Monday, December 31, 2018

Page finish!

I set a goal for myself to finish page 1 of Farewell to Anger by the end of the year, and I did it! I actually finished it yesterday. For a little while, I was worried if I would get it done. Near the end of the page, I ran into confetti central and had several symbols that only had 1 square on this page. It got frustrating.
At the bottom of the page, those oranges/browns/reds. That has to easily be at least 2 dozen colors right there, if not 3.

Here is where I left off last:

Here is where I am now, with page 1 finished!

It's amazing how much I can get done when I don't have to go to work every day, LOL.
Also, my new fabric should be arriving today, so I will be able to have a new start with the new year!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Happy Holidays!

For the holidays, my husband got me a gift certificate for! I love him. :)

The gift certificate allowed me to get the fabric for 2 projects that I want to start up soon. The first one that I want to start is another HAED, called Wrath by Marta Dahlig. I have this one all kitted up and ready to go. It was just waiting for the fabric.

I love all of the 7 deadly sins of hers, and I love watching people's progress with them. I never see many people stitching this one, though, and since I love red and purple, I figured this would be a good one to start with.

My next project I want to start is a spur-of-the-moment need to stitch, and I don't have anything for it except the pattern. The fabric has been ordered. I figure I will wing it with this one and use the thread as I get it (or if I have it in another project that I can borrow from).
This one is Luminaro by Tilton Crafts.

The colors are just amazing in this one. I can't wait to get it started.

I am very close to a page finish on Farewell to Anger. I am hoping to have the page done by the end of the year. I don't have a picture right now, but I will definitely post a picture once I have that page done.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Day 63-ish on 100 day challenge

I decided to keep with the 100 day challenge, even though I haven't been stitching every day. I want to keep motivated to continue with this project. I'm starting to get closer to a page finish, and that is providing quite a bit of motivation, itself. I have gotten a lot done since my last update.

Here is where I was:

Here is where I am now:

Based on where I have my Qsnaps, I won't have to move them until I get 4 pages complete. Yay! I'll move on to page 2 next, then page 10 and 11.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Stovetop disaster

Well, I started stitching on Farewell to Anger last night, but didn't get too far in before we had a minor disaster occur. My husband was trying to separate some frozen hamburger patties from each other to cook some up, and they weren't budging at all. He started hitting them on the counter surface to try to dislodge them, but no luck. Then he had the not-so-bright idea of slamming them down onto the glass surface of our range.
Needless to say, it completely shattered. We spent the evening online looking for replacement parts. The glass top is so expensive, though, that we actually ended up just purchasing a new range altogether. It was a bit more expensive than the replacement part for our original one, but we now have a warranty on it, too (the other one was old and no longer had a warranty). Merry Christmas to us.
For the next week, we won't be able to cook on the stovetop, though. We have alternatives. There are the oven, the microwave, Foreman grill, slow cooker, air fryer, etc. We'll be OK. 

I didn't get much else done on my Farewell (I only got about 5 or 6 X's in before the mishap). I don't have any recent pictures, either. Hopefully I'll get some good stitchy time and progress pictures this weekend.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Stitching again.

I'm finally getting over that cold, and I'm feeling much better.
After not stitching while on vacation, followed by the ickiness, I think I temporarily lost my stitchy bug. I made myself pull out Farewell last night to put in some stitches, and it came back to me. Yay!

As I was stitching, I came to a realization. Lately, my stitchy bug has only really been popping its head up after I had gotten to stitching, already. I had to force myself to pull out the projects and get started initially. The 100 day challenge was SUPER helpful to get me to pull out the project and start working on it. Once I got a couple stitches in, I was good to go, I just need that extra kick to get started.
Have any of you guys had that issue? It's weird. If I let myself, I'll just sit in my chair and play games on my phone for a couple hours, instead. I would much rather do something productive that has a result that I can see and show off!

I have a craft fair this weekend, and I'm a little nervous. Up to now, I've had my niece with me at all my other fairs. She would always help me setup and take down everything, and would be able to watch the booth if I had to run to the restroom or go get food, etc. This weekend, she will not be with me. I'm mostly worried about getting everything setup in time. I'm tempted to go Friday night to get started a little early (since they allow this).

So, here is where I was with the 100 day challenge with the last update.

Here is where I am, now.

I am half-way through the challenge. I managed to get some more stitched in the top right corner area.

Monday, November 26, 2018

No update

While in New Orleans, my husband started to get a little tickle in his throat, which progressed into a cold. Not wanting to keep all this fun to himself, he then shared it with me. I haven't really stitched (or even had the energy to want to) the past few days. I'm just thankful this crud hit after we already got home, and on days that I don't have to go to work.
I may pick back up this evening. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Vacation, needlework shop, and some stitching.

My husband and I went on vacation for several days to New Orleans. We went there on our honeymoon 6 years ago, and are only now going back again.
My first thought was to take Farewell to Anger with me, since that would allow to keep up with the 100 day challenge. Unfortunately, the plastic box that I keep it in wouldn't fit into the backpack that I was using as my carry-on, so I decided not to take it. Instead, I took The Palace Garden, since it takes up much less space.
During our layover in Houston, I decided to kill some time and stitch a bit. While I was stitching, a woman sitting nearby came over to see what I was working on, and we had a nice chat about cross stitching. It was nice to talk to someone about it in person. We discussed how intricate the patterns can get and how you can even turn a picture into a pattern, now.

In New Orleans, we stayed in the French Quarter, and since we didn't have a car, we didn't really venture far from there. There is still so much to see and do there, though, that we still had an amazing time. Just off of Jackson Square is a needlework shop called the Quarter Stitch. I remember stopping here when we were in town on the honeymoon, and I definitely wanted to stop in again.

We looked around a bit, and there is such a lot to see! The walls are covered in hand painted needlepoint fabric, and there were so many different designs around. I did find one that I really liked, but it was a bit outside of my price range. Maybe next time!

They also had some nice yarns available, as well. I haven't been doing much (any) crochet lately, so I didn't get any of the yarn, either.

The selection in this shop is great. There is so much to see. I found a small section with cross stitch patterns and kits, as well. There was a nice one of Jackson Square that I almost purchased, but since the purse strings were a bit tight (because we bought football tickets), I decided not to get it this time. Maybe on the next trip, though!

My progress on Palace Garden is minimal. I only worked on it for one day. The rest of the trip, I was simply too tired to do anything. There was a lot of walking involved! I'll post progress of it later, since there wasn't much done on it, and I don't have a picture.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

4 weeks of 100 day challenge, and my floss cone!

My cone has arrived! It's awesome! I haven't had a chance to actually use it, yet, as I am still using an older skein of black that I already had, but I am just waiting for my chance!

I also have another week done in my 100 day challenge. I am still stitching at least one stitch per day, but usually a lot more. I got quite a bit done over the weekend.

Here is where I was with my last update:

Here is where I am after the weekend:

I got a lot done in 3 days!

On Friday, my husband and I are flying to New Orleans for vacation, and will be back on Tuesday. I will probably pack this up and take it along with us, mostly so I can keep up with the challenge! I am really taking it seriously!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Another Farewell update and thread sale!

Everyone has been waiting for the JoAnn sale on floss, going on right now. I was excited about it, too, until I discovered it was only going down to $.40 per skein. This is still a great deal, just not as awesome as I was expecting. Before going off to kit up a new project, I decided to check the other store websites, and I found a coupon on Michaels' website for 30% off, which would bring the floss down to $.39. Not a huge difference, but when you are kitting up a HAED with 90 colors, it does help.

In purchasing all those colors from Michael's, I have learned some things:
First, I hate the way they have their floss organized on the website. I ended up having to search each one individually. It was a pain.
Second, their shopping cart has a limit of about 50-ish items. I kept adding more after that, not realizing that they weren't adding, since it didn't say anything. I just happened to notice that it said 51 for a while. I ended up having to place 2 orders to get all that I wanted.
Third, their exchange process for online orders is a bit of a pain. I ended up getting 2 of one color and was missing another, so I figured it was just a simple mistake and they would just swap it out, right? No! The cashier had issues with it, and ended up having to call over 2 supervisors to ultimately do a return and exchange.

Also, my new project calls for a LOT of black thread. So much, that I bit the bullet and bought a small cone of DMC 310! Woohoo, so excited!

Now, on to my progress so far on Farewell to Anger.
Here is where I was with the last update:

Here is where I am now:

Monday, November 5, 2018

3 weeks into the 100 day challenge

It has now been 21 days into the 100 day challenge. I have still kept up with my original goal of doing at least one stitch every day. In fact, there was one day this week that I did only one stitch just before bed, just so I can say that I did it.

Here is where I was last week:

Here is where I am now:

Because of this challenge, and because I want to see how far I can go if I only work on one project for 100 days, I will be only working on this project until the end of January. At that point, I may switch over to another project for another 100 days, depending on how well I do. Who knows?!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Crochet Pattern - Philosoraptor

Here is my monthly free crochet pattern!

I was trying to come up with some ideas for crochet patterns, and a friend of mine suggested that I use some meme images for patterns. I gathered up a few and came up with some, the first of which was the Philosoraptor.

Here is the pattern for it:

Starting at bottom of pattern chain 208. Chain 3 to turn which will count as first double crochet of
first row. Double crochet in 5th chain from hook. Double crochet in next 2 chains to complete bottom
right solid square of row 1. Continue following pattern for first row reading pattern right to left. After
completing first row, chain 3 to turn to start next row. Continue following pattern until all rows are
complete. At end of row 58 fasten off.

MATERIALS (based on crochet cotton size):
Using Crochet Cotton no. 10: about 456 yds, steel crochet hook US size 7 or SIZE FOR GAUGE.

Using Crochet Cotton size 10: width = 15.9 inches, height = 14.5 inches
Using Crochet Cotton size 10: 10 squares = 2.3 inches, 10 rows = 2.5 inches

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

2 weeks into the 100 day challenge!

Up to now, I have been able to keep up with the 100 day challenge. Of course, there were a couple nights where I only put in one stitch, just to keep up and not miss a day, but I have been doing pretty well so far.

Here is where I left off with my last post:

Here is my progress:

I am stitching this on 28ct evenweave, 1x1, and it has been quite the experience so far. The stitches are so tiny, and starting/ending the threads on the back side is interesting, as well.
Also, the back of my project just looks so messy! This is the worst I have had a project look on the back, but I don't think there is anything I can do about it, really. The confetti with this project is killing me, and I am sure there are many other projects that are much worse than this one.

Also, in one of my stitchy groups on Facebook, someone suggested a 12 days of HAED, to start a new HAED starting Dec 26. I seriously gave this some thought. I love starting with people, but having 12 new starts, all of them HAED, would be too much. Plus, I would have to buy lots of fabric and floss, too. I decided against joining this particular challenge.

That being said, I already had assembled a list of the HAED projects that I would want to start for this, and there are 3 in particular that are still talking to me, begging for a new start. I have determined NOT to have a new start until I get at least one page on Farewell to Anger completed. In addition to that, I want to try to have another finish first (probably won't happen).
You guys reading my blog will, of course, be the first to know when I do finally cave and have a new start. It's only a matter of time, after all.
I know you guys understand.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Grime guard, needle minders, and ezPDF

So many things have been happening for me lately, stitchy-wise. As I posted about earlier, I started my first HAED. Since this was going to be a big project that would take me a while to complete, I treated myself to pre-gridded fabric, as well.
As a further treat for passing my test, I bought myself a set of qsnaps, and I love them so far.

Well, I have taken things even further. To go along with the qsnaps, I naturally had to have a grime guard to go around the outside. Since I have quite a bit of fabric that I wanted to tuck into the edges, I ordered a slightly wider guard to accommodate that.
I have to say that I love it so far! I had a bit of a challenge getting the fabric to roll up right to fit into the grime guard. As it is, I'm not too happy with how it is rolled, so I will probably re-do that part.

As I was stitching with my new qsnaps and grime guard, it suddenly hit me. I can now use a needle minder! After having sold a bunch in my Etsy shop, I still have not actually used them before, since I tend to work on my projects in hand. I pulled out some of my already-made needle minders, and picked one that I love the most. I had to remove a bunch of my needle minders from my shop, but I still have a bunch laying around.
The one I picked is in my most recent progress picture that I posted earlier, here.

I started stitching again, and I would catch myself repeatedly studying the pattern, trying to find all the symbols, and again it just hit me. I can use an app on my tablet for that.
I downloaded EZ PDF onto my Windows tablet and played around with it for a while. I was eventually able to figure out how to search for symbols, and it has made it so much easier for stitching. It is so easy to find what to stitch for a particular color I am working on. Up until now, I always worked from printed paper copies of my patterns. This has been a game changer!

I can't even explain how much I am loving all the new additions to my stitching. I always saw people using these in my stitchy groups on facebook, but I never considered going so far with it. Now that I have, I don't know what was holding me back. I was just being silly! I will never go back.

Monday, October 22, 2018

One week down and IHSW!

Originally, I was going to be traveling this week for work, but my plans changed. My mom ended up in the hospital, so I stayed home while my husband does the traveling.
Since I have the house to myself, I'm hoping to have more stitchy time, too!

This weekend was IHSW, which is the International Hermit Stitch Weekend (that is held once a mont), and I am part of a 100 day challenge, too, to just stitch on one piece every day for 100 days. For the 100 day challenge I joined, I have my new start, which I used for both events this weekend. We are one week down so far, and here is how far I have gotten.

I'm hoping that with my extra stitchy time, I will be able to get a lot more done this week. If only I didn't have work to deal with, too...

Sunday, October 21, 2018

My first Qsnaps!

Since I started my first HAED, I decided to treat myself and buy a set of Qsnaps, too. I see everyone using them, and keep hearing how great they are.
First, I did a little research on them, big shocker, I know. I decided on the 11x11 set, and I extended the splurge to include a grime guard (which should be in next week). I even went to Michael's and got some felt to put between the fabric and the snaps (because I am paranoid about damage to the fabric from the "teeth").

My Qsnaps came in yesterday, and I opened them right up. I was super excited, so I started to put them together when I noticed a problem. All around the lip of plastic where the connectors go in, I noticed a bunch of little cracks encircling it. If there was just one crack, I wouldn't have noticed, much less care, but there are a bunch all over the tip.
I quickly pulled out the other pieces, and inspected them, and they are all OK, just this one part is damaged. I wasn't sure if this was something seen with Qsnaps or something that just may happen over time, so I asked the awesome folks over at Stitch Maynia if it was normal, and I was assured that it was definitely not.

I went to Amazon and tried to initiate a return for my Qsnaps. The website then gave me an error that this item isn't returnable. Since it arrived damaged, though, I went ahead and initiated a chat on their website, and the agent was able to take care of everything. She was able to get the reorder processed within 2 minutes, and told me that this item doesn't need to be returned, so I can hang onto the damaged Qsnaps or throw them out, whatever I like.

While I am waiting for the new set, I decided to give the damaged one a try, to see what it is like to stitch with the Qsnaps. First thoughts, I really like it! I have tried using hoops in the past, but I don't care for them much. When the fabric gets loose, it's a pain to tighten it again, plus there are the creases that the hoop leaves, too. I will use these a little more, but so far so good!

Update: I got my new set of Qsnaps, and they also have this same cracking, but this time on 3 of the 4 parts. Ultimately, I have one whole set that works between both, so I'll just mix and match to use them. This is kinda disappointing. Maybe these are just from a bad batch, or something. Who knows?

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Starting my very first HAED

I got to dig into Farewell to Anger for a couple days, and decided to give my initial thoughts.

First, I decided to do this one on 28ct Easy Count Lugana Evenweave. I am stitching this 1x1, full cross. The coverage with this configuration is great. When I was first planning on this project, I was worried about coverage and the different options that were available. I am quite pleased with the coverage that I have with 1x1 on the 28ct fabric.
But, Oh my Goodness, these crosses are so tiny! I haven't ever worked on anything quite this tiny before, and it is super small to me. I have done several hundred stitches so far, but they are all in one small area because it is so small.
Also, because it is so small, I have issues with ending the tails. I really do miss my loop starts, and ending the tails has been a bit of an ordeal. Granted, I usually have some problems with this at the beginning of any project, but since I have to secure both ends of the threads, now, it is super noticeable. Since the count is so small, it is proving difficult to run the needle underneath the stitches in the back to secure my ends. I'll stick with it for now (what choice do I have, really?). I'll post more on this, later, I'm sure.

So, here is where I started, LOL!

Of course, this being a new start, there is no previous progress to post. I did just start a 100 day challenge, to stitch on one project every day for the next 100 days, so I'm hoping that I get a good amount done in that time.

Here is where I am:

I also have gotten a little bit more done with Palace Garden.
Here is were I left off last:

Here is where I am now. I got some of the blue done as part of a SAL and since I didn't have very good lighting when I was working on it at the time.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Love scheduling posts!

Can I just start out by saying how much I loooove the schedule option for posts. That allows me to whip up a post and have it all set to be published at a later date. A few months ago, I got several weeks' worth of posts all done and scheduled and ready to go. Unfortunately, they have all caught up with me during my test studies, so I am at a post-to-post point right now.At the same time, I love being able to start typing up a post, then saving it for later when I have more pictures/info/etc. These tools have been very useful!
I try to put up a post every 4 days or so. Hopefully I can keep up.

That being said, I have a couple new starts that I want to do! The first one takes me back to my days scouring SpriteStitch forums every day. It is a Super Mario design.

This one is a fairly small project (for me), so I don't think it will take too long to complete. I have fabric I can use for this, already. Just need to get started. I want to finish my Blue Bird first, but I'm at the very end of that one.

The second one that I want to start is a HAED. I have been wanting to start this one for quite some time, but I am starting to REALLY want to work on it lately.
It is Farewell to Anger, by Leonid Afremov.

I have the pattern already, I have just been waiting until I can get the fabric I want. I plan on getting the Easy Count 25-ct lugana for this one, and will stitch 1x1. I just bought the floss colors that I was missing, too. I am going to treat myself to the fabric and floss for this one as a reward for passing my test.

All the colors in this one just talk to me. I love bright rainbow colors, and this one has everything!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Blue Bird is finished!

I have a finish! *happy dance*
Finishes are few and far between for me, since I normally pick large projects and get bored with them part-way through. This one was small, and it was such a joy to stitch (despite the fact that there are so many colors in this things).

I loved seeing this come together, and the finished product is amazing. The only thing that I'm not thrilled with is the pink backstitching on the wing. I don't know how to change it to make it look better, either. I  may just have to leave it how it is.

Forgive the wrinkles. I haven't pressed it, yet.

I went out of town with my husband for the weekend. I took this project with me so I could finish it, but the lighting in the hotel was abysmal. Luckily, I also took Palace Garden with me, and found a spot of just one solid color that I could do without much light.

I was able to finish the bird yesterday, and get more done on the Palace Garden. I'll post progress on the Garden later, as I don't have a picture of it right now.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Blue Bird is almost done!

First, I wanted to let everyone know... I passed my test. Yay! More stitchy time, now!

I am so close to finishing Blue Bird. All the stitching is done, all I have left is some backstitching. I have gotten a chunk of it done, but there is a lot in this thing.

I love how the purple flowers just take shape with the backstitching done, vs the purple blobs they are without it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Test pushed back, but I got to stitch!

So, unfortunately I didn't get to take my test on Friday. I got all ready for it, and at the last minute, the proctor was unable to get connected to my computer properly (this was an online proctored exam).
Due to this, I had to reschedule my test. I just pushed it to the next Friday, so early in the morning, I will get this knocked out.

Since I had already planned on stitching this weekend, I went ahead and did it, anyway. It was nice to get my mind off of the studies for a few days.
My original plan was to get the Blue Bird finished this weekend, but I fell short. I have been taking this one very slowly to make sure all the stitches look perfect, since I plan on entering this one into the fair next year.

Here is where I was last weekend:

Here is where I am now, after this past weekend:

Friday, September 28, 2018

Crochet Pattern - Oregon Trail

I know I previously stated that I would have this pattern up on the 1st, but since I plan to stitch this weekend (my test will be over with!), I will most likely have a progress update for Monday. So, I decided to go ahead and post this pattern a little early! 

One of my favorite games growing up was Oregon Trail. I loved it whenever we were able to play this in the computer lab at school.
Enjoy the pattern! 

I came up with this filet crochet pattern based on the old Oregon Trail wagon.

Here is the pattern itself:

Starting at bottom of pattern chain 241. Chain 3 to turn which will count as first double crochet of
first row. Chain 2 more and double crochet in 9th chain from hook to complete bottom right open
square of row 1. Continue following pattern for first row reading pattern right to left. After completing
first row, chain 3 to turn to start next row. Continue following pattern until all rows are complete. At
end of row 54 fasten off.

MATERIALS (based on crochet cotton size):
Using Crochet Cotton no. 10: about 492 yds, steel crochet hook US size 7 or SIZE FOR GAUGE.

Using Crochet Cotton size 10: width = 18.4 inches, height = 13.5 inches
Using Crochet Cotton size 10: 10 squares = 2.3 inches, 10 rows = 2.5 inches

Monday, September 24, 2018

IHSW and color SAL

This weekend I was participating in not one, but two different SALs at the same time!

The first one is the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend (IHSW) where everyone just sets aside time on the weekend to stitching. The second one is a color SAL through Stitch Maynia, and the color(s) this time were of Libra, so shades of blue, pink, and pale green.

I got a lot more done on the Palace Garden than I expected (of course some of this progress is from the previous week, as well).

Here is where I left off:

And here is where I am after this week:

For this weekend for the SALs, though, I actually have a new start!
Yeah, yeah, I know I have several projects going on already, but this one is small (for me), and it was just screaming at me so loud, that I couldn't ignore it. I even used some fabric that had been allocated to a different project so I could start this one early.

This project is called Blue Bird, by Inna Peshkova. I have found quite a few Russian patterns lately that I absolutely adore! This one was the first one that I fell in love wit, so it had the honor of being my new start.

Here is what it will look like when finished (ignore the watermark, this was the only place I could find a picture of it online):

Here is where I am so far, after 2 days:

It may not look like much, but there are a ton of colors in this thing. I have been taking my time, too, to make sure all the stitches look really good. I have been inspired by all the people entering projects to the local/state fairs, that I really would like to submit something, as well! All of my normal projects are just too huge, though, and will take forever to finish. This one is just the right size for me.
The good thing about the pattern is that there are separate charts for the stitching, then for the backstitching, since there is a LOT.

I am still in love with it, and I can't wait to have it finished! I won't be able to stitch on it any more this week, though. My test is on Friday, and I have to cram this week for it. No time to stitch at all! It will be a little while until my next stitch update, but I do have a crochet pattern all setup to be posted automatically on the 1st.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Feeling sick about Qingming

So, if you have been reading my blog for a while, then you will know about my super huge project that is 22 meters long (click Qingming Festival in the labels list on the left).

Well, something happened to it.

I don't know exactly when or how or what, but there appear to have been a small liquid spill on the fabric roll. Because of the pre-printing on the fabric, I now have a technicolor splotch on the page 4 area, and possibly a much smaller blob on page 10-ish.
As soon as I found this, I felt sick. This is my baby. I spent a lot of money on this kit, and to find it like this was a kick to the gut. I had to put it away and not think about it for a good long while.

Now that I'm stitching again, I was most definitely hearing the call of Qingming. It wanted out of time-out, and wanted to be loved again. For the first time in over a year, I pulled it out and took a look at the "damage".
It's hard to tell due to all the colors, but I don't believe there is any actual permanent damage to the project. Luckily, I received a pattern book with this kit, so I can still stitch from the pattern on the splotchy area. I just can't wash that area because the rest of the printing will run off, as well.
Here is the splotchy area:

I am feeling much better about the project, and I will be stitching on it more, again. My plan is to finish page 3 by the end of the year, and have pages 4-6 done by the end of next year. We all know that plans don't really mean much when it comes to stitching, but I needed to have some goal set forward.

Now, we also recently had a WIP SAL in Stitch Maynia. I chose this one to work on.

Here is where I was when I left off right before the spill:

Here is where I was after stitching since then (yes! I got that large yellow spot stitched!):

Here is where I am after the one day SAL:

I have managed to stitch well over 2000 stitches since picking this back up the past week! I managed to find a rhythm in stitching this that allows me to go much faster than I normally do, so I can get through it quicker, especially when stitching large areas of the same color.