More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Getting Ready

I meant to blog last night, to let you know how the scales had treated me at Weight Watchers last night. However with the heavy winds and snow (yes I said snow) we had last night, my Internet was out and my power kept going off and back on again. Anyhow as usual I'm surprised! I lost 1.5 lbs this week. Yahooo! That goes to prove that weight loss can never be predictable.

On Friday after work I'm off to Ann's to do "ornamentification"

Dani's Dictionary definition :
Ornamentification (verb) - the act of taking stitched pieces and turning them into ornaments. Best done with friends.

Since I plan to go to Taekwon-Do tomorrow night I had to start getting things organized tonight. I spent some time this evening cutting mat board, foam or batting and co-ordinating fabrics. To keep everything organized I've got each ornament in a little baggie with its bits and pieces ready to be put together.

I did a little bit of work on Margaret's RR. I've almost finished the roof, but I ran out of floss with one and a half rows to go. Luckily Christin assures me she has it, and will give it to me on Friday when we meet for dinner with her mom before I leave town.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Round Robin Progress

I want to say thank you to everyone who has left such kind comments about my appearance. The comments are certainly fantastic motivators, thank you! I'm not sure how the scales will treat me tomorrow. Despite my best to not clear my plate, make the best choices I could when dealing with a set menu. You just never are in control of how foods are cooked when you eat in a restaurant. I'll be very happy if I stay the same but won't be surprised if I see another gain at the scale.

I'm finally in the groove with Margaret's Round Robin! Its taken me awhile to find the umph to pick it up and get going! I'm almost done the roof on the Van Tassel Farm on Cross Eyed Cricket's Sleepy Hollow. I am afraid I'm going to run out of the grey I'm using on the roof! I've got one length of floss left, and I've got 5 very long rows left! There might be a panicked e-mail going to Christin tomorrow night to see if she's got the colour I need on hand (its one of the old DMC variegated... 50 something). If she doesn't have it I'll cross my fingers and hope that Ann has it in her shop, Knowledge and Needles I'm off for a weekend visit after work on Friday. Ann and I will be ornamentifying just the two of us and I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The End of Another Stitching Event

Its sad to say it, but I'm back home and a luxurious stitching weekend is over. I got home around 3:30 this afternoon from the Knit One Stitch Too! fall retreat at the Gananoque Inn. I have to say I really love the accommodations at the Inn and the staff treats us sooo well! I was really impressed by their events coordinator Cathy she has such a great memory for people. She recognized me and to quote her words "my hair was shorter and half the size". Oh boy that made me feel good! The weather wasn't great this weekend, it poured for 12 hours straight on Saturday and today it was super windy. Perfect for stitching! Us stitchers can always see the bright side of any situation, especially if you're prepared with stitching close to hand!

I have to say this isn't a hard view to wake up to in the morning! This was Saturday morning. Kathy and I had a suite with this beautiful view.

While I was getting ready to face the day on Saturday Kathy borrowed my computer to check up on the online world. She happily discovered that Stitching Bits and Bobs had a sale (yes you online shopping junkies a sale!). Here she is SHOPPING! Kathy can always find a way to buy a bit of stash! She was at my house for the weekend in July and she managed to shop too! LOL. After Kathy's virtual shopping trip, it was time to eat! The Inn always puts on a lovely breakfast buffet. I made very wise choices of fruit, yogurt and cereal.

For the first time at retreat I didn't take any classes (either did Kathy), we just stitched the day away... oh and ate lots of food! I'm afraid I'm going to be up again at the scales on Tuesday, I've been chugging back water since I got home, tomorrow I'll be definitely running on the treadmill! I have to say there are two rare times I miss my extra fat! One would be when I'm cold... insulation right? But I can always put on a sweater. Then there's sitting on banquet room chairs for a whole weekend! I swear at times my tailbone almost felt bruised... I suppose a pillow would help in that department right? I spent the morning working on an ornament, Kathy was a very good girl and worked on Paradigm Lost (and kept encouraging me to do the same).

Soon it was time to eat again. We get to enjoy this fabulous view while we eat! I think the dining room was a little under-staffed this year. Our waitress seemed a little frazzled and food did not arrive in an orderly manner. I had two plate fulls of salad and 1/2 a chicken Cesar wrap and tried a few sweet potato fries (not a fan so won't be ordering those again). Kathy couldn't pass up the Ruben sandwich. The challenge of course as a Weight Watcher is the dessert buffet, oh boy! I tried a little sugar-free tart and then they brought out was warm chocolate pudding cake. Both Kathy and I had to try a little of that!!! We then promptly decided it was time to walk off some of that food! Despite the pouring rain we bundled up, got some umbrellas and walked up to the main drag on Gananoque to check out a few of the shops. Our wallets were very happy when we didn't buy anything. We returned to the Inn pretty damp and had to change clothes before resuming our stitching activities.

In the afternoon I got to celebrate a happy dance!

Holly Side - Holly and Ivy Ornament
c2008 TW Designworks (Creativ Festival exclusive design)
Stitched on : 28 ct Mushroom Jazlyn
Stitched with : DMC cotton, Kreinik #4 braid

Then it was time to get ready for dinner. The tradition is to get dressed up on Saturday night for dinner (optional), so I took advantage of the fantastic bath tub in our room for a soak before putting on my face and getting all glammed up. Kathy opted for the nap (she really loved her bed, the most comfortable one she says she's ever been in). For dinner everyone at the table partook of the Prime Rib, mashed potatoes, with a Yorkshire pudding. Some started with the butternut squash soup, others started with the bed of baby spinach topped with salmon and a citrus dressing. I had the spinach sans salmon. Desert that night was chocolate Kahlua truffles and we shared a sugar-free apple strusel. Dinner was followed by goodie bags and door prizes. Neither of us were too impressed with what we ended up with so I won't bore you with the details. We then stitched until midnight!
Today (Sunday) we slept in a little longer and awoke to our final day in Gananoque. Finally the rain had stopped but it was a windy/blustery morning. We got ready for our day, and checked out of our room so we wouldn't have to go back to do it later. Kathy sadly said goodbye to her comfortable bed! Again breakfast was the same buffet at the day before, then it was time for morning stitching in the St. Lawrence Room (where we've spent all of our stitching hours for the weekend). Kathy changed projects for today, she worked on the Noddy piece she's doing for a friend. I continued to work on Margaret's RR which I had pulled out after finishing my ornament on Saturday (I'll share a progress picture with you tomorrow).

It wasn't too long before lunchtime rolled around and the official warp-up for the retreat. For lunch Kathy and I both had beef dip sandwiches made from leftovers from the previous night's prime rib. Unfortunately our side choice was either sweet potato fries or chips. We both enjoyed our chips... I hadn't had any in months! Today's lunch desert I couldn't pass up a little piece of apple pie, whereas Kathy couldn't pass up the warm maple cake. Lunch is followed each year by some final draws... unfortunately we didn't win any of them, the best prize being a fully paid retreat for the following year!

After lunch we stitched for a few more hours before hitting the road. Kathy is heading south on Tuesday morning, so it was nice to get one last weekend with her. Safe travels Kathy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Greetings From Gananoque!

Good evening everyone! Well I arrived safely in Gananoque shortly after 5pm tonight to check-in and get my crap into the room I'm sharing with Kathy for the weekend! After dropping off my finished pices from the last year to go in this evening's stitcher's gallery I went down to the stitching room to find Kathy stitching away... she had arrived at noon! The lucky so-and-so! Ah well I just have to remind myself that she's retired and has reached the stage in life where you're not beholden to your job and employer anymore! Someday... someday I'll get there (can you say early retirement?).

I didn't have long to say hello before we were heading upto the lobby for wine & cheese, also to view the stitcher's gallery. I always get a little nervous during the wine and cheese because sometimes there are ladies with their red wine viewing our stitching it just makes me cringe! We're all stitchers of some sort you'd think everyone would have the same good sense.

Dinner was pretty good tonight, not as excellent in past years. Kathy and I pretty much ate the same meal. We started with a roasted tomato and garlic soup followed by chicken stuffed with cranberries and pine nuts. Which was served with risotto and root vegetables. The risotto wasn't great this year and the chicken was good but I somehow remember it being to die for last year.

Dinner was followed with a few lovely hours of stitching.

I haven't really had a chance to take any pictures yet, but hopefully I'll have some to share with you tomorrow.

I'm pooped!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Its Been a Good Day!

First we'll start with the exciting stuff... stitching! Since the class has now been taught I can share with you A Dragon's Lullaby by Dragon Dreams! This was a lot of fun to stitch, it will eventually be released on Patterns Online

Dragon's Lullaby
c2008 Jennifer Aikman-Smith
Stitched on 28ct Lugana
Stitched with DMC, Kreinik #4 Braid, Caron Waterlillies, Mill Hill Beads

Next I went shopping for something to wear this Saturday night at retreat. Saturday's dinner has traditionally been dress-up but its not mandatory. I was hoping for some cheap little black dress but I didn't really want to spend the money on something I won't be able to fit into a few months from now (perhaps next year?). I ended up finding a nice pair of black slacks and a top. Get this... the top is a SMALL!!!! I'll get someone to take my picture... I got my hair cut two weekends ago and I haven't shared that with you either! Tomorrow night I get to pack my bag so I can leave after work on Friday!!!

Today I finally made the call to join one of the gym franchises. Through my employer I get a corporate rate to one of the gyms. The memberships run for a full year ending January 31st. So this way I was able to join for 3 months (since all memberships expire Jan 31st) at a reduced rate. This way I can try out a gym without throwing away too much money if I don't like it. My membership starts on November 1st, I hope I like it.

Now here's the truly exciting news! I am officially TKDchick once again!!!! I went to my first Taekwon-Do class in a year and a half! So far my foot has held up very nicely. The true test will be tomorrow when I get out of bed... will it hurt or not. The class was great and my dobok (uniform) is too big! It was GREAT to be back and so nice to be welcomed back!

Oh and the not so good news. The scales were not kind to me at all this week, I gained 2.5lbs! I know last week's loss was abnormal. But its still a little disappointing. I can only hope that this weekend's extravagance won't lead to another gain at the scale.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This N' That

Hi readers, sorry I haven't blogged much in the last week. I haven't stitched much so there wasn't much to talk about and I didn't feel like spending a lot of time online so therefore, no blog entries. I'm tired so this'll be brief and most likely disjointed.

I've worked just a little on Margaret's Round Robin. Here it is so far.

I found a new craft for me to play with, Kumihimo its a form of Japanese braid making. Here's my first attempt, a little rough close to the note, but its getting better.

Finally its almost here! The Knit One Stitch Too retreat (formerly Cross Stitch Cupboard) is here! I am really looking forward to heading out to the Ganenoque Inn after work on Friday and meeting up with Kathy, my roommate this year. This is my fourth time at the retreat and not once have I had the same roommate twice! I wonder, do I snore???

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Well I have to say, it was a very interesting night at the scale at Weight Watchers tonight. It goes to show you that the body is the most un-predictable thing ever! Tonight's weigh in showed a 5 lbs LOSS at the scale! I have never in all my months at WW shown such a drop at the scales. I'm of course very happy about this, but on the other hand a little worried because ideally you should loose no more than .5 to 2 lbs to have a healthy maintainable weight loss. What did I do differently this past week? I have no idea! Could it be the activity from the last two weeks catching up with me? Is it the result of what happened on Thursday night? Is something wrong? I'll be truly concerned if I show another big drop next week, then I will know something is wrong but I'll cross that bridge if I get to it. I also want to be extra vigilant this upcoming week not to sabotage this excellent result at the scale.

I had a new start tonight on the stitching front, I finally started Margaret's Neighbourhood Round Robin. For her RR she wanted us to stitch a house we'd love to live in. It might sound silly, but I decided on the house from Cross Eyed Cricket's Sleepy Hollow. I picked this house because I've always wanted a house with a veranda, I don't have it but I can dream right? My progress is pretty pitiful so I won't bore you with a picture.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Taking It Easy Has Its Advantages

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians, I hope you enjoyed your long weekend.
I have to say the advantage to being forced to take things easy this past weekend has been lots of stitching time with no complaints from the peanut gallery (Todd). I've stitched a lot this weekend, and every stitching moment was spent working on Jeannette Douglas's Pomegranates and Pears and guess what????

Pomegranates and Pears
c2007 Jeannette Douglas
Stitched on 32ct R&R Antique Cotton
Stitched with : Gloriana - Silk, Lorikeet and Princess Perle Petite, NPI, Belle Soie, Soi d'Alger, Thread Gatherer, GAST Wool, Mill Hill Beads

I have to say I came to fall in love with working on this piece and really enjoyed all the different fibers and stitches. This design may look scary and hard, but I assure you its not! Also the colours in this photo are nowhere near as rich as they are in real life!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Very Rough Start To A Long Weekend

I got to start the long weekend one day sooner than expected, and not in a manner I would suggest to anyone! I spent a fair amount of today in bed, recovering from a very rough night on Thursday, which included a visit to the ER.

I had a great evening yesterday, I had met Christin and some old friends who I used to work with, for dinner. We went to the Parliament Pub downtown right across from Parliament Hill. I had a very yummy chicken panini. It was a great visit with my old co-workers, Christin brought me my copy of the JCS Ornament Issue (finally), and Christin and I wrapped up the evening with a walk on Parliament Hill, and a quick stop in Old Navy. I wanted a new pair of jeans (once again my pants are getting big), and there was a gorgeous red wool jacket I positively drooled on. But I left the jacket there, and got just the jeans.

When I got home I was feeling good and full of energy, I felt like going for a run. So I got changed and hopped onto the treadmill for a 5K run. Near the end of my run I started to break out into hives. That didn't bother me too much, I break out in hives from time to time, nothing new right? The hives were pretty bad by the time I got off of the treadmill, I was literally covered head to toe in thousands of them. I took a reactine and wanted to get in the shower. I was in the shower for only a minute or two when I realized something was wrong. My vision started going snowy and my hearing was muffled. I knew I had to get out of there. Thank goodness Todd was nearby he knew I wasn't feeling right and when I went to get a towel I passed out. I didn't even know it had happened the next thing I knew I was on the floor, apparently he managed to help me down as a fell.

Todd helped me to get to the bedroom, I know I passed out at least once maybe twice more on the way there. In the end I think I passed out about four or five times over a short period of time before Todd was able to help me get dressed and get me into the car to go to the hospital.

In the end we don't know what happened last night, why I kept passing out. I had bloodwork done, that came back okay (elevated white blood cell count but that was to be expected with the hives), I had an ECG my heart is healthy. My blood pressure which was low when I went in was back to normal when I was discharged at 1:30am (feeling pretty weak and tired). I now have an appointment later this week to follow up with my family doctor.

As of this evening I am fine and feeling more like myself than I have in the last 24 hours. I've also done some stitching (a sure sign I'm getting back to normal).

Needless to say I stayed home from work today, took things very easy, with a 5 hour nap in the afternoon.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Not Much

Not much, that's exactly what's been going on... thus this post's title. After having much to share with you or tell you over the last while I feel like now there's nothing!

I have been working away on Pomegranates and Pears as usual. Still addicted to it and here's where it stands as of quitting time tonight.

Weigh in last night was needless to say disappointing, especially how active I was last week with a day of hiking and Sunday's 5K run. I gained half a pound. I've had this happen before and its frustrating... where I've had an active week and either I've had no loss or a slight gain. I know there's a number of factors that can make things like this happen... muscle weighs more than fat. I could have gained muscle this week. It is possible despite being active, I didn't fuel my body enough. Hormones can affect your weight loss, sodium intake, water. Oh so many factors that makes this journey a little frustrating some weeks! Hopefully my active week will be reflected at the scales next week!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I Did It!

Today was the day, across Canada it was run day for the CIBC Run For The Cure, raising money for Breast Cancer Research. For the first time, I participated in the Run For the Cure, in Ottawa there was over 10,000 participants. It was something I had to do after having a breast cancer scare in April of 2007. Last year I was in no shape and too much pain (my foot) to participate but this year I was going to do it. I started running on my treadmill in June with doing the run in mind. Today I did the run and I ran! I didn't stop, I didn't walk, for the first time ever I ran 5KM. It was a moving event and I encourage everyone to participate! I want to say a huge thank you to those who donated toward my run, my final total was $705.00! Nationwide 28 million was raised through this year's run.

Now onto our favourite topic, stitching! I have to say I am addicted to Pomegranates and Pears! I haven't been able to put it down and I think I've made excellent progress this weekend! I couldn't put it down!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

October Goals & The Gatineaus

I had a fantastic day yesterday! For the first time, I went on one of the field trips at the school! The Grade 10 Science classes were going to Gatineau Park for the day, hiking (Pink Lake & King Mountain) and I really wanted to go. I had never been to the Gatineaus before, like most of us we never seem to go and experience the things in our own back yards! Wow! This is one place I definitely want to go back to there is so much to see, and so many trails to hike! Also the fall colours are in full bloom right now so the views and vistas were spectacular. I took about 200 pictures yesterday and here's a small sample!

I'm a little stiff this morning but not too sore after all those stairs and hiking!

September Goal Review
Finish Vonna's Neighbourhood RR - YES
Start Margaret's Neighbourhood RR - NO
Stitch an ornament - DID TWO
Stitch Fair and Square - YES

I did pretty good on those goals but I got a little lazy with picking something for Margaret's RR so I haven't even started that yet (must do that today). I also stitched up model for Dragon Dreams and got to work a little on Pomegranates and Pears.

October Goals
Stitch Margaret's Neighbourhood RR
Stitch an ornament
Stitch Blogiversary Gift
Work on Pomegranates and Pears

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Fair & Square Round 9 Received

Well I have to say for once, I am absolutely impressed by Canada Post! I put Jane's squares for Round 9 of Fair and Square in the mail Monday night, they arrived today! I wonder if my envelope smells faintly of rocket fuel?

I stitched her this lovely freebie that was put out by Gift Of Stitching, I don't know when or where I got it, sorry ladies!

French Inspired Hearts
c Gift of Stitching
Stitched on 32ct Natural Linen
Stithced with Caron Waterlillies Black Forest

The last two nights I have continued working on Pomegranates and Pears by Jeanntte Douglas. I still haven't had the desire or inspiration to work on anything new... and I have Margaret's RR I should be working on. Hopefully this weekend I'll have the "omph" to go through my charts and find just the right house.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to have some great pictures to share with you! I'm off on a field trip to Gatineau Park, hiking with the grade 10 students! The fall colours are at their peak!

I'm also working myself up to getting psyched for this Sunday's Run for the Cure (still taking donations link on sidebar!). Anyone whose known me over the years knows that running is the last thing I like to do!

Thank you everyone for such positive and motivation comments from my last blog entry! You all support and encourage me so much in each endeavour I take on!!! I'm also very touched that some of you out there have been inspired by my weight loss journey and have started taking one of your own. Be persistent and consistent and it will happen! Gather your supporters around you and don't be afraid to share with the world what you are trying to accomplish, I know its not easy! I was asked have I rewarded myself? Well the other day I went out and got myself a pink iPod Shuffle, I guess that's my reward. The main reason I got it was so that I'd have music for my run on Sunday, to help keep my mind off of how hard it feels. Also I recently got some "rewards/gifts" from my best friend Christin and her Mom. Christin's Mom (I call her Mom) got me some new pj's, I hadn't bought myself some new ones. Christin treated me with a gift certificate to see my hairdresser so that I'm looking good when I go to the Stitch One Knit Too's Retreat at the Ganenoque Inn later this month! Thanks!