Monday, August 30, 2010

The Last Update of August

Finally, getting to MY time of year :) As a harbinger of the great weather to come, it was a crisp 70 this morning when I got in my car - haven't seen (or felt, actually) a 70 since what, April? Nice... An added benefit of this fall is NOT participating in the fair this year - there's a lot of stress off my plate, though I will miss the Big Cash Prizes (that don't cover the gas to go claim) :) :) :) Maybe we'll go to the more-local fair this year just to walk around and eat bad fried food!

This week, I have tournament check-in. This is my Big Kid's last Atlanta Cup tournament, and his 6th? 7th? I know he's done a group of them, even won it one year with the Sharks. Of course, the tourney is causing me to miss my nephew's wedding and the memorial service for my mother's late husband, all happening this week - but I'm The Manager, and I don't trust anyone else to do the job, do I? Besides, it's his last one... Heck, he might even come to appreciate it one day...

As for stitching last week, I made some progress, mostly forward.I kept Jackie's Summer Dragon for another week, and slaved over it for 3 days - and barely made a dent. I will know when I get to mine that those stone dragons in the border are time consuming as hell - charted the same on all of the seasonal dragons. Maybe I'll get my Autumn out soon and work over to get that first set done & out of the way... Here's how Summer looked when I returned him Saturday:

At Monday Night Stitch In at the Stitch Store, I worked on Tanglewood again - I got another branch outlined and almost filled in. I guess Terrie isn't having night stitch ins anymore, so maybe I will just keep Tanglewood as my Monday night project anyway :) It's really been seeing great progress that way.

During lunch over the week - when I was finally recovered from the food poisoning enough to be able to eat lunch - I worked some more on Secret Garden, working on the backstitch of the large center motif. Would like to get that filled in this week :) We'll see.

Saturday, my PINS (Purple Iris Needlework Society) meeting for August was held, and a good time was had by all, even though some rude people had the NERVE to sit in our are to eat :) I don't think we rushed them out of there. While there, I worked on Mary Wigham again - that squirrel was half-finished from last time, and feeling neglected, so I finished him up, and gave him a purple turtle for a companion. LOVE the purple turtle - HDF Old Maid of the Aubergine - GREAT color. I'm trying to think if it's one of the final choices for Halloween Quaker...?

Speaking of Halloween (which I am TOTALLY ready for), my Halloween ornie finish from last week is now a pinkeep:

And the back:


MTM Town 4 is DONE!!!! It was a long time, a really long time, in the making, but dammit, I got it done at 10:00 on the dot last night!!!! I even ironed it for it's picture (since it's been wadded up in the Qs for weeks). Now all that is left is those 4 corners, but I am going to put it up for just a bit, work on something else for a while. Here's the overall:

And just Town 4, which I assume is modeled on Amsterdam (looks like Amsterdam to me):

This week, I will put stitches into Nancy's RR, M Designs Snowflake - assuming I can see on that gorgeous dark PTP Gothic :) Then I may work on World Tree - it wants to go to Nancy's house sometime this fall. I may work on Celtic Banner, too - I saw one in an entirely different color scheme on the HDF board, so it's been whimpering from its drawer... Looking forward to this long holiday weekend, even with all the games - playing at home will be nice. I just need time off when I'm NOT sick - and no one else is there, except the goofy-ass dogs and cats. Yeah, that other cat appears to be staying - she likes us :) Happy stitching to everyone!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sam & Ella - A Vaudeville Update

Or, actually, salmonella, doing a song & dance in my system! As in, I am home today with some lovely food poisoning!! Because we ate on the road all weekend, going back & forth to the first tournament of the season, and I think I picked up some not-quite-kosher carnitas at a Taco Hell yesterday. If you are familiar with Piqua, OH, we stopped in it's GA equivalent not once this weekend, but twice - I even said we were tempting fate eating in that town twice, and I am the only one paying the price. Yay me. Am I becoming more susceptible to this, or am I just coming into contact with it more? My fault, I failed to look for their report card when we walked in - it wasn't top of my to do list. Blech....

(yes, only in Georgia do we advertise a plastic shithouse with the nation's flag - I love living in the South, I really do)
Anyway, soccer tournament #1 outta the way - and it consumed my entire week, being at the park all night Tuesday, trying to get stuff together, spending all Thursday night making sure I had everything ready for check-in, spending Friday night trying to get to check-in, in the rain, then all weekend driving around in horrible weather all Saturday, when we got 3 1/2" of rain at the house, and who knows how much elsewhere. Got home about 8:30 Saturday night, had to go figure out what schedules had changed because of field closures, etc. Being The Manager, of course I had to let everyone know - so the new folks are going to have to figure out that I communicate by e-mail - I sure as hell am not calling 17 different families, especially those that don't habla. Repeat after me: Check Your E-mail Before You Walk Out The Door - especially now that I have an iphone :) :) And the kid who lives in the town we played in this weekend was LATE! AAAGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!

So anyway, as you might guess from the description of my week above, I did very little stitching - I did more at work during lunch than I did at home. So, MTM didn't get any further - it didn't even end up in the floor stand at all. I was trying to help Jackie C. get her PA Summer Dragon closer to its deadline - and got a whole 2 hours on it, most of that yesterday after I got back from the store and had a couple of loads of laundry done. So, I guess I was more like anti-help.I'm going to take him back to her tonight - if I can get the flip-flopping stomach to calm down long enough to make the 10-minute drive - and she can "thank" me then. I had such high hopes for getting a huge jump on the border - and I just couldn't get to it. Here's what it looks like right this minute - and I should have taken a picture with the chart, so you could see what tiny little bit of that bottom border is my work...

The entire dragon and the crystal it is perched on is Jackie's work; this is a wedding present for a friend of hers. Do you suppose they'd postpone the wedding a week, so I could work on it more? Nah, I didn't think so, either. Considering the whole thing still needs metallics and then backstitching... I hope Jackie's needles smoke this week and next! I feel awful not having time to get to it :( And now I have the BIG tournament to get ready for, Atlanta Cup, which is preventing me from going back to OH for my nephew's wedding, my mother's late husband's memorial service, and well, some much-needed R&R. Because I love soccer. NOT! Hope that kid appreciates it all one day... Beanie says:

No More Soccer
(or Taco Hell)

I was able to get all of the thistles done on Tanglewood, and do more leaves, between Monday night stitch in and lunch during the week (when I wasn't updating rosters and filling out state forms, yadda yadda yadda). I'm sad the thistles are done - those will have to make an appearance on something else, like a scissor fob or something. Now - onward & upward!

And I also got one more band done on Secret Garden, this one with over-1 dragonflies!!! I had to outline the dragonfly wings, though - the 318 (?) over-1 totally melded into the Star Sapphire fabric and disappeared, so I bs'd the wings with the same color as the bodies. Came out okay! And the Tied Rice stitch flowers were fun - I like that stitch.

And sadly, that's it for the week - and I can't even blame it on a slump :( I am just glad I didn't have to drive all over ATL to pick up uniforms  - that would have just been the straw that broke the iced cake's back (icing/cake, straw/camel - geddit? I do love to mix my metaphors - or maybe I feel worse than I think I do...?). I really wish I'd been of more help on Jackie's piece - if I thought I'd get more done, I'd keep it another week, but then she'd lose that time to actually be productive, so I'll admit defeat and try to move on. I'd like to finish that 4th town this week - World Tree would like some time, and Nancy's RR arrived - M Designs Snowflake - white silk on PTP Gothic :) So who knows what I will have time to work on - hopefully the majority of the work for the next tournament is already done - once I again update the state roster with the uniform numbers we actually GOT (instead of the ones we assigned/asked for). I am so glad this is the last year I need to Manage - herding cats is easier... really. Happy whatever this week - I'm not willing to commit beyond that right now :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mid-August Already? An Update

Everyone survived the first week of school. Now to get the stuff together for this weekend's season-opening tournament - all I need is TIME!!! So with that, I'll jump right into it :)
(all pics are clickable for larger view)

The first stitching up date is a small one on Secret Garden - I only got one small band done, all eyelets, which seem to take a lot longer than the end result would lead you to believe...

I'm still wondering if all of these DMC Variations will pull together when I get the whole thing done; obviously it was charted for simpler colors, so I'm hoping they won't stick out when it's all said & done....

Second, a FINISH!!!! The Halloween ornie from JCS that I started a couple of weeks ago is done! It will be a pinkeep soon - I found the backing material I want at HL the other day - but didn't get it, since that's not what I was there for. And I am going to go to the quilt shop that is behind the Stitch Store and see what they have for pins, though I may make my own again.

Thirdly, my meager update on MTM - no, I did NOT finish the 4th town yet - but I'm down to the last 2 buildings, and all of the 4-side repeats are now DONE!!! I will continue on it, as time permits this week, and as soon as this town gets done, I'm putting it up for a bit.

And lastly, Natalie's Round Robin - Second Chances. I got the huge top-right motif done - and it took ALL WEEK! That thing was huge - but look at it - it's Carrie's Wild Orchid. I love this color! I already have some in the stash :)

So that is as far as I'm going to get to go on that - it's going to Jodie today :) She'll have fun with it, if she can keep Emily from absconding with it :)

This week will be very busy. I am going to Stitch In tonight - I need to. And I have to get soccer stuff together, as I have tourney check-in on Friday, tourney in Athens all weekend - hopefully the weather will cooperate (overcast, not stormy would be great). I'll keep MTM out however long it takes me to finish Town 4, and then I don't know what I'll work on. Jackie C. from the Stitch Store has a PA Dragon that I'm going to try to help her meet a deadline on, so I'll get that tonight, I assume. That might be what I work on, until I get my next RR piece, something from Nancy :) Happy stitching this week to everyone!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Mama Needs a New Pair of Shoes - an Update

Since school starts today for my kids, we went out to get Little Kid a new pair of shoes over the weekend. So of course I came home with a pair, too, though I really did NOT need another pair of tennis shoes, since my good black dress shoes need replaced (holes in both leather soles). Oh well, I have about a month or so before I'll be back to wearing those regularly again - and so long as it's not raining when I wear them, I don't notice the holes, yet :) Love my leather-soled shoes, but wow I go through them...

This is the first day of my Big Kid's last year of high school. How did it go so fast? And this is my Little Kid's last year of middle school, he'll be in high school next year. Wow, time flies. They used to be so cute...

In other news, we seem to have acquired another cat, though it's SUPPOSED to be temporary. She's supposedly staying there long enough to become big enough to live outside. Though Dummy thinks she's his cat, and everyone except Beanie plays with her... She is named Kitty - how original. I suggested Gato Tri Colore, but I guess that didn't go over well - but why?

On to the stitching...

Lots of projects this week, in between open house, first Parent meeting for the soccer team this week (none of the new parents showed up - so I won't know who to hound for fees every month. I reallllyyy hate being a manager), and stitch in on Monday, kid doctor appointment Thursday, and working all day Saturday - I need a couple of days off, I am worn out. So, how to order them? I guess in the order they occur to me :)

First: Tanglewood, updated at Monday night's stitch in at the Stitch Store. I continued the bottom half, over to the right. Got the trunk filled in & expanded, did another thistle :) I love those thistles!

I also picked up the Sept/Oct issue of Just Cross Stitch - you know, the Halloween one :) And wouldn't you know it, I started one of the Halloween ornies Thursday - I stopped in the Stitch Store after the kid's doctor appointment and picked up the JABCO candy corns I needed, and when I got home, found another piece of Vikki's linen, and started. This is how far I am so far - I think it'll be another pinkeep when it's done:

And I tried to work on MTM some more, in amongst all the running around, hoping to get Town 4 done; no such luck, but I did complete a couple of buildings. I am wondering if I need to put it up for a bit? Maybe get this town done, then put it up for a bit before starting the corners. I don't know.

I only had a few minutes to stitch the night I got home from the parent meeting at the soccer park (I drove 112 miles that day - to/from work, to/from park), so I got Secret Garden out and did the Scotch Stitch band in another DMC Variaton. I got the next line of verse in between lunch & a conference call.

And I decided what way to go on Natalie's RR - I'm doing that BIG motif in the upper right corner, and hope to get it done this week, as they need to ship next week. It was soooo hot in the house yesterday, we ate out on the deck; it was too hot to stitch much, so I didn't get far on the motif, not even a quarter done. Hopefully it'll be cooler a couple of days this week - I am ready for October in the worst way!!

And if you look here, you can see a picture of The Inspector.

And that's it for the week, I think. This week, keep going on Natalie's piece, MTM, the Halloween ornie (those bs branches are a PITA), and who knows what else? Or maybe none of it. I am not going to stitch in tonight - I know I'll have pounds of paperwork to fill out tonight for school stuff (knew I shoulda photocopied last year's stuff - years ago). The house is in serious need of some cleaning, but I don't know where to start, so if I wait a couple more weeks, we'll be in soccer season, so, oops, too late again :)

I have also been photo-chronicling the life of the garden spider - that big one is now firmly rooted by the front porch, so she's been getting as much attention as the other animals in the house. You can see lots of pictures, if you LIKE spider pictures, here. There's otehr outside stuff in there, too, so you get a break between creepy crawlies. But you gotta go look at the spider pics at the bottom of that album - they came out AWESOME!

Anyway, happy stitching everyone!!!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Crunch Time - An Update

School starts in T-minus 1 week! Not ready to have to get the grouches up in the morning, not looking forward to having to do laundry again, the dogs will HATE not having them there (even if they do completely ignore them all day), but I am ready for them to be on a schedule! And to stop eating everything in the house 2 days after I go to the store :)

Soccer starts this week - camp begins tonight. Not ready for it, either - haven't had time to go in and do much of anything managerial yet, but need to get on it, as we have a tournament next weekend. Blah - I'm over it... But it'll be my Big Kid's last season - as a Youth, anyway :( :(

On to the stitching - another week of bits & pieces, but including another small finish!!! And that finish is Ink Spot #11 from Ink Circles! These are colors I so would not ordinarily use - had to go buy one of them, actually - but I love them together :) Much brighter than my norm. I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet - it might become a needlebook or something...

At Monday night's stitch in at the Stitch Store, I worked on both Tanglewood and Secret Garden. First, Tanglewood. I moved to the right on the bottom of the tree - I was going to work on the next branch up, but the whole thing wouldn't fit in the only Qsnap I had with me, and I hate moving the damn things when I have limited time, so I opted to work a different area. I might continue that area tonight, though I do already have bigger Qs packed in my bag :)

And speaking of Ink Circles, as there seems to be a LOT of IC WIPs lately - have you seen the new SYHO pieces from Tracy? Yep, I'm all over those! Remind me in a few months to come fix that link when she changes her home page, eh? :)

Secret Garden - got the next couple of bands done, including the over-1 Ladybug (called a ladybird on the chart, but that's not what we call them, so you get the idea :) The specialty stitch bands, once I figure them out, are pretty quick; Patricia Ann does include really great diagrams. That purpley-blue band is called Rapid Stitch - don't recall ever doing it before, but it was, as the name implies, pretty quick :) It's done in another of the DMC Variations I'm randomly subbing in :)

And then we have MTM, which did not get very much attention at all - had too much stuff going on during the week last week, so I just barely got the Jessicas put into the middle building, and then the next 2 building each partway done. Hopefully this week, between soccer stuff and getting ready for school, I'll get this town finished up.... And yes, the picture is it still wadded up in the Qs - I got the area needed perfectly centered this time, so I wasn't willing to hose that up just to take a bigger picture :)

And that's it. This week, continuing on MTM, Tanglewood, and maybe Secret Garden. I have this week & next before it's time to ship out my RR again, so I need to decide what my plan of attack is on Natalie's - I want to do a big motif - but I also want to do lots of small ones, so I can play with more colors. I can't do both in the time I have, so... decisions, decisions. Check back next week to see if I was able to make a decision - you just never know around here :) Happy stitching, everyone!