Thursday, December 29, 2005

Ornament almost finished , it's called Christmas Surprise 2005 and is adorable, I won't finish it up as an ornament yet but I'll save it tucked away until I have more ornaments ready to make for next year. I may even have to make this little guy again, he's such a cutie!

I'm really looking forward to tonight, nothing really planned but that's always the best :) I will wash the harry potter scarf so I can block it overnight and tomorrow and then add the tassels tomorrow when it's dry. I will finish up the ornament tonight and work on Green Old Gardens a bit and take some pictures, maybe post them tomorrow on my day off.

I started knitting a hat for myself yesterday at lunch, it's a mix of one of those fun fur type yarns with a regular yarn matching in color, I think it will be a cute hat that I can work on slowly this month while I focus on stitching more. Monday I think I will start a new cross stitch piece as well so I can have a small rotation going and never get bored... I'm thinking maybe "Going To Market" - it's a kit by Dimensions... unless I need to buy fabric for that as I am going to trade out the Aida in the kit for an evenweave or linen.

I'm so excited to be back to stitching, maybe soon I'll start hand quilting again too! Yipee!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

2005 Goals in REVIEW!

1. Finish Winnie the Pooh for Robin [YES]
2. Start/Finish Precious Moments for Grace's quilt [YES]
3. Finish Herbal Sampler [YES]
4. Finish DD Wisdom (virtue series) [nope]
5. Finish Mystic Retreat piece by Jeanette Douglas [YES]
6. Start/Finish 2 pickle ornaments for aunt [YES]
7. Make progress on piece for Ryan [progress made]
8. Start a new project [YES a few!]
9. Finish It's Winter [nope]

1. Quilt and Bind Sampler Quilt [not finished]
2. Make Amish quilt for boyfriend's sister [YES]
3. Finish Herb Quilt [nope]
4. Make Pooh Wall hanging for Robin [YES]
5. Finish Teapot Quilt? [nope]

Funny how goals change throughout the year - the amish quilt took up so much time that I ended up making a different machine quilted amish quilt for my boyfriend's sister! And with the start of knitting I accomplished a lot this year.

Other pieces finished/started this year:
Started and Finished Legends of the Dragons (SAL with Carol)
Stitched 6 Ever So Littles and framed them up for gifts
Stitched 5 ornaments and made those
Stitched "the Spirit Within" and framed it
Stitched some Round Robin pieces and class pieces
Started Blackwork Dragon
Started Green Old Gardens

I hope all those that celebrated it had a very Merry Christmas! I sure loved my little 4 day vacation and I'm looking forward to another in 3 days :)

My boyfriend and I went home for the weekend, driving out friday night to hang out with my parents (I should really say evening as we left around 2 or 3 I think). We had dinner when my sister and her boyfriend arrived and a relaxing evening cleaning out my parent's liquor cabinet - luckily it wasn't very full :)

Saturday was a relax and sleep in day then head down to my boyfriend's parent's house for dinner. Sunday we did presents and then headed out to see my great grandmother and then off to my grandparent's for dinner and presents with my mom's side of the family. My parents really spoiled us this year, I got so many great gifts from everyone!

Well Christmas evening with the boyfriend's over again we started on the newly refilled liquor cabinet (not me but everyone else) and they polished off a few bottles of liquor with shots (that's between 6 people). It was a long night and an even longer morning with everyone recuperating (i felt fine).

We finally headed home around 6:30 after watching Cold Mountain (which I liked) and watched Star Wars III at home before crashing off to bed.

The best part of my vacation was yesterday, I slept late then I got to go through all the christmas presents and find places for them, enjoy them again, I got a lot of books, a couple cross stitch books (including the best of TW which is something I always wanted but would never buy myself because I don't know that i'd stitch any of them), but now I have it :) Then I went through all my cross stitch patterns and updated my database so now I know I have over 300 patterns in binders alone (so that doesn't count my kits or my patterns that don't fit in binders (like TW's). That's a little more than I thought I had but does include freebies that I intend to stitch.

Organization was the name of the game yesterday so after the cross stitch I moved on to christmas stuff, it never got put out this year, no tree or anything, just didn't have the time (or space really), so i went through and reorganized my decorations (old and new) into some new containers I bought for storage and I'm left with just a small pile that needs a box so I figure I can pick one up some place during the sales this week (friday).

Finally it was time to relax so I put dinner in the oven and got out Green Old Gardens, I collected all the floss for it and wound it on to bobbins then started stitching it. I didn't get much done on it but enough to feel like I got a start and can pick it up again no problem. Then I started working on the new Dragon Dreams ornament freebie that was up for a short time, it's a dragon with a stocking and I have the stocking almost stitched. Getting an early start for next year while I'm still in the holiday mood!

Well this is long so I won't bore anyone one any longer... just stitching updates:

Almost finished with Harry Potter Scarf - the knitting is done, now I'm sewing in the tales and then I have to do the "finishing"
Finished that hat for my sister last week and she loved it :) Forgot to take a picture :(
Started the two new cross stitch pieces yesterday - hopefully next week I'll be pulling out some WIPS to work on during lunch breaks when my knitting is on break for a month !

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays!

Well I'm sure I won't be posting this weekend as I will be back in NY, maybe tuesday I will get back online and then I'll be back wednesday and thursday, hopefully with some stitching updates!

No knitting last night really but I'm leaving work at noon today to go home and pack and I hope I can finish up my sister's hat before we leave so I can wrap it with everything else. Then I can work on the Harry Potter scarf in the car and maybe finish that up.

I gave my uncle his Ever So Little's piece last night - he loved it, and my aunt really loved her pickle ornaments. Next year I'd like to make my aunt a sampler I found that i think she'll like, it's pretty simple so I think it will go quick, it's kind of patriotic and also a quilt theme - perfect for her.

Well I'm at work early and no one is here - and by here, I not only mean in my office but in the whole building! I'm headed to the lab to see what I can get done while it's quiet!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Wrapping is all finished!

I am officially ready for the holiday, of course we never did get our tree up and decorated, but that's what happens when you're never home for a whole day, nothing we can do about it now, we won't be home for the holidays anyway as we'll be going back to visit family tomorrow night.

I worked on knitting my sister's hat last night, I am now on the decreasing part so it will be easily finished by tomorrow some time - hopefully before we leave and I can wrap it up. Then the car trip I can spend finishing up the harry potter scarf and get it washed and blocked this weekend. The last step should go quickly, that's adding the tassels after embroidering my cousins name along the botton (never tried duplicate stitch before but i think i'll give it a try for this).

Almost done with all my holiday crafting - so now what do I do? :) Next week I will be home all day tuesday and I think I will start a new cross stitch piece - Green Old Gardens, if I have the right piece of fabric in my stash for it. Then I will break out one of my WIPS to bring to work for lunch breaks and finish up. It's Winter is close to finished so that would be a good choice (good timing too).

Well I am either taking tomorrow off or working a short day (probably just working a half day), so I better get some stuff done so I don't feel guilty doing it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Finally some pics .. and I did even more stuff last night.

First the second set of ornaments I put together last night, they are slightly better than my first 2 which are next. These are 2 pickle ornaments for my aunt and the penguin ornament for myself (only because I matched the one I did for my sister).

And here are the first 2 ornaments I put together, the penguin for my sister and the other is for my om.

Then the 2 pieces I finally framed with my own mats (the Ever So Littles) - one for my uncle:

and one for my sister's boyfriend:

So last night I first made the coasters out of tiles that I'm giving as gifts, I took a picture but forgot to upload it so if I remember I will do that tonight. Then I put together the three ornaments in the first picture. By then it was about 8pm so I started watching some tv while knitting on my sister's hat a bit, I didn't last long, I pretty much put down my knitting by 8:30 and was asleep shortly after.

Our treadmill is having problems... which is really bad because I was doing so well getting up and running in the mornings. We used the incline for the first time the other day and it would go up but wouldn't go down. Unfortunately we haven't been able to get a hold of someone to come fix it, it's under warranty so we wont' have to pay anything but I'm we'll have to be around which we just aren't since we both work during the day. So I'm bumming about that.

I'm going to call today and maybe see if someone can come out friday, then I will either take the day off or if i can get my brother to come over for the day then I'll work. I plan on working a short day friday anyway.

Well times a racing so I better get to the lab and get some stuff done!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

My internet at home is still not working.. I was not able to get my pictures up for today either! Really I should have pictures in tomorrows post, maybe even some more ornaments finished.

This past weekend was nice and relaxing, I spent it with family (little cousins). Then Sunday I finished up my christmas shopping and wrapped presents. Then I did the framing I had to do and started making ornaments.. which is a bit tricky. I started with fabric glue but that really didn't work well, the hot glue gun worked better but adding the trim around the outside looks a little messy with the glue gun. Hopefully my next couple ornaments will come out better, I have 2 finished (the ones for my mom and sister), I have 2 ornaments to make for my aunt to give to her thursday and then I have the matching penguin ornament for myself to make.

Last night I did the prep work on my tiles to make into coasters. I just had to spray a few coats of fixative on them. Then I picked out the stamp sets I'm going to use. I have 2 sets of 4 I want to make as gifts, and then I might make 4 more as a backup gift. It's pretty simple to do, I simply stamp the images on with Staz On ink. Wait for that to dry, color in the images with pastels. Stipple the edge with some brown ink and then spray a matte finish over top and let dry. I figure I can get those all finished tonight and maybe also finish making my ornaments which really don't take long.

For Christmas that will leave only the following:
Finish knitting hat for my sister
Finish the harry potter scarf (i have about 2 stripes left to go and then the tassels)

That's it - maybe even doable!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Short post -

Sorry this isn't much and no pictures - I promise tomorrow to post my pics from this weekend. Things are crazy hectic at work today and have been. I did get some crafy stuff done this weekend, including making 2 of my ornaments (only 3 or 4 to go now, some of which aren't stitched yet) :) I also framed my ever so littles pieces that are gifts and took pics so pictures definately coming.

Almost done with the harry potter scarf - 2 or 3 stripes left to go. First I need to finish a hat for my sister for christmas though since the harry potter scarf is for my extended family christmas which is actually new years day so I have another week. I think i'll go get my knitting now and take a lunch break now that i think of it.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A new hat started...

I decided last night to start a new hat for my sister for christmas. I hope to maybe finish or almost finish the harry potter scarf this weekend leaving me plenty of time to finish this hat next week. The only problem is I have to buy size 10 double pointed needles to finish it as I'm knitting it in the round on 10 1/2 circulars that will not decrease at all so just another reason to stop at joann's this weekend.

Tonight is a stitch night, I hope to finish the Silent Night ornament and maybe start the second pickle ornament. If i can get that done by sunday I will have all 4 ornaments done and maybe I can finish them up.

I was going to stop knitting after the harry potter/sister's hat were finished but there's one more hat I want to make for myself this year. I will most likely wait a little while to start it but it's purple, a mixture of plain purple yarn and a matching fun fur yarn. I got the fun fur stuff on sale and I think it will make a cute hat mixed with the other.

Tomorrow night I babysit my cousins - all 3 of the little ones. They are good kids so I'm really glad I get to see them so much, putting them to bed is another story though! We'll see how it goes. I do hope to bring my knitting and get some of that done after they're down but I don't have my hopes up as usually I just fall asleep after that whole ritual!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A night of baking cookies...

Seriously that is all I did last night. On the way home from work I went to 2 grocery stores and the liquor store to get some cognac for the greek cookies that I didn't end up making ;)

Then I spent hours rolling out dough and cutting and baking cookies, sugar and gingerbread cookies. Tonight I hope to make the greek cookies which shouldn't take all night like last night, they can't really because I have to work on the website tonight, I promised.

When to stitch.. well tomorrow night I can't knit on the harry potter scarf because i'll be at my uncle's and it's for my cousin so she can't see me knitting it ;) So maybe i'll bring my stitching. The only problem is I have the silent night ornament to finish and then the next one I was going to stitch was another pickle ornament for my aunt but I can't do that at her house ... so maybe --- I'll start something new???

I really want to start Green Old Gardens, I'm not sure I have the right fabric for it though so if I have a free minute tonight I'm going to go through my fabric and see and gather my supplies to start it. If not I always have blackwork dragon to work on.

Thursday night is stitch night too so I'll work on continue whatever I work on tomorrow. Then this weekend is packed, no stitching probably, maybe some knitting in the car rides if i'm lucky.

So my feet hurt from standing last night on cold hard tile floors, and I have plenty of work to get done... I really just want to take a nap!

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Christmas Shopping Weekend ...

Well Friday worked out really well, I got a ton of work done at home, enough so that I felt completely relaxed all weekend. Friday night I worked steadily on the Harry Potter Scarf while watching lots of ER season 1. Saturday we drove down to CT to see my sister and her boyfriend so I knitted during the car ride, then just relaxed the rest of the evening. We got some shopping done, went out to dinner. I read some more of my Lisp book (teaching myself Lisp).

Sunday we spent the day christmas shopping, we got most of the hard people on our lists finished. Not too much more to shop for now so I am stress free :) We got home around 5:30 or so and I made some more christmas cards, I made a total of 15 (5 of each design I could come up with), and that is the exact amount I needed so far. If I come up with any more designs I can send some to my local friends but I don't want to put pressure on them to send back cards, that's not the point, I just like making cards. So I'm mailing out those cards today, all but 3 or so that need addresses and input from my boyfriend (for his family). Another stress off my back :)

No stitching this weekend, although I think that will get picked up soon as my wrists have been aching from all the knitting. Plus I have to finish the ornaments soon probably next sunday I will try to do the actual finishing of the ornaments if I have fabric I like (another trip to Joann's is needed I think) :)
Alright - today should be a good work day - got up and ran (4 days last week and 1 day this week so far - not bad!)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Snow day .. work from home...

Well unlike Carol I don't get the day off completely but I am working from home so I don't have to drive through this crazy storm. It's really not the snow that bothers me, as I have all wheel drive and I drive carefully, but the other drivers scare me so I avoid storm driving, especially early in the season like this when people aren't used to it yet.

So I'm home, working - I figure I will work till 3 straight with only short breaks then I will be done for the day, and I can continue watching ER season 1 while stitching/knitting or whatever.

I worked on the harry potter scarf a little last night since I didn't get a chance at lunch time yesterday. Almost done with stripe 8. This weekend I'll be home sporadically but should have some car driving time to knit if we go down to CT to visit family a bit. I also have to finish up my christmas cards this weekend so i can mail them out monday. I have 10 done so i have about 15 more to go and I should be set (that's 3 more designs I have to come up with).

Then at some point I want to stop by home depot and pick up some tiles to make coasters out of, They come out really cool and i think they will be good christmas gifts for a few people. I know I would love a nice set of good coasters myself and real artistically made coasters can run 30 dollars generally. Plus another craft .. win win :)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A night of cooking, well I worked till 6, drove home, stopped by the grocery store, that got me home around 7. I started right out cleaning chicken and getting cooking done. Finally by 9:15 I was done with 2 large chicken parm dishes in the oven and a small eggplant parm already cooling off. Nothing else got done last night, I slept!

I did however get up and run for day 4! on the treadmill! Tomorrow might be a stay home from work/recover/work from home day as this cold seems to be getting worse again, I think I need some extra sleep and with the predicted snow tomorrow might be a good day to work from home anyway.

Possibly stitch tonight, so I could finish up the Silent Night ornament and start either the second pickle ornament or the other ornament which is still undecided! Plus I could always do some knitting as I'm going to do at lunch today. I'm now on stripe 8 of 19!

So there is a feast prepared for lunch today at work and plenty of work to be done, hopefully it's a good day!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A nice lazy night, I did get a tiny bit of knitting done but other than that I went to bed early (by 9) and got some much needed rest.

Day 3 getting up and running! And hopefully the count will just continue!

Tonight - I must cook - lots of chicken and eggplant parm for work tomorrow (i'm bringing in lunch for part of the office). I'll probably get some knitting or stitching in, and maybe some reading as I started reading my lisp book in preperation of my grad class next january. I must learn Lisp before the class starts so i'm on my way now...

and now it's lunch time..

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Pictures finally:

Here are the two finished penguins:

And here's the ornament I started last night, Silent Night:

It has beads for the notes, all that's left is to stitch the words Silent Night, plus I have to add the year to all the ornaments since that's the point, maybe the names of each person as well.

So only a few more ornaments to go, hopefully today at lunch I can actually get a knitting break and work on the Harry Potter scarf.

Last night was a nice night of baking, watching a movie (Fever Pitch) and then stitching (above ornament). Then after dinner I hemmed the other pair of pants for my boyfriend for work.

Another successful morning of getting up early to run on the treadmill and get in to work early. Tonight I will spend most of my evening putting together a powerpoint presentation about the history of knitting for my fellow co-workers lunch presentation tomorrow. Every wednesday we do a brown bag lunch session and someone presents something about the program they are working or something. I offered to spice it up with a hobby presentation so I think i'm on the hook for tomorrow now but it should be fun. I'll bring in all my needles and yarn and anyone who wants to can try it out as well.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Sometimes I feel like I'm sick all the time.. this weekend it was a cold, i could tell it was coming on, that sore throat for a few days then sunday it combined with congestion which is continuing today. Luckily it hasn't been bad enough that I've had to change any plans or anything. Just an annoyance.

This weekend was pretty good otherwise, I had a stamp camp saturday and now I have a new christmas gift idea, making coasters out of tiles. Then I got my treadmill all set up before heading up to my uncle's for the night.

Sunday I watched my cousins for a bit then came home and went right out to my stitch group which was a lot of eating and stitching :) I finished the second penguin ornament so now I just have to start making ornaments and stitch 2 more ornaments, maybe 3. I meant to have pictures today but I wasn't feeling good last night and I went to bed early. Tonight I will be up baking so hopefully I'll have no choice but to take pictures :)

This morning I got up at 5:30 and ran on my treadmill! Of course I'm still sick so after about 10 minutes I had to cut it down to just walking for the rest of the half hour but I think it's a doable goal to get up 4 days a week at 5:30 to run and any evening I have free time to maybe walk too.

Work is extremely tiring since I have an on and off headache and I got up so early, I think I may leave a little early today so I can take a nap before baking for tomorrow. How productive can I really be in the next hour and 20 minutes before I plan to leave anyway??

Friday, December 02, 2005

I am not a fan of interviewing! And yet I have to interview someone in 15 min or so... ugg!

I started my penguin ornament last night at stitch, I decided to stitch him without the border so that I can make him into a round ornament instead of rectangular. Unfortunately as I was almost done (all i have left is some white to fill in and then backstitch him), i realized that he's supposed to be grey, not black, so the lighter grey outlining his elbow and such looks funny. So I decided that I will make 2 penguin ornaments, one for myself (the messed up one), and one for my sister and every year I will make us matching ornaments, unless I can get her to do an exchange or something with me every year and she stitches one for me. Then I'll make another one for my mom too. Not that i'm getting ambitious or anything now.

I do figure however that I have stitch on sunday at a friend's house so I will easily finish this penguin and maybe finish the second as well. They go so fast. I need to get them all stitched in time to make them into ornaments though too, which means buying fabric and some fun fridge or something - hopefully saturday i can make it to joann's to hit the sales :)

I will definately have some pictures on monday!

Oh and then after stitch I came home and put together my new shoe rack, then organized my closet, i'm really liking it, got all my stamping stuff put away (which needs to be out again to make the rest of my cards real soon but for now it's away, so we can put up the treadmill this weekend). Plus I have 10 cards already made so I can start sending out cards whenever.

Alright - back to preparing to interview - ugg again!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

December Goals:

1) Finish Harry Potter Scarf by Christmas (family christmas is actually new year's weekend)
2) Stitch penguin ornament for my sister
3) Stitch second pickle ornament for my aunt
4) Stitch another ornament (not sure what yet)
5) Start Green Old Gardens
6) Pick up Blackwork Dragon at some point
7) Maybe knit hat for my sister for Christmas (real christmas)

8) Work on website again -- UGG!

Well I did even better yesterday than I had hoped, during work i had a slow meeting so I brought my knitting and I finished both the pink hat and the scarf for my sister. The only real knitting for christmas left is the harry potter scarf and maybe another hat for my sister.

I'm looking forward to Stitch tonight at the LNS, I have an ornament to start, although I might start it at lunch time before knitting more on the harry potter scarf. Tomorrow at lunch I will knit the harry potter scarf and see how many rows I can get done during a lunch break then I can determine how much I need to knit in the evenings if at all to get it done in time for christmas.

Hopefully today is more productive than yesterday, these meetings really mess with my day, of course i have another long meeting today too...