Sunday, July 31, 2005

Tired Today

Don't know why I'm so tired today - got plenty of sleep and such last night.

Today I went to a baby shower for an old collegue of mine. I gave her the Mira Cherub as a gift. I sort of have a tradition with the girls at work of doing a small design for them for their first baby. It got the appropriate number of oohs and ahhs so I guess that was a success and made me happy.

I've started the prep work for another RR, I think I'll post more about that tomorrow though. Enough for today - too tired!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What a difference a day makes! :)

Whew! Today was such a good day. I didn't get irritated at all by Katie and I felt relaxed and happy all day. I really felt like I was enjoying her rather than resisting her clingyness. I don't think she was really that different either - it was me that was different. I just needed that break I got yesterday. A little me time did wonders for my attitude I think. It is so much easier to accept that you have to take full responsibility for this little person when you don't feel like they are sucking out your soul! Okay, that sounds way more dramatic than I really mean it, but the right words are escaping me right now. Anyway, today was a good day - I'm happy with my life, my daughter and son (and DH too) are wonderful people, all is right with the world. What more could a girl ask for? I just feel it all coming together I guess. Now to plan my next day to get away for a bit so I don't head into that burn out I felt a few days ago again. :) I have a baby shower to go to on Sunday - so I think that will help since I'll be going to that solo.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Fair

What a great day! No kids, just me and stitching and other stitchers and seeing beautiful work. :) I'm happy to report that Katie's Baptism dress won the blue ribbon - first place in the Hardanger, any other lace embroidery technique category. My Lady of the Flag won third place in the Cross Stitch 150 square inches or larger category. I was happy to have it do that well as the first place winner was a very intricate sampler with many specialty stitches. It was also a compilation of many patterns, not just one. Second place went to someone's "Flower Power" which is just a huge design. She had done some of it over one too - so really there was no competition between those two pieces and mine. I knew right away when they brought out the entries that third was the best I could hope for.

My other three pieces didn't place, but I don't mind at all. I really enjoyed watching what everyone else entered and seeing what the judges look for, etc. It was a lot of fun. :)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Getting Ready for the Fair

Today is entry day for the fair. I rounded up everything I'm entering for a group photo. :) Alex helped me carry everything into the expo center and entertained Katie in her stroller while I handed everything over and got my claim tickets. Just dropping the stuff off has me in a great mood. I even love this part of it - there are always all sorts of crafty people entering their things and talking to you in line. I just love seeing what everyone else did and is entering and trading compliments on each other's work. There will be plenty more of that tomorrow and no kids in tow! Woo Hoo! I'll probably post an update tomorrow with whether or not I won any ribbons. I really go for the experience of mingling with other obsessed stitchers and crafters - so if I don't win anything that will be okay. There is actually quite a bit of stiff competition, so coming home empty-handed is likely - but I don't care. :)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Mommy vent

UGH! Somedays I wish I never became a mother. I know, I know, I'm very blessed to have two very beautiful children who are for the most part happy and healthy. I'm just so sick to death of doing everything for them lately. And Katie has gotten so clingy - I literally cannot step down the hall to pee without her hanging on the gate and crying hysterically as if I'd beaten her or something. And DH is really no help. He has started a new job while still working his old one and lately it seems he is always home later than he said he'd be. And he pretends to help - but doesn't really get the job done so then I have to step in and set things right. It is soooo aggravating to never have a moment to myself. For example, tonight DH offers half way through our meal to give me a break and finish feeding Katie so I can eat my dinner. Sounds pretty good right? I say thanks and go ahead and eat only to discover when I'm through that Katie hasn't eaten one bite since I handed her off to DH. He has just been letting her pass the food back and forth to his plate and she has been playing instead of eating! He thinks this is hysterical only I know that now I have to get her to understand we are not playing now, we are eating now which proves nearly impossible after he has set the precedent for fun and games at the table. So she doesn't eat. So she will be cranky the rest of the night and I'll have to feed her later to quiet her. Then DH wonders why I'm all stressed but don't want to give up the "chores" to him. Sometimes I think he does it on purpose. Other times he'll say go ahead and take a break and I'll watch Katie for awhile. I no more than get downstairs on the computer or to my stitching chair and she is screaming. DH will just sit there and say "baby she's crying" like he is coming to me to fix the problem. And Katie has taken to just screaming when she wants something. Not crying - screaming. Just letting out a loud screech as if something horendous has just happened. Usually she wants to be picked up. I know some of that is normal because she is old enough to want to communicate now, but hasn't figured out how to use words yet. It is just so nerve wracking to be going about your day and to have an unpredictable piercing scream in your ear at every turn.

*sigh* I know this too will pass. And I am truly grateful for all I have - I'm just frustrated and burnt out. If I can just hang on til Tuesday. Tuesday I get to spend the entire day by myself at the judging for the fair. I don't care if I don't win one ribbon or hear one favorable comment about anything I stitched from the judges or the other stitchers there - I'm just going to be glad to have a whole day to do what I want. I can look at stitching and crafts all day, eat lunch without having to worry about whether Katie is eating hers, and just relax without any piercing screams. Sounds like heaven right now.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Open Themed RR

Tonight I finished getting my piece ready for the next stitching round robin that I'm participating in. It is an open - themed round robin, so everyone pretty much has a different theme. I think it will be interesting and fun because I'll get to stitch something different for each mailing. :)

I chose butterflies for my theme. The border butterflies are from a sampler called "Wings of Time" designed by Linda Reeves and are done in Caron Amenthyst Wildflowers. The design appears in the Dec. 1999 issue of Just Cross Stitch Magazine. I sort of made up the smaller white butterflies, though I'm sure somebody somewhere has done that stitch before. I did them with white Vicki Clayton #12 perle silk and 002hl blending filament. The butterfly in the center is designed by Mike Vikery and is part of the Butterfly Garden Afghan design that appears in the August 2002 issue of Just Cross Stitch.

Monday, July 18, 2005


We spent this past weekend camping with my two sisters and their families. It went okay, but it was REALLY hot for being outside the whole day. My youngest sister and her husband picked the campground, which was a state park. That meant that we had to park the car about a mile from where our campsite was and treck all our gear in with carts to the site. UGH! This sister is pregnant now, but does not have any children yet. I guarantee you she won't be picking a site like that with a toddler in tow. Heck, I don't know how she even stood the heat being 7 months preggo. Since we were way back in the wilderness it was nice and peaceful and serene. I know that is the effect they were shooting for, but with little kids sometimes you gotta go with convenience over serenity. The kids all had fun at least - we could swim right off our lakeside campsite and since it was so hot we spent most of the weekend getting in and out of the water. Luckily my other sister had the foresite to bring lots and lots of drinks and I brought tons of sunblock for the kids. We also managed not to cook too much over the fire by having cold sandwiches for lunch and we used a hot plate to cook pancakes and french toast for breakfast. We waited to have dinner til pretty late, like 8pm when the sun wasn't beating down so bad.
We will probably skip next year as Wendy's baby won't be old enough to take then, but in two years we are going to try to make it a once-a-year family get together. Karen and I will be insisting on a campground where you can park your car next to your tent though!
Oh the pic is Katie having fun in the sun at the campground. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Noah's Ark Blanket

I managed to finish the last of my pieces for the fair last night. :) Here is the Noah's Ark Blanket I made for my sister's baby due end of Sept. This is mostly a combination of two patterns. The animals and rainbow in the squares on the outside are from TW's Noah's Ark (except for the cows and parrots). The inside design is Marie Barber's Noah's Ark afghan and the stars in the corners are also from that design. The unicorn in the bottom right is from TW's Fantasy Sampler and the cows are from a Lori Birmingham ornament. The parrots are just copied from the center design. I omitted the elephants and rhinos from the TW design cause I didn't want any animals that were sort of cut off and didn't show the whole animal. I had to make a few slight modifications to the turtle and squirrel blocks for that reason too. Also, I always make a quilt/blanket for each new grandchild in our family and there are always cows since my dad runs a dairy farm. So I had to find a cow for this one too. :)

I made one other change too - the rabbits are done in grays instead of browns. I rearranged the squares a bit because of substituting some animals and didn't want the deer and rabbits to be the same color right next to each other, so my rabbits are gray instead of the brown on the original pattern.

There is also a pic above of the back of the blanket so that you can see I used a rainbow colored fleece. There is also a thin layer of light tan colored cotton between the afghan cloth and the fleece so that the rainbow colors wouldn't show through the front. It is edged with a white satin.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Weight Loss :)

Recently I've finally managed to take off a bit of weight. About 9 lbs in 2 months. Now I know that isn't a lot, but it is very exciting for me. Except for a brief stint on Atkins before getting pregnant with Katie, I've never been able to stick to a diet or lose any weight any time in my adult life.

My heaviest weight was 196 in June of 2003 - I went on Atkins and lost 12 lbs to put me at 184. I had to quit that diet in late August when I got pregnant with Katie. After I had Katie I lost most of the pregnancy weight and settled in at 187 - which is pretty much the number I had been at since about one year after Alex's birth until about a year before Katie's when I had ballooned up to 196. Today my weight was 178! :) :) I haven't weighed this little since 1996!

I'm not doing a specific program or anything - mostly because specific programs just give me something to fail at. :( I know losing weight to keep it off means making a lifestyle change, which is why I haven't gone back to Atkins even though I had some success with it. I don't think I could eat like that forever. I've been taking a 30 minute walk every day - even today in the rain. Since we live in a very hilly neighborhood I make sure I climb at least one hill on each walk. If the sun isn't too blazing I've started to take longer walks and do two hills now that I'm not as woefully out of shape as when I started. On the eating front I'm mostly just doing the obvious. I have one small snack mid afternoon about 2 - 3pm, but otherwise no eating between meals. My portion sizes are better now too. We have Tombstone Pizza for dinner on Wed. cause DH works late on Wed and it is easy. I used to eat four pieces of that! Now I eat two and maybe a bite or two of the one piece I gave Katie that she didn't manage to finish. I eat whatever I want - or whatever I used to eat - just less of it. I used to eat two PBJ sandwiches at lunch, now just one, etc. Anyway, I don't expect I'll reach my ideal weight this way, but if I lose 10 or 15 lbs that isn't bad. :)

Losing the bit I have has been really encouraging, so I feel better about keeping the changes I've made so far. Who knows what another 5 or 10 lbs might motivate me to do. :)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Finished my Mira Cherub. :)

I was supposed to help my sister move yesterday, but they unexpected finished most of the heavy work the day before and didn't need our help. Translation for me was extra stitching time. :) Normally on Saturday, my rotation would call for pulling out my RR piece I'm getting ready to send for Aug. 1, but instead I decided to finish up this as I was so close. I worked on her all my free time yesterday and then a bit today to finish the beads. Here she is. :) I will probably go right to work on the afghan now since that is also close to being done - then I'll have everything ready for the fair. I do have a tiny bit of repair work to do on Katie's Baptism dress too, but that will take 15 min. or so, so no biggee.

So all you stitchers have a little happy dance with me. :)

Friday, July 08, 2005


Well I had a nice long entry all typed out and Katie climbed up on my lap and hit the power button on the computer plunging the whole thing into darkness. UGH! I'll just try to remember the highlights.

I'm going to try to clean up more around the house. My house is just as messy now as it was when I worked full time. Now that I'm a full-time SAHM, there really is no excuse for my house to be this messy. I've decided that in addition to being more diligent about picking up day-to-day messiness, I'm also going to make a point to clean all the floors on Friday mornings when I do the laundry. I think that will help a lot and I always feel better when the place is reasonably clean anyway.

On another note, DH is transitioning to a new job. He is still working as a case manager/Social Worker for the next month or so but he has also started a new job as a therapist at a practice. He has the potential to make as much as we used to make together if he just sees 20 clients a week, so I'm sure it'll work out. It is just stressful now because he is trying to do both while he builds up a client list. His current job does not really make enought to pay all our bills and we've been slowly depleting the saving we had from this years tax return to make up the difference. We are both stressed about it and he is gone more so it has been a real strain.

On the stitching front I don't think I'll be finishing the Mira Cherub today like I hoped unless some elves have stitched her while I slept. ;) Oh well, I'll definitely finish her next week, right after I finish the Noah's Ark Afghan. Next week will be a big week for finishes - so watch this space for pictures.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London :(

Just want to begin by expressing heartfelt sympathy for all in or near London, and all those who have loved ones in that area. Hope there are few fatalities and casualties.

On an unrelated, much more trivial note, I finished my rotation on Noah's Ark Afghan - I just have some filling in of the last symbol to do on the bottom of the ark and then some backstitching. I should finish for sure Monday or Tues of next week when I pull it out again.

Now I'm working on the Mira Cherub. I have it about 2/3 done and with a little luck I might even finish it today or tomorrow while it is up in the rotation. I'll post a pic when it is finished. :)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


We went to the fireworks last night and Katie was so tired. She normally goes to bed at 8pm, and was up til 11pm for the fireworks, so I guess it was to be expected. I'm glad we took her though - she seemed to really enjoy them. :)

On the stitching front, I'm plugging away at the Noah's Ark Afghan. UGH - all I have left is the browns in the ark itself and it is so slow going right now. I have the rest of today and tomorrow to work on it before I move onto the Mira Cherub, so I hope I get a lot accomplished. With any luck I'll be able to finish this the next time it comes up. :)

Sunday, July 03, 2005

On the Farm

Today we went to have a cook out/get together at my dad's house. He runs a dairy farm and the kids all look forward to having a hay ride, going in the hay mow, seeing the cows, etc. It was a lot of fun, but also sort of sad for me. My dad was recently diagnosed with MS - he is 51 which is beyond the age most are diagnosed - so we were pretty shocked in April when he was diagnosed. He is doing well still, but has lost a lot of weight and seems to be walking with a slight limp. It was a little sad today because it might have been our last trip to the farm - my dad simply cannot continue to work 14 hour - sometimes 18hr days in the summer of physical labor with this condition. He has had to change his diet which was a lot of dairy and red meats before to more greens and healthy fair. This is why he is losing a lot of weight - he was always thin to begin with, he burns off those calories working so hard. He is used to eating as much as he wants of high calorie stuff just to keep going - now he cannot do that and he is dropping weight he cannot afford to drop. :(

Anyway it was a good day, all the grandkids had fun. :) Here are a few pictures. Alex, my DS, is the one in the blue shirt and shorts. Katie, my DD, is the little one year old. The other three are my sisters kids - Nikki, Allie, and Dayne.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Just trying out blogging to see what all the fuss is about I guess. Seems everyone has a blog these days and I thought it might be nice to have one to post my stitching progress. There will probably also be occasional pictures and stories about my DH, 9yr old son Alex, and 1yr old daughter Katie. :)

Here is a pic taken of the kids in late March, just as the last of the snow here in southeastern WI melted.

Since I'm going to keep track of my stitching here, I'll start by listing what I currently have in progress.

Noah's Ark Afghan - This is a baby afghan I'm doing for my sister whose first baby is due end of Sept. I stitched TW's Noah's Ark animals in the squares around the border and an stitching a Marie Barber Noah's Ark design from JCS in the center. I'm getting close to have this done - maybe will finish in two weeks? That is good because I plan on entering it in the state fair and have to have it turned in by July 25 to make the fair deadline

2001 Mirabilia Cherub - This is the one of the angel holding the baby. I'm about 3/4 done and will probably also finish this one within the next week or two. In addition to my sister being pregnant right now, I also have several girlfriends who are currently expecting. I will probably give this as a gift to one of them after the fair. This will be entered in the small xstitch category at the fair

Stitcher's Lane RR - I've finished my stitching on Mary's RR - I will get Kari's somewhere around the end of the month. This is my first RR and has encouraged me to sign up for two more RRs. They are more fun than I thought!

Cottage Garden Fairy - probably somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 done. She is stitching up really fast compared to Lady of the Flag - which I recently completed. Lady of the Flag will be entered in the fair too.

English Garden Welcome - I have the border done, the WELCOME in the top middle and a start on the main picture. Not really active on this one right now as I'm trying to finish up stuff for the fair. I plan to work on it again once the fair is over

Hardanger Table Runner - cannot remember the designer right off hand but I'm doing it on 32ct white Joblean with dusty rose Vicky Clayton silks and white perle cotton threads. It's beautiful. Also will be more active after the fair

Open-themed RR - This is getting ready to start the first week in August, so I'm in the process of getting my piece ready to send out. I'm doing a butterfly theme on a hand-dyed blue fabric. I've started the border backstitching butterflies from a sampler in JCS using Amenthyst Wildflowers. After I have more done I'll post a pic -maybe tomorrow

Right now I'm just rotating three projects at a time in order to complete things for the fair. I'm working on Noah's Ark Afghan Mon, Tues., Wed. Then Mira Cherub Thurs. and Friday. I was doing Cottage Garden Fairy Sat and Sun, but this spot gets bumped whenever I need to work on a RR - this weekend I'm setting up the Butterfly piece for the RR and working on that. I plan to go back to a larger rotation after the fair.

Ah the fair - I guess I'll write a little about that while I'm at it. I really like going to the fair and entering my pieces. Sometimes I win, sometimes not and it doesn't seem to be too predictable. I like to people watch all the other stitchers too. Some get into the whole winning/losing thing so much. I just really like seeing what other people are stitching and hearing the judges comments about what they were looking for and why stuff won. I had to skip last years fair cause I had a newborn at home but this year DH is going to take a day off so I can go to the judging.

I'm entering

Hardanger/openwork category - Katie's Baptism Dress
Cross Stitch larger than 150 square inches - Lady of the Flag
Cross Stitch between 50 and 100 sq in - Sisters
Cross Stitch less than 50 sq in. - Mira Cherub 2001
Cross Stitch not a framed picture - Noah's Ark Afghan

I'll post pics of all this stuff as I finish and as the fair gets closer. :)