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, October 13, 2014

WIPocalypse redux - October update

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Belated again...the WIPocalypse of the procrastinators strikes again. I can blame the kitchen remodel, or the head cold that ambushed me last week, or any number of things, but I'm still late. Ah well. I missed the lunar eclipse last week, but not due to procrastination - it was too cloudy here for me to see, alas. But I digress.

Topic of the month: Are you a Halloween or Christmas stitcher?
I do tend to stitch seasonally, but I've only ever done one Halloween thing (I designed a little customizable Jack-o-lantern a few years back). Nothing against Halloween - I enjoy it, and there are some wonderful Halloween designs, but there's only one of me and I don't have oodles of stitching time.

I do try to design a Christmas ornament every year, and I have stitched on something Christmas or winter probably the past 8 years or so. I don't usually start my Christmas stitching until Advent, though, which starts 30 November this year. So, expect the next part of Nativity to begin then.

I have another finish this month!!

Project: Stars for a New Millennium
Designer: Tony Minieri
Fabric: 18ct pewter mono canvas
Total hours to date: not tracked
Progress since last update: DONE as of 25 September!
Notes: It's done! I mostly enjoyed stitching this, and I love how it turned out, but whatever canvaswork I do next will be a bit less complex.

Stars for a New Millennium, finished
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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 6
Notes: All of the parts are finally out, so this will be my next focus piece. It may not see much attention during October, though

80 Stitches, through part 6
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Project: Fantasy Triptych
Designer: Teresa Wentzler
Fabric: 32ct Lugana - Silkweaver "Blue Dynasty"
Total hours to date: 30
Progress since last update: Started on the maiden panel, but only 2 hours so far.
Notes: It's October, the time when many of my fellow stitchers work on Teresa's designs (not sure how that got started, but I join in TWOctober), so this will be my focus this month. Having gotten sick, though, has limited my energy and motivation for working a piece of this complexity. Lethargy and confetti stitching don't mix well. I'd like to complete the unicorn by the end of the month, at least - I doubt finishing the entire panel is anywhere close to a realistic goal.

Fantasy Triptych
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And a new start!

Project: Metamorphosis
Designer: Ink Circles
Fabric: 36ct Birds of a Feather "Barn Owl" linen
Total hours to date: not tracked
Progress since last update: New start!
Notes: This is my gaming and waiting project. I've done much of this while waiting to pick my daughter up from school in the afternoon - a few stitches here and there add up quickly.

Metamorphosis
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In non-stitching news, my kitchen remodel is just about finished, so I get to spend tonight starting to repopulate all the cabinets. But it's also Monday and football season, so there may be stitching. Not that I care about the 49ers or Rams, but any excuse to take a load off and stitch....

My current 101 List expires in a couple weeks, so I need to get to work on a new one.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

WIPocalypse redux - September update

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A little belated, as usual, but at least right now I have an ongoing kitchen remodel to blame. I am definitely looking forward to a new kitchen, although I didn't really enjoy the long hours boxing up 20 years worth of kitchen stuff. I suspect there will be considerable downsizing of said stuff when we repopulate the new kitchen....

Topic of the month: Who is your favourite person to stitch for, or do you prefer to keep your stitching yourself?
I used to stitch (or crochet) for gifts a lot more than I currently do. Mainly, I just don't have the time right now to stitch gifts, but I've also heard too many fellow stitchers become upset when a gift they worked long hours on goes unappreciated. So I suppose it's a bit selfish, but most of my stitching I do because I like the pattern, I look forward to the journey if it has specialty stitches, or both.

I suppose if I have to define a favorite recipient, that would be my family/household.

I have a finish 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: Finished 10 September 2014!
Notes: I just need to finish it as a bellpull now. I love the music fabric I found for it.

Ink Circles clef series
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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: Finished two more squares and am halfway through #11.
Notes: I'm continuing to focus on this, and I feel like I'm coming down the home stretch. Hopefully I will finish this by next update.

10.5 Stars
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The final part of Papillon Creation's "Around the World in 80 Stitches" has been released, so I'll start focusing on that once Stars is finished.

In non-stitching news, life has been busy. I'm at 28 of 30 workouts on the Curves challenge I mentioned last month. I have through Monday the 15th to get two more in. I hope I can make it - it depends on how much of my time will be consumed by the kitchen remodel.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

WIPocalypse redux - August update

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Topic of the month: Tell us about your oldest and newest WIPs.
With two big finishes back in June, I actually don't have many WIPs right now. I *think* my oldest is Papillon's "Around the World in 80 Stitches", but I think it only beats out Teresa Wentzler's "Fantasy Triptych" and Tony Minieri's "Stars for New Millennium" by a few months. All of them were started in mid 2012, and are thus approaching the 2-year mark.

My newest WIP is the Ink Circles Music trio. I guess technically I've completed two of the three, but since I'm doing them all as a single piece I can't take the completion.

Of these, two 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 Treble, started Bass
Notes: Still a quick and enjoyable stitch, mostly done while gaming.

Ink Circles treble and alto clefs
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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: finished 1 square and 3/4 of inner border, started second square.
Notes: I've been focused on this piece the past month. The couching I groused about last time is just very time consuming, so there's not much progress other than the border. The current square is going more quickly, so I'm hopeful that I'll be able to finish several more squares by next time. It's highly unlikely I'll be able to finish the whole piece by then.

8.5 Stars
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In non-stitching news, I finished reading _Things Fall Apart_ by Chinua Achebe. I think it was well-written and I can see why it's a classic, but I didn't particularly care for it. Mainly because I had no sympathy for the main character.

I'm currently most of the way through the Andrew Lang (insert color) Fairy books on my Kindle - the ebook has all 12 as a single book, and I've read 10 of them now. That was one of my 101List items, so it'll be good to get that off the list. I still haven't read Neil Gaiman's latest - I should get on that.

I am still treadmilling nightly, and in an effort to get back on track at Curves I joined a challenge that would have me doing 30 workouts over 60 days. That's a bit tricky given that my local Curves isn't open on weekends, but it runs 14 July to 14 September (which is really 62 days, but who's counting?). I've done 15 of the 30, and I'm just shy of the halfway point, so I think I can actually do this. The trick will be maintaining it now that DD has started back to school and my schedule is tighter.

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.