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Thursday, October 29, 2015

WIPocalypse and Smalls Check-in

Today has not gone as planned. I normally telework on Thursdays but my work laptop (we have a ton of firewalls and protection so we can't remotely access our work files or network) decided to act up this morning. Tech support tells me that they can't do the updates remotely, so instead of being off tomorrow, I took today off and will be dragging the computer back into the office tomorrow to get it fixed. I would normally have just taken today off as a vacation day, but I have three things that have to be completed this week.  I am a bit out of sorts as I am having trouble switching my brain from work to off, but it is giving me a chance to catch up with my blogging and check-ins and hopefully some stitching.

Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED) had their anniversary sale last week and there were RAKs flying around their Facebook page and I was the lucky recipient of one!!  Thank you, Kate.

Its About Time

This is "It's About Time" by Ciro Marchetti. I have a piece of fabric in my stash that is large enough, have pulled threads (I need to buy a few), and just need to decide how I am going to grid the fabric before I start. I don't really *need* another WIP, but this one is really hard to resist! and I've got most of the supplies, so I'm taking that as a sign.

I am closer to being on time for WIPocalypse and Smalls SAL then I have been in a while, so I guess the day switch ended up being good.

WIPocalypse is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings and gives us a bit of incentive to work on, and hopefully finish up, some of the WIPs that plague many of us.  Melissa gives us questions each month and this month's is: "Are there any fibers or materials used in stitching that you're nervous to try?"  That is an easy one for me, no. I have jumped, feet first, into everything since I started stitching with very little thought as to difficulty. The only thing that gives me pause, and it's more due to expense than nerves is gold work. I would love to try it, but my budget just isn't in a place to allow me to try.  I have worked on three projects that are on my WIPocalpyse list since my last check-in.  First is Shakespearean Fantasy. Lots of black stitches were added and there are lots to go, but I am close to a page finish. At the August check-in, it was here:

and today it is here:

I would like to finish that column today.

Another HAED piece Christmas Presence, was here:

 and is now here:
I have been slowly filling in missed stitches. I still hope to have this finished this year.

And finally, Secret Victorian Garden from Chatelaine went from here:


to here:


I have finished through part 11 on the right side and part 9 (and a bit of part 10 and 11) on the left. As I really do want to finish this one this year, I have stopped my rotation and will work on this until it's done.

I also have a piece for the Smalls SAL. Heather at Stitching Lotus is hosting this SAL.  It gives me a break from all the large pieces that I gravitate towards. If it wasn't for my smalls, I would have very few, if any finishes, each year.  This year I am using The Sampler Life's SAL pieces as my smalls pieces.  This month's was Friendship in Bloom from Blue Ribbon Designs.


and here is the entire piece, so far:


I need to do a bit of housework and then onto stitching.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

October Stitch from Stash

Month: October
Spent: $0
Earned: not participating

It's Stitch from Stashtime again.  is hosted by Mel at Epic Stitching and is a reminder to love the stash you have. I didn't do so well last month as I gave into temptation for a project I had lusted after since last November, but I'm back on track. So for this month:

Carried forward:  $2.76.
September Budget: $25
Available: $27.76
Spent: $0
Balance forward:  $27.76

I had three starts from stash this month: Just Nan's Florentine Floral

;
 
Blue Ribbon Designs' contribution to The Sampler Life's SAL, Friendship in Bloom

; and,
 
Plum Street Samplers' 2015 Sunday Mystery SAL (although it really isn't too much of a mystery as we know it is the twelve days of Christmas). (following is a loooonnng story which is probably boring, so if you want, you can skip down to the picture and you won't miss much!) I had my fabric and threads pulled and was ready to start stitching when I remembered I had some Christmas colored threads that I won from Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe (Nancy is always running give-aways so pop on over and see what's open) and decided I wanted to use those.  Well, hours later, I was so frustrated with myself.  I had done the old "put them in such a safe place I can't find them".  So I resigned myself to using my original picks, and they were good picks just not the perfect ones I knew the other threads would be.  Come Sunday morning, I downloaded the charts and sat down to start stitching and started thinking about those threads again.  Another several hours later, I found them!  But, there were two different reds, two different greens and two different golds, so more dithering trying to pick the perfect set. Had that all done and then started to worry if I'd have enough red to do the ornaments AND the border.  Now, Nancy's skeins are 20-yards each, so I was pretty sure I'd have enough to do it on the 28-count I'd chosen, but then I wasn't 100% , so.... instead of worrying about running out part way through, I went digging for different fabric in 32-count or higher.  I found a piece of 40-count Lakeside Linens Vintage Autumn Gold that was perfect but the label said it was cut for Village at Hawk Run Hollow - bummer - back to digging.  On another hanger, I found another piece of Vintage Autumn Gold that said *it* was cut for Village at Hawk Run Hollow!  Obviously, I haven't inventoried my fabric in a while (and at some point, I had disposable income) but I found my perfect fabric!  Fabric all cut, threads all picked, ready to stitch, right? Noooo, the thread didn't look as good on this fabric as it did on the original, so back to thread interviewing.  I think I have the right colors now and have started.  Of course, it took so long to do all of the above, that I didn't have time to do much stitching!  So after that crazy long story, here's my start:
 


Because I switched to 40-count, I'm using one strand of thread, so I will have plenty for the ornaments and the borders.  This photo does the fabric no justice at all, it is a mottled, dark gold color (I'd say about DMC610). Come to think on it, the threads aren't that bright.  I'll try for a better photo next time. I really like the subtle color change in the fibers and would definitely use them again.

Secret Victorian Garden is on the frame and I plan to get some stitching on it tonight - I'd like to finish up the last part 9 corner before I put it away. Elegant Doily goes on the frame tomorrow (after I do a bit on Friendship in Bloom and the Secret Sunday SAL.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Zoooommmmm

That is the sound of my week off going by. It wasn't a vacation in the usual sense as we didn't go anywhere and I spent most of it getting things done around the house so that it's ready to be closed back up for the winter, but it was a good week.  I had quite a list of things to get done and finished all but one (needed different parts to fix the couch and are waiting for them to be delivered) by yesterday. One of the main reasons I was able to get so much done is that my computer was having issues.  Took it in to our friendly big box electronics store and they said it sounded like a software issue (The Hubs was sure it was the hard drive). We think my computer just doesn't play well with some part of Windows 10. Fortunately, I was within the "put back the old version" month and things seem to be running just fine.  Of course, I've spent way too much time reading blogs, surfing and just generally wasting time the last couple of days (so much for finishing early).

One of my favorite projects was finally doing something about the light in the dining area. 

This was taken after I had removed the bottom globe and I didn't feel like putting it back on for the photo
We've been in this house for eight years and the entire time I had a like/hate relationship with this light.  I liked the general shape but hated the bright gold color. New lights were crazy expensive and since the shape was good it didn't make sense to replace it.  I finally found a paint color I liked and went to work.  After a bit of elbow grease to clean and scuff it up and most of a can of spray paint, it looks like this:


I am totally chuffed with how it turned out and the price (right around $10 USD for the steel wool and spray paint).

I did manage to sneak in a morning of sitting on the deck and reading in between all the other fixes and cleaning.  Oh and there was some stitching that took place. But before I talk about that, I have to show you this:


DSon sent me this and it just made me laugh (which will probably tell you a lot about me).

So back to talking about stitching.  I'll start with my SAL check-ins.  BUT before I do that, have you seen the post about the 2015 Sunday Mystery SAL happening over at Plum Street Samplers?  You can find out about it here.  Paulette is going to finish the twelve days of Christmas ornaments that she started in the 2011 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue.  It starts this Sunday and a new part will be available each Sunday until the week before Christmas.  Just because I am a sucker for anything Twelve Days and I don't have anything else to do (heavy sarcasm here) I spent a chunk of this afternoon pulling fibers and fabric and should be ready to start on Sunday.

And once I start, I'll have another piece to add to my Gifted Gorgeousness check-in.  Jo at Serendipitous Stitching is hosting this SAL as a way for us to say "thank you" to someone that gifted us with fabric, thread, or patterns or for a piece that we will be gifting to someone (because what better way to say thank you than to actually use the gift??).  My main piece for GG is Shakespearean Fantasy. The pattern was gifted to me by Pull the Other Thread last year.  I started it as my January start and have not spent as much time with it as I would have liked (I am organizing my rotation for next year now and will most likely add this piece as a part of the rotation rather than the sometimes every other Friday it is now).  So when you last saw it, I was busily stitching black, black and more black and it was here:


I sat down with The Fellowship of the Rings audio book (if you get a chance to hear Rob Inglis narrate, I highly recommend it) and stitched black, black and more black again and when I put it away, I was here:


I timed it and it takes me a bit less than 20 minutes to stitch one 10X10 square (including stopping and starting threads).  So another six hours or so and I should be finished with page 1. 

My next GG is The Sampler Life block for this month (Since the designer donated the piece to the SAL, I figure it's a gift).  It's Friendship in Bloom from Blue Ribbon Designs.  I am a bit further than this,


but forgot to take a picture before I put it away. I found that the block above is off by one but don't think it will be terribly noticeable when it's all done.

I did have one new start that isn't part of any SAL.  This is Just Nan's Florentine Floral


It is stitched on 28-count Violet Mist cashel with DMC fibers. Not a terribly difficult stitch, but it took three tries to get the outline to close correctly. 

I also put a few stitches into Chatelaine's Secret Victorian Garden but didn't take a picture.

I am so far behind on my other SAL check-ins that I am just going to call a fail for them and go on, besides, this post is plenty long enough without adding the three four check-ins that I missed.