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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

So when you leave work and the elevator has padding up it makes you wonder

Am I OK, or does someone know something that I don't know?

That happened yesterday, which was a crazy day at work, it was almost like there was  full moon.  Okay, it's been crazy for the past month or so because my co-worker took a better job and left.  He gave them 4 weeks notice, so it wasn't like he walked out in the middle of day.  I'm still waiting on management to decided what this means for me and my staff, and who in the world is taking care of those that reported to him?  So needless to say my life is crazy at work, I'm walking on egg shells trying not to over step, but at the same time trying to keep all the balls in the air and the fires at bay.  My co-worker has been wonderful and has answered any questions I've asked him, so that has really helped.  I also have a deep desire to make sure his staff is moving forward and not feeling as through they don't have any direction or help.

Most days I spend about 30 to 45 minutes of my lunch hour stitching.  If my lunch is interrupted by the phone or someone with a question then I take a little more than an hour for lunch.  Before you think I'm short changing my employer, I work 9 hrs days when things are going good and 10 ++ hrs when they aren't (and I'm salaried, so that is really unpaid time as far as I'm concerned).

Stitching on my lunch hour has two benefits, keeps me calm for the afternoon events, i.e. I don't kill anyone.  It also allows me to have a few finishes!!

My morning tea or coffee keeps me sane in the morning, if I ever have to give up caffeine all together, I'll need to get up earlier and stitch for a minute or two before leaving for work.

Speaking of finishes I have ONE!!!  Hooray for me!!  I love how the beading turned out and it went so much faster with the beading thread.  Now all I have to do is put some batting on the back and sew it closed.  If you can see, there are zipper teeth at the top, so it zips onto the purse.  This way I can do different flaps for my daughters without the cost of a new purse.  Also need to put the beaded tassel back on the flap.

Since this was done I started another project that is small and I'm hoping will go fast, because I love the starts, dislike the middle and love the ending.   Here is my new start, it is a small round that will go into a mirror case for the purse.  I think it will look great together don't you?  Would love to have this done by this weekend so I can start the other one for my middle daughter (this one is for my youngest daughter).

Now I have to qualify my comment above, not liking the middle of a project.  You'd think with this attitude I would do all small projects.  Well to be honest I am attracted to larger projects, not the HAED, I'm not fond of projects that are 100% solid stitching, but do like those projects with lots of stuff going on OR of late I've been enjoying the over one projects.  I'm itching to pull some back out again and work on them.  While the over one aren't always big projects, they do have a lot of work because you are doing the same number of stitches, only smaller.

The last picture has nothing to do with stitching at all.  Not sure how well you can see this little fella on the Bird of Paradise plant.  I was waiting for my husband to pick me up from work last week and saw the humming bird buzzing around the flowers, and then he stopped and sat on the branch for a while.  Don't often see them resting like this on a plant.

Happy stitching to everyone.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

I can taste the finish....

Every project has two exciting periods:

    1. The starting process, when you put in those first 100 or so are just so geeked with the start and you don't want to put it down.....  
    2. When you hit that sweet spot, the spot where you realize it will be a finish soon and once again you can't seem to put it down.

Everything in-between is OK, I love the project, but if it doesn't get attention for a few days, months, years, I'm OK with that.

Well I'm tasting that finish - I know one more lunch hour and I'm done!!  I took this picture 2 days ago, yesterday i got more beading done, and would have had it done today, but needed to take a short lunch, so no stitching.  Tomorrow it will be done.  I'm loving it again :) and excited to think about my new start that is just waiting.

I found where I missed a couple of stitches....darn, need to find the thread and fixed that before I sew the back on and send it off.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

I'm calling it a finish :)

After having a lovely time with a very hungry frog - he kept me ripppppping for what seemed like forever, I finally have a finish!!  While the WHOLE process is not finished and won't be for a while, OK a couple more years I'm sure, I have finished a section and I'm desperate for finish.

This is P is for Panda on my Curtis Boehringer Noah's Ark series.  I now have 16 of the 29 parts done, so more than 1/2 way.  What you say - the alphabet only has 26 letters - what are the other 3???  Good question - Noah of course, his wife and in the center is the Ark itself!!  I have the thread pulled for the Quail and I'm leaving the afghan out so maybe I'll pick it up and start working on another one.

Happy stitching weekend - hope to another finish to post before Monday hits :)  Going to keep this one a secret for now.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

How can I stitch all weekend and not complete anything?

I belong to the Southern California Stitching group, last year about this time we went on a retreat.  It was so wonderful, so we did a repeat this year this weekend and will do a three-peat next year (already counting down the days).

I stressed over what to pack, not to wear, but what to stitch!!  I took several projects that I thought would be maybe not "quick" finishes, but something I could finish with stitching Friday later afternoon and even, all day Saturday and then Sunday to mid-day.  Well I managed NOT to finish any of my projects, so disappointed, and I really didn't walk around socializing all that much, so can't blame talking to others as the reason.

What did I take?  First up was my August Peridot Fairy.  She has been lingering for several years just needing beads.  Just beading right?  Should be quick.

To the left is where she was when I started the weekend, I had done some beading, but not a lot.  The other picture is where she is now.

I managed to bead the bottom half of the fairy.  I would have continued, but it was hard not having my flood stand or my magnifier that would reach into the middle.  So she has been put back in the bedroom and will go back on the floor stand this week.  I'm on a roll now, so maybe I'll get it done this coming weekend.

After realizing she wasn't going to be finished, I pulled out my CB Noah's Ark, this has been something I've been working on for about 22 years :( and I'm only up to P for Panda.  So here is where I started.  It was looking like something I could get completed quickly right?  I mean there are only 3 colors, it's perle cotton #5, so no stranding or layering required.  Easy-peasy right?  NOT - did you know that the best from of this panda was a frog!!  Yes that is right, one big ugly frog that caused me to have to ripppppp out the entire left side :(

Spooky panda was where I left off when I went up to my room for the night.  I thought, I'll work on it some more in my room and surprise everyone in the morning with a finish.  Well, that is when I found my error and I spent the night unstitching and re-stitching until I got tired.  The picture below is where he is tonight, I pulled him back out when I got home and finished the rippppppping and re-stitching.

I still need to do the other panda (hence Noah's ark with two of each animal) in the background, but that one is solid gray, so hoping it really stitches fast.  I had started it before and that is most likely when I saw my error, but had totally forgotten about it.
So after my two near finishes, I thought I would give a little bit of loving to something else.  I brought about 5 such projects with me.  I figured I could find something in that group that would spark my interest after my two great finishes.   Well as explained above the finishes didn't happen, but that didn't damp my spirits too much, so I pulled out these to work on, the first is my Family Tree by Thistles.  I started on the first of 10 blocks with houses.  It really is stitching fast, but I have to figure out how to put initials and birth years in each block.  Only worked on it for a couple of hours of stitching, I like my progress :)

Then after our brunch today (which was our last meal at the retreat.  I pulled out my Rosewood American Quilt Flag (or a name similar)  I had Delaware done, and had started the frame around the second one, so finished the top and bottom and got some of the right side in and then stared the quilt square.  Both of these are BAP, not HAED big, but big enough.  It will be slow going in getting them done, but if I do a little bit a couple of times a year at least, then they will get done.

Hope you all are having a great start to your fall and getting some stitching done during the cooler weather.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Day Early and a dollar short......

It's the last Sunday, or will be of September tomorrow.  Which also would have been my grandmother's 122nd birthday.  To be truthful October's question of the month would have been perfect for this month....but I guess I'll need to wait until next month to tell the story of my Grandma Millie and will post my tribute to her then.   While my Grandma has been gone for 25 years, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss her.

So what is this month's question?  Which as you know if my favorite part of the post :)

Which floss (or color of Floss) do you absolutely adore and want to stash constantly?

Hummmm interesting question, I guess I would have to say my favorite flosses are silks, especially over dyed or hand dyed silks.  I find myself buying it without anything in mind because I love the dark rich colors of the thread or I have a project in mind, but not sure which color would look the best, so I'll buy two or three.  I think this is why I love SB kits so much, love the lushes silks that come with them (I only have 49 of them, some are done, but many are waiting in the wings).  My first experience with silk was doing a band sampler at LNS in Ft. Smith AR.  Don't remember who the designer was, but shortly after doing that one, I started to do and collect a lot of Just Nan band samplers, which then led to the SB, Victoria Sampler, Indigo Rose and may others.  

My only problem is I tend to have really dry hands and as you know, most lotions are not advised when stitching.  To combat the dry hands I occasionally do paraffin dips before going to bed.  If you've not done one - go and have one done, they are wonderful!!  I got my own set up at home now so I don't have to wait for a trip to nail salon, as I don't do my nails, but I do love getting my toes polished!!  Paraffin dips on my feet are wonderful too and something I treat myself too when I've been overly stressed, or extremely good.  

Now on to what I've done this past month!!

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time you know I'm a serial starter.  I'm not as addicted to starts as some of my fellow stitchers, but I do I love those first couple of hours of stitching a new project.  Its like chocolate, but a lot less fattening, but then I fade fast and start to look for something new to do.  I have always hoped that a rotation of sorts would cure me of my urge to start new things, but it doesn't seem to work too well as each year my list of WIPs gets longer and every year I vow to finish more than I start.

Anyway, every once in a while I hit on something that continues to hold my attention, and I just can't seem to put it down.  It isn't alway a small project (like this time), but there is just something about it, or maybe its because I'm doing it for someone who is special and I enjoy every stitch.  

I started a new project with the last posting and this month I'm happy to say it has been completed!!  Lizzy Kates - Dancing in the Rain.  OK, I need to attach the charm (a small dragonfly that goes between "about" and "waiting", but all of the stitching is completed.  I love the saying, it has helped me get through some rough times over the past couple of years.  There is another saying that I love - can't remember the exact words, but it was something about looking up and not down during a rain storm because looking down you'll miss the rainbow.

I also have my project that I do on my lunch hour at work.  I still need to cut/trim the turkey work on the giraffe, but this one is done as well.  I might add a little more back stitching around the elephant to define more of the face but for now I'm calling it finished.  I need to figure out how to finish it, which I need to take a deep breath and channel my inner sewing skills.  When I was younger I just did it, and now I over think the process.  I have several needlepoint designs that are ready to be finished.  I might need to take a few weekend and focus on working on them.

If you are counting, which I am :)  I had two finishes for September!!  Not bad for me!!  I'm stoked now.
Ok, back to reality, I also worked a little bit on my multiplication table, and without thinking I used 2 threads vs. one that I used in the grid :(  I like how it looks so I think I will continue to use the two.  I will do the grid all in one so it looks the same, but will do the numbers in 2 threads as well, it covers better.  I have a little bit more done this, as I've been stitching this afternoon too!!

This will be my Starbucks project for Saturday and sometimes Sunday morning.  I love to walk down to Starbucks, I get out my i-pad and put in my earbuds and watch something on Netflix, right now I'm watching NCIS from the start.  I tend to lose track of time and hubby either has to call me and remind me to walk back home, or he simply comes and gets me.  Now we are not talking about me being gone 15 or 20 minutes, we are talking 2 or 3 HOURS gone.  Hey you can all relate to it, how time just flies by when you are in the stitching groove :)

Last weekend I had a stitching buddy.  He/she had been a lot closer while I was stitching. However when I got up to take his picture, he scrambled back up his web.  At one point we were eye to eye, but after reasoning with him that it wasn't healthy to be THAT close to me, we settled on him having the area by the post and plant and me having the area around the table.  I'm sure we both kept our eye(s) on each other to make sure neither of us violated our agreement.

I hope you've all have a great month.  Mine has been full of work stress as my co-worker quit, so the stress level has been higher than normal.  Stitching at lunch has been a blessing, it helps me focus in the afternoon, the only problem is that it doesn't last nearly as long as I would like!!  Will be happy when they figure out what they are going to do with his work, as long as it doesn't become mine we'll be good because there aren't enough stitching projects in the world to help me destress from doing the work of two.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Am I wishing my life away?

Today I was talking with a friend about retirement.  We are both approximately the same age, I'm a little bit older.  I told her I had a count down on my phone to retirement - well actually two, one for the soonest I can retire (AKA - the start of I don't shive a get period) and one for the maximum social security amount.

She told me she wasn't doing that because it was wishing her life it got me to thinking, am I wishing my life away waiting the next several of years to pass quickly?  Or am I like a little child waiting for Christmas to come, knowing that the thing I want most will be under the tree?

What do I want most?  Time....time to quilt, time to stitch, time to travel, time to spend time with my family and friends......wishing my life away?  Nope, waiting until the time that my alarm is only set occasionally vs. every day.  When I decided what to do vs. someone telling me what needs to be done.  Am I wishing away my working years?  You bet!!

So more about our trip to Colorado, this week I'm feature our trip to Georgetown to ride the Loop in an old time steam engine train.  I didn't think ahead, so we didn't get the opportunity to go and see a mine, and we had to ride in an open car vs. the parlor cars that had real chairs and tables.

 The trip wasn't long and you spent more time waiting while they unloaded and loaded people, but it was still fun and the view was great.   Love the little bit of history we got, the train was a narrow gauge train, which was designed to traverse the mountains.  While silver was at the top of it's game - i.e. the banking system was using it to back the dollar, these towns and mines were booming and life was good.  Then the government in all of their wisdom stopped backing the dollar with either silver or gold and the bottom dropped out of silver.   They showed us where rock had to be blasted to make way for the rails, did you know they used 7 -14 year kids to set the dynamite?  They figured they could run faster and avoid blowing themselves up - their lives were as valuable as an adult man who would work in the how times have changed.

Would like to do this again, but going to find one that gives you a little bit longer ride, so I can stitch and relax while watching the world go by :)

After we got done there I decided that since hubby had been a good sport going to the hotel with me and riding the train that we would do something he would enjoy.  So we went to a casino that we'd passed on our way to Georgetown.  As usually he went his way and I went mine (he claims I'm bad luck).

I'm cheap when it comes to putting money into a machine that I have no hope of really getting it back out - so when I was down to my last nickel I cashed out LOL - OK so most of my money was still in my wallet where it was safe, I should have said when i got down to the last nickel of the money I was willing to part with I cashed out.  Since it was too embarrassing to go and cash this in, I brought it home instead.  So while he continue to put his hard earned money into the one arm bandits, I went and got some fries and watch my NetFlix on my i-phone.

After our train ride and trip to the casino we went to Buffalo Bill's Grave.  We just missed the museum, which was disappointing, but the view from his grave site was wonderful.  The pictures were a little harder to get as we were there about 2 hrs before the sun set, so it was low in the sky and hard to get good pictures.

 The trip back to Boulder was very excited as this was off the beaten path, so the road going back to the highway was full of S curves, switch backs and hairpin curves, the speed limit most of the way was 20 miles an hour and there really wasn't anyone chopping at the bit to go faster.  I enjoyed the ride, as it reminded me of a vacation I took with my parents as a teenager with a new driver's license.  We took turn driving and everyone drove their assigned time.  Mine was the road up to Old Tucson in AZ in a station wagon (for those born after 1980 a station wagon was the pre-curser to the mini van and now SUV), pulling a pop-up tent camper and the roads were just like these.  Even if I had wanted to pull over (which I did in the worse way), there wasn't any place to do it and I had a line of people behind me wanting me to go faster.  My Dad decided he would take the rest of my turn and drive out of Old Tucson, only difference was he got 4 lane highways going out (opposite side of town I guess).  Oh well, I was much more seasoned this time and my palms weren't sweaty and I didn't curse once :)

The last picture is from a turn out along the road, wanted to stop and get one picture, and this one doesn't do the view justice - it as wonderful (when I could look that is).

So have I been stitching?  You bet I have :)  but I made a mistake on my Lizzy Kate, so I'm having an internal fight with myself.  The Perfectionist in me wants it ALL ripped out and made right!!  The Let it Be in my says - "who will notice and you're 1/2 done now".  Not sure who will win, but thinking it will be a compromise - I'll take out some of it and leave the rest.

I'm also working on my needlepoint at lunch, getting close to having the background done - hoping it will be done by the end of the week :)!!  Then I can go back and add the mane on the giraffe, the toes and noses and tusks on the elephant.

Will show off my stitching next time, for now enjoy the view!!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Geek will NEVER be thy name

I've been called a lot of names in my life time, but Geek has never been one of them.  This really hit home when I had written and posted my blog, only to accidentally delete it :(  Then managed to lock myself out of my while I will go by many names in my life, Geek surely will never be one of them.  I wish it would be, wouldn't mind being more computer savvy.

So what had I posted?  Well my trip to Colorado last week of course!!

Vacation started out with a baseball game.  We went to see the Rockies play the Tigers on Tuesday, which only happens once in a really blue moon as they are in different leagues normally.  I'm a Tiger fan, even thought I don't really follow them all the time.  So I donned my Tiger shirt and hat and we found our seats with our hot dogs in hand (you gotta have a hot dog at a baseball game) and watched my beloved Tigers lose :(  They had won the day before and they won the next day.  It was a good game, a couple of home runs spiced it up nicely.

Wednesday we will just skip over, as it was a work day for me and what I do for a living bore most people to tears.  But I did have a quick visit to a local needlepoint shop and found my thread that I needed to finish up my tooth pillow!!  I was so totally blown way, it was a different dye lot, but it was dyed by the same person, so the colors are very close.  I stitch a length of it today and it looks perfect to me!!  Will post a picture next week after I finish up the background so you can see.

Thursday I told hubby he had no choice that we were going up to Estes Park to see the Stanley Hotel.  I've been wanting to go there for a very long time.  We had a nice but over priced lunch and then went on the great but again really overpriced tour of the hotel.  The history was wonderful, loved hearing how the hotel came to be and why it's so special now.  If you are Steven King fan, you know he got the idea for the Shinning while visiting the hotel.  But even better are the ghosts that supposedly haunt the hotel, told hubby we needed to book a room, but he just wasn't into it...wonder why?   the room I would love to stay in has a 3 year wait,  so maybe I should book it now and take the next 3 years to talk him into going ;-)

So a little history - the Stanley brothers did not make their fortunes inventing the Stanley Steamer..and side note the mystery books that take place in MN - can't think of the name, but the main character is Betsey something,  her depiction of the car is pretty accurate based on the short film they showed  and I'm going to be looking for Jay Leno driving his around LA now LOL.

So back to the history - they made their money developing a the gel plate used for taking photographs, reduced the time from 45 minutes to something like 45 seconds.  They made even more money when they sold their invention to Kodak.  We have talking $$$$$, even in today's standards.

So how did one of the brothers end up in Estes Park CO?  Interesting, he had TB and the doctors gave me 6 months to live, of which he decided to spend 3 months up a cabin in the mountains.  At the end of those months, his doctor expected to find him either dead or at death's door, but instead he had put on something like 30 lbs and was hiking up to a nearby peak.  So someone who should have been dead at 62 lived to be 92...good reason to go up into the mountains wouldn't you think?

So Ms. FO Stanley wanted her hubby to be healthy, but wasn't into outhouses and cabin living, so she got FO to build her a nice house, but it wasn't big enough for family and friends, so he built the hotel. Which originally only operated during the summer months, and people came for the whole summer.  Interesting fact, the wives were expected to change their dress for each meal and also for any special events, so on average each woman brought with her 270 to 300 dresses for the summer.  I don't think I have more than 3 dresses in my closet!!  I suppose Iw ould have lost a lot of weight skipping all of the meals as your husband was thought poorly of if his wife wore the same dress twice.

So Ms. FO also was an accomplished pianist so FO built her a concert hall to preform in for family and friend.  The two lights are from that hall, the one that isn't lit is an original light, but it no longer works, but remains in the room, the other ones replaced it.

During the tour they said that we should take as many pictures as we wanted, but we couldn't record what the tour guild was saying and you were especially encouraged to take lots of pictures in mirrors, as this is where the spirits could be seen.  I took a couple of pictures, but decided I really didn't want to see any spirits in the mirror.  So the picture with the mirror is what is left of the original bar in what else, the Bar.  Because FO had TB, people were not allowed to smoke in the hotel except for the cigar room/bar.  This and the pool hall were there only two rooms that were actually trimmed in real wood.  The reason for the wood in those to rooms was to limit the smoke escaping into the rest of the hotel.  The rest of the hotel's trim is actually plaster that has been molted to look like wood.

The other picture that looks like a wall with wood trim is actually a row of benches which the women were allowed to sit on while watching their husbands or boyfriends play pool.  Note they were NOT allowed in the bar/cigar room at all.

The actual seats did not have any cushions (they were added later) and there was a chair rail that would hit about at the neck area, so they weren't comfortable at all.  This was to discourage the women from staying too long.  They were encouraged to go into their own room that had writing tables, which could be used to write letters, journal or maybe write a book.....I missed the desks as they were on the 3rd floor now, and we opted to take the elevator up and down.  Also in bar room is the flag, this was NOT from the original hotel, but it was gifted to the current owners by an Iraq soldier, who's hummer had been blown up by a bomb, and he was the only survivor.  If you look closely at the picture they say you can see FO Stanley face.   Look at the upper left in the red & white stripes.  Not sure I buy it, but something has defiantly faded the material.

Lastly, while we saw the outside of room 217 (the one that I would love to spend the night in, but hubby won't) and several other haunted rooms, we weren't allowed to go inside.  So I took a quick peek in a room that was being cleaned up on the 4th floor.  The rooms looked neat and I think it would be fun to stay there, even if it wasn't one of the prime rooms with their own spirits.

If you get a chance, I would recommend going and seeing the hotel, eating there is optional as the food wasn't all that great, but the tour was fun and while over priced, worth spending the money.  Oh last little fact - Jim Carey filmed Dumb and Dumber there, and stayed in room 217 for a whole 3 hrs. He came running out and refused to stay at the hotel.  He did film his scenes at the hotel, but stayed at the lodge next door where the single men stayed during the summer.  He also waited outside for his scenes to start, he would not spend one minute more than he had to in the hotel.  Oh also, the Shining was NOT filmed there, but the series was, need to see the series now.

I did do a little stitching while there, and had lots of family time, hated to have to come home.  Can't wait for my next adventure.