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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WIP, New Start, and Pain

Here is my update on Teresa Wentzler's Wedding Sampler as of May 25th. I decided to try doing the backstitching as I go along, rather than holding it all off until the end. Teresa Wentzler designs have a lot of backstitch in them. I've read information from many stitchers who do the backstitch as they go along to cut down on how much they have to do at the end, usually because they hate backstitch. I don't hate backstitch because I love how it makes a design look. But I figured I'd give the "do it as I go along" thing a try and see if I like it and if it works well. I'm a bit worried that as I move the hoop around the backstitch will become warped, or break (its only one strand), but so far it looks good!

This is a picture of a completed Mirabilia design called "Crescent Dreams". It is one of the discontinued "Little Stitches" line of charts. This is the design Stephanie (my sister-in-law) chose to be a birth sampler for Bridgette (my niece). It said that it had a conversion for pink for a girl, but there isn't a full conversion. Instead the blanket is a purplish blue with pink dots in it for a girl, or purplish blue with blue dots for a boy. So I had to play with different pinks to try to find 5 shades that worked well together to make the entire blanket and hat pink.

The above picture is of my test stitching using the first selection of pinks that Stephanie and I chose. I did not like them as the color variations were too stark from one another, rather than blending naturally from one color to the next, there was a sharp contrast involved. So we chose not to use those colors. (I needed 5 shades of pink from very dark, to very light)

This was the second set of pinks we tried. As with the first set I did some test stitching on plain white jobelen 28ct to see how it would look and whether the colors worked well together. These did, and both Stephanie and I liked how they looked, so these were the colors we chose to go ahead with.

Now that we had the pinks chosen (and pinks that worked well together I think) I went ahead and started the project on the hand dyed fabric I had purchased for it. This is being stitched on "Rock A Bye" 28ct Jobelen from Silkweaver's Fabrics. This picture is a little dark, but it still shows how well the pinks blend together and work together. I am so very happy with how this is looking! This is my progress as of May 25, 2009. I hope to make more progress today as I have not done my stitching yet today.

Last week was not a good one for me. For some reason at 4AM on Wednesday morning I woke up in extreme pain to find myself laying on my stomach. Apparently I had rolled onto my stomach while I was sleeping and slept that way for a while. I do not know for how long, but I do know that sleeping on my stomach is a very bad thing for me. I woke up because I was in extreme pain and I had symptoms in the right side SI joint, which is unusual for me, at least to have that much pain in the right joint. I usually have that kind of severe pain only on the left, though the right has started to have some pain at the top of the joint when I stand on my feet (cooking dinner or something like that). Now I have sciatica on both sides and in both legs, both joints are popping/snapping and sending sharp shooting pains out, both joints are hurting all the time though the left is still more severe than the right. Anyway, because of the sleeping on my belly thing I ended up spending the end of last week and most of the weekend in bed trying to get the pain under control.

This really scares me. The doctors have told me for years that the right side is not healthy either and that eventually it will cause me as much trouble as my left. When I had the second fusion attempt on the left side I was told that I would probably need a wheelchair within 5 years because the right side was getting progressively worse. Well it has been 10 years since the second attempted fusion, so I got more than 5 years which I guess is a good thing, but the continued symptoms in the right joint still scare me. When the left side hurts a lot, I lay down on my right side and take the pressure off the left. Now when I do that, the right side starts to hurt worse. If I sit up, both sides hurt from the pressure of sitting on my bottom. If I lay on my back both legs get severe sciatica symptoms (numbness, tingling, shooting pains, muscle spasms etc), and well laying on my stomach is just out of the question. So now I am scared that if these newer symptoms on the right are permanent, how the heck am I supposed to ease my pain? Get hung up by my ankles from the ceiling or something?

Dealing with my pain the way it is usually is bad enough. Some days are just horrible and I always hurt extremely badly during my periods. I just don't know if I could handle having that same level of pain on both sides of my pelvis, I really don't think I could.

Sorry about ranting about my back, I just needed to get it out. Here's hoping I will have another update on stitching tomorrow, when I finish my stitching for today.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Update on Teresa Wentzler's Wedding Sampler

This is what the Wedding Sampler looks like when I finished stitching on it today May 17, 2009. I did a lot more than I thought. The second ribbon and all the green between second and third ribbons. Which means I got the green confetti stitching in faster than the first bit, I guess that means my Pako Needle Organizer does help!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

First Finish of 2009 for Regular Size Design

I am so happy, I have finished Blackwork Winter by Tam's Creations and I think it came out great! I finished it tonight, May 7, 2009 at about 9:23pm central time. Here is a pic of the completed peice.

Yesterday my neice helped me put in a few stitches. They were a bit messy but I chose to leave them in and add her initals as a "stitcher" of this piece. I figured she might like that when she gets older. Here is a closeup of the center panel snowman, with our initials and the year put into it.

I got a really cute picture of my neice earlier tonight. She had a pretty clip on bow in her hair and sort of looked like Pebbles from The Flintstones, so we just had to get a pic. She is so adorable, so here is a picture of my very cute neice to make you all smile! (Her mother, Stephanie is holding her, and my DD Sam is in the background to the left.)

I am so excited to finally have my first regular size chart finish for the year 2009! I have been battling a depression all year so far, and it seems to finally be lifting. Having the new LazyBoy recliner has helped me a lot more than I thought it ever could. Having a comfortable place to stitch, and be able to stitch for hours and hours without extreme pain, has really energized me again. I have missed stitching so very much, but figured I would just have to live with it, as no matter how I arranged the pillows on my bed, I hurt after just 30 minutes or so of stitching. With this chair, I do not have that problem and can stitch for 2 or 3 hours (or more) at a time, so long as I shift position every 20 minutes or so. I am so happy! Having this stitching corner, and being able to actually stitch has helped with the depression so much! As has having the medication and taking it daily. I am so excited and looking forward to my next project with great excitement!

My DH (Ron), decided that for the anniversary of our 9th year of living together (which is June 21st) that I could buy 9 charts from Heaven and Earth Designs. One for each year. He is not sure why this year's "arrival in Florida" anniversary is such a big deal to him, he just knows that it is. So I went ahead and ordered 9 charts. They arrived today. Here is a picture of my new stash! I hope to be able to start an HAED soon, but I want to get my two Teresa Wentzler UFO's/Wips done before I start such a large project as an HAED. I am so happy that my DH understands now that I get just as much pleasure for collecting (and often looking at, or re-reading magazines) stash as I do from stitching and finishing projects. HAED's are huge, but I am hoping to eventually get all the ones I now own stitched and up on my walls.

Well that's pretty much it for me for today! Happy stitching everyone!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Blackwork Winter Tam's Creations: Update

Well I am done stitching for the day. I was hoping to get this one completed, but ended up having a long conversation with DD, so I put my stitching aside for that. I did get a bit done tonight and am so close to finishing I can taste it! I have that excitement of being so close to finished rushing through me right now and part of me just wants to keep stitching tonight until it is completed, but I can't do that because I have to get up at 6:30AM to get my DS up and off to school. *sigh* So I will just have to finish it tomorrow after my 2 hours on Teresa Wentzler's Wedding Sampler. I am trying to keep my promise of at least 2 hours on that design every day and so far so good. Anyway, here is the progress picture for Blackwork Winter as of May 5, 2009.

I have enjoyed stitching this piece so very much! It is perfect for those times when I hurt too much to concentrate on the TW design. It is perfect for taking with me to appointments and such. It is easy to pack up and take with me if go somewhere for a weekend. I am going to miss it! It's ok though, after I finish the birth sampler for my niece I can either do the wedding sampler for me and DH, or start another Tam's Creations Blackwork as I have a few of her charts in my stash.

Well that's it for me today, see you all later!

My Stitching Corner, and Progress on WIP

Here is my Teresa Wentzler Wedding Sampler progress as of May 5, 2009. I got the entire upper left block completed. Lots of confetti stitching. I wanted to get it done so I could put in the satin stitches around it. I wanted to see if I could do them as well as I did the ones in the shell shapes at the top of the column. I think I did pretty darn good and I just love the effect.

This is a close-up of the upper left corner of the Wedding Sampler by Teresa Wentzler. I just love how the rayon floss looks in the satin stitch border and I am so very pleased with the result of the confetti stitching and the satin stitches. I am very proud of myself for doing it so well.

Ohhh I am such a happy happy stitcher now! My DH bought me a LaZboy recliner. He was hoping it would be more comfortable for me to sit in when watching TV or stitching. So he set it up in the living room. For now I am using the daylight table lamp off my computer desk, but will be ordering a daylight floor standing lamp to put behind the chair to the left (so I don't stitch into my own shadow). When we got it home I was hurting pretty good from all the getting up and down trying out different chairs as well as the laying on different beds to check out mattresses at the store. I tried a Tempurpedic mattress and found that it actually hurts my pelvis. I was thinking of waiting to try the chair until the next day when I wouldn't be hurting as much, then I realized we had bought it to help me with my pain, and I remember how quickly my body relaxed when I sat in it. So I went ahead and got my Blackwork Winter from Tam's Creations and sat down to stitch. IT WAS WONDERFUL! I managed to stitch for 4 hours and when I was done I couldn't believe I had sat that long. Better yet, when I got up, my pain had actually gone DOWN while I stitched in that chair. I am so very happy with it!

DH set it up in a corner of the living room, in front of the large windows we have. He also bought me a metal music stand because I wanted something to hold my charts that would be able to hold charts that are inside hard cover books (such as the Christmas books put out every year, as well as collection books of a specific designer). We set the music stand up next to the chair on the left and moved one of the end tables to the right of the chair. This made me my own stitching corner which can be seen in the picture above.

This is a picture of the music stand I am using. I love it because the magnets stick directly to it, which makes it easier for me to use 1 magnet as a needle minder. It also holds my heaviest stitching books without any problem. The little lip on it is great for holding my scissors, thread heaven, a high lighter and other small things I use while stitching. Because of my niece I have to find a better place to put my floss box as I found out today that she will not leave it alone if it is on the end table to the right of my chair. For now, I put a small cardboard box to the left of my chair (Beside the music stand) and put the floss box on it and that seems to work just fine.

I plan on emptying out the top two shelves of the large book shelf to the right of my chair. I will place my floss boxes on those shelves, as well as my WIPs and probably some of my chart books, or magazines.

I have long admired the stitching corners or rooms of other stitchers and crafters and have wanted one of my own. If I had known just how comfortable a recliner would make me and my stitching, I would have bought one years ago! No problem though as I have one now and it is a great help.

It is now 7:48PM central time and I paused in my stitching to post this blog. I've been stitching literally all day. I started at about 8AM this morning and just kept going. I wanted to complete the upper left hand block on the sampler, which I did. I am now working on Blackwork Winter which only has the lower right hand corner left (last page). I hope to finish it tonight. Anyway, if I were to sit in bed for that long and stitch, my back would be hurting like hell from the bending forward to read the chart. With this new stitching corner set up my back does NOT hurt from stitching! I am ecstatic about it! (Because the chair is a large one, I can easily shift positions every 20 minutes or so like I am supposed to.) This means I can stitch as often as I wish and for as long as I wish without hurting myself. This just feels marvelous!! *Happy cyber dance*

A little while ago we gave Bridgette, my 20 month old niece, a coloring book and washable markers. I of course had to take pictures of the first time she colored with markers! She really enjoyed it! Isn't she adorable?
Well I'll post again tomorrow when I will hopefully (*fingers, toes and all stitches crossed*) be doing a happy dance for completing the stitching on Blackwork Winter. Bridgette helped me with a few stitches on it, but the picture of us stitching together did not come out. I hope to get one tomorrow as she enjoyed it and so did I. The stitches came out a little crooked, but I refuse to remove them as they are the first stitches my niece has ever done! I hope when she gets older that she will be interested in learning to stitch so I can teach her how.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Stitching Chair/Corner

My DH insisted on buying me a LaZBoy recliner today, in the hopes that it would be comfortable for me to sit and relax in, as well as to stitch in. I went with him to the furniture store and picked one out. It is positively wonderful! As soon as I sat in it, my entire body just relaxed completely and I did not want to get out of the chair LOL So we bought it.

It is now set up in my living room, with a music stand to hold my chart. I chose a music stand because it is sturdy enough to hold a chart that is part of a hard cover book, whereas I was worried that the light wood stitching frames with chart holders would not be able to hold a hard cover book.

We moved my desktop day light lamp so that it sits to the left of my new chair. I spent somewhere around 4 hours today stitching in that chair while watching a movie and I did NOT hurt from it. I actually hurt less! I was absolutely wonderful! So I now have a stitching corner and I am so excited!!

Sadly my digital camera's only memory card has died. Took it long enough! So tomorrow I will have to buy a new digital camera, or a new card for the one I have. Considering how old my camera is (8 years), it is probably time for a new camera, one with more meapixels to make my pictures have more detail. So I will be hitting the store tomorrow on the great hunt for a camera!

I finished the first and second rows (closest to center) of Blackwork Winter by Tam's Creations, so all I have left is the outermost row that has snowflakes and poinsettias and swiss cake yule lgs as well. I am getting so exited because I am so close to finishing. Because my camera is messed up I can't get a picture. Hopefully tomorrow I will get a new camera and get some pictures up for you guys!

Thanks , enjoy!