Friday, December 26, 2008

Dec 26/08

Some of my gifts are a little late getting into the mail! These little stockings that I purchased in Connecticut this summer will be heading to Norway as soon as I can get to the post office next week! I spent most of Christmas Day stitching while waiting for the turkey to cook because once school starts again in university it will be open lap top, put away embroidery hoop again.

I hope that everyone is having a lovely holiday season and that 2009 brings you all much joy and love.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dec. 4/08

In case anyone is wondering, I have not fallen off the planet!! Life has been a little busy with my university courses. I have just handed in two papers and am gearing up to write an exam on Saturday and another one on December 11. Then, I am taking a much needed vacation in Chicago! Not much time for stitching, needless to say!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Nov. 9/08

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae

This poem is one that every Canadian school child learns in elementary school. It was written by a Canadian doctor who died on January 28, 1918 in France. November 11, 2008 is the 90th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the war that was supposed to be the war to end all wars. This Remembrance Day, I will pause to remember those who have served and fallen in the name of my country, those who serve today and those are facing conflict like the civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Afghanistan. I dream one day of a world free from war.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Nov. 1/08

Ah! My favourite beer! I have had a hard time convincing my local liquor store to stock it, but they are carrying it specifically for me after harassing them so many times! I was drinking this last night while trying to stitch. Um, well, yeah. Gave up when the pattern started to waver around.....

The stocking is slowly coming together, a few stitches every day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oct 22/08

A little update on the stocking. I stithced a fair bit over the weekend, but have not done much during the week because my evenings have been sucked up with school work. I am working on a presentation about human rights and HIV/AIDS in the Canadian Aboriginal population and a paper on international aid and development and gender.

One of my friends that I met on my Habitat trip to El Salvador in November 2006 came into the Port City on one of the cruise ships last week. Suzy and her mom were here to see the fall colours of the East Coast. We had a wonderful afternoon driving around the countryside and taking in the beautiful colours with a wee stop at one of the local covered bridges. Apparently, it had been a long held dream of Suzy's mom to see the East Coast fall colours so it was a great pleasure for me to show the two of them the beauty of this region.

While I was searching through my research on the paper about development, I was reminded of kiva, an organization that I had heard about last year in my Global Issues class. There are some very interesting projects listed and I decided to spend $25 on 4 different projects to see how it all goes. Heck! I easily spend $100 on a pair of shoes without blinking so I figure that the money could be better put to use to help out 4 small entrepreneurs make their lives a little better.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Oct 11/08

My mom's stocking is coming along nicely. The chart is challenging by times to read because it is hand drawn and in black and white, but the design is worth the trouble! Plus, I keep reminding myself that I am making a huge dent in my thread stash with this project! A few years ago (six or seven), I bought out the overstock that we had at our drugstore from when my boss had dabbled in craft supplies and there were hundreds of skeins that came with the plastic display shelving!I was thinking the other day that I can finally get rid of one of the shelves because there are so few threads left in it, but I am still left with 17 more!

When I was getting out the stocking piece to photograph it, I came across this little scene in my living room. Not sure why she had to clear off the ottoman when there was a perfectly good and empty couch to sleep on right behind the ottoman. The joys of cats!

ETA: I bought the JCS 2008 ornament edition the other day. I have not had the time to read through it in depth, but there were several on the cover that caught my eye. So many beautiful projects to stitch and just not enough time in this lifetime!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Oct 5/08

There has been some progress made on the current stocking project. The camel heads are becoming more defined. Sorry for the fuzzy photo! I did not see the poor quality until after I had uploaded the photo onto my computer. This stocking is for my mother who as I write this should have arrived in Japan for a 3 week trip with her sister. I am SO excited for her because she is finally getting to visit the homeland of her mother. Now, I am sure that the Japan of today in no way resembles the Japan of the 1930s that my grandmother left behind to come to Canada, but there is something magical and profound about getting in touch with one's roots.

My neighbour did a wonderful job of fixing up these two pieces so that I can finally display them. The piece of embroidery on the left is a Fernando Llort inspired piece that I bought on my Habitat build in El Salvador in 2006 and the painting on the left was purchased in the Dominican Republic this year. Aren't they stunning? I just love the colours and I was absolutely amazed at the beauty of the embroidery. The back of the piece is almost as nice as the front!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sept 28/08

Last night instead of studying, I stitched. Aren't you all glad to see that my priorities are in proper order?! LOL! I just could not concentrate on international affairs because my brain was still virus-addled. Actually, it is kind of funny to say that because on the one hand, I could not concentrate on a topic that I know fairly well and am just reviewing, but I could concentrate on an intricate pattern. Go figure.

So, now I am pondering a team name for my Mongolia trip. I am thinking that "Ensemble" may be a good word because it means together in both English and French and this team will be made up of Americans and Canadians. Now to see what the American co-leader thinks.....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sept. 27/08

My stitching is moving slowly this week as a virus has decided to make me miserable since Monday. Going to work and university took all of my energy this week and my body grabbed back today as I was out cold for over 12 hours......asleep. Then, I ran a few errands and came home to sleep some more. Now, I am gearing up to do a little review work for a midterm that I have on Thursday in my International Relations class and mulling over the question for the take home exam in my Human Rights class which is due on Oct. 6/08. Just to make things more fun, I am working away at the Habitat for Humanity Mongolia trip and I go to the local high school on Tuesday at noon to recruit for the Rotary Youth Exchange. So much to do, so little time, no time to get sick, but loving every minute of it!

I would just like to take a moment to thank all of my wonderful friends. So many of you have been there through the years with me through thick and thin, in the good times and in the times when my life was a horrendous mess. Recently, things have just all clicked for me and my life is just ticking along in the most fabulous ways. Thanks for sticking it out with me and believing in me and thanks for being there. You know who you are, you know the story and you stuck around. Thanks.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sept 21/08

While I was trying to decide which big project to tackle next, I dug into my stash of Christmas cards that I bought on sale at Lewiscraft a few years ago. Doing smalls makes me feel like I have accomplished alot, but I do need to get going on some of the larger projects that I have lined up for myself.

After finishing the card, I decided to tackle the next installment of my Christmas stocking project for my family. This one is "We Three Kings" from Cross My Heart. The design struck me as perfect for my mother who is a devout Anglican.

And this is just for fun. This is truly a face that only a cat crazy Mommy could love!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sept 11/08

The baby quilt has been completed and is now waiting for a turn in the washing machine before being mailed off! School has started so I am uncertain about talking any large projects for the next few months because of a lack of time. My focus may be more on smalls to give away as Christmas gifts.

The remnants of Hurricane Hanna hit this region on Saturday night. My normally docile creek was a raging mass of brown water when I went out on Sunday to see what damage had been done in the neighbourhood. The brook had risen at least 5 feet in less than 12 hours because of all the rain. I did not have any flooding problems, but some of my neighbours had extensive water damage.

This little guy was hanging out on the side of the road on Saturday when I went out to my property in the country to get more wood to burn in my firepit. He sat there for a very long time so I just had to take his picture!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Sept 6/08

Well, I would have had a photo of the finished baby quilt if the kit had had enough floss to finish it! I had even had to use one skein that I had in my stash and that was still not enough so now I will have to wait until Tuesday when I go into the city to buy one more skein to finish it up! Grrrrr! The thing that really irritates me is that I am not a wasteful stitcher so the kit must have been very short on the colour for me to have to go through 2 skeins of DMC to finish it up. The poor cow on the bottom left only has 1 finished leg at the moment.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Aug. 31/08

OK, here is an update on the baby quilt. I started the backstitching last night as you can see on the border across the top. I have 4 days to get it done before my classes at the university start because I am certain that Dr. Jeffrey will fill up any remaining free time I currently have with lots and lots of readings on human rights and international politics, the topics for the 2 courses I am taking with her this fall semester.

A wee sidestep here, but related to the last bit of that last paragraph. The other day I found a box of stuff from my pharmacy school days so I hauled it out today to sort through it and get rid of the junk. Amongst the stuff I found in it, I found my grade reports from first and second year. Seeing the words "Organic Chemistry" still gives me the willies! There were several binders of class notes in that box as well. It is scary to see stuff that I understood perfectly well 18 or 19 years ago but they now look like hieroglyphics to me (amino acid structures!)! Did I just say "18 or 19 years ago"?!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Aug 30/08

I bought a new bed in May and have been on the lookout for a new coverlet for the bed because my other one is getting tattered and I am tired of looking at it after 8 or 9 years of service! This new coverlet was found in the clearance section at Bed, Bath and Beyond in Bangor, ME a few weeks ago and completely fit my requirements on all levels: colour, style and price!! It is a king size, but the mattress is high enough that it is not a concern. The black blob is not a pillow, it is my cat who can pretty much be always found on the bed when she is not at her bowl. She has taken a liking to the coverlet as she used to sleep in the kitchen on one of the chairs....Definitely not living like a student anymore!!!

Not much stitching to report on although I have been plugging away at the latest baby quilt. The cross stitches are done and now I am working on the satin stitches. My satin stitching is sadly greatly out of practise, but I am regaining the hang of it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Aug 21/08

So, you just never know what you might come across when you wander down the Main Street of my town. I mean, we are talking a small East Coast town of 4 500 people in the middle of geographic nowhere. Oh well, having the consulate just across the street from where I work will certainly come in handy when it comes time for me to apply for a visa to Mongolia next year for my Habitat trip. The consulate is right across the street from the monument celebrating the accomplishments of John Peters Humphrey,the man credited with being the architect of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, who was born here in Hampton. Oh! I could wax poetic forever about this place, but an old friend home from Montreal this week summed it up when he said, "We are so lucky to be from this place. It is so beautiful!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Aug. 19/08

Last night I realized that I had not taken any photos of this cute little quilt to post on my blog. This quilt was started about 2 weeks ago and is stitching up very quickly. At first, I was unsure what I thought of it because it strikes me as being a little trendy and I was wondering what I would think of it in 20 or 30 years, assuming that the receiver keeps it forever as a keepsake. The more I stitch on it, the more it kind of grows on me. The colours are really cute and the little animals become more adorable as they appear on the hoop.

I was working on this quilt last night while watching Simon Whitfield battle his way to Olympic silver in men's triathlon at the Beijing Olympics. GO Simon!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Aug 17/08

I started this little cutie about 20 minutes after I bought it in Danbury, CT because it was a beautiful afternoon and I had not stitched anything in 5 days.......Sigh, at least it is a productive addiction! This kit is a Daydreams kit designed by Debbie Mumm. Dragonflies are so beautiful to watch as they dart around in the sky. I used to walk my dog in a marshy area where there were many dragonflies darting overhead so looking at this picture brings back memories of warm summer evenings out in the woods with my then-faithful companion Jessie.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I have a bit of a shopping problem and a strong Canadian dollar coupled with lots of bargain prices in the US resulted in this little stash explosion this week! The upside is that most of it will be stitched up and given away as Christmas gifts so I do not feel too guilty about it all! I have already started stitching the Daydreams Dragonfly as my stitching addiction is so strong that I could not resist the urge to stitch even though I was on vacation and had several books that needed to be tackled along with some research on the country of Mongolia. The vacation is almost over, but tomorrow should be a bang of a finish as a friend of university stops over on her way with her tribe from Ontario to Prince Edward Island and my family celebrates the fifth birthday of my nephew.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Aug 8/08

Yay! Another finish laundered and ready to head to the mail. This is going to one of my cousins who has almost completed her year long maternity leave. Nothing like squeaking under the wire! I am now well into the next quilt!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Aug. 5/08

The Teresa Wentzler bookmarks are stitched and about to be dropped into the mail on my way to work today!

For my birthday this year, my family took me on a boat tour of the Hampton Marsh. We saw beauty at every turn. My photos of the osprey and the eagle are not so good, but as you can see, I truly live in a beautiful and special place.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

July 27/08

All other stitching projects were put to one side this week as I stitched like a mad woman when I had a few spare moments to do up this bib for a baby shower that I am going to this afternoon. To the man who puts grass in his car, see, I was not lying about not being able to help you move today! (Inside joke, he reads this blog regularly!) Not a bad finish for someone who just worked 6 days this week, did 2 6km runs and was out socializing every night this week!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

July 23/08

More colour is bursting out all over my yard while few are appearing on any stitching projects I have on the go! I have been busy this week digging out my three compost bins (I am a bit obsessive) and spreading the soil on the lawn and in the flower beds. A garter snake had been making its home in one of the bins and I really do not know who was more frightened when it slithered out this evening, me or the snake!

This asiatic lily is the first one I planted and year after year, it produces impressive blooms.

With all the talk of hive collapse, my guess is that there is a very healthy hive somewhere around here because my flowers are all buzzing with bees and hummingbirds. A few years ago, I did a little reading about how to plant to attract bees and hummingbirds and I think that I have been wildly successful. I came across 2 hummingbirds this evening while I was out taking photos and the blooms are crawling and buzzing with bees. Besides, bee balm and company are so much more attractive than those ugly red hummingbird feeders I have seen at the hardware store and alot less maintenance!

This day lily has such a pretty colour and is a nice change from the yellows and pinks/reds of the rest of the flowers.

The rudbeckia, aka brown eyed susans, are making their appearance now. They are such a cheerful loking flower that make me smile when I come across them hidden between some of my shrubs at the edge of the lawn.

The purple coneflower is such an odd looking flower in my opinion. Perhaps because it is odd that I like it so much and have 4 or 5 purple and white ones planted in the front bed!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July 22/08

My stitching is coming along slowly! I just started the back stitching on the T. Wentzler bookmarks last night so they will probably not be in the mail on time. Instead of stitching, I have been busy enjoying the great weather we have been having by working out in the yard and hanging out with my friends. I even went for a 6km jog on Sunday! My stopwatch battery has died so I have no idea of my time, but I was thrilled that I completed my old loop and still felt like a human being afterwards!

My Habitat trip to Mongolia is on hold a bit until Habitat International finishes all of the restructuring that it is doing within its organizations. We have been told that no new trips will be accepted until at least September so I have been using the time to find out more information about Mongolia and to acquire some books about the country.

Without airing all of my family's dirty laundry, I would just like to say that life is too short and that family is all important. My mom used to say that at the end of days when the world is going crazy, your friends will be busy looking after themselves and their families and it is your family that will be the only people who are left to save your ass. (Ok, Mom might not have said the word "ass", but you get the idea) Please do not wait until it is too late to make any amends that need to be made if there is any chance that the situation could be salvaged. I know that this sounds kind of two faced coming from someone who does not speak to her own father and believe me, that is a demon I constantly wrestle with, but once the person is gone, it is too late.

Monday, July 14, 2008

July 14/08

I have been on vacation for the past week and did more reading than stitching, but here are a few pictures to share!

I stayed at a beautiful cottage in Marshville, NS, just outside of Tatamagouche. As you can see, the sunsets on the beach are fantastic.

And yet another sunset.

The tide was out, exposing the mudflats and the life therein.

As I was chatting over drinks and munchies about my next possible Habitat for Humanity trip which is looking like it will involve going to Mongolia with one of the guys I met in the Dominican Republic, I noticed this menu cover at Your Father's Moustache on Spring Garden Road in Halifax, NS (my favourite pub on my favourite street in my favourite city!!)!

When my brain slowed down each day from being crammed full of readings on colonialism, I would put a few stitches into these bookmarks designed by Teresa Wentzler. I have a deadline as they need to be in the mail shortly to friends who share the same birthday as me!

Monday, July 07, 2008

July 7/08

Recently, I noticed that my cat does this weird thing when she sleeps and she is usually dead asleep when she gets all twisted around like this. The only way I can wake her is by touching her because she does not hear her name as she is so deeply asleep. Last night while I was stitching, I finally remembered to have my camera by my side and this is what I captured. I am really not sure how this position can be comfortable, but Penelope does not seem to mind!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

July 5/08

One of my favourite places in the world is St. Martins, New Brunswick. The village is small and unspoiled, the shore is gorgeous and the Fundy Trail is a great place to spend time hiking and exploring the Bay of Fundy coastline. Plus, one of the restaurants there makes the BEST fish and chips around. The lobster is pretty good there, too, and probably just off one of the boats that you can see in the harbour at the wharf.

This mushroom was growing alongside the Fundy Trail. I do not know much about mushrooms, but I thought that it was pretty interesting looking!

The gardens around my house are bursting into colour. Every day there seems to be a new bloom in every corner. I do not remember all of the names of the flowers in my yard; I just know that I like'em!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

June 29/08

Here is my June ornament: "Winter Love" by Sam Sarah Design Studio from JCS 2007 Christmas Ornaments. Both hats are now green in this one because I chose to stitch it on black Monaco instead of the oatmeal colour suggested in the magazine. The black hat on the right hand snowman would have been lost on this fabric. The one thing that I dislike about stitching on black fabric besides having some difficulty seeing the holes is how the cat hair is glaringly evident despite my best efforts to keep it at bay.

Here's an update on the baby quilt. Another square and a bit have been completely stitched......

Friday, June 27, 2008

June 27/08

The display of colour is moving around the gardens to the Asiatics that are bursting into bloom. These vibrant orange blooms are the first to make their appearance, but a quick inspection in the other beds revealed that several others are about to do the same.

The stella d'oro lily is one of my all time favourites because the bright yellow blooms are so cheery and this lily blooms most of the summer. I just love this plant because it is so beautiful and long lasting.

The glazing and firing made my little dinosaur look awesome! I can not wait until August to give this to my nephew!

Monday, June 23, 2008

June 23/08

My mother and my Rotary club got me good tonight. It is not unusual for my mother to be at our meetings because she gets roped into alot of our club activities since she is related to me. I was a bit surprised to walk into the meeting to see her there when I was not expecting her to be there, but I fell for all of the lines the other members gave me! Later on during the meeting, one of the members stood up to give a presentation and I kind of zoned out because I was anxious to get over to the Little League ballfield to watch my friends' sons play baseball so you can imagine my surprise when I hear, "And I would like to present this Paul Harris Fellow to Virginia Stites for all that she does to make the world a better place." What a great recognition from my club! I certainly am not involved to get awards and am usually quite embarrassed when singled out for any project that I am involved in, but I am pleased as punch to be recognized by people who I am inspired and supported by in so many ways.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

June 22/08

My stitching has been slowed up a bit by some tendonitis in my right arm and my social life! I was at a wedding last night and today I was poking around Saint John with J & C as we did breakfast and then shopped at Michaels and a furniture auction place. My siberian irises are the latest blooms making their appearance in my gardens. What a lovely show they are putting on!

While I was snapping photos of the irises, my dear Penelope stopped to smell my toes. She has been a lively addition to my household this spring!