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Monday, November 20, 2017

November IHSW Check-in

Hermitting and stitching happened this weekend and because of that progress - lots and lots of progress!!

This is going to be short and sweet as I'd like to get another hour or two into the backstitching.

Friday A Glimpse of Santa was here:


and here's the toe area:

I could not find the called for light bulb buttons so I stitched them in DMC's satin floss - just enough shimmer to look like glass.

I had to roll the stocking back up so I could get to the backstitching so here's that portion:


A bit more on the little girl, the little boy and his teddy and that chair/stool and all the stitching will be done.  I found some 4mm Swarovski bicones that I think will work well as tree ornaments but will keep an eye out for alternatives as I'm out and about on Friday yes, for the first time in a long time I'm going to subject myself to Black Friday and all it's craziness.

Friday, November 17, 2017

IHSW and Gifted Gorgeousness

It's time for  and Gifted Gorgeousness!!  If you're interested in participating in IHSW, head on over to Random Ramblings or click Hermie on the left side up there at the top (the guy here in the post is just a picture).  Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and you can find all the details here or click on the badge up left there.
 
Grocery shopping tomorrow morning and I'll be just about done with the actual work part of the weekend.  I'm sure you'll have no trouble guessing what I'm hermitting with this weekend and it just happens to be my Gifted Gorgeousness entry - gotta love these two-for-one posts especially as I've been so bad at keeping up with this blog lately.

Yep, A Glimpse of Santa.  When last you saw our hero I showed it last, it was here:


And after last weekend's stitching time, it's here:


I had to roll it up a bit so I could get to the heel/toe area.  That kitten took  FOREVER.  Lots of confetti stitching, fractional stitches and fractional confetti!

Since I can see the end of this project, I'm planning my next one - another Christmas stocking.  This one for my in-laws.  It will have a picture of their German Shepherd puppy on it.  It's a special order from Heaven and Earth Designs so it's going to take some time and will be my focus and probably only piece next year and even with that I'm not sure I can finish it in time for Christmas 2018. 

I'll see you at the end of the weekend with my hermitting report.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Normal?

After all the craziness of the last few months, things are settling back into, dare I say?, normal (at least as normal as life ever really is).  While it's going to get crazy again as the holidays approach (WAY to fast), this time of year is typically slower - probably because the push to do outside and inside work is gone.  We had our first hard freeze this morning so the growing season is over and all that's left now is clean up.

I actually think I've got the coming holidays mostly in-hand.  Thanksgiving turkey is in the fridge defrosting, there's an amazing standing rib roast in the freezer waiting for Christmas and I've got my shopping lists all set (except for DSon's cookies - I have to finalize the list of what I'm making).  Now for the carry through...

Stitching progress was made last weekend.  A Glimpse of Santa went from here:

to here:


Amazing how something as simple as moving the phone can make such a difference. If I can keep this pace up I should have this finished, except for the embellishments, by Thanksgiving.  I'm off the week after for holiday prep, so would like "sew stocking" to be one of the items on the to-do list. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

So much...

When last I posted I was at the beginning of my vacation, today I'm at the end of it and have so much to post.

The trip to Michigan was wonderful.  It was great being with my family again, but the highlight was my DNiece's wedding.  Here's the new family:


And here's a photo so you can see her dress (everybody asks about the dress - the pearls are from my mother and are her something borrowed):

The new Mr. & Mrs. and a more experienced pair (DSis and DBIL)
Lots of smiles and laughter at the service and the reception afterwards.  In this post, I showed a piece of the pies that we were making for the table and thank yous.  Here's a picture of the front table with all of them:


Everyone got a lottery ticket and a lucky penny.  Didn't hear of anyone winning big, but everyone did go home at least a penny richer.  Here is my favorite picture of the entire day:

My father and my niece
I took a Dimensions plastic canvas kit with me in case there was stitching time.  I did get a bit of time and here's my start:


You can see the package photo through the canvas. 

And while I was in Michigan, I saw the handiwork of someone who was much more ambitious than I:


Yes, that's a crocheted tire cover.  It's done with, as best I could tell, rip cord.

For the first time in months (about four) I'm posting for WIPocalypse.  WIPocalypse is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings.  It's an easy SAL, work on a WIP during the month and post about it on the last Sunday of each month.  It definitely has kept me focused over the years and she just announced that she's going to continue into 2018 - Yaaaaaa!!!!!!!  Mel gives us questions each month to help to get to know the other posters.  This month's question is:  How did you begin stitching?  That is easy - my Mom.  My first exposure to stitching was with those stitching cards that some of us of a certain age will remember.  When I was 5 or 6, Mom started me on stamped cross stitch and taught me surface embroidery.  Forward a number of years and while talking Mom mentioned that she'd tried counted cross stitch and thought that I might like it - the rest, as they say, is history. 

The only piece I'm working on from my WIPocalypse list is A Glimpse of Santa.  It was here on my last post:


Today it's here:

I didn't really settle in to stitching until Wednesday, so I'm very happy with the progress. A bit upset with myself for not settling in sooner, but I did identify the block to my stitching when I do finally sit down - my phone.  I didn't realize how much stitching time I was losing until I left my phone in the kitchen one afternoon.  I figured out I would stitch a bit, pick up my phone and play through my five lives on Candy Crush and Bubble Witch (yes I'm still playing them), then do a quick email check, then look something up on the internet, and then back to the games and pretty soon hours had passed and nothing, stitching or otherwise, accomplished.  I have left my phone in another room the last two days and haven't really missed it.

I let the housework slide the last couple weeks, so today has been housework, laundry, banking book updating and blogging.  Once dinner is finished and the kitchen cleaned up, I plan to sit and stitch.  Back to work tomorrow, but I am working from home, so I get a chance to ease back into it.  In all honesty, there won't be a lot of actual work happening tomorrow as I will have two weeks of emails to sort and respond to. 

 

Monday, October 16, 2017

I haven't stopped

I haven't stopped blogging, although it may seem like it.  The last month has been a whirlwind.  In my last post, I mentioned one more work trip to Michigan.  That's been and gone (the training went well and I had a wonderful time visiting my family afterwards).  There was a long weekend in there somewhere - The Hubs and I went to Virginia Beach, took the boat out and visited his dad.  And when I logged off my computer Friday afternoon, I was officially on vacation for two weeks!  I went to the grocery store to pick up things to get through the weekend and a bit and then spent the next two days working on DNiece's wedding card.   Yep, on Wednesday I'm packing the car up again and heading back to Michigan to attend my niece's wedding on Friday.  The bones of the card were done on Saturday and all the decorating finished on Sunday.

I decided on a modified exploding box.  It is fairly plain on the outside:


because the inside isn't:

From above.  Heart idea from http://paperfirefly.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/ruby-wedding-anniversary.html


As with my nephew's card, I used bits and pieces from the bouquet I carried at my sister's wedding  (Yes, DSis and DBIL had two weddings within 3-1/2 months of each other - I'm sure they'll be glad to be done and dusted with weddings) to add a little "something old" for good luck   DSis and DBIL have been married for 30 years this December, so there must be some good vibes associated with it all.  

With the wedding things done, I am focusing on  A Glimpse of  Santa for the remainder of my vacation.  This is a gift for my new niece (wife of DNephew) and fits perfectly into Gifted Gorgeousness.  Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and is designed to showcase projects that are gifts to someone or projects that were gifts to us (or anything else you can shoehorn into the SAL theme). 

Here's where it was last month  

And here's where it is today:  
More of the tree, finished off the window casing, some of the wallpaper design and a start to the little boy's head.  My goal for today and tomorrow is to get to the halfway mark so I can roll it up and move into the foot and toe area. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Sigh...

I am so good at making stitching plans.  I spend hours searching for just the right combination of projects, making lists, reworking lists, figuring times and supplies, and I finally have the perfect plan. The problem is my carry-through sucks.  For example, take a gander at the WIPocalypse Project List and 2017 Stitching Plan tab at the top of my postings.  That plan took me ages to work up, but it has the right balance to get a lot done.  I was keeping up with it pretty well, until July.  All my planning since the beginning of July has been for naught - how come that's pronounced "nawt" and draught is pronounced "draft"? (at least in my  mish-mashed American version of English).  I am pretty close to calling a free-for-all through the end of the year and see where I end up.

Since my last post, I've been to New Orleans - yes we got rain from Hurricane Harvey, but no wind and no flooding (other than the room of one of our trainees - a pipe burst in the room next to his and flooded his room), been home for a couple weeks and am getting ready to head to Michigan the end of the month for a week of training.  I should be done traveling for a while - probably this time next year when we get our travel and training funds - so maybe I can settle down a bit.  Who am I kidding?  DNiece is getting married the 20th of October and I need to make a card and get things around for that trip.  Rather than just a few days of either side of the wedding, I decided to take the week on each side, so two weeks off work.  Other than the travel for the wedding, I have stitching planned.

Speaking of stitching (which is what I am supposed to be doing on this blog) it is time for September's Gifted Gorgeousness check-in.  Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  Pop on over there and say "Hi".  She's having a birthday tomorrow, so wish her a Happy Birthday while your there.  Anyway, Gifted Gorgeousness is a way to thank the generous people that have gifted us stitching things or to show things that we are stitching that will be gifted or anything we can shoehorn into the stitch-along theme.

I only have one project that fits into any of these categories (heck, I've only stitched on one thing for the last few months).  It actually fits two as it is a gift for DNiece2 and the fabric was a gift from The Hubs last Christmas.  Here is A Glimpse of Santa from The Stoney Creek Collection.


It is stitched on 28-count Antique White Monaco with DMC threads.  After a bit of a translation problem, I am moving right along.  The translation problem was  - I couldn't figure out what these symbols meant:


It's a horrible picture, but see those double symboled stitches?   My first thought was printing error, so I started stitching those areas in regular cross stitch.  Then I decided there was too much of it to be an error so tweeding was my next thought.  There were no colors represented by that symbol.  Read and re-read the directions, double checked that I had downloaded all the pages, swore a bit and then figured out that they were half stitches slanting in the direction of the slash. Nothing in the directions mentioned this little tidbit of information.  Maybe it's a peculiarity of this company's patterns, I haven't stitched enough of them to know, and they assume you know it, but I sure didn't and I wasted several hours stitching, figuring it out, and removing the stitches I had already done.

Need to throw a load of laundry into the washer and then hopefully settle into some decent stitching time this afternoon and evening. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

So much going on

We have entered "crazy time" at work.  Our fiscal year ends September 30th, so you'd think it would be smooth sailing for the next 6 weeks as everything is winding down.  Unfortunately, no.  I work for the Federal government and our budget process hasn't worked in years, so instead of having our money on October 1st so we can spread things out over the year, we get continuing resolutions.  They basically give us a percentage of our funds which keeps us going, but doesn't allow us to fully implement anything.  We got the last chunk of money in mid-June and have just recently received the okay to spend it, so we're now trying to fit 12 months of training sessions into about 6 weeks.  I'll be out of the office 3 of the next 6 weeks and I'm lucky as there are several folks who are out all 6.  All that to say that time to stitch is going to be at a premium until October 1st (when it's possible there will be a shutdown as Congress hasn't passed a budget or any spending bills yet).

I came home from my Philadelphia trip to a broken air conditioner.  We did get a repairman out on Friday but he had to order parts and they won't be in until tomorrow.  The Hubs thinks that a bigger part may have been damaged but we won't know until they get the little one fixed.  If the big part is damaged it will probably be another week before they can get a replacement as the unit is on the old side.  Fortunately, we have a portable air conditioner that we're using to keep one room cool.  The rest of the house isn't horrible but it's not terribly comfortable either (Virginia in August is not known for its temperate weather - it's 92 right now outside and we've managed to keep the inside temperature at about 84).  My stitching is in one of the not air conditioned rooms so not a lot is getting done.  I've found a couple smaller pieces that I could stitch in hand, so may start them.

All is not lost on the stitching side of things and I do have a 
post.  Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  It allows us to say "Thank you" to someone that has gifted us stitching goodness, to show things that we are stitching as gifts or anything we can shoehorn into the definition of "gift".  The one piece that I have stitched on this month is "A Glimpse of Santa" which is a gift for my niece.


I haven't much vacation time this year, but given how much is left on this piece, I am thinking about taking a few days off to just sit and stitch.

Hoping for a bit of relief from the heat, we went to Virginia Beach to visit our boat (it was nice, but not much relief) and saw this being towed:


It's hard to tell from the picture, but it's a restaurant.  As I mentioned, we were off Virginia Beach and these folks were coming from the Eastern Shore so at this point they had towed this 10 to 15 miles. Oh yeah, we saw a bunch of dolphins and pelicans too.

And for those of you in the US that have no media access there's a solar eclipse tomorrow.  My little corner of Virginia is not in the totality area but we are supposed to get to about 85%.  I did see the total eclipse that went up the east coast in 1970 and would love to see another one, but the area closest to us will be ridiculously packed, so we're staying home.  I have had no luck finding official eclipse glasses, so am going low tech to see it:


It's a pin hole projector/camera/viewer.  There a piece of white paper on the inside bottom of my fancy box (no affiliation with Trader Joe's, just a happy customer), a hole in the aluminum foil there on the left (if you look to the left of the wrinkle you can see it) and the viewing hole on the right.  If you'd like to make your own viewer, the directions are here.

I have not been doing much on the computer and am behind on blog reading and commenting - I may just have to say "from this day forward" as I don't know if I can go back a month and catch up on everything you all are doing.