Two Rows Left

Last night was the first night in a while that I’ve been able to sit down and stitch. I was so grateful for that!! I was able to finish off the date row on my Baby Garden piece (and yes, I’ve covered up the date). This leaves me with two more rows, the time row and then the picket fence row. Then I am finished!!! I will be so glad to have this one done. It seems like I’ve been working on it forever (well all this year anyway).
My workouts at the new gym have been going well, and I seem to be doing better this week with the soreness, etc. Plus, I have been able to sleep the past couple of nights, so that helps tremendously. I am a little frustrated that I have gained weight since starting at the gym, but hopefully that will start to go the other direction soon!
I hope to have Peony in Love finished today (since my book club is Friday). And since I set a goal of reading three books this month, and Peony would be number two, I’d better get on it! The book is so good though, not at all what I was expecting.
And you might be interested to know that Piecework Magazine is having a contest for pincushions. Here’s a link to the info.

I received a few goodies in the mail this week. My new Limited Edition WhimZi from Just Nan, Autumn Spell came as well as a chart from a French designer that I just fell in love with. Look at it all stitched up here. Cute, no?
And I’ve been wanting a System 4 stand for awhile now. I am hoping that it will help me to stay motivated with my larger projects (like my Mystery 9) as it will keep me from having to hold a huge q-snap for long periods of time. Since the System 4 is so expensive, I’m buying it one piece at a time. This is just the stand itself, so I can’t do anything with it at this point. Not very exciting, I’m afraid. But hopefully for Christmas maybe I can get another part. My mom assisted with this purchase as part of my birthday gift. Because it is shipped from the manufacturer directly, it takes a little while to show up. But, yay! I am on my way to having a great stand!
That’s about all I’ve got for today. I know there are still two more things I’ve been promising to show you, my new sewing machine and the Philadelphia photos. Eric has finished his editing on the photos, so I just need to sit down and pick out some to share. And my sewing machine is out of the box, but I just need to sit down and figure out how to put all the pieces together and get to sewing!! So, as soon as I can do that “sit down” thing, I’ll have lots to show!

Walk to Rivendell: Stop by Old Man Willow to rest. (ca. 5:30) Rescued by Tom Bombadil (ca.6:00 p.m.). (Total Miles Walked: 96.75)
I am grateful for getting things done and feeling productive.

Weekend Wrap Up

Over the weekend we went to Austin to visit my sister, niece and BIL. It was a wonderful weekend and very relaxing. I actually slept! Both nights!! Now, last night back home was a different story. I really don’t know if it’s the bed, or if maybe I tend to go to bed with a lot on my mind at home. Who knows. Anyway, I did get two nights of good sleep. While we were there, we went to the Botanical Garden. The photo above is from the Japanese Garden. So tranquil. And I love waterlilies.

On the drive home I did a little knitting on my Homespun Wrap. You can really see the color changes in this now. I love it! I have a little mistake a couple rows back, so I’m going to have to see if I can figure out how to tink back to it (which I’ve never done). I hate to lose the work I’ve done on it though. I’m still not even through a skein of yarn on this though, and I think it’s going to take several (I’m making this up as I go along), so I have a way to go.
Friday morning before work, I did a little bit of stitching on my Teeny Witch. Not a whole lot of stitching, but I’ve made a little start on her dress.
And finally, before we left for the weekend, I received my prize from Anna!! This is the cutest kit from Twisted Threads. I’ll have to definitely set aside some time to stitch on this for Christmas. Thank you, Anna!!

I did some reading this weekend too, which was really nice. I am trying to finish up Peony in Love for my book club on Friday. It is such a good book! Hope you all have a great start to the week. I am back to the gym tonight for a new week.

Walk to Rivendell: Merry finds path along bank of the River. Follow it east through wetlands. (Total Miles Walked: 93.75)

I am grateful for a restful weekend.

I. Am. So. Tired.

First of all, let me apologize up front for any whiney-ness that may occur here. I’ve worked out with my personal trainer three times this week. So, I am sore and tired from that. But, I think it is going to be good in the long run. My class Monday night (after working all day and then working out) ran over by almost an hour and a half. So I didn’t get home Monday night until 10:45 or so. And for whatever reason I have only been sleeping about two and a half hours a night, then I toss and turn the rest of the night. So, blech, I am tired and a little whiney. As you may have guessed, there has been no stitching going on, I got nothing. The most I have energy for is sitting still and staring at the tv when I get home. So, instead of showing you any progress on Baby Garden, I’ll just talk about the new JCS Ornament issue.

I read Anna’s review yesterday, and so I won’t rehash her in-depth look at the magazine. I have to admit that I really don’t actually read the issue, or pay much attention to the recipes. I just flip through it to see the ornaments and pick the ones I like. I did, however, read through this issue last night after it arrived in the mail. I thought maybe I might have been cheating myself out of something by not reading it. Yeah, I don’t think I was.
Let me also say that I wasn’t sure if I would be receiving the issue as a part of my subscription. I got it last year as a bonus for renewing. So, I was sort of taking a wait and see attitude this year. And, it showed up in my mailbox – all nicely folded and crumpled by my mailperson. Frankly, I am glad to know that this issue was included in my subscription because I think that I deserve a little something for being a subscriber (aside from saving a few bucks over the per issue price). I also have a subscription to Oxygen, and whenever they put out special issues, I have to go to the store for them. Which, is a pain. But, I digress…
As is usual, there are a lot of ornaments in this issue that just don’t do it for me. But, of course, I was really looking forward to seeing the new (and last???) Shepherd’s Bush ornament in the series. As you know, I’ve been stitching along on these. When I decided to do them, the first four had already been released, and I understood there were to be eight total. So, I ordered ornament cuts of the Dark Espresso linen from Silkweaver (back when they did ornament cuts) and I ordered eight pieces. So, I am hoping that eight is all they do. The first four, SB released as a chart, and I am guessing they will do the same with the last four too. Since, the wording on this ornament doesn’t totally make sense, unless you look at it in context, I thought I’d share what the whole thing says now…
2000 Years Ago, the angels sang, shepherds watched, wisemen came.
In a stable, as Bethlehem slept, Mary and Joseph, their sweet baby kept.
So there you have it…I think that’s it for the series. And this year’s charm is a moon. So, I’ll have to get on ordering that, since I’ve been putting the sterling charms on each of mine.
After quickly flipping pages to find the SB ornament, I went back through the whole magazine, and found a few that I like.
The LHN ornament is cute. And so is the CCN ornament (although not traditionally Christmas-y).
I also liked the Midsummer Night Designs piece, and since I forgot to take a photo of it this morning, I borrowed this photo from her blog.
Really the only other one I really liked was the Monsterbubbles ornament. Also not Christmas-y in the traditional sense, I love it. I especially love the way they’ve done the finishing. Instead of using just regular pins for the pinkeep, they’ve put beads and Swarovski crystal bicones onto straight pins. LOVE IT!! I cannot resist the sparklies. And I’m a sucker for the Eiffel Tower too. I didn’t take a photo of this one either, but it’s on the cover. I am definitely going to be using that finishing technique (once I actually make a pinkeep). And the Swarovski crystals come in a million colors, so no problem matching them to your piece.
So, those are my thoughts on the issue. One of these days I might get around to stitching a few ornaments. In the meantime though, all I can think about is sleep. And maybe a hot bath. And a pina colada…
Walk to Rivendell (see also my progress on the sidebar!!): Path veers SE. Company leaves path and tries to turn north. Cross series of deep folds running SE. Keep turning east. Lose direction. Enter fold too deep to leave. Follow it SE to Withywindle (ca. 4 p.m.). (Total Miles Walked: 92.25)

I am grateful for not having to work out today.

The Mirror and the Mask

Hello, all! I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend. Mine was full again as usual, and while I enjoyed it, I still have lots of things on my to do list. Today, Eric and I went to the museum to see the exhibit “The Mirror and the Mask: Portraiture in the Age of Picasso”. They had an amazing Frida Kahlo painting there. I don’t believe I’ve seen any of her pieces in person, and the colors were amazing. I tried to find a photo of it online, but none of them do the colors any justice. So just imagine some vibrant greens and purple.
Yesterday before going to have lunch with a friend, I stopped by my parent’s house to pick up my birthday presents from my sister. One of my gifts was this fabulous craft tote. I’ve already put it to good use. It is holding my beading stuff for the earrings and necklaces I want to make, and my supplies for two pinkeeps that I need to make.
When I came home yesterday, my Fabric of the Month from Silkweaver had arrived. This time I got Periwinkle Mist and Sapphire Sky. I really should start putting all these great fabrics to use.
Over the past couple of days I also received some other goodies in the mail. I did a trade with Jenna for the Pennsylvania Heart kit. Thanks, Jenna! I thought it would be fun to make some of the hearts for the places we’ve been and hang them on our tree. I also purchased some Victorian Red fabric from Jenn. I am planning on using this to stitch our wedding sampler, and I think this may be the perfect red. Thanks, Jenn! Then I purchased the Heaven Above chart, which I’ve really been wanting. I also purchased Mermaid. Although now, CHS is releasing all of the alphabet as one chart. So, I guess I’ll be buying that. But, it sort of seems like a waste now that I’ve started investing in the individual charts. Oh well.
And as you can see above, I’ve made a little more progress on Baby Garden. I have two more big bands to do after the one I’m working on. So, I’m getting there. I feel like I didn’t stitch at all last week. On Wednesday, we went to tour a gym near us and ended up joining. I’ve been going to the Fitness Center at my office, and although it works, it is just lacking. So, since we get a discount through work, we thought joining a gym would be a good move. I’m a little overwhelmed by the new gym, but I suppose I will get used to it. Thursday night I went after work and met with a personal trainer. I’ll be doing my fitness assessment and first workout tomorrow night (Monday). I am pretty anxious about it. I’m sure it will be fine and I’ll be better able to work on the goals I want to achieve, but it’s a little nerve-wracking right now just anticipating it. Wish me luck! Hopefully I’ll be able to get a little more stitching in this week than I did last week.

Walk to Rivendell: Top of knoll in Forest. Hazy. Surrounded by Trees. Eat, rest (11 a.m.-ca.1 p.m.) (Total Miles Walked: 87.75)

I am grateful for new challenges that get me outside the box.

Looking Forward

Happy Tuesday to everyone! I had class last night, so alas no stitching. But, you can see I made a little bit of progress on Baby Garden over the weekend. My goal last week was to finish two rows – the row with the goldfish and the row underneath (the purple and the hearts). I was able to finish up both, which I am pleased with. This week I would like to get the next row done – it’s a big row like the goldfish row, so I think one is plenty to focus on. This row has the birth date in it, so you’ll probably be treated to more of my creative “covering up” techniques. I am happy to see progress being made on this piece, and am enjoying stitching on it again.

I am finding that by setting weekly goals for myself, I seem to be a little more organized and able to get things done. I am doing this with other things too, not just stitching. Eric spent all weekend editing our photos from the last couple of trips we’ve taken. He is almost through the Philadelphia photos now, so any day now I should be able to share.

I’m starting to look towards the end of the year and the pieces I would like to work on. As I mentioned in my last post, I am wanting to finish up my set of the Shepherd’s Bush ornaments this year. Last year, my big Christmas project was our Christmas stockings, so this year I want to finish up those ornaments and then finish them into a wall hanging. Next year, I think that I am going to focus on the Marbek Nativity. You may remember that earlier in the year I purchased Sapphire fabric from Heaven Lee Creations for this piece. Here’s a photo of the piece.

I do plan to finish it as shown. I also will need to get started soon on my Second Day of Christmas ornament (Teresa Wentzler) for Eric for Christmas this year. But, while I was rifling through my stash, I came across a piece I’ve never shown you.

This is Teeny Witch from Cross-Stitch & Needlework Magazine. She’s been on my WIP list over there on my sidebar since I put that up there. But, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned her. This is a Mary Engelbreit design, and when I saw this pattern in the magazine last year, I immediately started stitching on her. My intention was to make her into a sweetbag for my Halloween Sweetbag exchange on Legacy. But, I overestimated how quickly I could get her done. So, when it came down to decision time, I abandoned this piece and went with a simpler choice. I haven’t picked her up since then, but I just love the piece and really want to finish her. I’m stitching with DMC on 32ct Poltergeist by Silkweaver. There are a ton of color changes in this piece and a ton of fractional stitches, which is why it was taking me so long. I’d love to have her finished for this Halloween.

One of my goals for September is to read three books. I am a third of the way there, as I finished Eat, Pray, Love yesterday. What a fabulous book! Next up is Peony in Love, for my book club at the end of the month. I am looking forward to it, as it looks like a really good read.

Walk to Rivendell: Still in the Bonfire Glade. (Total Miles Walked: 77.5)

I am grateful for implementing new changes.