Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Three - ops, Four Cool Pugs and me!

Monday, December 20, 2010

a lost weekend

A week ago I really thought I would have this block completed by today but a bad case of food poisoning on Thursday pretty much ended that idea. I was on my back for a solid 24 hours with the rest of the weekend a loss. I have never been so sick in my life! Stitching was the last thing on my mind. But hopefully with a couple days working from home this week I'll and being able to find more stitching time and I'll start to make some progress. My dye lots of my overdyed floss are off compared to the chart. I not really happy with the colors (it's the alphabet I don't care for) but I also just want to move forward. So that's the plan. This piece will be so large that I'm sure it will end up fitting in nicely. Or at least that is what I'm telling myself. :-)

Have a great week!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Valentine Rose finis

Valentine Rose design by Blackbird Designs
32 count Purely Primitive from Silkweavers
Recommended Overdyed floss

I love that these are as fast as I thought they would be. :-) Given how little time I seem to have these days to stitch I'm working through them pretty quickly. As you can see with the piece, the changes I made were to the vase, I made it longer to fill in the bottom and I added a stem of flowers on the left. This covers up where the personalization is supposed to be nicely I think.

Here is the start to the bonus pattern #1 (what a boring name). This one is going to fly! I'm losing track of where the publication of the charts is at. Maybe through September? That would leave three more plus the bonus pattern #2. I wonder if I can get caught up before the last one comes out. That would be sweet. :-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

so close and a big thank you :-)

I'm so close to finishing up Valentine Rose I can taste it. :-) Just that little bit on the house and it's finished. I have the chart and floss to start the next section and most likely will tonight on the way home from work.

The pugs and I had a good four day trial. Our overall Q rate (we ended up 1 for 16) does not show how good we really were. Day one was shaky but it got better from there. Clancy made each and every contact for a total of 12! And his tables were perfect! That has never happened before. Clancy's only Q was in Excellent B Jumpers and it was amazing. I love that pug. :-)

Aoife was 50/50 in terms of excellent versus bad pug. :-) Her jumpers runs were almost all Qs but her standard runs.... She got picked up four times out of four. We still need lots of work.

When I got home I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me! A box of Christmas goodies from Edgar! How cool is this? He even included some treats for the pugs. Edgar those cherries are to die for and what can I say about the white chocolate?? And I can't wait to try the jam. Huge thanks to you and Rico. You guys are the best. :-) That is Clancy checking everything out as I unpacked it.

I don't often chat much about Georgie my fourth cool pug and I never chat about Lily the lab that also inhabits my life. But here they both are keeping each other warm during this cold streak. They can be found like this most days. :-)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

oh so close

I'm almost ready to start the last step of Valentine Rose - filling in the bricks on the house. But I won't have much time for the next week to finish. Tomorrow I have dinner with friends so no stitching time there. On Thursday to Sunday I'll be attending my big agility trial of the year in Milwaukee - Hounds for the Holidays and I'm staying this year in Milwaukee rather than driving home each day. I'll bring the stitching along but I'm sure I won't have the time or energy as lots of friends will be there.

Wish me and the pugs luck - we have been working really hard and I'm hoping for a couple of Qs. Especially for my wild child girl pug, Aoife. :-)

Monday, December 06, 2010

busy weekend

I got a lot stitched in on Valentine Rose over the weekend. All that is left now is the big honking house. I did make a couple of changes - I made the vase longer to cover the personalization and I added the flower on the left of the short vase. I like how it turned out. I also changed the funky "S" on the door. I never like how it looked in past pieces so I figured why not change it for this one? :-)

Have a great week!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Snow Garden finis

Snow Garden - design by Blackbird Designs
32 count Purely Primitive linen from Silkweavers
Recommended overdyed floss

I did finish up my Snow Garden on the way home from work last night with time to spare. And got a start on Valentine Rose this morning. :-) I'm happy with the two extra keys I stitched in. It was easy to remove the initials on this piece but it won't be so easy on some of the others. But I'll work at it and I'm sure I'll come up with something I like.

I took a photo of the entire piece of linen. Wow, I have a way to go!

Here is the start of Valentine Rose. Not sure if I will work on it much over the weekend. I'd rather get some more done of my silk glove project.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Just a few more stitches to place and I'm finished with the first part of Anniversaries of the Heart. I'm going to find a couple more keys to stitch in rather than the personalization recommended. In fact that is the plan for all the charts to the series. I'll pick out something from another chart in the series or something that relates and stitch that rather than the initials of others.

Hopefully I'll start on February's chart tomorrow. :-)

Monday, November 29, 2010

a great long weekend

I had a great long weekend. Lot's of cooking, eating and crafting! I only worked on two project but feel good about both. I picked things that I can't take on the train with me and that have been laying around for a while.

The first is my Goldwork Glove project. This is the restart of the project. I started back in the early spring but was so unhappy with how it was looking I pulled everything out and put it away. I was chatting with a friend a couple of weeks ago and she sent me some links to videos on long and short stitches and it gave me the urge to try this again. First I pulled the linen from the scroll frame I had it on and put it on my set of evertight stretcher bars. I got this tip from one of the websites I had visited last week and I thought I would give it a go. And it worked beautifully! With the evertights I can get the linen really nice and tight. Then I had to find the frame clamp for my Needlework System 4 stand. I figured it would be with the stand but it wasn't. Took me over two hours to find the little bugger! I was so mad at myself. Why didn't I store it with my stitching things? No I put it in a closet on a shelf with my unused linens. Go figure. :-) But finally after three or so hours of prep, I was ready to stitch. And I think it looks ok. I there is still a lot of room for improvement but I can live with what I ended up with. The silk is very forgiving. I ended the day with the first half of lesson one finished.
Then I pulled out the little hooked rug I started back in the spring. I only had the background to fill it and I worked on it Saturday and Sunday until I was finished. I'll make this guy into a pillow like the other small rugs I did. I have one more pillow to go and then I'll start to look for a bigger rug design to work on.

That's all for now. It's back to working on my BBD project. If I can stay awake on the train that is. :-)
Enjoy the week!

Monday, November 22, 2010

half way

I've managed to make it half way with Snow Garden. I've decided not to personalize each block as recommended in the series of patterns. I'm just going to add motifs or little sayings where I need to fill in space. Notice the linen is enclosed in the brand new wooden hoop. I LOVE it! It really does hold onto the linen and it's as tight as a drum. On Wednesday I will get myself to Joanns so I can purchase the twill tape to bind the bottom hoop. That will make it even easier to get it drum tight.

Aoife had a crappy agility trial. There were a couple of small highlights but for the most part she was in it for herself and not the team. :-)

Enjoy your week!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday at long last

I'm super happy with the progress I'm making with Snow Garden. I really enjoy working BBD pieces. I don't think I'll have much time this weekend however for stitching. I have a two day agility trial with Aoife and I'm always wiped out when I get home at night. And I need to start getting ready for Thanksgiving. I can get some cleaning done this weekend and that will get me a little ahead for next week.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm still stitching!

Believe it or not, I'm actually still stitching! Yeah for me. :-) Thanks for all the great comments about my choice of linen - Purely Primitive. I think it's going to work out great even though it might not be the best for the first block of this piece. Of course IRL the color of the linen is brighter and the fibers do show up better. It's just my crappy picture taking skills not making it look nice.

I've been doing a bit of shopping - like I actually have money. :-) I did finally purchase the four of the chair series from Cat's Whiskers from the shop in Western Australia. It's called La Roseraie. I hated not having all of the series. It should be here next week but I'm thinking I most likely won't get to it for a while as I only purchased the chart and not any of the supplies. I figured why pay shipping from the other side world for the same stuff I can get here?

My friend Kelly also turned me onto some really nice hoops and after seeing hers in person I had to have a couple. They are the ones from Hardwicke Manor - wooden and made in Germany with the heavy duty brass hardware. - I purchased a 6" one and an 8" one. I'll take the extra step of binding them before I start to use them. I can't wait to get them in the mail. I also resurrected my Floral Glove Needlecase project from the bottom of my craft closet. It's the one designed by Tricia Wilson Nguyen of Thistle Threads. I had such a hard time with the opening stitches that I pulled everything I had done because it looked like crap and walked away from it. That was beginning of the year maybe? Well Kelly helped me find some really great online tutorials as well as some videos of the long and short stitch that I needed and I'm going to give it a go again. Wish me luck. :-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a new start

My linen came yesterday for Anniversaries of the Heart and I have no will power. I've been wanting to start on this piece since the first chart came out and then only thing that was keeping from it was the $50.00 fat half of linen I needed so I could do them all on one piece. I also knew when I finally took the plunge, I would cave in right away. And I did. :-) Here is the start of Snow Garden. I'm stitching mine on 32 count Purely Primitive - my favorite Silkweavers color. All my fibers came in the mail also so I'm good for supplies for the first four charts and the bonus. These are going to go quickly. I have really missed doing my BBD projects.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I was hoping to have a couple more squares done by today but I only managed to stitch on Sunday evening. But still no linen yet from the Silkweaver distributors. I should have all the fiber I need though to complete the first row of Anniversaries of the Heart in the mail today. It would actually be a good thing if I didn't get the new linen for a couple more days. I'd love to finish more of this piece.

Have a good week!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

back to some old stuff

While I'm waiting for the linen to come for my BBD project I thought I would do some cross stitching. I went through all my lined up projects and then of course the several unfinished projects reared their ugly heads. So I figured I'd just work on something that is in progress rather than started yet another something that I would just drop when my linen arrived.

So here is the return of my IsaV Marquior - I haven't worked on it since February. I'm using 35 count WDW linen in Havana with Vikki Clayton silks in Imperialosity and Bewooded. I started this puppy in February of 2009. Yikes. And I have a lot to go.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Toad in a Puddle finis

Toad in a Puddle - design by Laura J. Perin
24 count congress cloth
#8 pearl cottons

It's finished! Yeah, it's amazing what finding the flow and having good light can do for a project. ;-) I now have five of six of my counted needlepoint designs completed. I'm going to take a little break and do some cross stitching. Or maybe finished the rug pillow that I started in the early spring. I need to pick up the ornament edition of Just Cross Stitch magazine. I was at my local JoAnn Fabrics on Sunday and they didn't have it. I'll try the book store this weekend. I'd like to stitch a couple for my ornament tree. I didn't get many done last year and of the ones that I did stitch I never made them into actual ornaments. Just ran out of time.

Monday, November 08, 2010

oh so close

Super close to being done with this. :-) I finally found a flow with the cream border. I followed the instructions. :-) LJP said it's much easier to do the border if you stitch in the diamonds first. Well duh, I did that on the second border and it went twice as fast as the first one. I really should read the entire packet of instructions before I get started.

I finally ordered a big honking piece of 32 count linen for the Anniversary of the Heart piece from BBD. I really hope it comes today or tomorrow so I can start on it. I really need to get back to stitching. I also bought a really nice standing OTT lamp. I had a table model and it died several months ago - I had no idea how much I missed that puppy until I tried to stitch in my favorite chair at night without it. So hopefully I'll be back with the flow in no time at all.

On Saturday I completed one of my HUGE running goals for the year. I ran and finished the Hot Chocolate 15k. For those of you not big into metrics, that is 9.3 miles. :-) And I ran it with an 11:45 pace. For me that is lightening fast. Now I think I'm going to tackle a half marathon. I've done several in the past but none in the past eight years. My bestest running buddy is doing the New Orleans marathon in mid-February and suggested I go with her and do the half. That is plenty of time to get trained for it (13 weeks) and I'm thinking about it.

Have a great week! Hopefully I'll have a finis this week to share.

Monday, November 01, 2010

not yet

But closer to a finis! I didn't put a stitch in last week. So much for my plans to get going on the last one of my Christmas gifts this week. I had it with me everyday on the train but napping was the plan for the commute. This is a fairly hard border also compared with the others. You really have to keep an eye on the canvas and the chart while stitching. So if I was feeling even a bit sleepy I wasn't up to all the close work of counting. Hopefully this week will be different. :-)

Monday, October 25, 2010

happy happy

I got a lot done over the weekend with Toad in a Puddle. I'm liking this one more as it progresses. The next (and last) is a similar colorway and I wish I would have changed it up a bit. But I've decided that I'm going to start on the next one as soon as I finish this one. Hopefully by the weekend.

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

progress :-)

I'm making fast work of Toad in a Puddle. I went through my stash last night and really would like to get to a couple of them. :-) But I have to get though these canvas pieces first. I was going to make them all a box lid but I never ordered the wood boxes with my guy and I'm sure it's too late now to get them before the holidays. So now I need to come up with a back up plan. They all finish around 7 inches square. I guess I could frame them all but how boring is that? Sudberry House makes a wooden box that just might work but I need to get on it. And with a total cost of over $350.00! Ouch.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ABC Pinkeep finis

I finally finished up ABC Pinkeep. I purchased a cute pin set from Just Another Button Company. My sister will love it. :-)

Now to make one for me!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

a new start

I started on the fifth of my six required Christmas gifts for the year. It's called Toad in a Puddle and like the others designed by Laura J. Perin. It occurred to me just this morning if some of my problem in getting myself to stitch is because of have these "HAVE TO" stitch projects hanging over my head. I stitch for my own pleasure and have never done well with any sort of project that I HAVE to complete within a deadline. It will be interesting to see what happens when I get that last one finished. I wonder if I become interested in stitching again. :-) On one hand it's good information to have. On the other hand I would have to have wasted so much time on dragging my feet because of the needlepoint designs.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ABC Pinkeep finis

ABC Pinkeep - design by With Needle and Thread
recommended 25 count flax linen over one
Various overdyed floss

My sister's birthday is in a couple of days so I had to quick get something together. ABC Pinkeep stitched up really quickly - just four or so hours work maybe? Now I need to finish it off. I have the cute little oil can just the model and I'll do it that way. :-) I think I'll make one for myself while I'm at it.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Yes, it's me!

I've never gone so long before without an update. Life is really busy and I have been barely stitching. When I have time and the inclination, I have been working on Frederick from CHS. As you can see I'm stitching him under his pretty wife Fredericka. I've had this in my commuting bag since I finished the tiny BBD Halloween ornament I did last month.

Things are really crazy right now. A couple of weeks ago I was at Pug Dog Nationals in Ohio. The pugs did well but no ribbons. They were however, the fastest pugs there. :-) That was nice. The I was in NYC for a few days with work. All I had time to do was visit the American Folk Art Museum. I have to admit I was a little disappointed. Not in the museum itself but by how little stuff there was! I wanted so much more to see. It's only five or six really small floors of work. What they had however was really nice.

I have new responsibility at work and the timing of this new responsibilities coincided with a dramatic upturn of the volume of work with my regular job. Most days I don't know if I'm coming or going. The stress is unbelievable and most days rather than stitching on the way home from work, I sleep. I also am sleeping on the way in. The one thing I'm trying hard not to stop is my running so I feel like I'm tired all the time. I'm starting to feel very burned out. I really don't know how people live like this for years. And I know some that do. I know I can't. I miss stitching but all I seem to want to do when I do get home from work is sit and do nothing. I guess this will pass at some point, I mean, how much pointless TV can I really watch? :-)

Until I get my schedule worked out, you all have fun and be safe! I'll check in when I can and hopefully have wonderful stuff to share.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Autumn Stars finis

Autumn Stars - Design by Blackbird Designs
36 count Silkweavers Dark Tan
Recommended overdyed floss

I finished up my little Halloween ornament on the way home from work yesterday. I have a few that I did last year that needed to be finished. I'd love to get around to it in the next few weeks. But I have some travel coming up. Ohio next week and then a trip to NYC on business the week after. So much to do and so little time. :-)
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

not much going on

I haven't much felt like stitching lately, cross stitching or needlepointing. Don't feel like quilting or doing many of the other things that usually please me to do. I've been lazy, seeming to spend countless hours sitting on my patootie watching tv, reading magazines or playing computer games. I did manage to start on BBD Autumn Stars and in a week of train rides this is all I've managed to do.

Some of the lack of stitching on the train is because I don't feel like stitching but also because I'm so darn tired. I'm up to running around 18 miles a week now and three days of it need to happen before I go to work. So that means getting up at 4:00am or so. So I sleep on the train. :-) I'm also taking a yoga class a couple times a week and I've been trying to step up my home practice. That is taking time away from crafting also.

And agility is taking up a fair amount of time in my evenings too! I couldn't do much at all in the months of July and August because it just was way to hot for the pugs. Now it's cooler and we have a big trial coming up so I've been working them every evening. Next week we are driving to Mason Ohio for Pug Dog Nationals. It will have a one day agility trial on Wednesday - pugs only! It's always a blast and I would like to show well.

So there you have it - I'm lazy, busy, tired and bored with stitching. :-)

I've had a koi pond for over ten years now. About five years ago I purchased my first lotus plant. It finally blossomed! First time ever. The fragrance was amazing. It lasted for several days and the petals dropped off but I'm still left with the pretty bright yellow seed pod. Hopefully next year I will get a couple blooms.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Hide N' Seek finis

Hide N' Seek - design by Laura J. Perin
24 count congress cloth
#8 Pearl Cotton

Four down and two to go! I finished up with Hide N' Seek on the way home from work yesterday and for the first time this year I'm on track. The plan was one every two months. Today I should start on number 5 but I'm not sure if that's what I really want to do. I'm thinking something fallish. I have the chart for the BBD designs Halloween house that they published last year that I'm dying to get to. Also I still have several Halloween ornaments that I want to get to. Not sure at this point where my hands will go. :-)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

almost :-)

Just a bit of border to go and I'm finished with Hide N' Seek. And I should be able to do it on the way home from work. If I don't fall asleep that is. :-)

Monday, August 30, 2010

so much for finishing

I really was hoping to finish this puppy off by last night. But I never put a stitch in! On Friday I went to yoga class and once I got home just vegged. On Saturday I did complete a five mile run but I find that after such a long run that last thing I want to do is sit down and stitch. So I ran errands most of the day and then just vegged for the rest of the day. On Sunday I did an early morning yoga class and came home and vegged (see a pattern here?) for the rest of the day. Well most of it anyway, the agility pugs and I had a private agility lesson. That was fun. But it was hot and when I got home I just.... vegged. :-)

But I made great progress this morning on the way to work and hopefully I will really be finished in the next day or so. ;-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm over half way finished with the little blocks. I haven't had much stitching time the last couple of days. Agility class on Tuesday and sleeping on the train has pretty much taken away my time from Hide N' Seek. But I'm still hoping to have this piece finished by Sunday evening. The only plans I have for Saturday are a 5 mile run and taking half of the pugs to get their nails trimmed. And yoga class on Sunday. :-) Other than that the weekend is all free.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

more blocks

Things are really moving along with Hide N' Seek. I'm actually thinking I could have it done be the weekend is over. :-) How about that! :-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

a new start

For a weekend change of pace, I stitched. :-) How about that for different? I didn't get as much done on Hide N' Seek as I was planning because I started Scott Lee, a design by the late Jean Hilton. I thought I would post a photo after each step. Of course I came up with this idea after I finished the first step so I don't have a true before photo. ;-)
All the pretty colors! When I was repacking the thread, I dropped one of the balls of DMC and didn't notice. But Georgie did. I found it the next day in one big tangled mess so I need to buy a new one. That darn Georgie. :-)

Step one completed.

Step two completed. I'll only be able to work on this at home - it's big - 13 x 20 and much to large to bring anywhere.

Have a great week!

Friday, August 20, 2010

yeah - it's friday!

I've started work on the twenty or so blocks that surround the center. These go quick and I'm hoping to get some in this weekend. I would also like to start quilting again - yesterday I received in the mail month 8 of the block of the month quilt and at last count I have only completed three so far. I hate being so far behind!

Have a great weekend. The pugs and I are planning on doing the same.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

center finished

I finished off the center portion of Hide N Seek. These colors are so fun! Next is the black and yellow border that I'm working on now and then 20 smaller blocks using the bright colors around that. The one small black border and I'm finished. I knew this was going to go quick. :-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


These colors are popping! Just wait until I had the black contrast borders. They will fly off the canvas. :-)

Thanks for all your kind words yesterday regarding my 5k finish. :-) You all made my day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cherry Hearts finis

Cherry Hearts - design by Shepherd's Bush
32 count unknown linen by Silkweavers
Recommended silk threads

I finished up Cherry Hearts on Sunday. Yeah! It feels good to have a cross stitch finish. I have not had one since oh, maybe April -May? In any case it feels like forever. But as soon as I put the last stitch in to hold the ribbon in place I moved back to my charted canvas work. I'd like to be finished with the remaining three by the end of September. I have a couple of fall/Halloween projects (some ornaments and a BBD Halloween house from last year) that I want to do but would like these out of the way first.

And speaking of counted canvas, here is number four - Hide 'n Seek by Laura J. Perin. This is the odd ball of the group. It's similar in that it's a quilt design build around a variegated pearl cotton but the similarity stops there. This one is like a big scrap quilt and it's very, very bright! Have you ever seem me stitch with orange? And bright yellow? Wait until I get the pink in there! It's really fun already and will go very quickly.

I ran my first official 5k in eight years on Saturday! And my niece Dana ran with me (she is on the left). Or at least most of it. I slowed down at about 1.5 miles into the race and she wanted to set a PR so I told her to leave me in the dust. :-) I finished in 37 minutes with a 12 minute pace. Which was my goal for this race. I was surprised I made my goal - at race time it was already in the 80's with about 98% humidity. It was so hot!! I took a small walk break even. I can't wait for the next 5k - I'll shave a little more time off toward my goal of a 30 minute 5k.