A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Monday, July 14, 2014

WIPocalypse redux - July update

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Topic of the month: It’s halfway to Christmas. Do you start your holiday stitching this early? If so, what do you hope to accomplish this year?
I don't often do stitched gifts anymore, and those I do are usually small things. I won't start pondering Christmas designs until November. Though perhaps I should get a jumpstart on my annual ornament for Tor Rhuann earlier than I do....

So I guess the TLDR version is, no I don't start holiday stitching this early.

Last month had two big finishes, which meant I needed to move on to other things. Only two pieces saw action this month...

Project: Music trio (Here Comes Treble, Alto Gether Now, First Bass)
Designer: Ink Circles
Fabric: 32ct Lugana - Countrystitch "Parchment"
Total hours to date: not tracked
Progress since last update: Completed Alto, started Treble
Notes: This is a relatively quick stitch, and being portable I can work on it while gaming, or waiting somewhere.

I found a nice backing fabric while travelling, so this will definitely be a wall hanging. I may finish Treble by next update.

Ink Circles alto clef
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Project: Stars for a New Millennium
Designer: Tony Minieri
Fabric: 18ct pewter mono canvas
Total hours to date: not tracked
Progress since last update: 3 more squares, border started
Notes: This is my primary piece since last month. I finished 3 squares in the middle row. I like the results, but I don't particularly care for couching. Two needles at once I can manage well enough, but three can be annoying. I've started the outer border just to work on something less mentally taxing.

7 Stars
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In non-stitching news, I read the latest Dresden Files book, _Skin Game_, which I enjoyed. I'm ready for the next one! Also, I enjoy having books on Kindle - I can get it on release day without having to wait for the paperback to be released. I haven't yet read Neil Gaiman's _Ocean at the End of the Lane_. Instead, what reading I have done has been on the books DD needs to read over the summer: _Nectar in a Sieve_ by Kamala Markandaya, and _Things Fall Apart_ by Chinua Achebe. I've finished _Nectar_ and am halfway through _Things_.

In yearly goal updates, I did finish my walk to Minas Tirith along Aragorn's path, which is #36 on my 101 list. I've started back at Rauros and am now following Merry and Pippin's path to Isengard.

I'm still treadmilling nightly, which is good, but I've not yet managed to regain my rhythm in getting to Curves regularly. I manage once a week now, but I need to get back to three. Encouragement and/or floggings will be appreciated.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

WIPocalypse redux - June update

wip_button1 Wow. Well, I completely missed the May update - time just really seems to slip away quickly.

But in good news, I do have two completions to show off. So hopefully it was worth the wait.

Topic of the month: Have you ever been to a stitch gathering such as a retreat or a festival? If so, tell us about it!
I haven't gone to any large festivals or retreats, but I have on occasion met up with one or more fellow stitchers for a day or a long weekend. It's a lot of fun, hanging out with others and stitching and chatting, and showing off finishes if you have them....

Which I do right now!


Project: Nativity - shepherd panel
Designer: MarBek
Fabric: 32ct Belfast - Countrystitch "Pansy"
Total hours to date: 111
Progress since last update: 46 hours, over two months.
Notes: Finished on 7 June!! Overall, I changed the metallics to use PTB instead of blending filament, which saved my sanity. The only other change was using Gentle Arts Sampler Thread in "Dried Thyme" for the grass, which also saved time. I'd actually anticipated 150 hours for this and I came in almost 40 under that. We'll see if the magi panel goes as quickly, when I start it after Thanksgiving.

shepherd panel finished at 111 hours
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Project: Convent Herbal Garden
Designer:
Fabric: 32ct Lugana - Silkweaver solo
Total hours to date: 194
Progress since last update: 11 hours, all beading.
Notes: Finished on 14 June!! The beading took a while. I only made two minors modification to this piece - I substituted Dinky Dyes "Daydream" for the scrolled area - the skeins of Waterlilies "Celadon" were just too yellow/green for such a prominent part. I think Daydream worked quite well, because the colors fit right in. I also used Waterlilies "Blue Lavender" instead of "Hyacinth" for the flowers in the corner urns, just because I wanted more blue. The beading was a little tight on the urns but I did get them all to fit.

My initial projection was 150 hours, back when I started this in April of 2011. It took almost 200. I guess that more than makes up for the 40 hours I saved on the shepherds, I suppose. For pieces as full of specialty stitches as this one, I didn't really have a good benchmark for estimates. Hopefully my projections will improve in the future.

Convent Herbal Garden finished at 194 hours
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Project: Music trio (Here Comes Treble, Alto Gether Now, First Bass)
Designer: Ink Circles
Fabric: 32ct Lugana - Countrystitch "Parchment"
Total hours to date: not tracked
Progress since last update: new start
Notes: This is the set of 3 music clef designs from Ink Circles, which I'll be doing as a single vertical piece. It is small enough that I won't bother tracking my hours. I've started with the alto clef as the center - not much of it so far.

Alto clef


I also finished another small purse piece - Mill Hill's "Royal Capri". I finished it during gaming sometime in May - I didn't bother recording its start or finish, but I rarely do with these tiny pieces.

MH Royal Capri




Two large finishes has kept me busy. Life has also been busy - daughter got her learner's permit and a 4.0 GPA for her high school career so far. I've been continuing to treadmill daily now that Kryten has been working again since March. Last weigh-in had me down 5 pounds, so that made me happy.

I'm currently reading A King's Ransom by Sharon Kay Penman - her latest, which follows Richard I's return from the Crusades. I'm about 40% through it. Mostly I've only been reading on the treadmill lately, but with these two finishes, I may read more off the treadmill as well. On the reading queue on my kindle are Jim Butcher's latest Dresden Files book, Skin Game, and Neil Gaiman's latest, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I'll be travelling in the near future, and the Kindle is great for travel reading.

Monday, April 21, 2014

WIPocalypse redux - April update

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Another late update from me, but last week was rather busy with church and everything over the long Easter weekend.

I also completely overlooked my 10-year blog anniversary at the beginning of this month. Such is life.

We have two new additions to the household - two lavender finches named Louis and Harry. Louis is quite an active and noisy fellow. Harry is a little more sedate, but he's also molting so that may change.

Without further ado, on to the stitching update!

Topic of the month:How do you keep your stash organized?
Not as neatly as some, but getting there. My end goal is to consolidate all of my craft stuff neatly in a former bedroom, with a decent and easy-to-access organization. Big plans, but getting the time and motivation to actually implement those plans is another matter.

Some of this is already done. My floss and silks are in plastic drawers, organized by brand (for silks or overdyed cottons), with 3 drawers of DMC (000-699, 700-999, and 3000s). I have another drawer with the perle cottons, and another with cut floss lengths from previous projects. I tend to try to raid those first when kitting an impending project or if I need a short length.

Yarns are, mostly, grouped in large comforter-sized zipper bags. There are a few clusters of yarn in bags or boxes that haven't yet made it to that state, but not much.

Cross stitch fabrics are in several large plastic bins, as are canvaswork charts/kits and frames.

Kitted projects are in zipper mesh bags. Most of those are in the putative craft room, but there is a plastic milkcrate with some in my bedroom. Mostly these are for the active projects.

Charts are either in the kit bag, or on a bookcase in my bedroom. Those will eventually migrate as well.

So I guess you can say "organized chaos" is my organization method!

I only worked on one project since last time, so this will be a short update. I'm not going to bother mentioning the others this time.

Project: Nativity - shepherd panel
Designer: MarBek
Fabric: 32ct Belfast - Countrystitch "Pansy"
Total hours to date: 65
Progress since last update: Amazingly, 26 hours. Angel was complete at 50 hours, and shepherd has seen 15 hours so far.
Notes: The angel is headless no more! There are a few rays of light around her that will need to be done, but those will be the last things I do on this piece since they extend down into where the shepherd is.
The shepherd is coming along fairly quickly, though his robe is rather...colorful. Maybe his name is Joseph - I certainly can't help but think of technicolor dreamcoats while working on it!

Rather than taking a single picture of the whole piece to date, I've taken top and bottom pictures.

Angel: Angel
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Shepherd: trippy Shepherd
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In non-stitching news, I'm just about back in the treadmill habit, so that's a good thing.

Giving up online shopping was pretty successful - it got easier as time went on, so hopefully purchasing habits will stay low.

Until next time!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

WIPocalypse redux - March update

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Topic of the month:Show us your favorite places to stitch.
I think i'm actually going to punt on this topic a bit - currently I do most of my stitching sitting on my bed, sometimes while watching TV. And my bedroom is not neat enough to be shown in public. So you'll just have to take my word for it.

And anyway, the updates are the important things - so on to them!


Project: Convent Herbal Garden
Designer: Chatelaine
Fabric: 32ct Lugana - Silkweaver solo
Total hours to date: 183
Progress since last update: 13 hours. I've finished all of the stitching.
Notes: I have only the beading left to do, but that will wait until after Lent/Easter.

Convent Herbal Garden at 183 hours
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Project: Nativity - shepherd panel
Designer: MarBek
Fabric: 32ct Belfast - Countrystitch "Pansy"
Total hours to date: 39
Progress since last update: 10 hours. The angel's gown is done, although she's still headless.
Notes: This is my focus project during Lent/Easter, so next update should hopefully show a lot of progress.

MarBek Nativity at 39 hours
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Project: Around the World in 80 Stitches
Designer: Papillon Creations
Fabric: 32ct cream Lugana
Total hours to date: not tracked
Progress since last update: none


Project: Stars for a New Millennium
Designer: Anthony Minieri
Fabric: 18ct pewter mono canvas
Total hours to date: not tracked
Progress since last update: none


Project: Fantasy Triptych
Designer: Teresa Wentzler
Fabric: 32ct Lugana - Silkweaver "Blue Dynasty"
Total hours to date: 28
Progress since last update: none

I did finish a small project that I'd been keeping in my purse - Mill Hill's "Tiny Treasured Diamond - Royal Orchid".
MH Royal Orchid
I started this back in...August, I think, and it's been getting just a few stitches here and there. I finished it during gaming last week.

In non-stitching news, my treadmill is finally working again! What a relief. Now to get my rear in gear and try to make healthier eating choices again as well as continue exercising.

Lent started a couple weeks ago, and I've decided to give up online shopping. Amazon 1-Clicks and other minor things like iTunes tend to add up, and I really need to rein them in.

Monday, February 17, 2014

WIPocalypse redux - February update

wip_button1 Topic of the month: How many projects do you generally feel comfortable having in progress at a time? Tell us about your one-at-a-time or rotation habits!
This is actually a complex question. I certainly don't feel comfortable having more than a handful of projects on the go, but I don't know that I'd call myself a one-at-a-timer, and it's not strictly a rotation. In general, I tend to have one timed project, and one untimed project. When I can get uninterrupted stitching time, I'll work on the timed piece (or in the case of Convent Herbal Garden, I've timed one instance of elements that are repeated). When I'm likely to be somewhat distracted or am multitasking, I'll work on the untimed piece.

Sometimes I may swap out one or more pieces, depending on events. I've decided to work on the Marbek Nativity during Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter, so that becomes my timed piece during those seasons, for example.

I may also have one or more alternate technique projects in progress, such as canvaswork, knitting, or crochet. I might also keep a small cross-stitch project in my purse to pass the time while waiting.

Anyway, it's a bit tricky and probably only makes sense in my own mind! But without further ado, on to the updates!


Project: Convent Herbal Garden
Designer: Chatelaine
Fabric: 32ct Lugana - Silkweaver solo
Total hours to date: 170
Progress since last update: 14 hours - finished the southwest corner and half of the south gate.
Notes: Just one more urn until I am done with Marlitt forever!

Convent Herbal Garden at 170 hours
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Project: Around the World in 80 Stitches
Designer: Papillon Creations
Fabric: 32ct cream Lugana
Total hours to date: not counting
Progress since last update: Finished Part 5 80 Stitches
(Click for larger image)

Project: Stars for a New Millennium
Designer: Anthony Minieri
Fabric: 18ct pewter mono canvas
Total hours to date: not counting
Progress since last update: none
Notes: I've made the working copy for the next planned segment, but no stitching since last update.


Project: Nativity (shepherds panel)
Designer: MarBek
Fabric: 32ct Belfast - Countrystitch "Pansy"
Total hours to date: 29
Progress since last update: none
Notes: Put away until Lent (which starts 5 March this year).


Project: Fantasy Triptych
Designer: Teresa Wentzler
Fabric: 32ct Lugana - Silkweaver "Blue Dynasty"
Total hours to date: 28
Progress since last update: none

In non-stitching goals, my trusty treadmill Kryten broke down at the end of January. The first replacement part I was sent didn't resolve the issue, so I'm awaiting a new motor and a repair tech. Hopefully he'll be back in working order soon - I miss my daily tread!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

WIPocalypse redux - January update

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I did promise a stitching update, and Measi is once again managing the WIPocalypse. Hopefully I'll keep pace better than I have in the past. She's also suggesting a topic/question for each month, which I think is a neat idea. I've decided to go for a standard post format this time around to make the information easier to read. So without further ado....

Topic of the month: Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!
I think my little blurb up under my blog title sums me up nicely enough. I'll list my current projects, with my goals in the notes section for each project. Further stitching goals will follow.


Project: Convent Herbal Garden
Designer: Chatelaine
Fabric: 32ct Lugana - Silkweaver solo
Total hours to date: 156
Progress since last update: 26 hours
Notes: I'm coming down the home stretch, so I should finish this in 2014. Also, I am *never* using Anchor Marlitt again once this piece is finished.

Convent Herbal Garden at 156 hours
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Project: Stars for a New Millennium
Designer: Anthony Minieri
Fabric: 18ct pewter mono canvas
Total hours to date: not counting
Progress since last update: none
Notes: This is not my first canvaswork piece, but it's certainly the largest and most complex. I hope to finish this in 2014.

Stars for a New Millenium as of August 2013
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Project: Nativity (shepherds panel)
Designer: MarBek
Fabric: 32ct Belfast - Countrystitch "Pansy"
Total hours to date: 29
Progress since last update: new start as of 1 December
Notes: Like the center panel of Nativity, I am only working on this piece during Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter (unless I run out of other things to stitch). I doubt I will finish this in 2014. But I might.

Marbek Nativity shepherd at 29 hours
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"Hark the headless angel sings...." *ahem* Sorry. Couldn't resist. She'll get a head and wings (and the rest of the gown) when I pick it back up in March.


Project: Around the World in 80 Stitches
Designer: Papillon Creations
Fabric: 32ct cream Lugana
Total hours to date: not counting
Progress since last update: none
Notes: This mystery design is being released in parts (currently up to 16 of 24). Since the full design was not available at start, I had no way to estimate my hours....so I'm not tracking them. I don't know if all of the parts will be released in 2014 (the designer has had some health issues), but I do hope to get caught up with all of the released parts in 2014.

80 Stitches
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Project: Fantasy Triptych
Designer: Teresa Wentzler
Fabric: 32ct Lugana - Silkweaver "Blue Dynasty"
Total hours to date: 28
Progress since last update: none
Notes: Currently this only sees progress during October as part of a SAL - don't expect many updates.

Fantasy Triptych at 28 hours
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Other stitching goals:
  • Design 2014 ornament for Tor Rhuann
  • Knit a pair of socks
  • Organize my craft room
My non-stitching goals were covered previous post, but so far so good.

That's all for now! Hopefully I'll be as timely with the next update.