Friday, 30 January 2009

Goodbye Finnigan

Finn, you were the most fantastic cat I could ever hope for. I shall miss those big, blue eyes and your early morning wakeup calls. To have you taken from us so suddenly just doesn't seem fair but I didn't want to see you suffer. The house just seems so empty now.

Finnigan had to be put asleep tonight after we found out he had a blood clot which had lodged in his lower extremities. He quite suddenly lost the use of his back legs and cried constantly. It was obvious he was in a lot of pain. We were unable to reach our own vet so we drove him into the emergency animal hospital in Ottawa where they made the diagnosis. His lower circulation had been cut off, his body temperature had dropped and his legs were already starting to atrophy.

It all happened so quickly and we had no other choice. I still can't believe he's gone.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Hooked on Cirque

Just haven't been able to put Cirque des Cercles down this week! Every time I feel like stitching it's the project I feel like working on. I find it so calming when I'm stitching on this one and that's definitely what I need these days. The frogs paid a brief visit but the damage wasn't too bad and I've sent them on their way. I've only got about a page and half left to complete so I'm going with it while the urge strikes. I promise, I'll get back to my Mirabilia at some point!

Thank you so much to Beatrice for the lovely award she passed on to me this past week. I always love it when others appreciate my blog. As for listing 5 of my addictions, well here goes:

1. Breads of any kind, I have a really hard time going without them which is why my diets often fail!
2. Singing - I'm currently in 2 different choirs and if I had more time I'd be joining others
3. Cats! - I can't imagine life without one!
4. Starbucks Gingerbread Latte - this one's my son's fault. He got me started on them. I had no idea they were that good!
5. Ebay - although this last one has slowed down considerably. My stash has grown too much.

Now it's my turn to pass it on

Ladies, I love reading your blogs. Consider yourself tagged and pass it on if you so choose.

I apologize for not commenting on all your posts lately. I do manage to read most of them and enjoy them thoroughly but commenting was taking up too much of my stitching time and I really felt that I needed that time to unwind right now. Some evenings I was spending far too much time on the computer and not enough time stitching. Plus my weekends seem to be kinda crazy lately. If I ever want to finish some of my bigger projects then I have to get back on track at least for a little while. I promise I'll be back sooner rather than later. I often have a little free time in the morning before I head to work and maybe I can squeeze in some time then. Although I don't think tomorrow will be one of those mornings, they're calling for 10 cm of snow. Guess that means I'm out of bed at 4:45 am instead of 5:15. Yuck!!!

Thank goodness I managed to have snow tires put on the new car after work today. It was just my luck that the old ones wouldn't fit on this car however the dealer is going to give me something for them since they were only used for about a month. If I don't like the price he's offering I have two other friends who have offered to buy them off of me. Snow tires are hard to come by around here this year especially with their use being mandatory in Quebec.
I still haven't got a picture of my new car yet. It needs washing first since it's already covered in road salt. Hard to believe but in just a week I've managed to chalk up 1000 km on the odometer.
Gives you an idea of how much I commute.

I've managed one other small finish this past week. It's my Merry ornament from San-Man Originals. This is my first ornament finish for 2009. Now the hunt begins for next month's ornament choice. I have found a freebie from the Gift of Stitching magazine which ties in nicely with a Valentine's Day theme. I just received this one in the mail this week with one of my ebay purchases. I haven't decided whether or not I'll use hand dyed fabric or stick to white. Here's a pic of the heart ornie. I've got some lovely silk floss from The Thread Gatherers called In the Burgundy which I think will do perfectly for this one. Will I have it complete by Valentine's Day? Probably not, but I'm not going to sweat it.
Enough time blogging, now it's time for me to stitch. Don't know how much I'll get accomplished this week. We're hosting a Super Bowl party on Sunday for one of my DH's choirs. At least it forces me to clean, lol!!!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Missing my mojo

Seems I've lost a bit of my mojo since last week's accident. I have stitched but not nearly as much as I'd planned. The first few days after the accident my sore back prevented me from sitting and stitching for any length of time. It's healed now but I've kind of got into a rut and all I want to do when I return home from work is sit and watch TV. Not my usual past time, trust me. I'm on one of those 7 day stretches at work so maybe that has something to do with it. This evening marks the end of day 4 and I'm wiped out.

I toted my new start with me to work on the weekend but it was pretty hectic with few breaks so I've only a partial snowman stitched to show for it. I'm using the DMC conversions for this rather than the specialty threads. When it comes to stitching the trees in this though I wanted to use the Weeks floss to give them a little more colour variation. My LNS put a skein aside for me to pick on Saturday afternoon after work but I just couldn't see making a trip into the city for only that. I'll get my DH to pick it up for me this week.

I've been keeping an eye on all the lovely stitching on the Mirabilia SAL. I know, I know, I should be working on my Easter Fairy along with them but when I did stitch this past week all I wanted to work on was Cirque. It's coming along, slowly but surely which kind of matched my speed this week. I'll probably stick with this one until the weekend and then switch over to the Fairy. I also want to get my ornie finished for the end of the month so I better get myself in gear. I don't know about you but to me it feels like this month is just flying by.
The weather here hasn't been quite as cold the past couple of days as it was last week. In fact it feels downright balmy! I can't believe I'm using that description for temperatures at -11 C but after shivering through -28C with a wind chill of -35 it really does feel much warmer. It's been several years since I've been woken up by the sound of the house contracting in the cold. For those of you who've never heard this, it's a very loud bang , almost as if a cannon has just gone off! Maybe the cold has frozen my mojo!! Alas, the warming trend is shortlived since the forecast calls for more cold at the tail end of the week. Perhaps Suzanne and I could switch locations for a week or so!! I'll warm up and she can cool down! Either that or I'm heading down to bunk in with you Kathy, lol!!

I'd really hoped to head south for a week again this winter but my accident put an end to that. As I suspected, my car was written off by the insurance company. Welcome back car payments!! Car prices are so low right now along with almost non-existent interest that the payments on a new vehicle worked out lower than those on a used one. Yesterday after work I headed to the dealer and picked up my brand new 2009 Mazda 3. It was too dark when I got home for a picture but I hope to have one for you on my next post.

Gotta go now and get my lunch for tomorrow's work prepared. I'll leave you with a picture of a lovely woodpecker that we spotted in our front yard this week. I think she appreciated the fresh suet we'd just hung!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

A new start by accident

Yes I've gone and done it again, I've just finished kitting together a new start. Didn't really plan on it, it just happened by accident.... a car accident that is. I'll explain the accident shortly, I'm much more excited by the new start. It's Secret Snowdrift by The Trilogy. I love snowman, felt like stitching some and this piece fit the bill. The fabric and buttons come with the kit and I had all the floss with the exception of one which I'll pick up later this week (when I have a car!).
The new start was the result of a car accident I had this past Sunday. I didn't go into Ottawa with my DH on Sunday morning because of a headache which I'd had since Friday. However later in the day I was feeling much better and decided to drive in and join him for a piano concert I wanted to attend that evening. On the way I made a pit stop at one of the malls to pick up some Ibuprofen since I'd depleted our supply. Coming out of the mall there is a stop sign after which I was making a left turn. Although I looked both ways I swear I didn't see anything, but when I started to make the turn I saw a large grey pickup bearing down on me. I hit the brakes but he obviously didn't see me, kept coming at a good pace and smucked me on the drivers left front side. No-one was hurt initially although I'm having some pretty good back pain now. The truck's front bumper and grill were damaged but I suspect that my car will be written off. I'm sure there is axle damage since I could no longer turn the wheels to the right and the frame is bent so that I couldn't open the driver's door and the window would only open halfway. I just paid off this car in the fall and was hoping to hang on to it for another couple of years so I'M NOT IMPRESSED!!! Also not impressed with the fact that I made this mistake in the first place! However the police say that the driver of the truck was coming very quickly and the overpass from which he was coming curves as it approaches the mall. So no charges were laid and because things took place in a parking lot, the insurance is 50/50. And yes, I did make the concert!

I spent yesterday running around to the body shop, insurance and car rentals and took today off work to rest the back. Don't think it's anything serious, I just strained it, but I'm due at the doctor's on Thursday anyways and will have it checked out then. Headache's gone though!
As for the new start, well that came about because when I had the car towed I left my cross stitch bag in the car. I'll be getting it back tonight when Bob gets home. In the meantime I couldn't go without stitching!! After all I definitely need it right now! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!

Last week I did a bit of stitching on both Cirque and Easter Fairy with a small amount of progress on the two. I'll spend the rest of this week on Cirque. As you can see I'm working my way left. I really only have about two full pages left on this one.
As for the Fairy, I'll spend the weekend working on her second wing after which that pretty well only leaves her legs and the beading.

My takealong right now has been my January ornament which is well on its way to being finished. It's a freebie by San-Man Originals and is called the Merry ornament.

If I have enough stitched, I'll post a pic next time of the Secret Snowdrift. I'm just getting started and I'm not even sure right now if I want to go with the fabric included in the kit. It's a linen and I'm not particularily fond of stitching on linen. I much prefer the evenweaves.

Let's hope this is a much better week than last!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Back on track

Not only am I back on track with my stitching, slowly but surely I'm getting back to my normal routine. As much as I love Christmas, I'm always glad when things are back to a normal pace again. Things seem to be much too hectic for me anymore or is that just my age talking?!
Today I spent the morning putting away all of the Christmas decorations and tree ornaments with the exception of my snowmen which will remain out until the first signs of spring.
I absolutely love snowman and I'm slowly adding to my collection. I'm partial to a lot of the Jim Shore pieces. Speaking of which, has anyone seen any of the Jim Shore cross stitch patterns? They're based on some of his collection and are quite colourful stitches. In the future I'd like to do his 12 days of Christmas sampler.

This past weekend I returned to stitching on Cirque des Cercles. Above you will see the point at which I left off and below how much I accomplished this past weekend. I concentrated on the motif on the bottom right corner. It's a real pleasure to stitch this piece and when I resume stitching on it I always wonder why I've left it for so long.

I was invited by Kathy A to join in a Mirabilia SAL for the new year. Rather than start something new, I decided to drag out one of my UFOs, my Mirabilia Easter Fairy. With any luck I can actually have her complete by Easter of this year! This SAL was the kick in the pants that I needed to get moving on this piece again. I've got a really good head start. It took me long enough to find it in the mess that is my craft room but find it I did. The picture shows where I left off the last time I stitched on it. You can visit the progress on our stitches at Stitch a Mirabilia.

I'm not one to set goals for the new year because if I do that you can be sure I will never finish them. I'm not very good to sticking to a plan. I am pleased with what I accomplished this past year though. By joining the Christmas Ornament SAL I managed to complete 10 ornaments. Thanks Jennifer, for the invite to this one. Besides the ornaments I had 14 other finishes which I think is a record for me. If you follow the link on my sidebar to my Webshots album you'll see all of my finishes.
Now I'm off to find a new small start which is my take along project as well as choosing an ornament to start for this month. Happy stitching!