Monday, May 22, 2017

She's gone

Sorry guys, been a rough few days but it's finally over with now. She passed Saturday night really late and she's "gone on to a better place" (at least according to my mother). I can't thank you guys enough for all your kind words and I promise, once things are settled, I'll get back to each and every one of you.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Life sucks but hey, I'm still alive (I think)

Some of you may have noticed that I didn't post my weekly stitching progress this week. That is because I have pretty much spent the entire week at the Hospice House watching my Grandmother pass away. They can't verify if she did actually have a stroke last Tuesday, but that is more than likely what has happened. As of this moment, she is still holding on, but honestly, I sure hope not for much longer. I know hospice is supposed to be more "humane", but watching her basically starve to death since she isn't conscious enough to eat or drink doesn't seem very humane to me.

Ironically enough, Amber and I have had to be the ones taking care of basically everything...yeah, let's put the two most emotionally damaged and mentally unstable (lots more me than her on that front) people in charge of everything! My Aunt can't deal because she has taken care of Grandmother her entire life (and she's the baby). My mother can't deal because...well, I'm not sure why she can't deal other than she's just a massive pain in the butt and everything always has to be about her. My uncle can't deal because I doubt he's ever dealt with anything on this side of the family before and doesn't have a clue how to.

I'm exhausted, pissed off, upset, and...well I'm too tired to think of any more descriptives. But I have been stitching at the hospice house since I can't sleep, although my progress hasn't been great. It's hard to concentrate when about every third or fourth breath she just stops for longer and longer amounts of time.

I do get tonight off because Bam had his dental surgery today and he needs me more than Grandmother does right now. What a time to be weening off shrink is going to get an earful next visit, that's for sure.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Top 5 Tuesdays - Stitchy Sites

I am so far behind on Top 5 Tuesdays that I'm just going to start anew instead of trying to back track. This is a really good topic this week as it can go in any direction and I'm curious to see what everyone else came up with! Don't forget to check out Kate's blog for the list (and the links to Emma, Tiff, Laura and anyone else who wants to join in).

1. Heaven and Earth Designs
I have a ton of HAED stash (more than a lifetime's worth) and they chart my favorite artist of the moment, Jasmine Becket-Griffith. Granted, I have had major issue with their designing change to all dithered patterns (especially with the JBGs...I feel it makes them look "spotty"), but I still can't quit them.

2. Etsy
Not a day goes by that I don't do a search for "Disney cross stitch patterns". I have found some great designers on Etsy (as well as some bad ones...sometimes you just don't know what you've got until it's too late). Part of me knows there are probably some copyright issues with some of the patterns, but I tend to have blinders on when it comes to all things Disney. It's also a great place to get needle minders and other cross stitch supplies.

3. 123 Stitch
I HATE HATE HATE Hobby Lobby, but when I'm in a hurry for supplies, it's all we have here. But when I'm not in a hurry and I want something specific like fabric, there is no better site than 123 Stitch! I haven't bought many patterns from there, but I think I've probably bought everything else cross stitch.

4. The Heaven and Earth Designs Forum
I'm not a big fan of forums...too many years on Disney forums will sour anyone against them, but I like the HAED forums because I like to see how and what everyone else is stitching. I'm not good at commenting, even on my own posts, but I still visit it a lot and, since I'm not on Facebook, it's the only way I have to see what is happening in the HAED world. Sorry I couldn't link's a private forum that is invitation only (but it's not hard to get invited, you just have to ask).

5. All my Bloggy cross stitch friends!
You guys not only keep me motivated, but I LOVE seeing what everyone else is working on and the different styles and techniques that people use. I have learned SOOO much since blogging because of all of you and I can't imagine that will ever change. Again, I'm a horrible commenter sometimes, but I am always watching and lurking. I have also formed some really fantastic friendships through blogging, more than I could name, but hopefully you guys know who you are and, if I haven't said it, I owe you guys a world of thanks for all your support both cross stitch-wise and personal-wise. I'm definitely sure I couldn't stitch as much or as well as I do now without y'all. I haven't regretted a single moment of starting this blog and dropping out of Facebook because this is the world that I belong in with all of you! And who knows, once I get my house built, maybe the next place for me might just be FlossTube (although I'm definitely not ready for that yet!).

Oh, and just as an aside...wish hard enough and it will come true...I got my Captain Hook pattern from Tilton Crafts this morning:
If only there was a Charming to go with it, my life would be complete, but alas, Daniel Kordek hasn't done a Charming (yet). They also have Graham, August and Jefferson, but I'm not sure I want those, especially without Charming.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Weekly stitching, new stash and a bit of a ramble

I spent the week working on Sleepy Hollow Mural. I did manage a bit last Sunday and left off here:
And I stopped this Saturday night here:
I got quite a bit done including the second page and a big chunk of the third page. I'm quite proud of that, especially considering my week (but more on that later).

I decided it was time to go back to Snow White. I left off here back in February:
I couldn't help myself and started late Saturday night, but the majority of the work got done today and I left off here:
She'll be my focus for this week and next weekend, but this is going to be the work week I've been dreading for a month now, so I doubt I'll get much least not until the weekend.

As far as this past week, I ended up having to go to an out of town clinic for work that just happens to be in an old haunted hospital on Tuesday. Aspers tend to have heightened senses and it's probably one of my strongest Asper traits. Places like that tend to raise my hackles and turn my insides to mud. I have enough trouble dealing with the travel associated with my job (which, thankfully is rare), but that was one of the worst work days of my career.

To add insult to injury, on Thursday when I complained to my shrink about the weight I've been gaining due to the meds, she decided to pull me off the anti-depressant without replacing it with another (dropping off one while adding another tends to balance things out, but weening off one by itself it a very physically sickening process). She kept me on the Ritalin, but I'm not ready to be AD free just yet and I'm panicked. So, on top of all the extra work hours this upcoming week and dental surgery for both Bam and I the following week, I'm going to have to do it all while DT'ing from the meds and going back to dealing with life in a way that I haven't had to do in a while. Ugh. At least Bugs had a good week!

I did take advantage of the HAED sale and added a few more JBG's to my stash (like I needed more), but I also splurged on my very first GeckoRouge kit. It was hard to decide...I was debating on the one I chose versus a design of Captain Hook/Killian Jones from Once Upon A Time. I really want to do another Once project, but it's been really hard to find one I absolutely love. I liked the Hook GeckoRouge kit, but I didn't love it.

There was another deciding factor...on a whim I emailed Tilton Crafts about Daniel Kordek's Once designs to see if they ever planned on charting them. I have his Hocus Pocus and Merida patterns already and I LOVE his Once designs (except for the fact that he doesn't have one with Charming). They told me that they already have at least one being charted up right now! Excitement!

So I went with The Dollmaker instead because I love this pattern and it felt more like me:
Seriously? Baby doll Freddy and Jason? I LOVE them! I bought the 25ct magic guide with 1x1 threads, but I think I'll probably use my 28ct Monaco instead. I ordered a matching needle minder from another Etsy seller too, so it made me even more happy with my choice.

Speaking of Once Upon A Time...I tried to binge watch it this week to break my Heartland obsession, but I ended up watching the show more than stitching so I ended up going back to Heartland. I'm obsessed with Heartland too, but not to the degree that I am with Once right now.

The musical episode of Once tonight was a mixed bag. I kept thinking how cheesy it was the entire time, but I was still singing along (yes, I bought the soundtrack the second it came out) and bawling like a baby at all the right moments. My favorite song?

Seriously, I hope the show doesn't get will break my heart! But Once and stitching does not go well together! Granted, I could use a huge dose of fantasy right now, but I think stitching might be better therapy...that is until the "shakes" start.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Woo Hoo!

After an insane week, there has been a glimmer of excitement today...guess who is 100% heartworm free?
Give it up for the Bug!!

I know I'm behind on Top 5 Tuesdays and I can't guarantee I will get caught up this week either. Sorry Kate!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Weekly Stitching

I got my New Stitchy Start Blog post done on time this month (for once) after spending the week working on Happy Haunts, so I had today free to start the next rotation, Sleepy Hollow Mural. I left off here back in January:
And managed to barely get started on the next page today:
I tried to focus today, but it was a rough week (so what else is new?). At least I just got started on this week's rotation, so Sleepy Hollow has a full week to go.

I finally managed to break my Heartland obsession after my ninth viewing of the first nine seasons (or at least I hope I have, and probably only temporarily...until season 10 comes out on DVD). I broke down Friday night and turned Netflix on and watched Bridget Jones' Baby (which I LOVED!) which put me in an Austen mood. I was too lazy to get up and pick a disc (it was 2 am), so I watched the best parts of North & South on Netflix with the intention of starting Saturday's viewing of the Austens. But, by the time I got up, I had a very clear path...Once Upon A Time. Considering it's just a few more episodes before the end of the season (and possibly the end of the series), I wanted to remember all the best moments of my favorite TV show.

Besides, since we've been having serious storms this past week, I needed a bit of serious fantasy to refocus my brain. My sister's house just barely missed getting hit by a tornado last week. It tore down their fence and damaged a lot of the other houses in their neighborhood, but they got really lucky. And Saturday, me and boys came pretty close to the same fate (although I think my trailer won't fare nearly as well as her brick and rock house). We also got massive flooding around town this weekend, so the drive to work probably won't be too fun tomorrow. The joys of living in the South during tornado season!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Weekly Stitching and other junk

I know my posts have been short lately, but life is doing that annoying "kicking me in the butt" thing again. It's been a combination of issues that are all unrelated, but even I can only take so many hits.

1. As per usual, work is always shifting my moods up and down. Between all the extra work and hours, I'm exhausted, but I can't sleep because I'm too worried about work.

2. Bam had his bi-annual vet appointment and it cost me a fortune (mainly due to the extra food I have to buy because of Bugs), but Bam also has to have his teeth cleaned which is expensive in itself. But it will have to wait until Bugs has his heartworm checkup in the next week so I can see how much that costs.

3. The crown I popped off in Dallas and couldn't get put back on until I got over my bronchitis is now an abscessed tooth (including the one behind it), so now I have to have dental surgery and have both removed (including a very expensive implant to replace at least one of them). So much for getting ahead of my credit cards and working towards building my bills and dental surgery equals no credit card payoffs.

4. Speaking of said house, when I showed the plans to my mother, she very blatantly made fun of it's "small" size as well as several other derogatory comments (she had no idea she was stepping on toes, that's just the way she is). Normally, my mother doesn't have the power to hurt me but, for some reason, it walked all over me this time. So, even though I can't afford to build a bigger house, I've been working non-stop in all my spare time to find a better/bigger alternative and I've been driving myself crazy.

5. Even after paying off my mortgage and two credit cards, my credit score managed to drop almost 30 points! How does that happen? It was supposed to go up, not down! Maybe it will take another three months to benefit, but all three credit ratings showed the payoffs and one even reported the drop was due to not having a mortgage! Oh well, with all these new expenses, I guess my two year goal for house building might have to be a three year plan anyway. Damn.

But, anyhoo, I did manage to get my stitching goals finished for the week. I left off on Alice on the B's here:
And, despite all the odds, I managed to finish the row today:
Now, I have three completed rows and the whole project is as big as Bugsy!
Finishing the third row and possibly finishing the fourth one is one of my yearly stitching goals, but for now, it's time to go back to Happy Haunts so that I've got progress to show on The New Stitchy Start Blog. After that, I'm not sure which project I'm going back to. In rotation order, it should be Sleepy Hollow, but May is my horrible work month because I'm covering for someone else and working even later. Because I just finished Snow on Alice and the B's, I'm kind of leaning toward my other Snow White project instead. I guess we'll see after this week.

And I know I'm really far behind on reading blogs and answering emails, but I'm going to try to make some time next week.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Weekly Stitching

Still working on Alice and the B's with no sign of easing up. I left off here last week:
I started on Snow this week:
She looks a bit "swampy" to me right now, but I've been questioning all the colors in this chart since the beginning. I'm still not ready to put it down yet...I feel like I need to finish the row before I move on. Besides, I can't just leave poor Snow in mid form.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Top 5 Tuesday's Catch Up (again)

Well, looks like I've gotten behind again, so this is going to be short, sweet, and to the point. Sorry about the lack of pictures, between long work hours and this nagging chest thing, I just didn't feel like it last night.

Starting with last week's list - Top 5 Things That Make Me Laugh

I'm not a laugher by nature...the high level of sarcasm in my genes makes it almost impossible to hit my funny bone, but there are a few exceptions:

1) My Sister. She knows me too well and she knows which buttons to push.

2) My Pups. There is no greater joy.

3) Disney World. Kid...Candy explanation needed.

4) Being told what to do, especially by authority figures...not a laughable thing, but I will often burst out uncontrollably. Probably more of a nervous tick.

5) South Park. Rude, crude, horribly un-PC, but the most honest humor there is on television, bar-none.

And this week's - Top 5 Things To Accompany Your Stitching

1) iPad. I use it for keeping time and for viewing the PDFs (although I still use paper as well). Can't imagine stitching without it now.

2) My new light. Thanks to a generous Valentines Day gift card from Amazon, I managed to snag a really good LED light to replace my old Hobby Lobby magnifying light which has sucked since day one.

3) Reading glasses. I'm old, I'm legally blind, I have a degenerative eye disease, and I prefer to stitch on 28ct, so I need a little help.

4) A good binge watching show...right now, I'm on my eighth viewing of Heartland and I can't stop watching it.

5) Again...pups. Granted, their presence usually is more annoying than helpful, but there is something comfortable about having puppies snuggling with you as you stitch.

And I'm caught up again! I'm really going to try hard to get it right next week.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Weekly Stitching

I was pretty darn sick for most of the week, so I didn't get any stitching done during the week, but I did OK this weekend. I left off here last week:
And came close to finishing Sleeping Beauty tonight:
You can't tell, but I used almost an entire spindle of Petite Treasure Braid on her arms! It slowed me down quite a bit, but I'm still really into this piece, so I'm going to continue at least one more week (maybe two). I'd really like to finish the row before I switch out, but if work doesn't get any better, that could take me a month or so. I guess it will depend on where the mood takes me.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Weekly Stitching

This was a horrible stitch week. I've been sick off and on since coming back from Dallas and it hit me hard last hard that I actually called my GP (but he would't see me because I have't been in since 2013 and he wanted to leave early, although I'm not sure what one has to do with the other). I barely made any progress at all on Happy Haunts and, even though I started back on Alice and the B's Saturday, I barely made any movement on Alice's hair. I left off here last time:
and stopped here tonight before the storms hit us:
Guess it's now readily apparent I decided not to do the April A to Z. Between being sick and some unscheduled extra work days I wasn't expecting, last week really sucked and it pretty much sealed the coffin door shut. Oh well, maybe next year.

Hopefully this will be a better stitch week, but since I'm still sick, I'm just not sure. And now the rain is starting, so I guess I'd better shut it down for the night. Besides, I have a very skittish (and very heavy) puppy standing on top of me while I'm trying to type! Guess I'll do the Stitchy Start post tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Top 5 Tuesdays - Catch Up and This Week

So I decided to do a bit of double dose last week's and this week's Top 5 Tuesdays, so warning...picture heavy! Last week was a free-for-all, so I'm going to go with my favorite Jasmine Becket-Griffith charts in my stash. At least 60% of the HAED charts in my stash are JBG charts, so this was a hard list, and I've been lucky enough to be RAK'ed more than once with JBG charts, so again, hard to choose (and I hope that no one feels left out)! My favorites change constantly too (well, other than these first two), so if I do this list again, it will probably be completely different!

My absolute favorite is Belle of Bonaventure and it will be my next JBG start once I finish Alice and the B's.
belle of bonaventure
And then Voodoo in Violet will be either right after Belle (or at the same time, depending on how the mood strikes me):
Voodoo in Violet_0b
Granted, HAED is not even close to charting all the Unseelies, but I would love to do all of them together. Right now, there are only two, Wrath and Sloth:
JBG_Unseelie Court Wrath_0a
JBG_Unseelie Court Sloth_0a
Another favorite and probably the start right after Belle and Voodoo, will be Max Color Frost Dragonling...a RAK'ed chart (from one of my favorite people on the planet):
Frost Dragonling MC_00a
And then, last but not least, the Season Fairies...Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, which I will probably do all at the same time:

Now for this week's Top charts. Almost every single chart in my stash is probably movie-themed because they are all Disney, so I tried to find either non-animated Disney movie-related charts or non-Disney anything. It was a hard list to compile, that's for sure, so I had to fudge a bit. Fudge #1...A Summer Ball. This is currently in my WIPs, but I absolutely HATE working on it, so I may never finish it. But it does remind me of almost every single Austen movie ever made, so there you go:
summer ball
Neni Designs took to the Kinkades like crazy, so I managed to scoop them up, including this one of Pirates of the Caribbean:
Pirates of the Caribbean Fantasy_0
I also have an old HAED, Shakespearean Fantasy, so it is a movie compendium in itself:
I think I've mentioned once or twice that I'm a huge Cap fan although, from a cross stitch perspective, I only have a few charts, including this one:
Captain America_1
I also finally took the plunge and got the Hocus Pocus chart from Tilton Crafts, so it will round this list out:
Hocus Pocus

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Weekly Stitching

Before I left for Dallas, I did start back on Suteki. I left off on her on May 31 of last year:
I FINALLY finished the row on Saturday:
and made it a bit into the next row:
I think that the second row won't be as confetti'ed as the first, but I decided to start back on Happy Haunts today so that I might have some progress to show for The New Stitchy Start Blog at the end of the month.

I am still on the fence about the April A to Z. Right now, my stitching mojo is strong and I'm itching to get back to Alice and the B's. Plus, I'm going to have a lot of extra work in April because of a co-worker's vacation days. I have so much on my plate right now and I'm not happy about the signup process for the challenge this year (be it Facebook or commenting daily...which just sounds like even more work). I'm going to take the week to decide, but it means I'm already ill-prepared and behind. I'll need to buy thread and fabric and kit it up and will at least need to get some kind of a head start, so when work bogs me down, I won't get too far behind. I'm just not sure my head is in the right space to be working on a challenge right now. I figure if I can't decide, it probably means I shouldn't start it.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I'm back!

Just a few highlights before the full treatment...

I got to play with a planetary model and stand in the "known universe" at the Perot.

I got to control the playlist at the Hard Rock in Dallas...I bet I'm the first person ever to play a Take That video on their screens along with numerous Duran Duran songs, Blasphemous Rumours by Depeche Mode (twice by accident) and a Cure song!

I got to stare at a Monet for half an hour and was forced to glance at a Pollock for two seconds at the Museum of Art.

And, of course, I got to spend almost two hours with the best band in the world, Duran Duran!!

All in all, it's the best week I've had in a long time and my very first good trip to Texas! But now I'm back at work and life sucks again.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What is wrong with me?

Although I'm less than a week away from seeing Duran Duran, I'm in a HUGE Take That mood right now and this doesn't help!

I feel like such a traitor!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Top 5 Tuesdays - Time-Related Charts

Thankfully, I still haven't had to go outside my stash for these least not yet! Don't forget to go over to Kate's blog to see her post as well as to get the links for Tiff and Emma's...they all usually do WAY better at this than I do!

Granted, my view of the three fates are three ugly hags sharing an eyeball (too many Disney movies), but I absolutely adore this HAED pattern from Jasmine Becket-Griffith and I'll do it one day, although it's not high on my JBG to-do list. Nothing says time (or rather time's up) like fate!
The Three Fates_1

This next one was the first HAED chart I bought that I realized was dithered and that they had changed over their charting method (I still miss the old ones, especially on the JBGs). Obviously, anything related to Doctor Who is time-related and I'm a total Doctor Who girl. I've been watching it since I was a kid, although I haven't kept up much since the new doctor took over (I'm still grieving over the loss of David Tennant):
Space Traveler_1

Speaking of Doctor Who and new doctors, I bought this Clouds Factory chart before the switch and since twelve is now about to leave, I guess it's a good thing I didn't buy the replacement! I'll just wait a bit more to see how long the next doctor lasts!
The Eleven Doctors - 2

Once Upon A absolute favorite TV show (and no, I'm not ready to accept that we might be losing Snow and Charming next season). I started this chart a while back but ended up scrapping it (my first trash project ever). The fabric was too soft and I had the "brilliant" idea to use metallic thread on their fairytale counterparts and it was a total disaster! One day I will do this chart again (the right way):

I just recently added a project to my stash that's not really my style, I but I loved the artwork so much, I couldn't help myself. I don't think anything is time-related as much as life and death, so here you go:
Live and Death_000

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Weekly Stitching

I didn't get much done through the week, but I had another really great weekend, at least stitch-wise. I left off here last week:
And almost finished the second page of the row tonight:
I'm not sure why I'm flying through her so quickly, but it's motivated me enough to want to continue on, at least for the week. I'm just not sure yet. With Duran Duran coming up soon, I've got to shift focus. Plus, I've got to decide what I'm going to do about the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. I'm leaning toward doing it, but I won't be doing it the "commenting" way and certainly not the Facebook way (obviously).

On the pup front, it's all sunshine and roses, except when I'm trying to stitch...this is what I have to put up with:
Speaking of pups though, today was Bam's 7th birthday (or as close as we can figure). It's really more an anniversary of his adoption date and a guestimation of his years, but it counts! It seems like only yesterday when I brought him home!

We also went from thunderstorms and possible tornadoes this week to this:
Granted, by the next afternoon it was all gone, but it was real snow with very little ice! That's practically unheard of around here! It was a crazy week, that's for sure!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Top 5 Tuesdays - Quick Stitches

Sorry, I'm a bit late! When it comes to quick stitches, the definition is a bit sketchy for me...if you count a HAED quick stitch, those puppies take months, so I'm going to go with ones that I could probably finish in a week or so.

One of the first designs I bought from Neni wasn't a Disney kit, but rather this one:
Speckled Owl
I'm not really into owls, but I liked this one and I do plan to do the glasses in purple instead of teal. It's pretty small, so it would take no time at all and I would probably hang it at work.

I have always been a HUGE fan of Calvin and Hobbes (I always said, that if I would have had kids, I probably would have had a boy that was a cross between Calvin and Cartman). I have all the books (well, I used to until it got replaced with the deluxe box set), I have a C&H sticker on my laptop, and I've had a newspaper cutout on my bulletin board at work that is probably forever old (it say's "If I grow up to be some sort of psychopath because of this, you'll all be sorry!"), so it made sense to stitch a C&H project:

There was a very simple Sleeping Beauty Pattern that I found on Etsy, and I just had to have it (although I may never stitch it because it will need to be done on dark fabric):
Sleeping Beauty

When I used to stitch one project at a time (back in the pre-blog days), after each major project, I would always do a Disney ornament as sort of a post-workout cool down (although there is nothing relaxing about these things, I find them quite annoying and difficult actually). I still have several in my stash though that maybe I'll do one day:
Mini Disneys
The finished ones hang in my office at work:

And lastly, I recently bought several patterns from Etsy that was buy two, get one free, so these are what I went with:
Any of these would be great for my office (or my computer room) as well.

As a bonus, I have another kit that I bought that I can't bring myself to stitch until I actually go to England (and house plans have skewered those plans for a couple of years, but maybe someday soon).
Forever Friends