Friday, August 9, 2019

Flying by

Just flying by - time that is and well, I suppose me too given my intermittent posting.  Work, I am happy to say, has finally calmed down.  Or maybe work hasn't but I have.  I am feeling much more relaxed and comfortable with what I'm doing now.  While I enjoyed the challenge of being the acting manager, I am not sure it was good for me mentally or physically.  Having a couple of weeks off certainly didn't hurt.  I spent about a week at home and then a week in Michigan.  My sister and I spent a couple of days at Mom's and it was really enjoyable having some together time.  Also got a good dose of "Jack time".  He is, in my opinion (and those of my family), absolutely adorable in every way.  I got a Snapchat video this morning of him pulling himself to a standing position.  He's working on crawling.  It looks like he gets a bit excited when he finally starts moving and that causes a lapse in concentration and then things go a bit wrong.  I suspect he's going to have it figured out pretty soon.  Here's a picture of him practicing:

And I finally finished-finished his birth sampler.  DNiece requested a pillow and I found a really nice dark blue leaf print for the piping and backing:

It really is square - the angle for the photo is throwing it off.

I even put a zipper in it.  I haven't put in a zipper in years and never in a pillow and certainly not one with piping.  I found a really good video on You Tube on how to the piping and zipper and I am really happy with the results.

As with last month, I have been crocheting more than I have been stitching.  I finally finished the second baby blanket for my Sister-in-Law's boys.  If she doesn't have them before, she is scheduled for a c-section on the 15th.  I can't wait to meet Vance and Calder and I'm sure Mom will be very happy to see her feet again. 

Here's the second blanket:

and an up close so you can see the fun texture:

and here are both of them:

The colors in the picture are a little darker and a bit bluer than in person.

I found a pattern and a nice neutral yarn and got started on a blanket for DNiece's baby:

Here's a close up of the different textures and the bobbles:

The yarn is a Caron Cakes in "White Truffle" - it is totally washed out in this picture so hopefully I can get a better picture soon.  The pattern is called Hugs & Kisses.  I love the texture and really enjoy doing the bobbles.  I am definitely going to have to block this one.  Fortunately, there's some wool in the yarn so it may stay better than the others that I've done that are all acrylic.

All my time hasn't been spent crocheting.  I have done a bit on Jack's Christmas stocking.

A bit of background there on the left, the snowman's body and the toe are all that's left for the body of the stocking to be done.  I need to add his name and there's a fair amount of back stitching and some snowflakes to add before the stitching is done.  I bought a skein of the new DMC with the sparkle in it and may use that rather than the plain white from the kit.

I'm sure there's loads more, but this is pretty long already.  Hope the summer is treating everyone well.

Monday, July 1, 2019

No Cross Stitching

Hello to anyone still paying attention to this poor, neglected blog.  I do appreciate you checking back every so often.

So since the beginning of June, I've been to Denver, Colorado and Davis, California both for a week each for work.  Both were very relaxing and I feel like we accomplished a lot.  Next trip is the end of this month, but that will be a personal trip to Michigan for my dad's family's reunion and general visiting.  I don't think I travel for work again until September.

Work has finally calmed down as they figured out that I shouldn't be doing all the supervisory things that I was doing without the official paperwork so they farmed it out to upper management.  I'm back to doing just my loan work and am very much more relaxed and happy.  Realizing how stressed I was doing the other job is definitely making me think twice about applying for the job once it's finally advertised.

As the post name says, I haven't done any cross stitching this month, but I have been doing needlework.

Jack's needlepoint Christmas stocking is now here:

This is just before I rolled the frame up -

And here's where it is right now:

I'd like to get everything down to the heel done by the end of next weekend.  The snowman head and body should be pretty easy as they're big blocks of color

In addition to needlepoint, I've been crocheting.

I finished one baby blanket:

and started another:

This colorway is called "Seaglass".  The bluey places are much greener than showing here.  I took this with me to Davis.  Remember when I said I had a relaxing trip?  When I put this in my suitcase, I only had the white and a couple rows of greenish-blue on the left done.  Seems being relaxed is good for progress.

Once I get these done, rather than going back to my regular rotation, as I'd planned way back in January, I'll be doing more baby things.  DNiece told me this weekend that she's due February 5th!!  The family is beyond happy and we can't wait to meet the new family member.

And that's about it.  Hopefully, I post sooner than a month from now, but maybe if I aim for once a month, I'll post more often.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Camel Time!!

If I'm going to post once in a blue moon, I should post with good news, right?  I have a FINISH!!!  Yes, it's the first one since August of last year. 

DNiece decided that she'd like a pillow rather than a framed piece.  I bought the fabric last weekend and just need to carve out the time to finish it.  Time is going to be an issue for the next few weeks.  I travel to Denver next Sunday to man our booth and speak at the AWWA conference, home for a week and then heading to California to do a week-long training.  I'll be home for about a month before I head out again.  That trip will be to Michigan for the family reunion, so a fun one.

Now that Jack's piece is done, I've started his Christmas stocking.

This is Happy Snowman:

It's needlepoint and goes fairly fast.  I've finished the top band and most of the second.  I'm enjoying it as it doesn't tax my brain. No counting, easy to tell if you have the wrong color and only half a stitch.  It's done with embroidery floss rather than yarn which is different than other needlepoint pieces I've done.

I have also been crocheting baby gifts.  I mentioned in my last post that my sister-in-law is expecting twin boys in August, so I'm making blankets for them.

Here's where I am on the first one:

The yarn is Caron Cotton Cakes Nested Blues.  It's a cotton/acrylic blend, very soft, and a good weight for late summer/early autumn.  The babies will be born and grow-up in the Virginia Beach area and I thought the colors were beachy.  I am about a quarter through the second cake.  I bought three cakes but I think it will be plenty big with just two.  I'm contemplating a corner-to-corner for the second one.  The yarn for that one is the same brand but in the Seaglass colorway - so again beachy.

My acting time at work was up a week Friday.  Unfortunately, they haven't appointed anyone to take it over, so I'm still doing the work without the title or pay - I figured it was going to happen so I wasn't really surprised.  I don't know how long I'll be unofficially acting, but I hope not too long.

Crocheting for a couple of hours and then onto the stocking for the rest of the day.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Anyone Still There?

For those of you that have kept me on your blogroll - thank you.  The double+ job thing is really stressing and tiring me out.  Only 6 more weeks.  I'm not sure what will happen after that, as everybody that's been asked to take it on has said "thanks but no thanks".  I suppose it's not my problem, but I have a horrible feeling they're going to ask me to continue.

So what's happened since I posted back the beginning of March?  Yikes, I think this is the longest I've ever gone without posting.  This is one of the reasons I don't take anyone off my blogroll even if they haven't posted in years - they might start again and I don't want to miss it.

I've been to Michigan for Jack's baptism.  He pretty much smiled through the whole thing.  There was a quinceanera at the same time so quite the festive day at St. Kenneth's. I'll be heading back in two weeks for Dad's remembrance.  Dad's funeral was in his home town so about three hours from where they've lived the last 30 years.  Many of my parent's friends are snowbirds so weren't in the area for the funeral or it was just too far for them to drive for the day, so Mom decided to do a remembrance luncheon in the spring there.

Of course I have Jack pictures:

Isn't this the best pacifier ever?

*sigh* they grow up so fast ;-)

And because I have not been giving him the attention he deserves -

This is my niece's dog Winston.  And yes, those eyes let him get away with a lot!

One trip did not take up all my time, so what have I been doing?  I honestly can't tell you not because it's a secret but I just don't remember.  I seem to be doing a lot of planning and arranging and planning some more.  Keeps my busy but doesn't accomplish a lot.

I have worked on the temperature throw a bit and have finished January!  Only 10 weeks behind.  I did a lot of thinking about how to mark the months.  Originally I was going to do a row of black but decided I didn't really need to add 12 more rows to an already huge blanket so decided to do 10 stitches at the beginning and 10 at the end of the row.

Here's the whole piece - sorry for the glare.  There's a row of white and a row of light beige and I could not get it to photograph well (for those interested white means that the high was below 0 (that's Fahrenheit) and the light beige is 0 to 5 so a couple of really cold days.  It's mostly been in the low- to mid-30s.

Here's close up of the beginning of the row and you can sort of see the difference between the colors in the previous two rows:

I have also been working on the Savannah Sampler:

The turtle and one more block and the stitching will be finished.  Then a ton of back stitching.  I need to get through this one as I had a call from my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law is expecting twin boys the end of August so need to get busy on something for them.  I probably won't stitch anything but crochet still takes me a lot of time.

I just thought of something!  It's not too late to include this post for the Gifted Gorgeousness check-in!  Yaaaaa!!  Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and is a way to thank the people that have given us stitching goodness or to show the things we are giving as gifts.  You can jump in at anytime.

This weekend is also . So snuggle up with your stitching and enjoy a guilt-free weekend/day/hour of stitching.

I have this photo on my computer screen at work.  It's hard to have a bad day with this face looking at you (stressed, yes, but not bad)

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Best Intentions and all that

So much for resolutions or intentions or whatever I was calling them.  No blogging, minimal blog reading, and minimal stitching the last month.  I have been crafting, just not a lot of stitching.  I came down with a wicked cold and have been working from home the last week - much to my co-worker's relief.  I was thinking I'd have all the extra time in the evenings for stitching and was looking forward to great progress with the birth sampler.  Unfortunately, I was too muddled to count and quickly realized that I'd spend one night putting in stitches and the next night taking them right back out.  So no stitching but I did crochet.

First though, it's TUSAL time.  TUSAL is hosted by Sharon at It's Daffycat and is just about the easiest SAL you will ever participate in.  Collect all those bits of thread that you snip off in a container and once a month post a photo.  Link your blog in the check-in post and your done.  No stress and no pressure.  So far this year, here is my ORT production:

I'd like to say it's because I'm so frugal with my thread but it's more, I'm just not stitching that much.

The stitching I am doing has been on the Savannah Birth Record.  I last stitched on it a couple weeks ago and got it to here:

I am feeling so much better and have almost finished up the things around the house that were neglected for the last 10 days, so I hope to spend some quality time with this today.  I do need to get a move on and get it finished.  Jack's three months old and I don't want to be giving this to him when he's 3 years old. 

Speaking of Jack:

His servants parents have been sending pictures on an almost daily basis to the family Snapchat group.  It is fun to see him grow.  I'm heading to Michigan the end of the week for his baptism.  Can't wait to see everyone. 

There's another great-nephew in my circle of friends.  This is Jax.

Isn't he adorable?  He was a little eager to get started so came the end of December instead of late January.  He spent a few weeks in the NICU but he's home and getting Mom and Dad (that's great-Aunt Shirley holding him) trained - his mom said if she'd known she would not have picked "Boss Baby" as the theme for the baby shower - seems it gave him ideas.

So back to crafting.  Lots of crochet pictures to follow, so if you're not interested in that, you can stop here.  The rest of you are warned...

So I mentioned in my last post that I was going to do a temperature afghan/throw/blanket.  Got all my yarns and got started.  I was crocheting along and loved the way the colors were working together and was very happy with my progress:

I can already hear the experienced crocheters out there, but for the rest of you.  I finally decided to measure a row so I had an idea of how big this would be.  Well, each row is about an 1".  Doesn't sound too bad does it?  BUT there will be 365 rows and that makes the completed blanket about 30' long - well, huh.  So I thought, I'll just do two 6-month ones, but then it dawned that they would be 15' long each - I did say I was a bit muddled from the cold didn't I? - so I pulled it all out and started over with single crochet.

Both pieces are photographed on the same board so you can see the difference - there is also an extra row on the single crochet piece.  It's still going to be 7' or so, but that's a manageable length.  Starting over had the added benefit of giving me balls of yarn so I've been using the yarn bowl my sister gave me for Christmas:

Right after Christmas 2018 I started thinking about Christmas 2019 and making gifts for folks.  I found several patterns that I liked, got everything organized and then did nothing.  Over the last three weeks, I've started all of them.

This is a corner to corner pattern and will be for my son.  I actually started a knitted throw with this yarn a year or so ago and didn't like it.  The yarn has been staring at me since.  I love how quickly it works up and it's easy to pick up and put down so I can do a section or two when I have a spare few minutes.

Isn't this one cute (and yes it needs blocking)?  It's a fun one to do.  I have this red, a yellow, a bright blue, a lime green, and a bright purple for the bulbs.  It's going to be a very colorful throw.

Centers of these will be cranberry (above), hunter green, moss green or bronze.  They'll all have the same background color.  A much more muted color palette then the lights, but I think it will be pretty.

And finally:

This one just makes me smile.

Standard time ends today here in Virginia.  I am one of the people that does not do well on daylight savings time - my body doesn't care that the clock says 3:45 AM and it's time to get up, it says it's 2:45 and no it's not.  I will be counting down the days until we switch back (it's all a silly idea anyway).

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Gifted Gorgeousness

*sigh* my planned day off yesterday turned into about two hours.  Because of the uncertainty of another shutdown, we were scrambling to finish a couple of big projects before the end of the day yesterday.  Fortunately, it turned out to not be necessary and we're done worrying about funding until September 30th.  And those two projects are done and dusted, but WHEW! it was some work.  I was able to get out and get my out-of-the-house errands done during the two hours, so that I don't have to worry about going out in the lovely wintery-mix that's been going on all day.  Right now it's sleeting, a few minutes ago it was snowing and I can see blue sky off in the distance.

While doing everything else today, I'm also participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count.  Easy and fun, you don't have to just sit and stare at birds, if you see one while you're out and about you can log it.  Mom had four roughed grouse make an appearance for the count - I don't have anything as neat as that, but the regular ol' "background" birds need counting too.  If you're interested, the count runs through tomorrow, click on the link and register.

Yaaaaa, I've made a SAL check-in!  Yesterday was the official check-in day for Gifted Gorgeousness.  Jo at Serendipitous Stitching hosts the SAL as a way for us to thank all the people that have given us stitching gifts (what better way to say "thank you" than to use them) or to show things we're stitching for gifts or anything else we can fit into the general theme of the SAL.  I have one stitching project and one yarn project.  The stitching project is Nephew Jack's birth sampler.  It's a Dimensions kit called the Savannah Birth Record.  I did switch out the fabric for a piece of 28-count Cashel from my stash but otherwise it's as kitted.  Right now it's here:

My non-stitching piece is a crocheted hat for DSon.  I've been working on it off and on and am about ready to start the ribbing.

It's a horrible picture, but it looks like a hat.  The bobby pin hanging down there in the center is my fancy stitch marker/holder (not as fancy as a lot I've seen but much cheaper and I don't worry if I lose one).

No other stitching to show.  I'm still doing lots of card planning - I may take tomorrow morning and do some test cards so I can get rid of the scribbley drawings - and I bought some paint so I can give the dot mandalas a try.  I've also jumped on the 2016 bandwagon and have pulled the yarns together to do a crocheted temperature throw.  If nothing else I'll get lots of practice changing yarn colors.

And last, but definitely not least, a Jack photo:

He is, so far, a very happy, contented baby.  I just wish folks thought my chunky thighs were as cute as his. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

February (hopefully not my only post this month)

I'm back to work after the furlough, and as I suspected, doing two plus jobs at the same time is exhausting - mentally and physically.  I've done a little bit of crocheting and have everything but the final details of this year's Christmas cards done.  I've also come up with some ideas for future cards, that I need to put together before I lose my idea sheet (or buy a bound notebook so I stop drawing them on bits of random paper), so I guess lots going on but the thing that's been taking most of my free time?  I have become completely fascinated with watching people make dot mandalas.  I'm sure I'll jump in and try it someday but right now, I'm just watching (fortunately I can watch while stitching).

The brightest spot right now? If you've been reading for the last few months, you already know it's  Jack.  He's two months old now!  Here he is celebrating:

I'll be heading back up to Michigan in about a month for his christening and can't wait to see him (and the rest of the family too).

All of my stitching has been Jack related too.  Here's where I am on his birth sampler:

Three more animals and a ton of back-stitching and this will be done.  I need to see if they want it framed or made into a pillow or wall hanging or...

Once the sampler is finished I can start his stocking.  Here's the stocking DNiece picked:

It's needlepoint done with wool and embroidery floss.  Fortunately, it's a kit so I don't have to hunt down anything except the backing fabric.  The kit came with felt for backing, but I don't think that will be sturdy enough, so will go looking in the near future.  I saw a navy with snowflakes and swirls a little bit back that I think will be perfect.

Next weekend is a holiday weekend (President's Day) so I've taken Friday off so I'll have a 4-day weekend!  Having just come off a 36 day furlough, I'm not sure why that sounds so great, but I'm looking forward to it.