Thursday, 12 June 2014

Trip to Toronto and narrowing down the WIPS

My work has an annual training conference in Toronto towards the end of May. Lucky for me, my best friend lives in Toronto - well I'd be luckier if she lived in Moncton here with me... But I always try to take advantage and stay in the city a little longer and spend the weekend with Sharon.  We get up to lots of trouble - mostly this involves beads, bling, chocolate and well...some real crazies on the public transit system.

While I was in Toronto our must stop was to BeadFX.  We probably spent well over and hour there picking out little treasures to add to our stash.  I really enjoy these embellishments and use them to enhance my pieces and make them unique.

Sharon, like myself is a huge Mirabilia, Nora Corbett fan.  She was working on Cassiopeia when I was visiting and I was working on Persephone.  Although, foolishly we didn't get a picture of us together, we did take a picture of our pieces together.  Of course, both of these projects are on Crafty Kitten fabric. Sharon's is on Nov 2013 Ltd. Edition and mine is on Apricot Blush. 

I also brought with me my Frosty Forest piece. I am caught up again and awaiting my next pattern from Colours By Lalena to arrive.  I also have some new Gingher scissors on order from Lalena with some other goodies.... let's just say we keep an open order going, shall we? Three more blocks to go!

Right before I went to Toronto I actually finished Abrabesco by Alessandra Adelaide Needlworks.  This is stitched on 32 count lugana Ice Princess by Under the Sea fabrics.  I used DMC 930, 932 as well as a Caron Waterlilly called Polar Ice.  My favorite thing about stitching this design was becoming more familiar with the designer. Alessandra is an active participant in her Facebook group and she loves seeing her work come to life in all colours and forms. She is a lovely, caring, engaged designer and I'm looking forward do doing more of her work in the future.

So right now I am still working on Persephone and I am working on Rosewood Manor Autumn Sampler as well. I am itching for a new start but I am trying to hold off because the Frosty Forest installment will be here soon and I have letter's J and K from Nora's new mermaid series coming.  I know my daughter Kailee is going to want me to do her letter "K" for her.  

I seriously need to update this blog more. I have so much I want to say and add but it always surprises me how much stitching updates I have to share with everyone.  Again, thanks for stopping in... I hope you enjoy the stitching and I will try to give more frequent updates from now on... xox

Thursday, 24 April 2014

"C" is for Chelsea

It has been a while since I last posted and I have made a bit of progress on various projects.  I actually have a finish to share! (YAY!)

This is Letter's By Nora - Letter C. I did this for my daughter Chelsea.  Chelsea is seven and she chose this fabric - High Noon by Sunny Dyes Fabrics of Youthful Hand Needleworks. I think this turned out really sweet.  It has a lot more back stitching than a typical Nora design, but it really made the design pop.

I used for the most part the called for threads, I did substitute the flower for a variegated DMC that I had. Chelsea chose this as well. 

I love this shot.  I like being able to see the blending of the colours on the fabric mixed with thread and beads.
Another pretty close up shot

I have also continued to do work on Persephone.  I have had a lot of fussy bits to do....her hair, her collar on her dress, the flower on her arm....glad to be done those parts. I think she is turning out really pretty and I am back to enjoying working on her again.

Persephone by Mirabilia on Dusty Apricot by Crafty Kitten Fabrics
Also, I really immersed myself into the AAN piece called Arabesco.  It is my first AAN and my first abstract design really. I am done the center part - which I chose Polar Ice Waterlillies by Caron.  I am doing the middle layer in DMC 930 and the outside layer will be in DMC 932.  This piece is being stitched on Ice Princess by Under the Sea fabrics.

Finally a little Easter treat for myself. I got some pieces framed. Our local framing shop will allow you to bring in store bought frames and put the pieces in for you! I picked up frames for these after Christmas with the intention of doing it myself, but I never got around to it.  So finally I dropped them off and a few days later I'm so glad I did! Here is Charlotte and Queen Mermaid. 

As you can see they sit nicely on the wall with my Red Lady Pirate.  

I am anxiously awaiting a package from Colours By Lalena which has a whole bunch of goodies for me to work on...mainly my Rosewood Manor Autumn Sampler, my next installment of the Frosty Forest and two new Nora Corbett patterns.  

Remember to just keep stitching and thanks for reading! 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Spring has sprung? Not where I live.

Happy First Day of Spring? Of course 03/20/2014 marks the official start of Spring but here in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada we are getting more weather coming.  It has been a long one.  Feels like forever since we wore short sleeves and sandals.

This picture captures my every feeling of weather related issues right now....

Bad weather often means good stitching though. I have made a lot of progress this month and have a finish to share!

This is Pamela Kellogg's 2003 Mystery Autumn Sampler. I call it the Bella Project. I am going to have it finished as a little wall hanging. Sewing isn't my strong suit, but I know a couple of really talented gals that can help me out!

Used DMC 823 for the border instead of suggested Gold Kreinik.  I love how it turned out!

This looks so much like my Bella! I changed the pattern eye colour from green to yellow to match my cat.

I loved doing these little stitches. They were fun and are absolutely adorable!
I also got the fourth instalment of Frosty Forest! I am loving working on this series so much. I got the pattern Wednesday, stitched the border Thursday and binge stitched Friday and Saturday until I was done the block. It is adorable. I can't wait to get my next pattern from Colours by Lalena

Frosty Forest by Country Cottage Needleworks stitched on 32 count Foggy Morning Opal linen by Crafty Kitten. 
Of course, I have been working on my other pieces as well. I am enjoying having a rotation. I seem to get more done this way! Here is my current progress on Letter C by Nora: 

Letter C by Nora Corbett stitched on High Noon by Sunny Dyes
And my Persephone by Mirabilia:

Persephone by Mirabilia stitched on Dusty Apricot by Crafty Kitten

I started a new one.... Arabesco by Alessandra Adelaide Needleworks (AAN). I'm excited to be working on this one.  I chose to use a combination of Polar Ice Waterlillies by Caron and DMC 930 and 932 on Under the Sea's Ice Princess.  I only have put about an hour into this so far...but I must show and tell!

So I still have lots to work on.  I am looking forward to continuing work on my WIPs and getting my Rosewood Manor Autumn Sampler in the mail soon. I ordered a fantastic piece of fabric for it from Leslie at Under the Sea. I can't wait to show you the floss toss! 

Enjoy your first day of Spring everyone! Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

March Madness!

Well February kinda flew didn't it? Good riddance. Where I live February is a messy cold dreary month - weather wise.

I have had lot of progress on various projects. My current rotation seems to be working well for me:

  • project at work to do at lunch hours - which is currently "Letters By Nora C"
  • project at home during the evenings and weekends - which is currently "Persephone"
  • project I work on as the patterns come in - which is "Frosty Forest" by Country Cottage Needleworks
  • project to work on with my Stitching Sista's - which is "Autumn Sampler" by Pam Kellogg (Bella project)
Here is an update on "Letter C"  or as I call it "Chelsea". Chelsea is my seven year old daughter.  When I suggested I could make this for her she was quite excited about it! She also chose the fabric, which is called High Noon by Sunny Dyes.  Interestingly enough this past week I had been doing some research on my kids and their Love Languages. Chelsea main love language is a split between Quality Time and Gifts.  I never really made the connection before but Chelsea most certainly shows love through giving gifts and getting gifts. That doesn't mean always cash value - Chelsea often will leave a note in my pocket that says she loves me or bring home a pretty rock that made her think of me.  I find this very interesting because she is so engaged in this project. She wants to see it, touch it and she asks how it is progressing.  To her, having me making her a gift really fills up her love bucket.  Fascinating! If you have never done the Love Language test I recommend you give it a try! 

Letters by Nora "C" or Cassandra 
Also, I am very excited and loving my Frosty Forest project. The patterns are being released on a monthly basis.  Although the fourth one was just released I only have the three at this time and I am caught up to date. This is a fun, cute project.  I am really trying to branch out in my stitching this year and I'm very glad I started this one up.  This project is stitched on Foggy Morning by Crafty Kitten in 32 opal linen. I can't wait to get the next pattern that is on it's way from Colours By Lalena! The designs are a blend of DMC and usually one or two colours of specialty threads which create a nice variegated effect and an adorable button by Just Another Button Company. 

Frosty Forest by Country Cottage Needleworks

Finally, an update on Persephone. Wow - this one is something special. I am so proud of my work on this. I finally finished the background on the top.  I still need to work on the hair, but is has so many colour changes I made a bargain with myself that I will add on colour every time I sit down to work on her and allow myself to work on other sections as I go along.  The variegated silks are Caron Waterlilies and by far one of my favorite things to work with. I am very pleased so far with my fabric choice, which is Dusky Apricot 32 murano by Crafty Kitten.

So I thought this would be a good time to review my 2014 Wish list and see how I'm doing for pace....
Green is in progress, Yellow is still intend to do it, Red is off the table for now....

Top 10 Stitchy wish list for 2014....

1. The Frosty Forest 
2. A 5 person Mirabilia Round Robin with Friends
3. Autumn Seasonal Fairy ** COMPLETED
4. Summer Seasonal Fairy
4. One large new Mira not yet started **Persephone
5. One small Nora Corbett not yet started 
6. Finish my existing 3 patterns (Azure, June's Pearl, Charlotte)
7. At least one Littlehouse Needleworks or other pattern
8. Letter's by Nora "C" for Chelsea
9. Letter's by Nora "K" for Kailee (waiting for Mermaid version to be released)
10. Any new start I want when I feel like it! 

To this list I will add - I want to add an Alessandra Adelaide Needleworks (AAN) pattern for this year. I have ordered a pattern called Arabesco.

As for number 10... well I have decided to really branch out when I fell in love with Rosewood Manor's Autumn Quaker. I ordered the pattern and threads from Lalena and I even started a facebook SAL for it.  Feel free to join us on Facebook! I can't wait to work with the valdani's!!!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Autumn Glow, Frosty Forest and other updates

Nothing is better this time of year, given our terrible cold and snowy weather, than nice long blocks of stitching time.  I just collected my updates for this blog and realized I look pretty productive - stitching wise - but I have terrible weather to thank for that.

Yay! First finish of 2014 is here.  Miss Autumn Glow is done.  She is stitched up on Mystical Garden Opal by Crafty Kitten.   She really stitched up lovely. I decided to do her wings over 1 thread - but I still got great coverage - just a little more opaque.  I also used a glisten gloss with the darkest two yellow colours in her wings - very subtle but added a bit more shine.  Her beads are lovely - although there were about 3 colours of brown/orange that really could have just been one colour because they were so similar.

Added a little face. Love the mill hill treasures but I find the leave a tad big - if I hadn't of bought the bead pack I would have skipped them....

Wings stitched 1 thread over 2 but they still covered really well!

The other side!
Pretty little Autumn Glow Fairy.....
I have started keeping a project at work - which was Autumn Glow - so I'm ready to start another. I was going to do another seasonal fairy right away but my seven year old daughter has been asking for "C" from Letters by Nora.  Chelsea chose some very interesting fabric, but I think it will look really good because the pattern is a solid background. This is my floss toss on Sunny Dyes High Noon.

Finally I wanted to show off my other projects that are in rotation. I am working on Frosty Forest by Country Cottage Needleworks. I have my first block done - Raccoon Cabin. This is being stitched on Foggy Morning Opal 32 linen by Crafty Kitten. I have most of the 2nd block done and the third is en route via Colours by Lalena.

Also I have an update on Persephone. I tend to work on this when I have larger chunks of time - like Hockey games.... She is coming along beautifully, in my opinion! She has a face - courtesy of the Superbowl. I am not really looking forward to all the confetti in her hair but it will be beautiful when I get there!

I had the privilege of going away for a retreat with six friends over the weekend. We started a project for that weekend and subsequent get togethers. I chose the Autumn Mystery Sampler from Pam Kellogg - which looks very much like my cat, Bella. Here is what I got done (Sorry for the blurry photo!)

Getting away with friends is so much fun and such a privilege.  Thanks to my ladies for lot of laughs...LOTS of laughs.  I look forward to getting together with them again soon so we can finish up our projects!

Friday, 31 January 2014

January - it's a wrap

January 2014 - done, over, gone.... I can't decide if it happened fast or slow.  No, it was slow. It was a long month.  I felt very busy most of the time. I did get some stitching done, mostly thanks to sports on TV - so I do have some stitching updates that I can share.

I am still working on Fairy Autumn Glow by Nora Corbett. She is being worked on at lunch hours at work now.  I have the dress completed and I'm working on her wings. I have decided to stitch the wings with 1 thread instead of 2 and I have added some glisten gloss for sparkly effect.

I have started to work on Frosty Forest by Country Cottage Needleworks. This is a series of nine patterns that feature adorable little animals of all sorts. I started with Raccoon Cabin. This project is stitched on Foggy Morning Opal linen by Crafty Kitten.

 Finally, I have decided my large Mirabilia start for the year will be Persephone.  To me, this pattern really embodies the brand of Mirabilia - she is regal, beautiful, amazing colours...and a first by Mirabilia this pattern features gorgeous wall paper behind Persephone which is stitched in variegated silks.  After looking at about ten different fabrics I chose Apricot Blush by Crafty Kitten to stitch her on.

Progress 01/30/2014 - photo colours are washed out.
The background is slow going - and I frogged a bunch - but I love the effect and I am already proud of this project. I can't wait to get more into it!

Next week I am going away for a weekend with friends to stitch and I am sure I will have a lot more to share. I have my Pam Kellogg kitty all ready to go for a fresh start for that weekend.

Thanks for taking a peek!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Independence Day

This is a stitching blog - but it is my only blog and today I want to use it to tap out some thoughts.  You see today is Independence Day.  One year ago today, on January 14, 2013, me and my two little girls got dropped off at the airport and boarded a plane to leave Calgary and return home to New Brunswick and start over again.  This day is feeling a tad odd. I'm feeling strong and powerful and accomplished and yet a bit melancholy.

Myth: One year ago today I thought I had lost everything.

Fact: One year ago today I reclaimed myself.

One year ago today was an odd day - not only was I travelling solo with a eight and a six year old but it was the day I got to meet my best friend in person for the first time.  Let me explain... Facebook has allowed me to make some amazing friends. Friends that my connection and trust runs deeper than with some people I have met in real life - these friends are scattered over the corners of the world - Australia, Sweden, North Carolina...and Toronto to name a few. Lucky for me, Toronto was where I had a four hour layover.

Sharon took a day off work and allowed her grandson to take a day off school to come and meet us at the airport that day.  I needed her so badly. I might have looked like I had it together that day but I was falling apart with uncertainty.  Seeing her just really was a relief - she was so familiar and comforting and it wasn't at all like a first meeting.  She did the kindest thing by just being there, but she also brought gifts. She gave me my Pandora bracelet.  She said it represented new beginnings and I really do associate my bracelet with a fresh start and it represents everything I love - my family, my friends, myself... I cherish it but not nearly as much as I do the friendship that brought me through all of this.

Me and Sharon 01-14-13
What do besties do at the airport? Sniff fabric in public - that is right...we do! (Had to involve stitching somehow or I wouldn't be able to put it in this blog)
It was too short a visit but lucky for me every year through work I get to spend a week in Toronto and this year I was able to spend a few days with Sharon at her house before coming home. I will get to do the same this year in May. I know there are other friends that really wanted to be there that day and would have if they could. I even missed a phone call from Sweden while in the air! xoxo 

My life has come beyond full circle. Circle kinda indicates you are back to where you started. That isn't what happened to me. I experienced great growth this past year.  I have learned my true strengths and weaknesses.  I found who I am and what I like and love and want in my life.  I ask permission a lot less. I feel kinder - lighter - literally (I lost 20 lbs over this past year).  I'm a better employee - I think I'm a better mom.  I hope I'm a better friend. 

A few of my charms - green bead represents the little boys in my life, rhino is my totem, heart is with love from John, the pink represents the little girls in my life, the butterflies represent flying free and was from my mom...all my charms mean something to me. 
But, I'm not done yet. I have a way to go. Still need to make things all official and legal but none of that is the important stuff. What is important is learning to be yourself - accepting your flaws and weirdness and scars and saying "well here it is..." Let someone who sees it all love you. The result can be amazing. 

So, Happy Independence Day to me. Right now, I'm feeling less melancholy and more proud of myself. 

When I told John what today was he gave me a tight hug and just said "Welcome Home."  How perfect. xo.

Friday, 10 January 2014

New Year, New Mira

Welcome 2014! I am so ready to start this new year off. So many great challenges and wins happened for me in 2013 but I am looking forward to starting this year off fresh while being content, happy and in love. I want to thank you for stopping in and reading my blog and sharing my stitching with me. I do love stitching there is such a therapy about it that only stitchers really get.

Me in 2014 - happy and in love <3
I started off right away in 2014 with a new Nora Corbett project. I am doing Faerie Autumn Glow. I have chosen a gorgeous opal brittney by Crafty Kitten called Mystical Garden. I love the vibrant fiery colours of this fairy.  Here is my current progress with my stitching helper, Miss Bella

I am planning do do all four of these seasonal faeries on an opal fabric. Right now I am contemplating wings or no wings.... before I decide I am going to do the full dress and maybe even the beads to see how it feels.

Here are the mock ups I have for the other three fairies. Thanks for help from the Design and Fabric Viewer I was able to find fabrics that I feel coordinate well.

Mock up of Spring Fling on Crafty Kitten Peach Sorbet

Mock up of Summer Love on Crafty Kitten Glacial Ice

Mock up of Winter Dreams on Sunny Dyes Sugar Plum Fairy

Now I have to say the viewer does not have an accurate photo of Sugar Plum Fairy by Sunny Dyes - here is a picture of the actual fabric I am going to use....eventually.

Sugar Plum Fairy - has sparkles painted into the fabric vs. an opal which is weaved through the fabric

After Autumn Glow I would like to start another full size Mirabilia.  I am teetering between Lilly of the Woods and Persephone.  I also have plans to go away and stitch for a weekend coming up with some friends. We are going to do a new start on this weekend away and only work on it while we are together. I believe I am going to start a design I was gifted for Christmas by my friend Katy with a design by Pamela Kellogg called the 2003 Autumn Mystery Sampler... which looks very much like my Bella! 

Thank you Debi R for posting your work - found this photo on Pinterest - hope you don't mind I borrow it! xo

Do you enjoy stitching Mirabilia and Nora Corbett designs? Join me and my friends on facebook in the
Mirabilia - Nora Corbett Group or Pick A Pixie! Nora Corbett Pixie SAL (for any smaller Nora designs) to share your work and see what others are up to! 

So for now, thanks again for reading my blog and just keep stitching....