Monday, November 30, 2009

My Beautiful New Kitchen

Here are pictures of my new kitchen. The first picture is of my sink area. I have glass cabinets above the sink that I put in my small collection of tea pots. Also on the wall you can see two of my needlepoint Italian scenes. The second picture is of my stove area. I love my new stove. It is very high tech. It tells me when to check the food. The third picture is of my refrigerator area. On this wall I have a pull out pantry and my pull out drawers for my pots. The fourth picture is a view from the kitchen into the family room. The last picture is a view from the island area in the family room into the kitchen. We decided that we did not want our table and chairs any more and decided to add this counter height area for eating. The cabinet matches my kitchen cabinets and holds all my holiday dishes. The granite top is the same as the kitchen. I love the stools we got from Frontgate. They match the wood pieces in the family perfectly. There is nothing I would change in the kitchen. I am totally happy with everything. We still have to have some work done in it. The painter has to come back to do some touch up work and the carpenter has to come back to replace the panel that holds the lighting over the sink. The wood split within a day of installation.
Just heard from Amy's and my third Magi is on his way. Will post a picture of my completed Nativity when he arrives.
Check out Amy's December newsletter. Yes, it is out. Some really great items to get for your stitching friends. The bead tower and parking spot for your laying are only two great items to chose from. Have fun shopping. I know I did.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Nativity

I have posted pictures of my Nativity display for Christmas. I decided to place the pieces on my mantel since it is in my family room and I can enjoy the Nativity from my kitchen and also the family room. The third Magi (Magi of the Orient) should be arriving any day from Amy and I will post another picture of the Nativity with all the finished pieces. I am so pleased to finally have a Nativity to display. Next year the whole mantel will be filled with all twelve pieces.
I am very proud of these pieces. Thank you to Kelly Clark for her beautiful canvases and to Amy Bunger for bringing the canvases to life.
After almost a month, I am finally starting to feel better. I had two set backs after surgery but seen to finally be on the road to recovery. I still have to be careful with my knee since the surgeon had to remove some of the stitches so that the wound could drain. Since I have an open wound, I have to be careful not to put too much stress on it. This was not too easy since I decorate the day after Thanksgiving and had to go up the attic to get everything down. My daughter and husband helped so that made it much easier. Thank you to everyone for all your well wishes.
Hope to post more pictures on Monday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Thanksgiving's approach has me reflecting on the many things I am thankful for in my life. So, a list:

My darling daughter, who lights up a room for me when she's there. I could write posts endlessly about her, so....
My dear husband, who never blinks when he sees me walk in with another bag from the LNS, or cheerfully tells me "there's a package here from a needlepoint store."
For my Stitching Sister, Linda, who is finally getting better & never complains--even when I do it for her.
For my Stitching Sister, Linda, for her infinite patience with everyone & a generosity of spirit & enthusiasm which amaze me every single time I speak to her.
For my stitching niece, Jen, for her talent & discipline, I am always so impressed.
For my kittens, Cara & Mia, who are confident they are the center of the universe--& have learned to leave Mommy's stitching stuff alone.
For my other family members, who are finally getting how much I love to stitch, & have stopped saying, "oh, how do you have time for that knitting?"
For my family members who immediately respond when someone says something like that, by saying, "It's needlepoint, & she's so good at it. We are so lucky when she makes something for one of us."
For my Nanny, who taught me how to hold a needle, & for my Nonna Teresa, & my great grandmothers, who I never met, but who had skills that passed to me as evidenced by the lovely work I have from all of them.
For my father, & grandfather, who, like my dear husband, always said, "That looks great, Denise."
For my mother, who was completely incapable of even sewing a button, yet still got me my requested sewing machine for my 13th birthday....& never ceased to be amazed at my interest in all things stitching.
For all my cyberspace buddies that I have met through this blog, & theirs, & their fabulous creativity.
For Jane of Chilly Hollow, the master enabler.
For Amy & Ruth & Marina & Theresa & the many other shop owners & workers who spend their day making my hobby their passion, & the reason I get through my work day & onto my couch at night.
For Spinster Stitcher, for making me laugh out loud so often.
For my local needlepoint store, Stitch by Stitch, for always having something for me to cast my eye upon.
For all the many other excellent needlepoint shops I have seen with my Stitching Sister, like Edwardian Needle, Fireside, Rittenhouse, Beadecked & Bedazzled, Ridgewood and so many others that I have come to love visiting like an old friend.
For my Stitching Sister who will drive anywhere with me.
For teachers like Tony Minieri & Sharon G & David McCaskill who give so much of themselves every time they look at a canvas.
For Sharon G for bringing my beautiful Ponza to canvas.

And for all of you...getting through this sentimental post!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Friday, November 13, 2009

On the Road to Recovery, Hopefully

I have been so busy for the past six weeks that I have not stitched, checked out the needlepoint blogs or my emails.

After the kitchen renovation, I was scheduled for minor surgery. I have had a cyst below my knee for awhile and the past year it kept getting infected. The doctor would drain it and a couple of months later I was back for the same thing. After the third time, it was recommended that I have the cyst removed. Off to the surgeon I went, like a good little girl. Surgery was scheduled or Monday, November 9. It was out patient surgery. I arrived at the hospital at 8:30AM for registration and surgery was scheduled for 9:30. The surgeon was running late so my surgery actually took place at 10:30.

I kept telling myself that it would not be too bad but I was really very nervous about it. I did not like the idea of being awake and knowing what was going on. To my amazement, I was allowed to keep on my street clothes and just had a surgical gown, booties and cap put on.
Everyone is talking and finally my doctor arrives in the operating room. First words out of his mouth are, "This has gotten a lot bigger since the last time I saw you". Now my first wave of panic sets in. Finally, they inject the area around my cyst. I think okay now we have to wait a couple of minutes for it to take effect. Wrong. Surgery begins immediately. I knew as soon as the first incision was not. Not that it was painful but you could feel everything that was being done. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would say the my pain was about a 4 or 5. I asked for more medication but either they did not hear me or ignored. So I just held my breathe. That really got their attention. Everyone is yelling at the same time breathe, breathe. Unknown to me, my holding my breathe caused my blood pressure to sky rocket. I said okay but give me more medication, which they immediately did. Surgery took only thirty minutes. I thought there would be some down time but no I was immediately released. I was home by 11:30.

The next day, I started running a fever. It started and 100 and rose through out the day. I called the surgeon's office (of course after hours) and he immediately called me back. Told me to come to the office on Thursday (no hours on Wednesday). My DH offered to go with me on Thursday but being the stoic person that I am I told him I was capable of driving my self the 10 blocks. Big mistake. As soon as the surgeon took a look at my leg he said, "This is not good". I said that it looked worse yesterday. He said again "This is not good". I told him that incision looked really good. Meantime the area around the incision is all red. He removed the dressing I had put on and immediately said, "I see what the problem is". Unknown to me the only thing I do fast is heal. The skin had already closed and did not allow any opening for the wound to drain. So now he takes out a stitch, makes an opening for the wound to drain, and beings to drain the wound. I now have a piece of gauze in the opening to hold the wound open so it can drain. Am on a mega dose of antibiotic that I have to take twice a day that is going to do a number on my stomach and have to try to keep my leg elevated as much as possible. I go back on Tuesday for him to check out everything.

I am feeling much better. Everyday I was light headed and dizzy and today is the first day I feel almost back to normal. Hopefully, I will be able to do some stitching. Now I am going to sit down with my leg up and read my Needlepoint Now Magazine that just arrived. Just at a quick glance I already saw things that I know are going to get me in trouble.

I promise that in the next few days, I will post pictures of finishing I have gotten back, progress on Ruth's Merry Christmas Mystery Class and Jen's baby bedding.

Oh, I almost forget my kitchen is just beautiful. I absolutely love it and will post pictures of it too.

Off to rest.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where have the Stitching Sisters Gone??!

Where, oh where are the Stitching Sisters?
Here we are! Or, at least, here I am. I can provide a report to what I've been doing, as well as the status of my missing sister, Linda, as well.
First, Linda. She is just about out of kitchen renovation HELL (it looks GORGEOUS, I am SOOOO jealous). Just a few missing cabinet doors, lights to be swapped out, switch plates, painting touch ups, etc. Linda did not cope well with the chaos of the past month. I can't say that I would have coped well either, but she really had a hard time ignoring the mess every night, and has spent the past few weeks cleaning, wiping, vacuuming over & over & over. I can ignore dust far better than Linda. Of course her first visitor was yours truly, and as soon as I got there, I pulled on a handle to look at what I thought was a drawer & pulled it right off ---I wanted to DIE. The carpenter quickly scurried away as soon as he fixed it---I am sure he will never come back if I am there again.
I am sure as soon as she fully recouperates from this exhausting project, she will have lots more to tell you & show you. She has been stitching intermittently, & did show me her next 3--or was it 4 projects in her line up. The chaos, & her being tired from cleaning all the time, has made it hard for her to concentrate on stitching. She is, after all, working on the challenging Nativity pieces from Amy. They are stupendous in person, but as Linda will tell you, require your full attention.
In the interim, I did, as promised, a few more little projects. One went to my LNS without a photo--it was another of my teeny ornaments. The other two projects I finished are seen above. The first is an adorable canvas that was a gift to my daughter from Jody of Jody Designs. Jody graciously sent this canvas to me when I ordered those bookend canvases that I did this summer while recovering from the infamous gall bladder-hernia surgery. This was done completely from stash, with the lovely Vineyard Silks for the "ball" & some Silk & Ivory for the criss cross hungarian for the "a;" a little Kreinik for the top. And those beads were in the stash closet as well.
The other project is my hope that winter won't last too long. As I packed away (most--not all) of my flip flops, I decided to do this canvas for my Switch Flops. There are two cute little fish buttons that will be attached by the finisher. I am hopeful that their return from the finisher, perhaps in February, will signal that winter plans on ending soon.
I can dream, can't I? I know. I live in NY. Last year we had the heat on for Memorial Day weekend.
Tomorrow I am going to Edwardian Needle for my Tony Minieri class--probably without my Stitching Sister, as she was feeling a bit under the weather earlier.
Perhaps after I get my threads I will post some Ponza photos. I have a crazy weekend ahead though....oh oh!