19 January 2019

Second finish, and . . . ouch

Midnight Stitching freebie

I have another finish for the year. I actually have a couple more almost finishes, but I had to put those down. This little guy is a freebie my LNS kitted up about 10 years ago. I inherited him from a stitcher who passed away. He was a cute quick finish. I am still not 100 percent sure how I will finish him, but I love him!

The reason my other two finishes aren't totally finished is that I have done something to my wrist. It started last week, pin pricks and a fuzzy feeling in my thumb that has steadily gotten worse. In the middle of the week, my thumb and first finger felt like I had gotten a terrible burn and ached. I think it could be carpal tunnel, but wasn't aware that it would be a burning pain like that, OMG. I didn't want anyone touching it.  I did buy myself a brace last night and am trying to rest my hand to see if it helps out a bit. I will go to the doctor if it doesn't get better; I don't have time to not be able to use my left hand.

Still doing OK on my resolution not to buy any new stitching supplies. Especially now that I am resting from stitching. I am enjoying looking at the old stuff I have, appreciating those old designers.

We are under the gun for bad weather this weekend. It's spitting snow now, but they are worried about ice tomorrow. I went to the store last night and picked up some things we could eat even if there was no power and tonight I will make a big thing of egg salad. Everyone likes it in the house and. worst case scenario, we can put it in a car if we have no power to keep cool.

06 January 2019

My first finish of the year

Millenium Needleroll
Shepherd's Bush
stitched using called-for threads and fabric
I actually have a finish already for the year!  I started this during the week between Christmas and New Years ad finished Thursday evening. Only 19 years late for the New Year it was celebrating, but it will still look nice on our tree. I did break (on accident, I swear) the ball my husband got during his first marriage to commemorate the millenium, so this replaces that (and is probably a better idea in our house.)
I did all the finishing myself, by hand. It wasn't terrible. I wanted to learn how to finish correctly before I attempted doing a "needleroll" finish I envisioned for another ornament. I will not be making it so fancy, but now I know I can accomplish it. 
And I managed to delight myself this morning by finding several little kitted-up projects I had misplaced. Yay for me!
So far, still on the wagon as far as buying anything. I know it's only 6 days in, but I did get a gift certificate to 123stitch for Christmas, and I'm tempted to redeem it, but I know I would add extra to the total, and that is not part of my goal for the year. So I am putting it aside til at least closer to next December when I can really decide what I need vs. what I want. I am enjoying looking through my stash to see what treasures I have available. And the creative juices are starting to flow!

30 December 2018

The Year to Come and the Year in Review.

I am sorry to have been away so long. This fall got crazy. Life got crazy. But, here I am, and with new resolve.

My biggest issue for the new year is rebuilding myself. I am not the same person I was before the things that started in October, 2016. I seem to have lost confidence in everything. My self-care is non-existant, even though I know I am dancing a dangerous line in regards to the healthcare parts of that, but I have a lot of issues with trusting doctors. I know I need to work on that, even if it's just summoning the courage to get a checkup and deal with what the fallout is from that. I need to deal with the financial issues that we fell into after everything; I've been so embarrassed, but I'm not the first person that has gone through this, it doesn't define me, and, like everything else, doing nothing isn't getting me anywhere I want to be. It's easy to get comfortable and wallow in sorrow and malaise, but I don't like it here anymore. It stinks, and I feel like I have an awkward residue on me that I need to scrub off once and for all. I don't know if this is the right place to admit all this, but 2019 is the year I pick myself up and cherish myself. I've warred with myself for way too long; it's time I won.

Anyway, part of getting myself back on the proverbial solid ground is spending less money. Among the ways that I am doing that is putting myself on the wagon with my stitching. I talked about this a bit in my last post, spending the year stitching things that I have and not shopping vs. spending the year kitting things up and buying random charts, with the idea of stitching them "someday". I know this seems so logical to 99% of the world, but remember, I'm not hitting on all 4 cylinders, and I am starting to think I haven't been for a very long time. I have been pulling out things I kitted up, and . . . YALL . . . I probably have 100 projects kitted up and not started, and that isn't counting things I have already started or have actual kits of.  So it seems rather stupid to pay for new stuff when I have plenty of stuff to work with. I'm not going to punish myself if I can't do it for the whole year, but I can at least try.

And I am also going to make more effort to finish my pieces, at least the smaller ones. I see all these beautiful trees with stitched ornaments and I want one so bad, but I keep not getting the gumption to finish my own work. I am going to get there this year. Maybe setting a specific goal of 4 a month is achievable.

Not that I had a shabby 2018, stitching-wise.

my 2018 finishes

It's missing two small finishes, but that's OK.

I liked the vast majority of what I worked on.  I did not finish Summer Ball, but I got pretty far! And that's more than I can say for it when I picked it up.

I will leave this for now. I have some surprises up my sleeve for 2019, I am looking forward to sharing them on here, along with pictures of my finishes.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year's.

25 August 2018

2019 Stitching plans . . . already?

The rest of the world is thinking about pumpkins and cozy sweaters and I am thinking about next year, LOL.

So, probably spurred on by watching way too many YouTube videos about tinyhouse  and minimalist living (although I know the smallest I could go would be a park model mobile home with a superloft and I am not ready to reduce my belongings to fitting into a single storage tote), I have been really trying to make an effort to consume less in general and get rid of things I don't need. Over the past month, I have gotten 5 bags of clothes ready to donate and went through my books to get rid of two bins of books I think other people would enjoy more. I have been taking books to work and setting them out and donating them to the Little Free libraries, and, as soon as my car becomes reliable again, another box is going to A Book Thing in Baltimore.  This is not an easy process for me, but I am trying and change is good.

As far as my stitching stuff, there wasn't a lot that I was willing to give up at this point, but I did come to a decision about my 2019 plans. I have decided to make it a year of stitching from stash. I was really pleased with myself for my 2016 focus on UFOs. In 6 months, I got 25% of my 80 projects in the Bin of Good Intentions done, and I have gotten a few more done since then. It was not easy, but I did it. I want to have a year focused on similar goals, but, instead of being only projects I had not completed, I want to allow myself to pull anything from stash, as long as it's something I own, and my special focus is thin
gs I kitted up. I have a lot of my disposable income sitting in Ziploc bags, things I genuinely WANT to stitch, and it's time that I actually STITCH them, instead of just shifting the kitted-up projects around. It's basically a year "on the wagon" and I am hoping to see what I can accomplish. I have plenty of floss, plenty of fabric, and I have proven I can stay on track if I really try.

Granted, none of this starts til I finish Summer Ball, but I really think I can get that done, if not by the end of 2018, then early in 2019. It's worth a try. I started pulling projects together last night and I have a nice selection of freebies and other things to chose from, so it shouldn't be too bad a stitching year. What do you think?

10 August 2018

A side post: I realized something!

I haven't really posted pictures of the kids in forever. I guess if you follow me on Instagram or we're Facebook friends, you see pictures of them, but I realize not everyone does that. So, celebrating the fact that, after 4 years, we finally got a new modem with Wifi my laptop acknowledges, I thought I would let everyone see pics of them.

This was March of 2017. Logan had been home a little over a month and was 5 1/2 months old, about 3 months adjusted.

I adore his expression in this one. He has always been such a smiley kid. Someone Small, who is not so small anymore, was so thrilled with him. Now, he is in that phase of little brotherhood where he is into everything. She isn't the biggest fan of him. I keep this kind of picture to remember "the good times". LOL. 

This was taken at the end of June. One of her birthday gifts was seeing a fabulous musical at my work. 

They had a thing where, in Act 2, the characters are in a nightclub. The emcee wishes an audience member Happy Birthday. Since it was her birthday, she was the lucky birthday kid. She was totally surprised and thrilled. She adores "working" at my job as the official box office kid, and loves live theatre and having the people on stage acknowledge her special day was fabulous for her. She told me when we were walking out that it was the best birthday ever. 

And the boy, eating crabs for the first time:
He doesn't even look like the same kid! He is almost 2, but adjusts to about 19 months old. He doesn't really talk yet, but he is trying. We have been through so much, and he adjusted so beautifully. He loves Mickey Mouse and Elmo, and is such a good boy. And he loves to eat. All the time. He actually eats better than his older sister--last night, I didn't feel like cooking, so got Chicken McNuggets for the family (I know, I know). He ate 10. And some fries. And wanted more. There isn't much he doesn't like, maybe pickles and sauerkraut. I am even teaching him to stitch. He pulls the needle through, I grab it and he yells, "Ahh, riiii" (Alright!), and claps. He is so pleased with himself. Pretty good for a "wimpy white boy" (I hate that term, it's a preemie thing, my son is not weak, never was, he has dealt with more nonsense in his very short life than most people deal with in 70 years. but people think that term is cute . . . .)

Anyway, thought someone might enjoy seeing my babies, growing up. Have a great evenign

15 July 2018

Update on Summer Ball and future plans

I apologize for the quality of this picture. It is not easy to take decent photos of this project.

I finished another page of Summer Ball by Sandy Littlejohns last week. I started working on the area to the left of the girl in the yellow dress in February, but when I got a job and my depression kicked up badly, I put it down. I picked it back up at the end of April, but it's been up and down since then. I decided that, this was going to be my focus piece for the rest of 2018, starting July 1st. I did decide I can work on small pieces if I am working on them on break or at lunch at work, but this MUST be the focus. I MUST GET this done. It is too beautiful to keep sitting in a box, unfinished, with random body parts started and not finished. I am at the halfway point now. Actually, after this morning I have about 1000 more stitches completed in it, but this is the closest pic to it. I am working to the left, and at least this section is a lot of background and it goes fairly quickly. At least for being a 10 inch wide section.

14 July 2018

How did the last months go so fast?

I didn't realize it had been so long. It's been a challenging few months. I started my new job May 7th. I like the work, and getting to work from home is a great perk. It has worked well for our schedule and our family, but learning a new system and a new way of doing things is hard. I am keeping positive. I know I am going down this path for a reason and I do enjoy getting paid.

Some of the things that I have been working on since I last posted:

SNN kit from 2007

I did not enjoy the specialty fibers on this one. They were a PITA to work on.

Artiste kit
I picked up this little kit while training for the new job. It's pretty, but I won't be buying another one of their little kits. Lots of fractionals, and I hate doing those on Aida.

Easter Blessings, Prairie Schooler Freebie

I apologize for the picture. I was just excited to finish this. I used the called-for colors on a piece of linen I got somewhere. This took a few years to complete, but I am happy with it.

Americana Heart, by Joy of the Needle
I have had this chart since the summer after 9/11, and I love it so much. I wanted this done by 4th of July. I really like it. So pretty. 

Woodland Christmas, by Theron Traditions
I found this at a used bookstore two Christmas Eves ago. I had kitted it up a few months ago and just decided to do it. I did not realize that there was snow and it was all in Oatmeal, so I had to fudge it. I hate having to do that, but its done.

Spring Tulips bookmark, by Handblessings
I took this one to training with me and spent a while during that time working on it.  It was a lot more complex than I imagined it could be. 

Garden Prince, by Just Nan
I inherited this from my friend Enid, and it was fun to work on it. My finish is not perfect, but I like it.

The Needles Content, August floss tag
Honestly, I am about over these tags. They are cute, but they are annoying to stitch. I have 4 more to do, I think,

Cuddle Up with Liberty
Another oldie from my collection. This took a while, but I like her. She looks so much like a Boyds Bear.

Trustworthy and True, by Little House
I did this for my parents. They never had a wedding sampler. I am going to finish this for my mom.
I got to go to Arizona for my training. It wasn't terribly hot when I was there, which was good because I was there for two weeks. Arizona is so different from Maryland, like night and day. The time difference took a lot of getting used to, like I was getting up at 3AM their time so that I could talk to the kids before Left-brain took them to school, and going to bed at 8.My daughter was impressed that there were orange trees and that it was still light out when it was dark back home. And people get to wear shorts to work there. The only time I have ever worn shorts to the office was when our AC broke and it was 97 degrees in the room. And it has ruined me for local Mexican food!
My mom and brother were there the week before and my brother got this lovely shot!
I did get a chance to go to Attic Needlework in Mesa. It is very different from my LNS, but of course I had to shop there!  It was a great shop, mostly focusing on samplers, but I did find some things to put in my basket that I have never seen before. (That is my rule about shopping out of the area, I don't want to buy things I can get at home, my lame attempt at supporting my LNS.) The ladies in there were super friendly and gave me some excellent travel advice. I also hit up about five Hobby Lobbys. We have 3 within a reasonable drive to me at home, and I have been to all of them, looking for Thea Governor's America kit without success. Not to mention, having a Hobby Lobby less than 15 minutes from me was a novel experience, so I took advantage of the proximity. I almost gave up on finding it in Arizona, but the last store had one kit at 75% off.  I was overjoyed; it was one of those moments I wanted to run around, screaming in victory, kit raised above my head. 
 I did get some time to myself and went to Sedona. The ladies at Attic Needleworks told me to go to Cottonwood as a better way into the area, and I was glad for the advice. It was a lovely ride, saw a wild burro, some balloons, and lots of cacti. People kept saying the road was windy and scary, but I was OK. No worse than driving the Appalachians. And then you come down off a mountain and the valley spreads out in front and it's breath-taking. The town itself is so beautiful, after all the desert colors, seeing the red rocks and the trees was so lovely. And it spreads as far as you can see. It was magical.
I got the chance to visit the beautiful Church of the Holy Cross. It is a lovely Catholic church built into the red rocks. It was a long hot walk up there, but it had a gorgeous view out over the valley, and I felt a kind of peace I haven't felt in a while in there. All I can say is, I felt God in there. 

The amazing altar.
I also tried prickly pear ice cream. SO YUMMY! I wish I had more time in Sedona, but I can always go back.  I can post more photos if anyone is interested.
All told, I was there 11 days. It was a good trip that I really needed. Outside the stuff with work, it was such a reflective time. I had a few experiences that were life-affecting, came to terms with some past pain, and read some amazing books. I was so glad to come home, I basically RAN out to the car to my family. I missed them terribly.
I feel like something really grand is going to happen to us soon. Maybe not immediately, but soon. I just feel it. I feel like I have a plan now that I didn't have before. 

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls