Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Time for a change

I moved! My blog can be found here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I don't know why blogger ate my pics, but I'm working on getting them back up.

Update: I uploaded the pictures on my gallery so blogger shouldn't eat them anymore. If you are still having problems seeing the pics, you can see them here.

More Pictures

Yesterday, I got my birthday order from SB&B. It had everything except for my Pomegranate GAST. These LHN charts were calling out to me the loudest. If I could spend like crazy, I would probably buy them all. :) For this order, I got:
Dear Diary - Abigail Winslow
Lavender Hill
Thread Gathering Kit
Home Sweet Home by CCN
All Heart by Elizabeth's Designs

I also got some piecemaker needles and a black scissor sheath for my Solingens. I also got lots of floss! (More to sort and bag and inventory, but I don't mind.) I got the whole Cottage Colours set, a whole bunch of Crescent Colours, some GAST, a skein of WDW, and two of the new DMC Color Variations.

I am very happy with what I got. The CC floss are soooo pretty!


Last night, T was craving dessert so I made pumpkin pie. Yes, a few days early for Thanksgiving, but why wait for good dessert when I can have it now? I tried fluting my edges but it wasn't turning out right. I knew all I had to do was pinch the pastry using my thumb and forefingers but it just looked horrible. Finally, I checked how to do it online. I forgot one crucial part. You have to tuck the edges! Thus making the edge two layers of pastry, making it thicker, making it be able to "stand" and pinchable. :) Here are the results:

The fluted edges look so much better than crimping it with a fork. My plating skills needs improvement. Look at that mess! I have to confess that I took two pictures of the slice. The first slice was on a red plate and didn't show off the color of the pie too well, so I sliced a piece for me and used the blue plate. LOL.

Monday, November 19, 2007

This Post Has Lots of Pictures

I admit, I get a bit crazy with the camera. I take pictures of almost everything. This post will have lots and lots of pics. I hope it doesn't take too long to load for you.


Two nights ago I decided that it was time to really organize my floss. I need a better system. I am supposed to have a complete set of DMC wound up in bobbins and stored in 4 bead boxes. The extra DMC are semi-sorted (1-599, 600-999, etc) and stored in ziplock bags. The special floss (Caron, CC, DD, WDW, etc) are in Floss-A-Way bags and stored in a plastic shoe box. Seems like a decent enough system except that while I was looking through my fabric stash, I found a whole bunch of floss. And while I was looking in the plastic tub where all my finished items hibernate, I saw more floss. I started an inventory system about a year ago in Excel and I know for a fact that it is no longer accurate. And so it began:

I gathered up all the floss I could find. There were bobbins and Floss-A-Way bags of floss from past projects that never got put back in the storage cases. There were used skeins from when I was too lazy to go look for the bobbin that was missing from the case. There were RAKs and purchases of special floss... it was a mess. So I started sorting slowly. There were fewer special floss compared to DMC, so I started there:

Caron Floss

Crescent/Cottage Colours, WDW, GAST

Dinky Dyes, Needle Necessities, etc

Then I tackled the DMC mess:

Once again, I sorted:

DMC Variegated Floss

DMC Color Variations

After that, I went through all the bobbins and put them in the proper case:

Then it was time to sort out the extra bits:

This will make finding something so much easier. I was too tired to finish sorting and I still have this pile left to go through:

The goal is to have all floss (excluding the ones that are set aside for specific projects already) sorted, organized and entered in Excel. I'm hoping I can get it done by the weekend.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Inspiration V 1.1

When I designed and stitched Inspiration a few months ago, I wasn't sure if I was going to frame it or turn it into an ornie. Yesterday I decided to turn it into an ornie. I didn't want to finish it the usual way, so I tried a new technique. I've seen a few ornaments finished this way, but I never read instructions on how to do it. I basically winged this yesterday and I really like how it turned out. It takes longer to finish doing this method, but the results are really worth it.

I finally got an email from SB&B on Thursday that they were shipping my order. Yay! I cannot wait! I am going to try really hard to not start anything yet until I finish an ornie for Ayame and T. Let's see how long I can hold off. ;)

In baby news: Ayame has tried pureed peaches, bananas and pears. The peaches she liked in the beginning, but wasn't too fond of it when I tried to feed her some again. The bananas were not a hit at first, but when I mixed in a little bit of baby rice, she really loved it. The pears with baby rice was also a big hit. I'm glad that she's enjoying the fruit. She really didn't like eating just plain baby rice. Its so much easier to feed her now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy Dance #18

I am definitely on a roll! Here is happy dance #18. It is Emblem of Friendship by Louise Henderson of Cherished Stitches. The design is from the 2006 JCS Ornie issue. I started stitching it yesterday (while "cooking" my fabric) and I finished it today. I was a bit concerned about finishing it as all my other ornies were either square or rectangular. Lo and behold! This was actually very easy to finish! I really must, MUST miter my corners now as it makes finishing so much easier. The project was stitched on 28 count light gray Jobelan using DMC 150, stitched 2 over 2.

Edited to add: Sweet Pea, I added a picture of the back for you. I didn't use cardboard for this ornament. I stitched the two sides together and filled it with polyester batting.

Something New

In the spirit of trying something new, I gave fabric dyeing a shot yesterday. I finished my 2nd cup of French Pressed coffee when I thought, Why not use the grinds to dye fabric? So I warmed up some more water and let the coffee brew. Meanwhile, I cut up some fabric pieces. I poured the brewed coffee in a bowl and dunked my fabric pieces. I let it steep for about 15 minutes before checking on it. It wasn't as dark as I hoped it would be. So I finally looked on line and the site I was reading said to simmer the mix. So everything went into a pot, with the grinds this time and I turned it to low and I left it alone for an hour. Here are the results:

The color really penetrated the fabric well. This photo was taken after I gave the pieces a quick bath in Dawn and cold water to remove the smell. I dyed 2 pieces of 28 count white opalescent Lugana and a piece of 22 count cream Aida. The Aida came out lighter than the Lugana. I think I have to leave it for another 30 minutes or so next time. One thing though... the Aida is still stiff after being boiled and washed!

Anyway, I am quite happy with the results. I will be using these pieces for ornaments. I'm also planning to dye a big piece of the opalescent to stitch Paradigm Lost on.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ornie Happy Dance

This is now Happy Dance #17 for 2007. I started and finished this today. It's Merry Christmas by Nancy Boyarsky of Glory Bee. I was lucky enough to find the JCS 2003 Ornament issue when I went LNS hopping with Jenn back in May. I stitched the ornie on a piece of 32 count Queen Anne's Lace Jobelan using DMC 115, GAST Blue Spruce and Toasted Marshmallow. Its a really small ornie and was a very quick stitch.

I'm off to search for an ornie to celebrate Ayame's first Christmas. I'm thinking of something Snowman, but I haven't decided which one yet.

Finishing Happy Dance

I finished TW's Beginner's Whitework Ornie V 3.0 last night. The stitching was completed in 2005 and it lay patiently in a Rubbermaid bin for over 2 years before I finally picked it up yesterday to do the finishing touch. It was stitched on white DMC linen (yuck) using Passion Flower Needle Necessities floss (# 1941).

I think that is it for my unfinished ornies. Now to finish Coffee Menu and then try to stitch a couple more ornies for Christmas. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Old HDs Revisited

I was going through my stitching albums last night and realized how the camera and/or scanner just do not do justice to a lot of my stitching. So I decided that every other day or so I will revisit an old HD and try to take a better photograph. I've also been inspired by other bloggers who take angle shots of their work to show of the texture of their stitching. Very artistic indeed!

So here is Butternut Road's Provence Sampler designed by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum.

The top photo shows off the sparklies really well. I "disobeyed" sampler rules and stitched it on 32 count white opalescent Belfast Linen instead of a neutral or antique looking fabric. I stitched it with Caron Waterlilies Monsoon. I think I ended up needing 3 skeins to finish the project. It only took me 2 months to finish it.

I have a whole yard of white opalescent fabric in my stash. I was thinking of stitching Paradigm Lost on it, but I haven't decided on the floss color yet. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Coffee Menu

As promised here is Coffee Menu by LHN. I am having so much fun with this design. I usually start stitching either from the center of the design or from the top left corner. With this project, I stitched the border first and then I started at the bottom left and I'm working my way up. I made a boo-boo in the project. I counted wrong and had to fudge a bit. The original design only had 2 spaces between the border and the leaves. My version has 3 spaces on all sides. I miscounted somewhere and it was easier to just add the extra stitch here and there rather than frog.

Monday, November 05, 2007

What Happened?

I can't believe its been 2 weeks since my last post. I've been busy with this and that (work and family). Ayame went to the doctor on October 25 to get her shots. Yes, a bit late but we had insurance issues. Anyway, she cried a lot when they gave her the shots (5!!! I'd cry too). She weighed 14 lbs 6 oz (up 5 lbs since the end of July). She is now 25 inches long and her head measures 40 cm. They told me that put her in the 50 percentile (not too big, not too small). She was grumpy for a little bit, but a dose of baby Tylenol helped.

On October 29, my cousins A & D & their mom, Tita V came for a visit. We met up with them for dinner in South Boston. It was fun to see them again. I hadn't seen D or Tita V since 2001 and A I saw during Thanksgiving 2004. Ayame loved the attention! Ayame & I met up withem again on the 31st at Quincy Market and did a little bit of window shopping. I had Ayame in her costume. So cute! She did pretty good that day. She only screamed once. I should have known that would happen. She HAS to eat when everyone else is eating. Other than that, it was great. She didn't mind the subway, she smiled at everyone and even managed to take a nap while on the Baby Bjorn. T then met up with us at the hotel and we headed home.

I'm still working on Coffee Menu by LHN. I just realized that I still don't have a progress pic for it. I'll have one tomorrow, I promise. I've gotten quite a bit done on it. Its a very relaxing piece and I usually work on it while watching TV with T.

Oh! Today I got a wonderful surprise from Tami Lynne. :) She sent me the 2007 JCS Ornie issue. Thanks so much Tami!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Art of Cleaning

I don't think there is anything quite as depressing as cleaning the bathroom and the kitchen. If ungratifying was a word (and its not), that would be the best way to describe the two chores. It doesn't matter how much effort I put into it. It doesn't matter how many hours I spend cleaning (when I could be stitching instead). The kitchen and bathroom will remain clean for a grand total of 30 seconds before it gets messy again.

The bathroom isn't so bad. Its a smaller space and is easier to keep up with. I love that we don't have those awful sliding doors for the tub in this apartment. So cleaning the shower/tub is quick and mostly painless. The floor on the other hand is a constant work in progress (along with the floors in the rest of the place). My hair is still shedding. Its been chopped off (removed approximately 13 inches, maybe more), but it is still shedding. There is always hair everywhere. There is hair falling off while I'm cleaning off the hair that's already on the floor!!! It drives me absolutely nuts!

Is it just me? Surely this isn't normal. I'm hoping that there are kitchens and bathrooms out there that remain relatively clean during the day. And I'm talking about real kitchens and bathrooms here, not showrooms.

What are your kitchen/bathroom/overall cleaning secrets?


In baby news, Ayame has decided that she is done with sleeping through the night. Ugh. This started on the 13th. She got spooked Friday night and didn't sleep until midnight. The next day I had to wake her up early because we were going to Gloucester to meet up with MIL, Grandpa, Grandma and Aunt M. She was grumpy all day, grumpy all night and hasn't slept through the night since. She still takes her regular naps, but now just wakes up in the middle of the night. Last night was probably the craziest one yet. She went to bed around 10 (usual time), but woke up several times. She woke up around 2 and was up until 3:30. Then woke up again around 4:15. This usually isn't bad. I'll change her diaper and feed her and she's happy. Well last night, she was so ridiculously happy that she had to tell her friends, the stuffed fox, the stuffed elephant, the stuffed butterflies and the rattle all about it. Baby just talked and talked. First it was cute, then it got louder and louder and louder and she was waking up T who had to go to work in the morning. So I took her outside and laid her in the bassinet which we kept in the living room. I slept on the couch. I think she finally slept around 5:30. I thought that was it and she was going to sleep until 9:30. WRONG. Woke up again at 7:30, back to sleep then up again at 9:30. She's taking a nap now. I hope she sleeps at least 3 hours. Babies need sleep and mommy needs quiet time!

Baby ready for Halloween!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Android Hell

"The Enrichment Center once again reminds you that android hell is a real place where you will be sent at the first sign of defiance."

T got The Orange Box and has been playing Portal. I even gave it a shot. It's really fun and absolutely funny! "Please note that we have added a consequence for failure, any contact with the chamber floor will result in an unsatisfactory mark on your official record, followed by death."
LOL. If the darn game didn't make me so dizzy I would love to play more.

"The Enrichment Center would like to remind you that you will be baked and then there will be cake". LOVE IT!


In stitching news, I am working on my next LHN project. It's off to a wonderful start. That's a sarcastic remark, by the way. The margin on the left is bigger than the margin on the right. It is driving me absolutely nuts, but I refuse to frog so much stitching and start over. REFUSE! Hopefully the top and bottom margins measure correctly.


Work is going great. I've completed 52 hours as of today. And a bunch of people already tinkered around with a spreadsheet that took me forever to figure out and format. HA! That's why I keep the updated copy on my PC at home and just save a COPY on the server. It is now password protected and I am pretty sure that at least 2 guys hate me now. Oh look, I care. :P

Monday, October 08, 2007

Number 16!

This is my 16th stitched project for 2007. Its Pumpkins by LHN. I loved working on this design. I stitched it on 28 count light gray Jobelan using the Crescent Colors floss provided in the chart pack. I wish there was more contrast between Brandied Pears (wagon) and Cocoa Bean (wheels), other than that, I like the results.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Happy Dance!

I finally finished Spot of Coffee. It took me almost a month, but then there were some days when I didn't get to stitch at all. Also, having multiple projects slowed it down. I stitched it on 28 count tea-dyed Charles Craft linen using DMC floss. I did not like the linen at all. The weave was very lose and the texture was a bit rough. I really like the design though. I haven't decided where to stitch my name and date on the piece.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

TW's Beginner's Whitework Ornie V2

As promised, here is Version 2 of TW's ornie. I used some cream ribbon for the handle and the bottom bits. I originally wanted to have a bow for the bottom, but my bow making skills aren't as good as I would like.

I also wanted to thank you guys for the comments on Inspiration. I have a couple more designs in the works. I have a basic idea of what I want them to look like but the execution part is a little bit tricky. And some parts of the design are still stuck in my head!

See you next time!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Working Girl

I have a job!!! Whooohooo!!!!!! My old boss sent me an IM yesterday asking me to call the office. He said that if I was interested he had a job for me. So you're offering me a job that I can do from home, working with people I like... of course I'm interested! Its nothing glamorous or exciting. I will be doing a lot of grunt work (research, Excel sheets, database stuff), but its work. I have never been so excited to look at an Excel sheet before. :) I started today and it was really good. I worked for 4 hours while Ayame took a nap. It feels so good to have a job again. My ego really needed this.


In stitching news... I worked on the back piece for my TW Ornie Versions 2. I chose the letters used in TW's Birth Announcement, charting it over 2 instead of over 1. I really like the result. I finished stitching the ornie in 2005, so that's the date that I put in. Tonight I will work on actually turning it into an ornament. Come back tomorrow to see the final product! :)

Friday, September 21, 2007


Lo and behold! Happy Dance number 14 for this year!

I stitched it on a piece of hand dyed linen purchased from The Needle Hive using DMC 3865. The design is called Inspiration and ***I*** designed it! :) Yes, I am so proud of myself. I originally designed it to be a little bigger, but I excluded the outer bits. It looks so light and delicate right now and the waffle stitches that I was going to stitch on the outside would just make it too heavy, distracting from the delicate center. Anyway, I had so much fun designing this piece. I have DH to thank for inspiring (yes, pun intended) me to design. :) He encouraged me to try it and I did! Sooo much fun! I have a couple more designs in the works. They still need a lot of tweaking though. What I really love about this is that I am trying out new-to-me stitches and I get to experiment with textures.

No, Spot of Coffee isn't finished yet. It sat on the scanner until I had to take it out to scan Inspiration. Oh well. I will try to work on it some tonight and this weekend.


Noreen, I buy generic diapers from Stop and Shop. Each pack costs $6.99 (48 pieces for size 2). Sometimes I buy Pampers or Huggies, but only if I have a coupon and if it comes out to be less than $6.99. I've also tried Walgreens' generic diapers, but SNS is still cheaper. I tried generic wipes, but I didn't like the ones from SNS. They tore easily and even the unscented ones still smelled a bit. I much prefer Pampers Sensitive Wipes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shh... Baby is Sleeping

Bassinet: $125. Formula: $25. Diapers and wipes: $15. Baby who soothes herself to sleep: Priceless!


As promised, here is a progress pic of Spot of Coffee. I didn't get to stitch at all last night. A design idea popped in my head and I had to focus on that before it went away.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ta Da!!!

As promised, here is my TW Whitework Ornie. You can get the chart here. I stitched this in 2005 and finally *finished* it properly over the weekend. As you can see, I chose the simplest method of finishing. I didn't know better back in the day and didn't leave much room for margins. I purchased the ribbon back in 2005 after all the stitching was done. I think it needs a bow though. It looks to plain. It's missing something. What do you think?

I have 2 other versions of this design. I will probably work on finishing them next weekend.

I didn't get to work on Spot of Coffee yesterday. I will try to work on it a little bit tonight as soon as I finish all my chores. I will post a progress pic tomorrow.

See ya!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Weekend Recap

We didn't go to Salem but we did walk around the mall and had dinner out. It was so much fun to get out of the house. Ayame loved the mall and was just fascinated with everything she saw. She did really good and wasn't fussy at all. She fell asleep when we got to the restaurant and I was looking forward to a nice dinner. Ayame had other plans. She woke up and was sooo fussy. I ended up changing her diaper twice and she ended up drinking 3 servings of 3 oz of formula one after the other. I still got to eat so it wasn't bad. And the entree I picked (steak tips) was really good. We even managed to get some dessert! It was a bit frustrating that Ayame started fussing, but I still had fun. :)


DH and I tried Brunswick Pro Bowling for the Wii. To say that I was disappointed is an understatement. This game has nothing on Wii Bowling. Yeah , you can customize your character, but you can only play your character in career mode. If you want to do 2 players, then you're stuck with a set of characters. It was also very frustrating to play. My character didn;t swing when I wanted to, and it was difficult to control the swinging and releasing. It was not worth buying.


I stitched a little this weekend. I still haven't finished Spot of Coffee. But I worked on 2 projects. One is my attempt at designing and the other was finishing TW's Beginner's Whitework Ornie into an actual ornie. Photo coming soon! I stitched it in 2005 back when I had no idea how to finish ornies. There wasn't much fabric to work with, but I managed. :) I like the end result and I will be finishing all my other unfinished ornies soon.


Have you ever had a Pluot? I tried one for the first time last week. It tastes really good! Its a hybrid fruit made of 3/4 plum and 1/4 apricot. It is very very sweet and very juicy. The skin is very smooth and the fruit itself is very fleshy. I can't really compare it to a plum or apricot though as I don't think I've ever had a fresh apricot and I can't remember the last time I had a plum.

The fruit was developed by Zaiger's Genetics in California. They have also developed Aprium (3/4 apricot, 1/4 plum), Plumcot (1/2 plum, 1/2 apricot) and coming in 2008 to a grocer near you... the Peacotum (peach, apricot and plum). The Peacotum is supposed to taste like fruit punch. Can't wait to try that one!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11, 2007

Susan's blog reminded me of my first ever visit to NY/NJ. It was the summer of 2001 and I had a wonderful time. My dad's cousin in NJ took me on a tour of Liberty Island. I'm not sure exactly where this photo was taken (I think it was before we got on the boat going to the island). I remember being absolutely upset that I couldn't get a picture of me with the Empire State Building in the background. I didn't even know what the WTC was and I didn't understand the big deal or why everyone was crowding the area trying to get a nice picture. Little did I know that in a few days, the WTC would be all over the news. :( This was taken on September 2, 2001.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Spot of Coffee 1

My current WIP is LHN's Spot of Coffee. I am stitching it on a piece of Charles Craft 28 count Tea Irish Linen using the recommended DMC floss. I am enjoying the project so far despite cutting the fabric wrong. There seems to be enough margin on the right side, so its not so bad. One thing though... I am not too fond of this fabric. I only bought a small roll to try and I will not be purchasing anymore. The fabric is rough and the weave is very loose. I much prefer Charles Craft's Monaco which is soft and has a very tight weave. Anyway, I hope to finish this project by the weekend.

Spot of Coffee © Little House Needleworks

I signed up for the Attic Needlework newsletter ages ago and it has been absolutely horrible. Every week I see something I like! LOL. The latest newsletter is no exception. I am drooling over these two charts:

Cappuccino © Little House Needleworks

Black Dahlia © Examplar Dames Design

*Drool drool* I love, love, love both designs. Both have found their way into my ever-growing wish list of course.


Ayame is doing great. She is now sleeping through the night, 8 hours straight! Yay SLEEP!!! She does get REALLY FUSSY before she finally falls asleep though. A nice feeding helps a lot. She smiles all the time and is talking so much! She loves to look at Daddy and its just so adorable. DH plays around with her and tries to hide and poor baby would probably turn her head 180 degrees if she could just so she can see Daddy. :)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Arabesque Alphabet Take 2

As promised, here is Arabesque Alphabet A by Passione Ricamo. I stitched it on 32 count Queen Anne's Lace Jobelan using Iris Waterlilies.

I am still working on my LHN project. I think its going well considering I don't have as much time to stitch as I used to. I'm hoping to finish that in about a week.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Postpartum Hair Loss

Before giving birth, I read somewhere to expect some postpartum hair loss. Fine, whatever. No problem. I've been told more than once that I have enough hair for 3 people. I pity the poor girl who has to wash my hair at the salon, and I feel totally horrible for the poor girl who has to blow dry my hair. But I digress. No one told me CHUNKS would fall out! I'm not even exaggerating. I showered and there was hair EVERYWHERE. Really scary. After doing some research, I found out that an insane amount is to be expected. I still have a lot of hair, but I think it would be less scary if my hair wasn't so long... the clumps falling out wouldn't look so alarming... I hope.

In stitching news, I am still working on LHN's Spot of Coffee. I realized last night that I cut my fabric wrong. I went by the measurements given on the chart. The only problem is the model was stitched on 32 count. I'm using 24 count. My right and bottom margins will be smaller than I'd like (about an inch), but it should still be okay. *fingers crossed*

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A New Look

I decided that it was time for a new look. I'm sticking to the coffee theme, but the look is completely different. I also did a blogger upgrade. I kinda like how you can just drag and drop blog elements.

I know I promised a scan of my latest happy dance, but I'm still waiting for UPS to deliver my new power supply. The old one died back in Buffalo and I mailed it back to Antec a couple of weeks ago. Thank goodness I have kept all our receipts since getting married. We bought the power supply last year and its still under warranty. I cannot wait to get my PC back.

Not much is going on. I'm currently working on LHN's Spot of Coffee. This chart went AWOL on me several months ago. I looked ALL OVER for it. I finally found it last week while looking for a different chart. Somehow, this tiny chart decided to join all my kits. I have no idea how it ended up there as all my charts are on a hutch, and the kits are in a chest. Oh well. I'm just glad I found it. I also found the other chart that went AWOL a couple of days later.

Oops! House is on. See you guys next time!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

3 Months Old!

Can you believe how big my baby is now? Time is going so fast. It seems like only yesterday that I gave birth.
A few hours after birth

One month old
2 months old
3 months old


I finally finished Arabesque A for Ayame. The last 3 rows on the right side took me about 3 days to finish! I can't really stitch while holding a baby. LOL. The picture is crappy, but I promise to take a proper scan later today. I stitched it on 32 count Queen Anne's Lace Jobelan using Waterlilies in Iris. I would love to stitch her whole name, but then that would mean purchasing more Jobelan and more Waterlilies. Maybe next year...