Monday, September 27, 2010

Finally - Fall!

It's here, fall! Well, on the calendar, anyway, though since we've had that wet stuff falling from the sky the last couple of days, it has been cooler here - in the 70s. Looks like it's going to stay there for a few days, after these clouds clear out of here later today. The wet stuff, of course, hosed traffic this morning, so coupled with, oh MORNING, and MONDAY, I decided to not sit on the interstate, so sat on a surface street instead! Go me!

Well, this week's update will be relatively (for me) short - I only worked on 2 1/2 things, and the half, Secret Garden, is not photo-worthy, so only 2 that count :)

First, an update on Murky Manor - actually have part of the Manor now appearing :) That purple roof looks really cool - I think I chose the perfect fabric, based on that alone :)

It was hard to put this up yesterday, but I did, so I could then start Quaker Halloween! Because I haven't had enough 40ct lately, so thought I'd do more!

This is my own HDF conversion - hopefully this'll all pull together as I envisioned it....

And that's it. Weird, huh? I'll keep these two out this week, and I want to work on Nancy's Snowflake this week, too - you know, like i said last week. Don't know where all my time goes, I really don't. Laundry, dinner, being drug around by dogs? Oh, and playing with that new cat, MissMatch (so named because her eyes are different colors), who really does seem to be Booger reincarnate...

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's Almost Here - Autumn!

According the calendar, it's Wednesday. According to the weatherman, we have a while yet - still in the freakin' 90's here, man I am so over it! I loves my heat, don't get me wrong, but you know what? I am perfectly comfortable at a nice 82 with 60% humidity. Is that too much to ask??? And I'm hoping we don't have a repeat of last year, summer one day, fall one afternoon, then WHAMMO, winter. WTF? I moved here because there isn't supposed to BE winter... Of course, I was also supposed to be back in NM or AZ by now, too, so that's how my plans usually fare....

On to the important stuff - no soccer this weekend! My only reprieve until Thanksgiving :( In related news, The Kid did spend the weekend up at Pfeiffer U in NC, doing a visitation & tryout :) I totally am not ready for the coming year... Somebody remind my parents how easy they had it - bought me a new pair of Reebok's and shipped me off to boot camp, they did, which I guess in the end only left me with one major disappointment, but I'd likely do it again, just a bit differently. I never had to do anything to attend college, either, just show up - oh, you're military? Well, here, fill out this mountain of paperwork, give that lady a check. Done. So The Kid and I will both be stepping through stuff, and hopefully something will pan out for him - he's already told me there's not a chance in hell he'd enlist (even though I think it would be good for him). Free money isn't his motivation, apparently, and he's not in a hurry to get out, I guess, like I was - I was already signed up before I found a reason to stay - and then it was too late. If I've done nothing else for him, I hope I've put him in a position to have opportunities I didn't - if he'll just get off his ass and take advantage of them...

So anyway, I had a finish on Friday :) 6 Bats & A Witches Hat by Blue Ribbon Designs is now DONE - took 8 days of concentrated effort, which leads em to wonder why I didn't get it out at least every now & then over the last year?? But after my HUGE counting mistake that I had to rip out last fall, it just took some of the wind out of my sails I guess... Anyway, obviously I got past it, and have another Halloween piece in need of framing now - that To Be Framed pile is growing :(

For the record, I still HATE Weeks Dye Works threads - even on the 40ct fabric, that black was some thin damn stuff....

And, To celebrate the finish, I started Murky Manor from Glendon Place. I also have Sleepy Hollow kitted up, as well as Cherished Stitches' Halloween Quaker (in HDF silks, no less :) ), but MM has been waiting the longest, so it was the first to get started.

I changed the fiber for the moon - after all the Caron Waterlilies used on MTM, I have just decided they aren't worth the expense; they feel nice enough, but if they are supposed to be variegated, then the variegation needs to be apparent in a usable length (18" max), and it just doesn't happen. So off to the Stitch Store I went Saturday (since the moon was where I was starting - not sure why it didn't occur to me BEFORE I sat down to start, but whatever), and I looked at the racks & racks of threads. I picked out a CC belle Soie, Cake, and then I spotted CC cotton, Baby Chick. I got both, the Cake being just a weensy bit darker. Once I got home again, I decided to use the Baby Chick - it actually looks like a moon color to me, especially on the fabric I'm using, the lovely RAK from Trish M. last fall :) I'll save the Cake for Sleepy Hollow, which I think could easily stand the slightly richer color, as the fabric is darker & cooler.

Anyway, I was cranking away on the moon Saturday afternoon, and as I approached the half-way point of my skein of Baby Chick, I realized I was just over 1/3 of the way done with the moon - I wasn't going to have enough! So BACK to the store I went and got another skein, before they closed! I wasn't about to run out and then have to wait to Monday to get more (though it would have been a great excuse to get the H-Quaker out). As of last night, the moon was done, the first bat was done (minus beaded eyes), and the first ghost was done, including his glow-in-the-dark coating of BF (but again, not his beady eyes). I even put the first bits of black roof w/purple BF in, and will pick up there tonight :)

And amazingly enough, that is ALL I did last week; I didn't stitch at lunch at all, was busy writing instead. This week, still on MM, and will probably out the first stitches into Halloween Quaker (I THINK I have fabric for that, more HDF - I need to make sure I'm not misremembering). I need to get Nancy's RR out again and finish up one SNOW, though I still have a few weeks. I need to work on Tanglewood, too - it's hating not having stitch night on Mondays. I won't get to go to this month's PINS meeting this weekend - we're playing Savannah, and since it's usually a brawl (or was every time we played them at Lanier - always had cops involved), I guess I need to be there, to post bail or corroborate events, whatever; the coach already has an attitude, as I guess EVERYONE that has to go down there wants to reschedule. Well, dude, umm, it's a 5-6 hour drive from ATL, it's not unreasonable to NOT want an 8 a.m. Saturday game, right, just as we don't expect you to be up here before afternoon, either. I still don't know why they are in our division, other than really, there isn't anyone else down there to play, S. GA being basically a no man's land. Not My Fault. I think half the Savannah teams have to get out on a work release to attend the games as it is - definitely don't like their thug style. So if you don't see an update next week, it's probably because no one'll bail out The Manager, and I think I have to go to the Big House before I get internet :) Wish me luck, and until then, Happy Stitching, everyone!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Yet Another Monday Update

Wow, did Monday get here fast, or what? WTH? NOT looking forward to a 5-day week, lemme tell you...

So, the Soccer Season has begun. We won yesterday, which was even more awesome when you consider we played the same team at the same place last year and were winning fair & square, when we had a goal called back, and then the home team got a BS PK in the last minute that was quite possibly the worst officiating I have ever seen - on a World Cup level. We had some concerns during the first half, when we couldn't get a call to go our way, even the blatant fouls. But I think the center got it into his head about 20 minutes into the 2nd half that we were winning, despite his best efforts to help his home team, and he started to be a bit more realistic. It's hard when you have a group of parents who actually know the game - we have enough coaches, refs, and players on our sidelines to know what's going on, unlike some of the groups of "football" dads who think it's about blood. It's about finesse, people...

Here they are before last Monday's Atlanta Cup Final - we're in the blue & black.

And here they are after that game - don't ask me why my child decided he needed to put his size 13 on Josh's shoulder - Felix clearly is getting the effect :(

Okay, on to the important stuff - last week's stitching :)

After the game on Monday, I rushed to the Stitch Store, where I spent the day and evening. I worked on Starry Nights for a while, and made great progress, until the two-layer chart did me in, and I had to rip a bunch of 791 out because I was off one damn thread. I really do not like the 2-layer chart - I guess I'm more spatially challenged than I thought, and I can't work that way successfully. Anyway, I found my mistake (way back near where I started the 791), got it ripped out, and put it away.

Then I got out Tanglewood, and got another branch done, another begun, and added a few leaves.

I think I stitched for almost 8 hours straight that day - I was done in when I got home. Though, it could've been the 5 games in 3 days in the 85-90 degrees, sun beating down on me, that actually contributed more to the fatigue :)

Tuesday I had off of work - a well-deserved vacation day, I think. The Manager's job is thankless and the pure hassle of it makes a day off seem not quite compensatory - but I'll take what I can get :) When I did finally drag my ass out of bed (only because the dogs made me get up), I got a little frame job done:

I picked this frame up at the Stitch Store the same week I finished that By the Bay freebie - and it's been collecting dust on the table since. Why? Dunno. It took, what, 10 minutes to get it stretched and slotted in. Well worth the wait - it's now hanging in my office, on one side of my Jen Delyth calendar, with St. G on the other side :) Because my office is as eclectic as my house :) :)

After I finished that, I then sat down to work on Celtic Banner some more. I worked on it each night thru Thursday, when I finished the alphabet, finally! Man that border is freaking neverending! Which I knew going in, but sometimes what you know just doesn't live up to the reality, you know? And since I'm not really a work-on-just-the-border kind of girl (BoINK, anyone), I'll continue to do a section as I go :) I did finally finish the first full page (11x17).

During the week, of 3 days, I only worked on Secret Garden for about 20 minutes one day, and got the green part of one section of flowers done. Not actually photo-worthy, but what the hey? What's one more picture?

The real focus of the week, once I reached that milestone on Celtic, was getting 6 Bats out and making some serious strides toward getting it done. I am pretty sure I will finish it up this week :) Though, I have to say, it was hard to do the over-1 Trick or Treat block while watching 9/11 footage - it's hard enough to do the over-1 on 40ct normally, but tears definitely don't improve the situation...

And that's the news for the week. I'll keep on on 6 Bats this week, hopefully have it done mid-week. Then, work on something already going, or start a new Halloween piece? Well, you know how much I hate to start stuff :) Also want to do a bit more on Nancy's RR - I have a few weeks left - okay, 4 - gotta do a bit more on it, get one SNOW done :) Anyway, you know me - you never know what's actually going to see the light of day :) Until next week, Happy Stitching, everyone!!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Happy Labor Day - an Update

Well, it's Labor Day, and if you've been in our house the last 7-8 years, that means tournament. Finally, the Big Kid has won through to the Finals, which takes place at 10:30 this morning. It would be such a boost to them if they could win - if they play like they played their semi-final yesterday - and no one gets red carded - they ought to. They have the talent, they just have a little problem with finishing, and stellar bad luck with reffing. Big Kid won it some years back as a Shark - it was very exciting, but didn't mean as much as it would now, as this is their last year...

(this picture from the tourney 2 weeks ago, when we got the inches & inches of rain & tainted Taco Bell)
(they hate the new baby blue uniforms btw - they have a black kit, too - but I wanted to put this one up on their profile, give competitors a false sense of security :) )

I had a few less things on my plate last week, but didn't get as much stitching in as I'd planned or hoped. But I did get some, so here we go.

First up, Secret Garden. I worked through most of my lunches last week - you know when you have a day off scheduled, work really makes you earn it. But I was able to get a bit done on SG, and did more in between games yesterday, as we are having an unusually mild weekend, so not too hot to get the stitching out - though the sun was SOOO bright, I got a headache after a while, I thought my eyes were melting, shades on or no. Didn't quite get the center motif done - there's an over-1 fountain there in the middle, and different flowers in each of the diamonds - but I should get it finished up soon, and move on to the bottom half.

I began work on Nancy's RR choice for me, M Designs Snowflake, which I discovered is over-1 on gorgeous but dark PTP Gothic! I had to give my eyes time to get used to it, then made pretty decent progress, after I rigged up a new under-light (the little lamp on the floor I used for MMM03 - too much trouble); I took a bathroom nightlight, with the plastic cover over it, and plugged it into an extension cord, which I then draped over my floor stand to hang where I needed it to show through. It probably looks ridiculous, but it works! LOVE the Gloriana white silk, of course, though it's brightness on that dark fabric made taking a picture difficult at best.

Lastly, I worked on Celtic Banner again. I can't believe last December was the last time I worked on it. It was due to see some time, and I think I'll keep it out a bit longer - maybe long enough to finish the alphabet section. I've seen one with runes instead of the alphabet - sure wish that would have occurred to me....

Today, after the game is over, I'm heading to the Stitch Store for the day and evening - the last evening stitch in, I guess. I have tomorrow off, too - I knew I'd need to recoup from this tourney, and wanted a day with no one here to do it :) I'll keep Celtic Banner out for a bit, but I may also try to get 6 Bats finished up - I am ready to break out the Halloween stuff, and I have 3 waiting - Murky Manor, Sleepy Hollow, and Halloween Quaker. I now have a copy of the new GP Ghool School, and it has to have the JABCO buttons - MM has it charted to either have the buttons or stitch them, and I had planned to stitch them. The buttons are cute, but a tad too cartoonish for me. Ghool School is charted so you HAVE to use the buttons :( And I want both pieces to match, so I guess I'll be getting both sets of buttons, dammit.They'll be cute, just wanted to use higher count fabric, keep 'em smaller :)

Anyway, that's the news, Guess I need to make the Athlete some breakfast since I'm up early (thanks to the alarm going off over at the garage on the corner). Happy stitching this week!!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

So... Outside One Night...

...walking the dogs for the last time for the night, and standing in the driveway across the street while dogs sniff where the AT&T truck died earlier (why?), we look down and see a new crack in the driveway. Except it's NOT a crack.

I don't know what kind it is - it was about 2' long and a little thicker than my thumb, but it didn't rattle. But that only covers about half the poisonous ones here; it was marked like a rattler - if you click on it, you can just see the bands. I'll have to go look up pictures of snakes tomorrow... I can't Believe Dummy didn't realize what it was and "play" with it....