Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Back on the blogging train

Bad blogger, bad, bad... I haven't posted in over a month.

Truth be told I have been settling into my new life out West.  I have made a few little hikes out into the mountains and it is so beautiful here.

I have been stitching and I did get some things done.  Let's just say pictures after Christmas shall we?

I did finish a stunning round robin - but I wanted to save the picture of the finished product for the owner. I will show you what I stitched though. I got to stitch Garden Beauty:

The good news about this being the last round in the Round Robin means that mine is coming home soon! I am super excited to get it back! I have signed up for another Mirabilia Round Robin for 2013 and it is going to be 4 patterns of 5000 stitch blocks - the one from this year was 8 patterns in 2500 stitch blocks.  Here is the outline that I chose.

The fabric is called Spring Breeze and is by Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie. I had some help in the layout of the design from a dear friend - and amazing cross stitch artist Tracy J. She has a great blog: Elegant Jewels of the Needle. The bee is from Mirabilia's Tree of Hope. The patterns I have chosen for this RR is Villa Mirabilia, Lady Hera, Crystal Symphony and Athena. 

I finally have started what is probably one of my favorite Mirabilia's ever. The very first piece of hand dyed fabric I ever bought (which was actually only January 2012) was for this pattern...and I just never started it until now. That pattern is Red Lady Pirate.  I love her. I have named her Charlotte (not to be confused with the pattern named Charlotte).  She is vicious and beautiful and very strong.  I started her around mid-Nov took a break to finish other things and here she sits today on Pacific Sunset from Sunny Dyes fabric

As you can see I have a fair bit done.  I love the Waterlilies silk - the water and the mountains. So amazing to work with and the effect is WOW.  I am doing her skin two threads over 1 in a tent stitch - which I'm just going to refer to as 1 over 1 or petite point from now on.  This is stunning. I don't know that I will ever do skin 2 over 2 again.  

I found out today that I won a prize! I have to brag - blogging is so much fun. I got to choose one of Nancy Turner's Christmas designs from below.  Her blog and store is called Victorian Motto Shoppe.  I have just discovered her not too long ago through her blog and I love the primitive stuff. I am completely in love with her coffee and spice bag kits.  Out of these I chose the Jolly Reindeer. Thank you Nancy! 

Well I better get back to stitching now... Thank you for being patient with me in putting up new posts....I really must do so more often! xoxo

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Get Rhythm

If you read this blog regularly  you will know I have had a terrible time finding my "rhythm" on my "Rhythm" Muse by Nora Corbett.

She is stunning. The colours are fantastic - my fabric was fantastic. She started so fast out the gate and full of promise and then...........Nothing. Lost her mojo. Couldn't get it back. I would do tiny little pieces at a time. I uploaded songs with the word rhythm in them to listen to as I worked - it just wasn't happening.

So she went away for awhile.  Now, I was desperate for a new start and I am not a serial starter by most standards. I had Dressmaker's Daughter on the go. I am working on Farmer's Market, I have my Round Robin's and then Rhythm.  I knew I couldn't possibly start another without finishing one.  So I set off to finish Rhythm.

I frogged and redid  the back stitching 3 times because the colour wasn't working - then the fabric puckered and pulled. When I was finally satisfied I only had beads left to do.  That honestly wasn't too bad and I got that done in one sitting.

The piece was stitched on 30 count Weeks Dye Works linen in Tiger Eye - gorgeous.  But after all the pulling and frogging - the fabric looked fuzzy and gappy. So I decided to give it a bath.... Yeah, great idea. First time I try to wash something the dye runs like a mo-fo.   The water turned immediately orange.  Just one more F-up to this pattern.

Bad news, the dye ran and turned my bright vibrant colours to a muted version of itself. Good news, the piece dyed equally so it doesn't really look like anything went wrong. It looks more anitqued version of Nora's vision.  I am horribly disappointed to lose the bright vibrant coloured effect of this pattern, but the end result is still quite stunning.

Without further ado, here is my Rhythm.

The pattern called for Mill Hill butterflies - gorgeous - expensive. These little fellas were $.50 a piece and the go great, in my opinion with the pattern.

Very pretty beads! But ready for this - the damage - below is a picture of 162 next to the 162 in the piece after the "dye" job - or antiquing as I like to call it. Huge difference eh?

But all in all....

.... she is a beautiful addition to my Mirabilia family. Even though she really gave me a hard time!

Now that I have her in my back pocket it made way for me to start the pattern I have been longing to have since I got back into stitching - Red Lady Pirate! I can't wait to share her with you.  

Friday, 2 November 2012

November already? Where did October go?

Oh yes, October went west. I am officially home in Calgary Alberta.  It took us one full week of driving about 8 hours a day, but we made it.  We had 2 flats - one blow out on the U haul crossing Manitoba and a slow leak in my car in Saskatchewan.  The girls were very good.  Incredible little travelers really.

So here I sit - blogging away - I have a home office now - which I really love.  It is my little sanctuary in the house. I keep my work stuff in there, but also my scrap booking stuff - which I have yet to use and of course my stitching stuff.

I have managed to get some things done while I have been absent - let me show you....

First we have Dress Maker's Daughter by Mirabilia. I finally finished Spring - minus the beads.  This project is going to go away for a while. I have decided to make a new start before I begin the second half.  It is a lot stitching in this solid piece. It is beautiful but I hope not to see DMC 819 for a long time!

I stitched another RR block - this RR the owner asked we leave the beads off.  It is a beautiful and very interesting RR that doesn't stick with the conventional "cameos".  My block was from Mermaids of the Deep Blue.

I did start a new project. It is a Christmas piece called "The Spirit of Christmas" by Lynda Orme and it is from Cross-Stitch & Needlework 2010.  I am stitching it on a self dyed piece using DMC verigated #99 for the red. Incidentally, I ran out of the red and can't find it anywhere locally. Luckily, a friend from a stitching group offered to send me some! Thank you! When it is done, I plan on shipping it to my mom who is going to make it into a wall hanging. 

I also had a chance to try my hand at framing. This is my first time framing something so big and I am pretty happy with the way they turned out. I had these frames on hand.  So now Scent of Old Roses and Golden Girl Apples are on display in my home.

I also have a very well deserved, special finish to share with you - but she deserves her own post! I started working on Red Lady Pirate last night and I also have been preparing for my next Round Robin which is to start in January 2013. 

Thanks for taking a look!

Oh - there is a give away - wanna sign up? Go see Victorian Motto Sample Shop blog - tell them I sent you please! It gives me more entries.


Friday, 21 September 2012

Saying goodbye and new beginnings

Time is ticking away quickly.  I am moving from New Brunswick to Alberta in less than two weeks.  Every time I do something now, I wonder if it is my "last time".

I think I had my last time at my local needle shop today (LNS). This shop has been there for me since I moved to Moncton 10 years ago.  The store is called Because You Count.  I love this store.  The owners, Jeannie and Shelly have an amazing business - I love it there. You visit and you can shop and browse for hours - or sit at the table and have a chat as I have over many lunch hours.  All the staff is wonderful. They know me by name.

They don't have a website but they do mail out orders! Always a phone call away:  506-856-8282. Today when I said my goodbyes I was given hugs - it was hard not to have a few tears by me. As a stitcher, having their support has been so wonderful!

I took a few pictures to share with you all of my beautiful LNS - Because you Count in Moncton, NB.

Jeannie and Wanda behind the counter. Love you guys!

I really only needed a few flosses... but I bought myself a few treats. I have a very special group of four friends - so I got us each a small Just Nan pattern and a little lady bug charm to go with...and I indulged in an  extra package of JJ Petit's and I bought a Little House Needle Works pattern just because!

In case I don't get a chance to blog again before I move... I will see you all soon! I plan on being settled around the 3rd week of October.  

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Rose Celebration!

I just wanted a quick little update to show you the latest edition on my Round Robin.  This square is Rose Celebration - stitched by Tracy Griffin.

I am over the moon with how this is turning out overall.  The theme of "deep breath moments" is really coming together.  

I had some very big news this week. Due to some working circumstances surrounding my husband's job, we have decided to move to Calgary - in a month - leaving Oct 3rd - house sold or not. We are going.  It terrifying, a bit sad and exciting too.  We are only taking 2 small trailers of stuff with us.  

I haven't gotten a lot done on stitching because of this.  I did pick up my Farmer's Market for a change of pace and got some done there.  I also have a bit more done on Dressmaker's Daughter.  I will try to post new pictures soon. 

Because we are moving I am going to have a bit more cross stitching stuff to give away. I will try to post all of it here soon so I can get it out in the mail. 

Monday, 27 August 2012

Winter is finally here!...okay not really

I finished the Winter stitching on Dressmaker's Daughter this weekend.  I have decided for the time being to not add the beads because I think it will make it too heavy to stitch the other three dresses. 

Again this is stitched on 28 count Light Amaretto evenweave - most likely lugana. I did get a start on the Spring dress - but want a bit more done before I share a photo.

My family and I went away this weekend to my grandparent's camp. It has electricity - but no running water (yup Outhouse!). What a great way to get some peace and quiet and stitching time.  That is how I found the time to finish this.  It was such a great night that we are going to go back this week - but just hubby and me. I see stitching and naps in hammock in my future! We bought two hammocks when we were in Mexico our our honeymoon - 9+ years ago - first time using it was this weekend. It was so awesome though.

No the Rhythm didn't get me this weekend. *sigh* I have no idea when I will finish her. Really it is about me wanting to bead and I haven't felt like it lately - although I normally do love beading.


Okay - I owe you guys a give-a-way. I have reached 54 followers and I am thrilled with this! I love this blog - such a great creative outlet and I'm so happy I have some people that want to read it. So I am going to have a give away. I even know what I want to give away - but I don't have pictures.... so bear with me. This week. I promise!

BUT I do have another give away you can sign up for! I have a blog that I love to follow called "The Crafty Moo!" Sarah is having a huge giveaway because it is going to be her birthday. Stitchers are super generous friends - so I want to lead you over to her blog and give her a holler!

Just keep stitching everyone! Just keep stitching.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Rhythm is gonna get you

I have been half teasing - half not about having trouble finishing my Rhythm Muse. First let me say, she is stunning - her colours are fantastic. I still love her look. But I am not feeling it.  I have had to backstitch her 3 times. The first time it was a colour choice - the called for colour clashed with my fabric - the second time it just didn't look right - oh and I tried a 3rd colour. So it is in there - but it still needs some touch ups. I have some puckering I'm not happy with.

I am 99% done stitching her - the rest is beading. But whenever I pick her up I start to hear this....

No way, you can fight it every day
But no matter what you say
You know it
The rhythm is gonna get'cha

No clue, of what's happening to you
And before this night is through
Ooh baby
The rhythm is gonna get'cha

Rhythm is gonna get'cha
Rhythm is gonna get'cha
Rhythm is gonna get you
The rhythm is gonna get you tonight

Yeah- that is right - MIAMI FRIGGIN' SOUND MACHINE! Lord Help me.... 

So some of my Facebook girls - fellow minions - came up with additional songs to help me make a Rhythm play list - they include:
Get Rhythm - Johnny Cash
Rhythm is a Dancer - SNAP
Rhythm of the Night - El DeBarge
Hit me with your rhythm stick! - Ian Drury
Jump to the Rhythm - Jordan Pruitt
Rhythm of Love - Plain White T's.

So as you can see I have a healthy list of songs to play while I finish this girl.  I think the problem is I never named her - so we don't have a personal relationship (coo-coo, coo-coo - right?!)... Well I said, "Fine then! What is your name?"... Apparently her name is Barbara Ann.  I can't make this shit up.  If I were making it up she would have a different name - not that Barbara Ann isn't a good name - just doesn't conjure up "Muse fairy". So Barbara Ann and myself have a little bit of work left to do - but I will finish her! 

Barbara Ann is gonna get me! I am so close, yet so far away! 

Friday, 17 August 2012

Oh where, oh where has my little blog gone?

Oh where have I been these days? I just got back to work this week from a staycation. It was nice to have a week off with the family. It was very hot and dry -a perfect week to take off. We spent a lot of time in the yard. I did some reading and some stitching.

I primarily worked on Dressmaker's Daughter by Mirabilia. I did do a bit of stitching on Rhythm too - but she's lost her mojo... which is a shame really because I only have about 10 rows left in her wings and beads to do. I don't even have a picture for you... bad bad blogger.

However, I do have some wip photos of DMD.

Not too exciting, but it shows you where I am. It is a lot of solid stitching.  The blue wavy lines are Waterlilies and my first time using them. I really like using them!

I am itching for a new start though - I have the Red Lady Pirate calling to me!

I also wanted to show you a little stash I got a few weeks ago:

These are 10 Letter's by Nora patterns. I picked them up for $1 each!!!!!!! I know, I know I couldn't help myself. I found a LNS on line that was shut down and clearing out and she was selling these for $1 each - I emailed her and said I will take 1 of everyone you have left.

**OH MY! I noticed I have more than 50 followers! Thank you so so much for reading my stitchy thoughts! I am going to have a give away to celebrate! Stay tuned!


I wanted to take a moment to express my condolences to the family of Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum, especially her daughters which includes Nora.  Marilyn was a very talented artist and her legacy will live on through her designs for Lavender and Lace, Told in a Garden and Butternut Road.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Hawkins Hobbies: 5 Star Service

As you may know I am a Canadian - born, bred and raised.  So it may seem odd that I keep endorsing companies that are based in the UK for cross stitch supplies and fabrics.  But the truth is we live in a global economy - the internet has opened the boarders and lets us choose the best of the best in the whole world.

Recently, I have had the privileged of getting to know and work with a fantastic UK company called - Hawkins Hobbies.  Zarina Hawkins, the owner approached me a while back via Facebook at the suggestion of Kate - the owner of Sparklies (another fantastic UK company).  Kate suggested that I may be a good help in choosing fabric for Mirabila patterns.  

Zarina shop is turnkey - total package - super easy.  You pick what you want to stitch - they send you EVERYTHING - even the needles.  But many stitchers are moving away from the suggested fabrics and choosing a variety of hand dyed options. Zarina wanted to offer her customers the option of choosing alternative fabrics featured by three UK fabric companies - Sparklies, Crafty Kitten and Polstitches.  All three of these companies are of the highest quality. It makes total sense for Zarina to help her customer's think outside the box from the suggested fabric. 

This is where I come in.  It has been suggested I have a good eye for fabric colour when it comes to matching it up with patterns.  I do have a bit of pride in this.  Firstly, never would it be possible without the help of the Design and Fabric Viewer.  This allows me to overlay patterns over different fabric colours.  I have been choosing 2 fabric colours from each of the three companies to give Zarina suggestions to put on her website.

As a reward, which was unexpected by me, Zarina did the kindest thing. She let me choose a pattern as a gift.  I chose Red Lady Pirate.  I have been wanting this one forever.  I adore her. I can’t wait to work on her. 

NOTHING, nothing was as exciting and thrilling as getting my package from Hawkins Hobbies in the mail (and trust me when I say this – I get a good portion of stash in the mail).  The pattern, fibers, specialty threads, beads, treasures, fabric and yes – needles. All there. You can open and stitch immediately. 

I love entrepreneurs – small business owners are the key to the global economy.  Support them whenever you can.  They are smart, they are customer service oriented – passionate... I want to give Hawkins Hobbies a shout out because it has been a pleasure to work with Zarina and again I am still so blown away by the level of service and awesomeness of getting a fully kitted pattern in this way!  I encourage you to take a look at her website and support her and other small businesses all over the world!

Something is fishy....

In three more hours I am on vacation for 9 blissful days! I am looking forward to spending time with my family.  I don't think we are doing anything too fancy - just the way I want it!

This week I have been working on lots of different projects.  I started unofficially rotating things.... Never thought I would do it, but here I am.

This week I have started and finished by next RR (Round Robin) block.  This piece is Emerald Mermaid's Tail by Mirabilia on Tracy Griffin's Mermaid Tail RR (all tails are Mirabilia patterns by Nora Corbett).

Here is the full Round Robin

I also have done some work on Rhythm.  I took out the back stitching - I decided I wanted a better colour.  I haven't yet decided what to use - I'm thinking something around a 434? I also started working on the wings and the bustle is officially finished. I was particularly happy to get a compliment on my fabric choice from Nora herself this week.  Makes a minion shine to get a compliment like that! The colour of the fabric for reference is Weeks Dye Works, Tiger Eye - 30 count linen. 

Ah! But wait - there is more. I have also been working on Farmer's Market. I haven't done much on it this week but there is a significant change since my last photo so I thought I would show this one too. 

I also started Dressmaker's Daughter. I decided to go with the Light Amaretto but there isn't much to show yet. Just a whole lot of 211! I will save a photo for the next post. 

I also got my Crafty Kitten order this week. Four new fantastic fabrics. I am so pleased - again - wow.  Just great work by Dawn Munday.  I can't rave enough about Crafty Kitten fabric - if you haven't used one yet - get one and you will be converted! 

Two hours and fifty minutes left until vacation!..... tick, tock!  

Monday, 23 July 2012

Pleased to post... Peony Pixie

My Kreinik finally came in and I took the opportunity to finish Peony right away. She is so gorgeous. Love the bright and happy colours. I stitched this for my 8 year old daughter Kailee.  I have the frame ready to go but my husband used my foam core board to cover the window for the air conditioner...do I hear a trip to Michael's in my future?

With out any further ado, here is little Peony by Nora Corbett....stitched on 28 count Apricot Blush by Crafty Kitten.

What else is new on the agenda? I have been working away at Farmer's Market - still stitching in hand - still loving it. I am expecting to get my next RR to work on any minute - it is mermaid tails - so that should be a fun one to do.... despite all this I still have a hankering to work on a new start.... Dressmaker's Daughter by Mirabilia. Have you guys seen this? Wow. I have the floss, the beads, the pattern, the fabric  and today I finally got the Waterlilies. Very excited to have Waterlilies in my collection.  There are two Crescent Colours in there - that is for my Rhythm's hair. 

Now the only choice is what fabric - I have three contenders. One is Deep Teal, one is Deep Teal with a blue overdye and the third is called light Amaretto. Here is the Teal with blue and the Amaretto with the background colour for the dress boxes: 

I have gotten a lot of feedback from my Facebook friends and the vote is split. I am leaning towards the amaretto because I think it will be an easier colour to use in my decorating for the future once it is framed. Also another member in our Facebook group is doing it on deep teal - it is stunning - however, I feel I must be a little different. 

Today Nora generously showed us a sketch of a future project she is working on.  I am so grateful that Nora  feels comfortable and trusting in our Facebook group and loves her Mira Minions enough to show us a peek into her life.  Thanks Nora. We love you. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Update city!

It is odd for me to be switching around from project to project, but so I have been and so I have been enjoying.  I just really wanted to post some updated pictures! 

First up: I started "Farmer's Market" by Told in A Garden. I am stitching this as a companion piece to go with "Bird In Hand". This is for my mom.  Both pieces are stitched on 25 count floba in Oatmeal.  The fabric is thick and heavy.  Interestingly enough, I was struggling with the needles (my JJ Petites were feeling flimsy) so I am using a bigger needle and I started stitching in hand - and I love it.  I think it has to do with the fabric itself and I will still use my hoops for Mira's right now, but for this project - in hand it is!  

This is the beginning of Farmer's Market....

Here is the final product of Bird in Hand (not framed)....

I also got a very exciting update on my Round Robin today! It is 1/2 way finished. I am so pumped. It is so gorgeous. The girls are doing an amazing job! The theme is "Deep breath moments".... So far so good! 

Tanya did the block I chose from Spring Topiary Garden.  This was a last minute decision to add this pattern in and I am so glad. She is so pretty!

I have done some additional work on Rhythm - but I don't have a picture to post - next update! 

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

I got Rhythm....

Well as I sit waiting for my Kreinik to come in for Peony I decided to start Rhythm. This is a Muse designed by Nora. I love the colours in her and I couldn't wait to just jump in with two feet. I am using a wonderfully soft piece of Week's Dye Works 30 count linen in Tiger's Eye that was gifted to me by my bestie Sharon Attwells.

This design moves fast!
Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

See what I mean? She is so much fun to work on.  I am waiting on two speciality threads to do her hair.  I also finished a RR block too.  I was working on Melissa Miller's Pixie RR - which is adorable! Here is my contribution - I did Lavender - not very original on my part - but I did have all the supplies on hand:

The next RR I get to work on is Mermaid Tails! I am looking forward to that one. Should be blingtastic.

I recently got all the DMC and beads to start Dress Maker's Daughter. I am waiting on the Waterlilies but they are on order. I do plan on making that my next major Mirabilia start. 

I also got the fabric needed to start Farmer's Market - which is a Told in a Garden design.  (Oh my a non-Nora!) I do occasionally do non-Nora designs. I am looking forward to starting Farmer's Market and will work on it after I get Rhythm done.  So much stitching! So little time! .... but I got Rhythm....I got music
I got my man...Who could ask for anything more ?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Peony progress

Happy July everyone. Summer has been kind to me so far. I haven't been doing a lot of stitching per say - but a lot of planning, kitting and organizing. I can say after two long weekends away I have finished the stitching on Peony - well as much as I can for the moment. I am still missing some kreinik to finish the wing - it is on order at my local needle shop and I don't have my beads on hand - that will be a treat for later on this week.  So here she is for now:

She is stitched on 28 count Apricot Blush by Crafty Kitten.  So much prettier than this picture shows.  I love this colour fabric.

So what is next for me? I have a RR block to finish - the RR in my possession right now is a pixie RR and I think I am just going to do the Lavender block because I have the materials on hand.  My mother has also taken a great interest in my stitching and has asked me to do a Told In A Garden piece for her called Farmer's Market - this is a companion piece to the one I finished for her called Bird in Hand.  I also ordered all the materials for Dressmaker's Daughter! How completely exciting. I just feel like I have so much stitching to do! I can't wait to get started on something new!

I also wanted to point out my new tag on the left - It says Mira Minion.  What is a Mira Minion you ask? It's a little fun thing we came up in my Facebook group: Mirabilia Designs - Nora Corbett.  When the last design was released we realized that we were a little obsessive - or minion like.  Here is the definition: minion is a follower devoted to serve his/her master relentlessly. Okay - yup that is us. So therefore we decided to brand ourselves with it. I love Nora and all her work and I am happy to call myself a Mira Minion. 

Thursday, 21 June 2012

This and that...

I have been doing some stitching on my latest Nora Corbett creation since I finished The Bliss Fairy.  I decided to do a pixie for my daughter Kailee. She had originally chose Jade Blue, but I have the pattern on back order so I decided to work on Peony instead. I had been saving a special piece of Crafty Kitten Apricot Blush for this pixie.

She is coming along really well.  I did run out of Kreinik for her wing - Oh Darn! Another trip to the LNS (local needle store) - which happens to be Because You Count in Moncton, NB for me! 

I tried my hand at lacing and framed Lavender for Chelsea. I got a great deal at Michaels on three identical 8x12" frames - $5 each! So I snatched them up for my girl's bedrooms. 

Down at the bottom I added a little silver heart that I picked up the at LNS that says "Made with love".

I am working on round four of my eight person Mirabilia Round Robin.  I recently saw a picture of my RR and where it stands after round 3. I am very happy with the way it has turned out so far!  Thank you Stephanie and Sophia for making it so special so far! Stephanie did Stargazer, I did The Kiss and Sophia did a girl from Circle of Friends!  

I recently had my mom ask me to stitch her a Told in a Garden pattern.  I said I would, and that lead to her ordering two... and then she started looking at my friend Sharon`s finished Stargazer pattern and that was it - she fell in love. I am now going to be stitching Stargazer for my mom at some point. This is probably going to be around the first of August because we are waiting for the Picture This Plus Christmas in July sale - she has chosen Phantom for me to stitch Stargazer on. I think it will be stunning. 

I have no idea what I am going to stitch next after Peony. I have seven new patterns on the way.  (I know but they were all amazingly good deals!) For now, I will finish Peony and wait and see what pattern shows up in addition to matching it up with the perfect fabric!