Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bye Bye 2014

Dearest 2014, it's been nice having you, but it is time for you to go now.  Not that I'm rushing you.  You have been decent enough.  Hopefully your friend 2015 will be kinder and gentler and more peaceful.

Here's to you, 2014 -- you let me get some stitching done (not much at all though!).   And you let me get a decent amount of reading done (she says preening that she met her goal of at least one more page than 2013).  I have a cool family and friends, more stash and books than I could finish in a lifetime, and the Fortune 500 has not redundanted me yet (fingers crossed).  All in all, a fine year.  Thanks.  now, 2015, if you could work on the peace-on-earth thing, I'd be over the moon.

Here's to you 2014...... and to your promise 2015--

Lighted penguins on the patio, outstanding champagne in my glass, and all is pretty decent with the world.

All the best to you Blogland!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Peaceful Holiday Wishes and Gracious Holiday Miracles

As I was selecting pictures for this Christmas Eve post, it struck me how many little holiday happinesses I have already been lucky enough to have.

There was Hanukkah with my Auxiliary Family complete with the unveiling of my friend Jenn's completed Raymond Crawford menorah --  what you can't quite see in the picture below, but I bet you can imagine and smile about is that both of "my" girls, Dahvi and Sophie, have their hands clasped together and held close to their chests because as they ran to see the freshly unpacked candles they called the True Stitcher's Mantra to each other -- "Don't Touch!!!!"

Somewhere I have better pictures of these, but for now this wussy shot will have to do.  They are truly stunning.

I've also had the Happy Geek Moment -- -with my Katie (niece) as she and I poured over the map of Ankh-Morpork which came as an insert in one of my presents to her.  All hail Sir Terry Pratchett!

I mean come on folks, what else besides a holiday miracle would bring a 14-year-old and a none-of-your-business-year-old together for over a half hour to pour over a map of a fictional city looking for favorite locales, people's houses, and streets of notorious repute?!

There was also the blissful hour plus spent learning about blowing glass from Cousin Tom--- who was exceptionally patient with people who knew not of the glass-making process.

And check out some of the glistening miracles he's created---

See that all green swirly ball with the red top in the upper center of the pic?  It is mine now.  Another lucky bit of holiday happiness.

I have even had a little holiday postal joy.  Mary  received in good order and in excellent time the following ornie I made her (one of the secret, unseen projects.... unseen no longer) as part of a holiday exchange with the Stitch Specialists yahoo group.

It is a pattern from Gift of Stitching magazine done in Icing and Herb Garden by Belle Soie with copper-colored beads.

So, see, many miracles and much happiness has come to me, and I wish the same to you and yours.

Peace on Earth and goodwill to all.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Whew -- made it, and, Whoops -- off again

Hello gentle reader.  I made it safely to the East Coast only to be packing to head to Missouri tomorrow.  I feel a bit like the beginning of a whirlwind.  I've only had boots on the ground for maybe two days, and off I go again.  I bet this time I don't get a fast pass from TSA like I did on the way here ---- it was so cool not to take my shoes's the little things.

But before I head west to hang with my niece and cousins for a bit, I have stuff to share.  Stuff I have been making you wait for.   At long last you can see the ornie that went to my friend Sally in an exchange in Yahoo's Friendly Stitchers group.  Sally said she liked snow and whimsey so I finally had a reason to stitch this little guy --

I had been wanting to do him for a long time and finally I had the perfect excuse.  Thanks, Sally!

This was his back--

In exchange, check out the awesome ornie Sally sent me -- Isn't he wonderful?  How ever did she know I have a soft spot for cardinals?

Of course, in typical me fashion, just because I have gotten a couple ornies done didn't mean I focused on long-standing WIPs and UFOs.  Oh no!   I started a new piece --

He's by Vee and Co, but I'll be switched if I can remember what he is called.  Oh, and he'd have been started earlier if he too hadn't been caught in my infamous missing-black-silk affair.  He made the trip east with me so maybe he will become more apparent to you soon.

It will be a while before the above ornie takes real shape though because I have my hands full for right now........Practically the first thing off the plane began the tree trimming.  Decking the tree is serious business at my sister's house -- we have limited time to get 750-900 ornaments hooked (my job) and arranged on the tree.  Here's table one of many, many, many!  (Table one and two are always the Radko batches.)

On day one of decking the tree I hooked about 400 ornies and my sister got them all up on the tree.

Here's this year's poor tree before the 400 -- he has spinal issues.

With 400 ornies on him he barely looks decked!

And this, for the record was the first ornie to get hooked this year.   (with my gift of a needlepoint cocoa cup for my sister for Christmas last year in the background)

And here is the end of the evening--- the dregs of my whiskey smash.  Yummers!

Nope, no hall decking after whiskey smashes--- my sister is smart!

Nite nite -- someone needs to get to sleep so she can get up early for work so she can get plenty done before joining the jet set again.

Pleasant dreams/days to you all.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Apparently Christmas Is Coming......

... whether or not I am ready.   I can tell this because finished goodies that had deadlines for my finishers so that there was time to pack them for Christmas traveling have started to arrive.

Remember this guy?   I'm pretty happy with how he came out.   I gave my finisher free rein on fabric, cording, and feet with the only guidance being "not too fussy or blingy."  I think she did an awesome job.

I love the copper ball feet and the suede -- I would never have thought of that tan suede on my own.

Mind you, I have a problem now-- exactly how am I going to safely transport this across the country?  It's a personal failing I know, but I am never successful at bow fluffing.   Oh well-- I'm a big girl;  I guess I will just have to cowboy up on this one and work it out.   If you see me on a plane clutching a box to my chest as if the Ark of the Covenant was in it, you'll understand.

And this little darling came back.  I am embarrassed to admit I forgot I didn't already have this.  LOL   I would probably have forgotten all about it if left to my own devices.  The red is Very Velvet, the white is Snow, the cording Patina.  The finisher used raw silk for the sides and back and you can barely see the rhinestones she studded the sides with.

While I totally love how this came out I fear it is going to cause me a problem.  You see I am pretty certain once my sister sees it in person she's going to want one too.  I hope the finisher got extra rhinestones.

The arrival of these finishes got my brain kicked into gear thinking about packing for my Christmas adventures.  This has caused another problem for me.  You see, I am lately obsessed with reading-- totally and completely obsessed.  Partly this is because I've run into some wonderful book series  in the last few months, but it is also fueled by the fact that I'm within something like 900 pages of topping what Goodreads said was my total number of pages read last year.  You know being that close just makes me itch for that extra page.  LOL  I know-- it is nuts.  Why should I care how many pages I read.   But I just can't help myself-- if Goodreads is going to give me that metric I feel compelled to look at it, and *thwap* I get hit in the face with a new compulsion.   Possibly I need a 12-step program for reading obsessions... no wait, I like me as a compulsive reader!  I'm pretty certain it is cheaper to be addicted to books than drugs.

Anyway, all that is to say that I started making a pile of books to pack.  I knew I was in trouble when the pile looked like this:

With serious consideration I got it down to this:

Do I except the reading-to-pack pile to stay this circumspect?  Nope.  Sorry, I know me.

I leave you with a little urban, Christmas spirit--   I love it when a city glitters!

I will say the laugh of the district is why does the fountain say "10880" when that is not the address.  Sure it is actually a "decorative" pile of tree ornies, but why make them look like a street address?  Possibly it's God's way of giving me something to chuckle about?

Friday, December 05, 2014

Little things

Friday greetings, gentle reader--   How has your week been treating you?   Hopefully well -- hopefully gently.  

Mine has been singularly annoying and unproductive.  Now you won't believe that when I share the pics below since I actually have some stitching to show, but I hasten to say that these little bits were accomplished last weekend at LosCon--- it is what happens when there aren't panels that are worthy of much note taking.  

So, save of the charm placement, LK's Home is done--  a very fast and easy stitch.... bless you LK!

And Peace is done save for a charm and bird eye--

Also completed over the weekend was the finishing on my two exchange ornies.  The Post Office has them now.  Soon I hope to show you them in all their ornie glory.

While LosCon did not offer too many fascinating notes on what to read, it did continue to add to my jewelry collection.....     I go the earrings that match this last year:

And I needed more purple and green jewels for Leukemia and Lymphoma events so this amethyst and green semi-precious stone whose name I don't remember right now had to come home with me:

And even without any real book recommendation alerts from the panels, two more books made their way home with me.

And, yes, you can possibly guess form the tenor of the comments above that I did not find it a particularly good convention experience.  I actually thought of packing it in and checking out of the hotel early.  Yes, day one was *that* lame.  I stayed the course though and things got better -- though I expect that I just lowered my expectations and focused on chatting with my tribe rather than getting any of the usual convention joys -- like finding new books, new authors, science fiction chatter (spies as a theme -- now which dunderhead came up with that?), masquerade fun (only 4 entries, really?????),  and damned funny panel debates.  There has to be some really amazing story about how all the programming managers were hit by an asteroid and the chairperson had a lobotomy so she was unable to see her con degenerating.   I almost did not buy a membership for next year, but I caved in the end -- though another disappointing showing next year will probably spell the end of my 20+ year Thanksgiving tradition.

Have yourself a peaceful and productive weekend.  May the stitching fairies be kind to you!