Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Back in the Saddle

Hi Everyone!

I do have to say that it is hard to get back into the groove of blogging when life has been and still is hectic. It's been months since I've had a proper post. One that shared what was going on and most importantly, showed some stitching progress. I wish I could say that things have worked themselves out but they haven't. I am still struggling helping out my parents. 80-somethings are SO stubborn! I've done all that I can (attorneys, bankers and doctors....oh my!) to get things where they need to be and so now it's up to them to decide a date for them to go back to Nicaragua. I assume it's hard for them to leave their house but the constant neediness is hard for me too. I juggle their stuff, working full-time, maintaining a (constantly unorganized) apartment, social life, dating (you know what they say about meeting someone when you least expect it? Yea, that happened) and stitching. I say stitching because without it, I would lose my mind but there's never truly enough stitching time to satisfy me. There have been doctors appointments for me, those pesky five pounds that won't go away and a huge desire and need to job search. A lot of things geared towards my advancement and improvement have been put on hold. I am eager to get back to it all.

When I get super frustrated. I stitch. It's therapeutic. The sound of thread going through linen. To see a design slowly form on a blank canvas is restorative. I had one small finish at the end of 2013. Here is Lizzie Kate Ho Ho Ho. If I remember correctly, it's stitched on 32 count Natural Belfast in Shepherds Bush's thread conversion. A medley of overdyeds and DMC. I plan on stitching this again in the called for color palate which is much brighter than this one.

For my birthday back in October, I ordered the Lizzie Kate Christmas Mystery and diligently stitched the first two parts. I still need to start on the third. I don't know why I set it aside but it's probably because I've been stitching more in hand lately. Sorry for the funky photo. The linen is crooked in the rod and I am too lazy to readjust it since I can still stitch fine. Priorities people!!

Apparently, I've been on a Lizzie Kate kick because my next WIP is Lizzie Kate's Snowman '10. I am so close to finishing this one! It will be a happy dance soon...once I remember where I put the embellishment pack! Does that ever happen to anyone else?

And now for my New Years Start. I decided on A Very Fine Sampler by Birds of a Feather. I'm stitching it on 40 count BOAF Barn Owl using the recommended WDW threads. I've been stitching this in hand but will probably have to move to a scroll rod and stand after the alphabet bands. I've completed almost all the alphabet bands and am really enjoying it.

Last weekend was IHSW and I signed up and managed to get quite a bit done on AVFS. I was only at the lowercase "c" in the third band and managed to complete the numbers band. Pretty good for me considering I don't get much stitching time at all but I've been in a hermity mood lately. Now if I can just motivate myself to get some cleaning and organizing done...

Well, my laptop battery is dying and I had better post this before it gets anymore delayed. I'll have much more to show you soon because I got a package delivery from the infamous and talented Jill. I haven't even opened it yet but am excited to share the reveal with all of you! I know you'll be waiting on pins and needles.

And thank you for sticking with me during these long absences. Life is still not easy but I hope to stitch and post more. I had to do a "clean slate" at the start of the year because I was over 1,000 posts behind in my feedly. Do you know that when you are over 999 posts, they don't even show you the number anymore. I am sure I missed out of lots of wonderful things and sad things and beautiful things and wish I could have shared in it all with you but I had to reset feedly to 0 because there was no way I could have ever caught up. I know you all understand. Thank you so much.

Until next time...much love and hugs.


Julie said...

Lovely to see you have been able to have some wonderful stitching time as well as the busy times you have been experiencing.

Met a new someone? did I read that, how wonderful for you.

Chris said...

Hey Valerie!
Beautiful stitching and projects. I am so glad that you are having time to stitch. And a new guy!
I hope that the new year brings more balance and time for you. Good luck with the parents and the job search.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to see you posting.

I hope things work out with your parents and a job.

I agree with you that stitching is therapeutic. Your finishes are lovely. You've gotten a lot further than I have on my Lizzie Kate Christmas. I love your new start and can't wait to see more.

So glad your back...Take care.

Margaret said...

All of your stitching is lovely! Love the colors -- need color in this weather. It's good to hear that you've been dating -- but sorry to hear that your parents have been keeping you so busy. All the best to them and my hopes that they find their way to Nicaragua and happiness soon. Hope you find more time for yourself and your needs soon too. Good luck with juggling everything!

Margaret said...

ps: can't wait for the Jill Rensel pieces!

Keeper of the Crowes said...

Wishing you all the best in the new year, Valerie. I love all your wips and finished pieces. Lizzie Kate pieces really do put a smile on your face, don't they!!!

Lisa said...

Valerie, it is so good to see a post from you. I have missed reading your posts. I am sorry to hear about your parent dealings. I know that it is a challenging part of your life. I hope that all works out soon. Did you mention an new beau? Looking forward to hearing about that soon :)
As always your stitching is beautiful! I love the colors on each. I, also, find stitching a stress relief...however I just need to find more time in the day to sit and stitch without feeling like there are other things that I need to be doing.
I can't wait to see what finished project you received from Jill!!!
Take care my friend...maybe we will be able to meet up at one of the get togethers this year!

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher said...

I LOVE the HO HO HO...I pinned a finish of that exact pattern that I absolutely loved on Pinterest. It was stunning! Yours is cute as a button! And I have the snowman pattern too...never stitched but it is cute!
Love the sampler! You go!
Life is filled with struggles and sometimes its hard to keep your head above the water. Just keep treading, eventually, you'll hit the beach :)
Excited to hear about the "someone" ;)

Melissa said...

It's great to see your post, Valerie. Lots of lovely stitching! I can't believe you haven't opened the Jill package yet! That just speaks to how busy you are.

I'm sorry to hear how tied up you've been with your parents. I hope everything works out for you. Glad you have met someone!

Shelleen said...

I have been wondering where you have been. For someone who hasn't had much time for stitching , you sure have a lot of progress pics! And so who is this new guy? Curious minds want to know :-)

Barb said...

Your Christmas stitches are all so very pretty! I look forward to seeing your progress on the sampler. Sorry to hear of your troubles. My step-Mom is 94 and I'm here to tell you it does not get esier.

carol fun said...

All your Lizzie Kate pieces are lovely - and the BOAF sampler has been in my "want to do" pile for quite some time. Maybe it will see the light of day soon. Good luck with your parents. I understand how difficult these situations can be. Sending hugs!

Jackie said...

So glad to see a post from you and to hear that you've still been stitching and have met someone! Things will work out with your parents and the job. I hope you have peace knowing you've done what you can for them!

Lisa Sener said...


Your stitching is gorgeous! I too was so happy to see your post. It sounds like you are dealing with the parents very well. THEY are so stubborn in their 80's!! Keep stitching and enjoying your life.


stitchersanon said...

Love your stitching..I think it keeps many of us sane lol

Andrea said...

Good to see you still stitching, it brings peace and relaxation to most of us. Keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out well for you.

Sharon said...

Beautiful projects and finishes Valerie. You have a lot on your plate, it will eventually get sorted out! Keep stitching girl!

Christina said...

It's so lovely to see a post from you Valerie! Love your stitching. I know what you mean about stitching being theraputic. Cross stitch has got me through many a hard time.
The 'Ho Ho Ho' is definitely one I'd like to stitch. What do you mean by 'Shepherds Bush thread conversion'?
I look forward to hearing about the new person in your life! :0)

Melanie said...

Nice to see another update from you. :) Hopefully next time there is more about the 'dating' part. I am INTRIGUED. And nosy. (Maybe just nosy. Damn it. Does that make me nosy?) I know you've been struggling with your parents for a long time now. It's so hard. Hopefully this will be the year it sorts it's self out a bit. :(

You've gotten further on your Mystery Sampler than I have on mine. I made a serious boo-boo on the second part (I got halfway through the 2nd part before I realized EVERYTHING was one row off *sigh*) and it's still in time out for the moment. lol. Love the other L*K finishes. The color changes on the first one are perfect.

Kudos to you for waiting until you got over 1,000 to reset your posts. I usually give up at 150 or so. I'm having to face the fact that I can't leave a comment on EVERYTHING I would like to comment on. I need to be *slightly* pickier so I can't actual keep things in check.

Jill Rensel package? *fans self* Definitely can't wait for that one.

Katrina said...

All pretty projects!!! Life can be crazy and complicated but all you can do is the best you can :-). I am sure you will work a lot of those things out as the year progresses :-).

Meari said...

Google Reader did the same thing if you had over 999 posts to read.

What a hectic life you have going on now. Hope things settle down soon.

Cute stitching pieces!

Carol said...

I'm so glad to read your update, Valerie (a bit behind as I was at my parents last week!)... It is great to see that you've still been stitching--what would we do without it to calm us down, right?

I do hope your year settles down and you get more "you" time--you so deserve it, my friend!!

Dani - tkdchick said...

Wow I've stitched at least two of those LK's and I want to stitch HoHoHo again!

Suzanne said...

Love your stitching progress. I find my stitching or crochet is very therapeutic and I don't sleep well without doing some before bed.

Hope all works out well for you and your parents.

Joysze said...

Hope your parents' move goes easily for everyone involved. *HUUUUUUG*

I hear ya about life getting in the way, but hey, we're back and it's all good!! :D

Congrats on the new beau. Hope everything is coming up roses.

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