Tuesday, September 29, 2009

more crows

I only have four crows to go! :-) They are all on the left side and I'll get to those next week or so. This is a cute piece to work on and I'm enjoying it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Houses of Hawk Run Hollow - House 7 finis

Only three blocks to go!! I finished up House #7 last night. This was a fun block to work on even if the final colors are a bit weird. I'm all ready to start on House #11 - I'm going down to work on the bottom row but I have had to order three skeins of NPI I'm running low on. So the plan is to work on the Great Pumpkin Conspiracy both on the train and at home in the evening until it's done and then start with the #11 next week.
You will notice I didn't open up this post with a photo of Clancy from the weekend's trial. Well.... While it went great, no ribbons to show off. :-) But lots to shout about. His first two Jumpers runs as an excellent dog were spectacular. The only reason we didn't qualify was because I pulled him off his weaves on Saturday and told him to take the wrong jump on Sunday both resulting in an off course and in the Excellent A level you can make no mistakes. You can finish five seconds over the course time but that is not usually a problem for Clancy. I never did find out my course time on Saturday because the timer didn't write down our finishing time (pissed me off) but on Sunday he finished in 37 seconds for a 48 second course. To put that in perspective the first through fourth place dogs (all shelties by the way) finished from 27 to 31 seconds. So we are in the middle of the pack. That is about where I think we should fall at this point. As we get more experience I expect that time will come up a bit but most likely not enough to finish with a placement (first through fourth) but rather just a qualifying score - the green ribbon. Both his standard agility runs were total loses - but both had some high points like he did his weaves and his table performance was excellent both days. But I have noticed a trend that he does not do as well outside as he does inside. This was the last outdoor trial of the season so I won't even try to address this until next spring. And it's only on the standard runs with all the equipment that he has trouble with. His outdoors jumpers runs are find. Not sure what's that's all about.

But in any case, it's time to focus on Aoife for the next month. Her first trial is October 11th and I can't wait. She is going to be so much fun and she is sheltie fast. I can't wait to beat a couple of those. :-) Most other 12 inch dog owners hate losing to a pug. :-)

Friday, September 25, 2009

The first pumpkin

The first hunk of the Great Pumpkin Conspiracy is almost complete - I have a couple more crows to stitch in and then I'm moving to the left and start on the next grouping of pumpkins. This piece is fun to work on and I wish I could stay awake on the train to get more stitched in. :-)

Clancy and I have an agility trial this weekend - our first as an excellent level dog. It's an outdoor trial up in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and the weather forecast was for rain both days at the beginning of the week but now it's looking much better. I might not even need the new raincoat I purchased. :-) This is Clancy's last trial until Thanksgiving weekend - not from choice really but because there is always a lull in my area from early fall to the holidays then we'll have a three day trial, a four day trial and another three day trial all within the space of six weeks and then nothing again until March. I'll use this time until Thanksgiving to further refine his weave poles and do get more work in on his contacts. As always the goal for the weekend is fun, fun, fun, but I would also like an Open Standard Q so we can make progress on getting to the Excellent level in that event also.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

the kindness of strangers

Last week I posted a photo of all my new and mostly Shepherd's Bush stash. I acquired most of it through trades and kind donations with a few eBay deals tossed in. I mentioned that I'm still looking for the Wool Gatherer as I would love to have both the boy and girl hanging together. A very, very kind lady named Maria who leaves in Florida (she reads blogs but does not have one) sent me an email saying she had one and she will never stitch it as her tastes have changed and would I like to have it. Of course I jumped on it and offered something for it. She turned me down and offered up yet another kit! On Saturday I received an email saying a package was on the way to me and I should have it by Wednesday. Sure enough there was a HUGE package waiting for me when I got home from work last night. And this was the contents! Not including the Wool Gatherer, Maria included another full SB kit and rest of the wonderful charts above. She just said in her note that she enjoyed them and hoped I would also. And of course I will! :-)

Now I will probably never meet Maria and I will always remain, despite emails and such, a complete stranger to her but she took time and effort to send me these things. I am always blown away by the kindness of my stitching friends and the people I have "met" through my blogging. These people who are for all intents and purposes, strangers. And I find at the end of the day, it makes me want to be a better stitching friend also. So thanks Maria for taking the time to think of me and to send me these wonderful things. Not only have you made my day, week, month! you have made me a better person and I hope I can only reach out to someone else by paying forward your kindness to me. :-)

Here is my progress on the Great Pumpkin Conspiracy. I did pull some variegated floss out of my stash and swapped out a few DMCs. So I'm hoping a few more things will pop.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No stitching to show

I don't get any stitching done on Tuesday evenings because I have agility class with the pugs and nothing ever gets done on Wednesday mornings on the way to work because I always sleep on the train. Last night I didn't get home until after 11:00pm and since I get up at 4:30am the nap on the ride in is welcome. :-)

Yesterday I had a request to show the photo of Clancy on his wall of bling. There are two hanging up and here they are. This was from two years ago. It's my favorite. :-)
This one is from last year. I haven't purchased any lately because it seems they all have been jumps or weaves. And I need a few other types of action shots. :-)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

more houses

I started back last night with House #8 on HoHRH. I like this block because it's different from the others. :-) I'm fairly confident that I will complete it by the end of the month. I LOVE being on track. Especially now that I'm two HRH behind again. I'm hoping to start Shores in January. I do want to change the memorial blocks totally however. I don't care for it.

Here is my start on the Great Pumpkin Conspiracy. Those Silk N'Colors are very nice to work with and I'm going to enjoy this piece a ton. I wish now I had gone with a shaded black for the crows to give them a bit more interest. I think I'll change up the pumpkins a bit to a variegated floss. But that probably depends on where I'll be when I start working on them. If I'm on the train I might just use what's in my bag but if I'm at home.... who knows how creative I'll be. :-)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Summer Basket Finis

Summer Basket - design by Blackbird Designs
32 count Golden Harvest by Silkweavers
Recommended Overdyed Floss

I finished up Summer Basket on the train ride into work this morning. I'm pretty sure I'll pillowize it but not until next spring as that is the season I think it fits best with. I have a quilt that I like to display on my couch and this will match perfectly. I love the colors and it was super fast. I'll work on the floss holder as time permits.

I'll start on the Great Pumpkin Conspiracy on the way home tonight. I was able to find time to pick up the nine skeins of DMC I was missing after the agility trial on Sunday.

Clancy and I thank you all for the really nice comments about his new title. And it's all his, the dog gets the title not the handler. :-) I think he is most deserving. It was a long time between Jumpers titles - 18 months. He earned his Novice title so quickly I figured everything else was be a slam dunk also. That was so not the case. The difference between the level of difficulty in Novice and Open is very large. And the Open level really exposes every training flaw that you have as a team and I had (and still do) a ton of training flaws. I took a lot of short cuts with Clancy that I didn't think would be an issue later down the road and they all became issues so I had to do a lot of retraining. I'm hoping that I have avoided some of the problems in training Aoife but I'm sure several will rear their ugly heads once I start trialing her next month. But at least now I know how to address many of them and can work toward fixing them. Clancy's issues were/are so large that many times I just didn't know what to do to fix them. But he hung in there with me as I figured everything out. I think that is one of Clancy's greatest attributes as an agility dog. He is very patient with me and is willing to try and try until I get everything just right. Aoife is not as patient so that will be a wild ride! :-)

Here is Clancy's wall of bling. He is starting to fill it out nicely. :-)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Clancy earned a new title!

Since I promised Clancy on last Tuesday if he Q'd over the weekend, I would open another blog entry with his photo and his ribbons - so here he is with his first place and his new title ribbons. He earned a first place finish in Jumpers with Weaves on Sunday and that made three legs and his open title - OAJ. And it was a very nice run - 28 seconds on a 39 second course. I'm so proud of him. I feel like we are getting close to consistency which I feel is a key factor in being a successful agility team.

So what does it mean? We have moved up in Jumpers to from the Open level to the Excellent A level and are now working toward an Excellent Agility Jumpers with Weaves title - AXJ. We still have two legs to earn toward his Standard Agility Open title but that should fall in place soon. :-) Or I hope it starts to fall into place soon - we have a trial next weekend to give it a go.

Friday, September 18, 2009

feeling better

Hummm, this doesn't look like the Great Pumpkin Conspiracy. :-) Last night I was pulling all the DMC threads required for the piece and I was missing around 8 or so colors. I'll run to the store tonight after work and pick them up. Rather than hunt around the piece for areas that I could start on, I decided to wait until my kit is complete. So it was back to Summer Basket this morning. I'm almost half way complete with the piece and the rest of it will fly as it's the alphabet, the Quaker star border and the rest of the zigzag border. I'll toss it into my agility bag and maybe get some stitching done there. And I might put HoHRH aside and push to finish this so I don't have it outstanding once I start GPC.

Clancy squirting is much better and at this point I'm fairly certain we are going to give this weekend's agility trial a go. Thanks for all your warm wishes. :-)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

my stash haul :-)

Once I finished The Herb Gatherer from Shepherd's Bush I figured I enjoyed myself so much I needed to obtain a few more SB kit's. Below is the results plus a few other purchases/trades that I've made in the past couple of weeks. I think I have enough to keep me busy for a while. :-) Of course I still want to get The Wool Gatherer and Finch's Song but after I get those two I should be ok for a while. Thanks to everyone who traded something with me!

Here is my progress on Block #7 of HoHRH. As predicted, it seems to be flying with all the smaller elements that make up the block. I'm actually feeling like I could have this complete by late next week if I manage some stitching time over the weekend (I have an agility trial so I never know how much time or will to stitch I'll have).
And here is my progress on BBD Summer Basket. Another piece that is flying. Today is the last day I'm going to work on it. I'm going to start work on The Great Pumpkin Conspiracy from The Cricket Collection tomorrow.
I had three other stitchers agree to split the cost of the Thread Gatherer Silk N'Colors for The Great Pumpkin Conspiracy. Our total cost? Less than $13.00 per person. :-) That sure is better than the retail price of one set at $63.00. Am I ever happy about that. Here is a snap of all the lovely silks just waiting to be mailed to their new homes. The are going out today.

Please keep Clancy in your thoughts. The poor guy is feeling under the weather. Last weekend he started to cough from what I thought was the result of his being a aggressive eater, an irritated throat (it's happened before). On Tuesday he went to the vet because it was getting worse and it was not what I thought but rather Kennel Cough! Poor guy. And to add insult to injury he now has diarrhea from the meds and every time he coughs he squirts. So a call to the vet is warranted because I think he needs something different plus something for his other issue. If he doesn't stop coughing by the weekend no agility for him. Kennel Cough is not usually a dangerous thing but it's very easily spread so he won't be welcome if he is still coughing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

many thanks!

Many many thanks for your kind words and congratulations to Clancy. His head is quite swelled from all the attention. :-) I told him if he really likes it, he can do it again for me at the trial this coming weekend and I'll be sure to let everyone know again and post his photo. :-)

Here is my start to House #7 of HoHRH. This block is going to feel like it's really moving because there are so many smaller components to it. I'm still loving the Christmas HRH. Except that carolers block. It just doesn't seem to fit. All but two blocks have been revealed now. But despite that fact that I like it, I'm not sure if I will ever do it. That's a whole lot of work and not to mention money for a holiday piece. And I REALLY like the idea of a fall piece so I might just hold off on this for now and wait for that.

Here is Summer Basket from BBD. Another piece that feels like it's really moving. I'm still in love with the colors. I think it will make a great pillow.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

First Place! Yeah Clancy

Yeah my Clancy-boy! A first place finish in Jumpers with Weaves! It feels so good to be back in the ribbons. This is our first qualifying score in WWJ in 18 months. And our first Q in anything (not including FAST) in a year. I guess September is a good month for him. :-)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

House #10 finis

I finished up House #10 last night. :-) I really changed up the house color. It was charted for a dark brown that was almost the same shade as the roof (the same as the chimmy actually). I wanted a bit of contrast so I went through my NPIs but didn't have anything that was just a little lighter. So I just went for it. I love the color on the skein but I'm not sure how it looks on the block. :-) Oh well. I'm certainly not going to do anything about it. Only four houses to go! I'm starting on House #7 tonight.

Clancy and I are leaving shortly for the Fox Valley Dog Club agility trial. What I wouldn't do for a qualify score today or tomorrow. :-)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

pretty colors

Aren't these colors so pretty together? I'm using the recommended floss on Summer Basket and I'm loving it. Now if I could just stay awake on the train. :-)

Trial this weekend with Clancy but I'm pretty sure I'm going to drag Houses with me rather than this piece. I need to get going on my next house and I still have a ton to do on last months.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

enough to show :-)

Here is my start on Summer Basket. This would make a nice pillow also. :-) I really need to make some pillows that aren't autumn related.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Uneven weekend

Uneven weekend - I usually say that about Clancy but for the past weekend I'm referring to me. :-) I spent most of the weekend sick with a head cold. Such a bummer because it really messed up all my plans as my preference was to take very long naps. Which in itself is not such a bad thing but it was not part of the overall schedule I had for the weekend. As such when I finally got around to do my pile of finishing work it was Monday and I had more than I could do in one day. To further complicate it, nothing worked out right. Did you ever have one of those days?

First I cut out the ruffle for my first pillow - BBD's Loose Feathers Autumn Song, half the size I had envisioned - I wanted a two inch ruffle but only cut out enough for a one inch ruffle. Not a huge tragedy but not a good start to my day either. I went with it because it looked OK. Then the gathering of the ruffle just took forever so I ended up putting it aside to work on it while I watched TV later in the evening.

Early Monday I went shopping and I purchased the trim for my Autumn Bouquet pillow and estimated that I needed two yards of trim. When I started on the pillow I decided that I wanted a much larger fabric border and then I ended being 8 inches short of the trim! Yikes. The end result was I had to put it aside to wait for more trim. By this time it's after dinner and I haven't even started on the other two finishes.

This is what it will look like once it's all together. I went with an upholstery trim to match the linen. I did go online Sunday evening and I ordered more trim from Joann.com but I'm afraid now that the three yards of trim I ordered will come in 3 - one yard pieces rather than one large piece like I want.

I did managed one finish - my strawberry emery from It's Berry Time. It turned out really cute. I'll try to get a better photo later in the week. It was after 9:00pm by the time I was finished and was too tired to work on it.

I'll get back to finishing the others on Wednesday since tonight is agility with the pugs. I also didn't put a stitch in my Houses of Hawk Run Hollow since I was still working on stitching Autumn Bouquet and then I had to finish stitching my strawberry. I wasn't finished with those until Sunday. I did start stitching on the new Loose Feathers, Summer Basket this morning but I don't have much to share because I fell asleep on the train about 15 minutes after it left my station and didn't wake up until I got to Chicago. :-) I plan on doing the sampler and the thread keeper but I might make the thread keeper into a pin holder as I don't own an eyelet maker and don't plan on purchasing one at the present time.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Long weekend!

Today I'm on vacation so I have an extra long weekend! Yeah! Here is my progress on Autumn Bouquet. Almost finished. :-) My plans for the weekend include a bunch of finishing work. I'd like to make two pillows, a pin cushion and finish my strawberry emery. And finish my current house on HoHRH. Have you seen the preview that Kathy posted on Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow? I didn't want to like it - I still have Shores to stitch and Houses to finish and I didn't want to add yet another behemoth to my stash. But so far no luck as I like what I have seen. I can't believe I'm bummed I like something!

Have a great weekend and those of you who have a day off work for Labor Day, enjoy the bonus! Hopefully I will have lots to share on Tuesday. :-)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

half way!

I was starting to feel like this piece was taking forever but when I got to work this morning I realized that I'm half way done. Not the slacker after all. :-) This would make a very cool pillow to go along with my fall pillow collection. For the long weekend I was thinking of getting some finishing done and maybe I'll pillowize this. It's an idea anyway.

I've been trying to organize my fibers. Last week when I went through them to pull the colors I needed for the new Loose Feathers, everything was such a mess it was driving me crazy. So I have been stuffing each skein into a floss away bag and labeling it and then sorting by brand and clipping those together using four inch binder rings in alphabetical order. I'm almost done and it's so nice and tidy! And it was such a bummer to see four even five skeins of the same colors. I could have spent that money on things I didn't have. Oh well, I'm sure they will get used at some point.

Here is a link to a cool pet tag giveaway! Good luck. :-) Pat's Design

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Conspiracy idea

Last week I mentioned that I wanted to stitch the new chart from Cross-Eyed Cricket called the Great Pumpkin Conspiracy. I further moaned about the price of the nine colors of Silk N'Colors required to stitch it. A couple of folks said they would be willing to split the cost of the silks with me. I did find a retailer on eBay who will sell me the nine skeins for $40.00 which is already a nice savings. I have the chart in hand and I will count stitches for each color to figure out how many of this design can be stitched with one skein of each. I'm hoping at least four of us can stitch from one skein of each.

Jolene and Tracy, can you confirm by email that you are still interested? If anyone else is interested in this possibility please also shoot me an email. I'd be willing to purchase more than one of a couple of colors if it means that more of us can stitch it as charted at what would turn out to be a very nice price. :-)

Here is my progress on Autumn Bouquet.

And on Houses of Hawk Run Hollow - house #9.