Sunday, March 21, 2010

I think that it's time that I updated this poor neglected blog,
don't you??? Time just has a habit of flying by and
before you (I) know it it's been three weeks since the last
update and people are deleting you (me) from their blog
lists, which isn't good.

First on my list of things to write about is progress on
Winter Wind. I'm happy to report (and show) that I've
finished another section of the design and have just
one more section to stitch which is the header.

I chose to stitch the square that the designer had used
in the centre of the design instead of choosing one of
the other four designs on the back of the chart. This
one is my favorite of the five and I am very pleased with
how it's turned out.

I'll confess to having the "mid-project blues" for a few
weeks and during that time my stitching was half hearted
and sporadic on this piece. But I wasn't about to start
another project and leave this one unfinished and
abandoned, possibly to turn into a UFO. I want to see
this one finished. Now that I'm so close to a finish
(relatively speaking) I've gotten something of my mojo
for it back and am eager to get going on the final bit.

Pictures can be clicked on to get a closer look.

Stash enhancement!! These arrived from Mary Kathryn
a few weeks ago and I'm tickled with them all. Of course.

Along with everyone else I kept an eager eye on the build
up to Nashville, and the releases from that weekend. I
have been through the listings on many on line stores
and have picked out the ones that appealed to me the most.

This design was first brought to my attention by Mary
Kathryn and as soon as I saw it I was mesmerized!!
It's Rose Quaker by Stickideen von der Wiehenburg
and I have to tell you that I have been dreaming about
this beauty every since first laying eyes on it. Then I
saw on Mary Kathryn's blog that she'd begun stitching
it and it truly is gorgeous!!!! I haven't ordered it yet
because funds are tight this month and this is not an
inexpensive chart, but it'll be ordered soon and I am
so looking forward to stitching it.

Which leads me to a question that I'd like to put out
there for anyone who'd care to advise me.

I'd like to try stitching on 40 count fabric. Don't know
if my eyes (even with my magnifier) will allow it, but
I'd like to try. Usually I stitch on even weave fabrics
such as Lugana or Jobelan. I'd like to hear from any
of you who stitch on 40 count fabric for advice on
what is the best fabric to use for this and any other
advice that you think that I should know.

I would order a small piece of whatever fabric in this
count is best and try a small project on it first and if
it is doable then I would try stitching Rose Quaker on
it. Maybe. We'll see.

I've also seen designs by La D Da and Brittercup Designs
that I have added to my list of "must haves". Hopefully
I can place an order in April.

Then there's this little gem. Need I say more???


Last weekend I got my dear, long suffering hubby
to drive me to Michael's on the pretext that I
needed a skein of DMC 3371 to finish Winter
Wind off with. The night before we went I thought
that I'd better go through my DMC spares and
doubles pile to check and see what I did have in
there just in case I already had that color. And I
did!! Rats!! No reason to go to Micheal's then,
right?? Oh but then I realized that I was awfully
low on DMC #3777. I would have enough of it
to finish Winter Wind, but what if I needed it for
another project in the future??? I'd be caught short!!
The horror!!!

Excuse intact the trip to Michael's happily remained
on the weekend agenda. I got a handful of DMC
threads to add to the spares and doubles pile and
got to browse through the store for a bit as well.

When we got home I decided that I needed to sort
through my S&D pile and perhaps work on winding
some of those threads on bobbins and putting them
in my S&D box, which would make it easier to keep
track of what I had.

I then decided, after a day of winding thread on bobbins,
and putting them in my S&D box, that it's an excellent
way of encouraging meditation. No need to chant mantras,
light tapers, burn incense or do whatever else it is one does to
enter into a meditative state. Just wind skeins of DMC thread
onto bobbins. Over and over again. Skein after skein.

Not only is it relaxing, but it takes piles of floss
that have been tossed willy nilly into a basket
like those above.

Sorts them into color groupings.

And then places them neatly, numerically into my
floss box, where they encourage productivity and
creativity without frustration and chaos.

I still have quite a bit of work ... sorry ....
meditating ahead of me, but that box will be full
before you know it.


I have had to spend some quality time at the dentist
in the past week getting a couple of fillings done. You
should know that I don't handle dentists visits very well.
So two weeks ago when I was dreading the appointment
that lay ahead of me that day it was almost impossible
to keep my mind focused on my work, and my nerves
became more and more frayed as the time grew nearer.
I shook and I shivered (mostly on the inside, but not all)
and forced each step of the trip to my dreaded destiny of
dental doom. Only to discover that my appointment
was for the following week!!!

A week later, on the actual real day of the appointment, I was
a bit less freaked out then I'd been the week before, probably
because I'd worked some of it out dreading the bogus
appointment. The dentist knows how nervous I get and
was very kind and accommodating during the procedure.
It was done in no time at all, with minimal fuss and bother.

This Wednesday I'm going to another Dental appointment.
This time it will be for a root canal. The specialist will give
me something to relax me and make the procedure more
bearable, both for me and for him. Wish me luck!!
Wish him luck too. He'll need it!!

A few book reviews to write here. The first being the
biography of Beatrix Potter that I'd picked up at the
used book store about a month ago. It took me three
weeks to read this tome, which is about par for the
course for me when it comes to biographies. I don't
sail through them as easily as I do fiction.

What a fascinating woman Ms Potter was!! Her
artist's skills are obvious and well documented, but
her knowledge and her work in the fields of sheep
breeding and in the studying of the natural world in
general and in particular the studying and painting
of fungi and small animals are impressive and
extensive and her observations and her theories
are still viable and in use today.

She was a passionate proponent of the conservation
of the farms, villages and wilderness areas of the
Lake District and used the money's earned from her
books to buy up large sections of the area to save
them from being lost to development and exploitation.
Upon her death most of her property was left to the
National Trust.

But Beatrix was also a dutiful Victorian daughter who
was expected, by society and by her parents, to dedicate
her adult life to the care and well being of her father and
mother to the exclusion of any kind of a life of her own.
That she somehow managed to look after her difficult
and demanding parents while still pursuing her own
dreams and interests is a testament to her strength of
character and her determination to live a useful life.

This is a well written and very well researched book
that brings Beatrix Potter to life in it's pages and
reveals the complex, strong and determined woman
who was a talented artist and writer of children's
books, a scholar, a naturalist and a conservationist.

There are seven House of Night books out now, and
number eight is due out sometime this month I
think. I've enjoyed all the books in this young adult
paranormal series and recommend them highly.
Quick reads too. I'd suggest reading them in order
though since the story continues through each book
and a lot has happened to make up the back story
building to the newest installment of the series.

Phil was taking a nap on Sunday and Rupert, his
constant shadow, soon joined him on the bed,
bringing along a small token of his affection to give
to Phil. The little brightly colored "crinkle" ball
there is one of four that Rupert "gives" to us whenever
he wants to let us know that he's missing us, or
wants to be made a fuss of. Often when Phil comes
out of the bathroom after his shower Rupert will
have brought a couple of those fuzzy, colorful balls
right to the door for him, and Rupert will be
waiting right next to them for his buddy. So funny,
and so sweet.

Spring like weather arrived here a few weeks ago,
and we reveled in it let me tell you!!! Temperatures
in the double digits soon got rid of the last of our
snow (good riddance!!) and now the crocuses
and the daffodils are coming up. The robins are
back in town, but the gold finches are still wearing
their drab, olive green feathers. The chipmunks
are running around in the garden and the red winged
black birds are making pigs of themselves at our
bird feeders.

The warmer weather has meant longer walks out
doors for me and I'm finally getting the opportunity
to break in the new pair of running shoes that
Darlene gave me last Christmas. No more ice patches
or deep puddles to worry about thus no need for boots.
I jump over the muddy bits.

Mind you, the nicest weather was during the
weekdays, while gloomy gray rainy weather was
reserved for the weekends which was annoying,
but what can you do?? This week is going to be
cooler again with more seasonable temperatures
and you can pretty much bet that there will be at
least one more snow storm before mid April
since that always happens every year.

I guess that's about all from me for the moment.
Thank you everyone who left such nice comments
about me reaching Lifetime at Weight Watchers.
The support that I've received from everyone in
the past year has really helped me to achieve my
weight loss goals and kept my spirits up.

Take care! Cheers!


Lynn said...

That square on Winter Wind is my favourite of the lot too. It's really looking good Judy!
I have to admit that I've been eyeing Rose Quaker as well. I was smitten with it too. Pretty piece, isn't it?
Your stash looks great. I love the CC Book Store. It's so appropriate for you.
Our Clarisse loves to fetch with the same crinkle ball as Rupert. She runs after them and then brings them back to us to throw again. Do you think they have some dog genes in them?

Judy S. said...

You have my sympathy on those dental visits, Judy! I love your WW stitching and your cat photos. Rupert is a cutie.

mainely stitching said...

You're not deleted from my bloglines - you can take off a lot longer than 3 weeks before that happens. Actually, I usually only delete blogs because they were "iffy" to begin with and their tone becomes offensive to me over time.

However, your purple text on red background is hard to read. At least for me. ;)

Your stitching looks fabulous. I don't have a favorite 40 count linen. I really loved Vikki Clayton's 36 counts - the squares seemed more open and it wasn't any harder on the eyes than 32 count. Lakeside Linens have always been good in any count, if you can get them where you live. Good luck!!

samplerlover said...

Hi Judy, great stash collection and you are right thread winding is very relaxing.
I'm now good on answering which type of 40ct etc to use as we aren't that lucky to have all the varieties, but I enjoy working on it. I usually find that once I have done a few stitches I am ok. Sometimes though I use one of those Magnieyes magnifiers which really helps.
The Rose Quaker is a really lovely piece isn't it. I can see why you like it.
Yes. Beatrix Potter was such a fascinating woman. I love how she saved so much for the people of England. - Sandra.

staci said...

Really lovin are sooo close to a finish!!! You've gotten some really great new stash too.

Could you come wind some DMC onto bobbins for me???

Siobhan said...

Rupert is just too cute. I miss my kitties that are waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge. Give him some cuddles for us.

Love your progress on Winter Wind!

I am partial to Lakeside Linens' 40 count. I also like Picture This Plus... anything with a Zweigart base, though I've found some R&Rs with a Zweigart base are a bit stiff in 40 ct. I suggest good lighting and, if you wear them, mag eyes. I am near sighted so I'm okay as long as I have good light, but when I'm at my mother's house I do have to wear the mag eyes. I have a Daylight lamp here that is a lifesaver. I've also heard that it's good to stick with 40 ct for awhile, let your eyes adjust to it and get used to finding the next thread, rather than switching between a 40 ct project and a, for example, 30 ct project. HTH a bit!

BrendaS said...

Love your progress on Winter Wind. Before you know it you will be done and can start something NEW!

Good luck with your dental visits. That reminds me that I should make an appointment (yuck)

Andrea said...

Great progress on WW, it will be finished in no time at all. Love the Rose Quaker piece, very pretty. Our weather seems a bit like your at the moment. Last weekend was glorious, but this week it has turned colder again with rain coming in for the weekend.

Gina E. said...

It would take more than a few weeks before I delete you from my blog list, Judy! I thoroughly enjoy your blog; you have so much to write about that interests me. Even if I never get around to reading the books you read, it is great to read ABOUT them, and file titles away for future reference!
And of course photos of Rupert and Phoebe are always a bonus :-)

Pumpkin said...

I'd say that's very good progress :o)

Oh my! You and your PS ;o) You lucky girl you!

I have to agree with your choices. They are absolutely must haves :o) As for the 40 count, I think linen would be your best bet because that way the material wouldn't be as dense and the holes easier to see. JMHO.

I might be a little lost here but what does S&D mean?

I wish I had read this sooner because let me tell you, a root canal is a BREEZE! And I hate dentists as much as you do. I know you can do it. I think root canals are managed much better now and not as horrific as once was thought ;o)

Rupert is so adorable! I remember a cat I had that would fetch a small rubber ball :o)

Spring is here as well although it's been a cold weekend. Can't complain though. Have seen the robins AND cardinals! First time but it was DH that saw them and not me :o(

Kathy A. said...

Love your Winter Wind. Love the newsy catch up. Enjoyed it muchly. Will be home soon - another month. Don't forget to keep the Sept long weekend booked for me!!! Hugs

Carolien said...

Hello Judy,

How fortunate you discovered the 'art' of meditation! Great ;)
That Rose Quaker is BEAUTIFUL! Really stunning. I hope you will have lots of fun in making it.
Your cats are great with those charming habits.

Happy Easter! Bye, Carolien

Maggie said...

Hi Judy, i missed your post when you first posted, how did that happen, i love your chatty posts:-)

Your Winter Wind is looking great and how lovely is that Rose Quaker!! i've never seen that before, it's beautiful.

I admire your bobbing winding session! I did start with all good intentions but must confess to having lots of DMC just in boxes waiting for me to wind.
escovering more about her
Wasn't Beatrix Potter an amazing woman for her time? I loved visiting the Lake District last year and discovering more about her.
And how cute are the sleeping pair :-) cats do the cutest things don't they? i swear my two know exactly what i'm saying to them (my husband just calls me a mad woman and would i be suprised one day if they answered me back, lol)

Hope all goes well with the visit to the dentist, not the nicest places to go to are they?

Have a good Easter x

Dani - tkdchick said...

Judy, I hope the next time you do post it is with a happy dance on that fantastic PS piece you're working on!

I love floss, it makes me so happy!

Carol R said...

Your Winter Wind is really lovely!

I love stitching on 40ct linens and I find my eyes adjust to the high count after a while but I find I do need good lighting so out with the Ottlite. At the moment I am stitching on 55ct linen (yes really) with Soie Surfine silk thread and I need not only the Ottlite but my magnifier too!

Jennifer said...

Hey Judy, I sent you an email awhile back . How are you ? email me when you get a chance. I hope your dental work went well

stitcherw said...

Wind is looking lovely, you've made great progress on it. Fun new stash as well. Rose Quaker is so pretty, I was looking at that, but then I saw Christmas Quaker Bellpull by the same designer and went with that one. I'm not usually a fan of many of the Quaker styles that are out there, but those two were beautiful. As to Bookstore, I love most of her designs, and Bookstore is no exception, and since I love books it is a double winner. Haven't added it to my stash as yet though. Glad your one dental appt. went well, hope the second goes smoothly too and you're then all set and don't have to go back for anything for quite a while.