Happy Birthday To Me

Today is my 41st birthday. It's amazing how fast the years go...

If I could do whatever I wanted today I would drive to the beach, sit in the sun, swim in the ocean, read a book, enjoy some margaritas or ice cold beers and relax. Unfortunately I'm working today, so I'll just have to daydream.

I do have something to look forward to - tonight I'm having dinner with my stitch group.

Stitch Weekend (Part 1)

The weekend started out promising. (To reduce the typing requirements, I will eliminate DF from people's names but know that each of them is a DF to me.) Heather and I met Jean, Judy and Ann at Bead's By Design in Marietta for some bead shopping. Everyone scored some beads, except me. I refrained due to my current bead stash and moving anticipation. From the bead shop we went to the Marietta Diner to start the gluttony of food consumption. I had a tasty Caribbean Monte Cristo sandwich and fries.

We had a bit of time to kill after lunch - before we were expected at Vicky's. What to do, what to do? We could get a pedicure....hmmm, yes....let's get pedicures. Heather, Judy and I found Fantasy Nails while driving down Barrett Parkway. Judy and Heather enjoyed pedicures while I settled for a manicure. All were very lovely and at a good price. Then it was straight to Vicky's.

Several of us started out making knitting stitch markers. Mine are for my Mmmmalabrigo Magic Yarn Ball swap - pictures will be later as this is a surprise. The stitch markers were followed up by knitting, stitching, show and tell, general talking, some bitching, and a lot of laughing.

We kept the evening reasonable and those of us not staying at Vicky's left by 9:30. I had high hopes of getting sleep over the weekend but even though I arrived home at a reasonable hour there were several things that I "needed" to find/gather/organize - including one set of ornament kits for my Hands To Work ornament. Here it is after finishing by the talented Vicky.
1:00am - to bed with me.

Saturday morning (I'm already dragging) but breakfast included Cathy's fabulous homemade cinnamon and praline rolls. Fresh from the oven and dripping with icing, they were such a treat!
If only this was a scratch-n-sniff blog...

After getting good and sugared up Andy, Heather, Jean, Judy, Ann and I headed to Hancock to check out beads - Andy and Jean wanted to learn how to make a right angle weave bracelet. It just so happened that I was wearing a solid black shirt and decided that I "needed" some black beads to make a necklace for future wearing of this black shirt - plus the beads were all 30% off. I managed to find some. I also scored some nice Christmas fabric (also on sale) to use to finish my surprise ornament. Hancock had a decent selection, but we needed czech fire polish for the right angle weave bracelets - so off to Joann's we go. I was doing good until this point. Then I just went crazy. Here's an overview of everything I came home with.
Necklace, 2 bracelets, and anklet. I have some items already that I'll add to these to complete.

We inhaled feasted on enjoyed some wonderful chicken salad for lunch and forged ahead with projects.

Andy and Jean (instructed by Heather) started their right angle weave bracelets - and I decided to add the beads to my Three Penny Fob by Indigo Rose. I stitched this 4 years ago...and finally added the beads and finished it into a fob - weighted with 3 shiny 2008 pennies!
Andy and Jean completed their right angle weave bracelets in record time - this is such a fun, quick pattern!

...to be continued...

Squirreling Projects Away - The Results

Many thanks to all of you who offered advice! I really did try to pack up as much as I could. Stop laughing, I made an honest effort. And as time goes on, other projects may get packed away also...but here is what I have squirreled away for knitting:
  1. Jill-Walkers socks (hopefully I can finish soon)
  2. Shrug
  3. Medallion Capelet (I really want to be able to wear this in October)
  4. Collinette Shawl (because I really want to start a lace project)
  5. Monkey Socks (because I can't just have one project of socks)
  6. Melia's poncho (hopefully Melia can wear this in October)
  7. Clapotis (because is going to be my Olympic project - so here's hoping that I can finish it!)
  8. Baby blanket (not started but must be completed by Dec)
I didn't post stitching options, so I had to make decisions on the fly. Don't forget that I'm planning for a long market time so I needed some seasonal pieces to get me through. Here are the stitching projects that I have squirreled away:
  1. Royal Blossoms (Just Nan - about 25%)
  2. Patricia Ann (Indigo Rose - maybe 20%)
  3. Three Penny Scissor Fob (Indigo Rose - all stitched just need to assemble)
  4. Pansy For Lynn beaded scissor fob (Tomorrow's Antiques - 80%)
  5. Summer Garden Gate (Moss Creek Designs - 30%)
  6. Nantucket Violet Basket Band (Chatelaine Designs - probably 30% on just the band)
  7. Pumpkin Harvest (Moss Creek Designs - I'm determined to finish this fall)
  8. Needlepoint Snowman Ornament (ok, this is really optimistic)
  9. Wooly Winter (Shepherd's Bush - 40% at least)
  10. Quaker Turtles (With My Needle)
I am optimistic that by focusing on just these projects I might actually finish some of them.

One of the reasons that I squirreled away this many stitching projects is that this coming weekend a bunch of my stitching friends and I are getting together for our annual "Stitch Weekend" and ornament exchange. Three days of stitching! There are no official rules that knitting is not allowed, but I plan to focus on stitching. Actually, there really aren't any official rules except to have fun. I'm looking forward to it very much.

For those of you keeping score at home, I have not completed by surprise ornament. I really do like the pressure of the deadline because it's really behind now. So I'm off to work on that now.

Squirreling Projects Away

I have decided to put my condo on the market sometime in the near future. I figure that I'm about a month out from being able to do that...but I've started packing up my "extra" stuff to make it look like a normal person with a normal amount of stuff lives here and that the common Dick or Jane can live here normally as well. Yes, this is going to take some serious effort.

I've started with the craft stuff lovelies because that is the area that I have gone overboard and my mother is coming on Saturday - and let's face it...none of us wants our mothers to see exactly how much stash we have. She has a hint of knowledge, but it's nowhere close to reality and I want to keep it that way. There are 3 space bags full of yarn in my living room as I type this.
The question is how many projects/yarn should I leave out to make sure that I have ample to work on for the next 6 months but, again, that it looks like a normal person lives here? In reality, 2 or 3 is probably enough. I'm not the fastest knitter in the world and I'm also going to have a few stitching projects out as well. But...I keep thinking "maybe I should keep this one more out" except I think this over, and over, and this is where I'm probably in trouble. So I need some clear heads to tell me what's reasonable. Clear heads - are you out there?!

I guess that I need to put down what I have in black and white. OK, here goes.
  1. Jill-Walkers socks (in progress)
  2. Shrug (in progress, 5%)
  3. Medallion Capelet (in progress, probably 90% complete)
  4. Collinette Shawl (lace project not started)
  5. Monkey Socks (not started)
  6. Melia's poncho (in progress)
  7. Clapotis (not started)
  8. Malabrigo Lace (project TBD)
  9. 2 Hello Kitty washcloths (not started)
  10. Jitterbug (project TBD)
  11. Baby blanket (not started but must be completed by Dec)
  12. Herringbone Block Shawl
Wow...I actually didn't realize that I had that many I was keeping. It doesn't seem like much when you're choosing. Is it too much? If so, what should I hibernate?

One Down, One To Go

Happy Dance! I finished my 1st ornament! These rules are grueling, but they are definitely working.

This is Christmas Holly from the 2007 JCS Christmas Ornament Issue.

For those of you reading who aren't involved, I am part of a group of stitchers who are assigned ornaments from the magazine to stitch and "record" the amount of materials used. Then make a certain number of kits to exchange for other ornament kits. It's a lot of fun, but I'm such a procrastinator that I seem to have to kill myself at the end to get everything done.

So I have one more ornament to stitch - it's a surprise so the other stitchers don't know which one they are getting. After stitching it, I have to make the kits for both. And I have exactly 2 weeks left - the ornament exchange will take place during our annual stitch weekend starting July 25. I think that I can do it with a minimal amount of stress.

Lessons for next year - I am not picking ANY 32 count over one ornaments to stitch or receive!

I Am Elizabeth Bennet

You are Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice! You are intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. You have a good head on your shoulders, and oftentimes find yourself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of ridiculousness. You take great pleasure in many things. You are proficient in nearly all of them, though you will never own it. Lest you seem too perfect, you have a tendency toward prejudgement that serves you very ill indeed.

Now where is my Mr Darcy?!

Good Food, Good Friends

I hope that everyone had a wonderful 4th of July and celebrated it with enthusiasm and respect. I feel very fortunate to live in this country and I know that the freedom that I enjoy every day comes at a price. Thank you to all men and women serving our country, past and present.

I celebrated by attending a gathering at DF Heather's with DF Andy and several others. The food was good, the company was good and the weather was fantastic. Heather's deck offered a breezy view of the fireworks from several sights - the closest being at Centennial Olympic Park. The evening could not have been better.

There was even progress on my ornament. I have 20 days to complete this ornament and stitch my surprise ornament. I think that I can make it but I've had to put some strict rules in place.
  1. If I'm at home, I must stitch on ornaments
  2. No knitting at home - this includes fondling yarn, daydreaming about patterns, looking through knitting books, etc
  3. I must stitch on an ornament every day - even if it's only 1 or 2 stitches
I'll be able to show a completed ornament soon! The rules are helping.