Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Hello. The wayward blogger has returned. It's been a
month since my last post but I do assure you that I have
been using that time wisely and well and have a huge
surprise (or two) for all of you.

I can't remember the last time that I had a finish of
any consequence to share with all of you. And I have
to admit that it's kind of discouraging not to have a
happy dance or two every few months to celebrate
the completion of a project that's been the focus of
my limited stitching time for weeks or months (or
longer ... Gulp!).

I've been exchanging emails with Maggie in the
past few weeks and she mentioned a couple of
projects that she hoped to begin stitching in the
not too distant future. I remarked that I had
one of those charts on my to-do list as well and
she came back with the idea of the two of us
doing a SAL together for this project.

I've never participated in a SAL before and was
quite intrigued by the idea. And a bit hesitant
as well. You see I've got two projects on the go
right now, plus I've had a couple of more that
have been ... well .... lets just say they'd been
temporarily put aside when something else
shiny and new came along and distracted me.

I was reluctant to begin a new project, and a
BIG one at that, with those others still unfinished.
So I got to thinking (as I sometimes do) and
decided that perhaps it was time to pick up a
couple of those lost and forlorn projects and
just get 'em done already!!!


So I did.

Remember Prairie Schooler's Winter??? Everything was
completed on this one except for that darn header at the
top. Lots of brown. I'm not a brown person. I left this
project propped up against the wall at the side of my work
desk and tried to ignore it. It's been there since last
summer, emitting accusatory guilt vibes whenever I sit
here. I finally picked it up a few weeks ago and gave it a
couple of hours of effort.

And voila!! It's done. No more brown stitching. No more
guilty vibes. It looks pretty good and it's DONE!!!

I love the alphabet section at the bottom of the design.
The thread colours look so pretty against the white

At this point I was feeling pumped and decided to
keep the momentum going by picking up another
long abandoned project and finishing it off as well.

May I present Waxing Moon Designs Halloween Short
Stack. This pretty piece has been sitting in my craft
cupboard for two years!! Don't ask me why I've
never finished it until now. I don't really know why.
It was a fun project start to ... belated ... finish and I
love it so much.

Artistic shot.

Faced with the prospect of having to make a couple of
those dreaded french knots (Ugh! Yick!! Phewy!!!)
I remembered some sage advice received from Dani a
couple of years ago and made Colonial Knots instead.
I'm quite proud of the results and just had to show
them off to you with this close up photo of the little

So, two finishes in one month ... two projects to
remove from my "in progress" list and two
deterrents to my participating in my first SAL
that are no longer there. So Maggie and I are
going to be starting our SAL at the beginning
of April and I'm so excited!


So, hands up all of you nice people out there in blogland who
are fed up to the back teeth with Winter. There's snow on the
ground and the wind feels like it took a detour through the
wastelands of Siberia before visiting your neighbourhood
and there's nary a Robin or a crocus or a pussy willow in
sight to offer encouragement and hope.

Well, I can't do anything about making Winter go away
any faster (or slower, as the case may be) then it already
is (or isn't, as the case may be). But I can offer a bit of
Spring like visual therapy to help clear your mind and
perhaps go a little ways to restoring your faith in the
eventual return of Spring.

My friend Elaine, her daughter Katherine and I took a
stroll through the Allan Gardens conservatory during
a cold Winters day a few weeks ago and of course I had
my trusty camera with me to record the event for
posterity ... and my blog. So here are a few of those
photos for you to ... hopefully ... enjoy.

Just follow the pathways that curve and wind their
way through the conservatory and take in the sights
and the scents of all the beautiful plants growing

There's even a bit of desert landscaping to admire
with cacti of every shape and size and texture to
gaze at and admire.

And admire the Spring bulbs that are in full bloom
right this very minute. Crocus, daffodils, tulips and
Hyacinth in every colour imaginable.

Now see how that nasty Winter seems to just disappear
from your memory as you take in all the bounteous
beauty that is Spring.

Deep breaths ... in and out ... that's good. Now hold
those thoughts of Spring in your mind as you go
through your day .... and whatever you do don't
look out the window!!!

Thought you might enjoy seeing what the cat's got
for Christmas this year from their favourite Aunt.
A water fountain. Yes, the cats now have their
very own drinking fountain to enjoy. No more
letting Phoebe into the bathroom whenever she
orders me to and turning on the tap in the bathtub
only enough to allow a few dribbles of water to fall
at a time.

She loves this thing!! She doesn't bother drinking out
of the bowl but instead goes right to the stream of
water falling from the spout and laps from that. And
when she's not drinking the water she's batting at the
stream with her paw showering the floor and the wall
with water. Oh joy! We've even seen Rupert take a
few sips from this which is the first time I've ever
seen him drinking! Honest.

This little contraption sits in the kitchen next to the
table which is a bit of a problem for us since the
sound of the constantly running water kind of
makes us want to ... er ... well ... you know.
Skip to the loo, so to speak.

I'm in the final quarter reading of Diana Gabaldon's
most recent addition to the Outlander series and as
always am enjoying it immensely!! I do love
me a nice big and juicy book to loose myself in.

I've browsed through all the postings for the
new stuff released from Nashville last week,
as have all of you I know, and have found
just a couple of must haves and one really,
really must have.

Aury TM Designs: A Sampler for My Mother

Ink Circles: Just Rosey - this is the really
really must have.

La D Da: Flowery Alphabet

Lizzie Kate: all three designs are lovely

And that's it from me for now. Thanks for
visiting. Hope to have more stitching type
news for you soon. Take care.



Alisa said...

Well you certainly have a lot to happy dance about now!!! Awesome finishes! :)

Brigitte said...

Oh Judy, two finishes, and they are both fantastic. Being a big PS fan I'm a bit partial of course, but I love pumpkins, too, lol. Congratulations!
So, now you can start SALing without having to think of unfinished projects, lol. I love SALing, it's such a nice motivation to get through a project.

Seeing flowers coming out of the ground seeing the meadows in full green again, seeing the tiny new leaves on trees and bushes, seeing colours everywhere - these are some of the best moments every year. And as all our snow has melted so far spring is right around the corner here. Hopefully you'll see it soon as well.

Anonymous said...

Loved the stitching but enjoyed even more the glimpse of Spring! Your photos keep getting better and better!
Hugs from sunny but not so warm Portugal

jayne@~an eye for threads~ said...

Great finishes and all of the pictures of the gardens are very soothing. Thank you for sharing. Glad to see you back and Cheers for Winter to be gone...
Be always in stitches.

Jennifer said...

love your finishes Judy! They are wonderful. Looking forward to seeing how your SAL comes along. Beautiful pics from the gardens. I have started a new project but have to frog out a lot of it so no pics yet . hope to speak to you sometime!

Vonna said...

Two beautifully finished projects! Utterly gorgeous :)
And that kitty fountain....I read up on them last year, thinking of getting one for my kitties, but apparently cats prefer to drink water that is flowing? So there ya go....looks like yours does :)

staci said...

It's so good to see a post from you Miss Wayward Blogger, lol ;)

Congrats on two fabulous finishes! PS Winter is gorgeous and that Waxing Moon is sooo cute!

I won't complain about winter here...we're 26inches below our average for snowfall this season and March is our snowiest month...

That conservatory is just lovely and your kitty looks very sweet (and spoiled?!!)

Kathy A. said...

Hi Judy. Way to go - two happy dances for you!!!
Love the spring and flower photos. But I know there is still snow out there. I will wait a bit yet before coming home.

BrendaS said...

Great finishes! YEAH for you:)))

Love all the garden pictures too. It reminds us that Spring isn't too far off.

Have a great weekend.

Carolien said...

Hello Judy,

You made some lovely stitches!!!
Thanks for sharing all the lovely spring pictures, I feel warmer now :)

Bye, Carolien

Judy S. said...

Loved your latest finishes as well as the springy photos, Judy. The Outlander series is a fun one, isn't it? I think you'll enjoy a SAL...kinda keeps you going, even when stitching with brown.

Pumpkin said...

Woohoo! Good for you :o) It looks fantastic Judy.

So, so cute!!!! You're on a roll! I can't wait to see what you come up with next :o)

Have fun with your SAL. I know I've been having a great time with mine.

That's a wonderful trip you took :o) I bet it was nice to get away from the white stuff. I guess I had better not tell you that there have been some crocus spotted not from from here...

I bet the cats love that! A friend of ours used to have to turn on and off the bathroom tap for their cat to get water. Funny animals! LOL!

Nashville is evil! Evil I say! LOL!

mainely stitching said...

Oh my goodness, Judy! When you get going, you really GET GOING! What great finishes. I especially love the PS one. You should be tickled pink. I wish you lots of enjoyment from your upcoming SAL - you've certainly earned it!

The kitty fountain is so cute. Spin has never been interested in running water, but the kittens are forever in search of a dripping faucet instead of making use of one of the numerous water dishes in the house. It's not at all unusual to find Twist in the downstairs bathtub, which does have a slight drip, and that cracks the kids up to no end. :)

Loved the growing pictures. We were out sledding this morning - there's still enough snow to come up about mid-thigh when I break through the crust!

Suzanne said...

Great finishes, the PS design is especially nice. The photos of the gardens. I am very glad that our weather is cooling off and we shall be heading into winter.

Lynn said...

Too late, I already looked out only to find another winter storm lashing out at us. We're expecting another 10 cm today. But those pictures were lovely! A girl can dream of spring can't she?
I LOVE your PS Winter!! It's absolutely wonderful and your Halloween stack is pretty darn cute!
I'm looking forward to watching that SAL.
The kitty fountain looks like something Clarisse would like but I`m not sure I have enough floor space to put it in my kitchen. Hmmm, maybe the bathroom will do!

Maggie said...

Judy your finishes are great! especially love the PS Winter, congratulations!!

Thanks for sharing the photos of the flowers, we have had the sun out for a couple of days here but my garden looks a sorry sight with only a few signs of Spring.

I must go in search of a water fountain for my two girls, Molly would just love it!! She never drinks out of the water bowl, she sit's by the kitchen tap and drinks the drips!

I'm looking forward to our SAL :-) the Hobby Craft fair is on at the NEC a week on Saturday and i've made a list of what threads i need and will get them from there. I've even sorted out it's own project bag!

Speak soon x

Siobhan said...

Wonderful finishes! Good for you! :)

What a neat idea that water fountain is for the cats. Duffy would love that--he won't drink out of his bowl unless it's full. Not a problem during the day, but when he gets up at night and barks at his bowl, it can be annoying! LOL

Lynn B said...

Judy I love the Prairie Schooler finish, I have this pattern too, I just need to get around to doing it, you may have just give me the inspiration to do so! The gardens look lovely, they really make me think of summer. I love the cat fountain, I have never seen one of those before, such a good idea!

Kind regards

Lynn B

Lynn B said...

Hi Judy,
Thankyou for the lovely comment on my blog, I could not answer direct to your email because it is set as no reply. Regards the tutorial you asked about I am just taking photographs for that particular tutorial and it will be the next one I post pictures about, so keep a look out for that.
The weather here was beautiful yesterday but it is raining today! Agghhh!!!
Have a lovely stitchy week!

Andrea said...

Wow, what great finishes!! I love all of them!

That kitty water fountain is too cool...I've heard of cats who prefer to drink from a stream of water, so this is just perfect. You made me laugh about skipping to the loo at the sound of running water, lol! My grandmother and Mom were both so easily moved like that, ha!

I have to say, I came over to your blog from some comments you left on someone's blog. You always leave the nicest, chatty comments, the kind any blogger would love to receive! Sometimes I'm sad when people only leave a word or two, as I'd really like to "hear" more from them...if that makes sense. I'm always thankful and grateful for anyone taking the time to begin with, but the chatty comments are the most fun to read :)

I remember your blog from a long time ago (seems like a long time, maybe it wasn't), but I lost a lot of blogs when Bloglines changed over. Am I the only one this happened to??? SO frustrating!! Anyway, happy to have found you again and will "follow" now so I don't lose you again!

Happy Stitching!!