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Friday, July 30, 2004

A little Wisdom


All of the regular cross stitching (over 2) is now complete!
C came and picked me up for lunch today. There's this great little Mexican restaurant that is only a couple of blocks away, so it's perfect for grabbing a bite to eat. Chimi changa, yum! :)

We (the web team) got a new on-call cell phone. It's one of those Nextel ones with the Direct Connect. Now I have something new to learn. I don't think I've got everything on my personal cell phone learned yet, and this thing is different, so I'm bound to get them confused. :P

I worked on LotD-Wisdom a bit more last night. I think I should be able to finish up the cross stitching on it tonight, and then I can post a new progress pic. I'll be devoting the next round on it to over-one and backstitching. Once it is finished, I've already decided what's going to go in that spot - Smokey (Moonstruck)! Next up this weekend though, Snow Leopard!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Mostly OT (off-topic) today

Stitching update first:
I worked some more on LotD last night. Wisdom is finally starting to get a head! My goal for this round is to completely finish stitching the dragon. I'll leave the backstitching and over-one name until next time (oh, and backstitching the border around him). I think I got to stitch for about an hour last night after everything else was done. I'm not planning on going to the Sit n Stitch tonight, but hopefully will make it again next week.
OT: I did make the brownies last night.

That was after the chicken fajitas C made us for dinner.

And I spent a little time in the sewing room - actually sewing. I had bought a pair of pants and a pair of jeans, both made for much taller people. Okay, so maybe they were made for women of normal height. I happen to be petite. So I needed to re-hem them. The jeans put up much more of a fight than the chinos. Even with a jeans needle, you can only put so much fabric underneath the food before the machine starts freaking out. But I won, the jeans are hemmed, and I am able to wear them now. Which is really great because where I work now, we can wear jeans pretty much all the time.

So, I pulled them on to make sure I got the length right. And I got confirmation that I must be doing something right with my workouts. No, I'm not taller. But I am finally starting to feel the benefits of exercise. I've been going to the gym and walking / working out about 3-4 times a week for the last 3 months (it's been 3 months already???? ). I'm not trying to kill myself there, and until recently, I really haven't changed my eating habits. Now, because of my stomach problems, I'm trying to eat smaller meals more frequently during the day instead of fewer, larger meals. Therefore, I haven't expected a dramatic weight loss.

The thing is, most people would say I'm not overweight. But until a couple of years ago, I had always been a petite person. Not just in height, but also in body size. I have a small frame - I'm small-boned.

A few years ago, I decided to try "the shot." Depo-Provera. 3 months' worth of birth control with one shot. You don't have to think about it every day. Just once every 3 months. I did it twice. For 6 months, I only had to think about it twice. Of course, I've been having to think about it ever since. Because they tell you up front there may be some weight gain. And in my oh-so-overconfident manner, I declared, "I've never had a weight problem, and I'm so small, it won't affect me that way."

In 6 months, I gained 30 pounds. And it didn't come off once I stopped taking the shot. I can't imagine what I would have gained had I stayed on it a year or more. It was distributed all over my body. All of a sudden, I had flabby upper arms. Flabby tummy (my petite waist was LONG gone). Cottage cheese thighs. Even my face and neck had gained weight.

And 3 months ago, I was afraid that if I didn't DO something, I was going to end up having to buy new, larger clothes. So I joined the gym and began walking and working out. I know if I went at it full bore, I could probably lose weight more quickly. But this is a lifestyle change. It takes getting used to. It takes a huge commitment to myself, which I haven't really had before. But I'm finally seeing and feeling results.

Which gets back to the jeans I re-hemmed. When I bought them 3 weeks ago, they fit. They fit my booty nicely. Snug, but not tight. Nice, not tacky. And as I wear them today, they're a bit not snug.

I don't really expect to get back to my original weight. But seeing the cottage-cheese thighs beginning to smooth, the face and neck without the almost-double-chin I was beginning to develop, it makes me feel really good. 7 pounds may not seem like a lot to some, but it's a big difference to me. And I'm hoping to see at least another 7 pounds gone another 3 months from now.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

An uneventful evening

Last night was pretty uneventful. I got home, did some budget stuff on the computer (reconciled the checkbook, etc., etc.), actually made some dinner (something I don't do very often anymore it seems - especially when I go to the gym after work), and sat down and listened to almost the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on tape. C wasn't feeling well and went to bed right after dinner. I got LotD-Wisdom back out to work on. I now have the parchment scroll stitched, and last night I concentrated on filling in most of the blue-purple of his neck. I've basically been working my way from right to left. Backstitching this dragon is going to be intense!

Tonight I'm looking forward to more Harry Potter (I should finish up book 1 and start on book 2), more Wisdom stitching, and Game Night for the guys. I might even whip up a batch of brownies for them, which I haven't done in an even LONGER time. Ooh, look at me get ambitious!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Stitcher's Question of the Week - Web Sites

What are your favourite cross stitching websites and why?
Gosh, I have quite a few. And I'm always looking for more great sites, for inspiration.

I think my favorite category right now is the stitching-related bulletin boards... here are just a few of my favorites
I love catching up on what everyone is stitching, being inspired and enabled by new projects started or finished. I also love to see what new designs are coming out each month, and for that, I generally visit Hoffman Distributing. Also for general inspiration, or if I'm looking for some progress or finished pics of a particular design, I go to Webshots and use their new search engine. It works a LOT better than it used to.

And then there's that whole LIST of stitchers' galleries that I probably need to update. I keep quite a few of them just on my Favorites list. Oh, and of course, I can't leave out my nearly daily visit to each of the Stitching Bloggers, both in the webring, on my own blogroll, and just plain linked from other stitchers' blogs. :)

I'm a web nut, I'll admit it. I've made so many new friends because of this here internet thing. ;)

Monday, July 26, 2004

Stitching and a movie

I probably didn't get quite as much stitching done on Dragon Heart as I would have liked this round, but here is my current progress on it:
Dragon Heart progress

I worked solely on the lower right corner this time, finishing the lower right vertical color band and shield, filling in some more of the dragon's body, and starting to give him a face. I figure I'm at least 75% complete now.

We went to see The Bourne Supremacy this weekend too - and I'm really glad we watched The Bourne Identity again earlier this week. This one was just as good as the first, although some of the jerky-camera fight scenes got on my nerves. I understand the idea behind it, I just don't think it's necessary. It made me think of that dumb movie, The Blair Witch Project, and how sick the jerky camera movements made me. Other than that (and obviously it wasn't during the entire movie, just most of the fight scenes), I enjoyed the story, and am looking forward to The Bourne Ultimatum. They are making that one, aren't they? With the success of 1 and 2, surely they can't NOT do the 3rd of the trilogy, right?

Friday, July 23, 2004

Weekend, here I come!

My weekend plans: stitch!!!

Okay, that may be a little simplistic, but I'm really hoping to get some good stitching time in and not have to go anywhere (except maybe to a movie).

We've got Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis to watch tonight, and a couple of movie coupons for Blockbuster, so we should be well entertained this weekend.

Okay, laundry will have to get done in there somewhere, but at least I can do that while I'm stitching (and I'm sure that the constant getting up and down for rinse, changing loads, folding is good exercise too).

Expect a new progress pic and update of Dragon Heart at some point this weekend (probably Sunday night).  Then I'll be on to Legends of the Dragons once again.  Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Worn down halfway through the week

After work yesterday, I ran an errand and then went to the gym for my walk. It was only a 30 minute workout, but by the time I finally got home and took my shower, got a bite to eat, I was completely worn out. I tried to put in a few stitches, but the eyes kept drooping (and so did the concentration), so at 8:30 I put myself to bed. And that was only Wednesday!

I'm hoping to drop by the Stitchin Post for a bit of stitching and chatting with everyone tonight. It's hard to explain, but I tend to get re-charged by group stitching. Is it like that with anyone else? I mean, I have a ton of fun stitching by myself, watching (okay, mostly listening to) tv or books on tapes, whatever. And C is the best cheerleader too. But there is something about just being in a room where several other people are stitching on their own projects too.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Joining a StRIP club

Okay, before anyone keels over, StRIP stands for Stash Reduction Implementation Plan.

This actually goes along with what I've been trying to do with my current rotation. I have 33 cross stitch projects currently as WIPs. I am trying to reduce that number. I know I won't be able to significantly reduce it by the end of the year, because of the number of large projects I have going, most of which are not even 50% complete.
 
The idea behind StRIPping is this:  at minimum, every StRIPper is committed to having at least one less WIP than he/she started the year with.
 
Well, I started this year with 30 projects.  Of those original projects, I have finished 1.  So that would make it 29 WIPs.  But here's the kicker.  I started 10 more projects in 2004, 6 of which are finished. 29 + 4 = 33.  If I am to have at least one less than what I started the year with, I need to finish 4 of my current WIPs without starting any more new ones.
 
I'm pretty certain I can make it to that goal - I should be able to finish 5 of my current projects this year. 
 
(1) Castles by the Sea is nearly finished (next rotation round)
(2) Tabby Cat Sampler (also next rotation round)
(3) Dragon Heart (a couple more rounds)
(4) Legends of the Dragon (also a couple more rounds)
(5) Secret project (when I get the time)
 
It just means I REALLY need to finish all of these projects before starting something new.  Easy to say, sometimes difficult for me to put into practice.  But I'm going to try!  It's a good goal to have - 29 or less WIPs to start out 2005.

Monday, July 19, 2004

The start of a new week

Stitcher's Question of the Week:
Would you consider yourself ‘addicted to stitching’? Why or why not?
I would say yes. I am definitely addicted to stitching. It is the thing that helps me relax. If I go for a few days without stitching (or sometimes even a day), I get tense. I get stitching cravings. I need my stitching time just about every day or I get cranky. Fortunately, I have a husband who is very understanding of this (and even encourages me in my addiction - he's also my enabler!).
I was able to get quite a bit of the Sea Dragon stitched in Castles - I figure I'm about 90% done. I should definitely be able to finish it up with the next round in the rotation. Next up, Dragon Heart!

Friday, July 16, 2004

Separating Needs and Wants

A really good article: It's Your Money: Separating Needs and Wants

It's something that I think the majority of people struggle with. Certainly I do. It's hard to see the greater goal sometimes when you've got some really cool toy staring at you. Sometimes it helps to be reminded that we are not alone.

Stitching Bloggers Questions of the Week

I'm really behind on these. I didn't get a chance to answer last week's question, and here it is Friday and I haven't answered this week's question either!

July 5, 2004 Question: Which project (finished or in progress) are you most proud of? Explain why.
Right now I'd have to say 114 Leeanna Lane, because I designed it for my parents by hand from a photograph, and I think it turned out really well. It was also one of the first projects I stitched on linen or evenweave. And I blended threads to get a pretty close brick color.

July 12, 2004 Question: How do you choose a project? What “calls” to you the most?
This is a really tough one. If we're talking about WIPs, it really just depends on what kind of mood I'm in. Sometimes, I'm really in the mood for a pictorial design, and other times, I'm in the mood for a sampler. If we're talking about new projects, it usually depends on what I've just been stitching on - I generally like to work on something different than what I've been stitching. So if I've been working on a TW design, I tend to want to work on something without blends and confetti stitching next. If I've been working on a sampler, I tend to want to work on an animal or fantasy design or something like that. If I've been working on something that is mostly one color or shades of a color, I tend to want to work on something with lots of color (and different from what I've just been stitching). I guess it also depends on my mood. Sometimes I just want something mind-numbingly simple, and sometimes I want a challenge.

This weekend I plan to finish up the current round of Castle by the Sea. I've decided I won't be finishing it this round, but I will get at least half-way through the last section. I think we're also going to see I, Robot. And I'll be going to visit my oldest niece, who turns 10 Saturday. It's going to be a busy weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Hi Coffee Cup Betty!!

This post is especially for you. I had a blast at the Sit n Stitch. Got to visit with a lot of my stitchin friends, and even see a friend from my old library days. The Sea Dragon is just beginning to take shape. Now I'm off to watch some Farscape and stitch just a bit more before bedtime. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Duh

Sometimes I have to roll my eyes at missing the obvious. I was stitching away last night on my TW Myrtle Beach piece, Castles by the Sea. It has several sections, most of which I've completed stitching. The bottom section is this cool thing - but I've been calling it a "sea serpent thingie?" because I was unsure what it was. Well, last night, as I read the directions for that section, I came across the section title (she's really great about that - each section has a title, even the border): Sea Dragon. Duh. If I'd only read the directions from the start, I would have known that.

Wednesday. It seems like it should be Friday. Ah, well, I'm hoping to get some really good progress in on Castles tonight. I'd love to get it finished this round, but I'm not sure if that will happen. At the very least, I want to get the last section half-done. The good news is that I've stitched a few symbols from one side to the other, and the last stitch I put in on the right side is exactly where it was supposed to be. Sweet! Froggies, stay away!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

2 more!

63 squares crochet-along


These are squares #20, plain square, and #21, flower square, respectively. Because I worked on these, I did not start on my new round of Castles, so I plan to do that tonight.

Major good vibes, thoughts, and well wishes are going out to my dear friend's kitty Nic (and also to my dear friend!) again, for Nic is having surgery again today. [[[[[hugs]]]]] too.

Monday, July 12, 2004

A couple of squares

63 squares crochet-along


These are squares #18, woven relief stitch (combination of fpdc and bpdc) and #19, circle in a square. I almost finished #20 last night too, but not quite. Maybe I'll finish it tonight before I bring Castles by the Sea back out for its turn in the rotation.

Hard to believe it's Monday again - the weekend was WAY too short.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Another row down, getting close to half-way!

Nova progress

Row J is done, woohoo! Row K is actually the half-way point, so after next month, I'll officially be half-way finished with Nova.

I think I'm going to see if I can figure out square #18 on my afghan now. It's another one of those front post double crochet / back post double crochet patterns, fun, fun.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Weekend's 1/2 over, row J's 2/3 done

I got some really good progress in on Nova today, and now have 12 of the 18 squares of row J done. Hopefully I'll finish the other 6 squares tomorrow. I love how quickly it seems to be going compared to when I started it.

The Stargate season premiere was excellent, and we watched it as it was shown (as well as taped it for our library). Got to see several commercials, which we would normally have fast-forwarded through. The Battlestar Galactica is coming in January, and best of all - the Farscape mini-series (4-hour movie, whatever) is coming in October, yay!!! Of course, I'm sure it will leave me wanting more. So we've begun watching the Farscape DVDs in anticipation... :) I still can't get over how good that show is/was.

Friday, July 09, 2004

I haven't stitched in 2 days!

I can't wait to get home tonight and pull out Nova, like I had planned on doing Wednesday (but didn't because of other obligations, bleah). Last night a friend and I went to see Harry Potter at the IMAX, and I thoroughly enjoyed it again. Once I finish the couple of books I'm reading, I want to go back and re-read the series.

Oh, and for any Gaters out there (no, not Gators, Gaters), the new season of Stargate SG-1 starts tonight - a 2 hour premiere, yay!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The new 'do

The front

and back...

So my new rotation is a bit out of order

I just had to start the Tabby Cat Sampler. It has been calling to me ever since I received the Vikki Clayton silks in the mail. I've decided that instead of doing it all in one color, I am doing the cat and letters in one color and all of the specialty stitch bands in another (2 colors total).

Tabby Cat Sampler progress

So, as a result of this and the fact that the part of Legends of the Dragons that I'm currently stitching is TW's, I am slightly rearranging my rotation. Tabby Cat Sampler in the first slot, then Nova, Castles by the Sea, Dragon Heart, Legends of the Dragons, and Snow Leopard. So, my rotation seems to be a never ending WIP.

So tonight, I plan to bring Nova back out of the craft room to work on row J.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

He's such a cutie

snow leopard progress
Snow Leopard progress

I went ahead and started the Tabby Cat Sampler last night. I got halfway through band #5 (or 6, depending on which way you count it). It's really cute, and I should have scanned it but it was just too late last night - maybe later. :)

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Creating a little leopard's paw

That's what I've been working on - giving him (Snow Leopard) at least one paw so that he can wash his face and what-not. :)

It's about halfway done. That, laundry, and a visit to a friend's cookout should keep me pretty busy today.

Oh, and I picked up Spider-Man, The '67 Collection on DVD last week. It used to be on tv in the afternoon when I would come home from school, and my brother and I would watch it as well as however many other cartoons we could get in before Mom would make us go outside and play. :D

And speaking of Spider-Man, we went and watched Spider-Man 2 at the theater yesterday (yes, I know - jaws drop everywhere when they realize we actually went to see a movie on its opening weekend). It was AWESOME. I mean, everything that made the first movie great was incredibly better in this one.

Friday, July 02, 2004

3 Day Weekend, YAY!

Just a quickie today. I stitched last night and I'll be stitching tonight! I actually have another crochet square to post, I just need to scan it in when I get a chance.

Happy Weekend everyone, and for those of you who have Monday off, Happy 3-Day Weekend!!!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Stitchers' Five - Stitching and Travel

1. Do you take something new to stitch when you travel - a special travel stitching project?
Sometimes. It depends. Especially on whether or not I have anything already in progress which would be simple enough for me to stitch on without having to drag out everything - frame, etc. I took several new projects with me to Myrtle Beach earlier this year, and started 3 new ones (planned) while there! :)

2. Do you plan your trips around stitching shops?
Occasionally, though not often. I've tried to cut back on those spending sprees, especially with all the stash I have waiting to be started!

3. Do you believe that if you cross state lines you MUST by fibers?
Nah. If I can't get it here, I generally order it online.

4. Where have you stitched?
Tennessee (of course), North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

5. Do your friends/family bring you stitching related gifts when they travel?
Not really, although I can remember one or two fat quarters of quilting fabric... must work on this one [vbg]


Re: work - I've almost gotten settled in, though there are still quite a few things left to get set up. The most important thing set up today is my new VPN connection to work, without which I couldn't do the emergency media releases for the Police Dept. (the responsibility of which followed me, along with all of the other updates to the Police web site) to my new job. Fortunately, once we get some other people on the web team cross trained, we can all share in the joys of that responsibility. :D Though I doubt he'll ever read it (and that's probably for the best), I just want to say thanks (and did, profusely while we were on the phone) to the dude who helped me finally get the installation program at home. My silly puter couldn't find the server where the file was, and he was so helpful and NICE, even though I know he and everyone else there have been so totally slammed over the past couple of weeks and especially today.

I did go to bed pretty early last night, and I feel much better today. I have been a total loser about exercising this week (haven't been to the gym since Saturday), but am going to get back with the program this Saturday morning. Oh, and stitching! I can't wait to do some of that tonight! House chores? Bleah - they can wait. ;)