Combined monthly entry – WIPocalypse and Stitch from Stash

Just so you know, I’m combining the posts for the two stitching related groups I belong to this month.  The topic for WIPocalypse is tell us about your oldest and newest WIPs.  My oldest WIP by date it was started is the purse I inherited from my grandmother’s house.  I finished the front piece of the purse and I was working on the side strip when I got bored.  I also found a great monogram to put an M on the back since we share that initial.  The oldest piece I have that I started is one of two Dimensions kits you can see at the top the list on the Stitch from Stash page shown at the top of the blog here.

The newest WIP I have is La-D-Da’s The Raven which I started so I could have a travel piece.  It’s a piece that my middle son asked me to do for him.  He’ll be home from the Philippines in November.  So this is as far as I’ve done on it.  wpid-20140823_202835.jpg

It’s part of three La-D-Da pieces I want to do for the kids.  The second is Something Wicked this Way Comes and the third is Toil and Trouble.  It’s hard to tell from the little that I’ve stitched that it’s the last word and the raven’s head.  I’m using a piece of hand dyed oops fabric from Picture this Plus that Marilyn gave me from their reject pile.  I’m stitching it with Fibers to Dye for silk threads which is all from my stash.  That leads me into the next blog entry that is needed for this month.  Stitch from Stash.

This month we got a free $25 to spend above the monthly budget of $25.  With that in mind and in order to support Laurel’s Stitchery’s move to Rainbow Stitchery I bought the 4 Nora Corbett witches which I’ve wanted.  If you remember, last month, I bought the fabric to do them with.  The total cost for the 4 patterns and the embellishment pack for Gigi came to 40.25.  The odd part is that it was originally charged to my credit card and then credited back.   So I have all four ladies in hand and nothing charged on my card.  I’ve emailed Laurel to make sure she got paid.

In the meantime, I’ve been going like gangbusters on Fire and Ice.  Here’s a progress picture from tonight.

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I’m only putting in 1-3 threads a night but it’s amazing the progress I see every day.  I’m sure that as I enter some of the more densely packed parts that progress feeling will flee.  However, I’m almost out of Anchor 897 so I needed to go pick up a new skein.  I’ve also been itching for a new start so I kitted up Goblin Market from Counted Illuminations and I was short a few threads.  While I was at Craft Center picking those up, I found that they had Toil and Trouble – the third La-D-Da piece in stock.  I’ve had it on my list for 2 years now and the shop requires a minimum of $10 if you want to use a debit card so I grabbed the pattern too.  The total for thread and the pattern was $11.54.  So my total for the month is 40.25 + 11.54 – $25 = 26.79  which is a little over budget but I’ve been under some months so I should still be good.

I’ll try to drop in more next month.

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Stitch from Stash April Report

So I started the month of April by teaching in Logan.  The 2 hour drive to Logan means a visit to Donnett at Embroidery Central.

Through everyone’s Facebook progress pictures, I was falling in love with some of the new Mirabilia’s  and Donnett stocks more Mirabilia’s than any other retail location in Utah.  She also had a copy of My Christmas Quilt by Emie Bishop.  Which gives us a grand total spent of $24.00.  That was going to be my total spend for the month.  But then I started working on Fruit BellPull by Teresa Wentzler and realized that I was missing the 612 and the 3747 but it was okay, I could work around it for awhile.  I did get some progress done on the piece, not much though…

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I did get my Dr. Who quilt pieced and put together except for the outer border.

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I took it to ComicCon FanX with me and Hal the Archer added his signature to it.

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That wasn’t the only signature I got that weekend.  I have a nice start to my Star Trek quilt.

The start of my Star Trek quilt....

The start of my Star Trek quilt….

Seven signatures is a start.  It would be nice if I had been able to get William Shatner and Patrick Stewart for a full 9 blocks.  I’m sure that over time I’ll be able to add 2 more.  The husband would like me to get Dwight Schultz since he loved the character of Reginald Barclay.

So after getting the 7 signatures for my quilt, I wanted some #12 black perle to embroider them in place.  I’ve heard horror stories of people losing the signatures on T-shirts so I’ve pressed these in place and now it’s time to stitch over them, except I was out of #12 black perle cotton.  So I did hit JoAnn’s and I bought the 2 missing floss and a ball of #12 perle – Total $2.60.

That gives me a monthly total of $26.60 for April.  Good thing I didn’t spend all my money in previous months…

The only problem I have now is that I’m thinking the Star Trek signatures should be done in silk.  I think I have some black Subtlety in my stash if not, guess what I’m buying next month…

 

Wednesday WIP update

So I finished up the 10 hour slot on Fall Carousel horse which is nice because I’m so ready to work on larger count.  My TW Carousel horses are done on 40 ct linen over 2 so working on them for more than a 10 hour slot is hard on the eyes.

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At thirty hours, 33% of the squares on the graph are completed and a few more could be if I put in just a few hours more of backstitching.
Then there is the Dr. Who SAL – the final block was released today and I’ve already transferred it to the fabric ready to stitch. Of course that doesn’t mean much since 11 was traced a week ago and still hasn’t been stitched.

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Which leads us to the next issue, now that the rotation slot for Fall Carousel Horse is complete, what comes next, finishing the warp on the loom or working on Fire and Ice?

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Here is the loom with only about 40 strands left to put in before I can start weaving. Except I’ve misplaced the pattern but I know which book it’s in so it should be easy to find.

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This is Kustom Krafts Fire and Ice which I started in Jan 2003 and have finished the first page but still have 85% of the pattern to stitch. The nice thing is it’s on 28 count fabric which looks huge after the 40 count I’ve been working on. I’ve only put 20 hours into this piece and I haven’t touched it since July of 2004 so it may take a bit to remember where I am and get into the pattern again. It’s a good thing that I have a list of Hitchcock movies I want to see and stitch too.

Is there a correlation? Or just a coincidence? A PPACA rant.

Effective August 1, 2012 insurance companies and self-funded employers are required to provide Birth Control without any copays.  If your plan was in place on August 1, 2012 then the change will take effect on the date of plan renewal.  My plan renews on 1/1/2013.

That means that I needed to buy my own pills for the last two months of the year.  See I’ve chosen to participate in a plan that used to give me opportunities to negotiate with doctors for the best rates and shop around.  But ever since PPACA (commonly called Obamacare) went into effect, I’ve been having trouble negotiating additional discounts with medical providers.  It seems that PPACA put teeth in a bill that was passed under the Clinton administration.  My doctor could go to jail if she gives me a discount greater than the one that she gave to the insurance company.  She used to be able to give a cash discount for paying at time of service but now, she could be fined or face jail time if the government found out that she used different fee schedules other than the ones she has contracts with companies to charge.  So, no more cash discounts.

So back to buying my birth control pills for the last time.  Usually I buy three months worth of pills for $60 ($20 per month for a 4 week supply).  Well since there is only 2 months left in the year, I only needed 2 months of pills.  After all, in January there is no more co-pay and my employer will be paying the full cost of my pills.  So the cost of two months should be $40, right?  Nope, there was a price increase in August (hmm, seeing a trend here);  I was charged $75 for two months of pills.  That’s an 87.5% increase in cost.

This leads me back to the first rule of Economics I was taught in college – what you subsidize you get more of.  Through government regulation, employers are being forced to subsidize birth control pills but no one thought to cap the cost or the profits that the drug companies can collect.  So why should I care?  After all come January, I’m not going to be paying for the increased cost, my employer is going to pay it (I’m not going to explain ERISA self-funding vs Insurance premiums here).

But if my employer has increased cost in the healthcare plan then there is less cashflow for things like training, salaries, bonuses and new employees.  After all, nothing is really free, there is a cost somewhere.

So, final point – has Obamacare (PPACA) helped me?  Not really and the more I look at it, I don’t see how it will help anyone with a small business and I can see medical costs running at an even higher rate of inflation than they were before.  I keep coming back to the thought that the problem wasn’t access to medical insurance (someone else to pay the bills) the problem was costs that were skyrocketing out of control because market forces were not in play.  After all, the only place where medical costs were not out of control was cosmetic surgery – it was an area where there was competition and people shopped around.

It’s a little hard to shop for a heart surgeon in the middle of a heart attack which is why I shopped around first.  If my high cholesterol causes the heart attack which I know is coming, I want to go to St. Marks instead of any IHC facility or the University of Utah.  I’ve studied the St. Mark’s results and their fees and that’s where the best balance occurs.   Too bad more people don’t think ahead like that.

 

It’s been awhile since I talked of economics…

but I’ve been seeing something I haven’t seen in a long time… Burger King, Wendy’s, McDonalds and the nursing home by my house all have Help Wanted signs posted on the street.  Three or four restaurants around work also have signs in their windows.  On top of that, there was a radio blurb I heard recently about how Utah no longer qualified for extended Federal unemployment help.  My employer has a policy that no hire is placed until it’s approved by the CEO, yet we have positions posted every week and they aren’t entry level (although there are always several of those too).  If you know a JAVA programmer in UT, AZ or TX we’re offering a hiring bonus (team is in SLC but they’re willing to take hub location hires at this point) and I would be happy to forward the resume.

In addition, home prices are rising and the buyer that DH has been shepherding around was told by her lender that she should plan on offering more than the asking price if she expected to land a HUD or HomePath home.  It’s become a sellers market because there are people moving into the state and not enough houses to go around.

Yet, after the election in France and the movement against balanced budgets in Europe (and the inability of the US Congress and President to balance our budget).  I can’t help but wonder if this is just a short lived bump and we’re going to double dip.  Then the jobs report came out and the numbers for the last 2 months were revised downward.  They keep saying that there are no construction jobs hiring since building hasn’t recovered and isn’t expected to recover for some time.  The next story is one about how the average unemployed person in Utah claims benefits for less than 14 weeks so the state is going to lower the rate that employers pay for the premium toward unemployment insurance.

I cannot live on fear, I need to take things one day at a time and be happy with what I have now without worrying about what the future will bring.  Live as if today is your last day but spend as if you will be broke tomorrow.

A different Black Friday

For the past several years, Black Friday has signaled the end of my holiday shopping.  It’s something that I do with my daughter to wrap up the commercial side of things so we can enjoy the holiday season as a family without the frantic financial scrambling.

This year, my new job required that I work on Friday after Thanksgiving, so I wasn’t able to spend the time with my girl and I missed it, especially wrapping up the day with either a massage or a mani/pedi.   I did manage to wrap up the holiday shopping though thanks to the online deals.

I do have a few more things to get but I’m waiting for the school fund raiser on December 10, 2011 in order to do that.