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Saturday, December 7, 2019

As I go through December....

My mind wonders to the new year.  I've decided I really need to get myself in gear and get back to stitching.  I feel so much better when I'm stitching than when I'm not, so don't know why I haven't gotten into it more.  But there are several projects calling my name...I can hear them so these are some of the ones that I think I will focus on ion 2020.

I want to get the Song of the Seasons done.  I'm on part 2.  it is a fun stitch and I'm enjoying it when I pick it up (and WHEN seems to be the stickler).

Peace Angel - once I get the wings down, then I can complain about all of the yellow in the dress LOL.  I really love this angel and she has been on my wish list to finish for years.  This is for Arwen who will be 6 in 2020, so it's time to get it done.

For my parent's 50's anniversary we did a quilt for their bed.  This is one of the squares I did - it's a music chair.  I need to find the chart and re-do it and then hand sew it back on the quilt.   Not sure why this one ripped the other squares that have x-stitch are OK.

My multiplication chart - I am a math person, not geeky math or complex math, I'm an accountant by trade :)  this is my second chart like this - so I want to get it done and framed.  My daughter has one in her class and the kids love it.  This one will be for me at home.

 Another L&L - SpiritDancer - Haven't touched this one for a long time, she needs some love this year.  This for my youngest daughter, so it's time to get it done.  I might need to do a little gridding so I can work on the dress more.  There is lot of beading on it as well.  I like doing the reading at the end, so need to figure out how to mark it so I can tell where to stitch and not get it messed up.

The last one is PeliCan.  I've loved this one since I first saw it at a x-stitch show years ago.  It's one 40ct, but does stitch up well.  I like using one color at times, it makes stitching nice since I don't have to change colors.  But it can be boring at time.

 So this is what I've pulled out of my pictures for 2020, but I know there is one more that I'd like to do, it's a Family Tree and I just have the corner started on it.  Maybe I'll take a picture when I pull it out to work on.

Well time to think about getting what needs to be done for December done.

Sandy




Sunday, November 24, 2019

OMG it's the last Sunday of November, which means......{gulp} December is here

It's that time of the month that all of us crazy stitchers who are more serial starters than finishers (talking about myself) show off what we have done, or in my case what I've not gotten done.  If you want to see more go here to WIPocalypse and see what others are done....http://measi.net/measiblog/

I can't believe I am at the end of November already, work has kept me busy and December isn't looking much better.  I work with some great people, but unfortunately, the powers that be, don't always see the efforts put forth by those, and this leads to them getting new jobs.  So this year we've had 3 people leave our small group out of 6 people.  We have replaces 2 of them and added 2 more people, but it's still stressful and I will miss this person, as she is my morning buddy.  But I am so happy for her, she is getting a great opportunity and will be given the respect she has earned.  Next week will be her last week and I'm hoping to spend 3 full days with her transiting her work.

I don't do a lot of holiday crafting anymore, I just can't take the pressure of the deadlines.  When I have a work deadline, I'm very proactive, but a personal one, just makes me procrastinate because it becomes the dreaded chore to do...... so I try to keep any of those at a minimum and generally none at all.

So with that being said, I am doing 4 small gifts for Christmas this year and have 2 of them completely done and just need to be mounted, #3 is started (the little Indian) and #4 is waiting in the wings.

I also have one Christmas stocking to get together and mailed out by next Monday so it will there in time for Christmas.  The stitching is done, just need to add the embellishments and sew it into a stocking.  My machine has been tuned and ready to go, so shouldn't take me too long.  I have finished 10 other stockings in the past, so I have it down pat :).  Hoping to do it on Friday after the Thanksgiving rush is over with and life is back to normal.  NO I'm not doing Black Friday, too old for those early morning rushes.  But we are doing dinner for 13 people - told my sister her long term boyfriend would be banished to the basement because I refuse to have 13 seated at the table.  Other option is setting it up for 14 and getting my brother-in-law to come in a for a minute before he goes to his daughter's house for dinner.

So what have I done this past month you might ask?  I showed you all my hippo last month.  You see pictures of #2  Fairy Bee and the start of #3 Little Indian.  The shiny things are the front and back of the credit card holders where they will be mounted.  I have 3 of them, two blue and one black.  Thought I had 2 black and one blue, oh well, can't change it now.  

The last needlepoint will go into a pocket mirror for my 12 year old granddaughter.  I started out with an elephant to put in it, but then found the Crane and knew it would be perfect.  Of course I have to admit I didn't just "find" it, I hit 3 shops between KY and MI I called about 5 different shops until I found one that actually had it in stock.  Should have started with them, as that is where I got the Lotus flower on my daughters checkbook cover I did last year.

I also jointed a stitching group that does Stitch Alongs each year.  This year they have been doing Lucky 13, which are 12 charts of little halloween motifs.  I'm pretty far behind the group on this one, but that's OK, I'll start it in January and see if I can't get it caught up.  When I say I'm pretty far behind, they are on chart #6, and I haven't even pulled my threads yet.  Such is life.

So for the question of the month - what new stitching techniques did you learn this year?   Well to be honest, this year was the pits for my stitching and I really didn't try anything new, didn't get a lot of trying done on what I was doing :( .  While moving home was the thing to do, I didn't realize the pitfalls along the way.  There has been a lot of adjustments to overcome and I'm sure there will be more in my future, love working from home, love NO office politics to contend with, LOVE working in my PJ's when I don't have anything I need to do outside of the house and I really LOVE no traffic lights between my bed and my desk.  So maybe if this question is asked next year I'll have a better answer.

As for getting my she-cave together I did add two new items,  I put together this small chest of drawers.  I have my needlepoint canvases in there as well as things that are ready to be finally finished.  I'm hoping to do some ornaments, they are all stitched, just need to be finished.  And of course I finally got a replacement for my cutting table that didn't make it from CA to MI/KY.  I like this table, it's a little better made and I can have it up all the time!!  Right now it has my cutting mat on the top and both leaves are spread out!!  I'm excited about being able to cut stuff out.  I'm not sure I'll do pillowcases this year for Christmas as by now I generally have them done, but will try to do a few for special people.

With December's post I hope to be able to show you the things finished that need to be done, like the stocking.  And also looking at what I'm going to get done for 2020 - would like to get 20 finishes in 20.  Maybe with my own space now I will be able to get it done.  Even it's if its only one thing done in 2020, I will be happy as it's the journey that gives me happiness, the finishes are just a bonus.  I will now and forever be the serial started, but at my age, you need to do the things that make you happy in life and not stress over the things that don't.

Sandy





Thursday, October 31, 2019

October Check in and I'm late :(

So it's that time of the month - time to talk about what I've been stitching since last month and have I actually finished up any WIP's this year or show off the WIPs that we are working on to get finished.  Well I haven't really finished much this year, and since it's November tomorrow, it's not looking good for those WIP's in residency since 2018 ended.

So if you want to see what others are working on, or join this little band of stitcher, you can go to WIPocalypse....found here:

http://measi.net/measiblog/2019/10/27/october-2019-wipocalypse-check-in/?fbclid=IwAR17Hjv9GFzjAxJMzGDpnXBDqG_MqSpBdh1VrejPB8tA7c6O2g1qnaV9_TY

The question this month is do you rotate your projects or do you stitch one at a time?

Well when I started to stitch a long time ago, I did one at a time - start to finish, but then one day someone said that if I did a rotation that I would get so much done each year!!  And I was like...WHAT, that sounds wonderful and that was the end of my sanity.

So as of today I'm well over 30 WIPs, probably more than that, but we'll call it good at 30 for this conversation.  Do I still rotate?  well not really, I'm kind of a one at a timer until I get tired of it, then I'm on to something else!!  So I rotate my one at a time?

With that being said, I do have a finish, the SB stocking!!  I need to add the embellishments and then finish it into a stocking.  I will take it to the fabric store next weekend and get all of the stuff I need, so with November check in, it should be totally finished.  This will be the 12th stocking that I've done by SB.  I love these!!

Then I pulled out my Song of the Seasons by Little House Needleworks - I have all of Part 1 done and I'm working on Part 2 now.  I added the section on the right and finished up the line between the two sections.  Not a lot, but something.

Lastly I've been working on a couple of needlepoints that will be Christmas presents.  The  stitching is done!!  The picture doesn't do it justice.  The Hippos are all sparkly.  This one was on 22 ct. canvas, so it was difficult to see at times.  It will go into a credit card holder, so hoping my sister will like the hippos.

the last picture is the reason why I'm late.  Work called me to CA for a few days :)  And so I went.







Saturday, September 28, 2019

Fall is here???? Only 3 more months left in 2019 and I'm not ready for 2020 yet

This year I've not been very good about posting in my blog, but then it's been a difficult year for us.  We moved across the country and we are still trying to get settled into our new home.  I've also been doing a lot of traveling between our two locations, MI and KY and dealing with health issues with hubby.......sigh, doesn't make for quality stitching time.

So here we are at the end of summer, fall is here, although it was 90 outside today.  Not sure if anyone clued in the weather that it should be getting cooler at night and not quite as warm during the day.  Although MI has been a little bit cooperative about going into fall and we've had some nice cool nights so the AC in MI is off, but it's still going full force in KY.

It is also the last Sunday of the month and time to post in WIPocalypse, which is a group of stitchers who are trying their best to finish up all their projects before the world ends.  I am failing on all fronts of that challenge, but hope that next yer will be better.  If you'd like to see what others are doing, or join the group - go here:

http://measi.net/measiblog/

You will see so many talented stitchers including Measi her self!!

This month's question is - is there a finishing style that you'd like to try but haven't?

There are lots of different finishing styles the I've not tried, flat fold and standup to mention two.  I have had the standup done for me, but not ever tried it myself.  I really want to because that is how I will finish off my Wizard when he is done.  A few years ago I got some needlepoints at a yard sale that are almost done that I figured they would be good for learning since I have not vested a lot of time and effort into stitching them (or money - they were dirt cheap).  The Wizard I do have a vested  interest in, and really want ti done right.

The flat fold would be nice, but I don't have a lot of shelf space for putting things, so not something that is an immediate need to learn.

Which brings me to my next subject.   I've been working on my basement she-cave.  Hubby will have limited access to things, but it will be my domain at the end of the day.   I must have been a bat in a former life as I love the dark caves.

Putting in cheap flooring has made a world of difference in the space, it makes the basement look a lot nicer and more inviting.  I need to paint the walls yet, but don't really care if that happens anytime soon.

I've put up several more shelving units, which are all full of bins from things that I've unpacked.  Now I can find my material, yarn, teddy bear supplies, painted canvases and most importantly my threads and linen for x-stitching.


I also have my sewing machines all tuned and ready to sew, just need a new cutting table and a folding table that will go behind my sewing machine for quilting projects.

I have 3 quilts that just need to be assembled, or finish assembling and one quilt that all of the pieces are cut out and it just needs to be sewn together.  Looking forward to sewing again, haven't really done any in several year nows.

I'm starting 3 projects for Christmas presents - I'm doing credit card holders that have openings that are 2"x3".  The first one I'm working will have hippos - I got the canvas on sale because it was part of Noah's Ark set, no one really wanted just hippos as the ark itself and other animals had been sold already.  I purchased them with the intent of making it into a small ornament for my sister, but when I saw the credit card holders, I figure it was perfect for that!! My sister loves hippos, so she will enjoy her Christmas present I'm sure.

I drew my stitching area and have been working on it.  This has been my only stitching project this month that I have taken a picture of to post  I have worked on my angel and have more of the wing done, but it's boring to show as it's just the wing.

 I'm making progress, it's slow, but it's coming along.  Hope to have the hippos done by the end of October as I have 2 others to do that haven't been started yet, but will correct that error very soon.  The pictures doesn't show it well, but the hippos will be sparkly, the main hippo will be gray, and its mate will be purple.  Got the pink today for around the month and the tongue, and will just use plain thread for the teeth and eyes.  The other two canvases are a small Indian child and a small bee fairy.  Can't wait to show those off once I get them going :)

While at Michael's I found a stick-on spider and decided to get it and put it on my laptop.  Hoping it stays on, think it's kind of cool.  Also found a tote with several smaller boxes inside (70% off).  I plan on pulling out the threads that I have set aside for special projects and put them in those boxes and label them so I know where the thread is when I get ready to start said project and don't pull the threads of other projects.

The next picture is a lone rose from our defunk garden.  Next spring I will work on getting it into shape, and maybe get a professional landscaper to put in some new plants.  We've lived in this house for almost 20 years now, and haven't really put much effort into the landscaping.   Most of the bushes have been removed as they have died, but not replaced.  I think it's time to put a little curb appeal in the front.  Also want to get the vegatable garden back into shape.  Really wanted to do stewed tomatoes for the KY house, but couldn't find any tomatoes that were affordable - not going to pay $25 for 1/2 bushel plus the rest of the ingredients.  My hope is to put in 3 or 4 tomatoes plants in the spring and a few pepper plants, so I will have the bulk of what I'll need.

I did do tomatoes in MI, it will be used for soup and stew starters.... I put in garlic, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers and then add zucchini and hot peppers to a few of the jars.  I think I got 15 jars this year, in the past I used to can 30 to 100 depending on how good the garden was that year.    Hubby was canning his hot peppers, either as a salsas or whole.   I enjoy canning and glad I'm getting back into it, next year hope to do some jams as well.

Hope you are all getting some cooler weather, my brother is getting snow this weekend in Northern CA, told him to send it our ways.

Signing off for now - just call me Sandy who needs to change her blog site name, no longer stitching in Sunny Cal :)

Sandy













Wednesday, August 21, 2019

It's Wednesday before the last Sunday - I'm in-between time but will post as my WIPocalypse

I think I am coming out of my stitching funk, or at least I'm trying to get out of my funk.  I did manage a little stitching this week, but that has been the extent of it for the month.

I did a little bit of the background on the Wizard.  I still need to finish up the owl on his shoulder and the cuffs on his jacket and finish up the scarf that is kind of flowing around him.  And the list of things goes on, as much as he looks close to being complete, there is still a lot to do.  I would love to really get this one done before the end of the year so I can cross it off my WIP list :)

The second is a stocking for a new grandniece.  This will be her first Christmas, so I need to hurry up and get it done.  All the tis left is the top row and the name, then i will sew on the embellishments and finish it into a stocking.  If I focus, this can be done in a long weekend :), maybe Labor Day weekend is that weekend, if not there is always Thanksgiving.

This month's question is what do you have on your stitching bucket list?

That is an easy question with a complex response :)

On my WIP list I want to get done 3 angels that I've started - Ice Angle, Peace Angel, Spirit Dancer and my Mourning Angels Sampler

 These are all special to me as they are specially for someone or for myself.  you can see that I had different thoughts about where to start them.  So I am not someone who has to start in any one spot.

There are other WIPs that I would like to get done as well, but these are the most important at this time.   I will put together my list of projects to work on next year and really try to focus on them.  I've missed stitching this year, but just can't seem to get back in the groove.

As far as other stitching bucket list items, I have several canvases that I want to finish up - the Wizard above being one, but others I have not started yet.  I have my Friends, which reminds me of Where the Wild Things are, and the Children's Bookshelf, both of these have been posted here before, so won't re-post.    And course I have all of my designs from the Wizard of Ozs.

My quilting bucket list consists of about 4 quilts that I want to get done - two of them i have all of the squares sewn and just need to assemble them.  Then I have one quilt called Petticoats and something, can't remember now and then I have some smaller quilts for twin beds - Dr. Seuss, one just needs the borders attached and the other hasn't been started.  I need to get a new cutting table set up and then I'll be on a roll with quilting.  I love the traditional quilts, I love doing the geometric designs, must be the love of math in me ;)

I have lots of teddy bears the I can make - some kits some just material.  I have one that is all sewn together and I have started to stuff it, just need to put the head, arms and legs on the body.  Maybe I can get my sister to come for a long weekend and we can work on them together.

I am working on my she-cave in the basement of our small house.  My brother-in-law started to put the flooring down.  I want to do small sections at a time where I can then set up different work stations to so speak.  the first will be my sewing area, the second is my actual work station and last will be my stitching area.  Until that is finished I am making a small area in my living room, I have my chair set up and my light up, now I need to get my music stand set up so I have some place to put my charts while I stitch.

This year won't be historical for finishes, but it has been a year full of changes, some good, some not so good and some still to come.  I guess that is what makes it life so I will go with the flow and try not to stress out about what I can't control and enjoy the things I can.








Saturday, July 13, 2019

What month is it?

Last time I posted it was April and we were busy backing stuff up for our move across country.  Well we moved, I drove my new car with my daughter towing a trailer with the last of the stuff that we just couldn't get in the last container that went.  It was a terrible drive, mother nature made it rain, snow, ice and wind storms and that seemed like the first hour on the road!!  Actually that was in the first 2 days on the road, but once we were over the Rockies the weather settled down somewhat and the drive was a little bit better.

So that was all back in  May and here it is July already, can't believe we are half way through July!!

In June one of my staff quit, the one that was in the midst of getting reports out the door, he got  about 1/2 of them done before he left, so I guess I should be happy for that much.  The day after he quit, my boss quit!!  And while I wasn't happy when they hired him, he was the devil that I knew and I'd come to terms with him.  So now my employer is looking for another person who has no clue what I do to be my boss and tell me what I should be doing.   I just keep looking at my retirement count down and wonder if I will actually make it my retirement date, or if I will retire early and call it quits.  Which today is one of those days when that option is looking pretty darn good.

No stitching on the home front, most of my stitching stuff is still packed up.  My working hours have been crazy, and then I'm too exhausted to do much of anything else.  But today I did get out my floor frame and put them back together!!  I also set up two shelving units and put some stuff on them and a 3rd one has some of my threads outs.  I have two more big boxes of threads that I need to unpack and once I do, then I will be able to see the small room the I'm using to store my stuff in.

I did find my teddy bears and unpacked them and have them sitting on my shelf.  I think I'm still missing some as the shelve was full in our old place and only half full here.  So need to see if I have them in another box and just haven't fund them yet.

I'm hoping to get back into stitching very soon, I need the mental relaxation and stress relief as working from home I don't get much alone time.  Hubby will come and sit by my desk and want a conversation and while we have set up boundaries he says that he is lonely and just needs to talk to someone once in a while.  I'm like - you live next door to your brother now, go and talk to him!!  Oh well, we'll figure it out.  If not I always have my coffee to perk up my spirits.

Sandy


Sunday, April 28, 2019

Its the last Sunday of April and time for a check-in with WIPocalypse

And I've got nothing to check in about :(  My brother-in-law was told to take all the boxes that had "x-stitch, craft, yarn, fabric, Needlepoint or thread" and put them in the basement for me to deal with when I finally get to move physically.  He called my husband and said he has found 38 such boxes and was that right?  Hubby said there are probably more in the stack and he needed to continue to look......................I'm sure they were exaggerating on the number of boxes, ok maybe not by more than one or two, but that is my stash and in my defense since being here I have sewn enough rag quilts to account for at least 50 years of flannel!!  So I am taking back less than I brought, at least in fabric.

this months question was about the oldest WIP in our stash.

The laundry lady with the quilts is my oldest painted canvas - it was actually probably the second painted canvas that I purchased, and while I started it, I just haven't ever gotten around to finishing it.  As I learn more, I realize that I really didn't do a very good job of picking my stitching.  But I won't be deterred, and it will be completed one day.  I probably started this one about 20 years ago.

The second was my venture into punch rugs.  I have the witch outlined and realized I didn't have enough black yarn to finish it, not sure if the lady under estimated, or if I'm just doing it too closely together.  Anyways, I started that one about 13 o4 14 years ago.   I have a better stand to work on now, so maybe it will see the light of day again - lord knows I have 2 other kits to do.

If I'm pulling out oldest things, the next would be one of the squares for a quilt I started about 11 years ago.  All I have to do is assemble it, all of the squares are done, just need to sew them all together.  its for my son - its a Thimbleberry quilt called Log Cabins.  I wimped out on center block that was supposed to be an appliqué, just not my thing.

The bear was my trial with piece work (I think that's what they called it).  I think I finished, well kind of finished one bear at the class.  I have the squares and such all cut out, but just never got anymore done other than this one.  it's all in flannel, and I'm guessing I started this about 15 years ago.  I needed to do 12 of them for a lap quilt.

The last picture is a cross-stitch afghan that I started about the time my parents were having their 45th wedding anniversary.  It got put aside to work on their gift which was an afghan and never taken back out.  My parents will celebrate 68 years this August, so this has been sitting for awhile.

So these are the sins I could find, I know there is one that is older than 3 of my children.  I have a picture of it someplace and one day it too will see the light of day and get finished.  It was cheap needlepoint kit, the kind you got at the 5 & 10 store back in....dare I say it 70's!!

I'm told that when I look at my UFO's/WIPs, I should decided if I really plan on stitching them, and if not, I should get rid of them.  For me that is easier said that done, as I feel like I need to finish them, whether or not I still like them.  Maybe one day I'll feel differently, but right now, these are all my babies and they all deserve their day in the sun.

Sandy