Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hello everyone! Welcome to another addition of ... my blog!
I thought that I would begin with a few more pictures of my
garden in an attempt to convince you, if not myself, that Spring
is most definitely here, temperatures and frigid precipitation
not withstanding. The crocuses are done, and we're in the
midst of daffodil season at the moment, with tulips due to
take over in a matter of weeks.

The flowers in the first picture and the ones in the picture
above are in our backyard. They are small in size but there
are clumps of them growing together so they make a pretty
carpet of color in their part of the garden.


Had another problem develop with my computer. The CD/
DVD slot wouldn't pull discs in to play them. After my
experience last summer when I was without my computer
for over three months while an Apple representative/repair
guy tried to effect repairs I was understandably reluctant to
entrust my computer to them again and kept putting it off.
But the warranty expires next month so I finally bit the
bullet and called Apple.

Phil drove me and my computer to Square One mall a week
ago Saturday to take it in to the Apple store for repair as per
instructions of very nice Apple person on telephone. Twenty
minutes to find a parking spot in the bucketing rain. Phil was
not impressed. It seemed that every single citizen of Mississauga,
Etobicoke, Port Credit and parts of North Bay were at Square One
on that Saturday afternoon!! Two thirds of those people were in
the Apple store!!!! Dropped off computer at Genius Bar and ran
for our lives!

Got a phone call on Sunday morning around 9:45 to say computer
was fixed and ready for pick up. Wow!!! To say the least. Since
weather on Sunday was a tad crappy, which foiled Phil's plans to
spend the afternoon working in the garden, we drove back to Square
One to fetch the infernal machine. Place was a bit calmer on that
day. Which means that most people were smarter then us and
didn't bother trying to venture out into that incredible dogs breakfast
of a weather system that invited itself into the province for a visit
and definitely overstayed it's welcome. We passed through five
different stages of weather on our trip back to Georgetown. Ugh!
There should be a law against snow squalls occurring after the
middle of April!!

Computer is now playing CD's. Let's hope that's the end of
any problems with this machine. Forever!!!


Remember in previous post when I said that I'd gone to a
Needleworker's Marketplace event put on by Gitta's?? I
went with Alisa and with my friend Linda. Well, the week
after the show Linda got a phone call from Gitta's store.
There were door prizes at the event and she'd won second

Here is Linda at the restaurant where we had lunch
the day of the market.

And here is what Linda won! A skein of every solid
color thread that DMC makes!! Have you ever seen
a pile of DMC thread ~ every color that they make ~
all together like that??? Beautiful, aren't they??

Need something to offer you perspective of just how
big that bag is??

Behold my charming assistant Vanna .... er Rupert ...
gallantly offering his services so you can see just
how big that bag is.

Because Linda doesn't live in Toronto Alisa and I
volunteered to travel all the way down to Gitta's
store to pick up her prize for her. Yes, we really
are thoughtful and self sacrificing that way .... uh

The lure of an opportunity to poke around in a
fabulous cross stitch store ... again ... never even
crossed our minds. Really.

So guess what followed me home from Gitta's.
Yes, I was a baaaad girl!

Well, I've been thinking about investing in a
floor stand for quite some time, and dithering
back and forth about it as is my wont in such
circumstances. Saw this stand set up in Gitta's
window and after careful (five minutes) consideration
decided ... what the h*** ... and bought one.

Here's a picture of the box the stand came in so you can
get a proper look at it. I've been using it for my SAL
project and after two weeks have decided that I really,
really love it. Now I can sit on the couch and stitch
instead of being confined to my computer desk or
dining room table.

So let's see .... what else is new??? Hmmmmm .....
Oh, yes ....


I have another finish to show you!!!! Yes, unbelievable
as it may seem I have finish number FOUR for the year
to brag about. The Book Store is done!!

Glamor shot!

I'm telling you guys, I've never had so many
fair sized finishes so close together in years!!
And now I can do some stash diving and
consider one or two small starts to stitch on
when I'm not working on my SAL.

And speaking of my SAL ... Drawn Thread's
Game Board Sampler .... week three. Those
little house squares are so much fun to stitch
and I can't get over how different they all are.

Close up of my first house square and the first motif.
I'm stitching my motifs right side up, like the houses,
instead of upside down as charted. Let's see how
long it'll take me before I get confused and mess up
a motif because I either forgot to stitch it right side
up or I miscalculated my starting point.

Back last November Phil celebrated his 35th anniversary
with the company that he works for. To mark the
occasion he was given a catalog of items to choose a
"gift" from. The company also offered to take Phil
and a few of his co-workers (his choice of who to take)
to a really nice restaurant for lunch. Phil asked if pizza
or something could be brought in for the entire staff
instead so everyone could share in the food and celebration,
and the company agreed.

The gift that Phil ended up choosing was a bench for
our back garden. This week he is on vacation so he
spent part of the day Tuesday putting the newly
arrived bench together and setting it in it's new spot.
I haven't had a chance to get a close look at it yet,
never mind sit in it, but from a distance (the dining
room window) it looks pretty nifty.

Note the grass. Last week was the week that the
lawn turned green ... seemingly overnight. You
know how it goes. One day the grass is brown and
withered from Winter's callous abuse ... and the next
day you would swear that you can see it turning green
before your eyes. One more step forward to real

Had a nice long Easter weekend, which included lots of
stitching time and allowed for my The Book Store finish
plus progress on Game Board Sampler. I also made a
small start on a new project while visiting Alisa at her
house Friday afternoon for a stitch together. I'll
post debut pictures of that piece when I've had time to
put a few more stitches into it. I had literally just put
the final stitches into The Book Store when Alisa arrived
to pick me up that afternoon so I only had time to grab
an already kitted up project which is a tad bigger then
I ought to be tackling considering how big Game Board
Sampler is. Oh well.

Re: The picture of Phil in the previous post .... it has
been pointed out to us ... and we noticed it too ... that
it looks like Phil is resting his head on the bird bath
stand ... rather like someone going to the block in the
time of Henry VIII. And yes, that photo does feature
Phil's "good side". :)

Finished reading the Kathy Reichs book "2006 Bones"
that is featured in the pile of books in my previous
post and I finished "A Discovery of Witches" as well.
Judy: Reich's book is not her most recent. I think it
may well be two years old which is why I was able to
buy the hardcover for a ridiculously low price.

Well, I've run on long enough here and ought to
finish things off. Hope you all had a wonderful
Easter with great food, friends and family to
celebrate with. It's hard to believe that May is just
a week away!!

Thanks for visiting. Cheers!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hello everyone. I've been sorting through my photos
and deciding what to blog about this time around and
have come up with a few things that I hope will be of
interest to you all. If not feel free to skim through the
boring bits until you (hopefully) find something that
does interest you.

Let's begin with the long awaited arrival of Spring. Oh yes!
After waiting through a long, drawn out Winter that seemed
even more long and drawn out then it usually does Spring
finally arrived, bringing with it the hope that we'd soon see
the last of the cold weather and the interminable snow falls
that we've had and welcome the return of the glorious
sunny, warm weather.

Hurray for Spring!!!!

Pictured above .... the second day of Spring. Heaviest snow
storm of the season .... at least around here. Hurray for
Spring??? Phooey!!!

But that's all in the past now (Fingers crossed). The above
picture was taken in our back garden yesterday. After a
weekend of gorgeous sunshine, heavy rain and thunder,
and strong winds plus some very decent temperatures,
the crocuses are bursting out in bloom, with the daffodils
not far behind.

Note the busy little bee in the center of the picture with
his head stuck in a blossom and his butt in the air. If
you click on the picture it'll give you a close up and you
will see his wings clearly, including the segments or veins
or whatever it is that divide each delicate wing.

The grass still needs to green up and we've still got a long
way to go before it's properly Spring like outside, but at
least we're on our way.


And now for my first report on the SAL that I'm doing
with Maggie. My very first SAL. April 1st was the
start of our SAL and I was so excited!! Do you want
to see my progress from that first weekend??? Do you??

Well, here it is!

Note the simplicity of the design. See how the delicate
shades of color in the threads enhance the background
color of the fabric. Gaze in wonder at the fine texture of the
25 count Mushroom Lugana. Marvel at the dexterity and
uniformity of my needle work.

Consider the possibility that I'm loosing my marbles.

Okaaayyyy. So the first weekend of my first SAL wasn't
quite the roaring success that I'd hoped for. I'd eagerly
placed my fabric on my Q-snaps, set out my threads and
got to stitching. Five letters and a bit of the inner border
later I came up for air, contemplated my progress so far
and realized that something wasn't ... quite .... right.

I got out my trusty measuring tape and removed the
fabric from the Q-snaps. Ah ha! A word to the wise.
When you have it in your head that the fabric you'd
had cut a month or more previously for a project has
allowed for a border of three inches you should
(if you're me) double check that fact before you begin
to stitch.

Two inch border.

Yup. I really must write this stuff down on the info
paper attached to the fabric so I don't have to rely on
my defective brain cells. I really, really should know
better. Soooo ... I ripped out all my stitching and
once that was done I'd run out of time to stitch any
more that weekend.

Weekend number two. Okay, this is a bit more like it. Now
remember, I'm not the worlds fastest stitcher by any stretch
of the imagination. This is three hours of stitching done on
Friday night while watch episodes of "Location, Location,
Location" on my computer compliments of H&G TV.ca. If
you want to see real progress on this project and find out
what the pattern is that we're stitching then I suggest that
you check out Maggie's blog.

Meanwhile, there's another weekend heading this way and
I'll be plugging away at this once again. Wish me luck!

The first Saturday in April there was a stitcher's Marketplace
put on at a hotel by Gitta's needlework store and of course
I was eager to go. You may have read about this little event
on Dani's blog or on Alisa's blog. Above is a picture of Alisa
and myself taken at the restaurant/pub where we went for
lunch after exhausting ourselves, and our credit cards, at the
market. After lunch we went to Gitta's store proper and did
a bit more shopping. Hmmm.... I didn't take any pictures
of what I bought. How did that happen??

Actually, I really didn't buy a lot of stuff that day. Just some
lavender and some crushed walnut shells, some fabric, a
chart that's been haunting me for awhile since my last visit
to Gitta's and some fabric to stitch it on. But it was a fun
day and the best part was meeting Dani there plus running
into another stitcher from down Kathy's way in eastern
Ontario named Fran, who I'd met during a stitcher's
gathering at Kathy's nearly two years ago. Hello to Fran
from "the other Judy".

Stash of another sort. I've been naughty. It's been a while
since I've had a mad burst of clicky finger on the Indigo
bookstore site and my wish list of books there has been
growing like Alice. Finally I just had to do something about
it and these pictures show you the results of my mad shopping
spree. Everything from historical fiction to murder mystery
to supernatural romance plus one memoir.

Half of these books are by authors that I've read before and
the rest are books that I've either read reviews for in magazines
or on Bookbrowse. See anything you like??

I finished reading Angelology a few days ago and enjoyed
it immensely. This is actually the cover for the Audio
book but it's almost the same as the book's cover so I'll
just leave it as is.

Click on the link to read a synopsis of the story from

An interesting, well imagined tale that I really enjoyed.
But there had better be a second book in the works, given
how this one ends.

And then we have my current obsession. I read a review
in Entertainment Weekly for this book a few weeks ago
and as soon as I read the description of the story I had
to add it to my wish list and order it as soon as possible.
When it arrived, along with the rest of my order as
pictured above, I couldn't resist opening it and taking a
peek inside. From then on I was hooked!! This is the
sort of book (for me, anyways) that has me nearly
missing my bus stop, makes me forget to eat my dinner
as I read a few more paragraphs at the table (now that's
a recommendation for a riveting good read if ever there
was one ... it made me forget food!!) and keeps me up
at night when I should be in bed.

Here's the synopsis of this book also on Bookbrowse.

Now that the good weather is finally here I can pretty
much say good bye to Phil for the next six months or
so. He'll be in the garden from dawn to dusk and
the most I'll see of him will be as pictured above.

And that brings us to the close of this little post.
Thanks for visiting. I'll be back with progress
reports on my SAL and what ever else catches
my fancy soon. Take care.