Thursday, November 29, 2007

Catching up and Kathryn's inspiration part 1

Oh so much to catch up with!

Let's see, I owe pictures of completions and progress. I have FINALLY finished my Midsummer Night's Dream "Quaker Meetinghouse"
Midsummer Nights Designs
Midsummer Nights Designs
Midsummer Nights Designs
I've neglected getting a picture of this for a number of days, but trust me, when I finished this I was practically wiggling with happiness. I'm sure you understand! lol

I also finished my ornie for Simone's exchange
Simone's ornie exchange 2007
It's an adjusted version of a Trail Creek Farm piece from one of the JCS ornament issues. I changed the colors, added metallic (thanks to Kathryn for her kind gift of some Treasure Braid which was perfect for this), switched the word from "joyous" to "merry," and added the little JABC cardinal.

As for the progress---
Here's the last LosCon day's progress on Halloween Fairy
Halloween Fairy 11/29/2007
the threads on the left are the ones called for by the pattern for the wings, but they're just a touch too drab for my liking so I'm switching to the Silk n Colors on the right. Like the plan?

Since coming back from LosCon I've also hauled out my Vierlanden and my Quaker a la 6 Mains and made a little progress on each --
Vierlanden 11/29/2007
Quaker a la 6 Mains 11/29/2007

But I really need to get moving on the ST Fruit of the Vines for my sister. Sad to say, they are not inspiring me at the moment.... possibly that has something to do with them being at the backstitching/beading stage right now . lol

Speaking of getting moving, Kathryn inspired me with her post yesterday on trying to get organized and not letting the amount of tasks overwhelm you. I do believe she had my desk (err, whole life, but we'll just tackle the desk for now!) in mind. So I thought I'd try to do a task list (like I do every day) and see how far I got. I think I did pretty decently today-- shock of shocks. Here's the morning panorama:

And here's what the desk looks like now -- I don't get too many kudos though because 1) I worked through lunch and pretty much never left my desk the whole day, and 2) I only had two unexpected interruptions all day (an event that is quite unheard of!).
11_29_2007 evening
11_29_2007 evening
11_29_2007 evening
11_29_2007 evening
11_29_2007 evening

I'm thinking I'll start making desk/floor, and GASP maybe even hovel check-ins weekly features. Maybe then I'll feel incentivized to get stuff the heck out of my area!

We'll get back to Kathryn's inspirations next time. It's back to work on the counter for me!

Quote of the day: "The road to the apocalypse is paved with disposable food containers." Bones
[I can't help it, it just makes me lol.]
Thankful for: Terrie Louise in Tasmania who sent me this lovely thank you for stitching a quilt square for her sister who had a terrible car accident-- Bless you TL-- it was not necessary, but is greatly appreciated!
thank you from TL Taz
Currently reading: Bram Stoker's Dracula (never have read it before, and I think you ought to read one "classic" a year - I'm enjoying it and find it much more modern than I expected it to be. It's also making me itch to start Barbara Hambly's Redfield); Green's The Man with the Golden Torc

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Net friends, fans, and hotel insults....

After a day of Con-ing I come back to find this on my bathroom counter:
11_24_2007 019
Honest, I'm not a messy hotel guest. All I had for trash yesterday was some napkins, a sheet from the hotel notepad, some kleenix, and the remains of a pear (wrapped in several paper towels and napkins. And, yes, I did leave a tip this morning when I headed off to the panels. Now I need to bus my own trash? I think not Mr. Marriott.

Well, while I was getting in trouble in absentia for trash, in person I was doing what I enjoy best at cons-- sitting in panels collecting book recommendations. Here's the view from the back of the full house at "SF Canon, Essential SF"
11_24_2007 002
Our guides through the spirited discussion and debate were (l to r) David Bratman, our own stitching blogger Kathryn (Threads of Desire), Berry Kercheval, Tim Powers, and Harry Turtledove. After the panel I got to chit chat with Kathryn for a bit. If you've been following her adventures and pending adventures on her blog, you will be amazed to know she shows no sign of collapsing with exhaustion. I don't know how she does it all!

Kathryn also surprised me with a goodie bag! Stitchers and fans are The coolest!
11_24_2007 008
She included HiH's Spooky kit -- a cool house with this nifty moon behind it, 3 perfect Kreiniks (she noted that they were Christmas gold, silver and red..... hmm wonder where she got the idea that I might need Christmas colors??? lol), a beautiful petite Treasure Braid in a brass-ish gold, and 3 packs of some of the best looking Silkweavers fabrics I've ever seen (possibly she heard me whining to myself that one of these days I have to stitch something worthy on a Silkweaver fabric just so I can put something in that dang Stitcher's Showcase of theirs!). Thank you, Kathryn! You shouldn't have, but just try and wrest the stash from my paws!!!

In between the pages and pages of notes I took today, I got some stitching done. A little more on the Halloween Fairy:
11_24_2007 018
And I even did a little needlepointing! Miracle of miracles--
11_24_2007 013
I have to admit that today the fairy was loosing her allure, but the shawl dancer is a little too much for panels. I also brought the Sweetheart Tree "Fuit of the Vines to finish for my sister, but the last thing I'm doing in a hotel conference chair with no side tables is beading! LOL What a disaster that would be --- I also need more solitude for beading because my during-beading swearing isn't socially-acceptable! I guess it'll either be more fairy tomorrow, or I'll sort out one of the ornies I may or may not have brought the appropriate threads for why hanging out on my balcony over breakfast. ... the joys of CA! Here it is the last week of November and I can lounge outside for breakfast! hee heee

Nite nite folks! All this vacationing is exhausting! lol
The quote of the day came from Kathryn's canon panel-- by Tim Powers in reply to the audience member who said he couldn't stretch his disbelief far enough to believe in Leiber's Canticle for Leibowitz that the one institution to survive nuclear war was the Catholic church but a few minutes later said he could accept the fictional applications of faster than light travel: "Faster than light's ok, but the Catholic Church is improbable?!"

See? You too could have all this fun if you'd come to SF cons! They're everywhere, and I bet most of them are loads of fun. Go on, explore, enjoy yourself!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy, happy, happy -- LosCon and Stitching

I'm at LosCon. I'm at LosCon. neener neener neener
Ok, so it's not very mature. It's authentic though. lol

When I checked in I was a little dubious of where they told me my room was --- all I could think was "oh, great. A view of the parking lot." But here's what I have:
[Please note that they have not changed the ultra unpeaceful carpet. lol It's kinda like an old buddy now.)
Yup, that there is my own patio with room to amble around, comfy chairs, and a view of the pool
And then I note that I have a view at just the right light angle that is so appropriate to the Con -- remember the alleged face on Mars? Well check out the lady in the patio rock -- lol
LosCon 2007

So far today I've had a grand and successful time. I've paneled (and discovered the person/panelist to be avoided at all costs. OMG Shut up already lady you complete, off-topic yammering git!!!!), I've shopped (see below), and I've stitched (also see below).

The shopping was for books. I mean that is what got me to my first LosCon afterall -- I picked up a Pratchett quotes book (and have already gained several giggles out of it), a new Yarbro (love her), and an Alastair Reynolds volume of two novellas (what can I say, I'm a sucker for short fiction).

As for stitching I can report great progress today on Mirabilia's Halloween Fairy. When I arrived this morning I was here (but the holes in the center of the body were already filled in):
Halloween Fairy 8/30/2007
Tonite at 5:30 I had made it to here:
11_23_2007 5:30pm

Say Barbara -- I have a question for you -- I ran across this in my antique stash pile.
11_21_2007 012
11_21_2007 015
It's on aida and has the threads (but I'd ignore them if I were you because they didn't include all the colors they were supposed to which is what made me so annoyed the day I discovered why I didn't have the "right brown" that I bagged it up and stowed it away). Might it be something you'd like to finish for one of your little angels? If Barbara doesn't want it, does anyone else? It's yours. All you need is a supply of misc browns so you can pick out the appropriate shades.

Wawana -- thanks for the vote on the fabric choice. I like the darker too I think. I'm wondering if I should go darker -- more like a natural linen. Sigh. So many choices!

Well, I'm off to watch Numbers and stitch... then write a memo. Oh the joy of con life!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hey everyone!

Man, I can't count!!!! It is currently approximately 42.5 hours to the start of LosCon. Still, it is ONLY 42.5 HOURS to LOSCON!!!!!!!!!!!! Scifi bliss here I come.

Kathryn-- didn't some LASFS folks used to host Turkey-laden events for those getting left out of their home fests? Did those go by the wayside when we moved from Burbank to LAX?

Teejay-- thanks for the ideas on the stash control systems. I might try that dating thing. I have been pretty good for the last year or so at passing stash I've "outgrown" along to new homes. And recently I've gotten really good at tossing out all the spare copies I made for working copies. I used to make 2-4 copies of the ornies I really liked out of JCS so I could highlight and toss as I worked. Then I rarely highlighted and tossed. Finally I figured-- "so what's the point>" lol

Ok, everyone, I need an opinion. I'm about to start (yes, again, a new project!) a RR. I'm doing Little House Needlworks' scripture series of 12 pieces as a single piece. Below are pics of some of the thread packs on a cream linen and a parchment jobelan. Which fabric does the best job with the treads? Or, have a better suggestion? Who knows-- I might be back with more pics tomorrow. lol
LHN option1
LHN option 2

Oh and I have to share the joy of fresh stash. these goodies came in the mail today from Silkweaver:
first is Rosebud (one of the limited editions)

then Frosted Pumpkin
Frosted Pumpkin

and then two solos:
11_21_2007 008
11_21_2007 009

For those of you to whom it is applicable-- Happy Thanksgiving in advance!!! May your turkey be perfect and your veggies not burn (mom always burned the veggies... and we always forgot about the rolls until it was a shade too late to do anything with them but play stickball.)

Being thankful because tomorrow I get turkey and wild rice stuffing and olives (a Thanksgiving essential in my family) with friends and in now... errr. about 42 hours I get to go to LosCon with 1200-1500 of my closest friends lol

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stitching, and yet getting nowhere

So I stitch. I stitch to get things done. But I have far too many things to ever accomplish. Sigh. How is it we all have too much stash to ever stitch, but we never have the "right" pattern?

Over the last week I've made some progress on my Midsummer Nights Dream's "Quaker Meetinghouse" --
11_19_2007 026
I need to do the last part of that top motif, the dates, and the two butterflies that go in the sort of square cut outs at the top and bottom. Not bad. If I have a good (and intelligent) evening, I might even finish tonight. But probably not -- tonight I simply must go to bed before midnight!

Tonight's also Thanksgiving shopping. I have big dinner responsibilities! I'm in charge of bring olives, pickles, and rolls to my friend Judy's house for dinner. lol Hey, there's not much you can assign to the person whose oven doesn't work! Oh and I have to bring my stitching too in hopes that Judy and I can sit and stitch! Cross your fingers on that one! lol

Should I get home from shopping with any energy AND get a lot of cleaning and clearing done, I might start my inventory of my excessive stash. You see, I'm thinking that if I could visually remind myself of all the crap... err vital and wonderful stash .... I have, maybe -- just maybe -- I could stem the shopping tide. Ok, so maybe it's not a brilliant plan, but it's the one I've got right now so it's the one I'm going to go forward with.

Last night I started what I've taken to calling Project Reality with a photo essay of sorts on my "small projects" basket. The basket was Chris' idea. She has one on her mantle -- She explained it as her way to avoid losing time in rushed departures looking for all the bits of a project to take. She just has this basket of small kits and kitted up projects all ready for the road. She can just grab and go. And besides, it looks real nice. So I started one. I have no mantle so mine sits on a pile of paperwork, but it's still fun. Mine also isn't really filled with ready-to-go projects since some of them still have the nasty fabric they came with in them. One boring evening I'll sit down and cut real fabric for them and pile the other up for passing along to the aida fans of the world. Anyway, here's my basket:
11_19_2007 007
And, yes, the basket is just as overstuffed as it looks. If you don't believe me, here's two piles of stuff out of it:
11_19_2007 008
11_19_2007 012
And yet there's still plenty in the basket with those piles out:
11_19_2007 013

See? I need to stop stashing.

Well, it's back to work for me. I have records to add before grocery time. Happy Thanksgiving shopping to all who are out there doing it. To all who aren't, have a peaceful evening!

LOSCON COUNTDOWN -- 40 hours to registration at LosCon!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yahoooo!!!!!!
Recently finished: Gaiman and Reaves InterWorld. You know, it was ok. Not nearly as good as Gaiman should be. It feels like the beginning of a series/franchise. Think a kind of watered-down Ender's Game -- young misfit, secret talent, outcast, educated, adventure gone wrong, amazing success, the world goes on, blah blah blah. It's nice. It'll entertain the youth it's meant to.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why do I keep starting stuff?

LosCon Countdown: call it 4.5 days !!! Yee haw!

I couldn't stop myself. I had to. I just had to. I started another new xs last night. What the frell was I thinking???? Oh well. I seemed to have made a good call because it was as if my needles were enchanted. They stitched so smoothly and fast--- and that just never happens.

What I started was Americow. I'll have to get back to you on the designer though and I owe you a pic of what it's supposed to look like too. Here's how far I got last night though:
Americow 11/17/2007
I'm stitching in Needle Necessities on Wichelts' Vintage Mocha.... I just love those Vintage fake overdyed fabrics.

I'm still kind of annoyed I started something new. I think it was the endorphins released by my recent finishes that lead me down the stitching garden path. To make up for it I think I might have to do a photo survey next week of all my in process pieces-- maybe that will keep my starting-fetish grounded for a while.

For the record, I'm working on finding more of my desk again today. I might just succeed too. And tomorrow the person who runs our corp production services will be back so a good number of the piles on my floor will be heading out of my office for her. Oh the joy! The excitement!!! A mostly walkable floor. Wheeeee!!!!!

A question for whoever wants to contemplate it -- When it starts getting close to the end of the year like this I start getting all itchy for planning what to stitch in the coming year. Anyone else do that too? Mind you, my plans generally have little or nothing to do with what I actually end up stitching in the coming year. lol Maybe I should lay out everythign I think I want to do next year and take a look at it. -- a little reality check couldn't hurt that bad, right?

Thankful for: Still LosCon'c impendingness.
Quotes of the last few days:
No man was ever taken to hell by a woman unless he already had a ticket in his pocket or at least had been fooling around with time tables.
Archie – Some Buried Caesar – Rex Stout

I “made it to the Methodist grub tent; having passed by the Baptists with the snooty feeling of a man about town who is in the know.”
Archie – Some Buried Caesar – Rex Stout

The calligraphy is on the wall.
Larry – Numbers
Recently finished: Rex Stout's Some Buried Caesar - good as usual with some really funny bits on Methodist food production. maybe you have to be a Methodist, but apparently we take our potlucks VERY seriously, and we're known for it. Trust me, it's funny. Honest. And as a Wolfe piece this is lovely as usual. I do have strange luck-- possibly Fate keeps moving molecules so I chose all of the stories where Nero actually leaves the house..... I seem to read an awful lot of him traveling for reading about a detective that hates to leave his house.
In process: Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves' InterWorld -- very fun so far. If you've never treated yourself to a Gaiman novel, I'd highly recommend it. He's got an interesting mind. I'd suggest Neverwhere; Green's The Man with the Golden Torc; Pratchett's Pyramids (I'm not sure this really counts since it's what I fall alseep to at night. What can I say, it's like an old friend talking quietly to me as I drift off.)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ornament check in

First things first: LosCon Countdown: 5 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!

Now back to the mundane: Here I am at work again. I love work, really I do. I like what I do... well, I like it when I can find at least part of my desk and today is a good say. Today I found nearly about 1/2 of my desk! wooo hooo-- toss that confetti .. but do it out in the hall please. I don't want to have to clean the little bits off the floor.

After 12 full hours I have a half clean desk, 3 of 8 things on my to-do list done, and a very happy feeling. I can pack up and head home for some more work I left there and a little stitching! What an exciting life I lead.

I keep promising ornie updates, well here they are:
I'm not sure if I've shown this first one-- it's a fairly recent finish though and I think I was holding it in reserve...
new ornie
new ornie

I went on a finishing splurge on Wednesday night and got these done -- the treble clef was a Tuesday night stitch project
11_7_2007 023
11_7_2007 025

Night night all! Pleasant dreams and happy stitching. Wish me and the other half of my desk luck for tomorrow.

Things to be thankful for: Well duh, 5 days to LosCon!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Formerly secret stitching

Hello and happy remains of Wednesday! I'm about to leave after a day of desk destruction. Why is it, do you suppose, that I spend 20 hours over the weekend clearing half the desk only to loose that half by Wednesday and still make no in roads on the other half? I mean I'd understand if I shuffled stuff from side to side... sure that would be like me, but I haven't. I swear. Sigh.

Anyway, I wanted to show you the 3 secret projects I had going on in the weeks leading up to the Pals convention. They are squares I did for Joshua's quilt. The first two are on the quilt and the third is going to be a pillow or something separate for the little darling.
Joshua's square 1
Joshua's square 2
Joshua square 3

And I'd like to announce a VERY BIG UFO happy dance for Shepherd's Bush "shepherds Sheep" shop exclusive kit
11_7_2007 010
This poor beastie has been languishing for about 2 years if not longer. I'm embarrassed to say I hauled it out Monday night and finished him in two hours -- including ironing and camera-hunting time. I'd be humiliated if I had any stitching shame... but I don't! I'll get stuff done when I dang well get it done. lol

I have ornie updates for ya'll but those will have to wait for tomorrow. See ya later!

Final thoughts-- prayers and stable-ground thoughts to Chile. I lived and worked through the Northridge Earthquake and its recovery and I can only suppose it wasn't nearly what our neighbors to the far south are experiencing.

Thankful for having FEMA even if it could use a TON of help.

Recently finished: Rex Stout's Too Many Women -- what can I say, lovely as usual. What I wouldn't give to be drinking buddies with Archie! lol
Dovie Tomasen's Fireside Tales -- a series on Oneida stories that are wonderfully done in their audio version. If you've never heard Native American story telling, I'd recommend it. There's a different sort of cadence to the story when it's told properly and while they are morality tales, they never are as blatant and preachy as most standard American children's stories. I'm not sure that they read as well as they listen though -- they were meant to be heard and I feel IMHO that a significant part of the story is in the cadence.