Thursday, May 31, 2012

Oh Dear!

Well, it's the last day of May which should be Oldest UFO SAL update, but . . . . . I haven't got one! One more month that my poor wedding sampler hasn't been touched. I wish I could take it with me to Sisters - at the least it would get a couple of hours twice a week, but it's too big and needs way too much counting which means concentration. Hopefully I'll have a better report next month.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Small Finish

Another small finish from the free kits that come with most British magazines - this one from World of Cross Stitching, July 2001, Issue #47. Woody (Toy Story movies) is done on 16 count Aida cloth.

I actually plan on concentrating on my Patchwork Sampler, but it's too big to take to Sisters plus I need to really focus when I'm stitching. These little kits are a great size, not too many colours and I can put them down and pick them up with no problem. I also have a few small kits in my stash that I will probably work on as well - finishes are a great encouragement to persevere!

And I was looking at my next major project this morning, working out how to cut the fabric to waste the least and maybe have a useable size piece left over. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Last Poem

I started adding poetry to my blog just for variety, but I think enough is enough. So, here is the final one. This is considered to be the most popular poem in the English language, based on the number of times it shows up in anthologies.

The Tyger

Tyger, Tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes!
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears
and water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake
1757 - 1827

I've Been Enabled!

And it's all the fault of those bloggers who talked about the sale at HAED! Of course I had to check it out and, poof, just like that my stash is several patterns larger. But how do you resist 50% off?? I think my favourite - at least right now - is "Lunch with a Toothpick". Poor knight!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I'm blogged out. I've visited all 130 of my fellow hermitters and been awed and inspired by what I've seen. What a super talented group of stitchers! And I've learned 2 things (at least) - HAED is retiring the Fred Winkler designs at the end of June and they seem to be having a sale. This means I am FORCED to check their website as, off the top of my head, I don't know what his designs look like. And the 2nd thing is that I have GOT to find the website for the incredible Mandelas people are stitching. They are gorgeous, colourful, intricate and I want some! Like I need new stash. But then, when has need ever had anything to do with stash acquisition?

There were a few sites that didn't have updates, so I'm going to have a look at them again on the weekend. It's life, it just gets in the way of everything!

And for some reason some sites wouldn't accept my comment, so I'm going to try from my computer at work during coffee and lunch breaks tomorrow, since I'm usually at my desk any way.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Another IHSW Done.

Well, another IHSW is finished. I didn't get to spend as many hours as I wanted stitching, but there was some progress. Having to work on Saturday just upset the whole plan, even though I knew it was going to happen. Bah humbug!! LOL

I've been working on this for so long that I really enjoy every stitch that brings me closer to the day I can do my happy dance and show off the finished project.

Tomorrow I'll start reading blogs and hopefully I will manage to get through them all again. And I'm already looking forward to June!

Friday, May 18, 2012


I've decided to concentrate on my Patchwork Sampler this weekend. Here's where I'm starting from.

I'll post my progress Monday night as I plan on making full use of the long weekend.

Monday, May 14, 2012


HOORAY! It's that very special stitching weekend coming up.

I won't be able to stitch much on Saturday as it's my weekend to be at Sisters, but since it's Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada, I'm going to include Monday as part of my stitch time. Hopefully, that will translate into some good progress on whatever I decide to stitch.

Grace for a Child

Here a little child I stand,
Heaving up my either hand;
Cold as Paddocks though they be,
Here I lift them up to Thee,
For a Benizon to fall
On our meat, and on us all. Amen

Robert Herrick
1591 - 1674

Paddocks are frogs or toads.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


On Friday I got an unexpected parcel from my Aunt Iris and in it were old photos to add to my family tree: an old school class photo from when my dad was about 7 or 8 (1922/23?) that also includes his older sister Isobel and year younger brother Frank, a picture of my mom with my paternal grandmother and 2 of my aunts (1949?), a picture of my paternal grandparents in 1913 - perhaps an engagement picture or one taken shortly after their wedding, and a picture of my dad, very dapper, looking to be in his late teens, and his grandmother (1933/34?). Also in the package was a narrative of family history from 1913 until 1946. I was thrilled - it's nice to have someone so willing to aid one's curiosity. Can't wait until I can get to a scanner on Tuesday. And note to self - BUY A NEW HOME SCANNER!!!!!


Who says that fiction only and false hair
Become a verse? Is there in truth no beauty?
Is all good structure in a winding stair?
May no lines pass, except they do their duty
Not to a true, but painted chair?

Is it no verse, except enchanted groves
And sudden arbours shadow coarse-spun lines?
Must purling streams refresh a lover's loves?
Must all be veiled, while he the reads, divines,
Catching the sense at two removes?

Shepherds are honest people; let them sing:
Riddle who list, for me, and pull for prime:
I envy no man's nightingale or spring;
Nor let them punish me with loss of rhyme,
Who plainly say, My God, My King.

George Herbert
1593 - 1633

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Let's start with the Gladiolus finish that I promised a picture of yesterday. Pattern by Ellenn Maurer-Stroh from her Flower of the Month series, done on 28 count Quaker cloth with DMC threads.

Here is the finished pillow for Jennifer's grad, with a back view below. The tassel is done in U.Vic. colours which are blue, red and gold.

And here is the finished pillow for Katherine. Again, the tassel is done in U.B.C. colours which are blue and grey.

Both these pillows were sewn by my craft partner Cynthia and she did such a fantastic job with both. I could not be more thrilled with how they look. She is the most awesome seamstress. A lot of the stitching was done by hand so she could make the front seams as invisible as possible.

On a Girdle

That which her slender waist confined,
Shall now my joyful temples bind;
No monarch but would give his crown,
His arms might do what this has done.

It was my heaven's extremest sphere,
The pale which held that lovely deer;
My joy, my grief, my hope, my love,
Did all within this circle move!

A narrow compass! and yet there
Dwelt all that's good, and all that's fair!
Give me but what this riband bound,
Take all the rest the sun goes round!

Edmund Waller
1606 - 1687

Note: in the 1600s a girdle was a belt or sash, not a garment that shaped the figure.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Well, yesterday I faced one of life's great traumas - a new hairdresser! The one I've had for the past 15 years or so called it quits, so . . . . . .  I asked a few people whose cuts I like and when one name came up more than once, I decided to try her. When I finished my morning at Sisters, off I went to Hair by Brenda and she gave me a good cut - really listened to what I said I wanted. Realized when I went in that I had met her before - she used to be a member at Sisters! And I got a bonus - she had brought her new puppy to work, the most adorable little ball of black fluff you have ever seen, probably about 10 weeks old.

Then home for a nap - the cats were miffed. Home late, smelling of DOG - what could be worse?

And the day ended with a crafting night. I finished Gladiolus (picture coming, honest) and Cynthia was working on the pillows she is turning the grad pieces into. They are looking so fantastic - she was hand stitching the mitred corners on the front. And the fabric we found in her stash looks perfect - you would think we had gone out and specifically shopped for it. I'm so thrilled and so honoured to have such a generous and talented friend.

To the Memory of Mr. Oldham

Farewell, too little and too lately known,
Whom I began to think and call my own;
For sure our souls were near allied, and thine
Cast in the same poetic mold with mine.
One common note on either lyre did strike,
And knaves and fools we both abhorred alike.
To the same goal did both our studies drive:
The last set out the soonest did arrive.
Thus Nissus fell upon the slippery place,
While his young friend performed and won the race.
O early ripe! to thy abundant store
What could advancing age have added more?
It mihgt (what Nature never gives the young)
Have taught the numbers of thy native tongue.
But satire needs not those, and wit will shine
Through the harsh cadence of a rugged line.
A noble error, and but seldom made,
When poets are by too much force betrayed.
Thy gen'rous fruits, though gathered ere their prime,
Still showed a quickness; and maturing time
But mellow what we write to the dull sweets of rhyme.
Once more, hail, and farewell! farewell, thou young
But ah! too short, Marcellus of our tongue!
Thy brows with ivy and with laurels bound;
But fate and gloomy night encompass thee around.

John Dryden
1631 - 1700

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Icky Weather

It's been an interesting day. Denise came to pick me up at 8 a.m. and we headed for Terrace - in rain/hail. It rained all the way to Terrace. In Terrace, a cold wind was added to the mix. It rained all day. It rained all the way home except while we were crossing Rainbow Summit. There it SNOWED and I don't mean just a little dusting. I mean road covered, poor visibility and slippery. Denise's comment was "Thank goodness I hadn't taken off my winter tires yet.". Once we got off the summit, rain all the way home. And it's still raining! Doesn't nature remember that this is the 9th of MAY, not November!!

The purpose behind the trip was optometrist appointments for both of us. Because of my diabetes, I get the full meal deal - pictures of the inner eye, the air puff test, some other machine that I still haven't figured out exactly what it does, then the regular stuff with the doctor, drops, more pictures, more time with the doctor on a different machine. And the result - my eyes have changed so little I don't need to change my lenses and I can go home for another year. And that's what I was hoping for. Denise also got cleared, but for 2 years - she's not diabetic.

Then we went for lunch at Mr. Mike's which is our usual lunch spot when we're in Terrace. Afterwards, we did some shopping - most of it for a friend who wasn't even with us. Wal-Mart, the Super Store, Rona, Canadian Tire and home. Denise is a good friend and great company, so it was a wonderful day in spirte of the weather.

Will be an early night tonight - I'm tired and I'm opening Sisters tomorrow.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stitching Progress

Cynthia got here a little after 8 and we commenced to craft. She did some more on her baby afghan - she's on her last repeat of rows and I got some more done on Gladiolus. Throw in 2 pots of tea and a lovely evening was had by all.

How Sleep the Brave

How sleep the brave who sink to rest
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed mold,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.

By fairy hands their knell is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honor comes, a pilgrim grey
To bless the turf that wraps their clay,
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there!

William Collins
1721 - 1759

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Craft night got postponed yesterday. Cynthia called me a little after 8 p.m. to ask if we could switch to tonight. Her husband and a friend have been on a motorcycle trip since last Sunday and they had called yesterday morning to say they were in Prince George and heading for home. They hadn't arrived home by the time she called me and she was getting worried. She called back about 45 minutes later saying they were home safe. Much relief all round.

When Lovely Woman Stoops to Folly

When lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,
What charm can soothe her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?

The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from every eye,
To give repentance to her lover,
And wring his bosom -- is to die.

Oliver Goldsmith
c.1730 - 1774

Sounds like an extreme remedy for a mistake, but societal rules were much more rigid and unforgiving in the 1700's. It's important to be reminded of the changes, whether you consider them to be good or bad.

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's a Ho Hum Day

The Banks o' Doon

Ye flowery banks o' bonnie Doon,
How can ye blume sae fair!
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae fu' o' care!

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird
That sings upon the bough;
Thou minds me o' the happy days
 When my fause Love was true.

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird
That sings beside thy mate;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
And wist na o' my fate.

Aft hae I roved by bonnie Doon
To see the woodbine twine,
And ilka bird sang o' its love;
And sae did I o' mine.

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
Frae all its thorny tree;
And my fause luver staw the rose,
But left the thorn wi' me.

Robert Burns
1759 - 1796

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Well, it was off to the dentist this morning, or more correctly the hygenist. An hour in the chair and my smile is all sparkly white again. It's still not my favourite place to spend time, but at least it's painless.

Past Ruined Ilion Helen Lives

Past ruined Ilion Helen lives,
Alcestis rises from the shades;
Verse calls them forth; 'tis verse that gives
Immortal youth to mortal maids.

Soon shall Oblivion's deepening veil
Hide all the peopled hills you see,
The gay, the proud, while lovers hail
These many summers you and me.

Walter Savage Landor
1775 - 1864