Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

From my house to yours:

Merry Christmas!!!

Today I have been busy cooking broccoli-stiltonsoup. It's a recipe by Gordon Ramsey and it's pretty easy. What I love most about it is I can cook it the day before and finish it just before serving. My kind of Christmas food!

We (meaning I) will plenty of stress already since we are expected in church in my hometown tomorrow at 9.45 in the morning!! It means we will have to leave at 8. It will be the first time Boyfriend will experience a church service in my hometown. I come from a pretty conservative town and I am not looking forward to all the looks I know we will get tomorrow. They will probably talk slow to my boyfriend and will think he is an immigrant. While he is in fact 10x brighter than they are and speaks impeccable Dutch (he was adopted when he was a baby).
My family will be delighted to see us. After church we will go to Grandma and auntie for coffee and meet up with the rest of my family (my other aunt with her family)! After coffee we will go to my parents' house and have dinner!

I am also so happy to tell you I have been stitching again! Every day I stitch a little bit, making sure I sit up straight and stretch my shoulders and arm. I have been in physical therapy for two months now. It is slowly getting better. My hand is working again but my neck and shoulders are stubborn. For almost 20 years they have been in a position they should not have been. So the muscles are fighting the new (and right!) position they are forced to take.
Anyway, I have a new picture later this week!!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

New government!

Since yesterday my country has a new government:
The lady in the middle is our fabulous Queen Beatrix and the tall guy to her left (with the blue tie) our Prime Minister. This Cabinet is made of people of the VVD (liberal party) and PvdA (Labour, centre-left party), a true coalition and an interesting combination.

The plan they made for the next four years is daring and it made for a lot of uproar. It is going to hurt our wallets. I think it's necessary though. We need to live within our means. Something needs to be done about the mortgages. But still, all the measures are tough. I am trying to discover what it will mean for me but I still haven't figured it out. The first thing I will notice will be the cost of my health insurance I think. I am lucky to be very healthy and I do not need a lot of health care every year. I hope my physical therapy will be covered though.. I do not own a mortgage and I do not have children of my own yet.

I hope this Cabinet will last the next four years. My country needs it.

Today America will vote as well. Ofcourse we are following the elections (I like to watch foreign politics! Plus I am still trying to understand the voting system with electors - we just vote for a party (we can pick from I think 15 parties) and whoever has the most votes wins, also everyone who has the Dutch nationality aged 18 and up will get a voting billet in the mail). I am looking forward to wake up tomorrow morning and watch the news and hear the analysis.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

On doctor's orders..

Hello everybody,

are you enjoying Autumn as much as I do? I love to see the changing leaves and to feel the change in temperature. Autumn so far has been mild here, without too much rain.

Unfortunately Autumn also brought me the flu. I haven't been so sick in years!! I spent a week in bed, watching tv and sleeping. After that week I went back to work, I was starting to get crazy of boredom! Too bad my cold still isn't over, so I visited my doctor to get some antibiotics. I hope they help.

I haven't touched a needle in 2.5 weeks. I miss it. But my right hand started to give the same problems like I had a few months ago (the pain was a 10, I could not even lift my hand). This time I visited a physical therapist and she discovered at the moment there is a serious difference in the movement of my right hand compared to my left hand! It's not permanent, I am told, but untill this is treated I am not going to do any needlework. Bummer!!! Hopefully next month..

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Another page done!

Yay another page is done! This is page 9:

The past few days (well nights) I have been in a stitching frenzy according to the Boyfriend. But look at the cute planets!!! Next are pages 20 and 31!

Outside my building my hometown is celebrating an historical event, called Leidens Ontzet. Leiden remembers being freed of the Spanish in 1574 (this was during the 80 year of war against the (catholic) Spanish). The people of Leiden were starving at that time, they were under siege for several weeks. When the Spanish soldiers fled the gates opened and the people went outside and found Hutspot (a stew made of carrots, potatoes, unions and pork meat). Also, the Geuzen (in English: the Beggars) brought them haring and white bread. I am sure I have left some really important and interesting pieces out of the story
Until this day this is celebrated at October 3rd. With Hutspot, haring and white bread. My grandma, who was born in this city, has fond memories of the celebration.
But in these modern times also with lots of beer, carnival and music. On every corner of the street in the center of Leiden there is a small stage. I happen to live in the center. So when I sit in my living room I have a stage in front of my door, a carnival to the right, a carnival to the left and parking next to my building. The party tonight is till 2 in the morning and tomorrow till 3 in the morning.. I was not born in Leiden and did not grew up with this celebration. This party, the noise, it just doesn't do anything for me. I think it's because in the past I had to jump over puke and other human junk the day after to get to public transportation (or to my front door!), that completely ruined the fun for me!

But you know what? It IS very cool to celebrate something that happened more than 400 years ago! I love that!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Hello Autumn!

Oh glory, autumn has come! Leaves are slowly changing colour and the temperatures are dropping. It is also raining quite a bit.

Last week we had a teambuilding day from my work, we spent some time at Neeltje Jans I was afraid the weather would be awful but it actually was a really sunny day! It is always good to spend time with colleagues and to get to know them on another level.
It is going awesome at work. I have a new boss and some people have moved on to other positions in the company, giving more room for me! I have taken advantage of it and I am loving it, I feel so much more confident and capable!

In my personal life I have celebrated several birthdays. First the Girl's, then mine (the big 3-0) and my cousin's. I am not the person for big parties so it was lovely to have my family around for a small celebration. My dad brought fresh rhubarb, tomatoes and a huge red pepper from his garden. Loved it! I hope one day to have a house with a garden..

We also visited lots of Monument's on National Open Monument Day. We visited the Botanical Garden's, the Observatory, the Academic Building, a church and on Sunday we visited a Synagogue and a Medieval house and cellar. I had never been in a Synagogue before so I was very excited about it! There were lots of Monuments open for the public but several had waiting lines and that's not something we like to do when we have the Girl with us.

My country also voted last week. I think I am happy with the results, now the new government needs to be formed. It's an exciting time!!

Because autumn is officially here today, I have been changing the furniture arrangement in my living room and most of my summer wardrobe has been put away and autumn/winter clothes are brought in. My heating system has been checked out this morning, everything works so I will stay warm this winter!
I have also been doing some deep cleaning. I think I have told before I am not much of a housekeeper. It's never dirty though in my house, but every once in a while it gets to me and I need to CLEAN the kitchen and every closet in my house.

Train of Dreams is riding along nicely, I have finished two books so far:

Friday, 7 September 2012

Finally, page 19 and 30 are finished!

Oh my goodness this was a difficult birth but I've done it! There is too much going on in my life right now. It was my goal to finish one page a month so I could finish the entire Train in 2012. I don't think that's going to happen but that's ok. The most important part is to survive the rest of this year. Stitch when I feel like it. It is all ok! No pressure, there is plenty of it already in my life.

Here it is in all it's glory:
It is huge! I had to stand on my bed to take this picture. I can't believe there are only 4 pages and a bit left to do!

This weekend it's the Open Monument Days. I am planning to visit a few of them in the city. There are very interesting buildings and I always wonder what's behind the doors. I hope the Boyfriend and the Girl like it as much as I do, it will be a welcome change in our usual walk! The weather is lovely, maybe the last days of summer? I hope not. But it is wonderful. Soon I will have to find my warmer clothes. I love autumn, just not the rain and the wind!!

Next week it's time to vote for our new government. I am torn. It has never been so hard to choose. I seriously believe my generation won't live as well off as our parents did. But still, I want my child to receive the care and special education she needs and I want a job for my Boyfriend. I want his house to be sold and I want to be able to afford another one on one salary. The last thing won't happen, it's just not realistic enough. Unless I win the lottery ofcourse.
The new government is faced with some tough choices. I am afraid of them already. But still. It is my right to vote. I hate people who complain about the government but who don't vote. They have no right to speak, in my opinion. I want reason back in politics, not populism. I hope more people want that.

I have some serious research to do the next 4 days..

Anyways.. I am off to visit some blogs and website!!

Enjoy your weekend and I will talk to you later!

Friday, 17 August 2012

A treat for me!!

Hello from sunny Holland! The weather has been great this week, it's very warm outside! Too bad I have to work, my office gets really hot even with working airconditioning! I have been working again for two weeks. My vacation was over so quickly!! We bought the Girl a new mattress and visited some friends. We also took a fun ride with a real steam train! The last day the Girl and I drove our bike to her home from the train station. It was a 40 minute drive and while we were pedaling away there were black clouds hanging over us. I swear, the minute we arrived at the house the rain and thunder started!!!

I have been enjoying the Olympics and I am so sad it is over! I am so in awe of all these amazing athletes. The Netherlands did good this time, three medals more than the goal that was set. For me the best medal is the gold for Men's Gymnastic Horizontal Bar. The first medal in Gymnastic since 1928. I swear the entire office building was watching and I could here the cheers when our athlete won LOL. It was very impressive, he did three flying elements in a row and I was told no-one in the world is capable of doing that. It was very exciting especially since the sports presentator was also very excited about it ("one, two, three, he did it!" and a little later when he jumped to the ground: "He's standing! Everybody's standing! I am standing! I am going nuts here!"). I think he made half the medal LOL. Here is a link to a youtube movie with lego of the exercise and the comment (in Dutch, sorry) Epke Zonderland in Lego
The most emotional moment for me was the Gold on the 100m breaststroke for the 15 year old girl from Lithuania. She was so cute.

I have been sleeping like I was fighting LOL so I started my week with a cramped hand. Grrrr. I am thankful to know why and acknowledging my stress helps. Last week I saw the August issue of Cross Stitcher magazine (a UK magazine) in the bookstore. I have bought their issues in the past, they have lovely free gifts and the charts are fun! This August magazine had a giant chart by Emily Peacock (she is also on etsy) and also some lovely ribbon. I loved it, but I am on a serious budget so I decided not to buy it. After this crappy weekend I WANTED it so badly! So to the bookstore I went, but boohoo there was already a new issue!! I have never been a demanding customer but this time I took the risk and asked them for the August issue. I was lucky, the old issues were still in the store and the day after they would be sent back!!! I bought one and now I am the owner of this huge chart! I have no idea when I am every going to stitch this but I want this to hang in my next house.

No update on Train. I have been working on it but it's not enough for a new picture. Better next time! I have also found a Stitch 'n Bitch group in my town. I haven't joined them, since they gather in a pub (again, the stupid budget) but as soon as that is better I will check it out. They are mainly knitters but they are open to any thread-related crafters. I also would like to see if the lighting in the pub is good enough for stitching.
I miss crafting with a group. I was a pretty regular visitor of the scrapbooking crops of scrapbooknederland but I haven't been there in awhile. Scrapbooking is way more expensive than cross stitching you know! The store is closed now, they only have a webshop left. Another result of this crappy economy.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Half a page done!

It is wonderful to have a summer holiday, I get a lot of stitching done! In the mornings the Girl and I hang out at the house, she plays or watches tv and I stitch. So far I have stitched half a page:

In the afternoon we do fun stuff. We went to the swimming pool, playground and the beach (three times already!). This picture was taken last Friday, when we went to my parents. My mom, the Girl and I went to the beach for a swim. There were lots of seagullls. Just before it started to rain we walked back to the house!

I am also feeling confident enough to ride the special duobike with the Girl. We drove to the lake once and basically use it for a lot of our grocery shopping.
Picture from a website that sells bikes for handicapped or invalid people. The Girl sits in front of me but I am the only one to use the handlebar. The one she has is fake.

On Sunday the three of us went to Museum Naturalis
Unfortunately the Girl was a bit scared of the big dinosaur skeletons. We've been here before, but this time she had sweaty hands and just didn't enjoy herself. We managed to distract her enough to see the entire museum but the Boyfriend had to take a long walk with the Girl afterwards to calm her down. She told him she thought it was scary and she didn't like it.

Today it was rainy so we baked pancakes and went to the airport to watch the planes. It was very busy at the Panorama deck! The Girl likes to be able to see from above what's happening with the planes. The loading of the luggages and all the little cars driving around.. it's a lot of fun.

We also watch a lot of the Olympic Games. Our favorites are the swimming and gymnastics but it is all very inspiring. I love that it is in our time zone so we don't have to watch in the middle of the night!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Page 8 is done!

Long time, no action on the blog! This month has been weird and scary.

a possible loss of my vision by 20%. My doc thinks it is only temporary and gave me some eye cream. It looks like it worked. This week I will visit my optician again for another test. I do need new glasses though. :-(

Really scary:
my father in law spent two nights in the IC unit. He fell in his garden and his throat hit a stick. Result: a hole in his trachea. He could have been dead and he's so lucky the stick didn't punch through both sides. He is home now, thank God.

Summer vacation:
My summer vacation has started! This year we decided to stay home with the Girl. The Boyfriend is applying for jobs non-stop so for most of the time me and her and doing nice things (or mundane stuff like cleaning the litter box lol). We miss going to France a lot, but we know it's for a good cause. We hope to go there next year.

I have been praying for good weather. It looks like it worked! Today the weather was awesome and the three of us went on our bikes to the beach! I didn't pack our swimsuits but it was absolutely wonderful to walk at the shore. It reminded me so much of my summers at home when I was a kid. Going to the beach every day, building sandcastles, swimming, playing. If the sun is shining, staying in Holland really isn't too bad!
The Girl is really tired right now (after a bike ride for a total of 2 hours and 1.5 hours spent in the sand). I hope that means she sleeps in tomorrow morning LOL.
It looks like tomorrow is another sunny day so I think we will go to the beach again!

Train of Dreams:
It took me some time but I did finish page 8! The second dragon of this piece is sleeping in a green carriage. I can not believe I am nearly at the end of the train but stitch by stitch I am getting there!

That's it for now. Talk to you later!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Page 8!

I have been working hard on Train! I'm a little flexible with my 'diet' lol but so far my wrist is still ok!
Last weekend I thought I could finish another page, but I ran out of 400 and 310. Argh, just the color I needed to finish a page (400) and start the next (310). So I ordered them and started with the next blue book and the last bit of the bird house.

But then on Monday morning my boyfriend got really sick so that got me a little worried. There is a nasty stomach virus going round. I was hoping I could escape it but unfortunately on Wednesday I got sick at work! On Thursday I was still a bit sick but I was feeling good enough to stitch again.
I was really bummed to be sick. At the end of last year I had a hard time at work (I made a promotion a year before), thankfully I showed progress and growth so I was safe. I asked for some extra experience and got temporarily transferred to another department for four months. I replaced a girl who went on maternity leave. I got a very good evaluation and that has made me more confident. I'm finally in the place I want to be mentally. Feeling more accepted in the group (before making my promotion I was in a more assistant position in the same group and part of my problem was not feeling confident about being 'equal' to them). And on Wednesday I was so in the groove so I hated to go home sick!!! I am confident I will be back in the groove on Monday.

Yesterday my 400 and 310 came in so I could fill in the spots. And this morning it was time for a picture! I don't think there will be any stitching today since we will visit my family! Both my parents and my sister are a year older and my brother got the key of his first (rental) home!

What you see is page 7, page 18, partial page 29 and I am now working on page 8.
Train is 10 whole and 1 partial page wide and 2 whole and 1 partial page tall so I am really nearing the finishing line!!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

I've been away..

I've been missing in action lately! It's not that I haven't been stitching but I've been trying to find a new routine. You see, I still have pain in my hand. I stopped stitching for a week and it wouldn't get away. After my massage (I get one every month at work, partly paid by my work as part of the prevention program. It's a massage of the back, neck, shoulders, arms and hands, given over your clothes.) it was away. I actually felt my hand tingling, which means the bloodstream was ok again. It was utter joy, I tell you! According to the lady who gives the massage my shoulders and neck are very very tensed. I might need to see a physical therapist. I have to think about that and check my health care insurance. I needed to think about a lot of things.

So I decided to put my self on a diet. A cross stitching diet. Every day I can cross stitch for one hour. I actually have the alarm set! It works but there aren't a lot of stitches made in one hour when you're working on a HAED.

And then I went to the Ardennes in Belgium for a week. Together with the Boyfriend and the Girl. And 5 other couples (friends) and 5 other kids. Without the HAED. It was a wonderful week, great weather (almost tropical!), great food and wine, great conversation and lots of nice things to see and do.
We visited the castle of Bouillon and saw a falconry (show). One of the kids even got to play a part in the show and ended up with a falcon on his (covered) head! France was only 45 minutes ago, so we also visited Charlesvilles this village has one of the most beautiful plaza's I've ever seen! The highlight for me was absolutely seeing the Caves of Han. So beautiful.
I even went for a walk of about 3 hours. I think we walked about 20 kilometres. Got me some nice blisters (I don't own proper walking shoes). Wonderful memories nevertheless.

We came back this Friday. Yesterday the Boyfriend and I went to a nice sauna. I received a few giftcards and I could exchange them for free entrance. We had a great day and came home totally relaxed. It was the perfect ending of a great week!

Today we cleaned the house and did whatever we liked to do. I stitched and watched the BBC (the Jublilee Pageant). I didn't stick to my diet LOL but that's okay. Tomorrow I go back. I was too lazy to take a picture, I hope to take one tomorrow!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Happy Mothersday!

Today it's Mothersday in The Netherlands: Hope you all have a wonderful day!
It's the first time I ever received a gift, the Girl came home from school and told my inlaws: "I am the daughter of mama and also of Liesbeth". When I picked her up by the train she told me again. I can tell you my day rocked! She painted a lovely piece for me which is now proudly displayed in my house.

We will bring her home later tonight. This weekend the weather have been great! Still not warm enough to wear true summer clothes (skirts!!) but it had some sun! This year the temperatures for May have been a bit cold. I really hope it will get better soon. We won't go on a summer holiday this year and I hope to enjoy a bit of sunshine when we stay home. Previous years we went to France and the weather is always great, lots of sun.

In my last post I was pretty upset about the political situation. Two days after I wrote that post, five political parties came together and agreed to a plan. Just in time to give it to the European Union. It's not the best plan ever, but for now it will do. Still, in September I will have to vote again.

Queensday on April 30th was hot!!! That is so typical, there are only a few rainy Queensday's I remember. On Queensday the entire country is dressed in orange or red-white-blue and has a day off. The Queen and her family visits two places in the Netherlands, people show her some love and their skills in many things (singing, dancing, crafts, games, sports, etc). The rest of the country can follow this live on tv or sell their stuff on the street. It's like one big garage sale! There are also lots of music performances and people have a lot of fun. I stayed home, it was way too crowded for me.

Memorial Day on May 4th was impressive as always. It makes me so sad to hear, see and read all the WW2 stories and I am grateful my country was liberated. Although I live very close to the monument in my city, I like to follow the Memorial Service on tv.
The day after is Liberation Day with lots of music and street markets.

Cross stitching: why you are here

I was going to give an update but unfortunately I haven't stitched for a week! I hurt my right hand again and I cannot stitch. It's aweful. I have found out I make a fist in my sleep (like I am going to fight). Right now I am pretty stressed about our situation and I also angry about the things happening to us. I try to relax my hand as much as possible but I think I will try to get a brace or something at my local pharmacy.

I did however stitch a little bit. Over the last two years I bought a couple of cross stitching magazines and acquired quite a few free gifts! So I started this when I had to travel three hours by train to a meeting. The kit was lovely but there weren't enough red threads and it also had a tapestry needly. In my opinion that should have been a embroidery needle with a sharp tip, because of the fractal stitches that this kit needed. This was my first attempt at french knots and it was a lot easier than I thought! I don't know how I am going to finish this yet. My boyfriend hates this piece though, he prefers the big Train. I cannot blame him!
Looking at this picture I see I have to clean and oil my table again, oopsie!!

Also, this is where my Train is at the moment:

Well I hope to give a real update soon!!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Page finish!

Yesterday I finished the 13th page of Train of Dreams! Hurray!!

We had a lovely weekend with a bit of sleeping in!! This weekend we had the Girl only on Saturday, because her sister (my other stepdaughter, Girl2) was visiting her and the in-laws (and I have a very small house with only 1 single guest bed). My boyfriend was really happy to see her and we had a great time with the four of us. We even had a little boy over and it was great to see how the three of them played together. The Girl was watching from the sidelines sometimes (I think she feels her handicap sometimes, and her younger sister has developed more than she has, so Girl2 is now more the older sister) but she also loved to run with the other kids and doing things kids like doing most. Making messes LOL.
We went to the beach and later we were joined by a group of friends. We had a lovely dinner at a restaurant next to the sea. It was good to be together. It would have been our friend's 40th birthday and this gathering was good for all of us and for his family/mother (the little boy was his nephew). We are taking over the role of his uncle a little.

When we came home we discovered our Government collapsed. Great. Since the year I turned 18 and was allowed to vote, there hasn't been a Cabinet that didn't collapse! I really don't know what party to vote now. And I am angry. Why can't these politicians step over their party lines and do what is best for this country?
Ugh. There is a reason why I stitch so much..I can avoid thinking about the mess in the world!

Tonight I will spent stitching, while watching one of my favorite TV-series: Midsomer Murders. I have to laugh at how many gruesome murders are committed in the lovely English countryside. Thank God it's only TV!!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

I've been busy this weekend!

Hope you all had a lovely Easter. We had a wonderful relaxed Easter. In the Netherlands we always get two days of Easter celebration, Sunday and Monday. Some people even get Good Friday off.
The girl was with us and stayed with us till yesterday. We listened to Bach's Matthaus Passion, enjoyed a walk through the city and we even were visited by my family! This was a huge surprise for the girl and she was overjoyed. I just love it when she says "Grandma is soooo sweet on me" (which means Grandma (my mom) loves her). And I also loved that my brother genuinly interested asked me how far I was with my stitching. Awesome.

This was what I have been doing in between all the Easter celebration.


I found Train of Dreams to have a fair amount of confetti-stitches (but still reasonable, it is not a Josephine Wall!) but this part is quite ok.

As much as I like to stitch, I think I need to take a bit of rest this week. I still have a nasty cold and have trouble breathing at night sleeping at my back. Apparently I have been sleeping at my side the last couple of nights and use my right hand to support my body. As a result my wrist and right hand hurt quite a lot. This morning I even had trouble to grab a piece of (toilet) paper! Ridiculous and very painful! But also a bit funny, can you imagine not being able to keep something as light as toilet paper in your hand? LOL

And with that I bid you farewell and talk to you later!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Another page finished!

I haven't been able to stitch as much as I liked to. Last weekend my stepdaughter came home with a cold and the weekend before that her father was sick. So the time I usually have to stitch, was used to take care of them.
The girl and I took several trips to the shops when her dad was sick, she has shown some serious growth lately. She was carrying bags and putting the right things in my shopping basket. Also, she making real contact with the cassiers, saying hello and asking how they were doing. It was awesome. I had to stifle a laugh when she greeted a person in the street "hello Mr." and after discovering the person actually was a woman she quickly said "hello Ms.".
This weekend was quiet. We did go for our daily walk but her energy was pretty low. Lots of time was spent at home playing and hanging out.

So, after all the sickies in my little family I didn't came as a surprise when I came home this Monday feeling not too well. When the alarm went off yesterday I felt horrible. My throat hurted and the pain in my head was pushing away every cleaver thought I usually have. So I called in sick. This morning I felt a little better but I had a fever last night so I'm still at home. I hope tomorrow will be better so I can go back to work, I am so bored allready!!

To lift my spirit I took a picture of Train of Dreams yesterday:

Looking good, isn't it?

As I was laying the entire piece of fabric on my table to take a picture I started to panic. The fabric seemed a little too small. Oh no, please tell me I measured correctly???? I wanted to cry but felt that was way too pathetic for an almost 30-year old (one of my fever-dreams was about turning 30 and it was horrible. Weird 'cause really, I could care less about my age). So I started counting and luckily, I have plenty of fabric left to stitch and still have enough for framing.

I have mixed feelings about nearing the end of Train. I only have 4 pages wide to do (so 8 and a bit pages in total). I hope I reach my 2012 goals (finish 10 pages) but I'm not sure. Right now I have done 4 of those 10.

Talk to you later!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Why did I pick Train of Dreams?

Tonight I read a lovely comment by Melinda. She asked me why I picked Train of Dreams. As I was typing my answer it got pretty long, so I thought it would be better to make a full post of it.

Her question:
Melinda said...
I love your Train of Dreams - I also love using the 18 ct. I am new to your blog, so forgive me if I may repeat or ask questions you have already talked about. Can you tell me, is it the dragon? Or why Train of Dreams as a choice. I also have this chart - just wanting to compare notes.

I love answering questions and I never talked about my reasons so here goes:
I don't really know why I picked it. I am not a huge fan of dragons, but Sprangler's dragons are just very cute. I remember seeing the piece on a few blogs I was reading and I just loved the playfulness of it. Plus I love to read and Sprangler has lots of books in his pieces. At the time I was stitching a sampler. Nice but I wanted something different.

When I first visited the HAED website I thought maybe there were even better pieces. I found lots of them, but still I liked Train of Dreams more. I was captivated by the scene, the colors and the size of the piece. Most of HAED's patterns were so big, I was seriously afraid of them! I knew I had to pick a pattern that would motivate me to finish! I knew this would keep me motivated.

Also, my stepdaughter loves trains. We travel by train every weekend (I pick her up at my in-laws) and she is always very excited to go on the train with me. She also has a toytrain at my in-laws and at my place, she loves playing with them. She has autism and mentally she is much younger than her real age. When I saw Train of Dreams I knew this would get her exited and she would talk a lot about it. We need to train her communication skills and we follow her interests. If she wants to talk about the rug, we talk about the rug, if she wants to talk about her Playmobile figures, we talk about that.
When she first saw Train of Dreams she almost started to fly of excitement, she LOVED it. Especially when I told her this would be hers and we would hang it in her bedroom at my place. I don't know if she really understands it but I keep telling her it's hers. When she's here and I'm working on it while she's playing she always wants to look at it and count the books or talk about the dragon (she calls it a crocodile). She even helped with a few stitches! She still calls it "knitting" (my MIL knits and quilts). Only buying new shoes makes her happier LOL.

So I think it's a mix of everything: the colors, the cute dragon, the joy it brings to my stepdaughter, the books and the joy and piece of mind stitching gives me!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Another page finished and halfway down the other!

For the last 1.5 weeks I have been wanting to post an update, but it just didn't happen. Instead I stitched and stitched and this is the result! I am now busy stitching the purple carriage with the cookies! I like purple.

When I finish this page I will take a picture of the entire piece but this is work-in-progress people!

I believe I once told the 18ct aida fabric I am using is not white. It's actually a very pale grey (I think it's from Permin and color is barn grey?, I'm not sure and I didn't keep the receipt!). In the past I didn't think my photo's showed the true color - my pictures usually look like the fabric is white - but this picture really does justice!

Also, yesterday was a lovely warm day here in the Netherlands! Unfortunately the weather is now back to grey and cold but spring is coming!! I even saw the first lamb in one of the meadows and got very excited about that! The crocussus are also showing up and the willow in front of my window across the canal is showing small leaves. I love to watch this process, every day there's something new!

The boyfriend is plugging away in his job search. He got an interview last month, but didn't get the job. Too bad, but he's busy with other projects. He stays hopeful and so am I! We have decided not to go on a holiday abroad in the summer, we will stay at home (either at my place or at my in-laws). I do hope the weather will be nice so we will get the holiday feeling anyway!

That's it for now, untill next time!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Preparing for Butterfly Wood

So this morning I decided to start make a preparation document for Butterfly Wood. I calculated the amount of fabric I need and I made a list of the floss I need to buy (42 new colors).
I know it's silly, because I've said here I'll start after I finish Train of Dreams. Prepping is fun!

Now back to Train of Dreams.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Awesome sale at HAED: 50% off till Midnight EST!!

OMG, I did it: I bought Butterfly Wood!!

Bob and Michelle at HAED have an awesome sale going on, only today everything 50% off. Because it's a leap year.

This was too good to be true so I went and bought it. I am so so happy with it. It's now in my stash, waiting to get started. I looks like it has a lot less confetti compared to Train of Dreams but maybe I'm dreaming? LOL

In the mean time I am still stitching away on Train of Dreams. It's going well! I hope to give another update this weekend.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Train of Dreams

Here I am with the newest update on train of dreams. I am now working on page 6 of the chart and since I am working in coloms this means I have finished 10 whole pages and 5 teenytiny pages.
I find the lower pages much easier to do, there is less confetti stitching and my needle is almost on fire!!

In other stitching related news: I inherited another book on cross stitching from my MIL. This one is in German. I also got my hands on a Cross Stitcher Special: the Best of Margaret Sherry! I love her funny designs and having this in my stash... oh wonderful!

The last two weeks have been cold in The Netherlands. We had snow and even ice on the ponds! I live next to a canal and it was fun to see people ice skating. I don't own a pair of ice skates anymore so unfortunately I haven't skated. It brought back fun memories from when I was a kid.

My cat have been ill for a month now. She started sneezing a few weeks ago (it sounded so cute) so we had to take a trip to the vet. She is a sweet cat but when we go to the vet for her vaccins she will turn into a firered fury!! This time she really was sick, the vet's assistant could get her out of her cage without any problem! We left with nose drops. We faithfully used this and after 10 days she stopped sneezing and there were no running noses again! Victory, we thought. WRONG. Four days after we stopped using the medicine the running nose was back and this time it had color (I know gross). So another trip to the vet followed and this time we also got anti-biotics. She also had infected gums? I really don't know how she got that but if this doesn't get better she has to get more visits to the vet (and possibly a photograph taken). The anti-biotics helped the sneezing and running nose but of this morning the little Miss started to sneeze again! Ugh, I know sneeze decease can take awhile to cure but I am not happy with it! So far it has cost me about 100 euros! I love her so I pay this without regrets but still it is expensive. I've started her on the nose drops again, so cross your fingers!

See you next time!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Train of Dreams - update January

January is almost over, I cannot believe how time flies!! We celebrated a birthday and a job anniversary this month. All in all a good month.

Here is my update of Train of Dreams. Another page finished.

I must say I still enjoy stitching this piece. I think this is because of all the vibrant colours. I see lots of lovely designs, like this one, Snow by Maxine Gadd:
It is gorgeous, but I think this would end as an UFO. I like variation and color changes. Thiswould need a lot of will power to finish.

Stilll I dream about purchasing this one, Butterfly Wood by David Penfound:
This piece almost has a sort of spiritual meaning for me. In the last year I have been under a lot of stress and I have lost a bit of my "zest for life". At work I had the opportunity to follow a mindfullness training. I was a bit apprehensive about it, I thought it would be too woolly (there are lots of Bhuddist elements and I am a Christian and a bit of a strict Calvinist), but I am finding myself again! It looks like I have fewer headaches. I am starting to enjoy pretty things again. I am also starting to feel support and comfort from God again. Butterfly Wood is pretty and I kind of feel like the butterflies are flying to their Master. It's a bit like me.

So I have decided to buy this one, after I finish Train of Dreams. I know last time I talked about the sampler and I am definately going to stitch that as well. But now I am used to stitching a HAED so I think stitching this sampler will be much easier (and faster)!

Untill next time my friends! I am going to update my list of blogs now!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Gifts in December

Hello again!

I completely forgot to tell about the gifts I received last December!

For Sinterklaas/St Nicholas my MIL gave me a lovely sampler and some evenweave. She used to cross stitch but is now a quilter. So slowly she is giving me her cross stitch stash! She also gave me a wonderful book with sampler patterns and more information about the patterns. I am really happy with it. I would like to design a sample in the future with our story in it so this book is perfect! It explains what every flower or animal stands for. I think it would be nice to write about this and will see how and in what form I am going to do this.

Below a picture I found on the internet of the sampler I received. It's from Permin and it's called Sampler 1763. Lovely colors aren't they?

I hope to start this later in the year. I want to finish (or almost finish) Train of Dreams first!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New Year's resolution and another update

2012. Hello. A new year. A chance to start fresh. I am hoping for many good things. 
Like a job for my love. 2010 and 2011 were not cool. 
Like a very small & cheap wedding at the town hall after my love earns some money again.
Like finding a bigger house. Three bedrooms would be nice. So the lovely girl has a room of her own and there's a room for maybe a new addition?
So is it going to happen, 2012? Three big wishes. But wish no 1 is the most important one. It will make the other wishes possible. I am tired of being the breadwinner. It's not cool. It is so much cooler to both earn the bread.

Anyway. I also changed the look of my blog. I like it. It's clean and fresh.

After the last update it took some time before I got my mojo back. I forced myself to stitch because I knew it would make me feel better. And lo and behold, it did! It also helped I had nothing to do at Christmas. We had a simple dinner and after that we just hung out. Boxing Day was spent at my parents and after that I had a week off. Lovely. Just what we needed. We spent time with the in-laws and enjoyed a few days away from home. My MIL even brought her craft lamp with her so I had no problems stitching at night!!
After our short holiday I have been stitching nearly every evening. This is how it looks right now!

At the HAED forum I wrote down my goal for 2012: to finish at least 10 pages. I know I can do this, I stitch about 1 page a month and I have about 10 pages and a few tiny pages to do. Maybe I can finish this piece in December?