Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Finishing ADD

Does anyone else have it?

I have a really hard time mustering up the motivation to finish stitched items. And when I finally do find that motivation...I flutter about like a butterfly. I find I need to reward myself for doing any little bit of finishing. Fifteen minutes of finishing, thirty minutes of reward stitching, fifteen minutes of get the idea. Then I go about, collecting the things I need to finish and inevitably, there's always that one thing that you just can't find. I had two things I really needed to finish because I had to get them out in the mail. I was looking for my muslin but I couldn't find it anywhere so I improvised with some interfacing and finally finished what I was making. Once I sat down, I remembered where my muslin my stitching basket! Of course, that was the one place I didn't look. How come you always find things when you don't need them anymore?!

Well, truth is I still needed my muslin for the next finish. I'm really happy with both finishes and I hope the recipients enjoy them. I just wish it didn't take me that long to get things actually finished though. How do people have finishing enthusiasm and where can I find it?! I have a little pile of ornies accumulating that need to be finished. I have visions of finishing them with felt and need to buy a pinking cutter. You'd think I was trying to source a leprechaun and a pot of gold seeing as how hard it is for me to find this in my local shops. I'm going to have to do a little internet shopping to find one.

Hopefully my gifties will wing their way to their recipients quickly so I can share. In the meantime, here's the ornie I started as my "reward".
I haven't stitched much on it since I completed my finishing. I actually haven't stitched much at all in the last few days and I can feel it. Finishing and pre-stitching doesn't satisfy my need for actual stitching. It doesn't's just extra work. Does anyone else feel that way?

Last night, I finally started my pre-stitching for my class. There isn't really a lot of stitching as much as there is a lot of backstitching (ewww) and what actual stitching there is, is fiddly. I can't stand fiddly stitching. 1/4 stitch here, 2 full crosses there, another two stitches waayyy over there. I am hoping to get through it fast so I can get back to some real cross stitching!

I hope that everyone had a nice holiday weekend. Mine was busy busy with periods of relaxation...mainly because I was feeling like I was coming down with a bug and forced myself to take it easy. There was boring stuff like doctor's appointments and laundry and errands and there was fun/nice stuff like visiting with my aunt, hanging out with ladies at my stitching group, dinners out locally, shopping and movie watching. The movies of the weekend were The Social Network and Black Swan. I saw The Social Network on video and I think it really opened up my eyes about Facebook. I'm not a big Facebook fan despite having a profile up. I log on to see whose getting married and having babies since Facebook has now replaced normal means of communication between people. It was interesting to learn how Facebook really came about. Black Swan was really well done! Natalie Portman did a fantastic job and I now see why she is up for nomination. Two days after seeing the movie, I am still cringing though. There were some scenes I just couldn't watch...they were kind of oww, ewwww, ugh...can't watch this part...and once it passed, I was ok. It was very much a psychological drama and I guess it works if I'm still thinking and cringing two days later.

Thank to everyone for their encouraging comments and emails regarding my last post. I am very behind in replying! I appreciate the time it takes to tell your own story and it feels better to know I'm not alone and that others are in a similar situation. I just wish things were easier.

Well, I'm off to backstitch some more. Hope you're all having a wonderful week!

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Building is Complete!

Well, I had six days of bliss before the "do this" and the "do that" and the "I need a favor" and the "you need to come and take your father to the emergency room" call. In the end, my dad's ok. Apparently when you get old, you forget to take your medication or you just plain refuse to because you think you're smarter than the doctor. I dunno. All I know is that I'm more annoyed with my family and would like to know what makes my siblings exempt to all this. Family, work, travel, busyness, distance. I'm sorry, I don't think those are valid excuses. I'm trying to express to my parents that I am just too tired for their stuff and need to ask my siblings to help with some things. They don't listen...because they don't want to "bother" my other siblings. Nice to know I get the short end of the stick.all.the.time. After 23 years of being their secretary/caretaker, I'm pretty much done and someone else needs to help out. Yep...23 years. I've been doing all their little things since I've been a child. Childhood? What childhood? When your father states to the doctor that your relationship to him is "secretary" rather than "daughter", it's like being stabbed in the heart. The anger is incomprehensible. I say this to my siblings but I think they think I'm being dramatic so I am writing it here for the whole world to see because it's the truth and it's how I feel and there's no shame in that.

Well enough of that. It sets my blood to boil just thinking about it that the only thing that makes me feel better is stitching or sleep. With all the hoopla, I didn't get to finish the construction and landscaping of Valentine Rose until last night. I made one substitution and changed the color of the door from GAST Apple Cider to GAST Harvest Basket. Olive colored door...meh. I grew up in a red house with a tan front door. This kind of fit the bill.
This was my first time doing chain stitch. It looks much harder than it is! I had tried it with 2 threads since I had to do my satin stitch with 2 threads for the basket to look right but it was like 3-D flowers and they were popping off the fabric! I had to rip them out and restart the chain with one strand. I am happy to be done!

Here's how my AotH looks so far...
I have to do a little finishing now. I am super behind but better late than never I suppose. I will work on finishing through Friday and then I hope to start the pre-stitching for my class during the weekend. I am going to try to be a "super student" and stitch as much as possible. There isn't much since it seems to be more backstitching (yawn) than cross stitch. Thank goodness the specialty stitches will be covered in class because otherwise, I'd be watching a lot of youtube and cursing. I guess I better watch the cursing in the class. But I think the ladies will be nice and help me out.

The weekend was busy. My Friday night plans were shot due to the hoopla described above. On Saturday, I made a quick pitstop to the LNS to pick up my class kit and ventured to a brand-spanking new restaurant in the East Bay called Southie. I saw a write up on one of my many foodie newsletters and saw a photo of their crab roll. OMG...soooo good. Light and fresh with a little celery, mayo and lemon. Basically a take on a lobster roll which is practically impossible to get around here. You East Coasters are lucky! After lunch, I was pretty snoozie and basically caught up on tv and made dinner. Sunday, I went to go see The Fighter with a friend of mine. Excellent movie! I loved Amy Adams and that's not really something I'd say otherwise. Usually, she's all fluffy and squeaky and cute. In The Fighter, she was pretty down and dirty. I think Micky Ward's fame happened in the 80's which totally explains the scary hair-dos and the uh, other issues in the movie. Seriously, those hair-dos were scary! High bangs, feathered out the ying-yang and two or three toned hair. Yikes! I think they got the accents down pretty well. We'll see what a native has to say. But for most of the movie, I was going "Low, Mass?...what a weird name for a town", before I finally realized they were saying Lowell, Mass. But it was very well done. I still think that The King's Speech is the stronger movie now having seen The Fighter. I guess I better go see Black Swan so I can be fully prepared for my Oscar viewing in two weeks.

Earlier this week, I went out to dinner. It was interesting. It was a nice restaurant on a busy night. We were seated next to foodie bloggers. At least I think that's what they were. Professional level cameras blinding me to death while taking pictures of each of the 50 kabillion dishes they ordered. Really? Am I famous? Has the paparazzi discovered me?! Did I win the lottery and no one's told me? Because that's what it felt like. I understand foodie bloggers because if it wasn't for them and yelp, I wouldn't discover new restaurants but if you're blinding other yea. We were also seated next to a larger italian group who were laughing so loud, the rest of the restaurant was turning around. Umm...yea. And I seriously couldn't understand a word our waiter said. Thank goodness my dinner companion could "translate". Most frequently repeated phrase..."what'd he say?!" Eh, makes dinner interesting. I had a martini, yummy salumi and pate and a nice meal.

Well, that's it for me. I apparently had more to talk about than show today. Maybe next time, I'll have more progress...on something. I feel kind of lost seeing as I shouldn't work on AotH til next month and have to do pre-stitching. But what about Mary...and my ornie?! I'm going to have to figure out something I can put a few stitches in while working on massive amounts of backstitching.

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Building Houses & Surprises

Building a house is hard work! Oof, I'm tired! Laying bricks, slapping on mortar, hammering on roof tiles, installing window and door frames and erecting a chimney. Lots of work! Here's how my Valentine Rose looks after a week and a half of stitching...or, uh, building. Not bad!

The house still needs a little more work...a bit of mortar and installing the door. I think I will do the door last as I'm unsure of my dyelot for that area. Besides...I think I could do with a change of scenery so I'll head over and work on the potted plants in this block.

I am stitching along with Sally, Jane and Lisa on AotH. I think I'm a little farther along but they'll catch up soon. I'll soon be busy with class pre-stitching, ornie stitching, finishing and trying to get farther along on Mary Wigham.

I would *love* to finish this block by the end of the weekend. That might be hard as I have a hectic schedule through next Tuesday. Yikes! Busy, busy! Not to mention, I need to finish a couple of things that need to go in the mail. I must put my finishing procrastination to an end. I just need more time...and hands. Yea, both, in abundance, would be helpful!

Last night, I received a lovely surprise. A few weeks back, KarenV emailed me asking if I would like a pattern she had when she was done with it since she had seen it was on my wishlist. How sweet! I said yes and put it in the back of my mind. Well, I was surprised to see a big envelope in my mailbox for such a tiny chart. Imagine my surprise when I opened the envelope and out came a baggie filled with assorted trims and a stunningly cute Birds of a Feather Angel ornie. It took me a bit to close my mouth from the shock of it all! She recently showed this ornie finish on her blog and I had commented on how cute it was. Little did I know it was me who was the intended recipient!

And a close up of the cute! I just love the pompom trim!

I've been reading Karen's blog for a while now and I'm always surprised and inspired by all her finishes! They turn out spectacular and she always has the perfect fabby and trim. One day I commented that I wished I could find similar trims locally but how my selections are limited. Well, I guess she remembered! So many lovely trims. I am so excited to use them. Thank you so much Karen! I love everything!

Well, short post for me today. I hope to stitch and then drag my lazy bum to yoga instead of just thinking about it all the time. I could use some zen and meditation. I'm sporting a tummyache today though so I may just hold out until the weekend.

Hope you're all enjoying the week...2 more days to Friday!

Until next time...

Monday, February 07, 2011

Ups and Downs

"Don't let one problem discourage your goals."
~Bunny Year Lucky Dinner fortune from my Fortune Cookie


Considering my whine earlier last week, it seemed interesting that this was my fortune during Bunny Year dinner. Weird...I guess the noodles were trying to tell me something. Bunny Year dinner was very yummy. Potstickers, soup, noodles, rice and king pao chicken with enough leftovers to last me a couple of days. I love leftovers!


Tried to do the right thing despite coming across the most incompetent receptionist ever. Not delivering messages and blatantly eating food on the phone does not exude good customer service to me. Don't make me mad with bad customer service either because even though I am a cranky-ass, my previous profession was all about making customers have a lovely stay and be happy. I know! Hard to believe. But on Friday, happy due to my Happy Bunny Day dinner, I found a credit card in the lobby of my building and tried my hardest to get it back to it's owner. I used my mad Google skills, found where it belonged to even though the owner of the card doesn't even work in my building. I should be a frickin' detective. I think I missed my calling. Anyways, I called the office and told the dumb receptionist to please give this man a message that I had something that belonged to him and could he please call me or pass by my suite.

Ever get the feeling on the phone that the person on the other end isn't even listening, let alone writing it down? Yea. I had that feeling. But I gave this guy the benefit of the doubt. At the end of the day, I call back and ask if he gave the owner my message. His response, "what message?". I could have jumped through the phone and choked him. Are you serious! At that point, I was mad. If he had delivered the message, the owner would have his card. Instead, the owner is on his way back home...3 hours away. I got the owner's phone number to let him know that I'd had his card since the morning and I had hoped to reunite him with it if he had only gotten my message. I can only hope he gets it back since I followed his instructions to give it to someone else. Sometimes doing the right thing is a frickin' hassle! But better I had grabbed the card versus leaving it there for who knows what to happen.

All I know is that if I happen to lose my credit card somewhere, that some kind soul out there will try to get it to me intact so that I didn't have to be without a credit card and go through the hassle of canceling it. That receptionist totally screwed it up!


Met up with a bestie and caught up, had dinner and watched No Strings Attached. Usual fluffy chick flick with humor. Entertaining but nothing to write home about.


I don't know what Scottish bagpipes and the ringing of a bell mean to you but to me, it is the saddest sound on the face of the earth and enough to bring me to tears. Spent the day celebrating the life of a coworker who succumbed to lung cancer. Despite the loss, I try to think that Dave is in a happy place because he is reunited with his wife, Connie, who he lost to breast cancer a year ago. After so many years, it was so apparent that they were deeply in love and that loss hit Dave hard. Now they are back together. But the cry of the bagpipes and the ringing of the "last call" makes me choke up and re-evaluate.


Ever feel like you need a complete wardrobe change? I'm feeling that way. My clothes are either old, faded, stretched out or need mending. Not to mention my niece told me I had mom jeans?! It was time to shop and I actually felt like it. That's rare. I went outlet shopping in 75 degree weather. It was gorgeous and I got a good dose of Vitamin D not to mention found some incredible bargains! I am so happy. I had fun. I found nice clothes for a total deal and even bought a little black dress in a single digit size! I don't know how that happened but maybe that is incentive enough to go to the gym so I can ensure that I can still fit in it when I have the chance to wear it!

So I'm on a up...I hope it stays that way!


I've been stitching on Valentine Rose this past week but it's been busy and I've maybe managed one hour each day which isn't a lot but it's better than nothing. I find that I need that hour (at least) to keep me sane. Considering the overall time, I guess I've done ok. That house is huge! I've put on the roof and installed the windowframes and doorframe but am still laying the brick. Lots and lots of bricks. I'm planning on stitching for the rest of tonight so I wonder if I can finish the bricks and do the cement stuff between the bricks. I forgot what it's called. I'll show a photo in a couple of days. No photos today but I'll share a new obsession.
Chatelaine Frosty Knotgarden

Chatelaine Evening in the Park

Someone get me off the Chatelaine site! Holy Crap. Each time I go there, I see a new one I like. I now have a couple of patterns; Taj Mahal and Frosty Knotgarden. I think I'm too scattered to understand the chart...they look confusing! I am debating which one to start my Chatelaine obsession with...I can't decide. Um, not to mention figure out how in the world to fit it into my so-called rotation. *sigh* I need more hands.

Time to blowdry my hair and lay some bricks on this here house. Hope you all had a fun weekend!

Until next time...

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Happy Bunny Year!

Hello my's a day to celebrate! Happy Lunar New Year or as I call it...Year of the Rabbit.

I'm ready to celebrate. My apartment is clean, I'm not wearing black (my sister will be shocked), I'm planning a nice meal revolving around noodles to promote longevity and will probably have an orange too. And my dad even gave me a Macy's gift card yesterday! It's not cash in a red envelope but hey, it's close enough. The gift card is red. I'm considering that lucky too since he knows nothing about Lunar New Year or how to celebrate it. I need as much luck as I can get, you know?!

Let's see who else is going to celebrate for sure. Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway. I hope that new commenters continue to comment. I may whine but I don't bite. Promise!

So the results...I don't know how you get the photo on the blog. Do you have to be a paying customer? Anyways, here is the shortened list...

There were 56 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. 9. Mainely Stitching
  2. 40. Maureen
  3. 2. Danielle
  4. 43. Pat Matejcek
  5. 18. Blu
  6. 20. Sally
  7. 10. Mel
  8. 15. Cath
  9. 51. Linda
  10. 22. Catherine

The winner is Barbara of Mainely Stitching! Barbara, please shoot me an email with your snail mail address. Congratulations!


There's more stuff to talk about. Today is the New Moon so it's time to show my TUSAL jar. Compared to my last report...where it was empty...there's been much improvement. I've been stitching my little heart out.
Yes, I am getting my money out of my pumpkin pincushion! It makes me happy to see it so I've left it out way beyond Autumn. You can click the photo to see my orts up close...little orts from Mary, Snow Garden, my Angel ornie and the BBD pincushion so it's a hodgepodge of colors.

I also got some nice packages in the mail that resulted in this...
I got my fabric shears back from Gingher. I'm impressed! There and back in 2 weeks all for the small fee of $7.50 for sharpening. Much less than taking it to the local shop! So I can get to my finishing soon. May not happen this weekend since it's getting full but maybe the weekend after. I also got my order from Shakepeare Peddler. I signed up for their Fabric of the Month so I received a fat quarter of Examplar which will come in handy for sure. I also ordered a Stitcher's Pack to see what that's all about. I'm about 50% on this...there are some cute colors for smalls but not sure about half of the little cuts. Will have to see if I can find what ornies to stitch on them. I also ordered a copy of A Sampler Enthusiants Book of Days Calendar after seeing this on Michelle's blog. I think it will be a good way for me to keep apprised of what I stitched on what day...especially seeing as how scattered I've been lately. So happy mail too!

Well, almost time for my bunny year dinner! Happy Bunny Year to you!

Until next time...