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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Three more check-ins

Well, I was caught up with my SAL check-ins for a couple of minutes days! Three more check-ins to catch-up with today, one on Saturday and I will be caught up for a while. I am starting to feel more settled at work which is, I hope, a sign that I will be more settled here at home.

So first up is DESIGN or Designers Everyone Should Instantly Get to Notice. It is hosted over at NCC. I have been very remiss posting to this SAL, but this month will recognize an "oldie but goodie" Just Nan.  According to their website, Just Nan started as a company in 1991 and I have been collecting and stitching her designs since right about that time. I have enough patterns and kits in my stash to almost be embarrassed as she was a must-buy for years.  My latest piece is Spring in the Air



Leonore gave us a list of questions to guide us for each post so...
-Have you stitched a piece by this designer before?  Oh yes. I have 20 or so pieces, mostly smalls and class projects hanging in my den/stitching room and I did five of her Christmas stockings for gifts one year. I also have a number of unfinished-finished pieces just waiting for me to get into a finishing mindset.
-Would you buy/stitch a piece by this designer again? Yes, although I did lose the "love" when she moved away from her sampler style, I have enough in my stash to keep me stitching her designs for a number of years.
-What made you chose this particular design/designer? Nan has a very distinctive style and color palette. I can still look at a stitched piece and pick her pieces out. For this particular piece? I love pansies and I am a sucker for seasonal series pieces. Unfortunately, I am not sure I will finish this series. I purchased this pattern and Strawberry Summer but when Winter Blues came out, I didn't like it. Nothing against the series, design or designer, it just did nothing for me.
-Did you notice anything that distinguished this designer from others? As I mentioned, she had a color palette that appealed to me and she was using unique, for me at the time, threads - perle cottons and silks.

From DESIGN to the HAP SAL.  The 2015 HAP SAL is hosted by Stacy at Crossed Stitches and highlights all those huge projects, defined by Stacy as "the smallest of the dimension of the stitch count is 300", you are stitching or want to stitch and maybe even finish in 2015.  My HAP for 2015 and the next 10 or 15 years is Shakespearean Fantasy. When I showed it to you last week, it was here:


Sunday evening, I put an additional 400 (gridding is good for stitch counting) black stitches in and it now looks like this:


In addition to my HAP SAL piece, Shakespearean Fantasy is one of my WIPocalypse pieces.  WIPocalypse is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musing and is another SAL to help us focus on getting through our WIP pile.  I think between last weekend's post and the pictures above, I have posted updates of all my WIPocalypse pieces. There is a complete list in the WIPocalypse and YOTA Project List and 2015 Stitching Plan tab up top there. Melissa also gives us questions for each month's post. This month's is Fantasy or Reality? Which do you prefer to stitch? Figures or abstracts? I lean more towards reality or at least someone's concept of reality!  The presentation may be abstract, the theme is usually based in reality.  It isn't that I don't like fantasy pieces and I have stitched a fair number of them, but it it more a function of my stashing habits or lack thereof. When the majority of my stash was purchased, there weren't a lot of really good patterns that I would define as fantasy.  There has been an explosion of designers in that area over the last ten years or so, but I haven't been buying a lot of stash in that time.  With unlimited financial resources, my stash would look much different today.

As WIPocalypse and YOTA have the same goals and pieces, I am counting this as my YOTA post and am now AHEAD!!! with my SAL posts. I am sure I will get behind again soon enough so I won't rest on my laurels for too long.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

So what am I catching up on this time?

Month:  June
Spent: $0

Yes, it has been a while. No, nothing exciting or earth shattering (other than some massively wicked thunderstorms), but before I get into anything more...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TREVOR!!!

Here's a then:



and now (well a year or so ago):


Hard to believe it's been 32 years!!

Hope those of you that have been in the line of the storms the last week are all well.  I don't normally mind a good thunderstorm, but I have had enough for a while.  We've had more in the last week then we usually have in a couple of months.  There was a tornado (unconfirmed) just south of us, but we only had high winds. No damage, but I did take the lantern and sit in the basement for a while.

As the title suggests, I am AGAIN late for check-ins and updates. I have stitched a bit, but I haven't been reading blogs or even turning my computer on. I have; however, been reading a lot as I signed up for a month of Kindle Unlimited (all the books and audio books you can read or listen to - well there are specific books, but there are a lot) and I am going to get my $9.99 worth!! So according to my list, I am late for Gifted Gorgeousness, Stitch from Stash and the Smalls check-ins. I also signed up for IHSW last weekend and didn't post, so that one too.

So in order of check-in dates: Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and is designed to say "Thank you" to everyone that has gifted us with stitching or to show a piece of stitching we intend as a gift.  My main gifted piece is "Shakespearean Fantasy", I don't have a lot of progress to show on it. When last I left it, it was here:


This is on the frame for some attention this afternoon, so slightly larger blobs of color next time I show it.

I had categorized two more pieces as gifted because they are freebie pieces and are therefore, gifts from the designers!

"Christmas Presence" is one of the designs in the HAED freebie SAL this year.  I put a couple more colors into him and he went from here:

to here:


I do need to get busy on this one. The last page was released this weekend and I would like to finish him this year. I stitched on this as part of my IHSW.

The next freebie is The Sampler Life Yahoo groups SAL. I did not care for the design released this month, so picked Chatelaine's "Debi's Roses".


I switched out the called for Kreinik braid (all those eyelets were charted for Kreinik) for plain old DMC and quite like it. This was part of IHSW too.

And this month, I have two pieces that are going to be gifts. The first is Ink Circles "99"


which will be for DNephew and for DNiece:


"Sentimental Heart" from The Sweetheart Tree. This is the order that I mentioned in my last Stitch from Stash update.

And speaking of Stitch from Stash it's time for the last check-in for 2015A!! Mel at Epic Stitching hosts the SAL and this year decided on two separate challenges each 6 months long. So my tally since January 1st is:

Total budget: $150.00
Total spent:   $  27.67
End balance:  $122.33

I have signed up for 2015B which starts July 1st and I believe sign-ups are still open if you are interested.

And finally, Smalls SAL, which is hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus.  I am using the blocks from The Sampler Life SAL as my monthly small piece. This month's finished block is shown above and here they are together:


I was concerned that the new block would be too heavy, but it fits rather well.

And finally, a piece that isn't part of any SAL this year, Just Nan's Spring in the Air.  It went from here:


to here:


I really do love the colors in this one. I am going to put it back on the frame for the week and maybe, just maybe finish it in the next few weeks. This was IHSW too - really shows that my concentration is shot - three pieces in two days!

PHEW!!! I think that's everything!  A short week for work this week and an extra long weekend - Independence Day is on Saturday so I get the day before off and because that is my normal Friday off, I get to move that to the next regular business day, so I get Monday off too.  We are going to the in-laws one day but no plans for the rest of the time - maybe I really will settle myself down and get some stitching in.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Three for one

Once again, I'm late on check-ins. I was out of town for work last week - again - and didn't have access to my computer, so I am behind on my posting and reading. My next planned travel is the end of July so a few weeks to settle back into a routine - oh wait, you've heard that before haven't you?

Welcome to my new followers. Hopefully, I can add something to your day. And Thank You to all of you that have stuck with being a follower through the last few months of blah here.

We have moved from spring into early summer here in central Virginia.  Have been doing a lot of outside work that was put off and I think we are just about caught up. There are  a couple more things to get done before it gets too hot and humid to be out much, but I am really happy with what has been done.

The first batch of fledgling finches and sparrows have been into the feeders and it looks like the crows have added at least one youngster to the murder. I expect to see the cardinals and wren young any day now.

Besides travel and outside work and a bit of housework I have done a bit of stitching and I think each piece fits into one of the three SAL check-ins.

First is the 2015 HAP SAL. It is hosted by Stacy at Crossed Stitches. Pick a Huge A$$ Project, stitch and post on the first Saturday of the month. I did all but the last.  My piece for this SAL is Shakespearean Fantasy from Heaven and Earth Designs.  Last time I showed it, it was here:


And now, it is here:


I do need to concentrate on getting a few more lengths of black in but otherwise, I'm happy with the progress I've made.

The second check-in is for WIPocalypse and the third is YOTA.  As I have the same project list for both of these, one batch of photos. 

 is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings and YOTA is hosted at Pull the Other Thread.  Both SALs are reminders to work with what you have first.  My WIPocalypse/YOTA project list is in the tab up top.   From that list I have stitched on Shakespearean Fantasy, Santa's Magic, and Christmas Presence.  Santa's Magic ended up here:

Just a bit more and the beard will be finished.  Christmas Presence went from here:


to
 
And before I forget, there is a question each month with WIPocalypse. This month's is:  Do you find yourself more productive with stitching in summer or winter?  I am definitely more productive in the winter. I have had a summer stitching slump for the last four or five summers which has kept my summer stitching progress fairly low - but my reading backlog is reduced so it works to a win for me.
 
I also stitched on a couple of piece that are not on the list.  Ink Circle's 99, went from here:
 

to here:


only 98 more to go.
 
And for my small piece this month:
 
 
This is Chatelaine's Debi's Roses. I didn't care for the design that was released this month, so went searching through my freebie files and found a couple that would fit.  The other was in blues and I wasn't sure if it would fit right here so will save it in case of another "eh" reaction to future releases.
 
Just Nan's Spring in the Air is going on the frame later this afternoon. I may leave it on until I finish it, but will see how much progress I actually make this week.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I don't know where I've been...

Month: May
Spent: $27.67
Earned: Not participating

It is Memorial Day weekend in the States, so I thought a collage was in order.  This is my family during World War II:


On the left is the home front, my Grandparents, my Aunt Linda and my Dad. On the right from top left to bottom right, are my: Aunt Hazel; and, Uncles Dale, Bob, and Dick (thanks to my cousin Dewey's Facebook page for the photos).  My Dad went on to a 30-year career in the Army.



So, when I last blogged (a month ago!!!), I had great hopes of keeping up with all my check-ins and tearing through the stitching. Um, yeah, not so much. I would love to tell you that I was working on something with great socially redeeming value, but honestly, I have no idea what I was doing that took all my time.  That is not totally true, my parents came to visit a couple of weeks ago - Thanks for coming Mom and Dad!!!

I will not be able to catch up on all the check-ins I missed, so will get the ones that are due soon. The first is
Simple and easy - try to stitch from your stash as much as you can. Each month you get a $25 budget (I'm tracking in US Dollars but you can convert to your local currency) and what you don't spend does roll over. Well for the first time in a long time, I bought something this month!!! It hasn't arrived yet, but I am going to count it and will show you when it arrives. So for May:

Balance forward: $100
Budget: $25
Available $125
Spent: $27.67
To June: $97.33

I had three new starts from stash:

This is Rosewood Manor's contribution to The Sampler Life's SAL. It is stitched with the DMC conversion:

A couple years ago, I stitched 99 by Ink Circles for my son. During the stitching I showed my DNephew the photo and h really liked it, so I started one for him this morning. It is stitched on 32-count Vintage Buttercream from Lakeside Linens with DMC.
 


And finally, while my parents were visiting, my Mom was going through her stitching bag and asked if I wanted to stitch this for her:
 

It is Just Nan's Swan Lake. It is stitched on a 28-count Dark Teal Green cashel with DMC and the included beads. Technically it's not my stash, but it is a start from stash.

On other stitching.  I didn't get Santa's beard on Santa's Magic by Mirabelia, finished as I'd hoped, but I did get from here:

 
 
To here - I very much dislike stitching with Wisper thread!!!:
 


I also put a bit of time into Christmas Presence from HAED.  He went from here:


To here:


And finally, I'll do my check-in for:


I am using my blocks from The Sampler Life's SAL as my Smalls SAL each month. I showed the finished block above, and here are all four blocks together:


The weather for this weekend is just too beautiful (upper-70s/low-80s, very low humidity, light breeze - pretty close to perfect) to spend much time inside, so I'm not sure I'll get too much stitching done over the next 2 days, but Monday is supposed to start being summery which means hot, hazy and humid - no fun for working outside, so maybe then.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

April Stich from Stash and an early Small report

Month: April
Amount Spent: $0
Amount Earned: $0 (I'm not claiming earnings for finishes

More on the above a bit later.  WHEW!! I finally unpacked my suitcase Saturday and, unlike previous weeks, I put it away instead of just setting it aside. I made my last scheduled work trip last week and had a wonderful time in Maine. In addition to the usual sewerage and water treatment plants (I won't post any photos of those here), we were taken past Stephen King's house in Bangor.


While the house is beautiful, the design of the front gate and fence are the real highlights and yes, that is the last of the 100+ inches of snow that Bangor received this winter.

Because I have been doing so much traveling, I haven't been doing a lot of stitching and because I haven't been doing a lot of stitching, I haven't had any need to do any buying, so my April Stitch from Stash report looks exactly like my March report.  SFS is hosted by Mel at Epic Stitching and is designed to help us keep our stash stitching in check. You are given a $25 budget each month and what we don't use rolls over to the next month. You can also, if you choose, get additional credit for finishes. I am not taking advantage of that option, but it is a nice perk. My tally so far is:

Carried forward:  $75
 April budget: $25
Available: $100
Spent: $0
To May: $100

I had one start (and a finish) from stash:


This is the March installment of The Sampler Life's SAL. It's from Tam's Creations. Here it is with the other two blocks:


The next installment will be released next week. We received an email from the moderator and she said it will be a monochrome design, not something I have done a lot of, so I am excited to see and stitch it.

Santa's Magic from Mirabilia made it's appearance in the rotation and I was able to squeeze in a few hours of work on it.

Here is where it was:


And here it is as of today:


I think I will keep it on the stand for a while longer. I would like to get the Wisper in the beard done before I put it away.

We have plans to have the boat's annual safety inspection done tomorrow morning. I hope it doesn't take too long, as I want to get home and put some stitches in Shakespearean Fantasy or Christmas Presence.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

APRIL!?!?!

I barely had time to settle into March!! I was in San Antonio Texas last week and flew over some of the same parts of the country as when I flew to Seattle apparently the airlines believe that the most direct way to fly from Richmond Virginia to San Antonio Texas is by way of Chicago a couple of weeks ago and there was much more brown and green land then frozen and white, so winter is finally loosening its grip. I am heading up to Maine in a week, so will probably be back in the freezing and white but know I will be coming home to warm and the knowledge that that is my last scheduled trip for a while.

Despite my best intentions, I have not done a great job of being timely with my SAL check-ins. I am pretty sure I am late for at least two and will probably give them a pass. That leaves three for today's post, HAP, YOTA and WIPocalypse. Fortunately, I have projects that are doing double and in this case, triple duty. With that, here are the SALs:

The 2015 HAP SAL is hosted by Stacy at Crossed Stitches and highlights all those huge projects, defined by Stacy as "the smallest of the dimension of the stitch count is 300", you are or want to stitch and maybe even finish. Shakespearean Fantasy is my HAP for 2015 and 2016 and, and, and...

YOTA is a fun, non-stress SAL hosted by Pull the Other Thread. Just focus on stitching, and maybe finishing, some of those WIPs that may be plaguing you and post on the first Saturday of the month, what could be easier?

And last, but not least, WIPocalypse which is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings. As with YOTA, it's a non-stress, stitch and report type SAL. Melissa also gives us topics for each month, April's is: Which speciality stitches do you love doing on projects? Which do you dread? I have done a variety of speciality stitches and like the challenge they all present. I love Rhodes stitches of any kind - they are used quite frequently in Chatelaine pieces and I like the texture they add. Another stitch I really like but don't see a lot is bullion knots. The one stitch I will go out of my way to avoid is Queen stitch. Despite years of trying and hours of practice, I can not get them to lay right and have just about given up on them. Now that I have said that, the next pattern I pull out of my stash will probably be FULL of them!!

And here are pictures:

My WIPocalypse and YOTA projects can be found in the WIPocalypse and YOTA project list and 2015 stitching plan tab. From that project list, I stitched on Secret Victorian Garden by Chatelaine, Spring in the Air by Just Nan, Holly and Hearts Sampler by Lizzie*Kate, Christmas Presence by HAED and Shakespearean Fantasy also from HAED.

Updated photos of Secret Victorian Garden can be seen in my blog post here.  My progress on Shakespearean Fantasy and Holly and Hearts Sampler can be seen here. And Christmas Presence went from here:

to here:


Elegant Doily, despite my best intentions, did not make it onto the frame for its week in the rotation and I haven't decided if I will just skip it this round or push everything else back a week. I have a feeling that if I allow myself to skip it this time, I will do it again next time and the next and I will never finish it. I am going to work on the new block for The Sampler Life's Yahoo group SAL today, a blackwork pattern from Tam's Creations and decide later what I will do with the doily.