Friday, December 31, 2010

The Elves Finally Came Through ...

Those English Elves and the US Elves must have gotten over their contract issues with Santa! Because the magazines from the UK made it! OMG - the patterns! How do you pick what to stitch first? The UK patterns seem so soft, fuzzy, and warm! I need to take some pictures to show you what I plan to add to my stitchy list. But, it is way too early to dig out the camera for a bad photo. Hopefully, Mr Sun will come out today and then I will take those pictures. Marlene - thank you for sending these to me. I can see hours of fun! Woohoo!

I've been in a funky/grumpy mood of late. At first I thought is was the let down from the holidays. Or maybe just tired from work and the holidays. Then there has been the lack of stitching. Not sitting with my daylight lamp could be part of it. I've never before been problemed with SAD - but there is always a first time. But, honestly, I think I have been grinding about something said to me. It hurt and for some reason - I'm not letting it go as quickly as I should. And this thought brings me to a resolution for 2011.

Normally, I don't do resolutions because they just don't work for me. I've already listed my stitchy goals for 2011 and looking back at that post - I think I am NUTS! Why put that kind of pressure on myself for something I enjoy? I will burn myself out. As for the challenges - I'm sure none of you will smack my hands for not completing every project I listed. So here I am even before the New Year arrives - changing my mind about HAVING to do 30+ projects. I'll get to what I get to!

And the other resolutions?
~ Be a duck. Let what others say to me roll off my back. If it is offensive, unkind, or just not nice - let it roll away. That would be their problem not mine.
~ Be a bear. Get more sleep. Hibernate if needed! Quit taking on too much.
~ Be a bird. Eat like a bird. (yeah, I know most eat more than their body weight per day but you get the idea!)
~ Be a turtle. Slow and steady wins the race. I'm not 20 anymore. Fast and flash are not my style anyway!
~ Be a jitterbug. Get up and move/exercise. Have fun with it!

So, when I tell my hubby I plan to be an animal this year -- do you think this is what he'll have in mind?

To All of you ~ Thank-you for making my first 8 months of blogging a wonderful experience. If no one tells you this today - hear it here first - you are a great bunch of women with hearts of gold! Please be safe tonight and have an awesome time.

Here's to 2011 - may your health, wealth, and happiness be where you want them to be. And to another year of us blogging and stitching with few visits from the frogs!

Salute - Denise

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Family Thinks I'm Weird ...

The reason why -- I'll get to that in a minute.

We had a great day yesterday! Woke up at 3 am. I had had my allotted 6 hours of sleep and me back told me to get up. By 3:30 I was showered and dressed. By 4:30, I was back asleep on the couch listening to the Weather Channel. That's the first weird thing. I can't sleep in the bed for more than 6 hours and once on the couch - I have to have the tv on or I can't sleep there. BUT, no tv on in the bedroom.

Final time for waking up 7am. Got the make-up on and the hair straightened before waking the males. Courtney was on the road at 7:30 and Andrew was driving. The roads were snow covered and they were taking it easy. They made it here in good time!

I forgot to give Grace to Logan on Christmas Eve. I was so tired after coming from Mom's that I just completely forgot. So, while waiting on Courtney and Andrew - I gave it to him. Logan loves drawing and detail. So, he immediately got the shadows and crispness of the picture. It now sits on his desk - (ready for this) replacing the Maxim calendar girls! Now, that says something about the way he feels about Grace.

Christmas cookies for breakfast. I had gingerbread and Cool Whip. Weird thing 2 - I don't eat it on a plate with the Cool Whip sitting pretty on top. Oh no, give me a bowl and spoon and step back. I mush, crush, stir, and make a mushy squishy disgusting mess of the gingerbread.

We opened our stockings and marvelled at Rob's buying power. I had asked him to pick up a few things for the stockings a couple weeks ago when I was hacking up that lung. One of the things I had asked him to get were Reisen dark chocolate chews. I needed 3 bags. He knew one of those bags were for him. So, what does he do? Buys two small bags and a third that was three times the size of the small ones. The big bag was for him. Go figure?!?

I think Santa got everything the kids wanted. They seemed more than happy. Rob played with his tools and I played with some new electronics. It was a pretty good year.

So why does the family think I am weird? After we are done unwrapping and everyone has gone - I immediately start taking down the decorations. There have been years that I start to take ornies off the tree on Christmas Night. This year I was good.

I re-did the stitching room and left the living room alone. All the Christmas stitched items are down and the winter items are up. I dusted and re-arranged the Willow tree people.

This morning I was up at 4:30. Bridget barked because she needed to go out. Damn dog (borrowing that from Spinster)! There was no going back to sleep. The end tables are back to normal. Most of the Santa decorations are now on the dining room table and the only thing keeping me from starting the tree -- Garin is coming in a few hours. I might have him help.

My question to you -- how long do your decorations stay up after the holiday? I have a friend who doesn't put up their tree until Christmas Eve and leaves it up for the month of January. Am I so weird to start taking them down today?

I have a short week at work! Hip hip hooray! Off Monday and Friday. The rest of the week - should be short days! Crossing my fingers. Hopefully, my needle and floss will hit some linen! It has been 10 days since I last touched any stitching. I am starting to twitch!

Maybe I should go fix that twitch and stitch for a bit before Garin and Alivia come down.

I hope your Christmas was Merry!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Almost time...

Today I seem to be at a loss for words. I want to convey my wishes for a wonderful holiday to all of my friends and I just seem to be unable to get the words down.

Christmas is a day to spend with those that mean the most to you. I will be spending it with Rob, Courtney and her boyfriend Andrew, Logan, my parents, Keri and her DH Andrew, Garin and Alivia, and MIL Lucy and her DH Randy.

But, I would like to come visit you too. See, I've finally found a group of WONDERFUL women who enjoy this thing called stitching as much as I do. Some of you do more needlepoint than cross stitch, some just cross stitch, and there are the crocheters and knitters too. I would like to be able to criss cross the globe and see how you spend the day and just say hello.

You may not know how much you mean to me. Sometimes all I do is lurk on your blog and sometimes I comment. There are some who have become email buddies and there is a phone buddy in there too.

So, ladies, I may not be on the internet but know you are in my heart and on my mind this weekend. Have a Merry Christmas, take care, be happy and healthy, and don't eat too much.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I've been seeing Santa a lot lately!

 And he looks like my mailman! Silly, I never thought he looked quiet like that.

Now, not everything he has brought me has been for Christmas but, his timing is impeccable! Except for the connecting flight from England. Not sure what happened there but some magazines that were shipped out from England nearly a month ago -- have been stolen by the elves! I'm thinking since elves can only work at three places (for Santa, in a tree (Keebler), or at a shoe store) maybe they weren't Santa's regular elves that lost the magazines.
 So, what have I received? Alyssa had her month long Christmastime Give Away recently and I won not one but two days! (lucky me!) And just a few days ago I got the 2nd win!

LHN's Snow White with the fabric I plan stitching it on -
A hand dyed 14ct aida

On the left my first win from Alyssa - November Twirls!
The center pattern and card are from Pumpkin!
This picture shows a thank-you pattern from Pumpkin. Do you remember my give away in October? She was one of my winners. So, she sent me a pattern as way of thank-you along in my Christmas card. (Thank you Pumpkin for the pattern!) I now have an original photo of hers! I plan to frame the pic after the holidays! I started to show the card - but it is her photo and her copyright - not mine. But, believe me when I say - gorgeous!

And this brings me to yesterday... DH met the mailman (Santa for real this time) and brought in a package. I thought it might be those magazines. It wasn't --- It was a BOX! From Canada?!? Hmmm, what, who, how, why? OOOOHHHH JAYNE!

The Christmas Card ~
Can you see the handwritten "in Ohio" under Let It Snow?

The Santa Key ~
hanging on my tree until the 24th!

 A beautiful pair of scissors with a fob made by Jayne (it also has a tiny Maple leaf charm!), a Snowman holding a snowbaby (it's laying down for the photo and doesn't show well - oops!), some wonderfully satin hand lotion, and a pair of Olympic gloves!

And Soap Box Winter that she stitched for me!!!
This pic does NOT do this piece justice! It's perfectly stitched and finished! It has our names and date written on the back. Now it hangs in the living room - later it will be in the stitching room with me through spring! 

I would like to publicly thank all three of you for sending me such lovely things! I must have been good this year!!!

I just looked at the clock at realized I have 2 hours until I have to go to the dentist. :(
Used to love getting my teeth cleaned. But, several years ago I had to cancel my appointment (happened to be going away for the week) and never rescheduled. See, I just didn't like my dentist. The hygienist was great but the dentist would fly through and barely acknowledged I was in the chair. Geez, buddy at least look at the chart and call me by name and don't talk about other patients in front of me! Anyway, I put off going, and put it off some more. A year passed, and another, and soon I just forgot about going. Here we are at least 5 years (and probably closer to 7) down the road. I know, I know - hush! And I have a sore tooth. Are we surprised? DUH!?!?! I made an appointment yesterday and here we are. Dreading - DREADING - the results of not going. Can we have another PSA here? Go to the dentist!!!

Okay, rant over. Just do me a favor and say a little prayer for stupid old me - thank-you!

Since this is the 21st and I have not been posting like a good little girl should this will probably be my last post before Christmas. Thank you all for stopping by my little spot in bloggerville. I appreciate all the comments you leave. I really do read them although you'd never know by my lack of response!

Merry Christmas!

ps - I wanted to tell the story about those gloves and getting what you wish for. Last year when watching the Olympics, I saw the Canadian gloves and so wanted a pair. But, I didn't know anyone in Canada that could get me some. The Olympics came and went and the thought of the gloves went away. I might see a pic here or there since and I would always tell myself - I would really like a pair of them. Imagine my complete and utter surprise when I opened Jayne's box to see my pair of red Maple leaf Olympic gloves! I told DH I'd always wanted a pair and he looked at me sideways and asked, "Really?" He might not have known but God did.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Progress

I might actually meet my goal on this one!
Have hopes of finishing this by the new year. Didn't think I had stitched all that much on it until I looked at last week. I did okay even with being sick!

I must say I found a flub in the pattern this week - the tombstone in the middle has a skull and wings. Yep, that's what the pattern shows. But, the picture shows crosses on either side of the skull. Went ahead and charted them in.

There were other issues this week too! The lower 'E' on the right. I stitched this thing twice and the 'N' three times. Completely my fault. Never assume two letters are the same. And that one little square set the ENTIRE round motif below completely off. Rip, rip, rip!

Today was my first day back to work. The boss was nice and let me have the 3rd day off on Thursday. I prayed last night to have the strength to get through the day. Made it through work and still haven't had a nap. When the caffeine wears off --- I'm going to be out!

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a BAKING day. I desperately need it to be. The guys want their cookies - thank-you very much!

I feel I might owe you an apology. Didn't mean to gross anyone out with my lunch selection the other day. Although, Paula had a good one -- potato chips and spray cheese. I'm not a huge chip fan but I can see the possibilities with this one. Salty, crunchy, and cheese. Everything is better with cheese!

And Stitchy McFloss thinks I eat many weird combos. So, I have to ask -- what is your strangest food combination? The one that sent Stitchy over the edge - chocolate pudding on vanilla ice cream.

Until next time -- I'm off to the races!
Smiles - Denise

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Grace's final photo!

Woohoo! Two posts in one day! I am feeling better. Just had lunch and after looking at what I grabbed - no doubts about it - on the road to recovery!

Should I explain that...why not, I'm bored and not doing anything much! When I was a kid and got the stomach flu - I always would ask for a double cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate shake from McDonald's when I first started to feel human. Somehow that combo made my stomach calm down and the (delicate way to say this ....) went away.

So, after talking to a friend on the phone I got hungry. I had cranberry/blackberry juice, a ham and cheese sandwich with ketchup and blue cheese dressing, cheetos and chocolate icing (you dip the cheetos into the icing -- yes, I know, gross, but ohhhh so yummy) and then because I could eat 'dessert' 3 fig newtons. No, I am NOT pregnant. Yes, eating this way is the reason I am fluffy.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and comments! I think they are the reason I am feeling better! I needed a hug from my blogging buddies!! I will be writing down the suggestions for meds to keep here at the house!

Oh, did you stop by for the grand finale? Grace is this close to being ready to wrap. I'm not strong enough to get the glazing points all the way into the wood and Rob needs to attach the hangers. Then I will cover it with brown paper to finish it off. Hopefully, the boy will leave the house sometime before Christmas.

Since I saved the best for last and I feel a nap coming on - time to go!
Smiles - Denise

Get your Flu shots!

There is that to the point for a PSA?

I thought it was a cold -- but it has held on to me for 6 days now. I've taken the last two days off work. Just couldn't muster the energy to stand there hacking up my lungs and breathing cold air. Sorry Bob!

You know you feel badly when you get worn out from stitching. Of course there were a couple days I didn't even try. The simple fact I'm posting something tells me I'm feeling more human.

Guys ---- do me a favor??? Next year - in the fall - remind me to go get the shot!!!

Off to gargle with salt water -- soothes my throat.
(Am I sounding completely whining? Sorry)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Progress

Somehow it is evening already. Where did today go? Could have sworn I just got off work. Hmm...

Another week down - two to go! December seems to be flying. I still have a bit of shopping to do and a few things to wrap. The baking - is um - um - falling behind. Oops! Now DH and the boy might be upset by this - my butt is rejoicing!

Much progress was made on TTT last Sunday. I got up at the crack of dawn and stitched 6 hours before anyone else stirred. Then early in the week saw more hours stitching than expected.

I've gotten the left two pages completed! The top middle page only needs a few skulls stitched and it would be complete. Those skulls are my Achilles. They make me twitch!
It seems I have joined Jayne's Flippin' January Challenge. Even though all my projects are new - I am planning to finish about 6 current WIP's. I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew!

Have you heard the weather report for the Ohio valley? Between a surge of rain from the Gulf coast and a clipper from our friends in Canada - we are expecting between 2"-4" this weekend. I have a feeling it could be more. Hope everyone is prepared!

May you have a wonderful weekend. Keep smiling!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm a Bit Nuttier Than You...

Well ladies, many of you are joining the January Challenge. I have respectfully declined the invitation. Although, I have decided my course of action for 2011.

My WIP box is so full - the lid won't stay on properly. I won't bother with pics of each project. As of Jan 1st - I will delete my 2010 Completions and add the following list in no particular order -

Dirty Snowmen - Notforgotten Farm
Bluebird - Blackbird Designs
Pumpkins - LHN
Snow - Bent Creek
Peace on Earth - LHN
Christmas Snow - Waxing Moon
Make a Wish - Forever Friends
Snowmen Photobooth - Bent Creek
Cherries - LHN
Watermelon - LHN
Just a Little Autumn - San-Man Designs
Seasons - San-Man Designs
Fa La La! - Plum Pudding Needleart
Primitive Winter - Notforgotten Farms
My Love - Lavender Wings
Blessed Be - Plum Pudding Needleart
Lookin' Like Fall - Plum Pudding Needleart
I Pledge - La-D-Da
Peppermint Twist - LHN
Frosty Flakes - LHN
Olde Crow - The Stitcherhood
He's A Flake - LHN
Safe Harbour - Silhouettes - Heritage Crafts
Guiding Light - Silhouettes - Heritage Crafts
Peace on Earth - Katidid

Continue on with -
March-April-May - HIH
September-October-November - HIH
Santa Arrives Tonight - Homespun Elegance
4th of July Bird - HIH
Ski - Twisted Threads
Colorful Sky - Mystic Stitch

That's 31 projects in 12 months. I wanted to do 24. We'll all see how crazy I am!

Thank you for hanging on til the end of the post! Didn't know if either one of us would make it! ;0)

Smiles - Denise

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's snowing again...

I have a feeling this winter might be an ugly one. Last year we had snow on the ground from the weekend of Thanksgiving clear through late February. This year, the snow fell on the 28th of November and it's still there.

The temps seem to be getting silly too. I saw on the Weather Channel that our high temp next Monday and Tuesday will be 17F (-8C). That's January cold.

And this has me in a funk. I normally love winter. I like cold. Or, I should say liked. This winter (and we still have 13 days until it officially arrives) the cold seems to be seeping into my bones. I'm wearing sweaters, socks, my 'Donkey' slippers, and a blanket.

Maybe I should go play with my stash. I seem to be in a funk about stitching too. This stitching Halloween things during Christmas season -- it's throwing me off. I'm not feeling anymore Christmas things either. So, what's next then - spring??

Am I getting pre-Christmas depression? Why? Everything is done and the holidays are set. Cards are mailed. Why am I guessing everything but the 8 ton elephant in the room? It's the job.

There's nothing great to report from my little corner of bloggerville. I don't see myself joining the SAL that has you doing 15 projects in January or Jayne's finish 15 UFO's in January. I doubt I will join this years TUSAL. So, what goals should I set?


1.) I would like to finish Colorful Sky by Mystic Stitch
2.) Stitch at least 2 items per month.
3.) Make and finish the 3 LHN ornies I have.
4.) Go to the 2 retreats I have in mind.
5.) Get my passport so I can visit this friend I have in Ontario.
6.) Meet at least one more blogging buddy in 2011.
7.) Consider taking the bobbin lace class in Canton.
8.) Start going to the Wednesday evening stitch group.
9.) Frame/finish 1 item per month.
10.) get more involved in bloggerville.

Should I have saved this for my New Year's resolutions? Perhaps. Seems I am always thinking too far ahead.

But, thinking about that list has lifted my spirits. Makes me want to kit things up. That leads me to wonder if I shouldn't join that 15 project thing. Think I'll go play and see what I come up with.

Oh, before I forget...someone asked if knowing my Christmas present or seeing it sit under the tree wouldn't drive me crazy. The answer - no. What drives me insane is surprises. If I know DH got me something and he refuses to tell --- I'm beyond peeved. I get *&(*&*&#% mad. If it is a present under the tree - I better know what it is or I will be peeking.

Thank you for letting me ramble. I read all of your comments (I just fail miserably at getting back to you) and I appreciate every one of them. You take time out of your lives to see what nonsense I might be doing. Thanks guys!

Until Friday when I get to show the surprising amount I have done on TTT. I'm kind of proud of myself.

TTFN - Denise

Sunday, December 5, 2010

When's Scott coming with the gifts?

What's that title all about? Garin thinks Scott Calvin will be bringing his presents for Christmas.

A little background. My sister and BIL didn't want to tell their kids that Santa brought their gifts. They didn't want to lie to them. I understand - but disagreed. Their kids not mine. Garin started pre-school this year. And guess what? Suddenly the guy wearing the big red suit not only exists but is VERY real to Garin. And Garin is concerned. They don't have a fireplace - how will Santa deliver the presents???

Keri called me a week or so ago and told me Garin's concerns. What to tell him - she asks? I told her to tell him what happened in Santa Clause (the movie). The heaters change to become a fireplace for Santa. She wanted to borrow the movie to explain it all to Garin.

A few days later - we have a new problem. He believed it - ALL. Scott Calvin is Santa and the movie really happened. So now, Scott will be coming to the house.

Don't you love the way kids' minds work?

Smiles - Denise

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'm so Excited...

When the kids were small and Santa brought every one's gifts, we started a tradition on Christmas Eve. We always have my family in for the holiday on Christmas Eve for dinner and sometimes a Christmas movie. (Have you ever really noticed how many Christmas movies there are?) Anyway, after the movie and before time for bed the four of us would sit down and have a gift exchange. We each bought/made something for each other. Generally, keeping our gifts secret. None of us keep secrets well. So, this secret keeping is HUGE for us!

This year we're down to three. Courtney has flown the coop. She'll be here bright and and early (according to Logan - she's to be here no later than 7:30 - thank-you very much) Christmas morning.

For Rob I have gotten a pocket size version of the Constitution. It also has the Bill of Rights and all amendments. He saw it this summer in a magazine and I happened to find said magazine when cleaning the desk in the hall. (A task best left to someone else - but it always is there for me.) Logan is getting Wall-E from me.

Rob is getting the boy the movie Inception. And Logan got The Book of Eli for him. Last night Rob came out and gave Logan an idea for his Christmas Eve gift -- hmm, what could it be??? The very same movie. Logan played it cool and acted dumb about what the movie was and who was in it. Smart boy.

So, why am I excited you ask? This has been a nice post lady but, get to the point! Ok, ok! Have you ever heard of haycanvas bags???? Oh, ladies if you haven't you'll want to! I need (yes, need) a nice bag to take my stash when going on retreats. I plan two for 2011! Every canvas bag I looked at was thin or no pockets on the outside or none on the inside. Something about every bag just wasn't right.

Not this bag!!!! You can make it completely custom or take a bag off the display. Mine is the larger classic tote. Linen in color and a black bottom. The black bottom is also pockets! There are also pockets inside. And they will personalize them too. They found a embroidery design online that is PERFECT for me. It says, "Cross Stitch" and then there are X's under the words. This lettering will be in red. It will be ready for pick-up Dec 18th. Then it must sit under the tree until 9pm-ish Christmas Eve. This is what Rob got me for my Christmas Eve gift. He wanted me to pick it out - so this year I know what I am getting. (Insert Happy Dance Here)

Here's a quick peak at the tote ~

If you would like - check them out at Cathy would love to hear from you!

Maybe tomorrow I will tell you our plans for this Christmas. They have morphed once again!
Hope today is the day of your dreams!
Smiles - Denise

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Progress

Just wanted to stop by and show my progress for the week.

Not to bad for two days work. Things have gotten hectic this week and next week promises to be worse. We start work Monday morning at 3:15am! This means I am up at 1:30 and going to bed around 7:30pm Sunday night. Three more weeks until the madness is over.

Otherwise, things here are moving headlong towards Christmas. The shopping is mostly done. All wrapping has been completed. Cookies will be started tomorrow. Decorations done. Letters to Santa sent. Christmas cards - mostly sent.

It seems life has become a routine lately. Up early, work, home, eat, clean-up, nap, work around the house, make dinner, and melt into bed. In 23 years, only one Christmas has been what I assume normal to be. That was last year. Had my gall bladder out on the 10th and didn't return to work until the 29th. I made cookies every morning.

Well, we're off to the mall (eegads on a Friday afternoon?) and then to Red Lobster. I hope for Red Lobster. Doesn't Pasta shrimp Alfredo sound good?

Oh, and get the boy a new coat! We have been stalling forever hoping he would stop growing long enough to buy a nice coat. That doesn't seem to be an option any longer!

Hope your weekend is filled with fun, laughter, and good food!
Smiles - Denise