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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Some catching up

On the eve of the last day of the year, I finally found some time to take some photos and do a little catching up. This post is photo-intensive, making up for not writing much lately. :)

First is my pincushion - I made several of these for Christmas gifts this year before having my surgery, and unfortunately I didn't take any photos before giving them away. I made mine from the same fabric I used in my roman shade in the kitchen - just love that Monet-inspired print. The pattern is from Whip Up, and it is really easy to do. I love the way they look, and they don't require a lot of fabric or time.

My new pincushion, which doubles as a cat toy when it doesn't have pins in it

Next is a cross stitching update, finally! I've been doing a little bit of stitching here and there, but didn't think I had enough progress to take a new photo or scan - well, I do now, and there are three updates to share: Autumn Maiden, Jingle Bells Xmas Tree Farm, and Arabian Woman.

Autumn Maiden
Jingle Bells Xmas Tree Farm, working on section 5
Arabian Woman

Wanting to work on something a little different, I picked up Teresa Wentzler's Dragon Ride and have been working on it the past couple of days while we watch Alias, season one again. I think the majority of the over-one was finished the last time I worked on it, so I've been concentrating on the dragon's neck. I should be able to share a picture in a day or two.

Crochet: Well, I started another doily called Snowflake, with some white/silver crochet thread. I put it down when I realized that I was going to either have to find some additional crochet thread to finish it, or if I couldn't, relegate it to the UFO bin. Fortunately, I found some matching thread at Joann's today (yay!), so I plan to get back on that soon. :) No picture yet, though. Probably won't have one until it is done and blocked, but it's pretty so far!

Quilting: a few updates here... I've gotten two rows (of 8) done on the Double Wedding Ring quilt, and I've started working on the third. It is slow going, but enjoyable. I think I might be able to move my sewing machine back into its table soon, which will make it easier to work on piecing projects. I'm starting to sit a little more, still sore, but every day it's a little better. So here is the latest progress:

Double Wedding Ring quilt progress

I started another quilting project, the block-of-the-month quilt, Afternoon Tea. My plan was to start in January, but those fabulous fabrics just kept enticing me, so I broke down and pieced the first block already. I still plan to do one block a month (and there will actually be two or three versions of them in order to make the entire quilt), so I'm going to try to hold off doing block two until January (thank goodness it's almost here for that, right?). :D


One of my Christmas presents from C was another quilting shopping spree, and that's what we did today. We went to Joann's first and got a couple of things I wanted there (including new backing fabric for his Blankie #2). Then we went to Quilter's Attic in Goodlettsville and walked around admiring their shop models. We picked up some new fabric (surprise!) and a couple of books, and I've got quite a few new ideas just waiting to be developed.

Some new fabrics, including some sale fabrics
A few more of those chocolate and pink fabrics, yummy
The BIG splurge - a collection of 36 fat quarters in Moda's Cinnamon Stars Collection

The last photo was my big splurge. I saw them made into a quilt, and wanted to make them into a quilt myself also, so we also got the book that had the pattern in it. Quilt shops can make good sales when they have those little bundles pre-made up.

We also got a shop vac from my mom and dad, so I spent some time yesterday (it was gorgeous weather) vacuuming out the cars, which really needed the attention. We're also waiting on my brother to deliver our other big gift - he made us this huge cat tree! It's got all sorts of little cubbyholes and levels, and I'm anxious to see what the kitties think about it.

All of our gifts to everyone else were received very well. Of course, the kids all loved their toys and games, and Teresa and Allison were awed by their quilts. And my brother loved the quilted pillow I made for him (that matches his quilt). He's also happy that he can have his quilt back now (I think Teresa kinda took it over last year, ha ha!). It has been a wonderful holiday season, for certain, and even with the health struggles I've been through this year, 2006 has been a great year. I think 2007 looks to be even better, and I wish everyone peace, love, and happiness.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Quilt rebinding project

When not playing video games lately, here is the quilt rebinding project I've been working on. I finished the quilt for C in January 1998. It has been his much loved "blankie" ever since. Used constantly (and I do mean constantly), it had come to need some serious attention, before it completely disintegrated. I'm still working on attaching the binding to the back, but it's close to being finished, yay!

Old binding - front of quilt view
Quilt with original binding, top view
Old binding - back of quilt view
Quilt with original binding, backing view
Removing the old binding, carefully
Removing the old binding, carefully
Sewing on the new binding to the top
Sewing on the new binding to the quilt top
New binding, top
Quilt top with new binding
New binding, attaching to quilt backing view
Attaching the new binding to the back (final step!)

I haven't been doing any other stitching lately! I have become obsessed with Zelda: Twilight Princess... But the good news on the stitching front is that I'm going to the Stitchin Post Christmas party Thursday evening to visit with friends I haven't seen in forever (I quit going to Sit n Stitch when I couldn't really sit, over a year ago). I haven't kept up with blogs or boards recently either, but I've started glancing at a few today, and I can feel the desire to cross-stitch starting to return.

And where has December gone? Christmas is nearly here - I finally buckled down and wrapped gifts yesterday (it was slow going, so it took all afternoon, but it is done!). Wow, 2006 is nearly a memory, and what a memory it is. And since I probably won't post again until after the 25th, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Peace on Earth!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Another post-op update

I had my second followup with my orthopaedic physician Thursday afternoon, and he took x-rays to compare with the original. Funny to see that much gone! :)

I am doing very well, better than expected. I'm walking daily on the treadmill now (up to 15 minutes at a time), stretching, etc., and I have just started sitting upright on hard surfaces and with my molded plastic seat in the car. Not yet sitting on the couch, but I know that I will get there, much sooner than later!

In fact, today, I sat on the bleachers through a good friend's college graduation, which was nearly 2 hours. Then I rode in the front seat of the car for nearly an hour, then sat and ate lunch at Captain D's (nearly another hour). I ended up laying down in the back seat for most of the ride home, but tonight I'm not feeling too bad (I'm not in any pain as I type this tonight).

I am off the pain medication, occasionally taking tylenol if I have little twinges. It's mostly just sore right now, the muscles a little tight around the incision area. My doctor thinks I'm doing fantastic, the surgical wound healed perfectly, and he thinks that I may be close to 100% about 12 weeks post-op. I'm so psyched by the progress so far.

I start working half days from home this coming week, then 3/4 days, then full time. Once I've worked a week or two from home full time, I expect to return to the office. I truly believe the surgery was the best thing I could have done.

As for what I've been doing this week, mostly it's been just trying to increase my stamina, exercise and stretch more, stand and sit more. I'm working on a 're-binding CC's blankie' project. Currently, I'm taking the binding off his quilt - it is totally ragged, and I don't want to just slap a new binding overtop the old (it is a VERY loved quilt). It takes nearly as long to remove the binding as it did to put it on the first time. I also started another doily, but may need to get more thread to finish it (surprise, surprise, how many times have I done that already?). I've also started playing some new video games - I got the GameCube version of the new Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (no, I haven't bought a Wii), and the Nintendo DS's Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. Both are great fun so far, and no, I haven't finished the other Zelda and Castlevania games yet, but I AM going to get back to them. :)

It doesn't seem at all that I've been off work for 4 weeks - wow, the time just flew by. At least now, it looks like I will be able to enjoy Christmas with our families, and I'm really looking forward to it!! I feel so very fortunate that I'm recovering so quickly, and I have the greatest family, friends, and co-workers!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It's an ornament!

Front of ornament
back of ornament

Yippee, I've finally finished-finished something! :) I didn't want it to be too puffy, so I didn't overstuff it. I really like the way it turned out, and I'm looking forward to adding it to our tree next year.

Another milestone today for me - I went grocery shopping this morning with C. It's a less-than-5-minute drive to the grocery store from our house, so I "sat" on my left side in the front seat of the car while he drove (up on the ischial bone). I made it all the way through without any pain or fatigue, so I really feel like I've accomplished something. I've been walking just 5 minutes a day on my treadmill, and I'll be upping that to 10 minutes now. I also stood at my sewing machine a bit yesterday and worked on the double wedding ring quilt. Definitely don't want to overdo it, but I also want to do it just enough.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

'Tis the Season

Tis the Season, by Stacey Tippin for Dinky Dyes Designs

And yes, definitely 'tis. This morning, it is snowing here in Nashville! No accumulation is really expected, and it's just a dusting on the surfaces, but it is snowing, and it's really pretty to look at (since I have to be home and not out driving in it). I haven't made the cross stitch piece into an ornament yet, but that's the plan. The hat is done with Wisper thread, so it's a little fuzzy, which just adds more dimension to the piece. I love the muted colors too.

Okay, back to resting for me! :) Oh, and Ann, I posted a comment to the last post, but just in case you haven't seen it, it's lissylaine [at] yahoo [dot] com

Monday, December 04, 2006

Learning what don't overdo it means now

Don't overdo it
(1) Even when you feel great, it doesn't mean you are able to walk for twenty minutes on the treadmill, even at a slow speed, and even though the music has you thinking, "just one more song".
Friday was great, I walked 2 miles per hour for 10 minutes - a very slow pace for a very short time. And I felt fine afterwards. So I walked again on Saturday. But this time, I walked for 20 minutes, and even though I was still feeling fine right afterwards, it caught up with me a bit later, and I realized what a dummy I'd been in pushing it that far. So I didn't walk at all yesterday, and I probably won't walk again today (on the treadmill), to make sure I don't overdo it any more or again. And when I do begin walking again, it will be for 10 minutes each day for a period of time before increasing to 15 minutes (20 - what WAS I thinking?). I wanted so bad to be Superwoman. :)

Thank you all for the positive thoughts and comments. I really don't believe I've set my recovery back. It's just hard to judge my limits now, and trying to err on the side of caution rather than what I normally do is unusual for me. :) But C has gone back to work this week, so it's even more imperative that I rein my enthusiasm in, because I'm the only one to do it during the day now.

I started a new cross-stitch project (a little one), and I have the border complete. It's another one of Stacey Tippin's designs for Dinky Dyes, called Tis the Season. I figured that was appropriate. ;-)

Tis the Season, in progress

Now I'm off to the couch to watch some tv and rest.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Stitches are gone!

I'm happy to report that my first follow-up with my orthopedic physician here in Nashville went well, and my stitches have been removed. Last week was spent mostly lying down, on one side or the other, but this week I've been able to stand up for longer stretches of time (and want to - my hips are sore!). I believe I'm off the pain medication now too - I only took one yesterday, and I haven't taken any today. I still won't try sitting for at least another week or two, but I am really optimistic about my full recovery. I go back for a second follow-up and an x-ray in about two weeks. The doctor expects to release me to activities at that time, though we'll see about the whole driving thing, which requires the ability to sit. I've still got all of my cushions, and plan to take it slowly.

Meanwhile, since I've been down a lot, I've been working on my grandmother's flower garden quilt. It's slow going (all by hand), but it does develop a rhythm that's easy to work while watching television. Here are the most recent additions:

Two hexagon flowers in progress
Upper left corner of my GFG quilt