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 :)

Wednesday, October 12

WIPWednesday onto a new TW October "victim"

So I've started Fantasy Sampler.

Here's where it was:

Here's where it is:


I did most of the Lion on Sunday when we had no power (Thanks, Matthew).

Getting my (missing) kreiniks in on Friday, supposedly, so I'm hoping to stitch a bit Sunday.
Saturday I will be at the Spirit of Cross Stitch in Richmond - huzzah!  I haven't been to a show since the very last CATS in Hershey!

Monday, October 10

Egyptian Sampler by Teresa Wentzler!

Egyptian Sampler is finished!

I would have posted this yesterday, but we had no power thanks to Matthew, so I had to just console myself with taking pictures.   I did them with indirect sunlight, my preferred light, that I think gives the truest colors with my camera phone (and I'm entirely too lazy to bother with a real camera).

I used 28 ct Vintage linen by Wichelt - I don't think it's sold any more, I started using it when I started doing the Dimples Designs bugs and that's what Terry kitten them up with.  Maybe because of the age or the dying or whatever, it has shrunk down just slightly, and I can fit it in a standard frame - it was supposed to be just over 14x11, but it's now 13+ x 10+.  huzzah!

I stitched from the kit (except for said fabric).   I also have the leaflet and the only difference I see is that the leaflet calls for black beads in the eyes of the falcons, Horus, and Nekhbet and the kit calls for french knots.   To be honest, after looking at some pieces online, I think I like the french knots a lot better.

I added all most of the unused threads from the kit to the ort jar.   I am going to use the 3045 from the kit while working on Fantasy Sampler, because there was a skein's worth left over.

And here, have some close ups :)

These are the two falcons, I really love the way they look

The two motifs are my favorite part of the whole designs.  I love how sharp the lilies look and the papyri are even better than the border ones, imo.

Lily Panel
Papyrus Panel

The scarab - I debated making him sparkly, but there are no other sparkly bits (other than the rays)

Scarab /squee
Center panel gets easier once you find your groove with counting out the background.

Center Panel with Horus, Osiris, and Isis

Nekhbet - the missing bead (behind the beak) drives me a little batty, but there's not much to be done about that.


What the corner/borders look like up close.   All of that stitching in the color blocks was the most tedious part of the design.

Border & corner - I flove the colors

And there you go.  I've already got Fantasy Sampler in the Qsnaps, so I can't wait to see how far I get with that one this month :)

Thursday, October 6

Ta heck with the bad picture - MOAR PROGRESS!

I finished the metallics and about half of the beads.  Since the weather here is supposed to be bad the next few days (thanks to Matthew, but not any of the actual bad hurricane effects), I anticipate a weekend Happy Dance (I might have finished tonight if I didn't have plans).  I'll hope for a sunny Sunday for lots of pics.

I'll finish off the border beads and then get that band finished.

Bad picture/bad lighting, don't care ;)

Wednesday, October 5

WIPWednesday for Egyptian Sampler

More progress!

Next step will be to throw this in bigger qsnaps so that I can bead the whole piece, get the metallic rays of Ra in there and finish off that satin stitch/lazy daisy band.

And I need to figure out where I want to sign it.  I'd prefer to sign it within the piece, not outside of the border.  I'm thinking somewhere in that Osiris/Horus/Isis panel towards the bottom.  Yay!

Monday, October 3

TUSAL and SoloSeptember (recap) blends into TW October

First off, October 1 was new moon, which means it's time for TUSAL!
Here is my ort jar!

To be honest, it doesn't look like much of a difference from last month, but it's probably because I'm frugal as heck with my stitching and I've been doing a lot of single thread strands.     That's OK, I'm still proud of my progress.

Also, SoloSeptember has come to an end.   I did not finish Egyptian Sampler, like I was hoping, but I'm pretty sure that's my own fault for getting sucked down into the rabbit hole of making gaming inserts.

I have maybe a week left on Egyptian Sampler, if my timing is right.   It really probably would have been done if I hadn't spent a couple of weekends doing other things (*cough*inserts*cough*).

I started SoloSeptember with Egyptian Sampler here:

And I worked on all four corners and got this much done:

So you can see that I finished the first three corners, and the last one just needs a teensy bit of border backstitching and then the Queen's block completed (and the satin stitch band, although I was going to wait until I did the beads/lazy daisies).

So close.

And yet so far.

But that's ok, because I've decided to take part in TW October this year.   I can't remember how/when it started way back on a bulletin board (The Wagon? maybe?  My earliest note about it has me trying to participate in 2007, so it's been around a while).  It's just what it sounds like - for the month of October, stitch on a Teresa Wentzler design, and, well, I'm already  here, right?   And just to add to the progress, I ran out of foamcore for my inserts, and I think the guilt will keep me from purchasing new stuff until Egyptian Sampler is done at least.  I might do a couple of inserts after I finish and before I pick up fantasy Sampler (I'm thinking of two, maybe three games I'd like to get done that don't have plans, and thus take a little longer to work out)

After ES, assuming I don't go off script again, I'll pick up Fantasy Sampler, because it's another old WIP that doesn't require a lot of work to finish off, and it will make me happy.

And, on top of everything else, my sidekick has put in her notice at work, and I'm already buried trying to take care of both of our jobs (and she was only out two days for a sick kid!).  I've gotten a little burned out (I may have had a cocktail or three too many on Friday), and I've gotten behind on my blog reading, too.  Poo.

Friday, September 30

Gaming inserts - my new supergeek hobby

At the gaming convention there were a couple of sellers that were focused on inserts/organization/player mats/gaming accessories.   Some of them used lasercut thin wood or plastic/acrylic, but some of the inserts were foam-core.  I am not about to spend twenty, thirty, or forty dollars on something I can make with less than $5 in supplies.  I mean, yes, my time, but I think it's fun to make things.  To be honest, to have something so tangible after only 2 or 3 hours of work is kind of nice after stitching and not having a finished piece for many, many more hours

I liked the idea of having inserts that kept the bits organized (vs the gazillonty little baggies that make up so many games), and I also liked the idea of all of the time it would save to break down and set up games once they're organized (never mind the fact that many of these can be stored vertically without becoming disorganized).

I watched a few videos, read a few forum threads, and went through a giant list of inserts on BoardGameGeek and decided to take the plunge.

I started with Codenames because it was a pretty small box and it didn't need an insert, but I wouldn't be ruining anything, either.    I even have a whole side of extra space for expansions (yes, Target has an "adult" Codenames version, but it also uses gender slurs and I won't support that).   It might work for Codenames Pictures if I decide I need it.

I accidentally got thicker foamcore, and had to use some of the stiff cardboard as a divider because my dimensions were off...

I decided to do Rattus next, and this also holds the Pied Piper expansion.  That means I can toss out that extra box, too, so bonus on saving space!    Rattus has more expansions, but I seriously doubt I'll get any of them.   It was my first try with a removable tray, too.  And this game isn't big enough that anyone had already posted pictures. Winging it worked!

ignore the white not-set glue ;)
 I then decided to try Augustus, which comes in a way oversized box.   It takes up 3 or 4 times the space the components actually need, so I made this insert for Augustus using the Rattus: Pied Piper box.

There's a lid that snugs down over the legionnaire pieces 
And then I decided to try my hand at my biggest/most complicated insert yet, which is for Suburbia and all of its expansions.   This game literally just has individual baggies for everything, so it takes forever to set up/break down/sort through.   The money/player piece tray has a snug lid, which is pretty freakin' awesome.   I used instructions that are posted on BGG, and I am so super happy with this.  I've had two friends ask me to make this insert for them.

The empty slot/section is for the expansion we don't have yet.
And this is my last insert (so far).  It's for Speicherstadt, which is another game that isn't popular enough to have people posting about.   Since there is plenty of dead space in the box, I decided to keep the center as a support for the board (that goes on top).  I like having the pieces and money individually sitting there, and keeping the 5 phases of cards separate is nice for set up/break down.  I have them canted at an angle because they're too tall to keep straight up, and they all fit in perfectly.

After looking at this picture I realized I was missing a blue meeple - he was safely recovered from underneath all of the bits of foamcore left on the table.
And finally my last project was to take some box art from BGG, resize it, and print it on label sheets so that my new Augustus box looks like Augustus.  I think it's nicer than the masking tape/sharpie option.

The new (smaller) box is on the left and the original box is on the right.  So much space saved!

I'm far more proud of this than I should be.
I have plenty more games that I'd like to get organized (and get rid of expansion boxes!), but I'll try to pace myself so I can still get some good stitching time in.   I think I'll save the insert making for when I have a certain window of time.   I'd hate to leave a big mess of glue and cut foamcore on the dining table, and it's definitely easier to stitch for long stretches  (I hunch over the table for inserts and the shoulders/back get annoyed) or very short time frames.

My partner seems to be buying into the inserts, too, because he pointed out more games that can use inserts or smaller boxes ;)