26 November 2009

Giving Thanks

While I'm not particularly fond of Thanksgiving seeing as it's a food-centric holiday, I realize that even when I feel like the world is crashing down around me I have an awful lot to be grateful for.

To put it simply - friends and family.

Those who love me, cherish me, nuture me - I give thanks for them. Whether they're near or far, someone I talk to daily or just now and then, they all play an important part in my life. You know who you are - I love you all.

Today, I am especially grateful to have moM back on US soil and hearing her voice. Now I can't wait to hear all about the trip to China - and see pics.

24 November 2009

Etsy Goodness

These are a few of my favorite things - in no particular order and not necessarily for me. (But friends will know the things that are of interest to me.)

No, She is Not Dieting

Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

For whatever reason, Suki loves lettuce. (Her human mom does not.) During dinner, we can be feasting on chicken, fish or beef and giving her a plate of lettuce will shut her up and make her happy. Very happy.

I never said my dogs were normal.

22 November 2009

What a Week!

WIP: ABC Christmas (21-Nov-09)
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Despite the obstacles thrown at me this week, I managed to make a little more progress on LK's ABC Christmas. Most of this was accomplished prior to my injury, only on Saturday was I again able to manipulate a needle successfully again.

On Tuesday, I jammed my left ring finger while reaching for my shampoo in the shower. I didn't think much of it, despite the pain and the swelling. By evening, it was swollen up like a Vienna Sausage and was a beautiful shade of purple. I went to bed with the intention of going to the doctor on Wednesday morning if it wasn't better.

I didn't think my finger could have swelled up larger, but by Wednesday morning, it had. I went to the doctor and had to explain to both the doctor and nurse about 5 times that I hurt it in the shower -- I am not sure they didn't think someone did something to me. An x-ray revealed two hairline fractures so they taped me up and ordered me off work for FOUR days. With my dominant hand taped up I was pretty useless.

I spent the better part of the week reading -- to the point where I didn't want to pick up another book. I am making good progress through the Sookie Stackhouse books and enjoying them, though I wonder how many supes are going to have the hots for Sookie before this series ends.

Today was the first day that I didn't tape my finger and I've managed to do most things without too much discomfort. It still hurts if I move it just so -- but typing normally is possible for the first time in days. The swelling is gone and the bruises have faded, but I still baby it. I don't know how long it's gonna feel tender, but at least I'm able to do most everything I could do before the incident.

Now to get back to my stitching -- hoping to get this done before the end of the Thanksgiving weekend so I can start on a new project.

21 November 2009

Wall of Pink

Fall 2009
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

One of the things I managed to accomplish this weekend was hanging up the pix and artwork that I had to take off the wall when we had the house repainted - in August. (So it's taken me three months...)

This is my 'wall of pink' in the living room, in what's been my stitching corner. The piece on the left is Cherry Heart by Shepherd's Bush, the one on the right is Drawn Thread's Cloister Garden. The heart piece in the center is another Drawn Thread design, if I remember correctly but I can't remember the name of the design off the top of my head.

The floral arrangement I picked up at a craft show in Toms River a couple years ago. To me, it just adds a little something to this comfortable corner where I can pull out my needlework and stitch away to my hearts content.

16 November 2009

Another Week, Another Visit from the Frog

WIP: ABC Christmas (16-Nov-09)
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Although I've made some progress on LK's ABC Christmas, I had another visit from Senor Frog. Just when I think I'm on a roll, I notice a mistake -- and the perfectionist that I am just can't leave it there and has to rip it out.

I am still having fun working on this piece and figure with the football this weekend and Thanksgiving Day, I should be done with it before the end of the month. (Provided froggy doesn't come a courting again, uh huh.) I frogged during Sunday Night Football -- once I got tired, I made stupid counting mistakes. So considering it's past 9 PM here now, I've put the needlework away and am concentrating on emails and football (and blogging).

There's no news to report on Paradise Lost. I'm still looking for fabric - but not making a dedicated effort. I did a little window shopping at some online needlework shops. Yea, my list of things I 'need' has gotten a bit longer. Me thinks I should just go shopping in my stash before buying anything more.

15 November 2009

Suki's New Sweater

Suki's New Sweater
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Yep, I've become 'one of those people' who dresses her dog in a sweater.

La Petite Cujo got a haircut on Friday -- that evening and Saturday morning she was shivering, so Mark insisted that our little girl needed a sweater. An adventure at Petco ensued -- I tried a variety of garments on her, she tried to bite my hand. We ended up with this one - it's a little large for her, but it's easy to get on and get her 'arms' in the sleeves. Plus it's pink, so you know *I* like it.

Of course, the weather improved and she didn't need to wear it after Saturday. But considering she is shaved, I think she'll be grateful for the warmth once it cools off again.

12 November 2009

A Day at the Beach

Dog Beach - 11/08/09
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

We took the girls over to Manasquan on Sunday morning. Tara waded along the shoreline for a bit before settling down and watching the big(ger) dogs play in the surf.

More pics of the pups' adventure are in my Flickr album.

09 November 2009

Update: One Week

WIP: ABC Christmas (09-Nov-09)
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Thanks to football and the World Series, I managed to get quite a bit stitched up this past week. I actually had to frog a big section (lights - mistletoe AND ice skate - joy) because I was off two stitches. Ugh. But during the intense games, it was much easier to frog than to pay attention to what I was stitching.

It's been a lot of fun to stitch - despite the frogging - and I hope to have it competed before Thanksgiving. Since framing is outrageously expensive and I'd like to display this piece over the holidays, I'm thinking that it might just become a wall hanging providing I can find a fabric I like (and make the time to put it together).

Still haven't pulled or ordered fabric for Paradise Lost. Have the threads ready, so will probably do so on Friday (payday).

02 November 2009

With My Needle

WIP: ABC Christmas (01-Nov-09)
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Last night was like old times again -- baseball on the telly, needle in my hand.

This is Lizzie Kate's ABC Christmas and my progress through an afternoon of football and an evening of baseball. As I said in an earlier post, it's my first time working with the Crescent Color threads and I like them. (I knew Sharon through a stitching group online and remember when she first started dyeing her threads -- amazing to see what a successful business it turned out to be for her.)

I pulled my DMC threads for Paradise Lost - out of the bajillion needed, I only had 5. Glad I got that Michael's gift card from my stitch-n-bitch co-workers -- know what I'll be using it for. Also did the calculations - on 28 count fabric, it's gonna be 30 inches by 16 inches. Wowsa! Gotta figure out whether I am gonna use a Q-Snap or scroll bars for that project -- and hope I've got a big enough cut of appropriate fabric somewhere in my stash.

Now that the crafty bug has bitten, I wish that I could stay home and stitch all day. Unfortunately, work beckons.

01 November 2009

Treats for Me

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I took a trip up north to Tawny's - aka the LNS - and added to my stash.

Lizzie Kate's ABC Christmas (pictured left) is one of the designs I picked up along with the required fabric. I started it last night while waiting for the trick-or-treaters to come and am making good progress (lights thru mistletoe is complete).

As I would like to have this compete in time for Christmas 2009 (since my poinsettia piece will not be done) I will continue to work on this throughout football this afternoon and Game 4 of the World Series tonight. Let's go Yankees!

It's actually a fairly quick stitch - as most Lizzie Kate pieces are. It came with the Crescent Colors required and it's my first time stitching with them. I like them - though I've gotten tangled a few times working with the long lengths. I think that's more of a personal problem than an issue with the threads themselves.

The other chart that I picked up was Paradise Lost by Plum Street Samplers (pictured right).

I originally saw this design on another stitcher's blog as a WIP (work in progress) and simply fell in love with it. After getting over sticker shock ($22 for the chart alone), I bought it, but didn't get the fabric. I have a stash of wonderful hand dyed fabrics at home and though I would pull the threads and decide which fabric to use.

It calls for NPI silks but also gives a DMC colorway. Since I don't have a collection of NPI silks in my stash, I think this thrifty gal is going to go with the DMC options. So either the next sunny day or Friday (my day off) I'll be pulling threads and fabric and making a decision. Then this one will be added to the rotation and I'll alternate working on it with the LK design.

I think this might be the little nudge I need to jumpstart my creativity. While I'm recreating someone else's design, it's still a crafty venture and I've missed that. I'm working on some goals/structure in my life and feel the need to nurture my crafty side. I think that I will focus on making time for creative expression as that's been missing for a while. Now to balance it with everything else...