Monday, January 31, 2011

The Tease - an Update

We had a taste of spring this weekend; it was 67 on Saturday, blue skies and not a cloud, and was 70, at least, yesterday! I cleaned a few windows yesterday :) Snowmageddon a few weeks ago, and now a weekend like this - you just don't know until you walk outside :) But we're back to winter this week, a normal GA winter; it's raining today, and the high temp was 51 this morning, and 40s for the rest of the week. HS soccer starts next week, best get prepared...

On to the stitching bits...

I went to the Tuesday night stitch in at the Stitch Store, and between there & lunches during the week, I got a bit of progress in on Tanglewood. Still working on this large section that has 4 branches (3 actually, though the one stops & starts at the trunk, like 4) - would like to get the last part outlined this week, at least.

I don't know if I'll go to the stitch in this week or not - depends how tired I am by the time work is over tomorrow.

Also, of course, continuing on MTM. I got past the frog attack, thank goodness, and got the 2nd corner done Saturday - I only had a few Algerians left to do Friday night, but I had to go to bed - and then stayed up until 3 a.m. reading... But as soon as I got some chores done Saturday, I sat down and finished up those and colored that corner done (except beads - to come later):

Then I started the next one. I have found that Seether has a great rhythm for stitching - plug in the old iPod, get it at just the right volume, and have at it. Of course, I was listening to Karma & Effect, so... But anyway, I got all of the turquoise in on Saturday, before I again had to go to bed - and again stayed up late reading and writing. I got the 2nd gold in and started on the green bush thing yesterday afternoon, should have this done soon.

If I can get the 4th one in the right spot, who knows how soon I'll have this thing ready to bead? Anyway, I've got the band warming up, so when the Big Finish happens, just listen for the trumpets :)

So that's the plan for this week - keep on keeping on on MTM and Tanglewood, while everything else gets neglected :) Happy stitching this week to everyone!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Plague of Frogs - an Update

Yes, I've been plagued - not quite in biblical proportions, but you know, even one is too much....

I worked on Tanglewood last week - it's my current lunch & travel piece. I am currently on the BIG branch, that has four (I think) separate pieces interwoven into it. Well, doing the first outline, I was clicking right long, and when I got the end, I realized I had crossed one of the gaps - and picked up the wrong side. So I had to undo all of that and put it back correctly. It only took 2 more tries :) BUT I did get past it, and then took it to my monthly PINS (Purple Iris Needlework Society) get together on Saturday, and got that pesky branch filled in, and a good start on the next section of it.

At home, I concentrated on MTM. I got the top left corner done on Thursday night (pic taken with my iPhone):

And started the top right corner. Which I then discovered, yesterday, as I had it 2/3 done, that, despite my many checks as I began it, I was in the WRONG PLACE :( I was using the wrong spire from North Town as my placement. And, since I am working in a small QSnap, I can't actually see the other side at all, or I would have picked up on it a LOT sooner. SO... I had to rip out the entire gold & turquoise section - my trash looks really pretty :( But I got the gold border started again before I had to go to bed last night - I am POSITIVE I am in the right spot NOW.

Glad I have plenty of extra fibers, to cover my colossal blunder. And that frog (or frogs) had better be gone. I tell ya, these guard dogs I have are fired - they are completely useless....

See, they are all over brown paper bags and things like that, but a frog? They just leave me to my own devices, the mangy mutts...

So, this week, I will keep on with both of these. I hope to have the energy to go to the Stitch In at the Stitch Store tomorrow night, now that Donna is hosting them - was too tired last week and the first week, and then of course, we had Snowmageddon the week in between. So maybe I can manage tomorrow :) We'll see.

Not a lot else going on at the moment - soccer tryouts for high school are this week - the Big Kid doesn't have to try out (ya think?), but will be running drills with the Freshman/JV instead. Little Kid has no idea when middle school is. I am trying to get BK to get some college apps filled out, too, so we can start getting those in. He re-took his SAT this weekend, thinks he did a LOT better, though he already met the requirements of LaGrange College where he want to see the soccer program last weekend. He has an open tryout at Southern Poly coming up, too, though not sure they have anything he needs - but he needs the exposure, so he's going anyway :) This college crap is a PITA; a stop into the AF or Navy recruiter's office would be a lot easier. That worked for me, with only one real regret; I'd do it over again, just go into it with a little more knowledge, a little less I-gotta-get-out-of-here :)

On that note - Happy Stitching this week to everyone!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Melt - an Update

Well, as you saw from last week's update, I was snowed in on Monday; Georgia was CLOSED. THEN we got ice on top of the snow (but, thankfully, not really on trees or power lines, not by us, anyway), and we were then iced in Tuesday & Wednesday, to the point that Hall County was sitting up at the main road Tuesday morning, keeping people off of it. I did work from home on Wednesday, and after 6 hours of sitting at the PC, in the jet stream that blows through our house, I was a Karen-cicle. Thursday, we managed to get out and go to work, where I ran my space heater with abandon :) AND didn't fall and bust my ass on the skating rink that had replaced the parking lot! I would like to note that Hall County did a GREAT JOB on all the roads I have to be on, especially I-985; Gwinnett County (and I-85), ummm, not so much :( Now, if I can just get the kids back to school - they are off today for MLK, even though some counties made them go back today to get caught up (which caused a bunch of civil rights groups to get their panties in a wad). I am soooo tired of hearing "there's nothing to eat here"....

So, since I had time at home, AND the power stayed on, I stitched a good bit on Monday & Tuesday. I kept Jodie's RR out and just kept plugging away on those border boxes. I worked for hours & hours on 7 of them - and then decided I needed to do something different. So I think I got Jodie's to a good point, she ought to be able to finish it up in pretty short order (if she has time around Temptation, that is). I really think this is a great piece, and though those colors don't scream Christmas, it's definitely unique. Thanks for letting me work on it - and keep it longer, so I could devote the time to it I had planned.

So, when I decided I had to break out of the boxes, I decided to get out Starry Nights - it's been laying on top of my WIP pile, those purples hollering at me over and over. WHEN we were finally able to move around, I finally got stretcher bars for it - HL only had 1 set the time I went in for them, and so I've been working it in QSnaps since - but I can't fit the whole thing in a size small enough to fit the canvas. Somewhere along the way I finally got a handle on the two-layer chart, and worked them together. I was excited to get as much done as I did, but also sad to see I am over half-way now; it's a project I don't want to see end...

And then, yesterday, it was time for MTM to come back out; I've made it wait long enough to finish those corners. So I worked on the upper left corner yesterday afternoon, making good progress on the gold & turquoise sections:

And then, I actually go the remote for a minute, and made the mistake of flipping through the channels, until I saw Jane's Addiction on HDNet. Because, you know, Dave Navarro plays guitar. Without a shirt on. Yeah, he's hot. And I'm not even into tattoos and piercing and all that - but his tattoos realllllyy bring out his eyes, which are, ummm, yeah....

So anyway, MTM will stay out until it is either done, or until I need a break from the repetition. So we'll see :) I have my monthly PINS gathering this coming Saturday - I can't wait! I have my 2 Christmas pieces to take for show & tell, am debating taking some of the newly-framed pieces, too. And on that note, here's a little tune called Jane Says (though in this one, it appears EVERYONE is shirtless - you'll pick Dave out, I think :) ). Happy Stitching!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowed In - an Update

Yep, snowed in. We have at least 6" out there - which doesn't sound like a lot to, well, me even, but considering the only snow removal equipment here is allocated to keeping the big 3 Interstates (I-75, I-85, I-20) clear, well, us out here in the sticks get to stay home - and pray the power stays on! We are now getting ice on top of the snow, so tomorrow, with forecasts calling it to be colder than today, is not looking too good either - I'll take snow over ice any day. Out back:

And this is the stop sign to the main road that we can't get to - I should have gone down to the drive and taken a picture from there, so you get an idea of the slope. Cropping this down, I lost a lot of the angle. Trust me, it's all uphill from here...

Pampas grass in snow:

On to the stitching...

I had a finish, my 2nd Christmas piece is now done, and yeah, past Christmas, but hey, I'm ahead of the game for this coming one, huh? That NEVER happens :) But White Christmas is done! That box he's carrying - wow, totally fiddly :(

I was actually able to guess Paula's Mystery Start off of her floss toss (she only gave me one hint - to look at the color families. I immediately recognized the greens and the golds, and it was a process of elimination from there, based on the number of skeins of white she also had :) ), so I started one, myself, which was then guessed to be Papillon Creation's Romeo, an RAK from Mel (with Juliet) that has been hollering at me off and on ever since Walmart cleared out their DMC and I got it kitted up :) LOVE the blackwork bits :) Can't wait to get to my first Tudor Rose in it...

And I put Romeo down to get as far as I could on Jodie's RR, Angel Train, in the off chance that I was going to get out to the PO today, since it's been here well past the return date - but since I threw myself off with the sudden urge to stitch Christmas stuff this year, I begged to keep it longer. AND since I'm clearly not going anywhere today, I'm going to work on it more - all that's left is border, but those blocks are deceptive in how long they actually take.

Excuse the lumpiness of the picture - Dummy was under it, under his blankie, asleep.

So, this week, keep on Jodie's until I can get out of the house, and maybe back to Romeo, or who knows what? L&U is really hollering at me, as are Knotgarden and MTM, which is sooooo close to a finish. I did follow suit and posted an album of my current WIPs, here. Only one official UFO in there, my first of those, too, and completely unintentional. Maybe it'll get some love this year - AFTER I go see the eye doctor... Happy stitching, everyone!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011

I decided to not really do a year in review post, since, if I had actually MADE goals for '10, I know I didn't meet them. Suffice it to say, 2010 did not live up to expectations, stitching wise, life wise, or otherwise, through a series of mostly unconnected events. The highlight of the year was my trip to MI in November - THAT was an awesome weekend, and something I need to do more of in the future.

That being said, I do have some expectations for this year, which is 2 1/2 days old already. These are things, life, stitching, and otherwise, that I expect to happen in the next 12 months, god willing (in no particular order):
- Some much-needed updates and improvements to my house; paint, carpet, furniture, a good firehosing to a couple of rooms, etc.
- Projects that WILL get finished: Medieval Town, Knotgarden, Tanglewood, Starry Nights.
- Projects that OUGHT to get finished: Mary Wigham, Murky Manor, Halloween Quaker
- Projects that SHOULD get started (upon completion of any listed above): Tuscany Town Mandala, Secret Victorian Garden, Sleepy Hollow, Anatolia, Rainforest Crunch.
- Get a kid graduated from high school, and hopefully off to college in the fall, somewhere, somehow.
- Get the other kid out of middle school and into high school (for what it's worth - which ain't much).
- No more animals allowed. None. Nada. I'm putting my foot DOWN. Oh, crap....
- Finish my current piece of writing. Then probably burn it :) Or self-publish under a pseudonym (to protect the innocent)...
- Keep on keeping on at work, hoping to get it smoothed out and less chaotic.
- WHEN MTM gets done, send it to Jill Rensel to frame. Sell appropriate organ to pay for said framing (mine or some lucky donor - whatever :) ).
- More time for friends and family IN PERSON, which should be possible with the upcoming fall soccer season no longer consumed by Big Kid and his travel/managerial demands!
- Deal with day-to-day disasters a little more successfully than in previous years. Let go of what needs to be let go of, and take care of what can be taken care of - and know the difference.
- Take stuff to the Fair again - I missed the thrill of the hunt this past year, but NOT the stress of it all - but since I work better under pressure...?
- Get off my ass and get my life closer to where I thought it would be by now, even if I have to crush a few grapes (or heads) to do so.
- Continue learning new things, using new techniques, exploring more ideas in real life, not just in my head.
- Take advantage of opportunities when they fall into my lap, instead of turning a blind eye, or worse, over-thinking them to death (which amounts to the same thing). This over-thinking has been my downfall more often than not, and though I have always known it, I intend to make it not so much of a liability. Conversely, I don't want to skew the other way and give in to impulse, either. A middle ground is what I am searching for, and I think I've spotted it. Now to reach it and claim it as MINE.
- Ask for forgiveness more than permission (don't tell my kids I said that). Forgive and support more than criticize. These aren't necessarily related.

There, that's not too bad a list, and I think attainable. Mostly. Similar to years past, but I feel I have a more concrete direction this year - and hopefully that means this is the year that things fall into place the way I envision. Or closer to, anyway. I'm feeling strangely optimistic - and though, in speaking to me, you might still get that pessimistic overtone, know that inside, I've always been an optimist - but the sarcasm is just too easy, always available and wow, have I had a lot to work with in recent years :) But what you see is not nearly all that you get; deal with it - I do.

Here's to 2011 - may it be a GREAT one....