Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Halloween - design by La-D-Da
28 count natural linen - one over one
Weeks Dye Works Floss
I finished up Halloween last night. Talk about quick! I wish I still had some time to get these on my spooky tree but my mind is already turning toward my Christmas ornaments. I didn't get many done for myself last year (did I even get any done?) and I've already made a list of what I what to finish. I also want to do a couple of pillows for the couch and that means I need to get going. For the rest of the weekend I'll start on my next block on HoHRH and work out what I want to do for my train rides and what I want to take on vacation.

Today is my birthday but because of my mom I don't have any plans. Usually I have dinner arrangements with family and friends but never had time to get anything together this year. So I'll just stay home a stitch with the pugs. :-) That will be as much fun. My poor babies didn't even get a party this year because I was in Orlando when I needed to be sewing. They were going to be pirates also. Next year for sure.

Friday, October 30, 2009

another small finis

Boo Pumpkin - design by Homespun Samplers
32 count Silkweavers Dark Tan linen
Recommended fibers (mostly)

I finished up Boo Pumpkin last night. Another cute, quick design from last year's Just Cross Stitch magazine. I started on Halloween from La-D-Da from this year's issue on the ride into work this morning. I hope to finish it by tomorrow but I'm doing mine over one and that does take a little longer especially when I stitch on the train. I need to get going on my October house for Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. I never thought I would be an entire month behind this close to finishing it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

back to normal

Things feel like they are getting back to normal. I'm in the office and was able to do some stitching on the train this morning. Here is my progress with Boo Pumpkin from last year's Halloween Just Cross Stitch. I have the little charm that goes with it and it's going to be so cute. I'm not sure if I will have time to turn it into an ornament before Saturday but just think how far ahead I am for next year! :-)

Yesterday Julie M asked what linen I used for yesterday's finis, Spooky Tree. It was a 28 count Gingham Linen called Light/Grey Straw that was a special dye job from Weeks Dye Works. It was the linen used for BBD Loose Feathers called Peacock Pinkeep. I had a small hunk left over and I used it up.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Be it ever so humble

I'm home! And so is Mom and Dad of course. Mom is doing great but it will take several weeks before she is back to 100%. The pugs were the happiest I have ever seen them. They were all over me and I loved it. :-) I was great to be missed by them.

I have had time over the past few days to stitch and started and finished an ornament from the 2008 Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue. And I got a good start on a second one.

Spooky Tree - design by Elizabeth's Designs

Tomorrow it's back to work for me. And things are looking good for my vacation in Jamaica. Yeah!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mom is out!

And I made it to the pool. OK only for 30 minutes but I was at the pool!

Mom was released yesterday around 12:00pm. We had her back to the hotel at Disney by 12:30pm. She is really tired and napped much of the day. Today we are hoping to take her to the pool for a little bit so she can get some fresh air.

I expect to fly home tomorrow. I sure hope so. I really need to get things back to my normal.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Little Witch finis

Little Witch - design by Shepherd's Bush
Recommended linen and fibers

I finished up Little Witch at the hospital yesterday. I actually thought I would have a lot more done by this time but we seem to spend a lot of time traveling back and forth and I just never seem to have time. I started on a Halloween ornament from last year's Just Cross Stitch. The plan is now to work on Halloween stuff until the weekend.

My mom is doing much, much better. Her surgery on Friday was successful and her doctors are very pleased with her progress and said yesterday that she is doing much better than they expected she would given her condition when she was admitted last Monday. Three of her five docs have released her and we expect the other two will release her tomorrow or Wednesday which means we should be able to fly home on Thursday or Friday. I sure hope so! I'm still trying to get in some pool time and maybe today. My sister and I have been visiting Mom for an hour in the morning. Then we leave my Dad for a couple of hours by himself (he hates not having alone time with her and pouts when he doesn't get it) and go do something. Today I'm hoping just to drive back to the hotel so I can put on a suit and hit the pool. Then we will drive back to the hospital and stay for a couple more hours. Last night we went to the Hollywood Studios for a couple of hours and tonight we plan on going to Epcot and visiting the World Showcase to watch the fireworks. It is nice to get away from it all for a couple of hours.

Thanks so much for all your kind thoughts and good wishes! I know it helped Mom tons. :-)

Friday, October 23, 2009

we made it :-)

We made it to the Not So Scary Halloween party last night at the Magic Kingdom. It was really a great time and I'm so glad we made the effort to go even though we arrived a couple hours late. This is me with the entire dwarf gang. How cool is this? Because we have two extra tickets, my sister and I might go again one evening next week to see what we missed - which was a lot.
Here I am as Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean. The highlight if my evening was being picked out of the crowd by Capital Jack Sparrow himself during the villain parade. :-) OK, it was a just a point from him but it was still cool. :-)

My mom has finally been diagnosed. She has a hernia in her abdomen and a section of her bowels have been moving into it so over time it has been obstructing things and generally messing everything up. But it was a gradual thing that my mom assumed was everything else expect what it really was, i.e., food poisoning, flu, etc. And she never told anyone that she was having trouble especially her doctor who might have started to look into things. She has been losing weight over the past few months but as she is always trying to lose weight no one really gave it much mind. So she is in surgery now and we are waiting for the phone call to go back to the hospital and see her. It is going to be a couple of tough weeks. In addition to the hernia, she has bronchitis, anemia and has a mild case of malnutrition because of the cycle of illness she has been experiencing for many months now. She hide most of it from us because she was afraid she had a recurrence of cancer (she had lung cancer about 15 years ago). Because of the bronchitis she is going to be on a ventilator for a couple to several days. The earliest my sister and I can go home is next Friday but we are not holding out much hope for that at all. Most likely it will be around the 1st or 2nd of November putting my vacation to Jamaica in jeopardy.

I sound so selfish when I say that but I was so looking forward to that vacation as I haven't had a proper vacation in a couple of years. I don't have travel insurance so if I can't make it it's money lost. And even if I get home in time I'm not sure my boss will be cool with me leaving again right after been out of the office for two weeks.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

thanks for the warm wishes

Thanks so much for you kind thoughts and good wishes for my mom. My family and I really appreciate it.

Mom is feeling a bit better today as they are pumping her full of whole blood and I have to be honest here, it's nice that she doesn't look so scary sick because her color is better. We got a couple of answers today. She does have a severe bacterial infection in her digestive system. But there is some internal bleeding that they have not narrowed down yet. She is scheduled for an endoscopy tomorrow morning and we are hoping that shows something.

We were able to move our tickets for the Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom from Tuesday to Thursday and we think we will be able to go. We might as well go as visiting hours in the ICU end at 6:00pm and we will be back to the hotel by the time it starts. And to tell the truth, my sister and I can use the break. It's been a tough couple of days. Mom really wants us to go also. She is really upset that we are spending as much time as we are with her. But we told her the reality is, she would have gotten sick no matter where she was and at least we are all together. If my parents and I didn't join my sister and her family in Orlando, I would have had to call her and make her fly home.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

not such a magical day

We had to take my mom to emergency last night. She's been sick since Saturday night and late last evening it became clear that things were not going to improve without intervention of some kind. She is currently in the ICU and so far the staff there is clueless as to the problem and there is no ETA on her being released or even being moved into the regular wards.

I've had a bit more time for stitching as we have been spending large chunks of time at the hospital. Not really how I wanted to spend my vacation (and I'm sure my mom can say the same) and I hope she starts to improve soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday at the Kingdom

We spent most of the day at the Animal Kingdom and after dinner we are going back to the Magic Kingdom - it's open until 1:00am tonight and we are going to stay as long as we can. :-) Tomorrow is the costume party. I can't wait.
Nothing but nothing says Disney to me like a Mickey Ice Cream bar.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

all decked out for fall

It's been a little on the cool side here at WDW but the weather should pick up on Tuesday and then it's pool time!
I sure miss my puppies. :-)

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Before I put my sewing machine away to tidy things up before I went on vacation tomorrow, I thought I had better finish off the two pillows I started several weeks back. And here they are!
Autumn Bouquet by Blackbird Designs

And Autumn Song also by Blackbird Designs.

And here is the complete collection. I don't think I need any other fall/Halloween pillows for the couch. :-) I'll have to start on other seasons.

I put in the last 14 stitches on my floss holder when I got home from work last night. :-) Took minutes just like I thought. I started Little Witch from Shepherd's Bush yesterday. It's already coming along nicely.
I'm all packed and ready to go to Disney World. I am bringing a ton of stitching because I don't know what I'll feel like doing but most of it is Halloween/fall related. I hope I actually stitch when I get there. While I love Disney and all that it offers, what I really need is a vacation where I can sit around and do nothing by the pool. I hope I get it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Floss Keeper Finis - well almost

Floss Keeper - design by Blackbird Designs
32 count Silkweavers French Vanilla Linen
Recommended floss

I almost finished up the floss keeper this morning. :-) It was only when I went into my bag to get out the last piece of floss that I needed to finish the border did I realize that last night I didn't put the floss back into the bag. :-) Duh. I'm 14 crosses short. But I'll finish it tonight when I get home from work and put it in my ever growing finishing pile.

This is my latest jewelry finish from the Bead of the Month Club. I'm going to give this to my sister for her birthday tomorrow. I'm so not a pink person but she loves pink and I knew it would be perfect for her. This is the fourth kit that I have received (still have one waiting to be finished) and I think I'm ready to cancel. Of the five kits I have received, I have liked one, hated one and was very indifferent to three. Not very good odds at all and I think my money would be better spent on things I know I will like. Things are so busy right now with me getting ready for vacation on Friday. I'm still working on my costume and I have to finish it tonight! Work is driving me crazy and I haven't even put a stitch in Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. I was so caught up and now I'm behind. Bummer.

Monday, October 12, 2009

a mixed bag

Aoife had her first AKC agility trial yesterday and the results are mixed. The bad news is no qualifying scores. The good news is, this little girl rocks the course.

On each of her three runs, we had one critical error resulting in all NQs.

On her first run of the day was FAST (the event where the judge sets up the course and assigns each obstacle a point value plus a mandatory bonus and the handle runs the course however she wants to) she missed the bonus. I was pretty disappointed because the bonus was a jump to the teeter and she loves the teeter so I thought it was a shoe in. But she came back to me rather than take the teeter so a NQ. She was a little uneven on that run, barking at me a lot and pretty distracted - she ran by the A-frame and bobbled the weaves once. I think she had a case of ring nerves and that had a lot to do with why she didn't take the bonus and had those few other issues.

On her second run, Standard (with all the obstacles) she was running great, had a bobble at the table, the little shit dear left the table before the five second count was over so we had to do it over. That is a five point penalty plus the time you waste. Then we got to the weaves and it took her three tries to do them. In novice the weaves are un-scored but you must complete them. So it was just a huge time sucker. Then the dog walk. The poor baby fell off! That has never happened before to any of my dogs. She was about three feet or so off the ground on the up portion of the walk and she just could not keep her feet under her. Her approach to the dog walk was pretty horrible - my fault as I most likely could have lined her up better and she just could not keep her feet under her and fell off. And fell hard. I really shook me up. But she got right up and barked at me some more and we completed the course as there was only one jump left.

The last event of the day was Jumpers with Weaves and it was a super easy course and I had high hopes of qualifying. We were the first 12 inch dog on the line. I set Aoife up at the start line and put her is a stay (which she did beautifully). I released her, her back leg kicked the bar and down it went - get this - after a couple of seconds! It actually bobbled on the jump cups. Our run was over before it even started. But in agility you keep going and that is what we did. And she was amazing. I would even call it a perfect run after that first jump. She read both my rear crosses perfectly and was fast! And she had a perfect set of 6 weaves. She finished up with a time of 22.98 seconds on a 39 second course. And was the fastest 12 inch finisher! It would have been first place! She was even faster than a lightning fast 12 inch Sheltie that we go to class with. I was bursting with pride and at the same time so sad with the end result.

Overall I'm really disappointed on the outcome of the weekend but Aoife enjoyed herself and I will be able to take away some good lessons for our next trials. And I was glad to finally find out if she is as fast as I think she is. For a long time it was in my head that she was only fast in my mind. But she proved she can hang with the fast dogs. I had many people comment on her and that was very nice. And she will only improve over time. I actually feel that we could have gone faster on that jumpers run and by her dropping the bar on the first jump did take a little wind out of my sails. Her next trial is on November 14th and 15th so I'll have time to work on her table skills and her weave poles - her two problem areas.

Here is my progress on the BBD floss keeper from the last Loose Feather. I actually had time to work on it during the agility trial. I spent the bulk of the crafting weekend sewing my pirate Halloween costume. It's turning out great! On Friday I went shopping for the fabric and patterns. On Saturday morning I cut out all three pieces (pants, vest and shirt). Then I started sewing the actual costume. It took over five hours just to make the pants! About two thirds of the way done with the pants, I actually said to myself what was I doing? I could have just made a simple pair with a gathered waist with a simple hemmed leg. But no, I had to go and buy an authentic 18th century pattern with a buttoned waist and buttons along the leg. But it does look really cool. And then I started the vest and said the same thing. :-) Mine is from the same authentic pattern and I've lined it in silk and it has 15 buttons (and button holes) up the front. But I've always had the attitude that when I do something I might as well do it right. On Sunday after the trial I got most of the shirt complete and all I have left is the hem. Yeah! I'll take lot's of photos. Now I need to find a nice pirate hat and make a baldric for the sword. I purchased a nice faux leather for that because I could not find one online that I could get before I left for Florida on Friday. But that should only take an evening or so.

I've got a ton to do at work this week and even more at home to get ready for vacation. My niece has agreed to stay at the house for the entire time and pug sit. :-) That makes me very happy to have someone at home that I trust to watch over them.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Conspiracy finis

The Great Pumpkin Conspiracy - design by The Cricket Collection
32 count Silkweavers Golden Harvest
Silk N'Colors and various cotton overdyed floss

I finished up the Great Pumpkin Conspiracy last night. Yeah! I love how it turned out and I'm really glad I swapped out most of the DMC for overdyeds. It's such a whimsical piece and it makes me want to stitch more from this designer.

I didn't have a ton of time to get something pulled together for my train rides for today but I did have the floss holder ready to go from BBD that was in the last Loose Feather. Alas, I didn't put a stitch in because I took a nap. :-) Maybe on the way home.

Remember a couple of days ago I said things just keep popping up? Well a biggy has popped up for sure. On Tuesday my sister asked if I wanted to go to Disneyworld for a week leaving on the 16th of October. How could I say no to an all expenses paid vacation? So I didn't. ;-) But now I'm scrambling to get ready to go and figure out what stitching projects I want to bring with me. And I need to make a costume! They paid for us to go to a costume party at the Magic Kingdom on the 20th and we are all going to dress up like a Disney character. I'm going to be Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean. But I didn't want to buy one of the cheesy costumes so I'm making mine. And I don't have a ton of time. I'll get started tonight. I had to wait for Joann Fabrics to have the patterns on sale and that starts today. That means for the annual Hawloween party I take the pugs to they will also be pirates as I like to have a theme for us.

Wish me and Aoife luck for Sunday! I shouldn't be so nervous about an agility trial but I am. I'm convinced that she is either going to be a rock star or a train wreck but in truth she will most likely be somewhere in the middle.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I got a ton done last night on The Great Pumpkin Conspiracy. It almost makes up for the fact that I can't stitch at all tonight. I just have to finish one crow and the pumpkin patch with a smallish motif on the bottom and I'm done! It would be cool to have it finished but the weekend but I won't hold my breath. Things are always popping up.

Monday, October 05, 2009

busy weekend

I'm closing in on a finish with The Great Pumpkin Conspiracy. I'm getting a bit bored with it as I very rarely work on only one piece at a time. I'm ready to start something new! I want to work on a couple of the BBD stockings and I did purchase one of the Shepherd's Bush Halloween designs that I'd love to play with before the 31st. And I'm actually wanting to start on the next house from Houses of Hawk Run Hollow! I'm getting so close to the end I can taste it.

I was super busy over the weekend and in my head I was hoping to finish my two fall pillows plus a couple of other small things but found that I barely had time to stitch let alone anything else. Aoife and I went to an agility fun run on Saturday and she did much better than I expected. She really didn't run around much but there was plenty of barking at me. :-) It's funny to see her do that. In her heart she is 100% border collie. :-) She did have a couple of missteps, she left the table before the full count was over on both her runs and she ran under the tire obstacle rather than jumping through it. Not sure what that is about because she doesn't do it at home or in class. Yesterday I set up a nice Novice level course for her in the backyard and we did a bit of homework. We will be doing more of the same every evening until the trial on Sunday.

Friday, October 02, 2009

that was a stunning defeat

The crowd gasped and then was totally silent. I've never experienced anything like it before.
I'm in here somewhere with my orange t-shirt on.

Chicago 2016

Here is my progress on The Great Pumpkin Conspiracy. I love it!

This is my first free weekend in what seems like forever. :-) But not even really free. I have a wedding shower on Saturday, a pug meetup and an agility fun run. :-) But I have hopes for Sunday. :-)

Today is the big Chicago 2016 decision and I work for the offical professional services firm of Chicago 2016 so work is making a pretty big deal out of it. We are all walking down as a group to watch the announcement live from Daley Plaza. I'll post photos! Wish Chicago luck. This would be the coolest thing ever and I want to be a part of it. :-)

Thursday, October 01, 2009


I'm still hard at work on the Great Pumpkin Conspiracy and am heading close to half way complete. I'm enjoying it so much it's making me want to drag out another Cross Eyed Cricket design - Sleepy Hollow. I've been wanting to work on this since I bought it - what last year? Two years ago? Time flies for sure. I'm low on cash until I go on vacation in early November to Jamaica so I'd have to dye my own linen but that's no big deal and there are only a few overdyeds required and DMC so it's almost affordable. :-)

I found an agility fun run for Aoife on Saturday that I'm thinking of going to. It will be at the same location as her first trial so it's a great opportunity to get her feet wet at that venue (which we have never been to) and give me a chance to fine tune things during the last week leading up to the 11th. I'm really nervous about starting her. She is so different from my other two pugs and I have no idea what I'm going to get. :-) But I have a feeling I just need to hang on for the ride. She is one wild girl!