Sunday, March 21, 2010

I think that it's time that I updated this poor neglected blog,
don't you??? Time just has a habit of flying by and
before you (I) know it it's been three weeks since the last
update and people are deleting you (me) from their blog
lists, which isn't good.

First on my list of things to write about is progress on
Winter Wind. I'm happy to report (and show) that I've
finished another section of the design and have just
one more section to stitch which is the header.

I chose to stitch the square that the designer had used
in the centre of the design instead of choosing one of
the other four designs on the back of the chart. This
one is my favorite of the five and I am very pleased with
how it's turned out.

I'll confess to having the "mid-project blues" for a few
weeks and during that time my stitching was half hearted
and sporadic on this piece. But I wasn't about to start
another project and leave this one unfinished and
abandoned, possibly to turn into a UFO. I want to see
this one finished. Now that I'm so close to a finish
(relatively speaking) I've gotten something of my mojo
for it back and am eager to get going on the final bit.

Pictures can be clicked on to get a closer look.

Stash enhancement!! These arrived from Mary Kathryn
a few weeks ago and I'm tickled with them all. Of course.

Along with everyone else I kept an eager eye on the build
up to Nashville, and the releases from that weekend. I
have been through the listings on many on line stores
and have picked out the ones that appealed to me the most.

This design was first brought to my attention by Mary
Kathryn and as soon as I saw it I was mesmerized!!
It's Rose Quaker by Stickideen von der Wiehenburg
and I have to tell you that I have been dreaming about
this beauty every since first laying eyes on it. Then I
saw on Mary Kathryn's blog that she'd begun stitching
it and it truly is gorgeous!!!! I haven't ordered it yet
because funds are tight this month and this is not an
inexpensive chart, but it'll be ordered soon and I am
so looking forward to stitching it.

Which leads me to a question that I'd like to put out
there for anyone who'd care to advise me.

I'd like to try stitching on 40 count fabric. Don't know
if my eyes (even with my magnifier) will allow it, but
I'd like to try. Usually I stitch on even weave fabrics
such as Lugana or Jobelan. I'd like to hear from any
of you who stitch on 40 count fabric for advice on
what is the best fabric to use for this and any other
advice that you think that I should know.

I would order a small piece of whatever fabric in this
count is best and try a small project on it first and if
it is doable then I would try stitching Rose Quaker on
it. Maybe. We'll see.

I've also seen designs by La D Da and Brittercup Designs
that I have added to my list of "must haves". Hopefully
I can place an order in April.

Then there's this little gem. Need I say more???


Last weekend I got my dear, long suffering hubby
to drive me to Michael's on the pretext that I
needed a skein of DMC 3371 to finish Winter
Wind off with. The night before we went I thought
that I'd better go through my DMC spares and
doubles pile to check and see what I did have in
there just in case I already had that color. And I
did!! Rats!! No reason to go to Micheal's then,
right?? Oh but then I realized that I was awfully
low on DMC #3777. I would have enough of it
to finish Winter Wind, but what if I needed it for
another project in the future??? I'd be caught short!!
The horror!!!

Excuse intact the trip to Michael's happily remained
on the weekend agenda. I got a handful of DMC
threads to add to the spares and doubles pile and
got to browse through the store for a bit as well.

When we got home I decided that I needed to sort
through my S&D pile and perhaps work on winding
some of those threads on bobbins and putting them
in my S&D box, which would make it easier to keep
track of what I had.

I then decided, after a day of winding thread on bobbins,
and putting them in my S&D box, that it's an excellent
way of encouraging meditation. No need to chant mantras,
light tapers, burn incense or do whatever else it is one does to
enter into a meditative state. Just wind skeins of DMC thread
onto bobbins. Over and over again. Skein after skein.

Not only is it relaxing, but it takes piles of floss
that have been tossed willy nilly into a basket
like those above.

Sorts them into color groupings.

And then places them neatly, numerically into my
floss box, where they encourage productivity and
creativity without frustration and chaos.

I still have quite a bit of work ... sorry ....
meditating ahead of me, but that box will be full
before you know it.


I have had to spend some quality time at the dentist
in the past week getting a couple of fillings done. You
should know that I don't handle dentists visits very well.
So two weeks ago when I was dreading the appointment
that lay ahead of me that day it was almost impossible
to keep my mind focused on my work, and my nerves
became more and more frayed as the time grew nearer.
I shook and I shivered (mostly on the inside, but not all)
and forced each step of the trip to my dreaded destiny of
dental doom. Only to discover that my appointment
was for the following week!!!

A week later, on the actual real day of the appointment, I was
a bit less freaked out then I'd been the week before, probably
because I'd worked some of it out dreading the bogus
appointment. The dentist knows how nervous I get and
was very kind and accommodating during the procedure.
It was done in no time at all, with minimal fuss and bother.

This Wednesday I'm going to another Dental appointment.
This time it will be for a root canal. The specialist will give
me something to relax me and make the procedure more
bearable, both for me and for him. Wish me luck!!
Wish him luck too. He'll need it!!

A few book reviews to write here. The first being the
biography of Beatrix Potter that I'd picked up at the
used book store about a month ago. It took me three
weeks to read this tome, which is about par for the
course for me when it comes to biographies. I don't
sail through them as easily as I do fiction.

What a fascinating woman Ms Potter was!! Her
artist's skills are obvious and well documented, but
her knowledge and her work in the fields of sheep
breeding and in the studying of the natural world in
general and in particular the studying and painting
of fungi and small animals are impressive and
extensive and her observations and her theories
are still viable and in use today.

She was a passionate proponent of the conservation
of the farms, villages and wilderness areas of the
Lake District and used the money's earned from her
books to buy up large sections of the area to save
them from being lost to development and exploitation.
Upon her death most of her property was left to the
National Trust.

But Beatrix was also a dutiful Victorian daughter who
was expected, by society and by her parents, to dedicate
her adult life to the care and well being of her father and
mother to the exclusion of any kind of a life of her own.
That she somehow managed to look after her difficult
and demanding parents while still pursuing her own
dreams and interests is a testament to her strength of
character and her determination to live a useful life.

This is a well written and very well researched book
that brings Beatrix Potter to life in it's pages and
reveals the complex, strong and determined woman
who was a talented artist and writer of children's
books, a scholar, a naturalist and a conservationist.

There are seven House of Night books out now, and
number eight is due out sometime this month I
think. I've enjoyed all the books in this young adult
paranormal series and recommend them highly.
Quick reads too. I'd suggest reading them in order
though since the story continues through each book
and a lot has happened to make up the back story
building to the newest installment of the series.

Phil was taking a nap on Sunday and Rupert, his
constant shadow, soon joined him on the bed,
bringing along a small token of his affection to give
to Phil. The little brightly colored "crinkle" ball
there is one of four that Rupert "gives" to us whenever
he wants to let us know that he's missing us, or
wants to be made a fuss of. Often when Phil comes
out of the bathroom after his shower Rupert will
have brought a couple of those fuzzy, colorful balls
right to the door for him, and Rupert will be
waiting right next to them for his buddy. So funny,
and so sweet.

Spring like weather arrived here a few weeks ago,
and we reveled in it let me tell you!!! Temperatures
in the double digits soon got rid of the last of our
snow (good riddance!!) and now the crocuses
and the daffodils are coming up. The robins are
back in town, but the gold finches are still wearing
their drab, olive green feathers. The chipmunks
are running around in the garden and the red winged
black birds are making pigs of themselves at our
bird feeders.

The warmer weather has meant longer walks out
doors for me and I'm finally getting the opportunity
to break in the new pair of running shoes that
Darlene gave me last Christmas. No more ice patches
or deep puddles to worry about thus no need for boots.
I jump over the muddy bits.

Mind you, the nicest weather was during the
weekdays, while gloomy gray rainy weather was
reserved for the weekends which was annoying,
but what can you do?? This week is going to be
cooler again with more seasonable temperatures
and you can pretty much bet that there will be at
least one more snow storm before mid April
since that always happens every year.

I guess that's about all from me for the moment.
Thank you everyone who left such nice comments
about me reaching Lifetime at Weight Watchers.
The support that I've received from everyone in
the past year has really helped me to achieve my
weight loss goals and kept my spirits up.

Take care! Cheers!