDF and I just had to see if they worked for Gem Show #1. I picked out a piece of Silkweavers 32 count linen called Shadowbrook. It's a dark grayish tan with touches of dark teally green on it. It's just beautiful and my photo doesn't even start to do it justice. I picked out a variegated silk that matched the linen and then I picked out silks from those color ranges. I love how it's turning out. I'm about half way finished with it and it will be a test of will to see if I finish this piece before Heart of America. I LOVE pieces that consist of nothing but motifs. I also finished stitching my exchange piece for the Hooked on Exchanging group but of course I can't show that. My goal is to get it in the mail before the weekend.
I really spent most of the weekend working on the yard and getting my agility equipment ready to go. On Sunday one of my brothers came over and we started work on building an A-frame. It's all put together and the only thing left is adding the slats that are on each side and of course painting it. I actually have a lot of painting to do, I haven't even started yet and in addition to the A-frame, I have to paint the dog walk, the teeter and the table. But I've had to wait for the weather to get a little nicer so I can paint everything outside. I have a ton of work left and I hope to have everything finished and set up by April 5th. I was hoping that I would have everything done before my next agility trial on the 29th and 30th but my brother has to work the next two Saturdays and I'll only have his help on next Sunday. I'll be honest, I'm crossing my fingers that he will surprise me and put to slats on one night this week and bring it over to my house. :-) I'd love to be able to work with the puppy on the contact equipment. Aoife wasn't too fond of the A-frame in our first class and this could help us out a lot. Clancy of course is a rock star ;-) but he needs help in making his contacts 100%. And that is all practice, practice, practice. It's a good thing he likes it so much. :-)

Have a great week!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Here is my progress on Heart of America - I'm rolling along with this piece. I'd love to have it finished by the end of the weekend. :-) Only two boxes to go. Of course they are the most heavily stitched boxes. I'm thinking now I should have left a couple of the easy ones for the end. Oh well.

I'm so glad the weekend is almost here. Not much in the way of plans but I'm looking forward to it in any case. The weather in the past few days as been above average temps and a lot of the snow is melting. Soon I'll be able to set up the dog agility equipment in the backyard and start to play with the pugs. I can't wait. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

slow days

I continue to make progress with Heart of America. I'd love to be able to finish this up by next week. I have so many other things I want to start. :-) I should do something that I've had laying around for a while but these new releases are still calling to me. I was totally convinced that I would start Quaker Turtles next but Gem Show is starting to call to me. I'm doing mine in Vikki Clayton HDF and I got the email yesterday that my silk shipped yesterday. I have a feeling once it gets here, I won't be able to help myself. And Quaker Turtles is over one and I'm not sure I feel like taking that on right now. In fact I didn't realize that when I purchased it. I might have thought differently if I knew that and maybe bought something else instead.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

progress :-)

Heart of America is moving along quickly. I like to work on pieces where there are many little goals. :-) Maybe that'ts why I like Quaker pieces so much. Yesterday I also finished work on my Hooked on Exchanging piece. I can't wait to gather all the bits and send it away.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A busy weekend

I got a ton of stitching done this weekend! It's been the most productive weekend I've had in a while. :-) Feels good. Of course, I'm planning on working from home several days this week so there goes nine hours of stitching time. :-( Above is the Papillon Creations current mystery part one and part two. I had to order a sixth silk from Hand Dyed Fibers as the first one I picked out really didn't do anything for the piece and of course finish stitching it. Now I'm all set for part three. I'm thinking it should be out soon. The yellow really made it pop on the natural linen.

I also found a little time to work on Heart of America - I was hoping to have the first block completed but I only worked on it Friday evening and I got tired before I was finished with it.
Sunday was all about my exchange piece for the Hooked on Exchanging group. I can't show more than this because I know the person I'm stitching for reads my blog. But I thought a little tease was in order. I really wanted to do something with bright spring/Easter like colors. I think this fits the bill! I finished the first side and now I need to work on the second side but I'll be done with plenty of time to spare when we have the go ahead to mail. :-)

My stitching plans for the week are to continue on Heart of America and finish side two of my exchange piece and start putting it together. Have a great week!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Two Blue Houses finis

Two Blue Houses by Little House Needleworks
Purely Primitive 32 count linen from Silkweavers
Conversion from charted DMC to Weeks Dye Works and Crescent Colours

As predicted yesterday, I finished up with Two Blue Houses before I got home from work. :-) Such a cute little piece! I have the other two houses in my stash and I hope to get to them this year. The rest of the evening was spent going through my stash matching linens to charts and picking out fibers. I can spend hours doing that. Such fun! I started on Heart of America by LHN and it looks like it will be a quick piece - most of the motifs are fairly small.

Clancy wanted his picture taken with his new toy. What you can't see is Aoife tearing across the room to get into the photo. We beat her and Clancy got a shot of his own. :-)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Almost :-)

Home stretch on Two Blue Houses! Yeah! I should finish this up by the time I get home from work tonight. And I have so many new things to pick from. :-) But I'm pretty sure the winner will be Heart of America from Little House Needleworks. And I need to pick out some fibers for my two Courtney Collection charts, AlphaBlu and Gem Show. I'm planning on using HDF silk for both of those.

I just love the planning stages. :-) Almost as much as finishing pieces!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Moving along.... slowly

As you can see over the past weekend I really didn't do much stitching on Two Blue Houses and I'm dieing to finish this piece so I can start something brand new from the Nashville releases. My box from Drema arrived on Saturday and it was chock full of goodies. :-) But I'm afraid if I put this aside, it will just languish for months. And it's a pretty piece and it deserves to be finished right off. At least that is what I'm telling myself. :-)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

My Rock Star

Clancy is a rock star! We exceeded our goals for the weekend. On Friday we had mixed results with a really good jumpers run (he popped out of the weave poles between six and seven so I had to restart them resulting in an NQ (non-qualifying score). His FAST and Novice Standard runs were not so good. He lost all focus and we had two more NQ scores. On Saturday he exceeded all my expectations by earning a second place finish in Open Jumpers with Weaves. 12 perfect weaves! I'm such a proud mom. :-) His Novice Standard run was more of the same as Friday, he lost all focus and was all over the place. But today he totally redeemed himself. He rocked the Open Jumpers course giving me 12 weave poles but I made a mistake and pulled him off course resulting in an NQ finish. I always feel so bad when I mess up and he does everything right. But we both had it together for his last run of the trial, his Novice Standard run - first place! His weave were a bit unsteady but everything else was spot on. :-) All in all a great weekend. This puts us one qualifying score away from his Novice Standard Title (NA) and two from his Open Jumpers with Weaves (OAJ). Our next trial is in three weeks. I can't wait. Here is Clancy (and Aoife, that girl dog just loves her picture taken) with his two ribbons from the weekend. This trial gave out honking big ones. :-)
It's hard work being an agility rock star!

Here is Aoife (on right in the purple) with her sister Seven (in the hot pink) on Saturday. They start agility class on the 12th and it's always good to bring puppies to trials to get them used to the noise and all the action.