Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gone But Not Forgotten

I have been one BUSY lady lately!

I have decided that we have too many birds and our present set-up is not working. So...instead of complaining, I have decided to do something about it! I realize that right now our cage is too small for the amount of birds that we have, even though it is the largest cage that we could find. Here's a picture of all our little ones in their little cage:

Everyday we put the cats in the bedroom for an hour or so for their afternoon nap and we let out the birds for a fly around the house. They are very good birds and we have devised a system of putting sheets over plants and other perching places when we want them to go back into the cage. But it is seriously getting ridiculous! Sometimes we spend a good half hour trying to lure them back in and running around like idiots! And worst of all: the other day the cat got out of the bedroom by accident and he ended up with a bird in his mouth! We pried the little one out and he seemed to be unharmed but the poor little guy ended up dying a few hours later anyway. (We nicknamed him Kibbles...please excuse our dark humour!) That was the final straw! So....drum roll please...I'm going to build an aviary!!!!!! I have never built anything other than IKEA furniture and I think that a two-year old could do that...needless to say, I am generally not too adept at woodwork. My endeavour should be interesting and I will definitely keep you posted on my small disasters along the way! :D Here is a picture of the future home of the aviary. I'm basically going to put a front on the window seat that is hidden under all that junk.

My aviary will be lovely! I've already done all the blue prints and have begun scouting out supplies at Home Depot! However, there is a little hang-up...I haven't painted that room yet and the paint fumes will kill the birds if I do it after the birds are in their new home. So....I began to paint! And this is a picture of my life this week:

My hubby likes the California look of white walls and lots of plants. I'm totally cool with that because I don't have to mess about with wall colors. I am fully aware that interior design is not my forte... but I'm doing well with my attempts. All of our furniture is cherry wood and it looks gorgeous against the white walls. The room I am painting is the only room that we still need to replace the furniture. It still has my old white furniture from university days. Here's a pic of the one half of the room that is complete...sort of...the computer desk won't be there for long, just while I'm painting the other wall. Once the desk moves I will put in my big comfy leather reading chair! SOOOOOO excited to get that back! Anyway...the two first loves: books and shoes!!!

So that is my life lately...Oh, and my one cat got taken into the pound this week again by a thoughtful neighbour and I think he got a cold while he was there. Here is my little snuffly kitten Apollo:

And so that my other little kitten doesn't feel left out, here is Jericho (the bird killer):

Well, this has been one long post about everything and nothing all at the same time! But I have saved the best for last: STITCHING!!!! Yes, I have actually gotten a lot of stitching done in the last little while. I started my Lissandrea project! She is beautiful! I'm already on page 2!!! Here's my progress:

Did you notice that it is on a scroll frame? Yep, I bought myself a new gadget! I can't believe that I ever lived bereft of one of these before! I LOVE it! Here's a picture of the full thing, just because I am so proud!

Well, that's all for today. I've started jogging to help my wibbly bits get firmer and my knees are killing me! I need some ice and to curl up with my book. I'm reading Michael Cox's "The Meaning of Night" and I highly recommend it. All you Canadians might recognize it because it was a Heather's Pick at Chapters a while back.

Ok, I'm seriously going now! Tomorrow I promise to write a very special post because a very kind stitching/blog friend has nominated my blog for an award!!! More on that shortly as my knees feel like they are going to blow up!

Monday, July 14, 2008

She's Alive!!!!

I have made great progress on my Elegance of the Orient piece!!! She has a head and a hand now! LOL! The head and hair took ages to complete! There is SO much detail in her hair. I had to make a slight alteration to the pattern. The blue lazy daisies were meant to be double lazy daisies but every time I tried to make them work they looked ridiculous. I made three attempts and unpicked each of them. The double lazy daisies would either look like fat lines (I was also using three strands of floss) or they would untwist themselves in the hole?! In the end I decided on single lazy daisies and I think they look lovely too! Here's a picture of my progress:

Also, I organized all of the floss for my Lissandrea project. I was terrified that the little sleeves on the skeins would fall off before I got to the project and then I would not know what color they were. So I made my own little do-dads to put them on and away I went! I reached a small snag though. My fabric is too small! I bought 15x18 22 ct. fabric. The pattern, according to every fabric calculator I can find, is meant to be 12x16 on that fabric ... but it's NOT. I knew it would be a little tight only having an inch on either side but I thought it could still work. However, after counting it out (a few times) the pattern is actually 12x17 on that fabric and so it is just not going to work! I can't have a 1/2 inch at the top and bottom!!! So today's task is to go and get the right fabric so I can start her! Also, I think I am going to go from 22 ct. to 18 ct. I tried out my first 10x10 block of the pattern to see what it would look like and my crosses look too mashed together and uneven because I'm using two strands and the weave is too tight. I think I will prefer it on 18 ct. This one is a learning curve for me! LOL!

At Veronica's Stitching Vault she does a "floss toss" where she lays all the colors on the fabric to see how it all works together. I had never heard of this before and think it's marvelous! I attempted to do my own floss toss but there were too many skeins to fit and so I did it on my carpet instead! :) This is every color (except one) that I will need for my project. I only bought one skein of each even though the pattern calls for more in some cases but I'll get those as they become necessary. Can you tell why the woman behind me at the store had a conniption fit waiting for all those to be individually rung through!!!

Finally I shall leave you with some pictures from my garden:

This is a lily my Mom got for me and it has just bloomed for the first time!

This is a hydrangea that was a gift from my neighbours when I opened my store. I put it into the ground last year looking very dead and crossed my fingers that it would come back. It's very happy this year and growing like a weed! When it was given to me it was blue and now it's pink...that's an interesting trick! I understand it has something to do with the acidity in the soil. I hope it stays pink because when it was blue it didn't really work in my garden but now it does perfectly!

And last but not least, is this little one. I think it is lovely but have NO idea what it is! My Mom got it for me and I am very grateful but seriously...what is it? If anyone knows please send me a note.

I can't believe the amount of people who commented on my last post! You all are lovely and your own blogs are all filled with such beautiful work! Thanks for making me smile with all of your kind words!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Nearly Headless Nikki

As promised, here is a picture of my progress! I am so proud of this one and am loving stitching it! Please take note of all the back stitching in gold metallic thread along the shawl (grumble). Also, of the lazy daisies that you can barely see on the shawl but that took FOREVER to complete (They are good practice because in her hair the pattern calls for double lazy daisies...never done those before...) Next, please notice the magenta cording along the cuffs and collar instead of generic back stitching. I love the way the cording makes the piece more three dimensional! And finally, PLEASE take note of the corded belt! That was a labour of love!!! The directions seemed simple enough: make the cording without a needle, loop the pieces to create a knot,and tack it all to the piece in the desired place. No problem! Sounds easy enough! Next, wrap one strand of magenta around the ends of the cording and draw it through the fabric so that you can tack it to the back and finish it off. Aahhh, here is the problem!!! This is 18ct. fabric that has already been stitched and so 10 strands of corded thread does NOT easily draw through the fabric to be tacked! GRUMBLE!!! I broke three needles and bent another two trying to do this and at one point I thought I was going to break a hole on the fabric! It really was a labour of love. My husband giggled at me trying to make it work and I scowled back at him! LOL! But it's done and I think it was worth it because it looks GORGEOUS!!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Last Bird Post...I Promise

Well, while I was at the computer typing my last post, Delta arrived out of the nest. I missed it! Oh well. I took a look in the nests to see what was going on and look at what I found: two little ones have decided to visit the other nest!

Count the Heads: There's SIX of them in there!!!

Petry All Alone :(

First One's OUT!!!

My first little bird has left the nest! The first thing the little one did was land in the food bowl and look around startled. I got a picture of this moment but it's pretty blurry but so cute! Omega (yes, I went with Omega in the end)keeps trying to get into the wrong nest. It's adorable because his parents are freaking out trying to get him back but they aren't allowed in the other nest. I took the bird bath out of the cage; now that we have kids we have to build a fence around the pool to prevent accidents! LOL! I hope you like the pictures below. I promise the next post will be completely stitching related. :)

Omega in the Food Bowl

Omega Looking Cute

Omega Has Realized the "Mama-razzi" Have Spotted Him (LOL)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Widget Happy Randomness

As you can probably tell, I have become slightly "widget-happy" today. I have added a plethora of these things and I hope this explains the excitement I have over my blog!!!

I have made stunning progress with my projects and I will post pictures very shortly! Also, my little birds are doing SOOOO well!!! They are so close to leaving the nest. Mom and Dad have been sitting outside the nest waiting for them to pop out for the last two days straight. I can't believe their diligence!

All for now and to all a good night!