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23 April 2016

Latest finish

Another finish! I am pretty impressed with myself this month. In addition to this -I don't know of sweetly Gothic is the right word, but it reminds me so of those late afternoons right before Halloween, so it is wondrously lovely to me--lovely finish, I completed "The Gift", by BlackBerry Lane. I have backing fabric picked out for that one and am just waiting for maybe next week to finish it.  I also got two pages done on "In My Daughter's Eyes". I only have four more to go.  I am hoping to get those done before the end of the year, but they won't be as quick to do.

I also decided to give up the new job. I have 9 weeks service in,  but it just has been too much. I have worked harder for that paycheck than any other job ever, and it's a lot of work for the money. I like our customers mainly (except when they leave random crap in our department), I like most of my coworkers, but I just can't do the level of exhaustion I deal with. So I an getting more hours at the theatre and whatever the difference is, I put my faith that we'll get through. My manager is understanding, he said I always would have a job if I needed one. So that makes me feel like I accomplished something.

Anyway that is all from here. I hope your weekend is going well

31 March 2016

Soldiering on

I know that it's been a few weeks. I have been busy at work. Still doing the extra part time gig. At least for now. But 4 days a week is a lot of time out of my schedule. Next week, it goes to 3 days, but I'm going to use that evening that I am not working to work on the house we're moving into. Another project for me (because I don't have enough things to juggle, right), but, it's what is best for our family, so it's what I have to do. After finishing "Santa's Pets," I thought I would spend March doing smalls. I did manage to get that little Just Nan finished, but then I picked up PS Bunnies and that took most of the month to finish. I've been working on that project for 3 years, but I didn't enjoy it. And I don't know if I would have finished it had I not set one of my goals for the year to be to make an effort to finish projects that I don't enjoy as much or are challenging. And some of the colors on this one are . . . challenging. I have all the supplies to finish the designs into ornaments, I just haven't had the chance this week to do the washing and finishing (but I did paint the backing, so I am trying! I won't post a picture of the full project til it's done, but this is a sample of the end result:
Bunnies
Prairie Schooler
called for threads on 14 count black Charles Craft Aida
 
 
They are very sweet little guys. And they will be very cute next year for Easter. And I feel quite accomplished that I finished all 9 designs. I don't know why I didn't finish these sooner. I like Prairie Schooler (anyone else seriously bummed they went out of business? I will miss them) I like bunnies. I just . . . that red was not spring-y to me. and it felt like I was doing the same design over and over. 8 times. And maybe knowing that I have 9 things to finish now, that probably scared me. Anyway, it's very cute.
And my latest WIP:
 
The Gift
2011 JCS ornament issue
Blackberry Designs
stitched with called-for threads on 16 count aida
 
 
 
I have been itching to stitch this design since the magazine came out. I love it--it's the design of the sweet lamb. Very shaded. The original is supposed to be stitched over one on fine linen. As you can tell, I am not doing it that way. Mine is on 16 count linen. I agonized over this, but I don't think I see that well and I don't think I would enjoy this project if I was having to stitch it so tiny. I think this will work out. It's going to be a big ornament, but that's OK. You need something to fill the holes or for the bottom of the tree and it's so pretty.  I just want to have this in a form I can use.
 
I also wanted to share this picture. 


We went to the National Zoo on Saturday. My brother has been wanting to take my daughter since she was tiny, but he wanted to wait til she was potty-trained. And he knows I have been having a rough patch, so we all piled into my mom's car and went downtown. We discussed the subway, but due to terrorism and the fact that my mom is 81 and my daughter is 3 and there is a long walk between metro stops when you are 81 or 3, it was better to drive. And parking is not bad--we parked at the Marriott Wardley Park, 2 blocks away--and it was affordable, but there is an app, Parking Panda, that also gets you  discount parking. (In case anyone is visiting DC and is interested)

Left-brain and I took Kay-kay back in August to see "Bamboo"--her name for Bao Bao. Bei Bei had just been born, so we couldn't see him, but he recently made his public appearance, so we had to see him. Although I don't know if you call this seeing him. He was in a tree, sleeping. Apparently he does this a lot. He falls out every so often, but it doesn't hurt him because of his fur. He went inside, and my mom waited in a long line to see him. She was in paradise. We, however, chose to go look at other animals, but it was a nice day.

So that is all for now. I hope everyone had a nice Easter!

11 March 2016

Small stitches

I have been working on some little stitches since I finished Santa.  They were both kitted up on the same day, right after DD was born, and I want to get them finished. The black is PS bunnies, which I would like to get done for Easter, and the other one is "In My Daughter's Eyes".  I envision the bunnies mounted on wooden egg shapes, but I will have to see if AC MOORE carries those. 

06 March 2016

A small finish

Frost is on the Pumpkin
Just Nan
stitched with called-for threads on unknown fabric with rainbow blending filament
 
 
 
Yesterday was stitching group day. It was also my first real day off in 2 weeks--I started a new job on February 20th, and have been working that and the two existing jobs every day since.  I have been very stressed out--coming home at midnight means I don't get to sleep til 1AM and then get back up at 6 to start the day means I am running on caffeine and determination. I don't know how long I will keep this job, though. When I took it, I told them one weekend day per week and, low and behold, I am scheduled both weekend days for the upcoming week. I am going to try to resolve it today, but I don't know. . . If it has to be, then I will work until I find something else, or get fed up. I don't mind working, I do mind working 70 hours a week when I explained I couldn't do that.
 
Anyway, I started this project in 2015. This picture shows how quickly I abandoned it:
 


 
 
I think the store didn't have 970 when I went and I couldn't find it in my stash, so I gave up and put it away. And then, yesterday morning, stressed out over this new job, I pulled it out and decided I was finishing it. And I did. It took next to no time. Kay-kay helped pull a few stitches.  I know I will finish it as an ornament, but not sure when it will be appropriate to display it. The snowman kind of throws it into a weird place, since I don't have Halloween snowmen, but I guess I could always start  with this.
 
 
Hoping everyone is having  great weekend so far.  And that this week brings some progress!


05 March 2016

Major Happy Dance

Santa's Pets
2009 Better Homes and Gardens Cross Stitch Calendar
stitched with called-for threads on called-for fabric
 
 

 
After a little over 4 years and 3 months, this is finished. I am in awe of it. 17 1/2 by 11 1/4 inches. 39445 stitches. Fractionals and blending filament. In the course of stitching it, I have bought a house, had 3 employers, and had a baby. I have also learned a lot about what I am capable of; when I started this, I didn't think I'd ever finish it, because I never finished anything this large and fully-covered. Now I know I can do it, a plan which I plan to extend into other areas of my life.
 
But I won't be stitching with blue for a while.
 
Or grey.
 
And I am currently working on a conversion for Celtic Spring. I don't like the colors she chose for Spring, Summer and Autumn. They don't feel "of" that season to me. But I want to step outside the colors others have chosen. So, I decided to start with Spring. Once I am outside the time for Stash and Start Restraint. I thought about a green colorway for her, but I am not sure I could deal with that much green.  Then thought about incorporating a colorway from my college costume design days, a design of pale pink over salmon, but again, too much pink. So it struck me. What about a colorway that pulls its inspiration from the DC area's cherry blossoms? Pale pink gown, with a beige-brown top coat-with small green flowers. And black/brown hair for the girl herself, for a Galway kind of look.
 
What do you think?

26 February 2016

Ever closer

 



Creeping ever closer to the end of this project. I can not wait, but it stille feels so very far away. I am hoping to have the actual stitching finished this weekend, but I have to work both days, and I need to get new tires for my car tomorrow, so not sure if I will be able to complete it. Fingers crossed!  I know it should take another week to do all the backstitch, but I can't wait.

And I am adamant, when it's done, I will spend 30 days working on small projects, without a lot of color changes. And probably nothing in cool tones.

14 February 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope, if you enjoy it, you are having a day worth enjoying, and if you don't enjoy it for whatever reason, you are at least spending the day doing something enjoyable. Here in Crazyville, we spent it quietly inside. It was 9 degrees in Maryland most of the weekend. Not exactly run around and play weather.

I did get in the car, yesterday, to go downcounty to see my mom. She had some things for Kay-kay for Valentines' Day and I thought I would surprise her by cleaning her mudroom. We had 5 inches of snow on Wednesday and about half an inch Friday night and it was not well-behaved snow that is heavy and wet and sticks to the ground. This crap blows around. I had to drive into the next big city for a job interview on Friday morning for a new part time job (which I got) and I swear, it was like ice-skating. My car badly needs new tires--for whatever reason, the front ones wore funny, so it's like running on racing slicks. And I don't like driving in snowy conditions anyway, but I figured it was for my mom, and for my daughter, so I got in and went. And then hit a freaking white out. High winds blowing that snow all over the road (and buffeting my car), and I thought about turning around. I thought I would give it another chance. The next time I hit a patch of snow, the traction control light came on. I thought I would soldier on, because I am determined. The third time, I turned around because I didn't want to go careening off a hill or get hurt for a day that, in my realm of holidays, doesn't rank in the top 3.  So, instead, I came home through town and stopped at the grocery store.

I could say a lot of things about how conflicted Valentines Day makes me feel. It's another holiday that makes people feel the need to compete to show how much they care or are loved. It was a bummer in college to walk by the front desk of the dorm, loaded down with flower vases, knowing that none of them were for me or probably ever would be. And the same for work. Left-brain brought me flowers our first year of dating, and that was the only time I ever got flowers at work. He doesn't like the holiday because he feels that people shouldn't have to set aside a day to tell each other how they feel. I have tried to tell him that there are relationships where people don't say that every day, we just have a relationship where we do. It would be nice to get a piece of jewelry, but, when it comes down to it, I only wear my bridal rings and the necklace they picked out for Christmas, so it would just be spending money we don't have to. But if he brought me a puppy,  . . . .  But I do enjoy it because it's a fun day we spend as a family. We snuggled this morning and opened cards and gave kisses. And we're having a nice family dinner tonight. So, it's a good day, a day to remind me how truly loved I am.

I did spend a good portion of today stitching.  I have been hearing really good things about War and Peace, so I watched that Ondemand. 4 hours of gorgeous costumes. I have never read the book, but I did buy a copy of it last year and it's in my ever-expanding TBR pile. I have to watch the rest of it, but it makes for good stitching backdrop. I will post a picture of my progress later, I managed to do about 500 stitches in that time. I feel like I can get Santa's Pets done in the month if I have decent things to listen to while doing it.

I did pull another project from the Bin of Good Intentions this week:

 photo IMG_20160212_185421_zps7bn5kojs.jpg

Cats Baskets and Quilts
Cross Stitch & Needlework Magazine
called for flosses on 28 count Monaco

Cats, Baskets and Quilts was a series from Cross Stitch and Needlework in the 80s. I started it a few years ago and abandoned it about 10 stitches in, but it's a very quick stitch, though slightly squirrely with the fractionals. This is the section called Amish quilts and it has a lovely black and white cat washing his face. He looks like my Flicky, and I don't see a lot of black and white cat designs, so it's fun bringing him to life. There is another section, Appalachian, with a ginger tabby, like my Gus, but the last section, Nantucket, has a Siamese, and I am too untalented to try to convert that to a black Lily cat. Otherwise it would match the Three Musketeers.
 
So that is all for this week. Its been such a cozy, do nothing feeling week in Crazyville. I hope next week is more exciting. Just think, we're five weeks from Spring!

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