Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in review

I'm not quite sure I can believe a year has gone by. It's been a busy year. I started and finished my Masters this year. I took a break from dancing due to lack of funds and when I started to get back into it, at least socially, I found another amateur to dance with. We have our first competition together in mid-January.

These were last years goals:
  1. Find a part-time job.
  2. Complete a UFO in my stash (or complete at least 4 pages of a BAP).
  3. Lose five more pounds.
  4. Complete my Masters with a 3.5 GPA.
  5. Get an internship.
  6. Rip my CD collection to my computer.
  7. Write another story.
  8. Attempt Script Frenzy in April (coincides with one of my classes)
How well did I fair?
  1. Didn't quite look hard enough plus school kept me pretty busy.
  2. I finished lots of projects but none I would really consider a UFO. Seven cross-stitch, 1 dress, and five crochet
  3. I actually lost 10. I think this makes up for not quite reaching my goal last year.
  4. Completed my Masters with a 4.0.
  5. Got two for the summer.
  6. Done. Except for the few CDs that are in my car.
  7. Did that. Somehow.
  8. Completed that as well but didn't quite get the whole story turned into a script. I do have 100 pages of it done though.
Not bad I think. So what are my goals for next year
  1. Find a job. This is a must but I'd prefer sooner rather than later. The job hunt will start Jan. 2.
  2. Stitch only from my stash that I have at the moment. (see button on right and additional post here)
  3. Complete some sewing projects (my own additional stitch from stash)
  4. Reorganize my craft closet, again. It's nice for a while but gets messy after a bit. Will be easier to accomplish after #2 & #3 have been worked on.
  5. Clean up my facebook friends.
  6. Write something, or come up with an idea that I can produce myself without the backing of a major studio.
  7. My mom's goal for me is to find a boyfriend.
2014 will be interesting. I wish you all a Happy New Year.

The start of Stitch From Stash 2014

I solemnly vow I will only stitch from the stash I own at the time of this post.

That being established, let me list the projects that stash consists of that are not missing any key components.

Bold = current WIP
Italic = kit

Cross-stitch and other needle crafts:
  1. Argentine Tango - RTO
  2. Beauty From the Deep
  3. Best Friend
  4. Black Stallion
  5. Buterfly Pillow (needlepoint)
  6. Cat Purse (plastic canvas)
  7. Cat stocking
  8. Cats... 
  9. Cats on the Quilts (longstitch)
  10. Celestial Dragon
  11. Dance Me Out
  12. Dancing Couple
  13. Dragon Carousel
  14. Fairy Melody
  15. Fairy Spell
  16. Fantastic Landscape
  17. Fantasy Triptych
  18. Felted Penguin
  19. Flowers
  20. Foxtrot - RTO
  21. Frog Pile
  22. Grand Ball
  23. Horses of the Apocalypse
  24. In the Garden
  25. 'insanity'
  26. Kitten Recital
  27. Legend of the Dragons
  28. Legend of the Spellcasters
  29. Millennium
  30. Mystical Wizard
  31. Peacock Tapestry
  32. Put Your Red Shoes On (currently being worked on)
  33. Sacred Connection
  34. Seashells (needlepoint)
  35. Show Horse corral (needlepoint)
  36. Stargazer Lily
  37. Stroke of Midnight
  38. Studio Tango
  39. Sugar Plum Stocking (felt)
  40. Sweater Stocking (felt)
  41. The Accolade
  42. The Arab Tent
  43. Tiger
  44. Tree silverwear holders (felt)
  45. Twilight Silhouette
  46. Watchful Eyes
  47. White Tigers
Plus Oriental Butterfly and four smaller kits that I've dubbed travel kits.

I know the official Stitch from Stash is for Cross-stitch, but I'm going to attempt to apply the principle to my two other main crafts as well.

  1. Cathedral Rose Window Afghan 
  2. Crocodile scarf
  3. Doily
  4. Frou Frou (sweater)
  5. Green/White Halter
  6. Grey Skirt
  7. Opera Gloves
  8. Red Sweater
  9. Scarves
  10. Starburst Afghan
  11. Tank Top
I have left over yarn from other projects that I could make a few more things but I haven't quite figured those out yet.

  1. Black Velvet Latin dress
  2. Evening Gown with the blue sparkle knit
  3. Halloween wall quilt and placemats
  4. Halter top
  5. Pink Dress
  6. Rainbow quilt
  7. Red flemenco dress
  8. Santa Wreath
  9. Shoe Brush cover (quick project)
  10. Skirt top with heavy red knit
  11. Stuffed Cat
  12. Two Purple Shirts
  13. Xmas Tree centerpiece
 I also have lots of fabric that hasn't been matched up with patterns or projects.

As you can see from the above list, I have more than enough to keep me busy without buying anything else for probably several years. And a lot of projects partially complete. Not to mention the cross-stitch charts I have but haven't gotten the fabric/thread for. I think I finally realized how much stuff I actually have...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

3/4 finished

She has legs! Soon she'll have the red shoes from the title.
This piece is still giving me fits. Earlier I thought they hadn't given me enough of one color and I'd have to pull a similar color from my DMC stash. I put it off because I didn't want to get up. Good thing I did because the next day I realized that was one of the colors they gave me a full skein of. I'm still frogging. I used the wrong color on one symbol.

And why, oh why, did Golden Kite have another up to 60% off sale? Good thing I'm participating in Mel's Stitch From Stash (see button on the right). It'll give me an additional incentive not to buy things. I'm going for one last stash binge tomorrow and that's it unless I absolutely need something. Anyway, these are my newly acquired pieces. And does anyone know if they sell 18ct fabric that can fit a 51x42 design? That's with 3 inch margins on all sides.

The Green Parasol
God Speed
Call to Arms
Vue de Kanderstein, Tyrol
Deux Femmes Dans Une Clairiere
Romeo and Juliet
Castle at the Upper-Italian
Landscape with a River
Leopard in Grass

I think I'm set for the next 30 years. Minus fabric and thread. I'm working on my new year's post so you'll hear again from me shortly.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


First milestone: I am almost halfway done with Put On Your Red Shoes. I'm still having to frog more than I would like, but I'm catching the mistakes fairly quick and correcting them before it affects something else.

Second Milestone: I am done with my Masters. Today was the official end of the semester. Two of my three grades are posted, including the one I was iffy about. I know I didn't fail the course but the traffic getting down to my final was horrible and I didn't have time to look over my notes right before the test began. I thought I would've had to go to class to show my final for another course but he said just to email it to him. Therefore I was officially done Thursday afternoon as soon as I hit send.

Next up: Finding a job and getting ready for a ballroom competition in January. I may or may not have mentioned this before, but I found an amateur partner. We've been practicing since September and will be competing in our first competition in a few weeks. Latin only this time, we'll add smooth and/or standard later.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Frog infestation

I think I've had to frog more of this piece than I have all year. I keep messing up either with counting or with a color blend. I thought I had the blend right, but I didn't and had to frog that. I realized I miscounted the right side but that was an easy fix. Just add another column to the far right. I'm surprised I managed to get this far with it.

More bad news, my Daylight bulb burnt out earlier in the week as well and I didn't have an extra. The good news is GE makes an equivalent bulb for less than half the price. And it's a bit brighter.

I have two more days of school, both finals, and I will be finished. A Masters degree in one year. Now I just need a job.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

New start

Didn't work on the stocking I had started. I had an urge to go back to my cross-stitch. But I felt like either picking up one that was already started or one of the kits. After my random number generated several that didn't fit the bill, I ended up with Put On Your Red Shoes.
Not a bad start considering I had to frog most of what I started due to two counting errors on my part.

I put my Christmas tree up today while Onyx was trying to get into everything. And I officially have 2 weeks left of school. One week of classes, and one week of finals. Then I'm done! I have to update my resume and start applying for jobs as well.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

End of NaNoWriMo and Black Friday

First off, there won't be much progress with my crafts this week because I spent most of it attempting to finish NaNoWriMo when I was really, really behind from not writing for several days.
As you can see from the graph, I somehow managed to write ~15,000 words in 3 days. I won!
Now for my slight craft progress. I finished the one sleeve on Sunday. As I was getting bored with the same stitch pattern, I started working on a felt stocking for myself. Don't know if it'll be done in time for Christmas but it's started.

 Then there's Black Friday. My mom and I actually went to Old Navy and Macy's when they opened on Thursday night. It was relatively quiet. The stores I went to on Friday were fairly quiet as well in the late morning. Among the few skeins of ruffle yarns I picked up, there were a few of latest Butterick patterns that they got in stock since last week.
The fabrics pictured below are mainly for 2 craft projects and a nightshirt for me. The kitty print is for the nightshirt, the two Christmas prints are for a stuffed tree centerpiece. The paw prints are for a stuffed cat.

These are for a Santa wreath.
I found the purple faux suede in the clearance fabrics. The other two are a shimmery polyester, and a acrylic faux leather.

I picked up two cross-stitch kits and one crewel kit (the flowers). I've only done crewel once before and it was a picture of white tigers. I loved how they came out with an almost 3d quality to them.

I think I'm going to lock my credit card away now...

Also on Black Friday, my dad went to Petco and received a free pair of pet reindeer antlers.

Onyx doesn't like them very much.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dwts season 17: week 11 results

Interesting how they almost redid the opening from the first show. Slight differences.

Bill n. I'm pretty sure the tricks were by someone else and a very good editing job. The others parts were still bad.

Elizabeth. Still have a problem with her knees being bent the entire dance.

Christina and Brant. Not bad but Christina pulled it off better.

Valerie. She seemed to forget the routine again and wound up on the wrong foot.

Snookie. She's easy to lift.

Leah. Very timid again.

Bill e. Bill and samba don't work together.

Corbin. His new yorkers and lock steps could have been a bit better. He did look a bit out of sync with Karina in the cha cha. I'll agree with the scores.

Jack. Really weird combination of dances. The salsa looked a bit odd but he never did it this season. Too high based on the level of Corbin's dance.

Amber. Not really a samba song. The technique want really there. The Quickstep was better than the samba by a long shot. I'll give Derek props for the choreography. Too high for me.

3rd place: Jack. A fitting place given his improvement.

Winner: Amber. The golden boy wins again. 

I wanted Corbin to win.

Monday, November 25, 2013

DWTS season 17: week 11 performance

It's the finale!

Did they match the outfit colors for Kelly and the troupe on purpose?

Round 1: judges pick. the redo dance

Bill.  V. Waltz. It looked about the same to me from what I remember. I'll give him the scores.

Corbin. Quickstep. It seemed slower this time for some reason. I'll agree with the scores.

Jack. Jive. The kicks and flicks were better but his triple steps were not. Maybe a little high.

Amber. Charleston. Same critiques as last time. Too much hip hop. Too high for me.

Round 2: samba relay
The song is slow for a samba.
Jack. He tried but the technique hasn't improved from his solo dance.
Amber. I felt like she didn't really move. Samba is a traveling dance.
Bill. Um what was he doing? Some of the arms looked funky.
Corbin. Only one that looked like he was doing it right. They kept it fairly simple though.
They got the order right.

Round 3: freestyle
Bill. I give him props for the lifts. But it was basic. Not enough for the freestyle. Too high for me.

Corbin. I liked it. It was different from a lot of previous ones and want all trick filled. I'll agree with the scores.

Jack. Cute. I think his footwork got a bit slippy at times. I don't know if it was 10s.

Amber. Interesting. I liked it but I would've liked a bit more ballroom. I'll give them the scores.

And Bill is eliminated before the final night. 

As for who's left...
Best dancer: Corbin
Most improved: Jack

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Bad girl

Not much craft progress this week, again. My sleeve

It's almost done though. I have added to my craft stash though. Despite my saying earlier that I wouldn't buy any more cross-stitch this year, Golden Kite's sale was too hard to resist. I procured the following patterns which I probably won't stitch for quite sometime...
Midsummer Eve

The Oriental

Dragon's Garden

The Arts - Poetry

The Arts - Painting

The Arts - Music

The Arts - Dance

The end of the Ball

The End of the Song

I am Half-Sick of Shadows

The Kittens Recital

The Crystal Ball

On Top of the World

I have 17 more on my wishlist and that's after I eliminated several that I felt I didn't like as much as when I first chose my patterns.

Then today I stopped by Joann's because they had a one day sale on Butterick and vogue patterns.

I went in for the patterns, they didn't have the newly released winter collection from Butterick in, and yarn to finish the cardigan I've been working on. Maybe an ornament (ended up with three, a stuffed horse, a cute stuffed mouse, and a bouncy penguin). I don't know what compelled me to look but I noticed this lovely silky, stretchy fabric in the clearance pile. Got 4 yards. Even the wrong side is pretty (great for a dress where that shows).

That lead me to the remnants pile, mainly because I wanted a fabric to make a covering for my wire brush.
The black in a mesh, below is a satin with glitter, panne velvet, and a purple fabric that I don't know the name of. It's somewhat satiny but not as silky. To the right is a brown (faux) suede (my brush cover), and two cotton prints. I was bad this week. But I'm excusing it as an early graduation/Christmas/birthday present to myself. 

Now onto NaNoWriMo...

I think the graphic says it all. I'll try and catch up with word count over thanksgiving break. But first I must brainstorm what to write about.

If you made it down this far, congratulations. You get to read about my dancing. I can't quite remember if I mentioned I finally got an amateur partner, but I did! We've been practicing a few months and plan to compete in latin at the Manhattan Amateur Classic in January. We'll add smooth and/or standard in later once we're both more comfortable with the other. We had a lesson today and got a new samba routine which we need to practice. Wish us luck.

 Four more weeks of school!