Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hallowe'en Blog Hop

Happy Hallowe'en!

Jo at Serendipitous Stitching is hosting a Hallowe'en Blog Hop! Originally I didn't think I'd be able to participate since I don't usually decorate for Hallowe'en. Then I remembered this piece! Perfect for a night filled with ghoulies and ghosties, yes? It's actually four sides of a box:

Ah, but the real reason you're here is for a letter, isn't it? Well, have I got a TREAT for you...I give you NOT ONLY a letter, but also a piece of punctuation! Here it is...


Yup, that's an apostrophe and an S! Now you should head over to Blue Star Stitcher's blog to look for another letter. And stay away from those ghoulies. =)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Theme-a-licious Obligation October Wrap-Up

I had three obligations this month: Two classes and an ornament for my sister.

The last of my sewing classes was "Aprons", where I made this "tool apron":
I have no idea what I'll use it for, but it was more about the learning process than the end product.

The supplies for my sister's ornament have not arrived yet, but I may have come up with another idea for her....

I have been trying to keep up with my stumpwork class. I'm a little behind, but hopefully I will have time to catch up this weekend. Here's where I am right now, with all the branches and leaves finished:
Some nice beads get added for berries, but not until the very last step. The bird is next!

Now it's time for...
Nail It November
What's lying around that's so close to being finished you can't stand it anymore? Get to it and finish it!

This month is all about Random Thoughts! It's time to be done!!! I also would like to finish...
  • My sister's ornament
  • My Origami Turtle (it "just" needs to be seamed and have its edge knit)
  • Silver Rose, a hat I stopped knitting halfway through

What's on your list that just needs to be FINISHED, ALREADY??!?

So did your Obligation October go? What's on tap for Nail It November? (See what I did there? ;) Please add your link below (to your check-in post), and visit some other Themers if you can (everyone loves comments and encouragement!) Our next post will be on the 15th, when we'll check in for Nail It November. And don't worry if you haven't posted before...just jump in whenever.

1. Joanne P - First again!
2. Jackie
3. Sue
4. Yana Hanim
5. Karoline

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Monday, October 29, 2012

The Geekend That Was, 10/28

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The weekend felt productive, even though there were a lot of chores that didn't get done! Saturday morning I had my final sewing class, so I hauled the machine to a storage facility one last time (they're still in temporary digs). I wasn't that excited about the class, because it was "aprons". I already have three (cooking) aprons, so I decided to make the "tool belt" apron (it also required only 1/2 yard of fabric, which I had lying might recognize it =).

In the end, I was SO glad I went to class. I don't think I've ever taken a class in which I haven't learned something, and this one was no exception. So without further ado, behold my apron!
Action shot!
I'm pretty pleased with how the pleated pockets turned out (they're pleated so you can cram more stuff in 'em).
I also learned that bias tape is awesome, and my previous failures with it were because...well, because I didn't know what the heck I was doing, but also because I was trying to use it without thinking about the construction of what I was making, and because I wasn't pinning in advance of sewing! I will always, always, ALWAYS pin now.

Flush with success, I decided I was going to finally try to replicate this bag, which I bought to hold Les Rubans.
I wanted another one like it to house Sapphire Star (which is much smaller and would be swallowed in this size of bag). This was the best bag I had for it!
So sad. So check out what I came up with!
I didn't have a pattern other than the existing bag, so I just winged it.
Now Sapphire Star has its own custom bag. Much better.

After I finished the bag, we went and voted! Voting was in a library branch, so afterwards we were involuntarily sucked in to look at the books. They create their own gravitational pull, you know. We may have brought home a few.

On Sunday after church, we met some friends for lunch and then went to a dedication for the new sorority house on campus. When I lived there, 14 people lived in four rooms in the house. Now about 40 live in 20 rooms, and there's a huge kitchen with a chef! (Who, as an aside, was a bit too handsome to be a chef in a sorority house, if you ask me.) When we got home, I demanded cocoa because I was so cold. I mean, I was told that when it got cold, there would be cocoa, so it was only fair. What's the point of cold weather if there's no cocoa, anyway?

Sewing class has, at the very least, given me confidence to try and figure things out on my own.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spooky WIPocalypse of Spookiness

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oooOOOOoooo!! It's a spooky WIPocalypse update just in time for Hallowe'en! Just look at the ghostly progress I've made since the last WIPocalypse report:

Wait. What? You can't see it? Well, it IS ghostly, after all... Perhaps you need to be looking at it from a Doom Buggy?

Oh, OK!!! I confess!! I have made very little progress since the last WIPocalypse udpate!! Most of my stitching time has been spent on the stumpwork class I signed up for. The only other thing I worked on was Ye Shall Prosper, and I did finish the other side of the pincushion I was working on:

I did update my WIPocalypse page with all the latest shots, so...that's...something, right??

For actual, in the flesh WIPocalypse progress, visit Measi's blog by clicking on the graphic at the top of this post!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Geekend That Was, 10/21 (IHSW Edition! Finally!)

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This weekend was International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, and for once, I actually got some stitching done!

I needed to make a start on the class I'm taking (a stumpwork class through the Shining Needle Society). Even though I'm a major world-class pro at wasting time and doing nothing, I did manage to at least mount the fabric on Friday. First I had to mount the muslin, which is the backing fabric.
Giant tacks are giant. This is the finest muslin I've ever seen. I hope I can track more down in the future. I was supposed to use a light box to trace the design on the Dupioni silk, but I don't have one. So I just used the window. It was there, plus it gave me an added bonus of the pressure of a deadline...SUN SETTING! MUST FINISH NOW!!

Next, I mounted the Dupioni silk over top of the muslin. It was kind of tricky to stretch.
It's not quite straight, but it will do to be going on. I did trace the design twice so I can play around with different stitches and techniques a bit. And yes, I did use a meat tenderizer to pound in the tacks. And an oven rack puller to measure. What?

I stitched the branches, but I didn't get a final picture. Here's most of them done.
Unfortunately, my assignment was to finish the branches AND leaves. Oh well... Oh! And in case you can't tell, this is going to be a bird sitting on a branch. =)

I also finished the other side of the pincushion for Ye Shall Prosper.
Now I "just" have to do the chain stitch all the way around both pieces. *yawn!*

Sunday after church we went to a "family concert" at the Symphony Hall. Many of the orchestra members were in costume:
The program was "Halloween at Hogwarts," so of course we dressed like wizards...
...wizards who were about to go play Quidditch! =)

I have to say I probably won't go to another "family concert". The problem was not the many children in attendance! There were other problems...
  • The conductor was, perhaps, the WORST public speaker I have ever heard. He should have had a writer and a teleprompter.
  • The brass section had a couple solo pieces, and they were pretty sloppy. This was especially shocking to me since our symphony orchestra is excellent!
  • There was dancing during some of the pieces. I could write an entire post about the "quality" of the staging, "costumes" and movement...but I will spare you.
  • The final piece was the finale from "The Firebird"...and they used it as a CURTAIN CALL for the dancers (and the magician...did I mention there was a "magician", too?) The conductor was speaking over the entire thing, and the audience was clapping. Over the music. Of THE FIREBIRD.
*ahem* I'll stop there. =)

Afterwards we went to Ye Olde Trendy Burger Place (Flip Burger Boutique). Exhibit 1: Chorizo burger (spiced pork with hashbrowns, manchego, paprika, almond romesco and smoked mayonaise, topped with a fried egg). Actually, that sounds kind of disgusting all together, but it was DELICIOUS!
Served with ginger bacon Brussels sprouts!!

Exhibit 2: Pumpkin pie shake with caramel and graham cracker crumbs.
Made with liquid nitrogen. Not as a component, as a freezing agent.

While we were there I was shocked to look up and see our mayor at the next table...just with his wife, no entourage or anything. I never thought I'd be eating a French fry's throw from the mayor of Atlanta!

Actual stitching!! And bacon!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stealth TUSAL

(What's a TUSAL?)

Here's a Stealth Squirrel's eye view of last month's TUSAL.

I was pretty sure you wouldn't be able to see the paltry orts from the side...I considered including a magnifying glass!

Stealth Squirrel has been moving around every couple days, as expected. =)

Want to join in the Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long? Click the link at the top of the post!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Geekend that Was, 10/14

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I think the post-vacation lack of stress is wearing off. Today my project manager had to ask me if I was OK after a meeting. I try so hard to control my "I want to kill someone" face, but it gets to where I forget what neutral, non-scowling feels like.

But I digress. Saturday we went out to see Michael's parents and they took us to Stone Mountain because it's time once again for...
This event has been put on by ART Station for 27 years this year! You walk through the historic village portion of Stone Mountain by lantern-light, hearing storytellers tell ghost stories (most of which are humorous, so it's very kid-friendly). I love this event; you never know what stories you are going to get, or what's going to happen. We had the added "feature" of the fireworks going on during our tour, so it was fun to see how each storyteller worked the loud BOOMs into their stories. =) (A lot of them also worked in the number 27 in honor of 27 years...but I don't think they all did. I'd love to hear if you can confirm or deny if you go! Advance tickets are only $12 and proceeds go to support live theater!)

You weren't supposed to take pictures during the storytelling, but I did hang back at the end of one of the stories told in the cookhouse (most are outside) and got our lovely storyteller to mug for the camera. =)

Sunday was errands, church, football (what a crazy Falcons game...yes, sadly we've taken to watching professional football since college football's been so atrocious this season), choir, etc....but we did find this (at Target, of all places):
SQUIRREL!!!! Michael calls him "Stealth Squirrel" because he says he's rendered like the Stealth Bomber (it makes sense to me but I'm sure I'd understand better if I'd spent more time in CAD programs!) I have a feeling Stealth Squirrel will not remain stationary in the Lottloft....

Go see A Tour of Southern Ghosts at Stone Mountain if you're in Atlanta! =)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Theme-a-licious Obligation October Check-in

I don't have a lot to show so far for this month. I did pick an ornament to make for my sister (What Can I Give Him? by Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches from the JCS 2009 issue...NO GOOGLING, Carrie-my-niece!) However, I had to order fabric and some fibers...hopefully I'll at least be able to make a START on it this month.

I have been working on my I Can Knit Anything for an Hour (ICKAH) scarf...I showed it off recently, but here it is again:

My final obligation for the month is to keep up with an online stumpwork class I'm taking through the Shining Needle Society.
Behold! I have opened the kit and everything!! Actually, I have done a lot of reading, but I really need to mount my fabric and get things started.

I'm also starting to think about Theme-a-licious 2013! I have had a blast doing this and I hope you've enjoyed participating, too. There are some themes from this year that worked really well, some better than I'd hoped (*ahem*MarchMadness*ahem*), and some that need replacing. Feel free to start brainstorming with me (like, in the comments =) on some new themes for next year!

So how is October going? Is it relieving holiday pressure or just stressing you out way ahead of time? =) Please add your link below (to your check-in post), and visit some other Themers if you can (everyone loves comments and encouragement!) Our next post will be on the 31st, when we'll wrap up Obligation October and talk about Nail It November. And don't worry if you haven't posted before...just jump in whenever.

1. Joanne P - First again!

2. Karoline

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Fun WIPocalypse

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I should have been posting this just as I disembarked (what a crazy word, eh?) from the Disney Fantasy after a week of sun, fun and food. But mostly food. In fact, I probably rolled off the ship.

Anyway! Here's all the progress I made on my WIPocalypse projects before I boarded!


Yep, that's right. Notadarnthing. Instead I was packing and trying to find small, cool presents for Michael that he could play with on board the ship (I mostly succeeded). And trying to make door magnets for us:

I kept adding new ones every day. And since I am a princess ninja (according to my hubby), I was able to do it without him seeing me do it, even though he was standing right next to me (like, inches away).

But you're here for stitching!! Well, have I got something for you!
It's a little something, but it's something nonetheless. I hope to do better this month...but it's already not looking good.

For people who actually made WIPocalypse progress, visit Measi's blog by clicking on the graphic at the top of this post!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WIP Wednesday (I can do anything for an hour edition)

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Sue at Craft the Final Frontier challenged me to a KAL on a very old scarf. I'm not sure what pattern hers is, but mine's Wavy (Rav link). Behold! The most boring scarf ever!
It's knit with Lion Brand Wool Ease, which I thought was the AWESOMEST YARN EVER when I bought it...oh, probably six years ago right after I learned to knit. (I don't really know how old this is, but I don't even own the chair in the picture on the Ravelry page anymore!) I call this KAL the "I Can Knit Anything for an Hour" KAL (ICKAH for short!) I'm knitting on it for (at least) an hour during Dancing with the Stars each Monday (all two so far).

Anyone else want to join us?

For more interesting Works in Progress, head over to Tami's Amis!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Geekend That Was, 10/7

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Wish I were here.

The post-vacation glow has continued for a week. And my tan doesn't look bad, either. =) But seriously, post-vacation means that work doesn't get me nearly so stressed. I'm a lot more likely to say, "Eh, who cares?" Unfortunately, that carries over into other areas, like...say...BLOGGING. Eventually vacation pictures will make it here!

Nothing happened on Friday. Like, I did not do one useful thing. OK, I maybe did some laundry. Saturday we were attacked by ants, and since Michael had to run sound (AGAIN), I spent the morning trying to figure out where the little buggers were coming from. Oh, the crazy, madcap existence I lead! That afternoon we went to Six Flags for a company-sponsored "family fun" day. While it's awesome to go there for free, there were certain disadvantages:
  • We went there last year, too. A little Six Flags goes a looong way.
  • We just got back from a Disney cruise. Their cruise ships are incredibly well-maintained and incredibly clean. Six Flags is, well...not.
  • It was the first weekend of Fright Nights, so there were approximately one billion people there. And they were all in line for the one ride I've never been on and wanted to go on. Actually, that's not true. ALL the lines were insane. But I couldn't make myself wait TWO HOURS for one ride, no matter how awesome it may be.

Sunday after church and lots of errands, I went to choir practice. And it was AWESOME! It was the most guys I think I've sung with since Georgia Tech (and that is the only mixed choir I've ever seen that had twice as many men as women...if you're not a music geek, that's really the ideal choir...TONS of basses, fewer tenors, fewer altos and a few sopranos). It was just so good to be with a group that didn't need the same line played five times to get it. Don't get me wrong; our past church choirs have managed to produce an amazing sound with very few people. But I think this one is going to be really great.

I must get over my huge case of Can't Be Bothered.

Old Geek-outs