Monday, January 30, 2012

Cue the Machines!

I'm doing it again, writing blog entries in my head instead of, you know, on my blog. Here's one that has been simmering since Tuesday.

I'm well known in my lack of affection for housewrok. If I have to scrub something I tend to get bored and wander off. I do like the whole putting things away aspect - I can putz away at that for quite sometime. It's just the actual scrubbing of surfaces that I do not enjoy.

On Tuesday I did the kind of housework that I enjoy - 3 loads of laundry and 1 dishwasher run. At the end of the evening I had clean clothes, clean towels, clean dishes and a nice chunk of stitching done. It reminded me of the other machines I would like in order to take over more of the housecleaning responsibilities.

First of all is the Roomba - a vacuuming robot. I don't actually mind vacuuming, but it's possible that this thing could go under my furniture more than once a year which is my current rate.

But the one that has me really excited is the Scooba which WASHES floors.  That is the task that needs to be done way more often than I have a desire to do so. My floors are old and crappy in the bathroom and kitchen and my really poor mopping skills and motivation are not helping them at all.

(The best part of the product description is where it says "all you have to do is sweep" and all I can think is "not if I also have a Roomba.)

So CUE THE MACHINES and let them clean!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Somewhat an Obsession

So I started with Pioneer Woman and the perfect iced coffee and last summer I made my own.

Oh Wow! was it ever good. But now I know why I don't drink coffee - if I added as much sugar and cream/milk to regular coffee as I do to my iced coffee, the results would not be good. So this stays as a special treat.

I turn this
into this

(In the tupperware container is sweetened condensed milk and the glass jar holds simple syrup)

A lovely treat!

(Oh, I will have an occasional cup of coffee, but only if my sister-in-law doctors it - she is a fellow sugar addict.)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Swirly Sampler Happy Dance

I actually finished the stitching last Tuesday (10th) but only got it washed and ironed last night. The only reason I own an iron and ironing board is for my stitching.
Swirly Sampler designed by Bent Creek. I stitched it on 32 Count Belfast Linen in Vintage Country Mocha with the recommended floss. I haven't added the charm 'cause I don't have it and haven't decided if I'm going to get it.
I bought the pattern, fabric and thread probably more than five years ago at Stitchers' Heaven in Edmonton AB.

At the beginning of October I was going through my stash looking for some old working copies to see if I had written myself any notes so that I could match with some projects I'm currently working on. I never did find the old working copies, but I did run across the Swirly Sampler all kitted up.

I threw it into my stitching bag since I was heading to my weekly stitch in night with other members of the needlearts guild I belong to. I asked them if I should work on a piece already in progress or start this one that I had found in my stash.
Everyone agreed, start the new project.

This marks the first finish of my WIPocalypse list.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Solution to Your Problems

In Stinker's quest to understand why unlike most adults in his life, some don't come in pairs (like the question about the uncle that should be traveling life's path with me) he questioned Grandma (Gma) about the Grandpa that should be with her. My grandpa died several years ago and this was explained to Stinker.

He thought that Gma should go out and get another one and when that one died, she could get another, and then another if that one died too.

If only all of our problems could be solved that easily.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I love my nephew, Stinker, he's funny, smart and good looking. Since I've last spoke of him he's been joined by twin brothers (now 20 months old) Easy and Down Low (or Curly, haven't yet decided what his Internet nickname will be). But back to Stinker -

The one thing you need to know about him is he pays attention and he wants to know and understand what is going on. We just spent close to a week with him over Christmas so there were lots of opportunities for us to talk. At one point we were doing something together (probably playing with all of his new Lego) and he asks me "Where is the uncle that comes with you?"

He really makes me laugh. Also, just to prove that the good looking part isn't just a bias on my part...

Monday, January 09, 2012

Full Moon - Month One

It's time for WIPocalypse check in and since it's also the first time I've posted pictures, these will serve as my "beginning" post as well. I've only worked on one piece since the New Year so it truly is where these pieces were at the beginning of the year.

In Progress
1. Swirly Sampler
This one is the closest to completion and just may be done this week.

 2. On Grandmother's Quilt
All I have to do is stitch my nephew's name and birth date on it, wash it, iron it and sew on the crystals, buttons and ribbon.

 3. Rosebud Lullaby
I'm proud of this one since I changed the colour of the roses from pink to purple. All that is left is the same list as for On Grandmother's Quilt.
4. Newborn Joy
It's hard to see the progress on this one since it's mostly the white on white stitching. This is for my CSB's youngest son - must remember to e-mail her and ask if she wants the colour of the roses changed on this one. I believe they are yellow.
5. Blackwork Pansy
Am teaching this as a workshop in April, would like it done by the beginning of March.

6. My Way Canvas Work
This is from the workshop in November 2010. I was told by my guild mates I may be the last person to complete it. But I can think of at least 3 other people who aren't done either. I can't start on any of my other kitted up canvas work pieces until this one is done.

7. Once Upon A Time
The oldest one on the list. Also very close to completion, but keeps being pushed aside for "obligation" pieces.

New Starts
1. "M" is for Mother - it's a surprise for the recipient.
2. Fairy Moon - I have had this kitted up since I started Once Upon a Time
3. Lost in the Garden - canvas work
4. Victorian Garden - canvas work
5. Whatever else catches my eye - oh look, shiny!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Test, testy, testing, test

Let's see how posting from my phone works. Including a picture now.
The picture is of Easy on Christmas Day. At some point he didn't want to wear his shirt anymore.
edit: hmm not sure I'm happy with the picture quality. Maybe I won't be posting that many pics from my phone.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Yes, this year I'm declaring what they are - resolutions, not just intentions. I only have two.

1. Do something about the needlework drawer in my coffee table.

My coffee table is fabulous, I designed it and my dad built it. It's a large chest on wheels and it has four large drawers. The upper right drawer is where I keep my stitching stuff and in the last year I've only added stuff to it and not taken anything out. So my intention is to finish things this year and have that drawer be neat and tidy - not a dumping ground when company comes.

This has been brewing for a while - I've already refused to do the fall workshop last November from my guild or sign up for a correspondence course for this winter/spring with my guild. These two activities took a lot of my stitching time the last 18 months so I'm trying to redirect my focus.

The plan at the moment is to finish three pieces quickly that are really close to being done. Then focus on the piece I'm stitching for my CSB's youngest son - he'll be one in a few days so I'm seriously late with this one. After that I'm hoping to finish the large canvaswork piece that was my guild's workshop piece from November 2010.

I'm sure there will be interruptions along the way, but that's okay as long as something is done about the needlework drawer in my coffee table.

2. "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice expecting a different result." What am I doing where I don't like the outcome?

I play a lot of Angry Birds and quite often I find myself doing the same thing over and over again - using the birds the same way and the outcome doesn't change. So I remind myself that I'd repeating myself expecting a different result. What else am I doing the same thing?

So this resolution is about being aware of when I'm unhappy with the results I'm getting and asking myself what I need to change to get a different result. I hope with this one what will happen is that at the end of the year I will be doing things where I'm happy with the result I get.

A bit of a side bar to this one - I sometime get into the thought pattern of when I get all these ducks in a row I can do/have what I want. Once again I want to rethink some of these. Is there another way to accomplish my goal?

There you go - actual resolutions even if they don't meet the SMART objective rule. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) However I think this will work better for me. Let's see.

Bandwagon Hopping

So there is a movement online called the WIPocalypse started by Measi at Measi Blog and I've known about it since she started talking about it, but kept filing in the back of my mind as interesting. The momentum built and built and I was still thinking about it. I would have to post regularly for an entire year and for those who have followed this blog faithfully (why would you, when I don't faithfully blog) know that I wander off frequently for long periods of time.

But now, the deadline is days away and I think about it more and more. I hate "pressure" with my stitching - it seems to make me stitch less. However the rules for this one is simple - 1. Make a list 2. Post what you've done each month. Okay that sounds doable especially since you don't even have to stitch what's on the list in order to post.

The potentially challenging part is posting pictures since I've been taking most of my pictures with my phone lately. My phone and my computer are currently not talking to each other. So I have a few options to deal with this 1. Convince my phone and computer to talk to each other - I need to do this for more than this. 2. Post directly from my phone. Maybe this would be the secret to getting me to post more often.

So in conclusion, there is nothing stopping me from doing this other than me. So I guess I'm jumping on the bandwagon. Watch for a post, hopefully soon of my current WIPs and the LIST.