Sunday, January 26, 2014

This and That for the end of January

Well January wraps up at the end of the week and I'm not quite sure what happened to the month.  Work has been crazy trying to close up the books for December and then doing all the additional year end stuff plus the tax reports that need to go out to the investors before we start the whole process closing the monthly books again at the end of the week.  I feel like I'm about three days behind with everything!

I've managed to get to the gym regularly this past two weeks and I'm starting to see a drop off from all the people who started at the beginning of the year with their new years resolutions.  I can find a parking spot, get my favorite machine, and not wait for the dressing room again.  Yay!

I started working on one of the Valentine Trifles by Shepherds Bush this week.  I bought most of the stuff for it when I went up to the shop a few weeks ago.  I'm using the called for flosses and fabrics and I've already managed to get off a stitch.  I stared at that last 'e' for quite a while before deciding I was just going to go with it.

The color is a bit off since the project is on a blue table cloth.  The linen is really quite a bit whiter.  This one will turn out cute as can be.

It's time for the monthly Stitch from Stash report. For January I spent $24.90 and all of it was for the Valentine Trifles.  The pattern, the linen, and a couple of the flosses that I didn't have in my stash.  What's been hard is avoiding buying some beautiful kits that Herschners has had on sale.  So many pretty pansy kits that I want!

I'm back to trying to take a decent picture of my nails.  I've been feeling a bit valentinesie and so that's the theme I've rocked the past couple of weeks.  Two weeks ago I wore this pink princess of a combo:

The base it two coats of OPI's  Princesses Rule! which is a sheer shimmery polish.  I have two coats on and the demarcation line on my nails is visible.  I was impatient and spread it on a bit thick so I got bubbles as it dried.  I need to learn to be more patient.  On top of that I layered KBShimmer polish's Candy Cane Crush which is a mix of white and red hex and round polishes with some tiny gold flecks mixed in for good measure.  Sure it's a Christmas polish, but pink, red, and white is Valentines day.  Above is a slightly fuzzy/blurry pic with out the flash, below is a pic with the flash on.

Now this past week I went with a darker base polish and more glitter.  Well... maybe not as much glitter, but still!

The base coat is OPI's Ate Berries in the Canaries which is a nice creme polish. I put on two coats and like last week was not as patient as I should be and got some bubbles.  On top of that I layered Nicole by OPI's Love Your Life.  This polish was hard to use because all the hearts fall to the bottom.  I kept the bottle upside down all week and I still had to fish around for the hearts.  As a result the micro glitters weren't spread out evenly over the nail.  Still cute.  Above is the flashless pic, below is the flashfull pic.

Coming up in February I'm going to get to be a dresser for a local production of Les Miserable.  I'm very excited.  Although this means that I will get less sleep, less stitching, and less time at the gym.  I'll get paid a small amount and all that will go to my new fund for a down payment on a house.  Did I mention that I'm excited?

Hugs and Stitches,

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Happy 2014

Happy 2014 everyone. I know about nearly two weeks late, but that's just how things seem to be going recently. I did spend some time on January 1st updating the tab that has my WIP's (aka the WIPocalypse/Turtle Trot tab) and I've updated the Lose to Cruise tab again. I'm still a chubby girl working to be less chubby.

I haven't been stitching as much as I'd like. Since I'm the Primary Secretary for my Ward I've been spending a bit of time making up the rolls and rosters, putting together the schedules for our teachers so they know which lesson to teach when, and other random minutia of keeping things organized. One thing that I'm excited about is our private facebook group that helps us keep in touch with the kids and their parents. It makes sending out reminders so much easier. I also started back working at the Temple on Saturday mornings. I've missed it while the Temple was closed for cleaning over the Holidays. It's nice to be back.

Work is cranking up with end of the year accounting stuff that needs to be done in addition to the usual list of things. I feel like I'm always about three days behind schedule, but so do all of my fellow accountants so I guess that means I'm not that far behind after all.

It was Crafty-Stitchy night with the girls this past week. LBH was working on making tons of white pom-pom balls from white yarn. Her youngest has a birthday coming up and he wants to have a snowball fight at part of the party. Since snow is not guaranteed, she was making the pom-poms. I worked away on the Holly & Hearts mystery sampler by Lizzie*Kate. I have discovered that I'm not a big fan of primitive alphabets. So I force myself to stitch a few letters and then I work on something else, and then a few more letters. Here is where I am at thus far.

I officially joined one SAL this year, it's the Stitch from Stash SAL run by Mel over at Epic Stitching. The deadline for joining has past, but you can click on the button there to the left to read all about it. The goal, of course, is to stitch from stash this year, but you can spend $25 a month on stitchy stuff. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I've already blown my allowance for January. LMS and I went to Shepherds Bush back on the 5th and I spotted their new Valentines pattern. So I picked up the pattern and some small cuts of fabric and a couple of flosses to stitch with. I came in just under the limit at $24.90. I think I'll have to wait until February before I can pick up the buttons that need to go on the pattern.

No new nail pictures for y'all. I did buy a few new polishes over the long silence, my favorite being a KBShimmer glitter polish for Christmas. When layered over a nice silver base it looks like I'm wearing Christmas on my fingers. I loved it. I'm a little bummed that I have to wait another 10 months before I can wear it again. With Valentines Day coming up, I'm thinking it'll be a lot of red, pink, and white on my nails. I don't know if I'll do pictures or not... I'm abysmal with nail photos.

Thank you so much for all the nice comments I've received from you all wondering where I've been. I've been here, just quieter than usual. I'll try to keep up the stitching and blogging this year. I can't believe my 3rd blogoversary was the other day... I guess really I blogged for 1 year, half of the second year, and maybe a third of the third year. It's not such a great pattern!

I think that's it for me for this evening. I hope the beginning of the year is going good for you as well as it has for me.

Hugs and Stitches,

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Progress Update!

While I haven't been doing much blogging, I have been stitching.  Yay!  We'll start with the progress on O Holy Night by Stoney Creek Collection.

I think the above is what I last posted. Nearly done with Mary.

Here is where I was September 22nd. I stitched in all of Mary's skin and was ready to move up to the arch between her and the Angel.

September 29th and I had finished the arch and did a bit of work on the background fill. I'm not sold on the single thread half crosses. I think I might try two strand half crosses to see if I like that coverage better.

And this is where I finished up today. I added the bird and then moved around to start on the Angel. She's got her hair and face put on.  I messed up somewhere on the birds back wing and left out a row but for the life of me I can't figure out where!  It's making me a little worried about putting in the frame.

Next up the progress work on the Mystery Sampler Holly & Hearts by Lizzie*Kate.

A bit of stitching and I'd finished half of the upper design with the poinsettias.

And yesterday I reached a point where I am almost done with half of the first design. I just need to put in the little grey diamonds across the bottom and then I can move the hoop for the other half of the design. I think the next section has been mailed out so I might get it slightly before I finish the first part.

Today I went a bit crazy and pulled out all of my Halloween finishes and hung them up around my desk. I just used some straight pins into the wall to hand the unframed/unfinished ones.

I decided I wanted to see my finishes. Don't panic, I won't leave them up all year hanging on the pins. I'll take them down and roll them back up into the storage drawer at the end of the holiday.

Hugs and Stitches,

Toby and his toys

Mr. Toby continues to be his cute self. The other day he was curled up on the couch with his spider toy, watching Mythbusters with us.

Yup, he really was sitting there curled up with the spider toy.

A few days later we were watching tv and Toby hopped up on the sofa with his pig toy. He got comfortable on the cushions and stretched out with pig in his mouth. He's not actually chewing on pig, just holding it close.

I'm back to updating the Lose to Cruise page once a week. Not that my continued struggle with weight loss and a healthier lifestyle is gripping reading...

Hugs and Stitches,

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Two weeks worth of stitching, nails, and stuff.

Labor day came and went and to celebrate my sister and I wandered off to Athleta and purchased a new pair or work out tights and a athletic top. Oh yeah, living it up.  The rest of the week was the usual round of work and gym and home.  My nails started out a bright skittle that I had intended to do some stamping on.

I never did manage to get the stamping done.  Kept running out of time here and there.  I used the following polishes: Elf Smoking Hot (on thumb), Electric Fuchsia, Flirty Fuchsia, Mango Madness, and Sunflower (on pinkie). I did learn one thing from this, I don't like wearing warm colors on my nails.  The yellow was particularly hard to wear.

Later in the week I redid my nails and went back to purple and shiny.  Two of my favorite things.

I used OPI polishes this time around: Ate Berries in the Canaries (on next to pinkie), Suzi and the 7 Dusseldorfs, and the glitter is Divine Swine.

On Saturday, we had some excitement in the form of a rain storm.  My sister and I actually missed it as we'd gone up to SLC to see a play at the Hale Centre Theatre.  The play itself was okay, but as always the execution of the material was amazing.  The lighting, staging, sets, costuming, and performances were excellent.  And part of the staging gave us an idea of something to try out for our fitness routine.

Back to the rainstorm,  a section of road near our house washed out and all the debris filled up a business that was down at the bottom of the hill.  My sister and I walked down to check it out Sunday after church.  There's a woman standing half way up the crater for a sense of scale.

I got some good stitching time in on Sunday so O Holy Night received some attention.  I'm working this over two on 28 count Blue Dwarf by Picture This Plus.  I'm enjoying this one thus far.

And so another week of work and trips to the gym started.  I started the week off wearing a lazy mani of China Glazes.  The base coat is Sweet Hook and I don't recall what the name of the crackle coat is because I loaned it to one of my friends at work.

And then in the middle of the week, I received all the bits for the new Lizzie*Kate mystery sampler.  So first minute I had free, I started in on it.  I'm using the called for flosses and fabric.

Since the nails were showing a few chips and nail wear, it was time to change out the color.  I put on a color change polish by Ruby Wing called Mystic.  Inside it's a nice mauve color.

While outside in the sunlight it goes to a deep purple. Fun! I thought about stamping on this one in a silver. Once again, I haven't had the time to do the stamping and wait for everything to dry.

Thursday arrived and it was Crafty Stitchy night.  Instead of crafting or stitching, we decided to go out to dinner to celebrate all our birthdays.  We went to Tempanyaki (like a Benihana) and ate steak and shrimp, gyoza and edemame.  The hibachi grillist must have been new as his show wasn't all the great, but the food was about as good as it gets at such a place.  We then went across the way to a shopping center and had a good time wandering around some of the shops.  To top the evening off we popped into Smart Cookie Company and bought lemon sugar cookies for dessert.

Saturday rolled around and it was time to get my hair trimmed and color freshened up.  It's nice to see the purple nice and dark again.  I worked away on the new L*K in the afternoon, but don't have another picture of it.

And last of all, it's Sunday again, so out O Holy Night has come and I've been stitching away on it, happy as a clam.  I think next week I should have the flesh tones in and then it's decision time.  Up and left, down and left, up and right, or down and right.  Decisions, decisions.

I'm really pleased with it.  On Monday my sister and I are going to an intro to Aerial Silks class.  I'm hoping it's something I like.  I really want to add something new to the fitness routine.  This will definately work on my arms and upper body strength.

Hugs and Stitches,


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Some stitching, some nails, and Toby

This week I thought I'd work a bit on Santa's Village so that's exactly what I did.  I'm working on the Post Office and if I work on it tomorrow I should finish this block off.  I think I have number 4, but I'm not too sure.  I have number 5 for sure so if there is no 4, I'll just drop back to the other side and start on that house.

I've been painting my nails all along, but not taking any pictures of what I've gotten up to.  I decided to give it another go with the photography bit with decidedly poor results.  I'll continue to try with the photos... and with getting better clean up on my nails.  Anyway, for the first half of the week I wore what can only be described as a hot mess.

I used Essie French Affaire (light pink) and Jamaica Me Crazy (shimmery fuchsia) for the base coats.  Sinful Colors Opal Glitter is used on my ring finger for an attempted gradient.  And then I went crazy with random rhinestones.  Why are they funky bumps on my pointer finger?  Well, originally it was French Affaire pink and then I decided to add some dots in Jamaica Me Crazy.  But I didn't like the dots so I painted it all over with Jamaica Me Crazy and went with the purple hearts.  Like I said, a right crazy mess.

Thursday night I decided that the hot mess had to come off and I wanted to try some galaxy nails.  I read through this tutorial and went to town.  As usual, there's more enthusiasm than accuracy.

I definitely need to find something smaller to use as a dotting tool and fight my instincts to make nice symmetrical patterns with the dots.  This one requires a lot of polishes, and I actually used less than the number listed in the tutorial.  Here's the list: OPI Russian Navy; China Glaze Spontaneous and Grape Pop; NYC French White; Sinful Colors Opal Glitter; and ELF Skinny Jeans, Lavender Mist, and Mint Cream.  Quite fun.  Next week, I'm feeling a skittle and maybe some practice on stamping since I have plenty of time to muck about with it on Monday.

Sunday has arrived and I put some more time into O Holy Night.  I'm still plugging along at Mary's shoulder, but I'm quite please with the progress so far, given how little time I do stitch on it.  I am stitching this on 28 count Dwarf Blue by Picture This Plus.  The faded grey-blue feel of the fabric is thus far working well with the muted tones of the flosses.

I had a question asked about my spring hoops and if the stitches get ruined by using them.  I'd have to say that as far as I'm concerned the stitches are fine after spending some time under the hoop.  They do get a bit squished, but they spring back to life after a pressing.  I don't like to use them when doing beading, though.  I have to be extra careful about placing the hoop around the beads because they can get caught in the hoop and that will distort the stitching.  But otherwise a bit of pressing and everything comes out just fine.

And lastly, here is Toby with his pig.  He's not actually actively chewing on pig. He was just laying on the couch, watching Top Gear with us and holding pig in his mouth.  Silly dog. He's going to have to give up his prime spot on the couch here in a month though.

That's all from me for this week.
Hugs and Stitches,

Monday, August 26, 2013

Oh hey, how've you been?

I've been around, you know.  Summer happens and I tend to get busy and the stitching decreases.  Since there's not much stitching to show, I feel less inclined to post.  Things are settling back in and so I'm back to stitching and hopefully blogging.

So what have I been up to?  Well, back in July my sister and I headed out across country and ended up here:

That's Half Dome from Olmsted point in Yosemite National Park for my overseas readers.  I took a couple of days off work and my sister and I headed west on a quick 600 mile drive out to the park.  We spent three full days in the park and did lots of hiking and sight seeing.  My sister took a lot of pictures.  I took 12.  Taking pictures is not something I really think to do.  However, here is the one that made me giggle the most:

I was trying to get a selfie of me with Half Dome in the background... Only I had the zoom on and just got the top of my head and hardly any of Half Dome.  Here's my best picture of Half Dome:

This is from Glacier Point.  My sister and I did a major hike down to the valley from here.  We followed the Panorama Trail down to the Nevada Falls and then hiked down the Mist Trail past Vernal Falls and back to the valley floor.  It was pretty awesome.  I hurt like nothing else the next day, though.  From this spot at Glacier Point you could see all the falls and the direction we hiked in.  Did I take a picture?  Of course not!

The next day we hiked out to Taft Point, across the Pohono Trail and then up to Sentinel Dome before returning to the pull-out where we'd left the car.  Did I take a picture?  Yes!  One!

If you enlarge, you can see the top of Sentinel dome in the reflection of my sunglasses.  I'm resting my aching everything in the shade.

We did have an unintentional adventure on the last day at the park and on the way home.  My car battery gave up the ghost.  We got it jumped in the parking lot of Yosemite and returned to our lodging, ready to gas up and put the battery on a charger overnight, only to find out that the power had gone out.  So the gas pumps were off and we'd have to jump the car again in the morning to get rolling.

We figured we'd make the best of the no power situation, so we ate a picnic dinner outside our cabin and packed up while the sun was still up.  We were originally told that the power would be back on in an hour or two, but when it wasn't, we just went to bed.  The next morning the power didn't come back on until close to 9 in the morning.  (A tree had fallen through some power lines and then sparked a wee grass fire.  It took some time to get the fire out and the power lines repaired.)  So we got our jump from the properties maintenance man, filled the car with gas, got a refund for the powerless night, and headed for Reno in search of a new car battery.

The drive over the Sierra Nevada mountains was beautiful and we found and replaced the battery in Reno before heading out across the desert back to Utah.

I have been stitching a little bit here and there.  The Heirloom Nativity Sampler has been seeing the most consistent needle time.  In fact, on Sunday I finished up all but adding the beads and the hardanger portion at the very bottom.  Which means it's time to bribe LMS to have her do the hardanger for me.  Here's a picture of all I've done so far:

The fabric is really a nice light blue and not as washed out as I've managed to photograph.  It's only taken me since 2010 to get to this point.  Obviously I'm not in any particular hury.  Since this one is done for now, it's time to get together all the supplies for the next Sunday project.

O Holy Night Nativity by Stoney Creek Collection has been waiting in the wings for quite some time.  I put the center grid lines and started stitching on Mary's shoulder.  I've also been working a bit here and there on Lavender Pansies by the Silver Lining, Jingles by Lizzie*Kate, and Santa's Village by Country Cottage Needleworks, but no pictures to share tonight, but I should have updates on those for next time.

Hugs and Stitches,