Last minute stitching goals for the year.

So after seeing that Light had built a Melee fight in a sheets workbook, I started playing with my spreadsheet. I figured out that I have completed at least 3% on all but 13 of my WIPs this year. The total of the missing stitches is less than I’ve stitched in October. So, I’m thinking, I can stitch on these projects and meet the stitch goals for the year and I probably even have space to work toward completing the Christmas projects I have started. So the stitching plan for the rest of the year, is to work on the 13 pieces on this list and complete the 3%.

The interesting thing is that 5 of these pieces live in my parlor. My main stitching chair is not in the parlor. So something to think of for an improvement for next year is to set up at least one day a week to not watch TV and plan to stitch in the parlor. As for November and December, I plan to spend more time in the parlor. That’s where the Christmas tree will be after all.

So have you looked at your stitching goals for the year? Did you accomplish them? What could you do to accomplish something toward them in the last two months of the year?

Go forth and Conquer…

I finished a book!

Just so you know, I finished Jolene by Mercedes Lackey. Now for those of you who knew me before the Pandemic Lockdown. This would not be a big deal, I was reading 1-2 books per week.

However, just before lockdown I had a soul crushing year and was one week into a new job when lockdown occurred. I had great lockdown plans, I was going to finish writing my book. I was going to read everything in my TBR pile. I was going to stitch and finish all my WIPs and start all the previously kitted projects on my shelf.

And then it hit. A paralyzing stress reaction where all I wanted to do was deny that I was stressed. My kids actually insisted I go find a switch (ended up with a Switch Lite and Animal Crossing).

And so I numbed my busy mind with building a 5 star island. Come August, I held a virtual get together with some local stitchers and agreed to stitch a model for a very busy designer. That woke me up a little and I started stitching again. I’ve now managed to stitch at least a little every single day since Sept 22, 2020.

But reading and writing have not returned. I have 2 maybe 3 of the Louise Penny Detective Gamache novels ready to read. I have a stack of business books on my Kindle and Google Play account ready to go as soon as my reading desire returns. I’m hoping that the reading bug is off playing with my writing bug.

See, I’ve put together a boatload of slide decks but no actual writing is required for that. It’s just a matter of finding the right pictures. Blogging has not been happening and YouTube filming is still halted.

So, you see, finishing a book is a big deal right now. It’s a step back to normal for me. True during lockdown I listened to several books but only Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky which convinced me that I will never give another penny to the March of Dimes again.

So let me tell you about Jolene – It’s an entry in the Elemental Masters series by Lackey. The publisher would have you believe it’s the first on American soil but they weren’t the publisher on Fire Rose which preceded the current list of Elemental masters.

Jolene is an adaptation of The Queen of Copper Mountain. And yes, there is a part where the Dolly Parton song is paraphrased. The setting is in the hollers of coal and copper mining areas just after the civil war.

I am motivated now to go read the Annie Oakley Elemental master book which I have missed reading in the series. Or, I could go restart the Phantom Tollbooth that I started and didn’t finish when lockdown first started.

Some odd statistics

The oldest WIP on my spreadsheet was started by my Grandmother in 1946, assuming that she started it the year the kit was published.

The newest WIP was started 9/24/21 when I needed a new start for a challenge.

I have 3 WIPs started before 2000.

The oldest WIP started after 2000 is Fortunate Traveller started in 2003.

The year with the most WIP starts, five, is 2017 with 2 of those being annual SALs that I fell behind on.

The Largest WIP was started in 2015 and hasn’t seen much love because I signed an agreement not to share pictures on the internet.

The smallest WIP was started 3/1/2020 and should be finished this month now that I have the silk lame I ran out of.

Only one piece is on perforated paper.

Three of the pieces are on Aida

Two are embroidery, one is Blackwork, 3 are needlepoint, the remaining 26 are cross-stitch

Five pieces are over 30% complete, 15 pieces are at 15% or less completion

Two designers have 4 slots each on my WIP list, Teresa Wentzler and Nora Corbett/Mirabilia

I usually put 500 stitches into a new start before moving to another project.

Stitching Olympics

Back in the days of bulletin boards, we used to have stitching Olympics. We knew what was coming and we prepped for it ready to race. I won a spool of Krenik one year for my sprint finishes.

One of the other things that happened on the bulletin boards was every February there would be an implosion of some sorts and people would get feelings hurt and leave the boards.

I should start this next section by saying I’m not really a fan of Facebook, the only reason that I’m there is to stay connected with stitching friends some of which go back to the days of the Bulletin Boards. That said, this morning I belonged to several stitching groups which have friendly competitions, probably too many as more than once this month I’ve lost track of which start pictures I had where.

For the past couple days, I’ve had 2 friends who are feuding. I’ve been stuck in the middle and the only good part of it is I was kicked out of some of the stitching groups without notice. It made the decision of which games to quit much easier – they quit them for me.

I like both friends and have tried to maintain neutrality but being Switzerland is hard when one is asking me to turn on the other and the other is my dealer and pimp.

Part of My Stash from my German dealer

See, I am a scissors whore and I am a Kindertoy junkie. Since Solingen Steel is cheap in Germany and Kindertoys are not available for import I need a partner in crime who can supply me. Luckily, back in the days of bulletin boards we held a world wide get together for the Theresa Wentzler bulletin board. My German dealer joined us in Vegas for that event. We’ve exchanged packages ever since (I will admit I’ve received more than I’ve sent). So with this kind of habit to support asking me to take sides is a futile effort.

I’ve done my best to not post about the behind the scenes battle publicly but getting kicked out of groups with no warning or message from admins I DO NOT KNOW AND HAVE NEVER EXCHANGED A CONVERSATION WITH made me want to state my desire to remain neutral. I enjoy playing stitching games but I was stitching before games and I’ll be stitching long after they are gone and something else has replaced them, unless my fingers or eyesight goes.

See, one of the things that no one tells women is that a lack of estrogen can impact the joints and tendons. Luckily, my UK friends at the Semi-Sane Asylum did know about this and were able to suggest some lab work for my doctor to run which led to me getting bio-identical hormones which have been amazing for my hands. I’m so grateful for the friends at Semi Sane Stitching who told me about this problem. My doctor says that I can safely do about 10 years of the hormone treatment so I have a lot of stitching to do and limited time left.

So with lots of stitching to do, I don’t have time to be involved in drama or get stuck between people. Besides, I have my own stitching group where I’m trying to figure out how to fairly give away stuff that I am too lazy to sell on eBay because I don’t want it anymore. I would be happy to have suggestions on how to get rid of the BBOS – Big Bag of Stuff.

Just some data

So for my Data Geek Stitching Friends: collection period 2016 to 2020


4 Large,

13 Medium,

25 Small

431,237 stitches

Project duration
Large avg 6.5 years,

Med avg 3.72 years,

Small avg 44 days

My oldest WIP is from my Grandma and was started in the 1940s

My oldest WIP which I started is older than my kids

My 4 oldest cross stitch WIPs are designed by Teresa Wentzler

I have unstarted fully kitted projects that are 10 years old.

The goal this year is to finish more things than I start, lower the average age of completion, and stitch at least 120,000 stitches.

Grateful for despite of…

I realize that I come from a position of privilege, and I’m grateful for that. Today though, I’m grateful for my obstacles and the examples of people who accomplish much despite of …

I’m grateful that I have a mind that lets me recognize things to be grateful for despite of the many times it spins to analyze hidden pitfalls of good things that happen.

I’m grateful to have a body that functions within suggested guidelines. I admire people who do so much despite the debilitating pain and fatigue they have every day.

I’m grateful that I didn’t have the challenges with my children which I saw other parents have with theirs. I’m grateful that my kids picked good friends.

I’m grateful for obstacles that turned into stepping stones.


Nobody in the future cares about today’s Pandemic…

On my Social media feeds today, I’m seeing pictures of a map with outbreak stats in alarming colors and the text accompanying it talks about how future generations are going to wonder about why people didn’t wear masks.

Umm, NO, future generations if they even know about this time won’t care any more than you cared about the anti-mask movement of 1918, the swimming pool and theatre closures of 1952 and the “don’t worry about it, only gay men get it” feelings of the 1980’s AID pandemic.

Social issues rarely get press time in textbooks unless they influence future policy.

Think about it for a second, anti-vaxxers today tell us that the vaccine for polio is a bigger threat than the disease. They tell us that the photos of people in iron lungs are faked and it’s all about Bill Gates trying to microchip the world.

When you went to nursing or medical school, did they talk about the overtaxed staff in the polio wards or how the medical system was overloaded during the Spanish flu pandemic so they would send people home to die?

Maybe there were family stories. To this day I have trouble with my Aunt’s anti-vax attitude since my grandmother would tell me how grateful she was that same Aunt and Uncle got the real vaccine in the polio trial. The invitation to participate came after my father survived a polio infection. And the family story is that he survived because of miraculous blessing.

Since history repeats itself, the things I’m more worried about right now is giving government control to regulate even more of my life because temporary orders get lifted but permanent laws take a long time to be repealed. (Google how long the government kept collecting the tax to pay back the debt of the Spanish American war).

I will follow my state and county orders to stay at home and I will wear a mask in public and after they have either a vaccine or a cure, I will have stories to get my progeny which they may or may not believe based on their friends and social media circles. I wonder though what historians will say about this time, will they remember the political upheaval? Will they remember the social distancing? Will they talk about how it was the start of the permanent divide or the catalyst that brought the world together? History is written by the victors who will be victorious and write how we are remembered?

For the first time in 30 years, I will not be a poll worker tomorrow.

During the Clinton era, I became a poll worker. I wanted to get involved in a neutral way to help with politics and helping people vote. For the last several elections, I’ve been a provisional judge. That means, if you aren’t in the register, I provide a way for you to cast a ballot that will be reviewed by the county clerk and determined if you were an eligible voter. If you were eligible your vote will be counted and if not, it will be discarded (Please, don’t ask how they do that on the computer when it’s supposed to be a secret ballot)

In 2016, every registered voter in Salt Lake County, UT was mailed a ballot and the thought was that the in person polling places weren’t going to be needed on Election Day. If you wanted to do in person voting, early voting was available so the county clerk figured that Election Day would be pretty slow.

Well, it wasn’t! I was on my feet for 14 hours and it was crazy. I barely got two chances to pee. I had no time for a lunch break and I about broke when I had 2 of the provisional voters tell me that they had been sent from another polling location because the provisional line had been too long.

I suggested to my poll location manager that we implement ADA guidelines for lines similar to those of Salt Lake FanX. We set up a seating area for those who didn’t have the ability to stand in line and gave the person who was in line ahead of them a name card to give to the line control person when they got to the front, the line control person would then call the name for the voter who was waiting in the seated area.

I processed over 300 provisional ballots and got called lots of names and explained the rules more than 300 times.

Two years ago, I was also a provisional judge and had a woman mark that she was not a US citizen but demand a ballot anyway (medical marijuana was on the ballot so it was as crazy as the presidential election). Thank goodness for the man with his new citizenship papers that told her since she’s been in the US since the mid-70’s she has no excuse for not going through the process to get her citizenship. After all, he did it. I’m so glad she left instead of demanding I give her a provisional ballot.

So tomorrow, I have some important meetings at work. I really don’t have the energy to put up with the abuse that will be levied at the poll workers tomorrow. I have put up with enough craziness in 2020, I did not need to set myself up for any more. I went and voted early (wasn’t going to take the chance on a signature not matching on a mail in ballot). During early voting, I questioned my decision but the more I think about it. It’s the best choice.

See you again at the polls in 2022, I’ll be behind the desk again.

It’s the end of June….

2020 is half over. How many are excited to see it end?

Wipocalypse 2020 Question is how are you doing on the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year?

How many of you feel like January was more than 6 months ago? How many feel like real life ended in March and you’ve been in either hibernation or a horror movie for the last 3 months?

I feel like I’ve been in hibernation. I went into quarantine with plans to stitch like crazy while on work from home meetings. It wasn’t 2 weeks in when my kids suggested that I get a switch lite to help with stress reduction. I told them I wasn’t stressed. My oldest son told me to sit down and explained that even if I thought I wasn’t stressed, this was the first time he’s ever seen me swear while trying to thread needles.

So I bought a Switch Lite and Animal Crossing New Horizons. I have a 5 star island and play daily which hasn’t helped my stitching time. I also haven’t done much writing or made a new floss tube video but I’ve been doing well at work and my team is amazing.

But for the last three months, I’ve been on auto drive. I’ve played video games and done not much else but work, eat food my amazing husband prepares. I’m up 10 pounds and I’m having problems with my hands and feet swelling and going numb while I sleep. It’s partially menopause, partially stress, partially not drinking enough water and eating too much salt, and sleeping in a way that impinges the ulnar nerve. It makes me not want to stitch much.

I started the year with goals to participate in WIPGO 2020, the purple peppermint Blackwork SAL and plans to finish several large WIPs this year.

As far as I’ve done on Purple Peppermint Blackwork SAL

I didn’t actually start the Purple Peppermint SAL in January but everyone’s work started looking so good, I couldn’t resist anymore and I started it and then I didn’t like the way it was looking and I stopped. I had forgotten that Blackwork works better worked from a diagonal, horizontal or vertical pattern. I know it will get better after I finish the first row and roll the fabric but for the moment, I’m having trouble motivating myself to work on it.

My first start of quarantine and what I work on when not gaming.

I thought it might help to have a project near my desk for when meetings got boring. Considering that I started it the end of March, it has some progress but not as much as it could have been.

The only thing finished during quarantine which isn’t a video game.

I did actually finish something though. This square was on my WIPGO list and I did actually complete it, looking at my chart I finished it May 6, 2020.

I have done at least a 1000 new stitches on this during the year.

My WIPGO board had 1000 stitches per square on this project. I did finish 1000 stitches on June 1, 2020 but I’m behind by 2 squares so it still needs 2000 stitches for me to be caught up. However, I look at it and I just can’t seem to motivate myself. In fact, in an attempt to motivate myself to stitch more, I started this Waxing Moon Designs.

My 2nd quarantine start

Here’s hoping that I can start waking up out of this hibernation and actually start getting things accomplished towards the goals that I set back in January. However, I’m not really planning on accomplishing much this year if it continues the way it has since March.

May started out so well…

The first week of May was amazing, graduations, a wedding, and a new GFB (Grand Fur Baby) but it went downhill from there.

May 12,2020 I was on a virtual stitching group when my sister phoned, I didn’t pick it up but then she called my husband – my family rarely calls in-laws so I knew it was important. She was calling to tell me my younger brother had passed while mountain biking with his son.

The coroner pronounced it a cardiovascular event not a bike accident and family emotions were high as the widow tried to hold a traditional funeral in times of social distancing. I gave the life sketch – a combination of reading the obituary and stories from his life. A better experience was the family only graveside service.

The other bad thing occurring in May is my hands are not just going numb but extremely painful. I’m thinking it’s related to the amount of gaming I’m doing and tension. It’s not carpal tunnel but it could be an ulnar entrapment or a neck or shoulder impingement. It makes it next to impossible to stitch but I’ve managed to put a few stitches into things.

Peppermint Blackwork SAL

However, I did this much on the Peppermint Blackwork SAL and decided that I’m not happy with the fabric or maybe it’s the thread choice. I’m trying to decide if I should stick with this fabric and change the thread colors or start over with the same threads but a different fabric. Would appreciate thoughts on it.

Magical Mystery Tour by Blackbird Designs

I did get some done on Magical Mystery Tour for DH – I’m taking the Blackbird Designs pieces and putting them on a single piece of fabric. this is Strawberry Fields and Octopus’s Garden.

Tony Minieri’s Stars for a New Millennium

I did get a full block done on Stars for a New Millennium. Some friends realized I needed some girl time and I’m occasionally doing virtual stitch time with them.