Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wipocalypse - First in 2013!

This is my first participation in the Wipocalypse. I am so glad that Measi is allowing for an "anytime" joining, so if you're new to it, then click on over Here for the information and join. Her 2013 button isn't ready yet, but we'll have that soon. I missed joining this last year as I was new to the blogging world, but I was all caffeinated and ready to go this year. I found that participating in these little events really helped me to finish projects as well as document them and showcase them. I have also found that I have gotten to see others' work and get to know them which has helped me to learn more techniques and about new designers. More stash - who wouldn't be happy. 

So, this month's theme is easy - introduce yourself and your plan for 2013.  My "about me" sums it up pretty well: I am the wife to an incredible man (USMC Retired) and mother to three daughters and step-mother to three sons. We are a blended family which has challenges all its own, but we make it work. This blog is a compilation of all of my creativity. Of course, that means that I spend most of my time following a pattern, but it is what I have made by hand.

And yes, you read that right - we have 6 children between us: three boys and three girls. Two of the boys are in college now and the third is in his junior year in high school.  The girls are all in the K-8 system so we have a little ways to go with them. We have our ex-spouse dramas, but we deal with them together. The girls have not been able to visit with their dad at his choice for the last two years, so my hubby is their full-time dad - which they love.  This was us just a bit over 4 years ago (time sure flies by):
In addition to all of this fun family stuff, I also work full time as a Special Education teacher. I work with students who are Mild to Moderately disabled which means that it is mostly learning disabilities, but I have added authorizations for Traumatic Brain Injury, Emotionally Disturbed and now I'm working on the Autism Authorization.

As you read, my hubby is Retired from the Marine Corps, but it is a medical retirement so we have various doctor's appointments that we attend, and some issues we monitor. So far, he looks and acts fairly "normal" and we are grateful for each day as we have it. (Normal is not a word we use in this house often. I don't think I've actually ever been accused of being normal, so it's a relative term. Haha!!)

Yes, you guessed it!! Stitching is my link to sanity!! It actually always has been. I taught myself to cross-stitch when I was 19 to help with working/college/life just as a normal American teenager who was on her own. It was great!! Most everything I made was given away as gifts, and sadly, I never kept pictures of what I made. Now, I selectively give gifts to those I think will appreciate them, and I keep my children happy with their items and my house decorated.  I have my Finishes listed in their own area, and my to-do list also kept on its own. 

However, to make things "official," here is what I am hoping to finish in 2013:

Jordan's Baby Sampler
Stoney Creek Months: February, March, April & May
Mirabilia Sunflower Fairy
Celtic Wedding Sampler
Letter from Nora - "M"
Letter from Nora - "T"
Stoney Creek Autumn Bell Pull
Cross Eyed Cricket Autumn
Mill Hill Poinsettia Ornament

I'm sure I will add to this list or deviate from it during the year, but these are the main items that I would love to finish in 2013.  

Well, on to the stitching!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A New WIP for IHSW

What a lovely and long weekend for me here in the States and it coincided with our stitching weekend. We celebrated the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday which meant no work for me and no school for the girls. And how did I spend it??? Yes, stitching, of course!!

Yes, I finally felt human enough to follow a pattern and work on some cross-stitching. I took a break (again) from the baby sampler to work on a bookmark for a friend's daughter. I just learned that an old high school friend of mine is having fundraisers and is worried about his 10-year-old daughter, Lori, who has Rhabdomyosarcoma Alveolar. This is a cancer of the muscles and it typically is found in children.

Well, my heart just ached for her. I watched my husband and another friend of ours go through cancer treatment, and I see the agony of yet another friend of mine who monitors her son's remission status. What a horrible disease cancer is!! 

As soon as I learned of Lori's condition, I purchased this great chart by Imaginating:
And I got to stitching on the bookmark. I know that Lori is going through some serious chemotherapy, so there will be plenty of times she will be too tired and sick for anything at all, but I also know she'll have plenty of time to read. So, I went with the bookmark for Hope. I'm going to change the color of the word and the ribbon to gold for Lori, and once it's done, I'll finish it with a backing and send it to her with a card.

My progress was pretty good - all things considering with my health. I had to take frequent breaks because I would get dizzy, but it was really nice to not waste the "free time" on the couch any longer. (The flu has been brutal this year for my family, but we have been lucky enough to not have serious problems.)

I'm sure I'll have this done by this weekend, and then Lori can use it as often as she needs.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Waste of Couch Time

I have been stuck to my couch or my bed since Sunday.  Nope, no stitching is taking place, and that makes it more difficult for me since I hate to waste time and opportunity, but this head cold and flu have made it impossible for me to concentrate on anything. Oh, I hate the way I feel, and I hate that I'm not being "productive" at all during this time - not at work or with my stitching. I can't even concentrate to read a book because the words keep moving around on the page. 

Well, hopefully, I'll feel better before the IHSW kicks off tomorrow.

Friday, January 11, 2013

TUSAL - First of the New Year

I was thinking of continuing my ORTs for another year, but my girls were very rambunctious over the Christmas holiday, and my last jar was broken. So, I purchased another jar and started over.

Here are my ORTs for January. It's a small start, but I'm doing pretty well on the baby sampler.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Stitched a Raffle Prize

My husband belongs to a conservation group, High Desert Quail Forever. They work very hard to keep water in the desert to preserve the wildlife. And, apparently, my husband has taken notice of my stitching which resulted in his request for me to stitch a piece as a raffle item for this Saturday's banquet. I didn't think I would make it in time, but the piece was completed.
The pattern came from The California State Sampler that I found on eBay. I liked it because it had an awesome depiction of California: our capital building, a surfer, the Santa Barbara Mission as well as our State flag, bird, bear and flag. The Quail is the state bird, and my husband liked the picture and thought it would be cool for the banquet. 

Imagine my surprise when I opened the package and saw a hand-drawn pattern!! I couldn't believe it!! I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a pattern done by hand - everything has been computer imaged or drawn. 
I looked through all of the pages, and I finally saw that this was created in 1994! Again, what a find for me!!

The project was started Tuesday and I finished it today. The fabric I chose was 28-count Wichelt Jazlyn in Bone, and I used DMC flosses as directed. 

I will purchase a frame for it tomorrow and then mount the picture and give it to the HD Quail Forever group on Saturday for their raffle. Now, fingers crossed that others bid on it rather than just my hubby!

Post-Script: There was no actual bidding on each item. People bought their raffle tickets and then an item was lifted and a ticket drawn for it. I am happy to report that lucky number 306 won the quail (we had 305 - wow!), and the man who won it went on and on about how he was really glad he won this picture because it was the one item he wanted most from the raffle table. Yay!!!  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Blog Hop #14: Reflections of 2012

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop
I still cannot believe that another year has already gone by, and everyone is so hopefully about this New Year.  The latest blog hop has been issued, and the topic is, "What was your biggest stitching accomplishment in 2012? What was your favorite stash acquisition in 2012 and will you be using it in 2013?"

My biggest accomplishment for 2012 was actually keeping track of what I stitched. I created this blog to showcase what I've done as well as keep a written journal with pictures of each finished piece.  I love being able to look through the book and see everything that I have done - and all in one year!!  Another great accomplishment was learning to work on evenweave and tackling a larger, more ambitious type of stitching to include beading. I really love the new quality of my work and am hoping to learn more during 2013.

As far as stash, I acquired a ton of new items over this last year, and I seriously will need to live about 2 lifetimes to get it all stitched, but it is a cool to have (as well as to have the ability to acquire stash). One of my most awesome finds of 2012 was hand-dyed fabric. Of course, this is an expensive part of the hobby, but what a difference the hand-dyed fabrics make for my pieces.  Not to mention, I love the more blended and subtle look of my work as opposed to Aida cloth.  I will definitely continue to use the hand-dyed Jobelan and Lugana throughout 2013.

Another great purchase was an organizational tool to keep track of all my stash.  I blogged about it just a couple days ago, and here it is:  Organizing StashThis was truly a great purchase, and I love that I have all of my information in one central location rather than having to go through the plethora of items that I have each time I'm considering a purchase or a new start. I also have the information on my iPhone which makes Joann's shopping for floss so much more convenient as well as being able to look at the pictures of my fabric to determine which one to use for a project and to know if I have everything on hand before I start. Yay!
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.