Sunday, January 13, 2008

Good day everyone. Another week, another posting. And
another progress report on my current WIP Cottage Garden.
Crescent Colours really knows their shades of pink, don't they?
Every time I get an order of thread from them which includes
yet another shade/variation of pink I think it's the most
beautiful shade of pink ever....until the next order comes in.
And I'm amazed how variegation can turn ordinary brown
thread into a rich and lustrous colour.

Lynn asked how big the piece of material is that I'm
stitching all of these designs on together. This is a cut
20 1/2 inches by 15 inches. It is plenty of material for the
designs and a healthy boarder. I ordered this from
MaryKathryn's online store. She's offered this material
specifically for this project since the designs were first
released and it comes surged around the edges, which
is a nice touch.

And speaking of Marykathryn's online store....I took advantage
of her free shipping over the holidays to order some stuff. The
first delivery arrived this week and included the final design for
Country Garden. Check out these thread colours!!! Lousy
lighting does not allow the full punch of brilliant colour to show
in my picture but take my word for it, in real life you need sun
glasses to view these threads safely. And, oh look....another
shade of pink!!!!

And these two charts were also included in the package.
I don't have many Country Cottage Needlework designs
in my stash yet, but I'm trying to remedy that situation.
The same goes for Blue Ribbon Designs. I like the layout
and the design of this piece, but I may change the colours
to something a bit more vivid. We'll see.

This weekend DH and I have been packing up all the
Christmas decorations for another year. What a chore!!
We spent nearly five hours yesterday afternoon just
packing all the decorations in boxes. Which first
required hauling said boxes from the basement, and
collecting all the decorations from around the house.
This is when I tend to regret buying a four level house.
Up and down the three sets of stairs, multiple times,
during the course of the day. And although I only
bought one large decoration this year (see December
9th post for picture) and it has it's own box for
storage, finding boxes for everything turned out to
be a bit of a struggle.

Then we had to watch out for Rupert, who had to
get into every box before it was packed, and sometimes
afterwards too. We kept finding him asleep inside a
box that we were preparing to pack. Or just sitting
in a box, watching us work and looking very pleased
with himself. We were afraid he'd get shut into a
box and packed away for the year. Especially towards
the end of the day when we were both too tired to
pay sufficient enough attention to what we were doing.
After we'd called it a day we put on our coats and
headed to the pub for dinner. We deserved a treat
after all our hard work, and I wasn't inclined to start
cooking a meal anyways. Today, we clean and put
the all season decorations and stuff back in place.

Another of my Mom's needlepoint pieces. This is one of
a pair, and is another favourite of mine. I love the fine
detail in the design, and the realistic expression that
shows on the old man's face. Thank you all for the
lovely comments on the first piece that I featured.
Yes Carla, these needlepoint designs are a good size
and much bigger then most of our cross stitch pieces.

This week's read was a recommendation from Barbara
of Mainly Stitching. Thank you Barbara. I really enjoyed
this one.

Seven year old Henry Day runs away from home and into
the woods. He hides in a hallow at the base of an old
tree, away from the searchers out looking for him. But
Henry is being watched, and has been for some time
before he decides to run away. A band of changelings
has targeted Henry to be replaced by one of their own.
They spring upon him in his hiding place and bind him
up and carry him away, while the leader of their band
stays behind. He alters his appearance to match Henry's
exactly and when the searchers find him he goes home
to Henry's family and takes his place.

Thus Henry becomes a changeling, a hobgoblin, an
eternal wild child, with fading memory of his former
life, but a constant yearning for what he has lost. He
is renamed Aniday by his captors turned companions
and as the years pass must learn to survive in the
woods while avoiding human detection. Which becomes
increasingly difficult as the modern world encroaches
on the fairies territory.

Meanwhile, the changeling who has taken Henry's
place in the Day family, must learn to fit in and pass
for the boy, for detection could spell disaster. But
the new Henry is plagued with guilt. And scattered
memories of his own life of a 100 years earlier,
when he too was a boy, named Gustav, stolen from
his family. As Henry grows up, loosing his changeling
abilities and becoming more and more human, Gustav's
musical talent's emerge, causing suspicion and
unease in one parent who finds it hard to accept
the boy returned from the woods as his own.

The story portrays the magical world of the
changelings as less the idyll of pixie dust and
magical courts under mounds of earth, then
of scrabbling to find sufficient food, shelter
and safety while battling hunger and cold,
and the elements, and the dangers of the wild.
For while the changelings never physically
grow old, they can still be killed as easily as
any human child.

The story builds in suspense, desperation,
despair and paranoia as time passes, and
Henry/Gustav seeks to find out about his
real past, and worries about his own young
son. And Aniday tries to hold on to memories
of his family and former life while the other
hobgoblins are increasingly desperate to find
another child to switch with.

For me part of the charm of reading this book
was that it was based in part on a poem by W.
B. Yeats. This poem was set to music by
Loreena Mckennitt for one of her earliest CD's,
and so while reading the book the music and
the words of the poem kept running through my
head. I was on the edge of my seat by the end
of this book, anxious to know how it all would
work out. A very well written, well thought out
and well told story.

The weather has been quite warm this week as
we enjoy our annual January thaw. Temperatures
as high as 13 degrees Celsius meant that all the
lovely snow we received in December and on
New Years day is all but gone. Strong winds have
been the main concern this week, causing power
outages and damaging trees and roofs. The
regular, colder temperatures should be slowly
returning this coming week.

So cuddle up with someone you love, and keep warm
and cozy. Have a great week every one.


Jaimie said...

Wow you have had a busy week! Your new stash looks great and your progress is going well. I haven't read The Stolen Child but it looks exciting! Thanks for the review. Have a great week!

Vonna said...

MaryKathryn does have attention to detail and is a wonderful ONS :)
I have it in the works or plans to stitch these on one piece of fabric also...lets hope someday I have come to fruition! :)

samplerlover said...

Hi Judy,
Another great collection of stash. I quite like the Blue Ribbon design. Your WIP is coming along nicely. I love all the different pinks too.
By the sounds of it you have had a very busy week too. I think thats the worse thing about christmas is having to take every thing down. Its all exiciting when you are putting your tree up, but when you have to take it down again you thing "oh darn it".
Your Mums needlepoint reminds me of Heidi's Grandfather in the book "Heidi" of course.
I hope this week is not so busy for you and that the weather is kind.
Yesterday for us was very hot, but we had a good thunderstorm in the afternoon. A lot of damage was done down the bottom of the mountains. - take care - Sandra.

Barbara said...

I'm so glad you liked the novel, too! I'm waiting for Niek to read it (I bought it for him, LOL!).

I agree that those shades of pink are incredible - and normally, pink isn't a color I really care for.

Your stitching progress looks great. And congratulations on getting all the holiday decorations down and packed till next year!

Pumpkin said...

Love the new stash :o) I would say that CC are my favorite threads. They are wonderful to work with!

Deborah/LavenderRose said...

Hi, Judy, I'm new to your a link from Sandra's blog. I love seeing what you're stitching..and love the way you write. I'm a big reader, too, and a friend of Barbara's. I'm comin' back to see you!

stitcherw said...

Great progress, it is looking so pretty. The colors on the last one in the series look gorgeous too. I love the thread packs, all the fibers being there are so nice and the colors are awesome. Cute picture of the kitties, they look quite comfy all snuggled up.

Carla said...

Your Peony block is looking so pretty!! Are you planning to stitch one block each month??
Nice stash!! Love all the pinks that CCN designs have... I love pink in cross stitch designs :)
Have a great week!!

Wendy said...

Your progress is great on the LHN piece! And I have the Blue Ribbon sampler in my stash too.

Thanks for the book review, I must write down the name of it for the next time I'm off to the library.

Cute kitty pic!

Beatrice said...

That looks like a nice design..the Blue Ribbon.
Nice stash! Isn't it fun getting fibers and fabric to work on!
The blue I'm working on is a little tricky..I need to magnify. Oh well old eyes what can I say!
LHN is pretty.
Are those your kitties they are so cute. I thought you had one??
Have a good week Judy.

monique said...

Oh your kitties are SO sweet! I could just kiss them both :)

Nice stash, too. And I agree those CC pinks are yummy!

tkdchick said...

Great newwwww stash!

Kathy A. said...

Isn't putting Christmas stuff away a royal pain and it never fits back as well as it did before. Your stash is just yummy - that sounds like a good impression for pink colors.

Lynn said...

Thanks for answering my question.
I'll have to check out MK's online shop. Your WIP looks great! I'm rather partial to the CCN pieces myself. I have both of those charts that you received and I'm gradually adding more Blue Ribbon pieces to my stash.
Great photo of your babies!
BTW you've been tagged! Check out my blog.

Lili said...

I agree 200% about CC threads...
This books seems a nice read. I'll see if I can find it in French for my son to read it as well. he's a fan of Artemis Fowl so that should do it...
Take care,

Michelle said...

Your Cottage Garden looks beautiful. I would like to add more Blue Ribbon and Country Cottage charts to my stash, they are so lovely!