Sunday, September 27, 2015

September's Ornament of the Month

The September mini stocking reflects the colours of autumn.  Stitched on orange canvas with alternating rows of elongated cross stitches, some of the canvas peeks through the rows adding to the overall effect.  The fibre colours also reflect autumn foliage.

I know the full blown colours of autumn are more visible in October, but the upcoming October mini stocking will reflect the colours of another October event ....



Sunday, August 30, 2015

August's Ornament of the Month

I know I'm a little late posting this, but I hope this cliche holds true- better late than never.
The older I get, the more I fall behind.  Where has August gone?  Where has our summer gone? I can't believe September is just around the corner, and with it go all the lazy days of summer.  Although, I don't feel like my summer reflects this cliche - my days have been filled with plenty to do.  Whether it was work, or family, very few days have felt like my own, and even fewer have felt lazy.
But, I also cannot say that I have not enjoyed my summer.  I have enjoyed getting out for more walks with my husband, and the last few months have also been filled with a few road trips.  I have  grown to greatly enjoy long road trips, as they provide me with time to catch up on some of my stitching.  And this summer I have managed to complete two "Road Trip" needlepoint projects.  Early August we drove down to Chicago for a family wedding, where we met up with friends and family we do not always see, and there have been a few road trips up to my Dad's cottage.  Although work at the house has been a little slow over the summer,  there is also our continuous renovation.  This September David is hopeful to be ready for the final heating inspection, after which I am hopeful he can finally put up some drywall and the place can get closer to being finished.

But, let's get back to the reason for this post - the Stocking of the month.  The August stocking ornament is composed of 3 different fibres, Pebbly Perle, Treasure Braid, and Velour.  The colours I choose reflect the colours of I see around me at the cottage, blue and green - water and trees.  The result I feel, is the same way I feel when I am up north- refreshing.    The kits have been available at, and there are still a few remaining. 

Hope all of you have had a great summer, and enjoy the remainder of it.
The September ornament has been inspired by the colours of Autumn.  Here is a sneak peek at the threads and canvas selection. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July's Ornament of the Month

On my last post I had given a sneak peek at the colours I choose for our July ornament, and here it is all finished.  The stocking was actually designed by Cynthia Thomas for this year's ornament collection by Rainbow Gallery.
There are 12 in the series, and although we're just starting in July, we will still manage to finish 6 in time for Christmas.
I loved this one for July, because the Ray stitches, with some added metallic and beads remind me of fireworks.  And seeing that we celebrate both Canada Day and Independence Day this month,  I felt it was an appropriate selection.

We have a limited number of kits, and the fibre and bead pack is $9.95.  These stockings are a quick stitch for canvas stitchers of all levels.  Click here if you would like to order the kit.

Here are the colours for the August stocking.  August being prime vacation month with dreams of spending time up north In the woods by water, the colour selection should be of no surprise.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

I'm back!

OMG, has it really been that long since I last posted on my blog.  It's not that I have nothing to say, so many things fly through my brain, especially when I am in the shower.  It's just that I never manage to get them down on paper, or should I say keyboard.
Earlier this month I attended the Columbus TNNA, The National Needleworks Assocation, with Monika.  This is a huge trade show for Knitting, Needlepoint, and some Counted Thread.  We had a great time touching base with many of our suppliers and seeing what they had new for the market.

It is an overwhelming and exhausting experience.  Visually you are bombarded with new fibres, both feel and colour selections; a multitude of fabulous hand painted canvases; finishing techniques, and finished models.  Logically I am confronted with the fact that I can not have it all in the shop and must make hard decisions based on space and what will appeal to our stitchers.

And then there is the sheer size of the market.  On the first day we didn't even complete 1/3 of the booths.  So on the second day we had to put it into high gear, and we did manage to peek at every booth.

All in all, I think we ordered some wonderful new patterns, and added some new must have gadgets and fibres to our inventory.
Some of what we had ordered is slowly trickling in, and just today the new Mill Hill kits for Christmas have arrived.  Visit our What's New page, as some have already been posted and the others will go up as they arrive.

I was also inspired with many needlepoint canvases and Rainbow Galleries pattern of the month collection.

As we had done many years ago, we will stitch up, finish and kit one of these patterns each month starting in July.

Here is a sneak peek at the colours and fibres we used for the first mini stocking.

Come back in July to see the finished project.  A limited number of kits will available in the shop and on-line.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Colour Sense

At the end of January I had tweeted about wanting to start the June pattern in the 2015 Cross Stitch & Needlework Calendar.  I had been looking for my next needlepoint project, and was completely taken with this design.  Although intended for cross stitch, but being composed of only full stitches, it would be very easy for me to needlepoint.
I converted the floss colours to tapestry wool and cut a 10 count mono canvas.  I went home that night quite excited to start something new.  Two weeks later I couldn't understand why I had not yet put needle to canvas. 
As I discussed this with a friend, she had pointed out that those were not in my usual colour choices.  I think  I had originally chosen the vibrant pinks and greens, to pull me out of the winter blahs and dream of a spring that still seemed far away.  However, having wanted to finish this pattern into a needlepoint pillow, I think in the back of my mind I could also not picture it anywhere in my home.  So I converted the colours to the colours I love - teal and muddy olive (usually referred to by me as puky) green.

I've been stitching every night since then.  This is how far I got on my first evening.  Viewing my progress in daylight the next morning, I was unsatisfied with the lighter two greens.  I continued with the flowers, but selected new shades of green when I was back in the shop.
It's now been 3 weeks and here is my progress.  I think that by the end of this week I will be done, with the stitching that is.

Stitching Tip:  The background was not composed of only one colour.  There are defined areas of 3 colours.  Rather than following each symbol and counting row by row, I  stitched the border around each area and then simply filled it in.  This is a great idea for several reasons.
One -  if you miscount, there is less to unpick and less fibre wastage.
Two - you only have to concentrate while stitching around the edge.
Three - when filling in each area, you can pay more attention to the TV, movie, or conversation.

This can be applied to smaller areas as well.  Try it on your next project.  If cross stitching, you can also only stitch the bottom stitch of your cross and later complete the stitches by going over them with the top portion of the cross stitch.  This is only a suggestion if working with solid coloured threads.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Chocolate... Resistance is futile

The following words of wisdom are not mine, but I have been known to quote similar ones.   I received these in an email from a close friend, and wanted to share them with all of you. 

These "45 lessons life has taught me"  were originally written by Regina Brett in Cleveland, Ohio to celebrate getting older.  She is now 90 and once again shared them with her readers. They are a great outlook on life, and definitely words we should live by.  With the hustle & bustle of our daily routines we tend to forget them.
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don't worry, God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19.. It's never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Here's another one I would add to the list
Friends are the family that we choose.

Wouldn't some of these look great in cross stitch / needlepoint?  My preference would be to needlepoint them into a pillow. I have charted one of these, and will add the chart to my "when I have time" or "when I'm retired" pile of patterns.

I have listed some fibre suggestions, but they are strictly suggestions.  Let your creativity soar and make it your own.  As for the buttons, Just Another Button Company has Chocolate treat buttons as does Dress It Up.  The later ones are wearable shank buttons and will not break, so they may be better suited for a pillow. 

We carry both button lines in the shop.

Here is the package that I would use.  It is by Dress It Up buttons, #6544 "Decadence" (how fitting)

This package is only $3.95 

If any of you beat me to stitching this chart, I would love to see it. 
And if you have any other words of wisdom, please share. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone.  May 2015 be a great year and bring you everything you are hoping and wishing for.  Hoping the year brings both small and large pleasures that warm our hearts, bring a smile to our face and that we appreciate and are content with everything we have.

Over the past few days, I have found myself not only wondering of what the new year holds, but also looking and reminiscing over my past.  Yes, just as most people, I have encountered both ups and downs, but through them all I have never questioned the love of my parents.  With my mothers death, I have already shared much of her with you,  including my favourite photo of the two of us in my August 7th, 2013 blog.

I also have such a photo with my Dad.  This was obviously taken when I was quite young.  At the time it was just a day of fun in the playground with my Dad, my uncle (the photographer) and my cousins.  The women probably having kicked the husbands and kids out of the house while they were busy in the kitchen. Looking at the photo today, and knowing my Dad as the person he is, I see a man holding and supporting his child, protecting her from harm.  My Dad has always protected, loved and made me into the person I am today.

One of his most important life lessons to my sister and me was to always stand tall and be proud of who you are.

I know he is proud of me, I just hope he knows how much I love him.  He is honourable and proud, tough and loving, supportive, wise, and strong.

So my New Year's message to you this year is to forget all those silly resolutions which we break as quickly as we make them.  Instead treasure those that are close to you and love you for who you are.