Monday, May 30, 2016

Weekly Stitching

There are good and bad points to long weekends...the good being that I get more stitch time, the bad being that the more I'm home, the more I want to stay at home and never leave. I've managed to work myself up into a headache over it, so this is going to be a short post. I left off with Alice and the B's here:
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and made it here tonight before I had to stop:
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I just couldn't muster enough to finish Cinderella's head. I need to get back into a normal rotation, so I really should switch projects this week.

I also managed to finish a diamond cross stitch:
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And tried to start another one, but there were some beads missing so I had to email the seller (who is promptly sending out replacements). I started another project, but it's small, not at all what I was expecting on top of being hard to see and full of confetti, so I haven't really been in the mood to work on it much. Guess that's good news for my stitching.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Rainy Wedding framed

Well, not so great a pic, but here it is in all its glory:
I got it framed at Hobby Lobby and it took over a month of waiting. I've heard so many horror stories about Hobby Lobby framing, so I was more than a bit terrified. My initial conversation with the framing staff did nothing to make me feel better either. There was talk of splitting the mat up into two separate pieces to accommodate the two windows (I thought that was stupid, but they made it seem like it was my only option). The guy also tried to sell me an expensive velvet mat (which made no sense since you can't feel/see it under glass) and he almost snarled when I asked for the cheapest black frame they had. But we hammered out all the details and I was told it would take three weeks and the initial quote was $57.

It was supposed to be ready on the 24th, so I called on the 23rd just to check. The guy I spoke with was rather rude and told me they would call me when the project was due to be finished (i.e. the 24th). Well, since today was the 26th and I still hadn't heard anything, I called up there yet again. Come to find out, the frame was backordered until the end of September and no one bothered to call me! When I relayed my Monday conversation, this new guy told me that they had a great frame in stock that would probably work better and, not only would it be ready in 10 minutes, but they wouldn't charge me for the frame! True to his word, in almost exactly 10 minutes, he called me and within another 10, I was picking it up.

When all was said and done, it cost $32 for the glass and the mat, which is still nothing to scoff at, especially considering the last project I had framed by a professional framer cost me well over $200 (but in all fairness, they mounted that project and that's always a HUGE chunk of the cost - I mount the projects myself now, partly because it easy to do and partly because I just don't trust someone else manhandling my hard work).

Despite the problems, I think I'm happy enough with it that I am going to take Pea up there and let them frame that too and I'm pretty sure I'm going to get Highland Girl re-framed (or at least a new mat cut). They did do an extremely good job and it's more than within my price range to get my wayward projects framed. I bought the foam core to mount the remaining stuff, I just have to take the time to do it. I figure getting one project done a month won't be that much of an expense, and for the projects that are a standard size, I can always buy a frame and just have them cut a mat. Granted, the more projects I take up there, the more opportunities I'm giving them to prove their nightmarish hype, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

More stash, oh my!

Like I actually needed more stash, but my regular journey through the Disney patterns on Etsy led me to another spending splurge at Neni Designs. Since she still has the 10 patterns for $10 sale (as well as a 20/$20 and a 30/$30 now) and she has new Disney designs, my obsession got the better of me. Thankfully, I stuck to the 10, but now I have yet another 10 patterns I will probably never be able to stitch in this lifetime. Without further ado - the one I'm most excited about (and might actually do before Lilo and Stitch Otherwise):
Happy Haunts
There were several that almost made the cut in my previous purchases, but for one reason or another got edged out...this time, however, they got their chance:
Mickey and Minnie Main Street
Disney Halloween 2
Disney Halloween 1
And there were quite a few other new ones:
Mickey and Mickey
I always kicked myself for not getting this as a kit in Disney World during the 35th Anniversary (I picked the other kit instead when I should have just bought both), so this will make a valid substitute:
Disney Heroes 28
These next two stumped me a bit (since they are one picture split) and I will more than likely merge them into one:
Graffiti Disney Villains 2
Graffiti Disney Villains 1
I'm thinking this one would be a good one for my sister:
Afternoon Tea - Alice In Wonderland
And last, but certainly not least, another one that I'm extremely excited about:
Walt Disney and Heroes 2
Now I just have to get more of the copy cover paper I use to print these and yet another large binder for Disney patterns (this will make volume 5). Funny how all that "room to grow" in my new cross stitch stash shelves is almost all full now. Great.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Weekly Stitching and IHSW

I know my blogging has been limited to weekly stitching posts, but I think it's just an after-effect of the April A to Z Challenge. Besides, other than my extremely sucky work life and my non-existent home life, there just isn't anything exciting to share.

Before I get to the IHSW stuff, I continued working on Night Wish this past week. Although I'm still not up to my normal stitching self, I did do better. I left here last week:
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And by Thursday night, I was here:
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For the start of the second International Hermit and Stitch Weekend (I missed last week's), I wanted to work on Night Wish and I did on Friday, although not very much because I worked late:
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But after spending most of Saturday afternoon helping a friend buy supplies for her first HAED (and she managed to get every single thread she needed...that NEVER happens to me), I decided to go back to Alice and the B's. I haven't stitched on them since January and I left off here:
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Between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, I managed to get a bit farther on Cinderella's hair and face:
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I'd forgotten how much I missed working on a Jasmine Becket-Griffith and I think it's helping to get my stitching mojo back. I've only ever finished three HAED's, and they've all been JBG pieces, so I feel a strong connection to her work.

I've kind of fallen into a nice routine of stitching until I take my headache meds at night, and then working on my diamond cross stitch/painting project until the pills knock me out for the night. I've also started my fourth run of watching all seven seasons of The Gilmore Girls. I tried to stop after run 3, but OCD just doesn't work that way.

I know I have to get back to Suteki, but I'm just not ready to face it right now. I'm gonna have to hit it at some point before the end of the month so I'll have an update for the New Stitchy Start Blog. There just isn't enough time in the day for me to live the way I want to...I seriously need to find a way to become independently wealthy so I don't have to work anymore and I can spend all day stitching!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Stitching and other distractions

I started the week out great stitch-wise...my stitch bug was back and I was all excited. I left off here last weekend:
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And by Monday night had made significant progress:
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I was anxious for Tuesday night, but then the mail ran and several more diamond painting/cross stitch kits arrived. I tried to wait, but I just couldn't. I had already finished two, the tiny one:
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And the tree that was destined for work:
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But during my first shopping blitz on AliExpress, I found another tree I liked better and it arrived, so Tuesday and Wednesday was used up:
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But I still needed to finish the Amazon kit that was short on beads, so I just used another color and finished it Wednesday and Thursday:
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Come Friday, I got the kit I was most excited about and spent the entire weekend working on it (although it's so huge, I only made it almost halfway through):
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If there is one thing I've learned about this stuff, the bigger the project, the better the image, but I seriously question the AliExpress size descriptions because none of them are ending up the way I pictured them. I want to buy a bigger (and square diamond) Disney Castle and redo it. Guess it's a good thing this is a VERY cheap hobby! I have several more kits in the wings, but hopefully when I finish this newest one, I'll be able to go back to stitching for a while. Guess we'll see.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

TUSAL, stitching, and a bit of a brag

First up, as per usual, I'm late for this month's TUSAL post. Since it didn't manage to make it into the A to Z Challenge, how about a bit of my pirate-land?
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The ORTS really grew this month because of Rainy Wedding's words. It's really hard not to waste a ton of variegated thread and waste I did.

Speaking of which, I finally got Rainy Wedding mounted. I went with the words at the bottom, although I part of me still thinks it might have worked better on top:
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I'm pretty sure we'll go simple...black mat and black frame, but when will be a bigger question. I'd like to get it done before Jessica comes back from maternity leave in the next couple of weeks, but I'm just not sure.

On the stitching front, I didn't start back until Saturday and only stitched for about 20 minutes (more on that in a minute). Sunday was much better though, I managed a full day. I was going to work on Suteki, but I figured I'd better work on something I like if I wanted to get my stitching bug back, so I went with Night Wish instead. I left off on her here back in January (has it really been that long?):
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and finished here tonight, FINALLY finishing the first page and a good chunk of the second:
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I didn't realize that the light gray specks were stars until I was putting the finished page in the binder and I saw the original mock-up picture. Funny how you don't notice details sometimes, even as you are stitching them. I plan to continue on her for the rest of the week and then see where I feel like going next weekend. I'd like to get back into my rotation of projects, but I need to get my mojo back first and now I have yet another complication to distract me.

The reason why I barely got any work done on Saturday was because my Sister came over to discuss our future Disney plans and we managed to get our fall trip booked! I'M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!! It was pretty complicated because Am and her husband are going to fly down and he's only able to stay 4 days, but I'm driving and she and I are staying for a total of 8 days. Plus, since free dining is happening then, it's hard to book anything at that time of year.

We ended up having to book them in one resort, and me in another, but my long time wish to stay at the Beach Club Resort at Disney World is about to come true! They are in the Yacht Club, and after that 4th day, she will move to the Beach Club with me. This will be an amazing trip! I'm very curious to see if their Yacht Club experience will be better than mine was. It will also sway our individual resort counts...I won't have stayed anywhere she hasn't, and she will have stayed at two more than me...Boardwalk Inn and The Grand Floridian/Indian Burial Ground Resort (and it's not like I will EVER stay there anyway, too many bad ju-ju vibes).

We also already got our Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party tickets bought (since there is only one day of our trip where we all three can go), so I have to come up with a schedule around it and get our dining reservations booked ASAP, but that's a task for next week.

And now for the brag...when my Sister arrived, she had a gift with her:
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I have wanted the Haunted Mansion Dooney since they came out, but the cost and the hard-to-get nature of them had made it impossible (at least for me). It's just so pretty! I can't stop looking at it and it smells like a new car! She also bought one for herself, so we have matching bags, but I'm totally cool with that. Thank goodness for the Shop Disney Parks App. She's been stalking it ever since we got back from Disney World in March, and she managed to get lucky one day. I have an AMAZING Sister!

I've also been binge watching The Avengers movies this weekend...I am determined to go to the movies this week and see Captain America: Civil War if it kills me. It will take a tremendous effort for me to go by myself, but I think that Cap is worth it (or at least I hope I do or I will never get out of the car). I guess it's pretty sad that the only side-effect of the loss of a 15-year friendship is the lack of a movie buddy. We Aspers are pretty cold-blooded creatures, that's for sure.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A to Z Reflections Post

I'm going to try not to be as wordy as previous years (but no promises). I did two challenges this year, my Jane Austen Alphabet Cross Stitch project, which is now complete:
Austen Alphabet28
I haven't gotten it framed yet...heck, I still haven't gotten last year's framed either, so there is no telling when it will get done. Thanks to my friend Tiff for her suggestion of the blue fabric over the brown...she made the right choice I think!

There is really nothing more to add on my second challenge, My Disney Collection, other than I have realized that my OCD apparently isn't strong enough to focus me in one particular direction. I like to think I have a Duck Room and a Princess/Villains room, but it's more like a Duck/Stitch/Parks room, a Mickey Bathroom, a Disney-themed kitchen, a living room filled with various objects, and a Princess and Villains bedroom. I don't think as a whole, they look so bad, it just looked a bit hoarderish when I divided them up into categories. Best I can do on this front is a few overview pictures of two my main Disney-themed rooms in my house, the Duck Room:
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And my bedroom/Princess-Villains Room:
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Please forgive the unmade bed, I was in a hurry and I guess it's a good thing I'm not in a relationship...that bedroom would be hard to explain! These rooms are honestly the only hoarder-like spaces in my house, it's more subtle everywhere else.

There were a TON of great bloggers this year and most finished the entire challenge, so congrats everybody! It would take me forever to name all the ones I liked, but just a few highlights...

My bestest friend Kate over at The Suddenly Kate Show did a Disney list and blew me away! I had no idea she was going to do a Disney challenge, but I couldn't wait to check her blog every day! I'd like to think it was me that influenced her, but that's probably just my Asper-ego blowing out of proportion again.

Charity's Writing Journey did an amazing job with her Astronomy-themed list and almost every topic she hit on was one of my favorites!

FanGirl Stitches did several different cross stitch projects as well as a Harry Potter-themed challenge over at her Travel Like A Geek blog. Since she is the designer of my Austen Alphabet, special thanks to Roslyn...I owe you yet again girl!

Tama at Stitching Daze did a whole list of amigurumi patterns (and I'm still reeling over the variety!). I can't knit to save my life, but she's got me wantin' to try somethin' awful!

Stephanie Faris did a gripping list of mysterious events, some I'd heard of, some I hadn't, but each equally interesting.

Geoff at TanGental did an beautiful picture tour of London (like I needed another reason to want to go).

Tails from the Road did a great A to Z on travelling with your little one (or at least a little one in my case). Since I'm planning a puppy and me road trip, I think they taught me a lot! And since I mentioned my little rug-rat, here he is in his favorite position on the couch (normally, his head is buried too, I still haven't figured out how he doesn't suffocate himself):
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Crafting Paws did a fantastic job stitching the DC A to Z. I learned a ton about characters I'd never heard of from the DC world (side effect of being a Marvel girl), and I was completely in awe of her clean stitching...I'm totally jealous!

Another great Disney list at Writing for Murphy and I really enjoyed the Murphy-point-of-view!

Then there were the fabulous educational blog topics (which I LOVE), like Part-Time Monster's Witchy Women, Modhukori's Greek Mythology, Rob Powell Writes' Plantagenet's List, Onomastics Outside The Box and Characters from Dante's Inferno, and last but not least, AJ Sefton's People of the Dark Ages.

There were dozens of others I read faithfully (although I'm horrible at commenting on, so please forgive me), and I'm sorry if I didn't mention you...I had to cut off somewhere! And a super-massive THANK YOU to everyone who offered kind comments to me! I'm never sure how to respond, but I did try to respond to everyone.

Thanks again to the moderators this year for hosting, and a special thanks for NOT forcing "pimping" our blogs out as they have done in previous years. That has always been a HUGE pet peeve of mine and I didn't even notice it this year. I know some of the bloggers do the challenge for the attention and to garner more followers, but me and most of the people I know do it simply for the fun and/or challenge of it and I think that SHOULD be the reason to do the challenge in the first place.

About the only suggestion I would make for next year is that there were a couple blogs that had topics concerning subjects that I'm a self-professed expert on (not hard to figure out what) and I found myself getting quite angry at their continual printing of misinformation or outdated facts (I tried commenting corrections at first, but I had to just stop reading them altogether because it was pissing me off). It got me to wondering how many other bloggers did the same about subjects I'm not knowledgeable on. Here I am thinking I'm learning something completely new, but how do I know if they truly new their stuff or was just making it up as they went along? I can't really think too hard on that because it really gets me bent out of shape, but I have also never noticed this in all the years I've been doing the challenge, so it was a completely new conundrum. I doubt it's feasible to have a "fact police" squad out there checking the information in the blogs, but maybe there could be a way to report a blogger who obviously is printing bad info continuously (everyone makes mistakes, but if post after post is wrong, there is obviously a problem). Did anyone else notice this or was it just me?

And I guess that's it for this year! Can't wait until next year and I already have several ideas lined up in my head (not all Disney related, believe it or not!).

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Normal stitching resumes...sort of

First up, some very important news...I got RAK'ed! Me...little ole me! I received this amazing piece of fabric in the mail just last week:
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It's a pretty fantastic thing!

I did manage to finish the A to Z project a week early, so I started back on the wording for Rainy Wedding and managed to finish it not 30 minutes ago:
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I altered the pattern considerably (yes, you read that right, I altered a pattern!). The bottom was supposed to be a mirror of the top, but it was so overpowering considering the lettering was so small, I needed a softer finish.

Now the big decision, do I put the wording at the top (imagine both projects mounted together with a mat covering the seam lines):
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or the bottom:
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The initial plan was for the bottom, but I'm beginning tho think it might look better at the top...what do you guys think?

On to other matters, I started a new hobby. I was watching one of my usual Flosstubers, and she mentioned Diamond Cross Stitch. I started looking around YouTube and had a lot of trouble finding details about it, but I found this one that describes the process pretty well:

I got my first one at the beginning of the week and managed to hold off until Wednesday, but after about five minutes, I was completely hooked! I managed to finish the first one by Thursday:
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My second by midday Saturday:
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And I started the biggest on Saturday although I forced myself not to touch it today:
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There are different styles, round and square and they are as different as night and day! I've ordered several more kits, but they take a while to come in. When they do, they come with the beads (which thankfully match DMC colors):
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They come with all the supplies you need:
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The little trays are great...you dump a bunch of beads in the tray, shake it, and they line up like soldiers!

Up close, you can tell the difference between square:
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and round:
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I need to back a regular cross stitch routine, but this is so enjoyable, it's all I'm thinking about right now. The fact that the big one is already short on beads has me a bit flustered though. And it's pretty uncomfortable being all hunched over at the kitchen table, at least with stitching I can sit comfortably in my recliner.