Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Projects Finished in 2008:

3/17/08 - Deb's NRR
5/30/08 - Wendy's NRR
6/24/08 - Hardanger for Ring Bearer Pillow
7/26/08 - Glenna's NRR
10/20/08 - Marie's NRR
10/21/08 - Long Leggz Scary Carrie

1/08 - Black and White hat for mom
1/08 - Black and White scarf for mom
1/08 - Multicolor hat for mom
1/08 - Multicolor scarf for mom
2/6/08 - Green scarf for me
4/6/08 - White Lamb for coworker baby
10/25/08 - Grey shorts for coworker baby

1/08 - Flannel Robe for dad
Georgia's Flower Girl dress
3/16/08 - Maia's Flower Girl Dress
4/15/08 - Chloe's Flower Girl Dress
6/15/08 - Tori's Flower Girl Dress
7/13/08 - Hem Maid of Honor Dress
7/15/08 - Emily's Flower Girl Dress
7/27/08 - Bustle and Hem Wedding Dress
8/9/08 - Hem 4 flower girl dresses
8/9/09 - Ring Bearer Pillow
8/10/08 - Veil
10/15/08 - Zombie Costume for Georgia
10/22/08 - Giselle Dress for Chloe
10/27/08 - Jasmine Costume for Maia
11/24/08 - Pieced quilt blocks for sister's wedding quilt
12/6/08 - Craft Apron for Georgia
12/6/08 - Craft Apron for Chloe
12/9/09 - Craft Apron for Maia
12/21/08 - Craft Apron for Emily
12/21/08 - Craft Apron for Tori
12/21/08 - Puppy jacket for Jovi

Wedding Crafts:
Pearl Necklaces (5 for bridesmaids)
Pearl Earrings (5 for bridesmaids)
Shower Thank you cards (50)
Wedding Invites (120)
Pearl Bracelets (3 for moms)
Guest Book
8/18/08 - Wedding Necklace - chain with pearls and crystals
8/23/08 - Wedding Earrings - pearls and crystals
8/23/08 - Wedding Pearl Necklace

2008 Goals Wrapup

Let's see how this year went compared to how I had planned it ...

1) Celtic Banner - work on page 3 [nope]
2) Add beads/finish Shepherd's Purse [nope]
3) Finish Celebrations piece (from 2007) [nope]
4) Hardanger piece for Ring Bearer pillow [YUP!]

1) Finish embroidery on Leanne's Quilt [nope]
2) Piece Leanne's Quilt [nope]
3) Quilt/bind table runner [nope]

1) Knit scarves for mom (2) (JANUARY) [YUP]
2) Knit lamb for coworker [YUP]

1) Sew bath robe for dad's birthday [YUP]
2) Make ring bearer pillow [YUP]
3) Make 5 flower girl dresses for wedding [YUP]
4) Make 5 Necklaces/Earrings for bride's maids [YUP]
5) Make veil, with beading [YUP - no beading though]
6) Decorate gifts for wedding [not sure what this means]

This past year was very different than planned. I basically did no stitching except for the neighborhood Round Robin and one halloween piece which was after the wedding. I did a lot of sewing though including 3 halloween costumes for my cousins and the 5 aprons for xmas and the puppy jacket for xmas. I also pulled out the Amish quilt and started quilting on it again.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Xmas Sewing completed! I finished the 2 other aprons the weekend before xmas as planned, they are both in Dora fabric and the pockets are embroidered in the girls' names.
Then my new niece Jovi got an embroidered fleece jacket which she of course loved. This isn't her best picture but it's the only one I have with the jacket on her. She's a puggle (pug/beagle mix) and the most adorable creature in the world.
Our holidays were great, we went home to visit family xmas eve, did the normal xmas day extravaganza. Then came back to NH friday night, then the extended family xmas was Sat-Sunday.

Then Sunday we went to look at a house we're interested in (updates to come on that after we see where it goes!).

Monday, December 15, 2008

More xmas craft progress!

Pictures soon! I have now completed 3 of the 5 aprons for xmas gifts. This weekend I spent at my sisters' house teaching her how to use her sewing machine, we made curtains for her new bathroom and a dog bed for her puppy.

When I got home last night, after cleaning, I finally got to settle in and do some of my own sewing. I made the inner block for the two Amish quilt block gifts I'm making. They took about an hour to cut and piece the two blocks. Now I just need to add borders and quilt them. They are very cute and most of the points even came out :)

This week I hope to make the two other aprons and maybe get the borders on the blocks so I can get those quilted next weekend. Going to be a busy week, possible in-laws coming next weekend so I need to clean and organize and do some decorating too! Yikes!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas is coming! And that means sewing!!!

I spent last weekend trying to get into the holiday mood craft wise. I decided on some gift ideas that I can use my new machine for! For each kid (there are 5 - they were all flower girls too!) I am making a craft apron and buying craft supplies (each different crafts).

So I went to Joann's Saturday and got some fabric, prompty washed it and Sunday I set out to making the first 3. 2 of them I completed by Sunday night, the 3rd is almost done, just need to pick up more D-Rings. The 4th and 5th are not yet started (actually need to get some fabric for the 5th!).
These are the two in child size large. I have two mediums (1 almost done) and 1 small to do. I am very excited, I'm embroidering the names on the pockets and using my fancy stitching along the top of the pocket on the pink ones. The Soccer one got red bias tape instead. I also used silver metallic thread on the pink ones which is something my old machine could not handle!

After these little things are done I have some ideas for a single Amish Quilt block that I plan to make for 4 people on my xmas list. I bought the fabric (they may be different colors each) and I'm really looking forward to making the miniature wall hangings.

This coming weekend I'm off to my sister's house to teach her how to use her sewing machine and help her make curtains (as well as play with the puppy!). That gives me the weekend before xmas to SEW some more! Plus each evening I can squeeze it in!

Monday, December 01, 2008

December! I never even made a goal list for november - good thing since it's already over!

We had a good thanksgiving, my husband got free box seat tickets to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra Wednesday night so we went to that show. Then did the drive back to NY after the show (arriving at 2am!). It worked out well though because we didn't miss out on any Thanksgiving day activities (baking and games).

The holidays were mostly relaxing but we were very happy to get home Saturday night and have all day Sunday to relax at home (Lord of the Rings style). I got some quilting on my amish quilt done and started a new book.

Now it's time to get into the xmas mood, we need to buy gifts and get decorating! I also have some things I'd like to make so I'm hoping this coming weekend is very productive!

December Goals:
1) Finish Leslie's NRR
2) Finish cross hatch triangle 3 on Amish quilt
3) Kit up baby sampler and wedding samplers for January starts
4) Make mini quilts for gifts

I can't see fitting much else in.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Merry Christmas to me!!!

Well with the downfall of my sewing machine it was finally time for me to invest in a good one (instead of just what I could get at Target). I went to the Sew & Vac to check out the machines, hoping that my budget would include an embroidery machine... well...HAH .. not even close :)

So I was bummed, I liked the machines but without embroidery they weren't special and I was tempted to get another cheap machine. Then I decided to go back and see what they had Used! I was in luck - just a tiny bit out of my budget I could get a USED Husqvarna Viking Designer 1, an older model that takes floppy, but it does embroidery and has all the features I wanted!

As of Friday, I am the proud owner of this used machine and I played with it all weekend! I really need to purchase some good embroidery patterns but it's fun to play with what it has.

I did realize however it is lacking the rolled hem foot that I have come to LOVE. I need to rectify that - of course Husqvarna has about 4 or 5 different sizes of rolled hem feet... yikes! I put them on my xmas wish list.

I can't wait to start making xmas gifts - gotta get my money's worth of this machine some how!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh my goodness - I can't believe how long it's been since I blogged. The month is just flying by. Of course work is busy so that helps.

Anyway - I never posted a picture of the 3 halloween costumes I made. Here they are (sorry for the blocked out faces - it was easiest to show the costumes ON and I want to keep my cousins' privacy intact). So here are the costumes - Zombie, princess from Enchanged, and Jasmine:
Jasmine's costume is a couple sizes too big but she loves it and can wear it for a few years this way :)

The sewing was complete the week before Halloween. Of course my machine did not make it but.... that just means it was time for a new sewing machine for Christmas... details to come soon!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Samhain!!!!

October Goals Wrapup:

1) Finish Long Leggz [YES!]
2) Stitch Marie's Spookie NRR and mail to Leslie [YES!]
3) Make Zombie Costume [YES!]
4) Make princess costume [YES!]
5) Make third cousin costume (jasmine) [YES!]
6) Block and piece baby shorts [YES!]
7) Attach elastic to baby shorts [Not yet]

Wow that was really good for the month. I've just been hesitating about putting the elastic in the baby shorts but it should be a quick thing to do! What a great month for sewing considering my sewing machine died on me!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finished my halloween piece :)
This is Scary Carrie - Long Leggz - and she was so much fun to stitch this month! I started this in celebration of Fall and never thought I'd get it done before halloween!

Finally some pictures!

I finished (and mailed) Marie's Halloween NRR to Leslie last Friday. Here is the whole NRR to date:

And here is a close up of the house I stitched.

I stitched Halloween House Sampler by The Drawn Thread.
This was a real pleasure to stitch!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wow this month is going fast.

I finished up stitching my halloween house on Marie's NRR and will mail that off to Leslie today. I'm hoping to finish Scary Carrie Long Leggz before Halloween and then finish Leslie's NRR to get it back home to her. Pictures are on the camera, just waiting for me to take them off!

That's my stitching world. In the sewing world it's been quite an adventure. I was sewing away on halloween costumes last week and friday night I was hoping to finish the princess dress - however my machine seized up and stopped working! I was up until 2am trying to figure out what was wrong. Alas - the costume is not yet done -but the Zombie one was at least completed.

The good news is that my uncle oiled my machine and it's working again - albeit very slowly but sewing at least! So I'm back to the princess dress and just have to finish the ruffle that goes around the shoulders and the hem of the skirt. My goal is to complete it tonight so I can run it over to them tomorrow night. That will leave just Jasmine for this weekend.

And that is my life lately (outside of work). I did play some Zelda last night - restarted it actually as I got so far and then stopped for so long that I forgot what I was doing so I figured it was safer to restart. I'll probably put about an hour and a half in a week if I have the time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

No camera this week :( I should have a lot of pictures next week to make up for it (hopefully).

Anyway - last night I finished the Zombie costume! With no iron! The seams are not laying as nicely as I would like but it's a costume and I had no iron :) So I'm calling it done.

I also worked on Marie's Halloween NRR last night - not only is the house complete but now I have the trick-or-treaters almost done and the pumpkin tree about halfway done! I should be able to finish this up and get it mailed to Leslie next week. I feel horrible being behind due to the wedding but I think I can then start on Leslie's right away and get that to her quickly too!

Oh yea - and one of my dragon eggs hatched!!!:

Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Back to my stitching...

Well things have been weird lately - getting a lot of migraines, so the stitching and sewing had pretty much come to a halt (I've been working on Marie's Halloween NRR whenever I could and the house part is almost done!).

Finally last night I started the first of 3 halloween costumes I'm doing for my cousins. The first is a Zombie - I finished the pants and shoe covers. Tonight I'm hoping to do the shirt and maybe get a start on the dress for number 2.

The second costume is the dress that the princess from Enchanted wears towards the end -made out of the rug - that was a fun one to figure out! And that's going to be a tough one to make for a 7 year old.

Lastly is a Jasmine costume - that should be easy - lots of elastic and the fabric was easy to find.

In the mean time - I have sewn the knitted baby shorts together and just need to add the elastic and then they are done. And as I mentioned with stitching - I am working on NRR's exclusively - poor Scarrie Carrie is not yet done :)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Dragon pets...

Sound i found this new website where you can gather dragon eggs and if they are visited by people they may hatch and grow. Unfortunately I don't do a lot online but I figured if I did a post on my website they might get a few views... if you feel so inclined and want to click on an egg or two, each click helps it to possibly hatch. We'll see how long this keeps my interest :)

Here are the eggs:
Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

October Goals:

1) Finish Long Leggz
2) Stitch Marie's Spookie NRR and mail to Leslie
3) Make Zombie Costume
4) Make princess costume
5) Make third cousin costume (as yet unknown)
6) Block and piece baby shorts
7) Attach elastic to baby shorts

It's going to be a busy month - I think I need the busyness to keep me going, last month was relaxing - time to get stuff done again!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September Wrapup:

1) Stitch NRR and mail by end of september - Not yet - a little behind but working on it!
2) Finish knitting baby shorts for coworker Finished knitting
3) Start halloween costume #1 for cousins (there are 3 most likely) Not yet - not sure what to make yet

Since the month is in full swing I'll leave it at that. I also have tons of thank yous to send almost done, and photos to organize DONE!

Long Leggz progress...

I think I promised a picture.. this is the piece I started to celebrate Mabon 2 fridays ago. She's not getting a lot of attention since I have an RR but she's gotten a little.

Unfortunately I made a boo boo but I think I can work around it so I don't have to undo so any more. I'm okay with leaving mistakes in :)

Now that Brisingr is out I'm re-reading Eragon and Eldest - it's taking up my evening time - but I'm looking forward to getting more and more stitching done as wedding stuff wraps up (last night I finished putting all my photos into albums for wedding and honeymoon) - all I have left is a few more thank you notes to write out!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Now that the honeymoon has been fully documented, it's back to real life. And mostly by real life that means working - and working - and working some more :(

I'm feeling horrible because I'm behind on the Neighborhood Round Robin - it's supposed to be mailed out by Oct 1st and I haven't started!!! I picked out a house and thread last night but was too tired to work on it :( I need to get cracking - I only have this week!

In other stitchy news - I've been knitting here and there and I finally finished the actual knitting on the baby shorts for a coworker that had his baby before the wedding. I now need to block them, sew them together then add the elastic - this is all new to me! But that's not too bad considering how busy I've been lately (I knitted mostly on the plane ride back from Hawaii!).

Also - Happy Mabon! For a Mabon celebration (thanksgiving) my friend came up Friday night and we had pork tenderloin (roasted in bacon!), with mashed potatoes etc... it was yummy! Then we decided to celebrate we would both start a Halloween design - so I picked one of the new patterns I got for my bridal shower - Long Leggz: Scary Carrie by Lavender Wings. Stitching a bit this weekend has gotten my stitching mojo going and I'm ready to start the neighborhood round robin I'm behind on.

I hope to post a picture soon of Long Leggz - she's fun and she's on purple fabric! Now I just need to get back into quilting and I'll feel normal again - but first - I may have some halloween costumes to sew up in October!

Honeymoon Chronicles
Day 11 - Last full day! We had breakfast as usual outside and this little gecko joined us:
Then it was off to the Volcano National Park to hike around the Caldera. Here the Caldera is smoking - volcanic ash - smells like high levels of sulfur!
We hiked all the way around - about 8 1/2 miles! The second half of the hike is through the caldera on the old lava flows - and this sign says "Thin Crust" - we were very careful!
After our long hike and a quick buffet lunch overlooking the Caldera we drove to the north end of the island to go horse back riding! This time it was an open range ride. The horses are beautiful - this one has an imprint of the hawaiin islands on it's side (just about):
Here's me and my pal Blaze. Blaze was very good to me - we trotted and cantered and he listened to commands quite well.
And on horseback we got to watch the sunset - perfect for our last night in Hawaii!!!
Day 12 thru 13 - our trip home. It was exhausting - spending almost 20 hours either on planes or in airports (unfortunately our nice single layover got canceled and we had a double layover - plus we had to fly from the big island to Honolulu to start the trip back). But we made it and we had such a wonderful time in Hawaii! Here I am back in Albany - waiting for my dad to pick us up - I finally got a Lei on the way home.
And it was good to come home - not so great going back to work on monday but good to be home :)

Honeymoon Chronicles
Day 9 - goodbye Kauai - off to the Big Island. Arriving on the big island near dinner time - we drove to our B&B. The owner then told us that if we wanted to go see the lava, the best time to go was at night - lava! So we drove to the end of the road (about 20 minutes) and then hiked in the dark to get as close as we were allowed. The lava was spurting up into the air. This is the best picture I got :
Day 10 - Mauna Kea! Our first full day on the big island we decided to go to the summit of Mauna Kea and see the telescopes. This was very high on my list of things I wanted to do and I was very glad my husband was excited too. About halfway up we saw this:
then at the top there are numerous telescopes. The two center ones there that match are the Keck Telescopes - we went inside Keck 1!
After a long drive back down, even though it was early the altitude was affecting us both so we had an early dinner and an early night. It was an amazing day!

Day 8 - Napali Coast! Well sunburn or no - we needed to get out and do some hiking so I carried the backpack and we headed to the very end of the road on the north end of the island. There's this hike which is very very tough - we did only the first 2 miles- here's the sign:
And a view of the Napali coast while we were hiking:
Finally we made it to the beach and there were sea lions taking a rest!
Another view from the beach - just so beautiful here!
Then a VERY long hike back and we were done for the day :) We drove around and saw some more sites but didn't want to walk anymore!

Honeymoon Chronicles
Day 6 - Beach Day! We stayed at the local beach and swam, boogie boarded and just had fun. Then out to dinner. Unfortunately my husband got some sun burn on his shoulders :(

Day 7 - Craft Fair - due to sunburn we decided to have another low key day - we hit the local craft fair for gifts and I got a henna tattoo - here in this picture it's still wet, after the green stuff hardens and falls off it leaves a nice brown stain. I loved this tattoo!

Honeymoon Chronicles
Day 4 - Kapaia Stitchery! We needed a more relaxing day so we went shopping! There's a quilt store that I went crazy in - I got some wonderful fabrics! Next door was a wood shop and my husband got some gifts there as well as a hand carved box for himself!

Day 5 - Horseback Riding! We did a trail ride - it was quiet and relaxing and ended at a water hole for swimming with lunch provided. Here's a picture of a chicken hanging out on top of the waterfall where my husband was swimming (too cold for me!):

Honeymoon Chronicles
Day 3 - Up at dawn! Perfect timing for a sunset view on the beach. This is Anahola Bay by the way:
And here's the sunrise!
Then off for a day of hiking in Waimea Canyon! Here's a view on the drive up the mountain:
And a view while we were hiking Canyon trail:
Another view of some wonderful rock formations:
The hiking was strenuous but so much fun and just what we needed for our first full day on the island. On the way back to the house we went out to dinner care of my husband's sister (she gave us a gift card as a shower gift!). Dinner was wonderful!

Honeymoon Chronicles
Day 1 - Oahu
After a long flight we finally got to Hawaii at 1pm in the afternoon! We checked into our hotel and this was our balcony view:
Then I immediately took a nap because I was exhausted :) We went out to dinner and even with a nap i was tired early!

Day 2 - Oahu
Up at 4am! That whole time change trickiness! We went to Denny's for breakfast at 5am when we realized we were not sleeping in. Then for a wonderful walk on the beach!

Day 2 - Kauai
We finally arrived to our destination - a wonderful house on Anahola Bay in Kauai. We stopped at the grocery store on the way and made up an easy dinner and had an early night (still not adjusted fully).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The wedding! I know this post is long overdue (well not a month yet at least). I have finally gotten my wedding pictures all posted on line. To be fair, my blog is quite public so I have blotted out faces and taken interestingly cropped shots to show things. That way the only person you will see is me.

And without further ado...

First up - the garter - made by my grandmother from my mother's dress - plus some blue!
The gardens where we got married:
4 of my 5 flower girls - these dresses should look familiar - no fitting issues at all!
The front of my gown - the bottom front is where I had to move all the applique when I hemmed it a few inches!
A view of the back of my dress where I luckily did not have to do any alterations!
A good view of the bustle that I did.
This view shows the necklace that I made (earrings too but they're hard to see).
And we're married!
Our Cake!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

September Goals:

1) Stitch NRR and mail by end of september
2) Finish knitting baby shorts for coworker
3) Start halloween costume #1 for cousins (there are 3 most likely)

Since the month is in full swing I'll leave it at that. I also have tons of thank yous to send, and photos to organize!

We're back! And by "we" I mean me and my husband! Wow how weird is that!

Anyway - proper posts are in progress, with pictures. I'm just getting back into the swing of things at work so it might be this weekend before any posts go up.

Quick update though - the wedding was great! The honeymoon was even better! Hawaii is awesome! We had such a good time! My reading blog is going to be swamped with all the books I read!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Well hello there August - funny how fast the month goes when you're busy. And boy am I busy!

Actually looking over my "goals" for the month - I've almost completed all of them already!
1) Make guest list book (fabric to sign) [done]
2) Hem 4 flower girl dresses [done]
3) fix straps on bridesmaid dress [done]
4) Hem wedding dress! [done]
5) Make ring bearer pillow [done]
6) Make veil [done]
7) Make bracelets as gifts for the "mom's" - 3 [done]
8) Make some clothes for my honeymoon (dress/tank tops)
9) Start next RR
10) Knit baby shorts for coworker
11) Start baby sampler for coworker

That's pretty amazing! This month is just flying by. Everything for the wedding is ready and done (I think) - just waiting for a couple of things to arrive (like my wedding ring!). But i'm not stressed - I have a week and a half to deal with any emergencies!

I even have this weekend free to maybe sew a dress for the honeymoon - we'll see, not going to worry about it. I'm knitting away on the baby shorts for a coworker's baby for now. And in the evenings when I'm home we're practicing the Fox Trot for our first dance.

I'm so excited - Hawaii countdown!!!

Friday, August 01, 2008

August Goals:

This is it - the wedding is August 23rd - gotta get these things done!

And that leaves only the following wedding things for August:
1) Make guest list book (fabric to sign)
2) Hem 4 flower girl dresses
3) fix straps on bridesmaid dress
4) Hem wedding dress!
5) Make ring bearer pillow
6) Make veil
7) Make bracelets as gifts for the "mom's" - 3
8) Make some clothes for my honeymoon (dress/tank tops)
9) Start next RR
10) Knit baby shorts for coworker
11) Start baby sampler for coworker

July Wraup -

1) Finish 5th flower girl dress [YUP]
2) Fix purple flower girl dress [YUP]
3) Hem 2 white flower girl dresses [nope]
4) Bustle wedding dress [YUP]
5) Hem wedding dress [started]
6) start making Veil [nope]
7) Hem sister's bridesmaid's dress [YUP]
8) Make ring bearer pillow [nope]

1) Finish Glenna's RR [YUP]
2) Start knitting shorts for a coworker's new baby [YUP]

And that leaves only the following wedding things for August:
1) Make guest list book (fabric to sign)
2) Make thank you notes
3) Make some clothes for my honeymoon (dress/tank tops)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Glenna's NRR!

Only about a week late in uploading the pictures :) I stitched Ladybug House by Elizabeth's designs for Glenna - here's my house:

And the whole RR so far - only one spot left!:
I thought I'd be stressed out about this RR since I'd be busy with wedding things but it turned out it perfectly filled some free time I had while house sitting when I couldn't be in my sewing room anyway! What a pleasure to stitch.

In other news - I've continued the go to bed at midnight and get up at 6am ritual so even though I'm working 11-12 hour days at work, I still have a good 4 hours in the evenings to do things around the house. My big project this week has been my wedding dress - I did the bustle on Sunday and I started hemming it Wed night (pinned it up), Thursday night I hemmed the underskirt of the dress and also the separate undergarment I wear to puff out the skirt more. Tonight I will start the actual dress fabric hemming - yikes! The length is perfect though - 2 1/2 inches I have to cut off !

My deadline is to get the dress hemmed and the applique put back on the bottom before Saturday night so I can bring it back home with me!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Peaceful Silhouette framed -

finally a picture!

This is the piece I stitched for my fiance for his law school graduation, he bought the kit and I stitched it. It is now happily framed and awaiting his new job in September where he will hang it. No point in bringing it to his current job with only 4 more weeks to go.

I am continuing the schedule of getting up 6, working till 7, going home and staying up till 11:30 (asleep by midnight) - this gives me a couple of good hours in the evenings to get stuff done and I'm excited.

I've decided to redo the zipper on the green flower girl dress - so I will be doing that this week hopefully and finally fixing the ribbon on the purple one, then they will be ready for hemming. Lots to do but I think I can manage it - less than 5 weeks to go!