Monday, February 29, 2016

DUCJFC 2016 - February 29 - THE FINISH LINE!! (long post)

For my very last start/WIP for this year's Challenge I've gone back to a project from last year's Challenge. It didn't get a lot of love last year since I made a major error and was so disheartened I had put it away. This year when I took it out I had forgotten the error, so it was mine to discover all over again. It didn't bother me as much this time though. 

I had spent a good hour or so gridding my fabric only to discover I was completely off!!! So frustrating. But fortunately, I didn't have to re-grid yet. I could figure out where I was and continue on. 

So what's the project you ask? Well, it's this:

so, the stitches on the left side are row 1, but for some reason I made them row 4... the far right stitches are the end of the first page

A ginormous portrait of Otto. He died on Easter day 2 years ago and we still miss him. He was the best companion we'd ever had. DH and I purchased his grandparents' house way back in 2000. DH hadn't planned on moving in for a while since he didn't have his own vehicle, but when he went back home after visiting me, his mother had packed up all his stuff and was like "when are you leaving?" so he felt like he didn't have much choice. 

After living alone for over a month, without a car, over an hour away from any family and 14+ hours from me since I was still in school, DH was going stir-crazy! After a lot of discussion we decided on a basset hound. I called up my old 6th grade teacher who used to show bassets for some info and she gave us the name of another show breeder in Niagara Falls, Ontario. DH drove down with his mother and younger brother to pick up Otto in late February. We named him "Ottoman" because he's just the right height to rest your feet on, although we never did. 

I came back to visit in March and met Otto and spent a lot of time with him sitting on my lap on the couch while I stitched or knit. He was playful, but also happy to just hang out. I had to go back to school after the week was out, but came to visit again in the summer. DH was very happy with Otto despite the fact that bassets are notoriously hard to house train. Finally he had some companionship! 
A few years later, school was done and I had a job 2 1/2 hours away from DH and Otto. I would drive there almost every weekend, and then back to work the next week. That went on for a bout a year until I was able to find a job that allowed me to live with them. I still had to commute, but it was worth it to be with them most of the time. Otto and DH and I went on lots of walks together and he still spent a lot of time on my lap while I stitched or knit. He also liked to lay at my feet sometimes if he didn't feel like getting up on the couch. 

Dial ahead a few more years, Otto had disk dysplasia in his back. He was in pretty bad shape for awhile and we were concerned he wouldn't last long. We decided we'd rescue a basset/beagle cross so he'd have companionship when we were away to work, etc. That didn't work out as planned as the rescue wasn't precisely right in the head, but anyways, go ahead a few more years and we adopted Max the cat. My SIL had found a whole litter of kittens in the snow and hadn't found anyone to adopt Max, so we did. Otto and Max had a lot of fun playing together. I had no idea that Max would be a better friend and companion than another dog! Max used to bop Otto on the nose and then go hide around a corner and Otto would chase him and then Max would do that standing thing cats do and wave his paws around then run away again. They had a lot of fun together. 

Dial ahead another year or two and we've moved into a house in Vermont. We had to get rid of Otto's couch, and he was pretty annoyed until we got the giant bed that's pictured in the photo. Otto loved that bed. We had a couch from Ikea previously that we had to add a step to for him to get up into it and he was happy with it, but it was old and getting worn. 
Otto turned 13 on November 2, 2013. That was shortly before DD was born. When DD was born, DH brought one of her bodysuits from the hospital for Otto and all the animals to sniff. Otto kept it in his bed and kept bringing it back if I tried to take it out. We had a few more months with Otto and they were good ones. He wasn't easy exactly as much as he was predictable. He expected breakfast and dinner at reasonable times and got justifiably annoyed if either was late. If he hadn't been petted in awhile he'd come over and get pets until he was satisfied, or we would cuddle with him in his bed. He was always happy to receive attention and treats of course. 

Dialing forward to the day before Easter, Otto started having trouble breathing. I had been at work all day, so DH was home with him and DD. As soon as I got home he took Otto to the emergency vet. They said he had pneumonia and needed antibiotics, so we thought he would get through it. But he refused to take the antibiotics. Not even with peanut butter. He didn't do well that night and was worse in the morning. DH took him to go back to the emergency vet so Otto could be put down, but when he had to stop for gas it seemed like Otto was worse and he sat with him in his car and Otto died shortly after. He took him to the vet anyway to have him cremated. I still don't think we're entirely over his loss, and I don't feel that we have to be. The hole is still there, it's just filled in a little. 

So if you made it through all that, good for you, and thank you for reading about my friend. I made it through most of this without breaking down, so that's an improvement. My reasonable goal is to finish at least the first page this year. The crazy unrealistic goal is to finish the top row, all 12 pages of it. 

Happy Stitching, 


DUCJFC 2016 - February 28 - KLT Charting SAL 4th Owl - late post!

I'm sure none of you were worried, but here is my late post for yesterday's start. I was in a hockey tournament all weekend and ended up going to bed early. 5 games in 2 nights will do that to you. But I didn't go to bed before I:

1. Started the 4th owl:

Still stitching with DMC 823 4 over 2 on the afghan fabric and you can just see Owl #1's feet above Owl #4. 

2. Finishing Owl #2!

I love how this one turned out, and I didn't run out of thread as I expected. So the extra one I ordered will be extra, but that's okay, it's a really fun colour to use. 

I had debated a lot about today's/yesterday's project and I'm glad I went with the owls. It's definitely something I hope to finish this year. 

Tonight will be the last day! Rachel asked if I had anything special planned and you'll have to wait and see. :)

Happy Stitching and don't forget Monday's Stitchery Link-up!


Saturday, February 27, 2016

DUCJFC 2016 - February 27 - Totally Nuts!

No, this isn't a comment on my doing the DUCJFC. It is a new start! This was in Just CrossStitch last year I think. I'm stitching it for a cross-stitching friend that doesn't really follow my blog, so hopefully she won't realize I'm stitching anything for her until I send it to her for her birthday. I have a few months to complete it, but I won't say when her birthday is in case she every checks this post. :)

Here's the new start:

I think she'll get a kick out of this one. I'm stitching it with DMC 2 over 1 on L'Amour by Chromatic Alchemy

And as you can see it's a little start because I picked up my owl again:

I'm so close! I still think I need another skein of thread, which will arrive near the end of March, but I'd like to continue to finish as much as I can. 

Thank you again for all your wonderful comments, 2 days to go!

Happy Stitching,


Friday, February 26, 2016

DUCJFC 2016 - February 26 - Collect Moments

I'm changing my plans up again and I decided to start another small project. You may have seen this one recently stitched up beautifully by Mii Stitch

I've changed up the colours from the recommended colours because I like to try and use up my variegated threads. The blue/purple is WDW and I think the pink is a Dinky Dyes from an oops pack, so I'm not sure what colour it is. 

I'm stitching 2 over 1 on 20 count fabric I think. 

It was a decent start and tonight I had my stitching spot back because my parents had to go back home this morning. I hope DD doesn't miss them too much. 

Happy Stitching, 3 more days to go!


Thursday, February 25, 2016

DUCJFC 2016 - February 25 - Frosty Friends #6 and a Guest Stitcher!

Today is the day! The last Frosty Friend. Again, they'll all look like this when complete:

And I only managed a little bit of the polar bear in the blue sweater here:

Because I decided to continue on a while with Snow Guide:

Also, I'd like to share my Mom's cross stitch with you. She has some background in sewing from high school, etc., but this is her first ever cross stitch design. She decided to jump in with both feet and start this beast:

She did wait until I was home to help her start off back in November 2015 and it was here:

Don't you love her pink Qsnaps? Courtesy of our visit to Thread & Eye in London, Ontario. 

Now she's here!!!

She's survived confetti, dithering, all kinds of annoyances and she's about 2/3 done. She's even a little farther along since I took this photo a couple days ago. The only tip I had to give her was to anchor the thread behind some stitches when she had to go farther than a centimetre or so. I don't think she'll have pulled her fabric out of shape since she's using Qsnaps, at least I hope not. 

Also, I'm pretty sure her stitches are neater than mine... annoying kind of, but I'm glad she's enjoying it and I hope  she continues on with it. 

Happy Stitching!


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

DUCJFC 2016 - February 24 - Snow Guide

Thank you for all your comments on yesterday's new start. I had a plan for these last few days, but I keep changing my mind as I look through things. 

I ended up starting a chart that's been sitting in my stash for years. This is what it will look like when complete:

I used the last bit of 14 count Aida to make this start, although it's only just barely long enough. I might leave the little sled and bottom snowflakes off the design. 

I dug through my stash for a floss toss:

 Here's where I managed to get to tonight:

And this is my Dad, who fell asleep while writing. It's a phenomenon that hits my Grandma as well, so I'm curious if it will affect me in a few years. :)

Thanks for visiting and all your encouragement, less than week to go!

Happy Stitching,


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

DUCJFC 2016 - February 23 - Vermont

I found this fun chart at Battenkill Stitchery  when I was able to stop by last year on my way to a conference. I'm going to the same one this year, but unfortunately I won't be by when they're open this year. 

My parents are visiting so I only managed a small start, but I hope to progress well on this one throughout the year in hopes of making this into an Xmas present for a co-worker. 

This is one of the first times I've stitched an actual handwritten design. This isn't an original of course, but you can tell the symbols have been put it by hand. It's on blue paper as well, which I think was intended to make it harder to copy? I'm not sure about all the details of what designers used to do to try and keep people from copying their designs. I'm still relatively new to charts instead of kits if you look at it in the grand scheme of things. 

I'm stitching on 14 count Aida from Chromatic Alchemy and this is one that was a one-off where the dye wasn't exactly what they wanted. It looks a lot like blue sky and clouds to me, so I think it will fit the design well. There's a little skier under the 'O' and my co-worker loves to ski, so this will go well in their house. 

Fingers crossed I'll get this, as well as all the others finished on time. 

Happy Stitching!


Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 YouTube Channels You Watch

Top 10 Tuesday Time means another list, although I'm not sure how well I'll be able to complete this week's topic. You'll likely find a lot more interesting lists over at Kate's and Keebles' blogs. 


1. Honest Trailers

I've watched a lot of Honest Trailers lately. Some make me laugh so hard I can't breathe, others are okay, but they're always worth a smile. This definitely fits my sense of humour. 

2. How it Should Have Ended

I don't watch this one a lot, but it's pretty funny too. I especially like this one. 

3. David Hewlett

David Hewlett is one of my favourite actors of all time. He was big in Stargate Atlantis and made some appearances in Stargate SG-1. This is some of his life after Stargate, etc. He also made a great independent movie called A Dog's Breakfast. It's well worth watching if you ever get the chance. 

4. Flosstube

There are a few people who post here, so I won't post any links to not play favourites, but they're interesting to watch. 

5. Literal videos

Again, this isn't a channel exactly since other people post these, but this is one of my favourites. There are lots out there, but I especially like this one for the line "An S, another S, that spell SS" :D

6. ZFrank Diaries

This narrator does a fantastic job on these animal videos. There's a series of these diaries and then theres:

7. True Facts

These are also narrated by zFrank, they're mostly hilarious and informative too. 

8. Parole de chat

I love this one! Even thinking about it brings a smile to my face. DH's favourite is this one:

But these are the funniest cat videos I've ever seen. They have subtitles, so don't worry that they're all in French. 

and that's it for me. I don't watch a lot of YouTube, so this is what I've watched over the last couple years. 

I hope you like the list and please let me know the channels you like to watch!

Thanks, as always, for visiting!


Monday, February 22, 2016

DUCJFC 2016 - February 22 - Frosty Friends #5

Time again for everyone's favourite Christmas ornament series ;)

And today's start is the top right, the snowman with the stocking cap/toque/laplander, whatever you may call it. 

Again, it's not a huge start since I wanted to continue on with my owl. From yesterday's glowing comments, thank you!, I hope you're all happy I'm continuing on as well. 

He's so close! But I definitely need more thread. I will likely use up what I can and then wait for it to arrive. It might be an extra month because I never remember when my monthly thread club threads arrive. That's okay, Owl #3 is waiting!

Happy Stitching, 


Sunday, February 21, 2016

DUCJFC 2016 - February 21 - Letters from Nora - L

Another Letter from Nora? What? Well, if you remember me stitching K last year, here's the finish, the friend I was stitching it for just had her third daughter! So with A already stitched by another friend and now K, which yes, I still need to frame, L will be all of her daughter's initials. 

L will look like this when complete:
image from

And I only managed a very small start:

Because I'm stitching on my owl again! And I really love how it's turning out:

I love this thread, although I'm still concerned I'm going to run out. I had better buy some more. :) 

Happy Stitching, 


Saturday, February 20, 2016

DUCJFC 2016 - February 20 - Ladyfee 2014 SAL

Thank you for all your comments on yesterday's start!

I like this primitive style Xmas design, but it's taken me a long time to make any progress on it. I wasn't really up to stitching much in 2014, and I had too much going on in 2015 to make any headway on this one. I certainly don't have less going on this year, but we'll see if I can at least get the 2nd part complete. 

This is where I left it last January for the DUCJC last year:

And after some decisions, I decided to ignore the division between squares and just stitch along the thicker areas. That got me to here:

I hope you can see the white blobs? They are there, I swear! 

Happy Stitching,


Friday, February 19, 2016

DUCJFC 2016 - February 19 - See Ya Later Alligator

Another new start, and another new start, another start bites the dust... 
WIPs! Gonna bury you! Another start bites the dust!

See Ya Later Alligator by Jodryi Designs

I loved seeing this stitched up over at Obsessive CrossStitcher last year, so I purchased it when I needed a few extra skeins of Jodyri threads for another project. 

Here's my start:

I'm using the charted DMC for the moon and WDW Confetti for the writing stitching 2 over 2 on 28 count. I'm not sure about it though since the yellow seems to fade into the green of Nuriel's Forest fabric. I might have to frog that section and choose something else. Frustrating, but better now than at the end.

I plan on turning this into a growth chart for DD. I think it's just the right size to work well for her. 

Also, I had purchased some Aida from Just Needlin' during their Super Bowl sale and that arrived a few days ago. I finally organized it and I can show you what else fell into my cart. :)

A great LK, an AAN, some Glissen Gloss blending filament, a nice hand-dyed piece of linen as well as 2 long pieces of Aida. I had intended the Aida to be choices for See Ya Later Alligator, but we found the Nuriel's Forest was long enough, so we went with that. It's gorgeous, so of course we did!

Thank you for all the encouragement about starting the HaED yesterday. I will need it in the months to come. :)

Happy Stitching!


Thursday, February 18, 2016

DUCFJC 2016 - February 18 - HAED Basset

Okay, okay, I realize it's insane to start a HaED design when I have so many WIPs, but this one is really fun, and it's not a fully covered design. 

I'm going to tent stitch 2 over 1 on 25 count charcoal grey linen. Here's my start so far:

This is exactly in the middle, so it's the bright yellow somewhat triangular section near the ear on the right side. I'm stitching it diagonally to join the HaED challenge on Facebook as well. Go big or go home right? ;)

Happy Stitching, 


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

DUCFJC 2016 - February 17 - Ocean Curiosity

Today's start is brought to you by the fabulous Mel Hicks, whom many of you know. She sent me the !?Who Knew?! Ocean Curiosity chart from her stash so I could stitch it for DD. 

I debated about fabric for quite a while before settling on an interesting purple fabric from Colour Cascade Fabrics. This was part of a special sale on her Facebook page a couple years ago and  she posts a lot of inside info there, so I'd recommend following her. She's carrying her own hand-dyed threads as well.

I'll have to work on getting a better photo of the fabric. This shows it as more blue than it really is. It's a definite light mottled purple and I'm using WDW Michael's Navy which is darker than is shown in this photo. I'm stitching 2 over 1 on 18 count Aida. 

There's not a lot of horizontal clearance on this fabric, so I'm debating about squeezing the elements together a little to create a little more room. I'm not too worried since like Chromatic Alchemy, CCF also serges the edges of their fabric, so there's no worry about anything unraveling. 

I'm happy with it so far, and it's been an easy stitch too. 

Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

DUCJFC 2016 - February 16 - Savannah Birth Record

I was a little on the fence about starting this one. This will be the second birth announcement that I stitch for DD and it's another medium-large start. But, I've liked the design for years, as simplistic as it is, and she really seems to like animals, so I think I would like to stitch it for her. 

image from

It comes with 14 count Aida, but I decided to swap it out with the same colour 22 count hardanger fabric. 

I managed a decent start this evening too:

I'm never sure if I want 2 over 1 or 1 over 1 on hardanger. I like the coverage of 2, but unless you're careful it can get messy-looking. I try and railroad every stitch to make sure it lies flat, and that definitely helps. 

The piece of fabric I have is quite large, so I want to try and get the outline done before I cut it off. I don't want to waste any if possible. 

Happy Stitching!


Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Movie Heroes

Time to draw up another Top 10 Tuesday post. This has been a busy week of double posting what with the SSS Hop, Gifted Gorgeousness and now Top 10 Tuesday. Don't forget to check with Kate's and Keeble's blogs to see their lists. 


This will be difficult as I often end up liking the villains portrayal more than the heroes. But here we go, and I'll be borrowing from books if I can't make up 10. 

1. Fezzik from The Princess Bride
What could be more heroic than a giant who ends up saving the day? Plus he has a gift with rhyme, some of the time.
image from

2. Tristan from Stardust

From a know-nothing shop boy to a real hero by the end, this is a great movie and includes fantastic characters. Robert DeNiro does completely steal the movie though. 

3. Hermoine Granger from Harry Potter

I identify with Hermoine's character very much. Especially the geeky, answering all the teacher's questions part. I'd love to say I could be as brave as her, but I have never been tested that way. Emma Watson embodied this character for me.

4. Clarice Starling from Silence of the Lambs
image from

This was not a good book to read, but the film was fantastic and Jodie Foster was amazing as Agent Starling. Plus a total hero. 

5. Veronica from Heathers

Veronica goes from me the hanger-on for the cool girls to hanging with a bad boy and then she out and out saves the school. Plus she saves her one real friend, the only one that's half decent, from killing herself. Definitely a hero. 

6. Erin Brockovich

This is based on a true story and Julia Roberts acts the hell out of it. You don't have to like her character to know how much she's a hero, in real-life no less! 

7. Black Widow

Although I'm not thrilled with the plot in the last movie for her character, she's still bad-ass and no one can out-think her. And they finally are making more toys for her character. 

8. Ripley from the Alien series

A great survivor from the movie series, although the series got a little weird in some points. But she can kill horrible monsters and still have a pet cat. 

9. Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird 
image from

A great hero and a really moving portrayal by Gregory Peck.

10. Oskar Schindler from Schindler's List

Another based on real-life story, this portrayal of Oskar Schindler by Liam Neeson was very moving. Definitely another hero. 

I hope you liked the list, and who's your favourite movie hero?


Mischievous March Wrap-Up

I managed to start 5 projects this past month, even if I didn't get that much progress on any of them.  First up are the Sweet Annet sta...