Saturday, February 14, 2009

So, What's New?

A lot, I suppose. It's been ages since I've updated this blog. It's also been quite a while since I even touched this computer. Just too many other things to occupy my time. Not least of all the fact that my arch-rival at work, Jill, has finally left. She had been getting more and more bitter and angry over the past few months and her daughter was the same way. Trashing the other coaches, especially my friend Brenda; coming in late, leaving early, or just not coming in at all. The gymnasts in our group were very hurt and confused, so it's better all around that she is gone. I have mixed feelings about it all. I was her friend at one time. We both enjoyed crafts, and obviously gymnastics, but all the rivalry about getting enough hours in the gym and the whole thing last Winter when I lost 1/2 of my entire job to her really took it's toll on our friendship. The Head Coach actually asked me to make a cake for her final day. I assumed it would be Friday (2/13) and said I was planning on making some Valentine treats anyway for everyone. Then the boss announced that Jill was not coming in Friday so I needed to make a special "farewell cake" for Wednesday instead! How can you not show up on your last day!? So wouldn't that make your last day Wednesday and not Friday!? Just more of the usual when it comes to Jill. I just couldn't bear to make a cake solely dedicated to her departure so I made one for Jill, her daughter Kelsey and another girl who was leaving the gym, Whitney. The figure on the cake is our team logo. It has been three weeks straight of nothing but anxiety and turmoil at the gym. The other half of my "gymnastics creation" pair left the gym last week. Morgan left the gym last May. Sarah was one of my all-time favorite students and I have worked with both her and Morgan since they were 4 years old. It really was heart-breaking to hear her tell the group she was leaving. This came very suddenly with an abrupt move to another gym in the area. I got a very weird vibe off the whole thing. A sort of "Jill-Vibe", one could call it. We all suspect Jill had something to do with this and that perhaps she and her daughter are going to end up at that gym also. But such is the world of competitive gymnastics. This sort of thing happens all the time. "Club-hopping" in the gymnastics lingo. I did get a nice photo of me and Sarah with my Level 5 group on her last day.

In the much more stable and peaceful stitching world I have a few finishes and near-finishes. "Black Forest" is done and in need of a frame. I might break lose with the cash this time and have a custom frame made in the exact 6-3/8 x 6-7/8 size, rather then buy 7 x 7 frame sections at Michale's or Hobby Lobby. This little heart, a "Pieceworks Magazine" on-line freebie, is only in need of some stuffing and ribbon to be done. With today being Valentine's Day, I really need to get this completed. It's stitched with Valdani Threads "Hydrangea" on a piece of 28 count hand-dyed(=home-dyed) lavender fabric. I love this design and made it last year in Christmas colors. The gymnast design "Shawn Johnson" is nearly done. Her intricate hand-grips took forever.Now she needs a Bar to catch and some hair!
I also finished "Quaker Cat" as a gift for my niece's birthday next month. The finish is quite a departure from anything Quaker! Julia's room is pink and brown, so the 10" round papier-mache box was covered with a nice pink and brown print and the lid was trimmed with a wild pink and brown fringe trim. I hope she likes it.
I ventured out to the new, huge JoAnn Fabrics store yesterday and a gigantic stack of cut-out doll clothes awaits finishing. This is part of the new Spring Collection....Easter dresses and coats, some St. Patrick's Day themed stuff, nightgowns, Summer jacket and capri sets....all sorts of stuff. I cut out at night and try to assemble as many as possible during the day. My total for today is ZERO.

A couple of pet snaps. The lovely Alix poised on the kitchen counter keeping watch over the paper towels. The kittens, Roy and Carmella, love to unravel the entire roll on to the floor. Then there is Bud a few weeks ago in the snow. We had a terrible storm at the end of January...lots of snow and ice. Dangerous to drive in but oh so pretty to look at.
Here's some of my latest reads: The 2008 Federal Tax Booklet and Carrolly Erickson's novel "Tsarina's Daughter". Although I prefer non-fiction history books, this topic was irresistible to me.

Wishing everyone a Happy Weekend and a calm and peaceful week to come. Happy Valentine's Day!