Monday, February 13

California and Arizona - My first 2017 Finishes!

This weekend, I finished two of the Hearts of America series by Victoria Sampler.

My goal is to make a wall hanging out of all of the places I've lived.  I want to do it in such a way that if I move again, I can still add to the wall hanging.  I'm pretty sure I have a plan ready for it, I just need to get around to sewing these little guys into panels (my internal question: Do I start on these now, or wait until I finish the last state (NC)

I started both of these on February 5 (SuperbOwl Sunday, watching that awful game with friends).  I just did the heart border on each and then did the rest on Friday/Saturday while binge watching TV.

First, I finished Arizona on Friday.  It's the Hearts of America #48 kit from the Victoria Sampler.   It was designed/copyrighted from 2002.

Started 5 Feb 2017; Finished 10 Feb 2017

I lived in Tucson when I was a kid.  That's where my mom died and was buried.   I really love the desert, and if I had a chance to move back there (to Tucson or Phoenix), I would do it in a heart beat.  Unfortunately, either there are not many positions opening up in my field there, or they're not widely advertised.

I'm not super thrilled with the beaver colored cactus.  They should be greener, but I also wasn't in the mood to go hunting for an appropriate color substitution.  I'm also not sure if it would throw off the overall effect/color of the heart, anyway.

Next, I finished California on Saturday.  It's the Hearts of America #31 kit from the Victoria Sampler.   It was designed/copyrighted from 2002.

Started 5 Feb 2017; Finished 11 Feb 2017

I was actually born in CA, in the Bay Area.  I debate moving back there every once in a while, but never really manage to do it.  All of the jobs are either in the San Fran area or in LA, and I'm not exactly excited to move to either of those more heavily populated areas (and I kind of like the East Coast, though a good job in CO wouldn't make me sad ;) )

I love these little hearts.  They are tons of fun to stitch and I can't wait to get them displayed.

Saturday, January 28

January WIPocalypse (a bit late)

I am getting to this a bit late for reasons.
I'm also backdating it (I'm actually writing it on Feb 14th), because I can (muaahaha).

January was an incredibly busy month.  Not to get overly political, but the US political game became an utter (bigger?) shit show and I've gotten far more involved than I have been in the past (apparently this is how the GOP is going to go about making radicals - good on you, GOP!).   

I live in NC, which is one of those states where things are at an interesting (if that's even a good word for it) tipping point, and I feel it is my duty as a citizen to do what I can.   

That said, there's been a lot of activism and a lot of craftivism that's cut into my stitching time.

ALSO, I swear to the sweet baby octopus that I took pictures of my WIPocalypse progress, but guess what!  I can't find them anywhere on my device.  I'm simultaneously bent out of shape about it and too lazy to actually do anything about it, so I'll just have to use my words!

Let's roll:

I went on a trip to Vegas over MLK weekend to visit and stitch with friends.  What's really cool is that I stitched on three other people's pieces!<3 div="">

I worked a little on Dracula, and I swear the fabric is more blue, less tomato

I worked on Deco Spirits for a bit - I started the water block, but I can't find a picture :(

And I started on a Glendon Place Dessert - Fruit Cocktail, that I purchased at Stitcher's Paradise.  My first 2017 start!

At Stitcher's Paradise, I also purchased a Victoria's Sampler State kit - California and a couple of other things I cannot remember off of the top of my head (dangit).   I also got the threads and beads for Letters for Nora - A (plans!).  I didn't really purchase much.

At the quilt store we visit every year (Quiltique), I got a pattern for a friend (she had posted it on FB and others had also posted it on her wall - haha), and I got a few fat quarters.  I got three to make another needleminder book (with Tula Pink fabric), and I purchased three fat quarters that I will use to make the wall hanging with the VS states that I want to get finished.

And after that there was the Women's March in Washington (yes, I went, it was awesome).   I got in on the PussyHat making and made around 30 hats (so many hats!).   Between the long flight to and from Vegas and a huge delay that had me at the airport for nearly 8 hours, I knocked tons out!

Seriously, here's my "Carry-on":

This was one of the boxes I mailed off to the PussyHatProject (I also gave out hats locally and I think we must have given away another 20 hats at the march itself, because I kept finding them everywhere, like I couldn't even keep track of what I had made, and my friend Michelle also made a stack of polar fleece kitty hats):

My one march shot I want to share, because it was so awesome!   A quilted! sign:

I didn't get much other stitching done, now I'm working on rainbow and brain hats (wheeeeeee).  I have slacked off a bit, but I should pick them back up.  I think my first WIPocalypse finish will be Dracula (I forgot to list it on my WIPocalypse, but it definitely qualified).

And in the middle of all of that I've been job hunting, so I've been out with that quite a bit.  Yay me.

Question of the Month – What Stitch-a-Longs (SALs) are you participating in this year?

I have been horribly remiss about reading my stitching blogs, so I'm not sure what I'm missing out on, to be honest.   I know I'll be taking part in WIPocalypse, TUSAL, and TW October for sure.   When i get back to reading regularly, if I see any that look good, I'll join in (I'm also hoping for another SoloSeptember).

I haven't made my new ort jar for this year, but I am keeping them in a glass separate from my 2016 orts.  I need to make a 3D thing for my 2016 orts and I'm thinking of the Hands On Design Block Party Vino (I hope I got that right).

Wednesday, January 11


So I spent the snowy (Carolina SnowPocalypse 2017, y'all!) weekend stitching on Dracula and watching Westworld.

Shoulda been cleaning, I suppose, but I didn't.  Hah

Stitched on Sparklies's Aries

It's darker in real life, I just didn't feel like futzing with the camera/picture/settings :)

And just for fun, I was trying to make a collage of last year's works, but I was never happy with it.  I spent enough time on it that I felt like I should post it anyway!

Sunday, January 1

January WIPocalypse - 2017 version!

Welcome to the first WIPocalypse post of 2017!
WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi, at her blog, and is really quite fun.

The first prompt is, of course:

Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!
I'm a 40 year old woman living in North Carolina (for the moment, I've been interviewing all over the country, but: I will not move to the Gulf Coast, to the deeper South, or too far North where it's too cold).  I am a laboratory animal professional and I love what I do.   I currently live with my partner and my poochel in a wonderful community that I am super sad to have to leave (but you know, ambition).   I love stitching, table-top board gaming, video gaming, and other fun little hobbies that get in the way of my cross stitching ;) ).

Here are my current WIPocalypse projects, with their start years:
  1. Epic RR - 2014
  2. Deco Spirits - 2014
  3. Desert Sunsets - 2015 
  4. Stained Glass Zelda - 2015
  5. BoInk - 2008
  6. Fantasy Sampler - 1999 
  7. Freshwater Pearls - 2002
  8. Fortunate Traveler - 2005
  9. Celestial Dragon - 2002
  10. Enchanter - 2002
  11. Chinese Dragon - 2008
As you can see, some of these projects are getting, what we might call long in the tooth.   Part of that was that I was very active on the TWBB for a while and the TW projects were all ambitiously started at that time, and the rest of it was because I went through a stitching slump from 2008 through 2014 or so.    In theory, my goals are to bring down the average age of my WIPS as much as possible by stitching on the oldest stuff first, but in practice, my WIPocalypse goals are to get as many WIPs done as possible, I'd like to get a rotation down to 6 pieces (I have a spreadsheet that I've assigned future works to their slots, even!).

Pictures of my WIPs are here at my WIP page, I keep it updated (more or less), particularly when doing any SAL posts.   I plan on taking part in other bloggers' SALs as they hold them, and #TWOctober.  Fantasy Sampler has got to be done this year, and hopefully some good progress on Celestial Dragon.

Only WIPS as of January 1, 2017 will count for WIPocalypse, anything else is just extra.  Wonderful, yes, but WIPocalypse, no.  So you won't see any projects listed on those check in posts, though I think I've been pretty good about keeping my blog updated (even if I have a little lapse now and again, life gets busy y'all).

I will have a duplicate post for WIPocalypse that I'll use to keep progress updated.   It gets cross posted to the WIPocalypse tab.

WIPocalypse 2017

Good god, 2017, where does the time go?

Here are my WIPocalypse projects, only WIPs/UFOs as of December 31, 2016 count (for me) in loose order of "need to kill in 2017":
  1. Epic RR
  2. Fantasy Sampler
  3. Deco Spirits
  4. Desert Sunsets
  5. BoInk
  6. Freshwater Pearls
  7. Celestial Dragon
  8. Stained Glass Zelda
  9. Fortunate Traveler 
  10. Enchanter 
  11. Chinese Dragon 
Personally, I am tickled that I'm down to less than a dozen WIPs.
Goal is still to get it to 6; I could never be a One-At-A-Timer, but I do have a lot of kitted projects waiting in the wings, I'll definitely never finish all of my projects in my lifetime, though I can dream.

Thursday, December 22

December WIPocalypse

Time for the December (and a bit of November) WIPocalypse!

Huh.  Wow.  It's been a while!

I haven't really stitched much (at all?) for the past couple of months, so it's not like anyone has missed anything.

I went to my professional National Meeting at the end of October/beginning of November and it's been a crazy ride since then.

November also had a weeklong trip to Puerto Rico (San Juan and Culebra with a side trip to Culebrita), and then an interview with a fantastic institution more than a thousand miles away.  Then a lot of weekends and craziness at work.   I have a new trainee, so I'm trying to get her up and running because I've had even more interviews (here in NC, and other states).  It's been nuts.

Here, have a picture of one of the favorite beaches in Culebrita

And then just so busy with the holidays and everything else.

I took my stitching with me to the National Meeting, fully intending to finish Fantasy Sampler this year, and kind of dropped that, so I'll just push it to finish next year.  I think one big TW was enough this year anyway.    I have a bunch of other stitching I had put on the list, intending to stitch and never got around to those either, and I'm OK with that.  It's supposed to be fun, right?

I've started working on a pink pussy hat project for the women's march on Washington (or whatever they're calling it now).

And in the meantime, Mona had a birthday! (this past weekend, actually) :)

I almost picked up some stitching the other day, and then I threaten to quilt and then I just end up buried under the covers playing a video game.  Rough life :)

So I'll start off by answering the November question

What pattern (or designer) is on your must-try-to-stitch bucket list?

Coincidentally, I set up a "Bucket List" page on my blog a couple of months ago, so there's plenty there.

My biggest lemming was the Joan Thomasson Russian Fairy Tales needlework piece, so if I have to pick one, that's it.   So beautiful!

The real fun is this month's question, which is the recap.   I love recaps!  Also, I had a pretty damned good year, if I do say so, myself.

Recap your accomplishments for the year! (Your finishes, your final before/after photos, etc).

I started with 18 WIPs and I'm down to 11.
I was hoping to get down to 9 by the end of the year (or at least the final WIPocalypse for this year) and I'm sure I only missed it because I stopped stitching for a bit.   That's cool, because I still feel super accomplished!

First I finished Thanksgiving Fairy

Started here!
Finished Feb 14
Then I finished Celtic Knotwork Ferret
Started here!  Kinda...
All of the black outlining had been complted.
Finished February 17
Next came WWCKD?
Started here (where I left it in late December)
Finished March 25!
And then it was Cloudsfactory's 2015 Mystery, the Through the Stars Zodiac Sampler
I had stalled out after March here...

But then I knocked it out of the park!
I intended to pick up the one/month pace but rushed it :)
Triforce of Badassery, a gift I intended to give in 2014 (oops!) was next :)

Started here!
There's a miscount in there that drove me nuts!
Finished August 27
In time for the birthday!
And the last of my WIPocalypse finishes was Egyptian Sampler, a TW!

Started here after a UFORR...
Finished October 7!
I also decided to "let go" of Phoenix by DracoLair.   I had bad feelings associated with it, and to be honest, just went ahead and gave up.  Very little had been done on it (one weekend's worth), so I just picked out the stitches and figured I can use the fabric for something else.
My Epic RR is almost done!  I've finished all of the bands/work for everyone else's RR and now I just need to finish my band and it will be complete (this will be a high priority for 2017)

Desert Sunsets has seen some progress (not as much as I'd like, but hey!)
Started here... I think I started it because I was sick and wanted something easy and it was within reach
I actually have more finished than this, but I knew that if I waited until I remembered to update the photo....

and Fantasy Sampler made some good progress.

Started here
I feel like there was more than that! haha.
I have everything else I finished in 2016 listed as well, my personal rules for the WIPocalypse dictate that only pieces that were already in progress at the end of the prior year "qualify" for my WIPocalypse.  That means awesome stuff like Tapestry that I managed to pull off in a year (whut!) don't really count in my mind.

I fully intend to participate in next year's WIPocalypse as well and I've joined the FB group :)
So that's all for now, hopefully I'll have something new and interesting soon or an update or something.  I'll be going to the not-inlaws for Christmas, so I might be hiding in the corner working on something if I'm lucky.    There's usually a lot of hockey watching at the mom's house and movie watching at the dad's, so hopefully I can keep myself out of the way and entertained.

Monday, October 17

October WIPocalypse!

The focus of WIPocalypse remains whittling down my WIPs (down to 6, eventually), and I've made some good progress!

I started with Egyptian Sampler here:

And finished it!  (lots more pictures in this blog post)

I moved onto Fantasy Sampler after that.... and it started here:

And here's what I got done:

Got this done on the Sunday we had no power thanks to Matthew -
at least it was sunny, plenty of light!
All of the vining and long stitching on the right side was done on Saturday!

I finished the vining and long stitching on the left side on Sunday!
And here's where I've moved the Qs... I somehow thought I'd finished all sides of the border, but I guess I was wrong.

I originally intended to go to SOCS in Richmond, but I hurt my shoulder at work and was feeling generally grumpy, so I enjoyed a quiet weekend stitching my little heart out.  I only regret not going a little bit, and I'm happy that I had 5 hours (it would have taken me 2.5h to drive each way) more to stitch.
I notice that it was the third weekend of October, which means I had an accidental IHSW!  woot woot!

I'm hoping to have this one done by the next WIPocalypse, and then I think I'm just going to free-for-all stitch for the rest of the year.   There are a few new pieces that I'd like to stitch up, and I think that getting two TWs out of the WIP pile is quite an accomplishment.

The question/topic for this month's WIPocalypse is:

What online stitching communities do you enjoy?

I joined the TWBB back in '96 or '97 and made it through several iterations.  I used to love the bulletin boards when they were active, but it seems that other social networking (Facebook in particular) might have contributed to the demise.  I like how easy it was to follow different threads and keep things organized.

Currently:  I love my blog roll, and while I'm behind in reading/commenting, I sometimes wish people posted more, or that people I used to follow would pick it up again.

I am a member of several design-specific groups on Facebook and a couple of general stitching groups (Stitch Maynia is my favorite).

I have Instagram and post things there, but I don't use it for following stitching stuff, just friends.  To be honest, after they went to their metric, I just use it to post and don't really look at it much any more.

And I see the current trendy thing to do is FlossTube (Youtube videos/vlogging about stitching), but I don't do videos, so I won't be watching or making.  Just boring ol' blogging and Facebooking for me :)