More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Friday, March 30, 2007

Ooops I Did It Again...

Here's HD #13 for this year! I'm just amazed by this Round Robin... it belongs to Autumn, and its stunning! (you'll definitely want to click for a bigger picture)

Now I can pick Noah's Sub back up!!! I can't believe that I'm actually excited to work on Noah's Sub, it really feels like its coming together now.

Tomorrow I'm hopping in the car I'm off to visit Ann owner of Knowledge and Needles. Before I get there though, I'm going to stop in Kingston and meet Vicki, a member from my BB Needle and Thread whose here from out West.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

HD #12 for 2007

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes yesterday!

Thank you Chrisanne for the wonderful early birthday gift! She sent me Michael Powell's Mini Tuscan Cottages 8 for my birthday so I would have it to work on during my March Break trip.

Well I finished it tonight... that's my 5th finished Michael Powell... I just love his stuff!

Mini Tuscan Cottages 8
c2005 Michael Powell
Stitched on 14ct. Aida using Anchor floss

Tomorrow I'll get started on the next Sweetheart Tree RR (Autumn's) that arrived yesterday.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My Birthday Turned Into a GREAT Mail Day!

As usual my Birthday had left me feeling a little low. I always have this deep down feeling that my birthday should be an extraordinary, special day. I always end up feeling a little down towards the end of the day because nothing too special ever happens.

I was contemplating buying my own cake on the way home. However, the ladies in the office and the administration at work got me a delicious vanilla strawberry cake! That started to make me feel better.

Then I decided before going home I could use a little retail therapy... I stopped into Chapters and bought some books. I bought the first three books in the Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan. I also finally spotted issue 184 of Cross Stitcher (from the UK) it has a Michael Powell design in it! You all know I adore Michael Powell! So I left Chapters 50.00 poorer.

Now for today's mail....

In this picture is my purchased magazine... so that's not really part of the mail day but there it is anyhow! The book, Subversive Cross Stitch... Thank you StephanieC!!!! Its just hilarious... if bad language offends you... don't bother to crack the cover. I was just laughing my head off! The cat card and gorgeous scissor fob are from Carol, here's a closeup...

I just love it! Thank you Carol I have to go buy a pair of scissors for it!

Stephanie and Carol thank you so much for making my day special!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Its Not Broken... and Some HD's!

Well this morning Todd took me off to the Dr's office to have my foot checked out. After an hour of waiting she sent me off to Emergency to get an X-Ray. So after another two and a half hours its is definate my big toe is not broken and it popped back into place on its own. I'm off of work tomorrow to keep off of it for one more day, and off of TKD for about two weeks.

That's life.

Sooo... this morning since we got up super early, because we went to bed super early last night I finished up Kathy's Sweetheart Tree RR. I just had some final beads to put on it. I stitched several bands from the chart Sparkling Bluebells. This would be HD #10 for the year without buying stash (except what I bought on my trip which didn't count).

I realized yesterday that I hadn't stitched an ornament for March yet.. so this is ornament #5 and HD #11 for 2007. I started it while at my Dr's office then continued to work on it at Emergency, I had it about half done by the time I was back home. I finished it up tonight.

Emblem of Friendship
c2006 Louise Henderson of Cherished Stitches
Just Cross Stitch 2006 Ornament Issue
Stitched over one on 25ct. Gold/Mushroom Lugana
Using GAST Cherrywine

Since I'm off tomorrow, I've got to figure out what to work on since I have to stay on my butt! Do I work on Mini Cottages 8... my next potential HD? Noah's Sub... because I want it done? Or The Castle ... because I haven't worked on it in weeks?

That Smarts

Yesterday was my interim test at TKD, as I start moving towards my third degree black belt. Well right at the beginning, while doing my pattern, somehow I caught my big toe under all my other toes. After that I continued to do my test, but my big toe kept popping in and out! Today its all bruised and swollen. I'll be off to the Dr's office today to see if its broken, sprained, or if I've done any ligament dammage. Needless to day it hurts and I can't put much weight on it.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Trip Pictures Part Two - Arizona

After spending a whir wind day and a half in San Diego, Ca. it was time to move onto Yuma, Az. I have to say I was absolutely fascinated by the cacti!

One Cacti...

Two Cacti...

Three Cacti...

Four! The mighty saguaro!

The guard tower at the Yuma Territorial Prison

More of Yuma Prison

A wee bit more of Yuma Prison

The mighty Colorado River, the view from the guard tower. The far side of the river is California

A pretty little yellow flower that Kathy and I discovered at the Yuma Crossing... it smelt heavenly!

A pretty pink flower

A pretty yellow flower
This morning I had two medical appointments... how fun. My first appointment was 40 minutes behind schedule. That threw my whole morning off! I also took my car into the dealer, I needed the linkage of my windshield wipers replaced. I am relieved to say I have working wipers now! What a relief... it was downright terrifying driving home Monday night in the rain with no wipers! As usual it cost a pretty penny. I did make a little progress on Mini Cottages 8 while I waited... but not enough worth sharing since they had an Internet terminal at the dealer and I surfed the net for a good 40 minutes.
Today I got a start on Kathy's Sweetheart Tree RR, once I got home, its looking so pretty!

HD #9 for 2007

Tonight I finished up my portion of Shannon's Sweetheart Tree Round Robin. Shannon gave us each individual pieces of fabric to stitch one of the hearts on. I had started this shortly before my trip but left it at home for safe keeping!

Bleeding Hearts
c1995 Sandra Cox Vanosdall - Sweetheart Tree
Stitched on mystery fabric
Stitched with : DMC, Needle Necessites, Kreinik Braid, Prele Cotton & Mill Hill Beads

I also finally have progress pictures to share with you!

First Mini Cottages 8 - Tuscan Cottage my friend Chrisanne sent me this birthday present early (its on the 27th of this month) so that I could work on it on the plane. I have to say, Michael Powell designs are great for working on a plane!

Next, Noah's Sub... I got so much done on that last week while stitching with Kathy in Yuma!
Tomorrow I have several medical appointments so I'll take Mini Cottages with me to work on. Also my car is going into the shop... my windshield wipers have decided to stop working. That made for a hairy drive home yesterday! When I'm back home I'll start the next Sweetheart Tree Round Robin belonging to my good friend Kathy who I was just visiting in Yuma, Az.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Trip Pictures Part One - San Diego

All right I've finally uploaded my pictures from my San Diego, CA/Yuma, AZ trip! Here's ther first batch of pictures!

First, we can't start a blog post of pictures without one of Hunter right? This was the post he took up as my bags were sitting at the top of the stairs waiting to go into my car.

Amazing view from the plane!!!

The biggest impression that San Diego made on me was the scenery! Oh my gawd it was just stunning. Compared to the scenery around here this was just so different to me and I loved it!

Ahhh palm trees, you know you're somewhere warm when you see these!

Oranges... on trees? Really? I only ever see these in the grocery store!

Sunday was our day at the San Diego Zoo I was there with (left to right)

Zari, Becky, Me, Jill, Luke Jill's Son, and Cheryl. It was because of these ladies what I thought would be two days aimlessly wandering the city turned into a great weekend exploring San Diego!


Cute little birdie!

Furry Koala

Sleeping Panda -- They weren't awake when we stopped by!
Just in time for us to leave this peacock put on a fantastic performance!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Home, Safe, Late, and Tired

Just a brief post tonight to let everyone out there in Blogger Land to know I've made it home from my March Break trip.

I'll update sometime later in the week with details of my last few days and photos.

Saturday night I returned my rental car... I have to make a phone call to straighten out some charges with the company tomorrow (oh joy). When I went to check in, my suitcase (no laughing Kathy!) was over the 50 lbs. limit by 6lbs! So I had to drop some weight. I don't understand what the difference is... I just took some stuff out of my checked luggage and put it in my carry on luggage. So I don't get it... I'm still taking the same amount of stuff on the plane just distributed differently.

My first flight San Diego-Chicago was 10 minutes later than scheduled. I dozed through that flight, woken up by the occasional bit of turbulence. I landed in Chicago to find out my 6:44am flight to Syracuse was now leaving at 9:44 am! I also had to go from one end of the planet to the other! Once again more dozing as I waited for my flight, and changed gates 3 times! Finally up in the air, and on my last leg home! I landed in Syracuse shortly after 12pm... we sat on the tarmac for 45 minutes! Boy did I want off of that plane!

I finally got home around dinner time tonight. I'm happy to be home, but it was a great trip!

I was cleaning out my inbox and found an SBQ I haven't answered yet.

Q : Do you use your needle, a seam ripper, or something else when you have to frog stitches? Why do you use the method that you do?

A : It really depends on how much frogging I have to do. If its just a few stitches, I just my needle to pull those stitches out. If its a lot I'll very carefully use my finest pointed scissors and cut both halfs of the stitch from the top of the fabric. Sometimes I'll use my needle and pull those cut stitches out from the back of the fabric, or I'll get my lint roller out and pull the cut stitches out that way.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Coming To An End

Its not the end of my trip yet... it doesn't feel like a week has almost passed. All I have left is Friday and most of Saturday.

Wednesday was our trip to Mexico. I have to say that was an interesting experience... the moment you walk across that border (it was easier to park on the US side and walk in) it really is a different country. You can cross from Canada to the US and there aren't any huge differences... yes there's the change from Kilometers to Miles and well all the money is green. But other than that no sudden differences. But once you cross into Mexico, its a different world! Right away you can see the poverty, and well everyone is trying to sell you medications, dental work, or their wares.

Bargaining was an interesting experience. I have to say I didn't do too bad, but at moments I wasn't as confident or firm as I could of been, and well they pick up on that right away. I didn't buy a lot there, but I found a tacky sombrero for my Mum, LOL its purple and gold ... she's going to love it! I found a little something for Todd. I got myself a blanket and a stained glass panel with a peacock for the bedroom. I did really well with the stained glass.

We didn't do much else on Wednesday... but then it didn't help that I passed out for a two hour nap.

Today was my shopping day! In the clothing department I didn't find anything I liked. I guess its another season where the colours and the styles don't suit me. Now shoes... I made out like a bandit! I got 3 pairs of shoes for a steal... all brand names too.

Tomorrow we're going to the Flea market and meeting up with Margaret whose driving down from Mesa to meet me!

Oh yeah, here's this week's SBQ :
Q : If you had $500 to spend on stitching-related items, what would you buy?

A : Well there's nothing really big or specific I want... I would probably go through my wish list, buy 100-150 dollars in patterns that are on my list. Next I would buy a bunch of silks, and a stack of fabrics. See, nothing exciting.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Vacation Update

For the last few days I've been sooo tired! I'm having a really hard time adjusting to the three hour time difference out here on the West Coast. I'm now in Arizona at Kathy's house, and have regular Internet access. Its been an incredibly busy couple of days finally tonight I'm feeling a little better adjusted and I'm able to update my kind blogger readers!

My flights were just fine on Saturday though it felt like I was on the plane FOREVER! Essentially I first got on a plane at 10am... and I didn't get off until 5pm Eastern time. I had all of 45 minutes between flights so really I wasn't off for long. Neither plane had a lot of space or leg room... and keep in mind gentle readers, I'm only 5ft 2in. My first flight from Syracuse to Chicago was one of those small planes like the one Todd and I took to Atlanta. My plane to San Diego was an old airbus, it had 3 seats on each side of the plane and it was a long one! I was in row 17 and that still put me just at the wing. Since the flight was long enough we got a movie on the plane, Happy Feet... but no food. Thank goodness I didn't have to go running around in Chicago trying to find my gate, it was nearby where my first plane arrived so I had a little time to go to the bathroom and buy a yogurt parfait at one of the stands and wolf it down. The approach to the SD airport was awesome, the plane essentially did a u turn by banking very sharply... it made the girl across the aisle puke, we came in right over downtown. I also have some awesome pictures from up in the air as we flew over the Rockies and the desert! Which for me was quite an awesome experience I've just never seen landscape like that in my life... except for on TV or in National Geographic.

At the airport I was picked up by Cheryl one of the ladies I knew from the stitching BB's I'm on (Hastur Torres is her screen name)... as usual not an ax murderer. For some reason if you tell people you're going to meet someone for the Internet you always get warned that they could be a serial killer??? This just doesn't seem to be the case with stitchers!

Cheryl was very nice, she was visiting her parents in SD with her friend Zari from Texas. Cheryl drove us all over SD, we also went and picked up my free zoo pass for Sunday. The scenery in SD is just gorgeous! There are hills and mountains, all kinds of palm trees and cacti everywhere! We got some fresh strawberries, they were awesome (an impossibility this time of year in Canada)... and had dinner on the bay. I had fish and chips... no where near as nice as The Glen back home.

I didn't get into the Hostel until 11pm. And I was pooped... of course it was 1am at home, and I had been up since about 5:30am. I had a hard time sleeping that night as there were a lot of comings and goings and I could hear people in the hallways and one of the common bathrooms was right next to my room. Finally I had to take some sleeping pills. I woke up bright and early since my internal clock was still on Eastern time.

Sunday morning Cheryl and Zari picked me up again at the hostel and we went to the San Diego Zoo where we met up with another woman from the stitching group we're on. It was so hot on Sunday! I wish I hadn't worn my jeans, but it had been cool in the morning. I thought the Toronto Zoo was big, and pretty cool well you haven't seen anything! There were so many animals at the Zoo that despite staying there until it closed at 5pm we still didn't manage to see everything! We estimate we must of walked about 5 miles! Part way through the day we were met by Jill and her son Luke (another stitcher from the Internet who also gave me the free Zoo pass... thank you Jill!). Her son Luke is a real cutie-pie and I think that day I was his new best friend because he kept talking to me about the animals. We had some interesting conversations!

After the Zoo we went and had cheap fast food Mexican for dinner... I passed on the famous fish tacos and had a burrito instead with chicken. After dinner Cheryl took me up into the area she lived in up in the mountains, again just awesome scenery and the sun was setting at that time. We spent a couple of hours at her folks visiting before she took me back to the hostel. I felt like I was back in High School, Cheryl, Zari and I were closed away in Cheryl's bedroom, sitting on the floor talking!

The hostel was quieter Sunday night and I slept fairly well... but I was still up at 6am! I got myself ready and had a cab called to go back to the airport where I was meeting Kathy and her husband Leo. The drive from SD to Yuma was just amazing, we had to go over the mountains! We went from sea level in SD to 4,128 ft before coming back down again and into the desert. I saw awesome sand dunes (called the Imperial Sand Dunes) there were people out on them with ATV's, dune buggies and sand rails, looked like a lot of fun. The rest of Monday was been spent just chilling, visiting and stitching with Kathy. It was 95F out there yesterday so we weren't out long. I think I really needed yesterday just to de-compress after going non-stop from Friday morning until meeting up at the Airport with Kathy on Monday morning.

Today's activity was local points of interest here in Yuma. We hopped in the car this morning and drove out to the Yuma Prison, it was the first territorial prison in the territory of Arizona in 1875... Arizona wasn't a state yet. It was pretty cool walking around in the sun, and heat... it was reaching 90F by mid morning. I got some pictures of the old buildings, and one of the view from the old guard tower... the mighty Colorado River, which isn't so mighty by the time it gets to Yuma... did you know that just the other side of the river is California? We next went to the Yuma crossing and the Quartermaster's Post. This was how all supplies got into Arizona and were re-distributed throughout the south west in the 1800's. I didn't find it as interesting as the prison, but it was nice walking about in the sun... now at 96F. Once we were done there it was getting close to 1pm and Kathy and I were hungry.

So we went down to the main drag in Yuma and hit Applebees for lunch (my favorite chain in the US). Next we went to a local discount store, kinda like Winners to find me some shorts. I found one pair that wasn't too bad, and got those for 9.99 I'll wear them to Mexico tomorrow. Oh by the way I'm starting to get a little colour in my skin! Yay! After that store we went to the quilt shop where I found 4 dragon fabrics to add to my collection, then to Michales where I escaped unscathed and didn't spend a penny. Finally onto Albertson's where we picked up a few odds and ends for tonight's dinner. Kathy had invited a couple from the trailer park here from BC who are leaving in the morning to head back north. After dinner we all went for a swim in the outdoor pool to cool down after such a hot day! It was lovely to finally cool down as the temperature today got up to 98F, if it wasn't for the girl from Alaska in high school who is visiting her Uncle there I would of been the youngest person in the pool (this is a community of snow birds). After our swim we came back here and we stitched until 11pm... today I finally dragged out Noah's Sub as I had the energy and focus to finally tackle it!

So that was my day for today, I'm really looking forward to tomorrow... Mexico and hopefully get a little more colour in my skin. I've not been sitting out in the sun since I don't want to burn.

I'm told that if I want to buy something I have to barter with the Mexican vendors. Apparently they get quite offended if you don't. I'm going to keep my eye out for either leather goods, silver, oh yeah and a tacky gift for my Mum... she requested something tacky from Mexico!

Its kinda odd when you're driving around here... there are citrus trees everywhere. Kathy and Leo have a pink grapefruit tree on their lot, and there are fruit on it... I got hit on the head by a grapefruit as I tried to pass by the tree! How many people can say that? A lot of the citrus are in bloom right now and it smells heavenly. This is just such an alien landscape to this northerner and I just love it!

Until tomorrow! Or whenever I next have the time/energy to Blog.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Safe in Syracuse

Well Blog readers, leg one of my journey is over... I'm in Syracuse at my Inn (yay guest Internet terminal) getting ready to relax for the evening before I fly out tomorrow minoring to San Diego.

I have to say my drive down was very uneventful... my cup of Timmies coffee did not win me a prize (its roll up the rim to win time). The fellow at customs when I drove across wasn't really interested in me so that was quick. I also have to say for a change... the drive was pleasant. In the past when my Mum and I have driven the same highway to go to Myrtle Beach at this time of year there's aways been a horrible snow storm!

I've had my Applebee's fix, I got some fruit and stuff for breakfast and to take on the plane, now its time to relax and stitch!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Getting Ready

Friday is almost here! Tonight I pulled my suitcase out and I've started packing for my March Break trip!

I'll be spending part of next week in San Diego and the rest with a dear friend in Arizona.

I'm sure at some point I'll get Internet access and let you know where I've gone and what I've done!!!

Monday, March 05, 2007

4 DAYS!!!

Until March Break! Yay! This year I'm really stoked! I'm off to San Diego for two nights and spending the rest of the week in Yuma, Arizona... where it's going to be warm... and SUNNY! I've started making my lists of what I want to pack.

I'm just going through my e-mails now, cleaning out my inbox and realized I did not answer last week's SBQ... so here it is.

Q : Do you find yourself stitching faster when you are getting to the end of a design?

A : For sure! I get so excited when the end of a piece is near, I try to stitch faster... and stay up later!

Tonight I'm taking a break, once dinner is done I'm going to settle in and work on Noah's Sub. Also its cold out there and there's a lot of blowing snow that made the drive home a white knuckler.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Sorry folks, no progress reports this weekend for either Noah's Sub or The Castle. I've actually not really stitched much for days. I've caught the odd 15 minutes here and there but no nice long stretch that I could be proud to show off.

Despite not really having any stitching time this weekend, I can say it was a pretty good one. The last few days with the exception of today... Sunday were spent doing Taekwon-Do stuff. Friday night was spent setting up for the Friendship Tournament my school was hosting. My job for the tournament was to come up with an obstacle course competition for the 4-6 year olds as they are too young to compete in patterns or sparring (we did not have sparring competitions at our tournament). Once the rings were marked out on the floor it was my turn to set up. I took my camera with me to get a picture... guess who forgot to do that??? Oh well. We also had to squeeze in a little time to practice the demonstration (probably why I forgot the photo).

Saturday was the big day, our First Annual Friendship Tournament! For me it started nice and early, I had to be at the Tournament site by 8am to practice the demonstration yet again! I have to say as I drove there, my stomach was in my mouth. I was nervous, and worried... I was starting to feel the pressure about the obstacle course... was it going to work? Would the kids be able to run it trouble free... have fun? Next was the demonstration... I was the only female on the team, would I do the two patterns for the demo error free (I had been messing up the w-shape block in Gae-Bek the night before!!!)? Also there was the self-defence skit at the end of the demo where I the only female was being attacked by three males. Would I be able to do the techniques clearly, and not get caught up in the adrenaline rush? Never mind the fact that this was being done in front of the VIP's (high ranking black belts from the attending schools), my instructor, 136 competitors and who knows how many parents, grandparents, siblings, and spectators! Finally there was the pressure of also competing in individual patterns (which I am not overly fond of the pattern I was competing with), and team patterns (you don't want to mess up and let your team mates down).

The tournament started out the usual way, about 30 minutes late (aka : Taekwon-Do time). All competitors were asked to line up by school, so I rounded up all the 4-6 year olds (the Little Tigers) as I am their instructor and got them lined up, ready for the opening ceremonies. Following the opening ceremonies was ... ack... the Demonstration! Thank goodness... everything went really well! I didn't mess up on any of the patterns, and the self defence demo went really well... I had been told after our morning's practice that during the demo I had to actually make contact... hit my attackers. Well I did, don't worry I didn't hit anyone... just a solid kick here or an elbow there. After we left the floor and the VIP's made a couple of short speeches I quickly went to change into my suit so that I would be ready to run the obstacle course.

The obstacle course went off without a hitch!!! The kids performed well, no one had any problems running the course. One black belt from a visiting school told me the course looked slick, my instructor was happy, and I received positive comments from parents as well. I couldn't be prouder of my students! Once the obstacle course competition was over and cleaned up as I walked around watching competition and helping here and there many people stopped me to either compliment me on the demonstration or the obstacle course. I couldn't of been happier!

Later in the day it was time for me to compete. First up was Black Belt team patterns where me and my three team mates won a silver medal. At this point the plantar flacitis in my right foot had really started to flare up from going around from time to time with no shoes, and the marching during the demo and team patterns. Next up was women's individual patterns and well I wasn't happy with my performance. One round, my feet were a little sweaty and I slipped on the gym floor. My second round, I had an "oh shit moment", I suddenly froze in the middle of my pattern and it took me a moment to remember the next move. So I ended up with a bronze medal in that event.

Well what a day... after cleaning up, and getting the equipment back to the dojang... it was after 5pm. Those of us on the organizing committee went out for a bit of a "de-briefing" drinks to celebrate. I was so tired... despite Todd having some buddies over for UFC 68 (and none too quiet) I was out like a light before midnight.

Today my Mum and I drove down to Cornwall to check out the Quilt Show and vendors at the Quilter's Pleasure Weekend with my friend Chrisanne her mother and daughter. Well we were so impressed with the quilts on display! There were so many of them that were hand quilted! The last show we went to last May in Ottawa there were so many quilts were done by long arm machine quilting all over. Sometimes it works with the quilt pattern... most times it doesn't. At least I've rarely seen it done well. The vendors didn't tempt us at all. We all went out for a nice Lupper (between lunch time and dinner time) and after a visit it was time to go home.

So I guess I can say it was a good weekend.