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No More School Posts (Legacy)

  • Posted on April 26, 2015 at 3:40 pm

I made the decision to pull down all of the artwork that I did back in 2008 as part of my classes at the Art Institute Online. I was told some time ago that subsequent students were downloading my photos and submitting them as their own. I added watermarks to all of the photos upon learning that, but have now decided that the work is old enough that I am going to hide everything from the public. That includes the posts on here that I had under the School category. That way I will still have my scans (of course I still have the originals) with my notes, should I want to reference them. I had to delete them completely out of my photo album because hiding it in Gallery allows them to still be accessible via direct link, so anyone who found them via Google would still be able to access them.

It’s a little strange to be deleting what was a significant effort in my life, but my hope is that future artistic endeavors are yet to come, so I just get to clear the slate and start again. :) Some time in the near future, I will take photos of the couple of drawings I’ve done a little more recently, so this blog won’t be completely devoid of traditional forms of art.

Stitching Progress (Warning: This Post is Photo Heavy)

  • Posted on November 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm

And now, the progress I’ve made on WIPs since March.

Just Nan – Grow Pincushion – April 13th:

Tor Rhuann Designs – Snowflake – April 13th:

Northern Pine Designs – Geometric II – April 27th:

Passione Ricamo – Fairy Mystery SAL 2012:

This was my progress as of April 2nd:

Then I decided that the background was going to be too much to stitch so I ordered a piece of dark blue overdyed fabric and started over. This is the only progress I’ve made since the restart, as of July 7th:

Passione Ricamo – Mystery SAL 2013 – September 7th:

And finally, all of the progress that I’ve made on Nora Corbett’s Bluebell Pixie since my last update:









And that’s it for the stitching, folks!

Stitching Finishes (Warning: This Post is Photo Heavy)

  • Posted on November 22, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Given I haven’t posted a stitching update in exactly 8 months, I have a lot to report. So, enough words, let the pictures begin. First up, the finishes I’ve had since March.

Mill Hill – Flower Basket Fantasy, finished May 27th. This is a long term UFO that I am happy to have finished. I think I’ll send it to Jill Rensel for framing.


Just Nan – Heart Butterfly 2008, finished June 9th. I’ve stitched many versions of this one, but this is the original, including beads and charm. I wish I could find the frame that was sold for it, but it was limited edition and I may never get my hands on it. For now, it will remain unframed.


Just Nan – Lady Scarlet’s Secret Garden. The stitching was finished on July 13th. I finished it into its final needle keep form the next day.


Just Nan – Heart Butterfly 2008, finished into a hanging ornament on August 11th. I completed the stitching on this dusty purple version some time ago, but it got dropped from my rainbow wall hanging lineup because the hues of purple in this didn’t meld with the colors in the others.

Dimension – Happily Ever After Wedding Record, finished and framed on August 12th. This was stitched from a kit, but I like the simple swirl pattern so much that I will likely change the colors and stitch a version for me and Terry in the future. The bride picked out the frame and it’s absolutely gorgeous!

Teresa Wentzler – Needle Guardian, finished August 18th. I adapted the design to fit on a stitchable iPhone 5 case. Unfortunately, the act of stitching on the silicone case stretched it to the point where it doesn’t fit the phone very well. I still use it sometimes.

Nancy Pederson – Grapevine Sampler, finished September 28th. This WIP was hanging around in one of my travel project bags for quite some time. It saw action on the drive to and from Walt Disney World in late September and during our stay there (it POURED one of the days, so we stayed in the room). I was able to finish it up pretty quickly after we got home.

Passione Ricamo – Fairy Celebration V, finished November 16th. This piece is a Christmas gift for my mother. I didn’t finish it early enough to get it framed, so I had to talk my mom into allowing me to send it off to Jill Rensel after Christmas. She’s not overjoyed, but I know that Jill will do a great cutout in the mat to follow the contour of the bottom of her skirt. I think it will be well worth it.





And finally, Lizzie Kate – Dance in the Rain, with charm added today. I unpicked the backstitched dragonfly that I had done in place of the recommended charm and added a charm that was sent along by one of the other stitchers of this traveling pattern. It was a button, but I cut off the shank and attached it to the piece with dark navy thread.

The Rumors of My Disappearance Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

  • Posted on November 22, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Okay, so there have been no rumors (at least, none that I know of), but some of you may have wondered where I’ve been.

I can assure you that I’m alive and well. 😉 Life has been busy and in the last couple of months, it’s been downright fascinating. So much going on in my brain, I cannot contain it all. I think there might be some bits of brain escaping from my ears. Unfortunately, much of what is happening is still hush-hush, so I cannot talk about it publicly… yet. Give me a couple of weeks, at most, and all will become crystal clear. Are you intrigued? You should be. So stay tuned.

So, what have I been up to that I can share? Well, my weekly music lessons continue. I alternate between voice, theory and guitar now. And my music teacher talked me into buying a second guitar – classical, this time, so that I can learn Spanish guitar. Of course, in the middle of paying off the guitar, I had a flare up in my wrists, so I haven’t been able to play in a couple of months. Speaking of flare ups, I’ve been dealing with an IBS flare up, as well. Ended up in the emergency room at one point. Had two -oscopys, one from each end. Found pre-cancerous polyps that were removed. Still haven’t gotten the IBS under control yet, but it’s a syndrome and the doctor has no answers, so I’m looking for triggers to avoid and hope to manage it homeopathically, if possible.

The wrists have settled down, at least. I’m still having to wear fingerless elastic gloves when I’m on the computer for any extended period of time, but that seems to be keeping things in check. The same gloves allow me to stitch without adding to the ruckus, as well.

I have stopped volunteering at the children’s hospital. It broke my heart to do so (and I still haven’t been able to bring myself to mail my vest and badge back in, though I need to do so ASAP), but between health issues, vacations and work (mostly work), I just wasn’t able to get there very often. I will miss the people terribly, but there isn’t much to be done about it. It’s time to “woman up” and admit to myself that period of my life has ended. It served its purpose. I volunteered to see if I would be able to handle a career working with ill and/or abused children and I learned that I cannot. I couldn’t help but become too attached to the kiddos and took their problems to heart. You can’t do that and be a successful therapist or social worker. So, toss that career idea to the curb. 😉

Let’s see, what else? Vacations. Several of them. Went up to Maine in what, July? To visit with Terry’s parents and I was able to sneak in two quick visits with Angi Esch (one on the way up and again on the way down, over her lunch break) and a visit with Barbara Chatterton-Luuring and the farmette that is the new Chateau Chaos. We went up for Terry’s grandmother’s 80th birthday and it was lovely to see her again. I love that woman to pieces! She’s so sweet and loving. In late September, we went to Walt Disney World – yes, again. We have a timeshare down there and the goal is to go annually, if possible, or bi-annually at the least. Then at the beginning of this month, we flew into Los Angeles, picked up my friend Karyn, drove to Las Vegas for the SEMA convention (a third-party automotive manufacturer’s mecca) and the Global Rallycross finals, drove back to Los Angeles for Terry to attend a one-day workshop, then flew home. It was a fun trip! Oh, and I got to meet Juls Iannotta and visit the fabulous LNS that is Stitcher’s Paradise in Las Vegas. Of course, I bought stash. That I didn’t need. That Juls is an enabler!

I think that pretty much brings us up to current and the end of what I can reveal at this moment. Watch this space. 😉

Update

  • Posted on November 25, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Many of you may have been wondering, where the heck have I been?!?!?!?

Well, work has been … work. :) There has been a lot of it and it has consumed most of my life for the past year, but the huge project I was working on is now complete, thank goodness. Now I can try to re-establish some boundaries, reclaim my personal life and hopefully regain some sanity. Needless to say, I’m behind on… well… everything. I guess I have a thing for ellipses tonight, but there’s much that I’d rather leave unsaid at this point, so you’ll just have to write your own filler. I’ll just say that it’s been a very challenging year and I will be quite glad to see it go.

With that said, I’m already looking forward to 2013. I have a lot of fun things planned for the first few months, more ideas on the back burner and much planning to do. It’s all good.

As far as stitching goes, here is what I’ve been doing since I last posted a stitching update back in July:

  • Started the final PIF gift, but didn’t get very far before I put it down again. I will probably get to it in the new year.
  • Started Passione Ricamo’s Fairy Mystery SAL. I’m on steps 2/3 of the 5 available and have some serious catching up to do. Here is where I stood after completing step 1:
  • Stitched Lizzie*Kate’s Good Things:

    The fun part about this one is that it has now become a traveling pattern and is crossing the globe.
  • Stitched Teresa Wentzler’s Sun Dragon, as a purple moon dragon:

  • Started another instance of Teresa Wentzler’s Sun Dragon, this time as a turquoise moon dragon:
  • Stitched My Mark Designs’ Be Calm, in mint:
  • Framed My Mark Designs’ Be Calm, in mint:
  • Stitched My Mark Designs’ Be Calm, in blue/purple, for my cousin:
  • Framed My Mark Designs’ Be Calm, in blue/purple, for my cousin:

    I just framed it last week and packed it up Friday night, so it is winging its way across the country as I type this.
  • Started stitching a lovely little Joan Elliott design for my mother, called Water Wonderland, then realized that I don’t stand a chance of finishing it in time to have it framed for Christmas, so decided to whip up some ornaments instead.
  • Stitched Star, from Mill Hill’s Winter Greetings Charmed Ornament series of kits, for myself:
  • Sent Nora Corbett’s Sunflower Fairy away to Jill Rensel for framing. She did an absolutely fantastic job and I just got it back this week, but haven’t had a chance to take a good photo of it. As soon as I do, I will post it. In the meantime, here is the photo she sent to me before she shipped it back:
  • Started Here Comes Treble by Ink Circles, as a Christmas gift for my music teacher.
  • Stitched Lizzie*Kate’s Cross Stitcher in Residence, another traveling pattern:

Over the long Thanksgiving weekend is when I decided to try to crank out a few ornaments for my mother, which has now spilled over into trying to stitch a few for my step-dad, as well. I kitted up 6 or 7 ornaments and have already completed two:

  1. Holly Reindeer, designed by Sharon Bennett:
  2. Merry Little Christmas Ornament, designed by The Drawn Thread:

That’s enough for now. I really need to go throw some more stitches into some pieces before bed. Or work on transcribing more Adele songs. I need another day off… or two! 😀

I hope that all of my U.S. friends had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday. I know that I have much to be thankful for in my own life, including any and all of you who are still reading this blog! Have a great week!

Weekend Goals

  • Posted on July 8, 2012 at 9:13 pm
  • Work on laundry
  • Finish first sundress
  • Find and mark starting point on fabric for PR Fairy Mystery SAL
  • Mount fabric for PR Fairy Mystery SAL onto scroll bars
  • Clean up spare bedroom – just need to vacuum
  • Work on PIF gift #5
  • Work
  • Read
  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Relax – this one seems to elude me!

Weekend Goals – Results

  • Posted on June 25, 2012 at 11:18 am

Definite:

  • Finish sundress #1 – close enough
  • Finish one hot pink F bomb
  • Pack up PIFs #2 and #3 for shipping
  • Finish PIF #4
  • Email order for PR Fairy Mystery SAL threads and beads
  • Read
  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Relax

Maybe:

  • Respond to messages
  • Start sundress #2
  • Finish one hot pink F bomb
  • Finish one red F bomb
  • Pack up PIF #4 for shipping
  • Start stitching PIF #5
  • Do some floss tosses on different fabrics for PR Fairy Mystery SAL

Weekend Goals

  • Posted on June 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Definite:

  • Finish sundress #1
  • Finish one hot pink F bomb
  • Pack up PIFs #2 and #3 for shipping
  • Finish PIF #4
  • Email order for PR Fairy Mystery SAL threads and beads
  • Read
  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Relax

Maybe:

  • Respond to messages
  • Start sundress #2
  • Finish one hot pink F bomb
  • Finish one red F bomb
  • Pack up PIF #4 for shipping
  • Start stitching PIF #5
  • Do some floss tosses on different fabrics for PR Fairy Mystery SAL

PIF #3 Complete!

  • Posted on June 21, 2012 at 10:35 am

Yes, I did manage some crafting this weekend. I spent a good bit of my time on the couch, sleeping or reading or whatever. The weather was gorgeous but hot and I had no burning desire to leave the house. As a result, I was able to complete the stitching on PIF piece #3 and then do the finishing work on it, as well. I also nearly completed the first sundress, but chickened out when I got to the zipper. It pretty much just needs that and I have to make a final decision on the length and sew the bottom hem.

I gave in on Monday and went to the doctor after feeling extremely tired for several days and experiencing bouts of nausea, one of which had me wanting to curl up into a ball during a meeting. She gave me orders for a bunch of labwork and I had the blood drawn yesterday, but I don’t expect any significant results. I’ve been through this before and there was no underlying cause to be found, so I don’t think that this time will be any different. However, it never hurts to look, right? In the meantime, she gave me a tablet for the nausea and another medication which is an old, old, incredibly old school (Futurama reference, sorry) antihistamine that basically failed as an antihistamine, but has the wonderful side effect of stimulating appetite. I take 1/2 a tablet at night (it also has the side effect of tending to make people drowsy) and, so far, it seems to actually be working. The only time I’m skipping meals now is when I sleep through them.

As a result of feeling exhausted, I had to pass on what would have been my first belly dancing class on Monday. I was still wiped out on Tuesday, but I forced myself to go to my first voice lesson anyway. I was so nervous about singing in front of the woman that my voice shook through the entire song and I nearly burst into tears afterwards. My hands continued to shake for the rest of the lesson. Fortunately, she was very kind. She tested my range and was surprised that I already have a range of 2 octaves. She said that most people start with a range of 1 and hope to work their way up to 2, so at least I have a head start there. 😉

So, now my Tuesday nights are filled with voice lessons. My Monday nights will be filled if I take to the belly dancing classes like I think I will. I have to leave Wednesday nights open for therapy sessions every couple of weeks and Friday nights I’m too tired from my volunteer time at the hospital to schedule anything. That leaves Thursday nights. I was thinking of taking a hip hop dance class. Too much? Probably. Maybe I’ll wait and see how this new, busier schedule suits me first.

In the meantime, I wait. Wait for the blood work results to come back, which I probably won’t hear about until Monday. Wait for Lizzy’s body work to be finished, which may not happen until Friday, in which case I’ll have to wait until Monday to pick her up. I prefer action to waiting, but I also need to learn some patience. I can’t do everything at once. :)

Life is Crazy

  • Posted on June 16, 2012 at 1:52 am

It’s true. Life can sometimes be really crazy. Especially mine. Especially now. While I’m trying not to complain because I am fortunate enough to be gainfully employed at a respectable company, I’m feeling incredibly burned out. Like grass circulating through a bovine’s digestive tract, I’ve been chewed up and swallowed just to be regurgitated and chewed on again. Somedays I really wish that the cow would just get tired of me and either spit me out or pass me through the other end. I guess that’s a bit graphic, but I’m at a point where it’s truly how I am feeling at the moment. And I need to vent.

So, we have work craziness on one hand. And then I make an attempt to escape by filling my personal hours as full as humanly possible. I am now volunteering one full day a week, from 9 AM to 5 PM on Fridays, and I even go later some evenings like I did this time. The work is tough, but it’s fulfilling. I work for one of the top children’s hospitals in the country and I can only hope that when I leave for the day I have made some minute difference in the life of at least one child. Honestly, I will never know for certain, but it’s nice to think that I make at least one small ripple in their ecosystem, whether it’s a puddle or an ocean. I think that working with sick children truly must be one of the toughest jobs that you’ll ever love. I realized today that it’s a good thing I have no desire to be a nurse because I don’t think I could do it for long. Talk about burn-out. Wow. They see a lot and do a lot and have a lot expected of them. I already had enormous respect for the nursing profession, but after today it has been magnified. I find that working with healthy children with normal behavior patterns and seemingly boundless energy is challenging, but working with children who are not functioning at 100% provides an even greater challenge. I cannot help but think that, while I know it’s a lofty goal, the ability to change the life of even one child would be so rewarding.

And while I work through the whole dilemma of what I would like to do next, I am reaching out and latching onto my creative passions wherever possible. As a result, this coming week I will start attending a belly dance class and seeking out vocal coaching. I have to admit that the thought of singing in front on someone again after so many years has me very nervous. Of course, the fact that I haven’t made a definitive song choice or practiced in several days when my first meeting with my prospective teacher is on Tuesday isn’t helping that fact at all. I also need to get back to my drawing. I still have so many ideas floating around my head and I need to try to start getting some of them onto paper, even if they are extremely rough to begin with. My mother believes that if you ignore the muse long enough, it will disappear and I think that I would be devastated if that were to happen.

I would also like to try my hand again at the children’s book that’s been rattling around my brain off and on for several years. I had typed out nearly all of the verses in a fit of middle-of-the-night creativity one night last fall on my BlackBerry, but never got around to transcribing it and when my BlackBerry started to fail a month or so later, the guy at work wiped it and reloaded it. Unfortunately, he didn’t back it up first and the book went POOF! I haven’t had the heart to even attempt to recreate it since then. I just really need to get over it and move on. Again, I need to write something down and get the ideas flowing again, even if it’s very rough to start. I know that it will come, if I work at it. I’m just not used to having to work at creative aspects very hard, but if I ever want to make any sort of living at it, I must learn how to work through the dry spells.

On the stitching front, I’ve done absolutely nothing since my last post. I have done some sewing, though. I have been sitting on a sundress pattern for years, plus the fabric, zippers and thread for 3 dresses. I even purchased the trim last year for one dress. I cut that one completely out this past week before I realized that it’s my favorite fabric and I didn’t want to start with that one in case I make a mistake. Granted, the pattern is simple, but I haven’t sewn in a long time and I didn’t want to risk it. So, I then pulled out a different fabric, cut it all out and started the assembly. I have a bodice and a skirt (sans zipper). I just need to attach the band at the empire waistline, draw in the bodice to the correct size, attach the bodice to the skirt and add in the zipper. It should only take me another 2 nights or so to accomplish, depending on how much fiddling it takes to get the bodice to fit (it’s currently way too big). Fortunately, I slipped on the skirt and it seems to be just about right, so I don’t think any further fussing will be required there.

Let’s see, what else? Lizzie (my 350Z – that’s a car model, for those of you non-automotively-inclined folks) had to have a new clutch installed. I got her back last Friday. She’ll get dropped off at the body shop on Monday for repairs, paint touchups and the painting and installation of a spoiler. Then she’ll be done for a while. I’m out of small upgrades and more than out of money to work on her right now. We’ll be tearing down the shed that Terry built years ago and having a two-car garage put in its place. After that, we can buy a lift to be able to do more involved work on the cars ourselves.

Is that it? I’m not sure. It just feels like there’s been so much going on that it’s hard to believe I can sum it all up in one post. I think that this is enough for now, though, regardless of whether or not anything has been omitted.

I have a conference call at noon on Saturday and have work scheduled to begin at 4 AM on Sunday, though I think that things are not progressing well enough to actually proceed with that. I’m breathing a sigh of relief as well as dreading the fallout that will ensue on Monday. However, I think that the weather is supposed to be lovely here, so I’m going to hope that I can make the most of it, even if that means just sitting outside and reading a book. :)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


My Stick Family from WiddlyTinks.com