Sunday, September 27, 2009

Greetings all!! I'm trying to compose and post a complete
blog post on blogger before my bed time, and I'm typing
with Phoebe in my arms (she's using my arm as a resting
place for her paws while she washes them, and the rest of
her furry self) so I've got a bit of a handicap here. Lets see
if I can manage to pull this off.

First order of business....I forgot about this project when I was
putting together last week's blog post, and since I've been
working on it a bit this weekend it's appropriate that I show it
off now.

Last year I stitched a LHN design for Rupert (orange cat) so
it's only fair that this year I stitch something for Phoebe (grey
cat). This is a freebie from Gazette 94 (I think) and it's all
done in pinks which suits Phoebe's personality to a T since
she is a very feminine cat.

I worked on this while at Kathy's for the stitcher's gathering
and I even managed to stitch on it while taking the bus back
to Toronto at the end of that weekend. It helped pass the
travel time nicely. So I have one and a half cats left to stitch
plus a few hearts and the rest of the checkerboard border and
then we'll have another finish. This is a really cute design
and I think Phoebe must really like it because I caught her
earlier this evening tea-cozied on it, napping. Sigh!!!

New release from LHN. The Library. I want!!!!

(picture borrowed from LHN website)

Today DH and I cleaned the living room and we got out
the Halloween/Autumn decorations since of course
Fall arrived this week. I love having my Fall decorations
out and find it hard to resist buying/collecting a great
deal more then I already have. A serious lack of storage
space prevents me from going hog wild, although one or
two new pieces always seem to sneak in once in awhile.

Last year I took a picture of the above table all decorated as
a reference for this years decorating so as to avoid the "now
where did I put this again??? And this??? And this!!" syndrome.
It makes the decorating process much more efficient and quicker.
But for some reason I did not take a picture of the room divider
last year. I've done both this year and you lucky people get to see
them here. Next years decorating should be a breeze. Uh huh.

If you want to see what I've been reading since May you'll
have to refer to the list at the side of my blog here. But
this is the book that I just finished last week for you to see.
And especially for Kathy who asked me if I'd read it yet.

This is Jacqueline Carey's latest release, and the start of
another trilogy. This one takes place a hundred years after
the first six books (two trilogies) and I wondered when it
came out if I would enjoy it as much since it wouldn't
feature any of the characters that I'd grown to love from
the earlier books. The answer is a resounding YES!!!!

Carey retains her position as my favorite fantasy writer
as she brings all of her talent as a storyteller and as a
creator of worlds and people as three dimensional and
fascinating as you could possibly wish to this, her ninth
book. This is an author whose books I grab as soon as
they are published. I don't wait for reviews or descriptions
of the storyline since I know I'll love it.

Kathy, get this one. It's every bit as good as the others!!


In August DH and I went out and bought a new mattress
to replace the nearly 20 year old mattress that we'd
received as a wedding gift from his parents. Now
mattresses have changed a lot in the past 20 years so
we weren't sure just what to look for when we went to
Sleep Country Canada. But the salesman was very
helpful and guided us through the store and it's row
upon row of beds. We made our choice and a week
later it was delivered.

The delivery guys (in their trademark booties worn
over their shoes to protect our carpets) put the new
mattress and box spring in place on the bed and
took our old set off to be either donated to charity
or to be taken to a recycling place if it was deemed
too old and worn out for further use.

When the delivery guys were gone I went upstairs
to put sheets on the bed and discovered that Rupert
was the first one to try out the new purchase. He
must have liked it because he was asleep in no time
and I had to delay putting on the bedding until he
woke up.

We've been getting use to the new pillow top style
of this mattress, although it didn't take me long to
settle in and decide that I loved it!! So cozy and
cushiony and sink-into comfortable. The height of
the thing sort of gave me pause as it's quite a bit
higher then our old bed, so getting in and out
requires a bit of finesse and a good hop to achieve.
When sitting on the bed my feet dangle a good
six inches off the floor. DH, at six foot five inches,
just walks up to the bed, turns around, and sits.
The cats take a bit of a run at it but seem to take
the added height in stride when bed time comes
around. I wouldn't care to fall out of bed in the
middle of the night now though.


I am so overwhelmed and delighted with all the
visitors and comments that have been left here
in the past week since I posted my previous blog
entry. After such a long time I didn't expect so
many to remember me. Thank you for the warm
welcome back and if I haven't paid you a return
visit yet then be sure that I will at some point
this coming week.

And thank you as well for all the wonderful
compliments and encouragement regarding
my weight loss as well. I only went down another
4 oz last week, which is probably thanks to all the
delicious food at the party we'd gone to on the
Saturday. But a loss is a loss, regardless of how
little it might be. I'll take it.

No parties, barbecues or meals out this weekend
and I've been working hard on my exercise
regime so hopefully things will be better this week.
Next week I'm going to be joining Curves and we'll
see what I can achieve with their program and their
equipment. I'll be rejoining Weight Watchers for
another six month run this week too. Maybe by
next Spring I'll be lifetime!

And here's a picture of the two darlings of the household
since I didn't include any pictures of them in the last post.

We're into true Autumn weather here now, with cooler
temperatures and rain. It's the first rain that we've had
in over three weeks though and so it was welcome. We
even had a bit of a light frost last week, although it didn't
touch the plants in our backyard. People are decorating
their front porches and yards with scarecrows, hay bales,
pumpkins and pots of Chrysanthemums in a wonderful
assortment of Fall colors. I love this time of year!!!

Have a great week everyone and thanks for visiting.
It's great to be back!

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