Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Winter Stitches progress

I finished the borders on Winter Stitches by Jeannette Douglas. The piece is on 40-count R&R Reproductions fabric and is only 3.25 inches square. I'm kind of stitching on this and The Awakening as the mood grabs me.

Alas, my stand broke yesterday. I had mentioned black powder coming from my old magnifier, remember? Now I'm not so sure. The screw that adjusts my swing arm wasn't working, so I unscrewed it. Black powder came pouring out. The wingnut's insides are made of copper and apparently have corroded. So I got black powder all over The Awakening but not on the stitched part that I can tell. A washing might get it out, maybe. You can imagine that I'm not happy that this happened to the piece I've been working on for over a year and a half. So I'm using an old stand and need to order a replacement part for my Gripit stand. I'm just wondering if I want to get yet another piece that will eventually corrode.

The fabric and other items for my Halloween exchange have shipped! I'm very excited to stitch on this stuff. I can't wait to buy some goodies too.

Gripe: A friend came over the other day and told us that someone had stolen his work laptop. While he was sitting in a Wendy's and using it. A woman came it, grabbed the laptop from under his fingers, and ran out and got into a waiting car. The friend is very large and couldn't run after her, but some other people did. I am just livid at this. It makes me want to hurt this thief very badly. How nervy and cowardly to take something away from someone you know can't fight back.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Halloween exchange

No stitching picture this time around, but here's Anubis making himself comfortable in the new baby stroller my nanny bought me. He must think we bought it for him!

Since the SBEBB Halloween exchange is supposed to be a surprise, no pictures of my latest finish, but I did finish one small piece for it. For a small piece, the finishing was somewhat time consuming. I do like it very much, though--I'm hesitant to give it up! I have two other small pieces planned for the exchange, but I'm waiting for the fabric, floss, and charms. I could go nuts stitching Halloween stuff. I also bid on a Halloween knick knack on eBay to be included with the exchange.

Since I need to stitch these as quickly as possible, I'm not waiting to see whose name I draw. Ordinarily I'd wait so I could tailor the items to the person. Oh well, I think the items have a wide enough appeal. I'm very excited about the exchange because I just love Halloween stuff.

I also started getting the fabric ready for Winter Stitches. I just couldn't get the wrinkles out of the R&R Reproduction fabric, so I posted on The Wagon. They suggested freezing the fabric after a good steam, so I did that (though I used a damp towel to wrap the fabric in). Worked like a charm! So now I can get stitching on it.

I'm also working on The Awakening a little. So much black...it gets a little boring.

Baby stuff: Matt finished painting the baby's room blue. It looks great. Now we need to get the wallpaper border up. Bleh. I'm thinking about putting it about midway up, rather than up near the ceiling.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Third and final ultrasound

We got to see the baby again yesterday. The pictures didn't come out very well because the baby had his hands up near his face. And he's definitely a he. He's been kicking like crazy, and Matt's been able to feel the movement, and even see my belly move while he was sitting across the living room from me. The baby is still positioned head down, so the movement I feel above my belly button is kicks, strong kicks. He hasn't reached my ribs yet, which is a good thing.

The insulin pills were making me nauseous and weren't affecting my fasting blood sugar. So the doctor increased the dosage and had me taking half with breakfast and lunch each and one with supper. So far that has made me feel much better.

10 more weeks to go!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Daffodil Run HD

I finished up this Just Nan piece today. I used the recommended frame but without glass.

I always have trouble getting the linen squared for these little pieces. I iron it, think I have it straight, apply the interfacing, cut it to size...and then see it's not straight. Ugh.

But my nitpickiness aside, I like the piece. It was a quick, easy stitch.

I signed up for the Halloween exchange on the SBEBB, even though the mail-out date is five days after my due date! Becky said I could send the package to her, and she could mail it out for me--very sweet of her. So now I'm looking at Halloween charts. The hard part is going to be narrowing it down! Any suggestions?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Awakening Page 44

Here is the next partial page at the bottom of the piece. Just three more full pages to go (and the partials, but they're quick).

I did need a little break, so I did a small gift piece that I can't show right now, and I started on Just Nan's Daffodil Run.

I also received the fabric for two Jeannette Douglas pieces, Take Time to Stitch and Summer Stitches. The R&R Reproductions fabric was very wrinkled, so I've emailed the store to see if it's supposed to be. I'd hate to wet it to iron it (the only way to dewrinkle linen) and have the color run. I've had that happen before.

I won an auction for the chart for Take Time to Stitch Too at a good price. I should have enough fabric for that one too (assuming it calls for the same fabric). And now I'll be good!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Awakening Page 38

Here is the next installment. This page was mostly black so went by quickly. There are a few other colors mixed in with the black, though you can't see them. I'm 88% done!

I may work on a new, small piece next to break up the monotony. I do want to keep focused on The Awakening. I only have three full pages and some partials left to go.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Awakening Page 43

I couldn't resist going down one page and completing the very small partial page. So now I can see how long the piece will be and actually have a finished corner.

I'm 86% complete. I could finish next month if I really pushed, but I don't know if I want to do that.

The magnifier saga

Remember when I said my clip-on magnifier was shedding graphite onto my cross stitch? Well, I ordered another magnifier from Herrschner's. It didn't say it was by Daylight, and it looked slightly different from the one I had. I got the magnifier in today--it's a Daylight. Argh!

I did email the Daylight company. I got a reply asking for the model number and saying that they had never had anyone complain of that before. No further response yet. I guess I'll just have to keep an eye on this magnifier and see if it does the same thing.

Baby: The doctor put me on insulin pills. He said my diet wouldn't make the numbers go down any further. Oh well. At least it's not shots.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Awakening Page 37

I finished another page. I think I may work on the page below this one, which is just a few rows. That way I can make it all the way to the bottom of the piece and also alternate full pages with partial pages. I'm currently at 85% complete.

Baby: I've been testing my blood sugar this week, and it's been higher than the doctor wanted. I go back to the doctor tomorrow, and I bet they put me on insulin. But, I have been very proud of myself for staying on the diet, even a diet that's not as calorie restrictive as when I'm trying to lose weight (though not by as much as you would think). Mom's visiting this week and is doing some housework. It's so nice to have a clean stove again!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Retail therapy

Since I've been so down, I decided to do a little shopping to cheer myself up. I bought the fabric for Jeannette Douglas' Take Time to Stitch and Winter Stitches (eventually I'll get the other seasons too). I got these patterns from some very nice stitchers for the cost of postage. I also bought the embellisment pack for Take Time to Stitch since I had the urge to work on it. I didn't buy all that much, but it still came out to be rather pricey.

Baby: Thank you all for your encouragement and advice. Matt told me that his friend's wife actually works at my hospital (she's training to be a nurse). I'm thinking I might try to have a talk with her about how things work. Otherwise, I'm sticking to my diet religiously and monitoring my blood sugar. It's all I can do right now. As for swimming, there aren't any public pools in this podunk town. And I'm way too huge to find a bathing suit that would fit me--not to mention go out in public looking like that. As for the C-section, I realized today that no woman in my family has ever had a C-section or had trouble giving birth. I'm Cajun, a people who have historically been poor, so I guess those women just wouldn't have survived. That doesn't necessarily mean I won't have to have a C-section, but I think my chances are good for a natural birth.

Mom: Mom's coming for a visit this week and will arrive Monday. Yay!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Angel Procession update

Yes, the angel has a head! And an extra wing apparently.

It doesn't look like I did much, but those wings are a pain. I think 32 count is too small for this piece. Plus, for 1/4 stitch blocks, I make one a 3/4 stitch and one a 1/4 stitch. That makes things very bulky. I probably should have made both 1/4 stitches. Too late now!

I'm content with my piecemeal progress. It's better than no progress, which is what I've had for the last few years.

I'm going to work on the next page of The Awakening. I still have a lot to catch up on Chatelaine's Rose Quilt, but I've fallen out of love with the piece. It's just not as pretty as I had hoped. That'll teach me to stitch a mystery. I'll stitch the piece later and may fall back in love with it, who knows.

RAK: Becky sent me another RAK since the fudge melted--three skeins of lovely Gentle Arts Simply Shaker threads. She didn't have to do that, but I definitely needed the lift!

Baby: The doctor depressed me yesterday. He said because of the gestational diabetes and the fact that this is my first child, I have a 50-50 chance of having a C-section. He also said that I had gained too much weight. Maybe he could have told me that after the first month and not into the third trimester! I don't much care for the doctor; he's rather cold. But it's too late to change doctors now. My fasting blood sugar has been high, so I may have to take insulin. He also wants me to exercise, but I absolutely cannot. My back kills me, and my feet burn from the swelling. So I'm feeling helpless, which is not a good feeling.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Nicki's HAED RR

Here is a section of Reone Silver Dragon by Linda Tso. It's for the HAED Round Robin; Nicki's theme is faces. I think Reone has such a sweet face.

Be sure to click the picture. Blogger does weird things to my scanner pics.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Awakening Page 36

Hurray, I finished the row! I have 5 full pages and a few partial pages left. Looking at the next few pages, I see they're big blocks of color, so they should go fast.

My clip-on magnifier has been shedding what I think is graphite all over my stitching. I am not a happy camper about this. I tossed it and need to buy another. I'm not getting another Daylight!

I received Nicki's HAED RR, so I may work on that next. The theme is faces, and I know just what I want to do!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Angel Procession update

Yes, it's a headless angel! I pooped out on this one pretty quickly. I don't want to get sick of it again, so I'm putting it away for a few more days. Every other stitch is a fractional, so I can see why it's driving me nuts. There's almost no straight stitching at all.

The backstitching on the rose parts of the angel in progress is very light, I find. I'm thinking about pulling it out and using a darker color.

I started working on the finishing of TrickORTreat today. Ugh, I really hate it. It's a royal pain in the butt. I am never getting another one of these boxes again. The bluebird box by Just Nan is very cute, but I keep reminding myself I'd have to put it together. Blech!

Oh, Monique posted a pic of a cute Harry Potter pattern. I'm thinking about stitching it up real quick. But Hedwig's white, not brown, right?

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Awakening Page 35

And another page... I'm at 81% now, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

My goal for this weekend is to finally complete the finishing of Just Nan's TrickORTreat. Even if I do nothing else, I want this DONE!

I've been contemplating starting a small Teresa Wentzler piece, but my WIPs need so much attention. I guess it depends on what mood strikes me.

I finally had enough of the binders I keep my charts in and bought Unikeeps. I didn't know they could hold three-hole punched stuff! So now all my charts are organized after getting 12 1-inch Unikeeps (the largest Office Depot had)--everything but my completed charts and general stuff (which I don't plan to stitch but like having), which are still in binders. I think they're OK there for now. I may need to purge my completed charts eventually.

Baby: The results came back that I have gestational diabetes. My numbers were only a little high, so the doctor thinks I can manage it with diet alone. I saw the dietician yesterday. We'll see what we can do. I had already cut out refined sugars from my diet, which isn't so hard right now for some reason. Matt hurt his back after messing with the dog, so we've both been out of commission. At least he could drive in the poring rain yesterday!

Horse: My friend boards my horse for me, but I haven't been out to see him in years. She trains and rides him for me, so he's well kept. However, with the kid coming, I decided to sell the horse. This was a hard decision for me because it was always my childhood dream to have a horse. I'm determined to lose weight after having the baby, so maybe someday I can have a horse again. My friend brings Stubby to the seller in Colorado next week.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

New TW pieces released

I'm so excited about the new TW release, Needle Guardian. Some people got the pattern at a class a while back, but this is the first time it's been for sale. I just love this one, and of course I had to buy it even though I'm on the wagon.

Heart Sampler is also out, but I'm not as in love with that one.

Other recent pieces I want to work on of hers are Celestial Sun and Sun Dragon. I bought those a while back. I also ordered the second fantasy pattern book from Amazon yesterday. I can't believe I waited so long for that one.

Maybe I'm getting my TW mojo back!

Angel Procession update

Here's the next installment. Those wings are a royal PITA. Even with highlighting the chart, it's very difficult to tell where you are. And then there's the blending filament and backstitching.

So I stitched on this til I got tired of it, but I'll keep alternating it with other projects. I'd be so happy to finish one of my three UFOs this year.