About Loretta

Stitcher from a young age. Mom of four amazing boys. Wife to the comic book geek who makes me smile every day. Transcriptionist by trade. Gluten-free by necessity. Writer at heart. Seeker of knowledge and reader of novels. Dreamer of big colorful creative dreams.

Almost There on My Token of Love

This has been my morning break stitching piece for the past two weeks and I realized I hadn’t shared an update on it in quite awhile.

progress on My Token of Love (Rosewood Manor design)

thread is DMC variegated thread (#115 garnet)

Making slow but good progress on it and the motifs are filling out nicely now. It will definitely be a finish at some point really soon. [Read more…]

Framed and Gifted Lace Heart Wedding Sampler

So I’m a horrible friend in general. I forget things, a lot, frequently, and all the time. If you look closely you’ll see the date on the piece is April of 2010. My husband became very ill that month and we missed the wedding. With so many things going on, I set the piece aside and figured I’d finish the beading and give it to them later.

And then, well, life happened I guess. A year later I finished the beading, but I wasn’t sure how soon I’d be able to have it framed. My intention was to give it to them as an anniversary gift, so I put it in my finished project box for safe keeping until I was ready to have it framed. I even blogged the finish here.

Finished Lace Heart Wedding Sampler Cross Stitch
(The design is Lace Heart from a Jeanette Crews Leaflet of wedding sampler designs, all the details about fabric and supplies are in my other blog post)

I’m not sure what happened, but I must have been distracted by life between my husband being ill, buying the house, stuff with the kids, and then me being ill, the past few years of life are really just a blur of doctor’s rooms, trips to the hardware store, and a lot of confusion. [Read more…]

Stitches and Steps – Staying Active with a Sitting Hobby

While I often talk about the therapeutic benefits of our hobby, doing any kind of stitching or needlework or sewing means we spend a lot of time sitting. And if you’re like me and have a job that also has you doing a lot of sitting, you might be feeling a little sedentary and struggling to get fitness worked into your day.

You likely can’t give up your job, bills need paid and you have to eat after all, and you certainly don’t want to give up your stitching. I know I personally find myself wondering how I can get more activity into my days without giving up sleep or slacking on the other things that need to get done.

Honestly, I struggle with this a lot. I do a lot of sitting. For work I’m a transcriptionist and I also manage a handful of websites. That equals sitting. I set reminders on my computer to get up and take a break, step away, move around and stop looking at a screen for 10 or 15 minutes. (Note: eye health, equally important here, if not more important.)

When it comes to hobbies and relaxing, trying to wash away the stress, the top three things I enjoy all involve more sitting; stitching, reading, movies. Okay, I confess sometimes reading involves laying on a pile of pillows in bed, but that’s not exactly better than sitting. Exercise in most traditional is not fun or interesting for me. I have a stack of auto immune disorders so I opt for low impact activities when it comes to exercise, like yoga and walking.

My current secret weapon in the battle against sitting is my Fitbit. At first I thought I was being reasonably active, all things considered. But seeing the actual number of steps taken in a day made me realize I was doing way more sitting than I ever realized. Despite my efforts to take breaks and get up from my desk throughout the day, I wasn’t moving much at all on a lot of days and that had to change.

Here’s my current 28 day Fitbit report:

fitbit chart
Here’s my profile if you’re a Fitbit user and want to be friends over there.
I also set up a Stitches & Steps community group over there so we can work on these goals together.

Not the best example of high activity, but definitely improving a little at a time. The green bars are the days that I met my goal, which is currently set to 7,000 steps per day. I’m working my way up to hopefully have 10,000+ steps per day during the summer.

This post is part of the May blog hop. Join us [here] and share your tips on staying active with a sitting hobby.

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop:

Card Suit Sampler Blackwork and Cross Stitch Pattern Set

Available on Craftsy and Etsy

card suit sampler blackwork pattern and cross stitch pattern [Read more…]

Kawaii Panda Face

This design was charted by request of my youngest son Ethan, he was in a panda mood. Pattern size is 90 wide by 68 high.

Available on Craftsy & Etsy

kawaii panda face cross stitch pattern [Read more…]

Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop: Staying Active

In this round of the blog hop we’re talking about something a little different. Staying active. Stitching isn’t exactly an active sport, and many of us also have jobs and other things that keep us sitting or stuck in one spot for long periods of time, so sometimes staying active and getting enough movement in the day while still enjoying the things we love and getting our work done can be a struggle.

stitching bloggers blog hop 22 staying active [Read more…]

Blackwork Bookmark Trio the First Pattern

I was stitching up some bookmarks as gifts and these were the designs I charted for them. Simple, fun, and easy to finish.

Available on Craftsy & Etsy

blackwork bookmark cross stitch pattern preview

Each bookmark is approximately 30 x 100 stitches in size, there’s a slight variation in each pattern’s size. As usual there is no color legend, this is a choose your own threads stitching adventure. I look forward to seeing what you pull from your stash to create these bookmarks.

Enjoy & Happy Stitching!

The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen

The Light of the Fireflies book by Paul PenI want to start by mentioning that The Light of the Fireflies as I’m reading it is a translation from another language. I do think the translation was done very well, the sentence structure and word order all makes sense and flows well for the most part. I’ve read some translations in the past that were just plain confusing and frustrating in their English versions, so bonus points for this.

Book summary from Amazon:

A haunting and hopeful tale of discovering light in even the darkest of places.

For his whole life, the boy has lived underground, in a basement with his parents, grandmother, sister, and brother. Before he was born, his family was disfigured by a fire. His sister wears a white mask to cover her burns.

He spends his hours with his cactus, reading his book on insects, or touching the one ray of sunlight that filters in through a crack in the ceiling. Ever since his sister had a baby, everyone’s been acting very strangely. The boy begins to wonder why they never say who the father is, about what happened before his own birth, about why they’re shut away.

A few days ago, some fireflies arrived in the basement. His grandma said, There’s no creature more amazing than one that can make its own light. That light makes the boy want to escape, to know the outside world. Problem is, all the doors are locked. And he doesn’t know how to get out…

One thing that sort of bothered me is that no one in this story has a name. Everyone is nameless. The boy. Father. Mother. Brother. Sister. Grandmother. Grandfather. The baby (sometimes referred to as nephew). At certain parts of the story it would have been much easier to follow if everyone just had a name.

Then to call further attention to the lack of names, at one point one of his siblings refers to the boy as “the boy” and one of the parents says, “He has a name you know.” Well, no, no we don’t know, because you didn’t tell us anyone’s name. It’s not a big deal, but it did sort of drive me crazy at several points throughout the book. I think it might be an attempt to dehumanize the people, or maybe the author just doesn’t like names, I can’t be sure. [Read more…]

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