Thursday, January 17, 2019

One Hour Lunches and Gifted Gorgeousness

I have one hour lunches.  I drive over to the park and eat and then spend 45 minutes doing...........NOTHING.  Shameful, right?  Today was the worst and I sat there wondering which projects I should bring to work on during this long period of time.  I walk on my breaks and am up and down the stairs and running back and forth to the file room during work hours so just sitting doing something enjoyable would be wonderful.

So here are the three things I could take:

1) Crochet gloves (I have 4 pairs to make)
2) Knit wash clothes (A giant spool!)
3) Cross Stitch smalls (50 x 50, 25 x 25, Ornament of the month, NFSAL)

Decided on one Chickie Bag in progress and the two balls of yarn for the four pairs of fingerless gloves.  Nice and easy and I have that pretty mermaid bag I made which should be used.

Also, I decided to join Gifted Gorgeousness put on by Jo.  I have a few projects this year that qualify!

Currently the Gift I'm working on (besides the gloves) is the Odd Clover.

Managed to get another hour and a half of stitching in which made such a difference!  Can't wait for the weekend to really get some stitching in on this!  If all goes well we might be looking at a finish very soon.

If nothing else, I hope this helps motivate others to get some stitching in every day!

Have the most beautiful day, eat a cookie, go for a walk.....

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

FRIDAY NIGHT SEW-IN

FNSI is hosted by Wendy B at Sugarlane Designs and I participated in this for awhile a few years ago but decided I needed to join in with again since I have a new sewing machine and have really been going nuts with sewing this year.

Back in 2015, Wendy designed "Friends" and I loved it so much I made my first one (BOF of the month) and will be making a second one for a FRIEND.  Participating in FNSI just may ensure that this year I'll get the second one done.  Third Friday of every month with a Saturday blog post showing off what was accomplished makes it an easy win.


If you are interested in learning some things about embroidery, quilting, sewing....hope on over to Sugarlane Designs and ask your questions!


Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Because It Is Tuesday


Today there was stitching on Odd Clover until 7:30pm, so technically I put in two hours of stitching.  Still loving how it's coming along.


So far I'm about 2.5 hours into the roll over time with 6.5 to go.  I'm starting to wonder if I'll need the whole 19 hours of regular time for this one to finish it after I get done with my roll over time.

Also downloaded a stop watch app because the one on my phone deleted my time.  Good thing I wrote it down so I know what time this project is at.  I'm sure once the bigger parts are done, the confetti stitches will eat into the time, but so far so good!


Since today is Tuesday, that means watching Talks with Nancy and I was able to get to the 50 x 50 pattern.


Is it just me or do the Jodyri fabric and floss just make everything better?  There may be some bias there, but still...it's looking so good.

Not sure if I had a particularly stupid strain of the flu or what, but here's hoping we are seeing the last of it!  All I want to do lately is sleep which takes time away from stitching which then makes me grumpy which then makes me want to sleep more.


Here's hoping you and yours are healthy and happy and your needle always has thread!

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!



Monday, January 14, 2019

A Part Finished and a Need to Finish

Just look at that!  It's so beautiful.  Weaver's Bird SAL is going to be so incredibly lovely.

You know there was some worry about the colors not working, but honestly, I'm glad they are far out.  Jodyri flosses are spectacular and I regret nothing.




I am keeping to the 19 hours and finished this first part with time to spare which I have rolled over to my Odd Clover.  Got a couple hours in on it and feel pretty good that I can get this done quickly.


Can't wait to have this one done and sewn on my daughter's vest!

 That's all I have for today except this:  be good to yourself and hug someone!

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!



Friday, January 11, 2019

Ideas That Work

Every Tuesday and Thursday my friend Nancy and I watch Talks and Critical Role.  Talks is about an hour and a half long and Critical Role is anywhere from 4 hours to forever depending on the story arch or where the group is in a melee. (Dungeons and Dragons live stream)

Nancy and I stitch during the shows UNLESS something tear jerking or horrifying or serious laughing is happening.  Much stitching does get done most of the time.  The end of the last campaign was nothing but crying so we kind of gave up on the stitching.

Last night was the start and finish of the Ornament of the Month.  I started it about an hour before the show started and finished before the first break.  Three hours!  Luckily for me it was finished because the show took a few turns and suspense happened towards the end.


Because of this lovely finish, I figured if I use the time during Talks and Critical Role to stitch my smalls, that will leave the rest of the week for the 19 hour rotation.  Smart thinking right?  It's better to have a small to work on anyway since both shows are distracting and on more complicated projects I tend to make mistakes because someone made me laugh or I'm screaming in outrage. (It's what happens when you become attached to characters like in a book, the story is always changing)


The 19 hour rotation is also good because I figured I could roll-over time to the next project.  Pretty good idea if you ask me.  My  next project will certainly need that roll-over time since it needs to be finished very soon.  If I go over the roll-over and the 19 hours, I'll have to deduct that time from the next project.  Make sense?

Let's see if I can finish the Weaver's Bird Sal section today or tomorrow so I can get crackin' on Odd Clover!

Hug someone today!

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Second Finish of 2019!


It's just the January NFSAL pattern, nothing major.  Sure would like something major to be finished.


After this successful finish, I grabbed up the Weaver's Bird SAL and FINALLY got down to picking some colors for the first band.  I'm not sure how I feel about them yet, but be sure that this will be a very different looking project.

You would think that after my watching other stitchers with the Weaver's Band Tapestry SAL last year, some knowledge would have sunk in about color choices and palettes.  NOPE.  Nothing sunk in apparently.  

I can visualize all the pretty finishes, but for the life of me there is no way I can smartly choose colors for a project of this size.  Granted, there are changes to patterns I stitch and beads added, but really all I'm doing there is embellishing.

I wonder if I'm embellishing with the Weaver's Bird SAL, or creating something awful?  We'll know for sure at the end of the year! Also, beads...there will be beads.....



All the flosses being used for this are Jodyri.  That bud by the bird's head looks like Physalis to me which is why it has that particular floss (Dec 2017 Ltd Edition "Mulled Wine").  The bird has the body in R162 Out of Orbit "Heat" which to me has all bird feather colors for Eagles, Hawks, Ptarmigan etc., which is why I chose it.  I personally think the bird here is an eagle.

This first section is 2 hours and 50 minutes of stitching which means if I continue with the 19 hours per project, I should have time to roll over to the next project.  Not too shabby since the next project needs to be finished very soon.

Please do something nice for someone or yourself today!

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Mamluk and NFSAL

Original scrap

Last night I was going to finish the January NFSAL pattern but decided to stitch up the Mamluk part 1 section instead.  It's a small piece and the sections have very little to stitch so in 1.5 hours I was finished with it.  

So Magical had started hers on a piece of PTP Gingerbread which makes it look like the original scrap of embroidery from 800-ish years ago, but she decided to do something else.  I LOVE the gingerbread fabric and grabbed a scrap of 28ct evenweave PTP Gingerbread.

I think it's perfect.  I'm still debating on what I will do with my scrap when it's finally finished.  Should I bury it in the backyard so in 800-ish years someone will dig it up and archaeologists will marvel?  Frame it?  Make a pillow?  Make a book cover?   Maybe research a little more and find out what people did with their embroidery once finished?  I have all year to figure it out.

Not the best picture to show off the gorgeous fabric and that blue is so rich!

On the next update I'll try and get a better picture to share.  Tonight I'll be working on the January NFSAL pattern and hopefully have some kind of finish for tomorrow.

Have a beautiful day and until next time.....

KEEP ON STITCHIN'!





Tuesday, January 8, 2019

19 in 19?

Some stitchers are stitching 19 projects in 2019, some are stitching 19 minutes in 2019 and I had a thought:  19 hours on each project.

Not sure if this will work for me because I'm horrible at keeping track of time, but it is certainly worth a try!


Last night stitching continued on the January NFSAL pattern and as it turned out, that DMC S767 wasn't working for the backstitch. 


It looks messy and stupid so I ripped that all out and decided to try some Sullivan's metallic Gold #44418 and use some beads.

Strangely the metallic floss is working much better than the rayon floss and gives it a cleaner look.

I'm digging it.  Now that I have a cleaner and easier to see floss to use, this should go much faster.

Once finished, this too will be an ornament similar to the NYE SAL finish.  I have an abundance of odd shaped foam batting so I might as well use it.

I'm praying for the Federal workers who are suffering due to the shut down and hope that landlords, banks and creditors will show some compassion for something these people have no control over.  My baby bird's mate is not being paid either and he's military.  The wrong people are being forced into financial crisis.  That's all I have to say about that.

It is my hope that your day is full of love!

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'! 

Monday, January 7, 2019

January Neglected Floss SAL and TUSAL!


Now that I finished up the NYE, work can get done on the January neglected floss pattern.  Technically I should have had this one done before last Saturday as a model stitch, but wish in one hand and mud in the other.....


I'm using this piece of yellow sparkly Silkweavers Solo fabric I've had for years and years and years....and have tried to stitch 3 other projects on it and to no avail.  Maybe this time will be the one that sticks?  I think this month's pattern will look so pretty.  If you want in on the NFSAL, you can head on over to Magical's SAL or Magical's Blog.  


Next up is TOTALLY USELESS SAL!  I think I say it every year, but it STILL makes me giggle.  It's simple, not really a stitch along but still entertaining.  Get a bowl, baggie, jar, box...anything you can put stuff in and that will be your ORT (old ratty thread) receptacle.  I made my ORT jar from an empty Sapphire Gin bottle because it's so pretty and square.  I was gifted an empty Belvedere bottle which I've been slowly but surely smashing yearly ORTs in for a couple years now.  If I put my hand in there I can smash it down to the half-way point.  Either I'm not stitching enough or that's a big jar!

Yarn, thread and floss end up in my ORT jar.  I like to empty it after I make my monthly TUSAL post, but that hasn't happened regularly in quite some time, so I just emptied it when it was full instead.  I love my blue jar.  The top is crooked, there's a hideous crack that keeps getting bigger every time it falls, but it's still one of my favorite things next to my floss pads to have on hand.

Before I forget, I also have the ORT bowl that my baby bird made for me.  It sits by my sewing machine currently empty since I just smashed everything into the big jar.  Usually it's full to overflowing with threads, snips of batting, vinyl and fabric.



I hope this evening finds you stitching your cares away, creating something beautiful and feeling contented.

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

First Finish of 2019!

After all the sleepless days of the NYE SAL, it never occurred to me what I would make my finished piece into. 

There was some struggling to figure out what I want to do.  I don't want to make a biscornu.  Calm down, you all know I love to make biscornu, but this year should be different and biscornu shouldn't be the first thing I think of to make a pattern into.

This was stitched on 18 ct white aida that I pen ink dyed that brilliant blue.  If you are interested in learning how to pen ink dye fabric, wander over to "How to Get Rid of Those Old Crappy Pens".  Hopefully that helps.

In the end, a sparkling ornament that can hang somewhere for the winter seems like the perfect idea.  Now to find a wonderful place to show off this lovely ornament here in my tiny-ish home.


Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!


Sunday, January 6, 2019

January 6, 2019 WIPocalypse Kick-off

Introduction

The mother of several adult children, recently relocated to Colorado after 35 years in Alaska, learned how to stitch over 30 years ago, currently living the tiny house lifestyle in a 36 ft 5th wheel in my second son's backyard, working small contract jobs and currently wondering what my next goal in life should be.

Projects


Poppy ProjectStitch all of the poppy patterns I have in my stash.  I made a project bag with fabric that had watercolor poppies on it and stuffed all my poppy patterns in the bag.  More poppy patterns get added once in awhile so you can see this will be a forever on-going project.  I've already completed one pattern last year and obviously started another (Dimensions).  I'm stitching them all on 14 ct Aida "Stardust".



Odd CloverThe story behind this pattern is a long one.  I've mentioned it on my FlossTube video and hopefully this will be finished in the next two weeks.  


The original art was created by me, the pattern was created by me and all the stitching and sewing will be done by me.  

What makes this piece so very special is that my baby bird asked for the art, then asked for the stitched piece.  It's rare that anything like this happens and it brings so much joy to my heart, there really are no words to express the feeling.


Cead Mile FailteOne hundred thousand welcomes.  This has been a UFO/WIP for ages.  Maybe this year will be the year it finally gets finished.


I have plans of altering things a little and when it's finished it will be MAGNIFICENT.  It's already a lovely pattern, but you know I can't help but do things to it to make it totally mine....it's like a wonderful sickness or something.


TapestrySo there I was watching a floss tube video by Ingborg from "A Stitch Too Far" and she challenged everyone to stitch this one with her.  If you are on Instagram, it's #ICTapestry to see all the lovely progress pictures.  There's always more to the story for each project I have, and this one is no different!


When this one is finished, it will become a quilted wall hanging for my oldest friend (seriously, we are old and have known each other since we were 14/15 years old). She and I will continue to grow old together that's for sure, and this will hang in her home when it's finished.


Unseen ThingsNever done a part by part type project before this one.  You know how you read a book and find out it's part of a series so now you have to read the entire series?  I had to have all three parts and the embellishment pack before I could even start on it.  


Started a couple years ago and that's as far as it's gotten since.  It's simple and honestly shouldn't take too long to finish.  Using all the Week's Dye Works flosses required for this one.



Thordak:  Okay, so it's really called "Fire and Ember" by Unconventional X Stitch.  I call it Thordak because when I started this in July 2016, Vox Machina and had just started battling it out with the Chroma Conclave on Critical Role.  Thordak is the Cinder King, long live Thordak even if he wasn't a "good" part of the story.  I truly believe Thordak didn't really die and we may yet seem him again in the new campaign with the Mighty Neine.  This was a SAL I fell behind on but I love red and honestly can't wait to berserker stitch my way to a finish.



Project BagsNow that I have almost mastered the making of these wonderful project bags, I plan on taking ALL of my fabric out of the tote and box it's all crammed it and cutting everything to make project bags.  They will be in my Etsy shop for sale.  Right now I only have two, but soon enough there will be MANY.


Fun to make and such a great way to store your projects safely!


Weaver's Bird SAL:  Last year I watched the Weaver's Band Tapestry SAL as so many stitcher's created this beautiful piece.  The name of the group on Facebook has changed to Magical's SAL and there are MANY to choose from this year.  I decided I wanted in on the Weaver's Bird SAL for sure.  


The border portion of the pattern was released a couple weeks ago so I started that to make sure it was part of my 2019 rotation.  One section of this pattern per month, so I'm thinking I can handle that.

Goals


The only goal I really have is to finish each one of my WIPs and fill the empty project bags with a UFO and put that in my rotation.  Ultimately I'd like to get back to one project at a time and not have WIPs all over the place.  I'm such a dreamer!


The final goal is to empty my stash box of all patterns.  That will take years, so the box will probably always have something in it.


There it all is!  Not much compared to other years.  This is a do-able list and confidence is high things will be finished for once instead of not.

I so look forward to reading other blogs and checking out the FB group on what everyone else has come up with for 2019!

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

January 5, 2019 The 10th Book

                                                                                                                                                      Ephesians 4:29
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Put bluntly, stop being mean to people by opening your mouth and saying awful things.  Say good things that bring happiness to others.

Remember that time you told your friend, co-worker or person you hardly know that they looked nice or you appreciated something they had said or done?  Like that.  Do that.

Day At The Beach 1 by Mattsma
It's like when you smile at a stranger with joy in your eyes and heart and immediately they smile and you have shared that lovely moment of joy with another who will mostly likely share it with another and so on.  Granted that's an action, but that's the concept right there.

Frankly, I am just as guilty as anyone else of being a mean worded/spirited person.  For no reason other than to be mean.  Gossip, deliberately making a person feel bad for the good idea they had, nay saying.  It sure is difficult to be nice when one is surrounded by bullies, isn't it?  But let's all try anyway.

For the rest of January, I'm going to try and say something nice to someone every day.  Hopefully it becomes a good habit that will continue for the rest of the year.  I wonder though, does it count if I make nice comments on social media?  That's already being done so maybe I'm more ahead than I thought?

Something to consider while you stitch.  

Have a beautiful day and until next time...KEEP ON STITCHIN'!



Friday, January 4, 2019

January 4, 2019 How to Get Rid of Those Old, Crappy Ink Pens

When you want something a little different, possibly one of a kind, grab some pens.  An inexpensive and quick process to hand dye some fabric for stitching that won't empty your wallet OR take much time.

This nifty trick has worked out very well on several occasions.  I've learned a few things about different pen ink and what it does to the kitchen counters, plastic cutting boards, skin.....and fabric.

Certain gel pens, for example, won't dye the fabric.  The gel ink will actually bleach a fabric.  Ball point or fine point pens have better ink even if the pen itself is of the "el cheapo" variety.  Different brands use different colors and types of ink etc., generally speaking, ink is pretty easy to work with even it it takes a few tries to make it work in your favor.

Let's start with items you will need:

1) Latex gloves or even a pair of marigolds will do. PROTECT YOUR SKIN!
2) A large glass mixing bowl.  Metal works fine but glass is best and never use plastic.  Ink will stain the plastic and the boiling water could melt the plastic...end result being melty, plastic plus staining everything forever equals no bueno.
3)  Gather up those junkie pens you have.  I store mine in a big zip lock baggie and as I find more (there are always more) which get thrown in the baggie for future use.
4)  Ask yourself why you have all of these junkie old pens?  Do you have a problem leaving that pen at the doctor's office or that time you signed something at the bank and magically that pen ended up at your house being moved from spot to spot because it's a junkie pen but you can't seem to throw it away?  Why do you have so many leaking gel pens?
5) Pull out a nice sized piece of fabric.  6 x 9 inches is best for test pieces.  You have enough to test with and stitch a couple smalls.
6)  Get your kettle boiling.
7)  Kitchen scissors.  Please don't use those really good silver scissors or those expensive titanium scissors.  You will be cutting plastic.
8)  A junky hand towel.
9)  An iron with steamy steam
10) Blocking pad or ironing board

Now that you have all of the items mentioned and have done some soul searching, put those gloves on so we can now begin.

Disassemble the pen.  All you need is the ink tube.  Once that has been accomplished, take your scissors (also, do not use a knife unless you want ink on everything because you are creating an object d'art) and cut one end of the ink tube over the glass bowl.  Try to make sure there is as much empty tube as possible on the one end.  Carefully cut the ink end to get rid of the nib and this time make sure you are doing this over the glass bowl.  The cut ends like to fly around if not properly supervised during cutting.

Now put your scissors down and carefully blow from the non-ink end of the tube into the glass bowl.  Blow gently.  This isn't a breathalyzer test, nor are we blowing up balloons.  The ink will come out easily.  Try and get as much ink out as possible by blowing and then gently tapping the ink end of the tube on the bottom of the bowl.  Ink is sneaky stuff and wants to fling itself everywhere.

By now the kettle should be boiling.  Hopefully it was plugged in (if you have electric) and had water in it.  Since I didn't specify earlier that your kettle had to have water, please take a moment and put water on to boil now.

Once you have boiling water, carefully pour the water into the glass bowl.  This is where you get to figure out how dark or light you want your ink color to be.  If you have more than one of the same kind of junky pen with the same color ink and don't like how light the first tube of ink looks, then add a second.  Make sure to stir with a metal spoon.  A good thing to mention here is that you could do this with cold water, however, the results aren't as good and the ink gets a little funky.  Boiling water effectively melts any globs or thicker inks.  Some inks really don't appreciate being mixed with cold water.  Just something to consider when you are standing there insisting I'm wrong.  I assure you, I have tested these methods several times and have done everything one way or another to make sure you didn't have to.

Next, gather your fabric.  It's true that fabric will shrink once it gets thrown into boiling water but that's okay...use a larger eye needle when stitching if that helps.  I use John James size 26 tapestry all of the time and rarely have issues....except this one time when I was stitching RAWR and spilled wine.......uhm....so there will be some tips for the shrinking later on.

You don't have to pre-moisten the fabric, just throw it in there and submerge the fabric so it absorbs everything.  The color adheres very quickly. Generally speaking, it doesn't matter how long for most inks.  Once the fabric has absorbed the color, that's it.  Nothing more will happen.  No getting darker, nothing weird, it's just colored fabric.

Run cold water in your sink and rinse the fabric until there is no more bleeding color.  It might take less than a minute.  Roll your fabric up into a junky hand towel (better to be safe!) and give it a twist or two to get maximum dryness.  

Take your precious cargo to the ironing board and turn your iron on to it's highest steamy setting.  Are you hyperventilating with concern about more shrinking?  Calm yourself, I assure you it's alright.

Before you take your gloves off, this is a really good time to clean up the pen debris, and make sure you don't have any ink spots messing up your counters or sink.  Yes, bleach is very effective in cleaning up any mistakes, but let's just be safe shall we?  

It is completely up to you whether or not you dump the inky water at this time.  If you have more than enough crappy pens to see you through the current millennium and beyond, then dump it.....carefully down the drain.  Honestly it hasn't stained my sink yet but I am careful to rinse out the sink once that is dumped just in case.

Lay your fabric flat and try to smooth any twist creases.  It is at this time that you may remove your gloves.  If you are still concerned about staining, by all means keep the gloves on.  It's always better to be safe than to end up with blue/black/green/red hands.

Iron the fabric like you would any other fabric making sure to cover the sides as well.  It takes longer to iron the fabric dry than it does to go through everything you have done thus far.  The steam relaxes the fabric enough to be stitched without being too much of a struggle.  Flip the fabric over and iron again.  When you have done this a few times, change the iron setting to dry and iron until your fabric is flat and stiff.  You will note that your fabric has fluffed out a bit and shrunk slightly, but note that with the steam and then dry iron technique, the fabric isn't as bad off as it could have been.

Admire your fabric.  The great part about using ink from a pen to dye is that the color you see when the fabric is wet is pretty much the color you will see when it's dry.  Some inks do darken while being ironed which is strange but it happens. Remember that mixing gel and ball point pen ink isn't a good idea.  One cancels out the other and does bad things to your mind and spirit.  Another good thing to mention here is that pen ink doesn't need to have a follow-up bath in vinegar or any other agent that will help set the color.  It just IS.  

I have not yet tried ink from glitter, metallic, or colored pens.  You know those pens that come in a set that are various colors?  I have the pens and now really want to test those out!  When I do, I'll follow up with an updated post just for you.

That is my handy tip on how to get rid of those old, crappy ink pens. Hope you enjoyed it and give it a test run soon.

Until next time, KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

January 3, 2019 Pretty Things Are Happening

After seeing all of the gorgeous results from last year's Weaver's Band Tapestry SAL, it seems only right to try something for this year.  So I started the border for the 2019 Weaver's Bird SAL when it was published.  What truly shoved me into gear were these fabulous flosses from Jodyri.  The November 2018 Ltd Edition "Firelight" floss to be exact.  The overwhelming feeling of NEEDING to do something with that floss, well, it could have been a cranium explosion of first world, 21st century proportions!

If you know me at all, you may be wondering about the pink.  I'm not a fan.  Never have been.  But I do love peaches and corals and those in between orange/pink colors and dusty rose.  This floss has all of that and yellow.  So why not?

Of course, there had to be new grime guards made for the scroll frames.  This is a year long project and could get dirty fast if nothing is done about it....may need a project bag as well.



I went to work immediately and am happy to say IT'S FREAKIN' GORGEOUS!  I can't stop stitching on it.  My hands reach for the scroll frame most of the time.


Alas, I have other pressing concerns presently.  Finishing the backside to the NYE SAL and finishing the first Neglected Floss pattern for 2019.  Before you wonder where the NFSAL pattern can be found I'll let you in on a secret:  it won't be out until Saturday.  The first Saturday of every month to be exact.  It get's released on DeviantArt first and five days later on Galdra Stafir's blog.  The reason I get it well before the world is because I am one of two model stitchers.........also the squishy brain that created the idea.  It would not have become so awesome without the talent of Galdra, who seriously deserves most of the credit on this fun project.  This is year four!

Much work to do, and all this coming from someone who has no plans to make plans.

I hope your year has started off as great as mine and it's only day 3!  Just imagine what lies ahead.

Book selection for the Sacred Order of the Glorious Laborious Book Club for January is Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald.  The book club is online only now, but everyone is welcome to join on Goodreads and by all means SUGGEST A BOOK!

Until next time, KEEP ON STITCHIN'!


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

January 2, 2019 The No Plan Sort of Plan

Back in November I tried to consider a 2019 plan.  Realizing my 2018 plan never happened, it seems making one for 2019 is just.........fruitless.  I know what I want to do, and I know eventually it will get done, but do I really need to plan?  I may set up deadlines for certain things, consider when to start or stop stitching certain projects, but even that seems like too much.

Don't get me wrong, my current WIPs which are in my project bags are my priority.  The whole idea of mapping out yet another year and becoming overwhelmed and stressed about it stresses me out.  That's too much stress.  Let's just not make a plan.

But then..........

I have this yearly planner.  It's full of dates for things.  Reminders of things to do.  Is that a plan?  Or just a friendly reminder?  Honestly, it's fun to see if events come about as written in the Great Tome.  There is a certain sadness when reading the previous month's entries of things not accomplished, but those things still could be.  Endless possibilities.

Let's just say that 2019 will just be awesome.  The urge to stitch, sew and create everything will never die and now we are all gifted with another fine year of trying to see if we can.

Do you have a plan?  

Until next time, KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

NYE MYSTERY STITCH ALONG

Many stitcher's enjoyed the NYE SAL and I have to say it was just as much fun this year as last year.  It started on December 30th at 4:00 am my time (MST, USA) with the last pattern released at noon on January 1st. Not a bad thing since we can all say that 56 hours of anticipating the next pattern section release seems like never ending suffering for some, I had an incredible amount of fun. 
Here's how it all went down:

Sunday, December 30, 2018, 3:45 am:  My alarm wakens me to darkness and my first thought was, "Seriously?  I don't want to go to work today!"  Groaning and complaining, I roll over and consider practicing a fun game called Lay around like a quadriplegic.  Berating myself on how not PC it is to continue playing a game that essentially makes fun of persons with limited mobility I suddenly remember IT'S SUNDAY!  The NYE SAL starts in a few short minutes! AND I don't work today!

Seven years ago I would have exploded out of bed, leaping like the agile gazelle and gracefully wander into the comfy savanna that is my livingroom/craftroom/mess.  However, it's less than zero degrees outside, arthritis does not like the cold and leaving my nest of warmth and comfort reduced me to the following situation: 

           Imagine, if you will sweet reader, a tangled mass of very long hair wrapped around an arm. The arm is still asleep. The sheet has enveloped the body on the bed like a tightly wrapped burrito.  Slowly the body moves.  The body makes noises, incomprehensible noises.  Moments pass as the struggle to be released from the iron grip of a top sheet that seems determined to strangle and constrict the body gains momentum.  The comforter is no help.  It lays heavy, now more of a burden than safety and warmth;  hindering the body as the struggle turns into a life and death wrestling match. 

          With an inarticulate cry, the body flails wildly and finally is released from the top sheet only to find the hair that had been wrapped around an arm is now slicing it's way through the armpit.  The body reaches over and disentangles the hair and checks for what surely could be deep lacerations.  Nothing.  The arm is now tingling as life flows back into it.  

           The body now rolls towards the edge of the bed.  The brain focused now on getting to the computer right on time.  Feet over the edge, old eyes seeking slippers, hands groping for glasses, and now let's try standing up. IT WORKS! Dragging one leg, hands holding onto anything available to move the body along, the goal has been set....the chair, the floss, the scissor, the fabric, the hoop, the laptop........all are in sight of the old eyes.

          .............and then the body trips on the dog's water bowl. One foot had found the bowl, while the other food insisted on being in the bowl.  The brain wonders WHY?? Moist doesn't even begin to describe wet socks in the morning.  Wet doesn't really cover it either. Sopping is good.  The brain likes the word sopping.  

Thus marks the beginning of a two and a half days journey of stitching.  

The Rest of the Day: A great day!  Kept up nicely, enjoyed all the other stitcher's as they completed parts.  Took a nap.  Woke up, read comments, approved new members, watched some movies.  Had to go to bed because Monday I was required to work half day, but still failed to go to bed early.

December 31, 2018, New Year's Eve Day: Only a few hours sleep, got up and dressed and stitched a bit before having to leave for work. Drove to work. Few cars on the road.  Worked for four hours and drove back home.  Trying to catch up on the patterns to current, another nap, more stitching and movies.  8:00 pm another pattern released, and it is decided I will stay up for the midnight release.  Midnight, Happy New Year, new pattern.  Decided to see if I could stay up until the 4:00 am release and do. 

January 1, 2019: Took a short nap from 7:00 am to 7:49 am and then got back up and readied myself for the 8:00 am release.  Took a bit longer to stitch.  Feeling spacey and shaky.  Eat.  Feel better.  Noon, final pattern released. Managed to stay up until I don't remember what time.

           The body awkwardly made it's way back to the nest.  The top sheet reclaimed it's victim while the comforter returned to it's position of being weighty and warm.  Silence falls and the cold night gets colder.  The body doesn't move, rest at last! 

I'm wondering now what I was thinking during that entire two and a half days?  It's not a competition so "winning" isn't it. I have yet to finish the backside of the NYE pattern, but I had so much fun!  During all of that "waiting" I worked on the border for the upcoming Weaver's Bird SAL and started working on the NFSAL pattern for January.

Weirdly I'm not burnt out.  Usually when I stitch that much in such a short amount of time, I suddenly lose my urge to stitch for a few days, but not this time!  Maybe it was the lack of quality sleep?

I would also like to point out that there are parts of New Year's Eve Day that I don't remember but can say I had some very vivid dreams  which makes everything seem surreal.  Apparently, my sub-conscious is hell bent on moving to Mars and claiming it as my own and mailing back every scrap of expensive equipment sent to Mars by Earthlings.  The people who felt what I was doing was wrong were powerless to stop me and words were exchanged.  Makes me wonder what the heck is going on in my head that I'm not normally aware of!

I regret not one moment of the past few days.  I hope that everyone who joined it did as well!



Until next time, the body says to KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Five Months Worth of WIPocalypse

Five months.  Where did this year go?  I've been here, on Facebook, on DeviantArt, the NCCIH website, but mostly on job sites looking for work soooooooooo............

This morning I decided to do what I have done before and answer several month's worth of questions in one go.  I kind of like doing this, but it does make for a long blog.  Hope you have coffee or tea and have taken that potty break!

May:  Where do you love to shop for stash?

At first I wanted to just say 123Stitch.  But then I thought Etsy.  These two were followed by MyNotions, Casa Cerenina, SewNSew, Everything Cross Stitch, PTP, Sparklies, Jodyri, Ebay, and so on.  Honestly, that doesn't even cover every place I love to go but you get the idea.

June:  Tell us what you think the ideal stitching retreat would include.

Having never been to one, and only reading about and watching Floss Tube videos, and discussing a retreat with my girls, I would have to say it would be nice to have a retreat at a lodge or a castle.  To me, the entire idea of a retreat is somewhere secluded.  Going by that, wouldn't it be wonderful to just be in a huge lodge somewhere surrounded by nature and none of the outside interference we all endure daily?  Even a nice castle would be refreshing and secluded.  Walking trails, stitching inside or outside on comfortable patios or in a large dining hall would be wonderful.  



Granted, if it were to be a lodge or a castle, the retreats would be smaller and more intimate.  But who is to stop someone from having several a year so more people could enjoy the setting?

One thing I would like to see are seating placards.  From what I've seen so far, everyone just goes into the big conference room and sits wherever.  Why not have seating arrangements?  When everyone leaves for lunches or for the evening, switch them up!  This way more people can meet more people.  This idea might not be valid since everyone has their stitchy stuff and it will need to be moved, but it could work in certain situations.

July:  How are you doing with your goals so far this year?

As of July I wasn't doing as well as I had hoped I would be.  I wanted to have more WIPs finished and as of July, NOPE.  No WIPs finished.

August:  Which is more satisfying to you and why – the process of stitching a piece, or the finish?

Well, that depends on the project I'm working on.  My Fire and Ember piece is my first full coverage and I'm enjoying the page by page finishes to expose parts of a bigger picture.  I really DO love a complete finish so I can move on, but overall it really does depend on what I'm working on.

September:  How do you keep your stitching stash organized?

Flosses
Hoops, rulers and fabric
Floss boxes, drawers, two boxes and project bags and a cupboard or two.  I live in a 5th Wheel RV and space is limited.  It took me many, many years to downsize from the hoard I did have to the minimal stash I have now.  I still feel I could downsize more but I'm hoping to figure out a better way to store my stash in ONE PLACE and not in four different places.  I suppose now that winter is almost here I could figure that out this year.  For now my spread out method works because if I cannot see my box of kits and patterns then I am less likely to want to start EVERYTHING.
Kits and Hard Copy Patterns

Project bags of WIPs
Also, with the learning to sew up my own project bags I have double insured that new starts or out of order starts don't happen.  It also helps me not to feel overwhelmed as I sometimes do.  I can finish something and then put another WIP in and soldier on!

Looking at these pictures I'm actually feeling more inclined to figure out how to get everything in one place neatly, but I'll let my mind munch on that idea for awhile and see what I come up with.  For now, it works as is.

I do hope you have enjoyed this huge amount of WIPocalypse!

Until next time.....Keep on Stitchin'!!






Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Carla and Leo's Halloween SAL Begins Today!



You heard that right!  Our SAL starts today and this year we have some super cute patterns for your stitching pleasure.  If you want to read what Leonore wrote please wander over to her blog Needle, Pen & Sword.

Our first fabulous designer is Ashley Mae, aka PinkythePink from her store Make it Pink on Etsy.

Now, I did attempt to finish a model stitch for Ashley's Pumpkin Doodle Cat and kept getting interrupted by things like life, my Etsy store, the guy measuring the yard, my RV, being tired, needing to eat..........all that stuff, but I managed a lovely start just the same.


I am in love with this pattern!  I'm very excited to see how the Kreinik will look once I get to that part of the pattern.

The other designer we have is Pippa of Lucky Star Stitches.  Not only is Pippa adorable, so are her patterns.  We have two lovely designers this year!!  It's too much cuteness!

Picture courtesy of Lucky Star Stitches

I'm only sharing one of her six patterns you can choose from.  Theses are all smalls but so easy to stitch you might not stop at just one.

If you are on deviantART and want to join in PLEASE DO!  If you are on Facebook and want to join the group there, PLEASE DO!! 

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'! 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

April WIPocalypse

Every time I post for WIPocalypse I always feel like I haven't done a darned thing.  I then have to go back to last time to see what I've done for my WIPs and still feel like not enough progress has been made.

I did finish Lizzie Kate's Spring right after the last WIPocalypse posting.  So bonus points there!

I have since spent much of my time working on floss pads, sewing up things and getting my product organized for the not very anticipated re-launch of my Etsy store.


During all of that crazy sewing, I pushed everything aside and got back to work on Odd Clover then threw that aside and went crazy berserker stitching on the Fire and Ember SAL.



I finished two pages and am now working on another.  I am officially 12 months behind on this SAL but should be caught up and on track by the end of May.  


The question of the month is:  Talk to us about your longest running WIP or UFO.

I have blabbed about these two in the past and brought them out to be worked on every once in awhile, but never seem to get very far.

Both of them were started in 2009.  They are my two guilt projects.


Celtic Goddess on the left and COSMOS on the right.  Celtic Goddess was supposed to be a model stitch for a designer and it is a beautiful piece.  For some reason I cannot seem to motivate myself to stitch her.  She has been put back in the box and remains a UFO for the duration.

COSMOS is the worst offender.  I have entirely too much guilt associated with this one and feel ashamed I haven't finished it.  It was/IS an exchange piece where I traded Tim Tams for converting an artists work into pattern to create a pillow out of the finished piece.  I have 100 stitches in and that is where it has stayed.  They are both beautiful patterns and I really like them, but they remain UFO's until I suck it up and get it done.

It's difficult to show my shame, but if I continue to pull these two projects out I feel that one day they will be completed and sent on to the rightful owners!

For now, I'm tackling the Fire and Ember piece (lovingly referred to as THORDAK because of Critical Role and the Chroma Conclave).  This SAL will be finished in October when we stitchers will begin the next SAL which is called the Dead Sea SAL.  

All good, good fun!  If I stay on track and finish the smaller projects while working on the larger ones, I just might get back to Celtic Goddess and COSMOS sooner rather than never 😁

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!




Friday, March 30, 2018

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop 2018!

Welcome!


The spring picture is Satsuma Street's "Nest Egg"


My letter for you is


Now hop on over to visit with Katie for your next bit of fun!

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!