Sunday, September 20, 2009

What I Did On My Summer Vacation...

Many days, weeks and (to my shame) months have passed since
I last updated my blog. Somehow I just let time get away from me
during the summer months and did not make much of an effort to
tend to my blog. I could sit here and list all kinds of reasons why
that happened, but you don't really want to read all that now do you?
So I'll just launch into a regular post full of pictures and news and
leave the rest be. So here we go....

I finished a project!! Oh yes, I did! And here's a picture to
prove it. The little birds that I started waaayyyy back in May
was finished sometime this summer, though I can't remember
when exactly, and has now taken up residence in my "Done
Drawer". A freebie from somewhere or other on the internet
that caught my eye and charmed me, stitched with a lovely
variegated thread that I think was Crescent Colors Ladybug.
I think the fabric color is Bittersweet and is, of course, an

And here is yet another finish for you to marvel about .... er ...
over. From My Aunt's Attic comes this wonderful design that
also charmed my socks off. I stitched this one with a variegated
thread from those most awesome and talented Threadworx folks.
I love these threads so much I decided to start collecting them
and now get a bunch of them sent to me from Stitching Bits and
Bobs each month. Anyways, this design was fun to stitch and it
turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself.

An on going project that is actually quite close to completion is
this wonderful Prairie Schooler piece. I've actually got a good
portion of the final sixth square stitched and all I need to do is
park my butt in a chair and apply my needle diligently to fabric
for an hour or less and voila!! I stitched this one as a gift for a
friend (originally a birthday gift, but now it'll be for a Christmas
gift) but it's going to be mighty hard to let go. Every time that
I stitched a square I decided that it was my favorite square of
them all....until I stitched the next square and decided that that
one was really my most favorite of all...until I stitched the next
square and .... Well, you get the idea.


The highlight of my summer vacation has got to be the long
Labor Day weekend when I finally got the opportunity to
attend my first stitcher's gathering at Kathy's (Kathy's Sit
and Stitch - though I'm sure you all know who I mean)
beautiful cottage on the shores of Lake Ontario.

I've been blogging friends with Kathy, Dani, and Beatrice
for several years now, and I almost attended last year's
gathering but had to cancel literally at the last minute
because of my Mom going into hospital. So the chance
to go to this years event was doubly exciting for me.

I was nervous and so very excited. The week before the
long weekend I was counting the hours and the minutes
before I could leave work and head out. I took a
Greyhound bus from Toronto on Friday after work that
took two hours to reach Trenton where Kathy met me
and drove me to her cottage.

Kathy was sporting a spiffy new hair do that I didn't get to
appreciate (stare at) until we reached her cottage since
it was too dark at the bus stop for me to really see
(gawk at) her. Kathy and her 13 year old grand daughter
had both had their bangs dyed purple that day. It was
totally cool and fun and so very much a "Kathy" thing to
do I think. The lady is crazy fun and doesn't allow the
sometimes dismaying developments in life to get the best
of her. Purple bangs is Kathy thumbing her nose at the

Here are Christin, Dani and Kathy. I took this picture on the
final day (Monday) of the weekend and you can see the purple
bangs of defiance a wee bit here. For a better picture go to
Kathy's blog.

Here is the group photo taken by Dani of the stitchers that
gathered on the Saturday to stitch, talk and eat. I'm the
gal with the goofy bit grin and pink t-shirt on the right.

A group of stitchers hard at work around Kathy's dining room
table. Adriana on the left, Angie in the middle (back) and

And more stitchers hard at it. What a dedicated bunch. Bonnie
in dark blue, Cristin and Fran.

I'm thinking that these ladies are Fran, Trista and Rebbecca
and under the hat would be Dani.

The most famous of stitchers in Ontario has to be this lady.
Adriana. At age 93 she attended the gathering on both
Saturday and Sunday, and was going strong both days well
into the evening. An incredible stitcher and a gracious lady.
It was so wonderful to meet her in person.

We did arts and crafts. Yes, we did. Here are Donna and Laura
(I think) being taught how to make folding Ort boxes by Kathy.
Kathy has a lot of patience. She even managed to teach me how
to cut, fold and maneuver pieces of wallpaper into these clever
little boxes. Well, she showed me how to make these things.
Whether I could manage to create another one on my own is

Donna finished stitching her part on a friendship sampler
during the weekend and passed it on to Kathy to add her
bit to it. Photographers were there to capture the historic
occasion on film. That's Dani in between the two of them
(sort of) making her own little contribution to the moment.

Beatrice and Dani caught up in the moment, with Adriana
looking on in bemusement.

This is Ann behind the counter of her shop Knowledge and

On Saturday afternoon Dani was kind enough to drive a
few of us to Brighton to visit Knowledge and Needles, the
cross stitch store run by Ann from her home. What fun
that was. Meeting Ann, exploring the shop, meeting Ann's
beautiful dogs, exploring the shop, looking at cross stitch
models stitched and framed and hanging in the house and
the shop, exploring the shop....

The weather was absolutely fabulous for all three days of the
gathering. We had pot luck on Saturday with all kinds of
wonderful dishes to sample, and on Sunday Kathy made
brunch for those that returned for a second day of stitching.
Dani, Christin and I were the only ones who stayed with
Kathy for the three days. Everyone else commuted. I ate
so much during that weekend, but thanks to Dani who
allowed me to go out walking with her in the morning and
again at night on both Saturday and Sunday, I managed not
to gain any weight.

Leaving to go home on Monday was so very hard. The
weekend flew by so fast and was so much fun. Getting
to meet all those wonderful, talented stitchers and
being inspired by them and their various projects.

Best of all though was getting to meet Kathy, Dani
and Beatrice, and Christin and Rebbecca and Ann,
whose blogs I've read for a long time now, in person.
It was a fabulous weekend. Thank you Kathy for
inviting me, housing me and feeding me and
driving me to and from the bus.

This picture of me was taken back at the beginning of
August when we had our second annual Christmas in
August party. I wanted a full length picture taken
to show off my weight loss. At that time I'd lost 40
pounds thanks to Weight Watchers and walking ....
a lot. Since that time I have lost another 11 pounds
and last week I celebrated passing the 50 pound mark.

Got another charm for my key chain Dani!

Note: Weight Watchers gives you a key chain when
you loose 10 percent of your starting weight, and then
gives you a charm to add to the key chain when you
loose 25, 50, 75 and 100 pounds...if you're going that far).

I've been shopping for new clothes this month because
my old Fall and Winter wardrobe didn't fit any more, or
was old and worn out. It's been years since I've been
shopping and actually enjoyed the experience and I use to
avoid it as much as possible. But we put out 5 green garbage
bags of my old, outgrown clothes for pick up by a local charity
a few weeks ago and so I needed new everything.

The picture at the beginning of this long, long post is of
me, DH Phil and my Mom during the Christmas in August
party. Phil is wearing his toque and red shirt in honor of
the occasion.

And on that note I'd best finish off this epic post and see
if there's a bit of time left to stitch before dinner. Best
wishes to you all.

Cheers! Judy


Rowyn said...

Welcome back Judy!

You are looking really well. Congrats on your weightloss.

You have some beautiful stitching there, and it looks like you had a super time at Kathy's stitching get together.

Siobhan said...

It's good to see another post from you! :) I'm glad that you had such an enjoyable summer. Looks like a fabulous time!

Lovely stitching and WOW on the weight loss! You go girl! ;)

Kathy A. said...

Judy - it is nice to see you back blogging. I have so missed your chatty posts.
Thank you so much for all the kind words. I had such a great time that weekend. I really enjoyed meeting you and consider you a good friend.
Stay in touch!!!!

Vonna said...

What a great summer you had and LOOK at that weight loss! Congratulations...I have been thinking about Weight Watchers a lot lately for myself.
Yay on the great good times you had with Kathy and all the gals!

staci said...

So wonderful to see a post from you! Looks like you've been keeping busy with some beautiful stitching. That's terrific that you were able to make the stitching-get-together this year, looks like fun!

Congrats on your weight loss!!! You look fabulous! Have fun clothes shopping!!!

Andrea said...

Thought you'd fell off the face of the earth! LOL

You're looking really well and healthy. It sounds like you had a very enjoyable time on your stitching break. When you have looked forward to something for ao long, it's good that it is so much fun. Those PS birds are coming along a treat. Lovely finishes too.

mainely stitching said...

Oh my goodness, you look fabulous! Congratulations on your seriously hard work getting so fit, so fast. You must be very proud of yourself!

I enjoyed reading your emails during and after our trip to Maine. Life's been terribly busy and I've been a lousy correspondant, but I really did enjoy (and appreciate) hearing from you.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back!!!
I just read your mail and also this post!
Canada is a really long way from Portugal, but how I wish I could be there. A gather of gentle ladies with a stitching purpose!! Amazing!! Will answer soon.
Paula Nunes Lima

Gina E. said...

It is so good to see you back here, Judy! I kept looking at my sidebar and watching the months go past, and thinking 'where is she? I do hope she is okay' - and you were. Just busy! How good it feels to get several projects completed and what fun to be on a stitching weekend - I never seem to hear about them here.

Mylene said...

Looks like you all had fune at the stitching break. Thanks for sharing all your pictures.

Congrats on the weight loss.

monique said...

Glad to see you back in blogging action! Nice finishes; I have that butterfly round on my to-do list. Congrats on the weight loss!

Pumpkin said...

Yes, it has been awhile! Good to see you back Judy :o)

It's good to see that you are still stitching. Lovely finishes. Your PS piece is just gorgeous! I don't blame you for not wanting to part with it.

Oh fun! No wonder you were so excited to go :o) There is nothing better than getting together with other stitchers. A 93 year old? I hope I can still stitch at that age ;o) LOL!

I can't believe how much weight you've lost! You're going to disappear if you keep going. LOL! Congrats. You should be so proud of yourself :o)

Judy, I want to thank you so much for the most thoughtful thing anyone has ever done for me. I received the card from the Toronto Humane Society and they told me what you did. I was speechless. I am so touched by what you did. I can't even explain how much I miss Brie :o( She was such a special dog and she touched a lot of lives. Thank you with all my heart.


Judy S. said...

Love your little stitcheries, Judy! Congrats on your weight loss; that's a real achievement. It was fun to read about your weekend at Kathy's; it sounded like a fun time.

Brigitte said...

Judy, it's so good to see you back. I always love to read your newsy posts.
Your PS piece has seen some nice progress. I love the two little finishes and I'm looking forward to seeing how you will finish them.
And boy, what a gorgeous weekend you had with all your stitching friends. Such a get together can be so inspiring and motivating. I'm always full of new ideas and highly motivated when I get home after meeting my stitching friends.
And last but not least congratulations on your weight loss.

Sonda in OR said...

Looks like you had a lovely time! I love your recent finishes! Congrats to you on the weight loss! That's a wonderful accomplishment and I'm sure it feels good on many levels!

Maggie said...

Great to see you back to blogging, i missed your chatty posts!

I'm glad you had such a great summer and a many, many congratulations on that weight loss, WOW! what an acheivement!
You deserve to go shopping girl!!

Beatrice said...

I haven't been on in soooo long. I will get back to blogging soon.
It was so much fun to meet you in Person.
That was a great weekend we had a Kathy's. I love the photos. I stole them by the way for my folder!

Congratulations on the Weight loss. Wow you look terrific.

All of your stitched pieces are wonderful!

Lynn said...

Judy,it's so good to hear from you again! I'm really sorry that I didn't get the chance to meet you at Kathy's this year. I do plan on being there next year for sure.
Congrats on your weight loss! All that shopping must be fun.
I love your finishes and your nearly completed work. All are lovely.
Glad you had an enjoyable summer.

Carolien said...

Hello Judy,

How nice to find ut that you know Beatrice, Adriana, Kathy and Ann! They were and are so sweet to follow my blog as well and I follow theirs ... How NICE!

My hat goes off for you, by the way, because of your strength in losing so much weight. My compliments!!!

Bye, Carolien