Saturday, June 30, 2007

WIP and a HD!

Just a quick post to put up a pic of my most recent work on Dream Sampler at 12.5 hours, before I finished my "week" and switched projects". I haven't ripped out the stitching done with the watercolours yet. They only had one of the waterlilies in stock at "Because You Count" when I went up last week so I'm waiting to get them in the mail before I rip out the old stuff. That way it still looks done in the meantime.

I love love LOVE working on this one. It seems to be going so fast. I didn't want to put it down, but I've just started my first rotation and didn't want to fall off so quickly. :)

Dani, I knew that you stitched some of Jennifer's models for her, and I saw her Thank you to you on the back of the pattern. Also, I was curious if the pattern "Dani the Stitching Dragon" was made for you. I always assumed that it was but never thought to ask. And, no I don't think the watercolors would have worked for the specialty stitches. The rhodes hearts that I already did would have looked like a big blob if I would have used the watercolors instead of the waterlilies.

BTW, can I just say: Oh my god! I just ADORE stitching with silks. This was my first time, I was a silk virgin... but no more. And I've discovered something that I love almost as much as Pepsi... Well, no... not really... a bit of an exageration on my part. There's not much other than my family that I love more than Pepsi... But you get the idea!! :)

Here's a picture of my HD for today. It's a pic of a quick little freebie from Sweetheart Tree that I stitched up after I finished my rotation on Dream Sampler. I got it free from an ebay seller when I ordered some patterns from her not too long ago.
It's stitched on 28 ct Lugana. I think the colour is called Pewter, but I'm not certain. I think I might like to stitch it again using darker colours. I'm thinking overdyed silks... mmmm, Silks!!
I'd like to use dark green variants for the leaves and instead of light pink for the "Welcome" maybe a thread that changes from dark berry/raspberry to purples. I think I'm going to stitch some rhodes hearts using the same "berry" colour in place of the pink heart shaped beads. I'll find some similar "berry colour" petite seed beeds for it too to finish it all off.
I don't know if you can see it, but in the center of the diamonds there was a specialty stitch. (don't ask me which one, I can't remember the name right off) Anyway, it was done in Ecru, and you can barely make it out. Even when you look at it close up, it's almost identical in colour to the fabric.
Anyway, I'm off for today. I need to give Jason a hand building a Picnic table for a minute then I need to go get the baby up for lunch. Ahhh, my life. :)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

One more thing...

I know, I know, I don't post anything in like forever, and then I try to make up for it with three in one day?! But I can't believe I forgot to post a special Congratulatory message to my little cousin Kayla for becoming a recent High School Graduate!!

Congrats Kayla! We love you!!

Kayla at 2 years old.

Kayla, at 17 years old when she got her grad pics taken.

Like I promised

The other day I promised I'd upload a few of the pictures I took of the girls when we went to the zoo the other day in Moncton. Well, as usual, I forgot all about it until right now. So, without further ado, here we go.

Here's Olivia with the stuffed Moose in the lobby at the Zoo. She was having so much fun, she didn't want to leave him, but others were waiting to take pics of their kids with the moose too. I wanted to get a quick pic with both her and Rachel, but there were SO many waiting that I didn't want to hold the show up any longer.

Rachel posing for a picture in her stroller.

Olivia with a Fallow Deer eating from her hand. Always a favourite!

Olivia and Rachel in a nice little rest area. Whenever there's anyone else around Olivia is always looking at them, she'll never look at the camera.

Olivia with a mouth full of goldfish crackers smiling for the camera with a huge lion in the background.

Tiger Olivia!

Tiger Rachel!

"Wait! I think I can crawl through this thing..."

A friend brought her double stroller for her two kids and since her oldest wanted to walk, Olivia decided she wanted a ride.

Olivia hugging Mallory.

Here's Olivia and Mallory in the double stroller and Rachel in our stroller. If Olivia weren't so tall I'd consider getting one of these for us, but as it is I doubt we'd get more than a few months out of it before she outgrew it.

SBQ: The Choices We Make

SBQ for June 22, 2007 was suggested by Kathryn and is:

When you start a new work do you look for something small, do you look for
another huge project or do you consider your UFOs?

When I start a new project it usualy depends on which one is "calling to me" the most at that particular time. Usually though I'll know far enough in advance that I'm planning to take on another project and have two or three picked out that are my top picks, then when I'm ready to start I'll usually pick from those two or three. Sometimes I'll do one on a whim, but since I do so few projects compared to some of the stitching bloggers I read, I tend to be a bit pickier. If I do do start something on a whim it tends to be pretty small.

Because of my pickiness I have very few UFOs. I know most of my projects (even medium ones) take me quite a bit longer than other stitchers so I only do ones that I really love. I won't pick one to stitch that's just so-so. I guess that's one of the good sides of being a slow stitcher, I don't have tons of finished stuff that I'm not crazy about any more. I've also been pretty good at not taking on another big project until I finish my current one. Mind you I've not done very many big projects to date, so that part of it might change.

I just recently started my first rotation and started two medium projects and am about to start a large one, all at the same time. This is the first time I've started so many projects so close together, I'm hoping that the "starting" bug hasn't bitten me too hard, because I'm sure that could be a bad habbit to have when you finish as slowly as I do. ;)

The original post on the "Incoherant Scribblings" blog can be found here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

It's been a while

since I last posted. May 31st to be exact. Almost a month ago since I last blogged. God I'm pathetic. lol. It' snot like my life has been so full of amazing goings on that I don't have the time to sit at the computer and write a short post... I'm just a bit lazy and I'm a LOT of a procrastinator. I tend to put things off till later, and then never get around to them. I think I have about 4 or 5 months worth of SBQs to catch up on... and I keep saying next week, next week... now I've got so many piled up in my inbox that it's just such a daunting task to get around to them all.

I have a little bit of "Doctor Who" fever again now that season 3 is starting to air... (or season 29, depending on who you talk to) I really like his new companion Freema Agyeman as "Martha". I wasn't sure if I was going to take a shine to her or not because, it's hard when you're replacing a popular character... (Billie Piper as Rose) People always have some expectations on what the new character will be like. I had the same bit of anticipation when David Tennant replaced Christopher Eccleston at the end of season 1, but I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE David in the roll. I adored Chris also, and they both are wonderful as the Doctor even though they both play him very different. They're both very likable and fun and funny. Of course, the funny part is a huge testament to the writers of the show, but they just have the certain way of delivering lines that is just perfect. I think the thing I like best is they're both quite "cheeky" in the roll. I think it's perfect for the character... Mind you, this was my first experience with the Doctor. I never watch any of the original series, so I didn't really have any preconcieved ideas on how the Doctor should act. Anyway, enough about Doctor Who for now... that's for tonight when the new episode airs on CBC *grin* Now it's time for a bit of a stitchy update.

I guess I'll first mention a little bit about the rotation I'm doing. I've decided that sometimes 10 hours just isn't enough. There are some times I can get 10 hours in 2-3 days if I'm having a really good go, so I decided to do a "10 hours or a week" rotation, which ever takes longer to get to... Basically if I am stitching a lot and get done my 10 hours in a few days then I'll keep stitching till I've stitched on it for a week, but if I'm having a time where I'm not doing much stitching, then I don't switch projects until I've got at least 10 hours done... that way I am always guaranteed to get the 10 hours in.

So, the first one I started this with was Summer Blooms by Marie Barber. Here's what it looks like when I put it down after the 10 hours to start Dream Sampler. When I pick it back up I'll fill in the little spots (they're just white stitches, so it'll look a lot like the empty places do now, and then backstitch the flowers before moving on to the lower areas.

After I finished this I moved on to FINALLY start Dream Sampler. I'm stitching it on 32ct Opalescant Lugana from Silkweaver in Iris Garden. There's a bit of a story here. After I got it I placed an order for the specialty fibres that it calls for from an online store. You may remember that post, it wasn't all that long ago. Anyhow I finally got the order, with a few extra GAST freebies thrown in for good measure. (Thank you Despina! BTW , GAST stands for Gentle Arts Sampler Threads for those of you not into that kind of thing.) When I opened the package up I saw the threads and was boggled. How am I supposed to stitch with such a HUGE piece of thread!! I had ordered the Caron Watercolors instead of the Caron Waterlillies. I mistakenly thought that even though the watercolors were cotton and the waterlilies were silk, they would be approximately the same size anyway. I guess I was expecting the watercolors to be the same size as a standard DMC/Anchor/Whatever cotton thread. Well, they're not. They've only got3 srands per thread and the thread is probably twice the size of a regular one. You can see them in the picture just above. The watercolors are the ones on the bobbins and the waterlilies is the one still in the twist.

At first I never clued in and I did start stitching with them, I was having a really hard time with the stitches. The thread was so big and full, and the holes were so small (32 count, you know) Everything was puckering and pulling strangely. It just didn't look nice. If you click on the pic to the left you can see a little better. The swirls are done in the watercolors, the overdyed portion of her skirt are the watercolors and the backstitch around her wings are the watercolors. Funny thing. The skirt is actually done with HALF stitches. The thread was so thick that I couldn't fit whole stitches in there, it was just too crowded, so I did half stitches instead and it didn't turn out half bad. If it weren't for the backstitching part then I might have kept going with it, but I find the backstitching just looks horrible.

Anyway, I was in Moncton this Saturday to take the kids to the Zoo with some of the kids and parents from the local drop in play group, and after leaving the zoo I took a quick trip down to "Because You Count" to ask about the waterlilies. I had never worked with, or even seen silks before and really wasn't sure how much of a difference they were in size. Well... you can see in the first picture that the skein of thread is about the same size as DMC threads, but there's 12, count 'em 12 strands per thread, not 6!! So they're even smaller than regular floss. So, I had to throw down the money and get them. Can you believe $8.40 per skein of silk thread!! That's almost criminal. I can't believe how expensive they are. I mean, I know that going to a brick and mortar store, it tends to cost a little more because of the higher overhead, and that I consider worth it, but still... By the time I got all 3 threads and paid tax, it was over $28!! for 3 threads!!! I had wanted to look around and get a bit more at first, but the only other thing I ended up picking up were some Piecemaker needles. Everyone I talk to and read blogs from seems to be completely nuts about these needles. So I took the plunge and picked up a few. They weren't too expensive. $3.30 for 6 needles. The cheapo Anchor ones I usually buy at Walmart are around $1.50 for 4, so a bit more money, but not horrible.

Well, it's too late to make a long story short, but the punch line is that I'm now waiting for the store to get two of the three threads in that I bought -- only one was in stock. They're going to mail them to me as soon as they arrive -- at no extra cost since I already paid for them, but I'm still waiting!! Oh well, I'll survive. It's not like I don't have other things to stitch. Besides, I now have to pull out all that backstitching and half stitches that I stitched with the watercolors... All hail to the frog queen, coming for a visit. Hopefully it's a short one.

In other news I had myself a yard sale last weekend and made around $250, then I badgered my dh until he got me a treadmill -- which the $250 is going towards. Apparently I've got high blood pressure. I have since I had Rachel, but my doctor told me "oh don't worry about it, it'll go down in a while." Well, apparently it didn't. So, now I'm trying to lose weight and exercise more to see if that will help enough that I don't need meds. That's why the tread mill. I'm a bit of a bugaphobe, if that's really a word, and I'm also terrified of dogs, so walking in a rural area with dogs in every 2nd or third yard during the summer when you live with the woods all around you doesn't work all that well for me... The good thing is that I know myself pretty well in this respect and I know I could tell the doctor that I'd walk each and every day faithfully, but it just wouldn't happen. Luckily Jason knows this about me too, which is why he didn't fight me too much on the treadmill issue.

Well, that's probably a long enough post for now. I'll try and remember to post a few zoo pictures tomorrow.

Some (but not all) blinkies adopted from:

Others found randomly around the net and put here to use for my own nefarious purposes! Muahahahaha. (*J/K*)