Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Thoughts and feelings

I had two days during which I felt pregnant before I knew absolutely, even before I saw the Doctor, that something was wrong.

Two very nice days of reading pregnancy websites and even looking at maternity clothes when I went to Target to get my prescription. The clothes were horribly ugly whilst pretending to be fashionable.

Two very nice days to plan and dream a little.

My husband described it as surreal, due to some timing things that I won't share.

By Thursday night we knew that though I was pregnant (or most likely pregnant) something was really, terribly wrong.

Two days was not enough to crush me now that it's over.

I'm just a little sad.

Well I didn't see that coming

Martina released part 5 of GTK today (early)! I was certain it would be the inside page of the book and had the fabric ready for it.


It's the cover of the needlebook. Actually the frame of the cover of the needlebook.

Funny because the only part unfinished on the cover of the thread keeper book are the Rhodes stitches. Also funny because I had prepared the fabric for the inside page. Now I have to cut and overcast the material for the needlebook since I don't want to use the blue from ECS (which I'll be using for something else).

So it looks like I will continue to stitch on Frog Prince until the weekend, when I will have longer time to cut the fabric and fix the edges.

Hmmm. That's not so bad.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Productive Weekend

Plants planted. Everything but the sprouts and seedlings are in the ground , or hanging overhead. My Dianthus return every year and are blooming nicely. Dear hubby tore out the two lovely evergreen bushes that crowded everything else. We loved the color but not the shape and they were growing under the globe shrubs so they had to go. I thought briefly of saving them to put at the front of the yard, but Chas thought otherwise.

Now I have room in the sunny flowerbed so the daisies, hydrangea, salva and zinnia are tucked in.

On the shady side, Chas nearly destroyed the bleeding heart in an attempt to remove it from the hanging basket. To be fair, it is fragile and I nearly killed it as well. Last night I looked and it is blooming so it appears that the plant will pull through. The dahlias are planted and look as though they will burst open soon. The geranium has no flowers but the leaves are pretty.

Best of all, the fuschia is hanging overhead. Come little hummingbirds we have snacks for you!

Stitches stitched. I spent a lot of time stitching. The Santorini goal was exceeded. I think I'll have lower goals for it next month though.

Met the goal for Frog Prince as well--I'll post pictures of it after the SAL tomorrow.

Chas will have to wait another month for his Pitt Panther, but I'm close to finishing. It should be done by the end of June.

I've done really well on GTK. The only part remaining unfinished are the rhodes stitches from part one. I can't tell you how happy I am that the stupid sheaf stitches are done. I hated them with a passion. I blame the fiber and the fabric. My fingers hurt after forcing so many of them through. I hope to stitch a little on it tonight. The new part will be released on Thursday so I'm nearly completely current. Very good considering how little I actually had done on it at the beginning of the month.

The un-reproductive weekend.

Spontaneous miscarriage.

Chemical pregnancy.

Friday my hcg level was 77.

Today it is 20.

The doctor said that it was going in the wrong direction in the right way.

To the baby who could have been, I'm sorry.

To my body, thank you for at least resolving this without forcing me to undergo some procedure since those never seem to work out very well for me (like the simple suddenly not-so-simple gallbladder surgery or the all natural childbirth turned to we're now going to prep you for a spinal block and c-section).

Monday, May 29, 2006

Missing Angie

Somedays I miss my good friend Angie.

Even though she died five years ago, I still wish I could call her, see her, hear her laugh, share something new, discuss something old.

Somedays her loss still just overwhelms me and I can't believe she is gone.

Friday, May 26, 2006


I received some not so good news today.

The good news was that it isn't as bad as it could have been or as I thought it might be.

The bad news is that it isn't good news.

Good to know

I won't be watching the sci-fi channel this weekend.

No Doctor Who.

No good sci-fi tv show marathons.

Nope. It's apparently crappy, cheesy movie marathon weekend at the Sci Fi Channel.

Tonight's theme is freaky monstrous animals. Tomorrow will be uber exaggerated natural disasters. Sunday is plagues (bees, viruses etc).

It doesn't bode well for Monday.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Who would have thunk it

The sprouts are sprouting.

Zinnia, flox and marigold all popping up.

A question of taste

1. What types of stitching and design styles appeal to you most?

I love the Mandalas by Martina Weber (Chatelaine) --they are so clever and the colors are lovely. I always enjoy stitching on my Mandalas.

I also love some of the fantasy/fairy tale stuff I see like Teresa Wentzler and HAED.

Basically anything that captures my imagination and is detailed.

2. What types and styles don't appeal?

I'm not fond of the primitives or the reproduction samplers. I can appreciate their beauty, but I don't have much desire to stitch them.

The only exceptions would be Long Dog, which I suppose could be considered primitive. I love the Token and Paradigm Lost and most of their monochromatic designs. I also think their Multiplication Table is really attractive. I struggled a bit with Multiplication in grade school but looking at that might have helped me.

I caved

I started a new project before I finished any of my goals. Yesterday was the HAED QS SAL so I had to jump in right?

This is a picture of my Frog Prince 3 before the SAL.

This is a picture of it by the time I went to bed last night.

Not bad for one night's work.

I really mucked up the gridding. It was my first attempt and I didn't quite have the hang of it so the grid is completely wrong. I spent some stitching time ripping out the grid. I can see where it will really help me so I'll try to re-grid it. I also understand why some stitchers pay someone else to do their gridding.

The tent stitching goes very quickly and I like the size on 28 count. I have completed two ten by ten squares. Only 262 squares remaining. I think I'll try to do the Wednesday SAL every week so that I can continue to make progress. At least until I add my other QS to the mix.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006



Good grief.

Are you a collector?

From Memes for Stitchers:

The answer is absolutely yes! Oh, just stitching related stuff. Definitely yes.

1. Do you have any stitchy-type collections? flosses, fabrics, patterns, gagdets, scissors, etc? describe any you have! :) post pics, etc.

I have most of Teresa Wentzler's designs either in kit, book or chart form. I have several Chatelaines and a few Mirabilias (though I have yet to start a Mira). Some M Designs, Dragon Dreams and Black Swan. I tend to grab charts I like as quickly as possible for fear that they might go out of print or become otherwise unavailable.

I also have a nice collection of silks and over dyed/space dyed threads. I have some Caron, NPI, Gloriana, Dinky Dyes, Weeks, Stranded by the Sea, Hand Dyed Hues, Crescent Colours, Olde Willow Stitchery, Anchor Multi, Thread Gatherer, Seaside Treasures, Polstitches Dragon Floss, Needle Necessitities, Eterna Silks, Raj Mahal Art Silks. I love them all.

I have a few hand dyed fabrics but really only some Silkweaver solos, Sugar Maple Fabrics linen and some Hand-dyed Jobelan (two colors, both shades of purple). I love the colors of SMF best, but I love the texture of the jobelan. Silkweaver is lovely too though. There are so many gorgeous hand-dyed fabrics on the market I wish I could try all of them.

2. If you weren't limited by space, money, or time, what type of things would you collect?

I joke at work that if I win the lottery, I'm going to build a house around a giant walk in stitching closet that will contain all SMF colors in all available fabrics. There will also be storage for more silk and over dyed fibers and my patterns. I would also pull all my books out of storage and buy more books. And then I would buy more DVDs. And thanks to the HAED board, I've discovered these cute little ACEOs and I would love to have something by Nadia Tate.

I am a collector at heart. I saw a PBS special a year or so ago that explained that women's need to collect and shop goes back to hunter gatherer days. The theory is that women were primarily responsible for acquiring and storing the necessities for survival and this is carried forward today in our shopping and collecting habits.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Stitching by Chance

On Saturday I wanted to keep stitching Santorini, but I have so many other projects calling me that I flipped a coin to decide my project of the day. I did this a few times during the day and every time, GTK was the answer. The borders of GTK exceed my scanner's limits, but you get the idea.

I was up late last night and finished the beading for part two. I rarely seem to take these mysteries in order. This morning I beaded some of the grape clusters for part four. I wasn't fond of the first beaded grapes. They were sort of a blue-purple-gold metallic bead. I've done two other shades of beads and like them much better. However, I think I like the queens stitches grapes best. Here is a complete corner:

At this point I have 5 more queens stitches grapes and 7 more beaded grapes to do. I also have the Rhodes stitches from part one, the back-stitched vines from part two or three and the sheaf stitches from part three. I haven't liked how they've come out. I'm using Bark instead of Copper because I like the Bark better. However, either I need to be more selective in which part of the skein I use, or I just need to go find some Copper. I think I should look at some of the other wips before deciding. Any thoughts?

Typing this out makes it seem like I don't have that much left. I'm hoping to get completely caught up before the next part is released on June 1st.


I spent Friday night stitching Santorini for my Dad. It is a surprise for him. I'm hoping that I can have it done by the Fall so that I can convince my older brother Scott to frame it for Dad so that we can give it to him for Christmas. It is an over one freebie design from Kreativ Kreuzstitch.

I am foolishly stitching full crosses over one. I had only been stitching on it a short time when I started muttering to myself that I should have used tent stitches instead (even though my needlepoint looks terrible). For the most part, the full crosses look okay, just a little off here and there. Doing full crosses isn't so terrible, just time consuming and a little bulky on the small count. I'm convinced that the tent would have been smoother and faster on this count.
By the end of stitching on Friday, I had completed 19 ten by ten squares of the 28 squares goal for this month. If I have calculated correctly, there are 172.5 squares in this design (15 across and 11.5 down). As of right now, I have 36 squares, barely 20%, completed.

I do really love the detail in the over ones. Working on this helped me muster my courage for the HAEDs. I'm itching to start one of the HAEDs, but I'm trying to be a good girl and exercise some restraint. If I czn just reach a few of my stitching goals this month, I'll allow myself to add something new.

Gardening woes and fun

It has rained so much that the pansies in the flower box actually looked rusty. Both the bright yellow and the dark purple flowers had large brown spots on them. I clipped most of the bad buds and they seem to be reviving. The flower box is rotting and is now starting to slant away from the house. I don't know if it will last the summer.

One of the tricky things about gardening at our house is that the flower beds will never match. The flower bed to the left of the front door (if you're standing on the front steps) gets a lot of sunlight everyday (well every day that there happens to be sun in the Greater Cleveland area) and can take plants requiring full sun. The flower bed to the right of the front door is partially shaded from both the maple trees in our front yard and the front porch itself. I can only plant part sun or fully shaded plants there.

Our maple trees are so large that their roots reach all the way back to the flower beds. The first year that we lived here it was like digging through concrete to plant something in the flower beds. The root system was entwined with the soil and the mulch in the beds that they became a solid mass. I tried attacking them by myself that first year and only cleared out about four or five square feet. Since then I've gotten Chas to do the heavy digging.

Saturday we went to a local garden center and bought a few more plants, mostly herbs for Chas's herb garden planter. We also bought a few varieties of lavender for a large planter that we've placed in the front flower bed, just to the left of the front steps. I wanted them just for the scent. I love to run my fingers over herbs just to smell them. Yum. We also bought a dwarf curry plant and Chas suggested we put it in with the lavender. I'm a little afraid it will do something to the lavender's scent, but a little experimentation can be good right? It's not like we will be cooking with these two herbs or making potpourri so it will be just fine.

Finally, I separated the Sweet Pea seedlings and put them in individual slots in a planting tray. I'm hopeful that I can grow them so that they'll be ready for planting in a few weeks. I have a few more peat pellets with Sweet Peas that haven't opened. I'm giving them a little longer to open and have added pellets with Zinnias, Mountain Flox and Marigolds to the trays with Angie's help. We should have a nice mix if even half of them survive. Angie and I threw some extra Flox in the backyard's wildflower garden just to see what might happen without my cultivation. I also dumped some of the sweet pea seeds that haven't opened in the front flower bed to see if they pop open in the outdoors.

I spent some quality time weeding this weekend. The left front flower bed has a mass of vincas slowing taking over both the bed and that side of the front porch. I'm trying to limit it a bit, but I think it is a losing battle. I hate to tear it out because the leaves are a lovely shade of green and it has nice purple flowers.

That's my garden, part plan, mostly accidental.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

How sweet!

I just been rak'd for the first time!

Fudgey from the HAED board gave me the QS Star Fae, one of the newest Quick Stitches from HAED. I received the e-mail from Michelle at HAED tonight!

I love the colors, and I love stars. It is so pretty. Fudgey also said she hoped my fingers heal soon.

Thank you so much Fudgey. You are so sweet!

The lakeflies are back.

Pleh, pleh, pleh.

Any one from Northeast Ohio knows what I'm talking about.

They are harmless little bugs, pale with fuzzy antennae.

But there are just masses and masses of the little things.

This will last about a month.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Go Cavs

That was exciting!

And a little scary.

The rain has stopped

At least for today. More will come tomorrow.

I'll be looking for the boat with the animal pairs at this rate.

My front flower bed is full of toadstools, perfectly circular. Kind of pretty in the rain, but not so nice when the sun is out. The dandelion puffs are outrageously tall in our backyard.

The sprouts are sparser this year. Maybe I should throw more seeds out there.

The sweet peas are bursting forth nicely.

I hope things start blooming soon and don't drown in the rain.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Favorite designers

See what happens when I can't stitch? I blog.

Here are my current favorite sources of stitching:

Teresa Wentzler--she is temporarily not designing so that she can concentrate on artwork and prints, and I actually have most of her designs. She revived my interest in cross-stitching in my early-mid twenties. Confetti stitching and blended threads. Beautiful stuff.

Chatelaine--Martina Weber reawakened my love of cross stitch after Angie was born. The Mandalas are amazing; I am close to finishing JG and aWG (close being relative--as in closer to finished than closer to the start). Her other designs are breathtaking too. I find stitching with silks incredibly addictive. I'm also amazed at the amount of work Martina puts into the details of the design.

Heaven and Earth Designs--I love the detail of the over ones. This company actually licenses the work of contemporary artists. I've seen some wips, they are stunning. My friend Cathy should look at the unicorn ones if she is ever in the mood. Some favorite artists found at HAED are: Nadia Tate, Sara Butcher, Scott Gustafson, James Christensen and Ruth Sanderson.

I also love the Fireflies on Parade by Stacey Tippin--cool.

I do have plenty to keep busy with just these three. I'm not going to look at anything else just now. Nope. Not at all....

Favorite Shows

Just listing some beloved shows:

Scrubs--adore it. So glad it's being renewed.
How I Met Your Mother. Very enjoyable.
SG1--Because they have Ben Browder, and on a really good night, Claudia Black, so it's almost like Farscape is on. Almost.
Battlestar Galactica--I have a love/meh relationship with this show, but it's really the best sci-fi show currently airing.
Dr. Who--I adore this doctor and will miss him when he is gone.

Firefly--did I say they had to be airing to make the list? No I did not.
Farscape--see above.
Babylon 5--see above.
Coupling--see above

Favorite Roses

I would like to plant some roses, but since we rent, I don't think we'll plant them here.

Simply for the record, I'm listing some roses I love/would like to plant in the future:

Vendela (the roses from my wedding)
Sheer Bliss
Sterling Silver (though it needs more pampering than I could probably give)
Rainbow Sorbet
Love and Peace
Brigadoon (one of my favorite musicals)
Veteran's Honor
Moon Shadow

If I planted even half of these, we wouldn't have a lawn. I'd rather Angie had a place to play and run. A rose garden can wait.


We bought more flowers this weekend. Not that we've had a chance to plant the ones we already purchased.

We bought some herbs for Chas's herb planter and some Zinnia's to go with Angie's favorite gardening book (both from MIL). And we bought a fuschia to go in the hanging basket. Now maybe we'll get some hummingbirds.

Last year I tried to grow a wildflower garden to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The flowers were glorious and tall, but I only saw one pale butterfly all summer. I did see many, many fat, happy bumblebees, drunk with pollen, careening about our backyard with yellow dust covering their legs.

I'm trying once again for a butterfly/hummingbird garden in back. I started earlier so we'll see how lucky I am. I'm also trying to grow sweet peas from seed. I used to be very successful and growing things from seed. I have had as much luck with it since I've lived in Northeastern Ohio. I blame the region and the fact that spring is approximately two days long, followed by a round of late winter, followed by blazing summer.

Technically this is a cheaper hobby than stitching. But that's probably only because the window of opportunity is shorter for gardening here.

I'm more successful at stitching. Unless you only consider it successful when you finish a project.

I digress.

If the weather clears, we'll do some planting this weekend. Of course, here, it could still snow.

Stitching disaster.

I have cut up my hands on files at work to the point where I can't actually hold my needles.

No stitching for the next few days.

Monday, May 15, 2006

It's me, Angie

Tonight I showed Angie a few of the charts I bought at the HAED sale. She looked at one of the fairy charts and said, "That looks like me, Angie." It had reminded me of her when I looked at the charts, and that was why I bought that particular design.

Then I showed her another one. She chimed in, "That's a froggie eating dinner with me, Angie." I replied, "It is. Would you like mommy to stitch this for you?" Her face lit up and she nodded, delighted at the thought, eyes sparkling.

So the decision is done.

When I start my HAED's, I'll be stitching both the Frog Prince and the Rainbow Fae.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Stitching update:

I started the initials on GTK. The M looks great. Then Kathy posted her finished product and she used three initials. Looks great. I'm trying to figure out if I can squeeze in three when I only planned for two. Nope.

Oh well. Serves me right for following the layout so literally. The H is done now too.

Mom's Japanese non-angel has partial hands and a head now.

There will be a picture of that soon too.

Dad's Santorini looks good. I am by no measure the best over-one stitcher; however, I am proud to state that most of the top of one building looks like a building. I really enjoy this over one stuff. I might have to look into getting more over one charts.

Yup. There will be a picture of this one too. Eventually.

Hubby's Pitt Panther looks good too. I need to do the gold in the mouth and all the backstitching plus the rest of the Pitt. I changed the Pitt from the charted block letters to the script form since that is Hubby's favorite (yes he has firm preferences about such things). The script looks good so far. I hope to have it done by the end of May.

And, of course, there will be pictures.

I've done a bit on JG. A little here on the border. A little there on the last corner ornament and zen garden.

Sure. Pictures will be forth coming.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Good-bye Travis

Chas, Angie and I went to Travis's funeral today. It seems odd to say that I'm glad I went, but I felt better for seeing Cathy.

It was hard. I didn't say much, because I don't have any good words of comfort or wisdom.

When we arrived, Cathy and Steve were not there yet. Actually, when we first arrived, there was only one other car in the cemetery and neither of us were quite where we were supposed to be. Then some other cars arrived and we parked with the rest of them at the very back of the cemetery. Cathy's family was there and two other couples. I learned later that one couple had driven for five hours from Pennsylvania to be with Cathy and Steve today. Those are strong bonds of love and caring.

Sam had not seen us in at least a year--the Maple Fest last year actually. He was quite shy and hid behind his grandpa's leg every time Angie or I said anything to him. Eventually he warmed up and began running with Angie (not on the graves to the best of my recollection).

Cathy and Steve arrived. Steve carried the tiniest casket I've ever seen to the grave, by Alex's grave. I thought Lucas's casket was small. Travis's casket is smaller.

Cathy said a few words. My friend so dear to me is in so much pain. I thought about the fun we have shared and I wished that I could do something more for her. It's trite to say that this is unfair. But it is.

We released balloons with tags naming Alex and Travis, mine was purple. Angie and Sam held onto their balloons as the rest of us watched them fly away. One looked as though it would get caught in the trees, but it finally broke free and blew beyond our sight chasing the rest.

Looking at everyone, I hoped that Cathy and Steve, in their pain, could at least feel all the love surrounding them. It was tangible. It was beautiful. Reading Cathy's blog, I know they did.

We went back to their home for a bit. Talked. Cathy showed pictures of Travis taken at the hospital. He was beautiful and perfect. He had the sweetest little face and hands. He should be here living, crying, wriggling, feeding, and going through diapers at an astronomical rate.

I don't know that we were much help. As I said, I don't have any deep or profound words of comfort or wisdom. But I can still make stupid jokes to cause a smile here and there. Sometimes that can help.

If Cathy or Steve happen to read this, we love you.

Of course a little warning about the complete drum set upstairs would have been good.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Retail Therapy

Tonight I spent my monthly stitching allowance on some new designs.

Over ones.

Heaven and Earth Designs--Beautiful stuff.

I think I feel a new stitching addiction coming over me.

Hey, there was this sale and....


Work is so stressful. I could just cry. Or scream. Maybe both at the same time.

I've been here nine years. You would think I wouldn't be surprised by what they do. Or that decisions are not always based on merit but instead on favoritism.

Sometimes I feel like I work in this bizarro world with it's own non-sensical, counter-productive rules.

Is it like this in the real world too?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hello, My name is Inigo Montoya....

How bad is it that I want both the Dread Pirate and the Buttercup editions of the Princess Bride?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Fairness is a human construct.

It's true.

I am heartbroken for them. That's a huge understatement. I'm so angry too.

There is no fairness in nature. There is nothing fair about who lives and dies or when. There is nothing fair about who can have babies. There is nothing fair about tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes and the rest of it.

There is nothing fair about Travis's death.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Unfathomable and Cruel.

I read this post.

She's my friend.

I don't want to believe it.

I'm hoping that it's a mistake.

But Steve wouldn't post unless he knew.

I don't have words adequate to cover what I'm feeling.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Another Dr. Who question

Is it supposed to scare the bee-jeebers out of me? The Daleks used to scare the crap out of me but tonight was just over the top creepy.

What was it that got to me? Was it the ghostly child crying for his mommy with no comfort coming? That sound of yearning unresolved? The fact that it was a two parter and I have to wait to find out if my suspicions are correct?

Too much.


A Good Day at Work

I can't talk specifically about what I do, because it deals mostly with the most private areas of people's lives. Technically, it's all public record, but it isn't appropriate blogging material for many reasons. So I'm just going to memorialize that I had a really good day. I don't get many of those.

Today, I helped people, and they all left smiling, even with the tears in their eyes. Watching them, I knew I did something really good and completely right. I couldn't do more. I couldn't do what I really wanted to do, but I did what I could within the constraints of my job. And it meant more to them than I realized prior to this day. To me, I just did my job. To them, I changed their lives in a positive way.

And I started thinking about what it does when you deny some very basic rights, privileges and responsibilities to one sector of the population. And how most of us take for granted things that are denied to others. We shouldn't. I shouldn't.

I had a rare day, where I was able to do something wonderful. I hope I remember this forever, and that I remember to cherish what I have.

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