Sunday, April 5, 2020

Once Upon a Fairy Tale SSMC 001

My SAL with Lesli ended, a new month started, and I'm back to my queue (Legendary Creatures SAL from 2018 - July).

I realize I didn't post the SAL photo after February's round but I'm posting one now. So here is roughly two weeks of stitching, granted I didn't get a lot of stitching time in February. It was before the shelter-in-place order went into effect and I had a lot of plans. March was quite different. So, without further ado, here is my progress on page 33 of Aimee Stewart's Once Upon a Fairy Tale:

This is outside my typical realm of comfort as I'm stitching it on 28-count instead of 25-count but since it's SSMC I figured it's still going to be huge and the piece is so detailed that 28-count would work well. Either way, here it is. I'm really enjoying stitching on it so far. Aimee's shelves are great because you usually don't have a huge expanse of sky to get through but instead get to see details emerge on every page. I started on page 33 because a whole lot of people are stitching this and I wanted to start somewhere not a lot of people were stitching, just for a change of pace. Not sure which page I'll move on to from here, but I'll let H³ decide which course to take.

I'll post an update from Legendary Creatures when that's done. I've stitched one of three letters for the July portion and I realize I also haven't updated the progress on that one in a few months so it looks quite different from the last time I posted.

Besides that life is fine, albeit a little frustrating. H³ are both homebodies to an extent so staying at home isn't a huge change of pace. We miss our friends and seeing our family. We did a zoom meeting for his mom's birthday a few days ago. His birthday is coming up soon, too. We've been expanding our board game collection, at least with games for 2+ players and passing the time doing that. I've been reading but as I still have my job I've also been working normal hours. I had my annual review on Friday which went well so it seems I'll have my job for a while longer. I am concerned, of course, but taking things one day at a time.

I hope you are all well and staying safe. Happy stitching!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Flapping Parrot 26 - page finish

I finished page 11 amidst the shelter-in-place madness here.



I can't say that my stitchy bug has super returned but since we're all confined to the house it seems natural that I put in stitches every night. If I don't then I end up knitting a bit. Either way, some sort of craft is getting done.

Currently I'm working on my monthly SAL with Lesli (Once Upon a Fairy Tale, SSMC). Once that's done (always the last 7 days of each month) I'll post a photo and next up will be July of the Legendary Creatures SAL. I'm really enjoying having a main focus piece while sprinkling in other pieces in the midst of it to make more steady progress. I haven't decided what my next focus piece will be after the Flapping Parrot, but that decision is a long way off yet. I'll keep updating The Queue on the left side as I get through it, so we'll see how things go!

In other news, H³ and I are doing well. We have a shelter-in-place here except for necessities and supplies. We go to the grocery store once a week. My work has been on work from home since mid-March. So far I still have a job, so fingers crossed it stays that way. We're both healthy and relatively happy despite the constant state of anxiety, which I think is similar for everyone.

I hope you are all staying healthy and safe.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Flapping Parrot 025

Welp, it happened. I didn't think it would, but it did.

I lost my stitching bug.

I also got really, really sick. But still worked from home all week.

Hey, 2020 - how you doing? Much better than I am, apparently.

I've also been doing a lot of reading and have basically fallen in love with Karen Marie Moning (sorry, not sorry). I also joined the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club without actually joining because I don't need to get a copy of the book every month I just go to the library and then three other friends and I talk about it. I'm a pretty fast reader so having more time is a godsend. I kind of wish I was stitching with all this extra time I have. But, alas, it was not meant to be.

That being said, here's the progress I HAVE made on the Flapping Parrot so far.



Golden Kite pages are about half the stitch count of a regular HAED page so the progress certainly feels faster for the moments that I do get to sit down and stitch.

Also, I have a goal to finish H³'s secret stitching (different from surprise stitching) by the end of the year. I'm about 50% done with it so far. We'll see!

Happy stitching, everyone. I hope your year has been more productive than mine thus far.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Surprise Stitching 002 (Page Finish)

I feel like 2019 was the year of everything changing. In November I completed my first ever NaNoWriMo which, for me, was huge. I was also recruited by a prestigious Silicon Valley fund so I quit my job. My current firm countered so I ended up staying. Then, in December, very suddenly, we moved house so that I didn't have to commute as far (went from a 3.5 hour roundtrip daily commute to 1 hour daily). My health took a turn and I'm trying to get back on the mend, but that's been a bit up and down with the downs being extremely discouraging despite my best efforts.

All in all, 2019 felt like an emotional storm. I'm hoping 2020 is better. The dust from the move is settling and now that the holidays are over I'm hoping to get back into a good routine, which I sincerely miss.

That being said, I have a few New Year's Resolutions. Some of them are stitching related, some of them aren't. But here goes:

1. Try to stitch a little, more days than not. My stitching really fell by the wayside in 2019 so I'm hoping 2020 will be more productive in terms of stitching, especially now that I'm home more and actually have time for it.

2. Write more - this is related to having more time to myself now.

3. Walk to Mordor and back (total of 3,664 miles) in calendar year 2020. This means I have to start running again. Which is fine because now I have more time (per point 1). I should aim to make it to Rivendell by mid-February.

4. Catch up on my podcasts. So, so many podcasts.

That's pretty much it. I don't want to overload myself with lofty goals I can't achieve and thus I'll be disappointed in myself when I inevitably fail since I set myself up for failure. So a small amount of somewhat measurable goals feels good.

And here's the stitching. I finished the first page of my SSMC surprise stitching.



H³ already saw the title but doesn't know what the finished product looks like so if you want to look it up it's Ciro Marchett's "Ye Old Kitchen." He reads this blog so I won't post a photo but in case anyone wanted to look it up, he's already seen the title (my fault OH WELL). It'll still be an adventure for him to see it unfold page by page.

It's going away for a little while and I'll work on June's Legendary Creatures SAL (Cloudsfactory 2018 SAL). I'm determined to finish it this year. I've pared down my rotation a bit and I think it'll mean more progress on certain things. I do have a SAL planned with my dear friend Lesli. Once HAED turns their kits back on, I'll order the kit for SSMC Once Upon a Fairy Tale. When it arrives, the last week of every month Lesli and I will stitch that piece together. We're both doing the SSMC version. So that will be pretty fun, I think.

I'll be back with the update of Legendary Creatures SAL but, until then, happy stitching and I hope 2020 treats everyone well.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Surprise Stitching 001

So I did that thing I shouldn't do where I started a new pattern. Oops. In my defense, I was gifted the full kit so it's hard NOT to start a new project when you have all the fabric and floss, right? Right.

In my previous post I said I would work on the Legendary Creatures Alphabet until it was done. That was the plan. Until I made a mistake in it, had to frog most of my work, and got frustrated. Deciding I needed a break from it, that's when I started the Surprise Stitching.

I also created a projected stitching queue, which I've posted on the upper left side of this blog. This queue is the plan, anyway. We'll see what the actuality is.

The other thing is I lost track of my timer so this is way more than 10 hours of work. Oh well!

This is the Super Size Max Color version of the chart - 104 pages, 238 colors, 699,300 stitches, and the finished product will be just under 40"W by 28"H. H³ saw me stitching it (remember, he doesn't know what the finished product will look like) and asked me if it was my "magnum opus." I mean, probably not because I have a few SSMC patterns at this point. But I like a big impossible challenging piece. The picture above has 5 colors in it so far, even though you can't tell. I'm really having a great time stitching it - it's a really good balance of blocks of color and confetti, which keeps it interesting.

I also really love having a kit and might just do that going forward for any pattern I start - order the kit from HAED (if it's a HAED, of course). There's something satisfying about having the set amount of thread and watching it disappear as you stitch a piece, being left with nothing (or scraps), and knowing the rest won't go to waste because it was all used.

In other events, I've been quiet on the blogging front because I've not only been working a lot but we also went on vacation for a few weeks in October. We celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary in Vienna, spent a day or so in Dürnstein, then went on to Krakow and Warsaw. It was a great trip, very relaxing, and I certainly didn't want to come back. But I didn't take any stitching with me so, in a way, I was glad to come back so I could stitching again.

So here we are. It's NaNoWriMo this month so I'm juggling between that and stitching. This is the first time I've ever been on track with my NaNo word count so I'm hoping to keep on top of it, but I go back and forth between writing and stitching throughout the day on the weekend. It keeps me motivated and prevents me from getting burned out on one or the other.

For all of you out there, happy stitching!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Parrot 24

I finished the entire top row of the flapping parrot!



Super exciting! One of 6 rows done.

I'm going to be working on my legendary creatures alphabet now until it's done after which I'll be starting the secret stitch. H³ knows the secret stitch exists but he doesn't know what it is yet and he'll only see it develop page by page so I think it'll be fun to keep it that way here, too!

All in all the three day weekend proved fruitful for stitching and we bought a new couch, too, so that happened. That's about as exciting as my life gets! Been working a lot but need to cut back so working on that. And, of course, stitching!

Happy stitching, everyone!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Parrot 23

I still have a stitching bug but unfortunately one of my colleagues got a bad diagnosis and is on medical leave so I took over most of her biggest clients. The net effect is I've been working from 8am-10pm M-F plus weekends. This means that I'm usually just stitching one day a week (Sundays) so my 10 hours took a little longer to get to this time around. But I'm still going strong and I'm taking this weekend off plus an extra day Monday for three days of stitching, reading, writing, and I think we're going to go to the beach. I'm also looking forward to going on a long run after I write this post.



Maybe a weekend finish depending on how ambitious I am this weekend? I'm already planning out how I'm going to budget out my stitching after this. I want to finish the Legendary Creatures alphabet and give it to my nephew before he graduates high school (for reference, he's not 1 yet) so I think I'll tackle that next. It's a fun project and gives me lots of little finishes.

Then, after that, I think I'm going to start my first SSMC. There's a chart I've been in love with forever that I keep envisioning in my home, if I ever buy one (for those of you familiar with the housing market in Silicon Valley then you know how potentially unattainable the dream of home ownership is out here). Either way, I feel the need to start it as it reminds me of everything I've ever wanted in my own home. And Lesli is amazing and bought me the whole kit as a gift so I have no excuse! I've found myself transitioning to a more focused stitching style lately. Although I can't do one at a time because I need breaks from a given project, I do find myself wanting to focus more on say, two projects at a time. That way I get the variety I crave while still seeing steady progress. I think that's what I'm going to do with the flapping parrot and the (as of yet secret because I'm trying to keep it a bit of a surprise for H³ and he reads this blog) SSMC project once I finish Legendary Creatures. Two pages of the flapping parrot followed by one page of my SSMC. When I finish one of these projects I'll just replace it with one of the ones I already have on the go.

This is the ideal situation, of course, the reality could end up being much different. Either way, however, this is my intention for now and we'll see how it actually pans out!

Now, however, I'm going to slap on some sunscreen, pull on my sneakers, and go for a run. Happy stitching, everyone!