Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top 5 Tuesdays-Travel Charts

When it comes to travel, I don't think it's a secret that I typically only go to one place...Disney World. Granted, I have a mile long list of all the places in the world I'd like to go but, for some strange reason, I always end up at my happy place.

I debated whether or not to make this list up with dream places or my happy place and, just by digging in my stash, I found tons of Disney park-related charts and kits, so I just figured I'd hit up my own stuff.

1) Happy Haunts by Neni Designs - I haven't officially started on this project yet (so the link will be an empty album, at least right now), it's my A New Stitchy Start Blog project for the year, but it's still my favorite Disney park-related chart I own simply because it's of my favorite ride, the Haunted Mansion.
Happy Haunts_000

2) The Disneyland Map by Neni Designs - Whether or not I'll ever get around to stitching this is another story (and the park will be completely different by the time I do anyway), but I wanted a chart to remember my Disneyland trip (at least the good parts) and this one serves me well. I never understood why they didn't do a Disney Dreams Disneyland 50th Anniversary stitch kit considering Kinkade did paint it, but since we went during the 60th Celebration year, guess it would be as outdated as my next choice.
Disneyland Map

3) Disney World's 35th Anniversary Celebration - Despite my hatred of the dark fabric and the fact that this is technically Disney World's 45th Anniversary year, I do still love the overall look of this project (if I ever get it finished). Plus, I did actually buy this in Disney World during the 35th Anniversary Celebration, so it means even more because of that. There were a couple of other celebration charts that I didn't get (those kits were VERY expensive back in the day), but I've managed to scrape several of them together throughout the years. This one might be the only one that gets finished though.
35th

4) Everest by Love My Stitch - I love this pattern because I know exactly where in Disney World this view comes from. The rickshaws are all around the area, the rock bridge overlooks the mountain, and the only thing missing is the noise and all the guests! Animal Kingdom may not be my favorite park, but I knew this one had to be mine the second I saw it (and I doubt it will live in my stash forever...it might make an appearance in the next year or so).
1198_MickeyandMinnieonEverest_cross

5) Cinderella Castle by the Art of Disney Collection - Granted, I'm not sure that the view from the Libery Square Bridge has ever been this pretty (maybe back in the day when the Swan Boats ran), so on the realism front it isn't so great, but standing in that spot, it almost feels like you can smell the flowers, hear the birds singing, see the swans swimming, etc. It is a very awe-inspiring view and though I may never work on this kit (way too many French Knots), I'm happy to know it's in my stash. It was also another kit that was purchased in Disney World. I do wish they would make more kits...back in the day, they would literally sell out almost immediately when they were put on the floor. Nowadays, the same old Disney Dream kits hang in every Art of Disney store (although I haven't seen this one in a few years).
Dreams-Cinderella Castle
I have enough Disney-themed charts, be they park or otherwise, to last more than 10 lifetimes, but seriously, can one ever have too much Disney?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Weekly Stitching

One week I'm blazing through stitching, and the next week I barely had any time. But first, A better picture of Lilo and Stitch Otherwise:
DSC07364

Between work and other things, I barely managed a day's worth of stitching all week. I started on Sleepy Hollow Mural and didn't make it much further than a start...not even a fifth of a page.
Hollow004
It's my first time working with a q-snap and it would only fit in my worst lap stand. The stand is too short for me and I have to sit it up on my leg instead of the desired underneath. That puts it too high and I'm stretching in weird ways to reach the upper corners and it makes my arms sore, so I can't stitch for very long anyway. Until I can figure out a way to extend the leg of this monster, my stitching will be limited on it. Funny thing is, it's the most expensive stand I've ever bought. My cheapo lap stand works a thousand times better. But I'm so into Sleepy Hollow Mural right now, I'm not ready to stop, so I'm going to give it another week.

Besides, next week could possibly bring a very exciting "change" to our family and I've got some extra time off next week (if they leave me alone), so I'll have some extra stitching time. I don't want to jinx things right now, but there will hopefully be a good news post come Wednesday or Thursday!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lilo and Stitch Otherwise framed

I was a bit perturbed when I got Stitch framed. I went in with the intention of picking out a standard frame and then waiting two weeks, but instead, the dude framed it right then! They've never done that before and I wasn't prepared for the expense. I spent the entire time it took him checking my credit card balances to find one with enough space on it to cover the price. Plus, it was the bad guy and he screwed it up twice and had the gall to tell me it was because I hadn't stretched it evenly. I guess he's never stretched a cross stitch project before because they are rarely absolutely perfect (at least mine aren't). If I had the money (and it bothered me), I'd pay a professional framer hundreds of dollars to do it for me, but I'm poor, so I do it myself and crookedness is a way of life. It was pretty darn close to straight. I attest he just cut the mat crooked!
Untitled
Don't worry, I did clean the fingerprints off...I just forgot before I took the picture (I'll take a better one later). It's also the first (and only) cross stitch project to have the distinction of actually hanging in my Duck Room (but only because it was the only spot with a previous print that had served its time and I had no other wall space).

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Top 5 Tuesdays-Top 5 TV Detectives

That's right, Top 5 Tuesdays (formerly Top 10 Tuesdays) are back! Head over to The Suddenly Kate Show Blog if you wish to participate or just read everyone else's posts.

This week's selection is Top 5 TV Detectives. Other than British Detective Dramas, I don't typically watch detective shows, so this one might be a hard one for me. It might be easier for me to list my Top 5 Detective shows.

1) Midsomer Murders - Yes, I'm old because I enjoy the heck out of this show (and always have). Granted, it's hard to believe that there are any people left in these villages after all these years of murders, betrayals, cheating, etc, but coming from a small town myself, you'd be surprised how close to home some of the storylines are. Besides, you'd also be surprised how many big-named actors got their start on Midsomer Murders...seriously, I will never get the vision of a very young (and very hot) Orlando Bloom taking a pitch fork to the chest!

2) Lucifer - My one American choice (although, since it's Tom Ellis, I don't count it as such). I enjoy watching Tom any chance I get (despite the annoying guy-liner, which he SOOO doesn't need). The show is full of humor (and Tom), intricate characters (and Tom), and pretty decent storylines (and Tom).

3) Morse/Lewis/Endeavour - I'm lumping these together because they are all kind of a related. Lewis was Morse's underling and Endeavour is Morse in his young years. I'm a bit behind on these DVDs (I need to get series 9 of Lewis and 3 of Endeavour), but I'll get there eventually. Maybe it's time for a Morse marathon!

4) Waking The Dead - Although this show is long off the air, I still whip out the DVDs and watch them upon occasion (which is why I need to replace a season, I've worn them out). Although I'm not that big a fan of Trevor Eve, the character suits him. The show is dark (which I like), deals a lot with forensics (which I also like), so it's a pretty good, all 'round good show. There were 9 series altogether and a spin-off show called The Body Farm (which tanked, but I liked it too).

5) DCI Banks - Again, show OK, Stephen Tompkinson...huge crush!! It doesn't matter how old that man gets, I think he's gets better with age (kind of like Sean Connery). Whether he plays a priest, a vet in the wilds of Africa, or a detective, I'm always riveted by his shows.

You will have noticed that Sherlock is NOT on the list...prepare yourself...I'm not that big a fan of it (neither am I of Downton Abbey). As much as I love (and prefer) British television, when a Brit show becomes popular in the States, the writing takes a left turn in order to appeal more to the American masses (or, as I like to say, becomes Americanized). This is what makes them lose their uniqueness and thus their appeal to me.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Weekly Stitching

For the first time in a very long time, I had a really good stitch week. I left off with Alice and the B's here last time:
alice107
And managed to get halfway through the row, finishing up two partial pages:
alice114
I'm really into this project now, but I'm gonna keep to my rotation schedule and swap out to another project on Monday. I have an idea which one I'm going to switch to next, but who knows what tomorrow will bring and what my mood will be.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Stash Addict

I've got my cross stitch mojo back, but my stash buying bug still hasn't gone away. I've added even more to my Neni Designs collection (and there are way to many to show), but I've found a couple of new designers I'd thought I'd show off.

First up, I know I have already bought this pattern a couple of times from numerous other designers, but I've always found that I didn't particularly care for the level of detail in what I was getting. This is one of those pieces that requires a lot of detail, so I was so happy to find that Z Anna Cross Stitch finally did it in a size big enough to show the proper amount of detail!
Villains Stained Glass

I'm most excited by another designer I just found, Addict 2 Cross Stitch. I found this one first, purely by accident:
Misleading Men_00
I was hoping there was a female version too, which I found today (the dangers of snow days...light work days which means more time to play online):
Misleading Ladies_00
As I started perusing her other stuff, I found three non Disney-related projects that called out to me (although I swear I can see touches of Disney in them...do any of these remind you of certain princesses?).
Skull Bride_00
Pomagranate Girl_00
Night Princess_00
All of these have an almost HAED-like quality to the patterns and I'm kind of excited to try one out (although I have NO IDEA when or if). I love the Neni Designs for their simplicity (and their Disneyness), but since the new year and my return to mainly HAED life, I do have to admit that I love the bigger, more detailed patterns and it's apparently starting to affect my stash buying.

The joys of Southern weather

Only a few short days ago, it was 70+ degrees and we were under tornado warnings. This morning, I woke up and, to my surprise, this is what my world looked like:
Untitled
I hate winter. It's probably one of the few times ever we've just had snow (there is no ice), except on the roads...apparently melting snow, 17 degree temperatures, and a lazy county road crew means that the roads are veritable ice skating rinks. This would be perfect stay at home and stitch weather but I can't because some of our employees live out of town and can't get to work, so the rest of us have to pick up the slack. Yet another good reason to buy a house in my hometown...I wouldn't be able to make it work on days like this!

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Goals

I'm not going to keep rehashing the horror that was 2016, but my goals were completely blown to Hades and back (sometimes literally).
Untitled
My two newest acquisitions...I call them the Power Couple!

I also decided that it was time to set some New Year's traditions of my own. It's a big deal (especially in the South) to eat black-eyed peas with ham and collard greens for good luck in the new year. I can stand the peas if not the greens, but I've always been very anti-traditional and refused to participate. But, considering last year, I've begun to rethink the whole prospect...I mean, what could it hurt, right? But I'm approaching it in another way. My tradition will be tacos and purple cake, both of which I love. I made the cake yesterday morning:
Untitled
Not pretty, but purple all the way through and I had the tacos for supper yesterday. So here's to 2017, Keebles style! I'm still going to set stitchy goals for the next year as well in hopes of a better year though, so here we go!

Obviously, I didn't meet my 2016 goal on Maleficent of two rows (I barely finished the current row), so I'm going to cut down the goal for 2017 down to one row (seems more logical).
maleficent082

Alice and the Bouguereau Princesses had a goal of two rows for 2016, but I think I'm going to set a goal of finishing the current row and maybe one more for 2017, especially since it's the largest piece in my stash:
alice107
As of now, it's the one I'm into the most, so this first week of January will be spent working on them.

Snow White was supposed to be a 2016 finish, but now I think I'll be satisfied with the current row finish and maybe one or two more:
SnowWhite017

When it comes to Night Wish, I'd like to finish at least the current row:
NightWish013

Suteki is still possibly on the chopping block, I haven't decided yet. It would be the PERFECT gift for my Sister, but it sucks SOOOO much. I still want to continue on with the A New Stitchy Start Blog, but whether or not I continue on with Suteki or switch to something else, remains to be seen. I'm not going to set an official goal for it though for that very reason.
suteki015

I'd also like to finish Tartan B this year, but no promises there either (I can probably guarantee that A Summer Ball and 35th Anniversary won't be touched):
TartanB-010

As far as new starts go...obviously there will be an April A to Z Blogging Challenge stitch, but I haven't decided which one yet (although I have a couple of options lined up). I enjoyed Lilo and Stitch Otherwise by Neni Designs so much, I've decided that I'm going to start Happy Haunts (and it's a pretty good thing considering how much of her stash I have now). I even went to Hobby Lobby on Saturday and bought a complete set of new thread and fabric for it:
Happy Haunts_000
I'm going to do this on 18ct Aida instead of the 28ct Monaco that I used on Lilo and Stitch. I think this project is more cutesy and would look better bigger. It's been a long time since I bought all new thread for a project, but I had a lot of trouble with some of the older stuff with Stitch, so I didn't want that issue again.

I really didn't plan on starting another new one this year, but I've had Sleepy Hollow kitted up for years, and I think this might be a good year to start it:
Sleepy Hollow Mural
Granted, I've been pilfering from the threads and I need to get another piece of fabric, but I think this is a good trial piece for testing out a Q-Snap, especially since it's a horizontal piece (and those are the worst for scroll rod users).

I'm going to go back to a weekly rotation, that seemed to work out best for me. Whether or not I decide to continue on with Suteki, it means that it will have to be worked on at least once a month, especially if I continue on with the Stitchy Start Blog.

And that's my goals for 2017! Oh, except for I'd like to clock over 1000 hours stitching this year. I barely went too far over 700 last year so, as long as 2017 doesn't suck as much, I should easily be able to hit it.

I don't have a Disney trip planned for next year (I'm still working on the whole buying/building a new house project and credit card payoffs), but that could change at a moment's notice. Maybe it would be good to take a year off from Disney, but I did that in 2011 and almost had a breakdown because of it (but, since I did have a breakdown in 2016 with two trips, who knows if they are related). 2017 is going to be a year of unknowns, but I'm still hopeful that it will blow 2016 out of the water (and that wouldn't take much considering the suckage that was 2016)!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Year End Review

I think it's pretty clear by now that 2016 sucked and I'm SOOO glad it's gone! Despite the blessing of two Disney trips, this has been an emotional terror ride of a year and it totally affected my stitching. I had so many stitchy goals and I blew almost all of them. If I wanted to look at the positive side, this was definitely a year for framing old pics and tons of new stash!

I guess it's time to get down to the nitty gritty of the year though. Maleficent, my main project hasn't gotten any love since February. I left off here last year:
maleficent071
And worked a total of 49.55 hrs on her and left off at the row finish here:
maleficent082

Next up is Alice and the Bouguereau Princesses. Despite Friday's attempt at working on them, I still didn't get very far for the year. I left off here last year:
alice095
And worked on them for a total of 57.31 hrs (including the little over 8 hrs on Friday):
alice107

Cinderella Castle, which I had just barely started:
cc02
Got finished and framed with Sleeping Beauty Castle with a finish total of 50.92 hrs:
DSC06903

My new rotation starts also barely got any attention. Night Wish went from nada to here in 50.71 hrs:
NightWish013

Snow White also went from nothing to here in 57.64 hrs:
SnowWhite017
It was a bit of a shocker since, although it's not dithered, it's extremely confetti heavy.

The pain in the behind, the gift for my Sister, Christmas Contest Suteki went from nothing to here in 89.17 hrs. It was my A New Stitchy Start blog piece and I totally blew it too (but in all fairness, this project SUCKS and it goes to show how much more time dithering takes versus straight stitching because I didn't even finish the row):
suteki015

Rainy Wedding got finished and gifted. I finished the main body of the piece on New Years Eve last year, but I finished the wording for a total of 19.09 hrs and got it framed (sorry for the quality of the photo):
Untitled

For my April A to Z Project, I chose Austen Alphabet by FanGirl Stitches. It took 63.7 hrs, but I got it finished on time and framed, but here it is unframed:
Austen Alphabet28

The main project of the year became Lilo and Stitch Otherwise. It was supposed to be a two month project (and easily could have been), but that pesky life issue interfered and I just finished the other day at a total of 292.73 hrs:
Stitch078

Tartan B got one day of love, basically because I needed a carry around project for a day babysitting my Grandmother. I left off here:
TartanB-009
And got to here and probably could have gotten further, but I thought I made a mistake and I needed to grid it:
TartanB-010
I don't keep track on the hours for this one, because it's older than when I used to keep up with hours.

On the negative side, the other pains in my behind, A Summer Ball hasn't been touched since January 2015:
asb046

And the 35th Anniversary Celebration hasn't been touched since May of 2015 (and it's kind of a lost cause anyway since this is Disney World's 45th Anniversary year):
disney021

On the TUSAL front, the proof is in the ORTs...I didn't do very good this year.
DSC07338
Compared to the other years:
DSC07340
These are a bit hoard-y, I know, but they are kept in a nice cute box:
DSC07342

Again, if I wanted to look at the positive side, I spent a total of 730.82 hrs stitching in 2016, but since this is the first year I've kept up with hours for the entire year, I'm sure it isn't nearly as good as previous years (and I think the ORTs confirm it).

Oh well, here's to a MUCH better 2017! I'll do a 2017 goal post probably tomorrow.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I did it!!

Today was supposed to be the first day of a week long vacation from work, but the phone calls started before I even woke up and I was in the lab by 2:30p. Typical. The ONLY good thing about being on salary is at least I did waste a vacation day with the three hours worth of work I ended up doing, but it's still not officially a vacation (and I'm sure tomorrow will suck just as much).

Despite everything though, a very late night last night and tonight, I finished Lilo and Stitch Otherwise, and under my goal of 300 hours...although just barely at 292.73 hrs. Anyhoo, on with the pics! I left off here last weekend:
Stitch074
Finished the row just a little after 11p:
Stitch077
For a total finish:
Stitch078
I got it ironed and ready for mounting (and then off to Hobby Lobby for framing). I am having trouble deciding on how though. I'm not quite sure it's the kind of piece that should be matted. I may wait a few days before I decided for sure (and if anyone has any thoughts, just let me know). I'm not sure how I'm going to spend the rest of the year stitching yet (my gut is leading me to Alice and the B's), but I'll do a regular weekly stitching post as well as my final year's totals (which are SOOO gonna suck).

Oh, and in case anybody didn't notice it, the hidden surprise in the picture did actually turn out in the stitching (although it still creeps me out a bit):
Stitch079
A hidden Nemo...lying on the ground...a fish...lying on the ground...ugh. I wonder about the intentions of the artist.