2005 - In Review

And we're back!

I hope everyone had a glorious Christmas! We had a great one here at Chez Acre. Well, except for DH, DS and I coming down with a nasty cold the week before. That put a bit of a damper on the final preparations, but we're all about over it and ready for the new year.

Santa did well by all of us here. DH has new stylin' headphones for his iPod along with lots of wonderful new music to put on it and new books to read. DD has a new bike that should last her for many years, at least when she's not playing her new PS2 games or reading one of several books received. DS has a new GameBoy Advance and a half-dozen games to keep him occupied along with some new books and a "pitchback" for the back yard to work on his baseball techniques.

Me? I have a lovely new iPod Nano and have invested quite a few hours in Black and White 2. My desk is now outfitted with some Nightmare Before Christmas desk figures including a great little clock!

But on to a bit of review....

I'd love to post a great long list of all the stitching finishes I had this year, but I have a problem. I didn't keep a list. I had one going until March-ish, but after that I failed to keep it updated. I know it was a pretty good list given all the smalls and ornaments I did, but I just don't have a number I can post! I'll remedy that next year...I've already got the spreadsheet started. Overall I'm happy with the number of hours I put in, but not so happy with what I spent them all on. The WIPs that I began 2005 with are pretty much the same ones I'm ending the year with....that's got to get better.

I can say I read about 60 books, though. When I stopped tracking my stitching finishes, I started tracking my books!

As for my December Goals:
Start/Finish December Snapper (which will complete the entire project!) - Done!
Finish final Ornament RR ornament (another finish!) - Done!
Knit on socks and DD's tank - Socks, yes. Tank, no.
Stitch on:
Autumn Queen - Yes!
Christmas Elegance - Ummm...no.
Faerie Blue (have *got* to get this done!) - Nope
Ready three RAK gifts for January starts....(need to cut fabric for one and get floss for a second...third is ready). - Done!

I'll save the January Goals for tomorrow (though they are already posted on the left there) along with my long-term plans for 2006.

You may notice a bit of rearranging on the left side. I'll be adding thumbnails and progress bars for my "main" projects as I bring them out this year. A bit of a carrot/stick approach if it's posted for the world to see my progress. I'll also keep a list of 2006 finishes, so next year I *will* be able to take a final count.

I also plan to add the following footer to each post this year:

Stitched On: Autumn Queen
Reading (Home) : Dragon Rider
Listening to: Classic Radio Detective Shows

This is what the content of this blog is going to be. Stitching (including knitting), reading and what I'm either listening to or watching (movie/tv). No politics....no negative....just the small joys of life. I do hope to hear your comments!


On Hiatus

I'm taking a break from blogging until the end of the year.

I'll be back in January - the look will be the same, but I'll be focusing the content on what I originally intended in this blog: stitching, reading and movies with a big emphasis on the *stitching* :)

Until then have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


My Saturday (lots of pictures)

First, let me say that my children had no advance knowledge of Saturday's activities. I told them on Friday that they were to be up by 7:30, showered, dressed warmly and ready to go by 9:15 on Saturday morning. On Saturday morning I added that K (DD) needed her sunglasses, Z (DS) needed a hat and we all needed some bottled water.

We were headed to the Phoenix Zoo. Christopher Paolini (Eragon & Eldest) was there for a book signing and I had purchased of copy of Eldest for K to get us into the zoo (passes were included with book purchase) and for a good signing number (the store sponsoring the event gives out numbers to keep the stampede down).

First stop, the bookstore to pick up the pre-purchased book. I told K she'd probably figure out part of our day after this stop. Unfortunately the store had tried to be efficient and taken all the pre-purchased copies to the Zoo for pickup (though they didn't tell me that when I called with the order). Ok, it wasn't *too* far out of the way. We head to the zoo and find the "Will Call" table at the entrance.

They have no book for me. No book. No passes. No good signing number.

However, they do realize that I am most likely telling the truth and do give me a book, passes (with an extra for Z for my trouble) and the next number: 343. Ah well, at least there's plenty to see while we wait.

We arrive at the grassy area about 10:50 for the 11:00 start. Christopher (I'm sorry, I can't call a 22-yr old "Mr.") and company arrives on time and he starts a few remarks just after 11.

Christopher Paolini
Before you think "Wow, they got a really good seat!" This is our actual view:

Christopher Paolini

By the time everyone was settled, we were just past the middle of the crowd (more in front of us than behind). Worked great until he asked for questions....kids just don't yell loud enough. He didn't take very many, but promised to answer questions during the signing, which started around 11:30 with numbers 1-20. We decided to walk around for a bit and see the sights....

Zachary's close call

Z enjoyed the reptile house.

Nose in a book

K of course, had other things on her mind.

Burrowing Owl

Of course, the residents weren't all that impressed.

Mountain Lion

We think this mountain lion had her eye on Z for a snack. He didn't look at anyone else, but kept a *very* close eye on Z as we walked past.

Black Jaguar

So did this lovely fellow. As you can see here:

Black Jaguar - Snack view

We also visited a few bird areas. Z is getting friendly with this one (the bird is standing on one leg)

A Pair of One-Legs

By this time we figured we were close on the numbers, so we headed back to the grassy area. They were on 200, so rather than leave again, we bought some popcorn and settled in on the grass. I had my knitting, K had her book, Z just hung out. About 30 minutes later K got in line and Z & I joined her when she got within a dozen folks. Most people had the new book, but *many* had both of them and I'd guesstimate Christopher signed his name 1,000 times on Saturday. But he was friendly and smiling the whole time (ok, at least until he got to us):

Christopher Paolini signing Kylie's book

She had finally decided to ask if he'd read David Eddings' books (Belgariad, Mallorean) and come to find out Eddings' Ruby Knight was one of the first fantasy novels he'd read. He eventually read all of Eddings' stuff and he was still one of his favorites. He recommended Raymond Feist's Magician to her and complimented her dragon pendant ;)

Christopher Paolini & Kylie

*Very* nice fellow. I'm sure he would have happily chatted with K for much longer but of course, the other couple hundred of people in line wouldn't have appreciated it ;)

We wandered around a bit more with the kids getting into seeing all the animals:

Z as a turtle

K as a reading turtle

Thankfully K can read and walk at the same time.

We left around 3:30 and came home tired from all the walking, but it was a good tired. I wasn't too tired to finish K's "Hooray For Me" Gloves:

K and her gloves

They are made from Knitpicks' Sock Landscape Rocky Mountain Dusk and were amazingly easy to do. I'm making some for me in Koigu....

I must admit with all that walking, I slept *really* good Saturday night!


December Goals and a Few Finishes

Wow. December. Where has the year gone?

First, thanks to everyone for their hugs and condolences. I can't tell you how much I appreciate them all...words just don't come close. We are all doing well, if still a little subdued. For me, that's coming thru in a lack of focus...but getting back to work has actually helped with that.

On to more interesting stuff!

November Goal Review:

Start/Finish November Snapper - Yes!
Stitch Ornament for Blogger Exchange - Yes!
Stitch Bookmark for Blogger Exchange - Yes!
Finish Stitched Item for Blogger Lottery Exchange - Yes! (And I *won* the Lottery! I'm getting some gorgeous pieces)
Stitch on:Autumn Queen - uhh...no
Tropical Dream - Finished it!
Faerie Blue - uhhh...no
Knit on DD's tank and Diamond Fantasy Shawl - no, but I did get some sock knitting in

At least I got the "deadline" bits done....

December Goals:

Start/Finish December Snapper (which will complete the entire project!)
Start/Finish Ornament RR ornament (2) (one will be the final for that round)
Knit on socks and DD's tank
Stitch on:
Autumn Queen
Christmas Elegance
Faerie Blue (have *got* to get this done!)
Ready three RAK gifts for January starts....(need to cut fabric for one and get floss for a second...third is ready)


Having a long weekend extended by three days allowed me to stitch a bit more than I planned. Of course, I was too scattered to do big things...but I did get some small items completed.

Bent Creek November Snapper

Bent Creek November

Bent Creek June Snapper (finally finished this one!)

Bent Creek June

Both are on Light Sand Belfast with DMC.

Trumpet the Good News - Serendipity Designs (JCS 2005)

Trumpet the Good News

This is DH's choice from this years Ornament issue and is on Driftwood Belfast. Originally the horn was to be stitched with #8 gold braid and one strand of DMC, but that made me cringe. I used two strands of DMC and overlaid one strand of 002HL blending filament over the top. It's pretty sparkly!

Indigo Rose - Peace Ornament (from JCS 2002 Ornament)

Indigo Rose Peace

During my last "stash reorganization" I found this ornament that I'd started back in 2002 [blush] and never finished! It was about 60% complete...so I finished it off. Originally charted on white Belfast and three shades of blue DMC, I used Needle Necessities Arctic Nights (116) instead. This would work well with just about any overdye, I think...

That's all for today!