Sunday, October 01, 2006
Is this mic on?
I am totally embarassed for not posting all summer. I am so sorry that I vanished like that. Basically I haven't done any stitching in months and have tried to spend almost all my time with the kids. I found myself stressing over what to blog about and since we are still in financial troubles my stash hasn't increased.

As a way to try and post more regularly though, I will try to share more about my family life and hopefully stitch a few projects along the way.

Let's start with a happy news... for me! My kids are back into figure skating!!! I love the sport but last fall Miss Ladybug decided she didn't want to get back into the sport after skating for two years. I understood her decision, she had trained with two private coaches that she disliked and she really loved skating so I did not want to push her to hate the sport. See, when she skates, you can sense that she's in her element, she glides effortlessly on the ice. She spins, does jumps (small ones!) and smiles, oh does she ever smile when she is at the ice rink. My heart broke when I didn't register her for skating last fall but I smiled and said it was her decision and I was ok with it. We went to the rink when it was free for the public to skate a few times last winter though.

Little monkey did about 1,5 season of skating, he enjoys it but lacks a bit of coordination doing it. ;-) He did enjoy it enough though to start again this year. Miss Ladybug was 5yo when she stopped skating and was already training with kids around 9-10yo, so it was tough sometimes around bigger kids for her. Little monkey would skate with the toddlers but 'run' (skate) away from the group to the other end of the ice and join his sister. It was so funny, he was 3yo and on a mission to not skate with the "babies". He wanted to skate with the big kids and it looked like no one else noticed him. So once he was with his big sis. the coaches then sent him back to the other end with the young ones. Half way through the season, the coaches decided that if my Monkey could skate from one end of the ice to the other just to see Ladybug, then he was good enough to join her in the group lessons. Sure he wasn't as far in the program as they were but the teen coaches made sure to show him techniques for his level nonetheless. You can imagine that I wasn't surprised when at the 1st class this season they placed my two kids together. LOL! I am happy that the teen coaches are ones I really liked in other seasons and they really care for my kids so everyone's happy! :-) (They may remember me as being the mom that gives them free movie tickets at the Christmas party!) lol!

I don't expect them to get many levels completed this year but that's ok. We tried private lessons before and it wasn't for us. So the group lessons are good for the kids (and way cheaper for my wallet!). Ladybug has 5 of the 6 badges already and Monkey has 2. In a week or two the kids will get their club gear and I'll post a pic then, they'll look so cute. LOL! Oh and on a side note, of course my kids are the only ones wearing helmets in their group. What can I say, I may overproctect my kids but ice is hard and their minds are fragile.

To celebrate this post, I vow to pick up some stitching today and stitch at least a row or two. ;-) Sorry for the lack of pictures today but I totally forgot to bring my camera at the rink. Soon though... you wait and see.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Happy and sad,
Yay, we are back with working internet and you have all been pretty busy. My Bloglines list showed almost 300 posts unread. Luckily I've had more than time to catch up with everyone, I didn't leave comments or I'd still be reading blogs. LOL!

I am so proud to show off the fairy!!! :) Her hat is finally done, which means I can start a new color. I've had enough of the pale purple, now onto dark purple for the boots! LOL! I think I have a almost 50% of the piece done, not really sure though, the clouds will take forever to be done. Can't say I am eager to start them... The colors in the picture are off, the top shows the closest what the true colors are, the bottom, I'm not sure what happened there. I find it pretty difficult to take picture of my cross stitching.

I need to get this out, it's about Little Monkey's soccer game last night. We have all seen parents over react over sports right? Well it's sad to see when it involves a game of soccer played by 5 year olds. This dad was screaming his head off to the opposite team that my son played against. At one time Big Fox just belched at his: "Hey, just let the kids play!". The guy turned beet red and walked right up to Big Fox. I tried to calm him down but once he stood up it was confrontation time. I tried to get my word in but that father was just sooo mad. Finally another dad (from our team) came closer and just told the evil father that this is a game for the 5 year old kids to have fun. The "rules" can be bent a bit when all they want is a chance to kick the ball. We don't mind that much that they sometimes keep on playing even if the ball is crossing over the side lines. Hey, the kids are so into it running and having fun, who really cares?

At each game, us proud parents of the Pumpkins never know exactly who won, why? We don't care! We high five our kids when they make a goal, and we praise them for a good game. That's all! We are the most relaxed parents of the 4 teams. Next week though, let me say that I will be avoiding the Grasshopers team, I prefer no more confrontations until the end of the season. Our team still has 4 games against them and I'll be sitting farther away and biting my tongue at each game. This dad, we hear him scream at every single game, we hear him even when your kids aren't playing his team. It's sad and he sure lost the focus on this being a game for the kids to enjoy themselves. Luckily, the ball kept on rolling so the kids never really noticed the confrontation but I'd prefer it never happened nonetheless. Once we got home, it took me an hour for my heart to stop racing like crazy. Even know a day later, I still feel stressed over what happened and even worst, over what could've happened if another dad hadn't come and calmed down the evil dad. I mean, what's the use in punching another kid's father in the face? This isn't boxing...

Back to stitching, my heart is starting the race again...

Friday, July 07, 2006
Uh oh...
Calling out an SOS!

Computer down, limited access, no stitching progress at all. We've been spending family time outside, Big Fox has had a few days off. Water heater decided to go on strike for a day after a huge storm. Bought all school supplies for both kids, even splurged in some very much needed new clothes for me.

I repeat computer down, help me! LOL!

Hope to be back soon and get back to stitching but family time has been great too! I have missed reading blogs and will have a ton to catch up! Until then enjoy the warm summer days! :) I miss you...

Friday, June 30, 2006
I love pixie dust.
Well we just survived the 1st week of summer vacation! It started out with great sunshine and fun at the kiddie pool in the park. Then an allergic reaction to make-up crayons kept the kids away from their beloved wading pool for two l-o-n-g days but finally the rash has vanished. Then today has been a day filled with beautiful bouts of sunshine in between bouts of thunderstorm. We got cought in the 'wall' of rain once but it was a fun experience, people in cars smiled and laughed at us running crazily. We were being crazy 'cause we did enjoy singing in the rain after all. ;-)

Although we were pretty busy, with the two kids at home, I tried my best to keep on with stitching progress. I didn't do as good as I had hoped for but it still is progress. The fairy is starting to look like she is wearing a hat. I actually missed stitching on this piece, it's fun to do a few rows of simple X's even if I have to stitch them one by one. The missing parts in her face and the eyes and mouth, I know it looks odd, I will add them in soon.

Fleur de Lys is on break for a few days, I finished Row 1 and am pretty pleased. It looks a LOT better than I expected for my 1st sampler. The 2nd row is only backstitching so it should go well... I hope. Then the 3rd row is a simple speciality stitch so progress should go well with the sampler.

Now to keep with tradition here's Joy's question of the day! LOL! I keep having questions and basically this blog is where I can get a few answered. ;-) Today's question is a basic one but I have to ask, what are needlerolls used for? I often see charts for them but I am not sure what the purpose of them are, it would be nice to know before I make one.

Tomorrow is Canada day celebrations but in Quebec we have another meaning for this day. It is the official Moving Day for many, many and many more quebecers. Most people that rent apartments have their 12-months lease start/end with july 1st. It is a very crazy day on smaller streets and there are moving trucks EVERYWHERE! For the last few years tv crews from other countries have been filming some of this phenomenon, apparently it's quite unique to see so many people move on the same day. Oh well, I'm just happy Big Fox isn't working as a mover this summer 'cause he'd never be home again. The Canada flag is a cross stitch design by Lynne Nicoletti, she has created a collection of designs that include hidden images in them. Very neat!

Hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend. :)

Monday, June 26, 2006
Again with the question,
How do you end your floss? I know how to start by either leaving a lenght and stitch over it along the way or the loop method which I like and makes a neat start but not for overdyed floss. The problem is with ending the floss though, I usually will pass under 4 stitches and cut my thread. How about when you do blackwork or backstitching without stitches around to tuck the thread under?

Shoot! I totally forgot about Fairy day on June 24, wish I had remembered, though possibly it had something to do with not finding my wings that day. LOL! ;) I hope a few of you celebrated with pixie dust and whatnot! I hope to stitch the freebie fairy from Passione Ricamo, isn't it just beautiful? I really like the arabesque alphabet collection they made as freebies too. Now here's my question, how do you know how much floss you need for solid color project? Is there a way to calculate it or do people just buy extra floss for a 1-color project?

I never made it to stitching the fleur de lys flowers this weekend. That's ok, I put a schedule for fun and no pressure at all, I am still learning to stitch so I am not going to worry about speed yet. On that note, I will pull out my daughter's fairy project this week, she will be happy to see me work on it for a while.

Big Fox started a new job today, it's a really good one with a union and all the stuff that a 'real' job includes. He has 15 days of working to get into the union then his job is assured. So the countdown begins... 14 days left. ;)

Saturday, June 24, 2006
First, a huge thank you for all of you who left me birthday wishes. They warmed my heart in the best of ways. :) Big Fox gave me a 2 page wide magnetic board, which is perfect for stitching my sampler. On the left I can read the chart and of the right I see the instructions for the sampler. :) My mom gave me a gift certificate for new clothes which I so badly need but I keep hoping I will magically loose a few pounds first. LOL! My magical powers must be off because it hasn't been working. ;)

I am amazed at the difference backstitching makes. I had some trouble on the church but I am satisfied on how it looks. This is a learning piece after all, I'm all by myself in this so I do my best. I hoped to get the Montreal sampler for my birthday but that's ok, I will get it on my own at a later time. I am a big shopaholic so I will try to hold off getting the chart until after I finish this one. I have already bought floss for ±3 other big projects so I won't be left dry when I am done the sampler. Also I am having a blast trying to see what project to stitch from Barbara's generous loot! I am thinking ornaments on some smaller pieces. :)

To keep up with my Big Fox drama, yesterday when the kids got up, they saw that he hadn't come home to sleep. It was my daughter's last day of school before summer break and he had promised all week he would go to her class recital in the afternoon. My son had an all-day activity also and it broke his little heart also. He even asked me in the morning if daddy had left an email for them. Ack! My heart ached so much for them. When at around 11am Big Fox just stormed in the house like nothing happened, let's say he got an earful from me... His 'excuse' was perhaps a good one but my kids hearts were broken and he just doesn't get it.

We ran to the park to see if our daughter's class was still at the wading pool. We caught up with them just before they left, when she saw her father, her eyes just light up. I told her he'd be there for her recital and she gave me a huge hug. I knew that she'd have a great day from then on and it was important for me that she enjoys the last day of school. They were eating in class so it would be a good 3 hours for her before the recital. Our son went to China for the day, well at least visited the neighborhood. LOL! He talked to his 'teacher' about daddy, I don't blame him but then let's just say it doesn't stay private when the teacher's learn stuff like that. The community center is quite small yet everyone knows everything about everyone...

Big Fox starts his new job on monday, this is a good job, the best he's ever had actually. Within three weeks he would be in the union and let's cross our fingers it will mean a better future. Let's hope it involves a better family future too, a cat has nine lives, I am not sure how many more chances we can give Big Fox. The kids are growing older and each event affects us more and more each time.

Off to stitch, I have to finish the hungarian stitches so I can move onto the fleur de lys. It's celebration today, a huge holiday in Quebec and the weather is wonderful out. Perhaps we shall install the tent and sleep outside even? ;)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Number 29!
Today I am a year older, I turn 29 years old for the first time. LOL! I believe some people stop counting after that age. On the other hand turning 30 has been on my mind a lot these past few weeks. I am very far from what I had imagined my life would be or my dreams for when I would be thirty. I still have a year to change that, we shall see what adventures this new year will bring me. At 29 years of age, I never thought I would see my two kids start school, I never knew I'd be blessed with having two children to start with.

Now onto stitching, less than 10 days ago I won a contest on Barbara's blog. I received her package yesterday but let her know that I would torture myself and wait to open it today! It makes it even better to have received a birthday present from the Netherlands if you think about it! ;) Now could I get a better gift or what? I think my fabrics stash just tripled. LOL! I even got some beautiful floss including some SILKS!!! This will be something very new for me to try. I couldn't be more excited!!! :) Barbara, thank you, thank you, thank you, who knew Dumbo would make me win so much. ;)

I didn't quite meet the schedule I had row my Fleur de Lys sampler but I shall be right on track for Row #2 on June 24! The second row is composed of fleur de lys which are the flower emblem of our province. June 24th is St-Jean-Baptiste holiday, our fête nationale for all quebecers, I believe it compares to July 4th in the USA. It usually is the first official day where all kids start their summer holidays so it is celebrated with a big bang. Also it's all about french on that day and how many quebecers want to seperate and politics are just not my thing. ;) We prefer small gatherings and picnics rather than joining the half-million people that listen to a concert in a park. So hopefully on St-Jean-Baptiste I will be stitching my fleur de lys and participating on that day in my own special way. ;)

After having quite an eventful weekend with Big Fox sleeping elsewhere... we celebrated father's day on monday then my birthday the next day. I think lack of sleep caught up because by 9pm last night I was already in bed snoozing, how is that for partying? LOL! Some better news are coming our way though so happier times should finally happen for us. :)