Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Meta blogging & a photo-less update

I was so excited because I came to post and saw that there was a comment to be modded. Now, my first comment was from Sharon of inaminuteago, and with a second one, I thought that maybe the whole getting visible process might not be that hard. But no, my second comment was spam! So disappointing.

In addition, I am feeling overwhelmed by the whole blogging process and can see that no matter how great my enthusiasm, this is going to be a longer road than I'd first understood. I mean, CSS? I'd only recently heard of that, never mind knowing what it is, exactly. (Although I do now.)

Then, I have heard some rumblings about people migrating over to WordPress because they are displeased with the new Blogger-not-Beta. But WordPress is even codier. (I know, not a word, but there needs to be something to express the jungle of "what?!" that I feel at the start of this adventure.) Anyway, I think I'll be looking sticking around here for a bit until I get my feet under me. And I'll definitely be doing some searching for beginner tutorials for working with templates and such.

But so much work! Getting back into my stitching, and an exchange, blogging, and being heavily involved in a private cross stitch group elsewhere has really taken a lot of my time. I'm loving it all, though. I quit working for pay in February '06, and it has taken this long for me to decompress and relax and build some enthusiasm for specific activities. I feel as though I have been told that my age had been rolled back ten years - I'm excited about things, I'm not dead tired and burned out. It's truly exciting and I am joyful. I go around laughing out loud throughout the day, amazed at the blessing my life has become.

Ok, on to stitching. Still stitching the project for the exchange I'm in. I can't be specific, of course, but it is a challenging project for me, so it feels good to see it taking shape. I have only worked on it a handful of times over the last month, but it is coming along more quickly than I'd have imagined. Ok, nobody wants to hear all this vague talk. Suffice it to say I am stitching, and will have photos soon. If nothing else, TAST will provide an opportunity to post pics in the next few days.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Take A Stitch Tuesday - Week 2

I've been down with an upper respiratory infection the past week, so I was worried I'd fall another week behind on this project, but fortunately, I've recovered enough to sit upright and stitch. And thank goodness, because this week's stitch for sharonb's Take A Stitch Tuesday was the easy and fun buttonhole stitch. I have done this stitch only once before, years ago, on a small hardanger project. It's quite simple, and the variations are endless.

This is what I came up with:

The first row is a basic buttonhole stitch. On the left side, you can see where I started out one hole off, and corrected after two stitches. I meant to experiment later with off-setting the top stitch that way, but didn't get to it before my self-imposed "post day." The second half of the first row is the stitch done the left-handed way. I am left-handed, but for the most part, I don't modify my stitching. It was easier doing the basic stitch left-handed, but when I was working with the other motifs, I found it easier to revert to the common method.

The half circle motif ended where I somehow lost count and tried to frog. I lost the entire sequence, and just started over with the successful circle motif you see below it.

I tried a sort of chevron shape, and a flower, as you can see. I even charted a tulip motif, complete with stem and leaves, all in buttonhole, but gave that up after four unsuccessful tries. I guess my cold-congested brain was not up to the challenge!

I had some other ideas, but just couldn't get to them, what with the cold, and the disarray my fibers are in. But I had so much fun doing this project and I'm looking forward to having more time and energy for the next stitches.

Thanks so much, Sharon, for hosting this project!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Stitching & Reading

Worked on my bookmark exchange today, and made good progress, although not as much as I'd like. I'm taking scans every day that I work on it for a pictorial WIP post once I can post it. My first one - I am so excited!

Also - I caught Just Nan's upcoming releases today. They're all so pretty, as always, but the one I have my eye on is Queen Of the Needle. When the Silver Needle had the limited edition sampler case, I didn't have the funds to get it, to my eternal regret. This will be a nice consolation piece! I've been spending a lot on stash lately, and really want to keep it in check, but this is one I plan on kitting up with the silks & starting right away. So pretty!

Speaking of stash, I joined a monthly fiber club at Stitching Bits and Bobs. It'll start near the end of the month and I'll be receiving Carrie's Creation threads, which is great, because Ink Circles has a wonderful pattern, Blackstone Fantasy Garden, that uses those threads. I don't have it yet, but isn't having the threads a great excuse to buy the pattern? Anyway, the threads look yummy in themselves and I am excited to be receiving stitching goodies in the mail once again.

As for reading, I have yet again been slacking off. Rather, I've been too busy and/or tired to get much done - can't concentrate. I am slowly working on The Scroll of Seduction, which is just OK. The story of the mad queen, Juana, was what caught my interest initially, but the surrounding modern-day love story is not one that I'm enjoying. I am planning a trip to the library tomorrow to replenish my reading stock, so hopefully something better will present itself to me. I have plenty at home to read, including some things loaned to me by my mom and mother-in-law, but none of them are grabbing me at the moment. My husband laughs when I check out 20 books at the library, but I really need a good selection because I like to go through the stack and wait for something to compel me.

P.S. I really need to work on something I can post a progress picture of...

A Day Late

I just heard about Take A Stitch Tuesday over at ILCS (Yahoo Group). I haven't been active in the groups I belong to mostly because I am not sure what to say, and I feel sort of silly just posting "Wow, nice work" a bunch of times. :p Anyway, I have resolved to participate more, mostly because I would like to be involved in some exchanges this year, and the best way to do that is to become known in the groups that have active exchange programs.

Back to Take A Stitch Tuesday - I missed this week's stitch, which was Herringbone, having found the project only today. I may go back and do that one later, but for now I'm just planning on picking up next week. I've explored Sharon's blog just a little and have already seen dozens of awesome ideas for textile work and making a visual journal. I think that's a great idea to do with the stitches from this project. I've wanted to do a stitcher's reference book but the idea of little squares put in a 3 ring binder just never inspired me. I can definitely see working on a journal of this style though!