Monday, July 22, 2013

Adding to my stitching repertoire...

A couple of years ago, while at a large stitching conference in Ocean City, Maryland, I was introduced to another style of stitching called Canvas Work (some people say it's technically known as needlepoint, but I think it's a lot like crewel work with all the various stitches), but I digress...

While at the conference, several women were stitching this so-called canvas work and I fell in love with the look, the colors, and the geometric designs. I asked if I could sit and watch and ask questions; they were so generous with their time and couldn't help me enough...they were wonderful! And I fell in love with this new technique of stitching. The reason it's called canvas work is because it's stitched on a stiffer material than cross-stitch, with larger holes, and the canvas is mounted on a frame of wooden stretcher bars using tacks made especially for this technique.

Canvas mounted on stretcher bars with tacks

Also while there, one of the girls in my group bought a canvas chart at the local stitching shop (Salty Yarns) and wanted to start it. She had never done one of these either, so we sat together and figured out how to mount the canvas on the stretcher bars, etc. Well, I got so hooked on helping her with the design, I basically took it over and worked on it while she went for a walk on the beach. LOVED working that new technique of stitching. And needless to say, the next day, I returned to the cross-stitch shop and bought the same design plus another for myself, with ALL the necessary supplies (of course!!!) 

Then, early this winter, I was alerted to a canvas work class that was being offered online in April, and once I saw all the "colorways," I couldn't resist! (Colorways are the different color versions the design can be stitched in: blue/greens, purples/pinks, yellow/oranges, etc.)  The class design was called Sherwood Garden, offered by Kathy Rees of Needle Delights Originals. I fell in love with the "Stained Glass" colorway of the project and signed up for the class. I started it in April when the class first began, but then got distracted by some other WIPs and put it aside. Over this past weekend, I got the itch to continue working on it, so here's my progress:

Sherwood Garden by Kathy Rees of Needle Delights Originals©
('Stained Glass' colorway)

 ...and here's an enlarged view of the border. I LOVE the effect!

 ..and here are the different colorways available for the project:

 ...and here's the overall look of the project in the original colorway "Sherwood Garden" (greens, rusts, and peaches):

Hoping to get more stitched tonight!

So happy working with all the jewel tones in this design!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Sweltering Saturday with Netflix...

Well, it's been another day spent indoors hibernating from the heat. But you're not going to hear me complaining too much because it has allowed for mucho stitching time, accompanied by Netflix pix. I just filled up a tall glass of iced tea and will be happy as a clam as soon as I upload this post...

For today's viewing pleasure, I just received the beginning of Season 2 of "Game of Thrones" (Episodes 1 + 2) and "From Prada to Nada" in today's mail. I'm loving the "Game of Thrones" series.....unbelievably well produced and the scenery and costuming are absolutely incredible. Really enjoying watching it but hate waiting for each consecutive disc to arrive. (Yes, I know I could order the 'streaming' version of Netflix and watch them all in a row, but I'd have to buy an additional piece of hardware to receive the streaming version, AND [and this was the deal-breaker] there aren't as many selections via streaming yet, so I opted to receive via mail.)

I'm not too sure about the "Prada" movie, however. Someone told me it was quite funny, so I added it to my queue of movies without any research. It's fun to be surprised (or NOT!) I'll be sure to let you know....

Also, one of my Showtime channels has been airing the special about The Eagles (the rock band) called "The History of The Eagles." It's 3+ hours long and another incredibly well done documentary. I DVR'd it and have been watching it in increments. LOVE it so much I've re-watched the entire show a couple of times now. Their music is unbelievably well written and their harmonies are spot-on, and it will stand the test of time for decades. And I have to admit....I'm kinda crushin' on Don Henley....AGAIN! All of my high school and college years occurred in the '70's, so the Eagles' complete repertoire was the soundtrack of my life at the time. And with each song, a wave of wonderful memories comes flooding back to me, reminding me what a great time those years were. Thank you, Showtime, for airing such a great piece of artistry! back to my regularly scheduled hibernating-in-the-AC time. Stay cool, everyone!

So very, very thankful my air conditioning continues to keep me
cool and comfortable, and all my ceiling fans allow me to
conserve on the AC use!


Friday, July 19, 2013


Earlier this week, I was so happy to open my mailbox. Look what was waiting for me!

July and September issues of Cross-Stitch & Needlework

I must've renewed my subscription on the cusp of the two issues, so they sent me both. Happy dance!!

So grateful for my new reading material.....
beautiful EYE CANDY!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

On the hunt for....

If anyone out there in blogland can tell me where I can find the following, please, PLEASE let me know. I received a can of these delicious wafer rolls (with an orange/chocolate inner filling) in a gift basket and they are to die for! They are soooo GOOD! And now that I'm looking to get another can, I can't find them anywhere. I've contacted the manufacturer, I've searched online (by name and SKU number) and not finding anything. I did stumble across one site that said they're no longer being exported to the US, but I know the original can was bought in the US, so there have to be more, right? RIGHT??

I would be ever so grateful if anyone can find me a can of the
Ferro Wafer Rolls with the Chocolate & Orange Filling!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Status of some "Snowmen"....

If you look back at this post, you'll see my newly acquired stash included several of Shepherd's Bush "Snowman" charts. In my unintentional hiatus from this blog, I was able to work on a couple of them. 

Here's is Christian's Snowman (1999) finished. (I won't be framing any of them until the entire series is completed.)

"Christian's Snowman" by Shepherd's Bush

...and here's a close up of the cutest little mitten charm attached to the bottom border. (The design comes as a kit, so everything is included: fabric, flosses, and charm.)

The next in the series is the Red Snowman (2006). I'm about halfway done...

"Red Snowman" by Shepherd's Bush (incomplete)

Thankful for the therapy of cross-stitching!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What I did over my summer vacation (sort of)....

Last weekend, I traveled back to my hometown, where my parents still live, to celebrate a milestone high school reunion. The organizers had plenty of things for us to do the entire holiday: hometown semi-pro baseball game, with fireworks afterward; a city-wide "Picnic in the Park" with bands, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, exotic animals on display; get-togethers for our class with an outdoor stage with entertainment; dinners with friends; and last but not least, the actual reunion dinner on Saturday night. I was exhausted when I got back home, but with the sweetest of memories of everyone who made it back to the reunion. It really was a great holiday weekend!

But what was the most special to me was finding two baby robins that fell out of the tree in my parents' backyard while I was home. I found the first one just by accident. I had taken Miss Autumn (my Greyhound) for a walk, and was on my way to dispose of her 'poopy bag' when I almost stepped on the first baby buried in the grass. (Thankfully, because of all the rain, my father hadn't been able to mow the lawn, so it was quite high and thick, which not only may have protected the baby when it fell, but also kept it rather concealed from any predators.) I picked it up and could see/hear the Momma screaming and carrying on in the lower tree branches above me. 

Also near this tree, my parents had planted this hydrangea plant (above) in the hopes of eventually covering up some gas meter piping, but it's still rather small. Behind it is a planter of my mother's (and mine) favorite hot pink 'wave' petunias. With no place else to put the baby, and plenty of cats in the area, I thought hiding it in the flower planter was the best place. The baby was tiny and altho it had its feathers, it didn't look too healthy, but I wanted to give Momma the best chance to feed it, and the planter was in the shade from about 10am on, so the baby would be protected from the elements. I had no sooner placed the first baby in the planter, and turned around to go back inside, when I saw another little fuzzy head jumping in the grass. Sure enough! ...another little baby. Scooped the second one up and put it in the planter. It was much bigger than the first, and they both started screaming when I placed the second one in there, and the bigger of the two, jumped out! Yikes! Were they from two different nests??? I didn't know. Just then my mother came out and she put them both together in the planter and they snuggled into each other. Ahhhh...nothing like a mother's loving touch, right?

(click on any of the photos
to see an enlarged version)

And all this time, Momma Robin is up in the trees just a-screamin' and hollerin'. All the commotion brought around several other robins into the trees and on the rooftops. But once the babies were quiet, all the hovering adults calmed down, too. And shortly afterward, while we watched out the window, Momma came and started feeding them. Whew! 

But we had no idea how long they had been out of the nest, and anytime we got near them, or even our shadows crossed over the planter, their little mouths would pop open and start chirping, thinking Momma had come to feed them. So, to help out Mother Nature a little bit, my father had an AHA! moment --- he got out his home-made electric prod and stuck it in the ground (W-A-Y away from the babies, mind you!) and the next thing you know, here come all these worms up out of the ground. (The prod was something he made to gather worms when he's going fishin'...the electric current carries thru the damp soil, and the worms bore up to the surface hoping to get away from it.) So to help out Momma feed her brood, and get them healthy and hearty and able to fly sooner, in between Momma's visits, we would feed them the worms from the ground. 

And not to gross you out or anything, but you CANNOT believe how many worms those little buggers could eat! Holy Cow! But once they'd get their fill of food, they'd settle down and hide under the plants and be quiet as falling snow, which protected them from the neighborhood cats. And even though she couldn't express herself, I think Momma Robin was thankful too....she didn't have to work so hard to keep them fed, which in turn kept them quiet and safe. Win-win!

Shortly after I returned home, my parents let me know that one morning they went out to feed the babies, but they were both gone and they scoured the entire area looking to see if the babies were hiding in some weeds or under bushes, but no sign of them, and no Momma making noises from the surrounding trees. So we don't know if they're OK or not, but we'd like to think they're safe and finally about to take flight on their own....God willing.

So now, when asked what I did for my summer vacation, have I got a tale to tell or what?

Thankful for the little part we played in helping Mother Nature
raise her young'uns!

PS: Today, the temperatures hit 91° but the humidity is only 46%! I think that has to be a record for around here...I've never seen temps that high with a humidity reading that low. NEVER!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Some progress on Mirabilia's "Stargazer"...

Not a lot to report, but have an update on one of my latest cross-stitch projects called "Stargazer" by Mirabilia. Here's a photo of what she'll look like when finished (altho, per my usual, I changed the background fabric):

And here's what I have so far:

The fabric is a beautiful heathery greyish purple, but yours truly could NOT get the color to reflect correctly, so you'll just have to imagine...

And here's the info on the entire project:

DESIGN: The Stargazer (#MD-88))
DESIGNER: Mirabilia (Nora Corbett)
FABRIC: 32 ct Belfast linen
FABRIC COLOR: Picture This Plus "Mirage"
FLOSSES: DMC [per chart]
STITCHED: 2 over 2
STITCH COUNT: 190w x 275h
STARTED: June 2013

I also have a couple of small charts going, too, which I'll preview at a later date. Stay tuned...

Thankful for the heat and humidity recently, as it gave me a viable excuse to stay indoors all this past weekend and stitch!