Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hurricane Tracking Map Cross Stitch Pattern

I've been promising for a couple weeks to release this one...and it is just in time for the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season tomorrow (through a very distant November 30th).  Finally, I was able to get all my ducks in a row and my Hurricane Tracking Map Cross Stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop.

A friend of mine had originally stitched this years ago from a pattern neither of us could seem to find; all that she could remember was it being released in the late 1980's.  I remember standing in front of her framed stitched map at her house in awe until she finally took it off the wall and said "here, stitch one for yourself".  Which, embarrassingly, took me a couple years...between work, procrastination, and cancer (beat it btw!) it fell by the way side.  It was quite a task to stitch from a finish sample and finally, through the process, it dawned on me to re-chart it so lots of people could enjoy working this pattern...and voila!

As with all my patterns; you will receive a PDF digital file with a color pattern, photographs, a color chart referencing DMC thread plus a supply list and a few helpful hints.  It's a big pattern but not complicated; plus cross stitch is a cinch if you are new to embroidery.

Here's hoping for happy stitching during an uneventful storm season!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

How To Lose A Blog Reader For Like Ever...

I love blogs, I love reading them, pinning their pics, sharing their stories on my Facebook feed...I even have my own!    Blogs are and always will be such a great storyline curated by individuals that connect us to their plights and victories.  We learn, we laugh from all this sharing and maybe, at least from my experience, feel a little less isolate in the world.  So, I was somewhat shocked to find one of my favorite blogs (that I've followed for many, many years now) Yvestown, has begun to openly solicit "donations" to repair her roof.  Part of my dismay, is that, as she has stated, has no financial burden to remedy this herself .  As quoted from her site,
I have to say that I'm not poor and that I'm capable of paying for my own roof.

She wants people to contribute because she runs an "ad free" blog and she has shared her ideas with thousands of readers for years.  Um ok, I always thought she was a bit quirky but seriously?  She has 5 "sponsors" to the right of her posts...most posts since the new year feature something about each of these sponsors.  Also, in the beginning of the new year she completely deleted years worth of beautiful, charming blog posts.  So, even if I were to "donate" for all her hard work blogging, I can not even go back in her archive and re-read anything.  I'm all for monetizing blogs but be honest when you are doing it.  Please.

Lastly, my biggest disappointment is in her choice to use the Paypal "donate" button.  Apparently, you do not have to be a non-profit or charity to use this button according to Paypal (because I did indeed look).  So, it is just in poor taste, especially with so many people legitimately needing help.

Yvestown, seriously you are lucky to have a roof over your own head.  I'm publicly imploring you to honestly donate any money collected for your roof to a legitimate charitable organization.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Plan Bee: The Backyard Bee Count

I just love sunflowers and every year I try a new variety in my garden for a little height and a pop of color.  Last year I picked up some Lemon Queen seed by chance and ended up finding my favorite variety.  Not only was it a sweet pale yellow but I noted that bees were all a buzz over it!  So, as I am reading this month's issue of Organic Gardening on Sunflowers (its in the print edition - not the web) they just happen to list Lemon Queen and mention that bees love it so much that it was selected as the test flower for the Backyard Bee Count.  Curious, I searched for it and found a really neat project that began in 2008 involving a nation of backyard gardeners.  Developed to better understand where the bees are as many have fallen ill, the project uses Lemon Queen sunflowers (and a few other bee attractors like bees balm).  Amateur gardeners study the growth of their blooms and track how many bees visit a bloom during 15 minute intervals, then input this online to be complied with other gardens.  Lemon Queen is a great choice for this project because it has so much pollen (some varieties were developed for the floral trade and do not produce pollen) also, by everyone using the same plant, its easier to compare apples to apples.  I immediately signed up as I had, by chance, planted my seeds 2 weeks earlier; I think I might get a few more packs and rotate them through the summer as they have a quick cycle.   I'll post my numbers in a few weeks when I get my first blooms!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sky Scarf: April

I am officially 1/3 complete with my Sky Scarf!  If you've been following along, I have been knitting 2 rows to reflect the sky each day as part of Leafcutter Design's Sky Scarf Project.  You can check my progress here on the blog or see my snapshots on flickr.  Most of April was partly cloudy which made for kind of a boring scarf month (but completely pleasant weather-wise) AND I went ahead and bought another skein of light blue and white; this month I'm sure to use them.  This scarf is getting quite long; probably because I did not use the lace-weight yarn as recommended...this should be interesting as I'm only five feet tall!

Oh, and here's a little tease...I have a new cross stitch pattern coming out next week in my Etsy shop.  It's a vintage pattern that I'm working backwards...i.e. its completed and I'm in the process of cleaning it up and  re-charting.  Anyway, I'm super excited and I can't wait to share with you all as it is just outstanding!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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