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.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Goals: The Stash Down Month

Well, it's finally July. I can barely believe it. Where has summer gone? How have I gained so much weight? And most importantly, how is my house such a disaster?

In doing some spring summer cleaning this morning, I realized that I have just too much going on in my realm of crafting. Most of these projects are blankets that I need to finish crocheting, but there are other projects, too, like my cross stitching and scrap booking. So, to follow in the footsteps of another craft blog that I was recently reading, I'm setting out with my goals for the month!

  1. Use up all of the remaining cotton yarn in my stash, roughly one cone. (I see a lot of dishcloths and hot pads in my future.)
  2. Add 2,000+ stitches to Home Sweet Home Yoshi.
  3. Finish one pokemon ornament, most likely Ivysaur.
  4. Add at least 20 rounds to Ian's blanket.
Ambitious, but doable if I put my mind to it. Now I just need to learn how to crochet and run. Have you ever seen the marathoners that knit scarves while they run? It's incredible.