Monday, May 23, 2011

Bummed Out

That's how I've been feeling for the past 4 days since I found out one of my local friends will soon be moving to the East Coast. Things are complicated and the move is better for my friend but all I feel is disappointment and sadness. It makes my circle of local friends that much smaller. We've also been hanging out a lot lately and it's made my weekends feel less lonely. Now with this friend leaving, I will have pretty open weekends again. It just makes me realize that the people I can depend on are few and far apart and I really need to work at putting myself out there and meet new people. It is hard work people! Meeting new people for friendships is just as hard, if not harder than dating. And I'm supposed to do both?! Very stressful. So the past few days have had me thinking and looking into volunteer groups, active groups and social groups. Just thinking about putting myself out there, exhausts me and I'm already pretty tired as it is. But I figure if I don't, I'm going to become the cranky, lonely old spinster that everyone avoids.

In spite of the sad news, I tried to rally and have a good time. Friday, Claire and I got together at our favorite place, NOPA. I've mentioned this restaurant so many times, I won't get into it much other than to say it never disappoints and we had a lovely meal even though we were brave and strayed from our usual. This time we split a smoked trout appetizer, a halibut entree with a side of greens and splurged on a slice of butterscotch icebox pie and a chocolate cake. Sinful, yet delicious. Gosh, I love that place!

Saturday, I was a very sleepy attendee at my stitch-in. Since I'm bummed, my mojo is floundering but I figured I should get out of the house and see people instead of being a depressed hermit in my lovely apartment. So I rallied and had a nice visit with the ladies and stitched a bit, talked a bit, yawned a bit and ingested as much caffeine and sugar to keep me as alert as possible. It kind of worked since I managed to finish Part 4 of Mary Wigham. Mary, Mary Quite Contrary. She kind of drives me nuts. I'm having an issue with the yellows and pinks since my original choice of colors sometimes blend into the fabric. I ended up choosing CC Queen Bee for the yellow flower motif. It's a tad bright but I think I like it. At least it shows up a lot better than the Straw I was trying to use.
And a shot of the whole thing (click for bigger, clearer photo)
I'm getting tired of the muted colors most of my projects are using at the moment so all my
WIPS are driving me nuts and when you add in the floundering mojo, I'm just not really "feeling it". I'm setting Ms. Mary aside for a little bit and I've put Where my Heart Blooms on the floor stand and pulled out a small BOAF WIP just in case. They both have the muted color issue though so I'm not sure how successful my stitching pursuits will be this week but I'm not about to start something new now. I must finish a WIP before I have a new start and I feel pretty determined about that.

Yesterday, I asked a friend to the movies and we went and saw Water for Elephants. Have you all read this book? It's wonderful and whereas, I wasn't happy with the casting selection for Marlena and Jacob, I was pleasantly surprised and thought it was a well-done movie. I really enjoyed it. The movie, of course, skipped over a lot from the book but I think they still did it justice. Afterwards, was just a quick lunch and a lot of Tivo watching. I finally managed to hook up the Roku and put a lot of movies on my Netflix queue but was tired by the time I was done that I haven't tried it out. I hope to do that this week.

I may just be blathering about movies and books for the next couple of weeks instead of stitching! I hope I don't bore you all. I finally finished Olive Kitteridge and started House at Riverton by Kate Morton. I'm excited to read it and have heard great things about this book and if it's anything like The Forgotten Garden, I'm sure to enjoy it!

This week, I'll be brainstorming hairstyles. I feel like I need a new look...some sort of change so I have a hair appointment at the end of the week. I'm not sure what to do. Now, it's a long layered look which I like but am a little bored with. I've been really frustrated with my hair lately as it just seems to shed and shed. Age? Stress? And the new growth seems to be coming in grey! I've managed to avoid it this far but looks like things are catching up to me. I'm getting old! I'm not ready to color it but just want something fun and complimentary.

Well, time to watch a movie on the Roku. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Randomness Con't...

*The minute you think of treating yourself to a mani/pedi, you break a nail to the quick. Oww! Instant savings though. No mani/pedi for least not right now.

*I hope the teen that practically ran me off the road learns how to merge soon. You can keep your hands at 10 and 2 but that doesn't mean you're a safe driver.

*Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary.

*Spending time with stitchy friends is rejuvenating.

*I've decided to "let things go" and I feel better for it. I guess they call this "acceptance". Now, how do you change 30+ years of pessimism and negative thinking?

*Mind over mood, mind over mood. SERENITY NOW! Oops, I slipped a bit of Seinfeld in. Serenity Now, Serenity Now! Costanza/Stiller could always make me laugh.

*Should I rent that cottage in the woods for my birthday weekend? It's a long way off but peace, quiet, beach, trees sounds nice. Maybe I'll meet a lumberjack and he'll sweep me off my feet. I hope there aren't any wolf spiders in those woods. Spiders are scary!

*I'm wearing contacts today. First time in 4 months all because I managed to get a blemish where the nosepad of my glasses sits. Ouch! Guess this allows me branch out a bit and see the world through different lenses.

What else...hmmm. Oh yea, I've been meaning to write about this book I read. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I had picked it up from the library and something about it caught my attention. I grabbed it as an afterthought.
I tend to like books that have a bit of a historical twist and can be set back in time. This book is fantastic and if you like books with historical twists, set back in time and in different should check this one out. It does have flashbacks and different narratives which some people may think is annoying but I was able to keep it all straight and enjoyed it. I am a very slow reader now and the book at about 650 pages took me a week to read. That was fast for me! I didn't want to put it down! The story flashes back between Australia and England. I enjoyed it so much that I went back to the library and took the author's other two books out on loan. I haven't started those yet.

Right now, I'm in the middle of reading Olive Kitteridge.
It's a collection of short stories revolving around Olive in a small coastal Maine town. It's enjoyable with bits of sadness.

My stitching get together on Saturday was fun. I had a good time hanging out with the ladies and getting to know everyone a little better. I was serious about stitching though so I did my best to stay focused on my Mary. She's coming along. I still have 1 more motif to stitch in Part 4 and I'm not quite sure if I'll be able to finish it up tonight. Tomorrow will be my one week mark from the last post but I have dinner plans in the city which means no stitching or blogging tomorrow. But if I don't finish it tonight, I have another stitchy get together on Saturday and I know I will definitely finish then so I'll be back with a Mary Part 4 finish photo soon!

**sidenote: I do live pretty caffeinated because otherwise I'd be comatose and sleeping. I don't do mornings well at all. The caffeine brings about lots of random thoughts hence the recent posts. :)

Until next time...

Friday, May 13, 2011


*It's a bad start to the week when the necklace you associate with your grandma suddenly just breaks. Luckily, I noticed it and rescued the broken chain and medallion. I'd have been crushed if I had lost the medallion. The chain has held up to 20 years of daily wear and showers so I guess it was time.

*Why is it that when you are looking for something, you can't find one you like? Current purse. Everything nowadays looks large enough to carry my weekly groceries!

*How many calories do you burn off going to every Michael's store in search of DMC instead of hitting the gym like you're supposed to?

*How healthy can Avocado Ranch salad dressing be? Avocado = good source of fat. Ranch Dressing = ?!. I guess the fact the salad has bacon and ranch means I just ate an unhealthy meal. It was tasty though. I'll do better at dinner.

*Waking up at 1030am everyday for a week was luxurious. Waking up at 7am for work now is slightly torturous. 2 alarms and I can barely wake up! ZzzZzzzzzZzz

*I was told I am lucky I am single. I don't really feel that way though. Amazing how we want what others have. Married folks want to have space and be single. Single folks want to have someone to share their life with.

*I'm not sure a curvy body should wear spaghetti strap maxi least not this one.

*I can't wait to get my new pedometer from Amazon. Time to (re)practice what I preach. 10,000 steps a I come...eventually.

*Oh, and my new Roku! Thanks for all the recs and comments about it. That's on the Amazon order too.

*I forgot to order a phone ear thingie...what are those called? Nobody calls me until the minute I start driving! (Talking on a cellphone while driving is a ticketable offense here)

*I'm so happy to have working phone, internet and Tivo! And Stitchmate! If I didn't have to go to work, I'd never ever leave the house. EVER! Oh wait...10,000 steps. Dammit!

*46 more DMC to complete my collection. All the non-stitching people think I'm insane. I know you all get it. Will the next Michael's trip be a success to my collection? Love those 20% off coupons.

*If I concentrate on Mary Wigham, how much longer will it take me to finish??

As you can see, my brain's been buzzing.

Speaking of Mary, Here's what I've accomplished in a week. Not bad I suppose. Excuse the's nighttime and I snapped it quick.
I managed the light pink, black and dusty rose motifs along with 4 sets of initials. I made a small start on the burgundy one. I didn't think I would like that black one but I enjoyed stitching that one the most so far. The burgundy one seems fun too. I think I will stick with Mary through the weekend. Tomorrow, I am heading to a stitching event in Monterey (road trip!) with one of my stitching groups. They are doing this whole retreat extravaganza but I am just driving down for the day. I wonder how much stitching I will actually get done. There are three more motifs in this part (part 4). Can I do it in one more week? We're gonna find out.

Time to pack my stitching bag. Have a nice weekend!

Until next time...

Thursday, May 05, 2011


Oof, it's been a busy few days. The vacation sped by and I'm back to work. I feel like things have been eventful but it all revolved around running around buying/pricing modems, installing Comcast and finally getting my phone, internet and Tivo back up and running in time to go back to work. I'm just happy it's working and that everything isn't in various stages of influx or broken. The apartment is a mess since I now have to figure out where this new surge of cables is supposed to go but it's all working and that really makes me the happiest.

Since I'm on the topic of technology/electronics, does anyone happen to have a Roku and if so, what do you think about it? I'm intrigued since it allows you to stream Netflix and Hulu onto a tv. I can totally broaden my tv viewing obsession by seeing things on demand. Is it a good product?

And on top of that, I had arch shades installed...finally. It's been a year in the making. The light isn't as bright in my front room anymore but things have been getting really faded since the sun streamed right in full-force. I also have more privacy since the people who live across the street no longer have an uninhibited view right into my living space. I can actually walk around in my undies if I want and not worry about giving the old men across the way a show. Here's how the windows look now.
The sun would stream through those arches and shine on the wall above the tv. I have plans for that wall...I can't have any fading happening!

On the stitching front, progress has been slow on the things I should be stitching. I'm in a quandry. There are so many projects I want to start and I have been planning and envisioning certain projects hanging in particular spots in my apartment. The thing is that I am not currently working on any of these projects and I am dying to start them all and they are all BAPs. I already have 2 BAPs, one medium and a couple of small ones in the hopper and just that amount of WIPs is stressing me out. I can't start another BAP! I'm having enough of a problem juggling the ones I have. What to do?! I don't want to stop working on my current projects altogether since I may never pick them up again. I think I have to buckle down and try to make some headway.

I hope this will help! Two handed stitching is much haster than one handed!
I ordered myself a Stitchmate and it arrived during my vacation. Please forgive the terrible photos but it is a fantastic piece of craftmanship. Back in March, a wonderful lady let me borrow her Stitchmate. That in itself floored me. Here's this lady I've met a handful of times who goes "you can borrow mine to make sure it works with your chair before you go and order it". Took me a bit to pick my jaw up off the floor and even more time to accept her offer since I'm one of those "oh, I couldn't possibly put you out" type of people. But I borrowed it for TWO weeks and fell in love. This is actually how I managed to stitch and finish Part 3 of Mary Wigham. I am so happy to have my very one! Now, a Stitchmate is pretty pricey but I am pretty sure this will last me forever and so I just couldn't deny myself any longer. Plus, I have a million BAPs to stitch and I'm hoping this will make it scads easier.
**Please note that the chart holder placement is different than it should be. If I had it as directed, it blocks my ott-lite. I'm glad I got the extended arm! I still need to play around with that part a bit.

So I have pulled out Mary and will try to get another section completed while focusing on my smalls and my medium project which is Where My Heart Blooms. Maybe by the fall, I'll be in a better space and can start on the "art" I want on the walls.

During vacation, I stitched solely on Blue Snowman when I had the time to stitch. I think it should be called Blue Snowgirl. She was a joy to stitch and I love how she looks. My only complaint is the floppy fabric. My stitches just don't lie very nice on 30 count WDW fabric, especially with just one thread but I followed the instructions and just think the piece is full of whimsy. So cute! I just love the stocking and the "tights" she is wearing! I'm not sure what to do with it now that it's done but I think it would be nice as a flatfold or a cube. Something to think about.

And let's not forget my TUSAL report for the month. It's slowly growing but it's hard to tell. There's a mishmosh of threads from Blue Snowman, A Wish For You and my Tiny Garden Fob.
While taking my TUSAL photo, I tried to stage the jar with some anemones I bought at the farmers market over the weekend but the photo above was better. I couldn't help sharing the anemones though. They are so colorful! I've enjoyed them this week placed in my little owl pitcher.
And new set of wheels! I remembered to take my camera with me when I visited my folks. Much easier to take a photo in a suburban setting.
I love it so far! I'm still scared to have to parallel park but I'll deal with that when I come to it.

Well, Mary is calling and it's tv night (ok, when is it not but it's Thursday! Grey's and Private Practice). One more day to the weekend! Can't wait.

Just in case I don't make it back before Sunday, I'd like to wish all the moms a fantastic day. Hope you all have fun.

Until next time...