Saturday, December 12, 2009

Check Out This Great Blog Giveaway!

Jennifer is having a wonderful blog giveaway! 


WOW!  OH HOW I LOVE GIVEAWAYS!!!!

I just get all excited and wish and wish I could win!

I just love scissors.... there are way too many to drool over!

December 15th is the deadline to enter!

Happy Stitching!
 
Vicki in CO

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

ILCS Sock- It To Me Santa Exchange et al.

Birthday

Here I am on my birthday, in very cold Colorado...last I heard our current wind chill was -13.  Expected actual low tonight is to be -17.  Brrrrr!  You can bet I have the fireplace going!  DH called me at work today to ask where I wanted to go for dinner for my birthday.  I told him home to have leftover chili and cinnamon rolls!  Guess I'm getting old.

I received a great birthday gift from one of my staff, Darya.  It's a wonderful glass cutting board with the exact same kitty design as one of the notepads I received yesterday from Nancy.  Guess they know what I like. 


It's about 9" x 10".  I'm actually considering displaying it at work in one of my bookshelves on an easel.  Don't you think it is way too pretty to slice tomatoes or potatoes on? 

ILCS Sock It To Me Santa Exchange

Today's mail brought me a wonderful exchange from Rene la Frog.  Look at all the great goodies she sent!


I've had one pair of toe-socks before and loved them.  Can't wait to wear these---you can bet they will be on my feet tomorrow.  They will be perfect with my blue Christmas sweater with white stitched snowflakes!  

She also sent a tiny 'Doodles' kit that is complete with a snowman button, my favorite John James tapestry petites, a skein of Threadworx (I've never had any of this brand before), and a cute Stitch A Card kit.  She totally spoiled me!

However, the most exciting item in this exchange was the absolutely awesome snowman scissor fob Rene made for me.  I've actually never owned a fob before.  This genius fob deserves it's own photo.  If you look carefully, you can see that the beads and black in between each make little snowmen!  Is that cute or what?!  I put this on my very best pair of embroidery scissors...my  cloisonnĂ© Gingher's.




'Ring Around The Rosie' (one more time!)

I posted the framed 'Ring Around The Rosie' Hummel I'll be giving Nancy at her retirement luncheon tomorrow, but I think the post got lost in all of the updates I did.  So, here it is once again for your viewing pleasure....


This is 18" x 18" framed.  I'm extremely proud of it; it's one my largest completed cross stitches so far. 

Our next door neighbor works for a framd shop and I gave her the cross stitch and told her to 'do what she felt was right' to mat and frame it.  I think she did a wonderful job! Here's a close-up of the frame.



That's it for now.  Happy Stitching!

Vicki in Cold and Snowy Colorado




Monday, December 7, 2009

Birthday and Christmas

Tomorrow is my 57th birthday.  Yikes!  How did all those years go by so fast?  It seems incredible to me.  But, spending 38 of those years with my DH, one of the very best husbands in the entire world, have made those years very very special and wonderful, no matter the challenges and obstacles over the years.  And, I must also give credit for a wonderful life to our stupendous son, Carl, the joy of my life. 

Enough of the serious stuff, I want to show you the wonderful birthday gift Nancy gave me today:



The green fabric bag is a wonderful mix for 'Creamy White Chicken Chili Soup.'  It is from a local company called Warm Hugs.

My supervisor, Cindy, gave me my gift last week.  We work in different parts of campus, so don't actually see each other in person very often, but we keep in constant touch via e-mail.  She has called my 'Wonder Woman' for years, so what else but a Wonder Woman PEZ dispenser?!  Over the years, she's given me a Wonder woman address book, Wonder Woman shirt....it is an ongoing joke with us.




She also gave me a wonderful tin of pomegranate tea, but that is already residing in my 'food/beverage' cabinet in my office.  :)

This moring, my department had our annual gift exchange and holiday get-together.  Wonderful food and great conversation.  We draw names and exchange gifts.  This year, Connie got my name.  She really spoiled me with some wonderful edible goodies from Harry & David.



Don't you love the eyes on that reindeer cookie?!  Oh yes, the mini loaf at the bottom was a gift from Nancy.  Yum! 

One other gift found it's way to my desk this morning.  This one is from Liz.  I'm not going to open it until Christmas.  From the shape, I suspect it is a CD of some sort.  What do you think?  The snowman on the bow is a pin I can wear after I open it.  Doesn't she do a lovely wrapping job?  Almost too pretty to open. 




OK, that's all the updates for now.  The next update will probably be this weekend, after my second cataract surgery.  I'm excited for Thursday! 

Until then,

Happy Stitching and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

Vicki in CO

My New Office

Okay, today is the day for lots of blog updates for me.  At long last, here's a couple of photos taken of my new office.  As you can see, these were taken when I first moved in--before Thanksgiving (even though I already had a poinsettia on my desk.  The decor has now changed to a Christmas theme.  No, I don't have any new photos.  :) 

I absolutely adore my new office.  It is so nice to have space to hold meetings.  My concentration level has also greatly improved without the constant interruptions in my old space.  

Alas, I'm still not quite unpacked.  There are at least five boxes left to unpack, and I also need to organize my bookcases.  I try to work on one small area each day.

This is looking into my office from the lobby area.



This is looking from my desk back at the front door.  In the back left of the room, there is also a door from my office into the workroom/kitchen area.  That is very handy because there is a refrigerator and microwave in the next room



One last photo...this one is my new credenza.  I've been constantly rearranging things on it; I can't decide for sure exactly how I want to utilize it.  I think the 3-in-1 scanner/fax/printer on my 2-drawer file will be moving to the right side of the credenza because I'll be getting a new scanner for use with one of our internal systems soon.  I use the 3-in-1 as a copier for single copies and for scanning at the moment.  My printer is a new laser printer that sits on the counter across from my desk.


I already loved my job, but working in this new, spacious office makes going to work a joy!

Still more updates to come....

Vicki in CO



"Ring Around The Rosie" Framed and "Elvis" Update


Finally got some photos taken of the Hummel design for Nancy,  This is her retirement gift.  A group of us are supposed to go to lunch on Wednesday to celebrate her retirement.  Sure hope the snow doesn't cuase us to postpone to a later date! 

I'm really excited to give this to her!  She collects Hummel figurines and I think she is going to love it. 

I think the framing turned out wonderful.  Our next door neighbor works at a framing store and she chose the mats and frame.  The size of the frame is 18" x 18".  DH got a specially made box from a packaging store so I can wrap it properly. 


Here's a close-up of the stitching.


And here's a close-up of the frame.



I worked on Elvis just a little bit in the past week.  I can see him coming to life; sure hope I can get this finished up and framed for DH by Christmas!

Lots more updates on other subjects, but I'll save them for another post.

Happy Stitching!

Vicki in CO

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Bit of a Stitching Update

Holy cow!  Life is just too hectic to accomplish half of what I need to!  Today was the last work day for one of my staff.  We have worked together for 20 years!  She will definitely be missed.  The only consolation is, her replacement is hired and will start work tomorrow morning.

I have her retirement gift back from the framer.  DH got a box made especially to fit it today from the packaging store (it is 18" x 18").  Now I need to get to the store to find some nice wrapping paper, tissue paper for inside, etc.  I'll give it to her next week at the retirement luncheon we're having for her at a local restaurant.  I KNOW I took some photos of it, but darned if I can find them right now.  So, guess the photo will have to come in another update.  It is the Hummel 'Ring Around The Rosie' I finished up the backstitching on recently. 

My first cataract surgery is coming up on Thursday this week.  Tomorrow my work day will be engulfed with the monthly epidemiology meeting at our County Health Department, a seasonal flu shot clinic for our campus community in the morning and an H1N1 clinic in the afternoon.  I'm tired already just thinking about it!  A fair portion of Wednesday will be spent at the hospital getting all the pre-op lab tests, X-rays, EKG, etc. done before my back surgery on December 14. 

But, I wanted to at least post a little stitching update.  I haven't worked on the Snowman Welcome Banner for a week, but here's my update on it from November 21.



While we were at our son's house for Thanksgiving (Wednesday-Sunday), I did get some stitching in.  I finished up the stitching on my entry for TGOSM Challenge #1.  I did the finishing after work today (see the entry below).

I've been working on an Elvis project for my DH for Christmas.  No idea where I found this chart; somewhere on the Internet.  The printout I have says it was printed in 2006.  Long story about why Elvis.  I'll save that for another day.  
 

This is the progress I made on Friday.  NO Black Friday shopping for us! 



OK, that's it for now.  I need to get off to bed.  One last thing, I love to read everyone's blogs and posts, but at the moment, simply haven't had time to comment nearly as often as I'd like.  I sure hope the new year brings some peace to my life!  After all the surgeries in December, I sure hope to go into 2010 with a whole new outlook on life.

Happy Stitching!

Vicki in CO

TGOSM Creative Cross Stitch Challenge #1



Kirstin Edwards, from the wonderful online stitcher's magazine, The Gift of Stitching,  has issued a challenge to stitch a motif and finish it in some way.  I love Christmas, it is definitely my favorite time of year.  So, since it 'tis the season, what else to do with the motif but make a Christmas ornament.  Without further ado, here's my attempt at the challenge.




You can click on the image for a larger view.  I tried over and over, but failed to capture the gorgeous opalescent fabric it is stitched on!  It's a 28 ct Solo from Silkweaver.

Here's the back of the ornament.



The thread I used is a silk from Vicki Clayton (Hand-Dyedfibers.com) called Zaffre Cobalt.  Again, the photo doesn't do justice to the luscious color changes in this varigated silk thread.

This was a very fun stitch!

Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Vicki in CO

Sunday, November 15, 2009

PIF Winners


OK, I said I would announce the PIF winners on November 15.  That's today!  So, since I had four comments, I will PIF all four who entered:
              • Leah
              • Trecie
              • Deb
              • Mare
Congratulations!  Sometime within the next year you will each receive a small, handmade gift from me.  I will contact each of you by e-mail.  Please send me your mailing address.  And, now it's your turn to pass it along....post the PIF on your blog and pass it on!

Happy Stitching!

Vicki in CO



Life's Craziness and a Little Stitching

FABRIC FOR 'BOUQUET FOR CHERYL' SAL

Ok, I asked for your help in choosing fabric for this SAL.  I had narrowed it down to 'Ray of Light' (pale yellow) or a Silkweaver Solo (a soft lavender).  Here's how you voted:

Ray of Light - 8
Lavender - 9

Very close, no wonder this choice was giving me so much trouble!  So, lavender it will be.  Thanks for everyone's input!

I'M FALLING APART!

My goodness, my life has been crazy lately!  Saw my eye doctor this past week for my annual check-up.  I am extremely nearsighted and have worn bifocals since I was 5 and trifocals for over 20 years.  My doctor has been watching my cataracts for about 10 years now, prolonging surgery until they were bad enough to warrant it.  Well, the time has come.  So, I'm scheduled for surgery on my right eye on December 3 and December 10 for the left one.

Now, don't forget, I'm scheduled for back surgery on December 14.  So, for the cataract surgery to take place, I need approval from the back surgeon.  He's out of town until some time this next week. 

Considering my job (at a University), December is the best time of the year for all of this health stuff.  So, I'm hoping it all works out.  DH and I are scheduled to go to the hospital this Thursday morning for a class about the surgery. 

OUR 38th ANNIVERSARY

We celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary on Thursday, November 12.  My wonderful DH brought me the most beautiful bouquet of pink roses to work.  It is in the most unusual vases I've ever seen; Ijust love it! He is definitely a keeper!



That evening we went to Olive Garden for a nice dinner.  Looking forward to many more years together.  We agreed on 126 years when we got married, so we still have a lot of years to go.

STITCHING UFO STYLE

ILCS list (my very favorite stitching list), is doing 'UFO Tuesday,' which will hopefully help me dig out some of the numerous UFO's I have hidden away in drawers and closets and get them finished.  So, for the first UFO, I chose a cute Lizzie Kate design I started quite some time ago, 'Fall Y'all.'  Here's a photo as it appeared when I stitched on it last, way back on 9/30/07!

And here's how it looks after some stitching on Tuesday evening. 

Can't see any change?  Well, I did do several rows of his face, but the color is so light, it really doesn't show up much in the photo.  Maybe I'll manage to get his face finished up this week, we'll see.

OTHER STITCHING UPDATE

I did put a few stitches in 'Snowman Welcome Banner' that is for our son for Christmas.  I need to get busy and get this done--I have a long way to go! 

I also managed to finish up a Christmas ornament for a swap on TGOSM list.  Now to find the proper size small box for mailing!  I hope she likes it.  The fabric is opalescent, but the sparkles do not show up in the photo. 


NEW OFFICE AND WORK

On Tuesday at 7:20 am, I got a call from the movers at work, saying if I was ready to move, they had time that day to do the move.  If not, it would be several weeks before they would be able to come.  I didn't have a single thing packed, I figured it would be a month before they got around to me (I'd just put in the moving request on Monday!), but, thought with the way December was going to be, better to get it done now.  So, called my DH to come help me (sometimes I love that he's retired!). 

We packed up the basic things the movers don't do, like desk drawers, things on the wall, contents of bookcases, etc.  They soon had the furniture moved and placed in my new office.  Wonders not ceasing, the IT person showed up just about the time the movers finished and got the computer, scanner, and phone all moved and hooked up for me.  Incredible!

I'm still trying to unpack and organize, so won't post photos of my wonderful new office until probably next weekend.  I am in heaven, finally having my own private space!

DH and I spent almost 6 hours at my office on Saturday, sorting through my department's storage closet, packing up items for shredding, reorganizing, and condensing and reorganizing.  We weren't able to finish, but will probably work on it again this Wednesday. After the move, and all the cleaning and sorting on Saturday, my back and down my legs are just killing me.  I sure hope that surgery can relief the pain.

I'll be spending tomorrow and Tuesday in Denver at a vaccine course, taught by CDC vaccine educators.  I hope the roads are ok after all the snow we've had the past couple of days.  Our roads are pretty good, so hopefully the highway will be okay.

That's the news for now from my little corner of the world. 

Happy Stitching!

Vicki in CO



Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fabric Choice Assistance Requested

I'm planning to do a SAL that starts in January on Stitcher's Showcase.  We will be stitching the freebie 'A Bouquet For Cheryl' that was designed by Marc Davis, Diane Jourdan, and Kat Zak in memory of a stitcher--Cheryl Miller, who passed away a couple years ago.

No problem picking my floss--'Lumiere de Cheryl' by Carrie's Creation.  My problem is making a final decision on my fabric.  I'm down to two choices.  A Silkweaver Solo 28 ct Jobelan (it's a very light lavender):

Second choice is called "Ray of Light" - it is a 28 ct. Lugana (pale lemon yellow):



Unfortunately, neither of these photos shows the true color of the fabrics!  Drat it!  But, I'd love to get your comments on which one you like best:

1. Solo - lavender
2. Ray of Light - light yellow

My DH says 'Ray of Light'; that's almost enough to make me pick the lavender just on general principles!

Thanks much.

Happy Stitching!

Vicki in CO

 

A Finish, WIP Update, New Start, and Health Update - Scheduled For Surgery

A FINISH

Lots of news today.  First of all, I finished 'Ring Around the Rosie' Hummel last weekend.  It's off to the framer at the moment.  But, I discovered this morning I forgot to take a photo of the finished design.  Duh!  So, you'll have to wait to see it until it comes back from the framer.  I need it before the 30th, because it is the retirement gift for one of my employees who last day is Nov. 30.  So, stay tuned for a photo.

WIP PROGRESS

Next, I have an update on the Snowman Welcome Banner I'm doing for our son for Christmas.


I need to be spending more time stitching and less time reading and replying to e-mails and blogs, if I have a prayer of getting everything stitched by Christmas!  Aaack!  HOW do some of you get so much stitching accomplished and still seem to be sending lots of e-mails, blog updates, etc?  Did you find more hours in the day somewhere and failed to give me the website link?!!

A NEW START

Next, I have started (just barely) on a new BAP.  It is the Mary Wigham sampler from 1790 and is actually available free from Needleprint's blog.  Check it out if you like this type of design.  This is what the finished project should look like:


This is my very small start....a row of about 15 stitches in the top left corner!  :)


This is a pretty large project (for me).  I'm doing it on 32 ct Permin Lambswool, stitched over 2 threads.  The design area is approximately 20" x 20".  So, This is on my 24" scroll rods.  I am using a conversion to WDW, CC and GAST that I found online. 

HEALTH UPDATE - SCHEDULED FOR SURGERY

Some of you know about my serious back injury almost two years ago.  I fell down our basement stairs and fractured six vertebrae in my upper back - T1-T6.  After a lot of misery and wearing a horrible 'turtle shell' hard plastic brace for many months, that injury i about as good as it willo ever get. 

I've had lower back issues for 30 years or so...degenerative disc disease, bulging discs, bad arthritis...you get the idea.  The past six months I have been suffering from awful back and leg pain.  I've seen numerous orthopedists/neurologists/spinal specialists in the past couple of years.  All have told me essentially the same thing.  I have so much wrong with my back that there is essentially nothing they can offer me to give me long-term relief from the pain.

When I saw my regular physician recently for a check-up, we discussed my continuing battle with back/leg pain.  It has become so severe in the past few months that I am taking as many as 8 Vicodin a day to try to cope.  It has also caused me to severely restrict my activities, to the point where I have to greatly limit my walking.  I just hurt all the time and really need some relief of some kind!  My doctor recommended I go to a spinal specialist here in town (not someone I'd seen before).

I got an appointment, went in on Wednesday this week for some X-Rays, saw him on Thursday for an initial appointment, had an MRI on Friday afternoon and saw him late on Friday to discuss the MRI results.  My DH accompanied me on all these visits,.  On Friday afternoon, he showed us the MRI results, and explained what we were looking at.  While he concurs with what the other specialists have said regarding a long-term 'fix' for my problems, he DID say that looking at one particular disc (L3), he believe a Lumbar Laminectomy (Open Decompression) of that disc will bring me relief of the leg pain, and with PT and long-term water therapy after the surgery, I may be able to manage my other issues much more easily than I'm doing at the moment.  You can clearly see in the MRI that disc is severely pinching the nerves at that spot, plus there is a bone spur and a cyst at that location.

So, I am scheduled for surgery on December 14.  He had an opening for the day before Thanksgiving, but we opted for the December date because our son is expecting us to come for Thanksgiving, plus December is a much better time for me to be away from work; it is after Fall Semester has ended, so most of the students will have left campus for the Christmas Break

I'm nervous about having back surgery, but I'm also SOO hopeful this will make me feel 'human' again!  Prayers would be MUCH appreciated! 

I was supposed to go to Denver today to the Sampler Guild meeting; my back/legs are hurting so much, it just wasn't meant to be.  So, I hope to get a bit of stitching done before the day is over today;

Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Vicki in CO


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday Updates

It's been a while since I posted an update.  I have several things to talk about, so let's start with today's mail. 

I received my Bingo prize from Shelley for the recent Bingo game I won on ILCS.  It is so cute!  A fall-themed magnetic list pad (going right on the fridge) and an adorable Lizzie Kate 'Boxer Jr'  called 'Autumn.'  I LOVE Lizzie Kate; thanks so much Shelley!  Great choice!  She also included a nice note.



I can see three purchases in my future--so I have the complete set of seasons...they are shown stitched together and put in one frame on the back of the box.

Since I'm hosting the new Bingo round, I need to start thinking about the prize....hmmm....more shopping!

Update on Lucky

As some of you know, our new little furbaby, Lucky, was very ill last week.  Here are a couple of photos I took, that clearly show how his devoted adopted-Mom, Oreo, kept vigil at his side while he was ill.  In this first photo, Lucky is inside the box, sound asleep.  Oreo slept with her head on the edge of the box.


In this one, you can see how Oreo is sleeping with her paw and head up on the edge of the box, just a few inches away from Lucky.  Is that a devoted Mom or what?



I'm happy to say, Lucky seems to be well, altho he'll still be on antibiotics for several more days.  But, he's now racing around the house like a kitten should.  Thank goodness!  We were so worried about him.


Last Saturday, I went to Boulder with a friend from our local Quilt Guild to the monthly meeting of CQC.  The speaker was Nancy Odom of Timid Thimble Creations.  She was an interesting speaker and had lots and lots of quilts to show, which I always enjoy.

I took along my Halloween Kitty wall hanging and my Stitchin' Kitty wall hanging (that hangs above my cutting table), for Show 'n Tell. 

I Have Another Finish!
Well, at least the stitching is finished!  Someone I met on TGOSM list recently (thanks Patti!), mentioned a group called Sampler Guild of the Rockies.  They meet once a month in Denver.  I have exchanged e-mails with the current president of the group, and weather permitting, plan to go to the November 8th meeting. It will be so much fun to meet some other stitchers in person!

They will be working on finishing an Altoid tin.  Since I don't have the design they are stitching, I came up with my own, so I can participate in putting the design on the tin.  It's a simple design--just my initials with a border around it.  I finished stitching it last night.  It's simple, but I'm pleased with how it came out.  I chose a DMC thread color that matches the edge around the top of the tin pretty well. 

First Big Snowstorm of the Season

We had the first big snow of the season today.  From what the National Weather Service was predicting though, it sounds like it could have been much worse than it turned out.  I'll be interested to see the news in a few minutes to see what they say about tonight and tomorrow.  Here's a shot looking out our front door a while ago:


Here's a two photos looking out the back door into the backyard.


I think that's the major updates for the moment.  Hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween.  Hopefully our weather will clear up and not be quite so nasty out for those little ghosts and goblins.

I'll leave you with a photo I took of our three dogs last night.  They were all lounging in my office/sewing room.  Of course, as soon as they saw the camera, Max (our Cocker Spaniel) came racing over toward me.  Aren't they quite a trio...small, medium and extra-large!?


Happy Stitching!

Vicki in CO