Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Long Weekend, Short Week - an Update

Not that I won't pack a full week's worth of fun into the next 4 days, of course. And in case you were wondering, today is The Ascension of Bah�'u'll�h. Yeah, doesn't really mean much to me, either, unlike yesterday's Memorial Day. But hey, it's on my Jen Delyth calendar, so I thought I'd just throw it out there....

(I sure hope you have smell-o-vision installed on your computer for this gardenia - man I love these. Too bad this lives next door)

ANYWHO, I did manage to make some forward progress on TWO projects last week (yes, ONLY two) - Rainforest Crunch and Desert. First up, Rainforest, which saw 2 1/2 blocks done Tuesday night at the IHOP, and then another 2 1/2 done at Saturday's PINS gathering, with another started, though it contained a wee tadpole, so I backed it out to a good place and STOPPED. Here it is now:

I need to complete this row, and then one more row of 6 blocks under it, and it's done!

And now for Desert, which is going along pretty well. I am just about done with the very center section of Part 1 - as soon as I finish filling in the blanks with that horrible rayon (which STILL looks no different to me than the cotton), the I can start working on the bits around the outside of this.

And really, that's it for the week :) In other stitching-related news, I did pick up 2 Bent Creek charts in a stash swap on Saturday - Spooky Row (Halloween alphabet) and Glory (American flag alphabet) - both are now kitted and Glory will probably go into the travel bag and get started before Bone Cheeks will - just because wow, I found a really great RED in the stash from Victorian Motto Samplar Shoppe, and I want to stitch it :)

This week, I will keep on with Desert - don't know if I will finish Part 1 - I should, because you know, BEADS. But Secret Victorian is next in line, I think, and then Tuscany - those will be my June focus pieces. And hopefully working on 3 Chatelaines back to back will stifle the screaming coming from Deep Blue Sea & Sparkly Hummingbird, now that I FINALLY got my last order of metallics from SB&Bs (in only about 8 weeks!) So check back next week to see if I got a bead fix or not :)

(sometimes you have to stay for the credits...)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

You know, I was thinking about what to write today, as we were out running around in the convertible, enjoying this beautiful day off. As we drove through town, a '69 Chevelle SS came up in the lane ahead of us. It was in immaculate condition, fire engine red with black markings, all the chrome shining (coulda done without the low profile tires, but the wheels they had on it looked good). It was sharp - I would love to have something like that one day (yes, even a GM product - so long as it's that old). But then I had to think; 1969. A good year for the auto industry. A great year for the Space Race. But it was also a time of war, in a place that many had not heard of before - Vietnam. So while so many of America's youth should have been home, burning up the streets in their muscle cars, they weren't; they were halfway around the world, again, "protecting the world against communism". And so many didn't come home.

The generation before that fought not one, but two World Wars, and the world changed. And the American soldier was there, and paid a heavy price. And now, we find ourselves in foreign lands, Afghanistan and Iraq, and once again, the American soldier is paying the price of our freedom, of his own free will. I think sometimes people forget that the freedoms they enjoy, and often take for granted, are available because there are those willing to volunteer to protect your right to have your opinion, your things, your days off from work.

So take a minute today, in between boating at the lake and grilling steaks and hamburgers, that if it hadn't been for the American soldier, many of today's usual American activities would not be possible.

Some links you may be interested in:
Women in Military Service for America Memorial
US Dept of Veteran's Affairs
US Memorial Day History
A Page with lots of links to good information

Not Free
by Roger W. Hancock
Nothing is ever free,
though to you it be.
Somewhere, somehow,
someone paid.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spelunking - An Update

In case you were wondering what happened last week, one of my co-workers decided to come to work sick - and several of us got The Crud, including DH who is sick with it now and will probably miss a day or two of work as a result :( So I was out of commission for a few days last week - and you KNOW I'm sick if I can't stitch OR read :( It had all the symptoms of flu, but tested negative for flu - and a week and a half later, I am still not quite back to rights. So people, do me a favor; don't come to work SICK, especially if you can work from home to prove your dedication.

(DISCLAIMER: all of these photos below can be found in their respective albums on my Multiply site - I do not know why they do not link back from here to the enlarged photo like they USED to - OR you can go to this post on Multiply and see the enlarged photos by clicking there. What can I say - HTML hates me).

BEFORE The Crud got me, and for a few days after, I worked on Celtic Banner. Lots and lots of border. It sure FELT like I did more than shows up - I had to re-adjust the frame a few times as I moved down. But I am finally to the compass rose, where there are about 10 colors already, and I've barely gotten into it - this piece is more complicated than it first appears, IMO. Here is where it was when I started this time:

And here is where I stopped:

And now this is where the spelunking comes in. Spelunking, a.k.a caving or potholing, is exploring caves. Or, in my case, starting a new CHATELAINE!!! Because I just could not stand it a minute longer, and I'll tell you why. On a FB cross stitch group, someone had finished a Dimensions kit called Southwest Mesa. And someone else had commented that they had the kit, and would be willing to pass it on. So I contacted that person, and arranged a trade - because, you know, it's Southwest, where I belong. So this is in the mail to me:

And I wait and wait, stalking the mail lady as always. And finally, Desert Mandala reaches the proper decibel level to FORCE me to get it out and start it, because no way in HELL is it going to wait for me to work Southwest Mesa, or Deep Blue Sea, for that matter. And well, New Mexico, where I belong, IS home to Carlsbad Caverns, which is just an amazing place to see and experience, so spelunking I will go...

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.So yes, I CAVED, or spelunked, as I prefer to call it, because it sounds cooler. And possibly contagious. Because I'm all about the contagion here lately :) And after working on it since Friday night, here is where I am on the ginormous Part 1:

Included here are 3 different blacks - PTB in black, plain ol' DMC 310, and then, DMC rayon in black - which, other than being a hair bulkier, looks EXACTLY like the cotton DMC. I am not entirely sure this is going to be worth the effort to outline all the coming parts in or not - I do not see any sheen to it when it is stitched. I can't imagine the Anchor Marlitt that I subbed this for being any different. So when I get to those parts, I may have to decide. Heck, I might order a few more skeins of HDF black regular to use.... Also of note - the coyote and the vulture are both over-1. Though I think, having read Stephen King's The Stand, oh, 12 times or so, I'm going to say that's a raven, not a vulture. Just because.

I will keep on with Desert this week, and will also look for that piece of 28ct antique white evenweave that I bought and didn't like for Growth Rings, to replace the awful piece of 80-grit aida that came in Southwest Mesa :) I'll save that aid for furniture refinishing or something... I am also planning to go to stitch night on Tuesday - I don't think I can spread The Crud now, all this time later, though I will try to keep myself to myself :) Maybe I will finish that IC Halloween ornie that I had planned to finish last weekend - or work on Rainforest....

And while I was busy spelunking this weekend, we had some wildlife visits, which I was able to capture with my new toy, the Canon 55-250mm telephoto lens that I got as my Good Raise present to myself :) :) NOT pictured - the red tailed hawk that was sitting in the yard by the pond, with a catch - I had a dog yanking on me, not a camera :( But I did get the snake that I almost stepped on (maybe the one we rescued from Beanie, or one of it's hatch-mates) before he just slipped into a crack in the step and disappeared:

And then, Sunday morning, I woke to see a deer right up by the house - not 10 feet from my bedroom window (if it was on the ground floor) - but I had the damn lens set to manual focus, and well, hey, I just woke up, so by the time I messed around and got it changed, he'd heard me and took off:

BUT they came back later that evening, and I got off a lot of pictures - which proves I need to clean a couple of windows, and lube another so it goes up quieter :)

Hopefully we'll have more visits, I am sure they were just waiting for me to get my shiny new lens :) And just because deer aren't really very sharp, here are some pictures of Dummy, doing what he does best - playing in the tall grass, hunting snakes, or whatever it is he thinks he's after - more here, which if you watch using the slideshow, you can almost see him hopping:

Happy stitching, and SPELUNKING, everyone! Come on, you KNOW you want to cave into some project or other!!!

(I have employed this bruiser to guard my bell pepper plants - I am going to have a TONNE of bells before too long!)

Monday, May 07, 2012

Monday, Already? An Update

Even though I took Friday off, the weekend went too quick. DH was at Talladega for the races all weekend, so a certain dog with some serious separation anxiety issues was a basket case, which was only exacerbated by the lovely neighbors who decided they needed to have a bon fire Saturday night (despite the burn ban being on) until 2 freaking a.m. Because that certain dog needs an excuse to bark every time he hears a sound outside... :(

When I wasn't trying to sleep, I got all the bobbins wound for not only Deep Blue Sea, but Desert, as well. Because I am tempting fate by literally having 3 complete Chatelaine kits actually physically ready to go :) Well, once my SB&B's order shows up to bring me the last of the PTB, that is :) I need to e-mail Cindy at ECC this week for one last fiber (Gloriana perle? I forget what it is - one oddball on DBS)...

I also managed to get some stitching in this week, beginning with 3 more blocks on Rainforest Crunch, done Tuesday night. These 3 went MUCH quicker than the two previous ones did, so it must have been barometer head last time :) Well past half-way now - I want to get it done, but also want to make it last, because I am enjoying it so much, and LOVE these colors :)

I also picked up my IC Full Moon, which has been banging around in my travel bag, felling kind of lonely - it got superseded by the Halloween mandala, and I figured I'd better get it done before I start Bone Cheeks :) While not done, I'm close:

And in between Tuesday night at the IHOP, and a steel drum concert at the high school, I also worked on Samplar 4 Saisons some more, and have all of Spring, tree included, at roughly 99% done :) I just have to finish the middle branch and get the spring-side leaves on - it's kind of a judgment call as to where spring ends and summers begins, since this isn't charted for all these colors, only red & white. I had a red pen sitting beside me so I could mark up the chart as I got to sections that I wanted to define as one or another - we'll see, many years from now, if I got them right :) Here's the overall to date:

And then a close-up of just the tree section:

I put Saisons away last night, so this week, I think I will work on either Noah's Sub or Celtic Banner; depends how tired I am when I get home today, and how much of a challenge I am up to - all those 1/4 stitches in NS, and backstitching - might not have the mental bandwidth for it today. We have band stuff to do this week & next, and school is done on May 17 - isn't that crazy? I remember going to mid-June, but then, I never went back the first week of August, either, so... My baby will be a Sophomore! And the new marching band season starts in June, with Tuesday practices up until camp in July... At least I don't have 4-hour drives (one way) for band stuff :)

(That's mine, the one in the back who's head you can see, playing the Double Guitar drums)

Until next week, Happy Stitching!

(my kid seems to be goofing around in the back - so despite me standing there long enough to take half a dozen pictures, I can just make out the top of his head in one or two...)