Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year! Goals for 2012 and a Look back at 2011

Hello my lovelies!!

This might be a bit of a long, 3 part post...or  4 part.

Before I begin, I need to let you all know that I am so happy to have all of you as followers and the comments I receive make my days brighter!!

I also want to let you know that I am currently trying to work down the blog roll and catch up on the multiple posts I have missed over the past week.  The reason being is not only because it was the holidays, but also because of a horrible accident I had three days ago.  CAUTION MY ACCIDENT MAY MAKE YOU FEEL FAINT! (I am somewhat okay as I type this so don't worry please!!)

The Tale of the Toilet
Alright, so the day after Boxing day, I woke up and had the worse cramps in the world (this may make you want to skip ahead). I went to take a wee on the toilet when I started to feel the familiar FAINTY feeling.  I have fainted in the mornings throughout my life, not all the time, but on occasion.  So, instead of staying put, like a SANE human, I decided to get up and walk over to the couch to lie down.  As I passed the bathroom mirror, I saw a ghost.  Wait! That was me!!! Next thing I knew, I woke up as I was banging the back of my head on the floor! Serious pain ensues.  My husband comes running out of the bedroom to see what was wrong because he heard a massive THUNK.  Well folks, I fell flat on my back when I passed out and tried to break the fall with my arm.  This is what we THINK happened.  The funny thing is the pain of my cramps was winning over the pain in my arm and head and back! We probably should've called 911, but I HATE going to the hospital, so we decided to pump me full of advils.  I "slept" most of the day away and by the next day, the pain in my shoulder was so severe we decided to take a trip to the hospital to see if I broke any bones.  I won't bore you with the long wait I had to get any sort of help or pain meds.  What I will say is how disgusting the hospital was!! It was dirty! We are in Canada?!!! And this is the sort of "help" we get?! We pay over $300 a month in health insurance and extended health so why can't we get a clean hospital with people who aren't overworked?!??!?!  Luckily, the Xrays they took showed that I didn't have any broken bones, but I do have some serious soft tissue damage :(  My arm will take awhile to heal and this puts a damper on my sewing/stitching plans :( Double sad face :( 

The Tale of the Toilet Fainting Episode Ends.

Okay!!! Onto happier news!!

The Tale of the "M" Pillow

So remember that "M" I stitched awhile back? Well, on Western Christmas day, while my hubby worked, I spent the entire day making the "M" into a pillow.  The reason being, is that I am not the BEST sewer at ALL!! I tend to rush ahead and cut fabric without really thinking/planning beforehand--this is one of my 2012 goals for myself...more to come on that later.  Unfortunately, when I bought the fabric, I didn't purchase enough so the mistake I made in cutting the fabric, I just had to fudge and make it work.  After seam ripping the panels twice making sure I sewed straight, I sat down to prep both pieces for the zipper I was going to sew in.  LAUGH ALERT!!  Soooo, here I am all happy, sewing my two pieces together, loving my straight stitching, when I noticed I stitched the entire pieces together without an opening!!! HAHAHAHA!! How the heck was I to add the zipper when I sewed the pillow closed! Oh My Golly Gee!! So off I went to seam rip this pillow for a THIRD time!! Although it wasn't too bad because I watched the Princess Bride (for the billionth time) while I did it.  Needless to say, I finished the pillow, sewed my very First Zipper EVER, and the pillow looked amazing!!! My darling cousin-in-law loves her pillow and will cherish it always!!

Stitching News

My mom's ornie, my sister's and auntie's gifts are still not finished due to my arm being injured.  So I will have to finish them in the new year.  Here is a progress photo of my mom's ornie that is taking an awfully long time to stitch 1 over 1.

I also received a lovely thread from June from Butterfly Wings.  I had won one of her mystery giveaways awhile ago.  Isn't the card and thread lovely! Thank you June!!

Stitching Firsts for 2011

Finished Ink Circles Tanglewood-First ever BAP

Finished the Queen's Sampler by PPS--First time using silks...and now I'm addicted!!

Finished Barbi's Biscornu design-First biscornu ever and loved it! Joyce won it !!

Finished Debi's Roses by Chatelaine-First Chatelaine design ever and second biscornu

Finished M's pillow- First time I ever sewed a zipper!!

Finished Hubby's Stocking-First time I ever lined and sewed a stocking!!

Finished Ornies--Everything I made this year was a first for me!!

I feel pretty proud of myself for accomplishing a lot this year.  I tackled projects I was scared of in the past, but am no longer scared.  In fact I say, bring it on!! Truly though, I couldn't have done it all without the encouragement from all of you.  It's like I have a troop of supporters that help me plug along.  The blogging community has been so kind and generous.  THANK YOU!! HUGS TO ALL!!!

Personal Goals for 2011

1. Slow down.  Stop. Think.  Plan.  Seriously this is a MUST for me.  It will save me a lot of headaches in the long run.

2.  Stop pointing out the flaws in myself.  No one really notices.  This has been a problem for me since I was young.  I really need to cut it out!

3. Be more organized in all facets of life.  I always have these grandiose plans that never get done but could get done if I start lists and focus.

4. Be loving to everyone.  I usually am really loving to everyone, but in this big city, sometimes I get cranky in the crowds.  I am trying to throw out more smiles to people because you know what, it makes their day and mine too!

5. No more moving around if I feel faint.  I just need to sit down and let it happen!

6. Cycle more!! I need to burn off this winter weight I got going on my thighs!!

7. Read War and Peace.  This has been on my list for two years!! My Nana gave me her old Kobo so now I can finally take it with me on the skytrain!!

8. Learn to drive.  Yeah, I don't know how to but I think I should!!

There are probably a lot more goals that I should list, but I think I should be realistic and keep it simple.

Stitching Goals for 2012

1. Start Jane Philpot's Sampler-Got the kit all ready to go for January 1st!!!
2. Start Bird's of a Feather's Bitter Flower Sampler-Still need the materials for this!
3. Start Ann Taylor Sampler by Heartstring samplery-See number two
4. Start anything Quaker!!!
5. Finish HAED's Tea Bath Fairy--She hasn't been worked on since November...oops!
6. Look for a BIG Chatelaine design and save up for it!!
HDF silks by vicki clayton

If you made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back for me!!! I think I should add another goal: post more than once a week so it's less cumbersome for my readers!!

January 3rd is my birthday and the 7th is my Christmas, so I'll probably post in between those dates.

Happy New Year from me, my hubby and my darling, silly, fat, fluffy, quirky, meowy, Titus!!!!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of you from me, my husband and Titus, who is hanging out with me as I write this!!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Stocking and ISHW

Hello my lovelies!!

Beware! Loads of pictures in this post!! Grab some tea/coffee and settle in!!

It has been quite the eventful week!! I'm pleased to say that I finally finished my husband's stocking!! Yahoo! I received a lot of help from my mom when she came over on Tuesday to fix the tension on my machine as well as give me tips on sewing.  It was hard for her to not do the entire stocking herself!! Even though she let me do the sewing, I could feel her wanting to get her hands onto it!! I think she really misses sewing. Although I made a couple of boo-boos along the way, like cutting the batting too small twice, I managed to get it done! Now I have to still make my sisters placemats and my auntie's table runner.  Luckily I still have some time until January 7th to finish both projects.
Since we don't have a fireplace or a mantelpiece I decided to prop the stocking on the tree to take a decent photo.  It doesn't stay in the tree just so you know!!

I also stitched up my Dad's ornament but still need to actually finish it, which I may do on Monday seeing as I want to keep to stitching this weekend for the ISHW.  The design is from Daffycat and if you ask her nicely she will send you the pattern.  Please abide by her requests and only provide a link to her site and do not upload the pattern. I really had fun stitching this design and I think my Dad will love it too!
The photo doesn't do it justice cause the colours are really rich and very Christmasy.  Oops I forgot to iron it!!

I also started my Mom's ornament and I think I can show it here.  I'll just remind her not to visit my blog until she receives the present!! It's from the JCS 2010 magazine and she actually pointed out that it was her favourite ornament sometime ago.  Too bad I'm not organized enough to start my ornament stitching in the summer!! Oh right, I was traveling around in the summer....well maybe I should start them in January!! One of these days I will get it together!!

I'm stitching it on some 28 ct lugana that Joyce sent to me and it's 1 over 1 so it will be a tiny ornament!! Thanks Joyce for the lugana!!! I'm loving it a lot!!

Onto framing.  So last week I bought a couple of frames from Michael's and spent some time putting some of my old finished pieces into frames.  I finally got my geisha girl her frame and guess what?! The backing of the frame barely, and I mean BARELY, closes and looks like it is ready to explode at anygiven  moment! I'm seriously frustrated with finding a frame that works with cross stitch.  I really can't afford the crazy costs of getting my smaller pieces professionally framed and to find any sort of box to mount the pieces on is also proving to be difficult.  Our city is somewhat craft unfriendly! Anywho, griping aside, the Geisha will have to be satisfied until I can find a better frame.
This BBD freebie design I decided to give to my friend for Christmas, along with some linen and threads to her so she can start cross stitching!! This frame wasn't too bad and it wasn't a struggle to get the piece to lay flat and FIT the frame!! She loved it and is excited to give cross stitching a go!! Woohoo to converts!
PS: photo taken on skytrain because I forgot to take one at it's a bit blurry with all the motion.

More fun news to share.  Yesterday, while I was with above mentioned friend, we went into the most darling little store that was filled with tons of curios, antiques and the most fabulous Christmas decorations.  I also found some antique mini sewing machines but didn't take a photo of them.  The machines were going for $500!! The antique lace spools and thimbles were upwards to $100!! Canada seriously???? Why is it that you have to charge SOO much for everything??? Anyways, we did stumble upon some really cool retro baubles that were exactly like my Dad's ornaments!!
I loved those fishing lures!! I thought about getting my Dad one because he's a fisherman, but he is so particular about what lure to use with each fish.  I may run back there though and get one anyways. They just look so alluring...hehe! I need to call him up and tell him about the decorations and how expensive they are now!! He will get a kick out of that!!

Okay, nearly done.  Just wanted to mention how amazing the Tori Amos concert was!! The string quartet she had with her were genius!! She brought out a lot of her old songs which made us go wild!! I think this is my 5th or 6th time seeing her, and so far it's been one of the best concerts yet!! The venue where she played is one of the best in Vancouver.  It's called the Orpheum and it has the most beautiful ceiling and decor.  The acoustics is perfect there, hence why our symphony plays there all the time.  Here are some photos of the night.  One of the photos I took before the show started, included the annoying girl that hooted and yelled at the most inappropriate times during the show.  We all sort of secretly wished that the usher would usher her out!! I really don't know why people didn't tell her to be quiet.  She was so disruptive! I get that she was excited, we all were,  but lets keep the hooting and "I love yous!!!" to before and after Tori sings!!

Wow! I'm finally done!! I'll be posting a little update on my ISHW progress on Monday. Hopefully I will get my mom's ornament stitched!!

Take care,

Happy Stitching!!


Um, I forgot to add what project I will be starting in January....maybe I'll let you guess!! It's one of the patterns I bought this year.  That's my hint :D

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Titus, the new Cat and Our Christmas Tree

Well Hello my lovelies!!

It has been quite sometime since I have posted anything.  Reason being is that I have had been pretty busy with work and whatnot, as well as not much stitching to share.  But I do have big news to share! We have a new cat!!! His name is Titus, the god of the giants.  It also means "saved" in Greek, which is exactly what he is, saved!!! About 10 days ago, we went to meet him from this lovely older couple.  The lady is quite ill and was instructed by her doctor to find a home for her beloved cat.  It was quite an emotional greet and meet.  She adores her cat and was heartsick to have to give him away.  I understood her pain, since we just lost our darling Lucy and I am still grieving somewhat from her absence. My husband really wanted Titus and I was still unsure, however, next thing we knew, he was in our home! For the past week, he remained under our bed, only coming out on the 4th day at night to eat a bit of food.  I was quite stressed about him and hoping that he would adjust to his new home.  We talked softly to him and after the 2nd day, I was able to reach under our bed and let him sniff me and pet him a bit.  On the 7th day, he really came out and checked out our bedroom and even our living room! He is quite the big cat! Very fluffy, very purry and very cute!!!! I have started to bond with him and am really loving his quirky character!! He head butts with such a force that he almost knocks us over!! He also does this odd doggie growl, remember growly grey cat? He only growls though when he hears our noisy neighbours walk up and down the hallways, which is really funny.  I've never had a male cat or a cat that has had to adjust to us.  Lucy just was always ours.  I will still miss her, but this new furbaby, is starting to steal my heart!! He is 5 years old, well trained and is called a Ragdoll cat.  Can't wait to have him fully comfortable with us!!! Here are some photos that are blurry because he wouldn't be still!

So cute!!!
 I promise to get better photos of him in the future.  He really is a riot!! I gave him catnip last night for his first time and he went super kooky!! I have a video of him inching around like a worm but I don't know how to post it.

Well, we got our Christmas tree up! We usually have a large Christmas tree decorating party every year, but this year we wanted it quiet because of Titus.  So we had a few close friends over and had a wonderful time!! It's amazing how fast our tree gets decorated with 5 pairs of hands to help!! I have quite a selection of special ornaments.  Some my mother made for me when I was a girl, and some I bought over the years that are near and dear to me.  We have two beautiful golden birds that perch on the branches.  In our family, bird ornaments are a must on a Christmas tree! I had to continue the tradition!!

Mrs. Claus stitched by my Mother
My favourite blingy gold stars!
Chippy is up and happy with his nut!!
Our Master Nutcracker!
My first Christmas pillow...I really love it!
Daylight christmas tree..not nearly as pretty as it is in real life
As for stitching news, I have started one of Daffycat's reindeer designs but have not finished it yet because I have to stitch it at the computer!! BLECH!!! My printer ran out of ink and I keep forgetting to take the cartridge out to be refilled, therefore, I have to sit uncomfortably stitching.  Now the weekend is here, and I am extremely busy.  My mom is in the city and it's her birthday today, plus we have church tonight and tomorrow morning and big dinner for my mom at night! It will be fun but no time to get anything done!  Luckily my mom is going to come over next week and help me sew up all my projects so I have it all ready for the 25th.  We don't celebrate Christmas on the 25th seeing as we are Orthodox.  But I do give gifts to my friends and other non-Orthodox family on the 25th.  We celebrate on the 7th of I have some time yet to finish my immediate family's gifts!!

I have almost caught up with my blog reading and am really impressed with everyone's stitching! It's been great to read everyone's Christmas traditions and seeing the lovely trees all dressed and sparkly!!

Don't miss Dearest Cucki's giveaway! She is the loveliest person and is having a generous giveaway!!

Take care everyone and I will post again mid week! I am going to Tori Amos' concert on Tuesday night!!! It will be my sixth time seeing her play live.  She is one of my favourite musicians!

With lots of love and hugs!!