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, 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.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Happy 2014!

Belated Happy New Year! Welcome to 2014!

2013 had its ups and downs. On the upside, we had a good trip to the UK in June, our newest grandson was born at the end of June, I got to visit some friends in Nashville in July, and we just returned from visiting my beloved sister-in-law and her family in Texas over the holidays. On the downside, we had a home burglary over the summer, I gained back all of the weight I lost in 2012, and the general compound effect of myriad minor stressors just adds up after a while.

Hopefully 2014 will be better.

My treadmill/walking streak ended at about 590 consecutive days at the end of December - I didn't have treadmill access, and a couple of long travel days made taking the time to walk outside tricky. So, time for a new streak to begin!

As with every year, it's time to review last year's goals and make new ones! Without further ado:

2013 Goals
  • Read 5000 pages - 9122 pages certainly blew that out of the water. Perhaps I should increase my goal for 2014.
  • Do 10 101List items - Believe it or not, I did manage to finish 10. The aforementioned 9122 pages put my total since January 2012 at 17,000 pages, well over the 15,000 page 101List goal for a last-minute finish.
  • Rauros to Isengard (Aragorn's path) - Done in January!
  • Isengard to Minas Tirith (Aragorn's path) - I've completed 525 of 786 miles. Not done, but I should be able to finish next year.

The generic goals are still good, so I think I'll keep them, but I feel I need to add some new ones. I've been hearing a fair bit about 30-Day Fitness Challenges, and since there are 12 months in a year I should be able to do 12 of them. I just need to decide on which ones.

For the record:


2014 Goals
  • Read 7500 pages (increasing from last year)
  • Do 10 101List items
  • Isengard to Minas Tirith (Aragorn's path) Starting at 525/786 miles, so maybe by summer.
  • Rauros to Isengard (Merry and Pippin's path) (backtracking a bit to the Breaking of the Fellowship)
  • Complete 12 30-day fitness challenges

There are other goals as well but those fall under the 101List bullet.

Regarding stitching, I completely missed the November and December WIPocalypse updates. I do like the monthly update idea, though, so I will try to get back on track with those. I'll try to get a stitching update posted by the weekend.

Here's to 2014, may it be better than 2013!

Friday, November 01, 2013

PostWIPocalyptica - October update


I'm late to the party again - November has arrived without an October post.

Most of my stitching this month has been on Teresa Wentzler's Fantasy Triptych. Last October, I ended at 8 hours. I'm now at 28:
Fantasy Triptych - 28 hours
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I finished the framework, and any of the backstitching that could be done before the scenes are filled in. Now that October is over, it's going away for another year. Still, I wanted to get the framework done this year and I accomplished that.

I did spend a little bit of time on Convent Herbal Garden. Only a few hours, though, for a cumulative time of 130 hours:
Convent Herbal Garden - 130 hours
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I'll be focusing on this piece most of November, so there should hopefully be more to show off next update.


I actually spent a fair bit of time reading this month. I'm on book 4 of Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series, and am quite enjoying it. The Codex Alera series is quite different in flavor and writing style from Butcher's more famous Dresden Files series - think Romans with something akin to elemental magic, and political intrigue up to one's eyeballs. I certainly recommend it.

Monday, September 30, 2013

PostWIPocalyptica - September update


Farewell to September, and hello to autumn. Such as we get down here in Florida, anyway. It's finally getting into the low 70s at night, which is a nice change.

Almost all of my stitching this month was spent on Convent Herbal Garden, and I did finish the scrolling hedge as I had hoped. This is at 118 hours:
Convent Herbal Garden - 118 hours
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Here's a closeup of one of the corners.
Convent Herbal Garden - corner closeup
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But wait....there's more! I also did the east gate, and am at just under 124 hours of progress. That's a staggering (for me) 22 hours of stitching this month!
Convent Herbal Garden - east gate
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I will say that Anchor Marlitt is a bit of a pain to stitch with, and I kind of wish I'd subbed Petite Treasure Braid for it, but I don't feel like frogging it now.

Hold on to your seats, because I also finished part 4 of Papillon's Around the World in 80 Stitches.
80 Stitches, part 4
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In non-stitching news, I reached my 500th consecutive treadmill/walk day yesterday. I've covered 595 miles over 210 hours. I never imagined I'd keep the streak going this long, but since I have...onward to 600!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

PostWIPocalyptica - August update


Wow, I'm actually posting the August update in August...imagine that...

Most of this month's stitching was on Stars for a New Millennium - the sashing between squares is done:
Stars for a New Millennium - sashing
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It felt good to be working on other projects again, though because the sashing took a while, I did very little stitching on anything else.

I finished another small Mill Hill kit called "Music" about two days after my last post:
MH Music
This was another purse project, and I have another on the go. Very useful for waiting.

Today I picked up Chatelaine "Convent Herbal Garden" for the first time since February, and have put two hours in for a total 102 so far. I'll be getting back to it, and college football, once I finish this post.
Convent Herbal Garden - 102 hours
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I hope to finish the scrolling hedge before next update, and hopefully a bit more progress as well.

I may also pick up Papillon's "Around the World in 80 Stitches" - I'm still halfway through part 4 where I left off a few months ago, but the pattern has been released through part 13.



In non-stitching progress, I'm up to 471 consecutive walking days. My walk earlier today was 45 minutes - a bit exhausting but I'll get used to it.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

PostWIPocalyptica - July update


There is, apparently, some orbit deterioration in whatever satellite I'm claiming as my 'full moon' - my updates keep getting later and later!

I do have good news though.....

I finished the center panel of Nativity!! And there was much rejoicing

My final tally was 269 hours, about the same amount of time I spent on Last Supper.
Marbek Nativity DONE at 269 hours
(Click for larger image)


There are a great many mods to it, mostly converting all of the Kreinik to Rainbow Gallery's Petite Treasure Braid. My conversions are noted here, and I will update that page as I continue.

Given that I overshot 250, I've revised my estimate for the total project up from 450 hours to 750:
269 - center panel (DONE!)
150 each - shepherd and wiseman panels
90 each - shepherd boy and camel panels

Okay, so that's 749 hours (rounding error ;) Hopefully I don't overshoot it any further.

Still, I am very happy this is done! I've been sort of itching to stitch other things.

I did actually stitch one other thing, a small Mill Hill kit called "Love Notes":
MH Love Notes
I kept it in my purse for about a week and worked on it while waiting in various places. I have another Mill Hill kit now, so there might be another tiny finish next update. Which hopefully will be sometime *before* September!