Saturday, March 21, 2009

Introducing Ripley!

A few days ago, on the HAED Blog, (clicking on it, will take you to that marvelous group blog!) I shared how Ripley, our youngest member of the clan has shown an extreme interest in my stitching and a remarkable talent for removing my painstakingly woven grid line from my fabrics.

He has offered, a little too gleefully, in my opinion, to help others remove their grid work too. In an effort to keep your projects safe, I'm sharing what my little darling looks like, so that if he shows up at your door, you can quickly put your stitchery safely away. He must have a little fox in him, besides his coloring, for he is wily.

I'm trying to get him interested in learning how to selectively frog, and while the idea of batting poor froggies around sounded like fun, when I explained what I really meant, his interest waned. I shall keep trying!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Lighthouse

I realized after I had posted the header photo of the lighthouse, that I took years ago (pre-digital cameras), after a storm had passed through, and was breaking up, that this is the same lighthouse that is on the cross stitch project near the first entries of my blog.

The lighthouses on the Great Lakes are probably one of the most photographed features of Michigan and the surrounding states, and Canada, that border any of the lakes. Some lights are more accessible than others, but they are all awesome and unique.

Now with the navigational systems that are on all ships, and the larger boats, the lighthouses aren't needed like they used to be, and the Coast Guard is turning the ownership over to whomever will agree to maintain it. Thankfully, so far, either historic preservation organizations, or a banded group of citizens will form a special fund for maintenance of their local light.

We used to have an amusement park that ran along the beach, adjacent to the pier. It was so nice to walk out there at night, sit down and enjoy the stars sparkling across the sky, the gentle waves lapping at your feet, with the fragrance of fresh carmel corn, and warm taffy wafting across the water on the night breeze. The lights and sounds of the amusement park looked like a fairie land from that view, and I guess, in retrospect, it was a magical time, and I'm so happy that I was just the right age to enjoy it!

I still miss the loud, deafening drone of the old horn though, and the sweeping light out across the water. Even as a kid, it sounded secure, leading you out of the storm or the fog, into safe harbor.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

If Wishing Were Stitches

If wishing were stitches, I'd have have a lot more threads showing in my Agneatha With An Apple. But I made a promise to myself to take a photo every week, no matter how much or how little I had stitched the past week.

I have to keep reminding myself, that I am now dividing my stitching time with my Iris project, which is still in the floss bobbin winding stage, with less than 20 to go! Yippee!! So no photos of progress there, yet.

And I spent a lot of time catching up on my favorite blogs, too, which I always enjoy! And chatting on the groups. . . .And looking at the new patterns coming out. That is a lot of fun too!!

But then I'd look at Agneatha (I'm getting very close to where her eyes are going to leap out onto the fabric and be watching me) and so wish that I didn't need to do "little" sundry things, like washing the dishes, doing the laundry, or even cooking a meal. And now the weather will be getting nicer, so I'll need to be out in the garden, tidying up before the super hot weather hits. Just too many interests, and so little time.
So, to make this short and sweet, so maybe I can squeeze some extra stitching time in today, here is Agneatha, as she looked on Sunday!

Wishing everyone a glorious St. Patrick's Day!

Sláinte mhaith!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What A GREAT Start To My Day!

A couple of days before we were to leave, I sat down, started up my computer, and found a message from Lynn B., to go look at her blog. It is one of my favorites that I follow, so I found that suggestion quite welcome. .and then she proceeds to knock my socks off by giving me an award!! I was speechless!! What a sweet, thoughtful thing to do!!! And I thank her from the bottom of my heart!!

And now, it is with great pleasure, that I share it with others. But this is also the part that is the hardest for me, because I feel like everyone who creates, inspires me, and deserves an award. But I'll stay within the guidelines, and keep it small. So, in no particular order, these are the people that I first thought of, and why. (And if you click on their names, you will see their blog!)

I won't turn around and send it back, but if I could, I would award it right back to Lynn, who not only inspires me with her projects, but with her love of the Victorian & Edwardian periods, her enthusiasm and humor. The more we chat, the more we find in common, despite an ocean between us, and I won't admit how many years! For your continued camaraderie, I thank you!!

Risking the Wrath of the Royal One, for putting her in the limelight, I can't let this award slide past one of my dearest, and closest friends, Pam, who is known to almost everyone, as Queenie. Besides, it will look smashing in her display case with her Royal Jewels!! Pam has done stitching in the past, and under my mild encouragement , has purchased the necessary threads and fabric to make some Biscornu, but she is currently exploring her beading path, and as I keep telling her, I think that she has found her true calling. With every creation that she seemingly, effortlessly makes, she continues to take my breath away with the intricacies, and her play of color. She has sent photos of pieces, that I'm begging her to put on her blog, and hopefully, some day, she will, but in the meantime, I know that her mind is a whirl with new ideas, anxious to be put into form. And as any artist knows, you can't let those moments get away! So it is with great pleasure that I present this award for your continued inspiration and creativity, along with your support and wicked humor!!

My next recipient has gotten a number of awards already, and for good reason. Not only is her stitching fun and inspiring, but her blog just makes you feel good, whenever you click on it! In fact, Sadie's Blog was my inspiration to start my own blog. I turned back to cross stitch as a diversion during a particularly stressful time in my life, and I happened to click on her blog to see her latest creation. It was while I was reading, and looking at her photos, that I realized that her music choices, along with her choice of blog design, her narration and her images were making me feel good!! She has also inspired me to have some fun working on smalls, and eventually, I'll get there!! Sadie may live an ocean away, but when I visit her blog, I feel like she lives just over the back fence, welcoming you anytime, with a smile on her face!

Jackie's Blog, is another one that I know when I log on, that I'm going to find something to make me smile, or as in the case currently, laugh right out loud! Not only is it enjoyable to see her progress on her beautiful stitching, and share her joy in her finishes, but her narrations and photos make you feel like you are part of the extended family, welcome in her home at any time. Her color choices on her blog reflect that relaxed, warm welcome. Well done, Jackie!

My next recipient also shares frequent updates of her wonderful stitching, and her choices seem to be ones that I'd love to do myself, so it is fun to see her progress. I have to be honest here. .whenever I click onto your blog, Kathy, I look at your photo, and your smile, makes me smile. You have got one of those megawatt smiles that emit so much glow, you could easily light up a town! (and a large one, too!) That happiness comes through your words, and your photos, and one can't help but feel good when they come visit your blog, which I do quite often!

Lizzy, you may be the last one listed here, that is simply a matter of logistics. But now, the challenge of putting what I feel into a few words. . .I love that you are SUCH a romantic, and aren't afraid to show it to the world, in these days when everyone seems to put up guards and shields! I love your fancifulness, and the creative ways that you have of expressing it. I love that you continually find hope in the face of potential sadness's, and continue to spread that positive energy with whomever comes to visit you. Your choice of colors & music create an atmosphere where one can't help but feel good. It is a pleasure to add you to my list.

There are other creative people in my life that I'd love to present this award to, also, but they don't have blogs, despite my urgings to do so. And you know who you are! See what you are missing?

I hope that you will all display your award with pride. Whether you want to share it with others is up to you. I know that sometimes time is the biggest factor, so there is no pressure here. This is just meant to be enjoyed!

Hugs to you all!

A Heaven & Earth Design

We've gotten back from our trip safely, and had to deal with a lightning strike that left an imprint on our computers, so I'm just now getting back on-line without any glitches (said while crossing my fingers!)

So much happened right before we left, and I didn't have time to post, so I am doing it now in segments instead of one big entry.

Through a very fortuitous grapevine, I learned of a new group blog SAL, specializing in Heaven & Earth Designs, which I admit to having just the very slightest addiction to purchasing. Seven patterns over a two month period, isn't TOO bad! lol However, I must have suffered a bit of a memory loss somewhere along the way, because when I sent them my intro, I failed to mention the other two that, at that very moment, were winging their way to my mailbox! However, with everyone's encouragement and inspiration, I'll be able to stitch my way through my stash, and will enjoy every moment!

Plus, it is already a lot of fun to see what everyone else is working, or going to be working on. There is a great diversity of styles and designs, and I love so many of them, it will be very exciting to see the images emerge from the fabric!

Many thanks to Cindy & Wendy for forming Our Friends' HAED SAL

I'm starting with the QS Iris, and since Thursdays is the designated stitching day, I took my project with me on our trip. The light was so bad in our motel room, even with my portable light, it was too hard to see to stitch on my other project, and we didn't have much time between appointments, for me to stitch on anything at the clinic either. However, I could wind bobbins! And since I have 99 different colors to wind, it was the perfect time to get started. I've gotten over half of them done!

Stitching on this one, won't show as much progress, as quickly as Agneatha, because it is 1 over 25. I do hope that I'll be able to see it!
If it winds up not being fun, I can change back to a larger count, but I want to give it at try.

My eyes are still dilated from an eye exam this morning, so I can't see well enough to stitch, but there are plenty more bobbins in there, waiting to be wrapped in gorgeous colors of floss! I had better get to it, so that I can start stitching!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Coming In Like A Lamb

Even though we have had a few snowflakes flitting around today, and bitterly cold winds, I'd still say that March is coming in like a lamb. We have had sunshine even while it has been snowing, and no storms on the horizon, which is very good, since we will be leaving for Minnesota in just a couple of days.

And once again, I'm not getting everything done that I'd like to have done, when we leave, but my self-imposed deadlines are always out of reach, like I've torn up all of the remaining carpet! But I have two more days, so who knows what will happen. .let's see. .tear up carpet. . .do some stitching instead. .tough choice!!

This has been one of those stitching periods when I didn't feel like I was making much progress. Besides getting everything ready for us to leave, I'm still babying my eye (I may see those flashes of light forever, but I keep thinking positive, that they will eventually disappear). But when I took my weekly photo, I realized that I've gotten more done than I thought that I had!
I've noticed that these photos are losing a lot of quality in the transmission between my photo editing software and my blog. They are crystal clear until they are posted. I'm not pleased, and am going to have to figure out what to do about it.
My hubby is still in the process of gridding his fabric, so I won't post an update of his project this week. He is being so methodical about it, even though I keep telling him that he is going to be removing it, and that they are only guidelines. If he is this exact with his gridwork, when he actually starts stitching, it is going to be awesome, with each little "X" being perfect!
I have to chuckle inside whenever he sees a new section done on my projects, because he has to reach out and touch it, and lightly rub his finger over the stitching. I agree. There is something so neat about how the solid areas feel, like a woven tapestry. I love textiles anyway, and any time I venture into a yarn shop, I'm doing the same thing, reaching out and giving a gentle squeeze, or caress. There is just something about threads of any size or form that invites touch.
So now that March has tiptoed in, do we have to be on the watch for an uproarious Spring? Last year, we had storms and rain, and then more rain, with lots of flooding. We are on an ancient dune, with lots of trees and plants securing the sandy soil, so we don't have to worry about flash floods, or the river or lake rising up to our door, but we also have an ancient basement that wound up with a lake of its own, and a porch roof that now leaks. I don't want that to happen again. However, I do love watching the storms come across the Lake. Mother Nature sure puts on a spectacular light show, and people will drive down to the beach, and line up to watch the storm come in. They have done this since before I was born, and is a local event!
But for now, we'll keep our fingers crossed for calm weather this next week, so that our round trip to Minnesota will be uneventful. Then once we get back and settled in, it can rain enough for the plants to green up, leaf buds to open, and flowers start to bloom! Rainy days make good stitching weather!