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,

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Stitching on this and that and the other one too.

What with it being International Hermit and Stitch Weekend and all I made an effort to actually put in some solid time stitching.  I ended up touching three projects and getting about three or so hours in on each of them.  If you'd like more information on the IHSW click on the little crab button there to the left.

I first put some time into Lavender Pansies by The Silver Lining.  I finished up the last bit of stitching on the petals of the upper left most pansy.  It all kind of looks like a lavender blur, but I bet as soon as I get the backstitching on it will look much better.  I'm stitching this over 2 on 32 count waterlilies linen with the called for flosses.

Sunday morning I worked on the Heirloom Nativity Sampler by The Victoria Sampler.  I added a lot more snow, the blanket on the donkey, the stable, and started in on the sheep.  I'm stitching this over two on 28 count china blue linen... or maybe it's delft blue linen... I forget.

This afternoon I worked away on Halloween Rules by Lizzie*Kate.  I guess I'm probably halfway through the block and once I finish the block I'll be halfway through the pattern.  Yay!  I think this is a 32 count linen and I'm stitching it over two with the called for flosses.  The fabric is by Sassy's Fabbys.

The dwarf lilac bushes have bloomed out and they are a nice light shade.  I went outside to take a picture of the leggy bush and this is what I found visiting.

The wind was blowing and it was a bit of a challenge to get a non fuzzy picture.  Later after the butterfly had left, I went out with nippers and cut a few blooms to bring in.  The scent is delicious.  I used the cut-and-stuff method of flower arranging and tucked them into a vase from Grandma S.

And lastly, the sun was shining in my room this afternoon so I took a picture of it.

Hugs and Stitches (and Sunshine)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Heirloom Nativity, TUSAL, China Glaze Sweet Hook, and SmartWool Socks.

Hows that for a title, eh?

It's been really busy at work and as a result I only stitched on the Heirloom Nativity this week. Some snow, some tree, and some more snow, oh and part of a donkey.  I'm going to enjoy seeing this last scene come to life.

It was time for a Totally Useless Stitch-a-long update the other day.  It's hard to tell that there are a few new threads in the jar.  I always hope for more threads than there ever are.  Too much time at work and at the gym.

Spring has finally arrived and I'm happy to see that the flowers I planted last year have survived.  I was worried about the peonies as the dog knocked the stems down last fall and the plant looked dead as could be when winter started.  But they've sprung back to life.  Yay!

The near plant gets a bit more sun than the far plant so it's grown bigger.  I'm thinking of buying another plant to put inbetween these two to fill in the space a little bit. It also looks like I need to do a bit of weeding and plant some low color flowers.  I think next weekend will be gardening weekend instead of Memorial Day weekend.  Memorial Day weekend I'm house and dog sitting for my brother.

The creeping phlox has survived as well and is blooming all nice and pink.  I didn't know it would bloom this color when I bought it last year.  I need to get some more of these to plant in the other rock walls.

And lastly, the dwarf lilacs have survived and are starting to bloom.  Yay!  We had a real cold snap this past winter and I was afraid that some bits of the bush got frozen and died.  Happily that didn't happen.

I'm guessing another week or so and it will be in full bloom.  It looks like I need to do some more weeding in this bed and plant some more color around to try and keep the weeds out.

I played around with my camera this week and managed to take a decent picture of the mani I wore for the majority of the week.  This one didn't have much of a plan to it but I really liked the way it turned out.

I started with the typical base coat and then did two layers of China Glaze Sweet Hook on the majority of my fingers.  This is a nice creme type color and one layer was pretty much opaque.  I did two for good measure.  On top of that I did one layer of Maybelline Magenta Mirage, a shatter/crackle effect polish.  It's a nice metallic finish with lots of shine.  For the accent finger I did two coats of China Glaze Unrefined which is a texture polish.  It is lightly nubby and matt in finish.  I put a couple of coats of a top coat on the other fingers, but left Unrefined uncoated.  I really loved the color combination, the light lilac of Sweet Hook, the sweet pink of Unrefined, and the metal magenta from the crackle coat. This mani lasted four days before the tip wear was starting to show.

 I like wearing little ballet flats but need to wear some little sockies with them to keep my feet happy.  I've been wearing little nylon footies which have been pretty good.  But I've been wishing for something that was a little bit hardier.  A few weekends ago I stumbled across some footies made of wool at Scheels.  My sister loves this brand and convinced me to buy a pair.  I did, and I loved them!  So then I had to go hunt down some more because one pair just wasn't enough!

These are great! Soft, cushy, and definitely better than the little nylon footies.  They are made by SmartWool and are the Secret Sleuth line.  They also come in black, grey, and beige (which is the color of the first pair I bought to test).  I highly reccommend these if you need something a bit hardier than the nylon footie to wear with your flats and other casual shoes.

Well, it's about time to watch some Top Gear, do my nails for next week, and then sit and stitch on something.

Hugs and stitches,

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Stitching Update for Santas Village and Heirloom Nativity

I accidentally skipped posting last week. Oops. Don't worry, though, you didn't miss much.  In fact I didn't stitch much at all so I figured there wasn't any use in posting.  This week I did managed to get some x's in! Yay!  And I managed to complete a couple of sections on two projects.

The first section completed was the Poinsettia House of Santa's Village by Country Cottage Needleworks.  Yay!  I'm stitching over 2 on 32 count Heaven with the called for flosses.  I've already got part of the pole stitched on for the North Pole Post Office, but not pictured here. (I'm waiting to the end before I sew the buttons on.)

I also finished up a section of sampler bands on the Heirloom Nativity.  Next Sunday I'll be able to start on the last scene.  I figure that will take me a couple of months and then I'll bribe my best friend to do the hardanger at the bottom.  I'm stitching this over 2 on 28 count Delft Blue.

I started on the wise men scene way back in 2011.  Can you believe I've been stitching a little bit here and there on this for that long? Me either!

The other morning as I was puttering around I felt like starting something new.  I have a few patterns all kitted up and ready to go and came this close to starting something.  But I was strong and resisted the urge to add another project to the WIP pile.  Instead I made another search through my fabric drawer looking for my missing piece of 32 count raw-gold linen that I want to stitch the Lizzie*Kate jingles on.  It's still not in the drawer and I haven't a clue where it could have gone.  I still think I will find it, so I'm refusing to buy another piece of the fabric.

I've been happily painting my nails and I'd show you what I've been upto there... except I manage to take some fantastically crappy pictures of my hands.  I can't seem to get my camera to focus at that short of distance.  I was thinking of joining the April A to Z blogging challenge next year, but if I can't take a decent picture of my hands, that's off.  Sorry, no photos of purple/glittery nails for you.

And an update on the 1000 miles of cardio in 2013.  Thus far I've covered 563.26 miles which leaves only 436.74 miles left.  My sister and I are planning on going to Yosemite National Park at the end of July and I expect I'll get some major miles in from hiking around the park.

That's it for this week,
Hugs & Stitches,

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hermiting & Stitching plus the WIPocalypse

Well here it is, the third weekend of the month and that means it's International Hermit & Stitch weekend! Click on the little button with a crab to learn more about it.  I managed to sit and put in some solid stitching this weekend and decided to work on Lavender Pansies by The Silver Lining.

I've now make it to the top of the pattern and away to the left will be a leaf.  I'm stitching it over two with the called for flosses on 32 ct Waterlilies Linen.

I'm coming along quite well on the Heirloom Nativity Sampler as well.  Just a bit more to do on these sampler bands and then onto the last scene at the bottom.  I already know what my next Sunday project is going to be.  Tee hee!

Here's the whole thing thus far for you to see since I only did a snapshot of the area I was working on last week. And since the WIPocalypse is to be tomorrow, I figure this post will cover that as well.

A few other things kept me busy this weekend.  The organization bug struck.  It started when I looked at my shoes on Saturday morning and decided things needed to change quickly.

A right mess because I've run out of room on the rack.  So off my sister and I went, hunting for another shoe rack.  We found a nice one that would fit over the back of the closet door.  So I put it together and viola!

Yay! Organized shoes.  And there are spaces left so I can buy a few more pair. Yay!  Pleased with the results with the shoes, I decided it was time to organize the nail polishes.  They were all crowded into a couple of drawers in my bathroom.  It was a bit of a pain to see what was what.  So I found a rack, screwed it to the wall, and (once again) viola!

Tidy and I can see what I've got.  I mounted it high on the wall so I could put another one below it once this one is full... Which it pretty much is.

This weekend we (my sister and I) baked.  My sister baked lemon poppy seed muffens, lemon poppy seed cookies, and two different varieties of lemondoodles. (Think snickerdoodle with lemon flavor instead of cinnamon.)  I made cinnamon rolls with a caramel/pecan topping.  All the lemon things were yummy as can be but the caramel rolls are pure decadence. 

As far as the weight loss goes, this baking madness must come to an end!  Here's the update on the 1000 mileage challenge.  I've traveled 495.18 miles thus far and have 504.82 left to go.  Not too shabby.

Hugs and Stitches,

Sunday, April 14, 2013

TUSAL and Turtle Trot

It's a two for one post today!

The new moon came and went back on the 10th, but it was today that I gathered up all my orts from all the little containers I keep them in and added them to the big vase.

Since I haven't added anything to the vase for a couple of months, the addition was big!  There are new little ort threads from all the projects I've been slowly working on. And since it's also time for the Turtle Trot report, here they all are:

I managed to stitch all of the Carve a Pumpkin block for Lizzie*Kate's Halloween Rules banner and started in on the Stay Up Late block.  I am using the called for threads and am stitching it over two on 32 counts Opalescent linen Wild Berries by Sassy's Fabbys.  I love the motled purples and I love the sparkley bits.

Heirloom Nativity by The Victoria Sampler is coming along nicely too.  I finished up all the angels and star at the very top of the banner and am now working along on some transitions bars in the bottom third.  I am also using the called for flosses but am stitching it on a 28 count linen that I think is called China Blue... or was it Delft Blue... It's light blue at any rate.  As soon as I finish these bars, it's another scene to do and then some Hardanger and done!  Maybe I'll get it done by Christmas.  If not this year, there is always next year!

I worked on Lavender Panises by The Silver Lining for two of the three Crafty-Stitchy nights that have come and gone since I last did a stitching update.  I can sort of make out where the change from one petal is to the next, but I expect that will come together once I get the back stitching done.  Sometimes as I work along on this pattern I really wonder about the flosses called for, thinking to myself "Can this really be right?"  Maybe it just looks odd since it's meant to be stitched over one and I'm working it over two on a nice bit of 32 count Waterlilies linen.

And the last little project that has seen some needle time is Santa's Village by Country Cottage Needle works.  I work on this a little bit here and there at work, and it got some good time on it at the last crafty-stitchy night.  I had thought I'd be able to do one of the houses a month, but I am seriously behind.  I should be working on the fifth house by now if that were the case... I'm just finishing up number two.  No worries thought, if it's not finished by this Christmas, there is always next year!

While in Vegas last week I did buy a wee bit of stash at Stitchers Paradise.  I am so proud of myself for not going crazy or overboard.  I picked up a couple of new releases by Lizzie*Kate (At our house and Chics) and a random floss pack from Crescent Colours.  It was fun to look through all their selection for Chicks since L*K packaged them all up with various bits of fabric.  I was able to choose the fabric I liked best instead of having it randomly selected for me had I ordered online.  There were some fabrics that I definitely didn't like at all.

And that's been my stitching since mid February.

Hugs and Stitches,