Tuesday, September 26, 2006

CATS tomorrow!!!

I'm starting to feel like I'm living everywhere but at home these days.  We just returned from the cruise last Sunday and were home only a few days before heading to the country to check on my house out there.  I finally got internet access out there, so maybe I won't fall so far behind in my future blog reading.  We'll see.

Anyway... we got back home yesterday, just in time for me to leave for CATS tomorrow.  I think I'm returning on Sunday.  That is when it ends, isn't it?  Honestly, I have no idea.  I guess when I check in tomorrow I'll be able to find out how many nights I'll be staying.  LOL 

In stitching news, I have a Halloween exchange that is due to be mailed by Sept. 30.  That will go in the mail tomorrow morning before I leave town.  I've had the stitching done for a while, but I hadn't put it together.  I just finished assembling it this evening and am *so* pleased with how it turned out.  I hope the recipient likes it! 

I've fallen a bit behind on Persian Iris Garden, but not too far.  I wish the beaded corners would show up a bit better in the photos.  They're really lovely in person.  If any of you will be at CATS, I'll have it with me and you can see it up close. ;)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cruise Review

This is probably going to be long... with pictures. Maybe I'll break it down into parts for easier posting (and reading). We'll see how long-winded I get. ;)

Our cruise departed on Friday, September 8 for a 9-night Caribbean trip. The scheduled itenerary was 2 days (Sat/Sun) at sea, followed by stops in St. Thomas, St. Maarten (my personal favorite), San Juan, and Labadee. Then it was another 2 days at sea to come home.

Hurricane something-or-other had other ideas. (Okay, I confess... I never bothered checking any weather reports before we left, and I have no idea what the thing had been named.) It was on a path to Bermuda, where we were NOT going. However, the ship's usual 2-day route to the Caribbean would have passed right through the hurrican's track. So, they had to re-route us, following a route closer to the U.S. coast, which meant that it was going to take 3 days at sea to get to the Carribean rather than the usual 2. It also meant that we would miss our stop in St. Thomas.

More confessions... I'm not crazy about St. Thomas. I think it's highly overrated, especially the shopping. There are some gorgeous beaches, but they're quite crowded and I've seen equally lovely, less crowded beaches on other islands. What I like about St. Thomas is that nearly EVERYONE gets off the ship there, which means I can stay onboard and enjoy a very quiet day by the pool. The extra day at sea suited me just fine. ;)

We left from Cape Liberty Cruise Port (Royal Caribbean's fancy name for "Bayonne, NJ). We did this last year, and I discovered that I really like it, for a couple of reasons. First and foremost-- we can drive rather than flying to the ship. I love flying, but can live without the hassle when I'm going on a cruise. There's only one ship in port at any given time (only 2 sail from there currently), so the cruise terminal isn't nearly as crowded as in other places. Then there's the view of New York City when you are leaving port. BF doesn't get it, but I just love being on deck and seeing the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.

The ship also sails under a bridge as it is leaving New Jersey. The ship is quite large, and it just fits under the bridge. Our captain said last year what the clearance is, but I don't remember. I do know it isn't much, though. I missed this last year, because of dinner and a delayed sailing time, but I made a point to be there for it this time. Cool, huh?

Wow... I've rambled!! And we haven't even gotten to the islands yet. LOL I think I'll stop here and post about our stops later. For now, I'll leave you with a photo of one of the our towel animals. It was a "bad hair day" for me, but I'm wearing one of the outfits I made especially for the cruise, so I thought I'd share. By the time we left, I had finished 4 pairs of pants and 2 tops. (I'll post pics of those later.) Not bad for a rush job! :)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Vacation Mail!

We arrived home on Sunday after a truly wonderful cruise.  Unfortunately, BF has had a mountain of business-related stuff to do since we got home, so computer time for me has been practically non-existent.  I'll be posting about our trip later, but for now I wanted to share the wonderful package that I received from Cari in the scissor fob exchange.  She stitched this over one using overdyed silk.  I just love it!!!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And, take a peek at the other goodies she sent along.  I can't wait to stitch this needleroll.  :)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Are we there yet???

The countdown to the 2006 cruise continues. Just 4 sleeps until we leave! I'm the world's worst (or greatest, depending on your perspective) procrastinator, which means that I have a TON of things to do before we leave. It also means that I haven't had a chance to read any of your blogs. I thought I was supposed to have MORE free time during my leave of absence, but so far that hasn't been the case.

PIG has been woefully neglected. I still haven't managed to finish Part 4, and Part 5 arrived last week. It's all beads and will be very slow going, I'm sure. I went ahead and started a bit of it, even though Part 4 isn't yet finished. I figure I have a better shot at getting it all done if I can switch between beading and regular stitching. Here's what it looked like as of August 31.

I haven't done much work on it since then, just a few beads for Part 5. Mostly, I've been sewing like a madwoman, though my finished sewing projects don't reflect that.

The first thing that I finished was a pair of pants. They're not nearly as huge as they look... maybe it's the cropped length that makes them appear so wide? The fit of these is extremely flattering, and there will be more to come before our departure on Friday. I sewed up a second pair of these today, in a lovely brown/black fabric. They were much dressier looking, but unfortunately the fabric was extremely itchy, so they will not be making the trip. I didn't even bother putting the zipper in. :( I have fabric for 3 more pair... wonder how many I'll finish?

I also made this top. I couldn't resist this batik fabric when I saw it on my first trip to the fabric shop.

I also added some decorative stitching to the hem of this one. I thought it was cute, but the reality is that I hate fiddling with blind hemstitches, and this was much easier to do.