Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tossing and Turning and can't sleep

This is crazy!   I woke up at 3:30 this morning.   It is no wonder I konk out on the couch at 9:30 every night.   The wee hours of this morning were thoughts of work!  I have taken today and tomorrow off to spend time with my daughter before she heads back to New England.   She and I and her sister are going out for a girl's day.   This will include Starbuck's (or similar) coffees, fabric shopping in Chestnut Hill, a cross stitch store in Limerick (a new one for me), lunch, giggles, laughter, fun and memories of a day spent with my girls.   My daughter in law may join us.   She has been fighting a cold for the last few days and will make a decision when she gets up and going this morning. 

So back to the work thoughts.......I finally stopped fighting it and rolled out of bed at 4:08 a.m.   The half hour prior had my thoughts turned to how I seem to be one of the few who seem to continue to work even on days wonder I couldn't get back to sleep.  I had every intention of logging onto work to pound out a couple sets of minutes, send out meeting appointments for the next few weeks, etc., etc.  So me and my chenille robe and cup of coffee promptly logged onto the internet and SURFED!   I caught up on all my blog reading; I registered my new camera at the Canon site; I checked out the end of the year sales at some of the cross stitch online stores; I reviewed and cleared my hotmail inbox and have basically frittered away the last hour and a half.     It is what I call bubble gum for the brain.   Totally useless yet rewarding.    I hope to get a quick hour in between now and 7 and then will get ready for our shopping and fun.  Since I am not a reveler or party going on New Year's eve, the minutes can wait til then.............or not!

PS  Side three of my Petite Sampling Etui is completed!   On to side 4.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Winner

Stitchers Village was having a 12 Days of Christmas Contest.   You were to go to the site each day and email in the name of the featured shop/designer for a chance to win.   The very first day I enrolled.....I won.   Here is what I received from Arachnes Silk Web!  They also included all the teeny-tiny tatted pieces!  Replying to Karyn's comment....Yes!  You termed it perfectly.   It does make you feel like a llittle girl again and all excited inside and makes you want to squeal. 

To Karyn:   Karyn - What a difference a day makes! Here in South Jersey, this time last week we were digging out from 24 inches of snow; this time yesterday we were being pelted with inches of rain and today..............the snow is gone, the ground is rainsoaked and the sun is shining!  Yes, the weather on the east coast if interesting!!!

To EvalinaMaria:  Nothing compares to your -34 degress last week!!!! Triple BBBRRRR!!

Pix with new camera

This is Baby!  Baby is my cat but really has nothing to do with me.   This CAT follows my husband like a puppy!   It turns it paw to me.   Playing with my new Canon camera from across the room.
My kitchen Christmas tree. 

WOW What a difference a new camera makes!

Santa brought me a new camera and WOW!   What improvements in digital cameras in 5 years.   So much so I replaced some of the earlier Christmas decoration photos.  Still learning all the ins and outs and settings but have taken the time to take shots of my most recent stitching.
This is the second row of the mosiac muse of Jeannette Douglas' stitching album.   I had all the invert mosiac stitches in and had to frog them and re-stitch.    I am getting there and enjoying the progress.  Update:    I finshed both this row and the row above on the evening of the 26th.   It was easier to measure the end of the top row against the length of the second row.   So once finished the second row, I finished the four or five columns of the mosaic stitches in row one.   This project will be set aside while I return to work on my Petite Sampling Etui.......all four sides and the bottom at a minimum need to be completed by February 8th!!!!  Right now I am stitches away from side three completion.   Sides one, two and the bottom are complete.   Leaving me side four to complete.......stitching porgress will be posted because I think it helps me be able to see my own progress. 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Darned Frog!

Time is short and posts are short.......all of the work I did on the current row of my sampler - a double row of inverted mosiac stitches - had to be frogged!    They stitches were to be places 2 threads apart and I placed them three threads apart.   I thought for half of a second perhaps I could compensate but realized instantly I would have to RIP-IT!  Darn darn darn!!!   I will re-work the two rows tonight after I wrap presents.
This only shows 7 sets of mosiac from the right to the left I had 14 sets done.    Oh well, like a carpenter, measure twice/cut once.    I need to count thrice and start once!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snowy day stitching progress

Jeannette Douglas' My Stitching Album, Chapter 1, Mosiac Muse

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bracing for the nor-easter!

OMG....they are talking 8 to 14" of snow.   I can't wait.   I will be sitting in my warm toasty kitchen baking cookies and wrapping presents.   There will be the occasional, no rather, the frequent trips outside to shovel.   I use the shovel once an hour to keep it under control method. 

I brought some work home to do as well.  Hopefully I will do the normal get up at the butt crack of dawn thing even on my day off.   If so, then a cup of tea and a good two hours will be like 3 days at work!  Sad but it is the only way I can keep up. 

This time tomorrow night I may be snowbound and there will be nothing to do but snuggle and stitch!!!!  I think the lack of any real stitching this week put me in such a grumpy mood.   I need to correct that right now.....after a quick visit to weather to check the blizzard's progress. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This week's stitching progress

Little to show but I am moving forward. 

First, my progress on Jeannette Douglas Stitching Album.   This is Mosiac Muse chapter.   I love the way the mosiac stitches are looking across the top.   A single column looks like nothing but when you see several columns and let the floss do it's magic.....viola!  The photo does not do it justice!

Next, the progress on my side three of the Petite Sampling Etui.   Again the camera does not catch all the color changes in the border that seem to be taking me forever.

Finally decorating

It has nothing to do with the season but I always seem to have every minute of every day planned.   Add the holiday press and it all is exascerbated!  Love that word.    Just like a-pplic-a-ble.  At any rate, some decorations up and rest to finish.   My Byers dolls are arranged, stockings are hung, my kitchen christmas tree is done and all the other boxes for all the other decorations are out of the garage attic and in living room.   I used that touch it once method and brought in 3 or 4 boxes, making complete use of all their items and returning the empties to the garage.   Decorating has involved that grand sweep of picking up throughout that house and returning things to their rightful place.    The touch it once method went out the window about 3/4 of the way through but it did allow for great progress.  At least my mess is consolidated to the kitchen table top of odds and ends.  Hopefully I can get it all done early enough to head to my daughter's in Philly late this afternoon/early evening.   We are going Christmas shopping together tomorrow.  And in her mind she thinks I should come up tonight for stitching and cosmopolitans.  Pretty smart girl. 

For the ornament exchange with non-stitchers at work, I did come up with something.   I am making a humbug with the Steelers logo on it.   The recipient is a non-stitcher but a major Steelers fan.   I think it is something I can whip out rather quickly and should know tonight if I have a snowflakes chance in you know where of finishing it before I head out shopping tomorrow.   Here is my mock up.....not to worry the recipient is not a blogger nor a stitcher; she has other talents.   She won't see this.   I guess I did alright because Mr. Wonderful came in the back door and said....."that's a Steelers logo"!    As an Eagles fan, he was pretty indignant.  I will have to do a little Merry Christmas and the year on the back.      I want to start it right now but I will refrain since I have another Christmas tree to put up and decorate....not to mention all the presents (and stuff!) sitting at the bottom of the stairs waiting to be carried upstairs.    Stitching will have to wait to Philly tonight. 

Have a good sunday all!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I am leaning a lot about BATS

Apparently the little incident a couple weeks ago with a BAT in the house was not a fluke event.   It seems it was more than a bat navigating it's way in a door left open too long.    I got a text message while attending my Christmas Pary last night.   It was from my D-in-L that she was at my house and we had another bat in the house.  

It is now over 12 hours since I got the message and I have not seen him!!!  I kind of slept with my pj's pulled up around my ears.    I did learn a lot by doing an internet search and in part I am less afraid of the BAT but then in part more nerved out.   

So needless to say not much stitching going on last night.   I was totally imagining things our of the corner of my eye moving.  It was a long week and by the time I sat down and started watching my DVR of House, I dozed right off.    I did manage to accomplish a bit during the week though.   Mr. Wonderful had a standard minor surgerical procedure so I had 2 1/2 hours in the (your driver must stay onsite) waiting room.  I also managed to stitch a bit at my Guild meeting.   One of the ladies was sharing and demo-ing Tokens and Trifles which I had not signed up for.   I am learning restraint!  I am learning I don't need to add every stitching projects that tickles my fancy to my WIP pile.   I even worked a bit on side three of my etui.   So all in all, considering the season and the hecticness of schedules I feel good about my progress.

I am off to my other Guild meeting this morning for our ornament exchange and home to decorate.   I have never been this late in deocrating.  I have myself behind the 8-ball with so many things on the to-do list that I am in a self-imposed state of being overwhelmed.   I released myself from that 'weight of the world' mess by following my long known mantra  ----  touch it once/handle it.   It always works at work with projects big and small and especially those you don't want to do.  So today when I return home, I will touch it once, do whatever I have to start to finish and cross it off my list.....before I know it I will have the house picked up and some decorating done.   and then stitching, hopefully bat free, this evening.

Update - last BAT siting was Friday night.   It is now Sunday morning and we have not seen the damned thing again.   We have shaken window valances, opened closets and nil, nada, nothing...........except for a call to our pest control guy.   He will be here on Monday!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thought for the day

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yet another great give-a-way

Check out Chiloe's blog She is giving away the most awesome christmas figurine.  It is by Pipka Santas: Always Believe Santa & Reindeer Figurine set!   Check out her site.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Does anyone have......

We are doing an ornament exchange at work....last minute kind of.   The deal is you put your name in the hat and you list 3 things about yourself.  Things like your favorite color, your hobby, your favorite sports team.  Everyone draws a name and gets that person an ornament to fit their likes and personality.   So I got a co-worker whose favorite thing is  football, the Steelers and the Penquins.   Does anyone have or know of a Steelers or Pittsburgh Penquins pattern adaptable to an ornament?

Give-a-way received!!

What better way to end my day then to come home and find a PRIZE waiting for me!!??!! 
Carol, from the LinenStitcher blog sent me the Barrick Samplers leaflet that I won on her blog.    It is moving high on my to do list.   I will be sure to post a pix when I stitch it.   I hope Carol hasn't forgotten all about it by the time I get to it.  lol.  

I already have one leaflet from Barrick Samplers, the Squirrel's Tree.   I guess it shows I like Kathy's designs.

Although I don't dare start either tonight I am hoping for an hour or so of stitching time tonight.   Last night I was so tired that after my dinner consisting of vanilla-chocolate-and strawberry ice cream in a tall glass with 7-up, I only managed to get my stitching out and in hand but alas was too tired to stitch!!!

Thank you Carol for making my day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Change of pace

I really have run with my Jeannette Douglas Stitching Album......     I picked up the project and planned to just 'look' at it after my last installment arrived.    We know how that goes.   I finished the front cover, started and finished the back cover and I am now working on Chapter 1 - Mosaic Muse.   This project is a joy to work with.   It is so rewarding to be able to see a completion....unlike my etui that I am working on.  I had to put the etui aside until after Christmas.   Mentally I need a break from it.  I seemed to just have hit a wall on completing the project.   I think it is because there is so much stitching.   I keep stitching and stitching and still am not seeing a completion.    When I pick it up again I will have to put my stitching in super high speed to complete the fourth side. 

I found a Hancock Fabrics while away for the weekend and was able to buy the silk fabric I needed for the back of each page of the Stitching Album.   The Hancock  Frabics in my area all closed and I didn't even know they were still open elsewhere.  Anyway, I was also able to get the buckram interfacing suggested.   Still no  luck with finding skirtex.    I hesitate to order anything I find on the internet without first being able to see it.   Oh well, the skirtex is not for this project but just something I need to add to my finishing stash.   Back to the Stitching Album - Since the front and back cover are mainly in blues and greens, I got a pretty blue for finishing the backs.  For the other pages, I got the suggested beige.   Hope I not being too bold with the blue but I thought of a true hardcover book and those inside cover pages are often pretty colors!   Can't remember the names of those pages.....I think they have a special name other than inside front cover.    I don't know if I will actually finish the pages - grommets and all - because that is part that takes some nerve to do.   I always hesitate when it is time to cut apart my stitching to assemble it.   Talk about measuring twice and cutting once.   Try measuring thrice!  Not much progress to share on the Mosiac Muse page but I will get there...

I had hoped to start the decorating the house  when I returned home this week.   Mr. W and I did get some of the outside done.  boo hiss, I am really behind on this.   Next year I am taking off the week of Thanksgiving to get this accomplished.   I get myself so overwhelmed with so much to do that I don't know where to start.   I have to remember that touch it once and handle it method that I use at work to clear my desk.    I kind of did that yesterday.....kind of.    I have so much stuff in the closets in the bedrooms that use as my 'staging' and 'wrapping' areas.   This all from my son.  Things he never took when he moved out.  So I bit the bullet and started packing up the stuff.   I have at least a dozen boxes that are being moved to the attic area of the garage.  And a couple of 'yard sale' boxes as well.   I just had this mental block thing that there was too much stuff unresolved in the house that how could I bring in all the holiday decorations from the garage and add to the mess.  So like i said, I bit the bullet and spent the day sorting and cleaning.   I may not have gotten too many decorations done but at least now when the holiday decorations are taken down, I will already have packed and removed my son's items. 

This should be a hectic week after being off  a day and a half last week.   My boss was in NYC most of the week doing a presentation so we will hit the ground running today.  I know I will be doing a lot of shopping during lunch hours this week picking up stocking stuffers, wrapping paper and such.  All the more reason to have a short and sweet stitching project to work on in the evenings when I finally put my feet up.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Another Great Give-a-way

Check out Karyn's great give-a-way  She has some really nice things in it.   Deadline...New Year's Eve.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What a difference a day makes

I love my life!  I mean it.   I love my husband, my family, friends and my job.....but we all do need that unwinding.    What a vision site my BFF and I were leaving working.   We seriously looked like a chinese fire drill throwing our stuff in the car, jumping in, jumping out, doors opened, doors closed, hatch up, hatch down, taking our coats off for the driving and throwing them in the back all to beat feet to get out of Dodge and on our way.    We were not out of the parking lot and we were already squealing with laughter.    The 2 1/2 hour drive was over in no time as we chatted the ride away.  Save for the call(s) we received from work!  We found our hotel with no problem-o thanks to Peggy Sue my so named GPS.  A quick check in and a short drive and we were in the PA Expo center.   

We enjoyed our walking through the arena.   Nothing major wowed me but we did enjoy and did our best to stimulate the economy a few purchases at a time.   We did buy our return entry tickets for today as we exited.  

What a weight of stress is removed.   Although we didn't muster the energy to get in the pool or hottub and I didn't stitch a stitch.  We have both logged onto work already this morning, checked out emails, did a bit a maintenance all from the comfort of our pj's and hotel room.  Seriously, away from dishes, away from phones (kind of), away from family, away from work .....we both needed this so bad to recharge the batteries before the holiday time crunch is upon us.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bad start, great finish

to my week that is.....
I seem to be a person that always is doing something.   Seriously.   I have an unending list of jobs, tasks, things.  I guess this is what if defined as a Type A personality.   It can make a person weary.  My balance is obtained by stitching, at a minimum, at lunchtime.  But I still question why don't others seem to have a list?  There is that OCD rearing it's ugly head again.

So far my week has been -- in to work early Monday/stayed late; Tuesday out of bed at 3 a.m. after tossing and turning for 45 minutes going through that mental list of things to do and wondering how and when they will get done; to work early/stayed late; grocery shopped on the way home; leftovers for dinner with son, d-in-l, grandson and their two dogs for dinner; made appetizers for a Wednesday dinner meeting; starting packing for my girls weekend; and, entertained an UNINVITED guess for dessert-----------a BAT!  A bat was in my house!  We are ducking and weaving and perhaps doing a little squealing.  I had a broom in hand like I could even do something with it what with diving for the floor.   The two dogs - a german shephard and a rottweiller - were not barking but they were bouncing all around.   Doing the "I'm a dog, I'm happy" dance.  The dance was mainly because me, the d-in-l, my grandson and son were dodging here and there.  The cat is poofed up two times it's size because of the dogs....what an evening.  I ran out the side door to get Mr. Wonderful from his man cave.  I got the net for the fish pond for him and Mr. Wonderful saved the day.    Now I am sure Mr. Bat was probably only 8 inches total wingspan but it seemed twice as big.   What a crazy experience.   They were telling me I would find bats hanging from my ceiling fan waiting for me to get into bed.  My grandson (age 8) is looking up vampire bats on the internet when the thing was finally out the door.    Somewhere in there I managed to pull out some of my clothes to pack....Mr. Wonderful goes to bed at 8:30 which makes him not so Mr. Wonderful when you need to do things.
Today, things didn't seem to be going any to work early......alot accomplished in the morning then I went out to lunch and it was downhill from there.   The afternoon was filled with a  million interuptions and a barage of emails and little accomplished. (Could it have something to do with not cross stitching at lunchtime? I vote yes!) ....rushed to my dinner meeting taking my appetizers that I feared I would either forget in the CEO's fridge or the CEO's admin would lock her office and leave my appetizers held imprisioned.  The burning question remains what is up with the need to put in your 40 hours when you taking off work in 3 1/2 days because you are leaving for the week at noon on Thursday?   hmmm, and I still get charged with taking the 12 hours even though in reality I put in a full week.   hmmmm.   ARGH!   Back on track for my day after work and of course tons of traffic in the rain and mad drivers who don't know what it is to not 'block the box' or don't know how to do the 'zipper' at the merge point; arrive at the dinner 10 minutes late; late comers arrived even after me causing not a disruption but you know how it is when someone comes into something already started - a disruption of sort; and a candle burning and the fragrance it was emitting seems to have wacked out my eyes.   You know that feeling when your contacts dry out and you can't focus?  Well I was blinky eye lady all the way home.  Got home, drops in the eyes but they are not helping.  Mr. W in bed already so I can't complete my packing; need to get the cooler and suitcase and laptop in the car but not in this imagine my delight when I logged on to my blog to find  I was the winner in's give-a-way.   It is a Carriage House Sampling  American Landscape.  Thanks Carol!!!!  I cannot remember the last time I won something.  This is too cool.    I am so exicted and feel a turning point in my week.

Tomorrow, half a day of work and off to a girl's weekend in Harrisburg PA for the PA Christmas Craft Show.  Me and my BFF need this so badly.   My eyes don't feel any better and I still cannot focus; my bags are not packed; dishes are not done; I still need to get gas and MAC money in the morning but I have won a prize today and my work week ends at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow.   I am having a small glass of wine and going to bed to dream of my excursion.  Life is good!    .....better leave a note for Mr. W  to wake my at 5  because since  I want to get up early I won't.....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pretty blog and great give-a-way

Check out Rebecca's blog  Nice give-a-way and really pretty site.