Monday, December 13, 2010

Busy, Busy

It's been a busy couple of weeks - busy with holiday preparations. Shopping, wrapping, mailing. Steady progress has been made. I'm determined to not have a stressful holiday and so far I've been successful. There hasn't been much time in the sewing room or the stitching/knitting chair as a result. I did manage to finish one of the applique blocks for $5 quilt.
For me, baking and sending out holiday cards is a sign that things are going well. This past week saw cards getting to the post office and the baking of two batches of cookies! It's a small baking session but I'm considering it done. Most of the cookies are gone - just a few saved in the freezer for Christmas Day. These are the Neiman Marcus cookie.
Yes, I have navy blue countertops.
No, I don't know what I was thinking!

I also got a chance to go by the Holiday Open House hosted by my quilt shop. Everyone received a coupon for 50% off any item and all fabric off the bolt was 30% off . Nancy Mahoney was also there with a trunk show. She is a fabric designer for P&B and an author of several quilt books. Her most recent is Treasures from the 30's. Her quilts are gorgeous (sorry no pictures of those). She'll be teaching a class next month at my quilt shop. I'll probably not take her class as January is already busy with business travel and a few other things (more to come on that in late January).
I'm also traveling to Atlanta on Monday. Flight leaves at 6:30 am and I'm back at 6:30pm the same day. Ugh! I'm not looking forward to that. It will be a long day. I have the week after Christmas off and I'm really looking forward to getting back to some serious stitchy time!

I hope each of you are having a wonderful holiday season - one with as little stress as possible!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Getting Back in the Groove

Thank you to all my readers for your supporting comments on my last post. I appreciate each and every one of you and I cannot even begin to tell you how much your support means to me.

I've not been stitching much since I got back from vacation but I have managed to make a bit of progress on Jenny Bean's Halloween Sampler. I am finding that I like stitching letters as they seem like quick little finishes. Looking at this photo, I realize I have forgotten to go back and add those two single crossed stitches that are on either side of the moon.
Progress on Jean Bean's Halloween Sampler
In the last month, I've won two giveaways! I was thrilled and surprised to win both. This beautiful pair of scissors and the fob came from Averyclaire. She is a very talented quilter and stitcher. I've already put both of these to good use! Please visit her blog and say hello!
Then I won a skein of Wollmeise 100% from Lina at Photo.Knit.Dog. She is a wonderful knitter and photographer. Her handknits always fit her beautifully. The color of this yarn is very saturated - I could use some serious photography lessons from Lina! Visit her blog and you'll see what I mean. I've been thinking of this skein of yarn and need to find the perfect shawl pattern for it that makes the best use of it's 574 yards.
Wollmeise 100%
I did get a little sewing in this weekend after not laying a hand on my sewing machine for well over a month. I did a little of this and a little of that and didn't get a whole lot accomplished but it still felt good! We also got our tree up - it doesn't look much different than last year - and we wrapped and packaged up four big boxes of gifts to be mailed out tomorrow for our 3 nieces and nephew. Now to shop for the adults, bake cookies, and get Christmas cards out! Loads to do but I'm feeling pretty good with where I am so far. Hopefully I won't see any "X Days to Christmas" widgets anywhere!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Over the past few months, much has been going on that has caused me more than a little anxiety:

1. My mother was diagnosed with the very beginning stages of dementia.

2. My job - total upheaval and change. Not necessarily bad but dramatically and completely different.

3. Add to that the typical stress of life. Not enough time. Hustle and bustle.

I have most definitely been in a funk period as a result of all of the above. I'm not prone to whining or complaining so I've kept most of this very private or have spoken in very general terms.

This past weekend (Thanksgiving weekend in the US), I received a real dose of perspective. Dan is home on leave from deployment overseas. He's the one on the right in the picture below. The one with the uncombed hair is my son. He's been friends with Dan for several years.
Dan came over for a couple of hours Sunday night to talk to me because he knew I wanted to see him. He was deployed in May almost directly from Basic Training and he's been through so much. He's always been very chatty so he shared a lot.

He's been shot. In the head. His kevlar helmet saved his life. Most of us will believe that it was more than a helmet that is responsible for him being here today.

He works 12+ hours a day 7 days a week. He also has PT daily. He's a medic with a trauma unit (level 2 I think he said) that receives wounded directly from the front line. That is, if he's not out there treating them in the field while putting his own life in the line of fire. He has seen unthinkable things.

When he goes back, he's being assigned to a new squadron. Dan shared with me the prior 8 medics with this squadron have been "lost".

Lost meaning ALL prior 8 medics were shot. 4 fatally.

My worries? Insignificant. Funk to thankfulness and a new positive perspective with a single conversation.

Please keep Dan and the thousands of others serving their country across the world in your thoughts and prayers. They truly need them.