Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays 2009

Happy Holidays all. I hope yours was especially wonderful, because mine sure was. Not only did my family go overboard this year with me--a china set from my daughter, Mirabila pattern WITH all the threads and beads and a new pair of scissors, a sweet  silver bracelet with "mom" in several different languages, and a quote inside about how a moms love never fails--this last from my son--who has a bit of a rough year--totally made me cry--but with happiness.

Also my daughter Jessica made a scapbook for me. We lost all our photos back in 2002 in a house fire. The girls have been collecting what they could and made it into a very sweet and pretty scapbook--definately made me cry again with happiness.

  But to top off all that and more, my husband got me the most unexpected present ever!!

A flame-point Siamese kitten!!!!!!!!!

I will have pictures of Henry up soon, but in case you are wondering what the &^%*&% a flame point is, also called a red point, here is a picture:

Stay tuned, pics of Henry to come soon!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dont Faint------Its an ACTUAL update

Dont faint--I have an actual, for real, update. Part of the long delay was the apparent kidnapping of my camera into my youngest daughter's room (it is a pit of doom) and my laptop not being too healthy. I finally took it in a couple days ago--so I am posting from my work computer....shhhhh.....don't tell my boss.

First an update on my long neglected Iris

Still have some frame stitching to do, but it is getting there.

I have also joined the Georgia Regency Society, a chapter of the Regency Society of America.

The GARS had its first event today--a High Tea at Sugar Plums Tearoom in Canton GA.

VERY beautiful setting as it was completely decked out for the Holidays. Very beautiful interior. The tea service was good--loved the little teapot-shaped sandwiches. I do not know what was on it, but they were yum!

GARS is run by the daughter of a very sweet woman I had the priviledge of hiring a while back, so it was a bit of a reunion as well. 

I would love to say I made my gown and chemise, but I didn't. I bought on eBay from a very wonderful woman who CUSTOM-MADE it for me. Her name is Wendy, and you can find her here

There were about 18 of us, all in early 1800's costuming--I think we all had a blast! 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lovely Iris

I took the plunge and am doing a needlepoint project. A real one, not just a sampler.

Now, I am still a novice, but the subject matter of the ANG CyberPointer project "Diamond Iris" is, well, an Iris. Iris's are one of my favorite flowers, so I just had to try.

First, we had to trace the design onto the canvas. Judy, author of both the Freebies, etc! and the Possibilities, etc! blogs, was kind and generous enough to walk me through the tracing of the design, and offered a plethora of advice and unstinting help. Any mistakes are entirely my own, of course!

Here is the beginning:

And then with the floss and other threads:

And the first petal, with my first attempt at the Burden Stitch:

On the the other petals!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Memory and Scents

This Mother's day marks the 14th one I have spent without my mother. She died in 1995, when I was 28. I still dream about her and she still has advice and admonitions for me, odd as that sounds.

It is not only Mother's Day that brings back memories. Scents are strongly correlated to memory. Pine always makes me think of my mom, as does the smell of books. Any stray wafting of her perfume, which I don't remember the name of, instantly triggers her memory.

Scent triggers a different sort of memory than that of the visual one we all have for remembering test answers--scent triggers an emotional memory, positive or negative. Any one of my mom's scents can trigger a smile or tears. It is a memory of the heart.

Scent also aids in being able to remember and recall what you have learned. A recent German study indicates that smelling certain scents while studying, and then again when sleeping, helps to 'cement' the memories in. While this study looked at only rose scent, it would not be too difficult to see if a different scent would be just as effective in our own private experiment.

This brings me to my newest favorite way to get the scents that enhance my mental balance, health, and possible more. I love, love, love scented candles. However, with 7 (yes 7) cats, lit candles are not a terribly safe thing to have around.

Enter my great find: Scentsy.

Scentsy is a plug in candle warmer in two types, wall plug-ins and corded. But what really makes Scentsy stand out above all the other candle sellers out there are two wonderful things: the actual scent bars and my consultant Janice.

The scents are to die for. The first set I got was a wall plug model for my bathroom and the sweet pea and vanilla scent. It kept my bathroom--where I have 3 cat pans--- smelling fresh and sweet--as did the daily scooping of course!-- but not overwhelmingly so.

I then purchased the larger corded model and three scents: Exotic Vanilla, Orange Dreamsicle and Mysterious.

Within the hour my husband wanted to know if I was craving orange ice cream bars, because he sure was!

Janice is the best! She is quick to answer emails, and her customer service is outstanding. Ohh, and if you want your order fast--she is your woman!

Vanilla has always been one of my favorite scents. The other is Sandalwood. I am no longer in school, but still take online classes and I do teach. This is where and how I am going to try the experiment. Vanilla for me. My twins and oldest daughter are coming up on finals-- I am going to give is a go there too. Seems like I will be giving Janice yet another email here soon. It can't hurt, and if it helps my kids (son) pass, then it will be money well spent.

Oh, I almost forgot!!

Janice has some very cool room sprays as well. Good for freshening any room, especially those smaller, enclosed rooms that can hold not-so-wonderful scents. Think bathroom or any boy's room!

So in the long neglected paw prints awards--Scentsy and Janice get a 5 out of 5 paw prints!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

oo! oo! ooo! A BEGINNERS needlepoint class

One of my absolute dream teachers is doing a FREE beginners needlepoint class!!!

Janet Perry's designs are all to die for, but I have never been able to bring myself to do them because of my absolute newbie-ness in needle pointing, though she does have another awesome site for all us newbies here

I do have the BASIC BASICs down, but not enough to do any of Janet's designs justice.

Sooooo, when i got a tweet that she was holding a beginners needlepoint sample class, I jumped. Anyone who knows me, knows what a physical effort THAT is, LOL.

Here is the info:

Many people who learn needlepoint, myself included, teach themselves. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that you end up reinventing the wheel, and maybe not learning new stitches very quickly.

I wanted to change all that and make it easy for people to learn needlepoint, learn good needlepoint habits, and have enough stitches at hand to start doing painted canvases with confidence.

The result is my free email course, Right from the Beginning. You can sign up for it here. When you sign up, you’ll get all the lessons so far and then be put on the list to get the lessons as they are released. Once the whole course is done, it will be sent out automatically to new sign-ups.

I’m sending out the first project today and its pictured above. It shows all ten of the stitches in the course’s stitch library and is small enough to keep in your project bag as a reference.

If you’ve been wanting to learn needlepoint or have a friend who wants to learn, let them know about the course.

Great end of week and weekend

I am still plugging away at Nicole North's Sex and Love scenes class.

I totally suck. Really, really suck at writing these scenes. Of course that was not a surprise to me; I knew I had a problem writing emotion, my background is all in the rarefied , passive world of academic writing.

However, it isn't all bad; I am learning a ton, and her class has given me the confidence to slog through. Practice make perfect.

And at this rate I should be ready to submit for publication rejections in about, say 10, 15 years.......

I just can't find it withing myself to be negative about this. I knew I sucked, that is why I took the class. I do not expect to be perfect in the beginning (and if you know me personally, you know what a HUGE leap that is for me). It is a learning curve.

I also went to an AWESOME workshop with Deb Dixon, author of GMC (among many other books). This book is THE bible for commercial fiction writers. I came out with 20+ pages of notes and a headful of ideas.

I am off to write some more, even practice on my silly love scenes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Story Collage.

I am working on on Paranormal Romance that revolves around shape-shifters. It is my first novel, so it is more of a practice and tune up run than a novel that has any hope of being published (yet--if I become sucessful, maybe I can rewrite and get it out)

It is a story that has been in my head in one form or another for a while. Tonight I made up a collage with most of the main elements of the story.

They are the same picture, one just has the flash on. If you click on either one of the pictures, you can see it close up.

What do you think?

Winner of drawing

My apologies for the delay---work and the usual back to the real world crises. Nothing major, just day to day stuff, and sudden inspiration for a story I am working on. (will be the next blog posting)

So, on to the drawing:

I have 11 commenters on the posting. To be as random as possible I printed out each of your names and then had generate a random number. I then had my son pull the names from the hat (bag in our case) to get to the number generated, which was seven.

The seventh named pulled out of the (bag) hat is:


Terry, if you will email me with your snail mail addy, I will pop the magazine into the mail to you.

Thanks every one for commenting.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Egg Hunting

Hey all.

My kids--20, 17 and 17 decided a couple weeks ago they really wanted to hunt eggs today. This,after 5 years of "Mom, we are too OLD!"

What the......?? Hubby and I told them that was silly, they were much too old for that.

Secretly we went out to Wally World and purchased a few brightly colored plastic eggs and some of Hershey's offerings of the season, as well as a few bunnies for later decapitation. We hid all the goodies in the freezer in the garage for the last two weeks and pulled them out around midnight to stuff. Kids were all still up, but hubby managed to sneak the treats upstairs.

Kaat, my youngest daughter came into our room just after we had finished stuffing mounds of Kisses and Miniatures in the eggs and had mounded them all into my usurped embroidery basket. Thankfully, I had just put the basket on the far side of the bed before she came in.

The kids finally headed off to bed around 2 am (I have a household of writers and MMORPG players). Hubby hid the eggs, and I do mean hid. He said he hid them like he wanted to when they were younger but couldn't.

This morning at 7am we tip-toed into each kiddos room with excited falsetto squeals of "The Easter Bunny Came, Get Up!, Get Up!".

Did I mention morning are NOT their strong suites?

After shuffling downstairs and perking up a bit, the hunt was on--45 eggs inside and out. It took them just over an hour, and a couple hints to find them all, but find them all they did and are now contentedly eating the face/ears/tails off the chocolate bunnies and gloating over their finds.

I guess it goes to show that you are never to old for a bit of family tradition.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It is SNOWING in Atlanta, and a give-away

I cannot believe it is SNOWING in Atlanta today. What the H*&L???? Is is supposed to be low to mid 70's, not cold enought to make my bones ache! ARGG! IHATE, HATE, HATE the cold!

I did manage to do a ton of spring cleaning, despite the frigid temps, pay bills, and generally organize. In doing so I found that i had two copies of the Just Cross Stitch March/April 2009 issue. The one with the Ink Circles "Growth Ring" pattern:

So, in order to not keep any clutter, I am giving away the extra copy. All you have to do is post a comment (Comment box is fixed now -I believe) by midnight EST, Sunday April 11th.

I will draw a winner using the random number. org generator from all entries

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Online Needlework Show is Coming This Month

The Online Needlework Show-- a wholesaler and vendor paradise of new designs offers up a ton of eye candy and contests for the consumer.

If you have never gone, make a date to come! The Online Needlework Show is April 15-20.

I have attended the last three years and one year I won
Cirque des Cercles from Ink Circles.

Awesome, aweome pattern. From Tracy's description: "
Interlocking circles provide a pleasing geometric layout for these stylized floral mandalas."

Of course, I then had to go and buy the companion piece
Cirque des Triangles

This is the point for consumers. See patterns you just HAVE to have and then get them. Of course I was already enamored of Tracy's Ink Circles work, having done the SAL Book of Ink Circles, better known as the BOINK

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Update One

I apologize--I have been *thinking* about blogging, added widget and other neat toys, and thinking about topics to blog on.

There are only about four topics I feel I write about consistently: stitching, family, work, health. Okaaaay. What is missing?


Well duh, how could I miss that? maybe because I do all my writing off line. I am a fan of paper and pen--the prettier the better.

So I will begining to not only update this blog a little more frequently, with information that may be of interest to more than myself, and add a bit of writing, my own (maybe) and info on writing.

I will be putting up a poll here in a bit to see what topics you might like to see more (or less) of


Monday, February 16, 2009

Quick Update

Just a quick update. Classes are taking over. I had expected as much, but it still is a PIA that I cannot spend as much time stitching or pleasure writing as I would like.

The twins turned 17 a few weeks ago and I still cannot believe they are that old. My oldest will be 21 this year!

Work is good. VERY VERY busy, but I have an excellent boss, great co-workers and a challenging path daily.

Hope to add some photos of the BOINK and some of the other bits i have been working on soon.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Back on the Blog Wagon

Oh My, did I EVER fall off the blogging waggon.

No real excuse, as my life has pretty much stayed at the same level of stressors. Some things have changed though.

1. I had gone back to school to get another degree in IT. Decided, with the help of my advisors to make the switch from another bachelor's to another Master's degree

2. Had a 95% handmade Christmas--one of the gifts (truffles) is still sitting in my fridge awaitng assembly

3. Had ANOTHER bout of intense, intense abdominal pain. I went to the ER early this time, hoping for relief. NOPE HAd to wait 5 hours to be seen, by then the catch, or what ever was happing to my intestines was over.

4. Highschool started back up, and my youngest daughter was kind enough to share her germs, so I have spent the last two days tossing cookies.

5. I have gone back to they gym (gasp!!--I know) and am doing pretty well when not in pain or puking.

6. My son asked to lose weight, so we enrolled in Weight Watchers on dec 30th. I am down 10 pounds YEAH!!!!!. He is still struggling with portion control. But he is determined, has started taking regular evening walks and has weight lifting at school.

7. I am taking a really neat class on color theory. I am clueless when it comes to creating a pleasing pallet. Thsi class looks to be a wonderful help. Best of all, it is online! woohoo!

8. Work is crazy. Not because there is too much to do (there is) but because I am lacking direction. My boss Lisa seems to have a good grasp on what needs to be done and how to help me get my direction figured out. I have a one on one meeting with her soon.

9. I have started doing more surface embroidery--needlepainting and some crewel soon. No you cant see---it is hideous as I am still learning. Once I get it down I will show it off next to something that looks decent. Trish Burr and Tanja Belin are my idols here

10. Umm, as soon as I find the camera that is.

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