Wednesday, December 31, 2008

May you have a happy new year!

It's almost the new year, and I wanted to thank everyone who reads my blog. I appreciate your comments, every one. And if I've somehow missed your blog on my list of reading, please leave me a comment with the address and I'll add you.

Today is my birthday, and I'm 39. Yes, I'm a tax baby. I've had a lovely day so far. Matt, Logan, and I went to McDonald's for breakfast, first thing. I'm not a fan of McDonald's, but I do love their breakfasts, which I rarely get. We picked out a chocolate cake, and Matt's making me spaghetti for supper. I've already gotten stitching stuff for my birthday, but I couldn't resist Teresa Wentzler's latest release, which came out today, Delightful Dragon Fob. What a great gift to myself!

It's been a rough year for us with Matt losing his job, but I'm so excited that he's going back to school. Sometimes God has to kick you in the pants to get you to do what you should. Matt's a brilliant person, and it always seemed like such a shame that he was held back by a piece of paper. Now he's going to have the opportunity to go to college without having to also hold down a full-time job. We'll make it somehow, and the reward will be worth it. My son has been such a blessing. He's a beautiful boy who continues to amaze us with his intelligence (we have nothing to compare him to, but we think he's smart). He's only had minor illnesses, and I continue to hope he will miss out on the horrible ear infections his dad had as a kid. My mom's been a big help, and she's managed to sell her house even in this economy. Not too bad, actually.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yearly goals

Here's how I did, stitching-wise, in 2008 and what I hope to accomplish in 2009.

Pieces I finished in 2008:

  • Needle Guardian
  • Celestial Sun
  • Celestial Moon
  • TrickORTreat (finishing)
  • Lady Scarlet Box
  • Spring Peepers
  • Cherub Garden
  • Spring in the Square
  • Autumn in the Square
  • Winter in the Square
  • Summer in the Square
  • Mini Topiary Sampler
  • Ball Ornaments
  • Four Fat Friends
  • Boo Scissor Purse
  • Boo Scissor Keeper
  • It's Halloween
  • Bountiful Acorns Needleroll
  • Olde English Needleroll
  • Shamrock Needleroll
  • Remembrance Rose Needleroll
  • Blueberry Needleroll
  • Halloween Fob
  • Covent Garden Rosebuds
  • Holly Needleroll
  • Forget Me Not Needleroll
  • Exotic Butterflies (with MIL)
  • Little Lambs Needleroll
  • Best Wishes Bunny
  • Pig
  • Damier (Checkerboard)
  • Exchanges: Fantasy Triptych panel, For the Birds, Love Blooms, Heart Fob, Christmas Ornament, The Bakery, Halloween Night, November Harvest Pumpkin, Little Pumpkins, and Blessings Abound

Current WIPs:

  • Autumn Faerie
  • Rose Quilt
  • Maggie the Messmaker
  • Magnificent Wizard
  • Eternal Promise

Review of stitching goals for 2008:

  • Chatelaine's Rose and Butterfly Quilt--nope, though I did work on it
  • Maggie the Messmaker--nope, though I did work on it
  • TrickORTreat--finished
  • MIL's piece--finished
  • At least 10 pages of any HAED--nope, only did one page

Stitching/craft goals for 2009:

  • Autumn Faerie
  • Chatelaine's Rose and Butterfly Quilt
  • Maggie the Messmaker
  • Magnificent Wizard (work some on it)
  • Work on more Teresa Wentzler pieces
  • Start an embroidered knot garden
  • Try doll making/polymer clay
  • Make more cakes

Here are my life goals, which are always more difficult to achieve.

Review of life goals for 2008:

  • Lose weight--I wanted to lose 50 pounds but only lost 25. It's better than nothing.
  • Work--I'm enjoying work more now that I'm not alone in the house. I also think I'm doing a better job.

Life goals for 2009:

  • Lose weight--I'm a little over 300 pounds now. I'd like to lose at least 50 pounds in the coming year.
  • Family--Get involved with Logan's activities, support Matt while he's in school (doing the housework, etc.), and don't let my temper get the best of me.
  • Work--Do a better job and learn new things. Go outside my comfort zone.
  • Money--Keep the spending to a minimum. Don't buy cross stitch stuff and nonessentials if I can help it.

This is just a list I like to keep so I can stay on track. If I don't acomplish them all, that's OK. Life's a journey. :-)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Autumn Faerie Week 3

I didn't get as much stitching done as I had hoped, but I did get a whole day when Cheryl (HasturTorres) came over for a visit. That was so much fun!

After Christmas, I got to fondle my fabric for Skeleton Crew and the chart for My Stitching Treasures Accessories. I'm still waiting for the fabric and charms for it. As soon as I try out my mom's serger on the fabric, I'm going to start Skeleton Crew.

We had a nice Christmas. Logan enjoyed his presents, though he was a little nervous about climbing up on his Kangaroo Climber (one of these big plastic houses with a slide). That's OK because it can be dangerous without adult supervision. I really need to get rid of some of his old toys. The living room looks like his toy bag exploded. Oh, today was his first day of daycare. He smiled at the other kids, who mostly ignored him, lol. Matt and I snuck out, and we heard him crying when he realized we weren't there. It broke my heart. He's doing half days this week, and then we'll start him on full days next week. Matt's taking two weeks off before he heads back to college. That ought to be another gut-wrencher for me, sending my love off to college, but it won't be as bad. :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Autumn Faerie Week 2

Here she is. I just love the way the apple changes color. I did wind up having to redo part of the circular border. I had mixed up one of the colors. I guess there is a downside to trying to stitch while looking after Logan.

I work today and half a day tomorrow, and then I don't have to go back to work until January 5. Woohoo! We didn't get much Christmas decorating done, and I don't think we will. Matt managed to get the tree up and lit, but I never did get the ornaments on it. Oh well, I think it's better that way. We don't have to worry about Logan taking the ornaments off.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Autumn Faerie progress

Half the border in one week. That's not too bad. I'm enjoying working on this piece. I usually do the border first because it's the part that tends to get boring. This way I'm still excited enough to get it done and have some more interesting stitching to look forward to. Though really, when I'm looking after Logan, the border is much easier to stitch than anything that takes some attention. The boy is a handful. I may get another faerie ready to go in case I need some easy stitching.

I saw the neatest Christmas ornament on Su's blog. I looked for instructions and found some. I also found some other neat projects I may have to do.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Finishing of second Ball Ornament

So...I got the bug to finish this one last night after all. Piecing the border is a bit of a pain, especially when my machine decides to bunch up the thread underneath. Otherwise, fun!

I've been reading Embroidered Knot Gardens. It's fascinating. And it's something I think I can do. The only thing I can't do is knitting, but I think I could get the same effect from crocheting. And of course it takes money to buy these specialty fibers and other materials. I think in the spring I'll need to start visiting some gardens for inspiration and start my planning. Once that's done, maybe I can afford a few supplies. As Matt says, like I need another hobby! :-)

Speaking of reading: I finished Mercedes Lackey's Oathbound series. While I like reading the tried-and-true warrior and sorceress stories, the serial nature of the short stories is rather annoying when you read them all at once. I've moved on to the Alberich novels, which are good reading. I'm so glad I decided to reread her books.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ball ornament finishing

I completed this ornament today. It's taken me a while to figure out just how I wanted to do it. The fabric is a little bright for the piece, but it just felt right when I put it together. It's not stuffed, just quilted around the piece in gold thread. With all the layers (fabric pieces and interfacing), it's pretty sturdy. I still have the other one to do, but I'm in no rush.

The piece itself was a little off-square. I think when I stitched it, it wasn't properly aligned in the Qsnaps. It's sometimes hard with a tiny piece of fabric. I really need to be more careful about that. Sometimes I just plop the fabric in there any old way.

As for the finishing stitching, I just need to realize that sewing on the machine will not be perfect. Unless I buy an expensive foot (if they make one for my machine), where the needle goes will never be exact. Machine stitching is so different from hand stitching. My mom tells me that quilters like the puckering of the fabric caused by quilting. Cross stitchers definitely don't!

Maggie the Messmaker update

Last night as we watched Stargate: Atlantis and Sanctuary, I pulled out the stand and worked on this piece. I do that whenever I get a chance. Logan is now letting me stitch in his presence (thankfully), and I can usually convince him to leave my supplies alone. The stand, however, is another story. He loves unscrewing the knobs and does so constantly when I let him. So, the stand only comes out when he's in bed. I managed to finish up the windows and work on the box just under it. A bit more and I'll be halfway done. These Dimension pieces just take forever. TWs are a breeze compared to this!

Speaking of, I did start on Teresa Wentzler's Autumn Faerie. I've got a fair amount of the border done. I'll probably post a progress pic Sunday. I really like working on this piece. It's big enough to be a good TW and small enough to put on my Qsnaps.

Also, I received my books on gingerbread houses and embroidered knot gardens. The gingerbread book was underwhelming; I think it had one house that I'd actually like to build. But at least it gives directions on how to make one. I plan to try it when I have a chance. The embroidered knot garden book is fascinating. It looks like I may need to take up yet another hobby. I've never done some of the stitching the book discusses, but it looks like something I can handle. I just need to figure out what kind of garden inspires me.

Oh, by the way, no, we didn't get any snow. Towns near us did, but we missed out. Darn it.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Needleroll finishing

I finished off these two Sweetheart Tree needlerolls this weekend. I've done seven so far. Brenda Lou asked if I was doing these as presents. Nope, they're all mine. I'd like to finish the entire series someday, which means six left to do.

I'm going to work on finishing my two Jeannette Douglas ornaments next. Matt's dad is visiting until tomorrow morning, and Mom's in Louisiana until probably Thursday, so that leaves little time for stitching. We also need to dig the Christmas stuff out of storage and put everything up.

As I thought would happen, the Stitching Bloggers Exchange Bulletin Board (SBEBB) is no more. I joined Carol's Hooked on Exchanging board/blog to get my exchange fix. :-) Looks like fun!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Forget Me Not HD

I finished the stitching on this Sweetheart Tree needleroll last night. I didn't used the recommended beads. They were a completely off color, so I found some leftover Delicas to use instead. They're a little more squared off than the Mill Hill beads I used in the centers of the flowers, but the color matches much better.

Six more needlerolls to go...

I think I'm going to work on some finishing this weekend. Matt's dad is coming in to town from Ohio for three days, and I have no idea what we'll wind up doing.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ball Ornaments HD

I finished these Saturday. They're by Jeannette Douglas; one was in the Just Cross Stitch 2008 Ornament Preview Issue, and other one was in the 2008 Ornament Issue. I'm going to finished these for the Monthly Finishing Challenge. I'm thinking little pillow ornaments. They're really small pieces, in case you can't tell.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Spider from HasturTorres

Cherylann came over this past Sunday, and we worked on some finishing projects while the husbands played Left 4 Dead (a zombie computer game Matt loves but I find gross). One of the things we finished was this neato spider! And it's mine! What's really strange is that I hate the color orange but really love it on fall or Halloween pieces. In this case, I love it. Isn't it awesome?

So I of course had to show her all my stash, WIPs, and finished pieces (many of them sadly unframed). I kept finding stuff all over the house. Since my sewing room was converted into Logan's room, I've had to store my stuff all over the place.

We also decided to do a Teresa Wentzler's Autumn Fairy stitch-along once we finish our current projects (a Sweetheart Tree needleroll for me). Anyone want to join us? I'm going to do mine on 28-count antique white Jobelan, but I don't have enough for all four fairies. I think I'm going to have to go to the LNS and see if my color of fabric matches what they have in stock for my fourth piece. I plan to do all four someday, and and I definitely want the fabric to match.

Another obsession: I ordered two books: one on gingerbread house decorating and Embroidered Knot Gardens. I'm in the building mood. I've always had dreams (the sleeping kind) of huge, neverending houses that belong to me but I somehow have never explored. Hm, maybe I should have been an architect....