September 27, 2006

A New Finish


Yipppeeee!!! Finished this a few days ago, but didn't get a chance to blog it till now. This is the chinese character for "Fortune". It's a free chart that I downloaded ages ago (can't remember where from) and stitched on Stab and Stash's yummy, yummy Blueberry Sugar (don't you just love the opalescents and blues in the fabbie? <3 <3 <3 ) with hand-dyed floss from Six Strand Sweets, which A sent me awhile ago. Thanks A. ^.^

My cousin, whose mom this piece is a present for, reminded me that the chinese hang this symbol upside down, so that fortune 'returns' to the owner instead of being sent out to other people. So, upside down it goes... cos yanno, would really, really love to win that lotto. ^.~

September 24, 2006

Thank You...

.... to all my friends and colleagues for your condolences and well-wishes through this last week.

And to you...

... Sean, your calls to check up on me and being able to either chat about stitching or grandma has helped tremendously.

... Tammy, your emails and the beautiful vase of flowers you sent made me feel so loved, and knowing that you took so much time out of your busy schedule to choose the perfect flowers floored me.

... Maria, your emails and calls are so appreciated, especially when you're going through such a tough time yourself.

... Novia, your card and emails means so much. We've just met, but it seems like I've known you forever and a day.

... Peggy, thank you for your shoulder to cry on and for the beautiful flowers.

I am well and truly blessed having all of you in my life, and I hope that I have been half as good of a friend to you, as you have all been to me.

Thoughts

I've been thinking about grandma a lot. I think there's a part of me that still finds it hard to let go. I think I'm fine most of the time, and then every now and then it hits me and I tear up... not over anything in particular, but I just get choked up. Every now and then, something that I haven't thought about in years pops into mind when I'm doing everyday things.

2 mornings ago, I was making my morning coffee and I remember how grandma used to make a mug of coffee every morning. Every little detail was so clear, the way she measured out the coffee, to the hot water thermos we had, and the way she pressed on the top to dispense the water, to her adding Coffeemate, to her first sip. She always took just the one sip, and that cup of coffee would last her for the rest of the day. She would let me steal sips from her cup cos mom didn't like me having caffeine at that young of an age. And really, mom knew that I was drinking coffee, but still, it felt like it was our own little secret.

I was taking my vitamins yesterday, and I recalled how she hated to take those things. They were always too big for her to swallow and we'd have to break them down to smaller pieces so she'd have an easier time with it.

I can hear how she used to say my name, and how when I speak with her on the phone, right after she asked me how I was doing, she would ask me when I was going home to see her. I know circumstances made it hard, if not impossible for me to go home, but it still sucks... very, very badly!!!

September 21, 2006

A Journey's End

Grandma passed away at 10:10 EST September 20th. She was in a coma, and just slipped away. Mom said that her brain was shutting down because her lungs were giving out and she had difficulty breathing. I'm glad they didn't put her on machines upon machines just to keep her alive.

I know she's in a much better place now. She's left behind the aches and pains of her life battle-wearied body and is now basking in the glory of God and heaven and all her loved ones and friends who's gone before her.

On my end, I am much more at peace today than I was yesterday. I said my goodbyes, and I am exceedingly thankful for the peace of mind and heart that God has given me in dealing with this heartbreak. I was telling my colleagues today about the incident with the cleaver, and it felt good to be able to look back at those times with grandma with joy and gratefulness.

We saw a double rainbow on the way home from work yesterday. It had been raining all afternoon, and then there was this glorious double rainbow there for the whole world to see. The inner one was so strong and vibrant, and bright and beautiful, whilst the outer one was this half-circle of soft, pale colors. I see it as a sign of God showing me the preparation for the celebration that's going to take place when Granny finally made her way home into His arms.

September 20, 2006

My Grandmother

She was an ever present constant in my brother's and my lives from the time I was about 3. My other grandmother (who took care of us from birth) had to go live with another uncle who had small babies to help out, so grandma came to live with us to help mom and dad out to take care of us during the day.

When Dave and I were old enough for kindergarten, mom would wake us up, make us breakfast, and then she would have to go to work. Sometimes my grandma would put our chocolate milk into milk bottles for us when we were waiting for the bus to take us to kindergarten, cos we wouldn't drink from the cups. I can still hear her cajoling us to drink it all up so that we wouldn't get hungry while at school, and then when we got home, she'd have lunch waiting for us. Sometimes the cajoling would turn into exasperations cos we just wouldn't listen. I remember how upset she'd be cos Dave and I would sit there with the bottles in our mouths but not drinking, and she'd threaten to call our mom!

We used to give her heart attacks with the viciousness of our fights.... and we fought ALL the time. She'd have just broken up a previous fight, and before she knew it, we'd be at it again. I remember this one time, where my brother got me so mad that I had grabbed a cleaver and (according to him... I don't remember it this way at all) chased him around the house with it. When I couldn't catch him (or so he says), I ran up the stairs, sat down right on the top step and yelled out "I'll kill myself!!!" Personally, I think I just did the dramatic "kill myself" bit. ^.~

I used to hate practicing piano, and on days that I didn't practice, when my mom asked, she'd lie for me so that I wouldn't get into trouble. Then the one day, my mom decided to ask the servant instead of my grandma or me, and the silly girl told her I didn't practice. Armed with that information, my mom asked me if I practiced, and of course, I said that I did. So mom packed up my bag, hauled me into the car and drove up this hill close by and told me that she didn't want a daughter who lied!! (not that she really would've left me there... we laugh about it now) Holy hell, I was all of 6 and scared shitless... and all the while I remembered my grandma chasing after us trying to stop my mom from putting me in the car.

My grandma had these tiny, tiny feet cos when she was a baby in China, they'd bind up her feet. She was from quite an affluent family, and I guess it was the practice in those days to bind up the girls' feet because it shows their status and daintiness. *roll eyes* I think she's wears like size 3 shoes or something like that and we used to have the hardest times finding her shoes.

As we all grew older, she would start to ache in her muscles and joints and many a nights were spent with me 'pounding' on her aching bones and chatting. She moved in with my uncle to help them out with his little kids when my brother and I were in our early teens, but we'd visit her almost every weekend.

I haven't seen her in about 10 years, the last time being when we went home to get married. She reminds every time I talk to her about how I promised her I would go home to visit and how I asked her to wait for me. I never did quite make it home. Something always came up, and over the last few years, with the 9/11 thing and immigration cracking down, it became a risk to leave, even though we had all our papers in order, because there was always a risk that our entry visa application could be denied. I call her every now and then, but all in all, I've talked to her way too little over the years.

Grandma has been going downhill health-wise in the last few months. She's 90, and while her mind is still very alert, her body was giving out.

They hospitalized grandma last week, and last night, mom called and said that her kidneys have failed.

This morning, I called mom's cell to see if I could talk to Grandma one last time, but she's in a semi-coma and they can't wake her up at will. They've been telling her that it's ok to let go, that we'll all be fine here, and that one day, we'll see her in heaven.

I knew I would be sad, but I really didn't think that grandma dying would hit me this hard or fill me with so many regrets about things that I can't change. I wish I could be there for mom... this has been really rough on her. Makes me think about the wisdom of building my life so far away from home.

I keep thinking of all the "I wish..." and all the "If only..." But at the end of the day, the bottom line is, barring a miracle, I shall never see her again, never talk to her again in my broken hokkien, never hear her say my name again, never hear her ask me how "Ah Tek" (that's how she pronounces Satish's name) is, never be able to tell her to wait for me to go home to see her.

She has had a full life... a good one filled with children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren that loves her. I know all that. I don't want for her to linger and suffer and be in pain. But it still doesn't make this hurt any less. My grandma is dying and there isn't anything I can do about it, but hope that I had been a good granddaughter and that she's proud of me.

I love you, Ah Ma.

September 17, 2006

All Gridded and Ready to Roll

The fabric is gridded and ironed, the threads are in bobbins neatly lined-up like soldiers ready for battle, and I have a set of scroll frames standing at attention. Some time spent on test-stitching this afternoon, and we'll be ready to rock and roll. ^.^

In regards to the test-stitching, I was going to do 2 over 1 tented, but since the fabbie is 32ct, Novia brought up a good point about whether I should be tenting with 1 strand instead. I'm thinking the 2 over would give me much better coverage, but I don't know if it'll end up being too thick.

Gonna be testing out the higher tension I might need to use for this fabric count too. This makes me nervous cos I'm so use to stitching with a looser tension, and I'm afraid that pulling too tight would create unwanted holes in my stitching.

September 16, 2006

What Color is Your Magic

Mine is green. ^.^ I have to say, I was quite surprise, since green is my favorite color.

Your color of magic is Green
Green is the color of the energy of the heart
You are a very down-to-earth person
You found your magic with your first kiss
You use your magic for battle and love
You are known as the Battle Magician
Your magic is strongest when you are in love
Some words that describe you are
Harmony
Balance
Growth
Nature
Gentleness
Reliability
Calmness
Rebirth
Jealousy


What's your color? Take this quiz!

September 15, 2006

A first

I've started gridding my pretty, pretty fabbie from Stab and Stash Phoenix Rising, and discovered that I'm going to be stitching on a 32ct lugana instead of the 28ct as I had originally planned. It's a much smaller count than what I'm accustomed to, (25ct has been my fabric of choice) *gulp* and I hope that my tension will work well on the 32ct. Sean says that the higher the count, the higher the tension, so I'm going to try that out.

I should have the whole piece gridded by this weekend, and I'll post a pic then. The circle around her head is going to be centered perfectly on the yellow splash part and I think the gradient of the yellow, to orange, to red on the bottom half of the fabric is going to blend in superbly with the oranges of her "skirt".

Unless I get into a Meta stitch-craze, which hasn't happened all week. I think she's started to feel neglected. She's calling to me sadly asking about her arm. I'm awfully tempted to email my PR SAL buddies and ask if they'd be interested in starting this project now. LOL! Silly me, as if I have to ask!! But I should give my girl another 2 weeks and at least finish her arm and torso.

That said, I'm off to grid more before bed.

Great Pics

I stumbled upon this photography blog while clicking around Blogger. What fabulous pics!!!

September 14, 2006

Technologically Savvy?

I think I'm pretty net savvy. My friends sure think so. I'm the one they come to when they have questions and I have no problems looking up stuff on the net, messing with prebuilt codes, ordering stuff online... yada, yada.

I've been toying with the idea of making a website for awhile now, so when I saw Novia's site and followed her link to Enchanting Designz and saw all these pretty pre-built codes, I thought, well, hell, how hard could it be? (sheeesh, there were a lot of commas in there)

So, I narrowed down to two designs based on Nene Thomas' art: Ivy and Memory, downloaded both sets of codes, all ready to set out in the the wonderful, exciting world of making my website. (Ok, so it's based on codes that someone else had built.) ^.~ Loaded it up, and tried as I might, couldn't figure out where and how to access the codes. This was 2 nights ago.

Last night, I decided to do the pitiful, little sad sounding "heeeeeeeeeeelp" call to the DH, who rides to my rescue, looks at me with an all-suffering look, takes the mouse, clicks somewhere and voila..... CODES!!!!!!

DH: So what are you going to do with this?

Me: Build me a website!!! *big smile, while bouncing in my chair*

DH: Umm... how are you going to host it?

Me: *stupid look* Huh?

DH: *another long-suffering look* You know.... how are you going to host it? You can't have it on your computer and have people link to you when it's on. You'd be flooded!!!

Me: *still the same stupid look but with dawning horror* Oh noooooooooo!!!!! I can't do this? How can I host it then?

DH: You have to pay for a site, you know, like when we were looking at yahoo and stuff.

Me: But I don't wanna pay! *pouting now*

DH: Well, how are you going to host up a site then?

Me: *think fish out of water, gasping for air*

Yanno, sometimes I worry about me. I think Baby's insanity is riding the waves of the Pacific Coast to try and get me in its clutches!

September 12, 2006

Updates

We are now a quartet. WHEEEE!!!! Novia has joined our weekend stitchalong of Phoenix Rising, and she's going to be stitching the whole she-bang!!! It's going to be so awesome seeing the background stitched. ^.^

I've added some new links to the sidebar but on last check, blogger hasn't updated them. *huge sigh* Hopefully they'll pop them in soon.

I haven't stitched my girl in a couple of days now. I really do need to get back to her, but tonight, my mind is set on looking for a design to stitch onto this beautiful opalescent blue fabric that Tammy sent to Sean as a test fabric, which he very generously shared with me. I have these hand-dyed flossies from A that I would sooooo love to sink my claws into. :D I kinda think that Six Strand Sweets' Midnight Treat would really pop on the fabbie.



Where are the triplets when I need them? I can't even hog the brain cos Baby has a test today. Ah well, dibs on the brain for me tomorrow. ^.~

September 3, 2006

Lulls

I've been in kinda a stitching funk lately. Goodness knows I think about it and browse the forums on HAED often enough. I sit there and STARE at my girl, envisioning what she'd look like when she's done, but can't get up the enthusiasm to stitch more than a handful of stitches at a time. Sigh. For the most updated pictures, my girl can be found here or here.

Sonya, Sean, and I are getting ready to start a SAL on Phoenix Rising by Linda Ravenscroft and HAED in October and I was so hoping to get much more on my girl done before then. Well, we're planning on a weekend SAL, so maybe that'll help my nightly stitching time on my girl.

On an upbeat, I bought the prettiest fabbie for Phoenis Rising from Tammy. She calls it Fire Burst and dyed it to the dimensions I gave her and this is a layover of what I hope the finished product will look like.

Quickies...

... can be so satisfying. Get your mind outta the gutter, I'm talking cross-stitching here. ;) I've had the hardest time picking up my girl the last week. I can't really put my finger on it, maybe I've just been super tired for reasons unknown.

So, I thought I'd pick up a Dimensions Daydreams that I got from A awhile ago. This took me a little over 4 or so hours to do. Haven't quite decided what to do with it yet... might end up making a good Christmas gift in a few months.