Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Liebster Award

Lisa from Embroidering in English has awarded me the Liebster Blog Award for my Blogger blog, On Beads & Needles - how cool is that?

Lisa had this to say about my blog:

"e. Karen (On Beads and Needles): Karen stitches some lovely patterns, and she also posts the most marvelous nature photos- I love them!"

While this older blog started out years ago to just be a place to put random thoughts, it soon morphed into my jewelry and stitching blog, and then grew again when I was able to have my Multiply site rolled into it, where all my photos are stored - those update photos are what keep me motivated, you have no idea. And as I fully embraced the world of amateur digital photography, it also came to be a place (via Multiply's albums) where I could experiment with the things I see, or think I see. It makes me happy that others enjoy those things, too, and too, makes it okay that I "don't do people" - there are so many things in the world to see, I'll leave the people pictures to the Annie Leibovitz's of the world :)

Some background: Liebster is a German word, meaning favourite, dearest or beloved and the Liebster is awarded by bloggers to other, newer bloggers, who have fewer than 200 followers, to spread the word and help the new(er)bies gain wider recognition. The award comes with four conditions that each recipient must satisfy when accepting:

1. Choose five up-and-coming blogs (with fewer than 200 followers) to award the
Liebster to.

a. Lissanne's Stitching & Creations - I'll say it - SHE'S the one who hooked me on Chatelaine Sparkly Hummingbird Garden! I was doing a fine job of ignoring it entirely - and then I saw this magnificent PURPLE creation, and it was all over then. Oh yeah, she does LOTS of other great things, too :)
b. Nancy - the FINISHING QUEEN, who doesn't like to kit, but likes BIG projects, like Mystic Stitch, that she blows through without a backward glance! But I hope I've led her down the path as often she's led me :)
c. Joysze's Random Ramblings - First, I just love this blog - there's something about the color and the picture in the banner that are inviting, cool, and soothing. And then you get down to the posts, and especially the random questions, which are every bit as much fun to read everyone ELSE'S responses to as to come up with your own :)
d. Kim, a.k.a. Crab-Ass Mom - I think that maybe we are related - there are some spooky similarities to things she posts to my own experiences & thoughts. Because, despite popular opinion at my house, I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE [fill in the blank].
e. Rachel's Does the Noise in my Head Bother You? - Best. Blog. Name. EVER! And, yeah, she's crafty, too, and does all kinds of things I could only dream about doing (had I 18 more hours a day).

2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

Thank you so much, Lisa!! I am usually a slug about these things, but I seem to have managed to find the inspiration to follow through!

3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award.

Please check these out - it was really hard to choose just 5 out of the many I read (yes, I do read a LOT, even though I am usually WAYYYYYY behind)

4. Share 5 random facts about yourself that people don't know about you.

a. I prefer peppermints to chocolate. Unless it's mint chocolate.

b. I am a Fish person. Don't tell the dogs or the cats.

c. My combat boots were size 6 1/2. I loved those, wish I still had them (even if they did ruin my feet)

d. I'd rather be a rancher :) But not in Georgia - in Wyoming or thereabouts...

e. There's no such thing as too much bar-b-que. Or onions.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Smog Alert -an Update

Yep, it's smog season again. Yay. Not. Okay, ready for October (or September, IF it is going to be like last year again). Some rain would be nice, too, and not just the random afternoon pop-up storm, but some actual rain, just to wash the ozone out of the air for a minute...

This week's update starts with a ghost tour. We went on the Roswell Ghost Tour on Saturday night, and while I don't think we caught anything on camera (the zillion photos are here, YOU can go see if you see anything in them), we had a good time, and loved the history. Before the tour even started, we were highly entertained (okay I was highly entertained) by the ginormous red tailed hawk that was in the town square where the tour kicked off; he was very photogenic, and didn't seem to be at all bothered by me following him around as he hunted. Here's one photo of him, but there are several others in the album linked above, including one or two in flight:

We may have to go do that again on another night, and see if we can pick up anything....

On to the stitching, which begins with Tuesday night and Saturday's PINS get togethers, where I worked on Rainforest Crunch; I have only 3 blocks left to go! I expect to have it done this week - and then nothing even remotely close to a finish anywhere on the horizon :(

You know how I said last week that Part 4 of SVG looked pretty simple? Yeah... Got one whole corner done, and a start on the 2nd one. Of course, I didn't touch it at least 2 days last week, and didn't have much time on it when I did have it out. Here's the overall:

And then the detail of the one corner, with beads:

And then, here's a shot of it in the new scroll frame, which I will take better pictures of when I put Tuscany on it:

I have 2 QSnap clamps on the top and on the bottom (2 x 11"? an 11" and a 17"? I have no idea - some combination), on the 3' long black PVC pieces; these were threaded to be used as handles for something, but are the same diameter as QSnap PVC, so with the right combo of clamps, you can attach & remove projects AND be able to scroll them up & down as needed! Okay, the picture looks bad, but that is primarily due to the fact that SVG's fabric is NOT cut to size - it's the full 36" I bought, which makes it too wide to fit on these 36" bars without doubling over the edges, which I have done, making it a bit wonky. And why I couldn't find the 10" band of pewter that I KNEW I had somewhere - found it, still attached to the main fabric, dammit. SO, when I get Tuscany out, which IS cut to size (I think), I'll re-take the pictures, with the side bars on the very ends of the bars....

And that's it for the week. This week, I will continue with SVG, and hopefully get Part 4 done. I will also finish Rainforest, as far as I know at Tuesday night's stitch at the IHOP. Nothing else planned, as of right now :)

In stash news, I saw on FB the other day, Karen at Wasatch was marking the clearance down another 25% - so I was FORCED to grab 2 charts: AAN Bat Banner, which need a fat 1/4 of PTP EEK! in 36ct, and then Papillon Creation's Cottilion, for which I have fabric, courtesy of the Jubilee Girls a few years ago :) I really need to get rid of my computers until I get all of these done...

Happy Stitching this week to everyone!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Boredom + Headache = Photo Fun

This should be self-explanatory...

Now you know why he has the white tip on his tail...

This is why I am late leaving every morning, because Hayseed McGoobercutty here has to play in the long grass, looking for snakes, instead of doing his thing and letting me go do mine...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Solstice - an Update

(Again, I apologize for these photos no longer being clickable for the large size - I've tried to figure it out, but aside from putting each link in manually, I am not finding an option to fix that. Here's the source post on Multiply, which DOES allow clicky for piccy)

It is hard to believe the solstice is in 2 more days - how is this year half-over already? I am not ready for the days to start getting shorter. The weather was really perfect this weekend, low to mid-80's, big puffy clouds - convertible weather :) A nice change from the rain last weekend, which has given us a bumper crop of fungi throughout the homestead...

The peppers are growing like crazy, too, and I think I'll be picking the first of the spicy Cajun bells this week - one has just gone red :) And no, I haven't taken a picture of it. Yet.

So I guess I should get on with the update, huh? Well, there's a bit more on BC Glory - I thought I'd get the blue done, between Tuesday night stitch night & my monthly conference call - but I was too busy working through the call to even think about either paying it much attention or touching a needle; the 15th is gov't CDRL day. Yay me. Anyway, I did get a good bit of the blue done on Tuesday, though, you know, I AM counting challenged, so it's got a couple of modifications in it that I couldn't really find...

And for the rest of the week, I worked on Secret Victorian Garden. On Monday & Wednesday, I finished the stitching in part 3, and on Thursday, I started putting on all of the BEADS - which will force DH to finish my new frame SOON (actually, it is technically done - he didn't like the hardware he put on it, so is looking for other), so he can then start Part B of his assignment :) There will, of course, be pictures of the frame in use, this week I hope... So I almost have part 3 completed - I just have two outer blocks of solid beads to finish up (left & bottom).

Part 4 looks like it'll be quick - 4 inner blackwork gates, very few Xs. I may finish that and move on to Tuscany, which is gotten loud since my friend Avital was in Italy last week and posted a group of photos of places I will be stitching :)

And that's the progress for the week; I'd have had part 3 of SVG done yesterday, except we were outside all evening instead. I will get those beads on tonight, and hopefully start part 4 on Wednesday. I plan to go to stitch night at IHOP tomorrow, work on Rainforest or Glory some more. This coming weekend, we have the Roswell Ghost Tour on Saturday - that's going to be so cool! Will have both cameras ready to go :) We'll see what, if anything, we come up with.

Until next week, Happy Stitching everyone!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Rainy Day in the Desert

Okay, a rainy day - one of several - in Atlanta. BUT I did finally get Part 1 of Desert DONE - all 13K+ stitches of it, including app. 600 beads :) I had the stitching done Saturday night, and spent 4-5 hours on Sunday getting the 2 rings of beads put on, while listening to the Euro 2012 games. Not necessarily by choice of course. Anyway, here is Part 1:

And then, here are a couple of close-ups of the beads:

In other stitching news, I did not go to the Tuesday night group, as I was feeling kind of not well, but I did make up for it during Thursday & Friday lunch times - I started Bent Creek's Glory as my new travel piece (2nd travel piece, I guess is more accurate). I found a couple of great flosses from the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe, and put them together with a couple of DMCs on 28ct Tea monaco:

Not much so far, but the blue section isn't very big; I plan to go to this week's Tuesday night, so if this gets attention instead of Rainforest, I hope to have the blue done, maybe a star, too :)

This week, now that I have Desert to a stopping place, Secret Victorian is coming back out. DH hasn't finished my new frame yet - all for the lack of a 7/8" hole bit - but I can move forward on SVG without it, for the time being :) I'll work on it for a bit, then Tuscany later this month, and then I think Lady & Unicorn will come back out in July - or so that's the rough plan as of today. Because we all know how I stick to stitching plans :)

Happy Stitching this week to everyone!

Wow, was this really short, or is it just me?

Monday, June 04, 2012

Hot Air - an Update

Not necessarily MY hot air, but that of balloons - as in the 39th Helen to the Atlantic Hot Air Balloon Race and Festival, which we went to on Saturday, for the local launches. Not sure HOW we've not known about this for the last 17 years, but we do now, and the Canon got a great workout - 300+ pictures in roughly 4 hours, and lunch at the Troll Tavern, where I got pretty close to actual German food - red cabbage, sauerkraut, and German potato salad, with a knock wurst & a bratwurst. Which, in a town that is supposed to mimic a German village for tourists, there seems to be an awful lack of sauerbrauten, one of my favorite German dishes... Anyway, it was a BEAUTIFUL day, though the breeze was pretty chilly, especially for June - felt very April-ish out there, but I got LOTS of great pictures, and we had a great evening.

Stitching-wise, I did very little over the weekend, and not as much as I had planned during the week - work crawled all week, and my free time just flew past! I do have a finish, finally - the Ink Circles Halloween ornie is now done (but not finished yet - still deciding if it will be an ornie, a pinkeep, or a small flat-fold):

I did not go to the Tuesday nigh stitch-in - work kicked my butt on Tuesday, which, after the memorial Day holiday, was a Monday & Tuesday all rolled into one :( So no progress on Rainforest this week.

I did get further on Desert Mandala, though Part 1 STILL isn't done, and not to beads yet. But I did get the middle done; on the lightning bs, I did some with one strand, some with two, just to vary it a little bit. Now I am working o n the outer medallions, and finally getting to use some silks :)

Also over the weekend, we did a little playing in the dirt. I saw that Home Depot had gardenias 3/$10, so we went to get some Saturday afternoon, before leaving for the balloon fest. BUT, surprise, that's a great deal, so they were OUT :( But we were told more were coming later Saturday or Sunday morning. So we got 3 Sunday morning - the last 3 of the variety that grows to 6', which we've put along one side of the deck, so when they grow & bloom, we'll be able to smell them while sitting out there - yum! I love gardenias, though they make me hungry... I did NOT take a picture of them, but will remember to do so one day this week.

While at HD, we also shopped the cactus department - and I now also have a little cactus garden out on the deck, as well as DH re-potting our BIG cactus with the prickly pear from the side of the house that just refuses to die. Now if we can just keep the dumb dogs out of the big ones, we'll be doing good, though the pokies don't seem to bother Dummy.

And yet another project for DH while we were at HD - I want a scroll frame that combines scrolling with Q-Snap technology. So, with some oak and some PVC, and some of DH's time with the saw & drill, hopefully I will have a BIG scroll frame (to hold Tuscany and those kinds of projects), BUT where I can put a project on quickly, and remove it quickly, just like a Q-Snap, but still have the ability to scroll up and down, with batting over the beads!! If only I could find the equivalent of the Q-Snap clamp material in a long length that I can cut to size... Until then, I figure I can fit however many sections of clamps on as I need, since it'll just be there to hold the fabric so I can wrap it around however many times I need to, to get to the section I need :) I'll post pictures when we get it done, and have something on it :)

So this week, I plan to keep on on Desert - would like to finish Part 1. Then, Secret Victorian is coming out, hopefully on the newly-made scroll frame, so I can start beading when I get the stitches done in the current parts! I am also planning to go to stitch night tomorrow, assuming the barometer head cooperates, so may work on Rainforest, or may start BC Glory :) You know me - what's one more WIP? LOL

Happy Stitching to everyone!

(I had to save this little guy out of the middle of the street one morning as I was walking Dummy before work - I set him to guard the pepper plants, but he was long gone by the time I got home that evening - the peppers were all still there, growing like crazy)