More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Sunday, May 31, 2009

June Goals and Photo Hunt

Its the end of one month, and tomorrow is the beginning of another. This means its time to review what I had hoped to get done in May and what I hope to accomplish in June (gosh is it June already???? Where has the year gone?).

May Goal Review
Stitch Four Ornaments - Yes, I'm all caught up!
Work On Blackstone Fantasy Garden - Yes, and loving it!
Start & Finish Flip Flops - Yes, but still have to do finishing
Scissor Fob - Decided not to do this.

June Goals
Finish Blackstone Fantasy Garden
Stitch Two Ornaments
Work on Todd's Stocking
Work on Art Deco Spirits (when Todd's home)

How about a Photo Hunt? Its been ages since I've done one of these! Photo Hunt #148 "Bridge"

This is the bridge leading to St. Simon's Island, Georgia. I just love the lines and symmetry of this bridge.

I've had a nice quiet day of stitching, movie watching, and I went for a walk on my treadmill (since I ran yesterday). Unfortunately tomorrow is Monday, back to work and back to the real world (and dealing with my car which as decided that the check engine light needs to be on ... again!)

Ornament, Progress, and Running

First let me update you on my health, and thank you each and every one of you for all your well wishes, positive thoughts, and prayers! They are all appreciated. A coupe of you asked about my blood sugar levels when I had my episode, well they were tested in the ambulance and were normal. Friday was another jam-packed day for me! I had an early appointment with my allergist and I had to get my heart monitor back to the hospital.

While I was at the allergist we talked about what happened, he tested me for all the foods I ate last Sunday. All of them came back negative, I didn't react to a single thing. He is confident that what I have is Exercise Induced Anaphalaxis (yes, folks you can be allergic to exercise, and just my luck, it happens to me!). Often this is related to a particular food that is eaten 3-4 hours before exercise, but like I said I didn't react to any of the foods I was tested for. Now I did eat in a restaurant and you never know what hidden ingredients or additives there are or if there's any cross-contamination.
On a positive note, not one of the three doctors I saw this past week have told me to stop exercising or running. I have been instructed by my allergist to take an anti-histamine the morning of planned exercise. When exercising the moment I feel the hives begin I am to stop and take another ant-histamine. If at any time I have difficulty breathing, I am to use my Epi-Pen and get to the hospital. Yes, this does sound scary and intimidating, but I can't sit around playing the what if game, and never be active again. So yesterday I picked up a waist pack from a running store that will fit my Epi-Pen, anti-histamines, puffer, and cell phone. Today a group of my classmates at Taekwon-Do were doing their black belt physical tests. So I went out to run with them, one person is going for his 3rd degree which is a 10K run (or 25 laps of the track). Seeing as I was in an environment where there were lots of people, I had my pack, and procedures, I did the 10K since that is what I'll be doing when I eventually go for my 3rd degree black belt. I did it in 73 minutes, I'm quite pleased with that. Guess what???? Not a single hive, I was just fine!

I did do some stitching today, but not as much as I would of liked to on a Saturday. I had a nice long sleep-in, I just didn't want to get up today! A visit with my brother, and a run outside on a beautiful day!

First of all I did manage to finish all the cross stitch on Blackstone Fantasy Garden! Yay! This means tomorrow I can get going on all that blackwork (which I'll do backstitch, there really is no need for this to be reversible. Just neat)!
I also took the time this evening to finish up my fourth, and last ornament for May. Yay! Four in one month is a tall order, but on the other hand I'm now all caught up from the last few months where I didn't get two done.

Geometric Blackwork #2
Stitched on : 32ct Lambswool Linen
Stitched with : DMC and Rainbow Galleries Petite Treasure Braid

Thursday, May 28, 2009

All Wired Up!

Yup, that's me not the most flattering shot but you get the point. Until lunchtime tomorrow I'm all wired up with a heart monitor! Poor me, I can't take a shower tomorrow morning, I really count on my shower to wake me up. I guess I'll just need to get myself the biggest steeped tea that a girl can get at Timmies!

Besides going to the hospital to visit the cardiac pulmonary department to get this monitor put on... really its not that bad. I had an appointment with my family doctor, just to update her on what happened to me on Sunday. Poor her! I went in with a notebook full of stuff, there's just so much going on that I needed to write it down to keep it all straight. I let her know about the timeline of events on Sunday, what doctors I have in place, and what they are doing. I didn't want her to get my cardiac results out of the blue! LOL, she'd really wonder what was going on. While I was there I talked to her about my migraines, I've pretty much had the same one every afternoon for the last 2-3 weeks I've given up on drugs they're not working. I also got from her my doctor's note for Weight Watchers stating that I am within an ideal weight range. It's not WW's idea of "goal" but I just don't seem to be able to budge those last 8lbs they want me to shed. I haven't decided if I'll give that to my leader next week or give it just a little longer, but at least I've got it.

Tomorrow morning is my next appointment, this one with my allergist. We'll talk about the potential of this being Exercised Induced Anaphalaxis. Then between 11-1 I have to go back to the hospital to drop off my heart monitor. It'll be a busy day!

When I can I've been stitching and here's where BFG stands, I'm almost done all the cross stitching!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Adventures, Stuff, and Status Quo

I was on the road this weekend, and it was fun to be playing the road warrior again. Its been awhile since I've had a little road trip. This past Friday after work hungry and I got in the car and headed down to St. Lawrence College in Kingston. This was where the Embroiderer's Association of Canada was holding seminar this year. I wasn't going down to attend any classes but to help out my friend Ann who moved her entire shop there on Tuesday to set up as a boutique. Boy at times we were soooo busy that you needed two hands running things. Ann and I had lots of fun, camping out in her motor home in the parking lot at night. Actually we were wayyy too tired to have fun... just sleep! I'm always happy to help out Ann, and I enjoyed myself.

Now onto "Stuff" some of my regular blog readers might remember this post from October 2008. When I got home from Kingston on Sunday I felt good and full of energy, and decided to go outside for a 10K run. It was just too nice to be indoors staring at the wall on a treadmill. Todd wasn't home and my cell phone battery was dead, I left Todd a note and went out. I had done this same run on Wednesday evening so really didn't think twice about doing it. About 20 minutes into my run I started breaking out in hives (again no big deal, I just do that form time to time, sometimes when exercising... sometimes when not. Something we've never been able to pinpoint.). I decided okay better turn around and start walking home. Not too long after this I wasn't feeling great at all, thought maybe I wasn't breathing properly, and decided to sit on some rocks at the end of a driveway (imagine gravel country road, houses aren't on top of each other). This was when I started to realize I was in trouble, I was having trouble seeing, focusing, really even just thinking. What came to my mind was my episode in October, that it was going to happen here on a back road, no one is around, and I don't have me cell phone to call for help.

I think someone must of been watching over me on Sunday, a woman happened to pull into the driveway I was stopped at, to use her cell phone. At least that's what I think remember. I know I wasn't sure if I really saw the car or not, things were bright white. I must of walked around to the driver's side of the car to ask for help to get home. Poor woman, I passed out on her, fell right to the ground! I know she got me in her car, and I was lucid enough to tell her my address and describe my house. She did get me to my house, when she pulled in the drive she asked me if this was my house. I didn't know! Everything was white, with vague shadows, I recall saying to her if its got a reddish roof and a blue car yes. Between the car and my front door I know I passed out at least two more times, maybe three. I know at one point in the driveway I used her cell phone to call Todd, my luck it went to his voicemail. My good Samaritan got me into my house but I couldn't get up the stairs, I know I passed out one more time just sitting on my bottom step. I was having trouble breathing, my lungs were wheezing with each breath. It was after this that I asked her to call me an ambulance. I had no clue when Todd would get my message, and it wasn't fair to ask this lady to get me to the hospital. I found it harder to get lucid than my first episode in October, and at this point felt like I wouldn't stop passing out.

Todd did get my message and got home shortly before the ambulance... if timing had been better I would of had him get me to the hospital. I know when they got there that my blood pressure was very low, I was given oxygen and taken to the hospital.

While at the hospital we went through the same series of questions and an ECG like last time. They did spare me the blood work this time. Once my blood pressure was back to normal and I seemed stable enough (about 10PM, this all happened sometime around 6PM) I was released. I have to say the doctor I saw in the ER was great. I left the hospital with an prescription for an Epi Pen and an inhaler, since we're not sure if the problem is an allergic reaction, or asthma related its safer to have both. Yesterday morning I took a sick day from work and I was very surprised when the phone rang and it was the ER doctor to let me know I had an appointment the next day (today) with an Internalist. Wow! I'm impressed with this doctor!

So the long and the short of it is... my October episode wasn't a fluke, something isn't right. The doctor I saw this morning (the Internalist), is looking into my heart. I was born with a mummer and apparently it can still be heard, so on Thursday I'm being hooked up to a 24-hour heart monitor, later in June I'm going for an Echo cardiogram. Also on Thursday I've got an appointment with my physician to update her on the situation. Friday morning, I've got an appointment with my allergist (I was on the phone a lot on Monday calling my health care team), he possibly suspects "exercised induced anaphalaxis" ... yup its what you think it is "allergic to exercise" google it, it does exist! So hopefully with all these doctors and specialists on my side we can figure out why this has happened to me twice, what I can do to prevent it and still remain active.

Scary eh?

Finally "Status Quo" yup that's what it was at the scale tonight. Still no change in my weight! But then my eating habits were not normal this weekend so I guess I should be happy with that.

Oh yeah, here's Blackstone Fantasy Garden as of bedtime tonight!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Getting Good At...

Maintaining... yup! You guessed it, yet again no movement on the scale! So I guess I'm really good at maintaining my weight when that's not what I'm trying to do. I can't really complain, because it was a long weekend and I wasn't so strict with my food choices, and I hadn't really exercised much in the last week. Oh well, try, try again!

I had a little happy dance yesterday, three of four (in Borg right?)... ornaments that is. Here's another letter from the Red Threads Series.

Letter "C" - Red Threads
c2002 Rosewood Manor
Stitched on : Mystery fabric
Stitched with : Needle Necessities #139

Also here's my progress on Blackstone Fantasy Garden, I'm filling in all the green knotwork right now.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What A Fantastic Day!

My stitching day on Saturday was absolutely fantastic! I spent some time in the morning before my guests showed up getting food ready for the day. Rebbecca was a sweetie and despite this being a break from her kids helped me out. We made salad, cut up fruit and put together the lasagna for dinner. We had this fabulous spread of nibblies for our stitching friends!

Stitchers started arriving shortly after 11am the first to show up was Beth, her husband was a sweetie, arranged a day of golf (despite the rain) so that she could come stitch with us. It has been too long since I've seen Beth, it was so nice to get caught up!

Next in the door was Lynn, another stitching friend I hadn't seen in ages! Sometimes our jobs and our commitments just eat up our social lives. I could tell Lynn certainly needed the girl's only stitchy day! I didn't realize until later in the day how much I had missed Lynn!

The final group to arrive were the furthest out! Kathy, Beatrice and Barb made the 3 hour drive to be here yesterday! Now that's friendship!!!!! Once the last stitchers arrived boy it was loud in here! There was lots of hugs, talking, and showing off! Before we settled in to stitch, we had lunch... no point in getting needle and thread out just to put it away to eat! All afternoon was spent stitching and nibbling... but too quickly 8PM rolled around and slowly my friends had to head back home... except Rebbecca who is still here this morning and will head back to her family later this morning.

Here's where I got to with BFG yesterday.

Ladies, thank you so much for coming out, I had a fantastic day, and making me clean my house!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Long Weekend Ahead!

Yay, as I've said in the past I always look forward to Fridays, especially today! I was at a workshop all day so it was nice to be off-site and learning about Web 2.0 and other library related stuff. Even better? Its the start of a long weekend! Yay!

After my workshop I dropped a bomb at the grocery stores! I am seriously well stocked for the long weekend with healthy snacks ... and a few treats! I also need to have food on hand for my stitching day Saturday! Rebbecca arrived right on time this evening and we got to catch up while I made dinner and the meat sauce for tomorrow's lasagna. The rest of the night what did we do? Well stitch of course!

On BFG I got all the dark green outlining finished. Depending on how lively my guests are tomorrow I may work on the brown outlining or fill in the green areas. Off to bed!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Zero, Zip, Zilch, Nada...

Another crappy week at the scales last night. Despite dropping my points a little (I changed my points profile from spending my work day on my feet to sitting all the time), and working my ass off at Taekwon-Do and some running the scale didn't budge. At this point it just seems so very hard and frustrating because the scale doesn't budge, or budge that much. Also you don't have very many "non-scale victories". These two factors make it hard to feel like I'm experiencing any progress. In the last few months, I've given up or cut down a lot of my favourite treats, I've also pretty much cut out all artificial sweeteners and even these changes haven't made the difference I was hoping for. I guess its time to stop denying myself the things I was enjoying a few short months ago as treats. Also Weight Watchers isn't about denial but moderation and making smart choices. I know I have come so far, and I'm so much better for it. Its just so hard when you have a goal in mind, not far out of sight and no matter how hard you're trying its just as far away.

I've been plugging away at Blackstone Fantasy Garden and still really enjoying putting in the outlines for the knotwork.

Tomorrow after work, I have to clean the house arrrrgh! I've been putting it off all week and now I'm out of time and it has to be done tomorrow!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Two of Four

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mothers out there! What a job you do, one I must say I'm doing my best to avoid!
I have to say I've got the best Mum ever! What makes a Mother the best Mum ever? That after all the trials and tribulations of growing up, that as an adult your Mum is one of your best friends. My Mum and I get along beautifully, we can spend the day together hanging out and we enjoy it, go to concerts and rock out together... we can spend a week together and not kill each other. That's the sign of a great Mum! Thanks for everything and being a great Mum!

Unfortunately we didn't get to have our afternoon at the movies and lunch out. My Mum called this morning, she wasn't feeling that great. Despite being a bit disappointed, I have to say it was nice to roll over and go back to bed! We might try again after work tomorrow.

I did a little bit of domestic goddess stuff, stitched, did a 5K run, and just relaxed!

I started and finished a lovely little blackwork freebie today, it'll be one of my ornaments for this month, the second of four I'd like to get done in May.

Geometric Blackwork #3
Stitched on : Mystery fabric
Stitched with : DMC & Rainbow Galleries Pettite Treasure Braid

Then this afternoon I finally got to pick up, and really enjoy working on Blackstone Fantasy Garden. This piece will now be my focus piece until its finished. I focused on the knotwork outlining today, since I was home alone and could count without interruption. Also next Saturday I'm having a stitching day out at my place and I think I'll be better off filling in than counting.

I am looking forward to my stitching day on Saturday! I've got Rebbecca, Lynn, Kathy, Beatrice, Beth and hopefully Christin (she's got a picture of me from our pool day yesterday... click on it for a bigger pic) coming out. I don't often have stitchy days because I don't seem to be able to find stitchers in my area that are interested in this sort of thing. So I was very lucky that my friends from outside of the Ottawa area are all free on the same day to come and stitch with me. So often I'm the one to do the travelling. I guess I should start cleaning the house right???

Fun Happy Dance

Its been a busy couple of days for me with friends, comings and goings, and appointments. I've managed to grab what stitching time I could between my appointments, Takewon-Do and visiting with friends! Besides Monday's dinner with Kathy, Christin stayed for a sleep over Friday night after grocery shopping and dinner. We both spent the evening and part of this morning stitching. This afternoon we drove out to the other side of the city to meet a bunch of Christin's co-workers (and some of my past co-workers) for some pool followed by pizza. I had a great time, the group was an eclectic mix and everyone got along beautifully. Oh boy, that pizza was fantastic! I had been looking forward to that for ages! This week I had appointments with the massage therapist and the chiropractor... the back should be good for another month! I also made it into TKD three times this week! I've not trained this much in ages, especially during sparring week, because I always get my butt handed to me on a platter! LOL.

Tonight when I got home I was able to wrap up the project I had started last weekend. It is cute, colourful, and fun to stitch. This will be finished into a pillow for a friend of mine who loves to wear flip flops and I'm sure needs a bit of a care package!

Jelly Mini Block Flip Flops
c Hinzeit
Stitched on : 28ct Opalescent Lugana
Stitched with : DMC, GAST & WDW

Tomorrow is Mother's Day, I won't be doing a lot of stitching. I'm going to pick my Mum up and we're going to go see Star Trek and go out for lunch! I can't wait to see the new movie, its gotten nothing but good reviews. Maybe if I have some stitching time I'll start another ornament for this month.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Just a quick post, I was up 0.5lbs this week. Really not that bad considering all my little indiscretions the past week.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Most Gorgeous Gift!

Today I met up with Kathy, she's doing a quick flying visit to Ottawa and managed to find some time to meet me for dinner after work today. We first did a little shopping in Michaels and Chapters before heading to the restaurant to eat (I was hungry!). We had a great visit and it was so nice to catch up and talk about... yup ... stitching! It wasn't a long enough visit, but I was so happy to have some time with her.

Kathy gave me the most gorgeous gift! She presented me with a blanket done in huckweaving! It is oh so gorgeous and all mine. Any of my good friends know I'm a blanket fiend! If you are in my living room, there's a quilt or blanket on every couch/chair to cuddle up in. I often travel with one of my quilts made by my Mum. I even used to get in trouble from my Dad when I was young and I'd settle in the living room with my blankie and watch TV! Its a habit as an adult that I haven't given up and have no desire to!

I had a great weekend, Saturday Christin and I met up to go to the movies. I don't go too often, it has to be something I really want to see for me to go. So we met up bright and early to see the new X-Men movie, it was awesome. I'm looking forward to the new Star Trek movie this upcoming weekend, I hope I can find the time to go see it! After the movie I came back home and did the finishing on my two recent ornament finishes. That evening I started a new project, but I'll save that for another post this week... there's not much to see on the new project just yet.

Tomorrow is weigh in day! Once again, I'm not sure how I did... food has certainly been a challenge for me lately. I've had a few things this week that won't help me at the scale, dinner out on Friday with Christin (as we do every Friday) but I was good. Saturday I had quite a few points leftover (I was so good and didn't have a single treat at the movies), so Todd and I went to DQ... I always crave soft serve at this time of year! Then on Sunday was Todd's Grandmother's birthday so there were hamburgers, cake, and ice cream! Of course I couldn't turn any of it down, but did my best to be sensible and not have seconds. Finally there was tonight's dinner out but I was VERY good, I had a Strawberry Mandarin salad with grilled chicken. Check in with me tomorrow night (or Wednesday night at the latest) to see how I did at the scale!

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Master Plan...

Most years when I stitch my ornaments for the year, I don't have a plan. I just go through my magazines, patterns, and freebies and stitch whatever catches my fancy. I don't have anyone in mind at first but often my ornaments find the right home as Christmas presents. This year I have hatched a master plan for the ladies in the office, because every year I give them each a stitched Christmas ornament. I have decided that this year they're each going to get their first initial, stitched using the alphabet from Rosewood Manor's Red threads using some sort of festive colour.

Here's my first one

Letter P - Red Threads
c2002 Rosewood Manor
Stitched on :32ct Queen Ann's Lace Joblean
Stitched with : DMC 302

Seeing that its the first of May I suppose I should review my April goals and set new ones for May.

April Re-cap
Finish Top Secret Project - Yes! Finally!
Stitch Three Ornaments - Got one done
Work on Paradigm Lost - FINISHED!!!
Stitch Fair & Square Round 12 - Yes

May Goals
Stitch Four Ornaments
Work On Blackstone Fantasy Garden
Start & Finish Flip Flops
Scissor Fob

Ornament Stitching

Before I get going on my next project, I have a little bit of ornament stitching to get caught up on. I finished my first one tonight, and got a start on my next one. I've got three to do, to get caught up from March and April (since today is the last day of the month).

Red Threads Motif
c Rosewood Manor
Stitched on : 32ct Queen Ann's Lace Joblean
Stitched with : GAST Limited Edition

I'm looking forward to my next start, its colourful, cute, and should be fun.