Thursday, August 28, 2008

Porthole # 38


Finally got the last 3 in the series scanned in!
# 40 I just finished last night...so wanted to wait until it was complete before scanning the rest.

I like # 38 ... it is one of my personal faves. It began with two Free Form pieces...a medallion and line of paired leaves in similar colours. I added pale butter yellow French Knot Roses and greenery to the inner ring of the medallion & gold Ribbon Floss to make bullion florettes between the leaves. On the black patch I used more Ribbon Floss for the line of Herringbone, then embellished the top with white Lazy Daisy Bullion Tips (with a fill-in stitch) and the bottom with a straight tacking stitches & Colonial Knots. Above that more LDBTs in deep honey Silk Ribbon with Fly Stitch / Twisted Stem and Ribbon Stitch leaves. Last but not least I added the three fern-like leaves in pale green YLI 1000 Denier Silk.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Time Flies ... But I'm Grounded

Wow...has it really been a whole week since I did a post?
I swear...I do not know where this week has gone...or this month for that matter!

It's a rough time of year for me at work ... trying to figure out who I'm losing (heading off to or back to university) and whoever is left...what they can work in and around school...and hoping it'll be enough so that I have the coverage I need.

Yesterday I had a special treat ... I ran into Diane Matheson (who lives quite close to me...a couple of kms away). I recognized her at one of the cashes (from her Stitchin Fingers pic) and we chatted for a good while! We've e-mailed back and forth for some time now but this was the first time we met in person.

I know today is really Tuesday....but for me it's Saturday.

Like I explained in the "Friday on Monday" post...this happens frequently to me!
I've been a busy li'l beaver...getting some organizing done on my plans to get those patterns happening! I realized earlier this week that one reason for the hold up was a slight error in my planning...which took extra effort afterward to compensate for. Suffice it to say ... it grounded me ... almost to a halt ... but am gaining on it now!

I'm more focused on this...because I know that time is flying ... it does not wait for anyone...no, not even me...so gotta make sure it doesn't fly right out my "window of oportunity"! I'll have pretty much all I need organized this week...and will share my big news shortly!

This diversion has pretty much stifled my stitching...although I did put a couple hours in on Porthole # 40. So...no scanning done...and the Drag Bag is now on hold for a bit.

Well ... can't have you all going into "eye candy withdrawal" ... so until I have more to show on the current projects ... will find some bits and pieces to share.




Melanie Rose Sachets ... in Wisteria , Nectarine and Rose.
Ribbons by Vikki Cayton

(These were a very popular kit series for me many years ago. While I no longer have the time to do kits ... the contemplation is there to revise them into pattern only for release. Seems there are not many SRE patterns out there to be had.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Show & Share - Tooth Fairy Pouches





The regular projects I've been sharing are either "waiting to be scanned" or "not ready yet"...so I scrolled through my files to see what might be fun to show you...'cause I know ya gotta have that eye candy!

I came across a couple or three wee gems...these go back about ten years. I started out making a couple for my own two kids. I found it far too taxing to be a stealthy tooth fairy...feeling around under a pillow for a small thing wrapped in a tissue...all the time hoping the little angel stayed asleep!

The pouch made it so much easier...we took to hanging them on the bed post...so the fairy could simply slip it off , do the swap and flit away. Sold a few to staff at work and several at the craft booth too...real popular with Moms and Grandmas.

They all started with the same wee fairy...which I finished with either clear or coloured nail polish... then stitched a small floral spray around it. Many of them featured that lovely gold cording...found it at Mokuba in Toronto (man that's an amazing store!) Finished size was about 2.5 - 3" x 5".

I think I even penned a poem insert that I put in with them...but don't think I still have it...and don't recall the poem now.

Anyway ... enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bloggin' About . . . New Faves

I have been checking out many new blogs...or should I say blogs that are new to me!

Some are gals I've rubbed e-shoulders with over the years ... others are new aquaintances met recently (especially on Stitchin' Fingers) and even more that I just kinda happened upon from other bloggers faves.

I've added a few more to my faves list recently so that I can stop in when time permits to see what others are bloggin' about...always entertaining and a good way to get a calorie-free dose of eye candy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Porthole # 37


Porthole # 37 began with the addition of the Free Form piece...the Navy Aurora Borealis beads have hints of the other fabric shades...so a nice fit.

Across from that I stitched a row of Herringbone (Pearl Crown Rayon) finished off along the bottom seam edge with whipstitched backstitching. At the top edge I made small cross-stitches at the X points then added small cranberry Lazy Daisy Filled stitch to finish.

The pink winding - thing is a row backstitch...whipstitched...then cast-on stitches on the outer edge.

Lastly I added the spray of pale lilac Lazy Daisy Bullion Tip flowers with feather stitch and ribbon stitch greenery.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm Baaack...Early

Hi kids ... did ya miss me? I missed you too!

Got my wires crossed with DH...I was thinking we were staying until Sunday, but apparently there are other people heading up to stay the weekend. We left about mid-day so it'd be vacant for them. I am still off until Monday either way...I can stitch here just as easily!

And stitch I did...as much as the boys fished!

Paul just shakes his head when I show up with as much stitching stuff as clothing! But we won't even talk about how much tackle and how many rods it takes to fish for a week...will we?!!

Without going into too much detail...because pictures will save me typing a thousand words...I will simply say that I have added a whole bunch of wrought iron work to the bag. One trellis that I started has since become embellished with a vine of roses...and I thought it'd be cool to add more iron work to tie it in...then I got carried away.....but I like it! Still a lot of work to do on it yet...because after I finish the iron I still want to add climbers to it...so am contemplating that as I work.

The northern element never disappoints! Aside from a bit of rain and a big thunder storm...we had an enjoyable stay...the resident hummingbirds alone are worth the trip...then at night there's those cool owl sounds...and the loons! The mosquitos were not very bothersome...think I only got two bites.

I always love the nightly fire...those flames are so mesmerizing! There's no TV or video games...just the radio...and the station out of Peterborough is really good...playing old & new rock. Even the commercials sound different.

But the city does have it's advantages...like cable...and once home I tuned in to one of the music channels....getting classic rock hits... with no commercials! I'm good with that...and I couldn't have picked a better play list...excellent!

So...laundry is now all done...and I will relax and stitch some more tomorrow. The kitties are glad we're home...and have been close company all day. Poor Kota has not been without us for more than a day and he was very happy to have us home.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Porthole # 36


Finally ... a week off to relax! This is my last vacation week of the year and will be heading up to a friend's cottage to chill...and stitch...stitch...stitch!

Before I go I wanted to share the next Porthole...# 36.

I started by adding the pink - pointed Free Form piece. There was a small bit of the centre fabric with two people figures that I wanted to add...so decided to make a "button". I gathered the fabric over a small disc of hard plastic (cut from a spent gift card). I created the beaded medallion to fit exactly around it and couched both to the fabric, then stitched the blue metallic beads into the centre of each loop.

Next I added the half wheels in Gold Candlelight...ands some vines in Midnight...and some feather stitch sprigs in black Kreinik #4 trimmed with Ruby #4 Lazy Daisy stitches.

Last I added the blue Ribbon Floss seam...a new stitch to me...and now I forget what the heck it was called! Will have to check back to the book...but later.

I'll be back on the 17th and post more then. See ya!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Porthole # 35


I began this one with the navy lace motif & then added the white leaves Free Form piece to counter balance. While not very visible...I added some buds between the leaves using Candlelight Midnight. Next I added some Lazy Daisy Bullion Tip silk ribbon leaves and some vines around the motif and finished off with the gold seam in Ribbon Floss.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Food For Thought - Natural Backyard Splendour

I spent some time this afternoon absorbing some natural things around me. It never ceases to amaze me how nature just carries on in spite of us...doing what it will in it's own little way.

We have a couple of bird feeders that Paul made years ago from recycled pallet wood...very cool... rustic. About 3 years ago in the spring ... one sat empty...until new tennants moved in.

Yellow Jacket wasps found it a perfect spot to create a nest! The front has an acrylic panel that by design was meant to show the level of bird food inside. To the wasps...it meant protection from the elements and enemies. Over the past years...they have returned and expanded the nest. At times there are 30 or more busy workers doing their thing...building it bigger and hatching the next generation. Weird to watch all of this happening behind a clear shield...and fascinating to see how such small creatures work as a team to build such a natural wonder!
(I must get Mel to get some pics of it...it's really awesome!)

And then there's this other backyard resident ... a young raccoon has made a home in our tree. We can see it really well from Melanie's bedroom window...I'm thinking it's a male...so I will refer to it as "him". How strange it is to watch him sleep in the crook of two branches! How is it that he never falls? He sleeps all day and then come dusk he wakes up and grooms himself...getting ready for his nightly escapades...whatever they may be...off to find some food and play with fellow racoons in the neighbourhood.

Recently I have noticed new things growing from a small compost area against the fence. This happens annually...as we tend to place old pumpkins from Halloween there...and other stuff. The leaves I'm seeing are not the usual pumpkins...maybe other small gourds that ended up there? Will have to see if anything developes...usually the bugs or a fungus gets to them and nothing developes...maybe this year will be different.

Birds...there are always a lot of them around...a variety of species...robins, blue jays, chickadees, blackbirds, sparrows, finches, waxwings, junkos, cardinals, mourning doves, starlings...and out in the field hawks, turkey vultures, crows and killdeers. I think in the next life I'd like to come back as a bird...think of the freedom! Flying would be awesome!

Spiders are another residential group that intrigue me...especially their web creation! It's not a wonder that many of us CQers add them to our work...they are way cool! Different species make different webs...some are the traditional type...with small threads making a dimensional web...but others make a mat-type web that is more elaborate...and seems it'd snare more food. I sometimes have to demolish them when I need to get yardwork done...and while this distresses me...I have no doubt that they'll be built again quickly! That's nature for ya!

Mother Nature is amazing!

Beads & Leaves & Vines ... Oh My!

It's funny how that happens ... I'll be working away on some project then all of a sudden ... my brain gets an idea ( or five ) for something else!

I was working away on my Drag Bag when bead thoughts entered my mind. I have made a few pieces with leaves...but then another idea came into focus...and better still how to make it work. I played with it using some of these new dollar store ones (they are not very uniform...but the colour was way cool...lemony glass with a green lining)...and it turned out quite interesting.

Then...because I wanted to see how it'd work out using better (uniform) beads...I did a second one using green beads with a copper lining.

I know this design is going to become a fave of mine...I love beaded vines because they "travel" so nicely & can be further embellished with buds or blooms.



I like a design even more when it is versatile. I'm showing three variations of each piece...leaves all to one side...leaves flipped to alternate sides...and curving.



Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Food for Thought - Friday on Monday ... It's a Good Thing!

I have never much liked Mondays...typically because they are the beginning of a work week...but lately I've had to work weekends to cover for staff away on holidays...so that forces me to take mid-week days off. It usually works out to be Tuesday & Wednesday that are my days off...so Monday is actually my Friday...and that is just fine by me! Makes it a whole lot easier to take.

I've just passed the 6 year anniversary in my current position...and my how time flies when you're having fun!?? For those who have never worked retail...it may be hard for you to fathom all of the stress that is involved. Every day brings new challenges...with staff, customers, theft, fraudulent activity, even the weather...and how it affects the whole enchillada.

From my perspective...I realize that I have become a bit callous over the years...cynical even. A lot of today's consumers remind me of spoiled brats...expecting us to do what they dictate...and if we don't...well then that's just bad "customer service". They argue and stomp feet and whine. Pulease!

Is it so hard to understand that manufacturers are the ones who uphold warranties on their product? If there is a problem with an item...it might require us to follow their directions...to contact them directly for customer support. It is not always a simple process of replacing a unit or giving money back.

I dealt with one lady a week ago who was adamant that I'd be out of a job on Monday...because of how I "treated" her...even though she was totally out of line. She wanted the Customer Service number for our Head Office...and my name and position...and boy was I in trouble!

When I reiterated the whole incident to my boss ... saying gee ... I guess you have to fire me... he just laughed & told me ... that I wasn't getting off that easy! Go figure! I'm still standing!

TGIF...especially when it's on Monday!

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