Monday, December 31, 2012

Year end thoughts

December is almost over and the whole 2012 is almost over. Let's see how I did with my December challenges:
  • Work on Willpower  checked!
  • Finish my lovely pirate Santa   checked! It's all done.
  • Keep working on 'Songs of the Season'  checked! And still waay to go!
  • Buy floss for my new bell pull    checked!
  • Start on Scarlet Letter kits right after they arrive. I'm not sure which one but I think I will start with the pincushion   checked! I've started both of them :)
  • Read one book a week. Looks like I'm a slow reader... but I'm reading every day a few pages
  • File back taxes. Nope, not yet... It has to go on my January list.  
It looks like the 'little steps' were working for me in December and I think I will keep setting my goals for every month in 2013.

The last few days I totally dedicated to M. Quertier 1799

and I'm very happy with the progress. The more I stitch this piece, the more I like it.

Tomorrow I'm starting another SAL, this time with Tama of Stitching Daze. We will be stitching 'Snowing' together.
The kitty looks like he is enjoying himself in the fluffy snow - it will be a fun stitch. I'm all ready and set to go!

May the 2013 be the best year ever! 

Happy New Year everyone!!!

 So long my friends,

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A little stitching

I hope all of you are enjoying holidays. Days are still pretty cold here and this week is the darkest week of the year. The sun rises at 10:12 in the morning and sets at 3:50 afternoon. I noticed that today is 1 minute longer than yesterday. That's a good sign! Soon days will get much longer (in a speed of 6 minutes per day)and in no time it will be daylight 24/7. It is so much easier to stitch with a day light! Regardless the darkness and company coming over for Christmas dinner I manage to stitch a little:

 M. Quertier 1799

c. 1800 Gift Pincushion

I wasn't 'in love' with M. Quertier at first but more I stitch of it, more I like it. With the pincushion is a whole different story - a love from the first stitch! Both pieces are stitched with silk floss on linen. M. Quertier sampler is stitched with 1 thread of black silk over 2 threads of fabric and the pincushion 1 over 1.

In my previous post I wrote about my disappointment with the shortage of the floss in the kit. My problem is solved! I've contacted the Scarlet Letter and remaining floss is on the way. Marsha, the owner of The Scarlet Letter is  a very nice person, it was a pleasure to deal with her.

So long my friends,

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

May all your dreams come true!
See you in 2013,

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A finish and a few new starts...

It looks like we all have survived another end of the world, just as expected by many. The mercury is still down - I'm not in the mood for shopping or even going outside. But I'm always in the mood for stitching. You will not believe it - I finished my Pirate Santa!

Really, he is all done and hanging. I started to stitch him a long time ago, he was a WIP and, for some unknown to me reason, became an UFO. It was on my December challenge list to have him done and now I can put a check mark beside his name.

And since we have enter a new season I wanted to start something new. I looked and looked through my stash and couldn't decide... then I spotted Paddy's Luck, all kitted up and ready to go.

Yeah, that's the one I want to stitch. Let's bring some rainbows and sunshine and let's forget the cold, dark winter!

I'm stitching Paddy on the 22ct antique tan hardanger with two threads over one. What you see there are about 360 stitches of 54,015 and some. Long way to go!

Yesterday I checked my mail and to my surprise I found there couple kits from Scarlet Letter. (Well, I shouldn't be so surprised, I ordered them a month ago.) Nicola of Stitching By A Cornish Sea Shore is celebrating her 50 birthday by dedicating a whole 2013 to charts from Scarlet Letter (she must really love them, eh?) She has created a blog Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year and many of us joined her to celebrate her birthday by stitching her favorite charts. I not only never stitched them before, I never even heard of them! Anyway, for the start I bought two kits (time is an issue so I couldn't be bother with buying charts and try to kit them up). To make Nicola happy I started both of them:

A lovely c. 1800 Gift Pincushion is stitched over one on 26 ct linen with 1 strand of silk. The silk is lovely to work with and my previous practice with HAED makes this an easy stitch. I am a little disappointed with the kit as not everything what suppose to  be included was included. The most worry I have is about floss. For example the package says that there should be 6 strands of dark navy silk but included was only 5... I've contacted The Scarlett Letter and we'll see what will happen.

And the second was a lovely quaker

stitched also with silk. (Ignore that tiny blue mark on the top. It is from my water erasable marker, it will disappear with a little water). The instructions are saying that I should use only 1 strand of silk over 2 threads of fabric (it's 36ct linen). The coverage isn't the greatest but when I looked at it from 5 feet away, it looks perfect.

So there, one little finish followed by three big starts - not bad eh? Now I have to work on some other WIPs so they don't become UFOs (unfinished objects).

So long my friends,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter solstice

I had an urge to start something new (I guess it's the Winter Solstice to blame for it) and here it is:
It was a quick stitch, I love these Rhodes Hearts! Now I have to finish it. Any suggestions how? The stitched area is about 6" by 6".

So, tonight is the night of the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and the longest night and tomorrow is a first day of winter. Hmm... not here - the winter already started in October! Just before yesterday we had the coldest day (so far) of this season. And I'm sure mercury will drop down some more...

Way to cold to go outside so I took a few pics from my windows

 a lovely sunrise at 10:08 in the morning

snow on the picnic table (accumulated since October)

 Icicles that decorate outside my windows

 And the view from my kitchen window.
The visitor on the tree that's a magpie - I absolutely adore them.

If you like to celebrate Winter Solstice with me, just take a moment to reflect on the massive amount of energy that is generated by the planets and the sun and the potential that energy has to affect us all at the moment of alignment.

Take a moment to reflect that the ancient cultures of the World recognized and held sacred astrological alignments such as the solstice and equinox as a gateway for self enlightenment.
The message I am attempting to convey is simple; don’t worry about the calamities of the 21st! Instead, focus on your inner practices, keep your intentions, meditations and prayers positive, chant mantras if you know how and envision a better World for all.

So long my friends,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Once in a hundred years

Did you know that there will not be another 12/12/12 for a hundred of years? Today's date is considered auspicious by some, doomed by others, and just plain easy to remember by many. The number certainly holds significance in human existence through the millennia, a fact of which there is indisputable evidence:
  • 12 hours of day and night
  • 12 months in the year in the Roman calendar
  • 12 signs of the Zodiac
  • 12 Apostles
  • 12 days of Christmas
  • 12 tribes of Israel
  • 12 gods of Olympus
  • 12 old testament prophets... you get the idea.
Some say the day symbolizes love, others completeness or fulfillment, and Doomsdayers think that today heralds the end of the world (just because of their interpretation of the Mayan calendar).

And Melissa of St. John's Stitcher celebrates with a whole year of RAKs (random act of kindness). Check her blog for more info.

So long my friends,

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weekend update

I had tons of work to do and no time for stitching... well things sometimes do not work the way we have plan... The weather plays tricks and is messing up with my internal barometer. Yep, I do have one. We had some very cold days lately and a very high pressure. I felt fine. Last night front from the south brought a very low pressure, south wind and a lot of snow. The mercury went up but can you guess what the low pressure t did to me? GAVE ME A MIGRAINE! I set at my desk quarter to six this morning, turned on computer and was ready to start working. Just I wasn't feeling so good. After a third cup of coffee I wasn't feeling any better. So I checked email and some blogs and decided to stitch just a little. Well, with my fogged up brain I also lost my eyesight. After a few stitches I went back to bed to take a nap. After a nap I stitched some more - no work done, not even a little. On the bright site - I have a stitchy update! I added another motif to Songs of the Season

Sorry, I'm just too lazy to take it off from q-snaps but you can see the progress. And I was working a little on the Pirate Santa. (To see 'before' pictures, scroll down to previous posts). The tree looks fuller and my pirate can see! He has only one eye, but after all he is the pirate.

So long my friends,

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Songs of the Season

I've got over my big booboo and now Songs of the Season are coming very nicely. Just to make sure I have everything in the right order (specially the fabric) and I'm not running too short on margins, I stitched all the way across the bottom:

It's a short post as I have tons of work and it looks like there will not be any stitching this weekend.

So long my friends,

Friday, November 30, 2012

November wrap-up

November is practically over. It was a good month, a month with no excuses. I did not accomplish what I had plan but, never less, at least it got me thinking. I'm lacking will power! So, what to do about it? After a lot of research I found a book written by Kelly McGonigal: The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why it Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of it. Brilliant! I have it in an audiobook and digital format (since I live middle of nowhere these two formats are the easiest and fastest to get). She talks about all the excuses possible! I think if I follow her program I will finish all my stitching projects, file all the back income tax returns and loose weight. There is many books on goal settings and I do not have problem with that. I'm actually very good at goal settings and New Year resolutions and so on. I have all the good intentions, but always there is always 'something' on the way and there is always 'tomorrow' or 'next week', or 'next year'. The only thing that I really accomplished and I'm proud of it is quitting smoking. But that was years ago... somehow I've hanged...  Not for long though. Here are my plans for December:
  • Work on Willpower following the book
  • Finish my lovely pirate Santa (I'm almost there)
  • Keep working on 'Songs of the Season'
  • Buy floss for my new bell pull
  • Start on Scarlet Letter kits right after they arrive. I'm not sure which one but I think I will start with the pincushion
  • Read one book a week. I've just started the Neverlove by Angela Brown. It's awesome! I've started to read last night and now I'm half way through. Beautifully written and it is one of those books that make you keep turning pages and are impossible to put them down
  • File back taxes 
That's all, we'll see where I will be by the end of December!

So long my friends,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Full moon

and time for updates! The mercury dropped in my part of the world

and I had another 'do not drive' day that made me stay home. Believe me, I do not complain! I could even say that I like my 'cold' days... I worked a little, did a little marketing for my new business and stitched a little. I finished Scarlet Letter (audio book) and, thanks to Hester and her determination,  finally I stopped crying about my booboo. Actually, since yesterday was a cyber Monday and HAED had a sale (45% off), I bought 3 little charts that I will stitch on one piece of fabric and make a bell pull:


These are my initials and I think they will look fabulous as a bell pull!

On the stitching front - I was working on 'Songs of the Season' and this is how it looks as of tonight:

So long my friends,

Monday, November 26, 2012

Stitchy weekend

It was a good stitchy weekend. I worked on Songs of the Season, happy with the progress and even a thought cross my mind that maybe I should finish it for Christmas... until I removed fabric from q-snaps... my happiness vanished in a blink of an eye, my heart stopped and brain froze... I was stitching in a wrong direction of fabric! The fabric was turned 90 degrees!!! And I don't have same size/color spare fabric... so here it is - a feast for frogs. All that you can see on the picture on the right - it must be removed. I decided not to frog at the moment, I'm leaving that for a time when my mind and hands will cooperate together. I turned the fabric and started again, from the bottom left corner this time. Here is my 'new' progress:

Now, I do not think I can finish this project for this Christmas but for sure it will be done for the next one. Even though I have to frog a lot I still love this piece and enjoy every motif in it. Who would think I would love quakers so much? Certainly not me!

In 'the between' I was working on Computer Catastrophes

and all was good there. No surprises...

So long my friends,

Friday, November 23, 2012

Another SAL?

I'm not taking part in January Crazy Challenge next year, that I know for sure but it looks like I'm getting into more and more SALs: Songs of the Season. Computer Catastrophes, Seashore Patrol, Rose Sampler - just to name a few...

And here is a new, very exciting challenge. Nicola of Stitching by a Cornish Sea Shore
will dedicate a whole next year to stitching pieces of history - Scarlet Letter Samplers and she is inviting others to join her. I love her work and I could not resist so I bought couple samplers:

M. Quertier 1799

and a pincushion (1810)

Both sets are include linen and silk floss. I will think of a stitcher who has done them before me, like way, waaay before me! More than a couple hundred years!!! I'm very excited about this challenge. And there will be prizes too!!! Go to Nicola's post for more info and if you would like to see more samplers go to Scarlet Letter.

Did anyone read Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne? It's free on kindle! I just got it and will read it until my kits arrive.

So long my friends,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

SAL with Kaye and Amanda

Before I start blogging about my stitching I want to wish a very happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends! Well, today I wish a happy Thanksgiving to all Americans. After all they are stuck with Obama for another four years and to have a happy Thanksgiving will be more and more challenging. Black Friday? No, I see black future - no jobs, fiscal cliff, unbalanced budget, uncontrolled spending, week economy and non existent American Dream - sad, so sad, my heart is aching for my southern neighbors. Gosh, sounds almost like '1984'  is becoming a reality. God bless them.

Since Canadian Thanksgiving was a month ago I am all into Christmas. On Kaye's blog Kitten Stitching I've spotted a lovely chart she is working on

After working on my Halloween Quaker 'Thine is the trick and the treat'  I absolutely fell in love with quakers and I was searching for another one and here it was: Christmas Quaker II - Songs of the Season. I could not say 'no' to this one! I bought it along with the fabric and floss. And I set it aside to stitch later. Now, after seeing Kaye's and learning that she is stitching along with Amanda from Samplers, Silks and Linens I decided to join them. It is our Wednesday SAL and here is my progress from yesterday:

I'm stitching this piece on 32ct Light Examplar linen from Lakeside Linens with floss from Carrie's Creation - Playmouth Red and Peacok. I absolutely adore this combination.

Amanda and Kaye started this SAL on October 31 so I'm a little behind but maybe I can squeeze a few more hours to this project and catch up.

So long my friends,

Monday, November 19, 2012

A whole weekend of stitching...

Yep, I was staying in my cabin, all cozy and warm, and I was stitching a storm! Here is my progress on the Irish Prayer:

It was cold and dark outside

The sun is rising after nine in the morning and the temperatures, well... that's about -17F... The winter definitely is here and it will stay until May or so...

Lately there was so much talking and thinking about HAED projects in my world that I decided to let rest my Irish Prayer and get back to Computer Catastrophes.

My thumb is sore but I'm impressed with the progress. I know I have a very long way to go as what you see is only 4% of the whole... but I'm happy!

So long my friends,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Stash, stash and more stash!

A while ago Tama of StitchingDaze was bragging about her HEAD charts... of course I had to have a couple of them! She is getting brownie points and I've got some awesome boys:

The Druid
The Magi

and girls:
Lady Leprechaun
Midnight Secrets

All I want for Christmas

Now I have 41 HAED charts in my stash, some of them already kitted up and ready to stitch. If I could stitch just one a year, that's 41 years! My retirement is fully planned.

My 'no excuse November' is going well, so far I did not brake a rule and I wasn't excusing myself from anything. It really feels good. I hope it will turn to a habit.  

I was working a little on the Irish Prayer, not as much as I would like but some...

So long my friends,

Saturday, November 3, 2012

No Excuses November

There has been some 'No excuse November' going on in the Blogland. It sounds good to me! I'm a bit late but after all, there is no excuse not to start. So for the month of November I'm scratching out some of my most common excuses: I'm too tired, it's too dark or too cold, I'm busy, I do not have time, I can't do it, first I'll stitch just a little. Don't get me wrong, I will keep stitching but after the task is done, not before.

And what goals I have for November you ask? Well, just a few...
  1. I want to have a couple more clients by the end of the month for my new venture so I'm going to spend some time marketing and networking,
  2. Keep moving instead of watching TV,
  3. Write every day and read a book every week
 Simple, right?

On the stitchy note: I've started that Irish Prayer and I love it! I'm stitching this piece on the Smoky White linen with 'Sea Kelp' from Carrie's Creation. I've change the colours because the original looks a little too dull for my liking.

So long my friends,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

All Saints Day

Well, Halloween is over. As a kid growing up in Poland I  wasn't exposed to it. We are celebrating All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Soul Day (November 2). All Saints Day is a national holiday, a day of reflection and prayer. A day when people all over Poland visit the graves of loved ones to place candles and flowers on graves. Special candles, which can burn for many hours, are placed there so that departed souls can find their way through the darkness. Cemeteries are lit by many hundreds of these candles and at night the cemeteries can often be seen glowing from long distances. Many Poles travel long distances to visit family graves and to remember the dead. The holiday is also sometimes known as the Day of the Dead.

Day of All Souls (Zaduszki) is dedicated to prayers for family members and all those who died but are still in purgatory waiting their time to be able to enter the heaven. The masses are held in the churches just like the day before. Additionally, the names of the descendants are read by priests during the services and all pray together for these souls. This day is usually gloomier and more hazy and rainy than the November 1st. 

So, what should I be stitching today...  I do not think I have anything in my stash that relates to saints.. I know! I have an Irish Prayer

and I absolutely love it:

"May those who love you, love you.....and those who don't, may God turn their heart, and if he can not turn their heart, may he turn their ankle so you will know them by their limp"

It will be a new start but that's OK, I'm forgiving myself. Now lets gather floss and fabric!

So long my friends,

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The night still young, no more children at the door and it would not be a true Halloween without Michel Jackson

Happy Halloween my friends,

trick or treat?

Jo of Serendipitous Stitching is hosting a Halloween Trick or Treat Blog Hop. Here is the letter for the mystery phrase:


for the next letter visit Shebafudge

Have a spooky, scary Halloween!!! I'm visiting other blogs to see what the phrase is...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

2012 Wipocalypse

Another full moon and another WIPocalypse update. So, Thine is the Trick and the Treat is done and I decided to turn it into wall hanging. I'm horrible not so good at sewing using the sewing machine. Last Friday I've got brave and made an appointment with the quilter (actually she owns the local quilting shop) for this Tuesday for a private sewing lesson during which I we'll work on the finishing part. I figured that it would be perfect in case I need a fabric or batik or whatever. I'm very excited about this project.

This month I finished So Long Kitty

While stitching this piece I was making an executive decision. I decided to quit my CGA (Certified General Accountant) courses. The whole program had 18 courses and I had 5 more left... that's 2 more years... The completion would give me an accounting designation but do I really need it? I am an accountant, if I decide to work on my own I can do anything except audits and reviews... in 7 years I want to retire... So there it was - so long kitty and so long CGA! And to make things even more complicated I started to think how much I would love to be my own boss. Things are going well, as of today I'm able to cut my job hours because I'm getting more and more clients on my own.   I think that by the spring I will have enough work so I can quit my job. Isn't that funny? In today's jobless world I'm thinking of giving up a job...

Another piece that got my attention was French Country - Pig

and love ornament got some of that attention too

Yesterday I tried my luck in the kitchen

and now I feel like the Halloween is near.

While sorting charts I've spotted this:

and of course I fell in love with the owl for the second time. I will stitch it on 25ct over one so the final piece will be just 4" by 4". Some time ago I promised myself that I will not touch 25ct again and all my HAED I'm stitching on 22 ct but now I have an urge to try again... after all it is a small and extremely easy piece.

Oh, and I finished a little square for my charity group:

The winter is already here. There is no snow but the temperatures are pretty low (-6°F / -21°C) and days are getting shorter. The sun doesn't rise until after 9 AM and is setting around 6 PM. Soon all the lakes and rivers will be frozen. Last batches of swans are going south and resting right by my cabin:

Here is a close up:

Yeah, I live in a very cold but beautiful place...

So long my friends,