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.

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.

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!

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!

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 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!

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 now…got to get up and go to work in the morning.

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.