Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Newest Start

I finally dug out the cross-stitch kit I want to complete for my mother-in-law's christmas present this coming holiday season.  Holy Cow!  It's a 12 x 16 project, which is a little larger than I usually pick out.  I am feeling a little scared of the thing at the onset.  I looked at the chart and it's a solid 12 x 16.  That means that every bit of it has a stitch on it.  Not one single square of it is blank!  If I calculated it correctly, it's got 49,152 stitches to it.  I am already feeling pressure!  I figured it will take me approximately 6 months to complete.  I sat and stitched for a little less than an hour and this is where I got to...
As you can tell, it's like a drop in the ocean!  Let's hope I can complete this before christmas!

Updates from a neglectful blogger!

Well, its been a month since my last post.  I have no excuse other than that life keeps getting in my way of pursuing what I enjoy.  Ah well, I suppose that is simply how it works.

I recently went to a seminar for a direct selling company that I am part of.  I have been feeling rather down on this sales approach - I don't like to be sold to and so I find that I have difficulty trying to sell to others.  However, I do love the product and I really do believe in what I'm selling.  I went to the seminar hoping to find a refreshed sense of enjoyment.  I attended last year and found that I was inspired, but this year all I kept thinking was "Wow!  This is all sounding so sales-y!"  I did arrive home with lots of goodies and information on a new addition to the product line that will debut in March.  So, I am still up in the air about selling.

I drove 85 miles to and from this seminar.  I brought along an audiobook to listen to while I drove to and fro.  The best thing is that I snapped a picture of my ride home.

It was such a pretty sunset.  I encountered a TON of rain (not a nice mist, but a full-on torrential rain) both on the way there and on the way home, but by the time I had driven almost home I got to enjoy this view.  I know, I shouldn't have grabbed my phone and snapped a picture while driving, but I didn't want to miss it!

On the stitching front, I've set aside my Hydrangea Wreath project.  I did 2 little projects in the past couple of weeks.  I started and finished this little one with my desk at work in mind.
However, while I was stitching this at lunch one day, a co-worker saw it and said "Oh, You have to stitch me one, too!"  So, I've decided that I'll frame this one and present it to her to post in her cubicle.

I also finished this one...
 And it's all mine!  I loved this one and it went so quickly.  I started it on SuperBowl Sunday (I have no interest in football, so I always do other things while my husband watches games) and I finished it about two weeks later.  I'm still looking for the perfect frame for it, but I'll post a finished picture when I find it.  I really liked the wavy frame surrounded the picture and my favorite thing to stitch was the little butterflies and bee "motions".  The back-stitching on these elements give it such a feeling of movement and I'd like to stitch more projects that include this element.

Valentine's day just past by, and while I received the prettiest bunch of flowers (I don't like the traditional roses), the best gift of flowers I received arrived at the beginning of February.  My husband arrived at my work with a small packet of flowers for me - just because.  It was such a nice moment!  I came home and put them in the vase I have.  The next morning I came into the kitchen to find my cat, Princess, sitting on the kitchen counter admiring them.
In my house, cats are NOT welcome to sit on the kitchen counters, let alone on my cutting board, but I had to take a picture to share.  These flowers were so pretty, smelled really nice and lasted until Valentine's day.  I was amazed at their staying power.  I've never had any flowers that lasted almost two weeks.

So that's what I've been up to in between working every day.  I find that I am dreaming of vacation.  We have a mini-vacaton planned for July, but I want to schedule another vacation before then.  I am torn between going to Seattle, to visit my husband's mom, and going somewhere a little more tropical.  I've never been to Hawaii and after a conversation with my husband's boss, I got a commitment from husband that he'd agree to get on a plane and go there.  I don't know if we could afford to go without digging into our savings account to finance it, but it's definitely on my mind!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

First Finish of 2012!

Well I haven't got any progress to show on my Hydrangea Wreath.  I haven't added a stitch in the past week, but I've finished and photographed the cosmetic case that I was stitching as a cover for my Kindle.  I love it!  It was more difficult than I anticipated, but I am quite pleased with my handiwork.  I can definitely see where I could have done better, but it turned out pretty good for a first attempt at needlepoint.  I'll certainly try this again.  In fact, I think I have another needlepoint project somewhere around my house that also uses DMC floss and not yarn.  I don't really like the feel of yarn between my fingers, but I am perfectly comfortable with floss.

One the television front, I've been watching a lot of "Bones" on Netflix.  Other than the fairly real-looking decomposing bodies (say it with me - eeew!), it's a great show.  My hubby and I have watched it before, but we both enjoy re-visiting shows that we enjoy.  Not that they'll give me a discount for plugging them, but I love the commercial-free viewing of shows on Netflix.  It allows me to watch shows that I can't possibly stay up late enough to watch while they are on regular television.

This last week, I also watched a series called Kingdom.  It starred Stephen Fry and was a really short-run but very enjoyable series from BBC, I think.  In it, Fry is a lawyer and each show centered on a legal case or two and each one was settled with a healthy dose of good will towards one's fellow man.  It reminded me of a cross between "Murder, She Wrote" and "Matlock" in a beautiful looking village.  I really like Stephen Fry.  He's quite an enjoyable person to watch and listen to!  Unfortunately, I finished the 18 episodes available on Netflix and now need to find another show to watch.  I'm leaning towards "How It's Made".  It's fast paced, shows the making of some household-y thing or another, and still gives me some tidbit of knowledge that I don't need, but will certainly fascinate me and will possibly come in use at some point in the future, even if just for trivia games!  Plus it has an available 100 episodes and I certainly like the longer-run shows so I don't have to keep searching for something new to watch all the time.  I know it seems like I watch a lot of tv, but really I don't watch that much.  During the winter months, I watch more because it's so darn cold that I only want to sit under a blanket and stay warm!  Once summer rolls around, I am lucky to watch 1 show a day!

Starting today, I am again working on my Hydrangea Wreath.  I needed a break and the cosmetic cover provided that break quite nicely!  I also plan on beginning the Monopoly Game Board this weekend.  I had to find a way to stretch this 28 inch square piece of material.  I found scroll bars in a 30 inch length and they should arrive via Fedex tomorrow afternoon.  I wanted something light-weight enough to hold, but I still needed to keep the tension and I HATE hoops.  They leave the worst wrinkles on fabric and no matter how hard I try, they always distort the finished portions as I move the the hoop around.  I only ever use scroll bars now.  Anyway, I'll post pictures of that project as it progresses, too.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I Know, I Know...

I know, I know... It's been weeks since I last posted.  So much for my attempt to post regularly.  Well, at least I took pictures of my current project each week.  I also started two of my other projects, along with a needlepoint cosmetic case.  I don't actually wear make-up, but this cosmetic case is the exact dimensions of my Kindle.  I went looking for a cover for my Kindle to provide protection while it is in my purse.  I didn't find a single cover that I liked and they were too expensive to boot.
After looking for a while, I saw a collection of needlepoint cases from the Alice Peterson Co. that looked nice.  There were several different designs to  choose from.  I have never done needlepoint before, but I'm quite pleased with my efforts.  The design I chose feels a little more complex than I intended to start with but it's not half bad.  They also had a cover sized larger that was intended for eReaders, but they were all too large.  I had so much fun with this one that I might try an eyeglass cover next time.  I have no pictures yet, but in my next post, I'll add a picture of my new Kindle cover.

Take a look at the progress on my Hydrangea Wreath project:
Week 4

Week 5

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My favorite 2011 Christmas picture & Hydrangea Wreath Update

Well here is Week 3 of my stitching on the Hydrangea Wreath project.  As a picture is worth a thousand words, there's not much to say!

Also, here is my favorite picture from Christmas 2011.

This is my niece on her new BMW!  Grandma & Grandpa actually purchased this shortly after her birth, but had to wait until she was old enough to manage it.  It was a huge hit! 

Pictures of Holiday Stitching!

Well I've finally taken pictures of the wall hanging I created for my niece's Christmas present.  The first picture is the stitching itself.  It was supposed to be 4 separate pieces that I decided to use together as a wall hanging.  The kits actually included small glass bead that should have been added to create a sparkly effect.  However, I stitched this on a set of scroll bars and I wouldn't have been able to keep the needed tension on the piece without smashing the beads when I scrolled from section to section.  I am going to do these again for myself and I think I'll stitch it on a set of stretcher bars so that I can do the beading before I pull it off to frame.  

 These last two pictures are the finished piece.  I used a really pretty paisley fabric for the backing that I then stitched over the front to add a bit of color.  I got the hanger from a UK company.  The manufacturer is Rico Designs and I couldn't find it anywhere here in the US.  I adore the light-weight quality of the hanger.  It seemed perfect for a little girl's room.  I'll keep their company in mind for any future wall hangings I stitch.

Up next is an update of my progress on the Hydrangea Wreath project.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Gift Stitching is finished!

I have no pictures to show today, but I'll take a few snaps in the morning.  I'm simply too tired to grab my phone and/or camera and so the project will wait another day.  It feels really good to have the stitching completed, however, I now have to try my hand at sewing it into a wall hanging.  I've selected a really nice piece of fabric for the backing.  Tomorrow morning I'll lug out the sewing machine and sew something just as fabulous as I (think I've) stitched.

I'm also excited to get back to my regularly scheduled stitching, which thankfully I don't have to stitch for hours each day, every day to finish.  I'm back to the Hydrangea Wreath and I feel that a 12 week timeframe is still perfectly good for it's completion target.

I also can't wait to get back to reading.  I've been listening to audiobooks (which I adore), but my Nook and my Kindle look really lonely sitting untouched on my bedside table.  I really love those things!