This week was dominated by Christmas aa Borther-in-law's and two nights of catching up on DVDs of "Midsomer Murders" (only four series to go!). But I also beaded. And I got my December Bead Journal Project ornament completed, JUST under the wire! Snowy, my owl, entered an "Ugly Holiday Sweater" contest during this week, and I think he has a chance to win, don't you?
And once I finished with Snowy, I pulled out Elizabeth Almond's "Save the Stitches and put in the outlines for installments 15 - 22 :
(I didn't crop my foot so you could get a feel for how big this is going to be - I wear a size 8.5 shoe!) Only two more installments of outline and then I can get to the fill patterns!
Thanks to International Hermit and Stitch Weekend for December, I finally got in some stitchery!
I sat down at the sewing machine and stitched together the last three blocks of my 2014 Crazy Quilt Journal Project:
All it needs now is a border (or two, quilting and binding! Yeah, right, ALL it needs! LOL I have two other tops in the same stage of assembly --- requiring borders, quilting and binding. Think I'll get them done before the end of the year? Not likely! But at least I made some progress.
I also stitched a tractor motif on the 18-ct Aida bib of a Charles Craft Plush Pet teddy which I got as a freebie in an order of floss from the DMC store:
This teddy is a before-birth gift for a new great nephew, due in February...
And finally, a completion! The November Bead Journal Project owl:
Only the December one to go! Woo Hoo!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and a Blessed Kwanzaa to everyone!
Despite all the interference with stitching for the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, I did manage to get motivated and get some pieces finished this week:
October Bead Journal Project - "Bat Bird":
Take a Stitch Tuesday #124 - Beaded Fern Stitch (shown here along with the two rows I did for #134, Fern Stitch):
I also made a start on the sporting themed piece I want to enter in next year's fair, a John Clayton golf chart. Lots of colors, lots of vertical and horizontal half cross stitch but no backstitching. Should be interesting! One color (DMC 666) completed:
And I worked on the Roll Your Own mandala, "Bride", almost completing color #2:
I read through Lesson Three in the PillowPalooza class form Funk & Weber but have yet to complete this week's assignment.
No progress on "Save the Stitches"...
This next weekend is as booked up as last weekend was: dentist on Thursday for the final fitting a a new crown , which probably means I won't be worth much Thursday afternoon and evening! Friday through Sunday is our quilt guild retreat. I need to get something together to work on for those few days and I will probably take my traveling needlepoint with me as well, so th weekend won't be a total loss, stitchery-wise.
As I expected, to very early mornings on Thursday and Friday, working the phone banks for fundraising at the local public radio station, and a football game Saturday afternoon, pretty much wiped out my weekend stitching. Basically, all the time for stitching was Sunday when I:
finished binding the challenge block for the quilt guild retreat this coming weekend:
and got three-quarters of the way through the background on my October Bead Journal Project:
In the past week, I have completed five 4.5" square crazy blocks for swapping at the guild retreat:
the October Crazy Quilt Journal block:
and the Take a Stitch Tuesday Stitch # 134 (Fern stitch):
I have read through lesson two in Pillowpalooza and am preparing the homework assignment for that class for posting this weekend.
I also started the color filling on "Bride" in the Roll Your Own mandala series:
the beading on my October Bead Journal Project:
and the quilting on my guild retreat challenge block:
I am a little more sleep deprived than usual, given the need to be up and ready for the washing machine repairman on Monday (a blocked drain filter) and the house cleaner today. And it won't get any better in the next few days as we have the early shifts on both Thursday and Friday at the local public radio telephone banks (need to be there at 6 AM! AAACK), and there is Legacy Weekend at the University with a football game viewed from the President's Box on Saturday (which means Saturday will be both adrenalin filled/ stressed out and off limits for stitching most of the day). So, even though this coming weekend is International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, it looks like I will only have Sunday for unimpeded stitchery.
I think I am going to give up on trying to catch up. Trying is just adding more stress to the mix, and stress makes me avoid stitchery in favor of just about ANYTHING else!.
I really didn't expect to have anything to report on this weekend since we were expecting 7 house guests this weekend but, at the last minute, after a mad rush Saturday morning inflating air mattresses and sorting sleeping situations, we got a phone call saying they weren't coming until NEXT weekend! Down side --- all that panic for nothing. AND a possible addition of two more to the guest list. Up side --- seven sleeping arrangements sorted, the guest rooms are clean and ready, and I had time to stitch! YAY!
First item of the weekend: my September Bead Journal Project atc/ornament! My Snowy Owl made an appearance again, this time, as a fan of the falcons who are my alma mater's mascots and who were sighted flying over the stadium just before the football team pulled off a victory over a major "Power Five" team (Sadly, they couldn't repeat over another team from the same "Power Five" league this past weekend, but that's another story)! Snowy knew a prerequisite of being a fan was team colors but all he had was an old, white1920's style tennis sweater with a band of orange and brown around the collar. Freddie and Frieda (the school's falcons) couldn't help but observe that he looked slightly out of place and time, but admired him for his attempt:
Once Snowy was assembled and laid aside until his next appearance in BJP, I turned to the Roll Your Own mandalas. I worked on the outline for "Bride" and, despite alternating frogging entire lengths of floss with stitching, did manage to complete page one and arrive at a 25% completion of the outline:
I plan to plod on with "Bride" this week, until the guests really do arrive. Perhaps I can get it ready for the color...
So very sad... Between quilt guild meeting on Thursday, Family Day at the University on Saturday, Girls Night Out on Tuesday, and the presence of a pair of HVAC installers in the house Monday and Tuesday to install a new furnace, air conditioner and associated accessories, the stitching week was shortened by three whole days!
This wasn't helped by what I can only best describe as an anemic stitching mojo aggravated by feeling so very tired at having to be up early for three of those events (HVAC installation and Family Day). All I worked on this week was my Bead Journal Project atc ornament, which hasn't gotten very far, as you can see.
What is more, this snowy owl ornie changed direction from an autumnal theme to a college alumni theme on Saturday. Luckily, what had already been stitched fit right in but a color scheme theme did have to be implemented with the addition of orange to the brown and white (school colors!), and the autumn mix of #11 seed beads and selected autumn leaves will not be used as planned. However, Owl sure looks like he is going to be wearing a 1920's-style tennis sweater, doesn't he?
Expecting house guests (seven of them) from Saudi Arabia sometime this week (still don't know their arrival date for certain) and they could be here as long as a week. Busy today cleaning guest rooms, making sure sheets are clean and towels are available in quantity, and rearranging sleeping spaces (we can handle 4 easily --- seven will be a challenge). International Hermit and Stitch Weekend will probably suffer as a result.
Stitched on and completed this past week were:
The "Dossier" block required of all quilt guild members (it's a log cabin with the "chimney" center signed and dated for when I joined the guild; as you can see, I'm four years late in getting it ready!):
This is the second block I made, since I misread instructions and the first one was too large by far (it came out 7.5"!). I'm going to use it for my "practice fabric" for the "Seed Bead Botany" class...
Both aren't square either --- 1/2 inch larger one way than the other. Have NO idea what I'm doing wrong here...
My August atc/ornament for the Bead Journal Project:
I think it's a cardinal (our state bird) who thinks it should be summer and he's masquerading as a firebird. Until this week, it never really felt like summer here, and it's not supposed to last. Maybe his fire dance brought on the heat and humidity?
The two Take a Stitch Tuesday stitches: #126 Alternating Up and Down Buttonhole and #127 Beaded Alternating Up and Down Buttonhole:
As you can see, I seem to have lost my place in the beaded version and it stopped being up-and-down in two places! Too lazy to rip it out so I made it part of the pattern (my story and I'm sticking to it!).
I started again on the outline for "Brides" of RYO, but didn't get very far (my stitching mojo seems to have flown):
And I did a floss toss for a John Clayton golf piece which will be for next year's fair entry (whose theme is Get in the Game" - i.e. sports!)
Husband, the golfer in the family, picked the chart! Turns out I was 68 skeins short in my stash for the asked-for floss (John Clayton designs use a LOT of floss, an these two use a lot of dull green floss!) and I also didn't have any cuts of neutral fabric that will fit the charts. A trip to Michaels on Sunday resulted in a remaining missing list of roughly 20 skeins! Looks like an online shopping trip is in my future!
Untouched, and needing attention are:
A day late --- I totally forgot! Ooops! Not a good way to "stay connected", is it?
Anyway, not a lot to report since my WIPocalypse check-in. I did try stitching on Biltmore Sunday abd ended up frogging two hours worth of stitching because of a massive miscount. SO I'm back to where I was at the end of June! AAARGH!
I decided to bit the bullet and stitch on my bead journal piece ---even though it isn't turning out like I had in my head. I have the bird stitched now --- just the background to go.
The "Seed Bead Botany" classes have been posted and I'm already behind (no surprise there) and I've been chastized by the teacher for not finishing the hemstitching class in the Funk & Weber finishing classes (meanwhile, the piecing classes have started and I'm behind there too!). And to compound matters, another TAST was issued on Tuesday and all I've managed to do is print out the instructions!
My excuse? the plumber came to check our HVAC system on Monday in the middle of a raging thunderstorm, I had CSA pick-up and girls' night out on Tuesday and a doctor's appointment on Wednesday. All three had me up earlier than I would have liked so I was basically out for the count most of the day. My excuse and I'm sticking to it.
Doesn't look good for the rest of the week either... quilt guild meeting tonight, friends over for a BBQ on Saturday night (when it is forecast to rain) so we need to shop on Friday and clean house like little demons just in case we have to bail to plan B and move indoors... Have no idea when I'll get back to stitchery or papercrafting this week... NOT a happy situation but when life calls, one has to answer, right?
This month's theme questions is "Tell us about your oldest and newest WIPs." Well, for starters, is it a WIP if it is over 20 years old and hasn't been touched since? Personally, I consider this a UFO, but here is a picture of what I think my be my oldest UFO --- a crewel pillow top from sometime around (it has a copy right date of 1980 so it had to have been started after that, but I'm pretty sure it became a UFO before 1988 when we moved to Texas!). Here is the "progress" so far:
while here is it's companion pillow top which is ready for assembly into the pillow cover (backing and zippers for both came with the kits):
(In fact, the companion piece may end up being a class project for the Funk & Weber finishing class mentioned below...)
If it's a piece that is still being worked on, albeit somewhat slowly, it has to be my needlepoint travel pice, another pillow top, started on a cruise in 2011 and still a work in VERY SLOW progress!
My newest is a little piece I picked up to pass the time while waiting for others to finish their tour of the Biltmore Gardens this past June/July (I'm not much for detailed garden tours, especially in 95+°F heat!):
I also consider this a travel piece, and it will likely not see the light of day again until next year on another cruise!
Otherwise, my usual WIPs are described below...
Since the last WIPocalypse report-in, we spent another couple of days traveling (to Stratford in Canada to see some plays) and there simply wasn't time (or energy) to stitch then. However, once having returned (and recovered) from the road trip at the beginning of July (I did get laundry done, mail sorted, bills paid, etc), I managed to stitch the following:
I also delivered four framed pieces to the county fair and won four ribbons! I already have ordered charts for the special needlework contest theme "Get in the Game"!
For quilt guild, I attended the "Christmas in " where we signed up to make place mats for Meals on Wheels --- this to be completed by November (while my block for the guild retreat, "Retreating in the Pines", is due in October...)
The third Funk & Weber class on finishing started this past week with lesson one printed out (but not yet read). I never did get around to finishing up the hemstitching class (blushing). I have also signed up for an online class from Nancy Eha called "Seed Bead Botany" and the beading kit is already here. It starts August 12... and runs through September 2-9. (Just what I needed, right? Another online course? And it's not the only one as I also signed up for a Craftsy course on rubber stamp techniques! I will NEVER learn --- and never catch up!).
So next months' to-do list is catch-up time:
Born in New Jersey, I grew up in Southeastern Ohio. Attended university at Bowling Green State University (B.Sci in biological science, 1964), University of Southern California (M. Sci in biological science, 1967) and University of Florida (Ph. D in zoology, 1971).
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