Sunday, October 15, 2017

Life in the Way of Stitching

A month ago I thought that I had lost my stitchy bug, but what I think I really lost was the time to really sit and set my mind to stitching on my BAP Lobo. I need a minimum of 1 uninterrupted hour to work on Lobo. Till I move everything to my stitching seat, get myself comfortable, and then move everything back to a safe location (cats -- must keep threads and needles out of the reach of the cats) when I'm done, anything less than an hour just seems like more of a job, then a fun experience.

And life has just totally gotten in the way of stitching! Now a lot of the things that got in the way of stitching were really good things. We had one of our friends come for the weekend and we went out to an Oyster Festival and fundraiser. It was quite fun, a great time with a great friend, and I learned a lot about a group who is using oyster shells to grow oysters and use them to filter local waterways. Who knew?

We also spent a weekend with my husband's family to celebrate his brother-in-law's 70th birthday. It was a wonderful party, and we got to see his nephew's new house which is spectacular, but it was a lot of driving for one night.

But some was not so wonderful. My cousin's husband needed a double knee replacement and ended up in a rehab for two weeks. Now, I think he is recovering very well, but the doctor had originally told him he would be home in two days. I thought that was ridiculous but he and my cousin believed him completely and really did not prepare for the more likely scenario. So, of course, we needed to try and help out driving my cousin back and forth to the rehab, helping her with some stuff around the house. We were happy to help, but it took a lot of time.

And then the cat got sick... I am happy to report that she is fine... Seems she got a cold, or a really bad  allergy. So we had to put some ointment in her eye and give her an antibiotic for a week. She was actually really good about swallowing the pill once we got it in her mouth, but towards the end, she would not come near us. I just wish there was a way to explain that what we were doing was to help her and not hurt her.

So has any stitching gotten done? Yes, a little. I worked on my Tulip Bouquet whenever I had a little time, and I've finished the first quarter of it minus the backstitch.

Now starting a new small that I will hopefully have time to finish before the end of the month.

Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Slight Loss of Stitchy Bug

I feel like I have had a slight loss of my stitchy bug. I finally finished the small I was working on since the first of the month!

I think it's really cute, but for some reason I just couldn't get really into the stitching. And little by little I stopped wanting to stitch on Lobo. So I took a few days off from Lobo. I don't like working on him when I'm not in a really positive motivated mood. I find if I'm not really happy to be stitching him I make more mistakes.

But, now I feel more excited about working on him and once I wash off my face mask, I am ready to put an hour or two into him.

Maybe it's because we had a great weekend. We had my friend Julia come out and we went to the Westbury Gardens, then to a brewery, a street fair, and all you can eat sushi. How could all of that not put me in a good mood?

I'm also really looking forward to the week. Michael and I took the day off on Wednesday, just to spend the day together and have some quiet time together. So we have to go to work for two days, then one day off, then just two more days, and it's the weekend again!

Well, thank you for visiting. Hopefully I will have more to show next week.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Return from the Holiday Weekend

Back to work after the three day Labor Day Weekend was really hard this week. I guess because we enjoyed the weekend so much, we left a lot of small chores undone. I don't regret our decisions, because we really enjoyed the weekend, but trying to get stuff done after work really interfered with my evening stitching. But I did get a few good hours in on Lobo, and I am still pretty confident that I will complete the second row of pages before the end of the year.

The end of the Labor Day Weekend also meant that everyone was back to work and back to school, so the trains were CROWDED!!! On one hand I am glad the trains are crowded. It means people have jobs that they are traveling to -- a good thing, and they are not driving and using mass transit instead -- again, a good thing. But the crowding just makes the start of the day even harder.

So, let's look at the positives for the week... I think I made some nice progress on my small. Pretty sure I should be able to complete this before next weekend.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day Weekend

Hopefully, I am back on track now that the summer is coming to a close. We really did have a lovely summer and so far a wonderful Labor Day Weekend. Last weekend was fun as well just not very productive with respect to my stitching.

Saturday we went to my coworker's wedding celebration. It was a Sri Lankan, Muslim wedding, so it was a very different experience. One thing was the same, we were all very happy for the bride and groom.

Then the next day we had my cousin Gabriella's 13th Birthday Party. She is my first cousin twice removed. I just don't know where the 13 years have gone. I still remember getting word when her mom went into labor, and then word that she was born. We still refer to her as "the baby" but as you can see, she's no baby anymore.

We had a great time with her and the whole family. Love this picture of her mother, Jennifer (my first cousin once removed) and her best friend. We get along so well together.

Then it was back to work. So happy when the weekend hit. Saturday we decided we would have fun, Sunday we would do some chores around the house, and Monday we would just relax. So Friday we started with a hike in the pine barrens of Long Island. The trails looked really well blazed, but there was no one else around, so I posted this picture on Facebook just in case something went wrong. Wanted people to know where we were.

From there we went to a brewery we haven't visited before and enjoyed a flight and the beginning of "The Shining".

This was one of the most laid back of the breweries we've visited recently. Felt like we could have spent the whole day there, and just enjoyed watching a movie, having a drink, and meeting new people.

From there we had lunch in a new burger place and finally went home, watched a movie, and I finally finished my August Small. I wasn't going to add this to the Smalls SAL this month since I was so late, but the wonderful Heather at Stitching Lotus was a little late with the check-in post, so I decided to post my link after all. If you want to learn more about the 2017 Smalls SAL click here.

Immediately started my September Small to ensure I wasn't in a rush at the end of the month as I was this month. Decided to start another set of mouse-themed greeting card pieces. So far it's progressing pretty well. Hope to get a good deal of this done today as we head out to the backyard and enjoy a fire.

Thank you for visiting! Have a great week!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

So Much Happening, So Little Time to Blog

Wow, I'm really not someone who often has a lot of plans, parties, and events going on, but the last month (and the one coming up) seems like a never ending activity! I don't want to seem like I am complaining... That couldn't be further from the truth. I like being active and having something to do. But it is a little hard going from practically no plans for the weekend, to having plans Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I'm exhausted!!!

So what have we been doing? Well, since the last time I posted, we spent the evenings preparing for our trip to Disney World. We left early Saturday and returned late the next Saturday. And while we were there... we were on the go non-stop. Honestly, that's the way I like to vacation. I don't like to waste vacation sleeping, but by Wednesday, all I wanted to do was get some sleep! It was a great vacation though. We went with my cousin. This is one of my favorite picures of the group...

We did all four parks, Magic Kingdom twice, and all the rides. And I mean ALL the rides!

And we met a lot of the princesses. Even my husband got to meet his favorite princess, Merida.

But the highlight of the trip for me, was when I met Chewbacca. I literally cried I was so happy!

Once we got back home it was back to work. Then yesterday we went to my coworkers wedding. It was a mix of a Muslim and Sri Lankan wedding, which was very different than anything we were used to in the US. It was really nice because many of the people from our department went and were part of the ceremony, so it was really nice spending time together totally out of the work environment. I hope I get some of the pictures, but we all clean up rather well :-)

And today, we are off to my cousin's birthday party. Same cousin we went to Disney with. She is officially a teenager! Don't ask me how that happened because I remember holding her in my arms like it was yesterday.

So with all of that going on, there has been very little stitching taking place. I'm hoping to get my monthly small done before the end of the month. I'm late for the SAL, but my personal goal was to get one small piece done each month this year. So if I meet my personal goal I will be happy enough.

With that, I will sign out for today, and start getting ready for the birthday party... and then back to work!

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Steady Progress

This last week I did not make a lot of progress on anything, but a little progress on everything. And that's the name of the game, isn't it?

I usually only post pictures of Lobo once a month for the monthly WIPocalypse SAL check in, but I had to post again this week, because I have a page finish! Now just one more page and one column till the completion of the row! Really pleased that so far this year I have been making steady progress. I was looking through my stitching diary and I've been able to get about 800 stitches in each week. Hope I can continue that for the rest of the year, and beyond.

I was motivated to start up on Marriage Recipe again. I found that since the fabric was 36 count, I was having a hard time working on it on the train and basically in any area where there was not really great light. I was getting frustrated, so I put it on the side for a few weeks. But last week I had some time to work on it in the backyard which turned out to be the perfect place. Definitely happy with how the text is coming out.

And finally, Tulip Bouquet is progressing as well. Since the LIRR Summer of Hell has not been as bad as predicted, I have started taking the train home in the evening, so I have been able to get a bit more work in on this project over the last few days.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Where Did the Time Go?

Wow, where did July go? It seems like I was just posting all my end of month updates for June at the beginning of the month, and now we're at the end of July! How did that happen?

Well, we have been pretty busy, so I guess that has something to do with it. We decided to 'adopt' my cousin for a Saturday. We started by taking her for breakfast at our favorite diner.

Then we went to the aquarium, and really had a wonderful time.

I don't understand why aquariums all seem to have bird and butterfly areas now, but they are fun. The butterflies are beautiful and the birds are just really fun.

From there I needed an adult beverage, so we went to a local brewery and I enjoyed a flight.

Then we took her to dinner, and even got to see the big Duck, and finally gave her back to her parents.

I've also had a little reduction in stitching time due to the LIRR "Summer of Hell" train changes. Required maintenance was scheduled with lots of train changes, so I decided to take the bus instead. No room for stitching on the bus :-( but at least I wasn't stressed about not getting in to work on time. As it turns out, there have been very few problems with the trains, so I am going back to the train for the month of August. Let's keep our fingers crossed for me please.

In spite of the time reduction, I did complete a small for the Smalls SAL hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus. You can get more information about this fun SAL here. Isn't this little guy too cute? I think he is going to make a great Christmas card for someone.

And I'm happy to say I have had time to work on my Lobo. I've got over 3,500 stitches done since last month. For me, that is a lot, and I am happy. As you can see though, at a rate of 3,000-4,000 stitches a month, this is the project that perfectly qualifies as a WIPocalypse project. The WIPocalypse SAL is a wonderful SAL hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings. You can get more information about this SAL here.

The question of the month for the WIPocalypse SAL is what is your oldest and newest WIP. Well, I think Lobo is my oldest since I started it almost 3 years ago. My newest would be Tulip Bouquet, which I just started two weeks ago. After I finished my small, I wasn't sure what to work on. I need to get back to my Marriage Recipe, but I just wasn't feeling it. So instead I started Tulip Bouquet. Hope to make this into a pillow for my next door neighbors.

Well, that's about all there is that's fit to print. Now I have to start work on dinner. Trying a new recipe --- Bibimbap Casserole.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

June Small - Just In Time

I wasn't sure if I was going to get this one done before the end of the month, but I pulled it through in the last minutes. Yes... I literally finished it at 11:55pm! I was totally on schedule until the cat got sick, and then it all fell apart. But I got it done... and I have actually been successful for a full half of the year and made one small, to use for a card next year, each month.

As happy as I am about staying on track, this is the sixth of six motifs, designed by Lucie Heaton, for The World of Cross Stitching. And now that I made them all, I'm sad that there are no more to make.

Luckily, though, she actually designs a Furry Tale piece for each month's issue, so I will be able to make more in the future. I'm thinking of making a set of hand towels.

Progress on Lobo also slowed up last week. Basically, everything took a back seat to the sick kitty we had. Don't know what he got into but he started vomiting and having diarrhea and would not come out from behind the couch. I took away his food for 24 hours, then started giving him just a little chicken at a time, and now he is all better. It's just so hard when the little furbabies are sick. I'm never sure if I need to rush them to the vet, or let it work its way through on its own.

Once the cat got better we decided to spend an evening at an Italian Festival at a local church. I don't remember church festivals serving wine and beer when I was a kid, but man it makes it a lot more fun for the adults! We had such a good time. I don't remember laughing so hard in a long, long time.

Well, now we have to start preparing for the 4th of July. Hoping to have a quiet day grilling in the back and just enjoying a day off.

Thank you for visiting! Have a great holiday for those of you in the US!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

June WIPocalypse and TUSAL

It is time for the June WIPocalypse post. This SAL is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings. If you want to learn more about this SAL you can click here.

Here is where I started the month...

And here is where I am now, one month and 3850 stitches later.

I am so happy with my progress on this piece this month. Looking back at my log, I didn't really have that much more time to work on this, but I think I finally graduated from being a 'beginner' to a 'slightly experienced' stitcher. I was just more productive with the time available.

The discussion topic for this month is to show off our stitching space. Well, I stitch in a few different places, but I did set up a space in our bedroom to use as a reading nook and stitching corner.

In the summer I have my fan to cool off, in the winter I have my little space heater if the house is a little too cool, and of course I have a great lamp. As you can see the table to the right and the radiator cover to the left get used for supply staging. What you cannot see is the TV. I usually stitch while 'watching' TV. I usually have the news on, so really I'm just listening, or my guilty pleasure -- WWE Wrestling. (I stop stitching to watch the really good looking wrestlers)

Unfortunately, I did have a bit of a decrease in the amount of stitching time available for my travel piece. Although the atmosphere at work has really improved over the last few weeks, we have entered the summer crush of summer help, summer students, summer volunteers, summer OMG! So I have been jumping on my computer as soon as I enter the building to try to get through all my e-mails before the end of the day. Still happy that I have made progress, and I will have this done before the end of the month. 

It's also time for the TUSAL, a totally fun SAL hosted at It's Daffycat. You can learn more about this SAL here. My little containers are getting full! I am hoping they will be overflowing by next month, because that will mean lots of stitching has gotten done.

In non-stitching life, my DH and I took off on Wednesday and just spent a wonderful day on the North Fork of Long Island. We started at Lavender on the Bay, a wonderful lavender farm. Most of the lavender had not even bloomed, and yet the fragrance in the air was amazing...

We even met some really friendly chickens. We didn't get a picture petting them, but they were totally willing to let us pet them!

Just a second or two down the road, we stopped in the Kontokosta Winery. The wine was lovely, but the view incredible!

From there we went to LIV - Long Island Vodka Distillery, and did a little tasting. Very yummy vodkas. I wished I enjoyed whiskey as they also had a whiskey tasting menu.

We were going home from there, but we could see the driveway to the Baiting Hollow Wine Vineyards from the distillery... So we had one last glass of wine that was really delicious. As we sat on the terrace enjoying our drinks, we realized how much fun we had during the day. And we agreed that we needed to spend this sort of day together more often. We agreed we would do the same thing 4 times a year -- just take a day off and do something. Nothing fancy, or exhausting, just something together. We went into work on Thursday and both requested September 20th off for our next adventure.

Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Positive Week

I really had a very positive week this week. First, I got a lot of stitching in on my BAP, Lobo. For the last two weeks I was able to get almost 1000 stitches in each week. My goal is 50 stitches per day (350/week), and the last two weeks I was able to get 950 stitches in each week! Very happy!

I've also gotten a good amount of work in on what I call my travel piece, Marriage Recipe. In fact, I have completed all the cross stitch and almost all the backstitch on the top half of the project. I probably need one more day of backstitching and then it's just the french knots, which I have decided to hold off on until the very end. Before I do them, I am going to spend a day practicing them. I think if I get good at them... and they come out the same from one to the next... I will hate them less. Who knows, maybe I will even like them!

Other positivity happened at work. I was able to get a good deal of work done, and my boss, who is usually very difficult to deal with, actually gave me a lot of credit and a lot of recognition for my abilities. We had a very frank conversation last week about perceptions of favoritism in our section. I think I was able to help her see how some of us were perceiving her relationship with one of our coworkers. I told her that while she may not be favoring her, since they are so close, no one feels comfortable telling her when this coworker is not pulling her weight, or is not following strict instructions the way the rest of us are expected to. So is she aware that this person is not working on the same level as the rest of us? Maybe not. Perhaps this person knows no one is going to say anything, so she isn't even trying as hard? And maybe none of that is happening, but because of their relationship, that is the perception and it leads to negativity.

It was not a comfortable position, but I took a leap of faith, and decided that if I spoke calmly, and rationally with factual references, and not with emotion, she would recognize what I was trying to say. And she did. She asked if there was something specific that has happened that lead me to believe she has treated this person differently. So I told her a very specific item. She was not happy, but I could tell it was not with me. She said, you need to trust me and tell me immediately when things like this happen.

Then the other people I work with told me that she gave them similar instructions. So, I honestly feel that whatever was going on in the past, may change going forward. And then, when she gave me recognition and compliments at our staff meeting, I really felt positive about the future. Hey, work is never going to be easy... and that is okay... as long as it is closer to being fair. So we will see how things turn out going forward.

Thanks for visiting!!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Some Finishes?

Unlike last week, this was a successful stitching week. I was able to achieve a page finish on Lobo and I was able to finish the cross stitching part of the top half of Marriage Recipe. I know neither is really a finish, but for me... I'm happy!

I've got a lot of back stitching to do on Marriage Recipe... and french knots... I hate french knots! But I have faith that I can get it all done by the end of this week.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Little Lost Mojo

I really don't know what happened this week. On Sunday, I was all set for the week. I had checked all the dates for the SALs I've joined this week and was actually planning on posting for each on the right day. I know... unheard of for me! And then... nothing! I think it was my boss' return from vacation. It seemed like as soon as she got back, we were all miserable! I lost my mojo, and didn't even have the energy to post the progress I had made during the rest of the month.

Oh well. Here I am now, and I might as well post what I have done and then just try to reinvigorate myself and do better next month. So here goes...

First up is the TUSAL hosted by Daffycat. The post was due on the New Moon which was the 25th. If you want to learn more about this fun and easy SAL you can visit here.

Next was the Smalls SAL hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus. You can learn more about this SAL here. This post is due on the last Friday of the month, which was the 26th this month. Yes, you saw this piece earlier in the month when I finished it.

Finally, actually due today is the WIPocalypse SAL hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings. You can learn more about this SAL here. This is the SAL I am most disappointed about this month. I was really getting a lot done on this, and I was sure I was going to hit 3000 stitches in for the month. My goal at the start of the year was to get a minimum of 50 stitches into this piece every day, but I was stitching at a rate of 100+ per day... up until this last week... when I got 200 stitches in :-(. Still hit a new record for stitches in a month... Ok, let's just get over it and try again in June.

What about my newest start? Well, that progressed a little slower than I would have liked, but it did progress and I am still really loving it.

Well, thank you all for visiting. Please leave a comment, I love hearing from you.