Sunday, May 31, 2015

A New Start!

My first new start is Remember You Are Braver from Zindagi Designs. I'm making this for a good friend who is amazing and awesome and isn't as confident as she could be. I'm thinking I might try and make it into a pillow when it's complete. 

Here's a floss toss:

I'm stitching this on 20 count oatmeal Aida (I think) with Soie Cristale silks and here's where I'm at now:

I also finally finished the bookmark gift for my friend and gave it to her this weekend for her birthday. I used some felt to back it and she really liked it.

Happy Stitching!


Thursday, May 28, 2015

And the Winner Is....

Last week I posted about what project I was going to start next and I'm sending a prize to whomever guessed my next start correctly. I will actually be starting 2 projects, so there will be 2 winners!

I've already started #5 Remember You Are Braver, although of course I forgot to take a photo. That means Pull The Other Thread is winner #1!

The second project is #1 Box of Delights which I haven't started yet, but hope to soon. So winner #2 is Happiness is Stitching.

Thank you everyone for playing along and I'll try and email both winners tonight. Congrats to both of you and happy stitching,


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

30 Day Challenges Break

Kate is on holiday and I'm a couple posts ahead, so I'll take a break for a bit until she's back posting. That will give me more time to stitch, so I should have some WIP pics up soon. 

Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

30 Day Challenges Day 12 - Books I Can Gladly Re-Read

I've loved reading since I was a kid and used to wish I could stay in the library overnight to read all the books. I know, NERD ALERT! Now I'm happy if I have any time to read. Generally I stick to audio books since I can listen in the car and while I'm stitching. Here are a few of my favourite books that I've listened to or read. 

1. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King

I discovered this series by borrowing the 8th book in the series from the library. I had no issues following the story, so you don't need to start from the beginning, but I do feel this is one of the best books of the series. I've listened to it several times and the other books probably at least twice each. 

The story is told from the Mary Russell's perspective. She is an orphaned child living with a horrible aunt in Sussex. She happens upon Sherlock Holmes, retired detective and beekeeper, while out walking. This meeting changes her life as she becomes an amateur detective apprentice and learns from the master. There are 3 distinct mysteries in this story, first the theft of a ham and some cash from the village inn that Mary leads on her own, second Russell and Holmes team up to try and rescue a kidnapped child, and third, Holmes is under attack from an unknown adversary and Russell is caught up as collateral. I have yet to read any paper copy of this book, but the narrator Jenny Sterlin is fantastic as both Russell and Holmes. 

If you have any interest in mysteries, Sherlock Holmes, early feminism, and turn of the century (1920) England, this is a book you shouldn't miss. 

2. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

There's a very good chance I'll include more than one Brandon Sanderson book in this list because I really enjoy his writing style. This is one of his stand alone books that does exist in what he calls the Cosmere, a world that most of his fictional books exist within. 

Warbreaker tells the story of 2 princesses from one kingdom that journey to a neighbouring kingdom. One to marry the ruler and the other to rescue her sister. They both end up in various scrapes and part of a larger game someone else is playing. Various characters enter in to the story and you don't know who's good or bad until you're well into the story. 

The fantasy world built up in this book is completely different than anything I'd experienced before. The magic is on another plane compared with anything else I'd ever heard of and I was gripped by the story so much I read for several hours at the beach one day instead of you know, swimming. Both princesses are very strong female characters and really anchor the book well. There are many wonderful characters in the book and I'm looking forward to reading it or listening to it again. 

3. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I realize this may seem like an obvious choice, but it is really a wonderful series. I'm reading it to DD before bed now and I'm hoping to get through the more serious books and shelve this for awhile before she understands many of the words. I don't think I can add much to what's been said about this series, so I'll leave this blurb short. 

4. Lisey's Story by Stephen King

This book blew me away when I first read it. The love story between Lisey and her now deceased husband Scott was wonderful to read. We join the story as Lisey is awakening to her life after Scott died 2 years ago. She has to go sort through their life and possessions and we get to learn a little more about their relationship from the early days until the end. Because this is a Stephen King story there is a darker side as well. Scott has the ability to travel to another world that has dangers for him and now for Lisey when she has to travel there to combat an adversary that is stalking her. 

I enjoyed this book more than any other Stephen King book I've ever read. I would gladly read it or listen to it again any time.

5. Folly by Laurie R. King

There, I've done it, I repeated authors within the first 5 books! I can't leave this book out though. I went through a difficult period a few years ago and listened to this book almost constantly when I went to bed for about 3 months. The stress level was so high I really could not sleep and this book helped me find a way out of the stress and into sleep. 

The story begins with Rae left alone on an island in the San Juans in the Pacific Ocean. This was her choice, to rebuild a house her great-uncle had built back in the 1920s. Rae has recently left a mental institution after losing her husband and youngest daughter in a tragic car accident, going through a terrible depression and being attacked. She is wealthy and her eldest daughter's husband constantly tries to manipulate her out of more money. Rae is on the island, Folly, to rebuild her life. 

She meets some of the interesting characters that make up life on the San Juans, the local sheriff, a park ranger that is irrepressible and a boat man that makes her deliveries has more tattoos than she's ever seen. 

It's a really great book and I still listen to it when I have trouble sleeping, when I'm feeling anxious and it always helps. 

6. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I've always had a bit of an interest in mythology and this tale weaves myths and gods in and out of it very skillfully. Shadow is the main character and he travels through both the real world and that inbetween worlds as he tries to discover what to do now that he's out of prison. He had hoped to join his wife, but she was tragically killed in an accident just before he was let out of jail. Now he's at a loose end and this story tells of how gods deal with the USA and the loss of their faithful.  

7. The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

If you have any interest in fantasy novels you need to read this series. It's a long one at 15 books, but it is worth it. When I read the first book while still in high school (20+ years ago) I noticed a lot of J.R.R. Tolkien's influence, but that soon changed to a completely unique series. There is so much to tell in this series that I can't come close in a short blurb. Check out the link if you'd like to know a little more. 

The first book, The Eye of the World, tells of 4 youths that are forced to leave their hometown after it is attacked by horrible creatures. They get split up from their protectors and are forced to make their own way until eventually they find each other again. At that point one of the youths has killed, and another has been poisoned in his soul. This is only about halfway into the book, if that. The cast of characters goes on and on and it's such an amazing series! I have re-read it several times, usually before a new book was due to come out. The original author died before the series was completed and the last 3 books were finished by Brandon Sanderson. He did a wonderful job of revitalizing the series because I had some issues with the last couple books by Robert Jordan. 

As a whole, it's one of the greatest fantasy series I have ever read. 

8. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Gentleman Bastards Book 1)

Another fantasy series, surprise! This one finally has the third book out. Scott Lynch is a great author, but unfortunately suffers from severe depression and doesn't get books out very fast. The fourth book may be coming out this September, so this is a great time to start the series. 

The first book follows Locke Lamora, one of the leaders of a gang of thieves in Camorr which seems vaguely old Italian to me. He and his followers have a few good cons planned, but are attacked by a new underworld lord trying to take over the entire Camorr underground. The story also weaves introductions to how Locke and his friend Jean became thieves, joined their current gang and about their old mentor. 

I've read this book at least 3 times now and have enjoyed every reading. It's long enough that after a year or two you forget some of the nuances and it's nice to re-read it to remember that quip you so enjoyed or how they managed to get out of some scrape, etc. 

9. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

This is the second book in another epic fantasy series, The Stormlight Archives. Brandon Sanderson turned fantasy on its head with this series. After I finished the first book I didn't think I could like the second book as much because the first book had so much info on world-building and storylines and great, full characters. However, the second book is even better! Perhaps with the world-building started Sanderson had more room to work on character development and plot. 

This book follows two characters that were part of The Way of Kings, book 1, but they're the main focus of this book. I can't really talk too much about this book without giving away things that happened in The Way of Kings, so again, if you enjoy fantasy at all, even if you don't, try this book and particularly this series. It has great discussions of battles, politics, court behaviour and this book has some particularly hilarious lines. I can't wait for Book 3. 

10. Wolf in Shadow by David Gemmell

This is a post-apocalyptic tale and tells a great story of Jon Shannow, a gunslinger that travels the world on a quest. He rights wrongs when he sees them and he gets pulled into batting a Satanic army to save what's left of the world. 

I've read these a few times and I'm having some trouble remembering the stories so it's time to read them again. I know I've always loved reading the series over again since it's release so many years ago. 

That's my list, I hope you enjoyed it!

Happy Stitching,


Monday, May 25, 2015

30 Day Challenges Day 11 - 10 Blogs I Follow

Happy Memorial Day to those of us in the U.S.A. and thanks for joining Kate and I to check out another day of lists. I'm going to mention a few of my favourite blogs today. My blogging time is somewhat limited, so I tend to spend as much time as I can on stitching blogs. This list isn't all stitching blogs though, and here are some of the ones I try to catch as soon as they post something new:

I met Mrs MBK on the Cross Stitch Forum and I love to catch her new blog posts since they always contain some amazing stitching and beautiful threads. She also has some videos on YouTube expanding on some of the threads and stitching she discusses in her blog. Check out her latest progress today on a tricky hardanger piece and a drawn thread WIP. 

I discovered Kate's writing and stitching blog when I was following another blog. She has a definite gift with writing that draws me into whatever she posts and I'm always happy to see what's she's stitching. We're doing the 30 Days of Lists challenge together too, so make sure you check out what she's posted so far. 

I've been following Keebles World for so long I've forgotten how I first happened upon her blog. She has some amazing HAEDs in progress and completed, doesn't mince words when she's not happy with charting, etc., and I've learned some good tips for my stitching from reading her blog. She's also working on a Disney movie challenge and I'm looking forward to reading her reviews. If you're planning on a Disney vacation, you need to check her blog for reviews. Chances are she's been there at least once and can give you a straightforward review. 

Claudette has a large amount of WIPs (200+). She is on a quest to stitch all of her stash, but her stash is tremendous! She's also the host of Turtle Trot which is a way to try and progress on some of our BAPs (big ass pieces) and give them some love during the year. She hasn't posted yet in May so I hope all is okay with her and life is just busy. The next Turtle Trot check in will be June 10, so fingers crossed we'll hear from her then. 

In the Hand is run by Blackmageheart (Sherona), one of the fastest stitchers I know. She generally stitches gaming patterns, and she often charts them herself as well. You can find some of her patterns on Sprite Stitch. Life's been hectic for her lately so she hasn't posted as much recently, but I think that likely means she's been stitching like crazy. Hopefully things will get smoother and she'll treat us to another post soon. 

I love reading Katie's blog because she's always working on something interesting and has a number of WIPs she will rotate through. She crochets and sews clothing as well and has an Etsy store for some of her creations. Every Sunday Katie posts like clockwork, I'm really impressed with her dedication to blogging. She also is a ballroom dancer and writes insightful commentary on Dancing with the Stars episodes. She just started working Sleepy Hollow and I can't wait to see that one progress. 

I recently started following Jeremiah's Mom when we attempted the Crazy January Challenge. She's doing very well on her projects and has another finish. She has other projects she works on as well and challenged herself to finish one Mill Hill kit a month. She posts frequently and also keeps us updated on her life. I really enjoy reading everything she discusses in her blog. 

This is a non-craft blog and Traci is a personal trainer. She had a Belly Burn Challenge last year that DH and I did and we both did really well in getting back in shape and losing weight without really having to try very hard. It's all in the foods you eat, which was good to know and if I could keep up with her advice I'm sure I'd still be losing weight. As it is I need to get back on track, hence the 30 days of no refined sugar challenge, although I already failed since I've cheated twice now. 

There are a lot of good recipes, but you have to hunt for them now. It used to be organized differently and there was a recipe section to link to. You can buy her new book which is pretty good, and there are a lot of good recipes in it. The BB Challenge from last year was what helped her write the book, so most of our favourite recipes are in there.

I enjoy reading Linda's posts. She posts pretty frequently and always has an amazing amount of stitching going on. A few weeks ago she had 253 WIPs! She's had at least one finish since then, so it must be going down, but can you imagine? I'm always happy to cheer her on to more finishes. She's working on so many great projects you'll have to check out her blog to see which ones you need to add to your wish list. 

Joyce is the friendly host of International Hermit and Stitch Weekend. That's when you use IHSW as an excuse to ignore everything except stitching. :) She has some amazing Chatelaines stitched up and some beautiful pixies as well. Her stitching time has decreased recently and she also recently suffered a loss in her family, but I hope we'll hear from her again soon. 

I hope you enjoyed the list and maybe I gave you a couple more blogs to add to your reader. 

Happy Stitching,


Friday, May 22, 2015

30 Day Challenges Day 10 - 10 of My Favourite Movies

Thanks for following along with Kate and I. We're one-third of the way done now. 

Today I'm going to pick the first 10 movies that come to mind. These are movies I can watch over and over and over without ever getting sick of them. 

1. The Princess Bride

I can't wait until DD is a little older and I can watch this with her. This is my favourite movie of all time and has been since I saw it in the theatre when I was 11. My parents took my younger brother and I and I am sure we drove them crazy with the rhyming all the way home (1/2 hour). 

And has there ever been a better sword fight in any movie ever? 

This movie isn't as well known, which is too bad. It's a great movie and I love the pairing of David Duchovny and Minnie Driver as the love interests. I don't want to discuss the movie too much because it ruins some of the early scenes, but if you haven't seen it and you like great storytelling, humour, tragedy and heartbreakingly touching scenes, watch it! David Alan Grier is a fantastic foil for David Duchovny and John Belushi has some very memorable scenes. It is a romantic comedy, but it's not the typical story at all. 

I was a fan of the old TV show when it was played in re-runs and this is a great update of a classic. Steve Carrell is at his comedic best in this movie and Anne Hathaway plays the straight man so well. Plus you get Dwayne Johnson's great comedic timing as an added bonus. 

I've forgotten if I saw this in theatres or not, but I've definitely loved watching it since I bought the DVD years ago. I'll even watch it when it's free on Netflix despite owning the DVD. Gary Oldman continues to be an awesome villian and it's fun to watch Ian Holm scurry around and Milla Jovovich kick butt pre-Resident Evil. Bruce Willis has some great comedic moments in this action film as well. 

I loved the Neil Gaiman book and this movie is everything I could have hoped for. They took a risk on a complete unknown as the star, Claire Danes pulls out a fantastic performance as the love interest, and Robert DeNiro is in a dress at one point. How could it possibly be better? :)

This is a great fairy tale movie that has some violence, so PG-13, but I think it would be a good family movie. Tristan is off on a quest to find a star for his crush Victoria, but he has to enter the land beyond the Wall. He's thwarted by a feisty guard, a fantastic cameo by David Kelly, but manages to get there in the end and discover a world full of magic and that maybe things are better beyond the Wall. 

6. The Punisher (Tom Jane version)

I always enjoyed the Punisher comics, something about bad guys getting their just desserts maybe? The original Punisher movie with Dolph Lundgren is okay, but this one was really, really good. I watched it in theatres, and although I thought some of the Travolta scenes were a little overdone, I really enjoyed Tom Jane's version of the Punisher. 

This is a violent movie. It is not for the faint of heart. There is a great supporting cast and the modifications Tom Jane makes to his apartment and vehicle are interesting if you have a mechanical mind. The story begins with Frank Castle's work as an undercover agent on his last job. Someone dies and that family decides to take revenge by killing Castle's entire family and Castle, as they believe. They're wrong, and Castle comes back as the Punisher to deliver punishment to the evildoers. 

I will admit I don't watch this over and over since it is a violent movie, but I still like to watch it every so often. 

This is a very cheesy sci-fi movie and it's funny for the wrong reasons a lot of the time. There is a lot of violence in this one as well, some of it pretty gruesome. This is one of the '80s movies that had a ton of killings for no good reason. The more I think about it, I'm not sure why I like this one unless it's nostalgia? One of those guilty pleasures I guess. There are a couple of kick-ass female characters in this one though, including a young Sharon Stone. 

Now this one I could watch every day if I had to. Even if it meant I would finally memorize the "Major General" song. Frederick's tale of being apprenticed mistakenly to a pirate band that doesn't capture orphans, then being free of his indentures to fall in love with a woman with 13? sisters and a Major General father who feels it his bounden duty to hunt down his former pirate comrades, only to re-join the pirates when it turns out he has to be an apprentice until he's 84 because he was born on February 29. What could be more fun that this? 

Kevin Kline makes an outstanding Pirate King, the police chief is wonderful and Angela Lansbury is fantastic as Ruth. Linda Ronstandt and Rex Smith showcase how massive their vocal range is in this awesome musical. I even have the CDs and listen to them at work when I can. If you've never seen this, you're missing out. 

I love this movie. Bill Murray is at his best in this difficult-to-describe-genre movie. I hope everyone has seen this one, it's such a classic and deserves to be watched every year at least. A tale of redemption, of how to live your life to the fullest, it's all here. 

I first watched this at my cousins' house when my parents were having a huge party. It imprinted itself on me then and I still enjoy watching it whenever I can. This is another one that I look forward to sharing with DD when she's older. 

David Bowie is wonderful as the Goblin King and the puppet work is extraordinary. I hope everyone has watched this one too, it's a great tale of a young girl realizing her potential as a person. 

I hope you enjoyed the list and I gave you a few movie ideas for the weekend. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend if you're in the US, and just a great weekend if you're elsewhere. 

Happy Stitching,


Thursday, May 21, 2015

30 Day Challenges Day 9 - 10 Graphic Novels I Can Read Over and Over

I tend not to sit down and read novels any more since I want to spend my sit-down time stitching. Therefore I listen to all the books I can. I do make an exception for graphic novels because if they're worth it, then the time doesn't feel wasted to me. 

10 Graphic Novels I Can Read Over and Over

1. V for Vendetta

I was introduced to this one by a great Chapters clerk. Chapters is a bookstore chain similar to Barnes and Noble, but it's in Canada and is now Chapters/Indigo I think. I've read this book several times and had both a hardcover and softcover edition until I gave the softcover away to a friend. 

"A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V For Vendetta takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet." from Forbidden Planet

2. Marvel 1602

I really enjoy this collection. Seeing such futuristic style characters in the Elizabethan era is a refreshing change to the frenetic pacing of some of the modern comics. I didn't realize until recently that the writing (Neil Gaiman) might also be one of the reasons this is so easy to read over and over. 

"Neil Gaiman's vision of the Marvel Universe in the year 1602! The year is 1602, and strange things are stirring in England. In the service of Queen Elizabeth, court magician Dr. Stephen Strange senses that the bizarre weather plaguing the skies above is not of natural origin. Her majesty's premier spy, Sir Nicholas Fury, fends off an assassination attempt on the Queen by winged warriors rumored to be in service to a mad despot named Doom."

3. Hellboy Volume 1: Seed of Destruction

I borrowed this from the library after enjoying the somewhat light-hearted movie. This is very different and I feel like I need to read it over and over again to try and catch all the references from myth/folklore, B movies and fables. 

"Drawing heavily folklore, B-movies, ghost stories, monsters and pulp tales this is series about a paranormal investigator from Hell! Hellboy has proved to be a both popular and critical success with its abstract artwork and H. P. Lovecraft-style horror!" from Forbidden Planet

4. The Adventures of Tintin: The Blue Lotus

This was my first Tintin book and I have always enjoyed re-reading it. Yes, the stereotypical characters are unfortunate now that I'm older and can understand them, but I still get the sense of wonder I had when I first read it when I was very young. The plight of the mad boy still gets me. 

" Tintin travels to China in The Blue Lotus, a tale which is generally considered Herge's first masterpiece. It's also Tintin's only foray into actual history, specifically the Sino-Japanese conflicts of the early 1930s. The political tensions combined with the chilling threats of drugs give the story an especially high and realistic sense of danger. Herge's interest in China was spurred by a friendship with a young Chinese student named Chang Chong-chen, a relationship that Tintin mirrors with a Chinese boy also named Chang Chong-chen. Herge paints a vivid picture of China and takes the opportunity to denounce ethnic prejudices (though ironically his artistic depiction of the Japanese businessman Mitsuhirato is quite grotesque)." from Amazon

5. Asterix the Gaul

I first read this when I was much too young to get the humour, and I read it in English. DH tells me it's much funnier in French, but he can't explain how. :) My most vivid memory is the really large Roman soldier that found a tiny basket of strawberries and he was skipping because he was so happy he'd found some. 

"When Roman Centurion Crismus Bonus finds out about Getafix’s magic potion, he kidnaps the druid to force him to reveal the recipe. So Asterix joins his friend in captivity and together they two plan to whip up a surprise with truly hair-raising effects."

6. Fables

I started reading this series after my brother recommended it. I really enjoy trying to decipher who's who from fairy tales and how they are dealing with the "real world". The first book is one of the best. 

"Disguised among the "mundys," their name for normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society that they call Fabletown. From their exclusive luxury apartment buildings on Manhattan's Upper West Side, these creatures of legend must fight for their survival in the new world."

7. Digger

Everyone should read this comic, and the nice thing is you can do it for free here. This is one of the best graphic novels I have ever read. The sense of humour is right up my alley and the story dabbles in mythology which is another interest. 

"Digger Is a story about a wombat.More specifically, it is a story by author and artist Ursula Vernon about a particularly no-nonsense wombat who finds herself stuck on the wrong end of a one-way tunnel in a strange land where nonsense seems to be the specialty. Now, with the help of a talking statue of a god, an outcast hyena, a shadow-being of indeterminate origin, and an oracular slug she seeks to find out where she is and how to go about getting back to her Warren"

8. Batman Year One

Again, my brother had this one on his wish list and I purchased it for that reason. I did not regret it and the story of Batman coming into his own was not only interesting, it felt as if they used some of the material for Batman Begins. I love that movie and found parallels in the graphic novel and the movie that made me enjoy both even more. 

"In 1986, Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli produced this groundbreaking reinterpretation of the origin of Batman — who he is and how he came to be."

9. The Black Cauldron

I can't find any sign of this book on the internet, but I swear it existed and I read it to pieces when I was a child. I don't remember if I ever saw the movie, but I had the graphic novel or movie book and read it over and over. I would do that again and read it to DD if I had it or buy it new if I could find it anywhere.

10. Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

This was a fairly recent purchase after I read about it online. I'd always been interested in Andre the Giant after watching him in the WWF, as it was called then, and in my favourite movie of all time, The Princess Bride. I enjoyed reading more about this gentle giant and some of the behind-the-scenes info is startling. 

"Andre Roussimoff is known as both the lovable giant in The Princess Bride and a heroic pro-wrestling figure. He was a normal guy who'd been dealt an extraordinary hand in life. At his peak, he weighed 500 pounds and stood nearly seven and a half feet tall. But the huge stature that made his fame also signed his death warrant."

Sorry I had trouble with the font and formatting throughout this post. My internet was wonky and it was saving things strangely. At this point I'm just glad to get the post done! 

I hope I gave you some ideas for books to try and happy stitching!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

DONE! And 30 Day Challenges Day 8 - 10 Words DD Says

White Wolves is 100% complete! I finished all the back stitching last night and it's done, done done! 

And now I have about 6 months to get it framed. I think that will be possible. I'm so happy it's done and I can cross it off my WIP list. 

30 Day Challenge - Giving up refined sugar

I'm having serious cravings for my sugar-full treats. I'm trying to stave them off by having honey in my tea and hot chocolate with maple syrup, but it's not going well. I slipped on Sunday and I feel another slip coming on. If I can make it through work and get home without heading over to the bagel shop then I think sorting the colours for my new project might keep me occupied enough to stop thinking about eating goodies. 

30 Day Challenge - Lists

Don't forget to check out Kate's list today too. She has some great app info if you're looking for new apps for any of your devices. 

10 Words DD Can Say

Let me preface this by saying we're teaching her both French and English, so some words are in French and some in English. DH stays home with her and he speaks French, so her French is a little stronger currently. 

1. Anana 

This was her first word besides Mama and Dada. It means pineapple in English and there's a picture of one on her water bottle. It's also how she asks for water. Sometimes she'll sign "water", but often she'll say "Anana"

2. Nou-Nou

Her bear's name. I will admit that we started saying "nounours" which is French for teddy bear and that became Nou-Nou. We have 2 identical ones and one that's slightly larger that we purchased by accident. It's nice to have back ups because it gets really dirty when she drags him around outside. 

3. Up

DD only recently started saying this and reaching her arms up to be picked up. She usually will say "up-up" instead of just saying it once. 

4. Nez

Another French word and this one means "nose". DD knows all her body parts now and can point to them on us as well. She knows them in French and English but she will only say "nez". She doesn't say any of the other parts yet. 

There was a memorable occasion when I was trying to get some stuff out of her nose and she was moving her head away, then she jammed her index finger all the way up one nostril and said "nez" over and over. It sounded all muffled and we lost it and laughed ourselves silly.

5. Dada

This might not seem like much since most babies will say either Mama or Dada first. The funny part is DH goes by "Papa" but DD will hardly ever say that, maybe once every couple months or so. And we'll say "Papa" to her and she says "Dada" back as if she's telling us the proper name. 

6. More

DD signed this first and has recently started to say it as well. She often adds some syllables on the end so she ends up saying "moh-moh" or "moh-nay-nay". We're not quite sure where that came from. 

7. Animals

Instead of saying the name for animals DD will make the noise. So monkey is "oo aah" and cat is "meow", dog is "abowow", cow is "moo", horse is "neigh" - distinctive from "nez" by how long she holds the vowels. 

8. No

This one is pretty amusing as well. We're pretty sure she's only just starting to figure out what it actually means. When she started saying it she definitely didn't know. She will always say this with a head shake as well, so it's never just "no" it's "No" with a head shake. 

9. Buh-bye

DD won't say this every time, but she does wave "bye" most of the time when she sees someone leaving or if she's leaving. 

10. Alice

Alice is our dog. This was another early word and it still sounds more like "Ayice", but she says it often. 

Hope everyone makes it through the rest of the week okay and happy stitching,


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

30 Day Challenges Day 7 - Threads in My Stash

I need to find a good way to organize my threads. I seem to add new ones before I use up old ones and hunting through a big tub isn't the most efficient way to determine colours. Plus I don't think it's the best way to store threads either. I quite like the way Twisted Stitcher has her threads organized, but it will take more time than I have right now. 

Also, there seem to be a few new hand dyed thread dyers in the market now like Mo's Sale, Fiberlicious, Jodyri and Chromatic Alchemy so I need to make room for more threads too. :)

Here's a quick list of threads I have in my collection:

1. Weeks Dye Works

I really enjoy stitching with WDW thread. It seems pretty smooth and I love their range of hand dyed colours. I've stitched many different projects with them and have never regretted my choice. I've found there is a slight difference in dye lots, so it is good to make sure you have enough of the colour you want before you start. 

2. Caron Soie Cristale/Waterlilies

I separated the Caron lines I have into different numbers because they are all so different from each other. I really love the silk line. The solids (Soie Cristale) are gorgeous and with 12 strands they last a while, even though they're a little pricey. The hand dyed Wildflowers are beautiful as well and very nice to stitch with. The colour range in both shows good forethought so you can mix and match in a project. 

3. Caron Watercolours

I only recently tried these out for Mabel's Fancies A Song of the Weather. They're so nice to stitch with. You can separate the threads into 3 and use one like it's a #5 perle. I find they're relaxing to stitch with, but that may be because it was for hardanger kloster blocks and they're very soothing. I haven't tried these with anything else yet. 

4. Caron Wildflowers

Many, if not all, of the Wildflowers have a corresponding Watercolour so you can combine colours in hardanger projects or anything really and have a nice contrast in coverage and plumpness in your stitching. I'd like to try these out on something that's not hardanger just to see how I like them, but I haven't yet. They're between a #8 and #12 perle in thickness. 

5. Mo's Sale

I've only just purchased a few of these and I have yet to stitch with them. I'm looking forward to trying them out though, and I like the fact she adds new colours frequently that fit current trends. Check out her Avengers line and you'll see what I mean. 

6. Chromatic Alchemy

This is a fairly new venture for Sam and I hope she has success. She's already won me over with her amazing fabrics and I happened to win one of her threads in a Facebook contest. She's having a giveaway on her website right now, so make sure to check it out. I need to find the right project for the floss and I have a good idea, I just need time to try it out. :)

7. Crescent Colours

I've been stitching with these for the first time on my Letters From Nora. They stitch smoothly and don't seem to tangle and I like the subtle variation in the colours I've used so far. It's made what looked like a very complicated confetti project into something fairly easy and enjoyable. 

8. Kreinik #4, #8 and blending filaments

I think most of us have a love/hate relationship with Kreinik. It has some great shine, but boy are metallics a pain to use. I find the blending filament is easier to deal with, but it's still good to use short lengths so it doesn't shred on you. 

9. Dragon Floss

I received these as a gift and I have yet to stitch with them. Again, I need to find the right project. They were somewhat pastel colours and I didn't stitch with pastels if I could avoid them in the last couple years. However, now that I have DD and I'm starting to branch out a bit I'm ready to try all kinds of different colours. 

10. Dinky Dyes

I picked up a few Oops packs from Dinky Dyes and I love stitching with them! They're so smooth and they have such a great range of colours. I'd love to win the full set they often offer at the Online Needlework show, but I'll have to add colours to my range slowly. 

So that's most of the different types I have besides DMC. I joined Jodyri's threads of the month and am awaiting my first order. Then I can add those to my list and somehow try and organize everything. 

If you have any favourite threads I didn't mention, please let me know, and share your thread organization tips please!

Happy Stitching,


Monday, May 18, 2015

30 Day Challenges Day 6 - What Do I Start Next? - White Wolves Update

I did it!! All the cross stitch on White Wolves is complete! I'm so excited about it, and it feels like such a huge relief. The refrain from Pirates of Penzance keeps running through my head: "Oh joy unbounded! Oh sweet relief! Oh rapture unexampled!" :)

And here it is:

And for my list, I plan to celebrate finishing this piece and being 1/3 of the way through my Crazy January Challenge by starting a new project. Here are the 10 I'll choose from:

1. Blackwork Box of Delights by Elizabeth Almond

2. Fleur de Lys by Brodeuse Bressane

3. Though  She Be But Little, She is Fierce by Zindagi Designs

4. Office Sweet Office by Zindagi Designs

5. Remember You Are Braver Than You Believe by Zindagi Designs

6. Life on the Line

7. Flowers of the Month by EMS Cross Stitch Design

8. Faerie Mother by Joan Elliott

9. Autumn Stained Glass by Ursula Michael

10. Acorn Scissor Keep

I have a good idea which one I'll start, but I'm going to have a contest. If you can guess which one I'm going to start I'll send you a prize. The first one to guess correctly will win and you have until May 27, 2015 at 12:00am. The prize will likely involve threads and maybe a chart or 2 I haven't decided yet. :)

Good luck and happy stitching!


Halfway Through May

Here we are, halfway through May and I'm sure you've been waiting with bated breath on what this month's project will be? I deci...