Monday, June 30, 2008

done with the outline!

I finished up the outline to Book of Ink Circles yesterday and now I've moved onto filling it all in. :-) It seems like it just takes forever but it's really easy to do because you don't have to look at a chart to do it. I'm not sure if I want to finish all the filling in right now. But the next installment comes out next Tuesday and I had kinda planned on part 1 being finished by the time part 6 came out. We'll see, maybe I should just continue on until I'm bored out of my mind which might be any day.

Today is the last day I'll be in the office for two weeks! Yeah! I'm working from home tomorrow and Wednesday and then I'm on vacation until July 14th. I have not real plans except to hang out and enjoy the sun and pugs. :-) A perfect vacation.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's my 2nd blogoversary!

Was that ever a fast two years. Four hundred posts later, I still find I have things to chat about. :-) I think that is the most amazing thing. I've been through three different looks, with the current one being the most custom that I've managed so far (I still have work on the banner - like getting it centered and how about a border?). I've finished close to a hundred projects (but not all framed - actually most not framed) and have learned a ton about stitching, finishing and many other topics. All and all, it's been a blast and I can recommend blogging and getting involved in a topic specific community. This year I started joining exchanges and that has also been a positive experience. Next on my list to try, are round robins. :-)

Here is my progress on Book of Ink Circles. As mentioned last week, I'm going to work on this through part of the weekend so I can complete more of the outline. I'd like to be in a situation where all I need to do every three weeks is just the new release.

I have to be honest here - I don't like the way the last block looks completed. I was very happy when it was just the knot but then the entire knot was filled in with three different colors. It just looks messy to me. I'm going to live with it a while and then make the decision on whether or not to pull out the fill.

June is going to be my lowest completion month I've had so far since I started blogging. I will only finish one project. I feel like a slacker! LOL!

Jackie from the UK stopped by yesterday and asked me how to I pronounce Aoife, my youngest pugs name. It's pronounced E-fa. It's a Gaelic name and some sources say it means splendid beauty. :-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

not so much done :-)

I did manage to finish part 3 of the Ink Circles Book of Mystery (it's the center top box) and make a start on part 4 (right fishtail). But that was about it. I had way to much fun this weekend and I didn't even bother to pick up my stitching.

On Saturday, Clancy and I went to an AKC Tracking seminar. And my little pug dog is a natural. :-) Am I ever excited. It's truly amazing to see a dog just get it. In Tracking a dog learns for follow human scent by tracking footsteps. There are three different titles and a championship title dogs can earn. I was told that there only around 200 dogs that have earned the champion tracking dog title. And I just bet, that if I managed to put a championship on Clancy, he would be the first pug. I'll have to do some research. :-) That's a long way from here of course and these titles are very hard to earn. It takes years to get a CT on a dog.

But what I think is the coolest thing, the AKC offers a title called Versatile Companion Dog - there are four levels of VCD (1, 2, 3 and 4) and a championship. To earn these titles the dog must have agility, obedience and tracking titles. It's very hard to get the upper levels and so far no dog has earned the ultimate VCD Championship. We already have our first step for VCD1 which is our first two Novice Agility titles. Now I want to start working on our TD or Tracking Dog title. The first step of course is to find a teacher. That is going to be very difficult because in the area I live in, there is a huge demand for tracking classes. And then of course, I need to start obedience classes but I'm thinking that will be last, after Clancy has all his agility titles.

I've been doing work on my blog and I'm almost ready to unveil the new look and name. I went with something that reflects all my interests. I think it's pretty cool. I wanted to have it completed by my blogaversary (in three days) but I'm not sure if I will get it all completed as it's this week. And I'm also pondering a change of email address as well as a totally new blog address. The only reason I'm hesitating is I'll loose a ton of blog visitors because I won't have anyway of contacting them and I don't want to put a link on the old blog because one of the reasons for changing the URL is I don't want an old BF to be able to follow me. I'm torn as to what to do.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Quaker Cat finis

Quaker Cat by the Workbasket
HDF Premium silk in a mystery color, dark bluish green
32 count Mountain Mist by Silkweaver

Here is my finished Quaker Cat. It's for an exchange so I won't reveal how I'm going to finish it until my partner has received it. ;-)

I started back on the Ink Circles Book of Ink Circles. The new section was released yesterday so I'm two full releases behind and I really wanted to stay current with this one. Right now the plan is to work on it for a week or so. That will give me time to complete both new sections plus get more of the outside frame complete. I'm also way behind with the Papillion Creations Mystery. The new section of that was released on Tuesday - I'm now have two parts to get caught up on.

I'm a huge Cubs fan and so are the Pugs. And they like to show their Cubs Pride. :-) From the left, Aoife, Clancy and Molly.

Monday, June 16, 2008

new project

This is what I worked on over the weekend and almost got it done! It's Quaker Cat from the Workbasket using a Vikki Clayton HDF in a mystery color on 32 count Mountain Mist from Silkweavers. Of course, it's a bad photo and you can't see just how pretty a color Mountain Mist linen is - a very light greenish/blue and it goes perfect with the dark greenish/blue of the silk. I'm hoping to have the head and feet done by the morning and then I'll start work on the really big tail. I bet that takes a couple of days at least. I'm not sure how I want to finish it yet. It's an exchange piece so I want it to look really special. Maybe a box. :-) That would be pretty.

I'm super behind with blog reading and even further behind with commenting. But I'm stopping by when I have a chance. Thanks for visiting me!

Friday, June 13, 2008

have a great weekend!

Here is my progress on Medallions. I'm a little over half way. :-) I'm so please with how the silk looks against the chocolate brown of the linen. While I know this combo isn't everyone's cup of tea, I just love it and it's exactly how I envisioned it.

I have to put this up for several days while I work on an exchange piece and get going on both of my mysteries before the new parts are released. I like to keep current on those sort of projects.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

almost half way

I'm almost half way finished with Medallions. I can't believe how quickly this piece is moving along - I'm almost at the top of the design. I'll work on it until the weekend then I have to put it down to work on an exchange piece that I have to have in the mail by the end of the month. And I'd like to work on my Ink Circles mystery and my Papillion Creations mystery before the new parts are available. So much to stitch and so little time. :-)

Monday, June 09, 2008

second exchange received

Yesterday Deanne from St. John's, Newfoundland in Canada posted on the Hooked on Exchanging blog that she received her freebie exchange. Here is a photo that Deanne took as I forgot to (as usual). I took a box that I had purchased around the holidays last year and topped it with Moire. I love how it turned out.

Below is my progress on Medallions. I barely had a second to put in a stitch. I worked out in the yard all weekend to make up for lost time in May. My Dad and I also put the finishing touches on our new screen house on Saturday and yesterday I purchased new furniture for it. Now we just need a new dining table since we lost the original one when the deck collapsed in February. As soon as the sun comes out again (we are having a series of really bad storms here in Northern Illinois) I'll take a photo of our new patio. We all love it and I can already envision many lost hours sitting with the pugs in the shade.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

stitching along

I've been working away at Medallions - this photo is kinda washed out. The linen is a much richer brown (see Monday's post). I'm very pleased with how this silk thread is working on the my hand dyed linen. Sandra asked me a while back where I got the dye for my linens. I buy everything from Dharma Trading. They do ship internationally. I only use their Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes. Several years ago, I purchased their hand dyed fabric starter set - it contained everything I needed to get going. I do a low water immersion method of dyeing and the book contained in the kit tells all about it. It's really easy and super fun to make your own hand dyed linens.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Half way there with St. Reatham!

What a glorious feeling! I'm half way finished with St. Reatham. I'm stitching it on 36 count Golden Promises by Silkweaver using HDF Mermaid Blue 2327. I'm putting it up for a little while but since I want to be finished by the end of the year, not too long. I love how this is turning out. It almost makes most of the agonizing I did over my color selections worth it. ;-)

Here is a new start, Medallions by Rosewood Manor. I'm stitching it on the 32 linen I dyed myself using a HDF custom spool affectionately called Strawberry Shortcake. I'm going to work on this for a couple of weeks for sure. I also love my color combo with this one. It’s just what I was looking for.

Clancy and I had another tough agility weekend. Six runs, no Qs. Mostly because of his weave poles, or lack of. We are taking an agility trial break until mid-July. Hopefully we will have some issues worked out by then. But I have to give him credit where credit is due. He really rocked everything else and once we get things tweaked, he is going to be amazing. My agility teacher was one of the judges over the weekend and even she had praise for him. It was a nice, rosy feeling.