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22 October 2014

Progress.


This is Santa's Pets, as far as I got by September 30th.  I am going to have to pick up the pace in November if I want it done by Christmas. But, if I am not done by the end of the year, I will just push my project to focus on the afghan off til it's done. It's pretty simple; this is a 3 year project that needs to be completed because it's the most beautiful thing I've ever done, the afghan is a 10 year old project that may or may not ever get finished and 2 or 3 weeks won't change that reality.

Blogger is acting up and won't let me post my Halloween town progress, so that will be posted tomorrow.

20 October 2014

Mid-October Update

Not much to show this update. I am following through on my plan to put Santa's Pets aside for the month and am focusing on Halloween stitching. Not that I have a lot of time--we have an enormous project at work that I have been trying to get done, in addition to all the fall activities. Last week, we went to the pumpkin patch. It was cold and rainy. My child freaked out because she thought the hay wagon which deposited us at the pumpkin patch was abandoning us and would never come back.

 This is how this day went on Instagram.
This is the truth: After she freaked out, Ginny (my mom) tried to calm her down, while I found a pumpkin that I would like if I were 2, and  then pulled it off the vine. She calmed down when I yelled "Oww," because a pricker got me . . . and then she started laughing.  And when the tractor came back, she got on the wagon and then didn't want to get off. Someone else handed her down to me.
 
 
 

She was exhausted by the time we got home. And filthy. And mad. I am chaperoning the class trip to another pumpkin patch next week, and when I asked her if she wanted to go, she said, "I'm fine. I have my punkin."  But when she found out that we were going (because she has to go), she apparently reconsidered because, Wednesday night, when I was getting ready to go to work at the theatre, in my high heels and skirt, she thought I was going to the pumpkin patch at that moment. And wigged out, because she didn't want to be left behind. 10 minutes trying to explain . . . . . yep, I was late. 
Soooooo
 
 
Stitching wise, I've had a few small hauls. I went to HL and kitted up a bunch of projects. I bought 125 skeins of floss--I felt like a glutton. And, to celebrate paying off my car finally, I placed an order with 123stitch for the beads and threads for my two Mirabilias. I still have to order the fabric for Christmas Elegance, but I have everything for Mother's Arms. I am almost ready for the Panting to Stitch SAL.
 
 
And then came Saturday. It was a great day!  My husband's cousin gave me a box set of Harry Potter hardbacks in a trunk. Even Kaydence gasped when we opened it!  I have all the books in paperback, but having them in hardback as well, in such a beautiful way, it adds to my collection. But that wasn't all that was there.
 
There was an envelope from my Christmas in July partner. She had spoiled me so much in July, and she sent me an extra envelope that came this month.  In it was a bunch more stuff from my 123 Wishlist. Katie was entranced!
 
Val sent me:
 
RTR This Is Halloween
Cape Cod Halloween by Pickle Barrel Designs
LHN State Fair (I'm thinking of doing part of this in the Maryland flag colors)
Blessed Freedom by Homespun Elegance
Stranded Jacks by Plum Street Samplers
Barn Dance by Workbasket
A Wooley Story by Homespun Elegance
Amethyst Alphabet by Pegasus (pretty and purple--Kaydence loved it)
In Memoriam by Cherished Stitches
The Great Pumpkin Conspiracy by Cricket Collection
Baby Bubbles by Carolyn Manning Designs (I really like her designs a lot, I am starting to buy the Whiskerkins charts)
Holiest of Nights by Homespun Sampler
 
It was a lovely gift and I am very touched.
 
I'll try to post pictures of my WIPs in the next few days.
 
Hope you all are enjoying the season.
 
 
 
 
 

16 September 2014

Mid-September update


 
 
Not much to report this week. I had a small finish last week, which I'll try to finish-finish this week and post. I'm toiling away at Santa's Pets. It sort of feels like being in the doldrums; there is progress, but not much, and I'm too far in to abandon ship, and the finish feels so far away . . . My plan is to stitch on this for the rest of the month, then work on Halloween stuff next month, and then spend the rest of the year making sure this is finished by Christmas Eve. It sounds like an achievable goal, I think. I just need to get out of this sea of blue and white!
 
I did happy dance yesterday because I finally sent in the last payment on my hospital bill from Kaydence. Yep, I officially own a sassy toddler. To celebrate not having to shell out $125 every month (there are a lot of issues behind this, I don't mind paying money I owe, but I was given bad information by a rep from the insurance company at the time, and the payment processing company, I had to call every 3 months and make sure that our math matched--spent three hours sorting it out. One of those things no one ever says is because of them), I bought 4 charts from 123. I ordered "Fancy Blackett--The Harvest Dance," "Spring Hare", and "Why I Believe".  AND . . .  because I learned from not ordering the mice when they come out, I ordered "Miss Witchy Mouse." I know the last thing I need is more stash, but I liked them and, now that I get some breathing room til the next crisis comes around, I took advantage of it. Apparently these mice are not hard to assemble. I shall give my review of them.
 
I did stop in at Hobby Lobby last night on my errands last night. I was kitting up my Miribilias for the Panting to Stitch SAL, and one that I just want to do. They had the fall stuff out, and Copper Fox had posted a little fox dish she got there. I went to looking and this little guy, well, he just begged to come home with me. I love his little bushy tail!  They had other things that I liked, but I decided to skip them for now. Maybe next month, after I finish paying off my car . . .  


 
Anything as smart as a fox would want to protect my classics! 
 
I was a little miffed that they close at 8. I got there at 7:40, and didn't have enough time to get all my floss, but that's OK, I'll save it for another trip. Weird that they close at 8. Who does that?  But then again, who gets the urge to craft at 8:30 at night, and you never see anyone at Michaels that late . . . I guess they figure if you want to shop HL, get up early.
 
So that's all from here. It's a busy week ahead. I work both days this weekend, but I'm OK with that! 

03 September 2014

The "Panting to Stitch" SAL

Thank you for your comments about my post the other day. They are much appreciated. Things seem to be looking up for September.

You are probably wondering why I have titled today's post what I have, since this is not a hobby we tend to "pant" about.  Well, in all my digging through my stuff the past month, I realized that I have a lot of stuff that I would really like to stitch before I leave this earth, but I haven't been able to work on. In my case, it's because I lose everything all the time, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who has these projects. Well, I decided I'm going to change that in 2015.

I already committed to focusing on Hummingbird Trellis afghan, and that will be my focus for the year . . . BUT . . . I decided I am also going to do one of my "panting to stitch" projects. And I found mine the other day.

It's "Mother's Arms", by Miribilia. I have had it in my stash since 2000 or 2001, and I even remember buying it, at Inez's Creative Stitchery in Kensington. (I don't even know if the shop is still there, I haven't been able to go back since that one time, right after Inez died, it was so much "her", hard not to see her at the register). I loved the bright colors, and the serene look on the mother's face (perhaps it calls to me now because I am not a serene mom), but it had blending filament and beads, and so I put it away for that day when BF didn't seem so irritating, and I had money for beads (because, at that time, I wasn't making much, and whatever I did earn went to pay the vet bills for one puppy and three kittens, all of whom seemed to get sick or need shots or shred their collars right around payday), so I tucked it away.

And now I found it, and I think it's amazing. And I want to stitch it. I posted on 123 asking if anyone else had charts like that, that they'd put away waiting for the perfect day and reason to stitch, and got a lot of responses. So I decided to host a Stitch-A-Long. And I've gotten some good responses.  Having referenced putting things off to stitch in the perfect place, like a cabin or seashore, with a frosty beverage, maybe a pool boy or two, I've even offered to post pix of pretty places to help us get into "the zone." Someone suggested basing it out of here, but I'd probably want to set up a Facebook page, or a different blog, and then of course, cross-reference to a monthly post on 123 where people could post photos.

Do you have a chart like that in your stash? It doesn't have to be one to set the world on fire, it just has to be one that you really love, but haven't stitched. Would you like to join us? It's a no-frills, no-pressure SAL, starting January 1, running at least the year. With progress posts on the 15th or 16th to keep us moving.  If so, let me know, and I'll figure out the logistics

26 August 2014

Challenges

I usually don't look forward to the end of summer. It's really my favorite time of the year.

Not this year.

This has been a rotten season. Losing my dad at the beginning of the summer sort of set the tone for a few months that, all in all, I can't wait to end. Job stress (and I enjoy what I do, it has just been a period of upheaval all around), uncertainty about whether we want to move or, rather, can afford to move (it's not really an issue of do we want to, we can't fit in this house anymore), 3 out of my 5 pets are having medical issues, and I don't want to think about what is coming for them, and some other family issues made it very difficult. My doctor and I discussed putting me on some medication to help me get through this time, and I told him no. I'm not at that point, not at a sustained level. I have decided I am uninvolving myself with some of the family stuff. I just can't deal with it, not and remain at a healthy place for myself. It's hard, but it is how I HAVE TO be.

Stitching-wise, I managed to get Section 1 of MTH done. It's super-cute, I think. I think I can sum up 2014 as a year of challenging myself (in all ways, not just stitching), and kawaii cross stitch IS a challenge for me.  It's not in my comfort zone at all, doesn't match anything in the house, and I always look at it and think, "This is what Hello Kitty's world would be like." and I wasn't a Hello Kitty girl.  But this will be adorable. I have to see how it all turns out to determine if I want to finish it as a stand up or as a picture, but it's becoming more fun. (And I hope the final design includes a frog, because I've frogged a lot). And I really think I LIKE this style. Doesn't mean I don't like the other stuff, or like it less, but Frosted Pumpkin is broadening my range!

 
And my update on "In My Daughter's Eyes."

 
My challenge to myself was to get page 12 completed by the end of August. As you can see, I completed it. With time to spare. And started another page. I'm going to hold off on working on this again til September, but I'm happy with the pace. Now that I have a rhythm established, it's not hard, and I love seeing our fingers take shape. The only thing that concerns me is that, in the upper right corner, there are marks where I was doing this by block and you can see a line. I think it will go away when laundered, pressed and stretched. OK, let's hope it goes away.
 
I'm using my time to work on my ornament for the 123stitch Christmas ornament exchange. I think I went all out this year--nice fabric, specialty threads. Not that I don't make an effort every year, I just found a pattern that needed a little more. And it looks great. I stitched on it while watching Outlander last night on Ondemand (still not sure about this), and I'm making good progress.
 
So that's that. I take each stitch and day at a time. Somedays, I can see a few stitches ahead, somedays I see the whole picture. And I try to focus on the idea that life is like a WIP. We see the reverse. We note the knots, see the dabs of chocolate, see the not-so-pretty stitches. But, in the end, it's something beautiful And we understand why those wonky confetti stitches had to go where they did. And we get it. This summer was just a line of wonky stitches. 

20 August 2014

Stupid enter key

OK, first of all, sorry if I worried anyone with my cryptically empty last post. It wasn't anything really terribly serious. We did have some family issues going on that were a little daunting, but it's not stuff I can fix, so I have to let it go and keep moving forward. I have my own balls in the air to juggle, and those aren't always easy or fun.

 As I keep trying to sort and organize my stash, I keep finding more things I have hidden like a maniacal squirrel. I opened up Katie's closet to put away some stuff she can't wear yet (I buy things on clearance at the end of the season in sizes I think she'll wear next year--why pay full price if I don't have to, my baby is not a celebrity and she doesn't have to be perfectly on-trend in the latest looks) and found a bunch of stash I had thrown in there, probably in one of my cleaning jags. And of course, it was after I had put all the charts I consolidated downstairs into a large tub, which I then covered with the HEAVIEST box of magazines ever, so it was not easy to put them into the box. BTW, in case you care about these things, you put a heavy box of magazines on top of a not-quite as heavy but still heavy tub of charts, and that chart tub will start collapsing. I spent Saturday watching the tower of stash start to lean and then rearranged. It's still not exactly safe, but it's better. But I have all this stuff, randomly stuffed together all over the house, and it's no WONDER I can't find what I need, like the July 2007 issue of UK Cross Stitcher.

Have I mentioned before how I have this serious issue with keeping stuff together? I have charts that I buy fabric for, or projects that I start, and they get separated, and, every so often, one part or the other will bob up to the surface of my stash for a few moments, and then go back down and get lost again, and the process repeats with other parts of the project. Right now I have four dysfunctional projects (I think that is a good name for them). Two of them, I have seen both parts recently, just not in the same place, and I'm trying to remember where I put them, one I have the fabric and the chart, just not the color key and  floss, and the last, I haven't seen either part in a while.  This is embarrassing to me. I used to keep things in those large plastic scrapbooking envelopes (I think Darice makes them), but they wear out, and I haven't seen them in Michaels in forever. 

I know this is just temporary, and I'll get myself straightened out in this regard, but seriously, this has got to stop.

These are my WIPs for the week. I have been doing a lot of frogging on my Frosted Pumpkin SAL. I don't think I am going to have this and Section 2 done for the new section to come out. I know that I am not racing with anyone but myself, but I think for every 5 stitches I put in, I frog three. But I love it. That little owl is darling. And I love that my skeins of Carriage Black are shot full of grey, and that, because of that, Bride of Frankenstein has salt and pepper hair! Like me.

Mysterious Town of Halloween SAL
Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
recommended threads on 32 count Stone Grey Jobelan
 
 
And my progress on the photo to chart. Not much done, since I was focusing on MTH.  I'd like to get this page done by the end of the month. I should be able to accomplish that, right?

 
I did set my stitching goals for the end of the year, definitively. Finish MTH, finish the hands, do my ornament for the ornament exchange on 123stitch, and then finish as much of Santa's Pets as I can. It either feels like an insurmountable amount of work, or nothing, but I'm going to push myself to get it done. That leaves next year free to work on my HT afghan and get that finished (or at least almost finished). 
 
So that's it. Thanks for listening to my griping and grunting. Have a great rest of the week.

11 August 2014

Insanity and other ramblings . . .

I know you all must be getting tired of these posts about organizing, cause I'm tired of organizing, LOL.  But I am almost there. I got the stuff Left-brain brought home from the storage unit at least split up into charts, kits and magazines. I've really pushed to get things in order. Along with putting away the boxes of books. On that front I am down to one box to give away, 2 boxes that need a bookcase, and one box that is missing in the garage (of course, it's the box with the books that I love, but I know it's out there).

I am finding my UFOs and getting them together.

I am organizing my floss. That is still an on-going, kind of sucky, project, but it's almost finished. 

So why do I find myself putting stuff on my wishlist and thinking about ordering more. I totalled up my 123 wishlist. $1200. To be fair, I have Victoria's Samplers charts on there, and a Snapper kit, and Blackberry Lane stuff. Those alone are probably $200 of it, but that still leaves $1000 that is so tempting. I'm trying to resist, but it's hard.

Still in my rotation of projects this week. I worked on the hands picture for most of the week, put it aside for The Mysterious Town of Halloween. I am not enjoying that project as much as I thought I would, but I know it's because I have had to frog it like crazy. I hate frogging. Maybe once I get past this area, it won't be as bad. I don't want to run out of Loden before it's finished, but, if I do, I know I ordered it from 123stitch, so I can go back to them and probably get the same dyelot.
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