Sunday, December 30, 2007

S.E.Xperience aka Longest Post EVER

Stash Enhancement eXperience, for all you perverts wondering how I had sex at work. Gutterminds ;)

I am going to document my WIP, new starts and goal's for 2008 in a long winded, photo heavy post. I have nothing else to do right now and I feel bad I've neglected Blogger again. Here goes.

OK so here's the lowdown on the S.E.X I mentioned. STASH! I bought this stuff for Spaz to give to me. Every year it's a struggle for us to figure out what to get each other for Christmas so this being the year of The Bigger Staff Discount (yay!) I went a bit nuts at work. This is what I got myself, from Spaz:
I spotted this chart and thought the concept was so beautiful I couldn't resist. When I opened the leaflet I was amazed to find ALL, absolutely ALL, of the recommended hand dyed's IN-STOCK. That NEVER happens. So I bought them. Then the fabric. Then the stash organizing tools to help keep lovely hand-dyed's tidy. Then more Q-Snaps, because I admired how my friend Dani managed to make a work of art inside a 6 x 6 set. Then I came home and hid it all in the basement, not to be fondled again until Christmas morning.

Advent Calendar by JBW Designs.

Gentle Art Sampler Threads and Weeks Dye Works, 28ct White Linen.
6 x 6 Q-Snaps, Floss Away Bags, Floss Box, ordered threads for
Celtic Banner and a Gift Certificate from the Boss.

Months ago I ordered this pattern, I've wanted it for a while and it finally arrived and that's what I have been stitching for the past week.
Flosstitute by Glitter Gulch Needlework

Flosstitute WIP as of last night and the pretty new needleminder
my Dad insisted I buy myself, from him.
Needle Necessities #1471 Painted Desert on 28ct Ivory Jubilee.

I have had dismal success with Celtic Banner. At this point I have ripped and restarted the darn alphabet 3 times so I figured it would make more sense to start the border, giving myself more reference points to count off. All the hand-dyed threads arrived so I could proceed. I am going to hold off a bit now though, I resent this one a bit because of all the restarts.

Last HD of 2007, a few PERMIN OF COPENHAGEN kits I had tucked in a drawer. Thanks to a visit from Dani I spotted them and got them stitched but not framed yet. The mat will cover the Aida cloth, I hope I can find a frame I like.

I work with a nice lady, Elaine, and after a visit to my house last month she thought of a pattern in her stash that she thought would look good on the walls here and boy was she right! It's a DMC freebie that she coveted but is apparently impossible to find anymore so she generously loaned me her copy. I think if I replaced all the white DMC with Rainbow Gallery Wisper I would get the little fuzzy pussy willow's to really pop.
I have been holding on to that previously mentioned skein of NN#1471 as well as Elaine's skein. We had originally thought it would do for my Cirque Des Cercles on Water Lily Jobelan but I was afraid the palest colours would dissapear and I didn't want to use it on an ivory fabric either (even though I am using it on ivory now for my Flosstitute!). So I offered Elaine back her skein or to stitch something for her with that floss and she jumped at the chance! Here's what I am doing for her.
TW Knotwork Bookmarks II (top left one) and the
handy ear-mounted light I also bought myself.
Speaking of Dani I haven't yet had the chance (been sick!) to mention what a great time I had, she came over for a sit 'n stitch in early December and I had a really good time. We have a lot in common and even Spaz thinks she's pretty neat, so I am looking forward to hanging out with her again sometime soon. It was thanks to her of her that I found a Michael Powell freebie online and have started it too, but it's on break right now while I am excited about other things. I look forward to finishing it though, it's really nice. My WIP only has the dark blue sky part done so I won't bore you with that picture! Here's what it will look like, eventually.
Every year on New Year's Day I start a new project, so this year it is going to be the Advent Calendar. Last years big start was Flower Power which I haven't touched in months. It will be done this year though, I promise. Here it is as of today (not quite half done).

Phew! Done! Have a great day and thanks for reading my blabbings. I am going to go stitch.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Oh So Tired

Sorry again Blog, I have been busy and quite sick. Turns out I had the FLU. Not a sinus infection as I was told by the doctor. So those antibiotics didn't help because I had the flu. I still have the flu. It's nasty. Run. HIDE.

I have lots of stitching to blog about but I've just gotten off working 3 days straight and I have blisters to tend to so if you don't mind I will catch you up soon. It will probably be a good idea to wait until I have opened my presents before I tell you my stitching update. I've been having major S.E.X (I hope I've used that acronym right!) at work lately and it's all packed away until Christmas morning. :P

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I am BEYOND crazy

I find it almost impossible to just sit. I have to stitch and I need it to be something that I am passionate about. When I am not stitching I have to be thinking about stitching, about watching something gorgeous come alive to keep me motivated to stitch. That's why I have had my most successful year of finishes. So this isn't to say that Peacock Tapestry isn't going to get done, I am sure it will. It just didn't feel right, struggling to get everything organized, the fabric disaster, the debate over replacing the fabric, working with highlighters instead of stitching was frustrating... it just didn't feel right. I NEED to stitch to stay relaxed (I am a bit intense lol) and I was spending far too much time getting it going. So back into the UFO folder she went. For now.

I survived my first real day working at my LNS. Then I went crazy. While tidying the shop I spotted Celtic Banner hanging on a peg. One copy. Then a former employee came in talking about how MOST Mirabilia's have been discontinued (which freaked me out and ended up being a mis-understanding). I got to thinking about how I have always wanted to do Celtic Banner and how frustrated I would feel if it was discontinued. Another staff member said "Oh we could stitch it together! I have my own copy!". So at the end of my shift, I snatched it off the wall and bought it. I also bought the fabric strip. Then I came home and started it. That's how things that are destined to get made work. No hassles, they just start.
To my friend Dani, I so admire your patience to have finished Peacock Tapestry. I will get it done one day and when I do I will implement your needle minder strategy. Did you know that if you Google Celtic Banner, eventually your site comes up!? It's just too wierd, we have the same taste in stitching! I can't wait to see you on Sunday!
To my wonderful hubby, I am sorry I spent more money this close to Christmas on stash. Just so you know, I am still planning on getting Cirque des Cercles but you will probably be able to wrap it and put it under the tree. Apparently now that I am 'staff' the copy that I understood was mine is now available to the general public on Sunday :(

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Yup, I'm completely crazy

Today I start my new job. I am incredibly nervous though I probably shouldn't be. I've known some of these women for 10 years! Anyhoo, I need to hurry so I am not late for my first day, it's snowing and I want to allow for extra driving time.
Yesterday was the WORST stitching day! I did get over to Michael's to see if they had Floss-Away bags and they did not. They have a pitiful needlearts department, which is probably a good thing for my LNS but not so good for me. Maybe I'll find some today. Anyways, I started stitching. I figured I'd sort my messy threads as I go, that way I'll actually get some stitching done instead of spending the day sorting. I marked my chart for the colour I was going to do, did it, marked the chart for the second colour and started that one. Halfway across I saw a mistake on the first colour. Finding a mistake early in a project is no big deal, better to have found it and rip now than later right? Then I got a brilliant idea. I would grid my fabric. Only I did it in pencil. Right on the fabric. It was then that I realized the top pencil line was completely exposed, there would be no stitching covering it eventually. ARRGGHH!! I know BETTER than to make such a stupid mistake! So I decided to rip the border and shift the entire piece up about 20 threads. Ripping and ripping, even in my dark livingroom I could see the hint of pink left on the fabric after ripping out burgundy thread. Guess what? Now I need new fabric too. Fabric and Floss-Away bags. Sigh... I'm never going to bring home a paycheque if I spend it all at work.
No picture today I am in a hurry. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 26, 2007


I have decided to go ahead with my UFO, Peacock Tapestry. I really do love this piece but the burgundy border turns me right off so since I have finished the actual tan/gold border and very little of the burgundy part I will hold off making decisions about it until the inside is done. That being said, I am worried that I won't be able to rip out the border if the inside is done... I would replace the border with a mat anyways so I am sure whatever happens to that fabric would be sufficiently covered. Here's what I've got so far, one BIG mess. I picked this up as a kit many years ago, before I became a 'serious' stitcher and I guess I have grown up since then. Today I would never leave my supplies in this condition! I have no idea yet how I am going to manage this mess but I will figure it out. I am thinking Floss-Away Bags (aka Ziploc Sandwich baggies with holes!)? Anyways, in the interest of keeping track of my progress here's a picture of where I am at today:
I have my working copy made, my highlighters handy and as soon as I get back from the grocery store with ziplock baggies I am starting, thank GOD I have Mondays off! Dani, I might need your help figuring out what that bundle is... it's not labeled!
Wish me luck and have a great day :)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

Finished! I need to check the basement but I might just have the right fabric to make this into a nice big stitching project bag. I'll post a picture of it as soon as I've dug it out of that box... one of 15 boxes I will have to dig through! Hopefully having this to motivate me will enable me to pick the sewing machine up off the floor of the dining room and get those things that need mending done too. It's been there for 5 months. I guess I am going to make a decision about my Ottawa Sampler and get it done now, it would be nice to frame and hang it by Christmas, but I have budget issues to deal with ;)

On another happy note, I will be taking a wild leap into employment... my LNS (which is one of my webdesign clients) has asked me to work in their store, part time. Not having worked retail in 15 years, I am nervous but excited at the same time. I start Tuesday. Wish me luck!?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monkeys Monkeys Everywhere Monkeys

Tada! My monkeys are finished! I just need to add the captions etc and then I am really looking forward to making this into a tote bag. Now I start the hunt for a pattern! Stay tuned!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Purple Woe

Hi everybody!
I am sorry, I have been too busy settling back in at home to post anything. Which isn't to say that I have anything to post, I just wanted to let you know where I've been. My purple monkey ended up being ripped out, I really wasn't happy with the dyelot that was in my kit. I ended up buying a different shade, swapping Purple Iris for Hyacinth. Here are the manufacturer's images of these 2 shades, there's not much of a difference:

Purple Iris Hyacinth

Here is a photograph of the 2 shades I have here in the house, see a difference now?

I want to make sure you understand, I am not in any way complaining about the wonderful gift I received from my boss or the floss manufacturer. I just want this project to be the best it can be and dyelots can be off sometimes. I am very much enjoying stitching this, the rhythm of the needle completing each stitch as I go is a nice break from Flower Power (not to mention working with 2 strands I can railroad again!). Lastly, not having to change thread colours constantly and dig in the floss box is nice too. The satisfaction of completion... I don't have to tell YOU how good it feels to finish something! I am pretty sure I will finish up the monkey business by the end of today, so hopefully I will have a pic for you tomorrow! Have a great day and let me know if you are stitching something fun!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I See An Orange Monkey

Well I am a day late but better late than never. Now that I have taken a photograph I see a small mistake but it is an easy fix (the small straight stitch that defines the orange monkey's nose is one row too high). I am into the city tomorrow for work... not expecting to finish Mr. Purple before the end of the weekend, but you never know so keep your eyes peeled for monkeys!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Country Life

Today is another day in the country, I'm still at my Dad's. He's off working today and I am left to my own devices. I have some fantastic photos I want to share but on a dialup connection it would prove too challenging. For some reason, Blogger isn't properly coding the ones I do share and they aren't opening full size (I will fix them once I'm back on highspeed). Here are 2 of my favourites, just to keep you occupied. Tomorrow, a piece of a purple monkey and maybe a finished orange monkey. Until then...

Heron At Waters Edge

Sunrise On The Ottawa River

Sunday, November 11, 2007

1/3 Retreat Finish

I stitched longer than I usually would to finish my blue monkey, he's the "I Hear Nothing" one... moving on to the purple one. See you soon...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I See A Blue Monkey

Good morning! Check out the picture, see anything new? I am loving this Q-snap stuff. Why didn't anyone TELL ME how wonderful they are?! The hoop I picked up a few days ago left a dirty circle mark where I was holding it, there is a downside to stitching in a dirty environment. I washed my hands before picking it up but... dirt is everwhere out here. Oh well, I'll find a way to get it clean but if you have suggestions for washing a non-colourfast project, let me know? I have made progress on my 'What Happens At Retreat', perhaps not as far along as I would have liked but it's progress nonetheless. I am planning on spending today in bed, stitching. Keep your eyes peeled for more monkeys... and have a very nice day.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Happy Dancing

For those of you that don't stitch, upon completion of a project stitchers do a 'happy dance' much like the lottery happy dance you see on the TV commercials. Here's my finished Ottawa Sampler (with changes, as usual!). I am not sure I am 100% thrilled with the 'Ottawa' line, it sure looks like something is missing on either side. The designer went to considerable lengths to balance the piece from side to side and I feel bad that I've changed it so I was wondering... do you think it would look better if I used backstitching to connect the vines from the pumpkins to the branches of the flowers? Or what about the upper portion of the RCMP officer? One on each side? I didn't want to take him out in the first place!
Finished Ottawa Sampler
Since uploading photos via a dialup connection is TORTURE, I will add more once I'm back in the city. Until then, have a wonderful day.

(One more note: I wanted to mention to Dani that I appreciate your comments, I only just got them today because for some reason Gmail did not deliver them to my Outlook inbox... so, thanks Dani! I will let you know about joining your CDC/Paradigm Lost SAL when (if) it arrives at the store and I see if I can afford another new start! Glad to see you here...)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The View From Here

The View From Here
Yesterday I hinted at the view I am being treated to while being at my Dad's (long story), so even though the upload time on dial-up is probably going to make my hair turn gray I cannot deny you the opportunity to see it for yourself. I could also post a pic of my almost done Ottawa Sampler but you can just wait and enjoy this instead. Until tomorrow, have a lovely day!

Monday, November 5, 2007

New Start

In more ways than one today is a new start for me but I won't bore you with those details. Instead I thought it might be fun to mark the day with a new project start and a picture or two.

Here's my Ottawa Sampler by Jeannette Douglas. Almost finished. Yes, it probably looks different from others you've seen. As usual I have to make little changes, I am odd that way. This particular piece was supposed to say 'Canada's Capital' underneath the word Ottawa but it wasn't centered the way I like things. Also, just to the left of those words is supposed to be a horse, representing the RCMP musical ride horses, but again I found this to be wrong for me. All the musical ride horses are pure black and the little pony in the original was brown and would have looked off it I had changed it to black. Lastly, to the right of the now absent words was an RCMP officer, which I didn't really want to take out since my step-grandfather was in the RCMP but again, it would have thrown the piece off balance. Spaz suggested the modifications and I agreed they would work well so... I am quite happy with them. (edited to add: there are seed beads missing still and beside the word 'Ottawa' is a small maple leaf button. Hopefully I've centered the word properly, we'll see)

I recently attended my LNS's retreat, and I had enough fun I could have blogged about it in 3 or 4 posts but I just haven't made the time. I'll take a second to mention my new friend Dani, whose blog link is in the right hand column of the page. Black Belt Stitching Wizard indeed! Check out her blog, she's quite an artist! My work pales in comparison but maybe she'll teach me a few things? Anyways, I brought up retreat because while we are there we are lavished in many ways (FOOD!) but this time we received a special gift, a kit and pattern designed by the LNS manager herself and I just adore it. I have decided to go ahead and make it, but instead of framing it when I am done I am going to make it into a panel on a stitching bag. I need a bag big enough to hold the Flower Power project, those scroll bars are just too big for any of my other bags and I carry that project around in a pillowcase when I travel. Seeing as how I have so many more BAP to do when Flower Power is done, I know I'll get years of use out of that bag!
Here's a picture of the finished one followed by my small start. I bet I get it done this week, so stay tuned and I'll post lots of pics!

Have a super day, you wish you had the view I've got right now! I am on dial-up so this afternoon I am taking a walk in the woods and will post pictures if I can...

Friday, November 2, 2007

WIP Challenges... and some new stash on the way!

This has been without any doubts my best year for 'finishes' and I think I've figured out why. As far as I know, I have roughly 20 projects on the go at any given time and while some are deemed completely as UFO's, other become the focus for months at a time and I usually have 2 or 3 nearly done at any given time. So, bearing in mind that the more I have on the go, the more I finish I have decided on 2 new starts, I just need to get them kitted up and going. I am also considering swapping scroll bars to Qsnaps, if you have an opinion or a cheap source for Qsnaps, drop me a line: missbehavin036atgmaildotcom remove the at and the dot. Here are the 2 new starts I've picked, I might just be insane:

Cirque des Cercles by Ink Circles stitched
Cirque des Cercles by Ink Circles

Cirque des Cercles by Ink Circles beadedCirque des Cercles by Ink Circles

Yes, you read correctly. I said BEADED that on second pic. With a 247 x 185 stitch count, apparently it comes in just shy of 20,000 stitches. That's 20,000 beads. Done with Delicas. I haven't priced them yet, so we'll see how it gets made. Either way, the pattern WILL be added to my stash, it's been ordered.

Dragonfly Happiness by Leisure ArtsDragonfly Happiness by Leisure Arts

It is sitting in a folder at my LNS waiting for me and I feel I must explain my choice for this one. Inside this leaflet are 3 different patterns, 2 of which I recently saw finished and framed. As usual, it's hard to appreciate a pattern but once you've seen it stitched... well, you'll just have to wait and see for yourselves. I'm thinking of doing them on black, and tiny. A nice trio for my entranceway.

I have a fondness for BAP (Big Ass Projects) don't you think? Here are some photos pf projects I have always wanted to do but just couldn't bring myself to...

Nova by Genny MorrowNova by Genny Morrow

The Princess And The Pea by Marion ScoularThe Princess And The Pea by Marion Scoular

Autumn Winds by Heaven And Earth Designs (own it!)Autumn Winds by Heaven And Earth Designs

Erus by Heaven And Earth Designs (own it!)Erus by Heaven And Earth Designs

I am very ambitious but I don't think in a lifetime I could stitch all this stuff. There's more I could show you, OH GOD is there ever but I have to run. Have a great day and if you are stitching something fun drop me a note about it!