Thursday, May 21, 2009

Before I Leave for the Weekend...

... here's some pics to keep you entertained :) (hopefully clickable for the originals)
Lilies are blooming already - I'll have to go look at last year's pics, but it seems a little early...

And the Poker plants are going, too:A Purple Shamrock and some Azaleas:

My azaleas always seem to be out later than everyone else's; must be some off variety I have, or the fact that they are really sheltered where they are....

And now, a rose that my husband filched from across the street - the blooms don't last once he brings them in?And finally, some wildlife, with or without foliage :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Season's End - an Update

Soccer is over!!! WooHoo!!!! Okay, both boys went out by losing their respective tournaments, but you know what? That's okay, as far as I am concerned. it's over!!! For a week. DH & Little Kid have tryouts next Tuesday, 5/26, the day we are driving back from KY. Guess we'll be leaving really early.... And the boys are out of school Friday - as soon as we know they are done with finals, we'll be picking them up early, on get on the road to KY for the holiday weekend. Which means I have 4 1/2 days to figure out what project(s) I'm taking with me - nothing that I can't work without my floor stand, and nothing too complicated or lots of parts - there's a 1yo in the house we're staying in, and that's why I took an 8 year hiatus from stitching....

Again, I have attempted to make these pics clickable for the original, zoomable ones....

On to last week's stitching! First, one thing that I don't have a picture for: Moonlit Orchid, the 2nd Patricia Ann Design I'm getting ready for our RR. I have almost the entire white-on-white border done, thanks to all the games this weekend. As soon as I finish the border, I'm going to wash it and call it done, and wait to see if Lavender gets done, and this one needs to go out in it's place :)

Next, my lunchtime project, TW's Medieval Miniature: between lunch last week & a department meeting conference call (most of which I can either not hear, or it doesn't apply to me at all), I have a good bit of the knight done. And for the record, I really hate backstitching over-1 on 28ct - my 28 needles are too fat, and if I had a short beading needle, I'd use that. Here's where I am so far:

I also got some work done on Lyne's wedding sampler. I took an overall picture, which shows all the wording and the two harts she had already completed. Then I also took a picture of just the area I worked (besides a tiny bit of fill-in on one of the hearts' flowers). This is actually not a bad stitch - once I get in the rhythm of the roses, they go pretty quick. Here's the overall:

And the detail shot is here:

And lastly, my main piece for the week was SQ Lady & Unicorn. My 3rd anniversary on this is next month, and I am finally closing in on getting the top row of pages completed!! I would really like to have them done during the next rotation, but I think it will take another month after that, as all that's left is confetti!! I don't think there's 10 stitches of the same color grouped anywhere on the remainder of this top row - I tried too hard to get through those this time around. So hopefully by the time the boys go back to school, I'll have finally scrolled down and started the next row! This time, I did well over 1000 stitches, and have well over 28000 done. In the detail & overall pictures, the black grid thread on the far right is the outside edge - that's all I have left! Here's the overall:

And then the detail of the last full & last partial page (orange grid thread marks pages):

Tonight, I get out MTM, and will try to get as much of Part 5 done as I can before we leave for the long holiday weekend. I know I can't take this with me - it's too much to even take were we going somewhere kid-free. I've been doing so good, getting a part done each time - but I think this will be my first 2-rotation part, as I am sure the 4 building sections will be, too :(

In other Chatelaine news, I signed up for the Desert Mandala, as my Mother's Day present. And now she's got one that is chock-full of beaded dragonflies, and fairies - though she has said she will offer a fairy alternative. I think that will be my birthday present to myself in November, as this one doesn't start until September. Since I'm collecting these damn Chatelaines like I used to collect TWs. In case you've missed it, you can see a preview here:
Because If I'm going down, I'm taking some of you with me :) Happy stitching this week to everyone!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another Monday Update

Well, one kid is now done with soccer for the spring - tryouts for fall are in a few weeks, I guess - not yet scheduled. We had a tournament this weekend, and it didn't go as well as we'd hoped, with a record of 1-1-1 for the weekend. The team we beat, we should have beaten by a lot more, but got a red card and only 2 goals. The team we lost to, we should never have lost to, we should have crushed them, but for whatever reason, we were tired. The game we tied, we should have/could have beaten them, but ended 0-0, after dominating but not being able to finish. At any rate, not exactly my favorite Mother's Day ever, but then again, it was 40 degrees warmer than last year's tourney on mother's Day, so I shouldn't complain :) The other kid has a tourney this coming weekend, then they are done until tryouts on 5/26. Hopefully, June and July will be relatively soccer-free, even if only for me :) :) :)

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Mother's Day yesterday. For my gift this year, I ordered Chatelaine's online 30, Desert Mandala :) Because everyone needs another Chatelaine. Like the Fairy one she hinted about on the Yuku board the other day - the one with dragonflies.... Desert starts in June, though I will only be collecting the parts, for now. I have plenty to keep me busy for some time, since Victorian Garden is waiting for Knotgarden to be completed, and TUscany is waiting for MTM to get done :) And not to mention the Anniversary Sampler that isn't even in the To-Do pile, just the stash, at the moment :)

Onto the stitching for last week. I am going to just link to the pics this week, instead of adding the photos here - I'm a little pressed for time today. First, things I worked on that don't have pictures: Lyne's Wedding Sampler saw a couple of hours, but the stitches I did are almost completely indiscernible from what was done before. I also worked on TW Medi Mini during lunch 1-2 days last week - last week was chaos, with an all-hands meeting one day, dentist appointments the next, running around getting band stuff or tournament stuff ready on others. I'm lucky I had time to eat, especially the day the damn cleaning woman THREW MY LUNCH OUT!!! I think some days I can definitely consider this a hostile work environment; but as I don't speak Korean, I may be wrong....

The main project for the week was my Long Dog Foursome reel mini piece. I fixed my flub from last month, actually double-checked the alphabet this time :) I got a few motifs done, but had another frog infestation that I haven't decided how to handle - frogging that is a PITA, and I don't know if I care that much. All in all, with late nights and barometer headaches, I only worked on this 3 nights last week, I think - not that much. Here's where I left it:
this pic is without the flash - with or without, I can't really get the fabric color right; it's between this and the other FR piece with the flash....

As it was what I consider Sampler Week, I also re-started AD Samplar 4 Saisons. I really, really hated the cheap linen I bought to start, but as I was so impatient to get those first stitches in, I thought I could live with it. Turns out, I couldn't. Because it was crappy 32ct, I had to use 2 strands to 1) see it, and 2) to keep the threads on top of the (one just slid around too much, 2 seemed to offer up a little resistance). So I decided, when we got our weensy tax refund, to buy a piece of Vikki's 35ct linen to start over, using 1 strand, which I imagined was much more the look I was going for. So I did the restart one night last week, and took that to the hotel for the tourney Saturday night and got past where I was on the original start - and am much, much happier with it than the original. It is here:
If you look at the other one, it is a considerably different look; I wanted it to be subtle, and the two strands, though gorgeous if that was the only color in this thing, was just a lot stronger than I was going for. This single-strand is exactly what I have envisioned. Or is, until I get to the other colors :)

Here and there over the week, I also continued working on Moonlit Orchid, the 2nd RR piece I am preparing. More white-on-white border, which, after being at the games Saturday, I see is going to need a good washing before any of the bands get added to it :( And I was trying to be so careful with it, but I guess my car is dirtier than you would think, if the weird spots on the white thread are any indication.... here it is:
This is about 2/3 down the total length, and the bottom edge is straight across, not scalloped like the top (though the model pic shows a bellpull, too, with the scallop downwards; I assume I'll frame it upwards, as it'll go with Lavender Path). this one's skinnier than Lavender, too - it's only about 3 1/2" wide!

And last night, after an exhaustive day soccering and coming home after a night of poor hotel sleep and going to the store, doing laundry, unpacking, I was too tired to even attempt some more stitches on Foursome, so I pulled out the old Chat Noir. I only got about 100 stitches in, as we were also watching Quantum of Solace, and I had to watch it instead of concentrate on my stitching. Basically I filled in some holes. And as I am getting more of the symbols used in the sun behind his head, I think the weird 680 from last time might not stick out so much when I get further along - whew! Here he is:

This week is Lady & Unicorn's turn again. We'll see how that goes - this week has got to be quieter than last, and this weekend's tourney is at our home field (first home tourney in over 10 years), so hopefully the whole weekend won't be shot. Next week's rotation may get whacked a bit, as it's supposed to be MTM, but we are off to Ohio/Kentucky over Memorial Day weekend, and there's no way that's a portable thing - I want to devote a whole week to Part 5. maybe I'll work it until we leave, then make up some time the day after we get back. I don't know... Too many choices, not enough time!!!

Monday, May 04, 2009

A May Update

I cannot believe it is May already!! The year is almost half-over already, and the boys only have 3 weeks of school left! I am looking forward to Memorial Day Weekend, as we are going up to KY/OH to see family - not looking forward to the drive, especially with the goofy dog along (you know, the one that likes to fart in enclosed spaces) (in the back with two boys of a similar nature), but we haven't been up in a while, so it's time. And DH & Little Kid's tryouts the afternoon we are coming back - that ought to be fun, for them; I assume I'll have to come home and go to the store and start laundry :( Vacation - not always worth the trouble...

Again, I will attempt to make all the pictures here clickable for the original, zoomable pics....

Well, another week of many projects. Where to start? Well, let's see; since it looks like my first RR piece might be done before we run out of people, I have started a second band sampler, another by Patricia Ann Designs, Moonlit Orchid. This one has a border around it, all done in white perle, so I took it to practice last Wednesday and started it. Then frogged out all I'd done, since I didn't actually read the entire paragraph of directions (hey, I'm impatient - so?) and started again. Somehow, it was easier the second time... I have gotten a bit further than this picture shows, as I worked on it at yesterday's game a little bit:
Also, I got a little progress in during 3 lunches last week on TW's Medieval Miniature - you might actually be able to tell what it is now:

And you might have already seen the new album I started, for Lyne's Wedding Sampler; Lyne asked me if I would be willing to finish this up for her, to which I said sure, I'll take a crack at it :) Because I need 1 more WIP :) But actually, it's kind of neat, because wedding & birth samplers just don't really appeal to me, but this one really is pretty; it's different. I am going to save this alphabet used, too, for other things - I really like the script Stoney Creek used to put in the Corinthians verse. I got it Saturday, and put a few hours in it Saturday & Sunday - in this picture, it's the cluster of roses below the blue ribbon, where I picked up from Lyne - and with leaves still to go below those: Saturday, after working on Lyne's piece for a bit, I really felt like getting Kaleidoscope out, so I did. I completed not one, but two squares! A whole other 1/8th! I only need two more to be half-done! I really should get it out more, since it really is pretty quick :) We'll see...

And lastly, the main focus piece of the week was Knotgarden. I thought for sure I'd get that whole right side done this week, but after 2 nights working on the topiary trees in 3 of the pots, I kind of ran out of steam when I got to the gates - though I did remember to go add that missing stitch from last time. I didn't even get to the top 3 topiaries, or the other half of the gate, though I did get one of the birds done :) The black DMC, as many know, can look thinner than other colors, and I'm okay with that on most things, but I wanted the blackbirds to be really black, so after I got all the Xs in, I ran a single black thread, backstitching, between the rows. He's pretty solid now :)
A Detail shot is here.

And that's all, I think :)

This week, the main piece will be that small Long Dog/Foursome Reel piece - first thing tonight, I'll go redo the alphabet I hosed last time, hopefully covering up where I frogged that over-1!! I will try my very best to be more careful this time, though there's no more words in the thing (I think), so I should be good :) And who knows what else I'll work on? I like to call this Sampler Week, so I may also do that AD Samplar 4 Saisons restart on better linen. I have a tournament this weekend, including a necessary overnight in a hotel, so that will cut into my time - I'll have to think about what I take with to work on in the dingy room. Will even have to wait to get a forecast later in the week to see if it's going to rain (it wouldn't be a tournament if the weather was nice, after all). I have practice again Wednesday, so I'll do more border on Moonlit Orchid - I don't plan to do any of the bands themselves, just the border. Unless I get overly ambitious, which, you know, is unlike me :) Until next week, happy stitching, everyone!!

Friday, May 01, 2009

The First Bearded Iris of 2009

This was all fluffed out by the time I got home from work yesterday :) I've seen others bloomed for at least a week, and mine are often a bit later than others (mine aren't as protected from the elements as others), so I expect in the next coupel of weeks, I'll have a bunch, while the Dutchies are peak right now. The beards will probably be done mid-May depending on if they get no rain, or too much (which I would doubt this year).

The one that is taht very deep purple, almost black, will be up by Sunday, I bet, and I assume I'll have a swarm of Edith Wolfords - I really gotta split tubers this August.

This on was not-quite-completely open yesterday, but it was when I left this morning:
I don't know if I'll be able to get a good picture of this, or not - we are supposed to have storms roll through, so we'll be overcast most of the weekend, I'm sure. But at any rate, the inside of the petals on this one appear pink at first glance, just like this picture. But on closer inspection, it looks like there's a very fine dusting of gold powder - not pollen, but actual metallic glittery stuff. It's micro, and you can only get a hint of it in the right light, and I wasn't able to get a pic of it last year, either. But I will keep trying - even if I don't like pink, I'll make an exception in this case, because it's an iris :) Happy weekend, everyone!