Saturday, February 28, 2009

Foursome Reel #1 - Done!

I had no idea I would finish this this week - I thought for sure, as long as the other two pages took, that this one would take me at least 2 months' rotations to finish. Not so!

Probably the last of my bigger finishes for some time to come - now the question is, what goes in it's place? Another of the set? I can do a small one over-1 on the fabric left over here. Or Ink Circles' Anatolia? Tonight, I know I'm going to work on Tanglewood, so the decision will just have to wait until tomorrow :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Soup's On!

My dad is the King of Soup, making me eat Elephant Stew way back when I was a kid (and no, I still don't know exactly what was in it - so long as it wasn't soup beans, I don't care). Well, it's taken me nearly 40 years, but I have finally mastered the chicken noodle soup. I have also finally figured out how to make chili the same way twice (mostly).

Good thing I got this soup thing down, since I'll be the only one around here eating this after tomorrow.... Still not as good as my lasagna, but hey, how much of that can you really eat before needing a break?

A Desperate-for-Spring Monday Update

Well, I would just like to state for the record that I am done with the cold. I guess it would be one thing if it was just bone-chilling cold all the time, but down here, it can be arctic one day, and 70 the next, and that's nothing more than a tease - not to mention wreaking havoc with your body (skin & head, especially). The windchill at last Thursday's game was in the 20s - I lasted until just after halftime, then I had to go to the car. I didn't think I was ever going to get warm. But if the wind hadn't been blowing, it would have been more than tolerable. But the good news is that it is supposed to be 70 by this weekend - Little Kid & DH's season-opening tournament, far from home. Good thing; I'll even take games in the rain so long as it's warm. As for Big Kid, their record is currently 2-1-1, with the tie coming in on Friday - I didn't go, which is probably a good thing, as it became a rather brutal game, with two red cards, coaches going at it, and all-around poor reffing (which, as always, allowed it to escalate to stupid proportions) and generally a waste of time & effort. I hate high school ball - it is so unsophisticated. Glad I missed it - and only 2 games this week, one of which on Little Kid's b-day, so might not go to that one, either...

On to the stitching update. I finished BoInk on Saturday :) Can't see the pic until tomorrow, though - sworn to secrecy. I can't believe it's done, and that I'm done, as well. I have to thank Tracy for her generosity and for her creativity - this piece was considerably more involved than many of the big freebie SALs you find out there, since so many of them are samplers of a color or two, with repeating themes. I also want to thank all of my fellow stitchers for the inspiration you provide - the sheer range of color choices and design modifications was and is quite overwhelming, and I look forward to seeing even more finishes come in, as people are even now just starting. There are rumors that Barfy the Cat might be seen on the Ink Circles site tomorrow, so you might want to check it out sometime during the afternoon tomorrow :)

And, as promised, as soon as I got BoInk finished, I put my first stitches into Tanglewood :) I only worked on it a couple of hours over Saturday & Sunday, as I had other things calling my name :) But now, after BoInk, the knots seem pretty familiar - smaller, which is nice - so I see this going pretty quickly. I love the colors in it - and the thistle part I see getting used in other places :) Here's my start, on Silkweaver's 32c Heritage:

Last week, I mentioned that I was working on a biscornu for the Jan Houtman Foundation. I completed side 1, and will start Side 2 this week during lunch. I had a piece of 28ct white Monaco left over from my RR piece, and I had a mystery spool of Vikki Clayton' premium silk, so what better use? I did pick a matching DMC for the bs edge - I wanted to use the Holbein stitch along the whole thing, which doesn't work so well with variegated thread, so a solid DMC it is. Here is Side 1(Side 2 will be a slightly different design):

My main focus all week was Knotgarden. I was hoping to knock out the green corner I just barely got a start on last month, but didn't know how far I'd get, with going to 2 of 3 games during the week. But since I did no housework all weekend, I made up some serious ground Saturday night and yesterday afternoon :) Of course, I have 4 loads of laundry that I need to jam in tonight, since we have a game tomorrow - but that's why I have child labor :) I got the green done, and the brick wall section of the bottom corner, so next time, I want to do the outside of that right side, connecting those two corners. Here is the overall, and the detail of this week's progress:

This week, I work on Foursome Reel, and hope, even with being gone to the tournament all weekend and two hs games this week & and a 12th birthday, to get as close to finishing as possible. I don't know what I'm taking with me to the games - Tanglewood, if it's not wet out - Carrie's thread is not colorfast, and I have not taken the time to get some Retayne ($5 to ship a $2 bottle, btw) and treat the threads. I'll see how far I get on Side 2 of the biscornu - don't think I want to do any finishing from the sidelines :) If it is nearing completion, I may take my Kit o' Ornaments and work on Pegasus. We'll have some time to kill in between the games on Saturday for sure. I have next Monday off - my boss is going to Japan for 3 weeks, so I need a 3-day weekend to prepare, though I hadn't planned for 2 of those days to be at soccer :( At any rate, I hope to have the whole of that Monday to make progress on L&U - could use a 1500 stitch week on that, too :) Or maybe I'll work on something entirely different during the day. Who knows? Until next week, Happy Stitching, everyone!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Another Monday Update

Well, here it is, past the half point of February, already! And I have a 12-year birthday on the 26th - he has practice that night, so guess what? He gets to stand in the goal and have the team shoot at him, trying to hit him in the butt :) Somehow, his dad (the Coach) is taking an evil pleasure in the whole idea - I guess since it's payback for his birthday last October :) In other sports news, the Big Kid (whose 16th b-day is in March) remains undefeated as they had a shut-out Friday night :) I missed it, as I opted to stay home & stitch, as it was an hour from home, up in the sticks; I wasn't willing to sit through another 3-hour game and then face an hour drive back home, not after the week I had last week. And then of course, it was a quick game, in that it started 1/2 hour earlier than scheduled (?), and DH was home by 9:30ish. I knew I should have just gone...

On to this week's stitching. I worked on my RR piece, Shawn's Yesteryear, and got the 2nd block done - Photograph. It is now ready to move on to Anita, sometime this week. You can see the pics here:
I wish the pics picked up the subtle colors in the fabric - it is a very pretty light, light blue with the faintest bits of tan mottling. I thought it was so pretty when I first got the package - then remembered that I liked it so well, I have a piece in the stash :) Of course, not that I've seen this LHN piece on it, I'll be hard pressed to decide what to use mine for :) Though, now that I'm thinking about it, I wonder what that Egyptian Nights thread would look like on it??? I know neither of my Long Dogs I am contemplating for that thread would fit on that fabric - unless I did them over-1 :) But will only work if they don't have any bs details.... Hmmm....

My main piece this week was English Garden Sampler. I worked on, you guessed it, more border :) I got the main stitching done all the way across the top, and got a start on the right side. Will finish up the top section next time, then will decide if I work down the right some more, or work in to the fountain scene :) I really would like to complete page 1....

I also worked on my first biscornu last week, during lunch a day or two, and while waiting for the Kid to get out of practice. It will be sent to the Netherlands, assuming I finish it in time, for the Jan Houtman Foundation - they are doing a fundraiser to try to raise money to put a roof on the building that houses this amazing collection of samplers. I would like to put together a needlebook, too, but I procrastinated too long, and seriously doubt I'll have time. If only those ornaments hadn't intruded into my travel projects... Anyway, no picture yet - it's just a pointy blob at the moment, using a mystery spool of Vikki Clayton silk. When I get the first side done, I'll take a pic :)

This week, Knotgarden comes out again, and I will hopefully get the big chunk of that green bottom right corner done - then I can work on connecting the top & bottom on that side :) Since I have two games during the week, we'll see how far I get. This will be my last soccer-free weekend, so I plan to make the most of it, assuming the barometer and my head (and my stress level) permit me to :) Happy stitching this week to everyone!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sign Me Up For This!

Since I already have all but one of the side affects, the risk might be worth it...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Latest BoInk Update

Well, this latest part went so fast for me - even quicker than the red boxes, I think. Not sure why - partly, the final push before the end, and partly just the excitement of wanting to gett hese colors down! You might even say that this has been my favorite part to date - except I still really love the big square below it, too :) Anyway, here it is, detail and overall:

Monday, February 09, 2009

A Season-Opening Update

Today is the official opening day of the HS soccer season - we have a game tonight at 7:30 :) They had a scrimmage last Friday, which they lost 4-0; but, last year's Division Champions lost their first scrimmage 4-0, also, to a lesser team than we played this year. So, here's hoping... fingers crossed this season kicks just as much butt as last year's!! And here's hoping I don't get stuck in the damn concession stand - I hate being around food like that...

On to the stitching for this week. I finished another of the Dragon Dreams ornies, Christmyth Fairy. I had to make a couple of mods, as the skin was originally supposed to be bright boiled pink, and I thought her original hair color a little boring, so switched it to a different boring. And Multiply will NOT let me load it into my 2009 Finishes album - I have sent that to Customer Support - they better get it fixed, since I plan to put a few other things in there over this year :) At any rate, I was able to load her to the Ornie Challenge folder:
I have the Pegasus next up, but I don't think I'll start it this week - need to do a biscornu before I do any more ornaments...

I also did a bit of work on Shawn's Yesteryear for our RR, but it's kind of a brown blob, so I didn't take a picture yet. I hope to get this section done over the next week, week and a half, so it can go on it's way to Anita :) Speaking of Anita, I need to get that second Patricia Ann ready to go, in case Anita gets Lavender Path half-done :) If my Kreinik ever shows up. If it's obscure and no one keeps it in stock, you can be sure I need it :)

My main piece this week was MTM. I completed part 2 last night - and was really hoping I would have gotten done in time to allow me to get a few stitches in on Part 3. Boy, I sure could keep working on this piece, if EGS wasn't also calling my name! Here is Part 2:

I've gotten spoiled with not having that much soccer over the last few weeks - but my reprieve is over, and now I'm going to lose a night or two a week while HS ball is going on :( I hope the weather cooperates this year and doesn't make it too cold to do any at games - last year, I couldn't do any until about the end of April - and then we froze to death on Mother's Day, too. Can't rely on the weather for anything, except to be completely unlike any year before. Isn't that annoying?

Anyway, this week, I will be working on EGS, and as it's warm today, hope to work on BoInk and/or Yesteryear. Little Kid & DH don't start for another week or two - they have practice, but no games yet, so maybe I can make up for my lost nights over the weekend... Until next week, Happy Stitching to everyone!!!

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Groundhog Says: Keep on Stitching!

No spring in sight, as far as I can tell. Which makes sense, since out first HS game is this Friday! No idea what the weather will be by then, but it was 60 yesterday, and only in the 30s by Wednesday! It's probably a given that I'll be a popsicle Friday night, probably well before half time. We'll just have to see if it's too cold to take a project with me :)

You've probably already seen my BoInk update - that took up my Monday evening completely, and an hour here & there until I got to the stopping point Thursday, leaving me looking forward to tomorrow's next part eagerly :) Let's hope these next two (and final!?!?) parts are frog-free! I can't wait to see what this looks like when it's done!!!

On Friday, when I got home, I started the next ornament, but I haven't done enough to warrant a picture; I think it's a fairy sitting in a wreath :) It has wings and a big red bow, that much I know. We'll see if I get it done this week.

I worked on Shawn's Yesteryear piece some more for our RR; I got one heart done and a start on a leaf of the bottom border one night the week before last when I fell asleep. So I finished up that bottom border this week (no frogs from my nap, I'm happy to report), and then, decided to start the Photograph block :) I almost went to the Bicycle one, but then changed my mind. Here is where it is right now:

My main focus this week was, after getting over the BoInk hurdle, Lady & Unicorn. I could really use a few 1200-1500 stitch weeks on this thing to get me to my goal of having the top row of pages done by summer - but didn't get it this week. I spent hours and hours this week, and I can finally say that I finished page 3!!!!! But holy cow, this week's progress was ALL confetti - I think the biggest section I had of one symbol was never more than 8 stitches in a row - and I didn't get to those until yesterday. I am really not sure how many stitches I did - several hundred - but they are a bit scattered; as I worked diligently to get page 3 done, whatever color I had in my needle, I used up on page 4 as was convenient - either out of thread or reachable stitches. I did take 2 pictures this time, one with the chart, so you can see the spread of this week's hours of work (the brightest yellow towards where the pages meet - the fainter yellow to the left was from an earlier rotation), and then the area I worked - looks like flag tails to me :) - the pic w/chart. - the stitched area detail.

That tree above the flag is going to be a bear - lots of dark with spots of this and that throughout. The flag itself, when I get to the main body of it, ought to go relatively quickly, except the moons on the blue band - you have no idea how many freakin' color changes are in a moon! And then the last page on right hand side is only 12 columns wide, I think, so I expect I'll work it in the same time I'm on that edge of 4. The top row finish is in sight - it's well off still, but after over 2 1/2 years, it is on the horizon. Then I can start all over again on the next row... :( The unicorn & the lion have large sections of just a few colors - the edges will be confetti hell, but the main bodies not so much. Though I think those are all on the 3rd row - so 5 years out??? Give or take... Can I just say that I do not know how anyone could do one of these in under a year - even if I didn't work, had no one to cook & clean for, and was left to my own devices all day every day, I just don't see how I could do it - I couldn't stitch, not on a project as intense as this, for 7-8 hours every single day. But people do it - more power to 'em, I say!!

This week, I get out MTM again - I can't wait to get home tonight!!! We'll see if I am able to pick up BoInk this week (after tomorrow's release), or if I jam it in next week :) If we have sunlight over the coming weekend, I would also like to work on MMM03 again - I'd like to have that done by Easter, which shouldn't be a problem. I can do the buildings at night, and the beading of the inner border, but those vines gotta be done during daylight...

Until Next week, stay warm (or cool) and Happy Stitching!! And save a warm spot int eh sun for Lucy: