More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

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.