Monday, December 20, 2010

I might be nuts

Yes, I am safely arrived in DC. But I am not abed yet and I will be getting up in 3.5 hous for the lunar eclipse, I can't promise to be on the live chat because I'm not certain how lively I'll be. Regardless, I WILL see you all soon.

Best wishes wherever you are,
Waiting-for-Promised-Christmas-Eve Snow in VA.

P.S. The Alexandria fire department has a good response time for house fires even on tiny, private streets. It was too cold to report how handsome they might have been, but hopefully the pictures of their group prayer huddle will turn out well enough for me to share.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Greetings from LosCon 37

Originally this post was going to be called "If you're my sister, Bugger off!" but I can't find the pictures I was going to post so that title will have to visit at a later date. I like it though so I'm certain you will see it eventually.

What have I been up to? Ahh, so very much. Mostly related to the two "B"s: bitching and boxes. We got 28 days notice that our office would be moved *before* a month was out. It was... barely. I've never seen such large dust bunnies! And I've never handled so much cardboard. Be that as it may, I (and a lot of helpers) got the entire contents of the headquarters of a 52-year-old company sorted, boxed, and stored or moved by the deadline. [It's amazing what 4 weeks straight of never less than 12 hours a day (please note: overtime is a mythical beast-- rumored, but never actually sighted in the company) can get accomplished.] Not everything is unboxed, but that's what happens when your new corporate holding company moves you from offices and support space to cubes. Nice cubes, but cubes nonetheless. Oh and they came with a warning-- the corners and edges can cut through clothes and have left a significant number of scars on office folks -- thanks! There's some happy news to begin your new corp life with.

In the face of the move and all its side trajectories, I have been sooooo looking forward to LosCon! I must say, while I have enjoyed my time I have, at the very best, been underwhelmed by this year's effort. No a single panel even close to offering cool new books/authors in the field. Usually there are a couple varients of this that are so well attended that people have to sit on the floor and stand along the walls (possibly because the room assigners must have some strange notion that a convention system built initially on a written genre doesn't read--- clue to room assigners: That crowd of people huddled in the door means YOU NEED A BIGGER ROOM, MORON!)

Anyway, no new/cool books panels. No really entertaining panels on arcane but strangely humorous topics. Only 10 entries in the maskerade.

Sure there have been nice moments -- the JPL panels today and yesterday were very good. The panel today on whether or not steampunk is anachronistic was good. I'm sure tomorrow will bring all happiness and sunshine!

Oh and funny of the day. This morning I was up at 7am (it's my HOLIDAY people) because between 8 and 10 am my corporate wellness program rep had an appointment to call me and review my health survey (a way for me to save a bundle on my insurance for next year). I'm up. I'm ready. No blooming call ! I didn't have a panel until 10am and I was up at 7! Oh someone is hearing about this!!!!!!

At least the panels I have attended have allowed me stitching time -- This was my progress as of last night:
2010 11 26 057
I nominated it Ornament Weekend so that's all you get.

Mostly the last few months have been needlepoint months for me. I concentrated primarily on my sister's Christmas stocking (someday I'll find that picture), but lots of other canvases snuck in because I hated working the tree on her stocking. Among the pieces that got attention lately are:

An ornament for me to commemorate ConFrancisco (the first WorldCon I attended -- I've decided I need to stitch an ornament for all my major cons):
2010-07-20 013

I totally fell in love with this piece at TNNA last year. Hopefully I can do justice to it--
2010 11 26 049
The roof is Thread Gatherer wool and the house outines and walls are Belle Soie.

I started this little bookmark because it was going to be "so fast." Yeah Right. Little miss color princess came out and I'm stalled on the cone.
2010-07-20 036

My Zuni bear has a butt-
2010 11 26 043
I still have no idea how I'm going to have him finished.

I simply had to start this guy--
2010 11 26 052

I even made some progress on my shawl dancer
2010 11 26 053
2010 11 26 054
It's gotten way nicer to work on since I quit with the Kreinik and moved on to Neon Rays Plus and Highlights.

And this little ornament which just makes me giggle. It won't make it for this year's tree, but....
2010 11 26 056

Just for the record, though I haven't xsed in forever there is some progress on my Beatrix Potter sampler since I last showed you --
2010-07-20 038

And I even got a dozen stitches in on Lanarte's Arabian Woman:
2010-07-20 030
Yeah, I know, you can really see it coming together. lol

One last thought before I go -- Happy belated Thanksgiving!

2010 11 26 011
In the spirit of the season, I am thankful for:
Cons, even without cool book panels.
Having a job even though I hate most days.
My friends -- virtual and otherwise.
My family who doesn't read my blog as a rule, and that might be a very good thing.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dead? No not really.

Yes, fair friends. I was not done in my a lamp post in the night. Nor did I win the lottery and retire to peaceful climes.

So what have I been up to? Work. Just work -- Doing work. Sharing work. Throwing work. Swearing about work. Being depressed about work. Bitching about work. Volunteering for (IDIOT) more work. Being lumbered with more work.

Stitching much? No not really.

Reading much? No not really.

Been pissy? Oh yeah, often.

Missing all of you: DEFINITELY!

Currently: Being perky -- because on Friday by 11am I shall happily be ensconsed at LosCon from whence I shall (allegedly be able to update ya'll on recent life.

In the words of my soon-to-be-former governor: I'll be back.

P.S. The happiest of Thanksgivings to those of you of an American persuasion.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Yes, I know.

I've been missing. In all its infinite wisdom, my office has decided it's moving again. And sooner rather than later. This means I am the very frazzled head of why my manager is calling "Ruth's Army" (that would be the temps hired to help as fast as possible). I don't want to move. That aside, I can't even take time for breathing what with running from one "soldier" to another finding out what's wrong and what they need help with.

More soon... really. I hope.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mom's out there! We love you!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Almost a party......

It's my birthday tomorrow and I'm momentarily pleased with that. Yesterday I was nonplussed about it. Last week I was depressed about it. Today, kinda excited. My sister and BIL arrive tonight for a whirlwind couple days of festing. Plans are still formulating, but I'll be sure to catch you up on stuff (possibilities are narrowed down to: Anzo Borrego flower fields, Mission San Juan Capistrano, and the Huntington Library). Probably today's perkiness stems from the arrival of guest, but some it is no doubt due the the fact that I finally have clear-cut the area in front of my TV and now have ground in which to work. This means I can (or someone can) install the new TV a couple friends got me for Christmas. Yippie! No more occasional mystery flips to black-and-white viewing for me. Annnnd, I may even be able to connect both the cable AND the DVD (and maybe even the VCR) to the TV. It'll be a wondrous thing!

Anyway, I have a couple minutes here to try and catch up. Hmm.. I seem to be having to do that a lot. Wonder what that's about... oh wait! We're talking about me. lol silly girl

During and immediately post Olympics I was in a stitch anything phase. I was especially obsessed with my sister's Christmas stocking. First I struggled through the packages (note of warning to needlepointers: Fyre Werks' "hologram" line is not at all like its regular or soft sheen lines. The hologram stuff is stiff as a board, and therefore not in the least bit fun to work with. Sorry, Fyre Werks, you know I love you, but that holo stuff is a pain!) The Fyre Werks are the entirety of the green bow. The red bows are in Sprinkles (by Renaissance):
2010-03-02 015
Once the packages were in I moved on to the carpet and that became a complete compulsion for me--
2010-03-02 017
I'm doing it in a pair of Bella-something-or-others (sorry, I'll get back to you on that). They are thin merino wools that are absolutely yummy to work with. This pic doesn't show it, but the whole bottom of the foot is done and I've turned the corner up the back of the heel ... yippie!

When no obsessed with the stocking, I was obsessed with my Friendly Stitcher's ASAW. I got tired of putting in grid lines so I started filling in squares:
2010-03-02 025
It's a garden-themed piece that in its original incarnation is absolutely lovely, but a number of the squares have no connection to gardens I have known. No offense folks, but I'm a West Coast girl. I can see the beach from my office. I never experienced gardens with snowflakes until my sister moved east. So I've been making some adjustments. This upper left corner that I started with is going to be my grandparents' garden-- so I started with the most prominent memory I have of their yard-- the GIANT apricot tree. Then there's the HUGE swing (well, it was really, really big when I was little. Maybe now it'd only be 10 or 12 feet tall but then I was certain it reached the sky). the square under the half done apricot tree (I kept leaving my beading threader at the office so I had to start something else instead of finishing the tree) is going to be a blue-purple bowl (like the one grandma and grandpa got for their 50th wedding anniversary) filled with elysiums.

Dang, how'd it get so late? Ok, I have to scoot. Go have a happy day for me, ok? A personal favor just for me. lol

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Sure I've been stitching....

.. It's like I'm a girl obsessed. Not holding a needle? Well than I'm not happy. I must admit my progress has slowed with the absence of the Olympics-- afterall, I didn't have to keep changing channels in hopes of findign something entertaining. I never really realized how much time channel changing took up. Sheesh.

Anyway, my biggest problem of late is trying to decide which project to pick up. I want to stitch all of them at once. That neevr happens to me. Never! Usually there's one (not the one I'm supposed to be working on) that calls frantically to me. But these dys if it involves a needle then I want to work on it. I wonder if this is something I should wish will continue? Could be bad for all other aspects of life. Lord knows it's been really detrimental for those towels that are waiting for me to fold them and put them away. The laundry basket even fell over last night and all I did was shovel the towels back in and balance it back on the pile so I could get back to stitching. Bad girl. Bad girl!

Anyway, with all that stitching I should have much to show, and I do! But have I been uploading photos? Oh no. That would be too handy. At least this affords me the oportunity to work with some of the backlog of stuff I kept meaning to getting around to showing you.

We had out big, annual sale at my needlepoint shop and yours truly did her part. First, the frame collection--
From the Ewe and Eye frame collection-- I figure they will be perfect for some samplers:
2010-02-02 010
2010-02-02 013
2010-02-02 015
2010-02-02 019
2010-02-02 022
And a few from the framers of LCN and CCN:
2010-02-02 005
2010-02-02 006
2010-02-02 009

And you knew there's be canvases, right?
A dimensional swam from TS:
2010-02-02 024
Some really cool tea cups with canvases:
2010-02-02 028
A canvas of the Point Loma lighthouse (a personal fav of mine):
2010-02-02 004

And my pieces from the TNNA show this year have started arriving--
First, my find of the show--a shell that your piece gets inserted into. Way cool, trust me--
2010-02-02 029
2010-02-02 033
Some ornies:
2010-01-25 043

And think, this is the tip of the catch-up iceberg.

I should run. I have friends that want dining experiences, and frankly my brain is 35% engaged in noodling out a work problem. I'm the go-to girl for weird questions.... today's: calculating the economic and potential fiscal impact of over-freeway construction of varying types on both the construction site and on surrounding properties. Sure, I'll just find oodles already done on that. Uh huh.

A happy and productive stitching to you all! And to all a good night.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Belts and beads. Beads and belts.

Hi there. Anyone want a friend? My former buddy Judy just called and asked me if I knew that so-and-so beat so-and-so in today's Olympic hockey game. The game I'm watching when I get home. She's up for grabs .... she stitches fast, but spoils all exciting moments by previewing the ending.

I downloaded pictures! Are you impressed? First a little current WIP. I've hauled out Beatrix Potter for the last couple days and finished off one small motif and started another.
2010-02-23 009
At least stitching every-other square in beads is less annoying than EVERY square. And I must say that I'm really liking the cream beads on cream. I might just have to pull out that big cream motif and put it in in some beads. Then again, why prove I'm completely insane?

And I am finally capable of showing you The Belt!
2010-02-09 064
2010-02-09 067
2010-02-09 069
2010-02-09 070
2010-02-09 072
Ostensibly, the BIL is happy, but..... the funniest bit of it all (once I got over the fainting spell) is that the BIL called and announced it didn't fit. After much fussing it turned out he hadn't tried it on yet and it was only 1 hole off from the designed-to-fit-at hole which meant it was only about an inch off. My sister pointed out that that inch could have less to do with belt-making choices than with the foodstuffs on the Caribbean cruise they'd just returned from.

Happy Olympic viewing to you all -- I will not tell you who won what... despite already knowing. Sigh

Ruth's new nomination for dumbest TV announcer:
One of the guys announcing the aerials competition in ski jumping -- when discussing the American team member who was in the hospital having had his appendix removed in emergency surgery, the announcer said "He has an appendix so he can't ski." I'm now using the I-have-an-appendix excuse for everything I can't do.

The same announcer is double nominated in the stupid category for his statement: "Minsk used to be part of the Soviet Union but now it's its own country"... about 2 sentences after explaining Minsk was a city in Belarus.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Olympic excitement brings out the worst (possibly best) in me

I love the Winter Games. It's the skiing. What more could you want -- scenic vistas and the divine swishing sound. Sigh. As far as the indoor stuff it's all about curling.... Go Norway! [Certainly you have been following the saga of the Norwegian Curling team's pants. If you have somehow missed this great moment in sports, just google "Norwegian curling team" -- you can even add pants as a separate term if you want but pretty much all your initial hits will get you The Pants.]

Under the influence of these lovely Olympics (thank you, Vancouver!!!!!), I have been stitching indiscriminately. And, strangely enough I am loving EVERYTHING I stitch and everything I'm not stitching at a given moment calls desperately to me. My worst problem is getting started because that involves putting all but one pile of threads and fabric aside. Yeah, I don't know what's gotten into me either. Usually I'm obsessed with one thing at a time.... and usually that obsession is NOT the thing I am/should be stitching on.

The Games has made me give in to startitis.... again. It should be simple, but there's a saga. You knew there ha to be. I have started Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow.
2010-02-18 003
OMG what was I thinking. Annnnd, yes, dear firends, to add insult to injury, I'm doing it over 1! Ok, to the saga. First I look at the chart, which I love and think, "it's perfect if you don't consider all the mustard toning." I like mustard as well as the next hot dog fan, but oxidized mustard is not an attractive color and I don't get the use of it as a tonal element in charts willy nilly. You feel the saga coming now, right? What's an anti-oxidized mustard girl to do but start changing colors.

So, one square at a time I started pulling threads and replacing them with actually "attractive" (to me) colors. I don't change all that much, just enough to ease my tortured eyes. -- so, 12 times I did this:
Their colors:
2010-02-09 008
My colors:
2010-02-09 010
Their colors:
2010-02-09 012
My colors:
2010-02-09 013
12 times! Do you know how long that took? 6 hours! 6 fricken hours. And, then for another whole week I tweaked some more and some more. I'm finally all tweaked out I think. I hope so since I have started stitching. lol

Ok, I have to run to a bday party part 2 of 3, but I also need to get some other pics in because my BIL has "gotten a good belt"--
Damn! Sorry some idiot didn't upload those photos.... wonder who that could be???? hee hee

Sorry... another time.

Remember, GO NORWAY CURLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

......................... Lookie what I did

First off-- the belt is here! Yahooooo But I am lame! Boooooo. I neglected to get a picture of it. Tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow... unless of course my county washes away overnight..... which could happen.

But, in other news -- the stocking is done-ish -- the stocking is done-ish!
2010-02-08 005
All I need is a couple more nights of take-away stitching and I'm done! Woo hooooooo
{for all you non-needlepointers, take-away rows are the rows of stitching you have to do around the outer edges of a piece so that the finisher has something to sew into or mat to. They always come last and always seem to take for bloody ever.... and they are so annoying because you get all excited about being done and then you get that big "but....... now I have to do the take-away rows" sigh.
2010-02-08 006
I'm loving the stitch for the name section and I can at least live with what I made up for the upper cuff.
2010-02-08 008
Now I need to finish those rows and get backing fabric ready. tee heee! I'm so excited!

In my exuberance [since I didn't feel like take-away stitching] I hauled out another old friend and made GREAT progress:
2010-02-08 002
What? You can't see my oodles of stitching?
2010-02-08 004
I did the eye in the rocking horse. lol Hey, it was 2am. I needed to go to bed.

Then last night, also in honor of the stocking accomplishment, I hauled out another UFO --
2010-02-08 016
I got all of the central chest put in and the head and neck bands --
2010-02-08 018
Oh, and also a little of the bordering color --
2010-02-08 019
Exciting, isn't it?

Today I even hauled out another languishing piece --
2010-02-08 021
my Quaker a la Six Mains, and I got a whole quarter inch of peacock put in!.... That tells you more about how short my lunch was rather than how slow I stitch --
2010-02-08 022

Ok, I've been sooo bad. I owe many DC scenes, so let me start with one of my adventures this time. In between my last trip and this one I discovered a famous American sculptor in our family tree, one Hiram Powers. So I did a little Hiram Hunt while in the city. Here are some examples of Hiram's work --
12-06-2009 149
12-06-2009 167
12-06-2009 168
12-06-2009 196
12-06-2009 192
Oh, to have that much talent!

Ok, I can't resist, one recent funny. I'm at my LNS and a frequent customer asks worriedly if we have more than one piece working at a time. We laugh and say of course. She says oh so you have 2. We say no, we have many. I explain that just the night before I had started a stitching book based on one a fellow shop maven uses. She makes a page for each piece as she starts it and notes the threads she gets for it, the ideas for stitches, and what she eventually has it finished with. I think this is pretty handy so I start one by making a list of everything I can find that I have started. So I explain this to the lady who is worried about having too many projects, and a little while later when I'm helping another customer she asks if she can look at my book. Sure. No problem. Well, as I keep helping people she occasionally calls out a question, and I one point I hear another shop regular explaining to her that she can make up her own words. I eventually finish the covey of customers to find that my little lady is ... are you ready... copying down MY to-do list. lol Honest! She eventually left and everyone in the shop is laughing and wondering if she wrote down my list of stuff to do, does this mean she is going to finish everything for me? Now what I really want to know if I put my list of household chores in there, will she do them for me?