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Showing posts from May, 2012

Notes from the Lake - Summer Reading

So far my summer reading list has consisted primarily of books I have stashed in the trailer over the winter months for one reason or another.  A couple of these are ones I have picked up at the local library because I saw a favourite author's name - Kathy Reichs and Stephen King. Lovers of forsensic whodunnits will not be disappointed in the latest of Kathy Reich's  books.  A good read. H. Mel Malton and the Polly Duncan mysteries are a new one on me but I have to say I did enjoy this.  I think I'll be looking for more in the series.  I love a good mystery! The Condition in the title refers to Turner's Syndrome, which stops a child's growth just short of puberty.  This is a good read with lots of family dynamics going on.   Owen Sheers is a Welsh poet and author and this book of his was a very enjoyable read, as much for his beautiful descriptive passages and his mastery of words as the subject matter and story.  The premise of the story is t

Fools Gold RR - Karen's Block

Below is the work I did on a block for Karen in one of the Fools Gold DYB Round Robins I am in.  If you would like to see the finished block, scroll down to the bottom of the post.  I took photos along the way this time though so thought I would show the progression of the block. These bright warm batiks that Karen pieced with threw me for a bit of a loop. This is one of the challenges of round robins - stretching and growing a bit to work on colours and designs you wouldn't usually.  It only took a day or so of looking at the block though for the colours to start working with me.  In the accompanying booklet Karen had a list of "likes" and peacocks were on the list and I like them too so I decided to make a paisley peacock for the block:  one paisley shape for the body and three for the tail as you can see here.  I used outline stitch in Kreinik #4 braid for the basic shape.  I decided on a large central motif since that was what was done on the blocks already comple

Review - DMC Soluable Canvas

I was pretty excited when I heard about DMC's new product:  Soluble Canvas.  I bought some right away and tried it out to see how it would work for adding cross stitch and counted thread embroidery onto crazy quilting as an alternative to using waste canvas. The canvas is quite nice to stitch on.  The holes are even and perfectly spaced so it is more like stitching on a piece of Aida cloth instead of canvas.  The canvas has a bit of a funny feel to it.  More than anything it reminds me of dried white glue - you know that plastic-y feel almost? It isn't unpleasant or nasty - just different. I began by cutting a piece of canvas to size and basting it on the block, then stitched the cross stitch motif, in this case a rose, as I would normally.  Following the instructions, I then had to soak the piece in soapy water.  Rinse lots after that to get the soap and residue out and you are done.  The canvas turns soft, then into a slime and then disappears completely. Here i

Cathy's Fools Gold Round Robin Block

At last I am back to stitching and re-connected somewhat to the internet so am able to share some photos of what I have been working on.  This is a block for Cathy L in the Fools Gold Round Robin.  I decided to experiment with the new DMC soluble canvas as an alternative to using waste canvas and that is how I created the rose (more on my experience with that technique in the next post).  It is done in six shades of Kreinik braid and the back stitching is done in a metallic filament.  The circle patch is outlined in a braid, couched down. I chose this block because of the vertical seam lines which appealed to me and my love of seam treatments - perfect place to go crazy with them! Starting on the short right seam, I used one gold colour of Kreinik #3 braid for a Herringbone Stitch and stitched Cretan Stitch on top in another shade of the Kreinik.  I added trios of Detached Chain Stitch (lazy daisy) at the points of the herringbone and on the points of the Cretan Stitch I added ambe

Notes from the Lake: Critters & Crafts

 Although this was the 4th year for the  Critter & Crafts event, this is the first time I have managed to check it out. I snuck away from the campground and arrived at the farm where it is held, 3 km. south of the Corner Store on the Milo Highway, and found myself a parking spot amid the many vehicles already there.  There were over 55 assorted vendors this year and the variety of animals and items was wonderful! I didn't really know what to expect inside, but was very happy to find a wonderful array of exotic and domestic birds and "critters" along with the artsy-craftsy stuff for sale.  The first thing I saw when I came in was a selection of chicken and rooster pairs in some of the more uncommon breeds. On the craft side of things I came across a display of items for sale by the Vulcan Art Society, featuring one of a kind birdhouses and garden sculptures.  I am not sure of the exact technique of these sculptures but I know it involves old t-shirts!  Up

A Day at the Lake

 Yesterday I spent most of the day out at the lake with my friend Ibrahim - it was the first day of fishing season!  He got a bite almost right away, catching a nice little burbot.  After that we were pulling out walleye one after another.  I even caught one!  In five years at the lake I have only caught two fish, neither of which were "keepers" so catching one is a big deal for me.  I will definitely never miss the opening day of fishing season again if I can help it.  We were fishing in the canal and the scenery woke up my love for this place again.  Good thing since tomorrow I start four months living there!  lol  The birds were out in full force - red-winged blackbirds, yellow-headed blackbirds, Canada geese, meadowlarks, miscellaneous songbirds and ducks, and of course - the pelicans!  Some day I will mange to get a good photo of these magnificent birds and I`ll blow it up and frame it.  In the meantime, these two took off and flew over the other side of the c

A Word of Explanation

I have been absent from my blog - and everywhere else - as I am in a frenzy getting ready to head out to the lake for my summer job.  For anyone who does not know, I spend four months of each year, May through September, taking care of a Provincial Recreation Area and living out there in my RV.  Since I have a new job now as a caregiver,  I did not expect to go to the lake this year but decided pretty well at the last minute that I would try to do both jobs for the summer.  I must be mad!! lol So, I have been in a frenzy getting my trailer ready to go, my house ready to leave, and handling a hundred details such as finding a new internet provider out there. Thursday I make the move and haul my trailer to the lake and hopefully all will go smoothly and I will be back online and actually have some time to stitch in the evenings and post a bit more once I am settled. Thanks for bearing with me during this dry spell - hopefully I'll be back online by the end of the week.  Talk to you

Another Fools Gold Block

 I finished up another of the DYB blocks in the Fools Gold round robins and just realized I had not posted it yet.  The central motif was chosen from a package of requested designs in the round robin package when it arrived, all William Morris designs.  I struggled with this design and then struggled to add my own input once it was on the block.  Happily though the stitching got easier once the postal service brought me the Japan gold and the package of gold Kreinik braids I had ordered. The first block stitched featured a William Morris design called The Strawberry Thief - a lovely bird holding a strawberry in its beak.  I added a strawberry of my own to this block to tie the blocks together.  This one was made by couching Japan gold thread down.  The foliage was added with silk ribbon.