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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas 2014

December has just flown by, and I can't believe my last post was before Gitta's Christmas Open House.  The Open House was wonderful, with many regulars and a few new stitchers dropping by to share the day with us.   Click here to visit my facebook page and see some of the photos I posted from that day.

I know not everyone is able to drop by the shop, so I would like to extend a small (although now belated) Christmas gift to everyone visiting my blog.  Every year, for the past several years, I have designed and kitted a reindeer, that we then gifted at the Open House.  Click here for your copy of this year's reindeer.

I hope your Christmas was festive, and memorable.  I hope you were able to share some special time with family and friends.  Spending time with those we hold near and dear in our hearts, is what the Christmas season is all about for me.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 5, 2014

Annual Christmas Open House


Gitta's Annual Christmas Open House
Saturday, December 6th, 2014
10am - 4pm

Looking forward to seeing everyone able to join us for some Christmas Cheer.
As in previous years we  will have nummies, goodies,and sales

As well as the reveal of my newest Reindeer ornament


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Our Front Addition

With it being 14 degrees Celsius today, it was the perfect day to scrape the stucco residue and clean the construction grime off our windows.  We are so pleased the way our front addition developed and it has completely changed the appearance of our house. 

This is a picture of what our house looked like back in May before we started everything; before we cut down my pine tree, before we dug up all the bushes, before the bricks and flagstone path were removed.






And here is a picture of what the house looks today, after I finished cleaning the windows.

Extending the front of our house seemed to drag on forever.  There was extra work in the front that we did not have to deal with in the back, and weather conditions were not as ideal as when we worked on the back.  In fact it was only last week that the new front door and the last of the fascia trim were installed. 


Just as our rear addition had begun, we first dug out the basement.  However, in the front we also had to dig out and break up the cement block that supported our walk-in bay window.  When David installed the bay window 20 years ago, we never thought that one day we would be doing all this. So at the time, to support the bay window he simply dug a whole (5 feet deep by 8 feet wide) and filled it with gravel and cement.

The garage also had to be under pinned. And before the footing could be poured an opening had to be cut into the, solid, poured concrete basement wall to connect the existing basement to the new. With the rear addition the basement was a block wall, much easier to cut.  A new sewer pipe with back-up valve also had to be installed.

Finally, we were ready for the brick layers to return and build the block wall.  Just as it was done in the back,  the blocks were filled with cement, the outer edge of the wall was waterproofed, blue shielded and wrapped.  The back-fill this time, however, was gravel.
One more step before the framers could get started was to build the frame for the cold room ceiling.  This was then filled with cement, 8" thick.  The cement had to cure slowly so not to crack.  So over a 5 day period we watered it every day. 

Beams were installed to support the new structure.  First in the basement to support the first floor, and then one to support the second floor.

Another set back with the front addition was the demolition of our old roof line.  In the back, David had done a lot of the demolition himself before we had even begun.  We also had more rain days over the course of the front addition, so much time was spent tarping the house.
But the framers did an awesome job and framed up both floors rather quickly.

Next was the roof.  With the two gables, the front, again, was much more involved.

With the size of the roof, and rain again looming, it was all hands on deck to ice and water shield the roof.  The shingling was then done sometime later, taking about 3 days. 
 
While the guys were busy on the roof, one of the brick layers was back bricking up the front and sides of the house.
Next was installing the remainder of the windows.  These all had to be installed before our stucco guy, Stan, could get started on the front.  He was busy with the back and sides while the framers were working on the front. 
We reused all of our front windows, having only to order 4 new windows for along the side of the house.

Our bay window will now be my Dad's, in his living room.


Stan seemed to manage attaching all the styrofoam base and applying the first coat of stucco.

October brought us a lot of rain delays.  The final coat of stucco needed 5 hours to dry, a day to cure and temperatures above 5 degrees Celsius.  With no other options, we ended up tarping the house yet again to take advantage of the warmer days.

The final coat also required more guys, as it must be applied quickly before it dries.  With Stan's crew, being busy on other jobs, they applied the final coat in the evenings.

Before the scaffolding was removed, the aluminum guys quickly installed the fascia trim, soffit and eaves-trough.  David also used this opportunity to install the soffit lighting.

With the installation of our new front door scheduled for the end of November, David had to remove our old door and re-frame the new larger opening.
With the temperatures being so cold, David had the brilliant idea to board up and insulate the entrance.  This way he could take his time, without worrying about the temperature outside.  The installers also appreciated working in these conditions.

With the front boarded up, the door was brought in through our side door,  This photo also gives you a glimpse of the construction zone that is still on the inside of our house.

After only a few hours,  here is our new front door.

Even though we were held up by weather through October and most of November, we are weather tight for the winter.  A few outside finishes will now have to wait until Spring, such as the final stucco coat (only cosmetic) and the fascia on the rear addition.  The front entrance also still needs the styrofoam attached and to be stuccoed. 


Phew, the same way I was happy to see the completion of he addition, I am also happy to finally finish this post.  What am I saying, the outside of the addition may be done for this year, but we still have much to finish on the inside and then there is still the landscaping. 
Oh well, one stepping stone at a time.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Stitching with Lorene

Wednesday evening, Lorene was in the shop teaching a Canvaswork workshop.  The project was her Chantilly biscornu.
Having brought some of their own fibre stash from home, we first worked on selecting our colours.  This was a lot of fun.  One even selected colours outside of her usual compfort zone, but it was right on target with mine.  I can't wait to see them all complete.

This image shows both the top and bottom of the Lorene's biscornu.  It's a great project for canvas stitchers of all levels.  I love how the colours are interwoven and layered. 

Lorene has been designing for several years, and she joins the greats in what she brings  to canvaswork. 
One of her newest designs available for sale is
Ave del Paraiso.  It shows off her insight in colour, stitches, and creativity.  Even the background is spectacular; it is subtle, delicate and intricate all at the same time.  The end result is  mesmerizing.

In one of her teaching pieces she combines colours, such as orange and turquise.  One would never think of combining these, yet they blend together seamlessly and look like they belong together.
Having Lorene's models up on display in the shop,  I find myself checking them out every time I pass by.

They will remain up until our Christmas Open House, so drop by and see for yourself.




Friday, November 7, 2014

Designer of the Month: Lorene Salt

Lorene Salt is an award winning stitcher, and her favourite medium is Canvaswork. She has been designing for over 5 years and enjoys watching a piece come alive through colour and texture.

She has completed the Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Canvaswork courses through EAC (Embroiderers' Association of Canada), and has also  taken many cyberclasses and courses through EAC and ANG (American Needlepoint Guild). Lorene has taught at the EAC Seminar in Regina in 2010 and at the CreativFestival in Toronto in 2011 and 2012.

Some of her models on display at Gitta's will not be released until after the National EAC seminar next year, so drop by to see these and her other designs.

Lorene has a vast knowledge of canvas work and experience of stitching with all kinds of needleart fibres.  She will be in the shop Wednesday November 12th for Stitch Night, and will hold a mini canvas work workshop from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, and share her insights.






Visit our workshop page at www.gittas.com for more details, or just call the shop.

While visiting Gitta's this month, don't forget to collect Lorene's contribution to the Designer of the Month Sampler.  This design is free of charge, but we hope that you will add some of her other designs to your canvas work collection.  All of her published designs are also available on our website.

Lorene is our final designer, and her design completes the Designer of the Month Sampler.  This has been an fun journey, and I am so please with the end result.  Didn't it turn out great?