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Sunday, April 25, 2021

WIPocalypse TIme

 Can't believe the month of April is almost over with and it's time to post again!!  A lot has happened since the end of last month, but first:

It's WIPocalypse time, when we all show off what we've done in the past month to complete our WIPs and not leave them for our relatives to deal with, or for the end of the world as we know it.

WIPocalypse  Go and see what others are doing!!  

Question of the Month - Have you found yourself to be more or less productive in your stitching during the Covid-19 pandemic?

To be honest, I've been less productive because while I was working, our busy season was extended beyond, beyond and it seemed like I was working all the time!!  So while I got a few things done, not as much as Ii would have liked.

Then I decided that I had enough and quit my job and now I'm deciding if it's a forever quit, or if I really need to get another job.  

I've been enjoying the time off and must admit I'm thinking a forever would be good. My kids got me this T-shirt when I told them I had quit, so I know what they would live to see. Hubby thinks I need to get a new job as I'm interfering with his retirement.


So what have I done this month?

I pulled out L&L's Peace Angel and worked my way down to the bodice of the angel's dress. Was hoping for some of the darker yellow, but so far it's more white and light yellow. Once I can get enough of the bodice in that I can do her face, which is over one, but I'm debating if I will do over one, as the linen has lot of uneven threads. Have a lot to fill in on the wing and there is a lot more wing to do!!

I need to get this one done before I get the current angel done, as this one is for Arwen who turned 7!! The first 3 were done before they got 4, so I need to correct that and get it done. I really do love the angel and have wanted to stitch it since it came out, but I'm not enjoying it as much as I thought I would, but that is probably become I started at the top and not in the middle.

So spinning my decision wheel, Peace Angel came up for the May focus, so maybe we'll see an angel's face for May's check in - keep your fingers crossed.   I have decided that I do need to spend at least one day a month on this or at least 8 hours. If I do that, I could have it done within a year or less.

My second spin for my smaller project or one that I'm not in a hurry to finish will be my Lucky 13, I have 1/2 of this design done, so hoping to get maybe one or two more motifs done. Each one stitches up fast, and I do have fun stitching them, I think next up is a spider? Will need to pull it out when I get home again.

My April spin was to focus on Autumn Quaker and I'm happy with what I got done ;) This was more fun as I got to areas that had more of the same color, so I could stitch more and change threads less. But never the less it was a lot of thread changes. I love the colors and will work on this one more I'm sure in May and I would love to get the 1st page finished.  

I will say I'm not happy with the quality of the called for threads and would not purchase the threads again. Since I started this with them, I will continue and get it done with them. I also have Winter Quaker with the same brand of threads, hoping those are better quality and the problems I'm having are due to the dark colors of the dye. I do love the rich colors.

After doing a lot of color changes I decided I needed something that would be solid colors, so I pulled out my PeliCan which is on 40 ct. I would have liked to have gotten the first page done, so this one will stay out to play with in May too. I'm not far from getting it done and it's enjoyable to stitch on. The top line shows the width and the you can see the length of it on the left. there is a lot of open space, so there really isn't all that much left to stitch.

Since I knew I would be going back down to KY for a few weeks, decided it was time to have my new granddaughter's flannel rag quilt done. So pulled out the squares and sewed them together.  

After I was done, and had "ragged" it up, I discovered I had sewn on several rows incorrectly. Oh well, not going to worry about it now, it is still soft and warm and will be used. I'm sure there will be another one in Peola's future, so the next one will be sewn better.

Last thing I worked on was Coming To American which is my Mayflower design and my small focus for April. I started it on 28ct. over one, but decided I just didn't like it, so I found a piece of 36 ct. in my stash that would work. I'm not sure how the birds will look, but, I like the rest of it, and will continue to work on it, but probably not in May.

Part of the month was spent frogging out what I had done on the 28 ct. so I can put that piece of linen back in my stash for another project.

I'm hoping that with the waves in it will give me some additional reference points that I can do other things like the ship, the wordings under the waves or the pilgrim that seems to be hanging off the side of the ship Some have theorized he represents the person(s?) who died while they sailed across the ocean to America.  He is small and should stitch up fast.

I'm hoping to get a little more done on it this week, but I'll also be watching the new grand baby, so not sure if I'll get any stitching done at all.

And the last thing I worked on in April was my needlepoint Pig Angel, or when Pig's fly?  Can't remember what the name of it was, but I'm enjoying it.  I just have the clouds to finish and not sure I'm happy with what I'm trying with the sequins.  I'm going to try a few other things maybe spreading them out a little bit more, or adding beads.  I love the back ground stitch, it was perfect for it, you can tell it's there, but it doesn't overwhelm the design.

Unfortunately this isn't the most recent picture as I have the background completely done now.  I'm going to finish this into a small pillow for my sister.  I hope to work on it more this week.  I think in one or two evenings I could have it done.

Hope everyone had a great month and I look forward to doing more stitching in May and maybe even some more sewing.  also need to talk to a person about a possible job.  One thing the shut in has done for me in the past year was increase my vacation time, so my payout was nice and gives me more time to decided what I want to do.

sandy













Thursday, April 8, 2021

1 week retired and I'm ready to be back at work

 I know for most people retirement is a wonderful thing.  Lots of stitching time and being able to do things like travel and such.  And I'm sure I will get into the groove, but right now I'd rather be working....what was I thinking....oh yeah I was working for a jerk and it was stressing me out.

I digress, it wasn't all that bad, I really do love what I was doing and have been working in the same field for over 30 years.  I wasn't ready to retire, but felt that I really needed to leave that employer and when you pass that magic age, no one seems to want to hire you :(  America just doesn't value experience in older workers unless it's a Walmart Greeter, which I'm not saying that is not an honorable job, just doesn't pay what I'm used to making.

So while there was very little stitching done this past week, there was a lot of grandma time :)  Somehow even holding a cranky baby was a delight.  The hat is one I made for her cousin 13 1/2 years go when she was born.  

hopefully I will be posting more often and will  have more pictures.  I'm off to my parents for a visit, then to the LNS and a new chart :)  

Happy Thursday- that seems like a Saturday


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

March is marching into April and I'm still looking for February

 Wow, has this month just flown by, not sure where it went and so much has happened in these short 30 days.  I know I'm 2 days late in posting my WIPocalypse.  If you want to know what other's are working on, then I encourage you to visit Measi's blog which you can find here:

WIPocalypse

So the question this month is:

What is your process for working on WIP's?  One at a time, rotation or something else?

I would have to define myself as a one at a time rotation-something else stitcher.....I'm trying to be better at rotating what I'm working on, but then I will pull something out and get this overwhelming urge to work on it until it's done. 

Then other times I'll pull something out and can't wait to find a reason to put it back away.  So at any given time I could work on 10 things in a rotation of sorts, or one thing because all of a sudden I'm obsessed with getting it done.  I am trying to be better about what I work on and I'm using a decision wheel, so those projects that I really do like, but don't like stitching will get worked on and hopefully completed.

With that being said - March was not a productive month!!  My daughter had her baby, so we've made two trips to KY to spend time with the new granddaughter :)  I do bring stitching to do with me, but to be honest, I'd rather rock my granddaughter than stitch. And when I'm home I've been busy doing other things.

No one can rock her to sleep like grandma.  No matter how fussy the baby is, I find my zen in rocking.  My daughter is doing well and Ms. Peola is already making her demands and wants known.  She is not shy. 

Ms. Jolene was my daughters fur baby and had my daughters undivided attention.  She is learning to adjust, but is not happy with the changes and makes her discontent known as she walks around the house with her little penguin crying loudly.  I'm not sure if she is trying to compete with Peola or just voicing her wants.  

She is very gentle around the baby, so there is no worries of her bitting or anything else.  She is a very affection cat, and I'm sure as Peola grows they will be fast friends.  My other daughter has two small dogs, they are not allowed upstairs, but at some point will be introduced to Peola.  

I also decided that I'm done being stressed out with work, I love what I do, but have not been happy with my employer for a long time now.  2 of my bestie co-workers have left and the 3rd will most likely leave when a better opportunity presents itself.   I'm not sure if I will really retire, or if I will look for something else, but right now I'm excited to turn off my alarm and see what is on late night TV again.  

So what did I stitch in March?  I had two projects that I worked on.  My Guardian Angel, which is for Peola and a needlepoint that I call Pig Angel, which is for my sister.  The Angel got a lot of loving while my daughter was in the hospital giving birth.  I needed something to keep me occupied.  I didn't have a lot done, the top part of the wing, and here is where it is now.  

I was missing a few colors, so it held me up from doing more in the hair, I had hoped to get the face done, but didn't happen.  I also would like to get more of the wing done, so that I can get down to the dress and bigger blocks of color.  

The needlepoint has a little more done than what this picture shows.  I have been doing the back ground, I am really happy with the stitch I picked out.  This is one of those projects that I'm obsessed on getting it done now.  Hoping to have it done soon.  There isn't a lot left, the clouds some outlining and some beading on the dress and of course the back ground (I have about 1/3 left to do).  But here is what it looks like now.  Hope to have a finish with April's posting.  I know the nose looks funky right now, I wanted to do a thinner outline than what you see around the pig itself.  So I promise it will look better at some point. 

I have done my spin again for April and my two projects are Rosewood's Autumn Quaker and Coming Home, which I think is the Mayflower, but I need to verify.

I also hope to do some sewing, I have a couple of quilts that don't need a lot of work to get them done and a rag quilt that I need to sew up for the Peola.  I have moved my extra monitors and will put down one of my tables and then set up a stitching nook in my basement.  I can't wait for April to get here!!

Hope to have more to show next month.

Sandy











Sunday, February 28, 2021

Last Sunday of the month and Last Day of the month too

 Dear Blog world and fellow stitchers

Its hard to believe that we are at the end of another month already, I'm still looking for last summer, which I know has come and gone, so need to set my sights on this summer I guess.  Until then I guess we'll take each month as it comes.

Which brings us to the point of this posting, it's time for the monthly check in for WIPocalypse, which is a SAL at your own pace on your own projects of things we'd like to get done before the world ends or 2021 is in the history books.  If you want to see what other stitchers are doing and the progress they have made, you can go to this website and who Measi has linked to her blog

WIPocalypse

So the next question is February 28 – What stitch-a-longs (SALs) are you participating in this year?

This year I'm doing the NO NEW STARTS 2021 SAL - which is a FaceBook group.  On 12/13/2020 we had to declare our WIPs and by 12/31/2020 we had to have at least 200 stitches or 2 hours of work on them to be counted.  Originally I have about 40 WIPs that I wanted to post, but was told it was limited to ONLY actual cross stitch designs, or black work, no needlepoint.  After I eliminated those from my list I was down to 23 WIP with 12 main focus and 11 Other.  


I joined the group, but I'm not participating for the big prizes of gift certificates at a local shop.  I figure I have more than enough stash to last me my life time and then some, so figured I would leave it for someone else who would need it more than me.  That mindset was also based on the theory that I can go a full year without any new starts.  So less than 60 days into the new year I'm holding up well, but we'll see what the rest of the year brings, hopefully more finishes than starts!!


Now we are on to the picture show of what I did do during February.  I had my main focus piece was my Family Tree By Thistle Design.  It has a large tree in the middle with houses along both sides and the top. 

I am doing a house for each of our 4 kids, then one for myself and hubby and then two houses for hubby's parents and 2 for my parents.  So in total there are 10 houses.   I'm inserting a picture of the whole design.  I'm moving the houses around to fit each of us, so they won't be in order of the actual chart.  Here is my small finish for this month.  This the 3rd house.  I started on the 4th hours last night, and will work on it some more today, then it will be put away.  Will post a picture next month.

Next I finished the baby hat to go with the other hat for my grandchild that is due any day now.  I have done several hats for him/her, but this one will be for my middle daughter and the baby (the auntie).  I need to mail it off yet, but was hoping I would have yet another hat done that will have Oscar the Grouch on it.  It's more than half done, so maybe it will get finished yet today.  I have a zoom with my siblings and my folks, so I can knit while we talk amongst ourselves.



Then had a finish, my Votes for Woman, this is the second sampler that I have done to commemorate the Right for Woman to vote.  I have one more in my stash, but won't be able to start that one until 2022, which will be a little bit late, but never too late to remember.  

Then I decided that instead of waiting until today I would spin to see what my March focus would be and it's Guardian Angel, which is fitting since that is for the pending grandchild.  I will pull that out tomorrow and put a few stitching in it.  My goal each month is for the focus piece to get about 40 hours of loving, which is about 10 hours a week.  Not sure I'm really making that goal, but I try.  I'm hoping if I can get down to the dress, which makes it more fun to stitch on, right now I'm working on the wings, which is where I am on my Angle of Peace.  If I could just get past the wings, the rest of the design work be more fun to stitch!!  I also am considering changing the color of the hair and skin tone, so while I could have started on the hair already, I've not decided how or what colors to use.  So here is my starting point with Guardian Angel as of today, lots of wings to do, so it can keep me busy.

I also did my spin for my secondary piece, but it came up with Noah's Ark again, so I'm going to re-spin or maybe just pick something out.  I really would like to work on my multiplication table :)

Hope you all have had a great February and are staying safe.

Sandy



Saturday, February 13, 2021

 Dear Blog Hoppers    

Happy Valentines day!!  I have to admit that this isn't my favorite holiday because it seems like in school I never really had a sweetheart, so there were never any special cards or boxes of candy.  Always dreaded the day because I knew my box would not be full of cards like those more popular.

My hubby is a nice person and he will get me candy for the event, but he tends to be on the cheap side, so the chocolates are generally what's on sale at the store and the flowers if any are what is left at the store.  Oh well.....

So why am I doing this then?  Because I do love hearts and while I've not stitched many, I had a heart that I had stitched as a shop model and I have a lot of SB kits with hearts that are done in silk, and I LOVE stitching with silk threads.  When the shop closed the owner gave me the framed x-stitch, don't think I have the chart anymore, probably give it back her at the shop.  Anyways it is generally hanging in my home, all year round but since we've moved I've not found a spot for it.  Our house is a lot smaller and doesn't have the wall space, but little by little I'm finding wall space.  

If you want to see what others have stitched go and visit Jo's blog linked below and see the wonderful stitching other talented people are done. I know I will be hopping around looking for my heart :)  If the rest are as lovely as the one I'm posting I will really enjoy my time!!  Please be sure to post the chart and designer when the mystery person identifies themself.  I live the little birds.

Serendipitous Stitching





Sunday, January 31, 2021

January 31st and time to post for WIPocalypse



 Can you believe that we are at the end of January already?  My life is so busy between my stitching goals, my daughter's pending baby and starting our busy season at work, which last year lasted until August!!  I am so ready to retire, maybe next year will be my year.  Not sure if I'm really ready to retire yet.

So it's time to post for WIPocalypse - you can find the link to Measi's blog here or if you are on FaceBook, look for the group.  We work on WIP's that we'd like to get done and if all was right with he world, you'd end each year with less than you started with, but like more stitchers who have gone to the dark side - I enjoy the start more than the middle, so it's hard to get to the end.   I am getting more WIP's done than started each year, so I making progress.

http://measi.net/measiblog/

Each month we get a question to answer.  This month's question is: 

January 31 – Tell us about a WIP on which you’ve really struggled to make progress. Explain its history. What appears to be the reason you’re struggling?


This is an easy question, as I have 2 that I really struggle with working on.  


The first is Ice Angel, I changed to colors to purple for my oldest daughter, the chart calls for a rayon thread and I really dislike working with the thread.  Everyone said I wouldn't like it, and should use a silk, but at the time money wasn't plentiful, so used the call for thread type.  I'm so far along on it that I won't want to start over, and beside the rayon thread, I'm also not happy with the linen I picked.  This was also for my oldest daughter that we lost to cancer 6 years ago, so I've had a hard time pulling it out and working on it.  I really want to get it done and set it aside for her daughter to have at some point, thinking she would like it for her own child at some point.  So this year it's on my WIP goals and will be one of my focus pieces and will get at least 40 hours, which should put a big dent in it, not going for a finish, just noticeable improvement.  

The second is Nora's Letter A merimaid.  I did the Letter D for my oldest granddaughter and really enjoyed stitching it.  To keep things equal I thought I should do the A for Granddaughter #2.  Well I really don't like all the waves in this one and my son't wife really doesn't appreciate the time and effort into hand work and would much rather have something store bought, than hand made.  So it has languished for a long time.  It is also on my WIP goals for this year, but it's one of the smaller projects.  I need to get done and just put aside for when she is grown, she might like it herself, if not it can stay in our house along with her angel, which is also a WIP goal this year - but that is another story for another day.


So what did I accomplish this month!!  Great question, I always start out the year strong, but seem to fade long the way.  I jointed No New Starts 2021 in hope the between WIPocalypse and NoNewStarts2021 I will reduce my WIPs so 2022 I can start all the ones that I've been wanting to start!!


This month I worked on 3 different x-stitches.   1st. was Q is for Quails on my CB Noah's Ark afghan.  This was going to be for my niece, but given she is now 24 years old, not sure if this is something she would still appreciate.  Also since it's taken me 24 years to get to Q, not holding my breath for a finish anytime soon LOL.  I might pull this out each month and try to do another one, they aren't hard and kind of cute.   I did get the threads that I need to do the rest of the letters.  This had been my stitch-in project, but haven't been to a retreat or stitching party in a long time.  so it doesn't come put to play much anymore.


2nd was my Heart's Content - Inspire Other, which is done over one, not sure of the count anymore, thinking maybe 28 ct?  I did manage to get the center completed and started on the border.  Not sure if this one will see the light of day again this year, but maybe, Now that the center is done, the rest of it will be fun to work on.  I also got my threads organized, which will make it easier to work on.

My main focus for the Month of January was Charland's Stocking by SB.  My daughter is having a baby in March, but we don't know if it's a boy or girl so I started one of each stockings (NoNewStarts2021, so had to get 200 stitches in each before the end of 2020 so I could work on it in 2021) and when the baby come, then I will finish the appropriate stocking for the wee one, so it will be ready for Christmas.


The stitching is done, I am waiting on the embellishments to come into my LNS.  When I first started buying these charts I got the embellishments with the chart.  However the charm packets aren't cheap and not knowing if I would ever really stitch the chart, figure it was prudent to buy those as needed.  I won't add the embellishments until I add a name because I like to put a stabilizer on the back which means using the iron, and I don't want to damage the beads.   Since this is stitch, I will finish it at some point for someone, so getting the charm packet is necessary.


February I have decided to work on Family Tree - I would love to get 2 houses done before the end of the month.  And then I pulled Vote - which is about 1/3 done, well maybe 1/4 done.  I would like to have that one finished by the end of the month. 


My goal will continue to be 40 hours on the main focus at least and then at least 2 hours on my smaller project spin.  My smaller projects I can spin more than once during the month  if I'm not feeling it.  I just need to do something on it!!  Figured 2 hours was reasonable.  I think originally I wanted to do 10 stitches, but I need to show some progress and 10 stitch just won't do anything.


Hope you've all had a great month and look forward to seeing what other's have accomplished.


Sandy








Saturday, January 2, 2021

It's a new Year 2021 and Time to introduce myself, my hopes and my desires in the world of WIPocalypse

Hello new world, today is the 2nd day (and soon be be 3rd day) of this new year and with it comes new hopes.

This is the first check in for WIPocalypse which if you want to join this SAL you can see all the information on Measi's Musing

http://measi.net/measiblog/

I'm thinking this is my 8th year participating,  I know I didn't participate the first year because I didn't have a blog and at that time that was one of the requirements.  Some years have been more productive than others, but the bottom line is I have had some finishes, so I am happy.

The first post is to tell something about yourself, what projects you have planned to work on and the goals that you hope to accomplish.

Who am I?  That is a good question, I'm technically a senior stitcher now, but don't really feel all that old, but none the less Medicare is now an option.  I have been doing hand crafts for as long as I can remember, paint by numbers, sewing (clothes at first and then quilting), knitting (epic failure when I was in Girl Scouts, but much improved over the years), crocheting, and then finally cross-stitching and ultimately dappling in needlepointing.  X-stitching is still my main love, but needlepoint is a close second followed by knitting.  I don't do a lot of sewing, but hope to get back into making quilts.  I have 2 quilts that just need to be assembled and then off to a long-arm for actually quilting.  Another quilt just needs the borders added, that one I'll stitch in the ditch and quilt it myself.

About a  1 1/2 years ago we have relocated from California to Kentucky/Michigan (we have homes in both States).  Before moving to CA, we lived in KY and kept our house there as we knew we didn't want to stay in CA and really liked our house.  When my employer offered a work from home option for me, we quickly jumped on it.  Since we knew we'd be spending time in MI, we decided to find a small house in our home town, which is where we moved our CA belongings, that included my stitching stuff.  So when COVID hit and the stay at home order came, my life really didn't change any as I was already working from home.  What really changed was the amount of time I needed to spend at my parent's house, as I really don't want them going to the grocery store, and of course having to help my parents learn to zoom so they can stay in contact with their church family as well as their kids and grandkids.

So enough about me, now my plans for 2021.  I joined another SAL called NoNewStarts2021.  The goal is to only work on WIPs and not to start anything new.  There are people in the group who went wilded and started all sorts of things, we had to post our WIPS as of 12/13/20, and then show that they had least 200 stitches or 2 hours of stitching time by 12/31/2020.  As for me, I already had more WIPs that I know what to do with, so for me, with he exception of 4 new starts, all of my WIP's have been in process for years.  My oldest in this challenge is 24 years old.  Of the 4 new starts, 3 were started with my new grandchild coming this year in mind - I always do Christmas stockings and since my daughter has decided not to know the sex of the baby, I had to start a girl and boy stocking.  Then I started an angel for the baby - which I've done for first 3 grandchildren and had #4's angel in progress (Peace Angel), so this will be #5 (Guardian Angel)

So I picked 22 WIP's, no needlepoint are allowed, only cross-stitch.  The ones highlighted in Yellow are focus pieces, there are 12 of them.  Each month I will select one and work at least 40 hours on it so I can get some real progress.   There will be no repeats, but if I finish something I can pull out one of the old ones and work on it again.

1American Flag QuiltRosewood Manor2015
2Autum QuakerRosewood Manor2015
3Family TreeThistles2018
4Four Mouring Angels restart 11-2020
5Family  Dragon Fire Designs2016
6Guardian AngelL&LNov-20
7Ice AngelL&L2004
8Inspire OthersHearts Content2015
9Letter A MermaidNora Corbet2015
10Lucky 13Amy Bruecken2019
11Noah's Ark AfganCurtis Boehringers1996
12Peace AngelLavender & Lace (L&L)2015
13PeliCanCourney Collection2015
14Peter's PatchShepard's Bush2013
15Angel's SongShepard's Bush2014
16Earth DancerTIAG2014
17Walking to St. IvesIndgo Rose2015
18jVexation SamplerPlum Street2017
19Votes for WomenNebby Needles2020
20Charland's StockingShepard's BushNov-20
21Peter's StockingShepard's BushNov-20
22Coming to AmericaThread with My Needle12-12-2020

Since I get bored easily, I will allow myself time to work on one of the other non-focus pieces and I have added some of my needlepoint as options.  I didn't put those in my list above, but do have them on my main WIP list, which has a total of 41 WIP's listed.

Now how will I make my selection?  Good question, just picking out something to work on, hasn't worked well for me in the past.  I need some kind of structure in my life so I decided to set up two decision wheels and will spin the main focus wheel on the 1st day of each month.  The second wheel I can spin as many times in month as I would like, but never more than once a day and I will  need to put at least 10 stitches in that project before I can spin again.  I'm hoping like potato chips, 10 just won't be enough LOL

I did my spin on 1/1/2021 and my focus project this month will be the SB stocking for a girl - Charland's Stocking.  I have the dress on the angel done in the middle, so feel pretty good about my progress so far and would love to post a finish by the monthly check in - or at least close to a finish.

The second spin was for CB Noah's Ark.  This is my oldest project in my goals this year.  I think I've gotten through P - for Panda Bears.  Which means I have 10 more animals, then I think Yesah, Noah and the Ark itself in the middle of the afghan.  This was for my niece, but lost interest in finishing it up when the designer pretty much put the center on hold.  I will get this one finished and it will find a home, not sure for who yet, could still be my niece.

I look forward to seeing what other's are doing and hopefully keep on track with my own goals.  I know I won't have many big finishes, but maybe some small ones during the year.  

So let the stitching begin!!

Sandy