Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Peacock & A Dog

The hustle and bustle is over for another year, so I thought it was now safe to share the 2 stitchy gifts I gave this year for Christmas.  Of course they were both started a lot earlier in the year, but as a lot of us stitchers tend to do, they get put on hold for some reason or another, and then we are scrambling to get them finished for the "big day".

My daughter Chantelle is a lover of peacocks, so I always keep my eye open for things that have a peacock theme when out shopping.  When I saw this pattern, I thought it would be a fun one to stitch to add to Chantelle's collection.  

I wanted to change up the colours to personalize it a bit more, so while shopping for the threads, Bonnie suggested that I use the colours that Chantelle had used in her  wedding the year before.  (New to our blog, and curious about the wedding?... you can read about it here.)  These are the colours we came up with: Peacock and Purple Majesty by Weeks, black beads for the border, and Midnight beads (from Michaels) for the tail.  The fabric - China Pearl, 28 ct. Jobelan - I already had this in my STASH, which is always a bonus :-)

"Proud Peacock" - Châtelaine Design by Martina Rosenberg

 Grrrrr!!  I usually don't use glass on my pieces, so I forgot to take pictures before framing it and then had to deal with the glare!!

Trying to be as frugal as I could be this Christmas, I picked up the frame at Goodwill for $5.00, and I spray painted it a glossy black. I almost hated to take the frame apart... the person who originally framed it did such a beautiful, meticulous job!  It was 2 frames in one... almost like a shadow box.  That's why I decided to keep the glass this time around.

 I actually had the stitching all finished on the peacock quite a while ago, but was putting off the beading.  I have done projects before that had one or 2 beads added to them, but never this many.  Once I got started, and had a rhythm going, I discovered that I really liked applying the beads!  Ok... some of you out there may call me crazy, but I am one of those stitchers who loves to do french knots and now beading!!  Hmmmm... now maybe I'll get back to that Mirabilia (with the 100's of beads) that I started almost a decade ago!

Now this isn't stitching related, but it's in keeping with the peacock theme.  I also wanted to share a picture of  the gorgeous blanket that Bonnie found in her travels back in the summer.  She took the chance and bought it, hoping that I liked it and would want to give it to Chantelle as part of her Christmas gifts.  Well, you were right Bonnie... she loved it!  Thanks again for helping me with my shopping!!

Now, onto stitchy gift #2.  This one I made for Chantelle's husband, our son-in-law Martin.  He is a dog lover, and gravitates towards the smaller breeds... pugs, bulldogs, etc.  While we were visiting them in Toronto last year, Chantelle showed me a needlepoint pillow of an English bulldog in a shop window near where they lived.  She made the comment that Martin really liked it, but didn't want to pay what was on the price tag.  That's all I needed to hear to get the wheels turning!  We went back to their place, got on her laptop and started looking for patterns.  For some reason, at that time, I couldn't find any English bulldog patterns, so we settled on a "French" bulldog instead.  

I thought I would change things up a bit with Martin's too, so I decided to convert the DMC colours to Vikki Clayton solid silk floss.  Wow... gotta love stitching with silk threads!

I was so excited when I went to the fabric store and started digging through the remnant bin and found the perfect fabric to back the pillow with... it was exactly what I had pictured in my head right from the beginning :-) 

Being stitched on the white fabric, I felt it was still missing something.  Out came Nana's button tin and I started digging.  I think adding the 4 metal, slightly distressed buttons was just what it needed!

It was so much fun to stitch both the picture and the pillow, especially when I know that both Chantelle and Martin really appreciate all of the love and time that went into making them.

Time to go dig out that Mirabilia...


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Scarlet's Growth Chart @ 6 Months Old

December 26th is Scarlet's 6 month mark and it's time again for another growth chart.   The past 6 months seem to have just flown by.  It's getting a little trickier now to get both Sushi and Scarlet to sit still; Sushi isn't as interested in the pink thing that is nice and warm to cuddle up next to.  Now it moves!  It grabs!  It pulls!  It tries to bite ears!

"I'll show her who's boss around here", said Sushi.

For anyone who may be concerned...
the scratch marks are not from Sushi. (She has been declawed) 
Scarlet had a bad nail.
Since Libby lives out of town and we don't get to see her as often it's really hard to try and have a growth chart done with her.  Libby is a little nervous around the baby, but each time she sees her, she inches closer each time.

The Sock Monkey that Scarlet got for Christmas was a hit.  It covers and uncovers its eyes and says 'peek-a-boo' and then giggles; multiple times.  It sounds like another little baby interacting with Scarlet and she just loves it. 

After a long and exhausting day of peek-a-booing and jolly-jumping, Scarlet was chillin' out with 'Aunti N' and one of her favourite things is to hang onto the couch and look out the window.  When I came upon them... Niki said, 'Mom, she's awfully still, is she sleeping?"  Sure enough.

Niki was a huge fan of the Wizard of Oz, and when she was little she always referred to it as 'the wizard o'boz'.  So shortly after Scarlet was born she said, "I'm going to teach Scarlet to call me Aunti N, and then she will never want me to leave her and she will always say ' come back Aunti N, come back!' " 

We had a lovely Christmas this year; it was the first Christmas in over 20 years that my girls were with me for the entire day. (they usually spend Christmas eve and morning with me, and the rest of the day with their dad - so it is a rush to get gifts opened, eat, shower and change and get out the door before noon).   So this year,  we were able to take our time opening gifts, we had a delicious Christmas breakfast and we lounged in our pj's until 4pm.  Then we headed to my mom's across town for dinner.  (a whole of a 2 minute drive).  

So twice that day I got to say; "There's no place like home. There's no place like home!" 

But now I am back to work after a 10 day stretch of holidays and everyone is gone back home.  So now it's my turn to say....

"Come back Aunti N Come back."
(you too Aunti H, Uncle S ....and your little dog too)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Another Year Gone By

Another year has come and gone, and this past Tuesday we found ourselves gathering at Jody's house for our annual Christmas cross stitch meeting.  Our monthly get togethers are usually held in the evening hours, but this time around it worked out that we were all able to arrive by mid-afternoon to start the festivities.

Whenever you pull into Jody's drive there is always a beautiful outdoor vignette she's put together to co-ordinate with the season.  As usual, we weren't disappointed!

After some catching up, and getting our stitching spots set up for the day, someone made the comment that Jody's Christmas tree needed some ornaments.  "I was waiting for you all to get here to help me!" was Jody's response.  About that time, Jody's 3 boys arrived home from school, and they were more than happy to help! 

These guys kept us in stitches - of a different kind - with their fun-loving ways!

We'd worked up an appetite from trimming the tree, so we decided it was time to eat!  Lots of variety with our potluck meal... and let's not forget the candy!!  

With our bellies full, and getting settled in our chairs, it was gift giving time!   As usual we were spoiled rotten!!

From Jody:
A gift card from Chapters, a cute little Santa ornament and yummy Apple-Walnut shower gel.

 From Bonnie:
A Vanilla Sugar Satin Hands kit (that came in an adorable sweater bag!) and a cute button ornament.

 From Anita:
A toiletry bag, a cosmetic bag, and a tissue holder to match our beautiful "weekender" bags that she made us earlier in the year. ( Handwash and wax bars from Scentsy were also tucked inside.) Two "Mug Rugs" that she also sewed, along with a gorgeous hand-made ornament. 

From me:
A stitched "Friendship" sampler by Silver Creek Samplers.  As you can see, only 2 got done in time (due to other stitching commitments).  Thanks for understanding, Bonnie... you will get yours ASAP!

We also got spoiled with a very special treat that arrived for us in the mail the week before.  There was sure a lot of oooing and awwwing as each one of us opened our package from the "Stitching Sisters", who so lovingly stitched ornaments for us... the "Four from Forest".  We get together with these special ladies at our Brentwood Stitching Retreat each May... we only wish we lived closer to one another!  Jayne - when you get the chance, could you please identify who stitched what for us?  Some we could figure out; some are still a mystery :-)  (We did manage to guess who knitted the stars, though! lol) 

It's hard to believe that our little group of 4 is coming up to our 19th year of getting together every month -  laughing, sharing, and stitching .

Jody, Bonnie, Tracey & Anita

We hope that all of our blogging/stitching friends out there, near and far, have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy 2013!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Scarlet's Growth Chart @ 5 months old

Scarlet is 5 months old now.   This month, I decided to tinker with PicMonkey  and create a few collages to display.  Give it a try sometime, there are some great features.

Where does the time go??  

Sunday, November 18, 2012


About a month ago, I got the news that my cousin's wife was facing her second bout of Malignant Phyllodes breast cancer after just 18 months of getting her first diagnosis. It is a very rare type of breast cancer, and she and her family are having to travel 3 hours from their home for her appointments and treatment.  There are also several underlying medical conditions she will need treatment for, and needless to say, they are really feeling the stress with these additional expenses and the ones yet to come.  When we heard that a group of their close friends were planning a benefit for the family, I just knew that I wanted to cross stitch something to donate for the silent auction.

Since I didn't have a huge amount of time, I needed to choose a pattern that wasn't too large, and would appeal to a wide variety of people.  I went searching through my patterns, looking for something with a "friendship" theme, and decided on this chart from Heart in Hand appropriately named - Friendship the Trilogy

 I first saw this pattern stitched up, when our friend Jayne made the 4 of us each a flat-fold using this design (you can read about it here).  Following Jayne's lead, I also changed up the colours here and there since I wanted to use threads I already had on hand.  I'm so happy how it turned out, and it was an extra bonus when I realized that it fit perfectly into a pre-made 5"x7" distressed frame!

I also decided to add this ornament I finished a little while back.  I felt it needed a bit of sparkle, so I added a tiny red button from my Nana's button tin.

The benefit was held last night, and it was a huge success!!  A fun time was had by all, and the outpouring of love and support by those who attended and contributed was overwhelming.  We hope that the funds raised will help to lessen the financial burden for the family as they go through this difficult time.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Fine Dusting

This morning I woke up in a bit of a fog.  Or should I say in a bit of a dusting ??  I have been fighting  a sinus and chest infection all week and I looked forward to relaxing all weekend. With the time change allowing for the extra hour of sleep I can't lose right? Wrong.  Instead of waking up at 2:30 in the morning as I have all week,  I now wake up at 1:30.  This recovery is not as speedy as I thought it would be even with my antibiotic.  BUT, at least I got that extra hour to relax anyway. 

So I thought I would be smart and take my iPad to bed with me and when I wake up with a coughing fit at least I can entertain myself until I can fall back to sleep.   Pinterest and I have become good friends this week.  So much so that I have probably lost several of my other friends now from annoying them with a tsunami of emails of 'look what I just found!'.   You know... just like the 'non-computer' person who suddenly decides they should get on the information highway and invest in a computer and they forward you all the jokes they've just discovered and you've already read for the past 20 years.  Dear friends, please forgive my new-found excitement.  Yes I'm a little bored, but I really was thinking of you when I saw that idea. .. and that idea.... and oh ya... THAT idea.

Back to the dusting.  Ok, so this morning (at 2:30 am 1:30 am) I thought - Ok Bonnie, Stop looking at the remodeling, decorating and craft ideas because you aren't well enough (or rich enough) to do any of them yet - go to the Christmas cookie ideas and see what you can find for this year that will be different.  Oh my goodness, so many ideas are out there to choose from I just don't know where I want to start, but I do remember drifting back to sleep between powdered donut snowmen, and powdered snowflakes, powdered donut kabobs, powdered cupcakes.

Now, back to the beginning of the story.  This morning I woke up in a bit of a fog.  Looked out the window and thought I saw a giant Pinterest 'Pin' of powdered sugar.  We had our first dusting of snow.  It was so pretty to see all the coloured leaves peaking through the snow.  So I smiled and thought, what a pretty way to wake up first thing again this morning. I stood there admiring for a moment, then I had a cough attack, peed my pants, and was brought back to reality and I thought I would capture the moment with my camera. 

I have a perfect spot in front of the window when I sit to relax. All week I have been admiring the vibrant colour
of the roses peaking in at me.
Hydrangeas are one of my most favourite flowers.
Simple beauty.
I wish I could take this inside and keep it like this.

Oh !!  I hear geese approaching. 

Had the sun been shining, this would have been a great shot of the glistening tree.
It really does look like someone just dusted the gardens with pwdered sugar.
The Yucca looks kinda Yummy.
For the life of me I cannot even remember the name of this bush.
.... still cant.
These are the four foot tall burrs that I keep forgetting to dig up.
Even mushrooms like a bit of dusting.
OH!  Found the neighbour's ball.
A canopy of evergreen.
Oh dear, I left the kids in the garden.
They seem to be happy enough; yep, he's got her covered.
What a guy!
Sugared driftwood anyone?
Snow angel.
Pull up a seat and set a spell.
I love the random spattering of snow on the fence.
Yes... that is the pumpkin house still sitting in the urn.
The birds seem happy enough.
A few snap dragon's left.
Another one peeking out.
Last week I picked some of the snap dragons that were still making their appearance and so today I thought I would bring the mini-roses in and enjoy them for a few days.  

Time to go make a cup of tea.  Of course, 'you know who' just HAD to join in ....
As I write this, the dusting of snow is all melted away now.  I'm glad I grabbed my camera when I did.  I guess that extra hour today turned out to be a benefit in more ways than one. 

Off I go now... the tea is long gone, but chicken soup is calling my name.

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016 was held at Jody's this year and we were lucky we had good weather for our travel eastbound.  If there is going to be a...