Monday, January 26, 2015

A Little Bit of Everything

Hello again!

Figured I was about due for an update on the goings on with my stitching and various other things. I've been slacking on the blogging!! First I shall start with the "other things."

DB and I watched The Equalizer with Denzel Washington (aka one of my movie boyfriends, oh I love him so, haha). I will watch pretty much anything he does and this movie certainly did him justice. It was quite gory and there are TONS of fight scenes, so for those of you who don't care for that type of thing I would say it's not going to be one you enjoy. Certain parts almost made me think that he was a much more refined version of The Boondock Saints (another movie I love dearly).

This past weekend we also went to see American Sniper with Bradley Cooper. This, for those who don't know, is a movie based on the life of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. There has been so much hype about this move, both negative and positive. I, for one, thought the movie was fantastic. Cooper did a wonderful job portraying Kyle. DB and I arrived at the theatre only to find out the showing was sold out. :-( So we purchased tickets for a much later showing and, even with arriving 45 minutes early, we were still near the end of the line to get in. We did luck out with some pretty good seats and I sent DB off to find me a massive tub of popcorn. I could seriously live on that stuff if given the opportunity. Lol.

Onto the stitchy stuff that you all come here to see/read.

I'm slowly kitting up Grumpy Owl, but with about 6 million squares of the same color for the background, I've started this one before I finish winding all the remaining floss since I won't need any other colors for awhile.

The thread blends in with the fabric more than I thought it would, especially in the photo. I think I like it so far.

Oh I almost forgot. I bought this little floss winder for a whole whopping $0.99 the last time I went to the craft store. This has been the best money I've spent. I don't quite feel like carpal tunnel is setting in every time I go to wind a bobbin. It seriously makes things so much easier.

Hummers decided to be a wee bit of a pain last week. I took a moment to actually look at everything I had stitched and, much to my horror, I realized that there were a few dark green stitches that didn't appear to belong. Oh was I correct. Now for my wish to you. May you NEVER have to frog a HAED. It SUCKS. I was terrified that I'd cut or pull a thread I wasn't supposed to or that it would look funky and/or fuzzy when I went to restitch the correct color. Fortunately the frog was kind-ish, and after the right color was in there, you really can't tell that I had to redo it. Thank the stitchy gods.

So here's where we left off as of last night. I would kill for a page finish by the time our update rolls around, but I'm not sure if I'll accomplish that...

Hummingbird Welcome is coming along nicely. This is the one I've got on my hoop right now. I've finished the purple flowers and now I'm onto the leaves. It looks so much better when you can see all the details.

I added to my stash. "Hello, my name is Caitlin and I have a problem"....... Keepsake Needlearts had a 50% off clearance sale on 2 of the Disney kits I don't currently have and one of the little vignettes was only $2.99. Plus I had a coupon for free shipping. :-) There was NO way I could pass that up. They were supposed to be delivered on Saturday, but it looks like I won't be getting it until Tuesday.

I was also digging around on some other sites I hadn't yet been to and now I have a GORGROUS Chatelaine design on my wishlist - Hummingbird Lace Mandala. All the sparkly things, not to mention the hummingbirds, were calling my name. I really need to stay off the internet. :-)

I think I need to sign up for SFS when it opens again.

MCG finally decided I was worthy of a reply. Told me when I emailed (again) last Monday that it can take up to 4 days for a reply and they were currently working on emails from 01/14/15. I found this amusing since they had no problem responding to my email about the pearl filament from 01/16/15. Anyway ....... they've told me they'll be sending a new piece of fabric. We'll see how long it takes.

Monday, January 19, 2015

January TUSAL

Already time for the first TUSAL update! Where has the time gone??!?!!
Not much color in the jar yet. Parking my threads has lead to a lot less ORTs.

For those that have absolutely no clue what this is, or why I'm posting a picture of little thread endings in a pasta sauce jar, click on the link to the right and go find out for yourself!! Sign up too while you're at it. :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hakuna Matata

AHHH! Yay! I have a finish! The first of, hopefully several, for 2015!

Let me back track a little. I finally received the two brown thread colors I was missing for The Lion King. Aaaaaaand apparently I miscounted the pearl filament (aka the evil sparkly thread) so I was just a little short on what I needed to finish. Oops. I did, once again, email MCG but I really wanted to finish this one. So I stole two strands from another kit to use for this one.

I stayed up WAY later than I should have to get this thing done, but I couldn't help myself. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and I was sprinting towards it. At about 3 am I crossed the finish line (told you it was really late, lol).

Please pardon the stray dog hairs I probably missed... the pooches like to "help" 

I love the finished product, however the backstitching tried to test my patience. Oh my goodness there were such tiny tiny tiny little stitches. Simba is so adorable and Rafiki looks fantastic! The overall look was more than worth it. I have also found out that I suck at french knots. I'll have to do a lot more practice before I finish Beauty and the Beast. There are hundreds of little knots on that one!

This one probably won't be framed for a little while so I'll update on that at a later date.

Grumpy Owl is ready to be kitted up now that The Lion King is done. I love the fabric I got from It's a 32-count linen, which in my weirdness I forgot was a real linen and not evenweave. I know, I know it says linen right in the title... I'm a dork. Oddly enough it actually isn't that uneven.

The color is amazing, the photo doesn't really do it much justice. It's a more peachy color that seems to go pretty well with all the floss so far. I was surprised by some of the floss colors but I can't wait to see how they all look when they're stitched!! First I must spend my time bobbinating all this floss.

Time for an MCG update..... I emailed MCG again (as you skimmed read a minute ago) about the evil sparkly thread. What did I receive in response? Well, exactly that. A response. I was shocked since I still haven't heard anything about the fabric for Fantasia. They told me they never received the email and asked that I resend it. I forwarded the original message. No reply. Sent a new message with the same content in case there was a problem with the first one. Again, no reply. So I responded to the one they apparently did receive asking if they saw anything. No reply. I was almost in tears I was so beyond frustrated. Can't do anything about it today since it's the weekend. If I have no response by Monday afternoon, I'll be hunting down a phone number to call instead.

I suppose I bring this upon myself since I keep purchasing these kits, but they're the ONLY ones who make them. No other company has Disney patterns/charts/kits that compare to Thomas Kinkade's work. He was a crazy talented artist and these pieces are what got me into stitching again after so many years. Ugh.

I do want to thank you all for your kind and spirit boosting comments. They all make my day every time!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

January Gifted Gorgeousness

It's finally time for our first Gifted Gorgeousness update! This SAL is being hosted by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.

For those who haven't joined or want to know all the little details about this wonderful SAL, check it out here! I'll give you a basic overview...

We're all stitching pieces that have either been gifted to us (all or in part) or are being stitched as gifts for someone else. It's a wonderful way to get through some of those goals we've all set out to complete this year!

My original plan was to start this SAL off with Fantasia, however for those of you that have been following my conundrums, this wasn't really a possibility. So instead I've decided to work on Hummingbird Welcome. This piece was gifted to me (3/4 of the way completed) by my Grandmother about 4 or so years ago. I've been focusing on the backstitching and getting the details filled in so I can FINALLY frame it.

This is the progress so far. Both hummingbirds are finished and I've begun working on the purple flowers near the top of the piece, you may have to click on the photo to see it closer. I'm hoping to have this one completed by May so I can have it framed for my birthday!!

Please be sure to check out all the other wonderful stitchers progress by checking out the January Link-up Post here.

I'll be back next month with, hopefully, some more progress on this beauty and a start on Fantasia!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Dear Bad Luck, Let's Break Up

I feel the need for a short rant. If you don't want to delve into the ticked off parts of my brain... run... run quickly.

So after praising MCG Textiles the other day for their wonderful customer service they have officially angered the beast. I can understand floss being placed into a kit incorrectly, or at times not placed there at all... and don't get me wrong their customer service is great... now for the but. And it's a big one.

I opened Fantasia in hopes of getting tons of work done on it this weekend since our first Gifted Gorgeousness SAL post is in 4 days.

It does have a large piece of pretty fabric... the wrong fabric. (Yes I've already sent an email detailing my problem complete with photos. Aren't I handy??)

How the H-E-DOUBLE TOOTHPICKS do you get the fabric wrong!??!?!?!?!? I spent about an hour trying to figure out what I did wrong when I was gridding the whole thing up since supposedly it's stitched 2 over 2 on 28-count evenweave. It was either going to be so very tiny (nowhere near 16x12) or way larger than that/the fabric.

This is a stupid thing to get me wound up so tightly, but for the love of the stitchy gods, EVERY kit I have has something wrong with it. I debated on opening Snow White and starting her instead, but I'm in too crappy a mood to have something else go wrong.

Thank you to those that didn't run screaming. I apologize for my rage-induced rant. I needed that. :-)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

January YOTA!

Hello all! It's time for YOTA, and here I am squeezing this post in before Saturday ends. We're posting a little later than the first weekend this year since the New Year fell so close to the weekend and everyone was running around like a headless chicken for awhile there. :-)

For those that don't know what I'm talking about, check it out/sign up here. It's hosted by Pull The Other Thread and is a very (thank God) relaxed SAL. Each month we post before and after pics of the progress on our UFOs, or in my case our WIPs, since that's really all I have at the moment. Folks are obviously encouraged to post each month, but coming and going as the months roll by is allowed too.

Onto the progress. :-) I must first apologize that I don't have a before pic. Suffice it to say that before I began there was no backstitching done at all. I've managed to make a little progress this month. All of the black is finished on the bird at the top. I just need to finish with the grey-ish thread and then I can move onto the other one.

For those that didn't catch my previous post about this pretty little thing... I did NOT do any of the stitching on this. My Grandmother started it many years ago and sent it to me as a gift to finish for myself. I found out the hard way that there are a few different kind of stitches in this one that I've never run across before so it's going to take me a little longer than I originally anticipated. Always fun to learn something new though!!

You may want to click the picture to see the backstitching detail a little bit better.

I can't wait to have this one framed! Hopefully YOTA will keep me on track with this one.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Goodbye Christmas Money...

Dear Friends,

As I was cleaning up the Christmas decorations and storing them all away until next year, I ran across a piece I completely forgot I had. Honestly I have no clue how old this is, but I received it about 4 years ago (maybe more) from my Grandmother and Great Aunt. I was told that it was a gift for me! Yay! And then I was informed that it wasn't finished and that was my job before I could frame it. :-)

Anyway, I pulled it out and started looking to see what exactly needed to be done. Well much to my surprise this wasn't simply a cross stitch piece, there are many stitches I've never used before. Fortunately, almost all the hard stuff is complete (haha!) and mostly all I have to do is backstitching. Mostly. There are a few odd stitches in there that I'm trying to figure out as well.

I'll post a pic of the progress on this one for Jo's Gifted Gorgeousness in just a few days! I don't want to give away too much too soon...

So....... online craft shops are dangerous places, hence the title of this post. I need to be banned from these websites. Needless to say I found the perfect fabric for Grumpy Owl!! It shipped this morning and I'm dying to get it and actually see it in person. It's a 32 count Chalice Belfast Linen. So pretty, and I hope/pray it works well with the colors in the piece. I hate not being able to see it in person, but there are ZERO shops near me other than Michael's and Hobby Lobby. Neither of which are very cross stitch friendly. Don't get me wrong they do have some cheap DMC but fabric is another story.

I'm planning on stitching this one 1 over 1 so I hope the coverage is as good as I'm thinking it will be. Speaking of stitching, I also found a coupon for 20% off my entire order at Michael's so sometime this month I should be able to pick up the remaining thread and have this bugger kitted up in no time!!

I also managed to snag this Ottlite for $70 from Joann!!!! (P.S. for those that may want one, I do believe it's still on sale, although it's out of stock online so you would have to go to your store and buy it there). I've read quite a few mixed reviews, but I figured it was worth a shot... I hope.

Since we don't have one close I had my Mom pick it up from the store right around the corner from her house. Oh I can NOT wait to get it! Even with shipping charges my total is coming in WAY under the $209 they originally wanted for it. Thank God for Christmas money. haha. My eyes will be so much happier with me once it's hooked up and ready to use.

This weekend will be my stitchy hermit weekend. DB is leaving for 4 days for a training class so beginning on Sunday I'll have the house to myself to stitch!! My mom did tell me that I must watch "If I Stay" so I believe I'll be renting that to watch as well. My poor fingers might need a break at some point!

I finally pulled out Fantasia to start on tonight for the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL and as I was reading the package I noticed that instead of the normal Aida cloth these kits contain, this one has Evenweave. I'm curious to see how much more I like it than the Aida. Probably a lot. :-)

Sorry that there aren't any progress photos for you all today, but stay tuned for this weekend when I'm certain there will be more than you care to see!!

Oh and I almost forgot - the floss I am in need of to finish The Lion King was also shipped out to me this morning! I LOVE MCG Textiles. They are fantastic to work with, not to mention the wonderful projects they have and their customer service is impeccable. Never once have they had an issue providing me with the floss that has either been missing or incorrect in my kits. (NO this doesn't happen all the time, but we're all human and once and awhile mistakes are made) I must say again -- I LOVE this company. I'm sure others are this way as well, but they're really the only ones I've dealt with in this capacity so they get my love at the moment. :-)

Thus ends my rants. :-) Until next time!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Starting Off With a Bang

Dear Friends,

Hope you're all enjoying the beginning of 2015. I don't make new year's resolutions, but if you do I wish you all the best of luck. I'll happily be there cheering you on. :-)

We spent NYE with friends and DB's company Christmas party was Jan 2. A little late, but they throw an amazing party so it's well worth the wait. DB even managed to win a smart watch. Not sure what we're going to do with it since he's the total opposite of tech-savvy. (I'm lucky the man has a cell phone.)

A New Stitchy Start SAL began as of Jan 1. This brought about the beginning of my first ever HAED piece! For those that aren't following that blog, I shall recap my progress thus far.

Of course, I had to take a photo of the very first stitch going in, and the first 10x10 block that was completed. I'm stitching this one 2 over 1 on 25-count, with full crosses. So many threads in such tiny tiny holes!!

This is where I left off as of last night. I'm guesstimating that I've done about 1500 stitches. I'm still trying to decide exactly how to do this whole parking thing. I tried stitching one 10x10 at a time for the first 1000 stitches which worked quite well. Then I moved onto stitching the same color for 10 columns, basically the height of the page. That seems to work alright as well. Not sure how I'll continue, but parking (however I decide to do it) really is the way to go with this piece.

I also NEED, not want, a magnifying lens. The first night I gave myself a headache trying to see all those stitches. It doesn't really help that our living room has next to nothing for light and we don't have a lamp. Ugh. I've been looking at some of those Ottlite things, but good lord they must be gold-plated they're so expensive!!

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL also begins this month with our first post coming quicker than I'm ready for, though I'm thrilled to start. I've decided to begin this journey with Fantasia as my Mom bought it for me for Christmas and it's really the only thing gifted I have at the moment. I also plan on beginning Grumpy Owl as it is a gift for Mom, but as of this moment I don't have all the floss or fabric yet. I'm hoping to get that all together by March-ish.

I've also joined YOTA which was probably the best idea I've had. Maybe this will help me get through the pile of UFOs that I'm very quickly accumulating!!

The last (for now) that I plan to join will be TUSAL, but as of the moment the sign up page isn't quite ready yet.

I'm hoping all of these will keep me organized-ish in my blogging and stitching. Of course if another SAL pops up that I can't refuse I'm sure I'll add it to my ever-growing list. :-)

That's where I'll leave you for now. Please be patient with me as I do plan on revamping the look of my blog sometime this week (I hope). So it may look a wee bit strange from time to time. :-)

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