More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wooo Hoo! Stitching!

Tonight I felt a little too battered and bruised to go into Taekwon-Do for class, also tired, and I had a migraine coming on. So it was nap time when I got home! I did also take advantage of the evening at home to stitch.

This evening I decided to work on Michael Powell's Mini Cottages 6, I've stitched one Michael Powell a year for the last few years. Since tomorrow is December, I guess I'd better focus on this piece!

Here's where it stands as of tonight.
Thank you to everyone who left me comments of congratulations! That means a lot to me, and for many of you to recognize how much work went into the testing process!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Am Now a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-Do!

It was a long, grueling two hours today! Testing for black belts was myself (going for a 3rd Dan promotion) and Danielle (going for her 1st Degree Black Belt), so it was the test of the Danielles! Danielle is now 13 and she started Takewon-Do at age 8, and at that time while I was still teaching, she was actually one of my students. So, today I was so proud and happy to be standing next to her testing. Since the testing was just the two of us the head instructor of Almonte Taekwon-Do definitely put us through our paces with little rest time in between!

I've got a lot of pictures to share with you of the whole process. Todd was fantastic and played camera man for me today, however because he was in my self-defense skit there's no pictures of that portion of the test. Also he didn't take any pictures of the pattern portion, which was a good thing, since I had several brain farts and had trouble with the diagram on two of my patterns... which I put down to nerves!

Here's Danielle and I prior to the test, all nervous smiles but happy to be finally getting this done and over with!
Getting my head shot done for my Black Belt Status Card which will come from Vienna along with my Certificate (I.T.F. HQ) in a few months.
Bowing in to start the testing

Kicks on the shields and paddles (Jason my good TKD buddy for YEARS was holding for me)

Step and model sparring with Paige, she's like a little sister to me, we have too much fun in class together!

Don't 'ya just love the expression on Paige's face when I used a finger tip thrust to the armpit! Priceless! That one should go in the yearbook... she goes to the school I work at.
Here I am annihilating the poor girl!
Here's Danielle doing her 1 step sparring with Amber, lucky girl for colour belts its all scripted for you. For black belts you're making them up (I had to make up 9 one steps, 5 model sparrings). Fingers crossed if Amber works hard she'll be going for her 1st Degree Black Belt at the beginning of the summer.
Danielle performing self defense on Richard (he's testing for his Red Belt next weekend!)
Next it was onto the free sparring, first I was up against Paige, who rocks at sparring! I sware this girl has no fear and kicks my butt every time (this is my least favourite part of TKD).
I can assure you we never leave the ring angry! There were lots of hugs today!!!
Danielle got to beat up on Bob!
Once again I got my butt kicked, this time by Jason who also rocks the sparring ring!

Then came the multiple opponents! Here's Danielle against Richard and Paige
I got to play with Richard and Bob
But since I'm testing for 3rd Degree things have to get a little harder, and Jason was also thrown into the mix... oh wait that's me being thrown!
This was my special break, four targets in the air, I only took out two.

This is what your hand looks like when you don't hit with the right knuckles! (yes that's my stitching hand)

Here's how not to break 3 boards with a downwards knifehand strike.

This is what your hand will look like afterwards (my stitching hand as well! Who cares about work or anything else, its all about the stitching!)

Two boards 360 reverse side kick

Danielle Jumping over Amber and breaking a board.

Patiently awaiting our comments and results!

Promoted! To 3rd Degree Black Belt, the head instructor putting on my new belt.

My new belt! My 2nd Dan belt was finally broken in... now I've got to soften this one up, but I'm not really complaining!
Danielle was also promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt, I'm very proud of her

Like I said lots of hugs!

Roses and hugs from our Moms (I was so happy to have both my parents and Todd's parents there today)!

The whole Almonte TKD crew who came out to help/watch! Special thanks to Todd, Peter, and Jason for help with my Self Defense skit and Paige for being me Yuki!
Pictures with our head instructor
Can't you tell we're happy??!!!
Our after picture! Can you see the relief in our eyes?
After the testing Danielle's parents had a nice little get together for anyone who wanted to come over, delicious pizza and this great cake form DQ... notice it has Danielle2 (squared) on it? How cute!
I'm tired and feeling slightly battered and now that I've got this out here in cyber space... I'm off for a long deserved nap!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ornament Happy Dance

I had a relaxing, Taekwon-Do free day today!

I finally got caught up on visiting back to all the bloggers who have left me comments over the last few months... yeah that was a big job! I napped, went out for dinner, and stitched!

Today I managed to finish up the ornament I started earlier in the week.

Christmas Hearts
c1994 Just Nan
Stitched on : 28ct Mystery Fabric
Stitched with : DMC, blending filament, Mill Hill Beads

Oh yeah, my bag is packed, and ready to go to the Dojang tomorrow morning... well almost! Someone is going to have to get out of it first!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Photo Hunt "In Memory"

Time for another Photo Hunt! Well what else can I share when I haven't been stitching much? I actually did stitch a little bit tonight. I started a little Just Nan Freebie Christmas Ornament. Maybe this will help me feel the Christmas spirit... I certainly haven't been feeling it lately! Of course its kinda been a little hard to focus on it with everything else going on.

So onto the Photo Hunt this theme is "In Memory" and the first picture that came to mind was this one. I took this photo in August of 2008 in Keene, N.Y., I had gone for a walk down a dirt road and came across this small, old graveyard. Obviously someone was keeping a family member's memory alive, as the flag didn't look old or weather beaten.

Tonight at Taekwon-Do I spent an hour working on my one step sparring and model sparring, I had to make up 9 one steps and 5 model. Paige, my partner for a 17 year old has a wise head on her shoulders! I started blanking out, not remembering what was next. She kept reminding me that I was starting to panic and to take a deep breath. I am now mere days away from my test!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Photo Hunt "Walking"

Here's another Photo Hunt to entrain you! The theme this time is "Walking"

So here I am performing Choong-Jang at the end of September for my 2nd Degree Interim test. This technique is at the end of the pattern its a right walking stance, high punch with an open fist. Most likely I'll be performing a pattern again this Sunday.

Good news, I found out I got 9.75/10 on my written exam on Saturday! Yay! I did wayyy better than I thought I would do.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Releasing My Inner Geek!

Tonight my Mum and I went to Star Wars in concert and had an absolute blast!!!! I think I secretly had this stupid grin the whole time the show was on, it was fantastic! I had to keep reminding myself that this was a live orchestra in front of us and not the soundtrack. They were absolutely flawless!

Well things aren't going well in Weight Watchers world. This morning, when I stepped on the scale I had to step off and get on again. I saw a number on the scale I thought I wouldn't see again. Somehow over the last week I've gained 2.5lbs to add onto the 1.5lbs I gained the week before!!!!! Argh this is a never ending battle! I understand the 1.5 gain after retreat, but this week's just doesn't make sense! I ate well all week, and was fairly active. I'm going to blame it on fluid retention, stress, this past weekend's physical (I'm still sore), and I'm wondering if deep tissue massage will cause you to retain fluids as well? (I had a massage last night) Do my excuses sound good to you? So besides tonight's fantastic Indian meal out where I avoided anything in a cream sauce I will watch what I eat all week and hopefully I'll drop back down next week. As you can all see my struggle is never ending!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Photo Hunt "Protect"

This is one of the many statutes at Montreal's Notre Dame Basilica, an absolutely stunning church, and worth the admission fee! I think this personifies protection perfectly.

I'm still pretty sore today from this weekend's physical test, I went into TKD tonight to practice my self defence skit with Todd, Jason and Peter.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Getting Closer to "Normal"

Or what I'd like to call normal for my life! My evenings of furious studying between work and Taekwon-Do are over. On Saturday I did my written and physical tests for my 3rd degree black belt in Taekwon-Do. I just have one more portion left of the testing process, the technical test which is on November 29th. I don't have my marks back on my written test, but I know I didn't ace it! Right away the first question (10 questions, 1.5 hours!) was something I hadn't memorized, but reviewed. Argh! What are the elements of self-defense... I know I forgot at least one of the elements. The other question that threw me for a loop was list 4 of the elements of the Instructor's responsibilities of the Instructor/Student Relationship. Argh! Again I had reviewed it but didn't memorize it! I also handed in my essay on Saturday.

The physical portion wasn't bad, I made the quotas for skipping, sit-ups, and push-ups. Then I had to run 24 laps of the track (10K) and I completed that in 74 minutes. I was a little disappointed to find that no one came out to run with us on Saturday, usually when there's black belt testing a few people will show up out of support. It was only Danielle and I on the track, but I have to thank Peter for coming out to help administer the test, and Murray as well... he was a sweetie and stuck it out to the end and encouraged me the whole time. Also a big thank you to Danielle and her parents who hung out until I was done my run. Danielle had only 8/9 laps to do I had 24, so they didn't need to stay the whole time, but they did and I really appreciate it!

So today I am one sore girl!

I've napped and I've stitched today! Here's the progress on the projects I've got on the go right now.

Tour Des Marques

Michael Powell - Mini Cottages 6

I'll be spending most of my evenings this week at the dojang practicing my patterns and step sparring for the technical testing on Sunday!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Knowledge & Needles Fall Retreat 2009

This weekend is one of a select few weekends I look forward to every year! Its the Knowledge & Needles annual fall retreat at the Timberhouse in Brighton, Ontario. I was quite anxious to hit the road on Friday and get down to the B&B and see my friends! As usual we had a blast this weekend with friends, stitching, fun and too much food!
Throughout Friday afternoon my stitching friends slowly trickled in up through the dinner hour as we were able to get away from the real world. I decided that this weekend I would completely unplug, my laptop stayed home, and my cell phone stayed in my room on the 3rd floor. I'm not the only one who felt the same way! Bonnie did the same, Nurse Sharon (we have 2 Sharon's in our group and we identify them by their professions) actually handed her keys and cell phone to Ann with strict instructions to keep them until Sunday.
Sheila and Ann
Friday night we had a fantastic pot-luck dinner, with enough food to feed a massive army! Once everyone was there and settled in the great room I revealed my surprise... you know all those monograms I had stitched? Well I did one for each person at the retreat! They were VERY well received!

After this, Kathy was finally given back her Lighthouse RR that we had been secretly shuffling between each other over the last year. She had no idea who had it, and how it was looking! Kathy is just in love with it!

Saturday is always a treat, as mid afternoon we head out for lunch this year it was to Chateaux Butthead. Actually we head over to Ann's house where each year Dan prepares a fantastic lunch for us! This year Dan (Butthead #2) was assisted by sous chef Bruce (Butthead #1) and dessert expert Lucy.
Sylvia impatiently waiting for lunch!

Lunch was : Garlic bread (my piece didn't make it to the table), pork chops in a mushroom cream sauce, potatoes, mushrooms and asparagus, carrots, and Cesar salad.

Dessert was : Cheesecake topped with caramel and Toblerone chunks.

After lunch we all filed into Ann's shop, I don't know if I've ever seen it so full! After lunch and shopping it was back to the Timberhouse and ... stitching!!!!!!!!!!
We were visited by a fox in the afternoon, he was quite bold.

Nan stitching away
Saturday night we had so much fun, with a few door prizes courtesy of Knowledge & Needles. Then we had a blast with our ornament exchange (a suggestion I made last year), which was a resounding success! We've all agreed to do another one next year.

Nan received a special ornament from Adriana (my favourite 93-year-old stitcher). Isn't it fantastic?

The best reaction of the night goes to Judie!

Sharon was just amazed by the ornament she got from Claire stitched on 40ct (which later that evening Beatrice just had to try stitching on)

Here's Bernie with my ornament, Teresa Wentzler's Intermediate White Work Ornament.

I received this cute ornament from Rebecca

Barb brought in a wee tree for us to all show off the ornaments we received.

Marie-Paule and Joyce
It was fantastic to see : Liquor Store Sharon (she used to manage an LCBO franchise), meet her sister Debby, Joyce, Claire, Marie-Paule, Bonnie, Kathy (briefly), Beatrice, Judie, Anne, Nan, Nurse Sharon, Wendy, Ann (hostess extraordinaire), Bernie, Rebecca, Sylvia, Barb, and Sheila! Some of you I won't see again until the spring and I'll miss you!

Rebecca and Bonnie
All too soon, it was early Sunday afternoon and it was time to head home!!!!!!! This is probably one of my last stitchy weekends for 2009, if the weather continues to be good you never know I might be running the 401 again to visit with one of my stitchy friends and you'll be the first to hear all about it!
Well its the count down to the big event! My 3rd Degree Black Belt testing in Taekwon-Do. This Saturday is the first portion of the testing process. First I have an 8 page essay to hand in about my Teakwon-Do journey as a Woman. Then I'll be sitting down with 60 minutes to write a 10 question test. This is followed by a physical test. I have to do 250 push-ups, sit-ups, 6 minutes of skipping, this is followed by a 10KM run. On November 29th will be my technical test.
I'll be spending every free moment this week studying all my theory!