More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My New Start

I know, I know, I promised all of you a picture of my new start for yesterday and well I never blogged. I was tired, I had driven home in a bad snow storm, cranky and headachy. Thus no blog entry.

So as promised, here it is my new start and a gift for a friend of mine : Macdonald Maple leaf by Lynne Nicoletti. I'm stitching it on 28ct white evenweave using DMC, I am quite enjoying it so far.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Great News!

Today I went in for my fourth Prolotherapy Treatment (aka : 4 injections in my right foot) I've been getting these every couple of months since June of last year. This was one of two last ditch efforts to deal with the torn ligaments in my foot. When I saw the doctor I told him how well I was doing, and how my foot has been pain free since I last saw him in November. I can say he was quite smug that the therapy has worked (now I don't know how much of it was Prolotherapy and how much of it is weight loss). He told me right then and there that he wasn't going to give me the injections today, also that if I was still pain free in March to cancel my next appointment and consider us done! Oh happy day!

On the frustrating side, the scale didn't move for me again tonight! This means, in January I lost a grand total of 0.5 lbs, probably my lowest monthly total since I started Weight Watchers. I had a little heart to heart with the receptionist after my meeting. She scolded me for being too focused on the numbers, and she's right! I've had tunnel vision lately all I can see at the end is that 14lbs I have left to loose. So I'm going to try to let it go... the number that is, not the plan. I'm also going back to basics, what I practiced for the first months. All my treats are gone, I finished off the last of my Cadbury Thins and my favourite cookies on Saturday. So my home has been treat free since Sunday. I'm also making an effort to get in some sort of activity each day. I'm hoping these steps will kick start my losses again.

Tonight I started the stitched gift for my friend (ha, ha, ha... I haven't said who have I???). I'll have a progress picture for you tomorrow.

Sorry no pictures tonight, its just too late!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Photo Hunt #141 - Wide

I have worked a little bit more on that big motif on Paradigm Lost this evening, but again not enough to bother taking a picture. So instead I'll bedazzle you with another Photo Hunt.

Here's Photo Hunt #141 - Wide

Boy... the St. Lawrence River is wide! And yes that's Todd off to the right. I've even driven over that bridge to go to the US!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend Stitching Update

Oh the agony! The weekend is over. We had a nice quiet weekend here. Todd played video games, and I stitched... oh and made soup! I made great progress on Paradigm Lost.

Soon I'm going to have to put PL away again for awhile. I've got a gift I want to stitch up for a friend of mine. I'll be showing my progress as I don't intend it to be a top secret gift. Also I just found out my best friend Claire is pregnant! Yup, so since I stitched her wedding sampler (Teresa Wentzler's) its my job to stitch her baby sampler too (TW's again)! So I'll be showing these two projects off in the near future.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Photo Hunt #140 Favorite

No stitching to really show, nothing exciting to talk about... so how about a PhotoHunt instead?

Here's #140 - Favorite

This is a pic from one of my favourite concerts of all times! I had an awesome time at the Foo Fighters in March of 2008. I think it would be so cool to someday be a photographer at concerts, wow the shots and moments you could capture!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It Moved! It Moved!

Wow, its been days and days since I last blogged! I had every intention to blog frequently this year, maybe not daily but several times a week. My last entry was well before the weekend. I had a lovely weekend out at Ann and Dan's, but then it aways is a lovely weekend when I'm visiting my good friends. I'm not sure why I hadn't blogged in so long, just didn't feel like it I suppose.

I arrived Friday night (it was cold!) to warm lights and a roaring fire. Of course it wasn't long before the stitching was pulled out! I worked away on my exchange piece, and Ann worked on her Fairies in the Garden. Saturday it started to warm up outside but Ann and I didn't venture far! We settled in front of the wood stove to stitch! In the afternoon Beatrice joined us for short while, it was so nice to see her! Sunday morning we woke up to big, fluffy snowflakes falling pretty heavily and it kept doing so until mid-afternoon, where it changed to a lighter snow. At lunch time we were joined by a lovely group for lunch and stitching. I got to see Beatrice, Adriana, Sharon and Sharon, and Judie... we received regrets from Barb and Wendy they just couldn't make it out due to the road conditions. Lunch was delicious and it so wonderful to see the ladies!!! I am so looking forward to my next visit which will be the weekend of March 7th for Ann's Nashville Open house.

After I finished my exchange piece on Sunday morning, I pulled out Blackstone Fantasy Garden for my Sunday on this piece for the month. It was such a joy to work on this all day and wish I didn't have to put it away. I've worked a little bit on Paradigm Lost since then but not enough to show it off tonight.

Now onto the moving, finally tonight the scale moved for me tonight! Even better, the scale moved down! The last time the scale budged was on December 30th, and I was starting to despair when for the last few weeks the scale hadn't moved for me. It was to the point where I would of been happy to see even an upwards move, just to see the darned thing change!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

All Booked!

Yay! I booked my flight for my March Break trip tonight! So I'll be in Jacksonville, FLA (many of you have asked ... thanks and I hope I do get the opportunity to meet some of the FLA stitching bloggers) March 14-20. So now its a matter of surfing the net (which I've spent all night doing) and deciding where I want to go and what I want to do on my first trip to Florida. If anyone has ideas of cool places I can take pictures in/near Jacksonville I'm happy to hear your suggestions!

Since I've spent so much time online, I've barely stitched yet again! Which means that exchange is still not close to being finished! Thank goodness I'm heading down to Brighton and Ann's this weekend. I'll get lots of stitching in for sure! I should be able to finish my exchange and hopefully move back to Paradigm Lost.

I'm in a better mental space today. I didn't blow my food, like I did yesterday and I went and spent an hour and a half at the gym. Hopefully I'll shake this no change at the scale. That or I might shiver off this weight, its been so FREAKIN' cold! Tonight its -31c before the wind chill! Its been sub-Arctic since Tuesday night, and sounds like it'll be this way until next week. I hope my car makes it through this cold snap!

Here's Photo Hunt #139 - Breakfast

This is my good friend Beatrice, at breakfast during the Knowledge and Needles Timberhouse Retreat (Ann's hosting another one in March!). A good time was had by all!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Hmmm well, the scale didn't budge at all for me this week! Argh! Not even a point of a pound, how frustrating! This is two weeks in a row now that the scale hasn't budged, I've not lost any weight since December 30th. Aargh, and double argh!!! Which depending on the day affects my resolve and determination. I was weak tonight, I didn't make it to the gym and boy did I have chocolate. Triple Argh! I think January, mentally is a really tough month for me and I don't know why. I have to push myself to go work out, push myself to make the right food choices.

I just have to just push through this.

To liven things up.... how about a Photo Hunt? This is number 138 - Metal

This is a cast iron fence (I think these are pretty cool) around a monument in Old Montreal

Monday, January 12, 2009

Florida Here I Come!!!!

Well, not just yet! I just got the word from my best friend Claire that it was okay for me to visit during my March Break and Todd has given me the all clear, he'll pay for my plane ticket for my Birthday (in March)! I've been feeling the need to get away, far, far away! This happens every few years I am desperate to go away for March Break to somewhere at least slightly warmer than the great north!

Claire and I have been best friends since grade 10, we took driver's ed together, double dated, and got up to all kinds of teenage no-good together! I haven't seen Claire since she got married in June of 2005. Over the years she has slowly moved further and further south. First it was Myrtle Beach, then Knoxville, then Chattanooga, and now Florida! I have to say that with each move she has made I've gotten to see a little bit more of the US. This will be my first trip to the great (and much warmer ) state of FLA! Now I'll be perusing the web looking for the best flights and prices.

I found out today that Stephanie has received the squares I sent her for round 10 of Fair & Square. I sent them late then she was out of the country, so it took awhile.

Merry 2008
c2008 Glory Bee
2008 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue
Stitched on : 32ct Natural linen
Stitched with : DMC cotton

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stitching With Kathy

I had a lovely afternoon today with Kathy! We had an afternoon of chatting and stitching that as usual seemed all too short. Once Kathy got settled in we both decided it would be a great day to work on our 2009 projects, a Mirabilia. I really enjoyed working on Art Deco Spirits today, and here's my progress.

Now, for another Photo Hunt! This one is #137 - Reflection

Taken on my trip the Adirondacks in New York State, my Mum and I stopped at this little gravel parking lot to check out this river. The water was calm, and I got the perfect refection of this fallen tree in the water.
Now that the weekend is over I'll be counting the days to next weekend when I'm off to see another dear friend of mine, Ann and to work in her shop, Knowledge and Needles on Saturday.
I also want to say Happy Birthday to my Mum!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Its Been A Week

Boy, its been a long, hard week. I suppose the fist week back to work after a nice long holiday always is. My mild cold stayed that way all week long, it didn't get any worse but it sure lowered my defences so to speak. I was tired all week and between being tired and sick I really had to push myself to work out. I also had to fight my cravings tooth and nail! I don't think I've had such a hard time with cravings in months. Of course I wanted all the things that aren't the best for a girl on Weight Watchers. If there hadn't been a snow storm on Wednesday I most surely would of brought a VERY big pizza home from my favourite place which is just down the street from work. One night, I even dreamt of having a Big Mac! I've not been near the Golden Arches in almost a year now. One thing I do know, I ate a lot more chocolate than I normally will in a week (can you believe I can give up alcohol but not chocolate???).

I've not stitched much at all this week and I really need to get moving with my exchange piece! So that doesn't help matters at all. Also the fact that I'm just not into it! At least I'll get a nice afternoon of stitching in tomorrow... Kathy is coming for a visit! Yay! I can't wait. I've not seen Kathy since October and after tomorrow I won't be seeing her again until at least May.

Speaking of friends I can now also look forward to next weekend! I'm going to be heading down to Brighton after work on Friday (weather permitting of course) to visit with Ann and Dan. Ann has asked me to run the shop... Knowledge and Needles on Saturday (so ignore the notice on her webpage that she's closed)! How fun! Hopefully a customer or two will pop in so I can try my skills at needlework shop employee.

Finally, no post is complete without a picture right? So here's another older Photo Hunt. Photo Hunt #136 - Ruin(ed)

This is the ruin (ha ha see how I interpret this?) of Yuma Prison in Arizona. In honour of Kathy's visit since this is where she spends her winters.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Photo Hunt #135 "Together"

Still no new stitching to show, so I'll share another photo with you instead.

This is Photo Hunt #135 "Together" -- Paddy and Mollie Ann's dogs, cowering together on the couch during a particularly active thunder storm.

Well the snow storm did keep me away from the gym tonight (the gym bag will go back in the car tomorrow morning). I was actually feeling pretty tired, still with a bit of a cold, and a little sore from working out the last two nights. So I had a nap, made dinner, and spent the rest of my evening stitching. I finished the first part of the exchange I'm working on and now onto the next item for the exchange.

The weekend is getting closer! I'm looking forward to it, I get to see Kathy on Sunday!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Smalls Exchange Received

Back in the fall I signed up for the smalls exchange my partner was Monique. In this exchange we had to stitch and make a small in our partner's favourite colour. Monique told me it was pink! So I proceeded to stitch up this nice little biscornu for her!

Christmas Delights
c Janice Hubble The Cat's Whiskers
December 2007 Gift of Stitching Magazine
Stitched on : 28ct Raspberry Joblean
Stitched with : DMC cotton

I'm still working away on my exchange piece. I've finished off the cross stitching on the first piece and will hopefully put it togheter tomorrwo. Then I'll start the next piece to go with it.

Well I've still got my cold, I'm either stuffy or I've got the sniffles. I'm not feeling too bad though. I wasn't surprised at tonight's weigh in, my weight stayed the same this past week. I couldn't expect any more than that with taking a week off from exercising. But as you know I've been right back at it. Tonight I spent two hours at the dojang, I did a one hour TKD class followed by a 50 minut Cardio TaeBox class. Tomorrow, its back to the gym... weather permitting we've got a snow storm coming overnight.

I guess I confused a lot of people saying yesterday's photo was a tulip. Well honestly it was! I was so taken by the face and the contours tha artist had put into the tulip, that I never took a picutre of the whole thing! Otherwise I would share that with you today.

Monday, January 05, 2009

I Survived... But I'd Rather Be Retired!

I've made it! I've survived the first day back to work, a first day for many of us and a day the world came awake again. I think so many of us were off over the two week span of Christmas. Not only did I survive, I made it to the gym and had a real good sweat! LOL I wouldn't of wanted to give me a hug after I was done! Now the downside, or maybe its the upside I've got a very slight cold. Upside because at least it waited until the holidays were over. Downside, who wants to be sick? Hopefully I sweated enough of it out tonight.
Tomorrow its weigh in day, Taekwon-Do and Cardio Taebox!

Now since I'm still stitching top secret stuff... another PhotoHunt (boy I'm spoiling you guys lately!). Photo Hunt #134 - Blue

This is one of many tulips decorated by local artists and celebrities for the Annual Tulip Festival in Ottawa. I quite fell in love with this one, it was very striking! By the way, blue is my favourite colour (if you hadn't already figured that out)!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

But I Don't Wanna...

This is it, the end of my Christmas holidays! Tomorrow morning I have to get up bright and early to be back at work. This also means back to the gym! I've got my gym bag packed with my new running shoes. Though I did nothing exciting over my two weeks off, I did enjoy the quiet time.

I have no stitching pictures to share today, I started an exchange piece so I can't share it.

Instead, here's Photo Hunt #133 - Scary. I think it would be scary to fall into this rushing water!

The Halfway Point

This morning when I woke up I forgot one of my New Year's rituals! It was time for out with the old... emptying the ort jar that is! Lots of pretty colours in there from 2008 eh? I decided that this year I'd have a bigger and better ort jar! This is the vase that Todd sent me flowers in for our anniversary. Let's see how full it'll be at the end of 2009!

I set myself one little goal for my Christmas break (please I don't want to go back on Monday!), to work on Paradigm Lost, to hopefully get to the half way point. Tonight, I managed to do that! I've now stitched pages 1-6, only 7-12 left to go! I'll break from PL for a little bit to stitch up an exchange piece that I'd like to get sent out shortly.

After hitting the 1/2 way mark tonight I pulled out a quick little stitch! This finished up very quickly and is cute, my floss colour is a little wacky but I like it.
c2008 Tanya Marie Anerderson/The Sampler Girl
Stitched on : 30ct Lakeside Linen Coconut Macaroon
Stitched with : WDW Noel

Now how about a PhotoHunt, I really mean to do these things on a regular basis, then I get lazy! Here's #132 : Family

This is Todd and I from Thanksgiving 2007 (can you tell? I'm fat!) on the 1000 Islands Boat Cruise, we had a wonderful weekend! Family is a strange thing for me, my parents are immigrants so all I have here in Canada are my folks, siblings, niece and nephew. I now have an extended family through Todd. We aren't a close knit family that makes a big deal out of holidays and birthdays, rarely are we all together and when we do there's always some kind of tension. I love my family, but I don't like to see them too much (except my parents). Todd really is the closest person to me besides my Mum who calls me almost daily LOL (and only lives 15 minutes away!).

Saturday, January 03, 2009

January Goals & December Review

I want to say thank you so much for all the awesome comments you have been leaving! What a boost to a girl's ego! Now onto a purely stitchy post!

December Goals
Stitch Ornaments - yes, lots of them!
Stitch Stitching Bloggers Birthday Exchange Gift - Ummm nope rolled over to January
Work on Paradigm Lost - yes almost 1/2 way finished
Work on Blackstone Fantasy Garden - nope

January Goals
Stitch Stitching Bloggers Birthday Exchange Gift
Get upto page 9 on Paradigm Lost
Stitch 2 ornaments
Stitch on top secret item
Spend a Sunday working on Blackstone Fantasy Garden
Spend a Sunday working on Art Deco Spirits
I'm still plugging away at Paradigm Lost... I've got until midnight Sunday to finish page 6, the goal I set myself for my Christmas holidays.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2008 - The Year in Review

I've kinda been writing this post in my head for quite a few days now. So let's see how this comes out through the keyboard.

Happy 2009 fellow bloggers, stitchers, photographers, martial artists, readers and more! Its not too often I sit around, looking forward to a New Year, and looking back at the previous year with pride. I do believe I can look back on 2008 with pride! Its been a year full of challenges, changes, victories, accomplishments, stitching, family and friends new and old. I hope many of you are looking back at the last year in the same way. Looking at what you've done that was worth celebrating, what challenged you, and what made you stronger, happier, more complete.

I entered 2008 with not a great outlook on life. My right foot was still a mess from my injury in May of 2007. It was still causing me pain, it kept me away from one of my passions (Taekwon-Do), it held me back, and it helped (but wasn't the only cause) to contribute towards my soaring weight. By February I finally got some testing done, where it was discovered I had not only partially torn my plantar fascia but done some damage to the 3rd and 4th metatarsals. By late spring I started an experimental treatment called prolotherapy, a number of rather uncomfortable injections to the foot every six weeks for a total of six treatments. I still have 2-3 treatments to go in 2009, but I do believe its working and has been worth the cost.

At the end of February I took a huge step in my life, it was time to deal with my weight. Something many of us know about all too well, the constant battle with our weight, food, and the image media forces upon us of what is normal and what is right and what is pretty. I had actually started lamenting to myself and a few people around me about my weight in 2007, and I knew it was time to do something. In January I knew what I needed to do, to go to Weight Watchers. I had to admit this was something I was unable to do alone, that yes, I needed help. It took me until the last week of February/first week of March to come up with the guts to do it, to walk into a Weight Watchers meeting. At first I didn't know what to expect, and was self conscience of how the people at the meeting saw me, saw how big I was, saw how weak I was because I couldn't loose weight on my own. Since my first meeting, I rarely miss one, if I do I try to go to another one in my area, and if I can't make that I always get into a Weight Watchers Center to weigh in. I've met a great group of ladies (and our token male), who have been so supportive in my journey. I've also had a world of support from my parents, my partner, my friends and all of you! Your support has meant the world to me! (pssst those jeans in the pic are my new size 8's!)

In these 9 months at Weight Watchers I have : lost 55.5 lbs (with 14.5 left to loose), I've gone from almost a size 20 to a size 10/8, I started running, went back to Taekwon-Do and joined the gym! Loosing weight has left me feeling great (I used to feel blah all the time!), empowered, looking good, brought back old joys, and opened up new activities/opportunities!

During May and June I went back to College and took an introductory Digital Photography course. Wow did that open up a new world for me and unleashed another side of my creativity! I learnt how to use the Digital SLR camera I got in the New Year properly. I also met some pretty neat people as well. It was exhausting, being in class 6 hours a week at night but well worth it!

Throughout the spring, summer and fall months I told you all about my various adventures and road trips! I got in a lot of visiting with my friends who live within a few hours drive. I attended several stitching retreats, which I enjoy a lot. I also went on a great little roat trip to the Adirondacks with my Mum where I managed to take some great photographs! Oh and concerts too!

Then there's the stitching! Where would my life be without my obsession, my favourite hobby? I've made so many great friends both in person and online through stitching. I started this blog just to chronicle/show off my stitching. It has since turned into so much more! In 2008 I finished a total of 59 projects! I tried to make it 60 but the clock beat me to midnight and I didn't get that last project finished in time. I left 2008 with 4 unfinished projects which will continue to be WIPs in 2009.

So what's in store for 2009 you may ask? Who knows what adventures may come my way?
However I do know what I'd like to accomplish!
  • Reach my goal weight, with a total of 70lbs lost
  • Renew my gym membership by January
  • Get my 3rd Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-Do
  • Participate in Run For the Cure
  • Finish any WIPs left from 2008
I enter 2009 with Paradigm Lost, Tour Des Marques, Blackstone Fantasy Garden and Todd's Christmas Stocking in my stitching basket. As usual each New Year's Day I start a new project with some of my stitching friends (last year it was Moonlight Guardian), this year we've all picked various Mirabilias. A blog has been started up for us Mira. stitchers to track our progress as we go along with this SAL.

Today I started Art Deco Spirits after a small Happy Dance which I had planned as #60 for 2008 but it has turned into #1 for 2009 ... and my first ornament! As you can see I have an affinity for black cats!
Snow Gazing
c2005 Paw Printings
Stitched on : 32ct Misty Blue Belfast Linen
Stitched with : DMC cotton

I hope you all have a happy and stitchy filled 2009! And follow your dreams!