God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Just Do It!

When last I left you, I was in a bit of a quandary.  Do I choose to start a new project ... namely a Christmas ornament from a back issue of JCS Ornaments magazine ... or do I work on one of the design ideas floating around in my head.  Needle & thread won out over paper & pencil.

I began by looking through each of the back issues I have.  Every year I do the same thing ... I look through these magazines & put little sticky notes on the pages that have ornaments I think I would like to stitch.  On the sticky notes I write the number of the ornament(s) that called to me.  Without fail, when I look through the magazines again the following year, I wonder what on earth I was thinking when I see some of the designs I picked out.  Had I looked at the magazines in a darkened room?  Had John blindfolded me & told me to go through each one & pick out some ornaments to stitch?  I have no idea, but I always wonder not only why I chose some of the ornaments I did, but why didn't I choose others?  Year after year, round & round it goes.

So there I was ... looking through my back issues, shaking my head as I removed some of last year's sticky notes & added some new ones.  Then it was time for me to decide which ornament I was going to stitch first. After laying out maybe 5 magazines that had one or more ornaments that called to me, I could sense I had a problem.  Do I stitch this one or that one?  No, wait ... what about that one there?  I realized that I could literally spend a good hour or two ... precious stitching time ... looking & re-looking at each ornament, trying to decide which one to start.  I decided this was madness, looked down at the magazine in my hand & told myself "this is the one."

The ornament I chose is from the 2009 issue ... a LHN design called Winter Sampler. I like winter.  I like samplers.  It was a no brainer. Below are 2 photos ... one showing my stitching progress after Day 1, & the second my progress after Day 2.

Here's a scanned photo of the completed ornament as it appears in the magazine. Sorry for the poor quality.  I'll blame it on sectioning off this one ornament from the scanned page.  
Pretty, ain't it   : )

For dinner tonight I decided to make something I've never made before.  Shrimp fried rice.  I love shrimp fried rice.  I love pretty much any kind of fried rice actually. To be honest, I could eat a bowl of plain rice with just some butter, salt & pepper.  I just love rice   : )   I don't often try cooking new things.  John is not the adventurous sort when it comes to food, & if I want to make something I know he won't eat, I usually talk myself out of doing the work involved when it's only going to be me eating whatever it is. However, lately I've really been craving shrimp fried rice, & since none of the so-called Chinese restaurants in Danville (the town that borders the devil's playground) know how to make good fried rice, I decided to give it a try on my own.  I found a great recipe here.   I bought all the ingredients & decided today was the day.  It turned out pretty good considering I tried a new brand of rice which I could have used as a substitute for drywall paste.  I've always used Minute Rice which never, ever sticks to itself.  I can't say that about this rice I decided to try today.  I also used La Choy soy sauce.  The taste was not what I'd call great, but the rice was edible.  The recipe also calls for a teaspoon of salt to be added when cooking the rice with all the other ingredients.  I not only added this teaspoon of salt, I also salted my rice before eating it.  I will confess that I'm a salt-it-before-you-taste-it person.  The La Choy probably also contributed some salt. The next time I make it (using Minute Rice) I will change things up a bit ... less salt, a different soy sauce (any suggestions?), & maybe add some diced carrots & maybe some peas.

I'll be spending tonight putting more stitches in my ornament.  Here's hoping that you will find yourself doing something likewise as pleasant   : )


Myra said...

Excellent choice Shirlee. I have this one marked to do as well. I like Kikkoman soy sauce, a little pricier but great taste.

marly said...

Cute cute cute.

Linda said...

Great new start Shirlee. You did good.


Pam in IL said...

Yep, my JCS magazines are just like yours, but LHN ornies always win out! I have that one marked in my issue as well, but haven't gotten to it yet. I still have most of the LHN monthly ornaments as well as the Virtues series to stitch. Oh my, I'm behind, lol.

Great progress on your ornie!

I also like fried rice, but have never attempted to make it at home. Just might have to figure it out.

Catherine said...

Such a cute choice!
Your dinner sounds yummy ~ sorry I can't offer fried rice advice, as I have never made it myself ~ always buy it out!

Annette-California said...

Love the ornament you are selected. I like Kikkoman soy sauce too. Mostly I use the left over packets from the take out places like Panda Express:) love Annette

Brigitte said...

I know what you mean with these sticky notes, lol. Happens to me, too that I wonder why I chose this one design and not the other one. I love your choice, it's a lovely ornament.

Marilyn said...

Nice start on your ornament, that's a nice choice.
The rice sounds delicious though.

Mii Stitch said...

Great new start, this is a very sweet little design :) Hope you enjoyed your shrimp fried rice!!! Being French, I love my rice with butter, salt & pepper... Yummy :) However, this shrimp fried rice sounds really tempting :)

Sarah in Stitches said...

A great choice! That's such a sweet little ornament :D Enjoy!

gracie said...

Ah, yes... sticky notes. I understand. I haven't pull one Christmas magazine out yet! I guess it is time. Looks like you choose a pretty one.

Chris said...

Lovely new start Shirlee. I am always surprised at ones I like or didn't like in the past when I look back through the ornament issues.
Fried Rice...yum

Shebafudge said...

Snap! I was going to say Kikkoman too.
You chose a pretty design for your ornie. I know what you mean about wondering why on earth you chose particular designs, I do exactly the same thing!

cucki said...

Aww super cute...
Enjoy your day.
Happy stitching
Hugs x

Vickie said...

Hey there! I use the sticky note method too. ;)
You had me chuckling. I am eating PLAIN rice all the time to get over these ulcers. Let me tell ya, I would looooooooove some fried rice. Bland, bland, bland food for nothing but weeks here.

Melody said...

I love your ornament choice. I've done the same thing looking through the issues and choosing..
I should do that before long, since I'm in an ornament exchange in December with our stitch group.

I like fried rice as well, but only order it out, haven't tried to make it at home.

CalamityJr said...

Your new start looks to be the perfect choice! I usually buy the LaChoy light soy sauce as it has much less salt, I never add salt to my cooking water, and my fried rice is always yummy. Good luck!

Robin said...

We use Kikkoman soy sauce at our house.

Great start on your LHN ornament! Hmmm...maybe I will add it to my list.

Robin in Virginia

Marie said...

It is amazing how our taste in stitching designs change from year to year.

I have been stitching my way through the JCS Halloween edition and find myself spending/wasting too much time deciding what to stitch.

I like the design that you selected!

Melanie said...

I always use Kikkomen soya. I haven't tried that other brand in so long though I can't tell you the difference between the two. (Maybe they are close in taste, maybe not?) Love fried rice though! YUM YUM. I usually give my fried rice a splash of rice vinegar too, helps give it something extra. Just a little though. :)

Kaisievic said...

Very good choice, Shirlee. Your fried rice sounds yum!

Maggee said...

I do EXACTLY the same thing looking for Christmas ornaments to stitch! Deja Vu! I think I have that one 'marked' also... I am in the mood to try something new also, but I LOVE sticky rice. I use Basmati rice--it has a good, nutty taste. Pricey but very good! Hugs!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Good choice! It's the sort of design I love and would enjoy stitching but will probably never reach the top of the list as other designs call louder to me!

It's one of the reasons I like Blog Challenges and Themed SALs. They make the decisions easier for me!!

Looking forward to a sweet finish on this one from you.

Anne said...

So glad you finally chose a pattern to stitch! Love the one you chose and great progress too!! I love shrimp fried rice too but can't make it the way my mom makes it for some reason. We use Lee Kum Kee soy which was recommended by some Asian friends as the best soy. You can get less sodium soy and add salt to taste. Big hugs to you!