Friday, July 31, 2015

YOTA - August Edition and a Confession

Happy YOTA weekend everyone! I hope you've all had time to work on your UFOs. We're hosted by the excellent Pull The Other Thread who just posted a really wonderful wedding WIP. 

I managed a finish on one of my UFOs, The Good Life:


There are lots to go though. The next up will likely be Dog Lessons which is here right now:

I hope to finish this one up in August. I'm a little distracted by Box of Delights right now though and I just finished the 3rd part. 

The last part is being released tomorrow and I'm debating about finishing it since right now it's over halfway complete. The last step was a lot of fun and I'll post some close-up photos in a day or two. 

And now my confession. I have been watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries while I've been stitching lately and I love them! I have a TV crush on Inspector Jack Robinson. He seemed sort of stiff and standoffish at first, but now he and Miss Fisher have a great relationship and there's this unresolved tension between them that is delicious! Netflix has the first 2 seasons and I'm about halfway through the second one. Here's a photo of the actor in character:

Nathan Page does a great job acting his character. I find him much more real now than I found his character in Kerry Greenwood's books. And check out the smolder above... <sigh>

Also, Essie Davis is the perfect Phyrne Fisher in my opinion. She completely epitomizes how I imagined the character while I read/listened to the books. The other cast are fantastic as well. It's too bad they had to leave out Mrs. Butler, but Mr. Butler, Bert, Cec, Dot, Hugh, they're all very well acted. 

But we were talking about stitching... so Happy Stitching!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Thank you for all your comments on Midnight Manor, I really appreciate it! 

I think the less said about our trip yesterday the better, but I did manage some stitching. 

Update on Box of Delights:

Now that I have another set of boxes ready to be filled in, I might have to do that before I pick up anything else. I'm interested to see what other stitches we try and if there are some more fun bits of threads I can use. I have some nice ones left over from K. 

And last night I did pick up Butterfly Quote despite the heat. I'll have to be careful with this one since Jodyri threads aren't colorfast, and I won't be able to wash it fully at the end. I can maybe wash the outside if I'm really careful though. 

I moved down instead of across because I wanted to see how the thread looked. So far I've used Jodyri threads in Pink Laydee and Summer Sunset. 

If you decide to stitch this one the chart it's printed fairly large and it makes it very easy to see. It's a nice break from the smaller font that was used on Midnight Manor. 

Tonight it's going to be hot again so I'm not sure if there will be stitching. There might only be lying under the fan instead. 

Happy Stitching,


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Done, Da-done, Done, Done!

Midnight Manor is complete!

This was a very enjoyable stitch. I think if I'd left it monochrome I wouldn't have been as happy with it, but using different colours for all the different elements really helped make it fun. My floss use is:

Manor: almost 1 skein WDW Fathom and the camera doesn't pick up what a nice colour it is
Trees: slightly over 1 skein TGA Soot
Animals: few threads of WDW Mascara
Jack O'Lantern: few threads of WDW Jack O'Lantern
Gate: 1 skein WDW Kohl - this has a nice black/gray pattern that again is difficult to see in the photo. 
Ghosts and Moon - 2 strands leftover Kreinik #4 GITD thread

I was thinking about making this into a pillow, but it's so cool I feel like I want to frame it to protect it now. A pillow might show off more of the nice fabric though. 

And so far the consensus is LK's Dog Lessons for the next one. I think that's a good focus project, but I may touch on the others as I stitch it. Thank you for letting me know your opinions, I'm always interested to know what you're thinking!

We have a trip today, 2 hours each way so I may bring Box of Delights since I can stitch the boxes without a pattern and that will mean carting around less stuff. Or I can bring my bag of DMC to bobbinate. :)

Happy Stitching and thank you for all the encouragement!


Monday, July 27, 2015

A Finish Tonight?

Thank you for all your comments on yesterday's post. I'm glad everyone would have done something similar instead of trying to frog such a huge section. 

I managed a decent amount of stitching after DD went to bed and I think I might just get it finished tonight. 

There's only one branch left above the half finished spider and I think I did about the same amount of stitching last night, so it's definitely possible. 

I'm debating about my next WIP and your opinions are welcome. I'd like to complete one more project before I start my new one because I know I can't hold back forever on that one. I'm thinking about LK's Dog Lessons which is almost 40% complete and that would mean less work until I finish it versus the others left in my list of 10 to try and finish this year. 

There's also Box of Delights which is only a little over 30% done and is really fun to stitch, but likely would take longer to complete. 

And stage 5 was just released, so stage 6 isn't out yet. I'm sure it will be by the time I finish the rest though. Maybe I should challenge myself to finish both before I start Princess and the Dragon

Plus there's the Summer Stitching SAL Butterfly Quote by Jodyri Designs and I haven't touched that for awhile either. 

Maybe I'll put a thread length or 2 into this one before I pick up one of the other WIPs. Keebs posted how changing projects helped her week and I am getting ready to be done with Midnight Manor, so I'm glad it's stitched up so quickly. The tree was getting a little boring yesterday, even though I've enjoyed stitching it and like the look of the hand-dyed thread.  

Rambling over! Happy Stitching,


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stitching Sunday - To Frog or Not to Frog

I was doing really well on Midnight Manor until I realized I was off half a stitch on everything on the left side, except the Jack O'Lantern since that was based off of the Manor itself. 

I was frustrated with myself since I thought I'd been careful with the moon and how the branch lined up. But I got to the Jack O'Lantern and it was floating one half stitch above the gate. The decision to frog or not to frog didn't take me too long though. I was not up to re-stitching the entire tree and cat and bat. 

I added a line of 2 over 1 under the Jack O'Lantern so the gap wasn't as obvious and continued on. 

I had Friday and Saturday off and I was able to stitch a lot because DD kept playing by herself and I got all my chores done while she was playing. She was in a fantastic mood those 2 days and it was nice to be home with her. DH is still recovering from a weird heat exhaustion/flu type of thing so DD and I spent a lot of time together. 

I also started wearing my reading glasses when I stitched and I think that helped me progress a little faster too. Less squinting and it's easier to read the chart. It made the CFL games on ESPN3 a little blurry, but good enough. 

I hope everyone else had a great weekend, happy stitching!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

WIP Wednesday and Stitch from Stash

Month: $25 July opening balance
Spent: $20 at
              $8 at Charting Creations etsy store
Earned: $12 for K
                $8 for The Good Life
                $6 for Housework
Totals:  $23 to carry over to August

This is my first SFS post, so I hope I'm doing it correctly.

And on to my WIP, Midnight Manor:

I managed a decent amount over the last 2 days and I'm really enjoying stitching with these threads. The only one that's a pain is the Kreinik #4 GITD thread, but I love the effect so much I'll keep at it. I even added eyes to the bat and cat and will do so for the owl and spider as well that show up on the other side. 

The tree is stitched with The Gentle Art Soot and I love the effect it has for tree bark. I think it works perfectly. I'm using WDW Mascara for the animals so far since it has such a nice blackness to it. 

Overall this has been a very enjoyable stitch so far and I will likely continue on. Possibly to a finish? We'll see. 

I also purchased this recently from Charting Creations and I cannot wait to start it! 

I have the fabric picked out, Amarinthine by Chromatic Alchemy and I'll stitch it 1 over 1 with DMC 310. Not that it's been on my mind much or anything.... :)

And that reminds me, remember this one? 

When I finished I had noticed the pattern had an error on the 2nd last row and "LOVED" was slightly off compared to the rest of the chart. The designer, Zindagi Designs contacted me out of the blue and said she was horrified to know her chart had an error. She's fixed the error in the chart and sent me a corrected copy too, which was very nice. 

And she did this a couple months ago, but I kept forgetting to post about it. So if you're interested in the design, the chart is even better now. :)

Happy Stitching,


Monday, July 20, 2015

IHSW - July Conclusion - I've Frightened You, Haven't I?

I couldn't resist stealing a line from one of my favourite TV shows growing up, The Hilarious House of Frightenstein. I just looked at DVD prices for them, and it's insane! So DD won't be watching those growing up. There are lots of other choices at least. 

Here's a clip or two:

Thankfully it's YouTube to the rescue again. They even have a couple full episodes if you want to watch it in its entirety. Billy Van (the count) played most of the characters in the show. 

And the reason I'm bringing up the show is I managed to progress a decent amount on Midnight Manor!

I think the GITD thread works for the ghost in the doorway and the upper ghost and moon pretty well. It's Kreinik #4, so I had to use tent stitch on the 2 upper motifs, but I think it looks okay. I'm definitely happy with this aspect:

See, "I've frightened you, haven't I?" :D

I hope everyone had a great IHSW and check out everyone else's work over at Joyce's blog!

Happy Stitching,


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I'm still feeling a bit off, but I managed to get one whole strand in Midnight Manor last night. 

And then I remembered I had wanted to make the ghost in the doorway glow-in-the-dark. I think I might back stitch around it or something. I don't want to go back and have to unpick all of it. I forgot that section was a ghost until I looked at the photo. 

I'm using WDW Fathom for the manor itself and there will be other colours in the rest of it. I'll finish the manor before I move on, and that may be another day or two depending how much stitching I can get in. This will likely be my IHSW piece as well, again depending. I'd like to get moving on Box of Delights as well, and I may pull that out for the CFL games since stitching the boxes is repetitive and easy. 

It will be hard though because I'm excited to see how the other colours will look in this one. I'll keep them secret for now until I start using them and see what you all think as well. :)

Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

On a Roll! - Another Finish

I was down and out with some sort of bug yesterday and it's still running its course today, but I did manage to finish Housework this morning while debating if I could make it to work. 

This was a fun, easy stitch and I always like stitching LK lettering. She has a real gift with text. I modified the colours slightly to what was in my stash. The purple is WDW Purple Majesty and the blue is WDW Dutch Iris. 

Depending on how I feel tonight I'll pick up the butterfly quote again or maybe Midnight Manor. I pulled that one out of the WIP pile and I'd like to progress on that one as well. 

Plus I think it's IHSW this weekend and my mother is coming out tomorrow to visit and give us a hand with gardening. She has a gift for gardening and I do not. :) 

Happy Stitching,


Sunday, July 12, 2015

From the WIP Pile

I'm concentrating on the projects I listed in this post as the 10 I would most like to finish this year. I managed to complete 2 of them already, K and The Good Life and am working on Housework by Lizzie Kate now. 

I modified the colours slightly to ones that I had in my stash and I think this will be finished within another few days. It's a nice easy stitch and I'm using WDW which are colorfast on plain white Aida so it can be washed if necessary. There are only 3 more colours to go. A medium purple for the last line of text, some blue on the sides as a border and a yellow in the middle of the flowers. 

So far I've used WDW Azaleas on "Housework" and I love how that turned out. The flowers are WDW Camellia and the leaves WDW Foliage and I didn't use the brownish parts of that colour. The "never killed anyone" is in WDW Grasshopper. 

I also pulled Midnight Manor out of the WIP pile and that will likely be next. Although I've also started the butterfly quote for the Summertime Stitching SAL group on Facebook. I'm using Jodyri threads which are not colour fast, so I may only stitch on days when it's not too hot. It will be hard since I love the colours already though!

Floss toss:
small start:

Happy Stitching!


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Another One Bites the Dust!

The Good Life was pretty close to a finish and I managed to complete it last night. Here's the finish:

I'm pretty excited since this means 12/30 of my CJC projects are complete! And now to decide what to work on next. It's steamy hot around here, so I don't think it will be anything that can't be washed. I wash my hands a lot, but there's only so much you can do when it's 30C/86F. 

I hope everyone else is having a fun and productive weekend no matter what you're up to. 

Happy Stitching,


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Turtle Trot - July Edition

There's been no word from our host Claudette at BAP Attack for a couple months now. I hope all is well with her and her family. I thought I would continue on with my Turtle Trot posts as I like how well I've been progressing through everything. 

I have a new finish to announce first of all! K is complete!

10. K by Nora Corbett

And some close-ups of the beading: 

This was a very fun stitch. I liked the use of hand dyed threads to avoid confetti and the beads weren't difficult. I really enjoy the effect they make. The shiny effect is difficult to see in the full photo, so I hope the close-ups make it more obvious. I did change the large beads on her dress from the charted dark pink to purple since I had those in my stash. 

4. The Good Life kit by Dimensions was here:

and is getting close to a finish as well:

I didn't progress on anything else yet, but it's definitely time to get out something else to work on. I would like to finish a lot of other projects before the year is out, but there's also the Summertime SAL that I joined and I'd like to start on the butterfly quote by Jodyri designs. You can see a finished one here on Mrs. MBK's blog

So we'll see where the next month gets us. I wouldn't mind finishing this little guy since he's well on his way. 

Happy Stitching,


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

New Stash, New Stash, la la la la New Stash!

My gift certificate from Linda has been burning a hole in my email since I received it. I finally broke down during 123stitch's Christmas in July sale. This is what will be arriving soon:

Noel by Joan Elliott - I wanted to get something of hers since she's laid up after her car accident

Simply Christmas by Whispered by the Wind - I've always liked this pattern, and this was a good excuse to get it!

Dimensions Kiss for a Snowman kit -this makes me think of DD

Messy But Mine by Dragon Dreams - truer words were never spoken

Summer's Magic by Dragon Dreams

I usually stay away from "cute" patterns, but this will be something that will hang in DD's room and I think she'll like it. 

And I joined Stitch From Stash part B and have almost blown through my budget already. I better finish a few things to catch up. 

Happy Stitching, and thank you again Linda!

I also want to send a big thank you to Kate for this excellent RAK!  Someday when I finish it it will look great in my office. :) At least there aren't too many colours, so I might manage to finish this one. 


WIP Wednesday and Thread Organizer

I managed to accomplish a lot this weekend with an extra day off. I finally got my specialty threads organized in a file box like the Twisted Stitcher. I don't have a huge stash, although DH might argue that point, so I only need one box and it's not even half full. 

I organized the threads by colour of the file folders for now. I did blue for regular cotton, yellow for perles and red for silks. I also have green, but I'm not sure what they'll be used for yet. 

One box about half full of threads, WDW at the front with a blue folder

A sample of The Gentle Art on a blue folder as well. 

This is my old storage box where the threads were piled in groups, but altogether in this box. You can see I ran out of binder rings since there are still few skeins not in the file box. This now holds my Kreinik separated by type and DMC perles as well as beads. 

I wish I had taken a before photo, but these are all after. 

And onto the progress. After the long weekend I got here:

Most of the petite beads are done and I was feeling pretty great until I noticed I hadn't actually finished stitching the K. The dark brown colour is missing from the bottom leg! And I forgot the petite beads on the little curlicue on the right side of her legs. That was the goal for the next night:

Now the K is finished and I'm relatively sure I completed all the petite beads. I even started the cream coloured beads that are in the K and will be the flowers in the ivy garland. Then it will be purple beads in her dress and hair and large beads on her dress. 

I have one 3 pack of the large beads in a dark pink, or I have 2 3-packs in a purple colour. I may use those instead of buying more, I haven't decided yet. We'll see how much stitching time I get tonight if I get it completed or it needs one more day. On the home stretch for sure!

Thanks for all your encouragement and happy stitching!


Saturday, July 4, 2015

YOTA - July Edition

Happy 4th of July to all my American friends! We were in a parade this morning and it was a lot of fun! They have so many fun floats. My favourite is the lawn chair drill team. 

This isn't them, it's a video on YouTube, but it's a similar style. They do this in the middle of the parade. 

Onto YOTA - Year of the Acronym hosted by Pull The Other Thread. I didn't work on any of the projects I mentioned in my last YOTA post, but I did work on some other projects. Only one was a UFO, but we can call the other 2 WIPs, so they're still acronyms, right? :)

My UFO from 2011 got some good progress and it's starting to really take shape:

Sorry the white balance is off, I haven't figured out how to edit photos well with the new changes to Google Photos. This is one I really, really want to finish this year and it's my travel kit. I'll take it with me and get a few stitches in even if we're only driving a half hour somewhere. 

And my WIP - Letter K:

I finished the cross stitch and the back stitch and have started beading. I wish I had remembered that I should iron it before beading, but I'll just have to muddle through that part. I had some Invisible thread to bead with, but I can't find it (ba dum bump). Get it, because it's invisible? :) Anyways, I'm using DMC 772 which matches the fabric close enough. 

If anyone dislikes back stitch, this is a great project to do. The back stitch maybe took 3 hours. Maybe. It was so easy to complete, even the Kreinik. The beading is going pretty well also. I'm maybe half way done one kind of beads, the kind that you use the most, then there are a few more kinds. One is just for the dress, and I'm short 2 larger beads that I have to order. Fortunately I won Linda's giveaway and I have a gift certificate for 123 Stitch. I wonder what else will jump in my basket? 

I hope you all have a great weekend, and happy stitching!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Decision Made - Probably

I managed to finish all the cross stitch on K and start the back stitch. It seems like it won't take long, even with the beads, so I may continue on until I finish. I don't think it would take much more than a week. We'll see though. Here she is after last night:

Thanks for all your encouragement and I'm looking forward to getting her finished and framed.

Happy Stitching,


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

30 Day Challenges Day 30 - 10 Random Facts About Me

Here it is, my last list! Thanks to Kate for having a fun challenge and I was happy to join in. Make sure you check out her page for the last few challenge days!

10 Random Facts About Me

1. I am Canadian

I'm an ex-pat living in the U.S. full-time since 2013. We used to live in Quebec and I crossed the border every day for work. It's much easier and more reliable getting to work on time now. 

This is our old neighbourhood, but that isn't our house. I liked how the house looked through the trees with the newly fallen snow and it's prettier than our old house. 

I grew up in Southern Ontario near London and went to undergrad at the University of Waterloo. My hometown is a large town mostly known for having large turkey farms now although it also used to have a lot of tobacco farms. 

2. I love to play hockey
NOT ME! Image from

I started playing at age 9 and gave up a questionable figure skating hobby. It was questionable because I wasn't terribly good at it. :) I was decent at hockey and played for a while on teams with boys while I was almost the only girl in the entire league. I was even able to play in the age group called "peewee" when you start checking players because of a landmark case by Justine Blainey. She was my hero growing up. She fought and fought for the right to play on a highly competitive team she had made, but couldn't play because the league didn't allow women to play. The decision to stop discrimination ended the year before I started peewee. 

I joined the London Devilettes organization shortly afterwards and our uniforms were identical to the photo above. That's a girls only league although we often played boys teams because there weren't very many good girls teams in our area. 

Unfortunately I tweaked my back a few years back and I haven't played since, but if I can get some equipment and some disability insurance (!) I'll get back on the ice next season. There are a few women's leagues around and I would love to play again. I really miss it. 

An optometrist to be specific. I don't do eye surgery, but I can treat most other eye diseases and/or monitor conditions like macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. I enjoy my job. I get to meet new people almost every day and it's never "routine". There's always something new going on and you often learn something new every day.

4. I'm soft-spoken

Most of my family is soft-spoken as well. My dad and I have had conversations across a room and DH, sitting in between us, hasn't heard a word either of us have said! I think I've actually lost some hearing from DD crying or yelling in one of my ears and since that will make me talk louder, I don't think anyone will mind. 

When we go biking I wear ear plugs so that when I talk to DH he can hear me. If I forget I feel like I'm shouting all the time even though I'm only reaching "normal" volume. Judging my DD's cries in the delivery room, she had DH's lungs. 

DH says I also have a "doctor voice" that I use when I'm seeing patients. I amp my volume up and enunciate and try not to talk too fast and that usually works well. Apparently when I'm proof-reading work-related stuff aloud I also use this voice. 

5. I broke my leg

I specifically broke my left tibia playing hockey. The zamboni was broken and before us there were figure skaters on the ice. They tend to really chew up ice with their toe picks. We decided to play anyway, and there was just one section with a really bad groove that I wasn't aware of until it was too late. I skated forward to play the puck and got my skate caught and my leg twisted under me. 

I ended up with a spiral fracture of my tibia. I wanted to get a copy of my x-ray because I thought it looked pretty neat and I was taking anatomy in undergrad at the time. I wasn't able to get one because of how Canada's laws work in the hospital or something. 

image from
This looks pretty similar to how I remember seeing the x-ray. Mine was a little higher up my leg though. I didn't need a pin or anything, but it took what seemed like forever to heal. I broke my leg while in my 4th year of undergrad, 1998 and that was my first and as yet, only broken bone. 

First I had a plaster thigh cast, then a fiberglass thigh cast which was much lighter, and eventually an inflatable boot. It was a challenge using crutches in the snow and ice and one time on a freshly washed floor. I did get a free Jello shot when I went out New Year's Eve though. And it's a pretty good indicator of bad weather in the offing. 

6. I'm an amateur photographer

DH got into photography in a big way and specializes in portraits. I like it and for a few years I was really into it, but cross stitch has called me back recently and I'd much rather spend my time cross stitching than any other hobby. 

Here are a few of my favourite photos:
Montreal, QC, Canada
Shelburne Museum, VT, USA
 North Hero, VT, USA

7. I feel bad even when I kill a spider

I realize there are millions if not billions of spiders, but I still feel bad when I kill one. They creep me out like crazy, but I don't really like killing anything. I feel justified killing a mosquito, so I don't mind that as much, but I have a really hard time killing even little bugs. Don't get me started on animal cruelty or road kill. I try to suppress these feelings but I think they're only stronger since I had DD. 

The worst part of the year used to be driving home after a rain on a hot day. The road was full of frogs! And you couldn't swerve around them, and you could feel them bump under the tires, or they'd jump right into the wheel... my stomach roils just remembering it. Fortunately that doesn't happen with my new shorter commute and I no longer feel like a frog mass murderer. 

8. I don't really like flower bouquets. 

The thought is nice, but I don't like the thought of killing flowers just to make a bouquet. I'd rather receive something in a pot. For our wedding we had fake flowers as corsages for all the women and buttonieres for the men. 

I do give cut flowers and send them to my Grandma because she loves them. 

9. I'm easily distracted

I have a difficult time keeping my mind on any task except cross stitch or reading. I used to be able to read a book in one day if I wanted to ignore all other tasks. For example, I read the last Harry Potter book all in one day. I did take a break after Hedwig died and Dobby died because I was crying, but I finished it all. 

When we were dating DH used to ask if I always had to be knitting or cross stitching when we watched TV. Then when I tried not doing anything one evening he stood it for about an hour until he told me to go get whatever I wanted to work on because I couldn't stop fidgeting. 

They say you're not supposed to multi-task, but I swear I'm more efficient if I file while I'm listening to an audio book, or watch TV and cross stitch. Now I even sing in my head while I bike so I can go longer before I get bored. 

If I try and clean or something without listening to an audio book I'll end up with different piles of stuff in different rooms and things sort of half cleaned, but nothing ever seems to get finished. 

10. I'm a Virgo

I still don't think I fit the typical Virgo very well. The quote below is from the site I linked to above.

"Quite undemonstrative and introvert, the Virgo-born represent waters that run deep. Wise, witty and well spoken, the Virgo have a good understanding of human nature and can effectively help people solve their problems."

I'd agree with the first sentence, not so much the second. 

Meticulous - yes, sometimes to a degree that avoids the forest for the trees
Intelligent - sure!
Practical - somewhat. Generally I enjoy fantasy books and dreaming a lot more than reality 
Analytical - given enough time, but I'll often feel overwhelmed by a problem and let it sit for so long it becomes a burden
Reliable - yes, but also absentminded, so sort of?
Modest - definitely. I tried to come up with a 10 things I'm proud of list and couldn't easily think of 10 things

Overcritical - yes! mostly of myself and I try and curb this tendency towards others
Fussy - not generally, I can get this way sometimes, but it's mostly when I'm around my parents because I'm feeling anxious
Fastidious - so not me!
Harsh - definitely not

So there's my list and you know a little bit more about me. I'm glad to be done 30 lists and I won't be doing this again for awhile because work is pretty busy right now. Tell me about yourselves in the comments!

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...