Friday, January 30, 2009


Words cannot even begin to express how happy I am it's Friday. :-) It's been such a long week at work and I just want to curl up in front of the fire with my pugs and stitch.

Here is my progress on CdC. The last circle on the right is the end of the piece. I am hoping to finish filling that one in before I put this up for a while. Drema has the new Loose Feather and here it is! Pretty huh?
I'm hoping I have mine by Monday, Tuesday at the latest. I'll work on CdC until then.

Have a super weekend! I'll be picking up my new foster dog this weekend. A Pembroke Welsh Corgi names Chevy. How fun for me! Not sure how the pugs will feel about the change though, it will be interesting.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tagged - addictions :-)

First, my progress on CdC. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be to the right edge by the time my BBD mystery chart shows up. I think that would be a great stopping point for now.

I've been tagged by A Stitch in Time to list five of my addictions. This is tough because they are always changing. :-)

1) Coffee - really good coffee. I'm a coffee snob. I only buy the best beans and I have the best grinder and coffee maker I can afford. And I use cream everyday. I don't care how many Weight Watcher points I have to give up. :-) As for coffee houses, I love Starbucks. But since I'm on a fiscal budget as well as a physical budget, I don't go as often as I used to. Only on weekends now.

2) Agility - What a huge money pit this is. I had no idea when I first got into it over three years ago just how it would turn out. But I love it and I'll do whatever I have to to get better at it.

3) My pugs - enough said. :-) I love the three little buggers. XXOO

4) Stitching - or whatever the craft du jour is. It's been cross-stitch for around three years now - after a 17 or so year gap since the last time it was the craft du jour. I still find time for the occasional needlepoint or quilt but for the most part all my available funds for craft supplies go to cross stitch.

5) Books on Tape - I love to listen to books on the train - that way I can listen and stitch all at the same time. Talk about multitasking. :-) Right now I'm listening to the Dark series of books by Christine Feehan. To tell the truth I'm not even sure how much I like them. But she has set up a world of characters who's stories I want to hear. I'm on #5 of 19 novels and novellas so I'll be busy for a while.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Thanks to everyone who responded yesterday to my stitching dilemma. :-) It's the journey for sure. And since I spent weeks, even months working on the colors for this piece and made them just perfect (for my taste in any case) I will continue to work on it at my leisure. I think this round will last until Friday when my weekend stitching starts. I'd love to get across the entire bottom by then. I'm sure by early next week I'll have my new Loose Feathers and I can start finishing the Mystery.

Look what I found yesterday?
It's one of the new Nashville releases from Ellen of With My Needle called A Fair Maiden's Etui. I LOVE everything about it. I think I have to have it. :-) I think I even like it more than the etui I have already pre-ordered everything for. Oh well. A girl can never than too many toys.

Yesterday I actually counted all the things I purchased from last year's Nashville market. I ordered a total of eleven items (a mix of charts and complete kits). As of today, I have completed four of them and have two in process (Quaker Turtles and Garden Chair) that I should be finished totally with before my 2009 treasures arrive. That's not too bad I think. Better than I thought for sure yesterday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

First House finish!

I had a pretty good stitching weekend. :-) First I finished block 1 of Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. Yeah! And now that the piece is dated, I have to finish it this year. :-) On Friday I called Drema and ordered the six skeins of NPI that I needed for block 2 so I'll be ready to go on February 1st.
Just for kicks below is just how big of a piece of linen I need for HoHRH (32 count). It's a good thing that I have already completed the Village of Hawk Run Hollow because after seeing this, I would run away screaming there is no way I could finish such a large piece. When I purchased the linen for VoHRH I purchased the linen for HoHRH also. At the time I wasn't very comfortable with 36 count so I went with the larger 32 count. I wish now I just would have sucked it up and went with the smaller linen. I find now that I prefer the smaller count when working on super big pieces. Oh well, live and learn.

I worked a ton on Quaker Turtles from With My Needle. I really want to get this complete before the Nashville things I have pre-ordered start to show up as this is one of last year's Nashville things that I HAD to have and purchased complete. I did this with several things and I only finished one out of the many things I ordered. That is not going to happen this year. I won't be buying any charts unless they are limited. So far I have ordered A Petit Sampling Etui, the new collaboration piece (which I have shown before) and the Victorian Memories Chaise Lounge by The Cat's Whisker's. I have the two previous chairs and have even completed one. I pulled out last year's and I'm ready to start stitching that because I'd like to have it finished before this new one shows up at my door.

Here is Quaker Turtles so far. Tonight I'll finish off the piece on the top left for sure before I start to work on something else. And it's been going so well, I might just start on another of the shell pieces. :-)

This is where I'm at with Cirques des Cercles. I didn't get much done last week because I kept falling asleep on the train. The colors of the picture below are pretty close to real. I'm using a variegated silk from Vikki Clayton called Glacial (now discontinued) in a light periwinkle blue, light aqua and light violet.

I'm really struggling to work on this piece. And it has nothing to do with how much I LOVE the design or how much I LOVE the linen and silk I'm using. It's because I don't know what I'll do with this piece when I'm finished with it. None of the colors go with anything in my life nor does the design as I tend to lean toward a folk/county decorating plan. So this piece will never really fit in anywhere. So I'm wondering why I'm spending time on it when I have so much in my stash that I love as much that fits in with the rest. Does this ever happen to you? That you work on something just because you love knowing you will never do anything with it? I'm thinking rather than spend tons and tons of time working on it, I'll just work on it when the mood strikes. A couple of days here and there and stop worrying that it's sitting in my WIP basket.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

15 down - 2 to go!

As predicted, I finished up block 15 of Book of Ink Circles - only two sections to go! Yeah! I think this is my favorite of the corner blocks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

progress made

The plan had been not to show a progress photo of Block 15 but then I thought it might be interesting to show the progress of a block because I never do. I usually just finish in one day but since I'm doing this one on the train and it's the largest of the blocks, it's taken more than one sitting. I have three more colors to go and this one is finis! Hopefully by tonight. :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

getting there

I'm almost finished with Block #1! Yeah! I just have to finish the white blocks in the main section of the house. Of course I know that is at least two evenings of stitching and tonight is agility so no stitching at all at home. So maybe by Friday evening I'll be done. Then I can start working on Beatrix Potter. I think that is how I want to handle that piece. I'll work on it when I've complete my monthly house. And it's a much smaller piece so I should be done with that by spring. :-) (crossing my fingers)

For the train rides this week, I'm working on block 15 of the Book of Ink Circles. I should have this done by tomorrow's ride home. And then I'll work on Cirque des Cercles until the new Loose Feather comes out or I finish it or I get sick and tired of it. :-) It's really my preference to work on Quaker Turtles but I just can't see over one well enough on the train. I think that is why I ended putting it aside when I first started working on it. It was going to be my train project and there is just not enough light there to see properly. So it will have to be fit in somewhere else. Even if I just worked on it a couple of hours on the weekend, it will be done before I know it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Blessings & Kind Wishes finis

Blessings & Kind Wishes - Blackbird Designs
recommended overdyed floss
32 count Days Gone By from Silkweavers

I finished up Blessings and Kind Wishes last evening. I love how it turned out on the Days Gone By linen. That has to be one of my favorites from Silkweavers. I also finished stitching my Valentine's exchange piece for my HoE. I have all the supplies for the finishing and I plan to do that tomorrow since I have the day off work. I even had a chance to put some work into my Quaker Turtles. :-) But for the rest of the evening I think I need to get going on my Houses of Hawk Run Hollow block.

Thanks for you nice comments/emails on my weight loss - I'm half way! It's probably too much weight in such a short period of time but I work very hard. I never eat my extra points WW allows and I try to get in at least 14 workout points a week. I purchased a treadmill in October and it's really made a huge difference overall. Of course it keeps getting harder as the more weight you loose, WW takes away points and it gets harder to get earn the same amount of workout points. When I started in October I got 24 food points a day and now I'm down to 20. As for walking, in October it took 60 minutes of walking to earn 4 points now it takes 69. My goal is to start running again but I'm taking it really slow as I had to stop running quite a few years ago because of hip pain. So I'm just trying to get my body used to the pounding again before I start. I ran a marathon back in 1991 and I'd like to run a half marathon in the fall with my niece. Or at least a 10k. :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

a great 1 point food

I've been on Weight Watchers for over three months and have lost 30 pounds. Today I found the best one point food! And since I know several other stitching bloggers who are also doing Weight Watchers, I thought I would share since you always do when you have a find.

Deep Chocolate VitaTops - 1 point, 100 calories at 1.5g fat with 6g fibers and 3g protein. I've also tried the CranBran VitaTops and they were good toasted for breakfast. The chocolate ones would be super as a desert with non-fat coolwhip on them. :-)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

-12 below?? What??

I'm in the home stretch with Blessings and Kind Wishes. I started the actual house this morning and I'm sure I won't have much to do at all this weekend. Yeah!

When I got home from work yesterday I had a huge box waiting for me. I opened it up and inside was the Big Zipper from Bent Creek. I managed to hit the New Year's sale at the Silver Needle and got 20% off the piece. Of course it was short two kits because the terms of the sale were in-stock items only and they must have been out of the last two. So now I need to hunt them down at full price. I made myself workout before I opened the packages because I knew I would spend quite a while looking at my treasure. When I finally got a look at everything the contents of the kit kinda hit me. What was I thinking? This thing is HUGE - it's on 18 count linen (quite stiff and rough - I hate it) using pearl cotton, most of which is plain DMC. I swear the size of the linen is 36 x 36. Each piece has full size buttons. But as I looked at it, I realized that I still love the design. Who says I have to do it on 18 count with pearl cotton? Of course I've already paid way over $100 bucks for this and still have two kits to buy at $16 a piece but why can't I do it the way I want to? :-)

So I quickly made a decision. I'm going to use just the charts. I'll do mine on 32 count (maybe even 36 count) and convert it all to overdyed floss. I'll have to buy all new buttons because of course, the large ones won't work but I know that Just a Button Co. makes many tiny ones that will work perfect. And I'll spread the costs of the floss and buttons out over the year. And then I'll sell the original kit complete. I'll take a huge hit in the cost (it's $168 for the full project) of course but at least I'll get what I want and I'll be happy. And that's what it's all about right?

I'll put it up on eBay when I'm done with all the charts. Hopefully I can get about at least 50% of the kits.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

baby it's cold outside

I haven't been making as good progress as I had hoped for on Blessings and Kind Wishes. I've been napping on the train both ways for at least half of each way so that means less stitching time as this piece is my train project. But I do want it complete this by the end of the weekend so that means working on it Saturday, like I did last weekend. But then I can move onto one of my smaller WIPs. I can't stand it when my WIP collumn gets so big. :-)

I also have some progress that I can finally see on block 1 of Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. It's coming along nicely and I'm on track to have it complete by the end of the month. Then I have to go through my NPS stash and see what I need to purchase for block 2. I only buy what I need to spread the costs of the piece throughout the year.

The third from the last section of Book of Ink Circles came out yesterday. So I need to work on that also this weekend. I'll be glad when I can take that one off my list also. :-) It's a nice looking block - my favorite corner block of the four.

And to explain today's blog title, the weather has taken a turn for the worse. A second Alberta Clipper is blasting through the area. Negative temps and snow and even more wind all coming to the Chicagoland area today and tonight. Alberta, please take it back, we don't need anymore cold and snow.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Just the house

I got to the point where I wanted to be with Blessings and Kind Wishes over the weekend. Everything but the house.

It's going to take well into next weekend to finish it. To bad, I'd love to have this complete by Friday evening. I have a ton of other things I'd like to finish. Quaker Turtles and Cirque des Cercles come to mind right off. I wasn't going to start any BAPs this year. Or so the plan was. It's only the second week in January and I already have two (BP and HoHRH) and had Drema put me on the list for A Petit Sampling Etui. Vikki Clayton is selling a conversion for this using silk and I already have it in my hot little hands. It's very pretty and I purchased the Dupioni silk fabric kit in Magpie Warbles to finish it off. I love it. I'm thinking one side a month on this one also.

I started work on my Valentine's Exchange for Hooked on Exchanging. The mailing date isn't until January 24th but I always like to be done early to make sure it's in the mail on time. I'm stitching something I have always loved and I hope my exchange partner likes it. I checked out her blog and I think I have something she will like. :-)

I also started Beatrix Potter yesterday! Yeah! I've had this chart in my stash for what feels like forever. I'm stitching mine on 35 count linen from Vikki Clayton called Mushroom. It's a lightly variegated silver gray color. I'm using her Winterberried silk, one over two. This is going to be hard to photograph, I tried several times and this was the best I could do. I'm not sure yet just how much I'll be working on it. But my goal will be to have it complete by year's end. I'll have to work on some sort of schedule around Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. Maybe when I've finished my house of the month, I'll work on BP.

Friday, January 09, 2009

half way

I've reached the half way point on Blessings and Kind Wishes chart wish but not stitch wise. :-) I hope to have everything stitched in - I'll save the start on the house for on the way to work Monday.

I made a little more progress on block 1 of my HoHRH. There is so much to this block. :-)

I also joined the Beatrix Potter SAL. I have had this chart in my stash for almost two years. I never put a stitch in and thought this would be a good chance to get it started. I'm doing mine on 35 count Vikki Clayton linen, Mushroom using her silk in Winterberried. Should be a pretty combo and I'm hoping to receive it in the mail tomorrow. I'd love to get the first couple of stitches in this weekend.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

quick work

I'm really moving along with Blessings and Kind Wishes. Of course that will come to a standstill in a day or so when I start that big ass house. :-) So I can tell already that my weekend will be all about houses - this one and my House's house. I'll be housed out for sure. :-)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

another new start

I started Blessings & Kind Wishes (Loose Feather #31) from Blackbird Designs yesterday on the train. This will be my commuting project until it's finished, most likely next week some time. I'm doing mine on 32 count Days Gone By from Silkweaver. I love this linen. :-)

I did make more progress on HoHRH last night. I finished the roof and started on the windows. Boy some of these blocks in this project are big! At least with the Village there were some really lightly stitched blocks. This one has almost all heavy stitched ones.

No House stitching tonight - it's agility night for Clancy and Aoife! :-) They love Tuesday nights.

Monday, January 05, 2009

My New Year start

I made Houses of Hawk Run Hollow my New Year's start. The goal will be one block a month and since I stuck to it when I did the Village, I'm hoping to have the same results with this piece. As you can see, I have already changed the first block. I like to have a space to add my name and date and how perfect to replace Ms. Bailey with me. :-) Apologizes to Ms. Bailey of course. ;-)

I also tried to make the new mystery, Le Grand Marquoir a new start but I tried three times to work with a Hand Dyed Fiber silk and just didn't like how it was turning out. The linen I choose to work with is 35 count in Havana from Weeks Dye Works. It's a lovely dark goldish color. The three different skeins I tried all looked great but I hate the stripy look when I use skeins that use three or four very different shades. So I put in the letter A three different times trying to get happy with it. I finally decided that a variegated shade with one color family works best for me with such a large piece. So I purchased a fourth color to try out. I ended up with Steelies 2453, a medium/dark steel blue. My skein at home showed a lot of color variation within the skein and I'm hoping that the 15 skeins I purchased yesterday have the same sort of variation. Cross your fingers for me.

I thought I would end this post, with a pug photo. I've been finding a lot more pug based blogs lately so I thought I would get with the swing of the name of my blog and add more pug photos and news.

I have a chilly living room in the winter so I always use a space heater. And pugs just love heat. So hear are Clancy and Aoife snuggled up to each other and the heater. I don't know how they stand it. :-) Of course they are not your usual big/chubby pugs so they have a lot less body fat than is the norm.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow finis

How Does Your Garden Grow - 2008 Papillion Creations Mystery
28 count Natural Linen
Hand Dyed Fibers

I finally finished the PC Mystery today. I have lost more stitching time over the past week because I didn't touch this for at least four days in the past week. And I would not let myself do anything else because I felt I had to get this piece in the done box. So I had to ask the question, why? I have yet to come up with a really good answer. :-) I guess I feel I just have to finish things. I fell out of the love with this piece months and months ago but I still moved ahead. Next time I'm faced with this situation, I think I'll move on way before I feel compelled to go on.

I need to start something new. I have three projects ready to go, Houses of Hawk Run Hallow, the new mystery and a Loose Feathers, Blessings and Kind Wishes from BBD. I think I'll save the BBD for the train next week and I already know I have to work on HoHRH at home because it's too big for the train. So that leaves the new mystery. I think I'll put some stitches on that one tonight. :-)

I took the pugs to the dog park today - while it was cold, the sun was shinning and it felt great. We met up with some of our pug friends. And all the pugs had variations of the same three colors, red, black and white.

My three all checking something out on the ground.

Aoife saying hi.

Clancy boy.

Clancy and Molly.

Clancy, Aoife, Molly with their friend Oscar (he is a really big boy).

And the whole gang - Molly at the top, Aoife in the check, Clancy in black, Sadie to the right and Oscar at the bottom.