Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 29/10

The amaryllis is almost done. The cross stitching and the backstitching are complete. Now I am finishing up the border which is a couching stitch. The final stitch is one I can not remember and am too lazy to go get the instructions to find out. That last stitch finishes the stamen (or is it the pistil?). Anyhow, it is the little bit that sticks out of the bloom and bees like to land on it for the pollen.

 A closer if somewhat darker look at my couching stitch:
While I do like the final effect, once again I must admit that working with metallic threads does not excite me in the least. The couching stitch does give it a pretty effect but I was in a tangle of needles all of the time despite my best efforts. Maybe it is something that I should not be attempting when I have worked 7 out of 8 days recently. Just maybe.

My garden mostly groweth! The beans and the peas have produced 1 single plant out of all the seeds that I sowed. I should re-seed those rows, but well, you know what they say about good intentions. As it is, I just mowed the lawn after a week and a half so the garden re-seeding has been a little low on the priority list.

In other news, my trip to El Salvador is officially a go! I have a trip code, the flyer is up on the Habitat for Humanity website and now just to get going on the details and recruitment of team members. I can not wait to build again!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 23/10

So, here is my progress on the amaryllis:
I have finished most of the full and half stitches, but have stopped working on the project because 1. a group of us are going in on a gift certificate for the couple I had thought about giving this to for their wedding and 2. I got way laid by making this ornament:

I am making this for Elsa, a young mom that I met at the Guatemalan orphanage in May. My friend who organized the mission is taking another team in August and when asked, she said that she would make sure that Elsa and Luis get the parcel I am putting together. I have also bought the cutest little booties for Luis that have little hearts on them. There is a strength and a deep sadness about Elsa that makes me want to reach out to her. No matter what happens to her, I want her to know that a lady from Canada cares what happens to her. The ornament is a Joan Elliot stitched over 1 on a 28 count Lugana scrap that I purchased last week at Because You Count in Moncton. Part of the reason that I chose this particular pattern is that I met Elsa at an orphanage called Rosa de Amor so I decided that the rose theme was fitting, plus I wanted Elsa to have something beautiful to call her own.

A little thinking was going on while I was out walking in the heat yesterday. The other night, a friend's neighbour called me a saint for all of the volunteer stuff I do and that really embarrassed me. I do these things because it is my honour and privilege to go to El Salvador and Guatemala and wherever. I am fortunate as a woman and a person to live in a country where I can be free personally, emotionally, politically and financially. Working alongside the people who I meet along the way is very humbling because they live in very challenging circumstances and yet they make the best of it and have such incredible spirit. I gain so much more personally than I give because my heart and my eyes are widened a little more each time.

The planning has begun for my next Habitat trip which is tentatively slated to be in November 2010......

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 14/10

My new kicks, bought the other day to inspire me to get my a$$ in gear again. I have not run in so long that I can not remember the last time I went for a jog! My body nearly went into shock yesterday when I put the first 5km of walking and jogging on these shoes. Here I go out the door to add 5km more.......

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 12/10

A trip to Moncton yesterday resulted in a stop to Because You Count and here is the result:

I usually shop on-line because Michaels is the closest craft supply shop with BYC being the next closest at 1.5 hours away. There is nothing like being in the shop and browsing through everything by being able to actually touch the fabric and patterns. BYC does mail order although they do not have an online catalogue so I have not used them for mail order before. They did give me the website for their pattern supplier with the information that they can get in any of the patterns for me. I purchased a couple of Lizzie Kates, the heron pattern and the fabric before prying myself out the door. The big piece of Lugana has little sparkles in it which will look cool on the Christmas ornaments that I will be stitching this year. The other fabric are odd pieces that will be of use as well for ornaments. I could not resist the "Cat Lessons for People" since my house is over run with three and a half felines (the half refers to my neighbours' cat who spends alot of time in my house as well!) and I am well versed in the life and philosophy of the cat.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

June 8/10

Some stitching has finally been going on around this place! I am trying to stitch this up quickly to give to a friend who is getting married on the first weekend in July. The piece may not be framed in time, but hopefully the last stitch will be put into it before the wedding:

Before starting the current piece above, I had hauled out these little Christmas card inserts and stitched them up both in an effort to get some Christmas stitching done well in advance and to tackle the clutter in my craft room:

Alas, my efforts to de-clutter the craft room have been somewhat offset by the purchase of two new pattern books by Joan Elliott. I saw a review of her book "Cross Stitch Greeting Cards" in one of my cross stitch magazines and purchased it since I had some gift certificates to ChaptersIndigo. Then, once I had read through that book, I went on to buy "Cross Stitch Wit and Wisdom". The designs are cute, fun and look like a relatively quick stitch so they would be good for gift making and cards. With my brother leaving for Afghanistan this weekend, I am looking for lots of ways to divert myself into doing fun things to keep my mood lighter and more positive.