Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Food For Thought - G'Bye 2008 & . . . . . . . Happy 2009!

I'm always happy when the old year ends and the new one begins...I get a sense of renewal and while I typically don't make resolutions...I do try to re-organize...clean up my stuff...and look forward to new challenges! I already have several on my horizon....especially at work! I need a clone ... just to make it all work. I'm not even going to think about that yet....I'm just going to pray a lot!

Today is my Mom's 83rd BD! I spoke to her today & going to go visit tomorrow...then spend New Year's Eve with her, three of my sisters, two BILs, kids, neices and whoever else shows up! Three days off in a row....is rare for me...and although today was actually one of them...had to do a schedule and one week of payroll...so wasn't really off...but at least it's more peaceful here!

With 2009 on the horizon...I contemplate what big things I want to achieve.

The obvious biggie will be the article in A Needle Pulling Thread....the work is already done on that...but may need to redo some graphics.

The Drag Bag has been on the back burner for a few months now...and anxious to get going on it again...might actually take it with me to work on tomorrow.

My "Blank Canvas" will also be transformed into a finished project...and pattern.

Then there's the Portholes Project....which is still under contemplation...go bigger?...stick to this size?....undecided!

The one big idea that I've been holding back on for years....is a new Carousel Horse. Sir Prance -A -Lot was only the tip of this idea iceberg....I've been wanting to do a full 3-D version for a long time. I think I'm ready to proceed.

It may not be quite as intricate (I don't have 200 spare hours to invest...plus am thinking ahead to possibly another article...or at minimum a pattern). I've done a lot of the hard work already...the basics I used for Sir PAL will work again...though the medium may vary....French Knot Roses instead of teeny bullion roses (for example) will make it go faster!

So ... there ya go ... that's the plan!

Happy New Year to everyone .... may it be all you hope it will be!

Hugs ... Marie

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas To All . . . And The Winner Is . . .

Peace...Love...& Joy to everyone!

Hope you are all having a Merry Christmas!

It's obvious the kids are getting older.....this is the first Christmas ever when Mom & Dad were up before them!

Also I let them totally do the tree this year...as I had too much else to do...and it looks awesome! We always get a live tree...and give it a name. This year the tree's name is Albert.

Santa brought me lots of sweet things to eat...like Turtles, Toblerone, and Ferrero Rocher! They go soooooo good with Baileys coffee! Also some candles...a candy dish...a set of four beautiful salad size plates....and a few traditional essentials...socks, undies and the like! Ohhh...some scratch-type lottery tickets...maybe I'll do those later...hey...I could be rich!

Dinner will be ready about 6:00 ... mmmm I can smell the ham already! That gives me just enough time to announce the December Draw winner! I put all the names into a tin....shook 'em up good...and let Timothy pull out the winning name!

Allison Ann Aller .... come on down! An extra present for you this year!

Drop me a note with your Snail address ... so I can get that on it's way to you soon!

Thanks everyone for your kind comments over the year....I appreciate all of the wonderful feedback....and look forward to sharing more new things with you in the New Year. I like this draw idea...it's such a fun way to share....and I plan more of them in 2009....so stop in often!

Enjoy....Love & Hugs to All


Monday, December 22, 2008

What Was I Thinking ? ? ?

Okay.....I really should know better than to start something that will take me a month to do when I only have two weeks ! So my blank canvas is still nearly blank...I have done 28 rosebuds....but the greenery is slow going ... and there is no way I'd get it done for Christmas...this year.

But....I also decided that this gift was destined for the wrong person....as the picture that will go in it was from Mel TO me... so I should make it for myself.... & hang it in our home...and then at some point down the road let her have it.

In the interim...I decided on another hand-made gift...but...not of my making! I ordered and just received a fabulous pair of earrings made by Gwen Buchanan of Desideratum . Melanie is going to love them...they are so "her"!

I will still share the finished canvas when it is done ... but it'll now be some time next year!

It's almost here! Only a few more sleeps! ..... I am so looking forward to the end of it. It's been quite an exhausting season...and two days of relaxing and merry-making will be most welcome!

I do have my shopping all done now.... food included .... and only a few more things to wrap....so YAY! ... I'm ready for fun!

Will check in with you on Christmas Day .... and announce the winner of the December Draw!
Wishing you all Peace, Love & Joy this Holiday Season ... and a Happy 2009 !

Friday, December 19, 2008

Show & Share - Christmas Stocking - 4

It has begun....snowing that is! They say this is gonna be a big one....could get up to 50 cms before it's over...OMG.

Sharing the last of the stockings with you...this is mine. Blue is my absolute fave colour so added lots of that...with bits of other gem tones to round it out...& lots of gold trims, beads, charms & motifs.
Well...lots to do this morning...wrapping, cards, stitching...and then have to be at work for noon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shop Till Ya Drop...& Wrap It Up!

Year after year I tell myself ( and sternly I might add) to start picking stuff up early...to avoid the last minute bustle...not to mention frustration at not being able to find what I want.

And yes... year after year the same thing happens...I don't listen to myself & end up holding off (again) until the birthdays of November have passed.....and Christmas is on the horizon. Maybe I shop best under pressure...with list in hand of things that I intend to buy.....I commit a couple or three days to power shopping.....then wrap like a fiend to get it present-able!

Today was a power-shopping day...on the heels of my last day off (Friday) which was the same. I have almost all of what I intended to get now...with the exception of two big gifts and some traditional undies for DH...and two or three small things...so feeling like I'm gaining on it!

Every year I do small gifts for my staff and fellow managers...just finished wrapping 33 of them! I got all the "kids" a 2009 - 2010 Planner.....hoping that they will use them to record their shifts...and important functions of family and school...to help me schedule better...let's see if it works! My regular staff get something special...handcrafted goodies that they're always thrilled with!

The boss and managers will be receiving some of my Ornament Cover creations...for the third year in a row...many of them have a collection in progress.

So...with my shash of bags filled with things to wrap I consider myself on track as the countdown is on!

How about you? Are you finished shopping &/or creating those things for your loved ones...or are you still scrambling to get ready for the Big Day?

Show & Share - Christmas Stockings - 3

The third stocking is the one I made for Paul. As for Tim's, I stayed with the rich jewel tones and gave it a masculine feel.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Show & Share - Christmas Stockings - 2

The second stocking I made was for my son Tim. He's not much for flash & splash...his wardrobe is black (mostly) accented with more black and the odd grey or white stripes. But he does like dark jewel tones ... greens ... amethyst ... ruby.... so I chose these to work his stocking. I added lots of small gold metallic trim...and other miscellaneous metallic and threads.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Show & Share - Christmas Stockings - 1

Something I wrote in a previous post reminded me about these ... as I did start in January to have all of these done for the following Christmas!

Years ago I had crocheted stockings for everyone in my family...right from my Mom & siblings to my neices & nephew....and they were used for a lot of years.
I decided that I wanted to make new CQ ones for just "us"...Paul, myself & kids. I wanted them to be the same...only different...so they were all created from the same pattern, but in different colours conducive to each individual.

When it comes to CQ...I've never been much of a "sew as you go" kinda gal...I actually create a pattern in advance and cut each piece individually...knowing that it'll fit exactly...and while some of you may think it's far too much effort...I personally think it is worth it...especially for this type of replication.
Each one has a CQ panel on the front, backed & topped with black velvet, lined with muslin & finished with a Mokuba gold cord hanger. I did mostly seam embellishing on them, but added a few charms & such.

The first I'm sharing is Melanie's...it has a distinctly "girlie" look to it...blues, pinks, purples & white...a bit sparkly & frilly.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Overlooking The Obvious

I'm sure you've heard the expression ... "can't see the forest for the trees" ... well DUH!

I was looking at the original pattern bits that I used to make the two brooches...when it dawned on me....that the other idea I had before the brooch ... was simply a Mini Spinner ornament!

Imagine these on a table-top size tree ... with smaller ornaments ... more fitting in proportion.

You could make them without dangles, or add short ones... stitching them on after the two pieces have been whipped together back to back.

As always...too many ideas...never enough time! Need to start in January to be ready by Christmas!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Inspiration of a Blank Canvas

With less than three weeks to go until Christmas Day, I have decided kind of last minute to make a gift for DD....and for DS...but I know the one I started today will take a bit longer as it will also become a pattern...so the planning, set up and notes are done as I go.

This is all that I'm going to show of the project...because I know DD sometimes checks out Mom's blog....and I don't want to spoil the surprise! I will show you all after she unwraps it.

A blank canvas...staring at it empty...yet able to envision it complete. I know what colours I want to use and the stitches I want to do...can see the picture in my mind's eye...and I love when that happens! Now...to transfer that to this canvas.

While I already know what I'm going to do....here's something for you to try:
Stare at it awhile...think of colours you like...and see if you can imagine filling this canvas! The running stitch line on the outside is 8 x 10.

Tell me what you see...and how you'd fill it up!

December Is A Time of Giving

I had a stitching therapy day...it was only running stitches...but I'll get into that next post.

I am happy you enjoyed the pin idea...and I've decided that I'm going make another one....but this one will go to one of you out there!

I'll collect all names from comments left on all December posts (more than one comment will get you more than one chance) and do the draw thing on Christmas Day....then send it off to the winner via post shortly after. I'll share a pic of it once the recipient notifies me that they've received it (only fair that they should be the first to see).

So keep reading...and commenting...and we'll see who's name comes out of the jar!

T'is The Season ... Continued

Ahhhh...finally a chance to slow down. I have this weekend off and as mentioned in a previous post ... have something new to share with you!

Actually it's another rendition of one of the ornaments shown in the CQ Mag Online article....only this one is a "wearable" version.

I'm one of those people who hate to part with anything useful....and I save stuff....yes...a self-confessed pack rat.

One night I made "doggies - in - blankets" (hot dogs split length-wise with a piece of cheddar inserted then rolled up in a Pillsbury Crescent Roll & baked...the kids love 'em!) I was about to throw out the packages...when I realized that the aluminum end pieces were almost identical to those larger frozen juice lids that I have used in past....only smaller! So...I carefully pulled away all of the paper.....washed & dried them...as my mind raced with the possibilities.

They're a mere 1 3/4" in diameter.....perfect pin size! I traced the shape onto paper and broke the circle up into mini CQ sections...then chose some fancy fabrics...made the panel...and embellished with metallics, rayons & beads.

Using the same finishing technique as the CQ Spinner (but for one side only) I padded it and gathered it over the disk. For the back ..... I cut out a leather circle, centred a bar pin on it and cut small slits to fit each end through then glued the leather backing on.

The beading at the bottom edge was made seperately ( a la Free Form ) then tacked in place with whipstitching. To complete the beaded edge, I added beads 3 at a time, backstitching through the 3rd bead before adding the next 3.

The second one has a stick pin instead of a bar. I bought a whole bunch of these years ago when I found them at Lee Valley....back in the days when I still had the booth....and was making things to sell....then later used them in kits for SRE pins.

The edging was done the same as the first...only made the dangles a bit finer...narrower...and longer.

I'm sure if I hadn't been so busy with the article that I might have made a dozen of them....as I think these would make fabulous gifts for special people....something to jazz up a blouse front or a blazer lapel.

Feel free to give them a go....and if you're not into Crescent Rolls....you could substitute one of those commercially available button forms or cut a disk from hard plastic (like from a laundry soap jug) or art board.

Have fun...and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Highs & Lows

Hi everyone! Did ya miss me? I missed you too!

Well it's done...and delivered! I feel relieved ...and lighter with all that weight of a deadline off me! I actually hand - delivered it today to Carla ... the editor. She lives in Newmarket ... about a 45 minute drive from here. It was fabulous to meet her in person and we had a great chat for about an hour...about the project ... the mag ... and all kinds of stuff.

The finished piece turned out very cool ... and Carla loved it! You can all get a "sneak peek" of the project in the Spring 2009 issue ... and the whole article in the Summer 2009 issue.

While I'm still feeling the effects of "Cloud 9" .... reality set in when I read a message from Barb E in Texas telling that Nora Creeach has passed away...and sadly for her family...her husband too passed away less than a week before. So sad for them all...an awful burden to lose both so close.

While I never met her in person...we did chat back and forth a lot back in the early list days. She was such a giving person....of both stash and her time...and so prolific in her life on-line. Where would we all be without her efforts in getting CQ Mag Online up and running?

My condolences to all of the Tree House Stitchers who had the good fortune of her company. I know you will miss her terribly...but take comfort in knowing that she is out of pain now...and stitching to her hearts content forever more!

More reality...work beckons...so off to start my schedule!

Will be around more often now that I'm freed up ... and have something new to show soon.

Still have Christmas in retail to deal with ... but our (exhausting) big kick-off weekend just wrapped up ... so now will just keep going until the closing bell on Christmas Eve!

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