Saturday, January 29, 2011


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You've completed an arbitrary number of levels, and that means prizes!
-Splosion Man

Hey, I have 30 followers! That's a nice round, arbitrary number. How about a spur-of-the-moment giveaway to celebrate?

Needleworkers, there's a Marjolein Bastin chart and some nice, unidentified Zweigart evenweave to use for it. Knitters, there's two skeins of Knit Picks Essentials kettle-dyed yarn, plus some bonus Caron Fling (with a crochet purse pattern on the label). You may get some other goodies in your package, too, but they'll have to be a surprise. =)

Random other 'bout I pick a nice book and send it along?

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post. Get another entry by plugging the giveaway on your own blog. You don't have to be a follower to enter or win, though my followers do give me warm fuzzies. =)

The contest is closed...but I'm sure I'll have another soon. ;)

Fine print: If you're the winner, you can let me know what type of package (stitchy/knitty/geeky or a combination thereof) you'd like.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Exotic Training Locales

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My goal this month was to "touch" every project on my Crazy Challenge list...that is, stitch at least some on the six WIPs while starting five others. It's down to the wire; I'm flying out for training on Sunday (oh, the excitement!), so I'm going to take this weekend's start with me. That means I only have today to touch the final project (Stumpwork Bumblebee)...I'm going to get right on that! I did spend a little time on Shakespeare's Garden (after I dug deep into my mental capacity and unearthed the location of the beads I finally located for sale--the reason I'd stopped stitching the project in the first place):
The fabric I'm working on was a Silkweaver Limited Edition, and boy, do I wish I could get more of it. It's so soft, and the color is so perfectly beigey-taupey with little swirls....

Anyway! I gotta get something done on the Bumblebee before I have to leave for...yeah. We've been trying to take this training class for MONTHS, and they had us signed up in all kinds of fun places...Toronto...! Dallas (I've never been to TX)! New York City (at Christmas time! THE ROCKETTES!!!) Washington, D.C...! But we...we are going to...wait for it...

Raleigh, NC. Now I'm sure Raleigh is a very lovely place (last time I was there, like 15 years ago, I only saw office parks), but C'MON!! New York??!? I only feel OK about this because it's sodangcold up there right now.

"Guaranteed to Run" don't mean a thing when attached to a Red Hat class.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crazy Challenge, Weekend 4

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This is my oh-so-impressive weeekend's worth of stitching on The Darling of the World. Since I've had so much trouble with counting and I only have like an inch of allowance on the sides, I did not want to risk starting somewhere other than the middle. However, the instructions are extensive and want you to start in the least with stitches other than the cross stitches. So I started stitching the cross stitches closest to the center, and planned to work my way out to the corners. The white blob is there because I had this grand plan to stitch the dove so I wouldn't have to count as far out to the corner...but then I ran out of daylight.

What dove? Here, let's have a visual aid:
HOLY COW that is a LOT of FIBERS for one little ol' ornament!! And I still need to order a couple more. And this would be why I haven't started this before now...I've been slowly collecting the fibers. But the colors are gorgeous.

Not much to see least not on my fabric!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The End of the Thing...Sort of

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Thank you for all the kind comments on my "completely intentional redesign" of the house on the top row to look like our loft! =) Of course, when I got home I realized that I could have done a little better job with the ground floor, so I may redesign the redesign a bit next month....

I did everything I needed to do this month on Random Thoughts to put me on a good pace for finishing this year:
That's the entire top row, with two of the borders done. The instructions say to wait to stitch the borders until you withdraw the threads for the hemstitching, but the way I figure it, I only need to wait on the borders around the four corners (someone PLEASE tell me if I am wrong NOW!)

So, great progress!! I finished the second border--counting VERY CAREFULLY, because I feel like I am going out on a limb here stitching these borders without the whole thing finished--I noticed that the dang large pine tree (of course it's the large one) is one stitch too far to the right. Even though I completed the rapid stitch under it first, for the express purpose of avoiding THIS VERY THING. I can't fudge it, because the left and right edges are equidistant from the hemstitching. I'd have to fudge the rest of the rows, plus at least two borders. And if I don't have the mental capacity to stitch it right in the first place, I probably can't handle all that. ;) I've already frogged it, so I don't have to face it next month. It won't take me long to restitch. I just hope I don't run out of fiber...this is a kit!

Pictures of this weekend's start tomorrow....

Pay no attention to that tree on the right!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Risky Brisket

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In which I learn to read all the directions first.

A couple years ago, my mom got me a subscription to Cooking Light magazine. At the time, I was all, "Yeah, RIGHT. I will get right on board with making what I'm sure are really YUMMY recipes. Because 'Light' recipes MUST be YUMMY. They will be dripping with delicious fat much like I am dripping with sarcasm."

However, a lot of the recipes ARE really yummy...and there are a LOT of recipes. I have so many torn out magazine pages, that I've been trying to make a few a week so I know if I should keep them around or not. This week I decided to go nuts and make a brisket. I say "go nuts" because it's about an 8-hour process and I have never made brisket before or been taught how to do it and rampant cooking experimentation just sounds CRAZY. Perhaps I have a low threshold of crazy.

Anyway, we made a special trip to get dark beer (neither of us drinks beer, really, unless we're in Belgium or Germany), and to get a brisket. All I knew was that I needed a "5 pound flat brisket". This should have made some alarm bells go off in my head. Bells that sounded like "wow, that's a big piece of meat" or "do you really have a pan big enough to cook that in?" or even "how many servings does that MAKE, anyway?"

But nothing bothered my blissful brisket anticipation until the butcher handed me the hunk of meat. Um, whoah. That's a lot of meat. I wonder how many servings this makes, anyway?

When I got home and actually read the recipe, I discovered the answer is sixteen. Sixteen (16)!! We are only two...well, I suppose we'll be freezing some. Anyway, no big deal. Brisket all week! It's brisketopia! Brisket-palooza!

The next morning, I pulled the massive bulk of meat out and read, "In a roasting pan...."

In a what, now? What pan? Roasting what? What what?

Ummmm.... I don't have one of those. What the HECK am I going to brown this giant slab of meat in?

I actually pulled out my wok. That...was not going to work. But under the wok was my grill pan! That might just work!
"Just" being the key word.

Uh, OK, but now I'm supposed to add 4 cups of water, 3 cups of beer, 2 cups of carrots, a cup of onions, and a partridge in a pear tree...that is NOT all going to fit in that pan. WAIT! I have this giant Pampered Chef stoneware dish...maybe that will work...
Yes! And fortunately, I am fantastic at balancing and not a klutz AT ALL, so there should be NO PROBLEM getting this into the oven without disaster!

Actually, I did get it into the oven without disaster. I kept an eye on it for a while, because technically I was supposed to boil the mixture first, but eventually I stopped paying attention. After all, it was going to be in there for four hours, and it hadn't moved in 20 minutes...haha.


I looked in about two hours later and that sucker had bucked up like a...well, like a piece of meat that's shrinking unevenly as it cooks, I suppose. Yikes!
And THAT's when I remembered that I was supposed to COVER the thing. Well, dang. I bet if I'd had a real roasting pan and been able to put in that last two cups of water, I wouldn't now have a weird misshapen brisket with dessicated carrots and crispy thyme on top.

So I transferred it to yet another container: a deeper Dutch oven that I considered starting with but wasn't big enough before the brisket shrank.

Well, perhaps I shouldn't use SUCH a restful sound, since there was still a lot of transferring, straining, fat skimming and reducing left to go. I don't have a final picture, because...well...cooked brisket isn't all that impressive. But it was GOOD!

It probably took you roughly as long to read this post as it did to make this brisket.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Idiot...Genius! Nope, Idiot.

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In which I make what I think is a really brilliant move.

So, I made good progress on Random Thoughts, and Wednesday night I was closing in on finishing the house at the top, when I realized CRAPCRAPCRAP...the house is TOO LOW by ONE STITCH!!!
Notice how the chimneys on the house fail to line up with the leaf. It also seemed like the house wasn't lining up with the "d" as it should.


The next day I was thinking about what I could possibly do do fix this without frogging the whole thing (higher chimney? But the bottom of the house is still too low and won't line up with everything else...), when it hit me: I could easily modify this house to look like our loft! (OK, so it's a townhouse, but that doesn't have the alliteratory feel when combined with Lott, now does it?) After all, we have two stories with three giant windows apiece...I could just redesign the bottom floor a little shorter (it is, anyway), and then add our deck story with railing and beehive (when you went to Georgia Tech, you cannot refer to anything as a "doghouse"), so it'll be taller. It'll be great! So, that's what I did:



After I frogged the chimneys, roof and bottom story, I noticed that things were lined up next to that "d" they should have been in the first place. Without me frogging that part. Which meant the house was right in the first place...what?? How could that be? I look at the chart. Back to the linen. Chart. Linen. Chart. Linen. Oh, crap. When I stitched the original house, I left off one row of the roof. That's why it was too short.


I can do calculus, but apparently I cannot count. But now that I've "personalized" this sampler with my own townhouse loft instead of the charted house, I'm thinking of doing the same thing later on...there's another house, and I think I can make it look just like our old loft....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Crazy Challenge, Weekend 3

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You would think that with being snowed in the whole week, and having a 3-day weekend, I would have gotten a lot more done on my third start, Random Thoughts, than this:
(Sorry for the crappy flash picture, but it was SO cloudy and dark this morning.)


The snow did not result in any days off for me. And,I kept hoping that the fabric for this would show up, so I was putting off starting it. Luckily, the fabric showed up on Saturday, so I was able to prep it and make a small start on Sunday. I didn't get a lot of time to work on it Monday, either, but that's OK because we were playing Settlers of Catan with friends and seeing pictures from another couple's work in India.

Last week's progress on Mystery II is somewhat very uninspiring; the first day I worked on it, I decided I couldn't stand the orange in the center anymore (long boring story about Waterlilies Antique Brass changing from goldy-brown to orange/blue/gray and stitching with the ugly new one before finding an old skein, blah blah blah). So, I frogged it. That took the whole night; I literally put one stitch in. Negative progress! The next night we watched Ponyo, which is fantastic but visually beautiful and subtitled...i.e., Not Conducive to Stitching. We also watched a nice Bollywood musical...possibly even WORSE for stitching because whereas Mandarin words to English words is like 10:1, Hindi translates at a rate of about 1:3! You have to read FAST!

I'm already starting to think that this is not going to get finished this year...

I think my monthly plan is going to have to be something like 1 week for Random Thoughts, 2 weeks for Mystery II, and 1 week for "other".

3 starts down, 2 to go...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Walk the Dinosaur

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Because of today's Cake Wrecks post, I watched this video (which, being cable "deprived" most of my life, I'd never seen before). Here, I'll wait while you enjoy the cheesiosity:

Walk the Dinosaur video (I am way too lazy to figure out how to embed this) link

So, yeah.

There's a lot of things I could say about that video (the hair! the costumes! the JACKET ON THE DRUMMER!!!), but my main thought was,

MAN, I miss the days when scantily-clad hot dancers actually smiled and looked like they were enjoying themselves.

If this video had been made today, those dancers would have been poutily vamping to the camera and taking themselves wayyyy too seriously. I know, I know...not the dancers' faults. The director. Hey directors, they're dressed as CAVEWOMEN.

Get over yourselves.

I'm sorry you're now singing BOOM BOOM ACKA LACKA LACKA BOOM....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The ABC's of Me

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This is going around on the TUSAL participants' blogs...

A - Age: Same as The Magic Kingdom
B - Bed size: Queen
C - Chore you hate: Pretty much all of them, but cleaning the shower and ironing are the worst!
D - Dog's name: The hubby is allergic to pretty much every animal in existence, but I'd have cats or a bunny if I could.
E - Essential start of the day item: Tea!!
F - Favorite color: blue
G - Gold or Silver: Depends!
H - Height: 5'4"
I - Instruments you play: piano, a little hand drum
J - Job: Application Architect (I code in Java, among other things.)
K - Kids: Nope
L - Living arrangements: Downtown Atlanta near the Georgia Aquarium, with my wonderful husband, in a townhouse (3 stories plus deck).
M - Music you love: a cappella
N - Nicknames: TMTIH (The Magic That Is Heather), Freelancer (gamer tag), and various from my sisters: Heather Hoo-Roo, Heather Hootachie...
O - Overnight hospital stay at hospital: pneumonia in 3rd grade and tonsilectomy in 5th grade
P - Pet Peeve: numerous =) Currently, people saying, "It is what it is." DUH!!
Q - Quote from a movie: Stay on target! (nearly anything from Star Wars)
R - Right handed or left: Right
S - Siblings: Three sisters, 12-17 years older than me!
T - Time you wake up: "Wake" up or "get" up?? Wake up, around noon. Get up, 7:30-8 for work...9-10 on weekends.
U - Underwear: yes
V - Vegetable you dislike: EGGPLANT (UGHPLANT)
W - Workout Style: ohmigosh I am so fat I totally need to work out yay I have done two days in a row oooo, chocolate
X - X-rays you've had: leg (I was two), teeth, lungs, head/left hand (braces)
Y - Yummy food you make: Christmas cookies
Z - The best place to visit: Japan...or Disney World

Underwear? Really? That's the best "U" you could come up with?? What about University? (Georgia Tech) Or Unbelievable Fact? (I've been on Family Feud...twice) Or Unique Talent? (I can tell when people who are arguing are actually "in violent agreement" and are just saying the same thing two different ways.) C'mon...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Crazy Challenge, Weekend 2

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These pictures still won't be the greatest, because even though I took them AT HIGH NOON, there's still not a lot of light around here (totally overcast, although you'd think the snow would be reflecting all light...).

This weekend I decided to start Emie Bishop's Eight-Pointed Star, from the Just Cross Stitch 1997 Ornament Issue. I "cheated" and started it Friday night (that's in quotes because I MAKE THE RULES AROUND HERE and if I decide Friday night's part of the weekend, then BY GOLLY IT IS.) I kitted this eons ago; that light blue thread is a cool Vicki Clayton thread that she doesn't even make anymore. It is overdyed with a metallic fabric paint! Kind of uneven in texture ("stiff" in places) but it creates a really neat effect.
I had almost no time to work on it Saturday due to "destroying Christmas" (as the hubby said. The first time I mentioned taking down the tree he asked, "Why do you hate Christmas now?") and then dinner for DF Jean's birthday and late-night grocery shopping before SNOWPOCALYPSE. Sunday after church we had lunch with a friend who teaches in India and is in town for a few weeks, followed by Settlers of Catan with the in-laws. I technically won the first game, but the hubby forgot to tell us all the rules, so MIL ended up winning. That's OK, it's her birthday. =D FIL skunked us all on the second game by SHAMELESSLY HIDING HIS CARDS. Then we dashed home before the snow started.

Saturday in between boxes of ornaments, I got a couple courtesy rows done on the Squirrel Fob (it needs daylight, remember). Here's where the little fella stands:

In preparation for a snow day Monday, I decided to haul out Mystery 2 (Convents Herbal Garden). However, no snow day for me yesterday, or today...even though the building is now officially closed, we're all "strongly encouraged" to work from home. =( I did put in a few stitches last night while being mesmerized by the bright yellow socks of the Ducks.
This picture is very BLUE. I "need" to finish that upper-left garden this month to stay on track, I think.

Before the game, I pulled out some knitting while watching "The Cape" (verdict: We'll probably try a couple more episodes). I think Monday Night Knitting might be a good thing...generally there's a lot of good TV to take my attention, and knitting is usually a bit more mindless. Plus, it'll let me still touch knitting while being challenged. Here's a crappy picture of Jared Flood's Hemlock Ring Blanket:

Finally, Advantage #2398 of working from home: Attractively styled snacks courtesy of the hubby..

Snow != extra stitching time when you can work from home.

Monday, January 10, 2011


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Heh, I saw that term on twitter and thought it was hilarious (especially since most of the year we are "Hotlanta". The ATL is covered in snow, and since in Atlanta every snowflake a snowpocalypse doth make, most of the city is shut down. NOT MY COMPANY THOUGH. What, building management emailed and said that building operations will not be working today, the property is covered with ice and snow, and you are only to come in AT YOUR OWN RISK?? NO MATTER, we're still "open", although encouraged to work from home.


As a result, I forgot to photograph my crazy challenge start from this weekend in the daylight, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow. Instead, enjoy some pictures my crazy spouse braved the 20 degree weather to take from our deck.

We got around 3 inches...Brrrrrrrrrr!!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cookie Monster

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I rarely bake during the year, but at Christmas, I usually make at least six kinds of cookies. My sisters are similar; my nephew counted the varieties on the table at Christmas and we had 22! This is usually a good start for a cookie...
...grated dark chocolate (Droste). Mmmmm.... These chocolate coconut macaroons (made because I was out of flour!!) were made for one of my favorite yearly events, Cookies & Carols, hosted by Rain.
As Cookies & Carols is early in December, these did not make it onto the cookie tray for Christmas. =)

As soon as my vacation begins, the cookie-making starts in earnest. The worst part of the process is narrowing down the 20 or so candidate cookies to a manageable list. The drama! The compromise!! Oh, the CONFECTIONARY!! In the end, I always get ingredients for more than one person could possibly manage. Maybe if we get a snow day on Monday I'll make another couple batches.

Complicating my decision each year is the fact that my family will bar the door and refuse me admission on Christmas if I do not show up with Buried Cherry Cookies (which my mom pronounces as "Burr-ied Churr-ies", to my great delight).
That glaze on top? Semi-sweet chocolate and sweetened condensed milk. Yeah, no wonder they're my ticket to festivity.

I'm also nearly required to make Eggnog Thumbprints (and Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread).
On the bottom left were the big jackpot winners for best new cookie of the year, Peppermint Cream Bars. I'm not a huge fan of strong peppermint, and these very nearly did not get made; I think I finished them at 11pm the night before we went to my parents'. However, the sugar cookie base and the oh-so-creamy (read: MOAR SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK!!!) and perfectly subtle pepperminty flavor of the filling made these simply sublime. On Christmas Eve, when everyone came over after the service for a little Kinect, I think we went through half the pan. Above those were Lemon Gingerbread Triangles, where I used too much cloves, and were just OK. After squeezing and zesting four lemons (and losing some knuckle skin in the process), they were too much trouble for the YO!!! WE ARE LEMONLEMONLEMON COOKIES taste.

The full spread:
On the bottom left, German Biberli cookies, which sounded great, with a spicy dough studded with chopped almonds and candied fruit, sandwiching a layer of marzipan (!!!), but turned out to be yummy but too subtle with the marzipan. Also, "German Biberli" sounded wayyyy too much like "Justin Bieber", so I'm probably not making those cookies again.

The Christmas cookies are all gone...alas, the calories have remained.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Crazy Challenge Update

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I don't have a clever title, but I do have progress to show.
After getting a good start on this last weekend, it was just so easy to keep going! So I continued stitching the "lead lines" of the stained glass while they're not boring me. I still kind of want to keep going; they're so relaxing (i.e., MINDLESS).

But this canvas is too big to haul to stitch group, so I grabbed one of my already-in-progress pieces for my challenge, Just Nan's Keep a Little Secret. I didn't make much more progress, because I really need daylight for this over-one stitching.

Finally, I thought I'd show a progress picture of Dasher. I worked on him before the New Year, but I haven't touched him this month. I might get back to him at the end of the month; I'd like to hit all the Challenge projects in January. I changed a lot of the colors--the deer itself from golds to browns, and all the greens, including the Waterlilies. I had stitched all the Waterlilies on the deer's wreath and then finally decided I wasn't going to be happy with them and frogged them.

I've really enjoyed reading everyone's Challenge posts! Between that and the TUSAL, I'm meeting lots of new bloggers; such fun! How's your January stitching going?

Two in progress pieces, and more progress on a new start for the Crazy Challenge.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ask a stupid question...

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"Someone" (name withheld to protect the guilty) sent me an email a while back, and I couldn't help answering some of the deep thoughts included. These were meant to be rhetorical questions asked for humor, but being the extreme literalist I am, I couldn't help myself. I was going to answer ALL of them, but then even I got bored, so I decided to spare you.

  • Can you cry under water?

  • Yes. This is kind of like asking if you can pee in a pool, although crying underwater is acceptable.

  • How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

  • With my "extensive" research from Wikipedia, I can tell you that you don't have to be that important. It's more to do with the motivation of your assassin (or murderer, if they have no idealogical bent and weren't employed to bump you off). Once again, it's not about you. =)

  • Why do you have to 'put your two cents in'.. But it's only a 'penny for your thoughts'? Where's that extra penny going to?

  • This is a supply/demand question. You're always eager to supply opinions, but you must demand people listen to them.

  • Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

  • Square boxes are cheaper to make and assemble.

  • How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

  • We weren't in a luggage race with the Soviet Union. At least, not that I know of.

  • If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

  • Yes. Just like if a blind person goes to a funeral home, it's still called a viewing.

  • Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

  • I think the answer to this question should be obvious (the key word being "decent"), and that we should begin preemptively jailing people who eat burnt toast to prevent them committing unspeakable crimes/really bad art.

  • If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

  • I believe you're making a lyrical error in this fine old song...the lyric is "Jimmy crack corn and I don't care". Someone cares. It's still not about you.

  • If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

  • Clearly, he was an electrical engineer and not a mechanical engineer.

  • If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?

  • I'm sure he'd be happy for you to share your source for roadrunner filets. Also, have you never heard the term "grudge match"??

  • If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

  • READ THE LABEL. What am I, the Book of Knowledge? Sheesh.

  • If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

  • No. Just like heredity doesn't come from herons. (Subtracting "ity" plus the preceding two letters and then adding "ons" does not a joke make.)

  • Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

  • Yes. You're a freakin' musical genius. Don't talk to me until you can hum the themes from Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Superman in quick succession.

  • Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere, but call it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?

  • What? "Hemisphere"? You mean, "atmosphere"?? Really, now I think you're just being ridiculous.

  • Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

  • My dog never got mad at me when I blew in his face. Perhaps you should have a Tic Tac, because, DUDE, if your dog thinks your breath is bad....

    Since I know at least ONE of you out there is simply DYING with the SUSPENSE...I did not get picked to serve on a jury. In fact, I got to go home at lunch! And, you know, work the rest of the day. Yay.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    First TUSAL of 2011

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    It's the first TUSAL of the new year!

    (What's a TUSAL? Hey, it's a stitch-a-long that anyone can keep up with! Basically, you collect your thread orts (scraps) in a pretty jar all year. It's like a sparkly strata of historically sedimentary thread goodness. Each new moon, you post a picture of your orts. For my purposes, I have a small "jar"--actually a tea light holder--that I collect orts in. Each new moon, it gets emptied into a larger ort jar for the year. Thus, each month when the sky is empty of the moon, my jar starts empty of any orts. All symbolic and stuff. +1 to literary devices.)

    I was a little confused on what the first TUSAL of the year should be. I mean, it's the first one of the year, so should I be showing all of last year's orts? Just an empty ort container? Should I have orts since the last new moon? I decided to show all the orts...more interesting than an empty jar, at lesat. You'll see orts from Sapphire Star (NOW! With extra frogging for MORE ORTS!!) and an ornament I stitched "quickly" (always a relative term for me) in December for my stitch group's ornament exchange...
    I have no picture of it finished into an ornament because I literally ran out the door once it was finished. Actually, that's not true...I ran out the door after finishing it, changing clothes, fixing my face, cutting up half a pineapple, a quart of strawberries and three bananas for fondue, and wrapping it, all in 45 minutes. But it sounded more dramatic the other way. Stupid honesty.

    FINALLY, here's my large ort jar filled with last year's orts; the small jar has the past month's orts.

    In the background you can see some cookie tins, and they are all nearly empty now. On a completely unrelated note, I really need to play some more Kinect games.

    Many thanks to Sharon for taking up the mantle of hosting the TUSAL! There's still time for you to participate if you get your camera clicking SOON!

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    Crazy Challenge, Weekend 1

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    This is going to have to be a quick post, because tomorrow, I have...dun dun DUNNNN....


    Ugh. I had so convinced myself that since I was on standby, I wouldn't have to do it, but I am going to have to. So think of me tomorrow, as my blog auto-posts my TUSAL, having to be somewhere a full two hours before I'm normally called upon to produce anything approaching rational thought.

    Anyway. This past weekend was the first in January, so it marked my first start (of five, one for each weekend). I started Sapphire Star by Laura J. Perin Designs. Here's my progress:
    (click to enbiggen...and sparklify!)
    You'll see plenty of orts from this piece at the top of my jar tomorrow!

    This is really my first canvas piece. I've done a couple small needlepoint-esque things, but those have been on congress cloth. Canvas is a LOT stiffer. I think I even started to get a slight blister on my finger from the extra force required to pull the needle through the canvas. It was very cool to see the star emerge, and also to work with lots of fibers I've never tried before, like Fyre Works (a cool metallic ribbon, with which I had to use a laying tool) and HiLights (a rayon thread wrapped with a metallic...shiny!) Now, however, the instructions demand that I complete all the "lead lines" (it's meant to look like an arts and crafts style stained glass window) before stitching any of the pattern sections. So it'll be a while before I do anything else "fun", but it's been satisfying so far to see the lines progress.

    Also, this sucker's BIG!

    Special thanks to the hubby who assembled the frame for me and didn't laugh as I pounded in the tacks with a meat tenderizer! (Why yes, I am wayyyy too lazy to go downstairs to the garage for anything so pedestrian as a hammer when there is a perfectly acceptable substitute (i.e., "engineering equivalent") on the same floor as me!)

    My WIPs go to eleven.

    Old Geek-outs