Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Home Sweet Home Yoshi is DONE!

After almost three years of off and on work, I have successfully completed my goal of finishing our Home Sweet Home before we've moved in. And if I may say, for my first time finishing, lacing, matting, and framing something, I feel like Yoshi looks pretty amazing.

I stopped counting how much time I'd invested into the project, but I know that it's probably close to 200+ hours and there are a total of 21,600 stitches in the completed piece. It took my a while to figure out how best to handle all the framing work, but after about an hour of trial and error, I feel like the final product turned out very well.

I'm hoping to get a better picture of Yoshi as soon as he's in the new house, but for now the picture below will have to suffice. I can't believe that it's finally done, but I am so grateful and excited to have completed this project. It's really boosted my confidence as a cross stitcher and has helped motivate me to move onto bigger and better projects like Mario Through the Ages and Epic Pokemon Gen One.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Endless Fill Work

It's really blurry, but here's the latest progress picture for Yoshi. I'm feeling a bit under the weather right now, so it's given me a good chance to work on projects, but I have no clue how I'm going to get work done on this bad boy today. I've been running a fever off and on all day at work and despite repeated attempts by my boss to send me home, I refuse to give in and use up my sick leave.

If I can muster, my goal is to get the sky complete all the way to the S in SWEET this afternoon. I'll be over at the condo for a while to let the painter in, so I should be able to stitch there while it's quiet, but I think it might be in my best interest to crawl into bed instead. We'll see. For now, I'm just trying to get through the work day.

Monday, August 29, 2016

House Demo & Reflection

We got the keys to our condo on Thursday and ever since it's been nose-to-the-grindstone renovation work so that we can move in as soon as possible. Work on Yoshi has come to a complete standstill. And as much as I'd like to finish up this amazing project, my hands are just jacked right now.

On Friday, I took off all the switch plates, vent covers, etc. along with some prep work for the following day. All day Saturday, we dealt with baseboard. We tore it out; I nailed all the new stuff in; and then I caulked the entire master bedroom for the rest of the evening. Yesterday, I installed all of the remaining baseboard in the office area, tore out a door frame, and caulked everywhere in the house that needed it until I ran out of steam. I'm exhausted and my hands have taken a serious beating, too.

Renovations have pushed Yoshi back yet again, but the condo is really starting to feel like home. Aside from paint, we're almost completely done with renovations, though, and as soon as my hands can take it (and are clean enough to actually work on a cross stitch project), I really want to finish up Yoshi. In the mean time, here's a progress picture of where we're at.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Unproductively Moving Forward

As predicted, I've already started working on Yoshi again, but every stitch feels forced and frustrated right now. I feel like I got almost nothing done yesterday night (and ignoring the fact that more than half of my attention was focused on the Philadelphia City Finals of ANW.)

And while I didn't have the most productive day in the craft room, I did manage to find foam core, mat board, and a frame for this little guy after work yesterday. It's small, but it'll allow me to get Yoshi framed as soon as I'm done with him and that way I can have him move-in ready!

Speaking of which, the notary didn't deliver our paperwork back to our idiot escrow office on Friday, so our closing date has been pushed back again. I scheduled an appointment for the internet to be installed on Saturday, so things better get done quick, you know? Egh...

Anyway, more to come very soon. If I can get the tan area finished by tomorrow, I think I can have the whole thing done by Friday. Fingers crossed, as usual.

Monday, August 22, 2016

"I Quit", Ikea, and Other Musings

I rage-quit cross stitching yesterday. It's definitely a temporary thing, but I'm really burnt on it for the moment. I have been putting every spare ounce of energy I have into finishing Yoshi and when I finally decided to give myself a break and work on a different project, I found out a few minutes into it that I had made an everlasting screw up toward the beginning. There was no way of fixing it, and thus I threw it in the trash. (Honestly, it felt sort of refreshing, but it was the first time I'd ever junked a cross stitch piece, so it felt pretty foreign.)

It's dead to me now...

So, after relieving myself of the gift that never gave, I decided to start another project--again an image of a present--that I'd wanted to complete as a Christmas gift. I, however, miscounted and had to completely start over twice. Needless to say, I was pissed, so I threw that one out, too. And now I have no other projects in my queue that I intend to work on for quite some time.

My guess is that an enormous haul at IKEA may have done me in yesterday. Fiance and I decided to get the vast majority of our furniture shopping done before moving in to our new home, but we didn't realize the consequences of buying things without a place to store them, so not only were we frazzled by our shopping trip, but we ended up being flummoxed by what to do with everything once we got back to his parents' house.

Everything ended up in our gaming area/my crafting spot...

See that bin in the left-hand corner with all the boxes of thread in it? That's where I like to sit and stitch when there is natural light available to me. IKEA has taken over the family room and until everything is assembled and put into it's proper place at the new house, I think I'm going the be a cross stitch retiree/quitter.

That should only be about seven to ten days, though, if we work quickly. Fiance and I are set to close on our condo tomorrow, so we should be able to go in and do all of our upgrades starting this week. Today I'm actually headed over to pick out paint and set up our internet package, so we're progressing, but it seems to be at the expense of my free time.

In all reality, I will likely begin working on Yoshi again tonight. It's not a hard project and all I have left is fill work, but right now there's just no joy in the process for me. It's a race against time to get HSHY done before we move in--I still need to learn how to frame the thing--and since we're moving in super duper soon, things will be tight, but I think that getting it done will be a huge boost to my morale and sanity.

There is always a silver lining to things, though, and the result of my misadventures is that I'm going to teach myself to grid my fabrics for my next big project. I plan on practicing on a smaller project first, but I have a feeling that the practice will make things easier over time. Fingers crossed, right?

Friday, August 19, 2016

I Admit It, I'm Totally Behind

I have been up to so much since I last posted...and managed to procrastinate on so much more.

First and foremost, I gave up on trying to track how much time I've invested into Home Sweet Home Yoshi. It's been over five days, so I might as well, just admit that I've invested an enormous amount of time into it--and that's okay. My goal is to actually get it finished by the end of this month, if not sooner. I really don't have that much left and the vast majority of it is fill work, so the stitching is easy and I'm able to tune into other things like Netflix while I work. This is where I'm at as of yesterday night. Pretty cool, huh?

The fiance is ecstatic about it. We finally bought our first place--yes, bought--and he is really excited to have it hung up somewhere prominent. For him, I think that it's a milestone that we have our own space and we're able to decorate it with our own things that are based off of our own interests. As I've probably said before, we're pretty big on video games and video game culture, so for us, having a four foot by one foot pokemon cross stitch on the wall really isn't that weird. In fact, it's a medium-term goal that we'd both love to see come into fruition.

More to come, though! I really, really want to get this project done and then get moving on Christmas.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Decorated Journal Jar

I have been a semi-bad crafter, but I have to admit that even though much of my crafting has been on pause for the last few months, my stress relieving activities have not been.

Life has definitely thrown me some curve balls over the last year and particularly over the last six months, but journaling has really been my rock and my physical foundation on bad days, so I've been channeling quite a bit of my extra energies toward it as a result.

On April 1, 2016, a coworker and I decided that we wanted to start a Journal Jar. If you're not familiar with the concept, a journal jar contains guided journal prompts that are randomly selected each day for participants to reflect on and write about. Today marks Day 28 and after four weeks of habitual writing, we finally managed to get the front of the Journal Jar decorated. My coworker supplied the mandala from her favorite coloring book and her incredible set of colored pencils for me to borrow and as of 9:00 o'clock this morning, our Jar is no longer plain and simple. (And we can actually display it now since the not-so-safe-for-work label that's underneath the mandala can no longer be seen.)

Eventually, we'd like to do more with the Journal Jar and make it more whimsical with ribbons, quotes, and other assorted craft items, but for now the blue-green zen of the mandala works wonderfully. And--my four favorite ghosts from Haunted Mansion are on watch to make sure all stays fine and dandy. How could I ever ask for more?

P.S. If  you are interested in creating your own Journal Jar or prompted journal experience, please keep an eye out for my new blog which is coming soon. The new blog will contain daily journal prompts for you to work on as well as information about starting your own journaling group and physical Jar.