Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Years!!!!

I wanted to wish all of you the best New Year's ever!! 

Thank you all (((HUGS))) for your condolences on the passing of my grandfather.  It touched my heart and my family really appreciated your comments too.  They thank you for the love, the prayers and the support you have sent to me.  

I am currently with my family in chilly Prince George and will be experiencing New Year's outside with a bonfire, lights, the stars and some fireworks.  Oh's very cold out too! Maybe -15?! That's okay because we will be bundled up and near the fire.

I will do another post tomorrow~~

Until then.....


Monday, December 24, 2012

My Beloved Grandfather

This is time of miracles and renewed faith in the Lord Christ Our Savior. 

My Beloved Grandpa passed away peacefully on December 22nd, 2012.  My Nana, my two uncles, auntie and I were all with him since Thursday evening, watching and praying over him.  My mother arrived from Prince George on Friday and that was a miracle she even got there since it was the busiest time of year to fly. When she was on the phone with the airline, the said it would be an 1 hour 45 minute wait to get to an agent.  She prayed and she got through in 10 minutes.  The flight was delayed due to de-icing and backed up flights.  She arrived an hour and a half later and made it in time to see her father and say the Akathist to the Archangel Michael (who helps the soul prepare for the afterlife).  My Grandpa was waiting for my mom.  I know he was.  We left late on Friday night to get some rest and at 3:00 am, I knew when the phone rang that he had passed.  I think he was waiting to be alone with my Nana to pass away. 

My Grandpa was an amazing man.  He loved his family and the church with so much devotion.  He was an extremely talented man in music and highly intelligent as an economics professor at UBC.  He co-founded the CGA with a number of others and had written some economics books. He was beloved by his students for his fairness and gentle demeanor.  His love for education and UBC he passed to me and I was lucky to have him in my graduation procession.  I am a proud grand daughter!!

He ADORED my Nana and was often singing "My Irish Rose" to her at any given time.  He always bought her jewelry regardless of her protests of being frugal and he was a hopeless romantic.  He once said to me " Women are more intelligent than men and if the world was run by women we would not be in such a terrible state as we are."  Men are nothing without women.  That is what he said!

His love of music passed on to many of us and I will always remember getting a birthday call from Grandpa as the best part of my birthday.  He would phone and sing "Happy Birthday" in the most beautiful tenor voice....loud too!! Even as he mind faded away from Alzheimer's, music stayed with him until he could no longer speak.  He often would break into an operatic song and make us all jump at the clarity and virtuosity of his voice.  He played classical guitar on a very special guitar called a harp guitar.  It was owned by the famous Dr. Perot, it was given to my grandfather and it is now considered a museum piece.  He could have chosen to become a professional classical guitarist like the famous Julian Bream, whom he knew and studied with, but he chose my Nana and a family as his path in life.  
Me and My Grandpa's guitar.  Please forgive the bags under my eyes.
I will always remember him and his gentle, humble soul who inspires us all to become more like him.  He was a peacekeeper and despised any bickering or anger.  He loved the church and was a pious man.  He never missed going to church and never stopped fasting and praying. He was the choir conductor of our church and I used to love going up to the choir and watch my grandfather conduct and sing the church liturgy.  He also read the Epistle in church and read/chanted the readings in a voice that filled the church and the whole block!!
I love you Grandpa so much and I will always remember you.  You inspire me to become the best teacher I can be.  The best person I can be.  

Vechnaya Pamyat

Wait until 4:16 when all the voices come in.  My Grandpa would listen to Church Liturgical Music all the time.  

Memory Eternal!!!

я тебя люблю - I love you in Russian

Your Annushka

 (Please forgive my muddled mind is not thinking grammar right now...nor is it very eloquent)

On the 24th Day of Advent

Merry Christmas to all of you on this 24th day of Advent for those who celebrate the 25th as Christmas!! As you all know, I celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January, so I will be doing another post on the eve of my Christmas!!

Thank you to Jo from Serendipitous Stitching for hosting this fun blogging event!! You are always full of brilliant ideas Jo!!

The theme for this year is "Stocking, Sack or Something Else."  I've chosen Stocking!  Our family have the common tradition of hanging up our stockings on the fireplace mantlepiece and filling the stockings with chocolates, oranges and little gifts.  My sister, brother and I were always the first up and we were allowed to open our stocking gifts without our parents.  It was very exciting!! We often put gifts that we bought/made for each other in our stockings to open on Christmas Day.  Since I'm no longer living with my parents, my husband and I hang our stockings on our TV stand thingy.  We don't have a mantlepiece but this suffices.  We've added a cat stocking that we usually fill up with treats for our cat, then Lucy, now Titus.  My husband's stocking I made last year and my stocking is kind of funny looking.  It doesn't look very Christmasy at all, but I love it because I've had it since I was 4!!!

We had some snow last week and I was not a happy camper traveling in it! I pulled my hamstring and spent around 3-4 hours a day on transit.  If I wasn't working and was able to stitch, I would've been enjoying the snow from inside.  But leaving the house in that wet stuff in this silly city is a miserable experience to say the least.  So glad it's gone!!

As for something stitchy, here's a photo of my first Christmas finish and my most recent finish.

Merry Christmas to all of you!!

I would love to visit all of your blogs but I have another post after this to tell you why I have not been around.  Love your family and thank God everyday for the breathe he gives to you.

Many blessings and hugs to you all!!


Monday, December 17, 2012

*GASP* Two Finishes!! IHSW and TUSAL

What's that you hear? heard correctly! I finally had a finishing weekend!!! Yay! The finishing drive came over me once I had a glass of sherry and put on some old school jazz. I am pretty pleased with the results and can't wait for next weekend when I will have more time for finishing!! 

Earlier that day, I took a visit to Fabricland and found some wooden and metal buttons on sale.  I grabbed a couple of packs, came home and started playing with trims.  Following some inspiration from the wonder woman finisher Faye from Carolina Stitcher and her post about layering, I decided to give layering trims a go and found a lovely combo for my 123citrouille's Noel.  

123Citrouille's Noel freebie
I love the combo of ribbon, lace, cluny lace and chenille trim with those buttons! So proud of myself!! It's nice to know that with all that practice, I am getting a wee bit better with my finishes.  Don't mean to toot my own horn, but compared to when I first started, it's an improvement to say the least.  The only thing is I don't really like the current fiberfill I have, it's sort of lumpy and difficult to work with.  Now I need to buy some really good fiberfill instead of this lumpy stuff I have and my finishes will be even better.

I also fiddled around with PS's Partridge in a Pear Tree.  I cut out a triangle and spent a good 1/2 hour looking for the green felt I thought I had lying around.  Couldn't find it so I used some red felt.  After I made the ornament, guess what I found?  Yup, the green felt!! Egads!!! Oh well! I think this one came out okay too.  Not as good as the Noel pillow, but cute I think.

Check out who's under the tree! Naughty Titus!!

Oh that cat! 

With all that finishing this weekend, I didn't spend a lot of time stitching.  I did work a wee bit more on Tweet and Tea Bath Fairy.  Here's my progress for 2012's last IHSW.

Loads of Kreinik stitching...slow going.

The little Tweet!

Looking forward to more hermitty weekends in 2013! 

The last TUSAL of the year is filled with kreinik and other bits of string as my hubby calls it.

Thank you to those who have sent me Christmas cards! I have them up and displayed and love them all!! 

On a sadder note, my heart breaks every time I think of those children and teachers who lost their lives in Connecticut.  I wept for all those little boys and girls and their families.  My heart and prayers are with the parents and the community for their loss.  

Take care everyone! I'm looking forward to spending some time visiting your blogs on the break.  

Hugs from me and Titus

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Queen Stitch and Teeny Tiny Things

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas......or so that's how I feel! Tonight we decorated our tree and I started another Christmas ornament, so yes, it's feeling Christmasy here!! The weather has dropped and I feel there's snow on the way, however, it's Vancouver so most likely it will rain.  *Crosses fingers for snow** Hee hee!!!
After a couple of days of nursing my sick husband with lots of love, chicken soup, back rubs, temperature checks, heart checks, you know...all the checks a man needs because they are such babies when they are sick, I decided I'd read to him from one of my favourite books in the world: Brambly Hedge's Winter Story.  I thought this might cheer him up! Well, he loved the story as did I, and it got me right into the spirit of Christmas.  Warm and fuzzy feelings always stir when I read that book, sort of like that part in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe when Lucy touches the branch of a fir tree and her feet crunches on snow as she parts the furs and falls into a Winter Wonderland.  How magical is that?!

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of living in this tree stump

Stitchy News:

Feeling rather bold last night, I tackled my first ever Queen Stitches while watching the last part of the Titanic.  I forgot about how amazing that movie is and also how horrifying it would have been to be aboard that ship.  I shed a few tears here and there.....right....the Queen stitches are in periwinkle silk.  It was hard to get a close up of the stitches.  These are the best I could take.

After tackling those stitches, which were a lot of fun, I thought to myself....why not stitch some Christmasy ornies and make them really tiny! So here are my teeny tiny designs I am stitching.

Tweet by LHN, various silks and DMC stitched on 40 ct Creme Brulee linen
And Titus' nose for size comparison:

A cute little freebie from Balades et Broderies.  I want to stitch quite a few of her designs and have chosen one to stitch on some of that lovely gray fabric I recently ordered.  This design is stitched 1 over 1 on 32 ct. lugana. VERY TINY!!!

That will be one small ornament

Wish I had some finishes to show all of you but I have not been in the mood to pull out my sewing machine.  Hopefully next weekend I will be! Send some of that finishing fairy dust or whatever over my way!!!

To all of those who wanted to exchange Christmas cards with me, I have sent them all out on Saturday so they should be arriving soon!!!

Thank you all for visiting and I hope to make more visits to your blogs very soon! 

Big hugs from me and Titus

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Scarlet Letter Challenge, Advent Calendar and Update

Hello my lovelies!!

Thank you again for all your lovely comments on my last post!! I do not have a heck of a lot of stitching, nor finishing to show you.  This weekend was quite busy with church, making borscht, cleaning and organizing.  Hopefully next weekend will be the time to finish my ornaments.  I have two Christmas ornies to finish and two other finishes to actually finish.  I hope the finishing fairy bites me quick because time is a ticking!!!

Quick word about Christmas cards...I will be organizing the cards and addresses today and hope to mail them out by Friday!

Some blog news - I'm participating in a couple of online ventures and am quite excited about them.  One, I will be a part of Jo's Advent Calendar.  My day is the 24th so keep an eye out for that. I missed it last year and am really happy to be a part of it this year! Two, I'm taking part in Nicola's Scarlet Letter Challenge.  She is celebrating her 50th birthday and the prizes are unbelievable!! Even if I don't win a prize, I don't mind because I'm very excited about starting Hannah Brassington in the New Year.  After finishing Jane, I've been feeling a little off not stitching a sampler.  As much as I love my TBF and Knotgarden, stitching a sampler is so comforting to me that I need to be working on one at all times. I hope to finish Hannah and may be able to start Marion Robertson in 2013.  I have high hopes!!
I've posted the photos before but here's a reminder of what they look like.  I am awaiting the supplies for Hannah.  Talk about expensive! AVAS silk....sigh....I had to do it though.  Never worked with the silk and want to give it a go.  
Hannah Brassington
Marion Robertson
I'm also going to be part of a Random Act of Stitching Kindness, hosted by Angela from Hooked on Stitches.  It's my first time being a part of any sort of exchange/RAK.  I did send out a few RAKs this year and really enjoyed doing that.  I wanted to send out more but then life got in the way.  With being a part of a group, I think it will give me the focus and the push to stitch and finish smalls.  I am pretty excited about it and am already thinking of what to create!! 

Lots of firsts for me this year! I think 2013 will be a great year for stitching!

I didn't forget about the Red and Cream Aida draw.....4 people entered (I wish I had 4 pieces of red aida to give away!)

The winner is.........................Rosey175!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will email you Rosey about your win!

Want a stitchy update? Here's TBF (lots of nasty Kreinik) and Titus:

Luckily he's a gentle boy and doesn't claw my stitching....although I did move him away right afterwards.  He really loves to plop onto my stuff doens't he?!?!!!!

Big Hugs