Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm experimenting with decorating my blog posts with
free clip art. I am someone who loves visuals, as I'm
sure you've noticed when visiting my picture laden blog.
Since Chrysanthemums are starting their blooming
season right now and into the Fall, here is a lovely
bouquet of pink Mums for you.

It's been busy around here for the past few days, which
meant that I had no time to update my blog on Sunday
morning. So I'm here tonight, midweek, and trying to
remember everything that has been going on since I
last posted. Well, at least the interesting stuff.

First order of business, and biggest's finished!!
Here is Gate with Lantern which I put the last stitches
into on Monday evening. I'm amazed its done. Begun
around July 6th, so it's taken just under two months to
stitch. The design is by Barbara and Cheryl Present
(featured on Stitching Bit's and Bobs site under Graphs
by Barbara and Cheryl) and measures 70 stitches wide
by 90 long. It is stitched with all DMC thread. I'm
quite pleased with it and hope perhaps someday to
stitch another of these as a companion piece.

During the second week of our vacation my DH proved
to me yet again that he is absolutely the Bee's Knees!!
He is an awesome dude!! He is THE MAN!! Why,
you may inquire, am I saying this?? Because one day
we hoped in the car and he drove me down to Port
Credit, a good 45 minute drive from here, and took
me to visit Gitta's Petite Point shop.

Gitta's is cross stitch heaven!! It has charts! Everyone's
charts!! LOTS of charts!! It has threads! And I'm not
talking DMC here, although they do have that there too.
No sir, we're talking Crescent Colours, Dinky Dyes, Weeks
Dye Works and more!! There are fabrics of all kinds,
Mill Hill Beads, Buttons and all of kinds of wonderful,
glorious Cross Stitch STUFF!!!

I spent over two hours wandering in a wide eyed,
slack jawed haze, checking every nook and cranny of
the store least twice. I bought threads that
I would need for projects. I bought some charts that
I wanted (Waxing Moon Designs...Wheee.....) and the
buttons and fabrics for them. I talked with the ladies
working there. They were so very friendly and
helpful (and not one of them mentioned the goofy
look on my face). I reveled in my surroundings.

And my dear DH spent those two hours waiting
patiently for me to finish. He explored the old
neighbourhood behind Gitta's (Port Credit is a lovely
place, located on the shores of Lake Ontario with
lovely homes on tree lined streets) and poked through
a few stores that caught his eye. But mostly he just
sat in front of the store and waited for me to
regain my senses.

Was that the end of my wonderful day??? Oh no!! Then
he drove me to Chapters bookstore in Square One where
I got to meet the authors of Marked, Betrayed and Chosen
P.C. and Kristen Cast. I got my copy of Marked signed by
them, and listened to them chat with the fans gathered
around their table. Then I got to wander the store for a
bit, before we returned to the car and headed for home.

Now I ask this man not worthy of a nomination
for sainthood?? An academy award??? The Noble Peace
Prize??? Prime Minister of Canada?????? I rest my case.

In case you're wondering Gitta's web site is: and there's lots of pictures of the
interior of the store so you can see what it's like.

And here's the big guy his very self, along with our friend
Sue. They are dressed for a party that we hosted here on
Saturday. Yes, we had a Christmas Party. Why did we
have a Christmas Party in August you may be asking.
Well, because last Christmas we had to cancel our annual
Christmas party because both DH and I got sick and were
too miserable to have it. We promised our friends that
we would have the party at a later date. And we kept our

We decorated the deck with Christmas lights, stockings,
a small fibre optic tree, and garlands. We hung a wreath
on the garden gate. We used Christmas table cloths and
festive plates. What the neighbours thought about it all
I hate to think. And we told our guests to dress for the
occasion offering prizes for the best dressed.
Unfortunately the weather was humid and hot on the
day of the party, so most preferred to dress for comfort
rather then atmosphere. Sue won the top prize for her
shirt, a Christmas wreath around her neck, and a
creche on a ribbon, hanging down her back. Below is
a back view of the ensemble. Oh, and check out the


This is my latest reading finish. Book one in a three book
trilogy, and the first novel that the author, Maria V. Snyder,
has had published. This fantasy series has been featured
and reviewed on other blogs, which is where I first heard
about it and decided that it sounded like something that
I'd enjoy. And I did. Very much. It's very well written
and the story kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.
M. Snyder has crafted a well thought out story and
created a nicely detailed world, and characters that
I came to care for and want to read more about.

It begins when the heroine, Yelena is about to be
executed for murder. She is offered a reprieve by
being given the choice of becoming the food taster
for the Commander of Ixia, or going through with
the execution. Needless to say, she chooses to be
trained as a food taster, secretly hoping to escape
at some future time.

Yelena is a hopeless, beaten soul when we first meet
her, but as the story unfolds she begins to recover
from the ordeals that lead to her sentence of death.
She learns about poisons and how to detect them
from the Commander's Chief of Security, and when
attempts on her life force her to take steps to learn
to defend herself Yelena begins to grow from a
victim to a strong, self confident young woman.

I began book two in this series today and am a third
of the way through it already. I have book three on
the shelf to pick up next. This is an excellent read
and I recommend it highly. Check it out and see if
it might be something you'd enjoy too.


I see that Beatrice (Stitching With a View) has just
finished a wonderful, pumpkin filled Halloween
piece by Prairie Schooler and it is adorable. It's
chock full of pumpkins and a scary witches silhouette
and it's just perfect for the Fall season that's on our
doorstep. And Lynn (Kearnel's Korner) had two
lovely finishes, including a Tantes Zolder design in
a wonderful colour combination of mauve and

I guess I'd best finish this post off because it's
getting late. I'll be late posting my next blog entry
too because I won't be home this weekend. More
about that next time.

Thanks for dropping by. Cheers!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's Sunday evening and thus I am a bit late posting my weekly
blog entry. But we weren't moving too quickly this morning
after a long day out yesterday, and a late night getting home
after a party at a friend's house. We're not able to party
hearty as much now as we use to when we were young and

So here is this weeks progress on Gate With Lantern. A tree is
slowly growing in the backyard, and the spaces where the lantern
and the gate's arch will be stitched in are showing, if you look
carefully. I'm not getting as much stitching time in as I might
have expected considering we're on holidays, but then again
that tree has lots of different shades of green to sort through
and stitch. We'll see what the next week brings.

The latest issue of Victoria magazine arrived in the mail box
last week, and was warmly welcomed. Especially since the
previous issue never arrived. I sent an email to the company
to let them know, and they answered a few days later to say
that they'll be sending me a replacement. We'll see if they
really do or not. It'll probably take awhile to get here.

This issue features articles on Quebec city, which is
celebrating it's 400th birthday this year, and Montreal.
I've not yet been to either city, but perhaps someday.
The streets of old Quebec city are breathtakingly
beautiful, as is the province of Quebec itself.

And there is a tribute in the magazine to the late, and much
beloved, author and artist Tasha Tudor. Above is a copy of
the cover of one of the many books available detailing the
life, and lifestyle of this extraordinary woman. I have so
many books about Tasha, and I've been a great admirer of
hers for many years, after learning about her through the
pages of the old Victoria magazine. I was deeply saddened
to learn of her passing in July, though she lived to a good
age (92) and was in her home in Vermont with her family
when she died. If ever someone could be called an great
inspiration, especially to young women, I would certainly
count Tasha Tudor as one of them.

This week the mailman was especially good to me. Guess
why. I had several stash orders come in. I know, I know,
so what else is new?? I think I've mentioned before here,
I'm weak. So what!! I also have fun!! So....

I placed my first order with Sassy's Fabbys a while ago, and
it arrived this week. Six cuts of 13 x 18 fabric, in different
colours. The blue and the pink will be used to stitch a couple
of Debbie Draper designs that I have. The others will no
doubt come in handy for other projects. These are cool
colours, and the fabric seems nice to handle, so we'll see
how I like them when it comes time to stitch. The picture
sort of looks like a slice of battenburg cake, doesn't it??

And part two (or was it three???) of an order from Mary
Kathryn (you remember??? E I E I O??) also arrived this
week including the lovely chart and thread above, and a
new needle keeper.

And these four charts, a couple of which were on sale. I
know there's a SAL going on for Little House Neighbourhood
and the design looks gorgeous!! Nicole at Carolina Dreams
is one of the participants, and she's a stitcher of LHN and CCN
designs with incredible talent, and her piece is so gorgeous!!
Linda at Litla Skvis is also stitching that design.

And here's a very bad picture of this months Bit's n Bobs
delivery from the store of the same name. I think you'll
have to take my word for it....the thread colours are

The party that DH and I went to yesterday was for our
friends 25th wedding anniversary, and was an open house
with a pool party afterwards for the younger guests. It was
a great day weather wise, which was a big relief for them
considering the weather that we've been having lately. We
had a nice thunderstorm roar through here Friday night
around dinner time which had the lights flickering....but I

Our friends (Pete and Terry) have a wonderful
backyard, which overlooks a ravine and has a large in
ground pool. Terry loves to put her plants in unusual
containers and also places all kinds of whimsical ornaments
around the yard. It's so much fun walking around, trying
to see everything she's done. In the above picture the
stripped plant container is actually an old ceramic kleenex
box cover turned upside down. She also has old cookie
jars, tea pots and pots and mugs with flowers and plants
growing in them.

And Terry collects Barbie dolls. The fancy ones, as well as
the regular dolls and their accessories. Pete has just about
finished decorating a room of their home, which is now the
Barbie room.

The walls are a rich, deep dark red, which required at least
eight coats before it looked right, and just about drove poor
Pete around the bend in frustration. The cupboard door in
the room is black, and that cupboard is stuffed full of Barbies.
Terry is slowly buying these cabinets from Ikea and will
use them to display as much of her collection as she can.
There were tours going upstairs all the time during the
party because everyone had to see the Barbie room. The
women were ooohhhing and ahhhing, while the men just
shook their heads in amazement.


Last week we took a day to drive down to Simcoe Ontario
to get new white wall tires for the old Buick. It was a two
hour drive there, and two hours back, with a stop for
lunch while we waited for the new tires to be fitted on the
Buicks rims. We didn't drive the Buick down there though
because DH didn't trust the old tires he had on her to make
the trip safely, so we just took the old tires on the rims.
The weather was sunny for the trip down, but we got
rained on (of course) during the trip home, and it was
quite a downpour, so it was a good thing we didn't take
the old Buick.


Update on that horrible propane explosion of last weekend.
Sadly one employee of the company died in the blast.
Even sadder, while working behind the scenes with the
equipment one of the firefighters, a thirty year veteran who
had turned up at the fire even though he was supposed to be
on his vacation, was found dead of what was probably a
heart attack.

Cause of the blast is still not known, and there's not much
left of the depot for the experts to pick through. Some
homes near the propane business were severely damaged
from the incredible shock wave caused by the blast, and clean
up of the area is going to take some time.


Some finishes of note that I saw last week during my blog
travels: Staci (Snippets and Stash) had a pin keep finish for
a Brightneedle design, and another finish as a long tasseled
pillow which is a Carriage House Samplings design. Staci
is an amazing finisher. And Glenda (Life, the Universe and
Stitching) finished an incredible blackwork design called
Elegant Ironwork, which is just beautiful.

And go visit Cathey at Pumpkin Patch & Co. and answer
the question she's posted there for her latest post. I
think it's a great way to get to know who's reading
your blog. And folks, Cathey's a sweetheart. Go see!

So I'm going to go post on her blog, and here's your chance
to do the same on mine. Pass it on!!

1) As a comment on this post, leave one memory that you and I have had together. It doesn't matter if you know me a little or a lot, anything you remember! And if we've never met, leave me a comment about your favourite post that I wrote and why it was your favourite.

2) Next, re-post these instructions on your Blog (if you have one) and see how many people leave a memory about you. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your Blog and leave one about you :o)

Have a really terrific week everyone. I'm so glad you took
the time to visit here. Happy stitching!!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Gate with Lantern more or less at the one month mark. I'd
estimate at this point I'm about 2/3rds done with the cross
stitching. There is a wee bit of back stitching to be done as

I'm about to start two weeks (less one day) of vacation, so I
hope to get a fair amount of stitching done on this piece
during that time. Unless I decide to begin another piece,
you know, in celebration of vacation. Hey, it's allowed
under the rules. Go check. I've never stitched anything
in a Halloween theme, so maybe it's time that I did.

May I introduce to you my newest treasure, Eden Grace.
This is a Barbara (Mainly Stitching - okay is there anyone
out there who doesn't know Barbara???) designed and
stitched piece and I love her...the bird I mean. Okay I
love Barbara too. Who doesn't? Er...anyways...

When I saw Grace on Barbara's Etsy site I tried to resist
and I actually managed to hold out for a few days. But
when no one else picked her up I knew it was inevitable.

The above picture was taken from Barbara's blog, since
I can't get clear close up pictures like this with my
camera. Hope that's okay Barbara.

Grace is stuffed with organic Lavender and when I opened
the package that she came in the scent was incredibly
strong and fragrant. Of course my kooky cat Rupert
reacted to the scent as if it were cat nip. I caught him
trying to take Grace off to have his way with her. I put
a stop to that immediately and Grace is now safely
displayed away from little cat paws.

The above picture is of our favourite pub, The Copper
Kettle, located in Glen Williams. I've mentioned it so
many times here that I thought perhaps a picture
should be posted as well. This was where my 50th
birthday surprise party was held, and the picture was
taken by one of the co-conspirators, Darlene. The
building was once a general store and is around 150
years old.

The proprietor is Brenda Gove, and her daughters Tracy
and Leigh help her to run the place. Excellent food,
great beers to choose from (if you're into that sort of
thing) darts, jam night, open mike night and other events,
plus an outdoor patio make this a great place to stop in
for a visit. Brenda and her girls are the heart of the
place though, and probably the main reason we love
going there so much.

Things are a little crazy in Toronto right now. Seems a
propane distributing facility blew up starting around 4:00
am this morning. The blast knocked people living in the
area out of their beds and rattled windows and shook
foundations. The authorities have evacuated a large area
around the facility, closed off a large portion of the 401
highway, one of the busiest highways in north America,
and firefighters are working to get the fire under control.
This is a photo from CP24 news site showing the fire and
plume of smoke. No word of injuries or worse at the
moment, but I'm not sure if emergency personnel have
been able to get into the site to check yet. Some of the
video taken from balconies miles away from the site
show explosions of incredible intensity, with flames
and fireballs leaping high into the air! It's scary.

Shades of the Mississauga Explosion of 30 years ago,
when a train carrying chemicals derailed and
exploded and during the course of the next few days
an entire city, with a population of 250,000 , was
evacuated until the situation was stabilized and the
site cleared of danger.

Things are reported under control now, and the
firefighting officials are cautiously optimistic
that everything will be fine.


Moving on to more pleasant topics.....

The weather here yesterday was like something
out of the tropics. After a sunny start to the day
the sky started to cloud over, and by 11:00 it was
teaming down with rain. DH tried to get the
lawn mowed before the rain started but only
managed to get the backyard done. And except
for short breaks here and there it rained pretty
much well into the night.

And it was really cool out. More like weather in
mid-September instead of August. I even got the
little portable heater out of the closet and had that
next to my feet to warm them up last night. We
spent the day relaxing, accepting the weather as an
excuse to recharge our batteries. Apparently this
afternoon we're in for more rain and thunderstorms.
A great way to start our vacation, but there's not
much we can do about it except go with the flow.


I finished reading Breaking Dawn yesterday, since
I couldn't bear to leave it until my last day of work
on Monday. It was an excellent read, and for me
the best book of the four. I won't say any more
because so many of you are reading the series, and
don't want to know what's going to happen.

Lynn: The series is about the love story of Bella,
a human girl, and a Vampire named Edward. Of
course there are all kinds of complications, as
true love never runs smoothly, especially between
human and vampire. It's a good bit of escapism
fiction, especially if you like Paranormal fiction.


Dani had a happy dance this week when she
finished Moonlight Guardian by Dragon Dreams.
The dragon, named Indigo, is a beautiful creature
and the piece has a gorgeous border around it.
I'm sure that in person it's quite shiny and
sparkly. Congrats Dani!!

And Andrea finished Winter into Spring by
Drawn Thread and it's magnificent. So many
different types of stitches on this one, and it's
a delicate design that pictures can't do justice
to. You have to look at the close ups to really
appreciate the detail and the work that went
into this piece.

Well, I guess I'd best finish this post off and
get the laundry started. Into work for me
tomorrow, and then I join DH for the rest of
the two weeks on blessed vacation. Happy,
happy, joy, joy!!!

Take care everyone, thanks for stopping by
and happy stitching!!!!


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Better Late Then Never....

A busy weekend, with guests and good weather, meant
that my Sunday morning blog update was not possible.
Monday night, when I originally planned to get
caught up, the weather was still nice and since I'd pretty
much ignored my stitching over the weekend, I
decided to sit outside and stitch instead. Tonight it's
pouring down rain, so here I am.

Gate with Lantern is well past the half way mark,
and I'm now working on the upper portion of the
design. Adding the window box has defined the
portion of wall on the right hand side, so it no
longer looks like a blob of blue. I'm concentrating
my efforts on the window above the window box
at the moment.

Mary Kathryn had a sale... (E I E I O) .... and in that sale
were some really pretty things .... (E I E I O) .... with a
Bent Creek here and a Drawn Thread there, here a
chart, there a sampler, everywhere a must have... Mary
Kathryn had a sale .... (E I E I O).

Um....I was bad.

It was a movie weekend, which meant that my friend
Darlene came to stay, and we spent Saturday afternoon
at the movie theatre in Brampton. We chose two movies
to see, the first being The Mummy III. Waste of time.
Pretty boring and predictable. Save your money folks.
If you must see it, rent it.

The second movie was the one we really, really wanted
to see....Mamma Mia. Wow!! It was wonderful!!!
Gorgeous scenery, incredible cast, toe tapping gotta-
sing-along-to music, and lots of laughter, tears and
cheers. Oh, and Meryl Streep is a goddess!! I'm just
saying. I plan to see this one again. Soon. Often.
When's the DVD coming out???

Another highlight of the weekend was a stop at the
bookstore. Did I mention that DH drove us to the
movies and was nice enough (long suffering) to
stop at the bookstore first so we could have a bit
of a browse. He's a good guy. Think I'll keep him.

Darlene was looking for a birthday
present. I was looking for the above book. The
fourth and final book in Stephenie Meyer's series.
Oh yes Vonna, I have indeed read these books.
And as last summer belonged to Harry Potter,
this summer is Edward and Bella's to command.

My main concern was getting the book and
reading it before stumbling across something
somewhere which would give major plot lines
away. I'd hate that. I have my own thoughts on
how this love story will play out, but I'll wait
and read the book to see if I'm right or not. So
I started reading it today, and hopefully will
be finished by Friday.

And just to add my two cents worth to the
opinions out there....the guy who's playing
Edward in the movie Twilight....Ugh!!!

While in the bookstore the only rain storm
of the weekend (at least in these parts) blew
up and dropped a load. The car windows
were a third of the way down. The seats
got wet. Darlene and I went into the movie
theatre with damp backsides. Nice.

After the bookstore, and the movies, we
ended our day with DH picking us up and
going to the pub for dinner. The perfect
ending to a wonderful day.


Sunday we had Mom join us for a barbecue.
The four of us (DH, Darlene, Mom and I)

took a nice drive through the countryside
in the old car and Mom thoroughly enjoyed
that. Then we came home and listened to
ABBA music and visited. Had steak,
with onions and mushrooms, baked
potatoes and salad for dinner, with apple
pie and ice cream for dessert. Yum! It
was a great day.

Last Thursday evening DH and I took the
old car to cruise night at the local Price
Choppers (a sort of grocery store) here in

Apparently this event occurs every Thursday
during the summer and fills an impressive
portion of the parking lot. DH estimated at

least 100 cars were there that night. Most
were from the 50's, 60's and early 70's, and
most were either modified or restored. Lots
of hot rods, muscle cars and such. Ours is of
the era but wouldn't really qualify as a "cruising"
style of car.

It was fascinating walking around
looking at all the different makes and models
of cars. There was rock n roll music playing

over loud speakers, and people brought lawn
chairs and everyone seemed to know everyone
else. DH was great for explaining about many
of the cars, pointing out design details and
talking a bit about the history of the vehicles.
It was quite interesting, and some of those cars
sure were pretty.

So Prairie Schooler has four new charts out. And the smaller
design on this one, November, is my favourite. Oh dear!!
The Halloween one is cute too. I love their witches. And
scaredy cats.

Well, I guess that's about it for this week. A shout out
of congratulations to Cathey at Pumpkin Patch and Co.
for finishing Stargazer this week. What a beauty!!
You've done a wonderful job on her Cathey.

And Michelle at Cozy Egg finished Barnabee's Quest, in
spite of an incredibly busy life which would have had me
flat on my back. What a lot of stitching and detailed work
is involved with that project. It's a beauty Michelle.

Some furry goodness to end this post. Phoebe and
Rupert sharing a blanket and a snuggle. Awwww....

Take care everyone. Thanks for stopping by.