Monday, June 30, 2008

The Mom Project...Unveiled

Wow, I actually have a stitchy picture to show. It's a miracle! This is actually an oldie but goodie now. Here is the final framed Love You Mom by Bent Creek sampler that I made my mom for Mother's Day. I was so frazzled when I picked this piece up from the framers and gave it to my mom, that I forgot to take a picture. And then each time I've gone to my parent's since, I kept forgetting the camera. But this time I remembered! My mom immediately put it up on the wall after I gave it to her and so the background is blah since my parents have boring white walls.
Love you Mom by Bent Creek
32 count Lakeside Linens Vintage Light Examplar
Recommended Threads with the following exceptions:
WDW Hazelnut instead of GAST Harvest Basket
WDW Chestnut instead of WDW Cocoa
Frame: Goldish Metallic w/lattice pattern

Growing Nyokkis

Wow...look how much Froggie and Chickee have grown! And this picture was taken last week. Truly behind on blogging here. I can't believe how fast the Nyokkis are growing! You will notice that the Eggling is sadly absent from the picture. The last heatwave made my front room such a sundrenched sauna that the eggling almost died! I knew something like that would happen! I rushed it to a shadier darker room in the apartment and gave it lots of water and love and urged it to live and thank did. It's resusitated and is slowly growing again.
But here are the smiling Nyokkis. I've since moved the Nyokkis to the darker room since they were starting to look a little fried too. That front room just gets so much sun! I'll post another progress pic soon to include the Eggling.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

NiaH Meetup

Yesterday, I had a very special meetup planned. I was to meet Edgar! The last time I was at NiaH a couple of weeks ago, Mary told me I had missed Edgar by three hours. That was it! I couldn't handle being so close to another stitchy blogger and not know them so I emailed Edgar and asked if he was willing to meet me at NiaH the next time he needed to go as I would love to meet him. I figured NiaH was neutral territory and Mary would be there to protect him in case he thought I may be a loony and plus she could vouch for me and tell him I was cool and seriously, non-loony. So Saturday was the day and I was excited! The minute I stepped into the shop, we were stuck to each other like glue. We chatted and chatted and chatted and would take a few minutes to look around and grab something and we would chat and chat and chat again! The next thing we knew, we had blown two hours and had to go refill the parking meters. We were both chatty cathies and I loved every minute of it. Despite all the chatting, we did managed to get a bit of shopping done and I did truly selfish shopping this time around. Below is my haul:
I came out of NiaH with the La-D-Da Zippity Do Da chart as well as the Heart in Hand Mr Byrd chart as I love snowmen! I bought a half yard of some 32 count linen for my Bent Creek Snappers project and have some leftover for some smalls which will be nice. I also bought the border snappers for the Snappers project and a couple of skeins of Belle Soie silk to try out in Grape Juice and Sister Scarlett. These shades are just lovely and it feels divine! Oh and I can't wait to get started on selfish stitching. Just one more gift to make.

So NiaH was loads of fun and I am so happy to have met Edgar and know another stitchy exchange blogger in real life. Thanks for making the time for me Edgar!

Buh-Bye Packages

Oh Dear Mr. Postman...please guard these packages and treat them as your own. I've put a lot of time, thought and love into these exchanges and gifts and I so want them to arrive safely to my recipients and in one piece. I greatly fear that they'll get lost and if they do..I will totally cry.
Buh-bye packages...I hope you are loved as much as I love you.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Random Thoughts

It's still so busy and I have loads of thoughts racing through my head...and of course, no stitchy progress or pictures outside of the exchanges I will be mailing out very, very soon.

I am so tired that I could probably fall asleep at my desk, sitting up right this right now. I've cancelled my workout appointment for this evening so I can literally fall into bed. There is plenty of other stuff I can and need to do but my body is telling me, in a very annoying way, that I had better take it easy and get a good night's sleep for once. I think I had better listen.

I'm getting a little tired of how my blog look and am trying to pick a new template but can't seem to find anything that totally feels like me and that I'd want me and my readers to look at everyday. I wonder if anyone has a good lead on blog templates or an inexpensive web designer who would be patient with a simple but non-techy customer.

How the heck do people work out everyday and still have the time and energy for work, dating, family, kids, cleaning and cooking? I can barely handle working out 4 times a week. Three times a week is manageable.

I need to find a good storage system for my cross stitch and finishing supplies because now I end up trashing my place each time an exchange is due to find the pins, fabric, trim, scissors and such from my current big supply bin. I need something with drawers or compartments that are easy to get too and easy to see. This will be an upcoming project.

There is way too much fun stuff going on in the city and not enough time.

I don't understand how come my recent dating prospects are carless. Ummm, that makes dating difficult is I'm the one who is playing the "guy role". I've played it before and it gets old fast. I would feel lost without a car and even had one the whole time I actually lived in the city limits. This now makes me feel like I have to go through the series of questions that Lisa Kudrow's character asks of her dating prospects in P.S. I Love You. Which was a cute chick flick by the way.

I've been on a little shopping spree and can't wait for the mailman to visit my apartment. I am waiting for an Ott-lite task lamp delivery from Joann's, some threadholders from Monique, lots of overdyed floss from Stitching Bits and Bobs since they were having a sale and some Bar Method dvds I bought through eBay. Ohhh...lots of stuff....better lay off the spending.

And I can't wait til it Friday yet?!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gah! So Busy!

Things have once again gotten so busy that I have reached that stressed out, scatter-brained mode where I feel like a million things are coming at me at once. So blogging has taken a backseat. But I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel so that's a relief. I have something to look forward to now.

Let's see...what has been keeping me so busy. It doesn't seem like much but what there is, has been time consuming. Work has gotten ever busier. Since my last blog post about the Humboldt wildfire, the guys came back in one piece to only have us send different guys to the Watsonville Fire and then back up to Humboldt. As we are short staffed already because of us helping out other districts, our own city experienced three structure fires. As I said before, this will be a bad fire season. As I stepped out of my apartment building this morning, I smelled smoke. The smoky air was not because of a fire anywhere near me, it was just because of all the wildfires in Northern California. The wind is bringing the smoky air this way with it's charred wood scent. With all these deployments and structure fires comes more paperwork and personnel tracking which falls on my desk. So my already paper-ridden desk is becoming a crazy messy mountain of paperwork. I knew I should have organized my desk earlier! Bar Method is also keeping me busy since I am trying to get maximum results and am going to classes 3-4 times a week. My one month "trial" offer is over this coming Sunday and I am debating whether I will sign up for a normal membership or try other exercise options as Bar Method is very, very pricey and I should be putting any extra money into paying down debt and/or saving some money...not an exercise program. But I'm apt to completely change my mind despite how logical things seem to be.

Besides work and exercise, I've been housesitting and working on exchange projects or gifts which is why there have been no stitchy project progress pics. Any spare minute I've had lately has gone exclusively into exchange and gift projects. But I will probably be mailing out my exchanges tomorrow or the next day and they shouldn't take too long to be received. Once received...I can show pictures. I can't wait since I am all proud of my projects! I have one more birthday gift project to start and then it's back to regular programming for a while...Valerie's personal project stitching. I am so looking forward to some selfish stitching for a while as I haven't touched my stocking or Fairy Moon in months now. Months!

And dating...yea...I'm slowly taking baby steps back so I reclaim my sanity and ease the feeling of "insanely busy".

Monday, June 23, 2008

What a Fun Idea!

The other day, I was blog surfing and came across this on Simone's blog and thought it was a fantastic idea!

The Concept:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name? Valerie
2. What is your favorite food? Pork Chops
3. What high school did you go to? Mercy High School
4. What is your favorite color? Red
5. Who is your celebrity crush? George Eads
6. Favorite drink? Sidecar
7. Dream vacation? Greece
8. Favorite dessert? Cake...any kind.
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Jetsetter
10. What do you love most in life? True friends
11. One word to describe you: Snarky
12. Your flickr name: Don't have one so I said "Foggy San Francisco" to match up with my blog name of FogCityDweller

1. Valérie, 2. Untitled, 3. Mercy High School, 4. rojo sobre negro (mosaico) / red on black (mosaic), 5. Celebrity-Image-George-Eads-230561, 6. sidecar_350x500.jpg, 7. OIA, handmade houses, 8. coffee and chocolate mousse cake, 9. Zoom, zoom!, 10. Friends silhouetted, 11. SNARKY ON DRUM, 12. SF Sea of Clouds

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Small Request...

As some of you already know, I work with firefighters. It isn't as glamourous or as exciting as most people think. Not for me anyways. They are like annoying older brothers to me and I am like a pesky little sister to them. But despite the annoyances, we are one big dysfunctional second family to each other. And I worry about them...although I probably would never admit that to any of them. The early heatwaves this year have wrecked havoc with the state already. So far, there have been at least 5 wildfires and it's only June! I have a feeling this is going to be one bad year. We've sent some of our guys to the Summit Fire about three weeks ago and some came back with stories about the serious conditions there. Today, I came to work to find out six others were sent to the Butte County wildfire. Having guys away from "the nest" makes me nervous. Structure fires are dangerous enough...wildfires are worse. A slight change of the wind and even the most experienced can have mere seconds to develop an alternate course of action. So I ask that you keep these guys in your thoughts and prayers that they come back home safely. And remember to be careful with fire...always be sure candles are blown out, appliances are turned off and that your camping fires are completely smothered.
photo by Jason Halley via Associated Press

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday...Friday? Thursday...

It's only Thursday and it so completely feels like Friday. I always feel so disoriented when my body clock thinks it's later than it really is. But then, I have really been working my body a lot more than it's used to. I'm slowly becoming addicted to Bar Method even though it truly kicks my ass. I come out of there walking like an old lady sometimes but it's a good ache. I know I'm working muscles that I have probably never worked out before. Because of the workouts, I come home, eat, shower, check mail and go to sleep. I don't have time for anything else and stitching has definitely been placed on the backseat lately. I don't want stitching on the backseat though. I want to be able to juggle everything...I just need another 2 hands and maybe 4 hours to the day.

I finally was able to start stitching on my quaker animal exchange and decided to check in on that blog and lo and behold...almost everyone is done?! OMG, the deadline is still 18 days away! Now I feel like a slacker and more behind. So I decided to devote this weekend to stitching so I can complete the quaker animal exchange and my christmas in july exchange. When I am not stitching, I will be going to Bar Method, getting my nails done or doing laundry. Those are the things on the weekend agenda.

I also know I am addicted to bar Method when I'd rather exercise than go out on a date. I guess that's good...right?!

Egglings and Nyokkis

Well, I've gone ahead and done it! After ooohing and aaahing over Carol R's eggling and eagerly watching its growth process, I've gone ahead and bought my own plus a couple of little buddies to keep it company. I decided on the basil eggling in the hopes that having fresh basil handy will inspire me to cook. That's a complete and utter laugh since 1.) I can barely keep plants alive and 2.) I cook at most two times a year. But we'll see. Hopefully I won't kill it and I will be inspired. While looking at the website to find out how to order the precious eggling, I saw the Nyokkis and they are too cute to pass up! They are grass plants and once the grass (aka hair) grows in, you can style it. How cool! so I bought the froggie and the chickie. Here they are in a row. Don't they look too cute?!
I took the picture above a couple of days ago and already I can see little bits of grass and buds of basil growing. So fast! But then, my apartment is very warm and I think it's conducive to them growing provided I remember to water them. I'll post progress snaps once the plants really start to noticeably grow.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hoe Freebie Exchange to Leigh

I heard from my Hoe freebie exchange partner, Leigh, that she received my exchange for her and enjoyed it. Here is a picture of the stitched part of the exchange. I wasn't able to take a good picture of it since I took it in the dead of night and had to post it early the next morning. That's what I get for being a slacker. And with the yellow being on the lighter side, it doesn't show up well in photos at all.
Summer Sparrow, Waxing Moon Designs
28ct. Light Mocha Cashel, GAST and DMC
Above is the entire exchange. Along with Summer Sparrow, I included needles, DMC in shades of pink, 2 pieces of backing fabric, a magnetic notepad and some flower seeds for gardening. Oh, and let's not forget the chocolatey mints. There are my favorite! I'm glad Leigh enjoyed everything.

HoE Freebie Exchange From Mylene

I received my HoE freebie exchange from Mylene on Friday evening. It was the perfect way to end a hectic week! She stitched me this lovely design by A Mon Ami Pierre in the lovely shade called Rose of Sharon in Belle Soie silk. It is finished perfectly and I absolutely love the color. I had seen this stitched up elsewhere and had thought to myself that I would need to find it to stitch for myself but it's a lot nicer to have it gifted to you. Thanks Mylene!
Mylene was also very generous to include goodies. She sent me some needles, a package of different red ribbon and some Crescent Colors overdyed. I love Crescent Colors and I didn't have these colors in my stash so that's even better! It was also my first exchange received from overseas.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Two Weeks in Review

Well, I've had this window open for the past 5 hours or so and haven't been able to write a word. So I'm just going to wing it since I don't seem to have structured thought. The past week has been quite busy and emotional in many ways and as many have noticed, I'm a little "wound up".

My trip to Dallas went as well as could be expected. I hadn't been in three years and everything stayed pretty much the same with the exception of seeing my sister's new old house. It's an older house they moved to in a different neighborhood hence it being a new (to them) old house. The weather practically knocked me flat! It was 95 degrees and humid yet it looked quite deceiving. When I would look out the window, it looked overcast and cold but once I would step outside, it was "Ooooffff" and I would have to rush to where ever there was air conditioning. I went to Dallas because it was my neice's 8th grade graduation and she is in the throes of teenagerdom. Hard to believe I was like that as a kid but I know full well that I was. All in all, it was a nice weekend with family. The trip back to mecca aka home was not so nice. It took me 10 hours, from the moment I stepped foot into Dallas - Fort Worth Airport to the moment I retrieved my bag at SFO to get home. Ten whole hours!! It was awful. Maybe if I had a good iPod, a trvel dvd player and a few airplane size bottles of good whiskey, I could endure 10 hours of what should normally take 4 hours max. Sober and without fun electronic toys...not so much. First, my flight got cancelled but that wasn't until they had boarded half the people on the plane and then tried to determine what the mystery mechanical issue with the plane was. I feel bad for the people who had boarded already. I have made the master decision of hitting the ladies room before attempting to board since those teeny airplane bathrooms are awful! Good decision on my part since I got to walk around the terminal and pace around the gate while trying to figure out what the heck was going on versus being stuck on the plane. The flight was downright cancelled after 1.5 hours of the quasi-boarding. My attempt to get onto the next flight failed and I was stuck on the last flight landing into SFO. By the time I've talked to multiple gate agents trying to get onto a flight, tried to get a better seat and had to get to a completely different terminal, I was beyond cranky and frustrated. Thank goodness for some friendly Texans and Maker's Mark at the nearest bar I could find. The drink took the edge off and I waited out my flight. It was one long, awful day!

I returned to tons of chores and errands to run. I also had to visit with the folks and then send them off for their annual trip. It was immediately usual. It was also my last week at yoga and I started the Bar Method classes. Sheesh, those classes kick ass. Hopefully I will see or feel some results soon. Because of the crazy and hectic, I was late mailing my Freebie HoE Exchange. Shame on me! But I was only two days late and my partner should receive it soon. I hope she likes it...I wish I had had the time to be more adventurous with my finishing but at the point I was at, I just had to get it off into the mail.

I am back to status single on the dating front which I'm not very happy about but I'll get happy soon and back into the dating moshpit shortly. If anyone knows any cute, tall, single guys who are employed and not into polygomous relations, send them my way. Dating in the city is just insanity and I am slowly losing my patience with it.

Now that dating is nonexistent and my class is over, I'll be focusing on exercising and stitching.

I was going to write more but it has literally taken me a week to write this post. I seem to have severe writer's block at the moment!