Monthly Goals and a Meme Catchup

Monthly Goal Review for October:

Start/Finish October Snapper - Yes!
Stitch next Ornament RR (x2) - Yes!
Stitch on:
Autumn Queen - Yes!
Shiraz - Yes!
Tropical Dream - Yes!
Buy new yarn for Pi (not liking what I've got) - Yes! - also bought enough for the Diamond Fantasy Shawl which got started rather than Pi restarted...

Yup, I finished 'em all! Let's set the bar a tad higher for November:

Start/Finish November Snapper
Stitch Ornament for Blogger Exchange
Stitch Bookmark for Blogger Exchange
Finish Stitched Item for Blogger Lottery Exchange
Stitch on:
Autumn Queen
Tropical Dream
Faerie Blue
Knit on DD's tank and Diamond Fantasy Shawl

I did start a small Halloween piece over the weekend (Twisted Threads Halloween Montage - it was a gift!) so once that is finished, I'll dive into the goals for the month.

Now for the Meme Catchup - The A List

One would think that I could manage to get my *own* meme answered on time.

Yeah…well…the rest of us know the truth!

Monday, October 31, 2005
Happy Halloween!
As I pour bags of Halloween candy into our traditional "trick-or-treat" bowl in preparation for tonight's visitors, I can't help but think back on the Halloween celebrations of my childhood. Maybe it's the smell of chocolate that brings them out?

What are some of your most vivid Halloween memories? What treat did you hope to find when you got back home and dumped out the spoils for review?

I have two costume-related Halloween memories from childhood. The first I must have been around 7ish. My princess costume that year was made of a blue tissue paper dress and a wig of golden ribbon, made up into fat sausage curls. There's a picture somewhere of me in this costume but I vividly recall the rustling it made as I walked.

A few years later, I went to school costumed as an Oreo Cookie. Mom cut large (and I mean hard-to-walk-large) cardboard disks and painted them to look like the cookie. I had a white turtleneck shirt on underneath and had the circles hanging from my shoulders like a sandwich board. I remember being rather disappointed I didn't win the school costume contest..LOL.

Growing up, the best candy to find was Sugar Babies or Milk Duds. Those were pulled aside and secreted away from the "main stash" so no one would steal them from me. This year we're handing out Junior Mints, Dots, Whoppers and Tootsie Pops :)

Monday, October 24, 2005
It’s Traveling Time!
We all find reasons that we have to travel – whether it be for a family vacation, or for a work situation. But have you ever traveled for the specific purpose of going to a fun convention? Maybe it’s for a hobby, for a favorite television show, movie or comic book, or even for role-play gaming.

What convention did you go to, how much time did you spend there, and is it something you would do (or have done) again?

In the last four years I've attended 8 CATS shows and 2 Stitching Retreats (each between two to five days):


Dallas, TX
Riverside, CA
Santa Clara, CA (twice)
Burbank, CA
Hershey, PA (twice)
Nashville, TN


Tulsa, OK (Stitchworks)
Myrtle Beach, SC (Lazy Daisy Retreat with TW, JAS and KW)

In all honesty, I'm not sure how many more of the CATS shows I'll do. They have gotten smaller each year and while I love seeing the friends I've made, it's depressing when there are fewer and fewer each year. If I do any in 2006, it'll be the Vegas show in April - and only because it's closest to me. As to a Stitching Retreat - I could easily do one of those a year! Just need to find a good one ("good" defined by having people I know also attending and either a location or designer of interest).

Monday, October 17, 2005
Books Anyone?
There's nothing quite like a good book. Of course, there's nothing quite like a really bad book, either, but that's usually another story (pun intended). ;)

What was the last book you read that you would recommend to someone else? Is there a book you recommend consistently to anyone that will listen? How often do you pick up a book for pleasure reading? Can you read multiple books at one time?

I recently finished Diana Gabaldon's newest: A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I would recommend that series to anyone that enjoyed a full, rich, story that is a little bit of history, romance, fantasy and suspense all rolled into one. It's simply marvelous.

However, my most recommended book is Anne Bishop's Black Jewels Trilogy. It is true fantasy and fantastic.

I read something every day. I don't think I can just read one book at a time anymore. I choose books for "situational reading" anymore - one type of book for the bus (interesting or fun, but not requiring a whole lot of concentration), one type for reading before bed (easily picked up and put down) and anything that doesn't fit in either category will get an odd evening at home or maybe become lunchtime reading here at work (those things that require more concentration). If it's unusually engrossing ("can't-put-it-down") then I might read it exclusively until it's finished (Breath was almost like that….almost because I put it down with less than 200 pages to go, simply because I didn't want it to end!).

Happy Halloween all!

Yes, there's a slight change on the graphics - I missed my daisies! Many thanks to my graphic designer, G. You know me so well :)


Odds and Ends

Well, it's been so long since I've made a significant post I don't quite know where to start...I suppose a couple finishes might be a good place ;)

Bent Creek October Snapper:

Only two months left of these monthly designs (ok, I admit, 2.5 as I have yet to finish June's).

JCS Retro Ornament RR - this is Rose's ornament (Threads thru Time's Joy to the World from the JCS 2001 edition)

After finishing these earlier this week, I spent the rest of the week working on TW's Tropical Dream:

This was taken earlier today...thanks to another football game, I've actually gotten the next 3 rows below the scene done and am working on the "waves" :) Once that is complete I'll pick up Shiraz Sampler for the rest of the month (to finish off the October goals).

I've found the top of the dog's crate in my bedroom a pretty good place to lay out my pieces for pictures. It's under a window, but there aren't any shadows cast and the light is quite even. Of course, I usually end up with an audience:


Nero went for his first grooming this week, so he once again looks like a schnauzer and not just a ball of fur. Duchess also had a bath and haircut:


That's it for pictures!

I finished a couple books this week as well.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon - I'm sad because I finished it, not because of any great tragedy at the end of the story. Another who-knows-how-long before we get the next installment. #3 in the series (Voyager) is still my favorite, but I think I need to reread the series from the beginning to verify that ;)

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - a coworker recommended this tale of a young white girl and her experience in the 60's in the South.

I also had lunch this week with soon-to-be-former-Arizonan, Margaret. Why is it that we can spend two hours chatting non-stop at lunch and I feel the time has flown by!? LOL We should be able to squeeze in one more lunch before she goes, though ;)

And I can finally say that summer is officially over in Arizona! How do I know this? Because there is no longer free chilled bottled water on the city bus in the afternoon. Come on "winter!" :)


I'm fine...

Just busy and staying off the computer and stitching more at home!

One bit of important news...

On Wednesday, I went to lunch with a couple of coworkers to a downtown Mexican restaurant and found that they sell Mexican Coke! It was *very* tasty with my chicken flautas, just needed a bit of lime to make it complete heaven ;)


More this weekend, including a few pics of small finishes and small dogs...


It's Tuesday....somewhere

It's Tuesday somewhere in the world right now, so that means a selection of memes to do....

The A List

If you could watch only one thing on television and had to give up every other show, what would you watch (not counting the news, since you could get that from a newspaper)?

Only one show? It's not like I watch a bunch, but it still would be hard to pick just one... Survivor? No, it is losing its appeal right now - it doesn't get good until the "merge" anyway. Amazing Race? Hmmm....good, but how long can you watch people sniping at each other and not get annoyed (there's always a team or two that gets on my nerves! LOL) Criminal Minds? Nah, way too depressing. Good, but depressing. Same goes for NUMB3RS and Invasion.

Let's see, that leaves.....baseball. Atlanta Braves or Arizona Diamondbacks, please :) If it *must* be a series, than the one I watch more than anything (and about have memorized) A&E's Nero Wolfe.

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

When you have almost finished a pattern and start thinking about the next one to stitch, how do you select it? (a list, most recent purchase, etc.)

Whatever happens to be yelling the loudest which may be something recently purchased or even a design I've seen finished by someone else.

Musing on Movies

What is your favorite movie snack? Do you usually get something to eat and/or drink at the theater, or is it a rare treat? What snack (if any)do you usually eat while watching a movie at home?

Movie theatre = popcorn. Always. I simply cannot enjoy the whole "movie-going" experience without some popcorn and a cold drink. If I'm at AMC, it's a Coke, if I'm at Harkins or other non-Coke theatre, it's lemonade or Hawaiian Punch! If I happen to be craving something sweet as well, my first choice is Red Vines, second choice is either Jordan Almonds or Milk Duds.

In fact, I'm planning to see Corpse Bride on Friday night and I can already smell the popcorn....

For home watching, there's not usually a snack as we watch a lot of movies and many times I'm stitching or knitting while I watch.

I'm going to hold off on Booking Through Thursday....I don't want to dig out a book right now. LOL


I was bitten...

The organization bug bit me on Saturday.

It all started when Daughter requested a package of colored index cards and a book ring on Friday afternoon. She needed them for her English class - a suggestion from her teacher to help with studying vocabulary words.

On Saturday, I included a trip to Staples in my regular errands and dutifully found the pack of multi-colored 3 x 5 cards. 300 to be exact. Then my eyes spotted an index card case sitting nonchalantly next to the cards.

I started thinking...a dangerous thing.

The past few weeks, I've had several opportunities to dig into my stash looking for either a fiber to supplement an Ornament RR or a certain bead or metallic for a quick stitch. What I found is that I don't always know what I have in the fiber/bead/metallic areas of the stash. Those items are in a series of drawer units without a whole lot of organization.

What if I kept an easy-to-reference list of exactly what I have for the most common elements handy? Something I could pick up and drop in my purse for a trip to the LNS or just pull out as I'm perusing the latest JCS Ornament magazine?

The answer was right in front of me! Daughter didn't need 300 index cards so I knew I could snag at least 100 of them (and not use but a fraction of that) and use them to list beads, cottons, silks, metallics and odds and ends (five dividers in the case, five colors in the pack). Easy to update, easy to carry and *very* easy to drag along to the LNS if I needed to.

Later that afternoon I pulled out my bead drawer, my trusty labelmaker, the index cards and the case. I filled my 3 20-container cases with Mill Hills, half-filled my "flip-top" box (the 2" ones - 24 fit in a bigger box) with Delicas and made a list of all the MH Treasures lurking in the drawer. I also created two copies of each card of Mill Hills. One for my case, one to lay in the top of the container for an easy glance when looking for something specific. I put the bead number on the bottom of the tin. Another card for Delicas (not in the case as I put the label on the side facing up in the box), another for MH Treasures (still in their packaging, but now in a recloseable bag in the drawer) and finally one for the odds and ends of crystals I have purchased to use instead of the way more expensive MH Treasures.

Remember, this is only what I have *in my stash*. This doesn't include stuff that's already kitted for use. I ordered more cases today as I might be energetic enough to pull beads from the pre-kitted stuff and organize it.

After dinner, it was time to do the fibers. Six drawers plus two filer boxes of silks, cottons, metallics and various other bits. It took about 4 hours to sort, store and catalog it all with Daughter's help. Here's what I now have catalogued:

GAST - 30 colors (several duplicates....gee, go figure)
WDW - 16 colors
Needle Necessities - 29 (3 skeins of one color...sheesh!)
...10 other brands (Dinky Dyes, Stranded by the Sea, Blended Needle, Olde Willow...)
Watercolours - 9
Wildflowers - 7
DMC/Anchor Perle - 29 assorted balls and skeins
Waterlillies - 19
Silk n Colors - 22 (I have at least this many more in kitted designs)
Gumnuts - 23
...at least a dozen other types (Dinky Dyes, Soie Crystale, Silk Mori, Splendor, NPI...)
#4 Braid - 34 colors (but how did I get 5 spools of 202HL?!?!)
BF - 17 colors

...you get the idea.

So, what was my first thought when I got a sale notice from an ONS today? "I know what I have now, so I can order a few colors to fill out the sets!" Yeah. I resisted...LOL.

Just so you don't think I was taken by my organizing fit in order to avoid my current WIP, once I had everything back in its freshly-labelled drawers, I finished off my current Ornament RR piece on Saturday night and have been working diligently on Autumn Queen today while watching the never-ending Braves v Astros playoff game (unfortunately not with the outcome I was hoping for...)

Gee, I bet I could catalogue my fabric...or at least all the stuff I have kitted...hmmm...maybe next weekend's project!


Time for Pictures!

I know, I've been promising pics for days...I really have a few to show.

I've also learned that the dogs' crate currently taking up roughly 15% of my bedroom floor space is *perfect* for laying out pieces for pictures. The light from the window is just the right angle to keep from having shadows *and* I don't have to bend over to take good shots (it's a big crate - has to be for three dogs!)

Ok, finishes first:

"Retro RR" Ornament from JCS 2002 - Glory Bee's Sweet Christmas (as we announced our choices to the group, might as well show it off here!)

Round 10 Ornament RR:

This one isn't announced so you only get a link

The Monthly Bent Creek Snapper:

September in DMC on light sand Belfast..just like the others

Ok, now for the "In progress" shots:

Mirabilia's Autumn Queen on white Jobelan (picture doesn't look white....I was losing the light):

She's coming along nicely, methinks.

TW's Tropical Dream on bone 20-ct Lugana:

Yes, the border is straight, why do you ask?!?


Beans and Memes

Just a quick clarification - I rather doubt the entire crop of black beans is in jeopardy (though I suppose it's possible). EPL does some magic to them to make them sweet and spicy and I would think it's their special version that's not available. But I *really* appreciate all the comments and support!

Now for the weekly memes (forgive my lack of formatting. Blogger's post screen doesn't play well with our Mac!):

The A List - Disposable Time

So, how do you spend your "disposable time?"

After carving out work and sleep there ain't much left. I do have dinner with the family every night, but I'm not always the one cooking, freeing up quite a bit of time during the week! Disposable time I consider "me time."

True "me time" is spent stitching, reading, surfing boards and blogs (ok, and a little shopping) and playing the odd computer game (Pharoah, Atlantis, Lego Star Wars....). And if I don't have a bit of that daily, I admit, I get cranky!

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week:

Have you ever just quit a project while in the midst of it? (We're not referring to UFOs here, rather projects that you know that you'll never work on again.) Why? What did you do with it - throw it out, give it away, put it away?

Yes. If my opinion changes on a project, I have no problem "readjusting" its future. While I've not actually tossed one out, I have 'reclaimed' the fabric for my stash or some future project. I've given projects away, sold them and do have a couple simply put away to see if the opinion swings back sometime in the future.

You just never know ;)

Musing on Movies - National Past Time

What are your favorite sports films? What sports films do you think are terrible? Do you tend to watch a lot of sports movies or very few, or do you avoid them completely? Which sports (if any) do you watch on television? Are those the same sports you enjoy as movies?

Favorite Sports Films: Bull Durham, The Natural, The Cutting Edge
Terrible Sports Films: ....for me, anything hockey or basketball. I'm sure there are good hockey and basketball movies, but as I don't care for hockey or basketball well....
Watch Sports films? I don't search them out or avoid them. But if it's baseball, I'll give it a second look every time ;)
TV Sports: Baseball is #1 with football a distant second. The Olympics would be on there, too. And yeah, I guess there's a correlation given my first two favorites, eh?

Booking Thru Thursday - Nearby

Pick up the book that is closest to where you're sitting right now.

What are the book's title and author? Phantom by Susan Kay

Turn to page 127. Locate the third paragraph, first sentence. Type that sentence here: (uh oh) "I waited just long enough for him to turn back to me, then I plunged the knife up into the obscene, wobbling mass of flesh which concealed his gut."

Does the sentence make sense out of context? I believe so...not a pleasant picture, but a picture nonetheless.

Seeing it sitting here by itself, out of the book, is it funny? Sad? Strange? Does it make you want to explore its source? It makes me *not* want to read it, even though I already have and loved it!

Are you currently reading this book? Why? No...already read it. It's waiting patiently to be passed on to my mother here by the front door.

That's it for this week!


Too Close to Home

Note: It is not my intention to make light of the devastation that Hurricane Katrina and Rita have visited upon anyone. I just didn't expect it to strike quite so close to home....

Tonight, DH and I took a quick trip to a great fast food restaurant to grab dinner for the family. It's called El Pollo Loco and they do the most wonderful grilled marinated chicken that we drive 15+ minutes to pick it up for dinner. It's fantastic.

The second-most fantastic thing on their menu is their black beans. Now, you must understand, I really don't like beans. I don't care if they are green, lima, yellow, wax....heck, even jelly beans I'm picky about (black or Jelly Belly only). So the fact that I will *crave* these spicy black beans is quite an amazing thing.

We order: 12 pieces of chicken, flour tortillas and 2 large black bean sides (cole slaw must come from KFC).

"I'm sorry, we don't have black beans anymore."

WHAT?!? No beans? What am I going to do? How can I rollup just *chicken* in the tortilla (usually a smear of beans goes on the bottom). This is sacrilege!

We drive around to pay and I can't help but question why on earth these are no longer available.....

"Hurricane Katrina. They are made in Louisiana."

Ah. I see. It's all Katrina's fault that I must forever be denied the one bean in the world that I really really like. Too bad I already gave a chunk for hurricane relief. I wonder if I can divert that to "Save the Black Beans" instead? Nah....probably not...


Monthly Goals

Let's Review...

September Goals:

Start/Finish September Snapper - Done
Stitch next Ornament RR (x2) - Done x2
Start Shiraz Sampler on Labor Day - Done
Stitch on:
Tropical Dream - Yes
Faerie Blue - Uhhh...no.
Autumn Queen - Yes!
Knit on DD's Tank - a few more rows done

October Goals:

Start/Finish October Snapper
Stitch next Ornament RR (x2)
Stitch on:
Autumn Queen
Tropical Dream
Buy new yarn for Pi (not liking what I've got)