Monday, January 31, 2011

Out of Sorts

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. I've been feeling out of sorts for the past month. Being scatterbrained and so tired and pulled in a lot of directions. I've gotten some comments that I sound overwhelmed and I guess that I am. I've been feeling the distance between me and my friends and the increased need for attention my elderly parents are exhibiting. I think I'd be able to handle it all better if I had a support network. But I don''s just me taking care of everything. It's sad to have this feeling that everyone needs or wants something from me but when I need or want anything, I have to do it myself because no one else is going to do it for me. I want to go in one direction and am forced into another...trying to appease others at the risk of neglecting myself. And because I want to beat to the tune of my own drum, I feel kind of guilted. That Catholic guilt will kill you, you know...or at least force you into the scary white jacket and padded room.

And even though I love San Francisco, I often daydream of picking up and moving far away from here so I can finally have a life of my own, with less responsibility. And time to recapture the creative drive that is so incredibly stunted. I can follow a pattern but at this point, that's about it. The dreams about designing and owning a small little sanctuary for stitchers are just that...dreams...because my energies and focus are elsewhere.

So, I'm in a "nobody gets it" mood. Nobody gets why I am so stressed and sad and frustrated and resentful. Least of all, the people who are making me feel this way. When I feel this way, I need silence and alone time. My chirpiness decreases; my hermit tendencies increase and I focus more on my stitching since it's what I do at home.

So my stitching has been coming along.

I finished my Heart in Hand Little Angel in the Clouds. I think it's so cute! I will have to restitch soon with a pale lavender heart instead of the tan. I also stitched a little gift for my penpal. She has intermittent internet so hopefully she doesn't see this! I stitched Blackbird Designs Bluebird on a scrap of 32 count platinum with GAST Brethren Blue. I'm debating whether I want to add pins and buttons.

Well, I sent off my shears to get sharpened a couple of weeks ago and I realize I don't have any scissors to cut fabric other than those. I guess I better hunt down a Joann's or Michael's coupon so I can buy a backup pair. So no finishing for me...yet. I can't even cut my fabric down!

And I started on the border for BBD Valentine Rose last night. I wasn't supposed to start until February but with the absence of fabric shears, I decided to at least be productive. Plus, I am taking a Sandie Vandosdall class with my Sampler Guild in March and I hear there's pre-stitching. I don't even have my kit yet...I wonder how much stitching I have to do! So I had better get a move on on my personal stitching so I can drop everything once I receive my kit.
It doesn't look like much for now. This block has a huge house that needs to be built! Maybe by the weekend, I'll have some house to show...if I can squeeze some stitching in between the responsibilities.

So...don't be surprised if I'm not as chirpy as usual. I am trying to find my happy place. It's quite hard with the constant interruptions and such but I'm trying.

Thanks for all the entries for my surprise! There are some new blogs I need to check out. I really enjoyed the responses to my questions. I've got lots of movies to add to my Netflix queue. I'll answer my own questions on Thursday when I announce the winner. Movies and travel are two things that make me happy besides stitching and I am trying to reacquaint myself with both.

Well, I think I'm going to head to bed early tonight. Hope you all are having a good start to the week.

Until next time...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Did Someone Say Bunny?

So remember a while back I was talking about doing a little surprise in celebration of it being the Year of the Rabbit? It's that time. Surprise! It took a little while for things to come in because even though my brain may spit out ideas fast, the postal service and the release date of things can be slow.

Here are the things I am giving away to ONE lucky winner. I wonder who it will be?!
CCN Bunny Hop with overdyed threads, The Trilogy Happy Bunny Bunny Day, L*K Hop Squared, JBW French Country Rabbit, 2 bunny buttons and a cut of bunny backing fabric.

So what do you have to do to enter?

Answer one of the two questions in your comment...on this post only.

1. Since we're in Oscars movie season, what is your favorite movie? It doesn't have to be an Oscar-nominated one.


2. If you had the vacation time and could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?

That's it! Please don't post about this "surprise" on your blogs? I'd like it to go to a regular reader who happens to enjoy my ramblings instead of someone who came by just because they heard about my g-away.

Deadline to enter is February 3rd which is Chinese New Year. Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Day Is It?

Do you ever feel like that? I feel like that *all* the time! Days go by at a blur and I try to keep the days straight. I remember when I was in my teens, the days just dragged on. I had the audacity to be bored and felt like I had nothing to do. Now I relish not having anything pressing to do and just taking the time to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet. Being kind of a loner, I relish alone time and stitching time. It helps me decompress from the stress of the day. If things are too busy and stressful, I feel like a chicken with her head cut off.

This past weekend went fast. But then, when don't they. I spent all of Saturday at traffic school and it was kind of torturous. The class I signed up for was a comedy traffic school and frankly, the instructor needs to work on his material. We did the exam in the form of Jeopardy and it was so annoying. I had the right answer quite a few times but as we were split up in teams, the spokesperson would always side with the "doctor". For being a doctor, there's a reason she was in traffic school. She doesn't know the traffic rules! We were losing terribly the first half. Finally, I got to shouting out the answer. Screw the spokesperson! Let's just get on with it already. I obviously become more vocal the more frustrated I am! Next time *knock on wood that there doesn't have to be one!*, I'll do the class online. I just wanted a break from the computer. I am on one between 10-12 hours each workday. After a while, you just kind of want to go out and actually see people.

The movie of the week was Blue Valentine. It stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams and I chose it because I felt like seeing Ryan Gosling (he's cute!) more than Natalie Portman. But the movie was meh. Kind of made me happy to not be married. Some scenes were hard to watch...and not because of it being violent. It wasn't. It was more because of the emotion. How love came about and then was lost; dealing with a disintegrating marriage. I did enjoy the scenes that took place in the past more than those that took place in the present but I think that was part of the point. How come so many Oscar picks are dramatic downers?! Mind you, Oscar noms don't get announced until tomorrow but there's been some talk about Blue Valentine getting some sort of nomination. We'll see. I heard mixed views on Black Swan and I know to expect that to be a psycho-trip, weird and kind of a downer. I think next week will have to be The Fighter...Amy Adams isn't playing a fluffy, sweet girl character. Should be interesting there.

I was hoping to have another stitchy finish to show you today. But I'll show what I am stitching on. Carol, Lois, Staci and I are doing a little informal ornament stitch-a-long. One ornie per month. Maybe this will inspire me to actually put up a tree this year! Here's the ornie I am stitching this month. I wanted an easy stitch considering all the busyness lately.
Little Angel in the Clouds
Heart in Hand
32ct. Dirty w/recommended threads

Poor angel is currently wingless! But I love this little design. I think I will have to stitch it up again soon and switch out the tan heart to a lilac heart. I think that will be cute. Maybe I can finish this up tonight? Eh, probably tomorrow. After this, I need to stitch up a quick gift and then I will sit down for a huge finishing and mending session. I'm gonna do it! I am! *sigh* I hate finishing and mending! But maybe these monthly ornies will help me get over my mental block about finishing. One can hope!

I do have to say that after only working on 40 count for the last couple of months, stitching on 32 count is HUGE! Wow...what a difference.

Thanks for all the sweet comments on Snow Garden. Those GAST dyelots are weird, huh? I've pulled my threads for Valentine Rose and I already have one color that I'm iffy about. We'll see what I decide. Hope nobody got upset about my "readers" comment! I have permanent readers...blind as a bat with a prescription in the 5.00+ range. I should get lasik but I'm too scared!

Well, I think it's time to peel off and stitch a bit. I worked my 8 hours, washed 2 loads of dishes, baked banana muffins, cooked dinner and did a preliminary draft of my taxes. I think I deserve a little stitching time. Hope you all had a great weekend. It's Monday...right? ;-)

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Snow Has Been Conquered!

And by snow, I mean Snow Garden. know...there's no snow here. Despite the rough start, I'm really happy with how it turned out and am relieved it's finished! I decided I won't do the personalization until the end. I want to see how the last blocks turn out and assign blocks then. I know I will have extra blocks...more blocks than family to pay tribute Snow Garden may be a generic but I'll figure that all out in a couple of months.
I ended up frogging the Lexington Green border because it was just a tad too green and stuck out just a little too much for my liking. Last week, when I stopped into my very close LNS, I found a skein of Parchment with green shading. Everything fell into place at that moment.

**Ok, put your readers on **

It's hard to tell the color difference in this photo but it's an example of how wacko dye lots are. (you can click on the photo to make it bigger)
These are the same color. On the left is the Parchment I started off with initially. Obviously a soft tan. The one on the right is the one I just picked up that has a very slight mint green hue to it. That's where the green in the model photo comes from.

It's 10pm so my photos are crap but I wanted to share.

So one down and uh, fourteen more to go! What did I get myself into?! Here's a little glimpse of how far I have yet to go.
wrinkles, wrinkles everywhere!

This week is so much better...and it's already Thursday! It will be a busy weekend since I have to spend my Saturday at traffic school. I don't really appreciate being gypped out of 8 hours of stitching time when I see people running red lights left and right because they are too busy yapping their heads off on their cellphones...which is a double violation in California but you do what you have to do.

On Monday, I decided to go see Country Strong. People kept telling me to not see it because of the bad reviews and then I stupidly read a couple of them and found out the ending. I decided to go anyways because I was curious. I like movies that have singing and/or dancing. And honestly, I've seen a lot of terrible movies in my life but this wasn't that bad. It was actually good. Not great or fantastic...I'm not even going to suggest that you go see it. From the trailers, you get the impression this is a feel good movie and that Gwyneth as the lead, overcomes. It is sad and tragic and painful...and amidst all that, there is good Country music. I know most people don't like Country Music and I usually have the radio dial set to Classic/Indie Rock but I grew up with a Nicaraguan dad who loved him some Country music. I have no idea why but that means I don't mind it as long as it's not obnoxious Country pop. I'd rather listen to the stuff about how the truck broke down and my lady ran out and took the dog and all I can do is drown my sorrows in this here bottle of Whiskey. But anyways, it even had an Original Song Golden Globe Nomination.

I wonder what movie to watch this coming weekend. I'm thinking Blue Valentine or Black Swan. Oscars are just around the corner.

Ok, time to start my Chrismas ornie before it's time for bed. Hope everyone is having a good week so far!

Until next time...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Rambles and Jumbles

Hello blog's been a while, hasn't it?

Before I get into the going ons, I want to say thank you to all my readers and new followers! I can't believe I am up to 123 followers. I am so excited! Details for the surprise will be coming soon once I can get my hands on the items I want to give away. It will be a stash enhancement since I haven't the time to make anything and am still trying to make good on my stitched item for my blogiversary from last April. Oof!

The start to the new year has been rough. And not like anything bad has happened. It's just been so busy and I am braindead and so tired before the end of each work day. By the time I get home, I just stare at the tv, unable to concentrate on anything. So I am scatterbrained and my thoughts are a jumble and when I get this way, I crave quiet and personal space. This becomes difficult when you work in a cubicle environment and your coworkers like to joke around and make lots of noise. I had a little loss of temper last week and made one of my coworkers all mad. But you know what, it's been blessedly quiet at work now and I've been more productive for it. She'll get over it. I really need to figure out a way to work from home to have the peace and quiet I crave. I miss having my own office but don't miss managing. The scatterbrain and difficulty focusing is so frustrating...not to mention the feeling of being pulled in so many directions.

Since I've been so tired, I haven't started my gym routine yet this year. I need to...and start getting to those yoga classes. I think I'll feel better once I get my breathing and stretching in weekly not to mention it's a very good workout.

Stitching has been slow as usual. Snow Garden has been giving me fits and I had to throw it in the corner for a week. My Parchment is too tan, the Woodsmoke, Chamomile, Cidermill Brown are all too light, Portabella not as variegated and I'm not sure if I'm really happy subbing Lexington Green in my border. A dear friend sent me some super dark, variegated Woodsmoke. Another stitcher is sending me some Chamomile to see if it's dark enough for my liking. I stopped by the close-to-me LNS and picked up new Cidermill Brown and Parchment that has a faint green hue to it. My Snow Garden is now a collaborative effort in stitcherland! I'm stitching AoTH as a SAL with Sally...I wonder how she's managing. I'll be happy to be done with this block because it's truly one of my least favorite ones and the drab coloring, whereas suitable, for not very happy. This is where It stands for now. Please ignore the wrinkles...didn't feel like getting the iron out.

When Snow Garden was in a timeout in the corner, I stitched on Mary Wigham. I finished Part 2! Yay!! And technically started Part 3. The motifs I recently stitched are the squirrel motif and the rosebud motif with the initials and tiny bits in between. I am so happy to be moving forward with Mary. I wonder if I can stitch one page/part per month. The motifs always take longer than I think they will so not sure how realistic I am being.

When I can't stitch, I surf the internet, read blogs and try to be inspired. You've all been keeping me busy and I've struggled to keep up with my Reader what with all the Crazy January Challengers out there. Lots of wonderful projects! I was surfing Chatelaine (like an idiot) the other day. There are very few Chats I can picture myself stitching. There is always an element that prevents a design from winning me over. I only have one in my stash (Taj Mahal) that I haven't even fully kitted (thank goodness because who knows when I will get to it). So in my surfing, I saw Evening in the Park and I fell in love. It must be my whole enthrallment with snow at the moment and disappointment that I can't have a snow day. I know all you folks in the Eastern belt think I'm nuts but having a snow day seems like a fun thing. Evening in the Park features swans, bare trees and snow. So I've been daydreaming about swans and snow and blue/grey/silvery fabric for days! I don't have time to stitch a Chat! What am I thinking?! Not to mention the expense. I feel my resolve faltering though. But it would be a nice addition to the "artwork" in the apartment and is more my style. Lots to think about.'s just been busy. Trying to get out more to meet new people. The recliner was fixed...yay! I am on a kick to go and see the oscar nominated movies before the Oscars so I went to see The Kings Speech yesterday. It was wonderful! Very well done and Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush did a wonderful job in their acting roles. It had funny moments, heartwrenching moments and happy moments. Oh and in my search for the link, I see Colin Firth just won a Golden Globe for Best Actor! Seriously, go see it! I am trying to decide whether I go see The Fighter or Country Strong (not nominated) today.

Well, this has gotten long enough. Hopefully, the next time I post, I'll be done with Snow Garden and working on my January ornie.

Until next time...

Saturday, January 08, 2011

ABC's of Me

Nicole posted this on her blog and it looks like fun so I thought I'd play along.

ABC's of me...

A - Age: 35
B - Bed size: Queen
C - Chore you hate: All!
D - Dog's name: don't have any...but one day a boxer puppy will come home with me.
E - Essential start of the day item: the alarm! I'd still be asleep without it.
F - Favorite color: Red
G - Gold or Silver: Gold
H - Height: 5'8"
I - Instruments you play: None. I can sing pretty good though.
J - Job: Administrator
K - Kids: No way!
L - Living arrangements: Solo
M - Music you love: Just about everything but R&B, HipHop or Rap.
N - Nicknames: Val...which I don't like.
O - Overnight hospital stay at hospital: Surgery at 1 month (pyloric stenosis). I'm nice! :)
P - Pet Peeve: Not doing what a person says they will do.
Q - Quote from a movie: "Anything less than mad passionate extraordinary love is a complete waste of time." ~ Dream for an Insomiac
R - Right handed or left: Right
S - Siblings: Two, 1 brother and 1 sister
T - Time you wake up: 6:15 is when the alarm goes off ~ when I get out of the bed can be another matter entirely! The snooze button gets a workout.
U - Underwear: clean
V - Vegetable you dislike: Kale and Chard...what is that stuff?!
W - Workout Style: The stairs to/from my apartment? Ummm, question?
X - X-rays you've had: dental, ankle...nothing major.
Y - Yummy food you make: Baking...yes! Cooking...nooooo.
Z - The best place to visit: For you? San Francisco, of course! For me? Seattle, Chicago, New York.

...and now you know my ABC's, won't you play along with me? If you do, leave me a comment so I can come and learn a little bit more about you too :)

Until next time...

Thursday, January 06, 2011


Take me away! Seriously...

Brain-dead and so tired! Too tired to even look at a needle...let alone hold it. The one week of furlough means that you work doubly as hard when you get back to work. The days have flown by and I can't believe tomorrow is Friday already. Stitching has been slow but at least I try to put in a length per evening. Tuesday and today are the exceptions so far.

I've been doing lots of thinking about this year. What I hope to achieve and what I hope it brings. The bottom line is simple. I just want it to bring happiness. That's a long term goal.

So what will make me happy right now? Followers. There...I said it. I was quietly waiting and waiting for my followers to hit 100 and look ------------>

I am so close! I have 96 followers. Can I just have 4 more?

Because, you know what happens at 100 followers right? A fun surprise. The G word. I don't like saying the g-word though...probably because I'm weird but you all know what I'm getting at.

Not to mention it's the Year of the Rabbit and we have to ring it in with style...and bunnies. Lots and lots of bunnies. Hope you all like bunnies....

But that's only going to happen if I hit the big 1-0-0! Uh, not years (at least not yet)...I'm talking about followers here.

I guess I'll see what happens.

I'm off to rest my head. Why's it feel so heavy?! *sigh*

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Snow in Snowless SF

Hey there ladies and gents...Happy New Year! Four days in and you wouldn't believe how busy it is. End of year, beginning of year, payroll corrections, FLSAing, Workers' Comp, all day meetings, new years' resolutions, social calendaring. It is busy! Did I just have a week off because it certainly doesn't feel like it. Mind you, I played tourist for most of my week off and whereas, I had a lot of fun and I hope my sister and her family did too, it's tiring! New Year's weekend, I spent mainly planted in the recliner flitting from this program and that program and wasting way too much time on the computer. So even though I had huge stitching plans...the stitching didn't really materialize. It did...just not to the proportions or progress that I had hoped.

Mary Wigham is put away for a couple of weeks and I am still working on that squirrel motif. Lots of starts and stops with leaves to stitch and color changes. I'm hoping to finish part 2 and move onto part 3 by the end of the month.

My New Year's Day start was on BBD Snow Garden. Here are the supplies
Um, ignore the creases. I don't think to iron until *after* I take a photo. I'll be stitching the entire series on 40 count R&R Olde Town Blend with the recommended fibers.

Progress has been slow due to my flitting about. Why am I so restless and distracted?! Anywho, here's my start...with lots of little snowflakes.
I am trying to follow the model photo more than the pattern. I liked that in the photo, the border vine looked like I very light green-blue color and so I replaced the Parchment with Lexington Green in that area. We'll see what else happens...maybe it will stay, maybe not.

Today is also the new moon so you all know what that means...TUSAL time. Daffycat took up the reins on the TUSAL for this year so we can all continue the fun! Thanks Sharon! Here is my jar up to last night.
But it's a new year so that means I am going to start from scratch. Need to get rid of all of last year's bad mojo anyway.
Now here is my jar without one single ort in it because there's no stitching going on tonight. I bagged last year's orts and will try to figure out if I just toss them, spread them out for nests or get a glass ornie. Do I really want to keep bad mojo orts though?! I dunno...

Well folks, I have an all day meeting to cover tomorrow. This girl needs her beauty sleep so that she's not a crabby crab tomorrow. Stitching must wait til tomorrow.

Hope you all have had a good start to the new year.

Until next time...