Thursday, February 3, 2011

Back to the Future!!

So it is onwards and upwards and I do not recall another year where it seems January did not has been so busy and at times overwhelming (not a word I use), busy beyond insanity.  The calender is full and then there are those daily things that crop up on all of us.  The phone is ringing off the hook and February is starting to look like January. Hello 2011!

INTERIOR DECORATING!! ( 6th class of 11)

Break Time - ID colleagues catching up

I started my 2nd elective ( I only need two) a few weeks back, Introduction to Autocad.  I had difficulty downloading any of the software and as yet only have a trial copy for 30 days and as each day goes by it reminds that there are now 20,19, ETC.,  days pressure there.  I do not find their site, email or representatives, very user friendly and really had to fend for myself and sort it out hence the temporary situation. The class is very fast paced so if you miss something or the system does not work as quickly as you would like it to it is hard to catch to be honest, you are truly lost.  The good news is that it is over at the end of February and the pain will be short lived.  I am trying my best and giving it all I have so although feeling a bit "out of it" I am hoping it comes together in this week;s class. We will see.

The board!!
 I am missing the "creative" side of this course and glad the electives will soon be over.  The next ID class will be Fabrics and Window treatments and that will be a breath of fresh air after this "technical" hit.

Floral Gifts

I have finished Blackbird Designs Floral Gifts on linen.  This was my first linen cross stitch and I almost gave up. I kicked and screamed on the start up but slowly but surely I warmed up to it and I really think this is the way to go. I did get some much needed support/ instruction from Starry Eyed Stitcher and that spurred me on. I need to finish this as an ornament or something so that will be my next "little" challenge.  Watch this space.

I have been so taken on with cross stitch bloggers choices on their threads...not the DMC or run of the mill threads. When reading the blogs there is much more, so much more to learn and enjoy about threads. So I am planning a trip (10 minutes away) to the Cross Stitch store (only opened on Saturdays- that might be a good thing) to see what I can find.  I just hope I don't actually drool over their stuff, that would be embarrassing.  I may pick out another linen project and pick my very own threads...or maybe I will be thoroughly confused and not do anything.  Like a deer caught in the headlights.

Okay, the scarf in linen stitch (it does seem that I am trying to conquer linen of one type or another) is causing me great grief.  I have unravelled it a few times. 

  • There are 450 stitches on a circular needle.  I hate, hate circular needles.
  • I followed the instructions/ patterns and I had a great idea.  I would mark every 50th stitch to keep track of the number of stitches when casting on.  Then when I had all the stitches on the needle and nicely marked I started to read the pattern and it said "use a stitch marker every 50 stitches to keep track of the number of stitches" ( I thought that was my bright idea) in addition "also note that each 50th stitch will be a slip stitch" helping you keep track of your pattern. 
  •  I hate, hate circular needles, but I went ahead and tried ticked off with the process and then transferred the stitches to 14" straight needles...all squished up.  I liked this better for knitting but could not keep the pattern straight as I could not see each individual stitch.  Hence the reason the pattern calls for a circular needle. Out it came, unravelled the lot. 
  • Back to casting onto the circular knitting needle, I hate circular knitting needles, and placing the stitch markers each 50th stitch.  I managed the first row, not too, too bad.  Kicked off the 2nd row for about 100 stitches (I know this because of the stitch markers every 50th stitch) and did not realize I should have "turned " my work and proceeded on a  "WS" (wrong side row).  I had continued on the "right side" of the work which is easy to do with those circular needles that I so hate.
  • I wrapped it up and put it away.  Now I really don't like that circular I tried the pattern on straight needles over 50 stitches for a quick fix on how it should look.  It is really nice and exactly what I wanted to knit.  So, I took the project and ripped it back to the beginning of the 2nd row and turned the work around ready to start on the "WS".  You must give me credit for trying and keeping going on this task regardless of my frustration level but I am determined to learn something new. 
  • Here I come circular needle...hate is such a strong word, but a scarf in linen stitch will be produced whether or not you and I have to wrestle each stitch to the finish. Brace yourself o' round one!


Maggie O, Brian Gluckstein & Margaret T
@ Design show Toronto January 2011

New Patio furniture in a tartan
pattern and it looks great.
I attended the Design Show last weekend and I really enjoyed it.  I did not sign up for any seminars as I was disappointed on the seminars that were presented this year.

Met Brian Gluckstein and saw Sarah Richardson with her brother an her sidekick Tommy.  Tommy is so cute.

Alfred Sung has some new and different patio furniture out in a dark green tartan pattern. Sorry picture of the chairs didn't turn out too well but they were chunky and although basket weave effect they were probably resin or plastic but outdoorsy and durable looking.  In fact I saw a few tartan patterned items and lots of Union Jacks in designs this year.

Designer Sarah Richardson & brother


There hasn’t been much leisure time this month, however I am enjoying the new BBC series on PBS on Sunday evenings called “Downton Abbey”. Maggie Smith is one of my favourites and she plays a crusty old soul who is sarcastic and funny at times. I came across this on Gareth Malone’s Facebook as one of his followers mentioned it….I thought it was about Gareth’s work with the choirs, however thanks Teresa for letting me know about this series I am really enjoying it.

I do have a new venture (don’t I always). I am taking singing lessons. I asked for these for my Christmas and got them for my birthday in early January. I have taken one class already and I am “luvin” it. I don’t know that I have a voice and haven’t done any singing since the primary school choir so I wanted to find out. I have the best teacher and she believes the voice is an instrument regardless of age etc. We took it from there. Sooo, here I am practicing on an Italian language piece so that I will not put forth any preconceived ideas of how the piece should sound musically, be sung or pronounced, I guess. With the breathing and posturing required this will also be an asset to improving my back problems (hallelujah that there is such a thing)…it all helps and I am really excited about the challenge, yet again.

I haven’t attended a yoga class this month either and I need to straighten that out. Getting into a new schedule is difficult…it is getting the first one out of the way and the rest will follow. I received 10 classes as a birthday gift so there is no excuse and it is sooooo good for my back. I am told that I am a different person when I practice yoga…walking and attitude. I have done it now for almost 3 years so there are some positives there. You tend to forget the benefits you are receiving until you stop.

It is a beautiful life. Look around you and enjoy every moment with your family, your hobbies and whatever makes you happy.


Kathy said...

Oh my Maggie but you are busy! Whew I am tired just reading it. :)
Love the finished BBD piece. I cna't believe it is your first linen piece. It is beautiful. I have to tell you. I am fairly new to linen too. I have been stitching 21 years but only on linen for 2. Once you get used to linen there is no turning back. :) And using over dyed flos. Oh my goodness Girlfriend they are fabulous. You will love, love, love them.

Hazel said...

Love your BBD finish. Doesn't it look wonderful stitched on linen? Can't wait to see what you do next. x

Starry-eyed stitcher said...

Good grief, I am exhausted just reading about all your activity. The BBD piece is beautiful, finishing will be easier than you think - honestly. The green tartan is the same colour as that suite I loved but gave away. Really I would like it back! Good luck with your final elective. Remember to take a breath, or February will be gone too! Love Irene xxx