Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New Start, New Stash, and a Stitchy Tip

I sure hope this beautiful Wednesday finds you all immersed in some kind of stitchy goodness! I first want to say Welcome to all my new followers!! I'm so flattered and thrilled to have you here! Secondly, I'd like to thank the allergy gods for finally easing up on me a bit and allowing me an entire night's sleep without having to get up and sneeze/blow my nose/cough 352 times. Aaahhh, some relief! Now, on to the updates...

I decided to step away from my BAPs for a bit and start something small. Since I've been eating local honey by the gallon lately (it really DOES help with allergy symptoms), I thought this project was fitting. It was included in a giveaway that Denise over at Riverside Stitching held a few weeks ago. It's called The Honey Shop and is by Shepherd's Bush. I made a couple minor color changes, but mostly I'm keeping to the charted colors. Here's my progress so far:

Yesterday, I decided to purchase some more know, in case I actually DO live to be 114. I came across some TW leaflets that I don't already have, and got them for a song. 

And then I decided to go ahead and purchase a Christmas book I'd had my eye on for quite some time...Santa's Great Book.

Now, for a stitchy tip: I normally carry my Stitch Happy tote bag to and from work because it's the only thing that will fit the Q-snaps I need for my BAPs. However, since I've decided to stitch the rare (for me) small project, I was looking for something smaller to carry it in. I considered a small purse, a miniature tote bag, and even a plastic grocery bag. Since I didn't want anything that would allow my chart, fabric, and notions to flop around freely...I quickly dismissed all of these options. And then I saw it - the clear plastic, zippered bag that my newest curtain panels came in. Genius!! It's the perfect size, it has just enough room on the inside to carry everything, and the bottom is canvas so my scissors won't poke through. Works perfectly :)

 How do you all transport your projects (big or small) when you travel?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Whew!...What a Week

I just realized it's been a week since I've posted. Holy crap, where did the time go?! I'm not complaining, though, because what better reason to be absent from the blogosphere than 'Life got in the way'. And what a fantastic life it is! I would be remiss if I didn't start off this post by saying "THANK YOU!!!" to everyone for all of the encouraging words and kinds thoughts and prayers you all have sent our way. And a big welcome to my new's a pleasure to have you! :)

For most of the past week, we've been dealing with insurance companies, adjustors, contractors (for repair estimates) and, of course, work/kids/house/pets. Fortunately, it's not going to cost as much as we first thought to repair the storm damage. Unfortunately, we won't be filing a claim for the insurance to cover the costs, since it will be cheaper for us to do it ourselves. I was finally able to get some pics uploaded so you all can see how lucky we really were here in our little corner of the world. 

My house :(
The tree between our house and garage that lost it's whole top
And there's our garage...under the top of that tree
 We're all so very thankful that things weren't worse than what they were. Cleanup is nearly complete and everything will be back to normal very soon. 

And now...on to my stitchy update. Obviously, I haven't had the time I'd hoped to have for stitching this week. I did, however, manage to finish page 2 of Wondrous Works of God. Now, I'll be moving on to Cabriolet and seeing how far I can get with that one this week. I've kind of involuntarily put myself on a weekly rotation of WIPs. It seems to work out best for me to switch projects every Monday. Whatever works, right? No progress pics tonight, as my camera battery is dead and on the charger and I don't like the way pics look from my phone. I'll post some pics in a day or two when I've had a chance to make some headway on the next project in line. 

Until then, I hope everyone is having a stitch-tastic week, so far!

Monday, August 20, 2012

1st Day of School, Take Two

Today was the first day of school (again) for our little town in Central IL. Um, again, you say? Wait, that doesn't make sense...

Well, as it turns out, our original 1st day was to be last Friday, the 17th. However, Mother Nature had other ideas when she sent a tornado through our little community on Thursday afternoon. No one in town was injured (praise God!!) , but there was significant damage to homes, vehicles, and structures in and around the community. The entire town was without power for about 12 hours until half of us got it back...the other half would have to wait another 10 hours or so. Unfortunately, the schools are located in the half of town that still had no power come Friday morning - meaning no 1st day for the kiddos. Some kids were pretty excited about that, but I'll bet all those brand new kindergarteners were rather devastated to have to wait another 2 whole days to start school!

Our home sustained some pretty significant damage, but only to the outside. Nothing to the inside or that would effect our structural integrity. Probably going to need a new roof and definitely some new siding, but nothing that can't be fixed. We also have a 20ft limb through our garage roof but thankfully, since I was at work when the storm hit, there was no car in the garage. Definitely going to need a new roof there, also. We are still waiting for the insurance adjustor to come and make a more precise estimate, but we're figuring between $15-20k in damages. I'm going to hear sawing and hammering in my sleep for the next 6 months...

I took a good number of pics of the damage, but have not had a chance to put them on the computer yet. I'll try to get some up later...many are really quite shocking, reminding us all that it could have been sooo much worse. 

Anyway, on to my stitchy update. I've rotated back to Wondrous Works of God because the stitching 2-over-1 on 22ct. on my HAED gets these 'old' eyes down after awhile, lol. Here's where WWoG was left:
WWoG 7/25/12
And here's what it looks like as of this morning:
WWoG 8/20/12
Again, showcasing my phenomenal skills of never posting two pics with the same lighting. Ever. The bottom pic was actually taken from my phone, so there's my excuse for that one ;) I'm hoping to finish page 2 by the end of the week and then move on to either Cabriolet or put some more work in on Olde Time Santa, now that autumn is coming and the weather is cooling down a bit. Of course, that is IF I get a chance to stitch once the reconstruction of my house starts...

Hope everyone is having a great stitching day!!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

HAED Progress Update

Just a quick update on All Hallow's Eve. I've been too rundown with allergy issues and too hyped up on meds to do much solid stitching, but I've managed to make some progress over the last few days. Enough to post a picture of, anyway. Here's what it looked like before:

All Hallow's Eve 8/7/12

And here's what it looks like now:

All Hallow's Eve 8/10/12
 Still a long way to go on page 1 of the chart, but I'm hoping there's some relief from these allergies in the near future. As it is, I'm tempted to drink enough Nyquil to ensure that I don't wake up until sometime in November. Surely all the pollen will be frozen by then...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Stitching Under the Influence, WIP Update, and New Stash

I would really love the opportunity to kick the allergy gods in their 'no-no space'!! The dryness and heat this season is wreaking absolute havoc on my sinuses. On Saturday, I had the WORST allergy attack I've had in years. So, for the last 3 days, I've been attempting to stitch as much as I can, but doing so after taking very strong allergy/cold medicine has proven to be a less-than-great idea. Two nights ago, I was sitting on the couch watching good TV and stitching away, when I looked down at what I'd done and realized that the whole section of purple I had just stitched was supposed to be cocoa brown. Sigh. 

I frogged the whole area and started it again. Just as I got almost done with re-doing what I just did...I noticed that I was one square over from where I needed to be. Sigh again.

Finally, I put it away for the night and admitted defeat. Score: Medication - 1, Me - big fat 0. Last night I was feeling quite a bit better and was able to fix my mistake (again) and carry on with another couple of 10 x 10s. Here's what All Hallow's Eve looks like now:

No picture can do justice to the way the darker shades of grays, browns, and purples blend together. Hopefully, by this Friday's update, I'll have quite a bit more progress to report. I'll see if I can get a pic that shows the nuances of the colors a little better.

Now, on to some other little tidbits:  New stash was purchased yesterday.  YAY! I decided to break down and spend some of my Amazon gift card money and got this - 

It's from Orenco Originals (my first chart of theirs) and I'm in love with it. It'll probably take me 20 Christmas seasons to stitch it, since I can only stitch winter stuff in the winter, but it will totally be worth it. 

Also, today is mine and DH's wedding anniversary. We're "one of those" couples that met, got engaged, and got married all in a span of a few months. We celebrate 3 years married today and it's still the best decision I ever made. Love him to bits! :)

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Thursday Stitch Therapy & the Return of My Mojo!!

The thing with stitching mojo is when it goes, it's GONE...and when it comes back, it comes back with a fiery vengeance!

I had kitted up All Hallow's Eve a few nights ago, but the Olympics prevented me from making more than a few stitches. It's riveting television, I tell ya! Well, I'm still watching intently from morning til night, but now I've managed to not only put in some stitches on this HAED...I've decided that I didn't like what I had done so far (about 5 lines of the chart). So I frogged the whole thing yesterday and restarted it. I've got quite a start on the upper left quadrant of the first chart page, but I'm not prepared to post pics until I've recovered the area I frogged. It looks gross, lol. Thank goodness HAEDs are full coverage!

I'm stitching this one 2 over 1 on 22-ct white Hardanger and, when going line by line on the chart, the coverage was complete, but looked really clunky (for lack of a better descriptive word). I also didn't like how cluttered the back was getting with all the stops and starts, since I'm not a needle-parker. Now I've gone back to my original stitch habit of moving from color to color rather than line by line. Things are going much faster and the back of my fabric doesn't feel like I'm trying to cross stitch with knitting yarn. 

As much as I'm stitching now, I should have that frogged area covered in no time. I hope to have progress pics of at least the first half of page 1 by tomorrow night...maybe sooner ;)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

STNA Blog Hop # 7: The Leftovers

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

Here's the question for Blog Hop # 7:

What do you do with the floss, thread, beads, and other elements you have left over from full project kits?

This is a really good question, as I still buy prepackaged kits quite often. I tend to pick up any kit that has a pattern that really reaches out and grabs me, regardless of the supplies included in it. Several of the recent ones I've bought have come with linen, but I don't mind stitching on Aida 16- or 18-ct now and then. Whether I use what's included, or replace it with my own stash, I try to make as much use of the 'leftovers' as I can:

1)   Most of the time, I hate the floss that comes in the kits. If possible, (and if I can find a design house to DMC conversion chart) I replace it with floss from my stash that is already sorted, wound, and labeled. If I do happen to use the floss that comes with the kit, then any unused floss is given to my daughter, who is 12, and is at the age of friendship bracelets. She also likes to play around with a piece of fabric and some floss now and then, just trying to come up with her own creations. She loves to be my scrap recipient!

2)  Beads not used are kept in my bead keeper with the rest of my stash of Mill Hill and other beads...if the kit identifies what company/color number/color name they are. If there is nothing to specifically identify them, then I just keep the leftover ones all together in a small container for use in later projects.

3)  Kit fabric is sometimes used and sometimes pulled out and replaced with a piece I have in my stash. The stiff Aida fabric pieces that often come in the kits are rarely used, but instead are kept and cut down to be used for other things, such as bookmarks, ornaments, fobs, etc.

4)  Needles are almost always 'keepers'. Well, unless they are either exceptionally short or really, super dull. Then I throw them out and use my own. Normally, they're just fine...and I've worked up quite a tally of them over the years :) 

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.