Monday, February 16, 2015

Computers. You can't live with them....

...and you can't throw them out the window - even though the satisfaction level for that would be very high. I had been having issues with my computer for a while, slow loading, hang-ups, just general awfulness, but lived with it. Last weekend I got so frustrated that I just turned it off and decided that I could live without it.  That thought lasted about as long as it took to think it. Fortunately, I was on travel for work last week and wouldn't be using it, so The Hubs took it on in to our friendly, local Geek Squad for diagnosis and repair. It came home this morning with lots of new memory and a brand new hard drive. No more slow loading, freezing or any of the other irritating things I had been dealing with, but between the computer issues and the travel, I am late for three check-ins.

So back tracking a bit to last weekend, I had check-ins for  and YOTA. Both SALs are designed to help us work our way through those WIPs that may be causing some guilty feelings when we look at them that just need a little bit of attention to get them through either the mid-project blahs or finished. WIPocalypse is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings and YOTA is hosted by Pull the Other Thread.  I have a list of projects that I would like to either finish or make progress on this year and worked on three of them, Christmas Presence, Shakespearean Fantasy, and Holly and Ivy Sampler.

Christmas Presence with a few more colors added. Stitched on 28-count Antique White Jobelan (1 over 1) with DMC
Shakespearean Fantasy still just two colors but the blob in the upper left corner is larger!! Stitched on 28-count Antique White Jobelan (1 over 1) with DMC
Holly and Ivy Sampler by Lizzie*Kate. Stitched on a 28-count mystery evenweave from Silkweavers with Weeks Dye Works and DMC (for the one color I ran out of)
For WIPocalypse, we are given a discussion topic each month.  February's is:  How do you overcome that feeling that you’re in a rut with a particular project?  I would love to say that that never happened but the reality is I hit the rut phase with every project. I am not sure why but it is always when I am close to finishing. As you can see with Holly and Ivy Sampler, there really isn't too much more to stitch but it has taken me weeks to get just that bit done that is showing on the left. I dither and dally and find all sorts of other things to do, even though I know if I sat down and really put my mind to it, this could easily be finished in a weekend. After years of trying to trick myself out of this habit, I have given up and just go with the slow pace and try to remember that I am not racing with anyone and that it will eventually be finished.

Two of the above projects are also my  pieces for this year. Jo at Serendipitous Stitching is hosting this SAL. It gives us a chance to show the people that have gifted us with patterns, kits or other stitching bits, that we do appreciate their gift and to thank them for their generosity. Shakespearean Fantasy was gifted to me by Pull the Other Thread as a RAK and Holly and Ivy Sampler was gifted to me by The Hubs as an anniversary present in 2014. The very nice thing about gifted projects is that not only is there the initial excitement of receiving a gift but the joy continues as you stitch it and display it.

I did work on one other piece  this month. This is Janie Hubble Designs contribution to The Sampler Life's Yahoo group SAL. One design is released each month until they run out of designers, I think they are at 22 right now, but more may have decided to contribute since I last checked. Each design is 50X50, so easily finished in a month. I am doing them all on one large piece of 28-count Vintage Light Examplar from Lakeside Linens with DMC fibers.  Janie did a companion piece that is available on her website and Northern Expressions Needlework provided a pre-SAL piece that I will also incorporate into the finished piece.

I had a couple of questions from my last post asking about the thread I used to grid my HAED pieces. I use Sulky Sliver metallic thread to grid all my pieces and the transparent or opalescent to do my beading.  I believe it is designed for machine embroidery so it is strong and doesn't stretch too much.  I use it for gridding on my HAEDs and as edges on my band samplers because, unlike sewing thread, it is almost impossible to pierce, it is easy to see and most importantly, it pulls out easily when I am done stitching with minimal disturbance to the stitches. It also looks pretty. I have had some issues with the red staining the fabric (just a thin line) but have not had an issue with any of the other colors. It is also, as far as I can tell, but I haven't tested it to the point of fail, heat resistant, so I can iron my piece if I decide to leave it in.

I just looked out the window and it has started to snow. We are forecast to have 7" to 11" before it's all finished tomorrow morning sometime. If we do actually get that much, I will not be going into the office tomorrow and most likely not Wednesday either - I used to feel guilty when I first moved here from New Hampshire when I didn't make an effort to get into work when it snowed, but after 7 years, I think I have finally gotten over it.  I will still be working but I will be set up at my dining room table rather than my office.


Robin said...

Your WIPs are looking good, Susan! I really like the one by Janie Hubble. Stay warm!

Robin in Virginia

Leonore Winterer said...

Great progress this month! I still love the way you're tackling your HAEDs :) And I'm sure you'll get out of your rut and finish Hollies & Hearts eventually, it's such a cute piece!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Thanks for taking part in GG this month. I like your "rut" answer, I do that too - get right to the end and then put it off almost like I don't want to say goodbye to it!