Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Promise Kept - MW Update

Well, I finished another motif on MW this evening while waiting for the outcome of Robert's Quarter Final game (which DH was texting me the highlights) and watching Ghost.  I thought I would make good on my promise and post an update of MW...so without further ado:

I thought I would put the thread I used for the last motif I stitched in the photo to show you that the brown and the greenish color is from one strand called School Yard. While I stitched the motif, I worked hard to make sure that not only did the design come out looking symmetrical but also the colors. Sometimes it meant that I would stitch with the brown near the needle...allowing me to stitch with the green color. When I came to an area that I wanted to be brown, I secured my end and cut it. Then I moved the needed so that the green color would be near the needle and I would stitch in brown (did that all make sense?). It is different, but I like the way it looks.

Well...off to bed for I have another early alarm (4am...gotta get in my exercise before I take Matthew to the rink for his hockey clinic)...Goodnight!

BTW...Robert's team won their game in an overtime shootout. The score was 5 to 4. So, they move to the Semi-Finals tomorrow morning at 10:30...Go Jr. Sharks! ****Edited at 3:30pm on 12/30...Unfortunately, Robert's team lost 3-1 in the semi-finals****

Holiday = Stitching and, of course, Hockey

Phew...I am so glad that we took advantage of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! What I mean is, those are the only two days during the boys' holiday break that we didn't have to do anything or go anywhere...those were the two days that we literally stayed in our pjs and hung out at the house. For since Saturday, when DH and Robert (older son) left for Seattle for Robert's hockey tournament, we have been going...going...going. And it looks like we will be on the move for the rest of the break (boys go back to school, and I to work, on Jan. 4th).

A Trip to the LNS...Needle in a Haystack
Last Saturday, I took DH and Robert to the airport in the afternoon, which was great timing to go to my "not so" LNS where I met up with Valerie. Valerie and I are doing a mini SAL with MW. She got there before I did, which was good as she needed to spend sometime looking for some fabric for some projects she is getting ready to start. As soon as the fabric decisions were made, she joined Matthew (younger son; who was playing on the computer...nice to have wireless abilities at NiaH, keeps kid busy). We got an opportunity to "Show and Tell" about each of our MW for we each brought ours to show. It is always fun to see fellow stitchers' projects in person to look at their fabric and colors of threads - while pictures are nice to see, in person gives you a better look at the vividness of the colors. And, according to Matthew, "it is interesting to see how different our projects looked"...even though we are stitching the same pattern, he thought it was "pretty cool" that we could use different colored fabric and thread...doing the same thing; but not. It is fun when my sons pick up on these things and take an interest in my needlework hobby.  Anyway...Valerie and I had a nice time visiting and doing a little stitching.

I will get a photo of my MW posted tomorrow to show you my status.

As I mentioned, Robert's team is in Seattle playing in a tournament there. They finished up the round robin portion yesterday, winning all three games and putting them into first place in their divison. During the second game, played Monday afternoon, Robert scored a goal (2nd of the season) and played so well, the coaches chose him as the MVP of that game. Yahoo! Didn't take long for the proud papa to call me and let me know!

Today they start the elimination rounds, beginning with the sweet sixteen. Robert's team will play at 2pm today. Keep your fingers crossed!

While they are up there in Seattle, Matthew and I are at home...but not vegging out for he is participating in a wonderful clinic. It is called "Hands and Feet" - they work on a lot of puck handling skills and some skating. They start out the day at 8:30am on the ice for an hour and fifteen minutes, followed by 1hour of off-ice training with the trainer (which sounds intense, but due to the number of kids and the age group - 6-11 year olds -  it isn't too difficult...more waiting around between turns then actual activity; oh well it is a clinic during the holidays), and then they have another ice session from 11:30-12:45pm.

What do I do during this time? Well, aside from helping him tie/untie his skate in between each activity - I have access to the rinks fitness room where I can go workout if I didn't get in my workout prior to leaving home and I can stitch! Today I was able to get this ol' body out of bed, so I will probably be doing some sitting and stitching...and visiting with other hockey moms!

New Year's
What are your New Year's plans? Ours...well...DH and Robert get back probably Wednesday night so we all will be together during the last holiday of 2009/first holiday of 2010. However, it is Matthew's turn to participate in a tournament, which luckily is here in town.

However, I remember as a kid one of the best New Year's parties my parents threw. I cannot remember what year it was, but I must have been in high school at the time. My parents had a tradition of celebrating this holiday with 3 other families (just the adults though). Prior to New Year's eve, my mother went out and got each of the families matching flannel pjs (both men & women)...they wore them all night, through appetizers and the potluck dinner. At midnight, after the toast, they had a big midnight breakfast. I remember the fluffy omelette that one of the other father's made. Unfortunately, while I was allowed to stay up until midnight, I didn't feel much like eating so I did end up going to bed right after the ball dropped. But I know that, to this day, that party is still talked about in my parents' circle of friends.

Well, thank you for visiting. I am sorry that I didn't have any photos to show - but I promise to take a photo of my MW and show you the status tomorrow. Take care and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa
2010 Ball Drop

Saturday, December 26, 2009

'Twas the day after the holiday...

I hope everyone had a nice holiday. We really enjoyed ours. I was the first to wake up (4:30am), as I wanted to get my workout in before the boys jumped out of bed. I was amazed that I had finished, had time for a little nap and a couple of stitches on MW before the boys got up...it was about 7:30-ish. I remember the days that they would beat us out of bed with excitement. Well, I did find out the reason they slept in...it was because they were all up at midnight. I guess Matthew's (younger son) cell phone got some text messages from someone he didn't know, which woke him up as well as DH and Robert (older son). After DH told Matthew just to turn him phone off (there is some common wisdom for you), DH went back to bed; and I guess Robert stayed in Matthew's room for a little while until he finally grew sleepy, returning back to his own bed. All of this went on and I was sound asleep.

Once everyone was up, we headed downstairs to see if St. Nick made a visit...

Matthew found that the chocolate milk was drank, the chocolate crinkle cookies were all gone except for a few crumbs...even the carrots, which were left out for the reindeer, were eaten. Matthew said that he was glad that he put out that 8th carrot...see, there was some debate whether or not Santa would need Rudolph this year because the weather here in Northern California has been nice. But when Matthew got up, he noticed that there was a little fog - so Rudolph probably was needed and got his carrot, too.

After cleaning up Santa's midnight snack, Robert started to read the letter that Santa wrote him in response to the letter he left by the fireplace...and then Matthew read his. Santa said that he was proud of both boys for their school work as well as their work ethic in hockey and thus tried to fullfill some of the wishes.

Both boys enjoyed new hockey gear, which included new shoulder pads for Robert, gloves for Matthew and sticks for both. One of Robert's biggest hockey wishes was to have a full size net to practice shooting on (Thank you Santa!) and Matthew's biggest Christmas present wish was for a TechDeck ramp (which is a little ramp to use with his miniture skateboards...Thank you Santa!)

Robert also unwrapped a couple of new games - board games that is...Boggle and Spy Clue. So, during the day we played some family games. Boggle was a lot of fun. Just incase you have never played it - it is a game where you mix up a letters and then you have 3 minutes to spell as many word you can. After the 3 minutes is up, everyone takes a turn to read their words - if anyone else came up with that word then you have to scratch it off your list. We really had a good time playing this game - let's just say we all were really good at making up words. It has been a while since we laughed that hard!

So, between opening the presents - enjoying a lunch of mac-n-cheese and lit'l smokies - and playing board games as a family...and hanging out in our pjs for the day...it was a great holiday.

And...oh, yea...what did Santa bring me?

My first design pair of Gingher Scissors (arn't they beautiful?)
"A Friend" by Little Leaf Designs - Elizabeth's Designs
"January and February" by Little House Needleworks - the new month design kit
18"x27" Lakeside Linen 36ct Vintage Lt. Examplar (for the LHN months project)
2 bags of Fabric odds & ends

I must have been a very good girl!

Well...until next time remember: Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Friday, December 25, 2009

What is Christmas?  It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.  It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.

Agnes M. Pharo

Christmas gift suggestions:  To your enemy, forgiveness.  To an opponent, tolerance.  To a friend, your heart.  To a customer, service.  To all, charity.  To every child, a good example.  To yourself, respect.

Oren Arnold

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Only 2 more days until the "Big" Day...according the the boys. There are only 2 more drawers on the Snowman advent chest of drawers left for the boys to open and get their pieces of chocolate. I think that we are about ready for Santa's visit. We got the cookies made on Sunday, the tree has been decorated for a couple of weeks and the boys finally sat down and typed out their letters of "desires" to Santa.

I thought I would take this opportunity to show off some old ornaments that I made at one time in my life...

This little sled is one that I made when I was a girl scout.
I remember when I was a Brownie and then I flew to to be a full fledged Girl Scout...and selling all those cookies.
On the back is the date 1977. Boy that was a long time ago!

These two are little felt ornaments that were made at my grandparents house. The kitty is one that I made and the other, a little mouse under a mushroom, I think my sister made it. We would go to my grandparents' house for Christmas and my grandmother would have all these little things in their basement to keep us busy.

The next two, I made when I was married and lived in New Orleans (circa 1993). A co-worker stitched me an ornament with Santa and finished it in a wooden hoop...so, I felt that DH needed one as well as our cat Chester.

So, those are some of the ornaments we have in our tree; and on top we have a homemade angel - one that Matthew made when he was in a Christian pre-school. Don't you just love the styrofoam cup angel?

Well, that is a little look at what is on our tree, in addition to the ornaments from the exchanges I participated in during 2009. Lots of memories!

Today, just like the last few days this week, we have been vegging at home in the morning and dealing with hockey practices in the evening. DH's office shut down at 2 for the holidays today, so he came home in time for an afternoon nap and a quick computer football game with Robert (older son).
This morning I was able to put some more stitches in MW and got the 4th motif completed. Here is a quick photo of it to show my progress:

It looks so danty - stitching with 1 strand over 2 on 40 ct fabric. I love it. The scissors in the photo were in a "box of treasures" my grandmother sent me. A friend of hers, who did a lot of needlework, past away and her daughter was going through all of her things. She invited my grandmother over to look through her needlework stash...long story-short, my grandmother came home with 4 boxes of needlework "stash" and picked out some of the "best" for me, which I received on Monday (I will probably have some giveaways after the first of the year). Anyway, these Gingher scissors were in the box. I cleaned them up, as they were tarnished and had some rust, attached the special fob from CindyMae and have been using them.

Well, it is time for me to leave you right now. But before I leave I wanted to show you what I got today from Trader Joes (a specialty, organic grocery store):

Do you know what this is? It is a stalk of Brussel sprouts. I looked at this and knew that I needed to bring this home. I never knew how Brussel sprouts grew - I do now. I will probably take the sprouts off the stalk tomorrow and steam them for one of our family holiday dinners. I don't think that the kids will eat them, but you never know.

Take care and remember...Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

MW update in a quick "fly by" posting

Thought I would do a quick post this afternoon and upload a picture of my status on MW. While I started out with a conversion (from the DMC to GAST) staying somewhat true to the colors, I have decided that I didn't like some of the conversions and some of there just didn't work with the color of my fab...so as I stitch I have been changing up some of the colors. I am enjoying stitching on this, though! In fact, while I did say that this would be a "at home" project...I purchased a large plastic zipper pouch so that it transported to the rinks with ease, so I have also been working on it a little while at the hockey rinks. 
Robert (older son) is at the rink this morning - DH took him...Matthew (younger son) has practice later today.
Friday, the boys finished up school for the year, getting out early for their start of the holiday break. DH came home early and we went to see the new movie Avatar in 3D. It really was a fun movie that I recommend if you are looking for an adventure/fantasy movie with a lot of special effect. I really liked it...in fact we all did, as long as DH didn't put too much of a political slant on some of the story lines :) It was a nice start for our holiday break.
Tomorrow, the boys and I will just veg out at home until time for hockey practice in the evening. Most of my prepping for Santa is done. Still need to make the Special Santa Krinkle Cookies, which I will either do today or tomorrow. Santa is still a very popular person for my 13yr old and 10 yr old, so we continue to feed that popularity (does that make sense?). Little by little elves have delivered things to the house (aka mailmen & FedEx) and hopefully the wrapping elves will visit throughout the week and not wait until the last minute to make an appearance - for that usually causes too much stress on Christmas Eve :)

Well, just wanted to stop by and say "hi"
Take care everyone and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Still here and ready to share...

This weeks seems to be going by quickly - can't believe that my last post was last Friday; but it is holiday season and hockey season, so life has been a little crazy here in Durst Manor.

Hockey 1First (lets get a little hockey out of the way), last weekend was very trying for me - the mom/the wife. Robert (older son) participated in a special tryout, which was based on & for individual efforts vs. for a team (which to save you all from boredom, I will not try to explain the opportunity he was tryout for - just note that it was for a great opportunity, which he will have an opportunity to tryout for next year). Based on my note in the parenthesis, you probably guessed that he didn't get picked; however, he did get chosen as an "alternate" (to "fill a spot" if someone should not be able to go to the next round of tryouts the end of January).Let's just say that I had two sets of hurt male egos in my house - my upset child and my angry husband. After time and much consoling both, the house finally got to a "managable" level of emotion late Sunday evening. However, there really wasn't anyone here to console me so I did a little tear shed after everyone went to bed. I realized for the first time, that my children are getting to the age where things might not go their way and they will be sad, disappointed and "hurt"...the kind of "hurt" I will not be able to put a bandaid on it and "kiss & make better". This was a great learning and growing opportunity for us all.

Now for some "Show and Tell"....
I received an email from Heather saying that she received the ornament I stitched for her - for our personal ornament exchange; so without further ado, here is the ornament:

Lizzie Kate's "Chill Out"
Fabric: Lt. Blue Jobelean 28ct (?)
Thread: noted Gentle Arts or substitutions from stash
Stitched 1 over 1
(Heather posted a comment about how some designers seem to be creating designs that seem too large to be hung on the tree...so I decided to stitch 1 over 1 so that it would be "ornament size" LOL)

And...on the same day that Heather received mine, I received hers (perfect timing don't you thinkBrows)
I tore into the package as quick as I could...isn't it adorable. It brought JOY to me and my Christmas tree! I love it! There is something special about hanging ornaments when they are handmade, especially from special stitching blogging friends!!!!
And here is a photo of both Heathers and Anglea P's ornaments I received for our personal ornament exchange hanging on my Christmas tree. Arn't they awesome!

I am so lucky and grateful for having participated with these women in an ornament exchange. Thank you!

One more day of work for me (I am off until January 4th, when the boys go back to school) and 1-1/2 days for the boys (they get out of school Friday at noon)...and then the holidays will really feel like they are here!

Thank you all for visiting. Hope your week is going well. Just remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Christmas Lights

Friday, December 11, 2009

It is Friday...ya-hoo!

I am sooooooooo glad it is Friday (when is one not glad, I suppose)! Fridays are my day off of work, so I look forward to the peace and quiet I get in the morning with the boys are in school and DH is at work.
This is my "ME" time!
So aside from catching up on my minutes of spinning and getting the laundry done, I have been reading and commenting on blogs and thought I would post another update...and yes, I can show a finish.

Last night I put in the last few stitches of my heart on Deborah's Friendship RR.
Deborah decided to follow the DMC colors for this design...and coordinated with her very soft fabric, it looks beautiful! I will be taking it to the post office a little later today in order to get it in the mail to Karen.

Hope everyone's Friday is going well! Take care and remember to 
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often! 
Christmas Lights

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One Christmas Ornament Exchange Landed...

I heard from Angela P from Hooked on Stitches and she received the ornament I stitched for her...so I now get to show you one of the ornaments I was working on . This particular one is a Lizzie Kate Desgins "Deck the Halls" which I stitched 1 over 1 on 28ct light blue Linen (Jobelean?), using most of the Sampler Thread color called for (or similar colors from my stash if I didn't have the exact one). I used a 3" wooden hoop to finish it off, covering the hoop with green ruffles to look like a wreath...trying to keep with the "Deck the Halls" theme.

This week seems to have crept by slowly...thank goodness it is Thursday, which is like a Friday to me because I don't work tomorrow (Ya-hoo and "me" day). Yesterday I took Robert (older son) to the doctor because his cough he has had for several days seemed to be getting worse. Found out that it is bronchitis, for which we got some antibiotics. While in the dr. office, Robert got measured and he is officially as tall as me...and probably will surpass me very soon. Anyway...due to the outcome of the dr visit, we decided to keep him home from hockey practice (this was the first practice he has missed in a very long time) and he was able to get into bed around 8:30pm versus midnight if he went to practice (they had a late Wednesday night practice from 8:30-10pm...given that we live about 45 minutes from the rink and allowing time to switch out from hockey gear to street wear and then shower when arriving at home, it would have been very late).

Well, I won't keep you any longer - for I appreciate your visit and hope you do come again!

Remember...Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jack Frost visits Northern California

Here is the view from our house of Mt. Diablo. This was taken this morning - so while there is still some snow on the mount, there was just a little more yesterday after the Californian "snow-storm". Around our house, we didn't get any "sticking" snow, mainly it stuck at the higher levels. However, there were some cities that did see just enough to make mini-snowmen.

This morning, the story was the cold temperatures...getting down into the 20s. So over night, a visit from Jack Frost, left a blanket of hard frost...which covered not only all the grassy areas around our house but on our roses in our backyard...it really looked beautiful, the roses with a little sparkle this morning.

Nevertheless, I did find one "thing" who was really put off by Jack Frost's visit...

Buzzy, our backyard Humming bird - he was furious! For the frigid temps didn't play kindly with his food:

By the time I got home from work, the temps were between 45-50 degrees and Buzzy's food had melted. One of my co-workers suggested that I bring in the feeder every night during this cold snap. We'll see...just what I need to do, add another "to do" to my "plate of responsibilities".

Well, hope your Tuesday brought you much love and warmth! Take care and thank you for visiting.
Remember...Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa

Monday, December 7, 2009

The weather out side is frightful...

Wow, did the rain come down last night. Several times I was woken up by it as it hit the windows...but I did manage to get myself out of bed (30 minutes later than I wanted to) and on the exercise bike this morning. I am waiting for it to get light outside so I can see what it is doing out there. The weather forcasters are saying that we might have gotten snow in the lower elevations (below 1000ft...we live around 343ft) - but since it is in the low 30s, I am sure that we will see some snow in the high hills that surround us where we live. We have one large hill (over 3849 feet) named Mt. Diablo that will get snow during the winter rainy season when it is cold enough - that is when this area really reminds me of Colorado (without the large quantity of snow). I will try to get some photo of the area if there is any snow to be seen.

Yesterday I posted the winner of my 1st blog give-away...Bev. Congrats!

I hope your weekend was good. I seemed to have had the blahs, feeling a little achy and not quite myself. There seem to be a lot of crud going around right now...and not just H1N1 (news reports are saying that reported cases are going down). Matthew (younger son and my "Vanna White" yesterday when he pulled the give-away name out of the Hockey Helmet), had 2 hockey games over the weekend and his team won both. So they are still in first place for the league games. Robert (older son) just had a practice on Sunday...otherwise he spent most of Saturday doing weekend homework.

While at the rink for a game on Saturday, I knew that one of my blogging buddies (Branlaadee) lived in that area. So I left a comment on her blog and she was kind enough to drop by the rink.  It is so funny how we all identify each other - for I arrived first and was sitting at one of the tables, visiting with some of the other hockey moms, when Branlaadee walked up with her plastic zipper stitching pouch...looking for the "universal sign" of a fellow stitcher...another zipper stitching pouch.

We spent time chatting - getting to know each other. It is so cool to meet other stitching and blogging buddies. I hope that we are able to find sometime and meet again...this time in a place that is conducive to stitching and chatting :)

Saturday I spent a good amount of the day stitching on MW and here is my progress so far:

I was able to get in a few stitches yesterday, but didn't get the 1st motif completed as I had hoped. Since this will probably just remain an @ HOME PROJECT, I will be taking Deborah's Friendship RR and other little projects to the rink tonight as Robert's team has practice.

Thank you for stopping by - I hope you have a great week! Remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often! Lisa

Sunday, December 6, 2009

And the winner is...

Yesterday was the last day to enter into my 1st blog-oversary celebration give-away - which was a $20 gift certificate to www.123stitch.com. So, as promised, the winner will be drawn and announced today.

All the names were printed out from the post on November 28 --- there were 20 entries in all --- folded up and mixed up in the lucky hockey helmet. So, before leaving for his hockey game, I got Matthew (youngest son) to assist with picking the name out of the helmet.


Matthew, all dressed in his hockey team warm up, put his hand in the helmet and chose....

Drum Roll, please

Drum Roll 

I will be emailing you soon to get your information. Thank you all who entered. Take care and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa

Friday, December 4, 2009

It is Friday --- show and tell day.

Well it is Friday...December 4th and it looks like the holiday season is going full blast. The boys have started opening their chocolate advent calendars. They each have their own and then we have a special one which they share (one opening a door on the even days and the other taking the odd days). This is a tradition that we have had for quite awhile - they developed the odd/even tradition on their own.

Now that I got my exchange Christmas ornaments in the mail...and I am in between Friendship Sampler RRs (another is on its way here)...I have worked a finish and started another ornament...and put a couple of stitches in MW.

Here is my finish:

Fabric: R&R Linen 32ct Royal Blue
Freebie (forgot what website)

This is the back (nothing exciting, just thought I would post it)
I am not sure what I am going to do with this yet...but wanted to show it off because I do like the way it turned out as I feel that I am still practicing my "finishing" techniques. I guess that "finishing" is just like everything else..."a work in progress" and something that needs to be "practiced", right?

And now a new ornament start...

From the Just CrossStitch 2009 Ornament Edition
Fabric: 32ct Linen (was white, but blue food coloring turned it rose)
Floss: so far DMC Varigated #115
Again, not sure what I will do with this once it is complete, but because MW is so big to travel with I needed something little to work on when I sit at the hockey rinks so I wiped out my magazine and started this. Thank goodness I tote around a huge backpack with some cross-stitch magazines, accessories, floss, fabric, etc. A Hockey mom always has to be ready to stitch!

I did put some stitches in MW last night while watching The Office with DH, but nothing to really show at this time. After reading some of the comments posted on other websites regarding MW in the early summer, when this was really "popular" to stitch, there was a debate whether to stitch it as per the pattern offered or to "fix" it because many of the motifs are not symmetrical. Well, I have decided to stitch "as is"...unless I can "fix" the design without having to do any redrawing. Let's just say the whole symmetry issue can drive one batty. But I am determined to finish this project!

Well...that is all for today. I am enjoying my day at home without DH or kids...which will change a little later when school lets out. Take care all...and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often - Lisa

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

 FrostyHappy December Everyone!
It is hard to believe that it is December already...but I guess we need to...BELIEVE that is. It is that time of the year to "believe in" and have "faith". The holiday time can be a good time for some and a difficult time for others. I hope that many of you can find a little bit of magic during this month to BELIEVE. For me, as mentioned many times, Holiday=Hockey tournaments, so while we do put up some holiday decoration (for both Chanukkah and Christmas...we are a dual holiday family) and enjoy the traditions & celebrations (8-days of Chanukkah due to the generocity of my side of the family and Christmas due to our own family traditions and DH's side of the family) much of the end of December will  be spent in a hockey rink.
 Well...last night I got to do a couple of Happy Dances!!!Belly Dancer 
I finished the 2 ornaments I was struggling to finish. Unfortunately I cannot show them to you as they are for some personal exchanges.I plan on making a trip to the post office today after work so that I can get the ornaments and the RR in the mail before the Christmas rush starts to affect travel time.

Well...that is all for today! Have a good Tuesday and remember:
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa

Don't forget to sign up for my Blogoversary Give-away...go to the bottom of the November 28th post to read about it and enter if you are interested in a $20 gift certificate to www.123stitch.com.