Monday, July 27, 2009

The Last Update of July

Hard to believe July is almost over already! Kids go back to school in 2 weeks - and I am not ready; they have paper, that's it. No clothes, no bookbags - though the big one has new flip flops (the preferred shoe of high schoolers here) and the little one got new shoes a month ago, if he can find them. Little Kid is not too big of a deal, since he wears uniforms to school, and hasn't outgrown his shorts - just needs t-shirts and the under stuff, since he'll wear shorts into November. Big Kid has nothing he can wear, and can't wear DH's stuff now, either, so he'll be the big expense this year. Here's a pic of his new school:
New high school, our middle school gets to shift over to the old high school, and then one of the other middle schools is going to our old middle school while theirs is being renovated. This new school is 500 yards from our house - not sure if that's good or bad, yet....

On to the stitching bits :) Last week, my main focus was Lady & Unicorn, but I didn't get a whole lot of time in on it - got stuck at a soccer meeting Monday until almost 10:00, then had to work a concession stand at the Georgia Dome Wednesday, as a fund raiser for hs soccer, for the World Football Challenge game between AC Milan & Club America. I saw about 2 minutes of the game, including Milan's only goal, from our 3rd level spot. I don't ever want another hot dog as long as I live - yuck! But we thought we'd be okay, as we were to the car by 10; didn't get home until almost midnight, thanks to 50,000 people at this event at the Dome, Braves were also in town, and oh, yeah, I-85 Northbound down to 2 lanes. So I was exhausted on Thursday and couldn't even think about L&U that night. Wasn't much better on Friday, so didn't work on it then, either, but tried to make up some ground on Saturday & Sunday. I didn't finish the top row of pages, understandable, I guess - I am pretty sure I would have, if my schedule hadn't been so disrupted. Here's the overall & detail:

I took out the orange horizontal thread marking the bottom of the page - I crossed it a few times, and it was in my way. But you can get kind of an idea what's left; assuming next time is more normal, I ought to be able to knock out the last of this row...

I received Nancy's RR in the mail Thursday - the piece from Shawn, and the Mill Hill kit for my square from Nancy. She gave me the Needlework Shop to do :) She says that I have been an inspiration to her with some of the color choices I have made, and thought the needlework shop fit me best :) Thursday, when I was dragging butt from our late night the night before, I decided to put some stitches in on Shawn's square that she didn't get finished, as mine wasn't ready to go yet - wayyyy tooo tired to try to sort threads :) Here's where Shawn's is now:I can't tell you exactly where Shawn left off and I picked up - it's all too fuzzy now.... And then, Friday I was still tired and knew if I tried working on L&U, it would end up being an hour or two of me staring dumbly at it, so I kept on with Nancy's RR, and got a start on my square:
Doesn't really look like anything yet, huh? Well, hopefully I can finish this one up in the next weeks, and if not finish Shawn & Lyne's, at least get them closer.... I'll be adding a personalized name to my shop, of course - don't know what yet, but something that ought to be recognized as mine :) Here's a shot of the whole piece as of right now.

Also in the mail Thursday, along with Nancy's RR bits, was an envelope from Natalie. Hmmmm, wasn't expecting anything from her - what could it be? I ripped into it right away, of course, and inside was her chart for Watergarden that she finished for her parents not too long ago, and the beads to go with!!!! She knew that I really loved that design, so she sent it to me!!! It really will be a wonderful companion to Knotgarden, since they both have those gates on all four sides :) Thank you Natalie!! I keep taking it out and looking at it :)

Lastly for this update, since I had to repack my travel bag with all new projects, once I finally got D is for Dog done last week, I started an old chart, Iris by Green Apple Designs. I did quite a bit over lunches during the week, and took it to my stitching group on Saturday. I am kind of wondering how much some of the DMC colors have changed since 1986 when the chart was printed - some of them look a little of so far, but I'm going to trust that they will all work out in the end :) I think I'm doing this on a piece of my good old 28ct evenweave - I don't think it's 32...? Anyway, here's a week's work on it:
This is the center flower, and it's only about half filled in; the left one is completely filled in, and the right one is almost completely done in outline - I think this will be really pretty when it is done - and it's quick, so I can move on to other travel projects :) Everyone in my group loved the Debbie Draper cats that are kitted, too - I definitely think the group is predominantly cat people...

This week, Back to Part 5 of MTM - I WILL get the last corner done, so help me! Though I am again going to be interrupted by soccer - Big Kid has a game in NC on Wednesday, that was rescheduled from June, and since I had planned to go up to see family then, I made arrangements to still go this time, though only overnight Tuesday, as Little Kid has school orientation Thursday, so we will head back home right after the game. But I now have Thursday morning free, so if I can get my dead butt out of bed, I can hopefully get caught up on what I lose to traveling Tuesday & Wednesday :) We shall see....Finally got some pics of the red headed woodpeckers that are all over our woods - still not close enough for my zoom to figure it out, but hey, better than nothing....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Picture Perfect - SHAPES!

(pic is clickable for the zoomed version)

This is a view off the walk around a nature center in our area, where we take the dogs to run through the woods on the weekends. If I ever hit the lottery, whoever built this place is building my house, very much like this building :) Love this rock work, which is combined with wood siding and tin roofs :) This picture is my computer wallpaper at work during fall. I took this in November of last year, with my Panasonic DMZ-FZ5, and cropped it down a bit.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

A Climate Change Update

Global Warming is clearly a myth, Al Gore. Ummm, it's been in the 70's & low 80's here in ATL - that's in Georgia - in JULY. Beautiful weather, breezy, sunny with scattered clouds. Very nice indeed. Which means we're probably going to get it in August :( Good news - last week's sunburn has browned up nicely, and I don't think anything's going to peel! WooHoo! Of course, it'll all be gone by the next time I have to go outside for an extended period, so I can start all over again, but hey, that's what my summers are all about :(

Before I get to the stitching for the week, here's a little bead update, since all the fobs are received, as well as one other gift - Paula's Elephant. FMG added Elephant pendants a year or so ago, and ever since, I have wanted to get one and do something with it - I love elephants. Well, Paula has mentioned a few times how she likes them, too, so the last buy we had, I ordered a couple. And I came up with these:
Paula's - Fancy Jasper elephant w/Moss Agate rounds on leather cord.
One for me, elephant of Red Jasper, and rounds of Brecciated Jasper. I put a lot more rounds on mine, as I am used to wearing really heavy stuff around my neck - that turquoise & pearl creation I made weighs in around 5 pounds :) The piece I've had laying out since October is still there, but I think I know how I want to assemble it now, so it should come together soon. And no, my sister's 2006 Christmas present isn't redone yet - I think I know what I want to do with it to make it more like I wanted, I just gotta sit down to try it....

On to stitching. First, a finish - D is for Dog got done Saturday:
Don't ask me why it took so long - those corners were just killers for some reason, and the muted colors really weren't easy to see outside, so maybe this wasn't an ideal travel project...? Anyway, it's done, and my travel bag was officially empty - for a bit. Then I refilled it for this fall's projects: Debbie Draper's Canned Meows and Purrfect Summer Day, Iris, an old chart from Green Apple, and then Arelate Studios' Best Friends. I actually put the first stitches into Iris last night while DH was flipping burgers on the grill :)

My main focus last week was again the tiny Foursome Reel piece, and I am happy to report a frog-free week on that thing - as far as I know! I might be able to finish this up the next time around, or be close enough ot maybe warrant adding a day or two to the week to get it done, depending on what else gets my attention in August :) Here is the current:

I also worked on Lyne's wedding sampler for a few hours - my brain wasn't up to the over-1 on 36 one night, so I picked up the eye-friendly wedding piece instead:

You can see the overall here.

I also finished up the branch I was working on on Natalie's Tanglewood, and put a length of thread into the sky; I think I'll stop here and save some for everyone else :) On to Anita on Friday ( a week late, but as she's still vacationing, I had a little leeway). And lastly, in light of a recent acquisition, another Jen Delyth design from Heaven & Earth Designs, I decided I wanted to work on World Tree a little bit. I probably put in 2-300 stitches, though they aren't real noticeable - browns and some more black. Man, I can't wait to get off the outer border and get into the main design part, though the first page of the next row down is going to be CONFETTI HELL, so I probably oughtn't complain yet :) Lots & lots of black, if I can just get there....
This week, Lady & Unicorn again, see if I can close in on finishing that top row of pages finally... And, of course, whatever else yells at me, though I know I am losing some time this week to soccer crap - have to work a concession stand at the GA Dome on Wednesday, with the high school booster club, as a boys' soccer fund raiser. I really, really hate being around food and having to serve it and/or beer - I don't work in the food industry for a reason. Yay me - and we (DH & I) have to sign up for at least 2 more this year, though one of the choices is the U2 concert in October - that one might not be too bad, at least I'll get to hear the show :) I am ready for my involvement in youth athletics to be OVER.

That's the news - happy stitching this week to everyone!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Crispy Monday Update

Crispy because I got FRIED at games this weekend - 5 hours on Saturday, for 2 games, with no sunscreen, no umbrella, no cold drinks, and to top it off, no toilet paper!!!! My knees are cooked through, and my arms from my sleeves down, as well as my neck above my collar, since I had to pull my hair back in the awful heat. And two kids left the first game to go get stitches in their heads, where they collided going after the same header. We lost both games. So not worth it...

In other news, DH got a coat of paint on the new porch yesterday morning - and it rained like hell last night, and it was all still there this morning, so that's good :) Though it was drying as fast as he was getting it on there. When he got that done, we had another cat to bury. Zeke, a.k.a. Bad Cat, who has been banished outside since last fall, the one who was 98% responsible for destroying furniture & carpet, passed away yesterday. He was 14. Poor thing; I found him when I was taking the groceries in :( So now, we are down to 1 cat, 2 dogs, 1 bird, and that's it. I think that is the least number of animals we have had in a LONG time. And DH said he's tired of digging he survived getting hit by a car 13 years ago, causing him to get a pin in his leg, and then he was grossly overweight for many years, until the outside banishment forced him to lose some of that weight. He's been looking pretty bad the last couple of weeks, and I guess when DH started painting yesterday morning, he was definitely not looking good. I saw him as I was holes, since the other bird was buried last week, too - no idea what happened to it, unless it was tromboned to death.... Of course, the answer to not digging holes is to stop bringing animals into the house, but no one listens to me.

On to the stitching. Of which there isn't a lot, because I was busy doing other stuff most nights. Can't tell you what, exactly, but I do know that I didn't sit down to stitch until almost 9:00 most nights, only leaving me an hour before having to go to bed. GRRRRRR! Which didn't make for the desired progress on Knotgarden; I decided the only way to advance was to first finish the last petal, and the other 3 I managed to finish in a week's rotation. This time, I barely got a start on it :( So hopefully next time I get it out, I can finish that up, then get going on the other two corners....

But I did get a couple of bead things done and back to the owner - a woman at work asked me 6 (?) months ago to restring some necklaces her son had made when they visited Costa Rica - this was really the first time I have sat down to do any bead anything, so I got those done and out of the way :)

I did finish my lunch project, the Halloween ornie/pinkeep. There is a little tadpole living in it, as there was a slub in one of the threads in a pumpkin that threw me off by 1 thread - I thought I had successfully navigated around it, but it turns out I didn't. Oh well, it doesn't matter. I've added this to the To-Be-Finished pile:

I also did a bit of work on my current RR piece, Natalie's Tanglewood. I get to hang on to it for an extra week, as the next in line (Anita B.) is on vacation and won't be home just yet to pick it up, so I hope to get the rest of the sky done, after I finish the peacock's branch :)

This week, back to the teeny weeny Foursome Reel piece, and who knows what else. Now that that Halloween piece is done, I am focusing my lunch time on D is for Dog, so will hopefully have that finished in the next couple of weeks, too - those corner medallions kill me for some reason, though they aren't particularly hard...? Finished the 2nd one today and got the small Rhodes heart done, so have progress already! Not bad for a Monday :)

Friday, I had a great day. Natalie was down here, attending an education conference, and I took Friday off, planning to meet her when she got done for the day. I got downtown to pick her up around 1:30, and we headed off to a LNS that I have never managed to get to in all the years we've been here, Abcedarius (they don't have a website, but are mentioned on the Caron site). Got lost multiple times trying to find the place - GA definitely does not overdo the signs or road markings, so even though I followed the directions to the letter, I wasn't even close to where I needed to be, But with a quick call to the shop (3-4 minutes, actually), we did finally get there. Wow, this shop was really cool! Every inch of wall space was filled, mostly with samplers, and there were displays all over of so many kinds of work. There was even a whole Halloween section in the back (this is the Bible Belt - we gotta keep that devil-stuff away from the kiddies, you know), including a completed Boo Club, which I now have all the charts to :) She had the largest selection of Kreiniks I have ever seen, and a pretty good assortment of other fibers, though no Gloriana, Thread Gatherer or Carries. There were even some that I have no idea what they were. Natalie & I both got some charts, and some Rainbow Gallery PTB, and she got a JABC button pack for a chart she already had. I walked around with a Drawn Thread chart for a while, but I ended up putting it back, in favor of what turned out to be an all-Halloween selection:

Not pictured: the PTB I got, white pearl, because I misplaced it temporarily :( After we got done shopping, we went back downtown to where Natalie was staying, and we got our show & tell pieces out; she brought her FINISHED MTM, and Chatelaine Snowflake and one of the Midi's, which I think I might have to get, as well as a couple WIPs, and I brought several of mine, and grabbed the hangers that all of my non-framed finishes are hanging on :) When we got done ohhhing and ahhhing, we laid them all out:

Then we went out to eat at Pittypat's Porch - Aunt Pittypat is a character from Gone With the Wind, and I had never heard of this place before. The plate of ribs I got was absolutely ginormous - I didn't finish them, and that's got to be a first! Then we went back to her room, and talked until I saw it was 10:30 and had to hit the road for the hour drive back home! It was a stellar day! Even if the kids were lurking around in the dark house when I got home, waiting for me to re-up their WoW account :(

Well, that's the news. Time to go put some more lotion on the tender parts :) Until next week, Happy Stitching!

Monday, July 06, 2009

A July Update

Well, what an eventful week! The quarter ended at work, and as far as I know, no blood was shed :) The QA guy was in a bit of a panic, but considering the coffee intake, that's to be expected. Other than him, it was pretty quiet from my perspective, for a change :) We had Friday off, in observance of Independence Day, and boy did I need it - the last few weeks wore my wittle brain down to a nub! But, as luck would have it, I spent all of Friday sick in bed. I just got back from the doctor, and he couldn't find any reason for me to have vertigo for 24 hours and then back to normal - so no apparent ear problems, at least, though could have been viral. But the rest of the weekend, aside from being knocked on my butt going down the hill with the Stupid Dog, and the resultant sore spots, was a good one. DH spent the weekend rebuilding the front porch & steps - one of the deck boards fell apart at a knot, so he went ahead and replaced all of them. Then decided to do the steps, too. Which then needed new risers (they were almost shot the last time we replaced the steps, but we made them hold a while longer). Then he decided to do the uprights and the handrails, too. Not sure how many trips to Home Depot it was - at least 3, one of which I went on. Now, we just need to find the paint that the rest of the porch & trim is done in, see if there's enough, if it's any good, and get some paint on parts of it:
Nice and sturdy again, and ought to be good for another 15 years, I would guess :) Depends on how much the left side continues to settle, since it's all downhill from there :)

In other news, my first RR piece, Lavender Path, came back to me last week!!! WOW, is it gorgeous!! Everyone did such a great job on it!! And I have a frame on order for it already - we'll see if the mats I picked are the same color as they appear onscreen when it gets here - geez I hope so, because if not, I'll have to go to plan B - Hobby Lobby custom mat, on sale :) I'll post a pic as soon as i get it in the frame, of course :) In the meantime, I have the 2nd one, Moonlit Orchid, ready to ship out to Paula when it's time to shuffle again.

As for my stitching for the week, well, I jammed on my Halloween lunch project last week -though I did cheat and work on it at the doctor's office Thursday while the boys were getting their physicals :) I should have it done this week - could actually probably finish it in an hour or two if I put it on my stand and put a weensy bit of effort into it, but I'm not in a rush :) For a change.
I don't know if this will be an ornie, or a pinkeep. Who knows, maybe I'll have to do it again and make one of each. Nah, probably not :)

My main project for the week was English Garden Sampler, and though I didn't get as far as I hoped - as usual - I did get some progress in it, and got some of the dreaded bs done :) Missing all of Friday being sick really cut into my progress plans though - I had envisioned stitching into the wee hours Friday night, having slept in Friday morning - but alas, it was not to be - and I didn't get to work on MMM03 during the day, or my bead stuffs, either. Here are the overall and a detail:

On Saturday, after being outside with dogs and porch-building all day, when I finally got to sit down to stitch, I wasn't really in the mood for EGS, so finally decided to work on Chat Noir a bit - which turned into part of Sunday, too. Page one is about 4/5 done now, and I have a good start on Page two. Pages 4 & 5 are almost all Chat, though really, as many colors as are in there besides the black, I don't expect they will be any quicker than these first three - though maybe :). Here he is so far:
The previous photo is hosed at the moment (thanks, Multiply upgrade), so I will have to fix that so you can see the difference.

This week, back to Knotgarden, as well as getting some RR work done. Natalie will be in Atlanta this week, attending a conference, so we have plans to meet on Friday afternoon when she gets done, and maybe make up it to a LNS I've never been to, Abecedarius - which doesn't have a website; what's up with that? Depending on what time she's done - Friday traffic SUCKS in this town, and this shop is in the heart of the worst of it - hopefully we'll make it up there. If not, at least we'll get a bite to eat, and more importantly, have show & tell :) Maybe I'll even manage a picture or two, since I spaced the camera when I met Dr. Stephanie in May 8) Check back over the weekend to see if I defeat the CRS or not :)

Until then, happy stitching, everyone!