So Much

5th Anniversary Roses

Lately it seems like I’ve been focused on everything that is hard or stressful in my life. And you know, just that mindset can keep you stuck in that space. I’ve recently been reminded of how lucky I am and how grateful I am for so much in my life. It’s amazing what just a little bit of gratitiude can do for you – and even though I’ve tried to end every single post on this blog since I started it in 2006 with something I’m grateful for…sometimes I need to be reminded how much I truly have – not in things but in the wealth I have through my relationships, and just the joy and wonder of living this life I’ve been given.

So, I just wanted to share a few little things I’m grateful for today. The photo above (taken with my phone via the Instagram app on Friday morning) is of one of the two vases of roses Eric surprised me with for our five year anniversary. I am so lucky to be married to this man, and so glad that I have so many wonderful memories of our life together and especially of our honeymoon in Rome – I thought of our time in Rome all day on Friday!

And where would I be without my friends who I trust and treasure. Those who are always there for me, and I never have to wonder where I stand with them. It is truly a blessing to me to have people in my life who remind me of my strength and independence by exampling to me their own. Where would I be without my sisters of the heart, those women who I can talk to about anything and know they’re not going to judge me or share something I’ve told them in confidence. And even if it’s only via email, or a stolen lunch during a layover, I’m always thankful for those touchpoints. And there is nothing better than a friend who “gets” you. Someone who knows exactly what to say, or exactly the thing to surprise you with.

A&E Cookie

Weekend before last, I got to see Sylvia during a quick layover she had in Dallas. And I was so glad to see her face, and have a big hug. And look what she surprised me with – a little something from Germany for my A&E wall.

And of course, I’m grateful for my stitching and for having the time to do it on a regular basis now that I’m done with school. And even though it’s been bothering me that I got so off track in February with my goals of finishing an ornament a month, and one of my AOTH blocks a month… Guess what? A finish is still a finish, regardless of whether it’s done “on time” or not. And this little finish (my second ornament for the year) made me so happy while I was stitching on it. It was a good thing to work on after my root canal, or when I’d had a hard day. How can you not smile when you’re stitching Shepherd’s Bush?

SB Joyful Night 041011

This is Joyful Night by Shepherd’s Bush and it was republished in the JCS 10th Anniversary Collection. I stitched it on 32ct Cream linen with DMC. You may remember I stitched this for my guild’s ornament exchange back in December, and I had to stitch one for myself too.

I also have to thank my lucky stars that the planets aligned and my border on Dorothy met up. Cue angels singing.

Dorothy's Garden 041011

You can see I made a little bitty start on that little bitty chimney while watching part of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I remember watching that movie with Eric when I was so stressed out about our wedding planning. It made me feel like everything would all work out

Dorothy's Garden Close 041011

And on Sunday, I worked on ATS. And even though this was where I was last April on this piece, I’m grateful that I’m finally making some progress on her. This is where I left off last Sunday

ATS 041011

And I took a quick snap this morning via the Instagram app again to show you my progress from last night.

ATS

Several more motifs done, including another bird and the start of a flower and a butterfly. I’m almost at the point where I’ll have to roll my fabric. I’m so glad that even though this piece is taking me a long time, I’m sticking with it and enjoying it. (Plus, OMG I’m addicted to Instagram, can you tell?!)

So, sometimes it’s the big things and sometimes it’s the small things, but I’ve been reminded that you have to focus on what there is to be grateful for rather than how hard things suck on the suck-o-meter. It truly changes your perspective and the more you recognize the good things, the more good things there are to recognize.

And I’m thankful for each and every one of you that visits my blog and peeks into what’s going on here. I deeply appreciate it.

I am grateful for so much…

Sleepless

Dorothy's Garden 040311

This entire post is covered under the following disclaimer: Please view photos at your own risk. Michelle cannot be held responsible for the craptastic quality of her photos in this post. Exhibit A (above) was taken with a point and shoot early in the morning without the help of sunlight and/or being able to actually see clearly. Exhibits B and C (below) are photos that were taken previously and reused for the purpose of not wanting to post with only one craptastic photo. Exhibit C particularly shows the misuse of a flash. Please excuse the effontery and carry on.

Lately my stitching/crafting/existence has been taken over by a general level of anxiety. I find myself worrying constantly about “what ifs”. Unfortunately, it does keep me up at night. Not that I’m ever well-rested, but lately it’s been worse. These minor anxieties could possibly be linked to the fact that when worrying about something huge, I tend to deflect it by concentrating on little things.

So…Dorothy. Dorothy has not been playing nice lately. You may remember my last post in which I showed off her pretty butterfly and little border flowers and how lovely they were over one? Well. The day after that post, I suddenly became very concerned that I might actually run out of fabric on this piece. My old LNS (no longer in business) was notorious for mis-cutting fabric. And although I started in the middle of the sampler, once I got that corner of the border in, I realized I had about four inches on the top. Which concerned me, that I might run out at the bottom. Not good. I decided I would work on that border and make sure I had enough fabric, before I went any further. So I stitched on down to where that basket of flowers is and then realized I was off by two stitches. After much recounting and gnashing of teeth I discovered the problem was in the vine by the third little border flower. So, I spent a couple of nights ripping out OVER ONE including my sweet little flower. I started putting my green vine back in and got down a ways, only to discover I’d made yet another mistake. Holy Cannoli, can I not get this right? I eventually was able to fix it and move on and as you can see, I’ve made it to the bottom. I can now breathe a sigh of relief that Dorothy actually does fit on the fabric. But OMG I have so much extra fabric on the sides. What were those people thinking? But I’d rather have too much than not enough. Anyway, I was hoping to get all the way around last night, but I still lack a bit. I’ll feel better once I know my ends meet.

But I haven’t been stitching a whole lot over the past couple of weeks, so it’s all slow going. Some nights I only get about 10 stitches in. Some nights it’s not even that. But, since we’re on the topic of minor freak outs, I thought I should share another one I had last week. You may remember a couple of years ago, this quilt kit was a Christmas gift to myself. It’s been sitting in my closet in it’s pretty little bundle since then. Suddenly the other night (while in bed, trying to sleep), it ocurred to me that I don’t know if I received the pattern for this quilt. What am I gonna do, if I have this expensive kit and no pattern? So, I tossed and turned and worried about it all night. First thing the next morning, I marched downstairs and took the kit apart and thankfully, the pattern was slipped between the folds of the fabric. Whew! Although I am now wishing I’d bought backing fabric for this quilt at the same time because I don’t think this fabric line is available any more. Drat.

Winter Trees Quilt Kit

This is lesson #5968 of why you should check your order when you receive it. And it did make me really start thinking about having so much stuff on hand that it could be years before I ever get to it. I’ve cut way back on the amount of stuff (including stash) that I buy and as you know I’ve also been focusing on finishing my WIPs in an effort to even get to some of the new stuff that’s never been touched. I love being able to walk into my craft room and grab something new to start at a moment’s notice. But, I can’t help feeling that the more “stuff” I have the more it weighs on me. I’m really trying to pare down what I have and not buy more (there’s always my for sale blog you can check out too, if you’re interested. See the sidebar for the link). So, that’s where I am, and what’s keeping me up at night. And even though I apparently should have put a disclaimer on this post that I was going to be wordy and annoying, I have just one more thing to share. I had hoped to do some sewing this weekend, but that never did materialize. But, I’m so pleased with having finished my Indulgence quilt as well as my Shepherd’s Bush wall hanging, it’s time to pull out another quilting WIP. This is a Batiks BOM that I started back in 2007. Yes, that’s right, 2007. My LQS charged $3 for each block. So each month I picked up my new block and for awhile I kept on track with it. You can see I have six blocks done.

Batiks 050607

There are six more blocks to be cut and assembled, and then I have 12 setting blocks to make. I’ll need fabric for those though. But I loved the opportunity to get to work with batiks, so I’m anxious to get back to working on these. Maybe next weekend?

I am grateful for a layover in Dallas.