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!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Parrot 22

New stitching lamp is a huge success! H³ picked a really great lamp! I did have to drive to work at 5:30am on July 4th to grab it (it arrived after I got home on the 3rd and I was not going to drive back in rush hour traffic) just so I could stitch all day, and stitch I did! Lots of good progress in and I think I'll be finishing this row pretty soon!



Still have a fair amount to go but I think I'm making good progress here and will (hopefully) have a finish soon.

This weekend not sure how Saturday will turn out in terms of stitching. I'm running a half marathon. It's a night run starting at 7:30pm in a town about 2 hours away so I won't get home until 1 or 2 in the morning (depending on if we get dinner after). But that means vegging out all of Sunday!

Looking forward to that and until then, Happy Stitching!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Parrot 21


My stitching lamp died a horrific death tonight. The bulb started to flicker a bit so I turned it in an attempt to tighten it. The bulb came away in my hand, connected to the lamp by a single wire while the threads remained in the lamp, rusted into place. So long, stitching lamp, you served me well for 20 years. I used a headlamp to finish off my night of stitching and H³ is actively looking for a replacement lamp that will meet my stitching and spatial needs. I need one with a clamp-on base due to my stitching setup. H³ should be ordering one tonight and I'll get it in a day or two. Until then, no stitching for me!

That being said, the death of Lamp happened right when I reached my 10 hours of stitching, so here goes!



I'm really glad I tried ECC stitching on a smaller scale as I'm quickly learning that although I love the way it looks, it's really not for me. I'm not enjoying moving my hoop AT ALL. It actually infuriates me. So after I'm done with this top row I'm going back to page by page cross country. I enjoy it more and that's what it's all about, right?

Crossing fingers that I get a new stitching lamp soon and until then, happy stitching to everyone!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Flapping Parrot 20

I have to say that my Instagram has really motivated me to stitch as much as possible. That, combined with H³ being very helpful and cutting my thread lengths for me when I run out and I'm at maximum efficiency! With that, here's where I am:



Slowly filling in the gaps and maybe, just MAYBE I can have a row finish soon! I'm enjoying the stitch and have to figure out what I'll rotate to once I'm done with the row.

Happy Stitching!