Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy Dancing... and a note about comments.

I've been trying to catch up on my blog reading. I've even tried to leave comments for a few of you, but my absurdly slow internet connection isn't cooperating. I'm able to view your blogs, but the I can't seem to open the "comments" window. My computer puts in a good effort before it eventually gives up, or my patience simply runs out. It's the dial-up. We intend to replace it with high-speed internet, but haven't gotten around to it yet. So, I'm not ignoring your blogs... I just haven't been able to post any comments. >:(

Earlier this week, I completed Just Nan's TrickORTreat Box. This was a shop exclusive from Silver Needle that I picked up in Hershey in 2006. I finished stitching it over the weekend, and assembled it immediately. The finishing was rather involved, but the directions were extremely good, so it wasn't terribly difficult.

Each side has a different design, so naturally I took photos from every angle. I just love the cheery little ghosts and ghouls on this one.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

SBQ - Week of Jan. 23

This week's SBQ is:

Have you had a happy dance yet this year? If so, tell us about it! (Or just point to the entry that mentions it.) If not, when do you predict it will be?

Yes, I've had six happy dances so far this year. :) All have been small projects that I worked on while on breaks from Tradewinds. Entries are here in my blog, and photos are in my 2008 Finishes album at Photobucket.

My next happy dance will likely be Blue Sky Sampler, from Elizabeth's Designs. I started it this week and hope to finish it by the end of the month.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Recently, my main WIP has been TW's "Tradewinds". I don't normally work on the same project day after day, but that is exactly what I've been doing with this one. I do take days off here and there, usually to do a small project or to work on my UFO, but this one gets attention most days.

Here is how it looked as of January 16...

And here it is on January 21...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More stitching!

Stitching continues. Soaping continues. I have photos of all of it, but no camera cable here. It seems to be somewhere in our other home, but neither of us can locate it. So, until a new camera cable arrives, scans of small projects will have to suffice.

The latest small finish is Woodland Snowfall, a Little House Needleworks design from the 2004 JCS ornaments issue. I started it in late 2006, but never got around to finishing it. The fabric is a 36-ct. hand-dyed linen from Picture This Plus, and for whatever reason, it was sort of floppy and soft. It’s a nice enough feeling fabric, but something stiffer would have been easier to work with on a project this small. At any rate, the stitching is done now and it is awaiting assembly.

I wanted to assemble some FUFOs this week, but like so many things, my trims and such for finishing are all in… you guessed it… the other house. Determined to tackle some FUFOs, I went to Wal-Mart earlier this week to find some trims. I know that most Wal-Marts are doing away with a lot of that stuff, but ours out here still has that department (mostly) intact. The only things they seem to have removed are the cross stitch supplies.

As expected, trim selections were extremely limited. Just finding a bit of matching ribbon for any one of my many needlerolls was nearly impossible. I did the best I could with the extremely limited selection and have at least managed to finish one FUFO.

I stitched this snowflake ornament years ago, but delayed assembling it because it was round. I’m pretty good at finishing, but the round ornaments always seem like a giant pain, so I’ve never done one before. I also wasn’t crazy about this design once it was stitched, largely because of the fabric. I’m pretty happy with the finished ornament, though. It will look pretty on our tree next year. ;)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

SBQ & another small finish

This week's SBQ was suggested by Outi and is:

What is your favorite past time while stitching? Do you just enjoy silence, listen to music/audiobooks or do you "watch" TV/movies? Do you have specific favorites you listen to/watch while stitching?

In a word... television. Any time I am stitching, the television is always on in the background. I'm one of those people who hears every little noise in the house, and things like the sound of the refrigerator or the lights drives me nuts. So, I tend to keep the television on most of the time. While I'm stitching, it allows me to listen to something, while also giving me a break for my eyes whenever they need to look at anything other than thread and fabric.

Today, it is snowing. Normally I'm not a fan of the white stuff, but I find that it's okay if I don't actually have to go out in it. I spent my morning watching the birds and squirrels foraging for food around the many bird feeders in the back yard. I guess quitting my job does have certain advantages. LOL

Earlier this week, I started and finished LHN's "Small House Sampler". Isn't it cute? I plan to finish this one as a needleroll. I'm hoping to tackle something from the FUFO pile today or tomorrow. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stitching update

I've been stitching up a storm since the beginning of the year. I know the year is still very young, but I have gotten off to a good start. My main project at the moment is TW's "Tradewinds". I'm very close to the halfway point. Unfortunately, the cable for my camera seems to be at another residence, so I can't actually upload any photos of it yet. :( I do have a scanner though, which means that I can at least share some of my small projects.

Since "Tradewinds" is a BAP, I've been doing other small things in between, just so I can have some Happy Dances here and there. The first week of the new year was especially eventful-- 4 finishes that week.

The first was "Believe Needleroll". This was my official New Year project, since it seemed to be a good motto for the coming year. I started it on January 1, and completed the stitching the next day. I changed the floss to some overdyed cotton that I had in my stash, and the fabric was a 32 ct. from Silkweaver called Spring.

The next finish was "Summer Stroll", by Just Nan. This one is stitched on 32 ct. mint green Belfast. I'm not generally a fan of that particular color, but it suited this project perfectly. I completed this one on January 3.

On January 4, I completed Sweetheart Tree's "By the Sea Sampler". Several sections had optional over 1 stitching, which of course, I had to do. It made for a rather fiddly project, but the results were very nice. I can't say that this was a fun stitch, though.

My last finish, on January 5, was Just Nan's "Snow Faces". I picked this little pattern up at Hershey in 2006, along with the Whimzi frame. Those little frames are a bit of an indulgence, but it's such a quick & easy finish that it's worth the cost.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Year... Big Changes

Wow... I've been delinquent in my updates! The days, and months, have just been flying by recently. Since my last post, we've had a couple of holidays, a 12-night Caribbean cruise, and a brand new year.

For several months, my job had allowed me to telecommut part-time, and I was in the office only a couple of days per week. When I left for vacation in early December, I was going to the office only on Thursday and Friday, and was working from my second home the rest of the week. This was working well, but I felt like a nomad changing residences every few days. Upon my return from vacation, I was informed that telecommuting was over. There appeared to be no room for negotiation, so....

Happy holidays... I QUIT!!!

Yep, I gave notice on the day that I returned from a 2-week vacation. This was the week before Christmas, where I was also taking another couple of days off for the holiday. My last day was December 28.

I'm now living in the "country" full-time. My second home has become my primary residence, and I couldn't be happier. I was planning to quit in a couple of months anyway, the end of telecommuting simply put my plan in motion a bit faster. Without going into too much detail, no, I am not working. No, I am not looking for a job. Yes, BF has moved with me. And yes, it's all just fine by me. :)

So it looks like 2008 will be a bit of an adventure, to say the least. I have no idea what I'm doing, but primarily, I'm just trying to slow down, simplify things, and enjoy life. My plans at the moment are to plant a veggie garden, grow a couple of fruit trees, and talk to the birds and bunny rabbits. LOL

Now that I'm not changing residences every few days, I finally have the time to pursue my soap business. So far, I've been making batches here and there, working on labels, getting the business end of things in order, and doing LOTS of networking. We've had a lot of positive response and are quite encouraged by it.

My stitching was horribly neglected over the past few months, but that has changed along with my employment status. I've had quite the stitching bug since the start of the year, and I've already finished several small projects. I'll post more on that later, along with some photos. For now, I think I've rambled long enough.