I Love This Project!

Midi Mystery I - Sparklies

Recently, I was asked to be a guest blogger on Anna’s blog, and you can see my entry here. This request from Anna was a wonderful surprise and I wanted to take full advantage of it for several reasons… I was in very good company with the other amazing guest posts she had lined up, because Midi was a project I finished prior to starting my blog and it gave me the chance to show some pretty photos of it, and because I do pretty much anything Anna asks me to do.

Midi Mystery I - floral vine

Midi does hold a very special place in my heart, for the reasons listed in my guest post. And of course, after my massive stitching fail post the other day, looking at this piece again reminds me that I did actually stitch and finish and frame this beauty. This was stitched on 32ct (mostly over two, but some over one) with silks and metallics. The beads are all Delicas and then there were some Swarovski crystals thrown in for good measure.

Midi Mystery I - flower beds

These little beds were what I was working on in December. It’s kind of fun looking back at these photos. In fact, if you can believe it some of the photos taken of my progress on this were taken by Eric (because I didn’t take good photos), and even some were taken (by me) with a film camera. Seriously. Because that’s how I roll.

Midi Mystery I - woven basket

And look at that basket – I wove that thing! How freakin’ awesome am I? So, anyway, take a stroll on over to visit the Stitch Bitch. Pay no attention to the fact that she points out I am STILL working on Mystery 9, and maybe one day we will get back to our SAL on the mermaids.

Until then, dear ones, I am outta here. I am taking the next two days off work in a stitch-ass celebration of my birthday. So, I hope to have some cool stuff to show you next time. Until then, why not try something new in your stitching?

I am grateful for texts from Eric.

Mermaid Return

Happy Saturday everyone! I’m so glad the weekend is here. It was a long week for some reason. I did, however, take another final at school and my certification exam for this class will probably be next week. I’m onto my fifth class now, and I have two more after that. Then I am DONE! Anyway, I have been stitching this week, even though one night Eric took me out to see a fabulous performance on Tuesday night. So, here’s my progress for this week. As you can see above, I did get out my mermaids and stitch on them. I finished up a page last night. This is page 1, of course, which is a small page (basically a half page), but it was the center so that’s why I started there. I’ll be moving on to mermaid number two and working my way up I think. So, page 1 complete, minus bling. Here’s how she looked a couple of weeks ago, when I stitched on her last.
And also this week, I felt like stitching on something small, so I decided to go ahead and start on Adam & Eve by Carriage House Samplings. I am stitching this over one on 28ct black linen with the recommended NPIs. Don’t you just love silk. There is nothing like it. Anyway, the swirls seemed like a fun place to start, so that’s what I’m doing.
I’m stitching this one as a SAL with several other stitchers from the Carriage House Samplings yahoo group. I’m very excited about stitching my first A&E. Anyway, tomorrow I’ll be starting the other SAL I’ve jumped into (also in the same group), on Shores of Hawk Run Hollow. I’m so in love with that piece. I can’t wait.
And although I didn’t really place any Nashville orders, I thought I’d show you a few things that the mailman has brought over the last week.
I ordered the finishing chart for the freebie alphabet charts Erica Michaels designed for Rainbow Gallery. I’ve got all the supplies to start the first two, I just need to set time aside to do them. I love how they are finished into a book though. And speaking of books, have you seen the most beautiful book ever? Go look, I’ll wait, it’s worth it. WOW! That’s all I can say.

I also received the last of the 2008 Loose Feathers charts, or as Siobhan calls it, the Shrek glove.
Anyway, I think that’s all for me today. I’ll have my Shores start to show you soon, but I’ll wait until I have more than a black border to show you. Have a great weekend.

I am grateful for Saturdays.

Fit As a Fiddle

Well, Eric and I are both feeling much better. Thanks for all the healing words you left! And, I am so excited, Paulette posted my Twilight tag on her blog. Woohoo! So, after missing last week’s SAL day on the mermaids, I wanted to be sure to pick them back up this weekend. I am soooo close to finishing the page I’m on. It’s a small page, but hey, a page is a page. Above is what she looks like after Sunday’s stitching, below is how she looked last time.
After finishing At Home with Jane Austen, I decided I would pick up my Dorothy’s Garden. This is the piece that my guild members chose for me to finish this year as my MAGIC (My Annual Good Intentions Contract) piece. So, here’s how Dorothy looked the last time I worked on her – January of 2006 (I started this piece in 2004).
And here is how she looks now. I finished the roof slates, that knot motif and then started in on the flower basket below it. This is stitched over one.
I’m sort of dreading stitching on that house, but I think I’ll break it up and stitch on it between motifs. That should keep it from getting too overwhelming or monotonous.
With Valentine’s Day being on the horizon, I have a new little start. This is My Everything by The Sampler Girl. (and yes I know there’s more to the poem…but I really like these lines). I’m stitching with Tulip Belle Soie – luscious – on 32ct cream linen.
I had a little bit of mail over the weekend to share with you too… my Block of the Month for my Halloween Baltimore Album quilt. This is month two. And no you didn’t miss anything, I haven’t done month one.
New books – two are for my book club (one more on the way). I’m enjoying my Stephanie Plum book, but I’m almost finished with it. I’ll have to decide if I have time to read something else before my next book club.
Well that’s it for me…I’m off to get a case of Stitch Ass, as Siobhan calls it. Have a great week!
I am grateful for weekends with my husband.

Little to Show

It was a strange week last week. I hardly got any stitching done at all. I was hoping to have had more time for it, but several nights last week I just didn’t feel up to stitching. Friday and Saturday I did get a little time in on my Jane Austen piece. I am still loving this piece so much! I’ve just ordered the companion piece from Tanya as well. I stitched those two little trees next to the house, finished up the little framed heart to the right of the house and then started on the flower vine underneath. So pretty!

I also made a tiny bit of progress on Mele Kalikimaka this week as well. More sand. After the sand, there is sea and sky and a bit of cloud to stitch. This little thing is only about 2 by 2 inches…so it’s not very big. You can see how much sand I have left to stitch. I went ahead and outlined it because I was getting tired of counting. I didn’t figure it would matter much on a piece this size, even with the variegation of the silks.
The mailman visted me again on Friday, and brought my first kit for the Stacy Nash Primitive Handwork club over at Country Sampler. They are offering four exclusive kits throughout the year, and lucky me I joined at the last minute! I love the first kit and can’t wait to get started on it for Valentine’s Day. The back of the heart is done in cotton velvet and has a little scissor pocket in wool. The strawberry emery is done in wool too. Isn’t it sweet?
Yesterday I spent the afternoon sewing the remaining sleeves for Eric’s swords. I am pleased to have that project done. I also cut out the freezer paper templates for my little snowman basket applique block. I had hoped to get my fabric prepped to start the applique, but alas that didn’t happen. I did get my desk cleaned off, and some things scanned that had been waiting their turn. So, all in all, it was a productive weekend.
Of course, last night was time to pull out the mermaids for my SAL. Unfortunately, Eric was under the weather last night, so I stitched in a few little spurts of time, but didn’t really get in more than about half hour to 45 minutes. So, not much to show, but I wanted to post a photo anyway. I’m going to see if I can pick her back up tonight or tomorrow and put a few more stitches in. This is how she looked last week…
And here’s how she looks after last night’s stitching. I’m doing the darker shade there on her neck and a little more on her hand and arm. I stopped before I got to her back.

If you couldn’t tell, I am stitching from one page of the chart before moving on, so when I finish up with this page, I’ll be moving on to her tail probably. I’m still not sure about these blocks of color on her arm, but I am hopeful it will all come together. Maybe from farther away. I get sort of used to seeing her up close and personal. I am beginning to enjoy stitching on her though, and am glad that she’s seeing progress again.

So, I guess I did have more to show than I thought. Any stitching is good stitching in my book! I have a little secret project I am working on, so I may take a break from MK to stitch on that. I have a deadline I am trying to meet, and I’m not sure if it’s going to happen. But, I can try.
Here’s to a great week, everyone! Thanks for dropping by!
Oh, and last week my fitness/health intentions were:
Focusing on drinking water
Focusing on working out
Signing up for the wellness program at work and looking into the walking path in the building
I did the first two, and also printed out the map of the interior and exterior walking paths for the building (with mile markers). So, this week my intentions are:
Focusing on drinking water
Focusing on working out
Signing up for the wellness program at work
Meeting with someone inspirational
I am grateful for Eric feeling better.
P.S. – Glenna, the ginger ale last week was to help get me over a minor bout of food poisoning.

Mermaid Monday

Here it is Monday again, and I had a lovely weekend. I was not nearly as productive as I would have liked, but I did enjoy myself. On Saturday, I did end up watching two movies that I had never seen before. (You wouldn’t believe the stash of DVDs that have never been watched we have.) I chose Becoming Jane and then Miss Potter. I really enjoyed both of them. I stitched and watched and just enjoyed my afternoon. Granted there was more watching than stitching going on. Yesterday I started on a little project for Eric. He has a rather large sword collection, and until such time as we can determine how best to display some of them, we decided that sleeves would be the best protection. So, I spent a bit of my day cutting and then sewing sleeves for the swords. So, not a lot of stitching done yesterday. But, I did settle in last night with the mermaids for my weekly SAL with Anna.
Here’s last week’s photo, this week’s is up at the top of the post.

As you can see, I filled in more of her face and arm, and also started on her back and hand. Coming along! Last night I did figure out that stitching on the Q-snap (I was using an 11 x 17, I think), was really hurting my shoulder. I’ve been having problems with my right shoulder for a while now. All last week my shoulder was killing me, but I couldn’t figure out why. Shortly after I starting stitching last night, I realized that stitching in that q-snap was making my shoulder hurt worse. I’ve been stitching Jane Austen in hand, so I think the movement of going around the q-snap is what was doing it. So, I took the mermaids out of the frame and stitched in hand. I seemed to do better that way. So, you may be getting wrinkled photos from now on! I’m thinking that when I want to stitch in a q-snap, I’m going to have to use my floor stand to hold it, so that I can just leave my right hand underneath my fabric, without the back and forth movement. But, anyway, I am glad to have made a little more progress on Miss Mermaid.

And speaking of Anna, last week she gave an interview on her blog and offered to send interview questions to anyone who wanted to answer some. So, here is my interview…

1. The local news media shows up on your doorstep. It turns out your neighbor is a serial killer. You cannot say, “He was so quiet. This is such a shock. This kind of thing doesn’t happen here.” What do you say? (You can choose the neighbor.)
I’ve known for some time that those two have no respect for other people. They’re always letting their dogs do their business on our lawn, they park in front of our house (why not park in your own garage?), and their trash is always blowing around the neighborhood. But, really I think the thing that makes me wonder is that those two were always fighting – you could hear them straight from their house into ours through closed doors. And he was always spending his time playing those first person shooter videogames. Of course I’d have never suspected since he’s a cop, but you just never know these days. Will they be moving out?

2. What’s the greatest invention created in your lifetime?
I think I’m going to have to go with Anna on this one, since she answered her own questions. I would have to say Google (and of course, the implied internet).

3. What was your best job?
For this one, I probably have to go with when I was the Assistant Manager of a movie theater. I loved being around movies, especially working with the projectors. What I didn’t like was managing the teenagers that worked for me. I loved getting to see movies for free, and getting to bring home posters. And of course, screening the movies before they came out…that was fun.
4. Over the next 18 months, we’re all likely going to have to cut back. Where will you make these cuts? What luxury will fight to save? Will you actually come to blows? (That last one is a joke.)
Prior to Eric and I getting engaged, my finances were in the crapper. I had never learned how to manage my money. Eric taught me how to do that. And the first thing I did was look at where my money was going and where could I cut back. The first thing that went was eating out. I started bringing my lunch to work (which saved the moola and also helped me start losing weight). The second thing that went was the cable box. I gave up HBO and went back to basic cable. I started learning how to budget and eventually paid off all my debts. I was able to start contributing to my 401k for the first time in my life, and also to start putting money into savings. I say all of that because it made a huge impact on my life. Not having to live from paycheck to paycheck (and sometimes not making it from one to the next), is such a relief. So, Eric and I have continued on with such things as bringing our lunches to work, paying off our credit cards, contributing to our 401ks, etc. But, of course, when times get tough, the luxury items are the first to go – so eating out, although we don’t do it often, would probably go. The hobby expenses would go too. There are things that I would fight to keep, like the gym membership, and getting my nails done. I’ve done without the nail thing before, and could again, but it is a nice thing to do for yourself, if you can afford it. Ok, that was a way too long winded answer.

5. Are you a good speller?
I like to think that I am an excellent speller. There are some words that I seem to always have difficulty with – so I try to check myself. I do have spell-checker turned on for my work email as well as in Word. Of course, now that say that I think I’m an excellent speller I’ll most likely get evidence to the contrary from my readers. LOL!
Thanks, Anna for the interview – I hope my answers are acceptable. If any of you would like to partake in an interview from me, leave me a comment (and your email address if I can’t see it from your comment), and I’ll send out interview questions this week.
Hope you all have a fantastic week. In an effort to get back on track with my fitness goals, I thought I would set out my intentions for the week, and then I can check back in next Monday and see how I did. So, this week I am:
  • Focusing on drinking water
  • Focusing on working out
  • Signing up for the wellness program at work and looking into the walking path in the building
I am grateful for watching movies.