Thursday, October 16, 2014

Greek Mandala part 2 - done!

I know, I know, I just posted yesterday. Posting too much. Oh well!

After all the excitement passed, I ended up coming down with a cold so I've been in the easy chair all day, in my pajamas still, stitching. I guess I can't complain except for the giant pile of tissues next to me and the inability to breathe through my nose.

BUT! despite all the sniffles and sneezing I finished part 2 of the Greek Mandala!

Before:

After:

I have to say the backstitching really makes this part pop. It was really fun to stitch and I absolutely love the way it has turned out.

Two parts down - ten parts to go!!!

Happy stitching, everyone!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BOOM - Married.

After the series of disasters that happened before the wedding, I honestly have to say that the wedding itself went really, really well. The only thing I would have changed would have been the weather, because of course the day before the wedding a heat wave hit and what would normally have been a beautiful day in the mid-70's was in the high 90's. With an outdoor ceremony, that gets to be really, really hot. Our cake also melted, which I wasn't particularly happy about, but ultimately it got eaten so there wasn't much I could do about it.

Here are a couple of photos from the big day followed by a link to the complete blog post by the photographer with over 300 images.

The honeymoon was awesome, though, and we did a ton. Had an adventure every day which included horseback riding, brewery tours, lava tube exploration, glaciers, and a whole lot of fun.

I'll be back to normal with a stitching post soon. Until then, here are those photos (honeymoon photos to come once I sort through them) and that link to the blog post.



Friday, October 3, 2014

I'm Getting Married Tomorrow

Which explains where I've disappeared to over the last couple of weeks. To say that I'm stressed out is a complete understatement - but I'm doing my best!

We're honeymooning shortly after the wedding, but after I will come back with stories and pictures.

Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes, messages, e-mails, etc. You guys are the best!

Until next time, happy stitching!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Greek Mandala 10

I realized last week that although all my patterns were with the movers I could still work on my Greek Mandala since I work with the pattern on my computer instead of having a working paper copy. It has been over a year since this came out to play, which is odd since it's one of my favorite patterns to work.

Before:

After:




Definitely still loving this stitch and will continue until I finish the windmills.

The movers brought our stuff on Friday, which was a total ordeal. I got a call around 7:15 asking if I would be able to accept shipment today by 2pm. I said yes, so they gave me a phone number where I could go to pay for the move, which had to be taken care of before delivery. I call the number and they inform me that I went "way" over the weight estimate and would have to pay. Our weight estimate was 2,500 pounds and when we moved to Texas we weighed in at 2,070 (we really don't have a lot of stuff). The lady informed me that we weighed in at 4,250 pounds. And that's when I went to battle. I couldn't see how, after getting rid of furniture and packing up two cars full instead of the one we had before, we would come in at over twice the weight we had. After several phone calls, the company agreed to do a re-weigh for me.

I met the moving guys who had picked up my stuff at a set of scales not far from my new home. Immediately they told me that when they weighed in in Midland there was "debris" on the scales. HMMMM. So many excuses so quickly.... They came drove to our home, unloaded our stuff, and then we drove back to the scales. We came in at 2,710 pounds. 1,500 pounds less than they were claiming at first. 1,500 pounds we would have had to pay for had it not been for my "bad attitude." I consider it a complete success.

In other, happier, news, we did the food tasting at the venue the other day as well as seeing it for the first time after our original venue burned to a fiery crisp. The food was exquisite and I'm very happy with the venue. The inside has open-beamed peaked ceilings with twinkling lights and the whole thing is set on the water over the bay with some gorgeous million dollar homes and hills in the background. The only thing I'm worried about is that the ceremony space might not fit all the guests but either they'll fit or we'll move the ceremony indoors. Those are our only two options, I think. I would rather have it outside, though, if at all possible.

I think that's it for me for now. I'm working on unpacking everything and getting settled, but things are going fairly well. The Battle of the Movers has been won, and I can stitch in piece once I find everything.

Happy stitching, everyone! Wedding is in 27 days (eep!!)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

California!

No stitching in this post, but some news!

It has been an absolute crazy couple of weeks. The 17th through the 19th Handsome Helpful Fiancé and I went to Austin. Then I drove to Dallas and was there the 21st through the 23rd to pick up my mom and do my last dress fitting. The 23rd I drove my mom back to Midland and we started packing. The movers were coming either the 26th or the 27th but we weren't exactly sure which day and were told we wouldn't know until 24 hours before the movers arrived. I was impatient and I called on the 25th and found out they would come on the 27th so we had an extra day to pack. Thank goodness.

We packed and the movers came right on time on the 27th. It took them 2.5 hours to load all our stuff into the truck. It would have taken us two days to do the same amount of work. Even so, we seemed to have a ton of stuff left over to go in the cars. We started driving it out to my friend Whitney's house where we were spending the night before making the great drive back to California. We had until 5:30ish to get everything done since we wanted to leave early the next morning and we had to do the walkthrough before the office closed for the day.

This was extremely stressful.

We managed to get all our stuff out and my mom cleaned like nobody's business. But we did it. We got the walkthrough done at 5 and turned the keys in. I can't describe the stress levels that were going on at this time. But we all got through it.

We spent the night at Whitney's house and set out early the next morning, hitting the road by 7:15. We drove 10 hours and got to Tucson safe and sound, where we met up with HHF's family, had some Mexican food, and promptly fell into a dead sleep for 9 hours. Woke up the next morning, had some hotel breakfast, and proceeded to drive for 15 hours until we got to our California destination.

It was hellish.

Here are some things I have learned:

- Don't put off packing until the last moment. Ever. Do a little bit every day, but do it.
- Driving for 15 hours straight is awful.
- If you have to drive for 15 hours straight, be prepared for it to start getting really bad around hour 12. At hour 13 you start telling yourself stories to keep yourself entertained. At hour 14 (after the sun has set) you imagine that your car is a TARDIS traveling through space and that the headlights of oncoming traffic are shooting stars. I wish I was making this up.
- Los Angeles traffic is ungodly. Seriously. It's the worst.
- I cannot describe how much I missed In n Out burger.
- Don't underestimate topography. Ever.

All in all, however, we made it safe and sound and have been recovering from the move ever since. The wedding dress made it to California with us and hardcore wedding planning is in full swing.

In other, completely unrelated news, I'm training for a marathon! Hopefully I can make it to the London marathon in 2016. At least that's my ultimate goal. Hopefully it all works out!

My stitching stuff came with me in the car, but my patterns went with the movers so I'm waiting on those to come back. Until then, I'm knitting and wedding planning and enjoying being back in a place I love.

35 days until the wedding!

Happy stitching, everyone!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

College 62

With the wedding and the move coming closer, and my newly discovered love of knitting, getting stitching done has proven to be difficult. But I have persevered!!!

Before:

After:

Looking at the side-by-side I guess I did more than I thought!

Handsome Helpful Fiancé and I have turned in our resignations from work and our last day will be August 15. We're moving in about 3.5 weeks. I guess that means I should start packing, but it still feels too early. I've definitely started going through things, though, giving stuff away, donating things, throwing other things away that I don't even know why I kept, etc. Today I'm relaxing but tomorrow I guess I'll tackle the first bookshelf, go through papers, file stuff, shred stuff, etc. Today: laundry and stitching.

I have been knitting a lot lately. Part of it has to do with the discovery of a super nerdy and awesome yarn store called Gnome Acres. They have gorgeous yarn and SUPER FAST shipping in nerdy themes. I keeled over at the Loki yarn and ended up buying out the stock. I immediately started making a wide scarf and am absolutely LOVING the variegated effect. It will look AWESOME when it's done. I might have to buy another skein when it's back in stock to make it as long as I want it to be, but I'm way okay with that.

I have also been working on intarsia knitting, something that is completely and totally new to me. And, of course, I started with an insanely difficult pattern, because that's how I roll. It's not perfect, but I'm quite proud of my progress so far. I'll post knitting pictures when I'm either done with a project (likely the Loki scarf) or when I have a good amount of progress (with the intarsia).

Once I move back home to California my stitching methods will have to change. We'll be living with my parents for a bit, so I'll have to go back to stitching College in secret. Plus I'll have to figure out how to stitch the secret stitching in secret. I thought about trying to finish it before moving, but that's basically going to be impossible. I can, however, do as much of it as I possibly can.

So with that, the stats for this week:

Days until wedding: 62
Anticipated completion date for College: 12/1/2016
Anticipated completion date for "secret stitching": 3/13/2016

Happy stitching!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

College 61

Amid all the chaos, I still managed to get some stitching in.

Before:


After:



I'm getting pretty close to the end of the page, about 2,700 stitches to go. I almost always stitch faster when nearing the end of a page so maybe another 2-3 weeks and I can call page 15 done!

Life here has been pretty good, lately. I feel like everything is calming down, even with the wedding now being less than 3 months away. Things are neatly falling into place. I'm amazed at how I went from big things to detail work almost seamlessly. One day I'm worrying about the venue (granted, it did burn down) and now I'm ordering favors and working on centerpieces as RSVPs start coming in. Handsome Helpful Fiancé is in charge of the music (I have told you guys that he's a musician, right? He used to play in our University's orchestra!) so I'm not worrying about that as he's in his domain with that. He also set up the band (live jazz band!). So things are going well with the wedding (knock on wood).

I got a copy of World of Cross Stitch from Jo (of Serendipitous Stitching) and it's wonderful! Thank you, Jo! Handsome Helpful Fiancé went through the magazine page by page and found designs he wants me to stitch for the wedding to set up around tables. So I guess I better get started on that! The designs to go well with our theme so that's good and they seem pretty easy. I need to go out and buy some fabric and then I'll post pictures as they're stitched up.

Other than that, life has been about decompressing. Work has been pretty stressful lately, and I've been a bit out of sorts, but I'm trying to focus on happy things. Stitching, of course, has been a great stress relief. I have also been writing a lot - something I used to do obsessively a long time ago and had stopped doing. For some reason, however, the writing bug has returned full force after probably ten years of absence and I'm not complaining. The only problem is that I only seem to be able to write starting at about 10pm while in bed with the lights low. This usually means I don't stop until somewhere between 12 and 1am and the next day I'm a zombie. So I gotta work on that. Maybe create some sort of writing sanctuary.

My last announcement before I leave you for the week is that I've started another blog. Yes, yes, I know, I've said this before. I think the reason I haven't been able to keep up with those was because they weren't topic-focused. They were about me. I seem incapable of carrying on a blog that's just about me. Perhaps I've found a nice niche, though, with this latest attempt: Early Grey and a Good Book. There won't be any stitching on there, but other fun stuff, mostly of the literary variety.

I'll post a picture or two from my recent visit to Roswell, NM, after the stats. My co-worker (and dear friend) and I ended up going last weekend, having no idea that we were there for the 67th anniversary - to the day. There was a little festival going on and we went through the UFO Museum, which was also fun. So there you go.

Happy stitching, everyone!

Stats:
Days until wedding: 83
Anticipated completion date for "secret stitching": 5/13/2016
Anticipated completion date for College: 10/30/2016