Tuesday, March 31, 2009

So ... I've Been Playing ...

Here's what I've been up to : got some plastic rings to try those Dorset Butttons ... wished I had got some a bit bigger...noticed afterward that the ones used were 1" ... mine were half that. Oh well ... I also used #12 silk ... and ended up with more spokes...but it turned out okay. I also used the same to crochet over the ring & then did some mesh around. The Happiness Green PCR one was started the same way ... crocheting over the ring ... then did a round of Vs topped with fans.

Then I decided to add some beads ... on the Blue Iris one ... I did a ring around first & worked the pattern from it ... the Ivory one was free hand ... turned out not bad but tricky to gauge spacing.

This is the equivalent of doodling for me ... playing with ideas ... distracting myself for a while.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

UWO Gave Their All ... But UNB Victorious!

Wow ... it was such an exciting game! Western came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie it ... and with only a few minutes left ... UNB went ahead by one. Western pulled their goalie for a man advantage hoping to tie it up & go into overtime ... but it backfired and UNB scored on the empty net ... and that was the game!

Chris took a bad hit on the boards early in the third ... and we thought he was going to be done as he twisted his right knee ... but he managed to get off the ice under his own power & after being checked out was back in the game a few minutes later.

We were so hoping that they'd win ... which would have been awesome ... as this is his final year. It would have been an amazing feat ... as their team has more freshmen than seasoned players. UNB just had a bit more something ... perhaps the experience of being in the last 3 finals ... and the sting of losing out last year made them want it badly ... whatever it was it was enough to be victorious.

We are so proud of Chris and his team making it to the finals ... they played an awesome game.

CQ Swirl - Before & After

Okay so you've all suffered through all my recent text ... and about time you got some visuals.

A while back I shared the CQ Swirls that I had been playing with ... one was a BD gift ... and this one you saw as a blank ... so here's the before & after pics to show how it finished up.

While I'm entirely certain that I have enough thread to stitch for years ... I stopped into The Art of Fabric shop here recently ... and decided that I needed some new colours of PCR ... and used two of them here...the turquoise shade is called Happiness Green (tho it doesn't look green at all it is an awesomely lovely colour) and Seafoam ... that lighter green ... another happy colour! The other one I got was Black ... thinking wrought iron work there!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

UWO Mustangs Advance to National Finals!

No ladies & gentlemen ... I have not lost my mind (tho this is a bit off my beaten path).

My nephew Chris Petrow plays defence for the University of Western Ontario Mustangs ... and this afternoon ... as I visited with my brother (his Dad) and my neice Amy (his sis) at my sister's place ... we watched Chris and his team beat out the St. Mary's Huskies to advance to the final!
(The link above has the whole story about the game today.)

While I don't usually watch hockey ... it's awesome to watch when family is on TV ... in such a high profile tournament!

Chris scored the goal that insured the point spread they needed to make the final ... and assisted in two more that put them out of reach of the Huskies.

It was a really proud family moment ... and after the game we called & left a congrats message on his phone ... all whoopin' & hollerin'& cheering & clapping ... all the way to Thunder Bay!

If any of you out there are following the series ... and you happen to catch the game on TV tomorrow ... watch for No. 25 ... for that'd be my nephew!

Contemplation...Inspiration...& Cool Stuff

I've spent some time this week contemplating what direction I want to go ... artistically speaking.
I've done the retailing of original works, and patterns, and offered free stuff ... not to mention the four (soon to be five) articles ... and been blogging for over a year ... a lot accompished ... but still not nearly as far as I intend to go ... it's a perpetual journey that is always leading me off madly in all directions ... as I discover new techniques or creative forms.

Lately with my lack of inspiration & ability to get excited about current projects ... I've allowed myself to get distracted ... and been playing with smaller creations ... trying out this & that.

The Paisley adventure has continued ... and I've actually finished four ... but see ... this is my current dilemma. I'd like to share everything with you all ... but am thinking that some of these new creations will take me back to where I started ... offering originals up for sale. I love how the idea came together for a finished project ... and eventually when you do see it you'll understand what I meant.

So ... what forum ? I thought about doing an Etsy site ... but now giving that a second thought. I like the Artfire concept ... but don't think that I'd have enough volume to warrant a shop that would allow me so much space....and so may give their freebie thing a try ... 10 items at any given time ... that's about what I would have ... and then there's the sredeluxe2U venture that has been idle for a while ... hmmm ... what to do???!!!

Well ... I don't have to decide today ... so let's just let that simmer on the back burner for a while.

Feel free to voice your opinions.

So ... during all this down time ... I've poked around here & there for fun ... and found some inspiration in what others have shared.

Here's something that I thought was way cool. Rose Anne B did an awesome Coffee Cup Sleeve in CQ ... and it became a swap over on CQ - CA .

I also found a link on Mary Corbet's site for a tutorial about Dorset Buttons over on Craftystylish and have played with them ... made one small one & also did my own personal spin-off .... did the first part of it by covering a ring & then decide to use that as a centre for a beaded motif. (Pics will follow when I get around to scanning....possibly later today.)

I actually did finish off the stitching on the second CQ Swirl piece that I shared earlier this month ... and quite pleased with it. I've been getting some great brain waves about my Jar Topper idea ... the beading thing particularly as a finish ... and want to persue this soon.

I also discovered ... that while I intened this Topper to fit recycled candle jars (of which I have a whole bunch) that it will also exactly fit a standard Mason jar! I was thinking how risky ... not to mention how expensive it'd be to mail a glass jar ... so knowing that I wouldn't have to ... it's easier to consider as a viable saleable piece.

If you've read along this far ... thanks for listening to me ramble on ... and stay tuned for the pics to follow later!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Denim Pillow - Middle

I had to work this past weekend & it was nice to see it quite busy ... but the busier it gets ... the more exhausted I end up ... so sporadic posting may result. I'm finally off today so here's the next section.
Looking at the pics brings to mind that a lot of what I stitched was experimental ... things I hadn't tried before and things that were new to me ... like needle tatting. I spent several months focused on that alone ... and ended up with lots of medallions & edging bits in a variety of threads to see how each performed ... I see silk & variegated cotton here ... and I think I used some Jeans Stitch on a few.
One effect that I liked was the lacy-looking seam on the upper left corner of the fourth pic...it was simply an arrangement of long Lazy Daisy & straight stitches that formed a half wheel then detached buttonhole over the top row.
I tend to forget about adding lace into seams when I'm composing the block so add things on in the embellishment process to compensate.
I reposted the Paisley pic in it's position on the pillow.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Denim Pillow (Right)

Starting at the top right ... lots of travelling vines, some tatted bits and floral baskets. On the last two pics at the right ... the royal blue bit was something new that I had tried out...a line of woven cross stitch flowers ... in Ribbon Floss. There's another one on the left side done in yellow PCR which shows up much better...but I really like the definition of the Floss.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Show & Share - Denim Pillow

I've been meaning to do this for a while ... to get this piece scanned. I knew it was going to take some time ... as it's big ... and 16 scans later I managed to get most of it.

I know I mentioned it some time ago ... this pillow. I wanted to make a floor cushion...to accommodate one of the many gamers who frequent our place & crowd around the TV...often there are so many of them that one body ends up on the floor...as all of the seats are taken...so odd one out at least doesn't end up with a "numb butt"... and can play in comfort.

What I didn't think about when I began it ... is how long it'd take & challenging a project it would be to stitch ... but I loved it once it was done ... and it's a fabulously functional piece. It probably could use a wash ... as it's getting a bit dingy ... but oh well ... I'll add that to my Spring Cleaning list of things to do!

As I've done in past ... I'll share this in bits & then show a pic of the whole at the end ... only I won't show just one section at a time...but consecutive sections....right...middle and left.

I wanted to start with this one as an intro ... because it follows with what I've been stitching lately ... Paisleys! When I look at them now ... they seem really wonky ... or they have character ... you decide!

Either way ... I stitched them on the centre patch.....all in Pearl Crown Rayon.


Here's Something Different ... Selvage Art!

I was clicking around my fave blogs recently and Debbie in Jerusalem had a bit about collecting selvages ... and a link to a site featuring work using these...so I went to have a look.

I was quite intrigued by these pieces ... all created by working the selvage sections into the whole and this artform seems to have quite a following. Check it out!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patties!

I personally dont have an Irish bone in my body ... but as they say ... "Today the whole world is Irish!" ... and I was reminded of that today by a sweet elderly gal with a genuine Irish lilt!

I was on cash today for the morning ... and she and her husband came through my line just before lunch ... and she very directly said to me "Happy St. Patties to you!" "Oh yes" I said ... it is St. Pat's isn't it...but I'm not Irish!" "Well you are today my girl" she said ... so I just smiled & wished her a Happy St. Patties too!

Truth be told ... my kids have some Irish blood ... Paul's Mom was a Flynn ... so I guess that makes them 1/4 Irish. Tonight they were more Ukrainian though ... we had Perogies for dinner!

Happy Birthday to my BIL Patrick ... who was born on this day.

I've finished up another Paisley tonight ... and not really motivated to start something new so decided I'd partake in a traditional Irish pastime...and have a beer! It ain't Guiness ... but give me a good ol' Canadian any day!

So ... here's to all my Irish friends out there ... Happy St. Patties!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Paisley # 2

I finished up my second paisley yesterday ... and am now on to a third ... but this time I'm downsizing a bit. These first two measure 2-3/4" long ... the next one will be 2-1/4" and have another that is 2" . I am also toying with a butterfly idea ... and a few other shapes for these beaded / stitched embellishments...because I still don't have any projects beckoning me!

For this one I started with YLI Silk 30 and did a chain stitch outline ... whip stitched that ... then used PCR to do the Cast-on Stitch scallops around the perimeter. Next I added a row of ivory seed beads and worked loops into the base row & added a green rochaille in the centre ... stitched bullion curves around these followed by a row of the same green beads around them. In the centre space I added loops of the ivory seed beads enhanced with some gold colonial knots for a bit of depth...I wasn't completely thrilled with how it turned out ... but it looks all right.
Must run ... all that playing yesterday has left me with a list of things that still need to get done.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

First Signs of Spring!

It is common practice to rely on the predictions of the Groundhog ... whether it be Wiarton Willy or Puxatauny (?sp) Phil ... as indicators as to when spring will arrive ... but I have a more reliable source ... the robin!

I know ... that when the robins come back ... that spring is almost here. We still may endure another blast of wintery snow ... but for the most part it is over. I heard one today!

Robins are a most tenacious creature. They are opportunists and will build a nest in a protected spot.

A few years back, I had a cedar wreath hung on the wall just to the right of our front door. Easter was early ( in March) that particular year ... and Easter Sunday was a glorious warm & sunny day. I decided to have my morning coffee out front ... and soak up some of that warmth ... it was about 20 celcius. All of a sudden I saw a robin flying straight at me!...or so I thought. It was actually flying to a nest it had constructed (seemingly overnight) atop the forgotten cedar wreath...which was under the front porch & protected from the elements.

Needless to say we decided to let nature take it's course...and leave the wreath and the nest intact. A few weeks later ... was the first signs of hatchlings...Mom & Dad were flying back and forth constantly bringing food to three waiting beaks. A few more weeks passed and the babies had grown ... and began their test flights. It wasn't long before they all found their wings and were gone from the nest.

It never ceases to amaze me ... how creatures with brains so small ... can be so in tune with the seasons ... and let us know by their presence that the seasons have changed.

Let spring begin!

Happy Friday the 13th!

Are you superstitious!? Do Friday the 13ths freak you out? Not me!

I think 13 a lucky number myself ... Melanie was born on Friday November 13 / 92 ... and I think of it as a blessing! She'll have her BD this year on the actual day she was born.

Linda H wrote about this day in her last post ... and I know there are lots of folks who get weird about this day. It's true many buildings don't have 13th floors or units...because of the fear that people won't dwell in them ... HELLO...it's just a number!

One of our two parking spots is 13. Our Phone # ends in 13 ... we're okay with that!

The mind is a strange thing ... invokes strange perceptions about a date. To each their own!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

First Paisley Done

So here's the first of the Paisley bits that I have been working on. This is close to actual size...but if you click on it...it'll enlarge for more detail.

Starting from the outside edge ... I did the outline in chain stitch and then did the outer border with detatched buttonhole with Pearl Crown Rayon in Light Fuchsia. Inside the border I added a row of pink bugles alternated with gold metallic seed beads...then picked up more of same to do the points. Next to these I worked a row of straight stitches (PCR - Lavender) then worked detatched buttonhole over them. The next row has more of the pink bugles alternated with purple 8/0 metallic beads.

I was almost going to stop there...as the black centre kinda looked cool...but then decided to enhance it with a bit of Kreinik gold cord...so I formed a web of sorts ... ending up with an odd number of spokes ... then wove over/under (a la Spider Web Rose) and formed the eye.

Not too shabby...am pleased with how it turned out. Next one I'm going to do is on ivory duppioni in shades of green and something...will see where it takes me!
I've also been taking my Drag Bag to work and adding to it during the spare time I usually have over my dinner hour...so it's coming along slowly. Nothing to show on it yet.
Have a great day!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Well ... It Worked for Jo ... So...

I thought with having a weekend off that I'd get a lot accomplished ... stitching wise anyways ... but the inspiration just didn't seem to be there for me. I did try and I did stitch but just seemed to fall short...stuff just didn't seem to work out like it was supposed to.

Jo had the same problem recently ... she's been missing her mojo...and turned to other distractions to help in the creative process. She's been playing with Paisleys ... beading up a storm ... and creating some pretty cool stuff. So I thought I'd try this distraction too ... and followed suit by playing with some Paisleys of my own.

I've done a few of them before ... but they were mostly stitchery ... this time I added some bead work to one ... just to see how it'd work out...and damned if it didn't start looking pretty cool.

I was disappointed that the projects I wanted to do came up short ... but a non-project did help to distract me from the missing something...and came up with a different focus that turned out.

I haven't quite finished to the point of being able to share ... but soon I'm sure.

Thanks Jo for the inspiration!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Do You Ever Feel Life is a Challenge?

It seemed like a long week to me...and I was looking forward to Friday...as I am off for the weekend and some R&R. Spent from a busy day I had a power nap ... which refreshed me ... but stretched past midnight ... so here I am ... fully awake in the wee hours of the morning!

I was hopping around my fave blogs to see what everyone else has been up to ... when I stumbled across an intriguing post on Mary Corbet's site. She posted a You Tube video of a woman who has to do everything with her feet ... because she has no arms. The amazing thing is ... what she can do!

I will never complain again ... about what I cannnot do .. because this is absolutely awesome ... how she has overcome the lack of having hands ... and accomplishes amazing things using only her feet!

The fact that it is all in a foriegn language is of no consequense...the video will speak for itself!

So...check it out... I'm sure you'll find inspiration in what you see!

Birthday Gifts

Finally ... some pics to share of the birthday gifts that I told about recently!

Cathy wanted a new pin cushion ... the CQ one that I had made her works fine but she needed something bigger ... with more pins to be at the ready for large projects... so after putting on my thinking cap... I came up with a Pin Tower. I inserted plastic pin wheels between stacks of fabric-covered juice lids & topped it with a beaded motif in metallic beads. I also added a leather insert between the padding and the metal lid so the pins wouldn't hit the metal. Cathy just loved it ... and is looking forward to using it.

I showed the flat scan of the Jar Topper that I made for Madhu ... the gal whose daughter stole her Christmas present... but here is the finished piece. I was very pleased with how it turned out and she loved it! .... the best thanks for any creation.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Need Some Spring ?

We know it will get here ... but when the ground is still frozen solid ... and dirty remnant piles of snow just keep hanging around ... it is depressing.

I stumbled onto a very cool blog recently when I clicked on a link on Gwen's...it's called Fairy Shoes and Other Things ... and while the fairy shoes on her header pic are worth the trip alone ... Annette has posted some awesome pics of an entire forest bed of Snowdrops! These are one of my very fave spring flowers! So delicate but so hardy...and early!

So cheer up and know that it is spring somewhere...and it will be spring here soon!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy BD To You!

Today is my sister Cathy's birthday ... Happy BD dear sis!

Some of you may have seen her blog ... Cate Ross ... but for those who haven't it's worth checking out.

My sis has done some very interesting things in her life ... and that's part of what she blogs about. Her last post details the days when she & her ex owned their own Big Rig ... no kidding ... pictures and everything.

But ... she is also a Registered Massage Therapist ... and for a time was an instructor at Apollo College in Phoenix. She's the one who put my website together and often helps me with photos of my stuff. She is also a Seamstress Extrordinaire...awesome with alterations and new creations alike!

After 9-11 their life kind of fell apart there...both she and her husband lost their jobs and their landlord at the time decided to sell the house they were living in ... so they made the huge decision to leave it all behind and move to Canada. This was a huge adjustment ... leaving the dry warmth of the desert ... to relocate to the Haliburton Highlands to stay with my brother.

Haliburton ... for those who are not familiar ... is a small town in the heart of Cottage Country ... a bustling place in the summer ...a home away from home for all the cottagers and a favourite resort destination. In the winter it caters to more activity ... snowmobilers, skiers, dog sled racers, and fishermen (ice fishing) all find it a fabulous place to play.

Once situated ... Cathy used the talents she had to get them by ... & set up a small business sewing. She never had to do any advertising, as word of mouth from satisfied clients always seemed to get her lots of business...and one of the local newspapers did a feature article about her as part of a promotion for a fashion show that included some of her creations & was being hosted by a local salon / spa.

The unfortunate side to her life has been deteriorating health. She's been the victim of several car accidents that have done some serious damage and left her facing life in a wheel chair...which she already has aquired...but uses only when she has to.

The up side to this scenario ... is that it did qualify her to occupy a unit here at the Co-op designed to accommodate life in a chair ... and it is wonderful to have her so close.

She's one of my biggest fans ... and I'm one of hers!

So again Happy Birthday Cathy ... love you!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

200 ... And The Winner Is ... !

This is it ... the official 200th post ... and I'm amazed ... it seems like so many but it wasn't really that hard to get to it ... and you know there'll be more ... for sure!

Well ... before getting on to the rest of the post ... let me say that Melanie helped me with the draw this time and the name she drew from the Lucky Tin tonight is ...

Michelle Mermaid ... aka Dakotah ... you won! Congratulations!

Please e-mail me with your snail address so I can get your prize on the way!

Thanks to all of you who left comments this month ... they are what makes this so much fun!

******* ******* *******

Crazy how fast this year is flying by... wow ... March already! Two birthdays coming up over the next two days...and gifts are ready. Mel took some pics for me and I'll share them after she uploads them.

I didn't find enough time or energy to do that bead trim I contemplated for the jar ... but I will keep in mind for future creations ... the idea hit some snags that I'd like to think through a bit more.

Apologies for all this text stuff..will get some pics for you soon!

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