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Friday, July 29, 2005

Gearing up for the weekend

LOL, Cathy and Claudia - I wish I could remember syllable for syllable what was said. After all, the conversations were probably less than a minute or two each. :) Alas, all my brain recalls is a the basic gist of the conversations and their voices.

I've gone and done it - I've read so many rave reviews about the Grace hoops and frames that I've decided to invest in one sight unseen... something I've gotten lucky doing in the past (when I did the same with my thimble from Thimblelady). I decided to get the largest hoop - 24". I think it will be so much better than either the Q snaps or round hoop I currently try to use (both of which I have different issues with).

TW's Guardian will be traveling to a new home tomorrow! I have no doubt he will be much happier with his new stitcher than he was with me. He'll start his journey tomorrow on my way to a stitch afternoon with Mel and Katie. I'll be concentrating on a variety of projects this weekend. For the stitch day, I plan to work on Unicorn Mystique and/or the Vacation Mile-a-Minute afghan, and then get back to working on Scott's Ships when I get back home. I have been ignoring it in favor of some other projects, and I need to get it in gear! I did manage to quilt one block last night while we watched the last disc of season 9 of Friends. Sigh, now we have to wait until at least November before we can watch the final season of the show.

Have a fantastic weekend, whatever you do!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I talked to Kenny Schrader on the phone!!!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled stitching update for this important announcement.

So my mom called me this morning and asked me who my favorite driver is - and I told her Kenny Schrader. She asked me to hold on a second, and I thought they were all just chatting about NASCAR or something (which would be kind of surprising, because I don't know that anyone she works with is into racing). Anyway, who comes on the phone, but Kenny Schrader himself!!!! He told me hello, and that they were in town renting a car from my mom (way to go MOM!), to do some running around before tonight's Ken Schrader Night at Clarksville Speedway. And then he told me that he had a friend there that I might want to talk to also, and he put him on the phone. And this guy, well, I didn't recognize his voice at first - he was like, "Do you know who this is?" And I kept trying to think about who he sounded like, but all I could say was, "No.....?" And he was like, "I can't believe you don't know who this is... they keep trying to get me to laugh here." And that was all it took - of course, it was Kenny Wallace!! I was probably the most idiotic fan, gushing that I loved them, but it was just the neatest thing to get to talk to them on the phone. Mom, you are THE BEST!!!

Okay, we now return you to your regularly scheduled stitching update...

Last night I worked some on the last piece in my 12th rotation - Unicorn Mystique, and I must have stitched and ripped the same area about 4 times. Let this be a lesson - do not stitch on dark blue (and shiny at that) jobelan when you are tired. Even having a good light and something white laid across my lap wasn't enough to make up for that. The whole focus / unfocus thing was an irritant. I should have been crocheting or knitting.

But speaking of crochet - I managed to finish 2 more squares on the 63 squares afghan - #58, soft clusters in purple, and #59, clusters in green!

Thank you all once again for the wonderful comments! Ann, my framer and I do usually work together to figure out the perfect combination. However, I know that she has done wonderful things for people who have asked her to "surprise" them. Laura, I think that I will be working on Magnificent Wizard when I am finished with Unicorn Mystique. It shouldn't take me a very long to get there. Which brings me to...

... StRIP list musings...

Since I made the decision to drop Fancy Pansy, I thought I would go through my entire WIP list with a critical eye, and see if there was anything else I no longer have the desire to stitch. Given my attitude a few months ago (as in, really thinking that I still liked all of my projects), I was surprised to realize that my feelings towards some of them have changed.

Ixlandia and Starry Night - these are two no-brainers. I have discovered that, as much as I dislike confetti stitching, I'm also now being turned off by the photo-converted-to-graph-by-software designs. The more I look at them (the ones I own), the less I like them. I'm thinking I'd rather have the print.

Pharaoh's Pet - I'm not sure - maybe it is because I haven't touched this project in so long, maybe it's that huge solid blue background area... it just doesn't fit now.

Storyteller and Guardian - Two TW designs. Storyteller is probably the closest to being finished of the TW's not currently in rotation, but all of a sudden I've fallen out of love with it. Guardian doesn't have much invested yet, but of all the designs, I think it's my least favorite. Don't know if it's the border or what. There are a few more TW designs I'd rather stitch before coming back to either Storyteller or Guardian.

That brings me down to 18 WIPs (still a huge amount, but better for me mentally than what I had before), 6 of which are in the current rotation. Which brings me to...

... Rotation Round 13...

I'll be starting this in August, and I've modified it ever so slightly. Mini Perle, Gothic Castle, Fantasy Sampler, Merrick, Maidens of the Seasons, Unicorn Mystique, and Cat (a new start for the "Other" category). The new start brings me back up to 19, but that's still under 20, and I still anticipate a few finishes by the end of the year.

Monday, July 25, 2005

And the floor is done!

Check out my living room, dining room, and craft room (newest pics at bottom of each page). I'm very happy with it, especially now that the furniture is back in place (and out of the kitchen and back bedroom!).

And now for some stitching:

Sitting Pretty framed

Isn't the frame just too perfect?

Butterfly Fantasy framed

Mini Perle now 75% complete!

Fancy Pansy progress

Speaking of which... I'm not so sure I love this project (Fancy Pansy) anymore. It would probably look better over 1, but the colors just really aren't what I thought they would be. And there is a ton of confetti stitching too. Maybe it's also partly the fabric color. I just think that a lot of the greys/greens in the flowers are way off. :( I think I'm going to put it away for now and possibly reevaluate it later. It hurts a little to do that, but I just have too many projects that I love and want to do to continue to work on something I don't like anymore. Right now, Fancy Pansy is no fun to work on, and I'm not so sure I will like end product.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

It looks woven!

Doesn't it? This round uses front post and back post double crochet, formerly two of my least favorite crochet stitches. Working on the 63-squares afghan has given me quite a bit of practice on those stitches, and now I feel much more confident with my tension.

As much as I love the colors (and as much as I've mentioned it before) on the 63 squares afghan, I really wish I'd crocheted it with the Caron Simply Soft instead of the Red Heart Super Saver yarn. Working back and forth between the afghans, I'm so glad I'm near the end of the 63 squares because the yarn is not anywhere near as nice to work with - it is much rougher on my hands. I wouldn't have thought I'd notice the difference that much, but I really do. I know I'll be proud of it when I'm finished, too, but I don't think I'm going to do much more with the RHSS yarn.

Finally, here is Merrick for July. A little more progress with his robes, especially in the middle. I'm closer to starting on the coral and other sea items.

The floor installation is not quite finished, but they have told us they should be done Friday night. We'll all be so glad. The kitties will be able to come out of the bedroom, and we'll get to put everything back in its place. The clutter is starting to drive me c-r-a-z-y!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Now I have even more questions!

Late last night I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and though it answered a few questions, it brought up many more (which I hope will be answered in the 7th book - otherwise, I'm going to be pretty mad at J.K.!).

It feels very weird not to have stitched or crocheted since I started reading the book. Sure it was only a couple of days, but it still feels weird!

Here is how far I had gotten on the Mile-a-Minute Vacation afghan while waiting for my delivery.

And they laid all of the flooring in my craft room last night. I'm looking forward to moving everything back in, once they install the shoe molding around the room.

Tonight should be the rest of the hallway and the dining room, with the final bits of trim hopefully on Wednesday.

Maybe by this weekend, everything will be back to life as usual, except better! :) I'm off to buy a Swiffer and a few more felt pads for the furniture.

Monday, July 18, 2005

I finally got it!

So, while waiting for Harry Potter 6 to arrive, and because if was just too distracting to cross stitch while they started ripping up carpet and putting down flooring, I worked on my mile-a-minute vacation afghan. I should have a new photo soon - I've started on the first round of double crochets around each inner panel, and they really look SO good!

And then it came, finally!!! I'm not quite halfway through the book, but so far, it's very good. I shan't be giving away any spoilers here, so no need to fear if you haven't gotten (or won't get) around to reading your copy yet.

They haven't finished the flooring yet - but if you'd like to see what's going on, check out my House - Living Room page (new pics at the bottom). It's probably going to take at least another couple of evenings after work to get it all done.

Friday, July 15, 2005

HP6 Countdown!

It's in the city... scheduled for delivery tomorrow... I have proof...

Jul 15, 2005   06:47:00 AM   NASHVILLE TN US   Arrival Scan
Come on Harry Potter 6, I'm so ready!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Two framed pieces

And both of them are gorgeous, IMHO. It's always hard to get good photos with the glass, but I think these came out okay. Smokey and Snow Leopard are home!

I'll be working on Merrick tonight - didn't last night due to a Spyro attack (I'm 90% complete!), and I was up past my bedtime because of it.

We're also supposed to have the bamboo delivered today, so that it can acclimate in the house before they come back to begin installing it Saturday morning. There is just going to be SO much happening this weekend!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The start of a Summer Maiden

It's funny, I know this one is Summer, but I keep referring to it as Autumn because of those wonderful colors in the border. Anyhoo, I think I shall go ahead and move on to Merrick because this weekend is supposed to be the Black Swan Designs SAL, but it's going to be jam packed with other stuff! Like what? Well, let's see - Harry Potter and the IRL race at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday for two things.

Also this weekend, we may finally begin the major home-improvement project C and I have been talking about and planning for the last couple of years: hardwood flooring in 3 rooms and the hallway! We've chosen to go with engineered bamboo flooring, which I've been researching over the past several months. It's harder than most hardwoods, and it is generally a little less expensive. We're going with the horizontal carbonized because we thought the natural was too light, and we both love the character of that profile over the vertical profile.

I'm excited about finally getting to do this! Things just seem to have fallen into place for it - where C works they recently hired a new guy who used to lay hardwood flooring full-time! We estimated fairly accurately what it will cost to have it installed, and have saved accordingly for the project. I know it will drastically change the rooms and the feel of the house. The one thing I hope is that it doesn't totally freak out our cats, especially Smokey.

Ooh, and I just got a message saying that some of the cross stitch projects are framed and ready to pick up! I'm taking that to mean that it's more than one (Smokey was to be first), so maybe I'll get the handsome Snow Leopard too. Expect some new pics as soon as I can take them!

I'm not the only one who knows about The Tomorrow People, yay! Most everyone I've ever mentioned that series to just shake their heads or have a blank look on their faces. It's great to know I'm not crazy. :)

Monday, July 11, 2005

I love Netflix and TV shows on DVD

The Tomorrow People - Last week I realized that they actually released this series on DVD - and hopped on over to Netflix to see if they had it, and indeed they did! I put it in my queue, and received the first disc Saturday.

In the early 80s, we actually had cable, and Nickelodeon was one of my favorite channels to watch. Nick had shows from Great Britain and Canada - something I'd never been exposed to until then. The Tomorrow People was my absolute favorite of those shows, followed by The Third Eye and You Can't Do That On Television. It doesn't matter that the acting was amateurish, or the special effects hokey, I had to rush home from school to watch them. And now I get to enjoy them all over again. Of course, if you're like most people around me, you've never heard of it. But if you like Dr. Who (I was introduced to those in high school), you might just want to check out The Tomorrow People too.

So, here's one more picture of Mini Perle - with Rhodes stitches made of Neon Rays, round 5:

Here is the latest of my inner panels on the Vacation Mile-a-minute afghan:

And one more, Teresa's quilt, sans borders:

4 days to new sci-fi shows, 5 days to Harry Potter 6!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

More Mini Perle

So now, I've finished sections 1-4, 7, and 9 (4, 7, and 9 were intended to be worked at the same time because they use the same materials and stitch).

I'm going to go ahead and work section 5, and then allow Mel to catch up before we go on to the next section. I can't believe it's already over half done! I also have Maidens out to work on, as well as Scott's quilt, and I've finished inner panel #8 on my vacation mile-a-minute afghan. I need to take a new pic of that AND of Teresa's quilt top, since everything on it is now together except the borders, three of which I purchased fabric for today. :D

We're counting down to some exciting premieres next week - SciFi Friday kicks back off again on the 15th with Stargates SG-1 and Atlantis and Battlestar Galactica (go to to see some previews!), and I expect my Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to be delivered Saturday, ooh, I can't wait!!!

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Fantasy Sampler progress

I stopped working on this July 4, but didn't get around to scanning it until today. Slowly, but steadily, the border is coming together. I have to say, I think this is one of Teresa's easier borders. I really like the floral inner border - it complements the outer geometric border beautifully.

I've been working on section 3 of Mini Perle (as has Melanie), and we're probably going to get together to work the 4 corner squares of this section Sunday so that we are both on the same page (no pun intended). At a glance, it seems a rather complicated woven stitch, and we're thinking two heads are better than one at figuring it out.

Tonight is Sit n Stitch, and Taneya said she can make it, so I'm definitely heading over there as soon as I grab a bite to eat. I think I'll take both Maidens and my Vacation Mile-a-Minute afghan to work on, depending on what mood I'm in.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Fantabulous Independence Day weekend

I love 3-day weekends. This one was no exception. I got lots of things done, and got to do a lot of crafting too.

I worked on the 63 squares afghan, finishing square #57, the alternate mesh stitch

I also finished the peach inner panel on the vacation mile-a-minute afghan, and started a turquoise/teal one. I quilted one block on Scott's Ships, and finished stitching the flowers and leaves down on Teresa's quilt. I assembled those blocks, and now I have to get to work on the [multiple] borders. Oh, and last but not least, I've been stitching some on Fantasy Sampler. Tonight is Game Night, but if Mel calls and wants to work on Mini Perle, I'm game for that too.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Mini Perle

Wow, that was quick. I've finished "section 2" of Mini Perle tonight. This is such a cool design. I look forward to seeing Melanie's once she's finished section 2 with her colors. I know she had stitched one little section, but you just don't get the full effect until it's, well, full. :)

Mini Perle as of July 1, 2005

I think I'll go ahead and pull out Fantasy Sampler now and give it a go. If Mel wants to do some more on Mini Perle, I'll be happy to join her, but I don't want to get ahead of her on our SAL.

Halfway through 2005 already

My, how time flies.

I plan to work on the rest of my rotation, 12th round this month: Mini Perle, Fantasy Sampler, Merrick, Fancy Pansy, Maidens of the Seasons, and Unicorn Mystique. This should keep me busy without overwhelming me.

I'm really psyched that I'm now down to 24 cross stitch WIPs, halfway to my goal of 20 (started the year with 28), and yes, I still believe that I can achieve that goal, barring any unforeseen catastrophes.

How did I do with last month's goals? Hmmm... well, I achieved some and not others, but all in all, it was a good month because of my two finishes!

June goals:
  • Crochet 3 more squares on the 63 squares afghan (YES!!!)
  • Quilt five more blocks on Scott's Ships quilt (YES!!! Just under the wire)
  • Blanket stitch the final 6 of Teresa's basket blocks (not quite, only 1 stitched)
  • Knit on the kitty bed's side (No, sadly, I didn't even touch it in June)
  • Finish Nova, and begin working on the 12th round of my rotation (YES!!!)
What's next? July goals
  • Finish the 12th round of my rotation
  •  Crochet 3 more squares on the 63 squares afghan
  • Quilt five more blocks on Scott's Ships quilt
  • Blanket stitch the final 5 of Teresa's basket blocks
  • Knit on the kitty bed's side
  • Pick out the yarn for Joe's crocheted hat
Happy 4th of July weekend!!!!!