Monday, 30 April 2018

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 family point out that I should read the series. I’m glad for the suggestion. While the novels are huge (hard copies have 900 pages while the easier to handle paperbacks are compact but have 1500 pages) they are so very engrossing you hardly notice time gone by by. What I’ve come to discover is that each season (I’m all caught up on the 3 seasons now) is approximately 1 3/4 - 2 1/2 books. With a bunch of missing story lines mind you, in their rendition for tv. I have a few personal copies of the books but had to borrow a few more from mom (who has the whole set + the secondary series based on John Grey). It’s been fun going through her books too as I’ve found a few amusing items being used for bookmarks.
A silly pig person my daughter drew for her when she was 5 or 6; a grocery receipt dated 2006; a price tag from her days working at Safeway from a roasted chicken 😄. I say this because I’ve now added a couple of my own special items for discovery. 2 bookmarks.
This first one is a Golden finch propped appropriately upon a Scottish thistle. The pattern is from one of the aged magazines my neighbour gave me. I forgot to jot down the designers name before I pushed it back into my shelf and now can’t remember which edition it was in to remedy it. *will correct it once I relocate said pattern* I’ve stitched 2 of these little fellas. This one on white I’ll keep for myself  and the other, done on a beige will be left for discovery.

I’ve also done up this Celtic Hearts (design by: Elizabeth Spurlock) as a sneaky bookmark as well. Pattern is in the March 2005 edition of Stitcher’s World magazine.

Tartan Day was held April 6; the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish declaration of independence. Nova Scotia; by extension, being named thusly meaning “New Scotland”; I have done another 2 Cape Breton tartan maps. Both on this interesting denim style green cloth; one for a friend as a gift and one to finally keep for myself. Hearts are in different places given we hail from slightly different communities of the island.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Busy March (Smalls SAL)

Busy, busy, busy. Between birthdays, births & departures. The craziness of an office kerfuffle and St. Paddy's day karaoke fun, March was a month full of excitement.

Hubby turned 42. He had to work through it but says its okay because he's more a double digit kinda celebration guy (so his 44th). I did get to go out and celebrate what was suppose to be a double birthday supper with a friend of ours. From the 16 people who were suppose to attend....we wound up with 4.

We remembered the passing of my grandmother (she joined papa in peace 8 years ago); while mourning the sudden passing of my great-aunt just after her 88th birthday.

I made a baby sampler for one of my customers from one of the Etsy shops: Animals Cross Stitch
 with a small alter to the way the banner displayed the name. Also, added the little bow. Turned out a bit larger than I had anticipated though.

 They were holding a blood donation clinic at town not far from us; I plan on hitting my 20th donation here in 2018. My next one is set for June.

My daughter is performing in a grad dance number at the end of the year. They are doing a rendition of the Friends opening song. So I stitched up this piece for her. Not sure if she'll use it as a prop or if it will just go onto her wall as a memory piece.

We've been in our community 10 years and we haven't really made many friends (by 'we' I'm referring to the husband and I. We know lots of people but they're all basically acquaintances) so when a customer invited me along to the St.Paddy's day karaoke night at the pub I took her up on it. Even though I'm not much of a drinker, nor did I brave the mic, it was fun to get out. I had to cover a Saturday shift so I couldn't stay out too late either. On the same note of "Gotta love small towns" -
There was some additional excitement in ours where, a sassy pooch is being blamed for some vehicular accident adventures. Warren is Blaming poor Cookie, but it's not the first time he's run into the building w/ his truck & blamed her. She btw is a very hyper, young border collie. I've no doubt she distracted him and he hit the gas instead of the brake, but she certainly wasn't at fault.

It just made for more work drama was when another small community not far from me had to close down suddenly and all their residents temporarily rerouted. So being closed down the day while they put up a new steel support beam (county was concerned the roof might collapse) paired with a lot of miscommunication being announced on the radio station: made for some fitful people.  County did a great job of a quick mend though.

We got a good 8inch dump of snow last weekend and the daughter and I went an built a couple snow people in the yard. She chose to make a very well endowed  snow lady (with a hiney you can actually sit on) and I chose to go a "cleaner" route, giving my snow man a bar of soap and a towel. *haha*

Even with all this massive explode of craziness I was able to do up a couple other Smalls for this SAL:
The Bundled up Boy to accompany the girl I did last month: (He's also stitched on a bright vibrant blue, but its insanely washed out here)

and A SodaStitch(c) pin up girl. I plan on stitching the set.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

February Smalls Round Up

Here is my submission for the Smalls SAL.

 I'm very happy with all the stitching I was able to get done this month :) I've just gone and rounded up the individual Smalls from my February posts. Looking forward to March completions & to see what everyone else has done this month as well.

1. Just Nan: Peppermint Tree
 2. Ursula Michaels: Bundled up Girl
 3. Soda Stitch: Kissing Day
 4. Brigid's Cross
 5. I love Pasta
 6. PINN: Bookmark
7. Be Focused Bookmark

Alberta Winter Games 2018

My MIL requested our attendance to be volunteers at her event. I just have to say "Holy Man! those kids are fast on their skis!" The first day I was set up to take down their times as they passed by my check point. They skied around 4 laps in total to equal 6.25 km. They'd do a lap, flop down prone on the ground and fire off either their 22's or air soft & then do another lap and repeat. 3 shots, 4 laps.

Day One: this was my look out spot. Kids would come up from the left, then wizz by me into the trees on the right. It was almost 3 hours of sitting in the snow counting kids.

Day Two: Brrrrr!!! The temp dropped and the wind picked up. It was actually so chilly that they had to do all the air rifle firing indoors of the range as they don't work below -20 outside. It was explained that they lock up and won't fire true. This was a more intense day as the penalty loop came into play. The kids who were using air rifles did all 3 of their shots before the race part started. Each missed shot had them do a penalty loop after their big loop. So instead of Loop - fire - penalty loop - course loop. They did 3 firings - a course loop then possibly a penalty loop - then another course loop (if they missed all 3 targets that meant not only were they skiing their regular 6.25 km, but extra. The older kids who were firing the 22's did the regular course - fire - (penalty loop) -course loop. 
Despite the ugly biting wind, the kids were all excited for the race. They put me into a different spot along the trail for the count. I hunkered down into the tree line to get a break from the wind. Hubby stayed up there for the last day; I came home as I had work on Monday. He said his brother's team did well. Not as well as they wanted - but still had a good experience. Even as well bundled up as I was, I still had a hard time keeping warm. Not sure how those kids did it with their skinny lycra race gear on. Brrr.

I did up this brightly coloured small to break up all the browns of my Clare de Lune piece. The brightness of the blue isn't showing up too well but its done on the Charles Craft: Bright Ideas (Polar Blue) aida that I got for Christmas. From the Dec 2004 edition of Just Cross Stitch Magazine. Pattern was listed with an Anchor key code that I had to switch over to DMC. There's a 2nd child that I'll probably get around to stitching as well.
Ursula Michaels: Bundled up Girl

Valentine's Day.....

Bring on the LOVE! We don't make a big deal of this calendared holiday of love (It was just another Wednesday) but I can appreciate how love makes the world go round.
My neighbour gave me a bunch more crafting books, she's such a sweetie - a few were cross stitch but the most were older (early 80's) crafting books that I'm sure my own mother had copies of. In one of the books was this quick stitch 'I Love Pasta'. I had purchased a selection of pre-cut cloth (both as squares and book marks) so that worked out perfectly for these little stitches. Along with this 2nd little Pinn kitted bookmark I had sitting among my stash. This Peppermint Tree turned out really pretty with all the beads.

Soda Stitch: Kissing Day
I think the patterns available by Soda Stitch are super adorable. This young smooching couple is super cute. I'm eager to stitch the other patterns I have either already in my stash - or have been favoring both on the Indonesia site and shops on Etsy that are offering them.

Brigid's Cross

February was started off by Imbolc. The 1/2 way point between Spring Equinox and Winter Solstice. 
I can't wait for spring to show up. Winter is good this year, actually we've had an incredibly mild winter, but I long for the greenery again. I think if our family was more winter-outdoorsy with activities I wouldn't mind so much, but we're I'm eager for there to be blossoms and birds and bees and all those happy sounds of warmer temperatures. 

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

January SAL check in

How did the end of January get here already? It feels like it was just last week we were having to change over to 2018. I finished off 2 smalls this month. The otters & this bookmark. I certainly have need this reminder of late. Be focused, not fixated. I've been quite distracted this past while.

Not much else to add for this month by way of stitching. I've started working on my brother's wedding piece. It's coming along much quicker than I thought it would. This photo doesn't really do good for showing the colour of the cloth - its actually on a light blue with a faint cloud look to it. A piece of grey cloth arrived in the mail this morning, I'd forgotten I'd ordered it for this project. Whoops. It will not doubt work well with another pattern I've got in my stash though.
Over at work, I've had Satsuki at my desk and giving her a little more body. 

*Here's hoping February will be more productive*

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

A good start: finish #1

Holy ice packs Batman! Brrrr!!!! We're still in this grotesque deep freeze here in Alberta. I came out of dance tonight (it's Wednesday so it was Tap & Ballet) and it had dropped back to -32. With a wind so sharp it felt even colder. My poor vehicle protested the whole way home. Luckily no one was behind me so I could go a little slower than the speed limit since the highway was icy and I kept losing traction. I can't wait for it to warm up a bit. -20 or so is manageable but this -30 to -46c stuff needs to go away. This little guy gets it! 
Here's my first finish of the year! This adorable Otter Family. My da-otter (daughter) has claimed it for her room. She actually had said "it otter go into my room.." Her father rolled his eyes at our puniness. He's not as droll as we are. *snicker*

The previous start: long awaiting in my bin, that I've pulled out to work on getting complete this month is Sakura. A pattern from Lisbei's website ( 

And even more thrilling is thatmy husbands Christmas stitching is all framed now. He got the piece for the holidays & thanked me, but now that it's in a frame & on the wall he loves it more. This R2D2 pattern is from an Etsy shop

Happy New Year! (2018)

It's looking like it's going to be a great year and I'm excitedly full of ambition in regards to my stitching projects and book reading challenges. Thus far there are 4 weddings to stitch for and a couple babies are due. I've got the 2 patterns picked out for both my husbands buddy's nuptials (I had started 'Adam & Eve' this past fall for that one but it was set aside...and now need to do up a baby sampler for them as well. FINALLY got their girl *thumbs up*) and will be doing Nimue's "Moonlight Fairies-Clair de Lune" for my baby brother's summer wedding.

  My library put up a reading challenge this week to encourage more readers to use their facility. I use the GoodReads website/app and set my 2018 personal challenge at 20 this year. A doable number but it's also mood boosting when I go over that number. Pairing my GR challenge with the "help" list from the library will make book selection much more amusing. 

The Titles I've taken out this week are:
  • Eden Robinson's: Son of a Trickster
  • Jenny Colgan's: The Bookshop on the Corner
  • Jessica Greyson's: The Angel Makers
  • Ben Winter's: Underground Airlines
  • Libby Cataldi's: Stay Close; A Mother's Story of her Son's Addiction
  • Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk's: Sanaaq; an Inuit Novel
As well as: George Ryga's: Athabasca Ryga.....which was loaned to me by a lady in my community who is currently putting together a filmed documentary on his life's work. (to be released sometime this year).  

Success from last year: I finished 50 pieces in 2017! *Whoop* There are 16 new starts though that have rolled over into my "needs to be done" bin.

I'm looking forward to participating in Stitching Lotus' smalls SAL again this year. If any of you haven't been a part of it before & would like more info: Just pop on over to her site. It has helped keep me a bit on track, participating these last two years, at least by way of getting one stitching done. Since the submission pieces don't even have to be new starts, it's also good for encouraging one to complete something off the every growing UFO/WIP's list. :)
Smalls SAL 2018

Welcome 2018!

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...