Saturday, January 29, 2011

Finished (finally)

So we have a finish on "Cat in Chair" aka "Home is where the cat is."

I omitted a bit of backstitching which I thought was unnecessary.  So, now it's done before my Mom gets here.  Only issue is that they've left tiny margins to work with for finishing but I think I'll be okay to lace it. 

Review: Thomas the Tank Engine

Thomas the Tank Engine: The Complete CollectionThomas the Tank Engine: The Complete Collection by W. Awdry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a collection of all the original stories that went into the Thomas and Friends/Thomas the Tank Engine series. I used to watch Shining Time Station when I was small so I really enjoyed these. Most of the stories are word-for-word with their counterparts on TV.

I have noticed that each engine has his/her particular flaw. Gordon, Henry and James are stuck up much of the time. Thomas is impatient. Percy is cheeky. Edward has physical ailments but a very kind personality. And of course there are more engines introduced as the series goes on.

View all my reviews

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Favorite Wines

I haven't really been able to touch them much lately with the pregnancy and all but my husband and I enjoy wine occasionally and we discovered and rather tasty wine the other night that was fairly inexpensive so that got me on the subject.

Texas has a wonderful winery called Llano and we have discovered several wines we love.  My favorite is the Moscato. The one we discovered last night is also by them and is a white the Chenin Blanc 

I also love Riesling.  One of my favorites is by Katz.  It's German and they decided to put it in cat shaped bottles which change color with the season and holidays.

And then, there's New Age.  It's lightly carbonated.  I don't particularly care for the red but the white is awesome.

And last but not least, something that is not a wine but I've been homesick for is Spotted Cow Beer.  It's available only in WI though...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I did my taxes today and cried.  That's all I have to say.  If I wasn't pregnant, I'd be hitting the bottle pretty hard.  Going to go stitch something now....

Monday, January 24, 2011


So, the box arrived today from my Mom with the Chrismon stuff from my grandma. 

Apparently I was getting nowhere because I was spelling it wrong.  But the box did include a ton of beads and even some glass balls for making the ornaments.  Project for 2012!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Are you getting tired of the cat yet?

Well, the cat almost has a chair now.  Just a little bit left to go.  Then a lot of backstitching and french knots.  Ick.

And my team is in the Super Bowl!  Go Pack!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cat Again

So, as promised, here's the progress on the Cat.  I didn't stitch much this week due to wrist pains (pregnancy complications most likely) but I got a fair amount done today.  Insomnia tends to do that.  I was up at 5:00, gave up going back to sleep at 6 and got up and watched the original Battlestar Galactica until 7:30 when my husband got up...then I went back to sleep.  Stitched some more this afternoon as well.

Also added a section to this blog under resources that goes to my book collection of craft stuff for reference in case you see something you like and want the particulars on the book.

3 Weeks....

So, went to doctor yesterday.  Most likely baby in 3 weeks.  Yes, due date isn't until March 2 but we're now looking at mid-February.  More than likely I will be induced.

Last time, I had Zoé at 37 weeks.  It was the week of Thanksgiving.  I had an appt at the beginning of the week.  Wasn't dilated.  Monday after Thanksgiving, water broke, went into hospital and was already at like 2 cm, had baby in 10ish hours.

We'll see what happens this time.  Plan for this weekend (because my weekend is Thurs, Fri, Sat) is to boil the pump and bottles and clean up in bedroom so I can move the bassinet in here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther vs. Martin Luther King Jr.

So, I'm a graduate of Martin Luther College.  Seeing as it's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I share this story:

So, I used to work at K-Mart during high school and college.  I was cashiering and telling this one lady that I was going to college soon and this was my last day of work and the name of my college was Martin Luther College.  And she replied "Oh, Martin Luther College....can white people go there?"  I said, yes of course, it's Martin Luther not Martin Luther King Jr.

If only she'd known that the student population is over 90% white....that made our Minority Cultures class interesting.  We're just a bunch of white German Lutherans. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Almost finished....

....but I can't post a picture.  Darn it!

I knuckled down today and mostly finished the border on the surprise piece.  Maybe 15 minutes to a half hour of work left on it and it'll be done and ready to ship out.

Friday, January 14, 2011

It sort of looks like a cat now...

So, I've made some progress on "Cat in Chair" (what a boring name, I prefer to call it "Home is Where the Cat is"). 

You can kind of see the cat now and the outline of the chair...well sort of.

I'm getting a little frustrated with this kit.  The chart is very hard to read because of the way they do the backstitching lines.  They cut across the actual stitches and there have been some I wasn't sure which color it was supposed to be.

Also, look at how much finishing room they gave me:

It's like an inch and a quarter of extra fabric...(I did center it BTW, there's going to be a lamp on the left hand side).  Wonderful.

On a completely unrelated note, all the pregnant woman wanted today was chicken liver.  Money's tight so I said I wouldn't sent my DH to Chicken Express, we'll just go to the grocery store and get the container for $2 and I'll make them myself.  We finally got out to get some at 8:30pm.  We had to go to two stores.  I got home at 10 pm ....and they were frozen solid.  I got so frustrated I quit.  No liver for me tonight.  My DH felt bad. 

Nesting has set in as well.  I pulled all the newborn clothes out of the closet and washed the cover of the bassinet.  Soon, I'll be packing my hospital bag (4-7 weeks to go and I was early last time so better be prepared).  Next week, I think I'll boil the bottles and the pieces to my Medelia pump.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yay! We found the patterns!

So, many years ago, my grandmother was visiting at our church during Christmas time and admired the ornaments on the trees.  They're called Christums (I think I spelled it right).  And they look something like this:

 But they come in many shapes and forms.

My grandmother liked it so much, she bought the patterns for them and made a whole set for the tree at her church.  Unfortunately, the church burned down several years ago and all her ornaments were lost except the one I have pictured, my mother has an identical one and there is also a different style one she has as well.

I thought about making some more but I didn't have the patterns.  I thought my aunt had them in which case I figured I'd never see them since she has all of Grandma's cross stitching stuff and is keeping it even though she doesn't stitch any more.  But, I found out today that they're in my Mom's basement along with beads and other assorted materials.  Yay!

I have made some more progress on Home is Where the Cat is.  I found out the official title is "Cat in Chair" (how BORING!).  I'll post a picture tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

ABCs of me

 I've seen this on several blogs.  I'll play along....

A - Age: 26

B - Bed Size: Queen (wish it were king though)

C - Chore you hate: Cleaning the kitchen

D - Dogs Name: No Dog

E - Essential Start of the Day item: My laptop...if that's not available then my phone

F - Favourite Colour: Blue

G - Gold or Silver: Gold

H - Height: 5'5"

I - Instruments you play: Piano, Organ, Mandolin, Handbells, and I sing

J - Job: Specialist, Tech Care for a cell phone company

K - Kids: Daughters - 14 months and soon to be born; stepdaughter - 13, stepsons 20 and 24

L - Living Arrangements: We rent an overly expensive 4 bedroom house which was the only thing we could find, sad thing is there's nothing cheaper....hoping not to get evicted when I go on short term disability next month

M - Music You Love: Classic Rock (especially Elton John), Classical (especially Beethoven), Film scores (especially John Williams)

N - Nicknames: Gadget

O - Overnight Hospital Stay: When I had the baby last November; I had two outpatient surgeries but never had to stay overnight until the baby

P - Pet Peeve: People who do idiodic things and ask stupid questions

Q - Quote from a Movie:  "If it's not baroque, don't fix it." - Cogsworth, Beauty and the Beast

R - Right handed or Left: Right handed

S - Siblings: None

T - Time you wake up: Between 7 and 8 but generally I take a nap after that

U - Underwear: At this point, whatever fits

V - Vegetables you dislike: Squash

W - Workout Style: At this point, haven't really exercised since I got married, sort of been pregnant most of the time

X - X-Rays You've had: Back, head, chest, neck, and CT scans of my head and abdomen

Y - Yummy Food you make: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Z - The best place to Visit - Walt Disney World

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cookie baking, stitching and bronchitis

So, I've been out from work for about a week now.  Can't seem to keep my breath and having sinus headaches and RLS and Braxton-Hicks contractions.  The doc says I do indeed have a sinus infections and a touch of wonder I feel like crap.  I had RLS toward the end of my last pregnancy and fortunately, it goes away after I give birth. 

So, my DH has been bugging me to bake cookies for about a month now.  I made him my Choc-Oat Chip Cookies a few months back and he proclaimed them the best cookies he'd ever had.  Don't they look good?

I started "Home Is Where the Cat Is" (see future projects album for a picture of the kit).  I needed a break from that border!  Ugh!  I'm hoping to have it done by the time my mother comes to visit sometime after the baby is born.  This is my current progress:

We were having a discussion about kits on my Yahoo group.  They are definitely right about being skimpy on the fabric....I'm hoping there's enough for me to stretch and mount it.

And last but not least...Belly Shot!  This is me at 33 weeks.  Boy, I'm getting fat.  Hopefully I don't have a 3rd pregnancy right away and can lose the fat I couldn't lose last time because I got pregnant right away.

 Oh, and here's the recipe for the cookies....

Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies

1           C. Butter
1 1/4     C. Brown Sugar
1/2        C. Sugar
2        Eggs
2           T. Milk
2        t. Vanilla
1 3/4     C. Flour
1           t. Baking Soda
1/2        t. Salt
2 1/2     C. Quick Oats
2           C. Chocolate Chips
1           C. Chopped Nuts

Heat oven to 375°F.  Beat together butter and sugars until creamy.  Add eggs, milk and vanilla; beat well.  Add combined flour, baking soda and salt; mix well.  Stir in oats, chocolate chips and nuts; mix well.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 9 to 10 minutes for a chewy cookie or 12 to 13 minutes for a crisp cookie.  Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cool completely. 

About 4 1/2 doz

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mindless Eating

I've mentioned this book several times.  I highly recommend it.  Here's my review:

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We ThinkMindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, I saw this special on 20/20 one night about Professor Wansink and the experiments he does in his food lab at his college.  I decided I needed to read the book.

Wansink has done various experiments studying why we eat what we eat and what factors cause us to eat more or eat less.  His findings are very interesting.

Here are some of the things that are covered in this book:

What would happen if your soup bowl automatically refilled?

Does it matter that the label on the wine says "California" or "North Dakota"?

Does music influence eating?

What happens if you change the size of your dinner plate?

Wansink gives you some guidelines to follow to alter your diet to lose/maintain your weight but he's not promising overnight dropping 15 pounds.  This is a gradual method but will give you lifelong eating habits you can actually follow.

View all my reviews

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Zoé's first Snow

Zoé wasn't sure what to do with the she ate it....

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Two Book reviews

The Tao of PoohThe Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great book for people wanting to know about Taoism or just fans of Winnie the Pooh.

Hoff uses Pooh to describe the essence of Taoism, the Uncarved Block.  It is written as a conversation between himself and the characters of th Hundred Acre Wood with occasional excerpts from the book and other sources.

Pooh, the bear with very little brain is the simple Uncarved Block, so simple that he manages to accomplish much without really trying.  Piglet is timid.  Rabbit is the "Bisy Backson" who rushes around and doesn't accomplish much of anything.  Eeyore is the pessimist and Owl is the Confucionist phiolosopher, saying a lot without saying much of anything.

View all my reviews

Il Trovatore (Black Dog Opera Library)Il Trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this up last year in the bargain books section of a local bookstore.  Tonight, my husband and I sat down to listen to the opera.  The book comes with a wonderful recording on 2 CDs which is broken down track by track in the second half of the book with the libretto in Italian and English and performance notes. 

The first part of the book gives some background on Verdi and the history of the opera and also the background of the performers in the recording.  Also, there is a synopsis of the opera act by act which I used to let my husband know what was going on.

Great book.  If I can find more operas in this series, I will get them.

View all my reviews

Friday, January 7, 2011


So, this is actually a surprise for someone.  I don't think she follows my blog anymore so I think it's safe to post it.  And I couldn't resist posting a picture....

Somehow my photo editing software turned it pink.  It's actually on like an off white fabric.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Did I meet my goals?

So, I found my list of goals for 2010.  Let's see if I met them.

1. Zoé's stocking - Completed!

2. Family Portrait - not done
3. Teacup Bellpull - Completed!

4. Emily's Stocking - Completed!

5. Kenny's Stocking - not done

So, I got 60% of my goals done.  Not bad since I took several months off blogging and stitching when things got too much with the baby.  And I got other stuff done too like these:

Give Thanks

Bear Up

Patterned Hat

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Christmas Tree

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Little Thief

See what she's got in her hands?.....

It's a bobbin of DMC floss!  And she took it and ran and hid in her little tent big brother and his wife got her for Christmas.  Naughty!

Dragon Progress

I finished the current page of my dragon project.  No frogging so far.  I think the frogging will be on the bottom portion.

 I'm getting very tired to green...

So I am rotating to two projects that I don't have listed.  One is for someone so I can't post pictures.  The other one will be for my mother.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year

So, it's 2011.  New year.  Expecting some new things like the baby.  Hopefully a new job.  Still stitching

So, I decided to start the finishing process on some of my Christmyth.  My husband and I went to Hobby Lobby on Friday and got some polyfill.  Then I went to work.

The mermaid is stitched on Aida and was extremely hard to turn.  If I have to do anymore of these on a light fabric, I will find a scrap of evenweave instead.   The backing fabric was left over from what I used to make a tree skirt for my Christmas tree and is kind of a corduroy.  The next step will be to get some gold cording and put that around the edges but I'll wait to do that until later.  As you can see from the sidebar, I still have about 7 more to do and there are 2 more finished that I have to make into pillows.

I also got some fabric to use to finish my Noah's Ark.  I want to make it into a wall hanging for the baby's room.  I plan to use the same fabric to mat it as well.

I also got some fabric for some upcoming projects.  I wanted to use linen for the wedding sampler but it was oober expensive and I think the antique white evenweave will work rather nicely.  The hardanger is for when I get the nerve to try out the heart in my future projects album and the bread cover....well that's for a surprise.  I don't even have that project listed.