Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Shoo-Fly" Update...and other life "threads"

A Stitching Update....
Here is where my "Shoo-Fly" project is...the white squares between the "Shoo-Fly" pattern has been filled in with a combo of satin stitches and eyelets in black. This has left a shape that looks like a cross with a square in the middle. So, what I have decided to do is:
1st - fill in the little middle square with "reversed scotch" stitch in the middle using the lighter shade of all the colors
2nd - fill the arms of the cross in the mid-shade of each color (corresponding to the light color in the middle) using some other kind of satin stitch
3rd - using the darker shade of each color, weave the floss through the eyelets, making some sort of flower shape. BTW...I am creating (aka "making this up") as I go. So, I, too will be interested to see how it turns out.

Over to the right is an attempt of an shot upclose to one of the squares...trying to show the detail. This is a fun thing to take to the rink and stitch, while being able to look up every once in a while to see how the boys are doing.

A Hockey Update...
This weekend has been somewhat crazy. Yesterday, my youngest son stayed over at a friends house for a bday slumber party, while DH, Robert (older son) and I, left for Robert's hockey playoffs in Vacaville, CA which is about a 45 minute drive from where we live. We stayed the night there so that he would be able to get up at 5am - to be at the rink at 6am - for a game that began at 7am. They won 11-2. After the game was over, I drove back home to pick up Matthew (younger son) from his party and brought him home so he could rest and eat lunch, in order for him to be ready for his 4pm hockey game...which his team won 13-0. If I haven't lost you yet...DH and Robert are in Vacaville at the hotel and Matthew and I are at home where we will sleep in our beds (yeah!). Then tomorrow morning, Matthew and I will join the rest of the family in Vacaville to watch Robert's last game of the weekend...then we will drive further NE near Sacremento for Matthew's noon hockey game...then around the time the Superbowl starts, we hope to be home (ready for a nap!).

Assuming that Robert's team will win their last game, they will be going to State Finals, which will be next weekend in Los we have another weekend of travel - getting back home late Sunday evening...2 days before we take off for Quebec. So the next 10 days are going to be very, very crazy...while I plan to update you (for it is very theraputic to blog), if I don't get a chance to sit and post, I hope that you will forgive me. The nice thing is, I will have a laptop & stitching projects with me when I am in Quebec!

Until the next, love and laugh often...and stitch on! Lisa

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday's Furniture and Finishing

First the Furniture....
No...this is not a photo of our backyard in Northern California (thank goodness...for I gave up snow & cold when I left Minnesota 5 years ago). This is a photo of my oldest son (the first one on the right hand side) and 3 of his hockey friends on their snow couch they built when they were in Michigan for their hockey tournament last weekend (was that just last weekend?). Why a couch and not a snowman...who knows. It is a good thing that they have memories like this, that will last a life time, because their hockey games didn't go as they had planned...and my son came back very upset.

Well, this weekend they have the opportunity to regain their #1 position in the national rankings for their age is hockey playoff weekend for them. If they win their 3 games, then next weekend we head down to Los Angeles for States...and then get home 2 days before we take off for Quebec City...ugh.

On the subject of stitching....
I am 3 eyelets away from finishing the first part of filling in the white squares on the "Shoo-fly" project. Yipee! After that is complete, I will continue to fill in those white squares. I have come up with a pattern to complete them. As soon as I have one done, I will take a photo and post it - so Stay Tuned!

Another note of completion...this one has to do with my part-time job (I work out of the house 4 days a week). I have been working on a major revision project, revising technical data sheets and I finished the revision today and just handed all of the pdf files to the company's webmaster to upload! Ya-hooooooo! This is so exciting - especially the part about doing it all inhouse rather than giving it to the graphic company we use. My boss and I figure we probably saved the company around $5K. For a big company, that is probably "nickles and dimes" - but every little bit helps!

Just incase I am stuck in a rink all weekend and can't post...have a good weekend! Enjoy your family and friends and...Stitch on! Lisa

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ramblings about upcoming trip to Quebec

Well, I thought I would take a few minutes and blog about an upcoming trip I will be taking in less than two weeks - especially since the planning and organizing of it will be taking over my life (or so it will seem) in the immediate future. I probably have blogged about it previously, but will introduce it again...quickly. Yes, it has to do with hockey. My older son's (Robert) hockey team has been invited to the largest PeeWee hockey tournament in the world. It is in Quebec City from Feb. 11-22 (we are all leaving the 10th and returning the 23rd). During that 2 week period, all of the boys will be hosted with Quebec families while I, the 2 coaches and one other father, will be staying in a hotel. Why go when I am not staying with my child and probably will not see much of him, unless I watch him play the games? Well, because I am the team manager and will be along to assist the coaches as well as (hopefully) set up some times when the kids will all come to the hotel for some "study halls" (to make up the school work they will be missing).

Traveling isn't as easy as it use to be - at one time in my life I was able to get organized and it is an activity that induces stress and anxiety. However, once I am at the destination, I am fine.

It has been a long time since I have been "on my own" sort-to-speak. I will be in Quebec City without DH and my younger son (Matthew)...and older son will be at someone's house. So, I will technically have no responsibilities. I plan to bring my Friendship Sampler RR and a few other projects and take advantage of this addition, I will also get out and site see the old city of Quebec.

While I am away, my DH will have to deal with getting Matthew around for school and pick him up...he will also have be deal with getting Matthew ready for travel for his own hockey tournament which is over President's Weekend (Feb. 12-16). Maybe it is a good thing to leave DH behind to deal with all these day-to-day things so he can see what I do on a daily basis.

Aside from travelling and leaving 1/2 of my family behind "on their own"...I am stressed out about all the $$$ that I will be spending regarding this trip. Team manager is a volunteer position and going to Quebec is basically a "choice" for the parents...thus, nothing is paid for. At least I don't think so. DH continues to tell me to enjoy the time up there...I hope that I will allow myself too.

Ok...enough rambling on....thank you for reading.
Stitch on....Lisa

Monday, January 26, 2009

My first blog award

I received an award from Wendy ( - I feel so blessed to have my blog be acknowledged by this award. Thank you. It looks like I am suppose to "pass it on" to 5 other here are the 5 that I would like to give this award to:

1. Beth (

2. Valerie (

3. Sara (

4. Daffycat (

5. Rachel (

Cheers all!

Stitch on....Lisa

Progress Report

Well, even though my plans got a little "messed up" due to the early return of DH and older son - I was still able to get some of my household projects done before their return on Saturday night. I do have to say that it was nice to have the whole family at home on Sunday. We didn't do much - with all the travel and hockey activities, that was probably best for all. However, we did enjoy a "picnic" Chinese lunch (it is Chinese New Year's ) while watching the Hockey All-Star Pre-game events on TV. DH and both sons played some sort of computer game throughout the day - using 2 of our 3 computers to play eachother...which kept them all occupied, so I was able to relax and stitch. Not a bad thing at all!!!! is what I was able to get done:

Here is the Filigree Heart (by The Sweetheart Tree). Both hearts are now complete. I also finished border using blue (Varigated DMC#103) and Blanc (still have a few more stitches in the left hand corner and then the border is totally complete). I will then finish project up with some flowers where there is a break in the stems (either with lazy daizy stitch & beads...or just with beads as the pattern calls for). I am thinking about finishing this up as a pin keep. I received some great websites with tutorials for such a finishing from several of the woman in my Friendship Sampler RR group. It looks pretty simple. is the progress on "Shoo-Fly":

I took some time to get the black satin stitches done in the squares. Now I just have to go back into 3 of them and do the eyelit stitches. This is a little tedious and black isn't that exciting to stitch with. But I like the way that the black makes the other colors stand out. When looking at it "in person" ther is almost this 3D effect with the black. I think that I will also do black around the edges to really make it pop. When sitting at the hockey rink, working on this project, I continue to get the question: "What are you going to do with that?" That is a question I ask myself all the time, too. I don't know is the response I give myself as well as those who ask. A pillow would be fun - a finishing I haven't done for myself (I have done a couple of ring pillows for family & friends). Well, that is what is fun with some of these things I just "go & stitch" w/o plans.
Regarding the Friendship Sampler RR...I think that we are almost up to 20 women. Last count was either 17 or 18. I have my pattern, but haven't really done anything with it...I know that some of the group has gotten their linen together and have even put some thought into the floss they are going to use. In fact 1 or 2 have even started to stitch it. I think that our first mailing has to be done by the end of February, so I still have some time to organize it. It might be one of the projects I take with me to Quebec and send from there (Quebec is the tournament that I am going to with my oldest son from Feb. myself in a hotel - for the most part - I will have time to sit & stitch).
Well...hope everyone has a great Monday. I am grateful for all those who read my blog...and blessed to have spent Sunday with my family all together, relaxing at home.
Stitch on...Lisa

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Quick Stitch Update

Thought I would post a quick photo of the progress I have made on the Filigree Hearts (by The Sweetheart Tree). I was able to get the top heart and the stem/leaves done this evening while younger son was playing a hockey game (yes, I did remember to look up and watch when he was out on the ice - was able to catch a good play he made which helped a teammate of his score a goal...they did win their game 9-1 tonight).

I still have the border and some flowers to do - flowers go where there is a break in the stems. The patterns calls for the flowers to be made with Mill Hill beads (white and red). Not sure if I will go with bead, or if I will create flowers using the lazy daisy stitch with a beaded center. Lately I seem to be enjoying adding my own creativity to a pattern instead of following the directions as printed. Good thing? Bad thing? I don't know...

The only think that I am not sure about right now, is the yellow linen...however, it was in my stash pile and was calling my name. It actually looks better in person; I think the flash on my camera gave it a washed out look. I do think that it will become a nice Valentine's Day gift.

Well, DH and older son should be landing soon and it is time to get the younger one in bed. One of his teammates had a birthday celebration after the game. They had some pizza and skated - which we stayed for awhile, but came home in order to make sure that I was able to get some food into him (he is not fond of pizza).


Peaceful Weekend - Cancelled...looking for the bright side.

This weekend I was looking forward to getting a few things done here at home while DH and older son were in Michigan for a hockey tournament and younger son was [suppose] to go to a birthday slumber party tonight. On my list of things to do were:
1. Update Finances (i.e. reconsile checkbook/credit card statements) - edited @ 1:45pm (PDT)...COMPLETED - not excited about outcome, but it is updated...will need to watch spending
2. Clean out closet in office - COMPLETED (yahoo!)
3. Clean out master bedroom closet
4. Box up things to give to Women's/Children's shelter
5. Get a little stitching done - stayed up late last night and stitched (will post later)

Well...first younger son's friend gets the flu so the slumber party is cancelled. No problem, he likes to hang at home; so, I could still get some things checked off my list. older son's hockey team lost 2 of their 3 games in Michigan, so they are done...and change of flight will get them in town tonight. Oh much for my quiet weekend.

However, it is important to put a positive spin on this, I think; because between the gloomy weather here in Northern California and the current economic situation which seems very gloom/, here is my positive spin:

I feel grateful that my DH and older son get to come home early this weekend because we haven't had a weekend day where we are all together in a long time. Maybe we can do some "low-key" family activities - like have a family meal, play a board game together, catch up on the school projects that are looming over us. Then Monday, DH can go on to work, and my sons & I can have a house cleaning day (since they don't have school due to teacher's inservice day).

Thank you all for reading and posting comments - I love reading them! Have a good Saturday!
Stitch on....Lisa

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Finish...A Start....A Progress Report

The First Finish for 2009....drumroll please...
Flatbed Snowman by Bent Creek ("Zippies" Kit)
Linen: 18ct Natural
Thread...whatever was provided in kit

Well...I went through my stash the other night and located this Bent Creek kit. I felt that I needed to find something that I can sit and stitch...complete and post. I just needed that "first finish of 2009" to post. (Just a little note: the white border around the snowman was something that I added - I just jumped in and started it without planning...that is why it is a little unbalanced...oh well, it adds a little personalization to it)

A Start....
Filigree Hearts by The Sweetheart Tree
Fabric: Yellow Linen (from stash...might be 36ct)
Thread: DMC varigated

And then because it was fun to sit and stitch - complete and post - I found another pattern in my stash. This one I picked up from a sale table in on of my LNS many years ago. I remember picking it up because it has hearts - which make good things to stitch and give away as gifts. So, I picked it up to work on, maybe even getting another finish before the end of the month and then I can make it into something and give it as a Valentine's gift.

A Progress Report..."Shoo-Fly"

I had a little over an hour at the rink last night, so I sat and worked on filling in more of the white squares. It is coming along. I enjoy stitching the satin stitches, which are the first part of filling in these square holes. Those stitches go a lot faster - there seems to be a rhythm with those stitches, which allows me to sit and relax - no really thought needed so I can let my mind wander or shut down if I just need to do that, too. In addition to a satin stitch, I am following with an eyelet, which needs some attention because I have to make sure and find the right holes. I am hoping to be done with this part soon, because now I am looking forward to creating the next step. I am not quite sure what the stitches will be, but I know that I will introduce some color in these squares at some point. I want to keep the black because I love the way that it allows for the Shoo-Fly pattern to stick I will think about it.

Hockey Notes...
Well, I just couldn't finish a post without a hockey mention. DH and older son left on a "red eye" last night to Detroit. This is the 2nd trip to that airport for DH in less than 2 weeks, as he just got back home from there on Sunday with young son. But, back in Detroit, they will drive up to Port Huron for oldest son's Silver Stick Finals this weekend. The first game is at 4:15 pm tonight. They arrived at the airport at 5am (east coast) and were planning to drive to the hotel to get some rest before the first game. The "red eye" allowed Robert to go to school, so he didn't have to miss too much this week...and allowed Steve to get some work done. I hope that Robert's team has a better tournament than my younger son. However, after Matthew got back home, he wasn't upset about loosing all 3 games last weekend for he enjoyed playing in the snow!

Hope everyone out there is doing well...thank you for visiting my blog and for your comments. I feel blessed by having this outlet to show off my needlework, to journal a little about my life and to meet others who have similar interests.

Stitch on....Lisa

Monday, January 19, 2009

Enjoy the "process" - "the journey"....of Life.

Good morning...afternoon...evening. Every day, while exercising on the stationary bike, I put the laptop on the dashboard and catch up on my emails, blogs and just inspirational reading. It is "my time" of the day. Typically this time is in the wee hours of the morning, when there are no kids arguing, no husband to deal with...just me. Me and sometime the many of you out there whose blogs I read, to catch up on your activities. Bottomline, it is a special time for me.

In my inbox, I usually receive some inspirational writings - today is no different. I came across the following, which I felt like posting as a reminder to me and maybe others out there to life in the enjoy the journey of life. The writing below can be applied to needlework projects - for it is the creation of the end product to take time and enjoy...the choice of the right pattern, finding the perfect linen, the choice of the colored enjoy the threading of the needle and the working of the stitches: needle goes in the hole and out the other side (like inhale...exhale...relax).

Invest in the "process" rather than the product. Process
living neutralizes the depleting and impoverishing effects of chronically living
in anticipation. Even when impossible goals occasionally are reached, satisfactions derived from them are invariable disappointing unless the process
has given ample satisfaction along the way.
~ Theodore Rubin

Enjoy the moment...the process of today...stitch on...Lisa

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The End to a Hockey Weekend

Well, the first of several hockey weekends for our family is just about over. Eldest Son and I are home from SoCal (his team won all 3 games and is in 1st place in their league...playoffs in 2 week). My DH and Younger Son are on a plane, heading back from Sarnia Canada. They had to fly in and out of on the way back to the airport tonight they stopped at Joe Louis Arena where the Detriot Red Wings hockey team plays. Just like baseball fans, we tend to visit hockey arenas when travelling. Matthew's team didn't do too well...they lost all 3 games - but they enjoyed playing in the snow. He told me that they built a fort and had snow ball fights (something that California kids don't do very often).

I was able to get a little stitching done over the weekend while at the rink. The boys have to be at the rink 1hour before a game for warm-ups and the coaches' talk, so we parents have some time to kill...and what a better way than xstitch. I don't have a picture right now, but will post something in a couple of days. With that said, I thinkthat I am going to sit and stitch right now while waiting for DH and son to land...I have to go to pick them up around 10:30 tonight.

Hope everyone is doing well...Stitch on...Lisa

Saturday, January 17, 2009

SoCal Hockey Weekend

I had a few minutes and thought I would write a quick posting. I am here with my oldest son in Valencia, which is about a 5 hour drive south of where we live. His hockey team has a hockey weekend, when they play 3 games for their league. Sounds strange to travel to play league games; but this is what is required in Tier AA hockey in California. They won their 2 games today - they have one more game at 7am tomorrow. The first game today was one that they needed to win in order to be in 1st place prior to the playoffs, which are coming up in 2 weeks. Accomplishing that goal (by a win of 2-1), they now are officially in 1st place. Playoffs is in 2 weeks and following that is the State tournament.

Anyway...after the last game today, we went to dinner with the majority of the team to Olive Garden (bottomless salads & lots of pasta to fuel up for tomorrows game). Due to the early wake up call this morning, we are getting ready to call it a day. After tomorrows game, we will probably come back to the hotel - for a quick shower and breakfast and then head on home. My DH and other son are due back home from Sarnia Canada around 10pm.

The good news to this crazy hockey weekend is...the kids do not have school on Monday! Yahoo!

Off to get ready for bed and maybe even settle down with my xstitch before turning off the light!

Good night...and stitch on.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Yahoo...The Mailperson made my day!!!

I know that "happy dances" are for finished projects...but I feel like dancing. The mailperson made it here before I had to pull out the driveway (leaving for a hockey weekend with oldest son in Southern California). Anyway...the Friendship Sampler for the RR is here!


Just had to scream and shout. It is fun getting things in the mail - things that are not bills! In addition, the new Cross Stitch & Needlework Magazine came too. Boy, double Yahoo!

Ok...just needed to post this - need to run out the door to pick up my son from school. His hockey weekend consists of league games. I have a 5 hour drive to get there. My DH and other son happen to be in Sarnia, Ontario currently for his hockey weekend. His, though, is a tournament. They have played 2 games already today...unfortunately, they lost both. He would be upset...but he gets to play in snow. Something that he hasn't done in a very long time (about 5 years...since we moved here from Minnesota). go. Stitch on!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stitching Update

Shoo-fly (don't bother me...)
Finally I have a photo to post and show my progress. I finished the yellow while on the trip to St. Louis last weekend (long plane rides are great for sitting and stitching). Now I am working on the little black squares that were left by the "shoo-fly" pattern. Right now I am doing tri-angle satin stitches around the sides, leaving a cross. Inside the cross, I did a row of eyelet stitches around (after that is completed, you get a cross with a large square center...the upper right hand side shows what that looks like). After I get all six squares done, I will then determine what I do next. It is fun designing as I go...just hoping that it comes out "as I go" so I don't have to rip anything out :).

New Toys to add to my Stash...
For Christmas, my in-laws sent all of us a Visa giftcard; so I decided to use mine to order a couple of new things from I bought myself The Encyclopedia of Stitches by Karen Hemingway (can't have enough stitching enclopedias...maybe I will find some inspiration for those empty squares of the above WIP). I also purchased a Laura J. Perin pattern from her Impressionist Collection - it is called "Quadrille". MMMM, I think that I see a square theme going? I have a few other designs by her - haven't started stitching any of them (maybe this should be one of my 2009 goals).

"Friendship Sampler" RR Update...
We have 15 people signed up to do the exciting! The other excitement is we are all over the map: California, Alaska, The Netherlands, Louisiana and so on. This is so cool. I have ordered the pattern and I am waiting for the mailman to deliver it. As soon as I have it in my hand I can determine whether I have some fabric in my stash I want to use or if I have a need to go out and purchase something new. I am really looking forward to this activity!!!

Last...but certainally not least...The Hockey Update
DH Steve and younger son, Matthew, left this morning at 6am. I got up around 3:45am to take them to the airport. They landed in Detroit and have driven across the border to Sarnia Ontario for the Silver Stick Finals for his hockey age division. Matthew informed me that he had to breath out of his mouth when he went outside because when he inhaled through his nose, his nose froze. It has been a very long time since any of us have been in freezing weather.

Speaking of weather...I hate to say this but here in California it is 75 degrees. I just got back from walking the dog to pick up (oldest son) Robert from school; wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt felt good!

Well...until next time...keep stitchin'.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My first RR

I am excited to announce that I will be participating in my first RR. We will be doing the Friendship Sampler by Carriage House Sampler. Sara ( has graciously decided that she would continue with the RR which was initiated by another. It looks like there will be at least 13 participants...and if there is anyone reading this who would like to participate, please leave a comment for we would love for there to be 20 stitchers.

We are planning to take some time to get the pattern, fabric, floss and time to get organized...for the first mailing will not be until the end of February.

Since beginning to blog and get into the on-line stitching community I have been wanting to get involved in either a RR or some of the exchanges - so here is my first thing. I am so excited! I have just purchased the pattern on and since that is located in Utah (not too far from California) I shouldn't have to wait very long. The pattern calls for silk floss, some of which is very expensive especially when it calls for 11 colors. There have been some suggesting on similar silks and HDF...I will have to check those things out after I get the pattern and choose my fabric.

Well, if there is anyone reading that does want to join, let me know..

Otherwise...have a good day and stitch on...Lisa

Monday, January 12, 2009

Home from St. Louis

I am home from my grandfather's funeral, which was in St. Louis, MO. It was bittersweet...sad because of the loss and everything that surrounds something like that; but at the same time it was a celebration of life. Like mentioned before, my grandfather was 93 years old when he passed. He touched so many, as witnessed by the number of people who came to the memorial service and even went to the graveside ceremony. And it was good to be together with aunts, uncles, cousins...and my grandmother - many who I haven't been with in several years.

In addition, this weekend was the birthday of my oldest...I now am a mother of a teenager. His birthday was Sunday - so, since everyone had already left to go home, Robert and I did a little sightseeing in St. Louis. First we went to the Arch and went up to the top. This is something I never did when I went to school in St. Louis. First you go up in these little pods that seat about 5-6 people. It feels like you are in a little egg. There are several little stools, a white light behind and a window door. You can look out and see all the is like a sitting elevator. Once at the top, you get out and look out at the windows and see a lot of downtown St. Louis. It was neat to see the old court house, where the Dred Scott case was tried and the stadium where the Cardinals baseball team plays. After spending time walking through the history museum, which is under the arch and watching a movie about how the Arch was built, we went back to the hotel to check out and then to lunch. With nothing else to do and our luggage to deal with, we went on to the airport to rest and to get some homework complete. It was at this time that I sat and actually finished all the "shoo-fly" quilt designs and begun working on the little squares in between. I haven't taken a photo of it yet, but will plan on posting one tomorrow.

It is good to have this trip behind me know - now it is time to focus on all the hockey travel coming up as well as working on some of my cross-stitch projects!

Stitch on... Lisa

Friday, January 9, 2009

WIP and Packing for travel

Well, here is where I am with this "Shoo-Fly" Quilt. The last yellow one is taking me a while to get done. This week was too much of a mental challenge for me to get through that I just couldn't make time to sit, stitch and relax. But with my upcoming travel...a plane ride of 6 hours...I am sure that I will have an opportunity to get some stitching done.

How does one pack their stitching stuff when traveling on a plane? Are scissors ok to bring on board? Are laying tools ok? How much is too much? That is always something that I ponder - for I know that there will not be a whole lot of time to sit and pull out my stitching during many of these trips (where it is a family oriented one like this one or a hockey trip)...yet, I always feel inclined to bring the current project plus more (other projects and more stash). However, I think that I am doing pretty good for this trip (which is for my grandfather's funeral and only the weekend). I am bringing my current project and then one other little zipper pouch w/thread and small patterns (just incase). And I cannot forget the letter I wrote to my Grandfather that I am going to read during the memorial service.

Well, I am just about set to go...just need to finish up a couple more things around the house and pick up Robert from school & head out to the airport.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Stitch on...Lisa

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Why Blog?

Sharon B asks the question "Why do you Blog?" and also answers it in a very eloquent style on her blog: Much of the answers in her essay ring true for me. Blogging and reading blogs, has provided me a community where I can go for support, for ideas, for motivation, for is someplace I can reach out to where I can also give back - support, ideas, motivation, inspiration...

I started blogging just a couple of months ago. A frequent visitor to several on-line needlework/shop websites, I began following some of the links to specific designers blogs and eventually found yahoo needlework groups...which lead me to a community of bloggers where had an interest in needlework as well as opened up their lives on-line. Living in a household of boys/men, who don't understand either my desire to be creative or relax by doing needlework...and just don't understand "mother's female" point of view on life - I thought it would be fun to start blogging. Not only journaling my needlework - finished pieces and wips - but to also use it as a sounding board for problems, thoughts and just everyday activities.

Having this outlet to show my work - helps me to feel good about my accomplishments, as well as allowing me to show distant friends and relatives what I am working on. Having an outlet to write, is very theuraputic no matter what I am feeling. And, in the last few weeks, there have been visitors to my blog who have left wonderful comments, giving me a sense that "I am not alone!". Which is a gift that I am very grateful for!

Thank you all very much.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Keeping Life in Perspective & a Smile in the Mail

Stitching hasn't happened for a couple of days, so I didn't achieve my goal of finishing all the "Shoo-fly" patterns before the end of the kids' winter vacation. Just have the pesky last yellow one to accomplish and then I get to have fun designing and filling in those little blank squares between each "Shoo-fly".

The last couple of days have contained much stress in our household - something every hockey family seems to face at one time or another. No, no one in my family got hurt (something to be grateful for), no one got suspended from a game (another thing to be thankful for). It is the conflict that comes with "intense" travel hockey and family commitments.

As many of you might have read, my maternal grandfather passed away on Christmas Eve and my grandmother is still with us (another thing to be grateful for). The funeral is planned this weekend due to their residents in NC and the plot in MO - and the fact that family is spread all over and will need to travel to MO. While I would have loved to have all 4 member of my family (DH, 2 sons & me) be present - travel was just too expensive and we have a crazy travel schedule the next 2 months because of hockey tournaments and games. So it was decided that Robert (oldest son) and I would go to the funeral and airline tix were purchased.

Well, Sunday it was announced that a hockey weekend in Los Angeles is being planned with 3 exhibition games against some AAA team which will provide a challenge for Robert's team. So for the last 48 hours we have been struggling with the decision. It is really a hard one, because as a mother you want your child to have every opportunity that comes their way; but on the other hand there are so many hockey opportunities come up (so many that the 4 of us will not be home at the same time for about 2 months) and I don't know when the next opportunity will surface where my extended family is all together.

Aside from that, in my heart it was important to me that Robert would be grandparents have influenced my life and given me so much, more than I will ever comprehend. The passing of my grandfather and his funeral are going to be very difficult this weekend and to be able to have Robert with me is so important to me. And to have him there as we all support my grandmother and her loss of a husband and "partner in life" of 69 years, will be appreciated by her.

So the decision was made that we would continue with our plans for us to travel to MO - that Robert will be travelling with me. Like I said, we didn't take this decision lightly, but knew in our hearts what we needed to do.

Smiles in the Mail
So, yesterday, just feeling down...opened the mailbox and found the New Year's Ornament I ordered from Gay Ann Rogers ( I was so excited to receive it. Having something new to work on is a great way to perk up!

Thank you for reading and I hope all is well with you!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

An end to Winter Vacation

T'was the night before the call of the early alarm,
which will cause us to jump out of our beds nice and warm.
Time to return to school and to work
for the holidays are over and it is time to go beserk.

Oh, well, I tried. Just thought I would put a fun and creative spin on the fact that we all will be returning to our normal non-holiday live. However the boys had one more "hockey-hurrah" today, as they played in a 3-on-3 jamboree. During the 3-on-3, teams consisting of 4 players and 1 goalie play 3 games of 30 minutes. It is a 'just for fun' event w/o anytype of championship. DH Steve took Matthew down to the rink at 6am this morning for his first game which started at 6:30am. His other 2 games were at 9:15 and 11:15. Robert and I drove down to the rink in time to watch Matthew's 3rd game. We stuck around there to watch Robert's first 2 games; I left with Matthew around 3...Steve and Robert got home around 5:30.

With lunches premade for the week ahead and backpacks ready for the morning departure; all are ready to begin the week.

Well, I was hoping that I would be able to get the last "shoo-fly" design stitched before the end of vacation - I am so very close, but didn't quite get it down. Hopefully with the hockey practices coming up this will, I will have time to get some stitching done at the rink. If not then, for sure Friday afternoon when I board the plane for St. Louis for my grandfather's funeral.

I have enjoyed receiving comments and love that there are some who are following my blog. I have found that blogging, in addition to stitiching, are great ways to keep sane!

Until next time...stay well and laugh often.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Stitching Update & other thoughts

Shoo-Fly Quilt Needlework Project Update

The days between Christmas and New Years have given me lots of opportunities to sit and stitch - between lots of time at home and at the hockey rink. I have gotten further on my "Shoo-Fly" Quilt Needlework, with only one more group to do and then I can move on to the little squares that the pattern is leaving blank. I have come up with some ideas, a couple of which I have designed using Microsoft excel (a great way to make graph pages). I am thinking about stitching the design in the squares using black as one of the main colors, thinking that way the colors of the "Shoo-fly" will stand out. However, if anyone reading this has any other ideas or designs please let me know as I would be interested.
Goal for 2009

Everyone seems to be writing some of their goals down for 2009. A couple of my goals that I have pertaining to stitching would be:
  1. To finish the "Hockey Rivalry" designed by D.R. Laird (Dimensions). I purchased this and started it over a year ago. I found this in one of the needlework catalogs I get and, because it had a hockey theme, purchased it. But because of the detail (color changes) and the half cross stitch, I lost motivation to work on it.
  2. To continue blogging.
  3. To get more involved in the on-line stitching communities and blogs.

Other Updates

Winter vacation is just about over - the kids go back to school on January 5. With all the hockey activities, there wasn't much opportunity for any of them to be bored. It will be nice to get back into our routine of school and work. Nevertheless, living in the moment is important - so saying that we still have the weekend in front of us - which brings hockey practice for Robert tomorrow morning and a 3-on-3 hockey tournament on Sunday for both boys.

Until next time...Lisa

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Every One! I will much health, happiness and love for all in 2009!

To ring in the New Year, or should I say "pop" in the New Year, the boys laid out lots of bubble wrap on the floor. After the count down ended (3...2....1...), they jumped and danced on the bubble wrapping; thus, we "popped" in the New Year here at the Durst house.

Leading up to the "popping", we enjoyed a nice quiet New Year's Eve. While Robert had hockey practice from 10:30-1:30, Matthew and I went to watch the movie, Bedtime Stories (pretty good movie, but better to watch via DVD). On our way home, we grabbed some take out Chinese food and had a late lunch as we watched the San Jose Sharks vs. Minnesota Wild hockey game on TV. We decided the boys could stay up and bring in the new year as a family, so we had a late dinner, enjoying bowls of cereal and pancakes at 9pm and then we watched the movie, Narnia: Prince Caspian. The ball dropped at 12 and the boys "popped".

Some thougts on the first day of 2009....

To be upset over what you don't have it to waste what you do have ~ Ken
Keyes, Jr.

We cannot choose the things that will happen to us. But we can coose the attitude we will take toward anything that happens. Success or failure depends on your attitude. ~ Alfred A. Montapert