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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Oh, and one more thing...

Just a little happy dance for a personal goal - I've lost a total of 15 pounds now, since I began working out 5 months ago. It has been what seems VERY slow going at times, but I am still not "dieting" - only trying to be more aware and not put quite so many sweet and fat foods and drinks in my body. I've not completely met my goal yet (which would be a total of 20-25 pounds lost), but I am still working towards it, and still making myself go to the gym and work out an average of 3 times a week.

I may need to go buy a new pair of jeans! :D But just one new pair this time. I'm going to be optimistic that I will eventually reach my goal, and maybe even this year! Hard work, persistence, and patience are required, and I'm just really pleased that I haven't given up even though the occasional obstacle has been thrown my way.

Snow Leopards and Pumpkins and the end of September

I can't believe I forgot to show off my progress on the big guy! Here he is - I worked on his left side and hip (which is to say, the right side of the design).

Snow Leopard progress

On Trick or Treat, it's a little difficult to see band #1 in the upper left corner - it's a tent stitch, done with only 1 strand of floss, and that floss is very close in value to the fabric color. I may go back and add a second strand (or I may change it to the darker value of that color). Of course, I've just realized I've done a whoopsie and stitched the inner border in the wrong color, so I may need to frog that tonight (unless I just decide to change the next border segment to that color). And I thought I was doing so well...:(

Trick or treat so far...

It's the end of September, and it really feels like it weather-wise around here. The past couple of mornings, the temperature has been in the 50's (F) when I leave for work, with highs mostly in the 70's. But it does seem as if we just started September, and where did it go?

Several television shows have debuted, and we've watched two of them which seem pretty interesting - Jack and Bobby (C calls it Jack and Diane, lol), and Lost. They both seem to have potential. We might try out Desperate Housewives too, although it just figures that it's on at the exact same time as Jack and Bobby. The cast is the main thing that draws me to want to give it a go - Felicity Huffman (Sports Night), Teri Hatcher (Lois and Clark), and Nicolette Sheridan (Knot's Landing) are all actresses I enjoy watching. There is also some mystery involved with a death that initially seems to be suicide, but may not be... I think the whole "if I could be a fly on the wall" concept intrigues me. We'll see.

Happy end of September!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Rotation, round 6!

And I get to start it off with a cute little Halloween project, Trick or Treat

If you're curious as to what this is supposed to look like when finished, check it out in Avid Stitcher's gallery

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Ooh, I found a new Farscape trailer!

For the mini-series premiering October 17:

Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars

Really, really, really looking forward to this one!

In stitching news, I worked on Snow Leopard last night and will do the same again tonight. Hopefully I'll get a bit more done tonight because I don't have to spend an hour grocery shopping and then putting things away. Still working on the right side... I'm trying to finish up one part of the graph, and then I'll move on to the next project, which is... well, the beginning of Rotation the 6th. I'm thinking it's a cute little Sweetheart Tree Halloween-y project that I can kit from stash only...

Monday, September 27, 2004

Pictures of framing

Tabby Cat Sampler, framed
The Black Cat, framed

And, without showing the design, this is the framing for Castles By the Sea
Castles by the Sea, frame corner
And this is my problem with it -- the line at the top is the spacer

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Smokey gets a paw

Just a quickie update, because I'll be on my way to Lebanon again in a few minutes to visit my brother and parents (and take new pics of Spice for the State of TN) - here is Smokey's latest progress, click the thumbnail for a larger photo and more information.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Pictures hopefully soon...

I picked up the rest of my framing after work today (Castles by the Sea, Tabby Cat Sampler, and Bent Creek's The Black Cat). I like the frame of Castles, but the spacer is very visible to me, so I may have to take that out and re-do it. Now that I have seen my Black Cat, I think I'd rather have it behind glass. I don't know why I originally thought no glass (especially since I matted it). And, le sigh, my choice of framing for the Tabby Cat Sampler really strikes me as wrong, washes out the piece, etc. I think it either needed a navy suede mat or a navy frame. I opted for a silver frame, and I'm just not happy, but what can you do? I'll probably take it to Anita too (when I take Dragon Heart), and see what she thinks.

I'm still working on Smokey (Moonstruck), and I'm filling in lots of the little scattered stitches on that right front leg of his. Once I get that done, I'll post a pic of it too, and move on to the Snow Leopard - two kitties back to back. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Distracted, again...

It happens every time I decide I need something different to listen to in the car or at work.

I need a new compilation CD. Or I have songs on 45, LP, or tape that I really want to listen to again. Tonight it's a combination of the two.

I'm sitting here at the computer, recording, ripping, and recording. :)

Jamiroquai, Basia, Backstreet Boys, Olivia Newton-John, Partridge Family, Kenny Loggins... just to name a few. Yes, I have eclectic tastes. I'll probably end up buying one of those portable MP3 players, I'm just waiting for the right time and price. :D

Oh, I brought my doily in here with me, but I'm distracted by all the dancing and singing-along (but I'm keeping it down so I don't bother the boys with their game night). ;)

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

SBQOTW: Small or large?

Do you stitch small projects one at a time that you can finish quickly, have numerous large projects going at once that you rotate, or both? How does your current system work for you and have you thought about changing it?

Well, if you've looked at my cross stitch pages and read this blog, then you've quickly realized that I am not a one-at-a-timer. Unless it is a very small project that I can finish in under about 10 hours, I rotate, and I actually have a slot for small projects in my rotation so that I get to happy dance pretty frequently.

My current system is one that has been working for 5 months now. I have tweaked it multiple times since I started rotating. At first I had no system, and then I tried several times putting all of my works in progress into the rotation, which didn't work, because I only got to see each project about once every 6 months or so. And since most of those projects are large, it takes a very long time to finish them. So back in April I came up with my new rotation - I put all of the WIPs I have into about 6 major categories: small projects/samplers, Black Swan, TW, BAPs, Kits (like Dimensions and Lanarte), and All Others. I generally get all the way through the rotation once per month. I'm happy to report that 7 of the 9 finishes I've had since the first round of the rotation in April were from my rotation. I now have 28 projects going (I started out the year with 30, started a lot more since then, but finished all but one of my starts this year). I also have approximately 40 projects not yet started, but already kitted and ready to go. Other charts (and magazine designs) - too numerous to count. My goal is to eventually really reduce my WIP list. I've been crazy with start-itis over the past few years, and the anxiety of having this many projects already started (so that I feel guilty about starting something new) has forced me to make some changes. I joined a StRIP club to help me reach my goals.

SBQOTW: Shop Dreams

If you could design your dream needlework/cross stitch shop, what would it be like?

Already did, XXX - The Ultimate Stitching Store! :)

I've been working a little on Smokey (Moonstruck), and have been really pleased with my mood while working on him - he's stitched on black and he does have quite a bit of confetti stitching, so that can be a little aggravating sometimes, but I've been working my way down his right paw, and I've really been enjoying him. I'm looking forward to working on him again tonight. I would like to get the right front leg/paw complete before moving on to the snow leopard again.
I also actually got to work out with my trainer Clifford (not the same as Tornado Clifford) last night. I haven't seen him at the gym in what seems like a month. We did some upper body work (since I had done some lower body work Monday night), and so now I'm just sore all over. But it's a good sore. :) At least I seem to have more energy, especially good for stitching! :D

Monday, September 20, 2004

Long-awaited Happy Dance!!!

After restarting this project on new linen, with all new supplies in 2002 (originally started in 1997), Dragon Heart is finally finished! I put the final beads on last night around 7:00 p.m. I plan to take it to Anita (my framer) at her new shop soon to see what we can come up with for framing. It really deserves something special, and she always pulls out the perfect combination of frame and mat (if it seems to call for matting). I do need to give it a wash, but it doesn't seem to have as many cat hairs as some of my other projects, very surprising I know. ;)

My Smokey boy gets to come out to play now.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Legends, framed

Here is my Legends of the Dragons, framed! :)

I think the frame really complements the border. I've used this frame moulding once before, on Cymberleah.

I actually stayed awake and at the Moonlight stitch until about 11:30 or 11:45, probably only because once I got home yesterday from the haircut/visiting my parents, I took a nap for about 30 minutes, LOL. Even Pat (the owner) congratulated me on my ability to stay awake that long. :D
The yard sale was, eh, pretty pathetic for Mom and myself. We both found a couple of little things (I found a nice "little black dress" for $4), but no really fantastic deals. Oh, well.
I received good news and bad news in Lebanon. The bad news: my hairstylist, who has cut my hair for over 20 years now, is having to retire for health reasons. I was afraid this day would come because she has asthma, and she deals with those chemicals daily. I hope, however, that she is able to rest and get better, because I know she has been struggling with this for a while, and it has, of course, gotten progressively worse. I will miss her friendship as well as her expertise.

The good news: my dad has Spice in his garage right now. He has spent some time taking off some of the damaged pieces of the fender, really examining the damage, and planning the repairs. He showed me the areas where the adjuster had said there might be "hidden damage" - and there is NONE in those areas!!! He basically walked me through some of the other areas where, if there was damage, the car would be more expensive and difficult to repair. It was good to see for myself, even though I have very little knowledge of car repair / body work, the actual damage to the car, and how it can be fixed. Even the driver's side door opened with no trouble, once he took off a part of the fender that had been damaged! I realize more and more how fortunate I was that the crash happened exactly when and where it did. Both for me and for Spice. Just a couple of more inches / seconds later, and we both would have been much worse off. I am so excited now, having seen no cracks, dents, etc., in those "hidden" areas. And I know how fortunate I am that my father knows and can do so much, and knows so many people who know so much about auto body repair.
Okay, well I'm off to do laundry, stitch, and watch racing and football!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

A little update

Before heading out to the big yard sale, I've scanned in Fantasy Sampler's progress.

Tonight I'll be working on Dragon Heart at the Moonlight Stitchin!

Friday, September 17, 2004

TGIF again!

Clifford, the little tornado, didn't come over last night because Game Night got canceled, so I was able to work on Fantasy Sampler without too many distractions. I got about 75% of the pegasus stitched, and hope to finish that up tonight and start the backstitching around him.

Saturday's going to be a busy day - Mom and I are planning on checking out a huge neighborhood yard sale in the morning, I have a haircut/trim in the afternoon, and Saturday night is the Moonlight stitching at my LNS. I think it's 6pm until midnight, but I know I won't last that long. Fortunately, I think Sunday looks like a quiet day of stitching, racing, and laundry.

Here's hoping that everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Finally we have an agreement

We interrupt this blog post to bring you this important announcement:

After more than three weeks of back-and-forth with the insurance company, the body shop, and advice from several fields, we have finally come to a settlement agreement. I won't go into the details (trust me, you don't want to read the 5 pages of details I wrote to document this whole ordeal, plus the folder I've been keeping notes, receipts, reports, etc.), but the lesson I've learned [other than don't have another car wreck] is you must be diligent and not just accept what the insurance company says if you think they're wrong. Research and document, ask experts questions, and challenge single quotes. It also doesn't hurt to have your father give you advice and prod you to continue to challenge initial offers, especially if he's familiar with car repair.

The result: I still have to jump through a few hoops, and it will be a little while, but I WILL have my car repaired, with more resources than the insurance company was initially offering. My persistence in pursuing the FAIR amounts for everything involved resulted in an additional $1100-1500 (depending on how you calculate it) to use for repairs. The fact that they won't just repair it still irks me, but apparently that's just how things work. They would rather pay more to total the car than they would repair it, and that just doesn't make a lot of sense in my little world. So fine, "total" it, I'll buy it back for salvage, and I'll have a very competent guy (who does this for a living) fix it himself.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled doodle-blog post.

Not having a resolution to the car situation last night (that didn't come until today) had an impact on my stitching. I nearly finished up the square border work on FS, but didn't get started on any of the pegasus. Maybe I'll be able to focus better tonight. I hope so. I'd really like to make some good progress on the peggie. Of course, it's game night, and if Clifford, the little tornado, comes to visit, I may not have as much concentration as I'd like. We'll see...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Take that, you frogs!

So last night I spent a little time unpicking all those stitches I did the night before in the wrong color. Then I stitched them back in the correct color. And I stitched a few more, and a few more. I almost have the upper left corner square stitched now (well, except for the pegasus - I have NONE of him stitched yet). I'm really having fun stitching on this! I think it's partly because of the colors, partly because of the lack of a ton of confetti stitching in this area. Plus, there aren't quite as many blends and a lot of whole stitches (vs. tons of quarter/three quarter stitches in a lot of TW's borders) here. Don't get me wrong, I love the look of the blends, but I like it much better when I can loop start. It's just a little quirk I have.

However, I've realized that I will need to unstitch and restitch at least some of the lazy daisies in the center part - that whole "not paying attention to directions" thing. I stitched them all the same color, and some are supposed to be lighter. I don't know if you can tell, but here is Mine vs. correct - in the blue band in the middle, I stitched all of the lazy daisies with the dark mauve color. The bottom row is supposed to be alternating dark mauve with medium mauve (probably 315 and 316, but I can't remember for sure). Anyway, I don't think it's a big deal, and I'll probably do it when I get back to working around that section.

I can't wait to get stitching on it again tonight. And I really need to finish up that light blue doily that I haven't worked on in over a week now. Soon, soon...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Stupid is as stupid does

Bleah, I just hate when I make stupid mistakes.

Like last night when I decided to start stitching the border of Fantasy Sampler.

I looked at the chart, then looked at the key. Saw that symbol X = DMC 420. Saw DMC 420 in my floss box. Picked up DMC 422 instead (because it was right beside 420). Proceeded to stitch for at least an hour before realizing that I was stitching with 422 instead of 420. By then it was time for bed anyway, so I know what I have to look forward to this evening.

I'm gonna have to bring out the blender for those darn frogs!

Monday, September 13, 2004

A good weekend

Woohoo, my boys won this weekend against Oakland! And I liked how they played their first game of the season. They looked a lot better than last year, not making as many mistakes and critical turnovers. It's kind of hard to believe it's already football season again. Autumn is right around the corner...

I managed to just get in the final stitches last night of Row L on Nova, but it was so late that I haven't yet taken a new picture. Maybe tonight I'll try to get that done.

I get to bring out Fantasy Sampler and work on it for the first time in almost a year now! Quite a few "new" projects I get to work on starting with this and the next round of the rotation.

It's been nearly 3 weeks and still no "official" word yet on my car. I'm really starting to get peeved (and that's putting it nicely). I know that the adjuster has finally been to the body shop, but when I called the insurance company on Friday, they gave me some runaround about, well, I might hear something Tuesday or Wednesday. Well, I'd better hear something really good, or I'll be shopping elsewhere for all of my insurance needs.

Here's hoping this is a good week. I'd really rather not be in a bad mood about the car - it tends to affect everything else I do.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Teeny, tiny happy dance

Wow, I just started this on the 7th, and today I put the last few little stitches into it. Take that, StRIP List!

I also crocheted 2 more squares for the 63 squares crochet-along, #25 and #26, both shell patterns.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

I thought I would finally get around to answering the Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week for the past 3 weeks (yikes, I'm behind!)
Designer Wishes - What would you most like your favourite designer to design next?
I think I would love to see a fabulous underwater / Atlantis / Neptune / Poseidon scene.
Patience is a Virtue - Do you feel cross stitching requires patience?
In some ways, yes, especially if you are working on a large or complicated design. Or if you've miscounted and have to frog (rip-it, rip-it) an area.
Er... What do you do again?? - How do you explain cross stitch to non-cross stitching people? Do they get it or do they say "Oh, right.. you do knitting then (or sewing, or needlepoint)?"
It depends on the person and their true level of interest in the answer. Those who are not really interest, just making conversation who say "oh, you do knitting then (or sewing, or needlepoint)..." I generally tell them it's similar and leave it at that. Those who are genuinely interested, I tend to bring out a WIP and the model photo and pattern, and show them what cross-stitching is, a way of creating a picture or "piece of art" with thread and fabric.

I've started the Yorkie, and I've also been working on the solid light blue doily. It is now almost to the same point where I've had to abandon the variegated aqua one. I don't know if I'll get any stitching in tonight, because I have to go help someone with their computer / web site, sigh. Is it Friday yet?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

More of my 3-day-weekend's fun

Snow Leopard is getting a left arm, his paw is mostly done. And you know what? This project is almost as complicated as a Teresa Wentzler, with all the blends (mostly using 3 strands for cross stitch on 28 count monaco - very tight sometimes!). Fortunately, there aren't any ¼ stitches, or I might be pulling my hair out.

Progress through September 6

Alas, I'm afraid that a doily I started several months ago and recently picked back up to work on will end up a UFO because I can't find any variegated crochet thread to match. I've tried several places, and I think the manufacturers have discontinued this color. It's not really a blue - it's more an aqua / turquoise. I've actually restarted this one in a light blue, and I like the way the pattern is turning out. I've tried Wal-Mart, Joann, Michael's, and looked through the Herschnerr's catalog, all with no luck. I'll keep looking, because it really is nearly finished.
The start of the crocheted doily

Monday, September 06, 2004

Labor Day Weekend's Labors

Just a smidgen of what I've been working on this weekend (well, of course, I've been working on several things).

Scott's Ships is finally starting to come together. I have all of the 42 blocks pieced, but before I can assemble them, I have to add sashing strips. I think it's going to look wonderful in the end, but it's a lot of work to get there! Every time I say I'm going to do something simple next, but I always seem to add some level of difficulty - something I've not done in previous quilts.

Joann's was having a sale on quilting fabrics, and I managed to find some more of the fabric I was going to use for the sashing strips originally! So I picked up a couple more yards of that, as well as some wonderful quilter's flannels to use as quilt backings for upcoming quilts. I also got a couple more spools of thread (color - natural) that I use frequently in machine piecing.

Anyway, here is Scott's Ships quilt blocks with sashing so far:

Friday, September 03, 2004

Finally, the reveal!

Last night we held a double baby shower at my LNS for Taneya and Kem, who are both due in October. And now I can reveal what the "super sneaky cross stitch gift" was: In the Arms of an Angel for Taneya. Here she is with it, and I'm so pleased that she loves it!!

Happy Labor-Day-Weekend-FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Thunderstorms Thursday

Last night was dinner out with my girlfriends at Red Lobster, yummy and a load of fun and giggles.

Today it's been raining quite a bit. It stopped midday, but then started back up again. I actually enjoy the rain - when I'm home on the couch or in the bed! Not so much when I have to drive in it.

I'm looking forward to Sit n Stitch tonight, as I didn't get any stitching done last night. I did work just a bit during lunch yesterday on Trellis Sampler - still stitching the trellis, trying to get it finished up so I can start filling in the various sections.

I just found out that my LNS is having a one-day framing sale on Monday (Labor Day), 75% off all in-stock moulding (pre-paid framing). I may need to take in Legends and Tabby Cat... Deals like that don't come around very often.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

August and September goals

August goals:
  •  Crochet 3 more squares on the 63 squares afghan
  •  Work on Scott's Ships quilt
  •  Get really, really close to finishing In the Arms of an Angel (aka super sneaky cross stitch gift)
  •  Make it through another round in the rotation
  •  Finish the Tabby Cat Sampler
  •  Finish the little Make It/Take It seashells pillow from Myrtle Beach
  •  Finish Castles by the Sea and figure out which of my TW wips will go in that slot for next month
  •  Find some bellpull hardware and finish the Mini Mystery E finishing!

I did pretty good last month in finishing most of my goals. I almost made it through the rotation, but spent almost a week doing nothing but thread crochet, so I've only just started on Snow Leopard's slot as of yesterday. I also have not yet found the bellpull hardware - so I'm going to try once again this month to do that.

I also did really well StRIPping this month - I finished 4 cross stitch projects!

Similar to last month's goals, here is what I'd like to accomplish in September:

September goals:
  •  Crochet 3 more squares on the 63 squares afghan
  •  Work on Scott's Ships quilt
  •  Start Yorkie (gift)
  •  Finish Dragon Heart
  •  Make it through another round in the rotation
  •  Crochet another doily
  •  NO new stash purchases! 
  •  However, I am allowed find some bellpull hardware and finishthe Mini Mystery E finishing!