Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Too Bad it Isn't January

If it was, I would be able to hang the first piece of my SamSarah calendar! Here is January, all finished:

Sorry about the bad picture lighting. We're still getting settled after our move in with Mom, and I can't put my finger on my camera just now. This was taken on my phone, but I didn't want to wait any longer to post it. I'm also more than halfway through 'Tuesday', one of the other 4 charts in the first installment, but I have to wait until Cynthia sends me the missing floss for it before I can finish it. I've started the next in line, the blank left number for days 1-9. I hope to have another finish picture for you tomorrow!

I also want to say Thank You so much for all the kind words, comfort, encouragement, and (virtual) hugs you've recently sent my way!! You can't know how much that meant to me at such an uncertain time. I'm happy to report that the worst of the move is over, we're settling in nicely, and all that's left is cleaning out the other house. We should be over and done with everything by the end of November at the latest. It's obviously quite a change, but it's been really nice to wake up in the morning and enjoy a cup of coffee with my mom. These days won't last...I plan to enjoy them for as long as I can.

I hope you all are well, and stitching something that makes you smile :)


Friday, October 19, 2012

Too Much Information

No, I'm not about to get vulgar and tell you things you don't care to know. It's not that kind of TMI. I just have too much information bouncing around in my head, so here's where I'm going to dump it. I guess that's what I get for not posting anything but a Blog Hop for 9 days. Sigh. There will be stitchy updates in this post (somewhere), but no pics, so if you don't like to read...I won't be offended if you go now :)

First and foremost, I HAVE been stitching. I promise. The SamSarah calendar is super fun to stitch and I have made progress on 2 of the first 4 charts, but I'm just not ready to post pics yet. As it turns out, I was shorted (completely by accident) a couple of skeins of floss and I didn't realize it until I needed to use them. Thankfully, as I've said previously, the customer service at Beach Cottage Stitchers is second to none. One short email exchange later and the missing fibers are on their way to me as I type. Pics to come when my missing goodies get here. I've also made some more progress on Wondrous Works, but it's tucked safely away in my craft bag and I really don't feel like digging it out just to take a picture. Lazy, I know.

Speaking of goodies, I received my winnings from the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe the other day...10 skeins, 20 yards each, of hand-dyed floss in the most beautiful colors I've seen in a while. I can't wait to find the perfect projects to show them off. I may try to find a design that will work well with them for my very first ever exchange. I'm very excited to pick something to make, finish, and send off to Shannon over at A Bit of This and That!

On another note, we've recently made the decision to move out of our home and co-habitate with my mother in order to be there to assist her on a daily basis. She will be 73 in March and is afflicted with Parkinson's Disease. So far, no major medical intervention has been necessary, but I continue to be increasingly worried about how she gets around when she's home alone. We'll be living in her home, temporarily, until we can find a new home large enough for all of us at an affordable price. That might take 15 years in this economy, lol. We would just move her in with us...if it weren't for having all of our bedrooms upstairs.

Also, I'm currently up for a promotion at work, which is good in the sense that it will provide a higher income...but not so good in that it will cause me to have to put in longer hours with much local travel. I'm afraid my stitching time will suffer greatly, but I find it hard to justify passing up such an opportunity just to have more time for my obsession hobby. Although, as I'm sure many of you will understand, that thought did cross my mind. ;)

Ok, I think that's enough random nonsense for now. I don't know how much stitching will get done this weekend, as we'll be continuing to pack and move so I'm going to take advantage of the peace and quiet at home right now and see what I can get done before I get too tired to see where I'm putting the needle. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blog Hop #10: Threads That Tie Me in Knots

It's Blog Hop time again! Here is the prompt for this round:

                "What’s your absolute least-favorite thread to work with?"

That's an easy one for me...any thread that comes in a kit! I don't mean the kits that you request to be put together when you purchase a chart, fabric, and fibers at the same time. I mean the kits that are sold pre-packaged and probably put together by a machine somewhere. I don't know where the threads/fibers in those kits come from, but it has to be somewhere near the second circle of Hell. They're often so thin and so coarse that they become nearly impossible to work with. Knots, twists, tangles, breakage, etc...they make me crazy!! I almost always end up finding conversions (or making my own) and replacing the fibers that come in the kit with those from my own stash. There's a reason I keep 7 boxes of thread stash :)

What fibers/threads/floss make you want to yank your hair out? Join the blog hop by following the instructions link below and let us know!!

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.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's Here! It's Here!!

The first installment of the SamSarah Fun Every Day perpetual calendar arrived in my mailbox yesterday! Oh, happy day!! This is really going to put a kink in my plan to start the last 3 projects on my 'List' for 2012, lol. I still plan to get those starts in, for sure, but how soon that will be remains to be seen. 

My start-up package yesterday consisted of enough perforated paper to complete all 48 designs in the series, enough die-cut tags to mount them all on for hanging, the first four charts in the series, and all of specialty flosses necessary for the initial charts. Looks like I'll be starting with Tuesday, January, the number 1, and a blank number to put in the left place for days 1-9 of every month. Here's (most of) what I received:

They were also kind enough to toss in a couple of small, Christmas-themed freebie charts. Of course, I could NOT resist starting on this right away. So...I stitched last night until 2am, when I finally convinced myself it was time to put the needle down and go to bed, and then picked back up this evening and put in quite a few more stitches. Here's where the first chart, Tuesday, is now:

This is such a fun stitch...expect regular updates. I've also made some progress on both WWoG and Forest Goddess. Update pics of those will come soon. My stitching mojo is definitely in overdrive these days! :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

New Stash, Progress Update and Real Men Wear Pink

What a wonderful weekend it's been so far! Our town had Fall citywide garage sales today, so we woke up early and spent the better part of the day looking through other people's 'junk', lol. We found a lot of really nice play clothes for our son, some things for our daughter, and (my favorite) some good crafty stuff. The best was the dozen or so skeins of vintage DMC floss I picked out of an older lady's sewing basket and only paid 50 cents for. Score!! Then we stopped at one of our LNS and picked up some past issues of JCS and other magazines (.50 each) and some perforated paper. We got home and found our most recent order from 123stitch had arrived. Sweet! Here's 'my' portion of what we got (hubby's goodies are not pictured):

Hubby's haul was 2 good-sized kits, some of the perforated paper, Stained Glass Bookmarks chart, and a couple of small ornies. 

I've spent all of my stitching time on Forest Goddess since I started her. Miras are so much fun to stitch and I just can't seem to put them down once I start. If I do manage to move on to something else, it's never for very long. Here's where I'm at now:

The Forest Goddess as of 10/6/12 Stitched on 28-ct. Toasted Almond Belfast Linen
 On a random note, we decided that our big dog, Titan, would appreciate being able to show his support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month also. Here he is sporting his brand new pinky-pink collar (and chewing a bone, as usual), because real men wear pink!

Go 'head, make fun of my collar. I dare ya.
I hope you all are having a ridiculously successful stitching weekend. My running is over for the day, so I'm tucked in to my PJ's and settled on the couch with my stitching at the ready. More updates to come soon! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Must Say, I'm Very Impressed

As I mentioned in a previous post (here), I have been very excited about the new SamSarah Fun Every Day Perpetual Calendar automatic program, seen here on the Beach Cottage Stitchers website. I had never had occasion to do any business with Beach Cottage Stitchers before now, and I can't even rightly remember how I came across their website in the first place, lol, but I'm sure glad I found them!

There are some really neat automatics on their website. They encourage you to jump in at any time and only buy as few or as many as you want. Now that the calendar automatic above is available for purchase (Yes, I've already ordered mine, lol), I've been dealing with them quite a bit by email. Cynthia Harris, the contact I've been working with is so prompt and sooo helpful in her responses to my email inquiries. She notified me right away when the program opened up, she gave me step-by-step instructions on how to sign up for the auto purchase program, and she is just so courteous.

Good, personal customer service is really hard to find these days, so I always try to make a point to share a great experience when I have one. These folks are definitely a delight to work with and it makes me happy to buy from them. That's a rare feat to accomplish, I think.

Also, for those of you who commented on my original post that you might be interested in purchasing this calendar project yourself...HURRY!! Stock is limited and I'd hate for you to miss out. The prices are VERY reasonable and every monthly mailing (after the first, because it's the largest) has Free Shipping. I can't wait to get started on these and see if I can actually finish one set before the next set is released. Here goes...

I hope everyone is having a happy and stitch-filled Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Had Better Get a Move On...

...if I'm going to get all of the starts from my Overly Ambitious List done before the year is out! When I realized that October is upon us (already!) and I still have 4 starts to get to, I decided I had better get to it. So, on Sunday, I started on Mirabilia's The Forest Goddess. Here is my progress so far:

My plan is to make another start before the end of the month, and then one in November and one in December. That should complete the list of starts I intended to make this year. Obviously, since I tend to be a BAP stitcher and rarely stitch smalls, I don't expect that these will be finished this year. I have one finish, so far, and Wondrous Works may end up finished as well...if I can bring myself to face all the backstitch it involves. Blech.

Also, I want to be sure and say Thank You So Much! for all the wonderful comments you all have made in regard to DH's current stitchy project. He isn't in the blogosphere, but he 'trolls' my blog now and again out of curiosity and has surely seen your comments for himself. He truly appreciates all the kind words and compliments. It's so nice to have such a great group of folks to be motivated and encouraged by. You all are the BEST! :)

I hope everyone is having a fantastically stitchy week. The weather is sure making it easy to cozy up inside and stitch away. Chilly, rainy, and getting dark earlier and earlier now. It's my favorite time of year and it's showing in my progress. I'll be checking in later in the week with some updates on other projects as well. Until then...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Blog Hop # 9: Stitching Tools

October 1st already??! Hard to believe, but it must be because it's time for another round of the blog hop:

 "What are your must-have stitching tools and aides? Other than your trusty scissors, of course. Is there a problem you have had when stitching that you created your own solution for, or have you purchased a tool that helped?"

Oh, boy...this is a good one! First and foremost, I would be lost without my Pako Needle Organizers. They are so easy to change-up to move from project to project. I'd never attempt another BAP without them. I have 3 now and am thinking I may pick up a couple more, since DH is uses them also.

Another must-have are my Q-snap frames. I have several sets and usually have at least 3 working frames on projects at any given time. I'm going to be picking up additional ones soon, as DH has expressed interest in using these as well. 

The other tools I can't live without are:

*Enough scissors to have a pair for each project
*DMC needle cases
*My LoRan magnetic board and folding stand
*My Stitch Happy clear tote bag that I use to carry my current project to and from work

I also use Post-Its a lot as a way to keep track of the symbols/floss colors on large projects. I just draw a simple graph on a Post-It, fill in the chart symbols and corresponding floss colors, and stick it somewhere on the chart page I'm working on. That way, I know I'll always have a copy of the floss key with me.  It's very easy to unstick and restick several times until I'm finished with that page.

What can you not live without?

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