Friday, December 30, 2005

The Year 2005

The year 2005 was a good year. Wonderful actually. The year of changes. Best parts were us getting married, DH getting a job, and the three wonderful trips we took (to Paris, Austria and to the Karelia area in Russia). The worst part was my grandpa dying. Stitching-wise I'm not at all happy with last year. I was doing brilliantly until summer when all the wedding things and then the move and settling in and such messed me up. I hardly finished anything.

2006 will likely be another year of changes. We'll both try to graduate from university and we'll be buying our very first apartment. Maybe other things as well. We also have some trips planned. I could also list some stitching goals:

Of my existing WIPS I want to finish:
Chatelaine: Mystery VIII
Chatelaine: Taj Mahal Garden
Mirabilia: Titania
Lavender & Lace: Angel of Grace
Teresa Wentzler: Carousel
Teresa Wentzler: Wedding Sampler

+ work on all the other WIPs I have

Definite new starts:
Chatelaine: Sampler Mystery II
Chatelaine: Egyptian Garden

I'll be starting the year with the following rotation:
Mira/L&L: Titania
TW: Wedding sampler
Chatelaine (big): Mystery VIII
Chatelaine (small): Mini H
Other: Pam Kellogg's Strawberry Fields
Magazine: Rhode Island Sampler (just started this and so far I LOVE working on it)
Smalls: alternate with freebies and ornaments

As for quilting and knitting, well... I hope to finish up the nap quilt for bedroom very very soon (just needs quilting), make a lap quilt for the living room (for autumn-winter) and do or at least start a third one. For knitting I have no specific goals, I'll just do whatever I feel like doing. With these two hobbies I don't keep several WIPs or buy stash just because (as I do with stitching). I just pick a new projects as I'm about to finish one.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Okay, this is the post where I try to learn how to add pictures. So far I seem to have it figured out, put if it looks weird to you, obviously I haven't.

This is also the post where I wish you a very merry Christmas or the holiday celebration of your choice. I have finished my two articles, am about to go pack my bag and drag all the gifts out of their hiding places and put them in the "Santa bag". We're going to go spend Christmas with my parents, out are first going to go visit DH's parents near Tampere and drive from there to my parents on Christmas Eve morning.

Here are a few snippets of Christmas at out home to put you in the appropriate mood:

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

What I've done, what I will do

Today I had a surprise visit from a friend from Tampere. We went shopping, had a great lunch and then came home to look at some photos, drink tea and talk. It was so much fun!
Before meeting her in the morning I sent an application for a job. At the moment I'm waiting to hear back from two places (more like hoping they'll interview me) and there are two more jobs that I'm going to send applications to before Christmas.

I worked a bit on Mystery VIII this evening. I'm still going to put few needlefulls of thread into it and some beads before I'll take it off the stand and move on. I really really like it, but I don't see much progress so I should put it away for a while before I get frustrated. I also knitted some on my bolero while watching O.C. (we are few episodes into season two here, so please no spoilers). It's going to be lovely when done if the yarn is anything to go by. It's Rowan Calmer and the lovely soft sea green color.

Tomorrow I plan to finish one of my articles and start another one, bake a fruit cake, mail one Christmas ornament (way too late, it won't be on time...) and wrap two more to give to mom to give to my grandma and my cousin when she goes to see them on Boxing Day and learn how to add photos here properly and also to do a list of blogs I read. That should keep me fairly busy during the day but leave my evening free to stitch and knit.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

An update

So time has once again flown. I've been busy seeing my friends, baking for Christmas and writing my articles etc etc.
I've also read a lot. I finished Gabaldon's A Breath of Snow and Ashes and loved it. Although it was maybe a bit too long, but wonderful nevertheless. Then I read French Women Don't Get Fat and loved it as well. I don't have a weught problem but sensible eating and eating for pleasure are things I don't mind being reminded about. Now I'm reading A Time-Travellers Wife and don't yet know what to make of it. I like it at times and at times I don't.
I've also knitted some. I made mittens for myself and a hat for DH and I started to knit a bolero for me. I know I should not maybe, because of my wrist (and it does hurt quite badly now!) but I don't care that much since I cannot really make it worse and it will be operated on in February, I think. It's nothing really serious. I can't remember the correct name but it's something to do with joint fluids forming a bubble between the ligaments. They don't know what causes it, it just happens to some people. Those with flexible joints are at risk.
I've also stitched an ornament for my grandmother and worked on Mystery VIII. Since it's obvious I'm not going to finish it this year, I'll put in my rotation (replacing Taj Mahal Garden).

One of the reasons I've been avoiding writing here is that I want to show pictures but didn't have time to figure out how to do it. Now I will and here is (I hope) a picture of my first Phaleonopsis orchid that I bought last year and that is now blooming again! I'm very proud of it and of myself :) (And it appears that I don't know how to place the picture elsewhere but the top of the post.. Oh well. Another time.)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Busy, busy, busy :)

No, I'm not neglecting my blog before I've even barely began writing it. I've just been very busy, mostly in a good way. A quick recount follows:
On Saturday we bought an armoire for the tv and associated electrical appliances. We spent a happy 4 hours putting this IKEA purchase together, but it was worth it. I LOVE being able to sit in our living room and not see the tv, video, DVD player and digibox with all their endless cords.
On Sunday DH and I went on a little Christmas trip. We drove to the nearby town of Porvoo and had a marvelous afternoon browsing in the tiny shops in the town's Old Quarters. We also visited an outlet shop for a publishing house and I found a brand new Kaffe Fassett quilting book for 15 € (goes in the shops for 25€) and a food/craft/decor book for fall and Christmas for 10 € (goes in the shops for 35 € so it was a real bargain!).
Monday was spend running errands and attending a Christmas fair were local crafters were selling their products. I was invited there by my father's aunt who makes gorgeous ceramic things.
Tuesday was the Finnish Independence Day, one of my favourite days of the year. DH and I spent the morning doing various chores (some nice and some less nice) and then we made a wonderful meal consisting of a creamy garlic soup, lamb with herbs and rice, a simple salad and a chocolate-lime pudding with chocolate raisins for desert. And we opened up one of the wine bottles we bought on our honeymoon (in Austria). Then we followed the typical custom of the day by lighting two candles on a window and watching the tv broadcast of the president's ball and being really rude about the dresses every one was wearing. It was fun :)

And now I've got to go as I (we) have a busy weekend coming up. We are expecting guests any minute now so I better go start dinner. Oh, and mop the kitchen floor :)

Friday, December 02, 2005

A trip to town

It seems my mood goes up one day and down the next. Well, this downwards turn actually began yesterday evening when I noticed I had a slight fever. I had been waiting for this Friday for so long. See, I'm not exactly rich and occasionally find myself quite without money entirely. This month had been one of those and it was all going to change today, the tax return day. I shoud have suspected something might go wrong when I couldn't access my bank information through the internet so I was unsure of how much money I actually had. Nevertheless, I was brave and hopped on the bus anyway. When there I went to an ATM and tried to take some cash when the maschine, with a lovely loud beep, informed me I had no money to withdraw. I'm ashamed to say that I almost started crying then and there. No tax return and still no paycheck from an article I wrote ages ago (it was suppsed to be paid at the end of November). I had no way to load my bus card, thus no way to get home, no way to pay the late fees at the library, no way to buy the Christmas cards I still needed to get (run out of the ones I already had) and no way to buy myself a little treat (like a few balls of yarn) I had been so looking forward to. Luckily I had arranged to meet DH for lunch and he gave me some money to get throught the day. So I got my errands done, except for the little treat, got my new driver's license with my new name and got us some lovely dinner plates with gift certificates we got as a wedding present. So all in all not that bad of a day. When I got home and finally got into my internet bank I noticed the tax returns had been paid to my savings account, an account that I do not have a bank card for. So all the stress could have been pretty much avoided if the internet bank had worked in the morning. Almost, but not all.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Work, maybe?

After a very rainy, very windy Wednesday we woke to a sunny Thursday with just enough snow on the ground to cover it. Lovely! I took a long walk in the woods nearby. I can not express how much happier I am with -2 C as opposed to +2 C, especially if the former is accompanied by sun and the latter by a rainstorm.

Before the walk I emailed with an editor of a magazine I've previously written a short article for and now hopefully can write a few longer pieces. We've actually been working on it for some time now trying to make my original idea work for them. Now it finally seems it's going ahead and I get to do it. I'm deliberately being vague about this as I don't want to jinx it before it's 100% certain. But I'm excited nevertheless :) So now, after my walk I've been sitting here with a cup of tea and some sandwitches and doing research. I should go to a library a bit far off from here to pick up a couple of books that they had on the subject, but I don't know if I should go now or after DH is home and we've had our dinner. If I'm going to make what I'm thinking of making for dinner I should start about half an hour from now (unless DH is working overtime) and I'm quite positive it will take me more then 30 miutes to go there (I don't even know how exactly to drive there!). If I waited until DH is here, we could have our dinner and I could make him drive the car, which would be a huge plus, but he probably would not find this plan enjoyable and thus be grumpy, which is not a plus. Oooh, decisions, decisions...

Oh yeah, I still haven't had time to figure out the photo bit. Will try to do it soon.