Monday, February 23, 2009

How are you spending your "dash"?

My good friend Michele posted the following poem on her blog and I thought I would share it with you. It was a poem she heard at a recent memorial service.

The Dash
copyright 1996 Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the beginning...to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth...
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars....the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard...
are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile...
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
with your life's actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they
say about how you spend your dash?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hi everyone, I'm home from Florida

The driving time from Raleigh to Trenton, Florida was between 9 and 9 1/2 hours (this included a few stops for food and filling the gas tank). The drive down on Friday took a little longer, about 10 1/2 hours total, because the GPS unit took us directly through Gainsville, Florida in 5pm traffic (something to avoid for future reference). We left for home today (Sunday) a little after noon. I was home a little after 10 tonight.

The retreat was really fun and wasn't so much a "cross-stitch" retreat. It was time to become one with your craft-ing side and to become one with free-form (non-grid) embroidery. There were plenty of shopping items, I bought a few things. And, there were raffle tickets to 3 "piles" of goodies/gifts, and guess what, I won one of the "piles".

I took lots of pictures while there, but I hope you don't mind, but it's late and I am heading to bed in a few minutes. I'll post pictures tomorrow night.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shopping purchases and a WIP picture

The shop owner of my LNS goes to the Nashville market each February and brings back quite a bit for us shoppers. The Saturday after market is her "after market Open House". The after market open house is quite a busy day, with several shoppers usually waiting for the doors to open. During the first few hours, there can be so many stitchers in the store that you may occasionally find yourself trapped in a sea of stitchers. This is never a bad thing, you just move along slowly with the crowd, usually resulting in picking up another pattern or 2 as you keep finding things you just must have.

I had thought about taking pictures that morning, and had my camera in my purse, but I ended up not taking any pictures. Since I didn't take pictures that day while shopping, the least I can do is share photos of what I bought this past Saturday.

This picture is most of what I bought. I love the pincushion design "Small Token" by Blackbird Designs. And I love "ABC Lessons" by Lizzie Kate. I went ahead and picked up a piece of platinum 32 count lugana to use for "ABC Lessons". I bought the new Weeks Dye Works colors and the new Crescent Colours. I also have Sweetheart Tree's Special Edition kit "Country French Heart", but it's being held at the LNS for me. It was the only kit she could get at Market and kept it behind the counter incase anyone wanted to see it. When I paid for my purchases at the end of the day, we forgot to put it in my bag, so I'll pick it up next time I'm there.



Here are 2 other items I bought Saturday. The Ch√Ętelaine "Egypt Garden" is not a new design, but one I had been wanting to buy. One of the shops at the Nashville Market has Ch√Ętelaine designs there so I had added this to my want list for my shop owner to get for me while she was there. The 4 My Boys design also isn't new, but I happened upon it Saturday while at the shop and had to add it to my purchase pile.



On the stitching front, I've been working on Peppermint Twist by Blue Ribbon Designs. Here is my progress as of this past Monday night (Feb 16th):



I'm stitching this with several other stitchers on the Peppermint Twist SAL blog. It really is cute and I love how it is looking so far.

This weekend, I'm off to Trenton, Florida to attend a stitching retreat by Susan Green Davis. I'm travelling by car with a stitching buddy of mine. Adding up the estimated driving time, we will be in the car travelling almost as long as we'll be in class, but, hey, life's too short and sometimes you have to do something silly like go on a long road trip over a 3-day weekend.

Monday was a company holiday. I had to work part of it, during the afternoon. I had a headache off and on Monday and did not go to stitch night at my LNS Monday night. Tuesday, being the first full-day of working this week, felt like it should have been Monday. A staff meeting that is normally held on Wednesday was postponed until later this week. I'm taking a day off this Friday for the Trenton trip, so tomorrow (Thursday) is my virtual Friday. All of this combined has gotten my mind totally mixed up on what day it is versus what day it feels like.

That's all for now. I hope everyone is having a great week so far.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A little blog-housekeeping has been completed

I've finally gotten around to doing some 2009 blog housekeeping.

How much time has to pass before the classification of a stitching project goes from WIP to UFO? I think this is something that can be unique for each stitcher. I, like my friend Ruth, consider myself a mood stitcher. When I'm working on projects that are for me, I may work on one project until it's complete, but if it is a larger project, or a project that has many sections or patterns (like the Lizzie Kate FlipIts or DoubleFlips), I may jump from project to project. I may spend a few weeks on one project before switching to another. So for me, if I'm mood stitching between multiple projects and have worked on it with 2 to 3 months, I still consider it a WIP. Unfortunately, looking at my WIP list, a few there had not been touched in at least 4 or 5 months or more, so it was time to face the reality and create a UFO list. All except Nancy's Needle "Friendship Star" were started in 2008 (Friendship Star was started in 2007). I do want to get these done so hopefully, between now and the end of 2009, they all will once again become WIPs and then completed.

I also updated my WIP list, Commitments list, and converted my 2008 stitching goals to my 2009 stitching goals. The 2009 stitching goals look very similar to the 2008 goals, with only a few items removed and a few new items added.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wow, it's February already

Where did January go? Sorry I haven't updated in a few weeks. Work has been very busy, but that's okay, better to be busy. Here are two patterns from With My Needle's "Quaker Pattern Book" I finished recently, one finished a few weeks ago and the other finished this past Sunday:

I think this one was Chart A:


And I think this one was Chart I:


And last week, I finally got started on Peppermint Twist. First night stitching on it, I only completed a short distance of the light green border. After the last couple of evenings, here is what it looks like now:



I'm stitching Peppermint Twist with some other stitchers on the Peppermint Twist SAL blog. The start time was Jan.1, but me and a few others got a late start as we waited for either pattern or floss or fabric. I'm stitching mine on Silkweaver 32ct lugana, color is Creekstone. And like many others in the SAL, I'm using Belle Soie silks. I love the way it's looking on the fabric so far.

That's all for now, sorry for the short and sweet update. Hope everyone is having a good week so far.