Monday, December 30, 2013

Coming Soon to a Town Near You ...... 2014!

This is the same post I make at the end of each year with a few changes here and there to suit the time of my life. It may get old to some but it works for me.

A New Year is right around the corner! A brand new clean calender! It's up to each one of us what we do with it. Each year I make the same goals with a possible extra or two tossed in for good measure. I prefer to use "goals" instead of "resolutions" because I feel that taking already important things in my life and putting my focus on strengthening them.

1. To make an effort to learn something new every day. The joy of knowledge is indeed a blessing no matter what you choose to learn.

2. To make time for myself. It's amazing what 15 minutes sitting on the deck with a hot cup of coffee and watching the birds can do for my soul. A little time each day to refresh my spirit is all it takes.

3. To take time to appreciate each day. Too often we forget to see the beauty around us and take the simple things in life for granted. My continued goal is to look with my eyes but to see with my heart. To simply enjoy life and all that is a part of it.

4. To enjoy my family and friends. I am lucky to have each and every one of them in my life. I have been blessed with so many online friends and each day I am grateful for each one of you! My online stitching and blogging friends are a very important part of my life!

5. Organize and Simplify! Two key words I always yearn to make a part of my everyday routine but often lose focus on. Organize doesn't mean I have to go on a cleaning rampage each day. It just means I need to get my life and things that are a part of my life in some of manageable order so that I feel comfortable instead of constantly overwhelmed. Not putting things off until the last minute can contribute greatly to this cause! Simplify! Just what it means - plain and simple! Stop making a mountain out of a mole hill, do what I can and leave the rest, don't volunteer for more than I feel I can handle or feel will stress me out!

6. To Remember. So many people have come and gone from my life over the recent years and I want to keep their memory alive.

7. To keep my faith alive and strong.

8. A Random Act of Kindness. Like so many others, I was raised to do them. Only back then they were called "manners" or just plain "consideration for others". So many people still do these and often without even realizing it. For the New Year coming up, I challenge myself along with each and every one of you to make RAKs a regular part of your life and to become more aware of them. Whether it means opening a door for a person, buying a stranger a cup of coffee, taking the grocery cart back inside the store or something else. Let us all strive to bring back those values and in doing so we will give back. I would love to hear what you did today to make someone's day a little brighter.

9. To Forgive. Things happen that cause hurt, anger and resentment but often the people who cause these emotions don't care. We are the ones left with bitter feelings that only mount up and make us more and more miserable. I will let the past remain in the past and let go of these feelings so that I can move on with my life.

10. To use kind words and practice patience more often. I will try to live by the good old standard saying "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

And of course the New Year just wouldn't be complete without a few just plain fun goals!

1. Take more trips. Even day trips can be fun.

2. No pressure. Keep the fun and joy in stitching. This is why I started in the first place!

3. Work on more Christmas stitches through out the year.

4. I also have a lot of freebies, smalls and magazine patterns I have been wanting to stitch. Each year, I have good intentions to work on them but they never seem to get stitched. I hope to make a better effort this year.

Have a safe New Year's Eve! I will be staying home and stitching. Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Birthday Finish and A Birthday Start

December has been a busy month so far with the usual hooey going on. Several of our neighbors and other friends have come down with that new bug that is knocking everyone off their feet. I was feeling pretty good that I had not gotten it yet and maybe it would just skip over me. No Way! The day after my birthday, I woke up to a fever, sore throat and all over yuckiness. I was so weak that my usual 10 minute routine took me 45 minutes to partially complete. I stumbled to the kitchen, got a bottle of water, barely stumbled back to the bedroom and collapsed in the bed for the rest of the day! Thank goodness I was spared feeling so horrible on my birthday!

Yes, you read correctly. I had a birthday. I have always loved being a December baby. The Grumpy Ol' Gazer took me out to eat and my son bought me a yummy cheesecake along with several other goodies. I spent the day stitching which was all I really wanted. I didn't ask for anything right now because I know my gift will be coming later in 2014.

I have been working on The Apostle's Creed by MBT for one week then switching it out to work on The Stars are Brightly Shining by Heartstring Samplery for a week. Admist doctor appointments, errands and other busy things, I was able to complete The Stars are Brightly Shining on my birthday! I am so thrilled with it!
After seeing so many beautiful finishes on Mary's Sampler by PSS, I decided it would be next on my to stitch list so I bought my threads and fabric and started on it on my birthday after completing the Heartstring Samplery piece. I will continue stitching on The Apostle's Creed and carry it over into the New Year. It is a nice peaceful stitch that gives you permission to take your time on it.

Have you been reading Vonna's blog lately and her 25 days of Christmas? I liked her idea of a "stitch it this year or else" basket so I decided that I will put together one for 2014. Who knows if I will get it all done (probably not) but I will give it my best try! I also liked her idea for taking those UFOs that just never seem to get finished up and making them into ornaments, pillows or just framing parts of them so I have been going through my pile to see what kind of plans I can make for the ones I have.

Thank you so much for stopping by! May you all have a safe and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Color Changes

Even I am a little shocked that I am posting again so soon but I like it! It makes me feel like I am getting some control over my life again and resuming to normal.

I was asked in a comment on my last post if I would share the colors I used on The Apostle's Creed. Sure! The top borders and alphabet are basically just done in whatever colors I felt it needed. I had no real order for these. The prayer was a different story. Below I listed some of the colors used in the alphabet and then the color code I used for the prayer.

Top lines and alphabet - Gentle Art Threads Chives, Avocado, Gold Leaf, Chamomile, Piney Woods, Endive, Mulberry, Onyx, Caramel Corn, Polliwog, Woodrose and probably a few others.

The prayer and dividing lines - Weeks Works Charcoal (substituted for Maple Syrup), Gentle Art Mulberry (subbed for Chamomile), Chamomile (subbed for Toasted Barley), Endive (subbed for Caramel Corn), Piney Woods (subbed for Endive). The dividing lines are alternated with Gentle Arts Gold Leaf, Maple Syrup, Pecan Pie.

I was excited to see the Plum Street mystery sampler and got all my threads and fabric ready to start on it. My intentions were much better than my actual work on it. I still plan to get this stitched up and have it printed out, kitted up and ready to start on -- whenever! I love all the ones I have seen on other blogs and know that this is definitely a must stitch!

Have you ever had one of those times when you just can't find a design in your stash that moves you to pick up the needle? Then other times, there are soooo many you want to start on at one time! I am on the second scenario right now. Since I just can't see myself working on so many at one time I am compensating by kitting up a lot of them!
Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

It's December!!

Can you believe it's December? The holidays are right upon us! It seems like after Labor Day, the rest of the year just flies by. I have been rather lazy with my blog since all this medical hullabalu started! I hope to change that starting now! I have always enjoyed my blog, writing it, reading comments and visiting with other bloggers.

Good news! I am off of the low potassium diet! I have no diet restrictions. It's funny how badly you want something when you are told you can't have it anymore! For now, the phrase "let them eat cake" is being taken in full context around here! Cheese cake, that is! lol. Cake, ice cream, pizza and so much more.

The test results are looking good so far. I know I have a long way to go and then keeping it maintained but for now I have comfort in knowing things are moving forward and looking better with each treatment. I am definitely feeling better than I did back in September when all of this first began for me so that is a step in the right direction!

I don't feel like I have gotten much stitching done the past several months what with doctor appointments and some awful hand cramps but here is my progress report. I have two WIPs that I want to finish up before the end of the year. I bought some therapeutic gloves and wrist supports that I hope will help out with the hand cramps.

While at the infusion center, I started on Apostle's Creed by My Big Toe. I needed something to do while just sitting there all hooked up. Well, actually I started it at home so I would have some of it done and could just continue from there. It is a peaceful stitch. I changed more of the colors than I had originally planned to do. I love the recommended threads but I just felt the need for something with ALOT more color. I get plenty of eager eyes wanting to see what I am working on or how much progress I have made at the reception desk, in the elevator and in the office.

Thanks for stopping by again. Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Faith is not without worry or care, but faith is fear that has said a prayer. ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stitching Present and Stitching Future

I almost have another finish! It seems this one is taking longer what with all the doctor appointments and other things that have been keeping us busy lately. The Stars are Brightly Shining by Heartstring Samplery! I just LOVE this design. I am half way finished with page 3 and only one more page to go after completing this one. O Holy Night is my favorite Christmas carol and if you recall I stitched up A Weary World Rejoices by Shakespeare Peddler not too long ago as well! Just the intense beauty of this song can bring a tear to my eye! I used 18 count Aida and the recommended threads.

Morning sweater weather has arrived! It is chilly in the morning hours then warms up enough in the afternoon to take the sweater off or just change into something more light weight. I do enjoy my sweaters.

The lab work finally came back good and I was able to spend a day at the hospital getting other tests done that had been put on delay. Not exactly how I would normally choose to spend a day but at least I can say I have that part of over with and the treatments can finally begin and are even scheduled! When I first found out all of this and the doctors outlined their plans to me, I thought it would all go smoothly step by step but it hasn't.

Each day I pray for strength and patience. As I do the things I love - stitching, watching my backyard birds and nature, admiring my roses or just sitting with a cup of coffee I praise God for letting me enjoy it all. Sometimes we all get a little misguided and forgetful. God has sent me a rocky journey to give my Faith a jolt in the right direction.

All this time I have been so sure I had RA because of the nodules that pop up in my hands and the horrible hand cramps. No. According to the rhuematologist, I am totally RA free but these are symptoms of Vasculitis! Who knew?

I thought about those long infusion treatment sessions and decided to pack up a special project to take with me just for those times. At home I will be working on The Crown Sampler by Plum Street Sampler (all kitted up and ready to start) after I finish my current stitch. While at my treatments, I will be taking and working on The Apostle's Creed by My Big Toe. I am keeping most of the colors the same in the MBT design but I am changing a little bit of it over to red. I gotta have my red fix! When I begin and as I make progress I will share pictures with you!

DH and I went for a drive last week and ended up going to my LNS! What a nice surprise. I picked up the new Loose Feathers charts they were holding for me along with some threads for another project. Oh, and a nice project bag to carry my stitching in when I take it with me to the infusion treatments.

How many of you read the ingredients label on the back of food? I used to read it once in a while for things like calories, carbs and cholesterol. It wasn't something I really needed to read. Potassium was the probably the last thing on my mind and I don't think I ever think I ever checked for it. Now it is the first and main thing I look for since I am on a low potassium diet. Someone asked me what I could eat on this diet. I told them it was more of a what I could NOT eat type of diet. If it's good, I can't eat it! lol. So many of the foods I love are either a big fat NO or are limited to a bare taste. Coffee, tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkin pie, cheese cake, yogart, lots of greens. chicken and dumplings, whole wheat breads and cereals, nuts, chocolate and so much more! I am still adjusting but I'm getting a little better on it each day!

Thank you so much for all the good wishes and prayers! It means a lot to know my friends in my stitching community are with me during this time. Once again, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. And lo, no one was there. ~Author Unknown