Tesori Full 041010

Over the weekend I was a bit restless. And with our fourth anniversary on my mind (you can see a post on that here), I decided to pull out an old WIP to work on. This is Tesori d’Italia. Some of you may remember that I started this piece with the intention of giving it to Eric for our second anniversary. Yes, we are now at four and I’m still working on it. I love this piece so much, except for the border. That border I am not overly fond of. It seems so simple and quick, but when you realize that you have to go up and down that small stretch of landscape that you’re working on five times, it doesn’t look so simple anymore. That is probably why I stalled out on it after completing several of the inner blocks rather quickly. The photo above shows what the whole thing looks like after I started working on that corner on Saturday. Each block has accents of gold metallic in it, which you really can’t see in the photo above, but can see a little bit of in this photo.

Tesori 041110

This is where I left it on Sunday afternoon. You can see I still have a way to go on the border, but it’s getting there. These corners just require a lot of stitching. Thank goodness there are only four! I’d really like to work this back into my regular stitching again, because it is such a stunning piece that deserves to be finished and hanging on the wall. I am stitching this with DMC on white linen.

I wasn’t in the mood for ATS this weekend, and WMHB wasn’t holding my attention either. So, Sunday night when I needed to find something I could stitch in front of you-know-who I decided to pull out another old WIP, the Mystery Sampler by Papillon Creations that was in the Gift of Stitching magazine…a long long time ago.

Mystery Sampler 041010

Excuse my blurry and rather dark photo. This is what the piece looked like when I picked it back up to start stitching. I’ve finished parts one and two and am now moving on to part three. I stitched about fifteen stitches on the M when I put it down. Again, my restlessness set in and I didn’t end up doing anymore stitching. I’m stitching this on Silkweaver Sandcastle with HDF silks. Really a lovely stitch, but I just couldn’t focus.

So, that’s it for me. Hope you’re all having a lovely week.

I am grateful for learning to “dial it down”. Thanks, my friend.

Off to a Good Start

Good morning, all! I have so much to show you today! It’s been kind of a rough week though, so stitching has kept me sane. I am having allergy testing done today. It’s been seven years since I had it done initially, so it’s time to redo and see what’s changed in that time. In order to have the testing done, I had to be off my allergy medication for seven days prior. So, it’s been . . . interesting. Not actually as bad as I anticipated, but I am glad it will be over this afternoon! So, that’s what’s on the agenda for today (other than work, of course). So . . . what have I been up to? Well, above you can see my progress on At Home with Jane Austen. I am loving this piece. That pink line is the halfway mark, so you can see how much I have left approximately. I do have one issue though. I am stitching this from the design printed in The Gift of Stitching, and while I was aware of one error in the chart there (a symbol that was wrong), I was unaware of one of the motifs being off by two stitches. I’ve since looked at their corrections page and found that. So, I will be ripping out and restitching that top berry vine two stitches to the left. Since there is an echoing berry vine at the bottom of the design, I figured I’d rip out and restitch when I get down to that one. Totally my fault for not checking for corrections. The only reason I discovered there might be a problem was when I stitched that pink line and realized my top vine was a little too far to the right. But, I love love love this piece. I am trying to decide how I want to finish it. I am drawn toward finishing with a hem-stitched edge, as suggested. I do want to stitch the companion piece to this one, so I’ll want to finish both the same probably. The colors are just luscious for this piece too.

I’ve also been stitching a little bit on my travel piece. You may remember I started this one early last year. It is Mele Kalikimaka by Monsterbubbles from the 2004 JCS Ornament issue. This is over one with Silk N Colors on 32ct. (What is it with me and the over one lately?) I hope to have a finish on this sooner rather than later as well. I’ve made a good amount of progress on it lately. When I picked it back up again I stitched the sun, the little string of lights (sans string), and started on the presents. The sand and sky will totally be stitched as well, so please ignore the thread you can see from behind.

Also this weekend, I decided that I would pull out my little Valentine’s Day tabletopper quilt and work on it. I started quilting this some time ago, but decided that I wasn’t happy with the quilting, so I am pulling it out. It’s slow going because my old sewing machine had so many tension issues that sometimes the stitches are a reasonable length and distance apart, but sometimes they are teeny tiny and stacked almost on top of one another. I’m about halfway finished with the ripping out portion. I would love to get this requilted and finished in time for Valentine’s Day. Wouldn’t that be nice?
And, finally, yesterday was Mermaid SAL day with Anna. I feel like I made real progress on my girl this week. I have finished her hair minus the bling (Kreinik, beads and treasures), and moved on to her skin. I’m not sold on how that arm looks with the distinct definition between colors, but I hope once I get more done it will look ok. Here’s a question though. I’ve never stitched a Miribilia before, so for those that have…I notice that sometimes when there are colors butting up against each other, there are blank spaces. Do you just leave them, and they look ok, or do you fill in with half or quarter stitches, or what? Inquiring minds want to know.
Here she was as of last week…
And here she is after this Sunday’s stitching….
Big difference, huh? I like the bits of blue in her hair. I think I’m going to have to order my bling soon, so that I can at least do the Kreinik bits.
I’ll probably be back to Jane Austen tonight, if I’m feeling up to stitching. Oh, and I totally forgot…I did pull out Tesori d’Italia yesterday briefly and put a few stitches in it too. I hope to occasionally make some progress on it too, but I have to stitch it in secret, you know. Ok, so that’s it for me today. Have a great week!
I am grateful for feeling focused and enjoying my stitching – no pressure!

Back to the Plan

You may recall that in December I instituted a Plan for 2008. I wanted to cut down on the stash acquisition/new starts and focus more on finishing some of those many WIPs I have on the go. Currently I have 14 official WIPs (plus the Neighborhood RR, plus Snow Bunnies, plus those two Prairie Schooler bookmarks I’m about to start). Since instituting The Plan, I haven’t finished anything. Granted, I have done ok about not buying new stash really (mainly due to that whole pesky not having a job thing). It occurred to me the other day, as I was listening to a podcast – what would it be like to finish a project (or be close to finishing it) and to go out and purchase a new chart, fabric and thread for my next project. What would that be like? I’ve been re-reading A New Earth along with Oprah and friends (I previously read the book in a class a year or so ago). It is all about being in the present moment (same premise as his previous book, The Power of Now). And thinking about being in the present moment, made me realize that I am always thinking about the next thing, the new thing, where am I going to be after this. Perhaps, by getting to that place of purchasing the next project as you finish one, it allows you to be closer to that present moment. The celebration of finishing something with a new piece. Now, I know I am getting all philosophical about stitching, but the same could be applied to my books. I am currently reading four books officially (I think there are others I’ve started but never finished and forgotten about). I have more books than I know what to do with. That’s not to say I’m going to run right out and get rid of all the books. But, I think there is also something to be said for finishing a book, and then purchasing a new one. One that appeals to you right in that moment. I don’t know if I will ever get to that place of finish one/buy one. But, it seems like a good thing to work towards.

Based on The Plan, my first focus projects of the year are supposed to be Mystery 9, Tesori d’Italia and Barnabee’s Quest. I allowed myself a new start on January 1st (ok two new starts) – Red Thread series and Mermaids of the Deep Blue (both SALs). I think I’ve done really well the past month or so on Barnabee, since instituting Just Nan Sundays. I’ve finally completed Part 2, and as you can see above, I’ve made a good start on Part 3. This weekend I stitched the border, the row of pansies, the row of caterpillars, and made a start on the row of ducks (these are over one, so you know how that goes!). I’m really pleased with my progress, and I can definitely see a finish on the horizon. I am now reminding myself that Mystery 9 and Tesori both are needing to see some attention too. So, I’m going to try to get back with The Plan, and refocus my energy on what I already have started.

Just Nan Sundays will continue, and I hope that I can get in a little on the other two throughout the rest of the week. Let’s see how that goes. What’s that phrase – the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Well, let’s hope not.

The current state of affairs:
Stitching WIPs – 16
Total charts (not yet stitched) – 338
Reading WIPs – 4
Total books (not yet read) – 201

And just as an additional reminder to myself – reading those books and finishing my stitching WIPs are both on my 101 Thing List. I hope I haven’t bored you with all my meanderings here, it just is really hitting me that my overabundance of stuff is affecting all areas of my life, including losing weight. I think that by taking a serious look at this area, I can make some changes in others. Can getting rid of stash help you lose weight? We’ll see!

I am grateful for doing yoga this morning.

A Wednesday

I am feeling a little down today. I had a rough weekend, with what I think may have been food poisoning. I am sore from my workouts Monday and yesterday, and still waiting to hear back from the company I interviewed with on Friday. I think it went well, and I expect to hear from them this week – hopefully with good news. There is something else going on stitching-wise that really has me down, and I am not sure what else to do about the situation. Sigh. So that is what is happening with me.
Romeo’s dosage of insulin had to be adjusted again, but he seems to be doing ok with it so far. I am still keeping a close eye on him, but he is feeling well enough to be getting into trouble. So, I guess that’s a good sign.
As you can see above, I finished up my second artichoke (minus the specialty stitches and beads) on Mystery 9. I was really enjoying stitching on this. I figured it would be easiest to do all the specialty stitches and beading for the four corners once I had them all stitched. So, two more to go.
After I finished my artichoke, I restarted my Red Thread piece. I really cannot tell you how thankful I am that they replaced my fabric for no charge. And, it does appear that this fabric is the correct count. I counted my stitches as soon as I had stitched an inch, and found that I was getting 16 to the inch. Also, my box tops are now coming in at 2 1/2 inches instead of 2 3/4. You can see the difference between the old and new fabric in the photo. I am pulling out my stitching on the old fabric a little at a time, and I seem to be having no problem reusing the thread. That is also something I am grateful for, because I used up half a skein of my Weeks Cocoa stitching those box tops on the wrong fabric. My friend, Sherri, has already finished her February block and is working on the border. I am so far behind. The past week and a half I have only had thirty to forty minutes at most to stitch in the evenings, so everything is slow going.
During the day though, I was able to finish another block on Tesori between applying for jobs and running errands. This is the Trentino Alto Adige region of Italy, and the motifs here are for the coat of arms for the City of Trento (the eagle), apples from the Val di Non, snowflakes and mountain landscapes. I really enjoyed this block (maybe it was all the snowflakes). So, now I am finished with my blocks for last week, and still have my two blocks for this week to stitch. See – behind here also!
Here’s all of Tesori so far, this may be the last full photo I’ll show for awhile. I moved the piece from my 17″ q-snap over to a scroll frame in order to try to deal with this huge piece of fabric. But, since it will be rolled up, you won’t get a complete photo for awhile.
And since it is February (albeit the 6th already), I thought I would post some goals I’d like to complete for this month.
Get caught up on Red Thread SAL
Get caught up on Tesori
Stitch on Mermaids for the SAL with Anna
Stitch Carol’s RR
Restart my RR once new fabric received
Complete 250th post prize for Barbara
Finish For You if possible for Valentine’s Day
If time, stitch another artichoke on M9
Try to stay sane
A huge list of things to do this month, but really the majority of those really need to be done. I’d also like to fit in some writing time too, if that can be managed. Not sure when I can fit it in though, since I’m barely blogging and don’t have time to read blogs at all right now (sorry!!!). Ok, time to excuse myself since I am feeling so down.
Here are some more photos of New York, for your viewing pleasure!
This was a fabulous Italian restaurant we went to. The photo is a little blurry, but I loved the look of the colors and the Christmas tree – so cozy!
We walked through Central Park,
and saw the statue of Hans Christian Anderson
and the statue of Alice in Wonderland.
Central Park was really wonderful to wander through.
We went to Radio City to see the Rockettes in their 75th annual Christmas Spectacular.
Before the show, we sat on the edge of this fountain and had hot dogs from a street vendor. Mmm!
After our show, we stopped at Grand Central to take some photos of the inside. You can’t see it in the photos, but the ceiling is painted with constellations – so pretty!

I am grateful for the kindness of friends.


I finished another block on Tesori. This is the Abruzzo region, which was the second block I needed to stitch for last week. I am hoping that when I get to the center map, I can get caught back up. The motifs for the Abruzzo region are: the coat of arms from the City of L’Aquila (the eagle), red deer and mountains for the Abruzzo National Park, the ancient fountain of Sulmona, and honey. I enjoyed stitching this one, it seemed to go pretty fast too, once I got started.

Here’s the whole thing so far. The piece is going to be four blocks across, so I have one more to go on that top row. It is also going to be six blocks down, so I have four more rows after I finish these two I’m working on. This week’s blocks are going to be the one next to Lazio and the one next to Abruzzo. Wish me luck and speedy fingers!

In other news, I think my Red Thread fabric issue has been resolved. Thanks so much for reassuring me that I am not the only one who doesn’t check my fabric count. I received my replacement fabric from the ONS and it does not appear that they charged me for it. I am so grateful for that!! I will definitely be checking my fabric in the future though! So, this weekend I will pull my thread out of the other piece of fabric in the hopes that I can salvage the thread as well as that fabric (it would be good for ornaments!). Then I’ll get started again on my new piece. I’m only a month behind now. I received Carol’s Neighborhood RR in the mail yesterday as well, so I’ll need to make a start on it.

I had my four-month fitness evaluation on Monday at the gym. I am feeling very proud of myself. My strength has vastly increased, my endurance has increased, my heart rate is lower. I’ve lost an inch in my chest, two inches in my waist, four inches in my hips, and an inch and a half in each thigh! Pretty good, huh? I’ve lost six pounds on the scale, which is great since I’d been hovering at the same weight for awhile. My total loss to date is 38 pounds!! Woohoo!!

I only stitched for about 45 minutes last night. My computer has really been acting up lately, so Eric spent a lot of time trying to figure out the problem last night. I may have a drive that’s failing, which is causing problems. He should be able to replace the drive with no problem though – and everything should be backed up. I did use my 45 minutes to stitch a little more on Mystery 9, though not enough progress worth showing. So, I’ll share some more New York photos instead.

On Tuesday of our stay, we went to see The Cloisters. It was all medieval pieces, and in such a beautiful setting. The whole building was decorated for the holiday, but in keeping with the surroundings.

Beautiful, isn’t it? I just loved all the stone and stained glass, just lovely. Until next time, stay warm!

I am grateful for a great resolution to my fabric issue.