31 January 2010

Are You Asking Me?

Lizzie Kate: Santa Wants to Know
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

After looking high and low for one color of thread and throwing a (mini) hissy fit, I found a new skein and sat down to finish this piece tonight.

Designer: Lizzie Kate
Pattern: Santa Wants to Know
Stitch Count: 59W x 59H
Fabric: 30 ct Northern Cross cream linen
Threads: Weeks Dye Works, Sampler Threads, DMC floss

As for the answer to the question? It's good to be nice and nice to be good, but sometimes it's more fun being naughty. *wink*

A Perfect Snow

More Snow (31-Jan-10)
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Just the right amount fell last night -- a dusting so it's pretty and white, but not too much that one has to shovel. Now if it would just warm up -- these temps in the teens are just too darn cold.

30 January 2010

A Little of Both?

LK: Santa Wants to Know
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Over the past week (or since I finished the St Pat's piece), I've been working on this Lizzie Kate piece. If Santa's asking, I've definitely been nice. *g*

I was surprised by snow this evening when I let the dogs out -- didn't know my part of Jersey was supposed to get snow. It's only about an inch - just the right amount as it's pretty to look at and doesn't require me to get out there and shovel.

It's bitter cold here, so I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup for dinner - turned out better than last time. I am not a cook - my favorite thing to make for dinner? Reservations. (Ok, it's a tired old joke, but it's appropriate for me.) This time around I chopped the carrots, celery and onion much finer and browned them before adding the chicken and stock. I let it simmer for a little over an hour on the stove before adding the noodles. Guess I'm getting pretty good at making soup. I had a request for split pea and/or tomato. Not really a fan of either soup, so my desire to make them is next to nothing. Of the two, split pea is more likely, but it's still a million to one shot.

No big plans for the coming week - just a heavy workload coming down on me for the next few weeks. Just need to stay healthy and get through this. Got me a few more needlework projects in the fire - so as long as I can balance work/home/hobbies, I'll be fine. If not, there's always a bottle of vodka to help me cope.

25 January 2010

Another Near Finish

Shepherd's Bush: Scatter Luck
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Just need to get the buttons (shamrocks, ladybug, leprechaun, coins) and sew them on for this to be completely finished. A very quick stitch - started it last night during the Saints-Vikings game, finished it this afternoon. (Yes, I am on a roll.)

Designer: Shepherd's Bush
Pattern: Scatter Luck
Stitch Count: 30H x 100W
Fabric: 19 ct Ivory linen
Threads: Weeks Dye Works, DMC

My package from Elegant Stitch arrived today with Cross-Eyed Cricket's Sleepy Hollow chart, fabric and threads. I'm half tempted to start on it now so I can ensure it's finished in time for Halloween 2010, but there's a few other small projects that are calling my name. Maybe I need to start a couple new projects - it's never wrong to have more than one going at any given time, right?

24 January 2010

Another Finish

Lizzie Kate: Love Square
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

While watching football this afternoon, I put the final stitches in this piece. Third finish for 2010 - more than I finished in all of last year, I think.

The particulars for those interested:

Designer: Lizzie Kate
Pattern: Love Square (from Love Crazy leaflet)
Stitch Count: 81H x 81W
Fabric: 28 ct hand-dyed Jobelan - Pink Azalea
Threads: Weeks Dye Works and Gentle Art Sampler Threads

A quick stitch - started this on 12-Jan-10 and finished today. Now it's on to my next project -- a St. Patrick's Day piece, Scatter Luck (Shepherd's Bush). Picked up the supplies necessary for it while I was at Tawny's with the MetroStitchers yesterday morning.

19 January 2010


Those close to me know that I've been ill on/off since Christmas -- nearly 3 weeks into the new year, I'm still not 'right' and it's beginning to wear on me.

I commented to a friend that I'm sinking into a depression because of it. I hate that I have no energy, no desire to get up and be active. As a result, I'm not going to the gym, I'm not working out regularly and my ass is spreading, my belly has grown soft and the scale is inching upwards instead of downward.

While I know what the fix is (get up, get to gym, stop feeding my face), I just can't get over that initial hump. My gym bag is packed and ready but I don't go. I make my lunch to take to work but I still snack on crap.

I'm starting to dislike how I look again. Yes, the face is still pretty (IMO), but the bod is starting to go. Where I once I was toned, I'm getting flabby. I just don't know what it is going to take to get me into a routine once again. I miss yoga, but I don't miss the treadmill.

Well, I've put it out there - maybe now that I've said it, I'll get up off my ass and move more.

15 January 2010

Current WIP: Love Crazy - Lizzie Kate

WIP: Love Crazy (15-Jan-10)
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Since I put the finishing stitches in LK's ABC Christmas earlier this week, I started on a new project straightaway. Another LK piece - Love Crazy.

This is my progress after a couple nights stitching. I'm stitching this on a hand-dyed Jobelan - Pink Dahlia, I think it is. A little annoyed that I ran out of the pink floss to finish the "e" square. Guess it's a good thing a trip to the LNS to meet up with my Metrostitcher pals next week is planned.

I've been down for the count the past couple days - finally got the the doctor and have a dx: bladder infection. It's really zapped me of all energy - I've spent so much time in bed of late, it's the last place I want to be. Hopefully the antibiotic the doctor gave me will work it's magic and I'll be back to normal in a few days.

12 January 2010

It's Finished!

Lizzie Kate - ABC Christmas
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Today at my lunchtime stitch-n-bitch gathering, I put the last stitches in this piece - or at least I thought I did. I realized I had the little quarter note to stitch so I did that and added my initials/date once I got home.

It's not perfect - there's a few mistakes/miscounts here and there, but overall I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I'm still debating how to finish it -- leaning towards a wall hanging since I don't really want to frame it just to hang it up for a few weeks each year.

Speaking of the holidays, I guess it's time for me to take down the tree and other Christmas decorations. But first I've got a love/Valentine's theme piece to work on...

Designer: Lizzie Kate
Pattern: ABC Christmas
Stitch Count: 180W x 119H
Fabric: 28 ct Light Mocha Cashel
Threads: DMC floss, Crescent Colors

11 January 2010

Rounding Third and Heading for Home...

WIP: ABC Christmas (10-Jan-10)
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

After finishing Spooky Sheep, I picked up LK's ABC Christmas once again. With a TON of football to watch this weekend, I was able to devote several hours to working on this piece and as a result I am *this close* to finishing. There's just a small portion to go in the lower right corner -- amazing how much one can accomplish when one sets their mind to it.

As for football - the Bengals lost, so it's 'wait until next season' again. Oh well. I've got college basketball now and soon it'll be spring training and baseball season. How many days until the 2010 (NFL) season begins?

07 January 2010

First Start = First Finish 2010

Spooky Sheep - Shepherd's Bush
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

I put the final finishes on Spooky Sheep this evening. I think it turned out rather nice - and was a quick stitch.

Now to just figure out what to do with it. Always a quandary after I finish stitching something!

Designer: Shepherd's Bush
Fabric: 32 ct Sand Belfast
Threads: as kitted - silk floss, Threadgatherer hand-dyed silks

05 January 2010

New Year's Start

WIP: Spooky Sheep
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

One of the traditions my NYC stitching group (aka MetroStitchers) has is to start a new project to honor those stitchers who are no longer with us. Even though I was sicker than a dog the days leading up to New Year's Day, I managed to ruffle through my stash that afternoon and find a kit that was screaming to be stitched.

With a few minutes here and a few minutes there, I've managed to accomplish this much on Spooky Sheep from (who else?) Shepherd's Bush. It's a little piece -- just need to finish the stack of pumpkins to the right, a couple stars above the lamb, and a row of satin stitch below. So maybe another hour or two and I'll have my first finish of 2010. Once I finish this, it's back to Lizzie Kate's ABC Christmas. Sadly, I have hardly touched it since Thanksgiving.

Once I finish up these two pieces, perhaps I can start dreaming of my next project - or at least go 'shopping' in my stash to see what calls to me.

01 January 2010

She's Alive!!!

After several days of feverish dreams of my own death (in various mundane and gruesome ways), sleeping 16-20 hours/day, and eating little to nothing, I am back amongst the alive and healthy.

I first started feeling 'off' after eating at the Chinese buffet on Christmas Day. Saturday I was just blah, but Sunday afternoon it hit me. I was in Pepboys, waiting to pick up my car (dropped off for oil change) and called Mark with an urgent plea, "Come get me. I'm sick." I made it to the restroom and added my own sickness to the layer of grime. Trust me folks, if you gotta get sick, don't let it be a Pepboys. I wish I had been at Target. Once I got home, I crawled into bed wearing sweats and piled high with layers of blankets. Slept until mid-evening when I got up and took some Tylenol before hightailing it back to bed.

Woke around 4 AM, sheets drenched with sweat and head pounding. Called work to inform them I wouldn't be in and after hydrating myself, slid back under the covers. When I woke around 10 AM, I tried to eat a little toast (unsuccessfully) and watch a little television. Couldn't keep my eyes open, so I returned to my toasty bed - welcome as I was suffering from chills. My day continued - sleep/wake, sweats/chills. I rose briefly around dinner time, but once again wasn't able to hold any food down, so I called it a night early and went back to bed.

Early Tuesday morning, I woke again, sheets drenched and head pounding. I knew I wasn't better so made the obligatory call to work. Fell back asleep and slept until 10 AM when I called the doctor's office with my symptoms and they advised me to come in. I had neither the full run of symptoms of flu (hope not - I had a shot earlier in the year), nor mono yet the doc drew blood to rule out a few things. I had entered my symptoms on WebMD and the constant diagnoses were mono or perimenopause. In short, the doc ordered me off work until Friday (New Year's Day) - but since my office is closed, that means Monday. I made a stop at the supermarket to pick up juice, Gatorade, and some other bland foods before returning home. Just that little adventure drained me, so back to bed I went.

Wednesday was pretty much a repeat of the previous days: sleep, eat, vomit, drink, sleep, eat, vomit, drink, sleep, eat, vomit, drink. I really don't have much recollection of these days - the bits I do remember still feel as though I was in a dream. Thursday started out as a repeat of the previous days, but by the time I woke from my power nap at dinner time, I was feeling better. Not well enough to go out and be with people, but enough to settle into my recliner for a True Blood marathon before switching over to see Ryan & Dick and the NYE celebration in Times Square. (I was happy to be in my warm house versus the crowd there.)

This morning, I awoke at 10 AM and it's like a switch was flipped. No soaked sheets, no pounding headache, able to get out of bed easily (no taking me 90 minutes to get dressed) - could it be the bug was gone? As the minutes ticked by and I continued to feel well, I grew bold and went to shower and dress and head out to movie. Husband called as I was leaving and I met him for lunch instead. (He played w/ the pipe band at the Polar Bear Plunge in Asbury Park. I had planned to do it, but the events of the week wiped that idea out of my mind. There's always next year.) Lunch was great, no ill-effects afterwards. I think I am back.

Spending the afternoon/watching college football - my ideal way to spend New Year's Day. Hoping tomorrow finds me just a little stronger.