Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Progress, Stash, and Life (Oh my!)

So much has happened that I hardly know where to start, so I'll start with the stitching and move on to life stuff. Prepare for lots of pictures!

First, College.



That's a little over 2,000 stitches in!

Greek Mandala!



Slow and steady progress on both that I'm fairly happy with! Greek Mandala is probably my favorite project to stitch.

Which moves me into the stash portion of this post. The Crafty Princess has been naughty once again and completed my collection of seasonal dragons (the collection that she started!). So here they are:

Spring Dragon:

Summer Dragon:

Winter Dragon:

They're all going to be so fun to stitch! I can rotate them on the walls with the seasons once I finish them. Someday.

Now on to the personal stuff. It seems that 2015 is going to be an interesting year if it keeps up the way it has so far. H³ and I listen to a comedy podcast called Uhh Yeah Dude. I have probably mentioned it before because we went to one of their live shows in Dallas in 2013. They were in San Francisco this past weekend so we decided to go see them again. Our adventure started just as we got to San Francisco. We left about two hours before the show (which was at 4) and it was supposed to take us about 45 minutes to an hour to get there. At about 3pm we got to San Francisco and had about 8 miles to go to get to were we needed to park. at 3:15 we still had 7 miles to go. At 3:30 with 6 miles I started getting worried. We parked the car at 4:01pm with 0.4 miles to the venue. So, if anyone was in San Francisco this weekend and saw two people running down Lombard Street like crazy people, that was us. We made it to the venue between 4:07 and 4:10 and they started the show at 4:20. Success!

After the show they had a meet and greet so we lined up. It was really fun to see the UYD guys again (they had done a meet and greet after the Dallas show, too) and I got some photos.

With Jonathan Larroquette:

With Seth Romatelli:

We had a great time and will probably try to go to more shows if the opportunity presents itself.

So now is the time where I ask you guys for your help. I'm a big believer in positive energy, so if you have any to spare to send my way I would really appreciate it! I have an opportunity to potentially be an extra in a movie they're filming out here. I'm very excited but also trying to remain calm and realistic. Shooting is this Saturday so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best - wish me luck, please!

After that's done, I have a job interview and then a half marathon. So like I said - 2015 is turning out to be a very interesting year so far!

Happy stitching, everyone!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

AAN Halloween Mystery SAL Part 2 finished!

So the SAL ended a long time ago but I didn't get to finish with everyone else because of 2014's craziness. I'm still going strong, though, and hope to finish this for Halloween this year!

Those are parts 1+2 of 7 total parts. I'll be stitching them between page finishes.

Speaking of which, I will not be stitching another page of Middle Earf right now. H³ has a very complicated pattern picking system which he has recently revamped. Let me try to explain.

I have a lot of patterns on the go right now. There are patterns that I'm stitching for H³ (Flapping Parrot, Middle Earf, and Library Adventures) and there are patterns that I'm stitching for other people and/or myself (QS Curl Up, Mario, Riding the Wave, Medieval Shelf, Greek Mandala, Space Traveler, Empress, Stormy, and Trick or Treat) along with my focus piece which is College. So far, H³ has been pretty much picking only the patterns that are for him for me to work on when the other day he realized he really shouldn't be doing that. So, he will alternate between picking a pattern for him and picking one of the other patterns. As such he has decided that I should work on another part of Greek Mandala this time around. Picking patterns is serious business!

Besides that not much going on here. I have a job interview at the beginning of February so cross your fingers. Happy stitching everyone!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Library Adventures pages 23-24 finished!

Don't get too excited by the title, this is the project that I'm working from the last page (24) to the first page. So that means there are two pages complete now, and both of them are partial pages so I kind of feel like I'm cheating.



I have to honestly admit that this is a little more fun to stitch than College as it has a nice dose of both blocks of color and confetti, neither one being too much, whereas College is pretty much all confetti. I'm getting a little bit of blocks of color on the part I'm working on now but I think that's because there's sky in it.

H³ has chosen Middle Earf to be the next pattern I work on, so I'm going to pull that out as soon as I finish part 2 of AAN's Halloween Mystery SAL which ended a long, long time ago but I'm still working on because grad school stole my life. It's a fun little pattern though, so I want to finish it for Halloween this year.

The movie theater near our place here has a discounted day on Tuesdays so H³ and I decided to go see The Imitation Game, which I've been wanting to see since the teaser trailer came out months and months ago. I must say that I found it to be quite a good movie (and no, not just because of Benedict Cumberbatch. Stop laughing, Jo!) and H³ enjoyed it as well. I thought it was well written and well acted. I don't normally get emotionally pulled into a movie. Most movies are too short for that. Mini series work better for me in that regard, as do TV series, but I found myself extremely emotionally involved with the characters in this piece. Perhaps because it's based on a true story. Either way, I thought it was quite good.

Off I go now, happy stitching, everyone!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

College page 16 finished!!

I was beginning to have my doubts as to whether or not I would ever finish this page. It felt deceptively close for a few days. Every time I thought I was going to finish, I fell short. But finally, last night, I managed to put in the last few confetti stitches of the page.



This page took me from November 21 until January 10 to stitch which isn't exactly super fast. But it was faster than I stitched when grad school was still around so I can't complain. 8 pages left to stitch with a goal of November 25th of this year for a finish. Can I do it? I guess we'll see!

I should have my current page of Library Adventures done pretty soon, too, but since College is my focus piece I always stitch my goal for the night on it first and if I can get to my secondary piece I do but if I can't then that's that. Either way, I've crossed off one thing off my goals page (where I've created a complete list of my stitching goals for 2015 by page, percent, section, etc.). I've already glued pages 17 and 18 together and am about to sit down with the new season of Ghost Adventures and grid them before I go out for my run.

Speaking of running I did my longest run on Friday and ended up running 10.57 miles. I know it's silly and I know people run a lot longer but man am I proud of myself. For someone who just a year ago couldn't run a mile without walking to steadily jog over 10 miles is a big deal. I'm pretty well on my way to finishing the half marathon in about 2.5 hours, which isn't too bad I don't think, particularly for a person who isn't really a runner.

Time to go grid pages 17 and 18. Although I can't say I love gridding, I can say that it helps my stitching immensely. Until next time, happy stitching, everyone!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Year in Review, Goals, and Resolutions

This might be a long post so grab a cuppa and settle in. Unless you don't like reading my blog and are only here for stitching, which I'll keep at the top of this post.

There hasn't been as much stitching this year as I would have liked, but grad school is over now and we completed our move and got married, so perhaps 2015 will bring more on the stitching front. So the way I'll do this is by project that had progress this year.

Still Life with Parrot (aka Flapping Parrot)

Where I left it in 2013:

Where it is now:

College of Magical Knowledge (aka College)

Where I left it in 2013:

Where it is now:

Library Adventures

I started Library Adventures in 2014 and this is where I got with it:

Greek Mandala

Where I left it in 2013:

Where it is now:

Like I said, not a super huge amount of stitching done, but when I look back at 2014 it was a really busy year. I finished grad school (and I already have my diploma so I know I finished it). Then we moved halfway across the country which was not super fun. I do love to drive, though, and it was fun to see so much of the US. We made it right before the huge flooding hit the south and southwest. And then barely a month later we got married, followed by a trans-Atlantic honeymoon. Busy busy busy! So really, I only worked on three projects, but 2015 will be the year of stitching, and with any luck, the year of at least one BAP finish!

Stitching Goals for 2015:

-Finish College of Magical Knowledge
-Finish Curl Up QS
-Try to finish Secret Stitching
-Mario through page 21
-Finish Riding the Wave
-3 Pages of Medieval Shelf
-Middle "Earf" through page 6
-Greek Mandala through part 6
-Flapping Parrot through page 10
-Library Adventures pages 19-23
-Space Traveler through page 9
-10% of Empress
-10% of Stormy
-Rows 1-10 of Trick or Treat
-Finish AAN Halloween SAL

So there you go. I will probably not make it. But that's ok. I'm the sort of person who needs set goals in order to feel accomplished even if I don't make the goals. It gives me something to work towards. I'm pretty excited and determined.

Which brings me to New Year's resolutions. Some of them are pretty stereotypical and some are unique, but they are what they are and here goes.

-Finish a half marathon and start training for a full marathon
-Lose weight (yeah, yeah I know)
-Meditate at least 15 minutes a day
-Knit through my yarn stash
-Finish Skyrim and Assassin's Creed
-Get more organized
-Write more (aiming for 750 words per day)

I went out and bought a hydration belt for my long runs - I have started breaking 7 miles now and running that long without water is murder so I got a nice belt and I'm super excited to run with it - I have a feeling my runs will get better now that I won't be dying of dehydration mid-run.

Last, but certainly not least, I wanted to share a RAK I received from the wonderful and beautiful Crafty Princess

She is delightful, isn't she? Thank you Crafty Princess!

So with that, I'm off to run for a few hours (yup, hours). I wish you all a happy and fabulous 2015. Stay safe, have fun, and happy stitching!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Library Adventures update 5 and College update 66

I have had multiple friends and family members announce that they're pregnant in the last two weeks, so I've been knitting baby blankets like a fiend. But I have also been stitching like a fiend. Library Adventures shows more progress, I think, even though I've put more stitches into College. Either way, here's an update on both.

Library Adventures before:

Library Adventures after:

College before:

College after:

There are about 2790 stitches left in this page of College and 1028 stitches left in this page of Library Adventures. So far I'm on track for finishing this page of College by January 7 and Library Adventures by December 31.

The last couple of days haven't been super awesome. I'm pretty sure I got sick and at the same time got food poisoning so I've been trying to pull myself out of both. So for the past four days I've had a constant tension headache as well as a sinus headache, nausea, ringing in the ears, and just a general feeling of grossness. A friend of mine was also in a bind, needing someone to take care of his dog for three weeks while he went home for Christmas break. He wanted to take his dog with him but his mom wouldn't let her (the dog) into the house, so we took her in. She's very sweet and seems to think she's a cat. But that's just an added responsibility, which I think has contributed to the tension headache. Add caffeine withdrawal symptoms as I haven't had coffee since food poisoning and general symptoms that go hand in hand with not eating for four days and I'm kind of a mess. I went for a short run yesterday and I'm trying to eat again but I still feel a little queasy. Hopefully I'll be back on track in a few days.

Christmas is coming, too, and that's always exciting. We've been cooking for a few days, H³ was on Pierogi making duty, my mom made cheesecake and Bigos, I just started soaking the beans for some Ukranian Barszcz. But there's still a lot more to cook.

Anyway, now that you know way more than you need to about what's going on in my body and my kitchen, I'm going to go be a slug and stitch. Happy stitching, everyone!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Knitting Finish!

As I (think) I mentioned in a previous post, I've been working on a knitting project for my flower girl. I meant to have it done for her for the wedding, but decided I had enough stress with the wedding itself that I would make it for her as a Christmas gift. Her mom said she liked "fancy scarves" so, of course, I had to knit her one.

I purchased the Ibiza Lace Wrap pattern from Knitting Buzz Designs (available on Ravelry) and I used Miss Babs Yazmin in My Kelley with number 3 needles. I also knitted the scarf instead of the wrap as the wrap was far too large for a 9 year old girl.

Here's a picture of us at the wedding, by the way:

She is completely adorable. Best flower girl EVER.

So, naturally, I made her a scarf that made me want to kill myself. H³ was sweet enough to model the finished product.

So handsome!

If you've heard about the rains in California on the news, we made it out okay. The area I live in didn't get hit too hard, but we did get about 3.5 inches of rain in 24 hours.

H³'s car did get broken into this morning, however. They broke the driver's side window and then ran away when the alarm went off. Not that there was anything in there to steal since we don't leave valuables in the car.

So I did some shop therapy and now I'm going to stitch. Will update soon!