Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve, 2007 - A Year of Firsts

I can't believe this year is over already! Wow, time flies when you have a bazillion projects you want to get to, doesn't it? This has been quite a remarkable year for me, as far as my creative pursuits are concerned. After my bead website kind of dissolved into a pile of bad feelings last year, it was nice to have my stitching to take my mind off of it (though it still niggles at the back of my mind, especially when the person I blame 90% the failure on likes to visit me every so often, as though nothing ever happened, and we're still "friends"). Of course, last year's Christmas present frenzy might've done me in on stitching, too, but once those were done, and then I finished St. Georges on New Year's Eve, it kind of left me at peace, if that makes sense. I guess it was a sense of accomplishment that I wasn't really expecting.

I began this year full of excitement at the prospect of finally working on The Castle as part of the SAL - I'd wanted to do the Castle as long as I'd had it, but for one reason or another, I'd just never started it; and I'd also never been in a SAL before, not having any needle friends in person. And that first week on The Castle made Fantasy Triptych holler at me from its dusty bag, so I had the overwhelming urge to work on that, too. So I started a weekly rotation, which then soon included my first soldier memorial, and then Quaker a 6 Mains. And then, that wasn't quite enough, either, so I decided to kit up some more ornaments, which I had been collecting for the longest time, and had done just one, in December of '06. I got several of those stitched between soccer games and early weekend mornings when it was too early to get out the big projects for the day. And did I mention the RAKs? We created a group, thanks to Claire, specifically for RAKs, and for the first time in my life, I got a little something in the mail from someone I didn't know in person, for no reason at all! Is that the coolest thing, or what? And the whole year was filled with such wonderful surprises in my mailbox, including my first ever mail art! And I had lots of fun, too, sending out a few of my own, though this coming year, I would like to make more things, including my fist mailart.

I finished Quaker in a ridiculous 3 weeks' worth of stitching, and decided to get it framed, despite not really having the cash to do so. And then I thought that maybe I would enter it in a local fair, and thought it'd be nice to give DH an excuse to take me to the North GA Fair, instead of the Gwinnett County one we always go to - just something new, you know. So I entered it, and some jewelry that I had finally finished, after I got over a bit of the heartache I had experienced with my beads last year. And when we went to the fair that week, I found that I had won!!!! I won First Place with my Quaker, and I won 2nd place with my jewelry!!! There's some more firsts for the year - entering and winning!!! DH doesn't think I'm quite so nuts with this "knitting-thing" I do now, though I don't think I've convinced the boys, yet.

This fall, I finished my first soldier memorial, and have it almost completely framed, my first stretching and framing. I need to finish it up in the next couple of weeks and get it to his mom - I just didn't want to send it near the holidays, as I didn't know if that would cause more hurt at a time of year when it is often hard enough to deal with loss. Just gotta find my glazer's points that I know are here somewhere, or get off my butt and go get another pack. Also need to order some spacer material - have it bookmarked at work, so maybe I'll do that Wednesday.

I made great progress on all of my rotation pieces; The Castle is a bit more than half-done, I think; I finally got to the 10% mark on SQ Lady & Unicorn, I am almost done with the assissi side of Fire Flower, which is this week's piece, and just last night, I finished the entire Maiden Panel on Fantasy Triptych!!! WooHoo!!! Next time it's up, do I go back to the Knight, which is also very close to done, or do I tackle the Castle panel??? I don't know - I guess I'll make that decision the day I get it out! Yesterday, I also whipped up a little beaded set, which I made to go with a new sweater and cords outfit I got for Christmas; it's nice to be able to make my own stuff to match, in as little as 1/2 an hour. When the muse strikes, you have to go with it!

As for the coming year, I also have Bouquet for Cheryl just less than 1/2 done (give or take), and have the huge ABC Ancien Vert et Mauve started, as well. BfC should be finished sometime in the early part of this new year, and ABC will probably be a very long-term project. I was inspired by Mariann, as well as others, to pick up Chatelaine Mystery X while it was still online, so I am kitting that up, bit by bit, now. As soon as one of these TWs gets completed (I expect to finish both this year), my first Chatelaine, Knotgarden, goes in that spot. Now, does her Anniversary Castle Sampler go in the spot where the other TW now is??? Or Mystery X, which ought to be kitted by then? Can I NOT have a TW in the rotation? I have no idea, since I have never not had one of hers on the go. Time will tell. I am also the proud owner of a working sewing machine, which I have yet to play with, though did buy some fabric to back ornaments with, so expect to actually start finishing things this year, as well as a mail art or two, maybe a needlebook or needle roll, and I imagine a biscornu or two might make an appearance :) I have Gloriana thread, in Elizabethan Green, or order right now for the large monochrome from Long Dog's Foursome Reel, which will get started as soon as Fire Flower is finished, which I expect in February or March. I have a Crescent Color Belle Soie silk, Blue Lagoon, picked out for LD Paradigm Lost - no idea where that falls, especially as Tracy's Anatolia and Garden Stars are both hollering at me. As well as the 20 other things I have kitted up and waiting for me!

And here I thought that the only remarkable thing, good or bad, would be my 40th birthday, which I wasn't expecting to be as good as it was. It was hard enough to send my first son to his first day of high school this year, and then see him excel with his new team, and his love for soccer continue to grow, hopefully leading him to a bright future. My youngest will leave elementary school this year, and will be in middle school next fall; it seems just yesterday when he was a smiling, toothless, happy baby, and now he's the Incredible Jabbering Monster, irritating people as far as the eye can see (usually just me and his brother). What a year it has been! And the friendships that have been firmly cemented this year are where most of my successes this year have started; the encouragement and enabling alone are evident in the pictures here :) But mostly, you all have made my heart feel much lighter than it has in years, and for that alone, I wouldn't give back a second of our conversations this year, and hope to continue in the coming year. I look forward to the day, hopefully next year, when I can actually meet many of you in person - I think that will be quite monumental, as far as meetings go :)

I wish all of you Health, Happiness, and Peace in the coming year, and of course, much Stitching! Thank you all for a wonderful year!!!

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