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Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 Series is Complete!

I finished the last of the Quaker Squares yesterday! I'm starting to assemble them all into little pillows which will live in a basket on a shelf somewhere that hasn't yet been hung on the wall, or purchased. This was my first ever series project. I'm happy with the outcome, but I'm not sure how I feel about the process yet. I'll have to think about it a bit more to decide if it's something that works for me or not.
My parents are coming to visit in a couple of days, so I need to pick up most of my stitching projects and bring them to my storage room :-(. I suppose I'll survive the trauma. I was just getting everything out into their stations again after the last time people visited. I tend to be a spatial thinker, so I need to use locations to keep track of things. I move the projects around the house based on some odd little locality prioritization my mind created. My husband has even figured out what order I work on things based on where they are. Sometimes he suggests he might move things around as a joke. Not funny!! :-)

Only a few more days until the end of the year. I don't think I'll be finishing anything else between now and then other than some assemblies. It's time to go through the pile and pull out the stuff that needs finishing early in the year and figure out what projects I'll be getting to next. The pile has gotten mighty large this year!! It appears that 2008 was the year of the smalls. I think it might be time to focus on a few bigs for this year. Let the stitching continue!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday WIPs

Happy holiday to everyone. I'm sitting at my in-laws kitchen table while my FIL concocts a holiday breakfast for the 4 of us. After that we'll be exchanging our end of year gifts. I'm looking forward to DH opening his. I got some great ones for him this year.

Last year I stitched up a stocking for DH and meant to have one done for myself. Though we are fairly non-religious, we do follow our cultural traditions as they feel homey and festive. We're always up for a party. I've always enjoyed the little tidbits that come in a stocking. Well, with all that was going on this past year with shifting jobs, stitching retreats, sports, injuries and the usual life-y stuff I just never got around to the stocking for me. Which means DH didn't get to use his (since I'll assemble them at the same time). On Tuesday I started mine. Here's what I have done so far:It's going very quickly, so I'm pleased with that. Yay for 22 count fabric over-2. I have a little more done since the photo was taken, but had a horrid miscounting incident at the top of the green, so I had to back out pieces. I didn't frog the whole area, I just snipped around the edges and filled in where I needed to to shift it all over. I'm not to worried how the back will look since it's going to be hidden in the body of the stocking and, when it's filled with stuff, it will be lumpy any how.

I also have made some (slow) progress on the December Quaker Square. This is the last one in the series. Next year I'll start a new installment project. For now I'm just hoping I'll be done with this by the end of the month. I'm running low on left over thread (finally), so this one is going to be in red, green and gold. But then that seems appropriate, doesn't it :-).

Time for breakfast!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Leetle Finish

It took me some time to set up the new wireless printer I got. I had to contact the manufacturer's tech support because the drivers for the printer didn't work with the security features I have enabled on my household wireless network. In the end we had to compromise by stepping down the security on my setup and having them submit a bug report to correct the issue with a patch.

During the few hours that I spent on chat and screen sharing with the (excellent) techs, I was able to finish off this little booger: I'm a bit of a dope and stitched him on white fabric, so it's a bit hard to see the snowman and the snow drift (under the W), but I figure I'll back him with some dark fabric and deal with it ;-).

Today I'm heading to a Winter Solstice party ay my in-laws. This is all my fault really because I decided a few years bask that we needed something happy and non-denominational in the winter to cheer up all the people who complain about the snow (which I love). So we all sit around and eat finger foods and then we light candles and each person has to say one thing that they like about winter that no one else has said yet. So, I'm not planning to get a lot done today. I'm thinking about bringing a few projects with me that need assembly. That's usually good busywork in the car.

Welcome Winter!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Back in Business

Yipeee I have a new computer and it functions without making horrible scary noises of the HD crashing slowly. It came last night. I was able to get most of it set up then, but I needed to have a little time today to get everything just right and comfy how I like it.

The nifty thing about my itty bitty 'puter is that I can sit it next to me now while I'm stitching and prattle on with my friends while I while away the hours in my stitching chair. Oh frabjuous day!!

OK, now that the cheering is wrapped up, on to more...

I finished up the Sunny Day Cat needlepoint, oh I think Monday-ish in the morning. I'm pretty happy with the result. Needlepoint, more to the point - the tent stitch, is not so much my thing. But I really likked this piece for my sunshine yellow and cat filled guest room. So there you have it.
I also started the last quaker square this week. I'm running low on my left over thread colors so this one is going to have reds and greens and golds. But then that's just right for December with a bell theme. I'm hoping to wrap that up this weekend so I can get the buttons on months from the second half of the year and start assembling them into something before January is too far gone.

As usual I'm trying to keep myself from starting too many new projects at once. I still have lots of work to do on the Autumnal Abstract, but I'd sure like to work on my Christmas (Yueltide) stocking and then there's the pile of minis, a needle casket, oh so much that wants to be done!

Tis the season :-)!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

WIP Updates w/o Photos

The weather has been great for stitching lately - for most people. For me, not so much. I'm a winter person and the more snow that's out there, the more likely I am to be out there with it. I've been squeezing the stitching in between ice skating, cross country skiing, teaching at the gym and the usual work stuff.

I'm closing in on the finish of the Sunny Day Cat. I'm hoping I can whip out the rest of it tomorrow since I have friends coming in to visit this weekend and it's all in the middle of the dining room table. I just have just the one flower in the corner and the embroidery details on top.

I just rememebered that I need to do my December Quaker Square. Oops - it would have been bad to forget the last one that I have left.

After I whomp out those two I'm planning to clear everything else away and work only on the Autumnal Abstract. These projects seem like they've been going on forever. I'm just glad I made it through all of the smalls that I had floating around 1/2 done. Hopefully I'll smarten up as bit and won't get the bug to pull more of those off the shelf. It's time to focus on the biggies for a while!

The Final Art Show Installment

And here are the last of the art show photos I took. The flower at the top is a ceramic piece. It's one of my favorites from the show. The quilt and the wood burning on the wood mold are also incredible!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Last 2008 Exchange Received

Friday night I came home to find this wonderful square in the mail from Australia! I love the colors - purple seems to be my thing this year. I can't wait to finish these off. I may even have to spring for the pattern for myself. I'm inspired to do this pattern in a bunch of different colorways on the same fabric and frame them up together. I love geometry :-).

Thanks Suzanne!

More Art Show Photos

I was amazed at some of the stuff people submitted to the art show. The handmade dulcimer included in this set of photos was stunning. Also the kayak which ended up winning best in show.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Art Show!

Here are a selection of photos from the Madison County Art Show this past week. The pieces people submitted were amazing! More photos to come...

YAY Finishes and a Computer to Post From

OK so I'm just borrowing (monopolizing) my husband's computer...

As previously mentioned I finished that last two ornaments in the Twelve Days series. And I give you 11 Pipers and 12 Drummers:

I also started cleaning my craft room. This entails grabbing all of the bits and pieces that are left over from other projects that can't be easily used for other projects I have in charts and making stuff up. So far I did a couple of little squares from some canvas work remainders and am now kicking myself for not doing them as bookmarks.

I'm closing in on the end of the Sunny Day cat. I'm hoping to be done with the project by Monday night. I'm losing the time I planned to work this weekend because I have to travel for a dog event. I'll be able to work on my travel projects, but no work on the big ones. Hopefully my large monster will behave and earn his first title to make it all worthwhile.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Death of the Computer

My computer is dying. I can use it for about an hour at a time before it starts to overheat and the hard drive begins to holler at me. I'm hoping to get a new one soon. In the meantime it's difficult for me to get photos uploaded because it's dragging on accessing the file system.

In good news, the county art show went up today. My peacock project got third place in the needlepoint division. I'm a bit confused about which category I entered, but I think the judges were too. *shrug* It was great seeing all of the incredible project everyone entered. I'm planning to get some photos of the show to share.

Over the long holiday weekend I finished the last of the Twelve Days of Christmas ornaments (YAY). I also played around with some left over fibers from a canvaswork project I did over the summer. I have a few little ornaments that came out of that and likely will have a few more. I'm in a cleaning mode, which means lots of little things from scraps will be occurring for awhile.

On the way up to skiiing yeasterday I worked a little on my La-D-Da Free-bee project. That's been swapped in as my new travel/TV project.

I also put in a good chunk of time on the Sunny Day Cat. I'm about to head down the dining room table to get a bit more done on that one. I'm so close to finishing it up.

It's looking like I'll be clearing a number of the open projects out of the queue before the end of the year. This is a good thing. I never did get a chance to do my Christmas stocking. Although my husband's is finished, it never got assembled as a result of my dropping the ball on mine. Oh well - there's always next year ;-).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

They're Starting to Come Together

The numerous projects I've been working on are all seeming to be finishing up at the same time. This morning I wrapped up the 6th installment of the Mystery Stitch Along. I couldn't really see what it looked like until I took the photo - my brain was stuck in the details and was missing the big picture.
This was stitched on Tutti Fruitie from Silkweaver. The yellows, pinks and blues are fun. I have another 1/2 of the fabric I can use for other projects. Maybe a few biscornus?

This afternoon I finished up a little piece I've been working on.
It's from the Heartstruck Friends chart from Midnight Stitching. There's another one in blues that I'm planning to work on after I wrap up a few more of these extant projects.

Stitch on...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Competition

The office I work at is hosting an art show of the employees work next week. I couldn't resist entering 2 pieces for $2.

I entered the Spring Hat, which got a 2nd place at the state fair:
From 2008 Finishes

I also entered a piece I finished a while ago:
From Pre-2006 Finishes

I just got the last installment on the Mystery Stitch Along. Maybe I'll work on that tonight. I'm not up for anything super exciting - too much exercising this morning.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Two Ornaments to Go...

I got the stitching bug back this week. I finished the next ornament in the Twelve Days series and have made a good start on the 11th. I'm getting a little sick of stitching the border. It disturbs me a bit that I have the pattern memorized at this point. My husband has decided to call this one (10 Lords) "Angry George Washington with Googly Eyes".

I also finished a large portion of the Sunny Day Cat needlepoint I've been working on. The needlepoint is satisfying in that it gets done quickly, but I definitely prefer cross stitch. It doesn't look nearly as nice as the cross stitch projects do in my view. Still it's a nice change from what I've been doing.
I also did a little on the Autumnal Abstract, but didn't feel that it was photo worthy yet. When I get through the next set of blocks on the chart crease I think it will be time for another progress pic.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

X-mas Projects

I got back to work with week on a few outstanding projects. The fifth installation of the Mystery Stitch Along for the LJ Stitching Community came in and I was able to stitch it up. I'll post a photo of that when I'm done in two weeks.

Also, I was able to get the first of my Christmas stitching presents done. Of course no pics of that until it's been gifted :-(.

But I did get the next ornament done in my 12 Days series. This one is the 9 Ladies. I've also started 10 Lord and hope I'll be finishing that one up this afternoon.

I need to get all of my started projects finished so I can clan up the dining room table for when my parents visit in January. *fingers crossed*

Monday, November 10, 2008

Check Please

Ooh my award money from the NY State Fair was deposited today! Of course I already spent that award money on supplies :-).

Far Far Away

My Round 10 partner, who lives way on the other side of the globe, received my Round 10 exchange squares in the mail. So here's the finish:
This one was mostly back stitching, satin stitches and mosaic stitches. I used some x-stitches for the signature block. The colors were a blast to work with.

I've got everything but my actual name on the X-mas round project and made headway on some gift projects this morning.

Right now: I'm going to shut up and go stitch.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Penultimate Squares

I finished the November Quaker Square this afternoon. Only one more to go!

I've been using scrap fibers for the rest of the squares, but wasn't happy with what I had in my stash for this one so I ended up getting a new color for it. I opted for The Gentle Art's "School Yard". It was a fun color to work with.For the rest of the day I'll be finishing up the signature block for an exchange project I'm working on and hopefully getting a bit more done on the Autumnal Abstract. I did work on the abstract for a couple of hours this morning :-). I'm over 1/2 way done on that one now! Maybe I'll be able to wrap it up by the end of the year. Maybe...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Holiday Squares

Yesterday the last set of exchange square for the year came in. What a great way to cap off the season! Heidi B stitched this wonderful set for me. I'm a big fan of snowmen since I love winter. I'm really looking forward to finishing this off in time for display when the snow flies (I better hurry!).
Last night was the bimonthly stitch in at A Stitcher's Garden. We had a wonderful time as always. I worked on a couple of x-mas ornaments and started my November Quaker Square (will post finish soon!). I also picked up a few Heart in Hand Wee Ones charts. I grabbed a handful of snowman patterns and also some patterns in the bird series. These smalls are great! Not that I have any idea when I'll get to them. My backlog is getting a mite bit scary.

Off I go to take up more stitching!

Friday, October 31, 2008


I was planning to get a ton stitched on Tues when I had the day off for a medical test (I'm mostly fine, so no real worries). I got a bunch done on that new Sunny Day Cat project before I left. I was thinking I might be able to stitch while I was getting pictures taken of my innards, but no such luck. They wanted me to hold still - pooh on them ;-).

When I got home I started doing a bit more on the Cat, but then we lost power. I called in the loss to our power company and thus started the SAGA of getting power back on. We were slated to have it off until Sunday night. So instead of stitching these last few days I've been on the phone with our local officials and various people to try to get the service people out to the house.

It all paid off with our power coming back on Thursday at noon. Unfortunately we lost a bit of food, but really it wasn't all that bad. We like roughing it, so we had all of the bases covered. We were really worried about a fellow who lives down the street who needs power for his medical equipment and to feed his chickens. We live out in the country, so no one is on municipal water, so we can't get water when the power is out. Our other neighbors were having a tough time getting their cows and horses a drink. It was a good team building exercise.

Either hoo, I was able to get the next section of the Mystery Stitch Along done. Photos of that to come after the weekend. I know - I'm a bum lately with the pics. I can post the photo from a recent exchange - the Thanksgiving Exchange from Fair Squares.

This is the piece I sent:

And this is the piece I received:
I love this sheep in turkey's clothing. Now I need to think of a suitable way to finish it!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Finally - photos!

This morning I remembered to get photos of most of the project that have seen progress lately.

I discovered that one of my exchange partners posted that she had received my project. This is the one I sent out for the Fair and Squares autumn exchange at the end of September.
I'm expecting another project to be posted soon as received. A third is getting dropped in the mail tomorrow. Only one more exchange to go before the end of the year. I have everything staged for that and am hoping to get it done by the middle of November.

Last night I discovered that I have gotten a little out of control with the projects I'm working on:
Mystery Stitch Along with the LJ cross_stitch community: I just received issue #4 - no photo yet
Nova: a brutal canvas work - no progress since my last photo
Free-bee from La-D-Da: again no progress since the last update
Christmas Angel: I do believe this has dropped into a UFO
St Petersburg: another UFO. It's haunting me!
Autumnal Abstract: I'm trying to get in at least a few hours every week on this one
Winter Friends: a couple of patterns I'm planning to make for x-mas gift - so no photos :-)
Sunny Day Cat: this one I started last night just to make my life a little crazier!
X-mas Exchange: previously mentioned ;-).

Tonight I have some updating to do around my various web places, then I'm hoping to either get the MSAL #4 issue done or get a bunch more done on the cat. I'd like to get that one done so I can hang it in the guest bedroom soon. Tomorrow I have to take the day off for a dr appointment, so I'll be able to spend a lot of the day stitching - YAY!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More Stash :-)

Today was a big shopping day for the household. We haven't been out a lot lately, but now that everyone's job situations have settled down we took care of things that were waiting on money. One of the stops I made was at my LNS. I ended up getting lots of yummy colors threads for the Christmas projects I'll be working on this year. I also picked up some pearl cottons for next year's installment project - Erica Michaels Sampler Book. I need to prep all the pages for that soon.

This morning I had to coach, but I got a couple of hours in on the Autumnal Abstract before I left. I'm hoping to get some photos up of all of the projects soon since I've been making stready progress. But, just a little more work on the super secret exchange projects to go...

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Last night, despite exhaustion trying to overtake me, I ended up finishing my next stitching exchange project. The photo for that will show up soon after my partner receives it. I've got a couple more of those to wrap up, hopefully before the end of the month, or soon after.

I'm very excited because my dog (a large German Shepherd) and I passed a certification test for the sport of tracking last weekend. The goal is to let the dog sniff something left by a person and then follow a 490'-500' track they left in a field to another item they left in the field. The dog is then supposed to indicate that the item is on the ground. At that point we all jump around for joy. Now that he's been certified by a judge we can enter a test and see if we can earn a title through the American Kennel Club. Training for this is how I've been spending a lot of my weekend time.

As of today I'm even more excited about this because I just found out that he's been accepted into a test next weekend. I'm crossing my fingers that he'll get that title! I think I'll go channel the nervousness into some stitching :-).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

LIttle Steps

Last night I worked a bit more on the abstract. I didn't get too much done, but I enjoyed just sitting in the chair thinking a bit. I needed so quite time in a big way!

I received the Fair Squares Autumn Exchange from Jessica M in the mail :-). They are lovely:I did a little work on the TG squares I'm prepping earlier today. I'm trying to decide if I want to work on those tonight, work on the abstract, or just laze about. We shall see.....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Free Day :-)

I have the day off work today. I'm expecting a friend of mine to be stopping in soon to do some tracking with the dogs. Then I have plans to work a bit more on the abstract. I ended up getting a lot done over the last couple of days despite messing around the house on other projects, having visitors, playing outside with the fuzzy monsters and generally being a bum.The last two sections took a while because of all the color changes, but now I'm getting back into the fast stuff. Wheee.

I got the next installment of the mystery stitch along. I'm hoping to pull an hour together today to get that done also. It's good to keep on top of these things :-).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall Weather Promotes Stitching

The weather has been cold and rainy for about a week now. Word on the street is that it's going to be warm and summer like today, so I'll probably be outside playing. But with it being so cold, I've been in stitching the last few days. I ended up finishing the October Quaker Square. Only two left to go. I really like how this one came out with the brown on tan.

I've also been working on the abstract a bit. I'm in a section with a lot of color changes, so it's been slow. I'm hoping to wrap that section up tonight and do some turbo stitching over the weekend. I have Monday off of work, so I plan to put in some extra time.

I have a few more exchange projects to work on. I'm thinking I might take a break from the exchanges after I wrap these few up so I can focus on some of the projects I have going here. Next year I'll be working on another installment project which will end up being my traveling project. I still have four of the 12 Days of Christmas ornaments to finish. I should be able to keep myself busy for a while :-).

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I didn't quite get the Quaker square done today. All I have left is the alphabet on this little guy, but I needed to take a break from sitting on the couch. I ended up spending the day assembling a couple of projects.

First I completed the project I received for the Halloween exchange on Fair Squares. I did it as a little ornament so I could hang it up at work. A couple of my new coworkers are really into Halloween, so I figured they'd get a kick out of it.

Then I finished the squares I got for the Round 9 exchange. I'm going to be so set for X-mas this year! I love this one.

In both cases I assembled the signature square on the back of the ornament so I won't forget who made them for me.

A few days ago I also assembled one of my projects from earlier in the year. I ended up making my sampler into a floss pouch. It's currently stuffed with all of the floss for Fractal 170. (I might have a few too many projects in the offing.)

Current WIPs

I was going to post where I am on a few projects yesterday, but I ended up having to run out the door to go work with my dog on his tracking. Later in the day we were off to eat lunch with my dad and my husband's mom. The other two parental units were off doing things. We enjoyed some Thai bone soup and yummy sandwiches. It was a good day.

So onto the WIPs...
I haven't made too much progress on the Abstract. I added a bit under the leaf, next to the dark teal section. I'm hoping to work on that one a bit more today. I finally have some free time at the house to relax and stitch a bit.
I've also been working on a Mystery Stitch ALong (MSAL) that is going on over at the Live Journal Cross Stitch community. I've gotten parts 1 & 2 completed of 6. I'm stitching this on Silkweavers Tutti Fruiti. I'm really enjoying this proejct.
I have the La-D-Da Free-bee project going also. I work on this when I'm travelling or sitting in front of the TV (not very often). It might take me a while to work through. I wonder what I'll do with it when I'm finished. But there are still more WIPs (this might be getting a bit out of control)!
I'm also working on a canvaswork project called Nova. This is what it will look like when it's done: clicky. It's a quilt replica with each 12x12 square having different types of stitches. There are 396 different squares in the project. Only 387 left to go - YIPE! Today I got the October Quaker Square almost finished. That's another one I'm planning to work on today. I'll hopefully get to some of the projects that are waiting to be finished too.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Catching Up

It's been a wild ride the last couple of weeks. My new job, updating tax maps for my county, is awesome, but it's been a bit of a transition for me. My whole schedule is in a shake up. I've also started teaching a spinning class (indoor cycling) at the local YMCA. I don't go to my new job until 9am, but the spinning class, and the classes I take, all start at 5:45am and go until about 7:30am. I have about an hour to kill between working out and work. STITCHING TIME!!!!

Since both DH and I have gotten new jobs and the finances have stabilized a bit, we've been working through the list of things we've been meaning to get all summer. Of course that means stach building for me. I picked up the Sunny Day Cat needlepoint kit so I can whip it up for my guest bedroom. The room is bright yellow with blue shades and bedding. The room's theme is cats. It just worked out that way.

I also got Fractal 170 and picked up all of the fibers for it and some Aida to stitch it on. Not that I don't have a bazillion kits and patterns in line before it. :-)

I haven't had any new finishes in the last few days, but I am working on a couple of smalls. Sadly, no time to post them since I need to book out the door to go play with dogs :-). More to come soon!