Sunday, December 4, 2016

Celestial Dragon 2

These last 10 hours on Celestial Dragon have just crawled by. It's the busiest time of year at work - everyone wants to close their financings NOW. Which means I'm working 6-7 days a week. And I am TIRED. So this took a long time.



I'm doing all the stitching first and then will fill in the backstitching, beading, and french knots, but that won't be for a while. If you look REALLY hard on the right side, you can see the sparkly thread border. Those purple and periwinkle "whiskers" are also in sparkly thread. Hard to tell, but it's there.

I am so, so exhausted from work right now, and so burned out. I went up to the partners on Friday and just told them I need some time off in January to recharge. They told me to go for it, I put in my PTO request, and started planning out all the lazy days I would spend in my PJ's. Then I thought to myself, for kicks, how much tickets to Iceland cost at that time. So I checked. And I almost died. $300 roundtrip per person, direct flight from SFO. Impossible. So I told H³. Who told me we had to scoop those tickets up.

So I'm going to Iceland with H³ for the third time in January for a week! Everyone has their favorite place on earth they would go in a heartbeat. Mine is always Iceland.

I can't wait.

Happy stitching, everyone!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Celestial Dragon 1

I finished the first ten hours on Celestial Dragon last week, but then was caught up in Halloween costume-making and didn't get a chance to post. But, the costume is done, the Halloween party at work was a success, and now I can go back to stitching.

So here it is, the first ten hours on Joan Elliott's "Celestial Dragon"

Some things you can't tell from the photo:
- It's stitched on Picture This Plus "Meditate" (28 count, 2 over 2)
- There will be lots and lots of beads

It's a fun and easy quick stitch, divided up into four pages so I'll keep going until I have the first quarter page done. There's four or five different colors of Kreinik in the whole pattern so I'm hoping those will show up eventually. There will also be two different colors of beads, but I'll stitch those in at the end along with the french knots and backstitching.

I mentioned working on my Halloween costume. Well, here it is. The great reveal (for those who haven't seen it on Facebook):

That's me in there. And if you don't get the reference, click here for a hint. The costume was H³'s idea, but I didn't get started making it until about three days before the work party. Whoops. The robes and gauntlets are made from scratch and underneath, to black out my face, I'm wearing a black morph suit. Suffice it to say I freaked the hell out of everyone at work, made them quite uncomfortable, and had a great time doing it. Most people didn't know it was me.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween. And happy stitching!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Parrot #14

By the end of the 10 hours I was so close to finishing this page, I decided to just go for it.



H³ has picked the next pattern in the rotation and it is (drum roll) Joan Elliott's "Celestial Dragon"!!! I was quite surprised by the choice - I thought it would be a Halloween-themed choice, but it will be a really fun stitch full of sparklies on hand-dyed fabric (by PTP).

Now, I do want to briefly discuss something that has happened recently. It's not a sob story, but a public service announcement. In early September I found that a mole on my arm had changed. Being the paranoid person I am, I went to the doctor. The doctor photographed all my moles and sent them to a dermatologist, who called me less than an hour later to have me come in. A few days later, I went in and together with the dermatologist we determined that two moles needed to be removed - the one I originally came in for and another one on my chest that I have had since birth.

September 21st I had the surgery, and then waited for the results. And waited. And then I found out - the one on my arm I originally went in for was benign. The one on my chest was pre-cancerous. Both have been removed, and I'm fine, but my point is this: pay attention to your body, listen to it, and if something is out of the ordinary then check it out. It could just save your life.

With that, on to Celestial Dragon - happy stitching, everyone!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Parrot #13

This page of the parrot is super fun to stitch, I think because the parrot itself is emerging!


After 10 hours:

This is, in my opinion, the perfect kind of page to stitch. There's a great balance of background and confetti so I can switch off, and it goes pretty quickly. I imagine needing only about 15-20 more hours to finish the page, as I'm already over 1/3 of the way there. On top of that, seeing the colors blending and the parrot's face emerging is just really exciting. Every stitch I put into him (I've named him Felix in my mind) makes his face come out more and more. Generally, I am loving it.

H³ is narrowing down the choices of what pattern I'm going to stitch next. I may not have said, but it's more than just the BAPs I have listed on the left. On top of that are also the following:

- Alessandra Adelaide's Halloween Mystery SAL (not a mystery anymore since the SAL is long over but I still have the pattern on the go)
- Alessandra Adelaide's Elucubrazioni (Out of Print)
- Cloudsfactory's Doctor Who 12 Doctors Clock
- Cloudsfactory's Magical Creatures Calendar
- Joan Elliott's Celestial Dragon

They're all smaller projects I started at some point and became UFOs and now I'm taking the opportunity to put them into a rotation and finish them off. H³ has mentioned that he wants me to go with a Halloween themed pattern next, since October and Halloween are my favorite, and that leaves either AAN Halloween SAL or Spangler's Trick or Treat. We'll see which one will come out to play!

Until next time, happy stitching everyone!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mario page 13 finish!

Another page finish!!



I had to go back so far to find that Before shot! It's incredible how long it has been - almost 4 years! It was a pretty quick stitch, though, and one more page done!

I don't have much of a life update. My toe isn't broken, thank goodness, but badly bruised. Much better now. The dog is still a menace. My first work day of being 30 I ripped my entire dress down the back sitting down in the car and had to run back into the house and change.

Tonight I start stitching on the next page of the Flapping Parrot. And so it goes on!

Happy Stitching, everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Flapping Parrot page 5 finish!

I stitched so hard last night my needle broke!



Next page will be a part of the actual parrot's head, so I'm very excited to see that, after which it will be four straight pages of nothing but background. I'm thinking of just doing two at a time after the next page but we'll see how I'm feeling. H³ has chosen Mario to be the next page finish! So time to pull that out and do some work on it for the first time in almost 4 years!

Besides that birthday in Vegas was fine. Vegas isn't really my kind of town, but I had no idea since I'd never been. Also, I really missed H³ while we were there (it was a girl's weekend) so I don't think I want to spend another birthday without him.

Thus begins another decade. Here's to 30 and everything that comes with it. Minus aging. None of that, now.

Happy stitching, everyone.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Flapping Parrot 11

I like this "photo every 10 hours" thing. Sometimes I don't get to stitch for a few days at a time and sometimes I get to stitch a lot so although my posts may be sporadic, there's always a consistent amount of progress to show!



I'm thinking there will be a page finish very, very soon.

The last few weeks have been pretty busy. Last weekend we flew out to New England for a wedding. It was a bit of a whirlwind. We took a red-eye out of San Francisco Friday night and landed in New Jersey at 5:30am Saturday. Then we drove out to the Nyack, New York area to visit family and spent the night. Sunday morning we drove from New York, through Connecticut, and up Western Massachusetts almost to the Vermont border, attended the ceremony and reception, spent the night in Greenfield, then drove out to Boston and flew back Monday night. Back to work Tuesday. It was utter insanity and completely exhausting. We got in around midnight Tuesday morning and I was back at work 8am. Blegh.

I turn 30 in a few days and decided to do a Vegas trip with my girlfriends (it was H³'s idea, really), so I'm taking a few days off work. We get a free day off for our birthday the month of our birthday plus we all got a free extra day off work since we made Fortune magazine's 100 best places to work list. So, I get to go to Vegas and not actually use any PTO. Win! I've never been (stop laughing) but I'm looking forward to it.

I banged my foot up pretty bad this morning. We're waiting to see if I get any better and if I still have trouble walking tomorrow it's probably broken. But, of course, I'm using this as an excuse to be a stitching slug and hail mary the last couple of hundred stitches for a page finish. Probably not today... but soon, maybe!

Happy stitching, everyone!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Flapping Parrot #10

Another 10 hours of stitching went by fairly quickly and I have an update on the Flapping Parrot.



Golden Kite patterns stitch up so quick, it's a nice break honestly, and it feels like so much progress, so quickly! Plus this is stitched on 18 count fabric, instead of my usual 25 count, which also makes a difference.

Speaking of Golden Kite, they were having a sale this weekend (it might still be on for a few more hours) of up to 75% off on select patterns. Of course a pattern that has been on my wish list since 2012 was on sale from its regular $67 down to $36. So of course, I bought it, weak-willed person that I am.

I don't think I would have normally bought it, but I have the companion piece:

and am really looking forward to stitching both together, and framing them the same way.

Here is what I bought:

Bad, bad me.

But so good.

H³ didn't complain.

Happy stitching, everyone!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Medieval Shelf 9 - Page Finish!

It took me a while but I finally finished my page of Medieval Shelf, and only a month late for the challenge!



I have to say that I just LOVE the colors here. H³ got me through the finish line by staying up late with me as I stitched last night, then waking up early to walk the Beast and by the time I got up the Beast was walked, fed, and there was a steaming hot cup of coffee waiting for me. Suffice it to say I slept three hours longer than I usually do. But I have a page finish!

Medieval Shelf will be put away for a little while and the Flapping Parrot will be picked up for another page. After that, who knows! Now that I have College finished the rotation is slightly different. I have all the projects I have on the go printed out into little pictures and I lay them out for H³ to pick from, and that's how my next project is determined, with a page from the Flapping Parrot in between as it's my focus piece.

So that's the plan for now! It's a stitchy weekend for me - I don't have to work - so off I go! Flapping Parrot, here I come!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Medieval Shelf 8

Well, I didn't make it in time for the challenge. I ended up working about 14 hours of overtime in the span of a few days due to a huge project. My days looked something like this:

Get up at 5, log on, work from home.
Leave the house and get to work by 8:30.
Stay in the office until 8 or 9.
Get home about 9:30.
Work until 1:30.
Rinse, repeat.

Longest two weeks ever. But it's over now and I'm back to my regular work schedule. I don't mind working overtime but I only do it when I have to. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is extremely important to me. So, until the next project (inevitably) comes along, I'll be working normal hours and coming home and stitching.

Another 10 hours of stitching and I'm really close to a page finish. But I'll be good and post a photo now instead of just stitching through because who knows when the next burst of overtime will be and how long it will take.



Almost there!!

I hope everyone state-side has a great (and safe) 4th of July! H³ got our beastie a Thunder Shirt to help her get through it. The neighbors have been at it for two days now and she's completely passed out in her Thunder Shirt so I think it's working:

Happy stitching, everyone!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Medieval Shelf 7

Here is a renewed attempt at posting stitching progress per 10 hours of stitching. Once a week just didn't work for me (as we can obviously tell) just because some weeks are better than others when it comes to stitching progress. But maybe 10 hours will work this time. Maybe. We'll see. Now that I'm not crazed to try to finish something (like College) within a given amount of time maybe it will be easier to keep on top of? Maybe. We'll see. Either way here's my 10 hour before and after of Medieval Shelf:

I always feel like I never get anything done in the time I stitch and then I look at the comparison photos and actually, quite a bit gets done. Amazing. Either way I likely won't make it in time for the June 15th deadline and I've rather come to terms with that.

H³ takes the beast to the dog park 3-5 times a week so she can get her zooms out, as we call them. She's still pretty energetic despite having slowed down and it's great exercise for her. Then she sleeps all day. So mutually beneficial for all parties involved. She could use the extra socialization, too. Win win. But lately she has come to expect it. So around 9:30, when H³ usually takes her, she starts to stare at him. Follow him around. Whine. And she doesn't stop. It's the saddest thing ever. 

I feel like we adopted a furry toddler.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Medieval Shelf 6

How did I manage to skip all of May? Part of it is, I think, working a lot of overtime. The last week of May I had a due diligence assignment and was working roughly from 8:30am-11pm every day. Then I turned in my findings and H³ and I went on vacation to Chicago for a week, which was a good time. No stitching, though, as we didn't check any bags and I didn't want my stitching tools to get confiscated by TSA. Besides, I wouldn't have had time to stitch as we were so busy visiting museums, eating deep dish, browsing book stores, and generally relaxing.

Back at it, now, though. The HAED second challenge ends June 15th and I don't think I'll make it, but it's not stopping me from trying. I might skip the next challenge, despite not knowing what it is yet, to get some stitches in on other projects. But we'll see how I feel when I get there. For now, here's my draglet progress so far.



I think it looks pretty good so far. The little dragon is really coming into focus and looking more adorable.

Here are a couple of photos of the Chicago skyline from our vacation:

And, of course, a photo of the furbaby, who just turned 11 months. She has calmed down substantially, is far more obedient than she used to be, and is even starting to warm up to strangers we meet on our walks, though children are still strange and suspicious beings she wants nothing to do with (and I don't blame her). Here she is in a desperate attempt to get to whatever it was I was eating:

Happy stitching, everyone!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Another HAED Challenge

The challenge this time around is not much of a challenge for me since it's the way I always stitch anyway. One full page, one color at a time via cross country stitching.



As you can see, H³ picked a page with a dragon on it, so it's super fun to stitch and see him appear.

Not much besides that, except I got a promotion and a big raise! I found out at the beginning of April, but they didn't announce it until yesterday. So I'm no longer a Corporate Practice Assistant but am now a Corporate Paralegal. Moving up in the world.

Have a great weekend everyone and happy stitching!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Flapping Parrot page 4 finished!

It may not be a project finish (it will be a while before I get another one of those). Page 4 of the Flapping Parrot is done!



I think it looks amazing, if I do say so myself!

Also, I finally got College of Magical Knowledge framed, and it was worth every penny:

H³ chose the frame, the framer chose the mat, and I chose the thickness of the mat. There's museum glass installed but since we have windows on the facing wall so I had to angle the photo a bit.

Besides that life is good. I have a review at work on Monday which could either go very well or quite poorly. We'll see.

Other than that, our dog is crazy, I've been working a lot of hours, and H³ is as Handsome and Helpful as ever!

So I leave you with this last photo of Xena helping me work from home two nights ago:

Happy stitching!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Medieval Shelf #4

Heaven and Earth Designs has put into place a set of challenges for 2016, and I have decided to participate. I have a very specific way I like to stitch so I dedicated Randal Spangler's "Medieval Shelf" to completing the challenges, since I have started it but haven't stitched much on it.

The first challenge was to stitch 10 10x10 squares in a diagonal pattern. You can stitch in any direction you want, but the squares have to be touching each other on the corners.



This wasn't really my style of stitching, but it's kind of fun to see sneak peeks of the pattern coming out. Some curtain, some books, a sash, the trophy cup with cookies in it. I'm putting this away for now but it will come out again at the time of the next challenge. Props to H³ for helping me pick which square to stitch next.

My stitching has been all over the place since I finished College. I've been incorporating a lot of knitting and crocheting projects I've been ignoring as well. The other stitching project I've been working on is the flapping parrot, but I'm so close to a page finish on that I'll just post when that's done.

Other than that it has just been my regular life of work and running after the dog. She's a bit of a menace. But she is still a puppy (about 8 months old now) so that's to be expected. Calming down every day and whenever I go to the dog park and see how crazy the other puppies are I'm pretty happy that her energy levels aren't quite that high.

So, with that, happy stitching, everyone!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

College of Magical Knowledge - FINISHED!

Finally! Last night, just before midnight, I put the last stitch into College and stitched my initials and the date. A five-year labor of love (with other projects in between) finally finished.

Here it is when I first started this blog:

Here it is last time I posted:

And now:

I can't really believe it's done. But it's done! Now I will wash it, iron it, and frame it. I can't help but stare at it for extended periods of time. Is it perfect? No. But I am really, really proud of myself.

151,200 stitches. 5 years. On to the next.

Thank you all for being part of my journey in finishing College of Magical Knowledge.

Edited to add: I couldn't have done this without H³.