Sunday, April 6, 2014

College #59

Another crazy two weeks. This time, though, not tragic - just working on finishing up my grad portfolio. More on that later.

Before:


After:


I have about 1300 stitches left in the page so it's possible that I'll have a page finish soon!

On the grad portfolio front, I'm about halfway through. I have written 8 competencies and all of them have been accepted, which means I have 9 competencies left. It's due in about 2 weeks, but I'm hoping to finish it up by the end of this coming week, while still keeping up with my other classes. This is the explanation as to why I'm a zombie right now. With the exception of maybe an hour of stitching here and there I have been almost exclusively doing homework. And it sucks. A lot.

But once my grad portfolio is done it's just a matter of finishing up my two classes, and May 13th is the end of the semester and the end of grad school! So cross your fingers and send good vibes!

Still no word on my venue for the wedding, but I'm just going to pretend like nothing is wrong and everything will go as planned unless I hear otherwise.

I did not make the 5 pound challenge. I was .4 pounds off. But that's ok, because I put in a good effort and I haven't given up yet! Still going!

So the stats for this week are...
Days until end of school: 37
Days until the wedding: 181
Anticipated completion date for above chart: 8/16/2016

Next update will probably be in about two weeks, and I'm hoping it will be a page finish!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

College #58 + ANN SAL part 1

I managed to get at least 100 stitches in on College every day except 1 this week, and I think that's awesome considering everything going on.

Before:

After:


About 2,200 stitches left on this page, and I'm hoping to put a good dent in it today. Handsome Helpful Fiancé has already chosen the next pattern for me to work a page on, but won't tell me what it is until I finish this page.

Also, I finish part 1 of AAN Design's Mystery Halloween SAL! Part 2 has come out already and I started working on it today, but here's a quick photo of part 1:


It's stitched on 32 count, I want to say Belfast, "Winter Solstice" from Steph's Fabbys.

I do have to admit that in a moment of weakness and needed comfort I ended up purchasing Ink Circle's "Cirque des Cercles." And I'm already in love with it. Going to make working copies of the chart tomorrow or Tuesday and plow right into it. I am, however, stitching on black fabric. Which could be a disaster. But we'll find out!

I'm finding a lot of comfort in my stitching these days, which is good because my life, right now, is a little bit stressful. I found out from the venue that all events through July are cancelled and August through October are on notice pending a reconstruction schedule. They offered to let me out of the contract if I so choose, but as of right now pretty much everything for Saturday weddings is booked. We have also already booked the group rate for the hotel which would cost a lot to cancel, the invitations are ordered and paid for, and several family members have booked hotels and international plane tickets. At this point, we're going to stay with this venue unless we hear otherwise. I'm feeling a lot better about the situation, and my coordinator is very helpful and communicative about updates and changes. So I guess unless I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume business as usual. I will say please put out good thoughts and lots of crossed fingers that everything will be ok. Positive energy is an amazing thing, and I could use some of it right now.

On the school front, I've finally got a good start on my graduation portfolio. Basically, it consists of a bunch of essays: Introduction, Statement of Philosophy, Competencies A-N, Conclusion, and Affirmation. I can do everything out of order, and I'm starting with the competencies. So far I have turned in and received credit for Competencies A and C. Today I will try to write another one (haven't decided which yet, though). As of right now I'm feeling pretty good about it and I feel that although it took me a while to start, I still started early enough to be able to get it done, as long as I keep doing it.

So with that I should probably go work on it...

The stats:
Pounds lost: 5.2
Days until end of school: 51
Days until wedding: 195
Estimated completion for above chart: 8/15/16

Happy stitching, everyone, and thanks so much for the support I received from last week's dire post. It is very, very much appreciated.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Series of Unfortunate Events + College #57

I didn't post last week because I got about 44 stitches in over the course of the whole week, and it was a BAD week. This one wasn't much better. But more on that later.

Before:

After:

Got a little bit of the brown in, so there you go. About 3,000 stitches left in the page!

So let's see. I had my second dress fitting about two weeks ago, and I have to say I absolutely LOVE it. It's going to look gorgeous, if I do say so myself. I guess most of the bad parts for the week come from the school front. Everything seemed to be due at once and I was doing nothing but going to work and then coming home to do homework until I went to bed. Not a fun way to spend your time. On top of that, Handsome Helpful Fiancé's employer decided to give us one day's notice that they were sending him "somewhere" for "some time" and that his "travel had been booked." Turns out it was Houston for one week for training, but it would have been nice to have had more notice. I was doing homework last Sunday and was feeling pretty good about things because I was almost caught up, just had an assignment due that night that I was feeling pretty good about.

And then all hell broke loose.

I drove HHF to the airport and as I parked my car back at the apartment, I got an email from one of my professors. Apparently I had misread the instructions for an assignment due the week before, and didn't turn all of it in. So I had to by the end of the night. It's now 4pm and I have an extra assignment due that I hadn't planned on. Yes, because of my own stupidity (this is what happens when you have so much going on, you miss stuff), but that doesn't change the fact that I now had to do it. So I sat down and did it and about 3 hours later I had it turned in. Back to the other assignment. It's due 11:59pm PST which makes that 1:59am for me. I turned it in at 1:39am. My parents had to help me with some formatting because I couldn't get the software to cooperate. And then, at 2:02am as I'm lying down in bed, I realize that I did it wrong. Completely and totally wrong. And at this point there's nothing I can do about it. I still haven't received my grade for it back, but the mistake rested on the fact that not all the instructions for the assignment were in one place, and I hadn't navigated to the second place with more instructions in time. Again, my fault.

And I haven't even STARTED my final portfolio project which is due April 21.

But that's not the kicker. The kicker is that my wedding venue caught fire early Saturday morning. It did not burn to the ground, and I think they'll be able to fix it in time for my wedding. I sent them an email and don't expect to hear from them immediately because they're likely swamped with phone calls and emails about the very same thing, and quite frankly mine is not a priority because my wedding is just over six months away, but I am a little anxious (as, I think, any bride would be).

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen (are there any gentlemen?). I'm a ball of nerves. The good thing is HHF is back now and I'm all caught up on homework.

So here's the plan for the day:

Finish my cup of coffee and watch my episode of Ghost Adventures (season pass!) while stitching on my AAN Halloween Mystery SAL (which I'm behind on - oops!). Then, work on my portfolio until about 6pm after which I sit down to relax and stitch. Maybe make/get dinner somewhere in there. Cross your fingers!

Also, I finally got an Instagram account. It's kind of a personal project where everyday I try to find the beauty in life around me. It hasn't exactly panned out like that, but I'm going to keep trying. It's out there, I just have to find it. Follow me @sherlochnessmonster if you want. Or don't. Up to you!

Stats:
Pounds lost: 4 (I went up a pound. It happens. Whatevs.)
Days until end of school: 58
Days until wedding: 202
Estimated completion for above chart: 10/28/2016

Happy stitching, everyone!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

College #56

I missed last week's post, but I got food poisoning Saturday night and spent all of Sunday miserable. Then this morning I woke up with a cold (Handsome Helpful Fiancé decided to share) but I'm persevering and posting anyway!

Haven't been able to get nearly as much stitching done lately. Just finishing up week 6 of 15 of school and things are revving up. I also still have to do my portfolio (which I will be working on most of today) so I don't have much time for anything else. I did manage to have a panic attack this past week because of it all, but such is life. Deal with it and move on, I guess.

Before:

After:

Just a little bit more in the darker tones. Slowly it's coming together, though! Maybe once school is out I'll manage to get in a few more stitches.

I did make myself a spreadsheet, though, that I'm really excited about! It took me maybe a half an hour of tinkering with it to make it do what I wanted it to, but I love it. Every day I track how many stitches I do and enter it into the spreadsheet at the end of my stitching night. This includes days I don't get to stitch (which happens more often than I'd like to admit). Then the spreadsheet calculates my average stitching speed in stitches per day, based on that number and the total number of stitches left how many days it will take me to finish the project if I maintain that average, and spits out a potential end date. I'm going to try to incorporate this number into my posts for whatever pattern I happen to be stitching at the time. You'll see it at the bottom of my posts, like my countdowns.

Not much more has happened on the wedding front. Figured out a few more minor details, and tomorrow I fly to Dallas for a few hours for a dress fitting.

Besides that, it has just been school and work. Work has actually gotten worse, so I have already sent my resume out to several places back in California. The faster we can get out of Texas the better. Weight loss challenge is going very well, though! 5 pounds down so far.

Here are the stats for this week:
Pounds lost: 5
Days until end of school: 72
Days until wedding: 216
Estimated completion for above chart: 8/29/2016

Happy stitching, everyone!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

College #55

I'm very happy with this week's progress. I made a conscious effort to sit down every night and although I didn't meet my stitching goal every night, I did stitch every night.

Before:



After:




Got almost all the black in - have a few more stitches to do on that color and then I'll grab the next!

On the everything else front, not much is going on. Work is still being work. And I haven't accomplished much in the way of wedding planning except that our invitations came in, but I guess that's not really anything I've accomplished. I've also lost 1.2 pounds in the 5 pound challenge as of this morning, which some would argue is just water weight. They're probably right, but I like to look at it as a small victory anyway.

So, this week's stats:
Days of school left: 86
Days until wedding: 230

Happy stitching!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

College #54

The downside of doing an update every week is that my stitching doesn't look dramatically different. But oh well! I'm enjoying stitching College, but at the same time I kind of want to be done with it. Either way, here it is.

Before:



After:



Just a little bit done.

The AAN Halloween Mystery SAL has also started up and the first part has been released. I've been working on it a little bit during lecture, and College in the evening. When I finish part 1 I'll post a picture of it.

I also forgot to mention some new additions to my stash. QS Tea Party went out to anyone who bought a ticket to the HAED Raffle. I didn't win, but it was a nice consolation prize either way:



Also, the fabulous lesli RAK'd me another chart and here it is, QS Literate Dragon:



I have so many charts I just want to dig into! Can't WAIT for school to be done. About to start week 4 (I can't believe it's already week 4 (of 15)) so hopefully it'll go quick. Lots to do this quarter so really have to hunker down.

Tomorrow we start a 5 pound weight loss challenge at work. It runs from February 10 through March 31 and the goal is to lose 5 pounds. It's $10 to get in. If you lose the 5 pounds, you get to keep your $10. If you don't but others do, your $10 gets distributed among the ones who do. And if nobody loses the 5 pounds then your $10 goes to the charity of your choice. We have 6 participants - so wish us luck!

On the wedding front, we got more done this past week. Booked the group rate at the hotel and we booked our honeymoon tickets! We're going to Iceland! It's going to be awesome!

So here are my current countdowns:
End of school: 93 days
Wedding: 237 days

Woo! Happy stitching, everyone!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

College #53

I'm trying to get into the habit of posting once a week, not because I feel like I should but because it's a great escape from all my responsibilities and makes me happy. It seems as though school will be pretty terrible this semester, as far as amount of work goes, but at least it's the last semester and I have an awesome countdown going (100 days left!). I have been trying to set aside some time in the evening to stitch, however, and here is my progress so far:



And now:


That's about 1,300 stitches into the page, which isn't bad!

I must admit I have been doing a lot of knitting lately, mostly because it's easier to sit down and do a row sometimes without having to set anything up. I got some gorgeous yarn for Christmas and a hat knitting book so I have been trying to take full advantage of that.

On the job front, things still aren't great. There's been retaliation, my hours getting cut for no reason, and I'm pretty sure there's one person who is trying to force me out. When school gets closer to being done, however, I'm going to start looking for something else, and that has definitely been a comfort.

Yesterday it was in the mid 70s and today it is snowing. Big, fat snowflakes. I don't really have to deal with snow very often, so I tend to gaze at it in amazement. It's pretty magical.

On the wedding planning front, things are really picking up. 244 days until the wedding! The save the dates have gone out. The invitations have been ordered. The tuxedos for the guys picked out. The band has been hired. The florist has received her deposit. The bridesmaid dresses have been picked out. And the honeymoon destination has been chosen (Iceland!). I guess the next step for me will be to work on the wedding website and the registries and print out the enclosure cards. Whew! Lots still to do!

And with that, I'm off. Happy stitching, everyone!