Sunday, 28 April 2013

Other Bits

A few weeks ago, amidst all the pleads for donors that were circulating both in the news & in life, I went and signed up with One Match . Actually, I had started the process a few years ago, but my husband talked me out of it w/ scare tactics of companies having my dna on file & how I react badly to needles as it is.
It has always sat in my gut as being the wrong choice for me (the backing out) though. A strong guilt, if you will, nagging me to continue on. I'm already a blood donor & have been for years. Some years more routinely then others - but I do like to make an effort. Its a little harder at times because we have to actually drive to the city (2 1/2 hrs away) to be able to make a donation as they no longer have the mobile units. As I occassionally feel woozy afterwards (and can not eat/drink the items they have in their cafe due to my many food allergies) I don't always like to venture down solo. However w/ my husbands shifts being all over the place - solo it gets to be. This year I have already donated twice w/ my third appointment coming up in June. 14 years ago I gave birth to a very sick little boy. He was covered in what looked like severe chicken pox. After tests (and rudely presumed questions by the nurses *scowls in recollection of the cranks @ the Grey Nuns Hospital*) they discovered that he also was filled with internal lesions and was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH or Langerhans X. Depending on which lingo a dr gives you). He had to undergo 9 mths of chemo as well as 8 blood transfusions. My thought was if he was using from the blood bank - I should be replenishing the stocks. Thus began donation commitment.

So.....I popped online & had them reinstate my name.  After speaking to a representative, who flukingly enough was the one I had spoken to when I had first changed my mind - I still had questions and concerns though. I understand donors don't get to know their recipients. @ least not unless both parties agree, and this is only after a year presiding a healthy/successful transplant. My fear is that someone, for lack of a better word "unworthy" winds up with this second chance. I'm not meaning someone specific based on gender/nationality/religion....I'm talking (worrying) more about those individuals who CHOOSE to make poor health choices like smoking (thus they have gotten lung cancer from that) or are severe drug addicts whose rehabilitation is less then stellar. Those kinds of choices. Ones where it was the persons own choosing and because of that life style choice.....wound up with the increased risk, and essentially developed the issue in which they now need this serious medical help.

Everyone deserves help - I know this, and genuinely feel it....but it would be dishonest to not admit that there is that snarky voice at the back of my mind that scowls and sneeringly goes "really? you're risking yourself to help them?"

 The rep pointed out that persons on the other end of this are also heavily screened before it is sought out as an option anyways. That there are certain quotas that need to be met health wise. This helped shut that nagging little voice up for a while.

They mailed out the package and it arrived this past week in an otherwise bland looking envelope with 4 cotton swabs (q-tips with extra long handles) in which to collect my mouth swabbing. One top right, one bottom right, one top left, one bottom left. Then I applied the label with my name & the date of collection to the handle and put them each into their respective spots on the cardboard holder that also came enclosed. Popped it back into the return envelope and mailed it away.



I have made a little blood drop kawaii pattern in celebration. I couldn't figure out how to convert a PAT (PCStitch program) document into pdf form so I just took a photo of the pattern with my phone and uploaded it that way. If anyone knows how to transfer program types I'd love to know. The free Pdf conversion website I usually use doesn't recognize pat files.

DMC Colours are (from outside in) : 350, 352, 758
310 for the eyes & mouth
321 for the cheeks and as the back stitching around the whole blood drop.

While its not on the pattern, on the one I'm in the process of stitching I've added the word "Donate" in black down the side. I have found a fabric I want to use to make it into a pillow or small wall hanging. Perhaps it will even get donated to the Canadian Blood Services I frequent.


Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Eagle


THE EAGLE
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls. 
By  Lord Alfred,Tennyson


Whoops, I seem to have left the yellows for my Eagle @ work so I won't be completing it fully this weekend as I though I would be able to. No worries. I have finished all the black (except the final outlining of the beak) and do have the red to finish up the wings.

 Fun In The Mail!

My dd loves pandas. She really wanted to do a cross stitch of them for herself & I came across this cute one on ebay. It is a kit (a well put together one I will add ~ as it not only came with all its colours presorted; it came with the aida cut and the dmc #'s for the colours on the chart as well!)  Its actually a very large piece because it is stitched on 11ct. And while each panda is on its own separate piece of cloth (the kit came with 3 cut pieces instead of one big strip of material) they all measure 100 x 100 stitches. She has begun work on the one on the far right. The one that looks like it's doing chin-ups & informed me that this one reminds her of a specific friend of her's who likes to do pull up on the door frame at school . The one on the far left is more like her best friend ~ kinda lazy, swatting at things if they get to close and the one in the middle she's identified as more like her. Cute, a little silly and wanting to play while munching on food. LMAO!
 

The Eagle

  by Lord Alfred Tennyson
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands. 

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls, 
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19731#sthash.jUTekoUK.dpuf

The Eagle

  by Lord Alfred Tennyson
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands. 

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls, 
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19731#sthash.jUTekoUK.dpuf

The Eagle

  by Lord Alfred Tennyson
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands. 

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls, 
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19731#sthash.jUTekoUK.dpuf

The Eagle

  by Lord Alfred Tennyson
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands. 

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls, 
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19731#sthash.jUTekoUK.dpuf

Thursday, 25 April 2013

This week has Gone to the Birds!

Stitch literally!! Both my big & little projects this week that I've chosen off the WIP/UFO list are avian in theme. I'm not sure when I started the Northern Cardinal. I think it was originally tabbed to be a 'any child' charity piece for one of the quilt stitching groups but never did get completed. Thankfully it wasn't one that anyone was expecting or waiting on so I harbour no guilt on its incomplete nature. I came to that conclusion based on the square size of the surrounding cloth in comparativeness to the small bird plunked in the centre.
However - like with all things - it should really get finished and find a good home. I have discovered that there is a large berry that needs to be frogged out as it is 1 line out of place. Infuriating! Now I could just leave it & pretend its suppose to be that close to everything else, or actually take the time to frog it and move all 70 stitches now that 1 line....but I probably won't.

As both pieces are on 18 ct instead of the faster 14ct - my eyes tire faster stitching in the dim light of my office (I only have 1 window & it's around the corner from my desk & the lights are just basic boob lights w/ 60wt bulbs)


The 2nd bird is the "Eagle at Sunset". I'm sure I can get at least this one completed by the end of the weekend as there will be plenty of sit around time while my DD has her dance recitals. My parental volunteer option has very little hands on need. Given that there are only 7 colours to this chart, it is easier to store in my purse and have as a take with me piece then the cardinal who has 30.





















Fun In The Mail:

I realize it isn't cross stitch based, but its still FUN....in the mail! Love'n me some good Canadian ribbing & investigative props :D Another equally as wonderful Canadian series is Republic of Doyle (if you happen to be interested in watching some other detective styles that have wonderful characters and are not as hack and slash as many other shows are)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Another 2 off my list!!

Da Tada DAaaaa! Let is Snow is complete! This is a poor photo (taken with my dd's ipod). Now just to get it framed. Hopefully this will be the last of the snow for this season? Most of it has melted off our front lawn, though there are a few large patches by the apple trees & in the flower beds by the deck. Everything else is ugly brown....and sloppy where it has yet to absorb into the ground. 
**Fingers crossed the forecast for the next few days is wrong***


A Mother's Love COMPLETE!!! I decided to put the little boys name along the bottom in 435 brown.


 Now I just need to get a mat cut so I can put it up into the frame.



Fun In The Mail:

2 leaflets arrived. This wintery scene can be shelved. I want SpRiNg and fun coloured stitching right now.


The second is The Bridges of Madison County. I love the kissing bridge references. I'm going to have to do a bit of searching to find our Canadian bridges and replace the American names with our own. I'm fairly certain that our oldest one is in New Brunswick.......


Saturday, 20 April 2013

Closing In

So this week I worked on Let it Snow. Adding the rest of the green to the trees, the red to the toque and the purple to the sky. The blue is slowly closing in and I need to locate my 3753 skein in order to complete the shadowing. There was plenty of time for stitching today as we were amid an ice rain storm for most of the morning - then flurries and harsh winds this afternoon followed by more wind and ice rain this evening w/ the promise it may get down to as cold as -14 during the night. Definitely not a sunny spring day that we would like to get. I think Mother Nature has forgotten Alberta likes springtime just as much as the rest of the province/country. Granted, stitching something asking for snow in the title is probably jinxing warmer weather.



Quaint Discovery: 
 Stuffed between 2 magazines I rediscovered this participial started piece. As the chart is only on a single loose page, pulled from an unknown magazine - I would like to get it stitched before I lose said page. This was something that I had bought off of Ebay. I hadn't had much experience w/ it before and so kept to things that were inexpensive. This pattern was one of them. Little did I know what I was paying for was simply a page torn from the sellers magazine collection. (Though when I went back to check the ad, it did indeed say it was a page) I didn't know it was legal to do such a thing. Regardless this is what I got.

I have added the bottom 1/2 of the chest, talons, and started on the tail feathers of "Eagle at Sunset" - by Ursula Michael. I'm stitching it on 18ct terra cotta coloured aida.


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Small Things

As I work (and live) in a small rural area, we have many farms, meaning many farm-ers. I have a pair of customers (a father/son duo) who come in and are aptly dubbed my "Flirty Farmers". The father will be celebrating his 81st birthday in the next few weeks. He has made a fair # of comments to the effect of wanting a kiss. Which he will not be getting other than the candy kisses in the dish I have on my counter. That's taking the "sealed with a...." notion too far. Ha!

A great example would be the tale that happened around Christmas time. There is a lady whom he once dated ("dating" in the sense that older folks do) and one day he met up with her in the parking lot and he'd told her how she needed to give him a Christmas kiss because I had already done so. Believing him she parted with a smooch on his cheek and ventured into the office. She of course shared this little event and I snickered to pointed to the candy dish on the counter with Hershey's kisses in it. She was very embarrassed she got duped by the flirty farmer! Hahahaha Now its a big joke between us when she comes in and has just missed his visit by a few hours. "ya know, your boyfriend was in here....lol"

W/ that in mind I have stitched him the following thing for this upcoming birthday. It was a freebie from dittibroderie @ one time called "Kiss Me". I just omitted the word me, moved the word kiss down to the bottom and added the personalized back stitching on top instead.


Completed the Little Fox as well.


The pattern for this guy is found in Issue 240 of the "Cross Stitcher" magazine (June 2011). This was the free gift that came with the issue. I misplaced the black bead that was included for his nose, but a stitched nose makes him just as cute. This photo has him lighter - he's actually a brighter/rustier orange (dmc 720)

Fun in the Mail:

My pattern for "Cute As Can Bee" arrived today too. Insert motherly/baby cooing "Awwww". Granted he will have to wait in line.




Wednesday, 17 April 2013

This week's Goals

This weeks big stitch goals were to work on "Let it Snow" as well as "A Mother's Love". The smaller stitch goal was to work on "Fox".

Fox - Just needs a head. I finished his little body and tail & did the back stitching for those parts, but he's still headless. Shall take him to work with me tomorrow as it is a short day & should probably get him completed.

Let It Snow - I finished the border, the snowflakes and the words at the top. There are a few areas of gray I need to touch up on in the snowman shadowing and his toque, as well as some of the trees. The biggest part left is the blue background. 



A Mother's Love - I got a lot done on the giraffe's as well. I finished stitching the mother's head, and did the back stitching on both baby & mama's faces. There is still a fair bit of lower body as well as grass to stitch though. The customer for whom it is being made for came in today. I decided I couldn't keep it a secret anymore (she didn't know I was stitching something for her) & showed her my progress and she seemed pleased. I hope she likes it once its completed.


And of course! FUN IN THE MAIL!!!

The leaflet of old barns came in. With  my endless pieces already looking to have some work done on them, it'll have to wait until a week where I have only small pieces scheduled to be worked on. Til then it joins my ever growing stash of  "I'd love to stitch that" pattern collection.


Monday, 15 April 2013

Productive Weekend

So this weekend turned to be a dud in way of travel due to poor weather. However, it did leave ample time for stitching. I was able to complete the little baby ornament for our World Vision sponsored child. Not the child specifically, but for the little brother that was welcomed into the family back in December. I'm not sure the child's name so just put "Baby Boy" in lieu of a name space. It's not as faded colourwise as it shows here, but they were pastel colours.

  


I also was able to finish my Barred Rock Hen! Whoop! 
She's from the BH&G's Cross Stitch Magazine 1993. There was a trio. I stitched the White Leg horn one a few years ago. My folks have it in their cabin. Eventually I'll get the 3rd done too now that I've found its working copy. The magazine itself is disintegrated after so many years of opening and closing. It was my VERY FIRST cross stitch magazine. Given to me by my mothers friend. I stitched many of the pieces in those pages. 

Also- put some stitches into "Let It Snow".



Saturday, 13 April 2013

Earth Worm -an

I have this dreaded piece called "The Earth is our Mother". It came to me from a friend with one of the hands already stitched. You can tell it's the only thing she's done on it compared to my own added stitches because she's left handed and I'm right. Thus all her top crosses slant to the right and mine the left.

None of which really matters - the part that does is that she sent it to me....and the story behind its travels. The story goes as such:

Once upon a time (yes I'm going with that. Shush and enjoy the story)...once upon a time, there was a friend to two women. She was known by her friends as Amie Zonn. This friend found a piece of inspiration that she just knew she needed to have stitched for her home. She also knew that she, with her life as busy as it was with homeschooling her 3 children, her serious medical issues she was dealing with in her family, and her involvment of her blogs - that she would never have enough time to stitch the piece herself. Still, it called to her (as so often a good piece will) and she made the purchase of the kit. 

This kit sat amongst her things for an unknown amount of years before being rediscovered during a sporadic cleaning fit. Relighting her desire to have it completed she dialed up her good friend Cee-Cee. "Of course I'll stitch this for you. I'll make it one of my top priorities" Cee-Cee exclaimed. Thus Amie Zonn pushed it into an envelope, slapped a stamp on it & mailed it off across the United States. 

Well Cee-Cee is also a very busy woman, having 4 children of her own & crafts that also called to her for their completion (and lets admit it, start up...lol). The envelope arrived and she set her own things aside for a while so she could concentrate on this kit. She started work on the hand.......8 years later she called me up and confessed she did not have time to do the piece would I be interested in helping both her, and ultimately our joint friend out by stitching it? "Sure" I did proclaim. Once again the kit was bundled up, stamped and mailed, this time cross border and into Canada. 

I put some work into it....but I truly do detest kitted pieces. The mess of colours that are often so close to one another in shade that when you have to match "grey beaver" up with "grey mouse" as colours.....never giving an actual DMC # one could easily look up and decifer - all the while expecting to keep the colours unknotted (once their shades figured out) while they dangle from the included flimsy cardboard chunk....Ya. I'm not a big fan of kitted projects. Give me a nice bundle of labeled skeins and piece of cut aida w/ matching chart & I'm good. I did try. I put a bunch of time and stitches in and then when I did a miscount and had to frog a bunch out.....then I did what I so often do when the frustration of frogging happens. I put it down, put it away, started a new project and forget about it.
 Which brings us to NOW. While sorting through my WIPS, determined to make better on my resolution to clear out my really old WIPS/UFO's this year than I did the previous, I came across her again. Only the issue now is that I can not locate the pattern. Sitting in a bin for 6 years and through a move, things have a good possibly of going missing. Which is now that problem I am faced with. Correction WAS faced with as I found on Ebay the kit! Abso-freakin-wonderful considering that it went out of print & is originally a 1996 piece. So I zipped on and put in a bid to buy. It arrived yesterday!! I will be smarter this time and make a working copy, put the original away some where safer and hope to finish this retched piece.

Oh yes, on top of my dislike for Kits, this project is really hard for me to "get into" as I feel no heart in it. I think a big part is that it jumps around from using 1 thread to 4 threads (like in the hair). The effect I'm guessing is to make it look more full - but you really can't tell. Its a nice enough piece - and I'm sure it will look lovely once it is completed, framed, matted and mailed back to our Amie Zonn ( though I have no doubts that she herself has forgotten all about its existence) to where she will be pleasantly shocked when it does. Until then I shall scowl at it and plug away at adding the necessary stitches until it reaches the Complete Pile.

I have no real excuse not to put more time into her completion now that I've gotten a new chart....and have posted this up for everyone who passes by to read.

.........even though I do have other pieces on the go atm as well. I'm dreadful. I know.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Wednesday "Hump" Day

While sorting through some things at work I came across my Barred Rock Hen cross stitch. (Yup little projects randomly placed)...Took her home & was able to put in a few stitches there while waiting for meetings (after work) to start. I had wondered where it had gotten too. 
 

Completed my Walk the Line. Now I just need to find a nice frame.


Perused Ebay & wound up ordering a few inexpensive pattern charts. Two on old barns, one on covered bridges, and one really big kitted one with pandas for my DD.

Made a start on the Cute as a Bug over the weekend.




Thursday, 4 April 2013

OH the Temptation!

Today I got a double dose of temptation. In the mail today I received the baby sampler I recently ordered. "Cute as a Bug". I also have the boy version ordered too but it is currently on back order. Needless to say I was very glad that it was just the pattern (and colours I had accompany it) and not the cloth or I may not have been so smart as to not put a few stitches in right away. The 'idea' is to stitch this twice. Once in the colour pinks provided in then again using purples (probably the 209-211 dmc colourings).



On top of that, I'm involved in a SAL over at Lud In the Mist and this months section of the Asian Fantasy arrived in my email today as well! I am stitching the blue colour palate for Satsuki. 

Both will have to wait though because I am soooo close to completing the "Walk the Line" piece for my best friend (and wife's) pending new adoptive arrival. Plus I'm 1/2 way through the "Mother's Love" for a customer couple of mine who are also eagerly awaiting the arrival of their adoptive son. 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Starting Fresh

I have decided to create a blog specifically for my stitching projects. One that is separate from my personal life blogging. It will help to keep me organized in my projects....hahaha who'm I kidding? It'll at least give me a set place to express my cross stitch obsessiveness in open forum. :p

In the mean time, while I try to establish some order to my projects binder, my chart shelves and the tangled ball of dmc skeins that I dread having to fish through for the correct # required for the current project du jour.

Brief "About Me" I've been stitching for over 20 years. Started in grade school as a time passer when assignments were done or the new books hadn't arrived in the library. I like to stick to medium sized projects. Nothing too fancy and big or it just won't get done. I gaze dreamily at the HAED designs but know I just do not have the patience to see them through if I were to start. 123 Stitch is my go to for pattern droolage. I try to limit my wishlist and frequently update it to remove duplicates (as they don't have a reminder option when adding something to your wishlist that is already on it) or patterns that I added in a moment of desire & have fallen out of interest with. Most of the time I stitch for other people. Not that they pick a project for me, but I see something that reminds me of someone else and I will stitch it for them to commemorate an occasion of sorts. Wedding, baby arrival, birthday, Christmas  - those sorts of things.

I like to browse CyberStitchers (where I also have an album) and relish when I see that a project I have picked up has yet to be stitched by anyone else despite the enormous amount of talent that the members ooze in their own albums.

I always have multiple pieces on the go. Part of it is neurotic - part of it is.....well, no, its all neurotic, but I do tend to have a bunch of smaller pieces hidden about the house, in the glove compartment of both vehicles and always in my travel bag. You never know when things are going to be dull and you need to entertain yourself. I'd rather stitch while waiting for one of the kids to get out of their after school functions then fiddle with the phone. I know other mothers are giving me that "she's so odd" look, but at least at the end of the time I have something to show for it beyond a headache from looking at random funny pictures on a small screen. :) I have to keep an extra few simple ones w/ me too now as my daughter has picked up stitching as well and sometimes the 'quick stitches' I bring along for me to do, she winds up claiming. *haha*























Outlander ( April Smalls)

I caught the 1st season of Outlander onto last year and was hooked. I’d made a generalized post about it and had a bunch of friends and fami...