Friday, June 30, 2006

The week that was.....

I know I haven't blogged in several days, but it's been a crazy kinda week. I volunteer, and it's definitley that time of year. I took yesterday off work to go down and help out, and it likely won't get any slower than this. Don't get me wrong - I love everything about the Stampede - I actually like western wear, country music, and mini-donuts. But it is kinda full-on for 10 days, (which in my world, gets expanded into about 3 weeks!)

It was Friday before a long weekend at work, and I wasn't perhaps the most focused person ever today. I ended up reading a lot of news - or other items as they interested me. It might have been because there was so much weird news today. I mean, who manages to knock a chandelier over while shaving? Or tries to shoo birds away from a space craft

I haven't taken pictures of anything recently - I do have a Watergarden update, as well as some new beads, but I've been lazy, and the camera has stayed put. I did see a couple of movies this week - Balseros, about a group of Cuban rafters trying to make it to the US - very well done, and it made me appreciate my life so much more. I also got Love Actually, which I'd seen before, but was the kind of movie I needed this week - just sweet and lovely.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The last of the lasts

Tonight was my final Irish step class - I really liked the class, and it was challenging enough that I felt that I had to go. I will be back in the fall, but the weather is *so* nice at the moment that I'm glad to have the summer off to recover. Besides, Stampede is just around the corner - YAHOO!!

I'd like to thank everyone who left me birthday wishes!! They were very much appreciated. And I've heard Mexico Lindo in Halifax is supposed to be excellent - several of my friends have stopped going to Mexi's because the food is apparently so much better there.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Sunday Report

It's Sunday, and I think I've got myself mostly sorted from the business trip. It was also a week that contained my birthday! (yeah) and a new laptop (also a yeah, since I'm very happy with it, and it will finally allow me to get on iTunes). I also managed to make a few beads yesterday, for the first time in a long time, and a set of stitch markers that came out of that is above.

On to the Stitching Bloggers Question

When you stitch from a kit and use the supplied floss do you have leftovers? If so, how much and what do you do with them? If not, do you usually have just enough or do you have to dig into your stash to finish?

I usually don't stitch kits - a rare exception would be Egyptian Sampler by Teresa Wentzler. I ended up replacing some of the colours because the floss wasn't what the DMC colour was supposed to be, and Teresa has a fantastic sense of colour. I've also stitched a few ornaments with kits as well. For the leftovers, if I'm sure they're the "real" thing - genuine DMC or specialty fibre, I will pack the item away and try and find another use for it. Or, in a few instances, I've sold or given away the kit, and the fibres go with it.

I usually have quite a bit leftover, being a rather frugal stitcher. In a few instances, I've run close to running short, but mostly my own fault, as I've had to rip something out.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I'm Back :)

I've been rather quiet over the last week or so - I was away, and didn't have a lot of time before I left. I extended a business trip to Montreal and Toronto with a quick stop in Halifax. I have several sets of good friends that live in the area, and they were kind enough to host me for the weekend. I haven't been back for 3 years, and there's been lots going on out there, so I'm glad that everything worked out for the trip!

I landed Saturday night, and was met at the airport by a friend several hours away made the drive down to Halifax to see me. I didn't expect her, as it is a couple hours drive, but it was great to see her and catch up with her again. I love being met at the airport - I have travelled frequently for business and I usually just pile myself into a cab at the end of the journey. It's so nice to be met with a big hug from a friend at the end of a long plane ride.

We joined 2 other sets of friends in Halifax for dinner - these were girlfriends that I lived with during university, and I always love to see them. Dinner was at Mexicali Rosa's - one of my favorite places. We reached the conclusion at dinner that we're getting older, but also getting better - and that was probably reflected in the fact that we were drinking virgin drinks at dinner! A couple of my friends are nursing or pregnant, and the other one was driving, so we've all switched to the low test version!

Sunday, two of my friends were lovely, and took me for brunch down in the Annapolis valley. Hall's Harbour is a fantastic spot for pictures - we joked that I managed to get all of the Nova Scotia tourist items done in one shot! Lobster traps, fishing boats, lighthouses and lupins were the order of the day. It's clearly low tide in the pictures, but it was a nice spot for a couple of snaps. We could see clear over to New Brunswick from the spot, but the haze over the water didn't make for particularly good pictures, so there aren't any.

The rest of the trip was a blur - I met one of my colleagues in Montreal, and we had a crazy couple of days. Travelling for business is never as much fun as vacation. We did manage to sneak in a couple of good meals, and I met most of the people I deal with over the phone, but haven't met in person yet. And now it's over, and I've safely returned home. Oh - and the Hurricanes won the cup. I'm sad to see that the cup won't be on Canadian soil, but I'm very relieved that there won't be any grief from Edmonton fans.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I'd like to be an Edmonton fan.....

I'd love to cheer the Edmonton team on tonight - they're in their first Stanley cup finals in years, and in support of Canadian hockey, I'd love to be there for them. But this Calgary born and bred girl just can't bring myself to do that - so I'm cheering for no-one at them moment.

And because I can abuse my picture taking/ picture displaying here - I'll share with you a glorious sight - if somewhat shortlived this year.

Watergarden progress

I wanted to share a bit of Watergarden progress - it's a great stitch, and I am really starting to get back into it. I lost my stitching desire for a while, but this piece really brought me back into it. I'm hoping to get a little more done this evening. I managed to get some stomach bug or something, so I've been tired and haven't felt like much (including blogging) lately.

The other piccie is of the lovely beadies that were brought to me as part of the hostess gifts for the bead get-together on Sunday - big thanks to Wendy, Nancy, Julie, Janine and Ken for parting with such lovely beads. I'm getting a nice collection of beads that I've won in reality show pools and such. It's always a treat to go through my stash :)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The stitching corner

One of the stitching blogger questions for the week is to show your stitching area. Since I had a couple of people over today, and the area was relatively clean I thought I'd share. I also thought I'd share what (IMNSHO) is a cute picture of my two stitching companions. They do like each other, and when in need of a good pillow for a nap, they most often use the other kitty.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Apparently I should start planning now......

Apparently I'm living to the ripe old age of 99 according to the death prediction calculator . My prediction came back as follows "At age 99, you will die from a gunshot wound to the pelvis. The only suspect is your landlord." I guess I should start saving for retirement now - If I have another 35 or so years to live after I get there, I guess I should start saving my pennies!

It's Sunday, and not much is going on around here - I'm thinking about taking a dance class over the summer, but I haven't decided whether I should do that, or make use of the gym membership that I have. It's a great gym, but it's basically a huge tent, and in the summer it gets very, very humid in there - so much so that the consensation occasionally comes down in drops of rain.

It's not raining anymore

but it's not terribly nice either - I guess it's kinda fitting considering my mood. Today was my last ballet class - I'm away next week, so I'll miss the final class. I enjoyed the class, but I got the feeling that the instructors weren't impressed with having only a few students in class most weeks. The most we ever had was 5, and most weeks it was two or three people, so classes tended to be a bit shorter and a bit less intense towards the end.

I did make some new beads, and I managed to take a picture of them! They're up in my Etsy shop if you're interested in them, or in the other items that are in there.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

S is for Service

Calgary happens to be undergoing a boom at the moment. There aren't a lot of places to live, and just about anyone can find a job in a matter of moments - Heck - even the fast food places here are paying twice what minimum wage is just to get someone to work there.

But... I just don't get where some people think things are a good idea. I was at the "big box" store last night, and a couple of the employees were playing with a bouncy ball - in the isles. I know they're only teenagers, and they likely don't care much about keeping their jobs. But still - you'd think that the management would realize that having their staff, in uniform, playing doesn't really give you a great image for the store.

I've been trying to take pictures of a couple of things for a while - the set of purple beads I mentioned ages ago, along with a couple of new sets. But the light just isn't co-operating. If you've noticed the cute little weather pixie over on the side, it's been raining here for what feels like forever.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Movies and other things...

I don't feel terribly bad about watching the original X-men last night. I know X-men 3 is out in the theatres, but I did live on a rock for a couple of years, and therefore missed most of popular culture that was happening at the time. But I discovered that one of my co-workers hasn't watched any of the Star Wars movies or Harry Potter. I guess I could understand Harry Potter, but Star Wars? Everyone's seen Star Wars - haven't they?

At any rate, I got "Lost In Translation" tonight in the mail - I'd seen it before, but wanted to watch it again. It's a great movie, especially if you've been somewhere that doesn't speak English, and doesn't happen to use our Alphabet. I understand a little but of French and Spanish, but move beyond this character set, and I get completely lost.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I have shoes!

I think I posted before that I'm taking an Irish step class - I'm really enjoying the class, and although I have at least two left feet (somedays it feels like more), the instructor has managed to sort me out such that I think I'm able to manage most days. I'm planning to take the class again in the fall - so I bought shoes yesterday. They're not very cool - they have sounding boards in the toes and heels to make extra noise, so they're a little clunky, but I'm quite enamoured with them!

I did manage quite a bit of stitching this morning while Coronation Street was on. Coronation Street has been moved only to Sunday mornings while the hockey playoffs are still on, so I try and get up early to watch it. (As a side note, one of my friend noted that I was being quite anti-Canadian and a bit of a heretic because I wasn't terribly interested in the current round of playoff hockey. Not surprisingly, a good number of my friends grew up in Edmonton.)

I've also posted a link to my Etsy store over in the side. It's got a few things in there now (all bead related), and I hope to have more items in there as time goes on.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Progress on Alhambra Garden

I've "re-discovered" cross-stitch lately, and have made quite a bit of progress on the peice. I had to rip out several of the sections of the central square because certain sections were a stitch off, but things seem to be progressing nicely. I received the specialty fibres, the beads and the pattern from lovely, wonderful secret stitcher partners a while back and I really wanted to make progress on the piece because of that.

I also thought I'd share my chain mail kit from last night, plus my progress on the bysantine weave bracelet that I'm working on. The bracelet is going well, and I'd like to get some sterling silver rings to play with eventually (these are stainless steel, meaning they're light, but not especially pretty)

Friday, June 02, 2006

The bead show and other new stuff

Tonight was the start of the annual bead show in Calgary. Annual being at least this year and last year, so I don't know if it's too soon to apply the "Annual" label yet - but I digress.

I picked up some glass that I ordered about a month ago from Caliente Glass- it's fantastic stuff, and it goes all lovely and swirlie when the glass is melted. I'd asked to pick it up when she was out for the show because 4 or 5 pounds of glass is heavy, and Canada Post charges lots. I picked up a few silver clasps and some Chainmaille bracelet kits. It was a great show, and I got to see a lot of stunning work. Some of it was drop dead gorgeous ! I wish I had more money to purchase some of the lovely beads and jewelery that people were selling.

I saw two more movies this week - Brokeback Mountain, which I really liked, but was a tad disturbing. The movie was shot not far from here, and they definitley picked the best part of the Rockies to use. I also saw Magdeline Sisters - about girls who were sent to work in laundries in Ireland in the 1960s. It was a great movie - I can't remember how I heard about it, but it was definitley worth watching.

And on to this weeks Stitching Question:

Do you collect charts by one particular designer, yet have never
stitched anything by that designer? If so, which designer and why do
you collect the charts but have not yet stitched any of them?

I honestly think I have stitched something by every designer I have - I've only stitched small things by Indigo Rose, which is probably the lowest stitched to owned ratio in my collection, but I've still stitched several ornaments and smaller pieces by her. Oh wait - no Mirabilias stitched yet! They're lovely, and gorgeous, but nothing stitched yet.