Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oldest WIP Update

I've made a lot of progress on quite a few of my WIPs however, not all have been of the stitching variety.  Going room by room I am cleaning up odd little things that remain unfinished here and there. It is a good feeling to cross things off that have been on my to-do list for too too long.  Laundry Room paint touch ups, cutting and installing the additional shelving and organizing - Check; Spackling, sanding and painting the Dining Room crown modeling where is separated at the joints - Check; caulking the last wall of the crown model top and bottom in the bathroom - Check!  But enough, on to stitchie things.

Most of my time this last month has been dedicated to working on the assembly of the Petit Sampling Etui. I have 24 hours into it with probably another six to eight hours at least. I am at the point where I am joining outsides to linings and inserting gussets....it is the home stretch...or so I am telling myself.  So far, not terribly difficult but I may need a second set of hands during the next phase of assembly.

I did do a tiny bit on The Sheltering Tree.  Hopefully next month I will have more progress to share on it and on my oldest UFO - My Stitching Room  - to which I added not a stitch to this last month.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

TUSAL Posting

Well here we go. The first new moon and my first Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long post. This year I decided to use a speciality glass and decided on the Baby Cham glass I brought home from England from a trip there in the 70's.

 I don't exactly remember what was in the Baby Cham but have the glass to prove I had one!  I figure each month I will empty the contents into the larger glass  mug that I usually use.   I just thought mixing it up with a specialty glass!   This is what the glass looked at the start of the week and then I got to working on more assembly of my etui.

The etui assembly is coming along and attaching the gussets are next but it has not been without frogging.    Of course I jumped ahead and missed the batting on two lining sides.  Thankfully it was not that hard to cut the lacing and start anew.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A wise woman once told me.....

"....paint your closet when you paint the room because you'll never come back to it".  It was not that I didn't believe her, it was that I was not the sort to fall into that trap.   Not me.  I'll come back to it.  Well, as I make the trip around my house this weekend to create a list of household projects that need to be done throughout the winter and coming spring, why is that almost all start with "Complete...."  or  "Finish...."    Guess it is just not in my needlework world where I have several WIP's going on. 

Starting the new year is always a chance to wipe the slate clean and start fresh.   In the past when I have made THE LIST, it has been incredibly long and I have felt like I will never get through and thus don't!  You know the feeling, so much to do that you don't know where to start so you don't.   So my attack this year is to not make the ENTIRE HOUSE TO DO list but go room by room.   Once everything in one room is brought up to snuff, then I will move to the next to make a new list.  It might be less daunting and rather then an unending list, I will be able to check off room by room.    It might work.   Nothing to loose and obviously my other method didn't work. 

One weekend/one job and then the feeling of accomplishment.   This weekend is the final touch-up of paint in the laundry room.   What?  You thought I was finished.   Well, it was finished to some extent that there are those who would be happy.   Not me.   The woodwork and trim all was primed and given one coat of paint which I need to give the second coat to.  The doors the same thing.     If you are going to do it, do it right and don't add it to that list of jobs to come back to!  There is a nick here and there on the wall paint when the cabinets and countertop went in.  And then there is the extra pieces of flooring that need to be stored somewhere.  Little things that no one else but probably moi is aware of.   So I am off to spackle the nail holes where the baseboard was pulled off to install the floor and sand and paint.   Once Mr. W. cuts down two larger shelves for me to outfit the broom closet with shelves for storing bottled water and soda and such I can check this room off the To-Do list today.

And I bet my sister thought I never paid attention to her words of wisdom.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The plants may not be watered but

I do have finishes to share!  My first couple for the year and two off my WIP list.    First and foremost, a stitching weekend with friends.   We had a very nice time, good food, lovely room, a few drinkings and a happy hour all crammed in and amongst the 4 day stitching excursion.

In no particular order - I finished Tequila Sunrise, a canvas piece by Laura Perin. It was first canvas piece I did and was part of a EGA SAL at my guild. I am not really sure what I will do with it. It is not my colors or taste but it was the technique I went for.

My next finish is a little embroidery piece. This kit I picked up at the Homestead in Dresden OH when I went on a bus trip to Longaberger about 5 years ago. I tossed it aside because the piece was not squared on the muslin and I got all dejected. Then when I came across when sorting out all my WIP's, I figured, what the hey! I can make it into a polllow and all will be well. I even snagged a few fat quarters at a quilt shop that we stopped in on our way home and think I found a good one to use for finishing.

A Basket of Blooms

The Fat Quarters I didn't need but.......
I did get quite a bit completed on my Etui finishing. I am keeping track of my hours and so far I am at about 10 for the finishing. I also worked on the top (and my final section to complete) and have managed to stitched all but a little more that one side of the outer border.

I wish I had been able to complete more prep work before I left for the weekend but alas.....the more important step was taken.......the step of bravery to attempt the finish on my own!
So next, a complete diversion - a new craft - hexagons for a hexagon quilt.   These puppies are additive.  The concept is the same as paper piecing but because these templates are Mylar, they make the folding and stitching easier.

Sorry for the sideways pic

Here are the plastic templates you use and re-use

Covering and joining these took about an hour and I can do this while riding in the car.

Here's the back of the above.   Once all sides are stitched to another, you pop out the template and cover and use again. 
Lastly, I worked on my Queen Bee Accessories from the Catherine Theron class I took in the fall.   The stitches are varied and fun.   At least I say that now....I haven't started the bullion roses.   Pat, one of my stitching pals, worked on them this week.  Her work is beautiful but it was not without the rest of us hearing her talk to herself while she did them!
Oops!  I guess we need to stand on our heads to read the words.

Buttonhole flower
The gals in my room all had a productive weekend.  Stacy - the super stitcher - started and finished 3 or 4 smalls.   Carol stitched away on a couple of projects as well as knitted up 2, maybe 3 scarves.  And Pat was satisfied with accomplishing her goal of the outside portion of Catherine Theron's Queen Bee accessories so much so she started a new project!  So now, back at home and reality.   The suitcase is unpacked, two loads of laundry done and I am making a big pot of soup for Mr. W. as well as some homemade rice pudding for him and need to be watering my thirsty plants.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

WIPocalypse January Status

Where I was when I uncovered this piece.

I've had my share of Frogging!
Well here you go.    I have been concentrating my efforts on mainly two of my WIP's in the WIPocalypse Challenge.   I have posted before and after pictures showing my status since I sorted through the basket and lined up my WIP projects.   

Progress as of Jan. 9th
First, The Petit Sampling Etui, a collaborative and limited edition design.   I have only the top section to complete the stitching on and then on to the finishing itself.   I worked last night for a couple of hours 'prepping' the parts.  I plan to complete the stitching and start the assembly this weekend.   Maybe, just maybe, by next month's WIP post, I can show a finished finish. 

I am hoping this MESS will lead to an ease of finishing.   (Well, one can hope!)

Status at start

Status - January 9th

The Sheltering Tree is the other piece I have been devoting my stitching time to.   I just love the feel of the floss I am using for this one.   Again, I am posting before and after pix.   Now that I have concentrated my efforts, this has come along quickly.  Once I get my Etui completed, I think it should take no time to finish this one up!   Yeah!  Thanks Measi for the prodding!
Good Morning Friend!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Stephanie Plum!

If you have never read any of the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum numbers books you need to.   Stephanie Plum is a kind of Lucy and Ethel meets the new millenium bounty hunter!   She does everything backwards and blows up cars, by  accident of course.  The first in the number series, One for the Money, is soon to be released as a movie with Kathryn Heigl as Stephanie, Sherry Sheppard at Lula (the prosititute turned bounty hunter partner), Debbie Reynolds at Grandma Mazar who always wants to know if people are 'packing'.   Then there are the love interests - Joe Morreli and Ranger the dark and mysterious former special ops guy.

Click here for the movie trailer.

 I read these books and laugh right out loud......funny when I am reading them in the service department of Toyota!     The books - now 18 in the series - are light hearted, entertaining, easy reads that just take you away.   And they are set in New Jersey which is where I hail.  My friends and I can't wait to see the movies.   They should be a real hoot!  I am only on #8....I'd better get reading.

The world did not tilt

A new start and not of a cross stitch nature.  My New Year's Resolution was vetted out in my exhausted little brain in early December.   It is simple and not a big deal, but oh so far reaching.   Simply put, I proclaimed that in 2012, I would be nicer to myself.   What?   Isn't that selfish you might ask?   In my case it is the exact opposite.  It finally sunk in.....if what you are doing isn't working, it is time to change it up.   So I made this promise to myself to not over-extend myself.   To not feel obligated that I have to say YES to everything!  To not feel that if I don't jump and do it, it won't get done. 

I have this inability to say no for fear that I will disappoint.   This quirk to my personality only puts me behind the 8-ball writing reports, doing financials, filing grants, running fundraisers, and basically running around like a chicken with no sense and no head and getting angry at myself for not being able to do it all.  Internal perfectionist.  Sound like any of you?   This is compounded by the Monday Morning Quarterbacks that walk in and tout all they do and criticize what has been done.   It makes my blood boil and just makes me more frustrated.   Look people, you are all retired!   Can you say that sometimes I was an Angry Bird or a Sad Bird?, probably.

It is not always Board/Committee type work, it is sometimes pleasurable things.   This past fall I was away 7 out of 8 weekends.   I mean away overnight  or longer type away.   All things I wanted to do.  Can you do the math and add up the things around the house not getting done?   I do this time after time and put pressure on myself.   It made my brain hurt and made me push myself harder to get it all done and made for one very tired me.  Please someone let me hitch a free ride sometime!

Fast forward to my Board Meeting this week for my arts group.   I am the youngster of this Board. These women are all 20 plus years my senior.  When I call them my 'old lady friends' it is because they are!   So, back to this week. All of them chattering to each other my dear sweet little old ladies were saying that "....after all we will each be 80 in a couple of years and it is time to pass the baton..."   What do I hear from across the room........"how about Robin?"     They didn't think I was listening since I was taking minutes and writing checks, and general having my head spin like Linda Blair, but I was!    Out burst a load, "HELL NO!" from my mouth.   There was actually silent for what seemed like forever and then one started to chuckle and then another and someone said it wasn't fair to dump everything on Robin since she is the only young person to show up........ It has always been like Mikey in the Life commercial.......give it to Robin, she'll do it! 

So I said NO and I actually think I gained some respect.  And guess what, they still like me.  The birds have not fallen from the sky,  the rivers are not flowing the wrong direction, the sun will continue to set each evening and rise again in the morning, and the world is still spinning on its axis.  And even better, it will be easier and I will be less vocal saying NO the next time. 

Maybe I will now be able to cross more than some WIP's off my to-do list.

Words of advice that I have given before but never listened to myself  .......If you continue to do the same thing and expect a different result, that is insanity.......change something in your approach if you want a different outcome..... I am doing it! 

May the bluebird of happiness fly into your life in 2012!

Friday, January 6, 2012


Well I know where I will be spending my weekend....in the laundry room. 

Before pix

basically from the same vantage points
I got home from work to find my laundry room 99% percent complete.....crazy but I could just stand in there for hours!  Here's a before pix which doesn't even show how what a crappy room it was. 

 The electrian needs to come back to do the under cabinet lighting (he had a family emergency).  Other than the two cabinets involve with wiring I hope to move my *stuff* back in there tonight.   So great to get the boxes out of my dining room.  I think I will need more interior shelving.....I mean what is up with that......I tall cabinet with only two shelves?   I can't wait to move all the papertowels, canning supplies, etc., etc. in these babies!  Better be quick about it and not use up all available time and leave no time for stitching.