Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Merry Stitchmas

Long time no blog.  Christmas was very hectic with snowstorms here on the east coast and while I put on the traditional Côté family a Christmas show, this year has been a rough one and as much as I love Christmas, I need 2013 to be over.  2013 was full of sickness and loss, anxiety and fight, none of which remotely are 'me, and really burnt out my resources.  So I spent the remainder of 2013 throwing myself into making as many memories as possible with my youngest. I even took the tree down on the 29th which is unheard of, in my defence it was a power outtage which at the time had an end date of NYE at 1!  We've had some major weather.  However, while taking stuff down I took some stitching pics I'd like to share, although I have no idea where the ornaments I did in 2013 are...I'm telling you, crappy year!  Without further adieu...

The Scott and Côté family stockings

Stitched back when I was in university...and you could buy cross stitch kits at Zellers!

Ornaments received from friends and exchanges

Ornaments before 2013' I need to finish ornamentifying a whole bunch more

Piece back from Elite Framing

Happy New Year,


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Stocking #9

It is finally done!  Stocking number nine!  The family stockings started back around 2005-2006 and has been spreading ever since. My husband's family has knit stockings that they prefer to keep together as a set so I wanted to make him something personal, my son's followed, then my own,stockings for my parents then one of my brothers, his partner and now the final brother :). I should be off duty for a good ten years now which is good, sewing can induce some choice language. It's not a skill that I am particularly strong at!!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

A Special Finish

I had a special finish last night. It marks the first of a group project that I'm pretty excited about.  For the last little while I've felt the need to do something positive.  Run for the cure was a given but I really wanted to do for Junior that was cancer free because Cathey was so much more than a fighter.  Members of our local stitching group have wanted to do something as well but being 6 hours away an involved role is just a no go.  

So welcome to Project Junior,  the goal of this project is to ensure that there is a stitched ornament every year until he is 20.  For the local group it also means attempting to use some of his mom's fabric and fibres to create these ornaments (where I will be coordinating sending the ornament out I will not be sending our supplies outside of the city). The goal is to hopefully create enough now to disperse throughout the years. However, one ornament a year in the event there isn't uptake from the group isn't a huge thing to take on.  Luckily there are a couple of people I know will help me make that happen ;). It is quite possible that there will be more than one a year, but with any child related project, it has to be has to be a full on commitment.  The response so far from our group has been overwhelmingly positive so here's to many years of keeping Cathey's stitching spirit alive.

Now on to this year's ornament that's popping in the mail tomorrow:

Until next time,


Friday, November 29, 2013

Trimming The Tree

Tonight was designated to trimming the tree.  Lily and I started before work this morning...
When we returned we were back at it and 3.5 hours later it was done. She was determined to have the best Christmas tree ever. However, we'll have to work on ornament 'clumps'. ;). I let her help with most of the less likely to break items with the exception of a pair of mittens that I received in 2007. Some of my favorite ornaments are those stitched by my friends.  Lily put up candles from Lucy, hardanger from
Shannon, a Santa from Tracy, but I put up my mittens from Cathey.

Needless to say, it was a little emotional. I look at my tree and it blows my mind that someday someone will be reacting similarly to what I've made over the years for my tree (or so I hope!).  Even this year Faith Ann posted her tree pics...and there was an ornament I'd made for her, side by side with her own set of mittens.  The sentiment was priceless 

Until next time, 


Still Kicking

What a crazy couple of weeks, after Sunday I should be able to breathe again. After getting back from retreat it was a crazy short week with stuff jamming the evenings....not what a working mom needs after taking a rare weekend off.  Holiday Monday, Wednesday Angela and I took our daughters to Dora Live! and Thursday it was OT for Alex.

Lily and Elizabeth
Mom also was down for a shopping trip which was nice.  Her visit happened to coincide with Christmas at the Market, IMO THE craft show of the holiday season. It was her first trip and I think she was hooked.  It is crazy how many vendors I know through various crafting circles. Mom graced us with an additional nights stay so we could finally get out to see Ender's Game, loved it!

No rest for the wicked.  I had a conference to go to in Moncton Monday and Tuesday, being the low chick on the totem pole this also meant renting the vehicle for our group and that fun juggling. However the conference was a really good two days for steering our branch back to a more functional model so the time away was justified. We hit up The Keg Monday night, then I made a quick run to David's Tea and had a nice visit with my friend Lisa.  Tuesday the guys let me stop at Mode Choc and I picked this up for Lily (even sparkler in person )
Friday was November Nonsense at Alex's school. It was his las shot at going so we finally went.  He's managed to be grounded every other year. There was a little cheap parental therapy involved...
Oh yes, might I add that during the past two weeks Lily has NOT been sleeping through the night?  To top all of this off we have a jammed weekend with a Christmas bazaar, community breakfast, Santa Claus parade on the opposite side of the river ( never fun traffic wise) AND an inlaw visits it have new dog, pass the rum and egg nog!!

However, there has been some stitch therapy on the go, although is missed our 15th anniversary Friends That Count get together due to scheduling :/.  Also an exciting little project that ill blog about later ;)

Until next time,


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Retreat Recap

Retreat was a mixed bag this time around, not as much as it's organization or composition.  My head just hasn't been 'there' recently

Friday Angela and I hit the road at 9 with one packed Corolla!  We made it to Because You Count  to stock up on supplies. Pam made it up from Nova Scotia and tailed us where I knew where I was going. Stop #2-the delightful Cafe Archibald. 

Angela's Skor bit Dessert

Pam's cinnamon roll crepe ( which I indulged in as well)

Then it was time to visit the wonderful framers at Elite to frame some pieces for Angela and me. Then a little clothing shopping before heading to Wildwood.

It was hard acknowledging Cathey's passing for those that hadn't heard. It was reliving it all over again. There was a half a dozen times I just wanted to email her a 'you would not believe...' Or some other annoyance that we would have had in common.  I kept to myself a lot more than usual. In recent years that's my only kid free crafting time so I'm not as social as I used to be. Time is precious!  However I did enjoy watching some of the games, especially the girls attempt to make snowmen..

As usual there was the annual retreat exchange, which I just didn't have enough time to participate in.  However it was fun to watch the hand out :)

Then of course there was a table for finished pieces.  I finally had a piece to share in the

And with that  retreat was over in a flash.  We packed up the Corolla and headed back for a pit stop in Moncton to check ou the new Mode Choc store. Our girls have some nice fashion goodies coming this Christmas!

Until next time!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

One more sleep....

This has to be the biggest mad dash I've done to prep for retreat in ages. I decided I too would frame something while we were in Moncton...I didn't realize I had so many unframed pieces to choose from. Very overwhelming.  Thank goodness I have an extra hour at the house tomorrow morning (most times I just leave from work). The basics are packed, it's my 'what if' emergency projects.  Like what if I make a major boo boo, no one wants to spend fun time frogging right?

I also learned that I for lack of better words suck at soldering...rings at least.  Thankfully my patient teacher is fixing my ring!  No finish there to show off. However I did get my memorial pendant drilled so I can wear something special next to my heart tomorrow (although this pic is a little blurry, I need natural light!). It's my Cathy pendant with pink crystal and pearl dangles, if it wasn't so blurry it could actually be read, sigh
Until next time!


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Trick or treat...to retreat

2 more sleeps until retreat. I can barely contain my excitement. Tonight marks the official packing night.  A quick run to Walmart to pick up some decorations for my spot, a special picture of the tassel twins from the last retreat Cathey and I attended and a frame for said picture and I'm good to go.  Now don't all marvel at my incredibly 'organized' packing two nights ahead...it's out of our necessity!  When I was away last month I had a course that I was scheduled to take and that's rescheduled to tomorrow night. So maybe I'm kicking off some much needed me time early. Dinner out, class with Fauth Ann at Beadnik learning to make silver rings...yep definite kick off!

Speaking of kicking off,I'm practically dancing. My brother is moving home from Argentina next month and he's the last on the list for a Shepherd's Bush stocking. The stitching on that stocking finished today!  Now to wait for the charms to arrive and to find some time to sew between now and Christmas: (my apologies, the camera on the iPad is inferior to the iPhone IMO)

I'd meant to write a post sooner to show off the kid's trick or treating picture but I was getting so close to finishing, it became all consuming. Halloween was fun and the rain held off until we were finishing up with our last neighbour. Big kudos to our neighbors, my kids are usually the only ones that trick or treat on the street and they pull out all of the stops for them every year. This year Faith Ann and her son joined us again. It was so nice to be able to chat instead of being on full time ref mode. Lily kept up with the boys no problem, she'll be trick or treating deep into the subdivision in no time!

Until next time...


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Parties, Visitors and Pictures

Today was the day the kids were looking forward to - Halloween Party Day!  They could barely contain their excitement which meant we were one step away from voluntary commitment ;). On days like today you'd think there was far less than the 10 years there are between them. However we managed to separate them by assigning chores for the other excitement of the day...a vist from Junior! I have accepted that I will probably never have little nieces or nephews so I get very excited when my friends have little ones...and where we're in our late 30's and 40's well, it just makes it extra special. Lily was so excited, I think she talked his ear off

Getting hugs and kisses!

After our visit we headed to DH's work.  Lily was very excited that there was just enough tulle left to make Baby a tutu as well

Dr Alex

A stop in at Faith Ann's office

Lily was going for a triple decker cupcake

The frosting on my day, when Faith Ann arrived at the party she was coming straight from Moncton...where she picked up my first canvas work piece I had dropped off to be framed after the funeral.  What a great way to end the day.

One foot in front of the other

Those words get me through quite a bit these days. A wise person said this was how he was dealing and I'm taking his advice. This week involved lots of long walks along the beautiful Saint John river, plans for our Run for the Cure team fundraising and the eventual 'first' night back to our stitching group.  While it was great to be back, its a bit raw. However, putting one foot in front of the other we did our usual top picks from this years JCS ornament issue and made plans to head to retreat. We're actually all going, it should be an awesome time!

This week was also crazy.  DH and DS were down with he latest bug going around then Friday was flu shot day.  That's always 'fun'. Trying to pick DS up from a school with no parking and ridiculous sign out policies' high tailing it to DD's daycare then doctors office, drop DD off, feed DS because he missed the 20 minutes that they get to eat at the school and try to find parking and head back to work.  

However, when it's quiet I'm either on the elliptical or crafting. I took a brief brake to work on a stocking that needs to be done, name plates for retreat, played with some jewelry making techniques and it was round two for DD's witch tutu, this time no glitter tulle. :). The second was necessary for the kid's Halloween party tomorrow. I don't think that DH's employer wants a trail of glitter in the office. Thankfully costumes weren't required for today's activity: Haunted House. This year we divided and conquered where the kids are at different scare level ages. 

Now for some progress pics:

Bertie's Stocking - Shepherd's Bush

Retreat nameplates made with Cricut's Winter Frolic cartridge. 
Lily's witch tutu, although the colour is a bit washed out.

Tomorrow's agenda, Halloween Party and possibly a visit.  :o)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mini Happy Dance

This week has been exhausting.  Thankfully my current project at work had just wrapped up before the long weekend.  After the hustle and bustle of our 'Griswald' Thanksgiving dinner. I've spent a lot of time holed up with my stitching, it brings me a little peace.  I've become pretty bad at tracking pieces since I went on the blog hiatus and added some other crafts to my repertoire :0)  However, here is the latest 'finish' if you can call a piece of a 12 part series a finish.  I apologize for the photography, I was taking a quick progress pic.
I'd really like to finish this piece.  It's become increasingly special to me.  I was used to Cathey's tech hiatuses and I expected them when Junior arrived, and even more so in illness.  No matter what, once a month there would be a quick email about this.  A little 'I'm still here' despite everything.

This weekend is thankfully a quiet one, I need to get geared up for Halloween-palooza next weekend. Each year the Engineers convert the Arts Center in town into a haunted house.  Last year was the first time I took DS to it and it's on his 'must do list', we also have a lower key Haunted Hayride to go to on Saturday that's more my 3 year old's speed and then Sunday is the annual kid's Halloween party at DH's office.  The kids love trick or treating at all of the cubicles.

Now to finish of DD's witch tutu, or should I say tutu #2.  There is a reason that they say glitter is the herpes of the crafting world, tutu #2 will be glitter tulle free!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Time Marches On

Did we really celebrate Thanksgiving?  I'm not quite sure, it was all a blur.  I spent a great deal of time contacting people and making my own personal arrangements, I think my inlaws came for dinner.  I know my parents did as they were gracious enough to watch the kids while we headed down to the south shore of Nova Scotia.

I packed a small gift for Junior.  For my birthday I'd asked my husband if Cathey was up to it, for one last stitch in, it would require about 6 hours of driving each way and it probably wouldn't be long but if she was up for it, it would be worth it.  The next week when I called to see how she was doing, I knew in my heart that this would be one of our last conversations, so I started gathering items for a stitching night in a box...flat Katie, Faith Ann and Shannon, Cadbury Screme Eggs (which slowed the process down considerably) and was about to send this off with Junior's little present when things went down hill fast :/  I tried to send a PFO to cancer, and it beat me.  I made him this little hat and I found the perfect (IMO) book for him, The Search for the Pink Pumpkin:

We travelled to Halifax for the first leg of the trip.  While I have faith, sometimes I struggle with the logics.  There were just so many things that reminded me of Cathey on the trip down that something bigger was letting me know things were alright.  The moment we turned on the radio Nickelback's photograph was on, one of the songs from the Pumpkin's Retreat Mix CD that I know is somewhere in the craft room, it has a little more meaning now.  Of course it's that time of year where everything is either pink ribbon or pumpkins but seriously...as soon as we took the exit to our hotel this was waiting at the end of the off ramp:

This has been a reminder to my DH and me that life is short, so we packed as much activity as we could, on a holiday after 5 pm as we could in Halifax.  We dined at Jack Astor's (something that has yet to expand to our province), we were there once before on vacation and it was a must for this trip.  We then got adventurous and went downtown Halifax.  By the time we made it down there it was too dark to go for a walk, so we headed to the Casino for the first time in our lives.  Shocker...we were carded.  This was AWESOME!  My DH turned 40 this year...the bouncer thought we must be the 'yogurt eating type'.  We played 5$ in slots each and left.  I've played many a video game in my younger years but the games there had me boggled.  Then, another first...my first IMAX 3D movie.  I missed out the last time we were down as Lily was too young to go.  'Gravity' was definitely a completely different experience in that theatre!  After a busy night, we crashed pretty much after getting back to our accommodations.

Tuesday was just purely emotional. The fun was over.  I was so worried we would get lost trying to find the church as well.  I walked into the church and looked up and there was the side profile picture that I'd put on my blog.  In my emotional state I couldn't figure out how it had gotten there, I'd recently acquired it myself from another one of my bridesmaids.  There was a beautiful honor guard display by Cathey's DH's fellow employees.  The service itself was pure Cathey, it was full of heartfelt tributes from her father, husband and even Junior helped out.  Towards the end the minister shared a lovely poem that he started to ramble a little too much about, I was digging for my last tissue and the next thing you know, Junior up ends the overhead.  I swear his mother had a hand in this somehow!  When it was confirmed he was ok, I cracked the first smile I've had since I got that fateful call last week.

After the service I got to see our dear friend Pam whom I haven't seen since the ta-ta tassle retreat!  We had a good cry/hug and I think she might still have my mascara on her sweater.  I got to spend some time with Cathey's parents whom I've always enjoyed and her DH and Junior.  While he liked the monkey hat, he liked it better on his bear ;)  It was nice to talk to them again, we saw each other briefly at Christmas last year but  due to the distance, it had been awhile.  We were told before we left we had to go see the coast and my land it was beautiful.  I can see where Cathey and her camera would have been perfectly at home there.

DH and I then headed on the long trip home.  We made a pit stop in Moncton to go to one of Cathey and my old haunts, Elite Framing.  I had a canvas piece I wouldn't trust anyone in this city with.  We made it there with about 20 minutes until closing and it surprisingly took 5!  It never took that short a time.  I think when The Quiltmaker was framed, we were there for almost 2 hours!  DH and I had one last kid free dinner (something that rarely happens here) and then headed back to Fredericton.  I'm still adjusting to the new norm, but every day gets a little less foggy.