Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Good Tuesday Morning folks!

Summer has been in full swing here in Newfoundland this year. I'd say we've had our best summer ever in fact. Beautiful weather, phenomenal temperatures, good times, etc. Just fantastic!

I've been feeling very summery and working on the June wordplay just re-enforces that feeling. 

I've got all the wording done now so it's on to all the strawberries and summery loveliness that is in this chart.

Speaking of summer, the unequivocal summer event here in St. John's is the Royal St. John's Regatta taking place tomorrow. It's a shop holiday in the city and everyone (50,000 approx... which is basically half the city) heads down to Quidi Vidi Lake to take in some boat racing and family events... oh and to try and win loads of prizes (my favourite part haha). Just to give you a little background, the Royal St. John's Regatta is considered the oldest organized sporting event in all of North America, now 185 years old. There is speculation that it goes well beyond this but the first recorded races and events took place in 1818. Now that's not yesterday! 

1800's St. John's Regatta Illustration 
Modern Day
Now the funny thing is, the Regatta is always scheduled for the first Wednesday in August. With our notoriously bad weather that you've heard me talking about it's not unusual to see the races postponed to the following Thursday/Friday in the hopes of better weather. But the thing is, no Regatta = no Holiday. The civic holiday will ALWAYS follow the Regatta.  So if the Regatta is postponed until Thursday then the holiday will also be on Thursday. Many people decide to play what has been coined as the Regatta Roulette and go out on the town the night before HOPING TO GOD that the Regatta will go ahead the next day... playing Regatta Roulette can often backfire and you might find yourself dragging your hungover arse into work the next day. I love it haha.

Luckily the weather man is forecasting sun and cloud and minimal winds for tomorrow, yet another beautiful day is in books for what has been the most beautiful summer EVER.

Another thing that has been thankful for our beautiful weather this summer are the BLUEBERRIES! They're ripe almost a FULL MONTH ahead of schedule. In a normal year we wouldn't pick blueberries until the first week of September at the earliest. But as myself and the boyfriend were on the way out for a walk the other day we noticed that some of the berries that grow in the dirt lane beside my house were ripe and ready to be picked! You could say we're pretty lucky because blueberries and raspberries grow wild here and the clearings in our backyard are just full of them. The raspberries should be ready in another week or so and so should the remainder of the blueberries. We picked just about a gallon of blueberries on Sunday evening and will be making a fresh blueberry pie tonight!!! YUMM-O.

Good thing I had practiced my berry picking/cleaning routine a couple of weeks ago!

Bath time!
They're HUGE this year.
Final Product :)

Until next time!

Happy Stitching and Adventuring!


Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Friday Everyone!

I get to do a mini-happy dance today because I've finished my Canada: International Heart!!!! YEY! Isn't it pretty???

Canada - International Heart
Victorian SamplerStitched on 28ct Antique White Laguna

I certainly finished this one off fast! I only Started on this Saturday past and finished it up Wednesday evening. The needle was on fire that's for sure :)

The mail man also sent me a little surprise on Monday as well, my Lizzie Kate Halloween Mystery Sampler finally made it... 

Image from 123stitch.com

Now don't those WDW skeins look yummy!!!??? :)

BUT WAIT! Where's the FABRIC!!!! What????? I had pre-ordered  the sampler practically a month before it was released, the package was suppose to contain the chart, floss and fabric which was produced especially for this sampler... How come I didn't get the fabric I ordered with it??? NOW I won't be able stitch this up when I had planned :( I am sooo disappointed. I was truly anticipating the arrival of this :(

Now I like to think I'm a pleasant customer to deal with on just about every occasion, I rarely loose composure and generally opt for a stern yet understanding approach if something should go wrong. In other words, I don't freak out but I'm not a pushover either. I find it gets you no where when freaking out and the person on the receiving end usually tends to respect you less. With this in mind I promptly send an email off to abc stitch to see what had happened, expressing my confusion as to why I would not have received the fabric in my package. I may have been freaking out at home but I certainly kept it cool in the email - no one needs get upset to resolve a situation :) Joanne kindly came back to me and said that it was not sent because it was on backorder and that I should have received notice in my package that this was the case (which there wasn't)... I wasn't very satisfied with this response, how could they have not had enough fabric when I pre-ordered everything???? Isn't that the whole point of pre-ordering I think to myself. Anyway, I wrote back politely stating this fact and asked for a timeline on the fabric. I was thinking that if it was going to be a few weeks before they shipped that I might just opt to use some fabric that I had in my stash and get a refund on the special fabric, which is not what I really wanted to do. Thankfully, Joanne promptly replied and said that they actually had received the fabric and that it would be going out that evening. THANK GOD! I thanked Joanne for her time and now I'm much more satisfied. Case solved - All's well that ends well :) So hopefully I'll be starting it within the next two weeks!

Since I have to wait just a while longer to begin LK's Halloween Mystery Sampler I decided to go through my stash for something that might take me a couple of weeks to finish. I came across With Thy Needle and Thread's June Wordplay tucked away in the corner of my box. It may not be June anymore but I just love this chart. So I set to picking out some DMC conversion for the hand-dyed floss that are supposed to be used. I wasn't able to match all the colours up exactly but I think the ones I have chosen will look great. I'm also using 32ct  Opalescent Belfast Linen for this project. I simply love the fabric because it looks rustic yet sparkly all at the same time, great for ornaments! I have Christina over at Whilst Iris Naps to thank for putting me onto this fabric. I think it's my all-time favourite :)

Until Next time my Lovelies!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Hello my lovelies!

Here we are... entering the LAST week of July!!!! C.R.A.Z.Y. The summer is wizzing by far too quickly for my liking I think. This applies fully to this past weekend. It blew by way too fast. This is probably because I scarcely sat down the entire weekend!!! Bakeapple season has arrived here on the Island a whole 2 weeks early!!! So the push was on to pick as many as possible within two days before the whole lot went to mush.

Now some of you probably think that you know what a bakeapple should look like based off the name. The truth is names can be deceiving. Bakeapples are these wonderful little titbits of juicy-ness. 

Yup that's a berry. The closest thing I can compare it to is a blackberry in terms of size and shape. Although they generally don't get quite as big. I really haven't the slightest clue as to why they're called bakeapples simply because they taste nothing like a baked apple. However, I digress... that is their name and so it shall be :)

Either way, these berries are what you call a hot commodity in Newfoundland. Going for $50+ a gallon. There are a couple reasons for this: 

(a) Some years there are none
(b) Some years they are sparse
(c) Time to clean all the berries (we're talkin' hours of 'shucking' the leaves and 2 water baths)
(d) The FLIES (they'll suck you dry given the chance!)

and not to mention this:


and this:


This is the terrain one must navigate to reach the treasured little berries. We call them the barrens. Damn beautiful and a sight to behold and doubly hard to traverse.  To say every inch of me is hurting right now is a tremendous understatement. I feel like someone could snap me in half mearly by poking me... BUT, it's all worth it firstly, for the time I was able to spend with my grandparents and secondly, for the berries. 

My Nan in particular anticipates berry picking season ALL YEAR LONG. SO how could I possibly say no when she called me up at work (something she rarely does) and asks me to go with her!!! I excitedly agree to go and thus there I was on Saturday looking like a chic trucker with my pants tucked into my rubber boots, a slight sweater (the less surface area exposed the better... flies, need I say more?), and of course the token trucker hat emblazoned with 'Labatt Blue' on the front. Now that trucker hat is important! I didn't wear it just to look amazing ;) It helped to keep the sun out of my face and the flies off my head, this is very important considering the sun was blazing both days with temps reaching 25+ degrees C. Thankfully, the wind was gusting away at 50km/hr, which was a god send. It allowed us to keep cool and kept most of the flies at bay. 

life saving hat look-a-like
I'm tellin' ya - I was a beauty in this get up hehe.

So off I went over the barrens and we picked, picked and picked to our hearts content. We managed to pick 7 gallons between the both of us from 2pm Saturday to 4pm Sunday. 

Here's the final product after all the picking, shucking and washing!

Bath Time!
All packed up and some in the pot waiting to be made into JAM :)

I'm very proud and will no doubt be seeing bakeapples in my sleep for the next week or more. Now I'm off to make some jam and some bakeapple cheese cake :) :) :)  YUMMMMMMMMMM. Don't YOU wish you were in my kitchen NOW lol!

OH and before I go, I did manage to get a bit of stitching in believe it or not! I finished off the stitching for my upcoming exchange (now just to finish it off) and started this gem from my previous exchange with Loretta. I've got plans for this one too ;)

You know... I've just realized I really do keep myself very busy don't I? AH well, it's all a bit of fun isn't it ;)

Ciao for now,


Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Thursday everyone!!!

Elaine over at STITCHED WITH LOVE EXCHANGES has let us know everyone has finally received their goodies and that we can now post our exchanges :)

July has certainly been a month for celebration. Within the span of four days Canada was turning another year older (Canada Day. July 1st) and then our neighbours to the south celebrated their Independence Day (July 4th). AND to top it all off the folks across the pond were celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee! What more is there left to do other than do a themed exchange!!!

Naturally - being a Canadian I was paired with fellow Canadian Loretta! Here's what I sent dear Loretta.

Bird Ornament - Mary Ann Blackburn
Blackbird Designs
Finished June 2012
Stitched on 32ct Mocha Linen

Being a little last minute for me, I didn't have time to order and then stitch a patriotic themed piece... as much as I would have loved to. So I sent charts and a stitched item that I thought Loretta would like based off her survey.  To make up for a lack of Canadiana I sent some red and white items - Canada Day Stickers and some red glass beads. In addition I sent her some of my hand dyed floss, a couple stitchy magazines, and two small charts. 

As for my stitched piece, this was a small from Blackbird Designs Mary Ann Blackburn Loose Feathers booklet. Originally it was supposed to have the year stitched in as well but I tend not to do that. I guess I'm just stuck in my old ways lol. I converted to DMC as best I could and then trimmed the ornament with twine and a couple of bells. I actually really like this for a door ornament. It jingles a little when you open the door and it doesn't really look all that Christmas-y thankfully... though I think you could poke it on the tree and it would blend in just fine.

Now on to the fabulous parcel Loretta sent me!

I just LOVE the biscornu! LOVE LOVE LOVE! The red is that Canadian red, if that makes any sense ;) It's just perfect!

She also sent me a wonderful Canada bag, stuffed bear (probably the softest thing I've ever touched), the coolest Canada scissors, red and white variegated floss, some Canadian themed buttons and charms and a CANADA pen.  Yup her package literally SCREAMED C.A.N.A.D.A. 

And I just couldn't forget this wonderful Canada Chart by the Victorian Sampler.  

You've got all the icons, maple leaves, Parliament Hill, evergreen trees, the flag AND our national animal the beaver. Interestingly enough there's some debate going on around the poor beaver being our national animal vs the Polar Bear. I found an interesting little illustration last week in fact by the National Post! Here it is :) I got a good chuckle out of it...

Back to the exchange - I really wish I knew where to get all this stuff or maybe Loretta just has an excellent eye ;) Either way a BIG THANK YOU to Loretta for putting together such a wonderful package. I'm slowly getting a little spoiled by these exchanges I think lol.

Well that's another exchange down and now I'm working on another. In fact it's just about finished, so soon I'll have another finish to show :)

I know it's TUSAL time but I don't have a picture! Simply forgot when uploading and I just couldn't wait to post! But she's lookin' prudy full now. I've been thinking of doing a small stitch to make a pin cushion on the top of the jar but haven't gotten around to it just yet. SO MANY OTHER THINGS TO DO AHHHHHHHHH. And what makes it worse (but it's really a good thing) is that I have MORE stash on the way. Am I crazy?

I'll be a little MIA this weekend as I'm off to pick some bakeapples (aka: cloud berries for some unknown reason) with my Nan. 

Until next week my dears,

Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I know... not a stitching post but I thought it might be nice to show you a before and after/mid-way through the growing season update.

So here's where I was at just a month ago. Myself and the BF had bunny proofed everything and turned the soil, added some fertilizer etc. to prepare the beds for their second year. After preparing I planted some seeds, seedlings and some very young squash plants and hoped for the best.

June 15, 2012 - The Before

Well! I was in luck because we are having the best growing year on record according to the experts. Apparently the growing season in 2 weeks ahead of schedule!!! Here's the evidence!

July 17, 2012 - The After

I planted the seeds for my radishes just 3 weeks ago and LOOK! They're already popping up out of the ground?!?! Not sure if this is normal but they seem to be doing well.

 The onions are growing very well too and I've actually been able to harvest some green onions for use already! You can smell that onion smell as soon as you dig them up. It's wonderful!

And of course I've also got some carrots growing as well. A fair bit left to grow yet however!

I've also got some zucchini growing, despite battling with what I think is powdery mildew.

The Pumpkins plants are completely taking over my Butternut Squash Plants. We've had to circumvent some of the wandering shoots of the pumpkin plants and have actually had to peel them off the butternut squash plants @_@ ! I now know better for next year and I think I'll dedicate a space just for the pumpkins!

A wandering pumpkin vine
Here's a snap of my beans and some raspberry bushes. The beans are still very small but seeing as they were the only things to actually grow in my garden last year I'm expecting them to shoot UP soon :) SOOOOO exciting!!!! (PS: I love the tepee hehe)

This is all very funny to me because I would NEVER have considered myself a gardener until this year. I think I have the weather and my BF to thank for that. After last year's dismal harvest (... only my broad beans and onions grew) I was ready to give up. I didn't want to have to battle the weather, slugs and rabbits anymore!!! But my BF really had some great ideas and his inspiration has completely motivated me. Now going out to check on the garden and do a few things around the yard is something I  really enjoy doing with him. We are such a great team and I'm so very proud that our garden has been a success so far ;)

That's all from me for now folks!

Happy Stitching (or Gardening!)


Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Friday Folks!

Are those empty hoops I spy????

It's a doubly happy Friday for me because I have finished the stitching on my Friendship Tribute Sampler!!!! YEYEYEYEYEYEYEY.

I tried desperately to get it done on Thursday evening but it wasn't meant to be, so I picked it up when I got home today and got it done! I've been so close to finishing that I haven't wanted to put up any photos until the big day. So here it is in all it's glory:

Friendship Tribute Sampler
Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe
Stitched on 18ct Oatmeal Aida

I was sooooo worried I wouldn't have enough hand dyed floss. While I normally would discard a piece of floss if it was feeling short, this time I was so paranoid that I'd stitch until I could hardly make another 'X' with the floss. Conserving BIG TIME. So much so I really didn't have many ORTs left over. If you looked at my TUSAL jar you wouldn't say I'd done any stitching really. I started with just 4 strands of brown floss, 1 20M skein of spun gold floss, 2 20M skeins of green floss and 2 20M skeins of barn red floss. And this is what's left... I was certainly cutting it close with the gold floss I think...

My Dad knows how to make frames so I'm going to get him to show me how this weekend. I can't wait!!! That way I get to stain the frame to my liking and don't have to worry about paying a fortune for framing. I know I spend a lot of time and money putting together a stitched piece but it just about kills me when I have to get it framed. Honestly, the materials cost no more than $40 and it feels like I'm being gouged when I have to pay in upwards of $150+... maybe I'm just cheap...

Now onto an exchange piece I have planned while I wait for the Lizzie Kate Mystery Halloween Sampler to get to me... it was sent yesterday so T minus 2 weeks until it reaches my mail box I'd say. SOOOOOOOooooo looking forward to it.

And before I go I have a couple of puppy pictures to show. Blue's over to visit for the next couple of days while his owners are out of town. Naturally the first thing he does is heads for the bowl! haha. Enjoy!

Have a great weekend my lovelies and Happy Stitching!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My My it looks as if I've been tagged by Ann and Akila for the 11Questions Q&A that's been making it's way around. 

Ann Asked:

1. What is your favourite season and why?
  • Early Autumn (runner-up winter). I simply love the colours and the temperature is just right, not too hot or too cold. All you have to do is throw on a sweater and you're perfectly comfy. 
2. Do you like to stitch seasonal pieces?
  • Yes, I have about a zillion Christmas charts waiting to make their way onto the hoops.
3. Favourite kind of music or musician?
  • It's too hard to pick a single musician so I'll choose music. I LOVE traditional Newfoundland and Irish music. Sure I'll poke on some pop music while I'm in the car... BUT I make a specific effort to turn on the Jiggs and Reels on every Sunday morning during breakfast to enjoy some Newfie tunes. 
4. Favourite folktale or fairytale?
  • Rapunzel/Sleeping Beauty. I was sooooo happy when Disney came out with their version of Rapunzel you have no idea. I completely reverted to my childhood self ;) 
5. How many languages do you speak and what are they?
  • Aside from English I also speak some 'survival' Italian and a tinsy bit of French.
6. Who would you rather have: Aragorn or Legolas?
  • oooooo I think Legolas ;)
7. Dream vacation?
  • Owning a villa in a small village in Italy and just chillin' for a couple of months a year. Morning runs to the bakery and the cafe for a cappucino! Now that is life!!! 
8. A favourite saying and why?
  • !!! I don't think I have one!!!
9. Your most prized possession?
  • I'd say at this moment, my diploma. 
10. Who you look up to and why?
  • My Mom. If I need advise this the person I go to. She just always seems to know the answer.
11. What is the hardest thing you have ever done in your life?
  • Moving to Italy. One word - REDTAPE! BUT - sometimes the hardest things in life are the most rewarding :)

Akila Asked:

1. What kinds of finishing have you accomplished (flatfold, pincushion, etc)?
  • Ornaments, Biscornu and pincushions, cards, about to do a pillow.
2. What other craft forms are you interested in?
  • Pottery! I'm just finishing up some classes actually.
3. Have you participated in exhanges/SALs?
  • Yes. I've done two so far and I'm about to finish a third. 
4. On average, how many projects do you finish in a year?
  • Depends I guess. I really haven't counted!
5. Who is your favourite supplier for cross stitch fabrics?
  • I purchase most of my fabric online as I don't have a LNS. I've gotten fabric from Silkweavers (some great creative colours) and more plain colours from 123stitch. 
6. Do you always change the recommended floss in a pattern or usually stick to the suggested?
  • I've done both. I generally try to use the recommended but if I'm not feeling the colours or can't get my hands on the required floss I don't have any qualms with changing the floss to suit.
7. Your favourite companion while working on your project?
  • Anything on the TV. I love to stitch and watch TV or a movie (one that I have already watch though, new movies require my full attention :) ).
8. Do you take your project along when you are out on a vacation or visiting family?
  • Oh I take it but I never get anything done. It's funny how that happens. I think "Wow, I'm going to get so much done on my little trip" and then BOOM nothing happens with the stitching at all. hehe.
9. Have you worked on beaded projects - completely beads?
  • No
10. How many hours of stitching time do you get in a week?
  • 5-6hrs
11. How many countries have you visited and which one is your favourite?
  • USA, Bahamas, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, and Turkey. My Favourite hands down is Italy. So many life changing experiences and good times!!!

Pewf! Now you know just a little more about me ;)

Now I must select 11 more people to TAG and ask some questions !!!


1. What is the thing you cannot stitch without besides your needle, thread and fabric ;) ?
2. What is your favourite stitching theme?
3. What are your favourite cross stitch designers? 
4. Do you have any 'least' favourite designers?
5. Which do you prefer, Hand Dyed Floss/Fabric or traditional store bought Floss/Fabric, such as DMC products.
6. What are your other hobbies?
7. What is your favourite magazine, cross stitch or other.
8. What is your favourite TV show?
9. If you could be a character from this show who would it be and why?
10. What country do you live in?
11. If you could move anywhere in the world where would it be and why?


Marlene - Poppy Patchwork
Michele - Stitches
Butteryfly - Butterfly Wings

 I hope you all haven't already completed this little game already! Enjoy!!!!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Welcome to July everyone!

I cannot believe July is here already!!! It's beginning to feel like that every month now. 

We've hit the most unbelievable stretch of good weather here. 20+ degrees C everyday and clear blue skies (even though today is a little rainy and muggy). I've been blessed to have a pool at the place I'm house sitting... so needless to say, I've been out around the pool almost everyday. 

I haven't done much stitching that I can show you just yet, as I'm participating in an exchange (pictures coming soon I promise!!!). On that note Friday was mail day!!! I set to getting together not only my exchange piece package but also all my giveaway prizes. Hopefully they'll soon reach their destinations :)

Apart from that not much stitching has been accomplished these past couple of weeks. Just far too busy and enjoying the magnificent weather. 

I did, however, find time to whip up this creation! 

Isn't it a beaut! Italian style pizza is one of my most favourite things on the face of this earth. I have been constantly trying out different dough recipes but none were satisfactory until I found the one I used in the picture above. Toss in some home-made marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil, and some Tuscan style salami, and you've got yourself an amazing pizza. 

I find true Italian recipes are simple with the ingredients, nothing too complicated and not too many ingredients in one dish. Take pizza for example, as a North American, Pizza must be towered high with every meat and veggie possible, with the thickest fluffiest crust. Go to Italy and you'll find the Pizza Margherita (just tomato sauce, mozza and basil) or Pizza Diavola (tomato sauce, mozza and spicy salami) or even a pizza that is simply topped with Prociutto and Arugula and nothing else. Simple and delicious! The same goes for pasta, but that's a whole other conversation and I need to conclude this little rant of mine :) I now include this simple Italian doctrine in everything I cook, or at least I try. My cooking is invariably better than it used to be too because of it!!!

ANYWAY, I digress...

I hope to have some stitchy photo's for you later in the week.

Until then!!!


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