Friday, December 27, 2013

Out with the old...And in with the old

It has been so hectic, crazy, overwhelming, and painful here that I have been very anti-stitching and anti-
posting.  I had my gallbladder out the week before Thanksgiving.  I traveled across Colorado for the
holidays to be with my family.  I did a lot of resting.  It took another week before I felt even halfway human.
I didn't really feel like I was me again til at least 3 weeks later.  A week before Christmas, I woke up feeling l
like my neck had a huge knot in it.  The pain kept getting worse no matter what I tried.  Then Christmas Eve I had shooting pains down my left arm all the way to my pinkie. Had a wonderful Christmas with Hubby's family.  Then, I broke down and went to the doctor the day after.  Right now we are calling it a neck strain.  I am taking a round of steroids and doing some ROM exercises.  Hoping this takes care of the pain.  If not it is off for imaging and to see what is going on in my neck.  This is kinda how my back started and then was a long road of not doing surgery and lots of pain management.  Kinda scared to start this process all over again.  So I am trying to be optimistic, but keeping possible reality in the back of my mind.  All this right before the New Year that I was hoping was going to be filled with more ups than downs.

I can finally show you "The Quilter" I completed at the beginning of the year!

My MIL loves it and as you can tell it is already on display on her couch.  I totally missed her opening it, but hubby said she just lit up.  That is all I hope for when giving gifts.  My SIL liked Petunia as well.

I have updated my Finishes page with all my completions for the year.  Hoping for more next year.

Healthy Stitching!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Run over by a Semi

October 26th started it all.  That morning I woke up with a muscle twinge.  That night I was in the ER for what we thought was appendicitis.  I was released cause they couldn't figure out what was going on.  Went to my primary on Monday and she thought gallbladder and sent me for a HIDA scan.  That determines the functionality of the gallbladder.  That took a week to get into and another week for results.  That came back normal so she sent me to a GI doc.  He said surgery Wednesday?  I said sure.  It can't be as bad as a spinal fusion, right?  And he uses the robot so just 1 incision.  I am looking for pain and nausea relief at this point.

I am pretty sure I didn't have surgery.  They just knocked me out and ran me over.  That's my story and I am sticking to it.  LOL

The day after the surgery is always the worst.  I know this, but it was worse than I thought. I think today is better but barely.  Praying this weekend really shows improvement.

"Blackstone Fantasy"
Progress 11/22/13
I had to frog some of the brown outline but it wasn't too bad.  Best tip ever - do all the green outline first.  It helps with getting the rest of everything in the right place.  Just a little bit more of that and then onto the brown outline.

Been too loopy to work on it or in too much pain or too tired.  Hoping that next week might see me better enough to stitch just a little.

Now it is time for me to finish up all my Christmas cards and goodies to get sent out for all my groups.  I have 2 Secret Santa's to finish up. Then to finish shopping and start wrapping. I love the holidays coming up!

Healthy Stitching!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Can't Stop Believing

That's right, I am done!  It has been nearly 3 weeks of pain, pain meds making me loopy and tired, and lots of doctors saying they do not know what is going on.  But when I could I stitched and got the body of "Savannah Birth Sampler" done.  Now I am just waiting on a baby to finish the last bit.

This is my version - lots and lots of purple.
Savannah Birth Record
Progress 11/6/2013

And this is the original.

And a close up
Savannah Birth Record

So happy that I got it done before the birth of the baby.  I have to go find a mat and a frame. I actually feel a little bereft.  I have been so involved in getting this done.  It was all I could think about.  I put "Blackstone Fantasy Garden" back on the scroll rods but haven't done more than look at it. Need to get my mojo going again.  Maybe I can get it finished before we buy a house.

Blackstone Fantasy Garden

Towards that end...look what I found at Joann's on Saturday for really cheap.

Yup, the Ottlite I have been looking at for awhile now.  I just couldn't justify the price.  This is the model that usually sells for over $200.  They had it on sale for $99 and then I had a coupon for 25% off, including sale items.  Hubby said go for it, so I did.

Then I moved my stitching corner to the downstairs and made the kids clean up their toys.

New Ottlite in it's new home

New Stitching corner

Too bad I don't have a view anymore.  We think that this may help with our current living situation.  We can only hope. Now to get the mojo flowing so I can settle in and make the magic happen.

For hubby's birthday I bought the whole family ice side seats for our favorite college hockey team, the CC Tigers.  They were playing their big rivals DU.  We had pucks flying at us, big hits right in front of us, and a stupid ref who would always get in the way.  But seeing my family have so much fun was more a treat for me than even the game.

CC Tiger Hockey Game
Off to another doctor's appointment.  Hopefully this one will know what I have going on.

Healthy Stitching!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How Tall is a Giraffe?

It is snowing in Colorado!
Pikes Peak
I am so happy about it.  Except for picking the kids up from school.  So with the cooler weather I am hoping to stitch more as I do not like to be outside all that much.  Love the look not the reality I guess.  LOL

I need to stay away from Etsy.  Found these needleminders from a seller in the UK.  I kept coming back to them but kept shying away from the possible cost.  In the end I got 2 from the UK where I could only have gotten 1 from the US.  So I may just keep buying from overseas if I keep getting deals like that!

It even looks pretty on my current fabric.  I am able to keep a couple threads going for the multiple leaf colors in this last square.  I would never have been able to do that before.  I wish someone would have told me about these earlier!

On to my current progress. I did exactly what I wanted to do.  Got the ears done and then the outside square.  I have made pretty decent progress on the giraffe.  I made the most color changes on him and really have to keep my eye on the chart and then think about all the changes.  So lots slower going this week.  But I think it will look amazing when I am done.  The close up is a little bluer than real life.  Not sure why I can't seem to get a true life camera on the pics.
Progress 10/14/2013

Progress 10/14/2013
So the great idea of using my old hair clips to hold the chart was brilliant but also not. When I shifted the chart from the left to the right I could still see where the clip had been. The back needs a little fabric between the actual clip and the stitching fabric.  Ooops, but I can't see them now.  I was freaking out for a little bit.  Right now I have been clipping the chart to the wooden spacer and it has been working out.

Healthy Stitching!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Is That a Heffalump I See?

Ever more computer issues left me with no dropbox and no way to update with pictures. Finally got that fixed last night.  Hopefully the last time I will have to deal with installing that.

"Savannah Baby Sampler"
Progress 10/6/2013
I was unable to post progress shots so I gave you one that I did last week up until Monday morning and as of right now.

"Savannah Baby Sampler"
Progress 10/8/2013
This is the first major color change for one of the animals.  The camera on my phone is making everything a little pinker today.  I am hoping to get the elephant to pop more with the back stitching color.  Will have to choose that carefully. This is DMC 3042 and matches the bedding set perfectly.  The crazy part is that the ears are orange.  So definitely something different.  But I am all for making this gift match.  I am hoping to have the elephant's ears done tomorrow so I can finish stitching the long stretches that make up the box outline.  By this weekend I should hopefully be onto the giraffe, the next major color change part of this project.  It is looking like I am going to finish this on time if not early. There will be a big sigh of relief here once I do.  Then I can move onto finishing  my homecoming present for myself.

I received my exchange ornie from Carola and I absolutely love it!  I saw this pattern while searching for a pattern for her and thought it would fit right in at my house.  And look what came to live with me.  The fabric is so soft, I can't not touch it.  The card was so pretty too. Thank you so much!  I am really loving taking part in these exchanges!

ILCS 2013 Halloween/Fall Exchange
from Carola

ILCS 2013 Halloween/Fall Exchange
from Carola
On the home front, Hubby has a clean bill of health.  Just leftover reaction from the Cipro still hanging around.  My son seems to be getting relief with the allergy shots.  Hopefully at the next appointment we can either stop the use of some of the medicine or frequency of the shots.  Time will only tell.

We finally had some cooler weather around here and I am loving it.  My daughter not so much.  She has always hated the cold unless there was snow involved.  This winter should be fun, huh?

It is looking like we are going to try to be preapproved for a home loan in December, and then I can start house hunting.  I am really looking forward to December!

Healthy Stitching!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Just Lion around

I can finally show off my Halloween/Fall exchange!  I had a blast getting this ready.  I learned a lot getting this put together.  Thanx so much InkkFreakk for all the help and ideas.

ILCS 2013 Halloween/Fall Exchange
"Double Trouble"
28ct. Monaco over 2
Cross stitch, beads, Krienik, buttons, and wire

ILCS 2013 Halloween/Fall Exchange
Enjoy Sharon!

I have also made pretty decent progress on my birth sampler.  Had a root canal Friday and was pretty out of it most of the weekend.  But here ya go...

"Savannah Birth Sampler"
Progress 9/29/2013
As you can see from my last post I had to do more frogging.  The box the monkey's feet are in was the dark color of the box around the lion.  Switched that out and got the longggg lines fully stitched.  Felt like I spent most of my time on that.  Been liking having a non purple color to stitch and a new shape.

Now my worry is that the original color I picked out to do the lettering for baby's info is not going to work.  The color of the 2 middle boxes is what I was also going to do the lettering in.  Now I don't think it will show well.  Hubby says to go lighter, I was thinking darker.  Maybe the dark purple around the lion?  Hubby thought a super light almost whitish color.  I have no idea but am hoping to have one once I get there.  Ideas are appreciated and will be tried so have at it in the comments.  The boxes around the monkey and lion are DMC 3835 and 3836.  The boxes around the future lettering are DMC 544.  Blow my mind, guys.

I don't remember which group I saw this in but my old hair clips make amazing chart holders!  My chart now never moves.  I can't believe I never thought of this before.

Brilliant!  Hopefully somebody else will think this is a new discovery.  But those who know me are well aware of my childish glee with discoveries in the world around me.

Healthy Stitching!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Frogs have come and gone

Last week I was excited because I had made such good progress.  Then I am putting on the final touches for that box and come to find out I am one stitch off.  I could have hidden it and that was my first thought.  It would have thrown the next box off and by then the work I would have to do equaled the work I had to frogging.  As you can see, it looks like a big step back.

"Savannah Birth Sampler"
after frogging
 But I was able to stitch most of the day Tuesday and get it all redone, redo the leaves, and get the sun added.  Then I figured out I had messed up the color symbols and stitched the middle box for the name in the wrong purple.  Wednesday was spent pulling all the dark purple out.  Not having to count I got it all restitched rather quickly.  I am hoping that is the end of the frogs and they just disappeared into the ether.

"Savannah Birth Sampler"
Progress 9/23/2013

"Savannah Birth Sampler"
Progress 9/23/2013
I am finally able to pick it up again today and am starting the lion that goes underneath the monkey.  Here's to hoping I can count and the color changes I made are correct the first time around.  This is stitching up pretty fast if I could stop making mistakes.

I finished up my Halloween/Fall ornament exchange for one of my groups.  I can't wait to show you all what I made but she hasn't received it yet.  Next week you can see it.  At least now I can focus all my time on the sampler.

In my non stitching world, well I wish I could say it has been as easy as the sampler.  Unfortunately, I can't.  But I am doing what I can to get stitching.  I have a finished stitch that I am trying to turn into a pillow for Christmas.  I have to work on that either Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday since the gift receiver works and is out of the house.  Unfortunately, I have places I need to be too.  Also need to finish a scrapbook calendar.  Am having a ton of fun making it and wishing I could work on my baby books.

We are also trying to schedule some time to go look at new home models and find out if that is a possibility for us.  We might even look into buying a pre owned home before next year.  With some of the changes in mortgage loans starting in January I am thinking we might want to buy earlier than we originally thought.  That would help save some of my sanity as well.

Well, I am off to get some more stitching done while watching some of this season's new shows.  And here real soon I will have the house to myself.

Oooohhhhh goody, my third attempt at a new working computer just got delivered.

Healthy stitching!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Still monkeying Around

Spent most of last week working on the birth sampler and planning my Halloween Exchange.  So here is last week's progress on the monkey.

Progress 9/15/13

I had asked my MIL to order me these copper compression gloves awhile ago.  Everyone in my husbands family has some sort of joint issue or surgery.  She has bought them all a sleeve from this company and one swears by them.  I was really excited to get them last week and of course I tried them right away.  The compression really seemed to help, but not sure about the copper.  Now they are getting loose and no noticeable relief.  I might try washing them, who knows.  I may just have my MIL return them.  I found an actual compression set of gloves really highly rated on Amazon and I am going to try those out.  I am hoping that those give me some relief.  I will keep you updated.

My hubby somehow broke my wireless something or other on my laptop while trying to upgrade my memory.  So we had to quickly decide what the replacement would be.  We went to dreaded Best Buy and found something I really wanted.  I just was not sure if I wanted to have that in this house or wait til we move.  I decided on a laptop to make it through the interim.  Then homeowners insurance came back with a replacement cost number.  So we made the choice to go with the Dell XPS 18, the one I wanted for the new house so I have the ability to stay in one spot or move throughout the house.  It made more sense money wise and component wise.  Hubby went thru work to get a discount with Dell along with our long term customer discount.  The first one arrived Thursday and had some issues.  I paid way too much for it to have issues and argued Dell into getting me another one, without issues, ASAP.  So my new toy arrived Monday morning and by that evening hubby had it ready to work for me.  So now I can stitch in my nest and keep up with everything, or try at least.

My son has had allergies since he was 4.  We were hoping they would go away when we moved to Colorado.  Unfortunately that was not the case and we were referred to an allergist.  We finally had the appointment Friday.  They wanted to test him because our doctors have been so thorough in trying every medicine known to man without relief.  A normal assay minus food and add in horse and barn allergens.  As you can see, after less than 30 minutes, my baby is allergic to the world in general.  Cat, dog, trees, grasses, pollen, horse, and grains.  So, we switched up some of the medications and we are waiting to hear back from them when they have finished mixing up his personal allergy shots.  One in each arm twice a week for about three months before we reevaluate.  Did I mention he hates shots and screams the office down usually?  Yeah, so that should be fun.

Hubby is finally in to see a rheumatologist today, so here's to hoping we will finally have some answers today.  More than likely he will just be given bloodwork orders, but a girl can hope right?

Off to pick up my kiddos and stitch into the night.

Healthy stitching!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monkey Business

"Savannah Birth Sampler" Progress 9/8/13

I was hoping to have the monkey all done by now.  I had to give up last night due to back spasms.  Frustrating!  But I only have 4 or 5 rows left to finish the mouth area, 2 eyes, and a nose.  I backstitch all at the end so none of that right now.  I will then move on to finishing the leaves, sun and box and the top right corner will be done.  It is shaping up to be a pretty busy week so I really am hoping to get at least that done.

I am also starting a Halloween ornie for an exchange and it has been making my brain hurt.  I think i will run by Hobby Lobby and take a look at their packages of linen.  My brain won't hurt and I can actually get a stitch in it.  hopefully I can unbury my sewing machine soon.

That's about all for this update....

Healthy Stitching!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Making it Better

I had been working on "Horse Pals" to give myself a break on "Blackstone" when a stitching group I am a part of started a biscornu exchange.  I was really looking forward to learning how to stitch one and put it together.  It took me nearly the entire 6 weeks given for the exchange to get it done.  I want to show it off so badly but I have to wait until it reaches it's new home.  Something to look forward to.

This spring I learned I was going to be an Aunt for the first time.  I always thought I would be so excited. Instead I was in such a dark place myself that all I could feel was jealousy and anger.  I hope I succeeded in keeping it to myself because deep down I knew I should be happy for her and was really looking forward to meeting this baby.  I just had no idea how I was going to get through her pregnancy.  Luckily, I changed my medications and was able to talk through most of my negativity  with my husband and now my therapist.  I ordered baby gear to be made for her by a friend of mine since I have no sewing area myself.  I waited until they found out they were having a girl and picked out a nursery theme.  I then found Savannah Birth Record by Dimensions.  It had her jungle theme and seemed easy to change colors on.

It has been.  I had a harder time than normal picking out the perfect fabric, but Deb at Stitches 'N Things helped so much.  Then I got to take all my purple thread and head to Babies 'R Us to try and match as closely as possible her nursery bedding.  I took "Blackstone" off it's scroll frame, put my beautiful lilac 28 ct linen on, did a floss toss just to double check that it all looked right, took a picture for all of you to see, and started stitching.  And it has been stitching up beautifully.  It has also made me feel less affronted and more like an Aunt.  I may never again be able to have a baby of my own but I can love and spoil my niece to death and hand her back to mommy.

It always amazes me what making x's on fabric can do for body, mind, and soul.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Long Time No Write

It has been forever it feels like since I wanted to type out a post.  At first I just wanted to stitch, then I wanted to rotate patterns, and then I barely even wanted to stitch, and then I took 2 weeks off.  I was getting so frustrated with all the pieces in my rotation.  I was frogging and cussing much more than anybody should doing something they love. So I listened to my stitchy group and took a vacation. 

Then, just when the itch was coming back, my group started a biscornu exchange.  I had a lot of fun picking a pattern.  That took about a week, then fabric and thread, and I was ready to rock.  Had some setbacks, but I can't talk about those just yet.  In September I can.

So how about some updates?

"Horse Pals"  7/29/13

"Blackstone Fantasy Garden"  7/29/13
 There is not enough progress to even photograph on "Faith".  The one project I really need to get done and it is the one really driving me to the hills.

I have also still been working with my daughter on her first cross stitch.  This is what she has done so far.

Slow going but she is starting to remember all the steps between times we stitch now.  I am really proud of her.  This project is really testing my need to control and do everything.  I have to sit on my hands a lot.

So all I am stitching on is my biscornu.  Hoping to get it all stitched fairly quickly so I have plenty of time to figure out how to put it together.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Really in the Groove Now!

In so many more ways than one.  We have our daily school routine down, we have our days off mostly figured out, and "Blackstone" is really coming along.

Now, why do things have to change?  Kiddos are both done with school and I am desperately searching out things for them to do without breaking the bank.  Stuff to do with them and grandparents but not daddy during the week, but keeping them ready for the weekend and not exhausted.

I have a few have-to's such as swim lessons.  Then some indoor play centers that have areas geared towards each age group.  We had a really cool new putt putt golf place open and we are surrounded by all kinds of touristy stuff we have yet to make memories at.  I am also looking for a therapeutic riding center for at least my daughter, but my son too to go to all year long.  i have been searching for coupons and liking everything on Facebook to get special deals.  I hate doing that but I hate to pay full price.  LOL

My Mill Hill frame just arrived at my LNS so that excites me.  I am picking it up this weekend along with some notions.  I am heading out to the other side of Colorado for the 4th of July.  I am hoping my parents still have a sewing machine so I can finish a project into a pillow.  That would make 2 Christmas gifts done.  I really need to kick it into gear for that holiday.  I am so far behind what I usually have done.  Sigh

Onto actual stitching.

"Blackstone Fantasy Garden" close-up 05/21/2013

"Blackstone Fantasy Garden" Full View 05/21/2013

I have now rolled that all up so I can start on the bottom half now.  It is moving much faster now that I do the outline first and then go back and fill in.  I am about a quarter of the way done.  I say quarter because all those empty spaces still have blackwork needing to be filled in.  I will get going on that after I finish all of the cross stitching.  I haven't been doing my rotation at all.  So far I have not needed a break, but I can see one coming.  Right now it is my escape so I can keep some sanity.

One of my new favorite pics.  My son "graduated" pre-school today.  He is such a ham!

Healthy Stitching!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Celebrate the Finishes!

I have my 2nd finish of 2013!  This is "Petunia" unframed.

"Petunia" Completed 4/24/2013

"Petunia" close-up

Still waiting for the frame to get to my LNS.  I am so proud of her!  Not sure I will do another beading one although this was very fun.  I really hurt my back being hunched over to do the beading.  Also had a bunch of trouble with threading those itty bitty eye holes.  But I'll take a break and see how I feel after.

Still waiting on my fabric order to get here.  Got an email today letting me know all my fabric is in and they need money.  Tomorrow I will Paypal them.  Then next payday will be getting some fabric from my LNS.  And after that I just figured out I will need to get to my LNS and order specialty threads.  Also some stuff for a spring exchange.

Until then I will get back to "Horse Pals", "Faith", and "Blackstone" for now.

The snow from earlier this week is gone and we have sunshine again.  So far I have not heard the dreaded S word on the weather section so I am hoping we will have nothing but beautiful sunshine for awhile.

Saturday we are celebrating my daughter's 8th birthday.  Pizza dinner followed by cake (if I can get Walmart to do it in a day - Ooops!) and presents.  Her actual birthday is Monday.  She is so excited.  I hope she has a blast.  Now off to plan that blast.

that's all for now...healthy stitching!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Switching It Up

So frustrated with myself.  I miscounted on "Blackstone" and now I need to frog.  Looks like just a little bit so I am happy for small favors.  In the picture it is the left hand side, all the way down.  Ugh.

"Blackstone"  4/16/2013

  But I needed a change and decided to get my butt moving on "Petunia".  It was a tough start last night, but I pushed through it and finished all the crosses.  Started the back stitching and completed that early this afternoon.  Then I jumped into beading.  And I am loving it.  Except for the seriously small eye in the beading needle.  I am almost done with the first set of beads.

"Petunia" 4/17/2013

This might just finish itself rather quickly.  Then I will head over to my LNS and order the frame and ta da!  One Christmas present done.

 I am currently waiting for my fabric order to arrive from Stitches N Things.  Then I will figure out what to put into the rotation next.  Also depends on my mood when picking.

Today was a perfect stitching day.  Snow fell all day with a potential to turn into a blizzard tonight.  We went from small flakes to fat flakes.  It truly felt like a Christmas snow.  Everything was so magical looking and feeling.  The only thing missing was a real fire snapping and popping in the background.  You can't see it very well in the pictures but it was snowing fat flakes when I took them.

View from my stitching nest

The back deck

Otherwise, it seems different day, same stuff happening.  We are way into our schedule and preparing for all the end of school year craziness.  Still no word of anything happening with the Texas house.  I am gonna go nuts soon, I think.  I am so looking forward to house hunting and setting up a house of my own.

But for now I must wait - for a change in season, scenery, and the future.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Settling In

So the weather has just been nuts, huh?  I am looking forward to a Colorado summer and my kiddos are asking the Magic 8 ball for snow.  I am just happy with a little bit of daily sunshine.

We survived a slightly thrown together Easter and family photo shoot last weekend.  I think it is finally sinking in for the kiddos this is permanent.  I am slowly adjusting to having hubby at work again.  He has been home every night for dinner.  It has been a long time since his arrival has been this consistent.  My in-laws and I are slowly getting use to the new day to day.  They have decided to put Torryn into preschool and covering the cost til we can get financially back on our feet.  He is looking forward to next week.  It'll be really good for him.

I have a useable lap stand and have even tried it out.

 My FIL had to make 2 extensions before we got it right.  I am keeping all the "wrong" ones for when I sit in a different place.

  Still trying to figure out how to make it work for me 100%.  It really slows me down and the 2 handed method is showing me my left hand is apparently not connected to my brain?

I also ordered some counting pins on Etsy.  Her shop is here. So light weight and 2 great lengths to choose from.  I ordered late night, it was shipped the next morning.  I even got a coupon for my next visit!

So some action shots.  These are the shorter ones that I have mainly been using.

In this case I am marking where I stitch to and am liking them for that job.  Now these are the longer ones which I originally thought was what I wanted.

They are also super lightweight, but really hard to stitch around.  I have relegated them to marking long lines of stitching.

I am glad that these came up in conversation right before I started stitching over 2 on linen.  The short lengths I have done took a lot of time because of all the recounting I had to do.  Now I count once, mark it, and can happily stitch without worry of too many or not enough stitches.  I didn't get a lot done this last week.  The frogs came for about 3 dogs.  I think I was just too tired, both mentally and emotionally, and every stitch I put in I had to then remove.  But the sun has come out and the frogs seem to be gone for now at least.  Last night I had to roll the fabric down so that I could start a really long stretch of stitching.  That was an adventure all it's own, but I think I got it.

This week at some point I need to run by my LNS to get some things for an exchange and some smaller needles.  I am thinking that might help with how small these holes are.  But onto the progress.

I am stitching with variegated threads from Carrie's.  This is Seaweed.  I am having a bit of trouble with it as I am not sure how to go about making the long stretches of color to look good together.  So far I have been able to stitch with the threads being the same color next to each other.  Now that I am getting to the really long stretches I know that won't work.  Do I just end one color and start up with the color on the next thread that is the closest?  We will have to see how it goes.

Until next week...