Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Friends,

I'm amazed that five months have passed since my last post. Life has indeed been very busy. Perhaps I can catch you up in my next post. Today, I just wanted to come by to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Despite my hectic pace of the last couple of years and not being able to stitch as much and come share with my friends in blogland, I am ever grateful that I've made wonderful friends and met awesome people, whether in real life or virtually, to share my life happenings and stitching progress with. The blogging and stitching community is so supportive, open and giving and even though I feel like I've disappeared; you are always here to lend an ear and encourage. And for that, I am grateful and I thank you.

Next week, I leave to visit my parents and family in a country I haven't been to in almost ten years. It will be interesting, fun, difficult, happy and sad all at the same time. Since I am staying with the octogenarian set of the family, I anticipate getting lots of stitching and reading done provided the 90 degree weather forecast and lack of air conditioning actually keeps me awake. That's total naptime conditions for me. I'm hoping to catch everyone up when I return and show some photos of my stitching over the past few months.

And for those and the boyfriend are still going strong. =) I have to bake goodies tonight for his family dinner tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Much love and hugs,

Monday, June 30, 2014

Blog Makeover

A couple of days after my last post, my lovely friend Christina, sent me a Facebook message to let me know that my blog looked like this.

So you can imagine my shock and dismay. It appears that the girl that designed my blog 6 years ago has decided to go out of business and stop paying for the image hosting which supported my blog background and overall look. It would have been nice of her to let me know in advance but...

I'm a bit sad but had been thinking it was time for a change...just not like this. So I've gone with the simple white background until I have time or money to go a different route. I'd love suggestions of free templates or inexpensive blog designers. Please, please send them my way. In time, I'll switch up the look for something more me. 

And craft night was a wash. Always fun to see the ladies but I am frustrated with the small I picked up (SB Tall Sheep). First the linen provided was too dark and now I have two greens next to each other that blend too much. With time to stitch being so limited, I really need stitching to be smooth sailing. So I'm in a stitching funk. I should just concentrate on the apartment re-org and get it over and done with. 

Hope you all had a fun weekend!! Until next time...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

And in the Blink of an Eye, Three Months Go By

Well...almost three months. I think that blog posts will just be scarce for a while longer until I can organize my apartment, organize my parents' house and find the time to stitch in between those two things, working full-time, dating the boyfriend and hanging out with friends. The life of a single 30-something definitely is not an easy one.

Being away from my little corner of blogland is hard. I feel the need to apologize for not posting, not commenting and not stitching. I know that I shouldn't. But I miss it...and I miss everyone...and I definitely miss stitching. I haven't really stitched since April. I am going a little nutso. Must correct that soon. But I try to catch up on all my blogs to stay a little connected with the creative circle that keeps me going.

Lots of fun things have happened in the last three months!

~Wine weekend in Mendocino. I am not sure if I convinced the boyfriend that Pinot Noir is fantastic (like I think) but we certainly had fun wine tasting!
~Lots of Jazz. Actually going to check out Jazz in North Beach again this coming Saturday which is always a fun time.
~Six glorious days relaxing in Cancun! It was just what I needed after 8 months of caretaking. We had such a good time and hope to visit again soon.

View from our room...not too shabby!
Taken on a stroll along the beach...

~Managed to sell both my parents' vehicles which is a huge relief...and a little bittersweet.
~Booked my travel to Nicaragua for the Winter to visit family after 9.5 years.
~Going to Seattle with the boyfriend next month for a long weekend. So excited as it's seriously one of my favorite places! We're staying in the Capital Hill neighborhood which isn't one I've explored. If anyone has any recommendations, please send them my way. Thanks so much.

~My boyfriend travels most weeks so we usually only see each other weekends.Every weekend is fun and exciting because there's so much to do and we enjoy each other's company. For some reason, that makes time fly even a good way.

Well, no stitching to show but maybe after the weekend since I am getting together with some ladies to stitch and gab.

Until next time...

Friday, April 11, 2014


Hi Dear Blog Friends...

I really didn't think it would take me 6 weeks to come back to my little space in blogland. The weeks have been a blur and I am struggling to get into a routine. My parents made it safely to Nicaragua and so I've been keeping busy trying to catch up on my personal things before I tackle more projects at my parents' house. Mostly, I've been reorganizing my bedroom and getting rid of things. It's amazing how much stuff a person accumulates when they've lived in the same space for over eight years! I still have a lot of work to do to get my place how I want it. Very little stitching has really been done in the last 6 weeks and all of my effort has been focused on Lilac.

About 4 weeks ago, a stitching friend invited me to a get together at her house. It was probably the first time I had really stitched since the start of the year and I got so much done! This is how Lilac looked when I went to her house.

I forgot to take a progress photo after that day and it took me another 2 weeks to pick her up. I went to a local stitching retreat that my guild puts on every year. This is the first year that I've gone and I signed up because my stitching accomplishments last year were abysmal. I figured that if anything, I'd get a full weekend of stitching in case 2014 was as crazy as 2013. So I left on a Thursday afternoon to meet up with my stitching buddies and start 3 full days of basically sitting, stitching, eating (repeat) with a couple of walks thrown in for good measure. 

It was such great fun! Those ladies are hardcore stitching drill sargeants! But I stayed on task and stitched late into the night until I was blearry eyed. Here is how Lilac looked at the end of Thursday night...

And again, at the end of Friday night...

And at the end of Saturday night...
I got a lot done! I made an effort to pull Lilac out this week and had to do a little frogging on the torso but got that corrected and have made even more progress than what's shown here. She is a lot of fun to stitch on!

It's amazing how fast time is flying! My weeks are as busy as ever trying to juggle work, job search, apartment reorganization, social time with friends and spending time with my beau. Somehow I need to squeeze in gym time and more regular stitching time but I am finding it really hard. I am also planning a couple of trips in May; one which will require me to be in bikini shape in 5 weeks. OMG...I need gym time now more than ever!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Until next time...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

IHSW Randomness

Hi Everyone!

I haven't done a randomness post in a while and my mind is such a jumble that I can't formulate full sentences. Oh look, I just did one. I'll keep this on the short side since life is terribly busy and I don't think I will be able to do a proper post with real progress for another three weeks. 
  • My parents decided to go back to Nicaragua in 12 days. There is a whole slew of things to do. I stress myself out just thinking about it. 
  • Besides being stressed; I'm partly relieved and partly sad. This will totally free up my time to work on personal projects like job search and apartment reorganization and redecorating, which is great. But I think that this will most likely be the last time my parents see their house and we will have the hard decision of figuring out what to do with it. That makes me teary to think about. 
  • I've been too tired and too lazy to do much stitching since I've been mostly vegging out in bed. My stitching set up is in the living room. So I've been winding a bunch of bobbins while watching tv and I am almost done!
  • Thanks for all the well wishes regarding my little health hiccup. I think it's fixed itself (after the dose of terrible hormones) but the doctor will let me know for sure in a couple of weeks. The stress is affecting me a lot I think. My skin is also acting up and I decided to try out acupuncture and herbs to see how that helps. 
  • I still keep socially busy so I feel exhausted most of the time. 
  • I bought new bedroom furniture! No more mix-matched dorm type furniture for me. It arrives in a month!
  • This lady played bumper cars with me on the freeway which resulted in minor cosmetic damage to my car. I feel like I had to "convince" her to pull over to exchange information which upset me more since she is the one who hit me which leaves me to report damage and field insurance calls for a week when I'm already stretched on patience and time.
  • I miss regular stitching and blogging more than you know. I know I need to find the time for it but I just feel like I can't concentrate enough.
Here's a view of the little stitching I've managed. Since the last time I showed A Very Fine Sampler, I've added some letters, numbers, two butterflies and started in on one of the many ginormous flowers. I think this middle section will take me a while to accomplish!

Also, Joysze of Random Ramblings and IHSW fame, recently started Lilac so I said that I should pull mine out so we can SAL together. Hey, a girl can hope and have high aspirations. Joyze has already surpassed me  (in one weekend...girl you stitch fast!) and will probably finish before me but that's ok. I pulled Lilac out and put her back on a scroll frame. That's an accomplishment! I even managed to put some new stitches in (the dark green ones) on Friday night before I fell asleep at 830p. 830p! On a Friday night! Since Friday was the only day allotted for IHSW, there were no more stitches. =(

I really need to find the time to sit in my stitching chair and work on her more. I really like how she looks finished. I think one of my deterrents has been the fabric. I usually use linen but this is a 32 count Lugana and boy are those holes tight! I'm assuming the fabric shrunk a little during the dyeing process. 

Well, that's all I have for today! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Much love and hugs...until next time. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!!

I hope that everyone has a nice Valentine's Day and a great holiday (U.S.) weekend. I am planning on spending time with my Valentine and relaxing as much as possible with a little furniture browsing and maybe, possibly, some stitching thrown into the mix. The last couple of weeks have been hectic with the usual rigamarole. I hit a couple of rough spots where my only consolation has been Scandal and CSI:NY episodes while winding a million DMC skeins and drinking wine. I still have a million more DMC to wind. Why are they never-ending?! As I juggle a million things, the topper was having a lady play bumper cars with my poor little 4-wheeled baby. I'm so stretched on time and patience and now have one more thing to pile on my plate. So I'll relish in the weekend even more...three days off from work to do whatever I want! Happy <3 day="" p="">

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Grand Unveiling

Hi Everyone!

I said that next time I visited blogland, I would do the unveiling of the contents of my Jill Rensel package. You may have seen one of them already since I've been busy and slow to blog and both Jill and Theresa managed to post before I did!


Ta-Da! Jane Pattison by Shakespeare Peddler. I love how it turned out!

And I also had her frame Hallow Eden by Plum Street Samplers and convert my frame into a pop out. That way I can display Hallow Eden at Halloween and Christmas Tea at Christmastime.

I'm now just waiting to see when a friend can help me hang Jane up into her permanent spot in the living room. 

Not much else to chat about. I've been dealing with a minor health issue and the medication I am on has made me very cranky and emotional so I've been nesting. Cleaning up the closets little by little and sorting my DMC threads into a jammer box. I hate winding bobbins. It's such a slow process and I think I still have another 200 skeins to go. I find that if I break it into 10 skein increments, it feels like little accomplishments!

A Very Fine Sampler is coming along. Not enough progress to warrant a picture at the moment though. I'm working on a couple of butterflies and hope to move onto the ginormous flowers soon. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I'm going on a tour of a lace shop in the East Bay with my Guild and plan to see "Her", have a fun evening out and watch the Superbowl. Busy, busy!

Until next time...much love and hugs

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Back in the Saddle

Hi Everyone!

I do have to say that it is hard to get back into the groove of blogging when life has been and still is hectic. It's been months since I've had a proper post. One that shared what was going on and most importantly, showed some stitching progress. I wish I could say that things have worked themselves out but they haven't. I am still struggling helping out my parents. 80-somethings are SO stubborn! I've done all that I can (attorneys, bankers and doctors....oh my!) to get things where they need to be and so now it's up to them to decide a date for them to go back to Nicaragua. I assume it's hard for them to leave their house but the constant neediness is hard for me too. I juggle their stuff, working full-time, maintaining a (constantly unorganized) apartment, social life, dating (you know what they say about meeting someone when you least expect it? Yea, that happened) and stitching. I say stitching because without it, I would lose my mind but there's never truly enough stitching time to satisfy me. There have been doctors appointments for me, those pesky five pounds that won't go away and a huge desire and need to job search. A lot of things geared towards my advancement and improvement have been put on hold. I am eager to get back to it all.

When I get super frustrated. I stitch. It's therapeutic. The sound of thread going through linen. To see a design slowly form on a blank canvas is restorative. I had one small finish at the end of 2013. Here is Lizzie Kate Ho Ho Ho. If I remember correctly, it's stitched on 32 count Natural Belfast in Shepherds Bush's thread conversion. A medley of overdyeds and DMC. I plan on stitching this again in the called for color palate which is much brighter than this one.

For my birthday back in October, I ordered the Lizzie Kate Christmas Mystery and diligently stitched the first two parts. I still need to start on the third. I don't know why I set it aside but it's probably because I've been stitching more in hand lately. Sorry for the funky photo. The linen is crooked in the rod and I am too lazy to readjust it since I can still stitch fine. Priorities people!!

Apparently, I've been on a Lizzie Kate kick because my next WIP is Lizzie Kate's Snowman '10. I am so close to finishing this one! It will be a happy dance soon...once I remember where I put the embellishment pack! Does that ever happen to anyone else?

And now for my New Years Start. I decided on A Very Fine Sampler by Birds of a Feather. I'm stitching it on 40 count BOAF Barn Owl using the recommended WDW threads. I've been stitching this in hand but will probably have to move to a scroll rod and stand after the alphabet bands. I've completed almost all the alphabet bands and am really enjoying it.

Last weekend was IHSW and I signed up and managed to get quite a bit done on AVFS. I was only at the lowercase "c" in the third band and managed to complete the numbers band. Pretty good for me considering I don't get much stitching time at all but I've been in a hermity mood lately. Now if I can just motivate myself to get some cleaning and organizing done...

Well, my laptop battery is dying and I had better post this before it gets anymore delayed. I'll have much more to show you soon because I got a package delivery from the infamous and talented Jill. I haven't even opened it yet but am excited to share the reveal with all of you! I know you'll be waiting on pins and needles.

And thank you for sticking with me during these long absences. Life is still not easy but I hope to stitch and post more. I had to do a "clean slate" at the start of the year because I was over 1,000 posts behind in my feedly. Do you know that when you are over 999 posts, they don't even show you the number anymore. I am sure I missed out of lots of wonderful things and sad things and beautiful things and wish I could have shared in it all with you but I had to reset feedly to 0 because there was no way I could have ever caught up. I know you all understand. Thank you so much.

Until next time...much love and hugs.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I still don't have anything big to share since I've been too busy to take photos of the projects I have in progress or my New Year's start, which I technically started on December 30th since I knew I would be too busy getting ready, having fun, drinking cocktails and recovering from drinking said tasty cocktails on New Years Eve and New Years Day. Today, I just come to wish everyone a fantastic year and that everyone has enough...enough love, happiness, good health, success, laughter and stitching in 2014. I've decided to not list any resolutions this year. No resolutions, no SALs, no time constraints. 2014 is a clean slate. I'm just going to be as happy as I can be each day, live in the moment as much as possible and take joy in the little things. My only hope is that I cross more x's in this year than I did in the last. Sorry to keep you in suspense for a tad bit longer. Love and hugs, Valerie.