30 May 2012

Finishes and Flare--a picture post

I promised some pictures of things I had finished lately.

This is the October floss tag from Heart's Content. It was a very quick stitch and I am looking forward to finishing it as soon as I can get ferried into Metro Crazyville for the interfacing and thingy to do the hole at the top (I'm having a moment here with the name of those things). I am looking forward to doing the whole set, they would be really cute for exchanges or just as a way to "purty" up my threads.
 And, at long last, Icy!  Started January 1st, 2010, done May 28th 2012. I think this is the only January 1st start I have ever managed to finish. Ooops!
 It was a big chart and a challenge--the rayon was a worthy adversary from over the sea (literally--I had to order it from Sew and So)--but it feels so good to have finished it finally. I will get this one framed, and it will make a pretty addition to our winter decor.

In case anyone is interested, here is what the front of the house looks like, decked out for summer.
I almost feel ashamed because the actual flower bed has nothing in it at the moment, and so many people post pictures of immaculate gardens full of beautiful flowers (my mom and MIL are bothered by the lack of vegetation as only flower lovers could be, LOL), but I couldn't figure out what I wanted it to look like during the late spring, and, I mean, realistically, this is not the year to sweat the small details. Maybe next year, unless my mother was being serious when she said she would come out and plant flowers for us, which she claims she is. We have the ornamental grass, we have the petunia baskets and that railing planter (the thing was a waste of money since nothing actually survives long-term in it, but it was too expensive to just chuck it out, fortunately it's probably going to break one of these days), and I love the pinwheels. My MIL gifted us with a bunch of seasonal flags as a bridal shower gift and I love how cheerful they are. I have great plans to plant more bulbs this fall, along with some pansies and mums, and maybe beg a cutting off my grandmother's peonies next spring, so it's a slowly evolving work in progress. And, considering I dug the bed without a proper shovel, pregnant, in one day, it's a fine flowerbed for what it is. When I met Left-brain, this was a house that shouted "single guy seeking a wife", and, slowly, it's starting to sing, "a family lives here." And I like that.

Another update, will try to get photos later today

I know I haven't been around still this week.

Things are going a bit better. We spent the majority of the morning Friday at the hospital, waiting to be seen. That appointment went really well. Babygirl looks fine, a little slow to do her practice breathing (at least to cat-nervous mama), but I think that was because she was in the well between breakfast and when our snack kicked in, and the tech said they don't practice all the time. She didn't seem concerned, so I'm not concerned. My BP was normal, 120/70. I keep telling the doctor it's only high in his office, other than that, it's normal.

We gathered in the last few bits and pieces for her. Left-brain is completely in love with his her new video baby monitor. I'm happy because, for the first time since I became an adult and started acquiring them for penning various members of the extended Mongrel Horde, I own a BRAND-NEW baby gate (don't baby gates for pets seem like kittens, no one ever actually pays for one, you just get them from someone who had a extra, and you're never quite sure what make it is, or if it's a good deal, you just hope you made the right choice?)  I folded all her clothes up and put them in her drawer/bin thing. Mom is planning on bringing her a little swing, and her little diaper cake from her baby shower is on my dining room table as our centerpiece. How appropriate my house is patriotic/baby right now!

I even found a little time over the weekend to plant some flowers. Lowes had lovely red white and purple petunias in hanging baskets and in individual packs, and some other patriotic planters. So, very careful to go out before it got hot, I got some.  Left-brain put up the bunting I bought on the front landing (he was trying to redeem himself for accidentally pulling up the tulip bulbs in my pot because he thought the plants were "done", the bulb came up with the stem, and they looked orange and shriveled--God love my husband, he is a left-brain man), and, along with the other "flare" we have out there, it looks very patriotic.

On the stitching front, I have been making progress. I FINISHED ICEY!  On Monday, courtesy of the "Band of Brothers" marathon. I spent 4 hours beading, without a beading needle, just a quilting needle.  Tedious, that was. I am so glad to have this finished. I still have to wind all the floss that was left over, but it feels wonderful to have a large UFO done. I had begun to think I just didn't have the ability to complete them in me anymore, but this feels awesome.

To celebrate, I picked up "Liberty", the June 2008 SNN kit. I had started it the day it came back then, but IIRC, that was the day one of those monster early summer thunderstorms came through the DC area, and no one had power. I know I started it sitting outside Mom's house, but it was too hot and steamy to sit there, the power wasn't coming back on anytime soon, so I put it away, decamped for Crazyville, and never picked it back up.  I'd like to get it done before the baby gets here, and it seems to be going fast, so that may be doable.

I will try to post pictures of everything tonight, I'm just trying to play catch up on all the stuff that doesn't get done when I am at the doctor.

24 May 2012

Quick update

I haven't really been around this week. My baby shower was great, my friend's visit was wonderful, however, I had a really horrible doctor visit on Tuesday. I came this close to being admitted to the hospital because, after being left sit in the waiting room for too long, then put in a room for 45 minutes (the same room I fell asleep in a month or so ago, and was left in there for an hour), and then hearing the doctor have a 10 minute conversation with a pharmaceutical sales rep, in which they continued the conversation they've been having for the last 4 weeks about whether or not he wants pre-stamped prescription pads for whatever product the rep is touting (I think it's birth-control pills, but I'm not sure, and at this point, I don't care), when he got in the room, I was MAD.  I know we have a language barrier, but he said some things to me that I don't particularly care for, and they were scary,  and he told me not to cry because I was upsetting myself. UMMM . . . K. Our doctor-patient relationship has been deteriorating rapidly over the last month or so, and I can't put my finger on why, but I think it has something to do with the fact that he seems to think my pregnancy should be the central focus of the entire family, to the point where it's not unreasonable that my husband takes multiple days off a week to take me to doctor visits, and the fact that I understand that he can not keep the small business that keeps a roof over my pregnant head going missing this much work.  It ended up that I got sent home, with an edict that I can not drive anymore, I am supposed to rest as much as possible, and that I have to go to the hospital tomorrow, apparently to speak to a perinatologist, but since I've been supposed to see the perinatologist since January, and all I seem to see is bills from them, I'll keep you posted.

Left-brain was HOT when he heard what happened, but he set right to work getting our plan together. He took all the little clothes I got down and washed them for me.  He used a dryer sheet on them, which was not the best thing, but he was trying to help, and I wouldn't criticize him for the world.  We packed her little bag for her to come home. I was only recommended to put 3 outfits in, but we chose 5 of each, just in case she needs options. He's going out tonight to get the rest of the things we need, in case we run out of time; there is something so charming, seeing this big, quick man moving through the baby department, looking at the tiny little lacy socks, saying things like, "Why is it all pink?"   I feel horrible for making extra work for him, and I feel like I'm just causing one problem after another, but he said it's OK. He said even if her I did have to remind him that he has to read labels when cooking, because he made dinner with potato bread, and that is not good. He said, "But it was a good brand."  Well, babe, still had sugar, LOL.  He tries really hard. He is a good man, he will be a good father. 

I was so upset Tuesday night that Left-brain said I should stitch, and I told him I didn't want to. I didn't feel like it. I got to feeling a little better last night and picked up Icy, but  I didn't do too much. Still haven't worked myself up to it.

18 May 2012

Rabbits and Dragons and pumpkins, oh my!

I have been busy as a bee lately. Since the box with my WIPs/UFOs is buried underneath other boxes, I have been trying to work on things that I come across, at least until we get a better system going on in the house. This is what I've scavenged from the detritus.

Above is a very sweet floss tag I started from The Needle's Content. She offered these charts in 2009, as a series you could purchase and have sent to you. I don't know if they are still available, but I really enjoy this one. It was a bit pricey to kit up the set of charts with Gentle Art, but I really love how the colors work, especially on this ivory Jobelan I bought. It's probably going to be a challenge for me to assemble this, but I don't think it's unachievable.

I rounded up all the parts of Icy Dragon and am also working on getting him finished:
 He has been a two year WIP, and I was doing him as a SAL with Riona. Well, that got to put the side when I took that new job last year, but maybe this new work at home schedule is just the impetus that I need to get him done. Really, there isn't that much left to do as it is.  Just finishing the clouds and border, beading it, and a little more outlining. I can do that. Piece of cake!
And my bunnies are done. I just love how this turned out. The perfect balance of rustic and elegant. I did have to frog quite a bit because of the linen, but I still love it (the linen, that is). 

I am probably going to have to ask Left-brain to reorganize the office/storage room so that I can get to the UFO box again. I have some stuff out, but not that much. I realize, I am probably not going to have a lot of stitching time after Babygirl comes, but I have heard babies sleep a lot that first month or so after they come, so I don't know. I don't want to stop the forward progress.

As far as she goes, we had another ultrasound on Tuesday. She is turning into a Chunka-monk, all the way up to 5 pounds now, with 7 weeks left to gain weight. She moves A LOT; we were hooked up the monitor at the doctor's office and she was squirming like crazy. She got a case of the hiccups that was so bad she was doing it for 5 minutes or so; the doctor thought that there was something wrong with the machine. Nope, just my kid! They have been hassling me about my weight, not because I gained too much, but that I haven't gained any weight. I can only do what I can do, and the low-carb diet is not exactly conducive to weight gain. The baby is growing--the only pre-baby clothes that fit anymore are sweatpants and my big t-shirts--I'm just not getting big, but I did have a lot of fat she can have.

 My baby shower is tomorrow, and I am pretty excited about that, at least a little bit because one of my best friends is coming into town and I haven't seen her since my wedding (we had been discussing a trip to Kentucky before the baby came, but hadn't firmed up plans, and then the baby happened, and a 10 hour car trip was not happening). I think we may go to the movies, probably Dark Shadows, but not sure yet. She said she could help me get the room ready, but it's as ready as it's going to be til the couch leaves. Besides, it's a vacation for her, not a working trip. i want her to enjoy the limited pleasures of Metro Crazyville, LOL.

So that is all that is going on here. I hope that everyone is enjoying a nice week, and has exciting weekend plans.

10 May 2012

Itty Bitty Littles!

 First up today, my cute little ornament finish. I did change him slightly by leaving out the random snowflakes.  Sorry, not using my overdyed threads for confetti stitching like that. I am quite happy with this little guy!  He is going to look adorable on the tree.

With the arrival of May, it was time to work on Itty Bitty Kitty Quilt. I realize I haven't been sharing the monthly finishes for the past couple months, so wanted to catch you up on them.

This is March:
I'm not a huge fan of the colors, but that's OK.

April was much cuter:
 I took this along to work on when I was taking my 3-hour blood glucose test, the one they use to determine if you have gestational diabetes. It felt like it would be a cheerful thing to work on during that dreaded test.  And it did make the time pass. Anything to take my mind off the flavor of that drink. Blech!

And this is the entire piece so far, including my progress on May's block.

I have to go get DMC 600. I have checked and I do not have it in my stash. How does that work? Left-brain thought I could just improvise from my stash. I asked him if, in a situation where he didn't have the right part for his Mustang, like an engine, he would take the engine out of a Honda Accord and put it in there instead?  First he said, "Well, yeah, those little turbos are good," then acknowledged that it wouldn't be right. Well, that's how stitching works. I'd rather just go and get the right color. Besides, it gives me a chance to check our Walmart to see if they are carrying DMC yet. I hope so; they're right across the street from Michaels and it might drive the price of floss down.

So that's what's happening here. Not much, but a little progress is still some.

09 May 2012

And in other news . . .

I have been placed on psuedo-bed rest. Or rather commute rest. I went into the doctor yesterday, and he feels my commute is too stressful and is elevating my blood pressure. At first he wanted me completely to stop working til the baby comes, but I explained that doing that would cause us undue financial stress and I couldn't do that. Not to mention, it's two months, I haven't had two jobless months since 1997, and that was only because I was in college and had an allowance and didn't need money.   I know that making sure Babygirl is OK is a priority, and I take it that way, but if we can't pay our bills and I'm miserable, that doesn't really help her. The crazy thing was, the whole time he and I are having this discussion, I was hooked up to a monitor to check her heart rate, and when I got upset, she started wigging out. It got me to calm back down, I put my hand down where she is and told her it would be OK, and she calmed down.  We finally agreed that I can still work, I just have to work from home. I'm fine with that, trying to work out some bugs with my computer, but it's OK.

I have the finest nursing care a pit bull can provide. Beazer won't leave my side, not even to eat. He wants that bowl near me. This is something new with him; he won't eat til he knows I am home, which frustrates Left-brain. But his skills as a nutritionist leave much to be desired; he's staring at me right now, Jedi mind tricking me for a peanut butter cracker. I already gave him part of my cheese stick, so, um, no.

I am looking at the bright side of this. I won't have to pay for gas, except when I go to the doctor's. And I am working in the office those days. It makes no sense to drive down and back, get stressed over traffic and then work, when I can just be normal. And I need the interaction with co-workers. And it was nice not having the commute--this morning, I spent my commute time reading a book.  And 3 extra hours a day of stitching!  Woo hoo!  I can start lowering the stack of boxes! 

I will probably finish Just A Little Flaky today, and will post a pic of it.

07 May 2012

Quick, cute, and little

My progress on the very adorable Val's Stuff ornament from the JCS issue. I started him a few weeks ago, then spent a while working on big projects. I'm using the recommended threads on PTP Loch evenweave. That's not what the chart called for, but it's pretty close, and I love their fabric, and it works for this.  I picked him up on Saturday and I just think he's as cute as a bug. He should be a pretty quick stitch for me; the Weeks will slow me down a bit, but not too much, not at this size.

We finally got my sewing room cleaned out completely. All my stuff is in the office, stacked up. Left-brain told me he knows I will never stitch all that in my lifetime. Of course not, it's a collection, who uses all their stuff!  Honestly, though, I didn't realize I had so many UFOs and WIPs til now--there were even more than I had put in the big tub o' UFOs. Some of them, like Hummingbird Trellis, I look at and wonder if I will ever actually complete, but there are others that it just seems like a few weeks would take care of getting finished.  It's a good sign, though, I think, that I looked at that giant stack of boxes and thought, "You realize you need to work some of these down, right?" And I know that I have, stuck in bags, bins and boxes, enough supplies to accomplish this--I can even dye fabric thanks to the dyes my mom bought me. And, maybe, just maybe, it's time to go through the binders and start pulling things to give away. After all, other people do it!

03 May 2012

Halfway there

It's fixin' to storm here, but I wanted to share my current progress on the Rabbit Alphabet in case we lose power. Thank you for the compliments on my last update; one of these days, I'll get a picture before I have to depend on my stitching light to illuminate this. It's moving right along, despite a visit from the frog who did not want to leave that X.  I think I must have stitched it three or four times. I should really put this down and go back to ornaments, but I don't want to right now, LOL. I'm loving this too much, and can't wait to see how it turns out.

02 May 2012

A bit of preaching . . . but for a good cause

Just a warning, this may bother you.

Avery's blog

I found out about this blog over the weekend, a tiny girl who was facing a battle that would thwart strong men. Avery was a baby, born in November, who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is one of the leading genetic killers of children. Avery was given 18 months to live, and her parents set about to make those months matter, to fit a whole life into the time she was given. The blog chronicles her bucket list.

Avery died Monday. Her father wrote a beautiful post from her as a tribute, but asked that people keep fighting the battle to find a cure for this disease. To share and forward her story.  And that is why I am here today. Because we can do our small part.

About 10 years ago, those of us who belonged to 123Stitch met a boy named Cole Webb. He was the first time I'd heard of SMA, and we watched him grow for a little bit more than two years before he passed. But, because of him, this charity was started

Cole's Quilts

It provides cross stitched quilts to children who have the disease and the families of children who have passed. It's a good cause. I've stitched some squares for it, it gives me a chance to spread the word about the disease. One of the stitchers in my stitch group, Ann, stitches tirelessly for them. Occasionally, we get updates and photos from the families. The quilts mean so much to them.  I don't know how many people know about this project, but I know I am going to start making an effort to stitch for them again. It's a small way we stitchers can fight back against this killer, and it means so much. I hope one or two of you will join me.

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