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Just about halfway through 2011 and I'm finally getting back to work on some WIPs. I currently have three going and will probably add four or five smaller items throughout the remainder of the year because obviously three large and detailed projects just aren't enough to keep me spazzing about too little time in a day.



The wolf I've been working on for what will be two years this fall is, of course, still in the rotation but there are just too many images from last year to keep on this page. If you'd like to see previous progress on him, that's all here.


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June 3rd...



The first of my three projects to get attention this year is Mirabilia's "Cinderella". Yeah, I know. Borders are just fascinating to look at, but I had to start somewhere, right? The most annoying part of this so far has got to be the hours I spent trying to fit together all my Qsnap bits and pieces to make a frame that would actually fit. Apparently, Qsnaps have too many moving parts for me to use them safely. *mutter*


In all honesty, I'm rather frightened of this pattern. There's alot of beading in this one and several crystal treasures. I'm still brand new at adding embellishments to my work and the prospect makes me very nervous. But I guess I'll shuffle across that bridge when I get there.


The fabric I'm using is 32 count jobelan that Lauren personalized for me. She toyed with several dyes until she came up with one we both really liked for this design and the Darkened Tropical Rain was born.


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June 10th...



Next project! This conglomeration of gray and black is eventually going to become a screen capture from "It's a Wonderful Life". I found the design at Pinoy Stitch and was pleasantly surprised with how crisp and clear the chart is. As detailed as the image appears, I think this is going to be a relatively fast stitch. Which is a good thing.


Apparently I'm not someone who will be able to do monochromatic designs. It would seem that unless my attention is captured by pretty colors and bright contrasts, it simply roams off to do its own thing and I'm left holding an incomplete project while an array of drab colors languishes beside me feeling sorry for themselves and plotting much fraying and snarling in the near future.


Fortunately this one is also a gift and therefore safe from the threat of landing in the UFO pile in my storage room. (And just for the fun of bolting off on a random tangent... exactly how long is the appropriate length of time for something to stay in the UFO files before it can officially be declared deceased and stash insurance can be collected?)


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June 17th...



The now famous wolf in all its glory. Well, as much glory as one can muster when not quite half finished and the only completed part is one's mouth.


I've been working pretty hard this week on filling in confetti stitches that were still empty after larger sections of colors had been stitched. There's still the lighter colors of the moon's edge to do on my current page and then the night sky behind it which should be a considerably quicker stitch compared to the moon.


Sarah has been teasing me about how long it's taking to do this and actually took her life into her hands by suggesting that when I do finally finish I could turn around and stitch it all over again for her.


Justifiable homicide covers that. Right?


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June 24th...



Something small and Christmas-y! I figured that the best way to guarantee there's actually something added to my 2011 page before 2012 gets here is to add a fourth project into my rotation.

... only I could expect that to sound logical.

At any rate, I asked Sarah to choose an upcoming holiday at random. I figured she'd go with Halloween, but she picked Christmas instead. That put me in a bit of a quandary since 95% of my Christmas charts are pretty darned detailed and promise to be thoroughly time consuming. This of course defeats the purpose of choosing something quick and easy. But she picked a holiday like I asked, so that's what I was gonna go with.

Weee! While going through my hundreds of patterns (Yes, hundreds. Yes, I'm pathetic. Get over it.) I stumbled across a set of booklets I'd forgotten I had squirrelled away. While it currently looks an awful lot like a red bow dripping moldy goo, the next time you see it I sincerely hope it more closely resembles the seasonal wreath sporting a large, overweight orange tabby that it's supposed to be.

Yup. It's gonna be Garfield the Cat! The design is simply titled "Wreath" and comes from a Millcraft Inc. booklet called "Garfield... A Very Merry Christmas!" The booklet has a copyright date of 1978 on it, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and take a big chance in assuming it's out of print and I'm gonna fail miserably at trying to provide a link. Sorry!

Nyaaah nyaaah!!

I know... back to my corner...





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July 1st...



Well the border is filled in at least. Remember when I said that working in monochromes for any length of time has the tendency to make me zonk? Yeah. But now it's finished and I'm migrating to the ribbons around the corners. Yay!

When I started on the ribbons I was a bit alarmed to discover that a couple of the thread colors are nearly identical to the fabric color. I spent a couple of hours panicking that I'd managed to find the one color in the entire universe of hues that would look bad with a Mirabilia design stitched on it. Thank goodness that Ms. Corbett is considerably more talented than I am disaster-prone!!

I'm eyeing my progress as well as the calendar and I have this sinking feeling that Christmas is going to bound in through my front door, sack out in front of my incomplete project, and "Ho Ho Ho!" itself into a merry little stupor.

Steve just begged me to murder him in his sleep. Well, not with those exact words. The words he actually spoke were "What else is new?" but we all know it means the same thing.





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July 8th...



A bit more progress on the movie capture. I was hoping it wouldn't look quite so pixelated when completed, but it's beginning to appear less and less likely that I'll get my wish on this one. Maybe the recipient can stick it in a corner of the room that no one can get close to and he can pretend it's a blurry photograph...

It's an idea.

For all my lack of optimism regarding the final product, this has been a relatively enjoyable stitching week. I missed three days of stitching due to travelling and family activities but I tried to make up for it on my birthday when I parked my backside in my stitching spot and threatened the well-being of any creature, bipedal or otherwise, that attempted to disturb me. It worked.

For the most part.

Of course, I griped to Steve about not being able to see much visible progress despite knowing I've put a ton of stitches in. He snickered and said "You know you ALWAYS say that." I gave him a grimace as he stepped closer and glanced down at my work. "Hmmm. This time you're right. What have you been doing all week?"


It's too bad the man runs faster than I can throw.





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July 15th...



This is what happens when a person has issues sleeping for 4 days straight. Steve had to go do an inspection at another military installation and it just so happens that neither of us can sleep very well when the other isn't within reach. We haven't decided if that's a good thing or not. Usually it's not a good thing at all as deployments tend to go hand in hand with insomnia, but given just how much progress I made this week I may have to rethink that.

Of course, once I'd finished the chart page I've been plodding away at for months, I discovered I'd used the wrong color in a couple dozen stitches and had to frog for awhile. I couldn't even just angrily shred everything and start a section over like I usually do when that bloody amphibian shows up. Since they were all confetti stitches, I had to go in slow motion and carefully damage only the stitches I actually wanted removed and not the stuff around them.

"...carefully damage..." Now who else could put an oxymoron like that together and still make complete sense?

Well, at least now I can entertain delusions of completing this one before 2013. At least for a couple of months anyway.....




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July 22nd...



The wreath is finished! I only have Garfield himself and the backstitching to do before this one is ready for framing. I expect the next update for this project will be over on the 2011 page. And that's only because Steve wouldn't let me sit up all night long with the OTT light shining over our shoulders while I popped caffeine pills and stitched til dawn.

You know, sometimes his having to get sleep so he can work effectively is a real pain in my patookus.

Well, of course I couldn't go into another room to stitch. The bed is my stitching spot. He could have slept on the couch if he really wanted to be a loving husband!

What's that look for??

*sigh*

I know. I know. Back to my corner. *sulk* I'm going.


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July 29th...



FINALLY! The ribbons and the border are DONE! I absolutely refused to put this down and consider the week finished until I'd managed to stitch the last of the gold into those little corner decorations. I have discovered that gold cord and I do NOT get along. When I first started trying to use it, I wasn't entirely convinced I was using it correctly and I honestly believe it could smell my fear. There was much snarling, frogging, cursing, breaking, frogging, threatening, knotting, and frogging to be had the first few days of this week.

Eventually I swallowed my pride and went to beg knowledge from my usual source of stitching expertise and posted a "Someone please help the stitching idjit!!!" question on the 123 Stitch! board and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was actually doing everything correctly.

*throws knowing glare and slightly maniacal smirk at the spool of gold cord, which looks for all the world to suddenly be cowering*

The remaining time spent stitching went remarkably more smoothly, when I was able to actually sit and stitch. Our church hosted a basketball camp and I found they needed more help with the daily lunches. Plus I decided to impose a seven day blackout of all televisions and computers. It was a VERY active week here and my alone time was decimated, but I don't really mind. I've enjoyed the past few days immensely, even with the occasional fit of totally unnecessary drama that somehow always manages to weasel its way into a gathering of three or more females.


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August 5th...



I hate that the week is over already. I was having fun stitching these last few days. Once again I only got three days of the week to actually stitch, but I think I did pretty well anyway.

Now we can see how tall it's going to be at least. I had intended to do a bunch of the larger black areas so I could pretend that I'd made huge leaps and bounds towards completion, but as usual I got caught up with the confetti stitches. I have this irrational need to keep the back of my projects as neat as I possibly can despite the fact that no one is ever going to see or care what the back looks like once they get framed. By doing the confetti stitches first and the large sections afterwards, the long strings criss crossing all over the back of the fabric get stitched down and anchored tighter as well as being covered up by neat rows of stitching.

Hey! Who you calling anal?!?

Oh right. Nevermind.


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August 12th...



Considering Steve was gone for the majority of the week again, I'm bitterly disappointed in the amount of stitching I was able to complete. Granted there's probably a zillion color changes in the area I was working on, but it still looks pretty dismal to me. It doesn't help that I spent alot of that stitching time counting over and over again to make sure those renegade stitches out in the middle of nowhere are actually where they're supposed to be, and I still managed to make a couple of mistakes that no one but me will ever notice.

Yeah. They're gonna drive me batty everytime I look at it. This surprises you how?

I'm still holding out a sliver of hope that I'll have this completed before the end of the year, but it really is only a sliver of hope. We'll have to see how long it takes me to complete the other two larger projects. I had been thinking about keeping up the four project rotation, but I'm beginning to get discouraged with how long it's taking me to show decent progress on each one. Patience has never been a strong virtue for me.

The next person who rolls their eyes and mutters "You think?" is gonna get a seam ripper in the kisser...

Just sayin'.


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August 26th...



Woohoo. I got all of one herd of trees stitched up in the entire week. In my defense, it was a week crammed full of all sorts of other activities too. Sarah's school is back in full swing and now that I have my own vehicle, she's taking full advantage of having a pocket taxi to sign up for every school function or activity they can write onto the calendar. Plus I started a class of my own and the homework load is nothing to sneeze at.

The chances of completing any of the rest of my current projects before Christmas is next to nil, but I'll keep plodding along anyway. Right now, I'm going to keep my horizons tethered to the ground and just aim to get the castle finished before Halloween. *cough*


There wasn't an update on this page last week because I finished Garfield and put him on the 2011 page. I told you I'd get at least SOMETHING done this year! If I get antsy again, I'll stitch up a nametag and make a big fuss over that completion too. So nyaaaah!

*ahem*

Sorry.


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September 2nd...



Not terribly bad if I do say so myself! My progress I mean. I'm still not nearly as pleased with how this one is turning out as I'd hoped I would be. It's just entirely too pixelated looking for my taste. Steve says the person being gifted with this will love it anyway, so here's hoping.

I did a ton of confetti stitching this week because I was absolutely determined to finish off the chart page I'd been working from for the past three or four updates. As a result, when I finally got around to filling in the remaining block of black stitching, I actually ended up finishing two chart pages. Unfortunately, I didn't get any stitches at all done on the wife's face so she still looks downright creepy.

Add in the "stalker hand" and I'm well on my way to stitching up something that may put my kids into therapy.

...

Okay, so therapy is probably in their future anyway, but blaming it on cross stitch sounds so much better than "Our parents are just plain odd."


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September 9th...



I'm actually mildly impressed with the amount of work I managed to get done on the wolf this week. There are absolutely dozens upon dozens of confetti stitches that were filled in and when I pick him up again in a few weeks, I've got huge chunks of single colors that will be getting filled in with minimal confetti stitching. If I didn't miss anything when I scanned my chart pages, I've got 6 or 7 colors that I'll be using the next time I pick this project up. That means LOTS of visible progress! Woohoo!

I'm going to pointedly ignore that snickering going on behind me and pretend all is still perfectly fine in my stitching utopia. Thank you very much.

Not that this is going to be any kind of a surprise to anyone who knows me, but I've added another project into my rotation and it will get some love the week after next. I spent several days arguing with a cartoon image trying to get it translated over to a stitchable chart that didn't look like a 4 year old had rendered it before I finally had some success. Then someone from the message board I visit volunteered to see what he could do with it and I'm absolutely thrilled with his results. The entire image will use a grand total of six colors (seven if I stitch in the background color) so there's no reason whatsoever for me to spend more than two weeks before having it ready for framing and gifting.

What is it? Oh you'll just have to wait and see. Nyaaah nyaaah!

Thppppppt! Growing up is so overrated.




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(2011)