Saturday, December 29, 2007

December 29/07

No stitching pictures to show because I have been too busy working, hanging out with family and going out with friends. One of my fantastic customers saw this card while out shopping one day and bought it for me. You know, if I had a loonie ($1 for you non-Canucks) for every time I have heard this, I would be comfortably retired to an island in the Caribbean with the biggest stitching stash in the world!

I hope that everyone is enjoying the holidays and I wish you all the best in 2008.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dec. 19/07

I was away to Toronto last weekend for my aunt's 60th birthday party. The surprise party was held at the Japanese Cultural Centre which was a real treat for me because I know very little about my Japanese side. My uncle took this photo of me there in front of the sign that represents my generation in Canada. I am not sure why it is important to know one's generation, but I know that it is important.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dec. 11/07

Life has been slowly getting back to normal. My mom is recovering from her surgery with no apparent after effects from the post-surgical complications! Thank heavens for small and big mercies! My papers are all handed in and my one and only exam is written so now I can concentrate on relaxing and hanging out when I am not working. Apparently, Christmas is only a few days away, but I have already had my Christmas miracle so everything else is not important to me this year like cards and gifts and decorating.

I did finish a couple of ornaments to give to family when I go to Toronto this weekend for a visit. The snowmen are sitting on the backing fabric that I bought to finish them. It is awesome to spend my evenings again in front of the TV with my stitching and my cat curled up asleep beside me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nov. 27/07

Well, a little bit of stitching did get done on the wreath as I sat at my mom's bedside in the hospital (she came home last night) and as I relaxed and regrouped. Now that I am almost feeling human again, the stitching will have to sit to one side as I scramble to get two papers done for next Monday. They were due this Wednesday and Thursday, but my prof very kindly gave me an extension because of my mom's hospital adventure. Speaking of which, I need to get cracking some more on those papers....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Nov 22/07

Well, very little stitching has been done here of late. My mom had a hysterectomy last week and ended up back in hospital with complications. Her kids have been at her bedside all day, every day as we wait for her to get better. We have counted 12 different doctors at her bedside this week and a lot of amazing nursing staff who have definitely earned their pay looking after her various ailments (and there have been many!). Mom has been an amazing patient to the point where she has been apologizing to the nursing staff because she is making so much work for them because she is so weak at the moment. Oh! It has been a week!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Nov. 15/07

Well, this post is kind of about stitching, but not really. I was being a little philosophical and teary-eyed tonight as I put a few stitches into my wreath piece. Truth be told, I had a little meltdown last weekend. Exhaustion and some life stuff just got the best of me and this past weekend was one of the darkest few days I have had in a long time because I can usually see it coming and prevent myself from falling so far. There are those of you who check this blog who know what a bastard depression is for me and how that demon can engulf me for no apparent reason. As I was stitching tonight, I was thinking about how grateful I am for my family and friends who are always there for me and how they love me unconditionally even if they do not understand how I feel and why I feel that way. I was also thinking about an old friend who I hear from sporadically and he hears from me sporadically, but somehow he knew to pop back onto the scene just when I needed him most. Then, there is the new friend who sent me a lovely message today about how I cheer him up after one of our university classes each week by telling him that everything is going to be okay. Last but not least, there is my family who drag me along behind them or pull me out of my emotional cave when they need to. Mom once said that at the end of days when the world is going to hell, the ones who will stand with you and protect you are your family.

Stitching a piece is kind of like life. There are the first stitches that you put into a piece to get it going. You work away at different bits and then all of the sudden the bits start to take form. Sometimes, you put away the project and neglect it in favour of something else and other times, you are totally dedicated. There are some beautiful, amazing finishes and there are other pieces that rot away at the bottom of the project pile because the mistakes are too unbearable to face. Some threads are blended and others are shiny and specialized and some are just your every day average threads.

I am so thankful for the love of my family and friends, old and new, IRL and online. Thank you.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Nov. 4/07

A few more stitches have gone into my wreath, but nothing worth photographing so instead I am sharing my new-to-me Teresa Wentzler patterns that I have recently bought off Ebay. I am not a big fan of all the dragon stuff, but I love her other designs. I wonder if Betty Ford has a program for cross stitch patterns addictions.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Oct. 29/07

My fingers have started to grow keyboard keys at the ends because I spend so much time typing up stuff for my classes! My head is swirling with tidbits about Southeast Asia, prostitution and pharmacy stuff. It is no wonder that I am looking more dazed and confused than ever!
As you can see, I have managed to put a few stitches into the wreath. Stitching is such a wonderful way to wind down at the end of the day and allow my mind to relax so that the chips fall where they may.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oct 18/07

Last night during my class on global issues, we were discussing the UN Millennium Development Goals which has set that whole train of thought off again for me. The Millennium Goals can be found here. The discussion in class circled around the idea about how many countries will probably not be able to reach these goals because it would mean that they would have to develop their social programs at a rate that has never occurred before historically in many of those countries. Earlier this year, I had asked myself what I can do as an individual to ensure that these goals are met. I still can not fully answer that question, but I am reminded that I had pledged to do something as often as possible to further those goals. Even little actions would be of consequence, in my opinion. So, I would challenge everyone who takes a peak at this blog to take a peak at the MDGs and to take a moment to think about the things that they can do. Some suggestions that I have are to write your government representatives to ask them what your government is doing to ensure the success of this program, donating or volunteering to charities that have women, children or health as one of their cornerstones, become more energy efficient, read about other countries to become more familiar with a place you currently know nothing about, and so on!

So, that stitching thing. Yeah, I do not have much progress to share although most days I do manage to get a stitch or two into the wreath project I am stitching for a Curl for Cancer fundraiser.

If anyone is in the Hampton area this weekend, there is a chili and chowder fundraiser at the Legion on Main Street from 4-7 pm on Saturday. The proceeds are going towards the trip I am planning to El Salvador so that my Rotary club can sponsor a house in El Salvador through Habit for Humanity. Many thanks to the Lions Club for working with us and putting this event on!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Oct 13/07

So, when I was all bright and shiny and walking across the big stage to get my diploma, they did not tell us that there would be days where I would just shake my head and lock the door behind me when I leave the pharmacy. In the past 2 shifts, I have talked to 2 Mounties doing drug investigations (love the uniform, the conversation could be more fun), a man who lost his wife a year ago after 50 or so years of marriage and hearing him say that he feels he has no reason to live, a man who wants to take female hormones so that he can have breasts and dealt with 4 or 5 other conversations where the health issues were of a delicate and serious matter and I did what I could to sort them out. Somehow, what to cook for supper has lost its importance tonight, but it was nice after one conversation when one lady said that she was really hoping that I was working today so that she could ask me the questions she needed answers to.

Oh! I am listening to the national news as I type this and the protest in Saint John against turning UNBSJ into a polytechnic has made the national news. Way to go!

Stitching has been low on the priority list, mostly because I can barely keep my eyes open by the time I get everything else done and think about doing some stitchin!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Oct 9/07

To maintain my sanity, I have been putting a few stitches into the wreath every night as I decompress in front of the television before falling into bed. It is slowly coming to life!

Here is a photo, and a cute one at that, of the two critters who share my house with me. Actually, it is more that they rule the place and I pay the mortgage, but let's not get into that!!! LOL!

Well, back to the grind. I am working on two research papers, one on prostitution and AIDS and the other on Laos. My eyes are getting buggy from staring at computer screens and trying to figure out the whole on-line research system that the university uses.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Oct. 1/07

So, I was faced with a piece of paper tonight that had 3 questions on it. They were (more or less):
1. What do Marxism and Social Darwinism have in common?
2. Describe the left and right spectra of the political system in terms of globalization.
3. Make a case for Universalism or Cultural Relativism and use examples from your own life.

I will never again complain that science exams were hard because at least with multiple choice questions, the correct answer was somewhere in front of me and I just had to reason it out. These friggin' essay papers where a blank page mocks me as I try to assemble something that sounds like a remotely coherent answer to questions like those are HARD! Two hours later, the hand gripping the pen and my brain were numb after scratching out answers that I hope will pass muster.

It did not help that anxiety kept my mind whirling all last night so sleep was elusive. Then, I put in an 8 hour shift at the pharmacy with one 20 minute break to shove my lunch into my face because things were busy all day before rushing in to the university to write the exam. I dreaded hearing the doctor's line ring because they all wanted to ask me questions today about odd stuff since the local docs are all mistaken and fooled into believing that I know lots of neat pharmacy things (actually, I am tickled pink that they all love to call to pick my brain)and I really had to struggle to think.

Well, maybe a hot shower and some stitching will the perfect end to a hectic day.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sept 30/07

I have managed to put a few stitches into the wreath as a way of resetting my brain after reading all kinds of articles on topics like Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma/Myanmar), prostitution and fair trade. University is such an interesting place to be for me because of all the interesting topics and interesting people that I have been meeting. The fun part of being the older student in the class is that I have no fear of speaking up during discussions and I have no fear of chatting up everyone because I am not trying to find my way in life or fit into any cliques. One student told me that she has never felt very comfortable about speaking up in class until this year now that her classes are more of the seminar style instead of the lecture style. I never spoke much in class either the first time around so I can totally relate. Now, after speaking in front of 600 people at the Rotary District Conference when I was in Australia, I have no fear of talking away like a magpie in front of a group!

Of course, stitching is never far from my mind despite all of the work and school stuff that gets shoved into my head everyday! I just received a pattern the other day from ink circles called Kaleidoscope. If you like geometric patterns with interesting colour variations, check out the site! I read about the designer in the recent edition of Just Cross Stitch and immediately went to check out the website because the pictures in the article drew me in. It will be ages before I get to actually stitch it because I have several stockings to do and then a few other patterns that I want to stitch as well, but the pattern collector in me just had to have it! Plus, I recently took several non-cross stitch books off of my pattern shelf because they were crafts that I will never get to and I figure that the Rotary Book sale in October (October 12 and 13 at the Hampton Seniors Resource Centre for anyone in this neck of the woods!)would be a better place for them so I have more room on the shelf for more cross stitch patterns!

Well, I must get back to studying for my exam on globalization tomorrow night.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sept 25/07

The 2-3 hours each evening that I used to spend in front of the TV with cross stitch hoop in hand have been curtailed severely. Last night, I had had ENOUGH of topics on globalization (I have an exam on the 1st) so I said, "Screw it!" and stitched to my heart's content! Don't get me wrong, I love the stuff I am reading and writing, but I just need a few more hours in the day to nourish my soul by stitching and exercising.

Speaking of exercising, thank heavens that I gave up pop and chips at the same time as my exercise routine took a nose dive or I would be growing exponentially. My strategy is that I have to donate $5 to charity for every bag of chips or serving of pop that I ingest. For someone who had one of each every day at work, this is a major step. To help me through, I drink lots of water at work and make sure that I take lots of fruit to munch on instead of reaching for the chips. I am admittedly a scale-a-holic and step on it numerous times a day which is not healthy, but I can only break one habit at a time, okay?! The scale is telling me though that this cut back in empty calories is nudging my weight down despite little or no walking or running as a concerted exercise effort. Who knew? Well, yeah, I did know, but it was so much easier to grab a bag of chips than it was to remember to buy enough fruit to last until my next trip to the grocery store and to pack enough in my lunch bag each day.

Well, back to the academic grind!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sept 16/07

I am avoiding reading an account of colonialization in South East Asia so I am here at the computer attending to some very important things!!LOL!!

Actually, I do have a stitching anecdote that I forgot to share the other day. I mentioned that I was at the closest cross stitch shop to me with a friend who is looking for some hobbies. As part of explaining my fascination/addiction, I mentioned that I follow blogs about stitching. Her jaw literally dropped as she asked me if I was joking. She was absolutely blown away by this whole subculture that she had never even heard of before. She was amazed that there was a whole shop devoted to cross stitch and that people would blog about their stitching. I will have to show her my craft supply collection as proof of my addiction because she could just not picture having shelves full of all the stuff that she saw at the store the other day.

Okay, fun time is over. Back to reading about the British, the Dutch and the French and their colonization of SEA.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sept 15/07

Here is an update on the wreath! I was at Because you Count the other day with a friend who had expressed an interest about cross stitch. While we were looking around, I told her about this piece and one of the shop owners came running over. Apparently, just that morning, someone had been talking with her about trying to find this particular pattern. The lady's phone number is beside me here on the desk to remind me to call her sometime soon.

My stitching progress will probably slow to a crawl after this weekend as I go back to work and get slogging away at my school work. Eating and sleeping may be optional as well!

If anybody in the general vicinity of Moncton is interested, there is an event going on at Because You Count (164 Collishaw) on September 25th between 11:30am and 2pm. Sue Hillis of Sue Hillis Designs will be there. Plus, the shop is having a 16% off everything except floss during the week of Sept. 24-29th. Just thought you might like to know!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sept 10/07

Here is an update on the wreath project. I am on holidays this week so I have been spending 3-4 hours an evening on this to get as much done as possible before school starts drowning me in paper.

So far, my holidays have been lovely and relaxing and I plan to spend the rest of the week in the same mode. Feesh and kids came down from Moncton on Saturday and we attended the first annual Roots Festival in Bloomfield. We sat out in a hayfield by the bridges and listened to local entertainers while eating the most awesome home made ice cream sandwiches. Then, they came over here for pizza out on the deck. Sunday started with babysitting my nephew while Thor ran the Hampton 5-miler. We had a blast cheering on Daddy and all of the other runners. The rest of the day was spent at the library, then on my bed reading the stuff I photocopied at the library before napping and going to watch Jove play softball.

Today, I am going to do yard work as soon as I quit playing around with the Internet and go to 2 Rotary meetings this evening. My bedding is going through the wash while I type this. I am in puttering mode which is one of my most productive modes because I start out with a vague purpose and do what ever catches my attention about needing to get done. At the end of the day, I invariably sit back in awe at everything I have completed while puttering.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sept 6/07

Here is my August ornie which I actually completed in September! It is called "Christmas Tree 2007" by Jeannette Douglas and is in the October 2007 JCS. I stitched it on a mystery cloth that I pulled out of my stash. The cloth felt kind of interesting, perhaps it has wool in it??

This is a Dimensions kit called "Wreath of All Seasons" that I am stitching for a fundraiser for my Curl for Cancer team. Now that classes have started, I am not sure if it will be completed in time, but I am stitching for dear life at the moment to get as much done as possible ASAP before I get buried in readings and papers.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sept 5/07

No stitching pictures today, mostly because I am too lazy to photograph the ornie that I stitched from the latest JCS. Instead, I am going to crow about the comments I received from my professor who read my papers for his globalization class. Keep in mind that I was extremely nervous about writing papers because I was not an arts major at Dal so I only ever wrote one paper during my 4 years there although I can do a nice job on a lab report! Plus, I could choose my own topics and that took me forever to decide because what the hell do I know about globalization and what kind of stuff this prof likes. The first paper on biofuel production and the increase in food costs took me over a week to write because I struggled with trying to actually write the darn thing in the first place. A friend who is working towards her PhD reviewed it for me and gave the thumbs up so I went on to write about the global clothing market. The second paper was much less painful to write. The bibliographies were a lesson or two learned as well so a little prayer was said before I emailed the essays to the prof last Friday.

His response came back on Sunday and I cried triumphant tears as I read that he thought I had done an excellent job!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!! I feel so much more confident as I head to the university tomorrow to start my class in the Politics of Prostitution. My other classes this term are the Politics of Asia and Global Issues. My class selection is a bit schizophrenic, but it was more about trying to fit the classes around my work schedule than trying to build a strong CV for my Masters application. My advisor is teaching two of those classes. She recommended that I worry more about writing good papers for the courses than the actual course content because the goal is to show St Mary's that I am so brilliant that they would be fools to not accept me into the IDS program.

There is so much to this university thing that I have had to re-learn like where to get a parking pass (I did not need one the last go round at uni.), how to get a student card, what to take to class to take notes, where to find my classes, figuring out the university web site (ahem, we did not have the internet back in my Dal gal days) and so on. So, tomorrow, I will be the old girl in the back of the class trying to figger all of this out! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

August 28/07

I finished the puzzle biscornu last night. The freebie came form this site which took me a while to figure out because I do not read German at all, but the biscornu patterns motivated me to figure out how to get the patterns!!

This one is stitched again with mystery threads on a 28 count Monaco (I think, I chucked the tag out!). I did one side in green and the other side in blue to give a little contrast. I have done a couple of other variations that still need to have the final finish, but this was my favourite variation.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Aug 19/07

Another small finish. I think that I am addicted to smalls at the moment because I do not have to wait six months to see the finished result and I see definite shrinkage of the stash! This one is "Renaissance Bookmark" by Teresa Wentzler. The design was a freebie from her site. I do forget what I stitched it on, but I think that it is a 28 count lugana. ETA: I have just realized that this picture does absolutely nothing to show how beautiful the design truly is so I will have to try again to get a better photo.

Some sad news. I just heard on Friday that my LNS has closed. Admittedly, I have not been there in a while since the motherlode of a stash that I have has had everything I have needed for any of my recent projects. Now, the closest NS is over 100km away in Moncton.

This weekend has been rather busy, kicking off with a wedding shower on Thursday, moving books on Friday night for the Rotary club, a birthday party and a wedding reception on Saturday and I am off to my mom's here in a minute for a lunch with my sister and her boyfriend who are here from Halifax. Then, I need to mow the lawn and research a topic for my course on globalization for the second essay of the course. Thank heavens that Monday is a vacation day for me because I sure need it!

My heart sank this morning as I was waking up to the newscast. Another Canadian soldier has died in Afghanistan. Knowing that my brother is on-call on the notification team at CFB Gagetown this week made the news even more sad although fortunately (poor choice of words in the circumstances, for sure), the soldier was based at CFB Valcartier so my brother does not have to tell a family that their loved one has died. War sucks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Aug 15/07

Here is the ornie I stitched for the July ornie SAL. He is called "Stuffed Snowman" from Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cross Stitch 1996. He is stitched on mystery fabric with mystery threads from my mystery thread box and his arms are twigs from the yard instead of wire as in the pattern. His scarf is braided from the mystery threads because I have little or no cotton cloth in my craft room.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Aug 10/07

No stitching pictures, but I was playing around with my new camera yesterday and took some pictures as proof of my stitching addiction! May I introduce you to my stash (the shelves on the right contain my recycling centre):

and my pattern collection:

The thread drawers really make my stash look way worse than it is! Several years ago, my boss helped out a friend who was closing a craft store and sold off her inventory in our store. One day, I was in the stockroom and saw all of the DMC floss that was sitting out there so I offered to buy it up! I have long lost the total, but I got the floss for about 20 cents a skein and should have enough to do me for at least 10 or 15 years of stitching!

I am currently working on a freebie bookmark that I found on Teresa Wentzler's site. My stitching has been slowed a bit by a mega migraine that hit me on Saturday and lingered for 4 days as a nagging soreness on the side of my head. Stress and allergies are so not my friend!

Life has an interesting way of coming full circle sometimes. Last night, I had a couple over for dinner. Shawn is the brother of Matt Kidner who was here in 2001 as a Rotary Youth Exchange student. I visited with their family in Australia in 2004 when I was there on the Rotary Group Study Exchange. Shawn and his girlfriend Steph are here in Canada this year on a working holiday visa and are in this region for a month or two. It was so cool to be sitting out on my deck last night and talking about all of the people and places that we have in common.

Monday, July 30, 2007

July 30/07

May I introduce the first of the stockings that I am cross stitching for my family? My intention had been to do my mom's first, but there was a huge delay in getting the fabric because the order was lost in the mail from the supplier, but my LNS has yet to call me 4 months later to let me know if it has come in so I ordered it from eBay. The result is that my stocking is now stitched instead.

EDITED TO ADD: The stocking is a Dimensions kit called "Holiday Harmony".

Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 26/07

Hold onto your hats, folks! I finally have some stitching pictures to post! These are my first biscornus and while I am proud of them, please do not look too closely at how badly I negotiated the corners when stitching them together!

The one on the left is one that I designed with my cross stitch pattern maker one night and the other is Protection from Lady Periphaeria (see the blog for Peri on the right). As part of playing around with my design, I stitched it using pink (DMC 223) on one side and a brown from my mystery threads container. I stitched Peri's with another thread from my mystery collection called Coron #222. The beads are Mill Hill.

I have made some headway in my christmas stocking. The backstitching is almost done and then it is on to stitching my name before attempting to assemble it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

July 23/07

Here is a photo of my brother and his son with his university diploma. When I was about to take the photo, his son pointed to the diploma and asked, "What's that?". I replied, "One of the two things in the world your daddy is most proud of."

Me and my nephew, or The Helmetheads as my mom called us that afternoon!

The most use my exercise mat has seen in a while!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

July 19/07

The biopsy procedure went well yesterday and now we just have to wait for the results to come back in the next two weeks. Both of the doctors involved are on holidays over the next two weeks so we have no choice, but to be patient. The patient is in a little bit of discomfort, but I knew that things would be fine when the second thing she said to me was, "Can we stop at Tim Hortons on the way home?". Canuck, through and through.

The daughter(me), on the other hand, is exhausted. I went into work at 3pm instead of my usual 1pm for an evening shift because I just could NOT get it together and get out the door. The stress of the past week or so caught up with me and floored me. I still do not feel great, but hopefully another good night's rest will help because I begin my weekend shift tomorrow! Work sucks and will continue to suck hard for a while yet. The new pharmacist is supposedly starting at the end of July, but she is unavailable for most of the month of August so guess who might get one day of vacation during the month of August to squeeze something that might look like a long weekend. I have not taken any vacation time since last November and have only been away from work for more than 2 days once in that time period because the schedule has rotated in such a way that my weekends to work have fallen on 3 of the 4 Canadian summer long weekends. Something is going to break sooner or later and I suspect that my sanity will the thing to break. Stress is not my friend and my anxiety and upset about all of the recent bad news that keeps making itself known to me has me feeling really fragile. Oh well, the more I dwell on it, the worse it gets so maybe I should just go to bed.

Tomorrow, I am going to pick up my brother's engineering diploma that I had framed for him as a graduation gift. I am very excited about it because he has worked so hard to get this degree and I am very, very, very, very proud of him!! I am also dropping off two boxes of materials left over from my renovations to the ReStore which is on Rothesay Ave in Saint John for anyone reading this who has materials that they no longer need. The store will be opening as soon as they have an adequate inventory.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

July 14/07

I am in a slightly better head space today. Funny what a good dose of sunshine and a good night's sleep will do. As soon as I turn off the computer, I am going outside to work on staining my decks and weeding my flower beds. My shed also needs a little attention as everything is just haphazardly thrown in there and there are some things in there that can go to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. For instance, there is a bag of nails leftover from when the shed is built and several bits of lumber that I will never use, but maybe someone else can use them.

I put some stitches last night into the biscornu that I designed so hopefully within the next week I will have finished pictures of the biscornu that Peri designed and the one that I attempted.

The website that holds my UNB course on globalization is down this morning so I could not get any reading done there despite my best intentions. My original goal had been to finish it in July, but here we are mid-month and I am nowhere near being done. The thought of writing papers has been somewhat paralyzing to me, but the thought of the $500+ tuition that I paid for the course keeps me slogging away at it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

July 13/07

So, this week has kind of sucked. On Tuesday, my boss finally told my co-workers that he has prostate cancer. Four of us were told a month and a half ago, but we were not to tell anyone else until he had several tests to determine exactly what he was facing. On Wednesday, my mom called me at work to ask me what I had been diagnosed with last year when the lymph nodes on the right side of my neck swelled last May. She had just come from an appointment with a surgeon about the swollen lymph node in her armpit and he used the phrase "It looks like a lymphoma" when he examined her. She is having it removed on Wednesday morning at 8am so I hope that everyone reading this sends out a little hope and love on behalf of my mom. This all on top of the death of the wife of my town's mayor. She was a friend and the mother of a guy I grew up with. She will be greatly missed.

Needless to say, not much stitching or course work has been done this week because I can barely get home from work and eat before taking a nap just to stay awake until bedtime. Stress is so not my friend.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

July 5/07

The rain today put a little dent into my plan to stain my deck and stoop today. The sinus headache that went migraine-like also put a dent into my plans today. The only reason why I crawled out of the house at 9am was because I had to meet up with a fellow Rotarian so that I could get a plaque that needs to be engraved. I am sure that I looked so graceful and beautiful when I had to pull over to throw up on the side of the road. Needless to say, it was back to bed for me until the meds could kick in and the sinuses could unblock. I began my day for the second time at noon.

Not much stitching in the past few days because I have been busy reading through my online course notes for a course on globalization. Today's reading included the transcript from a speech that US President Wilson gave in 1918 where he outlined his Fourteen Points to create international stability. He concentrated mostly on problem spots in Europe, but it struck me as ironic because his 14 points are still very valid today if we just substitute Middle Eastern countries for the European ones he used. Plus ca change, plus ca reste le meme.

Things I am up to this week: Strawberry Festival at the Bloomfield Hall (good food + old friends and neighbours = good times), getting my brother's engineering degree framed for his graduation gift, helping out at a Habitat for Humanity site on Saturday(my friends' house is being torn down and HfH is salvaging whatever they can sell in their ReStore) and having some co-workers over for a BBQ on Sunday.

Monday, July 02, 2007

July 2/07

Life has been busy with work and family so not much stitching although I am working on my first biscornu called Protection from Periphaeria Designs. Stitching over one thread has been a challenge and is slowing me down because I am having to adjust where I place my needle and how far to swing my hand as I stitch. The end result will be cool, I am sure!

My El Salvador trip has been confirmed for March 1-9, 2008 and I have a trip code which has not yet been posted on the Habitat site to accept donations. Now, I just have to finish building the team!

Yesterday was Canada Day here in Canada so I went to watch the town fireworks last night with my family. My nephew managed to stay awake until the end, but I would bet that he is rather bear-like this morning! He loved the little Army helmet that I bought for him at the Citadel in Quebec City because now he looks "just like Daddy!".

Sunday, June 24, 2007

June 24/07

For the ornie SAL. I found this Scandinavian-inspired motif in a book called "Traditional Needle Arts Cross Stitch" by Katrin Cargill and decided to "finish" it by gluing it onto some card stock that I had left over from the cards I made for Christmas 2006. The motif is stitched on a mystery piece of 14 count Aida with DMC 304.

Monday, June 18, 2007

June 18/07

Not much to report from the stitching end of things because I have been working and then I drove off to spend 4 days in Old Quebec City in an attempt to see more of my country. Plus, it adds another UNESCO site to my life list. I had a great chat with my advisor at UNBSJ the other day as I plan out the courses that I want to take this coming year to get ready to apply for the Masters in International Development Studies. Afterwards, I was a bit dazed at all the potential jobs I could be involved in after the Masters program. Dr. Jeffrey is so enthusiastic and helpful and she just loves the fact that I have a pharmacy degree. She was sympathetic to my worries about writing papers (I only ever wrote one paper at Dal), but she has made suggestions about how to get on with that.

In lieu of stitching photos, here are some photos from my yard that I took last week:


My yard is bursting into bloom! Yay!

Monday, June 11, 2007

June 11/07

Better late than never:

A Debbie Mumm kit for Dimensions called Christmas Adornments.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

June 3/07

I did alot of stitching on my ornaments yesterday while at the symposium on Pulmonary Hypertension in Moncton. I figured that it would keep me awake since I never stay awake during seminars. The symposium and the NB Pulmonary Hypertension Society are the brain child of my friend, Jennifer Gendron whose son has been diagnosed with the condition. The group's website can be found here. No piccies yet because the camera is still at Mom's although I could shove the ornaments in the scanner, I suppose. The skin on the tip of the middle finger on my right hand got worn off during all of that stitching so I will have to wear a bandage if I want to do any stitching tonight.

After the symposium, I realized that I was just a few blocks away from a cross stitch store that I had heard about, but never knew how to get where it is situated. Yes, maps are good things, but that would be too organized and efficient for me. The store does not have a website so I can not give a link to check it out. I am now a huge fan of the store because it was so cool to see all of the leaflets from all of the designers that all of the other cross stitchers have been talking about in their blogs that I read. So, if you are in the Moncton area, I would recommend that you check out Because You Count at 164 Collishaw Street in Moncton, New Brunswick.

I managed to restrain myself while there and only came out with 3 patterns: Lizzie Kate's "Love Crazy", Teresa Wentzler's "Knotwork Bookmarks I" and the 2006 JCS Christmas Ornaments edition which I was too slow to purchase when the two copies were quickly sold off the magazine rack where I work. Lest you think that I have great strength in not going crazy with pattern buying, I have just purchased 10 patterns from one of my favourite eBay sellers who is closing her shop.....Looks like she has closed her shop as the link is no longer working. Plus, I also gave up waiting for the LNS to find its wayward order from Wichelt so I found some pieces on eBay that may just do the trick and I am waiting for those to arrive in my mailbox along with the exotic and endangered animal booklets that I ordered from that vendor.

Well, I should finish the laundry and then sun myself on the deck for a few minutes before heading to my Mom's with the outside planters that she wants. More clutter going out the door! Yay! The birdfeeders also need to be refilled. I have debated with myself about having birdfeeders and letting my cats outside, but the bird population seems to be reviving and my cats are so lazy that they rarely do further than the edge of the deck.

Monday, May 28, 2007

May 28/07

Just waiting for my soup to heat up so I thought that I would post. I heard some distressing news on Saturday night when I was at a fundraiser for a women's shelter. Apparently, the women's shelter in Saint John, Hestia House, is closing. I do not know the details, but I assume that it is a funding issue. Um, it is not like the need has disappeared. Our provincial government can find the money to give million dollar tax breaks to corporations who make quicksand promises about creating jobs in our province, but the government can not find the money to adequately fund things like women's shelters. Let me see, the government will give a 3 million dollar tax break to a company who promises to create say 100 jobs in a call centre. More times than not, those jobs fall through in a few years. Would it not be more cost effective to properly fund women's shelters in the province so that those several hundred women and children who find themselves in them annually could get back on their feet and get ahead?

I did put a few stitches into my Christmas ornament, but I will wait until later this week when I get the camera back from Mom to post a picture. The weather was gorgeous here this weekend so I spent my time working around the outside of the shack.

Oh yeah! One of the entertainers from Saturday night made a joke that I must share. He said, "I am about to sing our new national anthem" and then he proceeded to sing "Alberta Bound".

Saturday, May 26, 2007

May 26/07

Not much to report on the stitching front except to say that I am busy doing the back stitching on my stocking and filling in those little pesky cross stitches that I missed the first time around. This weekend is Christmas ornament SAL so I will do that on Sunday since today is busy with running 6km, dyeing my hair, a fundraiser concert for the Sussex women's shelter and a birthday party for a friend. I need to weed a flower bed and wash both the car and my Adirondack chairs at some point this weekend.

I think that I have figured out how to do an indoor vermiculture compost bin with minimal fuss and muss. Ever since my little rat invasion 2 years ago, I have stopped putting any food into my home compost bins out behind the shed and send all the food bits off to the landfill composting facility. Rats horrify me! I have been trying to figure out how to do the vermiculture thing because it seems counter-productive to the whole environment thing to ship the compostable materials away by gas-driven truck to save space in the landfill. I have the bin and the compostable material, so now all I need to do is collect some wrigglers after the next big rainfall. My brother referred to me as the "Recycling Nazi" when he lived with me a few years ago so maybe I will not mention this little venture to him any time soon! Heck after 30+ years, he should be used to my kookiness by now!

My decluttering efforts are teetering along. One brother got rid of 4 boxes of junk at a fleamarket at the curling club and made enough money to take his girlfriend and Mom out to lunch at Holly's that day. The other brother took a garbage bag full of household items and 6 sets of blinds to use in his new place at CFB Gagetown. Then, on the other hand, I have bought several new items of clothing as I update my summer wardrobe, but I am enforcing the "1 item in, 1 item out" rule as I keep adding to the donation pile.

Well, I should get to my other environmental cause of running! My thought is that by losing weight (or 60 lbs or so!), then I decrease the gas consumption of my car and wear smaller clothes, using up less resources! Plus, it makes me a healthy being because my stress levels drop as I clear my mind and my body gets stronger.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

May 18/07

Not much stitching to report as I was in Toronto last weekend and then been working in between sleeping since I have come home. I had planned to stitch alot today, but my allergies played havoc with that. The sinuses on the right side of my face were so full that I was dizzy and nauseated when I woke up this morning so I spent a good part of the day asleep since even reading in bed was a challenge. So much for tackling all of the stuff I had planned today like paperwork and errands. Oh well, it is a cold and overcast day so at least I do not feel like I lost a nice day to boot. I hope to get the last of the cross-stitching done on my stocking so that I can switch to the back and half stitching soon.

The Habitat for Humanity seminar was really interesting. The people and the topics were very interesting. I did learn something about myself-----I am terrible at navigating despite maps and explicit directions! Oh well, if we had not missed a turn or two, Jay and I would not have ended up having supper at a great pub in Bolton ON before heading back to where we were supposed to be! In my defence though, I did manage to find my way downtown with minimal "being lost time" after discovering that the 401 off-ramp I needed was closed for construction for this past weekend only.

Friday, May 11, 2007

May 11/07

I almost forgot to post my April ornament. I found it on the Michaels website.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

May 10/07

I am online because I am avoiding packing tonight since the last bit involves ironing now that I have decided on the clothes. My flight leaves at 11:30am so I have lots of time yet to get around to shoving things into the suitcase. The reason for the trip is the Habitat for Humanity leadership training in a town called Nobelton, ON which is conveniently just past Vaughn where an IKEA lives! Well, I may not get to IKEA because I am travelling with Jay and she may have other ideas about where she might like to shop tomorrow before we have to be in Nobelton.

Did anyone else not know that the Canadian Charter of Human Rights does not apply to the native reservations? A recent article on the front page of the newspaper absolutely shocked me when I read that the reservations and their councils had asked to be exempt when the Charter was brought into effect and fight to keep it that way despite the efforts of some of the native womens organizations. Maybe I am just blind to these things, but how can the Charter not be a good thing when it guarantees equality for all genders, races and ethnicities, etc.?

Grumble, grumble, off I go to pack my mini bottles of shampoo and other necessary items and maybe dig out the iron to take out some of the wrinkles before the airline re-creases my clothes.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

April 28/07

No ornament to show so I thought that I should post a WIP on my first of the family heirloom stockings!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

April 24/07

My fingers have been flying on my first Christmas stocking (only 6 to do in total!) and I will post a WIP sometime this week. I am getting a little impatient that the order my LNS is waiting for is still AWOL in the postal system. I did not expect to have almost completed the stocking I am making for myself before even starting the one for my mom. My wish is to finish my mom's first because that just seems like the most respectful order to do them in. My mom should be the first person to receive one. Anyhoo, not every variable can be easily controlled in life, can it?!

The Christmas ornament SAL weekend is fast approaching. My schedule will probably not allow me to get much done because I am scheduled to work, there is a farewell dinner for a co-worker on Sunday, one of my El Salvador trip mates is in town to visit his grandkids, and my Rotary club has a major fundraiser next week that sucks up alot of my time during the week of. Plus, there is a doctor's appointment in there and I have to go to Moncton on May 5th for a Rotary youth exchange seminar. Oh well! Once I get to the 6th, life goes back to normal....Hang on! I was wrong about that since I fly to Toronto on the 11th for a Habitat for Humanity leader training weekend and then another pharmacist at work is away to England for 2 weeks so I will be working lots of hours so once I make it to May 28th, life goes back to normal. Yeah, so what is normal?!

The weather forecast just said showers for the rest of the day so I guess that I will not bike to work today. Besides, I skinned my knee when I missed the bottom step at my trainers home gym today so perhaps I should give my knee a rest. Gas prices are up to $1.08/litre which is considered expensive here in Canada, plus I cringe when I turn on the car because I always think of the pollution and I need the exercise so I am starting to bike more now. My plan is to lead by example since over the years, at least one other co-worker started biking as well in the summer. The guy across the street bikes into town year round because he does not have a car and I give him alot of credit because this little wimp with a car would not bike on a snowy road in -30C! There is only so much that I will do for environmental sustainability!

Speaking of which, it was quite discouraging to look in the brook to see what garbage has grown there as a result of the flooding last week. Once the water levels go down low enough for me to walk through the brook, I will be back down there to pick out more garbage.

On Saturday, I cleaned up my flower beds and made plans to plant more bird and bee friendly flowers. There have been news reports recently about the decimation of commercial hives because of a syndrome called "Hive collapse" and something to do with a mite so I figure that it can not hurt to plant some more bee balm and echinacea in the yard. I had a thought about planting some out on my property in Bloomfield to encourage the bees to establish themselves around my apple orchard. I have some awesome photos of butterflies on my garden flowers from last summer and I really enjoyed all of the hummingbirds who buzzed around my yard last year. Note to the wasps: you are not welcome to nest in my shed this year. It bloody well hurt when you stung me on the end of my nose last summer so please find another place to build your nest.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

April 19/07

A first! I followed the directions for finishing an ornament that I found while reading through Anne's (Featherstitching) blog and TA!DA!
The saying is one that a friend of mine came out with during a discussion on an internet forum that I frequent and I just had to stitch it up for her. It was stitched on a 28 count Monaco (I think! I lost the tag!) and some scrap threads left over from kits. The hanger is a braid of the 3 colours that I used to stitch the main design.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

April 17/07

That is the sound of me falling off the 50 challenge band wagon. There was a cross stitch magazine on the rack at work that I just had to have, the resistance was low and here I am. Oh well, some of the stash was reduced and I now also have a better handle on just what is stashed on my shelves. Good luck to the rest of you who are still hanging in.

Friday, April 13, 2007

April 13/07

I squeezed a half hour of stitching this morning after cleaning the house and before going to work. As I stitched, I mused about how I love to start with a plain piece of cloth and watching as the piece slowly comes alive with every stitch that is completed. My least favourite time is at the beginning when it seems to take forever for the small blob of colour to begin to look like something, but once I reach that point, I get a little buzz about the unfolding or revealing of the piece. I spend alot of time admiring my pieces as I stitch away which probably accounts for my slowness, but I have done that for almost 20 years now so I suspect that perhaps it is now habit! :-) It always amazes me how a plain piece of cloth can end up being a gorgeous piece of cross stitch or embroidery whether it be a simple ornament or book mark or a huge piece that looks like a painting. There is just such a joy for me in creating something out of relatively nothing, a mere collection of fabric and skeins of floss and a piece of paper covered in symbols.

Okay, maybe I am more lightheaded than I thought after being on the treadmill, but surely I can not be the only one who feels that way because I have seen ALOT of blogs out there and I know that I have barely touched the tip of the iceberg! Speaking of blogs, I have updated my sidebar list, but perhaps someone could explain the blogroll/bloglines thing to me because I am having difficulty understanding how to install and use it. Thanks!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

April 12/07

The news just came on a few minutes ago and it was announced that 2 more Canadian soldiers have died in Afghanistan. Five of the 8 soldiers who were killed there this week are from New Brunswick. Maritimers make up about 25% of the Canadian Armed Forces while we only make up about 10% of the general Canadian population. NB only has a population of around 749 000 people (it fluctuates depending on how many people have left for Alberta each month!) compared to the general Canadian population of almost 32 000 000 people. The numbers just seem so skewed to me from this little corner of the world, especially when I can name 4 military personnel of my own age group from this town of 5 000 who are currently serving in Afghanistan.

I dunno. It hurts too much to think about it. Thank heavens that my brother is on a training course at CFB Kingston.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

April 5/07

Here is a stitching update to take a break from saving the world's problems! LOL!

The fabric order is still AWOL at my LNS so I can not get started on my mom's Christmas stocking although I did kit up the threads so that I can start it as soon as the fabric order arrives. Here is the progress on my stocking:

For the Christmas ornie SAL, here are my March efforts. They still need the french knots, backstitching and the cutting out from the plastic canvas.....

Some things I have been up to:
1. I was shaking my head at the news the other night that the government is dragging its feet on apologizing to people who were forced into the aboriginal residential schools so I wrote an e-mail to Prime Minister Harper to tell him that I find that appalling. Mom has her certificate of apology for the internment of Japanese-Canadians from the federal government hanging in her living room so I am well aware of the power of an apology.

2. Checked out Amnesty International Canada and the Greenpeace websites just to see what campaigns and issues they are all about. I joined the Amnesty 10 000 Voices campaign against the violence against women.

What I should be doing at the moment: hurrying my butt out the door to get to work on my Rotary club's fundraiser tonight.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Mar 30/07

The folks at the Rotarian, the monthly Rotary magazine must have seen that I would be thinking alot about world issues because this month's issue focuses on environmental projects around the world. I read the issue from cover to cover this evening before I went out to clean out the garbage in a ditch in my sub-division. Now that the snow has melted away and the greenery is still dormant, the garbage is in plain sight. I felt like a dork down in the ditch with my grocery bags, picking out the garbage while my neighbours drove by, but then I decided that I may look like a dork, but I am making our neighbourhood a better place if it means that the leachate from the degrading plastic does not make its way into the water system.

Earlier this week, I read Herizons, a feminist magazine published in Winnipeg. I had been wavering on whether I would continue my subscription, but my personal campaign over the UN Millenium goals convinced to continue on because the magazine has opened my eyes to women's issues that do not get covered in the mainstream media. Plus, it is a women's initiative that promotes women's issues. I do not always agree with the opinions and politics and shake my head at least once per issue, but it gets me thinking!

Yesterday, I e-mailed my Member of Parliament to ask him what specifically the federal government is doing to achieve the UN Millenium goals. I figure that if I do not ask, then who else will? We have to hold our government accountable if we are going to sign onto these agreements.

My cross stitching is barely creeping along because I have been gripped by an exhaustion that I can not explain. I am hoping that the iron supplements I bought today will do the trick because everything is a HUGE effort these days.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Mar 25/07

So, this is what I am thinking about today as I digest the birthday lunch that my brother and I had for my mom. Last night, I stumbled across this site about the UN Millenium goals.
What a wonderful world it would be if the UN could meet these goals:
1. eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. achieve universal primary education
3. promote gender equality and empower women
4. reduce child mortality
5. improve maternal health
6. combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. ensure environmental sustainability
8. develop a global partnership for development

After reading the goals that the UN has set to be achieved by 2015, I started to think about what I am doing as an individual to help the world achieve those goals. One change I made today was to start hanging out my laundry earlier in the year so that I did not have to run the dryer today. Yesterday, I did a thorough walk through of the 10 acre property I purchased a few years to see what was there before the undergrowth springs to life and makes it impassable. The woodland supports quite a healthy group of deer and squirrels and is a rather mature stand of hardwoods which was a pleasure to walk through. For now, I am going to leave it alone until I decide to build either a summer or permanent home there. Next up will be to see what I can do about some of the other issues.

After reading through the UN site, I clicked on a blog that I have been reading written by Janet Scott and her husband. They are working with NGOs in Ghana and I was nicely surprised to see that Mark mentions the UN Millenium goals in his post that I have tagged. It is interesting to see what these goals mean at ground level.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mar 18/07

Tonight, I talked with the board of directors of one of the local service groups and they have committed $1 000 towards my El Salvador project! To say that I am a little excited is an understatement because I was initially quite worried about how I was going to fundraise $5 000 so that I would not take away from any of the worthy commitments that my Rotary club already has on the books. My fundraising campaign so far has consisted of talking to anyone that will listen and so far it is paying off as I have an invitation to speak to one of the local Lions clubs as well. This club often partners with my Rotary club on projects so the house in ES may be the next one in our partnership.

You know, working away at this and spreading the word about El Salvador has kept me motivated in moments when I can feel quite defeated. For example, right now I am staring at 2 property tax bills, a car insurance bill, a VISA bill, my line of credit and a ticket for an expired inspection sticker. There is definitely more month at the end of the money as I balance the payments going out and the pay cheques coming in. Just when I think that a lottery winning may be in order, I remind myself that these things will sort themselves out in good time and that I have the good fortune to own 2 properties and a car. Even though my family was poor, I could still get a university education. Being born in Canada has sure made me a winner in the geographic department and thinking about the shanty town in Panchimalco and all of the people who touched my life there has made me appreciate the life I have.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mar 10/07

So, here I sit waiting for a snowstorm or whatever is supposed to heading our way. A fitting way to end a week that found me speaking at a Rotary club about my El Salvador trip, getting a ticket because my car inspection sticker expired in MAY 2006, my curling teams won on Thursday and Friday night (if you have ever seen me curl, you would understand why that is noteworthy) and my brother is coming home for a break during his course at CFB Kingston. There is a special talent to living my life and by golly, I would love to master it!

The Christmas stocking project is slowly making progress. The needle that came with this kit wore 2 holes in the end of my middle finger on my right hand so I had to switch to the larger needle that I usually use to cross stitch because using a thimble was slowing me down too much. Here is an update:

Thursday, March 01, 2007

March 1/07

Ok. So it has been a while since I have posted some new pics. The digital camera was at my Mom's house so I could not post anything that I have been working on. These towels were completed about 3 weeks ago. The pattern comes from a Leisure Arts leaflet called "More Christmas Fingertips" and they are stitched on towels from a shop in Norway called Christiana GlasMagasinet. The towels are regular kitchen towels, but there is a bit that is a lovely evenweave of something like 32 count. I bought a bagful of them because they were only 24.50KR (about $4-5 Canadian).

Once the towels were completed, I moved onto this pattern that I found on the Christmas ornie SAL. I decided to play around with different whites and sparkly threads to see what effects I could come up with. They are stitched on light blue 14 ct. Fiddlers Cloth. This first one photographs the best. I stitched it with DMC white:

The second one was stitched with one thread each of B5200 and E5200. The contrast between the fabric and the threads is not all that great so it it difficult to see in the photo:

The third one is done with one thread each of DMC white and a DMC silver metallic that was flaoting around in my thread box. Unfortunately, I ran out of the silver and had to finish with a DMC antique silver. The results are probably not so visible in this photo, but I am not excited about how this one finished up.

Here is my WIP of the moment. I have started a very ambitious project of cross stitching a Christmas stocking for every member of my immediate family (6 people!). It has been fun hunting down patterns and kits that suit each person, but now the real work begins.....for the next few years!

Projects 33-37.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Feb 25/07

Just a little update on the El Salvador Habitat trip. I will be flying to Toronto in May to do the Habitat for Humanity leadership training so that I will have a clue as to what I am supposed to do. Rotary-wise, a committee is going to be struck at the next Rotary club executive meeting and I am going to speak to a neighbouring Rotary club on Mar. 5/07 to tell them my story and to encourage them to become involved. My boss approached me the other day and told me that he wants to make a contribution to this project. My article in the NB Pharmacists Association newsletter has been read by my colleagues around the province as evidenced by the comments I have received when chitchatting with them. My approach is to create awareness and hope that the money and materiel will follow.

Buenas dias!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Feb 8/07

These cute little snowmen are from "The Cross Stitcher" December 2004. Four of them are stitched on 14 count cornflower blue Aida and 2 are stitched on 14 count Delft blue Aida. I did not have enough fabric to stitch them all on one and the intention is to give them away as Christmas gifts so I was okay with them not all being on the same colour. The only things I changed are the colour of the berries on the wreath which were supposed to be lemon yellow (DMC 307), but that did not appeal to me so I switched them to DMC E321 and I added snowflakes to all of them. The original pattern only called for the snowflake to be stitched in DMC 932 on the snowman in the middle of the top row, but it snowed here last weekend while I was backstitching these cuties and I decided to stitch snowflakes on all of them with DMC E3747 to give the snowflakes some shine.

There is a funny back story to this set of ornaments. Two weeks ago, I was almost done all of the cross stitching when I ran out of one of the colours and could not figure out a way to substitute anything on hand without ruining the final snowman. Being sick with a sinusitis infection and bronchitis at the same time and having to work overtime because all 3 of us pharmacists at the shop were sick, I could not find the time or the energy to drive even a half hour away to pick up the floss. My youngest (6 foot 2, 280 lbs) brother lives a few blocks away from my LNS so I asked him to go pick up the floss and bring it out to Mom's for Sunday dinner. He called me from the store saying that the colour did not exist (he had written down 392 instead of 932) and I could hear the 2 shopowners twittering in the background so I figure that it is a rare occasion to see a hockey bruiser in the shop! :-) Then, he proceeded to forget two weeks in a row to bring it out to Mom's so I went to work on the previously posted project until I picked up the floss from his apartment last night when I was in the city for my Spanish class. The upside is that I got the floss for free because he felt like such a dork for forgetting it twice when he is usually quite conscientious when it comes to his older sister!

Projects #27-32/50

Oh yeah. I forgot that I must admit a mea culpa about the challenge. In my defence, I did hold out until I was at least half way through the challenge and I have gone a whole 4 months without buying ANY patterns. Well, my friend and moneysucker eBay had Teresa Wentzler's Four Seasons Fairies and I am a sucker for TW designs so somehow the bid button was clicked and the pattern just fell into my mailbox. Please let me be strong enough to regroup and not falter again!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Feb 5/07

As I was going through my boxes and baskets of patterns this past weekend, I came across this one that I purchased in a shop in Robinvale, VIC, Australia. The company is called Red Brolly and the pattern is "Christmas" designed by Bronwyn Hayes. It is stitched on a piece of muslin that I found in my fabric stash. The whole thing took about 7 hours to trace and stitch, mostly because my concentration on cross-stitching has made my embroidery stitching skills a bit rusty!

Project #26/50.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Jan 24/07

The colour is very off in these bear photos! They are stitched on a Charles Craft (very white!) afghan for the newborn baby of a co-worker. I found the bears on The bows are pink and blue because I did not know the sex of the baby when I started stitching this! I actually finished this project about 4-5 days ago, but it has taken me a few days to find the time to post the photos.

This is the completed afghan about 20 minutes before the mom and baby showed up to my house for the work baby shower. The bear in the middle is actually on a bib that I stitched ages ago!

The afghan makes project # 25/50.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Jan 19/07

These ornaments were inspired by a photo I saw in the 2003 BHG special publication called "Cross Stitch Christmas". I say inspired because they were in the shopping section so I had to design them myself. I used 14 count red Aida, a silvery DMC floss (I lost the tag ages ago), a red, white and silver ribbon from Michaels and some plain white buttons. The words: faith, hope, glory, love, peace and joy were designed using a lettering section in another BHG publication.

So, that makes projects #19-24 out of 50.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Jan 8/07

My day could not have been any better. One of my colleagues is out sick for 2 weeks as the doctors struggle to figure out what is going on with her. Fortunately, we had a storm today so a normally hectic day was a decent pace instead since we were short staffed. A bullet dodged, for today anyway!

My mail box revealed a parcel from an eBayer that contained DMC holiday light effects and the DMC 100th anniversary floss pack! Yay! I can not wait to try out the holiday light effects on some of the Christmas ornaments that I am planning to make. I can not say enough about the deals I get through eBay on my cross stitch supplies. So far, they are the only things I feel confident about buying on eBay because they are about the only things I know what price I will and will not pay for them!

At the monthly Rotary club executive meeting this evening, I made my pitch for having the club sponsor a house in El Salvador, partnering with Habitat for Humanity. The executive gave me the go-ahead to propose it to the club at the general meeting which immediately followed the executive meeting. The club is informally good to go on the project and is waiting for my formal motion once I get all of the ducks in order in terms of the exact dollar amount, when we will do the build and who will be traveling to ES to do the build. I have 2 other Rotarians on board for the build for sure and another one asked alot of money questions so I know that he is thinking about budgeting and how long he can afford to be away from his business. As a stroke of good luck, there is a meeting on Wednesday night of the club presidents for the 4 clubs in this region. The host of that meeting, the regional assistant deputy governor, just happened to stop into our club meeting tonight so I am on the agenda to pitch it to the other clubs!

The funny thing for me is that I can not believe that I convinced them to do this! I know that they keep telling me that my enthusiasm and passion is infectious, but "l'il ole me" is firing up the club to do this. It's kind of freaky. When did I become this person who is grown up, qualified and knowledgeable about something like this? Where did I get the ability to touch people's lives and convince them to follow me on such a project? I had the answers regarding the sustainability of this type of project (employment spin offs, dignity through adequate shelter), one of the other club members actually quoted some of the numbers from my Dec 18th presentation to the club, I covered all of the bases from fundraising to logistics and they said yes! One member has already written out and given the club treasurer a cheque for $200 US to start the fundraising. **happy dance**

Friday, January 05, 2007

Jan 5/07

Here are a couple of recent finishes since the New Year. Sorry for the lateness, but I have to borrow a digital camera to get the images and then post them!

My apologies. I can not find the pattern for this one at the moment to cite its source, but I can tell you that it is stitched on 28 count Monaco and that I used buttons that have collected in my notions box!

"Maple Leaves", a kit from Foxberry Cottage crafts.
(Edited to add that this makes projects # 17 and 18 out of 50.)