Friday, March 29, 2013

Winner! (and another item up for grabs) and WIPocalypse

Greetings dear friends,  I would like you all to join with me in congratulating our stitching friend, LanyBleu, whose name I pulled very scientifically from a pile of cut up pieces of paper I rescued from my recycling bin.  She has taken on the duty of giving Tempting Tangles'  "Creation"  a new home.   Thanks, Elaine.  Creation should keep you busy for a while.

In honor of Easter and the end of Passover I offer up another opportunity for someone to adopt a new stashbaby, namely "Memories" by The Silver Lining.  The pattern was a limited edition release and is signed and even numbered by Marc.  It's a lovely little rose that deserves a happy home.

So, leave a comment on this post saying you're interested in being included in a drawing for this, and I'll recycle a small piece of paper in your honor next week.... probably Wednesday.

And, yes, as a matter of fact I have been taking a "realistic" look at my stash and thinking some of it deserved a better parent than me.

Now, as for that WIPocalypse check-in, I'd like to first ask where in the heck March went?  Really, it's April already????  How did that happen?  As for progress me and the Badger of Destiny made some small advances:
The Dreaded Heart --

... has a few more roses and, if I had a bad-words jar, I would be a lot poorer.
Sure they're pretty but each of those little roses has 5 colors of green and 5 of pink and at least two of those colors in each range are so close as to be identical without really great lighting and a magnifier.  So, here's my memo to teachers and pattern makers everywhere -- "Get Real!"  Sheesh.

I also made progress on my ByGone Stitches flag--

I can now start integrating some stripes into my stitching on this which I hope will make it seem to go faster.

I made it up the right side and down and around the left corner on Blackbird's America--

And for the first time in a long time, my Princess and Me ornament of the Golden Gate Bridge came out to play--
I got a whole 3 columns of blue put in!   That is, I believe, 1 column per year for each year it has been laying around waiting to be stitched on.  lol  Me and my piles!

And, finally Rose City Stitchers by Eye and Eye and Co made an appearance (courtesy of the bus commute to work) --
So far it's gotten a little more brickwork and door, some exterior vining, and a little start on the base of the hill next to the "big house" (they'll be another house on said hill).

And I even made ornament progress as part of the 2013 Ornie SAL --

I completed and did the finishing on this little freebie -- I couldn't get a good shot, but the fruit and the border are all beaded in alternating stitches.

I even made progress on my Scandinavian ornie --

... at least I did up until I ended up being off on my location.  I must have counted wrong, but I can't work out where so it is back in its bag thinking about what it has done wrong.

Now, as I find myself facing another weekend I begin once again the excessively perky hopes.  I will be working at the shop on Saturday, and of course I am hoping for a busy Saturday -- I want lots of customers buying lots of exciting things.  But then I think, what if we could have all the customers finish up their shopping by noon so I could stitch the rest of the day in peace?  Is it too much to ask?   Yeah.  I know.  It's too much.  So really that leaves Saturday out.  With only Sunday to play with whatever shall I do?   How about I try and be circumspect for a change -- and hope for:
1.  finishing a book
2.  doing some laundry (and putting it away!)
3.  finishing the rose that needs its bud and doing another rose or pair of buds
4.  trying to get a handle on my stash mounds --- before they swallow me whole.
5.  NOT, spending half a day making and remaking lists of things to do before, take to, or do during my spring trip to DC.  That's how I think I spent nearly a quarter of last weekend.   I do so love my lists as ridiculous as they are.  (Am I the only listaholic????)  And yes, for the record I'll be in DC next month to cheer at the inaugural Nike DC half marathon, to celebrate my sister's birthday, and to toast my nephew and niece's 10th wedding anniversary.  Oh and to sit with The Dog while my sister and BIL go to Europe for a cruise/marathon.  I'll say hi to the other coast for ya'll.  Guess who will be there while I'm there!   An exhibit of Pre-Raphaelites.  Yes, I am a happy girl.

Happy Passover -- Happy Easter -- Happy Spring

Friday, March 22, 2013

Accomplishments? No, not really. And an offer in honor of the season.

Apparently in honor of the onset of Spring, I am having fond thoughts of the weekend to come.  I keep thinking of all the things I "will" get done.  Why do I do this?  History teaches that me and "big plans for the weekend" do not go hand-in-hand.  Regardless, I go into this evening with positive excitement.  I keep thinking that I'll stitch for hours and clean for hours and cook for hours and read for hours-- oh and watch Formula One.  You see the problem?  There are only about 48 hours to deal with and yet I have schemes that could keep me occupied for a month.  Sigh.

The most likely candidates for the weekend's adventures include my recent stitching friends --  (and the danged heart, of course)--

Last weekend I found a played a little with Prairie Moon -- Home of the Free, Land of the Brave:

I'd gotten this far on my Workbasket Quaker until last week when it started languishing in my commuter bag -- 

Then one night this week I pulled out the By the Bay freebie that had been my commuting buddy until I pull out the Workbasket one.  And it's a good thin I did, because you see that tail of green-olive on the bottom and heading to the right?  Well it's wrong.  All wrong.
I ended up pulling it all out.  Let's hope when I start again that I can keep my counting in the forefront of my mind.

We shall see next week what calls to me this weekend.  Any bets on none of the above?  After all we know I'm fickle.  

And now, as we head into Easter, I have an offer -- I have Tempting Tangles' Creation with all the DMC.  I had bought it as a gift for a friend who had the temerity to shop for herself!  What's the world coming to if folks stash for themselves?  LOL   Anyway, if you would like to give Creation a happy home, leave me a comment on this post.  If I get multiple potential adoptive stitchers, I'll draw a name next Wednesday.

I wish you all a happy weekend -- may yours be peaceful and productive.

Last-minute, sheepish hopes for the weekend:
1.  a cleaner hovel
2.  some barley/chard soup
3.  at least 2 roses
4.  2 completed books
5.  a win for Red Bull (preferably for Mar, of course)
6.  now let's just get silly:  a completed ornie, and some headway on at least one other stitched piece that's already in progress.  Please, Lord, let me not start a new one!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March Turtle Trot Check In

Well, the weekend was kind of a wash for stitching and cleaning, but an excellent adventure in fun with the sister.   I had planned to have such accomplishments ready for the Turtle Trot check in this month, but noooooo.   However, I do have a big surprise-- I actually took a picture of my #1 Turtle project, the bete noir of my existence-- the Victorian Heart:
See what I mean?  Four rows of roses -- well, three rows now -- that's all I need to finish to have this thing out of my life.  The sky will open up and all of Heaven's angels will sing a mighty hallelujah.  And I shall no doubt allow my exuberance to carry me into a fit of new starts--- and 'lo on the fields shall be strewn fresh UFOs.  And the Lord shall look upon them with fondness because no longer will will he hear constant curses arising about roses and Victorians.

On the sister-adventuring-birthday front, we spent Sunday at a great California institution, the Huntington Library and Gardens (think, railroad baron estate with art museums, botanic gardens, and rare book collection).   Before I share the joys of the gardens, allow me to introduce you to some indoor wonders--
One of my very favorite paintings of all time, Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse by Joshua Reynolds.

And the quintessential couple, Pinkie and Blue Boy by Gainsborough
Sure, lovely and iconic, but not a patch on Mrs. Siddons.

There was even a sampler--
by Elizabeth Stone, born 1808.  I just love her border, don't you?
We stitchers do get everywhere, don't we?

And there was a Ruth photo opp --
That's my sister with "Ruth" by Chauncey Bradley Ives -- a contemporary of great cousin Hiram Powers who worked in the same area of Florence with him.

And, yes, there was even one by great cousin (or whatever great-second cousin he was) Hiram Powers --

He's called "The Fisher Boy" ca. 1850.

**I should warn you that the rest of this post should only be viewed by people who can take sunshine and flowers in a spirit of happiness rather than as a way for us Californians to lord it over those still encased in snow and ice.**
So here are some Huntington moments for your enjoyment--

It was a stunningly perfect day.  The Sister and I agreed that we could certainly make due with meals on this patio --
I mean, even instant oatmeal would taste better out here in the mornings!

Friday, March 08, 2013

Let's Face It.....

... last weekend and this whole week was a wash for me.  All plans were thwarted or ignored with impunity. Sigh.  You should all recognize this under the heading of "The Story of My Life."

Saturday the shop was apparently The Place to Be for SoCal needlepointers.  I believe I got to sit down for the first time at 2:17pm -- and that was to help work out threads an stitches for someone.  Not one stitch, my friends.  not a single, solitary one.  The theme continued Saturday evening and Sunday.  Though Sunday it wasn't customers... it was napping, cleaning, and channel surfing (yes, I miserably failed to keep my paws off the remote).

Well, this weekend is, as Scarlett would say, another, err weekend.   And while hopeful, I cant say I promise much of anything.  My crazy sister (what else would you call someone who flies all the way across the country for a Sunday with her sister for her birthday?) arrives Saturday night for the weekend (leaving Monday early morning) -- we'll be celebrating my birthday in and around the area.  I'm still counting the ballots, but I think they'll be two dinners of varying levels of festiveness and a day spent somewheres about experiencing culture.  I'll report, I promise.

About the only thing I accomplished between last weekend and this week, was some stash sorting.  During the adventure I unearthed this piece I did years and years ago.

I was (and still am) a big Emily Dickinson fan So back in those olden days of aida from Joann's I charted the poem and created an anchor.  I wish I'd done a better heart motif.  So, what do you think, pillow?

I even unearthed a couple ornies that got finished in November or December and await finishing.....
I'll have to get back to you on whose pattern -- I think it's Plum Street.  I did it on a terra cotta jobelan in Belle Soies and Vikki Clayton silks.

This little offering comes with my pocket badger for size comparison... the badger's about an inch and a half long.

While I continue contemplating the weekend's hopes, I can share an accomplishment by my buddy Judy --
If I remember correctly this is a pattern from a magazine.  It got finished with a moire to go with her teal-loving house.

and her daughter Allison--
Allison loves all things purple.  Good thing, huh.  At least we had a nice lavender velvet to finish the pillow in.

Ok, maybe I'm ready to face the music.

Here are the weekend's goals:
1.  I will learn my lesson about channel surfing.  I will.  I will.
2.  I will finish 2 books by Saturday night when the sister giggle-fest begins.
3.  I will do a bunch of those darned roses.  Where the heck are the darned stitching elves when you want them.
4.  I will take a picture of these darned roses.
5.  I will get some more cleaning done.  (I did find part of the floor last weekend.  Not a big part, but a part nonetheless.)
6.  I will continue to sort and tidy stash.... it'll be my birthday present to myself-- possibly it will keep me from deciding I'm entitled to birthday stash.
7.  By Monday morning at 5am I will figure out if I'm taking Monday off --- no need to rush into either  laziness or dedication.

I wish you each a peaceful weekend.  May we all be successful in our endeavors!  (For a change.....)

Friday, March 01, 2013

Since last weekend went so well.....

... I thought, 'why not have a plan for this one too.'  So, here we all are.    Possibly this is a case of Hope Springs Eternally Optimistic, but I'm going with it.  It can't hurt, right?

Plans for the weekend:
1.  that dang Victorian heart -- I want to complete one ribbon row of full rose blooms (this would all make so much more sense to you if I just took a darned picture) and get at least a half row of buds done.  [This is, for the record, a stupid plan.  Last weekend it was me, my bed, my stitching, and my audio books all weekend.  This weekend I'm working Saturday.  Hope springs..... hope springs.]

2.  While I'm at work, I usually can't work too much on #1.  It needs complete and total, uninterrupted attention.  So, unless it is dead quite at the shop I need to work on something else there.  The candidates are manifold, but the most likely targets are:

Target A:  My brand new from TNNA this year baseball flag by The Collection Designs.  This arrived two weeks ago and I promptly started it.  Yup, I'm doing it all in Impressions -- the blue is pending a new shipment as we only had one skein and I think I'll need two for the flag and the take-away rows.

Given that it's hard to tell from the front, here's the back--

Mind you, I may come to regret that it's going to have to all be basketweave, but for now I'm quite entranced.

Target B:  Ethel (who is for our book-loving friend So Many Books 

The only caveat on Ethel is that she's pretty large-- meaning she can't come out to play if we have several people in the shop looking for help on canvases or picking tallis bags.... they need table space.

Target C:  is my flag heart -- 

She lack only the silver edge.  Once again, just basketweave, but I really ought to get this done one day.  And it's not like it should take all that long to finish... annnnnd it doesn't take brain power to work on basketweave take away rows.

3.  Post-work on Saturday I'm going to be chilling with friends/honorary-auxiliary family.  There I'll need something small and self-contained.  Probably I'll go with my commuter bus project, Workbasket's Quaker Penguin-- 
I'm actually further along than this, but my camera-ing has lagged of late.  Oh, and if the fabric looks a little odd in this pic, it's opalescent white.  Not too big of a pain to work on, but a little hard on the silk. Yes, Virginia, I said "silk."  I gave up on DMC 310 year's ago because I kept having breaking and shredding problems with it skein after skein.  I either work in Victoria Clayton's Noir or Splendor black.  Pengy happens to be Splendor.  You know, he really deserves a name other than Pengy.  I had an ancestor who because a Quaker.  I'll have to hunt up his name.  Seems a suitable title for our friend... well, except for the sparkly p

If not Pengy, I'll probably work on my BBD flag --

I'm also further along on this than the picture indicates.  Once again, my apologies.

4.  While not bruising my tailbone I will finish at least one book (I'd really like two -- I've been sloughing off my targets for the year) and stay the heck away from the remote control.  Really?  Is it all that hard to remember that there's nothing interesting on? (Apparently it is really, really hard given my proclivity to channel surf the day away.)

5.  I will find part of my floor.  I know it's down there.  If I did long enough I'm pretty certain it will turn up.

6.  I will *gulp* organize my stash monster.  I know.  I know.  I'm asking for trouble here.  But I have to.  There are two primary mounds -- one of WIPs/UFOs, and one of fabrics and treads -- and they are out of control..  I might could even get books on the shelves if the UFOs didn't block the path.... and that would get the shopping bag of books from Christmas out of the middle of the floor.  See, all my problems (well, ok, most of them) can be traced back to stash!  You should really cheer for this possibility because if I organize I might be moved to do a photographic inventory.  I could keep the blog in pics until 2024.

Here's wishing you and yours a peaceful Friday and an excellent weekend.  May you be just as productive as you'd like to be.