New Year’s Eve

I hate com­ing up with titles. Can you tell?

Hap­py New Year to all of you. I hope to see more of you in per­son this year!

I’m still not feel­ing well at all, so I haven’t been online much. Despite that, my wrists have been aching as if I were work­ing again. How does that hap­pen?

Our Yule was qui­et­ly pleas­ant. I hope your win­ter hol­i­day was as good.

I did final­ly fin­ish stitch­ing the Fairy Tale Sam­pler for Sam. It didn’t take that much stitch­ing (so it can’t be blamed for the wrist pain), but I did have to re-pur­chase some Mill Hill beads. That gave me an excuse (like I need­ed it) to talk to Susan of Nease’s Needle­work, which is always love­ly. But now it’s fin­ished!

My cam­era bat­tery won’t recharge any­more, so I’ll have to con­vince the girl to take a pho­to of the piece for me.

I think I’m final­ly ready to do Deep Peace. It’s a gor­geous piece, and some peo­ple I love dear­ly got all the sup­plies for it as a gift for me a few years back. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, we broke up right after that, and every time I start­ed to work on it, I cried. I think there’s been enough time now that I can focus on the hap­py mem­o­ries instead of the hard stuff.

I think I need to start a small­er project, too, that I can car­ry around with me. Com­plex projects don’t lend them­selves to pro­duc­tiv­i­ty while doing any­thing else, any­way. Sam tends to get me so inter­est­ed in gam­ing that I can’t get much stitch­ing done. Mul­ti-per­son games are bet­ter for needle­work, because I stitch while the focus is on some­one else.

I’m not real­ly into New Year’s Res­o­lu­tions, and if I made them seri­ous­ly, I’d be more like­ly to do so at Samhain than the end of January/beginning of Decem­ber. Still, I’ve been real­iz­ing how much I’ve missed needle­work. My eyes are still giv­ing me trou­ble, but I got out an old, portable magnifier/travel light and that helps. I think it may be worth­while to check into a mag­ni­fi­er attach­ment for my Ott Lite (after get­ting new glass­es). I’m going to try stitch­ing more reg­u­lar­ly, and I’d real­ly like to learn needle­point and knit­ting and/or cro­chet­ing. I think I can man­age the needle­point on my own, but not the yarn stuff. Hope­ful­ly I can find some­one local who is will­ing to teach me. Appar­ent­ly there’s a group meet­ing at a local library that may be a pos­si­bil­i­ty.

I thought my DMC was get­ting too old for use or some­thing, because it kept fray­ing apart while I was stitch­ing. I final­ly real­ized (after buy­ing 3 new skeins of black floss) that I’d been using those nee­dles that doesn’t require thread­ing (which I love), and that they stress the floss (and the floss slips out eas­i­ly). I switched back to a reg­u­lar tapes­try nee­dle and presto! the prob­lem was gone. I can’t find those no-thread nee­dles any­where online, so I guess oth­er folks fig­ured that out far more quick­ly than I did! I have a two-sided nee­dle that came with a mag­a­zine or some such, but I don’t know that I can quite fig­ure out how to use it.

Sam and I are stay­ing in this evening, avoid­ing all the obnox­ious drunks in favor of our own cel­e­bra­tion. The girl is here, too, because her beau is in Europe with his fam­i­ly and most of her oth­er friends are also out of town (some­thing about a Flam­ing Lips con­cert?).

After get­ting caught up with all the shows I enjoy, I went look­ing for some­thing else to view. I enjoy Bones, but I find the sizist com­ments (and plots) high­ly offen­sive. I tried to watch the first episode of The Men­tal­ist online, but it keeps tim­ing out. Sam got the first disc of The Tudors from Net­flix, and it’s inter­est­ing at times. I tend to get annoyed with the lib­er­ties they’ve tak­en with his­to­ry, though.

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SBQ: Stitching Publications

The Stitch­ing Blog­gers Ques­tion of the Week:
Do you cur­rent­ly sub­scribe to any stitch­ing pub­li­ca­tions or have you in the past? (Either in print or online) If so, which ones?

I don’t sub­scribe to any at the moment, and I rarely buy them off the rack. I have hun­dreds of them in my stash, and I keep mean­ing to go through and just keep the designs I’m still plan­ning to stitch, but I nev­er get around to doing it! I stopped buy­ing them because I real­ized that I haven’t ever stitched one sin­gle pat­tern in any of those hun­dreds of mag­a­zines.
Read the rest of this entry »

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SBQ: Stitching Terms/Acronyms

This week’s Stitch­ing Blog­gers Ques­tion of the Week:

For sea­soned stitch­ers: Define a stitch­ing term or acronym for new
stitch­ers.

Gah. I don’t play in the needle­work news­group any more, so I don’t think in acronyms. Rail­road­ing is the only term that I can think of that wasn’t obvi­ous or explained in a pattern’s instruc­tions. There’s a decent expla­na­tion here, and an arti­cle with good pho­tos here.

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SBQ: Family Heirlooms


Tigerlily
And anoth­er Stitch­ing Blog­ger Ques­tion of the week, which should leave me all caught up:

Do you have any pieces that you would liked passed on to future
gen­er­a­tions as fam­i­ly heir­looms?

Marine Corps Emblem
At one time, I thought so. My moth­er has a Tigerlily piece I did for her, and my father has a big Marine Corps Emblem that hangs in his office. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the first piece I ever framed and gave to them suf­fered smoke dam­age, and I haven’t been able to get it com­plete­ly clean yet. They haven’t expressed any inter­est in hav­ing it back, either. Mom stuck anoth­er piece I did and gave to her in a draw­er, and for­got that I’d done it at all.

Bloom Where You Are PlantedSome of the pieces I did for my first husband’s fam­i­ly, like a baby sam­pler and a nice serv­ing tray, may get passed on. Maybe. They may have got­ten rid of them because of the asso­ci­a­tion with an ex-spouse. Who knows?

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SBQ: Blended Threads

And anoth­er Stitch­ing Blog­ger Ques­tion:

How do you han­dle blend­ed threads? Do you kit the blends up before you
start a piece, or do you grab what col­ors you need and blend when the
need aris­es? If you kit up the blends before­hand, how do you store
them? Do you have anoth­er option for blends to share?

I can’t remem­ber the last time I did a piece that used blend­ed threads. Obvi­ous­ly, I haven’t got­ten around to stitch­ing any­thing by Tere­sa Went­zler 😉

When I’ve had to use them, I just blend them as the need aris­es. I keep most of my threads (DMC, def­i­nite­ly) on plas­tic bob­bins, so when I start a project I gath­er all the col­ors required and put them on a met­al ring. As I cut a length, I wind what­ev­er I didn’t use back on the bob­bin for lat­er use, to avoid waste.

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Graphics. Gah!

There are times when being graph­ic-impaired real­ly does annoy me.

I’m final­ly mov­ing for­ward with port­ing the Heart­song Hand­i­crafts site to Word­Press. It shouldn’t be a big deal. I’ve done the same many times before with oth­er sites.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I don’t have a logo. I mean, I have a sim­ple logo, but it isn’t very good. It doesn’t sing, that’s for sure. I just want a nice, sim­ple logo that isn’t ter­ri­bly busy, but that doesn’t look (like the first attempt) as if I made it from clip-art and stan­dard fonts. My utter and com­plete lack of draw­ing abil­i­ty is a seri­ous hand­i­cap in this endeav­or.

I did sor­ta cus­tomize a WP theme to match the crap­py logo, but that part is easy. The hard­er part is hav­ing some­thing to give the site visu­al inter­est, and that doesn’t exist right now.

On the oth­er hand, the cross-stitch pat­terns them­selves involve graph­ics, so I don’t want things to get too busy. It’s a bal­anc­ing act.

I may have to throw myself on Katie’s mer­cy, or some­thing. She’s pret­ty busy, though, and prefers to draw what­ev­er she feels like draw­ing rather than cre­at­ing some­thing to suit a par­tic­u­lar theme.

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SBQ: Essential Needlework Gear

Yay! Anoth­er Stitch­ing Blog­gers’ Ques­tion:

What items do you con­sid­er essen­tial to your needle­work that you keep
in your stitch­ing bag

The pat­tern, fab­ric and ring of floss cards for my cur­rent project, the scroll bars or QSnaps or hoop or what­ev­er I’m using (I sel­dom stitch in hand), and a long sil­ver chain on which I wear my scis­sors and nee­dle case. If I’m work­ing with metallics, I also keep—whoops, what’s the name of it? That tiny blue cube of stuff that makes metallics so much more man­age­able? I’m not using metallics at the moment, so there’s none in my bag, but I guess I should go look up the name of it.

I did keep a seam rip­per in the bag, but I don’t have a safe case for my cur­rent rip­per, so I’m afraid to do that.

Late­ly, I also keep a small magnifier/light that hangs around my neck in the bag. It doesn’t work so well, though, so I should prob­a­bly just take it out.

I real­ly need to replace my bag. It’s falling apart, and the zip­per is stub­born. It’s been incred­i­bly good for a free­bie bag, though! It last­ed about ten years.

I’ve lust­ed after a nice stand­ing or lap frame for years—one of the good, stur­dy ones, with attach­ments for a lamp and a mag­ni­fi­er and chart hold­er and a place to put your fibers and such. Some even come with cup hold­ers! The nice ones are trés expen­sive, though. I don’t want to both­er with the flim­sy ones, as I think they’d be more frus­trat­ing than help­ful.

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Stitching Notes

First, I’ll answer this week’s SBQ:

What do you do with your charts once you’ve stitched them? Do you keep them or dis­pose of them? If you keep them, do you orga­nize them in a way that is dif­fer­ent from the way you keep your unstitched charts?

I keep them. ALL of them. In fact, Sam has point­ed out that col­lect­ing charts should be con­sid­ered a hob­by in and of itself, sep­a­rate from the actu­al stitch­ing. If I could dis­play my love­ly pat­terns some­how, I would.

Next, I must Squee! For I’ve been asked for an orig­i­nal cross-stitch design for a book that’ll be pub­lished this com­ing year. I’m so tick­led! I’m not telling more than that, but it’s all pro­fes­sion­al and every­thing.

And final­ly, that was the impe­tus for anoth­er change. I’ll announce it in the next week. It’s a sur­prise for now 🙂

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