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Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday Musings

I have an itch to start a new crochet project. I haven't finished the Pressed Flowers scrap afghan yet, but it's just not doing anything for me right now. It's very dense, and thus, very heavy, and I think I'd like to do another one of those mile-a-minute afghans. I have plenty of yarn, so I wouldn't need to go out and buy any (YAY for the pocketbook!). I would just have to decide on the pattern and colors.

Of course, what I REALLY need to be working on is the Double Wedding Ring quilt. I haven't touched it for several months now, and it sorely needs attention. I need a couple of weeks off in my craft room! :)

Speaking of my craft room, Sunday night I was rummaging around in there, and I happened across a little chartpak that I don't remember buying, but must have gotten from one of the shows I've attended (I know - that is just SO wrong). Anyway, it's Pumpkin Patch, one of the Little Leaf Designs, and I thought it would be a perfect little quick stitch for Halloween. I like a lot of the Little Leaf Designs, but I haven't bought any except for this one because they seem expensive (to me) for the size. Of course, you get a charm to use in them, and I think most of them use an overdyed thread which is also included, but sometimes I'd rather just have the entire design stitched, and not have to rely on a charm to complete it. Don't get me wrong, Pumpkin Patch is going to be very cute when it's finished with the charm, but maybe I'd like to stitch it twice, and so I'll have to go out and find another charm. I don't think I have any pumpkin designs that would fit inside the space for the charm, and my design skills are pretty limited.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another Afternoon Tea block, Winter Maiden

Finally, just under the wire for October, I've assembled two variations of block 10 for Afternoon Tea. This month has seen virtually no quilt progress, as I've been distracted by a million other things (or at least it seems).


And I'm very happy to announce that I've started Winter maiden, the last of the four Maidens of the Seasons. I finally get to stitch with those Needlepaints flosses that I bought [so long ago] when I first kitted the project. They are only used in the Winter maiden, so I've been anxious to get to her. I've been beading as I go, but I haven't backstitched yet, so she looks a little like I do without makeup, LOL (blondish-red eyelashes are practically invisible).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jury Duty

For the first time in my life, I had jury duty this week. I was randomly selected for the first pool of 30 potential jurors in a criminal case on Monday, and then I was randomly selected as one of the first 13 in the jury box. It took all morning to make it through voir dire (and I must have been deemed acceptable). The trial didn't start until after lunch, and finally wound up this (Tuesday) afternoon. Wow, was it an interesting and learning experience! It may be the same in most juries, but I was so pleased that my fellow jurors were all very thoughtful with great questions and discussions. It made me think critically in ways I wouldn't normally, and I think that's what I value most about the experience. So many times I like to think in black and white terms, but there are such shades of gray that must be considered, and I appreciated the chance to be a part of the process.

After the trial was over, the judge came back and gave us additional details about the case to which we were not previously privy, which were not part of the evidence (and which likely would have influenced us had we been). It was fascinating!

I'm still considering where to go next with my stitching. Meanwhile, I've begun working on Winter Maiden, which is pretty much non-fantasy. I also still really like the Midsummer Night's Fairy, so I imagine she'll be attended to fairly soon also. :) Thanks for your comments and support!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Raccoon's Visit

I decided not to add the outer border to my little raccoon. I like him just as he is, and I'll likely make him into an ornament for our Christmas tree this year. :)

Raccoon's Visit by Something in Common

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A little bit of Avatar

But first, Zeb had asked what stitch type I used on the bracelets I made last weekend. Most were variations on the daisy chain. A few were made with right angle weave (2, 5, and 11), and the 7th bracelet was a zig zag stitch.

I worked on Avatar most of this week, and filled in some more of his cape and stitched the dragon's tail.


As I've been working through my WIPs, I've been thinking about the types of projects that make up my current list. When I started stitching, there really weren't very many fantasy-related charts or kits available. I found and stitched Teresa Wentzler's The Castle, and bought the chart for Fantasy Sampler. But there just weren't many other cool fantasy designs.

After I discovered the bulletin boards on the web (TWBB, Cross Stitch Corner on EZBoard), a whole new world was opened to me. At the same time, it seemed like a lot more fantasy designs were being created (that could be a coincidence or not), and I, well, went crazy buying and starting a lot of new projects, including a lot of fantasy-related ones.

As I have worked to whittle my WIPs back down, I've left myself with a lot more fantasy projects than any other type. And because of this, I think I'm in fantasy overload. My desire to work on fantasy-related projects is waning, and I'm increasingly drawn to other types (samplers, animals, scenic, etc.). I have no idea how to deal with it. So, I pulled out a little raccoon freebie from Something in Common, and started to stitch it last night. That is my current plan. I don't know where I'll go from here, but I just had to share my feelings because they've been coalescing for some time now, and I might need some support. It's a little disconcerting and depressing, especially for someone who is usually so enthusiastic about fantasy projects.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A productive beadwork weekend

Here are the beadwork projects I completed over my extra-long weekend: my spiral rope necklace and a variety of bracelets.



I like them all, but my current favorites are numbers 2, 10, and 11.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Block 10, Courthouse Steps

Today is, of course, the second Saturday of the month, and so we went to pick up my quilt block packet for October. This month it's Courthouse Steps, and I've always liked this block, though I've never actually made one before today (regular log cabin is as close as I've gotten). The colors are nice and autumn-y.


They were advertising next year's block-of-the-month signup as a variety of star blocks, and the color choices were brights, Civil War, or black & white. I think the Civil War colors would be kind of similar to the Thimbleberries that I've done this year. And while I love brights, I've decided to go completely out of my usual comfort zone with the black & white. C mentioned one time that he thought a black & white quilt would be neat, so I will make it for him. And here I was thinking that I might not do next year's BOM, imagining that it would be similar colors and patterns to this year's, ha! I expect it to be very different. :)

Zeb, I do a variety of beadweaving techniques, including right angle weave, peyote, square stitch, spiral rope, and netting. I'm taking classes almost monthly to learn new "Stitches of the Month." I've done loomwork, but it isn't my favorite, so I'm skipping that class. If you're interested in some of my recent projects, feel free to browse my beadwork section. I've also bought several books, and I'm working on making some bracelets from them, practicing some of the stitches. :) I have always loved beads, but it wasn't until recently that I became obsessed with them again.

Well, I'm off to finish up my latest - a spiral rope necklace in my colors: the core is a dark, almost chocolate, burgundy, and the spiral is made up of a mixture of seed beads called golden grains - creams, golds, oranges, purply-browns in a variety of finishes. It's very me. :) I managed to pick up some really pretty buttons that I plan to use for clasps at Joann's this morning too.

Friday, October 12, 2007

And then there was the lack of restraint

I had an early supper with a friend after work Wednesday over in the Berry Hill area. Afterwards, and I have no idea why, I decided to run over to Beaded Bungalow. It's in the same general area as BeDazzled Beads, but I haven't been in the shop in several years. I guess I was trying to satisfy my curiosity, because I've been wondering how their prices were on seed beads (what I use mostly when beadweaving). I went in the shop and was quite impressed with both their selection and prices. Now, mind you, it's a small shop - smaller than BeDazzled - but I was "dazzled" by their seed bead display. So I bought a few...

Seed beads I bought at Beaded Bungalow on Wednesday

Okay, I guess that's more than a few. Yes, I showed a nice lack of restraint there after I was all proud of myself with resisting the NN floss a few days ago. But they're so pretty! Now I just have to decide on the patterns of bracelets I want to make. I'm actually wearing one today that I haven't taken a picture of - at a distance, it reminds me of a tennis bracelet. I used silver-lined clear and AB-finished lavender beads, and it's my favorite bracelet at the moment. I will have to take a picture to share.

I haven't really stitched much this week, but I did do a little on Pageant Kings. I've since moved on to Avatar, so I'll share what little progress I made on PK.

progress on Pageant Kings

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A little Enchanter progress

In working my way through my WIP list, I brought out Enchanter for a little attention this week. I worked mostly on the column, and a little more on his robes this time.

Enchanter progress

We had our Castle Heights Class of '87 reunion Friday night, and though we didn't have a huge turnout, we did have a really nice time with our classmates who were able to make it. I had fun reminiscing and catching up with everyone, and now my fridge is full of excellent leftovers, lol. I just gotta say, Amy Beth - you did a fantastic job of coordinating both the clubhouse and the food. It was the perfect place and an excellent menu. Though we both worked on this reunion together, I think she had the harder job with that because I'm terrible at party planning. I did the mailings and nametags and the mid-80's music mix, and that was way easier than securing the food and accomodations. Homecoming on Saturday was really nice as well, as a few of our classmates were able to stay overnight and attend the luncheon they have every year. After all the ceremonies, we cooled off in the Chop House and had a great time just hanging out again.

It will be back to the old grind tomorrow, but at least I have a nice long weekend to look forward to - we'll be taking next Friday and Monday as a mini-vacation, but not going anywhere - my favorite kind of vacation! :D I'll hopefully have a little time to play my new Legend of Zelda game - Phantom Hourglass (for the DS). It's very cool the little I've gotten to play so far. Oh yeah, and I've pulled out Pageant Kings for a little cross stitching attention.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Restraint

I feel the need to toot my own horn today. :) I've shown restraint in the wake of news that Needle Necessities has gone out of business. Normally, that would have me racing to every LNS in town buying up skeins of their floss *just because*. Instead, I sat and thought about all the designs I have and that I want to do (currently), and of course, all of the skeins of their floss that I already own. And I couldn't come up with a good business case to do just run out and buy some. I'm so proud of me, lol! Of course, I understand those who have ornaments picked out to stitch, or who have charts waiting to be kitted up that will require certain colors - I'm just not in that group. Plus, I've heard the rumor that another company is going to come out with the same or similar floss (with different color names) maybe next year, and so I've decided that I'll take my chances on being able to find what I need when I actually need it.

Regarding Mini Perle, I, too, am amazed when I think that it was over two years ago that I finished it. It really doesn't seem like that long ago. I'd like to eventually do some more needlepoint projects like that, it was really fun (and pretty!)

I don't have a new picture yet of Enchanter, but will post one in a few days when I've made a little more progress. Thanks for the suggestion Cheryl about posting it to the TW October Stitchalong thread on The Wagon - I'll definitely do that! Meanwhile, I have another picture to share of my progress on the Maidens, specifically Autumn Maiden - she's finished, so I just have one more to go!

Mirabilia's Autumn Maiden (from Maidens of the Seasons)