Tuesday, February 9

February TUSAL

I joined the Totally Useless SAL hosted by Daffycat again this year. I think it makes the perfect companion to WIPocalypse. To find out more info click here (or, you know, the button in the sidebar).

After my "emptying of the ort jar", I've already started refilling my juice jar! (although with my decluttering going on, I'm hoping to make a snazzier Ort container soon).

Here are my orts!

And here is a little bit more progress on Thanksgiving Fairy. With my not-quite-gone head cold, I'm just feeling too gross to go out in public, so cleaning and stitching it is. She grew a little hair and her wings are filling in :)

Monday, February 8

On a Roll!

With this irritating cold, I've been such a bum, just binge-watching Netflix and stitching.

I finished another RoundRobin piece, which means once I stop by the PO tonight, I'll finally be down to one in my possession!  YAY!  And I know what I want to stitch on the last one, I just need to chart it out.  I'm going to give myself a week or two before I get back to that one (unless the next one gets mailed to me, in which case I'll have to hurry again ;) )

I did a band from Esther's Waves by Northern Expressions.  I picked a band I liked, and I chose colors from fibres in my collection.

I used a Needle Necessities I originally acquired for a custom piece I did (of my uncle's artwork), Sassy Brass (by Crescent Colours), and Bark (WDW).

I love how it came out - it looks SO MUCH like Tiger's Eye, which is my favorite semi-precious gemstone.  I kind of hated to give the Round Robin back, because I loved it that much.

Here's my band (colors are a bit off, it was late when I took the picture):

Here's the whole piece:

And here's Mona, "helping" me.

I also stitched on Thanksgiving Fairy while hanging out with some friends while watching the SuperBowl (poor Panthers, oh well).

Saturday, February 6

January Friends

I went out of town in January and visited with some friends. And of course, we did some shopping! Check out my cool new things! :)

I visited Stitcher's Paradise and Quiltique while I was in Vegas and I found a few things.

First, I was just going to slow my roll at the stitching store, because OMG, I went crazy last year and I still haven't stitched a thing, so *clearly* I did not need anything.

Or did I?

I was looking through their "old" stuff in the back, digging through the Glendon Place stuff, because I really do like her desserts, and I found this LE kit!   I had looked everywhere I could think of online to find it, and couldn't; *everyone* was sold out!  But lo and behold!

My only issue is that I hate the color of the fabric.  It's a pale baby pink and I just don't want to use it.  I want something that is just this side of white, either in grey or cream, but I'm not happy with what I've found so far.   But I'll get there.

These two adorable snowglobes weren't badly priced (so much overseas stuff is expensive!), and I snatched them up.    A friend gave me Elegant Squid, and I bought fibres for it, not realizing that she'd left her extra fibres in the package.  Oops.

And a piece of fabric.  Because.

At the quilt store I found some patterns.   The half-moon cases are something I think I will adapt.  Instead of having zipper pockets or holders, I might just line the whole thing in wool/felt and make half moon keepers for all of my different wips, so that way I'm not re-using the same one over and over and leaving threads in the wrong place.  I think it would work ever so much better that way.

The small design above the half moon thing is a pouch for carrying nail polish bottles and accessories, and that would be fantastic for travel, because right now I just chuck them in whatever bag.

The professional Tote is something I found online some time ago and have been meaning to order, but since they have it!   I hear it can be complicated to sew, especially because there are so many layers, but I'm confident I can pull it off.   There are a few things I would change about the design anyway, which would help.

Right now I'm using Vera Bradley diaper bags for work, which I love, except that they are low on pockets, and this thing seems to have about a thousand of them *and* the footprint I need for hauling things like lunch (I hate taking two bags)

I tend to pick up fat quarters in pairs.   I don't know why, maybe just to make sure I have something complimentary?
I got some pretty pink & red for a mouse I want to make. And skulls.  Because skulls.

I love this skull fabric because it's not obvious skull fabric?  It's from a Folklorico line, and I keep thinking that I might want to make my fancy work tote out of this.  It would be so fun!  (there is no reason to be full bore "professional", that's not the kind of work I do)

Lobsters.  Because Lobster ;)

This is the yardage I picked up for the professional tote.   There's another coordinating fabric I can buy (hearts and bees) for lining, they just didn't have it in.   There's something about these partridges I just adore.  I think it'll make a cute bag :)

So that's about it for all of the stuff I bought.   I did buy some new Vera bags.  I got a baby bag in Heather, which is awesome for work.  What I really like about these bags isn't just that they're the perfect size to haul my work crap, but that there's a pouch for two bottles, which fits my coffee mug and umbrella perfectly.

I also grabbed a pill holder thingie that I put my vitamins in (because I always forget to take them first thing in the morning) and a bathroom organizer travel thingie, because my old one, which is nearly 15 years old, is looking pretty sad.

Friday, February 5

The cleaning & stuffing of the Orts!

And the first official finish of 2016!

Sometime last year, someone in bloglandia (you know who you are, I just can't remember, because I'm awful like that), mentioned that they used their previous years' orts to stuff a project.

This is brilliant.

So I decided to make a biscornu and stuff it with my orts.

Behold! The Orts of 2015!

In which I learn that maybe my laptop is not the best place for pics... hah
And behold!   The Biscornu of the Orts of 2015!

It's evenly stuffed,, this angle just made it look weird.
I had problems with one corner, oops...  It's a freebie from Imaginesque and stitched with my beloved Bethlehem from Weeks Dye Works

I added the year (obviously), and I learned that next year's biscornu will need to be much bigger, because I barely made the orts fit (and I didn't stitch much last year).

Thursday, February 4

Winter Gaming summary!

This past weekend was a local boardgaming convention that I like to attend every year.   It's usually the same week as a big professional thing, so I end up missing one night to attend a banquet, but not this year! Huzzah!

It's also a little bit out of our usual area, and luckily a coworker is willing to walk the dogs so that we don't have to worry about driving back in the evenings, which is super nice.

This year's tally?
  • 22 - games played
  • 21 - unique games played (that's right! only one played twice!)
  • 3   - expansions
  • 9   - wins
  • 14  - new to me games (or expansions)
  • 8   - games I would consider purchasing.

Here are some of the games (I started getting sick on Saturday and started forgetting to take pictures)

Orleans - New to me, relatively new overall; I really, really liked this game

Attika - older game, tons of fun!  I lost very quickly ;)

7 Wonders Duel - I am not a fan

Roll Through the Galaxy!  I'm always up for this easy dice game.

La Granja - new to me, relatively new, and I kinda want to own it.

Trains!   Again, one that I always am up for playing

Russian Railroads - I dominated this particular playthrough.  I really like this worker placement

The Game.  It's a co-op and super hard, but still fun.

Pandemic: The Cure.   We died.  But we made it a lot tougher on ourselves than it needed to be.

El Grande!  Another oldie, but goodie.

Concordia with the Salsa expansion (which actually means "salt" not "tasty condiment"),
I really want to get this expansion.

My favorite (new) games were:
La Granja
Germain Railroads (expansion for Russian Railroads)
Concordia - Salsa expanion
Champions of Midgard (so much Ameritrashy fun!)

Our next *for sure* con is in September, though I'm kinda hoping to try to make GenCon this year; we'll see ;)

Wednesday, February 3

WIPocalypse - January

So I'm a week late... oops ;)

My main goal for this year is to start as few projects as possible.  At first I was on a total "new project ban", but then I realized that there were a few small things I'd like to start/finish and I didn't want to guilt myself.

But in the meantime, I'm still trying to plug away at WIPs/WIsPs/UFOs.

So far this/last month, I put a few stitches in my WWCKD and Thanksgiving Fairy by Mirabilia, as well as the Round Robin that I've fallen so far behind on.

I have already chosen what I want to do on the next RR (I have two more in my possession), and I know what I want to do on the last one, but I have to design it first, so I'll be doing my RRs slightly out of order.

Here is Thanksgiving Fairy!  I finished her skirt and started in on her wings.  I was out of town when I was working on her, and somehow the Black Coffee that is used for her boots was MIA, so I'll get to that later.   Because she's so small, I bead as I go.

Here is my contribution to Kay's RR.   I used the octopuses from Hands On Design's "Octopus Dance" from their Square*ology "Ahoy" series.   I stripped everything down to one octopus and then flipped it and placed them next to each other.  I used Weeks Dye Works Bethlehem for the main color, and Argyle Socks for the other shade.  I reversed the angle of the stitching so that the varigation came out opposite on each octopus (does that even make sense?  Well, you can see!)

Here is the whole RR:

January 24- Topic: Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!

Hallo!  I think this is the third? year I've tried to participate in WIPocalypse.  In 2014, I was off to a great stitching start.  I got a little derailed last year, right around March, but now I'm trying to get back to it, and my only real competition is that I got a PS4 for Christmas, and boy do I love me some videogames. :)   I am still plugging away at PS3 games (most notably the Assassin's Creed series), and I fell into Diablo III on the PS4 (I had never played before).  I really want to play Grim Fandango again, though - I had that back when I was a PC gamer ;)

I have all of my WIPocalypse goals listed here, and most of my pictures of pieces here.

I'm going to try to get back on "schedule" with Zodiac Mystery.   It's a 12 month mystery, and I stopped stitching on it after February, so I will try to pick it back up in March.

As far as non-stitching goals, I do have two quilts I started last year that I'd like to go ahead and finish, one is Bonnie Hunter's Allietare mystery quilt, and the other is a bloomin' 9 patch that I started at my quilting store.  That's about it, which isn't too bad..

Monday, January 4

New Year, New Post!

I'm just the worst at keeping up on things lately.  But I have promised myself that I've had my unorganized self pity time, and it would a wonderful Idea if I started to get my proverbial shit together and act like an actual adult.

I started stitching with a bang and then things fell apart in March when I went through HR shenanigans with my job.   Ironically?  Coincidentally?  Schadenfreudally? The higher up who put me through hell has been AWOL.   Not that there's any official word, but I can say (for certain) that this person's mugshot is out on ye olde interwebz, so that guy hasn't been around.  But that's all I'll say about that (or it will turn into a 5 page missive).  But in any event, I never really hit my stride again after letting myself get totally derailed (I should have been able to "right" myself in July, but never bothered - oops!).

On the upside, we (I'd say royal we, but it did involve the help of a lot of friends) did put in new flooring throughout the first floor, enlarge the coat closet from 31" wide to 6" wide, painted the hallways, painted/re-floored/re-did the guest bedroom ("LadyCave"), and built a queen sized Murphy bed, so I didn't exactly do nothing this past year ;)

But here are my Resolutions for this year (we'll see how well that works)

  • Finish my certification (January).
    It's one exam, I should have had it done months ago ;)
  • Enroll in an emergency management certification class/program
    I've been talking about it for far too long
  • Read at least one book from my dead tree shelf/month.
    I want to go all mostly (I've saved my favorites) digital and put a dent in my physical Mt. TBR
  • Declutter - I have a timeline/list.
    It should honestly not take that long and is more of a spring/winter cleaning thing.   This has been spurred by me having entirely too many kitchen gadgets/equipment (I got an Instant pot!  I can get rid of so much now!)
    I honestly did start decluttering some stuff (like in the garage, bedrooms, etc), but I stalled out on my piles of things to be donated/trashed/shipped.  I just need to finish up and part of my monthly/biweekly timeline is actually getting the crap out of the house that I finished with.
  • Stitching - I want to get back to something regular.
    I have a planner now so I can actually get reminders to do things like check into WIPocalypse and/or any other bloggity good things.  I've even put little stickers on all of the dates I know I should blog!
    I even updated my WIPocalypse/goals for 2016!
  • Quilting -
    I am working my way through the Allietare mystery at Quiltville.
    I'd like to finish that quilt and my bloomin' 9patch from the quilt class I was taking in March.
    I want to take a free-motion quilting class, although these two quilts will probably be straight quilted at home.
  • Genealogy Do Over.
    Thomas MacEntee's Do-Over is really cool, and it changed how I'm doing things now that I'm starting over with my genealogy, but the 16 week program is just too fast.  For 2016 he is doing each topic Monthly instead of Weekly, which is just awesome, I think, and I have the work book as well.   My goal is to join the DAR this year, so I'm concentrating on my paternal grandfather's lines.   After I finish with what I know/have on hand, I will work on further verification and then my mother's lines, which came from Poland around the turn of the century.
I don't think these goals are crazy, I feel like they're totally do-able and leaving plenty of space for live and non-stressing (most of them could probably be knocked out in a couple of months if I rushed it).  I'm super excited about my new planner, because I think that having something with me to remind me what I'm up to is going to be key to success.  I find myself too easily distracted, and I know that once I start something I generally stick to it.   It's just a matter of reminding myself that tonight is the night I quilt or stitch or genealogy or something and I shouldn't pick up a videogame to get myself lost it (no worries, I'm leaving plenty of time for gaming!  I got a PS4 for Christmas (username Suzemo if anyone wants a friend - I don't know anyone on the Playstation Network) and I've been playing the heck out of Diablo III, but I also got some PS3 games for Xmas to play as well ;)

I have two positions with my professional organizations that I will endeavor to be good at.  One of them should be a cake walk, the other should be a bigger deal (one is a three year and the other is a two year appt).  So hopefully I'll grow professionally as well as personally.  At least that's the plan.

And just for fun - this is what I bought myself for Christmas (from Pretty Pretty on Etsy)

And this is my Instant Pot's first meal - Beef Ribs, and they were freakin' delicious (I've also cooked a crockpot/slow cooker chicken meal and steamed artichokes, just to play with the other functions)