Sunday, December 30, 2012

Completed Christmas

Merry Belated Christmas and Happy Early New Year!  I had a really lovely Christmas day.  My sister and I pretty much puttered around the house, watched a lot of Top Gear off of Netflix and ate way too much.  It was about as close to perfect as one can get in a day.  Since it was just the two of us, there wasn't any rush to get up and get going.  We woke up when we woke up and made breakfast.  It was one of those times when the menu gets longer and longer as you go along and by the time everything is cooked, there is just too much stuff!

We started with Gingerbread pancakes, Scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon, Sausages, Hashbrowns, Biscuits, Orange Juice, Cinnamon Rolls and Chocolate milk.  Since breakfast happened around 10 am, we were mostly done with food for the rest of the day.  We did bake up a couple of Costco take-and-bake pizza's for dinner.  Yummy!  Calorific, but yummy.

I have to back up just a bit here... on Christmas Eve, my sister and I headed out to the stores to find some last minute presents.  We were on a mission.  Our dear SIL-A, who is 8 months pregnant, had a bit of a crying jag on Sunday because she felt like she didn't have any cute clothing to wear.  Well, that was something L and I could fix.  (And we did find SIL a couple of darling tops and a cute pair of red ballet flats.  She'll be cute for church today!)  But, since we were shopping, and the sales were good, we also found ourselves some nice gifts.

I just fell in love with the hounds tooth check skirt.  It was at Costco (of all places)!  And then at Downeast Outfitters they were having a major clearance sale and I picked up the white t-shirt with rose embellishments and the lilac cardigan for $10 each.  Steal!

For Christmas, my sister gave me the purple and silver scarf, the two nail stamping plates, and some white and black polish that is a bit thicker in formula and great to use with stamping.  I gave myself the UV light nail dryer and the gloves to minimize the exposure of the UV rays to my hands.  Yes, I've lost my mind.

And here I am, wearing my new skirt and a new blouse that I didn't picture above.  Yes, I have a glowy power source thingy just like Iron Man!  What's that you say? "It's just the flash from the camera?" Aww... I was hoping you'd buy the Iron Man excuse.

And without the flash a better look at the cute top I'm wearing.

I spent a lot of time on Christmas stitching away.  I made some good progress on Santa's Village by CCN... And then realized that I made a counting error in the pine bough at the bottom after I'd put all the green needles on.  So that had to come out.  The below picture is before I put the green bits in and figured out I needed to pull them out again.  I restitched the bough last night, but just now as I was looking at this picture I realized there's another miscount that I need to pull out.  Argh!

When I figured out I had a miscount (the first time around) I put Santa's Village aside and went back to work on Very Scary by Lizzie*Kate.  I finished up the grass, the purple stars, and a bunch of border stitching.  Here is where I left it:

Then on Saturday, I figured it was pretty close to being completed, so after I did the first round of frogging on Santa's Village I went back to work on Very Scary.  I finished up the last couple of bands and now just have the borders to finish up.  It bothers me the way she's just left the green bit as the bottom border without the saw tooth band going across the bottom.  So I've decided that I need to do something more across the bottom, but since I hate the saw tooth design, I'm thinking on doing something different.  I liked the acorn bit that was on part two of the design, so I'm going to see if I can turn that around and have it go across the bottom.  It might work.  It might be a total disaster.  Who knows!

I want to say I'm really hopeful about getting this one done by the end of the year.  Or on the 1st of the new year.  But I'm afraid to set a goal like that for fear that something will come up (and something almost always does) so I won't be able to finish it off.  I am very very close, though.

Now I need to take some time and update the buttons there on the left to point towards the SAL's that I'm going to do in 2013.  I'm keeping with the TUSAL, the WIPocalypse, and International Hermit and Stitch Weekend.  I'm thinking about joining BAP Attacks Turtle Trot (since most of my WIPocalypse pieces will double for that SAL) and then there is It's Geek to Me's Themalicious which was fun to read all the entries for last year.  (She even has a subcategory for ornament stitches!)  And lastly there is a SAL for 12 Christmas ornaments and 12 Halloween ornaments.  That one is a great temptation, but I really need to be realistic about what I can stitch in a year.

And then there's the goal to lose another 30 lbs this year with the Lose to Cruise group.  I did make it this year!  I'm proud to say that while I haven't lost much weight since November, I haven't gained any weight either.  So there's another page that needs to be updated or changed around.

Good luck with all of your resolutions and goals in 2013!

Hugs and Stitches,


Saturday, December 22, 2012

So... yeah... I stitched something too...

It hasn't been a lot of stuff that I've stitched, but some slow progress is being made. I have slowed down quite a bit with the stitching (and the posting as well.)

I'm coming along on Santa's house.  I had thought I'd have it done by now since the second house in the village has been released.  I wanted to get them done before the next one was released.  Didn't happen.

I'm closing in on the end of the birth record for my niece who is to arrive in January.  Just need to finish up the orange frame and a little baby owl.  And then wait until baby girl arrives and she's given a name.

I've been enjoying the job I started back at the first of December.  New stuff to learn, and lots of straight up accounting.  The people are really nice and helpful and the company has a great feel about it.  The people like to be there.

Well... for 2013 I'm thinking I'll join up with the Tusal, WIPocalypse, and try to make most of the International Hermit and Stitch Weekends. Plus there's the Turtle Trot. Now that sounds about my speed since I haven't stitched on much of anything this year. I still love to stitch, but between the job and the gym and my Saturday morning service there just aren't enough hours in the day.

Hugs and Stitches,


A new obsession

So... back at Thanksgiving when my cousin did my nail for me, something inside my head when *click* and now I'm slightly obsessed. So I've been surfing boards on Pinterest, reading blogs, surfing Amazon for product, and haunting the make up aisle of Target. I think my sister is close to refusing to go to Target with me any more... (that and I make her look at the Christmas stuff every time we go too.)

So, with my Target polishes, I've done this (please forgive the terrible photos):

I thought this would be more Christmasy.  The red glitter stuff doesn't go on so well over a metallic base.  But it was good for a few days.

This one was fun.  And Christmasy! I did a similar version with purple glitter for the tips but didn't take a photo of it.

One of my favorites from the past month.  Purple and purple, my two favorite colors. (And a horrible paint job on the pinky!)

My first attempt at stamping.  Those blue things are snowflakes.  I need to work on the technique, but it looks promising.

Purple, and gold!  This lasted about as long as it took to take the photos.  I brushed against something and the purple peeled off. Argh!  So I bought myself a 'finger cooker' (UV light curer) for Christmas.

More red glitter, plus a Christmas tree I made out of rhinestones.  Fun!  Sparkly!  Christmasy! 

And now, back to reading, researching, and all around obsessing.

Hugs and Glitter


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Comings and Goings

Here's the thing... Don't get out of the habit of posting to your blog because it's hard to get back into the habit!

I wasn't doing much stitching since I started a new job back in August, so there wasn't much to post about. Then I was laid off from that new job back in the middle of November and then I was able to spend lots of time stitching! I start a new job on Monday so we'll have to see how that impacts the stitching time I have.

During my days of unemployment, my sister and I wandered up to Ikea. She needed a bookcase and I went along for the ride. Well, I found this cute little mirror and we hung it on the wall behind the door. Now I'm able to see all of me before heading out into the world.

And now all of you can see the random stuff I have stacked all over in my room!

Since I didn't have anything to stick around for, L and I headed off to Arizona to see Mom's side of the extended family for Thanksgiving. We had a great, awesome, good time. We spent most of the time being go-fors for Grandma and helped her match up some fabric squares with border triangles. She's working on making a quilt for each of the grandkids. That will be a total of 25 quilts when she is done.

I started on Lavender Pansies by The Silver Lining while we were down in AZ. I'm using the called for flosses and stitching over 2 on 28 count Waterlily linen.

On Thanksgiving Eve, Uncle G was giving away his season tickets to the Suns game. L and I were lucky enough to get them, so away we went. We had a great time! The seats are three rows back from the floor, on the aisle, and right behind the Suns bench. I tell you, there is a world of difference between watching a game on TV and being able to sit right up close to the action. It was a lot of fun. The Suns played well and it was pretty much a blow-out over the Trailblazers. Along with the game tickets are passes to an area where they serve dinner before the game and snacks at half time. L and I ate way too much between the chicken fajita's for dinner and the hot dogs, cookies, and popcorn for snacks.

On Turkey Day itself, everyone who was around gathered at Uncle G's house for the big meal. We ate and ate and ate and talked and talked and talked. It was a lot of fun to get caught up with all the cousins that I don't see very often. My youngest cousin loves to do nails as a hobby so I asked if she'd like to do something to mine. Of course she did and she did a great job of it! A simple french with purple tips and a rhinestone for some bling. I do love some bling.

It's two weeks on, and I've been a bit obsessive about doing up my nails. My cousin showed me an easy way to do a french manicure by yourself, so I've been doing that for the most part, typically with different colors of purple on the tips. But today I'm thinking something more Christmas themed. Green nails with some red glitter or red dots. We'll see how it goes as I'm just making it up as I go along.

No visit to Arizona would be complete for me with out a trip over to The Attic, a very fine cross stitch shop in Mesa. L and I went over on Wednesday afternoon. I poked around for quite a while, while L did a quick tour of the place then went next door to the Goodwill to poke around a bit more. I was still looking at stuff when she came back. I must say that I was very well behaved and didn't go crazy like I could have.

I stuck to two patterns that I had on my list. The blue fabric is for the Santa's Village series that Country Cottage Needleworks is putting out. The red is the I don't need this, but it's so pretty, splurge. I just got a small piece of it and I'm thinking it would do well as a background for some monochromatic ornament designs.

As far as stitching goes, I've been plodding right along with the birth sampler for my neice who is to arrive sometime near the end of January. There are a few more leaves and a baby owl to go before I finish this up. I'm hoping that I'll be done with this, except for the name, date, weight details in a week or two.

I have been working away on Very Scary. I'm getting close to finishing it off. I'm thinking on how to modify the border a bit because I'm not a fan of the saw tooth edge with all the satin stitching. I'll have to think about it as I continue to work on it.

And lastly, I started Santa's Village yesterday afternoon. I really am hoping to get each building done before the next one is released. That probably won't happen as we all know. I'm using the called for flosses on 32 count Haven by Color Scapes and stitching over 2. I think I'll get some more roof and snow done this afternoon.

Hugs and Stitches,

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Shop-a-holic and Purple Hair

There, I've given away all the news with the blog title. I shopped like a crazy person and added purple to my hair. It's all good.

So lets start with the shopping. If you've been peeking at my Lose to Cruise page you know I've dropped close to 30 lbs this year. Well, I'm getting to the point where none of the clothing I own fits. It's all big and baggy and loose. And I Hate it! So last weekend I went out in search of some basics. I found a great pair of slacks, and a lovely pair of cords at Lane Bryant, a basic brown skirt at Target, and another basic skirt at Kohl's. Additionally at Kohl's I found a great fitted jacket that is grey, a black pencil skirt, a berry colored button down shirt, and a new pair of walking shoes that are pink!

Kohl's was running one of their spend $$ earn Kohl's cash deals so I got some of that. The Kohl's cash was available to 'spend' this weekend so back I went. I was thinking of getting a pair of exercise pants to wear in the morning when I'm walking the dog. It's getting to be very very cold at 6 in the morning when Toby and I are out walking! I did find a good pair of insulated exercise pants, plus a couple of long sleeved t-shirts, an argyle cardigan sweater, and a black corduroy skirt. But the most exciting thing of all are my goal dresses.

The dress on the left is a size 12 and the one of the right is a size 10. If the one on the right looks a little familiar it's because I bought the same dress early this year as a goal dress. I liked it so much I am sad that it is getting to be too big. So I was excited to see a smaller size on the clearance rack at Khol's. Oh? Did I not mention that these two dresses were on the clearance rack? Let me show you the tags:

That's right... the dresses were originally $110 and $100. And I paid $11 and $10 for the dresses. I'm feeling like it's a major score for my two goal dresses. Right now 14's are a bit big and 12's are a bit small. I'm at the gym five days a week for an hour and the dog and I walk for an hour six days a week. I have no doubts that I'll get to wear my goal dresses.

Saturday was also my appointment to get my hair cut and colored. Where I work now is really easy going and the people are fun so I felt comfortable having my little chunks of purple put back into my hair. I haven't done it for a while since I was looking for a new job. I'm looking forward to doing my hair up on Monday morning to see how it really looks. (I've been lazy this weekend and haven't done anything to my hair.)

The color on the red is a little intense, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it fades. They've switched brands on the pigments so we weren't sure exactly how it will turn out. I've got to remember to take notes for when I'm in next time.

And finally, I managed to do some stitching! Woo-hoo! I decided to work on Very Scary. Try to finish up something that I'm working on!

It's a good start. Maybe I'll get to work on it some next week.

Hugs and Stitches,

Sunday, September 30, 2012


So uh... it's been a while. Stuff happens, you know? I have a new job and it's been taking up all of my time, along with the gym and walking the dog. I'm only home and awake for 2 hours a day. Stitching has pretty much come to a full and complete stop.

I did manage to finish up part two of the L*K mystery sampler before part three arrived. I have not started on part three.

My SIL is pregnant with the first grandkid for this side of the family.  I must have promised that I'd do a birth record for the kid because she got me a little kit to stitch up.  So it's been my Sunday project.  I've been working on this for about a month now.  It's really the only thing that gets worked on regularly.

And lastly, I had a bit of startitis the other day so I started to hunt for something small to start on.  Instead I found this in a bin of random stuff.  I started it a long time ago so that I could work on something in the car on road trips to and from Arizona.  Since I haven't been able to get down there to see the family in a couple of years, I pulled it out and filled in all the purple there in the upper right corner.

I'm hoping I can save up some money and move closer to work.  That would give me a couple of hours back into my day. Then I could get back to stitching for an hour or so in the evenings.  How nice would that be?

Hugs and Stitches,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hiking in Arches National Park

Well... Hiking might be stretching it a ways (except for the hike to Delicate Arch, that is a challenge) but I did wander up and down some trails with a good friend of mine. We made a kamakazi trip down to the park from here in northern Utah on Friday, August 17th. It's a three hour, one way drive. And now, for a whole heap of pictures:

3 Gossips formation to the left

Random formations.

Self portrait with a miss of the 3 gossips.

Self portrait with random formation.

Me with random formation

The Sheep

Me, MD and the 3 gossips

Looking at the horizon from a pull out.

Getting 'arty' with the rear-view

More formations on the horizon from another pull out.

Same pull out, different direction.

Balancing rock

View of the Windows from Balancing Rock.

Different formations on the horizon from Balancing Rock.

The Fiery Furnace formation from an overlook, with zoom.

More Fiery Furnace from same overlook, with out zoom.

Fiery Furnace 'up close'. Permit required to hike down in them.

Fiery Furnace 'up close'.

View of the horizon from Fiery Furnace overlook.

Skyline Arch

Self portrait with a miss of Skyline Arch.

Why do I keep my sunglasses on?  Well 1) because it's sunny, and 2) because I have the darnedest time trying to get my eyes to smile along with my mouth.  Too often they just don't match up!  It's annoying!  With the sunglasses on, at least I only have my mouth to worry about.

Me and Skyline Arch

Skyline arch after a quarter mile hike up to it.

MD at the trail head to Landscape Arch.

Hiking to Landscape Arch.

Hiking to Landscape Arch

Hiking to Landscape Arch

Hiking to Landscape Arch

Hiking to Landscape Arch

I can see the arch from here!

Landscape Arch

Wee arch adjacent to Landscape Arch.

Left portion of Landscape Arch.

Right portion of Landscape Arch

Hiking back from Landscape Arch

Hiking back from Landscape Arch

As I mentioned above, the hike out to Delicate Arch is challenging. There is a section that's about a mile long that is all up hill over bare sandstone. There is no shade. There's isn't much of a trail to speak of over the rock either. But it is so totally worth it. Just don't wait too long and be in a rush to get up to the arch in time for sunset.

In the picture below, you can see the sandstone hill you get to climb up just right of center. It is that smooth ramp that doesn't look all that steep. It certainly doesn't look very threatening in the photo, but that hill is a bear.

Trail head to Delicate Arch. There's nothing out there!

I took a lot of pictures of Delicate Arch.  I had wanted to get there for sunset because the coloring of the sandstone is just amazing in the low angle light.  All the pictures above were taking during the mid afternoon and as you've seen, the color of the rock, while red, isn't as spectacular as it is when the light is coming in near the horizon.

We were at Delicate Arch for about an hour, and during that time the wind was blowing very heavily.  We were being sandblasted!  It's the same erosional force that affects the arches every day.  A lot of the pictures are very similar but as the time progresses you'll note how the color changes as the sun sinks towards the horizon.  We got there just in time for some of the best colors!

Delicate Arch

Me and Delicate Arch, and lots of wind!

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch at sunset can be a money shot for the professional photographer.  And there were tons of people there trying to get a good shot.  I don't think I got a money shot in any of my pictures, too many other people wandering out to get their picture taken right up in front of the arch.  As people would wander out of the camera frame for the professional photographers, you could hear all of their equipment go off as they took as many shots as they could before the next batch of people would wander into frame.

People to the right of me looking at Delicate Arch

People to the right of me looking at Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch, with zoom.

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch, with zoom

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Attempting a self portrait with Delicate Arch

Below is my favorite picture of the arch. All of the above pictures were taken with my point and shoot, this one was taken with my cell so that I could text is out to some people. (Can you believe I had five bars out here in the middle of nowhere?) This was the only photo we took with my cell and one of the first photos we took when we arrived at the arch. As you can see, the wind was definitely blowing strong.

My favorite picture of me and Delicate Arch.

We missed a whole section of the park, the Windows and Double Arch. Maybe next time around we'll be able to leave earlier in the day and be able to get over to these arches. As it was, we left the park around 8:30 at night and got home just after midnight. I hate driving in the dark and so took it slow up through the canyons and mountain passes on the way home. Plus we had to stop in Green River for gas, water, and an ice cream sandwich.

Hugs and Stitches,