Pictures for Tuesday...

Here are the pictures I couldn't post yesterday.

First up: Snow Fall needle roll by Shepherd's Bush, finally!! It felt very good to get this one done!

Snow Fall RollNext, the "finished" Pea Pod Scissor Companion. I had a little trouble finding a piece of fabric for the back of the fob. I finally settles on a black fabric with light-peach circles:

Pea Pod Fob

In the interest of completeness, here are the two UFOs that I am currently working on:
  • Seahorse needlepoint pillow top. If you look at the top where there is a detached row of blue stitches: that marks how far of the printing of this canvas is. That row aligns with the pattern on the right, but does not align on the left.

  • Just Nan Christmas ornament from the 2002 Just CrossStitch ornament issue. The stitching is almost done on this main part of the ornament. Still to do is the one-over-one center done on 32-count linen that is then inserted into a "charm." I have a sneaky feeling that this one will get put aside as soon as I get to that part. I'm not fond of over-one work anymore.

Onward!

No photo Monday...

This morning was a zoo, so I didn't get a chance to grab the camera to bring in pictures. I'll bring them in tomorrow.

In the meantime, I can at least tell you that I finished the Snow Fall needlerolll, including sewing it together and stuffing it. It's done! I also did the finishing work on the Pea Pod Scissor fob, so it's completely done too! Yay!!

After I finished the cross stitch stuff, I debated whether to continue on the cross stitch UFOs, or switch over to knitting. Since neither one appealed to me, I picked up the needlepoint seahorse pillow top that I haven't touched in over a year. I spent about 4 hours on it yesterday, and made great progress. Because it doesn't have any fancy stitches, it's pretty mindless stitching -- perfect for watching the SAG awards last night.

Also this weekend, the husband and I went to Home Depot and Lowes to see their appliance selection, cabinet options, and counter tops. While we'll probably have a kitchen designer/contractor do the work, we wanted to see what was available.

My car is finally in the shop to be fixed. In a few days. I'll get a a car with a trunk that actually closes! What a concept!

Eye Candy Stash

I had a little stash enhancement this week and it is Eye-Candy worthy:

Eye Candy 1
This is KnitPicks' Shimmer in turquoise. It will eventually become a shawl.

Eye Candy2

This yarn, called Kung Hei Fat Choy, is from Scout's Indie Swag club. I only signed up for 3 months since I was already in the Blue Moon Rockin' Sock club and Sundara's Petals Collection club. When I signed up for Scout's, I hoped I'd get lucky and receive the swag from Chappy -- I love her sock blockers. Guess what I got!

Scout's Indie Swag - January
Yay!! I'm a happy camper!

This weekend I plan on finishing the Snow Fall needleroll and then get back to my knitting UFOs. January has turned into quite a productive month, so I'd like to keep that going!

Happy Anniversary to us!

26 years ago today, my daughter and I had a date with a really cute and very nice guy. We shared a picnic at the San Francisco Arboretum, visited the Cliff house, and simply enjoyed a rare sunny day in the City. Five years later, I married that guy and we officially became a family -- we were already living as a family and just wanted that piece of paper.

I wish I had a scanned picture of us from the early days, but they are all at home. Instead, here's a picture of us celebrating Shauna's graduation from UCLA last June:

Just us!
I have made reservations at a tapas restaurant for our celebratory dinner (just the Husband and I). The evening promises good food, fine wine, and great company!

...and another one!

...presenting the Pea Pod Scissor Companion (its official name):

Pea Pod Fob
I still need to sew it together to make the fob, but that's a quick thing. I'll do that with the other "finishing" this weekend.

Next, I'll finish the Snow Fall needleroll. Last night I discovered another reason I had put it aside: somehow, the ribbon and lace for the kit got lost. One of the bands of the needleroll is lace, so I found a reasonable substitute for that. As for the missing ribbon, I'm not sure whether this will actually be finished as a needleroll because the fabric is very narrow. I won't need replacement ribbon if I make it a pillow.

I can't begin to tell you how good it feels to get these long-term UFOs out of my hair! I think I started Pea Pod 6 years ago and started Snow Fall about 5 years ago. I've picked them up a few times since then, but have always been frustrated with them both. It will be a relief to have them both done!

...and another one down

Flip Flop Days = DONE!

Flip Flop Days
Of course, I don't know yet how I will do its finishing...picture or pillow?? I have no wall space for pictures, and I'm already making several other pillows. It's a toss-up at this point!

I did a whole bunch of finishing work for some other projects, including the Birdhouse Needleroll:

Birdhouse Roll
In addition to sewing things together and stuffing them, "finishing" included making cording and sewing it on the pillows, fobs, and rolls. As for the larger pieces still needing "finishing," I bought some pillow forms and will work on them next weekend.

I'm making good progress on both the Snow Fall needleroll and the Pea Pod scissor fob. I'm not in love with either of these pieces, but I want to finish them any way. In the case of the Snow Fall roll, I set a goal of doing all the Shepherd's Bush needlerolls and this is just one of them. I've completed 12 of these rolls so far. As for Pea Pod, I think I'll like it better once it's done! LOL!

On the car front, the repair place is still waiting for all the parts to come in. I'm still driving around a car trunk that is tied down...I hope the part comes in soon!

Eye Candy Friday...

I couldn't find a recent picture that was suitable for Eye Candy Friday. Instead, you get an oldie-but-goodie:

New Mexican Church
I took this picture 10 years ago on our first trip to New Mexico. We were driving on the back roads between Albuquerque and some waterfall my husband wanted to see (I can't remember the name any more...). When we saw this church, it just screamed "Photo Op!" Someday, we'll get back to New Mexico (sigh)...it's one of my favorite places.

On the stitching front, I have two flowers and a pail left to do on Flip Flop Days. I should be able to finish that this weekend. The Pea Pod scissor fob will take a while -- it's 1 strand of floss over two threads on 36-count linen, and it's a small piece of linen. It's hard on my hands and I can only work on it for a few minutes at a time. I'll probably alternate between this scissor fob and the Snow Fall needleroll.

Yes, I will get back to knitting eventually! I still have the other mitten, the other Twinkletoes slipper and some socks to finish!

Another one bites the dust...

...I completed the stitching of the Birdhouse needleroll (including the hems). I just have to sew it together and it's done! I'll do that on Saturday, along with some other finishing work I need to do.

Birdhouse Roll
Since I seem to be on a cross-stitch roll (lol!), I'll keep working on the WIPs that keep coming out of the woodwork. In addition to the Pea Pod scissor fob, I found Flip Flop Days that is two-thirds complete, the Snow Fall needleroll (about half done) from Shepherd's Bush, and the Just Nan ornament (about two-thirds done) from the 2002 Just CrossStitch ornament issue. And of course, I still have Mirabilia mermaid and a Just Nan sampler staring at me from the corner of my sewing room...

OK, so I have a few things to complete. It will keep me out of trouble!

Another Finished Object!

It's not knitting, but at least it's finished! This is the Pine Mountain pillow I mentioned on Friday.

After I finished the pillow on Saturday, I worked on the Birdhouse needleroll. I made good progress on it, finishing all of the cross stitch, specialty stitches, and attaching the lace. I just need to do stitch the hem, attach the beads, and sew it together.

Most of the weekend was spent working on the upstairs and my sewing room. Things were still in disarray in the loft, which is where we store the Christmas decorations, books, and magazines. I purged a bunch of magazines, got books back up on the shelves and store things away in the cabinets. It looks a lot nicer!

In my sewing room, I had a bunch of knitting and quilting books stacked on the floor and on my sewing table. I just needed to make room in the bookcases for them all, so that's what I did. I also purged a few magazines from that room. I went to Michaels on Sunday and bought four more photo boxes. In one, I put zippers, snaps, elastic, and seam binding. In another, I put some Christmas coasters that are ready to sew. In the third, I put my travel magnifier and travel project lights. The last one got some sewing odds and ends. Moving things into boxes got rid of the last remaining plastic baskets in the room -- they just let in too much light and dust. The photo boxes will keep things contained, dust-free, are much easier to stack, and make things look more tidy.

A very productive weekend!

Eye Candy Friday, sort of...

Yeah, well, not a lot of eye candy going on right now. But, since I am working my way through a few cross stitch WIPs, here's a shot of where I am with one of them:

Witches Brew
This is a Pine Mountain pillow kit called Witches Brew; I'm working on the "1 eye of newt" line (LOL!)

This weekend I plan on finishing at least one of the cross stitch WIPs and making serious progress on one of my knitting WIPs. I also have to take my car in tomorrow to have the repair shop determine which parts to order so I can get my car repaired. Driving around with a trunk that's tied down and a car alarm than can't turn on (because the trunk is open) is a big pain!

Have a great weekend!

A little blog layout, cross stitch, knitting...

I'm struggling a bit to get the new layout to do the things I want it to do (like make linkable buttons to my KALs in the side bar, use the title graphic and not display a text title,...), so things are still in flux. If I get too frustrated, I'll just go back to the other version where I can at least hack the HTML to do what I want. I really like the new Blogger drag-and-drop features, but I'm not that familiar with widgets and the editing window is too d@mn small to see everything.

I found a couple of small cross stitch projects that I'd forgotten about. One is the Shepherd's Bush Birdhouse needleroll (about 30% done) and the other is the Ewe and Eye and friends Pea Pod scissor fob (about 50% done). Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for "smalls'" needlerolls in particular! I'm working on cross stitch when I'm resting my hands from the knitting.

As for the knitting, I'm making slow progress on the second flip-top mitten and the second Twinkletoes slipper. For some reason, my hands are really bugging me right now and I'm taking it easy.

a little construction

I'm going to work on some mods to the blog look and feel, so don't be surprised if things look a little strange for a couple of days...

Let's just skip Mondays, OK?

Yesterday was one of the worst Mondays I've had in a while. On my way to work, some person rear-ended my car. Mind you, we were stopped at a stop light, the light had just turned green, and she proceeded to drive right into me. Forget that we weren't going anywhere yet. I had barely taken my foot off the brake when she plowed into me. So now my poor little Saturn has a trunk that won't close for anything. And I had a day of reporting the accident, tying down the trunk of my car, checking my brake lights and signals (they work!), going to the acupuncturist for acute treatment (I was a bit shaken up), going to the chiropractor to treat a sore neck, and, oh yeah, working. I'm thankful, though - it could have been worse.

Over the weekend, I finished the burgundy scarf. Here it is modeled by Teddy (the "at-home" model):

Burgundy ScarfFinished: 1/6/2007
Yarn: Plymouth
Baby Alpaca Grande; color 2020
Needles: Size 15 US
Pattern: Cast on 16; Knit all
Length: 60+ inches

I love how soft and warm this scarf feels. I hope it's new owner loves it, too!

Eye Candy Blogiversary!

Yup, today's my Blogiversary! First, an Eye Candy Friday picture that documents the sad remains of Christmas at my house:

Ornaments
These are just some of the ornaments that were waiting to be wrapped and put away for the year. I've mentioned before that we have an eclectic mix of ornaments, so here's a sample of wooden, tin, cross stitch, celestial, and Southwestern ornaments. Oh, and that pink one at the bottom of the picture? My daughter made that when she was in elementary school -- it's an angel made out of puff balls, lace, and pipe cleaners.

One year ago today I started this blog as a way to track my projects and share them with friends (and anyone else who was interested). For the last 6 years, I had tracked my projects in a hand-written journal. I usually remembered to write down what I worked on and what I finished, but I rarely had pictures to go with them. Then I started putting pictures of my projects on my web site -- that was better, but it was sometimes hard to update the site regularly because of other commitments.

With the blog, I can write as much, or as little, as time allows and I can upload pictures as soon as I take them. As a result, I have better project tracking and I have pictures that I can then use on my web site. I also have a pretty good idea of how I was feeling when I finished the project, including any frustrations with it (or life!). Occasionally, I'll post about something completely non-crafty, which may not be as interesting as my projects but it sure makes me feel better!
I still use the hand-written project journal because it's nice to page through it and see all that I have done over the years. But the blog is now my primary tracking mechanism.

Anyways...Happy Blogiversary to me!

Trying to get back on track...

...is hard!

The diet is coming along better, still not completely at Phase 1.5 of the plan-- more like phase 1.75! I've eliminated the fruit, but I'm having trouble giving up whole wheat items, even for the short term.


I am working on one of my knitting WIPs: the burgundy alpaca scarf that
I'm making for my daughter's roommate. I'm knitting it in Baby Alpaca Grande (Plymouth Yarns), straight garter stitch on size 15 needles. Because of the size of the needles and the yarn, it has a bumpy-stripey thing going on, which is nice. Here it is, modeled by the very cooperative Borg, the Norwegian moose who shares my office:


I want to finish this so my daughter can take it with her when she goes back to school next Thursday. Then I can work on the next WIP...to be determined!

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's back to work we go...

...but I had the latest installment from Sundara's Petals Collection waiting for me. This is called Lenten Rose:

Lenten Rose
Yarn is always good, and I love her lacy sock pattern!

In keeping with my vow to catch up with project things, I took pictures of the quilts and cross stitch projects that were missing their "done" pictures. I'll get these posted up on my web site (see address in the side bar) in a few days.

While looking for these items, I ran across my first project. It's another thing that was missing a picture. I think I've mentioned this project in passing a couple of times. It is an embroidered dresser scarf that I did when I was about seven years old. (This is just a guess -- I remember working on it when we lived in the big house on the ranch, before we moved into the smaller foreman's house. I think we only lived in the big house for a year and I know we moved in just before I turned six.)

This poodle scarf has lots of French knots, satin stitching, straight stitches, and my two least favorite stitches, stem and lazy daisy:

My First Project
I guess I've always loved a challenge!

Tonight's challenge will be disassembling Christmas at home. It takes me just as many days to un-decorate as it does to put it all up in the first place. However, my goal is to get the tree ready for the recycling pickup on Thursday, so that will be the first thing I attack.

Welcome, 2007!

We had an uneventful evening. We celebrated with one of our favorite dinners - paté, cheese, sour dough bread, and fruit. Our daughter was out for the evening, so it was just the two of us for our champagne toast at midnight.

I did a little knitting, on and off during the day. I finished the first Twinkletoes slipper, added a couple of rows to the Sangria shawl, and worked on a burgundy alpaca scarf that I had started at Thanksgiving (and left off yesterday's recap--oops!).

I've been thinking about goals/resolutions for 2007. I've been so scattered lately that it's been hard to concentrate on one thing. As a result, I have a lot of WIPs right now. Somehow that doesn't seem to deter me from starting something new.

So here are some projects I'd like to get done before I start anything new (in no particular order):
  • Flip-top mittens
  • Twinkletoes slippers
  • Hydrangea socks
  • "Wright Stuff" quilt
In addition to projects, I need to get back into my proper eating habits. Things have gone downhill in the last month, between the work projects and the baking. Usually I can avoid tasting my own baking, but not when I'm stressed out about work. Starting tomorrow, I'm going back into Phase 1.5 of the South Beach Diet plan. Phase 1.5 is my own variation of Phase 1 and 2 -- basically it's Phase 1 (no fruit, no sugar, no grain or wheat), plus oatmeal or fiber cereal and a banana once or twice a week. My biggest problems are wheat and sugar, so phase 1.5 will help purge them from my system.

I'd start today except that we have a tradition of having Hoppin' John for New Year's day dinner. (No, we are not from the South, unless you count Mexico [me and daughter] or Ireland and Lithuania [husband] as "South". We have it for the good luck it's supposed to bring.) My version includes bacon, green onions, black eyed peas, and white rice. Since bacon and white rice are not on the Phase 1.5 list, I'll wait until tomorrow to restart my program.

So my plan for January is to get back on track with projects and the diet. I'll also get back into my normal gym, yoga, and Pilates routine. (I haven't completely ignored the gym, I just haven't gone as often as I usually do for the last couple of weeks.) Let's see how I do!

Eye Candy Friday...

...and a Tour de Fleece update. First, the eye candy. The sweet pea bush in our front yard is continuing to bloom: The tomatoes in th...