Monday, September 10, 2007

Completed Mystery Samper III

It is finally done...after 9 months. This piece had lots of beads, metallic floss, and used Dinky Dyes silk floss. The wording was all over one. The swans were my favorite part of the piece to stitch but I did love all of the beading. I am not joking. Beading was used as a reward for finishing all of the Algerian Eyelets (over 260 of them). My favorite floss was used in this piece. It is called Day Dream by Dinky Dyes and was used in the border. It is a highly varigated floss that ranges from pink to purple and blue to green.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Summer Finishes

Yipee. I found my camera and could finally take some pics. I finished the little Assassi Dragon Scissor Fob last month. It is over one and tiny. The Emerald Orchid Bee by Dimples Designs took several nights and inspite of its small size is farily complex piece. It is really sparkly and fuzzy. In the green portion of the head there are 14 stiches comprised of 5 metallic/DMC blends. There is one color that is used for a grand total of 1.5 stiches in the entire piece. Lots of color changes, fractionals, and blends but as usual Dimples Designs are worth it. I have at least a dozen more insects in my collection to go. Ouroborus is done. It took a year, a month, and a day to finish. Of course I have absolutely no project fidelity so I worked on lots of stuff in between. I loved working this piece and was almost sad to finish it. It was like losing an old friend. It is one of my all time favorite designs.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Hastur is Fine

I dropped Hastur off at the vet's this morning and was not expecting to hear how the surgery went until early afternoon. The vet calls me at 11 am to tell me that he did not have the surgery. The size of the lump had gone down and she redid some of the cytology. He just had an infection and it was causing the area to swell, however, his initial tests had tumor like symptoms. Apparently there are some scavenger cells that can mimic the atypical multi-nucleated cells of a tumor. So he came home at 11:30 with an even more shaved neck and lots of antibiotics but surgery free. We have to keep an eye on him for the next couple of weeks but all should be well. Thank you for your kind words.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hastur the Dachshund Goes into Surgery Tomorrow

This past week has been a wild ride for myself and my tiny family. My dissertation topic has been change but there is a lot of political B.S. attached to it. Thank goodness I have a wonderful and powerful committee chair who supports me. I have been offered a PostDoc at my current institution (I keep getting offers from different places even though I won't graduate for another year) and decided to accept it. I will have the freedom to continue my own research in addition to my PostDoc requirements.

So with all that going on I find a lump on Hastur's neck and some of it is scabbed over. I take him to the vet's fully expecting it to be an abcess. It is a tumor and due to the sample she evaluated yesterday there a good possiblity that is cancerous. We will remove the entire tumor tomorrow and wait about a week for the verdict. So please keep your fingers crossed for this little guy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Finally some finishes

Greetings. Sorry about the delay between postings. I was having a ton of problems with my old laptop. I now have a shiny red and silver piece of efficient machinery in front of me. Her name is Dr. Vibby Girlfriend and she is fast. Her name is due to several in jokes between Persian Pen Name and I. It would take an entire post to explain how she got her name and probably would not be all that funny to you. Microsoft Vista is not all that but it was the only OS they were putting on the higher grade laptops.

On to the stitching.

I have actually finished two projects within the past month. A little Assassi dragon scissor fob and Christmas Labyrinth. Christmas Labyrinth has been a UFO/WIP since March of 2006...for good reason. Lots of quarter stitches and metallic fibers. For anyone who wants to do this project...convert the recommended metallics to Rainbow Gallery Petite Braid. The metallic I was using was a PITA to work with and also keep ripping up the beautiful silk variagated fiber. Also, the green backstiching color as charted does not exist. I used Krienick 009V, emerald green. I am done complaining about a truly annoying project that is totally worth it in the end. I have posted pics with and without the back stitching, so you can see the fun fractionals. So without further yammering the pictures.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Blogger ate my pictures

Blogger does not like progress pictures to be shown. Blogger is hungry and has determined that feasting upon the pictures is a good and noble thing to do.
Sorry about the pictures. Iwill give blogger a few days to become sastified and then post some new pictures.

Blogger ate my pictures

Blogger does not like progress pictures to be shown. Blogger is hungry and has determined that feasting upon the pictures is a good and noble thing to do.
Sorry about the pictures. I give blogger a few days to become sastified and post some new pictures.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Some WIPs

I actually got to do some stitching this month inspite of being really ill with bronchitis and being out of town for almost a week. New Orleans was a combination of beautiful and horrific. The French Quarter had bounced back from the Hurricane nicely for the most part. There was still some major reconstruction going on and some buildings that had been abandoned. Then there was the rest of the city. I shudder to think of some of the images that I observed.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

SBQ about Blogs

This is from the SBQ April 5: How do you decide which stitching blogs are worth repeat and/or regular viewings? Are there certain things you look for in particular? Are there things you wish there were more of? Less of? Is your blog a good example of what you like to read?

I like blogs that have lots of pictures, talk primarily about the subject I am interested in, and can make me laugh. I like stitching blogs to contain stuff about stitching. I am not so interested in the day to day personal things. If the person has been ill or having a hard time, that is good to know, especially if they are an online buddy. But I really don't want to know that you were out of lemon zest yesterday or your Lucky Charms cereal didn't have any marshmallows. On bulletin boards, I typically like to avoid religious or political discussions (what I would have to say would probably piss off 95% of the readers). Blogs, I am a bit more flexible towards. Blots are some one's personal space that I go to read. So if they want to cuss or talk about about something it is their choice. If it annoys me too much then I just won't go back . I can put up with annoying personal stuff if people post lots of pictures, especially stitching designs that I like. I also enjoy when people talk about technique, floss usage or the pitfalls of a design. If someone is on The Challenge I try to visit their blog on a regular basis to keep track of their progress and offer words of encouragement. If someone leaves a comment on my blog I try to look at their blog the same day.
I do visit stitchers' blogs that don't have a lot to do with stitching. If the blog is amusing or informative, I will continue to go back to it on a regular basis. I love things that make me laugh.
I try to limit personal stuff on my own blog unless it effects my stitching. Being ill effects my stitching. Going to California effects my stitching. But I try to limit these discussions. My blog is primarily stitching and I try to include pictures as much as possible.

With this said, I am off to New Orleans for a conference! Be back in 5 days.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Fickleness Continues

I decided that I did not like the DMC variegated floss on the purple piece of fabric for The Dreaming by Dinky Dyes. Oh, how I wish that I had two skeins of the limited edition floss since it was perfect. Why...why did the perfect floss have to be limited edition? So think I have decided on using Caron Waterlilies Mulberry for the design. I feel like a traitor using Waterlilies on a Dinky Dye design. I am stealing Mulberry from a different project...giggle giggle giggle. This will probably come back and bite me in the butt. When I decide that I have to do those other two Mini Mandalas and I can't because I have used the necessary skein of Mulberry. Oh well, my fickle mind has decided that it must work on The Dreaming.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

"Hastur...your love is so fickle"

"Hastur...your love is so fickle" was said one evening when I had a group of my table top roleplaying game friends over. The real HasturTorres is a very gregarious little dachshund. He loves people, other dogs, and will cozy up next to a plate of food in a heartbeat. When alone the little pup is a stalker. He sits on my feet under my desk when I work on the computer. Curls up next to me on couch or begs at my feet during dinner. This changes when guests arrive. The newer the person the better to him. He ignores his momma and dadda and goes straight for the guests. If he knows the vistors equally well he makes his rounds to each one of them (ignoring his parents) thus the line "Hastur...your love is so fickle"
This line is also applicable to me and cross stitch. See if I have a new project I go bonkers...must work on new project. Soon the newness wears off. I have lots of other WIPs. So like the real Hastur I make my rounds with them. My love is so fickle. Sometimes I find it hard to stick with a project for more than a night. So I have to switch. As soon as I stitch I want to work on that project again. That would be fine if I had the attitude for just one project but no....I have it for 9. Thus nothing is getting done. I should have finished Ori the Ouroborus last month but no I just had to be fickle.
Last night I worked on kitting up a new project instead of on existing ones. You see I got the Winter Pack from Jo at Dinky Dyes. It is gorgeous. The handdyed fabric is amazing and the silks/cottons are the usual wonderfulness that is Dinky Dyes floss. So I go through my exisiting stash trying to find a chart that would work. I have the Dreaming which was a gift from one of the members of the Wagon but unfortunetly I only have one skien of each limited ediition floss and it takes two skiens of the same color. So I tried lots of different ideas including looking at the freebies at Ink Circles. I finally pulled out two skiens of variagated purple floss from the DMC color collection box and some purple evenweave. I was hoping to use some silks but the DMC worked better. Of course I could order some more silks from Jo but I am on the Wagon so I can not feed my Dinky Dyes addiction. Soon I shall start the Dreaming but only until after I finish Ori and one other small project. Must keep my WIPs below 10! Must not give into temptation. Will not give in...will not give in...will not....

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Californa Trip

Earlier this month I had a trip out to California to pick up my "new" sports utility vehicle that I purchased from my parents. It is nice to have my own car again. DH and I shared his SUV for over year after my car died a slow death from which it could not be saved. SUVs are gas guzzlers and I wish I could afford a better car for the environment but beggars can't be choosers... and being a graduate student I am definitely not in a position to afford a different vehicle. Also, the SUVs are easier on my bad knees to drive and get in and out of.
Persian Pen Name travelled with me. Thank heavens for that. It over a 24 hour drive (no stops) from my parents place in California to where I live in Texas, with almost half of the drive in Texas. We stayed at a family friends' home in Arizona on the way back to Texas. It was great to see them after almost a decade. PPN got to experience night time in the desert, which is absolutely beautiful. Tucson has an law against "light pollution" thus you can see a ton of stars from a back porch. The wind was blowing slightly, the temperature had dropped to where you almost need a sweater, and the patio was radiating heat from its exposure to the sun keeping the bare toes warm.
I also got to hear magic words that all sewing impaired stitchers love to hear. "I would be happy to sew your stitching into pillows if you need me too" and "sure I can sew up a stocking for you". One of the family friends, who sews beautifully, volunteered to help me finish some of my projects. I am ever so grateful!!!

I was a very good stashaholic while in California. I am on my own Project Challenge but in addition I had also put myself on the celibate/abstinence wagon challenge from the Wagon BB ( ). My trip to California was my stash buying exception for the celibate/abstinence challenge. This made for fun stash money calculations because I am on two challenges and only some of the material was exempt. The charts I purchased for myself came out of Chirstmas money. The charts are purchased using gift money so I would not violate the Project Challenge are: Treetop Sampler by TW, Britty Puppy Christmas Stocking, and Snap Dragon by Kustom Krafts. Of course I can't buy any supplies for these projects until next year unless I spend gift money. I got I'll Make My Own Happy Ending by Dragon Dreams as a gift for a fellow sticher, Dragon Hatchling by Dracolair for baby gifts (need to experiment with other more gender neutral colors), and Feather Friends by Brittercup for my BF's wedding gift. The friend who got married over two years and who I promised a stitched gift to before the wedding. (she is the one with me in the shark cage) Yeah...I am a slacker! the fibers you see go with the Feather Friends. I also picked up a piece of pale pink fabric for the I love my Bird portion of Feather Friends (finished the stiching will post pic soon), a piec of purple fabric for ? (I just liked the color), some 32 count lambswool linen, and piece of blue handyed fabric again for ? project. So overall I was a very good stash junkie. Now I just hope that I don't give into any cravings during this next year!

On to the most exciting part of the trip...drumroll...I got to meet stichers while out in California. TKDchick was in San Diego very briefly and so was I. Yippeee!!! That is one stitcher I had never thought I would get a chance to meet due to the whole living in two different countries thing. I also got to meet some of the California stitchers at the zoo. Now the San Diego Zoo is one of my favorite places to go. My parents used to take me there all the time when I was growing up. It was one of the key inspirations for my interest in critters and science. I am a zoologist, thanks in great part to the zoo. I was totally thrilled that I got to go to one of my all time favorite places with stitchers! I got to meet Branch52 and JillJinCa and hang out with them at the zoo along with TKDchick and Persian Pen Name. It was soo totally awesome! What could be better than a day filled with critters and stitchers? I enjoyed listening to Branch52 and Persian Pen Name discuss their mutual obsession with sheepies. Jill took her son to the zoo. It is so much fun watching a child at the zoo. They run everywhere and want to see everything...such beautiful thing to observe. I consider myself lucky that I got meet those fellow stitchers.

I took Persian Pen Name to the Stephen Birch Aquarium located on the University of California, San Deigo's campus. Say hi to the Sea Star! My Best Friend went with us. She is a total fish (and bird) freak. Her husband is the founder and owner of a sucessful aquarium business in San Diego. So we learned lots of fish stuff from her.

This weekend I am having a get together at my home in Texas. I get to meet more stitchers! This is a month for meeting people. I am stoked. For years I felt very isolated with my hobby and then I discovered the Bulletin Boards and have gotten to interact with lots of great people. The stiching/crafting community is full of so many nice and kind hearted people. They have really spoiled me. I have a hard time hanging out on non-stitching BB now due to all the nastiness, immaturity, and cruelty that isn't really present on the stitching boards (yes there are good non stitching BBs out there but permit me my sweeping generalizations). So kudos to y'all.
Egads. I almost forgot about Bernardo, the Stash Devil. He is a stuffed Tasmanian Devil that I picked up at the zoo. Observe as he watches over the stash haul!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Hastur has been sick

In the last post I mentioned how busy I was. Well this past month as been worse...not in workload...but in health. I have a chronic health problem that came to head a few weeks ago. So I got to see my doctor about having certain test done which I am able to do. She also recommends, however, that I get over an hour of exercise 6 days a week. I had been doing a half hour a day on regular basis but apparently I need to do more. So now I have to drag my exhausted carcass to the park everyday for over an hour and take the dachshund walking. He loves it of course...traitor. My specialist supports my doctors exercise position. In addition I had to spend the night in clinic. That was loads of fun. Screwed my sleep for the next week. On top of it all, I stepped on the plug of a the same time I was announcing to the dachshund that we were going for one of the WALKS. I was unable to walk on it for days because of the lovely puncture wound. In summary I have been on sick and exhausted stitcher who was occansionally in a tremendous amount of pain. So I hope this explains my absence from my Bulletin Boards and this blog.

So onto why you come here- THE STITCHING
I had set some modest goals for the month of Feb. none of which were accomplished.
1. Finish Ori the Ouroborus- Only worked on her a little bit
2. Finish border for Mystery Sampler III- Almost done. I will finish it later when I am less tramatized with the insanly larger border this was. I just need to finish the eyelets (from hell- 64 of those buggers left), metallic flosses, and beading. I don't want to finish the beading until I am done with the bottom halfs so my floss doesn't catch on them.
3. Finish part II of the Mystery Sampler. I got a quarter of the side vines finished and a single swan neck.
4. I started on Dragons of the Fire. Check out the hearth

Goals for March
1. Finish Ori
2. Finish Mystery sampler part I, II, and III with the exception of the beads
3. Work on Dragons by the Fire
4. Start and Finish Griffon book mark by Dracolair
5. Finish Mini Mandala IC
6. Finish Celtic Labyrinth

The last three are easily transported stitching projects. I am going visit my folks in So California on Friday. Yippee!!!! I get to meet some of the SD stitchers and even a Canadian one. I am totally stoked about this trip. I will also get to hang out with my best friend K of 20 years who I haven't seen for almost two years. I am giving her the L&L Autumn Angel kit. K's mom has a bunch of L&L angels all over her wall and K would like to do one for herself. K is also the person that I need to finish (well actually start) a seahorse stitching project for. The wedding gift for a wedding that was over two years ago. Go me!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Musings concerning Elan lapstands and stitching time

I apologize for not updating my blog recently. See stitching time has been at a premium. Two weekends ago I had a houseful of people and last weekend I had to visit my in-laws. It is hard to stitch when one has a gaggle of gamers over for the weekend and everything is in chaos. We lost the TV remote during that time period and it has remained elusive. Then during the week I had to move offices (again). So I had to pack up all my books and papers. We also had to move bookcases and desks. I am finally settled in again and will keep this office until I graduate. I can't complain about my new digs. I have a window and it over looks trees. Normally graduate students don't get the window office space. Also, I get to paint my new office. Yippeee. It shall soon be a light relaxing purple. Also, my office mate is moving out and I will be alone. In addition my job title has been change. I am now an editorial assistant in additon to be a graduate assistant. This reflects the fact that I will be editor of a book and the author of a book chapter for another book. I have lots of other stuff going on. This semester alone I will be co-authoring at least 5 papers, three of which I will be lead author on and none of these papers are for my dissertation. I really am a maschocist. I don't recommend this path for anyone. So this entire rant has been an long-winded explanation of why stitching time is at a premium and I have made very little progress. Also, blame Persian Pen Name, she got DH and I Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for our Xbox 360. That game is addictive. Thanks again PPN.
Now onto my stitching life which is what y'all actually read this blog for.
I got some new hardware for my stitching...a Elan Lap Stand. Exciting. Even more exciting is how much I paid for it... 5 Dollars!!! There is a very long explanation for why I paid so very little for it Hobby Lobby. Now I can work on large projects on scroll rods at the in-laws. So this past weekend I started Dragons by the Fire by Blackswan. I got very little done but here is the progress. I have also been neglecting my Chatelaine Mystery Sampler due to Ouroborus. I have finished half of the border for the Chatelaine. I won't post a picture until it is done because it looks just like pic I have in the previous post only with more repetitions. I have gotten bogged down with the border. I can't wait to start the next piece of the mystery. It is two swans. I love swans! They are the reason I decided to do this sampler. I am normally not a fan of samplers unless they are unusual like the ones by Dragon Dreams or the Something in Common- Woodland sampler.
Other exciting news- I am getting a "new" car. I bought my one of my dad's cars and will flying out to California to pick it. I am orginally from SoCal but now live in Texas. Luckily it concided with a stitcher's trip to San Diego. So I get to meet a stitcher that I never thought I would be able to meet and several other SoCal stitchers. I am totally excited. We are going to the SD Zoo. I love the zoo. When I was a kid, my parents used to take me there all the time. As a result when I grew up I became a Zoologist. Also, Persian Pen Name (author of Panda Bonzai blog that I have a link to) will be coming with me. We are going to have a blast!!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Border of Sampler Mystery III Part I

I have just finished some beading of Chatelaine's Sampler Mystery III. This border is not the easiest border to do. First of all it is huge. The Q-snaps that you are seeing is the 17 x 11 inchers with several sets of extenders put in. I had to take clamps from my 8 inch Q-snaps to secure the fabric. The border for this project is 19.1 x 10 inches. I like to bead as I go along otherwise I growing increasingly more insane. Due to the size of the project I am working upside down. The border you see in picture is actually the top and left portions. I also had to get a beading tray. I am proud of my 93 cent beading tray. I just dump out small quantities of beads and hope I don't knock the tray table over. I hope finish this border in time to work on Olde World Map. I promised myself that I would finish stitching the top half this month but I don't think that is going to happen.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Lots of WIP and Hastur Pics

Normally due to school and family I don't have time to do as much cross stitch as I would like and thus have very little to show you. Hence the photos of the Real Hastur. Today, however, I have lots of pictures. Thank goodness for the holidays. I got a chance to work on Rose Tree in Bloom while I was at my friends ranch outside of San Antonio. I was housebound the whole trip while my DH and others shot each other with airsoft and hung out by the campfire. I had fallen and strained my back, in addition I had stubbed my right toe on a door frame and cracked the toenail in several places. If it wasn't for stitching I would have gone insane.
Speaking of insanity -Rose Tree in Bloom is my nemisis. I am sure we all have that one WIP that we love but can not seem to work on for very long. After a few hours of working on it I want to go homicidal. I think it is dealing with four strands of floss and the stiff adia fabric, plus it is a Teresa Wentzler so it is not an easy piece to stitch.
I also have an update of Ori the Ouroborus. I love working on her and had to force myself to put her down after two days so I could start the Chatelaine Mystery Sampler III. I have a picture of the border posted after about 2 hours of work. I should be updating that piece a couple times a month. I also have the pictures of Hastur for your amusment. Kudos to anyone who can figure out what he is wearing- Doggie sweater/vest is incorrect.

Monday, January 01, 2007

2007 Stitching Goals

Yes, I am aiming high for this year but what the heck if I can finish these goals it will be quite an accomplishment. They will also add another 17 completed projects to my 50 project countdown.
1. Finish Olde World Map
2. Finish Ouroborus by Dracolair
3. Finish Rose Tree in Bloom by Teresa Wentzler
4. Finish Red Dragon Bookmark by Dracolair
5. Finish Christmas Labyrinth
6. Finish Mini Mandala 1C by Chatelaine
7. Finish Wisdom from the Legends of the Dragons
8. Start and Finish other two Mini Mandalas (1a and 1b) by Chatelaine
9. Start and Finish Mystery Sampler III by Chatelaine
10. Start and Finish Japanese Octagonal Box by Chatelaine
11. At least 3 Christmas Ornies
12. At least 3 freebies
13. Start wedding gift for best friend (married two years ago)
14. Start wedding gift for brother (married last summer)
15. Start Fantasy Sampler by Dragon Dreams
16. Start The Guardian by Teresa Wentzler
17. Start Tricky Treat Cats
18. Start and Finish Griffon Bookmark by Dracolair

I realized that I did not share my stitching accomplishments of last year.

Calico Crossroads- Calico Crossroads-Catolatern Start July, 2005 completed April 30, 2006
Calico Crossroads-Waterbreak
completed Feb 2006
Dimples Designs- Dung Beetle/Jeweled Scarab Completed March 21, 2006
Dragon Dreams- Blackwork Dragon- Started May 20, 2006, Finished May 29, 2006
Dragon Dreams- Compass Rose started March 22 completed April 1, 2006
Dragon Dreams- Here Be Dragons Started April 1, 2006 completed April 30, 2006
Dragon Dreams- Just a little piece and quiet- Started May 7, 2006 Finished June 20, 2006

Dragon Dreams- Lost Dragon Sampler completed March 16, 2006
Dragon Dreams- Love Takes Two freebie- started and completed June 7, 2006
Dragon Dreams- No Late Knight Snacking Completed Jan 2006
Dragon Dreams- Proof - Started May 6, 2006 Completed May 10, 2006
random Ornament July 2006
Sue Hillis Designs- Gobble Till You Wobble- Started June 24, 2006 Completed July 10, 2006
Something in Commen- Woodland Sampler- Started August 12, 2006 completed August 24, 2006

50 Completed Project Countdown
50.Teresa Wentzler- Beginner Whitework Ornament- Completed Sept. 3 2006
49. Britty Kitty Christmas Finished Sept 8, 2006
48. Portrait of a Dog Finished Sept 8, 2006
47. Dragon Dreams- Not a creature was stirring- July 25, 2006 Finished Sept. 15, 2006
46. French Cow- Blackwork- freebie Started and finished Sept 22, 2006
45. A subversive cross stitch design- Oct 2006
44. Noel- Freebie by Glory Bee- Started and Finished Oct 2006
43. Christmas Hearts- Started and Finished Oct 2006
42. Dragon Dreams- Illustrative Blackwork Fantasy- Started and Finished Oct. 2006
41. Majesty from Legends of the Dragons Started and Finished Dec. 2006