Sunday, December 31, 2017

End of year stitch summary and 2018 not-really goals

Sorry I've been MIA for a couple of weeks, I've been on vacation and have been on computer strike...happens to those of us in the IT biz when we get time off. Just needed some good 'ole decompression time sans what I deal with 60 hours per week with at work. So I've spent the week at home, in my nightgown, eating like a pig, binge watching TV and stitching like crazy with as little human contact as possible. I did get my haircut and colored this week...the purple is gone and I already miss it. It will be a while before I can go back blonde because of the purple residue, but maybe by summer.

It may have been a rough year personally (maybe my roughest ever), but it was a pretty good stitch year, at least towards the end of it. This might be a long one, so sit back and get ready for it!

I left off on Maleficent in Feburary 2016 at the end of row 3:
And I completed my goal of a row finish on June 11th, putting in 116.56 hrs in 2017 for a total of 504.63 hrs overall:
For Alice and the B's, I left off at the beginning of row 3 on December 30th, 2016:
And left off at the end of row 4 on November 8th, putting in 276.15 hrs for 2017 (98.28 hrs in October alone), for a total of 697.92 hrs, also with a completed goal for the year:
For Snow White, I left off in June of last year with a goal of the current row and possibly one or two more rows:
And I did manage to finish the current row on November 12th, putting in 58.03 hrs, for a total of 115.67 hrs:
Oh Night Wish, the all purple project that should be a joy because, well, it's purple, but it's been a bit of a pain because of the combination of the confetti and the mind-numbing white moon. I left off here back in May of 2016:
My goal was just to finish the current row, which I did on November 24th, 80.48 hrs in, for a total of 131.2 hrs:
When it comes to the proverbial thorn in my side, Suteki, I gave myself no goal because I wasn't sure whether or not I was even gonna continue on her. As of now, I'm still not sure, but I keep going on her for some reason. I left off here back in May of 2016:
I managed to finish the current row in March of this year:
And made it almost halfway into the second row by the end of November, putting in a total of 79.74 hrs for 2017, for a grand total of 168.82 hrs:
The last official goal was also a maybe finish - Tartan B. I left off on it way back in Jan of 2016:
And I put in a whole two days this year, the last of which was just December 23rd. I don't keep time on this since it's older than before I kept time, but I don't work on it for very long because I can't focus on it for more than an hour or so at a time for some odd reason. But anyway, here's the progress:
I didn't touch the other two pains in the tush...A Summer Ball and Disney's 35th Anniversary Celebration (which is funny considering 2017 was Disney World's 45th Anniversary). I hate both of those projects and it might take an act of the heavens to make me finish either one of them.

The first of the official new starts of 2017 was Happy Haunts and I didn't have a goal for it. It became my New Stitchy Start Blog subject, but since I stopped working on it faithfully pretty early on, I can't say I was too successful on that front. The total project will look like this when finished:
Happy Haunts_000
I put in 90.77 hrs for 2017, finishing the first row on December 5th. It's a lot harder than it looks! Lots of confetti!
The other new start for 2017 was Sleepy Hollow Mural. I've had it kitted up for years, but decided it was finally time and I decided to test out Q-snaps for the first time. I'm not enjoying the Q-snaps at all, but I'm doing fairly well on it. Here's the project in its whole:
Sleepy Hollow Mural
Before I moved the Q-snaps over, I was here, tossing between pages 6 and 7:
And I barely made much more progress once I moved the snaps, putting in a total of 117.57 hrs for 2017 and last stitched on December 20th, about one-third of the way through the row, although it was nice to see a purple bat appear in the muted forest:
I ended up buying a surprise kit, The Bride Dollmaker by GeckoRouge (although there is some confusion to the name...some of the documentation says The Bride Doll Making, but it's just semantics):
I started her July 16th and stopped just tonight in the middle of page 4, 71.08 hrs in:
Her face is just absolutely gorgeous close up! It was touch and go there for a while because I couldn't even see it until I was almost finished with the page. I also lost a color...either I lost it or a dog stole it. I'm hoping a dog didn't eat it because that means a very expensive trip to the vet, but I would think if that was the case, then there would have be thread shavings around, so I'm not too worried about that (at least not yet, but I'm still on poo patrol just in case). It had to either be me, or maybe it was the chair...again, either is completely possible. I keep looking for it, but I've already got the conversion specks from GeckoRouge and replaced it. I've actually never lost a bobbin before, at least not for longer than 10 minutes.

I'm going to continue on her until I finish the row and I really only have about a page and a half to go. After that, I'm not sure where I'm heading back to. Maybe Maleficent since its been so long? Or maybe back to Happy Haunts...maybe row 2 will be easier than row 1. I want to finish at least one of these puppies by the end of next year and Happy Haunts would be my best choice. Tartan B is a lost cause I think. Besides, I want to finish it into a pillow and I still don't know how to do that. I don't want to start anything new until I finish at least one of my current projects. I have so many going now, it's just too much. There is no way to make any real progress with so many projects in tow. I often wonder how stitchers with dozens of WIPs ever finish anything.

I did have one finish this year, but I'm not sure it counts because it only took me two days and 9.02 hrs. I wanted to have at least one finish for the year so I picked a small one...Supernatural Exorcism:
I still don't have it framed, but once I do, you'll be the second to know! It was a nice distraction to stitch a project while you are binge-watching the show. It makes it more personal.

And that's it! All my stitching for 2017. It's roughly about 899.40 hrs for the year (still can't count in the Tartan B totals, so it's hard for accuracy). I might be down from previous years, but in my defense, it was a rough year, a REALLY rough year. I'm not going to set any goals for next year because I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants right now and I'm just not sure where life is gonna take me. I don't think I'm gonna have any new starts, if I'm going to join any new stitchy groups or if I'm going to continue on with my current ones, or where next year is gonna lead me stitchy-wise at all. It's obvious that the New Stitchy Start Blog isn't keeping me in check, even on one project, so I guess I'm definitely dropping it next year.

I am still keeping up with my orts though, even if I'm not posting it. Here is the jar for the year, in villains world:
I'm down from previous years, so either I'm getting better about frogging (doubt it), or I did stitch less this year:
2014 and 2015 are still my top years since I've been keeping up with orts. I still contest that OCD is nothing but organized hoarding.

I will say that my stash is through the roof from last year. If I had the money to kit them all up, I could probably easily do a year or two of starts, but I can't imagine how much it would cost to do that, let alone how I would store them in my tiny little house overrun with Disney crap.

I'm probably 60 to 70 lbs up from last year, I didn't read one single book this year (although I probably binge-watched numerous shows a multiple of times a piece), I'm still just as much in debt this year as last (if not more due to all these hospital bills), I'm isolated from just about everyone and everything, but hey, at least I have my stitching and my pups, right? So this year wasn't a total bust! Got to remain optimistic or I'll just crash.

What I can say is that for 2018 I'm gonna TRY to loose some weight, I'm gonna TRY to read more, I'm gonna TRY to pay off some bills, I'm gonna TRY to better myself, no matter the outcome for me or my family...that's all I can promise for next year. I think, after the year I've had, I'm through promising myself or anyone else anything (at least for the moment). I can probably say with certainly (although no promises) that I probably WON'T be going back to any therapist or shrink, I probably WON'T be going to my 30th high school reunion, I probably WON'T be going to Disney anywhere, and I probably WON'T be building a new house in 2018.

So here's to a MUCH better 2018 for not just me, but to all you guys, who have stuck with me through thick and thin, although I'm not sure why! A lot of my bloggy besties have some exciting things in store for 2018, so if I can't have a good year, maybe I can live vicariously through you guys!

And since I mentioned it in the intro and it's been ringing in my head through this entire post, let's ring in 2018 with a little Take That, a few years old and the video doesn't jibe at all since it goes with the first Kingsman soundtrack (but seriously, how hot does Mark look?), but it's how I'd like best to enter the new year, on a positive note looking toward the future one day at a time:

Gotta go now, time for Disney fireworks!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Weekly Stitching

Well, I didn't have a two day interruption this week, but I finally stopped fighting that expensive American Dreams lap stand and just held the stupid Q-Snaps in my hands. It slowed me down, but I was still able to stitch two-handed, I guess since they are long ones and able to sit in my elbow bend. It's just a shame that Q-Snaps won't fit in my regular lap stand. I worship that thing! I left off here last week:
Along with the slowness, I'm also getting extremely bored with this piece, but I did make it to here:
I'm not sure if I'm going to hold out with it until the end of the year or not. I've almost finished two of the eleven left in the row, but I seriously doubt, at least at this rate, I'll ever make it. The Bride Dollmaker is calling me again too, but I don't think I have a snowball's chance with that one either since I have four full pages on that one...but four pages are better than nine. Guess it will depend on how I feel tomorrow.

This week was also Christmas bonus time...we don't get a lot, but it's better than nothing. If I was smart, I'd use the money to pay on that stupid massive hospital bill or to pay down my credit cards, but instead, I hit up my Amazon wishlist like it was Christmas! I wish I could say that I regret it, but I don't. I'm so far behind on my figurines (and don't get me started on the Funkos and books), but the odds of me ever getting caught up is next to nil.

I had initially planned to use the money to take a little trip down the coast to some Florida shelling beaches, but I still don't think I'm ready for that just yet, although I seriously want to. Who knows, maybe I can save up a few bucks between now and then and see what's possible.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Weekly Stitching

It took me exactly two days to finish up the row on Happy Haunts...the two days I missed last week due to missing bolts. I left off here:
And shined it off easy-peasy:
I immediately started back on Sleepy Hollow Mural, but then I ended up with a massive headache that lasted...wait for it...two days. So I ended up yet another week with two missing stitching days. I left off on the Hollow back in May about in the middle of page 3:
And stopped Saturday night here, wandering loose in about page 6:
I didn't stop because I got bored and I'm obviously no where near finishing the row...the end of the grid row is just the halfway point. I have eleven pages to go on this row. This project is really hard to work on because of the stand. I have to keep my arms held up really unnaturally high and they hurt after a while so I end up taking more breaks than I want to. But the real reason I stopped is because I realized that I haven't finished a single project this year and had no hope of doing so on my current path.

I had been binge-watching X-Files for the Dec 3rd premiere of the new season, but I was blowing through it too fast, so since I also picked up Season 12 of Supernatural the other day, I decided to take an X-Files break. I started on Season 1 of Supernatural Friday night and I'm already in Season 3 (when I say binge-watching, like everything else I do, I do it on steroids). That reminded me of a cool chart I bought off of Etsy. I had found it a long time ago and it stayed in my wish list for a while, but when I got ready to buy it, it had disappeared. It took me forever to find it again, and once I did, I snapped it right up. I haven't seen it again since, so I'm glad I got it when I did.

I started it Saturday night and despite a few hiccups with thread choices and whether or not I was going to do the Impala, I give you Supernatural Exorcism:
The white thread wasn't called for, but it was supposed to be stitched on white and, since I used 18ct Shale (I was going for that earthy, down-home boy quality...or graveyard dirt...choose your poison), the whitish areas looked weird in shale, so I stitched them. I just left the windows blank because, well they're windows. I also ended up outlining more than called for because it looked weird. I used Aida for the white, but I used 12 Cotton Pearle for the black and I really like how it worked for the letters (not so much for the car). I also flipped the car (it was originally pointed the other way and it just looked weird to me).

I wanted to check the wording for the exorcism and thank goodness for wiki fandom! I discovered they've done numerous worded exorcisms throughout the seasons, but they have used this one at least twice so I was OK with it.

I need to find a really cool gothic frame to put it in, but I think I'll take it to work. I like to keep my co-workers on their toes (or scare them, again, pick your poison). But hey, now I can say that I've had at least one finish for the year! I'm gonna start back on Sleepy Hollow again tomorrow and continue on it through the rest of the year (unless I manage to finish the row and I'll move on).

Hope everyone else had a good stitchy week, or just a good week in general!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Weekly Stitching

I know it seems like my posts are a bit mundane lately, but I am soooo grateful for mundane it's not even funny! I'm still in hiding from the world, barely leaving the safety of my nest, but I feel so much better on the inside that I don't really care much about the outside world. When I can't get out of doing something social, I've been shutting myself completely off to get through it, but every time I do this, it gets harder and harder to turn back on. I had to go out of town twice last week for work and by the second time it took me a day and a half to straighten back out. I have to work on that. But for now, I'm stitching like crazy, trying not to deal...which is how I deal, if that makes sense.

I tried to work on Suteki, but she's driving me nuts. I left off on her here last week:
And after one day of stitching, I decided I needed a break and left off here:
But there was another glitch I wasn't counting on...this past week, the bolts that tighten the clamps to my lap stand got stripped and wouldn't tighten. I've stitched with scroll rods since my teens and most all my projects are kitted up that way. I have a floor stand, but I've gotten so used to the lap stand, I'm almost useless without it now. I couldn't get to the hardware store fast much so that I ended up stopping at one on one of my work trips to get replacement bolts. I wouldn't stop at a strange place in a strange town on a normal day, let alone right now, but I needed to get back to stitching and with my new-found talent of shutting off like a light bulb, it makes it easier to do things like that, even with the consequences. I just have to master turning back on like a light bulb.

Once all was back to normal, at least stand-wise, I decided to hop back to Happy Haunts. It was supposed to be my A New Stitchy Start project for the year and I should have it finished by now, but I've had trouble with it too. It's not a HAED, but it was another project I could finish the row for before the end of the year. I left off on it back in June:
And despite my two day respite, I made it here tonight:
Oh, if I had those two days I lost, I could have finished the row this week. Oh well, at least I have next week! I'm not sure if I'll go back to Suteki or Sleepy Hollow. There is NO WAY I could finish the row to Sleepy Hollow either...since it's horizontal, a row is like 30 pages, but at least it's not dithered confetti, it's just normal confetti and I could use some of that right now. And who knows, since I'm off the week after Christmas, maybe if I stitch the entire week straight, I could finish the row to whichever one I choose after Happy Haunts (and I could go back to the Bride Dollmaker too, although since I barely got started on that, that's a ton of work for a row finish). We'll see where the stitching takes me I guess.

I had to stop binge-watching Charmed. I decided that since the new season of X-Files starts January 3rd, I'd better start binge-watching X-Files to get myself ready. Those Charmed DVDs are looking at me though, waiting for their turn again. Since I'm behind on Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Heartland, it might be a while before I get back to those particular witches. But that's the joy of DVDs...binge-watching whatever and whenever you want.

Here's hoping for another quiet week.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Weekly Stitching

Another week down, another project row done! I left off on Night Wish with just that pesky moon to go:
And after almost an entire skein of thread, I finally finished it, with a total of 131.2 hrs:

Despite all my better judgement, I moved on to the next project, Christmas Contest Suteki. I left off on her back in June:
And despite working on her non-stop since Friday night, I only made it here:
It's one of the reasons why I hate this project so much...I work and work on it and barely get anywhere. I have the feeling I won't finish the row by the end of the year. If it wasn't going to be the perfect gift for my Sister, I would chuck it.

I finally got all my Charmed DVDs in to and the theme song is different than the Netflix version. I seriously HATE it when a brilliant 80's song gets butchered, but when you are talking the level of The Smiths, it's downright blasphemous! Luckily I have to fast-forward through the opening sequences anyway because of the seizure factor. That song has always been the song that defined my teenage angst (as I'm sure it did most people's) and to hear it get revamped into a 90's Disney Radio version is almost heartbreaking. Thankfully, we still have YouTube for those lovely reminders of said teenage angst, angst I'm not entirely sure I've grown out of yet.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Weekly Stitching

Another week down and another week of stitching, although not nearly as good this week as last (and next week will be even worse considering I'm working double shifts all next week). I left off on here on Night Wish last week:
And I managed all but the horrible white center of the moon:
It's very mundane, but it must be done, especially if I want to move on to the next project row finish.

I'm in the final season of Charmed and I've already started ordering the DVDs...should have known, me and my OCD! I do have to stop watching long enough to get caught up on some of my other shows. I don't watch a lot of current TV, but when did the media get so spoiler happy? If I don't watch them soon, it will be useless.

I've also finally weened myself of the Ritalin. No more horrible therapy appointments for me! Now I just have to work out the myriad of other issues I have on my own, but I know I can do it now that the pressure is off on all levels. I already feel better, even if I'm kind of alone right now. I just have to take it one day at a time.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Weekly Stitching

Someone got their mojo back and I think I've decided my path, at least for stitching for the rest of the year...more on that in a minute. First up, Alice and the B's. I left off last week here:
And finished row 4:
The total so far at just under 700 hours for a total of 697.92 hrs:
I'm still not happy with the colors...usually at this point I'm getting settled with the weird colors in strange places and realize how much sense they make...I still think they charted this one all wrong. This will definitely be one of those charts that will have to be framed and viewed from afar.

Oh well, I decided to go back to Snow White by Jessica Clark because I'm still in a fairy tale-themed mood. I left on her back in May when Grandmother died:
And despite my unhappiness with Snow's upper forehead, the part I did while I sat with Grandmother in hospice, I finished the second row of her, for a grand total of 115.67 hrs:
Again, from afar she's great, but close up, between the bad stitching and the weird colors, I'm still a bit put off. Snow almost reminds me of a Kardashian with the bad color-matched foundation and the over contouring and highlighting. But finishing two project rows in a week made me realize my goal for the rest of the year is to finish the current row to as many pending projects as I can.

I started back on Night Wish today with that goal in mind. I left off on her back in May as well (it's odd how removed from that whole time period I feel now...I thought that Grandmother's illness and death was the worst thing I would deal with this year, that's what I get for thinking I guess):
And it's hard to tell because most of it is white, but here is where I got to today:
This one won't be as quick as Snow, especially with the whole moon to fill in, but hopefully only a couple of weeks worth of work.

I've been binge-watching Charmed this week as well per the recommendation of Vickie over at Reading and Stitching. I do like happy ending shows and I keep expecting the bottom to fall out at the end of season 4, and that worries me, but so far, so good. I didn't think I'd like this show since I never could get into Buffy (I'm one of those weirdos who prefers the movie) and this show is in the same "family" of shows. Don't even get me started on Shannen whats-her-face, but that wasn't a worry after season 3. I'm gonna keep on before I buy the DVDs though, just in case. If what I think is about to happen is about to happen, I'm going to be pissed off and maybe not want to finish the series.

One negative thing about the show though...whoever created those opening credits never had a brain tumor! I can't watch them at all! I figured eventually they would have gotten enough complaints to change them by the end of season 4, but apparently not yet.

I will say though, having a real stitching goal and being obsessed with a show again, makes me feel more normal than I have in a long time, even if I can't do anything else normally. I'm weening myself off the Ritalin. I haven't been able to get in to see the Asper-specialist and the thought of being stuck at the clinic is just too much. I saw my therapist last week by myself (although I still can't go by Sister couldn't go, so my boss took me). Between that session, a rather nasty fight with my Sister about her over-bearingness concerning my well being, and my new forum, I've had a realization that I really hate going to therapy and it's not helping but only making things worse. The only thing keeping me there is the Ritalin and once I'm off that, then it's all over with and there is no need to go back and maybe I can FINALLY put this whole mess behind me and move on with my life. Until then, I'm a witch-watchin' stitch-lovin' maniac!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Weekly Stitching

I am determined to finish this row of Alice the B's before I start back on a normal rotation routine, but work is foiling my plans. I left off here last week:
And most of the progress I made was today:
Maybe I'll have it finished by next's hoping, but the work week won't be any better, so I'm not countin' my chickins! And how freaky does Snow's empty mouth look with her eyes rolled back in her head like that? I think I'll save her lips for last just because I think it's funny!

I stayed late at work Friday night so my weekend could be free for the first time in weeks, but because I didn't leave work until 3 am Saturday morning and I had to take Bugs to the vet for his bi-annual checkup at 8 am, I wasn't much good on Saturday. I did get the duck room cleaned up a bit and broke down some of the boxes I've been saving for the move to the house I haven't built yet. It's still a mess, but at least I can see some of my Disney stuff in that room again:
And goodness knows if I'll ever get to build that house anyway, especially with all these stupid medical bills, but I must still be hopeful because I'm still saving boxes, longing for the day when all the Disney stuff is in one room instead of spread all over the place. Oh, to have an "adult" bedroom without Disney villains and princesses staring at me while I sleep (when I sleep in the bedroom...which is rare, I'm still living on the couch) or Mickey watching me pee in the bathroom (which isn't rare because that bathroom is close to the couch).

I did join an Asperger forum. It took me a few days to do the introduction thing, but hopefully I can get support there that I'm not getting from family and the so-called professionals. From what I've been reading already, it's been amazing just reading the words of others who feel a lot like I do. I probably won't be posting much (I never cared much for posting on forums, just reading them), but I already feel quite a bit better, so it was worth the intro post.

On a positive note, Vickie over at Reading and Stitching has started FlossTubing. I spent a lot of today catching up on her videos. I kind of feel like all my stitchy bloggy friends are jumping over to FlossTube on me! If I ever do get to build a "real" house though, I think I will give it a go (if there is still a FlossTube by then).

Oh well, it's about to storm, so I'd better get off the computer for a while. Nothing else to report anyway. Life is quite boring at the moment and I've forgotten how much I missed that. I will never complain about that again!