28 February 2006
where to begin?
Hi everyone - I'm back! Niek brought my replacement laptop home tonight! He quickly got me set up for emailing and Internet access and I've spent the last few hours catching up with everyone's blogs. Wow, you've all been so busy!! After completing my rounds, I felt ready to start my own return to blogging ... and quickly discovered that my "new" laptop and my digital camera have not been formally introduced. Nor has the laptop made the aquaintance of our scanner. ...sigh... All of which means I can't play Show And Tell properly tonight.

I have so many people to say thank you to. I have tried to get a personal note - snail mail, email, or a blog comment - out to everyone. If I overlooked you, kick me in the butt and I will quickly remedy the situation. Seriously, folks, you've been great. I have pictures in my camera of some great pick-me-up gifts that I've been truly touched and honored to receive. Then there've been the messages, both through the post and email, that've helped me feel like I'm still part of the world. And phone calls, too! Those who know me from 'way back' know I'm not much of a fan of the phone (I suspect I just burned out during my teenage years, when I had a phone attached to the side of my head - LOL!) but during these past few weeks I have really enjoyed and appreciated the calls and contact. I hope I haven't run anyone's phone bills up too much! And there has even been real life contact made during this difficult time - I finally met Annemiek at the craft fair in Zwolle! All of which goes to prove that there really is a silver lining to even the darkest clouds.

There is still a lot of rebuilding to do, but the kids' pictures were all backed up to our external hard drive at the beginning of January (thanks to Niek for not procrastinating!). That was our big worry. I lost a lot of patterns (freebies) and links, but of course half the fun is in the collecting anyway. LOL

I didn't do a lot of stitching during this period. As I told Annemarie, I was just too jittery during the week right after the burglary to settle on anything. And then I had a bit of a dip. I am feeling better now, thanks, and I'm sure things will go much more pleasantly now that I'm 'reconnected'. I have kept up with the wonderful Quaker mystery sampler (I hope to start part two this week). I've stitched and unstitched the wings on Max's dragon enough times that I'm getting annoyed with it. (I can't seem to hit the right color combination, but it will come. I think I need to set it aside for a bit and do something else.) Not much to show for three weeks' time, I'm afraid.

Some Blogland friends have had rough times these past weeks, and I want to send my best wishes winging your way. Ash has had a rough time recuperating from her recent surgery, but that hasn't stopped her from being a real pillar of support for me (even offering the loan of a laptop!). And I was sorry to hear that Anne has also undergone some trials & tribulations recently. I hope that Jenna's arm, toe, and head are all pain-free. I was shocked to hear that Design a Blog is no more, but relieved that Jane is still around.

I hope that the end of winter brings not only more sunshine but lots more happiness and health to all. Wishing you the best, and thanking you all for being part of my circle of friends. (Picture humbly lifted from here.)
posted by mainely stitching at 10:54 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 0 comments
24 February 2006
Well, the good news is that my employer has decided to issue me a replacement laptop. My work's fallen terribly far behind and we have a critical new release coming out next week, so they really do need me to be able to work from home. The bad news is, there is currently no laptop available. Hopefully on Monday there will be one. Cross your fingers for me. I had no idea this whole process would take so long! Last time my laptop was stolen, I had a replacement within the week. We're up to nearly 3 weeks now.... sigh.

I want to thank you all again - need to thank you! - for your continuing support and encouragement. This week I received lovely pick-me-up packets and messages from Carol and Von, and more phone calls from Rachael. My email has been a bit wonky from everyone trying to leave messages, and I apologize to those (like Annemarie!) who've tried repeatedly without being able to leave an email. Thank you to Jenna, Su, and Harmien for your emails! I miss everyone! I feel really strange, being so long offline. I haven't done as much stitching as I would like - I still feel pretty unsettled and emotional about the whole thing - I'm trying not to take the burglary personally, but it's hard not to feel targeted. And it has been discouraging that the police and my employer have been so slow to react and cooperate, though I can understand their issues.

The kids are doing great - next week is the so-called 'crocus vacation' for Max's school and we are planning a special trip to Amsterdam to check out some museums and have fun. Max loves to take the train, so we'll travel there & back by train. Nicky and Rowen have daycare on Monday, so it will be just the two of us. Niek would love to come, but work has gotten crazy the last couple of days. There is also a craft fair in another part of the country that I hope to attend on Sunday. I've never been, but Ash assures me that it's well worth the trip.

Well, work is pressing, so I will keep this short. I do hope that next week will once again find us connected from home and I can get back in touch with everyone.

Take care!
20 February 2006
stitching, visiting, and collecting paperwork
There are advantages to being burgled, as I'm discovering. I've had more personal contact with some friends this weekend, which has been really nice. Ash called me up and offered to lend me a laptop - can you believe that? Thanks, Ash! Niek wants to replace the stolen laptop as soon as possible (more on that later), so I've said 'no, but thanks a lot!' to Ash's very generous offer. Rachael has called a couple of times, and Annemarie's also called. Thanks! I have to admit that being home with the kids all day for most of the week, I began to feel like I was stationed out on Antarctica. Lonely? Don't get me started. But I sure do look forward to coming in to work now!! LOL

On Saturday we also visited one of my "oldest" friends here in the Netherlands - like me, she's not Dutch-born but fell for one of these great Dutch guys and has been here ever since. She's finally let the cat out of the bag that they are expecting their second child this summer. The little traveller has been long wished-for, so this was wonderful news. On Sunday we went out for dinner to a real restaurant with the whole crew, something we don't often indulge in. The kids had a great time and ate everything on their plates. It was fun, and I wished I'd brought a camera to catch the happy faces.

We also priced laptops, in hopes that we'd finally get the paperwork from the police. They called Saturday night to say it was finally ready, so we picked it up Sunday morning and we're now waiting for the Big Boss to arrive. My employer doesn't wwant to issue me another laptop (and I don't blame him), but we do need to work out some sort of compromise because I work from home sometimes and need that connection. Hopefully - cross your fingers & toes - we will have everything ironed out today or tomorrow, and we can either buy or order a new computer for the house.

Until we are again connected at home, I'll continue to eagerly await my chances to check my mail and peek in at the occassional blog. I'll have a lot of reading to do when I finally am back online!

For stitching projects, I've made some good progress on Max's dragon and have begun the wonderful Quaker mystery project. I actually started it twice - I was unhappy with my original choice of linen/silk so I switched. I'm now using Vikki Clayton's "French artichoke" on Silkweaver's "Porcelein" and it looks great.

Thank you all for your wonderful outpouring of support. We have had to accept the fact that at this time we simply cannot afford to move, so we batten down the hatches - locked doors, drawn curtains, and we are going to install motion-sensitive lights. I don't like it, but for now it's all we can do.
posted by mainely stitching at 10:00 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 1 comments
17 February 2006
trying to make lemonade
Hi everyone. I am still here, but things have changed. Monday evening while Niek and I were putting our kids to bed upstairs, someone broke into our house and stole my laptop. Obviously we're very relieved that none of the kids wandered into the room while the thief was in the house, but we are very shaken and upset. The police actually blamed us because we had left our curtains open. What?! Yes, apparently you are supposed to draw your curtains and lock your doors as soon as the sun goes down. There really are boogeymen, and they aren't just under the bed.

The police have not even begun the paperwork that's necessary for the insurance company to have in order to begin processing our claim, so it may be awhile before we are back to normal (whatever that may be in this very screwed up world we inhabit). I am now at work, which is the only place I have Internet access, and wanted to take a moment to let you know why I disappeared.

Everything on my laptop is lost - pictures, patterns, email addresses, and so on. Thank heavens Niek had backed up the baby pictures of the kids on an external harddrive. The loss of those would've been nearly unbearable.

I will post again on my next workday. Until then, I'm wishing you all good health and happy days.
posted by mainely stitching at 10:15 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 2 comments
12 February 2006
happy, healthy, productive
Wow, I actually got some stitching done this weekend, and I even stuck to my original goals. You can write this one down on the calendar, because I'm sure it won't happen many times this year!

On Friday I decided that I really wanted to complete some of the charity pieces I've promised to do. I sort of remember promising myself to cut back, but all of a sudden I had enough goodwill projects that I needed to make a list. Oops! I'm impossible - chances are, if I say one thing about my stitching, I'm going to turn around and do the total opposite. LOL

Friday night I put a few stitches in the flower freebie by Blue Turtle Designs, but there was an interesting movie on and I didn't get much done. Not an auspicious beginning. But yesterday, Max and I decided to try our own SAL using the Brightneedle "Mary Kirby: Home" design that I'd recently acquired. Max won't allow me to post a picture of his till its done, but he managed to get the outline of the house done. I asked him if he minded if I finished stitching mine because I plan to make it into a little girl's purse for his school's spring fundraiser. Here's the stitched piece with the fabric I'll use for the purse.

Today I managed to finish the flower block from Blue Turtle. I had to chop a row of flowers off to comply with the very small size allowed by the charity group, but I added "bloemen" (flowers, in Dutch) using the Heart in Hand "Alphabet Mania" alphabet to keep it balanced. It's very bright and cheery and I hope it meets all the requirements for troostquilts, a Dutch-based organization that supplies charity quilts for both children and adults. I saw the link in Anneke's blog, and she was very helpful in explaining some of the rules that didn't make sense to me. Thanks, Anneke!

Image hosting by Photobucket

I still have the sea turtle from Blue Turtle Designs to do again. I'm going to use purple and green this time. I'd hoped to make a start on that, but I'm pretty satisfied with two projects in two days.

On the health front, the kids are doing a lot better. Nicky still have a very stuffed up nose, but Rowen is nearly back in full form, and Max looks so much better that it's just remarkable. My splitting headache reached a sort of crescendo Friday night. Since then it's just been the usual sinus pressure. Niek, thankfully, hasn't shown any signs at all of illness. So we seem to be back to normal, whatever that might be. Thank you all for all your sweetness and support. And no, Joanna, Itty Bitty didn't get sick, but I did keep her out of Rowen's bed till the worst of the leakage was past us.
11 February 2006
stitching with my toes
We are all upright and mobile, though I would probably pass for the kids' grandma today. Yikes - too bad purple rings under the eyes aren't considered attractive. Maybe I should go for a Goth look?

I've received two envelopes of patterns - our mailman is trying to get back into my good graces, I suspect. First to arrive was a collection of second-hand charts won on eBay: Birds and Berries and Pear Orchard Farm (both by Sheepish designs), Dutch Strawberries (The Goode Huswife), and Finger Lakes Sampler (Brightneedle). I was a little disappointed with the condition of the Sheepish Design charts, but they are still readable. This morning, Kathy Barrick-Dieter's envelope arrived. When I saw her new Nashville designs, I wanted them all! I absolutely love the Tombstone angels, but the rest of the family finds them morbid. So sadly, I passed them by. I did induldge in Tavern Signs Too and also picked up the chart for Mr & Mrs Abbott and Daughters. The idea - which I discussed with Kathy - is to re-adapt two of the daughters as sons, and hang them up in one of our front windows with Collins Inn in the other window. The two designs look so good together. Even Niek thinks they'll look great.

Last night I started work on a small design for a charity square that I hope to post tonight. It's another freebie from Blue Turtle designs - I really love these designs! This weekend I hope to finish a lot of the charity stitching I've promised to do. I haven't worked too much on Max's dragon because I have a hard time reading the hand-drawn chart with the headache I've had, but it is coming along beautifully. The colors are just stunning. That's not me bragging about my choices, that's me expressing enormous admiration for the talented people who dye the fibers and fabrics. I'm a color junkie, and I just find it so amazing that people can create these incredibly rich, varied color combinations. Wow!

I am eagerly awaiting the Nashville additions to my favorite ONSs. I have pre-ordered A Most Noble Pursuit and I was excited to see that Vikki Clayton now has a conversion available for it. Speaking of Vikki's silks, I'm awaiting my first order of them and thinking about joining the FOTM that's just started up again.

Thank you one and all for your very supportive comments this week. It's a week I'm glad to have behind me - kids are a joy, but when all of them get sick at once, the days sort of shrink in on themselves. Your comments helped keep me cheery and upbeat, and connected to a world that didn't involve ... leaks. LOL!! (I did finally get to the post office before it closed yesterday, too - hooray!)
posted by mainely stitching at 12:02 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 2 comments
09 February 2006
I want to go to the post office!
Here in Sickville, the kids are feeling well enough to bicker with each other though they're still experiencing unsavory flu symptoms. I do hope tomorrow we'll be able to get back to normal. Max has made the most rapid improvement and will almost certainly be able to go to school tomorrow. Nicky's also doing pretty well, but Rowen ... well, I'm not sure if she'll be up to a day of daycare tomorrow.

Meanwhile, we are out of everything. How do you take three kids who're ... leaking ... to the supermarket? Leaving them home alone isn't an option. We do have the stuff to make one more batch of chicken soup (though I may start shedding feathers if I eat any more of the stuff!). And I have a stack of mail to go out, but the post office is even more of an immpossibility than the supermarket. Friends who have birthdays, I apologize now for the lateness of your cards! My sister-in-law's birthday has already passed (yesterday) and I'm looking right at her stamped, addressed card. I don't think I've ever said I want to go to the PO, but I sure do now!

Not much stitching to report. I had a killer headache last night and was totally useless. I tried to start a teeny design by Elizabeth's Designs but didn't get very far. I did place my first order for some Vikki Clayton silks after Karen warned me how much fiber the mystery Quaker sampler consumes. Thanks, Karen, I would've seriously underestimated that! So now I have one more reason to stalk my mailman, who has been avoiding me this week.

I made a very dull trial blog posting of the projects I've promised to do and those I'd simply like to do, but I think I'll spare you that. It did help me get an idea of what should take priority. Lately, I've been in a mood where I want to stitch everything at once!
08 February 2006
stuck in the middle again
Only instead of clowns & jokers surrounding me, it's germy little kids. (I'm allowed to say that 'cause they're my germy little kids! LOL) All three have some degree of the flu today. Thank heavens they're all in reasonably good moods!

Because of all the ... erm ... bodily fluids that aren't always in the little bodies, I haven't dared take out any stitching projects. I did pull out my patterns to look for designs for a quilt I want to (try to) make for a friend. Then I realized that the patterns for the cross stitched pieces would depend on the pattern for the quilt. I always seem to start at the wrong end of a thing. But after some hunting around I think I've come up with a quilt pattern that isn't too fiendishly hard for a beginner. I dug up some coordinating fabric and once the coast is clear, I'll start cutting them to size. Anyone here have any experience with quilting? This will be a small one, finishing at about 48 inches square - good for a table centerpiece or a wallhanging.

I also washed a bunch of overdyed fibers to use for an upcoming charity quilt square. Linde, over at Quilts 4 Kids, changed the rules to allow for off-white backgrounds, so my little turtle square is once again in demand. I sent the first one off for Pranav's quilt at Cole's Quilts, so I'll do it again - different colors this time, though.

I'm itching to take out Max's dragon and work on that, but that one's not washable and I just don't want to tempt fate. My head's not quite feeling up to the challenge of anything very complicated right now anyway. I hate to admit it, but after three days of being home with sick kids, I'm not exactly feeling spiffy myself. I have fitness tonight, so maybe just getting out of the house will put me back to rights.

Hmmm. Since I started this post, I've given two children two seperate baths (you don't want to know why, trust me) and done a load of laundry. It's time to start dinner now. Maybe I'll skip fitness and just go to bed tonight!

I hope you're doing well and staying healthy!!
07 February 2006
no peeking, Niek!
As many of you know, I was home with Rowen yesterday instead of at the office. (She's feeling better, but not yet 100% recovered from the flu.) Anyway, I wanted something to do with my hands during the moments I wasn't busy taking care of her, so I started Niek's Valentine's Day gift. And I finished the stitching today - hooray!

This is the first of the Saturday Sampler series from The Sampler Girl. To acquire this series, you have to sign up for her mailing list - definately not a hardship! The charts are very affordable, too. There's my enabling tip for the day! :-)

I hope Tanya (aka The Sampler Girl) doesn't mind the enormous liberties I took with her color scheme. I changed everything! I intentionally went with a kind of weird color scheme - it just suited my mood. I also wanted to do a project that used only silks from The Natural Dye Studio to give people an idea of how great they look and how varied her color line is. Was. Amanda, you have to return to dyeing embroidery fibers this summer! Pleeeeaaasse!! As I was saying, this uses only silks that are dyed using natural methods and that meant I had to find a very special fabric as well. So I unearthed one of the R&R Reproductions swatches that I won on eBay some time ago. This is 30 ct. Butternut. It's a gorgeous, deep color IRL - much more so than the scan shows. The scan also didn't do justice to the naturally-dyed silk (also from The Natural Dye Studio) which is this amazing sort of pale chartreuse IRL. I'll finish the sampler off as a mini-ornament using the silk for the back. I'll post another picture once the project is finished-finished.
06 February 2006
birthday fun was had by all
The birthday party for Nicky and Rowen was a lot of fun - all of Niek's brothers came, plus Opa and Oma (grandpa and grandma). The kids always get very excited when Oma is around.

I'd made three kinds of cake, plus an apple pie; there was ice cream & whipped cream; beef veggie stew & quiche; and little snacky things. I don't think anyone went away hungry. The older cousins set up a disco in Max's room upstairs, which was just too darn adorable. I was allowed to deliver chips to the door, but not to enter! Rowen made her rounds of the adults, finding adult company much more interesting than that of other children.

I gave her Itty Bitty before the party started, hoping to get a decent picture, but the doll is just too small and Rowen is just too wiggly. Actually, taking pictures was something of a challenge, as you can see by the few I've posted. The kids' favorite toys were a drum (from Uncle Frank), a dolly (from Uncle Rich & Aunt Amy), and a Play Dough set (from big brother Max). My favorite gifts were the clothes!

Thank you all for your wonderful wishes and comments for our little darlings. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. At this time next year, Nicky will be in school! (And boy, is he eager for that! He was trying to read his own birthday cards!)

We have a little breather before Max's birthday, and I hope to get his dragon finished as well as some other projects. I started Niek's Valentine's day present today while staying home with Rowen (who came down ill during the night) and hope to post a picture tomorrow.
posted by mainely stitching at 10:35 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 1 comments
05 February 2006
you've come a long way, baby!

Two years ago today, the world was enriched by the arrival of our Rowen. Within moments of her birth, the midwife's assistant pronounced her "een pittige tante" (roughly translated = a feisty girl). She was right!

Rowen's birth went very smoothly - as a matter of fact, I kept putting the midwife off about actually having the baby because I was trying to get Max's lunch packed for school! The only odd moment of the whole pregnancy was when we found out she was a girl - everyone, midwife included, was certain it was going to be another boy. I was going to star in my own version of My Three Sons. Naturally, the first thing I did was buy some flowery pink & red clothes for her. How cliché! Rowen arrived almost exactly on her due date - another big difference from her brothers, who were two weeks late (Max) and two weeks early (Nick).

Rowen's our most Dutch-looking baby with her blonde hair and blue eyes and apple cheeks. We've actually had people ask if Nicky is adopted because they are so close in age yet have such different appearances! She's been the boss since the beginning. Whether this is typical for girls or whether it is simply Rowen's enormous personality, I can't say. She's also the boss at daycare, able to run the older children ragged fetching and gathering for her. Her willfulness has presented some unique challenges in our fairly laid-back family, and in all honestly the first 18 months saw a number of days when I felt I'd reached my wits' end. But recently she her development has caught up with her desire to express herself in more positive ways, and she has become quite a delight.

Today we'll enjoy a small party with some of Niek's family - his mom & dad and at least two of his brothers with their families. We'll miss those who can't come - mom, dad & Mary, Jim & Gaby, Rich & Amy, and many others who are too far away. (Fortunately, we'll be able to enjoy a nice, long visit with at least a few of you this summer!) I'll enjoy watching our kids play and will feel amazed all over again at how fast the time flies by.

To end on a stitching note, if you haven't seen Kathy Barrick-Dieter's new designs, you simply must go look!
posted by mainely stitching at 10:01 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 1 comments
04 February 2006
a pause to consider future birthdays

(by Enchanted Designs)

I'm cleaning house for tomorrow's bithday party. My windows and baths are clean, so I’m taking a short break. I’ve earned it, right? The boys are off getting sheared at the barber, and we girls are holding down the fort. I’m counseling Rowen to avoid housework for awhile longer – she’ll have enough of it to do in her future! LOL

I was noticing in Becky’s blog that she and Karen have almost the same birthday – and a very happy upcoming birthday to you two! – and it made me wonder if we have any Geminis in the audience. Would any fellow Geminis be interested in a little birthday exhange this year? I love encountering other Geminis. There’s almost always an immediate, nearly audible ‘click’. Sadly, I don’t know many people who share my star sign IRL.

If you are interested in a gift exchange, please leave your contact information and I’ll arrange it. If everyone who is interested could please say so by Tuesday the 7th, I’ll send everyone the name of her (or his) recipient on Wednesday the 8th.
posted by mainely stitching at 12:22 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 0 comments
03 February 2006
ohmygosh - this is the cutest thing I've ever made!

Here is Rowen's Itty Bitty Pear doll, totally finished. Now, I have never said this of anything I've made, but the picture doesn't do it justice! I'm reallly happy with this project, and happy that my finishing skills are improving enough that I could make something for my daughter that really shows how much I love her. (Rather than looking like an ambitious six-year old made it. LOL!) That's a newborn picture of Rowen next to Itty Bitty. Wasn't she a gorgeous baby?

I hope this will become a beloved bedtime companion for Rowen, and even that Itty Bitty will follow Rowen off to college and into The Real World someday. A little bit of my love, always close at hand. (I'm a soppy sentimentalist, aren't I?)

I stitched Itty Bitty all in silk on a soft Cork linen. She's backed with a raw silk that's both soft and textured. Her funny, floppy legs are the tiniest baby socks I could find, which I stitched down to even narrower tubes. The seam is edged in a silk boucle that I found (to my surprise) in my stash. Most of the silk, including the boucle and backing, are from The Natural Dye Studio. (Su, that wasn't me bidding against you - honest!!)

Thanks for stopping to visit!
posted by mainely stitching at 11:04 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 3 comments
"I could'a been a contenda"
I hope Marlon Brando doesn't mind me borrowing his line. (And if you haven't seen On the Waterfront, or his other great films - A Streetcar Named Desire is one of my favorites! - you must rent them this weekend!)

Silkweaver has finally announced the winners of the 2005 Stitcher's Showcase, and to my utter amazement, I was a finalist! Thank you, Harmien, for pointing this out to me! This was my first time entering, and because I haven't been stitching for long, I could only enter a few projects. My hilarious Halloween MA exchange actually came in as a finalist in the small projects category. What a thrill!!

And this will probably be my last posting for a few days. Niek's family is coming for the big birthday bash on Sunday afternoon and there is a lot of housework to be done between now & then. And cooking. And laundry. And shopping. And ...
posted by mainely stitching at 10:38 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 0 comments
02 February 2006
i'm leavin' on a jet plane
but I know when I'll be back again...

So, it's done. It's almost totally official. It's also non-refundable, so it better work out! Yep, I'm talking about our trip the US this summer. Niek managed to get four full weeks off, and we're spending it all in Maine with family and friends. I just can't wait. I'm fighting the urge to start packing my suitcase now. Which projects will I take along? Oh my gosh.

The even bigger news is that today our Nicky turns three years old. Where exactly the three years between then and now went is a bit of a mystery. I strongly suspect that someone keeps taking chunks of time out of my life - I mean, it just goes by so fast!!

Nicky was the only one of our children born in the hospital. They had to pretty much drag me, and truth be told, I'm still mad about it. Anyway, it was actually a snowstorm that weekend and the usual 2 1/2 minute drive to the hospital suddenly took much closer to 15 minutes because of the ice and near-white out conditions. We were given a room of our own and I spent the hours looking out at that white, cold world wishing I were in Maine. Later, when things went from being simply annoying to being kind of scary, I kept focused on that clean white snow and how it reminded me of home. Visualization can be very helpful, especially if you're having natural childbirth in a hospital setting.

Things went as well as they could, and Nicky flew into the world (according to an astonished Niek, who'd never seen a baby being born)a very healthy, beautiful baby boy. His personality remained much as it had been in the womb, and much as it still is today. He's our easy-going, fun-loving, little dare devil. He gets mad, but he gets over it quickly. He's the only one of the kids who can easily say "I'm sorry" and he loves to give and receive kisses and hugs. He's the only one of the kids who looks much like me, probably because we're both more darkly colored and stockily built than the blonde giants who inhabit this country. (That's a friendly joke, folks!) But he takes after his daddy in personality - which is probably a good thing!

Happy birthday to my little bear cub.
posted by mainely stitching at 11:15 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 1 comments
i spy ... eye candy

Last night I mentioned that I wanted to post a progress picture of Max's dragon (even though you still can't tell what it is). I'd also let slip that I'd spent rather too much on eBay. Part of that is because my newest favorite for silk threads has decided to stop. Oh no! So of course I've had to snap up what she still had available. And honestly, can you blame me?

posted by mainely stitching at 10:39 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 1 comments
01 February 2006
the month in review
Holy smokes, but January slipped by fast! And February is even shorter, plus we've got birthdays this month ... oh boy.

Anyway, I completed four projects in January: the Blue Turtle 'sea turtle' freebie, "Love" ornie from Lizzie*Kate, "Itty Bitty Pear Doll" by Sisters & Best Friends, and "Come Fly Away" by Sheepish Designs.

I have not finished, and this is very naughty of me, "A Primitive Stocking" by Carriage House Samplings and "Miss Mary Mack" by La-D-Da. The problem with these two is they're over one on 36 and 40 ct linen and I cannot work on them at night. Nearly all my stitching time is at night, so .... I need a magnifier. Do any Dutch readers know where I can get one? Or do I need to order one online? I feel very guilty because MMM is a SAL and I suspect I am the only one who is not done.

I have started Max's sea dragon, which will be a birthday gift for him. Progress is slow because it is a horribly unwieldly hand-drawn design and because I'm changing all the colors and some aspects of the design. However, I'm having a great time with it, and Max is making very imaginative guesses about what it is. I'd hoped to include a picture, but DH has already gone to bed and I don't want to disturb anyone by hauling down the scanner....

For upcoming projects, I am participating in a Bent Creek MA exchange that should be very fun. And I have two SALs coming up in March through the Stitching Smalls SAL group. I am also going to start Houses of Hawk Run Hollow on Friday nights with Carol, and I am trying to make an ornament a month with the Friends Gather group. Speaking of FG, there are some great ideas there that I want to particpate in, such as the 24 hour challenge and I'd like to do a better job with the Monday Check In and the monthly Stitch A Thons. Areas for improvement!

For stash accumulation in January, I was both very, very good and very, very bad. I took out all the new books from the library and have gotten some great ideas for upcoming local charity events that involve children. And lots of patterns. I bought some great stuff from Acadian Corner for half price (go check out their sales pages!). However, I went a little bit crazy on eBay recently and although I didn't pay too much for anything, I spent too much overall. I've also succumbed to Silkweaver's lure too many times. So, there is a lot of room for improvement!

In general, I had the chance to stitch more than usual in January and I really enjoyed it. Our kids are getting old enough that I can sneak in a little bit of time during the day, which really speeds a project along. It was a good month for getting new ideas, getting to know some fellow bloggers better, and sort of expanding my horizons. I want to thank you - and I wish I could thank everyone individually - for coming to visit me here, leaving comments, sharing ideas, and just enjoying the opportunity to come together over a craft that we're all fairly passionate about.
posted by mainely stitching at 10:03 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 0 comments