You are currently browsing the archives for September 2006.

Escape From the Frogs

  • Posted on September 29, 2006 at 12:02 am

Today’s SBQ was suggested by Sharon and is:

When you find yourself making a lot of mistakes in various stitching projects do you find it better to muddle your way through or do you take a brief break from stitching? If you do take a break, how long do you take?

Oh my goodness, yes I take a break! There’s no point in continuing on when you’re obviously either tired, having trouble counting/concentrating or whatever the problem is. I try not to wait too long before going back to it, though, or I’ll run the risk of it becoming a UFO. In fact, when I discovered that one of my UFOs had been started in the wrong place on specialty, printed fabric, I frogged all of the stitching and the next day, I started stitching in the right spot. I think it’s important not to allow yourself to be defeated and lose momentum, so the sooner you can pick it up and have some success with it, the better off you are!

The Sad Truth About My Decline

  • Posted on September 27, 2006 at 2:23 pm

I haven’t told many people what’s been going on with me lately, but I guess I’m about to announce it to the world. I feel like I owe it to my readers to continue being open and honest because it seems to help us all. So, here is the sad truth: I’m not faring so well in my battle with depression. I’ve suspected it for a while, but it’s pretty much official now. I saw Dr. Steve last night and he thinks he’s going to change my diagnosis from disthymia (which was basically just off-kilter mood disorder) to major depression. He wants me to see a psychiatrist to see if my medications need to be changed.

I’m so frustrated, annoyed and sad about this that it’s not even funny. Terry is concerned that I’m going to put too much stock in the diagnosis and he’s partially right. But, in reality, I think it’s more just a validation of what I already knew was happening. I’m sliding down this slippery slope instead of clawing my way upwards. I was brutally honest with Dr. Steve last night. About everything. Not wanting to get out of bed. Not involving myself with anyone socially. Not calling people. Not talking to people. Sleeping a lot. Feeling listless, rudderless and directionless. Not wanting to do much of anything. Lessened libido. The whole nine yards.

Yes, I put up a good front when I go in to work and I don’t let on what’s really going on, but the truth is that I’m retreating from the world. And I JUST DON’T CARE. I’m going through the motions and that’s pretty much it.

Somewhere inside of me is this highly motivated, intelligent, strong woman who is raging at being unjustly locked up like this. I’m so irritated that after all of the break-throughs that I’ve had and the progress that I’ve made, here I am. Sitting on my behind at the bottom of the hill. Looking up at where I was and wondering how the heck I got down here.

I had a migraine this morning whose return I am still actively fighting. And my emotions are raw and unpleasant. I just want to break down and sob. And maybe I should because I might feel better after that release. I really hate feeling like this. I want to rend my breast in twain and just let out all of this junk that’s bottled up in my chest. All of the pain, frustration, anger and sadness. I want to scream, I want to rage, I want to roar, I want to cry, I want to hiss, I want to spit.

To use a word from Futurama that lets me feel like I’m swearing without actually doing so: CRAPSPACKLE!

Screw you, depression, and the horse you rode in on. GET OUT OF MY HEAD!

SBQ – Stitching Statistics

  • Posted on September 27, 2006 at 8:38 am

This week’s SBQ was suggested by Elisabeth and is:

How many pieces have you stitched? Out of these, how many have been for you? How many have had specialty stitches or other techniques besides cross stitch?

According to what I have catalogued in my photo gallery (which do not include my early works), I have stitched 122 pieces in the past 5 years or so. Of those, only 37 have been for me (and I’m actually surprised that the number is that high!) and the remaining 85 have been gifts, exchanges, charity quilt squares and models.

As far as specialty stitches go, 65 of those projects were straight cross stitch. The remainder each include some sort of specialty stitches, beading or hardanger work.

Drumroll Please!

  • Posted on September 26, 2006 at 5:04 pm

And the winners of the great scissors giveaway are:

A – Lalana
B – Svenja
C – Zohrah
D –
E – Heather (UK; I need your address), Meari, Susan (I need your address)
F – Cindy G., Outi
G – Kali, Melanie
H – Lelia
I – Coral, Harsha (I need your address)
J – Michelle (I need your address)
K – Anita (I need your address)
L – Cindy (Is this Cindy G. or another Cindy? If it’s another Cindy, I need your address)

Congratulations to the winners! As you see from above, I still need mailing addresses from 5 of you. Packages will probably go out to the U.S. winners first, simply because I can stuff them into a mailbox at any time. I do need to pick up some more bubble wrap and envelopes, so I can’t send them all out right away, but they will go out sometime within the coming week.

If you didn’t win, don’t give up hope. For the 7 of you who entered, but did not win, you get a second chance. Because I drew for the scissors in decreasing order based on the number of votes for each one, there are still 4 pairs up for grabs. Pair D, which is metallic red, silver and blue; two pairs of H, which are the lovely and lively orange and yellow pairs; and one pair of I, which is the creamy pink pair.

So… Angela, Barbara, Cathy (in PA), Cathy MK, Myrna, Rafaella and Stitch, listen up. You have until Sunday to comment on this post or email me with your entries for the remaining pairs of scissors. That’s 4 pairs in total and you can enter for any combination of them. Just comment or send me an email with which ones you would like to enter for. I will pull names again Sunday evening, so please get your entries in by Sunday morning (Eastern time; GMT -5 hrs).

And, just for the record, the choosing was done by a completely impartial party – a friend at work was kind enough to draw names for me. I tried to be as fair as possible, working from the most popular pairs downwards. I will have Terry draw them on Sunday.

So, to recap: 5 of you need to send your mailing address ASAP to jenna at magees dot net; and 7 of you need to respond to me with your picks from the remaining scissors by Sunday.

Congratulations to the winners and good luck to those in the running for the final pairs! I hope that you had fun! 🙂

I Can Not Please EVERYONE ANY of the Time!

  • Posted on September 26, 2006 at 2:47 pm


[Written on Wednesday, September 20, 2006, but not posted until now in order to keep the focus on the Great Scissors Giveaway]

I went in to work today for the first time in a week. What with being sick last week, then Phoebe’s problems and then the software deployment this weekend and subsequent recovery and troubleshooting of problems relating to the deployment, I worked from home all of that time. Which is nice, but sometimes you need a change, right?


I wish I hadn’t come in. First of all, I’m starting to notice that I don’t hit my work stride until 1:00 or 2:00 PM. I might have to do something about this, like modify my working hours or something. I don’t know.

Anyway, the day started with getting out of bed late this morning because Terry is the current keeper of the alarm clock and he didn’t realize that I had to be in for a 9:00 AM meeting. Whoops! During a hurried attempt to go from bed to the car in 30 minutes (didn’t happen), I checked my BlackBerry (these things are the most evil devices in the universe) and discovered that there was a problem with another piece of software that I manage. And it was affecting an outside customer. And I had no idea how to fix it. Still don’t, for that matter.

So, I instant message the guy running the meeting, letting him know that I would be late. I told him that I was working on some issues. Which was true. I didn’t lie. I consciously make an effort not to lie. However, if he put those two pieces of information together and came to conclusion that I was running late due to working on said issues, who am I to argue, right?

We get into work, I boot up and immediately find out that there’s a problem in the system we just deployed. This is going to be a running theme for a little while until we get through a settling period and everything gets to a normalized state where it should start working as I designed it. 😉 So, I spend the next couple of hours working through system issues, completely missing the meeting by a mile and then some. Before I know it, I’m looking at yet another issue (they just keep on coming) and my alarm goes off about my next meeting, warning me than I have 30 minutes before I need to go to that. Oh, and by the way, it’s a working meeting, for which I am unprepared because I’ve been wrapped up in this other project so long that I have gotten no other work done for months (literally). I look at the reminder and think, “There is no way that I am going to make it to this meeting.” So, I pop over to the next cubicle and talk to the guy coordinating the project meeting (same guy as this morning). Who, at this point, is quite exasperated with me. I tell him that we’re still working through issues and that I will put the work that I’ve accomplished to date (which is not a lot, but it’s something) into the database that we’re using to track the work on this project. All I get are a series of signs and “Whatever.” Nice.

So, while I am working feverishly with one group and making people happy there, I am neglecting and irritating at least two other groups. *sigh*

It just reminds me of the saying:

I can only please one person per day.
Today is not your day.
Tomorrow doesn’t look good, either.

To which, I would add: “Let’s shoot for sometime next year…”

Last Day For the Scissors Giveaway!

  • Posted on September 25, 2006 at 12:09 pm

Comment now or forever hold your peace. 😉

Let the Great Scissors Giveaway Begin!

  • Posted on September 18, 2006 at 3:55 am

Okay, I admit it. I still can’t sleep and I couldn’t stand to keep you in suspense much longer. So, here’s the deal. After a Stitching Blogger’s Question of the Week revealed that many of my fellow stitchy bloggers were woefully bereft of embroidery scissors, I went out on eBay and bought a bunch of scissors and culled a few from my own collection so that I could give them away to those in need of more. 🙂

As a result, I have a total of 20 (yes, TWENTY) pairs of scissors to give away to my readers. The rules are fairly simple. Click on any of the pairs thumbnailed below to get a larger (if still mediocre) picture, plus a description and the number of pairs available (some have multiples). If you like them and would like a pair, leave a comment on the picture in my gallery and send me your mailing address (I may have some of yours, but send it to me anyway, please). My email address is jenna at magees dot net, if you didn’t know already.

That’s it. You can enter for more than one pair of scissors. If the number of entries exceeds the number of scissors of that design available, I will try to make sure that each person who enters gets at least one pair. So, really, I would encourage you to enter for more than one. That way, you’ll be assured of getting at least one pair that you like. Pretty much the same rules as my ornament giveaway. And if more than 20 people manage to enter, I’ll improvise, so don’t worry. 😀

You have a week to place your entries. I will close the doors at the end of the day on September 25th and the scissors will start flying (carefully) within a week or so after that, unless I will be seeing you at CATS in Hershey, in which case I will give them to you in person.


P.S. If you can’t figure out how to comment on the gallery, feel free to comment here or drop me an email with your choices.
P.P.S. I apologize for the poor quality of the photos, but I tried 3 times to capture the colors and beauty of these scissors and failed each time. This group was the least of the failures. Besides, it was 3:30 AM, do you think I care enough to try again? 😉 If you’d like me to try to get a better picture of any of these, just ask and I will try it again in daylight.

The Insomniac

  • Posted on September 18, 2006 at 2:20 am

It’s after 2:00 AM and I’ve been laying in bed for over an hour, unable to get to sleep. Is there anything more frustrating? Unless Terry, I don’t have magic sleepy pills to make me fall asleep, so I have finally dragged myself out of bed and over to my computer. What do I do when I can’t sleep? Blog, of course. 😆

I do have a photo to share, while I’m am it. Sometime after midnight, I finished the 6th and final blackwork biscornu, complete with over 65 step-by-step pictures to create a comprehensive tutorial. Seriously, if you can’t finish a biscornu by the time you make it through this tutorial, i’ve done something wrong. 😉

So, here’s the last blackwork biscornu (notice I qualified that as the last blackwork biscornu; there will be more in the near-ish future):

I might just have to keep this one for myself, as it is my favorite out of the blackwork designs that I stitched.

And now, with nothing left to say and no sleep overcoming me yet, I’m off to go kit up some more things to stitch, fondle some stash and maybe take a few pictures of some scissors… 😈

The Official Weekend Update

  • Posted on September 17, 2006 at 10:52 pm

We worked a lot this weekend, but the software has been deployed and with great success. It went off without any major hitches, just a number of little ones and it took some time to get everything working and playing together nicely. Tomorrow will undoubtedly bring questions from people who have not been truly paying attention to all of our presentations throughout the past weeks and months, but that is to be expected. And then I will be done with the project work that has been capturing my attention for a couple of months and back to my normal grind. *sigh* However, I have decided that while I am trying to create a plan to take my career in a new direction, I will approach my work with a new attitude and renewed fervor in order to help keep me from growing increasing despondent.

On the furbaby front, Phoebe and I both thank you for your heartfelt good wishes. She has been improving every day and is finally back to her spunky self today. Her wound has scabbed over and she’s been running around like a happy pup. She’s been eating her “crunchies” (dry dog food; she has a bowl of it out at all times and gets wet food every night, as well) again and has finally had a bowel movement for the first time since Thursday. I’ve never been so happy to see a pile of dog poo in my entire life. 😆 She’s happy, I’m happy, it’s all good. 😀

As for my cold, it has run through its paces and today I am just left with a seemingly interminably drippy nose. I can handle that.

On the stitching front, no real stitching, but I did finish blackwork square #5 into a biscornu and started to finish blackwork square #6, as well, taking copious, detailed pictures at every little step. As a result, I’m only 1/4 of the way through actually putting it together, but I won’t need any more pictures until I get to the 3/4 mark and stuff it, so I should be able to get it finished tomorrow night, if I feel like it. Also, the paillettes arrived for the Sweetheart Tree design Enchantment, so I attached them to the design and the top piece of my mother’s biscornu is now finished.

Without any further ado, here are the pictures:

Finally, I haven’t forgotten about the great scissors giveaway. I have sorted them and will take photos this week… 😉

Because you make my days a little brighter…

  • Posted on September 16, 2006 at 6:50 pm

As seen on Outi‘s blog:

If there is one or more people on your friends list who makes your world a better place just because they exist and who you would not have met (in real life or not) without the internet, then post this same sentence in your journal.

So, thank you to all of you who keep me sane! 😀

My Stick Family from