February 26, 2007

Year of the Pig... OINK OINK!

GONG XI FA CAI
Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year!!

I'm posting this way late. Chinese New Year fell on February 18th this year, and it's always a time for feasting, eating, and getting together with family and friends. Since I'm here, it's always been Satish and me, and we don't do anything out of the ordinary, so it was just another day for me. The good thing about being here is that we don't have to hand out "ang pow." These are red packets (red symbolizes "good luck" for the Chinese) with brand new money that married couples have to give to kids and unmarried people. The bad thing, of course, is missing all the festivities and food that goes hand in hand with the New Year.... of which one of the most important thing is having new clothes and shoes. Hmm...... I think I should keep up with that part of the tradition at least. ;)

Growing up, New Year's eve was spent with all my uncles, aunts, grandparents, and cousins on my dad's side, and we'd have a huge feast and then set of fireworks. New Year's day proper we would spent at my mom's parent's house. This is also the day that lots of people would have the "Lion Dance" performed at their house or place of business to herald in good fortune and to chase away the bad. Firecrackers are set off during this time, and the debris is left on the ground because it is believed that sweeping it away during the 15 days of CNY will be sweeping away all the good fortune.

The following days would be a flurry of activities, most of which consisted of visiting friends and family and getting more "ang-pows." :D

On the 15th day, we usually have another family dinner. This time, the main dish that is served is called "Yee Sang," which consists of thinly sliced raw fish with other crunchy food stuff. Lime juice is squeezed onto the fish, which cooks it, and then everyone joins in with chopsticks to mix up the ingredients. This is suppose to symbolize family togetherness. I would never eat the fish, cos well, it was raw starting out... but I'd pick out all the crunchy, yummy stuff.

Of course, the first few days of CNY are public holidays back home.... wish we observed that here!

Happenings

At the Crafty Coven, we're planning on an April/May SAL of Cirque des Cercles by InkCircles. I spent the longest time obsessing about what color floss and fabbie to use for this, and finally decided on Cocoa by Caron Waterlilies... but still have to find a fabbie to go with it though. The plan right now is to get a dark brown fabric and I'm kinda eyeing Stab and Stash's Opalescent Chocolate. Tammy said that she can darken it for me, so I'm eagerly waiting for her to get some free time so that she can send me a sample.

In the meantime, Sean came over today for a some stitching and gossiping, and I test stitched on a piece of black 25ct lugana, and I must say, we though it looked pretty damn good!! ^.^

On the immigration front, the letters FINALLY got here last week. I requested a resend, and thank God this time they arrived within a few days and were request for a redo of the medical forms cos they were missing signatures!!!! Now.... I'm not going to point fingers, but those forms required our signatures and the physician's signature, and we signed them!! So, I had to call the doctor's office again, and fortunately we won't have to redo all the tests again.

Printed out the forms, filled them out nice and neat, SIGNED the damn things.... AGAIN, and dropped them at the doctor's office. All within the same day of receiving the pdf from our attorney. This was last Wednesday. I was supposed to call them Friday afternoon to confirm that the doctor signed it and pick it up Monday morning. Well, she had an emergency and wasn't there Friday and "hopefully she'll be in on Monday, so can you call us Monday afternoon?" Siiiiiigh.

Will call again tomorrow afternoon and pray that she's signed and dated them and everything is in order this time.

A Bouquet for Cheryl

I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Cheryl, but everyone who has known her said that she's the sweetest person ever, and was always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. She passed away a couple of weeks ago and her friends charted A Bouquet for Cheryl in her honor.

Initially, I downloaded this chart as something I might want to stitch on a later date. I liked the design, but Satish (DH and not of the Citrix fame.... hiya Satish (of the Citrix fame)!!! *wave*) wasn't crazy about the design and I was really wanting to get back into Metamorphosis again. Then my mil called. She was feeling kinda depressed cos things aren't going the greatest over there and it's very heartbreaking for me not to be able to do anything about their situation at the moment.

Annette said something really profound on the Crafty Coven the other day, and I quote: "Then while I'm stitching it I'm going to use it as a reflection piece....reflecting on how short life is and the joy that is to be found every day."

This was something that I really took to heart, and I decided that I'm going to stitch Cheryl's Bouquet for my mil to remind her that she's loved. I'm using a floss that Bonnie sent me and I am so pleased with how this piece is turning out, especially how the purples and the greens, married with the intricacies of the pattern looks very Indian, IMO.



A BOUQUET FOR CHERYL
by Marc Davis, Diane Jourdan, and Kat Zak

Fabbie: 25ct Lugana, Sudden Storm by Silkweaver
Floss: Sublime by Carrie's Creation

February 20, 2007

Vis-a-Vis Update

I finally put the last stitch in on Vis-a-vis tonight. Yippeee!! I'm too tired to be supremely excited right now, but I think it turned out really well. Now, my initial plan was to stitch two motives end to end so that A will have a longer piece. I'm not so sure now, and through the magic of Photoshop, I've duplicated the motive and this will what I'll want it to look like: What I can't decide about is if it's too much, and if the space between the two motives is too empty. It does balance out better with the duo though, doesn't it?

February 19, 2007

WOWZERS!

Check THIS out for some really cool cross stitch pieces.

And not for the faint of heart, and be ready to swallow your tongue..... HOLY COW!!!! or should I say HORSE!!!! I think I was in shock for a long, long, LOOOOOONG time. (HAHAHAHA!!!) Oh and of note, Bonnie wanted me to stress the green, moldy spot. Apparently she's studied it long and hard (mwa-hahahahaha).

Ok.... 'UP'date: It seems like Annette is the discoverer of the "moldy dick."

ROFLMAO!!!!

February 16, 2007

My Stitchy Chair

I LOVE IT! Now my butt doesn't sink in between 2 cushions when I'm stitching. ROFL!

The pic says it all. It's this oversized, overstuffed comfy thing that I can curl up on and stitch. It's wide enough for my scroll frame to sit on and deep enough for me to tuck my feet under me. :D Aren't I so spoilt? *GRIN*

February 15, 2007

Loser Index

Got another one from Nikki ^.^


I am 37% loser. What about you? Click here to find out!

Water Bill

Nikki posted this on Crafty Coven and it's too good to not pass along.

*******
Jennifer and Jim kept getting huge water bills. They knew beyond a doubt that the bills weren't representative of their actual usage, and no matter how they tried to conserve, the high bills continued. Although they could see nothing wrong, they had everything checked for leaks or problems: first the water meter, then outdoor pipes, indoor pipes, underground pipes, faucets, toilets, washer, ice maker, etc., all to no avail.

One day Jim was sick and stayed home in bed, but kept hearing water running downstairs. He finally tore himself from his sick bed to investigate, and stumbled onto the cause of such high water bills. Apparently this was happening all day long when they were not at home.

Knowing that few would believe him, he taped a segment of the 'problem' for posterity. THIS is what he saw.....

February 14, 2007

Candy Heart

Got this off Michelle's blog... and this is about as Valentiney as I'll ever get. ;)

So Happy Valentine's Day one and all. I love y'all, but I would prefer to not have someone in some marketing department tell me when to say it or how much to spend saying it. ;)

Your Candy Heart Says "Cutie Pie"

You always seem to have a hot date, even though you never try to meet anyone.
A total charmer, you have a natural appeal that keeps you in high demand.

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: multiple dates with multiple people

Your flirting style: 100% natural

What turns you off: serious relationship talks

Why you're hot: you're totally addicting

February 12, 2007

Mailart From Bonnie

I came home after a long, tiring day to a gorgeous surprise from Bonnie. Satish stopped by the mailbox, took out today's mail, and gave me this big grin as he walked back to the car. In his hand, he held a beatiful green envelope with green stitching in the front, and this beautiful pot of pink roses in the back... my first ever received mailart. ^.^ She even stitched a border around the stamps!!!!

Opening it yielded 3 different GORGEOUS hand dyed flossies AND a perfectly stitched pincushion. I am soooo touched. Now, I have to find something to stitch using these pretty, pretty flossies. Meantime, they have, and will continue to be fondled to no end. ^.~

THANK YOU BONNIE!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!

The Smell! The Smell!!!!

When they brought the couch in yesterday, they put teflon on to protect it. Now, when we purchase the protection plan, the lady said that the teflon won't have a smell. So there I was, sitting and laying on the couch most of the day and it didn't smell like leather!!!

Did the leather test... you know what this is right? It's where you push your fingernail into the leather. If it's real leather, you leave an imprint of your nail, cos it's skin. If it's fake, it bounces right back. One of those trivial things my dad taught me that I put to use more often than I'd care to admit. LOL!.... and yup, it's leather alright! Although, Satish wouldn't let me do it on the couch, had to do it in a hidden section. Hmmmph!

Me: "This stinks!!! Doesn't smell like leather at all!"
Him: "It's the teflon, it'll go away."
Me: *picks up the sample remnant leather that did NOT get teflonized, sniffed. Sniffed couch* "Nope, smells the same, see, see??!!!" *shoves remnant under his nose."
Him: "Nope."

10 minutes later:

Me: "Hmmmph, this stinks!!! Return it!!! I want it to smell like my Coach bag!!"
Him: *rolls eyes* "It's the teflon."
Me: "The lady say the teflon doesn't smell. The couch at the store smelt like leather."
Him: "Yeah, cos they sprayed leather smells on there!"
Me: "nuh-uh!"
Him: "Yup!"
Me: *outraged*
Him: *ROFL*

30 minutes later:

Me: *checking on google to make sure Klaussner Furniture is a reputable company*
Him: "It's the Teflon."
Me: "It's yucky!"
Him: "Smells good to me."
Me: "Good thing it's so comfy. I think we should go get leather pillow... those that smell like LEATHER!!!"
Him: "OK.... wanna go look?"

Awwwh, isn't he so sweet. :D

Him: "But we don't really need pillows though."

Ok... not so sweet after all. Hmmmph!

Thus the whole night was punctured with intermittent sounds of me sniffing and going "yuck!"

Today I came down the stairs and was greeted by the sweet, potent smell of leather! I'm a happy puppy. :D

February 11, 2007

Our New Couch

Went living room furniture shopping yesterday. I've been wanting what's been called a "stitching throne" by Satish and Sean for a few months now. What I really wanted was an oversized chair about the width of a loveseat, but only with 1 sitting cushion so that my bum disappear into the 'sinkhole' between the 2 cushions of a love seat when I'm stitching. ;)

4 hours and 3 furniture stores later, we found a chair for me and a couch for to Satish. The couch is this gorgeous dark-chocolate leather with recliners on both ends. That got delivered today, but no stitchy chair for me since it's back ordered. *cwy*

Will be cool when the in-laws visit and can lean back and catch up on movies and such while we're at work. ^.^

Half-reclined: Fully-reclined. Fancy a nap? ;)
Gave Allie our old loveseat since she's moving into her first very-own apartment. I remember how tough it is to try and furnish a place when you're first starting out. The old couch is still here. I would like to try and fit it into our current computer room but Satish says it's too big. :( So off to Goodwill or a woman's shelter it will go.

Tired today, so that's all folks. ^.^

Can You See It?

My mil sent me this. Totally AWESOME! ^.^

This is so cool. Can you see the baby?
Isn't it amazing what incredible things exist in nature?
If you can't see the baby in the picture, don't give up.
It's really cool when it actually appears.
This is not a joke and ~ NO ~ nothing is going to jump out at you!

You have to have an open mind.
Don't look for a Baby, and you will see the Baby!
Once you see it you won't see anything else!!!

February 10, 2007

Metamorphosis Update

FINALLY!!! After 4 long months of inactivity, here's an update of my girl. The confetti stitches have killed me for the last 2 nights, but that's all in the pass.... till it happens again in the next page. Hehehe.

I didn't unroll the whole thing for the pic, cos I'm too lazy, but the next update will probably include her head. ;) Piccie is a little on the bright side, sorry y'all. Wanted to get it up before I head out to furniture shop. ^.^

February 8, 2007

The Hazards of Keeping Clean

Doom and gloom, 7 of our fishies died last night. :(

*15 minutes prior* I just finished helping Satish clean out the fish tank water and thought I'd go grab a quick shower while he fills it back up.

Did my thing, comes tromping down the stairs to him swearing and telling me that 2 of our zebra danios just turned over and started spazzing. The water temperature had dropped 3 degrees in a matter of 15 seconds cos the water that was added in there was ice-cold.... cos I was in the shower..... ooops! So he was trying in vain to get some hot water, ANY hot water in there to get the temp back up.

While I was standing there watching, another one turned over and started floating, and then another. I have never seen anything go belly up so quickly in my life!!! A third turned over and started doing crazy-assed somersaults!!!! Holy cow!!!! Around and around in circles it went, then ZOOOOOOOOM!!!!, right across the tank, and then a few twitches, and a few more, and down it sank all the way to the bottom. Meantime, while we were watching this circus act, two of our lemon tetras started swimming on their sides, decided they didn't like that too much, and just plain quit!!

This leads me to the conclusion that showering *could* be bad for health. However, a more in-depth study on this matter might shed more light into this matter. There are 13 fishies left after all! Mwa-hahahahaha!!!!!!

*KIDDING!!!!!*

February 7, 2007

It Found Annette!!!!

There I was, blissfully happy in my own little stitching world, surrounded by a couple of loving BAPs (big ass projects), and colorful charts and flossies.... perfectly content in my mailart virgin-dom, when Bonnie strutted into my life.

She enticed me with pictures, flaunted her wares like a shameless hussy, and snared me willingly into her clutches... and darn if I didn't love every minute of it!! Oh, oh.... OOOOOOH!!!!!! ;)

I sent my first to Annette, and after two long weeks of travel, it finally made its way into her loving arms. Phew, what a relief, my baby is safe!!! I didn't want to post any piccies before, but now that it's arrived, let the good times roll!!

The front: closed up into the shape of an envelope, and opened up to reveal the whole length.

The inside, with 2 pockets for storage (mil's wonderful idea ^.^)

The back: folded up, and with its lining.

There's another mailart exchange in the works. I'm trying to resist, but the pull it too strong. I've tasted the forbidden fruit, and it's sucking me in!!! I wish I was stronger, but being bad feels sooo good!! *giggle*

February 6, 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It's been that kind of a day.....

I've had this nagging feeling to check up on the current status of our green card process for the last few days. Today, while checking through a CD at work, (this does broach up the subject of how involved I was with the CD, but we won't go there. *wink*) I was reminded about that again.

Logging on to USCIS yielded this wonderful information:
On January 23, 2007, we mailed a notice requesting additional evidence and/or information in this case. Please follow the instructions on the notice to submit the evidence and/or information requested. This case will be held in suspense until we either receive the evidence or the opportunity to submit it expires. Once you submit the information and/or evidence requested, you will be notified by mail when a decision is made, or if the office needs something further from you. If you move while this case is pending, call customer service.
Well now, isn't that nice of them to put it so succinctly? It inspires so much confidence and faith!! NOT!!! Especially since it's going on 2 weeks and there is no letter!! You know how at times like this, you either have an upbeat view on things or you think of the absolute worst? Let me tell ya, as laid back and as optimistic a person I am, at this juncture, I was frantic and thinking the absolute worst!!

Called Amber at the lawyer's office but she was with a client. Left her a message and sent an email. Told EVERYBODY I was chatting with online, posted it on the Crafty Coven, called the USCIS customer service, only to be told that sometimes it takes 14 business days for the letters to arrive. Are they kidding me?!? Were they personally walking the letter all the way from Texas and hand delivering it? *rolls eyes*

Of course, I was in no mood to teach after all that shebang. What's a girl to do in this situation other than canceling the lessons and going shopping? Can't really subject the little angels to me being short with them when they misbehaved now, can I? *angel face*

So, I was forced to spent a couple of hours in Barnes and Noble.... got me a grande iced mocha, read an anthology that A was telling me about, and leafed through some cross-stitch magazines; before heading over to Dillard's and buying 2 pairs of Nurture shoes. :D

In between all that, I managed to get a hold of Amber and she said that these letters from the USCIS happens a lot, and not to worry cos it's probably something very minor. I hope so..... praying hard that this will come through quickly and with no trouble at all.



Ooops, almost forgot...
to satisfy the last part of the title, I give you...

Mwa-hahahahahahahaa!!

February 3, 2007

A Shoutout....

... to Satish (my cousin's friend from Citrix.)

Every time she talks about him, I get confuzzled for awhile cos I think she's talking about DH and nothing she says makes sense. You think I'd be used to her not making sense by now. ;)

February 2, 2007

All That Glitters

Finally got the camera out to take pictures of the jewelry sets I made for my mommy last month.

Now, you might think that this was a result of my need to be productive. But let me assure you, dear reader, that it ain't so!! If it wasn't for my having to deliver them to Ai Lin over the weekend so that she can pack for her trip back home, the camera would still been sitting in its little nook, the jewelry would all still be in the baggies, and I'd be stitching Meta! ;)

But really, all whining aside (I'm blaming it on the kids I had to teach today. Did y'all know that whiney-ness is contagious?!?), I thought they came out really well. I was talking to my mommy while uploading the pictures, and she's been instructed to send them back if she doesn't like them. I hope she does though. *fingers crossed* I'm not naming names.... but I had to have inherited my picky-ness from *someone*. ;)

This is a set (lariat necklace, earrings, bracelet) made up of pinkish/peach coin pearls and 24kt filled gold nuggets. I had the hardest time remembering the specific name of the pearl cos I kept hearing Ai Lin's voice saying cache. Just to be save, come Google to the rescue, but the thingos are NOT called cache pearls.... maybe they were cashew pearls?? Surely no one in their right mind would've named pearls after nuts, but hey, ya never know. It's a crazy world out there, after all. Tried searching for that next, but apparently Google isn't too friendly to closet blonds!! Finally, figured out that the word I was looking for was keishi pearls. Cashew.... keishi.... yup they're close enough to be mistaken for each other! *rolls eyes* And yanno what?? After ALL that, I found out that the darn things are called COIN pearls!!!! Apparently Google loves closet blonds after all. ;)



This necklace and earring set is made from baroque pearls (my mommy loves pearls), pewter spacers, and triangle glass beads. I added that extra bit of chain just in case she wants a longer length, but mainly cos I ran out of pearls. *giggle* Came out really well though, if I may say so myself. ;)




Finally, we have the aventurine set. I got these stones from a trade show Ai Lin, my mil, and I went to in the beginning of January for $3 a strand! What a steal, eh? I was all set to make something for myself, being a lover of green and all, but the cousin said that it looked too 'old' for me. After some thought, the stones were made into necklaces for my mommy and mil, cos yanno, it suited their age. ;) *angelface* Those earrings are really special cos Ai Lin made them by wiring the stones onto the hoops.