Monday, April 30, 2012

College, Page 8!

I did it! About two weeks late, but I did it nonetheless! It's kind of funny, when I get close to a page finish, I start stitching like a demon. This was no exception. I was feeling really iffy about this page, not loving it while I was stitching because it just looked "off." It didn't seem to match the picture at all and I was getting worried. But, of course, it all worked out in the end.



College of Magical Knowledge by James Christensen from Heaven and Earth Designs
Stitching on 25 count antique white evenweave
1 thread over 1 with DMC

I don't even want to get into how many different colors are in that little guy on the balcony, but it felt like a million. Either way I'm glad it's done and I'll be gridding up the next page tonight. *whew*

Handsome Boyfriend got sick this weekend, poor thing. Naturally I made him pick symbols for me to stitch while I made him tea and brought him snacks. He's perfectly fine now, though. Also, something happened with my ears Thursday and got worse Friday. It was like I'd been to a really loud concert and went swimming after and there was still water in my ears. Went to the doctor and have been taking disgusting little white pills which have slowly been making it better, but yuck. It should clear up in about a week.

End of the month check-in:
1. Get back down to 135 pounds. Started the month at 142.4. My lowest weigh-in a few days ago  was 140.4. Haven't been able to weigh myself lately since I'm at Boyfriend's and I believe in consistency with the scales I use. But I'm also considering stopping at 140. I'm much happier with myself right now and I think I'm going to focus on weight maintenance for a while. If I decide to lose some more then I'll get back to it, but for now - I'm going to settle for where I am. My friend John is a professional photographer. We got lunch a few days ago and he told me that some of the girls he photographs are 5'10" and 115 pounds. HOLY CRAP! Now in my "prime" I weighed 130 pounds, and I'm 5'6.5". People thought I was anorexic. 'Nuff said. I'm embracing my very, very curvy curves.

2. Move out of my parent's place. Sigh.

3. Get a job I actually like. Not yet, but at least I'm going to grad school.

4. Finish a few WIPs. Almost done with Tiny Rose Garden!

5. No more stash buying. Oops. Well, there's a good reason for this. A few days ago I got an email from European Cross Stitch that they were discontinuing their Alessandra Adelaide patterns after April 30. This gets me very worried because there was one pattern that I wanted to buy next year. The back story to this is kind of sickeningly cute. Boyfriend and I call each other birds. "Hi bird," etc. Recently a pattern called "Albero Innamorato" was released. Now, why is this significant? Well, here's the pattern:

Obviously, I had to buy it. But to keep me to my resolution, my mom actually decided to "buy it for me." Whatever. I'm a horrible cheater. I'm okay with that.

6. Walking. 12.53 miles last month. No idea how many miles this month. I stopped keeping track this month, even though I know I did a bunch of walking (several long hikes, one of which was 8.5 miles). I'm not too worried about it. Definitely feeling better about myself now than I have in a long time, despite being very, very imperfect.

Happy stitching, everyone!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

IHSW Results

A bit late, I know. I didn't get to stitch on Saturday so I wanted to stitch some more. So there.



I'm very happy with my progress. I still have a lot to go on Mario, but believe it or not I'm starting to see the possibility of finishing him in a reasonable amount of time! Exciting!

I've quite recovered from the hike. I did find an inch-and-a-half long gash on my elbow from my bush jumping eagerness to get on the shuttle - but so worth it. Besides that not much has been going on, honestly. Been doing some grad school checklist stuff (blergh) and trying to stay positive about everything. Is it strange that I'm absolutely not worried about the academic aspect of grad school and am, instead, terrified by the administrative aspect? I'm scared that I'm going to miss a deadline or important announcement. Handsome helpful Boyfriend has been very handsome and helpful about the whole thing. I stress out very easily about things like this and when I get stressed out I get a little... nutty? So he's been wonderful dealing with me.

Off to blog hop and look at all your lovely progress! Happy stitching everyone!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I did some IHSW work yesterday but none today! Boyfriend and I had a choice between going to Davis for Picnic Day (a fun event, but one that we'd been to before having both gone to Davis) or going hiking at Pinnacles National Monument. So Pinnacles won. What was supposed to be a simple 5 mile hike including cave exploration turned into an 8.5 mile hike. Boyfriend and I are both utterly and completely exhausted.

The reason the hike ended up being so long was because the park rangers told us that there were no parking lots farther up the trail, even though they were clearly marked on the map. Hey, guess what Park Rangers, YOU LIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED. And thus added about 4 miles to our hike. Oh, did I mention that it was 90 degrees today? Yeah... I owe Boyfriend. There was a shuttle running back and forth from our parking lot to where we WANTED to park originally. The trail leading back was near the road. He saw the shuttle approach and waved at it and THANK YOU DIVINE INTERVENTION (and Boyfriend for thinking of waving) it stopped for us. In the middle of the road. The driver said, "you looked like really wanted a ride." Accurate. We actually dove through bushes, risking poison oak just to get onto that air-conditioned vehicle of mercy.

Anyway, here's my April TUSAL along with some photos from today.

Pinnacles National Monument

What you see behind (handsome) Boyfriend there is the trail. Lots of climbing or, in my case, scrambling awkwardly over rocks while trying not to fall in the river.

About to go into the Balconies Cave.

After the cave, still have a buttload of hiking to do. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

College, Middle Earth, Boyfriend, and more! (long post)

I'll start with Boyfriend. Yesterday was Boyfriend's Birthday! We had a really nice day - breakfast at the Two Bird Cafe in San Geronimo, a day of watching Burn Notice and cuddles, followed by a nice dinner and cake! All in all a lovely day. So Happy Birthday, Boyfriend!

While at Boyfriend's I stitched madly on College but, alas, was unable to finish Page 8. That's ok, I know I'm doing my best. So here goes.



College of Magical Knowledge by James Christensen from Heaven and Earth Designs
Stitching on 25 count antique white evenweave
1 thread over 1 with DMC

I would center the chart info, but blogger just left aligns it anyway so what's the point? I'm having a hard time seeing the picture that's going to emerge. While I'm stitching it it just looks like a blob. But I guess it's coming together.

When I got home today, besides getting locked out and getting a mani/pedi because I had nothing better to do, I finished my Middle Earth rotation,



Middle Earth from Heaven and Earth Designs
Stitching on 25 count antique white evenweave
1 over 1 with DMC

I've decided to go back to Mario for the next 10 hours. Mario is my oldest WIP and I'm eager to get him done. So back and forth it will go... for as long as I can stand it.

Next up, I was shocked to see that you guys liked The Empress more than The Lovers! I was convinced that lovers would win but apparently not! So I'll be adding The Empress to my rotation. Got all my floss, just gotta wind it on some bobbins and get started!

Speaking of floss, when I got home today there was a package waiting for me on my bed from Lesli (The Fabulous Frogger). Naturally curious, I opened it up and what did I find? A very pretty card with a lovely sentiment and FLOSS! The floss I need for Mario that I had just run out of and the LNS didn't have, either!

Thank you so much, Lesli! I will certainly make good use of this! Mario doesn't have white - all the clouds and checkered floor are all 3823 - a yellowish cream color. I'm most definitely going to use most, if not all, of the floss you see in that bag before I'm done with Mario!

And with that, I think I'm going to call it a night. Boyfriend and I had a busy day today - after we woke up, showered, breakfasted, etc. we went to Nordstrom's to get him some dress shirts and a tie with his birthday money for interviews and a wedding we were invited to. Everything went well, we got home, unwrapped one of the shirts (the other was undone since he had tried it on) and noticed a stain! Yikes! So back in the car, off to Nordstrom's again to do an exchange. It wasn't a problem, just some driving. Then I had to hop in the car again and, with traffic, two hours later I ended up at home - only to find out that I had left my keys at Boyfriend's. Awesome. So, with nothing better to do, I got my first pedicure of the season while I waited for my parents to get home from work. I believe in being proactive - hehe.

Everyone be sure to sign up for the IHSW over at Joyce's blog - or click the little hermit crab in my sidebar. If you've never joined - now is the perfect time! Happy hermitting! I hope to be back with an update on at least Mario and hopefully Mario and Greek Mandala.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

College check-in (and another crazy idea)

Saturday the 14th is my first deadline for College. Please excuse me while I cry quietly in the corner at my inability to meet the deadline. But, chin up, I can do this! Either way, I'm off to Boyfriend's today for a week (it's his birthday next Wednesday!) and I hope to do some catching up then. But I wanted to show you guys what I've been able to do in the last three days since my parents only just went back to work after a week off.



If I'd had that week, I think I would have been able to meet that deadline. But it's ok! I have a week of stitching only on College so we'll see how far I get!

Now for the crazy idea. I've been looking at my stash lately. I'm being VERY good, resisting ALL the HAED sales, I resisted the ECC goody bag offer, and I'm being super super good lately. I've got two new starts lined up (Mystic Mermaid and Mistress Darkness). In my stash, I have three Stephanie Pui-Mun Law tarot patterns. One of my life goals (stop laughing) is to stitch all the tarot cards (really, stop laughing). So I better get started, right? They're actually pretty small as far as HAED patterns go, and I'll just work them into my rotation. I can't decide which to start, though!

The Empress
200x332 stitches

350x561 stitches

The Lovers
200x328 stitches

I'm leaning towards The Empress because I'm really excited to see those butterflies. Also, Strength is a little big for me to want to tackle right now. I also love this whole rotation system because I don't feel guilty about a new start! Woo hoo!

There's a little poll on the top right of the column for your input. It expires at the end of the day tomorrow, and the choice will ultimately be my own, but I'm really VERY curious about your input (and I know that Jo, in particular, likes to vote on stuff).

The Crafty Princess has received her package - woo hoo! So I can show you the last secret stitching project I worked on during March IHSW:

It's the same as Sharine's Teresa Wentzler whitework ornament except this is stitched with Caron Collections Waterlilies "teak." I was originally going to do a different ornament, but I realized I didn't know how to do one of the stitches and it would have taken too long to figure out (the diagram and instructions weren't very clear). 

I leave you all with a photo from Boyfriend's and mine trip to Iceland back in August. This is the town of Vik, photo taken at about 10pm. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

A little more Mario (and a lot more whining)

Finished up my 10 hours on Mario last night (and got about an hour in on Middle Earf) so here goes.



Not NEARLY as much as I hoped, but there are some light cream stitches that are a little harder to see. The blob of red in there is Lakitu's mine that he's throwing down at Luigi and Princess Peach (who will make an appearance in the next row down). It's my first time gridding on Mario as well and I have to say I'm never going back! It makes a world of difference.

On a personal note, some of you know that I've been kind of down lately. I've been doing a lot of thinking (always dangerous) and kind of working myself up and bringing myself down. The thing is, it's really stupid. No, seriously, it's stupid. I'm doing this to myself on purpose. Why? I don't know. My life is FAR from perfect, but I have so much to be grateful for. I'm in a position right now where I can choose not to work and can, instead, spend some time to figure myself out and decide what I want to do (and stitch!). I'm learning so many things about myself, my passions, my likes and my dislikes. This is all at the sacrifice of earning money, but perhaps this is more valuable. I have a family who loves me, and even though they're crazy, annoying, overbearing, and very often hard to stand, they're also loving and caring. I have a Boyfriend who is absolutely amazing. I mean honestly, I have no complaints. We've been together for almost a year and I would not change a thing about him. Not one. I have had the benefit of being able to travel to some crazy places (Poland, Germany, Italy, Iceland, road trip through the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Austria, trips to Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, Iowa, the list goes on!) and I'm only 25. I'm educated, which is a chance I was given that not many people get. There is just so much for me to be grateful for that it's time for me to stop griping and  worrying about the past and the people in it. I'm "deleting" them from my life, so to speak, and not looking back. They've played their roles in my life, because without them I wouldn't be the person I am now, but their parts are done and I'm moving on.

Thank you to those who have had to hear me vent via e-mail, especially a huge thanks to Joyce, Lesli, and Anne who have had to bear the brunt of most of my whining (and Boyfriend, of course, since he has had to deal with it as an immediate presence). And a huge thanks to all of you who take their time to come here, look at my stitching, read my incessant whining, and leave a comment (or not!). You are all lovely people and I'm so very glad I started this blog and can share my love of stitching with people who have appreciation for it instead of scorn for my "old lady hobby."

Friday, April 6, 2012

WIPocalypse, the fourth coming

Hello all,

Time for the monthly WIPocalypse update. I don't even know how far I've gotten with the projects so this will be fun for me to see, too!

College of Magical Knowledge before WIPocalypse:

Last WIPocalypse:


College of Magical Knowledge by James Christensen from Heaven and Earth Designs
Stitching on 25 count antique white evenweave
1 thread over 1 with DMC

Mario before WIPocalypse:

Last WIPocalypse (and Now):

Mario - self-made chart
Stitching on 22 count white Aida
2 threads over 1 with DMC

Riding the Wave before WIPocalypse (and last update):

Riding the Wave Now:

Tiny Rose Garden Mandala before WIPocalypse:

Last Update:


A Tiny Rose Garden Mandala by Chatelaine Designs (freebie)
Stitching on 32 count hardanger
2 threads over 2
DMC, Thread Gatherer Silk n' Colors, and Mill Hill Seed Beads

Middle Earth before WIPocalypse:

Middle Earth last update and Now:

Middle Earth from Heaven and Earth Designs
Stitching on 25 count antique white evenweave
1 over 1 with DMC

Greek Mandala was not started before WIPocalypse.

Greek Mandala Last Update:

Greek Mandala Now:

Greek Mandala by Chatelaine Designs
Stitching on 32-count antique white Belfast
2 over 2 with DMC, various silks, petite treasure braid, delica beads, and Swarovski crystals

Not all that much progress, but something I guess. I put in about an hour in Mario last night with not much progress of it to show.

One thing I CAN show is what I stitched for Sharine! You can go ahead and hop over to her blog and see the full package along with reading her awesome blog. 

This is a Teresa Wentzler beginning whitework ornament. A really fun stitch done with Thread Gatherer Silk n'Colors antique roses and cream Mill Hill beads, stitched on 28-count tea-dyed fabric. 

Handsome, helpful Boyfriend has come to visit for Easter, which makes me really happy. Been really blue for a bit now. This is the first time I'm using my laptop in about three days (156 blog posts to catch up on - yikes!). We made tamales from scratch today and they turned out delicious! Very time-consuming but very worth it.

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend and stitching up a storm!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The horses are back

I completed another 10 hour rotation tonight on Riding the Wave (evil horses). I didn't get as far as I would have wanted to, but still got a decent amount done. What I WOULD have liked is to finish them and get them back to my sister. But that won't happen for a little while. Anywhoo, here we go:


I'm really loving this rotation schedule. Working on everything a bit at a time and getting good progress in.

For those of you asking me how my plan for College of Magical Knowledge is going: it's not. My parents decided to take the week off work so I haven't had opportunity to stitch. But I fully intend to still keep to it as best I can, don't you worry!

Boyfriend is coming to visit tomorrow for a week or so and I'm excited. I haven't seen him for a week, which doesn't sound like a long time, but we usually see each other about 5 days out of the week so this is the longest it has been since June.

Maybe that's why I'm cranky.

Next up in the rotation is Mario. It's been a while since I worked on that one.