Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year's Eve!

Okay, my final post for 2006. I have had a very pleasant day, knitting on the mate to my Leaves of Grass sock. Did I mention I had to save it from Flea? I was so mad at her. During the night she got it off my table and dragged it under the bed. She took both needles out and chewed one of them up. I just wanted to beat her little butt, but dog's can look so sweet, pitiful, and innocent all at the same time. So I had to get my needles back into the sock, and when I did that I discovered a mistake, so I had to rip out the heel flap. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. But now I'm at the gusset decreases and making good progress.

I watched Wicker Man with Nicholas Cage in it last night. It was very suspenseful and kept my attention the whole way through, but the ending was bleh. It was a strange movie. I also have Celestine Prophecy to watch. I'll probably watch that in the morning.

We are going to Gwen and Danny's house tonight. I enjoy them and the group that gets together every Saturday night. So I'm looking forward to tonight. I hope everyone has a blessed and happy new year's eve!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year's Weekend :o)

I have had another lovely start to another lovely holiday weekend! Again, we got off work early. And even better, I got to have lunch with Rissa, Cynthia, and Roger. I really enjoyed visiting with them. I wish Cynthia lived closer, and that we all had more time to spend together doing girlie stuff, stitching, knitting, and belly dancing. And they brought me presents, which was so sweet! I didn't have one for them, which made me feel bad. But I loved my presents, and I really appreciated them! Thank you!!! I love you guys!

I finished a sock this evening (see the post below). And now I have three whole days to spend stitching and/or knitting! I don't have to go anywhere like last weekend, so all the time is mine, mine, mine. :o)

We are replacing the flooring in the house, and the installers called this afternoon. They will be coming next Thursday and Friday to install the floor. We are putting down wood laminate stuff, and I am looking forward to getting all this dirty, nasty carpet up. Carpet doesn't do well with three dogs, a man, and teenagers tromping on it. Of course, the carpet is seven years old too. I love the look of wood floors, so I will be glad to get this done, even though it means totally tearing up and disrupting my nest. I really hate for my nest to be disturbed, it tends to make me very cranky. But it should only take them a couple of days, so hopefully I won't get too evil. Poor Mark, pray for him! LOL

Leaves of Grass Sock Finish

Woohoo! A sock finish! I finished one of my Leaves of Grass Socks. I know I should have worked on Summer's Dream, because I have to send it in next week, but I was just so close to finishing the sock. I don't think I'll finish Summer's Dream, so one evening's stitching time just wouldn't matter. Or that's what I told myself anyway. It just feels so good to finish something!

(Please excuse the mess in the background, housework is just not on the agenda right now. Okay, if I'm honest, it's never on the agenda.)

These socks are knitted out of Knit Picks Parade - Daffodil color. I ran out of the yarn right as I reached the toe, so the toe is Cascade Fixation - Yellow (left over from another pair of socks). The yellow doesn't match, I know, but I don't care. I love my sock anyway. And Evil Kitty Baby approves of it too.

Or maybe he is just tolerating it because my picture taking space is his laying space on my desk. You can never tell if a cat is approving or just tolerating. :o)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Mouse

A mouse had taken up residence in my kitchen, a not-very-mouse-friendly place to live as it is also home to Honey Bear, the ferocious mouse huntress, Flea, always up for a game of chase, and the apex hunter, Evil Kitty Baby. Mark put a live trap under my stove drawer, and we caught him this afternoon. I was ecstatic! Mark and I took him out by the pond on the other side of the run off stream (in hopes that he won't come back) and let him go. He was so cute. He scooted under the leaves by a tree, and we looked at each other for a minute. I explained to him that he was really better off outside. I'm not sure he believed me, as it is cold and rainy out tonight. I hope the little fellow has a nice long mousey life.

Christmas Holiday Weekend Fun

I love holiday weekends. It is such a treat to have extra time off from work. I have been stitching very hard on Summer Dream, a stumpwork course I am pilot-stitching for EGA. It is a beautiful piece, and I am enjoying it very much. It is a companion piece to Fantasy Remembered, which I am also working on. I'm running up against my deadline though. I need to be finished by next weekend. But even if I don't totally finish, I still have been able to make some (I hope) helpful comments in the text.

My weekend started off at 12:00 Friday, because we got half a day off on that day. Woo hoo! Then there was a goodie in the mail - the final kit of the 2006 Socks that Rock Club. And I got a bonus hank too! I have enjoyed receiving all the pretty kits to add to my collection. At some point, I do plan to knit them all! I am thinking about joining the 2007 STR club too. I am such a stasher. LOL

This is the yarn for the final kit, called Mustang Sally:

And this is the beautiful bonus hank that I got. Its called Rare Gem, and I love the colors!

And since I have some extra time this weekend, I wanted to post about the 2006 EGA seminar I went to back in October. I really meant to post about this earlier, but I just haven't had the energy. Life has been a tad difficult these past several months, with Mark's problems. He hasn't worked since the middle of September, actually his birthday 9/20, but he does seem to be getting better. But I don't want to post about depressing things, so how did I get sidetracked on that topic? On to seminar 2006!

We drove to Richmond VA from Jackson MS, and let me tell you, that was a LOOONNNGGGG ride! Cynthia and Rissa rode with me and Mark, and I am impressed that we got all our stuff in my car. It took a Master Packer (Rissa) and a Man (Mark), but we managed to get it all in without the Man getting hurt. Downtown Richmond was disappointing because it was as dirty and icky as downtown Jackson. I don't know why I expected it to be more than it was, I guess Richmond just conjurs Gentile South in my mind. But the rest of the town is gorgeous, and the hotel was nice. All the people I met were very nice too.

My classes were great! The first one was A Main Course with Jette Roy Finlay. She is just a lovely woman and a fantastic teacher. She is Danish, and the course was on Danish Whitework. Her husband was with her, and he was so funny. He is a professional magician, and he wowed us with some of his tricks. At the closing banquet, he went around with his little weasel puppet that he made look very real, and you could tell where he was by the screams that surrounded him. LOL

Here is my piece, just as I left it at the close of the class (you didn't expect me to actually work on it some more, did you?) ;o)

And here is a picuture of what it WILL look like one day:

My second class was a crewel class with Canby Robertson. She is a very good teacher too. Since this was a class for advanced stitchers, she gave us just a guideline on how she stitched her piece and encouraged us to follow our own instincts. She talked to us about design and balancing the picture, about colors, and that kind of stuff, all of which was very helpful to me. The piece is called Tide Line, and it is very pretty. Here is what I got done during the seminar:

I know, doesn't look like much progress for two days of stitching, does it? But let me tell you, those two little shells took lots of stitches! And you can't tell from the photo, but the little white one puffs out. I like him. :o) Here is what it will look like one day:

Pretty, isn't it? And the best thing about this class is Canby made me feel like I could go out in my back yard, draw something, and turn it into a realistic crewel embroidery piece. It was a wonderful class, and she is a wonderful teacher!

I had such a good time, I went ahead and pre-registered for next year, in Chicago. I don't believe we will be driving though! LOL

Now, back to stitching on Summer Dream....

I hope everyone has a good holiday weekend!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Walking through the clouds

I just got back from my morning walk, and it is a beautiful, misty, magickal morning. There is a very dense fog around our pond. I took my glasses off because they were getting too wet to see through, and it made no difference. As I walked through the densest parts, I could feel the tiny water droplets floating in the air, prickling my face. I could hear the ducks quack-quacking, but I couldn't see them, and I couldn't even tell from which direction the sound was coming from. I have never experienced a cloud in such an intimate way before. Of course, we have had foggy mornings before, but I've never walked through one like this. It was very cool!

Monday, December 11, 2006

You know its been way too long....

...since your last post when you can't even remember your user name! I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be able to get into my own blog. But finally, I cracked the code. :o)

Let's see, what has happened since mid-October? My husband is doing much better, although still not working. I'm getting just a tad bit stressed over the no-income thing, but I'm hiding it well I think. The EGA seminar in Richmond VA was wonderful! Both of my classes were superb, and I promise to post more about them later, along with pictures of the projects (which haven't changed ANY hee hee). I did nothing for Halloween/Samhein, most unlike me since that is really my favorite holiday and time of the year. I didn't even change up my alter, probably had something to do with my worry about Mark. Thanksgiving was good, ate too much as usual. I got my tree up last weekend, and that brings my blog up to date.

I had a good weekend, as it was my embroidery guild meeting weekend. I enjoyed seeing everyone who came, and it is always lots of fun to go out to eat with Cynthia, Rissa, and the husbands. Although Roger didn't come this weekend, and he was missed. But I did get to meet Cynthia's sister, and that was nice.

Well, that's it for now. I'm going to stitch for a while before bed.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Mark decided he needed new shoes to wear to the banquets at the EGA seminar, so he talked me into going to look at the shoes he wanted to get. So off we went to the Shoe Department, so he could get his shoes. Well, I quickly got tired of looking at men's shoes (bor-ring!!!!), and headed to the women's shoes, just to browse of course.

And it was love at first site!! I got me some pretty, sexy, sparkly shoes to wear with one of my banquet outfits. They are Mootsie Tootsies (I just love that name! LOL).

Aren't they just the cutest things?? I'm going to have to do the toes in honor of these shoes! :o)

Then I couldn't stop there; after all, I have a second banquet to dress for. Rissa, I'm on a roll, are you proud of me?

I'm a-thinking these sassy shoes look good with jeans too! But first they have to sashay me to the second banquet, then they get to kick it with the blue jeans.

But my feet aren't the only ones in the household. I have some princess puppy feet; these feet belong to the Queen of the house:

Then there are the furry feet, belonging to the Monk-dog (as in neurotic) of the family:

This foot belongs to a canine Flea, so named because she is little, black, jumps around, and gets on everyone's nerves, especially the Monk-dog:

And yes, folks, Big Foot is real, and he lives with me:

The dogs really enjoyed the feet pictures. They always think its great when Mom gets down in the floor, within easy licking distance. :o)

We got lots and lots of rain yesterday. I'm not complaining at all, because we desperately needed it. Then last night it stormed, hard enough to scare my dogs. The storm didn't wake me up, but my dogs barking and climbing all over me did. LOL Now this morning its back to muggy. It is so humid outside right now, I feel like I can't breathe.

I got my master craftsman piece back yesterday. It did not pass. I couldn't understand the basis for some of the comments either, such as my complementary scheme lacked imagination, and my colors were not balanced. Then they commented that I should have used another color for the tendrils. Well, I emailed the chairperson and asked her if I could use any other colors, or if the two colors were all I was allowed to use, and all she said was to follow the directions. So that kinda pissed me off, to be told that I should have used a third color. They also criticized the direction of my stitches. Well, that is the way I saw the flower. I'm not sure if I will redo it or not. Obviously, my tastes and imagination don't suit them. I like my piece. I don't know if I want to put time and energy into something to please someone else, and not me. I think right now I'm better off stitching for my pleasure and tastes.

I got something nice in the mail too. The October Opal kit. The colors are very pretty, peaches and browns. I just love getting sock kits! :o)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

5 Weird Things About Me

Rissa put 5 weird things about her on her blog, and then she tagged me. So here are 5 weird things about me:

1. I have a fish phobia, which I have partially gotten over, sort of. I used to be totally terrified of fish. I couldn't be around aquariums, or be in the water with them, or eat them. Mark swears I can walk on water, because we were in chest high water once, and I saw a fish near me, and I was out of the water and on the bank before he knew what happened. I am now okay with aquariums, but I haven't tested the part about being in the water with them. And I still can't eat fish.

Okay, I'm trying to think of more weird things, but I can't. I'm really the only normal person I know. Maybe I should ask Mark for some suggestions. I bet he can think of some weird things about me.

Okay, here we go, I thought of a few more.

2. I rooted for the Aliens in the movie Alien versus Predator. That really disturbed Katie's son. I don't know why that disturbed him, but he still talks about that, in a very concerned voice. But think about it...the Predators had enslaved the Aliens, and hunted them down for fun. They had the poor little queen chained up. That is just wrong. Poor little Aliens. So, yeah, I wanted the Aliens to wup the Predator's ass. And eat some humans along the way. Go Aliens!! Poor little abused and misunderstood guys.

3. I hate sappy, sweet, girlie love stories. Give me a gory, blood-and-guts creature feature any old day. I want to see death, destruction, and chaos. Jaws is one of my favorite movies. And yes, I rooted for the shark. Poor little guy. I also love Alien and Aliens, with Aliens being my favorite. The other Alien movies after that were just dumb.

4. I am a sucker for the Sci-Fi channel's horror movies. You know, the ones they premiere on Saturday night and then release to video. I always have high hopes for them, every time. And they are always so dumb. Well, usually they are dumb. Dog Soldiers and Komodo were very good Sci-Fi channel movies. But the rest of them are dumb. And I tune in every Saturday night, hoping for the best.

5. A couple of years ago the Soap channel was rerunning Ryan's Hope from the 70's, and I secretly watched it. They showed 5 hours worth early Sunday morning, and I would sneak up out of bed to watch it, hoping Mark wouldn't wake up and catch me.

Pictures and thoughts

Oops, two weeks since I updated my blog. It has been a long two weeks too. More on that later, but only if you want to read it. Pictures first, because they are worth a thousand words. :o)

I ordered some qiviek, which is musk ox yarn. It is so soft! And expensive! But I wanted to experience this yarn, so I bought some. Musk ox are so cute. They are closer to sheep than oxen or cows, and they are arctic animals. You comb the undercoat when they start shedding rather than shear them.

Wild Fibers is a very cool magazine too. They have articles on all kinds of fibers and everything related to fibers. I am going to subscribe to it. Their web site is if you are interested. I am a member of the Artic Lace knitalong blog at (I wish I knew how to make links on my blog, but I just haven't taken the time to figure that out yet). I have the book Artic Lace, which is a very interesting book about the Eskimo knitters who work with qiviuk. I recommend it highly.

I have been working on my Leaves of Grass Socks. I am down to the heels on both of them. I think the pattern has turned out very pretty. I knitted them without having a picture as part of the Mystery Sock Knitalong ( To watch the pattern unfold before my eyes without knowing what it should look like was fun. The yarn is Knit Picks Parade in the daffodil color.

Here is a closeup of the pattern:

Six Socks Knitalong has a two color pattern for the October/November sock. It is so pretty. So I started that one. The pink is Opal, and the variegated is Sock It To Me. Both yarns are soooo soft.


Isn't that just the cutest little sock embryo you've ever seen? This pattern is done toe up with a figure 8 cast on. Once I got the hang of it, the cast on wasn't that hard either. I've only attempted toe up once before, and I wasn't happy with it. I've also never done intarsia before. So this is going to be a major learning event. We shall see how this turns out.

Okay, that's the end of the pictures. Now come the thoughts, and they aren't as fun as the pictures, so be forewarned. It has been kinda miserable these past two weeks. I just haven't had much time for the things I love, because Mark has been so needy. I must confess, he is driving me nuts, and that makes me feel very guilty. He has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress syndrome and general anxiety disorder, and he started out-patient counseling at Psychamore last Monday. When I get home from work, he wants to tell me all the things they talked about during the day, and he wants to tell me all his feelings, and it is like a dark depressing cloud just descends on me. I never knew how difficult coping with a depressed loved one could be. This is just as hard as when I was battling my own bouts of depression, in fact, it threatens to bring back my depression. I just don't know what to say to him. I guess he just needs someone to listen, so that is what I do. He's fishing now, and I am so glad he is out of the house. That makes me sound like a terrible person, doesn't it? I feel so selfish and mean when I feel like that. But I just need a little space, a little down time for myself. I hope he starts feeling better soon.

Yesterday was a great day. We had our embroidery meeting, and I worked on the Crewel Confidence GCC. I really am close to being finished. I might try to finish it this week. I also need to do my seminar prework, which is just about an hour's worth of basting. I'll get that done today. Then we went to Hudson's, because Rissa told me they had pretty red dresses in my size. Since all I haven't even LOOKED for a dress prior to yesterday, and seminar is in one week, I figured I should go check them out. Well, here is a personal truth, I HATE shopping for clothes because I HATE my body. It just depresses me to look at clothes that look bad on me. So I went in to Hudson's, looked at a couple of dresses that were for size 10 and 12, and gave up. Typical me. But Rissa came to my rescue, and found several absolutely stunning dresses in my size. One was really, really pretty, but left all my upper shoulders and chest bare, which meant fat hanging out, and I was just not comfortable in it. Then she found two more that I felt more comfortable in, and they are very sexy and pretty. Even more amazing, I FELT sexy and pretty. :o) So I bought them both. Then I asked her to help me find some tops for work. I get to wear jeans, and all I wear are tshirts and big tent shirts, which although they make me feel hidden, really do look hideous. Yes, I know that, but its all about how they make me feel. So Rissa helped me find some really pretty, sexy tops. They are beaded and sparkley, and really pretty. I'm very excited by them all. She should be a professional personal shopper!!!

One week to seminar! I am so excited. Last year was such fun. I haven't even looked at my projects from last year, much less finished them, but it was great. So I'm sure this seminar will be a great experience too. We are driving to Richmond, which I am not looking forward to - 14 hours in a car - ugh! But it will be worth it. Plus, I've never been to Richmond before, so I am looking foward to seeing it too. I will miss my furbabies though. Megan is coming home to puppy-and-cat-sit. One of her friends has already called looking for her! LOL She is such a little social thing. I know all her friends have missed her, and will be glad to see her. I just hate that I won't get to see her. :o(

Monday, October 02, 2006


Mark and I took a beginning hand building pottery class Saturday, from Robert Pickenpaugh, who is a very talented local potter in Madison. It was absolutely great!! I had such a good time. It was an all day class, and I made a bunch of stuff - some wall plaques, some ornaments, stamps, an owl, a fish, and a pot. I can't wait to get them back. He keeps them while they dry and then he fires them for us. I want to take the next class, and I would even take that class again. I'm going to purchase some clay from him and make some more stuff. He named a couple of local ceramic shops that would fire them for me. Mark seemed to really enjoy it too. That's the first time we have ever got to do something like that together. I enjoyed taking the class with him.

We have had some lovely weather this weekend. Today is going to be hot though, with 90's through the rest of the week. Back to normal for Mississippi!

I worked on my Leaves of Grass socks this weekend. I have one of the cuffs done, and now I'm working on the second cuff. I'm using double points. I've discovered that I can't use magic loop with all yarns, some of them are too twisty for the way I knit. I have to be able to let the yarn untwist, or it gets really thin. That may be why I don't want to work on Mark's socks, or one of the reasons (the other reasons being that they are HUGE and black). The yarn is really twisted and icky to work with now. I think I'll take them off the circular needle and get them on double points. The new October socks for the Six Sox Knitalong are absolutely beautiful! I am going to have to do them. They are toe up and fair isle, neither of which I have ever done (successfully). So this will be a learning experience too.

As far as needlework, I'm stuck on my Casalguidi purse. I have to buttonhole stitch around the edge of my leaf, and I can't get it to look right. I remember there was some discussion on the group about what the buttonhole stitch really was, and I know Rissa has some good instructions on her blog, so I'll have to look that info up tonight.

I must go get ready for work now. I'm determined to have a good Monday!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It is going to be a beautiful day!

It's just not fair. Days like today should be declared holidays, since we don't have very many of them. It is starting out in the 60's, and it is going to be in the low 70's, and then tonight will go down to the 40's. Perfect weather! We have maybe six days like this, three in the spring and three in the fall. What a waste to be trapped inside at work! I will have to go to the park for lunch, and soak in this wonderful weather. Mark, the lucky guy, is going fishing. I am so jealous! Not of the fishing, for we all know how I feel about that, and for those of us who don't know, well, that is another story. But of the fact that he gets to be outside relaxing.

I want to add a comment about Needle in a Haystack. I think they are a wonderful shop. I ordered some linen twill from them, and told the girl I talked to that I wanted off-white, not stark white. Well, I got "Natural" which is brown! Ugh! So I called, and I didn't expect that they would take it back because it is cut. Not only will they let me mail it back, they are sending me another piece without making me pay for it, before I send this back! I am very happy with them, and will probably be ordering all my stuff from them. Of course, I still want my own shop, to be used as my personal stash. :o)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Crewel Master Craftsman Program

My first step of the Crewel Master Craftsman Program is winging its way to Kay tonight!

I got it all stretched out, and I think it looks good!

That is the first time I have ever tried to stretch something using thread and a frame. It was a very tedious process, and then my thread started breaking. Rissa said I should have doubled the thread - duh, why didn't I think of that! But there is a little lumpy spot left near one of the flowers, but my nerves had all they could take, so I left it like that.

So, for better or worse, I have submitted it. Sending it off has caused me quite a bit of anxiety too. How silly is that? I wanted to snatch it back from the little post office guy, but I controlled that urge. I hope I pass. I'm afraid I won't though, and then I will be crushed. What a ninny I can be.

I soothed my nerves with a Peanut Buster Parfait from Dairy Queen. Now I feel bloated and icky. I really have to get my list of supplements together, so I can get started on the Diet Cure plan. I'm going to work on my sugar cravings first!

Belly Dancing

I have started taking a belly dancing class with Rissa at Butterfly Yoga, and it is a lot of fun! Of course, I feel like a dork right now, but I know it will get better. I hope it will help me come to terms with my body. Belly dancing is really a celebration of a woman's curves - the way you move your rib cage and roll your shoulders back accentuate the breasts, rolling the belly and shimmying the hips shows off how soft and round the belly and butt are. Even the arm movements make the arms look soft and fluid rather than hard and muscley. I love to watch it, and I hope I can eventually do it well myself.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

On Dieting

I am reading a book called Diet Cure that my friend Cynthia loaned to me. It is a wonderful book, and it really makes sense to me. It talks about the chemical nature of food addiction, and I've never thought about that before. I have always thought I was addicted emotionally, and that I had no self-control or willpower when it came to my favorite foods. But the book points out that we should look at the rest of our life, and see all the things we manage to accomplish and take care of - raise children, manage money, take care of housework, work, just generally keep a life going, and I can see that I actually do have a lot of will power and self control. That really opened my eyes to the fact that maybe there is something more going on than just my love of sweets, carbs, and fats.

Our brains are deficient in essential amino acids because of the way we eat now, all the refined and processed foods that make up our diets. The brain uses refined carbs and sugars as a substitute for the things it needs, but these are a very bad substitute. It results in a craving and an addiction to these foods as powerful as an addiction to drugs such as cocaine. That seems very unbelievable to me. I mean, cocaine is a powerful addiction. But then, I am totally helpless when it comes to sweets and carbs, and I've always thought that was a character flaw, that I was stupid and totally lacking in self-discipline. And yet I have the self-discipline to get up every day and go to work, when I'd much rather stay at home. I keep an office running, and that includes doing a lot of things I would personally rather not do. I set aside time to pay my bills, clean the house, and various other necessary things. I went to school and got my bachelor and master degree while working and taking care of my child. I studied hard enough to pass the CPA exam the first time, while taking care of my sick father. I have a lot of self-discipline and drive to succeed. But I am helpless when faced with sweets and carbs. Yesterday at work we had birthday cake, and I had two pieces, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. And in the afternoon, someone brought me extra icing that had been left. I was sick to my stomach from all that crap, but I couldn't quit eating it. I knew I should NOT eat it, so I got up to throw it away. I ate it all the way down the hall to the break room, and by the time I got there, I had only an empty plate to throw away. That is a powerful craving!

The author says that by correcting these deficiencies, I will be able to go back to a normal, natural diet. She says that we don't crave the foods that are most healthy for us, because we are not addicted to them. They simply nourish us and provide our brain with what it needs. The thought of never having another cookie or piece of cake, or chocolate has a part of me saying NO WAY, NEVER WILL I GIVE UP THESE THINGS, I LOVE THEM! I cannot even conceive of what it would be like to not want these things, to have no desire for them. Is that how drug addicts, alcoholics, and smokers feel?

This book is giving me hope that maybe I can get off the diet cycle, which isn't working. You would never know from looking at me that I constantly try to eat right. You would never know from what I say about food that I really try to eat right. I allow people to laugh at me, to make fun of me, and even insult me over my love of food, and usually I start it because I really hate myself and what I thought was my lack of self-discipline. I hope what I learn from this book will give me the knowledge and tools I need to break out of my compulsive, obsessive love of food that is killing me.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Confessions of a Fiber Addict Binge

Yesterday was fun. Cynthia came up with husband Roger, who had a blacksmith meeting he went to. Cynthia, Rissa, and I all hung out together, and we had a good time. We went to the Junior League's Boutique, where they sell used really nice clothes. Cynthia founds lots of pretty things, because she has lost quite a bit of weight (and she looks fabulous!). I couldn't find anything to fit my fat ass. Oh well. Then we went to my house and Rissa put my spinning wheel together. Then we met up with the husbands and all went to eat at Fire Mountain. Very enjoyable day!

Okay, confession time. I've been a baaaaaaaaad girl. Mark kept getting all these cool things from these fishing things he joined, and all I was getting in the mail were icky bills. I was getting jealous, and I wanted some fun things from the mail box too. So I decided to fix that.

First we have some little kits I got from the Silver Needle. That is such a cool shop, but it is mostly counted cross stitch. These kits are Mill Hill Seasonal Windowpanes, and they have this cool little frame that looks like a window pane. You swap the pictures through the year. The first one is July/August 2006, then September/October 2006, then I also ordered July/August 2005. Aren't they just too cute?

They all have a little wooden thingy too that you put on the outside of the frame. I just love them! And I signed up to get a new one shipped automatically every other month. Bad, bad me.

Then I got some sock yarn from Knit Picks. From left to right, Memories Smores, Memories Redwood, and Gloss Serengeti. The Redwood turned out dark in the picture, but it is very pretty, with lots of red and brown, and a little green. The Gloss is soft, soft, soft! It is a merino wool/silk mix. I can't wait to knit with it.

This is the new Socks that Rock yarn from the every other month sock club from Blue Moon Fibers. This picture turned out dark too, and really doesn't do the yarn justice. It is gorgeous, with maroon, greens, and blues. I can't wait to knit with it!

This is my first kit from the Opal sock of the every other month club from CV Yarn shop. I've never knit with Opal, so this will be a treat. Its very pretty, with lots of greyish blue, gold, and cream. I'm looking forward to seeing what color pattern it knits up into.

And I saved the best for last! My spinning wheel! It is an Ashford Elizabeth. It had a few little things that had to be worked through, but nothing major. I got a good deal on it too. I am very happy with it. So soon I will be spinning and dying my own sock yarn! Will that stop me from ordering all the other sock yarn? Nay!!!!!!!

Okay, I must be good now. I will have to brown bag my lunch for weeks to make up for this spending spree. LOL At least I will have something to do after I eat my sandwich!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Diets - Phooey! And other trivia...

I hate dieting. Just day 2, and already I'm ready to give up. So I guess I better increase my calories before I lose all semblance of self-control.

I can't believe I forgot to mention that I bought a spinning wheel Sunday, because of course a woolley baby farm must have a spinning wheel. LOL I'm so excited! It's coming from Michigan, and she said she would have it in the mail tomorrow. I can't wait! It is a beautiful Ashford Elizabeth. Rissa is going to have to give me lessons. She spins so beautifully. Of course, I get to take credit for being the Great Enabler, because I introduced her to the weaving and spinning guild.

I've been knitting on my Leaves of Grass socks, and they are coming along. I started on my Casalguidi bag from Inspirations Magazine that I want to finish for seminar. I cut the linen for it 1 inch too short. They had published a correction for the instructions, and I had the correction all printed out and with my stuff. But guess where genius put the correction? At the end, where I forgot all about it. So I cut according to the original instructions, and it is about an inch too short. Oh well, such is life. I'll post a picture after I've made a little more progress.

I talked to Megan tonight. It was wonderful to hear her voice. I am really proud of her, and how well she is doing up in Kentucky. She is working for a daycare, and planning on going to school. They have a scholarship program that will help her. She said she wishes we would move up there. I told her, buy me a farm and I'll be packed and moved tomorrow! :o) It really is pretty country there, with all the horse farms. Plus EGA's headquarters is there, and I would love to see that! I wish it wasn't so far, so I could go see her. If plane tickets didn't cost so much, I would fly up there.

Well, the puppies are waiting for mama to come to bed, so goodnight!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Merry Monday Morning

Mississippi Needlearts met Saturday. It was very enjoyable, and we managed to have 5 people present so we could appoint our nominating committe. This was very important, since without that happening we would be unable to have nominations for president and vice president. And without that, our chapter would have been finished, since Rissa can't serve as president again according to our bylaws. Even though we could have continued on as a subgroup of CyberStitchers, it would have been sad to lose our chapter. Rissa and Cynthia and the others who were there since the beginning worked too hard for that.

I finished Lesson 3 for the Crewel Confidence GCC. Just 1 lesson left!

The three little round flowers with yellow centers and the two leaves with them are made with detached buttonhole stitch. They were fun to make. The yellow centers are french knots, and they were a pain to make. :o) My french knots are not consistent. One out of five will be very pretty. I use french knots a lot in my stitching, though. You think I would be better at making them.

These little flowers were my favorite to make. They are whipped spider stitch, and I love the way this stitch looks. The colors blend together nicely too.

Yesterday Mark, Cynthia, and I went to Pagan Pride Day to hear Dr. Dan Capper speak. He is a religion professer at USM, and he practices Tibetan Buddhism. He spoke on religious diversity in the United States, which we don't see too much of here in Mississippi. It was a very interesting talk. Then the audience started talking about all the trouble they had experienced from coming out of the broom closet, which although true, I wasn't interested in hearing about. I would have liked to stay for the drumming and ritual too, but poor Mark's ankles were hurting him from the long day he had on Saturday.

I am starting my (starvation) diet today. I really would like to drop 30 pounds by the time seminar is here. Mainly because I want to buy a pretty red dress, and that is hard to find in the size I am in right now. I am planning on going to water aerobics this afternoon too, provided we don't get an afternoon thunder-shower.

I am off to work now. I am determined to have a GOOD Monday. :o)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday morning grumblings

I wish Mississippi had a really good needlework shop. I haven't found one yet. We have Joy's here in Flowood, but she is really, really limited. She has a smidge of knitting stuff, a little bit of embroidery, mostly leaning to cross-stitch, and a dab of needlepoint things. I went in yesterday to buy size 1 double point needles, and she didn't have any. I was so disappointed. It seems like she never has what I need. Needlearts in Natchez has more things, but honestly, they don't seem to know much about embroidery. Plus they treated my friend Rissa very shabbily, so they are on my shit list. I long for a needlework shop like Silver Needle in Oklahoma, or even better, A Needle in a Haystack in California. Now, those are cool shops! They have lots and lots of stuff, and classes, and neat things going on. If I had the money, I would open a shop like that. Not just one with stuff, but I would like to have classes, stitch alongs, group projects, cool stuff like that. Oh well, I'm just stuck ordering online.

Poor Mark, if he doesn't quit his job soon, I'm going to quit for him. He is stuck in a Mazzio's Pizza restaurant that he has been managing for 13 years now. It is in a part of Jackson that used to be nice, but that is now really, really bad. The only people left in that part of town are mostly poor, and very angry. They are always looking for a way to get something for nothing, and have no conscience when it comes to stealing. Mark has personally been robbed twice at gunpoint, had his truck shot, the store has been broken into numerous times, and they have an armed guard at night. Yes, AN ARMED GUARD in a family pizza restaurant. Need I say more? This is not a bank, folks. This is a fairly inexpensive pizza place. Crazy? Most definitely. Most restaurants, including a McDonald's, have closed up and left. They haven't shut this Mazzio's down yet because, thanks to Mark's amazing managerial skills, this restaurant still makes a profit. But it is taking a horrible toll on him, mentally, emotionally, and physically. He really hates the people in that area. I don't mean a dislike like you and I would feel for someone, but a deep hatred, one that makes him break out in a sweat in a cold room. I fear for his health. I actually typed up his resignation letter for him this morning. If he doesn't give it to them Monday, I'm faxing it for him. I have every confidence he can find another job. We have each other, and we can survive anything together.

I will leave this post on a happier note - today Mississippi Needlearts meets! I really enjoy our guild meetings. I enjoy the company of other stitchers, and looking at what we are all working on. I get to bring my MC piece to share. Then I have to figure out how to get it stretched so I can mail it in. I am looking forward to seeing Rissa and Cynthia especially, and dinner tonight!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

I have had a wonderful weekend. I stitched and knitted to my heart's content, on whatever project took my fancy.

I worked on a couple of pairs of socks. First is the Aran Braid Socks. I'm knitting them with the magic needle method. I started these a couple of months ago, and didn't make much progress. I knitted a couple of pattern repeats this weekend.

I am participating in a Mystery Sock KAL. I had to find a pattern WITHOUT a picture, and knit it. I found one called Leaves of Grass. I have no idea what the pattern is going to look like, so this is fun. It is actually written as an anklet, with just ribbing on the leg, and then a pattern across the instep. I'm changing it - I'm going to make it longer and put the pattern on the leg also. I cast on and got the ribbing done for both socks. I like to knit both at the same time, because Second Sock Syndrome is just a killer for me!

And I worked on 2 dishcloths. The first one is for the Monthly Dishcloth KAL mystery. We don't know what that one is until we are finished, and we only get about 7 rows each day. It is a lot of fun! I tried to upload a picture of that one, but for some reason it won't upload. The second dishcloth I worked on is this one. Its called Swish with a Twist, and its from my new KAL group, Dishcloth Fun. I like this pattern.

And my crowning achievement for the weekend - I finished stitching my first step for the Crewel Master Craftsman program! I'm so excited and proud of myself! Now I have to get it stretched on the bars. I've never done that before, so that will be a new experience. But here it is! :o)

Okay, I'm off to bed to get up and go to work in the morning.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Better picture!

Rissa helped me with my camera woes this afternoon. What I have isn't a camera, but a camcorder - tells you how digital-experienced I am! LOL It doesn't have a flash, so that's why my pictures inside are turning out so crummy. She also showed me how to set it for close up pictures. But even better than that, she gave me her old digital camera, and it works beautifully! Thanks to Rissa, I can now take good, clear pictures! :o)

Here is a much better picture of Dolly the Dolphin -

I had a very enjoyable stitching afternoon. And now it is raining, thank goodness. We need the rain soooooo bad. Rissa has two adorable little dachsunds, and my girls sniffed me all over. They find the boys' scent VERY intriguing. LOL Of course, the first thing one of her dachsunds, Louie, did was sniff in my purse, because the last time I was at her house he found cookies in there. He has a very good memory for cookies! LOL

July Monthly Dishcloth

I finished the July KAL dishcloth - Dolly Dophin last night. I did it in purple. I like the waves, and they were fun to knit too. Not a good picture, I know.

I finished it while watching The Hills Have Eyes. It was so-so, acutally not so good. I am about ready to give up on horror movies. I love horror, but the movies they are making today are such disappointments. I watched Silent Hill Wednesday night. It was weird, but it held my attention, and it wasn't stupid like The Hills Have Eyes. I always have high hopes when I see previews, but usually the movies suck. I guess they put the best parts in the previews! And I am a total sucker for Sci-Fi channel movies, but they are usually so dumb. The best Sci-Fi channel movies are Dog Soldiers (my very favorite!) and Komodo. Both of those are good, in my opinion, and I have watched them a couple of times.

I have six days before the next dishcloth KAL starts, so I cast on for the September 2005 dishcloth. Its an apple, and I'm doing it in red. I divided up the rows, and plan to finish it on 8/31. Go me! I like knitting dishcloths, they are almost instant satisfaction. LOL

I'm going over to Rissa's to stitch this afternoon. There is nothing better than an afternoon of stitching with a very good friend. :o) I'll be working on my master craftsman project, because I am determined to get it finished and sent off for judging.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tuesday stuff

I had a very enjoyable stitching day Sunday. I wanted to post this then, but I had technical difficulties with my camera. Suffice it to say it involved batteries and it turned out to be a man-job. (Which means I tried to change out my batteries, but did something wrong, and my husband had to fix it.) My pictures are also not turning out very well. It took me forever to get some that were half-way decent, and they are still crappy pictures. I need to learn to work my camera better and I need to learn what to do with all the little adjustment thingies. Sigh...why can't I just point and click?

I finished Lesson 2 on my Crewel Confidence GCC yesterday. This picture sucks, but hopefully you can see it okay. I like my chain stitch leaf and flower, and I think the buttonhole flowers turned out nice. I don't like my coral stitch leaf. I just don't like doing the coral stitch, which means I need to practice it. But I am proud of my progress!

I also finished my Monthly Dishcloth KAL. Believe me, the picture doesn't do it justice, it is very pretty! It is bright and cheery, and I really love yellow. :o) I will work on one from July that I started but haven't finished yet, and finish that one before we start the September 1 dishcloth. Fun, fun!

I am now stitching on Step One of my Crewel MasterCrafsman program. I am almost finished, and I'm pretty pleased with it. I have to get it in the mail by the end of September in order to have it judged this go round, and I am determined to finish it by then.

I talked to Megan this evening. I do miss my child, but I am happy that she is happy in Kentucky. I wish she was still at home. I guess I'm having some empty nest pains. Oh well, I will get over it.

Time for bed now!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Dishcloth day 4 and brain ramblings

Okay, this is weird. I tried to upload a picture of my dishcloth last night, and couldn't. Then I tried this morning after knitting day 4 and couldn't. So then I consulted the help files (if all else fails, look for instructions LOL). I found a tip that said try using Firefox. So I did, but the picture showed up as a little square that you clicked on to look at it. So I decided to delete it, and switched back to IE. And low and behold, here is my picture! I don't understand, but I'm glad it worked somehow. Oh well, I finished day 4, and here it is. I really like it! I decided to cut the yellow out of my variegated yarn, so I'm having to weave in lots of ends, but I think the result will be worth it.

While I was stitching, my brain went on one of its rambles. I was thinking about a friend at work, an older lady, who has a younger man VERY interested in her. He flirts with her all the time, and I think he would like to ask her out. But she is not very encouraging to him, to say the least. :o)

We were talking about it, and she shared her feelings, that she just can't imagine a younger man being interested in an older women because, well, because time takes its toll on all of us. You know, parts answer the call of gravity, things don't work as well as they used to, bodily functions don't listen to our instructions like before. I totally understand where she is coming from. If I lost Mark for whatever reason, I don't think I would want another intimate relationship, mainly because I couldn't imagine being intimate with a stranger. Mark and I have been together since I was 17, and he knows me so well, physically and emotionally. I would be embarrassed, I think, to be intimate with someone else.

Why do we have those insecurities about our bodies? Men don't seem to have those insecurities, although time ravages their bodies just like ours. They don't hesitate to accept the attention of a younger women. But all we can think about are our saggy boobs, our big butt, our stretch marks, and so on, and we can't imagine being attractive to a younger man. That is so sad, what we women do to ourselves. I wish I could scatter magical fairy dust over all of us, and give us all the gift of self love. I think self love is the hardest love of all to win. I know I'm still working on it. I didn't have it when I was a teenager with a good body, and I certainly don't have it now that I am 44 with a soft, saggy body. I'm always thinking, if I lose weight, if I exercise and firm up, I will be attractive, I will feel better about myself. But deep inside I know better. Unless I can love myself now, I won't love myself even if I were to lose weight. I would find something else that needed changing before I could be happy with myself. I wish I knew how to fix my self-image problem. But all I can do is keep on trying to accept and love myself.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dishcloth Knitting

I was sick today, so I stayed home from work. I was just miserable last night - with some kind of icky stomach thing. Yuck. I felt better today, but kinda woozy and sleepy all day.

I did work on my Monthly Dishcloth KAL which started yesterday. I knitted yesterday and today's rows. It is really turning out pretty. I'm using yellow as my solid color and a variegated yellow, orange, and hot pink as the contrasting color.

Now I am going to rip out what I stitched last night on my Crewel Confidence GCC. It doesn't look good to me. I can definitely tell I wasn't feeling well last night by the way my stitching looks! Oh, and on a more exciting note, I got an email asking if I would be interested in being a pilot stitcher for a new EGA GCC ! I'm so excited! I will stitch the piece and look for errors in the directions and give comments on any improvements I see. It is for a stumpwork piece. I can't wait!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

MS Needlearts Meeting

We had our monthly meeting today. I enjoy my guild meetings very much. It was just Rissa, Cynthia, Gloria, and me, and we had two visitors. We were working on our GCC, Crewel Confidence. Here is a picture of it after I completed lesson 1.

After the meeting, Rissa, Cynthia, me, and our husbands went to eat at Cozumel's. I really love Mexican food! All in all, a very nice and relaxing day.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

My first blog

I finally started my own blog. I've been thinking about it forever now. I enjoy reading other needlework blogs, and seeing pictures of other people's projects. So I decided I want to share my love of needlework too, along with random thoughts as I stitch my way through my life.

This is going to be fun!