Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

This week I had a yen to stitch on Violet, the fourth
square in the Cottage Garden set from CCN. The
purple thread used in this, called Amethyst, is such
a pretty colour. I got quite a bit stitched on this
during the week and am well on my way to finishing
by next weekend. Baring distractions.

Meet the distractions. I put in an order at Stitching
Bit's n Bobs and it arrived on Friday.

1) I got my first Waxing Moon Designs charts and
love 'em. Thanks to Sue (Stitcher W) who stitched a
Waxing Moon design during the Winter and was my
introduction to this wonderful design company.

2) Nicole (Carolina Dreams) was the
person to introduce me to Barbara and Cheryl
Present, who's vignettes of urban properties are so
lovely. Solid stitching but fairly easy stitching at
that. This one is really calling to me. Oh dear.

3) One of CCN's latest designs Joyfull Summer,
which I've seen stitched already by several people
around the blog world, including Becky who just
finished hers a week ago. This is one pretty

4) Continuing to build my collection of
Lizzie Kate designs, and adding to my small
collection of "season" sets is the Think
series. Very cute.

After a week of cool temperatures and rain off and
on (usually when I'm leaving work and don't have an
umbrella on me) the garden continues it's seasonal
progression. Our white silk lilac tree is at it's peak
today and the scent is exquisite. Beneath it the
Spirea bushes are putting out their pink flowers,
which make a nice accent.

And here's a view of the stairs leading to the deck,
where many of my pots are located. Everyone seems
pretty happy and contented so far.

DH has been away since Wednesday for his annual
trip up to Temagami and the island cottage of a
friend from church. A bunch of men from the church
go up every year and have a mini vacation. They have
a ball being "guys roughing it", eat lots of barbecue,
swim if the weather allows, dodge black flies and
do odd jobs around the place to help out and
earn their keep. I'm expecting him home sometime
early this evening, dragging a bag of dirty laundry,
in need of a shower, and covered in bug bites. I
can't wait. :)

Friday night, after work, I made my way to downtown
Toronto to meet my friend Charmaine, who was
treating me to a night at the symphony at Roy
Thompson Hall (interior pictured above) as a birthday

But not just any night at the symphony. This
performance featured the music of Star Trek, and
was being narrated by it's two special guest hosts
John De Lancie and Robert Picardo.

Music from most of the movies, and all of the tv
series (except Enterprise) was performed, and
in between the two actors told a bit of the history
of Star Trek, and added anecdotes from their
own personal associations with the series. It was
so wonderful to hear the movie and tv themes
performed live, and to see two favourite actors from
the series on stage, kibitzing together. And of
course a fair number of people in the audience
showed up dressed for the occasion in uniform/
costume. And there were, of course, Klingons.

I finished reading Fingersmith on Thursday and
needed a nice light read which I could carry in
my purse on Friday during my commute to work
in the morning, and my trip into Toronto after
work in the evening. I'd picked up this Charlaine
Harris book on sale a while ago, and it fit the bill

This is the first installment of a different
series from the Sookie Stackhouse vampire books.
It's a mystery series featuring Harper Connelly who,
after being struck by lightening as a teenager, has
the ability to locate dead bodies and "see" how the
person has died. Harper and her manager/assistant
Toliver (who's also her step-brother) travel the
country, hired by their clients to find the remains of
missing people. It's a light read, with humor and
lots of colourful characters.

Lynn asked how Rupert gets to the top of the clock.
Well, he jumps onto the dining room table, leaps
from there to the top of the hutch (which shudders
and sways alarmingly when he does it) and from
there it's a short step, kind of, to the top of the
clock. If I see him making the attempt I try to stop
him, but he's pretty sneaky about it.

Sounds like a thunderstorm is coming up so I'd
best finish this post and get off the computer.
Hope you all have a wonderful week.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday, June 15th

I've started a new project. It's one of those lovely designs
from My Aunt's Attic, where all those amazing free designs
are on offer to whoever wants them. Once again I'm using
red thread (DMC #304) and it's being stitched on 32 count
Lambswool....I think. This is roughly one weeks work,
usually done in the evenings on our front stoop, to
relax and get some air after a long day.

And remember I said that I'd been addicted to Ebay in last
weeks post?? Well, here are the results, so far. I'm thrilled
with the Lizzie Kate designs here. They are so cute, and so
colourful. The Bent Creek is a bit too primitive for my taste
but came with the lot. Perhaps I'll pass it on to someone
else who likes this style of design. Note: that's Rupert's ear
to the left of the picture. I barely snapped the photo in time.

These two designs were also a part of the package. I love
designs which show the change of seasons, so the one on
the right is great for that. The Chessie & Me chart is a
pretty house design, with lots of fancy stitches.

And this is my monthly bits from Stitching Bits n Bobs.
More beautiful Crescent Colours to sigh over, and keep
away from Rupert.

Yesterday I had the privilege of being invited to a dance
recital being put on by one of our local dance studios.
Little Naomi, from across the street, was participating
in her first dance recital and asked me to join them. I
was delighted to do so. I've never been to one of these
things before, and was quite impressed with the level
of professionalism. The event ran like clockwork.

Naomi, aged 6, is in her first year of ballet. I wish I
could show you the pictures of her in her white tulle
dress, trimmed in pink and silver, with her hair in a
bun, and white tights. She looked adorable.

The dancing was wonderful to watch. The teenage
girls were amazing, so graceful and poised. The
tweenage girls were also amazing to watch, whether
they were tap dancing or doing a type of gymnastic/
dance combo. And the little ones....well, I'm sure you
can just imagine.

Clustered on the stage, somewhat bewildered and
a little directionally challenged, but always sweet
and adorable, they bounced on their toes,
waved their arms and ran around in almost
circles. Their teacher just off stage prompting and
encouraging when necessary.

The audience full of proud parents, relatives and
friends provided enthusiastic applause and shouts
of delight as each dance was performed. I was so
glad that I got to go and see it.

After one week I am amazed at the growth in my pots.
The past week was mostly moderate temperatures and
we had some heavy rains on Friday night, and a few
sprinkles throughout the week which kept things well
watered without too much effort required on our part.
It's not going to be too hot next week so things should
continue to be stress free for the garden. The weather
forecasters are predicting a hot summer, but so far we
have only had five days of muggy weather to tolerate.

Here's one of my straw flowers. These are strange but
wonderful plants for the garden. I have three colours
in my pots this year. Red, Yellow and White. The
flowers are great because they change appearance as
they grow so you always have a mix of blooms in
different stages of growth and bloom. No fragrance
to them but that's okay. Other plants can provide that.
The odd, straw like texture of the flowers is always
a surprise for someone not familiar with the plant.

And this is my current read. Another recommendation
from Jaimie's book blog, and Barbara has read this one
too. Both enjoyed it immensely, and though just half
way through it at this point myself, I too am enjoying it.
It's the sort of Victorian drama that hints at what one
of the Bronte sisters might write, with a hint of the
world that Dickens wrote so eloquently about as well.
There's thieves and rogues and an oppressed heiress,
and a dank, brooding manor house, and twists and
turns which keep you guessing. Lots of well researched
period detail and language to make the story come
alive in your imagination. I'm loving it!

Rupert's been full of beans this morning. If he keeps it
up Phoebe is apt to tackle him and teach him a few manners.
Here he is "mountain climbing" at breakfast time.

Happy Father's Day!! To my own Dad who is always with
me in spirit, and to all the other dads out there in blog land.
Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Have a great week everyone. Cheers!!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Last evening I finished Rose in my on going project Cottage
Garden. I know this is taking me forever to stitch, which is
frustrating because these are quite simple to stitch, but there
are so many things to do these days, and only so many hours
in the day to do them in. And I'm not a fast stitcher.

But I love this square, both for it's wonderful, rich colour
but also because of the little details in the design that charm
me. The little fence around the house is so sweet, and the
two birds are a nice change from bugs. All pictures are
clickable for closeups if you wish.

And during my holidays two weeks ago I made a new
start. I've had my eye on this project for awhile now
and decided vacation was as good an excuse as any to
begin something new. But this project is not going
as well as I'd hoped, mainly because of problems with
the chart.

To begin with, the lightest colour in the girls hair is
not listed in the colour key. So I've made an educated
guess about what it should be, which I'm not terribly
impressed with now that I've stitched one side. But
I'm not ripping it out now.

I also don't like the way the designs in this book
(Sweet and Simple Country Cross Stitch - Lori
Gardner) are coded. Little wee squares of colour,
which you have to translate from the chart to
the list of thread colours below. Some of those
colours look similar in shade but in reality are
different colours entirely, so it's hard to know
which one you're suppose to use. (is that a light
shade of beige or is that a light shade of yellow?)
I've been stewing over the colours in the girl's hat,
trying to decide which colour the flower is suppose
to be. Grrrr.... Don't know if I'll keep working on
this one or not.

Last weekend was cool, damp and very windy. We didn't
spend too much time outdoors because of that. This
weekend Summer arrived with a vengeance and during the
peak period of the afternoon it's too hot and humid to be
outside. Very frustrating. But my pots are doing well,
and the garden in general seems to like the cooler
temperatures and of course the rain. I'm taking
pictures regularly to record their stages of growth over
the summer and to help me remember for next summer
what worked best this summer.

This is the edge of the deck, with a corner of the stairs
showing. The blue pot is new and I've filled it with
pink Petunias, which look wonderful in it. We picked
up our hanging baskets yesterday too and have got
those hanging around the deck and garden. This is
the best time of year for the garden, before the bugs
and the heat take their toll on everything.

Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes. It made
me feel good to hear from all of you. I received two
bouquets of flowers on the actual day, including the
one above from my god-parents with flowers of red,
pink and white that were so lovely together.

And this bouquet came from my friend Charmaine and her
family. It's bright, cheery colours of yellow and white nestled
in a white basket were exquisite. And I'm not the only one
who thought so.

Behold the Phee.....after I'd had a seniors moment and
thoughtlessly left the yellow flowers on the kitchen counter
after watering them one day. DH found her with her face
buried in the blooms. Fortunately she was just sniffing at
that point so didn't get sick on them, but she did get her
nose and ruff covered in neon yellow pollen, which took
several days to wear off. Well, it does match her eyes.

I've been sucked into the wonderful world of Ebay in the
past few weeks and have won some lovely stash. But oh
my goodness that place is addictive!! I've got to rein
myself in and try not to get carried away with it all.
Which is easier said then done. I got a huge pile of
charts, some of which I love and some not so much,
and I'm waiting for some threads and some Lizzie
Kate charts to arrive, which I'm really excited about.

I've been reading of course, and finished Kelley
Armstrong's latest novel Personal Demon, which was
a wonderful romp and read as usual. Sexy, funny and
enthralling are apt descriptions of her style of writing
and I'm a huge admirer of hers.

Had a movie weekend last weekend, and my friend
Darlene and I saw two from our list of movies-to-see
this summer. The latest Indiana Jones movie, which
was lots of fun, and the latest Narnia movie which I
also enjoyed. I think I like this one better then the

Indy was great but it probably ranks third out
of all of them for me. Raiders was best, and Crusade
came a close second. Harrison Ford hasn't lost his
touch, looks as handsome as ever, and can still
buckle his swash with the best of 'em. Wonderful
to see Karen Allen back again too. She should
have been in all of the movies, start to finish.

I've got visits to blogs and commenting to catch
up on, after getting behind during the past couple
of weeks. I'll be around soon to see what you've
all been up to.