Thursday, December 29, 2011

Last finish of 2011?

Thanks everyone for your comments, I do need to provide some comments/answers...  Joysze, I like Hawaiian on lighter colors as well obviously, but it does look amazing on black.  I'm doing mine on Wichelt's hand-dyed Jobelan - Summersky.  It's my favorite neutral hand-dye.  It has a very subtle blue/white mottling and reminds me of, well, the sky. I'm using it for several mandalas and love the way it highlights the stitching, but isn't a flat color.  Dani, I hope you were finally able to get your treadmill - I would really miss mine.

I hope everyone had a wonderful whichever-winter-holiday-you-celebrate.  I've been on the run since last Friday and am really looking forward to some real down time.  Friday was errands, packing and general getting stuff around.  Saturday we went to DFIL's in Virginia Beach to have Christmas with him and his wife.  That evening we went to the Hubs' Aunt's house for her family open house.  We didn't stay very late as we were driving home that night but it was fun seeing everyone from that side of the family.  The Hubs and I were up semi-early Christmas morning he's really a big kid and gets very excited at Christmas and did our gift exchange, cleaned up and headed to DMIL's for Christmas with her and her husband.  Another good time with good company and too much food.  Home mid-afternoon and I started packing for a trip to New Hampshire to see DSon.  He just moved into his own apartment he previously shared a place and decided to stay home for Christmas, but he did invite us to come up for a visit.  The Hubs declined but I jumped at the chance I mean as if I was going to pass up the chance to see my son, especially as this was the first Christmas he had ever spent by himself.  We had a really good time just talking and catching up.  We also went to IKEA and he came home with some very nice Christmas gifts - a chair and ottoman, a computer workstation and a television stand/bookcase.  His place looks much less like a dorm room now and he really likes the extra storage space.  Rumor has it that he has a cat, but Tessa didn't show so much as a whisker the entire time I was there, so it is just a rumor.  I did see snow, so at least it felt/looked like winter even though it's going to be in the 60s by the end of the weekend.

And as the title says, I may have had my final finish of 2011.  We had a bit of time before DMIL got home from work on Saturday, so I stitched on Lizzie*Kate's Santa 2010: Socks & Underwear and had a finish on Christmas Eve which was very fitting.

Lizzie*Kate's Santa 2010: Socks & Underwear
Stiched on New Khaki Lugana with DMC thread
Finished December 24, 2011
 So as every good stitcher would, I went through my WIPs and pulled one out to finish went through my stash and pulled out a new project. 

is Blackbird Designs' Rose Garden.  I'm doing it on 30-count Old Mill Java from R&R Reproductions with Gentle Art Sampler Threads' Faded Rose. I'm planning to stitch this one until it's finished, so I may have another finish before the end of the year, but I will not be upset if I don't.

I've made a couple of changes to my WIPocalypse 2012 list, but I think it's pretty well set.  I've even worked out a schedule, but as I'm sure I've mentioned before, I'm a really good planner...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Final TUSAL - 2011

WOW!  I actually kept up with this!  I am so completely amazed! I am a wonderful planner, I am not; however, wonderful at following through.  It's not that I don't try, I just tend to underestimate how long things really take and overestimate how much time I have which explains the *cough**mumble**cough* or so WIPs. 

As you can see, Santa has arms and the start of pants.  There is still a very good chance that he will be finished before the end of the year bet you thought I was going to say "Christmas" didn't you?  I probably would have, if I hadn't just made the underestimation statement. 

As far as the TUSAL, there are bits of Santa 2010, Hawaiian Mandala, Tree of Stitches, and Birds of a Feather mystery in there.

Thank you to Daffycat for hosting.  If you're interested in joining a just for fun SAL jump on over to her blog to join in TUSAL 2012.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I Hermited This Weekend

After following the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend for most of the year, you can read more about it on Joyze's blog,  I finally got around to officially joining for this weekend.  Of course that meant that I didn't get to do as much stitching as I usually do, but I did craft and finally finished our holiday cards I put them in the mail this morning, so I can say that I am DONE with holiday preparations!!

Before I get to my update pictures, thanks to everyone that left comments, I really appreciate them.  Dani, no treadmill for the last month?!?!?!  I'd be in really sad shape, literally and figuratively, if mine every went.  Ouch on the washing machine - not exactly what I would have wished for as a gift.  Over 1?  Are you doing Enchantment of Winter?  I have that one in my stash and if by some miracle I finish Twilight of the Tsar I plan to start that one.

Since it is now 8:40 and I have to be in bed in 20 minutes the joys of getting up at 4:00 AM, here are my update pictures:

Twilight of the Tsar.  I did the backstitching on the ring and added some blue.  I also remembered why I don't like stitching with blending filament, but the effect will be very worth it.

Hawaiian Mandala.  Added the gold topstitching in the outer border, the algerian eyelets not fun in metallic thread and worked on two side pineapples.

And finally,

Santa 2010: Socks & Underwear.  I put this one on my scroll frame and it went so much faster than stitching in hand.  I finished the body of the shirt and hope to give Santa some arms and hands during the week.  This one could actually be a finish this week as all that's left, aside from his arms and hands, are his pants and boots.

All in all, given the limited time I had to stitch, I feel pretty good about what I did get done.

Friday, December 9, 2011

An Up and Down Week

It has definitely been an up and down week, unfortunately, the down is the most recent part (another car repair - this one more expensive than the last  - believe me, it was a surprise when the power steering stopped working!!) so it is definitely coloring how I'm seeing everything right now.  I'm working on adjusting my attitude I found TimTams at the store tonight and hope to be in better spirits soon or at least before I eat the whole package and feel more miserable!!!

Thank you all for the kind comments on my finish.  I have it pinned to my design door I would take a picture but the battery in the camera is dead!  I swear the thing turns on at night as it runs through batteries faster than anything I've ever used!! so I can see it and dream of actually getting it framed someday.  They spliced the cable line into the main line today and The Hubs has been on the phone trying to get an appointment for them to come run the line to the house we live about 1/4 mile off the road, so getting the majority of the line run by the cable company was a HUGE plus, we only have to deal with a few hundred feet now. Jo, I had to smile at your description of your cable - fortunately, ours is buried, at least the bit running up our drive so pigeons should not be a problem - now the moles might be another story!

We had a fairly nice day on the water today I don't know if I ever mentioned that we own a boat - well the bank owns it and they kindly let us use it each month for a fee - I really need to take my camera and get some pictures - it got very choppy around noon, so we didn't stay as long as we had planned nor did we catch any fish, but it was nice being outside.

No stitching during the week, but I did get a fair amount done last weekend.  First up, I'm sure to nobody's surprise, is Hawaiian Mandala:

The white squares are either filled with algerian eyelets or bicones.  The eyelets will be done, but the bicones won't be added until I finish all the stitching.

Next is a new start Twilight of the Tsar by Dimple Designs

I found this series late so grab them when I can.  This one was an unwanted WIP that was given to me.  Unfortunately, the stitches were crossed in the opposite direction of mine, so I had to do some frogging right away.  Fortunately, there were less than a dozen stitches, so it wasn't terrible.  I think I will be going back this weekend and doing the backstitching on the ring.  I really dislike backstitching and there is a lot of it on this piece, so if I leave it until last I'll have another WIP/UFO.
As I was looking for my stitching pictures, I found one of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel at sunset. The CBBT is a total of 17 miles long with two tunnels and three bridge sections.  It connects southern Virginia to the Eastern Shore.  It's an amazing view from the bridge, but if you're too timid to do the drive yourself, they actually have people that will drive your car for you.  During really windy weather it can be a white knuckle drive and I can see how people would be nervous.  Anyway, as is usual, structures in the water attract fish and other sea life I caught a 4 foot eel along here once so we spend a lot of our fishing time along the bridge or over the tunnels. 

Wrapping, baking and card making are on the agenda for this weekend.  I hope to get some stitching time in there too.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Let the Merriment Begin

Phew!  I think the Christmas decorating is done - the tree is up and decorated, the stockings are hung, the Santas have all found homes, and the garlands are strung.  I'm sure I'll find a few places that are missing something, but I have plenty to fill in any blank spaces.  Next weekend will probably be baking if DSon will answer my voice mails about what he wants!! I only bake for DSon as The Hubs and I do NOT need the temptation of cookies and whatnots.  I will also have to finish up wrapping all the gifts that have to be mailed.

We've had a crew of people along our driveway all day - we're getting CABLE!  We've relied on satelitte for television (it's actually really good) and an aircard for our internet (it's not so good) so we need to decide exactly what we are going to change over - internet for certain, but I'm not sure about the television.  They'll probably be able to hook us up sometime next week - The Hubs is a gamer (WoW and soon Star Wars) and is over the moon about the internet - I'm happy that we'll both be able to use the internet at the same time.

There was a bit of stitching this week and it resulted in a finish!! With thy Needle and Thread's Birds of a Feather mystery is a mystery no more:

As I mentioned an earlier post, I changed the house color to red and because of that I had to change the door color as it was supposed to be red - it is the same color as the roof - WDW's "Caper".  Not sure what I'm going to do with this one, I'm still leaning towards the guest room.

November Recap and December Goals

December?!?  Already?  I had a very difficult time with spring in New Hampshire - my brain was on southern spring time, well, I have an equally difficult time with  Autumn/Winter here in Virginia - my brain is on New England time for that.  I have not been able to wrap my head around it being 60 degrees in November and December.  Yes, we've had frosts, but it is still warming up into the high 50s/low 60s during the day.

 So the calendar has turned and it's time to recap my November stitching.  My goals were: 

  • Finish iStitch's mystery SAL Done!
  • Finish part 2 and start part 3 of With Thy Needle and Threads Birds of a Feather Mystery Done and more!
  • Finish part 2 of Hawaiian Garden No
  • Finish Santa's shirt of Lizzie*Kate's Socks & Underwear Santa 2010 Nope
I suppose I didn't do too badly especially as I didn't have the extra stitching time I had planned to. 

For December, I'd like to:
  • Finish With Thy Needle and Thread's Birds of a Feather Mystery This is sort of a cheat goal as I finished stitching this last night.
  • Complete two volcano corners and two pineapples on Hawaiian
  • Finish Lizzie*Kate's Socks & Underwear: Santa 2010
  • Stitch on Dimple Designs' Twilight of the Tsars

Saturday, November 26, 2011

No Stitching but TUSAL

This long weekend is turning out to be a bust for stitching.  By the time I got everything done on Wednesday that I needed to get done, I was too tired to do much stitching.  We headed to Virginia Beach early Thursday morning and instead of stitching (I did take Lizzie*Kate's Socks &Underwear: Santa 2010  with me (and I did get a smile from your misread Mouse)) I read mail and a couple of magazines.  Thanksgiving was fun, but it was different having small children around again and I will be honest and say, I'm really glad I'm past all that!  We stayed in VAB for Friday as DFIL's family wanted to do their Thanksgiving with everyone, so we spent the day outside (it was sunny and about 70) and talked until well after dark.  I did do some Black Friday shopping and bought a very nice artificial tree at Home Depot yes I do prefer a real tree, but with the cost and mess I have come to appreciate the artificial ones.  We got home this morning and I"ve been cleaning and getting the "bones" of the decorating done.  The details will be done over the next few weeks.  Unfortunately, I am feeling like I"m coming down with something - achy, sore throat and stuffy - I really do have too much to do at work this week to be sick, so hopefully it's a quick thing.

Well, that was definitely the "no stitching" part, so here's the TUSAL part:

The green fluffy bit is frogging from Birds of a Feather mystery, there's Hawaiian Garden, Socks & Underwear: Santa 2010 and bits from iStitch's SAL.  Daffycat has opened sign ups for TUSAL 2012 and you're not required to put your container in your lunch for photographs - I was having hummus and pita chips and the chip bowl was convenient.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Unofficial IHSW update

Thanks again for all the kind comments.  I'm a rather isolated stitcher, so it's nice to hear from other stitchers.  March Ann, I really do like this area.  For me the biggest plus is that it's rural but only a skip to Richmond or Fredericksburg and then on to DC.

I didn't officially participate in IHSW this month, but I pretty much hermit and stitch every weekend, so I'll claim unofficial participation.  Let's see, I got through the rest of this season's Dr. Who - I sort of figured out the "surprise" ending a few episodes ago, but it was still fun to watch; all of this season's Warehouse 13 - didn't see *that* ending coming; and, one full episode and the first part of a second of Whitechapel - this is a new to me series and one I really enjoy.  Oh yeah, I also saw the first episode of this season's Primeval.  I realize that my "this season" is not everyone's "this season" as these shows are mostly British imports and folks in Europe probably saw them years ago.  Anyway,

I'm sure you all didn't click over here to read about my television habit which isn't as bad as it sound as I don't watch any during the week, so it all gets saved up for the weekends and I was terribly behind and I don't really watch as much as listen, except for Whitechapel, that one did require a bit more attention than most so here's what I accomplished:

First up is Tree of Stitches:

I finished up the algerian eyelets, french knots and stared the rice stitches.  The picture is dark, but this is done on a piece of Silkweaver's opalescent Ocean with an unknown NeedleNecessities thread that reminds me of autumn leaves.

Next is Hawaiian Garden:

Definitely a volcano now.  This is easily the most colorful piece I have stitched in a long time.  Most of the blank spaces are filled with beads and Petite Treasure Braid, so this section will really sparkle!

And last but not least, Birds of a Feather mystery:

I did something I almost never do and changed the colors a bit.  The house is charted with Weeks Dye Works "Straw" but I thought a bit of red inside the border would balance out all the red in the border, and I like red houses, so I used Week Dye Works "Brick" (rather appropriate I thought) instead. 
Sort of busy weekend coming up.  I'm waiting for cakes (one flourless chocolate and one carrot) to cool so that I can frost them - they are my contribution to tomorrow's Thanksgiving feast.  We'll be in Virginia Beach at DSIL's sister's house.  I think we're coming home Friday, but that's not decided just yet.  I do need to figure out what stitching I"m going to take with me, probably Socks & Underwear, but that's not decided yet either.

Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating and happy weekend to everyone else.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Could get used to this!

I have another three-day weekend this week.  Of course, I had to work extra hours to do it, but I am liking this 4-day work week deal.  I'm just waiting to hear back from the garage that my car is ready - it needed new brakes and some new belts so hopefully it won't take forever as I have a few errands to run and while I was brave and drove the Hubs' truck this summer, I will not drive it around downtown Richmond!  I get tense enough driving my little car around down there, never mind his small continent on wheels...

Thanks again to all your kind comments on my stitching and agreeing to ignore my blatant disregard of my stitching goals...

As I finished iStitches' SAL last week, I need a new Friday project.  I can't decide whether I should work on finishing Tree of Stitches or start one of my 2012 projects.  I know which one I *should* be doing but it's not really the one I want to be doing and honestly, I should be working on Socks and Underwear Santa.  While I wrestle with myself, here's what I accomplished last week:

Part 2 of Birds of a Feather mystery is done! and part 3 is started.  As seems usual for my recent projects, there is a counting error.  This one is somewhere in the tree trunk.  I am not going to take that out and redo, so I am in the midst of some fudging.  And yes it is upside down, I had to turn it around to accommodate my stitching style.

I got a bit more done on Hawaiian during a marathon Dr. Who watching - only four more shows and I'll be caught up for this season: 

WOW! that is a wonky picture.  The side really is straight!  If you look hard enough, you can see the volcano taking shape.
No plans for this weekend other than to do some winterizing in the garden, so hopefully there will be either a house or a hill on BoaF and a volcano on Hawaiian by Sunday night.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Start of a long weekend

Errands tomorrow morning and housecleaning in the afternoon, but I hope to have the rest of the weekend for stitching.  I had a bit of progress and a finish last week.

First, my finish:

This is iStitch's SAL.  It's done with HDF Cloud and Victorian Mauve on a piece of 30-count R&R Reproductions.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this one - one of my stops tomorrow is Michael's so maybe I'll get inspired there.  I was so happy to see that my initial fit perfectly in the space I had left.  So many trials and tribulations with this piece, but I'm very happy with it and thank you all for listening to me grumble and for the possible fixes for my fiber issue.

Up next:

Birds of a Feather.  I have about a dozen leaves left before I can call part 2 done.  Once this is framed, I think it's going to live in the guest room.  The colors will fit and there aren't a lot of pictures up in there.

And last but not least:

Hawaiian Garden.  Those of you that have stitched this or have the pattern will know that I am not stitching this in order, so pay no attention to my previous post on goals for this month as I am obviously not!  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October Recap and November Goals

My totally unrealistic goals for October were:
  • Keep up with iStitch's mystery SAL Done
  • Finish part 2 and start part 3 of With Thy Needle and Threads Birds of a Feather Mystery No
  • Finish part 1 and 2 sides of part 2 of Hawaiian Garden No.  I did finish part 1 but only 1 side of part 2
  • Finish Santa's beard and shirt Lizzie*Kate's Socks & Underwear Santa 2010 No, only finished the beard
Not too good, but there was progress so I'm pleased.

My just as unrealistic goals for November are:
  • Finish iStitch's mystery SAL
  • Finish part 2 and start part 3 of With Thy Needle and Threads Birds of a Feather Mystery
  • Finish part 2 of Hawaiian Garden
  • Finish Santa's shirt of Lizzie*Kate's Socks & Underwear Santa 2010
I have a couple of long weekends this month.  Veteran's Day will be a 4-day and Thanksgiving will be a 5-day I really like my new schedule and the fact that my compressed day off falls on Fridays of holiday weeks, so I'm hoping to have a lot of stitching time.  DMIL mentioned that DBIL and family may be down for Thanksgiving, but we're not sure (1)  if they are coming and (2) if they are, if they are coming here or going straight to DSIL's parent's both of her parents are doing poorly, so I wouldn't be surprised if we get the drive-by visit.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

There was stitching this week!

Yes, I did get some stitching done this week.  Still none during the week getting home at 7:45 puts a crimp in everything, not just stitching but I did get a bit done during the weekend.

First up, iStitch's SAL:

Only one more part to this one.  Like Jo mentioned in her last comment, I think part of it will be an initial.  I hope it is as I should be able to fit an initial into the smaller space that my counting error left me.

Next is Lizzie*Kate's Socks and Underwear: Santa 2010

This one is giving me counting fits also.  I did those darn suspenders about three times.  I'm not sure what's going on, but these "easy" ones are really giving me fits.  I guess I should be happy about that as I really hate frogging the speciality stitches.

Next is Hawaiian:

This little section was soooo time consuming.  I thought I'd get two done this month, but I was lucky to get this one finished.

Last but not least is Birds of a Feather:

I ended up with a striped tree but it's not as bad as I thought it would be.

I did the last bit of stashing for a good while.  ABC Stitch updated their clearance pages and I was able to get Victoria Sampler's Gingerbread House and Gingerbread Church with the accessory packs and The Nutmeg Company's The Castle Inn.  I'll probably have The Hub's collect the package and give it to me for Christmas I do this frequently as he doesn't pay attention to the lists I give him, so this way I get exactly what I want.  The antique almond cashel for the Victoria Sampler stuff is very *hard* to find.  I finally found it listed at Needle in a Haystack in California.  They don't have it listed as one that's on the frequently produced list, so I hope they have enough in stock.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I didn't post a stitching update this past weekend as I did very little stitching.  I had major to me computer issues that took most of Saturday to fix and then we went to dinner with the in-laws to celebrate The Hubs' birthday.  I worked a bit on iStitch's SAL but didn't finish it.  That piece is going to be the death of me yet!  I got the fiber issue solved but I made a huge counting error way back at the beginning.  I am 3 stitches short on the border.  I've been able to fit this round's motif in, but the next one may be an issue.  I am *not* going to unpick that end of the border and redo, so I'll be doing a bit of recharting.

Here's my TUSAL for October:

There are bits of Hawaiian, BoaF, iStitch's SAL and Socks and Underwear in there for this month.  Hopefully I'll have some stitching to show next weekend.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

TV Marathon Stitching

I don't watch a lot of "normal" television channels, or at least what passes as normal here in the US (I've never seen an episode of Cheers, Friends or Seinfeld, I lean towards BBC America, Science, and National Geographic with a little ESPN thrown in for balance (of course I'm more likely to watch rugby or soccer than football or baseball).  I also don't have a lot of time to watch television during the week, so I am thankful that I have a DVR on our satellite service.  I hermitted this weekend, I didn't join the official "Hermit and stitch weekend" but it felt good to not worry about too much of anything but stitching and getting some of the stuff off the DVR.

I got a bit more done on Santa's beard while watching an episode of "Mysteries of the Dead":

I am still hating the Wisper thread, but not too much more left to stitch with it.

And after three episodes of Mysteries of Deep Space (I think that was the name), three quarters of a college football game WAR EAGLE!!!!, three Inspector Lewis and two Torchwood I had this:

Part 1 of Hawaiian is done except for the bicones and cubes.  

I still have 19 episodes of Dr. Who and three of Bedlam left on the DVR along with an entire season of Warehouse 13 and several episodes of The Hour so I am still set for some serious stitching time.

I actually didn't do any stitching this weekend on BoaF but I do almost have a tree from the previous weekend's stitching:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Last day of the long weekend

First, welcome to all my new followers.  My followers gadget doesn't seem to be working so I didn't even notice until I went into the dashboard that I had over 50!  I appreciate your taking the time to read the drivel that I tend to post.

Second, I forget that not everyone reading hangs around with me and my mixed-up, confused idiomatic expressions.  The galloping horse test is:  Can a person riding by on a galloping horse see the difference?

And last but not least, here is what I've been doing the last few days.

Paper crafting.  I make these for the Niblings (brothers and sisters are siblings so nieces and nephews are niblings - I'm fairly sure that came from Jo's blog, but if not let me know where I read it and I'll give you credit) on their 18th birthdays.  The directions can be found at Stubby Stampers

Here it is closed:

And open:

We put money in three of the boxes and a small card in the fourth.

Stitching.  I'm sure you'll be shocked to read that I worked on Hawaiian.  I am very pleased with my progress.  I may finish the stitching on part 1 next weekend  I'll have close to another full day of speciality stitches and beading for a full part 1 finish.

And finally, Birds of a Feather:

All the housework is done, the oven is cleaning I LOVE the self-cleaning feature on my oven, if I never spend another day with my head inside an oven trying to clean it, it will be too soon!! and I have several hours of uninterrupted time for stitching  what a great way to end a long weekend.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Problem solved!

I solved my thread issue on iStitch's SAL!!  I went digging through my unfiled thread box and found another HDF that is *very* close to the Cloud that I am using.  It's called Victorian Mauve.  The purple is a bit redder but it certainly passes the galloping horse test, so I'm happy. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Can you say scatterbrained?

Even though I posted last weekend, it never dawned on me that it was the first of the month and I needed to do a recap and post my goals!  So a little late not that it will make a difference on what I post, here is my recap of my September goals:
  • Keep up to date with iStitch's mystery SAL Done
  • Finish part 1 and start part 2 of Birds of a Feather mystery sampler Done
  • Five hours on Hawaiian Garden Done

That's the first time in ages that I've actually accomplished my monthly goals, of course the bar was set fairly low...

The October bar isn't set too much higher:
  • Keep up with iStitch's mystery SAL
  • Finish part 2 and start part 3 of With Thy Needle and Threads Birds of a Feather mystery
  • Finish part 1 and 2 sides of part 2 of Hawaiian Garden
  • Finish Santa's beard and shirt Lizzie*Kate's Socks & Underwear Santa 2010
I am counting on my new work schedule and the upcoming 4-day weekend to accomplish these.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The only thing worse than being cold...

is being cold and wet!  So making a short story long - we left for Virginia Beach Friday morning in bright, warm sunshine.  It was 85 with a slight breeze coming off the ocean when we arrived.  Just perfect for walking along the boardwalk and admiring all the amazing art these folks were waayy beyond "craft" and eating a crabcake sandwich or two.  About 8:00 that evening, the wind picked up and it started raining when we got up Saturday morning temperatures were in the high 50s with partially cloudy skies and a bit of a wind - still wonderful for walking along the boardwalk as we were fairly sheltered from the wind.  We met up with the Hubs' cousins and their family/significant other/friends around 5:30, but 7:15 it had started sprinkling and by 7:20 the rain was pouring down, the wind was blowing and we had all scattered to our various shelters.  It took me forever to warm up last night.  The Hubs still has a mobility problem from his broken leg/dislocated ankle of a couple of years ago and he was soaked to the skin - I know the cold and wet did not do his leg any good.  But we all had a great time while there.

Thanks everyone for the comments on my stitching and the Hubs.  Just to put too much information out there, he was diagnosed with diabetes in April and has several other things that are results of his uncontrolled blood sugar, and he is, I think, in denial about what can/will happen if he doesn't start following the doctor's advice.  I just keep hoping that one of these days he will understand that we're not trying to make him miserable just healthy!

On my floss issue - Jo I never thought about redoing the border, I will keep that in mind.  I was also thinking of using one strand instead of two for the remainder of the filling.  I'll just call it "artistic license" and be done with it.

I did a little stitching on the way to Virginia Beach on Lizzie*Kate's Socks & Underwear - Santa 2010 but as it was all outline-and-fill-in-some-of-the-beard I didn't take a picture.  I am hating not enjoying stitching with Wisper.  I know I have another pattern somewhere that calls for it and I will probably just substitute plain DMC for it unless anyone has a good substitute.

Stitching I actually did take a picture of?  Well, the usual...

Hawaiian Garden Mandala

And Birds of a Feather mystery

BoaF will most likely get my attention this afternoon as I don't feel like taking it off the floor stand.  I have started my list for WIPocalypse2012 but have soooo many projects listed that it's defeating the purpose of trying to finish any of them.  Fortunately I have time and Measi made the rules more like "guidelines" so I should be okay.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TUSAL and iStitch SAL update

Hard to believe another month has gone by.  Another craptastic picture by yours truly, but you can see the blues from Hawaiian Garden Mandala, the browns and greens from Birds of a Feather mystery and maybe some of the black, red and green from Grandfather's Sleigh. 

And as I missed posting it this weekend, here's my progress on iStitch's SAL:

I really do think I'm going to run out of thread on this one and the color I'm using isn't available any longer.  Something I will have to worry about later. I have the day off  going with the Hubs to listen to him get chewed out by the doctor for not following any of the instructions they gave him last time and don't want to spoil it with a lot of unnecessary thinking or worry.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Autumn!

The calendar says it's officially autumn. As I mentioned in my previous post, some of the trees are starting to change color, but the surest sign is the State Fair of Virginia starts next week! I love going to the fair. For a rural state it really is we just have some very heavily populated areas but they don't make up the majority of the land area of the state it doesn't have a lot of animals and I'm usually dismayed at the small number of handcrafted items entered and always say I'm going to enter "next year" BUT I thoroughly enjoy the day, just walking around with the in-laws, eating bad-for-me food I mean really? Fried Butter?!?! and looking at the exhibits and booths.  Opening weekend conflicts with our annual trip to the Neptune Festival in Virginia Beach, so will most likely go the following Friday. Two fairs/festivals on consecutive weekends?  I think that deserves a Squeeeeeeeeee!

Thanks for the comments on my previous posts. I really do wish I could meet all of you in person, but this is a fair second.  I also wish I could truly capture the colors I wonder why American English dropped the "u"? in "Hawaiian Garden", they are amazingly vibrant! Mouse, I know what you mean on the cost of Chatelaines. Before the Hubs who knew he would be so darned expensive? I was able to kit most of my mandalas with all the silks and overdyes, but the majority of mine are stitched using Martina's DMC conversion.  Hawaiian  is an exception to the DMC. As it's a vacation memory piece, I splurged on the silks.  Unless mine is displayed next to one done in the called for silks and overdyes, nobody is going to know that it is "different".  The patterns can be expensive, but I figure for all the enjoyment I get out of them that the per use cost is very low and they are unique pieces. 

Stitching, you ask? Yes there was some this week.

Birds of a Feather proved to be more "Frogs of a Feather". I was one row off on the leaves, so had to pull them all out and redo. Despite that there was progress as the alphabet is now finished.

I may actually finish this before the end of the year! I have been thinking of how I want to do the tree trunk. My WDW "Bark" is very variegated and I don't really want a striped tree. I am down to two options. The first is stitch the trunk using continental rather then English method. The second is to flip one ply of thread over so that the colors don't line up and stitch as usual.

And of course Hawaiian

Photo is dark, but you can see the progress.

Carol released part 5 of her mystery sampler yesterday so I will be focusing on finishing it today. I'm starting to worry that I'm going to run out of thread, but will worry about that when I have to and try to not ruin the fun I'm having stitching this piece.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I know I was complaining about the heat, but this is ridiculous! It was near 80 when I went out at lunch time on Thursday, by the time I left to go home around 5:00 it was in the 60s! Last I checked, we hadn't cracked 60 yet today! I don't mind the cooler temperatures, but little by little would have been easier to adjust to!! Fall (I read somewhere that fall is only used in American English - don't know if that's really true or not) is starting to make itself known - a few of the maples have started to show some color and the tulip poplars are going yellow.

Finally went out to check around the house and property to see what, if any, damage there was due to the rain. We have some planting areas that are washed out and need to be remulched well the mulch needs to be moved from where it ended up back to where it belongs - that's what I'll be doing later today but nothing serious.

In response to your comments, if you haven't stitched a Chatelaine, I highly recommend you give them a try. Martina has an amazing way with color! She explains her speciality stitches fairly well and well, you just have to love all the bling! I have too many several started, have finished Caribbean and Egyptian Garden large mandalas, two samplers and several of her small designs. I read a lot of folks complaining about the monotony of stitching the same thing four times, but most of her newer designs, especially those representing specific places, such as Tuscany, Caribbean or Hawaii do have different scenes on each side.

Wasn't a great stitching week for me. I had a training to give this week, so got home late Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. But some good may have come out of that, as I found that I wasn't that much more tired working that extra hour each day, so am going to give a compressed schedule a try at work. We have to log 80 hours in a two week period, so each Monday through Thursday I'll work 9 hour days, 8 hours on one Friday and then have one Friday off. Basically means that every other week I'll have a 3-day weekend. I'm rather excited at the thought as I'll be able to get all the housework done on Friday and have two entire days for other more enjoyable things. Anyway,

Carol released part 4 of her mystery SAL early and I was able to stitch it up last night.

Here's my progress on Birds of a Feather mystery. Part 2 is actually a good match for my stitching time. I can do a letter or leaf or two and there are enough leaves to keep me busy for ages a night and, even with my limited stitching time, see some progress. 

And finally my progress on Hawaiian:

I have a chance of finishing this part in the next month or so. I won't meet my goal of finishing through part 6 but I'm further along than I was at the beginning of the year.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Unexpected Semi-Long Weekend

Thank you again for all your kind comments - sorry for creeping anybody out with the spider picture. I haven't checked to see if she survived the storm, but I did see a few fairy blankets in the yard a bit ago, so if the little ones survived, maybe she did too. After finding Grandfather's Sleigh in the bill pile, maybe I should start looking through a few of these other piles to see what else I "put in a safe place"!

Looking out the den window, you'd never guess that we've had something like 8" to 10" of rain the last few days, it's sunny with puffy clouds in a clear blue sky - just beautiful.  The afore mentioned rain caused a few issues - namely the flooding and washing out of the bedding for the train's tracks.  As they can't safely run trains across the tracks until CSX has inspected and repaired them and CSX can't inspect or repair until the water goes down, VRE (Virginia Railway Express) cancelled service for today. Unfortunately, I didn't find this out until I was in the almost empty parking lot almost empty except for the folks who either don't subscribe to the email update list or who didn't read their emails before leaving the house - I'm in the latter group. I quickly decided that although I didn't have a huge amount of work with me, I could work from home for at least a portion of the day the alternatives to the train are not doable for me without a few hours notice.  The worst part, isn't the getting up at 4:00 AM although I hate that, or the 60+ mile round-trip from home to the train station and back, or confirming that I'm sometimes a doofus, it is the fact that I have to drive back to town to go to the grocery store it doesn't open until 6:00!  Oh well, the plus side is that I finished a couple of projects that had been languishing on my desk, have all my on-line training completed for this year, reviewed a couple of very strange proposals that would have taken forever in the office just too many interruptions and am done for the day!

Well that certainly made a short story long!!

Stitching-wise, I had a fairly productive week. Okay, I had a productive weekend - I was too exhausted by the time I got home each night to even think about stitching.

I finally finished part 1 of Birds of a Feather mystery!! Unfortunately I don't have a picture of it, but it looks like everyone else who used the called for colors and fabric... I did move on to part 2 and have A through E done. I'll probably work on it a bit more later this afternoon.

I do; however, have a picture of my Hawaiian Garden Mandala progress:


And after:

As I stitch top-down/left-right I have to flip my pieces occasionally for ease of stitching. I'll work on this some more tomorrow.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Trying again

It seems photos and I are just not getting along well recently. Hopefully here's a photo of my progress on iStitch's mystery SAL:

The photo is a bit washed out, but given the issues mentioned in my previous post, my crappy photography skills are probably a good thing.

And I have a finish!! I was digging around in the bill pile of all places and found this:

Grandfather's Sleigh from Shakespeare's Peddler
Unknown 40-count over-dyed fabric and threads

I started it earlier this year and had set it aside and promptly forgotten where I put it well it certainly didn't belong in the bill pile so why would I have looked there?!?!!?. All I had left to stitch was "Emma", the greenery at the bottom, the candy canes and the year so instead of stitching what I had planned, I decided a finish was in order. Everything, except the sleigh, is over-1. That normally doesn't bother me but this is done on a 40-count overdye so it was probably closer to 42- or over 43-count. I don't know what the fabric or threads are as this came as a kit I pulled it out of a clearance basket at In Stitches a while back. It was marked down from $14.00 USD to $2.00 USD!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Stitching Update #1 and a Spider picture

First, I have been remiss in thanking everyone for their kind comments on my stitching. I'm, as many of you are, an isolated stitcher, and while the Hubs comments on my stitching, it does mean a lot coming from other stitchers. I do wish I could capture the vibrancy of Hawaiian Garden as the blues just pop off the fabric. If DS comes to visit maybe I can convince him to photograph it for me what use is having a professional photographer for a son if you can't take advantage of it occasionally? Okay he's a professional photographer by training, but he's a butcher to pay the bills.

I have accomplished one item on my September seems weird typing that goals, I am caught up on iStitch's mystery SAL.

The picture makes the fabric R&R Reproductions Espresso darker than it really is, but the floss color HDF's Cloud is fairly accurate. The photo is not clickable as Carol has had issues with people stitching the design from blog photos. The copyright issue is making designer and shop blogs big time again - I know it never goes away but apparently there's been a surge in inappropriate use. I, for one, am completely appalled at the attitude of folks that feel it is perfectly acceptable to upload charts for others to use. I wonder if you asked them if it was okay to walk into a store and take something what they would say. I don't see any difference between the two actions, but somehow they seem to make a distinction between "sharing" and "stealing". Not that my little blog is going to make anyone change their minds, but I have added, "It's a copyright, not your right to copy" to my side bar.

Now for the spider pictures.  Those of you that are terrified of the beasties should stop reading now.  Or concentrate on this picture of a hummingbird that feeder was filled in the morning. The photo was taken about 7:00 PM. We are, as best I can tell, on the migration route for these pigs-with-wings, and have upwards of two dozen of them buzzing around at any time.  We fill the feeders at least once a day and if one happens to go empty the birds will hover at the den window to remind us that we are falling down on our duties as hosts.

Onto the spider - I was trimming around the house and saw this gal don't know  for certain it's a gal, but female spiders tend to be bigger and fancier than males had spun a web against the window frame.  It's a black and yellow garden spider that's an imaginative name! Sounds like something I'd come up with! She is only dangerous to bugs.

This picture shows her belly and how she sits against the house:

And this is what her back looks like. I had to slide the camera between her web and the house to take this picture so it's not centered, but you can see how beautiful she is okay, maybe I'm the only one that thinks she's beautiful and I will concede a certain "eek" factor given her size. Her body is a good 1-1/2" to 2" (if my math is correct that's 3.8 to 5 cm) long with her legs adding an equal length.