Friday, January 31, 2014

January Just Nan SAL Check In

First of all, thank you for all the well wishes on the weather here! Two inches of snow doesn't usually shut down the city, but two inches of ice almost certainly will. I've had many people who lived for years in the North tell me that they can't deal with ice, either, LOL! =)

Today is the first check in for the Just Nan Stitch Along, hosted by Zeb at Keep Calm and Cross Stitch. I thought I had a lot of Just Nan pieces hanging out in my stash, but you should see some of the lists of the others participating! Makes me feel quite sensible for once. ;) You can see a lot of eye candy by visiting this month's check-in page here. Zeb is kindly hosting all the blogless stitchers' check-ins.

As for me, I mentioned earlier that it felt like a victory just FINDING Lady Scarlet's Journey and all her pieces-parts that were scattered all over. So, I didn't get that much stitching done on Part II.

But it seems my own "journey" to track down all the supplies is not over, since the first color I wanted to stitch with wasn't to be found in the container with the other threads! If only I'd leave myself a note when I steal from one project to stitch another....

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A "Great" Way to Kill 9 Hours

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Yeah. So THAT happened.
Notice all the cars on the left whose brake lights AREN'T on? That's because they've been abandoned. And the only reason there's free space on the road is because we just made our way past a couple jackknifed tractor trailers, and the road there is a solid sheet of ice. Anyone not in our lane eventually slid over to the left.

In case you haven't heard, Atlanta experienced extreme gridlock last night (and today) due to unexpected snow volume. As a Southern city in a Southern state, we don't have a lot of snowplows lying around gathering dust, so when the weather forecasters say most of the storm is going to hit South of the city, what equipment the state does have is deployed there. And then when the storm actually hits the metro area, in the middle of the day, and EVERYONE leaves at once so the salt trucks can't even get on the highways, and all the tractor trailers don't have snow tires and spin out, you end up with people stuck on the highways overnight.

We were "lucky" and got home by 1am. I considered telling you the whole epic story of Michael's three hour journey to get me from five miles away, our hour quest to find an open restaurant (FAIL), and six hour journey to travel the fourteen miles home. But really, do you want to read all that? No! Let's look at some pretty snow instead!
I was hoping to add a snowman to this view, but of course my office, although closed, "encouraged" us to work from home, even though everyone had not even made it home! They're going to be open tomorrow, even though the Georgia Emergency Management Agency has issued a civil emergency message requesting that everyone stay off the roads until noon. I'm extremely disappointed in my company! I'll be working from home again.

At least I have plenty of cookies to keep me company.
Walnut Crescents, courtesy of the Cookie A Sock Club. My next shipment arrives next week...squee!

I'm just happy to be home.

+10 Geek Points for getting the top graphic reference. =)

January Smalls Check-in

Today is check-in day for the 2014 Smalls guys, I actually finished the (very small) small I set out to make!! It's the first Dragonlet of Dragon Dreams' 12 Dragonlets of Christmas. And I shall show you, in a stunning display of the magic of backstitching!

Cute blob, eh? There's a tree, but what's going on there??

D''s a cute lil' dragon trying to fulfill his daily fruit requirement! I love how my wacky French knot makes the partridge look vaguely he's super glad the dragon's not ALSO trying to get his protein for the day.

Monday, January 20, 2014

IHSW Results

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This past weekend was International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, and although I didn't *technically* hermit, I did get a good bit of stitching done.

Friends were in town, so the three of use doing a SAL on Spring Garden Gate got some work's where mine stood at the end of the weekend.
It seems like things went so fast once those crazy faux bullions were done!

The same three of us (plus one more) are working on a Rosewood Manor seasonal Quakers...two of us are doing Summer, one is doing Spring, and one is doing Winter. I finished the first motif...
I'd normally start in the center, but the pattern "insisted" that we start in the top left corner. I did make a change so that the flowers were blue...they were supposed to be orange, but orange and I don't get along. I spent a lot of time stitching every other color in that motif, so that I'd be able to "stand" the orange once it was amid the other colors, when I finally realized no one was making me stitch this thing exactly as charted! I'm much happier. =)

I finally managed to track down the elusive Lady Scarlet's Journey!
I didn't actually DO anything to it, but it felt like a victory tracking down the piece, charts and fibers, which were in three separate places (none of which were located where I thought they'd be).

I did make a small start on my small for the month, but there's not much to see yet. (Small start...heh.)

I have to show off my Christmas present from DF Teresa (finishing provided by DF Jean):
Isn't this the coolest cuff?? There are a couple more peacocks on either end. I'm a lucky girl. =)

We came, we stayed, we stitched.

Theme-a-licious February is...

Fantastical Fiction February!
What kind of fantasy creatures inhabit your Works in Progress? Or perhaps some fictional characters have leaped from the pages to your needles? Let's stitch on projects inspired by imagination.

This theme comes to us courtesy of Shebafudge! Well, her suggestion was "Fantasy February", but I thought I'd "embellish" it a little. =) Now, you have over a week to plot out your plans before our check-in on February first. Shebafudge, please email me your mailing address so I can get a prize in the mail to you. =)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The House That NyQuil Built

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So...yeah. I didn't mean to disappear for over a week, there, but illness has been running rampant through the Lottloft. First I was down with the start of a sinus infection, but I thought my few days of rest had me getting better. Then Michael fell to a wicked bout of bronchitis, where his fever climbed to 103 (of course, the day AFTER he went to the doctor, who told him his fever "wasn't high enough" to warrant any actual drugs). He was barely on the mend before I started a post nasal drip like a faucet, lost my voice and ended up incapacitated until...well, I'm still kind of incapacitated, but at least today, the thought of lifting the laptop onto my lap doesn't seem impossible. That's how fatigued I was...going up OR down the stairs required both hands on the handrails and a 10-minute nap. But I digress. (FINALLY, I hear you all saying!)

Before all that nonsense started, I was beginning to make some progress. I finished my sister's second mitt. You already know what it looks like, but I did want to get a good picture of the cuff before picking up the stitches for the mitt itself.
So, it's not a "good" picture, but at least you can see the design on the cuff.

I also did some work on Spring Garden Gate, while binge-watching Broadchurch in two nights. (OH MY GOSH, how great...and DISTURBING!!!...was that series??)
So happy those faux bullion knots are done now. They take FOREVER. I will hopefully do a little more work on this over the weekend when some stitching peeps are coming in town!

Before the illness set in, I was hoping to make a trip to the Gardens once the polar vortex had whirled its way out of town, so that I could play with one of my new Christmas toys...A MACRO LENS!! Instead, I shivered my way around the loft and took a few shots. Please enjoy my wonky faux bullions...they are ready for their closeup!
Hmm...or maybe not. These are definitely the best of the bunch! I'm not 100% sure I *want* to see my stitching this close, but you know you guys are going to benefit when Orchid Daze hits in just a few weeks!!

Later today...the Theme-a-licious February theme announcement!! (Unless I pass out first, in which case it will be tomorrow. =)

Sickness reigns, but things are looking up...and UP CLOSE!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Year of Gardens and Other SALs

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I believe I mentioned in my Theme-a-licious post that my EGA chapter is having a year-long SAL (Stitch-A-Long) with the theme being "Gardens". At the same time, they are also having a 2014 Stitching Challenge where finishes that you declare at the beginning of the year get you entries into a raffle. So, I decided to combine the two and try to finish three garden pieces.

First off, I would like to finish the Jane Nicholas stumpwork class piece (hereafter known as Medieval Floral):
I think this is doable.

Next up: Shakespeare's Garden
This piece is left over from the last time I attempted a "Crazy January"...I picked 11 pieces to start/finish in 2011 (some were starts and some were WIPs). Yeah...that didn't work out so well for me. I maybe I have eventually finished a whopping FIVE, but this finish will at least put me at more than half. I figure I can do another Crazy January once I finish these eleven!

A couple of friends and I are going to try to get Spring Garden Gate done. I had a wee bit started already, but this is where I was after picking it up on the 1st:

The same two friends and I are going to start a Rosewood Manor Quakers piece. Two of us are doing Spring and the other is doing Summer.
I do NOT expect to come close to finishing this during the year, so it won't be part of the Stitching Challenge.

And here's another random garden-themed piece that might get some work done on it..Sanctuary by The Drawn Thread.
This piece is such a pleasure to's done all in Needlepoint Inc. silks.

I'll be participating in the Just Nan Stitch Along with Lady Scarlet's Journey, which seems to be awfully shy. I can't find a single picture I've taken of it, and it seems to have avoided my camera today as well...hmmm.... I have plenty of other Just Nan pieces to carry on with (Barnabee's Quest, for one).

I did not do so well with the ornament SAL last year, so this year, I'm trying to pick the smallest possible smalls for this year's SAL. Bonnie kindly sent me the 12 Dragonlets of 2012 (with the designer's permission), since I'm not on Facecrook. I think I can get one of these done a month.

Now I just need to attack that finished pile of ornaments that need to become three-dimensional....

Gardens all year long...and I plan to finish at least three!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bandwagon, Let Me Jump on You

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I have never been one to do what all the cool kids are doing, but I found a freebie mosaic-maker (which has plastered its watermark all over the collages since I didn't want to pay for the "pro" version), so I thought I'd join in the fun of reviewing my 2013 finishes.

First off, sewing finishes.
Two boxy bags, a drawstring bag, and a pillow. Not great, but I don't sew regularly since I have no sewing room and I have to haul everything out every time I want to do anything.

Next, knitting finishes!
Much more impressive! Seven pairs of socks, two sweaters (!!!), three cowls, and a mitt. The socks are, of course, due to the fact that I joined the Cookie A Sock Club. Seven pairs out of a possible twelve (if I'd knit all the patterns) isn't too bad.

Finally, stitching finishes!
Well, that is...embarrassing. Pretty much all ornaments, there. One small silk gauze pin and the perforated paper "ornament" that will be finished as a cube, I think.

I hope to finish more stitching in 2014! Tomorrow I'll post about some SALs I'm taking part in that will hopefully help me to that goal!

I finished some stuff last year, for sure, but hopefully next year's stitching total won't be so depressing.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Theme-a-licious December/January

It's a new year of themeing! A special welcome to those of you who are joining us for the first time. I have a bunch of emails I need to respond to with some great theme suggestions...I'm sorry I haven't been able to get back to all of you, but as you may have seen, things were a little crazy around here.

This is going to be the most bizarre Theme-a-licious wrap up I've ever done...because there is NO STITCHING! There is knitting...and SEWING!

First off, this is the little drawstring bag I wanted to give my niece for Christmas along with the portable iPod speaker we gave her. But getting things in the mail is always exciting, right??
This is the first time I've tried out the decorative stitches/monograms on my sewing machine. I think it turned out not too shabby. Especially since I made the bag with no directions, and also decided to try French seams, because WHY NOT?? It would have been too easy otherwise, and we can't have that, now can we??!?

While I had the sewing machine out, I finally FINALLY made the second pillow from the sewing class I took...uh...last year sometime? (And by "last year", I mean 2012...I'm not even taking advantage of New Year date flip irony.)
They look roughly the same, so I'm satisfied.

Next, I picked up Juneberry Triangle on a whim and realized I was close to finishing "Chart B", so I did. It went so quickly that I decided to also do "Chart C", which was only three rows, and that went so well I decided to do the first row of "Chart D" so I could get in a new lifeline. Aaaaand...that row probably took longer than all the other ones put together! It's why I don't have a nice scissors fob finish to show know, actual stitching!
Also why I had to take a crappy flash photo.

And speaking of crappy photos, I completely forgot to take a picture of my sister's mitt (errr...might have had something to do with the fact that I finished it at 10:30pm the night before I was going to give it to her). I had her take a couple with her phone.
Actually, they aren't so bad. But they don't show the gorgeousness of this yarn (Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label Cashmere Sock). It's a beautiful subtly variegated minty green and is THE softest yarn I've ever felt.
I might need to make myself a pair of these rather than socks (this is Cookie A Sock Club yarn). The "real" gift was antique buttons, but I thought it would be nice to have them attached to something.

Now it's time to share our plans for THIS month, which is...

Jardin January
The holidays were a little stressful...let's relax in a nice garden. Work on any piece with flowers or gardens.

Now, it just so happens that my EGA chapter's stitch-along theme for the year is "Gardens" (I may have helped finagle innocently suggested that. ;) I had intended to post a whole list of garden-related WIPs that I intend to work on, but things have been a little more hectic than I'd planned. I will be starting two pieces, though...Spring Garden Gate by Moss Creek Designs, and Spring Quakers by Rosewood Manor. I'll also be working on Shakespeare's Garden and my stumpwork piece. Oh, and Juneberry Triangle, because that totally fits with the Garden theme since it has the word "berry" in the title. See, for those of you that are new, that's how we work things around here. ;)

So how was Detritus December? Did you wrap anything up besides presents? What are your plans for Jardin January? Please add your link below (to your latest Theme-a-licious post), and visit some other Themers if you can (everyone loves comments and encouragement!) Unlike last year, there will be no check-in post on the 15th, so our next post will be on February 1st. I'll post mid-January to announce the theme for February (and the prize winner)! It's never too late to join in or send suggestions for future themes!

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