Friday, October 31, 2014

Closing the Mega Minis for October, Other Stuff, and Wistful Vacation Moments pt.1

Hi there and a Happy Halloween to you and yours.  I have never been much of a Halloween girl -- costume parades in school sure, but never house decor.  I think it's because I come from a long line of Christmas decorators so there is not room in the house for the storing of Halloween decorations.  No, seriously.  No room.  We probably had two boxes of Thanksgiving decor (one for the cornucopia and Indian corn and one for the character candles--- Pilgrims, turkeys, etc) and one box of Easter (candles and those fluff bunnies and chicks, you know the ones I mean-- all fluff no substance with little wire frames).    Now Christmas --- let's just use my sister as exemplary for us----  every year we hang at least 700 ornaments on her tree.  Seven hundred.  In case you were wondering, that's a heck of a lot of holiday commitment, and it does not even count the ancillary decor all over the house.

Anyway, I wish you a Happy Halloween, but I will just pull up a chair and giggle when those of you crazies have to take a weekend and pull all your decorations down.  You can pull up a chair and laugh at me around New Years when we box up the decor at my sister's.

So, on to the "decorating" that really matters (lol) the stitching not that my pics get to qualify as decorative.  I remember taking this first one of my most recent Mega Mini (thanks to Pull the Other Thread for getting this going and inspiring me to get something done this year!!!!!) finish and thinking "yeah, that's good."  Umm, no, Ruth.  It is not good. Sigh.  I owe you one of my little peach house---

I actually finished the backstitching on my first Mega Mini piece last week--

I think I'd like to live there -- looks like it has good light for reading and stitching and room for stash!

The Mega Mini has been great for me in terms of making me think small in the midst of all my giant projects.  If you have been having fun with this challenge in October, come on over to Justine's -- she has happily volunteered to keep it rolling in November.  You can sign-in with her at Justine's Cross Stitch.  See you there I hope!

Last night I could not control the urge to start a new mini (yeah-- something for November!), so welcome my goose.  You can't really tell too well, but he's on a light blue overdyed jobelan

When the Mega Mini started I discovered a problem.  Well, in truth I knew I had this problem, but I decided to avoid it, But the MM challenge would not let me do that any longer.  You see, my boxes of bobbined floss were depleted---   not because I was out, mind you.  They were sadly empty because I'd stuffed bobbin after bobbin in various projects and never returned them when I finished the project (read: shoved the undone WIP in a box to deal with later).  Soooooo, when I went to kit up enough minis to choke the Mega challenge I had a distinct problem finding colors or even replacements for colors.

All that led me to my latest "stitching" time sink--- bobbin winding.   My shop had a pack of these beauties (anyone else HATE the plastic ones that don't actually hold the thread ends????).

And over several nights created piles like this--

And you may not believe this, but I actually put them all away in the floss boxes!  Yes.  Honest!  Ok, ok, it is probably a miracle.

On other fronts I put some stitches in my flag needlepoint--  though not many I will admit, but needle-ing did happen!

 And I thought I would close with some more shots of San Francisco and my adventures there (I am hoping to bring you the joys of Carmel next week... cross your fingers!)

This is the wall of marathon participant names outside the Nike store.... always a highlight of race weekend.

The beautiful peppers of the farmer's market--

Of which I took home this little darling:

I mean it is a purple pepper.  How could I resist?

Brunch as always is my tradition was at the fish stall ....   yes I know I posted a pic of this earlier, but this is a better one off the "big camera" and I love these so much that I could not resist showing them again.

Some big beets.... nope, didn't bring one home

Some AWESOME tomatoes -- and I ate plenty of those.  Love them!!!!  I even managed to bring some home for snackage (I was supposed to eat them on the plane but I think I napped instead.)

Also joining me on the trip home was my new suitcase.......

You see, as a rule my small suitcase does not get much exercise.  I take totes or trips requiring The Big Suitcase.  So the little one sits under the kitchen table holding finished needlework that has no display space.  I hauled it out of its repose and dragged it off to SF only to discover a problem.  By the time I got to the airport, my hands smelled like crayons.  Apparently as the handled aged the plastic broke down and what I ended up with when I applied the heat of my hands was, well, something that smelled like crayons. I swear -- no lie. By the time I got to the Hilton in SF they REALLY smelled like crayon.  I scrubbed.  I lotioned with scented product.  My hands still smelled like crayons.  Now, I like crayons as much as the next kid-at-heart, but I don't want to spend a day smelling like them nor do I want a suitcase to smell like them.  So my sister and I swerved into Ross on our way back to the hotel from the TNT Inspiration Dinner and picked out a new travel buddy for me.

Also making the trip home from SF is another "problem" of mine.  I have an earring addiction which I indulged at the art part of the farmers market.  I mean look at these -- they had to come home with me right?

I also visited Needlepoint Inc., the downtown SF mecca of needlepoint goodness.  Somewhere there's a pic of that that I will track down, but I cannot show you what I bought as it comprises a fair amount of presents.   Sorry!

Go enjoy your day and your weekend -- may both be pleasantly peaceful and productive.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mega Adventuring.... with a little Mini on the Side

Ok, this has to be quick because 7 million things await my attention, but I had to drop in and wave at y'all.

I am freshly back from:

On the flight there was a little stitching:

While I was in transit and in SF, I was generally sustained by:   [note: distinct absence of a check mark for decaf]

I enjoyed pretty views:

I had to put up with a lot of this:     [sheesh-- you'd think everyone in town had season seats!]

 But I made it the the Ferry Building farmer's Market and enjoyed my traditional Saturday of race weekend breakfast -- the one of the left -- salmon, cream cheese, farm-fresh tomatoes, red onion, and capers (capers $.50 extra, but well worth it!):

I was with friends (and family):

And we had a serious reason to be there:

My own personal reasons -- a desire for a world where I no longer needed these honor-tags and did not need to tie my hair up in yards of purple and green.

Now, go have yourself a good day.  That is an order.   More adventure news will follow.

Monday, October 13, 2014

I Think My Needles Were Cursed by Gypsy Sloths

Yes, gentle reader, I do believe my needles are cursed.  Possibly they were once owned by someone who snubbed a Gypsy?  Maybe I can do some sort of cleanse for them--- use only green floss for a week (the needle equivalent of juice cleanses???).  I feel they are cursed because, after a productive busy active occupied weekend, all I have to show for my stitching adventures are these:

Ethel has a full flower basket (yet another reminder to my little badger brain -- never again bother with Thread Gatherer ribbons from heck!!!!   Never.  Ever.   Don't get me wrong, I think they look pretty and I love the color variegation but the edge shredding is so not worth it.)

And my Mega Mini piece #1 made it this far (and only because I kinda pushed the bedtime border last night):

Honestly -- you see why I think my needles are cursed, right?  I mean if they aren't cursed then I would have to face the fact that I am a very, very slow stitcher who has a propensity to nap.

This is just a little bit of shop humor for you -- I worked at my LNS this weekend.... well volunteered really and spent a good part of the day opening shipping boxes and trying to find out where a customer went wrong in their count on a Victorian counted lace piece.  Never did work that out-- though we did come up with a fine plan to fudge it.   Anyway, parked in front of our door all day was this sight:

Nope, the tires weren't flat.  No, they weren't parked in a hill/on a slope.   Exactly how much weight do you have to put on one side of a Mercedes SUV to make it tilt like this?

I wish you a peaceful and productive day (without cursed needles).  And I leave you with thoughts for Formula 1's Jules Bianchi who was badly injured in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix.  The F1 community has rallied around him and his family and team most graciously--may that help them all.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Progress? or Shearing Season Hits Needlepoint Row

We do this because it is fun, right?  We aim for accomplishful relaxation, correct?  Well, last night my "progress" was un-accomplishing this sheep on Ethel --

I know it is all my fault.  I made bad choices.  So Spot (why exactly did we paint a giant eye on this sheep??????) went from that, through this.....

... to this.   Now he has to wait until I find flosses to match the Silk and Ivories to stitch his face in.

Hence I moved on from Spot to some flowers, and I learned a vital lesson in the process --

-- that Thread Gatherer ribbons are a pain the the ba@@ket.  I used short lengths, treated them gently, and the edges frayed like crazy within 4 stitches.  Good thing a French knot bouquet will hide that. Memo to self, must find better ribbons--- any suggestions?

As a lucky accomplishment that I had nothing to do with other than to enjoy the fruits of the mail service -- check out the totally awesome squares that Jennifer of Sweet Pea Stitches made me for the latest round of Fair and Square--

And she even included this special goodie -- a fob she made herself!

How pretty are these little floral beads?!

The first thing they made me think of were Mindy canvases -- you know all those tiny little precision dots and swirls she does.

Then I thought of this little mosaic broach my Grandma wore for special church occasions.   Hmmm, I think I have that.  I need to hunt it up.

I'll close with my tiny little bit of progress on the Mega Mini October event being hosted by Pull the Other Thread  I'm really rather liking working on this little thing.  I've spent my year 90% committed to giant projects and I forgot how I relied on little pieces to buoy my enthusiasm.

Back to that disaster that is my desk......   Have a wonderful day!

Friday, October 03, 2014

I smiled

So just now as I opened my little ole online sett (badger homes/dens are called setts for those of you uninitiated into the wonderful world that is the life of my favorite critters who look remarkably like  a ferocious dust mops) and the quote that popped up on the sidebar was:

“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, 
and on the good writing days nothing else matters.” —Neil Gaiman

Immediately I thought that it's almost right -- in my world that would be

"Tomorrow may be hell, but today is a good reading and stitching day,
and on good reading and stitching days nothing else matters."  -- Me 

It works for me and makes me smile.  I bet it works for you too,  Can I hear an Amen?

On the happy front, look who started her Mega Mini thingy --

That's a start on the little purple and peach house in this pic:

I know it is early days yet, but I'll get there.

Oh, there was fun yesterday in the Fortune 500.  There was a Rivals Rally for a Kure event-- rival local teams getting together to raise money for cancer research.    My beloved Bruins showed valiantly versus the dreaded cross town scoundrels,,,, who brought their blooming horse!

Of course, in the name of cancer research, yours truly bought the shirt --

If one of these events pops up in your city, go -- it's fun and friendly and for a good cause.

Happy stitching and reading to all and to all a good morning!