Thursday, December 31, 2009

Almost 2010!

Happy New Year to everyone. First resolution - update blog more frequently!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Angus - a most excellent friend

I received some very sad and unexpected news from Judy, my sister, over in England. Angus, their beloved Red Setter, died very unexpectedly on Tuesday. He apparently had a tumour on the liver but gave no indication of illness, he was his usual happy, bouncing self up until Monday. He was the happiest and most friendly of dogs and he will be very much missed. He was thirteen years and one week old.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dye Lots.....and how they vary!

I have been stitching, very slowly, on this wonderful piece designed by Pelin Tezer using the Caron Waterlilies silk in the Navajo shade. I wanted to buy another skein to send to an online friend who had admired the colour so visited my local store. Can you see the difference, the one on the right is the new skein, that's not just a different dye lot, it's a different colour altogether, far more blue and none of the wonderful coral/terracotta shades! A good reminder to buy what you'll need for a project plus a bit more to be safe!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stitching with Sharon

A water taxi in AucklandImage via Wikipedia
I promised Sharon I would write a new post as the 4th of July one has been there so long and I'm sick of it, let alone the rest of you!

A lovely day today, sunny and in the 70s, perfect. I took the train downtown to visit Sharon, have lunch and stitch together. A water taxi along the Chicago River and then hopped off at Michigan Avenue and walked the rest of the way to her flat. What a delight this was, little bits of stitching EVERYWHERE interspersed with antique bits and pieces. A delicious lunch, good conversation and some stitching - I am set up for the week! Dear Sharon, thank you!
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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day 2009

Our 21st July 4th in the USA and a very quiet albeit pleasant one. We were supposed to go to a neighbourhood party yesterday but I was laid low with yet another migraine so spent most of the day in bed - what a dreadful waste of a day off! The weather is very cool and a little rainy which has put paid to some parties, I'm sure.

Today, having had the very best of intentions to clean the house, I've enjoyed a happy time with my passion - cross stitching! I've nearly finished a Just Nan piece that is late for an exchange but I'm *excused* by the moderator! I'm enjoying the piece much more than I thought I would, having never been particularly drawn to one of Nan's designs before. It has a lot of beads, some of which I will save for another project, I think.

My Mary Wigham from Needleprint came out of the basket too! I'm not sure how old she was when she stitched this wonderful piece in 1790 but I would imagine somewhere in her teens so she was probably born just around the time of the birth of the new country of what was to become the United States of America! For some reason, the picture won't rotate, it's the right way up in My Pictures but something happened to it on the way to the blog! I think the pale pink (on what should be the left side) has to go but perhaps I'll leave it for a while and see if it grows on me.

Drum roll, please....I give you the floss tag! Yes, I know, what was the fuss about, such a small piece of stitching! I still can't say I finished it, Himself did the deed and put in the eyelet while I cowered in the corner. Well, as usual I was late, no time to stitch another one, blah blah, but Lynda was gracious enought to say she loved it!

I've had these lavender plants for about four years now and I am always amazed and delighted when they survive a Chicago winter once again. I'm sure it is because they were grown in a greenhouse with excellent light and air. I took a horticultural class on green house production and had to grown ten different flats of seeds. these being among the most successful.

A couple more pictures of the garden, the monarda is out and the bees love it!

Goodnight everyone, sweet dreams!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mary Wigham, my garden, a beautiful tag and panic!

Well, so much for daily updates from Mary! I decided you'd all be speechless with boredom and falling off your chairs if I blogged daily. I really have done quite a bit and will post a photograph tomorrow evening after stitching in another state!

I haven't made a terribly good job on catching up with posting pictures of exchanges and other stuff over the past few months so tonight you can see a floss tag I received on Friday from my friend Mouse in the UK along with two threads, one a Stef Francis and the other from Gloriana, quite yummy! My floss tag is supposed to be winging its way to Oregon. So what's the problem you may ask? The problem is that I am a WIMP and scared to make the hole! The stitching is finished, I've chosen some threads to accompany it and there you have it. Nerves, complete panic, I've looked at all the tutorials and still can't bring myself to do it! I'll get thrown out of Friendly Stitchers at this rate! Mouse made the card with the elegant lady on the front too!

Lest we forget (Winter 2009, north of Chicago).......~

Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia) given to me by a friend from the Garden Club. The first year I anxiously awaited the arrival of the single flower, checking on it every time I got out of the car. Imagine how upset I was when one day, convinced it was just the right time, I saw the flower head lying on the ground, untouched, neatly dismembered by the #$%*! rabbits! The next year I put netting around and since then our little furry friends seem to have forgotten about it.

Every year when these iris bloom I want to plant more, of different shades and colours, and every year I forget!

Kiwi vine which has really taken off this year. In order to get fruit you need a male and a female plant so I'll just enjoy the foliage. When the leaves begin to unfurl they have a white, almost powdery aspect to them that sends you rushing to the nearest gardening book for advice on the dread disease! Wait a few days and half of the leaves begin to turn pink, it doesn't show very well in the photograph.

This is a shrub that I never see unless I walk out of the back gate and onto the common land behind our house since it's hidden by the conifers. It's the most wonderful bright green with small, slightly scented flowers in the spring. I think it's a currant but should look it up.

Sweet William and I can't decide if the picture need rotating - I don't think it does, I think I took it from a funny angle!
Enough already, I'm ready for bed. Off to Milwaukee in the morning!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 2!

Mary and I went to my favourite LNS tonight for the monthly stitching session, the second time in two days! Yesterday I bought the fabric and hummed and havered on the threads. I pulled all the listed DMC but by the time I reached Welcome Stitchery I knew I wanted a monochromatic theme so chose some ThreadworX. Alas, some of the colour just disappeared so I changed to Winter Wheat by Waterlilies, one I've used before and loved. Tonight I bought a Silk n' Colours, Mahogany Wine, but haven't decided where I will put that.

A little more done tonight, so far I have stitched in two counties, McHenry and Lake, Illinois!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mary and I - Day 1!

Heaven help me, I went and started something new, something HUGE! I've joined the Mary Wigham SAL. Mary stitched this in 1790 in England. Check out the Needleprint blog in the sidebar and find out all about it! I have decided to take a photograph at the end of each stitching session to chart (sorry!) my progress. Look VERY carefully in the top left hand corner, a very few stitches are visible! It's nearly midnight here in Chicago so I'm uploading the photograph and off to bed - work calls in the morning!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm back!

I'm back with no excuses! Too much reading of blogs, stitching (and finishing!) and , of course, I had to fit some work in somewhere!

I have lots of photographs of this and that so here we go! In completely random order -

This was my first ornament for the 2009 Christmas Challenge but as you can see all did not go according to plan, serves me right for using a directional fabric! Out came the seam ripper and all was made good.

The ornament is resting on an ancient rocking horse that has served three generations and now sits in our dining room in state. The chart is a freebie and I think it's called Four Fat Friends from The Drawn Thread.

I am stitching a nine part SAL on the Stitchers Heaven Yahoo Group. The designer is Pelin Tezer and the piece is called Alla Turca, the motifs being based on those in Turkish carpets, Turkey being Pelin's native land. It's a peaceful stitch, especially when the world seems a little unfriendly. I'm using an unknown piece of evenweave in a shade of clay/putty and a Waterlilies silk, Navajo. Pelin suggested earth tones and this one just seemed the right one.

However, if you look on Pelin's website under "With my Compliments" you will see an array of colours, all quite different but all quite wonderful!

It's time for bed so I shall continue "catch up" tomorrow. Tonight with the help of Himself I learnt how to insert links, I'm so proud of myself! Sleep well, see you tomorrow!

Saturday, January 31, 2009


The last day of January! I have to say something, even it's only hello! It's been a busy month, I sent off an exchange, started two SALs, finished a small pillow for the 2009 Christmas ornament challenge group (need to post pictures TODAY!), and had my birthday with a wonderful floss exchange on a British group to which I belong. I received some beautiful threads, with no doubles which is quite a feat, coming as they were from seven different people. I will be posting pictures tomorrow! I also received a treat from Abi in consolation for an exchange that never materialised - thank you again, Abi!