Sunday, November 30, 2014

Stitching variations

I didn't touch Pea this week for various reasons...was going to Monday night, but an old friend came into town and we hung out for the night. Tuesday brought a horrible Wal-Mart shopping experience (you'd think Christmas shopping had already begun) and I was worn out afterwards. I brought Angel home to do over Thanksgiving and wound up not being able to put her down for the rest of the week. Here's her progression (and forgive the dark pictures...since I started taking pictures on my iPhone, I wanted to continue the process, but apparently iPhones and trailer lighting doesn't mix very well).

First night's finish:
ail036

To row finish:
ail037

Through tonight:
ail039
For a Quick Stitch, this has been a very surprising project. It is small, but it's got more confetti than any HAED I have done to date.

Since the very last row is less than two block rows, I decided not to do the final row separate and just finishing the piece in its entirety.

I also managed a bit more work on Tartan B:
B-03

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. Besides U.S. Thanksgiving, it's also National Game and Puzzle Week...what game have you played most recently, and who were you with? Have you worked a puzzle of any kind in the past week?
I definitely do NOT like playing games with others...I'm way too competitive and I do NOT like to lose (I'm the kid who used to memorize all the Trivial Pursuit cards). But I play Sudoku a lot and have done so in the past week. I'm also extremely addicted to games on my phone (mostly Disney ones) and that occurs on a daily basis.

2. What is one place you were thankful for this year?
This might be the most surprising answer I have ever given...one that NO ONE could EVER guess...Disney World!

3. Take a nap, watch football, go for an after dinner walk, or hit the stores...which ONE is on your must-do list for Thanksgiving day? For those of you playing along who aren't in the US, answer as it relates to any big holiday meal.
None...I fully plan to spend the day cross stitching at home alone avoiding family, not eating Thanksgiving food, and not even scanning past a football channel at all costs. Matter of fact, knowing that football will probably be on every channel is less motivation for me to kick my Veronica Mars habit.

4. Besides Thanksgiving, what's your favorite home cooked meal?
Considering I hate Thanksgiving food, I have to say steaks or ribs (only because they have a grill and I don't), but my mother does make a mean veggie beef soup (although I always have to add extra tomatoes and corn).

5. What product from an infomercial would you most like to own?
I try extraordinarily hard to not watch infomercials in any capacity (or commercials in general for that matter)...it's why God invented DVRs. Before their invention, I would leave the room or just turn the channel during commercials and isn't infomercials just a very long commercial? And don't even get me started on shopping channels. My Sister was always the one glued to the tele when a commercial would come on, definitely NOT me. But it's peaked my curiosity as to whether or not she watches them, so I'll have to ask her.

6. Christmas shopping? Have you begun? Finished? Will you shop on Black Friday? How do you feel about stores opening on Thanksgiving Day? What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done online?
Christmas shopping ended for me two years ago, but I always did 99.9% of it online. There is no way in Hades you could even pay me to go anywhere near particular stores starting this week all the way through the first of the year...people are insane lunatics and I want no part of it all!! When my mother worked full-time, she had a Christmas Club put aside for me to afford to buy Christmas presents for people. Now that she is retired, the money is no longer there for me, so that's my excuse...I can't afford it. Besides, most all my family have money, and I could never measure up to their gift giving anyway.

7. What are you most grateful for that adds beauty to your everyday life?
That's a tough one...I don't live in a nice home, I'm not particularly attractive, I don't work with nice people, I'm not surrounded by the love of my family, so I'm gonna have to be superficial and say my VIB Rouge Card from Sephora...nothing says beauty like a Naked pallet from Urban Decay and pretty much anything Kat Von D!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Sorry, this one was a bit on the bitchy side. This time of year makes me extremely grumpy, but not for the reasons it does most singletons...most people are lonely this time of year, I can't get left alone enough! It makes me grumpy because I'm expected to participate and I'm constantly either ridiculed or pitied because I won't. Even as a child, when Christmas was supposed to be this magical event, it was always a stressful, horrible time for me and I'm extremely grateful that I'm at an age now where I can choose to opt out. My grumpiness comes from everyone else's inability to accept this. I've had numerous comments directed towards me about Thanksgiving this week already and it will be worse by Christmastime.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Busy stitching week

Closer and closer she comes to being finished! I was very nearly done with the row at the beginning of the week:
pea163

and by early-mid week I had it done:
pea164
She looks so small while I'm stitching her, but all rolled out, she's huge! It's gonna cost me a fortune to get her framed!
pea165

But I did manage to get quite a bit into the final row:
pea167
This row will be much easier because the confetti is at a bare minimum. As a matter of fact, I'm almost done with most all of it now and it's pretty much smooth sailing from here!

I added an extra hour to Needle Club last week, but it didn't help much...Angel only went from here:
ail034

to here:
ail035
We won't have Needle Club this week due to the holiday...maybe I'll take her home and work on her Thanksgiving day. At least get further along if not done with this section so I can move on.

But to make myself feel better with my lack of Needle Club progress, I threw in a bit of work on Tartan B which went from here:
B-01

to here:
B-02
I'm still on the fence about the fabric, but it's such an easy pattern, I could always do it again if I don't like the result.

At least this week grants me an entire extra day of stitching! We don't do Thanksgiving in my family anymore (and I'm thankful for that), so I get to enjoy the day. I never liked Thanksgiving food and the stress of dealing with family has gotten too much for me to deal with in my old age. If it were just me and my sister, that would be one thing, but it's not. It's just better for me to stay away. That's the good thing about being an adult with Asperger's...there are no parents or counselors or teachers forcing you to do things you don't want to do because it's "good for you". I never understood that whole "good for you" mentality anyway. If something makes you miserably uncomfortable and causes lasting stress, then why be forced to do it? Why is the appearance of normality such a treasured goal? People always say that if you force yourself to step outside your comfort zone, it will get easier, but pretty much any Aspie will tell you that's utter and complete bull! The more I'm forced outside my comfort zone, the more I crawl inside myself and the worse I get. And the older I get, the more I realize it's SO not worth it! People at work keep asking about my Thanksgiving plans (you'd think they would know me by now) and give me that "poor Keiley" look when I try to explain. I'd be much worse off being forced into Thanksgiving versus doing it my way. Not everyone has the "perfect family" or likes to pretend they do. It is what it is and I am what I am (gee, I sound a bit like Popeye...must be all the spinach I eat!).

But I am hoping by Thanksgiving I'll be able to kick my Veronica Mars habit...I tried this past weekend after the fourth viewing of all three seasons (and probably the tenth viewing of the movie), but by last night, I was back in the trenches. I've got a couple of British DVD's on the way, so maybe they will redirect my attention for a while (at least long enough for me to get control), that is if they manage to come in this week. Ahh, the joys of OCD...if it's not one thing, it's another. At least it's diverting my Post-Disney Depression into a different outlet than the usual financially deprecating state I usually end up in. Some people eat when they are depressed...I spend, and spend lots, usually on Disney merchandise, but well past my means. If watching a TV show over and over and over again means I can save my wallet from being brutalized, then so be it! Besides, it provides a good background for stitching.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. What's something you take for granted, that when you stop and think about it you feel truly grateful for?
I complain a lot about being poor and living in a trailer...but when I stop to think about it, I have a very comfortable house with everything I could possibly need and I don't really want for any necessities, so I really have nothing to complain about.

2. The color brown-love it or no? What's your favorite shade of brown? Most loved something in your home or closet in a shade of brown?
Not a brown fan, but if I had to choose, I'd lean more towards the beige side...more of a blue-based brown than a red-based or yellow-based one. Back in the day, when I was in art school, my graphic design prof made us spend an entire week mixing paint until we had what we considered the perfect "beige" and the perfect "tan". Yeah, not a good way to keep a color in your good graces.

3. What's something you're looking forward to today?
Going home and cross stitching.

4. The word 'feminism' is not new, but it has been generating all kinds of headlines in recent days and months. What do you think/feel when you hear the word? If you're a woman, do you want to be described as a feminist? Why or why not?
When I was younger, I would have always described myself as a feminist. But the older I get, and the more I see how the world is changing, the more I realize that I'm very old fashioned and I'm definitely not a feminist. The best example I can give is the latest batch of Disney movies and how everyone "loves" the fact that the women in the stories don't need to be saved by men and can take care of themselves and "yea" what a positive influence that is for little girls. I prefer to be saved by the valiant knight on the white horse, thank you very much and I definitely prefer my escapism to reflect that. I don't need reiteration about how "independent" I am and how I don't "need" a man, but that doesn't keep me from wanting to see the proverbial Disney happy ending. And I've noticed the shift in guys too...they don't need to be chivalrous anymore, so they aren't. I prefer them chivalrous. I'll take a Darcy/Wentworth anyday over me being independent. Men will probably always make more than women for the same work, I wouldn't mind it so much if I had a man's salary contributing to my household income!

5. What's something you personally can't eat without making a mess?
McRib...but really, can anyone eat one without making a mess?

6. When did you last surprise someone with a little gift or when were you last surprised by someone with a little gift? What was it?
I don't like surprises, therefore, I don't like to give surprises.

7. Share a favorite quote, saying, song lyric or scripture relating to gratitude.

Been looking for an excuse to post the new Take That video anyway, but kind of sums up the whole living in the moment and being grateful for what you have theme. And I'm ALWAYS grateful to see Howard without his shirt on!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Why is it that things that are bad for you taste so good and things that are good for you typically taste bad? This diet would be far easier to get back on if I enjoyed eating healthy. I don't. I want pizza, cookie dough and icing, and coke zero and nerds constantly and I'm miserable because I can't have them and I'm miserable when I do have them because I feel guilty. Is it really worth it?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Forgetful me

I almost forgot to post my stitch update for the weekend. I didn't get as much done as I wanted to (I seem to be singing that song a lot lately). I could probably do nothing but sit on my butt 24/7 and stitch and still probably wouldn't think I had enough stitch time.

So last Monday:
pea156

To tonight:
pea162

So yeah, STILL not done with this row...it's like the row from hell!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. We celebrate Veteran's Day in the US of A on November 11th. When did you last interact with a member of the armed forces (either currently serving or retired)? Have you ever written a letter to a soldier, bought a meal or coffee for a solider, said an unprompted thank you to a soldier you encountered out and about somewhere? If you're not in the US, comment on a similar holiday in your own country.
I work with a few veterans and have numerous family members who are, so I'm around them all the time. I've found that the ones I'm around tend to not like it brought up, so I don't.

2. You can have fifty pounds of anything at all (except money)...what would you choose?
Disney merchandise.

3. When did you last receive an invitation in the 'real' mail? What was it for and did you attend? When it comes to RSVP-ing, are you an 'early responder' or a 'last minute, barely-under-the-wire' kind of guest?
I don't remember, but I rarely ever attend events, so that's probably why I don't get invites.

4. What's something you really don't like to waste?
Food, but I think that's a pre-programmed tick more than a waste thing...the whole "clean your plate club" mentality and all.

5. Cheers, Friends, MASH, Seinfeld...of the ones listed, your favorite long-running sitcom?
None, but if I have to choose, then I choose the Cheers spin-off, Wings...my most-favorite American show ever.

6. What decision are you glad you made?
To get divorced and to stay that way.

7. In this month of 'Thanksgiving' what is one thing that's different today than it was a year ago that you're grateful for?
Nothing is really different, so I'm guess I'm grateful for that...it could be worse!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I'd much rather be home stitching and watching Veronica Mars (third viewing of the series in two weeks, FYI...I must force myself to stop watching it!).

Monday, November 10, 2014

Stitching doesn't come as easy...

It takes me a while to get back to full-steam ahead stitch-wise after a vacation, but I'm getting better. I was up to a row every two weeks before vacation, now I'm struggling to do a row every three weeks. Granted, the "friend" that resides in my head has been acting up a lot lately and my headaches have been more frequent, but considering there are only four pages to a row, I feel like a major stitch-slacker! I'm still on track to finish Pea by the end of the year though. Here is this week's progress rom Monday:
pea150

to last night:
pea155
This mattress layer is a bit more confetti'ed than the others, so that is also slowing me down. But you might notice a little circle starting to appear on the lower left side...it's almost Pea time!

For Needle Club last week, I went back to Angel:
ail033

I still haven't decided if I want to continue on the Edinburgh fabric for my Tartan "B", so I've put it aside for now. I'm also a bit short in the fabric stash department and can't justify spending money on more at the moment, so this might have to wait quite a while if I decide to change material.

I did manage to edit a couple hundred more Disney pics, but am nowhere near finished. I've settled back into normalcy faster than usual during Post-Disney Depression, but it's still too early to deal with the pictures. Maybe after the first of the year I'll get a whim and finish them up. Or maybe once Pea is finished, I can refocus. Time will tell.

Oh, and I did adjust my weight loss ticker...it's obvious that all the weight I gained during vacation isn't going to come off as easily as it went on, so getting it back up to 70 (or even higher) is my new goal.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Weekly stitch update

Due to my darned head, I didn't get to work on Pea all week but, when I was able to work on her, I got quite a bit done. Started the new row Monday:
pea146

And got here Sunday night:
pea149

Instead of working on Angel at Needle Club, I started a new project. I'm still not sure how I feel about it, I don't care for the material (36ct Edinburgh) and I think the stitches look too rough, but here it is anyway:
B-01

It's a Tartan monogram of my initial by Xed Stitches. It was one of those "in the moment" purchases, but I really liked the pattern. I am having a bit of an issue with the blue color...my tartan is more navy than medium blue, but I think, once the other colors get woven in, it will blend well enough. Time will tell. I forgot how much I HATE working with a hoop. I much prefer scroll bars. It's so much easier to stitch two-handed versus one-handed (and much faster).