Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lots and lots of tidbits today

So much for trying to get back to posting on a regular basis, right? lol

First, I'd like to just address some issues I've been having with my blog and some comment changes. I know how much people dislike the word verification thing to be able to post a comment, I myself find it annoying, but I have had to enable this. Why, you may ask? About two months ago I sent a takedown notice to a Russian website (though the infringer was American, just using the Russian site to host their illegal uploads). About 2 days later, I started noticing a lot of spam arriving in my email, facebook page, and blog. I deleted it and figured sooner or later they'd get tired of harrassing me with this crap - well 2 months later and I'm still getting it, so I enabled the verification so they could no longer spam my blog using bots. Unfortunately in the process I think I deleted some REAL comments as well, not intentionally, but with 200+ spam comments a day it was getting hard to filter out the good from the bad.

Second, I'm still not back in design mode, much as I'd like to be. It's been a bumpy few months, and a couple of months ago I started having severe panic attacks - to the point where I couldn't breathe and was near to or actually blacking out. Along with this has come severe depression. I'm working with the doctor and phychiatrist on getting the right "cocktail" of meds to control it, and eventually counseling to get to the bottom of why it's happening so I can get off the meds and back to a normal life. While this means I'm off work indefinitely (can't operate a band saw on sedatives) and have lots of time to work on designing, it's just not coming to me. Hopefully that will change soon.

I have been stitching a fair bit when I can, I tend to have the shakes a LOT which can make it difficult. I finished Forget Me Not from Heaven and Earth Designs in just 10 weeks. Not bad for a 42 page design, huh? I gave her to mom for mother's day and she loves her. She's stitched 1 over 1 on 28 count Monaco from Sassy's Fabrics.

Since finishing her I've been working on various things, WIPS here and there and I started Cirque des Coeurs. Then I went on a reading tear - been glued to my Kobo almost constantly, so not much stitching the past week or two. Either that or playing facebook games. 

Since I got stash money and gift certificates for my birthday, I have been on a stash buying spree! I decided to try out a couple of new fabric dyers, Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie and Jo's Fabrics which are sold through her facebook group. I got my first order from Stephanie this week and her colours are amazing! Here is some eye candy for you:

The colours are: Top Row - Isolde, Discord, Lady of the Lake. Bottom Row - Midnight Tryst and Ariel's Grotto. All are 36ct linen. Aren't they pretty? I already have another order ready to go, just trying to decide between two purples first! Also very excited about my order from Jo's Fabrics, she has this awesome marbling technique and I can't wait to see it up close. :)

I've also been adding to my bead stash - which I FINALLY got inventoried. The problem I find with most of my current go to shops is that they either don't carry the full line of colours in the size I want (like Artbeads or FireMountain Gems) or they don't list the colours they do carry by the manufacturer's colour number, but by their own stock number (Fusion Beads, SJ Designs). I still use them when they have what I want, especially Artbeads and Fusion Beads because their shipping is so cheap, but my go to for Toho beads is Bobby Bead since they carry a fairly complete selection and have frequent discount sales - though I only order here when I need a lot since their shipping to Canada is $20 flat rate. However, this time I was needing some Miyuki colours, and the only places I could find them all were Caravan Beads - but their shipping was extortionate ($78) or Charisma Beads who only ship to UK and Europe. Then I came across Fox Den Beads. They carry the full line of Miyuki - in all shapes and sizes and their prices were actually much better than Caravan as well. Shipping was again, flat rate package to Canada, $20, but they can fit a lot of beads in that! My order shipped the same day. Very happy with their service and so happy to have found a new go to for Miyuki!

And I ordered a bunch of new charts since I got a GC from 123 Stitch, and they shipped yesterday. So should have some more new stash coming soon!

I've been working on inventorying all my stash and re-organizing my storage so I can actually find things and know what I have. So far I've just done the beads, but I will be starting on fabric this week. I discovered I have a whole lot of fabric I need to get rid of as well, I just won't use it. I'm putting off floss and charts because THAT will be such a huge undertaking. lol So far I've just been using Excel, but I'm thinking I'd like to try out a Needlework Inventory program so I can cross reference things that are for specific projects. I know I can do that with Excel too, but I'm working with several different files (one for beads, one for fabric etc.) and I don't really want to merge it all into one file. I'd love to hear suggestions from anyone. I was looking at Organized Expressions though I wish they had a trial version I could test out first. Currently giving Stash Can a try, but not sure I like it. Given I used to design databases, I suppose I could whip something up in Access, but it's a lot more work than I'd like to do! lol

Along the same lines, I've been trying to re-organize my house. It's a small place, and there really is no room to store ANYTHING, so even after I clean it's always cluttered and it truly gets on my nerves. We have exactly ONE closet, in our bedroom, a very small one at that. We can't use the basement as it floods, and currently the attic is still Nate's domain with most of his belongings still stored up there and I need HIM to go through it all before purging it. Add to that that Jon is a pack rat. He still has computer parts from 10 years ago that are useless and literally just taking up space, but trying to get him to throw anything away is like pulling teeth!! Unfortunately, this isn't a task I can really do on my own, and since Jon generally only has one day a week off, it's a very SLOW process.

Given my desire to clean/organize, it's becoming clear to me that boredom has set in. I'd love to get out and do more, but it's so hard to do. When I'm home and have a panic attack, I can just let it go and happen, but when I'm out, it's much harder, and of course the harder I try to control it, the worse it gets. I'm actually to the point where when I know I have to go somewhere I have a panic attack out of fear that I'll have a panic attack in public. Even going to the grocery store or to the hairdresser or post office get me so worked up - it takes me 2-3 hours to psych myself up just to walk down to the mailbox. It makes it so frustrating because I'm a fairly social person and I LIKE being out and around people, but this crap is turning me into an agoraphobic hermit. Hopefully counseling will address this, the biggest issue is that because I live in such a small town with limited resources available, the wait list to see a psychologist/behavioural therapist is about 4 months, unless I want to pay for private care which is about $130/hr. UGH.

That's about all that's new with me these days... And now that I have lives in Candy Crush again, I'm off to play that for a bit. One of these days I'll get lucky and beat level 197!


  1. Panic attacks are hard. I know what it's like having suffered them myself. I'm sure you will find your way through it all - I did, with the help of some very good people.

  2. Spam really is annoying! You should remove the option to post anonymous too, that's stopped any spam reaching me without the word verifier.

    The HAED design in that amount of time is amazing! I'd love to be able to stitch so much in a short space but not if the price is a panic attack. Hope you get it sorted soon, maybe there's a charity helpline you could phone while waiting for the appointment?

  3. Nicole, it's been a while since I have checked your blog. I'm so sorry you are having these crippling anxiety attacks--I sincerely hope that you are able to find good help in overcoming these attacks. They severely impact your joys, your vocations and avocations, your relationships. I hope you are able to find new joys in your stitching and your designs. You are a truly talented person who has so much to give to this world! My prayers are with you! Carolyn

  4. I just thought I'd update since I'd posted about it. The nurse and psychiatrist I have been working with decided I couldn't wait four months to START my counseling, especially since I can't work the way things are and because sick benefits will only cover up to 15 weeks of leave and I'm more than halfway there already. I got a phone call yesterday and I'm booked in to start with a psychotherapist next week. She says normally with cases like this, 3-4 months of weekly counseling is normal, in extreme cases like mine (where I've basically become agoraphobic because I'm so panicked about having a stupid panic attack in public) it can take longer. I'm just happy to be booked in already! I wasn't expecting to hear anything for a couple months yet.