Monday, December 27, 2004

After Christmas

So, our low-key Christmas is over :) It was really low key, without real presents, tree or traditional food. We just had a girland on the mirror, Raclette and small gifts, but it was a nice Christmas. It was the last low-key Christmas for a long time, next year DD will be big enough to understand a lot, so we are going to make it in a more traditional way.

I got a Christmas teddy bear, a silk pullover and charts for a DD draggie Sky and MLI Celtic Banner. I'm quite sure I have fabbie for both, so I might actually start them this year, I would only need the DMC for them.

I must admit I did absolutely nothing two days long. I didn't even feel like stitching, so I just watched TV and read some crappy Christmassy romance books :) I think I really neede a couple od days break from my normal routine.

The bad thing is that the money still hasn't been booked to my Paypal account. We will have to complain again, it was sent two weeks ago! It really does bother me, as there are people waititng for the money. Next time, I am going to pay the money into Paypal first, and only when it's book I will order or ask floss fairy to buy for me.

My mood has been quite low in the recent days. I don't know why, but I think it might be the series of thigs: DD refused to be breastfed, the Paypal story, thinking about the passing year and realising how difficult it really has been, reading Erica's, Terri's and Rachel's blogs... I hope that soon my mood gets better soon.

DH promised me a big present if I manage to get at least an A and two Bs in the next 3 exams. So I better start learning, it would be such a pity not to get it LOL. Oh, I forgot to mention that I got two straight As for my Artificial Intelligence project and exam. And this time I really do care for notes. If I don't have really good ones, my dream of doing the Ph.D. isn't even realistic at all.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

December 20, 2004

Besides framing, what other ways do you finish your cross-stitch pieces?

I usually go for either framing or ornamentifying, but I've made a bellpull and I've sewn a quilt from stitched squares and made cards. I think those are all I can think of... Nothing really interesting or fancy... I would like to stitch a series of squares for DD and make a quil, but I haven't founf anything that I would really really like up to now. I would like to have something that's not too cutesy or sweety and babyish... I would like something she would still enjoy at 8 or 12... Maybe fantasy? Draggies? I will have to think about it...

Sunday, December 19, 2004

2005 Stitching Resolutions

In 2005 I would like to finish:

French Mystery Garden - started June 2004
Weeping Wisteria - started April 2004
MLI Catch the Wind - started June 2004
Just Nan Flowers of Joy - started October 2004
Dimensions Nature's Beauties - started June 2004
Heritage Great Expectations - started June 2004
Blue Hardanger Tabletop - started April 2004

I would like to start and maybe even finish some:
Chatelaine Watergarden
TW Above the Clouds
Michael Powell Venice Gondola
Dracolair Dawn Awakening
Jeanette Douglas Rocky Mountains Sampler or Pacific Rim Sampler
Patricia Ann Designs Twilight Star
Mirabilia Giggles in the snow
DMC Woodstump Station
The Drawn Thread Sanctuary
TW Rocking Horse Dancer
Dimensions Gracious Era
Dimensions Winter's Lace

I would also like to have at least 12 more ornaments finished for next Christmas and finish a couple of small pieces (Isabelle Vautier Coeurs, etc.)

Year 2004 in Stitches

Most of my WIPs and finishes can be seen in my photo album.

I re-started stitching after giving birth to DD already in January. I stitched a couple of squares for SOLAK and was hooked again.

Then in March I stitched an All Our Yesterdays picture for DD's room and was even more hooked :) Then Sunset's Cottage Entchantment got started and then I discovered the BBs and a completely new world opened for me.

Altogether I had some finishes in 2004, although as always not as many as I would wish:

12 charity quilt squares
1 friendship exchange square
5 Christmas ornies from my ornie RR
5 other Christmas ornies
Isa Vautier Coeur de Chat
DMC Bubble birthday picture for my friend's son's first birthday
UFO A cat for all seasons - started in 2002
Victoria Sampler Heirloom Christmas Sampler - started November 2004

Except for maybe one more ornie, I do not see any more HDs coming this year.

So year 2005 will see my with

UFOs:
WOCS Hummingbird (90%) - started March 2002
Beatrix Potter Storybook Sampler as DD's birthdays sampler (25%) (I stitched on it during the pregnancy and I still cannot even see it without getting nauseated again, and I already partially dekitted it, sigh) - started June 2003
Autumn Cottage from a WOCS calendar (60%)- started in 2002
DMC In the Meadow (just a couple of stitches in, have to decide if I keep or dekit it) - started September 2004

regular WIPs
Sunset Cottage Entchantment - started May 2004
Dimensions Nature's Beauties - started June 2004
Heritage Great Expectations - started June 2004
Blue Hardanger Tabletop - started April 2004

WIPs awaiting a quick HD
French Mystery Garden - started June 2004
Weeping Wisteria - started April 2004
MLI Catch the Wind - started June 2004
Just Nan Flowers of Joy - started October 2004

I hope that the quick-finish WIPs will get finished either in January or in February, as they logically belong to the year 2004. I am going to keep my mini-rotation until those 4 are finished and then move to the regular rotation with a focus piece (one or two actually).

All in all it has been a good year, especially keeping in mind that all the stitching was done during my baby's first year. I still hope that 2005 is going to be even better. DD is bogger now, she needs slightly less attention and lets me do some stitching while watching her. I am still staying at home (I will be coming back to my work in February 2006) and although a lot of time is going to be taken by my Master's thesis, I am going to try to keep procrastination at the minimum and get as much stitching time as possible.

My 2005 stitching goals are going to follow soon.

Heirloom Christmas Sampler Happy Dance!!

Yes I actually finished the beading two days ago!! I'm really happy about this finish, it's the first big one this year.

I just felt sort of post-completion depression and didn't feel like stitching a lot yesterday and today. And I really need to get going, as I only have two weeks more school-free and 4 more things that need finishing. So I better start working on them. Still, I am really happy that I got at least one of those finished still this year.

Sorry, no pictures at the moment, because the computer, where the camera and scanner are hooked died a couple of days ago. DH thinks it needs a completely new motherboard, so we have to decide, if we are getting just a motherboard, or a new motherboard + processor. So it may take a couple of days, but there will be a picture, I promise.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Thinking about the future...

First of all, thak you so much for your caring comments. I feel really happy to have such wonderful friends (who share my hobby :) ). I really think that I have learnt a lot from the things that happened this year and that the next one will only be better.

Today we had a very long talk with DH about me being unhappy. Maybe I succeeded in communicating to him what's wrong with me (I'm not really sure, but I hope so). It's not easy for me to talk about the way I feel and what I want, unfortunately.

We were talking mainly about my career choices. I think what's bothering me most is that I never had this interim period between being a teenager and an adult. You know, the college phase when you are already quite independent, but not yet responsible for others. We married after my first year in college and DH got very sick immediately. I had to quit studying, move to Germany, learn the language and go to work. At 20 I was not really prepared for all this, not mentioning I was not prepared to grow up within a month. I have always wanted to go back to studying full-time, but it was never an option (financially). After three years at work I started studying part-time and made my BS diploma last summer at 27. Now I am in my 1.5 years long Master program and I'm doing fairly well. But still it's different. The studies are not very difficult, nor very challanging. They are designed for people who work full-time and for my taste they are not academic enough ;)

When I was working full time, I was happy the program was not too difficult. I had so much to do, so much to learn for my work, that I wouldn't have been able to pursue a full-time academically hard program. But not it's different. I have quite a lot time (yes I know my DD is an angel and not a real child, but she's so sweet that she lets me actually read or stitch when I'm watching her sometimes). And I feel under-challanged. Yes, I know I have opportunity to learn on my own, broaden what I've already learnt etc. I just have very little motivation to do things on my own. I don't know why. Maybe I have worked under pressure for so long, that I'm not able to do it without any more? Maybe I'm just lazy? Maybe I don't see the goal clear enough? I don't know.

I usually work best under pressure. When I was learning German, I was skipping one course in between any two. I made courses 2, 4 and 6 and after only 6 months was done with learning German. It worked great for me, gave me motivation to learn a lot in the evening (I had to learn the stuff I skipped). When something is too easy for me I automatically loose interest. I am also not very self-motivated and never have been. I need an extern carrot to work hard.

I was very good at school and also in college. I passed the entrance exams first out of over 700 people and had a scholarship. It was easy for me, I had nothing else really serious to do (I lived at home). Does anybody know how to motivate myself without those extern carrots? Stop procrastinating, get working hard again? Only if I'm working really hard the next year I have a real chance to find out if I really wish to make PhD or not. If I don't work hard, it won't be an option at all. But how to find motivation, when even this chance is vague? PhD studies are expensive. They are time-consuming. I'm not even sure if I'm good enough to manage it. If I am able to find enough self-motivation to achieve this goal? PhD is hard work, 3 years at school and then some more for finishing the thesis, etc. Do I really want it at all? Can I finance it? How is my life going to look like, when I work full-time (or almost full-time) and work on my PhD on weekends? Will it affect DD? How badly? Will it affect me? Would it affect me more if I finished my eductaion on a level that is not satisfactory to me?

I'm a planner and I like knowing things in advance. Even more now, after the chaotic first years with DH. I want to know now, what I want and how I'm going to achieve this LOL. Why is it so hard to make a decision?

I still have time to make any decisions regarding my PhD and I'm defintely going to take my time. But writing about my doubts, questions helps to see it clearer.

And yes, I think artificial intelligence is interesting enough to catch my attention for longer, interesting enough for me to want to explore it further.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Year 2004 Review

2004 has been a very challanging year, this kind of year one remembers all life long. I only hope I have managed to learn from the things that happened and won't repeat the same mistakes. So here comes my year 2004 review:

1. I settled down in my role of DD's mother. It still ain't easy, but I feel much better about her and me now. My post-partum depression vanished around New Year and I have been feeling quite alright since.

2. I lost 28 pounds. It has not been easy and I still have a long way to go to my goal, but at least I am now within healthy BMI range. Quite an accomplishment.

3. I got my Bachelor Degree in Busisness Management in July. I am really happy about it!

4. I started my Master program in Computer Studies in September, it will go on until March 06.

5.
I started my charity project in March and gave it up in November. I enjoyed working for it and putting my own ideas into real life, but I made the mistake of sharing the responsibility. It didn't work out and I decided to step back after only 3 weeks we had been working together. It all ended in a huge war and left everyone feeling hurted and betrayed. Definitely not something I would like to repeat. Shall I ever do anything like that I will watch carefully with whom I am going to do it, try to get to know the people personally, won't have high hopes that they will understand me. At best I would keep it small enough to be manageable by one person.

Except for feeling hurt and betrayed by people I considered friends, the work was too much for me. It was not only the actual work, but also the constant thinking about the project that was eating up my resources. I kept trying to make the project bigger, better, well-known, etc. This is definitely not the way to go for me. Somewhere on the way, we lost something important. Mostly we discussed patterns, finished squares, etc. The children were somewhere in the background, for most of the participants, they were not even real. That was bothering me big time, but I did not manage to change that. I made an attempt to change things, but that was the real reason for our fight. The people who were supposed to help me, didn't want the changes. When they said it's not my project any more and changed the passwords, I decided to step back. Indeed it was not my project any more. Even if each and every idea and piece of work was mine. Still I think that going on with the war would only harm the project, something I didn't want to.

I have problems with communicating my thoughts in real life and I think this might have been the problem in the project as well. I kept my thinking about the children and their parents to myself and didn't even try to communicate it. When I finally tried, I didn't get understood. I couldn't go on keeing everything to myself though. I was on the edge of paranoia already. I was almost 100% sure DD must have some kind of lethal, undiscovered disease. I decided against having another baby, for fear that having two healthy children in statistically impossible... Insane, I know, but there was no one to talk to, no one who could really understand, no one who would care... My "friends" expected that I go on forever. They didn't want to hear my own fears, thought, concerns... That was the reason for blogging in the first place.
I still have moments when I think that I have to do things for the project, I still keep having ideas how to solve problems.

But I have much more free ressources now to pursue different goals. I stopped reading anything about sick children and my psycho thoughts are disappearing. I have more time for my stitching. I enjoy learning more. I do not fel constantly guilty that I am doing something, while so many other things are waiting.

This project has tought me a lot about myself. Part of it was a suprise. I kept having new ideas all the time. Whenever there was a problem I was able to come up with a solution that worked. What I was doing was not enough and I kept searching for other possibilities, new ideas. I really like this part :) I have never thought I would be able to come up with so many fresh ideas and I hope this is going to continue in other areas. I also think, that the fact that the ideas did work, has given me self-confidence to communicate my ideas to others. Now I need to learn to do that in other areas.

I have also always had problems with trusting others. Now the issues have grown even greater. I must learn to have a certain level of trust again, otherwise, not only I am going to hurt myself, but also DD. Depriving us both of healthy contacts with other people is bad.

Well, I think that's more or less everything about the project.

6. I discovered the BBs and have really learnt a lot about stitching. I also got to know wonderful people. Kind and caring - I hope we are really going to stay friends, I like you all so much!

7.
As my stitching abilities kept growing, also my taste changed a lot. I like specialty stitches, sparkly threads, hand-dyed fabbies... A year ago I didn't even know they existed!

8.
I moved from 2 UFOs and 2 WIPs to 3 UFOs and multiple WIPs (I think I have 10 at the moment) I also acquired a great stash and had to go on the Wagon :)

9.
Our marriage got drastically worse over the year, I hope we have a chance to get things worked out, as divorce is not really an option, but I'm cautiously optimistic about that. A lot of work and a lot of thinking next year, though.

10. I was a complete disaster as far as sports are concerned. I haven't been to the gym for 2 months, even though I am paying for it...

11. I went back to horseback riding in the summer, after 8 years. Boy, did it feel great!!! If only I could continue doing it regularly, I would be a happier version of me. Maybe, one day...

12. Kitty-wise the year was much better. No dramas in this area, just minor things. A nice change after 2003 when we experienced a lot of heart-breaking things.

13. I think that's enough for now.

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

December 13, 2004

Obligation Stitching: Yes? No? Maybe?


A very good question :) I used to do a lot of obligation stitching. Almost only charity squares, nothing for me or my family. But I indeed burnt out with all this charity thing and I'm going to call 2005 "A year of no obligation stitching".

I have never done a real RR, just exchange squares, or ornament RR. I think those are a bit better, because it's easier to catch up if something goes wrong. I do not feel tempted to take part in a real RR, I must confess, but I love our Ornie RR to pieces and I'm going to take part in the next round.

I would like to stitch some pieces for my family, but I'm not going to see them as obligation stitching. I mean - no deadlines. I will be finished when I'm finished, no sooner.

I have never done any model-stitching and I doubt I would make a good model-stitcher. I'm afraid that I would stop liking it very soon, I would be really afraid that I won't like the piece too. I am rather picky in choosing things I stitch and wouldn't want to stitch something I don't love.

So, as I decided not to stitch for charity this year (or at least really minimal), I have great chances 2005 is going to be obligation-free!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Stitching Progress and HDs

I have just finished stitching Heirloom Christmas Sampler. I still have the beading left, but the stitches are done, done, done! It really feels great and I love the way it looks like already now. I will be really happy dancing when it's completely finished!

In the meantime I needed some break from bigger projects and have finished three ornies. One was from my Ornie RR, and two were from JCS 2003 ornie issue. They turned out really nice. I am going to give one of them to DH who requested this special one. I hope they turn out nicely when finished-finished. I have already finished one, and I'm quite happy with it. It's the first ornie I've ever finished so it was a bit trying and correcting my technique. It's maybe a little bit too flat, but it's quite a big ornie on the other hand, and I didn't want it to look like a huge pillow LOL. If I'm going to put it on the wall, instead of X-mas tree, it's going to look nice, I hope. I am going to continue ornamntifying this week, just need to get some cording.

Instead of stitching on Flowers of Joy, which I should be, according to my mini-rotation, I decided to attach Catch the Wind. There's very little stitching left on Flowers of Joy, and I would hate to be left with Catch the Wind completely alone. I know I would burn out very quickly. This way I am going to alternate these two (adding the HCS - beading) until I'm finished, hopefully I won't get too bored with the plain cross-stitching on Catch the Wind. After HCS I am so spoilt. Every band was something new, exciting, challanging... I must stitch more samplers. It's really good, that there are some coming in my order...

Friday, December 10, 2004

Non-stitching WIPs

I have two non-stitching WIPs now, one is "The big Year 2004 Review" and the other one is "Year 2005 Planning" LOL. I think I am also going to copy WhizGidget "State of the Stitching" idea and make something like that for the end of the year.

But the review and the planning are going to be about more than just stitching. 2004 was a very difficult and challanging year, but I hope to have learnt my lessons. I also hope next year is going to be easier, I am going to take a breath and invest more in myself and my family. The lesson with my charity project was hard and painful and for the time being I am not planning on any charity work at all. I guess one year off is going to be a good idea and will let me enough time to think about the way I want to do something. Definitely it's going to be something small and private. So do not watch for charity squares in 2005 LOL, there won't be many, if at all.

Maybe if I concentrate on my private goals more, I will be able to achieve more progress. I have noticed that organising the project did suck a lot of ressources. I kept thinking about it 24 hours a day and constantly worried about people, quilts, conflicts, whatever. When I gave up I still had moments of thinking about those things, but the realised it's not my problem any more. Suddenly I had ressources to think about other things. I made a huge progress on HCS. I started planning my thesis. I learnt more and with more pleasure and starter pursuing my private goals more consciously. So at the moment I think that's the way to go for me.

I would also like to stitch for my family more. No one has anything stitched by me, except for one small picture I made for DH 3 years ago. I think I should change that, and at least make something for my Mom, DD and DH. Maybe also for the rest of my family. I am also going to make another attempt to contact my in-laws. They have never seen me, not mentioning our DD. I think it's really high time to make up, maybe I could attach a hand-made ornie to the Merry Christmas package we are going to send to them, maybe this could prove them they were wrong in judging me, before they ever talked to me... Maybe also the photos of DD could make a change, she's really a sweetie pie. If not, then I don't know what else could make them rethink their choices.

So those are the things that are going to keep me occupied in my school-free time. Finihing HCS, ornamentifying my 10 stitched ornies, preparing the package for in-laws, writing the Year 2004 Review and Year 2005 Goals and Planning.

Most probabely I won't have much to do for Christmas, because my parents won't be able to make it here :( My Dad has to work day after Christmas and it would be too much for him to travel just for 2 days :( They are going to visit later in January, but it's not the same...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Which of the Greek Muses are you?

You scored as Clio. You are Clio, the muse of history.
You love academic pursuits, but still know to have fun.
You're a bit of a tease and a prankster.

Clio

81%

Euterpe

44%

Urania

38%

Erato

38%

Polyhymnia

31%

Terpischore

31%

Calliope

25%

Melpomene

25%

Thalia

19%

Which of the Greek Muses are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Monday, December 06, 2004

About everything

First, I wanted to thank you all for your comments on my WIPs. They really made my day!!! It feels so special to open my blog and find all the comments in there :) Thank you!

I survived my weekend at the uni. It was really tough this time, Saturday till 8 pm and Sunday till 4 pm, but with an exam in the middle. It was an exam in Artificial Intelligence, subject I really adore. It's so interesting and so challenging and I enjoyed reading about this topic. Yet, I don't know if I did well. The questions were broad, general and unclear. I don't know if my answers were the ones the prof was wishing for, so I don't know how he's going to like them. I like short, precise questions or problems to solve much better, at least I usually have a good feeling if I did well or now. We'll see before Christmas how I did. The problem with learning for this exam was that I got sidetracked a lot. I stayed within the subject but spent several hours at a time pursuing questions that were not relevant for the exam. I spent a couple of days trying to find the best AI solution to the Traveling Salesman Problem LOL. I did find enough information to satisfy my curiosity in the end, but of course it ate up my learning time. Still I am going to read on about AI, I find it simply fascinating!!!

I have a horrible headache today and DD is getting on my nerves. She's always a bit more difficult after I have not been home for 2 days, but today her crying simply hurt. Poor baby, not only mummy's away, but when she's back she's in bad mood. I hope tomorrow she will be better and will let me move without her glued to my legs. Thanks God, she's not crying while I'm away. She actually has great time with DH, playing a lot, walking, etc. It's the moment she sees me again, when she realizes that she's missed me.

I want to think about my final thesis more until Christmas. I still have plenty of time, over a year to finish it, but I would like at least to be sure about the subject. I have to send my proposal to my prof and wait for him to OK it. The subject is already chosen, Workflow Management, but I have to precise the topic and what do I want to concentrate most on. I have already started some research, it's my most favorite part of writing. I like reading, searching for papers, books, articles. What I don't enjoy is sitting down and writing. This thesis is going to be my trial. If I enjoy it enough, if I'm good enough and if it turns out, the way I wish, I might try postgraduate studies and PhD. It's not 100% sure, as it is a huge investment in terms of money and time, but I like toying with the idea. Whatever I decide, I want to think about such things in advance.

The next big decision will be about me coming back to work next January or deciding on a next baby. I would like more than one child, but at the moment I can't imagine getting pg again and caring for two small children at once. On the other hand I wouldn't want there to be a big age gap between the two and DH is not the youngest, so we shouldn't wait too long. Also I have problems with endometriosis and although I got pg very easily, it didn't get any better after the pregnancy. Quite the opposite it got much worse, so most probably I am facing a complete hysterectomy like my Mom in the future. Well, at least you can't get cancer of something, you don't have, right? So also because of that we shouldn't delay the decision... And DD is getting really bossy and spoilt, I'm slightly afraid of her being really jealous... I just feel not quite ready for a second child yet...

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

December 06, 2004

What has been your most interesting stitching related injury?

I must admit I have never got injured while stitching. I mean I have put the needle in my finger several times, but never so that it really hurted. So I cannot call it injury.

I must admit that I hope I will never be able to answer this question, I consider stitching a nicely safe and relaxing hobby LOL.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Which literature classic are you?

orlando
Virginia Woolf: Orlando. You are a challenge, for
outer events, the outside world, the time etc.
play no importance to you. Your focus is in
writing, in gender issues, and inside your own
head. Self-analysis and exploration of yourself
as well as the outer world hold great
importance to you.


Which literature classic are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Heirloom Christmas Sampler WIP


Victoria Sampler Heirloom Christmas Sampler WIP

I fell in love with this design in September when the SAL on the Rotation Board was planned. Thanks to Fiona I am able to stitch it now and I am enjoying it immensely. The only part of the sampler I do not enjoy that much is the Evil tree on the top. It's truly evil to stitch and like almost everyone I have now my own version of the tree. I still have a part of it waititng to be stitched up, I hope to bite the bullet and finish it after the weekend. There's less than a half left.

I really love how the drawn thread bands are turning up, and actually I think that every single band in this sampler is georgous. It's the definitely the most beautiful Victoria Sampler design. I hope there will be more like this one in the future. I love the elegant, delicate stitches, but I enjoy it more than the white-on-white ones. This is the third piece I hope to get finished before January, maybe even for Christmas.

Catch the Wind WIP


Butternut Road Catch the Wind WIP

I started this design in June, because I just love those girls playing with their kites. It's a very pleasant piece to stitch on, with big blobs of one colour, it stitches up really fast. I hope to get it finished in January and maybe I will enter it in the stitching show in ym home town, but I'm not sure yet if I will be taking part at all. Nonetheless I would like to have it finished until mid-January and be able to decide then if I'm taking part or not.

Flowers of Joy WIP


Just Nan Flowers of Joy WIP

I have stitched o this WIP while staiyng in Poland with my parents. I have not been beading along, and I only ordered the beads on Saturday, so I will have to wait a bit until I can bead. There are still a few rows missing, but I hope to finish them soon. I really enjoy this WIP, it's fun to stitch, not very difficult, but not mindless either.