Friday, December 31, 2010

Goals for a New Year

I am so happy to see 2010 end. In 6 hours and 45 minutes, it will be 2011. And in reading Berit's blog yesterday, I realized it is the Year of the Rabbit. Yes! As a rabbit, it just has to be a good year, right? I'm just going to keep thinking that. Not to mention it's a prime year...

Ok, let's have a little recap, shall we?
2010 Personal Goals
~Be more positive and happy. This is my number 1 goal. The rest will be icing on the cake. - Um, no...another terrible year.
~Lose those 10 pounds and exercise regularly. - Lost 5 pounds mainly by cutting out pasta and less breads.
~Save money towards big purchases - Bought the recliner and saved...yay!

2010 Stitching Goals

~Stitch from stash...I can do it...I know I can! - Um, no. I bought more than any other year!
~Continue to limit exchanges (2-4) - Completed 2 exchanges
~BAPS for me: Mary Wigham, Fairy Moon and L*K Boo Club - Mary Wigham = WIP, Fairy Moon = not started, L*K Boo Club = completed.
~Gifts: Newton, Bless This House, Letter C - Newton = UFO, Bless This House = Completed, Letter C = Completed.
~Stitch 12 Christmas ornaments - Ha!

2011 Personal Goals

~Be more positive and happy.
~Lose 10 pounds and exercise regularly.
~Continue to save money
2011 Stitching Goals

~Finish Mary Wigham
~Finish BBD Where My Heart Blooms
~Stitch one design per month on the BBD Anniversaries of the Heart Series
~Start two Mirabilias
~Stitch 12 Christmas Ornaments
~L*K Christmas Rules

2010 allowed me 18 finishes...9 less than last year. I didn't like that very much. I had hoped to have a productive year that allowed more *me* finishes. So that's my focus in 2011. Me. Stitching for me. Becoming a happier me. Doing things that make me healthier and more positive. I know it will be difficult as I have much negative around me but I have to take the steps away from that to really allow myself to shine. I've felt lost for a while now...floundering...always trying to make those around me happy while sacrificing my own time and happiness. No more!

Goodbye 2010...and good riddance! And ecstatic greetings to a brand spanking and shiny New Year. Hello 2011!
Hey, froggie...pass the champagne but stay away from my stitching!

Thanks to everyone for sticking with me through my roller coaster happenings over the last couple of years. I wish you all the very best in 2011. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Two More Days...

Until the New Year! Do you all have any special plans? I just plan on staying home in my pajamas all day, having a movie marathon and stitching as much as I can on Mary before going into a rotation with projects. Or shall I say *try* to go into a rotation with projects.

Stitching this week has been slow. With family in town, I've been playing tourist and coming home late and tired. It definitely hasn't been the lazy, stitchy week I imagined so far! Oh well, that's ok.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I've never been very good with holidays. It's the most difficult time of the year for me. I am just eager for the year to be over so I can feel like I have a clean slate. Once that happens, I should perk up some.

Before Christmas, I received a lovely package from Lisa. I'm a little late in posting my thanks here. She sent me this beautifully stitched ornie by La D Da found in the 2010 JCS Ornie Issue in a fun green with a beaded tassel. I love it!
She also included a journal and some tissues. Thanks so much Lisa! =)

Speaking of fun mail, I recently won one of the giveaways Blackbird Designs was hosting.
And received four great little packs of fabric. These will come in handy for pinkeeps, ornies, etc. They are small cuts so it would be my first plunge into piecing when I use them.

Now for I said, stitching has been slow. I decided to take Mary off the scroll frame since I was tension issues with the fabric. My scroll bars are a little short for the fabric. And with family in town, I wanted to have my project portable so I can stitch at my parents. But there really hasn't been any time to stitch. What I have stitched has been in hand and I am starting to think I stitch faster this way even though I am a stabber and not a sewer. I haven't made that jump yet.

Here's my update on is clickable.
Since the last update, I've stitched the smaller pink-red motif, the large blue motif, the smaller yellow one with the yellow blob that I am still trying to identify, the quarter white motif and the initials. I am almost done with part 2. Just need to stitch up the squirrel in tree motif and I can move onto part 3.

NYE will be Mary stitching and on NYD, I hope to start on Snow Garden of the Anniversaries of the Heart series. Will have to try my hand at a weekly rotation. There is no way I can do a day of the week rotation as many evenings, I just can't get to it with work and gym and errands. So I am thinking first week, AoTH, second week, Christmas stitching, third week, Mary Wigham and fourth week, Where My Heart Blooms. When I finish one project, I can insert a new project into the rotation. I'm not very good with rotations but I will see how this works.

Are any of you starting a new project on New Years' Day? I think this is the first year I am actually committing to it!

I'm not sure if this will be my last post of 2010...but just in case...I wish you all a happy, safe and joyful new year!

Until next time...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I've tried to stop by and wish everyone a personalized Merry Christmas on their blogs but I know I missed many and am behind on emails. So please accept my sincere wish that you and yours have a wonderful Holiday. May your day be merry and bright!

Until next time...

A Charlie Brown Christmas, Part 2

When I was visiting my sister and family in Dallas, we went to go see the ICE show at the Gaylord Texan. I didn't really know what to expect other than the theme this year was A Charlie Brown Christmas and it would be cold. Ice, you know. Seemed appropo to go since I've been immersed in all things Peanuts at the moment.

The Gaylord Texan is a huge resort-like hotel. There was lots of walking to get to the area where the show was.

The whole time we were walking, I was wondering how I was going to stay warm in an ice show. The Gaylord provides you with a garmongous unattractive parka. I was still a popsicle when I left the show. Wow, it was cold. But they do tell you they have to keep the temperature between 9-18 degrees. They also say that they fly in a team of ice carvers from China and they sculpt the ice into the displays in the show. It's very impressive!

And we finally got inside the show.

And the ice display begins...these photos are just some...there was lots more but some areas were so crowded, it was hard to take decent photos.
This was one of my favorite scenes

The platform that Charlie Brown is sitting on are 4 ice slides that you can slide down. Cristina went down the slide and had fun although it was a little hard to actually slide, she said. I passed...didn't want to get frostbite on the buns!
Yay! Linus and his little piano!

Kind of hard to see but this is a nativity scene sculpted and made entirely of ice.

Even the wreath is made of ice.

It was a fun time! I can't believe Christmas is tomorrow! I'll be back with at least one more post.

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

White Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas, Part 2 will be postponed til tomorrow. Too many vodka sodas/martinis last night. Oy! I'm getting to old for anything beyond a glass of wine these days.

Tonight, I'm heading to see The Shop Around the Corner at the lovely classics theater nearby. Natasha agreed to join me so should be fun! A little Jimmy Stewart to set the tone over the next few days. So picture fixing will have to wait til tomorrow...

When I was a little kid...a long, long time ago...each Christmas I would dig out my parents' Bing Crosby White Christmas record. This gigantic LP...that I played on my tiny Fisher Price record player. And I would play it over and over and over again. I think because it was the only Christmas album we had in English. I think my favorite song on this album was a White Christmas. Living in San Francisco, there is no snow. And if on the rare occasion there is snow, it doesn't stick. So as a kid, having a White Christmas sounds exciting and I wished for one each year. I mean, there was snow in just about every Christmas movie I watched...couldn't there just be snow here?! But there has yet to be a White Christmas. One day, I will treat myself to a White Christmas in New York (hopefully), when I can invest in some snow appropriate attire and not risk freezing my buns off!

I've been enjoying the snowy picturesque scenes that everyone has been posting on their blogs recently. They are lovely. I know that with the lovely-ness comes the possibility of being snowed in, the power going out, shoveling and treacherous driving conditions. But all I see is lovely expanses of snowy wonder.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Charlie Brown Christmas, Part 1

For being such a Snoopy/Peanuts fan, I've never really watched any of the specials or movies. I am a fan based solely on the comic strips. I loved reading the comics as a kid. I actually liked reading the paper. And on Sunday, forget it! I was in comic strip heaven!

The other day, I flipped the channel and they were showing A Charlie Brown Christmas so I watched it...well, most of it...

And it starts like this...

Narrator: It was finally Christmastime, the best time of the
year. The houses were strung with tiny colored lights, their
windows shining with warm yellow glow only Christmas could bring.
The scents of pine needles and hot cocoa mingled together,
wafting through the air, and the sweet sounds of Christmas carols
could be heard in the distance.
Fluffy white snowflakes tumbled from the sky onto a group of
joyful children as they sang and laughed, skating on the frozen
pond in town. Everyone was happy and full of holiday cheer. That
is, everyone except for Charlie Brown.

Charlie: (to Linus) I think there must be something wrong with
me. I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I might be
getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees
and all that, but I’m still not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m
supposed to feel.

Linus: Charlie Brown, you are the only person I know who can take
a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.
Maybe Lucy is right. Of all of the Charlie Browns in the world,
you are the Charlie Brownest.

Hmmmm, does this mean I am like Charlie Brown? Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas.

It puts things into perspective some don't you think?

Very little stitching in my corner of the world. The kitten search has been slightly traumatic and I'm going to take a couple of days off from that at the very least. My search only bore the lesson that I am better off dealing with the shelter. The people there are pleasant and nice and don't pressure you to change your views or talk you into kittens or cats you don't want or aren't sure you do want or tell you a bunch of horror stories. My experiences with rescue organizations has been pretty crappy so far. Enough to have my anxiety shooting through the roof. And even though I was on track for an adoption, I couldn't deal with the hard sell tactics. It was like I was buying a used car instead of adopting a kitten and providing it a good home and a loving environment. I know the right kitten is out there for me. I'm not going to be pressured into the wrong situation. And I feel like I will know when it's right. Just like I felt it was right with that cute orange tabby that got away. For the moment, all the excitement has been sucked away by the hard sell.

That's ok though because I have stitching to do and fabric to fondle and threads to choose.

Tomorrow comes part 2 of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Once I untangle myself from the giftwrap, tape and ribbons...stay tuned.

Until next time...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holly and the Ivy

It's dark and gloomy and rainy in my little corner of the world. It would be very conducive to stitching if I wasn't on an organizing bender. So no stitching photos. I've barely made any progress on Mary but I suppose that some stitches are better than none. I did realize that I need to tone down the stashing! I've gotten most in it's proper place and my 5 drawer stash cart is fit to burst! I may need to buy an add-on drawer soon. I do realize I need to purchase some darker fabric for ornies...I need to find some that will be good for ornament stitching and will be good to showcase snowy scenes/snowmen. If you have any color suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

So I have nothing to show and all I've done is organize...which is a big yawner to talk about. I'm going to share another carol.

If you haven't seen it, you should check out Nicole's finish of Shepherd's Bush Holly and Ivy. She did a terrific job with it! When SB first came out with this, I had to hold myself back. Considering my insurmountable stash, I'm glad I did but every time I see this design, I start to hum.

Holly and the Ivy was one of my choir songs in high school...every...year. I always thought that this was a strange carol to be singing cuz you know, it isn't jingle bells. As a First Soprano (back then, def. not now) it was a more difficult song to sing since it hits some pretty high notes in the choral range. Here's a more contemporary version showcasing Bambi. Don't watch it if Bambi imagery makes you sad. The tone of this version was nicer than the choral or amateur videos out there.

The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.
Oh, the rising of the sun and the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir.
The holly bears a blossom as white as lily flower,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to be our sweet saviour
The holly bears a berry as red as any blood,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to do poor sinners good.
The holly bears a prickle as sharp as any thorn,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ on Christmas Day in the morn.
The holly bears a bark as bitter as any gall,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ for to redeem us all.
Until next time...

Monday, December 13, 2010


I almost became a kitty mom even though I didn't feel ready. Friday before last, I had gone to the shelter annex and this orange tabby mewed and mewed at me. I was on my lunch break and busy the rest of the weekend and not feeling ready even though he mewed and rubbed against my hand on the outside of the cage and reached out to me with his paw. Enough to make your heart break. So I went back on Friday because all week I thought about Mr. Mew and I wondered if he was still there. He wasn't but I saw that he was still on the main shelter's list so I went after work. And I looked and I looked and I looked amongst the "holy cow, are you in heat?!" meowing and the crazy "did you give this kitty some kitty crack?" jumping and I didn't see Mr. Mew. So I went to the counter...just in case and I asked...if he had been adopted. I was 2.5 hours too late. I was sad all weekend! I hope Mr. Mew has a wonderful happy home now though even though it isn't mine. Just goes to show that things won't wait because you don't feel ready.

The rest of the weekend was errands and gift shopping and meeting up with a couple of friends for dinner. Nothing incredibly fascinating. I did go see Burlesque. Ok...don't go rolling your eyes! It was fantastic! I could have sat there and watched it all over again. The singing and dancing was top notch and toe-tapping. I actually felt compelled to clap after each performance but then I remembered I was in a *movie* and not a live performance. I love Cher! Can you believe that she is 64...she looks terrific! Cam Gigandet is pretty easy on the eyes to. I never realized that Christina Aguilera had such range...mainly because I stopped listening to most pop years ago. End result is that I can-not wait for this movie to be released on video. Loved, loved, loved it!

So what else...

I heard from my partner in the Hooked on Exchanging ornie swap that she received my ornie. It was hard for me to part with this one. I love Frosty Flakes! I saw that my partner seemed to be a LHN fan so I decided to stitch up this cute snowman. Simple finish, white beaded edging and a sheer white ribbon hanger.
LHN Frosty Flakes
32 count Pearled Barley
Recommended CC, DMC and Mill Hill Beads

I also stitched the back with the simple tree from the pattern.

For the last week, I was trying very hard to finish part 1 of Mary Wigham. Wow, it seemed to take me forever! I don't know what it was. It's a little hard for me to get into a good position with the floor stand and recliner. I can't seem to get the stand close enough. I think I got too used to bringing the qsnap so close to my face to see that now I am struggling a bit with the distance. Maybe I should try out my magnifier and see if that helps some. I am so tempted to get a Stitchmate but I know I have to wait a little bit longer before I indulge in that fantasy.

The new motifs I've stitched are the funky flower stitched in dark green, light yellow and cream, the initial box in cream and dark green, the SH initials and the light green motif on the top. Ignore the deep crease. I guess I didn't iron the fabric and the rods are too short so I don't have the best tension on this fabric. The ecru is a little hard to see but that is how it is reflected in the color photo so I went with it.

Now onto Part 2. I wonder if I can finish part 2 by the end of the month. Hey now...I hear you laughing at me! I'm laughing at myself! But I will try and see how far I get. I'm devoted to Mary til the end of the month and then I have to put her in some sort of rotation. She will be neglected a little and we'll see how well I am at rotating. Past practice on rotations has been pretty dismal.

I've been setting my goals and projects for 2011 and kind of freaking myself out! There is so much that I want to stitch and I'm trying to be reasonable. This was a poor stitching year. I'm about 10 projects down from last year. I wonder if I can get back to that standard of stitching again...

Well, I'm off to wash the dishes and relax a bit. I have the back of an 80 year old and it has been acting up a lot the last week and holding me back from the chores I have to do around my my quest of getting ready for my own little mewer. But tonight, I think I need to just take a muscle relaxer, ice some and hope I don't drool all over myself. Stash organizing tomorrow!

Hope you all had a nice weekend and that those of you in snow country are keeping warm and safe.

Until next time...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas is Coming

Back in a time...long, long ago, I sang in choir. And we would sing traditional Christmas Carols and some not so traditional ones. I keep seeing "Christmas is Coming" written all over blogland...and I start humming to myself. Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat, please put a penny in the old man's hat, if you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do, if you haven't got a ha' penny, then God bless you...

I came across this video on YouTube and laughed my head off! I figured if it made Ms. Scrooge laugh, then it might bring a smile to your face too. I'll type out the true lyrics below.

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do
If you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you!

When I'm feeling blue, when I'm feeling low
I start to think about the happiest man I know.
Now he doesn't mind the snow, he doesn't mind the rain,
But all December you will hear him at your window pane,
Singing again and again and again and again and again;

Christmas is coming and the bells begin to ring,
The holly's in the window and the birds begin to sing.
I don't need to worry, and I don't need to fret,
And the more you give at Christmastime the more you get.

God bless you, gentlemen, God Bless you!
The more you give at Christmastime the more you get.

Christmas is coming, the egg is in the nog.
Please give a friendly man a friendly dog.
If you haven't got a friendly dog, a friendly cat will do,
If you haven't got a friendly cat may God bless you!

God bless you, gentleman, God bless you!
If you haven't got a friendly cat may God bless you!

Christmas is coming, the lights are on the tree.
How about a turkey leg for dear old me?
If you haven't got a turkey leg, a turkey wing will do.
If you haven't got a turkey wing may God bless you!

God bless you, gentlemen, God bless you!
If you haven't got a turkey wing may God bless you!

Christmas is coming, the cider's in the keg.
If I had a mug of cider I wouldn't have to beg.
If you haven't got a mug of cider, half a mug will do.
If you haven't got half a mug, may God bless you!

God bless you, gentlemen, God bless you!
If you haven't got half a mug, may God bless you!
If you haven't got a thing for me, may God bless you!

There are a lot of true sentiments in this carol. Maybe I'll snap out of it by Christmas. Don't be surprised if you see more carols pop up. What's your favorite?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ms. Scrooge

23 days til 2011
16 days til my furlough and 10 glorious days to myself...and stitching...and maybe playing with a new kitty...and spending time with family.

Those are things I am looking forward to...

I haven't been in a blogging mood since I am in a hunker-down mode to get myself through the holidays. I am yet again Ms. Scrooge. I enjoy seeing everyone's photos of decorations and I live vicariously through their Christmas spirit and prettily lit Christmas trees. Those of you that have trees solely decorated with hand-stitched ornies, I stand up and applaud. OMG, can I get my needle to stitch faster?! I envision one of those little trees in my home someday. But for now, I've slapped a wreath on the door and that's about it. At least the hallway smells all pine-y and nice. I hope my neighbors appreciate it!

I've been re-organizing and cleaning...trying to kittyproof because I want a Christmas Kitty. I still have to re-organize my stash and put all the things like floss, fabric and such that I have lying about IN my cabinet because, you know, that's what it's there for. And while I'm doing that, I may as well box up the VHS and get rid of them seeing as I don't watch them because I don't have a VCR anymore and what's the point of keeping VHS if they are practically obsolete?! So little projects like that keep cropping up. Busy, Busy. I'll soon go to the pet store to look for a kitty bed and scratching post and food bowls and placemat so those are already here when I get the kitten. I want to be prepared.

I'm also dealing with annoying little issues that have cropped up that kind of round out the feeling of "rounding out an already bad year". Things like discovering a tear in the fabric of my 3-month old recliner. I am still trying to figure out who will come out to fix it but they had better come soon! At least the recliner is still under it's one year warranty but really...3 months in and it's got a problem?! And I received one of those lovely "give me your first born" red light camera traffic violations. Seriously, why does California have so many budget problems when they are bleeding people dry with these fines?! And for the record, I didn't run the red going straight. I made a right turn without stopping at the red because it had just turned and the coast was clear. No "Camera Enforced" sign. But the plain fact is I didn't stop at a red. Do I really want to go in front of a judge and say I was starving and stuffing my face with popcorn on the way to buy some fake Spanx and the coast was clear and won't you give me a break because I have a clean record?! I don't think they would understand. I will just have to pay the fine and go to traffic school. Terrible timing. Huge fine to pay while having to buy Christmas gifts too!

2011 can't come soon enough!
Onto the stitchy stuff...

On Saturday, my stitching group had their Christmas get together. It was a lot of fun to see ladies I only get to see occasionally and be dressed up (for me) and have a fancy lunch. I stitched a little, I knitted a little and talked a lot, You have the option of participating in an ornament exchange and this year, I whipped something up.
Thanks to Karen V. for posting her overdyed conversion. I don't have very much silk and so I used her suggested colors of GAST Endive, Piney Woods and Oatmeal with DMC 347. Stitched on a scrap of 32 count Lakeside Linens Pearled Barley. I backed it with the fabric shown here and did a braid with skinny green ribbon for the hanger. It was the first time I used the sewing machine in months and I think it turned out nice. Simple yet elegant. It did make me realize that I need to stock up on some pretty ribbons because I am seriously lacking in that area of finishing supplies!

I also stitched an ornie for myself. This was the first ornie of the three that I recently stitched. I fell in love with it and just had to keep it. I think I would like a pinkeep style finish and don't feel up to cutting the matboard at the moment. My creativity really seems stunted when it comes to finishing despite being surrounded by wonderful ideas in blogland...I wonder why.
Tweet Gift by Full Circle Designs
2010 JCS Ornament Issue
32 count Vintage Examplar
Recommended Threads

I stitched a third ornie which was for the Hooked on Exchanging Ornament Exchange. I'm a little worried as I haven't heard if it's been received and it didn't have far to go. I guess USPS is busy with the holiday boom.

And last but not least is my TUSAL jar. It got quite full...mainly from ornie stitching and fraying linen threads which I stuck in there.

I'm wondering what to do with my orts in the new year as after the next new moon, I think I will start over from scratch.It's fun to see the threads fill up the jar and how they vary in color. Daffycat is continuing the TUSAL this year. Go sign up if you're interested!

Over the weekend, I pulled out Mary Wigham. Talk about a blast from the past! I am still working on the same motif...the weird funky flower. I am 1.5 motifs from completing Part 1. OMG, there's 8 more parts to it! Ack! But in all seriousness, it's nice to see the motifs transform and since each one is a different color, it feels like a mini happy dance each time you complete one. I decided to stitch this as a true reproduction meaning I'll be stitching Mary's initials and not my own. I figure if I'm going this route, I may as well go all the way. I'll be personalizing AotH next year anyways. It doesn't look much different than the last time I posted, ohhhh months upon months ago, so I will wait until I at least finish the funky flower before posting a photo. I need to get cracking so I can liven up the Mary Wigham blog and be a good moderator. Life seriously got in the way this year.

I've been reading about the Crazy January Challenge on so many blogs lately. That is one crazy challenge! I will not be taking part though because I have anxiety attacks when I have more than 4 works in progress! But I am going to enjoy seeing what everyone is up to.

Well, as I end my post, I want to take the time to say thank you to my regular blog readers and followers. When I was feeling especially low this year, I'd come on my little blog and whine and your positive comments and hugs really helped me power through all the emotions I had been feeling and make me feel a little less alone...and well...I've been feeling lonely a lot. I don't think that people really understand how stitchers really bond and come together. But I am thankful that we do. And in the new year, I will do a little something special. I don't know how and I don't know what, but it's coming. And even though I am Ms. Scrooge, I hope that you and yours are enjoying the holiday season full of twinkly lights, decorated trees, carols and smiles. May your season be merry and bright.

Now me, I need to find some cider to make me some spiked mulled cider and then I won't be so scrooge-y! :)

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Happy December!

Wow, December 1st. How'd that happen? I can't believe Christmas is right around the corner and the year will soon come to a close. As much as I'm not ready to deal with the am ready to put the year behind me. The first 6 months were terrible and the remainder of the year has been spent trying to get over the drama, while meeting new people and getting on with my life. It has not been easy. All the things I had hoped to do in 2010 will shift into 2011 and I'm hoping I can dig up some positive outlook from somewhere.

I don't have much to show in the form of photos. At least not today. I finally managed to stitch and finish my exchange ornament...2 days late. I need to get better about finishing. The stitching is easy...the finishing stumps me sometimes. I have 2 other ornaments that I need to finish via the sewing machine. This might get interesting...I haven't turned on the machine in a good 7 months or so. I hope I don't sew my fingers together! After that, I have one more ornie to stitch and finish and I can get back to Mary Wigham and WMHB. Both haven't seen the light of day in a while!

Did everyone have a nice Thanksgiving holiday? Mine was nice and relaxing. I spent time with my sister, BIL and the kids. I am now the little one. The kids have grown so much; it's amazing. They now tower over their auntie! We had a nice turkey dinner that I ate in my pajamas and us girls (sister, neice and I) went to watch Harry Potter. Fantastic! I also met with new blog friends in the DFW area. Michelle and Natalie were kind enough to meet me at a local coffee shop and we had fun talking and talking. We talked so much, we didn't even pull out our projects! Thanks for taking the time ladies!It was great meeting you both!

I went to a wedding and wore a fancy dress and met new friends and bumped into old acquaintences. That was nice. It went from being 70+ degrees down to being 40 degrees while I was there and I think I almost became a human popsicle because I was freezing! As much as I had a nice time, I am happy to sleep in my own bed, wear my flannel jammies, shuffle about in my slippers and have full control of the heater. I think anyone else would be sweltering in my apartment but I can't manage to get warm enough...and it's not even truly winter. This is going to be one cold season!

No more traveling for a bit so I have the feeling that I will be getting a lot of stitching in. Especially after coming to the conclusion that online dating is 5000 times worse now than it was 3 years ago, that I haven't been on a date since the breakup...unless you count Mr. Octopus and I didn't even realize I was on a date then and that I haven't come across one single guy that I *do* want to date. Not one. So I've resigned myself to be one of those crazy spinsters with cats. I just need a kittie. But I have to clean first...because there is way too much "string" and fabric and other wonderful things lying around that a kitty would love and would cause me to have a fit if a kitty got into it.

One more month, clean slate, new outlook. Can't wait!

Next post, I'll tell you a story about a certain Charlie Brown Christmas. Hope you're all having a great week!

Until next time...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Best Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Remember to save room for's the best part!

Until next time...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New York!

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years”
--Thomas Wolfe

The above is completely true. After a day in New York, I was trying to figure out how I could move from San Francisco to New York. Just pick up, get a new job, find a great place and just be immersed in the hustle and bustle, art, culture, skyscrapers and the mishmosh of people. New York is a fantastically wonderful place. I don't envision these daydreams coming true anytime soon though because if people think rent is ridiculous's absurd in New York.

I managed to get to my friend's apartment in one piece and we had a low key first day since she had to work. Went to lunch and walked a bit to get there. Despite jaywalking around my city with high frequency, I had to assure myself that I wouldn't get killed by a taxi by walking against the light in New York. Because, you know, rumor is they are notorious. By the end of the trip, I was jaywalking left and right.

The first night, we decided to hit a craft fair at Madison Square Park and in our walking around, I realized that we were close to the Flatiron
and the Empire State Building. Case in point.
So we decided to get the Empire State Building out of the way and off my list. We splurged and went to the 102nd floor. Just an FYI, the 102nd floor is 1. high and 2. a tiny space! With all the exposed beams, you had to watch your feet and your head. It was a nice advantage though and provided some nice photos of New York at night. I'm sure it would have been equally amazing during the daytime.

We went down to the 86th floor to get a different vantage point. We didn't stay long though because it was *freezing* outside. OMG, between the chill and the wind, I was out and back in in a flash.

For dinner, we hit a great restaurant called Red Cat in Chelsea which was fantastic! If you're in NY, I'd highly recommend this place. The food was great and the service was exceptional!

Day two consisted of a leisurely brunch at Recipe in the Upper West Side...poached eggs over a bacon-apple ragout with home potatoes. Good...but I am still kicking myself that I didn't get the poached eggs with duck confit! And seriously...I only eat this rich when I eat out. The rest of the time I survive on salads, soup, toast and yogurt....I swear. After that, we walked through Central Park, which is vast, and came across joggers, bikers, picnickers. It was a beautiful day for all those things. I have a thing for skyscraper skylines so we got a couple of good shots.

I'll let you guys guess which one I am

We made it to the Met which is fricking huge! Lien told me to pick 2 rooms/exhibits out of a ton it seemed like. And wouldn't you know it, the one I *really* wanted to see (Costume Exhibit) was closed!? The heck? We still had fun seeing the Egyptian and Modern art exhibits. We went to the rooftop because they had a bamboo "art" exhibit.
Uh...yea. I thought it was a mess! It looks like a gigantic rat's nest. They had tours where you can walk on the pathways within the bamboo art. I'm glad they were sold out because I don't think I would have been too keen on that. If you look closely, you can see a couple of people in the art.

It was time to relax before dinner. We headed out to John's Pizzeria for dinner to get "authentic NY pizza" which was yummy! I was ready to smack this guy who was in the booth behind me but that's besides the point. People may want to throw NY attitude at me but they don't realize I have my own special blend of city attitude that I can throw around too if I need to. After dinner, we walked around nearby Washington Square Park where they have an Arc de Triumphe just like the one in Paris. (this photo taken a different day during daytime hours)
The next day, we had a light breakfast and checked out Highline Park and Chelsea Market before getting ready to see a Broadway matinee. We went to see Promises, Promises which is pretty much based on the old Jack Lemmon movie, The Apartment. It was wonderful! Sean Hayes, Kristen Chenoweth and Molly Shannon all performed really well! Who knew they could sing?! I would highly recommend it!

And since we were right there on Times Square, we walked around. Times Square is insane! Tons of people...tons of lights. It's sensory overload.

Final day, I decided to do a tv and film tour. It was enjoyable but not excellent. I did have a good time seeing different famous locales but got annoyed with the multiple on/off destinations which didn't really seem to warrant as much attention as they were giving it. By the time the tour was over, I had a blazing headache from lack of caffeine. I was in such a hurry to make the tour that I didn't have time to stop for coffee. Walking 30 blocks sometimes takes longer than you think. I decided to walk down Fifth Avenue to shop but at a certain point, I just couldn't take it anymore. I stopped a security guard and asked for the nearest Starbuck's (doesn't Peet's exist on the East Coast?!) and he pointed to a building across the street.
30 Rockafeller (rink and fountain shown)

So I entered 30 Rock to find liquid caffeine and got all lost. There are shops and restaurants...holy cow! I found Starbucks and rested which eating my mini scone and drinking my coffee. Some tourists came up to me asking for museum recommendations and it made me happy to be mistaken for a local instead of a fellow tourist.

After my caffeine fix, I ventured back out and stumbled upon St. Patrick's Cathedral which is stunning inside and out!
And this crazy wedding dress model. She went out into a lane of traffic and actually had a staring contest with a bus driver! Over here, Muni would have run her over! I guess you have to do what you have to do to get the perfect shot!
And I walked and I walked and I walked, all the way back "home" with only 2 shopping stops. 1. a souvenir shop for a NY tee shirt and 2. to go to M&J Trimming which is the mecca of trim shops that I've ever been to. I came back with a baggie full of wonderful trims to help me with finishing. And then I made it home...exhausted from walking over 70 blocks that day. Had one last meal and it was an early flight the next day.
The kitties that would curl up with me at night

I must get back to New York asap. I didn't get to many of the things on my short list. Four days wasn't nearly enough!

Bye New York...Love you and see you soon!
Until next time...

P.S. Thanks for all your get well wishes! I am feeling better but am sneezy and sniffly still. I think i'm allergic to the lotion from the nail salon though so I'm off to scrub my hands. So sneezy!!

P.P.S. I'll be away from the blog for a week or so due to holiday travels and such. Safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Gym is Bad for You!

I knew it...I knew it! The gym is bad for your health!

Yesterday, I finally mustered up the drive to go to the gym. That says a lot as I think I only went twice in October and probably four times in September. With the traveling, it's just been hard to get there. But I got there last night which was good! But about half way through my workout, I was feeling pretty crummy. I was feeling fine one minute and the next, the dreaded scratchy throat began. By 10pm last night...I was wiped out.

I woke up this morning and still felt the same but I went to work anyways. Sore throat was joined by sneezing and runny nose. In all reality, this probably explains why I have been feeling so exhausted and scatterbrained lately. The cold was festering way deep down. Why'd it have to take so long to make it's appearance?!

Nothing exciting really going on. Last week, I dragged myself to this huge outlet mall that I detest. I hate going there but my coworkers always talk about what deals they find there. So I decided to go to see if I could find a dress I liked better (i.e. less expensive) than the one I bought a couple of weekends ago. I am a terrible fit for a dress...terrible. I am a pear and short waisted so almost always, dresses are too big on top and too tight on the bottom. I hate dresses! I shopped and shopped and didn't find a thing. At the last possible store, I pulled down the zipper to get ready to try it on and wouldn't you know...there was a roach in the dress! IN the dress. I had to drop that dress fast and kick it under the dressing room. If I wasn't practically naked, I would have run screaming from the store! But you know...that wasn't ideal. I spent the rest of the day shaking everything for bugs and had the ebbie jeebies. Sadly, the only exciting thing going on was kind of traumatizing! Needless to say, me and that outlet mall are on the outs!

The nice thing is that the dress I bought 2 weeks ago went on sale and now it's affordable so I will be keeping the dress.

I don't have any of my stitching to show because I'm ornie stitching. My goal was to finish 3 ornies by the time I leave for Dallas. So far, I've stitched one and started the second. I am trying to stitch fast because the one I finished stitching is soooo cute, I want to keep it for myself! I don't think I will be able to finish three by next Tuesday but I might get close.

Speaking of ornies, I received my Hooked on Exchanging ornie from my partner. Wow, she was fast and mailed way ahead of the deadline. Puts me to shame! lol Marie stitched me this pretty Prairie Schooler which she says is from the JCS ornie issue.
It will be a nice contribution to my Christmas decorations this year. Thanks Marie!

Well, I'll see how I feel tomorrow. If I feel crummy, I'm going to stay home and if that happens, maybe, just maybe, I'll get my NY post up and stitch on ornie #2 some more.

Tonight, I'm having a big bowl of pho tai to help clear my sinuses and soothe my throat and then I will stitch the night away on ornie #2. Slippers...check! Tea...check! TV remote...check!

*achoo!* Can someone pass me a kleenex? *sniffle, sniffle*

Until next time...

Monday, November 08, 2010


Monday have to wonder what the week holds for you when you realize you left your coffee mug way upstairs when you are already way downstairs. But a Monday without coffee may as well be hell so it's best to trek up all the stairs and be late to work than sit in your cube under-caffeinated. Urgh...Monday.

I've been lacking a lot of drive lately. I've been feeling pretty tired since I came back from New York. No other symptoms...just tired. I have no idea what it is. It would be helpful if I could just go to sleep at a decent hour but I force myself not to fall asleep at 6pm (when I'm sleepy) to go to sleep at a more acceptable time but next thing I know, it's midnight! How's that happen?

My sister's visit came and went in the blink of an eye. She finally saw my apartment. Climbing my 50 steps is a daunting task to most everyone I know. I oftentimes get the "uh, I'll wait for you downstairs" response when people are meeting up with me. I get it...I've fallen off the gym bandwagon and my thighs are burning by the time I reach my doorstep. Apparently, I need to get back to the gym...stat! But it was a treat for me to have my sister in my very own space and see how I have it decorated and understand why it's my sanctuary. At least I get to visit with her in two weeks so it's only a short absence.

Stitching was slow considering...but I managed to stitch the "Needles" portion of the Traveling Stitcher.
All that is left is finishing both pieces to the pouch which makes me very apprehensive. How do I get them finished all pretty like in the picture by myself?! I think Mary Kathryn has a tutorial so I will be studying that and get to finishing it...but probably not until after Thanksgiving.

After putting the last stitch in "needles", I pulled out all my JCS ornie issues and ornie patterns and started planning which ornies I wanted to try to stitch before the end of the month. And then the threads. And then fabrics. And then I had a huge mess on my hands. As much as I like new starts, gethering all the supplies can be annoying. Missing overdyeds so I check my dmc and I'm missing those too. So I made a quick order and have to make a quick trip to Joann's to really get underway but I've made a decent start on an ornie. Ornies probably won't be shown though as I signed up for an exchange and will be going to my local stitching group's Christmas party so there are two ornie's I have to stitch up and finish(!) quickly. I wonder if I could stitch more...

My luck in blogland continues to run rampant. I won Robin's wonderful giveaway of some felted pumpkins. Thanks Robin! They will be a wonderful addition to my fall decorating. Here they sit with my etsy pumpkin and my TUSAL jar. The jar is getting more and more full. I love seeing the different colored orts and knowing what projects they came from!
I can't believe how fast time is flying! Before we know it, it will be Thanksgiving and the holiday shopping and decorating. Ergh...I'm not ready!

I've been fighting some massive kitten fever. It takes so much effort on my part to not stop in on the adoption annexes I pass by. Each time I do...I see a kitten I just fall in love with and I think about said kitten for days afterwards until I can assure myself that he/she's been adopted. I think I need to kitten-proof my apartment and look for a feline companion. It's a little nerve-wracking because I've never had a cat before. I would love to have a dog but that won't happen anytime soon so a cat is my only option for a pet. I just wish a cat would stay kitten size forever!

I'm hoping the next post will be my NY recap post. I managed to get pictures from my to edit them. I've been...uh...lazy about the editing part.

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Mail Call!

Wow! I've been lucky the past few days. Instead of the usual bills and junk, I've received fun mail! Yay! I love fun mail!

I won Day 28 of Missy Ann and Annette's 31 Days of Halloween Giveaway Extravaganza. Talk about lucky! And I was excited when I saw the sneak preview. I remember just seeing the broom and I must be the With Thy Needle and Thread Design. Guess what!
I was right! It's gorgeous. Stitched over one on banding. I love it! And the best part is that now I don't have to buy the chart and stitch it for myself. I was seriously considering it since it's a great item for Halloween decorating. Missy Ann also included a cat threadwinder with a few handmade pins along with a bag of candy. Thanks Missy Ann and Annette!

I also got a cute package from Melanie. I won her Boo Beads giveaway.
OMG...these beads are even cuter in real life. I love that little ghost. Love it! Now I need to find a use for them because I'm not putting them on my cell phone. I think they'll become a scissor fob. Thanks Melanie. If you haven't visited Melanie's shop, you should! She's got cute beads!

And then...yes, there's more! I received a package from Sharon - Daffycat! She sent me a wonderful RAK.
Isn't it super cute?! I love it. And the other side has a little pie stitched on it which is funny since I just took a pumpkin pie out of the oven! Thank you so much Sharon!

Well, I have no stitching to show because remember the stitch-ass session I was supposed to have on Sunday? Uh, yea...that didn't happen. I got all carried away dress shopping that I was exhausted and had already missed half the Giants game by the time I got home! I found the cutest dress that cost a small fortune! Why do dresses cost so much money?! So I am debating whether I keep the dress...but it's so cute! Ugh...the inevitable internal debate. I need to find a fun guy that will give me reason to wear a fun cocktail dress in the near future...

Speaking of Giants...Congratulations to my home team! They played with integrity. I'm a little disappointed in the fans though. Rioting, causing havoc and mayhem, setting mattresses on fire, climbing on fire engines and busses. Ummm,'re trashing your own city! Gawd, I have no idea what is wrong with people! What is wrong with people?! I didn't even get to watch yesterday's game but I knew we won by the fireworks, honking and yelling.

My sister is visiting for the week. Yay! My parents can drive her bananas for a week...mental vacation time. Woot! *sigh* Probably means I won't get much stitching done. I've visited 3 times in less than a week and my dad tells me not to be a stranger. For reals?! Holy cow...they are a lot of work. I'm very happy to have my sister in town.

Well, I better head off to bed. Still feeling so tired! Hope everyone is having a good week so far!

Until next time...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I hope everyone has a happy and fun sweet-filled day!
My thoughts are scattered today. I've been feeling like this a lot lately and it's not helped by being in the midst of my monthly pity party. I'm feeling quite sad and unappreciated. After housesitting for my parents for five months, all my dad could do is give me a hard time that I hadn't paid all the bills before they arrived. Seeing as I arrived from New York 27 hours before they did, I thought they could handle paying the two bills themselves seeing as they weren't even due for another 2 weeks. Five months of wasting gas, adding miles to my aging car, paying bills, watering the plants, making sure the house is ok, constant calls...and I don't even get a thank you. No consideration for the fact that I work and did this for them despite having my own problems and trying to mend and heal a broken heart. Or that I bought them groceries and stocked their fridge before I even stocked my own. I do not have the typical happy family relationship most people *seem* to have with theirs. Despite everything I do, it's never enough and I am always the "bad daughter" even though I am the only child that does anything to help. As my parents age and need more help, I don't want to be the one that does everything anymore. I don't want to make the tough decisions that will soon be necessary. Even if I were to make the decisions, I have parents that don't listen to a thing I say because I'm the "baby" and apparently stupid. They are both deaf as doorknobs and refuse to get hearing aids and I am so tired of yelling and repeating myself that I don't even talk to them if I don't have to. They don't understand that we would all be happier if they were to get the aids because we could all hear each other but they are too frugal. How much they miss out on life because they can't hear anything. How frustrated I get because when I do tell them a story, it gets terribly mangled because they only listen a little and then make up the rest on their own. I am so frustrated! I want to be able to live my life and experience all the things my older siblings have been able to because they've been free of the burden by moving away. Sometimes I feel that my parents decided to have another child so late in life so they would have someone to take care of them. It's been my role since I was a teenager. A stunted fun extracurricular activities like sports, hobbies, dating, boys, etc. I don't have much support from my brother who I feud with like you wouldn't imagine and acts like he is a 55 year old child who is king of the household and that everyone should be waiting on him and a sister that would help if she didn't live 1500 miles away. For years, I've thought of moving just to have a little more freedom despite my heart belonging to San Francisco. It's sad when you think about moving away to escape your family so that you can live with the freedom you believe you deserve. To be able to travel and have fun without constantly being questioned and being served a healthy portion of Catholic guilt for every little thing. *sigh*

Ok I had to get the sad, depressing part out of the way. Now for the fun part. It's heartwarming to know that when those in my real-life world have forgotten or disappointed me in some manner, my blogging family is out there thinking of me and sending me little rays of sunshine. I got some sweet packages recently. Meari read about my excursion to the Snoopy Museum and she sent me a Happy Birthday Peanuts book. It was fun to flip through! Thanks Meari.
And then Natasha sent me this fun overdyed skein of Happy Birthday floss by Ozark Sampler. How great is that...a color specifically called Happy Birthday! Thanks Natasha! I will have to find a spring project to use this for and it just screams spring to me. I love it when birthdays last all month long! haha

Despite stashing like mad at the Shepherd's Retreat, I couldn't let my birthday discount at Needlecraft Corner go to waste. Because you know...SALE is about as good a four letter word as CAKE. Here's my haul...
First 8 charts of the BBD Anniversaries of the Heart Series
And I also got The Drawn Thread's Almost Halloween, Kelmcott's Miniature Monogram Hornbook Margin Marker, Kelmcott Lace Scissors and a slew of CC, GAST, WDW threads. Most of the threads I purchased are for the BBD Anniversaries of the Heart Series and BBD Mystery Sampler with a couple of others tossed in for good measure.

I am hoping to start Anniversaries of the Heart in January and do one block per month. I just need to purchase fabric. I contacted R&R for 40 count Olde Towne Blend but they are out of it and the base fabric. If anyone knows a LNS that stocks 40 count R&R, can you let me know? Otherwise, I will have to decide between Lakeside Linens Meadow Rue or Exampler. I wonder if a trip to NiaH is on the horizon to help me decide...

After days of not stitching due to travel and housesitting running around, I got some good stitching time in. It helped that the weather was rainy and gloomy and there were baseball games to watch on tv at home. OMG, it felt wonderful! And due to my efforts, I finished the Traveling Stitcher!!
I'm stitching this as a SAL with Carol R. I wonder how far along she is now. She may be done too. I'm not totally finished though since I still need to finish the little "Needles" piece which should be fast going. I think I will try to start that tonight. I am tempted to start looking through my Christmas ornie patterns as I signed up for an exchange and may do another if my local stitching group will in fact have a Christmas get together. There are tons of ornies that I want to stitch. It's just the finishing part that trips me up.

One more anyone doing NaBloPoMo? I'm debating...but I don't think I have it in me this year.

Well, I best be going. I'm supposed to be dress shopping. The baseball game starts in 4 hours so I should run errands and shop and then it's time for baseball and another round of "stitch-ass".

Happy Halloween safe!

Until next time...