Saturday, December 15, 2012


One day, I will run out of the words.
My mind will not abide
By all the rules and barriers set inside
To keep my hidden thoughts.

One day, I will run out of the time to hide.
My voice will speak the truth, untamed and uncontrolled, -
All is revealed, no treasure is in sight, -
And, naked and ashamed, I'll stand before the world.

But on that day
You won't be there to hear it, I pray.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

An Experience

Today... my heart was broken. It happened so suddenly and so quickly, that I barely had a chance to get my bearings... I could feel it as an enormous crush and pain in my chest, and then it was quiet, empty, and dark. It took me about thirty seconds to realize that they - all of them - were looking straight at me; another ten to realize I was not smiling, and a few seconds more to force a smile upon my... lips? Face? It is a strange feeling - smiling when you feel that empty inside. It's like... wearing a mask.
Part of me is wondering why I allow myself to get in these situations... And yet I feel - I hope - that, all said and done, it was a worthy experience. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? I must be getting stronger, then.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Professional Student Experience

As many of you know, I have come back to school to get a second degree - this time in Accounting. What associations do you have with being a student? Just thinking about it... A day becomes longer, and the nights shorter  - not because of daylight savings or the sun coming up earlier, but because I don't go to bed until all work - regular, house - and home - is done. Getting up in the morning becomes impossible without a cup of strong - really strong! - coffee.... In a nutshell, being a student for me always meant more work and less sleep. Why would someone want to stay a "professional" student unless he or she is into self-deprivation?
Then, a couple of months ago, my husband started working in San Luis Obispo. The kids were visiting with family, and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and come to Kreuzberg in SLO. Kreuzberg is a restaurant with a "student" theme - mismatched chairs and tables, photographs and paintings on the walls, and piles and piles of books everywhere...
I had a few assignments to do, so I ordered a cup of coffee (with WiFi service included) and went on to work. Three hours went by very quickly, people came and went - all the same type, students, well dressed and happy, -  music was playing, and although it was loud, it did not bother me. When breakfast time came, the bagel with smoked salmon and kippers - with exotic name "J.D Salinger" -  was added to the coffee; a while later, at lunchtime, "Albert Camus" - an ahi tuna salad with honey mustard - or was it raspberry vinaigrette? - sauce arrived on my table... I kept working on my homework, and it was done, but at the end of the day what I remembered was the food and music experience. For the first time in my life I understood why some people prefer to stay "professional" students. If I was eating like that every day, I would not only enjoy it, I could also lose weight... and get my homework done, too! What could be better???
Naturally, living a good "student" life is expensive. Most of us (including me) probably could not afford this luxury on a regular basis. The meals I described earlier - the exquisite salad and the salmon bagel -were not cheap... For me, it was a once-in-a-while treat. As for the cafe regulars - most of them are students, children of well-to-do parents that don't have to work, don't have to do anything, really, but go to school and get decent grades. From the conversations I overheard while sitting there, I could understand that the speakers had but theoretical knowledge of the world around them, as someone would when observing it through the safety of a glass... What a charmed life it is - a life of professional student! For a moment I became part of it - and everything began to look so right, so logical and regulated. So... chaos-free. Just like it used to feel and look when I was a child. It must be pleasant to keep that illusion past the teenage years.
Then my husband came to pick me up, and it was time to go home - back to real life with jobs, bills, children and never-ending chaos. Back to reality.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Bumble Bee Biscornu

Tomorrow night, at our weekly gathering with friends, I shall drink a toast to my first repeat customer. Repeat customers, as I found out in the past two days, not only give us pride and satisfaction, but can also spark our creativity. What starts as a simple transaction, ends as something much more.
In my case, a satisfied customer came back and asked for a biscornu with bumble bees - or dragonflies. Now, my first reaction was to start digging through a stash of patterns - for sure I could find something - but then, I thought: why not make my own chart? And so I did.
Here is the result.
Bumble Bee Biscornu
Materials: 16 Ct white Aida, DMC floss, buttons
Finished size: 2.5 in x 2.5 in

The border was "borrowed" from the Ladybug pattern, as I wanted it to be in the same style. But the bumble bees are all mine. As I was working on them, I had a children's song going through my head:

I'm catching up my baby bumble bee
Won't my mommy be so proud of me!
I'm squishing up my baby bumble bee,
Won't my mommy be so proud of me!

My daughter used to sing it when she was three. At the end, if I remember correctly, the bumble bee flies away. I was humming the song while stitching the stripes and the wings. I was thinking of how a five-year-old would see a bumble bee. In the end, I had a terrific mini-biscornu and a pattern. The biscornu went to the wonderful client.

The pattern I want to share with you. 

Over the past couple of years, I have used numerous patterns offered for free on stitching blogs. I figured it was my time to give back and contribute to the list of "free pattern" blogs.
I tried my best to make sure it is accessible, but please let me know if there are any problems with download... and let me know what you think!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blue and White Sampler Finish and a Surprise Gift

After more than four years, my Blue and White Sampler is finally finished! Happy dance!

Although there are only two colors in the project (light and dark blue), the intricate designs make up for the simple color scheme. I followed the original chart exactly, except for the initials in the left corner - they are mine.

I suppose that now, after one of my rotation projects is complete, it is time to choose a new one. I already know what it is going to be: the Autumn Celtic Lady by L&L. All my threads are finally gathered, the fabric is purchased...All it takes now is some motivation, which is at the moment, I admit, in short supply. Between my accounting homework, occasional Etsy orders, temp work and model stitching (thank you for your tips, Kathy, I am so grateful), I am running out of daytime.

On another happy note, Shannon at Lasting Allure was hosting a giveaway, and  I am one of her happy winners! I won the chart of her beautiful Mad Hatter cross stitch. Thank you, Shannon!

I know I have not been posting often... A lot is happening in our family. First of all, my stepson Michael is moving back in with us and going to college. Then, the house we are presently renting is being sold, so we have to find a new place to live by the end of August... There are plenty of properties to rent, but finding something in our price range - that's another story. Finally, I am still looking for permanent work... Just like many people out there, I am sure. So, I have been trying to limit my posting to finished projects with pictures and/or major updates. If I start posting about everything, I am afraid I will plunge into whining and complaining - full speed! And that's just not cool.

Thank you for reading my blog, and happy stitching!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What I do besides stitching

Of course, stitching is always first for me. But, with the summer break coming up, I have changed my rituals a bit ...
First of all,

I have put together a puzzle. The girls helped.... After it was completed, we took a picture, took it apart and put it away.
Then, I signed up for summer classes. I am taking an online accounting class and a swimming lab. I took the swimming lab thinking I would have plenty of time... until I saw my accounting schedule. Twelve chapters, six weeks, twelve homework sets... Plus quizzes and exams. I forgot - it's summer! Everything is shorter and faster in the summer. But, so far I am doing all right. I have sat myself down and completed the first homework set and a quiz in the first two days! And I was able to swim for an hour. I am super... something!
I planned all this swimming and academics under the impression that the girls were going out of state to see their father. I thought, with them visiting family I would go crazy sitting alone in the house, so why not do something? Now we have found out that the girls, in fact, are not going anywhere... But my schedule stays! Whatever it's going to be, it most definitely won't be boring.
And in conclusion, here is one of my stitching companions, Dusty. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Baby Shower

For everyone who has been reading my blog, you know my last few posts were full of stressful banter. I want to thank you for your patience while I have been indulging my whiny gene. Hopefully, this period is over. I myself am looking forward to better days and happier posts...
So, here is the first piece of good news. A friend of mine, a very nice lady, is going to be a mom soon. She is expecting a girl, and last week she invited me to her baby shower. I took my trusty hook and crocheted her a baby afghan...

Although I was in hurry, the blanket came out really even. What a pleasant surprise. But the most important thing - the future mom liked it!
To everyone who is reading my posts, I thank you and wish you a pleasant week.
Until next time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quick Life and Stitching Update

After all the family emergencies and health crises, we finally seem to be doing better. Rita's stitches are out, although she mentioned that "next time" she would rather take them out herself. I said I hoped there would be no next time.
All my stitching is paying off. The Hogwarts Crest is moving along.
I really like the way it's turning out, all the bright gold and green colors.
The mansion is coming along nicely too, but since taking the pic I already stitched more on it, so I will have to take another picture when the light is good.
Don't remember if I mentioned it, my hubby got a new job! Lots of changes, so far positive - no more driving all over the coast, no more hectic schedules.
Happy stitching!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Crazy Week!

Thank god it's a new week! Maybe it will be better than the last.
First, my niece had pregnancy complications. She went for her sonogram and found out that the baby developed a brain tumor - within the past two weeks. She went for the emergency C-section, and the baby did not make it. Over 90 percent of her brain was taken up by the tumor.
The whole family is devastated, everyone is on edge. My niece is still in the hospital... dealing with everything.
              My DH has been really down and stressed through this. Finally, Friday we seemed to be doing better. Our friends, another family, invited us for a potluck party: good food, good talk, games for children and adults...
             We just started to relax, feeling this week may not be a disaster yet, when I heard a yelp, a cry and someone saying, "Rita got bitten." I got up and went to my daughter. She was holding a napkin to her face, and blood was streaming from under it, on her shoe and on the floor. A dog of our hosts', a Chihuahua, bit her on the lip.
The next half hour went by very fast: a trip to the Emergency Room, running in, getting admitted... I had trouble spelling things out on forms, and every time they gave me another form to fill out, I stared at the admitting person and said, "My daughter is bleeding, can you help her? We can sort out the dates and names later." Thankfully, my DH was able to take over the forms, and I could stay by my daughter. 
              Finally,  things were filled out, my daughter was admitted. The doctor had to put in a total of nine stitches, prescribed an antibiotic. Overall, he said that in about three years, no one will know my daughter had this accident. There should not be a scar left (to Rita's slight disappointment - she was hoping for a small scar "so she could tell the story to her grand kids.")
             By the time we got home from the hospital, it was past two o'clock in the morning. Saturday was taken up by sleeping, taking the medications and adjusting Rita to her new diet - yogurt and pudding (soft foods only). Today, she was ready to go back to school. I packed her a yogurt for lunch, since she won't be able to eat cafeteria food...
             I really hope that this week will be better!  Wish us luck!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April IHSW

The time I have been waiting for... My kids are with grandma, and my DH, by happy coincidence, is in San Luis Obispo celebrating the Record Store Day. I have the house all to myself, it's quiet, and as soon as I finish with the dishes, I can get on with my projects. These are the same as last time: the Crest, the B&W Sampler, and the Mansion. I have made some progress on the Crest - the bird is all stitched, now filling the blue background.
I'd better get on with my work so I can get back to my stitching.
Happy Stitching Weekend Everyone!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Back to Stitching!

My sudden "outburst" of crochet seems to be over, and with all the exciting news about Etsy and network social life I am still stitching! About a week ago, I decided to "clean up" my WIP box, which resulted in adding two more projects to my stitching stash, so now I put three projects in rotation. The first one, of course, is the Hogwarts Crest.
Hogwarts Crest

As you can see, I have advanced a bit on the lion and the motto ribbon, and also started on the helmet and feathers at the top. I really like working on this one.
Then, I have found a Blue and White Sampler I started ages ago.
Blue and White Sampler

This one has many motifs and is stitched on 14 ct Aida. Just this fact reminds me how long it has been, because I have not worked on 14 ct Aida for over two years. It is pleasant to remember where I started and "get back to basics," so to speak... I remember the first time I saw it in the Home and Garden collection. I was attracted right away to the alphabet and the lady with the gentleman. Then, after I got done with them, I ran out of the dark blue thread (one of the two colors it uses), and that is what put this project on hold.

Finally, my third project is the Carson Mansion by Debbie Patrick from 'Victorians Across America" series. I started it on a whim about a year ago, but never got it finished.
Carson Mansion

One thing that surprised me about this one is how much black color it uses. Yet, the finished picture looks so vibrant! When you start stitching, you find black in almost every window, on the curtains, in the corners of the building and on the balconies, not to mention the outlines and decorations (that I expected.)

 These are all my stitching updates. I am also charting "For Me and My House", thinking about other charts, and reading. I have almost finished "Dead Man Walking" by sister Helen Prejean, such a powerful book. I also did some research about sister Helen online, found her Facebook page and her blog. Now I know what she looks like and read her posts, I have a better picture of what she is like. Don't get me wrong, the movie was great, but having Susan Sarandon's voice in my head while reading does get quite annoying.
Have a good stitching week!

Friday, April 13, 2012

This Is Your Captain Speaking...

 Three days ago I was made a captain of an Etsy team. For those who do not know - Etsy is a web site where one can promote and sell handmade things. I joined this team some time ago, and then found out, quite by chance, that for the past 11 months it did not have an active captain! So, I alerted Etsy Admin, who in turn asked me, "Do you want to be the captain? " I said, "Sure!" And that is how I became the captain.

So much for the easy part. Now comes the part of turning it from "free-for-all," "speakeasy" place into something functional. My main goal is not to "shut down" the practices that were going on here before me, but simply to organize things so they become more effective... For example, right now if I wanted to post a link to my new item in the shop, I would have about 50-100 threads to choose from to post in, some just started, some older. I want to make one general place for new postings... That way, hopefully, more people will see them. That is just one example of what I am trying to do.
I know I started a big task and I am up to my ears in (insert appropriate word here). But, it will be fun! If nothing else, it's definitely a learning experience.
Wish me luck!