Thursday, January 18

2018 Year of WIPs

I'll be participating in the Year of WIPs by Soulful Stitching (Facebook group).  I saw a number of other bloggers posting about it, so I joined the group, too.   This seemed like a great idea, since I want to just finish out some projects, with only a few starts this year.

To be "eligible" (though I don't care about the prize, I'm just competitive ;) ), you have to list at least 15 WIPS. 
Since I didn't have 15, I went ahead and spent a few days starting everything that I would like to complete this year (although the clarifying post made it seem like I might not have had to, but that's OK).   There is a check in three times over the course of the year after the first (so the initial Jan 18, April 18, July 18, Oct 18, and the final check in on Dec 18).  Each piece will have up to 5 photos (initial plus the four check ins), hopefully there will be less from finishing earlier!

I've also created a page/tab with this information so I can keep everything updated there as we go along.  Should be fun!
  1. Desert Sunset/Sunrise
  2. Lavender Biscornu (2016) 
  3. Blackwork Biscornu (2017)
  4. Ink Spot #19: Brave New Year (2018)
  5. Zenia
  6. Epic RR
  7. Hearts Across America - North Carolina
  8. Fantasy Sampler
  9. Freshwater Pearls
  10. Deco Spirits
  11. Book of Ink Circles
  12. Mill Hill Sugar Skull (I totally forgot about this one until I found it in a bag, it'll fall under WIPocalypse, too!)
  13. Celestial Dragon
  14. Fortunate Traveler
  15. Chinese Dragon

Here are the pictures, I'll add in the new after each as we go.

Desert Sunrise by Fireside Originals

Lavender Biscornu by Rainburst Embroidery

Blackwork Floral Biscornu by Sweetheart Tree

Inkspot #19 by Ink Circles

Zenia by Mirabilia/Nora Corbett

Epic RR, by me and friends

Hearts Across America - North Carolina

Fantasy Sampler by Teresa Wentzler

Freshwater Pearls by DMC

DecoSpirits by Mirabilia/Nora Corbett

Book of Ink Circles by Ink Circles

Mill Hill Sugar Sull

Celestial Dragon by Teresa Wentzler

Fortunate Traveler by Teresa Wentzler

Chinese Dragon by Pinn

Wednesday, January 17

January TUSAL!

It's the first TUSAL post of the year!  I hope I actually keep up with these this time around.
If you don't know what TUSAL is, it's the Totally Useless StitchALong hosted by Daffycat.  We basically show off our orts (left over thread bits) that have been collected.  It's also linked in my sidebar.  And there's now a facebook group, huzzah!

I keep mine through the year and then use them to stuff an annual biscornu (currently a year behind, but I did keep my orts baggied for future stuffing from 2016).

Part of me is hugely excited, because I have so much ortage already this year. I have high hopes for my crafting progress through this year.

I went on a weekend getaway with good stitchy friends, and I actually saved my orts in a little, sturdy Ikea jar, and then transferred them to the bigger container.

This is from the weekend:

and here it it, those orts transplanted and more added to it.   I did a bonus shot of some of the snow that's plaguing us in NC today (we're over 6", still snowing).

Tuesday, January 16

Girls weekend!

This past weekend was my annual sojourn to Vegas to hang out with some very wonderful girlfriends.   We shopped, we gambled, we ate, we laughed, we cried, and maybe had a bit of fun.

The two stops I always appreciate are Stitcher's Paradise - an absolutely fantastic LNS with a huge, awesome fabric room, and a back room chocked full of older and overstocked patterns and Quiltique, a really nice quilt shop.   I could probably live without going to Quiltique, but I'm always excited to go.   I haven't really found a quilt shop I like here, yet (sadly, my quilt shop in Chapel Hill closed last year).

I didn't purchase a terribly huge amount, and I'm happy to say almost everything was purchased with an actual plan ;)

Cross Stitch:

I purchased a bunch of tiny cuts for biscornus and other little projects I'd like to work on:

I (try to) do a biscornu for every year and stuff it with the previous year's ORTs as a keepsake.   I am a bit backlogged, in part because I try to find something I like.  Luckily!  I have plans to get 2016 and 2017's biscornus done, and I've already started on what I'd like to use for 2018.   I ended up picking up three Biscornu kits from Sweetheart tree to front load my biscornu needs :)

I'll actually be doing the Blackwork one for 2017's.

I purchased fabric for Mirabilia's Zenia, a piece I will stitch on this year (for the Year of WIPs, I was short a WIP, and decided to bite the bullet because I luff her :) )

And I also purchased Royal Games II (and the beads).   I will be stitching each one as a full card and hanging them in the game room (since I won't be reno-ing that room until later this year, it's no rush; I'm thinking of starting them in 2019).  Because of my FB break, I had totally missed that this one was being published!   I absolutely ADORE the Queen of Diamonds.

I also bought a bunch of DMC.   I realize I could've gotten them for cheaper from a local craft store, but I only needed a few to fill in a few holes where I didn't quite have everything for a project or two (a skein here, a skein there :) )

And here's what I got from Quiltique:

If you ever go with me into a fabric shop, you will quickly discover that I have an utter weakness for precuts, especially jelly rolls.   Welp, this jelly-roll was half-off, and it's in my beloved monochromatic grays, so I had to have it.   I'm thinking of a wild and crazy colored backing after I make it.   And I'm going to cut some of these strips in half so that I get a strippier looking quilt.   I think it'll be fun (in years if I ever get around to it ;) )

I grabbed a couple of fat quarters; the evergreen looking one is for my Hearts-Across-America wall hanging, I'll use it for California.   I like it a lot better than one I picked up earlier (I was never sure I really wanted that one, this one felt right).  And that gray.  Because I like it ;)

I bought these fabrics (FQs) because I just thought they were beautiful.  I plan on making a topper for my Lane chest (next to the bed).   I bought a couple of yards of the backing fabric (way more than needed) because I love it, so pretty!

 I also bought a yardish of fabric to back a spring themed table runner for the dining room table.  I'm so determined to end the year with less (unused) fabric than I started with.

So that was my fun for the trip.   A few things purchased, nothing over the top, and I'm pleased with everything.

Friday, January 12

I almost forgot - I'm famous, y'all!

OK, famous might be the wrong word, but a bit ago, Audible had a Facebook post (before I crawled into a non-fb hole; I creep out now and again, but not often) asking what people had done while listening to audiobooks. 

I've been an Audible subscriber since 2006 (I love them), and I bought audiobooks on good ol' fashioned tapes and CDs before that, so I've done a lot. 

I used to listen at work, so I've done confocal microscopy, rodent surgeries, immunohistochemistry, rack washing, cage washing... 

I've listened to them on long driving trips, during daily commutes (bus and car). 

I've listened to them while doing chores, dishes, cooking, cleaning, vacuuming, cleaning out the car, washing the dog, walking the dog, using a treadmill or elliptical. 

I've listened to them while working on any variety of projects: putting in new flooring, painting, plumbing, stenciling, building the murphy bed, building the bar, putting together Ikea furniture, gardening.

I've definitely listened to them while crafting:  cross stitching, sewing, quilting, making costumes, painting, crocheting and knitting.

Heck, I've even listened to audiobooks while gaming if I've already done the play-through of a story mode or if I've played the game before and I'm just enjoying the action.

So since Audible asked, I answered.   I had to pick one thing, so I picked the most obvious (cross stitch), and I just went through my finished tab and picked what I thought was the most photogenic.   They contacted me to ask what I was listening to (I hadn't mentioned what I was listening to, heck, I can't remember because I've listened to hundreds of audiobooks), and I just picked Curse of Chalion because it's my favorite audiobook and I listen to it every year (or more!).

So now I'm on their website, along with a lot of other people who do some really awesome and interesting things, and I think it's just neat.  They have a "Done while Listening" page for anyone curious as to what they collected, and I'm just happy to have been chosen to be there (as a long time audible subscriber, lover, and promoter).

Wednesday, January 10

My Christmas table runner

I posted the gifts I had created for the inlawseseses a while ago,   While I was working on them, I took scraps and turned the scraps into a table runner for me.

I'm quite happy with how it ultimately turned out.  Now I'll have a table runner for the next holiday season!

Tuesday, January 9


Probably a little ridiculous to keep posting these, buuut, I probably don't care what people think about it. ;)

I made another set of microwave bowl holders, only this time they're for me!  I was so excited that I took pictures before I even cleaned up the chalk lines, haha.

Monday, January 8

Tiles quilt top is done!

So I stayed up wayyyyyy too late on Saturday finishing up the quilt top.  I thought it was about 2 hours earlier than it was when I looked at the time and realized that maybe, just maybe, I should have gone to bed a couple of hours ago... oops.

But I got it done!   The only downside was that I thought I had already purchasing backing material for it, but I had not.  I do have binding for it, so I placed an order on ye olde craftsy (where I bought the kit) for a few yards for backing.   I like this kit/material colorway, so instead of driving to the quilt store (not so close to home), I went with the "send it to my front door" option.   Likely, it'll arrive while I'm out of town, but that's OK, I'll be ready for it when I return (if so).

Excuse the bad lighting, it was nearly 2am ;)

I really like the taupes and greys, they work well for my mostly-grey living room and should provide sufficient camouflage for the ever-present Mona hairs.