Sunday, November 18, 2012


Gentle Friends I will be away from the Blog for the next couple of weeks - as my mother who had been sick over the last week  -  went from stable to downhill very fast over night and she passed away this morning. 

 I will be in Florida dealing with what needs to be dealt with. 
 Here's a great snap from Christmas 2 years ago....

.... on the back of a Harley with my BIL - always up for a new adventure!!

Take care,

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cleaning Up

Gentle Friends this weekend will be spent getting ready for Turkey Day...  grocery shopping, cleaning house, polishing the silver and hauling out the good linen.  I love using all the old things from my family and other things that I have acquired over the years  - Growing up we had Thanksgiving at my Granny's which was a wonderful event.  She would have everything hauled out before deciding on which china, crystal, silver and linen to use driving her house help to distraction!!  

Now, it's my turn - with no "help" in my house Rico and I have to start a few days earlier to spread the chores out - but in the end its all worth trouble and such fun to have my family together!!

Don't forget to sign up for the Quilty Gift-a-way on yesterday's post!!

That's about it for today sports fans, have a super weekend!!!
Take care,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Little Fall Gift-a-Way!!

Gentle Friends it has been good long while since I had a drawing here on the old Blacksheep Blog.  Recently I have been going through my books, and there are a ton of them to go through and found that there are just way too many at my house.  

So, I have put together a small literary drawing for the Fall.  

Since Fall is Quilt weather I pulled these four quilty related books to gift-a-way... and there will be a surprise included that I am not showing!!  It is so easy to enter...  just leave a comment on this post only, making sure I have a way to contact you if you win, and you can mention it on your Blog if you are so inclined.  I will have one of my family that is visiting for Thanksgiving draw the winner on next Friday and announce the winner on Monday, November 26th.  Easy peasy mac and cheesey!!  The drawing will close Thursday evening, 11/22 - and is open to anyone that can leave a comment, as I will send these anywhere in the world the mail delivers!!

Thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!!

Take care,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Little Shopping

Gentle Friends thank you so much for your kind words about my CCN Cottage Finish.  I had some questions....  regarding framing... at some point, but for the moment it is in the completed heap, the linen I used is a 36ct piece of LL "Vintage Butter Creme" - and although it always seems to photograph on the green side, it really leans towards the yellow/beige in colour - the floss I used was cotton throughout, with about 1/2 recommended and the other 1/2 my conversions.  Now I am back to stitching on ATS, and the way I'm gonna work that on the Blog, so as not to bore you too much with it, is to post a weekly update snap.

Over the weekend I made it to some of the thrift and consignment shops, there were no Estate Sales in the City.  Here is a snap of the few things I picked up...

I picked up the great early printing of "The Snowy Day" for a $1, it still has its original dust cover, and for a children's book you rarely find that.  This has been a favorite book of mine for as long as I can remember.

I also stopped by a Video store that is slowly closing it's doors - they are selling off their immense stock of DVD's and Blu Ray's over the next few months.  I picked up these 3 Alexander Korda films released by Criterion. The films are "The Private Life of Henry VIII"- 1933, "The Rise of Catherine the Great" - 1934 and "Rembrandt" - 1936 all three top notch films with superior acting and super set decoration.  Although often not as accurate historically as they could have been the films stand alone for the great stories they tell.  There is a fourth film in the set that I will keep checking on to see when they put it out and I'll snatch it up when I find it.  They are randomly putting out "new" product daily.

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by, do stop again.

Take care,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monthly Cottage SAL Finish

Gentle Friends... happy Monday morning!!  I wanted to thank you for all the kind comments about ATS and my little start on "December."  I finished up the Cottage and with this last monthly finish it also finishes up the whole SAL!! It was a super happy dance Saturday Afternoon!!!  I got a couple of snaps...

The first snap of "December is very crooked - sorry....

For this month I made a couple of small changes, with the floss I switched out "Swiss Chocolate" and used "Brandied Pears" and for "Seagull" I used "Pelican."  These colour changes are not dramatic and suit me and the piece.  I also stitched some extra white on the red flowers in the border around the yellow centers.  Another change I made was to leave off the straight stitched lines for the window mullions, they looked odd, to my eye, and  I had also left them off of March and August cottages, so I had already set a precedent.

Here is an overall shot of the piece....

I think knowing what I know now about this piece.....  it would have looked better doing this four across and three down. With a 4 x 3 configuration I wouldn't have the three cottages using so much red lined up one on top of the other (June, September and December).  I am, also really glad I used yellow for the August house to break up the light blue's used - but that's neither here nor there at this point, it was a fun piece to work on and I wanted to send a big big thank you out to Nikki!!!!!  Now, I can't wait to get going on next years CCN SAL ... Santa's Village!!

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"and they Sinned" and CCN December Cottage

Gentle Friends thanks for stopping by and for the great comments on Monday's post!!  Sorry to miss a post yesterday but I was catching up on emails and they just took a bit more time to answer than I had expected.

This morning I wanted to show the two most recent things (excluding my exchange piece) that I have been stitching on.... first up has to be ATS...  still working on the different bits in the sixth section....

If you look closely you can see the I have run a single thread along the sides so that I can make sure I stay within the narrow confines of the stitch.  For some reason it has worried me, so to put my mind at rest I got some orange thread and just put them in.  I'll pull them out later.

The other piece is the last Cottage on the year long SAL - I got my December chart a few days ago and thought about any changes I wanted to make.  The only Major change was to switch "Swiss Chocolate" for "Brandied Pears"... and why you may ask did I do that...  basically I had no "Swiss Chocolate" floss in my stash - and BP is very close to the DMC conversion so I just went with it.  I was also going to change "Spinach" for "English Ivy" but after stitching some with EI I found that floss to be just too dark so I frogged it out and went back to the recommended "Spinach"....  here is the little bit I have done...

I love the "Ribbon Red" and will probable stick to the hand full of DMC "browns" - This last part should be finished up in a day or two.

That's about it for today.  I'll not be posting tomorrow as I am taking a 1/2 day - but I'll be back on Monday.  Thanks again for stopping by and for your comments!!  Do stop again!

Take care,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Couple of Things

Gentle Friends I really didn't mean to creep you out... too much... but how odd and spooky are those "specters?"

Over the weekend we got to a few of the "shoppes."  I found two things...

A great "guide" book of Chatsworth and a super "Noah's Ark Toy" ornament.  Chatsworth has always fascinated me - being the home of that great Elizabethan female powerhouse Bess of Hardwick, this is the house that also held Mary Queen of Scots for years.  Here is the Official site for the House.  And, here is the some extra info on Wikipedia.  As many times as I have been to the UK I have never made it here, but someday!!!

I also wanted to mention another super multi-chart release that Nikki from CCN is starting for next year.  It's called Santa's Village.  It looks super cute and lots of fun.  Here is a little teaser of the piece stitched as a single piece.
Although each chart can be stitched as a single stand alone, what a super piece worked on a single piece of linen!!  So that we can see all the stitching - Vonna has started a Blog for those that want to join and post their progress. 

I have finished up my Exchange piece and also gotten a little bit more on ATS stitched.  I'll try and get a snap of ATS for tomorrows post.

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by, and for your super comments!!  Do stop again!

Take care,

Monday, November 5, 2012

Seeing is Believing ???

Gentle Friends and new Followers - Happy Monday!!!  It was a lovely, quiet - stress free weekend here by the Bay and the weather was perfect, not too windy, not too cool, not too damp...... just a lovely couple of days.  Today is to be our last "hot" day for a while and then we are back to our cool and breezy days.

Here's a different kind of post............On Friday, Rico's sister (who lives down in the San Joaquin Valley near Modesto) was completely creeped out by the unknown.  She is a reasonable person that is not one to go off the deep end, but early Friday morning around 5:30 am, after her husband had left for work and she was alone in the house.... she felt she was not alone in the house.  She heard someone/something walking down the hall.... went to look and nothing was there, went to the kitchen and was making coffee and felt something touching her back, again nothing was there......  she just felt she was being watched or another presence in the house ....  so she went to get here camera and started taking pictures all over her great room......  and these are the results......

The image could only be seen in the pictures as there was nothing there she said...  this is not the first time odd things have been heard or seen in her house.  This is not an old house they built it just a few years ago........  but what was there before who knows??  So, what do you think??

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by for a little creepy Monday post!

Take care,

Friday, November 2, 2012

Stitchin' Along

Gentle Friends I did want to thank you for all you kind comments - they do warm the heart!!!

Not much going on here by the Bay - I am stitching on an exchange piece that will go out next week, so I have no a snap of that yet to show. 

Something I can show that I am working ever so slowly is Erynne's "Merry and Bright" SAL.... and here's a snap of my tiny bit o'progress....

I am really enjoying this stitch, not only is the chart easy to follow and totally cute, but this Silkweaver linen is a dream to stitch on!!

Yesterday surfing around the Blog's I ran into another SAL headed up by The Thread Basket - the design is TourniCoton and is called "Charmant Joyeux Noel."  It is on the small side but looks to be a really fun piece to stitch.  Only 2 parts have been released so far.  I did a floss toss last night and here's what I came up with.....

The linen is a PTP piece of 32ct "Dill" - the called for linen is 32ct "Nougat" or "Cocoa."  This piece has a overall brownish cast to it, but I do like the incursions of green, and think it will add to the finished piece.  Although I pulled the recommend DMC Floss, I feel I may just have to switch them out for some delicious Belle Soie before starting to stitch...  wouldn't that be super!! 

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks again for stopping by and for your comments and emails!!!  Have a super weekend!

Take care,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Great Cake!!

Gentle Friends thanks so much for your kind comments and emails I really enjoyed reading them over again - and I am slowly catching up on my back email answering - slow and steady!!

My Sunday baking focus was on a really superior pumpkin cake.  I found the recipe over at Flavours by Four - but it originally came from  Well, wherever it came from it's a pretty terrific cake!!  The only thing I will do different next time - is leave off the streusel topping, it sticks pretty bad and does not add to the cakes appearance or taste - IMHO.  I took some snaps along the way....

... getting together the ingredients...

.......  after turning it out of the pan and scraping the streusel from the pan...  as I said before leave the streusel off...

.....  a quick icing glaze pretties the cake up a bit......

......  all sliced up ready for serving.  The other change I made was to add a lot more nutmeg than called for (surprise).  This cake is dense and moist, just perfect with a cup of coffee or tea!!

I got a question in an email last week I though was interesting and worth a mention on the Blog - the question was  "Why don't you ever do anything with bananas?"   I have a single answer they make me gag!!  I do not eat, touch or go near them, never have, never will.  The only thing banana-ish I can deal with is my mothers banana bread and then only a little piece.   So there you go, you will never see me cook with or deal with bananas here ever.

That's about it for this rainy Thursday.  Thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

A Damp Weekend

 Gentle Friends, still stitching away on Sarah, and here's a snaperoo... ... I like all the little bits of "wonky" that are pa...