More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fair & Square Round 8 Received

I received word that the squares I sent for round 8 of Fair and Square has been received by Suzanne. I'm glad to hear she likes them!

c Plum Pudding Designs
Stitched on : 32ct. Natural Linen
Stitched with : DMC cotton

Today I was a big girl and drove into town to get weighed in. I didn't know what the last four days on the road had done to my progress with Weight Watchers. It was nice that the Inn we stayed in provided breakfast, and I made sure to eat some of the fruit every morning. However I don't usually have things like eggs and french toast for breakfast. Also my Mum and I ate out one big meal each day in restaurants, there was no fast food but to us Canadians no matter how healthy a food you choose, we do tend to find things either salty/or sweeter than they're made at home. I'm happy to say my weight didn't go up or down, it stayed the same. I couldn't of asked for a better result. I did have a couple of treats like a ice cream cone from Ben & Jerry's and a Mudslide with dinner yesterday.

I got some great news in the form of an e-mail today! Kathy sent me a quick little message from someone else's computer/e mail account today to let me know that she'll be coming to the Knit One, Stitch Too (formerly the Cross Stitch Cupboard) retreat in October at the Gananoque Inn! Now I have a room mate as Lynn wasn't going to be able to go this year. I'm not planning on taking any classes at the retreat this year so I'm looking forward to being able to just relax and stitch.

Speaking of stitching, I've still not done too much. I'll try to remember to share a progress picture of Moonlight Guardian before I head out to the cottage! Oh yes... I did pick a name for my dragon finally, and its : Indigo! It was suggested by Kathy, I didn't choose this name because she's my very good friend... however there are many times we think along the same wavelength! When I first went on the Internet in the mid 90's when it was still all and ASCII interface and started chatting Indigo was the handle I used... until I realized how common a name it was! Indigo is also the name of a character in a series of books I fell in love with by Louise Cooper. So Kathy thanks for suggesting that one!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ausable Chasam and the Trip Home

Greetings blog readers! I'm sorry to disappoint some of you with no blog entry last night. My Mum and I had a full day and I was just pooped!
Our day started out with a trip to Ausable Chasm one of the oldest natural attractions in America. I have vague memories of going there as a young child when we used to live in Montreal and would often day-trip into New York State and Vermont regularly. So it was nice to go back and see something you kinda but not quite remember. My Mum says they've made a lot of changes, as some of the paths and lookouts used to be quite dicey. Needless to say it was BEAUTIFUL. I've got a small sample of the many pictures I took yesterday.

After we walked the lower half of the trails at Ausable Chasm I decided I did want to go tubing down the river after all. My Mum professed I had worn her out and was going to hang out at the car while I went. So I got into my swim suit and some grubby clothes. This time I walked the upper rim, which didn't have the magnificent views that the lower half had. Tubing down the river was really cool... and fun!

When I got back to the car and we were ready to head out my Mum had planed the next stage of our day. We took the ferry across the widest part of Lake Champlain to Burlington, Vermont. The ferry was pretty cool, I had never been on one before (this was a first for my car as well!). The scenery was beautiful and we chatted with a nice guy from Sudbury, I have to say we've run into a lot of Canadians the last four days. We got to Burlington too late in the day (it was getting near 5pm) to do any of the cool Museum-touristy things but we had dinner drove around, the city then took the long way back driving to the bridge crossing the lake and back to the Inn.

Today was our day to head home... but of course we took the long way! We drove out to Watertown, did a little shopping (I think both of us were a little too tired to truly shop), had a very late lunch and headed home. I finally crossed my doorstep after 8PM tonight.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Horseback Riding and... Bobsledding???

Greetings after another beautiful day in Keene, N.Y. We have now been at the Bark Eater Country Inn for just over twenty four hours. I have to say that the accommodations and the hosts are just fantastic! It is so beautiful, peaceful, and quiet here in the mountains! The rooms are simple (no TV) and comfortable, my Mum and I have been staying in the old Carriage House, while some guests are also staying in the main house.
The Main House
The Carriage House
Also I have to say we've been befriended by one of the local cats isn't she gorgeous? She keeps shooting into our room whenever the door is open!

Today stated out with breakfast on the screened in porch. My Mum and I went for a bit of a walk up the road (whew its steep when you're in the mountains! This is the kind of area where you really do need a truck! Unlike the city where you see people driving these silly, gas guzzling, behemoths!). We toured into Keene and the next town over, Keene Valley. Along the drive we came along some beautiful sites...

Early afternoon my Mum and I got back on horses for the first time in over fifteen years. We were escorted by a guide on a gorgeous one hour trail ride through the forest and hills. I don't think my horse was really in the mood to work today. At first he refused to leave the stable yard, then once he did get going, he thought it was hilarious to go under every low branch and close to a few trees before I caught on he was doing it on purpose!!!

Following our horseback adventures, we got back in the car and headed up to Lake Placid to check out the shops. Before we got there we spotted the Old Lake Placid Olympic Bobsled facilities... advertising... you guessed it! Bobsled rides (on wheels not on ice). So I pulled the car over, turned around and pulled in. I mean, how many opportunities do you get to go on a bobsled? I know in 30+ years I've never had the opportunity present itself! Needless to say... we went! What a crazy rush! You go so fast and way up the banking curves!

After a good giggle we piled back into the car and continued onto Lake Placid. Wow! What a busy place (and it was when we first drove through on Sunday). It is just a busy street of people, cars and shops full of tourist crap. Needless to say I didn't spend a penny there, nor did we decide to stay for dinner. After a bit of a rest back at the Bark Eater Inn, admiring the scenery we went back into Keene and ate at the Tip-A-Canoe restaurant for the second night in a row. Once again just as tasty as the night before!

Well that's about it for tonight, Moonlight Guardian has gotten a little bit of my attention here and there but not much. Tune back in tomorrow for our next adventure... what crazy thing am I going to talk my Mum into next?????

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Greetings From the Adirondacks!

Whew! What a whirlwind the last 24 hours have been!

I started out on Saturday morning going to see the new Batman movie, it was most excellent! Then it was back home to get ready to go out with Todd, my brother, his girlfriend and her son to see The Freedom Fight in Gatineau Quebec. My brother totally lucked out and through a friend of his got us excellent seats, very close to the ring. I'll only put up a few pictures as I know full contact Mixed Martial Arts is not everybody's cup of tea.

After a late night last night I was back in the car this morning with my Mum we're now in Keene, NY staying at a beautiful Country Inn! Wow this definitely a beautiful corner of the world!!! So after last nights fighting here's the other extreme... we got to witness a Polo scrimmage!

Tomorrow we're hoping to go horseback riding... hopefully I'll be able to keep you updated.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

July's Ornament

Ahhhh... what a wonderful day! I'd like to think that the sun and warmth came out just for me!!! Of course it would I'm on vacation! Unfortunately Hunter (brat cat) wouldn't let me sleep in this morning. It was lovely to have the house to myself, I walked up street to the General Store where I pick up my mail... enjoying the sunshine (which has been sorely lacking all summer). Fingers crossed this weather will continue while Mum and I are in the Adirondacks!

I had a good stitchy day, by lunchtime I finished up my July ornament. It was nice to have an HD so early in the day!

Spring Bouquet - Sheep
c1991 Jill Siegler
Mill Hill kit

I have spent a fair amount of the day working on my dragon as well (who will have a name tomorrow I promise!). Since I have an HD to share, I'll save a progress picture for tomorrow. I had an alarming moment this evening when I realized I've almost run out of the dark blue Kreinik braid for my dragon!!! However after a little MSN messenger session with Christin she's going to give me some of hers since she's not to that point yet with her dragon, Slow Poke. So tomorrow morning I'll meet her in town, to make the trip worthwhile I think we're going to try to see Batman in theaters.

Earlier this week I finished up a framing job for a friend of mine. She picked it up last night so I can share this with you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Award!

Well awards seem to be floating all around blogdom lately and Von was so sweet and awarded me with the Brillante Weblog award.

1 Put the logo on your blog
2 Add a link to the person who awarded you
3 Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4 Add links to those blogs on yours
5 Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.
I nominate my very good friends who I've other coerced into stitching and blogging or I have met along the way through my stitching journeys! I love each and every one of you and you inspire me every day!
Claire - Blarney 'n Grits - We've known each other since grade 10 computer programming (is that spelt with one M or two Clare???), then there was driver's ed... oh the memories! You live too far away come home!
Christin - Christin's Ramblings - We met in college, classmates in the Library and Information Technician program and quickly became close friends! Oh the road trips we have had, the foods I've made you try... and then there was stitching.
Kathy - Kathy's Sit and Stitch - Boy I am so glad I met you through Ann! We always seem to think along the same brainwave, its uncanny! You have been such an inspiration with Weight Watchers, I'm so proud of what you have achieved! Keep going girl!!!!
Ann - Knowledge and Needles - How many years ago now was it I drove 3 hours away to go to a retreat at some lady's house that I knew through the Internet? Through you and your open door policy I have met so many fantastic people. You are so lucky to have your shop and the friends you've built up through that business. Your Thursday stitchers are a joy and a treasure. I don't regret that trip at all, your place is a home away from home, I sooo enjoy my visits and get to truly relax. Also I can vent about work... and you understand! See you in a week!
Beatrice - Stitching With A View - Another wonderful friend I've made through Ann. You are such a lovely and gentle soul (but that tough cookie comes out when she needs to!)! There are always words of encouragement from you. You and your Mom are such an inspiration!
Chrisanne - Chrisanne's Web Journal - I'm so glad we met through the TWBB. We've had some fantastic adventures together! Great concerts, road trips (guess the jelly bean flavour!), and you encouraged me to finally get that tattoo I've always wanted. I hope you find your mojo soon!
Rebecca - Rebel In Ontario - From the moment we finally met in person we clicked! I enjoy your company and that of your family. If I'm driving through I know I could just stop in and you'd all be happy to see me. We really need to get the boys together to fish and we can stitch! Pure heaven! Wish you lived closer.
Lynn - Kearnel's Korner - Ahhh my Gan. retreat roomie! We get on so well, chatting until almost 2AM. You know you can stop by any time (LOL of course I have to be home!). Enjoy Muskoka I'm jealous!

Dragon Update

Thanks everyone for your fantastic and encouraging comments about my weight loss! It really is a huge motivator, each comment I get! Lisha asked if I could post an up to date picture of me. Now that's the problem... when you're the photographer you're not in the picture very often. Sometime between now and next week I'll try to find a pretty setting and set up my camera with the tripod to get a shot.

Tomorrow is my last day at work for two weeks! Yay! I'm so ready to be on vacation its not funny, its been a real chore to drag my butt out of bed each morning and make myself go to work. Then as the day goes one I'm constantly watching the clock because I want to get the hell out of there!! I've got some interesting stuff coming up for my time off. On Saturday I'm going to go see the Freedomfight MMA match at the Bob Gurtien Area. On Sunday my Mum and I are off on a road trip! We're going to stay at an Inn in the Adirondacks for 3 nights/4 days. If the weather co-operates (because there's been a lot of rain) we're hoping to go horseback riding and for some easy hikes on the trails around the mountains in the area. Then the following week on Wednesday I'll be off for a few relaxing days in Brighton to stay with Ann.

Here's my dragon as of tonight... I still haven't picked a name I'll do so on Saturday so keep those suggestions coming!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Good Weigh In

I had another good week at the scales. I'm down 1.5 lbs.
This is another photo from my assignment, it displays a deep depth of field.

I've been plugging away at Moonlight Guardian... some great name ideas but I haven't settled on one yet! Keep putting in your suggestions.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

This Dragon Needs A Name!

I've had a relaxing weekend at home working on Moonlight Guardian by Dragon Dreams. I've managed to accomplish stitching all the navy blue rayon on the dragon's body. There's still evil black rayon to go in places, once you've worked with it for awhile rayon really isn't that bad.
I realized while working on her (yes, its a she) that she has no name. Both Christin and Beatrice have named theirs... respectively Slow Poke and Bling. Nothing interesting came to mind while I worked on her today... suggestions anyone? (Hmmm perhaps I'll have to stitch a little giftie for the person who comes up with the best name!)

I'm hoping the upcoming work week will go by quickly, I only work until Thursday and then I'm on holidays for two weeks! I'm anxious to be on holidays!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Models to Share

Well the most recent issue of A Needle Pulling Thread is now out on the newsstands. So I can share two more of the models I stitched for them with you. Of course the ones in the magazine are photographed better.

cDyan Allaire
A Needle Pulling Thread Summer 2008
Stitched on 28ct Black Lugana with DMC floss

cDyan Allaire
A Needle Pulling Thread Summer 2008
Stitched on 28ct Black Lugana with DMC floss

Thursday, July 17, 2008

She Emerges

Tonight I had a real treat and I got to meet up with Kathy for dinner! She's in the area to watch her gandkids, and managed to find some time to meet me at our favourite restaurant, Lone Star where we really, really, really enjoyed our fajitas!

I was telling Kathy about this photo tonight, so I suppose I should share it. Its from my photography assignment. It is the view from Kathy's place. How idyllic is that?

Tonight I got to spend a little bit more time with Moonlight Guardian, and the dragon starts to emerge! Can you see her head??? She is such a lovely stitch!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


As of tonight I have now officially lost 30 lbs! At this week's weigh in I was down 4lbs. Boy was I relieved, after a one pound gain then the following week at no change I was starting to worry. Silly body, its so unpredictable!

I found out today that Staci received the squares I sent her for round 7 of Fair & Square. I stitched her this blackwork design as she wanted something that reflected the stitcher's tastes. Since she did mention she wasn't a fan of fantasy designs this mean no dragons :-( so I picked a blackwork design... I love blackwork.

2006 Blackwork Ornament
Dragonfly Stitches
c2006 Kristine Herber
Stitched on 32 ct Natural Linen using DMC floss

I had a little bit of time to work on Moonlight Guardian tonight. I finished up the castle, the cliff it sits on and I started the dragon's wings (albeit a small start)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Home Again

I'm back home again... actually I surprised Todd who was still in bed at 10am! Poor guy, he wasn't expecting me home until tonight, which is my usual habit when travelling. A BIG thanks for Chrisanne, for suggesting we go to Lift-Off and for housing me, feeding me and generally putting up with me!

I heard a few days ago that Sally received the little blogaversary gift I promised her a long time ago! Kudos to Canada Post for getting it to the UK in under a week. Now I wonder if the Fair & Square I sent out the same day made it to the US in just a timely a manner?

I made Sally this little fob using designs from Red Threads by Rosewood Manor

While back at home today (besides doing the laundry) I finished up the squares for round 8 of Fair & Square... way before the deadline! Yay! Of course I can't share yet!

This freed me up this evening to pull out Moonlight Guardian for the first time since February! The last time I worked on it I was putting the finishing touches on the border. Today I started the main part of the design. It almost felt like starting a new project! I'm looking forward to focusing on this piece!

Well I suppose I should go to bed, I do have to go to work tomorrow *sigh*

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Theory of a Deadman

Tonight was our final night at the Cornwall Lift-Off, and tomorrow it'll be time for me to head home. I left the big camera behind tonight, and went only with my point and shoot, so my shots are few and limited by the technology in the camera.

The evening opened up with a U2 tribute band called Rattle and Hum. If you closed your eyes... they were close to the "Real Thing". Having seen U2 live the experience just isn't the same! Their "Bono" was a pretty cheesy look-alike.

The following band was a local group called Rub Salt they were actually really good! They played all kinds of popular rock tunes that I hear on the radio regularly.

The final act for tonight was Theory of a Deadman. I must say the lead singer, pretty cute... definitely take home material! Pardon me for the not so great pictures, its hard to get a clear shot when you're being jostled... and 5ft 2in!