Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Nothing much

Nothing much new really going on. I've been stitching diligently on my grandmother's Christmas present for this year and it is coming along, although slowly. I should have a happy dance for that within a few days. I am making her a glasses case called "Peonies" designed by Marie Barber from JCS mag. After that I need to do something for my mom. Since funds are low I'm doing homemade gifts for everyone that I can this year. I haven't decided for sure yet what to do for my mom, but I'm thinking I might attempt an oval box top that has bullion knot roses on it. I've never done bullion knots before, but it is a small piece, so even if it becomes frustrating it shouldn't be too bad.

I've decided to give my dad my Lady of the Flag. She doesn't really go with my decor and he really liked her when he was here for Thanksgiving. My dad really needs some pictures for his house too - there is almost nothing on his walls at all. Besides all that he is really hard to buy for and probably wouldn't use the dumb $20 shirt or whatever that I usually buy him. He always comments on my needlework, so as long as I don't start giving him something I made for every occasion I think he will appreciate it. I've never done a large piece before for him and everyone else in the family has one - so I guess he should too.

Sean has finally, FINALLY, come to the realization that he cannot stay at the job he is working now. Although he loves the actual work, the boss is more than a little crocked and Sean isn't making near enough money to support us. He got his 3rd paycheck today in more that 5 months and the grand total for all that time is only $2300. Not enough to pay a mortgage and feed two kids anyway. I reminded him that it is about what he made as a part-time bagger at a grocery store when we met 12 yrs ago and this job requires a Master's degree and experience - something ain't right there. So he has gotten busy sending out the resumes, etc.

I am also continuing to look for work. No real response since the last interview I went on, but I have applied to several more places this weekend that looked promising. I've sent off my resumes/applications, so now I'm just crossing my fingers that somebody calls and wants me to interview. I'm also broading my search to include any general office type work rather than just technical writing jobs, since there just aren't that many tech writing jobs out there right now.

Guess that is about it for now - Katie is refusing to nap and is upstairs screaming her head off from her room, so I guess I need to go see if I can't get her to sleep a little so she won't be a holy terror later today.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Cottage Garden Fairy HD!

Put the last bead on her this afternoon! Thank you so much Jill for sending me the Delica beads and conversion - I think she turned out great using the Delicas, they really did fit so well. :)

Thanksgiving went really well too, the whole family came and there was no drama, though I could feel my mother pouting a bit and trying to start something. Luckily no one took the bait!

Hope everyone else had a nice holiday and enjoys the rest of the holiday weekend. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving readiness

I'm probably between 1/2 and 2/3 of the way finished with the beading on Cottage Garden Fairy. If today wasn't the day before Thanksgiving, I'd probably finish today. I have lots of cleaning to do and I need to run Alex to the music store to fix a broken string on his viola. Also I need to finish making the deserts for tomorrow. I will probably still get in a bit of stitching time today - but I'm not counting on it being enough to finish. So my happy dance will have to wait til Thursday after all the guests leave or Friday in between putting up the Christmas tree.

Just so I have a list for myself for next year I'm going to list everything we're making for Thanksgiving this year.

Adults: 8 Teens: 2 Kids: 5

Turkey - 12lbs
Stuffing - out of the box on the stovetop
Potatos - boiled then mashed
Gravy - out of a jar, but may try to fix the gravy packet that came with the turkey too
Squash - 2 large acorn squash baked and removed from shells
Corn - just a bag of frozen corn heated in the microwave
Banana bread - homemade one loaf
Rolls - Brown and serve - 2 pkgs of 12
Cranberry Jello Salad - brought by sis
Green Jello Salad - brought by mom
Black Olives - one can whole olives placed in center of green jello mold
Pumpkin Cheesecake - made from scratch for the very first time!
Apple Crisp - also made from scratch, but looks very easy
Ice cream and whipped topping for with deserts
4 12pks soda
2 10 pks Hi-C for kids
1 gallon milk
1/2 gallon egg nog

I think that is everything. I made the Banana bread, cheesecake, and the squash yesterday since those things need to be baked and the oven will be busy baking turkey on Thanksgiving morning. I will also bake the apple crisp today. I *think* I'm all set, but I usually forget something.

I've already had my one baking mishap, so hopefully everything else will go smoothly. While baking the banana bread, Katie at some point turned the oven dial all the way up - so I had burnt top on my banana bread before I checked it and realized the temp was turned up too high. :( I sliced off the top where it was burnt and I think the rest is fine, so at least I have a funny story to tell when everyone asks why the bread is missing its top.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Good Weekend

I had a really productive weekend. Sean and I finally got around to cleaning the gutters on the house. It really needed to be done. I should say that Sean cleaned the gutters - I just held the ladder steady and said words of encouragement as he climbed onto the roof. I'm too chicken to climb up there myself, and Sean is to chicken to do it without me standing there encouraging him - so we do it as a team every year even though I don't really do any of the work.

I also cleaned the carpet in the living room - which was also sorely needed. We are having everyone from my family over to the house on Thursday for Thanksgiving so I wanted to get that job out of the way this weekend. The carpet still doesn't look brand new or anything, but I got up all the stains and it looks much improved.

Stitching wise I had been stitching on my grandmother's Christmas present from Wed - Fri. I had intended to just work on that until it was finished - sort of a break from my rotation. I am stitching a design called "Peonies" by Marie Barber that appears in one of the JCS issues. It just seemed to be going so slowly and Autumn's Round Robin for the Band Sampler RR showed up at my house on Friday. I couldn't resist starting it and just ended up stitching on that all weekend. I did finish my section on her round robin, so that is one more stitching goal done. :) Below is a pic of what I added to her RR - it is beach themed piece. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Yellow Knockered Fairy

As some of you know, Dinky Dyes is having a competition to use some neon colored yellow thread that came in their Ooopps packs. This is my contest entry. The prize is 20 skeins of Dinky Dyes silk - so how could I not enter.

The fairy is from "Delight in the Little Things" designed by Diane Arthurs and published in the July/Aug 2000 issue of Cross Stitch and Needlework. I changed all the threads though to something more interesting. The dress and part of the stockings are stitched with the famous "Yellow Knockered Fairy" thread. The wand and the letters are also stitched with the contest thread along with 091 blending filament. In real life the design sparkles a bit better. The bottom of the dress is done with a Glissen Gloss thread, the stripes in the stockings are a random varigated silk I had in my stash. The wings have rainbow confetti blending filament stitched in, but you can't see that as well in the pic. The shoes are done with 071 #8 braid. Her hair is Rainbow Gallery whisper. I changed the flower she was holding in the original design to a wand, and changed the facial expression a bit to make her look more "knockered".

It was a lot of fun to do this. I had a lot of fun picking the threads and stitching the design.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I finished all the cross-stitching on CGF! Yippee! Jill has been so kind as to offer to send my some Delica beads which will fit better than the Mill Hills I already have - so I'm going to wait to do the beading til they get here. In the meantime I think I'll start the Christmas gifts I have planned this year. An eyeglass case for my grandmother and a boxtop for my mother. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I finished ths small design on Katie's blanket this morning. It is called "Tulips" and is part of a small series called Pockets full of Love published in Cross Stitch Quick & Easy, March/April 1991. It was designed by Bette Ashley.

Not much else going on around here. I applied for another position at the company I interviewed with last spring. I had a second interview there and they seemed to indicate I was close to getting that position and were encouraging that I should apply again should another position open. So we'll see.

Thanks to all of you who were supportive about my family's weekend drama. I've heard from my mom that apologies have been made all around, so hopefully we'll get through the holidays okay. Of course mom was really calling to tell me sis apologized but to also complain some more about the whole incident and try to get me to be on 'her' side which I tried hard not to do without ofending her. Like walking a minefield, which is really part of the original problem in the first place. She can be really easy to offend, and I often wonder if she isn't trying to start things just to get attention. Ah, but I digress. I ended up agreeing with her more than I really wanted to - just to keep the peace.

In some good news - I'm going to be finishing up Cottage Garden Fairy! :) I just have a bit of blue on the bottom left to cross stitch and then all the beading. It'll probably take more than the three days I ususally spend on each project in my rotation, but I'll definitely be into the beading by day 3, and once I start the beading, I just keep going til it is done. So watch this space for a happy dance. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Family Drama

Today was my niece's baptism. A day that should have been joyous and fun. The entire family should have been glad to be there together celebrating this new person brought into our family and her being dedicated to the Lord. Instead a lot of drama happened, and I just feel really sad for my family right now.

The details of the argument are not really so important as the feelings behind the argument. Basically my mother feels left out and ostricized by my sister and her husband and the husband's family. Quite honestly after the behavior I witnessed today I cannot say I blame her. On the other hand, my mother is a drama queen, and totally over-reacted and created a scene in front of our entire family and sis's husband's entire family.

Unfortunately it ruined the day for me - not that it is about me - I just felt so bad/sad/mad at both sis and mom. And there is nothing I can do about it. And Thanksgiving, which is supposed to be held at my house, is in less than 2 weeks, and this is likely to boil over into that holiday. Christmas is to be held at this sis's house and will also likely be colored by today's events. Drama always has a long life in my family. :( :(

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I finished the wings!

I finally got in a solid rotation on this piece. :) And I finished her wings! I added blending filament to all the white and that got really tedious, but of course once you start, you can't stop. Unfortunately you can't really tell in this photo, but the wings are pretty sparkly. She did seem to go much more easily once I finished the wings. I did a bit on the bodice and it was just starting to be fun when the night was over and it was time for bed. Ah well, at least when she comes up again I won't be dreading her!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Paa dee, Mama!

Just now I was futzing away on the wings for my Angel of Summer when I noticed Katie was being sort of fussy. She had a full sippy cup and a few goldfish that I had given her as a snack to hold her off til dinner, so I knew she wasn't hungry. She was acting like she wanted me to come with her though, like she usually does when she wants me to go into the kitchen and fill her cup or something. Since I knew she was taken care of in that area I kept asking her what's wrong and giving her a book or toy to play with. Finally she goes.... "paa dee Mama". I got up immediately wondering if I'd heard her right, and sure enough she headed straight for the bathroom. Once we got in there I discovered that she had already done a #2 in her diaper (not sure if she was trying to prevent that or not). I put her on the potty anyway, where she finished her #2 and also went pee.

Now, I don't know if she just is getting to the point where she wants to be changed right away when she does a #2 and wasn't really telling me she had to go - but that she wanted to be changed? I always change her in the bathroom now and have her sit on the potty after I take off the old diaper. But even that is progress! At least she can say it now. I'm so excited. My luck though it'll be 6 months or a year before she does it again - but I made sure to give her lots of praise so she knows she made Mama happy anyway. :)

DH isn't home from work yet, and DS is at an after-school religion program so I needed to tell someone.

Draggie HD

Last night I finished stitching this dragon on Kari's RR. It is "Majesty" from Legends of the Dragons and is designed by Karen Weaver of Black Swan. I changed the tail a bit and the back part of the larger wing so that it wouldn't look so 'cut off' as the orignial design fits into a backstitched square. Since the next RR piece has not arrived yet, and really isn't scheduled to until next week guess I have to work on Angel of Summer today. :( I will, will, will make some good progress on her - after all that is probably the only thing that is going to get me feeling good about her again.

In other news, my phone interview went pretty well yesterday, but it was just a standard set of questions that the HR person asks you and then forwards your answers to the hiring manager. So I'm not really getting my hopes up there. If the hiring manager likes what I had to say I'll get another call for a face-to-face interview. I also talked to a friend who previously worked at the company where I had the in-person interview two weeks ago, and she said not to give up on them yet. They always take a really long time to get back to people and hire them. It took a month from her interview til she had the job there. I guess that is encouraging, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, cause I really felt depressed when they didn't call within a week. I don't want to do that all over again if they still don't call. I think I will send them a Thank-you card for the interview though. Want to keep a favorable impression fresh in their minds for when they do make a decision.

Otherwise, not too much going on around here. I've been raking and raking leaves lately instead of my morning walks for exercise. I must be using different muscles or something or not really getting exercise raking leaves cause when I went for my regular walk this morning - boy did I feel it. The same 30 min walk I usually take that is about 50 percent uphill felt like I was trying to kill myself. I guess the last week or so raking leaves instead of walking put me out of shape for the walk. At least I haven't gained back any weight though. Big victory for me considering how much Halloween candy there was in the house between the two kids. It was really hard not to sneak into their baskets while Alex was at school. I managed to only eat a few pieces and now it is all gone! Yay! Now I just need to get through Thanksgiving and Christmas and the New Year, and Valentines... and... well back to spring when I can be more active.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Stitcher's Lane RR

Just finished another house for my Stitcher's Lane RR. This is from a design called "Words to Live By" by Jorja Hernandez in one of my older magazines. It's one of those designs I always thought was sorta cute, but probably never would have otherwise done. That's one of the reasons I like Round Robins. I finished this up last night and today I've been working on Kari's piece for the open RR. Her theme is dragons and I'm stitching "Majesty" by Karen Weaver from the leaflet "Legends of the Dragons". So far it is coming out well, but it will probably be a few more days before I post a happy dance for that one.

I put Angel of Summer aside to do these RRs, and I have to admit hoping that the next RR (the any designer sampler RR) comes in the mail before I finish on Kari's. Then I won't have to go back to it just yet! I think once I finish the wings on her I'll have more fun working on her, but with those hanging over my head - UGH. I will, will, will knock out three days on her once all my RRs are done. I promise myself. That will likely take care of the wings, so then maybe the pain will be over!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Another Interview

Still haven't heard from the company I interviewed with more than a week ago now, but I did get a call yesterday about doing a phone interview with a different company. I had a phone interview with this same company a few years back when I was contemplating leaving my old job, but never got past the phone interview. If I do well on the phone interview, I guess there will be a face-to-face interview too. I'm less optomistic about this company than the last because I know they want someone who has experience working with several different Adobe software packages. One of which I know well, two that I've had minimal experience with, and one that I haven't used at all. If I remember correctly that is why I didn't really make it beyond the phone interview last time. The thing is though, they ask you all that on the form you have to fill out online to send in your resume, and I answered honestly, so they should already know that. Why call me if they already know I don't have all the experience they want? I also applied to another strong possibility on Thursday. It isn't a Tech Writer position, it is a Business Analyst position, but the job duties are primarily writing and revising customer specifications and they want someone with a writing background that knows the securities industry (My last company was a securities company.).

Thursday, November 03, 2005

WIP Kill Mode

I've decided to stay strong and not start anything new for now. I started looking through the projects I have going now and thinking about what all I HAVE to stitch and started feeling a little stressed. No need to add more to the mix I guess, especially since I'm trying to go back to work. They sure are tempting though! The next piece in my stitcher's lane RR arrived yesterday, so I started that. I have another RR piece that will arrive shortly for the open-themed RR too, so then I'll have another start there. Sort of the best of both worlds, getting to start something and work on something I need to finish at the same time. I also need to stitch a small piece for my Grandma before Christmas. I do it for her every year and I know she really looks forward to it. This year I think I'm going to do a case for her glasses.

Right now I have sort of a four project rotation. First slot is CGF, second slot is for my RRs, third slot is for Katie's blanket, and the fourth slot I rotate my remaining WIPs. When I finish CGF, that slot will go to either Alhambra Garden or the Table runner. I just can't get excited about Angel of Summer, so stitching on her a few days a month is probably all she is gonna see for awhile (at least until those wings are done).

On a different note, I haven't heard anything back from the company that I interviewed for last week. I guess that doesn't necessarily mean anything, they could just be taking thier time making a decision. I guess I sort of feel in my gut that they would have called by now if they wanted me. I'm feeling pretty depressed about not getting it because it was pretty much the identical job to what I did before and I can't think of anything for which I'm more qualifed. If I can't get that job, what job can I get? Also I'd been feeling sort of depressed for awhile about our financial situation and having to go back to work, but I thought getting the job would help lift that because it would solve the financial worry and give me something new to focus on. Now, I feel like I can't even get a job if I want to. I know it is only one company, but I've applied to lots of others and haven't even gotten a response from anyone else. I'm just worrying now that what I thought was the answer isn't going to work either. :(

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Cottage Garden Fairy

She is getting very close to being done. :) Just one more section of blue stitching and then the beading. This one was pretty fast in comparison to "The Kiss" or "Fairy Idyll". The ironic thing is that she still took 2+ years to do! So now I have to decide on whether to start something new when I finish her, or continue on in my WIP kill mode? And if I do start something new, what?

I really shouldn't start something new as I have Alhambra Garden, Angel of Summer, and my Hardanger Table Runner already on the go. I want to finish both Alhambra Garden and the runner before next summer so that I can enter them in the fair. I also have 3 Round Robins in progress and another that will start in January (so I'm really already stitching for it.) I'm also going to be stitching the Chatelaine Sampler Mystery when the group starts in January.

I think I just talked myself out of starting something new, but I'll go ahead and list the things I'm thinking of starting anyway.

  • "Silkwood Manor" by Just Nan. The chart was just to big a purchase not to do it! Plus I really do love the piece. Kari is working on this one and has some really inspiring pics of it in her blog.
  • "Emma's Garden" by MLI. This would make a great 1yr birthday present for my niece who was just born at the end of Sept. It is a small piece too, so I could probably finish it in one year.
  • "St. Basil's Cathedral" by Dimples. I've been meaning to start this forever and I have a great piece of opalescent fabric to stitch it on. It is also on the smaller side which would be nice.
  • "Stone Roses" Mirabilia. A piece I've loved for ages and wanted to start since about 1999 and it just keeps getting pushed back for one reason or another. I even hoarded a bunch of the old 451,452,453 DMC threads so the shading will be more like Nora intened.
  • "Mother's Tree" MLI. I did "My Son" for Alex and would really like to do a nice heirloom-type piece for Katie too. I got into geneology a few years back and was able to trace about 7 generations back on this line.

Okay, now I've talked myself back into starting something cause there are so many!! So now which one will it be? Maybe if I start it after one of my Round Robins ends? ARGH, I'm so indecisive.