Monday, March 29, 2010

Pocketful of Sunshine

I'm taking a mental health day from work today...I had it planned because with everything going on, a day off here and there really helps! And it's a good thing because the last week + weekend was awful and emotional and just so incredibly draining. I'm pooped! But some lovely ladies out there sent be a little bit of sunshine to boost my spirits and I'm ever thankful! Thank you to Blu, Nicole and Tammy for sending this my way!

I pass this on to everyone out there because reading your blogs gives me a little bit of sunshine and inspiration each and everyday.

A couple of weekends ago, I mentioned I went thrifting. There's a local shop near me that benefits the local humane society and the proceeds go towards the care of the animals. I don't have any pets but I would like some and it's an opportunity to see the shop's resident cat. And since the shop caters to animals and lots of crafters out there are animal lovers, there is lot more craft-related items here than at the Goodwill. So *the boy* and I walked over and I got some great finds! I found a complete Shepherd's Bush Charmed Hearts kit...for $1! The original tag on this is $24. I jumped on that thing like you wouldn't believe. It seems to be all intact...the only thing is the linen has a spot on it. But it's probably nothing a little Shout and a toss in the washing machine can't handle. Can you believe that bargain?! I also got a Spring Blossoms TableTopper kit "charted for needlework" which I assume is cross stitch for $1, complete with aida and floss. And the next find was a Country Lullaby leaflet by Jean Farish which has the bunny on skates that I saw Harmien stitch up a couple of times. And for 50 cents...I couldn't leave it behind. So for $2.50...I got 2 kits and a chart. Hmmm, I kind of like thrifting. Too bad none of the places I went to had any scissor frogs. That was what I was really looking for. The sad thing is I ordered one from eBay after this trip and it arrived shattered into pieces!! Now I'm scared to try and get another one.

I also received some fun mail. My PIF from Dianne arrived and she sent me some lovely silk in a nice deep blue color and breast cancer scissors with stitched sheath. It's beautifully finished and very meaningful!

Thanks Dianne!

When I signed up for Dianne's PIF, I put mine up as well. I think I was supposed to wait until I actually received something before offering my PIF but what do I know. I'd never done it before. Fact is, I am way behind on my own PIF but my recipient knows and I've been slowly stitching away on it for a week. This was after making something and disliking the fabric/thread combo so much, I chucked it. With the emotional upheavel lately, my output is slow going and I am way behind on my stitching. But I've reached the finishing stage. It should be done and mailed out shortly. At this point, I should be happy only one person signed up and not three! lol

Once I'm done with the PIF, I'll move onto my blog giveaway piece and then an exchange. So posting and pictures will be scarce until I manage to get to my own stitching.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An Award!

The lovely CarolR nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award. How sweet! Thanks Carol! You're a beautiful blogger too!

Here's how the award works. The rules are simple:

1. One must accept the award
2. Thank the person who gave you the award
3. Add a link to the person who gave you the award
4. Paste the award on your blog
5. Write 10 things about yourself that others might not know
6. Pass the award on to 10 others

10 things...sheesh. I might bore all of you to tears! Let's see...

1. I learned to stitch when I was 7. My mom taught me from a plastic canvas kit that is still lying around somewhere in their house. After that, I would drag my dad to Woolworth so he could buy me the $2 kits. I've been addicted ever since with breaks here and there. I really, really miss Woolworths!

2. I call myself the "accident baby" because my parents were surprised by my arrival. They were in their late 40's and my siblings were already high school and college age.

3. Because of #2, I'm kind of used to being a loner. Not to mention my parents were strict and wouldn't let me do anything or go anywhere!

4. I'm also very shy which most people don't expect coming from this blog seeing as I've very mouthy. I'm good one on one and with small groups but big parties, forget it, I become a clam and the wallflower in the corner.

5. I'm 100% Nicaraguan and come off looking more Irish. Dark hair, pale skin, freckles. I don't know what happened. To say I stand out in my family is an understatement. Taller than most of them! I'd say I was the mailman's kid but I look like my dad and he wasn't the mailman. :)

6. I've lived in a 20 mile radius of the San Francisco Bay Area my whole life. I love it here!

7. Despite loving it here, I often wonder what would have happened if I moved to Seattle years ago. After visiting it with my sister years ago, I deemed it almost as cool as SF and fell in love with it.

8. I'm a coffee addict. I'm pretty non-functional in the mornings and need high octane brew. Peet's is my favorite. Blue Bottle is a close second but it's hard to get easily near my home or work.

9. I'm a total night owl which makes working an 8am-5pm job very difficult!

10. I would love to travel more! So far I've only been to WA, OR, CA, NV, IL, TX, NH, MA, RI and FL. Outside of the US; Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Canada and France. Ok, that's kind of sad. I need to go about planning my next vacation now.

and as a bonus...

11. I love eavesdropping on spanish conversations...because to most spanish folk, I'm the "gringa" that can't understand a word they say. Goes to show them if they're talking smack!

I'm being a party-pooper on selecting 10 beautiful bloggers because I think that everyone is one and I read far more than 10 blogs to even try to narrow it down! But if you haven't received the reward and want to play the game, please feel free to help yourself and share a little.

I hope everyone is having a terrific St. Valentine's Day! This Nicaraguan is proudly wearing her green. *The boy* who is Irish/Italian was not this morning and he was thoroughly pinched! Hmph!

Until next time...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Cat Stole Treats and Jumped on Spiders

You get it? The past couple of weeks, I've been lethargically stitching on Boo Club and I stitched the Treats, Black Cat and Spiders segments. I'll be attaching the buttons at the very end since I'm using q-snaps. This was a nice change from all the red!! It's now been pulled off the snaps and put away for the next month. Gift stitching is back on the agenda. I hope it won't take me too, too long. I have three smalls and one medium design to stitch up. At least the medium design was started a while just give me fits! Perhaps with enough wine, I'll get through it and the frog will give me a break!

The weekend has been relaxing but busy. We went to the farmer's market for some weekly veggies and while we were there, these flowers came home with me.
Aren't they pretty?! *The boy* bought me the tulips and after seeing the anemones, I bought a bunch for myself and another for my mom. I've never seen anemones before and they just seemed so happy. See...
So happy!! I like happy flowers!

While I went and visited the old folks, *the boy* was productive fixing some things around the apartment like my coffee table that had various heat rings and scratch marks. I was upset to think I needed to buy a new table since the table looked like new (almost) before *the boy* came to visit. But...he gave the table some love and it looks just like new. I'm amazed! He did some other stuff too.

Today, we went antique-ing and thrifting in the neighborhood. We got some good exercise in walking around and I found some great finds which I'll share later. I'm behind on blogging. Too many stories and not enough time! Remember last week I mentioned I went to the White Elephant Sale? It's an annual fundraiser that benefits the Oakland Museum of Art so the money goes to a good cause. For $15, I bought three charts, 7 fat quarters and two yards of lace. All the charts I bought are out of print. I just about squealed when I came across The Goode Huswife Noah's Ark chart for $1. One dollar...can you believe it? The Beatrix Potter was a quarter and the most expensive one at $6 was Of Female Worth Mary Ann Johnson Sampler - 1816.
I bought the Of Female Worth Chart because I knew it was an OOP/HTF chart but it's not to my taste. If anyone is interested in this pattern/was looking for it and would like to purchase it from me, please send me an email. I will, of course, sell it at my cost plus the actual postage.

Oh and in the sewing section, they had a Lowery frame selling for $125 which I know is a deal. I contemplated it for a second before thinking that would be an expensive doorstop in case I didn't like it. There was lots of great finds there...and lots of people! Wow!! *The boy* was too scared to really look around because he might lose me. Good thing he's tall so I can spot him in almost any crowd.

So a little catching up with the next few photos...

It's the New Moon tomorrow which means time to share my TUSAL jar.
Here it is posing with the last of the Valentine's Day roses which *the boy* dried. Look at all that red! That was from the gift I just finished stitching a couple of weeks ago and then there are Boo Club threads on top of that...white, black, orange, yellow.

And Snapper Year is finally hung! I went rounds with my apartment manager about how this is the spot I wanted and how he felt it wasn't showcased enough. I finally got him to hang it how I wanted.
Photos are clickable and you can see what I mean by hanging my art with fishing line and moulding hooks. I wonder if anyone has to do this. It's a clause in my lease so everything is hung this way in my apartment.
Apparently, I am feeling better if I am stitching and walking about town. I see that *the boy* is trying hard. Doesn't mean I'm not frustrated with him but he's interviewing and sending resumes and applications everywhere and making noticeable contributions to the apartment, cooking, cleaning, fixing stuff and running my simple errands. He's scared and he's trying. I can respect that.

In my funk, I managed to read a book. Go me! I haven't read a book in ages because stitching and tv always takes precedence. I've checked out another three from the library so I hope to fit it in somehow. I did notice that in my no stitching funk, I was very productive at work. I wonder how to continue that. I tend to have ADD at work, getting easily distracted by whatever stitchy idea enters my head. I think stitching ALL day! I wish I could stitch full-time but I hardly think that would sufficiently pay the rent and the bills! If work wasn't *so* boring, I'd probably get more things done!

Well, I've babbled on enough. Time for Undercover Boss and Cold Case before I head to bed to get ready to face the week. How is it heading into Monday already?!

Until next time...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Things Got Worse...

I think I will have to put the idea of bi-monthly date nights and Mendocino weekend on hold for now. When I got home on Monday, after posting my vent post, I got home to find *the boy* waiting for me with a glass of wine. Sometimes this practice is a sweet gesture and other times, it's to liquor me up before spilling some bad news. I really couldn't take it at that point and just asked what had happened. Well, after working at the new place for two weeks, he had to present a proposal with suggestions on how the company was to move forward with the project he was hired to do. He presented the proposal, they didn't like it and they fired him on the spot. Oh, excuse me...they let him go because they "didn't think it was going to work out". I suppose that is the more genteel way of saying my original statement.

The Eff?!

I don't understand why this whole getting a job and keeping a job is so hard for *the boy*. I don't. He's super smart about business stuff. He has worked for big name companies and is very well connected. He likes the start-up environment which is risky and unstable. I keep telling him to look for a big, established company that can offer more stability but then, in this market...there isn't very much that is stable. But I have a real problem with how business is done nowadays. In the time I've known *the boy*, he's had 4 jobs that have all ended up being short term. The first company ran out of money and was probably connected to the Russian Mafia, the second was run by a crazy woman (I can say this since I actually met her) and it went bankrupt, the third was a temp job that was run 99% by women and I don't think they really wanted men in the business and the fourth apparently didn't like the proposal and didn't feel like working together was possible. What is with the one shot and you're out?! Are we stuck in some real-life version of The Apprentice? Fore reals... how do people conduct business this way? Not to mention wasting a month and a half interviewing and doing the paperwork to bring someone on only to let them go 2 weeks later. It is ridiculous!

So I'm even more bummed out which has led to stash therapy via online stash shopping. At least I'm stitching...but very little.

A part of me wonders if it's *the boy* or if it's business. Either way, I'm frustrated. At least I see that *the boy* is driven to find another job and as I type, he's at an interview. That's good but he needs to find something that will last longer than two weeks otherwise, the days of this relationship will become numbered and fast. My happiness really lies in him being able to take care of himself and that includes having his own job that brings in money. I have enough of my own things, not to mention the old folks, to worry about without him adding his mountain to my molehill.

Thanks to all the lovely supportive comments I got on my last post. I had meant to reply to many but my energy level was at an all-time low all week. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. My plans are quite low-key...farmer's market, visit with the old folks because my mom is bribing me to visit by making homemade chicken soup which I love, massage and a little stitching. I've managed to stitch a little more on Boo Club. I'm on the fourth section which I want to finish so I can catch up to the end of April since I have more gift stitching to do.

I'm half-tempted to drag *the boy* to church to thrown some holy water on him and make him light a candle at St. Jude's alter. He didn't appreciate the reference of him being a lost cause but hey, it can't hurt, right?

okiedoke, until next time...

Monday, March 08, 2010

In a Funk...

I've been in a funk since the beginning of the year and with the tide, the funk ebbs and flows. Lately, it's been flowing. I just feel like things have immensely changed over a short period of time. That's probably not *really* the case but all of a sudden, I'm aware and I feel like the lives of those around me are progressing and moving forward while mine is at a standstill. Marriages, pregnancies, births, home-buying, new jobs. How come exciting stuff isn't happening to me?! I know, I should be happy for them but I'm sad and jealous because I feel a retreat from them. I'm not married, I don't want children, I haven't got enough money to even come close to buying a condo, let alone a house in the area I live and whereas I would love a new and exciting job in the arts, I've got 6 more months to become vested in the job I currently have and I would like to become vested because come 65+, I'm sure I'll appreciate the extra stipend.

And I feel like time is a-wasting. I turn 35 and for some reason, it may as well be 40! Not that there is anything wrong with 40 but I really thought that by the time I was 35, my life would be established. I thought I'd be married with a couple of kids in a cute, old Victorian-style house. Somewhere, the train de-railed. I've wasted a year waiting for *the boy* to get better from an injury that was supposedly only going to take 6 weeks to heal. Six weeks...what a laugh! And I waited and helped out like a dutiful girlfriend. I did the right thing...but sometimes I question if it was the right thing for me. And I've talked about this stuff with *the boy* and he knows where I stand. There's no embarrassment in me putting my words to blog because it's not news to the characters in this real-life play. He's upset at the circumstances and everything I've gone through for him and he doesn't feel like I've wasted my time and he says he'll make it all up to me. *The boy* loves me. But I've lost any grain of patience I've had just waiting for his circumstances to change. So now that they have...I want everything to happen right right this very second! What do you mean I have to wait even longer!? Of course, the alternative would be to go our separate ways and I know that won't make me happy either. Ugh, have you seen the characters on Match? No? Well I peeked just to see and trust me, I don't want to touch any of that with a ten-foot pole! *The boy* says this is the year for changes and great things will happen. I hope they are great, exciting things and not great, tragic things because I can't take anymore bad. I need fun happy things to happen to blow away that great big Eeyore cloud that is hovering over my head.

So we'll have fancy date nights 2x a month for now and a planned Mendocino weekend trip in May. Let's see if I can make it that far. Frankly, I think I need a 2-week vacation to completely de-stress my mind from all the drama over the last year and a half. But I guess I'll take a long weekend for now.

And onto the kids thing...everyone thinks that the fact I don't want children is odd. And now that my friends are starting to have kids, I feel like there's a disconnect because I'm the nutjob who doesn't like kids. I like kids enough...I just don't want to have any. The older I get, the less I want to have a child because I don't want to be like my parents. My parents were 47 and 45 when they had me. That was old back then to be having kids. My parents were the oldest amongst my friends and they were old school, strict parents who wouldn't let me out of their sight. It was tiring and frustrating. Everyone thought they were my grandparents. Try having to explain this over and over. It's kind of embarrassing. Plus, I was in a parental care role by the end of high school and still have to take care of their things to a certain extent. In a way, I feel like my childhood was stunted. I suppose the norm now is to have kids later in life once your career is established but if I were to have a kid, I'd have wanted it to happen earlier and now, I'd much rather travel the world.

So, I'm in a funk. I wonder what to do to get out of it. I think I should meet more people but for the most part, most people my age are busy being married and raising their kids. I wonder where the old cranky spinsters go hang out? And can you show up in your pj's and with your tv remote? I don't know.

With the funk, there is less desire to blog because I just don't feel chatty. I have stuff to talk about going to the White Elephant Sale and grabbing some finds. Maybe if I get another burst of the chatty, I'll share sooner rather than later. But I may be posting less for a little bit. I hoping the funk ebbs again's rather affecting my stitching production too.

Thanks for sticking with me during this blathery post.

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Saved by Silk

Hey All...

Not in the most talkative mood but I thought I would blog really quick. The weekend was a complete drag because *the boy* was sick ALL weekend. I don't know what is up with this guy but he seems to be sick every other weekend and it's no fun. Not to mention the whining and the inability to do anything else when he's feeling bad...I don't really want to deal with it on my days off that are so few and far between. Maybe that makes me cold-hearted but sheesh...after a year of broken leg and everything else, I just want a break already! And we had such nice weekend plans. Plus, you know, he just started a job! He's supposed to be able-bodied and ready to work...especially after a 2 year hiatus. This is just ridiculous!

But anyways, you guys aren't here to listen to me rail on about *the boy* and think I'm a meanie. Stitching...that's what you're here for! I dragged my bum to the LNS this weekend and picked up the silk and it was pretty much a dead on match! Yay! Initially, I thought it was a little brighter than the original but the variation made it blend well. Since *the boy* was sick, I stitched my little heart out. Stitch, stitch, stitch! I would have finished this gift Sunday night but I was unfocused and burnt out on all the red. But I finished Monday night and am sending it to Deb so see if she can work her magic on it. OMGosh, I hope so. I feel pretty darn proud that I managed to finish this up in one month. A short month too and the finished dimensions are 8" x 18". Proves that if I focus, I can really be a fast stitcher when I want to be!

Here are a couple more sneak peeks...
Ignore the boy hair...I don't know how it got there...
I'll reveal it in its entirety once it's been received by the recipient.

For now, I am going to enjoy a couple of low-key days stitching on Boo Club. I'm behind now since I didn't stitch on it at all in February. I'd like to get 2 more sections stitched before I set it aside again. I still have 2 more gifts to stitch and my blogoversary is rapidly approaching and I would like to stitch something up for that as well for a giveaway. So Mary will have to wait a little longer. I swear, she yells at me everyday!

Thanks for everyone's suggestions on the "running out of silk" issue. They were useful for the future. I'm just happy it all worked out this time around.

Until next time...