Monday, November 30, 2009

In Thankfulness of Heart

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At Plimoth
The Sampler Girl
Gentle Arts Simply Wool threads on 28ct Silkweaver FOTM Exclusive
Stitched November 26 and 27, 2009

Hello, my lovelies! I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving holiday if you are here in the states. I was lucky enough to take all of last week off from work, so my vacation started with a bang by going to see New Moon. Loved it. Want to see it again. And it worked out so perfectly, I think the stars must have been aligned. We got tickets on Thursday for the Friday 8:15pm showing, I met Sherri after work and we went to dinner (mmmm...margaritas) and then went over to stand in line at the theatre. We actually were pretty close to the front of the line for seating, and when the doors opened, we got the best seats in the whole theatre - the middle middle, just where I like to be. And the screaming was really at a minimum, so it was a perfect night! So fun to get to see it on opening night too.

So, what have I been doing for the past nine days? Well, Eric and I did some stuff around the house - cataloging records (yes, actual records, not CDs), etc. I had some super secret stitching I was doing for my guild's ornament exchange that will take place tomorrow night at our annual holiday party.

And, you can see at the top of this post what else I've been stitching (well, what I can show you). Last year before Thanksgiving, The Sampler Girl offered this At Plimoth freebie. I was dying to stitch it for Thanksgiving last year, but for whatever reason my LNS could not get in the Simply Wool threads I needed to stitch it. After waiting three or four months for the threads, another stitcher took pity on me and sent me three of the four (I was able to get one of them) as a wonderful act of kindness. So, as the holiday approached this year, I came across the threads and the freebie in my stash and decided to stitch it up. My only dilemma was what fabric to stitch it on. I really wanted to try to use something I already had on hand. Well, in my digging, I found that I still had some of my favorite piece of fabric. This fabric was a Silkweaver FOTM Exclusive. No name, can't get any more. Sigh. And I love this fabric. I first used it to stitch my ornament for the guild exchange last year. Then, I used it to stitch Petites Lettres Rouges. And so, when I came across it and did a floss toss, I knew I had to use it for this. All the stars aligned. I started this on Thanksgiving Day during the Macy's parade, and finished it up on Friday. It was a fun little stitch, and oh how I love the Simply Wool threads. I will definitely be using them again!!! Oh, and those little wool acorns were made by a fellow guild member last year. I think I need some more of them.

I also did some reading...

The Leopard

So, since I promised to give you reviews of my books for my end of year book challenge, here goes. The Leopard was chosen for my most recent Artful Readings book club. I tried. I really did. Just when you thought it was going to get interesting and do something, it failed miserably. This book was published in 1968, I believe, and has to do with Italian politics around the time of the unification of Italy. At least, that's what I think it's about. I really gave this a gung-ho effort, but when my bookmark accidentally fell out of the book I took it as a sign that life is too short for bad books. So, I set this one aside unfinished. And that kind of irks me, but not enough to try to finish it.

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3)

As a reward for bad taste The Leopard left in my mouth, I rewarded myself with a little vampire reading. These books are a series called the Black Dagger Brotherhood. As one of my friends says, they are like eating kettlecorn - guilty pleasure and you just can't stop, once you take the first bite. This is the third book in the series, and I like each one better and better. In fact, I was so face first in this book that Eric had to take it away from me so that I could get some stuff done. I did finally get it back, and finished it quickly. As you can see on my sidebar, I've now picked up the next book in the series and am quickly moving through it as well.

So, that's what I've been reading. I also picked Jenny Bean back up after finishing my little Plimoth piece. I had hoped to have her done already, but she had to be set aside while some other pressing things got attention. But, she's back and I am almost done with the right hand border, which leaves just the bottom border to go. Not long now before she is finished. Rather than take a progress pic of her, I thought I'd just surprise you when she's finished. Soon!!!

And, I did want to take a moment and mention that giving thanks is an important thing to do any time of year. For those that have been with me since I started this blog, you know that at the end of each post I mention something I'm grateful for. Sometimes it's something small, or funny. Sometimes, it's something really big and important. But, I try to always do it, as a little way of sending my gratitude out into the universe. So, especially at this time of year, take a moment to appreciate all the blessings in your life. You'd be amazed how those blessings seem to multiply when you start acknowledging them. Thanks to all of you who stop in to visit me and leave your sweet comments. I appreciate each and every one of you. This blog has truly been a gift and has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people. Thank you!

I am grateful for some much-needed time at home with my husband and the cats. I couldn't ask for more.

Friday, November 20, 2009

And Finally...



Guess what I'm doing tonight.

I am grateful for opening night.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Restless

Threads for Nativity and 4th Day

Last week I basically did no stitching, except for Thursday night with my buddies, and I stitched a "W". Yep, a whole "W". Impressive, no? Friday night I went to my book club (still don't have that stupid book finished - and for what it's worth, don't want to finish it). After book club I had every intention of settling in for a couple hours or so of stitching. Didn't happen. In fact, I didn't do much of anything.

Saturday morning, I got up bright and early to do my 3 mile walk, came home and had the intention of stitching all afternoon and evening. Not so much. I did venture out to Michael's to buy some thread though. And I think that night I stitched a couple of words.

Sunday morning, I had the intention of spending all afternoon and evening stitching. Do you see where this is going? I hate it when I get like this - I can't settle down long enough to stitch, read, or anything. Sunday, I did finally manage to do something productive. As you can see above, I wound all the thread I bought and pulled the rest I needed for two upcoming projects that are big thread eaters - my Teresa Wentzler Fourth Day of Christmas ornament, and The Nativity that I'll be starting on Thanksgiving. I'm still missing some threads for both, but only a few.

I then proceeded to bake a batch of cookies for a work potluck that was today (pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies), color my hair and give myself a pedicure. So - apparently I found my productivity groove. However, common sense seemed to go out the window when productivity set in. Let me set the stage for you. I'm coloring my hair and figure I have 25 minutes to hang out - what can I do? I know, I'll paint my toes. So, on goes the base coat, on goes the first coat of polish. Then, my 25 minutes are up and now it's time for me to get in the shower to rinse out my color. .... ummm...yeah. Get in the shower. With wet toenails. Brilliant. I did recover from that little disaster and my toes are now painted OPI's Black Satin. Again.

After that fiasco, Eric made a lovely dinner and then, glass of wine notwithstanding, I managed to stitch.

Jenny Bean 111609

Not a ton of progress, but when faced with all of my restlessness this weekend, not too shabby. I have the rest of the words to do, and two more borders, plus two little boxes inside that text box. So, we're getting there. But really, can anyone get a lot of stitching done while watching Heroes and V? I think not. We're going to have to start DVR-ing some boring shows.

I am grateful for last night.

Monday, November 09, 2009

My Halloween & Jenny Bean

Twilight

Well, it's taken me a little bit of time, life is crazy right now, to finally get around to talking about Halloween. I just love Halloween, it's always a fun time of year for me. So, on the night of Halloween, I put on my costume.

And of course, there were socks to go with it...

Halloween Socks

My fashion sense was soaring! j/k But seriously, I was dressed perfectly for curling up on the couch with pizza and a glass of wine. Oh, plus there was Dracula and Jenny Bean, of course.

Watching Dracula

And I promised that I would show an updated photo of my latest Jenny Bean progress...

Jenny Bean 110809

By the time I went to bed last night, I'd finished that left hand border minus half of the corner pumpkin. I still have some little bits here and there to add into the border, but the Nightmare (black) is basically all done on two sides. It's moving along, which is a good thing. I have some other stitching that is going to be requiring attention very very soon.

I've also finished another book for my Book Challenge.

The Host

I've had this book for a long while, and just finally got around to it. It was so good. Very different from the Twilight books, of course, but that same Meyer writing that just sucks you in. I really had a hard time putting this book down. In fact, I chose to read rather than stitch a few times. It was that good. This is definitely another one for the Library. I highly recommend it. And, now I've got a week to read my book for my next book club, The Leopard. Not really looking forward to it. But, I'm hoping it will be a pleasant surprise.

I am grateful for two clean closets.

Monday, November 02, 2009

November

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November 1st arrives, and the Christmas rush begins...even though I don't understand it. Why can't we just bask in the glow of Halloween and begin to look forward to Thanksgiving? Anyway, it does have me thinking about the end of the year and what I'd like to accomplish, even if I'm not quite ready to think about Christmas. I've been doing pretty good on my personal book challenge, which I'm happy about. So, I thought I'd apply the same logic to my stitching and see what happens. Not wanting to push myself over the stress cliff, but just to put some focus around what I'd like to work on, and keep those things with deadlines on my radar.

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I'm of course working on Jenny Bean. So, I plan to continue with her until she's finished. I have two Christmas ornaments that need to be stitched - one for our guild exchange and one for Eric (the 4th day of Christmas). The day after Thanksgiving, my friend Sherri and I will be starting on a piece we've been talking about stitching for awhile, the Marbek Nativity. I ordered a beautiful Sapphire linen for it a couple of years ago, so I just need to pull threads and I'm all set to go. We don't have any sort of timeline associated with working on the piece, just a start date. So, that will be on my radar soon. I also need to finish the baby quilt sooner rather than later, so that's on my list of things for the end of the year too. Dorothy's Garden is my MAGIC piece, so even though it probably won't get finished by the end of the year, I would like to put some more stitches into her. And finally, I would really like to work more on my CHS A&E. I'd love to have my first A&E finished, so I'll put some stitches in that. So, here's my end of year list...

1. Jenny Bean
2. Exchange ornament
3. 4th Day of Christmas ornament
4. Nativity
5. Baby quilt
6. Dorothy's Garden
7. CHS A&E

Not bad, I think that's all do-able. And I also have on my radar getting fabric for my New Year's Day start. I've already decided what it will be, I just need to decide on fabric. I also need threads for my Valentine's Day project. So, I'll be working on collecting the Belle Soies for that.

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I am hopeful that I will be finished with school by the end of the year too - that is my big challenge. And once school is finished, my stitching time should increase dramatically! I think I've managed to keep up with the blog and manage to do some stitching even with working full time and going to school for the past almost two years. I'm ready to have some free time though!!

I'll have a Jenny Bean update for you soon. I've finished the cartouche with her name and date in it, and have done half of the top border. Moving along on her!

I am grateful for hugs and kisses.