Sunday, May 21, 2017

Two New Friends

After the unfortunate start I had on my new project, Marriage Recipe, last week, I am happy to report it has been progressing nicely since. I've maintained my 'morning interlude' (as Annie called it) and I have definitely found that it kept me a little calmer during a very difficult week. Additionally, on the really bad days I added in a 'lunch interlude'. When things get stressed I tend to work while I'm eating, so this made me actually completely stop work, look away from the computer, and relax for about 15 minutes.

I've also been stitching this piece differently. I usually start a color and finish all the stitching in that color within my frame and only then move on to the next color. For this piece, I've been stitching one thread of color at a time. I think I like this method a little better, definitely for this project with the very small count.



My husband is feeling better. I'm happy that he decided to go to a back specialist' to get a better idea of what is wrong and how to prevent it in the future. They have prescribed physical therapy. This is what I was hoping for, but I didn't want to say anything, because if it was my idea it would not have been a good one. Since the doctor suggested it... Well, you know how some men are.

Lobo is also coming along well. I'll post my monthly picture with my WIPocalypse post later this week. I was really excited about getting a lot of stitching in this weekend, but then we decided to go to a cat shelter and find a new furbaby. Ended up with two... Betty... 


and Teddy... 

Poor things are a little scared right now, so rather than stitching up in the bedroom, I decided to sit in the living room and watch TV and hopefully make them feel more secure, and let them get to know my scent. Betty has come out and has even come up on the couch to sit with us, but any noise or movement that is too fast, and she's gone. Teddy has not been seen since coming out of the box. We can just make out a bit of his fur under the couch. These things take time.

Well, that's all for now. Thank you for visiting!



Sunday, May 14, 2017

A New Start

We had a pretty crazy week at work and at home. Michael, my dear hubby, threw his back out on Sunday. We were digging up a neighbor's hostas and then planting them along our fence where we have not been able to grow anything else up until now.


Everything went really well  and we had finished the first round of transplantation. Michael went back to finish up the removal and I went into the house to relax.  A little while later another neighbor knocked on the door and practically carried Michael in. He was digging out the last hosta when...

Well, I found the painkillers and muscle relaxers from the last time he threw out his back, and tried to help him as much as I could. He's been home all week, back and forth to different doctors. I'm glad he is finally going to a spine specialist and getting an MRI. Hopefully, they will be able to give him a little more of a plan and program to strengthen his back and improve things for the future.

At work, we rolled out a new learning management system, but there have been some bugs... I don't really know much about the system, and my boss, who is in charge of it, is on vacation. But the users know me. So everyday I get an e-mail from someone telling be about a problem they are having and I can't really do anything to help them. A bit of a mess. Most of our users are being pretty good natured about it, but if this does not get fixed soon, they are going to lose their patience.

To try to relax a little bit I've decided not to start work as soon as I get in (way before my 8am start time), but instead I sit in the lobby for about 15 minutes and do some stitching. As a result I was able to finish my May small this week even though the trains have been terrible going home, which is when I usually get my stitching in.


I have to say I really love this series of motifs and look forward to making them into cards. Hopefully the recipients will enjoy them as well. 

Once I finished, I was very excited, because it was time to start a brand new project. I wonder if artists feel as excited when they look at their blank canvas as I felt yesterday looking at my blank fabric...


When I bought this fabric last year I accidentally got 36-count. Definitely smaller than I am used to. I thought I was working really carefully, but I made a mistake. I got a little upset and almost put the whole project on hold until I could get a new piece of fabric with a larger count, but then I said no. I can do this, I just need to be even more careful. So I flipped the fabric, and restarted...


Not too bad for one day's work. I'm going to have to work slowly and carefully on this one, but I really like the way it is coming out so far. I will also have to use a smaller needle for the backstitching, it's already a little tight. But hey... you know what... I can do this! Hopefully this will continue to progress without further disaster and I will have some good progress to show you all next week.

Thank you for visiting!

Friday, May 5, 2017

TUSAL, Smalls SAL, and WIPocalypse - All a Little Late

Never had a chance last week to post and check in to the SAL's I've joined for this year. I thought about just blowing it off for this month, but then decided -- Better late than never! So here goes...

The most overdue is my TUSAL post which is due on the New Moon. The TUSAL is hosted by Daffycat and you can get more information on this fun little SAL here. Definitely seeing some increase, so some stitching must be getting done.


The next was the Smalls SAL hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus which you can get more information about here. I was able to finish my April small on the last day of the month! Happy that I have finished a small every month so far this year, and still loving this little set of mouse themed greeting card designs.


Finally, the WIPocalypse was due on the last day of the month. WIPocalypse is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings. You can get more information about this SAL here. Well this is a perfect SAL for me. Since I am such a slow stitcher, this project is seriously in danger of not being finished before the end of the world. But I keep plodding along, and I can see the progress from month to month. Hopefully you can see it too - haha! This is where I was at the end of March...


 And here is where I am today...


This year there is also a Question of the Month, and I actually have an answer for this month's question, What projects are in your UFO pile? When I thought about this question I realized that the very first cross-stitch project I ever started is my most significant UFO. This is where I had gotten after working on it for about a year, and then I just stopped...


The only other UFO I have is a project I started for my cousin. I really did well on it, and I can even say I enjoyed it. Then we had a little disagreement, and at the same time, I reached the point where I needed to add in the backstitching, the metallic threads, and the beading. Working with metallic threads and beading are two things I have not done before. After a little work with the metallic thread... well, I guess you know what happened. And here's where it stands.


The good news is that I haven't totally rolled it up and put it away. It's still out and ready to be worked on if I get the motivation. Hoping to get the motivation and maybe finish by November. It would be nice to give it to her as a birthday present.

So why didn't I have time to post last week? Well, I spent the day on Saturday celebrating my little cousin's 3rd birthday!



Then in the evening we went to my other cousin's home and booked an August vacation to Disney World. I am so excited to go back, see the parks we didn't get to see when we went down in February, and share the experience with my cousin!

Sunday was spent preparing for a business trip to Cincinnati. Since I don't like flying I try to prepare in advance as much as possible to reduce the stress on the day of the flight. I am happy to report that the trip went really well. I learned a lot of things that will help me in my job, and my talk went really well.

But now I am back and ready to stitch! Thanks so much for visiting!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Still a Little Neglected

Unfortunately, I did not have the time available to work on Lobo that I was hoping for this week. Well, let me be honest... I had more time available than the time I actually worked on him. But it was one of those weeks that I had a hard time working on him. I started thinking a lot about my mom on Easter. And then my cousin mentioned that he had been thinking about her and was really missing her. We all feel bad that his little one will never get to know her. So, we all had a really nice afternoon, and a lot of fun watching Isabella and her Easter Egg Hunt.


She started with a little help from her mom. But then she got into it on her own.. 




But she needed a little help from Grandma and Daddy to get all the eggs open and find the goodies inside.


At the end of the day, there was just a little bit of a cloud over the day. I guess it just takes time. I try to focus on all the happy times we had together, but I miss talking to my mom so much!

I did finally get back into Lobo on Friday, and between Friday and Saturday night I got a few good hours of work into him. Mostly though, I worked on this month's small project.


And started planning my next big project. I've decided it will be a wedding announcement, but a different one than originally planned and for a different couple. More on that in a week or two.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Finished!

I finished my Friendly Felines!


It almost did not happen. I ran out of the color for the backstitching one strand away from the end! Can you believe?! So I took it out of the Qsnap, and off to Joann's we went to get the thread to finish and the fabric to make it into a pillow.

I picked a brown fabric that I thought would look nice, but since I always second guess myself, I asked another lady in the store if she thought the fabric I picked would look good with the piece. I was so happy when she said she liked it, but then she mentioned that I might also like to get an orange, and make the pillow with an orange band and then the brown. Now, I had been flipping between an orange fabric and the brown. So I ran and grabbed the orange and I was thrilled when she said she thought it would look great.


So, I'm going to try to make the pillow with a band of orange and a band of brown. If anyone knows of a good tutorial, please share. This is definitely going to be a challenge, but I'm excited for it.

Now I really have to start working on Lobo... He has definitely been a little neglected lately.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Hating the LIRR

Well, it's not really the LIRR I'm mad at. This week there was a major derailment on the tracks near Penn Station. Turns out Amtrak, who actually owns the tracks, knew that the tracks were in bad shape and needed repair, but decided to 'wait' before fixing them. Well, the derailment caused so much damage that it took all week to fix. This means that all week there were major delays getting in and home. The trains were crowded because of all the cancelled trains, which meant there was not enough room to stitch during my commute. Then by the time we got home, I was just too exhausted to stitch. So, I have made practically no progress on my Felines.


Having said that, I still think I will have time to finish it before the end of the month. Also didn't get much done on Lobo, but again, trying to remain positive, I had some extra time last night so I almost hit 350 stitches for the week, which was my minimum goal of 50 stitches/night.

With that, it's time to reset and start the new week with a goal of getting as much stitching done as possible. If something gets in the way... well, there's always tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

TUSAL, Small SAL, and Back to Work

Oh my lord was it hard getting back to work this week! I mean it was hard waking up, hard dealing with the commute, but the hardest was managing my behavior during a meeting that went from bad to unbelievable in a microsecond... I mean... who schedules a meeting for a day they are planning on taking off??!!! What is that about?!! So there was no one prepared to lead the meeting. And then her boss sends an e-mail to everyone saying that she was very upset with how unorganized the meeting was... Well, who's fault was that?!!

Thanks for listening to that rant. I actually feel better now.

Well, I got home from work on Monday... all ready to take my pictures of my ORTs and compose my post for Daffycat's TUSAL which you can learn more about here... but once I sat down on the couch... it was over. I did get a picture of my 'living room ORT container.' And I took it on Monday! The day of the New Moon!!


But then it took the whole week for me to get myself together to take a picture of my 'stitching corner ORT container' and actually write a post. Pretty pathetic I agree, but here it is...


I was also on time finishing and taking a picture of my March Small project for the 2017 Smalls SAL run by the wonderful Heather at Stitching Lotus. You can learn more about this SAL here. Just a few days late posting.


I was way late with my February small, but I did finish it, and wanted to share a quick pic because I am loving this series of patterns. Also happy because although it was late, I have gotten three smalls completed in the year, so I am still on schedule to make 12 pieces this year to be used for greeting cards in 2018.


And finally, I am so close to finishing my Friendly Felines I can hardly breathe. In fact, on Friday I decided to spend the night working on it rather than on Lobo. I really, really, really, really want to finish it this month and hopefully have the time to make it into a pillow on May 5th which I have scheduled to take off from work.


Thank you all for visiting!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week in Florida and March WIPocalypse Post

Okay, I am officially in love with Disney World! I wish we could have spent more time in the parks Overall we had a good vacation. It could have been a lot better, but still trying to be positive, it could have been worse. We had wonderful weather... Not too hot, not humid at all, only one day with rain or even the threat of rain. Definitely positives.

We also learned a lot about what to do next time to get more bang for our buck and more time to have fun. We went with friends who had purchased a week in a timeshare so we had to rent a car, which is VERY expensive in Florida. We would definitely stay in one of the Disney resorts next time and get a park-hopper package and a food package. But since they payed for the timeshare, we didn't have to spend any money on lodging, only the car. So it was a definite positive.

They also had a friend with a son who works for Disney, so we got into Epcot for free one day. Certainly a positive! 

And this is our new friend Joann. We immediately hit it off and enjoyed our time with her so much. Positive, positive, positive!


Did I mention how much we enjoyed Epcot and Magic Kingdom!? My mother never would have believed that I would wear mouse ears all day in public. But I did, for three days! As soon as we entered the park and saw other people with the ears, I just felt the magic! 


And then I got to meet Tinkerbell, and Rapunzel, and Elsa and Anna, and Snow White! SNOW WHITE!!!!


We also saw so many cool birds. One of my favorites was this guy who visited us during one of our lunches at the parks.


So, in my efforts to be positive, I am not going to post about the negatives of the trip. Instead, I am going to mention that on the days that were not so wonderful, I got some stitching done. Got to work on a second small for the month, so the positive of the negative days, is that I am back on track to make 12 smalls for cards this year. Should be able to finish this in the next day or two.


One more positive to share. With our vacation and the time needed to prepare for it, I did not get to work on my BAP WIPocalypse, Lobo, every day. But the positive is that on the days I did have time to work on it, I got in more than my 50 stitch minimum goal. So since the last check in I got in a total of 1470 stitches. And that positive makes me very happy. Here's where I was...



And here is where I am now...


Do you see that eye starting to form? Makes me happy. And the steady progress makes me feel positive about this BAP. And here is a link for more information about the WIPocalypse SAL that is hosted by the wonderful Measi.

Well, thank you for visiting. I guess I have to deal with one negative... must prepare to go back to work tomorrow. Boo! But the DH and I are already talking about planning our next trip down to Disney, so I leave with that positive thought to look forward to :-)
 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Birthday Weekend

We started my birthday weekend by getting our hair cut and then going out to eat dinner. We had a really nice time.


Yesterday morning we went to 'our' diner for breakfast and they had my favorite - Nutella and Banana Stuffed French Toast!


From there we went home and opened my birthday present to myself, a jigsaw puzzle. Not sure this was really a smart idea as it took us three sortings through all the pieces to find almost all of the pieces for the frame. Still missing two pieces. They better be in there!



We went out for an early dinner and then watched some TV which gave me the chance to finally get some stitching in on my Small for the month. Really want to finish this before we go to Florida next weekend.


It's so funny, Annie responded to a previous post and said she thinks we are all a little crazy because we think about everything in terms of how much it will affect our stitching time. She was so right... with respect to me at least! I am so excited about my first trip to Disney, and yet I keep thinking...

...will I get my Small done in time
...I'm losing a week of work on Lobo
...am I bringing enough stitching with me for the trip?

Definitely a little crazy!

Tomorrow is my actual birthday, so I decided to take the day off. Everyone kept asking what my plans were. My plans are to relax, and do what I like to do best, with no interruptions. So I will be stitching and watching TV.

Thanks fro visiting!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Positively Getting Older

I am forcing myself to post something positive. Thinking if I see it in writing, maybe I will believe it a feel it. My co-workers took me out to lunch today for my upcoming birthday. I picked a diner that some of them have gone to in the past and raved about. I was really excited, and totally ready to cheat on my diet. They were sitting in the office, looking at the menu, and mentioning so many things... I was definitely having curly fries! I cannot remember the last time I had curly fries and they were going on about how great they are.

The diner forgot about our reservation, so we couldn't sit together, and since that defeated the whole purpose of going out together, we went to a different restaurant. I didn't get my curly fries, and ended up cheating on my diet for something that wasn't even very good.

But the reason we had the problem was because there were so many of us. Most of the time 5 or 6 people go out for someone's birthday. There were 10 of us today. And I should be really thankful that everyone in my department took the time to celebrate with me. So I am really trying to focus on that aspect of the day and feel positive. But I could use some help cause I'm actually feeling rather defeated.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Just a Quick Update

Finally finished off another few cats and mice on my Friendly Felines.


Improvements to the mass transit system  are enabling me to get home earlier which is a great thing. The unfortunate side effect, however, is that I end up on a more crowded LIRR train, and I need to transfer. So the daily 45 minutes of 'travel' stitching I was getting into this project is not daily anymore. I have to take a moment and figure out how to regain at least some of that stitchy time.

I also lost an evening of stitching on Lobo this week, but also for a good reason. My cousin asked me to come see her swim meet against the team's main rival. She wanted us to bring the team good luck. So, of course, we changed all our plans to be there. The experience reminded me why I didn't have children -- Ha, ha! We had to wait in the cold for 30 minutes before we could stampede into the pool area and push and shove to get a seat. The girls' screaming was deafening, so some of the mothers actually bring earplugs! Holy @#$%! This is fun? But she swam great in her leg of her race and her team won. Then the team won the meet which was the first time her team won against this team since she has been swimming.

From there the whole team met up at a local ice cream shop. Did I mention small ice cream shop. Still screaming! OMG!! Yes, we promised we would be at the championships... We love her! At least that will be in a bigger facility.

Well, that was my week. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

February WIPocalypse and TUSAL Updates

Good Morning! So it's time for the WIPocalypse SAL, TUSAL, and Smalls SAL Updates. As you might guess from the title of my post, I have not completed this month's small project. In fact, I have totally failed and I haven't even started it! Ha, ha! Oh well, there is always next month.

I did, however, get a lot of work done on my BAP, Lobo, for the WIPocalypse SAL hosted by Measi. You can find more information here. My goal for the year is to get at least 50 stitches in a day. Well, a number of things (including a great weekend away) stopped me from working on this everyday, but in the days I did work on it I was able to get almost 2000 stitches in! So, I'm actually very happy with my progress.

Here's where I started...


And here is where I left off last night...


So glad I  have started working on this again! It's slow going, but I see the progress and it is making me happy.

Since I have been working on Lobo, my collection of ORTs has grown. I've also gotten in a few hours of stitching while watching TV, therefore, that collection has grown a little too. So, here is this month's entry to the TUSAL. This is a fun SAL hosted by Daffycat which you can get more information about here.


I've also gotten some work done on my Friendly Felines. My goal is to complete the stitching on this by the end of March. Not sure if I will meet that goal, especially since we are taking a week long trip to Florida during the month, and I'm thinking there will not be a minute available for stitching during that trip. But it's good having a goal.. so that's mine for March.


In non-stitching news, we spent a wonderful day with an old colleague and current friend. We had breakfast at our favorite diner, the Mineola Diner... So happy we found this place when we moved to Long Island...


Then we went to Fire Island...


 in hopes of seeing some deer...



Then off to a local craft brewery for a flight...


And finally a sushi dinner, which was so good I forgot to take a picture. Ha ha.

Thanks for visiting!