Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Unsuccessful IHSW and Birthday Bummers

Yesterday brought the end of my IHSW for this month. I had an extra day due to Monday being a holiday in the States. :)  As it turns out, that was a very good thing since Friday night was filled with kid times, Saturday found me at yet another volleyball tournament and then more kid time, and Sunday I spent caring for and worrying about my mom, who woke up with the flu. Then there was yesterday. Ah, yesterday. Thank goodness I already had the day off, because things started going wrong almost as soon as the day started and only went downhill from there. 

Yesterday was my daughter's 13th birthday. A milestone for any girl, right? Well, let's just say...she won't forget this one any time soon...

We started the day by heading into 'town' (about 15 miles away - it's the closest Wal-Mart, lol) for a birthday cake and some car parts. We have a minivan that has been down with a bad water pump since Christmas Eve and early last week our other car started having fuel pump issues. Our plan was to go to town, get a cake, buy some parts, take DD out to lunch for her birthday, and head home so DH could get to work by 3. Um, yeah. That's not exactly how it went down. Instead...

The fuel pump started acting up in the parking lot of our first stop. DH climbed under the car, banged some stuff, and it finally started back up. This told us, however, that unless he wanted to do that at every stop...there would be no more shutting off the car until we got home. Thereby cancelling DD's birthday dinner. (Bummer #1) Then it was off to the parts store (engine running) to price parts. A fuel pump for the car - parts and labor, approximately $450.00. No thank you! A water pump for the van - about $20 and DH can change it himself. SOLD!

Home we go, pull into the drive, shut off the car, and walk uptown to a little deli for lunch. By the time we eat and DH gets changed to go out and work on the van, it's raining. And cold. And monsoon-windy. We have no garage. We have no carport. Lots of the work is done from under the van and we have no mechanic's creeper. (Bummer #2) As the repair goes on, it's getting closer to time for the littlest boy to head back to his mother's, DD to head to volleyball practice and, unfortunately, is past time for DH to have time to get changed and get to work. He calls off for the day. (Bummer #3) It soon becomes obvious that he can't reach all the tiny little internal areas under the hood that he needs to in order to be able to thread bolts and adjust belts. Guess whose tiny, long-fingered hands got to do that job?? Yep. Sure 'nuff. Now we're both out in the pouring rain and freezing cold wind, he under the van and me elbows deep in the engine compartment, but we get the last bold tightened and the fluids refilled just in the nick of time to get everyone where they need to go, but not in time to have cupcakes and ice cream to celebrate DD's birthday. (Bummer #4)

We quickly drop her at volleyball practice and head to take little man back home. 25 minutes into the drive, I get a call from DD's coach saying she's injured her ankle, it's super swollen, and she can't bear weight on it. Great. We hurry and drop off the sweet boy and rush back home to pick DD up from the school. After taking a look at this:


 ...it was off to the ER for X-rays

After an hour and a half in the ER waiting room, and a strong pain pill that made her so loopy she tied a hair ribbon around a styrofoam cup and wore it as a hat, we get word from the doctor...it's broken (MAJOR BUMMER). Only this girl could manage to break a bone on her birthday...her 13th birthday at that! We didn't get home from the hospital until almost 11 last night, and I had to get up earlier than usual to walk her in and get her settled at school. Obviously, this injury has put an end to her current volleyball season and, in my opinion, that's the biggest bummer of all for her :(

Needless to say, you can understand why this is all I got done for IHSW:   

Forest Goddess, pre-IHSW

Forest Goddess, as of 2-18-13
Yeah, yeah. I know. Horrible picture. It's blurry and the color sucks and I'm still too tired to fix it. I promise you a better one at the end of the rotation week. That is, if I get the chance to put any more stitches in...I have a feeling the majority of the rest of my week is going to include a lot of "Moo-ooom...I need (fill in the blank)..." Here we go!

Friday, February 15, 2013

New Rotation Week and IHSW

Finally Friday!! I hope you all are off to a good start for the weekend. Today starts a new rotation week for me. I spent last week working on Stargazer and I enjoyed it so much, I hate to see her go.

Here is where I started at the beginning of last week:

Stargazer - After initial CJC start on 1/1/13
And here's where I ended up at the end of my rotation last night:

Stargazer - Progress as of 2/14/13
Since I'm so sad to see Stargazer's rotation end, I've decided to overcome my bummed-out-ness by stitching on another Mira during this rotation week. Forest Goddess is one of the WIPs from last year that I snuck into my CJC this year. 

Here's where I left her last:

Forest Goddess - Progress as of 1/10/13

I'm really hoping to make some significant progress on her because...

Today is also the start of this month's IHSW!! I'm sooo ready to hermit in and stitch the weekend away! I have Monday off as a work holiday, so my weekend will be a bit longer than normal. YAY! I have another of my daughter's volleyball tournaments to attend tomorrow, but that should be over just after lunchtime, so the rest of the weekend (and Monday) will be mine to fill with stitchy goodness.  

I hope you all have made sufficient plans to not have to leave your stitchy spaces, except out of necessity, for the next 2 (or maybe 3) days. I look forward to seeing how you all make out at the end of the weekend. Happy Stitching everyone!! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February TUSAL Update and Stargazer Progress

First and foremost, I'd like to say thank you, thank you, thank you!! to everyone for their kind words, thoughts, and prayers for my daughter through her recent bout with the flu. I'm happy to report that she is doing wonderfully and is back to 100%. As a matter of fact, she played in a 5-hour, 4-game volleyball tournament the very next day. She had a 101.4 fever at 8pm on Friday, but reported to the gym at 8am on Saturday, with a smile and an athlete's determination. Only the young can pull that off, lol! Thank you all again for your kindnesses...I shared each one with her and she appreciated them all very much. Y'all are simply the best :)

Now, on to the updates...
It's TUSAL time again!! What's a TUSAL, you ask? Well, look to your right, click on the TUSAL button, and it'll take you right to Daffycat's page. She'll tell you all about it :)

Meanwhile, here are my February orts...my little jar is about 1/3 full:

Apologies for the grainy picture, my phone's camera sucks.

I've also been stitching away on Stargazer, which is this week's rotation piece. My daughter's volleyball game was over quickly last night, so I was able to settle into the big comfy chair and stitch away while watching the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. 

Here's how far I got last night:

Stargazer, as of 2/12/13

I'm thrilled that I still have 2 more days in this rotation week to work on her. I know I've said it before, but I'm a Mirabilia/Nora Corbett junkie! I have 3 more Miras in line for new starts, but so far I'm doing good in leaving them right there on my craft stand. I'm using them for motivation to focus on my current stitching and finish up some of my Challenge pieces this year. I've decided to reward myself by starting a new Mira/Nora for every piece I finish. Sounds like a good plan to me!!

I don't know if anyone else watched the dog show last night, but I have to say - I'm pretty bummed that the Saint Bernard didn't win. However, Banana Joe, the little Affenpinscher that won it all, was A-DOR-ABLE! Almost makes me want a little dog. Almost.

I hope everyone is enjoying their week and looking forward to IHSW this weekend. I have a 3-day weekend as President's Day is a work holiday for me, so my hermitting will spill right over into Monday. I can't wait!

I'll leave you today with a pic of my big 'ol dog baby...a Saint Bernard, of course. This is Titan, and he's been Best in Show to us since the day we rescued him. No dog shows or competitions for him, though. As you can see, 'work' and 'effort' aren't in his repertoire...


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Late SAL Update

Heather, from Heather's Stitching Story, held another SAL this past weekend. I joined in again, but haven't had a chance to post my progress from it until now. I managed to get a progress pic when I finished stitching Sunday night, I just didn't have the energy to put up a post.

I'm working on Stargazer, which is this week's rotation piece, and I was able to make some pretty good progress. Especially considering I didn't stitch nearly as much as I intended to over the weekend. The best laid plans, right? Anyway, here's where she ended up on Sunday night:

 Stargazer as of 2/10/13, after Heather's SAL

February's TUSAL report and more Stargazer progress to come later this evening... 

Hope everyone is having a great stitchy day so far :) 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Late Update and Another SAL w/Heather

Happy Saturday all!! I hope everyone is having a wonderfully cozy and stitch-filled weekend! For my followers on the East Coast...my prayers are with all of you that you maintain (or quickly regain) power, have an ample food and water supply, and find the patience to weather winter storm Nemo and the cleanup to come in it's wake. God Bless You!

I'm late with my rotation week update but, then again, what's new? My week with Fractal Tiger ended on Thursday and I intended to post my progress on Friday morning. My daughter had other plans...she woke me at 3:30 Friday morning to let me know that she had thrown up. This continued about every half-hour until after 8am. Needless to say, aside from work, any plans I had for Friday were immediately forgotten. Thankfully, she's much better now, and I managed to get some stitching in after having a nap with her yesterday evening. 

As most of you know, I completely changed out the fabric on Fractal Tiger. I switched from 14ct Black Aida to a piece of 28ct pewter of unknown origin. In case you missed it, that post is here. I'm really liking the change, but the time it took to make it and my level of busy last week didn't allow me to get as far as I'd like. Here's where I ended on Thursday:

Don't mind the green thread...I don't grid, so that was my 50-stitch marker :)

This is most of the first column of page 1. Maybe now that I'm happier with the fabric, I'll be able to make some real progress next time it comes up in my rotation.  So, on to the current rotation week...next in line is Stargazer. I love, love, love this one (as I do all Noras/Miras) and I see myself making some major progress this weekend. Here's where she was after her initial CJC start:

Since I've joined Heather's SAL again this weekend, I will be updating Stargazer's progress on Monday, after the SAL has ended. I plan to spend this evening and most of tomorrow stitching away! I hope that's what y'all are doing to! Enjoy your weekend everyone :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

STNA Blog Hop #15: Stitching When Sick

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop


 It's Blog Hop time again!! Here is this round's prompt:

"Eventually there comes a time when you’re not feeling well, whether it’s the flu or a cold or something else entirely. The question is, do you manage any stitching when you’re under the weather or does it just have to wait for better days?"

Unfortunately, I find that I can't stitch AT ALL when I'm sick. I tend to get several sinus infections throughout the year, which cause blinding headaches and only go away with large doses of Nyquil and lots of hours of sleep. I don't normally get any kind of intestinal sickness or run fevers for any reason. I can only think of 3 times in my life I've been "that kind" of sick, and when I was it was during times that I had stepped away from stitching anyway.

I've tried to put in some stitching time while I'm down, especially when thinking about all the free time that's being wasted while I'm off work trying to recuperate. Unfortunately, if I can get the headache to go away long enough to see straight, I find that the medicine is putting me to sleep and I doze off mid-stitch. I've woken up to some interesting results from my medication induced sleep-stitching in the past, so I try and avoid that now. The last thing I want to do when I feel better is frog a bunch of nonsense!

How about you? Can/do you stitch while sick??

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fractal Tiger...The Aftermath

As promised, here's a picture of Fractal Tiger after I unstitched all my progress and changed fabrics:

Fractal Tiger...now on an unknown 28ct pewter fabric

Here's what it looked like before I undid everything:

On the original 14ct Black Aida

Long story short, I thought that by stitching this project on black fabric, I could somehow omit the million or so skeins of black floss and just allow the fabric to act as the background.

Yeah. Not so much. It didn't occur to me in the beginning that the background seeped in to the pattern itself here and there. Trying to stitch the dark blues and greys on black fabric and then looking back at the squares I'd "missed", only to find that they were meant to stay black and that I hadn't really "missed" anything, was making me want to run into the street, screaming and throwing things. 

I got through the better part of the top of the first two columns, minus the black of course, and was ready to rip this particular project to shreds. I felt like I was getting nowhere and there is no worse motivator for completing a project than to feel like you're stitching like mad and making no progress.

Hence, the change of fabrics. I've decided that stitching all that background may be boring, but also necessary. Also, changing to a lighter fabric is no longer making me feel like my eyes are working overtime to differentiate the navy from the charcoal. I should enjoy stitching...not have to search out the bottle of ibuprofen when I'm finished for the night. 

I have two more nights of stitching on this rotation and I don't even know that I'll get the first column done, but I'm determined not to give up on this one. I'm sure the finished project will be worth it! I hope y'all are having an easier stitching week than I have been. Another update to come at the end of the rotation on Thursday :)