Monday, January 31, 2011

The calm before the storm

I had a fun, stitching filled weekend. On Saturday, our Guild had a stitching day at the Oak Park Library. We have this four times a year when there are five Saturday's in a month. I worked on Mayan Lightning. I finished the yellow and maroon rows at the bottom and the aqua row on the top. One lady did finish her piece on Saturday. She is going to use this as a purse insert. It will be stunning!!

Yesterday, was a full day of stitching goodness. I sat in my chaise all day and worked on Beautie Spot. I finished the bug and started on the flower. I also did a little more of the green boarder but thought I would spare you a picture.

Look at this dull, gray world Chicago becomes in the winter. I want some sunshine!!

I am sharing a couple of pictures of how the world looks today outside on our terrace and from the front balcony. We are supposed to get around 20 inches of snow tomorrow and Wednesday. We have not had this much snow at one time since 1999 and I was living in New York that year so I did not experience it. I am getting prepared in my own little way. I am planning on working from home most of this week. I went to Walgreen's before work to pick up a prescription and I bought a candle lighter. At lunch, I will walk to the Organic Pet Food store for more cat food. I think we have enough human food to last until St. Patrick's Day so we are good there. On Saturday, the liquor store had the foresight to offer 15% off wine and spirits so I have a dozen bottles of wine and champagne so that is ready for the storm. Stitching is all set for the next five years or longer. Watch, this will be a non-event. Even if we get lots of snow, it is supposed to be close to 40 on Sunday so a lot of this will go away shortly.

Everyone stay safe and warm. Happy Stitching.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oooh Ahhh!!

Actually, I am being sarcastic with the title of this post. I have accomplished so little that I should hang my head in shame. To my defense, I had an eye infection and that did not make me want to strain my eyes any more than what I do all day on the computer. On Beautie Spot I worked on the green boarder. I went half way down the right side and turned the corner. Turning the corner did result in some frogging being necessary. I thought the boarder would be boring so I should occasionally throw in a few stitches. Actually, I am enjoying the brainless effort this takes.

I did spend one evening with my pig. I filled in her skirt and finished the colonial knots that make up the hose.

Since my stitching is a bore this week, I thought I would mention my new fetish. I am really liking readers now. I want a pair in every project. Since we hang in Florida so much, readers are everywhere. They even have a store call Grandpa's and all they sell are readers and magnification products. (Tell you something about the age in the community?) The top two pairs are cheep readers from Grandpa's. The bottom two are much cooler Eye Bobs. When I bought the bottom pair, I did not know about Eye Bobs and paid full price. The pink/orange/green pair are really nice and I got them for something like $15.00 at Saks Outlet. I always check Saks and Neiman's Outlets for readers.

I have been busy ordering little gifts for the Guild retreat off Etsy. All the vendors have been so nice. The send little thank you notes with your order. Personally, I should be sending them thank you notes for making such cute things. I will take pictures before the retreat so you can see all the gifts. In case anyone is reading my blog, I want to leave a few surprises.

Tomorrow is stitching day at the library. I am excited and hope to progress on some projects so I have something to talk about next week.

Everyone that is having bad weather, stay safe and warm. Happy Stitching!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lets Talk Scissor Fobs

Today's blog is all scissor fobs. My Guild is having a retreat in March and I am in charge of arranging it. I don't think many of my guild members read this blog so I am going to show you the gifts I made over the past couple of days. Even if they do see these, everyone is just going to get a bag of goodies. I don't want to get involved with a pick and choose match. They can trade with their neighbor if they don't like what they got.

The fobs are a great way to use up left over beads. I have a huge beading box and I don't bead much any more. Everything is from my stash other than the charms on the bottom and the clasp. The top three are mine. They are made from expensive beads or the red and yellow one I liked because it reminded me of my years as a Chi Omega. I should have put an owl on the bottom but I was not thinking which is not unusual.






The Blues

The whole bunch!

In total, there are 21 fobs for the Guild and 3 for me. The three for me can also be used as a backup in case some one's fob breaks or we get more people than I expect. When I get a final count of the people attending the retreat, I can make some more if necessary. Let me just say it is a crap load of work to make 20 of anything.

This weekends focus is the Bears/Packers game. DH just came back from the butcher that made homemade cheese brats and hot dogs for the big game. I am sure Sunday will be another big party. I keep hearing him on the phone saying "So you will be here Sunday." I will get my touch up house cleaning done tomorrow and hopefully get to sit down and get back to stitching. My cold is basically over but I only spent one night this week with Beautie Spot. I really want to work on Mayan Lighting.

That is all that is going on in the frozen tundra. I have not left the house in a week other than a walk to Walgreen's and a trip to Michael's. I really need to get out of this place. Maybe I will go back to working in the office next week. Weather pending:)

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend and Go BEARS!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lacking in Attention Span

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was a little longer due to the MLK Holiday. I caught the cold everyone else has so I have been flitting from project to project with very little rhyme or reason. First, I got the bug to finish square 7 of the CyberPointers Presidents mystery project. Who knows when panel 8 will be released so it is hard to be motivated about this project but once a new set of directions is available, I wanted to be caught up. I did run out of Kreinik so square 7 is not 100% complete but it will only take 15 minutes or so to finish up.

Since I find Teresa Layman's French Knot projects comforting, I worked on my pig. I still have to fill in her skirt then I will work on the other parts of this project.

My final project this week is the finish of my mushroom motif on Beautie Spot. I finished the rust colored mushroom yesterday. The random little black line was all I could do on the next motif before I fell over in a cold medicine induced sleep.

The big news around Chicago right now is the Bears. We had about 15 people over for the game on Sunday and we will have at least that many over next Sunday. Quite a few of my friends grew up in Wisconsin so we will have a very mixed crowd of Bears and Packer fans. It really cuts into my stitching time when I lose most of Sunday to a party but I enjoy having everyone around.

That is about as exciting as it gets around here. Hope you have tons of stitching time.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Two finishes and a challenge

I get to do a happy dance for all my work this weekend. I finished Safari in time for my Guild meeting. Actually, at the meeting I was working on the seam allowance but all the other stitching was done and I finished the seam allowance Saturday afternoon. Since this was my 2010 Challenge piece the Guild gave me a pair of scissors that I should have taken a picture of. They have purple handles and I like purple. Only four guild members finished their challenge pieces this year. I am not sure what I am going to do with Safari now that it is done. If you have any great finishing ideas, I would love to hear them.

A second cheer needs to go out for Santacile. After I took this picture, I continued stitching and the seam allowance on this piece is done all but four rows. I would have slept better last night if I would have just completed the four rows but it was getting late and I needed to re-thread my needle. Plus, my fingers were getting tired. The purle cotton I used in the seam allowance was a little thick for 18 count canvas.

Saturday was our regular Guild meeting. We had a fun meeting because we had a stash sale and we voted on next years challenge piece. The members voted that I should finish Beautie Spot. I took a picture of Beautie Spot as of the start of the challenge. I have a row of motifs across the top and the boarder to finish. I should be able to get this piece done in a year. The other two they could have voted for were Funky Rose by Terry Dryden or Witches Brew by Debbie Stiehler. I was kind of hoping for one of those projects because they will be more of a challenge to finish but Beautie Spot is older.

I am planning our Guild retreat in March. I have the retreat pretty well organized and I am looking forward to shopping and the stitching time. I am looking for a stitching related game that we could play on Saturday night. I am looking for something to break up the evening. Around 9:00 pm everyone gets a little punchy. If you have done anything fun at any of the retreats you have attended, I would love to hear your ideas!!

Other fun things that happened this weekend were we visited two new restaurants. On Friday night we meet friends at a new brewery in my hood called Haymarket Brewery. The hostess was a hot mess so we went down restaurant row to my favorite Indian restaurant, Jaipur. On Saturday we had a friends 30th birthday party at Moe's Cantina. Since we had to go to River West for her party we decided to eat at Prosecco. Prosecco has been around for a while but it was the first time we had been there. It was a beautiful restaurant with tons of class. Opentable said the dress was business casual which really did not work for us since we were going to Moe's after dinner so we wore nice jeans. It was really interesting to see how the dress was so generational. The older people were in suits or sports coats. The ladies had on furs. The younger people in the crowd had on jeans and sweaters. At first I was horrified that I had picked such a nice restaurant and worn jeans and even worse is DH wore his Carhartt jacket because it was below zero with the wind chill. Once we checked the coats, I had a glass of Prosecco and a half bottle of wine, who cares what you wear. The food was delicious and we are looking forward to going back.

Well back to the work week. I am not sure where my projects will take me now that I am done with Safari. I will work on a WIP but not sure which one. I am enjoying everyone working on the Crazy January Challenge. Some people are taking on some pretty big projects and I am enjoying seeing all the patterns. Some are new to me and hopefully I will be able to resist temptation.
Happy Stitching.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season. This is my last day of a two week holiday break. It has been a busy two weeks. The first week was full of holiday preparations, six days in cold, Florida with my family, a New Years Eve party at our house, and pretty good stitching progress.

I am working towards a deadline of Saturday on Safari. I have the basket weave to complete at the bottom and beads to add. The basket weave is slow going. My Guild meets on Saturday and this was my challenge piece for 2010. I know I had a year to get this done but I am working hard this last week. I will have this done before the meeting. I have to pull a few projects together so the Guild can vote on my challenge piece for 2011. Only once since we started this, I did not get my challenge piece complete so it is motivating and makes me get one old project complete.

Santacicles was my travel project in Florida. He stitched up very quickly. I only have the band on his hat to complete, I need to add eyebrows, and I am going to do basket weave around the outside for the finisher. My last Santa by JZC I did not go around the outside. This made the finishing more difficult and super expensive.

Good luck to everyone doing the crazy challenge. I am enjoying your blogs and seeing all the new projects. Having 15 more WIPs would make my skin crawl so this challenge is not for me. If I was not working on Safari, I might have tried to spend a day with each of my WIPs but I don't think I have 15 going at this time.

I hope everyone has a healthy, happy and productive New Year.