Busy busy start to my New Year, we have lots of winter birthdays in our family, so it feels like the holiday celebrations have stretched on and on. But things are finally calming down a bit (knock on wood). I am slowly working on my WIP basket, my goal for last year was to complete 25% of my unfinished projects, and I succeeded. I finished 13 cross stitch projects in the last 3 months of 2016. So my goal for the first 3 months of 2017 is the same, but a slightly smaller number. To finish 25% of my WIP basket I will need to finish 9 projects or 3 per month. This month I have already completed 2, so only 1 more to meet my goal for this month. Normally I have never cared how many projects I have going at once, but I must admit it does feel nice to have a slightly smaller stitching basket.
Monday, December 5, 2016
So I confirmed my ornament arrived safe and sound for the HOE exchange. I am excited to show it off here. I will definitely be stitching this one again for myself. It was a Hands on Design piece from their chalkboard series. I hand dyed the fabric again for these, and finished it as a flat fold ornament. I loved the felt holly leaves and buttons that were included with the charts, and I added my own little Mill Hill beads along the bottom border for the holly berries.
Last weekend was spent putting up our Christmas decor. Here is my middle child stringing the lights on the tree. And below is my DH being silly with the same light strand. She did the bottom half and he strung the top half of the tree.
Even our little guy got into hanging up the ornaments this year. We also put out our dancing/singing Hallmark snowmen underneath the tree, and about every two seconds he turns them back on so our house has been filled with Christmas jingles already.
And my oldest, I can't believe she is tall enough already to hang the fragile ornaments high up on the tree safely out of brothers reach! She is almost as tall as me already, but in my mind I still see her as a little toddler in footie jammies!
at 8:00 AM
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Almost there on "Blessings Sampler". All I have left is the back-stitching on the acorns, basket, and bottom two borders. There was supposed to be a butterfly along the top of the design, but I left it off as butterflies didn't seem very Autumn/Fall to me. So now I am considering what to put there instead. One of the other designs in this series has bees, and another has a crow which were my first choices. Maybe i'll just add a couple cute buttons up there. Anyway, happy to have this almost done.
Here is a little early Christmas present I bought for myself. A framed/finished piece off of Ebay. I thought this would be a nice addition to my fall decor next year. You should have seen the box they shipped it in, you would have thought they were shipping me a missile or something there were so many layers of bubble wrap. It is a very pretty stitched piece, and the little pumpkin on the side of the frame just adds to the cuteness.
I know I have talked about tracking and planning more. So here is one of my first efforts at tracking stuff. Just checking off how many miles I ran in the month of November. If I had known I was that close to 50 miles total I would have been better on my running. I have been working towards 5 miles on my long runs. Unfortunately the week of Thanksgiving was busy for me and I barely got a single run in. Below is the view across the lake on one of my long runs. That is Camelback Mountain in the distance. This was before the weather here turned cold last week. Well I say cold, the high is supposed to be 70 today so i'm not sure I can call that chilly. For an Arizona girl it is though!
at 11:26 AM
Friday, November 25, 2016
Waking up this morning with a headache, and just sore from yesterday. Honestly I didn't even have that much wine with our Thanksgiving feast (2 glasses of Moscato, my favorite wine- kind of a light sweet white wine). But it was such a busy day, rushing around to get everything cooked and set up, that I didn't eat much the rest of the day and didn't drink any water (just a cup of coffee in the morning) so today I am feeling drained. My two girls are looking forward to going out and doing some Black Friday shopping, and i'm hoping this headache clears before they get out of bed.
We otherwise had a lovely Thanksgiving. We celebrated my mom's 80th birthday as well as Thanksgiving, so lots of extended family, cousins, aunts, and uncles were there. Luckily my brother hosted the whole thing, so while it was nice not having to clean and decorate our own house, it was kind of a pain hauling food back and forth to his house. But I am thankful for a day spent with my family, that my family has a roof over their heads, food on their table, and everyone is healthy and hopefully happy to be together. How was your holiday if you celebrated yesterday?
I have managed some progress on Blessings Sampler. I do like these charts for the simple DMC threads they use, and the charts themselves are pretty basic and easy to read. Now I just have some filling in stitching to do on the leaves and basket, so maybe just maybe this will continue to be worked on in the coming week.
This lovely ornament also arrived in the mail from Rosa all the way from Canada. Where I imagine there is snow on the ground already. The high here yesterday was 75, so we had dinner outside by candlelight, and it was just chilly enough to feel like Fall still. Anyway, this ornament was part of the Hooked on Exchanging Christmas exchange that Rosa herself suggested we do. I am so happy she prompted me to do another exchange. We had exchanged ornaments last year through the HOE blog, and she does gorgeous work.
at 7:35 AM
Friday, November 18, 2016
If I had any sense in my head I would work on the WIP's that are closest to being done, so that I could actually meet my goal of having 25% of them done by the end of the year. Instead I meander through my stitching basket. I figure though that if I don't start anything new, and am still progressing on the multiple WIPs I have (ummm my current total would be 39--- don't tell anyone!)...anyways if I just keep stitching on the projects I have then eventually I am bound to finish some of them. 39 projects is a lot to rotate through. Even my short attention span should not be able to get bored with that many.
Other than that, I mailed off my Christmas exchange piece through the Hooked on Exchanging blog last weekend. I can't wait to show it here, but it has not arrived yet at my partner's mailbox. I organized this exchange, the blog had gone dormant since the beginning of 2016. I was a little nervous about it all (would anyone want to exchange with me/what if someone didn't stitch anything), but am so happy I did it. I am not the most organized stitcher, but I do love stitching for people who truly appreciate the work that goes into making a stitched gift, and I love the surprise of getting cross stitch in the mail. I am thinking of doing a spring or Valentine exchange after the holidays are over to keep the blog going, hopefully a few more stitchers will want to join in too.
I'll end with a funny I saw in one of my Facebook stitching groups:
Why isn't there a delivery option of:
"Don't deliver all the stuff I ordered online when my husband is home to see it"
at 2:13 AM
Monday, November 14, 2016
I realized I made a mistake in my WIP list. For some reason I thought I had 14 finishes so far this year, but it turns out I only have 12. So to meet my goal of 25% done, I need to finish at least one more stitch. So I am buckling down and sticking to Kitchen Sampler.
I worked on Kitchen Sampler this weekend while watching "I-Origins" with my husband on our couch. Exciting date night, huh? But I will say I highly recommend the movie. It is a sci-fi (kind of) movie with actors I have never seen before (actually the guy who plays Glen in Walking Dead had a very minor part in it) but the story makes you think. It was about a team of scientists searching for a link to prove a theory of reincarnation. Very well done story of religion vs. science.
We also had a very busy, very fun rest of the weekend. Saturday morning we did the annual Lymphoma walk at our Zoo. Both my husband and I have lost a parent to Leukemia, so this is something we both hope to see a cure for in our lifetimes. The zoo though has all these amazing lego animals (life-size) on display throughout the zoo, with little placards saying how long they took to build and how many legos were involved. They had a polar bear and cubs that weighed 650 pounds built entirely out of legos! Then Saturday night a local church was hosting a movie in the park. So we took the kids and watched Home Alone, while munching on lots of food truck fair (think Kettlecorn/Snowcones/and pot-stickers)
at 4:24 AM
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
A bit of progress on Kitchen Sampler, I at least haven't put it down yet and feel like this just might be my 14th finish before the end of the year. Lots of back-stitching which is hard to see on the chart (either that or my eyes are just getting old)
I treated myself to a little stash enhancement last week. We went out to Attic Needlework in Mesa, which is about a 45 minute drive away from home, i'm lucky it's not closer or I would be broke! The two above charts are Heart in Hand, "It Was Always You" and "Two Become One". I have an idea to do them both on the same fabric, and use a collage frame to frame them with some of our wedding pictures.
I also picked up a Lizzie Kate kit, because I can't get enough of her Halloween charts. This kit comes with the prettiest black fabric to embellish the top of the pouch. I am staying firm in my resolve though not to start anything new until I get through more of my current WIPs.
I also picked up this chart by C Street Samplers. This was the store model. I hadn't realized looking at it how many specialty stitches were used in this project. The waves are all satin stitched, and her tail is all Smyrna crosses. The instructions are written like a band sampler, dividing it into sections with directions for each so fingers crossed I can figure it out. It's not that i'm not good at following directions, I just don't have the attention span to read past step 1 most of the time.
On the health front of things, I am excited Weight Watchers is doing another charm for attending meetings over the holiday season. Their summer charm is the running man in the middle of my charm bracelet above. I also lost 2.4 pounds this week! I am trying to be really good since we are taking our Christmas pictures this next weekend. On the running side of things I have ran 14 miles so far this month. I have stretched my short runs from 2 to 3 miles, and am trying to do a long run of 5 miles once a week. So I feel like I am still slugging along towards getting healthier. I do like my fitbit for the motivation of being able to track how many steps I am getting each day, and how many times a week I am actually working out. I have been pretty consistent with working out 5 days each week.
at 2:20 AM