Friday, 27 February 2009

Rainy day stitching

It's been an absolutely miserable day here today with high winds and lots of rain. Now as the temperature is dropping, the fog is settling in. A perfect day for stitching. This was a day off for me since I have to work this weekend and with no other plans for the day I settled in for a day with Cirque des Cercles. The day has passed fairly quickly and I'm amazed at the progress I've made. You don't realize just how much you've accomplished until you compare before and after pics. When I looked at my last photo and then at today's I was really pleased at my progress. Mind you I did work on this briefly on a couple of other occasions but the bulk of the stitching was done today. I'm on the last page now and the finish line is in sight!

Here are the before and after pics.

Amazing what you can accomplish when you have a day of stitching without being disturbed!
Yesterday I tried to stitch several times but was always interrupted by a certain little kitty jumping onto my lap and grabbing at the floss. Today however my DH was home and kept her occupied this morning and this afternoon she was all tuckered out. She's been sleeping now for about 2 1/2 hrs. I'm starting to get some better pictures of her now that she's not as skittish. It's just like having kids around again!

During the past couple of weeks I've been fortunate enough to have received two different awards from fellow bloggers. Both are friendship awards.

The first is from Blueberry Heart who is a new blogging friend.

The second is from Suzanne whose blog I regularly visit.

As stated on Suzanne's blog:

'These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbon's of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these kind writers. When you pass the award along please include these guidelines.'

Thank you ladies! I'm very touched by both these awards. I've made so many new friends through the world of blogging and stitching. I can't imagine what it would be like without all of you now. Friendship is a true blessing. I know that both of these awards require that you pass them along to other blogs but I can't imagine just picking 6 or 8 friends and leaving the rest out! If you're reading this post now consider yourself tagged and award yourself. You are all very special as far as I'm concerned!!

I think that I will have very few days of stitching like this in the next few months. Our lab is due for accreditation in May and any spare time will be spent getting things in order. I'm in charge of point of care testing (POCT) which involves any bedside lab testing such as the use of glucose meters for monitoring blood sugar. This will be my first accreditation since I have taken charge in this area and there is a lot of unfinished work yet. I expect to be working several hours of overtime in the next few months because there is just not enough time during the general work day in which to get everything completed.
My stitching might suffer but then again it might not. Most of this work cannot be done from home and I'll be needing a stress outlet more than ever! Fatigue might be the only deterrent to stitching. So if you find I'm not posting or commenting as much you'll know why. It definitely won't be forever. Perhaps things will go much more smoothly than I anticipate after all, I do tend to panic, lol! There's always hope!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Snowmen and a Kitten

That's pretty much what I've been working with this week. I dug out my Trilogy Secret Snowdrift and put some stitches on it although I haven't got much to show for it. I was often distracted by the new little addition to our household.
Yes, we've got a new kitten! Her name is Clarisse and she's a blue lynxpoint mitted Ragdoll.
Finnigan was also a Ragdoll and I just fell in love with the breed. They're very social and often act like dogs. They come when called and love to play fetch. They're long haired but don't shed as much as Persians and Himalayans although my DH would beg to disagree! They have a lovely temperament and have certainly won a place in my heart. Bob has never been around a kitten this young (14 wks) and is desperately trying to teach her to stay off the furniture. He has a squirt bottle of water in hand and thinks he can squirt her when she gets on the couch but she's usually long gone by that time! I've had a terrible time getting her to sit still long enough for a picture. Even when's she's sleeping I can't get a pic because she's found a hole in the bottom of the box spring in the bed in the spare room and climbs in there to sleep. She probably feels safer there.
As I write this she's having a field day checking out the office here in the rec room. Up until now she hasn't been down here and boy oh boy, are there ever a lot of things she can get into!
Consequently every time I sit down to stitch I end up having to stop at some point and chase her away from something she shouldn't be doing. Either that or she's playing with my floss. I forgot how exhausting they can be. Just like kids! I keep telling Bob she needs a playmate but he's not going for it!!

As Clarisse gets older the colour on her face and tail and the stripes on her legs will deepen and the tabby markings on her face will get more pronounced the way that Finningan's did. It can take up to two years before they have developed their full colour.

So I apologize if I haven't had much to tell in the way of stitching. I'm off work now until Saturday so I'm hoping to get more done on Cirque and have another picture to post next time. I also have to choose an ornament to stitch for March.

I received an email yesterday from my LNS announcing their closure at the end of March. They've been in business for 16 yrs but due to the declining economy along with a lengthy bus strike in Ottawa and a very competitive internet market, can no longer make a go of it. This was the only cross stitch store in Ottawa and I will be very sorry to see them go. I had the pleasure of attending one of their stitching retreats in the fall of 2007 and made many new friends. From what they said they have been fighting an uphill battle for some time now as I'm sure several other businesses have as well. I've seen this happen before with independant book stores who were run out of business by the big chains. It leaves me with a very sad feeling for while we can find our supplies elsewhere, we will certainly no longer enjoy being greeted by familiar faces. Thank you to Knit One, Stitch Too (formerly The Cross Stitch Cupboard) for your many years of service and advice. I shall miss you.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

A Valentine finish

Can you believe it? With everything that's been going on around here lately I actually managed to finish stitching my French Inspired Heart. As for the finishing, well that remains to be seen. I haven't found a fabric that I like for the finishing yet so more than likely it will not be seen on display until next Valentine's Day! Other than this small finish I really don't have much stitching progress to report. I'm still plugging away on Cirque, stitching the final page now. I really haven't had much time for stitching this past week because we had some good friends visiting since last Friday. They've returned home now after a fun-filled weekend. Good friends, good times and good food is always a great pick-me-up.

I did receive a package in the mail today with an order from Stitching Bits and Bobs. When I place an order with them I make sure it's not one I'm in a hurry for. After all they're not exactly known for prompt mailings. However the sale was a good one and I wasn't in any particular hurry for this bunch. I had almost forgotton about the order though and was pleasantly surprised when I picked up my mail today. I've seen so many lovely patterns on various blogs of which the designer was Homespun Elegance so I decided to add a few of these lovelies to my stash. As you can see they are all ornament patterns which at some point in time will be stitched and addded to my growing collection. I just loved the look

of Sandra Sullivan's designs especially her snowmen. I know that there are several others out there thay I may want to add to the collection in the future.

I received the nicest card last Friday from the vet who looked after Finnigan during his last bit of time with us. It was handwritten, not a form letter, telling me how compassionate I was to let him go in peace. I thought it was lovely especially since this was the first time I'd ever dealt with this vet and I've yet to hear from my regular one. Not a word ... in fact my regular vet never ever returned my call to her even though I left specific details of what was happening. I think in light of this that I may just use the new vet in Ottawa in the future even if it is a bit farther to drive. At least I know she cares.

Not much else to report this week. Although I continue to have very little time for posting and commenting, I continue to enjoy reading all of your posts. They make my day!

I hope you all enjoy Valentine's Day with someone special in your life. Sweet stitching!!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

A new start and a new car

Thank you all so very much for your comments and the condolences left for us in regards to our dear pet's passing. Stitchers truly are an amazing group of people. Your heartfelt comments meant more to me than you will ever know. This is the first time in years that I have been without a cat. I've had cats for as long as I can remember and I know that I will have another, sooner rather than later. They are a big part of my life and for me they are my biggest stress outlet (next to cross stitching!). I honestly believe that had I not had cats I would not be the person that I am today. They comfort and soothe and give love unconditionally. Now that my sons have grown and left home and with Finnigan gone I find the house too lonely. My DH is gone most evenings with rehearsals and I'm left to my own devices. My intention is not to replace Finnigan per se because nothing ever will, but to bring in another kitty for company. I'll know when I'm ready.

My weekend was a very quiet one after all that happened. We cancelled our Super Bowl get together with the choir and rescheduled it for two weeks from now. I did very little stitching , just didn't feel like it. I do have a pic of my new Valentine start, most of which I'd stitched last week. It's a fairly quick stitch which I've been enjoying and hope to have it complete by the end of next week. I might have had it done by this weekend but we are expecting house guests and I'll be busy for a few days.

Also managed to get a pic finally of my new car. I had to wait until I'd had it washed to get rid of all the road salt which had accumulated already. That plus I needed a picture during daylight which can often be difficult since I leave home in the dark and quite often it's dark when I return. Anyways, here it is. It may look black but it is actually a dark blue-gray. It's a 2009 Mazda 3 and I do love it. I had snow tires put on right away with their own rims so the wheels don't look quite as good as when the regular wheels are on.
Gotta love that new car smell though!
Have a great week everyone.