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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Let the new tv series begin!

Last night we watched Prison Break, and I'm already counting it as one of our must-watch series of the new season. I liked Dominic Purcell in John Doe (and I'm still smarting over the way that show was treated - it was good and had such potential!), and the new kid, Wentworth Miller, is intriguing.

We have quite a list of must-watch wannabe's this year, with Surface (what was wrong with the name Fathom?), Invasion, Ghost Whisperer, and Threshold as potential new sci-fi-ish shows, while Commander-in-Chief, E-Ring, and Reunion top the potential dramas. Out of Practice is the only show that looks interesting in the comedy arena.

And that's not to mention the shows that already have slots in our weekly recording schedule. But I seriously doubt that we will end up watching all of those shows to the end of the season. Some will most likely disappoint us (they usually do).

How did the rest of my weekend go? Well, we made it to Bristol and back in one piece and only slightly the worse for wear. The physical therapist had a job yesterday of loosening the tight shoulder and back muscles, but she did a good job and I feel better for it. I am scheduled to see her again Friday, doing my stretches every day and exercises every other day. It's still difficult to remember to sit with better posture, but I'm working on it.

Over the weekend, I managed to get another couple of squares crocheted on the 63 squares afghan (rib stitch and basket weave), and I now have about half of my By the Sea sampler complete. :)

Thanks again for your well-wishes, they are very much appreciated!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Physical therapy and stitching

I've been a good little patient, as I've been all of my stretches and exercises, and I went to my first physical therapy appointment this morning. It consisted of a lot of (what I would consider) pressure point massaging of the affected muscles on my left back, neck, and shoulder areas, some new exercises (for rotator cuff strengthening too), some new stretches, and some heat and stim at the end of the session. I felt very good about it, even though I'm still very sore (and I know it will take time to heal). I really like my therapist, and she even praised me for raising my head correctly (with my hand supporting it), though I told her that was learned out of necessity from when I couldn't raise it last week without the support.

And I've been able to stitch for short periods of time! I decided to reward myself for good behavior by letting me start By the Sea Sampler (The Sweetheart Tree). It has 21 rows, and these are the first 5, stitched over 2 days. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Check your posture!!!

If you are reading this, then you are most likely sitting at a desk in front of a computer. Check your posture!!!

I had my appointment with Dr. Sports Medicine this morning, and really should have guessed where he was going when he asked me if I'd been a web developer for more than 6-7 years. He called it 'Silicon Valley syndrome'. And basically it means that over the years, sitting at my desk, my posture (which I had thought wasn't TOO bad until this point) has deteriorated, stretching the muscles in my shoulders and upper back, causing them to tighten and become weak. The muscles in my chest have become drawn, causing my shoulders to droop forward, creating a strain on my neck and upper back. Basically, he said that any (even unnoticeable) movement that put a strain on those muscles could have caused the spasms that started last week.

I have some shoulder and upper back stretches and exercises that I have begun doing today (shoulder rolls, etc.), and I start physical therapy Friday. I really should have known when I went back to work on Monday and felt the shoulder muscles tightening and straining as the day wore on that my posture was not so good. At least we have recognized what is wrong, and I am taking steps to strengthen my back and shoulders and correct my posture.

This is your Public Service Announcement: please take a moment to get up from your computer and stretch - even go for a walk - and be aware of your posture when you sit back down at your computer again! Take frequent breaks - I've learned my lesson.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Another doctor's appointment

So, I have my MRI films, and the radiologist's report shows nothing abnormal with my discs. I'll be taking the films to a sports medicine physician tomorrow morning, to see if they can pinpoint the problem and give me a solution!! The back muscles aren't spasming like they were, but they are still irritated.

I put a few (very few!) stitches into the Summer Maiden last night before giving up for the evening. A little is better for the spirit than none at all. I went to bed early to give it some more rest.

Stitching scientist - yes, it is mostly retail prices, but a few deals can be had from various vendors (like grab bags in the Dinky Dyes / Enchanting Lair booth). I loved it because I got to chat with designers/owners as well as shop for items not usually available at my LNS's. Enjoy your Hershey CATS, I've heard it is a good show. :)

I wish I had some pictures to share - maybe this weekend... it is driving me CRAZY not to be able to stitch , quilt, crochet, knit, or otherwise craft! I've done a lot of staring at stash, and the pile of things I want to start just keeps increasing, LOL.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

CATS 2005 Stash!

I really (really, really!) didn't think I would want to spend much money on stash at the shopping mart. Apparently the not being able to do anything for over a week made me a little crazy. Thank you so much for the well wishes, they are greatly appreciated. My back is still sore, but at least it is not spasming like it was most of the week.

I decided to go ahead and attempt the shopping mart at CATS Saturday afternoon, and I'm really glad I did. I saw lots of friends and familiar faces, put faces with names of online friends, and made even more new ones. I especially appreciated getting the chance to talk to Jo (Dinky Dyes) and Laura (Enchanting Lair), and to meet the Vanosdalls of The Sweetheart Tree. I learned a lot more than I thought I would at a shopping mart, and I didn't even take any classes! The TWBBers had a great dinner at Rachel's, and I envied them all going back to the Stitcher's Lounge afterwards (but I was pretty worn out, so I wouldn't have been doing myself any good staying). I'm sure they had a fabulous time, and I look forward to reading all about it on the boards and blogs.

Okay, I'm going to get back off the computer and go rest a bit more. Here's what I acquired at the show...

  • 3 designs by Stacey Tippin using Dinky Dyes silks (plus the fiber packs)
  • An Opps (yes, opps not oops) fiber grab bag
  • 4 fat quarters and 1 fat eighth hand-dyed fabrics from Picture This Plus (heather, legacy, relic, raisin, tarnish)
  • 2 kits and 2 charts from The Sweetheart Tree
  • One Ever So Little chart from Simply Old Fashioned

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Not much better yet

Thank you for all of your well wishes! I have now had an MRI, and we're waiting on the radiologist's report (hopefully available tomorrow). We're all stumped as to why I'm not getting better, and it's so frustrating that 'taking it easy' along with the ibuprofen is not helping the healing much.

I may only go to CATS on Saturday, and if I'm not feeling much better, it may be only for the dinner with the TWBBers. I'm going to go get as comfortable as I can now, awaiting some magazines being brought to me from a dear friend. Surely reading them can't be considered overdoing it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Your intrepid blogger sidelined by injury

I do have two pictures to post, but I haven't been able to stitch because I somehow hurt my back Sunday. I have no idea how, but it has severely curtailed my activity over the past two days. My chiropractor and I are working on it, and hopefully I'll be good as new for CATS this weekend.

First is the 10th panel of my Vacation mile-a-minute afghan, through round 4! I'll be doing the outermost row around the other 9 panels, and then can start putting them together. :) Next is square #61 of the 63 squares afghan! I now have 4 rows of squares (of 9 total) already put together.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Answering a couple of questions

I SO forgot to answer Amy Beth's question about Mini Perle, sorry! Mini Perle is a needlepoint project on mono canvas. Here is a closeup of the corner so that you can see the canvas a little better. It's similar to cross stitch, yet different. I think you could do all of these stitches on cross stitch fabric, but you would come out with a different look. The holes in the canvas make it easier to use bulkier fibers such as Caron Watercolours and Rainbow Gallery Neon Rays, Flair, etc.

I loved using the variety of fibers out there to make a beautiful geometric design.

And I was asked about my design wall. The most difficult part of the whole process was transporting the foamboard (Dow Residential Foam Sheathing Insulation) home. I bought it at Lowe's, and it comes in sheets that are ½ inch x 4 foot wide x 8 foot long. This stuff does not fit in a small car at all, so you should probably find someone with a truck (if you don't have one) to help you. I went to Joann's and bought white felt to cover them. I used sewing pins to anchor the felt to the ½ inch sides all the way around. Originally, I covered the entire wall with it (I bought 2 sheets, fairly inexpensive, if I recall correctly), but my kitties decided it was a GREAT scratching pad, so I went back and trimmed them up a bit. I hung them to the walls with big, long nails at the top. You can sort of see them here, behind Teresa's quilt.

Here is Cat's progress this rotation:

And here is a picture of the underside of Scott's quilt in the Grace hoop:

As you can see, the X part of the hoop is quite out of the way of the top part of the hoop, so it doesn't interfere with quilting.

Friday, August 12, 2005


Micky tagged me with the following:

5 Things I Miss From Childhood
  1. Summers off. This is such a bummer. They set us up with such expectations, only to pull the rug out from underneath us when we become adults. One of my favorite memories is walking to the public library (about 3 blocks from my house at the time) on a summer vacation day to check out 8 (the limit) Nancy Drew mysteries. I would walk home and read them one right after another.
  2. Saturday morning cartoons and shows - The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, Hanna Barbera cartoons, Richie Rich, Scooby Doo, Popeye, Super Friends, Pink Panther, Fat Albert, Thundercats, and of course, the Krofft Supershow, just to name a few. I also loved to watch (and sing along with) Schoolhouse Rock: Conjunction Junction, what's your function? :D
  3. Willy Wonka's Bottle caps. I think I loved these because they came in different flavors than regular "sweet tarts," and they really weren't that tart either.
  4. My Great-Aunt Beulah's (pasta) shells and butter. She would always make them especially for me when we went to visit her.
  5. Not knowing about all of the cruelty that exists in the world, and not having to worry about anything more serious than possibly a history test (one subject that didn't come as easily to me as Math or English). I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I had a wonderful childhood. Looking back on it, we didn't have a lot, but we certainly didn't go without. I didn't get everything I wanted, but really, that's a GOOD thing. My parents insulated me from A LOT of the 'bad things' in life while teaching me a lot of good things, and I think I turned out pretty okay.

I ended up not stitching at all last night, instead finishing up Once a Thief by Kay Hooper. Of course, now I have to read Always a Thief, because though she wrapped a couple of storylines in OaT, the main one is "to be continued..."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Trundling toward the weekend

To answer Michelle's question about the quilting hoop - the X part of it is underneath the hoop, and though it's hard to see in the photo, the X is actually curved so that there is plenty of space between it and the quilt in the hoop. I'll try to take a better photo to demonstrate it.

I worked on Scott's quilt Tuesday evening while listening to Finding Laura by Kay Hooper on unabridged audio. I read the book some time ago, and thought I'd listen to it while waiting for some other books on tape to come available.

Last night I worked a little on Cat (did I mention that I started that?). :) I plan to work on it again this weekend and get some of the eye done. I decided to go ahead and stitch on the aida provided with the kit, even though I generally don't use aida anymore. When I do, I usually have to wear a thimble because I still use the sewing method rather than the stab-stitch, and it is a little more wearing on my finger a bit more than evenweave or linen. Anyway, right now, it looks like a blob of grey, so I hope to get a little more definition with the eye, then put up a picture.

Oh, and a little about my rotation (how it evolved) can be discovered at the bottom of my Rotation page. :)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Lots of pictures, be prepared!

C & I took Monday off, so it was a 3-day weekend for us. We watched Be Cool, the sequel to Get Shorty, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think we were both hesitant about watching it because we liked Get Shorty so much, but they really pulled it off. The extras on the dvd are the usual fare, but The Rock's music video is really something else - so bad that it's hilarious! We also finally went to see War of the Worlds [special effects were awesome, as expected, but the ending left me wanting], after which we came home and watched V: the Original Miniseries. It's no wonder we both dreamed of alien invasions all night long.

I finished Mini Perle on Saturday! Here it is, corners and all:

Cool, huh? I have no idea how I'm going to frame it, except that I do plan to frame it. I don't think it really lends itself to a pillow. After finishing that, I crocheted some more on the Vacation Mile-a-Minute afghan, getting the third round finished on all of the panels. And that's when I decided I really want one more to make it just a little wider than it's supposed to be. So I pulled out the orchid and violet and started working on the inner 10th panel.

I also worked on and finished Square #60, doubles. The colors I have left to do for 61-63 are blue and yellow. Oh, and I now have 3 rows (of 9) put together.

And here is the Grace Frames Polypro 24" hoop assembled!

And one more - with quilt. I actually worked on it while sitting on the sofa for a bit, but I may need to change chairs for a little more support.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Cool again

It seems we might have a fan time delay going bad in our unit. But the technician could not reproduce the problem when he came to look at it (grrr... I hate when that happens), so we're not certain. And since he didn't have any of those parts on the truck when he came out, and since the system is now working, we'll have to wait for it to do that again to find out. Everything in the system seems to be working fine, there's plenty of refrigerant, and at least we were able to get the house cooled down last night. Dad and I were talking about what we could do to help reduce the load on the system, and we both agreed that I should have some more insulation blown into the attic as well as replace all of the windows (one at a time), because the seals are broken in every one of them, and both of those items contribute greatly to energy loss (thus, higher energy bills) in the house. One thing (house improvement) leads to another...

Okay, enough about home-improvement stuff, on to the stitching! First, I have a new picture of Mini Perle - complete except for the corners:

(This gives an idea of what's left to do with those corners)

Next, my new quilting hoop/stand was delivered yesterday!!! It took about 2 hours to put it together. I put Scott's Ships into it, and tried it out very briefly. It seems to work very well, it will just take some getting used to. I should have a picture to post over the weekend.

Until then, happy stitching!!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Too hot to do anything

Ugh. Imagine my surprise when I walked through the front door of my home to find out it wasn't any cooler inside than it was out. The thermostat says that it's about 82-83 degrees in here. That's really not conducive to stitching, or anything else for that matter. We have a fan going, but it doesn't help much. I have a call in to my heating and a/c company, but I'm sure they won't call before tomorrow a.m., and I think we'll be lucky if they get to take a look at the system before the weekend, knowing that highs here are currently in the mid-90's, and I'd imagine this is probably happening to a lot of people right now (a/c going out).

I think I'm going to go melt now, sigh.

More Mini Perle progress

Melanie and I both worked on Mini Perle last night, now having completed 10 of the 12 sections. The 11th section is very small, and we should both be able to complete it tonight. The 12th section is the corners, and we both should be getting that very soon! Here is mine so far (and so close!):

Gotta run, busy, busy.

Monday, August 01, 2005

July and August goals

I met my goals for July, just under the wire - I finished up the last one yesterday by quilting several blocks on Scott's Ships while listening to Michael Crichton's Airframe on tape. We had a really fun Stitch Day Saturday, and I worked on Unicorn Mystique, filling in some more of the sky (a lot of half-stitches).

So now it's on to August goals, which seem deceptively easy - the quilt will be my major focus this month.
  • Finish the 13th round of my rotation (which means starting one new project, Cat (Candy))
  • Crochet 3 more squares on the 63 squares afghan
  • Finish the quilting and binding on Scott's Ships quilt
  • Knit on the kitty bed's side