Thursday, February 28, 2013

Theme-a-licious Figural February Wrap-Up

OK, it's time to face the music and see how far I really got on Autumn Queen. Here's where I was at the beginning of the month...
...and here's where I am now:
Not really a lot done, but it was a short month. And that Wisper is a pain! I'm sure we'll see her again during Amazon April. =)

I did finish my ornament!!

When I finished, did I sit around, basking in the glory of a job well done?

Nah, I started another one. ;)

Now it's time for...
March Madness
Work on something different every's madness...of the funnest possible kind.

First of all, Don't Panic. Second, you may have noticed that we're rather liberal with themes around here. =) This month is all about fun and challenging yourself. So if you normally work on only one thing at a time, why not pick a different project for the weekends? Or work on a different one each week? Whatever feels like "madness" to you, goes.

Usually I do stitch (or knit) on a differnt WIP each day, but I want to keep up with my chapter SAL, and I want to finish the ornament for the month. Therefore, I'm going to pick from the Sparkly Compote of Decree on every other day, and work on the ornament/SAL/whatever on the other days.

Speaking of the ornament...

Ornament Theme

I know, I know, most ornaments are somewhat 3D once finished. Try and stretch yourself a bit this month and make something that's a little more 3D. =) How about a biscornu? I'm going to make one of those Victoria Sampler houses. (Shhh...I may have already started one...).

So what was your final figure of WIPs this month? Please add your link below (to your wrap-up post), and visit some other Themers if you can (everyone loves comments and encouragement!) Our next post will be on the 15th of March, when we'll check in with March Madness!

1. Ruth's Little Leprechauns
2. Kerryp77
3. Serendipitous Jo
4. Katri
5. Lynda @ The Auld Grey Mare
6. Tiki Stitches
7. Nic @ DragonRambles
8. Laura
9. Karen - My Stitchy Ramblings
10. Topcho@ Bla bla bla
11. Karoline
12. Jackie
13. Just A Little Stitchin'
14. Gillie
15. Katie
16. TeresaB
17. Yana Hanim

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February Ornament

I finished my February ornament!!

Are those of you that were waiting for the snowman surprised? =)  I purposely picked a small one, given that it's a short month and I'll be out of town for a week. It actually took a lot longer than I thought. This was a design that was sold with the snowman button (he's about an inch and a half tall). I won't attach the button until I finish it, since the package is filled with DIRE WARNINGS about how FRAGILE FRAGILE FRAGILE the button is and that it will IMMEDIATELY BREAK if not handled with kid gloves. I'm not sure how I want to finish it. I'm thinking either a cube finish or framed. Opinions? =)

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Geekend That Was, 2/7 (ExtremeLateness and Sniffly IHSW edition)

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Thank you all for the well sinus infection is slooooowly going away. By Wednesday, I felt like I might possibly someday have a slight hope of feeling better. I'm still really tired and congested, but I'm miles away from how wretched I was over the weekend.

The good thing about being sick during an International Stitch and Hermit Weekend is that you're pretty much confined to the couch, anyway. The bad thing is that you really might not be feeling well enough to get very much done!

My Cookie A Sock Club yarn arrived, and it is GORGEOUS. It's Indigodragonfly MCN (merino, cashmere(!), nylon), and...did I mention it's gorgeous?
The color name is E Pluribus Nom Nom Nom...From Many Cookie Jars, One Cookie. <3;! See, with every club yarn shipment, you not only get TWO sock patterns, you also get TWO cookie recipes!! I was planning on baking some last weekend; however, see above, re: sinus infection and couch potatoing. Of course I cast on this gorgeous yarn immediately!
The first picture is more true to color. Also, I wound the yarn for the shawl (and by "I", I mean, "Michael"), because I really was going to CAST ON ALL THE THINGS, but I simply didn't have the energy.

I did finish all the stems on my stumpwork piece, though you may be hard-pressed to get very excited about this progress picture, since it's just more tiny wavy lines. Now comes a more fun (and terrifying) part: satin stitching all the holly leaves, then silk shading the rose and mistletoe leaves.
I only managed a couple holly leaves before the light and my strength failed me.

I did get a little done on Autumn Queen, but she'll be coming to a Theme-a-licious update near you soon. =)

It really felt like I did more...must have been the NyQuil talking.

Friday, February 15, 2013


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This weekend is IHSW! Unfortunately, the "S" stands for Sinus Infection. At least it's an excuse to stay on the couch.

I'd like to use some precious daylight to work on my stumpwork class:

I am so, So, SO far behind. These pathetic stems you see are about 1/4 of the FIRST part of lesson ONE. Lesson FOUR goes out next week. *Le sigh!*

Also, there is all this yarn lying around....

Nothing to see here. Seriously, this is the worst WIP picture ever, but it's all I got right now.

Theme-a-licious Figural February Check-In

Happy Late Valentine's Day, everybody! I am, once again, ridiculously behind on email/blog reading AND have a sinus infection. 2012, I thought we handled all this business already? Why are you invading 2013 with your germ-riddled time-warp nonsense??!?

Anyway! Let's get on with the update...

Remember how I took the picture of Autumn Queen at the beginning of the month, so that I could look back and see how much progress I'd made by comparing it to where I ended up? So I could feel good about how much I'd done?

Well, I'm going to wait until the end of the month to do that, because I'm pretty sure this one looks shockingly like that first one, except better lit.

I'm still plugging along on my ornament, which I thought was so small it was a lot like cheating, but now seems nothing like cheating...

I know, there's no snowman there yet, but HE'S COMING! The blue, by the way, is some mystery silk pearl (somewhere between #12 and #8) that I grabbed out of my stash in lieu of the DMC the chart called for. I finally unraveled the tag that was wrapped around it, since it is some of THE MOST gorgeous, soft, wonderful silk I've used. It's by Alyce Schroth. I Googled her and I don't think she makes it anymore. I have NO IDEA where I got it. Has anyone else used this wonderful stuff?

So how are your WIPs figuring into things this month? 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 28th of February, when we'll wrap up Figural February and talk about March Madness!

1. Kerryp77
2. Karen - My Stitchy Ramblings
3. Tiki Stitches
4. Lynda @ The Auld Grey Mare
5. Just A Little Stitchin'
6. Karoline
7. Serendipitous Jo
8. Laura
9. Katie
10. Gillie
11. Yana Hanim

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Monday, February 11, 2013

The Geekend That Was, 2/10 (I Need Yarn to Keep Me Warm Edition)

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Saturday was absolutely gorgeous! So, we headed to the Botanical Gardens.
However, the main attraction was indoors, since it was the first day of Orchid Daze!

I'll do a full post filled with orchid-y pictures later, but here's a teaser shot:
Probably my new desktop background. =)

I got some work done on my ornament for the month. It has an embellishment that requires the border to come out a certain size, and of course I don't have the exact fabric, so I've been having to fudge. The blue blocks below are supposed to be just four Xs (over two on 16-count!!!), but that looked too sparse to me (of course I changed the fibers, too). At first I did 16 Xs to cover the ares, but it looked too flat. So I changed to four rice stitches. Much better! I left in some of the Xs blocks below before I frogged them.
What do you think? Am I just nuts?

This week the first shipment for the Cookie A Sock Club arrives! I'm pretty ridiculously excited (especially now that I've gotten the pattern through Ravelry and know that my yarn is at the post office!!) I realized that I needed some smaller knitting needles, so I, of course, "needed" to order from KnitPicks. Of course, I "needed" to order a few more things to get free shipping, right? I mean, I'd be losing money if I didn't!
I ordered the Illuminated Lines collection, mainly for the sweater pictured there. And the kit for the hat was only ten bucks! I was pleasantly surprised that the hat kit came with the interfacing for the hat brim. But...did they really need to include this much for an 8" brim??

The final item in my package was the magazine containing a shawl pattern I saw on Mason Dixon Knitting and immediately knew I had to have!
It's pictured with some yarn I got at Stitches last year for a different shawl. But I decided I wasn't wild about the combination. I think this yarn will be AWESOME with this pattern. Very Cirque du Soleil!

Help me! I want to cast on ALL THE THINGS!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Watch Out! It's a TUSAL!

(What the heck is a TUSAL?)

Stickman's alarmed!
But there's no need to be. It's just this month's (rather hefty, if I do say so least for me) ort blob! Its heft is helped by some yarn scraps from the provisional cast-on of Juneberry and some yarn winding.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Starting Line

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I have not pulled out Autumn Queen in a very long time! So long, in fact, that I had fooled myself into thinking I was "almost" done with the bottom of her.
Yeah, not so much. I believe I remembered it that way because I had finally stitched the width of her. She only gets narrower from here on out! There is a whole lot of Wisper stitching in my future (can you see the start of it over there on the left?). I think I'm going to alternate stitching strands of Wisper with strands of color--any color! Although, I have to find that one color I tried to stitch with last night and couldn't find because I have obviously stolen on behalf of another project. Do you do that? Pillage one project for just a little bit of something for another...and then completely forget you did it??

Let's hope the picture at the end of the month shows a discernible difference....

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Geekend That Was, 2/3

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Not much happened this weekend...a lot of planning for my upcoming birthday trip to Disneyland (!!!) and lots of cooking of yummy soups. I made Sara's split pea soup (subbing some zucchini for the celery) and it was delish!! I was also obligated by law to make guacamole since 1) Super Bowl and 2) avocados were ON SALE.

I should have a progress picture of Autumn Queen tomorrow...or should I say, a "before" picture. I'd post it now, but I'm out of time because the hubby wants to watch SMASH!

Any excuse for guacamole.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Not January, and Not an Ornament

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I keep forgetting to mention that I was going to join this SAL this year! We're supposed to check in the last Wednesday of the month...ooops. I also didn't finish my ornament for January! I picked one that was stitched on 36 count, and that was a really bad idea for a month where it's dark by 5:15 PM. The good news is, now that it's the end of the month, it's dark by 6 PM instead, and it's just going to keep getting better! The bad news is, here's what my ornament looked like at the end of the month:
This is going to be Christmas Tree Farm by Milady's Needle from the Just Cross Stitch 2008 ornament issue.

I've picked a MUCH smaller ornament for February, so I expect success! (Actually, I picked three...maybe I can "catch up"!)

To visit other blogs where people might actually have finished their ornaments, click here!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Winner and a "Fuedal" Story

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Thanks to all of you that visited my blog during the Grow Your Blog Party! I'm still working on visiting everyone myself!

So have you all been waiting with bated breath to know what three things I won from Richard Dawson?

Well, those of you who just typed "Richard Dawson" into the search box on the blog haven't been. =) (This is what I expected you to do, by the way! I tried to make it easy, but I guess I failed!) The answer was ten dollars, a bouquet of Tootsie Roll Pops (his "thing" to give out...although most people just got one) and a kiss (every women who set foot on the stage got one of those, too ;).

Without further ado, the winner is...


Please email me your mailing address and I'll start to ruminate on what I'm going to make. =)

Now, here is the whole story, which I haven been threatening to tell for a while. When I was in the fifth grade (10 or 11), we went out to visit my sister in California. At the time, we were HUGE fans of Family Fued, so we decided to audition for the show while we were out there. Unfortunately, at the time they had specific weeks when "out of town" families were to audition (so they could film them the same week), and we weren't there during that time. I think the lady who we auditioned for really liked us; even as young as I was I could tell she was thinking hard about how she could fit us in the schedule, but it wasn't to be. She did, however, give us tickets to a taping.

At the the time, I was trying to be a preppy young thing, so I was wearing a plaid pleated skirt, blue blazer and red sweater with a white monogram, similar to this one...

In this style of sweater, the initial of your last name was placed in the center, with your first initial on the left and your middle on the right. This will be important later in the story.

During the taping, whenever there was a break, a producer would come out and take questions from the audience. Sometimes they would invite the questioner on to the stage and film a little "bit" with her (I don't think there were any men who asked questions, LOL!). These "bits" were always placed in the show just after a commercial break, I assume to pad out the show to the proper time. For instance, one woman got up on stage because she had bet her mother-in-law that she could meet Richard, so they filmed a bit with her where Richard admonished the mother-in-law for being so hard on her daughter-in-law.

My mom desperately wanted me to ask a question, but when I was a kid, I was a strange mix of bold and shy. By the third show taping (they did a few at a time), I was almost ready to go. I said to her, "What should I ask?"

My mom replied, "Just raise your hand and say, 'I came the whole way from Mississippi to get a kiss from you.'"

So I did.

This, surprisingly, was not the embarrassing part.

Richard happened to be walking back on the stage just about the time I piped up with my question, and he asked the producer what I'd said. When the producer told him, he said, "Tell her to come down here."

So I traipsed down onto the stage and shook his hand, and they explained they were going to roll the cameras and I should just talk to Richard. To start, he asked me to repeat what I'd said in the audience, which I did, causing laughter all around. I don't remember what else he asked me, until....

"That's a nice sweater. What do those initials stand for?"

"Heather Dawn Stehman."

At this point, Richard looked a bit confused, so in my childish authority, I explained to the stupid grown-up by pointing to each letter as I said my name again. More laughter. "They put your last initial in the middle," I supplied.

"Who's 'they'? Who made this sweater?" he asked.

I was stumped. We had bought the sweater in a store, and I wasn't personally acquainted with the person (team? elves?) who had manufactured it. I believe I got out an eloquent, "Uhhhh..." before Richard came to my rescue with "The people at the store, yes?"

"Yes!" I cried, "The people at the store!"

"Well then," said Richard, "don't you think they should have put your middle initial in the middle, and your last initial on the right, so they would be in order?"

I paused and considered. "Well, yeah, that does seem pretty logical."

The audience exploded with laughter. Apparently, a 10-year-old child breaking out with the word "logical" was too much for them. I had no idea what was going on. Richard immediately demanded an entire bouquet of Tootsie Roll pops and said, "Who's got ten dollars?" A hapless stage hand or camera operator pulled out his wallet and handed Richard a ten dollar bill (I often wondered if he ever got paid back). They edited this part out of the broadcast. Then he gave me the lollipops, the ten bucks "for saying that seems logical," and a kiss, on the lips (which I returned with a "MWAH!", giving my mother no end of amusement).

When I got back to my seat, I told my mom he wasn't a very good kisser.

Now comes the embarrassing part. I went to a pretty small school, so when the story got out that I was going to be ON TV, the WHOLE SCHOOL watched it. I found out and demanded to stay home that day. For the next year at least, everyone made my life miserable by quoting "that does seem logical" at me or calling me "Miss Logical" (which is not really an insult, but you know how kids can make practically anything sound horrible).

The real loser in this story, however, was the woman whose mother-in-law didn't believe she could meet Richard. Her "bit" was taped during the same show as mine, but apparently there wasn't time to put both in, and I, the "cute kid" won out. I hope that somehow, her mother-in-law believed her without the film evidence, but from her story, I kind of doubt it. I'm so sorry, random woman! I felt bad about it even as a kid!

And that's the whole story. =)

Ah, show business!

Old Geek-outs