Monday, December 24, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
SQEEEE I'm so excited! We've wanted one since last year, but didn't really get serious about trying to actually get one til this year - We figured the demand would have subsided by this year and that Nintendo would have caught up. Not so...
Sunday, December 16, 2007
In other news, Katie is now recovering from a nasty ear infection. She isn't really prone to them - this is only her 3rd - she seems to get one a year or so. This one was really bad though. We first noticed she was sick on Monday night when she woke in the middle of the night and threw up in her bed. Ick! I first thought a stomach bug or just fatigue general sickyness from a cold that was going around school. Tuesday we kept her home from Daycare cause she seemed sort of lethargic and we were all homebound because of an icestorm anyway. Wed. DH stayed home with her and by this time she was complaining of her ear hurting. I took her in to the doctor Wed afternoon and they confirmed my diagnosis of an ear infection and gave her some antibiotic drops for her ear. I thought she'd be up and her old self by sometime Thursday, but when that didn't happen I started to get worried. I called the doctor's office Thurs. night and they basically reacted as though I was just being worrisome and that I hadn't given the drops enough time to work. Luckily my boss was really understanding through all of this and I was able to work from home both Thurs and Friday and keep her busy with Disney movies and Spongebob since she was mostly lying on the couch being cranky and sick. She would seem a little better for an hour or two, but then seem as sick and warm and cranky as ever.
Today is the first day that I've been confident that she is actually getting better and it's Sunday. I've never had one of my kids be this sick for this long before, and for that I guess I should be grateful. Sean and I are about worn out from it all though. The worrying and all the extra effort to keep her comfortable and not fussing. Of course now that she is feeling better she is accostomed to a little more attention and not wanting to give that up although she is clearly better and playing with her dolls and toys and beginning to want to eat again. I think I'll actually be glad to get back to work tomorrow!
Monday, December 03, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
My mom collects deer and I thought that doing one of these for her each year would be a nice addition to whatever Christmas pressie I get for her. I decided to use Silvery Moon fabric mostly because I have a huge piece of it left over from Heritage Sampler, since I had to buy a whole yard and I know I 'll have enough to do all 8 Christmas Couriers on it. It is going really quickly, but I was sort of surprised by how much specialty stuff these little designs use - didn't have much in my stash already to complete it. I did buy the braids and a few of the magnifica beads, but I think I'll make substitutions for the treasures and the other beads. I think I'll also just use DMC B5200 for the tail instead of the recommended Whisper - I've heard it yellows anyway. I have already subbed some Dinky Dyes plum for the recommended Waterlilies thread for the berries in the wreath. I think that looks pretty good so far. :) It was only like 30 stitches anyway - so I'd hate to spend $6 on 30 stitches.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
I also took advantage of some unexpected free time on Friday afternoon and finished off my first ever Halloween design into my first ever flatfold. It turned out okay, and looks pretty good in the photo, but a closer examination would reveal some finishing blunders. Looks good enough to have up for the month of October though, and I since this was my first flatfold I knew the finishing probably wouldn't be the greatest. I'll do better on the next one having had the practice now. :)
Thursday, October 04, 2007
This is what I received from the recent Open-themed exchange on the Rotation Board. This is from Liz, and she stitched me the prettiest little biscornu. :) I think I'll ditch my old ugly pin cushion from JoAnn's and start using this instead. :)
Monday, October 01, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I've almost finished the top band of purple flowers and greenery. I'm really happy with my fabric choice - I picked 32ct. Silvery Moon and the colors show up really nicely, not sure that this photo really does that aspect any justice, but at least you can see my progress. I wanted to get a good start on it before just moving it into a regular rotation spot - this is about 6 nights of work.
I'm back to the rotation for now though, so today/tonight I'm stitching on Alhambra Garden. I'm hoping to get to do another of the corners, I think I should be able to at least start on it.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
For the Sweetheart Tree RR, I had the particpants each stitch a portion of a foldable book, like the ones the Designing Ladies created for 2006. I used Judy O'Dell's finishing book for directions on sizing the sections and putting it together when I got it back. It took a lot more time and effort to finish than I originally thought it would, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I really like these little books and have two other RR foldable books to assemble when I get around to it. One from a Just Nan RR and one from a Foldable book RR that I used Friendship and stitching as my theme. I need to stitch a section or two for each of those before I can finish them though. I think I'll wait a bit before getting around to it as this one took me almost a week of all my stitching time to finish! I'm sure it'll go a little more quickly next time as I won't be spending all that time studying the directions!
In other stitching news I managed to pick up my yard of 32ct Silvery Moon Belfast from my LNS on Thursday and cut it to the size I need for my Heritage Sampler - Yikes 50in x 23 in. - I actually cut it 23 x 55 since the width was already that size and no use cutting off only 4 in. I'll just give myself a little larger margin. That is one huge piece of fabric. I shudder to think of the size of the frame, but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I spent all of last night and most of this morning rinsing silk threads to prevent bleeding should I need to wash this piece, and given how big it is and how long it is likely to take, I'm figuring the chances of needing to wash it are pretty good. BUT I think I will get to put needle to fabric for the first stitches sometime today (still have a little floss rinsing to do for some of the colors that are STILL bleeding - like the Gloriana Pomengrate!) I'm going to spend a few days or maybe a week on it before moving back to the rotation or to a RR piece so I'll likely post a small meager progress pic when I do eventually move onto something else. :)
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
The rest of my pieces are coming along okay, getting in a bit of progress on each piece as it comes up in the rotation. I'll have to make an effort to post more pictures - maybe this weekend! I also finished another small project (I took a break from the rotation) but it is for an exchange, so you'll have to wait for pics of that one. :)
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
In other news, we got our family picture taken for the first time since Katie was born. I think it came out rather well. :)
Friday, August 17, 2007
Anyway, in stitching news I've decided to do Chatalaine's Heritage Sampler! Its an expensive design to purchase, and the materials are also expensive, so for me buying the pattern and design is a committment to actually stitch this one. I have a lot of cheaper patterns I buy thinking that I like the design and hope to get around to stitching it one day - but it isn't a firm committment until I've pulled it out of the stash drawer to start. Not so with Chatelaine's - if I buy 'em - I stitch 'em cause I could never justify the cost if I didn't! Sooo this one will probably take the open spot I had for Friday's - I don't want to hold off starting it for fear that I then won't stitch it and will have wasted all the money I spent on it. Am I just neurotic about that or what?
So now I need to decide what fabric to use to stitch it. My main contenders are Morning Dew by Silkweaver in Belfast or Joblean, or perhaps Lambswool Joblean from Wichelt. But then I saw Porcelain on the Silkweaver site and thought that might go nicely too - it is a good neutral. Anyone have a piece of Morning Dew in their stash that they might be able to comment on how dark it is? Is it subtle enough to stitch leaves and flowers and not loose the greens??
Saturday, August 11, 2007
This piece is so much fun to work on - so satisfying to finish each little flower, leaf, and bird. It is slowly but steadily growing, and because I enjoyed working on it so much this Thursday, I kept right on stitching on it on Friday (friday is my "free" day in the rotation). So sad to put it away, but hey, Thursday isn't that far off right? :)
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Yikes, I've been so busy at work lately that I haven't felt much like being on the computer to blog lately. I usually make time to check the boards and email, but then I want to stitch in the remainder of my free time!
Anyway, the new rotation is working out really well and I love being able to get in a little progress on all my pieces each week. Here is Silkwood Manor. Yes, I know there are still smudges on the pic - apparently there is actually something wrong with the lens - it is not just dirty. Guess that is what I get for buying a cheap camera off ebay - you get what you pay for - sigh. It'll have to do for now though, and I think you get the idea.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
After working so long on getting those blankets finished and then stitching for a month solid on the Mermaid to finish her in time for the fair, it felt really good to start something new.
Did I pick one of the pieces that have been on my to-do list for ages and ages. Oh, of course not - I had to start the fabulous piece I just bought on our get-together this past Saturday! What fun to work on.
I see that my digital camera has some sort of weird smudges on the lens or something, but I'm too lazy to retake the pic. I think this is still a pretty decent picture, you can see the detail pretty well. The linen is 32ct Moonglow Belfast and the design is all done in DMC - which I love. No extra expensive fibers to buy, which sometimes puts me off of large and lovely samplers. The linen is really soft and nice to work on too, and supposedly although it has a hand-dyed look, it is actually colorfast, meaning I can wash it when I'm done. Since this piece has a lot of thread changes, I'll likely not put it in my Q-snaps and up on my lapstand. I'll probably just keep moving around my little 6in. metal hoop, which means I'll want to wash and press it when I'm done!
It is all whole stitches and backstitches - no beads, no partial stitches, no specialty stitches. Don't get me wrong, I like all those things, but it is nice to have a piece that doesn't have all those things thrown in the mix of my rotation too! And with all the stopping and starting it is still challenging enough and still beautiful enough to hold my attention. Perfection!
Speaking of my rotation, with the major hurdles out of the way, I've decided to try something completely new with my rotation. Well, new to me - I know there are several other stitchers who already use this method, so I cannot really claim credit for coming up with it or anything. Since I have 6 large projects, I'm going to try to rotate nightly, with a "free" night on the 7th night of the week. I will put the projects I want to finish first on Sat. and Sun. since I get the most stitching time on the weekend. The problem I see that might come up with this method is that I might not see enough progress before having to move on in the rotation since on weeknights I often only get an hour of stitching time and if we have a busy weekend, Sat or Sun. might not be any better. I'm going to give it a go though, and if I find I'm getting frustrated not making enough progress I might do a week on this rotation and then a week on a "focus piece". We'll have to see. I'll suspend the rotation for any Round Robins that come in the mail as I am completely hopeless in that area - have to start it as soon as I open the package! So for now here is the new rotation:
Saturday: Alhambra Garden
Sunday: Angel of Summer
Monday: Hardanger table runner
Tuesday: Silkwood Manor
Wednesday: Mother's Tree
Friday: "free" day
Monday, July 23, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Waiting for Ships did win the blue ribbon in her size category, so I was thrilled with that. I also entered Cottage Garden Fairy which did not place. However after the judge announced the winners she held her up and went on for about 10 min. about how the workmanship was excellent and there was technically nothing wrong with it, but something was just off somehow, she couldn't explain what and that is why she didn't place it. I was fine with the decision as the pieces that did place were all wonderful and deserved to win ribbons, but I wanted to hide under my chair when she was talking about my piece and how it was "wrong". I think it might have been the green fabric, which goes really well in my bedroom with soft blue walls that sort of soften the fabric color, but I can see where it is a bit more jarring out of that context. I also entered the Baby Afghan that is shown in the pics in one of the posts below, but didn't really expect it to place because of the simplicity of the design and I was right.
On Saturday, I went to my first-ever get-together! It was so much fun. I met up with Melissa (MissyCor), Susan (SusaninIndiana), and Kelly (marrissasmom). Susan has a great recap on her blog, so I won't repeat all that she said, but I also returned home very tired, but thrilled to have had the chance to meet these great ladies. Hoping we get a chance to do it again real soon.
I got some nice stash too, most notable Rosewood Manor's Inspiration. I also purchased the special hand-dyed fabric for it - so now I'm committed to starting it! :) I have finished quite a few things lately, so I think I can allow myself this new start. I've also been meaning to start Mirabilia's Stone Roses for ages, so I may just start them both in the next month or so.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
Anyway, here is my progress on Waiting for Ships. I am trying to finish it in time for the fair - have to drop off entries on July 19 and I'm starting to worry I won't have time to finish and frame her. I am already planning on framing her myself, so time at the framers isn't really an issue. I'm going to keep plugging though, even if I don't make the fair at least I'll have a happy dance sometime in the near future.
Is it bad that having some extra stitching time in on this factored heavily into my decision to take tomorrow off from work?
Monday, June 25, 2007
So now I'm focusing on getting as many pieces finished for the fair as possible. I have to turn pieces in by July 19, so I have just under a month to finish stuff. This year I'm entering "Cottage Garden Fairy" as my large piece. I finished her in late 2005, but don't have a more recent large finish because of spending all the time on the darn afghans. Since she was finished within the last two years and I've never entered her before she is still eligible. Only reason I didn't enter her last year was that I entered Chatelaine's Sampler Mystery II instead, which won me my first blue ribbon in that category! I don't think CGF will win this year, but she may place - we'll see. I'm also entering the baby afghan I just finished in the "not a framed picture" category, so at least I have two pieces already done. I'm really hoping I can also finish "Waiting for Ships" for one of the medium size categories, and possibly "Girls Night Out" by Just Nan for the small category. Guess we'll just have to see if I can actually accomplish that!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Friday, June 08, 2007
At lunch time we decided to try eating at Tritons since we were scheduled to eat there on our last night of the cruise and Sean and I had made reservations at Palo for that night instead. Katie was a bit fussy at lunch, and one of the waiter’s brought her a paper rose made out of one of the children’s menus – so sweet and Katie really liked it. It kept her busy enough to get through lunch and the food was very good. I had a chicken dish that I really liked – don’t remember what everyone else had. After lunch I decided to take Katie and Alex to “Meet the Robinsons” which was playing in the onboard theater. I was worried Katie would not make it through the show because she has never been to a theater before, but she did really well and enjoyed the movie.
The rest of the day was filled with more swimming in Mickey’s pool and Goofy’s pool with both kids, and watching Sean and Alex play ping pong on deck. We also had more than one helping of the free soft serve ice cream bar up there! At dinner time, we went to Parrot Cay, our assigned restaurant for the night and discovered that it was Pirate night! Our waiter insisted we wear the pirate scarves on our heads and silly me forgot to bring the camera to dinner. I did manage to snap a quick photo of Katie though back in our stateroom with hers on. I had the Flounder and mashed potatos and it was very delicious. One of our better meals on the whole trip! The waiter brought Alex three desserts, an ice cream sundae in the center with two bowls of pudding for mickey mouse ears on each side. He was so stuffed he only managed to eat a bit of the sundae – mom and dad helped with the pudding I’m afraid!
Later that night there was a pirate night party on the pool deck with a ton more food and desserts – I don’t know how anyone could have any room for that though and with the large crowds we skipped this too. We went to one of the live shows onboard instead “The Golden Mickey’s” which was pretty entertaining. Katie really liked seeing all the Disney characters all in one show. Alex was in the club playing various games, so he skipped it. A very relaxing, yet entertaining day!
The next day we woke a little early in an effort to get to Castaway Cay as we’d heard so many good things about it. It was beautiful and we had a great time playing in the sand and sun and collected a few sea shells too. Luckily we had enough room in Katie’s suitcase to include a few blow up toys and a few sand toys. This way we didn’t have to pay the outrageous prices they charge for them on the island. For those of you POTC fans, the Flying Dutchman is currently docked there, and although you can’t walk or swim right up to it, it is still a pretty grand sight to see! I really like how my pic of it turned out. Well, I took about 4 or 5 pics – this is the one that came out the best and will actually make it to the photo album. There was a big picnic style lunch served on the island with hamburgers, hot dogs, soda, chips, cookie dough ice cream, potato salad, and a ton of other stuff I’m forgetting to mention right now. Even though it was only about 75 degrees, we started to feel like we might be burning by about 2pm (even though we were wearing sunscreen!). I guess the sun is a lot more direct when you are closer to the equator like that. We decided to head back in because of the sunburned feeling and also we all were starting to feel the sand in all the uncomfortable spots.
Once back in our stateroom we all took showers/baths to remove the last of the sand and to relax a bit before dinner. We watched Disney movies as one of the channels is dedicated to just playing Disney classics. I think we say Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin as well as parts of Little Mermaid and Toy Story all sometime during our trip. There was also a channel showing movies that had just come out on DVD and we saw parts of “Pursuit of Happiness” and “Dream Girls” too, but didn’t have a chance to see all of them. This night was our date night – so Alex and Katie both headed off to their clubs at about 5:45p and Sean and I got all gussied up and went to the adults only Italian restaurant on the ships highest deck overlooking the ocean – Palo. The food and the service were really divine. Now, we are no foodies – but we really enjoyed this meal. I don’t remember what Sean ordered, but I had a seafood and rice dish that had shrimp and a creamy marinara cheese type sauce to it. It was heavenly and much better than I though it would be from the description. We also had a chocolate soufflé that was heavenly. YUM! A very nice capper for our cruise! We returned to our stateroom and there was a plate of fresh chocolate covered strawberries and a Magical Moment certificate! Those were really yummy too! We spent the rest of the night on our balcony eating our strawberries and enjoying the nighttime view as we headed back to our home port at Port Canaveral. We were so sorry that our vacation was ending, but it was a fabulous time and both Sean and Alex talk about when we might be able to afford to do Disney again. Sean was really resistant before the trip and was only going because he felt like he should be willing to do some things for the rest of the family to have fun – but he wasn’t really looking forward to it. It is a huge victory for me that he actually enjoyed going and would like to go again. If we can afford to go again, we definitely will, and there will be no resistence!