Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Forward

WIPs for 2011

Now that I've posted about looking back at the year 2010, I thought it was time to start looking forward. I've thought long and hard about what goals I'd like to set for my stitching in 2011 and whether or not to sign up for any of the various January Challenges that are out there. I know that the thought of starting 15 new things would make me crazy, and I need a little less crazy here at Chez Cozy. So, I'm planning on focusing on some WIPs next year. We all know that those shown above are just the tip of the iceburg, but it's a starting point.

I'd love to have some finishes of these WIPs in 2011, but I'm just going to set out to give them some attention. No formal rotation, no set of rules. But I would like to make some progress here. And some of the projects I've shown above are big, some are more medium-sized, so I think it's a good mix. And there are some new things I'd like to start too of course, so I may mix in a few of those here and there. I also have a few things of the ornament variety that I'd like to mix in for some quick finishes too, so I may do that.

If you're wondering what I've got in progress in those photos:

And They Sinned, Peace on Earth, Anniversaries of the Heart, Scottish Sampler
Garden of Eerie, Papillon Creations Mystery Sampler, Tesori d'Italia, Shores of HRH
Camille's French Sampler, Sweet Treats, Simple Things, Mystery 9
CHS A&E, Ten, Peaceable Kingdom, Cuisine d'Ete

Some of these are much farther along than others, but I enjoy working on each of them. Of course I will be continuing my SAL with my PIC for ATS (how's that for acronyms?) and I've also joined a SAL in the BBD Yahoo Group for Anniversaries of the Heart, plus I've been discussing with Deb working on our Chatelaine WIPs this year.

And I know for sure that on New Year's Day, I will have a new start like I usually do. Last January my NYD start was And They Sinned, this January it will be Paradise Lost. I can't wait to get started.

ParadiseLost-lg

The photo is Paulette's (too bad since I'd really love that A&E needleminder - LOL!) that I shamelessly borrowed. But, I think it will be a fun stitch and I'll have it all ready to go in time to sit down with it while I watch the Rose Parade.

So here's looking forward to a new year, new things and new adventures!

I am grateful for my sweet husband and each new year we spend together.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Looking Back

2010 Finishes Final

I can't believe it's almost the end of 2010. Where did the time go?? I thought I'd look back at the year though and see what I accomplished. Above are my finishes for the year. Most were small things, and many were gifts. In fact seven of the twelve were for other people. And speaking of gifts, there are a couple more finishes that I can't show you yet.

I did also manage to start and finish two larger pieces for myself, well ok one of these is a gift for Eric (Where My Heart Blooms). So, one piece for me.

Margaret Pence 072710



WMHB 090610

I did manage two A&E finishes this year, which is a good start on my A&E wall. So, I am quite pleased with that. I hope to have more A&Es for my wall next year.

And I did get one quilt done this year too (see that first finish at the top left) - also a gift. So, at least I managed to sit at my sewing machine a little bit. I hope to have more of that next year too.

And I read a few books over the year as well:

Lover Unbound
The Ultimate Trophy*
No Tomorrow*
Catching Fire
The Lost Chalice*
Lover Enshrined
Eclipse (re-read)
Water for Elephants
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
Mockingjay
Lover Avenged
The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide
The Lacuna*

Not nearly as much reading as I would liked to have done (*and four of the thirteen were for book club). Hopefully next year, since I am done with school, I can get more reading done.

And speaking of being done with school...what else happened this year?


I completed my 365 photo challenge that I had started in March 2009
I participated in the Worldwide Photo Walk for the first time
I completed my coursework at school
I passed my certification test for Microsoft Project 2007
I started a new job
I passed my certification test for my CAPM and joined PMI
I relearned how to knit
I participated in several 5Ks as well as the 10K of death
I attended my first seminar (the EGA South Central Seminar)
We lost sweet Romeo
I participated in the Secret Stitcher program at Guild
I took a needleturn applique class
I took a class from Amy Mitten
I went to Nashville Market

Not a bad way to spend the year, I suppose. I'm excited to see what next year holds. Thanks for sticking with me throughout 2010. I truly treasure the friendships I have made through this blog.

I am grateful for another year and the hope of good things to come!

Monday, December 27, 2010

12 Days of Christmas

12 Days of Christmas Fabric

Miss me? I hope you all are having a lovely holiday season and that you're getting some time to put a few stitches in before the end of the year. Since passing my certification exam, it's been busy busy here trying to decorate, send out cards, get ready for our annual entertaining, etc. I have managed to get in a small amount of stitching around all of that, but a good portion of the past couple of weeks has been spent at my sewing machine.

I ventured out to the quilt store the day after my exam with the intent to find some pretty Christmas fabric. Even as late as it was in the season, my local quilt shop actually had some of the fabric I've been coveting for months - Kate Spain's 12 Days of Christmas. I could hardly believe my luck! I bought four different prints from that collection and then a pretty white on white snowflake print to mix in. Aren't they pretty all stacked up?

I had to wait a few days before I was able to cut into the pretty, but cut into it I did.

Fabric Scraps

Every year Eric and I host an Eggnog & Dessert party for our families, and every year I wish I had some pretty holiday dessert napkins. So guess what? The first thing I did with that fabric was make some dessert napkins with it! I made twelve, so that I'd have plenty in case our party number grew. They turned out the perfect size I was looking for and brought a smile to my face every time I looked at them.

Holiday Napkins

Aren't they fun? I also had other plans for my pretty 12 Days fabric, but I can't show you that quite yet. You'll have to wait a bit. But, I enjoyed my time with my sewing machine and I was thrilled to finally have some pretty napkins for our party. I have yet to post about the party itself, but I will. And the napkins made an encore appearance on Christmas Eve when we had Eric's family over for dinner. The napkins worked perfectly for our antipasto course.

I'll be back soon with more updates and photos from the holiday, plus a stitching update or two. But until then, I'll leave you with this yummy thing - a chocolate cake ball covered in Ghirardelli chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt...on a pretty napkin.

Salted Chocolate Cake Ball

I am grateful for time with my friends and family and pretty twinkle lights on the tree.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Here for the Party

Sajou

Last week my guild had our annual holiday party and ornament exchange. Of course, I've already shown you the ornament I stitched up for the exchange. The party was lovely and there was lots of good food and companionship. Before we kicked off the exchange, we presented our outgoing President with these Mother of Pearl Sajou scissors. Aren't they pretty?

And in turn, she presented the board members with these Rosewood Manor threadwinders. Aren't they fun? So nice in wood.

Threadwinders

But, of course you are all anxious, I'm sure, to see the ornaments! There were lots of beauties this year (just like every year).

Ornament Exchange 2010

This one was one of my favorites... isn't it pretty?

Marie's Ornament

I ended up with this gorgeous ornament, which I am thrilled about. You may have already seen it here, and if you didn't then you really need to add Robert's blog to your reader - he is an amazing stitcher! This is an Irish Samplings pincushion by Nostalgic Needle. Look at those Queen Stitches - lovely!

Robert's Ornament

I think I may just leave that hanging up year round.

And along with my pretty ornament, I also managed to make it home with this...

Godiva Truffle Bar

It was in the package with the ornament Robert stole from me, which he then promptly handed back, which was sweet.

Godiva Bite

It was good too!

So there you go, another wonderful holiday celebration with the guild. I've been working on some gifts, so I can't show you quite yet. I also pulled out an old WIP and have been unstitching the mistake I made on it (which is why it's still a WIP). But, mostly I've been studying and studying. Over the week of Thanksgiving I studied 6-8 hours a day every day, and then last week I was studying every evening when I got home from work. What was I studying for? My CAPM exam, which was the very last thing I needed to do for school. I took my exam on Friday and passed! Woohoo! So, that's it for me with school. I'm so glad to be done after two and a half years! And now I can relax and enjoy my holidays. Hope you can too!

I am grateful for passing my test!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Christmas Stitching

PoE 120410

After a complete mental breakdown caused by looking at all of many WIPs, I decided a new start was in order. Ha! See how I am?!? But really, I just wanted to stitch on something Christmasy for the last few weeks of December. So, I pulled out BBD's Peace on Earth (Loose Feathers No. 28). I already had the fabric and the thread on hand, so it was easy to get started. I am loving it so far. Here's a photo if you're not familiar with the pattern. Cute, huh?

And I know I haven't been able to show you what I've been working on until now. I stitched and finished Shepherd's Bush Joyful Night from the JCS 10th Anniversary book. It was a quick little stitch, and I was also able to accomplish this one with thread and fabric on hand (even the finishing supplies were already in my closet!).

Joyful Night 120510

I backed it with a pretty deep purple fabric that has little stars on it. I loved how it brought out the purple in his shoes. This is for the guild's annual ornament exchange that is taking place tonight. I'm anxious to see what everyone else stitched!

So that's part of what I've been working on lately. I did also pull out ATS and work on it on Sunday. I've got my cloud all outlined and I'm starting the fill in. I want that cloud done! And thanks for all the suggestions for 2011 - I did go and check out the challenge for working on 15 WIPs in the new year, which looks promising. I'm still deciding though. Hopefully I will find something that works for me - because above all, I want to relax and enjoy my stitching.

I am grateful for working out of my stash. It's such a good feeling!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thinking

So I've been thinking alot lately (my brain's gotta have something to do, right?) about my stitching plans for the rest of the year as well as for 2011. Last year I decided I wasn't going to make a lot of plans, make a lot of lists and try to force myself into working on pieces I really wasn't interested in. But then I again, in a fit of delirium, signed up with my guild to finish four pieces this year. Guess what. No really, guess. Yeah, you saw that coming, didn't you. I haven't touched them really - all year. It's like putting down on a piece of paper that I will finish blah blah blah is the kiss of death. Not that I've worked on some of my other WIPS that weren't on the list, but whatever, you see my point.

So here I am in December, really no closer than I was on the pieces I wanted to finish this year (ie all the ones I started the year with as WIPs). And now there are lots of blog posts about the Crazy January Challenge where you start 15 new things the first 15 days of January, and then commit to finish those 15 things in 2011.

I already have so many WIPs that starting 15 more gave me heart palpitations. So now what? I really want to work on and finish some of the many WIPs I have. I'd like to meet a few goals I have for myself by the end of the year too, that includes WIPs as well. I really want to start some new things too, but OMG I have got to learn how to finish things!

So...before I ramble on any further...let's take a look at the situation. Avert your eyes if you must. Here are my WIPs...

WIPs 2

Not too bad, huh? Oh but wait, there's also these...

WIPs

Yeah. Frightening, isn't it? What's really frightening is that I'm not convinced this is all of them. Many of these have been set aside for one reason or another. Most of them I still love and want to finish. Some are even relatively close to being finished. And yet, here I sit - not stitching on them.

So what to do? What will encourage me to get things done, and yet not confine me and make me feel like I'd rather rearrange my sock drawer rather than stitch on that project?

I don't know that I've figured it out yet, so I'm still thinking. Here's what I do know...

Before the end of the year, I'd like to do the following:

  1. Finish the gift I'm working on
  2. Finish the exchange piece I'm working on
  3. Finish page 1 of ATS (this may be impossible, but I'd like to work towards that goal)
  4. Finish one of the pieces I signed up to finish this year for my guild - Bay Sampler, Papillon Creations Mystery Sampler, CHS Adam & Eve, or Tesori d'Italia (I think my best bet is going to be the A&E or the Mystery Sampler
  5. Determine a plan for next year - even if it's only "have fun"

I also know that I want to have a new start on January 1, because that's a tradition. I even think I've figured out what I want that new start to be.

I seem to do best focusing on one or two projects at a time. A rotation has never worked for me (unless it's a one day a week I work on this project, the rest of the time I work on that). So, maybe it's just a matter of picking up a WIP and just focusing on it again until it's finished.

So what are y'all planning for 2011? Any goals for the end of the year? Suggestions?

I am grateful for a good night's sleep.