May 28, 2012

Marvelous Monday Update 5/28/12

The massage therapist really worked me over last week.  She was able to give my shoulder and back a deep tissue massage.  I was a bit sore the next day, but I think the massages are helping.  I only felt the pain/muscle spam once in the past week.  I still have the tingling from time to time and my thumb is still partially numb.  Other than that, things are back to normal.  Sincerest thanks to all of you who have left comments for well-being and advice.  I really appreciate it!

I'm continually looking at new recipes. If you know me, you'd know that I have three prerequisites:
1)  It has to be easy
2)  It has to be quick
3)  It has to be tasty!

Although, this dish was to be baked in the oven, I decided to try "baking" it on the grill since temps were in the upper 80's and humid.    Who wants to heat up the house with weather like that?  Not moi!

Looks like Lasagna, doesn't it?

Nope.  This was a Quick Fix Casserole, believe it or not.  I've renamed it Italian Casserole.  It was so good, the BF had two big servings and invited himself to take some home for tomorrow's lunch, lol.

Last week, my niece graduated 8th Grade.  She is officially a high schooler!  She's a smart girl who gets A's and B's for grades... mostly A's.  I am so proud of her!

Barbara over at To Stitch or Not to Stitch is hosting a giveaway to honor the sisterhood of stitchers. She does some beautiful stitching!

Victorian Motto Sampler is hosting another giveaway. Hop on over and see what it's all about.

Since my shoulder/arm have been feeling better, I did quite a bit of stitching toward the end of last week.  I actually had three.... Yes, THREE finishes!

First up is a baby afghan that I did most of the stitching in 1994.  I decided to personalize it and give it to my great nephew who was born pre-mature last fall and is doing very well now.

Just look at that adorable face!

I started -and- finished an All Tied Up kit by Pine Mountain Designs called Stockings Were Hung.

Lastly, I also finished Forgive Quickly by Lizzie Kate.

Fabric: 32ct Linen
Fibers: DMC, L'atelier Du Pic Vert
Embellishments: 1/2" lace

This is the first time I did this type of finish.  I think it turned out pretty well, considering. I've figured out some things I'll do differently next time.

May 21, 2012

When Will It End?

I don't know, but it can't be soon enough!  I had my annual exam at the chiro's last week.  The thermo scan of my spine was actually better than it was last year at this time.  What the heck?!?  So, the conclusion is that the problems I'm having is mostly muscular, which means continued appointments with the massage therapist.

I have noticed that any activities that require me to reach out, up, and forward cause my arm to really hurt  (i.e. computer use if the keyboard is higher than lap level, stitching at the lapstand, looking through clothing racks, and driving).  Last night, I was watching TV and I felt and saw the muscle in my upper arm spasming. The BF said he could see it spasming all the way down to my elbow.

The BF and I planted my vegetable garden yesterday.  It was his idea to put the fencing up to keep the critters from eating the seedlings like they did last year.  (In the background you can see my compost bin).  Hopefully, the garden will do better this year than it did last year.

I bought flowers for my planters, but this is as far as I got on putting them in the planters, lol.

(From car trunk to garage floor)

I cannot believe how many blossoms are on my double knockout rose bush this year!

(Just one of the blooms)

I've really been trying to rest my arm, but it's been hard when I'm surrounded by stitchy goodness, lol.  The only stitching I did all week was finish the Partridge ornament.

Partridge was a Stitch-N-Frame ornament kit from Needlemagic Inc.  I used the threads from the kit and swapped out the fabric for a piece of hand-dyed 22ct aida leftover from a project I did last year.  Here's what the original ornament was supposed to look like:

To this:

Partridge 3387 Stitch-N-Frame Ornament
Designer: Needlemagic Inc
Fabric: 22ct Hand-dyed Hardanger
Embellishments: Pearl beading, ribbon, buttons

May 20, 2012

TUSAL 5/20/12

I'm late! I'm late... for a very important date! TUSAL date has come and gone. I'm late!

It should come as no surprise that I don't have very many orts for this month's TUSAL since I've been nursing my shoulder and arm.  The few you see above are a result of:

•  Sampler aux Bouquets
•  Partridge
•  Fleurs et Papillons

May 15, 2012

How Do You Stand It?

Do you use a stand when you stitch? If so, tell us about it and share pictures if you’ve got them. If not, would you like to try using a stand? Do you have any tips or tricks around using a stand versus not using a stand?

I *do* use lapstands. I recently was gifted a K's Creations lapstand that is perfect for Japanese Garden.  It only took me about a day to learn how to stitch two-handed, which makes the stitching go much faster than the stick-n-stab method I've always used.  The K's stand folds flat for easy portability, too.


I also have a smaller lapstand that is perfect for smaller projects. The Elan by Artisan Design is not only pretty, but really functional considering how small it is.  It will hold scroll rods, needlepoint frames, and qsnaps.  It also can be stored flat.  I like the wood knobs... they're much easier to adjust than the wing nuts on the K's stand.


Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
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May 14, 2012

Marvelous Monday Update 5/14/12

A couple months ago, I received "A Thousand Lives" by Julia Scheeres from Calliope's Reviews and Stitching News.  I was very young when the Jonestown disaster happened so I really didn't know too much about it. The author does a good job of bringing Jim Jones and his followers to life. The book reads more like a novel than a nonfiction book.  Considering the topic, it was an easy quick read. If you are interested in reading this book, leave a comment saying so, and I'll mail it to you.

I had yet another chiro appointment last week. My arm was aching so bad after the adjustment, the chiro had the assistant give me an inferential (electro stimulation) treatment.  After that, I had my second massage appointment. She found yet another muscle that was really-really tight... behind my armpit, of all places!  I'm sure it was contributing to the pain in the arm area.  Good news!  I was able to sleep through the night without waking up and panting like a dog with extreme pain in my arm and having to sit up until it subsided. I must be getting better, right? I hope so!

Remember my dilemma from last week? The "frog poop" (as Dee affectionately called it) left over from the red threads.  Tape, toothbrush, boo-boo stick, and even stitching/frogging with white didn't help at all.

Desperation drove me to try anything. A stroke of genius came to me! I put a drop of Dawn dish soap on the spot along with a bit of water. After rubbing the fabric against itself vigorously, the frog poop came out. Woo Hoo!

Since my neck/shoulder/arm has been giving me trouble, I've slowed way down on the stitching (and housework, and yard work, and Homestead projects).  I did start a small project for the Ornament SAL since I'm two months behind!  The chart and threads are from a Needle Magic kit.  The fabric is 22ct Hardanger I hand-dyed last year.

The BF took me to see Nana's Naughty Knickers at the theatre over the weekend. Don'tcha just love the title? LOL  It was a comedy where Bridgette (a law student) goes to stay with her grandmother for the summer.  The visit quickly turns into an experience she will never forget when she finds out Nana is running an illegal lingerie boutique for the over 60 crowd out of her rent-controlled apartment.  Cases of mistaken identity, police involvement, and even lingerie modeling had the audience rolling in their seats.

I finally picked out a spot in the backyard to set up the compost bin. I've been saving food scraps for about a week.  I made a kitchen compost "bucket" so that I won't be making constant trips outside.  I store it under my sink and surprisingly with the help of a charcoal kitty litter pan filter, it doesn't smell at all.  I recently received a newsletter with composting basics so I brushed up on the composting do's and don'ts. Talk about great timing.  So far all I've put in it is some shredded newspaper, kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and old potting soil.  At this rate, it's going to be a while before I get the "black gold", lol.

Given that I'm on somewhat of a stitching hiatus, the second best thing is fondling stash, right? Right!  I've had Organized Expressions software for quite a while and at one time did start cataloging my stash, but several computers later I've managed to lose what little I entered.  I figured while I was fondling my stash, I may as well enter it into the program.  What I think is cool is the fact I can print the reports to Excel (or Word) with the attributes I want and then manipulate the data.  The program also allows me to attach a photo of the charts, magazines, floss, beads, etc. as well as the cost for each.  I can also enter other inventory things such as stitching tools like scroll rods, qnsaps, scissors, etc.  It takes a while, but I'm thinking it will be nice when I have everything in there.  The downside is that the software hasn't been updated since 2007.  So far, I've only entered about 60 charts and kits.

As I go through my stash, I'm purging.  If you're in need of a stash fix, visit my Stash-For-Sale blog.  I've added a few things.

Until next time,

May 7, 2012

Marvelous Monday Update 5/8/12

Oh wait... that's rain, rain, go away.  Yep, the pain in my neck is still there.  At least I'm able sleep on my back and right side with "minor" discomfort.  Minor is relative, isn't it?  Let me just say, I haven't had a good night's sleep in weeks.  The pain not only travels down the outside of my upper right arm, it now sometimes skips the upper arm and goes to the inside of the right forearm into my thumb.  My thumb is partially numb now.  I'm sure I have a pinched nerve somewhere!  I started massage therapy last week so I'm hoping it will help.

Despite still recovering from the neck/shoulder/arm pain, I had a mini finish last week.  I finished Part 1 of Fleurs et Papillons:

Since I finished Fleurs, I switched to Sampler aux Bouquets.  I am not liking the fact that when I frog the reds, the fibers are staying in the fabric.

I have tried the Boo Boo Stick, a toothbrush, a piece of tape... to no avail.  Anyone know how to get these out?  I can see it in every place I frogged. (FYI... these are DMC threads on 32ct Zweigert evenweave)

Other than that, I'm liking the design.  Here's what it looks like so far:

My not-so-local LNS is going out of business. Since I had a gift certificate from the store, I went stashing! LOL

I bought the rest of the beads for Winter White Santa.  I just need to buy the fabric and it'll be ready to start.  The shop had it on display... it was beautiful!  I also bought another Lorri Birmingham kit.

My niece loves horses and wants to be a horse breeder someday.  She saw a Gentle Strength needlepoint kit.  How could I resist getting it for her?

She says she likes needlepoint better because she only has to do he half of an X, lol.  Here she is diligently working on it:

Just a shoutout to anyone who uses Excedrin, Bufferin, Gas-X, and NoDoz.  There's a recall on these products.  I use Excedrin Migraine and I was taken by surprise that I didn't know about this until Tobie (a fellow stitcher) emailed me about my recent pains.  I have since mailed my product in to the company for a refund.  To learn more about it, go HERE and HERE.

If you didn't know, the artistic gene runs in my family!  My 14yr old niece was one of 71 "Young Artists" from all the area schools whose artwork is being featured at an art museum until the end of May.  Artists are in grades Kindergarten to 8th Grade.

Her artwork is called "Elephants on Parade".  She carved a stamp out of linoleum of an elephant head and added the word "Rome" diagonally, and a sun in the corner.  Then using paints, she made four images.  She was so proud, she even showed me the stamp she carved. :)

Here are some other student pieces worthy of mention:

Created by a Kindergartener!
6th Grade Artwork
Those are actual crayons at the top!
Until next time,

May 1, 2012

It's A Blog Hop!

"Have you ever had a case of the “stitching blahs” where you just didn’t want to stitch? Or maybe it was more like you didn’t get to stitch because you were busy and that created a chain reaction sense of the “blahs” and led to even less stitching…. sort of like a case of “the Mondays” that we are all familiar with. How do you handle your stitching blahs and get back into stitching mode?"

Can't say that I've ever gotten the stitching blahs.  For the past 4 or 5 years, I've juggled work, school, house, and hobbies.  I rarely have enough time to stitch in order to feel the "blahs", I guess.  Now that I'm out of school, I have more time to stitch and stitch I do.  I imagine at some point I may get the "stitching blahs", but until then I'm enjoying every stitch!

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
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