Posted by: ralphy36 | January 8, 2012

30 Day Blogging Challege Day 3

Day 3 of the blogging challenge: What is my favorite store? Depends on what kind of store? My favorite physical store is Target. I can get a wide variety of items at reasonable prices. For books I like Amazon. Sorry brick and mortar stores, but for so long I was unable to get Borders or Barnes and Noble to order many of the series I like to read and Amazon always seemed to have them with minimal waits. It is also the only place where I can get the bags that fit our trash compactor. Amazon has my vote if it means no leaky trash!

For needlework, I make a big list and hit Stitching Bits and Bobs during a sale for cross stitch materials. If you like counted canvas I highly recommend The Scarlet Thread. About two years ago I started going to a stitching group there on Tuesday nights. It was tons of fun and I have made great friends and there was always good shopping to be had. Unfortunately, Sara Leigh had to shut the physical shop, but she and her partner Dawn resurrected the store online. They no longer carry cross stitch, but they have an amazing selection of counted canvas pieces and materials. They are awesome to work with and are happy to make suggestions or help with kitting a piece or changing out colors. I would highly recommend them for your next counted canvas purchase!

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Posted by: ralphy36 | January 7, 2012

Wipocalypse pre pictures

Here are some pictures of my current WIPs. These are the ones I would like to make progress on this year. I had one other piece that was started, but it is a HAED and a little overwhelming. Maybe if I get some of my larger pieces finished, I will add it to the mix but for right now it is taking a long snooze.


Tuscan Midnight by Needle Delights Many of the ladies at my stitching group do counted canvas and they convinced me to give it a go. This is the second piece I have worked on so far. The first corner is almost done and should stitch up quickly once I can devote some time to it.


Night Nymph by Mirabilia. I should have the stitching done tonight if I ever finish blogging:) Then just a ton of beading and she will be ready to join the already finished Day Nymph I had framed last summer.


King’s Vegetable Garden by Chatelaine. This has been a WIP since 2007. I am determined to make significant progress this year even if I don’t finish.


Mary’s Stocking by Shepards Bush. This will be for my niece Gretchen. This year will hopefully be a year of stockings as Natalie needs one as well.


Part 3 of Joan of Arc from The Gift of Cross Stitch. Part 4 is below and I will take a pic of the whole thing the next time I have to shift on the frame. I believe this block shows Joan at the coronation of Charles VII of France. Block 4 is Joan being burned at the stake…fun.


A super wrinkly Butterfly Rest. I need to iron it and it will go back on frames once Night Nymph is done. Hopefully it will join Butterfly Day in our upstairs hall this year.


Four of the eight Shepherds Bush ornament series. I plan on doing all eight. The wiseman on the bottom still needs a face before I move on the the second set of four.

So there you have it. Hopefully by the first progress date I will have some significant beading done on Night Nymph.

Posted by: ralphy36 | January 7, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge Day 2

Today’s task for the 30 Day Challenge was to take a picture of something you ate. I kept forgetting all day, even though I had planned to take a picture of the delicious salad I had for lunch. Thus all you are getting today is a picture of what I didn’t eat. Here is what was left on my plate from dinner…a little bit of Israeli couscous. It was a tasty accompaniment to turkey breast and green beans. It was a healthy tasty meal and even my picky eaters ate without complaint. Nathaniel cleaned his plate and Allen came pretty close. The protein servings he has to eat for his exercise program/diet are a bit overwhelming.

Both Allen and I are trying to get into shape and lose weight this year. He started the P90x program and got about a month into in October of last year. Then baby, birthdays and the holidays hit and all hope of keeping up with a fitness plan went out the window. Allen is now back on the program and is following the high protein/low carb phase of the diet. In the hopes of keeping things simple around the house, I am doing the same thing and we are following the servings method of the diet.

I also picked up the Firm Express videos and started the first cycle this week. It is 20 minutes three times per week and there are four cycles which I am assuming get more challenging as you go. Since I am not the most coordinated person and it takes me a couple times through a exercise video to get cardio patterns down, I think I am going to do cycle one for a few weeks instead of rotating through the cycles each week. I am also adding 30 minutes on the treadmill on alternate days. I have exercised every day this week which is huge! Here’s to keeping the momentum going.

Posted by: ralphy36 | January 5, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge

Since one of my goals of 2012 is to get back into blogging about my stitching, it was fortuitous that I came across this blog post via The Daily Mel.

Today’s challenge is to post a picture of yourself and describe how your day was.

So apparently I am almost always the photographer in the family as I could not find any pictures of me that we have. I had to scrounge around on Facebook to find a picture someone else had taken with their camera. This is from Mother’s Day 2011. I am around 13 weeks pregnant in this picture and weigh about 185 pounds. I gained about 20 pounds during my pregnancy and lost every pound within 3 weeks of Natalie’s birth. Although I weigh the same pre and post baby, I think I look thinner in the face now than I did early last year. The weight certainly shifted to different places in my body. One of my other big goals this year is to get back into shape and lose weight. While I lost all the weight this pregnancy, that did not happen with my pregnancy with Nathaniel. With him, I stopped counting when I hit 45 pounds gained and I started my pregnancy with Natalie about 20 pounds heavier than I was when I got pregnant with Nathaniel. I definitely want to get back to my pre-Nathaniel weight of about 165 and would consider it a huge bonus if I got back to my weight when Allen and I got married which was 150. Totally doable if I work hard as I would have to lose less than a pound a week to hit that by the end of 2012.

As to part two…my day so far has been pretty good. I am hitting the home stretch of my maternity leave with Natalie and I am feeling the need to start trying to get the family back on a schedule for when I go back to work. We failed on that this morning, but Nathaniel had a pleasant drop off at school and Natalie and I were able to make a quick trip to the grocery store. I then did 30 minutes on the treadmill and have stuck pretty well to my diet. I have not done the massive cleaning I originally needed to do, but other plans changed so I am not feeling the need to kill myself over that. I do plan to get the kitchen cleaned. As Natalie just fell asleep I may go do that after I finish this post. Damn she woke up so maybe not:)

For those of you interested in cross stitch pictures, I hope to have my start of year pictures posted this evening. Thanks to my mom for mailing my camera which I left at her house on New Year’s Day after our family holiday get together:) I always leave something behind!!

Posted by: ralphy36 | December 31, 2011

WIPacolypse 2012

Well it has been two years and two months since the last time I posted on my stitching blog. While most aspects of my life are generally unchanged, there is one big addition to our family that will have a significant impact on all areas of day to day functioning. That is the addition of Natalie Marie to our family on November 14, 2011. She is almost 7 weeks old. Nathaniel is now four and we are trying our best to settle into some kind of loose routine. Needless to say, stitching has taken a bit of a backseat over the last two months. I am grateful that I did not lose my stitching mojo during my pregnancy with Natalie the way I did when pregnant with Nathaniel.

While obviously my family is my priority, I am a firm believer in the idea that you have to take care of yourself to be able to best take care of them. Stitching in an important part of taking care of me. Over the last two years I have been fortunate to be part of a great group of ladies that meets on Tuesday nights for stitching and good company. That will be a good motivator to stitch, but I have also discovered the following challenge:

So I am participating in a WIPacolypse for 2012 sponsored by Measie’s Musings. The goal of the challenge is to make progress on as many pieces over the course of the year as possible. I like that the challenge is pretty open ended and can include both old pieces and new starts. Each month on the full moon, you post pictures of your progress and this gets you entry into a drawing for stitching goodies at the end of the year. I figure that this would be a great motivator to help me make progress on all of my WIPS this year. Here’s hoping that the baby will let me get some stitching done as she gets older:)

So, here is my list of projects to WIPS for 2012. All pieces with a * are pieces started prior to 2012.

1. King’s Vegetable Garden-Chatelaine Designs*
2. Butterfly Rest-Maria Van Scharrenburg*
3. Tuscan Midnight-Needle Delights Original*
4. Day Nymph-Mirabilia*
5. Joan of Arc-from the Gift of Stitching*
6. Mary’s Stocking-Shepard’s Bush*

Over the next couple of days I will be posting starting progress pictures for each of these pieces and I am committing myself to posting several times a month on this blog.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!!

Posted by: ralphy36 | October 13, 2009

Allen says it doesn’t count

Okay, Allen says I have to make a real post, so here it goes.

It has been a quick and busy October so far. It is hard to believe that the first quarter of school is almost over and my little (or not so little)Nathaniel is six weeks away from turning two. I say not so little as when he is fussing in Joanns while you wait for one really chatty sales person to cut fabric, he turns into a ten ton giant with fists of iron and stabby feet! Well, I got what I wanted and I am not sure what I expected considering today is a sleep catch up day for him.

Yesterday the fam headed out to the MD Ren Fest. In the morning we took Nathaniel for a couple of pony rides, fun on the pirate play ship, lunch and a joust. Unfortunately he was tired by the time we hit the joust so he wasn’t as into it as he normally would have been. We then headed to my sister’s for a nap that was just not to be. Although he was dead tired, he simply would not go down. After a while, we gave up and headed back to the Fest. We weren’t committed to heading back in especially as Nathaniel finally started to nod as we were pulling in. Too bad the line to get out looked miserable…might as well go in and have a bit of fun.

Nathaniel perked up again and had fun dancing to baudy music, more horsie rides, two trips down the giant slide (which he thought was the most awesome thing in the world. I am pretty sure he pulled some facial muscles smiling) and then rode an elephant! Last but not least he ate macaroni on a stick. I then proceeded to chauffeur the two boys home while they got to watch Shrek in the back seat. It was quite amusing to hear the running commentary on that movie between a thirty something and a two year old.

On the stitching front, I finished one of the Shepherds Bush 2000 years ornaments. I am also almost done with my nephew’s christmas stocking. i hope to have it done this week to ship off to Vonna. After that is done, I must get cracking on finishing my Bordeaux Wine sampler. There is not much left, but as I already put this year’s date on it, I feel obligated to finish it before the end of the year. The biggest hurdle is going to be keeping myself from going nuts with all the over one grapes!

Now I am off to continue IMing my hubby and watch some Legend of the Seeker. I watched some of it when it was on tv last fall, but I kind of assumed it was cancelled. Apparently, it ran a full 22 episodes and was renewed for this fall. who would of thunk it. I don’t recall if it was good or not…not a good sign!

Posted by: ralphy36 | October 13, 2009

A post for allen

This is a post for Allen so that he will send me a link to his go blog:)

Posted by: ralphy36 | September 25, 2009

The worst blogger ever…

That would be me. Maybe if I was able to make a profession out of it I would be better, but life just gets in the way. This post is in honor of Allen since he complained I haven’t been blogging:)

It has been a busy few months since my last post. We took a big trip in July and hit all of Nathaniel’s grandparents. In total we drove almost 1000 miles in ten days. I guess the daily average is no more than when I used to commute to Maryland, but it is a bit different when you have a screaming 20 month old in the back seat. In reality, though, Nathaniel did quite well on the trip. Allen and I invested in a portable dvd player and I rented a ton of videos from the library. Boy did that save us.

At the start of September, Nathaniel had his first ear infection since he had tubes put in last October. The pediatrician thinks that the tubes got clogged either with wax or some other goo from a sinus infection or allergies. A few days of antibiotic drops didn’t do much good and so we had our first course of antibiotics in almost over eight months. One ear cleared up quickly. The ENT couldn’t tell if the other ear was still infected or not. In all the struggles trying to look in his ear canal got scraped with an otoscope. The scrap swelled which made it hard to see the tube. Hopefully when we go on Tuesday everything will look 100%.

I have also been stitching and reading a lot. Since getting back from vacation I have hit all of my WIPs at least once. I started and finished a shepherds bush stocking for Nathaniel which Vonna has since finished for me

It looks fantastic!! Thanks Vonna I will take some progress pics of my pieces over the weekend to share.

With reading this year, I decided to re-read Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael series. I just finished book 14, leaving just six left to finish by the end of the year. I will be cutting it close. I have also read the first 15 books in Anne Perry’s Inspector Pitt series. The fact that some of these were on audio book helped a lot. Well since it has taken me two nights to write this post I guess I should sign off
🙂

Posted by: ralphy36 | July 1, 2009

July Goals

Well, I have been doing a good amount of stitching lately. I am going regularly to my Tuesday nigh stitching group which allows for at least three hours of stitching. Unfortunately the shop that originally hosted the stitching group went out of business yesterday. The stitching group will continue at local libraries and people’s homes, but it means no more stash shopping on Tuesdays and no more opportunity to use the shops stock to do a floss toss on cool fabrics or with alternate colorways of a pattern:( The only positive is that my pocketbook will not be opened for stash as often now.

Since the last time I posted I have finished Mirabilia’s Holly Pixie, made good progress on Bordeaux Wine Sampler and Alchemical Romance and even pulled out My Chatelaine mystery that I started in 2006. I also started a Shepherd’s Bush Christmas Stocking for Nathaniel. I am hoping that by the end of October I will be able to finish Nathaniel’s and stitch one for my nephew Ethan so that I can get them finished and hug for the boys for Christmas this year. I am about halfway through Nathaniel’s so I have high hopes of meeting that goal. Ohh, and I started Shepherd’s Bush’s St. Peter’s Fair.

Since it is July 1 today, I thought I would post some goals for the month of July. Here we go:
1. Stitch half of Santa on Nathaniel’s Stocking
2. Finish a dividing band on Bordeaux Sampler
3. Finish a corner of urns on Chatelaine Mystery
4. Finish 3-6 symbols on Alchemical Romance
5. Stitch 2 bands on St. Peter’s Fair
6. Start Mermaid’s Folly while on vacation
7. Stitch on Christmas ornament on vacation

Posted by: ralphy36 | March 2, 2009

How did it get to be March?

It is amazing how as you get older the years go by faster and faster. I remember when I was in elementary school thinking that the year was sooooo long. Now there are times when it is not long enough. I guess that is what happens when you are busy every moment of the day. The end of February was also a blur as we were all very very sick. Nathaniel brought us home a great virus that has had us all down for the count.

Here is what I have been stitching on the last few weeks…Mirabilia’s Halloween fairy. I needed something to take with me on our trip to Allen’s family over presidents day and I kind of stuck with it. Here she is so far…she does have legs, but I didn’t feel like un rolling her.
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She is so much fun. I am running out of the Black Coffee that came with the kit. I also heard that many stitchers ran out of the Dandilion Stem as well so I will have to pick that up when I go to my stitching group tomorrow night. Maybe my embellishment for the Nora Corbett “Holly” pattern will be in as well.

I also got my Neighborhood RR back recently. It is fabulous and I look forward to getting it framed. Thanks to Carol, Glenna, Karen, Deb, Marie, Carissa, Nicole, Sabine and Wendy for stitching on it. I thank 9 stitchers instead of the usual 8 as Carissa was unable to finish her block and Marie was kind enough to take what she had started and put the finishing touches on it. Thank you so much ladies for such a lovely memory of you all.
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One more picture for you today. We got a ton of snow this morning so we took Nathaniel outside to play. He had a fabulous time. He even helped us shovel. One of our kind neighbors brought him a tiny little shovel. It was so cute.
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I also have some goals to work on for March. I hope to:
1. Finish Haloween Fairy
2. Finish half of Part 5 of Bordeaux Mystery
3. Stitch on Mystery 9

Good luck to me.:)

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