Villain Test

First, something fun:

I took the most accurate villain personality test

created by:
The Arch Villainess Gracie

I like it!


Warning! Grab a drink...this is going to be long....

Lot's to discuss today, so let's get going. First up, The Stitcher's Five (*extremely* appropriate this week!)

1. Do you take something new to stitch when you travel - a special travel stitching project?

If I don't happen to have something suitable already going, I'll absolutely start something new! It needs to be small, fit in my purse or carryon and have relatively big color sections - to avoid starting/stopping/cutting as much as possible. *Very* important on airplanes! I like to stitch on small kits on planes especially - my collection of Textile Heritage kits will keep me going for years LOL.

2. Do you plan your trips around stitching shops?

I have. Of course the biggest plan is the "someday" trip to England. I intend to base our itinerary around TWBB Members.

3. Do you believe that if you cross state lines you MUST by fibers?

Hmm..haven't heard that. But I certainly like the sentiment!

4. Where have you stitched?

Arizona (of course), California, Nevada, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland (in the Baltimore Airport), Virginia, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

5. Do your friends/family bring you stitching related gifts when they travel?

Mom has called me from an out-of-state LNS a time or two asking if there was anything I needed... :)

Weekend Update!

I survived Vegas! And more surprising, Vegas survived me!

DH and I had a great weekend getaway. The 6-hour drive is relaxing and allowed me to make excellent progress on the current baby afghan. I didn't quite finish - but I am 2/3 thru after there and back this weekend.

We stayed at the Riviera Hotel - one of the classic Vegas spots. (It's not really a "kid-friendly" place, so if you go with little ones, I recommend Circus Circus or Excalibur for more in-hotel options.) This was our first stay at The Riviera, but we may return (depending on the outcome of a bit of trouble..but I'll save that for a few). Friday night we walked down to Caesar's Palace for dinner (at Stage Deli - yum!) and watched the Mirage volcano (very cool) and tried for the Sirens of TI (Treasure Island) show. Unfortunately due to "technical difficulties" the show didn't run Friday night :(

Saturday we *drove* down to Paris and walked thru the hotel (amazing!). We then made our way to the Imperial Palace for the Auto Collection. Oh My My...what an amazing collection of cars with a couple of old Indian motorcycles thrown in! The Cadillacs! The Dusenbergs! The Thunderbirds! I *love* old cars and these were just awesome. Sadly, my most-hoped-for vehicle was not currently on display, though. I really want to see a Tucker....

A walk back down the strip put us at the new Aladdin and the Desert Passage Shops. Wow. Lunch was a delicious stop at Cheeseburger at the Oasis (try the Island burger...very tasty) and we did manage some shopping at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art store (Egyptian-themed bookmarks for DD, DH and me and a great little dragon and knight figures for DS). DH picked out my graduation present at Tolstoy's - a clock for the front room. A Rhythm Magic Sign of the Time clock, specifically. Considering that we've been drooling over these gorgeous clocks since our last trip to Vegas in November, I thought it a *very* nice gift :)

After all that walking and shopping in 100+ heat with millions of other people doing the same, we returned to our room for a breather. DH slept, I read. In fact, I finished Janet Evanovich's newest: Ten Big Ones (it arrived on Wednesday last week). Fun, quick, where's #11? LOL

Saturday night found us at the Ristorante Italiano in The Riviera. I have to say I had the best spinach salad I've *ever* had in my entire life. The dressing was a warm bacon/red onion/brown sugar/Grey Poupon mustard/worcestshire concoction prepared at the table. For dinner, gnocchi in a fresh tomato sauce...soo good.

At this point we finally started gambling. Yeah, DH and I are *big* gamblers. I headed to the nickel video poker machines and he played his couple roulette spins. $30 later we had enough and went back upstairs to order milkshakes from room service and watch Baseball Tonight on ESPN! At this point I also made a ceremonial start on Mirabilia's Emerald Mermaid - only 2 needles worth of green, but still, a start!

Sunday morning - up around 8:30 to pack and get ready to go. I had everything organized and ready to pick up and leave as soon as we returned from breakfast. Went down to the coffee shop, had breakfast, returned to the room to check out via TV, grab stuff and trek to the parking garage. I did make one quick stop to buy a t-shirt or two, hat for DS and traditional magnet. When we finally got to the car, I realized I was missing something - no camera bag on my shoulder. Not good. Ok, must've left it in the room, right? Wrong. It's not there...nor has housekeeping picked it up or any trace of it. It was in the room when we left for breakfast but not when we returned. The one vacation I manage to remember to *take* pictures and the camera disappears! I filed a report with Security...we'll see what happens....

Drive home was uneventful. Crocheted more....decided that installing satellite radio in the cars was one of the best decisions we ever made (no CD's to drag along and no searching for stations in the Arizona desert!) and made good time with only a single stop. Picked up kids and went home to collapse!

Tonight I've got to do some quick grocery shopping and finish off the Bless the Baby I stitched up for a classmate. Tomorrow night is MY LAST CLASS so I have to give it to him, then!


Short on creativity today....

So, instead, I'll be "borrowing" from other's blogs...

From Jenni's (thermalgal) blog....

The ABC's of Annette

Act your age? Never!
Born on what day of the week? Wednesday
Chore you hate? Ironing
Dad's name? Bill
Essential makeup item? Eyeliner - and that's it!
Favorite actor? Sean Connery (though if you ask me tomorrow, I may say something differently)
Gold or silver? Gold
Hometown? New Buffalo, MI
Instruments you play? Played the french horn in grade school...guitar for a few years
Job? Technical Analyst (Data Warehouse Admin, SQL Server DBA)
Kids? 2 - Daughter, 14 and Son, almost 6
Living arrangements? Married, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 1 house
Mom's name? Pat
Need? A job for DH....
Overnight hospital stays? Tonsillectomy, Adenoidectomy, childbirth (x2), blood clot treatment last year
Phobias? None that I know of...
Quote you like? Just one? "Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?" ~Jim Bouton, 1988
Religious affiliation? Methodist
Siblings? One younger brother (9 years younger)
Time you wake up? By alarm clock: 6:00, by choice: 9:00
Unique talent? Remain calm when others are panicking...lol
Worst habit? Procrastination!
X-rays you've had? Dental, chest x-rays, shoulder (never broken a bone)
Yummy food you make? Cheesecake, Macaroni & Cheese...
Zodiac Sign? Aries

My Warning Label (from WhizGidget Wonders)

Annette is a restricted area. Authorised personel only


From Go-Quiz.com

Hmmm...interesting...very interesting....


I'm Late!

Sorry...so sorry...just busy getting *final* coursework done for school and a pretty darn productive weekend. Also back to work after being out at training all last week left me with 300+ emails to sort thru!

First...this week's Stitchers' Five:

1. What was your first finished stitched piece?

That would be Douglas Designs Carousel Fantasy Part I. I started August 1987 and finished in December.

2. What was the first piece you used beads on?

Ummm...good question. I remember using perforated paper and beads to stitch some small Christmas pins in the mid 90's. The first stitched piece I remember adding beads to would be the family tree I designed for my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary in 1997: Baney Family Tree. The fruit on the tree is beaded...

3. What was the first piece you used blends on?

That would be a tie (I started them both about the same time). Teresa Wentzler's Stroke of Midnight and Stretch. At least Stretch is finished....

4. What was the first piece you used speciality stitches on?

Cows...you are making me think this week! I can't remember if Hummingbead Heaven by JustNan has specialty stitches. I think it might be only a few french knots. If that's the case, I guess the first *real* piece would be Emmie Bishop's Warm Christmas Wishes...first specialty *and* first hardanger :)

5. What was the first piece you stitched on evenweave or linen as opposed to aida?

Santas of Fable & Fantasy from Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine (either '90 or '91) Also first time using blending filament...

My weekend was very productive stitching-wise. I finished off Mini-Mystery E (see below), finished this month's Ornament RR (no pic anywhere...yet) and started/finished Lizzie*Kate's Bless the Baby (pic after I get it finished-finished into a bellpull). I also pulled out the next WIP StRIP candidate - a bookmark from those fine ladies at Textile Heritage (Victorian Garden). Emerald Mermaid was whispering seductively in her flimsy green stitching bag (the hussy!) but I held firm to the plan of finishing a couple more before giving in to her plaintative whines. Besides, as she was an early graduation gift, I think it *much* more appropriate to start her after all my classes are offically over and done (next Tuesday!!!).

DH had a fine Father's Day. He'd been making his wish list known for several weeks ("Give me TOOLS. I need TOOLS.") so Saturday morning found me at Sears hauling a Craftsman Project Center out to the Jeep along with a few other odds and ends to start filling up the drawers ;). As it was inconceivable that I could either a) get it back *out* of the Jeep without his help or b) hide it *anywhere* in the house or garage that he wouldn't easily find it, he got it when I came home on Saturday. His requested menu for Sunday dinner was grilled hamburgers and fries (gotta love a simple man) with chocolate cake and chocolate-chip ice cream for dessert. Two weeks ago I made a "Darn Good Chocolate Cake" (from The Cake Mix Doctor's cookbook...her name, not mine) that is amazingly good and he wanted another..LOL. The ice cream was a challenge, surprisingly. I ended up buying a pint of Haagen Dasz chocolate chip as not one of the "regular" brands had a version in the freezer! Mint chocolate chip - no trouble, 3 to choose from!

This weekend we are off to Vegas! I intend to visit the car museum at Imperial Palace and see the *entire* Bellagio fountain show along with relaxing with my DH (no kids!). I'll also be madly crocheting in the car to finish off the latest baby afghan...the one that goes with the L*K piece and I need to deliver next week to the new father :)



Finished Mini Mystery E!

And I must say...it's *very* pretty! Tomorrow I'll check the LNS for hardware :)

Have a look: Mini Mystery E(Emerald) by Chatelaine.

The Friday Five....and a week recap!

It's been a crazy week! I spent the week in a training/certification class for one of the applications I support and crammed a whole bunch of "stuff" into my head for a certication exam this morning! Happily I passed but my brain is definitely overworked! LOL

I've done some house-cleaning on the left there...adding the new Friday Five button, fixing links, updating the book list (I finished two this week - more on that in a sec) and adding an entry for "last finish."

Book Finishes

The Magician's Guild by Trudi Canavan. Very good new series! It's suitable for both adult and young adult (I'll let DD read it). I thought it was an older trilogy but the next book was only out in paper back a couple months ago! LOL (It'll be on my next Amazon order ;))

Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts. Second in the "Key Trilogy." I love her combination of romance, magic and strong characters....and yeah...a little s-e-x is always interesting! LOL

Speaking of....

A bit of Stash Enhancement this week as my Stitching Bits & Bobs order arrived :) I'm now the proud owner of VS Seaside Garden Sampler, TW's Best of Christmas book and Lizzie*Kate's Bless the Baby (which I need to work up this weekend as the baby it was bought for was born last Monday!). I also received the kit for Mini Mystery F (Chatelaine) and there will be a happy dance on Mini-E later today ;)

And now for....

The Friday Five

1. What is the creepiest everyday object you know?

While I don't currently own any, I did at one time....any former animal that's been stuffed! EX has a deer and fish that just creeped me out every day!

2. What's the most useful everyday item?

Obvious choices...computer, car, cel phone. Not so obvious - cordless can opener and toothbrush!

3. What's the most useless everday item?

Coffeemaker! DH finds it rather handy of a morning, though.....

4. If the power was out for 24 hours, what would you do?

Sleep some, read some (nice long daylight hours in Arizona and *big* dining room windows!) and enjoy the quiet....

5. If you had to have one item you use everyday surgically attached to you, what would it be, and why?

First thought - scissors, however this would preclude me from flying anywhere! LOL I guess I'll pick a good refillable pen...I'm forever searching for one :D

Enjoy the weekend all...and....


However did they know?

How to make a Annette

3 parts intelligence

3 parts courage

5 parts leadership
Combine in a tall glass half filled with crushed ice. Top it off with a sprinkle of caring and enjoy!


Personality cocktail
From Go-Quiz.com

Stitcher's Five

1. Is your DH/partner supportive of your stitching?

If he was any more supportive he'd start stitching himself, I think! If he goes with me to an LNS, I can easily double my final total. If I come back from a stitching trip with "insufficient" stash he gets on my case. If I don't have some sort of package arrive on a weekly basis he asks what the problem is.

And the best of all....on the weekend I often hear "Go Stitch!" :) Also on the weekdays if it's been a particularly stressful day!

2. Do you ever stitch in company?

Yes, the Stitcher's Lounge is a great place to be when attending Stitching Festival events! I'll also bring my stitching whenever I visit my mom's or grandparents' house. I also attend regular "Stitch & Bi**ch" sessions on Wednesday's at lunchtime with a few gals I work with.

3. Been to a GTG (Get ToGether)?

I have met up with quite a few TWBB Members at the various CATS and retreats I've attended in the last couple years.

4. Does anyone complain about your stitching?

If they do, they know not to do it where I can hear them!

5. Ever had a stranger comment on your stitching?

My framers love my stitching and I've even taken it to the ballpark - lots of comments there :)


The Return of the Friday Five!

It's back! Well it's at a different location and a different author...but it's still The Friday Five...

For June 11
There's a movie being made about your life! Which celebrity will play...

1. you? Why?

I pick Sandra Bullock - not drop-dead gorgeous, kinda cute, definitely got the "slightly geek-y, occasionally naive" look down

2. your love interest? Why?

Tough one...very tough. A younger John Goodman, I think. Kinda goofy, geek-y, yet very gentle

3. your best friend? Why?

If Hollywood can find a 6-ft tall actress with one leg, more power to them!

4. your enemy? Why?

This would have to be something computer generated...I have no enemies!

5. any family member? Why?

Can Emma Thompson play my mother? If she uses Professor Trelawney (Harry Potter character) as a base, she wouldn't be too far off (just leave out the visions..LOL).


Goodnight, Martha

The needlework world lost one of its shining stars this week. Martha Schmidt of Needle Maid Designs was killed in a car accident on her way to a show.

I had the pleasure of taking two classes from Martha in the last few months. In Hershey last year, I took "Sampler of Unpublished Insertion Stitches" after it was highly recommended by a friend taking the class in Santa Clara. This year I took "Second Sampler of Unpublished Insertion Stitches" with two friends in Santa Clara last month.

Martha was a gifted teacher and an all around amazing lady. She simply had the "teacher-aura" around her and had tremendous patience with the most demanding students (of which there were a few in my class..lol). It truly was a pleasure to spend 4 hours huddled over doodle-cloths and perle coton working intricate filling stitches....we didn't end up with much to show at the end of class but the hands-on work was invaluable.

I had originally taken the classes only for the techniques and the detailed instructions. Martha had discussed with us the possibility of a third class next year for a bellpull incorporating even more stitches. A class I would have been first in line for....

In Santa Clara this year, Martha and I also discussed her "edging" classes and had decided on one for me to take in Hershey. I had planned to beg a lesson in buillion knots...but that was put off until Hershey due to time constraint....

I'll be starting the second Sampler this Friday evening as my small tribute to Martha. May you find new adventures wherever you may roam....


I'm the Mom?

Yes, I know, with two kids I am absolutely *their* Mom, but I seem to have earned a new title on a fellow blogger's sidebar.

In my cruising of blogs yesterday (while my poor laptop was chugging away on a large database backup behind the scenes) I happened to notice a new entry on Perle Moon, Stacey aka Prinn's blog. See the "Mother of the Boards" link on the right there? Under "Dreamers"? That links back here.

So the questions begs...how on earth did I earn this title? Don't misunderstand here...it doesn't bother me at all, I'm just curious :) I did self-title myself "Rotation Mom" on the Rotation BB but that's the only board that title appears on....and there are *lots* of custom titles there.

I sincerely hope I haven't landed in a "strict, disciplinarian" mother role...my kids would laugh at that. I'm more of the "if she yells it isn't too serious, it's when she whispers that you need to worry" kind of Mom. I find lowering my voice and speaking distinctly and calmly gets my children to move *much* faster than any decibel I could possibly reach by yelling! I discuss expectations and goals and consideration with them. They must be constantly cognizant of all three in what they do and how they act. "I'm disappointed in you" is a powerful statement for me.

Recently (ok, during my Santa Clara trip) I had to "be the Mom" with DD when she made a seriously bad decision (that caused far more trouble and worry for several folks). Not something I enjoy on vacation and for the most part, not something I have to generally do with my daughter. She's 14. She's *expected* to know better...and behave better. I did not yell. I did not curse (ok, well, I don't usually do that unless I'm *really* angry) but I did make it absolutely clear that her behavior was dangerous, inappropriate and beyond explanation. I also made it clear that I would not suffer a pouting and withdrawn child for the rest of the evening....especially as we were with a group for dinner and I wasn't there to make explanations all night but rather enjoy some great company. She behaved....

Of course, being the Mom means I get to have *some* fun. I encourage...I enable...I've sent bits of stash off to those in need. Sometimes they know it's from me, many times not. I check out new boards as they sprout up and stay a quiet background member on most. (Let someone else be the Mom there!)

I suppose it's just like all things....sometimes you choose to be Mom and other times it's just thrust upon you :) Thanks Stacey, for helping me see at least one person's idea of me....


Stitchers' Five for June 7

Finishing questions this week! How apropos :)

1. Do you give away any of your finished stitching as gifts?

Occasionally. The wedding sampler I recently completed is a gift (waiting on the framer right now) and there are a couple babies that will be getting crocheted afghans this year.

My Granny, for the longest time, had more of my finished stitching hanging in her house than I did! That's no longer the case...but only recently!

2. Do you sell any of you finished stitching?

I haven't at this point....

3. Do you give any of your stitching away to charities?

I've done quilt squares for charity, but that's it.

4. Do you keep any of your stitching for yourself?

As much as possible stays in the house! Whether it's designated as "mine" or some other family members, they still stay at home.

5. Do you stitch anything as part of exchanges or round robins?

I have not done an exchange in the traditional sense (you stitch for me, I'll stitch for you) but have been part of several round robins with mixed success. Currently I'm in a "Wee Beasties" RR based on the Dimples Designs bugs and am very interested to see what will make it's way back to me! I'm also doing an Ornament RR, but the twist with this is that all the stitching stays with me, only the supplies travel.

This was a productive stitching weekend (but not a picture-taking weekend). I am officially "caught up" on Chatelaine's Mini-Mystery-E only lacking the final part due to be released on June 15th for a completed piece. I also finished the Victoria Sampler March Needleroll that I'd been plugging away on at work for months. That officially puts me at *36* pieces in progress.

Next on the "Finishing Frenzy" is Chatelaine's Mini-Mandala #3. I was about 50% complete and after the weekend, a mere 25% remains (only 3 colors of "regular stitching", a few eyelets, b/s and beads). I'm expecting the next RR ornament to arrive this week, so that will have to be slotted in next.


Books and more books...

Your library is your portrait ~ Holbrook Jackson

If this is true, I cannot even imagine what I look like!

Today's post is book-oriented (if you haven't guessed by now). I've updated the "reading" list over on the left there to better reflect what is on the nightstand.

Magician's Guild by Trudi Canavan is top of the pile right now. It was recommended by a online buddy (Hi Carleen!) and I'm really enjoying this first book in The Black Magician Trilogy.

Dragons of a Fallen Sun by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman is still hanging around...I went great guns thru the first 3/4 of the book but got bogged down in the final 1/4. I did buy the next two in the trilogy, so I've really got to finish it!

Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts is the sequel to Key of Light that I finished just last night (see below). Hey, a little light and toasty reading is good now and then!

In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien is still hanging around. It was a gift from a co-worker and I'm finding it very easy to pick up and put down :
As for recently finished -

Key of Light by Nora Roberts. Mix a little magic, a few strong women, sexy men and a quest to save three goddess souls and you get the "Key Trilogy" by Nora Roberts. Light and romantic.

Betrayal In Death by JD Robb. This is the twelfth book in the futuristic crime series by JD Robb aka Nora Roberts. I just can't get enough of Roarke!

In the To Read Next pile -

Well, in all honesty this pile would be a lot bigger if I finished going thru boxes in the garage! I'll include a couple that I *know* I have, but just haven't actually seen since the move (in no particular order):

Well of Darkness by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I'm in the mood for "traditional" epic fantasy - elves, dwarves, humans, etc. Must the Lord of the Rings influence....

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein. You know, maybe if I found a CD-version I would have a better chance of making it thru this...

Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey. Loved the first two books in this series!

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. After reading DaVinci Code, I'm ready to try something else from Mr. Brown.

Fool's Puzzle by Earlene Fowler. I have managed to miss this cozy author for years!

Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. I'm up to The Last Camel Died at Noon on this series.

Legends II edited by Robert Silverberg. Many of my favorite authors are in here! The short story format is perfect bedside reading....

Ok, I could go on all day so I think I better stop now! My portrait already looks like something painted by Picasso...LOL


The Finishing Frenzy is about to begin!

This past weekend I knocked out the two RR's for this month and it officially puts me at the head of my planned finishing frenzy! The goal is to reduce the number of pieces in progress to under 30 (currently at 37).

So here's the list of pieces that are in the pile to be finished off and an approximate order:

Chatelaine's Mini Mystery-E (Another 4 or 5 hours to finish Part II and then I'll be able to jump in to Part III upon its release June 15th.)
Victoria Sampler's March Needleroll - again 4 or 5 hours tops
Chatelaine's Mini Mandala #3 - 10-15 hours
Just Nan's Witch Way - 10-15 hours
Textile Heritage Garden Bookmark - 10-15 hours
Stitchworks Snowman Bag - 10 hours
Victoria Sampler Butterfly Lace - 20-25 hours
TW's Castles by the Sea - 40 hours
TW's Apple Cloisonne Ornament - 30 hours

I'll have to sneak in another Ornament RR before month end, and then another Wee Beasties RR early July.

Now, the twist in all this is the model I'm expecting to receive soon. It has an October 1 deadline, so I'll be alternating weeks with it and weeks of finishing these smaller projects when it arrives.

I've also got a couple baby afghans to get finished, so I'll be working in a few hours a week on those - either a night between finishing one project and picking up the next on the list, or if I finish early in the evening, working the rest of the night on the afghan. Only two to do, though, and one baby isn't due until October! Lots of time!

And by the way....only *4* weeks of school left!!!!


The Stitchers' Five!

1. What is your most treasured needlework possession?

I have two scissor fobs that were gifts from dear friends.

2. What is your greatest fear when doing needlework?

That I'll do *something* that will ruin all the work I have put in! A dropped highlighter, a miss-cut, a permanent marker with a mind of its own....

3. What is your greatest extravagance in needlework?

The stand that cost me $200? The $50 scissors? Or my propensity to buy fully kitted Chatelaine designs from European Cross Stitch?

4. What is your stitching motto?

"Enjoy the journey" (stolen shamelessly from Justyna!)

5. What do you dislike most about your needlework?

I've accumulated *so* much stash that I will never stitch...but can I bear to get rid of any of it? Nooooo.....