Saturday, January 28, 2012

2nd Tis the Season update


Good Saturday morning, friends! 

This weekend for me will be like much others, busy, running around, grocery, checking in with family, laundry and then back to work, but I've pledged to find some time to work on Tis the Season today.  Some days throughout the week, I'm so wiped out by 6p that I can't concentrate well enough to pick it up.  So, to make up for that, I'm just going to have to find more stitching time on the weekends!  Or else I'll be working on this piece come NEXT Christmas!

I'm still enjoying stitching with the single strand of silk, but I'm wondering if the cardinal is starting to look a little thin?  I shouldn't worry too much about it now b/c I'm certainly not going to take it out and restitch with 2 strands.  The color I selected is Strawberry Shortcake instead of the called for Poison Apple.  I like a really red cardinal and Poison Apple was much too sun-baked for my liking.

Now for my crisis of the day.  The online photo editor I've used for years (and swear by) PICNIK, is closing in April!  Do many of you also use Picnik?  I honestly adore it compared to other photo editors I've tried.  I'll be lost without it.  It's so easy to use and offers me all the functions I could ever want.  Boo. Hoo!   I'd really appreciate any suggestions for a "you-don't-have-to-be-a-geek-to-use-it" photo editor. 

And with that, it's time to walk to d.o.g.

Happy stitching,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tis the Season progress


I'm happy to report that I spent a large part of MLK holiday on my rump, working on Tis the Season.  It's being worked on 32 ct. linen with Belle Soie silks, one ply over two.  I generally think one ply over two on 32 count is too sparse (especially with solid color blocks) but I think this is coming out well. 

What do you think?

Blackbird Designs

This little cheerful piece has helped me find my stitching groove again.  While the enthusiasm is still gurgling, I'm going to hop off the computer and settle in for the evening.

Happy Stitching Friends,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Round tuit

Yesterday, I found my 'round tuit' and whipped up a batch of suet for the birds.  They've hung around the deck today much more than normal so they must have missed it.  The cardinals are still learning to trust my back deck as a safe feeding ground so I was excited to catch this one sneaking in for a snack.

I think he has given me the inspiration to start my first new project for 2012: 

Tis the Season by Blackbird Designs

A quick stash search reveals that I only have one of the 8 Belle Soie colours required, so I might be off to my LNS a little later today.

However you spend your day, here's hoping it's peaceful and warm!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tea in January


I hope this post finds everyone healthy and happy in 2012.   Considering that my last post was in October, I'd love to show and tell you tales of all the stitching that has been happening since then, but sadly, I haven't even made enough progress on Pinecones since then to share an update.  In December, hubby and I took a quick 3 day trip to Columbus OH to see Andrea Bocelli in concert (swoon) and cruise the Winter Fest fabulous art festival.  While I didn't snag anything worth bragging about, I always enjoy walking the aisles and aisles of beautiful hand crafted wares.  We also darted away for another three day trip to visit family in NC.  The rest of the year was just a blur. 

Today is the official Packing-away-of-all-remnants-of-Christmas Day at my house.  I hate to put away the dishes and nativity.  They are always the last to go.  Just to prolong it a bit, I'm blogging about it whilst enjoying a cup of very special tea.  I've never tasted a tea exactly like it except for the first time I enjoyed it back in May.  It is one of the signature teas served at the historic Caffe Florian on the magnificent St. Mark's plaza in magical Venice, Italy. 

(Warning:  memory lane straight ahead)

Setting:  St. Mark's Plaza, Venice Italy
Circa:  May, 2011
Subject:  Taking tea with hubby

For starters, hubby doesn't drink tea.  So, everytime we visit a place with a tea room of particular note, he knows he will be persuaded to join me for the 'experience', as he calls it.  He's a great sport and even acts like he doesn't mind (plus they sell Coke everywhere).

salmon quiche and aperitif for me, club sandwich and Coke for hubby

Since it was late afternoon and we were quite hungry, we skipped the scones and went straight for the heavy stuff.  After lunch, I couldn't leave until I had tried their tea.  Can't come all the way to the Caffe Florian and not have a cuppa!  You might be thinking Italy is all about espresso, which was true, except for the treasure trove of teas at the Florian.

From their marvelous tea menu, I selected one they called Te Mosaico Veneziano and it was stunningly brilliant.  A black tea with orange rind and lavender flowers.  I couldn't resist bringing home a small box of beautifully presented silk bags of this tea.  Which brings me to the present.  It may not be May and I'm definitely not sitting in the sun on the plaza of the oldest caffe in Italy listening to the orchestra, but the tea is just as brilliant as it was then.

Now, enough of that!  Back to reality and off to the packing with me.

Happy Stitching friends!