Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oldesnt UFO SAL update

Okay, it's update time again. Here's where I was on 30 January 2012.

And here is where I am as of 29 February 2012. This is a view of the whole sampler.

And here's a slightly closer view of what's new.

It's a little difficult to see the leaves above the "United in Marriage" as they are a pale blue. But they are there!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Extra panic! Turns out BOTH of Cynthia's girls graduate this year - one in May, one in June. Can I do TWO stitch pieces in time? Stay tuned.

Almost got the back stitching done on the centre of my special piece - just the outside circle to do. Then stitch the "log" borders, add my name and I'm good to go.

It's snowing again. Bah humbug!

Worked on Sisters books this morning and am all up to date for the month of February. Nice to have that off my list.

A Birthday

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickest fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

Christina Georgina Rossetti
1830 - 1894

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Drat that Cynthia woman! She got me turned on to Ancestry. ca and I was up WAAAAAAY past my bedtime last night (read early this morning) chasing little green leaves. I'm following my maternal grandmonther's family and I'm back to about 1705. It's actually fascinating and could absorb a huge amount of time. This is where I have to be (try to be??) self-disciplined.

I'm still working on my special project square - the main cross stitching is done and I've started back stitching. It's really pretty, but I have done more frogging on this than on anything else I've stitched this year. I think it may be because when I stitch, I think (and worry) about the friend it's being made for. It is such a heartbreaking situation.

And I've just realized that Cynthia's youngest daughter is graduating university THIS spring. I thought I had another year!! So I found a simple - or as simple as Stoney Creek gets - pattern that I should be able to finish in time if I concentrate on it. I need more arms - and the ability to function on no sleep for about 3 months.

Time to get off the computer and on to stitching!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Finished another of my small kits at Sisters yesterday.

This one was on the magazine World of Cross Stitch (British) December 2000. This little Disney characters are such fun to stitch and are great for kids birthday cards.

Now I need to concentrate on a special stitching assignment. One of the members of my Canadian Cross Stitchers group has just been diagnosed with Creutzfeldt Jakob disease which is basically the human form of Mad Cow disease. It's a very aggressive, fatal disease so the group is going to make her a love/healing quilt. Catia Diaz (, who is a designer and a member of the group has generously offered one of her designs for us to use and all across Canada fingers are busy stitching. Another group member has offered to put it together for us and we hope to have the finished quilt in Gail's possession in about a month. Such a hard, difficult time for her and her family.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This is the first of two towels I'm stitching for my craft partner. She is an avid gardener, so I know she'll enjoy this.

It's a Stoney Creek design stitched on a Charles Craft kitchen towel with a 14 count Aida insert. It was a fairly quick stitch.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

18 February 2012

It was my Cancer Support Group lunch today and it was a fabulous 2 hours. The Crest's theme of the month menu was "A Taste of France" so I had an omelet stuffed with goat cheese and mushrooms. Yummy! It's daffodil time again, so we talked about making the phone calls, prices, etc. and also the fact that the Dragon Boat team is recruiting for the 2012 season. We celebrated the fact that we have no new members and that none of the current members are actively fighting cancer. We have one who is going through reconstructive surgery, but that seems to be it.

Then I walked down to Shutter Shack to get some photos printed to send to Sara when I write her next week. It's so simple - plug your flash drive into their machine, choose the pictures you want printed, hit finish and 10 minutes later you're on your way with photos in hand. All for the 'huge' cost, in this case, of $2.52. Can't beat it.

Was expecting Cynthia last night, but I got dropped for a family tree - and the night before I got dropped for muffins!!! It's a good thing we've been friends for so long. All I could do is laugh, give her a bad time and expect her tonight. was having a free weekend and she has been doing a lot of work on her family history, so she could not give up the chance to take advantage of their information.


This darksome burn, horseback brown,
His rollrock highroad roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
Flutes and low to the lake falls home.

A windpuff-bonnet of fawn-froth
Turns and twindles over the broth
Of a pool so pitchblack, fell frowning,
It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.

Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

Gerard Manly Hopkins
1844 - 1889

Friday, February 17, 2012

16 Feb 2012

It's been a day! Opened Sisters at 6 - normal Thursday. Then Michelle came in just before 10 and I headed up to the hospital for an ultrasound and a visit with the ob/gyn. Mostly good news. The polyp he removed is non-cancerous, I have a muscle mass which is of no concern, but I do have a cyst. On the positive side, it is a small-ish one, smooth and round which is of less concern than if it were irregular and jagged. But I need to have another ultrasound in 3 months to check on it and he sent me down to the lab to have some bloodwork done to check for tumour markers. That took some time, as the lab is in a temporary space while their regular area gets renovated and they have very little room. Back to Sisters about 11:45.

Closed at 1 as usual, did some banking, went to Uncle Buck's for lunch. Then I sat in Ocean Centre and read for about half an hour before heading across the street for an appointment with the kidney specialist who was in town. A LONG appointment and again good/bad news. Yes, I have some kidney failure, but it is very mild and as long as I continue to maintain my blood pressure and blood sugars and stay well hydrated, there should not be any serious concerns. A bonus as far as I'm concerned is he wants to take me off one of my meds. Apparently I'm taking 2 that do the same thing and he sees no reason for it. Then he did some some more poking and prodding and sent me on my way - with paperwork for more lab tests of course. I did not go back to the hospital at that point. Finally got back home a little after 4:30.

Needless to say, with starting this day at 4 a.m. and NO nap, I was rather on the tired and grumpy side at this point. Cancelled craft night - we're going to try again tonight - and went to bed early. I will get to the lab sometime next week.

The cats were not happy being left for so long - and they let me know this was NOT the way the schedule is supposed to work.

Glad it's over and hopefully will have all the results when I see my regular doctor on the 28th.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Got taken out to lunch yesterday by Michelle and Brian. It was a very pleasant surprise and we tried a fairly new restaurant that I had not been to yet - 'Theann's Greek' it's called. The food is very good. I tried the Dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) and enjoyed every mouthful. The service is a little slow, but that should improve after they have been in business for awhile.

Worked on my latest small project for a bit at Sisters and am ready to start backstitching on that one and work on Patchwork last night - one colour and the backstitching to do on Square #9. Today is my Oldest UFO day. All this progress is SO encouraging.

When I Was One-and-Twenty

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
"Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free."
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
"The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue."
And I am two-and-twenty
And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.

Alfred Edward Housman
1859 - 1936

Monday, February 13, 2012

Been quiet for a few days - not much to talk about. The weather is being very nice to us - a couple of nice (dry) days, a couple of rain. And apart from doing my shift's at Sisters, I'm pretty much stitching with a little reading thrown in! The stitching is coming along well on all my projects - my Oldest UFO SAL, the birthday gift for my craft partner (Part 1) and the small projects that go to Sisters with me for whatever free time I have. This is so much more managable than a project for every day of the week and the progress is MUCH better and therefore more encouraging. What is that saying - Too soon old, too late smart!

Lapis Lazuli

I have heard that hysterical women say
They are sick of the palette and fiddle-bow,
Of poets that are always gay,
For everybody knows or else should know
That if nothing drastic is done
Aeroplane and Zeppelin will come out,
Pitch like King Billy bomb-balls in
Until the town lie beaten flat.

All perform their tragic play,
There struts Hamlet, there is Lear,
That's Ophelia, and Cordelia;
Yet they, should the last scene be there,
The great stage curtain about to drop,
If worthy their prominent part in the play,
Do not break up their lines to weep.
They know that Hamlet and Lear are gay;
Gaiety transfiguring all that dread.
All men have aimed at, found and lost;
Black out; Heaven blazing into the head:
Tragedy wrought to its uttermost.
Though Hamlet rambles and Lear rages,
And all the drop-scenes drop at once
Upon a hundred thousand stages,
It cannot grow by an inch or an ounce.

On their own feet they came, or on shipboard,
Camelback, horseback, ass-back, mule-back,
Old civilizations put to the sword.
Then they and their wisdom went to rack:
No handiwork of Callimachus,
Who handled marble as if it were bronze,
Made draperies that seemed to rise
When sea-wind swept the corner, stands;
His long lamp-chimney shaped like the stem
Of a slender palm, stood but a day;
All things fall and are built again,
And those that build them again are gay.

Two Chinament, behind them a third,
Are carved in lapis lazuli,
Over them flies a long-legged bird,
A symbol of longevity;
The third, doubtless a serving-man,
Carries a musical instrument.

Every discoloration of the stone,
Every accidental crack or dent,
Seems a water-course or an avalanche,
Or lofty slope where it still snows
Though doubtless plum or cherry-branch
Sweetens the little half-way house
Those Chinamen climb towards, and I
Delight to imagine them seated there;
There, on the mountain and the sky,
On all the tragic scene they stare.
One asks for mournful melodies;
Accomplished fingers begin to play.
Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes,
Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay.

William Butler Yeats
1865 - 1939

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Another small finish - this one from the British magazine World of Cross Stitch, Christmas 2000 issue, done on 18 count Aida.

I haven't decided if I'm going to leave the paper "frame" that comes in the kit. It will depend on how I decide to finish it.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Better sleep last night, although I was awake at about quarter to six for some reason. Sleep is a rather tricky thing these days - growing older maybe? I enjoy what I get and am slowly learning to live with the changes. Maybe I'm turning into my nightowl mother as I get older. Trying to listen to my body's rythms is not the easiest thing to do.

Got in a couple of hours on my Oldest UFO and am pleased with the progress although there was some frogging. Missed one stitch and threw the whole section off. That is the down side to a vetically symmetrical piece - any miscount is SO obvious.

Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longam

They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and desire and hate:
I think they have no portion in us after
We pass the gate.

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.

Ernest Dowson
1867 - 1900

And the title translates as "The brief sum of life forbids us the hope of enduring long" and is from Horace.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Got in some good stitching time on Cynthia's birthday present yesterday. The pattern is moving along really well, so I should have no trouble having the set done by April. Today is UFO day so I'm hoping to get 2 or 3 hours in on that.

What was a good night's sleep got interrupted by a leg cramp, so I still feel a little groggy today. It wasn't a terribly bad one, but it still means waking up, getting up and walking it off.

Provide, Provide

The witch that came (the withered hag)
To wash the steps with pail and rag,
Was once the beauty Abishag,

The picture pride of Hollywood.
Too many fall from great and good
For you to doubt the likelihood.

Die early and avoid the fate.
Or if predestined to die late,
Make up your mind to die in state.

Make the whole stock exchange your own!
If need be occupy a throne,
Where nobody can call you crone.

Some have relied on what they knew;
Others on being simply true.
What worked for them might work for you.

No memory of having starred
Atones for later disregard,
Or keeps the end from being hard.

Better to go down dignified
With boughten friendship at your side
Than none at all. Provide, provide!

Robert Frost
1874 - 1963

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Quiet day on Friday. I slept very badly Thursday night and thought I might be doing a nap again, but I stayed up and slept much better last night. Still feel a little groggy, but another good night should clear that.

Friday is grocery day with Denise, but yesterday had some extra running around. My tenant's insurance was expiring so it had to be renewed. It seems so expensive, but if anything ever happens I know I'll be glad I have it. Then to Zeller's for cat litter and food plus a new shower mat and dish rack. Then to Ed's News to pick up my magazines and finally to Overwaitea. Had to buy meat this week, so it was a rather expensive run, but that's only once a month usually.

Found a great pattern I want to stitch for my craft partner Cynthia. It's a bellpull that will help show off her Norwegian heritage, which she is very proud of. I've been working on finding something special for each of my close friends and this makes #2. For Annabelle I'll be doing a series of maps that show the countries her ancestors come from as she has become very interested in her family tree in the last few years.

The Gift Outright

The land was ours before we were the land's.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were England's, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.

Robert Frost
1874 - 1963

Friday, February 3, 2012

Another Sisters day yesterday, so a 4 a.m. wake up. Surprisingly, it wasn't all that busy, nor was there much paperwork, so I got in a fair amount of stitching. The little ornament I am working on is ready for back stitching.

Came home, had my nap and spent the evening stitching on Patchwork. Square 8 is now being back stitched. I was a little worried as this square has a couple of softer blues and I wasn't sure how well they were going to show up against the pearl grey coloured fabric, but with the BSing, it's looking fine, if I do say so myself.

We haven't had any rain for a couple of days, but plenty of wind. It's been the weirdest winter.

Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight

It is portentious, and a thing of state
That here at midnight, in our little town
A mourning figure walks, and will not rest,
Near the old court-house pacing up and down,
Or by his homestead, or in shadowed yards
He lingers where his children used to play,
Or through the market, on the well-worn stones
He stalks until the dawn-stars burn away.

A bronzed, lank man! His suit of ancient black,
A famous high top-hat and plain worn shawl
Make him the quaint great figure that men love,
The prairie-lawyer, master of us all.

He cannot sleep upon his hillside now,
He is among us: - as in times before!
And we who toss and lie awake for long
Breathe deep, and start, to see him pass the door.

His head is bowed. He thinks on men and kings.
Yea, when the sick world cries, how can he sleep?
Too many peasants fight, they know not why,
Too many homesteads in black terror weep.

The sins of all the war-lords burn in his heart.
He sees the dreadnaughts scouring every main.
He carries on his shawl-wrapped shoulders now
The bitterness, the folly and the pain.

He cannot rest until a spirit-dawn
Shall come; - the shining hope of Europe free:
The league of sober folk, the Workers' Earth,
Bringing long peace to Cornland, Alp and Sea.

It breaks his heart that kings must murder still,
That all his hours of travail here for men
Seem yet in vain. And who will bring white peace
That he may sleep upon his hill again?

Vachel Lindsay
1879 - 1931

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yesterday was a long day. I opened Sisters and spent several hours doing paperwork and setting up the membership payment schedule for February. We've had a really good January so it was more complicated than usual. Then I was able to spent a couple of hours working on the small cross stitch that I had with me - between interruptions of course.

Then I treated myself to lunch at Galaxy Gardens - it's about 1/2 a block from Sisters and a favourite spot - before I headed up to the hospital for an appointment. First time I had met this particular doctor - he was very good, but he didn't get done what was planned because of some unexpected surprises. Sometimes growing older just plain sucks! So, I'm rebooked and we'll try again.

But, the day finished with craft night with Cynthia. She was doing dish cloths (she never seems to be able to keep a supply on hand) and I was working on Patchwork. I have one colour and the back stitching to do on square #8. I am really enjoying the progress I'm making on various projects.

Piazza Piece

-- I am a gentleman in a dustcoat trying
To make you hear. Your ears are soft and small
And listen to an old man not at all,
They want the young men's whispering and sighing.
But see the roses on your trellis dying
And hear the spectral singing of the moon;
For I must have my lovely lady soon,
I am a gentleman in a dustcoat trying.

-- I am a lady young in beauty waiting
Until my truelove comes, and then we kiss.
But what grey man among the vines is this
Whose words are dry and faint as in a dream?
Back from my trellis, Sir, before I scream!
I am a lady young in beauty waiting.

John Crowe Ransom
1888 - 1974