Friday, April 17, 2015

About time?

Yes, I know I have been derelict in my duties, but apparently that is the story of my life.   Want a summary of what you have been "missing?"  Well ok then.

I have been working, and work has been annoying.  (status quo)
I have been stitching some.  (nothing particularly new in that)
I have been reading some.  (yes, still pretty predictably normal here)
I have been cleaning some. (ok, that I know is shocking)
I have not stashed a bit.  Oh wait, there was some thread, but I think maybe not--- Ethel has such a big bag of threads that go with her that it is hard to remember whether it was stuff already pulled for her or something new to replace a thread that I shouldn't have bothered with in the first place.

Here are some bits of progress -- some especially humorful.  

Leading the rank of the funny stories is my pathetic progress on my By the Bay Serenity Harbor SAL:

If you are doing Serenity, then you recognize this as about 1/4 of installment #1 --- and we are allegedly on installment #4 now.   The fun began with the roses which I wanted to be red like the Mr. Lincoln tree rose which I had bought my mom years ago.  So I picked 3 "perfect colors" and stitched away.  Oh man they didn't work at all once they were actually stitched-- perfect in skeins laying next to each other on the fabric, but not perfect stitched.  Sigh.  Rip.  Replace "the offending color."  Try.  Nope. Rip.  So I pulled EVERY FLIPPING red or red-ish floss or solid silk in the shop (about 30-40 choices), and I sat and played and compared and re compared and arranged and rearranged.  Finally picked the above 3, even though when sitting in the skeins they didn't quite please me.  I once again put the right-most rose in the picture in.  The colors worked, but it still didn't look right.  Looked at the pattern (which, mind you, had been firmly with me the entire time-- and which I had carefully followed and counted and recounted).  Guess what?   While I was VERY careful about my counting.  I was not careful enough about my symbol to thread matching.  Sigh.  Rip.  Replace.   Happy now.  What a dork!

In the last couple nights The Engineering has come out to play -- she's got more jeans now.  But now I'm thinking that the T-stitch which I was going to use for the legs of the overalls is too small to be bothered with.  This weekend maybe I'll find a new stitch for them......  stay tuned!

Ethel got two baskets last weekend.   A miracle!!!!!  This weekend is either going to be the other 3 baskets or more sky.   Probably sky --- what do you think -- I'm leaning towards putting in all the blue of the sky and then laying in the clouds in Whisper over it.  Thoughts?

In other inspirational news, we had art in action in the 'hood this week -- first we painted (sorry, I need to go find out the artist's name):

Then installed "artists" and neon

I liked the effect even though I never saw it at night.  I bet it was cool-- what can I say, I'm a color magpie apparently.

I'm going to close with what I hope will be an inspirational to-do list for the weekend for me.  I'm trying to get my act in gear... dammit stop laughing.  Ok, I know it's funny.  Me?  With an act in gear.  Pardon me while I snicker at myself.

Anyway, right this very moment I want be able to see some of the following accomplished by Monday:

  • Ethel progress -- those 3 small baskets and some sky
  • Mr. Engineer -- figure out new stitch for the pants
  • progress on Boothy -- this should not be so difficult dang it
  • a finish
  • 2 books completed
  • something actually cooked... in my kitchen!  
  • the dang pots back in the one cupboard I have in Maison d'Hovel's kitchen (the stovetop is looking like the leaning tower of cookware)
  • winter clothes tucked away (rather than blocking my path to the closet of spring-appropriate choices)
  • progress on putting stash in some reasonably "away" place (Much as I love my stash I really don't need immediate access to it so it ought to get out of the way!)
  • books on shelves ( love them too.... and don't have nearly enough shelf space, but they too need to be out of the way and where I can actually ind them)

 Let's see how I do by Monday.  I would cross my fingers, but I need them for all of the above.

Pratchett thought of the day:

You get a wonderful view from the point of no return.
Moist von Lipwig -- Making Money

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Trying to be responsible.... aka Look, Mom, two updates in one week! (or April Fool's!)

Don't faint.  Oh wait.  you already did.  I knew the shock of me posting twice in a week might be too much for some.  I'm just going to go ahead -- once you have recovered you can join us.

This really would be an awesome April Fool's joke--I can hear it spread like wildfire across the web :
        "Hey, did you hear?  Musing Badger did two posts in one week!"  
        "No way, seriously?... Are you sure?"   
        "I'm just saying what I *heard*."   
        "Really?  It's awfully hard to believe.  Who told you?"
        "Some bloke in the pub........"
        "Hey wait, what's the date today?"
        "April 1st. Why? --- Ohhhhhhhhh."
        "I knew it couldn't be true."

However much you doubt, it is true AND I actually do stitch --

Here are the two smalls I got finished last month.  First, my little "Golden Manse" which required so many color changes it's not even funny.  The pattern had to have been put together by someone with no sense of color whatsoever.  I took it in a "Craftsman" but perky direction.

And my little Ho Ho Ho with all the snow in the trees

And lookie here -- my flag came out and Massachusetts is nearing full statehood!

I even managed to get and keep blogger from flipping on its side when it was uploaded a picture of this gem from the 80% off bin (aka Badger's Playpen).   The Bin of Destiny/Budget Busting Central actually yielded 2 of these.  I figured if I had one, my sister would want one too.  He will become a cube of cuteness.  I have started pulling threads for the little bugger..... there goes this month's SFS budget.

And check out my new little turtle buddy.  He arrived as a birthday present from a friend in Alaska who had been visiting Hawaii.  He perked up my day no end.  And he's already made friends with one of my badgers.

Sally forth and have a wonderful day!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Catching up... a little

I'm still missing many pics which, I would like to point out, I could swear I had  (dang computer gremlins), but I can bring you a few little updates --- otherwise next thing I know it will be August and I won't have posted, and then I'll need to post a proof-of-life document just so you believe it's me.

So, item one-- I have made some progress on my Chessie and Me "In Virtue's Ways" which I have turned into a piece to commemorate my childhood love of Laura Ingalls Wilder---

All the stitching that has happened since our last visit is the windows and the grass, but I put in hours of research picking a verse and charting it  (mind you, in fine Ruth style, now that I know what I want to say I wish I had put the Big Woods title on the bottom and saved the top for my verse.  Sigh.  Nope I ain't ripping it out--- just another learning experience).... maybe you will see that next month.  If I were you, I would not hold my breath.

Ethel got two more sheep-- these a little "dirtier" that their buddies.  I think they are adorable if I do say so myself. (And I even finished the headgear and hair, but I have no pics of that... yes, I'm sorry!)

I had a birthday (no, I'm not particularly happy about the passage of time, but I hear the alternative sucks if you aren't Merlin).  My sister made sure I was well sugared with chocolate cherries and strawberries...... they looked much better before I attacked them (I did let some office buddies help-- otherwise I might still be buzzing around downtown with the sugar rush).

And my totally awesome sister reminded me (not all that gently) that several years ago she gave me a trip to Ireland for Christmas, but I was so freaked out by the extravagance of the gift to pick an itinerary.  Now we ARE GOING in 2016.  We ARE!   Seems perfect -- just in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Easter rising.

I will be living through my Pratchett memories for a while so you are just going to have to  muddle through with me.  I've always loved this quote -- it makes me giggle.

Sally forth and have a wonderful rest of your day!  Yes, it is an order.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Stalled in Stash... oh wait, that's not what it's supposed to be called.......

... STITCHING from Stash... that was it.  Funny.  That does not seem to apply to me.

The March Report (pathetic little bugger that it is):
Month:  March
Spent:  $0.00   -- honest and true, nothing.  Nada.  Zippo.  (Do NOT be proud.  I was just too busy to shop.)
Allotted:  $25
Earned:  $8.00  -- (2 small ornies... without pictures still.  Sorry!)
Subtotal of March's accumulated earnings:  $33.00  (minor proud moment, but wait for it.....)
Holdover from last month:  -$72.40  (and the other shoe drops)
Ultimate March total: -$39.40  (Sigh.)

This all means that in two months I might be in the black.  Oh, did I say that hinges on me not shopping.  Go ahead, take a good guffaw break.  I can wait.   No really; go ahead.  I'll wait.   Would you like a glass of water and a tissue to help you regain your composure?

I will be back to discuss stitching soon, I hope.  All I will say now is that I miss Terry Pratchett.  If you have not read him, for shame -- go forth and do so post haste.

RIP Sir Terry.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Admissions, or How Success Can Be Deceptive

Dearest Reader, it is confession/realization Friday.  

Being ever so shamed by my dismal SFS campaigning thus far, I was about to crow with delight at announcing that I had not spent any stashing money this week.  Only after a moment's pause I realized that it wasn't that I exercised backbone or anything even resembling restrain;  it is just that I wasn't at the shop last weekend.  Sigh.  So much for my glorious "accomplishment."  Maybe I get half a kudo for not doing anything untoward online this week?

What I *have* done since last Friday is some stitching!   I know, a miracle, right?  Two more and someone will have to cal the College of Cardinals.

First off, there's one of Ethel's flock of sheep.   One of my stitching Country Club sisters suggested that I ought to vary my flock's colors so I made this guy a little darker.  I'm not certain I'm sold, but So Many Books, who Ethel is for, likes him so that will have to do.

Hi fellow flock mates look like this--

Since I finished Ho Ho Ho (sorry some idiot forgot to take a finished pic--- I can't imagine who could be that lame!), I started another ornie.  This little guy is called Golden Manse I think.  He's from one of those 365 really cool seasonal things to stitch in a hurry.... I my world that means I'll get it done in under a month provided I don't lose it.

Santa got a red velvet coat in brick stitch and stain stitched red velvet cuffs --

The Engineer got his trousers partially outlined and his eyes put in --

And I completed nearly a whole row of baseballs.  Why is it that basketweave goes so danged slowly?????????

I know it isn't a patch on what I aimed to get done and what I ought to have gotten done, but I'm reasonably pleased that I accomplished this much what with the naps and laundry that interrupted me last weekend.... what's a girl to do?   [Note:  What I didn't do was work on Ellen's flag or Serenity Harbor at all, and they really need attention.  Maybe this weekend!]

I wish you all happy stitching and extra-special-sale shopping!  And a special thank you for your kind (and laughing) comments.  It is heck on wheels at work and it's good to be reminded that there are nice people out there...... probably stuck in a snowbank.

Friday, February 27, 2015

SFS February: Forecast dismal, but stash acquisitions on the rise!

Due to the continued influence of the 80%-off bin at my shop, I continue my dismal Stitching from Stash trend from last month --

Month:  February 2015
Earned: Monthly allotment = $25;
Earned by stitching = 0 -- not a darned penny/farthing/rupee/yen
Spent:  $25.40
Hold Over from last month:  -$47
Grand total year-to-date: -$72.40

Anyone want to take odds on March being a better month?   Yes, I don't feel it is a very safe bet either.  

But, Gentle Reader, I may be a shopper, but I have also been a stitcher lately.  I got a whole bouquet put in Ethel courtesy of embellishments and beads by Sundance--  and I plane some serious hours this weekend on the sky, the remaining sheep, and possibly the head scarves.

I finished the stitching on a king from Boothy's Kings and Queens (and I just might feel his backstitching and a buddy for him coming on for this evening!

a couple rows of penguin fanny happened on one ornie --  this is by Vee and Co and I call it "big tree"-- as it nears completion, you will see why.

I worked out what to do with Mrs.' uneven bands of pink  (some of those vertical stripes are 4 across while most of them are 5-- vexing, I tell you, vexing!)--

This ornie by Full Circle Designs "Ho! Ho! Ho!" was going to be my "earnings" for finishing this month, but as you can see, that didn't happen.  Oh well-- leg up on March I guess!

And then there was my downfall..... The Dreaded 80%-off Bin.  Frankly I am beginning to think of it  as The Badger''s Play Bin because I have such fun in it.

I picked up this Ruth Schmuff piece with stitch guide (which, yes, I shall probably stalwartly ignore).  I plan on doing this as an ode to my reading "club" that went on the Bouchercon adventure with me last year-- So Many Books, Elaine, and I.   It might be a pillow eventually or possibly a bag insert.

I also picked up this scissors case from the bin.  I'll be switched if I can remember at the moment who it is by.  I plan on doing it as a pair of especially sparkly ornaments like shields in honor of my friend who lost her battle with leukemia last year.

I also got 2 identical little yellow chick canvases (if I have one, my sister will want one too), but the picture once again INSISTS on being sideways.  Maybe this weekend I will be able to work out why this is happening, or, more likely, simply retake the pictures that are behaving badly.

I wish you a happy weekend filled with stitchy joy.  I have big plans to lounge about, clean, stitch, read, and generally do my best not to get out of my PJs.  I hope I'm more successful at that than I am at cleaning my desk or winning the lotto!

Hey, just for laughs and because I'm in one of my list-making moods, let's see how I do.  Here are my hopes for the weekend:

  1. cleaning
  2. chili or spaghetti making
  3. 4 books finished 
  4. 2 ornies done   --- I'm aiming for Ho Ho Ho and one of the LKs I have started but currently can't find (see item #1 on this list!)
  5. progress on:
    • Ethel
    • Ellen's flag
    • Boothy's Kings and Queens
    • Serenity Harbor
    • the needlepoint flag
Cross your fingers for me and I'll see you next week!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stuff has been accomplished... just not nearly enough. (or, What Was I Thinking)

Hi all -- happy Year of the Sheep, though by The World's Most Important Calendar, that of Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld, it is the Year of the Spinning Mouse.   All hail the Spinning Mouse.

I know this will come as a shock to you, but, honest and true, I have been stitching.  Just not fast enough to suit me and my GIANT list of things to do.

Last night I unearthed my Carriage House "A Mind Independent and Free" last night.  It's over-one in Vicky Clayton silks, Belle Soies, and some Thread Gatherers on some evenweave--- why, yes, it has been a long time since I started it, how could you tell?

Want to know why I unearthed Independent and Free?  Well it is/was a confluence of two Ruth-isms. 1.   I downloaded my sidebar WIP and UFO lists into Word to make a table and made the mistake of letting Word number the entries.  OMG, I have 59 things started!   And that's not even counting ones I probably forgot to put on the dang sidebar.  Fifty-nine!!!!!!   Sheesh.  That shock caused me to really look at the lists and remind myself of how cool I thought all of those 59 items were and how much I wanted to get back to work on them.
2.  I saw how short my WIP list was (defined as anything worked on in the last two months) and how few cross stitch pieces were on there. This caused me to think especially fondly of all the xs pieces on the UFO list.
#1 + #2 = I unearthed Independent and Free.   One last confession -- it got unearthed because it was the first of the UFO xs pieces I could find in the piles of Chez Hovel.   I am figuratively hanging my head in shame for my lack of order.

I also found these beauties near the to of the piles this week and got them out for some stitching time.

There's the Susan Roberts engineer nutcracker who got a cap and his train completed this week:

And Mrs come out to play.  I sincerely hope to have her done for Christmas this year.  Which means she needs to be done in September.  Dear Lord I just realized I'm going to need to get her her own suitcase to haul her to Christmas!   Why did this seem like such a great idea?????

It is easier to see her progress from the back -- this week her feet got finished as did the vertical black lines on her "skirt."

I made anti-progress on my By the Bay Serenity Sampler because the rose colors I picked did not work in the least when I got them stitched in.  The pink flosses in the picture below are what is called for, but I wanted red roses like the ones that grew over my Grandma's garage.  My new selection are the floss and the Splendors--

And there they are in.  I think they work much better.  Opinions?

I leave you with something that I am currently obsessed with -- this pigeon mural that is along my bus route in to work.  Before Christmas he appeared thusly:

Mid January he started morphing --

 And currently he looks like this --
What can I say -- growing up with a backyard full of pigeon coops with largely homing pigeons in residence makes me quite fond of the little blighters.  And this guy is just a homing pigeon extraordinaire!

Once again -- go forth and enjoy this second month of The Year of the Spinning Mouse!  Reading a Pratchett can help improve your day/week/month/year immensely.

Take care and happy stitching!

P.S.  For the record, I have refrained from buying that crow on a pumpkin canvas thus far.  Yes, I know, it is early days.  I have, however, visited the 80% bin again.  I would show you how bad I was, but the pics from that keep insisting on rotating sideways........ possibly a hint to me to stop shopping?????

Friday, February 06, 2015

Little bits (and fights with Blogger)

Dang Blogger.   I'm telling you up front that you would have more pictures of other projects, but Blogger has decided to flip the and not allow me to get them right side up.  Sigh.   I don't have time to deal with this nonsense today.

I have had progress on things that Blogger does not object to showing you in their proper alignment, including this old friend, the baseball flag --

Since it is hard to tell what is stitched on this without seeing the back.....

 I swear on all my stash that I have spent hours and hours on this and it goes sooooooo slowly.   It could be because it is 18-count basketweave, but sheesh.  At this pace it will be done in 10-12 years.

I have also done some small stitching on my other flag -- Connecticut is a little more present --

I hope to make major progress on this in February.  I need it off the to-do list.  And, joy of joys, when it is done I get to start another one of it for me.  Sigh.

Last weekend I had great fun with my shop owner pulling down all the canvases on the walls and putting up all new stuff.  Nothing like the joy of resetting all the canvases in the shop to get me all excited ----  unfortunately, I get all excited about stashing NOT stitching.  Sigh.

I am eager to get to work this Saturday and see how many of these beauties have found new homes.

Personally, I fell in love with this guy by Share One's Ideas.   Isn't he cool?   I am not a Halloween girl, but I do like pumpkins and he is a pretty fine bird-- not quite menacing enough for the average crow, but cool.

I almost want a round of applause, please.  I did NOT bring this canvas home.  I don't suppose I should get all that much credit since I have a hard and fast rule at the shop-- everything has to stay up on the walls for at least a month before I buy it because I want actual customers to have a shot at seeing how cool everything is.  After all, I know where the order books and the rolodex of designer phone numbers are.  My desire to call for a round of applause is also tempered by the fact that as we redid the walls, new things landed in the 80% off bin.  And, yes, gentle reader, your friend hopped right in there and brought MORE stuff home.  If I get sealed in my apartment by a snowmageddon, I may run out of food, but I have stitching enough to last me though at least 5 years of full time stitching. ...... hmmm-- I need to stock up on light bulbs and snacks just in case. 

Happy stitching to all and to all a good day!