Meow With Me

Ramblings and Thoughts

My Newest Start

I finally dug out the cross-stitch kit I want to complete for my mother-in-law’s christmas present this coming holiday season.  Holy Cow!  It’s a 12 x 16 project, which is a little larger than I usually pick out.  I am feeling a little scared of the thing at the onset.  I looked at the chart and it’s a solid 12 x 16.  That means that every bit of it has a stitch on it.  Not one single square of it is blank!  If I calculated it correctly, it’s got 49,152 stitches to it.  I am already feeling pressure!  I figured it will take me approximately 6 months to complete.  I sat and stitched for a little less than an hour and this is where I got to…

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As you can tell, it’s like a drop in the ocean!  Let’s hope I can complete this before christmas!

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Updates from a neglectful blogger

Well, its been a month since my last post.  I have no excuse other than that life keeps getting in my way of pursuing what I enjoy.  Ah well, I suppose that is simply how it works.

I recently went to a seminar for a direct selling company that I am part of.  I have been feeling rather down on this sales approach – I don’t like to be sold to and so I find that I have difficulty trying to sell to others.  However, I do love the product and I really do believe in what I’m selling.  I went to the seminar hoping to find a refreshed sense of enjoyment.  I attended last year and found that I was inspired, but this year all I kept thinking was “Wow!  This is all sounding so sales-y!”  I did arrive home with lots of goodies and information on a new addition to the product line that will debut in March.  So, I am still up in the air about selling.  

I drove 85 miles to and from this seminar.  I brought along an audiobook to listen to while I drove to and fro.  The best thing is that I snapped a picture of my ride home.  

It was such a pretty sunset.  I encountered a TON of rain (not a nice mist, but a full-on torrential rain) both on the way there and on the way home, but by the time I had driven almost home I got to enjoy this view.  I know, I shouldn’t have grabbed my phone and snapped a picture while driving, but I didn’t want to miss it!

On the stitching front, I’ve set aside my Hydrangea Wreath project.  I did 2 little projects in the past couple of weeks.  I started and finished this little one with my desk at work in mind.

However, while I was stitching this at lunch one day, a co-worker saw it and said “Oh, You have to stitch me one, too!”  So, I’ve decided that I’ll frame this one and present it to her to post in her cubicle.

I also finished this one…

 And it’s all mine!  I loved this one and it went so quickly.  I started it on SuperBowl Sunday (I have no interest in football, so I always do other things while my husband watches games) and I finished it about two weeks later.  I’m still looking for the perfect frame for it, but I’ll post a finished picture when I find it.  I really liked the wavy frame surrounded the picture and my favorite thing to stitch was the little butterflies and bee “motions”.  The back-stitching on these elements give it such a feeling of movement and I’d like to stitch more projects that include this element.

Valentine’s day just past by, and while I received the prettiest bunch of flowers (I don’t like the traditional roses), the best gift of flowers I received arrived at the beginning of February.  My husband arrived at my work with a small packet of flowers for me – just because.  It was such a nice moment!  I came home and put them in the vase I have.  The next morning I came into the kitchen to find my cat, Princess, sitting on the kitchen counter admiring them.

In my house, cats are NOT welcome to sit on the kitchen counters, let alone on my cutting board, but I had to take a picture to share.  These flowers were so pretty, smelled really nice and lasted until Valentine’s day.  I was amazed at their staying power.  I’ve never had any flowers that lasted almost two weeks.

So that’s what I’ve been up to in between working every day.  I find that I am dreaming of vacation.  We have a mini-vacaton planned for July, but I want to schedule another vacation before then.  I am torn between going to Seattle, to visit my husband’s mom, and going somewhere a little more tropical.  I’ve never been to Hawaii and after a conversation with my husband’s boss, I got a commitment from husband that he’d agree to get on a plane and go there.  I don’t know if we could afford to go without digging into our savings account to finance it, but it’s definitely on my mind!

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My first finish of 2012!

Well I haven’t got any progress to show on my Hydrangea Wreath.  I haven’t added a stitch in the past week, but I’ve finished and photographed the cosmetic case that I was stitching as a cover for my Kindle.  I love it!  It was more difficult than I anticipated, but I am quite pleased with my handiwork.  I can definitely see where I could have done better, but it turned out pretty good for a first attempt at needlepoint.  I’ll certainly try this again.  In fact, I think I have another needlepoint project somewhere around my house that also uses DMC floss and not yarn.  I don’t really like the feel of yarn between my fingers, but I am perfectly comfortable with floss.

One the television front, I’ve been watching a lot of “Bones” on Netflix.  Other than the fairly real-looking decomposing bodies (say it with me – eeew!), it’s a great show.  My hubby and I have watched it before, but we both enjoy re-visiting shows that we like.  Not that they’ll give me a discount for plugging them, but I love the commercial-free viewing of shows on Netflix.  It allows me to watch shows that I can’t possibly stay up late enough to watch while they are on regular broadcast television stations.

This last week, I also watched a series called Kingdom.  It starred Stephen Fry and was a really short-run but very enjoyable series from BBC, I think.  In it, Fry is a lawyer and each show centered on a legal case or two and each one was settled with a healthy dose of good will towards ones’ fellow man.  It reminded me of a cross between “Murder, She Wrote” and “Matlock” in a beautiful looking village.  I really like Stephen Fry.  He’s quite an enjoyable person to watch and listen to!  Unfortunately, I finished the 18 episodes available on Netflix and now need to find another show to watch.  I’m leaning towards “How It’s Made”.  It’s fast paced, shows the making of some household-y thing or another, and still gives me some tidbit of knowledge that I don’t need, but will certainly fascinate me and will possibly come in use at some point in the future, even if just for trivia games!  Plus it has an available 100 episodes and I certainly like the longer-run shows so I don’t have to keep searching for something new to watch all the time.  I know it seems like I watch a lot of tv, but really I don’t watch that much.  During the winter months, I watch more because it’s so darn cold that I only want to sit under a blanket and stay warm!  Once summer rolls around, I am lucky to watch 1 show a day!

Starting today, I am again working on my Hydrangea Wreath.  I needed a break and the cosmetic cover provided that break quite nicely!  I also plan on beginning the Monopoly Game Board this weekend.  I had to find a way to stretch this 28 inch square piece of material.  I found scroll bars in a 30 inch length and they should arrive via Fedex tomorrow afternoon.  I wanted something light-weight enough to hold, but I still needed to keep the tension and I HATE hoops.  They leave the worst wrinkles on fabric and no matter how hard I try, they always distort the finished portions as I move the the hoop around.  I only ever use scroll bars now.  Anyway, I’ll post pictures of that project as it progresses, too.

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I know, I know….

I know, I know… It’s been weeks since I last posted.  So much for my attempt to post regularly.  Well, at least I took pictures of my current project each week.  I also started two of my other projects, along with a needlepoint cosmetic case.  I don’t actually wear make-up, but this cosmetic case is the exact dimensions of my Kindle.  I went looking for a cover for my Kindle to provide protection while it is in my purse.  I didn’t find a single cover that I liked and they were too expensive to boot.

After looking for a while, I saw a collection of needlepoint cases from the Alice Peterson Co. that looked nice.  There were several different designs to  choose from.  I have never done needlepoint before, but I’m quite pleased with my efforts.  The design I chose feels a little more complex than I intended to start with but it’s not half bad.  They also had a cover sized larger that was intended for eReaders, but they were all too large.  I had so much fun with this one that I might try an eyeglass cover next time.  I have no pictures yet, but in my next post, I’ll add a picture of my new Kindle cover.

Take a look at the progress on my Hydrangea Wreath project:

ImageWeek 4

ImageWeek 5

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Favorite Christmas picture & Hydrangea Wreath update

Well here is Week 3 of my stitching on the Hydrangea Wreath project.  As a picture is worth a thousand words, there’s not much to say!

Also, here is my favorite picture from Christmas 2011.

This is my niece on her new BMW!  Grandma & Grandpa actually purchased this shortly after her birth, but had to wait until she was old enough to manage it.  It was a huge hit!

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Cross Stitch Update

I started a cross stitch project that I intended for my niece on Thanksgiving day and, two weeks later, I am on the last of four sections.  Originally it was 4 separate pieces, but I’ve decided to complete all four pieces in a vertical wall hanging and I think it’s lovely.  I tried to “copy” a jpeg of the designs, but I don’t know how to copy something from the internet, so until I finish, no pictures!  I haven’t done any of the backstitch, nor have I done the beading, so I still have a bit more to do, but I am more than 50% of the way done.  Since it’s for Christmas, it’s the only project that I’m working on.  I have a couple of other things lined up for after I’ve finished the project for her.

I can’t wait to get back to the Hydrangea Wreath I’ve been working on and I found another pattern that I just *had* to have.  It’s from a company in the UK called Yiota’s Cross Stitch and I immediately had to check my floss stash for my stitching needs.  I bought the skeins that I didn’t already have, I chose a lovely, soft greyish colored aida called Platinum to stitch it on, and as soon as I’ve finished my niece’s project, I’m going to start this one.  I’m excited about this one because it contains no half-stitches and no backstitch.  I ‘m really looking forward to it.  I’ll split my time between the Hydrangea Wreath and the Mixed Daisies until I complete one or both of them.  I remember starting more than one project at a time in the past, so I guess it’s sort of a mania with me.

My progress on the Hydrangea Wreath is shown below, first being the week one picture and second being the week two picture.  I stopped at this point to begin stitching the project for my niece because I intend to gift it at Christmas.

I am amazed at how quickly simple projects approach completion and I’m thankful that I have the ability to create something pretty with only material, colored floss and a needle!

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Driving can be Crazy

I went to work today in a different location.  The hour long drive was comfortable (I love my heated seats!), but a few of my road-mates were crazy.  It never ceases to amaze me how fast some people drive, and yet how slow others drive.  The speed limit in my area is 65 mph.  I am comfortable driving approximately 70 to 75 mph.  Some of my road-mates today were happy to blow past me at approximately 95 mph and yet others were happy to cruise along at approximately 55.

I have one more day at this alternate location, but I get to leave my house at 4am to arrive there on time.  I know that at 4:30, my freeway begins getting quite populated, so I’m hopeful that the half hour I have before that occurs will make a difference.  

While I’m on the subject of driving in my area, I’d like to vent about fog lights.  My car has fog lights, and I think they are a great addition, but I live in the desert and I’ve only had 1 occasion to use them in the past 4 or so years.  Each work morning I leave near 4:30, so I have to use my headlights on my morning commute.  However, I don’t feel it necessary to also hit the button that activates my fog lights.  They do not come on automatically, I have to actively turn them on.  Many of my road-mates, however, seem to think they can’t drive in the dark without turning on their fog lights and their headlamps.  I know that fog lights will give off more light closer to the ground, but come on people, do you really need to create more of a distraction for the people driving near you?  You are going over 70 mph in the dark and you really want to distract the people you are approaching at 70 mph?  Come on, it’s time to stop creating more distraction than necessary!

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Right or wrong?

Well,  I’m officially missing my turkey leftovers.  After almost a week of leftover turkey, potatoes and gravy, and there are no more leftovers left.  I turned to my husband this morning and asked if it would be too soon to make another full-blown turkey dinner and he shook his head and told me I was “wrong”.

I don’t exactly understand my passion for the bird this year.  Traditionally, I prefer a nice standing rib roast with a side of scalloped potatoes.  However, I discovered this year that the previously un-interesting bird was simply fabulous.  All of it – the stuffing, the mashed potatoes and the homemade gravy made from the drippings.  I want more and soon!

I am actually feeling the same craving changes towards chocolate.  In the past, I could take it or leave it.  I now want it almost daily.  It must be hormonal, but how does that explain the turkey craving?

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Eighteen Years and Dinner

So tonight I decided that my husband and I needed a break from turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing & gravy.  I stopped by my local Chipotle restaurant and picked up a dinner bowl for each of us.  We tend to be creatures of habit and I selected the item we each always order when dining there.  I put our dinner in the fridge when I got home and then sat down to work on my cross stitch for the hour or so before my husband came home from work.  

After said hour, my husband arrived with a bag from Chipotle in his hand!  I started to laugh.  We had had no contact with each other today and we still ended up bringing home exactly the same thing.  I mean exactly the same.  The fact that I know his favorite meal and he knows my favorite is not the amazing thing to me.  It’s the fact that at 3am, when he left, he requested a “big salad” for dinner and instead, we both veered off course and selected the same eatery without any input from the other one.

This isn’t the first time we have experienced this, but it does make me wonder what this phenomena is.  Is it merely because we have 18 years of experience with each other and we know what a likely desire or response will be, or is there some sort of connection that has gotten stronger (to the point of mind reading) over those 18 years that allows us to read each other’s minds and have the same thoughts at the same time?

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Cross-Stitch

I’ve started back up with cross stitch projects.  I learned to do this craft more than 20 years ago and I find it to be a very relaxing pastime.  It takes enough concentration for me that I don’t have time to let my mind wander.  It also requires a very rhythmic motion that is somehow very calming.

Right now I’m working on a bell pull for my niece.  It is coming along very quickly.  I started it on Wednesday and now, 5 days later, I’m about 25% of the way complete.  I also started a tea tray insert for myself three weeks ago, but since I want to give the bell pull as a christmas gift, the tea tray insert is sitting on the back burner.  When I started it, I figured that it would take me approximately 12 weeks to complete.  I’ve taken a picture each week to mark my progress and so far, I’m on track for that 12 week goal.

I recently pulled out all my old supplies and leaflets and found a chart for a Monopoly Game board that looks great.  I don’t even remember buying that one!  After I’ve finished the two projects I’m stitching, I plan to start the game board.  I read another bloggers’ posts on her progress of this same chart, and it took her just short of a year to complete.  I figure that is a good measure for me to plan on.  I guess it will be done in early 2013!

I’ve taken several pictures of my current projects – yes, I stitch more than 1 project at a time – but I don’t have any of them loaded onto my computer for uploading.  I’ve also started keeping a digital stitching journal.  I have a program that allows for insertion of pictures, type, audio, video, etc.  I’ve been scouring the internet for pictures of projects that I’d like to work on and this journal is a perfect place for me to save those images and ideas.

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