Where Have Two Years Gone?

It truly was a moment of pure astonishment when I went to my blog yesterday and discovered that the last time I posted was exactly two years ago to the day. I think 2020 and 2021 were the years the Earth stood still.

Major milestones for 2020:

  • February/March – Flew to the east coast to celebrate my mother’s 70th birthday
  • March –
    • Our last dog, Abby, died a couple of days after we returned from the east coast.
    • Days later, we went into lockdown.
    • A week later, Terry’s paternal grandmother passed away (not COVID-19 related).
  • July – Terry’s dad suddenly and unexpectedly passed away (also not COVID-19 related).
  • August – Started the cleanup and disposition of Dad’s estate.
  • September – Left The Walt Disney Company and started a new job at Discovery Communications.

2021 was a little calmer, but still pretty chaotic:

  • March – Finally sold Dad’s house in Maine and finished closing out the estate.
  • March/April – Started dealing with some health issues with my mom.
  • June – Mom moved into an assisted living facility.
  • November – Left Discovery Communications and started a new job at Momentive AI (formerly SurveyMonkey).

All of this time, we have stayed in relative lockdown, seeing friends rarely, going out only to pick up orders or attend necessary appointments required to stay healthy. Terry still has to handle some work in person infrequently, so he has the most exposure to actual humans at this point.

I’ve found that one of the kindest things one can do for oneself in times of stress like this is to not set goals, so I have not set any specific goals of any sort for myself for two years. I think surviving counts as a significant win, at this point.

I completed an edit pass during NaNoWriMo 2020, but ended up abandoning another edit pass during NaNoWriMo 2021 after the first week. And I’m okay with that. Maybe. In early July 2021, I took a 5-day class on how to create a fabric journal. And proceed to dive in head-first into the world of handmade books.

In the meantime, I’m still crafting.

2020 Crafting Accomplishments:

  • Stitched 10 bookmarks based on various weeks from the 2020 Blackwork SAL by Peppermint Purple
  • Completed 24 cross stitch pieces:
    1. Gingerbread Angel Mouse by Just Nan
    2. Gingerbread Jingle Mouse by Just Nan
    3. Valentine Snowglobe by Victoria Sampler
    4. Water Wonderland by Joan Elliott
    5. Santa Claus from the Charmed Santa Face collection by Mill Hill
    6. Midnight Meow by Nora Corbett
    7. March Scissors Fob by Cherished Stitches
    8. Gingerbread Mrs. Santa Mouse by Just Nan
    9. Gingerbread Santa Mouse by Just Nan
    10. Blackwork Firefly by LooseThreadStitchery
    11. Glorious Morning by Linen Flowers Designs
    12. Oi Spaceman Blackwork by Highland Murr Stitches
    13. (secret project) by Peppermint Purple
    14. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. by Beta Stitches on Etsy
    15. Stay Home and Stitch, a free design by Linda Stolz for Erica Michaels Designs
    16. 2020 Blackwork SAL by Peppermint Purple – an abbreviated version stitched on banding
    17. Taboo Kitty from the Autumn Harvest collection by Mill Hill
    18. Evergreen Sleigh from the Charmed Ornaments collection by Mill Hill
    19. 2020 Hindsight by Jenna Magee (proof of concept)
    20. 2020 Hindsight by Jenna Magee
    21. The Child by Highland Murr Stitches
    22. The Child with Frog by Highland Murr Stitches – 1
    23. The Child with Frog by Highland Murr Stitches – 2
    24. The Child with Frog by Highland Murr Stitches – 3

2021 Crafting Accomplishments:

  • Took 18 pieces on which I had previously finished the stitching and sewed, framed, or otherwise put them into their final form.
  • Sewed at least 10 project bags.
  • Created over 24 journals, including 13 commissioned books.
  • Completed 20 cross stitch pieces:
    1. The Cat by Minasyan Yana
    2. Patchwork Stars Stocking from the Charmed Stocking Ornaments collection by Mill Hill
    3. Heart Stocking from the Charmed Stocking Ornaments collection by Mill Hill
    4. Here Comes Treble by Ink Circles
    5. Stitch with a Little Heart by Crossing Curiosity
    6. Bargello Stocking from the Charmed Stocking Ornaments collection by Mill Hill
    7. Failte (Welcome) by A. Fox Originals
    8. Portrait of Antique Vines by Mirabilia
    9. Free Dutch Tile by Peppermint Purple
    10. Snowman Stocking from the Charmed Stocking Ornaments collection by Mill Hill
    11. Single motif from Nine Lives by Ink Circles – 1
    12. Single motif from Nine Lives by Ink Circles – 2
    13. To the Beach & Back by Needle Bling Designs
    14. Tree Stocking from the Charmed Stocking Ornaments collection by Mill Hill
    15. Dove from the Tiny Treasured Diamonds collection by Mill Hill
    16. 2020 Blackwork SAL by Peppermint Purple
    17. Autumn Key from the Antique Keys Trilogy by Mill Hill
    18. Christmas 2021 Vaccine by Beverly Ellis
    19. “Fluffy Joy” from Firebird
    20. Mermaid Heart by Just Nan

While life has not even remotely begun to get back to normal (what even is “normal” anymore?), I may be ready to set some goals for myself for this year. Soft, squishy goals.

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2020 Stitching Goals

As usual, this year’s goal is to stitch from stash, with minimal outlay for new designs and DMC that needs to be replenished, with the exception of Just Nan releases and any Mirabilia/Nora Corbett designs that may be discontinued that I don’t already have. Otherwise, I want to avoid buying fabric, specialty fibers and embellishments, where possible.

———————

Water Wonderland by Joan Elliott — Complete stitching and present to recipient.

Bonsai and Buddha by Dimensions — Make significant progress on stitching.

Fairy Moon by Mirabilia — Make some progress on stitching. (Another long-standing WIP.)

Arezzo by Nora Corbett — Make some progress on stitching.

Complete stitching on at least 6 Just Nan designs in my stash. This should help me to work through my extensive Just Nan stash.

Knock out some other WIPs, if possible, like:
– Daydreams Petite in Glass – Crystal Creation
– Hermanson Hardanger – Russian Inspired Ornament #2

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2019 Stitching Finishes

I did pretty well last year, all things considered. No big finishes, but that’s fairly standard at this point.

  1. Yellow Penguin by Casey Buonaugurio Designs – Finished January 13, 2019
  2. Evergreen (2015 Ornament) by Tor Rhuann Designs – Finished January 21, 2019
  3. Meow Blocks by Lizzie*Kate – Finished February 16, 2019
  4. Star Reindeer by Sharon Bennett of Daffy Cat Designs – Finished February 23, 2019
  5. Snowflake Reindeer by Sharon Bennett of Daffy Cat Designs – Finished March 23, 2019
  6. Lights Reindeer by Sharon Bennett of Daffy Cat Designs – Finished August 18, 2019
  7. Minerva Mouse by Just Nan – Finished August 19, 2019
  8. Romeo the Groom Mouse by Just Nan – Finished August 31, 2019
  9. Witchy’s Sister Mouse by Just Nan – Finished September 8, 2019
  10. Hazel Fun Witch Mouse by Just Nan – Finished September 8, 2019
  11. Black Dagger Brotherhood Hardanger Bookmark (Wrath) by Jenna Magee – Finished October 29, 2019
  12. Truly Endless Knot II by Ink Circles – Finished December 1, 2019
  13. Silver & Gold (Silver Front) by Blackwork Journey – Finished December 7, 2019
  14. Silver & Gold (Silver Back) by Blackwork Journey – Finished December 7, 2019
  15. Silver & Gold (Gold Front) by Blackwork Journey – Finished December 7, 2019
  16. Silver & Gold (Gold Back) by Blackwork Journey – Finished December 9, 2019
  17. BB-8 Snowman by RainbowStitchCross – Finished December 22, 2019
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The Body Keeper by Anne Frasier

The Body Keeper (Detective Jude Fontaine Mysteries #3)The Body Keeper by Anne Frasier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jude Fontaine continues her remarkable career as a homicide detective, this time braving one of the brutal winters for which Minneapolis is so well known. But even the harshest of winters won’t keep the bodies away.

As I’ve come to expect from Anne Frasier, this book is one that begs to be devoured, not letting you go until you’ve finished. The plot is filled with intricate twists and turns with one doozy of a surprise at the end. I enjoyed every moment of intrigue and character development and, as always, I can’t wait to see what comes next from the mind of this talented author!

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The Final Trade by Joe Hart

The Final Trade (The Dominion Trilogy, #2)The Final Trade by Joe Hart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am able to strongly empathize with the main character, Zooey. She has been through so much and has had to make some very difficult decisions that are terrible to live with. She is an amazingly strong but flawed woman in whom it becomes easy to invest. This plot is full of “two steps forward, one step back” for the group, a balance between bad and good. It’s excruciating mentally, especially as you become further and further invested in the characters, but it sinks the hook in deep and drives you to keep reading until the wee hours of the morning. Just like the first book in the series, I found this one hard to put down. Be aware that there are violent and gory scenes, so if you have a vivid imagination and are able to envision the scenes playing out, you should be mentally prepared. But if you read the first book in the trilogy, you will know what to expect.

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Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Orphan TrainOrphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The author is new to me and I wasn’t entirely sure how well crafted the story would be. The timelines are beautifully intertwined as the characters, Molly and Vivian, interact in real time and also traverse through Vivian’s complex and dramatic history. Vivian’s story is all the more incredible having been based loosely on real events during that time period. To realize that actual people had these experiences in their lives is stunning and poignant. It’s also lovely how the two women build a meaningful relationship that is mutually beneficial. All of the information at the end of the book regarding the history of orphan trains and interview with the author was interesting, but slightly excessive. Just be aware that when you have finished the actual story, your Kindle will still register a good percentage left to read.

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2019 Stitching Goals

Once again, this year’s goal is to stitch from stash, with minimal outlay for new designs and DMC that needs to be replenished, with the exception of Just Nan releases and any Mirabilia/Nora Corbett designs that may be discontinued that I don’t already have. Otherwise, I want to avoid buying fabric, specialty fibers and embellishments, where possible.

———————

Water Wonderland by Joan Elliott — Make significant progress on, if not complete, stitching. (This gift is so long overdue that I’m sure the recipient has completely forgotten about it.)

Bonsai and Buddha by Dimensions — Make significant progress on stitching. (I like this piece and would like to rescue it from my long-standing WIP pile.)

Fairy Moon by Mirabilia — Make some progress on stitching. (Another long-standing WIP.)

Arezzo by Nora Corbett — Make significant progress on stitching.

Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — Send to Jill Rensel, along with his purple brother, for framing in 2019?

Complete stitching on at least 6 Just Nan designs in my stash. This should help me to work through my extensive Just Nan stash.

Knock out some other WIPs, if possible, like:
– Daydreams Petite in Glass – Crystal Creation
– Hermanson Hardanger – Russian Inspired Ornament #2

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Recap of 2018 Stitching Goals

This year’s goal is to stitch from stash, with minimal outlay for new designs and DMC that needs to be replenished, with the exception of Just Nan releases. That’s one vice I can’t give up. And any Mirabilia/Nora Corbett designs that may be discontinued that I don’t already have. Otherwise, I want to avoid buying fabric, specialty fibers and embellishments, where possible.

———————

Mele Kalikimaka by Monsterbubbles — Complete stitching. (This is small, but over one and tedious. I need the incentive to finish.)
** Stitching completed on July 14, 2018 **

Water Wonderland by Joan Elliott — Make significant progress on, if not complete, stitching. (This gift is so long overdue that I’m sure the recipient has completely forgotten about it.)
** Failed. Didn’t touch it **

Leilani the Hula Dancer by Nora Corbett — Complete stitching
** Stitching completed on June 17, 2018 **

Bonsai and Buddha by Dimensions — Make significant progress on stitching. (I like this piece and would like to rescue it from my long-standing WIP pile.)
** Failed. Some stitching completed, but nothing significant **

Fairy Moon by Mirabilia — Make some progress on stitching. (Another long-standing WIP.)
** Failed. Pulled out and re-kitted, but no stitching completed **

Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — Send to Jill Rensel, along with his purple brother, for framing in 2018?
** Forwarded to 2019 goals **

Complete stitching on at least 8 Just Nan designs in my stash. This should help me to work through my extensive Just Nan stash.
** Nine projects completed **

Knock out some other WIPs, if possible.
** Textile Heritage Collection – Fuchsias Scissor Keep **

– Daydreams Petite in Glass – Crystal Creation
– Hermanson Hardanger – Russian Inspired Ornament #2

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2018 Stitching Goals

This year’s goal is to stitch from stash, with minimal outlay for new designs and DMC that needs to be replenished, with the exception of Just Nan releases. That’s one vice I can’t give up. And any Mirabilia/Nora Corbett designs that may be discontinued that I don’t already have. Otherwise, I want to avoid buying fabric, specialty fibers and embellishments, where possible.

———————

Mele Kalikimaka by Monsterbubbles — Complete stitching. (This is small, but over one and tedious. I need the incentive to finish.)

Water Wonderland by Joan Elliott — Make significant progress on, if not complete, stitching. (This gift is so long overdue that I’m sure the recipient has completely forgotten about it.)

Leilani the Hula Dancer by Nora Corbett — Complete stitching

Bonsai and Buddha by Dimensions — Make significant progress on stitching. (I like this piece and would like to rescue it from my long-standing WIP pile.)

Fairy Moon by Mirabilia — Make some progress on stitching. (Another long-standing WIP.)

Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — Send to Jill Rensel, along with his purple brother, for framing (provided I can afford it)

Complete stitching on at least 8 Just Nan designs in my stash. This should help me to work through my extensive Just Nan stash.
– Just Nan – Over the Top – Grow Pincushion (Side 1)?
– Just Nan – Over the Top – Grow Pincushion (Side 2)?
** Three projects already completed. **

Knock out some other WIPs, if possible.
– Daydreams Petite in Glass – Crystal Creation?
– Textile Heritage Collection – Fuchsias Scissor Keep?
– Hermanson Hardanger – Russian Inspired Ornament #2?

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Recap: Stitching Goals for 2017

I rediscovered my love of all things hardanger this past year, completing a grand total of 22 hardanger pieces! I can hardly believe that number myself! This really helped to kick my stitching mojo back into high gear. I didn’t manage to finish any large pieces, but I did complete plenty of smalls and finished several long-standing WIP pieces, as well. I foresee this trend of small project stitching and completion continuing through 2018.

My total for 2017 is 39 finishes! I think this might actually be a record for me.

—————–

Joan Elliott – Water Wonderland — Make significant progress on stitching
** Failed. Didn’t touch it **

Lizzie-Kate – Dog Lessons for People — Make significant progress on stitching
** Failed. Didn’t touch it **

Nordic NeedleFlower Garden — Complete stitching
** Stitching completed on May 1, 2017 **

Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — Restart and make significant progress on stitching
** Stitching completed on September 5, 2017 **

Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — Send to Jill Rensel, along with his purple brother, for framing in 2018?
** Forwarded to 2018 goals **

Nora Corbett – Leilani the Hula Dancer — New start in July; complete stitching
** Failed. Made significant progress on stitching, but did not complete **

Complete stitching on at least 2 Just Nan designs in my stash. This includes new starts as needed to work through my Just Nan stash.
** Five Just Nan pieces completed **

As many hardanger pieces as I feel like.
** Twenty-two hardanger pieces completed **

Knock out some other WIPs, if possible.
** Seven additional WIPs completed **

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