Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Finish Twenty-Two

She's done! She's done! She's done, she's done, she's done! Done, done, done! Done, done, done! Here is Gathering Eggs by Mirabilia FINALLY completed -

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I'm still not as attracted to this piece as I thought I would be :o( I made quite a few changes with the backstitching in order to make things blend a little better and not look so harsh and heavy. I decided not to do the daisy stitches in her dress and on her shawl because I thought it was just too much. I don't think their absence will be missed. I only used one strand of the metallic gold for the ribbon around her neck.

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I'm not sure how well it's going to stand out but I think the two strands would have looked too bulky. Gathering Eggs was stitched on 28 count Natural Pearl Linen. This is a NICE fabric! If you ever get the opportunity, try it out :o)

Btw, it seems that every picture I see of Gathering Eggs on the internet, shows her facing the other way. Is this just me or is she supposed to? I got my pattern from the April 1998 issue of Better Homes & Gardens Cross Stitch & Needlework magazine so I have never seen her out in the actual pattern form. Any thoughts or ideas as to why this is?

So what's next in line? I do have a small project put aside but I'm not sure if I'll take the time to stitch that right now or not. I do have the first two blocks of my Two By Two afghan all kitted up and I'm dying to stitch one up so I imagine that will be next ;o) The house is still cool so I won't mind sitting underneath the afghan, at least until July. Maybe...

This stupid cold has decided to hang around a little longer than I had hoped. I was feeling much better on Monday and went to work. Last night I woke up with the sore throat again. Come on! I think I have suffered enough already! And the snot...I can't believe how much snot has come out of my nose. It's never ending and I have no idea where it's being stored. I have piles of Kleenex everywhere. This morning I woke up and found myself just about to blow my nose on the bed sheet! I tell you, there is nothing dignified about having a cold.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

They Shoot Pumpkins Don't They?

I should be a psychic! As predicted, Tuesday and Wednesday were enough to drive me to my grave but what I didn't bank on was coming down with a bad cold on Monday night :o( That was just the icing on the cake. Not only did I look bad and feel bad, but I also had a nasty mood to match. Luckily, thanks to modern medicine, I drugged myself up all week; enough to make this nightmare seem like it was going by a little quicker. I'm still miserable today but at least it's mostly the cold that I'm dealing with now.

The FAE didn't quite go as planned. It just proved that The Dog & Pony Show continues. What is with these people???? Their strict seven hour days were more like four and the girl doing my testing thought it was more important to share her trip to the Dominican with her co-workers than keep her eye on me. She told me right up front that she had my file but didn't read it ahead of time, so she had no idea what I had or why I was there. Good to know they were up to date on "all" of my medical conditions.

There is much, much, much more to this story but I have promised to keep things "brief" on my Blog ;o) I'm just sure this certain someone knows the force of the tidal wave that will happen if I really let loose. What angers me about this latest "hurdle" LTD has asked me to do is that I felt the person doing the testing was not doing it seriously or professionally. My financial, physical AND mental states are all hanging in the air and a lot of that power was put into her hands. Can you see why my faith in her was not very high? I'm only telling you a wee part of the story too.

So, I have written up what happened on both days and forwarded it to my lawyer. I want it all laid out on the table. I have done everything LTD has asked me to do. I have cooperated with everything that LTD has asked me to do. I have kept to the strict time frames that LTD has put me in. What have they done for me? I had to use one of my vacation days at work to take Wednesday off in order to do the FAE test, a test THEY required me to do. My time frames are to be respected, while LTD can come up with an answer whenever they feel it's convenient for them. I cannot take a leave of absence from work because LTD states that will VOID my appeal.

Enough said.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Victoria Day Weekend

Our Victoria Day long weekend has always been a busy one. To DH and I, this is "our" first sign of spring and the time that our shack wacky feelings really kick in. We've always dedicated this weekend to traveling down to Bar Harbor, Maine, one of our favorite spots. Long ago it started out as our "Crazy Day" when we would drive four hours down and four hours back, in one day, just to get a small taste of what we had been missing all winter :o) Unfortunately this holiday weekend, we didn't get to celebrate tradition but this was due to many factors.

On Saturday, DH and I went over and celebrated our nephew's first birthday! Happy Birthday Dylan! He is such a cutie :o) Here he is modeling the swim suit that we got him -

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Grandma made his cake and even made a small boat that detached from the main cake and that was Dylan's own personal piece. It didn't take long for that boy to figure out what to do with it. LOL! After about three hours of screeching and yelling, DH and I were "very" happy to return to our quiet sanctuary. If I ever doubt the decision not to have children, just put me in a situation like that for a few hours and then I'll remember why ;o)

On Sunday, DH packed up Duncan and they both headed down to his parents so he could help out with the new mudroom addition. That meant that Brie and I were to hold the fort and I think we are doing quite well :o) Yesterday we spent the day on the couch and I stitched while Brie napped. I managed to work on some more pillow tucks and even completed one with my own stitching piece. I am VERY pleased with the results :o)

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I think I might continue to sew them and possibly put a few up for sale if anyone is interested ;o)

Today the sun is trying to peek out from the clouds but it's still cool outside. Brie and I began our morning with a rip roaring game of fetch with her favorite toy, the Kong. She absolutely LOVES this thing and even knows it by name. The crazy thing is, she can play fetch for hours with this thing. Dad is usually the one to get sucked into doing this though ;o) I took a few pictures of Brie this morning while we were playing. This is what we call The Flying Nun -

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This is Brie taking five but notice how close by the Kong is -

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Tomorrow is day one of my FAE (Functionality Abilities Evaluation) that I have to do for LTD. We are all hoping this will be the end to this nightmare so that DH and I can continue with our lives. We've basically been on hold since last October and the strain is really getting to us. If you don't see me posting for a few days, that means I've hit the wall and won't be crawling out of bed until the weekend. Sigh. Bar Harbor sounds SO appealing right now...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Snow? Sew!

Mother Nature seems to have played another trick on us but luckily there wasn't much left on the ground when I got up. Yes, that's right...snow! Craziness! We had turned the heat off, again, and now I had to put it back on. DH and I were shivering last night and my hands kept getting too cold to stitch. It really wasn't worth the suffering. I'm back to wearing my woolies. Brrrrr!

Earlier this week, I got another sewing bug. I had just finished this purse for Mom a week ago -

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If you can't tell, it's a pink John Deere purse with a marbled brown fabric on the inside. Not what most mothers would want but it was kind of for fun seeing that Dad is such a huge John Deere fan ;o) I tried to photograph this one differently but I'm still not sure if this really shows the purse off or not.

Anyway, I got it in my head that I was going to practice making tuck pillows. I received a kit with a pre-made tuck pillow (see snowman tuck in picture below) and I figured it was time to try my hand at it. I went through four prototypes but I have finally mastered them! If I may say so, I think mine turned out better than the pre-made one ;o)

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This style of tuck has the pillow incorporated right into it. In other words, the pillow cannot be removed. You will see NO fabric edges whatsoever! So far I have made two sizes. The small tucks have a 2.5 x 2.5 opening while the larger tucks have a 3.5 x 3.5. I have not stuffed them yet so that's why they look so flat :o)

I wasn't going to post another progress picture of Gathering Eggs but I already had the camera out -

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She is starting to fill in slowly. I love the vibrant colors, especially now with all the dark, cloudy days. I can see the end!

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Fiddlehead?

If you are not from Canada or a die hard Maritimer, you might not be familiar with this word. Want to guess what it means? To make things easier, I'll give you a multiple choice question :o) A fiddlehead is:

a) the end of an arrow
b) a young fern
c) someone who enjoys playing the fiddle

If you picked...

B, you would be correct! Let me introduce you to, what is considered a New Brunswick delicacy, the fiddlehead -

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Would you believe that this tiny plant causes a stampede every spring? I compare it to the gold rush. Literally. Pickers have their secret or staked out spots and these are carefully watched over until the first fiddlehead starts poking its head out of the ground. That's when a frenzy of picking begins! The picking timeline is very short because in no time flat, these curled up plants will unfurl themselves and produce a mature fern -

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Have I gotten your taste buds going yet? I did call fiddleheads a delicacy but I'm not your typical Maritimer. Yes, I have eaten fiddleheads before. Am I fond of them? Let me put it this way, if there was nothing else to eat, I would at least survive ;o) Fiddleheads are typically steamed and then slathered with butter. I've seen other recipes that add oil, vinegar and garlic but a little camouflage is not going to hide the fact that it's a fern. Okay, if you want to get brave enough and try these plants, maybe a Fiddlehead Omelette wouldn't be so bad.

I'm not a complete ignorant Maritimer though ;o) Give me lobster, give me clams, give me maple syrup or give me smoked salmon any day of the year! Fiddleheads are...ferns! Plain and simple. FERNS! Nothing scrumptious about that to me :oP

Friday, May 11, 2007

Stash Is In The Air!

Gee, I didn't realize that I haven't posted since Monday :o( It's been a busy week here, resulting in me staying home from work today. I almost fainted when I woke up and saw that it was 1:30 PM! Needless to say, I am very tired out and obviously needed the rest.

This week was awesome as far as mail goes ;o) It was nice to finally see some goodies arrive by post again. It's really hard to get ecstatic over a phone bill. Believe me, I tried. LOL! Here's what arrived this week -

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I want to thank Sandy from San Man Originals for the care that she puts into every order. I only bought a dollar chart (bunny of course) and it still arrived all wrapped up with a free chart and the ladybug pencil :o) Drema spoiled me with Seashell Silhouette by Imaginating, Briar Rabbit by L-D-Da, 30 count 18th Century Rook Linen by R & R Reproductions (for Briar Rabbit), Mill Hill beads (to finish Giggles) and four GASTs (Red Plum, Tropical Ocean, Flax and Cidermill Brown). Last but not least, some Oh-So-Gorgeous fabric from Daisy Stitches. This is my first fabric from Enchanted Fabrics (Ocean Depths) and it's very comparable to Heaven Lee Creations fabric, IMHO. The color swatch on Despina's website is not even close to this gorgeous shade of blue.

Yesterday I was surprised by a package from my friend Pam :o) We had just talked on the phone earlier in the week and I guess she didn't waste any time getting her care package out! Look at all the goodies!

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Would you believe that bunny is chocolate scented???? Pam knows the way to my heart ;o) And I do have to apologize Pam, there were three Lindt chocolates in there but now there are two in my tummy and one in DH's. LOL! Pam also donated some floss to my Two By Two afghan project. You know, at first I thought it was silly to put up my floss list but now it's turned into something I never even thought of. Do you realize that each person that donates floss is going to be a part of this project? How amazing is that! It truly will be something special in the end :o) If you want to donate some floss, you can find my wish list down the right hand side of my Blog.

Finally, I thought I would post a picture of what I'm currently working on -

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Yes, Gathering Eggs popped her head out again and I'm very pleased with the progress I have made. I may even finish her! That's today's goal anyway ;o)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Dream On

Do you remember your dreams? What do you dream about? Have you ever had your dreams analyzed?

There are five distinct stages of sleep. Stage One and Stage Two are a light sleep. Stages Three and Four are considered your deep sleep and Stage Five is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. In Stages Three and Four, your body produces growth hormones, which help with tissue repair and healing. There is little dreaming in these two stages. Most of your dreaming will occur during REM sleep. These five stages repeat over and over again during the night, approximately a ninety-minute cycle. In order to function properly, it states that we should have eight to nine hours of sleep per night. If this is the case, does that mean that we can have five to six different dreams a night?

When I was younger I always had a similar element to my dreams. In each dream, I would be attacked or chased by a black bear. Why? I have no idea. I've seen bears before, from a good distance that is ;o) I've never encountered a mother bear with cubs or any bear for that matter. During my late twenties, those dreams stopped and I've never dreamt about black bears again. The Curious Dreamer states that having a bear as a dream symbol means "Power, or a power imbalance. To dream a bear is attacking symbolizes aggression and/or protectiveness." Huh.

In the past ten years I've had another dream that plagues me. I'm trying to contact DH by phone but I keep making dialing mistakes. Here's what The Curious Dreamer has to say about that one "You're feeling frustrated in communicating something. You're isolated or cut off from others. You feel the need to reach out or ask for help. Your subconscious mind is imagining a worse-case scenario based on a fear of needing help and not being able to get it." I'd say the last statement could be spot on.

Some of my dreams become so real that I have to orient myself in the morning to make sure that what I experienced was actually a dream. They are not always bad dreams but the ones that are have introduced a new twist to my sleep...I wake up screaming. Yup! It nearly gives DH a heart attack :o) Sometimes the screams are hoarse and caught in my throat but other times they are piercing (from what I have been told). There are times when I vaguely remember doing it but I can never remember why I was that terrified. I'm the perfect guest for a sleep over ;o)

Just for fun, take a look at The Curious Dreamer and find out what your dreams mean. It may or may not be accurate but it's good fun :o)

Friday, May 04, 2007

One Of Those Days

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing makes you happy? No matter what you do, you still struggle to take interest in something. You feel no inspiration what so ever. It seems my week is going that way. I just can't seem to get myself out of this slump. I've tried different things but when I get turned off by my stitching, then you know something is wrong!

My head feels so full that there doesn't seem to be room to breath. My creative self is yelling for help because it's so bogged down and drowning. I tried taking some pictures after work today but nothing spoke to me. There were no flowers to speak of. Everything around me still looked dead. It's been cold here and today is not helping. It's windy, cold AND over cast :o(

When Quilt Time Sampler finished the first of this week, I started to make plans for my next project. I can't tell you how many times I went through my stash. I kept taking things out and then putting them back again. Nothing was talking to me there either. I started my Marquoir Sampler over again but I'm still having problems with the lightest color. I have one more to try and then maybe I'll post a picture.

It seems I have settled on Gathering Eggs for now. I dug her out and started stitching her again. She really doesn't have that much left so hopefully I will stick by her until she is completed this time. I want to thank everyone for putting their votes in for my next project. It looks like Stargazer has won! I just love that design and I look forward to making her come alive :o)

Today I finally received my Two By Two (by Sue Hillis) book -

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I have seen this design stitched up twice and each time I was in awe. I just love it! I'm going to reserve the fall to start this biggie because I really don't want to be tucked under that afghan all summer. Plus, it looks like I have some DMC to buy. Would you believe this takes 156 SKEINS OF DMC???? Ack! The floss is going to be the most expensive part of this project! Anyone up to donating to the cause? ;o)