More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Celebrating NaBloPoMo!

There's a party here at my blog tonight!  I'm happy dancing that I successfully completed the crazy challenge known as NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month.  The challenge : to post a blog entry for all 30 days in November.  With this final post for November I've successfully met that challenge!  Yay me!  I'm sure some blog entries were worth reading and a few were just filling in space, but I did it!  Also a shout out to my friends Christin and Bonnie for joining me and completing the challenge!  Way to go!  Way to go to everyone who attempted NaBloPoMo this year, and to those who completed it, props to you!  See you same time, same place in 2012!!!

Today was weigh in day, for the last few years I've been regularly weighing in on Saturday morning... which of course is always more favourable because its first thing in the morning and before eating, etc.  These last few weeks I've been flirting with idea of Wednesday evening weigh ins.  I've kinda decided to stick with it because usually on Friday nights Christin and I have dinner together... that worked when I was weighing in monthly but now that I'm back to weekly, it kinda puts a downer on dinner out.  I find myself so conscience of where and what I'm eating, is there too much salt?  Like my favourite fajitas, sure to put you up three pounds the next day due to retaining water and the salt!

I wasn't sure how I did this week when I went to step on the scale, since I came of maintenance and went back to loosing and paying I've not touched my home scale not checked up on how I'm doing.  The only time I know how I'm doing is when I step on that scale in front of my WW leader.  I've also not been obsessing over my number on the scale, but if I lost and what that loss (or gain was).  Its kinda nice ignoring that number (the bigger picture I suppose) and saying oh cool, I lost a pound this week.  I and my leader were surprised that I lost 1.5 lbs this week!  I had only just weighed in this past Saturday so it hadn't been a full week, and it was a evening not a morning weigh in.  I can proudly report I'm now down 3.5 lbs out of the 10 I need to loose!  Getting pretty close to that 5lb mark, the half way point!

There's two things I've been dying to do and I've decided they're going to be rewards for hitting the half way point and the 10lb mark.  When I hit the 5lb mark I'm going to get my eyebrows waxed... lets just say I've got a bit of a jungle going on up there above my eyes!  Its something I usually keep on top of every 6 weeks or so but I let a lot of things go when my Mum was in hospital in September.  Second, I'm dying for a haircut!  I haven't had it cut since the beginning of February.  Right now its long, flat and lifeless, its just dragging me and my face down!  Hopefully this is the motivation I need to see this thing through!

I thought I might share these two pictures with you, especially for those of you who weren't familiar with the "old" me :

At the Mexico/Arizona border March 2007, pushing over 200 lbs

Same place, same time of year but in March 2011 at my lowest 142 lbs

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another Week of Enchantment & Murphy's Law

These last few stitching sessions with Enchantment of Winter I've been focusing on getting the purple silks stitched up on my current page.  I did just that tonight, finished up the purple silks and moved back to the gold confetti stitching that makes up the gorgeous scroll/vine work on this piece.  In an ideal world I'll get this page finished up before you see another progress picture and maybe even start the backstitching on this and get going on the over one backstitching which I've ignored!

I seem to get regular visits from Murphy, do you?  Whenever we make a purchase, within a few days something breaks that we don't have the money on hand right away to fix/replace.  Friday we ordered my Christmas present, it was on sale and couldn't pass up the opportunity as its not something that regularly goes on sale.  So yes, there won't be any surprises for me under the tree this year!  But that's okay with me, I'd rather forego the surprise and have the one thing I've been wanting most of this year.  Well tonight Murphy paid us a visit.  I was taking a nap when Todd got home (I had a really bad night's sleep last night) he was home early enough to get in a workout.  He decided to make use of the treadmill, the next thing I know I hear a lot of crashing and banging in the basement.  I knew it was the treadmill... my precious treadmill!  The one thing I can count of that no matter what time of day it is or what the weather is like (and road running is coming to an end for this blogger until spring!) I could get a quick workout on.  I bought this treadmill almost ten years ago, at Canadian Tire for less than $500.00, nothing fancy, its done it job and doesn't owe me a penny!  At one point, the motor was acting up it would slow down and speed up, rather drastically.  Since it wasn't really being used it got moved to the basement.  Once it was moved to the basement it started "working properly" again.  Then early in the year the platform broke (again Todd was using it), but he got a piece of laminated plywood from work and "fixed" it.  Tonight, it started that speed up/slow down thing again and Todd kinda lost his temper.  The crashing and banging I heard was Todd taking out his frustrations on it ... then he got out the sledge hammer.  Needless to say we won't be using that treadmill again.

Am I upset over what Todd did?  No I'm not, like I said the treadmill owes me nothing.  So during the boxing week sales we'll be keeping an eye out for the deals, get a new treadmill and get something just a little better than my first one.  Of course this really throws a wrench in my game plan to keep on the straight and narrow during the holidays!  I do belong to the gym (which I won't be renewing in February), but its over a 25 minute drive away.  I won't be driving into the city just to go to the gym.  I suppose I can bundle up and go for walks.  Sigh I am not a winter weather girl.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Retro PhotoHunt

The PhotoHunt theme on February 27, 2010 was "Daily"

Its amazing how such a normal every day food like a cabbage can be so pretty in a garden.  Look at these green and red cabbages in "full bloom"!

Can you beleive the end of Novmeber is almost here... I've almost made it through NaBloPoMo 2011!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blast From the Past

Now that my ornaments are all caught up, and I'm working on Enchantment of Winter again, I recently pulled The Accolade back out.  The last date I had worked on it was the end of June!  That's when I decided it was time to focus on getting the over one section of Enchantment done, then Mum fell ill, then it was time to get my ornaments stitched up... you know life got in the way!

Recently I've picked the Accolade back up, its 12 pages and I'm stitching it over one on 25ct.  My goal is that before I pick up my focus piece each day, to try and accomplish a 10x10 block on this piece that way there is progress on this piece!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday PhotoHunt "Hand Written" & A Happy Dance

Its Saturday which means its PhotoHunt day!  The theme this week is "Hand Written"

This picture is from my life-long friend Andrew's wedding day this past September.  Here he is hand writing his signature on his wedding licence.  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful wedding!  Never thought he would get married before I did!

Today I also celebrated a Happy Dance!  I started this wee, cute freebie ornament from Daffycat's blog last weekend.  It would of been finished sooner but its been a busy week.

Snow Hop
c2011 Sharon Bennett
Stitched on 32ct Queen Ann's Lace Joblean
Stitched with DMC floss

Some of you might know I on and off blog on a weight loss/weight maintenance blog.  I keep finding my heart hasn't really been into that blog for sometime. now.  So for the moment I'm going to just let that blog sit and I'll tell you about my struggles from time to time here.  My long-time readers will know that a few years ago I went through quite a transformation, loosing over 60 pounds through Weight Watchers.  In the spring/summer I packed back on 10lbs.  About a month ago I decided instead of just doing my once a month weigh-in and paying the fee for being above my goal weight (which wasn't working), I bought 8 weeks worth of coupons and I am going weekly, and weighing in weekly.  Week one was good I lost 1.5 lbs, so was week two I lost 1 lbs... doing well right?  Until I hit week 3, where I gained 1.5 lbs... that was a shock and I had moments where I didn't want to be committed to eating/exercising properly.  I did trudge through last week and was rewarded with a 1 lb loss!  So I'm back to where I was, down 2.5lbs out of 10... only 7.5 to go!  In an ideal world I'd love to loose it all by Christmas but with one poor week I don't think that's a reality.  I'll keep plugging away at this!

Friday, November 25, 2011

November TUSAL

Not much longer now until the TUSAL 2011 is over!  Of course I'm signed up for the 2012 edition!  Looking forward to this SAL once again!

This month Matilda was supervising the production of orts Chez Dani's!  I have definitely been ort making around here!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Touch Of Enchantment

Again, not a very wordy blog entry, its been a busy week, this evening was spent at the dojang teaching so another long day out of the house.

I got to work on Enchnatment of Winter quite a bit this past weekend and here's where its at before the weekend starts.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Retro PhotoHunt -- Again

Last night was a busy night, we were having our Live & Silent Auction to raise funds for the school we'll be building in 2012 in the slums of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  I'll be going back again this upcoming February taking another group of students on their Dominican Experience, a third world experience.  The night was very successful, but I don't have a final number yet on exactly how much we'll be getting towards the project as we did this event in conjunction with another school.  Fingers crossed they'll be breaking ground on the school in January and I'll have some pictures for you when I come back from the trip at the end of February.

Since last night was a busy and late night I have no awesome stitching to share with you, so yet another PhotoHunt!  The theme on February 20, 2010 was "Cuddly".  Coincidentally this picture is from this past year's Dominican Experience.

This is one of my fellow coordinators during our last night in the DR.  The last nigh we always have party with all the students, and the families they stay with, it includes food, music, and dancing a Dominican national pastime!  It goes late into the night and the little girl of the family we stay with, Karmely fell asleep snuggled up with my fellow coordinator!  I look forward to seeing Karmely and her family again in February!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Retro PhotoHunt

The theme on  February 13, 2010 was "broken".  Funny this theme recently came up this year!  Hmmm some repetition there.

This picture was taken just a few weeks ago when my Taekwon-Do instructor was testing for his 7th Degree Black Belt, to become a Master.  Here he is breaking 4 boards with a sidekick.  If you have sharp enough eyes you can find me in there amongst the holders!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Last One! Six out of Six Done!

Wow did these ever work up quickly, especially between things like work, Taekwon-Do, going to the gym and so on.  I had one mitten stitched up at the end of the summer but stitched the last five in about 10 days!  I started the first of this batch of 5 on November 8th.  I really love how these turned out on 40ct linen.  I've enjoyed the 40 ct so much that my good-sized SAL will be on it starting January 1st.

Red Mitten Collection I - Alphabet Mitten
c2008 JBW Designs
Stitched over two on 40ct linen with one strand of DMC 115

So here's my latest, and last mitten finish!  I actually finished it up Saturday morning but I need to spread out my blog entries for NaBloPoMo!

What's next on the stitching agenda?  Well with the fall being a bit of a cluster, I didn't get my Dad's birthday present done in time.  Yup his birthday was this past Monday and Enchantment of Winter was not finished nor was it framed!  So back to the big purple egg for this stitcher!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Five Down... One To Go

I'm still motoring away on my JBW ornaments!  I've been enjoying working on these, even though they are on 40 ct and they work up so quickly!

Red Mitten Collection I - Happy Holidays Mitten
c2008 JBW
Stitched on 40ct linen over two with one strand of DMC 115

This one was very cute I love how the mitten is made up of "holiday" words!

Now onto the last one!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

PhotoHunt - Wet/Rain

Its Saturday and it means PhotoHunt Day!  This week's theme is Wet/Rain

I took this picture in February of this past year after arriving in the Dominican Republic.  We ran into a little sun shower on the way from the airport in LaRomana, driving to San Pedro de Macoris.  Raindrops on the windshield of the bus.

Friday, November 18, 2011


I'm just too tired to blog or blog creatively tonight. I'm hitting the hay I'll give you a real post tomorrow!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Body Art

Almost ten years ago now, I got my first tattoo and I knew not too long after that I'd want another one.  It just took me a very long time to decide what that second tattoo would be, where it would go, etc.  Earlier this summer I finally came up with an idea and where I wanted it to go. 

In the beginning of August I went to New Moon a local tattoo parlour with an amazing and international reputation.  My first tattoo was actually done by one of their former artists who has a parlor in Cornwall.  I was very happy with the quality of the art work.  I was hoping to get this new tattoo done during my summer holidays.  It turned out I couldn't get an appointment until early September!  Which in the end, I had to postpone because my Mom was ill. 

Finally, today I got my new ink!

My first tattoo was stock art, a dragon, my Chinese Astrological Symbol.  This one is a custom piece, nothing too fancy but it has meaning to me, and that's what's important.  Seeing as I've been involved in Taekwon-Do for almost 15 years now it wouldn't be too stupid to put something related on my body.  My new tattoo is above my ankle, its a black belt (as I'm a 3rd degree) with the characters for Taekwon-Do below it.

 I'm very happy with my new ink.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Retro Photo Hunt

The PhotoHunt theme on February 6, 2010 was "average"

This might just be an average chicken, but its a simple, average chicken like this that makes up one of my favourite meals ever!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Four Down... Two To Go

Another day, another blog entry, and another Happy Dance!

Red Mitten Collection II -- Motif Mitten
c2008 JBW
Stitched over two with one strand on 40ct linen
Stitched with DMC 115

I'm not so crazy on how the reds played out in the middle there... but that's life and the risk of using overdyed threads!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The stitching this past weekend was fantastic!  Oh boy did I stitch, I had a bit of a hard time getting into it on Friday night but Saturday and Sunday morning I got lots done.  I finished another mitten ornament and got a good start on another.

Red Mitten Collection II - Scandinavian Mitten
Stitched over two with one strand on 40ct linen
Stitched with DMC 115

Hopefully I'll have another HD for you shortly!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Knowledge & Needles Timberhouse Retreat November 2011

Barb's beautiful Christmas Trees on display

Stitch, eat, sleep... repeat!  That was the theme for this weekend and the Knowledge & Needles Retreat, actually its the theme every year!  The event and stitching commenced Friday evening and we didn't stop until lunch time today!  This is one of those events I look forward to every year, getting together with my good stitching friends (some years meeting a new one or two).  Friday evening 18 of us descended upon the Timberhouse Country Inn outside of Brighton Ontario and quickly settled into our little stitching nests.

 Joyce showing off her amazing Mona Lisa!

The tables were beautifully set

Chef Dan with Maitre'd Bruce explaining the day's menu

Sylvia, impatiently waiting for lunch!

It was a lovely couple of days of stitching, gabbing, eating, and some shopping!  Saturday afternoon we all took a break from our stitching and headed to Knowledge & Needles HQ where Ann, the owner's husband had a most excellent lunch waiting for us!

Barb checking out the goodies in the gift boxes we each found at our place

Clare, Bernie & Ann enjoying a glass of wine before our first course is served

Leek & Potato Soup - our first course (and very tasty!)

Seven Layer Salad, Chicken & Broccoli Braid, Cinnamon & Nutmeg Carrots - main course

Lianne doing a little shopping at Knowledge & Needles
After the starter and main course we took a break from food for a little while to go shopping!  I was pretty restrained this year and bought only 1 piece of 40 count linen for a SAL I'll be starting in the New Year with some of my stitching friends, one little Lizzie Kate chart, and three JBW charts.  Quite tame compared to some of the other ladies shopping that day!

Lianne pouring over her new stash with Clare, Sharon, Sheila, Judie, Ann, Barb, and Berine all ogling!

From shopping we went back to eating with this fantastic trifle that Ann made.  After we had done enough eating and shopping for one day it was back to the Timberhouse for more stitching (are you surprised?).  The evening brought on our 3rd annual ornament exchange, and what fun we have with this!  Upon arrival we all put the ornament we've stitched (and kept top secret) in a paper bag that goes into a basket.  Saturday night we take turns drawing names one by one picking ornaments.  I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

Judie showing off Ann's ornament that she picked

Naan, our oldest retreat member showing off Bonnie's ornament

 Beatrice with I think Joyce's ornament

What amazes me is that we NEVER have a duplicate!

Our little tree all decorated with the ornaments after the exchange
This year I received Beatrice's beautiful ornament, I've been lucky so far and received ornaments from different people each year!  I'm sure many of the ladies walked away looking forward to putting their new ornament up on their trees in the near future, and planning next year's ornament!

 Here I am showing off Beatrice's ornament, as usual lots of bling!
Ann, serving shrimp Saturday evening
We stitched late into the night, but sadly Sunday morning, then lunchtime rolled around all too soon where we one by one started to pack up and say goodbye.  Some of these ladies I won't be seeing again until the New Year or spring, which is always sad!  This is such a fantastic group of ladies I love them all!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

PhotoHunt - Two

This weeks PhotoHunt theme is "two"

This is me and my friend Tracey on Halloween, dressed a like... heck we d0 look very alike if you didn't know us very well at a quick glace I do believe you could take us for one or the other LOL!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lest We Forget

Its Remembrance Day, are you wearing your Poppy?  I started wearing mine daily on November 1st.  I do believe this is a very important day to recognize.  Its a day we recognize every man and woman who has served in any capacity through various wars, campaigns and more.

 Memorial in Quebec City

 National War Memorial in Downtown Ottawa at Dusk

This year's Army Run where thousands of military, ex-military, and civilians ran to raise money for Soldier on and the Military Families Fund

 At the end of the Army Run 1/2 marathon we were presented our medals (dog tags) by a serving member of the military.  Here I am thanking him for serving!

If you have a chance today, thank a Vet or someone whose actively serving in the military today.