Thursday, May 05, 2011


Oof, it's been a busy few days. The vacation sped by and I'm back to work. I feel like things have been eventful but it all revolved around running around buying/pricing modems, installing Comcast and finally getting my phone, internet and Tivo back up and running in time to go back to work. I'm just happy it's working and that everything isn't in various stages of influx or broken. The apartment is a mess since I now have to figure out where this new surge of cables is supposed to go but it's all working and that really makes me the happiest.

Since I'm on the topic of technology/electronics, does anyone happen to have a Roku and if so, what do you think about it? I'm intrigued since it allows you to stream Netflix and Hulu onto a tv. I can totally broaden my tv viewing obsession by seeing things on demand. Is it a good product?

And on top of that, I had arch shades installed...finally. It's been a year in the making. The light isn't as bright in my front room anymore but things have been getting really faded since the sun streamed right in full-force. I also have more privacy since the people who live across the street no longer have an uninhibited view right into my living space. I can actually walk around in my undies if I want and not worry about giving the old men across the way a show. Here's how the windows look now.
The sun would stream through those arches and shine on the wall above the tv. I have plans for that wall...I can't have any fading happening!

On the stitching front, progress has been slow on the things I should be stitching. I'm in a quandry. There are so many projects I want to start and I have been planning and envisioning certain projects hanging in particular spots in my apartment. The thing is that I am not currently working on any of these projects and I am dying to start them all and they are all BAPs. I already have 2 BAPs, one medium and a couple of small ones in the hopper and just that amount of WIPs is stressing me out. I can't start another BAP! I'm having enough of a problem juggling the ones I have. What to do?! I don't want to stop working on my current projects altogether since I may never pick them up again. I think I have to buckle down and try to make some headway.

I hope this will help! Two handed stitching is much haster than one handed!
I ordered myself a Stitchmate and it arrived during my vacation. Please forgive the terrible photos but it is a fantastic piece of craftmanship. Back in March, a wonderful lady let me borrow her Stitchmate. That in itself floored me. Here's this lady I've met a handful of times who goes "you can borrow mine to make sure it works with your chair before you go and order it". Took me a bit to pick my jaw up off the floor and even more time to accept her offer since I'm one of those "oh, I couldn't possibly put you out" type of people. But I borrowed it for TWO weeks and fell in love. This is actually how I managed to stitch and finish Part 3 of Mary Wigham. I am so happy to have my very one! Now, a Stitchmate is pretty pricey but I am pretty sure this will last me forever and so I just couldn't deny myself any longer. Plus, I have a million BAPs to stitch and I'm hoping this will make it scads easier.
**Please note that the chart holder placement is different than it should be. If I had it as directed, it blocks my ott-lite. I'm glad I got the extended arm! I still need to play around with that part a bit.

So I have pulled out Mary and will try to get another section completed while focusing on my smalls and my medium project which is Where My Heart Blooms. Maybe by the fall, I'll be in a better space and can start on the "art" I want on the walls.

During vacation, I stitched solely on Blue Snowman when I had the time to stitch. I think it should be called Blue Snowgirl. She was a joy to stitch and I love how she looks. My only complaint is the floppy fabric. My stitches just don't lie very nice on 30 count WDW fabric, especially with just one thread but I followed the instructions and just think the piece is full of whimsy. So cute! I just love the stocking and the "tights" she is wearing! I'm not sure what to do with it now that it's done but I think it would be nice as a flatfold or a cube. Something to think about.

And let's not forget my TUSAL report for the month. It's slowly growing but it's hard to tell. There's a mishmosh of threads from Blue Snowman, A Wish For You and my Tiny Garden Fob.
While taking my TUSAL photo, I tried to stage the jar with some anemones I bought at the farmers market over the weekend but the photo above was better. I couldn't help sharing the anemones though. They are so colorful! I've enjoyed them this week placed in my little owl pitcher.
And new set of wheels! I remembered to take my camera with me when I visited my folks. Much easier to take a photo in a suburban setting.
I love it so far! I'm still scared to have to parallel park but I'll deal with that when I come to it.

Well, Mary is calling and it's tv night (ok, when is it not but it's Thursday! Grey's and Private Practice). One more day to the weekend! Can't wait.

Just in case I don't make it back before Sunday, I'd like to wish all the moms a fantastic day. Hope you all have fun.

Until next time...


Sylvia said...

Wow, lots has happened! Love your new Stitchmate - it looks great. Your snowman finish is darling, and your new car...fabulous!! You sound much better, and I am glad.

Andrea said...

Oh my gosh, what a great post! I loved it! Your windows are just gorgeous, as is your stitching! That Blue snow-girl is adorable!

What a great stitching stand! I'm glad you found something that works for you :) I am thinking about getting something new soon, my system is no bueno.

We have the Roku box, got it from Amazon about a month ago. It is awesome, we love it. Jeff has been able to watch some downloads he'd purchased from Amazon through the box, once you set it all up, everything you've purchased is there for you to watch. Also, Crackle and Hulu are very cool as well! Not to mention the Netflix, obviously :-)


Andrea said...

Oh gosh, I forgot to mention the new's GORGEOUS!!! GiddyUP!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it's been a busy week or so for you! Glad you got your internet sorted and your stitching area looks very cosy. Love the snowman finish, I think both types of finishes you have in mind would look wonderful and I do love the fabric it's stitched on, that's a great colour!

Your new car looks great too! It sounds like your vacation did you some good; as Sylvia says, you sound much better :)

Christina said...

I had to laugh at the thought of you parading around in your undies, in view of the elderly men! My husband is forever chastising me for wandering about the house naked with the blinds open!! Such an exhibitionist! I just forget that people can see in.
I don't know which I love snowman or your new car. We're car hunting at the mo and I'd love the Honda. I'm ashamed to say that in 18 years of driving I have NEVER parallel or reverse parked!! I'd rather park a mile away and walk.
Your apartment looks beautiful, I'd love to dress those windows.

Margaret said...

Loovvve those arch shades! You have some beautiful windows in your apartment! Love your Blue snowman finish too -- so cute! You've had a lot going on, but at least you have all your electronics working. And your new car --- Oh I want, I want! lol! I keep admiring CRVs every time I pass one on the road. Which happens a lot. :D Have a great weekend!

Jackie said...

I've always loved arch windows. Glad to hear your peeping neighbor has been blocked!

Technology issues can be so frustrating. I've not used a stitching frame though I do think I'd like it. Borrowing one first is a great idea before spending $!

Enjoy your weekend. Love your new ride!

Catherine said...

Wow! What a busy week! Love the windows - glad the men aren't getting a free show anymore! ;)

Aren't new cars fun? I'm not one for the new car smell - but it's probably better than a car full of baseball equipment!

I wish I knew of someone close with a Stitchmate to try before I would buy one. Oh well....Yours looks great and your chair looks very comfy!

What a cute snowman! Can't wait to see what you turn it into!

Sally said...

Your windows are gorgeous!

Love your SB snowgirl. She is so incredibly cute!

Jennifer said...

Sounds like you need a vacation from your vacation! I totally understand how you feel. I took a few days off right after busy season and I still don't feel like I got the break I needed. Sheesh!

Love the Blue Snowman piece. I'm with you on the 30 ct WDW fabric. Miranda has lovely colors, but that count just gives me fits! However, I've found that if I spray a little bit of sizing (different from starch) on it and iron it before I start stitching, it is less floppy and much easier to work with. Even with the sizing, I still try to avoid that count at all costs!

Maureen said...

Okay - i am experiencing a case of severe care envy lol! That is a gorgeous piece of machinery. As is the stitchmate, how fab does that look. enjoy.

Barbi said...

Love the window shades! And the snowgirl is great! Don't you love staging the ort pic? I try something different each month. It makes all the years of chachki collecting fun again. LOL I love the little figures by your jar :)

Danielle said...

I have a Roku too. I love it. It allows me to rent movies and shows from Amazon and watch them on there. I have it set up in my office and when I stitch I can watch whatever I want! I have the Stitchmate too. Awesome, awesome, awesome!!! How did you get the Qsnap to stay in the clamp? I could never figure that out. Great car and window blinds!! You've been busy.

Lee said...

Great post!
Lucky you that a friend let you borrow her Stitchmate - that's always a worry when we buy - or should I say "invest" - in something like that. We hope it'll be workable but we never know till it's actually in our house.

We have a Roku box and I think it's fabulous. We also have a Sony Blu-Ray which does similar things, but I find that the Roku has better features and is easier to use. It's not terribly expensive, but regardless it's worth every penny.

Nicole said...

I love your apartment Valerie! It's so pretty!! Those wood floors and windows are to die for. Your new care is very nice too! Sounds like things are slowly getting back to normal. Your Blue Snowman is so cute - definitely a must have!! I hope your stand works out for you!!

Laura said...

What a sweet lady to let you borrow her Stitchmate! It looks really great. I have a Kay's lapstand that I love but one day I would like to have a floor stand like yours.

Congrats on the new wheels! My inlaws love their CRV. Have a great weekend!

CalamityJr said...

Wow - stitchmate, window treatments, snowGIRL, and a new car - way to go on everything! My only "advice" is not to let your decorating wants get you in a tizzy, taking the fun out of stitching. We do this because we love it, don't forget!

staci said...

Looks like you're making progress on many fronts! Enjoy your new stitchmate...maybe you need to christen it with a new BAP, wink, wink ;)

Love your new car too!

Natalia said...

Valerie, sounds like you've had some goodies: window shades, StitchMate, car.... NICE !! I am glad you got to try StitchMate before you bought it. I've been eyeing it for quite a while now, but I am a bit eery about making the investment without knowing if I will like it.

Love your car !!! My brother has the exact same one and he loves it.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh...this post is just FULL of happy!

Your windows looks gorgeous. I love the arch shades. So classic.

And what can I say about the new CR-V. I had mine 12 wonderful years and I totally get what you are saying about parallel parking. I always had trouble with that because of a small CR-V "blind spot", but you'll get it eventually. Best wishes and I hope you have many, MANY happy miles driving it. It's so CUTE!!!

Melanie said...

Ooooo, love the Stitchmate! I've never seen one of those before, I'm intrigued! (And trying to figure out if it would work for me. Hmmm.)

What beautiful windows! I can see why you wanted shades for the arches though. They look great!

I don't have a Roku but I stream Netflix from my TiVo and other devices and it is *awesome*. (All new Samsung products stream Netflix for free if you are in need of, say, a new DVD player, it would kill two birds with one stone vs. having extra components to hook up. I have 3 Samsung products - TV, Blu-ray, portable Blu-ray - that all do Netflix very easily. And bonus, they also stream other things like Pandora radio, etc.)

Theresa said...

Love those arch windows~~ Good thing you have those shades installs, we don't want to give free shows out~~ ;-)

The new stitching stand looks awesome!!!!! So nice of your friend to lend you one before purchasing. That's a great way to know if it works for you or not!!

Your new ride is so sweet~~~~ But I can imagine parallel parking won't be an easy task, especially in those SF streets!!! I'm so bad at parallel parking. Last week I had to parallel park and it took me like 5 tries plus my mom directing me from outside to get the task done!! Good thing I wasn't on a busy street!!!!

Myra said...

Wow! You don't mess around when you say you have been busy. Loving the stitching and the car. I'll be back to read the comments on the Roku - I have been wondering about those too.

Laura said...

Love your new windowshades!!!! The arch shape is fab! Your new stitching apparatus looks very cool. I will have to investigate it. It was great to be able to try it out first! Snow gal is sooooo cute! And your new car looks totally fab!! If I was there and it was my new car I would take it for a drive down Highway 1 to the Taco Bell in Pacifica. Am I weird?

mainely stitching said...

Wow, it has been busy in your life! Love your new Stitchmate - and that car is gorgeous (and this from someone uninterested in cars!)

Meari said...

Congrats on the new stand. It looks great. Your finish is cute. Nice wheels!

Trinabelle said...

Oh, Valerie, I love everything you posted...from your TUSAL jar to your windows to your new wheels. However, I covet your Stitchmate. It's on my wish list for Christmas.

We've had a Roku Player for years and we love, love, love it! You won't be sorry if you purchase one.

Carol R said...

Wow where to start. Your arched windows look lovely; the Stitchmate looks great - I've reverted to stitching on a small hoop and moving it around but the scrunched up linen annoys me a bit! Pretty snowman finish and I love-love your new car!

Julie said...

Nice wheels!

Your stitching area looks lovely and comfy, i'm sure your projects will grow now you have the new stand

Your windows look beautiful and Mr Snowman is adorable

Katrina said...

Cool new gadget :-). and very nice of the lady to let you borrow it. Love the new car!!! The snowman is so cute too.

Suzanne said...

Wow, you have been busy! Love your new stitching area and stand.

Nice work on the snowman.

Great new car.

Giovanna said...

Congrats on the beautiful new car! And the snowman is just gorgeous.

Elaine said...

Your apartment looks lovely Valerie. I wish you many hours off blissful stitches on your new stand.
Your Blue Snowgirl is just Darling!!!
Happy Driving in your wonderful new car.

Siobhan said...

Great update!! I love your new wheels! Very snazzy. Enjoy your newly jazzed up stitching nest--I hope you're able to zoom along with ease this way. Great finish on the blue snow girl!

Michelle said...

Love the new wheels! And your stitchmate looks like it will be a big help. Congrats on the snowman finish too. I know what you mean about too many WIPs and too many things you want to start. I'm trying really hard to just stick with my WIPs and get them whittled down. I'm tired of having so many unfinished things. I want them on the walls!

Carol said...

Finally catching up with your posts after being away over the weekend, Valerie! Your sure had one busy "vacation!" Your stitchmate and new car are just wonderful--I'm sure you'll be happy with the CRV :)

Hope those pretty new window shades help with the fading--I have a huge problem in my kitchen and sunroom--don't dare hang any stitching in those rooms at all.

Love your pretty blue snowgirl--of course, it's blue :)

Pumpkin said...

Boy, you have been busy! The shades look great :o) It looks like you have a nice place there. And your car! Love it!

Your SB finish is adorable. I'm not one to ask about projects right now because my mojo is on vacation ;o)

Glad to hear that you like the Stitchmate. I have a really nice stand but I never use it. I don't use the two hand method and I find it more of a pain than anything. It's weird how we all have our own likes and dislikes. LOL!