Sarah527 Blog

The life of a single mom of two boys as she explores new ideas, new thoughts, and a new career.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ok, this looks so much better:

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Designed by Nora Corbet, Copyright Mirablilia Designs

I took out the nutmeg colored bugle beads and replaced them with the gold bugle beads and I think they looks so much better. I'm really pleased. Again the red beads aren't photographing well but they all meld much better together. I'll still use the nutmeg bugle beads along the sides where they are placed like twigs along the sides of her dress.

So far the morning has been off to a good start. The kids had a late start at school which means they start school and the bus comes exactly one hour later. It's meant to give teachers a chance to for meetings and stuff. It was nice to get that extra hour of sleep and have a bit of a slower pace in the morning.

I need to mop my floors today so it will be a little while before I get back to beading but now that I solve my bugle bead problem, I'm looking forward to getting it done!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The beading has begun!

I started beading my Forest Goddess this afternoon. This is just about 90 minutes of work:

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I'm not sure as I've gone along about my bead choices. I just need to make up my mind and get this done. I'm going to wait until Dh comes home tonight and have him take a look. The pictures I know don't do a good job of showing the true color of the beads, the eggplant purple ones they do, but the red ones look too red in the pictures. In real life they are more pink red, kind of like a light strawberry. I know they are more opaque the the recommended MH bead but I thought I had done OK because of the AB finish on it that is same as the Bugle Beads and the pony beads. I also think next to the pony beads, they look really good and go well. Just not sure of how they look up against the bugle beads( The bugle beads I used are the recommended MH beads). I will have to do some extra stitching on the tops/bottoms of the bugle beads where they are attached since I did it on a bigger count fabric. I tried to vary where the extra stitch will go; ie one will have an extra stitch on top, the next an extra stitch on the bottom. I think they are placed well, just not sure of the colors together.

I do have another option. I have a third bead that I bought, it's kind of a golden color with a pretty AB finish on it. I may put that in just the collar portion of the dress, the portion I"m working on, and the rest of the places on her dress. I would then put the pink red beads in the area's floating around her. It might solve my problem because I do like how my bead choices look in her hair and floating around. Maybe just in this one section vary it a little.....But then would that have too many bead colors? Seriously I need to decide and get it DONE!!

I'll have to browse some more finished FG's to remind myself that of what the actual bead choices were.

Ok, I have come up with yet another option. Instead of the recommend nutmeg colored bugle beads, I'm just going to use plain gold ones that I have in my stash. Since I basically like the redish beads I picked except for where they meet up with the bugle beads, this will solve the problem. I think they will look fine in other parts of the dress, especially since they are close in color of one of the berry colors used farther down in her skirt. After looking at several fininshed and WIP's on Webshots I realized that the nutmeg colored bugle beads don't look that hot with the recommeneded MH color beads(IMHO) so maybe it wasn't a poor Delica choice on my part.

I just want to finish it at this point. I'm sick of going back an forth on colors so I'm going to make this change and then just finish. My goal is to have it ready for finishing by Friday!

Monday, January 22, 2007

A happy dance!!

What a fun way to start the week, with a finish:

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Designed by Jennifer Aikman-Smith, Copyright Dragon Dreams

I was lucky enough to get this project by taking a class with JAS herself all the way back in 2002. It's been rolling around since then and I'm really glad to have it done!! The only change I made was the date is now reading 2007(not sure if I like the 7) and I did it in red instead of the blue that the rest of the project was bs'd in. I'm not sure what the fabric is, I've been working from a working copy so I don't' have that information, I'm sure it's whatever the recommended fabric was. I did later buy the actual chart since it has an additional design which I may do later for my SIL but for now I think I'm ready to move on to a new designer since I completed the DD ornament at the beginning of the month. I really like DD designs but want to try something different.

The weekend turned out to be a really nice one and we were do for a nice relaxing, happy weekend. We started by grocery shopping and on the way home I was talking to DH about wanting to order a piece of fabric to eventually start "Stargazer". He asked why I didn't just go to my needlework store since I mentioned my punch card and he said that way I would have the fabric in my hand, instead of waiting. I told him I didn't want to make the drive by myself and he said we could all go. I kind of dismissed him but when we got home he was very insistent that we go. He said I never do things for myself so we were going.

We hopped in the car and went. They waited in the car while I went in to get the fabric. Having them there kept me from browsing which was good. I don't need to be distracted by anymore stuff. I found the fabric but they didn't have a piece big enough out so I asked. They didn't have any more either so I ended up having to order it anyways. I was bummed!! I did get the pack of Bugle beads I needed for FG though. They are ordering it for me and it will be sent to me when it gets there, which will depend on where the fabric is coming from, so I'm not sure how long it will take. ON the bright side it will allow me to finish up FG and allowed me to finish "Here Be Dragons" too.

On the way back home everyone was hungry so we were thinking about a late lunch/early dinner. Whenever I went to SNT we would always eat at the Big Boys down the street. I told him I would rather not this time because the food is never good and neither was the service. I don't know why we kept going back. We have an entertainment book that we bought from the boys so I looked at it, thinking there was no way there would be anything in it since we were going through a bunch of little times. Surprising there was one in it in a town called Ortonville. We went and boy am I glad we did. The food was AWESOME, it was more than reasonable and downright cheap when we used our coupon. The service was good and the kids enjoyed it. the best were these huge breadsticks they served before the meal, the were warm, and gooey and served with the most awesome garlic butter. I'd drive back for those alone. If any of you Michigan stitchers are reading(which I'm pretty sure your not, but just in case), skip Big Boy when you go to the Market Day sale(and don't worry, I'm not going) and go down to MacPhee's. It's right down the right from the A & W, on the left hand side of the street if you are heading back to I-75, right next to the Lumber Yard.

On the way home we decided to stop at the outlet mall that we pass on the way home. We didn't really need anything but thought it would be fun to just wander around and people watch. While we were there we went into a calendar store. All calendars were $4 and the has the Cross Stitch pattern a day one and DH insisted on buying it for me. As we wandered some more we went past a Maidenform outlet. I mentioned I needed some "things" and he sent me into the store to look and orders to buy something if I needed it. I looked and they had a sale going on underthings so I got 6 new pairs of something for $12. What a great deal and it's amazing on how new things, that are bit silky, can make you feel better about yourself. Both DH and Steph have been encouraging me to do more things for myself and it's been improving my mood a lot.

Sunday was a very lazy day. I did laundry, cleaned up, played with the boys. I kept meaning to pick up my stitching since I knew I was close to being done on my DD piece. Finally after dinner I got everyone ready for Monday, I got lunches packed, clothes laid out, everyone showered and then about 8pm I got to sit down and stitch. DH took care of the bedtimes and I just kept going until I was done with just a couple of small breaks and finished somewhere around 2am or so. DH went to bed about 11pm but I kept right on stitching. The only bad thing is I was watching my "Supernatural" DVD while stitching. Watching spooky things, late at night, by yourself, not such a good idea. It took me a little while to finally settle down and go to sleep when I did finally head to bed.

Another thing I did this weekend was finally take the necklace DH gave me for Christmas apart and turned it into two scissor fobs. I had tried to make a bracelet or a watch band but neither would get much use or looked right since the bicones were a bit big. I'm a jeans/sweats/t-shirts most days so they wouldn't get much use. I think the fobs turned out really nice. They sparkle a lot, I wish that would come through in the picture.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Steph started her regular hours at Dh's office today. DH said it was really nice when someone walked into his office at 4:45pm with a problem and he was able to turn it over to her and walk out the door. I was happy to have him home too!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

UFO Friday Progress pictures

I pulled out my UFO project a day early. The boys were home from school for end of term records day so I wasn't sure if I would have time to stitch. They are usually pretty good but you do have to keep an eye on them and I wanted to make sure I had time to interact with them too. I was able to do that and get some stitching in both days so I made *a lot* of progress:

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Designed by Jennifer Aikman-Smith, Copyright Dragon Dreams

I don't normally stitch on the weekends but one of my favorite old movies is on this afternoon so I'll probably have some time then. If I feel like stitching I'll pull this out since I'm so close to being done. I did as much of the backstitching as I could as I went since on this piece there is so much little bits of it. It's all in one color so that makes it easier but still a fair amount and not in straight lines. I'm not sure what I would work on next Friday if by chance I do finish this up this weekend but I have plenty of other UFO's to pull out if I by chance finish this one...I'm also motivated to get a couple of other things out of the way because I'd like to start on Stargazer that I've had in my stash forever. She has a lot of really good memories attached since it was a gift from a friend. I finally chose a fabric but have just been waiting to finish somethings before starting. I'm also thinking if I make enough progress on her I may treat myself to the new Mirabilia "Lady of the Mist" when my Birthday rolls around in late May. I discovered I have just a few punches left on my SNT punch card. If I buy a little something at the market day sale, it would get me $12 off a purchase, which would pretty much pay for LOTM pattern. I don't know, we'll have to see. I've seen the floss tosses for LOTM and they are such pretty colors and I so love the roses on it.

This has been a really good idea and I feel like it's helping me make some progress on things that have been laying around. I'm so smart for thinking of it.

It's another boring weekend around here. Steph is finally all trained at Dh's offices so she is on call this weekend so thankfully no phone calls and no trips to the office. She starts in 3 days a week, 2-10 starting on Monday. We do have a few errands to do, like grocery shop and I want to get to Jo-Ann's for the quilt batting I need so I can bead FG next week(minus the bugle beads until I find a replacement for them). We also may go TV browsing with my MIL sometime. She wants a new TV, an LCD one, but she can't convince my FIL to buy one. She wants to go looking so we said we would go with her. If she buys a new one, she will pass her old one onto us since we are the only ones in the family right now without a HDTV.

If you look at the corner of the picture you can see I have painted fingernails. I don't normally wear nail polish but the last night when S and I were hanging out, we did our toe nails and she convinced me to paint my fingernails the same color It's weird to see painted nails since it's not something I do, I do paint my toenails but that is more for DH who seems to like it. I'm not sure if my nails are all long enough or long the nail polish will last but it's kind of nice to have something so girlie since I'm usually not. Dh really liked it too.....

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

As promised pictures!!

Here is what my FG looked like when I sat down to work on her on Tuesday:
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Here is what she looked like this evening:

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Designed by Nora Corbett, Copyright Mirabilia Designs

There are still a few more of the green vines to backstitch in but I am going to do those when I bead. I need places to anchor the thread too. The beading will wait until I go to the bead store and get some new bugle beads. I'm also in need of some quilt batting to roll up into my scroll frame to protect the already beaded area. I'm hoping to do that this weekend or next. For tomorrow I may pull out my UFO Friday project a day early. The boys are home from school on Friday so I'm not sure how much stitching I may get in with them around. I want to make a good dent on the second half of my "Here Be Dragons". I hope to get most of it ready for backstitching so I think I will have a better shot at that with the peace of the house.

As I was working on FG I was wondering what I was going to do with her when I was finished. It hit me that since she is so short side to side that I think she would make a perfect Bell Pull. Since I didn't use a hand dyed fabric on her I think it would stand up to a gentle washes along the way instead of putting her in the frame. I think I even have a good backing fabric for her. I've been meaning to pull out my sewing machine to finish up Dragon Dreams "Blackwork Princess" into a bell pull as well so I can do them both at the same time.

Now on to some pictures of Isis. She is turning into a gorgeous cat, so photogenic!!

This is not the best picture but you can see how long she is getting to be:
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here she is on her favorite cushion in front of the window to catch the sun:
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Look at this face, so pretty:
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And here is the sun glinting off of the ice covered tree's:
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Steph and I had a great time last night after I got the boys to bed. Dh was at lodge so it was just her and I. She's been so busy lately that I rarely have time to see her but it was night to have a few hours to hang out with her. We played some cards and watched an episode of "Supernatural" that my MIL bought me the other day at Costco. It was a really nice night.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"Forest Goddess" ready for beads and backstitching!!

I'm very pleased with myself. I sat down this morning and made myself sit and work on FG until I was ready for backstitching and beading and I got it accomplished. It helped that the boys were back at school today so it was quiet in the house and I was able to get it done. Now to figure out the backstitching instructions(I hate them sometimes) and get to work on that. That is my goal for tomorrow, there isn't a lot so I think it's possible. Then it's on to the beads. I looked them over again and while my choices aren't "exact" matches to the Mill Hill's, I think I did pretty good. The only hitch is the bugle beads I bought, which I *love* the color of, are too small. I knew I would have to do some fidling with the pebble and bugle bead since I am doing it on 28ct fabric and the recommended fabric is 32 count but even factoring in that they are too small. I will have to try to find a way to the bead store to see if they have a similar color in slightly larger beads. I sure hope so cause the color is beautiful!!

The weekend was good. No hockey so it was nice to have DH here all weekend long. G had his birthday party on Saturday. He was so looking forward to it and I worried if it would live up to his expectations but it did for him. It was a bowling party and he is really good at bowling. He won both games. It was nice to see him interact with other kids and he seems to be pretty well liked. Now he wants a bowling party for his birthday. Thankfully that is a few months away.

On Sunday I went with my MIL to Costco to help her with some of her purchases. Why she goes and buys such large quantities of stuff when it's just her and my FIL I don't know but she loves the store so I went.

Monday was MLK day so the boys were home. That was a good thing because we got the tail end of the ice storm and I was really thankful not to have to go anywhere. The roads weren't that bad but it was a lot nicer to sit and look at the ice then to be out in it. We were lucky and barely got hit. Some places were without power and there were several stories on the news of tree's hitting cars in driveways but it could have been much, much worse. Today was cold, clear, and sunny and I have to say the trees look so pretty with the sun shinning through them and the dusting of snow clinging to the ice. It was like a picture!

Dh spent part of the weekend puttering with our dryer. I don't know if I mentioned it here by my MIL gave us her older(and I use the term loosely) high efficiency washer/dryer before Christmas. She moved her laundry room from her basement to an upstairs bedroom that she converted to a laundry/pantry room(for all her Costco purchases...LOL). Even though the appliances were not that old she bought new and she had her older ones delivered and installed here. The washer worked great from the get go but the dryer has taken some fiddling. For one it was not put in well. They didn't put it in the right spot, they put a kink in the dryer vent hose, didn't level it and broke the handle on the gas valve(it still works but you need a pair of pliers). I also had trouble figuring out how to load it...I know I sound stupid but at first all it did was twist the clothes around and things weren't drying in the middle. Then it seemed like it was drying well at all. Dh moved it, leveled it, put a new hose on and now it seems to be working much better and dries super fast.

Tomorrow I'll have pictures of FG, I just didn't feel like playing with the camera tonight. I'll also have to post a recent picture of Isis. She is getting to be so big. I weighed her today, she cooperated and sat on the scale, and she is 8 pounds and so long. When she stretches out completely it's amazing to see how long she is!! She has grown into such a gorgeous cat and what a great companion. I'm truly blessed that she "chose" us to come live with.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

First UFO Friday Progress pictures.

I think my first UFO Friday was a success!! I made a lot of progress. Here is what it looked like when I started:

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Designed by Jennifer Aikman-Smith, Copyright Dragon Dreams

And at the end of the day:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Designed by Jennifer Aikman-Smith, Copyright Dragon Dreams

This weekend I hope to get the Just Nan finished and try my hand at the new finishing technique. Tomorrow is the lodge breakfast so their won't be much time for stitching then so I hope to accomplish today, after shopping, cleaning, and laundry of course!!

On Monday I plan to drag out Forest Goddess and see how long it takes me to finish her. In my kitting/organizing binge I was able to find all my working copies, the floss and the Delica's I bought for her. I think I was really concerned about my bead choices which is why I stopped stitching on her but now that I look at them, they really aren't that bad, hopefully!

Steph starts on Wednesday afternoon which is a good thing because DH got a call last night that something wasn't right. After I'm done with the few errands that have to be done today he gets to go out to fix them. With Steph working there, he could send her instead. He also had a chance to discuss the hours he has been working at work and they are now considering scrapping the bonus plan all together, paying him a little more, and giving him overtime, especially after his boss took a look at the amount of hours he has been putting in. Great idea, now that they have hired someone else and his overtime hours are likely to go down :(