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What a beautiful and busy weekend we had!
There is something about the nice weather that just makes us want to 'do' things, isn't there? Even though Friday was a rather dark and dreary day, with heavy rain for most of the day, things calmed down by the evening and both Saturday and Sunday were warm, sunny and picture-perfect! We couldn't have asked for better! I was actually rather happy for the rain on Friday, as it gave all the flowers and plants that I just put in a chance to settle. While watering with the hose is OK, there is nothing like a drink from Mother Nature to really make a difference. The timing couldn't have been better. Also, the fact that the weekend was clear and lovely made a lot of people from this area happy, I am sure. I know it did me.
I had planned on working in my shop most of the day Saturday, leaving Sunday for me to enjoy the outside and have my "day off", but when I came down for a light lunch at around 1 pm, Keith and I got to talking and we figured it would be a nice day to head out and take a drive. After all, we were both cooped up most of the winter, like everyone else. I suppose that is one of the best parts of being self-employed - being flexible enough to seize the moment and change things up a bit. We put the top down on Keith's Miata and headed up north to New Minas for some quick shopping and fresh air. We weren't disappointed.
In this case, it was truly the journey that was the treat. Everything in our area is beautiful and green and pretty. Sometimes in winter, we tend to forget what a beautiful place Nova Scotia is. Although I enjoy the snow as much as the nice weather, I find that I truly enjoy all four seasons and by winter's end, I look forward to being out in the country and driving around our beautiful province. It is refreshing and fun.
Because I played "hooky" on Saturday, it meant that I needed to work a bit on Sunday. I didn't mind at all though, as I love my shop and splitting the work up into two days was not at all a hardship. Before long, I got a pile of work finished - not only the orders I had pending, but I was able to make some extra things and fill up my stock as well. It is good to feel that everything is under control. I finished by about 3 pm or so and still had some time to do some crafting on my front veranda before I needed to make dinner. It was a great weekend.
Last week, I spent some more time fine tuning and organizing my studio. We are coming up on a year in our new home here, and I still needed to "tweak" the last of my two large cupboards here in my workroom. While most everything was in good shape, I have now had a chance to 'settle in' to my new environment and had a better feel as to where everything should go. I promise that I will be showing everything soon. I may even make a short video of things. I feel that since moving into our place here, I have been able to have much better productivity because of the additional room. It is so easy to keep neat and supplies that I use are right at hand. The key is to KEEP things in order and take the time to put things back when I am done with them. I am in that habit and rarely leave my shop or studio in disarray. It only takes a minute to tuck things back where they should be and it saves lots of time hunting for things later on. (That is my lecture for the day!)
In reorganizing things, I once again 'visited' my beautiful embroidery supplies. One thing I haven't taken much time for since moving here is embroidery. I am very grateful for the increased amount of work, but I sorely miss the quiet time I had stitching in the evenings or on a nice day when there was a lull in my work. I still have ambitions of creating some kits for you all to enjoy, as I realize that many of my readers and customers also love needlework. My goal is to have at least one done by the end of the year. (Remember - the first one is the most difficult!) I think it will open up an entirely new avenue of creativity for all of us.
Because of this, I decided to pick up my needle and thread and just START stitching. I thought I would start small, and decided to make some little sheep. I used the linework from my "SLD504 Layered Sheep Bowl and Baa-bins" pattern and was trying to figure out how I would stitch a little sheep. Since I had at least five ideas in my head, I thought that I would 'limber up' by stitching them all, one at a time. By the time I ran out of ideas, I thought I would figure out what to do with them. So far, I finished two of them and I already have a pretty good idea as to where they will wind up. You will just have to stay tuned.
The first one I decided to stitch in all Bullion Knots. For those who don't know, Bullion Knots are like French Knots on steroids. While French Knots have usually 2-3 wraps, Bullion Knots can have up to 30 or even more. These make long, tapering knots that I thought would depict a wool coat of a sheep beautifully. I used my pretty #12 Perle Cotten thread from Valdani Threads and created this cute little wooly guy:
Isn't he fun?? I have quite a beautiful collection of thread from Valdani and I plan to use them in my embroidery kits. The colors are amazing, colorfast and very high quality. It feels good to actually USE the threads that I have purchased from them and actually see how pretty they look. What fun, new adventures we will have in store!
The next sheep on my mind was also done by using Bullion Knots. (I guess I didn't do enough of them in the first sheep!) This time, I thought of making little Bullion Knot rosettes, with glass pearl centers. I finished the second sheep up last night:
I used a solid creme #12 Perle Cotton for this project and little glass pearl seed beads. He is just as cute as his friend. I think together they make a nice pair.
But that is only the beginning. I have lots of friends in store for these guys and you will have to come back and see what I am going to do with them. I promise it will be fun.
Before I go today, I want to share a new pattern from Keith as well. He created this beautiful SLDK459 Amazing Grace Sectional Plaque by using and modifying several beautiful fonts.
We know that this will quickly become a popular pattern, as the saying is such a lovely standard. As with all of his sectional plaques, they would make wonderful gifts or keepsakes. We hope you like it.
Well, that is about all for today. On my agenda is typing out a newsletter and packing and shipping the orders that I cut over the weekend. When I am finished with those, I can concentrate on working on some new designs and finishing up some older ones. I still have a few things hanging over me that I have to take some time to complete. I think that should be the first thing in order.
I hope you are all having as beautiful a day as we have here. It is so nice to be able to have the windows open and hear the birds singing. It is definitely one of those "good to be alive" days.
Happy Monday to you all!
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