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Friday, December 28, 2007

More Christmas stash!

I am sooo soooo happy! I got more stash for Christmas. My friend Curtis gave me 2 Charles Craft 28ct Monaco fabric in white and off-white, which is great because I needed fabric. But better yet, he gave me my first ever pair of Gingher scissors!!!! They are great!! I've wanted a pair for a very long time, but never got one. Now I have one thanks to him! Thank you Curtis!!



I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays and Picture Catch Up





Here are the charts I got for Christmas. My DSD gave me the "Dawn, the fairy Spirit of Grace" chart from Passione Ricamo. My DH gave me Circe The Sorceress by Passione Ricamo as well as the fabric Bewitched by Polstitches Designs that is created specifically for that pattern. I am so so so happy!! I can't wait to kit them up and start stitching!






Here are the pictures of most of the crochet peices I have been doing as well. A rather large peice has no picture as it is not done yet, and a smaller peice is being used so it is not pictured either. There are 5 more angels that are not pictured, a silver one, gold one, white one and two red ones that I gave as presents.



Here is an ornament that I helped my friend Curtis make. He wanted to learn how to stitch so I helped him and he stitched this ornament for his mother for Christmas. I put it together and crocheted the hanger.










Last but not least, here is a picture of the ornament that I received in the Cross Stitch Crazy Ornament Exchange. It is stitched and finished by Jacque (momtogemma) and I LOVE IT! It has been hanging on my tree since I received it!! Thank you so very much Jacque!

Happy Holidays to everyone!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Rough Week

Something happened to my back and I don't know what it is. I went to the emergency room beacuse it felt like the plate that holds my hip bone to my sacrum had moved or broken. According to the x-rays I had not broken the plate, nor had it moved from where it should be, but it does rock a bit since the screws are now all loose. The doctor thought it was the swelling that I have (my whole body with pitted edema in my legs) which is causing the increased sciatica and major pain increase that sent me to the hospital. I've been in bed for most of the week to try and keep the pain controlled. Today is the first day that my pain level has been below a 7 as I am currently at a 5. The swelling has not gone down, even with the diuretic I have been put on, so I get to call my primary care doctor and go see them to start checking on my kidneys, which the ER doc told me to do. The idea that something is wrong with my kidneys really scares me.

I have been stitching though, mostly crochet. I've finished a bunch of small peices that I am not sure what to do with yet. Though the angels will be turned into a window decoration for Christmas next year. I put one of the doilies under the crystal nativity peices on top of the TV. It has a ruffled edge, but it looks okay. Well I think I'm going to go do a bit of stitching on Stroke of Midnight.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Another Ornie






I turned that "Noel" peice that I did a while back with Kreneick silks into an ornament tonight. I made the cording myself and used the "join the backstitches together" finishing technique that I used on the blackwork cat for Velda. I really like that finishing technique. I gave this ornie to my friend's mother. She is a stitcher herself so I knew she would really like it. She did not believe that this was only my second completed ornament (ready to hang up complete). She said the blackwork cat looked like it was done professionally so that is why she did not believe it was my first. I looked her straight in the eye and told her that the cat had been my first completed ornament and the one I had just given her was only my second. That finishing technique is quick, easy, and turns out great results!


Velda got her ornament the other day and really liked it. Though she did tell me I am not to spend that much money on postage ever again. To me though, it was worth the $22.00 to send it priority mail as it was already late. I felt real bad being late on my first ever exchange so I sent it priority mail to be sure that it would arrive with enough time for Velda to enjoy it before Christmas is over. I'd do it again in a heart beat too. Considering the package I sent to California cost $16.00 and it was not sent priority mail, I feel that the extra few dollars spent to send the ornament to Canada quickly was well worth it.

Speaking of the package to California, it contained the birth announcement that I stitched for my friends' daughter. It was done over a year ago, I just kept forgetting to mail it so I made a special point to get it into the mail when I sent Velda's ornament. Chris and Chris were so happy when they got it! They loved it! Here is a picture of that peice as well.


I've been doing a lot of crocheting also. I haven't taken pictures of the peices I have finished, but I will try to get those up tomorrow.

Friday, December 7, 2007

It's Done!

YAY! I got it done and I am so so proud of it! I was so worried that any ornament I actually finished would look horrible or maybe like it was sewed by a chimpanzee! But when it was done, I was soooooo very happy with it, it looked great! I won't deny that for a few moments I wanted to keep it for myself LOL Instead I went to the post office, put it and a couple surprises into a box, addressed it to Canada and mailed it off to Velda. I really hope she likes it! I feel bad because it was late and even express mail said it would take 3 to 5 business days due to it having to go through customs. Which means the latest it will get there is Thursday the 13th, but at least it will be there 2 weeks before Christmas and she will have time to enjoy it before the holiday is over. The pictures do not show the fabric very well but it was a hand dyed Solo from Silkweaver that changed colors from a gray-blue to blue and then light purple to purple. I used the mostly purple peice for the back as Velda's favorite color is purple. For the seams I used a backstitch border around each peice then using 4 strands of floss (2 black and 2 dark purple) I joined the backstitches together to close the seams. I used the purple to help bring the purple back together with the blackwork front. The holly leaves are dark green satin stitch 3 strands, and the holly berries are red seedbeads from Mill Hill, 4 of them stitched close together with 1 strand red floss. The sparklies in the fabric were perfect through the blackwork, gives it a sparkle, but this doesn't show up well on the pictures.

The back was done by hand and I did not chart the words. I added the gold braid star to balance it out when it came out with extra space on the end of X-Mas. The back looks ok I guess.

I'm just glad that I got it done and it came out as well as it did. I hope Velda likes it!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Butterflies Have Started

I have joined my first ever cross stitch exchange. It is a Christmas Ornament exchange. Stitch and finish (ready to hang up) a Christmas Ornament. I am doing it for the Cross Stitch Crazy posting board. I received my e-mail the other day telling me who I am paired with and I won't post it here because I don't want to ruin the surprise for anyone else but I will say this I AM NERVOUS AS HELL! I know I shouldn't be because I know my stitching is pretty good, my backs are usually neat (except for those designs with massive color changes in small areas using blended threads..those never come out real neat LOL), everything crossed in the same direction etc. etc. but I am still nervous. I had already finished a few ornaments and chosen the one I would finish and send for the exchange as I planned to enter it back when I joined the board a few months ago. But when I received my e-mail match there was a notation that the person I am matched with prefers angels and a specific color. (Won't say cuz that will give it away) I had not stitched an angel and I've been looking for days for a design but I can't find one that I like that is small enough for an ornament. So I will go with my original choice as the person told me that it did not HAVE to be an angel and that she is very excited. I just wanted it to be something that I knew the person liked best. So my feeling bad is my usual being too hard on myself thing. But man I am nervous! This is the first time I have given something I stitched to another stitcher! Someone who knows how to stitch and thus knows what they are looking at and how it should be done. As usual I am worried that I won't be up to par in her eyes. I know that is my own nerves and self-esteem issues and it has nothing to do with the recipient at all. She has been nothing but nice, friendly, warm etc. since I joined the board, so I have no reason at all to believe that she would be judgemental or anything negative at all. I'm just scared I guess.

I just hope she likes it! Other than the butterflies I am really enjoying stitching for such an exchange. The idea of something I stitched going to someone that I know will appreciate all the work that goes into stitching is a lot of fun. I had a good time figuring out which pattern to use and ended up stitching a few different ones to select from once I knew who my partner is. Having not stitched in a long time doing this has brought back my enjoyment of stitching again and I am so glad that it did!

I really appreciate all the people on the boards I have joined and the mailing list I am on for being so welcoming of a newcomer. It made it a lot easier for me to want to participate in board events. Well off to the doctor I go!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Stitchy Update

My DH has my camera in Virginia with him, which is why I had not posted any updates. But today I finally got the scanner working again and used it to take pictures of my wips.

I joined a yahoogroup called WOCS. It is about a year old and does cross stitch for charity. I really liked the idea and have started one of the cow charts they are doing.

This is a chart by Stephanie Cliquennois and can be found at her site. She is from France and has created quite a few of these little cow charts. They are quite adorable. These squares will be used for a quilt.




Here is the Blackwork Cat from Kitty and Me Designs as of Nov. 8, 2007.


Here is a picture of the Mini Amish Quilt I mentioned in an earlier post. I am not that far on it.



This is called Amish Sunburst and is made by Cross My Heart Designs. I've done peices on black fabric before (the large wizard for my DH) and had no trouble with it, but this time it is slow going trying to find the holes. Maybe I'm just out of practice. It has been at least 6 years since I have stitched on black.

My DS is sick with an infection in his throat so I have halved his school work. It is difficult to get him to pay attention when he is ill. I am sure he will feel better in a couple days.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

WIP Blackwork Cat Ornie



This is the blackwork cat ornament from JCS Ornament Issue by Kitty & Me designs. It is done on 28ct jobelan Silkweaver Solo that is sparkly. I thought the sparkles would complement the blackwork nicely. Hopefully I can get this done soon as it is stitching up quickly.

Monday, October 29, 2007

YAY Red Sox!!

I moved out of Mass 12 years ago, but there is one thing about a New Englander. You can take us out of New England, but you can't take New England out of us! I am so excited that the Boston Red Sox won the World Series last night for the second time in 4 years!!

CONGRATULATIONS SOX!!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pics As Promised and SBQ

Here are the pics of the two crochet items I finished. One is the lopsided bell, the other is another doily.







Here is a picture of the Christmas Blackwork Cat from the 2007 JCS Ornament issue that I am doing. It is done on Silkweaver 28ct jobelan.


This week's SBQ is:

Do you railroad?
The permalink to this post is:
http://blog.blondelibrarian.net/archives/2007/10/sbq-working-on-the-railroad/
Happy Stitching!
Renée
My Answer: I started using railroading when I was working on the Raccoon Baby for my DSD because it helped the threads to lay beside each other, rather than on top of each other. I will probably continue to use railroading, specially on blended stitches.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

SBQ

A friend of mine told me about SBQ, it stands for Stitching Blogger Questions. Apparently it is one question for those with stitching blogs to answer in their blogs. The questions gets posted here as well as in the yahoo group.

I do not see a question for this week but I did find one for Oct. 17th, so I figure I'll answer that one.

This week's SBQ was suggested by Jennifer(http://astitchinwrinkledtime.blogspot.com/) and is: What proportion of your stitching is for your own personal use versus gifts?

Most of my stitching has been done for gits to either friends or family. I did do one that was supposed to be for myself, but a friend of mine saw it and really liked it so I gave it to her.

Froggy Go Home!

Yesterday while I was in the waiting room waiting for my DD to be in the recovery room, I worked on the Christmas Blackwork Cat from the JCS ormament issue. In the hour and a half I was stitching (minus 15 minutes for a smoke break) I got the entire border done. Then, who should appear but the nasty green skinned wart spreading FROG! The last stitch did not connect to the first stitch which was the cat's ear. So I started counting to find the error. Of course, it is way back at the base of the front paw where I put in 6 stitches instead of 5 so I had to frog everything I had done thus far in the waiting room that morning plus some I had finished the day before.

I refused to let that get me down though. So after dinner last night, I put my day light lamp in the living room, sat down to watch tv and stitch. I got the entire outline, which is 2 threads done and this time it lined up perfectly! Even more, I got the filler pattern completed inside the tail. I am very proud of myself. I do not have pictures yet because my DH took the camera to work with him today so I will try to post pics tomorrow.

After I finished the filler pattern on the tail, I picked up the Christmas Bell thread crochet ornament I started. I completed it, but it is lopsided. Upon re-reading the chart I realized there is a printing error back in the first row. Chain 32, double crochet in 4th chain from hook and in each chain accross. Total 30 double crochets. Ummmm..32 minus 4 is 28, not 30. But, since I finished the bell and it doesn't look too bad I did not bother frogging it (I just didn't have the heart to!). Instead I made a note on the pattern and started a new one! I am still fairly new to thread crochet but I think I'm doing pretty good.

I have completed another doily/coaster. It looks like a sun almost because it has stitches that stick off the outside edge in triangular points. I really like it! Again I don't have pics because DH took the camera to work, but I will put pics up tomorrow!

I'm going to try to add links to the blogs I've been reading. I hope it works!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bye Bye Carpet Sharks & Doctor Doctor Give Me The News

Well, yesterday we finally had to give up the three ferrets. With my disability it is just too hard for me to clean their cages regularly, and it is difficult to let them run around as much as I should. There is a better cage out there that would be a lot easier for me to clean, but the first part of the cage costs $300.00 and is not big enough for 3 ferrets. Adding the second story to make it big enough is another $250.00 and I just can't afford $550.00 right now. I felt like I was torturing the poor babies because of these things so I found someone who loves ferrets (she has 7 already and they have their own room in her house) and gave them to her. My three are very accepting of new ferrets, very playful and they are quite bonded to each other. I am sure they will greatly enjoy having 7 more family members to play with and cause trouble with. Having their own room to run around in will definitely give them all the exercise they need on a daily basis, so I am sure they will be quite happy. I, however, am very sad at no longer having my fuzzies. I love the ferrets. They are so cute and so much fun! I just felt it was unfair of me to keep them in an environment that can no longer provide them with everything they need to stay healthy just because I love them. I feel that if I really love them, then I need to let them go to someone who can provide them everything they need to be happy, so that is what I did.

I miss them though.

Today was a pain clinic doctor visit day. I got the typical *poke* "Does this hurt?" *poke somehwere else* "Does this hurt?", repeat at least 10 more times. Sometimes I wonder if the doctor keeps doing this because she expects a miracle of some sorts; that somehow I'll come in and be totally cured. I wish, but no such luck. With 2 bad disks, lots of nerve damage and a permanent compound fracture of the left sacroiliac joint that is held together by a stainless steel plate and 6" screw, I know that I will never be pain free again in my life. You'd think the doctor would know that also, specially after 7 years and the necessity to do invasive radio frequency procedures to keep my pain level in control, but nope, apparently they don't know this. (Yes I realize they have to make sure, and check for changes and such...but I still can't help but think "Umm Duh! Yes it still hurts..same as for the last 12 years!" when they poke me. I use humor and sarcasism to keep myself from getting depressed over the whole thing, sometimes that works better than others.) Add to the monthly poking a large storm system moving through the area today with severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings and the result is a higher pain level than normal.

I always thought the "well my back hurts so it is going to rain" thing was just an old wive's tail, but its not. My back and pelvis are really good at letting me know that it is going to rain, or when a different front moves through (high pressure or low pressure), and when the temperatures make their seasonal shifts. It took me a little while to realize that the fluctuations in my pain level were in fact a result of weather changes. My husband is the one who figured it out and when he pointed it out to me, my initial response was "No way!". But since he mentioned it, I started keeping a pain journal and sure enough, on the days it rained or a front moved through that changed the air pressure, my pain levels went up. As well as during those couple of weeks when Florida's panhandle has temperature fluctuations as the seasons change. I couldn't deny the relationship between the weather and my pain because nothing else had changed on thsoe days. My routine was the same, I did not do anything that I was not supposed to (such as lift heavy objects). So now I am offically old.

Needlework news:

I found a bunch of free patterns online for thread crochet and downloaded the ones I like. I am eager to start the one that is called Easter Egg Coaster but of course, I can't get the silly thing to print. Something is wrong with my in home network so I can't send files to the printer. So I will save the files I want printed to a cd-rom and give that to my husband and ask him to print them for me. I'm hoping to make a start on the coaster tonight.

I also joined the posting board for Ellen Maurer-Stroh, EMS Cross Stitch Forum, because I really like her designs and the board is where she posts her freebies. I've downloaded a few of her animal baby freebies and I'm looking forward to stitching them.

I did not get any stitching time so far today because after the doctor's visit I was in a lot of pain so I layed down and fell asleep. I am hoping to get some time in tonight before I go to bed.

Well, time to go play World Of Warcraft with the hubby for a little while.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Blogging We Will Go..Hi-Ho The Dairy-O, A Blogging We Will Go

I have been participating in stitching posting boards for a little over a month now and enjoying it quite a bit. I post on Cross Stitch Crazy and Rotation Stitchers. I have found the people on both boards to be very welcoming, talented and supportive of each other. On many of the posts the authors include inks to the photo albums, websites, or blogs where one can see pictures of their projects (complete, in progress, and/or finished into beautiful items), friends, families, or vacations as well as read stories about those same topics and many more. Through these posts I have found many blogs that I read daily now and have spent time greatly enjoying looking at the pictures of other people's cross stitch, needlepoint, crochet, knitting or other hobbies. Doing so has woken up my desire to start doing the things I used to enjoy a great deal again and I am so very grateful to have that desire back.



It was not until the desire returned that I realized how depressed I had become. I know why I became depressed and I knew I was not feeling like myself, but I had not realized how bad it was. I live with chronic pain and for a few months the steroid injections and daily medication was barely keeping it under control. Being in intense pain all day long every day is extremely draining. For me, it caused me to lose all desire to do anything that I did not absolutely have to do because all my energies were focused on controlling the pain as best I could and keeping myself from making it worse by moving around too much. I finally realized that I was no longer just having a rough patch and that I was clinically depressed when my doctor put me on an anti-depressent because being in pain messes up the seratonin levels in the brain. After a few weeks I realized that I felt better in general and since the new medication was the only change I had to accept that I had become clinically depressed. So I told the doctor and she increased my medication and is titrating me to the proper dosage for depression. I have had bouts with clinical depression before so I felt pretty stupid that I had not recognized the symptoms this time. But I guess recognizing them a little late is better than never recognizing or refusing to even consider the idea of it. Though I am finding it difficult to break some of the behavior patterns that have developed as the pain levels got higher and the depression got worse. I am working on it though!


One of those hobbies I used to really enjoy was writing. I used to write a lot in my journals. I've written essays on many different topics, poems, short stories and even once I wrote what was ment to be a self-help type book for parents dealing with a toddler who was sexually abused. That one was done solely because when I found myself in that situation, there were no books to turn to that dealt with the issues facing parents and children in that situations. There was information available for parents of older children, adult survivors and their families/friends/support network; but there was nothing for parents of 3-9 year olds. At the time, I only found one book that dealt with children at all and that one was for parents of children starting from age 10. Also, it did not give any tips for handling the specific situations that I was dealing with at the time. I asked the social workers, therapists, pediatrician and psychiatrist involved and none of them knew of any books written for families of younger children. So eventually I decided to write my own. I Lost my ability to write the book and desire to publish it when 2 years later I had to handle the same thing all over again when her father got unsupervised visitation and molested my daughter like his mother had before him. I just emotionally and mentally could not do it and every time I have tried over the past 14 years to finish it (the manuscript is ready for a second rewrite) I just can't, it hurts too much.

Anyway, I noticed that since I have started cross stitching and crocheting again that my desire to write has returned as well. I've started to write in my journal, I've written a few poems which I will post soon and decided I'd start a blog as well. I figure it can't hurt and who knows, I might enjoy it and it might help me return to writing the way I used to, which is what I am truly hoping for.

I haven't been stitching too much this last week, instead I've been doing some thread crochet. It has been about a year since I have completed any thread crochet projects, though I did start one many months ago and since I don't remember what pattern it is from I had to undo it. The doily and angel that I did over the weekend do not have even tension within each stitch but I think they came out pretty good anyway. I really enjoyed doing them as well.






This is the angel ornament I did. I am probably going to give it to my mother-in-law for Christmas. I hope she likes it. Its a silver thread with a shiny silver metallic thread twisted throughout. That was a tad difficult to work with as the thread would twist up and tangle so I found I had to let it hang down and untwist every little while, like I have to do with cross stitch to prevent knots.




This is the doily I made. The picture makes it look a bit washed out, but it is really a nice dark mauve, which is one of the colors my mother really likes and I think it will match the colors in her bedroom very well.

I have a second angel and a thread crochet doily in progress now.

I'm working a couple different cross stich designs right now. One is a Christmas ornament for my daughter and is a cat done entirely in blackwork from the 2007 JCS Ornament Issue. The other is a mini Amish quilt for my mother-in-law. She likes to sew and has a lot of quilts on display in her home so I thought the mini-quilt design would be one she would really like.