More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Whole Lot of BS Around Here!

Yesterday I got a wonderful surprise in the mail!  I had won a giveaway on Staci's blog, a fantastic pair of scissors!  They will certainly get put to good use!

I've been working on Celestial Dragon when I can and I'm now backstitching (BSing) the knotwork in the last corner.  Hopefully tomorrow I can move onto the last Chinese character : Virtue.  I was asked what was the last character I finished, and that was Wisdom.  I can't believe I'm almost done the border and can't wait to move onto the dragon!

This Saturday the Cataraqui Guild in Kingston is having a merchant's market!  I'll be there on Saturday helping out at the Knowledge and Needles booth .  So if you're in the area stop by (starting at 10am), say hi and buy some stash!  There will be all kinds of fiberarts vendors there, they also provide a very nice lunch for the price of admission.  The merchant market is being held at : Crossroads Church, 690 Sir John A., Kingston, Ontario.  I'm also looking forward to getting together with Christin, Rebecca and Bonnie and I'm sure I'll see some more of my stitching friends as well!

Another exciting stitching event coming up is next weekend (May 7/8/9) is a weekend of stitching at my place!  The stitching starts Friday evening and goes through to Sunday ... I know, not the best weekend as Sunday is Mother's Day but I didn't pay attention to that when the invite went out, and Todd is off fishing as its opening weekend!  The ideal weekend to have wayyy too much estrogen in this house!  So this is an open invite, get in touch if you're in the Valley and would like to come and stitch!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Family & Stitching

Today we celebrated Todd's Grandmother's 80th birthday.  We wrapped up the day with family photos... I really wish I had thought to bring my good camera.  I took my point and shoot with me, and boy can you tell from the quality of the pictures!!!

The whole family from Todd's Great Grandmother at the age of 97, to the youngest in the family, Liam who is 16 months.

Me, Todd, his Mom, Dad, Sister and partner Mark

Us "kids"

Me and Todd (its rare I can get him to take a picture)

Here's my Celestial Dragon progress at the end of the weekend, the end of the border is in sight!

Stitching By Myself

Friday after work I was supposed to pop down to Rebecca's place in my car to visit and stitch with her this weekend.  Unfortunately my car was making a rather unfriendly noise and Todd felt it wasn't best for me to make the 2 hour drive.  We think the bearing on the driver's side needs replacing, the car is going into the shop on Tuesday.  So I've been stitching by myself today.

Here's where Celestial Dragon was as of Friday night, I'll update you with my weekend progress Sunday night.

I did finish the bottom right corner during the week here's a close-up

Since I was home for the weekend Todd and I went to discover another trail, this time to the Malborough Forest.  The hour we spent hiking in there, I didn't come across anything scenic.  But I did come across an old rusted vehicle I thought was interesting.

The coolest thing,  was despite all the rust the handle for the trunk was still nice n' shiny!  Todd says it is made of real chrome.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wonderful Surprise!

Today I received a lovely surprise when I picked up the mail!  There was this little, squishy envelope.  At first I was puzzled, I wasn't expecting anything, let alone something squishy!  Then I saw on the back it was from Julie in the UK.  Could it be?  Am I this lucky?


I want everyone to say hello to Matilda!  She came all the way across the pond to live here in Canada with me, Todd, Cuddles and Hunter.

As you can see, she and Hungry are already on friendly terms!

Thank you Julie for such a wonderful surprise!  I love her!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Its Been A Long Week

This week was a write-off activity wise, I've not gone to the gym, Taekwon-Do, for a run or even a walk this week.  My cold kinda knocked me on my ass for a few days.  I finally had to take a sick day on Tuesday, as I didn't have a voice by the end of the work day Monday.  I am feeling better but I'm still tired, instead of wearing myself down further I'm giving my body time to get better.  There's been some early nights for me.

What has this mean for my battle with those extra pounds I've been struggling with over the last month?  I had figured last week had been a write off, I had eaten out Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.  Once again my body surprised me, and I lost a pound!  Since I'm not being active this week I've been very mindful of what I've been eating, and hopefully it'll pay off at my next weigh in.

I have done some stitching this week, but not a lot.  Here's where Celestial Dragon stood at bedtime last night.

Close-Up Detail of Longevity (top right corner)

Despite my cold there is another reason why I haven't been stitching much!  This is the reason :

I treated myself to an iPhone!  What a fun, and wonderful toy!!!  I'm in love, its almost better than a man!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"N" is for Nickleback

Its sad to admit it, but after Sunday night Christin and I don't have any more concernts lined up (at the moment).  My regular readers know that I LOVE rock concerts!!!!

Sunday night despite my cold, we went to the Nickleback concert.  I took drugs before hand... don't worry the legal, over the counter kind.  I can assure you I smelt plenty of the illegal stuff that night!  It was really slow to get into the Scotiabank Place that night, as they were frisking people as they entered, I don't know whose idea it was but the side we entered on, they only had two guys doing the frisking.  Hello, 16,000 fans coming in you'd think you'd need a few more guys for frisking.  They weren't even the good looking kind that you don't mind having thier hands on you.  I'm glad we got there at about 5:30, the show was supposed to start at 6:30, the first opening band actually hit the stage at 6:15.  Friends of mine didn't get in until the second opening act becuase of the backlog to get in the door.

The first opening band was Sickpuppies, they were ... sick!  I really enjoyed them!

This chick is the base player for Sickpuppies, if I could imagine myself as a rocker, it would be this girl rocking it out with a base guitar!

The second opening band was Shinedown, what great entertainers, I really enjoyed them too, I'll be downloading some of their stuff in the near future.

The lead signer of Shinedown was a great entertainer

The third opening act was Breaking Benjamin, I was looking forward to them as I had seen them open for another group in the past and had really enjoyed them.  Sadly, their sound was so badly mixed, the base and drums were unbearable even with earplugs in!  Such a shame.

Finally, it was time for Nickleback if you like rock music, and you like Nickleback I HIGHLY reccomend one of their shows.  They are fantastic entertainers!  They put on a good show, and they put on a very big show!  They had 6 transport trucks for their set, the stage was huge with an extention that came out into the audinece.  Big screens, big lights and in usual Nickleback style, LOTS of pyro!  I'll let the pictures do the talking!

Yesterday I got a lovely parcel in the mail!  A belated birthday gift from my dear friend Kathy!  She stitched up this GORGEOUS needle book for me!  I'm sure she had shown me her start on this back in March when we met for dinner.  You naughty girl, practically waving my b-day gift under my nose, and me being none he wiser!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Have You Seen My WW Mojo???

If you're a long time reader of mine, then you know that I used to be overweight and over the last two years I've lost just over 60lbs through Weight Watchers meetings.  For two years I had this drive/focus/determination to loose my weight and be healthy!  I did just that, I lost my weight a few pounds at a time and slowly I became a more active person, overcoming a lot of my old obstacles/metal roadblocks.

In the last six weeks I have struggled, oh boy I have struggled!  I've become frustrated and just disgusted with myself.  While I was away in the D.R. I put on 2.5lbs (food choices most of the time were beyond my control, but portions were), while the other ladies I went with lost 3-4lbs each!  How frustrating!  I put it down to my body turning the carbs we ate (it was a very high carb diet) right to fat.  Then when I returned I tried to eat properly and be active, but I ran into another roadblock where I just can't easily control myself and what I eat, that's the Knowledge and Needles retreat.  I put on another 2.5 lbs that week, boy my new jeans, I could barely do them up after that!  Next was the week of my brithday, again more lack of control more bad choices. 

So I went from 146 on March 3rd before my trip (perfect, my goal weight is 145)
I guestimated 147 on March 9th since I was unable to weigh myself
When I got back 148.5 on March 16 prior to tretreat
Then up again to 151 on March 23 after tretreat but before my b-day
I dropped 2 lbs to 149 on March 30th after my b-day (not bad)
After Easter, this Tuesday 0lbs stayed at 149 (not a gain so can't really complain)
For April 13th I don't have high hopes the way this week has gone the best I can hope for is another 0

So as you can see the numbers aren't going the way I wish they would.

All of this really is my fault, I'm not stopping myself when I know I should, at times not tracking so accurately, sometimes "creatively".  My brain knows its all a matter of smart choices, portion control, weighing and measuring, proper tracking and moving more.  Somehow I just can't do this 100% lately.  I feel bloated and gross (I know should I really complain I'm still way ahead of where I used to be, but I'm not where I want to bed), my pants are tight, and I don't like that feeling, its this constant reminder that I'm not currently at the right weight.

So I've been waking up each day with the resolve to start fresh, to get back on track and to have a 100% on program day.  A few days each week I have been able to do that, eat right, track right, and move more.  On the other hand there seems to be more days were I slip up and loose that control for a little while and eat something I didn't intend to, but then not have just one, but two or three.  So I know what I need to work on, I know how to loose weight.  I just have to push through, find my WW Mojo and get back to goal before April is out!

My home is always set up to be the right environment for me and food, there are no temptations in the house, no sweets (my weakness), I do have acceptable point-friendly sweet things in the house, just not my "red light foods" (foods that once you start eating you can't stop until its gone).  I have a great 3km circuit I can run during fair weather, and a treadmill in the basement for poor weather.  So there are really no excuses, its all up to me.

I just had to get this all down and out there.  Hopefully clearing the air will help me get focused this weekend and continue my next week in the right direction.  I want feel good about myself, my body and get that scale going in the right direction!

So after my whining, complaining and beating myself over the head, would you like to see some stitching????  I have been working on my focus project this week, Teresa Wentzler's Celestial Dragon and its moving along nicely!  I finished the top left hand corner and have moved onto the top right hand corner.  If all goes well maybe I'll be moving onto the bottom corners early next week.
Celestial Dragon

Happiness Corner (Chinese charachters are stitched over one)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A Spring-y Small

Happy Easter to all my blog readers!

It was another gorgeous day here in the Ottawa Valley, so Todd and I took full advantage of that going for a 9k walk on the Trans-Canada Trail.  We're very lucky in that its not too far from our home (just a 5 minute drive), but its somethign we don't take advantage of.  Today we did, and walked one section of the trail 4.5k in one direction then 4.5k back, it was fantastic 2 hours in the great outdoors!

Here are a few shots from our walk

a mallard and his mate

another great old barn

Last night I started this little freebie and finished it up today.  I was going to finish it as a biscornu, but when I matched up the back to the front... guess what I hadn't stitched the border for the backing big enogh.  Too tired to try again, I pulled out the sewing machine and made up this little pillow, filled with crushed walnut shells.

Dragonfly Free-bee
Stitched on : 32ct Queen Ann's Lace Joblean
Stitched with : DMC

Dominican Experience Day 6 & 7

Friday March 12, 2010

Today was our true "fun in the sun" day!  Our Dominican families packed a lunch for us, we hopped on Wally's bus and we went to a public beach one used by the Dominicans not owned by a resort.  It was absolutely gorgeous!  White sandy beaches, azure waters, and palm trees.  There was a fantastic sea breeze, we never felt too hot!  The water was just pefrect, not cold but not hot.  We were told not to go out too far as there were poisonous sea urchins.  I also noticed there was a pretty strong undertow.

I'm going to let the photos do the talking, these pictures were taken by one of the other adults on the trip as I didn't want to take my good camera to the beach... having to pay a fortune to get sand cleaned out of it!

Sitting at the water's edge with the kids (I'm in the one not in a bikini)

Enjoying the gorgeous water!

One of the beach vendors

Getting "tourista" braids

Mioced eating the local food (stalls at the beach) we were not allowed to purchase food at the beach for fear of getting ill

We all got burnt despite applying generous amounts of sunblock, but us silly northerners just couldn't stay out of the sun!  It was a great day at the beach!

Before dinner we had our final reflection and evaluation session as there wouldn't be time to do it on Saturday.  Reflection again was very emotional for all of us, we were going home the next day.  Us adults on the trip were presented with a gift of an adorable wooden painted bus.  In our closing prayer and ceremony we were all given beautiful wooden crosses on a necklace and hugs from everyone in the program.  There were a lot of tears.

A prop used at reflection, she started out inside the jar we were asked what we thought this meant.  I saw this as myself being inside the jar, closed off from the world only seeing what was infront of me, in my comfortable life.  I am now living outside the jar.

Speaking at reflection

Local boy checking us out at reflection

Mioced presenting our gifts from Experiantia Dominicana, it reminds me of the time we spent on Wally's bus!

Closing ceremony, where we recieved our crosses

The tears were followed by lots of smiles and laughs at a dinner/party held by our host families on the rooftop of one of the houses in the neighbourhood.  We ate and danced (we were all taught how to dance murenege) in the warm evening air.

Val and I with Karmely the youngest in our family at the party

Learning to dance merengue with Berto

Saturday March 13, 2010

Saying goodbye and thank you to Dulce Maria and Karmely

Final goodbyes with our families and a prayer of thanks and safe travel

One of the students giving a soccer ball to a neighbourhood boy before we got on the bus

Sadly it was our last day in the Dominican Republic!  We had time to say goodbye to our families before getting on the bus and driving to the airport in La Romana to get on our plane and head back to Canada.

One last picture before going into the airport
Left to right : me, Ricardo, Mioced, Berto, and Wally

Despite being sad to leave the Dominican Republic, I think we were all releived to see our families and sleep in our own beds!

It was an amazing adveture and I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Thank for reading about my adventure, I really appreciate all of you who took the time to read and leave comments!