Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Another week's progress on Spot of Tea 1. I did a rough count and so far
I've stitched 24 motifs and there are 12 more to be done. I have just
started to use my 5th skein of thread, and have one more left to use.
Will I need more thread for this project??? Oh, probably. I've just
started the large, corner motif at the top left of the picture.

The weekend coming up is the Labour Day weekend here, and is a long
weekend. It is the official final long weekend of the summer. The next
long weekend here will be in October, which will be (gulp!!!) Thanks-
giving!!! Um...can someone tell me where the heck summer went???

The weather here has been a mix of cool days, and hot days. We've
had a few thunderstorms roll through thanks to the humid weather
days, which meant rain for the badly parched yards. Haven't heard
what the weather will be for the long weekend yet.

My SIL is having surgery tomorrow, and will probably be released
from the hospital on Friday. So she'll be coming here to recover for
at least three days before going back to her own condo to finish her
recovery. I had this same surgery myself seven years ago and I
suspect that she may need to stay here longer then the three days
that she's planning to.
My current read is a book that I picked up on sale, in hardcover and
signed by the author, at the World's Biggest Bookstore. It's a mystery
which takes place during the rein of Henry VIII, and it's not just a
wonderful who/why dunnit. It's also full of historical trivia that I'd
never heard of before. Like, did you know that girls took belladonna
because it enlarged their pupils and made their eyes look bigger??
The minor problem of the stuff being a deadly poison if too much was
ingested must have been considered a risk worth taking if it increased
your chances of finding a husband. I'm loosing myself in this book
during my travels home from work, and am loving it. I've got to check
out more books by the author.

See what happens when you have too much hot, humid weather??? Your
neighbourhood becomes infested by pesky, little dragons. They're
everywhere, getting into the bird feeders, chasing the neighbours cat,
sitting on the roof and hissing at the postman. Well, you know what they're

(This is our neighbour Hannah. Someone gave her and her siblings a box
full of costumes. They've been having a ball with them.)

Karen, when I was last at the World's Biggest Bookstore, the day we
saw We Will Rock You, I actually bought three or four books, mostly
paperbacks. That's still a small number for me, but you have to under-
stand that my DH was following me as I walked around the store, and
we didn't have a lot of time to spend there, so I just had to grab what I
could on the run. Very frustrating.

Hello to Ann, who dropped by and commented on my last post. She's
the proprietor of the LNS Knowledge and Needles, as well as being a
wonderful stitcher. She and her DH hosted a weekend gathering for
stitchers in her area of Ontario a few weeks ago. Apparently it's a
yearly retreat, which is enormously popular. She's invited me to go
next year!!! Squeal!! Don't know if it'd be possible, but I can sure

And to Carla, who also commented for the first time. She and her
twin sister Carol are talented stitchers who live in Lima, Peru. I've
been reading her blog for awhile now, and was moved to comment
on there for the first time after that awful earthquake that they
had down there at the beginning of this month. Glad to hear that
they don't live in the areas that were hit hardest by the quake, and
are fine.
Well, it's getting late, and it's a work night. So I'd best end this with my
usual bit of Kitty Porn. Here's Rupert, enjoying a siesta in one of his
boxes, with his crinkle ball between his paws so Phoebe can't get at it.
Cheers all!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Well, it's back to work for DH and I after two glorious weeks of vacation.
(Insert heavy, depressed sigh here). But to begin, here is an update on
Spot of Tea 1 which has seen some attention from me since I finished
Blueberries. This is the full width of the design, and I would guess that
the project is a bit over half way done. Thing is, the instructions said that
this project would use 5 skeins of the floss. Not liking to leave these things
to chance I ordered 6 skeins of floss, and felt that I'd covered any
eventuality. I have two full skeins left, and slightly over half of the one
that I'm currently using. I guess that there's nothing for it but to keep at
it and hope for the best.

I mentioned in the previous post that I'd gotten my hair cut. Well, I took
a picture to show the results. Sort of. Taking a picture of yourself with
your own camera is an awkward business. I took about eight pictures
and managed to decapitate myself in most of them. Still, you get the idea.
It takes me just a couple of minutes to dry my hair in the mornings after
I wash it. So that's mighty helpful when rushing to get ready for work.
Say Cheese!!!
Okay, this is a picture for Kerry. I went to the World's Biggest Book
Store in Toronto last week and found that they were selling copies of
Anne Bishop's books which had been signed by the author. Since I
didn't have this book by her yet I pounced. While it's not quite as nice
as meeting the lady and having her sign the book for me, it's the next
best thing.
Meanwhile, my next reading project is Eclipse, book three in
Stephenie Meyer's young adult series. I am thoroughly engrossed
in the story now. It's going to be one of those books that you can't
put down, but also don't want to end.

Thanks to everyone who commented about the pictures from my
library. Gina, my DH enjoys reading on occasion, but he's not the
rabid reader that I am, and is more bemused by my collection then
anything else. He'd be just as happy going to the lending library.
I haven't borrowed books from a lending library since my teens.
Nice places to browse I guess, but I find that they have very odd
ideas. They expect you to give the books back!!! Imagine!!??

DH, DSIL, friend Darlene and I went to see We Will Rock You on
Thursday at the Canon theatre in Toronto. Before the show DH, DSIL
and I had dinner at Red Lobster in the Atrium, and then we went to
the Worlds Biggest Bookstore to kill time before heading to the show.
We met Darlene at the theatre. What a wonderful show. Imagine,
the incredible music of Queen, performed live!! Since we'll never have
a chance to see the actual group in concert, this is the next best thing.

The show is like Mama Mia, with a story woven around the songs.
The young man who plays the lead, Yvan Pedneault, had an incredible
voice, and was very pleasing to the eye as well. The lady who played
Killer Queen, Alana Bridgewater, had a voice that commanded the
stage and took our breaths away. The rest of the cast was equally
amazing as well, and the back up musicians were both flawless and
tight in their playing. It was loud, colourful and joyful. We all
agreed that we'd love to see it again, if we could afford to.

Darlene came for the weekend just passed so that we could catch a
couple of movies that were on our list of things to see. We saw
Stardust, which was a fantasy and which we enjoyed very much,
and we saw the musical Hairspray. I've never seen Hairspray in any
of it's previous incarnations so was curious. The music was lively and
bright, and the movie itself was delightful. Coincidentally, Michelle
Pfeiffer started in both of the movies. What a beautiful woman she
is. And a talented actress.

Finally, here we have the obligatory picture of furry goodness. Phoebe and
Rupert sprawled in the recliner last weekend taking a nap. He always uses
her as a pillow.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More library pictures, since I don't have any stitching updates to show
at the moment. This is the third hardcover section of my fantasy/
science fiction books. Below each of these three sections shown so far
are two shelves of paperbacks in the same genres, double shelved to
fit as many in as possible. Since these pictures were taken I've done
some reshuffling and some weeding, to try and open up some space.
Unfortunately whatever space I managed to create has since been
filled up again.

These shelves hold an assortment of topics. Books on Great Britain,
but just a spillover from another section where I keep most of them.
Books on old Hollywood, and my favourite movies and movie stars.
Books on the Titanic, and shipwrecks in general, plus a few books on
the last Tsar of Russia and his family.

These next two pictures are of one bookcase. The above shows more
of my books on Great Britain, and of the movies, and also some
paperbacks, general fiction.The next section is home decor books, some of my cross stitch books,
other crafting books and on the bottom shelf my books on the Royals,
and, yes, more of Great Britain again.

Yes, we're very lucky to be able to have a room devoted to nothing
but books. When we were house hunting almost 16 years ago DH and
I had two criteria for the house we were looking for. It had to have a
garage big enough to house the "55 Buick, and it had to have a room
for the books. It took a bit of searching, but eventually we found the
house that we've been in ever since. The kitchen, bathroom and
bedrooms were just icing on the cake.

As always all pictures are clickable for closeups.

Last night was another Jam night at the pub. This time we had dinner
at home and just had drinks when we got to the pub. Finer weather
meant a few more musicians then last week, but the rest was the same
enjoyable blend of music and laughter. Highlight of this week? A
rousing rendition of the Beverly Hillbillies theme song. We were
allowed to request a song, and I asked for something by Gordon
Lightfoot. I figured they'd all know something by one of the premier
Canadian songwriters, but to our surprise they had to really dig and
search to come up with one song. And it wasn't even one of his most
popular ones. Hmmm.

Went and got my hair chopped off yesterday, which was long overdue.
I don't think DH is too impressed with the final results, and I have to
admit that it is really short. But I figured, what the heck, it'll grow.
And it's really easy to wash and dry in the mornings, which is great for

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments on Blueberries. It's nice
to receive such encouragement from stitchers much more adept
then I am with needle and thread. I'm still gazing with awe at the
finish that Dani had for Noah's Ark. Holy Cats! What an accomplish-
ment that piece is. Gorgeous.

Tomorrow is our big day in the Big City. Down to Toronto to see
We Will Rock You. We'll have dinner somewhere first, and then off
to the Pantages theatre, or the Canon Theatre, or whatever the
heck they're calling it this week. It's an old theatre, which was
turned into a multiplex cinema many years ago, and then restored
to it's original grandeur when Phantom of the Opera first came
here in the 80's. Really gorgeous place.
Off to check the washing machine. Cheers all!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A finish! Blueberries, a collaboration between Little House Needleworks
and Crescent Colours threads. This picture shows the colours a little
darker then they really are, but you get the general idea.

Booking Through Thursday:

1) Do you have multiple copies of any of your books?
2) If so, why? Absent-mindedness? You love them that much? First
Editions for the shelf, but paperbacks to read?
If not, why not? Not enough space? Not enough money? Too sensible
to do something so foolish?

I haven't answered one of these questions for awhile, but I saw this one
on Karen's blog and felt compelled to answer. And the answer is of
course Yes!!! Off the top of my head I can think of the following:

1) C.S. Lewis: Narnia series. Folio Society hardcover set and a paperback
2) J.R.R. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Hobbit in hard
cover and paperback.
3) Marie Killilea: Karen and With Love From Karen. Both in hard cover.
Also, one of Karen in paper back and two different copies of With Love
From Karen in paperback. I loaned out my paperback copies once,
thought that they were lost, and found replacements (which wasn't
easy). Then, of course, the originals were located and returned to me.
I really love these books.

These are the only ones that I can think of at the moment. I have bought
books in paperback, loved them when I've read them, and have then
bought them in hardcover. But I usually don't keep the paperbacks. Not
enough room in the house to keep both. I don't collect first editions either.
And once in awhile I have bought a book, only to discover that I already
have it at home. But usually it's when the book has been reissued with
new cover art. I hate when they do that. Oh, and I bought a hardcover book
by an author once, got home and found that the other book that I had by
him was the same book. But the cover art and the title were different on

Another close up picture of the fantasy section of my library. It's
clickable for a closeup of titles, authors etc.

Birds are hopping through our eaves troughing looking for bugs, and the
sound of them rustling and scratching around in there, plus the sight of
them flying to and fro is driving the cats mental. They hang around and
wait for something to happen.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Stash, Books 'n Cats.....Oh My!!!

This is going to be a very picture heavy post. You've been warned. Firstly,
progress report on "Blueberries". Yesterday was a heavily overcast day,
and relatively cool, with temperatures in the low 70's. Please note that I'm
not complaining about the temperature, just reporting it. Around the
corner from us they are putting a new roof on the neighbourhood public
school. The smell of hot tar permeated the atmosphere all day long. All
in all it was a good day to sit in my comfy chair, listen to the radio, read
blogs and cross stitch. The colours in this one are very striking.
Today stash arrived in the mail from those wonderful people at Stitching
Bits n Bobs. I ordered a pile of LHN charts, and the new CCN/Crescent
Colours collaboration, Violet. I saw the completed series for this one on
MaryKathryn's blog (http://marykathryn.wordpress.com/) and it
knocked my socks off!! It will be gorgeous all together on a single piece
of material. I loved Garden Pleasures when I first saw it, but when I
first saw Two White Houses I literally gasped out loud! I LOVE this one!

Being unfamiliar with any of the threads other then DMC I have really
found these LHN designs which come with Crescent Colours threads to
be very helpful in introducing me to the world of hand dyed threads.
And seeing these threads in person allows me to appreciate their vivid,
rich colours, which don't often come through when viewed on the
I also ordered two Lizzie Kate charts, both of which are reflective of my
favourite season, Autumn, and one of my favourite themes, seasons.
These are my first Lizzie Kate charts and I love how colourful they are.
I also received a fat Quarter of Lakeside Linens 28 count Bittersweet, to
add to my collection of fabric.

Yesterday a neighbour who lives on the cul-du-sac which runs off of the
middle of our street showed up at our door bearing a huge package. It
appears that the post office was once again getting creative when making
their deliveries. Our neighbour lives at 6 Upland Ave, and we live at 6
Ave. Several times before when I've ordered books the post office
has delivered them to a public school across town. Don't know why. At
least this time they managed to deliver to the correct sub-division, if not

I love Vampire novels. As long as they aren't too heavy on the horror, and
I prefer my vampire to be the hero. So here we have the latest from
Charlaine Harris, who writes books that are a light read, with humour. This
is book 7 in this series, I think. Then we have Stephenie Meyer's latest in
the Young Adult series, which I believe is the concluding book in a trilogy
which began with Twilight and then Eclipse. Or is it the other way around?
Whatever. I loved this series and the love story between Bella and Edward.

I also ordered two recent releases, also by authors that I've read before.
I read The Kite Runner by Khaled Husseini when I was in the book club
last year, and I enjoyed it and the view it gave me into a world that I
know very little about. But I thought at the time that it was a book that
focused almost exclusively on the man's role in this culture, and touched
only very lightly on the woman's role. I understand that in his new book
the author focuses the story on two women, so I'm curious to read it and
see how their lives are portrayed.

Jasper Fforde's weird. Just so's you know right off the bat. Quirky also
comes to mind when thinking of his books. This is the newly released
latest book in his Tuesday Next series. If you love books, and enjoy an
off kilter sense of humour, and have some knowledge of British culture
and history, you might just get a kick out of these books.

I hit the sales section of the on line bookstore and found these gems. I like
actor's biographies so I was glad to get Jane Fonda's book on sale.
Should be an interesting read since her life and career spans the old
Hollywood of her father's generation, as well as her own career which runs
to the Hollywood of the present. I've read a few of Jack Whyte's novels.
He's a Canadian author who writes historical fiction, including tales of
Arthurian England, but without the magic and mythology. I suppose it's
the realistic approach to the stories. The third book, Melusine, is a fantasy.
The story description was interesting, and it has a recommendation on the
cover written by Jacqueline Carey. Hey, if she liked this book that's good
enough for me. I've never read Sarah Monette before so this will be a
nice introduction to a new (to me) author.

Well, there you have it. My credit card is maxed, and it's time to start
behaving myself again. Do me a favour guys....if any new charts come
out that are drop dead, mind blowing, heart stopping, freakin' fantastic,
don't tell me, okay?
I'll end this post with a picture of some furry goodness. Phoebe at the
kitchen table, wondering what's for dinner.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Since I'm on holidays and have more stitching time on my hands then I
usually do I decided to start a small project, to alternate with my bigger
project. So I chose to start "Blueberries" by LHN. This will join "Peaches"
once it is completed, as well as a few other LHN smalls that I've got for
future stitching. Oh, the blue threads in this one are so beautiful. I'm not
sure that the picture does them justice.

Vacation continues to be a blast. Not that we're doing a great deal, but hey,
at least we're not at work. Last evening DH and I went to our local pub for
dinner and jam night. We've been hearing about jam night for ages now, and
we kept saying that we wanted to go some time, but didn't want such a late
night while working. On jam night everyone is welcome to come in after a
certain time (8:00) with any instrument that you might care to bring along,
as long as it is acoustic. Tables are lined up in the centre of the room and
the musicians sit down there, or anywhere else in the room that they care
to, and they take turns selecting a song to play and sing. The other
musicians can join in with their instruments if they wish and if the song is
well known we can all sing along, at least with the chorus.

It was a dark and stormy night (sorry, couldn't resist) and our friend Brenda,
who runs the pub, was worried that the weather might keep many people
away. Well, first one guy arrived, pulled a guitar out of it's carrying case,
and sat down to tune it. Then another guy arrived with his guitar, and then
another. In all there was about a dozen people who showed up to sing and
play. Many guitars, a banjo, an accordion, one guy with a box full of harm-
onicas, a flute, and (much to our astonishment) at one point a guy pulled up
in his van and unloaded a base fiddle!!!

The music selection was eclectic, and very much up to the taste and whim
of the musicians. We sang along to Jim Croce, the Beach Boys, Harry
Chapin, Blue Rodeo, as well as songs from Nashville to Cape Breton. And
these people were GOOD!! I'd say some of them had to have played at
least semi-professionally. It was a wonderful evening of music such as
we've never experienced before. We stayed until 11:00 but they were
still going strong when we left. We're off next week, so we plan to go back

When I celebrated (!!??) 30 years with the CIBC last March I was given a
bunch of gift certificates for a mall near where I work, to spend as I
pleased. We don't live near this mall, Square One in Mississauga, so we
put off going there until now when we were on vacation and had the time
to spare, and good weather to get there in. It's not a mall that we're at
all familiar with, so we didn't know what to expect in the way of stores.

I had thought of perhaps finding a new light fixture for the dinning room
or a floor lamp for the living room, but there were no lighting stores in
the mall, and the department stores that were there didn't have much of
a selection. DH and I wandered from one end of that mall to the other,
got lost continually, and ended up confused and bewildered by the size
and layout of the place. We ended up buying new towels for the bath
room with some of the coupons. The rest I blew on DVD's. DH is not a
lover of shopping, so he was getting grouchy and we were both foot sore
and tired, so looking for further practical purchases to make with the
last coupons was not an enticing proposition for us.

So I bought the above DVDs. I have been collecting Buffy for awhile,
so got season five of that. Fame and Beauty and the Beast I use to love
watching back in the 80's, and wanted to have the opportunity to watch
again. I can't wait to watch them.

Thought that once in awhile I'd post a picture of some of my books. So
here's a start. Three shelves from the fantasy section of my library.
These pictures are all clickable, so you can click and get a close up to
see who the authors are, if you so wish. Karen, the top shelf is 3/4's
Raymond Feist and the books in his Magician world.

Spent yesterday afternoon cleaning the library. It really needed it. Well,
it was muggy, overcast and rainy all afternoon, so it was a good time to
clean, I guess. Now, just look at these pictures. I dare you to find a speck
of dust in any of them.

Welcome to Debby, who's blog is Stitch Wizard. She's stitching Just Nan's
Harbour Village at the moment, and it's a beaut. She also does model
stitching, which means that she's really, really an excellent stitcher. She's
stitched some beautiful projects. Go check them out, if you haven't
done so already. And her hubby is an amazing wood worker. He makes
some beautiful pieces.

I've blathered enough for now. DH has been taking a nap, to recover
from his shopping ordeal, but I hear sounds of life downstairs so I guess
he's awake. Should consider making something for us for dinner now.
Cheers all!!

Monday, August 06, 2007

This picture is a bit dark, but it is a fairly clear one, and shows my progress
on "A Spot of Tea 1" sampler. It moves along at a steady pace, and I can
now see, with certainty, pretty much the size that it will be when complete.

This picture is blurrier, but is closer to the true colour of the thread.

We're enjoying our holidays so far, of course. It's a long weekend here in
Ontario, known as Simcoe Day in honour of John Graves Simcoe, founder of
York, which later became the city of Toronto, and first Lieutenant Governor
of Upper Canada, which was pretty much Southern Ontario.

It's been gradually getting hotter and hotter each day this weekend. Today
is going to be 33 degrees Celsius, but with the humidity will be much
warmer. We've closed up the house and turned on the air conditioning,
which is something we'd managed to avoid doing so far this weekend.
Possibility of a few scattered Thunderstorms for the next few days. We
could really use the rain because every things pretty dried out. But we need
several days of steady, all day rain to really do any good.

DH and I have been doggy sitting this weekend for our neighbours, who
have gone away for a week. A friend of theirs will be taking the dog later
today, for the rest of the week, but until then we have been taking her out
twice a day for walks, and giving her her meals and fresh water. Brook is
a 11 1/2 year old Golden Retriever and I think we may have been taking
her for longer walks then she's use to because she is panting quite heavily
when we get back. But she also seems to enjoy them. So have we.

My mom was here yesterday for a visit and dinner. We sat outside for
awhile and chatted, and then we came in and settled down to watch a DVD.
We watched "The Queen", which was most excellent. A fascinating movie
both for a bit of insight into the lives and lifestyle of the British Royals, and
also to see again that time after the death of Princess Diana and the grief
and anger which swept England, and many other parts of the world.
Helen Mirren as The Queen is wonderful. And so is the actor who played
Tony Blair, Michael Sheen. I highly recommend this movie, and intend to
watch it again soon.

Thought I'd post some pictures of our pots and stuff, just to keep this
post from getting too boring. Above are some of the pots lining the steps
from the deck to the yard. Petunias, Marigolds and Alysumm.

Then we have my favourite shade plant, three varieties of Coleus. The
range of colours, and the various different leaf shapes, make these plants
a great addition to the garden. And as you can see, they grow like heck!

It seems to us that the Rose of Sharon has flowered a bit earlier then it
usually does. It's the last thing to leaf out in the Spring, always giving us
cause to wonder if it has survived the winter or not. But I love the flowers
on it. My uncle gave us a cutting from a bush in his garden 7 years ago,
and this is the result. It was moved a couple of times before we settled it
in it's present location, but it has never held that against us.

Stitcherw: Hi Sue. You're going to have to wait and see when my next
stash shipment arrives, and then you'll see what little beauties I've caved
in and ordered. I'll post pictures and gush all over the place, I promise.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Harry Potter Rocks!!! Finished Deathly Hallows at
9:05 this evening. Wonderful!!!

Stash!! Well, obviously. I've been checking out somebody's blog (and at
the moment I can't remember whose it is, argh!!) for a couple of months
now and she's been working on A Drawn Threads "The Wayward
Garden". It's breath taking!! I've actually been yearning over this chart
since the first time that I saw it on A Drawn Threads site, but seeing it
actually being stitched, and what it looks like in (almost) reality sort of
pushed me over the edge. I ordered it, and the threads and fabric, from
Stitching Bit's n Bobs, and the whole shebang arrived today.

I am well and truly out of my cotton picking mind!! Do you know the size
of this thing? And it has specialty stitches!! Well, of course it does Judy,
it is a A Drawn Thread design after all. The silks are lovely colours, and I
look forward to using them for the first time. Rupert keeps trying to steal
them, and I have to watch him like a hawk. These beauties are too
expensive to allow a cat to treat them as surrogate mice. Meanwhile,
since I was placing an order anyways, I figured that I might as well order
another A Drawn Thread design that I'd seen stitched up on another blog.
I had no idea reading blogs was going to cost so much!! Ah well.

Last weekend I placed another order with Stitching Bit's n Bobs for a
pile of LHN designs and some fabric. I couldn't help myself!!! Oh, and I
also ordered a couple of Lizzy Kate charts, since I don't have any of those
yet, and heck, might as well be hung for a sheep, as a lamb. One of these
days I'm really going to have to start behaving myself.

But I'm sure having fun!!!

P.S. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - you may have heard of it -
fantastic read. I'm on page 420 and steaming ahead. This is the
best one yet, for me anyways.

P.P.S. Only two work days left until vacation!!

P.P.P.S. There sure are a lot of exclamation points in this post, aren't