Sunday, July 29, 2007

July's Random Stitchery

I finished another ornament for the Ornie SAL--the prettiest of my ornaments so far. Now I think I'm at 12 for the 25 Project challenge, unless I've forgotten something again.

I set some July goals at the Chatelaine BB after Kian's procedure, but forgot to post them here.

1. Finish Tina's book.
2. Stitch a bit on Midi 1
3. Stitch a bit on WG
4. Acquire supplies for Midi 3
5. Finish HAED QS Ballet Pigs
6. Maybe stitch a bit on JG
7. Stitch a bit on Stealing Oats.
8. Stitch a bit on a Love Quilt square.

The only goals not reached so far are finishing Tina's book (I need the supplies including fabric and ribbons) and stitching on JG and Stealing Oats. I still have a few days though so I might still manage a few stitches. I haven't gathered all the supplies yet for Midi 3, but I've pulled most of the fibers. I need a few more and a fabric decision before I can start it.

An item stitched, but not listed is Santorini--It's been nearly a year since I touched it. We saw my Dad on his birthday and I'm struck by how frail he's getting. My Mom too, so I think that means that both Santorini and the Japanese Lady will appear on my goals for August.

I made excellent progress on WG. I think that it and Midi will be dual (or should that be dueling?) Chatelaine focus projects until I've finished them. I recall that one stitcher actually started and finished WG while she was home on maternity leave with her newborn. That woman is my idol. I can't even begin to fathom how she accomplished that. The best I can do is an ornament or my Love Quilt square while Kian rests on me. When he's not in my arms, Angie is vying for my attention.

And I think I've solved my Amethyst Mystery dilemma. This was the first Chatelaine Mystery I joined, but I still need to finish beading and adding the crystal treasures. I don't like the treasures that came with the kit. Additionally, because I changed the gold Petite Treasure Braid to silver, one of the beads just doesn't suit my stitching. However, I've found what I think will be the perfect Swarovski crystals, and I've identified some Delicas which might work. Now I just need to purchase them. It won't be this month, but maybe next. It's nice to think I might actually finish this one soon though.

I apologize for the horrible scan. The greens are not grey, they are nice, fresh, minty greens. The blackish bits are actually pretty metallic purples. The large octagon is a beautifully-shaded, rich, purple silk, carefully stitched to suggest light sparkling on a gemstone. And there are lovely purple-aqua delicas and tanzanite bi-cones that the scan fails entirely to reveal. However, I wanted to show off this gorgeous piece. Trust me. If you could see the actual colors, you'd be swooning. Or something.

In anticipation of crossing the midway point, I allowed myself to purchase a few charts from some designers being retired at HAED. I don't consider this falling off the challenge (others may disagree) because I had intended to reward myself with some limited edition charts once I completed 13 projects. I just received the reward a little early. Now when I reach number 13, I'll just have a little happy dance and smile at my new charts.

It's a little frustrating because I keep thinking I'm closer to being finished with several of my WIPs. Then I actually look at them and realize I have a lot more work to do. I don't think I'll manage to finish 13 more projects by the end of August so I guess that unless I completely fall off the Challenge, I'll have to wait for Martina to release the Pompeii Garden as a full chart in a year or two. Sigh. Well, I wouldn't be starting it anytime soon anyway.

Truthfully, I'm not sure I'll finish 13 more projects by the end of the year. But when I finish #25, I will go on such a shopping spree!

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Monday, July 23, 2007

"tis finished

Harry Potter that is.

I bought the book yesterday evening and finished it this afternoon. It was awkward having a big book and a big sleeping baby on my lap simultaneously, but I happily managed.

And despite my fears, I was not spoiled about any key points at all. Although I guessed or read several bits, I was surprised (in good and bad ways) many times.

Very good book. The only part I didn't like was the epilogue--which was not long enough and left me unsatisfied. I was very happy with the story overall and the resolution, just not the "x odd years later" bit.

Still, a very good book and an appropriate ending to the saga.

Hope you enjoyed it too.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

a universe of hope

On the morning of Kian's procedure, I read this article. Kian was sleeping quietly on my lap, having just finished nursing. I was wandering around the internet trying to occupy my mind with something other than the fear that I was cuddling Kian for the last time. I scrolled down my homepage and found the link to that article. I clicked, read and was filled with awe at this wondrous universe in which we find ourselves.

I'm not much into science. I've never studied physics and simply finished my college science requirements with the more enjoyable earth sciences. In spite of my scientific apathy, space exploration and studies have always seemed to be linked to the future, to the hope for something better. That association is probably why I enjoy science fiction, even when I don't understand the science part.

So on that anxious morning, when I read that short, simple little article before the sun rose, before I woke my husband, before we drove our tiny son down quiet streets and highways to place him in the hands of people we had not yet met, I was filled with wonder and hope.

There was a universe (or an era), wonderful and different, before this.

There will be another one, also distinct and special, starting when this one ends.

We humans, this world, we are simultaneously small and yet grand.

Endings, in all their many forms, are truly just beginnings, over and over again.

The wonders are unceasing.

There is always something to be discovered and learned.

There are still mysteries. Some things will remain unknown.

There is still and always will be hope, love, joy.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday's Terrible Twos

I found this at a Queen's Blog (she's only disguised as a ragamuffin):

Two Names You Go by:
1. Mommy
2. Hon (short for Honey)

Two Things You Are Wearing Right Now:
1. Kian
2. tank top

Two Things You Would Want (or have) in a Relationship:
1. Love
2. Trust

Two of Your Favorite Things to do:
1. Cuddle with Chas, Angie and Kian
2. Cross-stitch

Two Things You Want Very Badly At The Moment:
1. My children to be healthy
2. My children to live long enough to enjoy their grandchildren

Two people who will fill this out:
1. Nicki
2. Faye

(No pressure--you two are just my most frequent commenters.)

Two things you did last night:
1. Made a list of stitching to take on our trip to Pennsylvania
2. Read to Angie

Two things you ate today:
1. Pesto Pita Chips
2. Salad

Two people you Last Talked To:
1. Kian
2. Chas

Things You're doing this week/weekend:
1. Seeing relatives
2. Shoping at the outlets and /ikea

Two longest car rides:
1. Ohio to upstate New York, Vermont, Massachusetts
2. Ohio to Texas (accomplished in about 28 hours Yee-haw)

Two Favorite Holidays:
1. New Year's Eve--because it wraps up the old year and contains the promise and hope of the new year.
2. Christmas--because it is fun to watch the kids open presents.

Consider yourself tagged if you wish to be.


Some Stitching

I managed to sneak in a few stitches on the HAED Challenge SAL this weekend as we made a quick trip to see my parents and and step-dad. Sunday was my Dad's birthday and he had not seen Kian since Angie's birthday party before Kian's procedure. Kian had not met my oldest brother at all as he has been busy with Tina. We packed a lot of family time in a very short visit when my other brother decided that he could make it over to see Dad and us on Sunday.

I did not finish the first page as I had (unrealistically) hoped, but I did finish a few more squares. The second page is far more complicated than this one, so I expect my progress to slow down once I actually reach it. Sigh. It's a lovely design even if I don't complete it until I'm fifty.

Some HAED artists are being discontinued. I'm not sure if I will treat myself prior to reaching the halfway point in the 25 project challenge.

I stitched a tiny bit more on Midi 1 last night (you could have guessed this if you saw my posts updating the Materials, Tips and Errors section at the Chatelaine BB yesterday). I just need to put a few random stitches in and finish the lady. The I will only have the beading and special stitches to do and I might have a larger Chatelaine finish this year.

We're travelling again on Thursday to see Chas's parents and I've compiled my list of projects to take along for the six hour drive. Midi isn't on it, but that may change by Thursday morning. Do you think five projects is excessive?

I'm trying to work on my Love Quilt project a little each day in hopes of getting it done by the due date. I'm also remembering how much I dislike stitching on aida. I understand the need for uniformity though I don't enjoy that part of the stitching. I still plan to meet my 101 Things goal and stitch at least one Love Quilt square each year.

And to answer some questions from the last stitching post:

Val--the worst part is that the previous list only focused on one designer (and not all of her charts that I want--just the most pressing). My actual wish list is enormous and grows larger every day.

Nicki--I originally thought about a lilac fabric. I don't have any suitable fabrics in my stash. I'm also thinking about Ashes of Roses or Butterfly Kisses by SMF. I don' have enough in my stash to do the whole Leporello. I may stitch the inside on different fabric or maybe I'll just order more.

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Doing Some Good

Lately, I've been feeling a stronger desire to create some good in the world. I thought I ought to share some places in need that have caught my eyes recently:

Here you can donate money to the National Braille Press for the costs of prepping the braille version of the final Harry Potter book.

My good friend needs help making (and buying supplies for) bracelets for mothers whose children have died.

And by Walking the Wall, I found this simple solution to reducing malaria.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

My Fingers Feel Itchy

I want to start St. Petersburg by Chatelaine. It is ginormous project and I have the perfect fabric for it. I don't have nearly all the necessary fibers or beads. I don't actually have the threads for the first part.

I also want to start the Stitching Leporello, although I haven't completely settled whether I'm using the antique white from the kit or something with a bit of color.

I also hear the Japanese Octagon Box calling me. I have everything I need for it and I can stitch it in nice little chunks.

Of course, I also want to start Polar Lights--it will be a kind of wedding piece for Chas and I. I think I'll try the two motifs a week used by Nicki in her Tocatta SAL. I still need a few more Weeks Dye Works though.

Then again, I'd really love to start Midi 3 and keep up with it. I'm not sure I want to use the antique white fabric. I'm leaning toward a blue, but I think Breeze by SMF (which I have on hand) will be too much. I have some of the fibers, but I need more to make a good decision.

What I really don't need is another major new start.

I really ought to finish a Chatelaine before starting one (or five others).

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Specific Good Thougts

I forgot to add that We also need to keep our fingers crossed that his valve doesn't leak.

So far, it's just a tiny leak. However, the valvuloplasty can cause the valve to leak when the balloon inflates to expand the aorta.

Yet another reason to hope he won't need additional tinkering.

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Double 13

So on this sunny Friday the 13th, Kian has cracked the 13 pound barrier. (On three different scales over the course of a week and a half Kian registered around 12 and a half pounds.)

The Cardiologist is pleased. He'll never be 100% but he is almost back to sounding as he did before the stenosis developed. One foot is colder than the other, but since she can feel the pulse in that leg, she isn't too worried.

She does think that the stenosis is likely to recur though. The cardiologist at the hospital suggested that Kian might be one of the kids who never needs another procedure performed. His regular cardiologist thinks that it could recur in the next few months, but possibly the next few years.

But for today, we'll take the good news that he is doing well.

We have another appointment in August so keep your fingers crossed that the stenosis stays away.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Bit of Nail Biting

Tomorrow is Kian's first follow up appointment.

Here's hoping he is still doing as well as he did right after the procedure.

I know I owe you all a hospital story, but we've been very busy since we've returned and I haven't had the time to draft it properly.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I'm such a goof

I completly forgot that I finished another ornament last month during the SAL. I also failed to show you the ornies done in April and May. (Do you see a theme?) That makes my 25 project challenge total 11 instead of 10. So I need to finish two more designs and I can purchase a limited edition chart. I'm debating whether it will be Chatelaine's Castle Sampler, Chatelaine's Hertage Sampler or Nora Corbett's Thanksgiving Fairy (she seems unpopular on the boards, but being a November baby, I kind of like her).

In other stitching news, I stitched a tiny bit on Midi 1 Sunday night. I only have a bit more regular cross stitching to do (the lady and the greenery in her basket). Then I'll do the remaining special stitches and beading. In revising my goals, I hope to have it done by the end of September.

I'm hoping that I can finish three Chatelaines this year: Midi 1, Tree of Hope
and Water Garden. I would love to finish the Japanese Garden too, but I think that stitching the crane medallions entirely over one will slow me down quite a bit.

Finally, I signed up to stitch for Love Quilts (thus maintaining my serial starter status). My friend Cathy does lots of good work with her crocheting and I feel bad that my primary hobby, while lovely, creates nothing useful or practical (needlebooks are great, but few people really need them the way they require a decent blanket or baby hat). I'm very excited to make something to brighten a child's day. It's due in October so I'm reasonably certain that I can make that deadline.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Happy Dance: 10,800 Stitches

Here is my piggie! Stitching commenced on June 23, 2006 and finished on July 8, 2007. I have examined her closely several times and I haven't found any missing stitches during the last few passes.

I was right, she was the quickest to finish. It also helped that I stitched her during every Wednesday SAL in May. I am now officially in the double digits for my 25 project challenge. Yay me.

She drove me a bit crazy with all the confetti stitching for the piggie herself, but I am quite fond of her! She is stitched on 32 count Belfast linen and I will never use that fabric for a HAED design ever, ever again. I love the count but I hate the uneven thickness of the woven fiber. I need to find some lugana or jobelan for my HAEDs. I used a tent/continental stitch and I think she looks wonderful. However, I plan to use q-snaps on any over-one projects in which I use the tent stitch to reduce the amount of fabric distortion. I'm hoping I can adjust it properly when I finish her into a stuffed hanging for Angie.

I'm not certain what will take her place for the Wednesday HAED QS SALs. I may alternate between QS Frog Prince 3 and QS Buttercup Kitty Fae. I'm trying to be good and not start a new HAED until I've finished another HAED design. Unfortunately, none of my other HAED WIPs are close to completion. However, if I make a good attempt to stitch during the SALs, I might actually finish another QS by the end of the year.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

I know I'm old when...

I think to myself, "There is no reason any human being needs to consume sixteen ounces of ice cream in one sitting."

I did, however, make a noble effort to do so.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The very short (somewhat sleepy) version

We're home.

The procedure went well.

The Doctor is very hopeful about the outcome.

I'm exhausted--not much sleep in the hospital for me and Kian.

I'll post more later when I'm not so achingly tired.

Thanks to everyone for the love, support, good thoughts and prayers.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Strees. Stress. Stress.

I think I am in full fear mode now.

I may be holding my breathe for the next 48 hours (or years).

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Thank You!

Faye gave me Nadia Tate's Hope Fairy. A lovely gift that is as beautiful as the thought behind it and the person who sent it.

Thanks so much Faye. The caring supportive thoughts mean a great deal to me. Your family is always in my thoughts too.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Defense Mechanism Engaged: warped humor

Chas believes that Kian means "bringer of stress" rather than "enduring."

Chas has always wanted to stop at two kids because he doesn't want us to be outnumbered. I've always wanted three children.

Now, I think we should stop at two because I already feel outnumbered.

(Okay the funniest part of this one was the look on Chas's face when I said this out loud--he was panicky that I was even thinking about more kids this early [with Angie I didn't talk about more kids until she was ten months old].)

I hope the doctors and nurses are morning people. Not in the "perky enough to sing Oh What a Beautiful Morning" sort of way though. Just better able to function in the a.m. than I am.

I mentioned to someone that this is the first time I've ever wished that I had entered into a medical field because I feel so useless and clueless. She (being in a medical field) pointed out that it doesn't help, it just gives you a whole bunch of things (real and imagined) to cause worry.

Of course, the fact that I could never find my own pulse in school health and gym classes would have probably limited my career in medicine anyway.

I was wondering to myself when I would stop worrying about Kian. At what stage would I be able to relax and feel secure about his health. I concluded that it would likely be when he is 67 years old.

Then I realized that when Kian is 67, I'll be 104.

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