Archive for August, 2008

30, A Day Later

August 28, 2008

Well, my 30th birthday wasn’t too bad. Maybe the fact that I am *30* will hit me later. Right now I’m doing okay. We went to Tom’s parent’s house where his mom made one of my favorite meals and we had ice cream cake. At the request of my brother Michael, I took a picture of the balloon:

I did leave work a little early so I could spend some time by myself and stitch. I worked on Teresa Wentzler’s “Guardian” and got 2 hours 45 minutes in on that total (which includes the hour the night before):

I decided that wouldn’t be a good piece to bring over to their house, so I pulled out the next piece in my rotation which is SamSarah’s “25 Days”. I learned in July on vacation that I can stitch on this pretty much anywhere. I got 3 hours in on this last night; that is the joy of going to someone’s house and having them cook dinner on your birthday instead of going out. Also, Luke got to show off his mad bowling skills on Tom’s mom’s new Wii. He scored 200, 204, and 212, now the highest three scores ever on her system. It was pretty hilarious. He won the first 4 games (not surprising!) but lost the game right before we left, with a paltry 138. It’s so much fun to watch him. Which, I guess, is why I didn’t get quite as much done on “25 Days” as I would have hoped. Oh well, here is the progress on that:

So it was a great birthday. Thanks for all of the happy birthday wishes!! I know that I am truly blessed with both my friends and family. I appreciate all of you. 🙂

Happy Birthday To Me

August 27, 2008

I’m not really sure what to write, but since I am 30 today (crap, how did that happen?!) I figured I should celebrate the occasion with a post. No pictures today though. I brought my stitching to soccer but sat around and talked to the other parents instead. I decided to go ahead and work on TW’s “Guardian” last night as my next project after all. I’m planning to leave work early and indulge in a little stitching time by myself so I can finish my rotation on that.

30 is one of those milestone ages…there were things I “planned to do” by the time I was 30. One of them was hike up Mt. Whitney. It hasn’t happened (yet). We had plans to go with some friends from work last summer but couldn’t get a permit. I had planned to get down to my “goal weight” by 30 and that hasn’t happened either. Life kind of got in the way; but it’s not something I’ve given up on, it’s just been a slower process than intended.

Aside from not having enough vacation time stored up to take off the entire day, it has been a good birthday. Tom got me XM radio; it’s really cool because it’s a recorder unit (the Xpress) so I can pause and rewind, and save my top 10 favorite songs. I can’t wait to use it! In a big surprise, Jay took Luke to pick out a present for me. I’ve thought back through the whole time I’ve known him, and I don’t think he ever got me a present, except one year when I received a set of golf clubs (which I did want, so it wasn’t a bad gift or anything like that). Luke was SO excited to be able to give me a present that “he picked out by himself” and I thought it was really nice.

So. 30. So far it isn’t bad. It’s a little weird if I think about it too much though! I don’t feel that old, you know?

19 and 20

August 26, 2008

Well, I made it back to the top of my rotation and have put in another 3 hours each on Chatelaine’s “Hawaiian Garden” and “Taj Mahal Garden.” I am changing the order this time through so that I can bring SamSarah’s “25 Days” to soccer practice today instead of Teresa Wentzler’s “Guardian”.

It doesn’t look like a lot of progress on either of these projects; there were several small bits of color used on “Hawaiian” so that meant a lot of changing floss (and in this case metallics). And then “Taj” had more dreaded Algerian Eyelets. I love they effect they add but I don’t really like doing them all that much. Well anyway here are the pictures:

So I’m trying to decide what new start I will do in September as a reward for getting all the way through my rotation (and then some!). I have SO many projects kitted it’s a little ridiculous. I have a list here

Thoughts? Suggestions? Look over the list and leave me a comment of which one I should start…no guarantees of course but maybe I just need a little nudge since I don’t know what project I most want to start.

15-18, done!

August 25, 2008

Well, since Luke was at his dad’s again this past weekend (who seems to think that regularly allowing a 7 year old to stay up past midnight is appropriate behavior…don’t get me started!!) I managed to get quite a lot of stitching done again. I finished rotations on the last four projects…AND I got three hours done on the first project again (haven’t uploaded the pic yet) and got an hour in on #2. So, that makes 19 completed. I didn’t really think I would get through them all, and to have done so and still have a week left, well, I’m just going to keep stitching and see how much I can get through!

Here are my progress pics:

15: 3 hours on Chatelaine’s original quilt mystery (Waterlily Pond):

16: 3 hours on Teresa Wentzler’s “Footprints” (not crazy about that over 1 lettering, the thread slips all over the place!):

17: 2.5 hours on Melissa Shirley’s “Green Tree White Candy”. Yes, I know I’m not a very fast stitcher (wasn’t even distracted by the olympics during this one). I need to buy a laying tool because it takes forever to get those stitches to be flat:

18: 3 hours on Chatelaine’s “Japanese Garden”:

So, it’s Monday, and work wouldn’t even be so bad except there’s an issue with the security thing on the outside doors and there is a constant beeping right outside my office. It is driving me absolutely nuts. I would close the door to my office except then my office gets really hot (there are thermostat issues in my zone). And I started the morning off with a horrendous allergy attack which has not completely abated. Yay, another fun week…

Pictures as Promised

August 21, 2008

And lots of them! First one is Luke’s first day of second grade, which was on Tuesday. I’m still trying to figure out how my baby can be in second grade already. I know that’s normal, but gosh it really does fly by doesn’t it? Check out the, um, fabulous shoes…he chose his entire outfit and insisted that the new shoes have the red laces instead of the black (they came with both). What you can’t see in this picture is that the back of the shoe, and back half of the sides, have a very bright red/orange/yellow pattern on them. Oh yeah, stylish:

Next up is my progress on the rotation relay, items 13 and 14. I spent 3.5 hours on Chatelaine’s “Mermaid Treasure Box” with the after pic here:

I spent just shy of 3 hours on Janlynn’s “Nativity” kit. All I worked on was the wiseman so I just took a picture of him only. It barely looks like I touched this one. I wasn’t even glued to gymnastics or anything; I just don’t stitch on aida anymore and the fabric was SO stiff. I felt like I was really fighting to push the needle through the fabric each time. I may stitch small things on aida in the future, but I definitely won’t be stitching a large project on it ever again! So here is the after picture with my exceedingly pitiful progress:

And finally, I have some pictures uploaded from our post-wedding trip to the redwoods. Here is the bed and breakfast where we stayed in Ferndale:

Here are a few of my other favorite pics from the trip..

In the Lady Bird Johnson Grove within Redwoods National Park:

At Trinidad Head:

The rest of the pictures can be seen at my flickr account here: here

More Pictures Soon

August 20, 2008

…but not today. I tried to upload pictures to flickr this morning but had issues with the laptop at home. I can’t upload them at work, either, because my old crummy computer will not recognize newer USB devices and my card-reader won’t recognize the larger-than-1GB SD card that I have in the camera. Oh well. I had planned to post pictures from Luke’s first day of school yesterday, the trip to the Redwoods, and rotation relay entry #13 (Chatelaine’s “Mermaid Treasure Box”). Hopefully I can manage to get online tonight at home without the network crashing. I’m not sure if it’s the wireless modem, the router, or the old laptop, but we are thinking one (or more) of them don’t do well in the relative heat of the afternoon. Maybe that should be an argument to get central AC.

When I went to write this post I noticed something about comments that had been treated as spam so I checked it out. Sorry Melissa and Cheryl; in the last week and a half a couple of your comments ended up there (along with some actual spam comments). I didn’t realize I even had a spam filter. I’ll be sure to check it more often now that I know about it! Melissa my stitching progress will slow dramatically for the remainder of the month, so I expect you’ll have a chance to catch me…

6 More…

August 18, 2008

Yep, in the last week I’ve managed to get through 6 more projects, bringing my rotation relay total to 12, which is 2/3 of the way through my rotation. I had a major goal of getting through the entire rotation once, which is why I’ve been working so hard on this. Yes, it would be fabulous to win, but I’d really like to get to each project at least once. Some haven’t been pulled out in 5 years…it’s ridiculous. Since I don’t have wedding pictures yet, here are my rotation progress pics:

#7: Victoria Sampler’s Hearts of America. I finished “Kansas” and started on “Arkansas”

#8: Victoria Sampler’s “Heirloom Christmas Sampler”

#9: Chatelaine’s “Misty Morning Vinyard”

#10: Drawn Thread’s “Spring Arbour”

#11: Genny Morrow’s “Nova”

12: Mystic Stitch’s “Augusta”

With the exception of the last one, which was excruciating because of the confetti stitching (only made it 2.5 hours on that one…) I’ve stitched 3-3.5 hours on everything and have had a hard time putting each piece down. I especially loved pulling “Nova” back out. How I love that design! It’s a little cumbersome but I enjoy it a lot and can’t believe I’ve had it relegated to the closet for over 5 years. It’s shameful!

I don’t think I will keep up this pace after the challenge ends, but I will definitely take this as a reminder that I should pull out all of my projects from time to time and work through them all. Except maybe “Augusta”. Or I need to come up with another approach for that one. I don’t grid or highlight, but I can see how those techniques would really make stitching on that project a heck of a lot easier.

Tomorrow Luke starts 2nd grade, which is really hard for me to believe. How can it be tomorrow already?! I know I say this every years; I don’t expect that will change. I have to take him to the dentist this afternoon and then we’ll do some hasty back to school clothes shopping. We tried last night, but he was extremely tired and difficult (he was at his dad’s last weekend and according to Luke was up until 1:24am Friday night, and 10:30pm Saturday night. Whether that’s an exaggeration or not I don’t know, but he was definitely sleep deprived last night!). He got 12 hours of sleep last night so hopefully shopping will be better today. So far his behavior has been a lot better this morning, thank goodness!

Catching Up…

August 14, 2008

Wow, it’s been a whirlwind lately and I have SO much to write. As many people here know, Tom and I got married on Friday (8.8.08, if he can’t remember that then he won’t remember anything). I didn’t really write about it a lot before on my blog. I guess during my divorce I got used to not writing about my personal life a lot, and I just didn’t want any drama in case my ex happened across my blog. But oh well. I haven’t talked to him about it, but he knew we were engaged and besides I imagine it’s very likely Luke has said something at this point.

So yes, wedding. I think everything went really well; it was hard to only get to spend a few short moments with each person that was there, and it was hard to walk down the aisle without my dad there. His older brother, my Uncle Mike, stood in and I was really happy to have him there! Nearly all of my family was there, including my 91 year old grandmother. I don’t have pictures yet, except a couple that friends have e-mailed me. We had disposable cameras on each table, so we’ll get those developed soon. Once I have some photos to share I’ll write a post with photos. For now I’ll just say it was a fabulous day, it was over WAY too quickly, and I was really touched to have had such great friends and family there to share the day with us!

We flew up to Eureka for a few days to rest and relax near the Redwoods. Unfortunately Tom ate something bad (we’re pretty sure it was the chicken fried rice at the San Francisco airport…so avoid that in your travels!). We did get out and do a few things, including a drive down the Avenue of the Giants in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and we did some light hiking at Trinidad Head and the Lady Bird Johnson Grove at Redwoods National Park. We had one really great dinner at The Cookhouse in Samoa, and I enjoyed dinner at Curley’s in Ferndale, along with a fabulously decadent dessert. We had a horrible lunch in Garberville, a town where everyone seemed stoned (except the poor waitress who did her best to make up for the useless bus boy…). I recommend avoiding Garberville entirely!

Since Tom was sick, I managed to get a lot more stitching in than I’d intended. Not quite how I’d expected to spend the trip, but oh well. As for the rotation relay I mentioned before, I have now reported progress on 6 entries. I finished a 7th last night while watching the Olympics, but I haven’t posted it yet. Here are the ones I’ve posted so far:

#3: TW’s “Guardian”, after 4.5 hours…it doesn’t look like much progress at all; that knotwork border is a real pain. This was done before the wedding:

#4: SamSarah’s “25 Days”, 4.5 hours of progress. This was during the plane rides and layover time in the airport, as well as some time while Tom was out of it:

#5: Ink Circles’ “Blackstone Fantasy Garden”, about 4 hours:

#6: Chatelaine’s “Mini Mystery I”, somewhere between 3 and 4 hours:

Last night I got almost 3 hours in on the Victoria Sampler Hearts of America project. I finished the current heart (which turned out to be Kansas) and started on another one (Arkansas). I haven’t decided what to work on tonight, but I will hopefully get another rotation done while I watch some Olympics. I’ll post pictures from project 7 later; I have taken pictures but haven’t dumped them from the camera yet. I may wait until I have a couple more to show as well.

So, that’s what’s new with me! I am thoroughly exhausted and cannot wait for the weekend. Luke starts 2nd grade next Tuesday, which is unbelievable. I could really use another week, but I won’t be taking time off from work again for awhile, since I have no vacation time anymore. Hopefully I can sleep in on Saturday at least!

Rotation Relay #2 done!

August 5, 2008

Well, I finished 3.5 hours on Chatelaine’s “Taj Mahal Garden” and finally uploaded a picture. This is my second item in the rotation relay! I have one hour in on item #3, TW’s “Guardian” as well. I’m hoping to get a second hour in on it tonight, but we’ll have to see how that goes! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve stitched on a TW; definitely requires more concentration! Anyway, here is Taj:

Holly, to answer your question about Nova, it is a counted canvas project on 18 count mono canvas. I love it but it is mounted on stretcher bars and is especially unwieldy. I am looking forward to pulling it back out, though; it’s such a magnificent design!

In Progress…Olympic 2008 stitching challenges

August 4, 2008

So, on my favorite bulletin board, The Wagon, a very creative member started up an Olympic 2008 contest/challenge. I decided to join in and participate on the “rotation relay”, although Tom said that’s the least efficient category and I should do the “long jump” instead. Oh well. I thought it would be fun to see all 18 of my wips…some of them have been neglected for a LONG time!

The idea is that you spend at least 2 hours on each project in your rotation, and you can go back through it as many times as possible, from August 1st to August 31st. After getting all the way through the rotation you can add a new start if you want and count it as well. Before and After pictures are required, and “in between” pictures are absolutely encouraged. Here are my “before” pictures (this will be a photo intensive post again!):

1. First up is Genny Morrow’s “Nova” which I have worked on in, oh, 5+ years?

2. Next is Teresa Wentzler’s “Footprints” which I lost interest in because it’s on 28 count (I prefer 32 but started it a long time ago, probably 6 years):

3. Teresa Wentzler’s “Guardian”, which will be my next up in the rotation (I’ve done 2.5 hours on Hawaiian and 3.5 on Taj, but I’ll get to that):

4. Chatelaine’s “Misty Morning Vineyard”…do note that I started this when it was still a mystery, 5 years ago now, I think?

5. Chatelaine’s “Taj Mahal Garden”, started in 2004 sometime. This was the second one up in the rotation, but this is just the “before” shot. I haven’t taken the “after” yet:

6. Chatelaine’s “Waterlily Pond Quilt”, except I still think of it as “Quilt Mystery 1” since I started it as a mystery are well (so, 4 years ago?). This is part 1D:

7. Chatelaine’s “Mini Mystery I”, not sure if it ever got a formal name:

8. Mystic Stitch’s “Augusta”, started about 4 years ago (do you detect a theme yet?):

9. Victoria Sampler’s “Heirloom Christmas Sampler” which is a (rather belated…) gift for my mom. It’s the second time I’ve stitched it so it’s a little harder to get through this time:

10. Chatelaine’s “Japanese Garden” which is a gift for my brother and his wife. Shockingly I only started it this year:

11. Ink Circles’ “Blackstone Fantasy Garden”, my New Year’s Day start from this year:

12. Chatelaine’s “Hawaiian Garden” which I just started last month. This is my “before” picture, and it was my first rotation piece so it is currently the only one with an “after” picture as well, not that 2.5 hours looks like much, but I’ll post it at the end:

13. Victoria Sampler’s Hearts of America…although it’s 50 different kits, I consider it one “project”. I’ve finished 12 hearts; this one is number 13. I’m not even sure which one it is:

14. Chatelaine’s “Mermaid Treasure Box”, which I started when it was a brand new online class. I love it but got bogged down by algerian eyelets in the first corner:

15. Drawn Thread’s “Spring Arbour”, started on New Year’s Eve. The fabric is pink but it doesn’t look like it in the picture:

16. Melissa Shirley’s “Green Tree White Candy”. Maybe it’s ridiculous for it to be a wip, but it was started so I decided it counts:

17. Janlynn’s “Nativity” and the only project left on aida (I intend for it to be the last project I ever stitch on aida). I started it 2 or 3 years ago as a gift for an elderly couple at my church who collects nativity scenes. They have several from all over the world, but none in cross stitch (and these will be actual 3-D figures when finished). This has languished because I hate stitching on aida. I need to work on it though so they will still be alive to enjoy it (hope that isn’t too morbid!):

18. SamSarah’s “25 Days”. This is the progress from the trip in July. It’s an excellent travel project:

So, those are all of my “before” pictures. I have one “after” picture, “Hawaiian Garden” after 2.5 hours. I told you it doesn’t look like much:

It’s a little frustrating that all of my fabric looks grey! I have a good camera but maybe I need to work with better light. Hawaiian Garden is on ice blue belfast, Taj is on Ray of Light belfast, and Spring Arbour is on a rose colored fabric. Oh well. So, those are all of my current projects. The thing that’s frustrating is I want to work on ALL of them (well, except the Nativity), but just don’t have the time. Hopefully I’ll get through my whole rotation at least once during this challenge so that I can work on each project for a little bit anyway.