Monday, August 31, 2009

Year 4 - An Update

It's been a long time coming, but I finally did it - I finally finished the top row of pages on Lady & unicorn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I passed my 3rd anniversary in June, and only had a smidge left to go in July, and still just a smidge to go this month - but I finally got through the smidge, and I now have 95 rows completed, (plus a good bit more here & there), for a minimum of 27, 030 stitches!!

Now, when I was really trying to figure up how much time I really have into it, since it's in rotation, I figure the last 2 1/2 years (I officially began the timed rotation with The Castle on Jan 1, 2007), I have only worked on this about 11 weeks a year, and in those 11 weeks/year, and who's to say how many actual hours in those weeks? I have the hours recorded, but they are rough guesstimates at best (don't take into account time spent staring blankly at chart or TV), and I didn't take the time to add them up. At any rate, let's say that in the time since I started this, I have worked on it for about 34 weeks - about 8 1/2 months equivalent to working on only this. There, now I don't feel so bad for this thing dragging out this long! And consider, the first page took me over a year, because I was hell bent on getting parking to work. When I gave that up somewhere on page 2, I got quite a bit quicker :) And my enjoyment went up immeasurably, too, which is pretty much the goal here, right?

So, here's hoping that in another 3 years, I have considerably more to show for it than just another row of pages; maybe I'll have 2 rows of pages done!!! I do know that once I get to the unicorn, he ought to go pretty quick - he covers the better part of a page, and his main part is only 3-4 colors, once I get past the "outline" of him :) I am NOT confident enough to go order the other one I really want. Yet. Here's a closer-up picture of the area I worked this week:

You'd think an orange tree would be pretty straight-forward, wouldn't you? Not so this one....

To reward myself for making this long-sought goal, once I scrolled L&U up some more (finding 4 old needles in the process) and put her away, I decided to do a few more blocks on my canvas piece, Kaleidoscope. I really ought to try to work this in more often so I can finish it up - it's only about 10 hours from done. I need to kit up Starry Nights soon, because that will be my next canvas piece :) Anyway, here's Kaleidoscope as of now - I did the two lower left most blocks, taking me to half done, then did the on on the upper half.

Once I got to that stopping point, I picked up Nancy's RR again; I want to try to get the General Store block as close to done as I can get it before I have to mail it on next Tuesday :) Normally, I would ship it this Friday, but because Monday's a holiday, I want that extra day to get as far as I can, maybe get the beads (some, if not all) on it. Anyway, I am getting to almost having all the crosses done - just lots of white and the tree to go, and one more pillar, then time to bead. But since this is MTM week, we'll see if I can squeeze it in:

I will also try to remember to get an overall pic before I mail it on to Anita :) I love this project!

Lastly, my update on my travel/lunch project, Iris. I got the solid iris on the left done finally, and I think the middle one is just about ready for the last backstitching. The third one, on the right, is going to be tricky to get to, as it is 80% backstitching only, and I don't know if I have sufficient counting skills to get to the crosses without doing the bs first - but I hate to do crosses over bs where they come into contact.... I have a tournament this weekend, with some wait time between Saturday's games - if the weather stays cool (80s) like it has been, I may be able to finish it off, if I have any brain power left :) We'll see how far I get on lunch this week - now that the stupid cold is almost gone (just the odd sniffle left), I should be more productive :) Here it is right now:

As I said earlier, this is MTM week, and tournament weekend with a holiday Monday. being a team manager now, I lose some time to getting tourney stuff together and doing the check-in Friday, but hopefully I can still crank through some buildings on Part 6 :) I did some extra cleaning this weekend, so hopefully the place won't get too trashed while we are all out all weekend - DH & Little Kid at one place all weekend, me and the Big Kid at another. I am also still considering entering the same fair as last year; if I do, then I need to get some time to, umm, finish some things, like a certain piece of jewelry that's been laying on the table since ummm, October, and some ornaments, and oh yeah, if I can get some $$$ to get glass for those frames I bought in June, I need to get a couple of things framed :) And pick a few pictures to also get 1) printed out (really, you can print photos out???) and 2) frame also. I want to go to the fair again, just don't know if I can stand the strain of getting it all together in the next 2 weeks.... Anyway, check back next week to see how many buildings MTM has, and if I manage to finish the General Store on Nancy's RR :) Happy Stitching everyone!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You Know It's Time to Run the Dishwasher When...

...even the cat can't find a clean plate:
Maybe DH will learn to close cabinet doors after this...? Nah, doubt it.
If I run, you suppose Beanie will empty it? Well, not having thumbs does make that problematic....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer Colds Suck - An Update

Yes, as the title implies, I have a horrible summer cold. Had it since last week, and doesn't seem to be letting up at all. Don't feel really bad, just from the chin up, kinda feeling full of concrete - wet concrete :) Oh well, as soon as all of us get it, we can move on :) the next person who goes to California and brings a bug back with them is in BIG trouble!
Well, on to the stitching - no soccer worth mentioning this week (bad tourney, bad refs, ejections - that kind of thing). I was able to finish the Needlework Shop section of Nancy's RR!!!! I put the last bead on it Friday night!! I LOVED working on this, and hope to work a little bit on one of the other sections that wasn't quite done - don't know if I'll get to beads again, or not, but I'll get it closer :) Here it is:
I took this to my local stitching group meeting on Saturday, and it got LOTS of ohhhs and ahhhs and what a great idea!!

My main focus of the week was that small Foursome Reel piece, but due to my head, I only worked on it a few nights - if I had another whole Sunday afternoon, I'd have it done - so in September, I fully expect a finish, and hopefully a good start on Anatolia (unless I'm working on Halloween stuff :) ). I did get the corners to meet up, so that's good:
I also did some work on Lyne's wedding sampler, working my way down to those doves, finally - well, one of them, anyway :) I need to get situated to backstitch these as I complete rows, so I don't goof up those wings - the colors are reallllllyyyy similar, so I see myself getting lost a time or two :) Though there are a lot of color changes, it really is a pretty nice piece to work on - the roses have a really nice flow to them when you get to a grouping of them.
And because I really am in Halloween mode right now, I went ahead and started 6 Bats and a Witches Hat, from Blue Ribbon Designs. I was going to start it at the stitching group Saturday, but as soon as I took out the 40ct fabric, I knew I wouldn't be able to see it in there, so I didn't even frame it up. I started it as soon as I got home :) You know, it's been a while since I used Weeks Dye Works threads; I have since remembered how much I really don't like them. Especially Mascara (the black) - it is thin, brittle, and if you have to frog more than 1 stitch, it just shreds. I am SOOOO glad I am converting Boo Club to Carrie's Threads! WDW have jumped right to the top of my avoid-at-all-cost threads, and really, they don't give me a look I can't duplicate with DMC - they aren't heavily variegated, so not missing much by going DMC if necessary. Anyway, I will struggle through - it is a fun stitch, aside from that!

And lastly, my travel project, Iris, got some decent progress, especially at the stitch meeting Saturday (though, with my head combined with cold drugs, it's a wonder I put any stitches in anything correctly). The left iris, the solid one, is 98% done now, and then just a bit left on the upper middle one, and lots & lots of backstitching to figure out :)And that's it for last week :) This week, I plan to finally knock out the last of that top row of pages on Lady & unicorn - I'm trying to get out of practice this week, as we have this last weekend off before the season really starts with the big Atlanta Cup tourney over Labor Day weekend, so I plan to take full advantage - if I can shake this cold - of my last free week, essentially, until ???? January? Anyway, check back next week to see what I actually accomplish!! Happy stitching this week to everyone!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Muggy August Update

Well, those cooler (80s) days we had a couple weeks ago were just a tease - as soon as school started back, so did summer! my U17 kid had hid first tournament this past weekend, and the 4:00 games were murder - and I was just sitting there! Can't imagine how hot they were, especially as they always had to wear one of their darker jerseys. Not a bad soccer
weekend, except for a minor schedule snafu; we went to the finals, and lost to PKs 5-4. The real stuff starts over Labor Day weekend with the Atlanta Cup. And to be honest, I am damn tired of soccer ALREADY! That's what I get for volunteering for the manager spot - as if 4 years in combat boots & fatigues wasn't enough lesson.... Here are the boys, lined up for the Penalty Kicks to decide the Finals. Mine's the 3rd from the left.
On to stitching - which, due to soccer stuff, was limited again this week. The main piece for the week was Knotgarden, hoping to finish up that 4th petal and then move on wherever. Well, no such luck, though I am a LOT closer. Gee, the other three I did in a week each - this one's just dragging on ridiculously now...Thought for sure Knotgarden would be picking up speed, but it seems to have slowed down - though perhaps because all the other stuff I have going on has picked up? BAH!

Saturday, we came home for a bit of a cool break between games, and I picked up Nancy's RR; I figured a few beads would be about right for the amount of time we had. Well, I was so pooped from the heat when we got home and then went right back out with the stir crazy dogs (the Dumb Dog video is from then), that I just left the RR on the frame, and worked on it until I went to bed Saturday. I now have 2 of the 3 sets of beads completed, so should have this done before too long :) I have two shots - one of the whole Needlework Shop, and one of it in a kinda-profile shot, trying to get a relief of the beads - but the dogs thought they'd wrestle behind me right about then, so when they knocked me over, I stopped trying to get a better one :)

I got a few lunches worth of work in on Iris - it was too hot and I had sunscreen on during soccer, so I didn't do any stitching at games or practice, probably won't until mid-September, unless I'm unfortunate enough to be there around 8:00... Anyway, here's where Iris is:
And that's it for last week. I added some outdoor pictures here (see the Lantana shots at the end), and will be uploading a bunch more of the soccer weekend, a lot of which are also of the wildlife in the pond at the park we play at - the Feeding Ducks & Canadians Landing videos are from there :)

This week is Sampler week, so I will be working on that eensy Long Dog piece, and who knows what else? I am kind of itching to start this year's Halloween project, 6 Bats & A Witches Hat (RAK from Chris). I am trying to get out of an afternoon game Saturday to go to my local stitching group, since it will be the last month I can go until December or January :( Check back next week and see what, if anything, I accomplish :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

First Day of School - a Monday Update!

Yes, it's true - today was the first day of school!! WooHoo!!! Dumb Dog is going to hate spending all day in the crate, but I am glad the boys are out of the house, without me having to take them anywhere!! They weren't too happy about it, but they both got up this morning (though Dumb Dog was making all kinds of racket, so everyone in a 2-mile radius probably woke up, whether they wanted to or not). And, since school was starting, summer came back - the 79-82 degree days are over, I expect, until october. Back into the 90's with 8000% humidity - and my skin is really, really not liking it, nor is my head. You know, I really could just skip the month of August here, it really wouldn't bother me a lot.

Well, the past week's stitching was scattered at best. I lost two nights to my new soccer team managerial duties - and foresee losing a lot more, since this has already turned into a huge cluster. I lost all of Saturday daytime to 2 games and a pre-season party, and no stitching at or during the games because it was TOO FREAKIN' HOT and HUMID :( Between lunches last week and a little bit of stitching one night at camp, before the mosquitoes and headache made it too much to try, I got some progress in on Iris - I really am still wondering about some of these 1986 colors called out, though I assume they'll all fall together when I get it done. The third iris, on the right, ought to go real quick, when I get there, as it is almost all backstitched outline, just a hint of color inside it. I'll try to get the one on the left, the only solid one, done this week.That dark blue is still kind of weird - don't think I've ever actually seen that color on an Iris before....

My main focus of the week was EGS, but between losing Monday & Thursday nights, and just not really feeling like working on it very much (not in the mood for greens, I guess), I really didn't do very much on it - I think I got 2 symbols done in this current section? I only worked for about 2-3 hours, at most, and just couldn't get motivated to pick it back up. Here's the bit I did:
One night, I also picked up Lyne's wedding sampler for an hour or two - could have kept going, except, surprise, I was interrupted by Mom duties - Open House at school, dinner, who knows what all. Anyway, once I get the flowers and ribbon on top done, I'll be into those doves, and assuming I don't get completely lost on the wings, since they are only a few colors, hopefully I will fly right through them, though I know I will have to bs as I go, or I will be lost!You will have to click on this pic, go to the album, and see the previous photo to see what's new - it's not a lot, but some, up and left, I think...

Now, what really got my attention this week was Nancy's RR. I got all of the stitching done on my Needlework Shop square Sunday afternoon, and started putting beads on! You can't really see the beads very well - the most that's on right now are matte Maize, so blend right in with the fabric, until I get the others added in around it. There are also some white ones here & there. We'll see if I do more this coming week - I was really impatient to get the stitching done so I could get to the beads, and can hopefully get one of the other sections a little closer to done, too - because I want to put more beads on! :) Here it is as of 9:00 last night when I went to bed:
If you click on this to go to the original, you can zoom in and see the beads along the roof line mostly. I still have two packs of beads that I haven't even been in yet - see all those holes in the roof and the bushes? And the wreaths, too, of course - lots & lots left to go :) Also check out the store's name - that's the name of my other blog :)

This week, back to Knotgarden, and hopefully more progress than last time. I lose at least one night to practice, and we have our first tournament (of three in a row) this weekend, though it's at our home field, so hopefully the whole weekend won't be a wash, depending on how bad the heat wipes me out. Pray for overcast for all of Saturday & Sunday :) I love my heat, everyone knows, but man, this humidity is for the freakin' birds! Or maybe it's for the fish. Not for me, at any rate. Check back next week to see what, if any, progress I actually manage this week!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Is it Really August? An Update

Well, I don't know about where you are, but the past week has been cool & wet - very fallish, and highly unlike normal ATL weather. And I like it :) No rain for years, and now it's all we can do to see the sun - though for all the clouds, I do wish we were getting more actual rainfall at my house - it's dumping down all around us, but we aren't really getting the downpours I've seen other places. Like a mile down the road. Oh well, the grass is green and the kudzu is
growing a foot a day, and the overcast is keeping the house cool, so who's to complain?

I was in NC on Tuesday night & Wednesday afternoon, for a soccer game and to visit family. If
you are interested, I have posted some pictures from the trip here. The game wasn't worth the drive, but it was good to see family again, though I missed photo opportunities for not having the camera in hand at all times :) I will get everyone next time. Even the shy ones :) Here's one, a corner kick from the game:
On to the stitching - which was obviously hampered a bit by traveling. Too wet to stitch while waiting for the game to start even - those clouds in the picture above were saturated - and they weren't even the ones that did dump all over us :) But even with the slight interruption, I did finally finish Part 5 of MTM!!!!! And I got a wee start on Part 6!!! Gee, I don't know why that 4th corner went so much faster than the three before it....This is the overall as of now, and here's a detail of the start of the buildings (squeeeeee) in Part 6:And for the record, my SnC Meadowgrass realllllyyy blends in well with the Days Gone By linen :) If you go to the original and zoom in, you can see the stitches outside these buildings :) I can't believe I finally got to the buildings! Now the fun begins - I think!

I also managed to get a bit more done on Nancy's RR, the Mill Hill Village piece. I worked on it for a night and Saturday afternoon, and I think if I can get that much time again, I'll have it ready to bead :)

This is really fun so far, except it is a bit maddening to look for a thread, only to realize the symbol goes to yet another bead - this thing is going to be covered! I'll have to look closely at the other two undone sections, but it seems the Needlework Shop (which is yet to be named) has more beads than the other buildings in this town :)

I worked on my Iris project a tiny bit, too, but as it was only one lunch and a bit while DH was grilling, nothing worth taking a picture of. Hopefully the next pic, next week, will be quite a difference :) So look for that next week.

This week, I will work on English Garden Sampler, though I am again losing 2 nights to soccer - team camp is this week, and in my new role as asst. manager, I guess I need to go tonight, so people know who will be asking for money every couple of weeks, and then we have a Parents' Meeting Thursday, so there's two nights I won't get home until almost 10. And because the park is near work, I'm not going home first, as making the trip to work & home, then to camp & home, equals 112 miles. Can't afford to do that, certainly not twice in one week. So I'll be hanging out late at work a couple of nights, and either collecting some OT, or leaving early Friday, as needed :) Though I've already lost out some, as I've made a dentist appointment for tomorrow - I've got something zinging the nerves in one of my teeth when I brush or eat anything sweet :( I was just there for a cleaning & exam in June - wonder where a hole would've come from since then?

In other news, the kids go back to school one week from today. Yay!! The dumb dog and Lucy will hate it, and the boys aren't real thrilled, but I'm tired of arguing about who does all the chores on the list every day, when I seem to be doing half of it when I get home? I'm ready for them to be off the computer and not in front of the tv until all hours of the night :) Not looking forward to the morning routine again, though....

Well, that's the highlights of doings here. Happy stitching this week to everyone :)