Monday, March 27, 2006

Back from the Weekend

I am rather proud of the amount of stitching I did this weekend on Paradigm Lost – even after I had about an hour and a half of stitching that I had to rip and stitch over.  I discovered on Sunday morning that I had not stitched on it since May of last year.  WOW! Time certainly does fly!  I would have never imagined it had been that long!

I had a great time stitching with my friends yesterday afternoon.  We went to dinner at Flannigan’s, which required a 45minute wait to get in (can’t wait for the snowbirds to go home!) and half a hour for them to get our check straight so we could leave.  Other than that, the food, and the company, was awesome, as always.

Also this weekend, I discovered that my computer needs to be reformatted.  Son#4 did who-knows-what to it.  He has his own computer, right next to mine, would you believe?  Yet he likes to go on mine!!!  So, why don’t I just give him mine and buy myself a new one? Rick asks.  Well, that’s what I did LAST TIME and it didn’t work!  If I buy myself a new computer then he will want to go on THAT one, not the OLD one.  What’s a mom to do? <sigh>  Anywho, I spent the better part of yesterday morning moving all files I want to save to my external hard drive.  Just another day in paradise.

Son#1 moves into his own place this Saturday, yet his room still looks like the black hole of Calcutta.  His new bed and furniture is scheduled to be delivered Saturday afternoon.  I think the plan is to take all the good stuff to the new place and leave us with all the junk to deal with.  Well, I plan to deal with it all right…(and a lot quicker than maybe he knows!).

Son #1 mentioned in passing that Twin#2/Son#3 might be paying us a surprise visit in April.  This is the kid that is in Japan.  I’ve been trying to get a hold of him, but so far, nada.  Will keep y’all posted.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Stitching on my WIPs

For the past couple of days I have been stitching on Long Dog’s Paradigm Lost. I really haven’t stitched enough – in my opinion – to take a picture and post. Maybe this weekend. I have been working on a large motif that is on the upper right corner of the design. This large motif is composed of eight circular motifs that surround a center. I got tired of stitching the same thing over and over, so, after stitching about 5 of these, I started stitching the dragonfly, and some other smaller motifs to break the monotony. Yesterday I finished the 6th of these motifs, and now I only have two more to do. I think that once this big motif is finished I might get more excited about the piece again. It is a very large project, but it’s not really very complicated. First of all, it is all stitched in one color. Second, there are no half or three quarter stitches. Lastly, the motifs are quite easy, so it is a fast stitch.

I’m not sure how I feel about the Summer Freebie. It is about half stitched at this point. Out of sight, out of mind is so true. I want to finish it, but I want to do so because I want the finished piece, not because I like to finish everything I start. I will have to pull it out, start stitching on it, and see how I feel.

It’s the weekend again. We aren’t doing anything exciting. Our eldest son is moving into his first place next weekend. You can imagine that there is a lot of cleaning/throwing away taking place. This will make it three sons gone, and one left at home. I am trying to bribe the youngest to leave, but he isn’t biting.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

SBQ for March 22nd

Today's SBQ was suggested by Carol and is:

Have you ever participated in a needlework mystery? If so, why did you decide to do the mystery? What appealed to you about it? Did you enjoy it? If you have not done a mystery, would you ever do one?

I have participated in a lot of mysteries.  The first one was Curtis Boehringer’s Needlework Woman mystery (or whatever it was called).  I participated in that one through an MSN group I no longer belonged to and I did it because it was a fun way to do a stitchalong.  It was fun, but by the time most of us were ready for Part III, there was a problem with the availability of Part IV, so I found all the parts sold together on Ebay, but other members weren’t so lucky, and I lost interest.

Another two mysteries I participated in were done in Yahoo groups.  I did it because friends of mine were doing it and I thought it would be fun.  It was a lot of fun, even though I was usually quite behind.

Last but certainly not least, I have belonged for the past three years to several of Martina Weber’s (Chatelaine) mysteries.  I have enjoyed them even when I wasn’t stitching along.  I guess, for me, what makes a mystery fun is if you are happy with the resulting design.  Since I have thus far liked just about everything Martina has designed, I can jump into her mysteries without a second thought.

I am still working on Mystery VIII, haven’t started Mystery IX, and probably might not start it until next year, but I have a lot of fun seeing the progress others are making and watching the design unfold. I will be participating in many, many more of her mysteries in the future.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tired of Counting

I think I’m going to give up all this tallying. I have so many binders and already I have over 240 patterns I want to stitch listed, varying from easy, small projects, such as ornaments and Lizzie Kate patterns to big projects that require a lot of time.

The Question now is whether knowing that I have over 20 years worth of stitching projects will help me stop from buying more. Frankly, I don’t think so because I have tried all this before and it hasn’t worked.

Another alternative is to come up with only a few themes that I want to stitch, and then limit myself to these themes. The last thing I want is for my house to look like an LNS 10 years from now – with a lot of mismatched type projects hanging on my walls.

I have friends who tend to stitch the same themes. Measie likes to stitch angels, for instance. Orrell likes to stitch chickens, and since pretty much all she stitches is over one, her projects end up being a lot smaller in size. Marlene likes to stitch hearts (a theme I happen to like myself). Anita likes to stitch small projects – she rarely stitches anything larger than maybe 70 stitches wide/tall. Tillie likes Halloween patterns from Birds of a Feather, cats, and country style patterns. Jean likes delicate-looking patterns and also hearts. Ruth also likes delicate looking projects and those where she can use her creativity by changing all or most of the threads.

I, on the other hand, am all over the map. I like witty sayings, beach patterns, hearts, houses, seasonal themes, dogs, anything bright and bold, large, challenging projects, small quickies (such as freebies). I guess I really don’t enjoy stitching people all that much, though I do love just about anything Mirabilia.

So, I am wondering if maybe I should consider, when planning my stitching, how it will be finished and where it will be displayed. Up until now, this has been secondary, but now as I try to find places where to hang my framed pieces, I am starting to notice that it’s not all that easy for things to match.

My latest piece, the fall sampler, is gorgeous. I just love it! But do I really want to look at Fall all year long? No, not really. Does it go with the colors throughout most of my house? No. Where is it now? In the closet until I can figure out where to hang it. It will probably end up in the computer room or in the study.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Productive Weekend

I spent a lot of time this weekend going over Cross Stitch magazines and seeing whether they had any projects I wanted to stitch. I then wrote in a small notebook the name of the project, the size, the type of threads called for, and which magazine it was in. I am not finished with all magazines yet, though I have gone through about 80%, and I have tallied 58 projects to stitch.

I did not go through any JCS Ornament Issue, though I plan to because I know there are a lot of ornaments I’d like to stitch.

I also started going through some of my binders, also to list those I really want to stitch ASAP. Going through the first 5 binders yielded 89 more future projects. This brings the new total of future projects up to 147, and I’m nowhere near done. As I may have mentioned, I once started a spreadsheet to keep track of all the charts I have, and I stopped listing them about 2 years ago when the total was 1,800 and I wasn’t nearly done.

If I were to finish one pattern a month, which would be a tremendous feat indeed, it would take me over 12 years to stitch what I have entered into my notebook thus far.

The reason for doing all this is to see if it helps me control the mad stash spending I have been engaging in.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Today's SBQ is: Do you stitch "over one?" If so, describe your experiences. If not,have you considered it?

I have stitched "over one" when a pattern called for it, not deliberately. I have considered it. One of my friends, Orrell, likes to stitch over one. She pretty much stitches everything over one. It is so beautiful and delicate, that it tempts me, but it just seems like it's too much effort, so I haven't brought myself to stitch over one.

Stash Indigestion

I've been buying way too much stash lately. Way too much. I just researched what I had spent in the (thus far) first three months of the year and the total is up to $1,600, not counting a few times when I paid cash, and I can't remember the amounts, but I do remember it being aroud $70 at least 2 or 3 times.
I was putting all this stuff away this past weekend and I realized it was a lot when I completely filled one binder and had to go looking for another! I figured it would take me at least two years - maybe more - to stitch all the patterns I just bought!
I've never quite understood why I buy so much stash. I can't seem to pass up fabrics and threads, particularly. I've never really worried too much about it because we can afford it, but lately I'm finding that I'm running out of space to store all this stuff. Normally, I spend around $70 per week, which averages to about $900 per quarter. I am over by 66% for this quarter! The business person in me is horrified.
So, I am officially "On the Wagon" and I am not going to be buying anything that I don't already have on order (estimated around $100 per month) or that I don't actually need for what I am stitching, (such as threads, beads, fabric), during the second quarter of this year (April thru June). I'm not counting framing/finishing either.
The irony to all of this mad purchasing is that I was looking for something small to stitch to replace the Bug Collector I just finished, and what would "call to me" but two of Mosey N Me freebies! I think it's perverse that I would choose a freebie when I have purchased so many charts just these past few months!
Why does stuff like this happen? Why do we buy so much stash?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Dilema Resolved

Well, you’re probably all wondering what I decided to do regarding my “dilema”. Part of the problem I had with making my mind up is that the first job was pretty boring to me and I couldn’t see myself being there very long (without losing my mind). Some of us thrive in what I call “controlled chaos”. I am one of those people.

So, the issue wasn’t really all about money in the first place. I am way too “social” to be stuck inside an office by myself working. I need interaction. I need problems to solve, people to help. The first job had none of that and I don’t see the reason to stay there once I realized it isn’t the right job for me.

Today is Tuesday, and I will be going to my LNS’ SAL tonight. I am finishing up the petite biscournu. Want to have it completely done by Thursday, as this is when the next EGA meeting will be.

Haven’t started Fanta Cat’s Miranda yet. I think I need to make progress on some projects already started before adding to the WIP list.

My website has been neglected for months now. I want to find time to revamp it. I'm a bit depressed that I have lost two friends to the South Florida hurricane season, and will lose another in a few months, so this is stopping me from dealing with this.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bug Collectors

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This is the last scan I have of Bug Collector, when it returns from the framer I will post again.

Latest Finish 3/12/06

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This is the ornie I was talking about yesterday that I was stitching with the Yahoo Group Stitchers Time Out.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Nick Nick Nick....

Nick had been home on leave the past 2 weeks and he returned to Camp Lejeune yesterday morning. We had a lot of fun when he was here and went to a hockey game Friday night before he left when the Panthers were playing the Hurricanes (my team). The Hurricanes lost, sadly. Nothing like paying $150 per seat to watch your team lose - LOL
I miss Nick a lot - he's my buddy. We're both have very similar temperaments and we're very close.
Yesterday afternoon I went on a S.E.X. trip up to Always in Stitches in Lake Park with my good buddy Ruth. Anita, my other good friend, works up there about two Saturdays a month and we went up there to visit. It was a great trip because the "Drab to Fab" and Brenda's "WhimZi Ornament Club" were both ready to pick up. The fabric this month is called "Monster Mash" and is a green with some burgundy or brown. March's ornament is a Partridge in a Pear Tree. I also bought Just Nan's "Snow Faces" which is a WhimZi pattern, Sisters and Best Friends' "Bad Maid" and some threads. After that, we went out for dinner - Ruth, Anita and me - to the Ale House where they had the Osso Bucco and I had English style Fish and Chips (plus a fantastic French Onion soup!). I love my friends and I'm going to miss Anita when she moves away in the summer to El Paso.
I may have mentioned that lately Fanta Cat's "Miranda" has been calling out to me. Leave it to a mermaid to try to lure you. I purchased the fabric for her last Tuesday at my LNS, but before I start her, I want to finish an ornament I am working on that is the monthly SAL for "Stitchers Time Out" - the only cross stitch Yahoo Group I sorta keep up with - we're doing an ornie a month from the latest JCS Ornament issue. I also had picked four WIPs that I wanted to work on this month (stitch on anyone for one day a week) and the first week of March passed without my putting anything into any one of them, so until I make some progress on my WIPs, I won't be starting her.
Cutting into my "free time" is The Sims 2 - the newest expansion "Open for Business" came out last week. Could they have possibly created an expansion that was more suited to me? (only if I could have my Sims cross stitching!)

Friday, March 10, 2006


I finally left the job from hell and started at a really neat office working for a non-profit in Downtown Fort Lauderdale last Monday. This office is very calm and not at all anything like the chaos I am used to experiencing with the last companies I worked for and I am getting paid the same as when I was working for the bag company.

Last Wednesday, I got an offer from another company that was courting me, but because they have gone through some re-organization, they had not been able to tend me the official offer letter until then. (Hiring was frozen). They will pay me a little more than I am currently making, plus additional bonuses based on performance (which, knowing me, I will definetely get!).
Dilema: Do I leave the calm and quiet non-profit, which will allow me plenty of time to stitch or, do I go with the higher pay, more demanding, and definetely will be working overtime position?
Another point that concerns me is that the second company has recently been purchased by another entity, a firm in Europe, which as far as I know doesn't have any offices in the US. The old offices of this company in Toronto and California have been closed. I am concerned that I will make the jump only to find out in a few months that this is closing too. The company I am currently working for isn't going anywhere any time soon.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

SBQ - Drowning in Stash

Today's SBQ is:

Do you have an organizational system for your patterns? If so, how do you organize them? If not, have you considered organizing them?
Once upon at time, I began a spreadsheet that listed each pattern I had plus allowed for up to three different categories and showed in which binder the pattern could be found. The patterns were sorted by Designer on the spreadsheet. Because I buy binders as I need them, I didn't further organize patterns into binders by designers or categories. It was much simpler to leave them where they were.
I stopped once I got had logged 1,600 patterns. That was about two years ago. I give up. I still buy binders as I need them, so if I have a pretty good idea of when the chart was purchased, I can usually narrow it down to 2 or 3 binders that it might be in.

Latest Finish

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This is Glory Bee's Priceless which my Sunday Stitching group is stitching as our first ever "challenge" project.

Work in Progress

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This is one half of the Petite Biscournu from - it's in their 2005 Freebie page - that our EGA worked on as a commom project in February. Still have to stitch the other side and then put it together.

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Back to Stitching!

Projects currently working on:

Jeannette Douglas' "Bug Collector" - mostly finished
Glory Bee's "Priceless" challenge - with my Sunday stitching group - finished last night

Projects still pending:
  1. Chatelaine Mystery VIII
  2. Long Dog Paradigm Lost
  3. CSCC The Rose Garden
  4. Jeanette Douglas’ Sunshine State Sampler
  5. Debbie Patrick’s East Brother Lighthouse
  6. Summer Freebie from CC
  7. Stoney Creek’s The One Who Knows
  8. Bent Creek Snappers (Sept to Dec + Border)

Of these, I would have to say that Paradigm Lost, Sunshine State Sampler, the Snappers, and Summer Freebie are "calling to me" the most. So, I will make a goal to choose one to stitch on for at least one day in each week in March, starting with Paradigm Lost.

Project I want to start:

Fanta Cat's Miranda - Call me crazy, call me clueless, but this is calling to me right now.

Saturday, March 4, 2006

Hello, again

Catching up on Stitching Bloggers Question of the Week:

Weds, March 1:
Today's SBQ was suggested by Cheryl and is:What cross-stitch magazines or other publications (as opposed toblogs) do you read on a regular basis? What do you like about them?What do you not like? What would your perfect publication include?

I purchase Just Cross Stitch regularly. I am quite happy with it because they feature a wide variety of popular designers, so their designs also are varied. They're not all similar like Stoney Creek, for instance. Also, because most of their designs come from well-known professional designers, they feature designs I would have probably paid for individually. One thing I like about both JCS and SC is that they feature designs (or themes) that cover several issues. Both of them provide instruction on new and/or advanced techniques. JCS would be perfect if they would also include easier/smaller designs for Aida similar to what the UK magazines have.

Weds, Feb 15:
Today’s SBQ was suggested by Heather and is another one that is about blogging instead of stitching.
Comment on your comments (giving and receiving): Do you love comments or hate them? Do you check them every day, never check them, or find them helpful? And finally, are you convinced no one is reading your blog if you don’t get any?

I love to hear from my friends out there, but I don't check them every day, nor do I have to have any to be convinced that anyone is reading my blog. I like to leave comments in my friends' blogs.

Weds, Feb 8th:
As promised, here is this week’s SBQ, as suggested by Nancy:
Describe your “perfect” project. (Include the designer or specific pattern, the fabric, the floss, and anything else that would make that project “perfect” for you.)

My "perfect project" will probably vary with my mood. As far as I am concerned, everything I have stitched up until now has been "perfect" because I have loved stitching it. I love Martina Weber's designs, they are beautiful and provide a nice level of challange with the specialty stitches/beads/crystals she uses. Most of them use a lot of silks, which I love to stitch with, are stitched on linen, and use a great deal of color. Her designs would probably comes closest to being a perfect project for me.
Weds, Feb 1st:

This week’s SBQ was inspired by my visit with Dawn and is:
With the exception of your online stitching friends, do you have any other stitching buddies?

At this point, I would have to say that I have more "real life" stitching buddies than I do online, simply because for the past 4+ months I have spent little time online or in online groups. I've sorta lost touch with all my online stitching buddies, which I miss quite a lot, btw.

Every Sunday afternoon, I meet with my stitching buddies. The group is usually about 7, but can go as high as 10, if everyone shows up.

Every Tuesday night, I go to my LNS's SAL. That group is much larger - averaging 12 to 18 - some of which are part of the Sunday group.

Then there's the local EGA, which averages 16 to 24 per meeting, some, of course, from the other two groups.

Weds, Jan 18th:

I just realized it was Wednesday (already!) and since I promised an SBQ this week, here goes:
Have you had a happy dance yet this year? If so, tell us about it! (Or just point to the entry that talks about it.) If not, when do you predict it will be?

I had a happy dance when I finished Prairie Schooler's Autumn Sampler. It's back from the framers and I will be picking it up next Tuesday. I'll take a pic and post.