More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Monday, December 29, 2003


That is definitely what I've been doing this month! I'm still not enjoying this model and I'm pretty much forcing myself to work on it at this point since the deadline is in 16 days! I find myself constantly on the computer, eventhough I don't need to be, taking a nap, little things to avoid this model. But oh the crunch is on! I was a very good girl today I did put in 9 hours on my model and at this point (almost midnight) I've had enough stitching! Maybe tomorrow I'll manage to finish all the cross stitch on page 3.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Behold... Mystery VI - Part 1

Here it is... the long awaited unveiling of Mystery VI - Part 1 c2003 Chatelaine. This took wayy longer than I thought it would! Its fairly dark in colour so far. I did make one change when it came to threads. I replaced the Anchor Marlitt used for the black leaf shapes and used black splendor Silk from Rainbow Galleries. Now I have to wait until February 1st for Part 2. I guess this means I can focus on that model now.

My webpages are being updated today so feel free to have a look later tonight or tomorrow to see what I've managed to stitch for 2003!
I Feel Like I'm Getting No Where Fast

When I downloaded the first part of Mystery VI and printed it out. I figured a good solid two days of stitching and it would be done and I'd be back onto my model. But alas! There is much more to this section than meets the eye! So far in this portion I've worked with Petite Treasure Braid, Vicki Clayton Silks, Gloriana Silks (very yummy), and Anchor Marlitt.

The Anchor Marlitt I am not enjoying. It doesn't seem to want to lie flat on the fabric, I do not like how it behaves. Or how it lies. But it dose have a nice sheen to it. All the cross stitch that is required in Marlitt I've done. However I just couldn't live with how it looked when it came to some blackwork/backstitching. The lines were not crisp and sharp which I love. So finally I ripped it all out and replaced it with Rainbow Galleries Splendor Silk. I would of liked to have found something with more of a sheen, but that's all my LNS had in black. It does look much better. Hopefully sometime on Sunday I'll finally have that scan up for you!

Friday, December 26, 2003

A Day of Rest!

Once again its been a couple of days since my last blog. Until you blog (unless you already do) you don't realize how hard it can be to do this on a daily basis. I like to blog before bedtime, a way to wrap up my day and share with you all my progress! The last couple of days have been filled with getting ready for Christmas... having my family over on Christmas Eve and spending Christmas Day with the in-laws. Todd and I have decided we aren't going anywhere today, we're just staying home and relaxing!

I had one small pre-Christmas finish. A little design from The Cross Stitcher December 2001 issue. Its called Happy Stitching. I thought it was the perfect little Christmas piece to stitch! You can see it here. I stitched it on Ivory Jubilee with DMC floss and Kreinik metallics.

Christmas Eve once the house was cleaned and the food was prepared to the point where I just had to cook and serve I had a couple of hours to sit and work on my model. Page 3 is now progressing nicely. Just before the family got here for dinner I saw that the password for Mystery VI had just been released... I never had time to go and see what Part I looked like :-(

Christmas morning I finally had a chance to look at and print out Part I of Mystery VI! Oooh it looks pretty and very much like Martina's other large mysteries. Once I took my brother back home I had about 2 hours to sit down and start stitching on it. I worked a little more on it last night after we got back from the in-laws. But I didn't last long, I was exhausted from the last two day's activities.

Guess what I'm working on today??? Hopefully I'll have a completed scan for you by bedtime!!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Descent Progress Today

Yes Sirrrr, I made some descent progress on my model today. I put in seven and a half hours. I've now completed page 2 and I'm onto page 3... there are 8 pages in this design. It looks to me like this page, 3, has the bulk of the stitching so I may be on it for awhile. But in consolation there's not much on page 4. Once I have the first 4 pages done that'll be the top half of the design completed.

I'm also getting anxious for Christmas... we'll finally be getting the first installment of Mystery VI. Oh I soooo wish I could dedicate every stitching moment to part one. But there's this model deadline. Hopefully I'll have some time to play with it on Christmas day. Everything is organized and ready to go.

My mind seems to wander lately when it comes to what I want to stitch! I want to start EVERYTHING... and work on EVERYTHING. But I just can't do that, I go crazy having too many projects on the go.

If I only had 4 arms...

Sunday, December 21, 2003

The Softest Silk

In the last year or so I've had the opportunity to stitch with quite a few different brands of silks. Last night I sat here at my computer catching up on my BB's and while I waited for the pages to load I was organizing my silks for Chatelaine's Mystery VI which will start on Christmas Day.

In the kit there are silks from : Caron, Needlepoint Inc., Vickki Clayton, and Gloriana. I've also worked with Rainbow Galleries, Kreink, Gumnuts, Eternas, and I'm sure I'm missing a brand or two there. I have to say the best feeling silk, the most sentuous and yummy feeling silk is from Gloriana! Nothing feels as wonderful as a Gloriana silk!

I can't wait to start Mystery VI

Oh geeze, has it been since Tuesday when I last blogged? I didn't realize so many days have passed! I went through the week in a daze with a very bad cold trying to make it through this last week of work! It took a lot of my energy but I managed to do it without taking a sick day! But it was oooh so tempting!

Here I am enjoying my first day of freedom from work! I'm now officially on holidays and don't go back to work until January 5th. What did I do on my first day? I slept for 15 hours... this really seemed to help my cold, I feel better... not 100% but better today. I went and picked my Mum up (she's sick too so we were in good company) and we went to her bead lady. I wanted to get the book she had asked for for Christmas and she needed some more beads. After a very nice visit with Carol we continued on to the Prior for lunch. We then bombed on back to Mum's house and were surprised to find my Nephew had been there for 2 hours while we were gone... we were expecting him at 4pm not 2pm. I stayed for a bit of a visit until I started feeling tired again.

I've managed not to take a nap today, this is good. I also actually stitched! Up until this point I had only managed to stitch maybe about 6hrs this past week. That is not normal for me so that gives you an idea about how crappy I've been feeling. Every day I'd get home from work and go straight to bed for about 4 hours get up for a couple of more hours then be back in bed until the next morning. So my model is not as far along as I would really like it to be since it is due in January. Which means I really need to bust a move on it! Tonight I've managed to put in about 6 hours on it so were at a grand total or 12 hours on the model so far this week.

Stitching and laundry is all I plan to do on Sunday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

No Stitching Tonight

My cold is still hanging in there, and I'm very tired tonight after going out for dinner and a short spin with the one armed bandits. So I'm just catching up on my stuff on the net then its off to bed for this girl!
Oh ick!

That's it, its happened! I have a cold! I started sneezing yesterday ... today I have a sinus thingiee going on. I just knew this was going to happen, figured it would the first day I was off of work for the holidays. Oh well... a couple of days early. Hopefully this cold will get out of my system by Christmas so I can enjoy my time off!

Well that much enjoyed snow yesterday became a curse today! The part of my drive that I thought might be a pain turned out just fine. It was the second half once I hit the main highway that was the problem. It took me about 50 minutes to go 3 exits! My entire drive usually only takes 20 minutes!

I finished the ornament I started yesterday Snowflake from the 2000 JCS issue by Margot Cook. The fabric is blue silk 32ct. Permin linen. The outer white border and inner white block are stitched with Gumnuts Silk from Australia and the blue/white varigated thread is silk as well, Ice Dragon from Vikki Clayton. Also mill hill beads. I'm very happy with how it turned out considering I totally changed the colours!

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Christmas Trees and Snowy Days

It seemed right when I looked outside this afternoon as I put up my Christmas Tree ... the white fluffy stuff was coming down... and its still coming down I think. There's nothing like the true feeling of Christmas being around the corner. I put up my new artificial tree, its beautiful. Its all decorated with hand made ornaments, there's nothing breakable this year on the tree because of the kitten. Who to my surprise hasn't tried to go up the tree yet. But he did try to chew on the lights as I entangled them and plugged them in to find any bulbs that needed replacing... bad kitty, kitty.

After the tree was put up, and other Christmas paraphenalea put out I sat down to figure out who was getting one of my stitched ornaments and which one. With that task done I feel a little more ready for the holidays. I preceded that with baking my famous soft ginger cookies. Out of all the goodies I baked last year these were the most popular so I made ALOT of them to go with the ornies.

With some more domestic goddess-like chores to follow I finally sat down to stitch tonight, and I decided to do one last ornament. I've been feeling the urge to stitch an ornament ever since I had that big finishing session! So I finally gave in. Its a small one and should be finished by tomorrow no problem. With this design I've played with some Gumnuts Silks and some Vicki Clayton silks, both very pretty.

I worked on my model on Saturday, and finally feel like I'm getting somewhere. I probably put in about 14 hours on my model last week. Hopefully I can put in more this week.

Five working days left...

Friday, December 12, 2003

You Find it When You're Not Looking For It...

Isn't that always the way. You find something when you're really not looking for it. That's what happened to me tonight. I met up with some friends from Cornwall and a friend of mine in town. We stopped into Michael's, Chrisanne needed to pick up some stuff. We're wandering through the frame section... there it was THE frame for Peacock Tapestry! The colour, the size the shape all perfect! I was drooling! Not only was it the perfect frame... it was 50% off. So the framing job I was expecting to pay $500+ for has just cost me 29.99 CDN. Better than that Christin says "here give that to me." She bought it for me! You can't have a better friend!

So now I'm going to see if my usual framer will just stretch the piece for me and I'll put it all together (I'm terrified of stretching even though I've taken a class on it!).

Here are the pics of the frame with PT under it

Full View

Corner View

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Six Working Days....

The countdown begins to Christmas Break! Boy am I ready for it! How do I know? I'm to the point of hoping... Wishing I'd get the stomach flu or a cold or something to stay home sick for a day or two! Or hoping for a day where the weather conditions are so bad that I cannot safely make it into work! Man oh man I'm ready.

Tonight I've gotten in maybe 3-4 hours on the model. The "sign" in the corner is done... now I can move onto the figures in the design.

Man this time of year is killing me! Killing my bank account actually. I always try my best every year to pay for Christmas in cash. I've already broken that rule by putting Todd's gift on my credit card! But so far I'm doing well on the rest. Not only do I have Christmas to contend with, I have two family birthdays within a week of each other in November then two more this week! So not only do I shop for Christmas I shop for b-days as well. Then after Christmas I have one b-day in January... one in February then I'm in March! These next few months are often fairly expensive and keep my account on the low side. Once again I'm down to gas money until my next pay day. Sigh... the Christmas shopping is on hold again. But at least I got those last couple of b-day gifts this week!

Sometimes I really hate this time of year!
The Decision Has Been Made

After a bit of a chat tonight with my head TKD instructor I've decided ... I'm going for my 2nd degree black belt in June. I've had my 1st degree since 2001 and its about time to move on up... or well it will be by June. So now here comes the work to get myself and my "fluffy" body ready for the physical test. I have no/little worries over the essay, the written test, or the technical test, its the physical test that is the true challenge for me! For my 2nd degree I have to : 250 push ups in 5 minutes, 250 sit ups in 5 minutes, 6 minutes of skipping, and 16 laps of the track. The push ups, sit ups and skipping I can do. Its running I have an issue with. So I've got to start working at it NOW! I have the treadmill so there's no worries there. Once the Christmas holidays start (7 more working days by the way) I will start a training program. I'll be happy as long as I can alternate a lap walking with a lap running. Its not so much that you run all the time and do it during a certain time frame, but that you make the effort... 16 laps if VERY daunting to a non-runner.

Now as for stitching today, put in about 2 hours on the model... dosen't look like I progressed much. Sigh.

Off to bed.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

A Little More Progress

I had a descent stitching evening for a change. I think I put in 4-5 hours tonight on my model. But its still slow going. We have a border... we have an outline of a sign, with some little flowers in it, and its shadow. Now I'm just filling that sign with white. Sigh... sometimes I don't understand why we have to stitch white on white. Seems like a bit of a waste at times. Do you ever feel that way?

Funny thing is ... I feel like stitching Christmas ornaments!

Monday, December 08, 2003

Finishing Frenzy, TKD Weekend

Today's title is pretty much the sum of my weekend!

Between Friday night and Saturday I managed to finish all of my stitched ornaments! All 20+ of them! Some I'm very happy with... almost impress myself at times and others not so... Most of these ornaments will be finding new homes with co-workers, friends and family. Maybe one or two I'll keep for myself.

All of my ornaments can be found on my website under the 2003 link on my stitching page.

Saturday I did go to the children's TKD Christmas party. It was not too bad, we put on a bit of a demo for the kiddies. Of course I didn't get to break a board :-( I LOOOOVE breaking, but for some reason never get the chance. I don't think its seen as a thing for girls to do maybe? Who knows.

Sunday I spent most of the afternoon and all evening at the TKD test. We were testing a lot of people. I included was taking a 1st degree intern test. I of course passed!

I didn't really get in any stitching over the weekend... maybe about 10 hours total last week. Which is pretty poor for me. I have however, tonight finished the border on that model! Finally moving on to the insides... I've already found a symbol used on the chart that's not in the key. Hopefully my contact will get back to me soon on that! For now I"ll just move onto another area of the design.

Saturday, December 06, 2003


Yup, that's my goal this weekend... I'm going to finish all 21 ornaments I've stitched this year. I've got a good start so far tonight but its late (after 1am).

My TKD instructor called asking if I'm going to be at the children's x-mas party (rolling my eyes here) so I suppose I should go eh?

So I'm off to bed.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Border Mania!

I'm now about 8 hours into my latest model, Kuspuks... and I'm still in never, never border land! And I'm sick of it. I know, I know why don't I just jump into the center and come back to the border later. I just won't allow myself... I can't... I'm afraid I'll have no motivation to finish the piece if I leave the boring stuff at the end. I like to treat myself by leaving the best part for last... you will have seen that with my progress pics on Peacock Tapestry... wouldn't let myself touch that bird until the very end!!!

After tomorrow is over 10 working days left until the holidays. I so need time off... I'm tired, headachy, feel like puking, and just burnt out. I need my holiday!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Well I Meant to Blog Last Night

Honestly I did! After a nice meal at the local pub with Todd I was feeling a little drowsy so I went to bed at 8:30... very unusual for me. You know what, woke up just as tired as if I had stayed up until almost 1pm!

I'm back at model stitching again. I have a deadline of January 14th for a piece by the Alaskan Artist Barbara Lavallee called Kuspuks by the Yard. I'm stitching this for Changing Tides Inc. a shop out of Skagway, Alaska. So far, not enjoying it... yet. I'm sure once I get into the piece I will. I think the first drawback is it is stitched on aida. Now that I'm a die hard evenweave/linen stitcher aida just seems sooooo blah! I can almost say I HATE AIDA. At first this piece of fabric was sooo stiff and awkward to handle, now that its finally softened up its not as bad. Another reason I'm not enjoying this piece yet is I'm stitching the border two rows of pink at the outer edge its 213 wide x 128 high. Can you say dull? This outer pink rows will be followed by one blue inner row. But I said I'd do it so I'd better get at it eh?

At the moment I'm looking forward to two dates stitching-wise. On December 25th the first part of Chatelaine's Mystery VI is being released! I just can't wait to start stitching with those yummy silkies. Then on January 1st some friends and I will be starting Celtic Banner from Butternut Road. Two things I need to do during my Christmas Holidays is organize my floss for both of these projects.

I'm really looking forward to the upcoming Christmas holidays... to be off of work for two weeks will be HEAVEN! I've been pretty much working non-stop since my holidays in early July. I'm looking forward to stitching, getting my 2004 projects ready, cleaning, sorting, organizing my stash, and updating my webpage.

Only 11 working days to go....

Monday, December 01, 2003

Dani... Where have you Been?

I'm sure my regular readers have been wondering where I have been, did I give up blogging? No I didn't! Was I on a tropical island? I wish!

Nope I've been on a single minded mission...


After a year and a half of work and 360 hours the pea bird is done!

Click here to revel in his glory!

Monday, November 24, 2003

Just a Quickie Tonight

I had a good weekend! Friday night I stitched until 1 am... Saturday I stitched ALL DAY from10am to 12am!!! I got in mega progress.

Today I got in maybe 3-4 hours but that's because I went out to a friends. We did some sewing, finishing up cross stitch pieces as wall hangings, etc.

Here's the latest on my PT Progress

Friday, November 21, 2003

Just a Quick Blog...

Another busy day for the social butterfly!!!

I worked...

I got my allergy shot (pain in the butt but it works)...

I went out for dinner and to the Sens game with Vicki... The Sens won 6-1

Rupert got voted out of Survivor... sniffle.

PT only got an hour of my attention...

Good night, sleep tight, don't let my kitty kat bite!

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Its Been a Good Day!

Yes I actually had a good day... rare it seems sometimes.

This afternoon I got some awesome news at work... the appeal for my group's job evaluation was passed. We've fought for some time over this. But that's work and well my blog is not about work.

I got home to a message from my TKD instructor, he was very under the weather and needed someone to take over the adult class. Sooo... for the second week in a row its Dani to the rescue. Tonight I taught a class of 18 adults and teenagers. I felt more pressure teaching them than the wee kiddies. The kiddies don't know when you've messed up. The feed back on the class was positive so I feel very good about that.

PT is not progressing as quickly as I hoped at this stage. But its not due to having difficulties... its due to not having time. Why oh why do I have to be the social butterfly sometimes??? Last night after work I held my little martial arts club. From there I drove to Dragon Lair Beads and met up with Vicki the owner where we had a bite out before heading to the monthly OVGS (Guild) meeting. I didn't get home until about 10pm... spent a bit of time online and maybe got in about 2 hours stitching max. Normally on Tuesday I can get in a nice stitching stretch in the evening. I also got offered free tickets yesterday to Thursday's Ottawa Senators game. So Duh... of course I took them! So tomorrow night Vicki and I are out again (Todd said he'd only go if it was a good team... guess that means the Carolina Hurricanes don't count?).

Sigh... wish I didn't have to work. But on the up side.... the peacock has a wing, there's just tail left now!

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Movin' Right Along on All Fronts

Here's an updated Scan of Peacock Tapestry!!!

As you can see its moving along beautifully. I've finished stitching all of the bird in section 2... I think (top middle) and I've started BS'ing that section.

Do you think I can get it done by December 1st??? I put in another 2 hours tonight. I could of kept stitching... if only work didn't get in the way.

Also tonight at TKD I got my 3 one steps all sorted out and my model sparring for that test on the 29th. I don't feel so panicked about that anymore!

Bedtime for me!

Monday, November 17, 2003

This Weekend in Review

You can tell when I'm going through a busy week... when I don't post that much. Or when I'm on a mission... a stitching mission.

This past week and weekend have been a bit of both! I've already told you all about my busy week... so lets move onto this weekend. Saturday started off with a nice lie-in... I needed that after stitching on Peacock Tapestry until after 2am!!! I got up on Saturday morning and started all over again! By lunch time I finally managed to get all the grass and pear tree trunk completely done... I had this lovely void where the Peacock was to go. So I sat down and spent the time figuring out what symbols were used in the ole bird and setting up my "pre-threaded needle system". That would be a long narrow piece of fabric with a strip of masking tape down one side. On the masking tape I write down the symbol and what DMC number(s) that will represent on the chart. So as I start using each colour I can park my already threaded needle there to use again later on. For such a large project as PT this really is necessary due to frequent colour changes! I'd be wasting more time constantly re-threading my needle if I didn't! With that all ready to go ... I put down PT and got down to cleaning the house.

The parental-units were coming over for dinner... Seeing as Friday had been my Dad's 62nd b-day I invited them over for roast chicken, potatoes, veggies, and pie for dessert. This was the first time I was going to roast a chicken!!! And you know what... dinner was just awesome. While my parents and brother visited I couldn't work on PT... too big and complicated. Soooo I pulled out a class piece I had taken from Jeannette Douglas, Muskoka Autumn Samplerette. I actually managed to accomplish quite a bit on that!

Sunday morning... another lie-in. I decided to pull Muskoka Autumn back out as I only had about 3 bands left on it. By 1pm... it was done! Happy Dance, oh Happy Dance.

Click here to see Muskoka Autumn Samplerette by Jeannette Douglas

After a mid-afternoon nap I got back to work on PT... in total last week I put in 21 hours on the ole bird... and that's all I have left is the bird!!!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2003

Its Been Awhile...

Well it has certainly been a very busy week for me, and seeing as its late once again I'll have to keep my blog short.

Wednesday night was my usual TKD night, it has been confirmed with my instructor... yes I will be doing an interim test on the 29th... Urgh now to waste precious stitching time making up 3 one steps with moves from my first black belt pattern. Besides TKD I got in a good 2 solid stitching hours!

Tonight I cancelled the Martial Arts Club after school, I needed a little "me time". So I headed home and promptly took a nap. Making up for all those busy late nights! After dinner I sat down with PT and put in a good 4 hours. I now only have the tree trunk to stitch up (which I'm working on now) before I can start the main attraction... the peacock!

If the groceries get done quickly and I'm focused hopefully I'll be down to bs-ing the grass very late tomorrow night!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Riverdance Rocks!

Well I didn't get a single stitch in today, but I think it was for a good cause. Today, once again I expanded the cultural horizons of my best friend Christin (brought up on a farm, in a very small town... you know). We went to see opening night of Riverdance at the NAC.

And well I think tonight's title says it all... RIVERDANCE ROCKS!!!

Monday, November 10, 2003

I'm Baaaack!

Well I had a most excellent weekend and did all the things I said I would do in my previous blog. I'm keeping this a little short tonight because its after midnight and I need to get to bed, tomorrow is going to be a long day! I have to teach the 3-6 year old class at TKD and well I haven't done any teaching in quite some time! Hopefully all will go well.

I didn't get much stitching done over the weekend... I was too busy visiting! I did get in 7 hours on PT today, and here's an updated scan. That's for a total of 18 stitching hours this week.

I don't think I'll get as much stitching in this upcoming week because of tomorrow night's teaching "adventure". Also on Tuesday I'm out to see Riverdance at the NAC.

Night everyone!

Friday, November 07, 2003

Road Trippin'

Tonight was not a big stitching night. I spent part of my evening having dinner over at the Mother-In-Law's, which was very nummy. When we got home I started packing all of my supplies for this weekend. Christin and I are off to Kingston straight after work tomorrow. Friday night we're spending with her Mom, we're meeting in town for dinner and to go see Matrix Revolutions (can't wait).

Saturday morning we should hopefully be meeting up with another Kingston friend and heading down to Brighton for a little shopping at Knowledge and Needles and a lovely afternoon of ornament finishing and stitching!

I can't wait.

Today PT got 2 hours of my attention, and Muskoka Autumn 0.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Why What Sharp Teeth You Have...

I've been living back in the country (as in rural life) for over a year now, prior to that I lived in the country all through high school and college. In terms of wildlife I never saw anything beyond the usual suspects : deer, birds, raccoons, skunks, porcupines, squirrels, etc. Today I saw some TRUE wildlife.

I wasn't driving my usual route to work today because I had a meeting to attend at one of the school board's facilities. It was easier to take the back roads instead of taking the highway. I was no more than 2-3 km's from my house when through the fog I saw a dog cross the road. I thought that was a little odd, despite being in the country you don't often see dogs roaming about. So as I got closer to where it crossed I slowed down to check if it was still visible. It was! And I couldn't believe my eyes! I saw an honest to true, not in captivity wolf! This was no dog, not a husky or any of those breeds!

I wish I had my digi cam on me this morning.

Peacock Tapestry is DEFINITELY coming along in leaps and bounds! Tonight I put in another 4.5 hours, I'm now up to 10 hours stitching time this week. I've completed section 7, back stitch and all. That felt great! In section 8 (bottom middle) I finished the trees in the distance, and the grass surrounding them. Just as quitting time rolled around I got a very brief start on the grass.

Today Autumn Muskoka pretty much got little to no work done on it. All I stitched was an acorn cap on row 6.

Tomorrow is a good stitching night... its Survivor/CSI night!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Freezing Rain and Cuddly Quilts

Todd and I were supposed to join his Mother for dinner tonight, but I suppose two near-accidents on the way home persuaded Todd that it was a good idea to stay in tonight. Hmmm funny I made it home without incident.

There's something about a night where the weather is nasty out and all you want to do is snuggle down in the safety of your home. That's just what we did. I got myself all set up on my couch (my stitching spot), with my Ott Lite on and my Peacock Tapestry paraphenalia pulled out, and my favorite quilt that my Mum made me on my lap. Todd snuggled under his "grandma blanket" and we watched TV. As usual Todd was out like a light by 8pm.

So stitching-wise tonight was very productive. I put in 4 hours on PT, I've got all the cross stitch done on section 7 and about half the backstitching. I wish I could stay up and get that section done, but I 've got a long meeting to attend tomorrow so I'd better be sharp!

My current travel project is also whipping up nicely. I'm now onto band 6 of Muskoka Autumn Samplerette. I can't wait to finish this piece!

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

A Little Bit of Time

Yup! I got in a little bit more time on Peacock Tapestry this evening, despite going to TKD. I managed to stitch about an hour and a half on it tonight, the grass is well looking like grass. Also while waiting for a phone call (that never came) I worked for an hour on Jeanette Douglas's Muskoka Autumn Samplerette, I'm on section 4 of 11.

Now I'm not too excited about TKD at the moment. My instructor tonight told me that I'll be interim testing this month on the 29th... I don't think so, I feel no where near ready. I think on Wednesday night I'll be having a little discussion with the head instructor. If he told me I'd accept it, but with this other instructor telling me ... I dunno.

When I test, a test of any kind I don't like to be caught off guard and I like to bet totally prepared. I don't feel like I can be prepared in any way for this, and not in a month. I want time to review my lower belt theory, work on my patterns more, and I need to spend time making up my own step-sparring and model sparring. Blech... I don't even want to think about it. I'm so focused at the moment on finishing Peacock Tapestry not an interim test at TKD.

Note to self talk to head instructor on Wednesday!

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Family Crisis Tends to Take Away From Stitching Time

Well I was awoken early Sunday morning (4am ish) with only two hours sleep under my belt. There was a bit of a family crisis that I had to go help sort out. Sigh... there went my beauty sleep. I probably got back to bed at about 7am ish. Todd and I stumbled out of bed at about 11:30am. He made breakfast and I started the laundry (the usual Sunday routine).

I got in maybe about 2 hours of work in on Peacock Tapestry when at about 2pm I decided it was nap-time. Soooo I lost more precious stitching time (can you tell I really want this project done?). I stumbled back out of bed around 5:30pm and had needle back in hand by 6pm. So in total I got in about 9.5 hours of stitching time on Peacock Tapestry this weekend. Not bad, but could of done better. I was really hoping to get that bottom left hand section completely finished.

Click Here For PT Progress

Saturday, November 01, 2003


Yup it took two hours into November to finish my second October Christmas Ornament. So here's Seasons Bleatings a class piece from Dragon Dreams. Its suuuper cute, and has LOTS of colonial knots. I think I must of been doing them in my sleep last night because I woke up with sore hands this morning. That or I was clentching them into fists and punching people in my dreams... that's a possibility as well! LOL.
Noooooo.... I didn't make it!

I think this is the first time this year that I didn't get my two Christmas ornaments done in time for the end of the month! But it will get done today... oh yes it will.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Ahhh a little Ornie Progress

I got in a good amount of stitching time in tonight on my ornament "Seasons Bleatings". All the cross stitch is done and I've started backstitching. But I'm getting tired now, and that's when I make stupid mistakes. So I'm quitting for the night. I just have to finish BS'ing and do all those colonial knots and its DONE!

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Ooops! I did it again!

Yup, last night I went to bed at 6:30pm! I didn't get back up either, except for the minor re-enactment of the royal rumble on my bed between the cats. I promised myself that the nights I was not going to TKD I was going to work on PT and my TKD nights I was going to work on my models. Poor birdie... he has been soooo neglected!

Monday night I got in about 3 hours on Bandon Lighthouse from The Silver Lining, the floss colour for the clouds are really not showing up at all on the fabric Marc sent. So tonight I scanned what I've done and I've sent it to him, I want to know if he wants me to continue on that fabric colour before I go any further.

I still haven't finished my second ornament, Season's Bleatings from Dragon Dreams. I was working on it at lunchtime today and found a counting error. So I've got to go back and put some stitches in. I think I can avoid frogging this time around.

Sooo... tonight I'm going to get a start on another model that has a January deadline, called Kuspuks by the Yard by Barbara Lavallee. This piece is very colourful and is stitched on aida.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

And that's another Ornament!

So after getting the house all cleaned up I sat down to the O.C. marathon on CTV and quickly finished up Teresa Wentzler's beginner's White Work Ornament... Its not bad how it finished up but not among my best stitching, I left out the beads this time around. This ornament is sitched on a Silkweaver Solo using GAST's Red Plum. Then I started on Dragon Dream's Season's Bleatings another one of Jennifer's class pieces, this will be my second ornament for October.

I also sat down and started organizing the next piece I'm going to stitch for The Silver Lining, Brandon Lighthouse on an overdyed Joblean. This piece will be stitched over one. I did put in about 20 minutes on it, but my eyes are just not up for over one on 28ct tonight. Thank the powers that be this is not a deadline piece.
That's It I'm Hiring a Cleaning Lady!

I've just spent the entire day from 9:30am to 2:30 am cleaning my neglected home. I have decided I am getting a cleaning lady to come in and take care of my floors and bathroom every two weeks.

Think of all those wasted stitching hours!

Saturday, October 25, 2003

A Model Happy Dance!

Ahhh ... that feels better now. My deadline model for Dragon Dreams is done... it'll be a little late past the deadline. But its done! Pending any alterations Jennifer may want this turkey is cooked and will be going in the mail xpress post Monday morning on my way to work!

Just as I got to backstitching that last wee little bit I found an extra stitch I had put in! Arrrrghhh! I tell you if this piece wasn't a model I would of just left it there. But being the anal person I am, it had to go. To fix my boo-boo wasn't a major production, I just had to cut out two stitches and put them back in. But still very annoying!

And this time... it wasn't green!

Now I'm back to work on my first of two monthly ornaments.
When You THINK You're Getting Ahead...

You're not. A valuable lesson I've learn over the last couple of days. Its kinda like Murphy's Law. You're caught up with something or you're ahead in your finances. Wham... something comes along to change all that.

Here are some of the examples I've experienced this week...

Wednesday I finally finished East of Eden by John Steinbeck (a highly recommended read). I've been reading it all summer. I thought I'd be a good chunk into a new book by now... sigh not even a chapter. I've been super tired so I'm going to bed, skipping my nightly read.

Thursday... I'm off Friday and I thought... great! I can stitch until 1 or 2am on that model and I'll be able to get it in Friday's mail. Yet again... nope I was in bed before midnight. Never mind the fact that I had worked all day, had Martial Arts club after school, had dinner with the high school library technicians AND did my groceries for next week. No wonder I was tired.

Friday I got up at a descent time... but yet again I have under estimated how long it would take me to stitch a piece. I've got to stop doing this! I worked pretty much all day, up until 9pm on my Dragon Dreams model. And you know what? Its still not done! I barely went on the computer, I stitched, and stitched and stitched! By 8:45 I was getting sick of stitching! So I decided to go read... well I was down and out for the count by 9pm. Very unlike me!

This morning, Todd and I decided it was time to take my poor little car, car in for tires. We sat down with the Canadian Tire flyer and decided to get the cheapest motomaster winter tire... should be about 35.00/tire for my car. We get there to find out they don't make a tire in that line in the size my car needs. So we need to go up to the next tire (which yes would be better for winter driving). These turn out to be 75.00/tire. Much more than I was hoping to pay! But one needs tires one must get tires! So when my car is ready I'm going to have to go pay a 415.00 bill for winter tires! I was ahead financially.... not anymore.

Its one of those days where I'm thinking... "Sucks to be me."

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Finally I can Show-off!

Sometimes I think there's nothing I like more in the world than to show off! Especially when I'm the first to do or finish something!

So here's a glimpse at Dream Sampler a model I stitched for Dragon Dreams. This was the piece I got myself a little burnt out over the Labour Day long weekend. Now that Jennifer has finally taught the class I can share it with the stitching world. It was a real fun piece to stitch and is a great companion for Fairy Tale Sampler also by Dragon Dreams. When I get around to stitching it for myself I plan to stitch Dream Sampler on ice blue to match my Fairy Tale Sampler, but I'll have to change the fairy's dress so it doesn't disappear into the fabric.
Shouldn't 11 hours be enough?

Of Sleep that is??? Last night after I finished typing up my blog at about 6:40pm I started getting a bit of a headache, my eyes were droopy so I finally gave up and went to bed. I didn't get back up until 6:15am!!! I was only intending to have a little nap then get up and put in a couple of hours of stitching on my model for Dragon Dreams. Never happened.

The scary thing is I feel like doing it again! But I'm here blogging away, trying to catch up on all my online groups, etc (still not caught up). Hopefully I will get some time in on that model!

I feel so bad because Jennifer (the designer, not my massage therapist) asked me if I could try to get it back to her by October 24th. I honestly don't think that's going to happen, despite my jet propelled needles. There's not a lot to do, and hopefully I can have it in the mail by sometime on Friday (its a P.D. day at the school and I've opted to use a day of annual leave) and maybe by some sort of luck it'll be in Moncton by Monday, Tuesday at the latest.

Wish me luck folks!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I LOVE Jennifer!

My massage therapist that is! If you have never ever seen a massage therapist or had a professional massage done. Boy you have done yourself a disservice! Go out now, find a massage therapist that someone you know recommends and book yourself an hour!

I've been going for massages a couple of times a year for the last 3 years, and I don't regret a penny I spend on it. Actually this fall I decided to increase my trips from 4 a year to every other month.

I saw Jennifer today, and finally the knot in my right shoulder is gone! For the last couple of weeks I've been waking up in agony with this huge knot in my shoulder... now its gone... she could of worked on that shoulder for hours and I would of been content!

So if you've never gone I recommend you go find one now!
Long Time No See

Well, if I have any regular readers out there somewhere... I'm sorry I haven't posted since mid last week! It turned into another insane week for me that topped off with a migraine that started Thursday night and lasted through until Sunday morning. I couldn't even bear getting near the computer. But I'm recovering now, just tired.

I did something today that I don't think I've ever done. I sat in the silence of my home and just stitched. No TV, no one, just the sounds of my home, and Todd's snoring (LOL). It was a very peaceful experience.

I am definitely of the TV generation, I am one of those people who does not like total silence! Often I will keep the TV on, just for background noise. Do you find yourself doing that?

Off to bed! Just a brief blog tonight!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Me So Sorry!

I must apologize for not blogging since Sunday, its just an indicator of how busy my week has been so far!!! Also my head has been bugging me again! Dumb head!

Monday was spent at my Mother's working on a quilting project (I'm still a beginner at this).

Tuesday was just insane! I didn't even step foot in my home until 8pm then I had a couple of hours of sorting things out on the phone, a minor emergency.

Today it was TKD night.

I've barely gotten any stitching in... hopefully this weekend!

Sunday, October 12, 2003


Sometimes they are the most frustrating creatures on earth! Last night I was talking to my Mum about my computer. I pretty much have exclusive use (never mind the fact that its MINE) of it. Todd like to play video games, and he has his PS2. I mentioned to my Mum last night that yes he used to use it to play games, for a while he was heavily into the flight simulators, and they just don't have realistic ones for the game consoles.

So we get home last night, I want to get onto my computer to upload a picture of a piece I finished for a friend. Also do all the usual business I do online. What does he do.... he rushes into the computer room and at midnight proceeds to install Longbow II! Do I get on the computer no... do I get onto it today??? Only just now at 1:30 in the afternoon! And he's telling me... that's right he has the nerve to TELL ME. That I will be off in 10 minutes. FAT CHANCE.

Anyhow last night we had Thanksgiving dinner with my family. While at my Mum's I used her much nicer sewing machine to finish a stitched piece for my friend Christin into a quilted wall hanging (much cheaper than framing). It was a bit of a pain and fiddly at times but its done. Here's Dragon Dream's Fantasy Wedding Blessing finished into a quilted wall hanging.

I'm now almost 12 hours into the current model for Dragon Dreams and have just reached one milestone in the design. I can now move onto the next section which should prove to be much more fun to stitch!

Friday, October 10, 2003

Its a Groovy Canadian Long Weekend!

I LOVE long weekends, and I don't think you love them as much as someone who works in the education system. I am very limited to when I can take time off (summer since I work 12 months a year, or the usual school holidays) so I find these long weekend very precious at times. This will be our last break before Christmas... which seems so far away!

So I'm hoping to sit back, relax, watch some movies and stitch, stitch, stitch!

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Green + Frogging = Co-wink-e-dink? I think not!

I would almost bet you at this point that it could be statistically proven that when people have to do some frogging that green would be the colour that is most frequently frogged. I know on several occasions this year when I've had to rip out some stitching it was green!

Tonight I was working away at my Dragon Dreams model I was finishing a "section" (I like to break up my stitching projects into obvious sections). Putting in some groups of smaller stitches when I realize a part right at the beginning was off by one stitch!!!! Arrrgh! If this wasn't a model I would of just left it. Luckily I didn't have to frog all my work I just cut out the beginning and put it back in. Not a disaster but annoying none the less! I'm now 3 1/2 hours into the project.

Today was like Christmas for me at the post office! I had two parcels, that's a total of 4 so far this week! One parcel contained my next model for The Silver Lining, Brandon Lighthouse on a hand-dyed fabric. This will be stitched over one and there's no deadline, so I don't feel guilty at all leaving it to the side until I finish the current deadline piece. I also got my TWBB Round Robin back ... and you know what its just STUNNING! I've never been so happy with the result of an RR before. To have a look-see CLICK HERE. Since there is so much space left on the fabric I'm going to start asking stitching friends to contribute to it.

I'm sooo looking forward to this weekend, its Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday. This means a LONG weekend! I can stitch, I can sleep, I can take it easy. My favorite kind of weekend!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Model Stitching Again!

Ahhh... its like a junkie getting a fix. I don't know why but I love to model stitch! I think its the secrecy and the idea that you ARE the first to stitch that design, to find any errors. To walk into a needlework store to see the chart on the shelf and say to yourself "I stitched that".

This new model is from Dragon Dreams, it is a piece that will be submitted for a book published by Stitcher's World. I know its mean but that's all I'm going to tell you.

I've got about the first hour of work in on this new model, the fabric is wonderful to work with and as usual the colours vibrant. I just love watching the design slowly come to life! I'm trying out stitching this one on my q-snaps, that I bought ages ago and have never used. Its just a little fiddly around the edges and stitching in hand (like I usually do) wasn't quite working. So we'll see how long I stick with this contraption or throw it across the room.

I love model stitching!

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Enough of the 1/2 Stitches Already!

I have a model on the way from Dragon Dreams that should be sitting all nice and cozy in my mailbox tomorrow and I think I'm going to welcome the change in pace/design! I've been putting in a lot of time on Peacock Tapestry lately and I am soooo tired of 1/2 stitches! The entire background/distance is 1/2 stitches or 1/2 stitches with a lighter colour over top (one strand). An awesome effect but about ready to drive me nuts!

But I can see the end is getting ever closer. Here is an updated PIC of Peacock Tapestry.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Talk About Practicing Restraint!!!

I got home to a very pleasant surprise today... mail! Not only mail but a parcel... from European Corsstitch. It was the materials I had ordered for Chatelaine's Mystery VI.

Boy did I show restraint... I left the parcel unopened while I prayed to the Treadmill Gods for 30 whole minutes! Of course I ripped into it the minute I was changed! Now I haven't pulled any of the silks yet to fondle them... but I will soon!

Sunday, October 05, 2003


I had hoped to get a nice long stretch of stitching in today after judging at a TKD tournament this morning (Saturday), but I got home and just crashed. I did manage to sit down and put in about 3 hours on Peacock Tapestry and I am totally finished all the cross stitch on Section 4! (minus beads and gold cord) One of the few sections I can actually say is complete as I will not allow myself to start stitching the bird until everything else is done! I'm to the point now there's this nice bird shaped area of "negative space".

As I worked tonight on the small trees in the background of Peacock Tapestry it just amazed me each time I stopped to take a look at the talent Teresa Wentzler has! These small trees , the ones in the far distance the bottom half of the stitch is done in greens and blends of greens, the top stitch is one strand of 453. It gives this wonderful hazy sense of distance. The Small trees closer up are stitched in only half stitches and again give a sense of distance but since they have not been muted with a lighter colour on top you really get this sense that they are closer. Then of course there is backstitch that just gives total definition, the shape of the top of the trees! Its amazing how backstitch just makes everything come to life! This is the point where I really start enjoying a project, once I can see the entire piece coming together.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Mi Casa Su Casa

Thank the powers that be for best friends, and I have one of the best in Christin! Ever since she moved up to the city I've always had a set of keys to her apartment for emergencies, and when I lived in the city she had keys to my place. This weekend she's gone home to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving early. Which actually worked out really well because it is our usual habit on Friday to go groceries together (she doesn't have a car but I do) and go out for dinner. Tonight I had to attend a TKD banquet and it was in our little version of "China Town" downtown.

There was absolutely no way I was going to drive home to the country just to get ready to go and turn around and leave again! So thank heavens for Christin's keys. I was able to go to her place after doing my groceries take a power snooze and a shower to freshen up and put on a change of clothes.

Its great friends like that which make the world go round!

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Stitching Time... what stitching time?

I'm doing it again, I'm getting myself all booked up that I'm getting desperate to find a little stitching time. I shouldn't really be complaining, because its all things I agree to or volunteer for. My last evening at home was Tuesday where I got in significant progress on Peacock Tapestry.

Wednesday was TKD night, since I wasn't feeling too well (remember Mister Migraine???) I took a nap before going. So I only got in an hour's progress on PT.

Tonight - Thursday, I was invited to the Ottawa Senator's exhibition game tonight versus the Tampa Bay Lightning. How can I turn down a free ticket to the game... Especially when I AM a Sens fan???? I was disappointed with the lack of effort/heart that had put into the game, but my Sens won in the end. I just know they're going to do really well this season.

Tomorrow - Friday, after a full day of work I have to attend the banquet for the First Memorial Genereal Choi's Cup. A tournament that my school, Lu's TKD will be hosting this weekend. My weekend will be spent at said tournament judging and helping where a spare pair of hands are needed. I'm not competing at this tournament because I don't feel like my patterns are up to standard to compete at an international level.

Monday - Will be TKD night again... so my next chance to rest will be next Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Mailman, oh mailman, where art thou Mailman?

I can't believe this... I've now not gotten a piece of mail, not a letter, not a flyer, not an application for a platinum credit card! Its kinda disturbing when you don't get any mail for such a period of time. We are so dependent on the ease of communication these days that its a shock if we don't get something in the mail, an e-mail or a phone call.

How did people manage to keep in contact in the early days of the postal service? In the days of messengers? I imagine you knew your nearest neighbor's and those in your Parrish very well. In this global age, you can have a best friend half way around the world but never have seen or talked to your neighbors. I know I barely know the folk in my community, and its a small one!

Today at lunch I started October Christmas Ornament no.1. Its Teresa Wentzler's Beginners White Work Oranment. Only I'm not doing it in white, I'm stitching on I think a 32ct solo linen from Silkweavers using Red Plum from Gentle Art Sampler Threads. I'm not decided on the beads yet, I'll do that when all the stitching is done. Maybe this time I'll leave them out or put in colonial knots just to change things up a little.
Yay! No More Pear Leaves for Me!!!

I've put in another good 3 hours on Peacock Tapestry tonight! I'm done stitching pear leaves!!! I've got a little bit of backstitch left to do on the leaves before I can get into the background and grass... then finally the peabird itself!

Monday, September 29, 2003

Ornament HD in the Nick of Time!

Et, voila! C'est Fini! I just finished my second Christmas Ornament for the month of September, with one day to spare in the month.

I stitched the 2001 Chrysmyth Pheonix from Dragon Dreams. Click HERE to have a look-see. This piece is stiched on 28ct drapple grey linen using DMC cotton floss and Krenik #4 metallic braids.

I stiched this back in 2001 on plain old white fabric, and honestly it looked horrid. I think he looks much more regal on the grey.

Now I can go work on Peacock Tapestry!!! I want to finish that damn tree! Oh to be pear leaf/tree free!
Don't Pair Socks By Candlelight...

This is my catchup post from last night. I had planned on blogging before going to bed, but much to my surprise we lost power last night for no apparent reason. So had the rest of the village (yes I live in a village).

The best I could do since I had no clue why or how long my power would be out (flashback to the blackout of August!) I carefully packed away Peacock Tapestry (I had hoped to get in at least another hour on it at that time). I had Todd follow me into the basement to get what clothes were dry (you can't carry laundry and a candle at the same time) and by candlelight I sorted and put away clothes and just went to bed, it was after 10pm so there was no point in waiting it out.

This morning when putting on my socks I realized I had put the same colour of sock together but not the same style. So the moral of this story? Don't sort socks by candlelight. While driving to work I put on a radio station that I knew did a news report to find out why I was without power for 2 hours last night. Turns out there was a fatal car accident, they had hit a hydro pole.

I don't know why lately but there have been a lot of rural fatal car crashes. Two by my parent's house and one out here now.

Anyhow back to stitching, I hope to finish the second of my monthly Christmas ornmanets, just some BS left to do. I've uploaded my progress on Peacock Tapestry as of last night. Click HERE to see it.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Can Someone Turn the Kitten Off Please?

Right now my kitten, Hunter is running hell bent up and down the hall! I can hear his claws scrabbling on my hardwood floors! Up and down, up and down he goes. I can hear the occasional landing when he jumps. Earlier I could hear him trying to climb up the French door of the guest room! I went to go scold him... only to discover the little idiot (he really is some days) has managed to shut himself in the guest room! Not only has he closed the door, one of my framed cross stitch pieces which is way up the wall is mysteriously crooked! Which leads me to believe he did manage to climb up the door!!!!

Also the last couple of nights he's taken to carrying his furry fake mouse into my bed and playing with it at ooooh... 2AM!!!! He's tossing it in the air jumping all over my legs... in other words waking me up!!!!

Can someone tell me where the off switch is?
Migraines and Bonfires

I'm really starting to wish that Mr. &^%$ Migraine would stop coming for visits! He popped by at about 2pm yesterday. Once again I popped some Excedrin For Migraine. I can't get that here in Canada but my last trip to the U.S. at Christmas time I picked up another bottle. The did nothing, nada, zip, zero, zilch.

Once again I was not going to let Mr. Migraine stop me from having a life. After work there was a staff party, a pig roast at one of the teacher's homes on the Ottawa River (very pretty!). So after work on my way I stopped at Timmies (Tim Hortons, a coffee and doughnut shop very popular in Canada) for a large Cafe Mocah. A lot of migraine medications contain caffeine so I figured a little more couldn't hurt. I don't drink regular coffee, I can't stand it but for some reason I love the specialty coffees. By the time I got to the pig roast, and sat down in front of the fire in my lawn chair and finished my coffee I felt much better.

What is it about fire that has this magical power to bring people together? Once the sun went down and the temerature got a little cooler folk started to congregate around the bonfire in little groups talking and laughing. There's something special about a good wood fire that brings people closer together.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Mr. Migraine Visits Again...

Yup that's right. I had another visit from Mr. Migraine today. It was just as bad as the one I had on Tuesday. Why I don't know, I do not feel particuarly stressed at the moment. I know my blood pressure is a little high (just had it checked) but usually I only get them when I'm stressed.

But this time I persevered... normally its the sort of migraine that sends me running home for my bed. I was determined to finish my day at work. We were having 34 grade 9 students in the library at the end of the day and I didn't want to leave my co-worker alone with all those kids. Also tonight was the first night the Martial Arts Club met, as the teacher advisor I had to be there or it would of been cancelled. I can't let the kids down. Luckily it started to let up at about 4pm. I had the usual side effects... can barely put together a proper sentence! I sound like a blubbering fool when that happens.

I'm okay now, but I would really like to know why I'm having them again after being migraine-free for about a month now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Bad Clickie Finger!!!

Well, not yet. What do I mean by bad clickie finger... well internet shopping of course! You have to use a finger to click that button on the mouse to put an item in your shopping basket right? Therefore any unplanned or spontaneous purchases can easily be blamed on that good ole "Clickie Finger".

But I have to tell you I've got a real bad itch in my clickie finger. I want to go shopping for stash online and I want to do it so bad! However, I have tied my finger down, I must be a good girl! I shouldn't shop just because I feel like it! Maybe once I get my kit in the mail for Chatelaine's Mystery VI starting in January 2004 my clickie finger will calm down a little! I just can't wait to fondle all those rich red, gold, and auburn silks. To rattle my containers of beads and crystals. Doesn't it just make you want to drool?

Now, in terms of stitching progress, this week so far hasn't been too bad. I started another ornament, and progressing nicely with that. Last night I put in three and a half hours on Teresa Wentzler's Peacock Tapestry. I hope to put in roughly another two before bed... if I can get my butt off the net!!!

So keep stitching and keep those fingers nimble!

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Damn Migraine!

This morning I stared out with a dull headache, as the morning progressed it became worse and worse. I had already booked 1/2 day off at work for a medical appointment I just couldn't get outside of working hours, I was lucky. By the time I was done with my appointment my head was getting BAD, and I was hungry. First I blamed it on my poor empty stomach, but after getting home and having a good lunch I felt even worse. So I curled up in bed and drifted in and out of sleep.

Cats are fabulous creatures, I have two. There's Cuddles a grey and white tabby, he's about seven years old now, and there's Hunter. He's the baby a black domestic shorthair now seven months old. He's quite the bully where Cuddles is concerned. But there I was, curled up in bed not feeling well at all. My head was pounding and my stomach was churning. I drifted to sleep all alone, awhile later I woke up to find Hunter above my head on my pillow and Cuddles curled up against my side. Cats always seem to know when you're ill, not feeling well, or just blue. They are there for you, curl up next to you, and purr to soothe your soul.

I couldn't ask for better medicine. I always feel better when my "boys" take care of me.

Monday, September 22, 2003


I really have no clue what to write about tonight... I'm stumped. Perhaps I should ramble or perhaps I should just end it here??

Hmmm... stitching wise today, I worked a little bit during lunch on my Michael Powell "Mini Cottages 1" I don't think I'll ever be done stitching with white on that one! Between praying to the Treadmill Gods (boy I start every week off with a good intention but I never seem to carry it through the week) and going to TKD I started my second Christmas Ornament for the month. I've kitted up Dragon Dreams Chrysmyth ornament for 2001 : phoenix. I'm stitching it on drapple grey linen, the same fabric I used for the Salamander the 2003 ornament from Dragon Dreams. Tomorrow I hope to get a good run in on Teresa Wentzler's Peacock Tapestry.

Well that's a pathetic blog... I had nothing profound to say tonight.
The Perfect Sunday

I had today what I call the "Perfect Sunday". Todd went out fishing, so I had the house to myself. I woke up around 10:30am and decided to stay in bed and read. I finally finished Harry Potter and the Order of the phoenix. I've been reading that since my holidays back in the second week of July. Now I can finally get around to finishing East of Eden.

Afterwards I got up and walked up to the General Store to discover I had no mail from Friday, sorted and started some laundry, heated up a bowl of soup and got caught up on my e-mail and bulletin boards.

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching cheesey Harlequin movies on TV, stitching, and switching laundry from the washer to the dryer. I even swept the floors!

I finished the Father Winter ornament by Teresa Wentzler that I started last night. I decided in the new year that it would be my goal this year to stitch two ornaments a month, that's one down so I only have one to go for this month. I think I'll stitch a Dragon Dreams ornament next.

Like I said... the perfect Sunday!

Saturday, September 20, 2003

The List

The list isn't a written list, its just a mental list I keep of things I'd like to do in my lifetime... crazy things! Rock climbing, bungie jumping, scuba-diving, sky-diving, you get the drift?

Today I accomplished another one of them : going for a helicopter ride. They had helicopter rides at the International Plowing Match today. Sooo I shelled out $40.00 for a ten minute ride. But it was so well worth it! I wish it had been longer. But at least I've crossed another item off of my list! That would be two things I've done off of "the list" this summer. The first was getting my tattoo!

Do you have a "Crazy List?" Have you been lucky enough to cross things off of that list? Slowly but surely I hope to do everything on my list.
Please Don't Ask Me To Go Anywhere on Sunday...

6 PM Today marked the end of a VERY busy week! A week in which I did not get much stitching in....

Monday : Taekwon-Do
Tuesday : Guild Night
Wednesday : Didn't get out of work until late due to a Black Bear & Taekwon-Do
Thursday : Took my car for some maintenance
Friday : Haircut, dinner out, groceries
Saturday - Today : Volunteered at the Guild booth at the International Plowing Match.

Today was definitely an interesting day, sitting in the booth watching folk go by. Some just amazed by the work we had on display, others just kept on walking by. I think it was a successful day because folk picked up so many pamphlets. I did receive a major compliment when a woman asked me how much my Tradewinds by Teresa Wentzler was... unfourtnately I love that piece too much to sell it. That and she might not of liked the price tag I would of put on it (probably $800.00 that would be labour, supplies, and the cost of framing).

I also ran into a lot of people I either knew, had met at some point, or used to know very well. I ran into a couple of people from High School, one Taekwon-Do student, one student from the school I work at, and a friend of my Mum's. Like my best friend Christin says... "I can't take you anywhere"

Oh yeah, I finished another RR today. This is my work on Caro's TWRR, its a portion of Teresa Wentzler's Father Winter Ornament.

A huge MUCHO GRACIAS again to Vicki for the ride to the IPM!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2003

Ahhhh.... like an addict getting a hit.
It feels like so long ago that I accomplished anything stitching wise! But by looking at my calendar (I mark when I finish projects on it) I know I've finished a model this month. Tonight I finally got a descent amount of stitching time in and I finished my portion of a Teresa Wentzler Round Robin. I decided to stitch the bird from "Celtic Inspirational Band Sampler" by Teresa Wentzler, it fit the stitching area nicely and the colours worked with what had been stitched by other members of the round robin.

This TWRR started over a year ago now and we're finally reaching the end! Sitting in front of me is the last one I have to stitch on. I've already decided to stitch the center portion from TW's "Father Winter Ornament" a freebie found on her TW Designworks website. I'm hoping to get a start on it tonight once I pull all the fibers and beads and work on it tomorrow while I'm volunteering at the Guild's booth at the International Plowing Match in Carleton Place... that's if we don't get rained out by the reminants of Hurricane Isabel (sp?).

It was supposed to rain earlier in the day today, but it didn't start until 5pm which means it will be ending later rather than sooner. I hope tomorrow isn't a soggy day. I've packed up most of my framed pieces to go on display in the booth. But if its nasty out they'll be staying home!

Once this last RR is done, I need to stitch my two Christmas Ornaments for the month... I'm thinking one Teresa Wentzler ornie and one Dragon Dreams ornie. That way I can have some stuff ready for upcoming ornie exchanges this Christmas. Then FINALLY I can get back to my poor abandoned Peacock Tapestry by Teresa Wentzler.

Off to pull supplies for that last RR!!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2003

First night home

Tonight was my first evening home all week. Its been a very busy week, with TKD Monday and Wednesday, Tuesday was Guild night, today I had to take my car in for some maintenance, tomorrow I'm going groceries and getting my hair cut.

So tonight was my first real night at home to relax. I was thinking all day oooh I'm going to get a lot of stitching in tonight... oooh I'm going to blog all about it. Well guess what??? Didn't get in more than an hour probably. Since I haven't been home all week I've had phone calls to return, and for awhile I just laid there on the couch with my pink blankie and watched TV.

It felt good.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Like a cold... Inspiration is catching!

Just a brief addendum for today. I got the nicest e-mail today, from an online friend who read my blog. She was inspried by my blog and how easy blogger makes this whole process. I swear inspiration is catching because I caught the "blogger bug" from Jennifer of Dragon Dreams.

Who have you inspired today? Who has inspired you... think about it!

We had the most interesting announcement at the end of the school day today... The principal came on announcing that an adult Black Bear has been seen roaming in the area and the police were asking us to stay in the building!

What an ordeal! I get tired just thinking about it. They tried to keep the kids in the classrooms, but that didn't work too well. One at a time they would announce a bus and those kids would be dismissed to sign out and get escorted onto the bus. What a long painful process! I tried to pull wandering kids into the library to keep them out of the halls. Not easy to do with teenagers I assure you!

Once I got rid of the few kids I had in the library I made my way down to the main office (where I help out for an hour every morning). I started fielding the phones. Parents calling to find out if the story about the bear was true... parents calling because their kid who takes the bus was 30 minutes late.

Despite school ending at 2:30 it took until 4:30 to get rid of the kids and for the phones to calm down.

What a day!!! And not a stitch done yet!

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Its Guild Time Again!

Tonight was the beginning of my second year in the Ottawa Valley Guild of Stitchery. Boy I was looking forward to it after our summer hiatus! It was so nice to go in and see familiar faces, ladies (in most cases) who I hadn't know a year ago but were calling out my name when they spotted me tonight! What a great feeling!

Tonight's meeting was the standard first of the year meeting. The regular guild business, upcoming classes, correspondence courses, etc. Then sitting through the slide show for the 2004 ECA seminar. This is my second year that I've seen the slide show and yet again there was not a thing there that made me say: "Ooooh I've got to take the class.... wish I could go..." They are all very beautiful pieces but not one of them geared towards me or my interests. The majority of the classes were in areas of needlework that just don't appeal to me, goldwork, crewel, embroidery, pulled thread and so on.

I am a CROSS STITCHER! I've tried hardanger, I've tried tamari... time and time again I keep coming back to cross stitch. It seems to have this very strong pull for me. Maybe its because of the wide variety of designs there are out there in the market. I like the unusual, I like fantasy (DRAGONS!), and I like the realistic. But so many of these ECA courses are flowers, flowers and more flowers... blech. Don't get me wrong I like flowers but I like the more realistic designs such as ones by The Silver Lining... for example Modern Classic.

I was a good girl tonight and I actually signed up for something with the guild. It wasn't a class... none of the ones being offered prior to the new year interest me (stumpwork/goldwork). I signed up to volunteer my time at the OVGS booth at the International Plowing Match this weekend. I think it will be a riot!

I have to say a special thanks to Vicki Green of Dragon's Lair Beads in Stittsville for the company, dinner, and ride to the guild meeting and thanks in advance for the ride to the IPM. You've become a great friend!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2003

Warring Passions!


Why do I have to enjoy two activities so much? Its Monday night which means Taekwon-Do night. Finally after a weekend of re-charging myself I'm not exhausted at the end of the day. So I want to go train but I want to stay home and stitch! It was raining a little while ago, which makes me want to stay home. However, TKD (Taekwon-Do) is only offred Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and well I just don't to Saturdays so that leaves me little choice if I want to try to train twice a week!

So I'll be a good little girl (HA!) and go to TKD tonight. I was also an even better giril and spent 30 minutes praying to the treadmill gods (walking) while I watched Coronation Street.

I used to be very involved in my TKD community when I lived in the city. But as the years went on (I've been training since 1997) I felt at times like I was being taken for granted. I'd be there Monday-Thrusday training, helping in the office, volunteering for tournaments, assisting, attending seminars, and so on. Since I wasn't world championship material (mind you I'm pretty darned good, just not super-competitive) I found I'd get ignored. Or when everyone was off to that big important tournament and I'd stay behind to keep the school open I'd barely get a thanks.

When I bought my home in the summer of 2002 I decided to take time off... which turned to quitting. The straw that really broke the camel's back was the night I made a mistake with one of my patterns, I moved the wrong foot. My instructor was standing right in front of me, watching me... he walked off to correct one of the kids who was training to contend for a spot on the Canadian team. That was it! I had it! I had joined TKD because it looked neat, I had a friend in Texas doing it and I figured if she could do it, then damn well I could too. For many years it was fun, we all trained hard, we enjoyed it and we all got equal amounts of attention.

But as the school got bigger, the focus turned to politics, competition and producing more world champions. Training wasn't fun anymore. So after months of thinking and angonizing, I left. Moving out of the city and into the country was the perfect oppertunity.

By April of 2003 I started finally missing TKD... it took me nine months to finally get over the bad taste in my mouth. The school I've been going to since I started had a small group training out in a small town about a 20 minute drive from my home (when you live in the country almost everything is a minimum 20-30 minute drive away). I knew it was much more lower-key and family orientated. So I finally bit the bullet, pulled my dobok (uniform) out of mothballs and went in. I've been training ever since. I enjoy the atmosphere, we're there to learn but still have a good time. Classes often end with going out for a drink afterwards and everyone is welcome, not just a particular clique.

Finally now I'm feeling ready to get more involved again. All summer long the instructors have been talking about the BIG Internatonal Tournament my school will be hosting in October, General Choi's Memorial Cup. I thought I might actually be ready to compete, but as of last week I decided no... I don't feel confident enough about my black belt patterns yet. However, I will go out and judge the colour belt competitions and attend the banquet the night before. I even finally went out and bought a suit for judging. There is a standard dress code for judging at TKD tournaments, navy blue suit, white blouse, and navy tie (for the men). I even got a good deal and picked up the jacket and pants for $95.00!

Well I've got maybe 15 minutes before I have to get ready to leave so I'll stop there for now and get to some e-mails!

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Singed... but not burnt out

At least that's how I've felt for about the last week! I think I can point out the culprits :
1. Work
2. Stitching my brains out!

Number One : Work
I'm a Library And Information Technician in a high school. What very few people seem to realized is that just because I work in the school system DOES NOT mean I get the entire summer off like the teachers do. I am a 12 month employee. I get two weeks holiday like the rest of the world does.

Sometimes I do wish I was a 10 or 11 month employee, but then I wouldn't get a steady paycheque. Unfortunately I need that paycheque. When teachers started coming back at the end of August it was annoying at times, being asked how my holidays were, did I enjoy my summer off? No I didn't enjoy my summer off. I've been back to work since the 3rd week in July... I've been back to work for a month and a half now (at that time I was). Christmas seems very far away....

Its a little overwhelming, psychologically when September rolls around. I spend all of July and August working in this huge building with less than 10 people in it. On some Fridays it would just be me and one custodian in the building. Then suddenly, September 2nd there are 1,200 people in the building. Its just overwhelming!

The first two weeks of school really do knock the wind out of you!

Number Two : Model Stitching

I LOVE model stitching, don't get me wrong. Just as much as model stitching I love a challenge... more so a VERY tight deadline. I like working under pressure I feel like I'm at my best and on an ultimate high! The Friday before the Labour Day weekend I received the latest model from Dragon Dreams called Dream Sampler. This is one of the classes that Jennifer is teaching at the CSNF this fall. I was given roughly two weeks to stitch it in.... I did it in 8 days! I worked on it every spare moment, stayed up until midnight every night (I usually do anyhow), totally focused on the model. I loved sitching the piece and every moment spent doing it... I don't regret it at all.

Between it being the first couple of weeks at school and having a tight model stitching deadline, I was EXHAUSTED. This past week! I'm lucky if I've even stitched a total of an hour.

But I'm re-charged now!

Todd and I spent a most excellent weekend at the cottage. I slept, I ate, I fished (and did better than the boys... 3 very nice pike, one good sized small mouth bass, and a crappie), I RELAXED.

I think my stitching batteries are re-charged and I'll be able to get to and finish the two TWBB (Teresa Wentzler bulletin Board) Round Robins that showed up in my mail box last Monday.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Needlepoint... Isn't that what old ladies do?

That seems to be an attitude I face rather frequently from people I know and strangers. First of all, no its not needlepoint, its not knitting, its Cross Stitch! No.. its not for old ladies. I am in my 20's I am not an old lady.

I think for many of us stitchers we initially learn our art in our early years. Something we did briefly in our childhood or teenaged years. My first experience with Cross Stitch was when I was about 13 years old.

We were living in Texas at the time and in my Christmas stocking was a little cross stitch kit of a calico cat (I think... maybe it was a tabby) on aida with a little plastic frame. I couldn't wait to get started! My Mum showed me how to organize my threads and how to make my first little X... its amazing what you can do with a simple X! Soon, the back was this huge lump! I had gotten this idea in my head that I had to work my way from left to right stitching one whole stitch. Cut the thread. Then change colours and do the stitch next to it. Cutting the thread every time. Needless to say that went in the garbage... I wish I had kept it now.

Next I remember a shopping trip to Wally-World Mum and I picked up a bunch of kits on sale. My next project was a vase of flowers. Everything in the 80's seemed to be flowers! Ick! I recall making descent progress on that project. But as soon as I realized I got two of the greens mixed up when sorting the floss... in the garbage that one went too.

After the second failure I didn't give up... I picked up a stamped cross stitch kit of a Siamese cat and another vase of flowers. I started this one, then put it away.

I never picked up my cross stitch again.

Friday, September 12, 2003

One Small Blog for Man... One Giant Blog for Mankind!
Greetings and salutations!

After reading the blogs by one of my favorite cross stitch designers (Dragon Dreams) and thinking about it all week I've decided... why not! I can start my own blog! Will anyone read it I don't know... I hope someone will.

Dani... Black Belt Stitching Wizard... what a name for a blog one would think. Now I didn't get all conceited and come up with that name for myself. This past week I've been e-mailing back and forth with Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams , who I do some model stitching for and that's what she called me. I thought, cool I like that! So I have to say a big THANKS Jen, that's a huge ego boost.

Black Belt Stitching Wizard pretty much covers what I imagine I'll blab on and on about (I tend to get cases of verbal diarrhea, so please excuse me!). I'm a first degree black belt in ITF Taekwon-Do and I have an obsession with cross stitch. I'll most likely talk more about my stitching than TKD.

But hey! Too bad, so sad this is my forum.