Monday, December 29, 2008

Book of Ink Circles part 14 finis

Yesterday I caught up with Book of Ink Circles part 14. I also re-stitched part 12 with the darker blue. I think it looks a hundred times better than when I used the lighter blue. I also found the "flow" of the knot so that looks better also. Yeah! The worst part is I lost two whole days of stitching because I would not let myself do anything else but this so I did nothing for two days. :-) Oh well, at least I can move on now.

Next up - I need to finish the Papillion Creations 2008 Mystery before I move onto anything else. I still have the last three parts to complete. Hopefully I will be finished with that today or tomorrow so I can move to the next project on my list. Maybe Cirque des Cercles for a couple of days? I need/want to finish up some of my WIPs in the new year. I'm planning on starting Houses of Hawk Run Hollow as my New Year Day's start. The goal is a house a month for all of 2009. This year's Mystery will be Grand Marquior from Isabelle Haccourt-Vautier. She will be putting out a part every other month for all of 2009. I just need to purchase the 36 count linen as I have no 36 count in my stash. I need to fix that as I would like to do more on 36 count. I can just change my Silkweaver's FOTM to reflect this. Currently I have them only sending me 32 count linens in basic colors.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

St. Reatham finis!

St. Reatham by Long Dog Samplers
36 count Silkweavers Golden Promises
Vikki Clayton Silk in Mermaid Blue 2327

I did it! It's finished! I started St. Reatham, on April 26, 2007. I was going to work on it every Thursday as a rotation piece but I quickly found that I'm not much of a planned rotation person. So I worked on it every so often for a week or so at a time. Of course I made a huge push over the past month and a half so I could get it done by the end of the year. I'm really bummed that Silkweavers doesn't seem to have it's showcase contest this year. This is a piece that I think could have a chance in the large category. Maybe they will do it again next year.

I was thinking about what was next on the way home from work tonight and truly I have no idea. But I need to pull it from my stash for sure. I have a couple of biggies that I can start on tomorrow if I wanted. I think it needs to be one of those for sure.

finished a couple things up

I finished up two of three projects yesterday. I made Joy into an ornament. I found pre-rouched ribbon at Michaels. How cool is that?

And second, I managed to finish off Keepsake Box into a box. :-)
This morning on my way into work I finished off the final motif on St. Reatham. I could be done by the time I get home from work tonight but I forgot to put the bunny chart into my bag. How dumb was that? So I finish it tonight. Yeah!

Today is my last day at work until January 5th. Boy do I ever need the break. Between being sick the last week and just having way to much going on, I'm looking so forward to not thinking about it a bit the next two weeks.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

my pugs aren't spoiled

Yesterday I prepared the pugs stockings for Christmas Eve. They are not too spoiled are they? The stockings are full of toys and treats.

Aoife and Clancy protest, "No Mom, we are NOT spoiled. Just well loved".

It's really cold here in Northern Illinois - currently -6. And with a brutal wind chill. It should warm up by Tuesday when the snow starts again. We will have a white Christmas for sure. I've been working on St. Reatham and if I stitch all day today, I should finish it. But I have a ton of other things I need to take care of today so my stitching time will be limited to tonight. But I'll have to complete in the next couple of days for sure. :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008


I stitched up Joy from Lizzie*Kate yesterday. Very cute I think. I used the same floss that I pulled out for Wednesday ornament and I like how it turned out. I used Dark Tan from Silkweavers as the linen. Tomorrow I'm going to put them into ornament form and hopefully finish my Keepsake Box also. I also worked on St. Reatham, finishing page 8 and then it was back up to finish off pages 3 and 4. I'll be stitching that last bunny before I know it.

It snowed around 5 inches so far in Gurnee. But more is still expected today, tomorrow and Sunday with another storm lurking out west. Welcome to winter.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Tree

Last night I decided to break up St. Reatham with a little gift stitching. I stitched Christmas Tree from Scandinavian Stitches. It is from the 2007 Christmas Just Cross Stitch magazine. I did mine with various variegated floss on Silkweavers 28 count Heritage.

I have one more to do and I was just going to stitch this one twice but after looking through the 2007 issue again, I decided to do a different one. I'm going to stitch the Lizze*Kate Joy ornament with the same fibers.

And I still had time leftover to work on St. Reatham and I put page 7 to bed! I should be able to complete page 8 by the time I go to bed tonight. :-)

Those of us in Northern Illinois are under a winter weather watch tonight and tomorrow. Right now the forecast is for 12" inches of snow. I'm so ready for winter to be over already and it doesn't officially start until Sunday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the final motif (and a bunny)

I can't believe I started the final motif last night - excluding the little bunny on the bottom left. Of course, I saved the biggest one for last. That was not the best planning in the world. :-) This one takes up the entire empty space. I'd love to have this complete by Sunday evening because I still have a bit of Christmas stitching to do. But we'll see how well I do. I am getting a little bored so the smart thing to do might be to do my Christmas gifts and then get back to this to have it complete by the 31st.

Monday, December 15, 2008

a ton of progress

After whining last week that I didn't think I'd get this piece done this before the end of the year, I got a ton stitched in. I can really feel the end is near. I'm fully done with four pages now with the corners of the last four to go (where the two big motifs I have left join up). I had a ton of trouble with the four carnation like flowers at the four corners of the motif that I did. The top left one had several charting errors so I had to use one of the others as a guide and then there were a couple of discrepancies with the remaining three. I just had to make them all match so it took a while to decide on how to do that but I'm happy with the ultimate end.

I did paint my box for my Keepsake Box but that was about it. I'm home sick today and I hope to get a little more done. To sick to work but not sick enough to craft.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Keepsake Box Finis

Keepsake Box - Blackbird Designs
32 Count Picture This Plus linen - Fresco
Various overdyed cotton floss

I finished up Keepsake Box on the train last night. Super quick stitch, I think I might make another for my sister for her Christmas gift. Same colors even as I have plenty left of each skein. :-) Tonight I'll paint the box and pick out the fabric for the lining.

I'm back to St. Reatham. I didn't get much done this morning because I fell asleep and last night I didn't stitch at all. Instead, I ripped out the block I didn't like from my BoINK. After that, I wasn't in the mood for anything else. Pulling out previously stitched work always does that to me. What a buzz kill frogging is. It was my biggest hope that I would finish this piece by the end of the year but I think it's time to face facts. I have a ton to finish off and I don't think there is any way I can get it all finished. But I'll leave the year 2008 as that will end up being the year that I worked on it the longest. So it all works out. ;-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Just one flower left and I'm finished with the stitching. Now I wish that I would have taken the time to paint the box over the weekend because I could put everything together tonight if I didn't have to wait for the paint to dry. But it takes at least a day to make sure the box to nice and dry so I can sand it to age it. So this weekend for sure for the finishing.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

just a little progress

As you can see, I didn't get very far on my Loose Feathers. I was fairly certain that I would be able to complete this while at the agility trial but there were so many friends there, we ended up chatting and watching the other dogs the entire time. I barely sat in my chair at all. :-) And by the time I got home, I was tired and didn't want to stitch. But I'm back at it and I should have this completed sometime over the weekend. I'm happy with the colors I picked out and I love the linen. It's Fresco by Picture this Plus. It will be very pretty on the box I'm going to put it on.

As for the agility trial, we had no success. I'm starting to stress way to much and Clancy can feel it so now he is a basket case. We are going to take an AKC break for several months and just do some low key agility trials that don't matter to me so we can get our confidence back. So it's off to NADAC and CPE for a while. They have different rules and since I don't care about our results and we can just play, we will both remember how to have fun at trials. And the good thing about this is, Molly can come along and play also. She did pretty good at NADAC trials in the past mostly because the lack of pressure on her. I might even enter Aoife in a few runs to get her feet wet.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Edgar is a star :-)

Or as I say to Clancy after a perfect agility run - You Rock Dude!

When I got home today from the trial, there was a package from Edgar waiting for me. He went way beyond anything I would have expected - actually I didn't expect Edge to do anything, as the organizer of this exchange, he already has done more than enough. But he sent me Paradigm Lost from Long Dog Samplers from my wish list for my birthday. :-) His kindness is so welcome and I don't have quite the words to adequately express how touched I am. In the big picture, it is a small thing not to have received anything from the birthday exchange but one that did kind of hit in the gut. The generosity of some people however, more than makes up for it.

Thanks so much Edgar and Jill! The warm feelings you have generated in me, will last for a long time.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness

I was RAK'd today! The lovely Jill from Minnesota read my blog on Monday where I mentioned that I never received a birthday gift from my partner on the SBBC. BAMB! Jill goes into action, emails Edgar and when I got home today from Milwaukee there was a huge package waiting for me. As I wasn't expecting anything I was quite curious but wasted no time in opening the package. I was blown away. Jill stitched the cutest scissor fob with a birthday cupcake and a birthday charm on it. She also enclosed some of her wonderful floss drops (they say happy birthday) and a stitch counter (again, from her own hands), a pair of super pretty scissors, a huge box of floss and a cute flag for my deck!!!

Jill I just don't know what to say. I'm very overwhelmed by your kindness and I can't thank you enough. :-) You truly made my day, week, month.... :-)

Clancy and I were at an agility trial today and one of the best of the year. But alas, he had the same kind of runs we have been having for months now. Great runs but he is popping out of the weave poles. Actually he has made an improvement over the past several months, he is at least making his entries but is only completing a portion of the entire set of 12. And he seems to have a favorite place to exit early, around the fifth or sixth pole. It's usually stress that makes a dog do this and we are working very hard at keeping his level down.

I did have time to start the new Loose Feathers. This is going to be a quick one. I'm using floss from my stash and I love the colors I have picked out. In fact, it looks really close to the model. :-)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Book of Ink Circles - Part 13 finis

I finished up Part 13 of the Ink Circles Mystery, Book of Ink Circles. Love it!
I have also made the decision to rip out all of Part 12 and start over. I'm going to use the dark blue where the light blue is and make the dark blue the green and keep the orange. I think that way the knot will show up better and match the rest of the piece better. I need to do this before the next four sections are out or I'll never do it. Maybe over Christmas break as I have a week off from work.

Have you seen the latest Ink Circle? It's called Cirque des Carreaux and I love it. It's the companion to Cirque des Cercles and Cirque des Triangles. This might be my favorite of the three. There are a ton of other Ink Circles I still want to do - I'll never get to them all!

Clancy and I will be in Milwaukee Wisconsin for the next four days at a great agility trial called Hounds for the Holidays. It's always a blast and I know a ton of people who will be there also. Our goal is to work like a team. I can't get much more modest than that. :-) I'm tossing the new Loose Feathers into my bag and I hope to at least start it. I have so much I want to stitch right now and just not enough hours in the day. :-)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Loose Feathers Mystery Part 4 finis

Here is my Loose Feather Mystery with part four added. As I said yesterday, it was super quick to complete. I can't wait for the next (and last) installment to come out. This is going to be so pretty when it's all complete.

Close up of part 4.

I took this photo of my Clancy at the trial last weekend. He always looks so serious. :-)

Monday, December 01, 2008

long time no blog

It sure has been a busy few days! I had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with my parents on Thursday. I cooked a beef tenderloin on the grill. Nummy! :-)

Clancy and I spent the last three days at an agility trial in Northern Indiana. I'm not sure if I will do that trial again because of how long it took to drive back and forth each day. At least an hour and forty minutes down and back. That's a bit too long for us. Clancy was very erratic all three days and we didn't have any qualifying scores. I'm really struggling with finding the balance of what he needs before we run. Some dogs like to be wound up and some like to be quiet. I'm starting to think that Clancy is a quiet type of dog. He did much better when we just sat on the side of the ring with me petting him before our runs than when I hyped him up with treats and such. I'm calling it Zen Puppy. :-) We have a four day trial in Milwaukee starting on Thursday and I'll continue with the calming actions before our runs and see what happens.

I did manage to finish part four of the Loose Feathers mystery today on the way into work but I forgot my camera so I'll take a photo and add it when I can. I think this was the fastest section so far to stitch as most of it was letters and we all know how fast those can go. And that was all the stitching I managed for the entire long weekend. By the time I got home from the trial each day, I was just plain tired.

I'm very disappointed. My birthday was a month ago and I never received anything from my partner with the Stitching Bloggers Birthday Club. I had over a year to look forward to it and this has been a terrible let down. She posted on that blog the day after my birthday that something would arrive and maybe at some point something will but I'm not really holding out much hope at this point. At least my partner received her birthday gift on time last May and she seemed to like it.