It's finally hit me...

this cold that is. I've been fighting it off for a while, and I woke up today feeling like I've been hit by a truck. My nose is running, my head hurts, my body aches, I'm constantly coughing and sneezing, I can't breathe, I can't talk. Well, you get the picture.

I'm assuming this cold is the reason that I haven't felt like doing much lately. I've messed around with my calligraphy blog, took long naps, and basically neglected my freelance editing and my stitching. I have played about 4,000 games of bingo though!

I was going to answer the latest SBQ, but there isn't one yet, so I'll just go pass out until my doctor's appointment later today. Maybe tonight I'll have something interesting to write about (it's not as if I usually do though lol!).

I really hate cold season!



is my middle name!

I haven't felt like doing much lately, except wasting my time playing bingo for a jackpot that I've been trying to win since 1996. I did get my calligraphy site running, but there's just so much I need to do on it. This seems to be my lifetime habit: jump into everything with both feet and then get overwhelmed because I'm not sure where to start.

So, I haven't stitched but maybe two words on Desiderata since I finished my house ornament. I just feel blah.

SBQ for 1.23.2008: Have you had a happy dance yet this year? If so, tell us about it! (Or just point to the entry that mentions it.) If not, when do you predict it will be?

Yes, I've had a happy dance on the house ornament. But maybe I should consider it half of a happy dance, because it hasn't been ornamentified yet. I've really got to finish my brother-in-law's ornament (insert big pathetic sigh here).

Maybe I'll go watch Spongebob with Aislin...

...so I don't have to expend but half a brain cell for that.


I think I've had a semi-productive week...

even if the week isn't over yet.

I got my federal AND state taxes filed, applied for health insurance for me and Aislin, and finished an ornament ahead of time (although I still haven't finished my brother-in-law's). Plus, I have my heart ornament picked out for next month! It's a hardanger heart, and I'm starting it on February 1st!

Aislin had an appointment with the ear, nose, and throat doctor yesterday. She has to have her adenoids removed on February 12th. I know it's a rather routine surgery, but I'm scared to death! She's only 4; just a baby! I'm worrying so much that I'm giving myself a migraine. But it's something that has to be done. She snores and has sleep apnea, she breathes and eats with her mouth open, and has bad breath no matter how much we brush her teeth. I hope it makes her feel better, but I'll be so happy when the surgery is over!

One thing I need to get working on is my calligraphy business. I have the business card done, I just need to make up a brochure with some of my samples and a price list to send out to stationary stores. Plus I need someone to develop a professional website for me, but I can't afford to pay anyone to do it right now. For the moment, I have a blogspot page for my calligraphy:

An Ornamental Quill

I think it looks pretty good for a beginning. I'm sure it won't generate much business as a blog, instead of a real store-type website. But...

...it's a start!


It's a house...

although it looks much prettier in person. This is the January ornament for the Bride's Tree SAL. I think my scanner is putting too much light into the scans, but when I try to fix it, it just gets worse. But this is stitched in the most yummy warm shades of browns and tans.

One down, eleven to go!

Victorian Cottage Ornament
designed by Nancy Spruance
stitched on 28 ct antique white Monaco with DMC color variations



It's Giants versus Patriots...

on February 3rd. I watched the NFC playoff game last night, holding my breath and biting my tongue until the very last second of overtime. I absolutely HATE the Green Bay Packers and am so glad the Super Bowl will only be half a suck-fest this year, as I hate the Patriots just as much. Of course, if the Packers had won, I would have had to stay true to my conference and kinda root for them. But MY babies didn't even get close, and I was hoping the Cowboys would have gone on. Dad and I are supportive of each other's teams if our own team doesn't do well.

I was raised in a fanatical Cowboys family, and have heard many a time the story of the dreaded *Ice Bowl* of 1967. My dad tells the story at least 12 times every football season about how his 'boys had to kick holes in the ice with their cleats at the Green Bay end zone just to get traction. Of course the Cowboys lost that game, and that was one of the catalysts to Super Bowls only being played in southern cities.

Anyway, on the stitching front, true to my personality I got bored with Guardian. I was hoping to work on him all weekend and into TW Monday, but I couldn't do it. I did get a whole 5 days in on him though.

So, I decided to work on my sister's house ornament for the Bride's Tree SAL. Yes, I actually found one that I liked fairly well. It's a blackwork house, but instead of black, I'm using the DMC Color Variations I bought to do ornaments for Christmas. This one is various shades of brown and tan and I love this color! I may even finish it today! I'll finish my brother-in-law's ornament today too (I hope!).

I'm getting ready to get a haircut. My hair is almost to my waist now, but I'm going to cut it off to my shoulders. I can't stand my hair that long anymore; it's just a pain. Aislin's getting a haircut today too. She says she wants "beautiful hair." It's really cute the way she says it. I long for the days...

...when a haircut was the most exciting thing going on in my life.


I got toys...

in the mail today from Diana at Paw Prints! I got some stitch clips because I put Desiderata on a scroll frame, and I like my fabric to be drum tight. Then, I got a Tacky Bob since Aislin keeps dumping my beads everywhere. It's like a mini cd case with sticky stuff on the inside so that the beads stick to it. There wasn't a choice as to color or pattern, but I got one with butterflies, which is fine by me because I LOVE butterflies.

I can't wait to try out my new toys! I was feeling a bit down today, but it's amazing what a package in the mail can do for you!

I've been working on Guardian for the last week. Mom let me borrow her needle organizer, since most of my stitching stuff is in storage. I use it mostly for the blends, and since Guardian is mostly blends, it's a life saver! I still have to finish my brother-in-law's ornament for last year, which I think I will do on TW Monday. But I'm going to work on Guardian for the rest of the weekend. I'll post a progress pic probably Monday.

My neice's birth sampler needs to go back on the Q-snaps, because it needs to be finished and framed by April 30th, so I can get it to my sister before my neice's 1st birthday on May 12th. So until that is done, I will make that my focus piece, but work on Desiderata when I can't stand the birth sampler anymore.

I will still work on Guardian on TW Mondays and the dragon SAL one weekend a month.

On the Bride's Tree SAL front, I still haven't found a house (January) I like. It's really frustrating. I guess I should probably say I like too many patterns and I can't actually narrow it down to just one. Maybe that's why I have soooo much stitching stuff and patterns...I can't make up my mind as to what I can't live without as opposed to just liking something.

SBQ for 1.16.2008: What is your favorite past time while stitching? Do you just enjoy silence, listen to music/audiobooks or do you “watch” TV/movies? Do you have specific favorites you listen to/watch while stitching?

I usually have the tv or a movie going when I stitch. If it's on one of my "show" days, I watch American Idol, Bones and House, Ghost Hunters. Sometimes I just have on whatever channel I come to that looks semi-interesting if none of my shows are on.

On weekends, Alyssa and I watch a movie (usually her choice) while I stitch. Sometimes during the week we'll watch her "Friends" dvds.

I tend to not do much else while I stitch. Silence is too intimidating for me, and I always have to have some kind of background noise. I can watch TV and concentrate on my stitching but still keep up with what's going on.

I just looked outside, and it's snowing! Aislin is running around the house screaming, "It's snowing! It's snowing!"

Children are so easily entertained.


Here's something fun...

that I *borrowed* from a few various blogs. It's an "About me in pictures."

Answer the questions and type your answer into Google images search. Post a photo from the FIRST results page. (this can be tough!!)

Age you will be on your next birthday?

Place you would like to visit? (Ireland)

One of your favorite places?

Your favorite object? (yummy silk thread!)

Your favorite food? (angel hair pasta with artichoke hearts lol!)

Your favorite animal?

Your favorite color? (forest green)

Name of a past pet? (Shadow)

Where you live?

First grade teacher's name? (Mrs. Glendamen)
Couldn't find anything.

Middle name? (Leanne) WHAT THE...?

A bad habit of yours? (I pick at and chew on my cuticles)

Favorite flower? (carnations)

Favorite holiday? (supposed to be Christmas?)

Your turn!


Yeah, I really hate insurance companies...

but that's another story! I thought I would catch up on some SBQs because I don't feel like I have anything witty or even remotely interesting to talk about. Well, I do, but I don't want to turn this into a rant today (of course that hasn't stood in my way on other days, now has it?)

SBQ for 1.9.2008: What was your favorite finish of 2007?

This question makes me giggle a bit and scratch my head, because I finished all of 3, yes 3 ornaments. That's it. Nothing else. I DID NOT stitch until the end of the year. So I would have to say the answer to this question is all 3 ornaments, for different reasons. But mostly because I know I can still stitch, and that a stitching slump doesn't have to last forever!

SBQ for 1.3.2008: Are you starting something new to celebrate the New Year or participating in “Guilt Free January?” If so, what are you planning on starting?

Actually I started Desiderata Sampler sometime in November of last year, so I am considering that my New Year's celebration. If I participated in Guilt-Free January, I would have another 47 projects going in addition to what I already have. So I am limiting myself to what I am allowed to do this year. The only new start I have is going to be the Bride's Tree Ornaments SAL, but I don't know that I would really consider that a *new* start, because it's an ornament a month, which is part of my 2008 goals.

SBQ for 12.26.2007: Did you receive any stitching-related gifts for the holidays?

Actually, I really didn't this year, which is surprising. I usually get a GC to an LNS or ONS or various stitching related things. The only gifts I got that were remotely close were from my sister. She got me a few tubes of gorgeous beads (too big for using on stitching projects though), and vintage (pre WWII) swarovski crystals (I LOVE THEM!). Plus, she sent me a bead a day calendar, which has a different beading project for every day of the year.

Now that I think about it, those aren't even CLOSE to being stitching-related...

SBQ for 12.19.2006: Have you ever helped anyone else learn to stitch? Have you ever helped anyone learn a new stitch or technique?

I did try to teach my oldest daughter how to stitch a few years ago, but it didn't go very well. She was very good at it, but didn't find any designs that appealed to her. I suggested that she substitute her own colors, or modify the design a little to suit her needs (and reassured her that most stitchers do this). As an *ar-TEEST*, the thought of changing someone else's art was completely mortifying to her. I understand that.

Well, that's all I feel like discussing. I feel a migraine coming on (thank you so much insurance people!). I probably need to eat something, so as Donkey says...

"...I'm making waffles!"


I love my new toy, but...

Mac does not like blogs. Especially mine. Things are overlapping and totally funky-monkey looking. Big sigh.

I went through a large box of pictures today. Apparently, *someone* went through them before I went back to NM to get them, after I had moved to NC and was in the process of a separation. I got more irate by the minute, because a bunch of pictures of my babies, including Aislin's ultrasound pictures, were wadded up and thrown into the box. I reorganized everything, labeled all of the envelopes, and put everything into a smaller box.

I got a picture box and put all of the pictures of Justin and his family (with and without Aislin) in the box for when she's older.

I also found many pictures of my beloved Shadow. I haven't so much as looked at a picture of her since she died August 19, 2006. It was just too painful. I thought it has been long enough, but my heart is aching and my chest feels tight. When does the pain and sadness of losing a beloved pet and best friend go away. Sometimes it's so overwhelming.

I haven't stitched in a few days. I need to finish my brother in law's ornament, but I'm losing stitching motivation again. Most likely because I have so much to do that I just don't know where to start.

I'll be working on TW's Guardian several times a month: On Mondays for the general TW SAL, and the 3rd(?) weekend of the month for the dragon SAL at TW's discussion board. Maybe I'll get more done on him. I am bound and determined that by December 31st, 2008...

...that dragon is going to be finished and ready to frame!


I just got...

the absolutely coolest Christmas present ever!

My parents got back from visiting my sister yesterday evening, and a package had come for mom while they were gone. I thought nothing of it, because she gets a lot of teaching materials and books in the mail. Said package sat in the formal dining room, awaiting my parents' return.

Meanwhile, after we picked them up at the airport, they were unpacking their suitcases, and mom pulled out a huge shopping bag. She said "We were out shopping and I saw a man carrying this. I asked him where he got it, but he said it was the last one. So I knocked him down and ran off with it!" (Mom has a very strange sense of humor.) So she hands me the bag, and inside is a gigantic, OFFICIAL St. Louis Rams fleece blanket. Of course I squealed and wrapped up in it right away. My girls keep wanting to steal it.

Then, mom got the package that came while she was gone. She put it on the kitchen table and asked if I knew what it was. I said I had no idea. She told me to open it. I open this little box and inside is a MacBook. I said "Neat! You got a new laptop." She said, "No, YOU got a new laptop!" I was pretty stunned and I just stared at her with her mouth open.

Apparently, my parents got me a new laptop for my freelancing work, and for my businesses. My brother-in-law is going to rebuild my old laptop, and try to get the cd rom working again. Then, Alyssa will have her own computer! She's just as excited as I am I think.

But now I have some more things to add to my wishlist...

...new toys for my new Mac!