My First Columbus Day Weekend

Believe it or not I haven’t had a Columbus Day off from work since I was 16 years old and  got my first job.

For the past 15 years I worked for a company that had very few paid holidays. That changed when I was let go from my last position and found my current one. At FGX International they like their holidays. I will even have Good Friday off. I am blown away by the holiday and paid time off package I still can’t believe it when I think about what I put up with for 15 years.

I made sure that I spent my first Columbus Day weekend thoroughly enjoying myself. First up was a much needed haircut. Well, more like a much needed trim. My hair is pretty damaged from a flat iron I had gotten for free as a sample from my last job. I thought it worked great – my hair was straight – until it started breaking apart in my hands. I lost chunks of hair from different areas around my head and they are finally starting to fill back in, to my great relief. Kudos to my amazing hair stylist Magan who made me look normal this whole time through her crafty cutting.

After my cut I went to pick up my sister to spend the day. We ended up at On the Border for some Mexican and at Jo Ann Fabrics for some new fabric. I love to make bags and picked up some cool fabric to make my niece a craft bag for Christmas. My sister got some awesome, wild greens and blues to make an Irish Chain quilt.

We then headed to see Ben Affleck (yum) in his new movie Gone Girl but the 2:30 showing was sold out. No big deal, right? Just go to the next show, right? But that would have put it well past 6pm when the movie let out and I needed to be home by 6 to give Sparrow her insulin shot.

Responsibility.

Luckily, my sister understood and I offered an alternate idea – we could get our nails done. The girly idea sat just fine with my sister so we headed to a local nail salon. I was very impressed with the price, the cleanliness, the workmanship and the polite service. I brought my own polish – OPI’s Muir, Muir On the Wall – a brown-plum color perfect for fall. I also got acrylic nails because my fingernails were bitten to shit and it wasn’t worth paying for a manicure on them.

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Sunday I was inspired to start Nora Corbett’s The Letter M for a gift for my Grandmother for Christmas. I did not have all of the Crescent Colors and beads for the design (and I wasn’t that crazy about the colors for my Gramma) so I changed the colors. I used some minty Crescent Color greens for the dress and the 552/553/554 DMC purple colorway for the letter M – perfect Gramma colors. I had matching beads and the same colors and Kreinik for the wings.

Here is the original design:

The letter m

And here is the start of my conversion on Silver Mist fabric by Silkweaver:

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I roasted a beef roast in the oven which made an amazing gravy (after the addition of butter and flour), mashed potatoes and green beans. A perfectly homey fall meal.

Today was a supremely lazy day. I designed a chart for Sparrow’s insulin shots, feedings and glucose readings. She has adapted to her new litter box quite well (thankfully). It is the Tidy Cats Breeze system where the urine doesn’t clump in the litter but free flows down into a separate pan.

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I cross stitched, caught up on some tv shows and watched the Boston Bruins hockey game on tv. I’m a huge hockey fan for those who aren’t in the know. It’s been over 20 years and I still love it.

So ends the tale of my very first working Columbus Day holiday. Tomorrow starts a four day week at work and is capped off by the FGX International night at the Providence Bruins the minor league affiliate of the Boston Bruins. It ought to be a good week.

Weekend Work

I did not have the traditional long Thanksgiving weekend since I work in purchasing for a retail corporation. We work when our stores need us and Black Friday is one of those days.

My weekend started on Saturday morning. I woke up early and started with some housecleaning. I dragged out some Christmas decorations out of storage. I couldn’t believe the amount of spider webs there were in my storage unit since the last time I was in there at the end of summer.

I have an irrational fear of getting spiders stuck in my extremely thick and curly hair. I know it’s silly but I jumped in the shower right after I was done getting the boxes.

I was relaxing on the couch having a very late breakfast while I browsed the Jo-Ann sale flyer. I knew that there was a 20% off entire purchase coupon in there and I needed some essentials.

I made a list (FINALLY!) of the remaining floss needed for Nora Corbett’s Holly.

I hoped that some of the Door Buster interfacing would be left too. 10 yards for $2.99 – That’s a great price! Some novelty fabric I needed was $2 off as well.

Jo-Ann’s had coupons for Saturday only as well. I tore them out and was reading them carefully to make sure I had the right ones. Yup, both said Saturday! The 20% off coupon also said good from 7am – Noon.

WHAT??!!???

omg – I frantically though what time is it? I checked the clock and saw it was 10:30!

SHIT!!!!!!!

I have never, ever gotten dressed so quickly to go shopping. I was out the door and backing my car out within 5 minutes of reading the coupon fine print!

Thankfully my Jo-Ann’s is only about 10 minutes away from me. No more than 15 even with traffic congestion.

I entered the store around 10:50 and went straight to the DMC racks. I grabbed my Holly supplies and some colors I thought might look good for my John and Abigail Adams ornament I designed.

I quickly went to fabrics; grabbed a number for the cutting table and then went off to get my bolts. There was plenty of interfacing left so I picked up 4 bolts. 40 yards of interfacing should hold me for a while, right?

Since I picked up my number first I didn’t have long to wait at the cutting table and soon had my cuts and was on my way to the check out after I picked up Buy One Get One Free sewing thread and stopped in the button aisle for Buy One Get One Free Buttons.

On my way out of sewing I stopped to drool over the scissors I want. I love black and white!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also saw some 90% off Halloween items and grabbed a few $10 pieces that were now $1! I made it to the check out by 11:20am and was only third in line!

I made it!!! I got my extra 20% off! Whoo-hoo!!!

I stopped for a coffee then a little grocery shopping. I was out of Coke Zero so it was a grocery emergency!!

The coffee and Coke seemed to energize me (I wonder why). I made room for and assembled my artificial tree. I like to wait until December but my 6 1/2 year old, 16 pound Maine coon mixed cat still thinks she’s a kitten and can sleep in the bottom boughs.

I put the tree up (undecorated) so she can get used to it and get any tree climbing out of her system. To my surprise she paid little attention to it. She went around the back of the tree and curled up UNDER the boughs not on top of them!

Maturity has come. What a good kitty! She just calmly watched as I arranged the tips of my Norwegian Blue Spruce. Maybe an odd choice for most people’s artificial tree but I wanted a tree that reminded me of Northern European Yule festivities. This is the reason why I enjoy holly and mistletoe items as well. Their usage in Winter festivities traces back to Druid, Celtic and Viking eras.

See how the branches aren’t bright, perfect evergreen? I love that!

The bird in the nest decoration is a nod to my Polish heritage where it was believed that birds in a Christmas tree brought joy, good luck and happiness.

Angel – the symbol of purity, peace and love – is represented by my tree topper. Yes, it’s a Barbie but I have yet to find a topper I enjoy more.  I like the non-traditional colors of her gown because I don’t hold to the traditional dictates of Christmas.

I’m not sure anyone else has every taken a Barbie off its stand and said “Hmm, I could just put the branch between her legs just like the stand.”

Yeah, only I would think that.

I found this little Snowflake Fairy from the Boyds Collection. She reminds me of the Russian Snow Maiden Myth…

On Sunday I packed up the rest of my Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decor and finished unpacking my Winter/Christmas things.

The remainder of the day was devoted to work on my Round Robin piece – Angel of Spring.

I have finally found some kind of a groove on this project. I have done the square-shaped section below the straight line of the skirt. I hope to have it filled in and maybe do another 2 inches before she goes in the mail next Monday.

I have also been working on the back design for my stitching group’s ornament exchange on Saturday. I will share the picture after we swap!

All in all a pretty good weekend worth of work.