Sunday, December 21, 2008

Brass Monkey Weather!

Those of you on the other side of the pond will know that this is a very rude way of saying that it's COLD here in Chicago, and no, I'm not going to explain! We have a wind chill of -20F tonight. The store was freezing, the poor cashiers, I felt so sorry for them!

The sharp eyed amongst you will notice that I haven't blogged much recently but that the lists in my sidebar are increasing! 2009 is the year of organisation, efficiency, enthusiasm and fill in your own blank! I really stressed myself to bits in the last four months of 2008 by signing up for exchanges, ornaments and a secret santa, all without consulting a calendar! If you could see my Outlook calendar right now you would be so impressed, everything colour coded!

Next time I'll get some pictures up of things received and given. Goodnight, stay warm! gillie

Monday, December 15, 2008

Last exchange on its way!

I put the last stitches in an exchange ornament today, horribly late, I hope my partner will forgive me. Entirely my own fault but I signed up for far too many exchanges in the last part of the year without looking at the calendar and making sure the finishing dates were well spaced out. Next year will be better, my first resolution of 2009!

I am relaxing this evening stitching on "And they Sinned", this piece is so huge that I will be finishing it in the nursing home! It feels wonderful not to have the self imposed pressure to stitch on exchanges and get them in the mail. Despite my whining, I loved receiving stitched pieces back, one of the first challenges for next year is to finish and display them!

Here in Chicago it's turning into a cold winter (this morning there was a wind chill factor of -10F)! Canadians and Minnesotans will be cracking up but it feels very chilly to this Brit! We had a power cut early this morning too but the power came back on before I got too ratty without my coffee.

Talk to you soon! gillie

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Heaven on earth and exchanges!

Goodness, a gap of more than two months! Time to get organized here! A lot has happened since I last wrote, a trip to Oregon and then Idaho to see family which was lovely and then returning to the Wall Street meltdown which was definitely not so lovely! I’ll leave it at that except to say we are in limbo for the moment. All prayers appreciated!

I really got myself in a bit of a twist regarding exchanges. Next time I feel the urge to sign up for more than two at one time, I will have the calendar in front of me! Since the end of September, the only stitching I have completed has been for exchanges and the fault is entirely mine, nobody held a q-snap to my head! I am completing my Christmas exchange for Fair and Square, then I have two ornaments to stitch for two other exchanges and a Secret Santa and I am done for 2008!

The finish above was from the The Gift of Stitching October 2006 and was a pleasure to stitch from beginning to end! It was part of the Friendly Stitchers autumn exchange and went to Wales.

This Fair and Square exchange went all the way to Finland! Also from The Gift of Stitching, this year's November issue, it is a Tracy Horner Ink Circle Christmas ornament, with very muted gray and purple threads. In return, my partner stitched for me a Tante Zolder design which I love!

This is a long entry, I'm signing off now and will continue tomorrow, catching up with all my exchange photographs! Don't go too far! Hugs x

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gillie, her work!

Oh my goodness! The first photograph! I did it!

I've been meaning to get to grips with this and as usual told myself it was much harder than it in fact is. A failing of mine, I tell myself I can't do something, don't try and then whine about everything. No more, I am a blogger and an uploader (not sure about that word) of photographs!

The sampler is a design by Eileen Bennett of The Sampler House and was featured over several months in 1992 in the magazine Just Cross Stitch.

I began to stitch it in 1995 and was very nervous that I would run out of fabric before the end of the chart. Unfounded fears. There were some challenges, it was the first time I stitched over one (the deer motif), and the first time for drawn and pulled thread. I didn't change very much except that I put some initials near the top (PKG) which is a combination of our initials. It was very much a stop and go project, actually more stop than go until we moved to Virginia, where I was fortunate enough to fall in with a delightful group of ladies at the Loudon Sampler Guild in Leesburg. Ladies, I miss you all and wish I had kept in touch with you! They were all a tremendous encouragement, did beautiful work and were very happy to share their knowledge.

I can't see how to place more photographs where I want them, the close ups keep going in the wrong place so I'm going to finish and try to work this out!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Well, I managed to get a photograph on the blog - not the one I wanted but actually quite appropriate as it's a view of Lake Michigan! I'd really like to know how one gets three photographs side by side in the navigation bar - I've seen some wonderful ones of stitching finishes. That's probably blogging 201!On one of my Yahoo groups we are finishing UFOs during September for our monthly SAL. I got quite excited about this and dug out from the chaos of my sewing room (more of that in a later post) a small UFO from around 2000. I opened the bag and....


Luckily it only takes 6 different threads so I found them, except for DMC 926 which appeared to have gone AWOL, so a quick trip to JoAnn's and I was all set. It's a small CA Wells piece that I bought for $5 when I took a class from her, never finished the class project but this looks possible.I also hauled out one of the five, yes five, Elizabeth Designs that were ongoing projects at my LNS two or three years ago. Lots of different stitches and beautiful colours, I decided that Songbird Cottage would be the first of those UFOs. I've done quite a lot in the last 24 hours as well as a bit of frogging but I'm a stitch out and I don't know why. Grrr....

It's time to think of something to give the old boy for dinner, very hot today so will be very simple. We are supposed to get rain tomorrow, the remnants of Gustav, that we badly need.

Hugs and encouragements for everyone stitching on UFOs!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Just Do It!

I have a list of slow blogs (ones that I like but that haven't been updated recently) in my Favourites and I really think I should add this blog to it! Only two posts since I began BUT I've had some replies to comments that I have left on other peoples' blogs! Amazing, but I have no idea how that happens! I am really enjoying the world of blogging as in the reading of blogs and in the joining a couple of Yahoo groups, the only sad thing is that I'm not stitching :(

An excuse that I could use that we had my sister and brother in law here for two weeks which was lovely, so we were out and about. I'm not the world's best counter of threads anyway, so when other people are around and there's a glass of wine at my elbow - forget it!

This blog needs to be cheered up by the addition of photographs, blog lists and lots of other fun stuff so I'm off to puzzle it out. Happy stitching, gardening or whatever else you enjoy doing! Hug your family, encourage EVERYONE and don't gossip!

Monday, July 7, 2008

My first exchange!

I sent off my very first exchange to my Fair and Square partner, Joan S., today. I really like the design and am going to stitch it for myself one of these days. I was in such a hurry to get it in the mail that I forgot to take a photograph of it. I also realized, looking at the blog pictures, that the second square is supposed to be an "identifier" and mine really isn't - so as soon as I get another piece of the same linen I'm going to redo the square and send it to her.

Now I have to decide what to work on next of my WiPs, the Embroideress, ATS, two Loose Feathers designs, or shall I just start somethig new? NO, don't you dare!

I applied and was accepted to join the Friendly Stitchers, what a joy! They really live up to their name. It's a big disappointment when I log onto my email and there're no messages!

Enough blogging, time to stitch!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! I hope somebody reads it! Nevertheless, I shall witter away in the hope that someone responds eventually. Please?

I discovered the wonderful world of blogging after joining the Cross Stitch Guild ( and seeing who my fellow members were. The first person on the list has a wonderful blog and that was that. I was hooked. Hours can go by as I wander in cyberspace.

A confession - I am a procrastinator, an excellent one. For example, I finished Eileen Bennett's band sampler after ten years and seven years after that (last Saturday) I took it to the framer! I'm looking forward to hanging it on the wall finally.

I probably shouldn't have mentioned procrastinating since a couple of days ago I signed up with Fair and Square to exchange six inch squares - I will complete the projects within the time frame, I promise! The theme is summer and looking outside today was no inspiration, 59 degrees, and cold and damp (just like England).

I began a Jane Greenoff design a couple of weeks ago - The Embroideress - I must be crazy. Already I've decided life is too short for Queen stitch, and I'm substituting something else. It looks terrific in the picture and not at all satisfactory in real life. Hopefully, there will be pictures.......eventually!

Enough wittering, I now have to work out how to list my favourite blogs and also a list of my NQFs (not quite finished), that's going to be a long list!