4th Quarter has been good this year…

When I started with my new department in April, I fell off my stitching plans for the year. I had only planned for 5 finishes for the full year if everything went according to plan. Well being out of town keeps one from working on SAL’s every week. I did start working on some great travel pieces – Dragonite from Armada Designs and Tiger Lily by Mirabilia.

Just so you know, in October my doctor grounded me and I had surgery to remove a uterine tumor. It turned out to be 1/4 of my uterus so I ended up with a hysterectomy. This meant I had a full week off work and after day 3 I was feeling fine and started stitching like crazy to keep from being bored. It didn’t take long to have two finishes.

Here is Ecology Tote from Herrschners free patterns which will be donated to my daughter’s boss to auction at the annual conference of exotic animal veterinarians.

And I started and finished the ANG Florentine Heart starting with Autumn Rays Watercolors as my base to work from.

It was when I went to record these finished in my Work in Progress (WIP) spreadsheet that I realized how far I had fallen off my plans for the year. By October, I was supposed to have finished Stars for a New Millennium, Ecology and be current on all 3 of the annual SALs I had agreed to participate in. Yeah, that didn’t happen.

I’m still on March for the year of Fabulous women, in October I had only done January on my Class Schedule SAL and Into the Jungle, I did start the May block but I haven’t stitched all the frames or the borders that came with February. Since everything was off schedule, I decided to use the decision wheel to pick my weekly stitching for the rest of the year. The first week it came up with Stars for a New Millenium so I was feeling really good about that and finished Gary Cooper.

Next came Rose Fairy by Joan Elliott and I finished 2 more rows on her. Then Class Schedule came up and I knew I didn’t want a large goal because I plan to work on that as part of my 18 Wips in the Year of WIPs for 2019. The goal was the title and February Potions class. I finished those by Wednesday and spun the wheel again. It came up new start so I spun the new start wheel and landed on Blue Florentine Heart. I started and finished that.

Outside of the wheel though, I started and finished my Thanksgiving Medley that I picked up at Shepherd’s Bush when we went in August 2017 with Sego Lily chapter of EGA. I was planning to work on it during the election since it’s usually dead – big mistake we were swamped all day processing same day registrations. It was so busy we didn’t get any breaks, the Sandy Mayor saw how crowded it was and brought in pizza. I’m hoping that no one snapped a picture of me eating while working.

Here is Heart in Hand Thanksgiving Medley.

And I have a new Flosstube video up.

I usually shoot on my tablet but after having another no sound disaster, J had me use an actual camera with a microphone which meant I had to edit and all sorts of stuff. By the way, I used iMovie and the return of YouTube Studio. I did try to leave it as close to live as I could.

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The real May Wipocalypse check in

Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO – – I learned to stitch when my Mama taught me around the age of 8. My mother never understood the fascination so I would buy my own projects. When I was in high school, I found three Dimensions kits. I’ve finished one of them but the other two are still WIPs.

Still a long way to go on this one.

This is actually pretty close, mane, tail and flowers remaining.

Starting as a road warrior…

I’m sitting in Chicago O’Hare thinking about how this is the 6th largest airport and is considered a pain to fly out of on any hop. As I walk from H2 to L4 in order to get a Gold Coast Chicago dog, I’m realizing Terminal 3 is not that big. Less than 2000 steps from terminal G to L. I haven’t seen the other terminals in years but that could change. I’ll be passing through O’Hare pretty much anytime I’m flying American Airlines. I would rather go through DFW but most of those flights get me home late at night. Anyway, my husband told me to grab him a Chicago Dog when I was here and along with a dog, I bought him sport peppers so he can make his own dogs at home. And if you wrap it right, a Chicago Dog will make the 4 hour flight from O’Hare to SLC. But, about my trip…

This is Jessica, she does amazing hand dyed fabrics for her projects. We met in the Jefferson Library on my last day in town. She’s looking for other stitchers in the area to meet up with and tried to host a meetup but no one came.

There were no stitching shops according to Google but I did find two quilt shops fairly local and here is my haul. It’s pretty yellow lighting because I took the picture in the hotel room while I was packing to head home. My haul is a Carousel panel, a stack of Cat in the Hat fabrics, a kit for an Unicorn lap/Crib quilt, a grab bag of yellow and an applique pattern for a monster quilt.

The second shop I visited was Rooster Creek Quilt and Ice Cream shop. It’s 15 minutes outside of Jefferson City in Holt’s Summit. I wouldn’t normally put those two together as a thing. But It works. The fabrics are up front, there is a classroom in the middle and then the Ice Cream shop with a real 50’s feel.

I thought this sign was pretty appropriate, it did convince me not to buy any ice cream.

Here you can see the Ice cream counter with a view to the quilt shop classroom. This was the shop where I got the monster quilt pattern and the Carousel panel.

The first shop I went to was really close to my hotel and had these quilts as I walked in the door. They also had the stack of Cat in the Hat fabrics. I would have bought the kit to make the big quilt but they don’t take American Express.

I was in Jefferson City to help with how we can improve our training processes. I took some notes and have some ideas. I’ve got two more work trips scheduled one in Springfield, MO and one in Pittsburgh. Anyone want to get together?

May Wipocalypse Check-In

Where do you love to shop for stash?

Once upon a time there was a really cool shop in Salt Lake called Stitchin Station.  However, the owner decided that retirement sounded like a good thing, none of the kids really wanted to take over and a floral shop had a really good offer for the shop and adjoining Zims warehouse.  So the Zimmerman’s sold the property and closed the shop.  I miss Stitchin Station.

But unlike other areas, I have some great choices.  I can drive 2.4 hours to Logan for the Mirabilia/Nora Corbett haven of Embroidery Central.
Or for a slightly shorter drive, a bit over an hour I can go to Ogden and shop at either Shepherd’s Bush or Needlepoint Joint.

If I want to stay in the city there is Craft Center, Needleplay or Needlepoint and Other things.  If I don’t need to look at it or need it today, I can place an order for pickup at 123Stitch.

And that doesn’t even count the big box stores like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or JoAnns.

Now that I’m travelling more for work, I’ve been using NeedleTravel.com to find shops when I travel.   For example, tonight I’m sitting in Jefferson City, MO and there is a quilt shop about 15 minutes from me.  It closes at 6 pm so I should be able to get there one evening after my work meetings – if I can find an Uber since I didn’t rent a car this trip.

I don’t shop for clothes much but what happened to quality?

I hate shopping for clothes, so I don’t do it much if I can avoid it. If I had the money, I would do all my clothes bespoke because nothing fits, or looks good on me.

I know there is childhood trauma behind my dislike of bra shopping and I’ve blogged about that before. I’ve complained about my inability to find jeans that fit but this time around, I’m looking for business clothes.

My new position at work means that I need banker clothes again. Sad thing is that I don’t fit into my old banker clothes. Those classic pieces that are still in style? I’ve put on 12 pounds since I last wore them for work. While I’m working on losing that 12 pounds, I need something to wear. So I’ve been wandering into Kohls, Dress Barn and other stores looking for dress pants, skirts and nice tops.

What happened to dress pants in the last five years? I can’t find a pair without a yoga style or elastic waist. If I tuck in a shirt they look like crap, not to mention the way they keep sliding down my butt. I know my butt is bigger than it used to be but really! What happened to zippers, snaps and belt loops?

Also, can I please have a pair of jeans without Lycra or Spandex? I would like a pair of denim jeans, again with buttons, snaps or zippers. I can live with the low rise jeans but please let me zip or button them closed.

And I would like sleeves in my shirts too. It seems everything I’m finding is tank style or has cuts in the sleeves so they might as well be sleeveless. And the material – I would like to put on a T-shirt and not have everyone see the color of my bra underneath. I’m beginning to see why people still do the 90’s layering thing, it’s so you don’t see their nipples.

For a while I thought it might be the stores I’m shopping in, so I popped into Nordstroms. Guess what? Same crap, higher prices. I’ve come to the conclusion though that I must be shopping in the wrong places so I’m going to start asking people who are wearing the styles I’m looking for where they shop. After all, someone must still have clothes I can wear out there somewhere.

March Wipocalypse check-in

Question of the Month – What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend?

I am not one of those people who cruise Etsy or Google looking for new patterns. I have enough in my stash of the people I discovered around the turn of the century when I started stitching again. My go to designers are Teresa Wentzler, Dragon Dreams, Sue Hillis, Just Nan and Mirabilia/Nora Corbett.

I would say the newest designers I have discovered are Armada Designs – I won her Dragonite at one of the Con volunteer events which led to me joining the Class Schedule Stitch Along. I’ve fallen behind on that one but I did finish January this month.

I did make some modifications but I’ve loved how clear and simple this design is. I’m looking forward to the rest of the design. It kills me how people in the SAL Facebook group make comments that would really hurt me if I were the designer.

I think back to how Nora Corbett has said it really hurts when people say, “well my wallet is safe” when she releases a design. People, think before you say things online. Would you say that to someone’s face if they were standing there? Then maybe you shouldn’t say it online.

Another new to me designer is Clouds Factory – I’ve been working on last year’s Fabulous Women Stitch Along – I’m behind again and finished February but haven’t finished March yet.

I’ve been adding beads to it but I learned that the beads do not work well with the Q-snaps so I didn’t bead Virginia’s necklace. I’m going to bead at the end.

I’m also working on the SAL from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery for this year – Into the Jungle. I’m staying current on this one.

I’m glad that we do have new designers and I love seeing all the new stitchers on Flosstube. I love also seeing the experiments people do with dyeing their own fabric too.

I did buy a tie dye kit to try on some Aida when I get ready to start Bothy Threads Alice in Wonderland. That’s some time off though, I have a lot of things kitted up ready to start and many that need to be finished first.

I’ve found a new job and I’m hoping that gives me more time to stitch since it includes travel time.

Still chasing this squirrel…

So far in March, I haven’t stitched much but I’ve done quite a bit of writing.  I even went to the League of Utah Writers Infinite Monkey’s chapter meeting. The presentation was on writing flash fiction and we rolled the dice – horror, inanimate protagonist, outer space, gritty style, and I forget what the last one was.

Here is my flash fiction:

Today was his birthday.  It was going to be hell.

Normally she didn’t mind doing shifting but this one she dreaded.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if she hadn’t been trapped in that ship for the first 100 decades of her personal memory.  True, she could have washed between her ears like so many of her colleagues but she found the thought of losing her original personality frightening. She wasn’t like the others who put on new personas as often as seasonal fashion.  Of course, not washing meant that she realized the others changed when they didn’t remember.  But this job, luckily, only came up on his birthday and so many years she had missed the short straw.

In some ways it was intriguing, he was classified as the oldest living AI in anyone’s data banks.  She knew the truth of his sentience.

Sentience gave him rights, and she was not above the law.  Only one had returned from his birthday bash in all the records she had reviewed.  The law stated every sentient AI had the right to a day in a shifter’s body.  Hadn’t she escaped the ship by using her day out to capture this body?  Tricking the machine designed to validate the original shifter’s return? She knew her true fear was turnabout as fair play and if he hadn’t been washed, he might remember; remember her.

She stood before the airlock, and steeling herself, pressed the opener.

“Welcome, Ophelia, Shall we trade places again?”

January Wipocalypse CheckIn

Check in Page on Facebook.

So I’m late checking in this month. It’s been a busy start to the new year. I’m writing as much as I’m stitching and have some fun things going. First the questions

What SALs are you participating in this year?

I have 3 SALs that I’m planning on for this year – Last year’s Clouds Factory Fabulous Women which I didn’t keep current with and am working on the monthly blocks this year. Here is January.

Next I’m working on the Harry Potter Class Schedule from Armada Designs. I ordered some gold and yellow silk from Silks4U for the borders and the class schedule banner. I did get that started in January.

The final SAL that I’m participating in this year is the Frosted Pumpkin Into the Jungle SAL. I completed my January block there too.

As for my other stitching goals. I did get a row finished in Anniversary Roses but I can’t show those pictures online because of the agreement with the designer. And I got one block finished on Stars for a New Millennium.

I also finished the tortoise on Ecology which was a freebie from either the Hoffman or Herschner’s site

So not as much as I hoped to stitch but I’ve been focused on job hunting and writing.

What are you stitching Olympics plans? Which event?

I am planning on the rotation relay – a new piece each day unless I finish the section goal in which case, I can either work on a piece from an earlier day or move on to the next day.

Day – Project – Goal

Friday, Opening ceremonies – Class Schedule – Get current

Saturday, Day 1 – Stars for a New Millennium – 2 Stars

Sunday, Day 2 – Fabulous Women – February

Monday, Day 3 – New Year Fairy – 200 stitches – (There may be no stitching this day as my son comes home from his mission to St. Louis)

Tuesday, Day 4 – Frosted Pumpkin Into the Jungle – February Block (Toucans)

Wednesday, Day 5 – Anniversary Roses – Wild Rose/Celtic Vines Row

Thursday, Day 6 – EGA Name Tag

Friday, Day 7 – Dr. Who Quilt – Finish signatures

Saturday, Day 8 – Ecology – Finish it

Sunday, Day 9 – Summer Carousel Horse – 200 stitches (Catch up on other pieces)

Monday, Day 10 – Fall Carousel Horse – 200 stitches

Tuesday, Day 11 – Spring Carousel Horse – 200 stitches

Wednesday, Day 12 – Needlepoint Purse Kit – 2 inches of Basketweave

Thursday, Day 13 – Tempest – 200 stitches

Friday, Day 14 – Ristipisto Kit – 300 stitches

Saturday, Day 15 -Rose Fairy, Joan Elliott – 300 stitches

Sunday, Closing Ceremonies – Dragon Ride – 300 stitches

17 projects with some progress? We’ll see how it goes.

Squirrel Weekend?

I’ve spent my life chasing multitasking squirrels. In school my oldest and youngest children were referred for ADHD testing. I looked at the teachers and explained, the kids had tested negative, it is Mom who has issues. This means I have a tendency to jump from idea to idea and project to project with no rhyme or reason. Oh, hey, look it’s shiny….

In the last year, I completed coaching certification. I completed my Competent Communicator award from Toastmasters International (and competed in a speech competition). I took my dream vacation and rode the Carson County Carousel. And I got the offer to move to Georgia or find a new job. In April, my employment ends (with a possible extension to July). Squirrel?

This weekend I attended my very first writing conference. I learned a lot about the business of writing, didn’t ask “tell me more” from other attendees as often as I should have, dug out the 3 files of stories that I have stored in the cloud and realized there is only 1 page on each of them. I loved being at the conference even though I spent the weekend wondering what I was doing there and how it applied to me. The high point was meeting Richard Paul Evans and hearing about his writing process and his marketing process before Christmas Box became a best seller. I also got a great idea for a short, twisted, speculative fiction story from Stephanie Mabey (okay not from her but from one of her songs). But for some reason, I feel this entire weekend was chasing a shiny squirrel.

If I catch the squirrel, will it all make sense and come to a sensible conclusion? Even if it doesn’t, it has started some great conversations with my middle son (who loaned me a copy of his Neil Gaiman short story book) and I have an appointment with my oldest to attend the League of Utah Writers in February. I wonder if I will catch the squirrel there.

Purple.jpg

Working from a Backlog for Rotation.

Instead of setting up an hourly rotation this year, I set up my rotation slots based on accomplishing sections of the WIPs I’m working on completing.

We’re two weeks into the year and I’ve completed three stories and I’m working on the fourth. I’ve completed Cary Grant and Vivian Leigh in Stars for a new Millennium

Vivian Leigh

Cary Grant

January Fabulous Women

and I should finish the Into the Jungle January square this weekend so this month is really moving well and I like using the story method for determining when it’s time to rotate.