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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Plugging away

Well, after spending an evening with the cute little purple dragon (I'm 77% through the first Spyro now), I spent last night (while watching Minority Report again - good movie!) working on Scott's Ships, and managed to get one more completed. That's 4 down, one more to go to make this month's goal. ;)

I also have a new picture of the Vacation Mile-a-Minute afghan, with 6 of the 9 inner panels started.

lemon, grape, mint, papaya, sage, and light blue

I also started panel #7 in peach.

The plan is to work on the quilt again tonight. If I can get this block finished, then I'll have the entire upper right section of it quilted. Then I can get back to a little bit of cross stitching. Fantasy Sampler is up next. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Thank you

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all of the wonderful comments (and such praise!) on my Nova. It has been a wonderful journey, and I really appreciate your sharing it with me!

Just to show that I've not been resting on my laurels, I have another finish! I didn't really think it would take very long, and once I set my mind (and fingers) to it, I finished up Trellis Sampler last night. I think I'll just leave my crochet and knitting in my 'travel projects' slot for the time being.

It's game night once again, so I think I'll go spend a little time with a cute purple dragon. ;-)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Nearly 8 years in the making

And last night, finally finished! May I proudly present... NOVA!

Nova is now at Midtown Gallery and Framers, along with Smokey (Moonstruck), Snow Leopard, Butterfly Fantasy, and Sitting Pretty. Anita and I found the perfect framing combinations for each and every one of the pieces. We set it up so that I'll be getting them back staggered about every couple of weeks (won't that be neat - almost like a gift to myself every couple of weeks, since they are all staying home with me, not being gifted to anyone else!).

Mel and I went and watched Bewitched this afternoon. We almost didn't watch it together because of miscommunication (on my part, I'm certain - it's one of those "assume" things I do every once in a while, and it nearly bit me on the behind!). She was at one theater, and I was headed towards another one after I left the framers'. Really good thing we talked on the cellphone and she asked where I was, because I was NOT headed in her direction. Whoops! I turned off at the next exit and made it to the correct theater with just a few minutes to spare. Anyway, I thought it was a cute movie. It made me want to get the Bewitched DVDs and start watching them. ;-)

C's at work today, helping out with inventory, so I think I'm going to go into the craft room for a bit and work on a couple of Teresa's quilt blocks. Oh, and I think that Mel is starting to feel better, so we may get back to stitching on Mini Perle soon. I told her I'd wait for her - when she's ready, we'll get back to our stitch-along. Hopefully that will be in the next week or two. :)

And with Nova's finish, I'm down to 25 cross stitch WIPs now! MAJOR happy dancing here. Now I only have one more project as old has Nova (started in 1997) - and of course, it's another BAP (Gothic Castle), so it will be the perfect piece to move into that slot in the next round of my rotation.

Oh, and I nearly forgot - the vacation afghan I was referring to is the "Mile-a-Minute" afghan in my projects list. Sometimes I forget what I've called it, and refer to it in a different way. It's title is officially "Mile-a-Minute Vacation," so I tend to call it either the vacation mile or vacation afghan, or "the one that's not the 63 squares afghan."

Friday, June 24, 2005

It ALWAYS takes longer than you plan for

I finally got to leave work last night at 9:30, but the good news is that our project was a success. Oh, sure, there are always minor things that still have to be tweaked, but at least now it is done and we can move forward from here. I'm just sorry that I missed going to Sit n Stitch.

Enough about work! It's Friday, woohoo! And, as promised, here is the pic of Nova, with just 9 more squares left to do.

Barring any unforeseen complications, I should have a happy dance this weekend. :)

Mel and I are also planning on going to see Bewitched. It looks better than I initially thought it might, so we'll see. And if I can get myself together, I might take a few pieces in to my framer and see what we can do about getting them ready for my walls. :)

HAPPY FRIDAY once again!!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Spyro-addicted slacker

Okay, so not really, but I did play ALL evening Tuesday, from the time I got home from work until bedtime, with a short break for supper.

Last night while we watched some more Star Trek Voyager (season 4) DVDs, I worked on Nova some more, and I have all but 9 squares finished! I didn't have time to take a picture and download it before we went to bed, but I will definitely take one and post it before I work on it again, which should be tomorrow.

The plan for tonight is a little overtime at work - we've got a project that we're supposed to be implementing just after business hours, and if it goes smoothly, I should be able to head over to Sit n Stitch and visit with all the girls, including Taneya and Kaleya. Fingers crossed that everything goes according to plan and in a timely manner!!!! I'll be taking the Vacation afghan and Trellis Sampler with me - two nicely portable projects.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tiny bubbles

Here's Merrick's progress from the SAL weekend. I added some bubbles and his robes got a bit more work.

Back to Nova now - oh, and on a scale of 1 to 10, I personally would rate it a 6. Many of the squares are duplicates of other squares with different colors, so once they are learned, stitching them isn't really difficult, it's more a matter of keeping track of where you are and with what color. There are 396 squares in Nova (22 rows of 18 squares each), so it will also take some time to complete. I can't believe I'm almost there! Granted, there was a lot of time I did not work on it, but it has been a Work in Progress since 1997.

And Spyro is whispering to me again, since it's Game Night...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

A pic to tide you over

Here's my latest picture of Nova (at 95% now!), while I work on Merrick some this weekend...

To all the wonderful fathers out there, especially my own, Happy Father's Day!!!! I love you Dad.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Sit n Stitch!

Before delving into today's post, I feel I must clarify yesterday's post based on the comment I received. By no means do I think of crochet as a "mindless" craft. I was only referring to the particular part of the pattern I am stitching at the moment. Once you have it down, you can sit there and crochet it without having to think about it much (and count and re-count, as is often the case in some patterns to make sure you've got it correct). This particular part is a combination of 4 double crochets, 3 chains, and 2 double crochets, 3 chains, turn, over and over again (nearly 100 times). It is only in that way that I think of it as "mindless." I LOVE it though. Sometimes I need something simple, and most times I look forward to something complex. I enjoy the entire spectrum, and I certainly didn't mean to offend.

So, what did I decide to work on at Sit n Stitch? Both! Well, the way it worked out, I was really into that inner section of the vacation afghan - Pat was working on some knitting at the time, and another woman was tatting when I got there. I had only brought the one color of yarn, so I worked on it most of the time I was there, until I finished that section, and then I pulled out Trellis Sampler and started working on it a bit more - just a few stitches in the flower-y sections. I know if I really put my mind to it, I could finish it up quickly too. Maybe after Nova...

I need to take another pic of Nova - I have a couple more squares done, so that all of Row T is finished! I'll definitely do that tonight before I start working on it again. Sooooo close now....

Happy Friday everyone!!!!!

Ohmigosh, I can't believe I nearly forgot! This is our Monthly Black Swan Designs Stitch-A-Long weekend! Merrick will definitely be getting some attention - wow, this month is already half-gone (where the *heck* did it go????). Come stitch-along!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

No clever blog title today

I had a blast playing Spyro Tuesday night (well, after I finally got off the computer - I bought enough songs on iTunes to make us 2 more CDs, which I then had to make...). And then I played a little more after work and before I went to meet the girls for dinner last night, and I've just made it to the Magic Crafters World.

So tonight I plan to go to Sit n Stitch at the Stitchin Post. I'll bring along Trellis Sampler (which hasn't seen the light of day since April or May) and my vacation afghan. Who knows which one I'll work on - I guess it depends on my mood at the time (simple, almost mindless crochet, or more complex with specialty stitches cross stitch).

I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday. It just seems like this has been a long week already.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Game Night!

It's Game Night at our house tonight - the guys will be coming over to play Madden NFL, and I've decided I should have Game Night too, so Spyro and I have a date with the PSOne in the bedroom. ;)

As promised, here is Nova - 16 squares on Row T.

Monday, June 13, 2005

With heavy heart

I am posting a fond farewell to Nubbins, who lived 20 full years with one of my closest friends. The world will be a little quieter without her sweet little kitty-girl.

Weekends are fabulous

Have I said lately how much I love weekends? Yesterday especially was great. We made a pot of chili (starting pretty early in the morning), and once we got it going, I set to work on baking some chocolate chip cookies - we specifically didn't buy any cookies at the grocery Saturday because I had planned to bake some. I wrapped those up just after lunch, and while we watched the race, I quilted another block on Scott's quilt. Oh, and Saturday night I also crocheted block #56, the snapdragon stitch. I didn't get that second row put together, but this block looked nice and quick, I went ahead and worked it up.

I haven't yet taken a photo of last night's progress on Nova, but will do that before I start working on it again. I got most of Row T finished (except for 2 blocks) last night, and it is looking SO cool.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Square #55 - Parallel Post Stitch

Now that I've finished square 55, I have enough to attach another row of squares together. I don't expect to have enough time to do that tonight, but possibly tomorrow. I also quilted one square on Scott's Ships today, and I crocheted a hat!

It's called UBW (Ugly But Warm) Hat and the free pattern is from Crochet bythehook. And I don't think it's ugly at all - now I have a new hat for winter. This was a dry run to see how my gauge would be, if I could crochet something other than an afghan or doily, and how the hat looked when finished. I definitely need to get a new crochet hook and possibly modify the pattern to make it a little bigger (I only had a K hook or a Q hook, and the pattern calls for an M hook). It fits me perfectly the way it is (using Lion Brand Homespun yarn), but I am going to be making one for my 'nephew' Joe. He's been asking for a had for several years now, and I never had the nerve to try to make one until now. It took a couple of hours to make this one - not much time at all! Heck, I might make more for gifts this year, if the next one turns out okay. I found a few more hat patterns, and know that I don't need to start any more new projects, but these are pretty quick and easy ones!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Needlepoint and crochet

So here is the latest on Nova and the Vacation Mile-a-minute. I plan to frame Nova when I'm finished with it, but I don't know what kind of frame. I will probably mat it too, but that's not as certain. I like how Summer finished hers as a pillow but I think I want mine on the wall instead. A teeny-quilt - that's an idea too, Micky! But I think I'll hang this in my craft room. When I get ready to frame it, I'll probably freak out my framer - I've got three things already finished and waiting to be framed themselves, and they're not just little items either. Why on earth do I wait and build up a bunch to take in at once??

Edited to add: As for the pencil lines on Nova - I believe I just used a No. 2 pencil. I wasn't concerned about whether the lines could be washed off or faded after the design is finished, because the stitches will cover them up, and I plan to frame/mat it right to the edge of the stitching. I highly recommend using a pences for at least the inner lines because it really helps with counting and making sure that you stitch in the correct area. Hope that helps!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The countdown begins

I've decided to take a new photo each time I work on Nova for motivation. Last night, while watching Sex & the City's final DVD disc, I got three squares completed and just started the fourth. :)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Cross stitch magazines and a confession

Thank you for all the sweet comments about my unicorn. He is quite a patient fellow, isn't he? I'd almost have to say that about all my projects, considering the time they all have to share with each other.

Jen and Mom Nancy asked about cross stitching magazines. For the first time in a very long time, I do not currently have a subscription to any! I know, I know, jaws are dropping everywhere. I have subscribed to various ones in the past (including the now-defunct Cross Stitch & Country Crafts, Just Cross Stitch, and Stitcher's World to name a few), but lately I have not been as enamoured with collecting magazines. There have been a few issues here and there where I wanted to stitch several items (and have), but lately my attitude has been more 'That's pretty, but I don't know if I would ever get around to stitching it'. It probably has to do with my current plentiful stash. I love going back through my magazines, dreaming of what I might decide to stitch when I allow myself to start another project. If money were no object, however, I would probably subscribe to Cross Stitch Gold and possibly World of Cross Stitching, both UK magazines. The designs in them are often very different than what we have in magazines produced here in the US. I especially like Carol Thornton's designs. In fact, I have two issues of World of Cross Stitching, each with one of her designs, that I plan to stitch one day. SmileyCindy has stitched the windmill, and has the lighthouse as a WIP.

But if you're not in the market for a UK magazine, I would recommend either Just Cross Stitch or Stitcher's World. I've bought individual issues of both since my subscriptions expired.

And now for the confession... I didn't stitch at all last night. GASP! I feel really weird about it too - but sometimes, an urge to play videogames overtakes me (not often, but very strong when it does!), and so I played through about 20% of a new game of Spyro the Dragon (the original) for my PSOne last night. There is a strange satisfaction that comes from completing a level, freeing every dragon, getting every gem, and even getting the dragon egg back from the thief. I still suck royally at the flight levels, but at least I've been able to do a little better with them than I've done in the past. I won't beat myself up over it too much - after all, it's just a video game.

Tonight, though, I'm looking forward to getting back to stitching. Oh NOVA!!! Would you like to come out to play???

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Unicorn with legs

Here he is, but he has no hooves yet! Probably will make it difficult to walk around... hooves come next rotation as long as he promises not to run away... :)

Monday, June 06, 2005

Whaddya mean the weekend's over?

It seems like this one flew faster than usual. I've just finished my walk (lovin' the treadmill!), and I thought I'd answer the couple of questions in the comments from the last post.

Juststitch asked what size my fabric for the Maidens is - I measured it, and it comes to 32.5 inches wide by 26 inches tall. I'm pretty sure I allowed for 3 inches on each side.

And my colors for Mini Perle - I'm really hoping that Mel is starting to get over the mono so that we can get back to our stitch-along - here's my material list:

1 skein Watercolours, light - Fir
1 skein Watercolours, medium - Mediterranean
1. 1 card Neon Rays - N91
2. 1 card Splendor, light - S802
3. 1 card Splendor, medium - S988
4. 1 card Splendor, dark - S838
5. 1 card Splendor, second color medium - S966
6. 5 skeins Rachel (cards of Flair used) - F558
7. 2 10M reels #16 Balger (#12 Kreinik used in two colors) - 829 and 684
8. 2 10M reels #8 Balger (#8 Kreinik used) - 684
9. 1 10M reels 1/16" Balger ribbon (two colors used) - 9400 and 684
10. 1 ball #8 perle (Neon Rays used instead) - N30
11. Beads, lighter than color #2 - Mill Hill 2026
12. Beads, dark - Mill Hill 332

I think I'll go ahead and put this list on the project page so it doesn't get lost, and make notes as I go along with the progress photos so I can document what fiber is used where. Congrats on ordering your chart! I love the design, and so far it's not been complicated, just a matter of counting correctly. ;)

I spent much of the day Saturday with Mom & Dad - the first thing I did was push the button (that turns the computer on) in too hard, making it impossible to turn on again, so I had to get down and take it all apart and fix that. We finally got their cd burner working again (for how long? I'm just crossing my fingers).

Sunday we watched the race, and all was going well until Dave Blaney wrecked and ended up taking Kenny [Schrader] out with him. It was a hard hit, but he got out of the car okay, just seemed to be limping a little - I didn't hear them mention him again afterwards, so I'm assuming he's fine. It's just not fair, because I think he was going to have a decent finish, probably top 15, and he finished 37th, dropping him back 4 positions in the points. :(

We've gone back to watching Star Trek: Voyager now that all our shows are concluded for the season. We're looking forward to July 15 for all new episodes of Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, and Stargate Atlantis.

Well, I think it's time to go stitch - the unicorn has 3 legs now - I'd really like to give him a fourth before heading back to the top of the rotation. Here's hoping we all have a great week!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Joining the squares

Thank you all for asking, and I hope this helps. :) I am joining my squares in the manner the book instructs - whipstitching the back loops, from the middle stitch in one corner to the middle stitch in the other corner. It gives it a nice border ridge. Here are my blocks thus far, with a closeup of the joining front and back.

Bottom row
Block joined (front view)
Blocks joined (back view)

I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend already - I'm off to visit with my folks.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Another square down

This is #54, the aligned puff stitch square. Just 9 more to go! I went ahead and organized all of my squares by color and then by number last night, pulled out the row containing this square, and set myself to work joining them while we watched Instinct with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Anthony Hopkins. About 3/4 through the movie, I was glad I was not doing anything really small, because my eyes would not have been able to deal with it. It was just so sad. Even though it had a semi-happy ending, the last quarter of the movie was just brutal to me. I should have known to expect something like that, but I get so wrapped up in movies and tv shows that many times I just don't see things coming, and they hit me hard. Well, it probably would have hit me hard even if I had seen it coming, but anyway... the bottom row is joined, and I hope to get a decent photo of it before the sun goes down. The joining went a little more quickly than I thought it would, which is really nice.

And it's nearly the weekend! I'm going to visit my parents tomorrow and see if I can figure out why their CD-RW drive isn't working. Other than that, I'm just going to play it by ear - maybe some quilting, maybe some crochet, and I've pulled out the unicorn to work on next.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Finally a picture

Fancy Pansy just doesn't seem to be coming along as quickly as it should, in my opinion. Of course, there are quite a few confetti stitches in this design, so that probably accounts for some of it. Does anyone know if the confetti stitching is prevalent in Silver Lining designs?

I managed to finish the 3rd inner section (sage green) on my mile-a-minute afghan last night, started the 4th one (purple), and got pretty close to finishing square #54 of the 63-squares afghan. I think I'm going to pull out the squares for the bottom row (once 54 is done, I can crochet that row together). I don't know if I'll get it all put together this month, but it would be nice to make a start on it.

Jen, So you wanna learn the basics of quilting? :) There are a lot of sites on the web with instructions and free patterns, but one of my favorites is Quilters Cache. They have a ton of free quilt patterns with excellent instructions and sample blocks.

I'm so glad it's almost Friday. I think C and I are going to watch Instinct tonight. We missed it when it first came out, and then we missed it again when it was released on DVD. I've had it on my Netflix list for a while, and it has finally made its way to the top.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Y'all are just the sweetest

Thank you for taking the time to post comments on my blog. I truly enjoy all of the feedback you give me! Dusty, LOL, I do rest, but it's very hard for me to sit still and not do anything. My 'rest' is achieved by quieting my mind through working on one of my crafts - be it cross stitch, crochet, quilting, etc. As for my blog and web site - it really does help that I do this kind of thing for a living, otherwise, I probably wouldn't allow myself the time away from crafting to learn how create web pages and images.

Claudia, I wish I could help you with the pattern for Teresa's quilt. Unfortunately, I found out recently that the web site which had previously offered the free pattern,, no longer offers it on their web site. However, they do still offer quite a few nice free patterns.

My 'secrets' to getting everything done?
  1. I have no children - my husband and 3 kitties are pretty easy to take care of, compared to what I hear about rearing children. My brother has 4 children, and I don't see how he and Teresa do it and have time for anything else.
  2. I try to make time to craft every day. I do make a list at the beginning of the month that is a guideline of what I'd like to accomplish for the month, but if I don't get to everything, I don't stress about it. I also try not to list more than I can actually accomplish in the given month, but sometimes I do go overboard.
  3. As evidenced by my major cleaning/vacuuming jag last weekend, I generally hit the hot spots and that's about it as far as cleaning and maintenance goes. Hubby helps out too, and he really supports me with my hobbies. It's really easy when you've got a cheerleader (who is sincere). For the most part, we both enjoy watching the same tv shows and movies, and we're pretty much homebodies.
  4. Although I work a full-time job, and am currently on call every third week, I generally don't bring my job home with me. Mentally or physically. It's VERY nice to have (for the most part) a low-stress job now. It allows me to relax and get into my home life so much more quickly once I arrive home in the afternoons.
Micky, that's exactly what I meant about setting the blog to update at (ping) when you post a new entry. I don't know about crafting while walking, but if there's a way to do it, you can bet I'll try to figure that out! Laughing my butt off

Well, it's June 1, and so it is time to see where I managed to place on my goals for last month. I did get my 3 squares crocheted on my 63 squares afghan - and didn't really think about it until Micky mentioned it - when I finish my next square, I will definitely have one full row that I can put together - wow!

I only quilted 5 blocks (instead of 6) on Scott's quilt last month. Not bad, considering that's actually one more than I've been doing each month until now.

On Teresa's quilt, I now have 12 of 18 blocks blanket-stitched, some of which have already been sewn together. I also seamed together Gerrick's quilt back and bought batting for it, so as soon as get Scott's finished and Gerrick's basted, I'll be able to jump into quilting it. I haven't decided how I'm going to quilt it yet. Something to think about.

I did just a tiny bit of knitting on the kitty bed. Maybe a couple of rows. I'm thinking it might be a Christmas present for one of them... if I can ignore my new crochet afghan-in-progress at all...

And as for cross stitch, I did not make it all the way through my rotation this month, but I made a lot of progress on the Maidens. I'm still working on Fancy Pansy, and I plan to work on Unicorn Mystique before heading back to the top of the list. I'm waiting for Mel to feel better before we go on to the next part of Mini Perle, so that means that after the Unicorn, I should have a huge finish coming up sometime in the first half of the month (Nova). I'm going to dial down my goals a bit for June, but never fear - I shall be crafting all month long!