Monday, May 26, 2008


So, being the 25th of the month, it is time again for me to capture my day in photos. I had worried a little that being a Sunday, I wouldn't really have anything to show you. I needn't have feared.

I woke up at 4:45 am with a migraine, got up, took one of my pills, got an icepack and went back to bed. When I woke up hours later, the migraine was thankfully gone. When I wake up in the morning, I like to look out our little window. We used to have a tree that I could see through the window, which was wonderful to wake up and see. But, now it's just sky. I hope when we move I'll have a window with a nice view to wake up to.

Being a Sunday, I had laundry to do. No rest for the wicked weary.

Eric made breakfast. Sundays are our splurge days for eating. I also decided to have coffee (Espresso), which I very rarely do.

After breakfast, I did some cleaning around the house while Eric went to the grocery store. I love Sundays, because of how beautiful our counter looks when he comes home with the groceries. He said that yesterday, the person checking him out at the store said "hey you're in here all the time." Eric replied, "once a week," and then the clerk replied, "yeah, that's a lot." I can only shake my head.

We had lunch, and then we went out to run a couple of errands. We went to Target to look at food scales. We're in the process of revamping our food again, in order to make sure I'm getting the protein and fiber I need to keep me going during the day, since beginning tomorrow I'll be going to work, then to workout, then to school, then home around 9 pm.

Then, we ran into Joanne's, so that I could take advantage of my 40% off coupon. Then, over to my favorite place in the world. The bookstore! Ahhhhhh....

I brought home a couple of things, two books and a pair of Emma Ginghers.

We returned home thinking we'd have time before dinner to sit and relax (with stitching!), but that was not to be. We discovered that with the heavy rain the night before, our leaks that we've complained to our property management people about numerous times have started to drip.

So, we spent the rest of the afternoon moving everything from here...

to the other side of the room. Not an ideal solution, but at least it puts our things out of harm's way. Unless the damage grows some more. And yes, that is mold you're seeing in two of the spots.

By the time we were finished moving everything around, it was time for dinner. Our Sunday night dinner usually consists of burgers of some sort. Eric is always coming up with new combinations for us to try. This week it was avocado with black bean pico de gallo. The buns are multigrain buns that we buy individually, since we only make two burgers. These burgers were pretty good, but we decided that we liked last week's version better, with the mango pico.

After dinner, Romeo decided that it was finally time to get up from his day-long nap. His fur is starting to grow in on his shoulders, but you can see his bald spot. Othello was still napping upstairs on his pillow.

After dinner, I decided to make an apple pie. I'd been craving one, and it felt right to make it for the holiday. This is my very first attempt at making a pie. It didn't turn out beautiful and all Martha-Stewart-y like I envisioned, but it came out pretty good.

I got to use my brand new pie pan from Williams Sonoma too!

I never did get to my stitching yesterday, nor did I get to it the day before. Friday night, I did however, manage to finish ripping out that palm tree in my ornament, and almost got the tree restitched. I'm pleased with that and hope to make some more progress on it soon. My button came from JABC, and I am so grateful to them for taking care of me, when no one else would!

So, tomorrow is my first day of work and I'm a little nervous. I'll be sure to check back in when I can and let you know how it's going! Thanks for spending the day with me!!

I am grateful for new scissors.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Here's the Good News

Ok good news first...I got the job I have been interviewing for! My drug screen and background check were cleared yesterday and I start on Tuesday the 27th! Hurrah!!! I am so happy! (also a little nervous, but that's ok) I will be continuing with school too, so next week will be interesting. The other great news is that Eric received his diploma for his second Masters (MBA). I am so proud of him and am looking forward to seeing him walk across that stage for graduation. So, lots of celebrating going on here!!! As you can imagine though, my schedule is going to continue to be (and even more so) packed. I intend to keep up with blogging, but my blog reading has taken a serious turn for the worse. I am trying to get around to visit everyone in short bursts, but I'm not making a big dent in it. I thank each and everyone of you for continuing to check in on me and cheer me on, even when I can't return the favor.

Now...for stitching. As you can see above, I started on my May Red Thread block. This Maypole block is actually what convinced my friend, Sherri, to stitch this piece to begin with. Her birthday is May 1st, so the Maypole struck a chord with her. The little saying is actually what sold me on this piece (ok truth be told, Sherri sold me on this piece - LOL!). Unfortunately though, you may all know that this piece does indeed seem to have some bad kharma it is trying to work out. We all remember the fabric fiasco, where I was sent the wrong count fabric. And, I recently mentioned that I am missing a star button for the border - which led Monique to comment that the piece may be jinxed. She may be right. I sent an email to that same needlework shop, where I had purchased the fabric, border embellishments, etc. and informed them of the button dilemma. Response back: "if we had any more we'd be happy to send you one, but we don't. You should contact Bent Creek." I have sent two emails to Bent Creek and called twice leaving messages. No response from Bent Creek. I went to my local needlework shop, thinking perhaps I could just spend the 75 cents on a new star button and be done with it. When I relayed my tale of woe, the woman there (that nice one that lent me some charcoal thread for my blackbirds), said "good luck getting in touch with Bent Creek!". Apparently they are not so good with the correspondence. Unfortunately, my LNS only had bright red stars, no dark red ones. So, as a last resort, I sent an email to Just Another Button Company to find out what the item number is on those dang stars so that I can just order one. The sweet, sweet woman that emailed me back said she would be more than happy to just send me another star (perhaps she too, knows that contacting Bent Creek is a lost cause). So, I should have a star coming my way! Yay!!! I think probably this is lesson #2 of the "YOU REALLY SHOULD CHECK YOUR ORDER WHEN YOU GET IT" Lesson. So anyway, one day this piece will have worked off all its bad kharma and it will bring me much pleasure when I look at it hanging on the wall. And just in case you haven't seen it yet, here's what the whole thing will look like when its finished.

Love it! And I love stitching on it. Now, what I do not love - when I make a mistake. I have a tendency that when I make a mistake, I get so frustrated that I set the piece aside, and then don't want to work on it anymore (thus the reason I haven't shown you a finished wallhanging of my Shepherd's Bush ornaments - ugh). I have at least three pieces that have mistakes in them, the I have been refusing to work on. In the interest of moving out these WIPs I have going, and with KarenV's support, I'm making it a priority to rip out the mistakes and restitch the problem areas, so that there is nothing stopping me from stitching on these pieces. So, first up is my Mele Kalikimaka ornament. I didn't like the way the variegated thread was pooling on the left palm tree, so I'm ripping it out. But ripping out over one is about like poking yourself with a sharp stick repeatedly. But, this is the first piece I am going to tackle - I intend to finish ripping out that palm tree and then restitch the trunk before I move on to something else that needs fixing. Am I the only person who has this problem of just working on something else rather than ripping out?

Anyway, I am off to take another test for school and run a couple of errands. Thank you to each of you that offered to stitch a square on my returned RR. I so appreciate it, and I may take you up on the offer. I've put it away for now, and I'll ponder what to do with it when I've had a little distance from the issue. Right now it just makes me feel angry and disappointed when I look at it. Enjoy your weekend (holiday weekend, if you're here in the states), and I hope to get some stitching in on Barnabee too!!

I am grateful for all the blessings in our lives - a new job and a new diploma!

Monday, May 19, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

Carol's Neighborhood RR

From Prairie Schooler's Rain, Rain, Go Away
DMC on 36ct Summer Khaki Edinburgh Linen
Finished 5/18/08

As you can see I worked all weekend on finishing my block for Carol's Neighborhood RR. I just got so behind with starting school and everything. I hated to be late mailing this out, but I wanted it to be perfect and didn't want to cut any corners. I filled in the door, rather than have the lady standing in it, because Carol didn't want any people in her RR. Also, this is stitched with one thread over two, as it is 36ct.

I love the way Carol's RR is coming along. I think my house is a good compliment to the other red house, and also is a good balance to the one in the right hand corner with the tree. Carol, I hope you like it!

It is on its way to Judith's as soon as I get over to the post office. I have one other errand to run this morning, and then post office it is! And speaking of the mail, I had an unexpected surprise in mine last week.

Lauren sent back my RR. I can hardly believe it, but she finally sent it back. There was no note or anything in the package, but she did send back my RR, as well as the thread and charts I'd included. I am so glad to have it back, but now I don't know what to do with it. Since I've already started another RR, and it is making its way around, after all of us having to do some shuffling, I have no idea what to do with this one. As you can see Toni did finish her block, which I'd never seen a photo of, and it appears Lauren stitched a block too. I'm not sure why she bothered, but maybe she stitched it back before she decided to hold on to it? Who knows. I am contemplating picking out the stitching and reusing the fabric for something else, but I'm not sure I'll just leave it as is for now. I am so glad to have it back, regardless of what went on.

School/training is going well. I've taken two tests and did well (I missed 1/2 a question on my second test). I am spending the majority of my days there though, so it leaves little time for anything else. On the job front, things are looking really really good - but I'll keep you posted!

No Just Nan again this weekend, which I am disappointed about, especially since I was making such good progress on it. I may try to pick it up during the week, if I have any stitching time. Hope you all have a fabulous week! Keep stitching!!

I am grateful for those little sideways birds - they make me smile!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Long Time, No See

Four Flowers in Urn Bookmark
Prairie Schooler
DMC on 32ct Buttercream by Silkweaver
Finished 5/9/08

It's been a little crazy here the past week. I started school, well training actually, last week. One of the things that is offered through the Workforce (Unemployment) Commission, is additional training, if you qualify for it. Well, they are paying for me to get some software certifications, and Project Management training, and my classes started last week. I hit the ground running, and am trying to keep up with it all. I think once I get the hang of the way the school itself works, I will be fine. It's just a big adjustment. Also, Romeo had to have some minor surgery a week ago as well. He had developed some cysts that are related to his diabetes, so we had them removed. He is doing great and got his stitches out this morning. He had two on his shoulders, and one on his little front left toe. So, his shoulders and his little toe are shaved, but they healed nicely. So, as you can imagine, I have been a bit busy! I did manage to finish two things though, even though I've had very little stitching time.

First, I finished up the Prairie Schooler bookmark that I had been stitching on for my mom for Mother's Day. I really enjoyed stitching it, and I think it's the first PS design I've ever stitched in its entirety. I finished it in a similar manner to the finishing on my sheep blankets, with the fringed ends and felt on the back. My mom loved it, and was really excited when I gave it to her, although she says it's too pretty to use.

Red Thread: Smell the Flowers

Bent Creek
Weeks & GAST on 32ct Light Mocha
Finished 5/11/08

I also finally got my Lancaster Red thread for my April block for the Red Thread series. It just took a little while to come in. I stitched up those two ladybugs in no time, and now it is finished. Ta da!!

I worked a little more on the border too, which is coming right along. I did, however, discover that the embellishments that I was sent for the border is short one. I really hope I don't discover anything else with the stuff I was sent that is wrong or incomplete. I guess I am going to have to email them to see if it's possible to get one more star button.

I feel pretty good about getting these two things completed. I'm focusing on Carol's Neighborhood RR right now, and hope to get it out by the end of the week. I'm having such fun stitching on it though. I didn't get a chance to stitch on Barnabee this Sunday, but hopefully by next Sunday he will be back. I picked up the Kreinik I need for the gazing ball in the next band, so I'm all set to go now.

Well, that's all the news that's fit to print today. I took my first test at school today, and only missed 1. I hope that you are all doing well, and having a great beginning to your week!

I am grateful for Romeo's stitches coming out!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

Hello, all and Happy Monday! Today is Cinco de Mayo, which is a big thing down here in Texas. I probably won't be doing any margarita drinking, but I will see if I can fit some stitching in!

It was another busy weekend, so there wasn't much time for stitching. I did manage to get a little time in on Barnabee's Quest for Just Nan Sundays. I finished up my row of little ducks, which means I am past all of the over one stitching, I think!!! Those ducks are cute, and it's amazing how adding their little eyes gives them so much personality. Not much more to go on this.

I also stitched a little more on my Red Thread border. Thankfully, after ripping the whole thing out and restitching it correctly, I have had no more problems with it. It actually goes rather fast when you can sit down and have some uninterrupted time with it. I'd like to continue on with the border to get it up to the May block, but I have a couple of other committments that need to take priority.

First, I am going to spend some time finishing up the stitching on my Prairie Schooler bookmark for my mom. Secondly, I need to get started on Carol's Neighborhood RR. I've decided what I'm stitching, I just need to pull the threads for it and get started.

Not too much else going on here. We had a great weekend, which included going to Scarborough Faire (the local Renaissance fair) on Saturday. I'll have photos to share soon. Since finishing my book for my book club, I've gone back to reading The Other Boleyn Girl. I am so enjoying it, I think I just got a little sidetracked from it. I'm about halfway through though.

**Gayle B. - please leave me a comment with your contact info, and the fabric is yours! Thank you!**

I am grateful for good news!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Day

I was able to finish up my April Red Thread block, except for the ladybugs. I am still waiting on that Lancaster Red thread to come in. So, after finishing what I could, I went back to the border last night. Unfortunately, I had made a mistake in the border, so it had to be ripped out and restarted.

I did also finish reading my book for book club (which isn't for another three weeks or so). Now I'm back to reading The Other Boleyn Girl. I'm pretty impressed with the fact that I started and finished four books this month. Yippee!

So, first things first. In an effort to clean out my stash, I've listed some things here for sale (there's actually a couple of free things too). I hope you can all help to take these goodies off my hands!

I've also discontinued my Silkweaver Fabric of the Month shipments. I've decided that I'm just going to use that money to kit up some things I really want to stitch. It seems I mostly stitch on neutral fabrics anyway, so now I can invest in what I will actually use.

Now, let's see how I did on my April goals:

Finish wedding quilt for anniversary Yes!
Start new job Not yet
Binding & label on $5 quilt No
Label for Pigwidgeon No
Mail Barbara's Gift Yes!!
Carol's RR No
Stitch 2 ornaments Stitched one, started a second
Keep up with SALs: Red Thread, Barnabee, Mermaids Yes, yes, no
Make Shepherd's Bush wallhanging started
Stitch on Mystery 9 - Finish Artichokes nope
Stitch one motif on Cuisine d'ete nope

Not so good in April. Sigh. I'm going to try to keep it simple for May, with WIP reduction in mind.

I've broken down my current WIPs into five categories: SALs, Smalls/ornaments/freebies, Just Nans, Chatelaines and Med/Lg pieces. The SALs are ongoing, so all three of those will be focus pieces as needed. For the other four categories, I will focus on one piece until it is finished, and then move on to another WIP in that category. We'll see how that goes.

So, for May...
Stitch Red Thread block for SAL
Stitch and mail Carol's RR by the 15th
Stitch and finish PS Bookmark for Mother's Day
Continue with Barnabee's Quest for Just Nan Sundays
Finish one block on Tesori
Stitch on Mystery 9

I'd also like to continue with getting some reading in as well. I've really been enjoying it!

I am grateful for finishing a book!