Tuesday, August 23, 2011

IHSW Update

So...I had grand expectations for the weekend. But you know what? They kind of fell flat. I was super restless as the work week drew to a close and that usually means that I flit about and waste a lot of time without getting anything accomplished. Does this happen to anyone else? It's like I can't relax and have all this pent up energy and if I have nowhere to go...oh boy...I become this restless, anxious, cranky mess.

I think this all came about because I spent the week with a work, gym, home routine all week with no social output. The gym is not social! I don't want to be talked to when I'm a sweaty mess. By Friday, I was ready to go out and have fun but had nowhere to go or anyone to go with. This is dangerous because I will troll on the computer and waste my entire evening without a stitch being accomplished.

I had stitching group on Saturday and was supposed to get tons of stitching in but I ended up being a social butterfly and then a sleepy butterfly after I ate my lunch. Note to self: pack lighter lunches for stitching group. Of course, the hostess is such a sweetheart, she wouldn't have minded if I had a little doze on her sofa. lol I did manage to finish the 5th rule on Christmas Rules so some progress was made albeit minor.
After stitching group, I met up with a friend for dinner and to see Breakfast at Tiffany's at the classics movie theater.

I spent Sunday exploring the city. I should have brought my camera but I always think about that after! I walked between Pacific Heights and Russian Hill in the search for cool glasses and a seafood lunch. I found some cute frame options at a fun boutique in Russian Hill. Glasses have been a frustration for me lately. I have a long, oval face and a skinny nose bridge but I like nerdy plastic frames because they are nerdy and are good at hiding the thickness of my hi-index lenses. It is impossible to find a decent frame! At least I have some options now. Now to decide and see if I can find them cheaper as I don't think I can afford a new pair with my budget at the moment. I had my heart set on a yummy seafood lunch at Swan. I hoofed it all the way there only to find out they are closed on Sundays! I settled back over to PacHeight and tried out Woodhouse Seafood instead. It was average and just made me sad that I missed out on Swan. I will have to save it for another day...that's not a Sunday!

Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weekend Recap and More!

Hello my lovlies....Happy Wednesday! Two posts in under a week...that's a record breaker for me nowadays. I thought I would come back to let you know about my weekend and a little bit of stitching.

I gave myself a 4-day weekend by using a couple of furlough days. I need to take 13 (!!) in the year so I have 11 more to go. Having days off during the week is wonderful but despite having a 4-day weekend, it flew by as if it was a normal 2-day weekend.

On the first day, I went to the Picasso Exhibit with a friend. Let me just start off by saying that Picasso was a strange, strange man with very strange taste in art. I had gone to a lecture at the library last month for a quick lesson on his style of art which was very helpful for me and my friend. For whatever reason, the DeYoung received the exhibit from the Musee National Picasso Paris under the agreement that there would be no chat boards. I really think that chat boards make an exhibit so not having any was strange. This also means that you walk the exhibit in under an hour since there is nothing to read! My friend was lost so I explained to him the things I learned in the lecture while we walked. The realm of "periods" Picasso painted...such as impressionist, blue, pink, cubism, surrealism, modern, etc. and how the wives and mistresses played as his muse. My friend got to the museum before I did thanks to a crapload of traffic and he picked up docent tour tickets so we walked the exhibit on our own first and then did the docent tour. It was helpful to hear a little bit of history...at least for those people who didn't know much about Picasso other than he's famous and you have to go check out his exhibit! The downside to the docent is that they skip over a lot of the paintings. So if you want to go and see the Picasso exhibit here in SF, get the audio tour! I cannot stress that enough. I was fine with the self walking and the docent tour because I already had some Picasso background but for newbies, the audio tour is the way to go.

After the exhibit, we rested in the cafe for a little bit and then walked over to the California Academy of Sciences. This is a great place to visit if you have kids. Me...I have no kids but I have guy friends and they are like grown up kids so I sometimes get the chance to go see the fishies and Claude the albino alligator. They have a snake exhibit going on now so we went to see that. Frankly, the huge hairy spider on display scared me more than the snakes. I could barely look at that thing. It was huge and hairy and all you saw is web...I scurried past squeaking in apprehension. Ugh...can't stand spiders!!

After that, I met with Claire and we had dinner at Burma Superstar. This place is awesome but you seriously have to get there right when the restaurant opens at 5pm to avoid a long wait, it is that popular. We indulged in too much food but had a great dinner. After, we browsed the shelves at Green Apple Books. I need to go back with a list next time. Each time I go, I get overwhelmed with all the book choices that I can't even decide on a book to buy! Does anyone else have that problem?

So that was Day 1! It was a very long but fun day. Day 2 consisted of me going downtown for an appointment and then I met up with another friend and we went to North Beach for a cheap lunch. We went to Golden Boy for some Sicilian Pizza slices. I've talked up Golden Boy already so I'm not providing a link. It's a little hole in the wall place whose draw is square pizza sold my the slice. After that, I needed to go to Stella Pastry for my cannoli. My friend says that Stella is high-end and he refused to order anything. I have no idea what he's talking about but I'm dealing with someone who will go to hole in the wall places and refuses to go to any "yuppie or foodie" places. After that, I went to spend a little bit of time with the 80-year old set and see how they were doing.

Day 3 was quieter. It was farmers' market and errand day for me. I picked up some peaches, strawberries, fresh corn, plouts and grapes. No hazelnut croissant today...that's at Sunday farmers' market. I will have to get one this coming weekend and take a photo for everyone...so many people commented on it on my last post. I've been trying to tidy up and organize my apartment so that was on the agenda too with a little bit of stitching.

Day 4 I treated myself to a movie and went to see The Help. Has anyone else seen it yet? I thought it was very well done. Lots of laughs and tears...bring tissue! I feel that considering the time constraints, they did the book justice. Be prepared...the movie is 2.5hours long. I tend to get fidgety in movies but the movie didn't *feel* that long to me. I really enjoyed it. After I got home from the movie, I stopped by the street festival near my house. It is held every year but this year, it seemed to have crept up on me unnoticed. I walked out and saw so much traffic and didn't know why until I saw the huge tents a block away! The booths could have been better but I enjoyed a yummy gyro and margarita while listening to some great music from the bandstand. I love street festivals!

I had it in my head I wanted to make a fresh peach pie entirely from scratch and so I did. It was my first time making pie crust. What a pain it is to roll that out...I need a larger cutting board to do that. I don't think the crust came out that great but I think that was because I didn't roll it off thin enough (small cutting board) and the dough got warm and overworked. But I still took the pie to work and everyone raved. I guess maybe I'm my own worst critic. It was tasty...I just wanted a crumblier pie crust. Here's my pie...no beauty queen but certainly tasty!

So I'm going to pose a question to those of you who have gotten this far and haven't fallen asleep already. *poke, poke...hey, wake up* Sunday night, my apartment manager (I should say former because he got fired due to some shady new hiring of property management that I am not happy about), knocked on my door and told me to look at a chair and footstool he had in the hall. So I did. And I saw this.

He told me to take them otherwise he would have to throw them away. He's moving and couldn't take everything since his new space is smaller. He said he'd had them for 30 years and they were given to them. I couldn't let them be thrown in the trash! But I don't know what to do with them. Needlepointed chair and stool. It looks like they were done at different times since the wood on the two pieces don't match exactly and one fabric is darker than the other. Or maybe that's dirt in which case...ewww, and how do I clean it?!

So if you found these, what would you do to restore them and make them shine? I know they need some cleaning and new stuffing/padding especially on the chair. I do have an old friend whose husband does upholstering so maybe I can ask her what to do and if he would give me a good price on the work. That's not in the budget right now so it will have to wait another day. In the meantime I will hold onto them to save them from the trash bin. But I would love ideas!

So I obviously had a busy weekend. I think I've forgotten how to relax! But I got a bit of stitching in and finished the 4th "rule" in Christmas Rules which is Honor Traditions. I am almost finished with the 5th one but not quite.
This Saturday is stitching group and since I plan on going and stitching my little heart out, I signed up for IHSW on Joyzse's blog. International Hermit Stitching Weekend is the 3rd weekend of every month but this is the first time I'm joining in. I might actually get a lot of stitching done. Time will tell.

Well, I hope I haven't bored you all but thanks for sticking with me. Enjoy the rest of the week!

Until next time...

p.s. For those interested in my tombie hardware. It is manufactured by Images Stitchery Design and I ordered mine from Inspired Needle. I know that Attic Needlework also carries it too.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lots and Lots of Stitching Stuff!

I'm here, I'm here...omgosh...what day is it?!

*I am still tired...need more sleep!

*At farmers' market on Sunday, I bought breakfast and a hazelnut chocolate croissant to indulge in later. Seriously, I don't know why I wait. I should just slather it on my hips as that is where it will end up later. That's besides the point though. For the next two days, I was wondering what happened to my croissant before I realized I accidentally put it in the fridge! Oops.

*My last three posts each have exactly 17 comments. Weird! (well, they did when I started writing this on Wednesday! lol)

*Last weekend, I worked a garage sale at my coworkers house and managed to sell a few things. I haven't done one of these in years! It was entertaining! I also went to SFMOMA to see the Steins Collect. It was a wonderful exhibit and if there are local readers who are into that sort of thing, I really recommend it. The Steins were a wonderful group of people who really tried hard to bring wonderful art to the masses and they still do to this day. I am heading to the DeYoung tomorrow to see the Picasso exhibit!

*I need to find my notebook and carry it around me so I can jot down my ideas as I go. I always remember things in the shower, in the car, in the grocery store. Yea, basically everywhere I don't have a computer! Once I get in front of the post screen I forget!

But that's ok today because this is a real, honest to goodness stitchy post. Shocker!!

I've been working on Christmas Rules whenever I have a spare minute or two. Since I haven't had too much time to stitch, progress has been slow! There was also the dilemna with my WDW Bullfrog. It was too olive-y. I went around looking at all the skeins of Bullfrog I could get my hands on and those were either the same as mine or even more olive-y. I didn't like the effect at all. There was lots of mumbling and grumbling on my part and I finally got around to just switching that color to CC English Ivy. I am much happier with it! The only place the Bullfrog survived was the little tree branch the bird is perched on in the 2nd block.

I also worked on Almost Halloween a little and am close to being done.
I am really enjoying Christmas Rules now though so not sure if I will get back to it anytime soon.

A little while ago, I decided to send a few things on to KarenV for finishing. I knew I'd never get around to it and she is so creative. For those that don't know, she has started her own finishing business and I took advantage of it. I sent her L*K Boo Club, Shepherds Bush Wish and Blue Snowgirl. I love them all! I will let the pictures do the talking.
I can't get collage to work in Picasa! You can see more and much better pictures on Karen's blog here. She did a wonderful job and I am wondering how I can stitch faster so I can send her more things to finish!

Here is a close up of the tombie hardware. Click to make it bigger so you can read it. The epitaphs really make me giggle and I think it's perfect to set off Boo Club. I am so happy they started making this one in black!

And last but not least, TUSAL. It's way late but better late than never. There are lots of thread in there from Christmas Rules and all the cursed Bullfrog frogging.
Well, I think that's it for me right now. I am taking a couple of furlough days this week so I can explore the city and take care of a few things. Time to relax a bit before tackling traffic or BART.

Hope everyone is enjoying their week. The summer is flying and I can't believe kids are already returning to school!

Enjoy the weekend!

Until next time...

Monday, August 01, 2011


*I am not sure how I manage this hectic pace of mine because deep down, I'm a low energy person. Hence stitching being my hobby and not hiking, mountain biking, running, rock climbing, marathoning, triathaloning, surfing, hang gliding, skiing or snowboarding like my other city cohorts.

*This is probably why I feel like I am going to pass out each Friday. No joke. Somedays, it's extreme willpower and stubbornness that gets me through the day.

*The days fly by and I sometimes forget to call my parents all week. This means that by Sunday, my mother calls with her guilt trip. "Excuse me, you haven't called all week Valerie. Did you forget you have parents? We could be dead for all you know!" I reply, Sorry Ma. Been busy. Deep down, I want to say "How can I forget! You call me every week to remind me!" But that is a very bad daughter comment to make when I try to be a good daughter. If you have grown up kids trying to make their way in the world, don't guilt trip them! Better yet, call them up and say hi and ask how they are doing. My parents believe they shouldn't call their kids and that the kids should be the ones doing all the calling. Seriously!

*How can I explain to a pair of 80 year olds that I am trying to live my life and not theirs. And that since I am trying to live my life, that means I am busy. And I go out. And sometimes til the wee hours of the morning. And that means that I can be tired and I want to sleep and not visit them? How am I supposed to meet new people and make new friends? This won't happen with me being a hermit at my place or me spending endless hours visiting them at their house. They don't seem to understand and I feel like we are both selfish. They are old and retired and want to have company. I am young and vibrant and want to be out with people my own age. I guess we've reached the point where we will just have to be disappointed in each other because it's time for me to live the life *I* want and not the life my *family* wants. Besides, it's time for my boomer siblings to pull some weight. Which they are...finally.

*I need to find and develop a routine between working full-time, hanging out with friends (new and old), gym, possible dating, stitching, blogging and general errands/projects/shopping/cooking/tidying. It is hard! Not to mention it's been all or nothing lately. Ex: All social; no gym. Being so social means that I eat/drink out more than I would at home which then means things feel a little tighter and holy cow, where did this jiggly bit come from?! I need to do some Jane Fonda bends or hulahooping to take care of that! Or the gym...yea, I guess the gym would work.

*This year marks my downhill slide to 40. I am closer to 40 than I am to 30. OMG...say it aint so! Thank goodness I keep getting comments that I look 28. I will grasp at any straw I can at this point.

*To my new commenters, thanks for stopping by my blog! I try to reply to new visitors but some of you don't have emails linked to your comments. Welcome to my little corner of blogland!

*To my regular readers, I haven't been commenting as much because of this hectic pace I am keeping but I am still reading and keeping apprised. Stop inspiring me so much though! I barely have time to stitch as it is. When will I have time to jump on the bandwagon?! Everywhere I look...mystery sampler, Chats, Miras, ornies, Shepherd's Bush, Blackbird Designs, Halloween! *sigh*

*This was supposed to be a *real* post but the camera decided it had enough and needed a nap so it's recharging for it's next photo session. =) So that means more randomness for now!

Until next time...