Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A December to Remember

Since my last post, life has once again the craziness of life has once again interjected itself into my world. I ended up dropping one of my classes this semester to have a better work-life balance and SO finished his Masters Degree exams with flying colors, but both SO and his father have been hospitalized since my last post. I also spent the vast majority of October dog sitting, ending up with less than three days off for the entire month. It has been on of the most difficult semesters we've ever experienced and I am extremely grateful to be heading into finals on Thursday.

I am extremely grateful to be going into finals with the new job that I started this semester. My boss has been incredibly gracious to let me adjust my schedule as needed and I have finally been able to sit down and write up my first post to BCCD since October. In truth, I haven't been able to craft much, but I have been able to finish one small cross stitch project, continue working on my charity square for Sprite Stitch, and even Yoshi has gotten some love here and there over the last ten weeks or so.

At this point, I am so grateful to just have a family that is happy and healthy. We have been through so much this year that it's nice to be approaching the end of a year and a clean slate with the upcoming year. SO has received his first official teaching offer for Spring 2015 and is currently waiting for the hiring process to begin for other local colleges.

My goal is to begin updating BCCD again on a regular basis beginning Friday, December 19th. Thank you everyone for your continued support through this insane year and I look forward to seeing you all on BCCD, dA, and Pinterest in upcoming weeks.


P.S. I am diligently working my way through the 400+ notifications I have received on deviant Art since October. Please bear with me if you have contacted me this way over the last few months!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2014 Xmas Cross Stitches #3 & #4: Happy Elephants

The Bob Crochets family has always had a thing for elephants. Elephants with their trunks held upward are lucky, so when I found this third adorable pattern from Mini Stitches, I honestly couldn't resist. I stitched two of them over the course of day and I am extraordinarily happy with how they turned out. And they're so teeny weeny! I'm wondering if I should stitch up a whole army of lucky, rainbow-colored elephants this year! Even SO said that they were some of the most adorabe pieces that I've done in a while.

Monday, October 13, 2014

2014 Xmas Cross Stitch #2: Winter Fox

Last year, Frie loved her penguin ornament so much that it has been hanging up in her bedroom ever since. Because she likes them so much, I decided to go ahead and make her a second ornament to go along with this year's penguin (see last week's 2014 Xmas Stitch #1 post).

As part of her Christmas gift last year, SO and I bought her a really cute gift card to Michael's with a fox that looks almost exactly like the Mini Stitches pattern that I found when I was pulling patterns last week. Because of the similarities, I pretty much had to pull it and stitch it... so I did! And here's the result! I worked on him over the course of two evenings and I have to say that I'm really happy with how he turned out. Maybe next year I can find a pattern of a fox and a penguin together. Then Frie can be doubly happy!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lissa Charity Square WIP 001

Well, I finally manged to snap all of the needles I had saved up for Yoshi, so as of September 29, he's on hiatus for a while while I manage to find some more. I swear that there's a shortage of them in San Diego County, so it might be a while before I can get back to work on him. (Which is a shame, too, because I was booking through WIP 058...)

Original Image
Since the only needles I have lying around right now are 26s, I broke down and decided to start on my Sprite Stitch Charity square for 2015, a screenshot of Lissa from Fire Emblem: Awakening. Lisa isn't my favorite character, but I've always found this image to be really adorable, so I'm diving in and trying my hand at a 6" by 6" quilt square to be completed by August 31 of next year.

I have to admit, the pattern I created is pretty intense for me. I've never had to work with so much confetti stitching before and I'm not one hundred percent sure what I'm going to do to make sure that I don't make mistakes, but for now, with Day 001's progress under my belt, I'm pretty happy. (And I'm not counting stitches because I already know that I'm going to have to pull stitches out because of my inability to count properly. Such is life.)

WIP 001

It isn't a whole lot of work to complete in a day, but some progress is always better than no progress in my eyes. Bottom-left corner complete!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2014 Xmas Cross Stitch #1: Cute Penguin

Last year, I stitched a really simple penguin Christmas ornament for my best friend Frie. I wasn't planning on stitching her another penguin this year, but when I found such a cute and easy pattern on, I really couldn't resist. And I finished it so quickly! From start to finish, I had it done in less than an evening. It was a bit weird since I'm so accustomed to large pieces like Yoshi and Lissa, but it was a nice change of pace and I'm really looking forward to finishing up my other Christmas items over the next few weeks.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 048

Thursday, September 4, 2014 marked a pretty neat day for Yoshi. The 464 stitches that I added after work and school tipped me over the edge of the 40% completion mark at 8,650 total stitches. I am super psyched. The hours I've dumped into HSHY are tremendous, but they have been incredibly worth it and SO is really excited to have it complete and hung up in our home someday. His excitement (and my excitement, too, quite frankly) is what keeps me fueled on this project. I'm hoping to complete the tree's outlining, soon, but for today I decided to focus on the eaves' shadows and finishing up the background section between the tree trunks that I'd been chipping away at for so long.

Total Stitches through September 4, 2014: 8,650/21,600 (40.05%)
Total Time through September 4, 2014: 2 days 18 hours 39 minutes

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pattern Postponed

This week's Robin pattern from Fire Emblem Awakening has been postponed until next week. I mistakenly left my laptop at Home Base before heading to a client's home this week, so I am not able to produce patterns until I've my laptop again sometime this next week. Sorry! Here's a picture of Sophie and Meme, two of the super sweet dogs I'm watching, to make up for it!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Site Updates, Christmas Planning, and October Goals

I think the only good thing about having contracted walking pneumonia last week was the fact that I had an excuse to stay home and rest. While I clearly did not get much done online, I was able to get some cross stitch work done and sleep as much as I could before my three exams. Let me just say for the record that I am very much looking forward to being done with my university in the next year.

In the crafting world, though, things are going well. Slowly, but surely, I am creating and adding patterns to the site and intend to have weekly pattern releases through March of next year. These patterns will be released on Sundays and posted to the Patterns page as well as the main page of this blog. Last week's release was Anna from Fire Emblem Awakening. This upcoming Sunday will be introducing two more FEA sprite patterns for Robin.

Yoshi is currently on the back burner due to a Size 28 tapestry needle shortage. I have looked for them at four different stores and still haven't been able to find them, so I've had to change gears and begin working on new projects that I can work on with my stash of Size 26 needles. Primarily, I have been focusing on my Sprite Stitch Charity Quilt Square and as silly as it sounds I feel like I'm working on it faster just because the X's are so much larger. So far, I'm about three days into it and plan on having a significant portion of it complete by the end of the year. I have also begun my annual pattern hunt for Christmas ornaments. So far, I have found five tiny patterns to complete and plan on having the cross stitch work done on them by the end of the month. (I'd tell you more on the subject, but that might ruin the surprise for the readers that are also on my Christmas list.)

All in all, life is moseying along at quite a nice speed. Because I'll be spending over two weeks at clients' homes this month, I'll have a considerable amount of free time on my hands, so I anticipate that I'll be able to complete all of my October goals which are listed below:
  1. Stitch in significant portions of my SS Charity Square (500-1,000 stitches).
  2. Cross stitch at least four Christmas pieces.
I'll be posting WIP pictures of my Lissa square as soon as I can get them typed up, so stay tuned!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 047

Slowly but surely, Yoshi is chugging along. I get more work done on some days than I do others, but despite life and school taking up the majority of my time, I'm really pleased with the work I've been able to get done.

WIP 047 is through Thursday, September 4th. Between the time I got off work and when my class started at university, I was able to stitch for almost a total of sixty-eight minutes, an untold luxury for me during the week. The progress doesn't look too excepting since I've mostly been working on Yoshi's background, but I was able to add over one hundred stitches, not something to be bummed about.

Total Time through September 4, 2014: 2 days 16 hours 13 minutes
Total Stitches through September 4, 2014: 8,186 / 21,600 (37.90%)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Free Pattern: ANNA Map Sprite from Fire Emblem Awakening

To enlarge pattern, click on above image.
To download, right-click and select "Save Image As..."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

No More Pen Thieves!

When I went through my office recently and took inventory, I discovered that my office had not one pen in it. There were pencils and pens and highlighters, but no pens--Oh, sorry! There was one, but it was completely crusty and dried out. So, yeah, no pens.

What I ended up finding out is that pen theft is an occupational hazard for me. They get taken at meetings during sign-in, at meetings during sign-outs, and during meetings whenever someone forgets their own writing utensils. And since I have meetings at least once a week, pens tended to have a short-lived residence in my/my predecessor's office.

As petty as it sounds, I've decided that pens will no longer grow legs while I work in this new job. Plus, not having pens gave me a really good excuse to try out a project that I've been wanting to do for over two years when I was working in my previous office: pom-pom pens!

It only took about five minutes on Google Image Search to find exactly what I was looking for on Doodle Craft. (Thank you, Google, for all that you do.) The link to the tutorial can be found here, along with my "I hate cliche flower pens" comment at the end.

So, what did I use? You'll be proud! I took a photograph before ravishing the new craft supplies I got at Michael's. And did I mention that my new job gets me 15% everything there now because I work in education? I know... I'm going to be broke soon.

From left to right are some donated Bic pens from a colleague, a new hot glue gun since I apparently have never owned one before (Don't ask me how. I still don't know...), Recollections brand "Twine" from the card making section of the store, 26 Gauge silver floral wire, and some Purple Tones Aunt Lydia's #10 crochet thread.

Now, if I haven't mentioned this before, I've decided on The Nightmare Before Christmas as my office theme, hence the black and white twine. Originally, I was planning on using Aunt Lydia's #10 crochet thread in "Zebra," but for some reason I haven't been able to find it anywhere, so I'm stuck with the twine until further notice. I think it turned out really well, though, and I've had multiple meeting attendees ask me where I got my pens. Nightmare has officially become my signature at work.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 046

Sorry for the missing post on Friday. I came down with a nasty virus and was pretty much down for the count until Sunday afternoon.

As I sit here nursing my tea, looking at the transformation Yoshi has gone through over the last few months, I can't help but wonder what inspired me to take on such a big starting project for my cross stitching. Don't get me wrong, I love this piece and it's become a very integral part of my crafting identity, but I think I must be nuts to have taken on a 21,600 stitch project like it was nothing. August 23rd marked the eight-month mark for Yoshi and while he still hasn't hit the half way point through September 1st, I think there's potential for him to be finished by the end of this year. That is, I'll most likely get it done if I don't spend all of my free time at Disneyland...

All kidding aside, though, if I wasn't using my Annual Passport at Disney so much I'd probably have a lot more of this piece done. Disney doesn't allow me to bring my snips or my needles into the park, though, so until the Halloween season comes to a close, Yoshi will probably be taking the hit. I've always said that I can handle three things at a time, no more. Right now, those three things are school, work, and trips to Disneyland or cross stitch depending on the week. The last two have been alternating quite a bit, but I'm pretty sure that Disney is winning out...

I'm very happy with Yoshi, though. I just wish I had more time to dedicate to it on a day-to-day basis. If I can get to the fifty percent mark by the end of September, I'll be really happy, but if I don't, such is life. I'm just excited that all three tree trunks finally exist and the background spaces are coming along so quickly. The eaves of the tree, however, are another story. That's A LOT of green little x's to sew in! Wish me luck. I think the main tree color will be the last thing I get finished up before everything is all said and done, but who knows. (It certainly isn't me!)

Total Time through September 1, 2014: 2 days 15 hours 5 minutes
Total Stitches through Septembet 1, 2014: 8,058/21,600 (37.31%)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Free Pattern: THARJA Map Sprite from Fire Emblem Awakening

To enlarge pattern, click on above image.
To download, right-click and select "Save Image As..."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 045

I've decided that I go through phases on this project. Some days I really enjoy outlining and some days I really enjoy stitching in color. Recently, I've really been enjoying outlining again and I'm very close to completing the outline of Yoshi's canopy that he sleeps under. (How he doesn't catch the eaves of the tree on fire with his fireplace, I don't know, but that's not my issue.)

Today was a huge day for Yoshi. SO is in the home stretch of his MA program and had a ton of jurnal articles to read over the weekend, so I nestled down next to him and worked on Yoshi for nearly five hours throughout the day. SO ended up leaving for home around 8pm and I was still animal sitting, so my world was pretty quiet, but it was nice until my parents' truck refused to start when they got back  to the San Diego airport from Boston. They ended up getting home a midnight, three hours later than originally planned, in a rental car because the truck's fuel housing ended up going bad while they were out of town for the weekend. Can you think of worse possible timing? I felt really bad for them.

Before all the car drama, though, I added 514 stitches to HSHY on August 31st and I'd guess that I'm less than 200 stitches away from having all of the black outling done for this entire project. (So close yet so far...) I only have the words HOME SWEET, the canopy, and the mailbox yet to add. The tree trunks are 100% done now in terms of outlining. If you look over on the right-hand side I was also able to fill in a considerable amount of the hill underneath the second HOME. I'd like to have that entire section done by the end of September along with the darker green of the tree leaves and the tree trunks. It's ambitious, but doable.

Total Time Through August 31, 2014: 2 days 14 hours 7 minutes
Total Stitches Through August 31, 2014: 7,889/21,600 (36.52%)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 049

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 044

Having the house to myself over Labor Day weekend was an absolute godsend to my cross stitching work, especially when I'm accustomed to spending my weekends cooped up in my room to avoid the noise of the TV in the living room. SO came up early in the afternoon, so I wasn't able to get much cross stitch work done through Saturday August 30th, but we had a wonderful day together making sure that the animals were well before we went out on a date to our favorite restaurant. It was nice to unwind and spend some time together since school is back in session, but I regret not working on HSHY as much as I probably could have on this day.

Of the stitches I was able to add on this day, I can happily say that I got to do some more outlining on this piece. I hadn't done any in a few weeks, so doing something easy and familar while SO was grading some papers was very simple and relaxing on the mind. I only adde 75 stitches on the 30th, but it seems like the stitches were more impactfult that before. Maybe it's because the outlining lacks color and stands out because of it? I don't know, but stitching it in was fun regardless

My apologies for the incredible hoop mark on this picture. I had honestly pressed this piece on Friday evening, but between being stored and then worked on, there are wrinkles everywhere on my Aida fabric.

Total Time Through August 30, 2014: 2 days 9 hours 57 minutes
Total Stitches Through August 30, 2014: 7,375/21,600 (34.14%)

**Note: I have been having major issues uploading images to dA, so if blog posts and dA submissions aren't correlating correctly, please know that I am working on getting things corrected as much as possible. dA is having some major server issues that are out of my control.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 043

As a dogsitter, it's extraordinarily common for me to work holiday weekends. Labor Day weekend was no exception expect for the fact that I got to stay at home and watch my own (parents') animals as a very uncommon assignment. With my parents out of town, I pretty much had the house to myself. It was wonderful. Aside from the small bits of classwork and animal care I had to complete, I was able to relax and focus on the things I wanted. Napping and cross stitching were very high on my to-do list. I also got my first paycheck from my new job deposited for the month of August on this day which quite a happy surprise.

After finishing most of my homework, I was only able to complete fifty-four minutes of stitching while I roosted in favorite living room recliner. That being said, I've become much faster with my stitching and pattern-reading over the last year. I used to stitch about 1 stitch per minute. These days, depending on what distractions I'm presented with, I can stitch three times faster than that (and it's wonderful!) I was able to add 157 stitches on the August 29th, adding more color to the tree as I went.

Total Time Through August 29, 2014: 2 days 9 hours 22 minutes
Total Stitches Through August 29, 2014:  7,300/21,600 (33.80%)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 042

Its pretty much goes without saying that if I'm traveling, my projects go with me. Whether or not I actually work on them is a different matter, but when SO and I went up to visit family on 8/15 and 8/16, I really did manage to get quite a bit of work done on the road and at the house. This trip was really a chance for us to sit back and enjoy our last few days of summer before heading back to work on Monday.

Since my mind was mostly relaxed on Saturday, I decided to focus on an easy part of the pattern so I could focus more on visiting (and napping.) This is the result of my lazy vacation day:

I added 155 stitches to the tree that day and even though I didn't add a ton of stitches, it looks significant because of all the open Aida cloth around it. I'm still contemplating the easiest way to make sure that the fruits are placed in the correct spots, but I think those will be some of the last elements I complete last. We'll see, but until then, happy Wednesday. WIP 043 will be up on Friday.

Total Stitches through August 16, 2014: 7,143/21,600 (33.07%)
Total Time through August 16, 2014: 2 days 8 hours 28 minutes

Monday, September 8, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 040 & 041

Thursday August 14th was a big day for me, both career-wise and in terms of HSHY. Thursday morning was my first minute-taking meeting of my career and even though I was really nervous, I was told by multiple individuals afterward that I did really well. The build-up to the event, though, had me really stressed out, so I was glad when I got the opportunity to head home for the day and work on Yoshi

Over the course of Thursday afternoon and for a few minutes the following morning I was able to start some serious, dedicated work on Yoshi's tree. After such a big day at work on Thursday, it was really nice to just sit back and not worry too much about which colors went where on my fabric. The dark green was incredibly easy to sew in and when I started stitching up the tree leaves in a simple, straight line, the time and work flew by. I only added 261 stitches between Thursday and Friday, but you can see for yourself how much a difference the addition of stitches has made. I was really pleased with the progress and was excited to take HSHY with me on an overnight trip with SO to La Mirada. I wasn't sure how much time I'd have to work on Yoshi over the following days, but I for sure knew that I wanted to finish up this first section of dark green.

Total Time through August 15, 2014: 2 Days 8 Hours 15 Mintues
Total Stitches through August 15, 2014: 6,988 / 21,600

Friday, September 5, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 039

Wednesdays have become my "half days" this semester. Since I'm only working Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and my classes hadn't started yet on August 13th, I was able to stitch in 573 stitches that day, something that's almost been unheard of for me since starting this project last year. (573 stitches is over 2.5% of HSHY's totality if you were wondering.)

What amazes me is how incredible the fireplace looks now that it's all filled in, especially since the bricks are only stitched with three different colors. The hills on the right-hand side are really beginning to take shape, too, with only the upper area left to fill in now. Personally, I don't feel that the picture below does the shading on this project justice. I'm in love with HSHY now more than ever and I think that it may be why I got so much work done on the 13th. I just love how much life is coming to this piece as more and more details are added.

As of August 13, 2014, I've finished 31.14% of this project. I'd like ot have it done by Christmas of this year, so I can use Christmas gift cards (which have already been requested) to pay for framing. If I want to get it done by Christmas, though, I really need to hustle, but every day pf progress on this piece is a good thing, even if I don't hit my self imposed deadlines this year.

Total Time as of August 13, 2014: 2 days 4 hours 51 minutes
Total Stitches as of August 13, 2014: 6,727 / 21,600 (31.14%)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September Goals and...Where did August go?

I've decided that August is the fastest month of the year. All of a sudden, it's August, it's autumn, and then you turn around and 'Poof!' August is gone and it's September already. Now, that all being said, August was a really fun and busy month. I started my new job; SO and I went to see Into the Woods; we took a weekend trip up to La Mirada to visit some of SO's family; SO and I both headed back to University (it's his last semester as a student!); and this past weekend I did some animal sitting in my hometown to wrap it all up. It was a great way to bring summer to a close, but I think I'm in the same mindset as most individuals when I say that I wish it could have lasted just a little bit longer.

Individuals who have followed my crafting misadventures through summer already know that I blew my goals for August out of the water. My original goals were to finish one Pokemon ornament and sew 1,000 stitches into Home Sweet Home Yoshi. I ended up finishing two Pokemon ornaments, Charmander and Ditto, and sewed over 2,400 stitches--over 10% total progress--into Yoshi. If the saying "blown out of the water" doesn't apply here, then I don't know what does. August was a great month and I was able to get an extraordinary amount done on my current projects. I'd still like to complete Yoshi by the end of the year, but that's yet to be seen. I'll still be happy if I can work enough on it to have all of the black outline work done by December 31st.

As for this month, September 2014, I'd like to do the following:

  1. Keep this blog updated for the entire month.
  2. Add another 1,000 stitches to HSHY.
  3. [BONUS] Finish another Pokemon ornament and post a tutorial on the entire process.
The good news is that I've already added ~200 stitches to Yoshi, and I've been bringing it to class with me during the week, so there's hope for me to work on it, but as for Pokemon, that's yet to be seen. Stay tuned because this much you know as much about my month as I do, but until something happens, all is well and headed in the right direction.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 038

Clearly, it took less than a week for me to get derailed on blog posts even though I said it wouldn't happen. Since classes started, I haven't had very much time to breathe, let alone craft or blog. I did take this entire Labor Day weekend, though, to write up all the back-posts I've been promising. I think if I did my dates right, there are nearly a month's worth of posts scheduled and ready to post on their assigned days. So now, even if I get bogged down with other aspects of my life, I'll still have posts coming out on a regular basis (and I'll finally catch up on all of those HSHY WIP pictures that I've been promising from summer!)

In many ways I feel guilty for saying this, but WIP 038 is from almost thirty days ago, Thursday August 7th. It was the end of my first week at my new job and I came home, called my favorite bakery to confirm an order for Saturday, and then I curled up in my favorite chair and stitched for over three hours. It was wonderful, and Yoshi took on incredible new colors and details as a result.

The work I did on August 7th is by far the most fun bits that I've sewn in so far on this piece. I had a lot of color changes to make for the right-side hill/pillar, but the color patterns were really easy to follow and I think the picture really speaks for itself in terms of how neat everything turned out. I still hadn't gotten to working on that tree, yet, but even if it's the last thing I finish, it'll all get done in the end.

Total Time Through August 7, 2014: 2 days 0 hours 42 minutes
Total Stitches Through August 7, 2014: 6,154 (28.49%)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 036 & 037

Apologies that Friday's post didn't go out as regularly planned. Between two separate trips to Disneyland, two (unrelated) migraines, work, and prep for my return to University, this post ended up falling through the cracks. Add that to the fact that I'm almost ten posts behind on progress pictures for this post and I'm in some trouble.

Since I only added 40 stitches in on WIP 036 (August 5th), I forgot to take a picture of it the next day, so this photograph includes work from WIP 037 (August 6th), as well.

Apologies for all of the wrinkles. I haven't been able to press this piece in a while and it's clearly showing.

Over the course of August 5th & 6th I was able to add 223 stitches the project, which isn't a ton, but it did mean adding over 1% to the project as a whole. And oddly enough, the stitches that were added over these two days were mostly invisible--small areas of fill on Yoshi himself that were green and white.

Total Time through August 6, 2014: 1 day 21 hours 19 minutes
Total Stitches through August 6, 2014: 5,651/21,600 (26.16%)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 035

I know that I'm crazy for saying this, but I feel like it's been ages since I've updated everyone on HSHY. As usual, the title says it all. Here is Day 035's progress toward completion. Will Yoshi ever get finished at this rate? For once, I'm thinking a strong and positive 'Yes!' (It's a miracle.)

And looking back at my time/stitch log, the reason it feels like so long ago for this WIP is because it's from July 30th... So much for getting up to date on everything this month. I didn't add a ton to this piece today, but as you can tell on Yoshi, he's actually starting to get some color on him. It took seven months, but I imagine that he'll be filled in completely within a few more photos.

I took this picture outside of my HR Office in the car, so I had to hold it up with one hand and quickly snap  a picture with the other. The color is good, though, and so far I'm really happy with how everything is turning out. I'm starting to imagine how it will look as I begin work on the tree now. Should be awesome. =)

Total Time Through July 30, 2014: 1 day 19 hours 23 minutes
Total Stitched Through July 30, 2014: 5,428 (25.13%)

Monday, August 18, 2014

I Got A Box!

Well, it's definitely that time of the year again and the school year is rapidly setting in again. I have no idea where summer has come and gone to, but I'm extraordinarily grateful for all the incredible things that have happened since mid-May. There were a lot of hospital visits for SO's dad, some incredible concerts, and many dog sitting jobs, but at the end of it all this was one of the most packed, fun summers that I've had in years.

On the flip side of the coin, however, is the fact that as summer ends, school and work take its place. Last semester I took my cross stitching with me a lot to campus and work, but I was already worried that the way I was transporting it would lead to tragedy if I didn't constantly tote my supplies around with me in my hands (meaning that if I needed to carry anything outside of my backpack I was screwed beyond all description), so I decided to buck up and figure out a way to solve my problems. This is what I came up with:

You're seeing it all loaded up, but this box even fits my Pako floss organizer. I was pretty impressed by that, I must admit. The box is actually from the scrap booking supplies section of Michael's and I think I got it for something like $4 after a 40% Off coupon. Killer deal, right? I'm thinking of going and grabbing a second one for work, to be honest. It's just a great little box and it meets all my safety requirements for toting around all my cross stitching crap stuff when I want to bring it with me on campus.

Now I'll never be without my aida, patterns, pen, snips, needles, floss threader (bane of my existence), hoops, etc!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Spreading the Cross Stitch Love

So, I think I may have finally converted Frie to cross stitching! Ever since I made her that penguin last Christmas, she's been really curious to see how difficult (easy, if you ask me) it is to make something and she finally broke down and decided to try it with me the other day.

I decided to start her on a Makibird pattern since they're super user friendly and as soon as Frie saw Vicky's Harvest Moon cow, she fell in love. We were at the craft store within the hour to pick up supplies for her. Here's the pattern:

Since this pattern was on my to-do list anyway, I decided to do a sort of stitch along with Frie as she got accustomed to reading a pattern and stitching things in accordingly. Frie kept getting frustrated that my cow was coming together faster than hers, but she kept persisting and managed to get quite a bit done by the end of the evening. Look at how hard she was focusing!

Now, I will be the first to say that Frie hasn't finished her cow yet because I haven't been able to swing by her house and help her finish up the bits of her pattern that she still has questions with, but I think that her cow will be done within the next few weeks. I feel lucky to have finished mine on Saturday. Granted, this wasn't a large project by any means, but this was my first big week at work and I haven't been able to get much done on my various projects. I have no idea what I'm going to do with Bessie, but I'm hoping that she'll stay with me forever, either in a picture frame or as an ornament or something else fun.

Meet Bessie!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 034

I don't often take pictures of my cross stitching work while I'm outdoors, but WIP 034 is an exception. I actually took it with me to an Alice Cooper/Motley Crue concert and had forgotten to take pictures the last time that I had finished working for the day, so here we are! Pretty grass in the background for all to see.

I took a week off from Yoshi to work on other projects, or I'd probably have a lot more done. In that time I finished my Navi in a Bottle ornament and went to three separate events on the 24th, 25th, and 27th and I also started teaching Frie how to cross stitch. (I am super excited that she might start working on some projects of her own soon!)

You know, it's funny because I've been cross stitching and doing a lot of cross stitch related things recently, but it bothers me when it doesn't reflect in Yoshi.I wish I had the eyes and diligence to work on this project for an entire eight or nine hours one day, but being legally blind without my glasses or contacts, I tend to get eye strain pretty easily. Really, though, I need to get my butt in gear. I started this prokect last December! Imagine how long it'll take for me to get something like a Servotron Epic Pokemon pattern done!

Total Time Through July 29, 2014: 1 Day 18 Hours 56 Minutes
Total Stitches Through July 29, 2014: 5,371/21,600 (24.87%)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 033

I always feel like I'm a day late and a dollar short with these Home Sweet Home Yoshi updates and while this is nearly my last post to pay catch up from previous months, I'm feeling a little bit frustrated with myself for getting so far behind on these things.

WIP 033 is through July 21th. I'm hoping to get all of the color blocking done on this piece by the end of the week, but we'll see. As for now, I'm just happy to have some more progress craved out for this piece.

Total Stitches Through July 21, 2014: 5,067/21,600 (23.46%)
Total Time Through July 21, 2014: 1 Day 17 Hours 3 Minutes

Friday, August 8, 2014

August Goal #1 Complete!

Well, after almost eight months of procrastination, Charmander is finally done! After I set my month's goals on the first, I decided that I was just going to finish my "Complete a Pokemon Ornament" as soon as possible. I didn't touch any of my other projects until Charmander was done, even though I was incredibly tempted by Home Sweet Home Yoshi and some undisclosed patterns that I'll be working on over the course of the next year for the Sprite Stitch Charity Quilt. (I should have those two projects announced by October at the very latest. I just don't want to spoil the surprise until I officially have the games I want by my name on the annual spreadsheet.)

But back to Charmander! I worked on him furiously over the first weekend of this month and I was completely done by early Sunday morning, so I decided to just to dive head in head first and printed off a Ditto pattern to work on, as well. Turns out that by the end of August 3rd I had TWO pokemon ornaments to show for this month! SO is really happy and I have to admit that I am, too. I'm not on track to finish my goal of 20 ornaments for the year, but in total I have 5 done so far. If I'm smart and I choose easy-to-sew patterns, I can definitely get the last fifteen done by the end of 2014, but that's only if all 18 units of classes this semester, plus dog sitting, plus work don't take all of my time up first.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yarn Destashing Project: Potholders & Bags

I was all ready and excited to write about this great market bag I'd made over the course of the last few days in July, but last night I decided to rip the entire bag apart and start again because I was really unhappy with how it ended up turning out. Here's what my desk looked like last night after all of the carnage. I didn't even bother rewinding all the yarn back onto the spool. There was just a pile of yarn barf all over my desk.


As for the double-thick potholder I made that weekend, too. It's gone missing. I think it must be packed away in my dog sitting gear still, but I've been too lazy to look for it since it's been too hot for me to make soup anyway. (It's been >80F and 50-85% humidity for the last week here.) When I find it, you have my word I'll post it along with an image of my famous Zuppa Toscana.

(Man, I'm hungry now...)

Monday, August 4, 2014


As promised in my post from last Friday, today's post is all about Christmas ornaments. The last few days of July were really busy again. I was dog sitting, but somehow managed to schedule three nearly back to back evenings of concert outings with SO. On July 24th, 25th, and 27th we were supposed to see Video Games Live, Danny Elfman's The Music of Tim Burton, and Othello respectively. The shows on the 24th and 25th were San Diego Comic-Con specials performed by the San Diego Symphony. Because of the traffic during SDCC, we decided to ride the trolley both days. The first night was fantastic, but SO had a bad cold, so he didn't make it to the next night's show. Instead, I took Frie and she had a blast. SO was feeling well enough after a day's rest to attend Othello.

I must say, taking the trolley  to and from these shows was wonderful for my cross stitching projects. I got an entire Christmas ornament done between the four hours of travel to and from Downtown. I found a really cute pattern for a Navi in a Bottle on dA a while back and decided that it would be a good one to take along with my dog sitting since it was a simple pattern with just a few colors and a big block of white to fill in. Like I mentioned before, it was a quick one to finish and I'm really happy with how it turned out. Finished dimensions are approximately 2 inches by 3 inches.

Friday, August 1, 2014

July Recap & August Goals

Well, it's hard to believe, but happy August 2014! I have no idea where summer has gone, but as of Monday it's officially ended for me. I start my new position at work come Monday, but no University until the end of the month, so summer may be winding down, but luckily it isn't over yet.

Last month I set out four goals for myself:
  1. Use up remaining cotton yarn.
  2. Add 2,000 stitches to HSHY.
  3. Finish one Pokemon ornament.
  4. Add 20 rounds to Ian's blanket. (Sort of.)
I blew my goals for Yoshi out of the water and added at least 2,000 stitches, if not closer to 3,000. I also managed to use up almost all of my remaining cotton yarn from my stash--pictures to come Wednesday. And even though I technically didn't finish my 4th goal of adding 20 rounds to Ian's blanket, I did finish up another blanket very similar to his and it's all wrapped up waiting for me to give to a good friend once I see her at work again come late August. The only goal that I didn't complete was #3. I did not work on Pokemon ornaments at all, but I did manage to get sidetracked and finish two other cross stitch ornaments for our future video game Christmas tree. I should have them posted on Monday, but I'm really happy with how they've turned out so far.

As for August goals, I'm not really sure how things with my new job are going to work out, so I'm setting the bar pretty low for this month.

  1. Add 1,000 stitches to HSHY.
  2. Finish one Pokemon ornament (Charmander).
Anything else that gets done next month is extra credit, in my opinion. There is going to be a lot that goes on in the next month just in terms of work and school, but SO's dad might be going back in for some elective surgery within the year, so I'm not sure what's going to happen. I'm just going to play it close to the chest for now and whatever gets done gets done. As I always try to remind myself...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 032

The magic of blogging is that my posts (typically) come out on a regular Monday/Wednesday/Friday basis and it looks like I've just been zooming along on Yoshi. The truth of the matter, however, is that I took an almost two week break on this baby to work on other pursuits between July 8th and July 20th, so I'm nearly caught up to my current WIPs for this piece.

There was a lot going on going on this month. I ran a half marathon (Remember the Batman tutu?); SO had to go to the hand surgeon; and I had to have some dentistry work done, so things were a bit hectic, but luckily HSHY is a personal pursuit and not a commission, so I can take all the time I want to on it. Unluckily, I really want to get started on some other large projects before I turn 800 years old. (And trust me, I have projects lined up...)

Here's WIP 032, though! The work is through July 20, 2014. I was able to add in just over 275 stitches over the course of the day, so I'm pretty happy. And you can actually see the work that I got done today. That's one of the huge perks of outlining. You can really see the progress that is made over the course of a day. Yoshi has officially made his appearance and so has a second tree trunk. If you ask me, that's pretty spectacular.

Total Time: 1 day 15 hours 41 minutes
Total Stitches: 4,821/21,600 (22.32%)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 030 & 031

Well, first of all, happy Tuesday and I apologize for the delay in posting. My laptop decided to throw a temper tantrum on Sunday night and I was without a computer to post from until yesterday afternoon when it decided to fix itself out of nowhere. Luckily, Lappy lives to see another day, but not without some melodrama first. (Edit: it's still acting up, but luckily I have a work around for now.)

True to form, I forgot to take a picture between WIP 030 and 031, so this is a double post, but I'm almost caught up in terms of WIP photos for July, so these posts shouldn't be so backlogged in the near future. Also, before I forget to mention this, please excuse me for taking such blurry photos of my work through July 7 & 8. Apparently I am an incredible lightweight when it comes to drinking. I can sew in stitches like a mad woman, but ask me to take a photograph after I've had two beers and this is what you're going to get.

Overall, I have to say that my profession and my hobbies go well together. I get to spend quality time with my clients' animals and practice productive hobbies that benefit others and bring happiness to my life. I feel very lucky to have such a symbiotic work life, not many people get to have that in their lives.

Total Stitches through July 8, 2014: 4,534/21,600 (20.99%)
Total Time through July 8, 2014: 1 day 13 hours 28 minutes

Friday, July 25, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 029

Without further ado, I present to you Work In Progress 029!

For some reason, holidays tend to be really great crafting days for me and this year was no different. The only thing that was out of the ordinary was the fact that I spent this 4th of July at a client's house while they were traveling to Boston. I didn't cross stitch a whole lot on this day, but I did get just under an hour of work done throughout the day with my sidekick Honey Bear to keep me company.

It was interesting cross stitching with a dog curled up with me on the couch. My dogs don't typically curl up with me while I work and if they do, then it's usually Baby, our Chihuhua-Poodle mix, so having HB, a boxer-pit mix curling up on my feet was really interesting. (It was warm, too! So nice.)

This might have been one of my most quiet Fourth of July holidays, but it was really nice to enjoy the company of Honey Bear over the course of the day while we watched a Dirty Jobs marathon on Animal Planet. After July 4, 2014, I have invested 1 day 9 hours 38 minutes into this project and have sewn in 18.50% of this project--3,995/21,600 stitches. Almost one-fifth of the way there!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 028

Happy Wednesday! I know that I've been slipping a bit behind in terms of WIP dates recently, but I promise that I should be caught up, or close to caught up within the next week or two.

WIP 028 was worked on July 3rd, mostly in TJ's truck while we were stuck in traffic for two hours trying to get to the San Diego County Fair for a Tubes concert. Let me tell you from new found some personal experience that cross stitching in the car--especially in rush hour traffic--is a fantastic way to kill some time.

As you can tell, I was able to do a lot while we sat in those two hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic. I'm almost complete done stitching an entire column top to bottom and a lot of the remaining blank space will be solid blocks of color to sew in. I'm hoping to have the next tree trunk done by the end of July along with the next "window" of background. As always, though, I'm not sure if that will happen. I'm just excited to be getting more and more done. And let me tell you, I cannot wait to be done stitching in this khaki color once and for all!

Oh, and in honor of The Tubes, since this stitching was all done on the way to one of their concerts, I present you the original music video of my favorite song by them. Enjoy.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 026 & 027

So, I did a bad thing and forgot to take a take a picture between WIP 026 and WIP 027. The good news is that it's really easy to distinguish between days. On June 30th, the day of WIP 026, I finished the left-side tree trunk's outline and filled in the entire background area between there and the chimney. I also did about one-third of the new section of khaki stitches on that day, maybe five or six rows worth, but I forgot to take a picture after everything was said and done, so OOPS!

Total Stitches Through 6/30: 3,359/21,600 (15.55%)
Total Time Through 6/30: 1d 5h 19m

Most of the work done for WIP 027 was done over at SO's house after going to the bowling alley with Charlotte, SO, and a few other friends earlier in the day. I am a terrible bowler, but it was fun to spend time with everyone before Charlotte left town for good.

I didn't get a whole bunch done in terms of appearances, but I did add 240 stitches in, which is nothing to shake a stick at. Anything over 1% in a day is great news for me. I wonder if I can keep this progress up if I can get Yoshi done by the end of summer. Somehow I doubt it, but maybe by New Year's?

Total Stitches Through 7/1: 3,599/21,600 (16.66%)
Total Time Through 7/1: 1d 7h 9m

Friday, July 18, 2014

Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Batman! (Tutu)

Most of my readers don't know that I'm a double agent who not only maintains Bob Crochets Craft Down, but also a second blog called #RunTylerRun. There I keep track of my running races and training. Rarely do the two subjects mix, but sometimes my crafting and running can become one and the same topic.

Since May 2013 I have run five half marathons, two of which have been the Costume Party Half Marathon*. For the 2013 race, I was still new to the whole idea of running, so I decided not to dress up. It was too intimidating to me, but for 2014 I knew what expect and I was ready. Three of us were running: Claudia, my mom TJ, and me.

A few weeks prior to our race, Claudia found superhero technical tees at her local Target and texted me saying that she'd purchased our race shirts for us. I was going to be Batman, Claudia was going to be Superman, and my mom was going to be Spiderman, because it was that or nothing. TJ was too petite for anything but a men's small, so shopping for her was...difficult.

We made it happen, though, and as soon as the shirts were purchased, I began work on the rest of my costume for the race. All it took was a trip on Wednesday to Old Navy to buy the pants I wanted and a second stop to JoAnn's for tutu material and I was off.

This is what my poor client's dining room table looked like for three days. I'm sure it looks clean, but as soon as tulle strips started to pile up, it became a total mess. In all, I think I used about twelve yards of tulle, but if I had been feeling really determined, I know that I could have used up all fifteen yards that I had purchased.

I alternated cutting and tying tulle as much as possible since both have a tendency to be tedious. In total the project took me three days and a boatload of Netflix episodes to get, through, but I ended up very happy with the fruits of my labor.

End of Work Day #1
 I have to admit that the photograph from Night #1 don't seem to show a lot of progress, but off camera there were a lot of piled up tulle strips ready to go for the next day. I also try and make my tutus as stretched out as possible, with just a little bit of overall give to them, so even though I cut a strip of elastic that was about eighteen inches long, by the end of the first night My elastic had already become about twenty to twenty-two inches in circumference.

End of Work Day #2, Front View

End of Work Day #2, Top View
At the end of Day #2 I had gotten to the point where I was headed around the back of the chair, a huge feat in any tulle tutu making process. From the top down, it doesn't look like much, but from the front, this Bat-tutu was starting to come together. I figured that if I got all the rest of my cutting done on Night #2, that I could spend my last day of work, Friday, just knotting on tulle.

And that's what I did. My Batman tutu was done after roughly 3:00 in the afternoon on Friday, a healthy two and a half days before CPR. Here's my horrible mirror picture that I sent to TJ and Claudia that afternoon.

And even better, here's our picture from race day!

See you all with a new post soon!

* For more information regarding CPR 2014, please click here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Home Sweet Home WIP 025

Well, after a three month hiatus,* I gave in and went back to working in some color on this piece as of June 29. I think that between all the black outlining and going-ons of May and June, I was just ready for a bit of change, so I decided to move on and start doing some of the larger, easy color blocking on this piece. Eighty stitches is by no means a lot for a day's work, but I'm just glad to be working on Yoshi again as summer comes into full swing. Total time logged is at 1 day 1 hour 39 minutes with 2,847/21,600 stitches complete (13.18%).

* See Charlotte's Going Away Scrapbook for more information regarding the insanity of the last few months.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 023 & 024

All right, prepare for the stupid joke. Prepared? LUCY! I'm home! The outline for both the chimney and the word HOME are completely done and ready for color. I don't know how much color I'll be adding in the next few weeks, or if I'll do some color and go back to outlining, but for now I'm just excited to have 1/3 of the wording done for this project. I'm really looking forward to doing some of the fills on this piece.

Total Stitches:  2,767/21,600 (12.81%)
Total Time: 1d 0h 52m

Friday, July 11, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 021 & 022

Remember in my last post how I mentioned that I made a mistake on one of the tree's eaves that that I'd later have to go back and fix it all? Well, that's why WIP 021 an 022 are one and the same. All that you see below was put in on March 2 and pulled out the next day before I put it all back in correctly. Honestly, I just cut it all out and used a lint roller to pick up all the stray strands of embroidery floss that lingered on. It was tedious process, but let me tell you, for full on stitch-demolition, a seam ripper (like the one you would use for a sewing project) is an awesome tool to have around.

I didn't double count stitches, so after WIP 022, I'm roughly 2,468 stitches in at 22 hours 44 minutes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 020

Well, the tree finally exists as of February 27. I didn't realize it then, but if you look on second  eave, I actually missed a stitch and had to tear it all out later on when I couldn't get the bottom of the hearth to match the upper chimney. I have to admit that working on the hearth has been a really fun part of this project. It took a lot of  planning and logistics make sure that the backside of this project stayed clean as I was stitching it in, but for me that was one of the best parts.

Total stitches now total at 2,339/21,600 (10.83%) with 21 hours 11 minutes put in so far. So, if I did my math right, I should have this project done in around 200 hours or so.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Home Sweet Home Yoshi WIP 019

Apparently, I'm quite behind in terms of posting work in progress images for this project. As far as I can tell, I've only posted through WIP 018 on here and tonight I'll be taking pictures of WIP 030. Yikes! The good news is I'm at a client's home right now with their wonderful pup, Honey, so I have plenty of time to get caught up with posts. So, without further ado, here is WIP 019 with progress through February 26:

Looking at my pattern, that pretty much covers the main fireplace's outline minus a few stitches. Total progress is 2,280/21,600 stitches (10.56% completion) with an investment of 20 hours 37 minutes.

Also, happy birthday, SO!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Charlotte's Going Away Scrapbook

Well, I managed to get photographs of Charlotte's scrapbook finally! I had to take them with my cell phone at a bowling alley, but I did get photographic evidence of everything minus one page, which I somehow missed during my quick fire photography session. (You can even see some people’s bowling shoes on the left in some of the pictures. It’s pretty funny.)

The story of this project, though, from start to finish. The whole idea of this came about in the office one day while our staff members were contemplating what kind of gift to give Charlotte before she went home. I recommended that we create a scrapbook for her to take home with her and by the end of April the ball was rolling.

Four mass emails were sent out over the course of four weeks and every day that I went to work, I brought along 6x6 inch pieces of scrapbook paper for people to write notes on. It took huge amounts of haggling, finagling, deception, and hiding what all was going on, but by the time my deadline for submissions hit, I had over thirty notes to put into the scrapbook.

In previous posts, I have mentioned that I’m a semi-professional dog sitter and luckily I work for families who don’t mind me scrapbooking in their homes. During the month of May I was home and animal sitting for three different families who didn’t mind me taking over their dining room tables, so I spent many of my waking hours hanging out with dogs, watching Netflix, and scrapping pages as I could in order to get a head start on the beast. I knew that I would be giving Charlotte the book at a final going away bonfire mid-June and I didn’t want to have to do everything all at once, so I started as early as possible and toted my scrapbooking materials all over San Diego County in order to get pages done between class, work, animal sitting, and studying for finals.

And thank goodness that I did because things got really rough in my world at the beginning of May. On May 4, TJ and I ran the 4th Annual Safari Park Half Marathon again (my second time, her third) and we also had a family friend’s wedding to attend. I suffered massive heat stroke and foot blisters during the race and was almost hospitalized, so it was an extremely long day. The wedding started at 5:00pm and we had been awake since 3:30am without any extra rest. Things got really bad, though, when I got a phone call from my boyfriend saying that his father who had been recently hospitalized may have taken a turn for the worse around 10:00pm. I was more than an hour’s drive from the hospital and it was a really rough night. May 4 was the Sunday before Finals Week at University for both SO and me. I was dog sitting 35 minutes from the hospital from May 4 until May 13 and spent many of my would-be scrapbooking hours at the hospital or over at SO’s house helping however I could. I began my second dog sitting job on May 14 and finished my finals on May 15. I was able to get some pages done before I left my second dog sitting location on the 18th. I had my new job interview on May 21 and began my final dog sitting position on May 23. I was able to get almost ten pages done while I was with my final group of furry friends.  I had my final job interview (and got the job!) on May 29 and went to an amazing Hugh Laurie concert on the 31st. May ended on a very, very good note, but it had been one of the most extraordinarily long and trying months I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.

June was better, but still busy. SO’s dad (I’m calling him FIL on this blog from now on for simplicity’s sake) ended up back in the hospital two more times before Charlotte’s bonfire. It was like reliving the horrors of May all over again, except that I was there firsthand for more of it. SO was a real trooper, too, because he not only had to cope with the issues his dad was experiencing, but also some of life’s other curveballs. We had to put one of my own pets down on June 5 due to mammary gland cancer and he just happened to be up at my house when that happened. Then FIL  had an allergic reaction to his new medicines. I was over at the neighbor MAB’s house. MAB is an amazing scrap booker and was giving me some advice on where to proceed on some pages when SO called to tell me that he and his mom had called 911. FIL was having a bad reaction to his meds and was having a very difficult time breathing, so they immediately took him to the nearest Emergency Room. I didn’t even get an opportunity to pack up my scrapping supplies. MAB and her family did it for me and I spent the rest of my day in the ER waiting room at the local hospital. After that day, I really didn’t have much of a heart to scrapbook anymore. All I could think of was rushing out of MAB’s house and seeing FIL being loaded up into an ambulance after that. It was too much, too soon and was way too overwhelming.

Things didn’t really seem to get brighter until the 11th when I went to Disneyland with Charlotte and two other friends. That trip pretty much saved my sanity, but throughout those six weeks of craziness, I was able to get only those ten or so pages complete out of a much larger total. I was excited to do some Disney scrapbook pages, though. I had all the Mickey Mouse paper and everything ready to go, so I got a little bit of my mojo back in terms of scrapbooking. I was able to get a page or two done here and there, but I was nowhere near being done. I still had something like forty-five pages to complete.

Needless to say, I was really behind on Charlotte’s book. The last forty pages were finished within two days of Charlotte’s bonfire. All I did was scrapbook constantly on June 23 and 24. Charlotte was coming to spend the night at my house on the 25th, so everything had to be complete, wrapped up, and finished before then. With the help of MAB, her daughter, and my best friend Frie, we were able to get it all done. I still don’t know how 40 hours of work got completed in 48 hours, but it did and Charlotte loved the scrapbook. She didn’t cry like we wanted her to, but in her own words, she’s “German. Germans don’t show much emotion.” I did get something like eight hugs at the bonfire alone, though. It was pretty awesome.

So, yeah, that’s the story of Charlotte’s scrapbook. It was a long journey, it was an emotional journey, but it was so well worth it. I’d do it all again if I was asked to, but for now, I think that I will be retiring from making scrapbooks as gifts. This experience was enough to last me a lifetime.