Saturday, January 28, 2017

SAL check-ins

I'm home!  The training I did last week went well (or at least I think it went well, haven't seen the evaluations yet).  There were only two problem "children" but my training partner and I figured them out pretty quick and kept them under control.

As I mentioned in my last post, no new stitching happened this week, but I do have four SALs that have check-ins this weekend, so new words, old pictures.

The first is TUSAL.  Sharon at It's Daffycat hosts TUSAL and everyone is welcome to participate. TUSAL is not your usual SAL.  SAL typically means "stitch along" whereas TUSAL is a "save along".   All those end bits of thread, dogears from quilting and whatever other loose bits you have when crafting get saved in a container of some sort, you take a photo and post about it on the new moon. Super simple and it doesn't really take any special preparation or supplies either.

A chunk of this is frog fuzz from Sentimental Hearts but the majority is bits from Winter Wonderland. 

And speaking of Winter Wonderland,  it is my finish for the Smalls SAL.  The 2017 Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus.  This is another straight forward SAL - stitch a small piece and post a picture of your finish on the last Friday of the month.  You get to define small and you just have to finish the stitching not finish-finish it.

Here's my January small finish again:

This is Winter Wonderland from The Silver Needle's Secret Needle Night.

The third check-in is for WIPocalypse.  Melissa at Measi's Musings hosts this SAL.  It focuses on finishing some of those works-in-progress that you may have sittings around.  Up there at the top you can find a tab that lists out my WIPocalypse projects.  I worked on three of them this month.

Santa and the Mouse started the new year here:

and went to here in January:

Enchantment of Winter was a blank piece of fabric on January 1st.  It ended the month here:

And here are Shakespearean Fantasy's before and after photos:

Melissa also gives us conversation starters each month.  This month's is:  What SALs are you participating in this year?  I am currently doing the three that are in this post, WIPocalypse, TUSAL and Smalls as well as Gifted Gorgeousness.  IHSW (International Hermit and Stitch Weekend) is on the list, when I can remember and I am doing (so far unsuccessfully) Stitch From Stash on Facebook.  I am always open to new SALs, but have cut back drastically from years past as I tend to over-commit myself.

Speaking of Stitch from Stash, here's my report on that.

Budget:   $10.00
Purchase:  15.50 - The 12 Berries of Christmas (colly birds, golden rings and geese a-laying)
Balance: ($ 5.50)

Not a good month.  $10 USD would normally be plenty, but when I set my budget amount I forgot about the auto-ship for the berries.  Fortunately, the balances, good and bad, carry forward so on February 1st I will be back in the black.  There is a provision to give yourself credit for finishes and if I did that, I think I would have been even for the month, but as the finishes don't generate real money, it really doesn't balance out the real money I am spending.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

One Down

One wedding sampler finished, one to go.  After finishing DNephew's wedding sampler I pulled out the fabric and thread and got started on DNiece's.

This is Sentimental Hearts by The Sweetheart Tree.  It's done on 32-count antique white Belfast with DMC floss and perle cotton.  There will also be beads and paillettes to add a bit of sparkle.  I am debating whether to add the happy couple's names or a saying with their names painted on the mat.  I will need to make changes to the pattern either way, but have a bit before I get to the must-make-a-decision part of the piece. 

I am still not in my usual rotation rhythm, but I did get a bit done on Santa and the Mouse.  It was here when you last saw it:

On Friday, I got it to here:

This morning, The Sampler Life's SAL went from here:

to here:

I cannot believe that this small piece is taking me so long to finish.  I'm going to hazard a guess and say I am "just not that into it" so I'm not putting in the effort.  Hopefully now that I have a very good base in, I'll settle in and get this finished.

Not much stitching is going to happen this week.  I'm off to Nashville tomorrow for a training session (I'm giving not taking), so long hours standing, talking and, worst of all, being "on" add up to being too beat by the end of the day to do much more than stare at the hotel walls.  One hint as to how much I am really not looking forward to this trip is that it is now 8:15 PM and I have not started packing.  Oh well, I'm going to finish this post, a chapter in my book and then I'll be upset that I left my favorite and most comfortable black shoes in the office.

Monday, January 16, 2017

January Gifted Gorgeousness

The problem with frequent posting is there often isn't a lot of progress to show and that certainly is true today, BUT it is time for Gifted Gorgeousness and I am determined to match last year's posting success.  Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching (I have learned to spell both gorgeous and serendipitous because of her) and is a way to say "thank you" to everyone that has given us stitching bits and bobs for gifts and to show what we are stitching as gifts.  Each of the pieces I showed in my last post were gifts of some kind - either from Internet friends or designers or, in the case of To Have and To Hold will be a gift.

Despite having a four day weekend, I didn't get as much stitching in as I had hoped.  I did; however, get the taxes all drafted out and ready to file, finally got the DVD player hooked-up in the den (my stitching area) and had a totally clean house for about 10 minutes.

The stitching that I did do resulted in a finish.  To Have and To Hold Bridal Sampler is complete. 

The original design was done in teals and green, but the wedding colors are lilac and green so some changing was necessary.  The most difficult part was switching out beads, but I think I found suitable replacements.  It took much longer than I expected to finish off the backstitching at the bottom.  The beads were a bit fiddly as the stitching didn't fall in nice neat blocks, but it lines up well enough.  Just have to wait for a nice sale at the framers.  And as I'm looking at the photo, I realized I forgot an entire line of beading - so much for that happy dance.

I'm going to count it as a finish as it will be complete within the hour and then I can put Sentimental Heart on the frame and get it started it needs a few more changes than this one, so I'm glad I have until October to have it finished.

Friday, January 13, 2017

After the Storm

We got the promised snow last weekend.  We ended up with 4" to 5" here at my house and then it got COLD.  When I left my house Monday morning it was 1 F.  Any readers in the colder climes of the world are thinking "yeah so it's winter", for central Virginia that's crazy cold.  To make up for it, yesterday afternoon it was 71 F.  We've moderated into the 50s today but it is much warmer than usual right now.  My heating bill likes it, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. 

I got back into my stitching rhythm last weekend and had quite a bit of progress.

My The Sampler Life SAL piece went from here:

to here:

Santa and the Mouse had some more window added and went from here:

to here:

Still stitching the background on Shakespearean Fantasy

I added another 300 stitches in that column and should get down into the colors soon.

I had a wonderful session with To Have and To Hold and am so close to a finish. 

All that is left is the green backstitched section and the beading.  I should be able to finish it up this weekend.

We are forecast to have freezing rain, sleet and rain late tonight and into tomorrow, so I did the grocery shopping this morning (it's my Friday off) and am all set to stay inside this weekend (even though they're only calling for the sloppy stuff tomorrow morning) and stitch there may be some housework thrown in but it will be as little as possible

Friday, January 6, 2017

Before the Storm

I have been remiss in thanking everyone that stops by and reads my blog.  I appreciate you taking the time to click over, read and comment.

So my blog title, refers to the snow "storm" we're supposed to have.  Well, what passes for a snow storm here in my little corner of Virginia.  The forecast is for 2" to 4" of snow between late tonight and late tomorrow - which means, the road crews have been out on the highways applying the liquid salt stuff (I assume it works, but mostly it just makes great white clouds after it dries), and the grocery stores are crazy. Part of the grocery stores could be a normal Friday, but it seemed a bit busier than usual.

We're all set for weather and had no plans to go anywhere this weekend, so we can settle back and enjoy it.  I have almost crossed everything off my vacation to-do list.  All that is left is laundry (again) and house cleaning (again).  Oh yes, I do put things like that on my list as it gives me a major sense of accomplishment to cross things off the list.  I've been known to put something on the list that I just finished so I could cross it off.

One of the things on my list was to start Enchantment of Winter from Dimple Designs.  I had planned it as a January 1 start but didn't get it on the frame until later.  Here's where it is today:

This is done on 28-count Wintered Marble from Stitches and Spice with the called for DMC, Access Commodities' Soie D'Alger  and Kreinik.  The fabric has faint traces of blue and pink on it, rather like the glint of sun off the snow.  I am trying out a new technique (to me) with the blending filament.  Rather than making it a blend while stitching, I am stitching it separately and only going over the crossing stitch.  It takes a little longer, but it shows up better and besides you only see the bit on the top anyway.

Not (originally) on my list was Winter Wonderland from The Silver Needle.

My first finish for 2017!  The finishing kit came with the painted snowflake, bumpy yarn, mounting board, backing fabric (a glitter felt), quilt batting and a pre-tied bow.  The bow covered up too much of the stitching, so will put it away and use it on something else.  It is stitched with perle cotton and Fuzzy Stuff (fluffy thread with bits of sparkle in it).  Fuzzy Stuff is so much easier to use than Wisper.  It would look super in Santa's Magic as the opalescent fiber would give that little bit of extra sparkle - because Mirabilias are so dull and colorless ;-).  I probably wouldn't use it to replace animal fur, but depending on the context of the animal maybe...

I am making Enchantment of Winter a WIP and will pull out Santa and the Mouse for this afternoon's stitching and then Shakespearean Fantasy for tonight and To Have and To Hold for tomorrow and Sunday.  Back to work on Monday.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

An Introductory WIPocalpse

A new year with all its bright, exciting possibilities!! 

I didn't finish the landscape small piece that I showed in my last post, but it will make a wonderful first 2017 finish.  I have hit a bit of a wall on my to-do list crossing off.  The bobbin winding is taking longer than anticipated isn't that always the way?.  I knew I kitted up a lot of HaEDs last year, but it didn't really hit me until I sat down to organize the floss sooooo glad I found the Stitch from Stash Facebook group - I don't normally have a problem with not buying, but after letting myself stray, the support will be nice as I get back on the "wagon".  I am set for the next century decade few years.  I have four more patterns worth of floss to bobbinate.  There's a Hobbit marathon on this afternoon which should be enough time.  If not, I will finish it up tomorrow.  I am determined to finish this before moving along on the list.  Because of this decision, I probably won't start Enchantment of Winter today, but I am on vacation this week, so it will get a few stitches at some point before I start my regular rotation back up.

So, besides my "resolution" to post more regularly this year, what prompted this sudden flurry of posting?  It's the first day of 2017's  WIPocalypse Button and time to introduce ourselves and our plans.  I'm Susan and I live in northern central Virginia (as opposed to southern northern Virginia which ends a few miles up the road - the people that live here swear there's a difference).  I work in Washington DC, so the majority of my week is consumed by work - actually being there or going and coming.  I used to stitch on the train but it has become a popular way to get into the city and is now too crowded to comfortably wield needle and thread but I did read 187 books last year - the majority of them on the train, so my stitching time is limited to Thursday and Friday evenings (I work from home those two days) and Saturday and Sunday.  I work a compressed schedule at work (meaning I work 8 - 9 hour days and 1 - 8 hour day) so I also have every other Friday off.  I tend to stitch large projects, so it takes me ages to finish anything.  I do try to stitch a small piece each month.  It fills the need to start something new and it gives me the satisfaction of a finish.

My 2017 stitching plans can be summed up by one word:  marriage.  My nephew and niece are both getting married this year, so I am busily working on wedding samplers and a Christmas stocking for my niece to be (nephew to be got his this Christmas).  Although two of the pieces aren't started yet, I'm going to count them as WIPocalypse pieces because once I start them, they become WIPs right? :-)  Once I finish those pieces, I will get my rotation started up again.  You can read my whole stitching plan in the tab up top called "WIPocalypse Project List and 2017 Project List".  Other than the three "must finish" pieces, I am aiming for a page finish on each large HaED and a finish for Santa and the Mouse.  I will be very happy with progress on any of the others

If you haven't participated in WIPocalypse, click on either badge and it should take you to the guidelines page.   The SAL has been hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings since 2012.  She started it as a way to meet the end of the world with no WIPs!  Well, the world didn't end and I would have left it with WIPs anyway, but people enjoyed it so much that she has continued with it.  All you need to participate is a work in progress and a desire to finish it.  Take a picture of it the end of the month and blog about it.  Have a hard time coming up with things to say? Melissa provides us with blog prompts each month.  Today's was:   Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year. The first official check-in is January 29th and its question is:  What SAL’s are you participating in this year? this is a very dangerous read for me as I always find one to join and I really do not have the time, but I am weak, weak, weak.