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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 ;-).