Thursday, December 30, 2010

Under the Wire - Year-End Finishing

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since I posted anything - I had the damn flu the week before Christmas (first time in 35 years - and for the record, it sucked), so I lost a whole week of everything - no work, no stitching, no nothing. AND I wasn't done Christmas-ing, so was forced to go out on Christmas Eve to finish, and half-ass wrapped everything. But Christmas was had, and boys are happy for the time being. I even have the Christmas stuff down and put away already - that was when I was finally feeling more human day before yesterday.

So, Christmas Day, I felt well enough to pick up a needle, and on Boxing Day, I finished Christmas Mandala!! And now I am working on Father Winter again, hoping to get it done shortly.

The boys and I went out yesterday - gift cards were burning holes in our pockets, so off to Best Buy for even more stuff - I came home with CDs and a laptop cooling stand, and the Big Kid came home with a pile of zombie flicks, because George A. Romero is still paying his defense bill.... Little Kid is full-on geek now - he has WoW discs, and his own account, to go with his new big-ass Tb computer :) No more sharing with his brother.

So as soon as they got their BB fix, and then I got a Bahama Breeze fix, I drug them to JoAnn's, looking for fabric for the Christmas Mandala - I found a couple at HL that just didn't get it - and Natalie said she got her Perfect Fabric at JoAnn's, so I made the drive to go see what I could see. Surprisingly enough, I found MORE of the Perfect Fabric, so yes, I copied Natalie's almost EXACTLY :) Thanks for the inspiration, Natalie - it came out GREAT, if I do say so myself :)

And today, I spent all afternoon stretching 4 pieces for frames. I ordered 3 new ones, for Boo! Club, 6 Bats & A Witches Hat, and BoINK, and had one from last years still sitting here, needing done, for my RR finish, Lavender Path.

The one for BoINK came with the mats reversed, so I cannot finish this one up yet - I have the corrected ones coming, and when it gets here, I will then decide which one I like better; it's not bad now, but not what I pictured, so I definitely want to see what I had planned on getting. Here it is without glass (picking it up tomorrow at HL):

Edited to add: THIS IS THE CORRECTED MATTING, now appearing as I had envisioned. THIS ONE is the keeper :) And yes, I did clean the glass after I took this picture, and no, I didn't take the glass out before I took the new picture because it was a bitch to get clean the first time....

And here is 6 Bats - this came out perfect (aside from my stretching - I just couldn't obsess over it any more, which is why I should pay someone exorbitant amounts of money to do this for me):

And Lavender Path - I am not going to be able to get glass into this metal frame, so may be looking for a piece of Mylar or something, or this will be ruined in short order, here in the house of smoke & animals...:

And finally, Boo! Club, again in a metal frame, but this one's deeper than the one LP is in, so glass should fit, HOPEFULLY without ripping the damn buttons off, again :(

I think I went through about 300 straight pins today, and considering how many I took out & put back in, multiple times... my fingers are so sore :( AND I used my needlenose pliers half the time...

I only have one more thing to finish - my little IC Ink Spot will be made into a needlebook tomorrow, after I get back from HL with glass, and a piece of felt. I don't have any white felt here - how can that be? So that'll be my last finish for 2010.

Not quite the pile of big finishes I had envisioned for this year (Medieval Town & Knotgarden were supposed to be done - but thanks to my summer slump, they didn't happen). That's what I get for finishing two TWs last year - I set the bar wayyy too high for myself :) Of course, only one of those is framed....

Okay, off to finish eating tonight's lasagna dinner (no picture, I was too hungry to take the time :) ) and then to stitch - if I can stand to hold a needle!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Crapfest 2010

I love having the purchasing people in my hallway in late December - look what one of our vendors sent us! Cheryl & Co. Cookies - mmmmm! We obviously paid their bill :)

NO, I did not make those holes - I didn't even know this stuff was there until I was leaving my office to go to lunch. I do plan to do some damage before I leave today, though... :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

F%$#ing Cold - An Update

Yes, it is COLD. Yes, I know I was just whinging not too long ago about the insufferable heat, and now I'm whinging about the cold. Here's some stats for temps, right now, in places I have lived in the world:
Dayton, OH - 19 F
Ipswich, UK - 36 F
Clovis, NM - 34 F
Rapid City, SD - 22 F
N. Georgia - 21 F

You know what it is in Phoenix right now? 52 F! Ipswich is freaking warmer than it is here; after freezing my ass off there for two years, it physically pains me to say that :) Yeah, AZ is looking better and better, though Flagstaff is chilly this morning, too (higher elevation). South Dakota is warmer than here (by one degree)? WTH? I want my sunshiney, 60-70 degree Christmas, dammit.... How am I supposed to finish shopping if I have to WEAR MY COAT?

Ahem... Hey, we've had flurries ever since Saturday! That makes me tired of it, too, so :b~~~~~ I did move here on purpose, to get away from that white stuff...

Okay, so, moving on. I HAVE A FINISH! I took Secret Garden out at my PINS get together Saturday - the first one I've been to since August, btw, thanks to the never-ending soccer. I got 3 bands done there, and only had the last one left - so I finished it up as soon as I got home (and got feeling back - it was freaking COLD in Loretta's, and my car was warm, by the time I got home). Here's the bottom half:

And then overall - I think my random DMC Variations choices worked out pretty good, though I was surprised to discover I'd used one of them twice. Oh well, not ripping it out now :)

And then, the only other thing I had time to work on this week was the Chatelaine Christmas Mandala, which is now half done! I was just dying to put beads on something earlier in the week, so I did the ones in the middle, then got an inner corner done and added beads, then the outer corner, etc. I would like to have this stitched by Christmas, so I can finish it into a flatfold during my time off - if I can manage to get into Hobby Lobby for fabric between now & then, too :)

So that's it for the week. I have not wrapped a single thing - though, in my defense, almost none of it is here yet, so I see me pulling my hair out next week, trying to get it all done. Still have a good bit of shopping to do - not looking forward to that - I've gotten everything online that I think I can, so now I actually have to go INTO stores :( AND I might even get some stuff shipped out in time to make it for Christmas - if any of it actually gets to me this week. At least I am NOT trying to get a team to FL this year - which is why I'm not too worried about the rest - if it happens, it happens; if not, well, Christmas will be late :) I had enough stress this time last year to last me for a decade - not doing it this year...

So, Happy Stitching to everyone, stay warm, and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Sound of Silence - an Update

Not the Simon & Garfunkel kind, but the kind that 4 new tires gets you!!! FINALLY got rid of those crappy Goodyears, and got Kumhos - and my ride has ZERO road noise; it's awesome! For the record, in case I have to have this discussion again in a few years, I will NEVER buy another Goodyear product, so help me.

And if I just whetted your appetite for Simon & Garfunkel, a couple of my all-time favorites, here you go:

Sounds of Silence, Monterey Pop Festival, 1967 (good year :) )
And I just gotta ask - does too much dope make your hair go all Garfunkel-y?

Okay, enough of that. In other local news, it is FREAKING COLD here - because it's tournament season, so of course, we're 20 degrees below normal. I saw a FLURRY yesterday while freezing my ass off at the game :( WTH? Ummm, the weather guy somewhere said this is supposed to be a warm, dry winter here (so we can all be upset over the drought some more); well, bring it on... The tournament this weekend was a slight disappointment; we've got so many injuries, we can barely field a team, though our broken clavicle was cleared to play - and couldn't because the cold was really making him hurt. Yesterday, our main goalkeeper was our only sub, if that tells you anything. And oh, let me tell you about putting 22 17-18 yos on a small field - let the testosterone free to wreak havoc! My son's large mouth garnered him a yellow card, but at least he didn't get a red like others who were involved in the brawl. Though my kid said "damn", and the kid on the opposing team who was letting fly the F-bombs during the altercation didn't even get a talking to. Fortunately (or unfortunately), we have another tourney this weekend - if anyone's physically able to play. We did have at least one college coach out this weekend, though I know we won't meet the entry criteria to a local Christian college...

NOW, onto the stitching bits...

Still in the Christmas mood, strangely enough. I'm waiting for the Bah Humbugs to show up, and they haven't really. Shopping online helps - going to the maul may change that :( Anyway, if I can stop rambling for a minute, I can tell you that I kept Father Winter out all week, through Saturday night, and have the first page completed, except the snowflakes, which of course will be beads on my version :) I need to backstitch the legs for the bird on his hand, too, before it teeters off...

And then, when I got home yesterday and got thawed out, I worked on the Chatelaine freebie Christmas Mandala some more, got one of the 4 trees done and began a corner & the border. IF I could count, I would have gotten a little further - but I was still suffering from brain freeze or something last night. Or maybe my cocktail had a smidge too much vodka while I was making dinner; I was cold, you see. Anyway, back to rights now, and I'll keep it out for a while.

And then, during lunch, I kept working on Secret Garden; I didn't think this particular band would take so long, but it took me all week. The next 3 should go quickly, then the last couple will take more than a couple of lunches. But it will be done soon, one way or another...

And that's it. As for this week, who knows? Christmas Mandala and whatever else hollers at me, I guess, in between getting this next tourney going, and I guess I need to do more shopping - at Amazon :) Again, not making any specific plans, since I haven't been sticking to them lately :) As AR as I am, that would normally bother me, but I guess I just can't be arsed to be AR lately - which may or may not be an oxymoron :) It's either liberating, or the form of my dementia... Anyway, Happy Stitching this week to everyone, and 23 more shopping days!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Well, That's Over - an Update

Who knew 4 1/2 people could pick a 22lb turkey clean? I'd hate to see it if I actually had to feed a bunch of people - I can't get a much bigger turkey and get it into and out of the oven.... The ham is gone, too, as is the green bean casserole, though there is still sweet potato casserole left, since I'm the only one who eats that. I see a mass emptying of the fridge tonight or tomorrow. Oh, yeah, the dogs are full, too. The cats didn't seem to be around for dinner...?

My MIL was able to spend Thanksgiving with us (she's the 1/2 above); she has a new friend:

I forced myself to get the Christmas stuff out & up on Friday - I made the boys hang the ornaments on the tree, and they did a pretty good job! NOW, to get the dogs to not knock it over (it's in front of THEIR window) and to keep that new cat out of it :( And hopefully the Santas that sit on the floor will be left alone, too, though MissMatch doesn't understand why her table napping spot is completely covered with crap now. She did manage to get UNDER the tree skirt and has that all hosed up already. Damn cat.

I got a Birthday card from Carolyn last week; it contained 3 gorgeous flosses from the Victorian Motto Shoppe on ebay. I love their floss, and I can't believe how much you get from them! Just gorgeous colors, and my 3 personalized for me:

As for stitching over the past week, I continued to work on the Chatelaine Christmas mandala on Monday & Tuesday while we watched the finale of DWTS (and thank god Bristol came in THIRD - I was going to defect if she'd won, since, you know, she can't DANCE). Then I finished the topiaries on Wednesday, after the apple pie came out of the oven:

And then I started another Christmas design, one I've had in a binder forever. I had that piece of green fabric out from m y floss toss for the mandala, and decided I wanted to find something for it. As soon as I opened the Christmas binder, it was the first thing in there :) I have no idea where this pattern came from, other than a magazine - not even sure it was mine, or one I inherited? I do know it's designed by Sandi Gore Evans, but can't find it online anywhere, so this may be the only pub it was ever in. I worked on it all weekend, and have it about 1/4 done, maybe a bit more :)

I also worked on Secret Garden a bit during lunch a couple of days last week - I love short weeks :) I got 2 more bands done. I would like to get this done this week or next, if at all possible, though I may be spending lunchtime getting tournament stuff done....

And that's it - didn't work on my RR, on L&U, or on Lyne's wedding sampler - but the boys and I did go see the new Harry Potter movie, which was excellent; I wondered where they would break it into Part 1 & Part 2... Now I wonder how they are going to market the DVDs - wait until the 2nd one comes out in the summer, then package them both in time for Christmas '11? Not sure I can wait that long. Anyway, as for this week's stitching plans - I'm not making any plans. I'll work on something, but who knows what? I don't have much to choose from LOL Happy stitching this week everyone - and get that shopping done! Says she who hasn't even started yet :(

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey Day!

Here are some pictures I stole from various sources on that there interweb thingy - you, too, can google "thanksgiving images" and find some :)

Of course, if you saw my weekly update...

... you know I'm not into the whole...

... Indians helping the Pilgrims survive the winter myth...

... but some of the images we hold for the holiday...

... are just too good to let go of entirely.

Except maybe this one. Umm, I haven't actually watched the big Macy's parade for many years - has it really changed that much? There are Pilgrims rolling in their graves.... (thanks, Longmire - how perfectly inappropriate :) )

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Pre-Turkey Update

Yes, it's that week again, where I make enough food for an army, and they are tired of leftovers by Friday afternoon. Having just recently finished reading Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick, I whole-heartedly believe we should rename the day to either Harvest & Football Day, or Apologize to a Native American Day :) Anyway, the cooking begins Wednesday, as soon as I can cut out of work, get home and get the pies going, and then the full crapapalooza on Thursday, with turkey, ham, sweet potato casserole (which my MIL is going to LOVE, since it's mostly sugar), and all the other stuff :) No cranberries, no one eats those here, except as juice, with vodka :)

I won't even talk about what comes the day after it, though I do ALSO have 2 tournaments to get ready for - because I don't have ANYTHING ELSE to do in December :(

As for stitching, I did a few things this week, including a new start, which I blame on, oh, several people, beginning with Natalie, because she brought her Christmas Mandala to MI last weekend, and it was AWESOME! So I decided to start it, too, after I went back & forth on a piece of fabric for it. I had a green one that was pretty darn close, but I thought the 502 & 503 would get lost, so I opted to go get a piece of white opalescent from the Stitch Store Saturday, and I started it:

This is a freebie from Chatelaine Designs:

I was working on this while eagerly awaiting news of Lyne & Dylan welcoming their first child into the world - William Michael arrived Saturday at 5:44 p.m.! Congrats to the Blodgett family!!!

During the week, I continued on Lady & Unicorn. I did get considerably more done than last week, and even though you can't TELL, I know I did. And I took a picture of the chart so you could see the blue highlighter :) IF I can just get this page done, the next one will be smoother - the Lady is on it, and her face, at least, is NOT That complicated (less than 75 symbols, I'm guessing :) ). Here's where I'll pick it up tonight (unless I decide to stick with the Christmas Mandala):

And the picture with the chart - look for the scattering of blue highlighter; 40 or so of those are from the week before, the rest from this past week.

I also got Secret Garden out for a conference call on Friday, and took it to my 13yo's last game for the season yesterday. The center motif is done, and two more bands are complete. 9 more bands to go, two or three of which are words, and this will be done. Would like to get it done - my travel bag is getting ridiculous...

So, this week, 3 days at work, then Thursday, cooking, eating, stitching (and being drug around by at least one dog, I'm sure) are the order of the day. I guess I don't even care if they watch Throwball. Then Friday is Tree Day - don't think I'm going to bother with any shopping, since it was generally a waste of time & energy last year. I've already begged to keep Jodie's RR a little longer than our December ship date so I can put more time into it, and I need to work on Lyne's Wedding Sampler (since the baby will be 5 by the time it's done, at this rate). No specific plans, just whatever :) Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US, and Happy Stitching to everyone!

The ABCs of Me - Likewise Stolen from Various Sources

A - Age: Still not 45
B - Bed size: Queen
C - Chore you hate: Cleaning the boys' bathroom :(

D - Dog's name: Lucy Mae & DumbChuck (a.k.a. Auggie)

E - Essential start your day item(s): Shower, then tripping over assorted animals to get the heart rate going

F - Favorite color: Deep Purple

G - Gold or Silver: Either - depends on what I am wearing

H - Height: 5' 5"
I - Instruments you play: None - the only musical bones in my body are in my ears :( I WISH I could play any stringed instrument - violin, guitar, cello...

J - Job: Engineering Change Analyst & DBA by day, Head Cook & Bottle washer by night

K - Kids: Would trade them for what's behind door #2

L - Living Arrangements: Too many males, too many animals, too little space

M - Music you love: ANYTHING but Country (and Johnny Cash doesn't count)

N - Nicknames: None that I KNOW about, since my dad stopped calling me Charlie when I was little

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: None

P - Pet Peeve: Only one? Ummm, pictures hanging slightly crooked.

Q - Quote from a movie: "You throw like a GIRL" - The Sandlot

R - Right or left handed: Right
S - Siblings: 2 sisters, 1 brother (dec.)

T - Time you wake up: 6:15am M-F; 9-12 S-S

U - Underwear: Yes
V - Vegetable you dislike: Brussel sprouts are the spawn of Satan, and Lima Beans are their evil minions

W - Workout Style: Jumping to conclusions, pulling miracles out of my nether regions, that kind of thing...

X - rays you've had: Hand - broke a finger in 3rd grade (thanks, Debbie), chest X-Rays every year I was in the AF.

Y - Yummy food you make: Apple pie!

Z - The best place to visit: The Beach, anywhere

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another Year Older - An Update

I am glad Multiply was broken when I was trying to post my Veteran's Day post - while traveling. Trying to do things from an iPhone is possible, but when things aren't working right, who knows where the breakdown is?

As you might've seen already, I was in Michigan this past weekend, and had a GREAT TIME - except it was way too short, with a smidge too much time in the actual traveling portion. We had unusually warm weather Thursday thru Saturday, sunny and up near 70, and we spent a quality afternoon in the Thread Mecca known as Stitching Bits & Bobs. Much cash was gone through - and I got 3 projects closer to kitted.

We had a great dinner Saturday night, and we shared the Birthday brownie & ice cream they brought for me - and then when we got back to the cottages, Stephanie & Natalie brought in the fantastic cake they got for me, and we all had cake & ice cream after we made a few scissor fobs :) There was virtually no stitching until after Saturday's dinner - Stephanie DID load her needle at one point, though :) We did show and tell, with finishes and what we'd bought at SB&B. I was given some wonderful gifts, including a bellpull from Paula, featuring some of Ink Circles' Celtic Beasties on a very cute Bat bellpull that had the TSA agent making Scooby Doo faces Sunday in Lansing.

I worked on Tanglewood Saturday night, got 3 whole lengths of thread into a branch:

But I did get both of my pinkeeps made, and was wowed by Natlie's finishes, a cube and her Chatelaine Christmas as a flatfold, as well as Nancy's ornaments.

And Sunday morning came wayyyy too early, and we all went our separate ways, though Carolyn and I got to hang out until she had to run for her plane back to NC :) They really MEANT 20 minutes... I, on the other hand, had lots of time to hang out in Detroit, and enjoyed a gyro both Thursday and Sunday, as well as picking up a new copy of SK The Stand, since Natalie & Lyne have/are reading it recently - guess I need to read it again, it's been a LONG time, and I don't have a copy any more.

In other news, the only thing I stitched before leaving for MI was Lady & Unicorn; yes it came out, and though I worked several hours on it, I didn't even get 50 stitches in.

This week, I'll keep L&U out, maybe get a bit more progress on it - I am sooo glad I stopped in confetti hell the last time I touched it, before the summer slump I had. This page I am working on is nothing but confetti - I got the only solid sections done already :( Other than that, no real plans. Thank you again to everyone for their birthday wishes!! Happy stitching this week to everyone! Next week - Turkey Day! Invite a Native American to dinner and apologize if you are of European descent... :)