Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Where has the time gone?

I'm sure it was just yesterday that September was just starting and here we are - September 30. Hope you have all been keeping as pleasantly busy as I have. Here in the Netherlands September has been so lovely - little rain and plenty of sunshine.

DD and I felt we wanted a mother/daughter weekend so from the 18 - 20 we rented a cottage in a lovely wooded bungalow park on the Veluwe.

We left here Friday morning and upon arrival started our stay with a 9 km nature walk. About half way we stopped for lunch and then continued our walk/hike. Due to so much talking & laughter I think we took a few wrong turns somewhere along the way but finally wound up back where we had parked the car. I guess we have a better sense of direction than we thought. We were then able to check into our cottage and what a sweeheart it was - so cozy and comfy and so peaceful.

When we weren't out visiting places like Paleis Het Loo and Kroller-Muller Museum or biking in Park Hoge Veluwe we relaxed and enjoyed each others company, read, did some crossword puzzles, played a few board games including a new one for both of us (ever heard of Touche?), enjoyed good food and even watched 'Boer Zoekt Vrouw'. Who else here in Holland has a soft spot for Wietse?

It was Monday before we knew it and time to go home. We're already talking about where we will go next year.

My dear friend Lili knew I wanted to start a new stitching project to celebrate the weekend and that I wanted something with only one or two colors so she surprised me with 'My Lady's Quaker' by Jardin Prive. Thank you so much Lili - it was/is the perfect piece. I just loved the colors you picked for your's and am using the same - DMC 223 & 315. Hope you don't mind.

Jane's lighthouse is coming along nicely. When I first started it I was almost sorry I had offered to stitch it for her. The pattern is far from new and uses all kinds of weird look-alike symbols. I put it away for a while until we started talking about a visit there before the end of the year. The plans are not definite but I felt I'd better get at it and so far so good.

And now - 'Dutch Beast' - all completed except for the large Fresian initials. I didn't want to use the designer's grandmother's initials and have borrowed a book from Annemarie so I can put in my own. It will take a bit of planning and fiddling so I thought it best to leave this until the lighthouse is finished. 2009 has three more months and I'm still hoping to have both projects completed before the new year arrives.

Lastly a bit of framing. All those wonderful plans I had for mounting and framing one piece per week have not been working. It isn't because I haven't wanted to frame but my dear Janome is not co-operating. Perhaps I'm asking too much of him as a Sew Mini may not be strong enough for this type of stitching. My thread keeps on breaking when I'm zigzagging - and I NEED TO ZIGZAG!! The thing is that until three weeks ago I wasn't having any machine problems so of course I figured it had to be me, not Janome. I have done everything the instructions told me to do - new needles etc - but to no avail. Yesterday I just plugged away stitching by bits and pieces until it was done. It is very frustrating, especially since I'm afraid it is going to devour my fabric, but I'm pleased to be able to show you this result.

'Powell & Hyde St. Cable Car' San Francisco by Debbie Patrick
stitched in 2006 on 24 ct Aida with DMC floss

For those of you who have been following my blog from the very beginning - this is the very first cross-stitched piece I posted. Some day I must post pictures from pre-blog times.

Today autumn seems to have arrived - the sky is grey and it is drizzling on and off. Great weather for indoor activities. Perhaps more framing? Or maybe just some work on the lighthouse.

Happy Stitching!!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Working on dreams

Just a quick post to show you that I have been working on those dreams of mine.

'Romantic Reflections II' was a Christmas 2008 gift from my friend Berta. Although she couldn't know that I love stitching mandalas and adore the wine country of California (particularly Sonoma County) she picked the perfect gift for me - what a fun stitch. I picked up a frame at Zenos that already had a mat. Since both frame and mat were a stark white I decided to paint the mat and after layering three different colors felt it was perfect. Thank you again for this lovely kit Berta.

Romantic Reflections II

For those of you who know me well the frame chosen for 'Birds and Hearts' will come as quite a surprise. Although the picture may not show it properly - the frame is DISTRESSED. Now this is not the type of frame I would normally choose but while walking past our local Marskramer I discovered this frame on sale for 2 euros (down from 14.95) and just couldn't resist the good deal. I figured I would just paint it and it would be ideal for something in my 'to be framed' pile. Once I got home and went through the stitched pieces I discovered that the frame in its distressed state would be perfect for 'Birds and Hearts'.

'Birds and Hearts'

Last but not least an update picture of 'Dutch Beast'. It is coming right along and I am enjoying every stitch.

'Dutch Beast'

Hope everyone is enjoying a good week. Happy stitching.