Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in review

This has been a strange year. Lots of ups and downs. Mostly down until near the end of the year when my luck seems to be picking up.

Here were my goals from last 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.
How did I do?
  1. Found a job. It's a freelance, but it's income I didn't have most of the year.
  2. I tried, but I ended up adding more to my stash than finishing things. See this post for a more detailed information.
  3. I finished two.
  4. I did it. And so far, it's stayed neat. Maybe one extra bag where it shouldn't be. Click here for more details.
  5. I did a bit of trimming at some point.
  6. I didn't end up writing anything, but I started outlining a few things. Even skipped NaNoWriMo this year. My brain was elsewhere this year.
  7. Somehow, despite not really looking, I did meet someone and we've gone out a few times. Nothing serious yet, but I think I can say completed.
So 5 out of 7. Not bad. Now, my goals for next year.
  1. Find a full-time job.
  2. Improve my stamina.
  3. Finish 2 cross-stitch projects and 2 pages of a GK/HAED.
See you in 2015.

Monday, December 29, 2014

SFS2014 - Wrap Up

Well, the year is over. I know I did a December post, but I felt like I should do a bookend post to mirror this one.

So, I stitched from my stash and really didn't buy anything new until November. That's when I used the exemption and went a bit crazy. In my defense, I did finish 6 things I bought at that time.

Beginning of the year I had a run on fabric, and the summer was a major yarn haul.

Key:
Bold = current WIP
Italic = kit
Strikethrough = finished
Red = started this year

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
  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 
  48. The Minstrel
  49. Princess and Dragon
  50. Romeo & Juliet 
  51. Cinderella and the Prince
  52. Cinderella's Coach
48-52 are ones I had mistakenly left off the list when I made it. I was reminded up them while I was reorganizng my stash. The following are new

    1. Kitty Trio
    2. Indian Peacock
    3. Peacocks (Anchor)
    4. The Oriental
    5. Friends
    6. Leopard in the Grass
    7. Blue dragon fairy
    8. Sleepy hollow

The only thing I got done on my original crochet list was the Starburst Afghan. I did make progress on the Cathedral Rose Window one though. Everything else I finished was a new project from my various yarn hauls during the summer. Oops.

I didn't do too well with my original sewing project list either. Just the cat the the Xmas tree.

So 7 projects finished that were in my stash when I started. 23 total completed.

I need a new system for next year, besides keeping me out of the stores and away from sales. Also a smaller list of projects to pick from, which I believe I've figured out. Stayed tuned for a post on SFS2015!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Back to regularly scheduled crafting

I finished my final Christmas ornament on Christmas Eve. Just in time. All 6 of the ones I made this year are now on my tree.


So, I went back to Peacocks. Almost done with the first page.

 

I had a lovely, quiet, Christmas. My gifts this year seemed to have a 'beauty' theme to them. I knew I wasn't getting any craft supplies. My parents believe I have too much already.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

SFS2014 - December

Has it really been a year since I started this challenge? I think I did pretty well, with the exception of my "exemption month". It's probably a good thing next years edition doesn't include one of those. Anyway, this is what I've worked on this month.

Peacocks.

 

Divine Hat


Two Mill Hill Ornaments

 



3 dimensions ornaments with one still left before Christmas. 




"Hoot" the owl.

And part of my threads that I ordered on Black Friday arrived.


Still Christmas-y

I finished more ornaments. One more to go!

And the stuffed animal I showed a partial preview of last post. Say hello to "Hoot".


And (most of) my sparkly/specialty threads arrived. Left is Looking Glass, right is Christmas Tree V.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I worked on a lot of Christmas things this week. Completed the other Mill Hill ornament kit.


Finished the stitching on a dimensions kit. Just need to cut it out and add the hanger. 
  
Made two hats and a scarf as presents. I can only show one hat here as it has been given to the recipient.


Put up my tree.



And the one non-Christmas thing was started a stuffed animal.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Light Week

I was surprising busy this week. Either that or I kept switching crochet projects that are meant as Christmas presents and can't post photos.

However, I didn't work on Insanity this week. I did a bit of work on Peacocks because I have other projects planned for my overnight.


3 of my orders came on Saturday, finished this guy last night and almost have the other similar ornament finished as well.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Goodbye November

So this week wasn't so much a 'create' week as an 'organize week.

Oh, someone on Ravelry wanted to use my photo of my Sun Blossom Mandala Doily for the patterns' page.


I finish my lapghan which I had frogged the outer part because the pattern was wrong and corner wasn't in the right place.
My minimal progress on Insanity.

And now for the organizing part. While my list for Black Friday purchases grew longer, I pulled out my bolt of aida, since I knew I was getting low on it to find this:



I ran out! I probably ran out last year but didn't realize it. But I bought the bolt almost 10 years ago so I think I got my money's worth. Had to order another one. I have enough for Leopard in Grass which is a really tiny GK. but the max width from any new pattern is either 8" or 11" depending on what size I cut from. I don't do small patterns that often.

Now for my Black Friday purchases, more stash.

From ABCstitch, which has 20% off the entire site, I bought the fabric for Sleepy Hollow, Legends of the Dragons and Legends of the Spellcasters, and all the materials for Looking Glass and Christmas Tree V. Also bought these two charts, Seafarer's Valentine and Secrets of the Nereid.



I had the third in the series already, Mermaid Love Tokens, and I had a feeling these would be hard to come by soon.

One thread for Looking Glass wasn't available on the main site so I went to the alternate. Ended up purchasing these kits that had been sitting in my cart when I first started creating a list.




And right before midnight I purchased the following from Love they Thread (Darn you Mel!)


Thankfully these are downloadable charts so my parents won't be seeing yet another package come for me. How many times can I use the 'this was backordered from a previous purchase' excuse do you think?

Just as a note, I had fabric for "Legends" but decided I didn't like it. Thankfully, it was the same color as needed for another chart although a slightly lower stitch count than the photo. I also wanted both to be the same as they're related charts.

Things I didn't buy after seeing the price already in my cart: the fabric and floss for the 3 parts of the kit, two fairy kits I love but decided they could wait, beads for various kits, floss for "Tropical Dream" since I couldn't find 20ct Lugana that wasn't a hand-dyed, floss and beads for a SAL I have the fabric for, and ABC stitch took down their Clearance page during the sale so no luck there. Oh, and due to not sleeping well and having to go to work at 2 on Black Friday, I didn't get to Joann's before noon to use 25% off on 3/.99 DMC threads, or Micheal's after noon for 40% off regular priced DMC. So saving money there by not buying more thread for projects.

I did pick out 4 HAED's to use on the 28ct fabric I originally started Insanity on, those were part of the DMC run I didn't get to. Part of the DMC run that didn't happen.

Speaking of DMC, I had a fair amount of it thrown in a large bag that I had sorted into my 3 massive rings. I put away most of it but still have ~100 colors without bags. And as my rings are taxed as is, I'm going to have to split them onto 5 rings. I may also just have them attached on one ring rather than two to make things easier. I'll be doing that later this week.

After this organizing, I've decided next year to focus on the kitted designs that I was only given whole skein amounts of DMC. Pick up a few inches here and there on my excel sheet of "left over" and hopefully don't have to buy some colors I thought I needed. This basically includes Sleepy Hollow, Best Friend, Dragon Carousel, Black Stallion, 4 Horses of the Apocalypse, and 7 TW's: The two Legend pieces, Stroke of Midnight, Triptych, Romeo and Juliet, The Princess and the Dragon, and The Minstrel. Almost everything else in my stash that is kitted has given me either inches (GK's) or # of stitches by which I estimated the % of the skein used.

SFS2014 - November

First off, I'm calling exemption. I started off the month with a plan to use some money I received as a gift with the instructions "use it for something fun" and it quickly went beyond that. Oops.

So here's where I am with the projects I worked on this month.

I've managed to attach all my heptagons to the afghan and work a row of black around the whole thing. I also started making half circles on top. It's been so long I forget if I did the original one with a 4.00 or 4.25 hook. I'm using 4.25 this time around but think I may go down. I'm also using two strands so I don't know if it'll really make that much of a difference. We'll see when I pick it up next.


I finished my second whirl lapghan. Frogged the outer part as I realized the pattern was written incorrectly and the corners were placed wrong.


I finished two pages of Fantasy Triptych, minus special stitches, over ones, and beads. 


I picked up Insanity again. Although while going through my newer GK patterns, I realize I have some that deserve that nickname more than this piece. Namely two that require 51" fabric at 18ct. I'd go smaller, but I tried that with insanity and the stitches were just too tight. I might end up trying 20ct but that may be hard to come by.


And then my new start "Peacocks" from my new stash which is extensive.


Now for my stash for the month.

It started off with knowledge of the sale on DMC at Joann's and 'innocently' browsing the clearance page at abcstitch. Which led to the following purchases.

Peacocks
 
Holiday Tree V
 
Watergarden
 
Cirque Des Cercles
 
Dragon's Eye
 
Looking Glass - Black 
Sleepy Hollow
 
Blue Dragon Fairy
 
The peacock is a kit, and the last one is the only non-sale item.

I then made a list of thread for the following: (Oriental, Leopard in the Grass, and Friends)


These are all GK's I had purchased last year. Although I remembered the bolt of 18ct aida I have isn't wide enough for the first one, I browsed to a site I had bookmarked for large cuts of fabric. It was initially indented for 2 other patterns that require 51" on one side (I contemplated getting the fabric for those but decided against it). But what was the point of only ordering one thing? So the following found their way into my cart.

Last one is a kit and was on sale along with the first chart. Along with the specialty fibers for Sleepy Hollow from the first purchase. Therefore, I added the DMC for that piece and the blue dragon fairy to my list of thread to buy. Contemplated getting the thread for the leopard but decided against it at the store.

And since I was going to spend a lot this month anyway, I picked up these two kits.

Kitty Trio

Indian Peacock

I ordered from Mary Maxim. Jewelry kits and two crochet kits.

I had a small, unplanned cave to stash. I started looking at Annie's and there was a pattern on sale, with 3 left that I had to get. It's also no longer listed on their website.

Since I can never seem to order just one thing (might as well maximize my shipping), also picked up the following plus 2 jewelry kits.
While my list for Black Friday purchases grew longer, I pulled out my bolt of aida, since I knew I was getting low on it to find this:



I ran out! I probably ran out last year but didn't realize it. But I bought the bolt almost 10 years ago so I think I got my money's worth. Had to order another one.

Now for my Black Friday purchases.

From ABCstitch, which has 20% off the entire site, I bought the fabric for Sleepy Hollow, Legends of the Dragons and Legends of the Spellcasters, and all the materials for Looking Glass and Christmas Tree V. Also bought these two charts, Seafarer's Valentine and Secrets of the Nereid.



I had the third in the series already, Mermaid Love Tokens, and I had a feeling these would be hard to come by soon.

One thread for Looking Glass wasn't available on the main site so I went to the alternate. Ended up purchasing these kits that had been sitting in my cart when I first started creating a list.



Just as a note, I had fabric for "Legends" but decided I didn't like it. Thankfully, it was the same color as needed for another chart although a slightly lower stitch count than the photo. I also wanted both to be the same as they're related charts.

Things I didn't buy after seeing the price already in my cart: the fabric and floss for the 3 parts of the kit, two fairy kits I love but decided they could wait, beads for various kits, floss for "Tropical Dream" since I couldn't find 20ct Lugana that wasn't a hand-dyed, floss and beads for a SAL I have the fabric for, and ABC stitch took down their Clearance page during the sale so no luck there. Oh, and due to not sleeping well and having to go to work at 2 on Black Friday, I didn't get to Joann's before noon to use 25% off on 3/.99 DMC threads, or Micheal's after noon for 40% off regular priced DMC. So saving money there by not buying more thread for projects.

And right before posting I purchased the following from Love they Thread (Darn you Mel!)


Thankfully these are downloadable charts so my parents won't be seeing yet another package come for me. How many times can I use the 'this was backordered from a previous purchase' excuse do you think?

Can you see why I'm using my exemption month?