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!