My name is Dani, I started this blog when I was inspired by Jennifer Aikman'-Smith's blog back in 2003 and shortly thereafter started my own in September of 2003. I have been a regular blogger ever since and haven't reregtted starting this blog! This blog started out of my desire to share with you my passion : cross stitch. Over the years I have shared parts of my life with you, from my stitching, my travles, Taekwon-Do, my amature photography, to my weight loss journey. I've enjoyed sharing all of this with you, and I hope you have and will continue to ejnjoy it.
Now you may wonder where did my blog name come from? I mean who comes up with Black Belt Stitching Wizard? I used to be a model stitcher for Dragon Dreams, and the designer Jennifer Aikman-Smith called me that after I finished up a piece for her on a very tight deadline that and I think it wasn't too long after getting my 1st Dan in Taekwon-Do. Ever since that stuck with me, and when I started this blog (being inspried by her blog) the name just fit!
I started stitching "hard core" back in 1997. It all started when I was 13, that year at Christmas time Santa had left this little cat cross stitch kit in my stocking. My Mum sat down and taught me how to stitch, well really only how to interpret the instructions. Needless to say that first piece was a disaster and went into the garbage. I didn't give up on stitching then and there, no I got a BIGGER kit! Again messed that one up too, I didn't sort my floss colours properly. Then I started a sampped kit of a siamese cat with a vase of flowers, I never really got far on it, just packed it away and put it in the back of the closet. Through my life, this kit moved with me, even when I left home always relegated to the back of the closet. Then in the spring of 1997 I found myself between contracts as a Library Technician, for a three month period there just wasn't any work coming my way. I was even to the point where I applied for retail work. After spending each day putting out resumes and cleaning my tiny one bedroom apartment there wasn't much left to do and lots of day left. This is when I found that Siamese Cat kit, and re-discovered cross stitch. I haven't stopped since!
How about a little background on myself? I'm a born Canadian, I spent my early years in a subburb of Montreal, Quebec, Canada during my "tweens" my family was relocated to an area outside of Dallas, Texas, USA for about three years before we were sent back to Canada. Back in the early 90's my family settled in one of the rural areas of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the nation's capital. I have now been in this area for half of my life, and it looks like I won't be leaving it any time soon!
I work as a library technician in the education field. While going trhough college and even my years spent as a contract worker I always imagined I would work for the Federal Government. This area has a lot of libraries since a lot of the Government Depeartments/Ministries have their head offices here. I never expected or saw on my radar working for a school board. One day it was pointed out to me that the board I am now employed with was looking to create an elegibiltiy list. In a short time I was interviewed, the next day offered a full time, 12 month, permanent position. That was 12 years ago. In that time I have switched locations, and really like where I am now, and the people I work with.
My other half' is Todd, and we've been togehter since high school. He annoys me and I annoy him, so its the perfect relationship! We have two cats Cuddles and Hunter. Hunter you'll see a lot of on this blog, Cuddles I have to admit I don't photograph as much. Hunter just does the funniest and cutest things that I can't help sharing with you.
Besides stitching, my other passion is Taekwon-Do (ITF) I discovered that in 1997 as well and have now been at it for 13 years. Over time I have moved up through the colour belt ranks to today where I am now a 3rd Dan Black Belt. For a few years I was an instructor at my TKD school, until a bad foot injury made me have to stop for almost 2 years. I am slowly moving back into the teaching schedule.