22 June 2011

Welcome to summer

It's been a crazy start to summer here in Crazyville.

We spent the weekend on the Eastern Shore with Left-brain's family. It wasn't too hot, though I did get a sunburn from falling asleep on a lawnchair. Our nephews and their dog were up very early to go fishing that morning, and I am a light sleeper, so, when the dog started barking, I was up. At 6AM. And then got burnt. It must have been the chair because our BIL crawled into the same chair (after I got up and went in the camper), and then fell asleep too. LOL. Left=brain brought his 4-wheeler down; I got my first ride. Put it this way, they said they could hear me screaming a half-mile away. It was that same kind of reaction you get when you ride a roller coaster, a little fear mixed with exhilaration, mixed in with sheer joy at being allowed to live in that moment!

It was fun, though. Saturday, we played in the tidal creek that fronts the property. I took the littlest nephew out. He was a little bit afraid of the water, but, after I told his sister to not talk about sharks and crabs in the water, he was OK. We played a game where I would tell him to scrunch down in the water, then jump really high, yelling "Ribbit, Ribbit" (it was that, or have him keep splashing us), and he really liked that. Sunday morning, when I got up to let Beazer out, Little Nephew saw me outside, then opened the door of his camper and said, "Ribbit, Ribbit." LOL.

We did attempt to crab but it wasn't very successful. They did catch one rather large, extremely annoyed Jimmy crab. If you've never messed with a crab, I don't recommend it--they pinch. Hard. I was t'anting this one, and he didn't like it--he spun around really quick. I have to admire their spunk as well as their beauty; there is something so beautiful in seeing one of them, claws raised in fury at a barking dog, LOL. BIL and SIL's dog knows better than to get too close, because they do come forward, not just run away, but Beazer is not so skilled. We didn't show him the crab. Better to not put him in a situation that will get him pinched.

Beazer was worn out by the end of the weekend. He spent most of his time either in the water, swimming, or playing with the kids. He is such a good boy; he wouldn't let them go out on the dock unless he was out there with them. When we were swimming, he kept coming out part of the way to check on them--those are his cousins, after all, he is very protective of them. He kept trying to grab older nephew's fishing lure when he was casting; DN caught himself a dogfish twice, but the hook didn't embed in B's mouth, so it was no harm. By Sunday, he was just laying around, too tired to care. He slept the whole way home, and, by the time he hit his binky, he was down for the count.

I didn't stitch, though. I brought my stuff, but I didn't want to risk getting it dirty. We were pretty grimy all in all, what with riding on the 4-wheeler, the humidity making my hair a poufy mess, and all the bugbites we got watching fireworks over the water on Saturday night. I'm sure I felt a lot oogier than I looked, but the cottage is near a town that is fairly well-known in the yachting community, and I always feel like a bumpkin when we go into town with all those well-heeled tourists. LOL. I can work on stuff during the week, it's OK.

I will try to post a photo of panda progress by the end of the week. They are coming along well. If I feel brave, I may have them pinned and laced by fair time, so they may be an entry this year. I'm really proud of my work on this one.

20 June 2011

A SAL in honor of Lisa

I just found about these today. With Halloween exchanges coming up, these are kinda cute!

15 June 2011

Checking in on a Wednesday

I hope everything is going well for everyone. So far this has been a pretty normal week in Crazyville. I don't have my car back yet, but the Cube they gave me is not too bad. I wouldn't buy one, but it wouldn't be too bad if I had to have one. Left-brain fits in it, which is something I can not say is true in my car. I can carry every day things in it--I have been to the farm stand and grocery store and the bags fit fine in the trunk--but it's not really something that you could use to carry much.

I got a wild hare up my hiney the other day and started a Christmas project. I bought the supplies at Hobby Lobby when I was there at Easter; it's a showcase towel with a design from a Leisure Arts book, Fast and Festive. I'm thinking these are Joan Elliott designs, but I'm not sure. I'm doing one with a cat on it; I thought it would be fun to use at the holidays. I think this may make it as a fair entry, but I'm not sure if I should do anything to cover up the back. I don't know if the fair people will want it covered; most people wanted, but fair judges aren't most people. Does anyone have any suggestions. Would you cover the back? I'm hoping to get it finished within a week, but, if not, then it will be put aside because I am DETERMINED to get Tai Shan finished this month.

11 June 2011

Finish and WIP photos

It's been a hectic morning here in Crazyville. We dropped off my car to have the bumper replaced and picked up my rental car. A Nissan Cube. It feels so small and high compared to my Vibe, but it's not a bad car. But I want my car back, nice and fixed.

I have been promising pictures of my works.

Here is the finished Fatty SAL. The orange did end up melding nicely into the other colors, when all was said and done. It's a nice piece, if I do say so myself, but then again, Sanman Designs are fantastic. Love Love Love Sandy's talent and am so grateful she GIVES these away.

Tai Shan and Mei Xiang are coming along rather nicely.

I finished all the stitching but the backstitch on the left-hand side by Wednesday, so now it's just filling in the troublesome parts on the right. I haven't been able to stitch at the theatre, since we are prepping to release the 2012 season subscriptions, but, last night, we turned on Avatar when I got home, and I stitched while we watched that. Such a good film, but I won't need to watch it for a while after this. It must be something about James Cameron movies, but I always feel like I need a recovery period--the first time I saw Titanic, I cried for a good half hour after we left the theatre, and I don't cry at movies. I didn't cry at this one, but I still want to go to that planet--if they can give us the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, can't we get Pandora? LOL.

Do you ever get overwhelmed with your UFOs or WIPs, or just stash in general. We were discussing this on one of the message boards, and someone said when she tries to organize her stash, it ends up looking like a tornado hit the room. And I can commiserate. But I realized something: stacks and piles of paper, even charts, make me jittery. My UFO/WIP bin does as well. Granted, it's full to overflowing, and so going through the room without knocking it over and having paper slide is enough to do that to a person, but I realized, I am much happier when my charts are in binders, neatly organized, than if they are in "to-do" piles, or in totes. It's a wierdness. Does anyone else have this?

08 June 2011

Revisiting a UFO

I finished my Fatty SAL on Saturday night. I've decided to revisit my Pollyanna Pickering Pandas for now. I know I had all these grand and glorious plans for the fair this year, but, for some reason, I have kinda put those aside. I have two things to enter--our ring pillow and my ornament--but I don't know how many other projects I'll have and, to be honest, I'm OK with that. I'm kind of enjoying this no-pressure stitching pattern I've fallen into, and I don't want to make things any more difficult than I need to. Maybe next year, I'll be settled enough to make a big showing.

I'm enjoying working on the Panda picture. Here is the way they looked the last time I took a picture, last summer:

I'd like to have them finished by the end of June. My co-worker, who I worked with at my prior company, came up yesterday when I was stitching yesterday at lunch, and asked, "Weren't you working on that last summer? I remember that." I had to admit it had been tucked away because of how tricky the stitching is. I'm hoping, though, that working on it in blocks of 10x10 squares will make it a bit easier to get it finished. But even this is not easy because the grass that they are rolling on is DMC Variations and so I'm trying to keep the shading in place.

I will try to post a photo tonight of my progress.

I don't know if anyone has noted this, but there is a new book for the Halloween fans coming out soon. Here is a preview picture:

These are all new charts. If the rest of the charts are as good as the ones on the cover, this is going to be a must-have. Needlework shops are supposed to carry it, but I'm pre-ordering, because I want it. Badly!

04 June 2011

Life is a Battlefield

Sometimes you have to blast your way through.

I posted how I'm trying to get a new computer. In order to facilitate that, and also just to see if I can make it through, I'm on a spending moratorium this month. Not from things like food and gas--I couldn't not buy those things--but the frivolous spending that I seem to enjoy so much. I have PLENTY of books to read, plenty of WIPs to work on, and I've had The Notebook since December and JUST sat down to watch it, so I'm not lacking for anything.

It's been easy-ish this week. But the challenge with me is always the weekend. Today I had to go buy a birthday gift for our nephew. And I headed up to Target. The boys' section is right next to the shoe section. And, for those of you who have a Target near you, they have THE CUTEST shoes this summer, and I got sucked right down the row. There were a few moments of tense internal negotiation (Spendy Rachel can justify anything--I was telling myself that mustard-yellow flats would be EXQUISITE with my grey pants and I darn near listened--but, in the end, I decided I was going to stick it out, forego the shoes, and have my laptop. I was pretty proud of myself for it. I did walk out with the birthday gift, and just the gift. I ROCK!

Now on the less "ordering on addictive personality" side of my battles, I am almost done with my Fatty SAL. I am working on the Summer one, and, for the life of me, I could not figure out what part of the design was supposed to be. I know it's a bee, but there was a small blob of blue and brown on the right. I don't have a color printer, so it was driving me NUTS to decide if they were other bugs, grapes, or what, but I just now figured out they're birds. In a nest. And they're adorable. I will be glad to get this design done. I ended up having to sub out a couple of colors for other Sullivan colors, but I am missing the one for 415, so will use the DMC for that. I don't like doing it, but I'd rather have it finished and have one non-Sullivan floss color in the batch. I'll post a photo when I'm done, which should be tomorrow.

01 June 2011

An illustrated post

I promised photos of my latest finish, then a WIP, a couple days ago. I finished it Sunday morning. I think it's the perfect finish for a patriotic weekend. Isn't the eagle a scream?

I have the supplies to make it into a no-sew cube. It was just too darn hot to actually finish it this weekend. It's starting to cool down, though, so, hopefully, I can get it done this weekend.

I then started a new WIP. This is the 4 Season Fatty SAL from the Sanman board. I started it Sunday, and I'm almost 3/4 of the way finished already.

It's done with Sullivan floss. For the most, the conversion is good, but, wow, is that orange ELECTRIC! I don't know if I like it. It doesn't seem to go with the rest of the colors. I know the original DMC is not that bright--it's 3340, if you want to compare. I am toying with the idea of picking it out and replacing it with a softer, darker orange, probably one of the 920s, but, considering I've been to Hancock fabrics three times in the past week to get floss (one for an exchange and a project I was converting, once for this, and once for a birthday gift), I'm going to wait a couple days.

But that just shows you, no conversion is perfect. This is why I am so adamant about, if a design is highly shaded, I stitch it in the floss they used for the model. This is particularly true for Sandy Littlejohns charts, and Stoney Creeks; Sandy uses Anchor, Stoney Creek uses DMC, even though they show the other thread lines as a choice.

It really is amazing the change that working in the office has brought to my stitching. I have pretty much abandoned having a lot of things ready for the fair this year, since I'm still getting acclimated to getting up early and having a commute. And I haven't had a lot of time to work on big projects, which is OK, I guess. I am enjoying the smaller finishes. And I do like my job. It's a challenge in that I am having to learn a new computer system, and new guidelines for doing my job, but I like a challenge, and I'm really enjoying relearning the basics of why we do what we do. I figure, if the worst thing I have to worry about my job right now is being fully awake to leave the house, that's a small price to pay for professional stability. I feel immensely blessed; for the first time in a long time, I feel like I might actually be able to start dreaming the big dreams.

I am hoping to have my computer by the end of the month. I have decided it is not a good idea for me to roll into the electronics department. I went in on Sunday just to look at the laptops. The one I chose before was $600 for the bundle. Well, I went in and fell in love with one that was $250 more than that, without all the extras. It's amazing what we can attempt to talk ourselves into. I don't even know how to work my MP3 player, nor do I have an I-tunes account, and I found myself saying, "But it has Beats audio." I mean, shouldn't I have the best? Ya know, because I want to hear my Youtube videos clearly; wouldn't want to miss a golden note of "Take Me Home Tonight", would we? I might have talked myself out of that, but I'm not sure. Left-brain doesn't even use the computer much, but his ears perked up at the mention of Beats audio, LOL.

Are you looking for Betsy?

I know when I had my Sheepish Designs Betsy to give away, a lot of people said they had been looking for her. I wish I could have had more than one to give away, but I just had the one copy.

However, if you're looking, you don't have to pay the astronomic prices that the chart goes for on E-bay. Or wait for one to be given away. Em-lis has the charts. Apparently they negotiated with the designer's family for them. I've already sent an email about the ones I want, but this is your chance to get these charts at a reasonable price.

More proof that there is no reason to pay out the hiney for a chart. Prairie Schooler aside, these things can always be reprinted. Not copied, reprinted.

Hope this helps someone.
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