Episode 11: Project Roulette

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg podcast!  In this episode I share my first finished shawl, my 2016 stitching plan, and some wonderful gifts I received.

Show notes:

Finishes:

  1. Yowza Weigh It Shawl by Susan B. Anderson – using Miss Babs Yowza in the Zombie Prom colorway and size 8 Signature circulars.  Finished on 12/31/15
  2. Hare Pyns (not shown – you can see the finish here) by Patrick’s Woods
  3. EGA Nametag and Tudor Rose Sampler Guild Nametag

WIPs:

  1. Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs – I’m currently on the March block called A Wish for You; stitched on 40ct Vintage Examplar by Lakeside Linens with (mostly) the called for GAST and Crescent Colors threads
  2. Mistake Rib Scarf by Purl Soho – yarn is Lion Brand Homespun in color 338 Nouveau and I’m knitting with Size 10 Addi Turbos

Stash Enhancement:

  1. Erin Condren Good to Go Life Planner

Reading:

  1. Finished A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness in December
  2. You can see the complete list and reviews of my 2015 reads over on the Cozystyle blog here
  3. Currently reading Lara Casey’s Make it Happen and R.K. Ryal’s The Story of Awkward

Essential Oil of the Week: Valor

Valor

For more info on Young Living Essential Oils, visit my site here.

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Find me on Ravelry: cozyegg

I am grateful for being a knitter!

Finding the Joy in Creating

Hello-January-2

 

I hope the new year finds you happy and well.  It has been cold here the past few days, although true to Texas weather it looks like that will change in a few days.  As is often true of December, I’ve spent some time thinking about what I finished in 2014 and what I wanted to set as a goal for 2015.  I feel like at the end of each year I seem to feel that I didn’t accomplish “enough” and I vow to do better in the coming months.  But maybe the issue isn’t that I am lacking, but rather I need to reevaluate my perspective.  One of the people I most enjoy following on Instagram and Bloglovin’ is Amanda from Ms. McPorkchop Quilts (@heyporkchop).  In September she did a blog post about quietly creating and what she’s learned about what she enjoys about creating and why she creates and it really got me thinking.

My December was really a lesson in what isn’t working for me.  In the first week of the month I had a number of deadlines I was trying to make – finishing up a handmade swap, making some gifts for the guild board, and finishing two stitched ornaments.  Add on top of that the realization that I had not finished any of the pieces I’d put on my MAGIC (My Annual Good Intentions Contract) list to finish in 2014.  So, because I’m a glutton for punishment I made the executive decision that I would finish And They Sinned by the end of the year (or technically by January 6th when the guild meeting is).  So, I broke up the remaining area I had to stitch into equal parts so that I could see what I needed to get done each week in order to finish.  Of course, I didn’t really take into account all that other stuff I had to get done, or the fact that I was trying to finish the most densely stitched part of the entire piece in one month – a piece that thus far had taken me like three years.  But hey, hope springs eternal, right?  So, I did manage to get the swap, the ornaments, and the board gifts done and mostly by their deadline – but I was an absolute wreck doing it.  Add in the normal stress of the holidays and I was wound so tight no amount of eggnog was going to help.  As for And They Sinned, obviously you would know if I’d finished it because there would be fireworks and a band.  And possibly the Goodyear blimp.

Over the past week or so though, I’ve had a good bit of time to think about all of the above and what I could do to alleviate some of the pressure and not end the year feeling like a big failure.  So here’s what I know –

  • I don’t like deadline stitching/quilting – I work full time (sometimes more than full time) so I have limited amount of time to spend on crafty pursuits.  I’m also a slow stitcher/quilter so hitting a deadline is tough for me.
  • Swaps/Exchanges stress me out – I love the idea of swaps, I don’t like the pressure of worrying about if what I’m making is good enough/my partner will like it.  Plus, deadline.
  • I tend to toss a project to the side if I make a mistake or come to some creative decision fork in the road.  This is a big reason why I have so many WIPs.
  • I do better focusing on one project at a time rather than attempting to work in a rotation or jumping from thing to thing.
  • There is a lot of guilt/pressure associated with my stash – there are things I loved when I bought but years later I’ve yet to get to them, some I still love but some I no longer have any interest in.  But the sheer size of what is essentially a ginormous to do list weighs on me.
  • Blogs and Instagram are great sources of inspiration for me, but can also make me feel like I’m not good enough, not creating enough, etc.

For 2015, I’m going to try to keep all of the above in mind as I set my intentions for the year.  I did have my customary New Year’s Day start, because that’s a fun way to kick off the year.  I then went back to ATS though.  Once I let go of the self-imposed deadline, I was able to actually enjoy stitching on it.  I am making good progress on it, mostly because I’ve had some time off work and no place I needed to be.  It feels good to just focus on one thing and not worry about all the other stuff waiting in the wings.  I am going to focus my attention this year on working on some of my WIPs – one at a time.  The other thing I’ve already started, that I intend to continue, is whittling down my stash.  All those charts, projects, fabrics that don’t speak to me anymore are going – some I’m selling, some I’m donating, some I’m giving away to good homes.  I want to enjoy my time creating and know that the stuff I have taking up space in my closet are things I’m truly excited about and love.  I already know I have some deadlines for a few projects this year, so I’m going to spend some time in January to determine when those deadlines are and plan/kit what I’m going to do for those deadlines.  99% of what runs me right up on a deadline is trying to figure out what I’m going to do and gathering the supplies to start it.  I know I’ll be in a better position to make those deadlines if I go ahead and get the planning done.

One other thing I intend to focus on this year is my blog.  You may have noticed that the blog looks different.  I’ve been planning to move my blog over to my own domain for some time now, and it is finally moved.  If you go to the old blogger address you’ll be automatically redirected to the new location, so no worries there.  You may want to update your feed if you’re following me through Bloglovin’ or Feedly, etc.  The new address is here.  I’ve still got some tweaking to do, so everything’s in a bit of a mess right now, but I’m really excited to finally have everything in one place.  You can go to my home page and then from there you can get to either this blog (Cozy Egg) or my lifestyle blog (Cozystyle).  And since I have a nice shiny new space to blog in, it only makes sense that I should, you know, blog.  I really and truly do love Instagram – it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s fun.  But, the reason I started a blog, and the main reason I keep a blog is that I like to tell the story of what I’m creating.  So, I hope you’ll continue to join me here and check in on what I’m working on and how I’m doing with my 2015 plan.  I still have several things from 2014 that I want to share with you too, so more fun things to come.

Wishing you a wonderful start to 2015 and igniting that creative spark.

I am grateful for Pitbull, stitching grass, and twinkle lights. 

Snooty Turtle SAL

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I’m so bad at keeping up with SALs, I really am.  And yet, each and every time I’m presented with one I leap right in with both feet.  Hope springs eternal.  So, at the beginning of the year, a SAL began in one of the Facebook groups to stitch the Snooty Parrots Sampler by Barbara Ana Designs.  It’s an original design created to look like a repro, with intentional “mistakes” and all.  Super cute sampler, love the crowned parrots especially, and of course the A&E.  But, I was ending a year with so few finishes under my belt, and beginning a new year holding firm to my resolution that I would focus on And They Sinned, my Anniversaries of the Heart, and on a new start that I was planning on starting in Paris.  So, I decided no Snooty for me.  I am working on other things!  You see where this is going, don’t you?
So, after seeing a few January 1 starts on Snooty, and everyone I know seemingly joining in on the fun, I start to waiver in my conviction.  But, I somehow got it into my head that if I was going to stitch it, I wanted to stitch it my way.  My way equated out to wanting to stitch it on 45ct.  I’ve never stitched on higher than 40ct, and I’d really been wanting to give 45 a try.  So, I decide that with that personal challenge I will join the SAL.  Then began the task of getting 45ct fabric.  Well, no one local carries the 45ct (or had any at the time), so then I had to start looking for a place to order from.  I ended up contacting The Attic, and talked with Jean about what I wanted to do.  She didn’t have any of the called for fabric in 45ct currently, but suggested that I might give the 50ct a try.  In for a penny, in for a pound, right?  I mean, come on.  How big a difference could there be between 45 and 50?  So, I eagerly agree and say yes, I’d like to use the Tudor silks you recommend with it too.  And then Jean the enabler tells me, that by 50ct she really means the unevenweave that is 52 in one direction and 60 in the other.  Okaaaaayyyyyy.  I’d seen my good friend Robert‘s completed Crown Sampler on the 52/60 and it was gorgeous.  So, that’s what I ended up with.  I only got the three silks I needed to complete January’s part, because I figured I’d know at that point if this was going to kill me or not.  
My silks and fabric arrived, and boy that 52/60 count is teeny tiny.  But, everything was beautiful, so I got started.  What I will say about the high count linen is that you do need good light, it does help to use a hoop or q-snap to open those holes up a bit, and it takes a little while to adjust to it.  But, even though my first few nights of stitching were a little bit of a struggle for the first ten minutes or so, when I saw how it stitched up I was hooked.  Look how tiny and sweet!!!!!
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Why are things always way cuter tiny?  Seriously though.  And when Robert compared his 40ct start to my 52/60ct start, he started over on the 52/60ct.  It seriously makes the 40ct look huge!  Of course Robert’s already stitched 90% of his piece now after restarting, but we won’t discuss it.   
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I absolutely love this fabric, and the more I stitch on it, the more I love it and the easier it gets.  It used to take me, like I said, 10-15 minutes to get adjusted to it.  Now though, the only place I seem to have a bit of an issue is starting a new thread.  For some reason that just seems to take a bit of patience to make sure I’m in the right spot.
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It took me a little while but I did get my January part done and am working on February still (see why I titled this post Snooty Turtle SAL?).  And, the kind of fun thing is that I’ve stitched on Snooty here in Texas, in Paris, and in Kelkheim and Bavaria, Germany.  It’s been kind of fun to bring it along with me on my adventures this year.  
I’m getting close to the point on my Snooty that I need the rest of my silks in order to continue.  I’m excited to put some blues and browns in.  And I’ve seen some beautiful examples of Snootys with color changes – using blue for the alphabet instead of pink, using red rather than pink, etc.  It’s really fun to see what other people do with it.  That’s really the fun part of a SAL, isn’t it?
I’m hoping to get February’s portion finished up, minus the numbers that are in another color, soon and I’ll be sure to post my progress.  And seriously, the more I stitch on this tiny thing the cuter it gets.  I’m so glad I decided to challenge myself and try something new.  
Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments.  I always appreciate them.  My life kind of imploded between Thanksgiving and the end of January, so I know I was super absent from the blog, but I’ve got several new posts in the works and I intend to get back to my regular posting schedule.  
I am grateful for being inspired by other bloggers to get back into the swing of things.

Social Media

I’m finally getting around to getting my blog claimed over on Bloglovin.  After Google Reader went by the wayside, I looked around for a new way to keep up with the blogs I love and so far am liking Bloglovin.  Please zoom on over and follow cozyegg so you never miss a post!

As always, you can find me on Instagram and Twitter under my username cozyegg.

Thanks for checking in and reading!

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