2004 Stitching

First, as always, this is subject to my ever changing whims and the tendency of designers to release beautiful new "must have" designs just when I think I've got enough to work on....

So...next year's plans.

Really rather simple. I want to finish some of my larger TW pieces and refrain from starting any new "big" pieces. I classify "big" as anything that takes more than 50 hours of work.

The TW's that I feel have the best chance of getting finished: Storyteller, Dragon Ride, Noah's Ark and if I'm very very industrious, Stroke of Midnight.

With this in mind, as of tomorrow, January 1st, Storyteller becomes my focus piece and will get more hours than any other WIP in the pile. I'll work on him in 10-hr chunks alternating him with a few other WIPs, specifically the various Chatelaine Mysteries (Christmas Mystery, Mystery VI and the newly started Quilt Mystery), a Silver Lining or two (Edith Wolford and Peace) and some other odds and ends of WIPs (You can see the full list here).

Am I going to work in a specific order? Nope. Am I going to work on *everything* before going back to work on a piece again? Probably not. I'm going to take it a month at a time to start. January is going to be hectic with moving, so I'm not going to put too many restrictions on what little stitching time I'm going to have....that's a recipe for disaster! February will be the annual Cloisonné Ornament SAL (Apples for Fiona), but that'll count as a small piece ;)

So, there it is....my plans for next year....as of today ;)

Happy New Year to you and yours! I'll see you all next year......


Still With Me?

I realized as I went trolling thru various blogs that while I have been horribly remiss about posting (bad Annette! bad!), I'm not the only one that's been overwhelmed by the month of December.

I forgive myself and pledge to make a better effort to what's left of my faithful readers....

...as for the rest of you falling behind..you're on your own!

So...let's recap, shall we?

For the last 3 weeks, I managed to finish 2 books (Ceremony in Death and Witness in Death by JD Robb).

While I didn't finish any stitching, I did start 3 pieces (Witch Way by Just Nan, Mystery VI and Christmas Mystery, both by Chatelaine). This sets up 2004 to be a "TW Year" and puts me in pretty good stead for not starting any new "large" projects, working on all the current ones while adding the odd small piece here and there. And yes, that includes starting TW's new 12 Days of Christmas Ornaments due out late February. Individually they are "small" projects, right?

What? Did I hear you asking about Chatelaine's Taj Mahal Garden? Shh...It's already whispering to me and I've successfully ignored it's pleas for now :lol

There is one more large piece that I might sneak in late tomorrow night...but we'll have to see.

Tomorrow - a discussion on the stitching plans for 2004 :)


Is it Friday yet?

I know, it's only Wednesday, but a girl can hope......

First, the very best thing of the day - a package from my Secret Stitcher with supplies to learn bead crochet and the absolute *coolest* bead storage containers! If you happen to read this, dear, you truly made my day :)

Reading update:

Finished "The Invisible Ring" by Anne Bishop. I can't believe it took me this long to find this author! Loved it (not as much as her Black Jewels Trilogy, but enough).

Started "Kushiel's Avatar" by Jacqueline Carey. Another recent discovery that I'm really enjoying.

Stitching update:

Did I mention I finished my Anne Bishop book?


Weekend Learnings

I learned two things on Sunday:

1 - The "Green Bean Curse" is still strong in me.

2 - Rainbow Gallery's Gold Rush 18 makes great ornament hangers.

Green Bean Curse

You must understand, I really dislike green beans. I was forced to eat them as a child (along with meatloaf...another yuck for me) and as soon as I came "of age" swore off them. I've found I can tolerate fresh, raw green beans in salads, but otherwise I won't touch them.

My husband, on the other hand, *loves* them and it's one of the few vegetables he will eat. Such is the irony of marriage....

As a good wife, I occasionally will purchase fresh beans to cook. About once every third time I manage to do this without either a minor scorch or serious burn on the stove. See, he likes them cooked "to death" and based on my mother's and grandmother's method of stovetop cooking, this requires careful monitoring of the water level in the pan on the stove. Invariably I get distracted (the things cook for an hour, after all) and 30% of the time I scorch them, catching them *just* in the nick of time to save the batch, 30% of the time I get it right and the remaining 40% I burn them and we eat out. That was Sunday - we ate out. The curse is strong in me still.....

Gold Rush 18 = Easy Ornament Hangers

On Sunday we put up our Christmas tree. Every year my mother-in-law sends a pair of ornaments to the kids to hang on the tree, usually of the Hallmark variety. Every year I put the new ornaments away for the next year. Every year I dig thru my ornament tin to find hangers for the new ornaments that will fit the tiny little screw eyes on the top of the ornament. This year I had a brain storm.....gold braid! I'm a stitcher after all, I've got *tons* of the stuff! A quick dive into my stash turned up the referenced RG Gold Rush. Use about a 3-4" length to get a loop long enough for the tree ;)


Where did the afternoon go?

Today I had lunch plans with one of my Software Account Managers. She takes me to lunch quarterly and we discuss what's expected for the next few months for one of the applications I'm responsible for. Next year is easy. Our budget is small so if she wants to make any kind of sale, she's going to have to get creative on the licensing LOL.

Thanks to my influence, said Account Manager has recently taken up needlepoint again (the real kind with painted canvases and everything). Our lunch was extended to visit a local shop. She was *supposed* to be picking out a Christmas Stocking for her nephew to work, but she'd gotten a little excited and actually went in last weekend and bought it already..LOL. So instead, we looked at her progress and I suggested a couple tips and tools to make things easier for her. As for me, I found remaining braids and beads for Autumn Queen...

In my opinion, this was a great way to spend an afternoon off. Next stop was home where I could take the energy from the shop and actually stitch on something for me. Did I get to do that? Ummm...no. I checked email and found our recent visitor on the TWBB had been stirring more trouble. I spent the remainder of the afternoon tracking down who was responsible...and I did find them. Technology is an amazing thing.

The question remains, though... why would someone put that much time and energy into disrupting the relative peace of the BB? I simply don't understand the motivation. We post guidelines that the majority of the membership has had input into. We understand that as the membership changes, the guidelines will be reviewed and revised to reflect logical progressions and changes. Why harp on issues that were resolved months ago?

Ah well, all will be resolved soon....here's hoping we can all look forward to a few more months of peace for our community. Right now I'm just off to stitch a bit since I lost my afternoon! Oh Mr. Depp...I'm ready for you now....."Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a pirate's life for me...."


A Stitching and Reading entry...

First, how about my first WIP pic for my new Mirabilia? DH chose Autumn Queen as the next in the series and here she is at 10 hours:

Not bad...still need to pick up a couple braid colors which I'll do at the LNS on Friday. One of my software account managers needlepoints, so we're going stash shopping...LOL. Must combine business and pleasure whenever possible...

Next, I finished my second reading of Queen of Darkness by Anne Bishop. I love this series! Can't believe it took me this long to find it! I wonder what other gems are waiting to be uncovered? Of course, if it weren't for the TWBB Readers BB I'd still not have discovered Daemon, Lucivar and Saetan....thank you!

Some may know that I'm one of the administrators on the TWBB. This week has seen a bit of "off-board" residuals from last week's political hubbub. I take my responsibility of admin quite seriously when it comes to maintaining a level of harmony and maturity on the BB. I expect our members to conduct themselves as adults and not indulge in petty tricks or play hurtful games. The members aren't used to having "active" admins and I sincerely hope that they never know about some of the "behind the scenes" communications that I've had to handle recently....not pleasant but sadly, not all-together unexpected.

Am I sorry I took on the job? Absolutely not. I'm here for the long run :)


Testing the nerd limits....

So, I wonder what the limits of nerdiness really are? I think my darling audiophile husband and I have pushed the envelope after this past weekend's adventure.

It started really on Friday. After we had shared a quiet dinner for two to celebrate our sixth anniversary, He suggested we stop by the local electronics store to visit our TV. Yes, visit our TV...see, we're moving in January to a new house with a much larger living room. This practically demanded a larger tv and we'd been looking at some rather nice plasma models for a few months. In September the price looked pretty darned good so we processed the purchase....though arranging for later delivery. So we visited our tv....

...and found the price dropped to below what we paid.

Well! A few minutes chat with our salesman and he was off to "adjust" our sale price :D as we had not taken delivery! Woohoo!

Nerd item #2 was on Sunday. Husband decided to put a new alarm in his 1990 Jeep Wrangler as its currently living outside while we fill the garage with packed boxes (slowly, but surely). Audio/Security store also sells Satellite radio. Husband has been eyeing this for a few weeks........

Both Jeeps now are equipped with satellite radio and brand new Kenwood stereos that play the radio, CD's and MP3s. Ah yes.....I love my new stereo!