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16 November 2014

And October is over . . .

That month went fast!  It did not help that my desktop took a major dump--got a terrible virus, and I now have to use a crappy thin client-type machine for work, and I pulled out my old laptop. I think I need a new computer, but I am also having wireless issues since Comcast came and changed out our router (after all their insistence that our router was not the issue)


I managed one real finish and one "milestone we'll call progress" finish.

I finished the Halloween Town SAL from Frosted Pumpkin. This took me a lot longer than I had planned for it. I didn't finish it til last weekend:


It's very cute. On my pile to finish, if I find a cute frame. I customized it a little bit, but not much.

I picked up "Sleepy Hollow" by Cross Eyed Eyed Cricket. :

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My 4 year old WIP. I set a goal to get the roof done by Halloween, and managed to get the house, roof and windows done, as well as fixing the porch pumpkins from my abysmally wrong reading of the directions on how to do the eyes. I had planned to go back into Santa's Pets on November 1st, but I decided to finish the outlining and the leaf garland before I put it away. So . . . . but, really there isn't much to be done to this panel, which will be my October focus piece in 2015. I have some pumpkins to do, and finish the tree, and it's done, and off to the church panel. 


I looked for other people's finishes of this online, and was amazed to find . . . there aren't many. I wonder if it's the fact that it's such a large piece, and it has large blocks of one color? It does get frustrating to stitch, and that is why I haven't finished mine. But I am getting there slowly. In case you have forgotten, mine is on PTP Loch, although what I have been getting lately from them isn't quite this color (but still pretty!), with the listed flosses, except I did the words on the center panel with Glow in the dark DMC (yes, it glows, no my camera doesn't take good pictures of the glowing). 

So far, my notes have been that you need more than one skein of London Fog, which is the ugliest color of Weeks they made. It doesn't show like it in this picture, but the floss is like a yellow-grey-fugly sort of color that I wouldn't use anywhere else in any of my work. But I needed more than one skein, and I have about half that skein left.
 

2015 Decisions

First, apologies for not posting sooner. My PC got a virus that can not be removed, and my laptop is not doing so hot. I am using the computer at my part time job til I can either get the laptop fixed or get a new one.

I've made some decisions about what I am choosing to focus 2015 stitching effort on. I was absolutely positive that I was going to work on my afghan exclusively next year. I had my doubts, but I was soldiering on in spite of them. I picked up my Sleepy Hollow UFO the last week of October, determined to get the Van Tassel farmhouse down by the end of Halloween. I did that, but it felt wrong to put it back down to pick up Santa's Pets, knowing I'd not be working on it again til at least 2016. So I was like, "Well, I'll just work on it all October," but then that felt like cheating on the afghan. I know, that doesn't make sense, but it felt that way, and then it just kind of went downhill.

I have my two Mirabilias to work on in 2015 as well, and found some other things in my stash that I need to do: charts my mom picked out, our wedding sampler, some things I just love, but to say to myself, "Nope, gotta work on the afghan . . . .well, that didn't feel right.

So, this week, I came to the decision, and it was not easy, that I will not focus on that afghan, but, instead, work on the Miribilias and try to get them finished, work on our wedding sampler, and then fill in what is left with UFOs. Like Sleepy Hollow. My goal on that is to have it done and decorating our house by October 1. It's too pretty, and too cool of a project to be left in a bag. I felt better immediately after making the decision not to focus on the afghan. It's not that I won't work on it at all . . . because it IS a UFO . . .but it's not the focus. I'm not built to focus on things for as long as it will take to do that. But it will get done  . . . and soon!

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. 
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