Tuesday, January 21, 2014

SFS January Update

I know it's not the end of the month yet but I'm doing my SFS update early since I've just received a model stitch and everything will be going on the back burner for the next couple of weeks while I get it stitched up. 

My main (only) focus has been on getting the "dirty word"  finished.  I really wanted a January finish on this one, but with the new model taking my focus, it's just not going to happen.  Here is my before progess: 

 And here is my after....hopefully the model will stitch up fast and I can get back to this quickly.
 I did good and didn't spend anything this month. Yay, me!  I don't really foresee any new spending anytime in the near future so I think I'm good to go with stitching from my stash.

Last week was a good mail week.  I found this adorable ornament in my mailbox from Katie.  This will go on my tree next year. :)
 And...I found this little goodie in the mailbox too...
This was from Tina.  She had posted a picture of her finish on facebook and I mentioned that I would love to have the chart if she would be willing to PIF it to me.  Well, not only did she send me the chart, she sent me the leftover WDW threads too!  I happen to have a piece of 32 count lambswool in my stash that is just the right size so it's pretty much kitted and ready to stitch. :)   This will be the next "new start" when the dirty word is done...and I won't even have to purchase any supplies so I'm counting it as "stitching from stash".

Hopefully I can breeze through the model and have a finish picture of the "dirty word" with the next update. Happy stitching!

Monday, January 13, 2014

How This Stash Addict is Staying on the Wagon

Before I show you all how I'm planning to stay on this challenge wagon for the year, I've got to show you the fabulous exchange I received from  the X-stitch X-changes facebook group.

  My partner was Amanda and she sent me  a pack of Bohin needles, which I have never tried.  I've been wanting to try them out for a while now and have just never gotten around to ordering them.   Next is a pair of Sew Mate scissors, another item I've never tried or even heard of.  Let me just say...they are sharp and pointy.  I tried them out on a few floss scraps and they are fabulous!  They are smaller than any of my other embroidery scissors but the sharp point will be perfect for hardanger and those times when I need to get super close to cut.  Love them!   Next was a little tin with a "lotion bar" inside.   I've seen these on pinterest but have not tried one and it's another item that I've been wanting to try out.   Loved this little exchange and so pleased to try out new things! :)

Okay, now for the hard parts....the staying away from new stash purchases.   This is a hard one for me but I've got some support going on here from my mom.  She's pretty good at enabling me most of the time but this time she shocked me with these cute little photo storage boxes.  Yeah yeah, I know they are suppose to be for pictures but I found a new use for them....

They have officially been renamed: Challenge boxes!  The first one holds my current projects that I'm working on with all the floss, chart, scissors, etc.  Yes, the dirty word is currently hanging out in that box..

The other box has most of  my WIPS/UFO's in it that I have started and never finished.  Some have only a few stitches in them and some are already half done.  Everything is there to complete them, they just need finished stitching up.  THIS is the box I'll be slowly trying to make it through for the SFS2014 & YOTA challenges. Most of these were started for the 2012 Crazy January Challenge and never saw the light of day again.

And if by some miracle I actually make it through that box this year, I have my "all kitted up and ready to go" tote bag.  A rough estimate of about 30 projects are in this bag.  All of them have all the floss, beads, buttons, fabric, charts and whatever else it calls for.  They just need to be stitched up.  I believe there are a couple of UFO's in the bag also.

Why am I showing you all of this?   Well,  I need some accountability.  Someone has to yell at me and tell me not to be buying any more.  I think I'm becoming a stash hoarder. (is that a good thing or bad thing?)  I need an intervention and I'm counting on all of you to intervent me..is that even a word?

And since I've now embarrassed myself with my hoarding problem I'll go hide in a corner and pick up a needle so I can look busy.  Hope you all have smoking needles!  Happy stitching!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

YOTA & First Finishes of the Year!

It's the first Saturday of the month which means its time for my first YOTA update.  I'm happy to say I just finished the "Way to Happiness" SAL as my first WIP/UFO of the year for the YOTA challenge.  This was a freebie SAL from: http://lesmarottesdenath.free.fr/ and I've loved stitching it.  I love the verse on it and I can see it framed and hanging on my walls soon.  Between YOTA & the SFS challenges I think this will be a productive year for me, at least I'm hoping. :)

My actual first finish of the year is this little box and I finished it yesterday.  It's by Just Nan and it's called "Garden Prince".  I stitched this up for an upcoming Valentine's exchange for one of the facebook groups I belong to but I'm seriously thinking about stitching one for myself.  I love the way it turned out and I hope my partner likes it.  I plan to fill it with some stitching goodies before I send it to my partner. :)

Here's a close up of the little frog bead.  Isn't he just the cutest little guy?

Now that these two are finished I will be returning to the "dirty word" for a bit,  I'm still hoping to have it finished by January 31st.   That is my oldest UFO/WIP and when it's finished I will finally feel like I've accomplished the impossible.

The best part of joining these challenges this year is the stash busting I hope to do.  In 2012 I joined a Crazy January challenge and I still have a few of those projects started that I never went back to.   At that time I kitted up around 30 projects and have had them sitting here all this time just waiting to be picked up and stitched.  There's a few that have maybe 10 or 15 stitches in them and a whole tote bag full of things I never even started but the floss & fabric are all there.  

I still would like to get the last 4 LHN Sheep Virtue Charts but I'm going to hold off for a while and see how long I can go without buying anything.  I have a feeling I may get them this year for my birthday from either hubby or mom.   Both of them were really surprised that I joined these challenges and are encouraging me to stick with them, and both asked me to write them down and show them what they were so I will sit here and hope that one of them remembers when the time comes. A girl can wish, right?

Well, that's it for my update.  Wish me luck on the "dirty word", hope to have lots of progress to show next week.
Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Challenges and SAL's

After much thought and deliberation I've joined two challenges for the year.  The first one is the YOTA challenge.  You can learn about the YOTA challenge here: http://pulltheotherthread.blogspot.com/p/yota-year-of-acronyms.html

I'm thinking posting once a month (the first Saturday) a before and after shot of a WIP/UFO isn't too hard, I hope.  Maybe this will help me whittle down that UFO bag.  Hey, a girl can dream, right?

The other challenge is one heck of a DOOZY for me.  It's a stitch from your stash challenge...and you only get a limited budget for stash each month.  Holy Cow Batman!   This one will be a hard one for me.  You can find the details here: http://epicstitching.blogspot.com/2013/12/stitch-from-stash-2014-join-now.html

It's the beginning of the year and I'm already struggling with this one bad.  See, I had this plan to purchase the last 4 LHN Sheep Virtue charts to complete the series.  I was going to just place the big order for them and then I realized....I can't get them all at the same time.  I'll only be able to get 2 of them or I'll go over my budget allowance for the month.  Guess I'm going to have to get 2 in January and 2 in February.   What's going to be even harder for me with this one is I'm really going to give it a shot with NOT buying any stash (except floss) after I get those sheep charts.   Can you imagine the horror?  An entire YEAR with no stash additions?!  Can it be done?   I'm going to give it a try and see how far I get.  You all can get up off the floor now,  I know you've fallen over laughing....

Happy Stitching!

New Year, New Blog, Fresh Start!

Welcome to my new little corner of the web!   It's a brand new year to make a fresh start and what better way to do that than to make a new blog?   Some of you may know me from my old blog and have followed along with me through the struggles of the last few years but I'm declaring 2014 as a new start.  It's time to put the struggles to rest and start fresh with a new outlook and new perspective. 

I don't know what this year will bring but I'm hoping for a new path in this journey filled with love, laughter and good friends to share it with.   

So lets start this party off right with some pics of what I hope to accomplish this month: 

This first pic is my progress of a piece by Just Nan called  "Garden Prince".  It is a box topper and will have a little frog charm on top.   I'm using just regular old DMC floss for this and stitching it on 28 count ivory linen.   This is actually going to be an exchange piece for a Valentine's exchange I'm participating in on one of my facebook groups.  I'm hoping my partner loves it as much as I do. 

This next piece is a SAL I've been working on the last couple of months.   It's a freebie and you can find it here: http://www.jardinprive.com/index.php?page=gratuit
The final part came out today so I'm hoping to maybe get a finish with it this week.  I plan to frame this one and hang it up on one of my walls.  I think it's a fantastic reminder of what to aim for in the new year!

This next piece has been the bane of my existence for the last 5 or 6 years.   This was a free SAL from Ink Circles way back in 2008 or 2009.  I went into it with all good intentions and even had a friend RAK me with the special Carrie's Creations floss it called for.   I don't know why, but I have struggled to get this done for years.  It seems like something always happens with this project and it just made me miserable whenever I would work on it.  I finally brought it out of hiding re-named it "the Dirty Word" and started stitching on it again.  I tried to finish it for 2013 but it just didn't happen.   THIS is my goal for the first month of 2014!  I shall conquer this!   (did I really just put that in writing?)   Maybe putting it out here in cyber land will make me accountable and motivate me to get 'er done?   I guess if it's not done by January 31st you can all beat me with wet floss....*grins*

There are so many things I'd like to start over with this year and so many new goals I've set for myself.  One of the big goals is to finally finish up the charity quilts I started 3 years ago.  Some are completely finished, some are still in the works.  The original plan was to have them done within a year, but life really through some curve balls at me and they just never got done.   After moving to a new state, moving house multiple times, breaking my back and just general life stuff,  I'm going to try again.  I know many of you made blocks and sent them and they are much appreciated.  I hope I can do justice to all those blocks and make some wonderful quilts for those kids.   I will be going back to Oregon in the Spring and am hoping to have them done and be able to drop them off in person.  If I can, I will get pics to show everyone.

That about wraps up my beginning thoughts to this new year.  What are your goals?  Whatever they are, do them with passion!  Let your creative flag fly!   Happy New Year to all of you! May you all be blessed with happiness and good fortune and keep your needles smoking!