Thursday, May 29, 2008

first exchange gift received

Kathryn received her Stitching Bloggers Birthday Club gift. Her birthday was on Monday. I stitched Tulip & Stars Pincushion by Blackbird Designs. I'm happy you liked your birthday gift Kathryn! :-) I borrowed a photo from her blog of the entire package. I never can remember to take one before I send it out.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

still at it

I've decided to continue my work on St. Reatham until the end of the month which is Saturday. I'd love to finish another page but most likely I'll put some more letters and bottom border in instead. I would hate to leave a motif unfinished and that is what will happen if I try to finish page 6 - half of it is a really big one. But no matter what, I'll be half way finished! Will that ever feel good. Since I dated it 2008 I HAVE to finish it this year. :-)

I finished off both my exchange pieces for the month last Friday - I sent out my Hooked on Exchanging piece Moire - I can't wait to show off what I did. I love how it turned out. And I also sent out my Birthday Club gift. That really turned out cute too - hopefully I'll have photos of both to post by the end of the week.

Clancy and I didn't earn any Q's over the past weekends trials - weave poles again. My teacher has since instructed me to make him finished his weaves before letting him go on. It took him three tries on his last run on Sunday but he did finish them. Of course redoing them was an automatic NQ. We have one last trial this weekend. It's an outdoor one and I'd love just one Q before we take a six week break.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

a wonderful surprise today

I got home today after a hard day at an agility trial with my pug Clancy (two more almost Qs :-( - again no weave poles) and there was a mystery package waiting for me. I opened it up and found my freebie exchange from Wendy Jo! She stitched me a pinkeep from Blue Ribbon Designs in a beautiful williamsburg blue. She also sent along several GAST threads in my favorite shades and to make the package complete, she sent along a couple of treats for my furkids. :-)

What a nice lift!Thanks so much Wendy Jo, the pinkeep is wonderful, I love the design and color and your work is very fine. The pugs thank you also for thinking of them. :-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

progress at last

It's funny how I can work St. Reatham for a week or so and not feel like anything is getting done and then I look at it and it's obvious to me that I have made progress. That was how it was this morning. I really have put a huge chunk in. :-) The original plan for this go-around was to put in the big motif that I'm working on now and maybe a bit more to page three. But I'm thinking that I want to work down the center a bit and finish some of page six also before I stop. I'd love to get more of that bottom border in. I'm worried that if I leave that to the end, it will never get done. :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

what a fun weekend!

Clancy and I got back from the Greater Toledo Dog Obedience show Sunday afternoon. While we had no success, we had a blast. Jesse and her girl Kittie earned another double Q and a Q on Sunday. Kittie is just seven double Qs away from her MACH title. That's the highest agility title a dog can earn and Kittie is on track to be only the second pug to earn one. I dream about being able to handle like Jesse. So smooth and all front crosses. Young Abby did well also. She reminds me a lot of my Aoife. I told Jesse Sunday afternoon, Clancy and I would make his an annual event. Here is a link to a really nice photo of Clancy jumping a triple.

I didn't put a single stitch in linen the entire weekend but last night I did manage to dye my linen for my Medallions piece. The results are below along with the silk thread I'm going to use. It's not solid but has a very subtle mottling - exactly what I wanted.

I was going for something around DMC 898 or 938. Pretty darn close I'd say! :-) I'll start this when I get tired of working on St. Reatham most likely by the end of the week or so.

My St. Reatham progress is on the top - I haven't really been able to get much done to this point.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

progress photo

As promised here is a progress photo of St. Reatham. Or maybe I should call it a lack of progress photo. I've only worked on it for a couple of train rides and I fell asleep during most of them. :-)

The letter J is the center of the design so I'm currently working on the big motif that is across page 2 and 3. It's so big it actually goes down into page 6 and 7. My goal for this go around is this motif on all four pages. That would take care of three pages gone. :-)

Last night Clancy had agility class and I talked to our coach about his weave pole performance at trials. She thinks it's just baby dog stuff and not to worry overmuch at this point. In fact she said I'm most likely the reason he is not completing the weaves - I'm throwing him off because I'm focusing so much on them. So this week the goal is to continue to practice in the backyard (where he is perfect) and to just have fun this coming weekend in Ohio with my friend Jesse and her two pugs, Kittie and Abby.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Book of Ink Circles progress

Here is my progress on Book of Ink Circles. I finished up part 3 and more of the part 1 border. I'm going to put this up until part 4 comes out on May 27 then I do a little more border. I picked up St. Reatham this morning for my train rides. I'll post a progress photo tomorrow when there is a little more to show. I didn't get much done this morning.

It was another tough weekend for me and Clancy at the agility trial. Weave poles are turning out to be the enemy. :-( It's so bad right now I think I might start to pick him up and end our run if he fails to complete them. It sounds kinda mean but right now he gets to continue the game whether or not he does one pole or twelve. He needs to learn that the only correct way is twelve. Then the reward is continuing on. I'm going to consult with my teacher if this is the direction we should go. Since there is not a problem with weaves in class or at home, this might help. I will put in some practice this week at home since on Friday I'm driving to Ohio to meet up with a friend who also runs pugs to compete in a trial in Toledo. On the bright side, he made both his A-frame contacts! :-) That made me happy.

I had a question last week as to what a Q is in regards to agility. A "Q" is a qualifying score - meaning the dog in question has met the criteria for successfully completing a course. In addition to a Q award, the top four dogs in each class also receive a placement ribbon. So Qs are good and NQ (non-qualifying scores) are not so good. We had a NQ weekend.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Papillion Part 4 finis

I finished up part 4 of the Papillion Creations Mystery yesterday. I also finished up part 3 of the Ink Circles project but I'm waiting to take a picture until I finish a little more border around the section. I'm going pretty slow now for two reasons, 1), I made a huge counting error before I even got to part two and 2), I'm not really sure if I like the piece of not. Maybe it's the colors I picked or the design itself but right now I'm kinda cold towards it. So I don't want to invest a ton of time and supplies into it if I let it go in a couple of months.

This weekend is the second agility trial of the month with Clancy. My goals after last weekends show are very modest. I'd like two contacts on his a-frames and two weave poles. Please wish us luck. :-)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Tulip & Star finis

Tulip & Star by Blackbird Designs
Unknown 32 count linen from Silkweavers
Various overdyed fibers

I finished up Tulip & Star last night, now I just need to find time to make into the pinkeep as suggested in the booklet With Needle & Thread.

I started working on my Ink Circles Mystery last night - part 3. Hopefully I'll have that finished today so I can start on my Papillion Creations Mystery. I'm really short on funds right now so I won't be able to purchase any linen for the projects I have lined up so I'll make due with what I have on hand. It should not be a problem as I have several yards of assorted 28 to 32 count linen and around 20 packages or so of fat 1/8's from Silkweavers. I really want to start to work on Medallions by Rosewood Manor using my custom spool of HDF silk. Since I have a ton of white 32 count linen I ordered a new color of dye from Dharma Trading Co. called Mink Brown. It's sounds perfect and just what I'm looking for - something around DMC 838, 840. So hopefully next week sometime I'll find time to dye a piece of linen for that piece. I really do love to dye my own linen. It's always an adventure. Until that is ready to go and when I finished with the two mystery projects, I'll pick up St. Reatham. It's been several months since I got to that piece. And I can't forget I ordered VWX from the Drawn Thread - it should be here soon. And then I'll only have one installment to go!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

tough, tough weekend

I started working on a small piece from the Blackbird Design booklet, With Needle and Thread yesterday. And that was all the stitching that happened for five whole days! That must be a record for me. I did drag it along to each day of the agility trial but I never even took it out of my bag. This is a small piece and I should be done by the end of the week.

As for the agility trial it was a tough one for me and Clancy. This is the first trial he has never brought home a ribbon. He came close twice, on Friday he almost Q'd his standard course but blew his A-Frame contact and on Saturday he almost Q'd his jumpers run but popped out of his weave poles. Other than that there is nothing to really shout about. I sure hope the rest of the months trials go better. We have four more to go. :-)

I did get a little more work done outside yesterday on my final day of my mini break and I even finished my brick walkway. And since it's the second time I had to build it, I think it looks even better this time. ;-)

Thanks so much for the really kind comments regarding Moire. Many people asked how I'm going to finish it. Well that is a surprise. It's an exchange piece and while I'm a 100% sure (ok, 99% sure) that my partner doesn't read my blog, you never know and I want the finished project to remain a secret until she sees it. But let me tell you, it's really cool! :-)