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Saturday, December 27, 2014

A New SAL for 2015

I always start something new on January the First, and this year I found this SAL - A New Stitchy Start 2015 - that suits that perfectly.

I think there are still a few openings left - limit is twenty.  I've put in my 'application' :D

If I get to join, I will be doing this lovely thing that I got for Christmas - it's a HAED!  Like I need to start another, right?  But I'm doing it anyway.  It will be my January start whether I get to join or not:

Unspoken by Adele Sessler:



This is the stitching mock-up that the site uses;  I've been wanting to do one of these black and white Elves for a long time!

Friday, December 26, 2014

More hats!

Pics taken at my Mum's house.  My youngest sibling in a requested 'Jellyfish' hat, and my BIL Rob with his (finally finished) Kittens in a Row afghan.  I also made the little amigurumi ninja laying on the books.



And then Rob in his Viking Hat!  I like the colors of this one best.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Back to Blogging!

Wow, I've been gone a REALLY long time!

This year has been... interesting... and I am so very ready for 2015.

I have practically no cross stitch progress to show off; I seem to have taken an unintentional break from that particular craft, but I'm ready to pick my needle back up!  I've signed up for YOTA and the Turtle Trot and I plan to do IHSW again.

I did do quite a bit of crocheting for Christmas presents this year and I'll show some pics of those over the next little while.

Here's my brother in his crochet Viking Helmet.  He loved this and wore it for hours!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Away for a Bit - too Sad to Stitch

So, I have not blogged for the A-Z at all, or Turtle Trot - I haven't stitched much, either.  April 2nd, a relative of my mother's died; she had cancer but was getting better so it was a surprise and happened very fast.  She wasn't a close blood relative but she might as well have been my aunt.

Then on the 3rd another member of Mum's family (an in-law, but for 50+ years!) was... well, okay, bluntly, arrested for a hideous crime and everyone thought 'no way'.  Then they admitted it.  So another blow.  It was almost like a death, in a way, because the person we thought we knew was just gone.  I guess they never really existed.

Then a few days later, that relative's child, my first cousin, had been awake for over 80 hours, decided they could not live with what their parent had done, and committed suicide.  The ME put 'suicide while of unsound mind'.

Then, and I know it's not as bad as the human losses but it was just an added blow, my kitterling Audio died of old age.  He didn't get sick, just went to sleep one night, so at least he didn't suffer.  It was the last thing I was ready to deal with, though.

So, it's been really, really hard the last two weeks or so and of course I have barely thought about stitching or blogging but I'll be back soon, I promise!

PS - I thought it best to turn comments off on this post since I'm on several lists for the April challenge.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A is for Apple

I decided to try the A-Z Blogging Challenge again this year, but not with a stitching theme.  What I want to do - and I have no idea if I can find something for each letter - is try and take pictures or talk about something that's a little unique about living in rural Appalachia.  Southern West Virginia, but I'm not going to be any more specific than that!

I should have posted 'A' yesterday, but I had to work double shifts and then fell asleep as soon as I got home, so I'm already behind - this does not bode well for my efforts in this, haha!

Anyway - A!  Apple Orchard!

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This is the only orchard within a four hour drive of where I live; unlike most destinations, this is luckily very close to home.  It's almost all apples - there are a few cherry trees but they are not visible from the road.  They're all in pre-spring dried out state right now, of course, but what I want to show you guys - what is different about this orchard is - on mountainsides, you have to terrace.

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Neat little layers of trees!

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That's an old gas well, capped off, in the foreground.  I hate those things.  Might talk about them for 'G', though.

I tried a panoramic shot even though I didn't have my tripod - didn't come out too badly, though!  See how sharply the road curves?  Most mountain roads around here follow the old wagon tracks - they curve along the easiest path.  It's no problem for cars to go down a steep hill and then back up, but it was a different story for your horse!  Sometimes, you have to drive miles to get to a place, when 'as the crow flies', it is much, much shorter.  For example - if you follow this road, about a mile further on you will suddenly be beside the apple orchard again - and can look right back across to this spot when you would think you had left it way behind.  The orchard isn't a mile long!  The road just bends and curves around the hillside.

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It's pretty obvious, but just in case - the terracing is necessary, simply to keep the fallen fruit from rolling down to the bottom of the orchard and rotting in a big, stinky mess.  Trees will grow on hillsides, of course, but their trunks look really odd sometimes, and I'll have to get a picture of that sometime.  They grow out, and then up.  These trees are actually growing on the sides between the terracing if you look close - the fruit lands on the flat part. This terracing was done over fifty years ago - maybe longer.  I'll have to find someone who knows for sure; I don't know the owners personally.

You can pick your own apples in this orchard, by the way - different prices for picking off the trees or picking up off the ground.  Gorgeous fat red, yellow or green apples!  Yum!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Nowhere Fast!

I'm not doing really well on my Turtle-Trot pieces this month - there have been sunny days here! Oh my goodness!  Cold, but sunny! and it has totally distracted me :D  So I've only actually worked on 3 of my 10 projects.

But here's my goal done on Funky Cat - two more paw prints!

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Onward to... uh, something else!  Maybe I'll pick the next one out of a hat, lol!

Monday, March 24, 2014

March IHSW

For IHSW, I worked on Lovers, as usual!  I also had to pull some double-shifts again this weekend, so I didn't work on it much.

As they were:

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As they are now:

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She has 934 in her hair, which I found kinda weird but oh well.  I also got all but two or three stitches of the confetti in and around his hand done!  I did a few bits under his chin and in his hair, too.  So even though it's not much progress, I'm still happy with it!  But next month I'm going to find some blue stitches for that flower, I really am!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Something Different

It seems to me like all I've worked on this year is my turtle-trot pieces, then I suddenly got some progress on something else and it made me unreasonably happy.

I finished another stocking - I think this makes 25 of 30.

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It's white poinsettias, obviously.  My apologies for the shadow.  I've started the next one; I want them done so I can either figure out if my sewing skills are up to the challenge of finishing them or talk my aunt into doing them up for me :D

Also, I did another row of 'Love'.

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Now there are two rows left.  The next one's not bad, the last is fairly good-sized.  Still, I know it will be done this year, at least.  Ha!

I also updated my WSnB page, but the HAED page is still being re-worked.  Almost as soon as I posted the finished page, I got an email that there was a sale at the Witchykitt site and I bought a few more.  So I am fixing it now, but at least there is nothing at all left on my wishlist!

Monday, March 10, 2014

March Turtle Trot!

The Turtle Trot is still open for signups!  Here's the site and rules.  There are pictures of how each project will look on my Turtle-Trot page.

This month I worked on all ten projects again!  I don't know if I can keep it up but I'm happy with what I've accomplished so far :D

Some of them got a lot more done than others, but everything got a little.

1. Cut-Thru Princess Palace - goal met!  Basket and some backstitching

February:
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March Progress:
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March Finish:
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Goal for April:  More backstitching, and work on the bathroom.

2. Chang Wu Fei - goal met! 1,000 stitches - I didn't count every single little one but it was more than 900 which was good enough for me :D

February:
 photo wufeiFEB10a_zps24de21da.jpg

March Progress:
 photo wufeiFeb14_zpsb1b4f467.jpg
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March Finish:
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Goal for April: 500-1000 stitches

3. Angel of Grace - goal not met. Only worked on her one day.  I got a bit of her ribbon filled in, though.

February:
 photo graceJ14_zps1ec3ee4a.jpg

March:
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Goal for April:  More ribbon!

4. Mary Wigham - goal met!  Frog and restitch a motif.  I got the tiny light brown one done.

February:
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March Finish:
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Goal for April: stitch a motif.  I'm saving the other restitch for next month, although I may frog some of the motif this month.

5. A Whole Lotta Latte - goal not met.  I wanted to stitch the whole teacup, but I only finished off the dark pink and the bright yellow.

February:
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March Finish:
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Goal for April:

6.  Lovers - goal met!  My goal was to work on it during IHSW.

February:
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March Finish:
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Goal for April:  Work on it during March's IHSW

7.  Princess of Sun - goal met!  My goal was to work across the top, even if it was just one row.  That's pretty much exactly what I did, lol!  I also worked down to the bottom of the first stripe, so I can start filling it in now.

February:
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March Finish:
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Goal for April:  Work around the bit of cloud so I won't mis-stitch, then fill in some of the stripe.

8. Funky Cat - goal met!  Goal was to stitch another pawprint and that's all I did.

February:
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March Finish:
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Goal for April: Stitch two more pawprints to finish the left side of prints

9. Yarr - goal not met.  I wanted to do 1000 stitches on this, too, but I didn't.  I got maybe 400-500 done.

February:
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March Finish:
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Goal for April: 500-1000 stitches

10. Frederick the Literate - goal met!  Finish backstitching top shelf and start on bottom shelf - done! The three books are 'Cat o' Nine Tales', 'The Killer Sparrow', and 'Wharf Rats'.  I stitched some of the nearly-invisible one-strand black outlines on the bottom shelf.  You can't see them at all in the picture because it came out blurry.  It's too dark now for another!

February:
 photo FredFEB_zps74eac084.jpg

March Progress:
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March Finish:
 photo FredM_zps7ac8c27b.jpg

Goal for April: Backstitch the bottom shelf - as much as I can, even if it's only four or five books.

I'm going to focus on the ones that didn't get their March goal done first - hopefully I can get their goals done by April 10th this time!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Stash Enhancement!!!

***LOTS of Pictures Ahead!***

One of the groups that has a lot of people talking about it on their blogs is the Stitch From Stash group - I totally did not join that one, lol!  My income, unfortunately, is not steady and I have to take opportunities when I can.  That's my excuse, at least :D

So I do things like put way too many HAEDs on layaway when they're 50% off, and I also immediately went to check out the lady at Shakespeare's Peddler's UFO Adoption Page on facebook.  At first there was nothing I was interested in but then I saw this!

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That's the picture taken by the lady offering it - I almost fell off my seat!  I've wanted this one for a while but I've been avoiding getting it until I got some good progress on one of my other Geishas.  Well - when I saw this, I contacted her and she sent it to me!  For FREE!!! I was so surprised and happy!  There was no floss included, so I do have to buy that, but I don't mind.  She'll be going into my Turtle Trot as soon as I buy the floss and finish up Fred.  I'm also going to go through my old WIPs next month and pick something to offer for adoption - maybe the Carousel Pony.  It was for my little sister but she's grown and married now!

And then here's my HAED layaway that I almost forgot about - I put these on three months ago!  I decided to put the 'mock-ups' of how they will look stitched, too - I've been a little more careful of my purchases on that site since they started putting these, 'cause some of them just don't look all that great in the previews.

'Yes' by Marta Dahlig

Picture:
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Stitch Preview:
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'Captain Claw' by Jeff Haynie:

Picture:
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Stitch Preview:
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'Incatneato' by Jeff Haynie

Picture:
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Stitch Preview:
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'Saint of Salmons' by Jeff Haynie

Picture:
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Stitch Preview:
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'The Nativity' by Dona Gelsinger (My Mum loved this one SO MUCH!!!  She doesn't know I bought it! She doesn't read my blog so I'm safe showing it off!)

Picture:
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Stitch Preview:
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'Little Wings' by Adele Sessler

Picture:
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This one didn't have a stitch preview but I've seen a WIP and it looks pretty good!

I got this next one off the HAED freebie page - unlike most of their free patterns, this one is full size and I love it!  There was no preview but for this one I'm willing to take a chance! :D

'Time to Wake Up' by Charles Barber

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I don't have any kind of date for when I'll be starting any of these.  I have so many HAEDs started, and some haven't been touched in two years!  I'd like at least a few page finishes before I start another.

Then there is etsy and eBay - I'm always careful and wait for a really good deal and in February I got these:

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Sorry about the flash burn!  Anyway, that's all my new stash for now - I won't be getting any more until summer, unless it is floss and fabric!  I'm also going to try not to start any of these until summer - not having the supplies will slow me down :D