Friday, April 28, 2017

April Smalls SAL post

My April small for the 2017 Smalls SAL run by Heather of Stitching Lotus:
Miss Pansy Mouse by Just Nan, from the Spring Mouse in a House design set (the patterns included are for both the mouse and the house; neither is sold separately). The called for linen was 32 count 'Lilac' by WDW, but I had a pretty opalescent lavender linen in my stash which I used instead ('Khione' by Under the Sea Fabrics).

It was a really fun little stitch. I'm working on the house, which is taking longer. I'm super intimidated by the steps required to FFO the house, so that should be interesting when I get to that point.

Summer Mouse in a House comes out in May, and I'm definitely going to get it. It will be my project for June/July. I hope to do the whole series this year.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Better

Thank you to those who commented on my previous post. You are lovely. I will reply today!

Onward to a better week, yes?

I set aside a big block of time yesterday evening for stitching and relaxing, rather than doing housework (guilt-free, because I cut the grass and did a couple loads of laundry right after work). It was great. Self-care is a good thing.

I was not in the mood for Halloween, and I'm a bit cranky about how messy my over-1 stitches are on the first bird of the Just Nan Spring House (first time doing over 1 on 32 count - I should have waited til I had better light). So I started next month's Smalls SAL project. I picked a pattern from the new Just Cross Stitch magazine:
I'm doing the 4-square pattern, but in brighter colors. It's probably going to look more like "Hello Summer" when it's done.

I have decided to do the May starts challenge on the Stitch Maynia Facebook group - 15 starts in the first 15 days of May. I've been making myself stick to my two WIPs, with breaks only for the Smalls SAL projects; but I think a bit of manic start-crazy-ness will feel great right now.  

I picked things I have all or most of the supplies for. The benefit is that in the future, when I want to pick up a new project but am not feeling up to doing all of the pre-work (picking out a pattern/fabric/threads, finding the center & putting in the first stitch - the hard stuff, right?) I will be able to just grab something out of my bin of Maynia starts and stitch away.

My selection:
Row 1:
June Bugs by Pine Mountain Designs; Butterflies Biscornu by Seba Designs; 'August' from Summer and Winter by Prairie Schooler; Jolly Jack by All Through the Night; Where Did I Put My Broom by Dark Crosses

Row 2:
'September' from Spring and Fall by Prairie Schooler; square design from Pumpkin Potpourri by Scissor Tail Designs; Holmesy Hare Winter Wonderland by Stitchers Anon; Winter Awwwwwe by Needle Bling Designs; Not a Creature Was Stirring by Lizzie Kate

Row 3:
Very Merry Winter by JBW Designs; Unstoppable by Daily Cross Stitch; Four de Lys by Ink Circles; ornament from Where there are Bees by Prairie Schooler; Feathers 'n Fins by Tempting Tangles

Another benefit of this: several patterns are ones I've had for a couple of years, so now I won't have to feel guilty about leaving them languish unstarted.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Scroll past the words if you just want to see the stitching :)

This starts out with some sort of gloomy navel-gazing. I think I just needed an outlet? But then there is stitchy stuff at the end! So it's not all a waste of pixels! :D

Life

It crossed my mind last night that I don't mull over bright, unnecessary things as much lately. In free moments, my mind tends to wander down a lane cluttered with depressing and frightening current events, things that are going wrong that are out of my control, random angry or sad things, worries and uncertainties, and, like, reminders of housework that needs to be done.

I miss taking detours down mental garden paths. I miss fun fictional characters who've grabbed my attention, delightful snippets of the world around me, hopeful glimpses of the future. Yadda.

Not that my brain was all fun and games before last summer - hah! No. LOLOLOL. But I haven't been quite this unhappy in years.

The reasons are external things that I am, I guess, internalizing. And I think I'm having a mid-life crisis. Not even factoring all of the terrible & embarrassing things going on in my country, I'm struggling with looking at another 20 years, at least, of work that I don't particularly enjoy but need because life is expensive and I only have my income to depend on.

And, I have been adulting like crazy at home lately. Making dinner! Doing all the dishes! Almost keeping up with laundry! Watering the garden! Going to bed at a reasonable hour! Tidying things! Etc! Which means that I have maybe 20 minutes of 'me-time' in the evening, not much time to do the small, pleasurable things.

I'm almost wondering if the people who have always told me that having my domestic space in order would make me more happy than slacking off to do fun things does...were totally wrong.

Stitching

I've been making a point to pick up stitching most evenings. Even if I just put in one thread's worth of stitches, it helps me still feel like I'm making progress on something I enjoy. My at-home project is Mysterious Halloween Town by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I'm roughly here-ish:
Since taking this picture, I've stitched a little more grass (beneath the block of lavender on the left), filled in the last few teal stitches in the three teal blocks, and stitched a bit of white above the lavender and teal.

My mostly-at-work project is Just Nan's Spring Mouse in a House. I finished the mouse a couple weekends ago, and am working on the house. I've got two sections done:
It was weird stitching them upside down. But they're super cute.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Cross stitch is currently the meaning of life

I FFO'd another thing. I'm very pleased with how it turned out.
This is Lizzie Kate "A Little Gray Hare." It's a kit that came with linen, threads, beads, backing fabric, and ricrac. I stitched it last March, woops! I was afraid of messing it up in the process of cutting/assembling it as an ornament, so it languished in my drawer of stitched-but-not-FFOd things til this past weekend.

I finished stitching "In Every Nest":
No ideas yet on how to finish it. 

And I started a couple new things. I'm still in the mood to stitch cutesy things, but have had enough of Easter, so I started Frosted Pumpkin's "Mysterious Halloween Town." I'm...not sure if I like the colors with the fabric I chose. It's one of those situations where I need to stitch more before I'll know if I need to start over on a different fabric. :/

I also started Just Nan's "Spring Mouse in a House." This is the first Just Nan mouse I've stitched, and all I can think is how it looks like an ornamental mouse-skin rug in its pre-construction state:
I finished backstitching and beads last night, and I will work on turning it into a mouse this weekend. I wasn't able to get the called-for linen, but I have a lavender opalescent linen in my stash (Under the Sea, "Khione") and I kinda love it for this.

What surprises me most about this is how tiny it is. Just above an inch from top to bottom. The templates for the house sections are also really, really small. So cute!

I'll start on the house today. I'm going to use another Under the Sea fabric for that - "Beachwalk," which is a beige with some 'greige' mottling. It's darker than the called-for fabric looks in the model pics, but I think it will be fine.

It's funny how I really don't have much in the way of beige/tan/off-white/gray linen in my stash. I've accumulated a lot of colors, but only a couple of neutrals.

Is anyone else (in the northern hemisphere) having Spring fever? I have done a bunch of decluttering lately. We have 'big trash pick up' day in a couple of weeks, and I'm participating in a garage sale in May, and I'm being ruthless with things. My small spare room upstairs is piled with things for the garage sale. I'm getting rid of a whole bed, even. I emptied a standing cabinet in my kitchen by decluttering the butler's closet of small appliances and random home-improvement-y stuff. With that cabinet gone I now have juuuuuuust enough room for a kitchen table! Hurray! 

I'm hoping that I can truly minimize everything in my house, from clothes to furniture. I loathe housecleaning, and clutter makes it even harder to do, so I hope that if I can seriously pare things down I'll be able to keep up with cleaning. And then I'd have one less thing to feel overwhelmed by.

(This will become even more important in the near-ish future, because my office is likely moving to a new building. Instead of spending 2 hours on the road commuting every day, I'll be spending 3 hours on the road every day. I really hope I can find another good-paying job closer to home. But in the meantime, not having to worry so much about how to keep up with my house, which I can barely do now, would help with the exhaustion/stress levels.)

Slow down, October

Am I the only one dumbfounded by the fact that October is half over? Where did this month go? Everything has been so busy that I haven't...