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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.

04 August 2014

Weekend WIPs.

What a week this has been! After bringing home all the stuff from the storage unit, my goal has been to get it finally organized and put away so I can see what is going on and what I have. Not a lot of stitching time, after I finished BlackBird's Winter Delivery.

And that meant I spent Saturday putting together bookcases, and loading them up. (Of course Blogger doesn't want to play nice today, so I can't show pictures.) I bought three of these and one of this one. Left-brain doesn't think we have room for all three of the large bookcases, but I am only planning on two big and one small on  one wall, and maybe the other one on another wall. They weren't hard to put together--I left the back off, since we have a plug on the wall that I use to power things I need for the office, and it looks fine.  Ended up with about 5 boxes of books on one of  the tall ones, and put my binders of freebies and a few binders of charts, along with my organized floss, on the low one. I'm going to use the tops to store the weird decorative objects I have that don't fit in any storage box man has yet created.

I was going along pretty good, until I fell on our steps and rolled my ankle. NOT COOL. Not with everything I need to do. It feels better now, butkind of ended the project mid-stream, at least for right now. I may do some more construction tonight.

Anyway, yesterday was stitching group day. I took a project that I have been working on forever it seems, but I made really good progress.


I think I can have this page done this week. It fascinates me how well the details show up. And how it does look like a photo. Maybe not close up on it--I still find myself wondering how Kay-kay and I, who are the two palest people I know, could possibly need 815 or 921 to reveal our skin tone, but, the project looks lovely. I think, and I may be pushing myself WAY too hard here, that I am going to set myself a goal of having this project and Santa's Pets done by Christmas.Neither chart is that hard to read, and I'm comfortable now. Imagine how it would feel to have two large projects with an absurdly intense emotional attachment to them (and I just realized they bookend my pregnancy--I started Santa's Pets the weekend I found out I was pregnant and the photo of this was taken when Kay-bay was two weeks old, but anyway), how would it feel to have them DONE?  I plan on framing it with a copy of the original photo, but I am still trying to figure out if I want to put something in there about where and when it was taken. Katie might like that in the future.
 
 
 The other project I worked on is this one:

 
This is The Mysterious Town of Halloween SAL by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I was going back and forth about it, but after seeing all the WIPs online, and knowing it didn't cost that much, I signed up. It took me FOREVER to choose a fabric. But I stopped in at my LNS on the way home from an appointment this week, and this Stone Grey fabric called to me. It's really pretty and the colors stand out against it, so I think it's great!  I really need to catch up as it's almost time for the third installment, but if I am slow, as long as it's done for Halloween, right?
 
So that is all from here. I am fairly luxuriating in seeing the books I forgot I had, so you have to pardon me. It's just lovely to see my Harry Potters, right near my novels of Sarah Agnes Prine (I HATE epistolary novels, but these are exceptional. Nancy E Turner wrote these books and I swear, PBS has totally missed out by not making them into a series.) My heart is quite happy this morning, a big change from last night, where I was listening to Christmas carols, but ended up crying because there was a song I liked, and I saw the album, thought my dad would love it for Christmas, and then realized, he isn't here to buy a Christmas gift for this year. And that was the end of the music for the night. But today is bright and clear, and I was reminded that there are many older people who have no one to buy them a gift, and Katie and I have no Poppy to shop for, so we're going to make a connection and shop for those who need us. And Daddy will understand.
 
 

31 July 2014

All finished


And it only took four days!  I am really pleased with this finish.

28 July 2014

An Old UFO


Blackbird's Winter Delivery
Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers
stitched with the kitted fabric and fibers
 
 
 
So-o-o-o-o-o-o
 
 
Last week, for a lot of reasons, was chaos. Mom ended up in the ER on Wednesday night, so that threw me off for the next two days. She's fine, but it was a scary thing to deal with--she doesn't drink enough water, and got dehydrated.This weekend, we brought everything home from the storage unit. I spent most of Saturday, cleaning out my office, so that Left-brain can put up the bookshelves when he gets them put together. Mom came out for the day to watch Someone Small, but also so that I can keep track of her fluid consumption. I got a lot done. Threw out a lot of detritus. I am very hopeful that most of my books fit on the shelves I bought, because there isn't a lot of other space to put them, and not a lot of place to store my stash. I refuse to have it all stacked in here (remember, I have that issue with stacks and paper and staring at that all day would drive me crazy. Books are different, I can do spines of books), but I need the bookcases put up so I can put the books on there, and put the stash boxes where the books were.
 
Anyway, so . . . while I was cleaning, I found this. It's from the first year of the Loose Feathers club. I signed up for that club in 2003, stitched a few of them, realized I couldn't keep up, and I have the rest in stash somewhere. I've started this one and frogged it a few times.  I think I have even bought more floss for it a few times. But I am determined that I will finally get this thing done. It's not a big design, 4 3/4 X 5, I don't know why I am not able to complete it, but I have been scared of it, and then I put it aside, and pick it up a year or so later and put in a few stitches, and put it back down. So I am putting everything else aside and finishing this. Because this is just silly. And I think it will be really finished when it's done, framed with a black frame and a white mat. I know I do not like the fabric because the dye comes off on my hoops and I have to watch them when I switch off to something else, but maybe finishing it will put an end to it.
 
And I have a question. We had the box of my unfinished finishes in the storage unit, and when Left-brain brought it home, I realized there are quite a few that are dirty and stained and hoop-marked. In my defense, I didn't know better. I think I can clean most of them up--if a Tide Pen can remove dog poop and highlighter, it's gonna take most anything out This is proof. I have one poor little mouse ornament that has a wierd stain on it, and the best I can think is that my dad used to use this product on the woodwork that, if you didn't rub it really well, it would leave marks, and I think some got on my finish. It's done with Weeks, so it's not washable, and it was one of my first overdyed projects. It's not unsalvageable, it just looks a bit battered, but I look a lot more battered than I did when I was young too, and I can live with it, rather than restitch it.Would you go ahead and have it made into an ornament? I mean, the back of the tree needs ornaments as well, right?

20 July 2014

Halfway there


I got this far!  I think, out of all my unfinished BAWIPs, this is the farthest I have ever gotten. And now I go from a whole lot of greys to weeks of blues.

My house looks chaotic right now. We have to make room for all these boxes from the storage unit, and so, I'm trying to consolidate the boxes that are left.  I think setting up my bookshelves will help, because at least all the books would be in one place, but we have to make room to set them up. That is the hard thing. And my office is so small, it heats up really quickly, so is not always the most pleasant room to organize.

I'm starting to think about what I want to work on for 2015. Youtube has been full of videos for the cross stitch wishlist tag, where people have chosen the 5 projects they want to work on. I have thought about doing that, and actually pulled aside 7 projects that I think I could at least make a good effort on, and thought, well, I'll start those. But then I pulled out my Hummingbird Trellis afghan for a little last night, and started wondering how far I could get if I actually focused on it, instead of just occasionally picking it up. So I'm kind of in a quandary. I don't think I'd actually get it finished, but it would be nice to see how far I could get. And, let's be honest, that project needs commitment and time. It's been kicking around here since 2005, and I actually made a decent start on it in 2006, so it's been a WIP/UFO for 8 years. It's not improving with age, and if I keep going like this, the fabric will be ruined.

What would you do?
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