Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween - an Update

I wish the kids were still little on days like today; everyone rushing home, trying to get some food into them before it's time to put on the costumes they've been told to put up a million times since they were bought (my kids would not even hear about Mom's ideas for home-made ones, they had to have store-bought, non-dorky ones. What's wrong with being a Lego???), getting them ready to go, so when the magic hour arrives, off we go trick or treating. Now, I get to take the 14 yo to one of his friends, and leave them to their own devices for a few hours, with the caveat that if he is calling from jail, he has to call his dad. Ahhh, good times... I should have bought a bag of Butterfingers though.

They decided to do the pumpkin contest at work again this year - which they decided to tell us on FRIDAY. Ummm, people, genius sometimes takes a few days to percolate, so a WEEK might have been a bit more helpful. So I guess I will let someone else have a go this year, since I am the undisputed Pumpkin Master up until they stopped doing it 2-3 years ago. I still wish I could find a picture of my Pinhead pumpkin - it really was the coolest ever. But since I can't find that, here's a couple others I've done in the past:

The Alien (painted blue/green/grey, with hard-boiled eggs inset, painted metallic black)

Cinderella's Carriage (in a fish tank w/4 white mice that were the horses before the clock struck 12)

And since it's Halloween, I of course had a finish - on a CHRISTMAS piece - this weekend :) The first of the 3 Santas is done, except for a couple of other embellishments that will get attached after it gets finish-finished into a stuffed stand-up. But I want to try my best to get the other 2 done (a yellow one, on 18ct, and then a blue one on 22ct) and finish them all together - so knowing my speed & luck, they'll be done in January :) Kinda like a couple of Christmas things from last year, huh?

(you can see details of the embellishments I added, starting here.)

I also worked on Knotgarden this week, and have the 3rd gate almost done; might be able to finish it up tonight and move on to the 3 topiary plants Wednesday night. The question is - can I get this done by the end of the year? I really hope so. It just depends on how long it takes me to get through this 4th corner, though after all these gates, it ought to be a nice switch :)

And that's it for the week. During lunch and tomorrow at the Tuesday night at the IHOP, I will start my 2nd Santa, and then keep on on Knotgarden until I just can't stand the green for another minute. I am waiting for Cecilia's to invoice me for my Online Needlework Show order (IC Metamorphosis), which also contains the replacement threads for BoaF - so until that actually gets here, I don't have that to switch off to (though I could do that left-hand tree, I guess). That's the plan - we'll see how it works out.

Happy Halloween, everyone, and Happy Stitching!

(as much as I love the original J. Carpenter Halloween, Rob Zombie's re-make is actually pretty awesome - if you go in for gratuitous arterial spray and that kind of thing - which of course, being a Tarantino fan, I do :) )

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Calendar Says October Still - an Update

Yep, the calendars all still say October, but it's definitely looking like November here - the leaves are about half changed! That NEVER happens here in October! And last week was cold; we had frost warnings for a couple of nights, though my cannas are still in bloom, so I guess it didn't get that cold down in the hole our house is in :) We are back in the 70s this week, but I'm just really surprised at having FALL this year, instead of summer one day, winter the next. No idea what that means for the winter we're going to have...? Have I mentioned how much I want to go to AZ????

In animal news, Lucy managed to keep her stitches in ALL WEEK - we took ALL 3 OF THEM out on Saturday, so she is now cone-free :) Still needs a bath - smells like she was in the animal hospital, you know? But we spent all our animal-bathing time on BEANIE instead. I was lying in bed Wednesday morning, dreading the alarm going off, when I suddenly had a 20-pound oil-soaked cat jump on me. Apparently, Beanie stayed in the garage overnight, and at some point during the night, probably chasing a critter, he managed to land in the remains of the last oil change that DH hasn't taken out yet. So of course, I go into panic mode, because no one else is up at 6 a.m., and am trying to wash the cat with the soap I had in the bathroom - which was pretty ineffective, as you might imagine. Meanwhile, the dogs are both losing their minds because it sounds like I'm killing the cat, so the boys both get up to come see what's going on - and two of the three of us have to get showered and get going. Needless to say, it was NOT a good morning. And I was already cranky before that all went on.

That's also when the cold snap came through, so the temps dropped and stayed down, so though he desperately needed more washing after the Big Kid did what he could after I left for work, it was just too cold to risk it. But I did finally get him bathed yesterday, and he's now all clean again - his beard and feet are white again, and he's FLUFFY :) And it didn't take the entire industrial-sized bottle of Dawn to get it done! But we'll have that around for whatever else needs it, as I can't stand using that stuff for washing dishes...

So on to the stitching bits already...

I have another finish - Mill Hill Halloween is done, as of 1:30 a.m. Friday night/Saturday morning! it took 6 hours total to get all those beads on - I do think Boo House had more beads & less stitching than the other 3, but at any rate, had it done in exactly 1 week :) Here's Boo House:

And then the overall:

I do wish I had seen all 3 of these together in detail - Boo is the oldest of these 3, and the sky is charted in blues instead of the greys the other 2 use; it sticks out to me a LOT, but I assume it'll stop bugging me eventually. OR, if I'd gotten a bigger piece of fabric and 3 more kits, I could have balanced it out by having another older one w/blue sky somewhere else. Oh well, it's done now :)

Tuesday night, I went to IHOP for the Hooty Girls Stitch In :) I worked on my Santa ornie some more, and then worked on it a bit more on Sunday evening, as I didn't have much time to stitch over the weekend. He now has a face - I wasn't about to leave him with no eyes!

Saturday, we had our October PINS get together, and we presented our host & hostess with the Chickens; I think they were both very surprised, and I know Loretta herself was almost crying. So a well-received gift :) And considering all the re-decorating they've been doing the last month, the timing couldn't have been better; in addition to the new wall paint that was there last time, there are new chicken things all over, and lots of wrought iron pieces hanging throughout - the blackwork bits on Chickens are a perfect compliment. I couldn't have planned that any better if I had tried. I'll be curious to see where it ends up, though she did say she was going to take it home and look at it for a bit before bringing it back to find it a home in the restaurant...

While at PINS, I worked on my BoaF SAL - that should have been done a couple of months ago, if I hadn't gotten hung up on these Halloween things. I got the tree in Part 2 done, and would have finished Part 2 completely, except I didn't have the rest of the threads with me, so the 2nd bird is all that's lacking to finish this part:

And then, when I got home, I tore the place apart looking for those threads - I was completely stumped as to why they weren't in the bag with the whole kit. I can't find them, they are just gone. So either the ring they were on slid off into the trash can I have between couch & table and we never saw them when it got emptied, or an animal has them stashed somewhere, in which case I probably don't want them back. SO I get to order 10 new skeins of WDW - which won't match dyelots, of course, and a couple of them, I only need a length or two. Dammit. I don't lose stuff. But on the bright side, in my effort to find them, I did get the remains of recent finishes put away, and got things a little straightened up on the table.

So, this week, since I am stopped on BoaF until I get the threads ordered (along with that new Ink Circles chart, Metamorphosis), I SHOULD work on Knotgarden - I want that done so badly I can taste it. Until it irritates me again, of course. So I might have to switch off this week, but I HAVE to work on it; maybe I'll get past the hump that's driving me nuts... I'll keep on that Santa, too, when time permits; I'd like to have the set of 3 done this year, but it's not going to happen, not as lon as this one's taking. So next year, probably :)

And that's all I've got. Happy Stitching this week to everyone!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mid-October - an Update

My favorite time of year, especially after the weekend we just had - 75-80 during the day, blue skies as far as the eye can see, cool nights :) Convertible weather, of course. But they are predicting a frost later this week, and highs in the 50s! A bit early, but hey, you know what? This is the first actual fall we have had in years, so I'm not going to complain!

Of course, it's also that hated season - ad valorem tax season, since DH's birthday was yesterday, and mine's in a month :( Which is why we ALSO had to take the damn dog to the vet, TWICE. A week ago Thursday,  Little Kid took Lucy out for her usual morning thing, and when she rushed inside to get her treat, her leg was gushing blood. So on Friday, for $400, she got some stitches, and we still aren't sure what she stepped on out there, in a place she's been a million times. The cut, which was about 1 1/2" long and a good 1/2" deep - thankfully missing all the important stuff in there - was clean, so it had to be glass, and we did find a broken bottle (the kids/rednecks like to aim their trash at the storm drain on our property line, so we often have crap laying around up there, but it's all pine straw & kudzu, so it's also easily buried). Anyway, by Monday, she had all of the stitches out, despite bandages, and 2 (TWO) Cones of Shame on her head. So after we realized the bandages weren't going to do it, we took her back on Thursday to get restitched - for another $140. The Most Expensive Pound Puppy she's turning out to be. But I think she figured out, after having to go back the 2nd time, that we aren't messing around, so she had damn well better leave them alone. I figure by tomorrow & Wednesday, it'll be healed up just fine. Damn dog...

So when I wasn't thinking about encasing a dog in concrete, I had a FINISH! Yes, Murky Manor is DONE!!!! I took pics with my phone, which have better color, but they are fuzzier than my camera pics - so I'll post one, and the rest are here, including a few detail shots of beads & buttons :)

I finished that before dinner on Friday, went and had a celebratory margarita, and then came home and broke out the last of the Mill Hill Halloween houses, and got cracking on that. Boo House seems to be going pretty quick - there isn't quite as much stitching in it as Haunted Library, I don't think. And it doesn't include GITD thread, so of course, I had to add some, so it matches the other two :) I even got a half-assed picture of the GITD bit, here. And the overall as of right now is here.

I also managed to get the Chickens framed; our October PINS meeting is next Saturday, so got it done just in time to give to them then!

So for this week, I am going to keep on on Boo House - I hope to have it done by the end of the week, as quick as it's going so far. I would also like to go to the Tuesday night stitch in at the IHOP - we have rain moving in tomorrow, so we'll see how the barometer head is doing. Then Saturday, the PINS meeting, and that night, Gwinnett Gladiators Hockey starts, so we have dinner & game tickets courtesy of my employer :) The kid also has a band competition on Saturday - I love how band stuff seems to ALWAYS coincide with my stitching stuff. Well, sorry, I'm going to have to miss this competition, this time. With the holidays the next two months, no idea when we'll be able to get together again, so this might be the last chance to get this to the owners of Loretta's this year.

Well, that's about it from here. Happy Fall, and Happy Stitching to everyone :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Day - an Update

Columbus Day - AND Thanksgiving in Canada; and yet, I have to work :( KNEW I should've gotten a government job when I quit working for the government many years ago... And to make matters worse, we don't even have a google doodle today;what's up with that??? It's kind of a big deal, and not only here in the States. My kid has school today, but only because they have "fall holidays" coming upstarting on Friday - he gets Fri, Mon & Tue off. Because they've been hard at it for 2 WHOLE MONTHS, and everyone needs a break. Really???? Whatever....

Speaking of Kid - he had his first HS Band concert last week; here he is, all dressed up:

And a row of 'bones before they started. I should have recorded a couple of the songs they played, but I didn't. I will next time.

On to the stitching for the week, which, this week, only involves ONE thing. Yes, it's true, I only worked on 1 project all week - do you believe that? That one thing was Murky Manor, and while I didn't finish it, I am THIS CLOSE < > - I WILL finish it this week :) Here's last week:

And now this week, leaving just a corner of the house, a bit more grass & fence, and the rest of the tree, then BEADS :)

And really, that's it for the whole week! Monday saw no stitching because of the concert, and the rest of the week was lots & lots of green :) As for this week, I will work on MM until done. Then, even though I have Anne's London sitting here, and of course BoaF & Knotgarden are both in need to getting done, I am sorely tempted to get my MH Halloween houses out and do the 3rd one - I'll have it done in under 2 weeks :) Not that it or MM will get framed in time for this Halloween, but that's beside the point...

I also have the frame for the chickens here, so that's on my To Do list for the week; I have to add fabric to 2 sides to get the piece stretched, and I didn't feel like getting the sewing machine out this weekend, or it'd be done by now. But I have until the 22nd before the PINS group meets at Loretta's again, so technically I have time :) So look for that photo probably next week.

That's the news - happy stitching this week to everyone!

(Dummy and his new toy, the nekkid chicken)

Monday, October 03, 2011

Lucy's Birthday - an Update

My girl Lucy Mae is 4 years old! We think. We guessed on the info we got from the pound for her :) So on this Day of German Unity, the German Shorthair Pointer is 4 - and wow is she a princess! I did NOT do it, her dad did. I suppose she'll expect a treat. And of course, you can't give her a treat without Dummy being right there, and then the cats expect something - just the usual anarchy where food is involved in the zoo. I remember when she first came home...

To celebrate, we're going to a band concert - the first one of the season, with the whole band, which is much larger than the marching band. Somehow I don't think Lucy would like the band concert, so maybe we just won't tell her...

I don't think we've ever picked a birthday for Dummy, since we don't really know how old he is - he's around 3, but acts every bit like a damn 2 year old. A very LOUD 2 year old, that is...

On to the stitching bits...

Since it is now my favorite month of the year, it's time to get the Halloween pieces out. And it occurred to me on the way home one day last week that I really needed to frame my first Halloween design that I completed in '06 - yes, it's been laying around THAT long! SO into Hobby Lobby I went on Thursday, and got everything bought, and got it put together and hung up over the weekend:

NO IDEA what the pattern is, who it's by, or where it came from; it might have been from a BH&G magazine, or it might not. I honestly have no idea now... I was going to try my hand at embellishing the mat - but you know what? If it took me over 5 years to get the damn thing into a frame, anyone want to guess how long it would take me to get up the nerve to try to PAINT something on the mat??? Yeah, never mind... I'll leave that to Jill Rensel - or until I completely lose it :)

I also got my pinkeep jar out, and have it on the table along with the small pumpkin piece on its easel.

Not pictured - Boo! Club hung up next to Halloween Fairy, and 6 Bats hung up next to the Pumpkins piece above :) I may take more pictures once I get other things out (assuming I FIND them, of course).

I worked on Murky Manor some more during the week, and am to having the building itself done - then the grass, fence, and the rest of that tree. I think I'm just going to go ahead & finish it up - it's too close and still having too much fun with it to put it away.

I did get my Stitcher's Village Sampler Project done finally - those last bazillion Smyrna's - wow did they take way too long for no apparent reason... But it's done, I rinsed it, and pressed it - now how long will it live in my book bag before I actually get it mailed to Patty? Dunno - but it WILL be this week, I promise...

And that's the news for the week. Seems kinda puny compared to usual; what can I say, it was a busy week. This week's shaping up similarly. How on earth did I ever get things done when all I did was drive to games all weekend, EVERY weekend??? No idea... Though I do seem to be able to get laundry done in 2 days now instead of 7 - maybe that's the difference? Anywho, Happy Stitching this week to everyone!