Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Life and Death

Good news and bad news. 

We embraced the positive news because it is a gift from God. A gift of life. We found out last June. Yes, yes, yes... I'm pregnant! Families and close friends were informed last July. It took awhile for us to announce it in public. 

First trimester was very hard for me. I experienced nausea nth times a day. I tried my best not to vomit and was kinda successful. I slept all the time and I didn't have the chance to clean the house. Thanks to a wonderful husband and he did everything for me. Of course, food was a problem too. I prefer water all the time because coloured drinks makes me nauseous. I hate junk food and fast foods. I have been fed with soups, bread and rice. I know, Baby D is very choosy... and healthy. Worst part is I can't hold needle and threads. All my projects are left unfinished. 

Second trimester made some changes on my lifestyle too. All because of hormones raging and rising I can see changes on my body and skin. Though my extremities are still slim, baby bump is getting bigger and more visible. I need new uniforms for work. I look like someone who swallowed a soccer ball. Ugh! Still, Mr. D thinks I am the most beautiful and sexiest woman in the world. Ha! 

22 weeks now and I am doing good. Thank God. Baby D started kicking last week. It was soft but it was amazing. My Obstetrician considers me a high risk patient because of my age and because of the miscarriage I had last February. Right now, everything is perfect and normal. Such glory! 

We mourned the negative news even if it was expected. I am still grieving because I was not there. I can not fly because of my pregnancy. 

Last Thursday, my brother e-mailed me and asked me to call my father ASAP. He said the time has come. I called and talked to my terminally ill father for the last time. It was an hour of crying, forgiving, loving, and reminiscing. I promised him that my brothers and I will continue to love and help each other. And that I will stay strong and brave on making decisions as his eldest child. He taught us to live by the rules and respect. And he taught us to honour and love our spouses and raise our children. He wanted to hear all of these before he left us. Then I realized he was waiting for my caring words to bid him goodbye. I instructed him to do this..... "Papa please close your eyes now and try to think of beautiful things. Think of me, my brothers, Mama.... think of those beautiful times of your life, of our lives together as a family... when we were still babies, toddlers, kids.... and please do not forget that we all love you so much. Please do not fight the pain. It will go away soon. Just follow the light. I love you so much."

He closed his eyes after my call. He slept and never woke up. The man who brought me into this world has left early and ready because he knew he did a damn good job raising his children. We finished college and got our degrees. We have great spouses and a family of our own. He may have been a disciplinarian but it taught us life, success and values. 

I have reached my goals in life because of his beliefs on me. And I won't stop making him proud. I love you so much Papang. We know you are in a much happier place now. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Back on the Web

I have been off-line for 2 months now. I have been very busy at home and I have been sick too. Nothing to worry... about my health. But a lot to worry about my time-management issues. A lot of unexpected surprises and blessings were placed on my lap. I can not just say my graces and thank yous... I have to work on it. Hence, I am still a very busy woman. But I'm not regretting it. 

I wanted to tell everyone about one special good news right now but I still need to zip it. I hope you all understand and won't bombard me with guesses or hint, hint. 

The month of May was a busy slumber for me. I guess I got stuck with the spring fever and spring laziness. Oh, yes! I was lazy. In fact, I still have 3 back orders from my shop. I'm very lucky that my clients are very patient and understanding. Of course, I feel so guilty. Lesson learned, I can not stitch 3 projects at a time for clients. As of now, I will only accept one order at a time... especially now that I have added responsibilities.... which brings me to the month of June. I'll tell you more about it on my next post. 

Meet our new member of the family. Arumi. 

She is a Pitbull. Mr. D and I fell in love with her at first sight. Isn't she adorable? 

This is her now... 2 months old. She grows fast. She can reach the door knob now and oh what trouble she gives Mr. D. He calls her a whirlwind. She can destroy almost everything in his room. 

I would love to show you some of the flowers in our yard that kept me away from the world for awhile. 

These are my favourites last spring. Honey suckle. We have an abundance. Thanks to them we got butterflies around us for the whole spring. 

I got new knock-out roses for my front yard. Red ones! And oh, they grew fast. And you can still see the beauty of our pink antique roses. Loveliness! 

Hurray to the beauty of these wildflower. Black-eyed susan. They flocked stunningly on both corners of our lane. An attraction to and fro our house. They are still around! 

These are 2 finished pieces for my charity stitching. It was already received by a stitcher friend in Canada. She will make it into a quilt for a dear friend of hers who is fighting from breast Cancer. The You Are in My Heart is designed by Ursula Michael. I modified the Hope design by changing the original colours to pink. It was designed by Joan Elliott. 

I honestly miss stitching everyday. 

Have a nice weekend everyone! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lovely Finishes

Within a month I finished a handful of beautiful cross stitch pieces and pillows. I'm a happy duck! 

She is my very first Passione Ricamo piece. She is my Little Mermaid. I did not plan to stitch her this year but when I decided to join a Stitch-along (SAL) with some Filipino stitchers, I picked her. It was a really fun stitch which speed-up the piece. Right now she is at Rensel Studio for framing. My first mermaid piece is a treasure for me. 

Here are some close-up photos of her. She hasn't given a name yet. Maybe when she is all framed up and ready for my wall. I enjoyed beading the piece too. Working on a Jobelan fabric is soothing. 

This small piece was a temptation that won my fingers. It's called Blooming Flower by Ursula Michael. It was on May 2012 issue of Cross-Stitch & Needlework magazine. I later found out that it is the first of a series of 4 seasonal flowers. Wow! I can't wait for the other 3. I still need to look for a very nice frame for it so that I can set it on my dining table. 

Finally I have finished this piece for Mr. D's best friend. It was supposed to be a Christmas present. Bad, bad me! Him and hubby are full-pledged gamers. I know I have to make one for Mr. D. too. 

After weeks of stitching, these pillows have a new home. My client was very patient on the long wait for these lovely pillows. The cross-stitch pieces were hand-sewed on the chosen fabrics. I did machine sewing to make them into pillows. It was very easy. 

It makes me feel so good and important when clients repeatedly appreciate my needlework. More so when they show family members and friends my work. Oh, yes I have another order coming because of "word by mouth". 

Because of the lovely outcome of this pillow, I added this as a new listing on my Etsy shop. It's called Fairy Saying Pillow. And I already have an order for this. 

Why do I love cross-stitching? Because of these lovely pieces. It makes other people happy and it makes me proud. Pure needlework, pure love. 

Happy weekend everyone! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

First Blooms

I am enjoying the beautiful weather outside on my front porch. Reading e-mails and paying bills. The touch of the wind on my skin is so refreshing. I wish it stays this way. Surrounded by our big trees and old shrubs, the smell of the newly mowed grass is so uplifting. Indulgence! 

She is the first one to bloom in my yard. In a couple of days this rose shrub will be flooded with bright pinks. I was expecting an old rose but it's still asleep. 

Our mermaid tears are also blooming gracefully by the driveway. 

Last week, we went flower shopping. It was so much fun. We are still looking for more flowers so we are going back to the nursery or Lowe's next week. For now, we are still busy potting them. 

We got new ones for this year. Bought them from Home Depot, Lowe's, and WalMart. 

This bright purples is called, "African Daisy". Stunning! 

This matrix red lily is called, "Asiatic Lily". I wonder where in Asia. So dainty! Her bloom lasted for 3 days. Cool!

Because of the success of my pink Hibiscus last year, I bought another one and this time it's colored orange. I fell in love with it too. My old hibiscus survived the winter because I kept it inside the house. Now it's back outside.... growing new leaves and hopefully soon buds. 

On the other end of my front porch stands some new peonies. They were lovely last year too. 

Mr. D planted a variety of flowers near my craft room window so that I can see them. I got electric blue sage, lavender, verbena, and celosia. I told him they look crowded but he insisted it's fine. I hope I'm wrong. 

After all the flowers are potted and settled, we are going to work on our vegetable garden. Hopefully, my herb seed bed will be successful this year. 

Enjoy the sun everyone!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Forward!

Spring is like a new beginning on everything.... not just the environment. It's like everything inside you just woke up as well. First thing I realized is that I need to start prioritizing my activities in life... which goes to saying on developing new goals. I need to expand my learning and hobbies. School perhaps? Or full-time work? Volunteer is not bad either. So many choices that neither won't leave me empty. Exciting! 

I'm spending more time in my kitchen now. 

I call this brownies, Cookies and Cream Chocolate brownies. So easy to bake. Thanks to Betty Crocker. I used the chocolate fudge brownie mix and added some chocolate creme biscuits (crumbled) in the batter. After topping the baked brownie with vanilla frosting, I sprinkled some remaining crumbs. Sweet and yummy. 

Cheers! I finally finished the last order of one client. 

I love the outcome of this saying. It's actually the request of the client. I just added the designs and came out with nice letterings. Now I am ready to sew them into pillows. 

I finished another square of an RR piece. 

Design is called "Temptation" from Joan Elliott's book, Cross Stitch Sentiments and Sayings. Another brilliant design by one of my favourite designer. The theme of this piece is sayings. I hope Louisa will love my square. 

Now, I'm off to finishing another square of an RR piece while watching Agent Mulder and Agent Scully's chemistry come out from my laptop screen. Hate-love relationship works. 

Happy weekdays everyone! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Start of Lent

My husband just celebrated his birthday as well. So many reasons why we both love February. Celebrating life with food, laughter and love is invaluable and the best gifts ever. Cheers to Mr. D!!! 

Well, after all the celebrations we are now offering our time and energy to our faith in Lord Jesus. Lent has already begun. Just like last year, I started a list of sacrifices that I can offer or share to others everyday for 40 days. Last Wednesday, a very dear person came to Church with me. She offered to drive me to Church so I invited her to join me. She is not a Catholic but she was deeply honoured to be seated there beside me... listening and acknowledging. Thank you Lord. 

This morning I received a very beautiful handmade "temari" from a very good friend. 

Shani made this herself. Mind you she is a newbie on this kind of craft... but look at how lovely her 1st piece is. I'm greatly honoured of being given a good luck charm for my birthday. Thank you sweetie! 

Do you remember the Worldwide Round Robin I joined last year? It was a success right? So then I joined another one this year. We started 1st of February and I have new group members of 4. We have a group page solely for our RR. 

These are the borders I stitched for my RR piece. The stitch count I'm in is 75x75. My green hand-dyed fabric is from Kelly aka Stitchnmomma from Etsy on-line shop. Her fabrics are awesome and affordable. She has good customer service and her products are all handmade. Go and check her shop now and you won't regret it. 

My theme is "letter A". I have always wanted to stitch the first letter of my name. I want the piece to look so girly so I used some flowery borders. There are a lot of French knots used. I love stitching these knots. 

I received an RR piece from South Africa. This was my 2011 RR group. And it will be the last square that I'm going to stitch. I just need to kit up my design then I'm ready for it. I'm sure I can finish it this week. 

I would like to show you the #2 order I finished for one client. 

I'm on to #3 order... then I can sew the pieces to make into lovely decorative pillows. 

Have a nice weekend everyone.... And in  your spirit. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Hearts Day!

Earlier on before my birthday, I have received a divine gift... but it was also taken away from me that same morning. It crushed me but I still thank God for answering my prayers. He has reasons and He knows best for everybody. I have to move on and celebrate life. Thank you Mr. D.

My birthday was not a blast but a blessing. I was pampered by everyone around me especially by my husband. Dinner was great at home when prepared with love and devotion. And of course, shopping makes my world go round! The best part of that day was when hubby asked me, "Are you happy?" I answered in a milisecond, "Yes. Thank you." 

Hmmm. It is Valentines Day after all so let me feel like Ana Scott for one day. Say cheese!!! 

This is my Valentines Day gift to my awesome husband. I hope he will love this just like the first framed heart stitch work I gave him last year. I decided to make it my hearty tradition for him every year. It will be a challenge and a routine that both of us will cherish. 

This is the finished piece of one of my Crazy Challenge projects (day 9 to be exact). It's called Alphabet Sampler by Better Homes and Gardens. I call it Heart ABC. The pattern is a freebie from the website. I re-started this last Feb 10 and finished it today, Feb 14. I made my own colour conversion to personalize it. The fabric is 28ct evenweave from Dove Stitch, hand painted purplish colour. 

I framed it myself. I bought a black 12x12 wall frame, alphabet sticker, black foam board and mat from Hobby Lobby. The colonial green mat was cut there too. I designed the mat this way so that my needlework would send some message to hubby... it reads (which I hope he will know), "AGD loves Travis". I do hope though that the stickers on the mat won't look so elementary. Well, this is actually my first attempt to do things on a mat to put colours and send messages to a stitched work. 

Yay! Honestly, my plan was to use the lacing technique on framing as you can see my piece is quite small so it wouldn't be possible. I then used some double-sided tape on the foam board. It worked! I was so gentle. And it was no-sweat! 

Time to spread some love everyone! Happy Valentines Day to all of you!!! 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hello Feb!

February is finally here! One of my favourite months. My Red Month! 

I know I have been off-line for quite awhile. I had these post-holiday blues. Never thought it actually existed but I have experienced it and it was awful. With that said, hubby and I decided to plan something different for 2012 end of the year holidays... hoping the blues won't visit me again.

I'm sorry for these late pictures of my recently concluded 2012 Cross Stitch Challenge. Here they are:

Day 9: Alphabet Heart Sampler. This is a freebie design from Better Homes and Gardens. Just click the link and you can get the sampler pattern. The group members were encouraged to include this sampler on our 15. I love it so I included it as well. 

Day 10: Coffee and Cuddles designed by Margaret Sherry. I find her designs cute and charming. I'm stitching this as a Christmas present for a family member. 

Day 11: First Snow designed by Pollyanna Pickering. This is a UFO (UnFinished Object). I have blogged about this last year. This is for a friend as a birthday present. 

Day 12: Butterfly Scroll. A kit from Dimensions. This is the first cross stitch kit I have received from Mr. D. Another UFO.

Day 13: Bound by Love designed by Paula Vaughan. I also adore her "emotional designs". I'm doing this for my Mama. 

Day 14: Damask Roses designed by Nora Corbett for Mirabilia Designs. This is the very first MD so I opted to make this as my very first Mira work. Nora just like her mother is a brilliant designer. Currently, I'm aiming to complete her 118 MDs. I still need few months to complete the collection. 

Day 15: The Quilting designed by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum. Another Christmas present for a family member. That's it! I have started and re-started 15 projects for 2012. And I did it "by-rules". Guilt-free! 

The other challenge is to finish all these 15 works this year. Guess what?! It's already February and I haven't finished even one yet. Geez!

I wanted to show you the finished order #1 I stitched for my current client. 

Yay! I know the name is quite long and it actually took me weeks to finish it. Now I'm working on order #2. 

Another finished piece I would love to share to you dear readers is my very FIRST World Wide Round Robin finished piece. 

This 50x50 evenweave piece was started November 1, 2011 and came back Home in January 27, 2012. Yes, it was a quick challenge. I really love my finished piece. I plan to frame it myself and hang it in our masters' bathroom.

Sorry for the flood of  photos. Start this Love month with some smooch... :-)