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%)