Sunday, December 30, 2012

Organizing the Stash

One of the main reasons I haven't been stitching as much as I would like is because I am actually taking the time to catalogue all of the stitching stash that I have. I knew I had quite the collection going, but now I have realized exactly how much I have. Holy crap! 

A little backstory here: My Blackberry phone was dying, and I had limped it along to make it last. At almost 4 years, it was finally time to get a new phone. I deliberated and contemplated the options I had. I agonized over it because I really - REALLY - did not want to learn a new phone or have to go through the trouble of transferring all of my data over. Yuck! Well, I'm not working out of the house, so the Blackberry isn't as "job important" as it once was, and I can sync my Google Calendar to the iPhone since I use it on my iPad. Plus, there's all of the shopping apps and lifestyle apps that I have been using on my iPad that would be so much more convenient in a travel size, so I opted for the iPhone. There is a iPhone 5 out, but I chose the iPhone 4S. For 1) the 4S was cheaper since it was an older version and I got a great trade-in value on my BB, 2) There's a ton more things I can do with the iPhone than the BB, and 3) I can create really cool cases through Heritage Makers.

So, I went ahead and purchased the organization app through the Cross Stitch Guild. I had spent a long time looking at the various apps available for cataloguing, but this was the best one.  I've spoken with the creator, and they are working on some great upgrades to make it even better, which makes me happier that I purchased that one. Most of the apps are very specific: DMC thread, fabrics, beads, etc. The CSG has everything in one location - well, other than beads, but they're looking to add that. 
As you can see, the app allows you to log in everything you have or might have. It will make it so much more convenient for me when I'm looking to kit up a project or to decide which project to do next (since I'll know if I have everything or not). And then there's the ability to decide at a sale what I have and what I don't. Oh the luxury!! Oh, and notice that I can take pictures of my phone screen with the iPhone - I couldn't do that with the Blackberry - cool!!
 This shows me exactly what I have on hand for floss, what I need for a project and what I don't have.
 Jane said they're working on making it possible to create folders, so each of the manufacturers can be separated and then the colors placed in each folder.  For now, I'll have to search by name for the Crescent Colours, Valdani, Gentle Arts, etc.
 Again, I cannot separate by manufacturer, but it's still great to see what I have inside all of the bins. 
And then, I can see who it is made by, what size I have, and then a picture of it!! Whoo-hoo!

This particular endeavor for my Winter Break is taking me a lot longer than I anticipated. It would have been easier if I didn't have such the stash collection, but it's been fun to see exactly what I have on hand!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Baby Sampler Update

I missed the IHSW posting, and I failed to even sign up for this year. That worked out well especially considering we were entirely too busy over the weekend for me to stitch. 

Now that Christmas is over, I have been able to get some stitching done, and I'm happy to report that there has been some progress on Jordan's Baby Sampler.  Here is where it was when I left off:
And here is where I left off last night:
I will state that I no longer enjoy having a kit. I really do enjoy picking my own fabric (usually a hand-dyed), and I definitely noticed the difference in the floss.  This floss is knotting and breaking a LOT, and I am not enjoying all of the time that it is taking to make this. I will get it done so that my youngest has her own sampler, and I'm sticking with the kit to have it match her sisters'.  

I'm not sure what you all got for Christmas, but I am happy to brag say that I didn't have to purchase my own stitching stash. My husband knows where to find my Wish Lists, and he spoiled me rotten.  Of course, most of us have trained our hubby's/significant others to bookmark our Wish Lists on the various websites. He always knows where to find exactly what I want (and, in all fairness, I know where to find all of his). Please excuse my Christmas Morning appearance, but it's the gifts you'll notice anyway.
 Yay!! I finally own a pair of Gingher scissors - this is Ella and a cute sunflower FOB
 The Mirabilia Santa (oh, I so wanted him) and some coffee
 You can't see it clearly, but this is the Fireside Embroidery. The chart is a HAED, but 
the artwork is my aunt's, Kim Jacobs. How cool for me!
Another coffee pattern, and then Mill Hill's Margarita and Sunflower Fields. 

There is more that the hubby didn't get a picture of, the Spider Banner pattern, a Mill Hill Flip-Flop kit, a Kreinik corder, and some project cards and floss.  Oh, I definitely have too much stash, but it's so nice to be able to peruse and decide what to do next!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ready for the New Year

I managed to get another finish in for 2012 - the Month of January by Stoney Creek. I was planning to spend the rest of the month working on the baby sampler, but then I found myself wanting to curl up on the sofa with my girls over the weekend. We had cold and rainy weather this weekend, so I chose to cuddle up with a small project and the girls rather than have the stand out.  That one day of movie-watching and girl time let me complete this entire project in the one day. Very cool for me!

As an added bonus, our eldest son showed up to spend time with us, and he watched me complete this little pattern. He was amazed at how this came together and he started asking pertinent questions: So each symbol represents a color? How do you know where to start? Why do you get the knots and then take the time to get them out? Etc.

It was cool to have him help me put it into the frame and see it complete and waiting for January 1st. He even asked about which patterns I had left to do and what would I do when all 12 are done. HAHAHA!! Yeah, I showed him my stash - he couldn't believe how many patterns I have on my to-do list.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December TUSAL Ort Report

Where, exactly, has the entire year of 2012 gone??? I seem to recall that just the other day I was posting on my family blog about what a great New Year's celebration we had, and now I have decorated my house for Christmas. Hmmmm......Time just keeps flying by! Wow!

So, here is my December Ort Report:
Can  you see all of the Christmas stitching that I was feverishly doing over the last month??

I am not sure if I will have a post prior, but Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that no matter what your faith or beliefs and what your situation, that you will have a wonderful holiday and being able to spend this season exactly the way that you want. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wine Charm - set complete

Whew!! The set of wine charms is complete and ready for my trip up North to visit with my co-workers - two of which will each receive a set of these. I am really happy with the way these turned out, and I'm actually excited to finish the last Santa for myself as well.

I loved being able to use my wine charm for the evening with my hubby.  He actually likes what I made and liked to choose his own charm for the night.
The hubby did figure out that having a wine charm to identify the glasses made it more difficult for him to "steal" my glass when his was all gone.  HeeHee

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Stitchmas Wish - Blog Hop #13

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop
The prompt for this lucky number is: The holidays are right around the corner and gift exchanges are happening everywhere you look. If an amazingly magical Stitchmas Santa were to fly overhead and bring you one stitching wish, what would it be?
Now, I will readily admit that I "cheated" a little bit by reading some of the other responses to this before writing my own answer. You see, I was having trouble trying to decide what amazing item or idea I would want to ask Santa for. This dilemma is nothing new. Every time my hubby asks me what I want, he gets frustrated because of the "deer in the headlight" look that is his response.

What more can I add to my list other than what I already have in my life? I have a loving husband who has shown me unconditional love; our children who are happy and healthy; our home, etc. I know that it's rather "Peace, Love and Goodwill" type, but it's always how I feel. Christmas was not something I looked forward to most of my life. I tended to be forgotten and given small gifts usually without much thought. So, as much as I have loved this Season, I never looked for gifts. 

Time would be a great Stitchmas gift. I, too, have more stash than I will probably be able to get to in a lifetime.  I'm also afraid that almost everything I have will have to be gifts for others because there just isn't enough space in my house or wall space for all of the projects that I have and love.

A really great LNS would be awesome!! However, I've done really well for the past 20 years in mail order and the Internet has allowed me to find everything I want and need at some really great prices. So, that isn't really on the list either. I have many wish lists on various sites that my hubby keeps track of so he is never without an idea of what to give me. 
And finally, I figure it out! I would love to actually physically meet other stitchers and connect with them. It's great to see the love and support online - whether on the blogs or on social networking, but there is not a connection to these people for me. I'm not typically someone who gets a random email, no one really knows who I am or what it is that I do in my "real" life as well as my stitching. None of my other friends stitch and as much as my husband tries to understand what it is that I do, he doesn't get it.  I'm sure that there are other types of stitching I could learn, tips that someone could teach me or how cool would it be to just sit with someone else and stitch and chat?? Most of the Get-Togethers are back East, and I can't afford the travel let alone find the time. I find myself envious of those who live close enough to each other that they can actually have a little get-together and spend time together with their shared love of this hobby.

It seems to be a silly request, and I'm tempted to remove it so I don't seem as pathetic as this reads to me. However, a wish is a wish, and it's the one that I have.

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wine Charm - almost a set

I have finished three sets of two of the wine charms from the Cross-Stitch and Needlework magazine. I am making two sets as gifts for some co-workers and a set for myself. These are quick little stitches, but the gluing and beading takes some extra time that is very well spent. 

The second wine charm is the ornament. I chose it next because there was no backstitching - the next two will have small amounts of backstitching, so I wanted to wait to do those.

Once again, the felt was stiffened and the beads attached after assembling everything together.

These are coming together very nicely, and I should have them ready in time for seeing these co-workers on Wednesday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Award

Wow!! Thank you Monica for such an honor!! I spend most of my time chronicling what it is I do so I don't forget what I worked on and how long it took me, and so that there is a record of my "accomplishments" for my children. It's been really great for me to receive comments from you, and I cannot put into words how awesome it is for me to have your support and encouragement. 

So, Monica gave me this Liebster Award which I am going to proudly display on my sidebar. And, of course, there are some rules to follow with this:

Liebster is a German word meaning dearest, favorite or beloved. Liebster Awards are given by bloggers to other bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers, to spread the word and help newer bloggers gain wider recognition. 

1. Choose 5 bloggers with fewer than 200 followers to award the Liebster to.

2. Show thanks to the blogger who awarded the Liebster to you by linking back to their blog. 

3.  Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving awards to, with links to their sites, and comment on their blog to let them know that you have given them the award.

It was not easy for me to pick five blogs to give the award to. My first problem is that all of my "favorites" are linked to my home page, so I had to open that blog first and then go through the list. My first couple choices are very popular, so they didn't qualify, but I quickly found my list of 5:

1. Leslie at Stitching Under the Sea
2. Monique at Cross Stitch Ramblings
3. Shaunterria at Ca11i0pe's Reviews and Stitching News
4. Pull the Other Thread
5. Rosie at ishkabibble

To everyone who visits and especially those who comment - thank you always for visiting. I love seeing what everyone is working on! I learn new tips and tricks, and I'm always happy to find a new stash item. There are days when I'm not inspired to stitch, but I will peruse the Web and look at your blogs with all of your beautiful work, and then I find my muse again and pick up my own needle. It's a lot of time and work to maintain these sites, but I always love that we do it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Hostess Gift: Wine Charm

I needed to get a gift done for my friend - not only is it her turn to host Thanksgiving, but I had done a post to have people get a handmade gift from me this year and she was one. I spent months trying to figure out to make each person, and then I saw the latest Cross Stitch and Needlework Magazine - PERFECT!!
 So, I sat down last night and stitched the Christmas Tree. It only took an hour and a half to stitch it (it would have been less if I hadn't added an extra row and had to frog). 

This morning, I used Aleene's Stiffen Quik on the white felt in order to stiffen it to hold the backside of the charm. I had received my order from Fusion Beads which included the Sterling Silver Beading Hoop, the jump rings and the 3mm Swarovski Elements Crystal Mix- Christmas blend. 

I put everything together based on the picture, and added the crystals. I decided to add the jump rings prior to gluing the felt on the back. I didn't see how I would be able to add the jump rings through the felt and it seemed the better way. 

So, in just a few hours, I have a great little gift to give my friend. Even my hubby has decided that he likes the looks of these and has requested a custom order for his own Wine Charm.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

IHSW Update

The weekend for stitching came to an end. I already posted my progress on the Month of December which kicked off the IHSW weekend. How cool to have a finish during the Stitching Weekend!!

I did not get much time to stitch for the rest of the weekend. I'm stuck having to work on the week off in order to prepare for a State Audit, so I wanted to focus on getting the work done, but I did manage to get a little progress done on the Baby Sampler:

Some frogging was necessary on the collar, but the jack-in-the-box is coming along nicely. My daughter, for whom this is being made, has been watching my progress very carefully. She is asking questions about what I'm working on and when I think I'll me done. It's cute and fun for her to see something for her come to life.

Blog Hop # 12: Being Thankful

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

This prompt for #12 is:  
When it comes to the stitching part of your life, what are you most thankful for?

Wow! There is so much for me to be thankful for, and given that this week is Thanksgiving, I find myself more reflective than normal. House, food, family, love, my dreams and goals - that's just a small list of things I am thankful for. 

However, to include my stitching in this opens up an entirely new train of thoughts. I'm grateful that I have a hobby that I can afford. Being able to fund my passion is always a great thing. 

I am so thankful that my stitching allows me to get away from all of the stress and chaos that goes on around me. I love that I not only have the ability to "unplug" from the world, but I am able to create something. It's a great feeling to see the end result of my time and have decorations or presents for others.

Another thing I am thankful for is the people I have met. While most people do not stay in my life and there are countless others I do not know because of Facebook, it is great to chat with others who have the same hobby and learn new techniques, tips, and get information on projects I never knew existed. While it is a "faceless" group of people that I will probably never meet in person, it has been great for me to see that their lives are similar to my own. It's always helpful to know you are not the only one going through trials, and again, to share an outlet for this stress is great!

I've moved a number of times, but only once was there a Local Needlework Shop. It did help me to acclimate to the new area, but I have found that just having my supplies in my new home or location helps tremendously especially since cross-stitching is not a big thing here in California. There just aren't many LNS. I just love being able to have "my" things hear me, and again, I'm thankful to have the items as well as the comfort of the hobby. I remember when I had to give up everything after leaving my now ex-husband. It was horrible to lose so many of my possessions, but not having anything to stitch really made it more difficult for me when I obtained my own apartment again. I was so thankful and happy to make my first purchase again after the separation, and I realized quickly how much easier it was to adjust to the new life and it gave me the ability to help my daughters more with their transition as well.  (I have made up for all of the lost stitching supplies and now have more than what I lost - the loss of my girls' baby pictures is still something that grates, but I've learned to deal with it.)

Which brings me to my ultimate "Thanks" - for so many reasons, I am thankful to Ken. Without him, I would not have the "things" that I desire in life but his love and total support makes my life enjoyable and possible. He and I have many similar interests, but while he does not try stitching himself, he is supportive of my hobby as I am his of wood working. It's great to know that I can count on him for anything and everything, but it's also great to be able to enjoy my hobby with him supporting me from the sidelines.

I can't wait to see what others have written about this prompt....

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

An Early IHSW

It was just the beginning of the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, but I have a finish to start it off. My December Stockings is complete and going in the frame to wait for the month to start!

Now, I hope to concentrate on the baby sampler for the rest of the weekend!