Monday, January 15, 2018


I hate that we keep loosing all these great artists from my generation. They are way too young. God help me if I ever loose one of my it a Duran or a TT guy. I may never recover. RIP Delores, you were amazing.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Weekly Stitching and Reading

I'm not sure what kind of stitching steroids I was taking this past week but, considering I didn't stitch three whole days, I still managed to somehow finish almost two full pages of a HAED...seriously! Granted, I do buy large charts, but still, even I'm amazed at that! If I would have stitched for another three hours tonight, I probably could have finished the second page. I left off here last week:
and here is where I had to make myself stop tonight:
Actually, that V part is about a third of the way into the third page. Since I'm still waiting on orders to come in for my new projects, if I keep up this current rate, there is a good possibility I could finish this row in three weeks, maybe less. Besides, I still have to go to Hobby Lobby and get thread and scroll rods.

Since I decided to join in on Jo's 18 in '18, I still have to come up with five more projects for the year (which means more thread and more scroll rods). I have plenty of stash to choose from pattern-wise, but I thought I'd go through all my cross stitch magazines that I've collected to see if I could find a pattern in one of them. I must be keeping them for a reason other than my hoarding issues. So I spent Friday night going through magazines instead of stitching and there was only one pattern that said "maybe".
I definitely do not like the fabric used with fades out too much with the colors of the glasses and there is a special Caron's color at the base of each glass that you can't even see on the picture, so I'm thinking a silver or maybe purplish-gray might be better. I'm still not sure I'm going to do this one yet, but what do you guys think?

I also kind of made a sort-of New Year's resolution to read more, but nothing definite or by any fit schedule. I just finished my first book of the year:
I was keeping it in my purse to read at work because I also said I was going to start taking breaks and a lunch. I never get to do either because someone else is always either on break or lunch, so I'm always left to hold down the fort. No matter what job I've ever held at the lab, that has always been the case. If I do get to eat at work, it's usually at my desk and I'm usually answering the phone while doing it. I do tend to do more receptionist duties than I.T. duties and that aggravates me (especially since receptionist is probably the one job I've never had there and Asper's aren't known for our people skills), but I have to just keep in mind that it's important to make sure I stay indispensable, you never know what could happen in the future.

But I'm digressing...needless to say, I managed one lunch and two actual breaks since Jan 1, so it took me a while to get through the book. Luckily, I had to take my car to get those pesky nails out of my tires before taking a work trip the other day, and I managed to finish the entire thing in less than an hour. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is another one of my geek crushes, so of course I adored this book! It was a super-fast read (once I had more than 10 minutes) and, as per usual Neil, it was hilarious in the weirdest places (I still disagree though...Pluto IS a planet!). Granted, there wasn't anything in the book I didn't already know, but he just has a way of making everything fun. He makes me want to learn more.

I wanted to read one book a week, but I might be looking more at one book a month, maybe two if I'm lucky. Since The Conjuring is on Netflix now and I've been watching it a lot, I remembered I have one of Ed and Lorraine Warren's books, so I'm going to read that one next. I may have read it before, but it had to have been 20+ years ago because I don't remember and I've probably had it that long. Plus, I just got in Stephen Fry's Mythos, so I guess that will be next or maybe another Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I'm going to try to be diverse. I just don't want my reading to distract from stitching, which I guess I'm also trying to make more diverse. I'm trying to expand my very tiny universe as big as I can within the constraints that I'm comfortable with. It's not much, but it's a start!

Friday, January 12, 2018

WIPocalypse 2018

I had initially decided not to sign up for any stitch groups because I'm not good with the follow through, but as the days of January have been flying by, I'm starting to change my opinions on lots of things (like in the previous post). I've always been a fan of WIPocalypse because the rules are so loose and free and that's right up my alley right now!

So, for January's question: Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!
Hi, I'm Keiley (pronounced Key-Lee), but my friends call me Keebs. I'm an Asper with OCD and numerous other conditions not important enough to name, but all of which make me an incredibly dedicated stitcher. I live in Northeast Arkansas and I work in I.T. in the medical community. I have two monster Shih-Tzu's, Bam and Bugs who are potentially as nutso as me. I am extremely Disney obsessed (as evidenced by the memorabilia covering almost every square inch of my home), but my annual trips to Disney World have been waylaid a bit until I get my finances in order. Aspers can go on forever about themselves, so I'm gonna shut up now and get to the stuff we're all here for.

Stitch-wise, I would LOVE to do Jo's 18 in 18, but I do tend to do big projects, so I'd have to dig up some small ones to round out the count and since I'm kind of doing this post off the cuff, I might have to come up with the rest of them in next month's post (plus, I need some thinkin' time on it to come up with some).

I hope I'm not repeating myself here from my year-end post, but right now I'm working on HAED's Maleficent by Annya Kai (and yes, my copy says Maleficent since I bought it the day it came out (although they did spell Maleficent wrong on it)...I don't go by the Evil Queen title because A) it's inaccurate and B) it's an affront to Maleficent herself, copyright infringement or not).
As of my last posting, I had only put in one day's worth of work on row 4, but my tentative goal for the year is at least one full row on each project, so that's what I'll be working towards this week and next, which, at my current rate, might get me halfway through the row unless the sky falls (which, in my world, is VERY possible on a weekly basis).

I always have at least one HAED Jasmine Becket-Griffith in rotation, and my largest HAED ever, Alice and the Bouguereau Princesses, just got row 4 finished in November of last year, so I hope to finish at least row 5 this year:
Jessica Clark's Snow White (a retired HAED), got row 1 finished in November as well, and I hope to finish row 2, but this is an incredibly difficult project to work on because the fabric is wonky. I'm not sure if it's because it's too thick, too soft, too tufted, or all of the above, but it's it a total pain, especially in confetti'ed areas because, after a few colors, I can barely get the needle through anymore. She's gonna be fab when finished...if I ever get there. I don't know why I just didn't start this over on a better piece of fabric. Maybe I should.
Another HAED, Annie Rodrigue's Night Wish, got it's first row finished in November too (November was a good month I guess), and my goal is row two by the end of the year. At least the next row won't have an entire skein of white in the moon because there will be a head in there!
I also (finally) started Sleepy Hollow Mural by Lewis T Johnson (another retired HAED) last year and made it about a third of the way through the first row. Since it's a horizontal piece, I'd be happy to finish the first row, but I'm not counting my chickens.
Also, I am NOT diggin working with Qsnaps, so I'm going to get big enough scroll rods to hold this piece. People tell me all the time I stitch fast, and I don't think I do at all, but I do stitch two-handed and since none of my stands like the Qsnaps, it's become a one-handed thing and it slows me down (well, I stitch two-handed and I have no life, so I have plenty of free time to stitch). I've seen the videos on how to make a Q-snap stand, but I'm not crafty like that and I don't like the way they sit, so it wouldn't help anyway.

I'm not sure I should even mention this one because I'm seriously considering drawering it (as in drawer of shame), but the eternal thorn in my side, Christmas Contest Suteki by Aimee Stewart (another HAED), if she stays in rotation, will hopefully get row 2 finished (although I've been perpetually stuck in the middle of row 2 all year):
Thorn #2, Tartan B. It's not hard, I just have a very difficult time staying focused on this piece. I can never work on it for more than an hour at a time and, so far, I've rarely worked on it more than a couple of hours per year. So I won't put in a goal more than that for this year either. If I ever do finish it, I'm going to make it into a pillow (when I learn how).
Next up is The Bride Dollmaker (or Doll Making, depending on which of the documents I'm looking at) by Medusa Dollmaker from GeckoRouge. Despite my initial concerns with this kit and the fact that it's the most expensive cross stitch kit I have ever bought, it turns out that it is my absolute favorite one right now! I cannot believe how beautiful she's going to be! I was a bit shocked that I couldn't even tell it was her face until almost the final 100 or so stitches in that area, but once she started to "appear", it was almost magical and I couldn't put her down!
Since the next two rows of her have to do with Freddy Krueger, I'm going to try to finish both rows by the end of the year. I love me some Fred!

Next up is Neni Design's Happy Haunts. I flew through her Lilo and Stitch project so fast that I thought this one would be the same, but it hasn't been the case. I've struggled with it all year. I'm not sure if it's because I did Stitch on 28ct and I'm doing this one on 18 or what, but the next Neni I do will definitely be on 28ct. I'm hoping to finish at least two rows of Happy Haunts year, but again, no chickin' countin'.
As of a few days ago, I decided to drawer two other thorns in my side and start four new projects:
Another HAED Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Faces of Faery 167, my first on 32ct. If all goes well, I would be happy with two row finishes, but I'm aiming for a total finish on this one.
Addict to Cross Stitch's Everest on my usual 28ct. Since it's horizontal, I think a row finish is ambitious, but not out of the question:
Tilton Crafts Once Upon A Time's Captain Hook by Daniel Kordek is on 28ct (shocker), but I'm using a tea color since all that white background is stitched (nightmare!). Hopefully at least one row will be finished by the end of the year. Night Wish is pretty monochromatic, but it's a purple monochromatic which is a LOT different that sepia. Hook could turn into my thorn piece for the year, but come on, it's Hook, he's too gorgeous to be a thorn!
And finally, for my first DoNa Stitches, I'm going with Rapunzel. I figure 18ct will be better (and I'm going with opalescent fabric). I don't see any reason why I can finish this project by the end of the year:Rapunzel-000
So that's at least 13...I need to come up with five more by next month! I definitely have enough stash for it, that's for sure!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

I'm a bad, bad duck!

Yep, only days ago I said I wasn't going to do any new starts. I had valid reasons...I already have too many projects going as it is, I may never finish the ones I have going now, especially since they are all so big, etc. Well, Aspers are good at logic, but following through with it is another story because we are often led more by our hearts than our heads, despite the strong argument that logic may give. We want what we want, when we want it and how we want it, consequences be damned sometimes.

A thought occurred to me on the way to work one day this week...I have all these great projects in my stash, charts that I have whole collections of from a small number of designers, but I tend to only work on HAEDs or Neni's and I decided that it's just not fair to those other designers! So I chose some patterns from my favorite online designers and decided it was time to branch more ways than one (but more on that in a moment).

I know I'm overdue on a FanGirl Stitches and I think the Supernatural Alphabet is calling to me (probably because I'm binge watching it yet again after finishing The X Files, again), but that's another really short project (less than a month if I force it), so they may pop up too at some point. But here's a question...would you do a Supernatural-themed alphabet on opalescent fabric? I absolutely ADORE my Once Alphabet on it, but are "sparkles" appropriate for a man-dominant show? Every time I talk myself out of it, I always think of the imaginary friend episode when Sparkle gets murdered and he bleeds blood and glitter. That episode was hilarious! It could be my own little inside joke, but what do you think? Here's the pattern:
Supernatural Alphabet_00
As of now though, that one is on hold, but lets get on to the ones I chose.

I have all the DoNa Fairy Tale series and have been envious of Linda's work on Sleeping Beauty. Considering that Aurora is my favorite princess, normally I would do her first. But for some reason, Rapunzel call is louder (probably all the purple), so I decided to start with her:
I'm going to do her on 18ct opalescent white Aida, which I have already ordered and I have enough thread in my stash for the entire project. I just have to buy scroll rods (and that's the catch with all of these...I am completely out of scroll rods, I didn't even think that was possible!). Luckily, I already have a Rapunzel needle minder.

Next up I decided on Tilton Craft's Once Upon A Time's Daniel Kordek's Captain Hook (although I'm still miffed he never did a Charming...having Charming and Hook framed next to one another would literally be the highlight of my entire stitching career, oh well, I'll have to make due with Hook, The Huntsman, and The Mad Hatter - unless I break down and get Pinocchio too or maybe the one with Emma and Regina, guess it depends how horrible stitching sepia is):
I'm going to do him on 28ct Tea Monaco simply because there is SOOO much white in this (and yes, ALL that background is stitched), I can't deal with stitching white on white fabric, especially this much of it. I had almost all the thread other than the two colors that have multiples each (I prefer to buy those in the same dye lots). But I have to have scroll rods for him too. I have at least ordered a needle minder for him although I don't know when it will be in. Since I still have to get the rest of the thread and scroll rods, I have time.

The next choice was harder. I absolutely adore Addict To Cross Stitch charts and I have several in my stash, but picking that first project was a lot more difficult. In the end, I went with Everest:
I'm not a fan of the horizontal project, but I think I'm having Disney World withdrawals and this might help. I'm going to do it on 28ct Monaco as well, but probably just plain white. I had most of the thread, but I'm missing several colors and, broken record here, I need scroll rods. I have also ordered a needle minder for it as well, but I'm not sure it's the right one for the project, so I may keep searching.

Last, but certainly not least, I decided on my "small"'s a HAED (obviously not a new design choice), but it's my first Faces, Jasmine Becket-Griffith's Faces of Faery 167:
The exciting part here? I'm going to do her on 32ct Silver Moon first foray with that small a thread count which means she will only be 7x7 when finished! It's going to be a good test because, if it works out well, it will SOOO make a difference on a supersized HAED if I could use 32ct instead of 28. I'm also going to buy all new thread for her because I will be doing it 1x1 and I want new "clean" thread for her. Again, needle minder ordered as well as fabric, but I might have a scroll rod for this, especially because of the next paragraph...

So, I also decided it's time to start a "bin of shame". I don't have one, at least not a real one. Anything that gets put in a drawer is usually because it needs framing and it's never in there long (except for my Design Works mice and those are being held until they are all finished and can be framed together). Can anyone guess the first occupants of the bin? Yep, A Summer Ball and 35th Anniversary Celebration. They are getting removed from their scroll rods, bagged up, and binned until maybe one day the urge will strike again. They have literally been sitting out since 2015 without being touched and frankly I'm getting tired of dusting them. At least for now, it's the best choice (and it frees up at least one scroll rod, 35th's rods are too big).

I'm also thinking, depending how all these new ones work into the rotation (which I still haven't worked out yet), that Suteki might also end up in the bin of shame because I have another project that would be much better suited for my Sister that will be easier and that she will probably like better anyway, she's probably just as much a Scooby fan as a Disney fan...I like other cartoons, but I don't really "cheat" on the house of mouse...just flirt a bit with the other guys...but I am digressing:
Scooby Doo - 1
After doing Lilo and Stitch Otherwise and working on Happy Haunts, I prefer Neni Designs on 28ct as well, so I will need thread and a needle minder for this one too (and yes, ANOTHER stupid scroll rod as well as a bobbin box...thanks to these four new ones, I'm now out of bobbin boxes too), but I'm thinking it might go a lot faster than Suteki. If I ever decide to finish her in the future, I will figure out something else to do with her (although heaven knows what).

Am I crazy (wait...should't ask that question because we already know the answer), am I stretching myself too thin? At least Rapunzel and Faces 167 have a chance to be finished easily within the year, so it can't be all bad, right? Oh well, won't know until I try, so as soon as I get paid, off to Hobby Lobby I go to buy thread and scroll rods (and then probably to 123 Stitch to order all the thread that Hobby Lobby was out of) and by then all my needle minders, fabrics, and various other knickknacks like new gridding pens and storage folders for the patterns should all have arrived by then. Maybe I'll start one (although I don't know which yet) about the time I finish this current row of Maleficent!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Weekly Stitching

I know it's just another week's worth of stitching, but considering it's a new year, this post seems like it's different for some reason. Maybe it's just me being weird...wouldn't be the first time! In any case, lots to show! I left off on The Bride at the end of year post:
And I finally finished the row on Saturday:
Since Maleficent has been "calling" to me, I decided (along with a little support from you guys!), that she was where I needed to go back to. I left off at the fourth row finish back in June:
And since I've only worked on her today, not much to show so far:
I still haven't decided whether or not I'm going to go back to weekly rotations or row rotations, but since I realized that I only have two and 3/4 rows left on her, right now I'm thinking row. There is a good chance I could finish her this promises!

I also said I wasn't going to start a new project, but a new start is calling to me. No projects in particular are doing the calling, but something small, maybe finish-able by the end of the year, maybe a non-HAED or maybe a JBG Faces or a Mini. I already know a QS is not so quick. I still want to hold off though. I have way too many projects going to start yet another one. I'm trying to control the urge, but we all know I'm not good at controlling my urges!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

End of year stitch summary and 2018 not-really goals

Sorry I've been MIA for a couple of weeks, I've been on vacation and have been on computer strike...happens to those of us in the IT biz when we get time off. Just needed some good 'ole decompression time sans what I deal with 60 hours per week with at work. So I've spent the week at home, in my nightgown, eating like a pig, binge watching TV and stitching like crazy with as little human contact as possible. I did get my haircut and colored this week...the purple is gone and I already miss it. It will be a while before I can go back blonde because of the purple residue, but maybe by summer.

It may have been a rough year personally (maybe my roughest ever), but it was a pretty good stitch year, at least towards the end of it. This might be a long one, so sit back and get ready for it!

I left off on Maleficent in Feburary 2016 at the end of row 3:
And I completed my goal of a row finish on June 11th, putting in 116.56 hrs in 2017 for a total of 504.63 hrs overall:
For Alice and the B's, I left off at the beginning of row 3 on December 30th, 2016:
And left off at the end of row 4 on November 8th, putting in 276.15 hrs for 2017 (98.28 hrs in October alone), for a total of 697.92 hrs, also with a completed goal for the year:
For Snow White, I left off in June of last year with a goal of the current row and possibly one or two more rows:
And I did manage to finish the current row on November 12th, putting in 58.03 hrs, for a total of 115.67 hrs:
Oh Night Wish, the all purple project that should be a joy because, well, it's purple, but it's been a bit of a pain because of the combination of the confetti and the mind-numbing white moon. I left off here back in May of 2016:
My goal was just to finish the current row, which I did on November 24th, 80.48 hrs in, for a total of 131.2 hrs:
When it comes to the proverbial thorn in my side, Suteki, I gave myself no goal because I wasn't sure whether or not I was even gonna continue on her. As of now, I'm still not sure, but I keep going on her for some reason. I left off here back in May of 2016:
I managed to finish the current row in March of this year:
And made it almost halfway into the second row by the end of November, putting in a total of 79.74 hrs for 2017, for a grand total of 168.82 hrs:
The last official goal was also a maybe finish - Tartan B. I left off on it way back in Jan of 2016:
And I put in a whole two days this year, the last of which was just December 23rd. I don't keep time on this since it's older than before I kept time, but I don't work on it for very long because I can't focus on it for more than an hour or so at a time for some odd reason. But anyway, here's the progress:
I didn't touch the other two pains in the tush...A Summer Ball and Disney's 35th Anniversary Celebration (which is funny considering 2017 was Disney World's 45th Anniversary). I hate both of those projects and it might take an act of the heavens to make me finish either one of them.

The first of the official new starts of 2017 was Happy Haunts and I didn't have a goal for it. It became my New Stitchy Start Blog subject, but since I stopped working on it faithfully pretty early on, I can't say I was too successful on that front. The total project will look like this when finished:
Happy Haunts_000
I put in 90.77 hrs for 2017, finishing the first row on December 5th. It's a lot harder than it looks! Lots of confetti!
The other new start for 2017 was Sleepy Hollow Mural. I've had it kitted up for years, but decided it was finally time and I decided to test out Q-snaps for the first time. I'm not enjoying the Q-snaps at all, but I'm doing fairly well on it. Here's the project in its whole:
Sleepy Hollow Mural
Before I moved the Q-snaps over, I was here, tossing between pages 6 and 7:
And I barely made much more progress once I moved the snaps, putting in a total of 117.57 hrs for 2017 and last stitched on December 20th, about one-third of the way through the row, although it was nice to see a purple bat appear in the muted forest:
I ended up buying a surprise kit, The Bride Dollmaker by GeckoRouge (although there is some confusion to the name...some of the documentation says The Bride Doll Making, but it's just semantics):
I started her July 16th and stopped just tonight in the middle of page 4, 71.08 hrs in:
Her face is just absolutely gorgeous close up! It was touch and go there for a while because I couldn't even see it until I was almost finished with the page. I also lost a color...either I lost it or a dog stole it. I'm hoping a dog didn't eat it because that means a very expensive trip to the vet, but I would think if that was the case, then there would have be thread shavings around, so I'm not too worried about that (at least not yet, but I'm still on poo patrol just in case). It had to either be me, or maybe it was the chair...again, either is completely possible. I keep looking for it, but I've already got the conversion specks from GeckoRouge and replaced it. I've actually never lost a bobbin before, at least not for longer than 10 minutes.

I'm going to continue on her until I finish the row and I really only have about a page and a half to go. After that, I'm not sure where I'm heading back to. Maybe Maleficent since its been so long? Or maybe back to Happy Haunts...maybe row 2 will be easier than row 1. I want to finish at least one of these puppies by the end of next year and Happy Haunts would be my best choice. Tartan B is a lost cause I think. Besides, I want to finish it into a pillow and I still don't know how to do that. I don't want to start anything new until I finish at least one of my current projects. I have so many going now, it's just too much. There is no way to make any real progress with so many projects in tow. I often wonder how stitchers with dozens of WIPs ever finish anything.

I did have one finish this year, but I'm not sure it counts because it only took me two days and 9.02 hrs. I wanted to have at least one finish for the year so I picked a small one...Supernatural Exorcism:
I still don't have it framed, but once I do, you'll be the second to know! It was a nice distraction to stitch a project while you are binge-watching the show. It makes it more personal.

And that's it! All my stitching for 2017. It's roughly about 899.40 hrs for the year (still can't count in the Tartan B totals, so it's hard for accuracy). I might be down from previous years, but in my defense, it was a rough year, a REALLY rough year. I'm not going to set any goals for next year because I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants right now and I'm just not sure where life is gonna take me. I don't think I'm gonna have any new starts, if I'm going to join any new stitchy groups or if I'm going to continue on with my current ones, or where next year is gonna lead me stitchy-wise at all. It's obvious that the New Stitchy Start Blog isn't keeping me in check, even on one project, so I guess I'm definitely dropping it next year.

I am still keeping up with my orts though, even if I'm not posting it. Here is the jar for the year, in villains world:
I'm down from previous years, so either I'm getting better about frogging (doubt it), or I did stitch less this year:
2014 and 2015 are still my top years since I've been keeping up with orts. I still contest that OCD is nothing but organized hoarding.

I will say that my stash is through the roof from last year. If I had the money to kit them all up, I could probably easily do a year or two of starts, but I can't imagine how much it would cost to do that, let alone how I would store them in my tiny little house overrun with Disney crap.

I'm probably 60 to 70 lbs up from last year, I didn't read one single book this year (although I probably binge-watched numerous shows a multiple of times a piece), I'm still just as much in debt this year as last (if not more due to all these hospital bills), I'm isolated from just about everyone and everything, but hey, at least I have my stitching and my pups, right? So this year wasn't a total bust! Got to remain optimistic or I'll just crash.

What I can say is that for 2018 I'm gonna TRY to loose some weight, I'm gonna TRY to read more, I'm gonna TRY to pay off some bills, I'm gonna TRY to better myself, no matter the outcome for me or my family...that's all I can promise for next year. I think, after the year I've had, I'm through promising myself or anyone else anything (at least for the moment). I can probably say with certainly (although no promises) that I probably WON'T be going back to any therapist or shrink, I probably WON'T be going to my 30th high school reunion, I probably WON'T be going to Disney anywhere, and I probably WON'T be building a new house in 2018.

So here's to a MUCH better 2018 for not just me, but to all you guys, who have stuck with me through thick and thin, although I'm not sure why! A lot of my bloggy besties have some exciting things in store for 2018, so if I can't have a good year, maybe I can live vicariously through you guys!

And since I mentioned it in the intro and it's been ringing in my head through this entire post, let's ring in 2018 with a little Take That, a few years old and the video doesn't jibe at all since it goes with the first Kingsman soundtrack (but seriously, how hot does Mark look?), but it's how I'd like best to enter the new year, on a positive note looking toward the future one day at a time:

Gotta go now, time for Disney fireworks!