Friday, November 29, 2013

Still Life with Parrot #4

I had prepared this photo to share a few days ago and somehow I never got around to it. I've been feeling that way with a lot of aspects of my life right now: just can't get around to it. It kind of feels like everyone needs something from me and I just want to lock myself in my room with a Do Not Disturb sign and do my own thing. It is what it is, however, and I'll deal with it and move on. Until then, STITCHING! Keep in mind I have done quite a bit more since this photo was taken, but I'll share that in a few days.



It's coming along quite nicely, I think.

Last week was kind of a strange week. Most of it was spent with temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s. Thursday, it was 81. And then Friday it was 28. That night we had freezing rain. Following by more freezing rain and snow on Saturday. It got to the point where on Sunday I couldn't get into my car from the driver's side because the layer of ice was so thick. I couldn't open the door from the inside, either, and the window was so solid that I couldn't punch the ice out. Monday everything melted and this coming week we're supposed to be in the high 70s again. My body is so confused. I can handle the cold and I can handle the heat. Here are some photos to give you an idea of how things looked.

This is my car's antenna, if that gives you any indication of how thick the ice was on my car. I have a really cool shot of the back of my car with icicles all over it and the thickness of the ice warping the Toyota logo, but it also has my license plate number in it and I'm paranoid so... sorry :(

We had a lot of broken tree branches in the neighborhood. Here's a bush outside my apartment.

That stuff on the left looks like snow. And at one point it was. Before it was covered by freezing rain and became solid ice. There was basically no surface you could walk on without almost dying. Handsome Helpful Fiancé and I took a nice stroll down the stairs and across the sidewalk which almost ended tragically.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed those. Stay warm and happy stitching everyone!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Still Life with Parrot, 3

Thank you, everyone, for the wonderful kind words about our engagement photos. I have 10.5 months of planning left so crossing fingers. I was supposed to call the florist today and I didn't. I'll have to call them tomorrow. Either way, I'm super stressed out (mostly because of school) but hanging in there. Not much stitching done, but here it is anyway.



This one is actually a really quick stitch. It's on 18 count and also there are only about 3,000 stitches per page versus my usual 7,000. However, making Christmas gifts has significantly slowed my progress. That and the fact that my to do list always seems to grow and never shrink, no matter how much I've actually gotten done. I'm whining, I know.

With that, happy stitching everyone!

Monday, November 11, 2013

College page 13 and vacation part 2

I'll start with the stitching. I finished page 13 of College! So, without further ado, here are the before and afters.



With that, I'm 56% done with College. Handsome Helpful Fiancé has picked Still Life with Parrot to be the project I work on for this next page, so updates of that probably next week.

On the laptop front, it is broken. Again. Now it doesn't recognize Internet at all which is problematic when one is going to school online. I'm still battling it out since it's still under warranty and I never had problems like this before it got "repaired."

And in my last news, we took engagement photos last week and they came out rather nice. Below are just a few of my favorites, but if you want to see all 200+ of them click here.

I'd write more but I'm actually really angry right now (about the laptop and the whole ordeal that has lasted over a month with it now) so I'm just going to go take a relaxing shower and bask in the glory of my page finish.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vacation, part 1

Well, no stitching update to share so if you're not interested in reading about me and stuff I do then skip this. I won't be offended. I'm about 60 stitches away from a page finish on College, though, so an update of that should happen shortly after my return. But for now, I'm on VACATION!

Also, some of you were wondering where the haunted house pattern I stitched for the Halloween blog hop was from. It was a little freebie from this website. I didn't stitch the whole thing but the whole thing is rather cute.

Handsome Helpful Fiancé and I are on vacation. Finally! Saturday morning we rented a car and drove six hours to Dallas. After checking into our hotel we walked around the area a bit, visited the JFK assassination site, and grabbed some dinner. Soon, however, it was time to go to the show, which was the reason we went to Dallas in the first place.

Uhh Yeah Dude (UYD) is a comedy podcast run by Seth Romatelli and Jonathon Larroquette. They've been doing it since 2006 and have live shows fairly often. November 2, they came to Dallas. So we packed ourselves into our rental car and drove to the Texas Theater. The show was awesome. Absolutely hilarious and a great time. If you're interested in hearing what I heard that night, it'll be episode 395 of Uhh Yeah Dude on iTunes or wherever you get podcasts from. It hasn't been uploaded yet but so worth it once it is.

After the show the guys did a meet and greet, which I had been talking about for a long time and had been super excited to meet Seth. HHF and I are waiting there, he's obviously tired, and I'm chickening out. I keep telling him we should just go home, we won't get to meet him anyway, blablabla. Well finally the moment comes. The guys come out of backstage and we see Seth talking to some people. And then he finishes talking to them and there's no one around him and HHF says I should go talk to him. And I don't. Instead, I chicken out.

So what does HHF do? He puts his hand on my back and, literally, pushes me right into Seth Romatelli. Seth stares at me like, who is this crazy lady? I stare at him thinking, I bet he thinks I'm a crazy lady. When my brain starts working again, I mention that HHF has pushed me encouragingly to talk to him. We introduce ourselves and start chit chatting, which was awesome. He was really nice. Not a very long conversation since there were a ton of people there but he did agree to take a picture with me. We said our goodbyes and left.

And then HHF tells me that the flash didn't go off and the picture is actually really dark and it's almost impossible to see anything. Understandably, I'm bummed, but I still have the experience with me so I decided it wasn't that big a deal. After posting the photo to FB, however, first Jo (from Serendipitous Stitches) and then John (my wedding photographer) both edited the photo for me. So, here it is:

A little pink but totally discernible!

The next day we had some fun at the Dallas Aquarium and the Perot Museum. Lots of walking. Then Monday we flew to California and today we did our engagement shoot at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. When I get those I'll post some.

So far that's it. We've come to realize that this vacation is really a food vacation. We've been eating all the delicious things we can't really get in Texas. Or rather, in the part of Texas we live in. I didn't bring any stitching, but once I get back you'll get a page finish update. Yay!

Until next time, happy stitching!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Blog Hop!

Posting this a little early for everyone abroad!

Letter "O"

Happy Halloween to everyone who celebrates it. Stay safe out there and have a blast! I'll be sure to post a full blog post update soon - promise! I've had good reason to stay away for a bit - a preview of it is when I got my laptop back from repair it was completely empty. They wiped the whole thing. It didn't even have drivers on it. So the last few weeks have been an adventure. Yay!...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

College page 13, 2249 stitches to go!

Of course, the moment I get my stitchy bug back everything hits the fan.

First, in mid-September I flew to California for 5 days. It wasn't exactly a relaxing trip. I landed Thursday morning in California and immediately had to start driving around. In a period of 5 days I had an optical appointment, a dentist appointment, met two different friends for dinner on two different nights, saw my venue for the first time, did my cake tasting and finalized the wedding cake decorations and cake flavors (four tiers and two flavors: almond cake with tiramisu filling and chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse filling), had dinner with the in-laws, finalized bridesmaids dresses, went clothes shopping, and was in a wedding (which took two days, so everything else was done over the course of three days). For anyone familiar with California geography I spent time in Oakland, Davis, San Jose, Larkspur, Santa Clara, Auburn, Grass Valley, and San Rafael (kind of in that order with some driving back and forth). Suffice it to say I was exhausted upon my return.

But it didn't stop there! Then some people at work went on vacation so I worked nonstop, then had some papers due at school, and then (of course) some hardware in my new laptop started malfunctioning and I had to send it in for repairs before the warranty ran out. So now I'm laptop-less (using my desktop right now) because my old laptop wouldn't work, I've got a ton of schoolwork, AND yesterday marked one year to go to the wedding.


Despite all this, I did manage some stitching, I just haven't managed to post about it until I deliberately set aside a bit of time to do it today. I've got 2,249 stitches to go on this page, and I'm pretty happy with my progress despite hoping to have been done with the page by now.



Monday morning I fly to Dallas for my first dress fitting. It's way early because the designer messed up on my dress order and ended up sending it 8 months too early. Since the bridal salon will only hold the dress in-store for two months I had to set up my first fitting right now and just have a lot of time between fittings in order to keep the dress in Dallas a little bit longer before my mom flies it back to California for the wedding after the last fitting.

Suffice it to say I feel like I'm running on empty. The good news is, some of you know that I've been in a pretty bad funk for many, many months now. That is somehow easing. I hope it's more of a permanent ease as opposed to temporary relief, but I guess only time will tell.

In other stitchy news, I did succumb to the stash gods and bought this:

I'm so bad. And I'm completely okay with that.

Handsome Helpful Fiancé has been a real sweetheart since I've been so exhausted and since it's starting to get cold (well, colder, anyway) I've been getting swaddled in fleece blankets and receiving tea deliveries. We're hoping to get our engagement photos done in November, so I may end up posting some of those.

Until then, I hope you guys are having a wonderful stitchy time!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Stitching Bug!

My stitching bug is back in full force and I think you can tell from the progress.



I'm a few hundred stitches short of 3,000 on the page but I full anticipate to get there tonight or tomorrow, at the rate I've been going anyway. And I'm very excited to see the outline of the college appear on this page. Woo hoo! A little tower blowing smoke is going to make its appearance. You can see a bit of the smoke on the page above it.

Besides that, I am SO HAPPY I'm doing one day off a week now. Yesterday was glorious. I started it off by reading a chapter of my book. Then I played Skyrim (until I died and got frustrated). Then I picked up my stitching and went at it. We also had dinner with some friends and all in all it was an awesome, awesome day. At least in the relaxing sense. It kind of felt like just what I needed.

This is going to be a short post so the last thing I'm going to mention is that Handsome Helpful Fiancé was bemoaning the lack of his appearance on this blog and asked if I could post a picture of him. I'll do one better: I'll post TWO.

One is a picture I've posted before:

And here's a new one you haven't seen:

The first was taken in Texas, and the second when we were still in California. Anyway, that's the man I'm gonna marry!

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Return of College

The new school semester started on Wednesday but I've been pretty diligent about making sure I have some stitching time. As a result I somehow managed about 1,100 stitches. I'm also really proud of myself for posting according to my previous schedule. Go me! The first week of school is usually pretty tough to catch up on because it's a short week. But I'm doing my best and then I hope to do what I used to do as an undergrad: set aside one day a week just for myself. No homework, no work, no worries, just stitching (wishful thinking, anyone?). But I'm hoping to make those days Sundays. That would definitely help contribute to my sanity and general happiness, along with my trying to finally finish College. Not that I'm not enjoying it, I'm loving it, but I'm ready to finish it and start something new.



I know, it doesn't really look like 1,100 stitches. But it is, really! I'm hoping to stick with College for a while and get as much of it done as I possibly can.

I've also been REALLY into video games lately and just purchased the Kingdom Hearts game for 3DS and Epic Mickey 2 for XBOX (Keebles, if you're reading this, your posts convinced me to get it). Not sure when I'll have time to actually play them, but I'm hopeful. My list of video games to play and beat is almost as long as my stash list!

Time to get ready for work now. Hopefully I'll get to put in a good amount of stitches tonight. I haven't even really started working on one of my classes so maybe I should get on that, too. Sigh.

Happy stitching, everyone!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Middle Earf, page 3 done!

It's about time, too! I've been on this page almost 4 months!




I meant to post earlier but I was so close to finishing the page that I held off posting until it was done (which happened about an hour ago). Of course life got in the way a bit too so that kept me from finishing super quick. For starts I had the end of the summer semester. Can't get too excited about it since I start school back up on Wednesday but at least I had a little time off, and I finished my last final just in time for my birthday last Tuesday. Nothing too exciting, I had the day off work and Handsome Helpful Fiancé had to go to work, so I went out on my first oil rig to have dinner with him:

Crazy, right?

The next day we were going to hang out, go to a baseball game, etc., but Handsome Helpful Fiancé injured his back at the gym. We thought he was ok until 5:30 the next morning when he woke me up because he couldn't move. So I called my supervisor (at 5:30 in the morning and I STILL have my job!) and told her what happened since I was supposed to be in at 8 and I was the only one scheduled that day. But he's doing much better which is good.

In other news, I was feeling nostalgic today and going through some of my photos on facebook and I had the realization that I am really, really lucky. I have been to some INCREDIBLE places in my 27 years and I hope to go to some more incredible places. I've seen glaciers, walked on volcanoes, roamed castles, and gazed at Roman ruins. I've slept in tents during terrible storms and gone to the Arctic Circle! Truly, truly lucky and very grateful for everything. Despite the fact that where I live now isn't exactly pretty and the landscape is bleak and depressing, life goes on and this is a temporary thing. Eventually we will live somewhere beautiful again, it's just a matter of time.

With that, I'm off to play Oblivion until my eyes bleed and start setting up stitching College, so get ready to see lots more of that!

Hugs to all and happy stitching!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Finish!


I know I've somewhat abandoned this blog, but I haven't actually. It hasn't been for a lack of desire to blog, but more for a lack of time. Summer session is winding down right now which means projects, due dates, and finals (yay?). Once this semester ends, though, I have 30 weeks left and then no more school! Which will happen in May!

But in the meantime, I've started and finished St. Valentine Passerolli by Alessandra Adelaide for Handsome Helpful Fiancé (who is also a hero). A hero? Well, there have been some problems at the library lately with a creeper who won't leave and today it culminated in police action, a ticket, and Handsome Helpful Fiancé having to come in around closing time to walk me to my car. Ugh. I hope that's the end of it, anyway.

But here's the stitching!

Hope you guys like it! It was a fun, easy stitch and I think is rather adorable.

I'd say more right now but I'm actually a bit rattled and need to relax. Not enough time to stitch (date night!) so I'm going to play Oblivion for a bit (Skyrim prequel - Handsome Helpful Fiancé bought it for me as an early birthday present so I can play on my laptop while he uses the XBOX). So there you go.

I hope you're all having a better day than I am. I'll be giving away some scraps of 25 count soon as I have a lot left over from the birdies and I know some of you do small projects - maybe storykeeps or something, so keep a lookout for that.

Also, I must mention my friend's awesome wonderful new Etsy page: Buffalo Nickel Goods. She makes her own jewelry using vintage stuff and it's really awesome. Everything is one of a kind, affordable, and really unique without being over-the-top. So I highly encourage you guys to check it out.

Happy stitching everyone!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Well I have been stitching Middle Earf, but due to schoolwork and... other things (see title of post) I don't have enough done to merit a photo and a post. But that's alright because I will... eventually! I've also been doing a bit of secret stitching for Handsome Helpful Fiancé which I can't show until it's done but I'm getting close! I have also, finally, gotten the hang of knitting lace. I realized that my issue was not with knitting itself but with the fact that I was trying things that were too advanced for a beginner such as myself. But I've figured that out, found a gorgeous lace scarf pattern, and have been knitting away - photos when I'm done! I do absolutely love it, though!

On top of all that I've started playing Skyrim. Those of you who play Skyrim know how dangerous that is. But it's also amazing!

And on top of all THAT I've been going through a huge transitional time - mentally. Lots of thinking. Lots of discovering. Dreams and plans of traveling. Things like that. So, unfortunately, no stitching pics right now, but I promise they will come and you will love them!

Hugs and happy stitching!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sickness, Stitching, and Wedding Snafus

It has been about two weeks and in that time several things have happened. I'll start with the stitching. Middle Earf is still going strong and here's the proof.



It's kind of fun to watch it fill in bit by bit. I have to say that my stitchy bug had been gone for a while, but I think it's finally coming back! All I want to do is stitch these days, so I have a feeling I'll have a page finish soon.

Regarding the sickness, last Monday night I went to bed and at about midnight I got violently ill. All night. For a week. It was awful. But I'm finally eating real food again and I don't feel like I'm going to throw up the moment I move. I can even sleep on my side and I don't physically feel the pressure on my abdomen as excruciating pain. So yay! Progress! Handsome Helpful Fiancé was wonderful, though. He kept making me tea and bringing me water and crackers (which didn't exactly stay down) and tucking me in like a little burrito. Hero saved the day!

And the last bit of news is that there was a little snafu with my wedding dress. I ordered it in early May (maybe May 7th?) and was told it wouldn't be ready until November-February due to the holidays, turnaround time, and the fact that each dress is made to order. Fine. No problem. My wedding isn't until October 2014 so I had absolutely no problem with this. Well... it turns out the designer read my wedding date wrong and decided to rush the order on his own thinking it was October 2013. I checked the receipt and the receipt was correct. So one thing led to another and my dress is now ready. Which means I need to get all my undergarments etc. and plan a trip to Dallas. Honestly, if this is the worst thing that goes "wrong" then I'll take it. Seriously.

 And with that, I'm gonna go stitch while listening to lecture. Yay! Happy stitching everyone!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Middle Earf #16

Yes, yes I know, it has been two weeks. But it turns out my glasses were no good and by noon all I could really do was lie on the couch with my eyes closed because my head hurt so bad I felt like I would get sick. So back they went to get remade and I just picked them up today. We'll see how they do this time around.

In other news, I'm only taking two classes this summer session (instead of my usual three) and it feels like I'm taking four. So much more work than usual. So I'm slogging through that. Week 3 of 10 started yesterday. Crossing my fingers that all will go well.

In the meantime I've managed to get a bit more in on Middle Earf, so here goes.



I will share one last tidbit. The naughty lesli RAK'd me, yet again! This time it was Snow Wizard by Randal Spangler. This guy is only 10 pages total, 6 of them partials, so shouldn't take too too long. Can't wait to get to him... someday....

With that I go back to homework. Forever. Happy stitching for those of you who have more time to enjoy it than me!

Monday, June 3, 2013

"And so it begins."

(insert dramatic Helm's Deep Battle Music here)

I was about to sit down and do my reading for class, which started today, when I remembered I have one more thing to procrastinate with! My blog post!

I have to admit that stitching has no been a priority, mostly because I've rediscovered video games, but also because I got new glasses and I'm still adjusting to them. Those of you who wear glasses know the headaches associated with that precious awesomeness. Still trying to get my contacts just right and I miss my contacts very, very much.

I don't have much news to contribute for the last two weeks, so I'll just show you my stitching and try to wade through my (already) ridiculous amounts of reading. 40 weeks of school until I'm completely done! (Not counting breaks between semesters).



Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Here I am! All done with the semester and ready to relax. Which won't happen but a girl can dream. I did manage to stitch a little in my absence while listening to audio books. And I know I said I'd be back last week but we got an extension for our last assignment and I decided to take advantage of it. Also, lots happened the past week so this might end up being a mega post. Anyway, here goes!

I finished a page of the Golden Kite Parrot so here it is.



I think the blending effect is just stunning and I'm absolutely loving stitching this. Granted, it's just page 1 out of 60 but I have high expectations for this pieces particularly after seeing this first page done.

Now my new thing is that Handsome Helpful Fiancé chooses the next project that I will have a page finish of. And, of course, he chose Middle Earf. Therefore, that's what I've been working on since then.



Not so much progress but it's a fun stitch and every stitch brings you progress!

So in the time I was gone, not only did I finish the semester but my mom came to visit! It was a good time. We went to Dallas and (drumroll) bought a wedding dress! I can't give too many details since Handsome Helpful Fiancé isn't allowed to see it until the day of the wedding (hehe) It was the first dress I tried on and I tried on a number of dresses after in different styles and by different designers but ultimately came back to the one I bought. AND of course now I'm having wedding dress nightmares like that they deliver the wrong dress or a dress in a different color.

So besides wedding dress, mom's visit, and school being done (until June 3) the last bit of news is the a bunch of little fluffers hatched in our hanging plant a few weeks ago! They were cute, and loud, and killed our plant, but it was worth it. They flew away a few days ago, but until then we got to look at their angry eyebrow tufts and hear them screaming for food. I did manage to get a few photos, so enjoy those and happy stitching!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Where I'm disappearing to

At least for the next two weeks:

Yup. All these and more must be read by May 13. And to top it off, we're short-staffed at work and my mom is coming to visit on Saturday. SOOOO despite the fact that I'm still stitching (the audio books are in there for a reason!) I'm just not going to be able to post :(

But fret not and prepare yourselves for a mega post upon my return! I would say count on it May 14th. I'm off work that day and the plan is two-fold: blog and play video games until my eyes bleed.

Farewell.... FOR NOW

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Parrot 1

Again, I seem to have neglected taking a before picture for IHSW. Oh well. Just imagine the following with maybe 20 fewer stitches, because IHSW was an epic fail for me this time around. Too much work to do and not enough time meant bad stitching results.

That being said, though, I did manage to get quite a bit of stitching done on the week before IHSW, so there's that at least! I'm really enjoying the Golden Kite pattern, even though it's actually vastly different than HAED. First of all, it's being stitched on 18 count Aida instead of 25 count evenweave, with two threads over 1, full crosses, and blended threads (GASP!). I do have to say, though, the blended threads give it a beautiful effect of barely discernible color change while still achieving it, making a subtle gradient effect. You can barely see it in the photo I'm going to show you - but it's there!

Also it doesn't hurt that the stitch count per page is about 3000 - which means page finishes are much faster and progress is more visible, which gives you a sense of accomplishment. I will probably be buying HAED charts in large chart format from now on due to this.

So without further ado, here is my start on Handsome Helpful (overworked) Fiancé's "Still Life With Parrot"

Monday, April 15, 2013

College pages 11 and 12!

A double page finish!

Sorry for not posting last week! I was so close to a page finish by the end of last week I thought to myself, oh I'll just stitch another day or two and finish it all up. But then things hit the fan. I knew it would be a busy week, I just didn't expect it to be THAT busy - I had three major projects due, the in-laws came to visit, AND the grand opening of the library was Saturday with Laura Bush as the guest speaker followed by a luncheon she was at that my boss made me work. So between all that, I didn't get to stitch for days. Yesterday I sat down with my stitching and an audio book and just went wild, so here it is!



That picture is as true to color as I have been able to get in a long time! Also, this marks the project as 51.06% complete. Wow! How sad that that's all I can think of to say.

I'll be putting College away for a little bit (not too long) as I promised Handsome Helpful Fiancé that I'd start the flapping parrot from Golden Kite as soon as I finished up these two pages. It's his birthday on Thursday and I promised it as an early birthday present. So that's what I'll be doing tonight and working on until a page finish - which shouldn't be too long as Golden Kite pages are only about 3,000 stitches per page and HAED pages are about 7,000 stitches per page!

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy it - 4 weeks of this school semester left (ends May 13) and then I'm free until June 3 when summer starts. Taking summer classes so I can finish ASAP instead of dragging it out.

Sooo I think that's about it. Happy Stitching!

Monday, April 1, 2013

College #43

Another week another progress shot. I'm ready to be stitching something else now truth be told. Maybe I'm just not a one project at a time girl, as much as I want to be. Anyway, here's the progress.



Give me another week or two and I should be done with the second row.

On another note, Blogger is driving me crazy, to the point where I don't want to blog anymore. It inserts spaces where no spaces were inserted by me, changes the layout and formatting, won't let me type where I want to type, and is being a general pain. 

On a last note, Handsome Helpful Fiancé and I are getting married October 4, 2014. A long way away but that's good. Plenty of time to plan and save up.

And lastly, I missed my two year blogoversary. Oops. So yeah, I've been around two years now.