Monday, October 26, 2009

A quick update and a giveaway reminder

After a very lazy and rainy Saturday I finally found my energy on Sunday. A picture perfect autumn day. Rory was a bundle of energy as well. The both of us spent a lot of the day outside enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. Here he is checking out the weeds and bushes for birds or squirrels or stray cats. Anything he can chase.

Walking around the yard I happened to look down and spotted this little beauty. Six months ahead of schedule! A very pleasant surprise.

I also took a photo of one of the roses that are still blooming. I love the pink of this one and the sun shining on it.

I have been stitching on my exchanges and on my giveaway surprises. Here is a sneak peak of one of the ornaments for one of my giveaway winners. The colors aren't the greatest. It is one over one on a 28 ct celery gingham linen. I love it and plan on doing one for myself one of these days.

Remember when I mentioned that there are times I just can't get a lot of stitching done? Well one evening last week I managed to get a photo to show you why.

It is rather hard to stitch with him in my lap. He takes up a bit of space. So if my exchanges are a little late do you think I can blame Rory for not letting me stitch?

Don't forget to sign up for my giveaways. I am blown away with the number who have already signed up and their comments. Bloggers are the best. Especially stitching bloggers.
The deadline is Saturday, Halloween. Leave a comment on the previous post. Or click here. Let me know which giveaway you prefer or take a chance on both. Also make sure I can contact you if you are the winner.
Until next time ....................
Love and stitches
and licks from Rory too

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

To Thank you with a special giveaway

One year ago today I created this blog to share my stitching ups and downs with the wonderful people in the stitching blogging world. I had three comments to that first post from three lovely ladies that I count as dear friends, Mare, Nancy M and Meari. Thank you.

My blog became a way for me to share my love of stitching but also quickly became a way to share the pain and fears I was experiencing while taking care of my Mom. Little did I know that my blog would include the last six and a half weeks of my Mom’s life, her passing in early December and my outpouring of grief and sorrow. (the photo to the right is one of my Mom, me and my Maggie at age 4, Christmas 1998)

This past year has included and continues to include some major readjustments to being alone without my best friend, my Mom. The first Birthday, Mother’s Day, and all holidays without her there. I miss her with all my heart.

But this year hasn’t been all sorrow and tears. Especially in last five months with the arrival of my new pup, Rory. And even more recently the beginnings of Rory’s career in a dog show ring. This marks the beginning of a long dormant dream of mine. To raise and show an Irish setter.

Through it all there have been so many wonderful people who have listened to my tears and brought me comfort with their kind words. Other bloggers who have left comments of praise for my stitching which warmed my heart and inspired me to stitch more. And some fellow bloggers who continue to share my smiles and pride of my beautiful boy, Rory. I hope in the next year to continue sharing with you my ups and downs. And I hope and pray that there will be many more ups than downs. Lots more stitching finishes and more shows and ribbons for Rory.

How can I ever thank you all? Each comment, each private email, each dear sweet one of you? I can never find the right words that express how much you all mean to me. (And I am trying but not really succeeding in holding back the tears.) Just know that each comment, each and every one warms me to my soul.

I know one way to say thank you. I am going to end this post with something good. A giveaway. Not one but two of them! In celebration of my first Blogaversay (and hitting the 100th follower milestone) I will be drawing two names for two separate giveaway prizes.

The first is a selection of at least four patterns and four pieces of fabric. (Click on the photo to see part of the selection in giveaway 1) I will add another pattern or two or some floss or other stitching items but they will be a surprise.

The second will be for the BBD pattern, Awake the Dawning Day, that I just finished and the floss that is left. Except for one color, Weeks Dye Scuppermong, it looks like there is plenty left to stitch the piece again. You provide the fabric. I am hoping that this one will be passed along when the winner here is finished stitching it. I will also include some other stitching items but they will be a surprise.

Included with both giveaway 1 and 2 will be a Christmas ornament that I am working on. That too will be a surprise.

Now for the rules.

To be entered in either giveaway you need to leave a comment to this post. And this post only.
If you prefer either giveaway 1 or 2 then please mention that in the comment. If you don’t I will include your name in both.
For a second chance in the drawing please tell others about the giveaway and post a link on your blog.
For another chance tell me if you are a follower. Or become one.

I will mail anywhere, US, Canada, Europe, etc. And I do allow anonymous comments. So feel free to enter. You have until midnight, October 31, Halloween, to enter. I (with Rory’s help of course) will draw the winners on Sunday, November 1 and announce the winners on Monday.

Oh and the most important rule. Your email address. Either leave it as part of your post or make sure it is on your blog so I can contact you.

Until next time…………

Love and stitches
and Rory too
****(edited to add) PS
To anonymous who said "Sorry you didn't like Rich and Spicey..." It's not that I don't like it but I got a second one from someone else. I don't need two of the same pattern. So it will be someone else's gain.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Dance times three

I can't believe it has been almost two weeks since I posted. A quiet but eventful two weeks. Since my last post I had a very strange experience that led to a week home from work. And that time was spent sitting on the couch stitching and trying in vain to find something to watch on TV. (There were a few decent movies but not many.) The day after my last post I got home from work with my left foot in agony and swollen badly. I hadn't fallen. Nor did I twist it or drop anything on it. I was totally puzzled. Thursday morning it was better but not for long. I ended up leaving work and going to the emergency room for an x-ray. No broken bones but the doctor thought I might have a stress fracture in my foot. Friday was a visit to an orthopedist who sent me for an MRI. That would show if I had a stress fracture. (They rarely show on a regular x-ray.) The MRI was on Wednesday and then I went back to the doc on Friday. No break! Thank goodness. I wasn't really looking forward to a cast for 6 weeks. The only thing the MRI showed was lots of arthritis in my foot. Now I have plenty of my good friend arthur-itis in my hands, knees and back but had never had the kind of pain I had in my foot. Anyway, after a little over a week of rest (and lots of stitching) my foot is back to normal and I have the all clear to go back to my regular activities. Rory is pleased to hear that. Happy Dance One.

As for the weather. Fall has arrived. This past weekend was a soggy one with two nor'easters (LOTS of wind and rain), chilly temps and snuggling on the couch keeping warm. I did manage a few lovely fall days while I was home and picked some pretty fall leaves and daisies to fill a basket for the house. It turned out pretty didn't it? Of course it is almost ready to be changed but I think I can get another day or two to enjoy it.
Now on to the stitching. All that nice peaceful (as soon as Rory was tired out) stitching time let me finally finish The Sampler Lady by Little House Needleworks. Stitched on the called for fabric and using the called for floss. I also found the perfect frame for it. And it and the mat were in my framing stash. How perfect is that! Happy Dance Two.

The second finish is Awake the Dawning Day by Blackbird Designs. I used the floss the pattern called for but the fabric is a mystery. All I know is that it is 28 ct linen and the floss colors looked great on it. This is my first ever Blackbird design and I loved stitching it! Happy Dance Three. So much that I have already started another Blackbird piece.

Moonlit Garden. I love this one and am making good progress for two nights stitching. This piece is so perfect for this time of year. The colors, the pumpkin and the verse. Just the right piece to really get me back in the stitching mood.

Which brings me to another little piece of news. I have hit a blogging milepost! I have 100 followers to my blog. How cool is that?

Yesterday I started another piece. A small Christmas ornament which will be part of a giveaway that I will announce very soon so stay tuned.

Rory has enjoyed my undivided attention this past week. But life and work must go on. And maybe he will also stop two new bad things he discovered while I was home. The kitchen garbage can with it's swivel top (a new one is on my shopping list). And that he can reach the kitchen counter tops with ease. This led to him stealing three uncooked biscuits last night. Oh yeah, he promptly threw them up. Sigh

Until next time ..........

Love and stitches


and Rory too

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Where to start?

What a weekend! What a week! I feel like I have been on a roller coaster. Both physically and emotionally. I know I posted last week about the shows I had with Rory. But the prepping and packing and grooming and bathing, oh and work the week just flew by. Before I knew it Thursday was here.

I left work early because I had a million things to do before hitting the road by 3 AM Friday morning. And that schedule included a little sleep. Huh? What was I thinking? I did manage a couple of hours and before I was ready the alarm was going off at 2 AM. I finished packing the car and off we went. No traffic and for the first hour Rory was fine. But that didn't last and he did get sick. Poor baby. We made it to the show site at 7:30. Rory's first ring time was 8:30. So I had an hour to clean him up, walk him, brush him and let him run a little. He actually did better than I had hoped. Third out of three but he moved well and that made me happy. An hour and a half later was his regular class. And this time he came in second out of three! He even beat out his cousin who was handled by Rory's breeder.

After that we could relax. I could change and Rory could get a run in the fields. The setting for the shows was lovely. And to start the weekend the weather was gorgeous also.
Saturday brought drizzle and showers but thankfully the real hard rain waited until late evening. Rory decided not to cooperate and did his hopping routine and earned another third and then a fourth place out of four dogs in his class. But truthfully he likes his little fourth place prize better than the other ones that third, second and first got. After judging we got to relax and watch the other classes. Including his little sister, an aunt and a few other cousins. I got to chat with a bunch of people. Met some really wonderful ladies who also have pups from Rory's breeder. I got a few tips on improving my grooming skills with Rory and with my handling him. A few of us went to dinner and then called it a day.

Sunday started off with a bang. I get the car all packed and am ready to check out of the motel when I see that I have a flat tire!! Now it is a little after 7 AM and Rory has his first ring time at 9! Luckily there was a service station right next door. Even though they couldn't fix the tire the guy there very kindly changed it for me. (Thank Goodness. I would still be there if I had to change it!!) I then drove up the highway to a Firestone center that I was told opened at 8. I get there only to find that they don't open until 9! I see by the sign that the place is open until 5 PM so I figure I would come have to come back and miss the end of the show. It is now a little after 8 and just as I start the car to leave one of the workers pulls up. He very kindly took the rim and the spare the other station sold me (a LOT cheaper than a new tire!) and said I could come back before 4 to get it and they would put it on. So at 8:20 I am finally off to the show.

We get there just after 8:30 and I hurry to get Rory exercised and ready. Of course after all the tire stuff he isn't too happy about having been in the car all this time. We get to the ring in time and Rory decides he doesn't want to stand properly. At least he moved great. Well, the judge was really nice and had me use the chicken I brought to get Rory to stack (stand). he nails it and looks fabulous. Then all four of the pups go around the ring one last time. The judge pointed to me as first. You could have knocked me over with a feather! I am still in shock. First Place! After all the other puppy classes are done they then judge all the first place puppies for best puppy in sweepstakes. (Puppy only classes at specialties.) Rory's breeder comes over to me and says she will take him in so that I can watch. Fine with me. She knows what she is doing better than I do. And Rory did beautifully for her. So well that he was picked, not best puppy but Best of Opposite Sex, second place. Again I was just floored. My weekend was ending on a high.

By 3 PM the show is over and good byes are said. I head over to get the tire changed and then start for home. And guess what? I used the ginger snaps tip on Rory for the ride home and he DID NOT get sick! More success!

Yesterday was day to rest up from the hectic pace of the previous three days. It was also my Mom's birthday. One of the other differences from a regular dog show and a specialty show is that the host club running the show usually gives out small prizes along with the ribbons. One of Rory's prizes was a basket of mums. As soon as they were handed to me I said I was taking them to my Mom. So Rory and I headed to the cemetery to plant them and two pansies, one of my Mom's favorite flowers. I sat with Rory there for a while. Missing my Mom more than words can say. Then headed home. Between feeling blue and being tired I didn't get much else done. And that includes stitching.

I seem to have lost my stitching mojo. For the last two weeks I have been lucky to get any stitching done. And absolutely none since last Wednesday. Maybe tonight. I do have an exchange I need to do so I better get my stitching butt in gear. Sigh. Of course my silly boy has to stop climbing in my lap at night. That seems to be his favorite place these last two weeks. But it is rather hard to stitch with him there. Hmmmmmmmmm, stitching... puppy warmth...... stitching .........puppy cuddles.
Sorry, but puppy is winning. At least for now.
Until next time............

Love and stitches
and licks from Rory too