Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Monday, the day of NO's, but one MAJOR positive

My contacts were better after sitting in the juice all weekend, but still no-go, which meant no stitching last night (but I really didn't feel like it anyway).

Went to the doctor to get my boosters, only I ended up having a 102 fever and full-blown bronchitis (I had no idea, I just thought my asthma was acting up and I had a scratchy throat), so they wouldn't do the shots (oh, and the visit cost $88, three more dollars than the whole ACT fiasco). And I still have to go back again after I'm better, which means another visit and more money!

I ended up mentioning something that was completely plausible in one of my work meetings that apparently I was supposed to keep my mouth shut about (a bit of warning would have been nice...I had no clue it was some big secret), so my boss spent the day bringing it up to anyone who would listen that I screwed the pooch. Yea me. Nothing like being made to feel like a worm when you already feel bad from bronchitis (that I really should have gone home for in the first place because I did have a fever and was contagious, but no, I'm too damn dedicated to my job to worry about my own health, so I came back to work instead of taking the week off that my doctor suggested, only to be a whipping post all day long).

Oh, and I'm back today, still with fever, and still doing my job, despite everything. The sooner I get my degree and get out of here the better.

But it wasn't all doom and gloom. The amazing Khristine gave me the best gift ever! You guys know how I've been complaining about the lack of Once Upon A Time cross stitch charts out there, especially with Snow and Charming, she found me a chart on Facebook that was perfect!
OnceUponATimeSNOW
Look at that man's face! And all the purple! And the true love between those two! It's perfect! Khristine, you have no clue how much better you have made me feel! I'm gonna kit this one up soon and it's gonna be one of my 18 in '18. I can't wait to start it! It's not too big, it's 12x16 on 18ct, but I'll do it on 28ct, so it will be even smaller. There isn't a lot of color, but the detail looks pretty good. I can't believe I FINALLY have a Snow and Charming pattern!

It kind of goes with what I said in my last post, for all the despair in my life, I can always find that one ray of hope that completely wipes the slate clean. Khristine, you are my angel of the week!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Weekly Stitching

This is almost sad, but I'm going to post it anyway. In my defense, I had a REALLY bad week (as you guys know) and, on top of that, I've been having major contact issues. I can't stitch on 28ct without my contacts and readers. With my eye condition, glasses don't correct the problem...I'm not allowed to drive with them, I can't read with them by themselves (you wouldn't believe how big I have my screen blown up right now), and my eyes constantly water without my contacts in. But my contacts are also gas perms, which means they are tiny, but hard. So I can't sleep in them, and when they irritate, they REALLY irritate, so I'm taking a weekend break from them while they soak in the "heavy" juice. I had exactly one stitching day last week so I went from nada:
Hook-002
To a hair past nada:
Hook-003
Remember when I said that stitching all that white background wouldn't bother me? I think I might have lied. I also now know where the crappy fabric for Snow White came from...it's that tubed Charles Craft Monaco (because this is the same). Before I go any further, I need to decide (once my eyeballs get settled), whether or not I start again on a better piece of white Monaco (so I don't have to do the background), buy a better piece and start over, or just keep on keepin' on. It's not a heavily confetti'ed project like Snow, so maybe it won't be as bad. It's also a lot smaller than Snow, so that's a factor. Part of me considered just going back to Rapunzel (since I can see it with my glasses doubled up), but I guess with everything else going on this past week, maybe I just needed a break and some zone-out time with Sam and Dean.

I had a hard time picking a needle minder for this puppy too. I looked at swans (for Emma) and anything else related to Once, but in the end, I just went with the Once book that really doesn't look like THE book. I still kind of like it although I had to put a MUCH bigger magnet on the back, it came with the tiniest little heart one that wouldn't hold a needle, let alone the minder on the project.
Hook-001
And since I may have just offended the seller by criticizing their choice of magnets, I won't post a link to their store. They were great to deal with, I just don't think they build a strong enough needle minder.

I said I was going to ignore the 50% off HAED sale this week, but when I don't stitch, apparently I get bored very fast and I tend to spend money on stupid stuff, tax money that I was so proud I used to pay down on my credit cards (that didn't last long). Don't get me started on the crap I bought for my new laptop (like decals, a hard case, and little neat toys that I DON'T need). I like pimped out laptops, after all, I am a geek. I also have to break down and buy a new phone this week (the tax money is almost gone, so I'd better hurry), so I had to have swag for it too.

But back to the HAED sale. I wasn't too bad, I only bought two, but I think they are very aprapo for the way things have been going lately:
Despair by Rebecca Sinz:
Despair_000a
And Hope, also by Rebecca Sinz:
Hope_000a
I figure since I'm a walking symbol of both despair and hope, I will do these together and they will be a reminder of this time, even if I don't do them until years down the road. It was kind of the whole lesson in Once Upon A Time...to always have hope no matter how bad things get. They are not very Once'y, they are probably more Supernatural'y with the whole Angels thing, but I'm kind of trapped between the two worlds now anyway...loosing Once while binge watching SN for the third time in a row.

As far as school goes, I did manage a pretty in depth look at the Undergrad Bulletin on Friday and I still think I might be over my head with the BS in Computer Science. If I take well to the Physics though, I may add Physics as a minor which will help with my Astronomy aspirations. If I can't cut the CS but do good with Physics, I may just switch to either Computer I.T. or Physics by itself. I.T. is no different than what I do day to day now, I will just know more (and have that little piece of paper that will make sure I get the pay I deserve). Astronomy is still the goal (at least for now), but it will all be determined by my adeptness at physics...if I can't cut it, then dream over anyway. My school has two Astronomy courses...Intro to Space Science and Astronomy (which is a Physics class course, but doesn't count toward a physics degree for some reason, doesn't even count as a physics elective). But I do have options for the first time in my entire life. If all else fails, I still have all those "rotting" art classes that can go towards a computer design degree too. Yet more options.

Monday is "shot" day, and once that is sorted, then I've got to get an advisor and get the disabilities office to get me a tour of the campus (it has changed SOOO much since the last time I was there, I couldn't find my way to a bathroom!). Then the real planning for my future can begin! I should be a lot more scared than I am. I still think reality hasn't sunk in yet. Shots first and, since my GP is a total dick and I have like three major work meetings throughout the day too, I have the feeling tomorrow isn't going to be a good day either. But hey, in typical me fashion, here's hoping Tuesday works out!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Yet ANOTHER OMG update (is this getting old yet?)

Luckily, my shot record was NOT in the duck room closet, but in a secret area where I hide all my important documents, but, as per usual, there was a problem. Not even GOD could read the bloody thing! Seriously! (and yes, I say "seriously" a lot in person too). Apparently, handwriting wasn't big in the 70's, so I can now see what the girl at the college was talking about. I called my doctor's office and they said they would ask his nurse if she had time to try to interpret it and get her to call me, but I got tired of waiting (again, seriously, why are people sooo slow in the medical field? I work in the medical field and I'm not slow). I ended up just calling the health department in the county where I was born and she pulled my old records (although that too took an act of god for reasons I'll explain in a moment) and that record was even worse than my little card. She just recommended I have the stupid MMR shot over again since I'm 47 and my titer would be too low anyway, so I called my doctor back and set up that appointment (I need a tetanus since I step on dropped cross stitch needles all the time anyway and it's been a while, so...two birds, one stone).

Now, most of you guys know my first name is Keiley (pronounced Key-Lee). It was originally supposed to be spelled Keeley (as my baby book notations show) and sometimes mother even spelled it Keely (even she couldn't get it right I think). My original birth certificate spelled it "Keily", so my mother had to get a court order to get it changed (which, back then, cost $100). Well, even after the court order, they still got it wrong and my mother didn't have another $100, so Keiley stuck. I've had to deal with grammatical jokes and mispronunciations my entire life (hence Keebles or Keebs which is what almost everyone calls me). Well, because my shots were going on during a time of name changes, the lady at the health department couldn't find my shot records because she couldn't find it under any of the spellings listed above (and I meant to ask her what name she finally found it under, but by the time she did find it, I was stressed out enough and forgot). She did tell me she was lucky to find it at all, so I figured it was under a spelling not listed above (typical).

I always thought I saw MMR on my card, but now that I look at it, I can't see it. The only legible words on it are rubella and polio. On the back of the card is a checklist and mumps is not one of the items listed, so now I'm wondering if I ever did have the MMR (although I can't imagine I didn't because it wasn't an option not to get it back in the day). Considering the chicken scratch although the card, now I figure I made it this far in life because no one ever really looked at the card before, just made a copy and that was that. So if I haven't had it, then I definitely need it, but I still think I had it and now I have to pay for a doctors visit and shots. Yea me.

But, I did get some really good news today (which almost scares me to say it out loud (or type it) because it might get jinxed the way things are going). My work Macbook Pro is old (well, not that old, it's a 2012, but by my doctors standards, it's ancient...my personal Sony Vaio at home is WAY older, but it works like a brand new one, just no crappy Windows 10), so they decided to buy me a new Macbook Pro. I figured I'd be able to squeeze by with the minimum of specs, but no...they had me pimp that sucker out full throttle! It kind of made me sick to my stomach spending that much company money (especially since I'm partially going to be using it for school stuff to get out of here in the first place). I should also explain that work/personal is a fine line yet wide birth around here. As long as PHI (Personal Health Information) stays off it (and it does mine because I'm IT...that's only for my office desktop), then you can do just about anything with them (and trust me, most of the docs do). I do plan on retiring my Sony and using the Mac full time now (the old one never left my office except it went with me on vacation). I may have to swipe an old Windows 7 license from around here and Bootcamp it for my favorite programs from my Vaio that aren't Mac or W10 compatible. We'll see. OMG, I'm feeling sick again! So much money! I'm such a traitor! Think they'll let me take it when I go in about three years? Depreciation value and all, right? They DEFINITELY aren't getting my iPad back, company or not!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

OMG - Update

You guys are not going to believe this, but after $85 of non-refundable testing and online training fees and three days of intense stress, I do not have to take the bloody test after all! I'm a total wreck! Seriously? She kept going on and on about the fact that I hadn't had English Comp 1 (which I did in 1988), so I pulled out my old transcripts (which took hours because I was looking in the Duck room closet and I had to move all kinds of junk to get to my file boxes, only to discover it was in my bedroom closet in my file cabinet, which took moving exactly two blankets to get to). I emailed them to her today hence the "oh, OK, you had English so never mind on the ACT test", like it was nothing! Seriously?

But for all my talk in the last post, sometimes I forget that a lot of you guys, oh friends of mine, are not from the States and don't know our crappy school system ways and I just blab on and on like you know what the heck I'm talking about! I figured I'd better give you an explanation of our stupid testing system, then an update of what is happening...sorry!

In the States we have to college/university admittance tests...either the SAT (which is usually for the "big" ivy-league type schools...short for Scholastic Aptitude Test) and ACT (which is for the little guys, like mine...short for American College Test). To get into college, you have to take one or the other (or both, depending on your sanity level).

I'm only gonna talk about the ACT, since I didn't have to take the SAT (although I could have, but that would be even crazier and I would have NEVER passed it!). The ACT tests your aptitude in Math, Science and English with multiple choice questions. There is also a reading section, but my school doesn't require it. The score level goes from 1 to 36, with 36 being a perfect score (and 1 meaning you might as well give it up). Each section is scored and you have to get an combined score of at least 19 (in my day it was 16), but if you don't get that high of a score in a section, then off to remedial classes you go. So, if you get a total of 23 overall and you get a 16 in English, then you have to take a remedial English course (which cost full price, but don't count toward your degree), then an intermediate one (same story), then the real one. So that's two classes at $1000 a piece that you take basically for nothing other than to get you to the real class (which also costs $1000). I had to do that the first time back in the 80's in Algebra (but now I'm not sure why because I have a copy of those scores and I had a 22 in Math. I emailed her about that too but she couldn't answer that one either.

Now she's hung up on my shot records. In the States, back in my day, we had a shot called MMR - Measles, Mumps and Rubella. It's plain as day on my shot record, but she doesn't get the concept of it. First she kept trying to say that I hadn't had my Measles shot...it's the first "M" toots. Now she's saying I haven't had my Mumps (aka the second "M"). So now I have to dig out my shot records (which, FYI, I think are in the Duck room closet so I have to dig all that crap out...again), and send them to her or I have to go get those shots again. Obviously I had them or I couldn't have gone to any school, be it primary, middle, high, or college, let alone worked in a lab for 25+ years. Whatcha wanna bet those shots cost $85 to get?

I have to laugh now or I'd be a panicked mess on the floor.

Monday, February 12, 2018

OMG

Tell me again I'm doing the right thing? I called the college today after I got an email saying that my FAFSA was approved but they had no application for me (which I did last week), and come to find out, I have been accepted, but they are holding my application because I have to retake the ACT! Seriously? It has literally been 30 years since I took that stupid test and I sucked at it back then!

So I went online, registered for the test (which cost me more money, of course, welcome to higher education), and now I have to study stuff I haven't thought about in 30 years so that I can take a test with a bunch of kids on April 14th. Yea me! And if I do badly on the test, I have to do remedial classes which you have to pay full price for, but which don't count toward your degree (so you're basically paying for nothing).

Granted, they are only looking at the English section on mine for some reason (not sure why), but I'm afraid the girl might have told me wrong so I feel like I have to study for the whole test just in case. Again, yea me.

I was holding off the panic until the fall, but I gotta tell you guys, my guts are in literal knots right now. Am I sure I can do this?

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Weekly Stitching

I started DoNa's Rapunzel last Saturday at 5:00 pm and stopped last Sunday night here:
Rapunzel-003
And I finished the row this Sunday night here:
Rapunzel-008
I finished an ENTIRE ROW of a stitch project in a WEEK...four pages, 14" of fabric width! And there were two days I didn't stitch at all! Granted, it was 49.43 hrs of stitch work (which was just a few less hours than I worked at my job last week), but that's about average for me because I tend to stitch all weekend long. It helped that it's nothing but large blocks of color...no confetti, no dithering, barely any color switching at all, so it's probably not that great of an accomplishment, but I'm pretty proud, especially considering the mess at work this week and the stress of re-applying to school.

I don't know about you guys, but for some reason, when I stitch on my normal 28ct 1x1, I tend to go top to bottom with my rows when I have blocks of color. But when I do 18ct, 2x1, I tend to go bottom to top. For some reason, my stitches are cleaner going up on 18 and down on 28. Is that weird? I also forgot how much thread you waste with 2x1. My ORTs jar is already getting pretty full from the scraps. I've had to push them down twice already. But I'm trying to not knot on this project. I'm not sure why. I've always knotted and it's always been fine but, considering how block-y these colors are, I want the back to be clean. It will be my first clean back ever if I manage it, but so far, so good.

I had one day this past week when I just couldn't stitch because I was all bend out of shape over the school thing. I got my FAFSA app back and I got approved for my school loan, which I was TERRIFIED about! I figured I made too much money (although I'm not sure how because I barely make enough to live). I still haven't heard back from the school yet though. The odds of getting refused are like next to nil on that front...I left with a 3.6 gpa, even with an F on my record (long story) and I've been four times before, but I'm still a bit scared. I also am still scared I may have bit off more than I can chew with the BS instead of a BA in Computer Science, but I can't worry about that now either. I do know I made the right choice with Computer Science instead of Information Tech though. I do want a bit of a challenge and not more of what I do every single week day.

I signed back up for the Great Courses channel on Amazon Prime thinking that I could binge-watch all the physics, calculus, and chemistry stuff from now till the fall and maybe that will help. I watched the first episode of a physics class and really enjoyed it, by episode 2 I was tuning it out, and by episode 3, I was basically like, "oh hell no!", and that was that. I tried to watch several other courses, but, and I'm almost ashamed to admit this, I just restarted Supernatural (again). I'm definitely going to have to work on my school focus between now and then, especially since it probably means years without cross stitching (or very little of).

I tried to start binge-watching Once (for a reason I'll get to in a minute), but I can't because I can't stitch and watch Once at the same time. Once is NOT background noise and I need background noise while stitching. This is technically my 21st time of watching Supernatural (at least Season 1, each other season drops off a time since I watch them all in a row every time a new season comes out), so it's definitely background noise. It's still a fabulous show though.

The day I decided to re-apply for school, Once Upon A Time got officially cancelled. Granted, the new season has been hard to deal with, but it's still MY show, you know? It is very rare for me to find a show that speaks to me like Once did. I love a lot of shows, but they ain't Once. I'm the same about Miranda. And when a show that special ends, it's usually years before I find another one that makes me feel the same. I was lucky that Miranda and Once shared almost the same space in time, but the last time I had a show that meant this much to me, it was ER. The loss of Once will definitely leave a bigger hole than ER did though and at least when Miranda ended, I still had Once. Miranda ended on the best of notes though, so here's hoping Once does too, especially since they have time to finish it right.

So since I can't binge-watch Once, I'm going to start Hook next (I may be a broken record over this, but I'm still bummed over the lack of Charming). I was going to do Faces 167 first, but I need some Once in my life right now.
Hook-000
I'm hoping Etsy will go nuts and Once charts will start coming out like crazy. I have done FanGirl Stitches chart, I have CloudsFactory chart and a couple of other ones of the same type thing, but I want a realistic Once chart that has Charming and Snow in it. Something I don't have to do myself. Just because I have my own cross stitch software doesn't mean I want to use it. If I can buy a chart versus doing it myself, I will so buy one. It's probably why I'm broke.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Scary things ahead

I'm not sure what head space I'm in right now, but work must be more horrible than I thought it was. You guys know I've been talking for a while about going back to school, but talk and action are two separate worlds. Well, I called my college's disability office yesterday and talked to them for a while. I explained that I think a lot of the issues I had the first four times I tried college and failed was due to my Asperness (and money). They have all kinds of help for Aspers as well as scholarships and I felt so much better after talking to them that I not only started my online financial aid applications for THIS fall's semester, but I finished both the aid app and my readmission app to school this morning!

I may have made the wrong decision going with a BS in Computer Science instead of a BA (too much science courses...not my strong suit, but I change it later if need be, it's not like I haven't changed majors before), but I'm kind of freaking out right now!

I wanted to do this after all my credit card debt was paid off, but I kind of realized that I will probably never be out of credit card debt because I'm just a spender. The only way to change my life is to actually do something, so I did something today! It was a little step, I still have to get accepted for both the financial aid and school (although the school thing is just a formality) and work is going to have a FIT when I have to start leaving for classes (but it's in our personnel manual that they are flexible about that, so they have to let me), but hey, one step at a time! I haven't even told my boss what I did yet. I've mentioned it in passing as a possibility for 2019, but not a definite for 2018.

OMG! I'm going back to school...maybe...possibly! Where is my bottle of Xanax!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

DoNa Sleeping Beauty Part Deux

Yes, I suck and I'm weak because I just broke down and bought the newer version of the chart:
Sleeping Beauty-2
I'm still changing dress colors and fairy colors, but anyone who wants the PDF to the original chart, I'm giving it away, so just message me and it's yours. If I have more than one request, then I'll draw for a winner. At least that way the original pattern won't go to waste.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

DoNa Sleeping Beauty

One of the reasons I picked Rapunzel first was because there are things about my Sleeping Beauty that "bother" me.
Sleeping Beauty
I had always planned on changing her dress from pink to blue (make it blue!), but the fact that my pattern only has two fairies bothered me to no end. I have been debating forever how in the world (and where in the world) I could add another fairy to make it story line accurate. I also planned to change their dresses to green, pink, and blue (for accuracy, as well as their hair color), so that would also affect their placement with the background, but I'm HORRIBLE at changing patterns, nor do I like to change the work of others unless I feel it conflicts with the Disney way (which this one does too much compared to the others in the series).

All her other patterns are right: Snow White has seven dwarfs, Merida has three brother bears, etc., so why do I only have two fairies? I was actually going to post this conundrum at the bottom of Sunday's post and ask y'all's opinion, but I'm glad I waited.

I was scouring Etsy today (as I do everyday) and I happened across a new posting of DoNa's Sleeping Beauty pattern, only it had three fairies...when did that happen and how do I only have two? Does anyone else have this issue? Does anyone know when the third fairy magically appeared? I've tried messaging her in the past on Etsy (both for questions and complements) and have never gotten a response, so I doubt I'd have much luck asking her there. It would definitely be easier just to re-buy it versus trying to create a new fairy myself, but that's fairly annoying, even though it's only $6.50. It's more the principle of the thing versus the cost, but it would be easier than fighting about it or trying to modify my existing pattern. Did I just answer my own question? I kind of think I did, but I'm still kind of pissed about it. If she realized her mistake with two fairies, shouldn't she have sent out replacement patterns to all those that bought two two fairy version? I didn't even notice it at the time which I guess is my fault, so there you go, we're both to blame...maybe.

Well, at least on the positive side, I don't have to create a new fairy if I buy the newer version, right? But I am still changing some color schemes. Flora, Fauna and Merriweather must be honored and we all know how I feel about Aurora's blue dress versus the pink one.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Weekly Stitching and FINALLY relief!

After 10 long miserable days, by Friday afternoon I was FINALLY headache free. I'm not sure if it just gave up or if being back on Ritalin did it, and I'm not sure I care. It may have been the shock of finding out that our lot rent here at the trailer park is going up $50/mo starting next month! They have NEVER raised it THAT much! Plus, they haven't done anything to deserve it. My neighbors across the street have already moved out and more will follow. I've been here over 20+ years and it happens every rent increase...mass exodus. When I moved out here, the lot rent was $75 and now it's going to be $250 starting in March. My house payment was only $318. Just with the lot rent alone, I'd probably paid for a house already. It's kind of sad really. I still think I'm going to stay here and focus on the school path though (although I had my doubts for a while on Friday). I don't want to pay them this extra money, but I know a degree opens more doors, not just here, but elsewhere too. I can still build my house, but maybe I can do it somewhere else and not be stuck here anymore. I just hope I'm not too old. One step at a time though, get out of debt so I can get into more debt with school loans! Brilliant plan!

But enough of my whining, I left off here last week on Mal:
maleficent126
And ladies and gents...as of 5 pm on Saturday, I am able to give you row 5 in all its confetti hell, most of which I did finish Friday night!
maleficent132
And all together now for a total of 621.23 hrs:
maleficent133
Only a row and three-quarters of a row to go...but not right now. To be honest, I think I'm more proud of the background that actually Maleficent herself. It's going to be fabulous when it's finished and framed and I may spend more to get it done right with fancy double-matting and all!

I couldn't wait to start on DoNa's Rapunzel. It's been calling to me since I kitted it up. It's amazing how different charts stitch differently. I started immediately on Rapunzel after I finished Maleficent's row on Saturday, worked on her Sat and today, probably no faster or harder than usual, and I managed to finish a whole page and almost a full other one! All my fears about working on 18 projects in a year completely went away after this weekend...that is if I can keep up this pace. But anyway, from blank slate (which, FYI is the picture I always mean to take and never remember to do...yea Ritalin!):
Rapunzel-001
and I'd say I'm about two-thirds in page 2:
Rapunzel-003
Part of me feels like this should be outlined or something and, is it just me, or does the lantern in the middle look a bit like an IUD in a uterus? Have I been working in a lab too long? Funnily enough, these colors would have been great when I was 14, but I do feel like I'm stitching a birthday cake right now. Hopefully, once I get to the good stuff, it will work itself out, most projects do. At this pace, I could be done with the first row by next weekend, but I'm going to be conservative and say weekend after next just to be safe.

I am kicking myself for the cheap scroll rods and the even cheaper velcro strips I bought instead of my usual American Dreams frames. They are just SOOO expensive and I needed four of them! I'm having a hard time keeping tension in the fabric with these Hobby Lobby cheapies. What I wasted on the four I could have at least bought two AD's...maybe. Oh well, maybe I can slowly buy one at a time. Right now though, it's more important I buy one for Sleepy Hollow Mural and it's going to be expensive because it needs to be 36", then I'll worry about stocking up on 18"'ers.

Speaking of 18, it is VERY nice being able to stitch on 18ct again, even if it's just temporary. My contacts needed a break from me more than I needed a break from them...the joys of gas-perms. I still have to wear two pairs of readers on top of my glasses to see 18ct, but at least I can stitch on it without my contacts. There would be no way I could even begin to see 28ct triple glassed up. Why can't I get normal diseases? No, I have to get some mutated crazy astigmatism on steroids and eventually I'll need donor corneas and that fits the plot line of just about every horror movie ever!

I got some fabric for the glass project that was in the magazine...I'm still on the fence about doing it, but I do love the fabric! The picture doesn't do it justice...it's more purple and gray, but oh well.
Untitled
I'm still not sure it's going to be one of my other five, but I still have 11 months left in the year to decide, right Jo?

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Weekly Stitching

Well, I'd like to stay I had another great stitching week and all was well at work, but that would be utter bollocks. I basically spent the entire week soaking up every single drop of negative energy at work and, trust me, it was a virtual flood that filled my head so full it exploded. Thankfully, I had a neurologist appointment on Friday and finally got IV meds for my week long migraine. I'm still in and out with it...even the medrol dosepack is having trouble kicking this one. Some days I managed to stitch, some days I couldn't. Some days I tried to stitch through the pain, some days I couldn't. I'm not sure if I'm dreading tomorrow so much that it's all starting again, but I didn't manage much today either. But anyway, I left off here last week:
maleficent120
I SOOOO wanted to finish this row this past week because it should have been simple...all that was left of the cape was black fill-in. By mid week, I knew it was a lost cause. By the end of the week I figured I could at least make it by the end of the month, but now I'm not sure of that either:
maleficent126
Technically it's only a page of work, but it's super-confetti'ed and dithered out the wazoo, so I just don't know what to do but keep pluggin' on. Maybe if I can't finish by the end of the month, then maybe I can finish by the weekend. Granted, four and a half weeks for 7 pages of a HAED isn't anything to scoff at, but still, I have been doing much better than that lately and if I can only finish one row in a project per month, then I ain't gonna make 18 row finishes (or even full finishes) by the end of the year. Guess that's what I get for being a BAP stitcher. I'm just not comfortable with small projects anymore. I think it's also probably why I've never started a super-sized/max-colored or one of my own designed projects...since those would make a normal BAP look tiny, I would probably never finish one of them. Oh well, screen is hurting my eyes, so it's time to quit now. Guess it's also safe to say I got no reading done this week either (or probably will now that I'm so far behind with stitching).

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Weekly Stitching

Definitely not as good a stitchy week this week as last, but at least I figured out why last week was good (and this week was bad). It was a HORRIBLE work week all the way around...from the late hours I worked just to do my own job, to the other department that got phased out and just got told Friday morning. Unfortunately, because of my position, I've known for months and had to keep my mouth shut. I've had to look at these people everyday knowing they would be out of work soon and couldn't say a bloody word.

But when things like this happen, even though it doesn't directly affect me, I still feel like I'm the one who's getting the rug pulled out from under me. Obviously I get the difference because I do still have a job (at least for now), but I am reminded that the lab I love so much could care less about me...it's all about the numbers for them. My brain understands that, but my heart can't feel it that way and it feels like I'm being stabbed directly in the ticker. I'm also aware how selfish that sounds because I'm obviously not loosing my job (again, not yet), but it's never been just a "job" to me, it's like a second home and a family...and just like my real family, one that does not love me back. How ironic. And people wonder why I'm so walled up.

I did a lot of soul-searching this week (which affected my stitching too) and I think it's time I buckle down, get my credit cards decreased, and go back to school and finish my degree. I've always used the excuse that I didn't know what I wanted to do "when I grew up", but obviously I'm not good at anything job-wise but computers, so I might as well give in. I won't like it, but it's marketable and movable, which means I won't be trapped here if I don't want to be. That in itself will make it worth the social struggles of going back to school. Besides, it's not like my local college has a huge choice in degrees...it's either nursing, teaching or computers and I'm definitely not cut out for options 1 and 2. So, as of now (and we all know I'm not good with long term plans), come fall of 2019, it's time to enroll...again. That is if I still have a job by then and I don't come up with some other master plan. It also means new house is out of the question, at least for several more years.

But anyhoo, enough about things I can't control...obviously I stitched so much last week because I knew this week was coming and I always stitch like mad when I'm upset, nervous, or a basket case. It didn't even occur to me until my second long night at work this week, what the deal was. I thought I was doing a good job of ignoring the situation, making it through the workday with a smile and then going home and shutting down by watching Supernatural (for the umpteenth time) and moving my hands a million miles and hour with a needle and thread, not giving work a second thought. But by Wednesday, when I had a panic attack at noon because I couldn't go home and stitch right at that moment, I knew my shell was breaking. Funnily enough, I didn't even get to stitch Wednesday night. I ended up working too late.

Last week I left off here:
maleficent115
And barely got into her cape:
maleficent120
That "V" part was the worst confetti-wise and it took me most of the week, but I still had a couple of days that I got home too late to stitch. Most of the cape I did this weekend.

I'm really itching to start one of the new projects, but I really feel like I need to finish Maleficent's row first. If nothing else, at least I can control that. Or I'd like to think I can.

I figure the atmosphere at work next week will be pretty toxic and I'm not looking forward to it. I tend to soak up atmosphere like a cruise ship-sized sponge in the ocean which could really be a bad thing right now, especially since I finally feel like I have my head screwed on straight again for the first time in a year. If I end up with headaches all week, it means no stitching, which means no "therapy", which means I'll feel worse, which means more headaches...it's a never-ending cycle of suck. Right now, I just wanna stitch and not deal with anything else. Shame I can't do it at work.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Why?

I hate that we keep loosing all these great artists from my generation. They are way too young. God help me if I ever loose one of my boys...be it a Duran or a TT guy. I may never recover. RIP Delores, you were amazing.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Weekly Stitching and Reading

I'm not sure what kind of stitching steroids I was taking this past week but, considering I didn't stitch three whole days, I still managed to somehow finish almost two full pages of a HAED...seriously! Granted, I do buy large charts, but still, even I'm amazed at that! If I would have stitched for another three hours tonight, I probably could have finished the second page. I left off here last week:
maleficent110
and here is where I had to make myself stop tonight:
maleficent115
Actually, that V part is about a third of the way into the third page. Since I'm still waiting on orders to come in for my new projects, if I keep up this current rate, there is a good possibility I could finish this row in three weeks, maybe less. Besides, I still have to go to Hobby Lobby and get thread and scroll rods.

Since I decided to join in on Jo's 18 in '18, I still have to come up with five more projects for the year (which means more thread and more scroll rods). I have plenty of stash to choose from pattern-wise, but I thought I'd go through all my cross stitch magazines that I've collected to see if I could find a pattern in one of them. I must be keeping them for a reason other than my hoarding issues. So I spent Friday night going through magazines instead of stitching and there was only one pattern that said "maybe".
DSC08325
I definitely do not like the fabric used with this...it fades out too much with the colors of the glasses and there is a special Caron's color at the base of each glass that you can't even see on the picture, so I'm thinking a silver or maybe purplish-gray might be better. I'm still not sure I'm going to do this one yet, but what do you guys think?

I also kind of made a sort-of New Year's resolution to read more, but nothing definite or by any fit schedule. I just finished my first book of the year:
DSC08328
I was keeping it in my purse to read at work because I also said I was going to start taking breaks and a lunch. I never get to do either because someone else is always either on break or lunch, so I'm always left to hold down the fort. No matter what job I've ever held at the lab, that has always been the case. If I do get to eat at work, it's usually at my desk and I'm usually answering the phone while doing it. I do tend to do more receptionist duties than I.T. duties and that aggravates me (especially since receptionist is probably the one job I've never had there and Asper's aren't known for our people skills), but I have to just keep in mind that it's important to make sure I stay indispensable, you never know what could happen in the future.

But I'm digressing...needless to say, I managed one lunch and two actual breaks since Jan 1, so it took me a while to get through the book. Luckily, I had to take my car to get those pesky nails out of my tires before taking a work trip the other day, and I managed to finish the entire thing in less than an hour. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is another one of my geek crushes, so of course I adored this book! It was a super-fast read (once I had more than 10 minutes) and, as per usual Neil, it was hilarious in the weirdest places (I still disagree though...Pluto IS a planet!). Granted, there wasn't anything in the book I didn't already know, but he just has a way of making everything fun. He makes me want to learn more.

I wanted to read one book a week, but I might be looking more at one book a month, maybe two if I'm lucky. Since The Conjuring is on Netflix now and I've been watching it a lot, I remembered I have one of Ed and Lorraine Warren's books, so I'm going to read that one next. I may have read it before, but it had to have been 20+ years ago because I don't remember and I've probably had it that long. Plus, I just got in Stephen Fry's Mythos, so I guess that will be next or maybe another Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I'm going to try to be diverse. I just don't want my reading to distract from stitching, which I guess I'm also trying to make more diverse. I'm trying to expand my very tiny universe as big as I can within the constraints that I'm comfortable with. It's not much, but it's a start!

Friday, January 12, 2018

WIPocalypse 2018

I had initially decided not to sign up for any stitch groups because I'm not good with the follow through, but as the days of January have been flying by, I'm starting to change my opinions on lots of things (like in the previous post). I've always been a fan of WIPocalypse because the rules are so loose and free and that's right up my alley right now!

So, for January's question: Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!
Hi, I'm Keiley (pronounced Key-Lee), but my friends call me Keebs. I'm an Asper with OCD and numerous other conditions not important enough to name, but all of which make me an incredibly dedicated stitcher. I live in Northeast Arkansas and I work in I.T. in the medical community. I have two monster Shih-Tzu's, Bam and Bugs who are potentially as nutso as me. I am extremely Disney obsessed (as evidenced by the memorabilia covering almost every square inch of my home), but my annual trips to Disney World have been waylaid a bit until I get my finances in order. Aspers can go on forever about themselves, so I'm gonna shut up now and get to the stuff we're all here for.

Stitch-wise, I would LOVE to do Jo's 18 in 18, but I do tend to do big projects, so I'd have to dig up some small ones to round out the count and since I'm kind of doing this post off the cuff, I might have to come up with the rest of them in next month's post (plus, I need some thinkin' time on it to come up with some).

I hope I'm not repeating myself here from my year-end post, but right now I'm working on HAED's Maleficent by Annya Kai (and yes, my copy says Maleficent since I bought it the day it came out (although they did spell Maleficent wrong on it)...I don't go by the Evil Queen title because A) it's inaccurate and B) it's an affront to Maleficent herself, copyright infringement or not).
maleficent110
As of my last posting, I had only put in one day's worth of work on row 4, but my tentative goal for the year is at least one full row on each project, so that's what I'll be working towards this week and next, which, at my current rate, might get me halfway through the row unless the sky falls (which, in my world, is VERY possible on a weekly basis).

I always have at least one HAED Jasmine Becket-Griffith in rotation, and my largest HAED ever, Alice and the Bouguereau Princesses, just got row 4 finished in November of last year, so I hope to finish at least row 5 this year:
alice170
Jessica Clark's Snow White (a retired HAED), got row 1 finished in November as well, and I hope to finish row 2, but this is an incredibly difficult project to work on because the fabric is wonky. I'm not sure if it's because it's too thick, too soft, too tufted, or all of the above, but it's it a total pain, especially in confetti'ed areas because, after a few colors, I can barely get the needle through anymore. She's gonna be fab when finished...if I ever get there. I don't know why I just didn't start this over on a better piece of fabric. Maybe I should.
SnowWhite033
Another HAED, Annie Rodrigue's Night Wish, got it's first row finished in November too (November was a good month I guess), and my goal is row two by the end of the year. At least the next row won't have an entire skein of white in the moon because there will be a head in there!
NightWish038
I also (finally) started Sleepy Hollow Mural by Lewis T Johnson (another retired HAED) last year and made it about a third of the way through the first row. Since it's a horizontal piece, I'd be happy to finish the first row, but I'm not counting my chickens.
Hollow026
Also, I am NOT diggin working with Qsnaps, so I'm going to get big enough scroll rods to hold this piece. People tell me all the time I stitch fast, and I don't think I do at all, but I do stitch two-handed and since none of my stands like the Qsnaps, it's become a one-handed thing and it slows me down (well, I stitch two-handed and I have no life, so I have plenty of free time to stitch). I've seen the videos on how to make a Q-snap stand, but I'm not crafty like that and I don't like the way they sit, so it wouldn't help anyway.

I'm not sure I should even mention this one because I'm seriously considering drawering it (as in drawer of shame), but the eternal thorn in my side, Christmas Contest Suteki by Aimee Stewart (another HAED), if she stays in rotation, will hopefully get row 2 finished (although I've been perpetually stuck in the middle of row 2 all year):
Suteki036
Thorn #2, Tartan B. It's not hard, I just have a very difficult time staying focused on this piece. I can never work on it for more than an hour at a time and, so far, I've rarely worked on it more than a couple of hours per year. So I won't put in a goal more than that for this year either. If I ever do finish it, I'm going to make it into a pillow (when I learn how).
TartanB-012
Next up is The Bride Dollmaker (or Doll Making, depending on which of the documents I'm looking at) by Medusa Dollmaker from GeckoRouge. Despite my initial concerns with this kit and the fact that it's the most expensive cross stitch kit I have ever bought, it turns out that it is my absolute favorite one right now! I cannot believe how beautiful she's going to be! I was a bit shocked that I couldn't even tell it was her face until almost the final 100 or so stitches in that area, but once she started to "appear", it was almost magical and I couldn't put her down!
Dollmaker-020
Since the next two rows of her have to do with Freddy Krueger, I'm going to try to finish both rows by the end of the year. I love me some Fred!

Next up is Neni Design's Happy Haunts. I flew through her Lilo and Stitch project so fast that I thought this one would be the same, but it hasn't been the case. I've struggled with it all year. I'm not sure if it's because I did Stitch on 28ct and I'm doing this one on 18 or what, but the next Neni I do will definitely be on 28ct. I'm hoping to finish at least two rows of Happy Haunts year, but again, no chickin' countin'.
Haunts026
As of a few days ago, I decided to drawer two other thorns in my side and start four new projects:
Another HAED Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Faces of Faery 167, my first on 32ct. If all goes well, I would be happy with two row finishes, but I'm aiming for a total finish on this one.
167-000
Addict to Cross Stitch's Everest on my usual 28ct. Since it's horizontal, I think a row finish is ambitious, but not out of the question:
Everest-000
Tilton Crafts Once Upon A Time's Captain Hook by Daniel Kordek is on 28ct (shocker), but I'm using a tea color since all that white background is stitched (nightmare!). Hopefully at least one row will be finished by the end of the year. Night Wish is pretty monochromatic, but it's a purple monochromatic which is a LOT different that sepia. Hook could turn into my thorn piece for the year, but come on, it's Hook, he's too gorgeous to be a thorn!
Hook-000
And finally, for my first DoNa Stitches, I'm going with Rapunzel. I figure 18ct will be better (and I'm going with opalescent fabric). I don't see any reason why I can finish this project by the end of the year:Rapunzel-000
So that's at least 13...I need to come up with five more by next month! I definitely have enough stash for it, that's for sure!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

I'm a bad, bad duck!

Yep, only days ago I said I wasn't going to do any new starts. I had valid reasons...I already have too many projects going as it is, I may never finish the ones I have going now, especially since they are all so big, etc. Well, Aspers are good at logic, but following through with it is another story because we are often led more by our hearts than our heads, despite the strong argument that logic may give. We want what we want, when we want it and how we want it, consequences be damned sometimes.

A thought occurred to me on the way to work one day this week...I have all these great projects in my stash, charts that I have whole collections of from a small number of designers, but I tend to only work on HAEDs or Neni's and I decided that it's just not fair to those other designers! So I chose some patterns from my favorite online designers and decided it was time to branch out...in more ways than one (but more on that in a moment).

I know I'm overdue on a FanGirl Stitches and I think the Supernatural Alphabet is calling to me (probably because I'm binge watching it yet again after finishing The X Files, again), but that's another really short project (less than a month if I force it), so they may pop up too at some point. But here's a question...would you do a Supernatural-themed alphabet on opalescent fabric? I absolutely ADORE my Once Alphabet on it, but are "sparkles" appropriate for a man-dominant show? Every time I talk myself out of it, I always think of the imaginary friend episode when Sparkle gets murdered and he bleeds blood and glitter. That episode was hilarious! It could be my own little inside joke, but what do you think? Here's the pattern:
Supernatural Alphabet_00
As of now though, that one is on hold, but lets get on to the ones I chose.

I have all the DoNa Fairy Tale series and have been envious of Linda's work on Sleeping Beauty. Considering that Aurora is my favorite princess, normally I would do her first. But for some reason, Rapunzel call is louder (probably all the purple), so I decided to start with her:
Rapunzel-000
I'm going to do her on 18ct opalescent white Aida, which I have already ordered and I have enough thread in my stash for the entire project. I just have to buy scroll rods (and that's the catch with all of these...I am completely out of scroll rods, I didn't even think that was possible!). Luckily, I already have a Rapunzel needle minder.

Next up I decided on Tilton Craft's Once Upon A Time's Daniel Kordek's Captain Hook (although I'm still miffed he never did a Charming...having Charming and Hook framed next to one another would literally be the highlight of my entire stitching career, oh well, I'll have to make due with Hook, The Huntsman, and The Mad Hatter - unless I break down and get Pinocchio too or maybe the one with Emma and Regina, guess it depends how horrible stitching sepia is):
Hook-000
I'm going to do him on 28ct Tea Monaco simply because there is SOOO much white in this (and yes, ALL that background is stitched), I can't deal with stitching white on white fabric, especially this much of it. I had almost all the thread other than the two colors that have multiples each (I prefer to buy those in the same dye lots). But I have to have scroll rods for him too. I have at least ordered a needle minder for him although I don't know when it will be in. Since I still have to get the rest of the thread and scroll rods, I have time.

The next choice was harder. I absolutely adore Addict To Cross Stitch charts and I have several in my stash, but picking that first project was a lot more difficult. In the end, I went with Everest:
Everest-000
I'm not a fan of the horizontal project, but I think I'm having Disney World withdrawals and this might help. I'm going to do it on 28ct Monaco as well, but probably just plain white. I had most of the thread, but I'm missing several colors and, broken record here, I need scroll rods. I have also ordered a needle minder for it as well, but I'm not sure it's the right one for the project, so I may keep searching.

Last, but certainly not least, I decided on my "small" project...it's a HAED (obviously not a new design choice), but it's my first Faces, Jasmine Becket-Griffith's Faces of Faery 167:
167-000
The exciting part here? I'm going to do her on 32ct Silver Moon Lugana...my first foray with that small a thread count which means she will only be 7x7 when finished! It's going to be a good test because, if it works out well, it will SOOO make a difference on a supersized HAED if I could use 32ct instead of 28. I'm also going to buy all new thread for her because I will be doing it 1x1 and I want new "clean" thread for her. Again, needle minder ordered as well as fabric, but I might have a scroll rod for this, especially because of the next paragraph...

So, I also decided it's time to start a "bin of shame". I don't have one, at least not a real one. Anything that gets put in a drawer is usually because it needs framing and it's never in there long (except for my Design Works mice and those are being held until they are all finished and can be framed together). Can anyone guess the first occupants of the bin? Yep, A Summer Ball and 35th Anniversary Celebration. They are getting removed from their scroll rods, bagged up, and binned until maybe one day the urge will strike again. They have literally been sitting out since 2015 without being touched and frankly I'm getting tired of dusting them. At least for now, it's the best choice (and it frees up at least one scroll rod, 35th's rods are too big).

I'm also thinking, depending how all these new ones work into the rotation (which I still haven't worked out yet), that Suteki might also end up in the bin of shame because I have another project that would be much better suited for my Sister that will be easier and that she will probably like better anyway, she's probably just as much a Scooby fan as a Disney fan...I like other cartoons, but I don't really "cheat" on the house of mouse...just flirt a bit with the other guys...but I am digressing:
Scooby Doo - 1
After doing Lilo and Stitch Otherwise and working on Happy Haunts, I prefer Neni Designs on 28ct as well, so I will need thread and a needle minder for this one too (and yes, ANOTHER stupid scroll rod as well as a bobbin box...thanks to these four new ones, I'm now out of bobbin boxes too), but I'm thinking it might go a lot faster than Suteki. If I ever decide to finish her in the future, I will figure out something else to do with her (although heaven knows what).

Am I crazy (wait...should't ask that question because we already know the answer), am I stretching myself too thin? At least Rapunzel and Faces 167 have a chance to be finished easily within the year, so it can't be all bad, right? Oh well, won't know until I try, so as soon as I get paid, off to Hobby Lobby I go to buy thread and scroll rods (and then probably to 123 Stitch to order all the thread that Hobby Lobby was out of) and by then all my needle minders, fabrics, and various other knickknacks like new gridding pens and storage folders for the patterns should all have arrived by then. Maybe I'll start one (although I don't know which yet) about the time I finish this current row of Maleficent!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Weekly Stitching

I know it's just another week's worth of stitching, but considering it's a new year, this post seems like it's different for some reason. Maybe it's just me being weird...wouldn't be the first time! In any case, lots to show! I left off on The Bride at the end of year post:
Dollmaker_015
And I finally finished the row on Saturday:
Dollmaker-020
Since Maleficent has been "calling" to me, I decided (along with a little support from you guys!), that she was where I needed to go back to. I left off at the fourth row finish back in June:
maleficent107
And since I've only worked on her today, not much to show so far:
maleficent110
I still haven't decided whether or not I'm going to go back to weekly rotations or row rotations, but since I realized that I only have two and 3/4 rows left on her, right now I'm thinking row. There is a good chance I could finish her this year...maybe...no promises!

I also said I wasn't going to start a new project, but a new start is calling to me. No projects in particular are doing the calling, but something small, maybe finish-able by the end of the year, maybe a non-HAED or maybe a JBG Faces or a Mini. I already know a QS is not so quick. I still want to hold off though. I have way too many projects going to start yet another one. I'm trying to control the urge, but we all know I'm not good at controlling my urges!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

End of year stitch summary and 2018 not-really goals

Sorry I've been MIA for a couple of weeks, I've been on vacation and have been on computer strike...happens to those of us in the IT biz when we get time off. Just needed some good 'ole decompression time sans what I deal with 60 hours per week with at work. So I've spent the week at home, in my nightgown, eating like a pig, binge watching TV and stitching like crazy with as little human contact as possible. I did get my haircut and colored this week...the purple is gone and I already miss it. It will be a while before I can go back blonde because of the purple residue, but maybe by summer.

It may have been a rough year personally (maybe my roughest ever), but it was a pretty good stitch year, at least towards the end of it. This might be a long one, so sit back and get ready for it!

I left off on Maleficent in Feburary 2016 at the end of row 3:
maleficent082
And I completed my goal of a row finish on June 11th, putting in 116.56 hrs in 2017 for a total of 504.63 hrs overall:
maleficent108
For Alice and the B's, I left off at the beginning of row 3 on December 30th, 2016:
alice107
And left off at the end of row 4 on November 8th, putting in 276.15 hrs for 2017 (98.28 hrs in October alone), for a total of 697.92 hrs, also with a completed goal for the year:
alice170
For Snow White, I left off in June of last year with a goal of the current row and possibly one or two more rows:
SnowWhite017
And I did manage to finish the current row on November 12th, putting in 58.03 hrs, for a total of 115.67 hrs:
SnowWhite033
Oh Night Wish, the all purple project that should be a joy because, well, it's purple, but it's been a bit of a pain because of the combination of the confetti and the mind-numbing white moon. I left off here back in May of 2016:
NightWish013
My goal was just to finish the current row, which I did on November 24th, 80.48 hrs in, for a total of 131.2 hrs:
NightWish038
When it comes to the proverbial thorn in my side, Suteki, I gave myself no goal because I wasn't sure whether or not I was even gonna continue on her. As of now, I'm still not sure, but I keep going on her for some reason. I left off here back in May of 2016:
suteki015
I managed to finish the current row in March of this year:
suteki020
And made it almost halfway into the second row by the end of November, putting in a total of 79.74 hrs for 2017, for a grand total of 168.82 hrs:
Suteki036
The last official goal was also a maybe finish - Tartan B. I left off on it way back in Jan of 2016:
TartanB-010
And I put in a whole two days this year, the last of which was just December 23rd. I don't keep time on this since it's older than before I kept time, but I don't work on it for very long because I can't focus on it for more than an hour or so at a time for some odd reason. But anyway, here's the progress:
TartanB-012
I didn't touch the other two pains in the tush...A Summer Ball and Disney's 35th Anniversary Celebration (which is funny considering 2017 was Disney World's 45th Anniversary). I hate both of those projects and it might take an act of the heavens to make me finish either one of them.

The first of the official new starts of 2017 was Happy Haunts and I didn't have a goal for it. It became my New Stitchy Start Blog subject, but since I stopped working on it faithfully pretty early on, I can't say I was too successful on that front. The total project will look like this when finished:
Happy Haunts_000
I put in 90.77 hrs for 2017, finishing the first row on December 5th. It's a lot harder than it looks! Lots of confetti!
Haunts026
The other new start for 2017 was Sleepy Hollow Mural. I've had it kitted up for years, but decided it was finally time and I decided to test out Q-snaps for the first time. I'm not enjoying the Q-snaps at all, but I'm doing fairly well on it. Here's the project in its whole:
Sleepy Hollow Mural
Before I moved the Q-snaps over, I was here, tossing between pages 6 and 7:
Hollow026
And I barely made much more progress once I moved the snaps, putting in a total of 117.57 hrs for 2017 and last stitched on December 20th, about one-third of the way through the row, although it was nice to see a purple bat appear in the muted forest:
Hollow027
I ended up buying a surprise kit, The Bride Dollmaker by GeckoRouge (although there is some confusion to the name...some of the documentation says The Bride Doll Making, but it's just semantics):
Dollmaker_000a
I started her July 16th and stopped just tonight in the middle of page 4, 71.08 hrs in:
Dollmaker_015
Her face is just absolutely gorgeous close up! It was touch and go there for a while because I couldn't even see it until I was almost finished with the page. I also lost a color...either I lost it or a dog stole it. I'm hoping a dog didn't eat it because that means a very expensive trip to the vet, but I would think if that was the case, then there would have be thread shavings around, so I'm not too worried about that (at least not yet, but I'm still on poo patrol just in case). It had to either be me, or maybe it was the chair...again, either is completely possible. I keep looking for it, but I've already got the conversion specks from GeckoRouge and replaced it. I've actually never lost a bobbin before, at least not for longer than 10 minutes.

I'm going to continue on her until I finish the row and I really only have about a page and a half to go. After that, I'm not sure where I'm heading back to. Maybe Maleficent since its been so long? Or maybe back to Happy Haunts...maybe row 2 will be easier than row 1. I want to finish at least one of these puppies by the end of next year and Happy Haunts would be my best choice. Tartan B is a lost cause I think. Besides, I want to finish it into a pillow and I still don't know how to do that. I don't want to start anything new until I finish at least one of my current projects. I have so many going now, it's just too much. There is no way to make any real progress with so many projects in tow. I often wonder how stitchers with dozens of WIPs ever finish anything.

I did have one finish this year, but I'm not sure it counts because it only took me two days and 9.02 hrs. I wanted to have at least one finish for the year so I picked a small one...Supernatural Exorcism:
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I still don't have it framed, but once I do, you'll be the second to know! It was a nice distraction to stitch a project while you are binge-watching the show. It makes it more personal.

And that's it! All my stitching for 2017. It's roughly about 899.40 hrs for the year (still can't count in the Tartan B totals, so it's hard for accuracy). I might be down from previous years, but in my defense, it was a rough year, a REALLY rough year. I'm not going to set any goals for next year because I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants right now and I'm just not sure where life is gonna take me. I don't think I'm gonna have any new starts, if I'm going to join any new stitchy groups or if I'm going to continue on with my current ones, or where next year is gonna lead me stitchy-wise at all. It's obvious that the New Stitchy Start Blog isn't keeping me in check, even on one project, so I guess I'm definitely dropping it next year.

I am still keeping up with my orts though, even if I'm not posting it. Here is the jar for the year, in villains world:
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I'm down from previous years, so either I'm getting better about frogging (doubt it), or I did stitch less this year:
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2014 and 2015 are still my top years since I've been keeping up with orts. I still contest that OCD is nothing but organized hoarding.

I will say that my stash is through the roof from last year. If I had the money to kit them all up, I could probably easily do a year or two of starts, but I can't imagine how much it would cost to do that, let alone how I would store them in my tiny little house overrun with Disney crap.

I'm probably 60 to 70 lbs up from last year, I didn't read one single book this year (although I probably binge-watched numerous shows a multiple of times a piece), I'm still just as much in debt this year as last (if not more due to all these hospital bills), I'm isolated from just about everyone and everything, but hey, at least I have my stitching and my pups, right? So this year wasn't a total bust! Got to remain optimistic or I'll just crash.

What I can say is that for 2018 I'm gonna TRY to loose some weight, I'm gonna TRY to read more, I'm gonna TRY to pay off some bills, I'm gonna TRY to better myself, no matter the outcome for me or my family...that's all I can promise for next year. I think, after the year I've had, I'm through promising myself or anyone else anything (at least for the moment). I can probably say with certainly (although no promises) that I probably WON'T be going back to any therapist or shrink, I probably WON'T be going to my 30th high school reunion, I probably WON'T be going to Disney anywhere, and I probably WON'T be building a new house in 2018.

So here's to a MUCH better 2018 for not just me, but to all you guys, who have stuck with me through thick and thin, although I'm not sure why! A lot of my bloggy besties have some exciting things in store for 2018, so if I can't have a good year, maybe I can live vicariously through you guys!

And since I mentioned it in the intro and it's been ringing in my head through this entire post, let's ring in 2018 with a little Take That, a few years old and the video doesn't jibe at all since it goes with the first Kingsman soundtrack (but seriously, how hot does Mark look?), but it's how I'd like best to enter the new year, on a positive note looking toward the future one day at a time:

Gotta go now, time for Disney fireworks!