Monday, December 30, 2013

Ornament Check-in and a Year in Review (a bit early)

Despite me initial doubts, I did it!!  I managed to stitch twelve ornaments this year as part of Stitching Lotus' Ornament SAL.  I did stumble a bit and not finish one in September but I made up for it by finishing two in November.  You can see all my ornament finishes in the 2013 Ornaments tab.  So without further yakking about it, here is my final ornament for 2013:

1999 Schooler Santa from The Prairie Schooler.  Stitched on an unknown 28-count blue evenweave with called for DMC.
I left out the backstitching on the front of the coat as I did not like the look, but I think it turned out okay without it.

So my slightly early recap of my 2013 stitching. Other than missing IHSW during the summer, I didn't officially participate, but I did stitch those weekends, I think I kept up with all the SALs that I was a member of.  It did help that none of them are really stressful ones and mostly provided me with the incentive to keep stitching.

I was going to post all sorts of before and after photos, but I kept track of my finishes and progress in those little tabs up top there, so decided to save us all from a huge, picture heavy post and just link to the tabs.  I don't have a lot of stitching time, but I was able to finish 17 pieces this year. If you'd like to see them, they are in Finishes tab. WIPocalypse and YOTA were great helps in keeping me focused on finishing four of my long-term WIPs, making progress on two others and reducing my WIP list to 18 and the Ornament SAL filled my need for a new start and quick finishes.  My WIPocalypse recap can be seen in the 2013 WIPocalypse tab.  I am looking forward to participating in YOTA and WIPocalypse again in 2014, as well as all the other SALs that I have signed up for.

I normally start a project on New Year's day, but this year, I didn't wait.  My parents Thanks Mom and Dad gave me this

for Christmas. It's Three Tulips from With Thy Needle and Thread along with the called for threads and fabric.  I immediately had to adapt my stitching plan Kevin at Cabbages and Kings discussed plans and resolutions so much better than I could.  I decided that as I now have five pieces in my rotation and I am off work this week that I would stitch on a different project each day and start my stitching plan on Sunday - I will work on my Smalls project on Saturday.  Three Tulips went on the frame first and is coming along quite nicely - it will be difficult to stop working on it, but I want to give some time to the other pieces in my rotation that have been neglected since about July when I went OAAT (one at a time) with 99.

Currently, my 2014 stitching plan is to do a one week rotation, Sunday through Saturday, with Sunday mornings and my compressed Friday (I am scheduled to work 44 hours the first week of the pay period, 36 the second and have every other Friday off) set aside to work on smalls.  As I am participating in the Just Nan SAL, a Just Nan project will be in the rotation every month.  I haven't yet decided if I will designate a specific week or just randomly tuck it into the rotation.  I am leaning towards random, but the plan is a work in progress and subject to blowing up dismantling being ignored revision at any time.

And before I forget, again, Welcome to my new followers and an apology to anyone that may have commented and didn't receive a response.  Yahoo! revamped things and went to a conversation format - they lumped all emails with the same topic into one list.  I suppose it makes sense if you have only two people involved in the conversation but with blog post comments, it was hard to keep track of who I had responded to and who I hadn't.  I wasn't ignoring any of your comments, just not dealing well with technological "advances".  I have finally figured out how to turn that feature off, so there should not be a repeat in the future.

Monday, December 23, 2013

December IHSW

I love International Hermit and Stitch Weekend.  Settling down into my stitching chair, focusing on nothing but my stitching and making great progress on my current project... Ummmm, yeah, that's the concept, unfortunately, this last one of the year was spent doing just about anything BUT stitching. Lots of running around, baking and wrapping and I still have a couple of things to do to feel that I'm ready for the holiday.  I finished the chocolate covered cherries this morning and have the dough for the pecan tassies in the fridge.  I will bake the tassies and some bread tomorrow and then I will truly be ready well except that I need to put the tassies and the cherries in the gift tins so we can give them to the neighbors and in-laws.  I tell you, when I shut down on the 27th visits and gift delivering on the 26th, I am not sure when I will move againI just have to remember to crash near my stitching chair.

Since I did call this my IHSW check-in, here is what I worked on:


This is the 1995 Schooler Santa.  It is stitched on an unknown 28-count blue evenweave with the called for DMC.  This is my last ornament stitch for the year, so I do need to get a move on so that I can finish it for the Ornament SAL check-in.

I did also finish/finish another gingerbread house from The Nutmeg Company.  Here it is on the tree:

I found another SAL to join because five wasn't enough.  Mel at Epic Stitching is hosting:

Stitch From Stash 2014

If I did it right, you should be able to click on the image and go to the information/sign-up page.  It's really a very simple SAL - stitch from your stash.  She does allow a rather generous $25 each month for purchases, so you're committing to a stash diet, not a complete fast.  Seeing as how my stash budget is pretty much $0, this one should be an easy lift.

Hard to believe, but my next post will be a 2013 recap.  I hope everyone that celebrates has a Happy Christmas and those that don't, I hope you have a happy next week.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wonderful Customer Service

Five or six years ago, The Hubs gave me a Needlework System 4 floor stand.  It quickly became my most prized stitching accessory.  Fast forward to about a week ago.  A phone call from The Hubs began with, "You're going to be really mad." Not a good start to a conversation.  He went on to say that his leg gave out (a troubling comment on its own), he'd fallen across the scroll frame on the stand and the only two plastic parts on the stand broke. We aren't talking about flimsy plastic pieces, but math not being my strongest subject, I won't try to do the math to determine the force generated by a large man falling, suffice it to say, it was a lot. No, I wasn't mad and fortunately The Hubs wasn't hurt, but I was disappointed that it had happened.  A few minutes after the first call, The Hubs called back to say that he had called the folks at System 4 and they were sending two new pieces in that day's mail, free of charge!

The stand looked like this when I got home:

The screws you see are supposed to have a scroll frame attached to them.

Friday I got home from work and the stand looked like this:

The pieces came in and The Hubs was able to get everything put back together just like new.  I have been so busy with holiday preparations that I haven't had a chance to stitch, but it is nice to know that I can.

Thank you to the folks at Needlework System 4 for a wonderful product and great customer service.  The usual disclaimer of no affiliation just a VERY, very happy customer. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

TUSAL, YOTA and anything else I may have missed

First things first:  Happy Birthday to my sister Nancy!! 

I finally feel like I have recovered from Thanksgiving, although we are I am still eating leftover turkey and will be for a while. Next year would you all please call, email or text The Hubs and tell him that a 22 pound turkey is not necessary to feed four people?  Fortunately, I do not have to worry about him getting anything bigger as I don't have a roasting pan that is large enough for even an ounce more. 

I had a wonderful week off from work.  We did not get the predicted Yuck but we did have white lumps  in the rain Wednesday afternoon.  According to the forecast, the Yuck is predicted again for Saturday evening through Sunday.

Before I get to the stitching, here is my last TUSAL post for 2014:

If you're interested, I heard a rumor that Daffycat was going to continue the TUSAL for 2014, but haven't seen it in writing yet.  The little house is my finish-finish of The Nutmeg Company's Gingerbread House Oranges and Lemons.  I had trouble getting the bottom on correctly so it's a bit wonky, but it will be fine hanging on the tree.

Speaking of SALs, I've joined a couple more for next year.  Stitching Lotus posted sign-ups for the 2014 Smalls SAL.  You can click on the badge on the left side bar or here for information.  Pull The Other Thread is hosting the YOTA SAL again in 2014.  Sign ups are open now.  And Measi at Measi's Musings is hosting the WIPocalypse. Clicking on that link will take you to a place holder page as sign-ups aren't open yet. The nice thing about all of the SALs is that they are no pressure, just have fun and stitch events.  YOTA and WIPocalypse are specifically to whittle down your pile of WIPs/UFOs if you don't have enough, I would happily lend you a few And for me, the Smalls SAL will help reduce my stash a bit.  Yes, I do realize that is a foreign concept to most stitchers... 

So on to the stitching:

I did work on Santa's Magic but did not make the progress I hoped.  Here's the before:

And, for my last 2013 YOTA posting, here's where he is now:

I finished the pears and added some of the furry stitching at the front of his hat and the gold headpiece, but that's about it.  Oh well, each stitch done is a stitch closer to finished.

I did start my December ornament:

This is the 1995 Santa from The Prairie Schooler.  It's stitched on an unknown 28-count blue evenweave with DMC.  I have to admit that this one gives me the creeps as it reminds me of the Roboform Santas from the Doctor Who episode, "The Christmas Invasion".

I'm not sure how much stitching time I will have this weekend.  I have to finish making cards and envelopes hopefully The Hubs will help with those, decorate the tree and bake goodies for the Kiddo so that I can get his box in the mail next week, and, Saturday is another big college football day the games are really going to have to go some to beat that wild finish to the Auburn/Alabama game last week.  If you didn't see it, Google it!  It ranks right up there in the top five of wildest finishes.