What is the Workbox?

This is my stash of to-be and on-the-go projects, UFO's, magazines, books, wish-lists, ramblings, favourite links, and even (ha ha) completed projects.

There are also three sister sites at The Workbox Library (stitching-related magazines, books, etc.), The Workbox Cupboard (the contents of my personal stash), and The Workbox Lighthouse (since my blog reading list has expanded exponetially... ;-) , as well as an index of my blogs (with brief descriptions) at CamBlogs.

If you have any comments, suggestions, complaints, queries, etc., feel free to drop me a line!

And now I have to walk the dog and go to work...unfortunately (sigh) ;-)


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cough, cough, sniffle, sneeze...ugh!

I've been fighting a flu bug since Sunday, and all I want to do is curl up and sleep (but instead, I wake up every two hours with blocked sinuses and a raw throat...). I went to work on Monday (since I not only had to open, but I also had programs all morning), but only made it until noon.

I had the bright idea that, since I was home, I would get a start on the Grand Abecedaire SAL. (Ha ha!) Three unsuccessful starts later (grrr), I've dropped the linen floss and have decided to go with regular DMC (grey and pink). On the other hand, my jar for the Totally Useless SAL, is nice and packed...

Do Halls wrappers count... ; -)

Nothing too interesting in here - mostly thread bits (lots of linen thread bits, though!), bits of aida and fabric scraps from the mini heart cushion and "Time for tea -with Max and me" (which I still haven't stuffed - eek!), some floss wrappers - oh, and a bent needle (I'm very hard on needles...) I wonder what next month will look like...? ;-)

One down, one to go...

Design: free pattern from Gazette94
Fabric: 18-count ecru aida from DMC
Floss: DMC 4200 (red/pink variegated)
Dimensions: 2.5" x 2.5 "

I finished up, except for a bit of backstitching, the NOEL ornament. I've never used the variegated floss before, but I'm nevertheless quite happy with how this one turned out. I'm planning to stitch a second one in green variegated floss, and then stitch the two of them together, maybe with some Christmas fabric as a small border? I haven't quite thought out all the logistics yet, I still have to pick up some green floss - and since I'm stuck at home with this bug, that's not going to happen any time soon...


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tea, Christmas and Sharks...Oh my! ;-)

I finished the "Time for tea - for Max and me" design last night and got most of it stitched up - just have to stuff it and sew up the top. She ended up as a mini-cushion...

Second finish of 2009!

Designed by: La Chatelaine Designs
Fabric: 18-count ecru aida from DMC
Floss: DMC 310
Dimensions: about (can't find the ruler!) 3.5" x 3.5"

I modified the design a bit. I left out the cat's whiskers (they just didn't look right to me, either as full backstitch or half-backstitch!); I changed the sugar jar to a milk jug ('cuz I take milk in my tea...); left out the wording and added an alphabet along with my initals and the year; added a border of my own design; left out a row on her neck (it looked too long on the original...); and finally, my lady's a bit more....ah, bustier. ;-)

The fabric is much nicer in person...

The back: again I raided mum's fabric stash - it's a lovely soft pink with metallic green leaves; it reminds me of strawberries.

So on to the next project...

I began the NOEL ornament from Claire's blog (Gazette94). I'm stitching it for one of the girls at work who gives me a lift home sometimes - she loves Christmas - case in point: she has 28 different copies of The Night Before Christmas! Personally, I am so not a Christmas person - Halloween's more my cup of tea...

I also signed up (a few days ago - I'm behind the times!) for the "Grand Abecedaire" SAL as offered by Claire. I picked up some linen (ecru, I think) and I'm going to try out linen floss - I've never worked with it before, so it should be interesting. I must get stitching - I'm three months behind! ;-)

And finally, as we have a mini-blizzard outside and everyone else is napping, Betsy and I are watching "Shark Week: 20th Anniversary Collection."


"Well, what are you waiting for? Fetch them for me!"


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Winter's still here....

Unfortunately, it looks like our snow is back - we were suppose to get 10 cm today, but it's pretty much tapered off to nothing now. At least someone was happy to see it... ;-)

"Snow! Yippee!"

My (puny) attempt to catch the falling snowflakes...

I received a nice surprise when I got home: a message from Chapters that my order had come in! I had ordered (only a few days ago) Joan Elliott's Bewitching cross stitch and Claire Crompton's Picture your pet in cross stitch. And since they had the latest issues of 'Cross Stitch Gold' and 'World of Cross Stitching,' I just had to pick those up as well! ;-)


I'm looking forward to parking my butt in front of the television with my new books and a glass of wine. ;-)

"Time for tea" (WIP)

My lady's complete! (and so is her friend!)

I stitched quite a bit over the long weekend. I managed to get the majority of the design completed - with a few minor changes. I'm in the process of putting a border of my own design around her; I'm also deliberating about the script that was on the original chart. I'm still not quite sure what I'm going to be doing with her (pin cushion? needlecase?), though I was thinking of (if I'm not going to just frame her) doing a fancy initial for the reverse.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Time for tea (WIP) and heart pin cushion

Still armless...

The lady now has most of her skirt and a table with a wobbly leg... ;-) My jar contents for the Totally Useless SAL grew a bit with her and the quick project below - btw, does cat hair count? ;-)

Ta da!

My first finish of 2009!

A mini heart pin cushion for mum (in honour of Valentine's Day) - it took me an hour and a bit to stitch and about half-an-hour to finish up. It's sort of lumpy and my edges are crooked, but that's what I get when I rush! It was stitched on white aida (that came as part of 'CrossStitcher's' (UK) free gift - but it was crappy aida, all the same...) from a design featured in "101 ways to say thank you" card motif booklet (which, in turn, was the free gift with 'Cross Stitch Crazy' - I just omitted the "thank you so much!" wording). The heart chart was designed by Lucie Heaton and featured DMC 1, 603, 605, and 3799 (for which I substituted 310, since I don't (gasp! ;-) have any 3799...). I (secretly) raided mum's stash for the square of backing fabric - she's slogging through a signature quilt at the moment.

The front...

and the back!

I'm hoping to get more done on the tea lady today and tomorrow (we have a three-day weekend (Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!) due to the 'Family Day' holiday on Monday), maybe even...(gasp!?)...finish her? Nah, that would never happen! ;-)


Saturday, February 14, 2009

My first SAL!

So I've taken the plunge and joined a SAL: the Totally useless SAL. The object is to collect all your stitching 'bits' (including orts, fabric snips, broken buttons, beads, worn out needles (or in my case, bent needles...), floss labels, or anything else related to an x-stitch WIP) in a see-through jar, display the contents once a month (on the new moon) on your blog, and see how much you've collected by years' end!

Hmmm... now I have to find a container.
Freshly washed and ready to go...

My first two bits (from last night's stitching - as you can tell, I didn't get much done!)

Passing inspection...

"What, no treats? This is boring..."

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Time for tea" (WIP) and new mags

I was off on Wednesday, so I made a bit of progress on the "Time for tea..." design - my lady doesn't have an arm, but she has half of a skirt! ;-) As the design develops, I beginning to think I should have used 3 strands of black instead of 2...I can see tiny white gaps between some of the stitches. I haven't quite decided what I'm going to do with her yet - any ideas?

The lady's progression...

And since I was off on Wednesday, I decided to take a trip to Chapters. Bad idea - I should know better than to go there. So, of course, I couldn't resist picking up some new mags. ;-)

As if I need more...

I haven't seen 'Cross stitch and needlepoint' before, but it's got a cute stitcher's trio with a needlecase in the shape of a mouse's house.

Nor have I seen 'Stoney Creek cross stitch collection' before, but I was drawn in by the wildflower design on the front.

I couldn't resist 'The cross stitcher' (US) - it has a kitten afghan!

'Cross stitch crazy' included a booklet with "thank you" mini designs - though most of them could be stitched for other purposes.

'CrossStitcher' (UK) included a free thread pack with cards - I can't say I cared for the designs they featured in the mag (that were intended for the free gift), but I'm definitely going to be using the materials (that is, if I don't "misplace" (read: lose) them first... ;-)

And finally, 'Just cross stitch' featured a few traditional samplers, as well as The Sampler's Girl's "Persuasion Sampler."


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Time for tea..." (WIP)

I started something else...I was getting a little annoyed with the biscornu (trying to figure what I'm going to do with the back... (grrr)), so I decided to have a shot that this chart that I found online at La Chatelaine Designs by Lucy Lyons Willis. I've started it on 18-count ecru aida (DMC), though I would like to go smaller, in DMC 310 (black). Needless to say, I need a smaller needle - I have nothing smaller than a 24!

The pattern and my beginning...

(Extremely fuzzy) close-up

Biscornu (WIP)

Ta-da! Found another USB cable from the laptop travel kit that fit the camera!

The planning stages...

I finished the back of mum's biscornu, and I am now working on the front, changing the design as I go ;-) I planned to do a small row of violets (from the
Blackwork embroidery archives), but that has gone by the wayside - but I still plan to use them on another project somewhere.

Design: I'm sort of going for an overall muted/Victorian feel with a stitcher's motif.

Fabric: 14-count pink aida (DMC), which was left-over from another project.


Backstitch border, triangles, and inside 'stitched' border are done in one strand of light blue (DMC 341) and one strand of dark blue (DMC 336). The mini pincusions were done in DMC; they were adapted from a larger sampler design ("A Stitcher's Celebration Sampler" by Lucie Heaton) featured in 'World of Cross Stitching', issue 146.

I'm still not sure about the blue bits; I might end up unpicking...


Backstitch border is done in one strand of light blue (DMC 341) and one strand of dark blue (DMC 336). Inside border is 12 pins (3 colours - pinks, blues, and yellows), also adapted from the same sampler design above.

I really like how the front pins turned out (ignore the basting stitches)

And I've got to choose a button set... (gold filigree, gold w/pinkish centre, or little Victorian ankle boots) ...decisions, decisions

I've also been looking for appropriate quotes, and I've think I've narrowed it down to three:

"Simple pleasures are life's riches, count your blessings, count your stitches" (from Cross-Stitch Sayings)

"Stitch your stress away" (from Cross-Stitch Sayings) [mum stresses a lot!]

"My your fingers be nimble, your thread seldom tangle, and may love be apparent in all you create" (from 'World of Cross Stitching', issue 143)

I can't decide! ;-)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Headache (groan...)

Just a small post today: I woke up with (another) horrible headache - it's the constant changes in weather pressure; it plays havoc with my sinuses. I've been off work because of it - I can't plan my programme, let alone register patrons for cards!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I am trying my hand at a quick biscornu (mum needs a new pincushion) so I thought I'd make her one of these! I've outlined it in backstitch first - so that I know my sizing (and I counted, and re-counted, and re-counted...). I'm sort of making the pattern up as I go along! I did that with a small cat blackwork sampler that I worked up around Christmas 2007. Unfortunately, since I am so-freaking-unorganized, I have since lost the little devil (I know it's around the house somewhere, I just have no idea where...) Will post a pic as soon as I can get the computer hooked up to the scanner - since I've lost the cable to hook the camera up to the computer! ;-)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Motherhood and marriage musings...

I prepare and present a babies and mum's class at the library where I work, and at the last class, I was talking to a mum who was early. She asked if I had any children, and when I said no, she qualified it with 'not yet.' I always thought that I would love to have children (especially a bunch - can you tell I am an only child?), but I was thinking about what she said later on. The thought popped into my head that, even though I would like to get married, I wouldn't necessarily need motherhood. I'm still not quite sure what to think about that yet, but since I'm somewhat of a traditional soul, I need a partner/husband first (and since my dating/marriage prospects are nil at the moment, that's unlikely to happen anytime soon...)

Pillow (WIP)

Completed a second round of 16 rows - the design is starting to come out, but I think my tension is too loose (it's usually too tight!) (shrug)

I was wondering if I could make it into a back for a cross stitch cushion - though I'm not quite sure how that would fit together - would I need material for the outside edges, or should I be able to lash them together? Anyways, it's still in progress...

Monday, February 2, 2009

"A bald frog with a wig..." ;-)

Once upon a time, a frog named Frank was lonely. You see, he had problems with hair loss - and was as bald as a brush with no bristles. Then one day, a witch stopped by the pond where he lived and in exchange for directions to the palace, granted him one wish. Frank wished for hair. The next morning, he looked into the glassy surface of the pond from his habitual lily-pad, and saw, to his joyful delight, wave upon wave of shiny new locks. Oh, how he hopped with pleasure! But just as he was getting ready to show the other frogs his new self, his lovely new mane caught in the nearby bramble branches. In a flash, his hair deserted him, hanging limply from a twig. Frank glazed sadly at the wig, realizing the trickery the witch had played. But then a thought occurred to him...

This is what I scribbled for the profile question that popped up - but it wouldn't all fit!

(It's a little silly, but that's what happens when you get up at 4-fricking-30 in the morning. Ugh)

Afghan - Pillow

Afghan placed on hold for the moment - I am now trying my hand at a pillow.

"Diagonal texture pillow" from Knitting made easy by Coats and Clark's Red Heart Yarns. I finished rows 1-16 (the main pattern) and I am now starting over again at row 1 (completed). I'm going to take it to work and see what I can do on my lunch hours...