Monday, 31 December 2012

Goodybe, 2012!

It's been several weeks since I have posted.  I do apologize to my followers.  December is such a busy month - holiday parties, family get-togethers, not to mention work!  It's been a month plagued with illness. At any given time one or all of us has been sick.  Finally the cold weather has come, so I am hoping this is the end of the sickness.

Cross-stitching has thus taken a backseat to the busyness of the month.  I have missed it tremendously.  I promise to post an update on the Hermit in the coming weeks. 

Thank you all for following along my stitching journey.  I look forward to many more posts and stitches in 2013.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


I am flattered to have been awarded the Liebster by a fellow cross-stitcher, Monique.  My sincerest thank you!

Liebster is a German word meaning dearest, favorite or beloved. Liebster Awards are given by bloggers to other bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers, to spread the word and help newer bloggers gain wider recognition. 

1. Choose 5 bloggers with fewer than 200 followers to award the Liebster to.

2. Show thanks to the blogger who awarded the Liebster to you by linking back to their blog. 

3.  Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving awards to, with links to their sites, and comment on their blog to let them know that you have given them the award.

I have enjoyed so many sites, it's hard to choose only 5, but here goes:

1. My World of Stitching
2. Fuzz and Sunshine
3. Stick to my needle
4. Mii Stitch
5. My Wee Stitchy Blog

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Another page in the books!

I'm happy to be finally posting an update on another completed page of the Hermit.

The stitching in the bottom-most right of the design is what I finished last night.  Frankly, it was rather a boring page to stitch... mostly purples and plum colors.  Not very challenging at all, yet it was a quick finish as it only took about 6 weeks. 

And now for the decision on which page to do next!  Do I finish the bottom left corner?  Do I work on the upper right and discover what the wall looks like?  Decisions, decisions!  #firstworldproblems ;)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Fastest completion to date!

Yes ... you read that right.  I have finished Golden Girls.  Took about 2 days in total, and despite a brutal week of migraines, I still did it.  (Probably why the migraines didn't go away -- oops!).

It was such a fun little project to do.  I'm very excited to get it framed.  I've heard from other friends that there are a few other designs like this one. 

Stars Wars: 

The gang from Firefly:
And ... O-M-G.... X-Files!

God help me.

Anyway... I better not do any more searching.  Here is Golden Girls. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Golden Girls!

So, after being asked to do a commissioned piece, I eagerly set out to purchase supplies and get started.  Having purchased and downloaded the chart, I had to decide what color fabric would work best.  My friend asked that I change the colours of a few of the ladies' clothes, so I brought my husband with me as he is the true artist in the family and I knew he could help me pick out the proper floss.

Off we went to Mary Maxims.  It is ridiculously silly how excited I get when I'm in a store like that.  In addition to purchasing the supplies I needed for Golden Girls, I also purchased yet another kit.  Actually, my husband found it and suggested I get it.  It's really quite perfect and will hang near our wine cellar (read: basement closet that holds our wine). 


But, I digress ... back to the topic at hand.  I found everything I needed and started work immediately on Golden Girls.   At the request of my friend, I am changing three of the women's clothing colors.  From left to right - Blanche will be in green, Sofia stays in red, Dorothy will be in purple and Rose will be in baby blue.  

And here is the first night's work.  Ms. Sophia is coming along nicely.  Stay tune for more updates!  (The next one will likely be a completed photo, haha!  This one is easy and so much fun!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Eeek!!!! My first commission!

I woke up today to a message from a friend requesting a commissioned cross stitch.  I was so flattered!!!  No one has every asked me to do a design so this was such a pleasant surprise.  I was so thrilled, I said yes immediately (well... okay, I said yes after I saw the design). 

It's a small project but I know it will mean the world to my friend.  I am so excited to have a reason to go to the stiching store to buy new floss and fabric.  Yay!!

Here's what I've been asked to do:

It's the Golden Girls!!!  How adorable is this pattern?!   I don't much like the taupe background, so I was thinking more off-white/cream.  Any thoughts/ideas are appreciated. 

Friday, 9 November 2012

New Project??

I don't know why, but I am thisclose to buying a new HAED chart.  EEEK!  Someone talk me out of it!!!  I'm not bored or tired of the Hermit anymore, I just saw this chart and it screamed at me to buy it.

I have always wanted to do a special chart for each of our cats.  The Hermit is a dead-ringer for my cat, Scully.  I have another cat, Fizzy.  He's an orange tabby (I think) and recently he got sick and my husband and I were worried that he wasn't going to be with us for much longer.  But it turned out he just had a virus and perked up after a week or so and is back to his lovely self.  When I saw this particular chart, I just thought of him.

Here's the design, it's called Winter Friend.

And here is mister Fizzy.

It's a no-brainer, right????

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Purple, purple and MORE purple!

I am back to working on the Hermit full-time again.  The first few days were tough - after 14 ct Aida, the 22 ct Hardanger was hard on my eyes!  I was also getting some wrist and neck pain from hold the Qsnap again.  Oh, the things us stitchers go through for our craft!  ;)

Hermit is coming along nicely.  I am stitching a page with a LOT of purple - the cloak, you see.  It's boring, but it has to get done.  It's making for relatively easy stitching with few counting errors, so that's a nice change.

Is it crazy that I am looking again at Heaven and Earth Designs for more charts?  I'm a nut, I know.  I am barely scratching the surface of the Hermit and yet looking for more wonderful cats to stitch. I need some help!

In the meantime, here's a progress photo. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

It's Done!!!

Short post. 

I finished Farm Friends on Sunday night.   It looks amazing, if I do say so myself! I can't post a photo though until it's framed and has been given to the little guy for his birthday. 

I started back to work on The Hermit.  Oh my GOD, after stitching on 14 ct fabric for the better part of the last month, the 22ct squares are shockingly small again!  My eyes hurt after only an hour of work! 

I'll post a Hermit update soon!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

I miss the Hermit.

If you've been reading along, you know that I have taken a break from the Hermit to work on a very special birth record for my friends' son.  It is a labor of love, but I am ashamed to admit that it's kind of boring to work on.  It's a very easy cross stitch.  There are lots of stitches in blocks of color.  The colors are bright and cheerful so that's a nice change from the darker colors of the Hermit.

I am flying through it and am also done the principle stitching (what I call "principle photography" -
Principal photography is the phase of film production in which the movie is filmed, with actors on set and cameras rolling, as distinct from pre-production and post-production.)  Post-production should start in the next day or two (ie, the detailing and finishing touches), then it's off to the framing store.  

I've never missed a project before.  I am such a nerd. :-) 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Stitching like Mad!

I have been working furiously on Farm Friends since I last posted.  I must have it done by the end of the month so I can get it framed in time for the little guy's first birthday in mid-November.

FF is an easy project - 14 ct Aida fabric.  It's an easy design and while it is a bit boring to stitch, it's kinda nice to have blocks of colors to stitch rather than changing threads after only a few stitches.  I do miss the Hermit, though.  I miss it's complexity.  Still, FF is a labour of love for some good friends of mine, so I am happy to do it.

Daughter is enjoying the progress of this one.  "Look," I tell her, "I finished the piggy!"  Well, sort-of.  The detailing comes last, but its nice to see the look of delight on her face when I show her my work. I also started working on the border (lower left side).  From the bottom up - cow, pig, doggy and duck.

Friday, 5 October 2012

... and page 4 is DONE!!

As I watch Dr. No on this, the 50th anniversary of the film's theatrical release, I am finally finished page 4 of the Hermit. 

I was left with a lot of confetti which I am beginning to detest.  It's very annoying to do one cross stitch and then change thread.  Repeat x ten.  Ugh.  I have decided that as I start page 5, I am going to do my best to avoid ending up with confetti.  Let's see how I do.

And so, without further ado --- here is the Hermit, 5 pages (out of 20) complete!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Stay tuned.... update in a few days

I am just popping in to let my followers know that in a day or two I will be posting an update on The Hermit. Page 4 is thisclose to completion... there are about 30-40 stitches left.  Lots of confetti that I am working through but I promise to work hard and hopefully have an update by the weekend.  Was planning to stitch tonight but a coffee date with my girlfriend takes precedent!!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Back to work ....

It's been a few weeks since I've updated.  My daughter started JK, the office has picked up again, and I've been doing more of that running thing.  I went another week without stitching, I can't even remember why.   I did some work on the Hermit this past week, so I thought I should post an update - it usually helps me get motivated to keep working. 

There are several counting errors on this particular page which is beyond frustrating.  I know that no one can see them, it's just really annoying to have to make up stitches as I go.  In a project of over 140,000 stitches, it's next to impossible not to make a mistake, right?  Right?

In my last post, I wrote about wondering where to go next with this particular charting page.  You'll see that I decided to frame the entire square and am working my way into the center.  I wonder if that's what contributes to the counting errors? Hmm....

I've been pretty negligent with my other projects.  I really need to get working on the baby birth record.  Perhaps once I finish this current page, I will take a Hermit break and work on FF.

I appreciate all those who are following along.  Thank you for the encouragement.  So, without further ado - here is the Hermit.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Busy, busy, busy!

It's been a while since I've posted an update of the Hermit.  I have to admit I haven't been doing a lot of stitching these days. I think it's been a week since I actually did a cross stitch.

My summer vacation ended and I have gone back to work. Between the office and my running, by the time I'm on the couch in the evening, I'm already half asleep.  Having said that, I did make a bit of progress with the Hermit since I last posted a photo.

I struggle sometimes with how to stitch each page.  Do I stitch across and finish each 10x10 square?  Do I pick one thread colour and work all those stitches?  (The latter often leads to counting errors.) This time I decided to frame the page, partly because I wanted to see where the edge of the pattern would be on the fabric. So this is why the left side of the page I'm stitching has been stitched.  Next, I think I'll work across the bottom of the page towards the lantern.  Decisions.  Decisions.

Tune in!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Back to Warm & Fuzzy Kitten

With 3 projects on the go now, it's sometimes a tough decision which one to work on.  After starting Farm Friends (herein FF), I felt that Warm & Fuzzy Kitten (herein WFK) was feeling neglected.

It's been several months - okay, 4 months - since I've touched WFK.  It's 14 ct black Aida cloth.  I've never had a problem working with black cloth, sometimes I think it's actually easier, not sure why.  The 14 ct is much easier to work with than the Hermit's 22ct Hardanger fabric.  It almost makes me think I'm stitching a beginner's pattern. Ha ha!

WFK is fun though.  I love watching his body come together, though it doesn't look like I've done a lot, I can see his front paws filling in nicely.  The only frustrating thing is that a lot of stitching requires two thread colours (one strand each of two different colours rather than 2 strands of the same colour).  Here's a photo.

More to come soon!  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

New Project - Farm Friends

So, I now have 3 cross-stitch projects on the go.  I've never had this many in-progress projects.  It's a bit daunting.  Since getting the Hermit started, I have completely abandoned that beautiful little kitten in the shadows. Well, I shouldn't say "abandoned"; it's just taken a backseat for now.

The other day I received a package in the mail.  My daughter saw it when she came home from preschool and said, "Mommy, is this your new craft?"  Oh my goodness, how sweet!!

I couldn't wait for the kids to go to bed so I could open up the new project and prepare it.  The first thing I do is organize the floss.  Dimensions kits now provide the floss already pre-organized in a strip but I find it's cumbersome, so I designed my own way of keeping the floss organized for a small project like this.

The next thing I do is prepare the fabric.  I use some left-over floss from finished projects and stitch the periphery of the fabric so it doesn't fray.  If I had a sewing machine it would take about 10 seconds to do, but since I don't this part takes about 15-20 minutes.

And... finally I can start stitching.  The first thing I noticed with this project is how freaking big the squares seem now compared to the Hermit project.  This fabric is 14 ct (14 squares per inch).  The Hermit fabric is 22 ct!  Doesn't sound like a lot but trust me, it makes a huge difference.

I started in the middle, like I always do.  Here's the first progress photo. It's the body of the little pig.

Here's what it should look like when it's done.  My target end date is early November 2012 as it is for a very special little boy's first birthday.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A Mishmash Post.

So, my stitching has taken a slight backseat this past week ... to exercise of all things!!  Oh, and watching the Olympic Games, of course.

I have started running and usually go in the evening.  By the time I get home, have dinner and relax with the husband, I am exhausted and can't get much stitching done.  I am sleeping better than I have in years and my body is aching, but it feels great!

I am a huge Olympics fan as well.  I am enjoying watching the London games and thrilled with how the Canadian team are doing.  I rarely watch sports, but every two years I am glued to the television screen for two solid weeks watching the Games.  I love all the pomp and circumstance around the Olympics.

While I miss stitching, I think it's good to take a break.  Getting back into shape has been a huge thing for me and I've been talking about it for a long time and it was just time to do it.  I am going to have to get back to stitching soon though - I will be adding a new project to the rotation.

Good friends of ours are adopting and it's time to get another baby record done.  I am so excited to start this one.  I hope to have it done by the time the little guy turns one in November.  I just ordered it, so it'll be a few weeks before I can get started.  Here it is:

For those following along, I will try to get an update posted on the Hermit soon!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Back In The City

Hi everyone!  I am back from a wonderful week at the cottage.  Here's a view of the lake.

I'm not particularly rested (late nights drinking, early mornings with the kids) but I somehow feel rejuvenated.  Spending a week in nature, where the only sounds are birds chirping, loons looning and the crickets cricketing helps centre my gravity.  We went with another couple and their two daughters and everyone got along great.  Despite feeling tired now, it was truly a relaxing week away.  The kids had oodles of fun in the lake, my daughter even did some fishing with her dad!

I was able to get in a bit of stitching, not as much as I would have liked, but enough to satisfy some urges.  It was hard fitting in time to stitch between swimming in the lake, sun tanning on our small, private beach and looking after all the kids.  Still, I was able to get some alone time on the deck.

I returned home to a package in the mail and it wasn't until I opened it that I remembered what I had ordered!  The missing thread from page 3 of the chart.  Yay!!!  Page 3 is officially complete.

We are off for another 3 days this week camping, so there will be no stitching to be had.  It's too dangerous to stitch in the great outdoors, I'm afraid of losing thread and getting my fabric dirty.  It'll be great to get in touch with nature again, this time up close and personal in a tent.

Before I go though, here is an updated photo of my progress on page 4 of charting (an you'll note the bottom of page 3, under the lantern, is now complete).

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Moving On.

So, I'm over the frustration of not being able to finish the 3rd page of chart due to missing thread.  I've ordered it from 1-2-3 Stitch and it'll probably arrive sometime next week.  In the meantime, I have started the 4th page of chart.  Gotta keep moving, right?

Oh, and speaking of moving, I have started running.  Crazy!  I used to work out at a gym years ago but since having children and cross-stitching, I have become lazy.  I was starting to notice that I was getting more and more out of breath just carrying the kids up and down the stairs and decided it was time to do something about it.  I don't' think I'll ever be running marathons, but at least I'm getting up off the couch.

And speaking of the couch... it's time to do some stitching.  But first, here's a updated photo.  You can see at the very bottom where I'm missing those stitches.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Ugh -- Frustration!!!

There is nothing worse than thinking you're going to finish a page of chart, in fact, have one colour left to stitch, only to discover that you are actually missing the one thread you need.

DAMN IT!!!!!

I can't describe to you the number of expletives I just muttered under my breath.  (My daughter is sitting next to me, so I have to watch myself).  But, OH MY GOD, I am exploding inside!!!!  I was all ready to post a photo of the completion of page 3 and now it's going to be delayed by at least a week while I wait on delivery of the missing thread in question.

What is even more frustrating is that the thread is checked off my list, meaning, I bought it.  Yet, it's no where to be found.  WTF?!?!  I have triple checked the area where I stitch, I've checked the baggies my threads are in.  Nope. Nada. Nothing.  I don't get it.  Ugh.

This is me right now.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Vacation stitching.

So, it's July and I am on vacation for a month.  Yay, me!

Sadly though, my days are filled with family-oriented activities which eats into my stitching time.  I only partly jest.  I love spending time with my children and the weather has been so fabulous that we are going on family bike rides throughout the trails in our city and not only am I finally getting some exercise, but I'm also getting a killer tan!

By the end of the day, the kids are beat and so am I.  Hubby and I finished Game of Thrones, well, what was available to us, which was the first two seasons, so I have not done as much evening stitching as I would have liked.  I wanted to have completed the third page of chart by now, but alas, it is not meant to be.

I am so very, very close though!!  I can see the end of the page is soooo close!!!   I think there's about a thousand stitches to go.  I know, I just stopped myself - a thousand more stitches?!  That sounds insane!  Yet, I am determined to complete this page by the time we head to the cottage in a week.

Wish me luck.

Here's a current photo.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Page 3 - Almost done!

I am very excited to seeing the end of page 3 coming together.  Won't be long now, I think.  My month-long vacation starts in about 36 hours and I hope to have this page complete in about a week or so.  I am super proud of myself for having few stitching errors on this page, which is I think due in part to having better concentration while I'm working away.

So, without further ado ... a progress photo!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Heat Wave GameofThrones.

Hi everyone.

I don't know where some of my readers live, but where I live there's been a wicked 3-day heat wave.  Thankfully we have air-conditioning so it's been pretty comfortable.

Husband has finally finished work on his friend's movie soundtrack and as a thank you, said friend gave us access to his HBO on-demand account so we could enjoy some Game of Thrones.  We were hooked after one episode.  As such, I haven't stitched a cross in almost a week.  I have missed it, but GoT is making up for it.  Wow, what great television!  Riveting.  We are flying through season 1.

I do have a progress photo though.  It was taken over a week ago, but it's still progress and I am happy to show it off.

I think I am about 1/2 done the chart page.  I am so pleased with how it is turning out and am doubly pleased that there are next to NO counting errors!!!  Yay me!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Outdoor Stitching

Finally, I was able to do some stitching in the backyard, by the pond.  It was awesome, but bloody hot!  I lasted about a half hour.  Suddenly I got worried that stitching in the sunlight would bleach the fabric.  I couldn't get the idea out of my head so I had to stop.  That, and my son woke up from his nap.  Still, it was heaven and I hope to do more of it this summer though I might have to wait until later in the afternoon/early evening.

Here's a progress photo! And, it was taken outdoors!  Note the natural lighting.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Itching for a new design...

So, I am only a few months into the Hermit BAP (big ass project), and I am already thinking about the next HAED design I want to tackle.

I'm crazy, right?

Never mind that I already have one other unfinished project which I have blogged about previously.  I haven't even gone back to that beautiful little kitty since starting the Hermit!  The Hermit has been all-consuming for me.  Why on earth would I want to start another one equally as difficult?

I know the seasoned stitchers out there will say it's good to have a variety of projects on the go as one might get bored with stitching just one design all.the.time.  But I'm not bored of the Hermit yet.  I am just getting excited about seeing the design unfold that I am already looking to see what other designs are out there.  I have even found a few, and <gasp> not all are cat-related!!!

Here's one I really like, called "The Drinkers".  This photo reminds me of the bar my husband and I went to in Barcelona, called Bar Marsella.  He was so excited to go there to try the Absinthe.  Apparently, Hemingway frequented the place quite a bit.  This was also the spot where I met my first celebrity, Ian Somerhalder.  We drank Absinthe together and partied with him until 6 am.  (Yes, I have photos to prove it!)

And another cute cat- themed design, "Bon Appetit":

And then there's this cute winter cat-themed design, "Winter Twilight":

Gah!  What am I gonna do?!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Page 2 DONE!

I am so thrilled to be posting this update.

I finished page 2 of the Hermit chart with 1 day to spare.  It is so exciting to see this project evolve.  My hand is cramping a bit from all the late night stitching and with the summer weather arriving, I might be limited in how much work I can get done, but I will plug along and see how it goes.

Now the big decision is where to go from here?  I'll be starting page 3 tonight, and I think I'll continue on the upper left side of the design and work on the wall in the background.

Thanks so much to all those following along!!  It's nice to have this way of tracking my progress.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


Hi everyone!!!  My first non-cross stitch post.  Not to worry, won't happen very often.  I am just excited that the weather has been great where I live and we have been working hard in the backyard getting it ready for the kids. 

Hubby built a pond our first summer in the house, and has been wanting to re-do it for a few years now.  We finally got a chance this past long weekend and I helped with the flagstones and with beverage support (lots of water, and a few beers!).  We were able to pawn off our children to each set of grandparents for 2 days so we got lots of work done.

Here's a photo of the new pond. 

We have added some plants and some butterfly koi, but no picture available yet.  I'm super happy with the awesome job my husband did!!  He single-handedly has transformed our backyard into an urban oasis.  With such lovely scenery, I suspect I will be starting to do some cross-stitching outdoors!

Oh, and speaking of cross-stitching.  Remember that deadline of May 25th I set?  I will probably be done a day early!!  Stay tuned!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

First Stitching Deadline - 1 week to go!

So,  I am one week from my first stitching deadline.  My goal to finish the second page of the chart was set for May 25.  I don't think I'll make it.  

See the paw?  Most of the upper 1/3 of the Hermit's paw has stitching errors.  Seriously.  I made some god awful counting errors. I had to kind of make up the stitches, I was so off.  I just mixed up the thread colours enough that hopefully it won't be too noticeable.  It's the biggest error (so far) on the Hermit.

Once the error was discovered, I spent an extraordinary amount of time one night figuring how to fix it, which is why I don't think I'll make my deadline.  Sigh .... 

Sunday, 6 May 2012

An update and goal setting.

It feels like its been a month since I've posted a photo of my progress on The Hermit.  It was a rough week but I am over the worst of it and ready to get back to stitching.  I was able to get some work done this weekend, so I have a photo to show off.

So, we can see more of the Hermit's left paw and his cloak next to it.  I must say, I do love stitching the purple cloak. It's such a rich colour!

There was lots of frogging this past weekend.  Serves me right for stitching when there are other things on my mind.  Usually I am able to let my mind go blank but it was difficult this week.  I'm just happy I was able to detect the errors as I made them and not a few weeks from now.  Still, there are a few errors on this second page that I know of but couldn't fix, and it's really annoying, though I know no one else will ever notice.

I've decided to set a goal for myself.  I want to have the second page finished by May 25.  I have no idea why I just picked that date, but there it is.

Wish me luck!

Friday, 4 May 2012

A Week of No Stitching

This past week was rough for me.  It started with migraines, then a few days of relief, only to be followed by more migraines.  Sometimes I get a week like that and this was it.  Fingers crossed, the worst is behind me, for the time being.  I am hoping to get some good stitching time in this weekend so I can update next with a new photo.

Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


If there's one thing I can't stand it's making a mistake.  You'd think doing counted cross stitch would be easy.  One counts the squares to figure out where the next stitch is placed.  Just when you think it's all going well you realized you've made a counting error.  It's happened in every project of mine. Every.Single.One.  My husband jokes that he hears me swear prolifically at least once during a project.  "Don't worry," he says, "No one will notice the mistake."  That doesn't matter to me - *I* know it's there.

So, if I find a mistake and I can correct it, I usually do.  I've learned that in the cross stitching world, this is called, "frogging".  Rip it, rip it, rip it.  I don't actually rip the thread out, rather, I backtrack the stitching and remove it.  It's a royal pain in the ass.  It's very time consuming and irritating.  It makes me mad.  Sometimes when an error is discovered and too much stitching has occurred around it, I can't possible fix it.  That makes me even more furious.  I swear, one of these days, I'm going to have a project that has ZERO errors in it. 

Sadly, it's not going to be the Hermit.  I spent the better part of my 2 hours of stitching last night frogging two separate errors.  Not to mention the fact that I discovered a few other errors but they are too far gone now to fix.  No one will ever notice the errors.  But I know they're there.  And even in the framed, finished works, my eye always finds the mistake.  Irritating, I tell you.

So, no photo update today.  Just a vent about mistakes.  I know I'm bound to make more, but I will strive to take more care in every single stitch I make.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Migraine + stitching = no way, Jose!

Ugh.  Migraines.

It's been a few days since I've been able to work on the Hermit.  I have been plagued by a cycle of migraine headaches.  The thought of stitching just doesn't appeal to me these days.  As much as I miss it, trying to focus on the chart and those tiny squares just makes me more nauseous.

I'll leave you with one of my favourite depictions of a migraine sufferer.  Perhaps I'll have it made into a chart some day and stitch it.  Ha ha!


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Cross stitch junkie.

Like the junkie, I have been unable to stop doing my drug of choice.   Neck pain be damned.  I am stitching through it.

Hubby is busy working on a soundtrack score for our friend's independent film, so I have had several hours of uninterrupted stitching time for the past few evenings.  It's been heaven. During this time I have also been catching up on a month's worth of General Hospital, so overall it has been a few nights of pure bliss.

Here's what I've got to show for it.  I'd say I'm about 1/4 done the second page; only 19.75 pages to go!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Ugh.. Another repetitive stitch injury.

Remember that left-sided neck pain I had a week or so ago?  Well, it's been replaced by bilateral upper shoulder/lower neck stiffness and pain.

Diagnosis:  trapezius stitch injury.

Yes, I made that up.

The muscle tension I am feeling across my traps (trapezius muscle) is worsening by the day. The pain/discomfort is primarily in the upper fibers.  It's from sitting on the couch and stitching for hours at a time.  I'm serious!  I usually start around 7:30-8:00pm and I won't move until I can't see straight anymore, which is about 10:30-11:00pm.  This discomfort reminds me of my University days (and nights) of studying.  My posture wasn't good back then and it most certainly has only worsened over the years.

Sigh .. what to do?  I'd tell my patient to stop the offending action/strain.  But for me that means putting away the Hermit for a few days (a week?) and that's tantamount to telling a drug addict to stop cold turkey.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Is it illegal to triple park?

Thanks to my husband for the title of this post!

Well, I have started the 2nd page of the Hermit Baba chart, and as I discussed in the last post, I have decided to try a different approach.  I am stitching more in blocks and "parking" the threads.  It was a bit confusing at first but I think I'm finally getting the hang of it.  I think it's actually helping me stitch faster.  I've already got less counting errors and when I see one, it's easy to start the frogging process.  (Thankfully, I've only had to do it once).

So, without further ado -- here she is!

There are three threads that I've parked right now.  It surprised even me how easy this was to do.  Though, I don't think I could do more than 2-3 at a time because it might get confusing.  I have visions of finishing this second page in a few weeks rather than a month and a half (the length of time it took me to finish the first page).

For the record, page two was started on April 20, 2012.

Once again, thanks for reading!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Grr.... confetti!

So, I'm back to the Hermit.  I am so close to finishing the first page of chart, I am giddy with excitement!  I have discovered a few things that I think will change the way I move forward.

As you may remember, I started stitching from the center of the chart.  It's how I've always started my kits and so I went with what I know.  As I near completion of the first page, I am left with a lot of confetti. Those who are not in the know, may ask, "what the heck is confetti?"

Confetti:  Definition: Stitchers often refer to scattered single stitches as confetti stitches. The stitches are spread across the fabric as if they had been sprinkled like confetti.

Exhibit A:

Can you see the scattered little white dots of fabric?  That's confetti.

I like my definition better - a huge pain in the ass.

Having to do single cross stitches means having to re-thread my needle a lot.  It's time consuming and irritation. Not to mention BORING!!!

So, once this page is complete and I move on to the next, I am going to try stitching in blocks of 10x10 squares.  Seasoned stitchers will say that this may lead to more re-threading more often, but another trick I learned is parking the thread, like this.

Oy, that looks like a god-awful mess, doesn't it?  Well, I'm going to give it a shot and see how it goes. 
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Another WIP

I was "forced" to take a few days off stitching this past weekend in order to prep for my son's 1st birthday.  I baked my famous carrot cake and husband decorated it.  The following day was Orthodox Easter, so by the end of the weekend I was exhausted and couldn't stitch. 

But I have started another kitty cat project which I haven't shown you yet, so I'm taking this opportunity to show off my other work in progress (WIP).

I bought this kit on eBay.  It's a packaged kit, so I didn't have to buy anything - the kit comes with the fabric (14 ct Aida), the floss and the chart.  My husband thinks she's a bit scary looking. I think she's adorable.  What do you think?

Come on, admit it, she's pretty cute, don't you think? 

Here's what I've done so far.  I started the kit in early March, just a few days before starting the Hermit.  I haven't worked on it in weeks, but as soon as I finish one page of the Hermit, I will get back to this one. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Happy Birthday!

One year ago today, a beautiful little boy was born.  It has been such a joy having him in my life. I'm taking this opportunity to show the birth record cross-stitch I did for his room.  He is an amazing little thing, even at a year old.  He is a quiet soul, watches everything around him, but has a strength that will serve him well.  I like to think he'll be the strong, silent type.  He has an intelligence about him that at first is hidden but when given a chance, he doesn't cease to surprise.

Happy Birthday to my wonderful little boy.