More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Friday, March 29, 2013

PhotoHunt - Wind

This week's PhotoHunt theme is "wind"

Ooops!  The wind blew his hat off!!!!  This photo was taken in 2009 at the Holstein Rodeo.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Birthday Giveaways and Birthdays!

Its March 27th!  An auspicious day!  Its MY Birthday.  Its not a milestone year... yet.

I had hoped to celebrate with friends this year, something I've not done since I was young.  With this upcoming weekend being Easter, most of my friends already had assorted commitments for the weekend.  Maybe next year!

I did get to do a little celebrating in advance, this past Saturday my friend Amy put together a nice little belated/early Birthday dinner for our friend Marline and I.  As we didn't manage to get together on her birthday and my actual day .
My friend Laurie-Anne and I have come up with an interesting plan to celebrate my birthday tomorrow evening.  I'm hoping there is an opportunity to get a few pictures!  I'd like to share this version of celebrating with you if I can!
A little while ago I won Mouse's Birthday giveaway on her blog!

Her wonderful surprise arrived less than a week away from my own Birthday!  How cool is that?  I know it wasn't planned but it was like getting an early Birthday present.  Espeically when I opened up the envelope and found everything all wrapped up in lovely spring colours (a season that seems to have forgotten us, because winter won't go away).

Michelle stitched this beautiful little pillow for me!!  I just LOVE red!  I like it so much my car is red, I told Todd recently that my car is red, I should DRIVE it like a red car!  LOL.  Not only did Michelle stitch me this beautiful gift but she spoilt me with all these wonderful goodies!  Strawberry ribbon and fabrics for finsihing, beautiful blue hand-dyed lugana, hand dyed threads and blue handled scissors!  See why I said it felt like a birthday present to me?
In the spirit of Michelle/Mouse's birthday giveaway and my very important day I am also having a giveaway! You have one week, until April 3rd to enter by leaving me a comment!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Stitching & Rotations

Two days prior to my Retreat and for two days after I was working on my rotation on The Accolade.  I find to avoid too much eye strain when I work on it because its all over one... and a lot of it!  I usually work on The Accolade at home with my magnifier lamp.  I don't really need magnification but I find my eyes really bother me after a good long stitching session on this piece.

Here is my progress on The Accolade during this last rotation.  Some more people are starting to make an appearance at the knighting!  My next rotation is Smalls, and oh boy I have a CUTE surprise for you!

While I was at retreat I pulled out Kathy's Christmas ABC Sampler since its pretty easy to work on in mixed company.  I also secretly enjoy working on this piece, despite the fact that its really not "my style".  I managed to finish yet another letter, this time "E" is for Evergreen.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bleated Retreat Post

Its been a week since the March Knowledge and Needles Retreat at the Timberhouse in Brighton!  As usual it was a fantastic time and I'm already looking forward to next year!  It was great times with great friends with far too much food and lots of stitching!

Christin, Tracey and I actually started the weekend a day early.  Thursday morning we packed up the car and headed down to Beatrice's place.  She was hosting lunch and stitching at her place for the day, and was kind enough to put the three of us up for the night!

Merry Cats-Mas
Freebie ???
Stitched on: Mystery 28ct linen
Stitched with: DMC

 These two are from the free kit that came with the magazine
Cross Stitcher 
Issue 260, December 2012

While at Beatrice's I managed to squeeze in a few happy dances!  Now I admit one of these was ALMOST finished and  the other two well they're the kind of thing that only takes an hour or two.

Friday morning Bonnie joined us at Beatrice's and we all headed out for breakfast.  I must admit that breakfast is my favorite meal out, how about you???  Bonnie was such a sweetie and sneakily paid the bill for ALL of us before we knew it had happened!  Thank you Bonnie what a treat!  Then it was time to head off to our favorite stitching destination, the Timberhouse!

The "London Girls" stitching away!

We quickly managed to settle in, set up our little stitching nests and over the next little while more of the ladies showed up.  Before you knew it the room was filled with 19 of us talking and stitching!

 Judie's spectacular cushion!!!

 Beatrice's gorgeous Loon!

Marg's stunning handmade quilt!!!

Of course there was the usual wonderful display of finished pieces.  It wasn't long before Bonnie was able to add one more item to the table, Smaug (aka: Blair's Stupid Dragon!)!  Later that evening once the fire was started, Bonnie had a burning ceremony!  She was so happy to watch the chart and left over threads burn!

Bonnie's finished Smaug

Smaug's Ceremonial Burning

Saturday was our traditonal trek to Chez Dan (aka Knowledge & Needles central!).  We were once again treated to a fantastic meal by Chef Dan with fantastic service!

Beatrice, Clare, Wendy & Isolde

Debbie, Marg, Judie and Ann

 Tracey and Rebecca

 The menu with our appetizer, bruchetta

Dan's Chicken, rice & salad all very tasty!

Did Ann not do an awesome job with dessert???

 Not only does this picture look good, it smelt soooo good too!!!

Here's a few more shots from the weekend!

Tracey & Ann

Bonnnie, Rebecca & Beatrice

 Wendy, Colleen, Ann & Marg

 Debbie gave us all a good laugh when she pulled out her "glasses"


As usual Sunday rolled around all too soon, and we had to go home!

Friday, March 22, 2013

PhotoHunt - Flow

This week's PhotoHunt theme is "Flow"

Despite it being winter, and a cold one the water still flows.  I took this picture on New Year's Eve at Buck Lake off of Country Rd. 10 its one of my favorite places to stop and take a few shots!

Friday, March 15, 2013

PhotoHunters - Footprints

This week's PhotoHunt theme is "footprints"

There is nothing sweeter than looking at your own footprints in the wet sand of a tropical beach!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Thank you Angela and Upcoming IHSW

First of all I wanted to send out a huge thank you to Angela who sent me this great RAK while I was away! The envelope was waiting for me when I got home! She sent me two of the Prairie Schooler Santas, she knows I stitch a lot of ornaments!

Coming up this weekend is the IHSW I of course will be stitching, but I won't be hermitting alone! I'll be at the Knowledge and Needles retreat with 18 close stitching friends! We'll see what I get done over the weekend!

- thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How About Some Stitching & Goals?

Its been a little while since I've given you folks a "true" stitching post.  First of all lets cover those stitching goals for the month of March and review how I did with February's goals!

February Stitching Goals
  • Stitch one ornament - I stitched two!
  • Stitch two rows on page 5 on The Accolade - Finished Page 5!
  • Finish C for Candy Cane and start D for Dove on Kathy's ABC Christmas Sampler - Yes

March Stitching Goals
  • Stitch one ornament
  • Stitch Just Nan Gingerbread Mouse
  • Finish D is for Dove
  • Work on the Accolade
Okay, time for some stitching!  

During my flights to and from the Dominican Republic I worked on Ink Circles Cirque des Circles.  This piece will be tucked away now until another occasion comes around where its in my best interest to work on something that's just one colour.

Since I've gotten home its been a little challenging to settle down to any of my stitching properly!  Also it has been tough getting back into the sweet rotation I had going before I left.  Four stitching days on each : ABC Christmas Sampler, The Accolade, and Smalls.
Dove of Birds - Christmas Doves II
c2012 JBW Designs
Stitched on 28ct Black Lugana with DMC B5200

Before I picked up anything I decided to finish off one of the Doves I've had on the go for awhile now.  I've now got four out of the six I need to stitch done.  Since there are only four doves in the series, I'll have to stitch two of them twice.  I ran out of black fabric but a day trip to Knowledge and Needles in Brighton this past Saturday cured that problem!

Next I picked up Kathy's Christmas ABC Sampler with the intention of finishing up the Dove during its four day rotation.  Well of best laid plans... I had a hard time getting settled/focused the latter half of last week so I spent two of those evenings with stitching in my had staring at the TV... not much was going on on the fabric.  I should of wrapped up the rotation on Friday, but I just couldn't leave this dove almost done.  So it took me until Sunday to finish it up.  I'm looking forward to the next block, Evergreen.

Gingerbread Mouse - Limited Edition Kit
c2012 Just Nan
Stitched on 32ct Natural Linen
Stitched with DMC, Kreinik Braid & Mill Hill Beads

Back in January Kathy was a real sweetie and helped me source one of the Just Nan Limited Edition Gingerbread Mouse!  For my work on her Christmas ABC Sampler she gifted me with the little fellow.  With the DR trip looming, and not having enough fabric on hand I figured he was best left until I got back from the DR, ultimately March Break!  Saturday's trip to Knowledge & Needle also got me the fabric I needed.  He stitched up really quickly and the finishing wasn't as painful as I thought it might have been!  Tracey has managed to secure me one of the new Bunny kits I'm looking forward to getting and stitching that cutie pie!!!!

I've mentioned twice now a road trip down to Knowledge and Needles on Saturday, you're probably wondering what I got???  We went down to check out what Ann had picked up in Nashville.  Sad to say I'm not much of a fan of what came out in terms of charts.  I still made enough damage in the fabric department! 

Well I think that's it for now.  I'm looking forward to the end of the week (not the end of March Break though) once again its another Knowledge and Needles Retreat Weekend!!!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

March Break TUSAL

I thought I would bed writing this post much earlier in the day but its been a great, busy day!

I woke up much earlier than planned and instead of rolling over and going back to bed I got up, swept the house, went for a 3.5K run/walk, and got ready to spend the day stitching and visiting with my friend Amy!  On the way home was a quick grocery run, and instead of planting my butt in my stitching chair I proceeded to : make soup, meat sauce, and Todd's dinner!  I'm finally sitting back down now at 9PM to stitch some more!

Its now time for the March edition of the TUSAL, lots of multi-coloured orts this month!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

PhotoHunt - Monochrome

I'm a couple of days late getting this up!  This past week has been a whirlwind since I got home from this year's DR Experience trip, today I finally had time to relax, nap, and this whole week is March Break!  The week seems to suddenly be very booked up but its a great times with friends!

This week's PhotoHunt theme is "Monochrome"

I took this picture on this year's Dominican Experience trip.  These are handmade cigars in a storage room in a little shop in San Pedro de Macoris where they make the cigars.

Friday, March 01, 2013

PhotoHunt - Steele

This week's PhotoHunt theme is "Steele"

This young bull rider is sitting behind the scenes quietly trying to steele himself for his upcoming ride.  This photo was taken back in 2009 at the Holstein Rodeo.