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?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Desginer of the Month: Lynne Nicoletti

This month's designer is Lynne Nicoletti.  I have known Lynne for many years and have always admired her unique and original designs.  She was one of the first to release Canadiana themed designs, and her Bluenose Dime, Loon, MacDonald Maple Leaf, and Maple Leaf Collage are still as popular as ever.

Another popular design series are her Hidden Images.  Every time you look at them you see something new.  And if you are unable to spot them all, Lynne is kind enough to point them out and explain their meaning within the design.

Her newest series that truly speaks to me is her Seasonal Inspiration.  Each design has a border of images unique to that time of year and features a tree in the centre.  I have a love of trees, as can be concluded from my own Tree Sampler Series

So whether you are looking for regular cross stitch, or a design that incorporates specialty stitches such as blackwork, then give one of Lynne's patterns a try.

While visiting the shop or her designer page on our website, don't forget to ask for her FREE design for our Designer Collaboration Sampler. 
 Only one more designer remains, and that will be Lorene Salt in November.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Long Tall Santa

This Saturday, September 20th, is our first workshop of the season. Open to all levels this beginner cross stitch class is being taught by Michelle Edmunds.  Michelle is our Designer of the Month and she will cover cross stitch, backstitching, french knots, and working with different fibres.

There is still time to join Michelle for this workshop and finish her folksy Santa in plenty of time for Christmas.
Once the Santa is complete, you can then join one of our Ornament Finishing classes later on.

So drop by this Saturday to either join the workshop or Meet the Designer.  Michelle will be in the shop as of 12:30 pm, and don't forget to pick up her Free pattern, the next added to our Designer Collaboration Sampler.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Designer of the Month - Michelle Edmunds of Great Bear Canada

Together with her husband, Michelle creates needlework projects that celebrate the things she holds dear.  The ideas come from everyday experiences such as going to fall fairs, dream-planning her garden, and her fascination of Celtic design.
Being graphic designers, Michelle and her husband have put an equal (if not greater) effort into the layout, presentation and quality of their leaflets,  with big, easy to follow charts.

Michelle's designs are composed of only full stitches, so they will also look great in petit point or needlepoint.  In fact I have always been fascinated with her "Source of Strength" design and wanting to needlepoint it as a pillow.  I am inspired with the saying and just generally love the layout of the design.

I am also quite taken with her Spirit Series.  She matches an element of nature with a single word.  I find the simplicity of these designs fascinating and inspiring.  Although one can cross stitch or needlepoint these patterns from the chart, Michelle also has this series available as painted canvases.

So whether you cross stitch or needlepoint drop by the shop during September to see Michelle's models.  Michelle has also donated package of Notecards for a prize draw.  With every purchase of one of her designs will earn you a ballot form for the prize draw at the end of the month.