Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesdays Are My Stitchy Nights

Ack...I've spent the entire evening tidying up before the housecleaner arrives for my bi-weekly appointment to find out she's been told to take it easy due to her pregnancy. I'm happy for her but I could have been stitching for the last couple of hours. So time to sit back and relax and try to catch up on gift and exchange deadlines.

I don't have much to report. Yesterday was my long day because of sewing class and I came home and prepped some yarn to start a birthday present. Today was my yearly physical where I got a bill of good health with some borderline high blood pressure which will resolve itself with less stress, more yoga and walking and taking some time to relax and take some nice, big breaths. Seems manageable. Since the doctor's office is across the street from a Joann's I haven't been to yet, I went in and found some fun skulls and guitars flannel for pj pants. Trust me...much cuter and funky than it sounds. It wasn't what I was originally was looking for but each time I looked at the print, I smiled and knew I had to take it home with me...plus they had 3 yards available for sale. Woo!

And as promised, here's my 11 inches of boy scarf. I think I'll have to block this at the end since it's not as straight as I'd like. I also messed up the pattern in 2 spots already but thankfully, this pattern is really forgiving and you can only tell if you look really closely. We'll see if my OCD kicks in and I frog it to start over. Yes, I might because I am a crazy perfectionist that doesn't let yarn get the better of me. Damn yarn!! But for now, I don't have the time to deal with it. I've got exchanges and gifts to work on!

I noticed that NaBloPoMo is next month. A part of me really wants to see if I can do it. Will I stress myself out? Will I come up for yawner things to talk about to make the goal? Will I bore you all to tears and you run away screaming and never come back? Do I really even have that much to talk about? *The boy* might have to give me fodder...cuz God knows he talks enough for like 10 people...at least. Most of it's boring political and financial stuff though. Ugh! Never mind...won't use *the boy* for fodder. Maybe I'll make him play photographer? Are any of you playing along with NaBloPoMo too. Well, if I play along, I hope I don't bore you guys to tears!

Happy Tuesday folks...I'm off to make a cup of tea and work on my exchange.

Until next time...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not as Stitch-Ass as I Had Hoped

I think it's hysterical that some of you wished that I got a good case of stitch-ass from my "all crafting" weekend via the comments.

I didn't have as stitchy a weekend as I had hoped. I've got about 11 inches of boy scarf done...and I managed to start the piece for my upcoming exchange. I went to the LNS and found the things I needed and the FYS to check out yarn and write down some scarf patters. And I even made it to Joann's where I found a fun fabric to make pj pants but you know what...it's throws a wrench into things when you find a print you really like and you need 3 yards and there is only 2.25 yds left on the bolt. They told me that the Colma Joann's (about 15 minutes away) had 4 yards so I race there. It is amazing how crazy the Colma store is compared to my Joann's. What the heck!! But what they didn't tell me at the other store was that the Colma store had 4 yards but combined on 2 different bolts. By that time, I just wanted to lay down. Because despite being semi-productive...I wasn't as productive as I wanted to be and I attribute it to one thing.

Last month, I decided to stop taking my birth control pill for a lot of reasons (not because I want a kid!) but mainly because it was making me super hormonal and not in a good way. So after a year of being on this specific pill, I had my first womanly time of the month or whatever you want to call it and I was dizzy and flat out lethargic. Whoa...kind of forgot what a normal period was like too...cramping and all that other stuff. The pill took care of that not to mention knowing the precise moment it was coming. Looks like my body has to readjust. Why it had to happen on crafty weekend, I have no idea!?

Tomorrow, I'll show you my 11 inches of scarf. I haven't touched Newton and the exchange has to remain a secret...for now.

Hope you all had a great weekend with your own version of stitch-ass.

Until next time...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Courtesy of *the Boy*

Happy Friday everyone! Oh my, am I looking forward to the moment 5pm rolls around. For some reason the song "School's Out For Summer" just popped into my head. Yea, I guess I feel like that except it's more like "Work's Out For Weekend"! Woo!

I'm stuck at work and I don't have my camera to share anything fun with you all but *the boy* sent me some photos so this post is courtesy of *the boy*. Remember, he's back in Rhode Island at the moment and everywhere else but here, there's Autumn where the leaves turn beautiful colors. I'm amazed by the bright orange, red and yellow leaves. It's stunning what nature can provide. Just wish we would see a little but of this here in SF. Hope you enjoy...

I have an all craft weekend planned. Stitching, knitting and sewing. I am planning on making a pitstop at my LNS, NiaH and my FYS (favorite yarn shop), Imagiknit. I think because Newton is just plain annoying me, I've decided to tackle a little knitting...not to mention I drool over everything I see Staci knit and thus have become a little inspired. I cast on to knit *the boy* a scarf I was supposed to make him last year. Nothing too hard...just a nice texture-y basketweave type pattern. Once patterns have psso and yo and mk in the pattern and require a counter...I get a little frazzled. This will be perfect. I found a pattern online for another texture-y scarf I might make for myself. Just want to scope out yarn at Imagiknit and see what my options might be. But right now, I am really enjoying the knitting!

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend filled with something that makes you happy!

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gigi Est Fini

Well, after posting last night, I found the perfect position on the futon in order for me to bead and see the invisible thread. Yep, I'm stubborn and kept using the stuff...mainly because the beads are scattered about in empty space. So I got a decent amount done last night and then knew I could finish today. Gigi is finished and I am *so* happy!! Here she is! The photo is a little dull since it's taken under artificial light. (photo is clickable)
Letter G (Gwendolyn renamed "Gigi") by Nora Corbett
32 count Ray of Light Belfast
Recommended Crescent Colors and Embellishments

I am super happy to be finished with Gigi. I even figured out how to stitch on the Mill Hill Treasure. Thank goodness for the Mirabilia Yuku board...they are full of great ideas and tips! Now I wonder what Nora's Letter V will look like when released...what's taking so long! It's supposed to be the next letter!

Also, I received my SBBC birthday exchange from Judith in the Netherlands today. She stitched me a Spring design and made it into a quilted project pocket. It's very cute!! She also sent a couple of healthy cuts of linen which will definitely come in handy. Thanks Judith!
Now that Gigi is done, Newton will become the primary focus. I also have to get started on an exchange and start knitting a scarf. At least that's the plan. Things change, I get sidetracked...you know how that is! I'm hoping Newton will get interesting soon...still just a big white blob on light yellow fabric. You can understand why I'm still not sharing photos on him!!

Well, better get cracking! These gifts aren't going to make themselves. Have a great rest of the week!

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesdays Are My Stitchy Night

Well, this will be a rather boring post. I don't have anything too exciting to say or show. I'm frustrated with my projects because one is taking me forever to bead and the other is pretty boring and really not all that interesting to look at in it's present state. Not to mention, I kind of have those "stomp all over it and throw it out of the window" feelings about it. *sigh*

I do have to report on my TUSAL jar though. Not the best picture but it's getting full! Letter G has really helped fill up the jar a little. Before he left, *the boy* bought me these little pumpkins and gourds and so here they sit helping to decorate the jar on my little bookshelf!
I wanted to say thanks to everyone who gave me their floor stand opinions and info. It is ever helpful. And to those who are keeping my sister in their thoughts and prayers, it's so appreciated. More than you know. I had forgotten to say that her MRI results came back and it basically showed that the cancer was contained and there was no spread. Relatively good news, I think. Her surgery for her lumpectomy is next Monday. Please keep those good thoughts coming!! :)

And seriously, if you haven't visited Missy Ann for her 13 Days of Halloween yet, go now!! She's got lots of spooky fun up her sleeve!

Ok, I'm off to bead or stitch or maybe even stomp on Newton. We'll see what the outcome is.

Have a great week!

Until next time...

Monday, October 19, 2009

13 Days of Halloween Starts Today!

Missy's 13 Days of Halloween Starts Today. Go check it out and see what ghoulishness fun she's planned for us!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I Totally Forgot...

...what a PITA it is to attach beads on with "invisible" thread! Wow, I think the last time I beaded anything, other than the trim on an ornament, was a couple of years ago. I'm at the beading part of Gigi and on Wednesday night I was so excited because I thought that maybe...just maybe, I'd finish Gigi that night. Whoa...was I wrong! It took me a couple of hours to attach about 30 beads! And I had to get all the tricks out...lap stand, Mighty Bright light, magnifier plus turning on all the "flood lights" in the living room. Yep, still couldn't see a damn thing. And this is how far I got. She'll be the focus tomorrow when I have the time to stitch during daylight hours.
So, since I had to put Gigi on hold, I've been stitching on Newton. He is basically a complete restart and since I decided to start with boring Blanc this time, I don't have an interesting enough picture. Newton is for my friend Claire who actually had the baby yesterday! Welcome to the world Baby Andre! And Happy Birthday to both of them! Baby Andre was born on Claire's Birthday so they both share the same happy day. And thus, I am super behind on this baby announcement project! I need to haul ass on this.

Well, if you've gotten this far, I am once again looking at floor stands. I really want to buy myself a streamlined recliner (i.e. small and non-poufy) and a floor stand so that maybe I can stitch more comfortably and faster. After a quick search, the Artisan Designs (Gazelle and Ergo) and the StitchMate floor stands stand out to me. If anyone has or had either of these, I'd appreciate hearing the good or the bad. The Artisan Designs stands seem a little more cost effective than the StitchMate so I am leading towards that but am willing to spend the money on the StitchMate if it's a superior product. Let me know your thoughts!!

Well, it's time to haul my laundry downstairs and to my parents so I can multi-task my visit. Parents to visit, laundry to wash...it's a two-fer and yes...I know I sound like I'm still in college but be soothed in the fact that I actually do my laundry...not my mom. With only one washer and dryer in the building for 21 units, it's tough getting dibs on the laundry room here!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Saturday...go out and enjoy!

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesdays Are My Stitchy Night

Wow, what a week it has been! I am feeling pretty run down and lethargic. Truly as lazy and slow as a slug. So much so that I gave myself a mental health day yesterday and I slept the entire morning away!

The weekend was a blur. I had yet again procrastinated in my sewing class and left things to the last minute. Why, oh why, do I do that?! So, for most of the weekend, I was stressed about sewing my project. Saturday, I spent the majority of the afternoon sewing my samples so I could turn them in for grading and get caught up. That was all relatively easy. Once I finished, I got ready to meet up with Claire and AM. AM was in town and treating me and Claire to dinner for our birthdays. Mine was the 1st and Claire's is the 16th. We decided to try Zazie in Cole Valley. Little French bistro that gets rave reviews. To be honest, I forget all about Cole Valey. It's a tiny 3 block quaint neighborhood hidden amongst the huge houses of Cole Valley and Ashbury Heights. Everything was delicious and superbly done. We had a leisurely 2.5 hour dinner spent eating and catching up and we weren't hurried in any way by the waitstaff. That's always nice. We left happy and by the time I got home, I had to lie down and go to sleep...so heavy was my food coma.

Sunday woke to a new day and I headed to Absinthe for brunch with another friend. Hayes Valley was hosting a Union Designer Faire and so I went to take a look around and found a wonderful tote that I have been trying to resist for months. I love the color of it...a wonderful burnt orange...just perfect for Fall! I had to cut the fun short (plus it was freezing for an outdoor fair!!) though since I had to go back home to sew. I think I spent more time restitching things and pulling my fabric from the "teeth" of the machine than actually sewing! Serious battle of the wills with the Singer machine! Ugh! So frustrating. I was all worried I wouldn't have time to finish my tee by the Monday night deadline! I was kind of right. By 10pm, I was beat and in need of a siesta on the futon so I stopped for the night. By that point, I only had sleeve hems and bottom hem to sew up. I finished those up during my "mental health" day and was able to model it for my sewing class last night. It's a basic 3/4 sleeve purple crewneck tee. It doesn't make much of a statement but seeing as I've never used a machine before the beginning of September, this is a huge accomplishment. I actually made a wearable piece of clothing! Mind you, it's far from perfect. I sometimes have problems sewing a straight line and it's a little too big in the sides but that doesn't matter much as this will be added to my sleep attire and who cares what I wear to sleep provided I don't get cold in the middle of the night. So the tee was a success...next project...pajama pants!

Here's an impromptu pic of my tee and new tote.

Last week was mentally draining so my stitching (and sewing) suffered. I'm close to finishing Letter G (Gigi) so I won't take a picture. Just a little more backstitching and all the beading left to do. I've been on a one project kick which I know gets boring for you guys in blogland.

Some exciting news...the final QFRR finally landed to its original home last Friday! Yay! In 13 months, it has travelled within the US, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. This piece of fabric is more well-travelled than I am! A huge thanks to Edgar for inviting me into the RR and for stitching on it as well as a thanks to Wendy, Carol R., Rowyn and Donna. I love it!

Quaker Style Friendship Sampler by Samplers and Such
36 ct. Lakeside Linens Vintage Light Examplar
Belle Soie Creme de Menthe & Gloriana Birch Brown (1 over 2)

Now to decide what to do with it. I am still going with my gut feeling of turning it into a small pillow for the bedroom. The colors coincide with the ones on my duvet. Now just curious if I do it myself or send it off to be finished. Decisions, decisions.

Well, that's about it for today. This week, I hope to finish Gigi, start Newton again and maybe, possibly start on a scarf. That's assuming I can find my knitting needles...they're around here somewhere!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend and best wishes for a calm week.

Until next time...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

What a Fright!

Thanks to everyone for their good thoughts and wishes for my sister. She gets her MRI results on Monday. Best to have a nice weekend and not worry too much. I have high hopes!

Last night I had a pounding migraine...the kind that feels like your head is a bottle rocket and about to shoot off at any moment. There was no way any sewing would be getting done since I'm still battling with the machine. So...comfies, ice, excedrin and a little wine eventually made things bearable. I picked up Letter G to work a little more on her perch and wings. I got a little thirsty and managed to spill water all over the project because I had forgotten to screw on the top to the water bottle. I went into a panic! Everyone knows Crescent Colors floss isn't colorfast. I was freaking out about the colors bleeding and hit it really fast with the hairdryer. Thankfully...Letter G came out unscathed from her shower but what a fright. I was having visions flash before my eyes about having to start over. Here's where I left off at the end of the night. I figured the shower was an omen that I should be sleeping instead of stitching.

Here's where she is right now. She's hard to put down. I should *really* be sewing instead of stitching. I wonder if I can resist her call tonight. Almost done...Just need to stitch the fairy, finish the wings, do a little backstitching and then the beading.
Letter G is for *the boy's* niece. I bought the supplies late last year and at this point, it'll probably be a christmas present. He'll pay for the framing and I am thinking about using this piece as a "guinea pig" to see how framing from Jill Rensel will come out. I see her do amazing things with framing and everyone raves. Plus, since it's for a little girl, I think handpainted mats will be a cute touch for her.

Well, boring stuff to finish up...more later!

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tuesdays Are My Stitchy Night

I'm feeling out of sorts today. Don't really feel like stitching. I think it's because I had one of those days. The ones where you wake up with the alarm but fall back asleep and wake up 10 minutes before you are supposed to be at work. The kind that start with no coffee...the one thing you are completely dependent on to wake up. The kind where you're stuck in an all morning meeting with folks that kind of drive you batty and the kind where you get some scary and unsettling news.

It also doesn't help that *the boy* left last night...while I was at sewing class...wondering why I was there instead of at the airport. I'm sad...but I'm also relieved. I am super tired. I need some time to myself. I need to be a hermit but I also have this "party, party, party" feeling too. See...full of contradictions. Perhaps that means I don't know what I want.

Scary news...this makes me want to be a hermit but also makes me want to hop on a plane. See...contradictions. I received an email from my sister letting me know that she had a lump biopsy test positive for cancer. She (and the doctors) think that the lump is small enough that she can have a lumpectomy done and a short course of radiation to be rid of it. I am rather surprised. Cancer isn't really in our family history...let alone breast cancer. I suppose we were all safe but it's just a lesson that no one is really safe from anything. Her MRI is this week. I wish I could be with her and help out but things sound relatively ok that I'll just sit, hope and pray for the best. I'd appreciate some good thoughts sent her way too.

So, I think my out of sorts feelings are justified?

I haven't stitched much since my last Letter G progress report. I've made it to the fairy and as I suspected...those quarter stitches are kind of a pain. Hard to see and such. But she's a small fairy and should be relatively painless. This week will be sewing focused as my 1st project is due Monday and as you can imagine, I am very behind! Working on sewing stuff for 5 hours on Sunday didn't get me very ahead and I managed to stick myself in the wrist with a straight pin (only me!) and get an awful bruise. Who says sewing isn't a dangerous sport...ermm...I mean hobby?!

And a quick heads up. Some folks liked my "butterfly family adoption" idea to save items from going to the Goodwill. My parents returned from their four month trip to Nicaragua with some interesting finds that are not quite my style. I'm pretty minimalistic about things and after 34 years have accumulated quite a lot of Nicaraguan artsy stuff that I still have in boxes. And as people say, one person's "junk" is another person's treasure. So if you are into butterflies and chickens, stay tuned...I'll be hosting more adoptions in the near future!

Well...that's it for me today. I'll post more progress later in the week.

Until next time...

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Cake Should Be A Food Group!

Thursday was my birthday. I turned 34 and it passed like a blur like any other day. But it was a nice day. *The boy* make me breakfast, I lounged, we saw the parentals and I got nice little gifts including birthday money I'm not sure what to do with and *the boy* took me to La Bodeguita Del Medio for dinner. We ordered a little less this time around but I was still ready to pass out in the restaurant from rum and food overload. Empanadas, croquetas, camarones en mojo (too spicy) and ropa vieja...everything was yum! Even the camarones...except after eating one my tongue was on fire! Thank goodness for the croquetas...those calmed the heat down afterwards!

Around noon, *the boy* sneaked out saying he had to run an errand. Mmm-hmmm....errand. He came back with this.
CAKE!!! I love cake...really, it should be it's own food group. Sometimes I go on a cake diet...and only eat cake...and somehow I lose weight despite eating lots of cake. Obviously, cake diets are not healthy but it's fun once in a while. This was a St. Honore cake...one of my favorites but *the boy* got it at my local bakery instead of making the trek to my long-standing go-to place for St. Honore. I didn't even know my local bakery made this cake! I decided to take it to my parents to share with them and minimize how much cake I'll eat. I haven't been exercising...my pants feel tight...you know the drill. Between the four of us, we devoured the entire cake in one sitting! It was yum!

The rest of the weekend has been nice...quiet with yummy meals in the evening. Yesterday, I went to a couple of morning appointments and the came home and relaxed until it was time to meet up with Claire for dinner at NOPA. We *love* this restaurant. Everytime I come here...it reminds me of the city vibe that I love and sometimes miss...and I feel happy and revitalized. The food never disappoints, I can have elderflower gimlets despite it not being on their cocktail menu and the service is beyond great. It's awesome! It's also cool because Claire and I like to share so we agree on an app, entree, side and dessert and just split everything and then walked out of their satisfied instead of stuffed and ready to roll down the street.

Tonight was filled with more relaxing, a trip back to the parentals to fix a couple of things and errands in the city. *The boy* and I passed by the spot of our first date and we decided to see if we could get a table. Reminisce a little, eat good food and be in a fun family-style place. It was like coming full circle at Capp's Corner. On our first date, we were both so nervous that *the boy* kept announcing he was nervous and barely ate a thing and I kept telling him to stop telling me he was nervous because it was making me nervous and I pushed food around on my plate. After a couple of glasses of wine, we were both more relaxed and having a great time. This time, we talked, ate plenty and then took a little walk around the neighborhood and stopped into his favorite bakery to have a little chat with the owner and have a little coffee before heading home. So far...great birthday weekend!

I'm pretty low-key about my birthday but even more so about this one. Bad year, relationship hoopla, slight hermit-mode...makes me want to hide-out and stitch a ton. I was surprised to find these goodies in the mailbox last week. I received a lovely card with little needlebook from the lovely CarolR and another card and little package from the ever-generous Edgar! And here is what was in Edgar's package. A lovely pinkeep (or pynkeepe as Edgar says) which is CarolR's SewRed design! I thought it was so funny as I was planning to stitch this up soon and now I don't have to. I love the purple and wine color scheme that Edgar picked out and it's found a special place in my living room/stitching nook. Thank you so much Edgar! I love it! Edgar's birthday is also tomorrow so Happy birthday Edgar!
And a little peek into my living room. I do this every year...for my birthday and at Christmas. I tape up the cards to my door so I can see them from where I sit on the futon. I mishmash of cards from stitchy friends, family, friends and co-workers.
So my mom, dad and *the boy's* mom gave me birthday money. I am debating whether I use the money for some semi-essentials like a new wallet and new work flats and you know, be kind of responsible. Or do I go all out on stash. I have 4 BAPs I want to start soon. Two of them are Mary Wigham and Fairy Moon which are both ready to go and fully kitted. But I also plan on stitching The American Sampler and Chatelaine TajMahal. I only have the charts for both. Birthday money would buy me the Taj kit(minus fabric) and all the silk for American Sampler (it's all super pricey) and I'd have to decide on fabric for both. I am so tempted to buy stash even though there is no way I'd be able to start either by the end of the year!! Ay, decisions, decisions.

And I've been stitching. I've been staying up super late each night working on the Letter G. I am really enjoying this so far but I think once I hit the fairy...those fractional stitches will drive me a little batty. *The boy* is amazed at my attitude about this one. I love it!! I really wonder what Letter V will look like...and when it will come out!

I'll work on it a little more tonight but I have the feeling my Tuesday report will be delinquent. Tomorrow will be an all sewing day...lots of homework. Monday is my long day (work from 8am-5pm and sewing class from 530pm - 930pm) plus *the boy* leaves Monday night too. So not much stitching outside of tonight for a few days...

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Until next time...