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10 August 2018

A side post: I realized something!

I haven't really posted pictures of the kids in forever. I guess if you follow me on Instagram or we're Facebook friends, you see pictures of them, but I realize not everyone does that. So, celebrating the fact that, after 4 years, we finally got a new modem with Wifi my laptop acknowledges, I thought I would let everyone see pics of them.

This was March of 2017. Logan had been home a little over a month and was 5 1/2 months old, about 3 months adjusted.

I adore his expression in this one. He has always been such a smiley kid. Someone Small, who is not so small anymore, was so thrilled with him. Now, he is in that phase of little brotherhood where he is into everything. She isn't the biggest fan of him. I keep this kind of picture to remember "the good times". LOL. 

This was taken at the end of June. One of her birthday gifts was seeing a fabulous musical at my work. 

They had a thing where, in Act 2, the characters are in a nightclub. The emcee wishes an audience member Happy Birthday. Since it was her birthday, she was the lucky birthday kid. She was totally surprised and thrilled. She adores "working" at my job as the official box office kid, and loves live theatre and having the people on stage acknowledge her special day was fabulous for her. She told me when we were walking out that it was the best birthday ever. 

And the boy, eating crabs for the first time:
He doesn't even look like the same kid! He is almost 2, but adjusts to about 19 months old. He doesn't really talk yet, but he is trying. We have been through so much, and he adjusted so beautifully. He loves Mickey Mouse and Elmo, and is such a good boy. And he loves to eat. All the time. He actually eats better than his older sister--last night, I didn't feel like cooking, so got Chicken McNuggets for the family (I know, I know). He ate 10. And some fries. And wanted more. There isn't much he doesn't like, maybe pickles and sauerkraut. I am even teaching him to stitch. He pulls the needle through, I grab it and he yells, "Ahh, riiii" (Alright!), and claps. He is so pleased with himself. Pretty good for a "wimpy white boy" (I hate that term, it's a preemie thing, my son is not weak, never was, he has dealt with more nonsense in his very short life than most people deal with in 70 years. but people think that term is cute . . . .)

Anyway, thought someone might enjoy seeing my babies, growing up. Have a great evenign

15 July 2018

Update on Summer Ball and future plans



I apologize for the quality of this picture. It is not easy to take decent photos of this project.

I finished another page of Summer Ball by Sandy Littlejohns last week. I started working on the area to the left of the girl in the yellow dress in February, but when I got a job and my depression kicked up badly, I put it down. I picked it back up at the end of April, but it's been up and down since then. I decided that, this was going to be my focus piece for the rest of 2018, starting July 1st. I did decide I can work on small pieces if I am working on them on break or at lunch at work, but this MUST be the focus. I MUST GET this done. It is too beautiful to keep sitting in a box, unfinished, with random body parts started and not finished. I am at the halfway point now. Actually, after this morning I have about 1000 more stitches completed in it, but this is the closest pic to it. I am working to the left, and at least this section is a lot of background and it goes fairly quickly. At least for being a 10 inch wide section.

14 July 2018

How did the last months go so fast?

I didn't realize it had been so long. It's been a challenging few months. I started my new job May 7th. I like the work, and getting to work from home is a great perk. It has worked well for our schedule and our family, but learning a new system and a new way of doing things is hard. I am keeping positive. I know I am going down this path for a reason and I do enjoy getting paid.


Some of the things that I have been working on since I last posted:

SNN kit from 2007

I did not enjoy the specialty fibers on this one. They were a PITA to work on.


Artiste kit
 
I picked up this little kit while training for the new job. It's pretty, but I won't be buying another one of their little kits. Lots of fractionals, and I hate doing those on Aida.
 

Easter Blessings, Prairie Schooler Freebie



I apologize for the picture. I was just excited to finish this. I used the called-for colors on a piece of linen I got somewhere. This took a few years to complete, but I am happy with it.

Americana Heart, by Joy of the Needle
 
 
I have had this chart since the summer after 9/11, and I love it so much. I wanted this done by 4th of July. I really like it. So pretty. 

Woodland Christmas, by Theron Traditions
 
 
I found this at a used bookstore two Christmas Eves ago. I had kitted it up a few months ago and just decided to do it. I did not realize that there was snow and it was all in Oatmeal, so I had to fudge it. I hate having to do that, but its done.

Spring Tulips bookmark, by Handblessings
 
 
I took this one to training with me and spent a while during that time working on it.  It was a lot more complex than I imagined it could be. 



Garden Prince, by Just Nan
 
I inherited this from my friend Enid, and it was fun to work on it. My finish is not perfect, but I like it.
 

The Needles Content, August floss tag
 
Honestly, I am about over these tags. They are cute, but they are annoying to stitch. I have 4 more to do, I think,
 

Cuddle Up with Liberty
 
 
Another oldie from my collection. This took a while, but I like her. She looks so much like a Boyds Bear.

Trustworthy and True, by Little House
 
I did this for my parents. They never had a wedding sampler. I am going to finish this for my mom.
 
I got to go to Arizona for my training. It wasn't terribly hot when I was there, which was good because I was there for two weeks. Arizona is so different from Maryland, like night and day. The time difference took a lot of getting used to, like I was getting up at 3AM their time so that I could talk to the kids before Left-brain took them to school, and going to bed at 8.My daughter was impressed that there were orange trees and that it was still light out when it was dark back home. And people get to wear shorts to work there. The only time I have ever worn shorts to the office was when our AC broke and it was 97 degrees in the room. And it has ruined me for local Mexican food!
 
My mom and brother were there the week before and my brother got this lovely shot!
 
I did get a chance to go to Attic Needlework in Mesa. It is very different from my LNS, but of course I had to shop there!  It was a great shop, mostly focusing on samplers, but I did find some things to put in my basket that I have never seen before. (That is my rule about shopping out of the area, I don't want to buy things I can get at home, my lame attempt at supporting my LNS.) The ladies in there were super friendly and gave me some excellent travel advice. I also hit up about five Hobby Lobbys. We have 3 within a reasonable drive to me at home, and I have been to all of them, looking for Thea Governor's America kit without success. Not to mention, having a Hobby Lobby less than 15 minutes from me was a novel experience, so I took advantage of the proximity. I almost gave up on finding it in Arizona, but the last store had one kit at 75% off.  I was overjoyed; it was one of those moments I wanted to run around, screaming in victory, kit raised above my head. 
 
 
 I did get some time to myself and went to Sedona. The ladies at Attic Needleworks told me to go to Cottonwood as a better way into the area, and I was glad for the advice. It was a lovely ride, saw a wild burro, some balloons, and lots of cacti. People kept saying the road was windy and scary, but I was OK. No worse than driving the Appalachians. And then you come down off a mountain and the valley spreads out in front and it's breath-taking. The town itself is so beautiful, after all the desert colors, seeing the red rocks and the trees was so lovely. And it spreads as far as you can see. It was magical.
 
I got the chance to visit the beautiful Church of the Holy Cross. It is a lovely Catholic church built into the red rocks. It was a long hot walk up there, but it had a gorgeous view out over the valley, and I felt a kind of peace I haven't felt in a while in there. All I can say is, I felt God in there. 
 
 


The amazing altar.
 
I also tried prickly pear ice cream. SO YUMMY! I wish I had more time in Sedona, but I can always go back.  I can post more photos if anyone is interested.
 
 
All told, I was there 11 days. It was a good trip that I really needed. Outside the stuff with work, it was such a reflective time. I had a few experiences that were life-affecting, came to terms with some past pain, and read some amazing books. I was so glad to come home, I basically RAN out to the car to my family. I missed them terribly.
 
I feel like something really grand is going to happen to us soon. Maybe not immediately, but soon. I just feel it. I feel like I have a plan now that I didn't have before. 



01 May 2018

Two More April Finishes

Two more little finishes for the month. I already posted these on Instagram and FB, but I am still pretty pleased and wanted to share

Bebunni Freebie
World of Cross Stitching
stitched with called for theads and card stock

This was a free little card kit in an issue of WOXS from 2016. I like Bebunni a lot and have been looking for small designs to stitch. I liked this one immediately. I don't make cards, so wasn't really clear about how I'd use this, but I had been thinking about making ornaments out of the Christmas card kits. Well, my son took one look at this and started chirping (he doesn't talk yet; we don't know if this is from being a preemie or just him being a normal kid, but he is getting help) and was so excited, I decided it was perfect for him. I just trimmed the panel that referenced the magazine information, and then folded  the card stock so that that was inside. The panel that now makes up the back is prettier. I will get a pretty marker and personalize it for him. I think it will be so cute on the tree this year. 


Happy Snowman
Shepherd's Bush
stitched with Weeks on Weichelt linen


I did this one last week. It didn't take too long, maybe a day or two. My LNS kitted this up a few years ago (look, y'all, I am catching up!) I seem to have lost some snowflake charms that were on it, but I still think it looks good. If I could ever unearth all my sewing fabric, I would just make a bunch of ornaments, but I need to go over my sewing machine and see why it is not sewing a good seam. I do like this pretty little guy and his sweet little sheep, don't you. 

28 April 2018

April Update

Weird how the time flies along when you are busy. I lost my mojo for most of the past 6 weeks. It was getting used to a new schedule, having to spend so much time in the car, and dealing with some other stuff. I was offered a position with the postal service, but turned it down because the schedule wasn't going to work with my family needs. My test results are good for 6 years, though, so I am not too upset. They are always hiring around here--one of the benefits of living in a busy area.  I do have some other good news, but will talk about that in a few weeks.

I did, however, make some decisions about my makeup subscriptions. Y'all may not know this about me, but I love makeup. A lot of my technical theatre work in college was with makeup, and I love following makeup artists and admiring their creativity. Especially with all the new shades and formulas out there. I've been an Ipsy subscriber for the past 3 years and I got a lot of fun new stuff to play around with. Ipsy is a basic makeup membership-- $10 a month for a makeup bag and 5 samples of cosmetics and skincare. You give your preferences and they try to match them. One of the best things was getting a red lipstick the month Lolo was born. I have this motto that red lipstick makes any situation better, and when that came in my bag, I wore it like armor to the hospital to buoy up my spirits.  I actually got a lot of compliments on it. But I also get a lot of black eyeliners and cleansers; I don't wear eyeliner, and I don't know how to do winged liner, and some of these cleansers made me break out. And there were a lot of brown eyeshadows in those Ipsy bags. A lot. Even when I changed my physical description and preferences, I still got a lot of brown. So, I have been considering one of the other companies. I ended up subbing to Boxycharm. I am already really pleased. I was only not overly thrilled about one product--a lipstick in cocoa brown, but I change my hair enough that I will probably have the right color hair for it at some point this year. I did get a brown eyeshadow, but it came in a palette of 12 and they all aren't brown. And it's only $21. Not bad, because the stuff is always worth more than $100. And I did a major makeup cleanout this month, so I have room for it!

I did get some stitching done. Nothing major, but wars are won with small battles, too, right?



Summer Ball
Pamela Kellogg
stitched with called-for threads on unknown evenweave

I have had this pattern, and the other ones in the set for years. I distinctly remember working on a version of this the weekend after I picked up a new dog, and that's been 10 years.  It was not an easy chart and I kept putting it down. I had to restart it at one point, as well. My friend, Enid, saw me working on it at stitching group one time, and she liked it so much, she ordered the whole series. She was a fast stitcher, so she had them all done in what felt like a month, but I was still putting it down.  I found it after Enid died last fall, and I determined to finish it. I feel like she grinned the whole time I was finishing it last month, and asking what was taking me so long. So this one is for her. I plan on finishing it as a cube, but not sure when I will have time to do it. Wouldn't it look lovely with strawberry print fabric and a wide velvet bow?





Secret Needle Night, August 2005
Silver Needle Limited Edition
kit--stitched with the called for threads

This has been kicking around my stash for a long time. I bought it a few months after it came out in the shop, right around when I started subscribing to these kits. I still have a lot of them left undone, but this one is now on my "done" list. This one wasn't even that hard--the threads weren't too funky--but it still took me a while to do. I just feel very awkward using the Rainbow Gallery threads and they take a lot more time to work with than plain DMC, so I never rush to do these. I subscribed for 3 years and I don't miss this one. I would rather use my money for a makeup box!


Lastly, we have this:


Summer Ball
Sandra Littlejohns
Anchor floss on 32 count Jobelan

This one really suffered with my loss of mojo. I just couldn't bring myself to pick it up for over a month. This week, I decided I HAD to suck it up and start working on it. And I have made good progress. The area from the yellow dress over has been done since February, and I would say half of this was done this week. I'm so excited to think that at least this page might be done this week, or at least this month. That way I can say it only took me 12 years to do half the chart!  Whoo hoo! The stair step stitching method is working incredibly well for this chart, and I think that is helping me make progress.  

I hope everyone has had a great month. Happy Stitching. 

18 March 2018

Tears



Not a heck of a lot of stitching went on this week, since I was trying to get the house put back to order before starting work. We did, however, take some time to get the kids' picture taken with the Easter bunny, since I don't know what my schedule will be for the next few weeks. K was quite happy to visit the bunny, but her brother wanted no part of it.

I have no idea what bothered him, except he was tired. His stroller is in the back of our truck, which is at the repair shop, getting the transmission replaced. We just had the flipping thing rebuilt last spring, and it went out at the end of February. At least, when it broke, it was NOT when the kids and I were in the car. And it did have a warranty. So . . . but that is not helpful when you are trying to corral a rowdy toddler at the mall on a Saturday afternoon. He was full of energy. But that bunny . . . oh my. He cried for another 45 minutes after we got out of the center court--I had to calm him down with an onion ring.

I start my job tomorrow. I'm so nervous, and, to be honest, upset. It's not that I don't think I can do this job, because I know I can do it. It's the change. And I have had so much unwanted change in the last year or so. It's all taken a toll on me that doesn't seem to heal. I got to thinking and I want the life I had in 2015 back. I was happy, we had a good income, I thought I could conquer the world. Now I don't know who I am, or what I want to be. Logan is the only really good thing that happened since then, but even that took so much from me. And I sometimes think I'll never get back to being OK, and that scares me, because I have these two wonderful little people who depend on me, and I don't want them to grow up remembering this version of me. I don't like her. I just don't really know how to get rid of her. I've spent the last few months praying to not be one of those people that falls through the cracks. I even felt the need a few nights ago to wish on a shooting star. We'll see how  that works out. I'm going to do the best job, and use this time to see if this is really what I want to do.

I am sorry to be a downer. It's just one of those days . . . I have been crying a lot lately. More lately than before.

08 March 2018

Is it March already

February actually ended up being kind of a bust stitching wise. My depression at the job hunt took over for most of the month, despite my best efforts, and I spent a lot of time in bed. Job hunting is hard. And frustrating. I spent 11 years as a insurance underwriter, a very good underwriter, and I only last week got a response for an interview I had in January for a 16 hour a week job at the bank I use; they didn't offer me the position. I did get a job at a theatre in Baltimore, though. I just found that out last week. I'm nervous. I have never attempted to do any theatre job full-time, and I'm not sure how well I will do, but I am going to try. I am grateful to have a job with benefits and want to do my best to justify my hiring.

Anyway, I did get a project finish last month.  The little kitten mitten is done. I love the vibrance of the blue of the mitten on that crisp white fabric--remember, it's not the called-for floss, but I just loved how it looked at my LNS.
Snowflake Kitten Mitten
Cross Eyed Cricket
14 count aida with mostly called for threads and RG Splendor
 
 
I'm planning on finishing this. I know I say this a lot, but I think my non-stitching time this year will be used for finishing. I just bought some finishing boards, and think I can probably spend some time getting it done. 


This is my progress on Summer Ball. Everything from the guy's sleeve over is new for this month. I realized I don't like stitching all the men on this piece. Lots of complex shading. The women are easy to do, at least everyone but the yellow lady! I think there are only 3 men in this section, though:
Summer Ball
Sandy Littlejohns for Cross Stitch Collection
stitched on 32 count Jobelan with  Anchor threads
 
 
And this happened. My theatre is putting on a very different, amazingly beautiful show about the effect of suicidal depression on the family. It's a lot of audience involvement, and the actor often goes up in the audience. The entire box office staff attended the dress rehearsal, where the theatre's photographer takes the promo photos. We ended up in the photo they used in the review for the Washington Post. And who ended up in the middle of the picture, but ME (I'm the redhead in the wild shirt.)!  Luckily I had dyed my hair that day and did my makeup. It's not a bad picture; I think I was on the verge of laughing, but at least I don't look awkward!
 
I hope everyone has a good week.
 
I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls