Tuesday, March 31, 2009

good progress

I've come to the conclusion that I'm not a good reproduction stitcher. I can't stand to stitch in mistakes because the original was stitched that way. So I think I'm going to stitch a Beatrix Potter "inspired" by the original. I've already made a couple of changes, the one last night being major. I totally changed the bottom left motif because as charted it was way off. So I pulled out my Ackworth book and found a close motif and stitched it my way. That change of course is going to set off more changes so at this point it really is my piece. I also want to add more motifs that are small to fill in the emptier spaces or maybe put in the alphabet here and there. And of course it will be my initials and date on it.

So thanks for the inspiration Beatrix but I've got to be me! :-)

Monday, March 30, 2009

A good weekend

Of course I didn't as much stitching in as I would have liked over the weekend. :-) The place where the agility trial was held was too dark to stitch and I didn't bring my tiny light with me.

Here is my progress on Earth Sampler. I could have finished it last night but I was tired so I just played with my stash for a while which was almost just as fun. I'm doing mine over one on 32 count Purely Primitive from Silkweavers. Just a row and a half to go.
This is where I'm at with my IsaV Grand Marquior. I have to put it down for now because I need to get some stitching done with my Beatrix Potter. The goal is at least something every month and I haven't put a stitch in yet for March. I'll work on that for a couple of days.
I'm not sure what I'll start on next. As I was looking at my stash I of course came across several items that I've had hanging around that are totally kitted up. I think I'll so something that has been around for a while rather than start something newer. I really need to get caught up. I told myself I wouldn't buy new stuff until I did some old stuff and that only lasted until the Nashville releases came out. :-)

Clancy had a good weekend and we ended up with several Qs. His start line stays were uneven on Saturday but on Sunday they were perfect. His weave polls are still an issue so I won't be entering any AKC trials yet. I have to get this worked out before we go back to the big leagues.

Friday, March 27, 2009

about half way

I figure I'm about half way done with the second release to my IsaV Grand Marquior. I love it! I'd like to finish it over the weekend but I'm not sure how much stitching time I'll have because Clancy and I have an agility trial.

The last time we trialed was back in December at a four day AKC trial. We had no success and my teacher was there and suggested we take a break and work on our fundamentals and when we do feel more confident, to do a NADAC trial to see if we have made any progress. So that's what we did. And this weekend is our first NADAC trial in almost two years. I don't do NADAC much, I don't take it very seriously because at heart, I'm an AKC girl. But there are many other agility leagues other than AKC and they all have different rules and regulations. And costs. An average AKC trial is around $75.00 to $130.00 a weekend depending on the trial. That is usually the cost for four runs. A NADAC is much less expensive. This coming weekend we have twelve runs and it's costing $120.00. And the rules are very different from AKC. No table and no teeter. The courses also tend to be much winder open and the obstacles farther apart and some are called games and are really just fun - like the courses of nothing but tunnels. I also find it to be much easier than AKC. And because I find it easier, I tend to be more confident and when I'm more confident, Clancy is also and we just have a better all around experience.

So this weekend is all about having fun at a trial and building up our confidence so we can return to AKC trials. :-)

Wish us luck! And have a great weekend. :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

House #3 finis

I finished up Block #3 of Houses of Hawk Run Hollow last night. I'm a quarter of the way done! Yeah! I love when I finish up early because it frees up all my evenings for the rest of the month. And I sorted out my silk for block #4 and I have them all. So no call to Drema. :-) As much as I love Drema, it's always good to save money. :-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A lost day

This morning when I got on the train, I settled in for my hour and twenty minute train ride to work and pulled out my stitching. I finished the length of silk I was working on (about twenty stitches worth) and went into my bag for another piece. Well hell, there was no silk. On last night's ride home, I dropped my bag and the two skeins of HDF Imperialosity I had there must have fallen out and I didn't notice. So I had no silk to work with. Other than briefly worrying that now I might be short a skein on my IsaV Grand Marquior piece, I simply pulled out the other project I have in there to work on this week, my Beatrix Potter. The last time I left off, I was only partially done with one of the motifs so I got to work on that. When I went into the bag to pull out another piece of the chart (because of the size of the chart, I made several smaller working copies) and discovered didn't have any other pieces of the chart. I never put a new section in my bag when I left off last time!

So nothing to work on for the ride in and nothing to work on the way home. :-( Such a bummer a whole wasted day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

all done.... for now :-)

I'm as far as I can go with the Big Zipper until I receive the last kit. I have to say that I'm very happy with all of my color choices so far. Once I have the last kit in hand I can also go and purchase all the buttons I need. I was going to drive to my LNS over the past weekend but since I don't know if there are any in the last section I had better wait so I don't have to make the long drive twice.

Last night I also made more progress on House #3. I just have to finish filling in the dark blue and I'm finished. Hopefully by Friday. :-)

For the train rides for the next couple of days I picked up my IsaV Grand Marquior and I managed to finish the first block of the second release. I'm going to work down each row rather than across. I love how it's looking.

Thanks to everyone who been commenting lately. I've pick up some new regulars and I've added a bunch more blog addresses to the ones I visit on a regular basis. I might not always comment due to time restraints but I'm always stopping by! :-) And thanks for all the kind words regarding my weight loss. I feel great. :-) And I'm almost done!!! Yeah!!

It's kinda funny now that I weight less, I'm a lot faster when I do agility. Almost from the start my pugs were faster than me and I was always trying to catch up with them on the agility course. Now that I'm thinner, I'm faster and I can now beat Clancy. Poor guy doesn't know what's hit him. :-) He has been dropping bars lately because his timing is all messed up because he now has to chase after me. :-)

Monday, March 23, 2009

A sunny weekend

It was such a nice weekend! Temps in the 50's and sunny both days. The pugs and I spent as much time as we could working on the yard and playing at agility. Chevy did go to his new home on Saturday evening and I found him a really nice home. :-) They just loved him!

Clancy and I went to another fun agility run on Saturday and I think he is ready to get back into the ring. We have a NADAC trial this coming weekend but more about that later in the week.

I didn't put a stitch in on Saturday and not much on Sunday. But here is what I did manage.
I'm almost finished with what I can stitch on the Big Zipper. I'm working on filling in the house and I should be done with that by tomorrow or so. Then it's just waiting for my last piece to arrive. Below is the house. I can barely see the letter C in the roof so I need to fix it. Not sure how yet but it's bugging me so I know I have to do something. The letter O will be a button in the middle window.
And here is my Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. I'm almost finished with Block #3 and I'll make my goal of one block a month with time to spare as I plan on finishing this up this week during my evening stitching.

Once these two projects are stitched as much as I can or finished for the month, I have to work on a couple of other things to keep up with my schedule. I need to work on Beatrix Potter for a couple of days and I'd like to start on my Isa V Grand Marquior also this week. I did start it last week during my lunch hour and I was half way finished with the first block of the release, when I realized that I started off one column so all of it had to come out. Bummer. At least I ripped everything out before I put it down so I don't have to do that before I start again. Once I have finished a bit of those two things, I think I'll start working on my Etui. I have the finishing kit and was it ever complete! One of the best finishing kits I have ever purchased. Of course, nothing beats the Judy Odell finishing kits but this one was pretty close.

Speaking of my Etui, I need to start to design the one side that I'm going to change. I need my new quote and to work a new piece around it. I have no idea yet what quote to pick out.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Working on the house

I finished up Enjoy yesterday and have started on the house block. When it's finished I'll have to wait for the last chart to come from Drema. I hate breaking up a project like this. It's like waiting for a short skein to come in the mail. :-) I should have ordered the kit weeks ago.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

some cute animals

I've been flying through the parts of the Big Zipper and two more charts have bit the dust. These little animals are so cute! I love the way the sheep, fox and squirrel are cooperating to get the pear in the tree. I didn't even notice that little detail until I started stitching it. I just thought they were standing on top of each other. :-) I love to have all the charts I have complete by the end of the weekend if it's all I work on I'm sure I can. But there are so many other things calling my name. :-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

This is a quilt I did a couple of years ago. I love everything Irish! :-) Have a great St. Patrick's Day.

Moving along with the Big Zipper. I knew filling in the blocks would go pretty quick. And the one with the tire swing is really fast. I should be done with it by the time I get home from work tonight. I worked on my House #3 but forgot to take a photo. Trust me it looks good. :-)

Chevy has been listed on PetFinder and I already have someone who is interested in him. I hope it all works out well for him. He is a real sweetheart and deserves the very best family I can find for him.

Monday, March 16, 2009

our first nice weekend

It was our first nice weekend of the year here in Northern Illinois. That is if you call temps in the 50's nice. :-) But it was sunny and that helped to dry things out. The pugs and I set up our first agility training of the season and a good time was had by all. On Sunday I took Aoife and Clancy to a fun run at an agility club west of me. Clancy was a star and did really well. I'm hoping taking a few months off has helped his confidence. One of my friends there talked me into giving Aoife a chance. What a disaster that was! All she did was run around a bark at me. Everyone had a good laugh. I told my friend she owes me $4.00 for the cost of her run. :-)

On Sunday morning it occurred to me that I didn't have a thing to wear to the fun run. I like to wear fitness gear when I do agility and I've lost over 45 pounds now and I literally have not replaced one bit of my agility wardrobe. I found the cutest pair of capri pants - in a size 6! It really hit me on just how much weight I have lost. It's hard to tell when you make due with the same clothes for months. I haven't wanted to spend a lot of money until I got to were I wanted to be weight wise and as a result I walk around in baggy clothes all the time. I'm about 10 to 15 pounds away from my goal now. It feels great!

Because of the nice weather I didn't have as much time as I wanted to stitch. Here is my progress on the Big Zipper. I'm finished with the top portion of the project and I've started working on the tree. I'd love to have the parts that I own finished by the end of the week but I bet that house in the center is going to take several days as it's pretty big.

On Saturday I really wanted to start something new. I thought it should be something small and I've been wanted to start Earth Sampler since I saw a couple of WIPs online from blogging buddies. Here is mine. I'm doing it over one on 32 count Purely Primitive. I love how it's turning out but because it's over one I am losing a lot of variegation of the floss colors. I guess that is the trade off when using overdyed. It's going to be tiny - less than 4 inches square when complete. I won't work on it again until the weekend because I really need to focus on HoHRH and my BZ and I can't do over one on the train in any case.
I didn't get my house done as I didn't start stitching until after 8:00pm last night. I spent a couple of hours going through my closet and tossing more clothes. What a nice feeling that is. :-) I have to replace everything. :-)

Friday, March 13, 2009

this week I really mean it....

I'm so glad it's Friday!!

I set a new record this week for sleeping on the train and as a result, haven't put a stitch in BZ for two days. :-) Good thing I only stitch for myself or I'd be in trouble. :-) I did call Drema yesterday and while she didn't have the final BZ kit that I needed, she was confident that she could get her hands on one. Do I ever feel better. A lot of people have been asking me if I'm going to sell the kits once I'm finished with my version and I do plan on putting it on eBay. I was going to ask $80.00 as a starting price. While that is a lot of money, it's over half off than if someone wanted to purchase each section. And they will be complete kits and the charts unused as I made a working copy of each chart when I first received them in January. I would have jumped on something like that if I had a chance before I started working on them.

Here is what I stitched in last night on HoHRH. I'd like to complete the house by the end of the weekend.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

filling out

Big Zipper is starting to fill out. I've done everything I can around the border for now. The two lower right empty spaces will be filled in after I purchase the last kit. I really need to do that - wouldn't it be horrible if I couldn't find one?
Here is house #3. Not much done since the last progress photo but anything is something right? :-)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

first section done

I'm officially done with the first chart of the Big Zipper. The fence around the tree was the last bit I needed to complete. Now I'm thinking it will move pretty quickly. I'm going to do everything around the boarder first and then start the six blocks. This reminds me that I still need to purchase one of the charts. It was the second one released - the Garden Trellis - the bottom right block. When all the charts are complete there are two empty areas around the border. I'm going to put the year in one and my initials in the other.

I managed to stay awake for the entire train ride home yesterday! And almost for this morning rides in. :-)

Monday, March 09, 2009

rainy weekend

I swear it rained every second of the weekend. And it was a cold rain. I spent most of the weekend sitting on the couch bundled up. And not stitching. I did something I haven't done in a long time, I read a book! :-) I usually do all my book reading on the train listening to them. This was a nice change and I know the pugs enjoyed it as they were bundled up with me sleeping. I'm almost finished with the first chart from the Big Zipper. I have to finish stitching in the fence. This week is a tough one on the train. Day Light Savings always kicks my butt and today was no different than previous years. I stitched for maybe 15 minutes or so then it was lights out.
I managed to start on House #3 of the Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. I always like to get the border in as soon as I can but don't always manage. I think it helps me to see my progress.

Friday, March 06, 2009

A little kitty

The blob in the center is a kitty. I sure hope when I add her little whiskers I can tell what it is. :-) I'm happy with the outline that I put in last night with the new color floss. It's a bit darker than the Tarnished Gold and I like the contrast.

Not sure what I'm going to work on this weekend. It's sunny and 60 today but tomorrow and Sunday it's supposed to rain and be much colder so the outside won't keep me from anything inside. I'm ready to put BZ down for a couple of weeks but the hard part is done now and I'm at the point where I'll start making a lot of progress so I'm sorta inclined to keep at it. I know I need to work on House #3 - the NPIs I needed should be at the house tonight. I also really want to get at least one more turtle finished. I've been saying that for three weeks now. :-) All the more reason to finish off that project. So I think I'll just go with the flow. After all it's the beginning of the month and I have all month to do the required stuff. :-)

Chevy the foster dog is getting his stitches out tomorrow so he's ready for his new home. And to tell the truth, I'm ready for him to go. I'm finding four dogs too much for me on a day to day basis. I'm not sure if it's just that he is the fourth dog or because that fourth dog is three times the size of my pugs. I'm pug sitting for a friend in a couple of weeks and will have two of hers with me for a week. So I'll see then if it's the number of dogs or the size.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

frogs gone for now

I'm really close to starting the actual pieces that make up the Big Zipper. I have run into a bit of a sticky point however. I only purchased two skeins of Tarnished Gold for the border and I have run out. There are still a few outlines to go using this color. I have a leftover skein from another projects that doesn't match. So I need to decide if I want to use this skein or pick out another color entirely or drive a hour each way to my LNS where I purchased all the floss for this project so it matches. Right now I'm leaning toward finding a totally new color because I don't think it will make any difference in the look of the overall project. And I've put enough money into it already without another two hours in the car driving back and forth to my LNS. And I still need to purchase one of the kits. :-) And all the buttons. I think I have my answer. :-)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

not much progress made, it's raining frogs

As I was working on my Big Zipper piece on the way into the office on Monday morning, I was at the lower left hand corner moving to the right. I looked at it and told myself I should take a few minutes and make sure that the two corners are lining up. But it's hard to do that on the moving train so I decided to just move ahead because I never make that sort of counting error. Well just shoot me in the foot. As I started back on the ride home that afternoon, I did quickly check because I was over half way across the bottom and it was easy to check even in the moving train. And sure enough, I was off one row. It took me the best part of the way home to find it. I had to rip out all the bottom and most of the left hand side. Bummer. That took most of rest of the evening and I have just now finished the bottom and made a start on another section of the piece.

Next time I have a gut feeling I need to check something I will for sure. :-) Lesson learned. :-)

Thanks for all your kind comments on my chair finishes. For a while now, I have not let the finishing put me off a project if I liked it. And I really didn't think this one was so hard. The instructions were very complete and there were a ton of color photos in the booklet. My next big finishing project (after I complete all my Quaker Turtles) will be my Etui. That one should be challenging because I think there will be a bit of sewing/handwork involved and just not gluing! :-)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Garden Chair Finis

The Garden Chair by The Cat's Whiskers
recommended linen and Dinky-Dyes silk

Did I ever have a productive weekend! First I finished off block two of the Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. Yeah! And I did it on Saturday so I'm still on schedule. :-) Then on Sunday I spent most of the day working on finishing my Garden Chair. I don't think it's very hard but there is a delay between sections while you wait for the glue to dry. The finishing on the second chair is a 100% nicer than the first chair. I even stitched some of the pieces in place this time around - this was something that I thought I should do for the first one but didn't. I'm amazed at how much nicer the finished product is with that little step added. I'm hoping to get to the new piece (the chaise lounge) before much longer. While these chairs are not every one's cup of tea, they really do look cute sitting on the shelves in my crafting corner.

Here is block #2 of the Houses of Hawk Run Hollow.

And a photo of my progress so far. I need to order five skeins of NPI for Block #3 and I'll call Drema today. And as luck would have it, the part that I wanted to start first on the block calls for a skein I don't have so I can't start this until it comes in the mail later in the week.

Here is my progress on the Big Zipper. As you can see I almost have the border finished. I'll get that done on my way home from work tonight. Then the question begs to be asked, should I continue to work on BZ or pick up one of my new Nashville releases? I'm thinking to continue with this. I'm really enjoying it so far and why mess with something that is working? :-)

It was a sunny but cold day yesterday and of course the pugs had to find the sun. Here they are watching (ok maybe there more sleeping going on) me work on the Garden Chair. Those of you who know/have pugs will totally understand why my furniture and pillows are fawn colored. :-)