Friday, June 8, 2012

I'm late! I'm late for a very important date!

I keep meaning to post an update on my May goals list and I keep getting lost in Diablo 3. Not sure how I end up there instead of here, but it keeps happing. Tonight my husband is supposed to be playing with my brother and friends, so I figured I'd get some time to post about my completed May Goals. So far, he's not playing with anyone though, so not sure how long I'll be here, so I better get down to business!

 May's goals were to finish my desk, which you saw in a previous post. I love it. I am now going to paint a small wood bookcase the same color and put it in my crafting area. I am also going to line the drawers with fabric since I cant find any contact paper I like. I found a nice tutorial at Infarrantly Creative. I have the fabric I want to use already in my stash and I made an emergency run to Joann's today to get the fabric Modge Podge. Maybe I should put the bookcase and the drawers in my June Goals instead of the other stuff I put up. Hmmm.

 My next finish is the cover for my husband's chair. He's a big Star Trek and Big Bang Theory fan. So in the BBT episode where they have a Gorn sitting in Sheldon's seat, my husband went crazy. I knew I had to somehow stitch this up for him. I found a cute little cross stitch Gorn designed by Black-Lupin on Deviant Art.  It says "No, Gorn, No! That's where I sit." which is the quote from BBT.  I think it came out pretty cute and the husband loves it.

I dont have any pictures of my progress on Growth Rings.  It wasnt too much anyway.  I've not been stitching anyway.  Another reason for no pictures is that my camera cant decide if it wants to work or not.  Today, it doesnt.  Thankfully it did when I was taking pictures of the other items.

My last May goal was to do something small.  I didnt have anything in mind when I posted that goal.  I just like to have it in there, just in case.  I really love this last one though.  I think it was a stroke of genius!  Well, crafting genius!  Ok, probably not genius, but clever?  Anyway, my cousin loves to do origami.  He makes these cute little dragons that are about the size of a quarter. I have 2 of them and they've been stashed in a plastic toothpick container since I know my cats would just love to eat a couple of little dragons.  They didnt seem happy in the container...the dragons, not the cats.  So I decided to repurpose my husband's dice box he had.  I knew that the dragon needed a hoard, cause that's what dragons do.  So I made him a hoard of gold, silver and gems...or as they are known in the crafting world, seed beads and bugle beads. I also added a little sword bead I had laying around.  He's quite happy now.  I just need to make his sister a hoard as well so she'll be happy too.  I think I'll make her's a little girlyer though.

And here's a pic with a quarter next to him so you'll get an idea of his size.
Adorable, yes??  I think he needs a name now.  Maybe that should go on my June Goals as well.  Maybe I just need to scrap the June Goals and start all over. LOL

Friday, June 1, 2012

STNA Blog Hop #3 Setting goals.

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop
Do you set stitching goals for yourself and how do you plan them out? (Weekly, monthly, annually?) What are your current stitching goals (if you don’t mind sharing)? In addition to setting goals for yourself, do you have a special reward that you reserve for when you reach a stitching goal?
I go on and off with the goal setting for my crafting.  On one hand, I like the freedom to do whatever I feel like doing with my time restraints, no must do items, do pressure at all.  It is a hobby after all.  On the other hand, I like the feeling of finishing something in a timely manner.  I like to remind myself of the great idea I want to do.  Goals help me with that.

Left to my own devices I'd have 101 WIPs laying around the house.  I wouldn't have a single finish anywhere.  I'd have magazine clippings and internet bookmarks of all sorts of cool stuff I intended to do, but never got around to doing.

For the last few months I have been setting up realistic goals for myself.  That seems to be the key to goal setting.  I have done this before where I'd set unrealistic goals (ie: start and complete a full sized HAED design).  Yeah, that just doesn't happen.  Then I'd get bummed out that my goals weren't reached and that I was a loser in the crafting world! Oh woe is me! *dramatic hand on forehead*   Lately I have been better about planning out my goals.  Doing an item that needs to be done (finishing up something that is 30 minutes from being done, or covering my ironing board), something small, but fun, and making progress on an ongoing larger project.  I'll toss in another item here and there depending on birthdays, holidays, etc.  I think the goal for goal setting for a hobby is to be kind to yourself.  Don't overburden yourself with goals and make sure they are items that can and will be done.

I managed to finish May's goals.  I'll post pictures in a day or two.  I am still waiting for the glue to dry on one of them.  I am still considering June's goals.  I think my brain has a case of the "Summers".  It's kind of like a case of the "Mondays", but last for 3 months. Ha!

June Goals: 

  1. Put an extra layer of padding on my ironing board.
  2. Make progress on Growth Rings
  3. Finish up How Does Your Garden Grow (may blend into a July goal, as I can't remember how much I still have left to do and haven't pulled it out of my WIP/UFO pile yet.)
  4. One small project of my choice.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Maker Faire fun, now with Annular Eclipse Action Figure!

I can not say enough good things about the Maker Faire.  This year I was able to see both sides of the event.  First, I got to walk around being a guest and seeing all the fair has to offer.  Second, I was an exhibitor and got to interact with all the other guests.  And the whole weekend ended on a high note by watching the Annular Eclipse with 100+ people.

As a guest I got to see ArcAttack, get my picture taken with a real live talking and walking (floating? rolling?) Dalek, get tested to see if I was a zombie and many other things.  Fortunately, I passed my test and I am still human.  The gentleman before me must have been bit somewhere, because he tested zombie! :O    There were exhibits of all kinds of techs, crafts and just plain old fun stuff.  Maker Faire is really hard to describe to someone who's never been.  It's crafts.   It's tech.  It's art.  It's a mix of all three. There's even a little steampunk thrown in for fun.  The main thing about Maker Faire is that everything is made by normal and not so normal people.  It can be as simple as a cardboard robot, or as complicated as hand made working replicas of  R2D2.  There are giant fire breathing dragons made from bits and pieces of garbage.  Real live blacksmiths show off their skills.  There was a fire truck that blew fire up into the air.  A viking ship made out of cardboard and bicycles that someone rode around on.  Everything is very hands on.  There are many booths set up so you can make your own blinking LED necklace, Freak Flag, learn to solder, grow your own food, all sorts of things. I could go on forever!  But I wont.

As an exhibitor I got to meet hundreds and hundreds of people that were excited to see the sun from my stepfather's telescopes and talk about sun spots and the eclipse.  Before the fair I thought it'd be a "job", boring, a pain in my arse, etc.  Turns out it was really fun.  I loved the whole thing!  I never thought to take pictures of the huge crowd we had around the outside exhibit where I spent all of my time.  You can see the giant sundial my step-dad made.  He also made the white telescope on the bottom right, as well as the planetarium in the two upper corners!  No, he's not an astronomer by trade.  It's just a hobby of his.  I also added in a projection of the sun.  We had three very clear sunspots showing all weekend.  I only had one person be a bummer.  She couldn't figure out why we'd even want to look at the sun.  *rolls eyes*   Everyone else was very excited and I couldn't believe the amount of children that knew more than me!  Not that I am an expert on the sun, but I studied all week!

As for the eclipse, it was pretty amazing.  I spent a lot of the eclipse urging people to share the telescopes and the eclipse viewers we had.  I tried to make sure everyone got a chance to see what was going on.  I did manage to take a few peaks myself.  I was standing next to the Sun Spotter, so I took a lot of pictures of the sun on that.  I was amazed at how everyone was so good at passing the viewers around and how everyone was excited to see the eclipse even though we only got to about 84% coverage here where I live.

Time to start planning for the next solar eclipse in North America! We have a few years...2017.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A long time ago in a dumpster on the street...

Poor discarded wood desk
I found this desk.  It was sitting next to the dumpster at my apartment complex.  It had been gouged and poorly spray painted black.  (I had already started sanding it before I decided to take the before picture.)  The reason I grabbed it was because it was a solid wood desk. Not press-board. Not veneer. Not ply-wood.  Real wood.  Even the inside of the drawers are real wood.  I couldn't let it be tossed in the garbage.

Now, I have never refinished any furniture before, but, hey! the desk was small.  How hard could it be??  The hardest part was actually overcoming my fear of refinishing something.  I read a lot of online tutorials that explained how important it was to use the right sand paper, the right stripper, the right everything.  I gave up on being perfect and just had fun with it in the end.  In the end it took me 3 years to complete.  First and second years I sanded and striped it.  The second year I did some more sanding and primed and painted everything but the drawers.  This last year, the poor drawers have been sitting on the patio waiting for primer and paint.  I finally finished them up this week!  I am pretty excited.
Fresh coat of paint and new knobs.
You may have noticed that the long top drawer is missing.  The bottom of the drawer was broke in 2 pieces and I wasnt sure that wood glue would fix it well enough, so I decided to just leave it out.  Instead I put in a piece of plywood and left it open.  The idea was to have a place to store my laptop when not in use. We'll see how that ends up.  My laptop is near it's death.  I am sure I'll find something to stuff in there though!
I think it looks pretty good for my first time....and probably my only time.  While I am enjoying the end product, it didn't generally excite me.  I didn't finish it and think, "Wow! I cant wait to find another piece of old furniture to refinish!"  I am very happy to have a place to put my sewing machine though!  Before this it had been sort of a nomad.  Sometimes on my computer desk.  Sometimes on the fold-a-way table.  Even on the floor a couple of times (which really sucked!)  Now Mr. Sewandsew has a permanent home. :)

An action shot with Sewandsew.

I have asked my son's girlfriend if she wouldn't mind doing some artwork on the drawers.  She does really cute water colors of flowers and swirlies and vines and stuff.  I am hoping she'll do something to fancy it up a bit.

So here we go, one goal for May complete!  I am half done with the cover for my husband chair.  I haven't even touched Growth Rings. :(  And my gimme goal of something small, might just have to be the fact that I survived work over Mother's Day week and the Maker Faire this weekend.  Although, I shouldn't count my eggs before their hatched.  I haven't survived the Maker Faire yet!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

STNA's Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop #2 To Stand or Not To Stand

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop
This week's question:
Do you use a stand when you stitch? If so, tell us about it and share pictures if you’ve got them. If not, would you like to try using a stand? Do you have any tips or tricks around using a stand versus not using a stand?
I do not use a stand and I never have.  I know most people have a favorite chair where they sit to stitch, but I dont stitch in a chair.  Because our apartment is so small and my daughter keeps moving in and out, we dont have much furniture in the living room.  My husband and I have gotten into the habit of using our bedroom as the living area.  So, I only stitch while in bed.  I have a breakfast tray that I set my scissors, floss, etc on.  I have a metal board and easel that hold my chart, and a clip on magnifying lamp.
My stitching set up from the front
 I have also picked up the habit of stitching in hand, so there are no scroll rods, q-snaps, hoops, etc to put on any kind of stand.  My cats were always crawling onto my q-snaps and stretching my fabric and getting hair all over the project.  This way it's just in a little pile that I can stuff into my project bag quick and easy.  I keep my ort jar on my bedside table so it's easy to drop them in as I stitch.  It has also become a catch-all for my necklaces and notes from my daughter.
Close up of my stitching set up...ignore the cat print on the lamp.
Maybe someday when we get a bigger place or less children coming back home all the time I'll get a nice big, comfy chair with a floor stand. For now, this is what fits my lifestyle.
Close up of my ort jar/necklace holder/note from daughter
 holder on the bedside table.
Cant wait to visit everyone else's blogs!  Leave a comment when you drop by!

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

STNA's Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop
Today's Question:
Have you ever had a case of the “stitching blahs” where you just didn’t want to stitch? Or maybe it was more like you didn’t get to stitch because you were busy and that created a chain reaction sense of the “blahs” and led to even less stitching…. sort of like a case of “the Mondays” that we are all familiar with. How do you handle your stitching blahs and get back into stitching mode?
I have definitely had the 'stitching blahs'.   Not nearly as often as I get the 'doing the dishes blahs'!  When I have the blahs for an evening or two, I just go with the flow and do something else.  I don't let it stress me out or think that I "need" to be stitching.  Stitching is meant to be fun and relaxing.  It's not supposed to be work or stressful.

Sometimes I have a long "blahs" streak, days, weeks or even months.  This usually happens when I am working  on something really large or an obligation piece that has a time limit. There are 2 things that I do to break out of my blahs.  One is to finish up something small or something else that is close to being finished.  Nothing gets my stitching mojo back than a good old fashioned finish.  Something I can admire and show off.  You get that feeling of accomplishment and the world seems right again.  For this purpose I keep a lot of smalls around ready to pick up and finish in a night or two.  I love small beading projects for this.  I also have a project bag full of almost finished projects.  Things that just need to be framed, turned into a pillow or whatever, or even things that just need a hanging string put on them.

The second thing that brings back the mojo is a new start or some stitching shopping.  And by shopping I don't just mean buying stuff.  There are plenty of wonderful free designs out there, and plenty of fabric and threads I forgot I had hiding in my crafting closet!  New blood refreshes the senses. It brings back the excitement of stitching.  Watching something new unfold before you, new colors, new textures, new designs.

To keep from getting the blahs now days, I always make sure I work on 2-3 big projects (no more or you get overwhelmed) and swap them out often.  I try to make them completely different types of designs, colors, fabrics, and threads.  I like to mix it up a little.  I also set small goals for myself.  I celebrate each small finish, even if it's just a part of a larger design.  I also make sure to toss in a small or two into the rotation so I have some quick finishes.  Since I have started doing that my blahs only last a day or two.  And that's not really considered "the blahs" is it??

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
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Sunday, April 29, 2012


And here we go for the final lineup for the April Goals.  In my last post  you saw a few of the goals already posted.

 I made some progress on Growth Rings by Ink Circles.  It's looking pretty good.  I have a goal for it in mind for next month already. I am using a hand dyed linen from a grab bag from Hand Dyed Fibers, and the floss is Summer & Smoke (the inside color) and Arctic Ice (the outside color) by Gloriana.  I am a huge Ink Circles junkie.  I already have Cirque des Cercles framed above my desk where I can see it every day.  Cirque des Carreaux is hanging in the closet waiting for me to save up $400 to get it framed properly to match CdC.  I need to frame up Here Comes Treble for my daughter as a house warming gift since she's leaving for her own apartment on the 1st.
 Here's Erica Michael's Serenity Prayer Petite...cept'in I didnt make it petite.  I made it BIG!  I stitched it with the recommended DMC and stitched it on some old 18ct  Fiddler's cloth I had laying around.  I wanted to be able to see it and read it every day.  I don't say a lot of prayers, but this one just makes sense.  It also has special meaning for my husband since he's on his 4th year being sober.  This prayer is a big part of his program.  This summer is gonna be big for him; 4 years sober and graduating with his BS in Information Technologies!  Yay husband!

Here's my start of my first embroidery I have done since I was about 10 years old.  Below is the original picture that I am using as inspiration.  It's mine and my husband's feet in front of the fire on one of our favorite vacations. I need to figure out how to do the log and flames.  I think I am going to leave out the fireplace, but I may put in something for the ottoman.  It's all something I will have to figure out in the next month or two.  I cant decide if I will put this on my May goals or not.  It may have to be a June goal to finish up.   I don't know how much time I will have in May for this project.  I have a couple of big ones planned.

This picture brings up memories of warmth, fun, love, fresh ocean air, comfy down beds, love and laughter. It just makes me smile.  I cant wait to finish this hoop and hang it up.  It's from a winter get away we had in Monterey CA. We stayed in a wonderful inn right on Cannery Row.  Our room looked out over the Monterey Bay and we could see the sea otters while we had breakfast in the window seat each morning.  We spent a couple of days wandering around the aquarium, a day on the beach behind the inn, and just relaxing in our room by the fire.  I hope stitching this will keep it in my memory even after I am old and senile.

I know it's not May yet, but I am going to go ahead and put up my May Goals now.

1. Make progress on Growth Rings
2. Finish my desk (it's been in the process of being refinished for 3 years now.  I think it's time to finish it!)
3. Make the chair cover for my husband.  (This is another finishing project that's been sitting around for quite a while.)
4. Do something small.  (This, of course, is my gimme goal.  I can do anything I want!)

I think that's all I am going to set up for this month because I have a long week of work happening the week of Mother's Day.  My family has 2 exhibits set up for the Maker Faire and that'll take up a whole weekend.  My daughter is moving out so I'll need to set up our living room back into a living room.  And last, but not least, an old friend is coming into town for a weekend and we are planning a family dinner and maybe a bbq at the beach.  Wow...that's a pretty packed month for us!  I may have planned too many goals!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Two For One

Two for one postings today.  I am trying to spread out my April goal postings a bit, but truth be told, I am a last minute type girl, so they'll all be done this week.  My goals, not necessarily the posts.  I also want to talk about books.

First off, I said in my last post I was reading Storm Born by Richelle Mead.  We are big Felicia Day fans around this house and she's been talking about "Vaginal Fantasy" novels.  She describes it as "urban fantasy (or historical fantasy) aimed towards women that has a lot of romance and sex." Basically it's Chick Lit (Fantasy).

Anyway, I finished the book last night.  I am still trying to decide if I don't like Chick Lit or if I don't like Fantasy.  I know I am not a Romance Novel type gal.  My auntie once gave me a big fruit box full of Harlequin novels that she had read.  I loved reading and was reading 2-3 books a week at that time, so she thought it was  a great gift.  I am sure it was, but I only got through about 20 pages of the first one and I gave the rest away.  Since then I have read a couple of Danielle Steel, but never really got into her stuff either.  I read Twilight.  I enjoyed it, but really got annoyed with all the stupid romance stuff.  I really think the whole thing could have been cut down to 1 book without all the hand holding, face touching, and almost kissing tossed out.

I like fantasy video games.  After all, I am a Night Elf Druid in WoW.  I like fantasy movies.  LotR is one of my favorites.  But fantasy books need to have something other than fantasy in them to really keep my interest.  I did read the Hobbit and enjoyed it, but not enough to pick up and read the rest of the books (which is funny since I really loved the LotR movies, but I won't be reading the books any time soon.) I like some other fantasy books, but they seem to masquerade as historical fiction.  

So, I guess my recommendation is that if you like romance novels and fantasy novels, this book might be for you.  But it just wasn't my thing.  I basically just pushed through it so I could finish it and start my next book.
Next book in the queue:  The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.

 Now on to the fun stuff!  Crafts!  The cats totally d.e.s.t.r.o.y.e.d. the felt catnip mouse I made them.  It's in tiny pieces all over the house.  So I made them a bunch of new ones.  I even tried one made out of denim.  They've been a huge hit again.  In fact, we piled them up this morning while sweeping and every time I look over at the toy pile a new cat is laying on top of them all trying to keep the others away.  I guess these are going to count as Goal #6 finished.  That was the complete anything small goal.

Next crossed off my goal last is the bag for Brad's dice.  It isn't reversible.  After looking at some patterns for that, it just seemed a little above my sewing skill.  He's pretty happy with it the way it is anyway.  I, of course, see all my mistakes.  I think I'll just look at it through his eyes and not worry about it. :)  So, that was goal #4 finished!  Two out of six so far!

Here are the reusable produce bags I made for my mom, and a couple of extra for me.  They are a quick and easy sew.  I even fooled around with making a box bottom on a couple of them.  This was goal #3.  I am halfway through my monthly goals!

It's actually more than half way since I have already made good progress on Growth Rings and I did start on my Feet by the Fire embroidery, but I am not ready to share those yet.  That leaves me a week to frame up Serenity Prayer and all goals will be met!  My mind is already working on May goals.  I have been resisting putting them up yet since I am not done with Aprils.  I am trying not to get ahead of myself.  I think that's where I fail on goal setting most of the time.  I either get ahead of myself or I don't set realistic goals.  Let's hope I keep up the good work with my crafting goals, then maybe I can start making some life goals or at least get a menu planned for each week. ha!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Under The Boardwalk, Down By The Sea

Me collecting sea glass on McAbee Beach

Ok, so we weren't really under the boardwalk.  I don't think Monterey even has a boardwalk.  But we were definitely down by the sea for a lovely little get away. The sea was beautiful and crystal clear!  And nearly freezing.  Well, the marine biologist said it was about 56F.  Too close to freezing for my taste.  The air was much warmer though.  It was in the mid 60's and beautiful!  Just a nice breeze blowing.  Sun was shining with little bits of clouds.

We stayed at the Spindrift Inn which is my favorite place to stay in Monterey.  You can get a view of Cannery Row or the Ocean.  Each room has it's own fireplace.  King sized beds.  Breakfast brought to your room each morning.  Wonderful window seats to take in the view, or to read in...or nap in as I did one day. The best thing is that it's only about a block away from the aquarium.

Oh my!  The sunfish
Speaking of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we spent a lot of time there.  We renewed our membership, as it is one of our favorite places on Earth.  We decide to go see the feedings that we normally don't go to since we were there on the less crowded weekdays.  Penguins are so cute when being fed.  They are so polite and wait in line and just walk away when they are done.  No pushing or shoving or grabbing fish from other penguins!  The sardines were amazing all swarming the food and then, poof! back to the bottom of the tank the second they were done.  It was so fast that you could easily miss it.  The sunfish also made quite the appearance while we were there. Usually it stays at the back of the tank and you can hardly see it.  One of the days we were there it was swimming back and forth across the tank.  This is the most awesome picture I have ever taken of it, and I have taken a ton of sunfish pictures.

Over all it was a great get away.  Lots of delicious food and the downtime that was sorely needed.  I took some stitching with me, but barely put in 50 stitches.  I did read about 30% of my current book.  What am I reading you ask.  I might be too embarrassed to say.  Let's just blame it on Felicia Day.  She's been talking about "vaginal fantasy" books.  Not as bad as it sounds.  It's fantasy books with female leads.  So I have been reading "Storm Born" by Richelle Mead.  I wanted to see what this "vaginal fantasy" thing was all about.  I can say that fantasy is not my first pick for book genres..which is weird since I love fantasy movies, art, etc.  I am looking forward to finishing though, so I can start the next book on my Kindle line-up.

Brigga with her prey.
Yes, I have crafting as well as vacationing and reading.  I tossed together this little mouse one evening while playing World of Warcraft.  How talented is that??  I can sew and play video games at the same time!    It was super easy. I just cut a heart out of felt, a couple of circles and a long bit of ribbon.  I sewed the ribbon into the middle of the heart. I pinched the circles and added them as ears and I stitched on little eyes and whiskers you cant really see.  I sewed up the edges of the heart shape, stuffed in with batting and catnip and voila! Cat toy!  The cats actually love it.  This is Brigga and her big paws with it.  There weren't many other pictures of it because it was immediately being tossed around the house.  By the time we got home from vacation, the mouse had lost it's ears and has a large hole in it's side.  The cats want me to make more.  Maybe I'll try it with some denim or some stronger material of some kind. I definitely wont waste my time on ears or the cute face.  The cats done care and they are just gonna rip them all up anyway!

Ok, enough for now.  I'll have more crafting stuff to post later.  I have actually been working on my April goals!  There's even a 50/50 chance I might finish all of them!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Timey Wimey

So, last month I took my glasses in to get new lenses.  My eyes havent changed much, but my glasses were all scratched up.  I am rough on my glasses.  I toss them in my purse, pocket, center console of the car, where ever.  I have a case for my glasses.  Right now it's holding a bunch of seed beads from a kit I am in the middle of.  That doesn't do much to help keep my glasses from getting scratched. :( 
TARDIS glass case
So with these new glasses I want to be a little more careful and actually use a case for them.  My husband gave me one of his old cases and it happened to be TARDIS blue.  How could I resist??  I am not an artist by any means.  I have a hard time with stick people.  So I printed a picture of the TARDIS on the back of some clear contact paper and then cut out the windows and stuff.  I then painted in the cut out parts to make it look like the TARDIS.  It's not perfect, but I love it!  I love putting my glasses in the TARDIS every day. I have had my new glasses for 2 weeks and not a scratch on them!   Which is about a week longer than it too me to scratch my last pair!

I think I am going to try my hand at making some crafting goals for the month of April.  I have a few projects I want to finish, but keep putting off for no real reason.  Maybe if I put them here, I'll actually make a point of getting them done.  So, here we go!


  1. Work on Growth Rings.  (any amount so I can show it off at the end of April on the Ink Circle Stitchers Blog
  2. Frame Serenity Prayer.  (Note to self: stop being a chicken and just do it!  The Sugar Skull was easy!)
  3. Make the reusable veggie bags for my mom and extras for me.
  4. Make the reversible dice bag for Brad (since the sewing machine will already be out for the other bags)
  5. Start working on the "Feet by the Fire" hoop.  (Note to self: dont be scared of embroidery. It cant hurt any more than x-stitching does!)
  6. Something quick and easy so you'll have a finish on your hands. Anything at all.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I'm Still Skull-king around

Haha! Get it?? SKULL-king around??  Yeah, I make myself laugh.  And sometimes others join me!

Yeah, it's been a while.  I know I'd have more readers if I actually posted more than once a month...but whatever.  Having my last post put up on Stitching the Night Away's FB page got a lot of visitors here last week!  Thanks again Loretta!  Got a couple more from when Lit and Laundry put it on her Pinterest board.  I cant begin to tell you how weird it is to see something you did pop up in places you don't expect!  I think I must have blushed ten shades of red!  It was exciting though. :)

This month was devoted to doing some stitching for my oldest daughter's 30th birthday.  She collects sugar skulls, so I found a good design on Bombastitch's Etsy store.  This is Sugar Skull (version 1).  I did change out the colors so they would match my daughter's bedroom though.

I ended up framing it myself.  I just don't have the funds to send it out right now.  I dont think it came out half bad.  I found the frame at one of Joann's 50% of frames sales.

My daughter also loves pink, flowery, girly things.  So I found this cute little skull from Cross me not.  It was quick and easy.  Then I just took apart a silk flower, wrapped the stitching around the middle and glued it in place, put the flower back together and voila!  Pretty cute, huh!?!

Other than these two things, I started working on Ink Circles Growth Rings.  I have had design since it was published in one of the stitching magazines, which has since been tossed with only the Growth Rings design torn out.  I bought floss and fabric for it pretty soon after I got the chart.  If you want to see the progress on it, you can go see it over at the Ink Circles Stitchers blog.

If you dont see me until the end of April, I will be making a reversible dice bag for my husband, some reusable veggie bags for me and my mom, hopefully framing the Serenity Prayer, and maybe even finishing off "No, Gorn, No.  That's where I sit." into a seat cover for my husband's computer desk.  I have a few other little things I'd like to do as well, but I have to finish my library book, work Easter week, and other family obligations...darn this family for wanted to eat, clean clothes and have a semi-clean house!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Long Time Coming.

Back in 2008 I started this little cross stitch project called Celtic Banner.  I loved it from the moment I first saw it.  After 4 years of stitching it on and off mixed in with a bunch of other things, I finally finished it this afternoon.  I cant even begin to tell you how excited I am!  I'll try though!!

When I first bought this chart, my husband and I were brainstorming how to finish it once it was done.  Framing was out of the question, as was a pillow.  That meant it was going to be hung from a rod of some kind, more than likely. Would a simple dowel do this justice?  Nooooo!  No, it would not!  So we scoured the internet looking for a dowel like object that would do my banner justice (and mind you, I haven't even started stitching it at this point! ha!) We finally came to an antique weapon ebay page.  And we found the perfect dowel like weapon that went along with the ancient Celtic axe!  Yes, so all I have to do next is to spend 4 years stitching!

I wont bore you with the next 4 years of stitching on it until I was bored to tears with it, went on to stitch something else, picked it back up again, bored to tears, picked up something get the idea.  So while on a Downton Abbey 2 hour marathon, I finally finished it. Yay!  I was so excited to have it finally finished, my husband and I safety pinned it to our axe and slammed a couple of nails into the wall to hold the axe real quick.  The real finishing still needs to be done, but I'll need help with that from my SIL since I cant sew a straight line for longer than 3 inches and this sucker is almost 42 inches long!

And now I am stuck...what to start/finish next?  I went through all of my WIPs and my Soon to be WIPs this afternoon. I haven't decided what to do next.  Banner has been a part of my life for so long, I kind of miss it already.  Yeah, I's hanging on my wall in my bedroom, but it's not crumbled up in a huge ball in my lap and fingers. I had better get it figured out soon, I have another 2 hours of Downton  Abbey to watch this evening!

And now on to something completely different....

If you don't read the Bloggess, you should be.  She has had me in tears this week.  YOU’RE RUINING NATHAN FILLION FOR ME, NATHAN FILLION. Alternate title: But I forgive you post is just slaying me.  I have to remember to put her in my blog roll! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Here a recipe, there a recipe, everywhere a recipe

I collect recipes.  Recipe books, magazines, scraps of paper, it doesn't matter.  I even have them all over my computer.  I have a bookmark folder with recipes, a file on my desktop, and a Pinterest board...or 2, or 3, not to mention the random links all over the place.  Recipes and craft supplies vie for my attention all over the house.  I can spend just as many hours pouring over food blogs as I can over crafting blogs.  I have to really set limits for myself, or I'll get lost forever.

Last year I bought Living Cookbook to try and sort out some of the clutter.  I haven't even begun to delve into what this program can do.  So far, I have typed in some family recipes and imported some of our favorites from the internet.  I am really hoping between Pinterest and this software I can get rid of most of this.

This program is supposed to store recipes, do the nutrition for them, make menus and shopping lists and a bunch of other stuff that I am not even sure I need. But if I can do a nice menu/shopping list from it, it'll be worth it's weight in gold.

On a side note, I just googled how much a CD weighs, about .58 ounces.  Then I googled the price of gold per ounce, $1785.  That makes this program a steal by my own twisted logic!  And it also proves how easily sidetracked I can get.

This doesn't even begin to show you my collection.  That's only 1 file folder of magazine and printed recipes (I have 3).  That's only 3 magazines I haven't searched through yet (I have 6 sitting on my desk).  That's only 3 or 4 of my cookbooks (I have a couple of dozen, and that's after the great purge of 2011 when I got rid of about 100).  And you can only see 4 or 5 of my recipes cards from the Great Recipe Organization of 1993, which failed. (I have a ton of those).

Here's the only problem I have found with the cookbook:  It doesn't automatically import a recipe when you cook it.  Nor does it automatically account for any changes you regularly make to a recipe.  In fact, the only way to import recipes to this program is to actually do it!!  No mind reading. No magic.  No recipe teleportation. (and how stupid is my spell check that it doesn't know what teleportation is??  I need spell check for geeks apparently.)

Just do it...or sit here, gather all kinds of recipes, toss them on your desk, photograph them and then blog about it.  I think we all know where I stand on this subject.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sugar Skulls and the Fear of Sewing

I hate sewing.  Really, really hate it.  My sewing machine (named Mr. Sewandsew) have a hate/hate relationship.  He's a necessary evil in my crafting hobby since I don't have cash to throw around to get other to do this dirty deed.

Because I hate sewing, I am not very good at it.  Lucky for me, I usually only have to sew a few inches at a time for ornaments, small bags, etc.  Unfortunately for me, I am this >--< close to finishing Celtic Banner by Butternut Road.  The plan for this is to sew on a nice backing and some tabs so it can be hung from the handle of an faux antique axe.   This banner is about 6 inches wide and 4 feet long....FOUR feet long. How can I sew a straight line for 4 feet??  I cant.

This is where my sister in law comes in.  She's a seamstress. Like a sew your own wedding dress and have it look beautiful type of seamstress.  So at a recent family dinner I was talking to her about helping me finish Celtic Banner.  Hearing me talk about my stitching, my oldest daughter chimed in that she had been meaning to ask me if I could stitch her something.  With how many words I know and how freely I use them, I still cant express how excited I was to have one of my children actually want me to stitch something for them!!

All she wanted was a sugar skull.  So, after we came home, I jumped on the internet to find a good sugar skull design.  I went through pages and pages looking for just the right design and came upon this Etsy site. Bombastitch.  They have some great sugar skulls, so I grabbed a couple right away.

I finished stitching up the first one this afternoon.  I haven't had time to clean the cat hair off of it or iron it yet, but I couldn't wait to show it off.  I changed up the colors from the original design to match my daughters decor.
Bombastitch Sugar Skull (v1)

Now I need to figure out how to finish it.  I guess I should start by asking her if she wants it framed, made into a pillow or whatever.  I had thought about contacting Jill Rensel and having her frame it.  Maybe cut the mat in the shape of the skull and paint/cut some Day of the Dead style roses on the mat.  Or I can always frame it myself, but without all the flourishes that Jill does.

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's about the journey

Sometimes life changes you and sometimes you have to change life.  I am working on changing life.  And for once it's my life.  This blog is going to be part of it.  It will be filled with recipes, crafts I am doing or have done, stories about gaming, thoughts about books I am reading or whatever else I need to get out of my head and onto "paper".  There probably wont be much rhyme or reason to it.  I'll just be putting it out there as it comes.

So, let's start this new journey and see where it leads.
Me in Mt. Lassen National Park