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Monday, January 31, 2005

Weekend's gone, too quickly again...

I enjoyed the rest of my Saturday afternoon - finished watching 24, Season 2 Disc 3 (it's so good! How did I miss this show the first time through???). Then I went to a Pampered Chef party at Melanie's. I have been invited to them before, just never made it to one. I realized I do have some Pampered Chef items in my kitchen - I just didn't realize it. I went ahead and ordered a couple of items, including an apple wedger (I'm terrible at doing them myself with a knife, and I'm terrified I'm going to slice off my thumb or finger or something), and a new pizza cutter. I have a small one at home that does an okay job, but it's getting a little dull, and I'm really not sure how to go about sharpening something like that.

I came home with a terrible pain in my stomach, though, so that cut short my enjoyment of the rest of the evening. I have no idea which part of what I had to eat (and drink) did it - though there were some chopped nuts in one of the sauces, so that could have done it. I ended up reading a little bit and looking at the latest Keepsake Quilting catalog until I fell asleep in bed with the heating pad.

Sunday was, of course, the usual chores with laundry being #1. I managed to get everything washed, dried, and put away by the end of the day, and I stitched some more on the Snow Leopard. I've managed to connect the bottom right and bottom left sections with a few stitches that actually meet where they are supposed to in the middle. I must be getting a little better at this! :) At the rate I'm going (I'll be working on him tonight before heading on to the 8th iteration of my rotation), I'm thinking he'll be finished in March. I've saved up plenty of whiskers now, so this boy will have some real ones too!

Thank you all for the wonderful comments on Smokey. I'm looking forward to picking out some framing in a month or two.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Smokey is finished!


I used the digital camera to take a photo of Smokey this time, so the picture isn't as crisp as a scan, but look at the pretty real whiskers on this boy. I'm so proud of him (almost as proud as I am of my real Smokey).

C has gone to play video games with a friend, so I'm going to go watch some 24 while I stitch on the Snow Leopard. :)

Friday, January 28, 2005

Weekend!

Woohoo! It's the weekend, finally! We just finished up dinner, and I'm about to settle in to watch Alias and finish up Smokey. I have about 20 more cross stitches to do, then I can finish up the backstitching. I want to wash him before I add the whiskers, so I'll probably post a picture tomorrow or Sunday.

Yes, indeed, I was standing on my dresser to take that shot of the quilt - difficult to get a good picture of the whole thing otherwise. And I work on it only when I know Scott's not going to be around. He doesn't come to visit me as often as I visit him at his house, so it's not hard to find time to devote to it (other than being seduced by other projects). Fortunately, he really hasn't taken an interest in my web site either, so I feel pretty confident in posting progress photos. :)

And people may think I'm nuts, but I find hand quilting MUCH easier than machine quilting. It's more time consuming to do it this way, but I enjoy hand quilting more than machine quilting. I do love to machine-piece though!

Happy weekend! I look forward to dancing with you a little later... :)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Plans go awry

So, I had these plans for finishing up the quilt after dinner yesterday and working on Smokey directly afterwards. I started pulling out the skillet for dinner when the phone rang. My brother was wondering what I was doing. Red flag - he never starts off a conversation with me that way. So I told him I was about to start dinner, and he explains that his truck won't start and I'm the closest person he could think of to call. To make a long story short, we changed our dinner plans and I went and picked him up. After much debating back and forth, Dad insisted on coming to pick him up at my house (he really goes out of his way for his children - I'm prejudiced, I know, be we have one fantastic Dad!). We had Wendy's to-go for dinner, and I had just enough time to finish only the quilting before falling into bed. But I did at least do that!

As far as I know, Scott is completely oblivious to the fact that he's going to be receiving a quilt this Christmas. I was showing it off to the guys last night (Game Night), and Noel was like, "Now THAT's what I'm talking about" (as a quilt for him). I made his son a quilt a couple of years ago, and he teased me all the time that it wasn't big enough, LOL. He also mentioned stealing Sis's quilt when she's not looking. Oh, to have more time! I'd make him a Steelers quilt (he's a big fan, like myself). :)

So anyway, this is what I've quilted so far (indicated by the fishies) - a pretty good start, methinks.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Another goal met, finally

While I was in the waiting room after getting my allergy shots today, I finished the bottom part of the kitty bed, yay! I also went ahead and cast on and knitted the first couple of rows on the edging piece. I really hope one of them likes the bed enough to want to lay down in it. We shall see...

Speaking of kitties, the other night when I had Scott's quilt on the floor (yes, I sit on the floor while I quilt - it's the most comfortable position I've found so far, even if it does get a little hard on the derriere after a while), I got up to do something and came back after a few minutes. I was not paying any attention whatsoever as I started to get settled back down on the floor. Imagine my surprise when I scooched my legs underneath and the quilt started moving on its own. Apparently Candy had decided that would be a good place to settle in herself and take a nap - rudely interrupted by yours truly. Poor thing, I probably traumatized her, but it was funny. She shot out of there as quickly as she could and ran off to the bedroom.

I didn't work on the quilt last night after we got home from picking up Spice and then having dinner with my parents. It was going to be a very short period of time before bed that I just worked on the knitting a bit (which is how I came to finish the bottom part today). I do plan to finish blocks 7 and 8 quilting tonight, and I'm not promising, but I am hoping to get back to Smokey too. :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The verdict

The water pump needed to be replaced on Spice. Hopefully we'll be able to go pick her up tonight. They also checked the belts while they were in there, and said that everything looks great, so nothing else should need to be replaced for a while.

My goals for an evening's stitching (or quilting) are generally bigger than they should be. I managed to finish most of the quilting, but not all of what I had intended to do last night on Scott's quilt. I have 3 more sashing strips to go, and then I can say I've met my goal for this month on that. And then I can get back to working on Smokey. I've picked up a few more stray whiskers here and there throughout the house, and I should have plenty for Smokey, Snow Leopard, and maybe even Cat (Candy). :) I'm looking forward to getting to that part (attaching the whiskers).

Monday, January 24, 2005

Bleah.

I'm a sore loser. I can't help it, but I hate losing. And I hate it when my team loses. We (Pittsburgh) did not play our finest game last night, and so we deserve not to go to the Super Bowl. But it doesn't mean I have to like it.

The other bad news is that Spice is overheating. She was leaking a little antifreeze (which I replaced), but now she's overheating (with plenty of antifreeze!), so she's in the shop once again. Fingers crossed it isn't something major, but I tried several things like forcing the fan to come on by turning on the A/C, etc., and nothing worked. We made it halfway to the shop before I ended up calling the tow truck this AM. I'm so lucky my dad was still in town and could come pick me up and bring me home. We'll just have to wait and see what the diagnosis is. I just keep telling myself that maintenance is part of the deal, and better than a car payment!

On the bright side, Scott came over this weekend and picked up not only the bookcase, but also the swivel shelving unit too! Already my office / guest room looks twice the size it did before, even though it's just two pieces of furniture gone. I haven't decided if I'm going to move furniture around or not, but I'm thinking about it. Obviously, it would be harder to move the desk from where it's located because of my network / computer setup, but not impossible. However, I think I like it where it is. I still need to get another office chair (using one of my dining room chairs right now - we finally threw out the broken chair that nearly broke me one day ).

I also managed to find a new home for a stereo system I'd purchased over a year ago. My original intentions were to use it to replace the LXI system I've had for about 20 years now, but I found the older system superior to the newer one, and never took the time to return it to the store. A friend of C's was happy to take it off our hands.

I quilted two entire blocks on Scott's quilt during the games yesterday, and I've worked just a little more on piecing the baskets for Teresa's quilt. I've been using my mini iron (a present from a dear, thoughtful friend) for pressing the little triangle-square seams, and it's working out really well. I manage not to distort the bias seams as much with it as I do with my big iron.

Welcome to Monday!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

It's amazing what you find out

when you read the instructions...

Specifically, Smokey's leaning on a "bucket" - this, according to the backstitching instructions. Duh. It's the 2nd time in recent memory I've finally read the instructions and found out what something was supposed to be, LOL.

Fingers crossed for the Steelers to play a much better game this week - they're going to HAVE to, if they want to go to the Super Bowl. Ta!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

A woman obsessed

That seems to be a recurring theme in my crafting. So today, C went to visit a couple of friends and play video games, leaving me once again with lots of time to spend however I wished. :) And how I wished was once again in my craft room, cutting more pieces for Teresa's quilt blocks. I even got to the point where I could sew a few more of those pieces together, and I have a nice long chain of pieces waiting for their seams to be pressed. I will need to purchase one more half yard of white-on-white fabric for her quilt, but that may be the last bit I have to purchase. Karen, I am fortunate here that at a quilt store, fabric is generally $7.99-8.99 per yard, but even better, at a chain fabric store like Joann's or Hancock's, I can generally purchase good fabric even cheaper (especially with a 40% off coupon occasionally). I've also been building a stash over the years since I started quilting, and this is the first large quilt for which I've been able to pull a majority of fabrics from said stash.

Each block of Teresa's quilt will have four flowers and four leaves, the shapes matching the ones in the first block, but the fabrics will change because they are going to be a bit random.

So anyway, Scott's quilt will probably wait until tomorrow during football. Tonight I'll be working on Smokey, as I have the past couple evenings, while we watch tv. He's coming along, slowly with the confetti stitching, but I'm trying to finish out all stitches of each color as I go now. Hopefully that will help with not having to change out the floss in the needle as frequently.

Friday, January 21, 2005

I spent nearly the whole day

...working on Teresa's quilt. I got one block completely finished with the fusing and appliqué.

Here is the block piecing:


And here it is after I fused and appliquéd the flowers and leaves on the top half:


The block really comes to life with those appliquéd pieces! I stitched them with my machine - it has a buttonhole stitch disc, which really comes in handy. ;)

I spent some time cutting out more pieces, but didn't get around to piecing any more blocks yet. Time to go watch some tv with hubby. Maybe I'll work on Scott's quilt some tomorrow, since I didn't even get around to his today.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Thursday = Friday for me

Something about having a holiday off makes me want to take even more time off. Having the extra time to work on a project (or multiple projects) is like a drug - I want more! And I'm really looking forward to playing with quilts tomorrow. I want to make my templates for the flowers and leaves, and I'd like to do some more quilting on Scott's Ships.

After I got home last night from the majorly-packed gym, I worked on Smokey-Moonstruck while we watched Smallville. I had to frog just a teeny bit of what I started, but then began to make a little headway. I'm currently working on the right side in shadow of his little cushion (or whatever it's supposed to be - I originally thought it was a barrel, but I think now it's supposed to be a pillow of some sort). I plan to work on him tonight again while we watch more of our shows. We have one more Smallville ep to watch, and lots of other shows we've taped this week now, plus we rented The Forgotten - looking forward to seeing if it looks as good as the previews make it seem.

Did I mention we watched the series premiere of Battlestar Galactica? It seems to have potential for a pretty good story. We also watched the Sci-Fi special just before it, The Lowdown, and it was interesting to hear the actor who plays Apollo speak - I had no idea he was British! It was also interesting to see the actors out of costume - wow, the guy who plays Dr. Baltar looks very different with a scruffy beard. I wonder if it was for something else, or if he just likes having a beard and has to shave it off for the show. I was just a little disappointed to learn that the first season would only have 13 episodes, but hopefully they'll get renewed for a full season 2. Oh, and I recognized Ron Moore from Star Trek The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine - he was a visual effects supervisor and producer for those, and now he's a writer and executive producer for BSG. See, it pays to watch all those "Special Features."

Speaking of Star Trek - when I read the recap for last week's episode of Enterprise, I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. If anyone out there watches and would love a good laugh, I highly recommend checking out Television Without Pity's recap. They pull no punches.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I Spy... a Dolphin's Eye


So, it seems like I should be a bit farther along based on how much time I spent working on Merrick this go round. Or maybe I'm just being delusional because I didn't really spend all that much time on him, especially last night.

I started to - really I did. And then C wanted to race. And since I've been gathering some new fabrics for a new quilt, working on figuring out the pattern, etc., I thought that his racing time would be the perfect time for me to run back to the craft room and try to cut out and piece together a block. So that's what I did. There are 18 blocks total in the quilt I want to make for Teresa, which really isn't that many when you think about it (especially when I think about some of the other quilts I've made). But these blocks have even more triangles than the last quilt I pieced (Scott's Ships).

I'm definitely going to have to take my time and be careful with each block, but I really like how the first one turned out. I haven't finished it, because I only worked on the piecing last night. I still have 4 flower motifs and 4 leaves to cut out and appliqu&3acute; to the block. But all of the triangles seem to fit together really well (a surprise for me, because I was sure it was going to be way off based on how the pieces looked just laid out on the table - amazing how much space those seam allowances take up!). I'll take some pics to show off this week sometime - I just got approval to take Friday off, so I see a little more patchwork (and maybe even some quilting on Scott's Ships) in my very near future.

Oh, and so this is the first time that this has ever happened to me - I woke up at 5 a.m. and could not go back to sleep no matter what I tried. If I can't go to sleep at night, I have some medication to take, but I didn't feel that was appropriate for this morning. I'm sure I would have overslept if I had. So, I got up and worked on my knitted kitty bed a little. Perfect project for that time of day - very soothing, methodical, and quiet. C was pretty much oblivious until the alarm went off. :)

Forgot to mention

I got my Cat kit from Herrschner's in the mail yesterday. In fact, I received it before I got the shipping notice via email, LOL. It's a Vervaco kit from Belgium - apparently from their 2002 collection. I couldn't find it anywhere else on the web, so I guess it is pretty much exclusive to Herrschner's. I'm actually considering changing the colors a little so that it looks even more like my baby Candy. We'll see... There aren't very many colors in it - 5 shades of grey, black, white, and yellows and rusts (eyes). I want to make her have a cinnamon nose, and I'm thinking those brownish-grays for fur instead of the blue-grays. Good thing I've got a DMC color card and PCStitch to help me decide. ;)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Tuesday = Monday for me

So we had the holiday yesterday, and I had a long weekend as a result. It's strange, but it seemed to go by even faster than usual! I guess time flies when you're having fun. Sunday was spent doing some chores, watching some football, and a little stitching on Merrick. Oh, and I also crocheted my 3rd square this month - #39 Popcorn Diamond.

I worked a bit more on Merrick yesterday at Melanie's while we watched Pirates of the Caribbean and some tv. The dolphin now has a nose, and I figure after I work on it a bit more tonight, I'll take another scan to share.

My brother called to say that he does want the bookcase after all (one that I'm trying to get rid of in the guest room / office), so I also spent a little finally clearing it out. I really needed that impetus of the phone call. I have no idea when he's going to come get it, but at least I know it's ready whenever he is. It used to house some of my projects in the craft room, but when I installed the shelving on the wall, I moved it into the office. It really is too big for that room - too deep and too tall - so I decided it had to go. I just had some odds and ends put there anyway - things with "no home elsewhere". This should make me reevaluate what purpose they're serving, and hopefully make the decision to let them go.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Whew!

Okay, I've been sitting on pins and needles (and in my house, that could be taken literally, but not today) for several hours, but Pittsburgh finally pulled it off this week and beat the Jets - I expect the same tension next week as we face either the Colts or the Patriots.

As far as stitching goes, I started working on Merrick this afternoon. I left my glasses at work yesterday, so I'm making sure to take some breaks and that the light is extra-bright. I used to stitch everything in some sort of hoop or scroll frame, but recently I started working more in-hand. It all started with In the Arms of an Angel. I wanted to complete everything as I went, including the beadwork. In addition, I had started noticing that after holding the q-snaps either in my left hand or supporting them on my left arm (I'm right-handed), my left arm hurt a little in a couple of places. I think this was because of the weight added by the q-snaps, even though they don't really weigh that much. So I decided to try stitching in-hand again. I've done it in the past, just not frequently. And I found it less stressing on my left arm / wrist. Some would probably cringe, but I generally fold/scrunch the fabric in my left hand while I work on it. I don't worry about washing or pressing until after it's finished. Oh, and I use the sewing method rather than the stab-stitch when stitching in hand. I haven't found any problems with tension.

Now that's not to say I don't use frames or q's anymore - I do, it just depends on the design. I have Nova in a scroll frame, and I usually stitch Snow Leopard and Smokey (Moonstruck) in q-snaps. But I now have a floor stand, and that helps with holding the frame. I don't always use it, but when I do, I have to use the stab-stitch method. It's not as fast as the sewing method, which is probably why I don't do that more often. I also used a q-snap when working on Butterfly Fantasy. It was recommended especially for the hardanger area. But I know a girl who stitches hardanger in hand (and her work is gorgeous), so that may just be a help for beginners like me.

I got a new 24 Season 2 disc in the mail today, so I'm off to watch an episode or two - Happy Saturday!!!

New progress on the Spring Maiden

Just had to share my Maidens progress before I go stitch on Merrick - I like the Spring Maiden's face much better than in the model photo.

January 14, 2005
Before and after backstitching - it's always amazing to me how the backstitching
makes a design come to life (and check out the pretty beads!)
Spring Maiden before backstitching her face Spring Maiden after backstitching her face

Friday, January 14, 2005

Finally Fantasy Sampler progress

Woohoo, it's Friday, and the start of a long weekend for me (we have a holiday Monday).

Here is Fantasy Sampler, finally. I just did a scan of the top part this time (and had to piece it together at that), since the bottom portion hasn't changed.


And I found the picture of the quilt pattern - I didn't get by the quilt shop in time yesterday, so I might try again today.


Traditional Flower Baskets pattern that used to be available from their web site.

I ordered the Cat kit from Herschnerr's online. I'm looking forward to seeing just how many shades of grey there are... ;)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do

And based on a couple of conversations, I decided to go ahead and work on the Maidens last night. Of course, I forgot to scan in my progress on Fantasy Sampler - maybe I'll remember to do that for tomorrow's post. :) I worked on Spring Maiden's face some last night - didn't get a chance to do too much, because we met some friends for dinner and had a fabulous time with them. But once we got home, we watched the 3rd season finale and 4th season premiere of Voyager. It was either that or one new tv show episode (Lost, Alias, or West Wing), and I didn't want to have to choose just one. We'll watch all three tonight. ;)

I've got several things to pick up at the library, and so I'm going to swing by there and then a quilt shop nearby which is having a going-out-of-business sale. She emailed her customers saying that she's pretty sure she has a buyer for the shop, but we don't know exactly when that will be, or how it will change things. I'm just going to see what's left, as I'm sure a lot of stuff is already gone. I might find a fabric or two for Teresa's quilt (I've been pulling some fabrics from my stash already, trying to get a better idea of what I might need to buy to supplement them). I can't remember - did I share what pattern I'm thinking of doing? It's a pieced baskets quilt with appliqued flower motifs. I saw the pattern in a fabric ad in a magazine, and actually found it on their web site (the magazine is over a year old now). Of course, I can't remember now what the site was - I'll have to go in the craft room and look it up. Silly me. I'll try to get it together for next time. :D

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

C is now working at a different job. His hours are earlier now than at his previous job. It's just a little weird getting used to him leaving the house before me now (even if it's only by a few minutes). The house seems quieter without him there while I'm finishing up breakfast (even though the tv is on), and I have to make sure to turn everything off now. I'm sure that's why I grabbed the wrong container for lunch this morning. It was supposed to be chili, yum, yum, and I was really looking forward to it. Imagine my surprise when it was our leftovers from sloppy joes night before last. Whoops! I ended up eating ramen noodles for lunch. Not the most nutritious or even best tasting meal, but I just didn't want to go out. Anyway, I'm sure I'll get used to it, it's just a little weirdness for now.

I haven't even begun to think about how I'm going to finish Nova, although I expect it will be framed. I don't tend to "finish" many other projects in another manner (as pillows, stand-ups, etc.).

I worked on Fantasy Sampler again last night. I did finish up the lion's square, and started working a little on the greenery. Merrick is up next, but the Maidens is calling to me. What's a girl to do?

I forgot to include a link

To the Cat design... Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

So, it's only Tuesday? And a rainy one at that.

Already this seems like the longest work week. There's nothing extraordinary going on, and the time is creeping by. I probably should be thankful.

Yesterday I went over to Cross Stitch Corner and picked up my Maidens II chart (had to order it). I've made a working copy now - looking forward to when I get to see it again months down the road. I worked on Fantasy Sampler again last night while we watched some more Voyager. We're nearly to the end of Season 3, and I can see now how they're building up to Kes leaving and Seven of Nine arriving. Anyway, I have almost completely finished the upper right lion's square. I may do just a little more than that, but I won't be completely finishing the upper right area this time around. I think we might watch the Battlestar Galactica miniseries tonight in preparation for the series starting Friday.

I got a new catalog in the mail yesterday too - Herrschner's Needlework Shoppe. Generally I just glance through catalogs these days and then pitch them in the recycle bin. But one design caught my eye - Cat (surprise, surprise there, huh?). It is the first design I've seen which is really close to my kitty Candy. I've looked to see if I could figure out who the designer is, but alas no luck - it is a "Herrschner's Exclusive." I'll probably order it (it comes in a kit form only with white aida and at least it has DMC floss), unless I can find the chart somewhere.

My latest square on the afghan is a diagonal popcorn. It leans a little, but I'm hoping that all these little flaws will disappear when the afghan's put together.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Nova progress


Click the photo for a larger view. I figure if I can work one row per month, I should finish Nova in September of this year.

While laundry is going and football is on tv today, I plan to work on another crochet square and Fantasy Sampler. I'm currently stitching on the lion in the upper right corner. He's coming together quite nicely.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Kits, revisited

First off, thanks to you all for the well wishes on our anniversary. We had a wonderful evening - I came home to 3 red roses and the sweetest card, and then we went out to eat at one of our favorite steak places.

Since we were talking about kits and kit floss earlier in the week, I thought I should clarify my feelings on kits in general a bit. I received a nice comment from Mike, who mentioned that the company he works for (not Dimensions) switched to using DMC floss for the kits they manufacture. I have noticed that a couple of companies are doing that now - and I must say bravo!

I especially like the Lanarte kits I ordered last year. I got 5 of them (major investment, but really worth it, in my opinion). They all have evenweave fabric, and I believe the floss is DMC (it is coded and feels as if it is). I know the kit I ordered from Pam Kellogg also uses DMC, and I believe the Heritage Stitchcraft kits I've gotten (although they all have aida fabric) are kitted with DMC also. I'm looking forward to when I get to put them into my rotation.

I've been working on Nova, and I've nearly finished up row N. I only have a few more stitches to put into the last two squares, and then C gets to pick his favorite (it's one of our little games - he gets to pick a favorite out of every row). Sometimes he likes the same ones I do, and sometimes we're really far apart.

We watched the season opener of Alias last night. It's going to be weird having to wait a week between shows. But I think it's gotten off to a good start already. I wonder how many twists and turns we can look forward to this year. We also watched The West Wing and Lost (we rarely watch a show when it's on, so that we can fast forward through the commercials - take that advertisers!). I think our Friday night shows start next week, so we'll probably be back to watching Voyager, now that we've watched the first two Smallville discs and sent them back. We're trying something different, and I'm not sure how it's going to work out. C wants to also start watching Friends on DVD, so I've set up our queue on Netflix so that we are watching 3 different series at one time (Friends, Smallville, and 24) - when we send a DVD back, it should be replaced with the next one in that series. It means we won't be having the major marathons we usually have, but since we have so many more shows to watch now on regular tv, we're hoping it works out well. Sort of a tv-show-rotation.

Oh, and one more thing... I crocheted another square on my 63 afghan. This one was #37, popcorn braid. I swear, those fpdc (front-post double crochets) around the next stitch below can really mess with how a square squares-up. Or maybe my tension for those stitches is just too tight? It's a pretty look, but aggravating at the same time. If anyone has suggestions, I'd be happy to listen.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Happy Anniversary to us

Though it's hard to believe we've been married for 3 years now. Time sure does fly when you're having fun. :)

The strange looking purples/blues area of the Maidens is actually beads - they are a transparent blue glass bead lined with purple (or is it pink?). It's Mill Hill #252. Take a look at them closely the next time you're at the shop, if you get the chance - those transparent beads lined with a contrasting color are some of my favorites.

I managed to stitch the first 6 squares on row N last night. I looked at the cover photo, and was showing it to C - it feels so good to be over halfway there! We started watching Smallville Season 1 last night. I was pleasantly surprised by it. I think I was a little prejudiced because I liked Lois and Clark so much. I think C liked it too, but he's holding off judgment until after we've seen 8 episodes. I must say again - Netflix is da bomb, especially for renting and watching tv series that we missed along the way.

Monday, January 03, 2005

A first look

Here is my Spring maiden so far - a little bit of the top border, and some of her hair is stitched. I really enjoy working on cashel linen. The platinum is a really nice color too, very easy on the eyes.


My thoughts on Dimensions (and similar) kit floss: I will generally stitch with it, though I don't care for it. For me, it tends to feel either too thin or just not smooth enough. It also seems to fray more easily than DMC or Anchor. There are a few colors that just don't translate well to DMC or Anchor (a few of the purples come to mind). But there's that whole, "I hate to pay X amount of money for a kit and throw away BOTH the fabric and floss." It really is a shame that Dimensions (or others like them) doesn't offer to sell just the chart as well as the kit. I'm sure there is some monetary reason behind it.

I'd have to say it just depends on my mood - I will stitch with the kit floss and even the kit fabric, even though I generally don't stitch projects on aida anymore, and I'd probably enjoy the projects more if I substituted DMC floss in addition to evenweave fabric. I did have to match floss for Sacred Connection because I ran out of the kit floss and didn't want to wait for Dimensions to send some more. You can't tell it, but I know there are some places where it doesn't match up exactly. It seems like there are so many aggravating things about their kits - not enough floss (and the quality of it not very good), not enough fabric, charts that are hard to read (with a green X symbol right next to a blue X symbol) and nearly impossible to make a working copy. But I love so many of the designs, that I put up with it all.

I'm trying to decide what to do with the rest of my Dimensions kits. I definitely want to stitch the designs I have. But it certainly makes me think twice about new kit purchases. If I see one that is a must-have, I may just hang on until another half-off kits sale at Hobby Lobby and see if I can get it there. That would make it easier to substitute good materials for so-so ones.

Up tonight: Nova, Row N!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The end of another fun weekend

Maybe tomorrow I'll get up a scan of my progress on the Maidens. I want to get just a little more progress before the night's over and the next thing I know it's off to work again.

I came up with my goals for January today - I did really good with December's, and for once I actually met each goal. Kind of surprising, with the holidays, but then I also had some nice vacation time to devote to what I love to do.

January goals:
  •  Start Maidens of the Seasons
  •  Crochet 3 more squares on the 63 squares afghan
  •  Quilt four blocks on Scott's Ships quilt
  •  Complete the 7th round of my rotation
  •  Knit some more on the kitty bed - finish the bottom part!
  •  No more new cross stitch starts this month!
Unless something drastic interferes, I should be able to achieve those goals by the end of the month. I don't have any gifts to stitch (that I'm aware of yet), so I can devote all of my crafting time to my projects.

Starting with Nova tomorrow night. I haven't worked on it in ages, it seems (though I think it was only early November in reality). I recently ran across someone's progress pic, and she is progressing on hers in a diagonal fashion - it's neat to see someone approach it in a different way. It looks like she gets to see a lot of different colors each time she works a diagonal "row".

I really liked Ann's idea of putting the Maidens in between the two kitties in my rotation - that really would give me some variety. I still haven't decided whether to keep the "Small Projects / Samplers" slot, though I probably will. I do like to happy dance quite often... so we'll see. Obviously, I'm through with that slot in Round 7, so I'll see how things are looking and feeling in February.

I've had a sore throat since Thursday and my adenoids were swollen. I've just been taking Sudafed and Tylenol, and it may have just been a virus, because I'm actually (knock on wood) feeling a little better this evening (and I've noticed they're less swollen too). Fingers are crossed - I loathe being sick (funny, because I'm sick quite often with one thing or another), but who doesn't? I haven't felt like working out, but I haven't felt like pigging out either. Here's hoping I'm feeling up to a walk at the gym tomorrow after work. I don't want to overdo it, but I'm definitely feeling the need to exercise. Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Saturday, January 01, 2005

First finish of 2005!

Yes, I actually managed to finish this just a few minutes ago - January 1, 2005! I took a photo, because I was too lazy to piece it together on my scanner, so it's not as clear as it could be... but here is Butterfly Fantasy!


Goodness, I'm going to have to update my site for 2005 finishes now - I didn't imagine I'd have one so quickly, but then, I was thinking I might finish BF in 2004 too. :)

I also managed to start the Maidens. I'm thinking I need to figure out where to add it into my rotation. I think it deserves a slot of its own. What do you think? Should I add a slot, or substitute it for one of the existing slots? I think the rotation could handle an extra slot (it did for much of last year in secret while I worked on In the Arms of an Angel for Taneya)... so if I add a slot, where should it go? Hmmmm....