Monday, December 12, 2011

Time to focus on things

I think now is the time I need to actually focus on the things that need to get done before the end of the year instead of working on all the things that can wait.  I realized last night that I have a couple of things that need to be finished and instead of working on them I am working on charity items that I don't need until the new year.

One of the reasons I keep working on the charity items is they are mindless things to me so I can work on them while watching a hockey game or another program that I have taped.  I know that if I would focus on the things that need to get done I can get them done quickly and then I can get back to my mindless things.

I think a lot of people are like me and enjoy doing the simple things when they are relaxing and then will work on the more difficult things when their mind is clear.  I guess that means I need to work on the difficult things soon so that over the holidays I can relax more.

Now the challenge is to actually focus on the more difficult things while also relaxing a bit.  This time of year is always a crazy time so maybe next year I will not try to do as many things that need my attention at the end of the year.

Time will tell.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A good feeling

This week I haven't had a lot of time to craft but still feeling pretty good about what I do for charity. 

I think I mentioned that I was working on baby hats and blankets for a hospital and thanks to a friend the items were delivered.  What was really nice and surprised me, was on Friday I received a hand-written Thank You note from the hospital for all of the items.

I know that when you do a lot of charity crafting you don't hear thanks very often.  What makes this so nice is that in the last week I have received thanks from two different charities for the items that I have given to them.  Just knowing that the items are appreciated makes a big difference.  I am currently busy with so many other things but I am still finding a few minutes each day to work on something for one of these two charities. 

It's important that sometimes we hear the works "Thanks" because then we know what we do really does make a difference in someone's life.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Another project start

Those of you that know me, understand that I always have lots of projects on the go and now is no different.

Yesterday I decided to start yet another project which I am happy because it is going to be mine when it's finished.  I started "Country Cottage" by Mystic Stitch and it is going to be 10inx13in (253x325 stitches) when it's completed.  Yes it is a rather large piece but I decided (with Kathrin's help) to petit point this pattern instead of cross-stitching it.  The pattern is 15 pages so it is going to take me quite a while to complete it, but that's ok and I am going to work on one page at a time.

I didn't take a picture of what I accomplished yesterday because I didn't even get a 10stitchx10stitch block completed but I only worked on it for a little while.  Now I just need to set some time as "me time" and work on this project.

So besides starting this project, I am trying to finish up a few projects before the end of the year so am going to be busy trying to accomplish everything. At least, I have completed all the charity items that I wanted to get done this year and most of them have been delivered to the various charities.  Any items that I make between now and the end of the year will be put into what gets delivered next year.

Now besides working and crafting, I am studying to write my CAPM (Certified Associate Project Management) exam in January so will be very busy.  If I don't post much in the next little while you will know why because there isn't much to talk about while studying. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Life got in the way

So yes I have gone missing again and this time it was due to having too many things on my plate that needed to be done.  The biggest thing that I started was an online course on Technical Writing and Editing which I thought I was going to enjoy.  The course started on October 31st and by November 3rd I was frustrated and no happy at all with the course content or the instructors.

I understand that with me having a Certificate in Instructing Adults I sometimes get a little frustrated with seminar instructors but I didn't think I would get that upset with a university online instructor but I did..  The course material was missing exercises and we only had 6 six weeks to complete everything, the weekly chat didn't work probably and assignments took way too long to get marked and getting replies to emails took 4-5 days.   I have taken other online courses from colleges and never had so many problems within a week and a half.  After feeling extremely rotten on Wednesday I knew I had to do something about this course and on Thursday I did.  I phoned the university, explained my feelings about the course and requested a full refund as I wanted out of the course.  The good news is on Friday morning I logged into the university site and saw that I had NO courses showing.  Yes, I am getting my refund and now I am getting my life back in some order.

So that is the main reason why I haven't been writing or crafting in the last couple of weeks.  I lost my passion for doing anything during the time of trying to figure out this course but this weekend I picked up my needles again and started to smile.  Yes making the decision to walk away from the course was a little difficult but boy am I happy I did it.

Now life can get back to normal, or at least as normal as it is for me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Time is flying

Creativ Festival picture
Well as you can see I haven't posted for a while and that is because I have been busy with the rest of my life so crafting has been put on hold for the last little while.

I took classes at the Creativ Festival in October and ended up exhausted after that so it has taken me some time to get back to being organized.  I finally started to get organized and wanted to start crafting and then I started an online course so that is going to be taking up some of my time for the next six weeks.

When I have had the chance to craft I have been working on small granny squares so that I can make another Sudoku lapghan when I have some time.  I figure using up part balls of yarn is great as well so that I don't have them laying around and escaping the bag I keep them in. 

Tonight I hope to sit and craft for a bit but then I have an online chat for my course tonight so that is going to take up some of this evening as well.

The picture is of Karen, myself and Jennifer Aikman-Smith (Dragon Dreams).  Yes Jennifer is that tall so it makes both Karen and myself look extremely short.  This was taken on the Sunday of the Festival so that is why we are all looking a little tired.

Now off to work on my course so I can get my first exercise and assignment completed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Time is flying

It's hard to believe that it's the 11th of October already.  I am still trying to get a few things completed for the charity that I work with and then it's time to start thinking about working on a Christmas gift.  My goal is to have the gift finished by the beginning of December this year instead of what I normally do which is finish it right before I wrap it the day before Christmas.

This month is the Creativ Festival so will be taking some classes there which should be a lot of fun.  I am taking some knitting and some cross-stitch classes.  Now that it starts next week I need to get all of my stuff organized so that I can figure out if I need to pick up anything for the classes.

September was a very productive month for me as I completed 52 items.  I do have to admit that a lot of them were very small so that is why the number is so high.
  • Scarves              2
  • Cowl                  1
  • Shawl                 2
  • Child hat            5
  • Baby blanket      1
  • Preemie hats      36
  • Baby hats           5
 Yes the preemie hats don't take a lot of time to make so that is why I accomplished so much in September.  So far in October the number looks like it will be lower but we will see what it is by the end of the month.

One of my goals this year was to complete 180 items and yes I have already accomplished that.  As of the end of September I had completed 207 items so will see how many I actual complete by the end of the year.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lapghans for veterans

This past Friday we dropped off nine different lapghans to the Veterans Wing at Sunnybrook.  I have to say it gave me a wonderful feeling knowing that these lapghans are going to be used and appreciated. 

The picture is of one of the lapghans that was dropped off and this one is based on a Sudoku puzzle.  These are a lot of fun to make but it does involve a lot of checking as you do them to ensure that each of the nine blocks are different.  What I did was solved a Sudoku puzzle and then used it to plan this lapghan.  I know I am going to be making more of this type as they are a lot of fun to do as well as they use up lots of bits of yarn as you only need nine small squares of each colour.

The  lapghans are now gone and it's time for me to start thinking of my next project as I do have lots of yarn that needs to be used up and a lot of different ideas going through my head right now.

Off to see what inspires me next.

For more info on sizes go to I have given some sizes and a few more examples that I have done.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Where have I been

Gee it's been a couple of weeks since I posted and yes I finally took some time for me.  We actually took a vacation for a week and believe it or not, I didn't get as much crafting done as I had planned.  I took lots of stuff to do but instead I concentrated on getting some relaxing in.

Since getting back I have been working on getting some projects completed and have actually worked on some preemie hats for a hospital so they have kept me a little busy.  I say a little busy because all the hats I have made haven't taken me too long to do and I have been loving how quick they work up.

Beside that I have taken a bit more time for me and tried to figure out what projects I want to focus on and also what projects have stuff ready for delivery.  Yes I have quite a few things finished that just need to be dropped off so that I what I hope to do in the next little while. 

The best part about finishing off some projects is knowing that they are ready for their new home and soon will be received by someone that will appreciate them.  I know that not everything I make is going to be received by someone that will appreciate the time and effort but at least if some of the stuff helps to keep people warm that is all I can ask.

So before it's too late tonight I want to try and put a few more stitches into a baby hat so that it can be added to the completed list.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Outside comfort zone

Small clay bear
This year I have challenged myself to try and step outside my comfort zone and try a couple of things that I haven't done.  Well my sketching was outside my comfort zone and it is progressing and am extremely happy with that.   Now in the last week I decided to try something different again.

Small clay bear - side view
This is a small clay bear that I made a few days ago.  I wanted to try to use modeling clay, so I had picked up some a while ago only to put it away and figured that one day I would try.   I came across it and immediately decided that I had to try it right then and there.  Of course did I think everything through, no as I made the bear and then had to figure out where it was going to sit while it dried.  The clay was air-dry so that did help but it took over 72 hours for it to dry and of course it meant a safe spot that wasn't going to get banged during the drying process.  The best stop I could find was behind my lap-top as I knew it was somewhere that was safe from being banged around.  Also it meant that when I closed my computer I could check out how the drying was going.

I have happy with the results and have to admit that it was a lot of fun working with the clay.  Maybe one day I will try something else with the clay because of all the fun I had making this little bear.

So stepping outside my comfort zone wasn't so bad this time.  Now to see what else I end up trying.  It is such a different feeling trying things that are outside your comfort zone, sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't but at least you can say you tried.

Now to get back to working within my comfort zone on some knitting and crocheting.  I think I will also try a bit more drawing and hope to have a picture to show soon.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

August accomplishments

It's hard to believe that another month has gone.  I have been busy working on my charity crafting and in August actually did a couple of things for friends and myself as well.

Here is what I accomplished in August, 40 items:
    • Children's hats            7
    • Mittens                        9
    • Shawls                        2
    • Baby hats                   15
    • Thumbless mittens     4
    • Baby slippers              3
Yes I was able to get quite a few things finished up in August which has made me a little happier.  Now I just need to get my yarn stash to go down some more as I realized I have way too much yarn so my goal now is to try and get it down over the next few months.

September looks like I may be able to get a few more projects completed so will see what actually happens as it is only the 3rd of the month, but I have finished 2 things already.

Now to pick up the needles for a while and see what I accomplish this weekend.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Crafting and life

Yes I am around and crafting some but have to admit that I haven't taken any pictures for a while of what I am working on.  I guess you can only take so many pictures of mittens and hats as that is what I am still working on.

Yesterday I had a bit of a panic attack when I realized that I have been crafting lots this summer but really didn't have any idea what I had accomplished and didn't know what mitten and hat sets I had done.  So yesterday morning I decided to sit down and empty the box and bag where I was storing all my charity stitching and organize it.  Now I know what I have completed and even know the hats that still need the matching mittens completed.  It was a nice feeling to see that I did have quite a few sets completed but they just needed to be matched up.  Now all of the items are in the boxes ready to go and a list of everything has been made.

On a different note I am working on a shawl for a friend so once it's completed I will take a picture of it as it's turning out really nice.  I do want to get this shawl finished so that I can mail it off before the weather gets cool as this friend wants to use it during the fall and winter to keep her shoulders warm.

Well off to work on a pair of mittens and will see what else I get accomplished over the next few days.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Weekend getaway and July results

view from door (zoomed in)
 Last weekend we actually took some time off and went away to visit some friends which was great.  The hotel was studio rooms so we had a small kitchen as well as a love seat and desk.

I was able to get a bit of crafting done on the drive to and from Sudbury and also a bit done while we were there.

Now the picture is what we saw when we walked into our hotel room which of course made me laugh and made husband sigh.  It was a view that we saw all weekend long (5 nights) and I did make it over to the store three times in the weekend but have to admit I only ended up purchasing some sketching paper while I was there.

better view from window

So besides the view I was able to work on some of my projects that I wanted to get done in July and have some good results which I am happy about.  During the month of July, I completed 26 items which are:
     9 - children's hats
     3 - scarves
     2 - shawls (one was given to the hostess of the weekend)
     3 - baby hats
     5 - pairs of children's mittens
     3 - pairs of thumbless mittens
     1 - sweater (size 2)

So I am looking around now and figuring out what projects I want to finish during August so that by the time September rolls around I will have a few items ready for the neighbourhood office when they call.

Off to work on a couple of items this evening and will see what gets done.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hot weather and crafting

I really don't think hot, humid weather and crafting go too well together.  This week the weather has been extremely hot and humid so my crafting has been down a bit.  I have to say I haven't got much done of anything because every time I thought of doing something it involved moving and it was just too hot to do anything except try and stay cool.

I am still working on the various small projects like mittens and hats so should be able to post some good results by the end of next weekend.  At least I am hoping that I have got quite a few done in July.  I am working hard at reducing my stash of yarn because I know that I have way too much and last weekend I picked up more so it needs to disappear soon into projects.

This week I am hoping that I can get caught up with the work that is outstanding and then I should be able to relax and craft over the weekend.

Well it's a bit cooler today so I think I am going to try and pick up a crochet hook for a little while and work on either a baby hat or the scarf.  I want to get the scarf done by next weekend as I would like to give it as a gift to a friend of ours.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Stitch 'N Pitch 2011

Gitta's Gang
Last night a bunch of us from Gitta's went to Stitch 'N Pitch 2011 at the Blue Jays game.

It was a lot of fun and have to admit that I think a lot of the stitchers got some of their stitching done but considering the heat (32C) it was a little difficult to concentrate on what you were doing.

Our view
This is an annual event with the Blue Jays but this is the first time that I attended and have to admit that I am already looking forward to going next year.  Yes I am a baseball fan so maybe that has something to do with it.  Also being able to sit and stitch during the game was great and of course no one complained about someone stitching while waiting the game.

Some of the teasing ended up on me because I took a scarf to work on that I can do without looking at the work so was able to watch the game while also getting some of my scarf done.  One of the girls asked me if I could stitch any faster and of course we joked around about that because with the heat I was a little slower than I normally am.

There were also some prizes given away for those attending and the lady beside me won one of the prizes and Kathrin also won a prize which was great.

  My scarf did grow in size from when I took it out at the game.  I had 5 inches done before the game and by the time the game was over I had completed 26 inches.  I still have 34 more inches to go on the scarf but am happy with what I was able to do.  Now to see when I finish this scarf because it is hotter today than it was yesterday and it is really hard to even think of doing anything.

Hope everyone is staying cool.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Time is going too fast

I just looked at my blog and noticed that I have been missing for almost two weeks.

Part of the reason is I have been attending some work conferences and also been trying to get some work stuff off my plate so that has been keeping me busy.
Another hat on the needles

When I have had a chance to knit I have been working on some hats and mittens for the winter.  Yes with temperatures of around 30C I have been knitting stuff for winter.  At least these items are relatively small so that is another reason I have been working on them. 

I am also determined to make a dent in my yarn stash so now to see what I actually accomplish.  I figure that this month is a good month to see what I can make for the charity near me, so that when they need something I will have some stuff ready for them. 

I am really trying to get some sweaters, hats, mittens and scarves completed before September so will try and post the results at the end of July and August so that I can see what I have done.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

June is gone already

It is hard to believe but June is gone and it is now July.

As I write this I am sitting outside trying to enjoy some of this weather. I have been knitting quite a bit lately but don't have lots to show unless you want to see parts of things. I have been working on quite a few projects but not completing any. Currently I have half a children's swather knit and two mittens but of course the mittens are different colours still waiting for their mates.

I think I need to sit and focus on these projects for a little while and maybe make some progress on getting them done. Oh, did I mention I have also started crocheting a lapghan together so it is a UFO as well.

Maybe it's time for me to get off the computer and spend some time knitting. Oh, does anyone know a simple toe-up sock pattern? I have some yarn and want to try some toe-up socks.

Well off to knit for a while and enjoy the quite of my area while it lates.

Monday, June 27, 2011

5 Fridays went too fast

 It's hard to believe but the five Friday's that I spent with the Homework Club are now over.

I went into the teaching of the children figuring that they weren't going to take my heart but boy was I wrong.  I had such a good time spending an hour each week with the group of children that I was not happy to see it end on the 24th.

I taught 26 children the basic knitting skills in groups of 6 or 7 over 4 weeks and then this last week was just spending some time with some of the children making sure they understood. The children ranged from grade 1 to grade 5 and most weeks I had a mixture of the grades so that made it a little more fun.  Some of the group caught on quickly and others took a bit longer but after three weeks I had a couple of the previous students helping me with the younger ones.

This last Friday I had 10 of the group in the room with me just knitting and going over the simple problems they were having.  The card you see is large and I love it as it was signed by a lot of the group that I taught and it was presented to me by the group.

The roses were given to me by the two ladies that run the Homework Club as a Thank You from them.  Their comment was "I took a child, handed them a pencil and get them to write a paragraph in one day".  I guess that is true because I got the child to cast on, and knit garter stitch within an hour most weeks.

The boys and girls did extremely well in their knitting and seeing their faces meant more than words could say.  Yes, hearing "Thank You, I really appreciated you teaching me to knit" was great but seeing the smile and look of satisfaction was even better.  The hugs I got also showed me that they had a great time.

I hope that I will be able to go back in the fall to the Homework Club but at least I know that I will be seeing the children around the neighbourhood over the summer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Knitting with Kids

Last Friday I finished teaching the group of children how to knit and again had a wonderful time.  I had 6 in the group and 4 of them were boys so it made for an interesting bit of training for me.

I did help one boy finish the scarf that he had knit.  He just needed the ends sewing in so I helped him get that done so now his scarf is ready to be given to his teacher before the end of the school year.  Another boy had been working on his scarf and needed a bit of help so got him going again as well.

I am going back to the group this week to see how the scarves are going and help anyone that needs it before the group breaks up due to school finishing.  It is going to be fun to see how many of the scarves have actually been finished because so far I have seen 2 completed and a bunch more being worked on so Friday is the big day.

What I didn't realize is how  much these children were going to effect me.  I went in figuring I was just going to help them learn to knit but I have figured out that I am also teaching them patience and understanding.  Last Friday when I walked into the room I was greeted with a huge scream of "Miss Darlene is here" and most of the kids running over to tell me about their progress.  I am going to miss these kids after this week but at least I should see them in the neighbourhood.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Crown of Squares Progress

I know that I have been missing the last week or so and that is because I have been busy working on knitting hats again for the school readiness program and also learning together so haven't had much to show.

Saturday June 11
This weekend I did sit down and took most of Sunday to myself so here is what the results are.

Sunday June 12th
I have been working a little bit on crown of squares when I have taken a few minutes to myself but Sunday I decided that I was only going to work on it and let everything else wait.  I am so excited that I am now just one colour away from finishing this piece as I already have the next piece ready to go.

The next piece has a butterfly on it so that is why I want to get it started as soon as I can.  I am hoping that if I can sit and work on this piece one more long stretch I should b able to have it finished so maybe this weekend I will try and finish it.

As for the knitting classes I am having lots of fun with the children and now just have 6 more children to teach.  So far some have been making good progress on their scarves and others I am not sure as they haven't brought their knitting back to show me.  I hope that I can at least get 6 scarves out of 26 done but only time will tell.

Now to get some work done so that I can work on hats and crown of square later.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Week 2 of teaching kids to knit

Friday I went back to the centre to continue teaching the children how to knit.  I had 7 children this week and have to admit that I think this week went even better than last week.

The good news is one of the children from the first week came into the room to show me the progress on the scarf.  The scarf was finished and it looked great, so the first child to finish the scarf was a boy and it made me feel very happy.  I told him I was very proud of him and the look on his face was amazing.  Hearing the words "Thanks you so much for teaching me to knit" meant a great deal to me.  I am now going to put some more instructions together for him because he wants to try more.

This week I had 2 boys and 5 girls and by the time each of them left they were knitting at least a bit.  One of the boys asked if I had purple yarn because he wanted to knit the scarf for his teacher.  I really hope that this teacher appreciates the scarf because he is trying hard to make it look good for her.

So I have taught/shown 13 children how to knit so far and still have 13 to go over the next two weeks so we will see how many scarves actually get completed.

I wish more of the schools would teach the children basic craft and home skills.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I know that I mentioned a few weeks ago that I finally picked up a sketch book and some pencils.  I haven't had a lot of time to try to draw but today I was sitting in the car waiting for husband while he was in one of his favourite stores and I got my small sketch book out.

Now before I show you the picture I know that there are some errors with the drawing but I figure I better post this before my husband does.  Yes the drawing was inspired by a Disney character.
So as you can see I still need a lot of practice but figured that I would post this one.  I also had a good talk with a friend over the Victoria Day weekend and he told me to "Go for it" so I did and here is my first drawing that I am happy enough to even post here.

Gerry, thanks for giving me the courage to try.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Kids and Knitting

Last Friday I had a chance to start teaching 6-11 year old children how to knit.  I have an hour each Friday until the end of the school year to teach the children.

Last week I had six children and I have to admit it sure was an interesting challenge.  One of the little girls knew how to knit so she was no problem.  I had two little boys in the group and one sure didn't want to try and the other one at least tried and his mom even got to see him doing a little bit.  The three girls that I had for most of the hour did ok and now this week I will see how much they actually got done.  I am looking forward to this week as I have another 7 children in the group so will see how it goes.

We are trying to have them make a scarf but I think even if the children can make a square they are going to be happy.  The scarf is just 16 stitches and it is garter stitch, yes a basic scarf so will see how it goes.

Need to get ready for this week's session and will see how it goes.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crazy time

I am still around but have to admit that life just keeps me so busy right now that finding a little bit of time to sit and write has been difficult. 

I have a few things that I want to blog about so I know that I need to sit here at the computer for some time and get everything written up. 

Here is a picture that I took last week during an escape that we took to Gravenhurst.  This view is out of the living area door of our suite and yes it is a Muskoka chair that is in the foreground.  We had a wonderful trip and I want to write more about it as it was a fun and relaxing trip.

Well off to try and finish up some work that I need to do before a meeting this evening.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A bit of progress

Well things again are keeping me extremely busy.  Of course I got all the hats completed and now there are two programs running at the same time so am trying to get hats done for the two programs which means 30 hats by the end of June.  I think I should be able to get them done if I concentrate on them for a few days and see how it goes.

As for Crown of Squares I have been able to get a bit done and here is where it currently stands.
as of May 17th
This coming weekend is a long weekend so I hope that I will be able to make a bit of progress on it then.  I also have another cross-stitch that is waiting to be started but I have decided that I am not going to start it until this one is finished.  Yes I am determined to get this one done quickly as I really want to start the next one that is sitting waiting.  The next one I just picked up last week at Gitta's so instead of working on other pieces that I have already started I am going to start this one.

Now to go and see if the rain will hold off for today as I want to get some walking in.  Will post more about these last couple of days later this week. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

New adventures

I have always said that I was going to try new things and now I am trying something that I did years ago and stopped doing.  Yesterday I picked up some drawing pencils and a couple of sketch books so am going back to try something I loved doing years ago.

I am not a great drawer but I do enjoy losing myself in some of this activity so want to try again.  I know people say you can always just take a picture of what you see but sometimes there are images in your mind that you want to try and capture so that is what I am going to try and do.

No, I will not be posting pictures here for a while of what I am drawing but at least I am moving forward in trying to find who I really am.  I love creating things and hope that even with the sketch book I will be able to sketch out a few ideas even if they end up as cross-stitch designs.

To everyone that has something they want to try, I would say why not give it a try.  You don't have to show the world your results but at least you will know you tried.  I am lucking to have a support system that is always encouraging me to try things and also make sure I have all the supplies that I need to try the new thing.

Here is a quote I saw a couple of days ago and it made me think.  "Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.", George Bernard Shaw.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hat explosion

I know I have been missing for a week now but I have been extremely busy knitting and trying to get the 16 hats completed by May 5th.  Now to explain, I do not have a knitting machine so all the hats are being knit by hand.

16 completed hats
So as you can see in the picture I have completed the 16 hats that I wanted to get done for a local charity.  The hats didn't really take me as long as I thought they would.  The hats are to fit 4-5 year old children that will be entering school for the first time in the fall.

I started this project on the 21st of April and completed the last hat on May 2nd.  I am very happy that I got them all completed and my mom actually knit two hats for me so that if I needed them I could use them.  They are in a separate spot right now to be used to help meet future requests from this charity.

Did I really think I would get them done ahead of time?  No, I didn't because once I realized that I had to knit over a hat a day I thought that I was crazy even thinking I could meet this goal.  Having hockey games, baseball games and the Royal Wedding on TV did really help me focus on getting the hats done.  Also having a husband that understood that I really wanted to try and get the hats done also helped because when I was getting closer to finishing he would just say "stitch, stitch, stitch" to make me laugh and I realized that he was happy to see me doing something that I truly love doing.

My passion is my crafts as well as writing so being able to lose myself in my crafts has felt good.  Now I need to get back to Crown of Squares and see how it goes.  It won't be finished by stitch night next week I know that for sure but at least I should be able to get a little bit more done.

Off to work on some documentation that I want to finish up and also to catch up on a few other things that need my attention.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Crafting a bit more

For those of you wondering how my cross-stitching is going I have to admit that this week has not been that productive on the cross-stitching front.
as of April 23rd
As you can see I haven't had a lot of time to work on this project this week but considering I have been busy with other things I am not upset about it.  I don't think I will have it done in time for the next stitch night at Gitta's but I will have more done that I currently have done.

What has been keeping me busy this week is a request from a local charity.  The charity has a school readiness program that ends on May 6th and they were wondering if it was possible to have a knit hat for each of the children as a graduation gift.  I have to point out that I just started with this charity on April 21st so have been busy knitting.  Here is where I stand so far on the hat project.

completed hats
I so far have completed three hats of the 16 that they need.  I also have three more hats on the needles so hopefully can get at least one hat completed today and then will see how things go from there.

The hats are for children 4 - 5 years old so they don't take a lot of time to do but it's just the sitting and working on them which is different for me.  See I am one of those people that normally has lots of different projects on the go at once so focusing on hats is so very different for me.  Now you know why I have three hats on the needles currently.  At least they are different colours so it gives me a change.

I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter and hopefully you don't eat too much chocolate.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Where did Sunday go?

I know that yesterday was Sunday but have to admit that I really don't know where the entire day went.
Crown of Squares - Saturday night

On Saturday I was able to get a bit more of the outline done which was making me feel good because I haven't been able to lose myself cross-stitching for quite a while.  I figured I wanted to finish the outline before I started any of the other colours.  Finishing the outline also ensured that it was all done correctly and I wouldn't find an error in the border after working hours on the inside colours.  Yes I had to "frog" the outline a few times due to miscounting.

Crown of Squares - Sunday night
Yesterday morning I got up and decided that I was going to spend my day stitching and that I did.  Thanks to my DH for making sure I ate, had my caffeine and stayed hydrated I sat and stitched and stitched.  I am really enjoying this pattern and can't wait to finish up my work for today so that I can pick it up again and see what I can get done tonight.  The blue in the middle of the outline is an overdyed blue and even the outline is an overdyed grey but the picture isn't showing either of the colours too well.  Also the stitching is straight, I am just having problems getting a straight on picture.

Now I better get to work so that I can spend my evening stitching again.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Yesterday I went to the Creativ Festival at the International Centre here in Toronto.  I looked around and saw quite a few things that I would like but was good and only picked up a couple of items. 

When I got home a project was calling out to me so I decided it was time to sit down and stitch for a while.  I got Ink Circles "Celtic Quilts: Crown of Squares" but didn't like the colours it called for so this week when I was in Gitta's I picked the colours I wanted to use for the design.  So I sat down and started to work on it.
Ink Circles:  Crown of Squares
Now the fabric I am using is a hand dyed grey fabric which I picked up at the NeedleWorkers MarketPlace a couple of weeks ago.  So far the pattern is working up quickly but I am concentrating on the outline first and then I will work on filling in all the areas.  The main part of this pattern was pinks and rose colours and considering I am not into those colours too much I decided to use the greys and blues which I prefer.  I did keep one of the rose colours so will use it in one spot where they had called for a blue.

This week I also started working on the Round Robin piece from the Getaway so will have a picture of that in the next couple of days.

My goal this weekend is to work on Crown of Squares and see how much I am actually get completed.

My knitting needles and crochet hooks have been down for quite a while so hope that I can soon pick them up again and start seeing progress on that front as well.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Back to reality

I seem to have lost the last week but that is because I has busy working and not doing much crafting.  I did pick up my needles a couple of times but don't have anything to show yet.  I hope to have some pictures of progress in the next couple of days.

The getaway was wonderful and have to admit that after the weekend it did take a couple of days to recover and catch up on the sleep that I missed that weekend.  I didn't get much stitching done that weekend but enjoyed renewing all the friendships from last year and establishing new friendships.

The Gitta's getaway blog has a write up about the weekend so that if you are interested you can see what we were up to.

Now to get back into a routine of working on some of my projects so that I will be able to see progress on them.  Yes I picked up a couple more projects to do last weekend so now need to finish a couple that I have on the go first.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Finished name tag

Here is my completed name tag that I designed for the Gitta's Getaway which is this weekend.

The rules for the name tag were it couldn't be larger than 4x3 inch and our name had to be on it.  As you can see I was able to get my name on it and it measures just under the 4"x3" size.  

The entire name tag is petit pointed on 23ct cordova canvas so considering I did the front and back of it there were lots of stitches to do.  The name tag once again is a pocket that will hold my room key on the weekend.

Now the reason there are butterflies on it, is simple I love butterflies and what they represent.  Butterflies emerge from a cocoon and then fly around freely.  Oh the charms on it say "Dream" and "Believe".  Dream is for what everyone needs to do and believe for believe in yourself so that you can reach those dreams.

In the last couple of years I feel that I have emerged and started to show people what I do.  For so many years I just kept everything to myself and no one ever saw anything I did.  This blog has been part of my change and also now being a co-owner of a business I have had to be able to present myself a little differently.

There are still challenges that I want to achieve and hopefully over the next little while I will be able to start achieving them.  I am happy where I am currently heading and look forward to seeing what really happens.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cross stitching

Status on March 2th
This week I decided to pick up a cross-stitch project that I haven't worked on for quite a while and see what progress I could make on it.  I had forgotten how many pages were in this pattern but am making progress.  The cross-stitch is Paradigm Lost by Long Dog Designs and the pattern is 12 pages. If you want to see the completed piece click here and scroll down the page to see it. 
status on March 25th

So you can see that I have made some progress this week and it is over one thread so it does take me a little longer to do it than if it was over 2.   The motif that I am currently working on is large so it is taking me some time to get through it but am just about half way through it.  I am not going to complete the motif at the bottom as I want to continue working towards the right so that I can complete another page.  This week I was finally able to say that I have completed one page of the pattern.

Status on March 31st
I'm not taking this piece with me this weekend so that once I put it away tonight I won't be working on it again until sometime next week.  That's ok because I will be working on a couple other projects this weekend and look forward to seeing how much of them I actually get done.

One piece I am looking forward to doing is the Exclusive Round Robin that is being held tomorrow night at the Gitta's Getaway.  I have seen the completed piece and am excited to actually work on it.

I better get organized so that I can sit down for a while this evening and see if I can get a bit more of this done.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Preemie hat
I just looked at the calendar and realized that I have been quiet for a few days and realized why.  I haven't been doing a lot of crafting lately so haven't had much to write about.

I did sit down a couple of nights ago and crocheted a preemie hat.  It wasn't very hard and it was quick to stitch up which was great because sometimes I would like to see some quick results.  Now that this hat is done I have trying to think of what other colours, or themed hats I could make out of this pattern.  I know that I can make these quickly and have lots of yarn that I can use for these.

Besides working on this hat I have looked at my name tag for the getaway and realized that the getaway is next weekend and I haven't finished my name tag yet.  I guess that is something that I need to focus on over the next couple of days so that it is ready.  I will post a picture of my name tag on Friday once I am there.

Time to try and get something done but I do know that tomorrow I am going to work on a cross-stitch that hasn't been worked on for quite a while.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My biscornu

After stitching on the 15 sided biscornu and also on a bunch of the other biscornus I decided it was time to try one of my own. 

I have worked on my name tags for the Getaway for two years now and always used parts of other patterns to come up with my name tag but for my biscornu I decided to grab some paper and start working on a design that was something that I thought up and not parts of other people's designs.
After some thought and some problems I came up with a design that I thought would work so I sat down to start stitching it.  Now I have come to realize why so many designers want to stitch their own design first before any one else sees it.  I started with a design that I thought would work only to discover that when I started to stitch it there were problems with it.  So after taking out parts of the pattern and rethinking it I came up with the final design that I was happy with. 

So the biscornu that is posted here is what the final results were and now to sit down and rechart it.  I did see a problem after I stitched it all but that will be corrected when I rechart it and hopefully I will restitch it again with a different colour.

Now my challenge is to find some charting software that will let me chart the pattern on lines and not just between lines.

Friday, March 18, 2011

15 sided biscornu - completed

The 15 sided biscornu is now finished and I am extremely happy with how it turned out.  Considering I had never made one before it was an experience but I really enjoyed it.

Here are pictures of 
what it looks like finished.  I only ran into one challenge and that was I was running short of beads while putting it together but I worked around that.  I was happy that I checked how many beads I had left before doing the final side of joining as I just spaced my beads a little differently on some of the squares without any real impact to the finished piece.

I have started working on the mauve 15 sided biscornu but haven't done a lot of it was I am also stitching on the 2 sided biscornus that I want to make.

Kathrin posted the finishing instruction this morning and now I am looking forward to going to the Needleworkers Marketplace and Getaway in two weeks where I will pick up some more patterns for another 15 sided biscornu.

I enjoyed being able to make this biscornu and also being able to help Kathrin.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Stitching Biscornus

It is starting to feeling to feel like spring here in Toronto but the calendar only says March so not going to get too excited about the weather but will enjoy it will it lasts.

I am back to stitching and have completed stitching 2 small biscornus and have already started on the 3rd.  I haven't put either of them together as I want to wait and put a bunch of them together at once.

Both of these are just over 30 stitches square so they really don't take a long time to stitch.  Also the fabric is 25 count evenweave so that is making it easier for me to see and therefore quicker to stitch.

I love making biscornus so figure if I have some around they will make wonderful gifts for people that I know.

The biscornus are going to be different colours and am only going to make a maximum of two of each colour with my goal of 24 biscornus.  Maybe that seems like a lot but at least I will have them around and then will really figure out what I am going to do with all of them.  I was able to find a lot of free patterns for simple biscornus on line so that is where all of these patterns are from. I would like to design my own biscornu at some point so maybe by the end of this project I will have designed one.

As a knitter, crocheter and cross-stitcher I have lots of things that I could put on a biscornu so maybe I need to just sit down and start figuring out a design that I can use. 

Before I can do my stitching for today I need to get a bit more stuff done for work and then I will pick up my needle again and stitch.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tartan progress

As I said in a previous post I was going to work on getting the pattern done so that I could see what it looks like.  I spent part of the weekend and Monday evening stitching and have completed as much as I am going to do on this piece.

completed tartan
As you can see it is a lot different than the original picture that I posted and that is because I have now finished it in both directions and added another colour to it.  I think next time I do this I will add the red in both directions instead of just one direction but it was fun trying it out.

I have also started stitching on some biscornus that I want to make so should be able to take some pictures of them soon.  Considering I am making a few of them I am going to stitch a bunch of them and then put them together so you will only get pictures of the squares as I complete them.

This week I think I am also going to work on a baby afghan for a bit so that I change my hand movements so that I don't have to deal with any pain from one type of craft project.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Patterns 14 & 15

Now that I have finished stitching all 15 patterns for my 15 sided biscornu I can't wait to finally put it together. These two patterns were fun to do and now I have to wait patiently until next weekend before I can start putting it together.
Pattern 14  
Pattern 15

I am going to keep myself busy over the next week as I want to work on my tartan and I have a few other projects that have been calling my name lately. I have wanted to stitch some biscornus so have figured that maybe now I can start working on them as well as working on my second 15 sided biscornu.

Yes I am stitching a lot more than I have in ages and am really enjoying it. I do need to figure out what project I am taking to the getaway to work on. Hopefully one of the projects that is calling my name will be the project that goes with me but I know that I will probably end up taking a couple of projects with me.

This weekend I am enjoying some relaxing time with my husband. My stitching and some crocheting is also close by so that I have things to do. It's so nice taking some time to re-energize yourself and also to think things through which have been pushed to the back of the mind for a while. Even the simple things like taking a relaxing walk has been great this weekend. Right now just sitting and looking out a window and watching the world go by.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Last night I went to the stitch night at Gitta's and have to admit it was a lot of fun.  We were offered a class on learning to do a tartan using our name and birth-date. 

So I had to try something different and of course decided that I would take this class and see how I did.   Being a leftie sometimes comes with it's challenges  for stitching but this was one stitch I was able to do without any problems at all but of course it's a half cross so it was easy just getting the back to look correct was my challenge.  The tartan should be basically reversible when it's done and of course because I do petit point I wanted to do the continental stitch and that wasn't what I was suppose to do.

So here is a picture of what my tartan looks like so far.  I will show you the back once it's completed.

Yes I still have lots of work to do on it but it is fun to do once you figure out the colours and number of rows for each letter in your name and the rows for your birth-date.  So I hope to work on this a bit more over the next few days as I am looking forward to seeing what it looks once I have added the rest of the colours in both directions.

Name tag progress:
I am still working on my name tag for the getaway but should be able to get it finished soon but think I will wait until next week to finish it.  I want to do some other stitching this weekend.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekend results

So this weekend I said I was going to work on the mauve 15 sided biscornu but I didn't pick it up like I had planned.  Instead I worked on my name tag as I do need to get it finished.  The good news is I am getting close to getting it done so then I can focus on other projects instead of it.

I did pick up my crocheting and did about 5 rows on one of the baby afghans but still have a long way to go before it's finished.  So you can see that this weekend didn't turn out how I planned but at least I got other things done that I needed to do.

My weekend wasn't a waste as I got a couple of things done that I needed to do for work so am happy about that.  Now to see what else I can get done this week as I am taking this coming weekend off and enjoying some much deserved time with my husband.  Yes I will be crafting some but it's the me time that I am going to enjoy.

Now I better get to work otherwise I won't get the things done that I want to accomplish this week.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

2 to go

As I said yesterday I was going to sit down and complete the two squares that Kathrin posted yesterday.  Well after a nice dinner last night I decided it was time to sit and stitch for a little while.

pattern 12

pattern 13
I am so looking forward to seeing what this looks like once all the squares are done and it is all put together.  This 15 sided biscornu has been something that I have enjoyed and it has actually got me back stitching more than I have in quite a while.  Next weekend I hope to be able to get the other two patterns and then get them stitched and ready for assembly.  The colours are different than I normally work with so I think that is something else that has helped keep me interested.  Now to see what the next biscornu looks like.

Today I am not sure what I am going to work on but I hope to be able to sit and stitch either tonight or tomorrow.  If I do I will post a picture of the new squares once I get a couple of them stitched. 

Besides stitching I am busy working on a few other projects so hope that over this weekend I will be able to make some progress on a couple of them but will see how I progress.  Of course I ended up with two baby afghans on the go so going to see which one I pick up and work on for a while.

Friday, March 4, 2011

2nd biscornu

For all of those that e-mailed me privately and also for the comments here I have decided on the colour of the second biscornu that I am going to work on.  Thanks for all the comments.

Choice #1 - Mauve

I really appreciated the answers that I got because I was actually thinking that if people didn't help me decide I was going to end up working on both of the biscornus at the same time and considering everything else I am working on that isn't such a good idea.

This weekend I hope I will actually sit down and start this one but first I have two squares to do on the original 15 sided biscornu as the patterns have been posted so my goal is by tomorrow night to have those two squares done.

Name tag update:
My name tag is coming along and if I keep working hard at it I should have it finished before the last minute which was my concern.  I still have a few hours of work on it so hope that in the next two weeks I can say it's done.  (No promises but I do need it done by April 1st as that is when I need to start wearing it).  Yes, Gitta's Getaway is under a month away and I am now starting to get excited about it.

Well I guess if I want to get everything done I better get off the computer and actually start working on something.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Crafting time

Well yesterday I did something that I haven't done for quite a while and that was spend my day crafting.

I worked on my name tag for the Gitta's Getaway which is coming up very quickly.  Hard to believe but it's under 6 weeks to go so I need to get the name tag done soon.  I have to admit that this year I should have thought my name tag through a little better but I am going to be happy with it once it's done.  No picture yet.

I then finished sewing ends in on some baby hats that I had worked on through the month so now they are ready to go to their new home.  A baby afghan that needed ends sewn in is also almost ready to go to the couple expecting their child in early April. 

Besides doing that I decided to look at the next 15 sided biscornu fabric and try and decide which colour I would work on next.  Yes I have two different colours of fabric and floss and don't know which one I want to work on first.  I guess I just want to keep working on these and figure that considering I have some of the patterns I might as well use some of my time and work on another one while waiting for the rest of the patterns.

Choice 1

 Choice #1:
A mauve fabric with some purple and rose coloured flosses and purple beads
Choice 2

Choice #2
A green fabric with a taupe and purple floss and some multi-colour green and purple beads. (the green fabric is a moss green and it didn't photograph well)

I would really like some help deciding which colour I should work on first because I like both of these but should only work on one at a time.

Going to spend my day today working and then will see what people have said about the two fabrics and at some point this week I will actually start working on my next biscornu.

Thanks for your help.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

2 more squares done

This week I was so happy when Kathrin posted two squares so that it means that once I got these done there were only 4 more squares to go.  I am getting so excited to see what this is going to look like when it's finished.

Here are the pictures for this week.
Pattern 10

Pattern 11
I really liked how pattern 11 turned out and it was fun to work on. 

I must be having fun working on this biscornu as I have actually started thinking that I might even make another one using colours that I don't normally use.  I know the green in this one is a colour I don't normally pick for myself but it is looking ok on this project.

I think before I start working on another one I should get this one finished and maybe even a couple of the other projects that I have on the go. 

Update on sock:
I have started the second sock and got the ribbing done.  I have wanted to work on it lately but my left hand decided it didn't want to hold the small needles so took a break from the sock for a little bit.  I hope to get back to knitting later on this week but will see what happens.

I'm off to see what I can work on so that I can get a few things finished before the end of the month which is only three days from now.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another square completed

Tonight I decided to sit down and do the one square that Kathrin posted earlier today.  It was a little harder than the other squares but I did enjoy seeing it come to life.

Pattern #9
I really hope that the rest of the patterns are issued two at a time because at least then in just over three weeks I should be able to start putting this project together.  OK, I can hope that I can get it finished before the end of March but only time will tell.

Another project that I have on the go is my name tag for the Gitta's Getaway at the beginning of April.  It's hard to believe but that it's only 6 weeks before that event so yes I need to concentrate on my name tag for a while.  No pictures of it until it is completed and considering what I am doing this year I think I am going to be cutting it really close to get it done.

Now to finish a couple of other projects that I have on the go.  I have almost finished a baby afghan for a friend so think I will work on getting it done this weekend.  I am glad it's a three day weekend here but I think I will also do a bit of work this weekend and maybe even try to do some studying.