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Monday, March 31, 2008

Pretty Good Progress

I didn't do too badly with my stitching for a work day! In fact, I think I got a little more done than I do on my days off...

Spike went from 567 stitches to 790. He's still only a block of dark green, though. No point in taking a pic.

My puppy needs half a back leg to have a whole body.

I started 'My Baby Duck' because I said I was going to start it in March. I got about 15 stitches on it, but hey! it's started!

And I still have more of the evening to go. I bought 'Rose Red' on DVD the other day, so I think I'll watch it and work on the puppy some more. Slow going, because I sit there staring at the screen just holding the needle, but it's a looooong movie. Like, 4 hours long. I may not finish it tonight, but I should finish the puppy's leg!

Also, I was looking through some old - very old - cross stitch magazines when my Mum stopped by. Usually she's just 'oh, that's nice' when she sees my stitching, but this sampler she actually liked! So she'll be getting it for Mother's Day if I get the puppy done for my grandmother in the next week or two. It's called 'Shaker Mulberry Sampler' and is from Women's Circle Cross Stitching magazine, October 1987.



It'll look cute with the Schoolhouse Sampler I stitched for her... way back in 2003, before I had to give up stitching for a while. That's one of the few other things she liked before it was actually stitched up. She loves everything I give her, but I'm not entirely sure if she likes them because of what they are, or because I made it for her. She is a mummy, after all. I hear they're like that...

^__^

If I get the puppy's body done before bedtime, I'll post a pic!

And if I stay up all night because the movie terrified me, I'll post a pic of even more stitching!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Just chattering

Here's the SBQ for this week:

When you stitch a pattern that you have downloaded do you print outthe pattern or do you stitch directly from your computer screen?

I print it out. I can't imagine even trying to work from the screen, and I was amazed at the number of people who said they did. I have to be able to scribble all over my patterns and use those see-through rulers or I can't keep my place at all. I've only tried working from the screen once, when I didn't have ink. Didn't last five minutes.

I got some more of Rose of Sharon done but still not enough for a pic. She's very confetti-y in that arch. I'm trying to work down to her arm so I can alternate between the two different parts of the design - the girl and the stonework/roses. Doing that makes it easier for me. Like on Archangel, I'm alternating between the over-one and the over-two stitching. So much easier! Tomorrow I'll be picking the puppy kit back up. I have three days off this week so I'm going to see if I can get her done. If none of my family pops up out of nowhere with movie/shopping/dinner/whatever plans, I could do it... we'll see how that goes.
I think they have radar for when I sit down to stitch: 'oh, she's stitching! time to go interrupt!'
Hehehe...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's Earth Day!

I'm going to change my playlist - 'What A Wonderful World' by Louis Armstrong shall be the first song for a while. I love that song anyway - so it may be the first song for a good long time! And my other grandmother, who has passed away, loved 'Blueberry Hill', so that's second. They both make me think of outdoors and all that... Well, I'm going to spend some time outdoors, myself! But I'll post some WIPs tonight if I get enough done! I'm going to spend my 'Earth Hour' - the one where you turn off all the lights and such - outdoors, but then I'm coming back in, turning on one light, and stitching.

~

Well, here's some of what I was doing on Earth Day!
Starting my garden! It's getting close to being warm enough: 2-3 more weeks and there shouldn't be any more frost; a month at the most. So I've started the basics inside. The big group is mostly tomatoes - I love tomatoes! - and other veggies. The small group is my sister's herbs. We plant flowers, too, but usually just directly into the garden for them. Flowers do better than vegetables around here.



I also got some of my stash in - these were ordered before I started my 10-project challenge! There'll be more trickling in later. The first two I've had for a little while, I just didn't put a pic up. Brinkerhoff Home by Debbie Patrick, and Why Hoard Gold? by Dragon Dreams. The group at the bottom is all the pieces of 'The Album Quilt' from old issues of Just Cross Stitch. It's a huge project and it will probably be next year before I start it - but I found an offer to get them for just the shipping, and since I've wanted them for a long time, I just snapped them up! ^__^ I was also sent the threads for The Wave by a stitcher who'd finished the project and wanted her leftovers to get a good home - I'll put them to good use, since I usually use up all the floss from kits and sometimes need more. She has a really awesome blog, go visit it here!

I'll be getting more pre-ordered stash in over the next few days - I hope - the last of stuff for a while! Got to get some money saved up for summer and a possible job change. I should be finished with my part-time classes then and ready for a new work experience... which makes me nervous but it's something different. I have trouble sticking with any one thing for a long time. Not great for retirement planning but... I can't seem to help it.

As for stitching, I got a wee bit done on Archangel but not enough for a photo. I will be working on Rose of Sharon for the rest of the weekend, and hope to get a decent chunk done. Then it's back to the puppy!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

WIPs and a Finish!

Here's what my doggie looked like as of yesterday - she has front legs! Although, the white paws are not easy to see...


And here's Nautical with a bit more stitching - also with white that is difficult to see. The sail I've stitched on the boat just doesn't show up on my camera... if you click the picture, you might be able to see it.




And then there's my finish - it's a freebie from Mosey 'n Me called 'Bad Hare Day'. I scanned it and took a picture, and neither one does it justice. It's absolute adorable IRL! I used Rustico fabric because I didn't have any blue, and I thought they'd be cute on it. The chubby bunny on the left is my favorite!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Epic Battle of the Scroll Frames

We're having such weird weather here - it's sunny and bright out and yet it's snowing. The snow doesn't stick for long, only in the mornings. Just long enough to either close the schools or put them on late schedule. Then everything clears up and is fine.

Anyway, I finally broke down and put Archangel on the scroll rods - he didn't fit in my Q-snaps anymore without mashing his stitches, and I hate to do that.

So, the frame was occupied by an old UFO - 'Pray Without Ceasing'. I almost started working on it instead of Archangel, but I resisted! I took it off, then realized that the rods it was on were too small for Archangel. So I have to hunt down the longer rods.

Then I have to fight to get him on them - I don't like to sew my projects on, or tape them. I'm too nervous that I'll ruin them. So, once he's safely on the rods, I have to get the rods on the frame ends.

Guh. Not easy. I got my Dad to tighten them up with his tools last time... you know, cheap frame, comes loose easy? So now, of course, they didn't want to come loose.

Then it was time to get the stand out. I haven't used it in ages, so it was dusty. And wobbly. And pathetic. It took my sister and I both to get it all set up - one holding bits together while the other person tightened the lil' wing nuts. Why, again, do I use these things? There are a dozen of those little things to battle, and if they're not positioned just right for stitching, you have to loosen-tighten them all over again.

Then neither of us could find the acid-free tissue paper that we use for a lot of our crafts - I always put it between the frame and the stitching.

Then, we finally found it and it was all put together, the blasted thing was too heavy and kept tilting forward. I remember setting a cinderblock on it last time, but the thing wasn't packed when we moved - why would I pack a cinderblock? lol! Anyway, maybe you can tell what we finally did in the picture... hey, whatever works...

Anyway, I am still working on the puppy, too! I'll try and get a scan of my progress of it tomorrow. She has a little over half a body now!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Another List

I saw this on a few other blogs, and thought it was interesting.

Make a list of what you will start when you finish a project, or what project - already started - will move into your next available rotation slot.

Since I do rotation stitching, I'm taking the second option.

When this project is done/I will start/move this project

It's Not Easy/Fantasy Wedding Blessing (new start)
Wufei/Kurama
Dolphin Play/Moonlit Play
Vash/Frodo
Archangel/Touching the Autumn Sky
Indian Maiden/Indian Brave (new start)
Tablecloth/Filet Project (new start)
Crayon Ripples Afghan/Flower Garden Afghan
Arrowhead Puzzle Quilt/Checkerboard Quilt
Brinkerhoff House/Rose Victorian Inn (new start)
Nautical/Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
Angel of Grace/Peace Angel
Frederick the Literate/The Wave

Thursday, March 20, 2008

10 Project Challenge

I've been lurking here
And I've decided to try the 10-project challenge.
Then, if I can handle it, I'll move on to the 25-project challenge.
I just bought some stash last night, so it shouldn't be too difficult for me to resist anything new.
Here are the rules
Doesn't seem too hard to stick to.
I am going to make a list, though, although I may change it.
1. It's Not Easy (xs)
2. Spike (xs)
3. Nautical (xs)
4. Pineapple Doily (crochet)
5. Red 'Beginner' Scarf (knit)
6. Archangel (xs)
7. Dolphin Play (xs)
8. Brown Bears (xs)
9. An ornament (any) done!
10. Figwit plushie (sewing)
As for today, after the regular day's work, I went shopping with my sister and then to the movies with my brother. (We watched 10000 BC - pretty good) So there was no stitching. Although I may get a little done before bed, since I don't have to go anywhere until 11am tomorrow. I'd like to at least get half the doggie finished. Her head and neck are done, except for backstitching.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Almost a Face!


Well, here's the little bit I got done today! She almost has a head now! Some dark grey on her new ear and a bit more tan and white on her face. I got a bit of her neck done, too, but just a little.
Tomorrow I have the day off! I have some housework to do, and then I have a custom order for some curtains to sew, but the rest of the day is free! I'll see how much of her I can get done. She's going to be cute, but right now, my sister says she looks creepy... she's kind of right...

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Tiny Bit of Progress


I have been ridiculously busy lately - this is all I've managed to get done on my puppy kit. Good thing I have until May, right?
And I nearly fainted when I read the comment under yesterday's post - that the Dragon Dreams designer, Jennifer Aikman-Smith, would offer a complete stranger a pattern... that is the nicest thing I think I've experienced in years!!! My sister was so happy, too, and that made it even better!
I'm going to try and see if I can get the puppy - not the whole kit, but just the entire dog - done this week on my kit, and then the pillow next week. That ought to be a sensible goal, but I'll have to see how it actually works out. Then this weekend I have a SAL with another stitcher - working on our Mirablia's at the same time. I'll be getting some progress done on Archangel, she'll be working on Mermaids of the Deep Blue. As soon as I get the puppy kit done, I'm going to work on my other Dragon Dreams pattern, A Gardener's Prayer. I'd like to get another section of it done before the Wedding pattern gets here. That way I won't feel guilty for abandoning it!
It's been such a lovely day! I'm still all excited after reading that comment!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Finally!

whoo hoo!
got my patterns! The ones I ordered in February!
Only - the one on backorder didn't come. They sent me a refund and said it had no ETA and they didn't want me to have to wait for the others.
Nice - because now I can work on Brinkhoff Home again!
well, after I get the puppy kit done.
Bad - because the one that didn't come was my sister's wedding sampler. The Dragon Dreams Fantasy Wedding Sampler is the only one I could find that she liked. She's getting married in August... I guess I'll have to see if I can find it on eBay or something.
Ah, well. At least I got the others, and the beads I need for Celtic Christmas. So yay!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Win a Kit




For a good cause, too!
Go look at the contest here And the pink background pic is the prize.
Just scroll down a bit. It's for a kit from LHN called 'Where there is life'. I have an Aunt and a close friend who are survivors and I'd love to stitch it for either of them. I also think I'll track down the group that's doing the quilts and see what their stitcher-requirements are. I've never done charity squares before, I've always been too worried I wouldn't get them done on time, but I'd like to try this one.

Other things - I've added some patterns to my 'Trade' album on webshots. Mostly motif patterns. Here's the link.

Well, back to stitching on my kit! I've only got two lengths of floss in it so far - bad me!



~later~

New Mirabilias!!!

I'm not too fond of the pixies, probably because they have no faces - but I love these two! They even make me want to get the others! They are Tiger Lily and Poppy. For those who haven't seen them yet, here they are!

And this pic is my latest stash - my brother talked me into going to the store 'real quick' - the same store where I got my new kit of the puppy on the pillow - last time all they had were a few kits on clearance - this time they had lots! I got all the small frames for 25 cents a pack - marked down from $1.99! The little kits were only a quarter too. I'll be using them for those occasions when someone wants to try to stitch when they see me doing it - this has happened to me before! One wanted to try it with my Mirabilia Archangel! Eek! And I got the smiley kits just because I love smileys...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oh dear...

I may have to toss my rotation out for a few weeks - just a few though! - while I start and finish a 5x7 kit. It's called 'It's Not Easy' and is a Jiffy Sunset kit. I think that's a Dimensions company.

Anyway, I found the kit on clearance at a local store - not WalMart for once, how 'bout that? - and it's perfect for my Grandmother. She always has a little dog and it's always female and usually named either Princess or Precious. the current one is Precious but she'll still love the kit!

Here's a pic of the kit:

It looks like a quick stitch, but I know better than to put it off - I want it for her birthday May 5th and with the way my life goes, I'll end up with about 3 days to stitch on it... *sighs*

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pictures!

So! Here are my promised pics! One is the whale block from 'Americana Lighthouse'. He's the top left corner block of the kit. He's sooo cute!
Another is the coffee cup block of 'Wake Up and Smell the Coffee!'
and the last one is a prezzie I made for someone, I'm not saying who yet. I don't think she reads the blog but you never know.


UFO Week!

I like to take the second week of the month and work on UFO's, in between 'real' stitching time spent on my focus piece. I have lots of UFOs, usually big projects that I started and got fed up with.
Some, however, are kits that I opened and started for two reasons:
1. Because I could
2. Because at the time I bought most of them, I worked at a small business with a very controlling woman as a supervisor. She treated all three of us who worked under her like we were her exasperating children. If A went shopping and talked about it, she had to know how much was spent, what on, did she check for bargains? things like that. Nosy and annoying and none of her business, but we wouldn't have cared much - who doesn't like talking about what they just bought? - if she hadn't been so 'you're so stupid and irresponisible!' about it.
So, of course, she thought cross stitch a waste of my time and money. Now, anyone who knows me wil tell you I hate confrontation and I'll nod and agree to just about anything to keep from getting in an arguement.
Then later, I think of some excuse.
so, yes, I am sneaky. It's a curse.
At the time, the only way I had ever heard of cross stitch was pretty much to buy kits.
And oh, didn't I buy every one I could get my greedy little hands on? Still not a huge abount - I hadn't discovered eBay then, either - and I was pretty much limited to what they had at WalMart. Hey, I got 'the Wave' there for $10. Compared to eBay prices on that kit, that's wonderful! I got TW's Noah's Ark there, too, also for $10.
But I digress. If I bought a kit, Ms. Boss would try to talk me into returning it - 'you don't have time for stitching what you already have!' - like THAT was going to stop me! So, being sneaky, I opened every one and started it. Just a little start in a corner or something. So I could calmly say 'too late, I can't take it back.'
It worked quite splendidly. I still got lectures on self-control, but I'm really good at ignoring long-winded speeches. Don't ask.
The only downside is that I have a drawer full of barely-started UFO kits to go with the big projects - about 6 of those - that I put aside 'for awhile'.
So this month, I'm going to finish a motif on two of those kits, then pick another to just work on for a day or so, and Vash will take up the rest of my UFO stitching.
I already got the coffee cup done on 'Wake Up and Smell the Coffee', so that's one down. Next I'm going to finish the whale block on 'Americana Lighthouse'. I haven't chosen the last project yet, but expect piccies of those by tomorrow, if not later tonight.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

It's Snowing!

It is just pouring the snow outside! We were supposed to get 2-3 inches and instead we have seven!
And it's still snowing!
Tomorrow is my sister's nineteenth birthday - we've always gone out for dinner on someone's birthday in our family, but now it's looking iffy. I'm not sure Chinese is worth the risk of driving on these mountain roads - and since I'm crazy for Chinese food, that's saying a lot!

Here's the SBQ -
After you stitch a pattern or kit, what do you do with it?

I usually pack it away until I find someone who specifically wants that kit and doesn't mind getting just the pattern. If it's just a pattern, no kit, I usually keep it, because it's almost always from a book or a magazine, with other patterns. I have a friend who sends me her kit patterns, that's how I got the patterns for 'Soul Music' and 'Gift of the Eagle Feather'. Both of those are ridiculously hard to find. Now I just have to get all the floss for them.

I did get a little stitching done today - very little. I finished the coffee cup in the block corner of my 'Wake Up and Smell the Coffee' kit. I also backstitched the corner before I realized that the border would be touching it. I hate to frog backstitching, but I guess it's got to be done...

Friday, March 7, 2008

One of those Days...

I have a cold.
Or the flu.
Or that virus that's going around... I dunno which.
I hate it.
I can't stitch when I'm sick - I just sit there and stare at the fabric. Nothing gets done. I was doing so well, too! I finished the left red border on 'Nautical' and started the boat in the middle, and I was working away at Archangel. I even started the Eeyore that goes with my Piglet and Pooh. I got the other two done in 1-2 days, so I was looking forward to another '08 finish.
And now I have the stares.
The do-nothing, blank-faced stares.
ah, well. I'll survive.

Besides being sick, I'm *still* waiting for my Dragon Dreams patterns and my new copy of 'Brinkerhoff Home'. I've never had to wait so long for an order from this company. I had about six other things - 3 patterns and some needles, beads, and treasures - ready to order, but I didn't because I'm still waiting for the last order. I feel like a spoiled brat about to throw a fit, and whine 'I want, I want, I want!'

must be from being sick - I'm usually much more patient.

I've discovered some really fun blogs; I wish I'd thought to look at cross-stitch stuff online a lot sooner! No one else I know - as in face-to-face know - cross stitches. The one person that I did know, I don't see anymore since I quit that job. Her husband worked there and she often came with him, and sat in the foyer of the business and stitched. She did beautiful work, mostly Paula Vaughan, and I loved to watch her projects grow. She was a one-at-a-time stitcher and she was really fast! I miss talking to her about stitching.

but at least I have blogs and boards to read now!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Works in Progress

So here are some updates after my day of stitching.
Wufei first - the scanner left a weird shadow on his face that freaked me out - I thought I had gotten something on him, but when I took him out and looked at him, he was fine. *faints* I had already finished his neck; today I got a fair amount of his shirt done.


And this is the grand beginning of Spike - 453 stitches out of 10,000. So that's ... 4.5% done. It looks black, but it's really dark green.


And this is my Snowkat, from Calico Crossroads. I thought I had finished the box, but as it turned out, I had only done the top and one side - I don't know what I was thinking. Anyway, now it's finished. And the pawprint, except for backstitching it. I'm going to finish the backstitch border tomorrow if I have the time.

So, it was a pretty fun day. Three movies, three projects, and three cups of coffee (I'm trying to cut back).

Monday, March 3, 2008

looong day

I helped out at a yardsale/hotdog sale for a local charity today - i'm beat! i made fried apple pies almost by myself. there was only one other lady there who knew how, so we had to make them. At least I didn't have to help set up the yard sale - i hate carrying boxes. I ended up helping carry what didn't sell back into the storage building, though. Ick. I was there from 7AM to almost 6PM, so I got very little stitching done today.
But tomorrow it's supposed to rain! and I have the day off! which means, besides feeding the furbabies and such, i have no responsiblities! I think i'll stitch alllllll day long. movies, coffee, and cross stitch, with the occasional internet/writing break. I'll be a lazy puddle by the end of the day.
ah, Joy!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Rose of Sharon WIP


Here's my WIP pic. I started her on the 29th of February and this is through sometime Sunday morning. My sister says it looks like a skull... and she's kinda right!
This evening, I started Spike. I didn't want to wait until Monday. He's just a dark green block so far, though, so no piccie of him, yet. I don't know a % for Rose of Sharon, but Spike is 1% done... got a looooong way to go on both. Good thing I like the journey!!!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Rose of Sharon started

I started my 'Rose of Sharon' yesterday - she's lovely so far. I'll post a pic of her tomorrow, after the SAL is done. I'm just so happy with her, I want to chatter about it. Even if she is just an odd green and brown blob right now.
I am having fun with the roses. I'm changing them to white, but I didn't want to use greys as the accent colors, so I used really pale blues. They look like the roses my grandmother used to call 'ice roses'. I haven't seen that kind of rose in years. I don't even know if that is the 'official' name for them.

I still don't have my Dragon Dreams patterns. The store hasn't got them in from Canada yet. This means I also don't have my new copy of 'Brinkerhoff Home', so I can't work on it. I usually work on it sometime during the first week of the month, but if it's not here by Wednesday, I guess I'll just have to rearrange my rotation. Not something I want to do, but there's no way I can work from the old pattern. A slightly scary movie, a glass of ice-water, a hyperactive dog and a ringing doorbell all conspired together to absolutely destroy it. I didn't even have a working copy. I've been hesitant to make any after I found out about how L&L's designer feels about them.

I found my Silly Snobs pattern 'What Catnip?' I thought it was gone forever - in one of those unexplainable vanishes - but I was sorting through patterns to see what I might put in my 'Trade' album and I found it stuck inside a folder with some single-page Calico Crossroads patterns. It's just like me - I prolly put it there 'so I won't forget where it is' and promptly forgot. Ah, well, at least it's home now. After I finish 'Snowkat', I think I'll start it.