October 31, 2011

Mermaids of the Deep Blue - Finished!!

I was a busy stitching bee this weekend. Aside from need-to-dos like laundry and food, my bum was parked on my stitching chair and by early Saturday night, all the stitching on Mermaids of the Deep Blue was done. Woo-hoo!!

I decided to take a break before beading, so I putzed around for a bit then grabbed a shower. Feeling nicely refreshed, I settled down at around 11pm to bead... and bead... and bead!! Oh my goodness, there were a LOT of beads. Before I knew it, 3 am rolled around and bedtime was declared. Bedtime??? When I'm so close to finishing a project??!! But, sanity (or whatever's left of it at 3 in the morning) prevailed, and off to bed we went.

My right hand index finger and thumb are sore today. Why, you ask? Hmm, I'm not sure... could it be the 8 or so hours I spent beading yesterday?! *giggle* But darn if the finished piece is not well worth the pain. ;)

An observation and something to keep in mind if this is on your list of things to stitch: there are a lot of solidly packed beading in this piece and things got a little crowded in some areas on 32ct hand-dye linen. Would I do it again on 32ct? YES! But that's cos I love working with this count, and I would put up with a lot for it. :)

Enough prattling on my end... I know many of you have scrolled down to look at the pictures first. I would have.... LOL!!!! By the way, I didn't upload all the close-up shots here. For more, click for their PICASA album.

The Particulars:
Mermaids of the Deep Blue by Mirabilia
Fabric: Splash, 32ct hand-dyed linen by Picture This Plus
Stitched 2 over 2 Floss: DMC, Kreinik
Beads: Mill Hill
Started: September 4th, 2011
Finished: October 30th, 2011

October 28, 2011

Friday Randomness

Guess what? I don't have to be at work today. Yeehaw!!! Nope, I didn't take the day off, but after calculating my hours yesterday, I discovered that with a couple of my students being sick this week, I spent more time in the office than usual and I'm all done for the week!

So after calling my boss, I could either go back to bed or start stitching. It's now an hour later, and I'm still mucking around. ;)

Thanks for all your support on the Mermie challenge. Sara is such a good enticer, dangling the promise of showing me her finished piece and before I know it, I'd jumped in and the trap is sprung!!.. so I better wrap this up and get my act in order if I'm going to have a finish to show you guys. ;)

Yesterday, hubby sent me a link to some Paper Cut Art. I can't remember that exact link so I ran a google search. The talents of these artists are mind blowing. I find myself sitting and staring, slack jawed, at the intricacy and grace of this art form. I will let the pictures speak for themselves, and do click on the links to see more. (I am only posting but a mere few of of these talents and invite you to discover more on your own.)

by Emma van Leest - CLICK FOR MORE

by Aoyama Hina - CLICK FOR MORE
by Peter Callesen - CLICK FOR MORE

by Yulia Brodskaya - CLICK FOR MORE

by Chris Natrop - CLICK FOR MORE

by Bovey Lee - CLICK FOR MORE

by Tomoko Shioyasu - CLICK FOR MORE

October 27, 2011

The Kitchen Sink, Anyone?

I usually try to keep blog posts topical, as I don't know if it bugs you guys for me to go willy-nilly in all sorts of directions, rambling on about nothing, and jumping from one topic to another like I'm on a sugar high. ;)

I hope you won't mind me making an exception today, as it's a willy-nilly-lots-of-tidbits kinda day. :)

First up, I forgot about the October TUSAL yesterday. Eeek! So, here is my ORT jar, a day late, with lots of red rayon from October's Chinese Garden part.

A huge WELCOME to all my new followers, and a similar huge HELLO to all my existing followers and blogging friends. I try to return the favor and stalk your blogs, but sometimes I'm flummoxed as your blogs aren't listed on your profiles. Imagine this scene....
Me.... all excited.... "NEW BLOG TO STALK!! NEW BLOG TO STALK!!"
Eager little finger goes "CLICK CLICK CLICK"
Anticipation builds, then a furrow on the brow (which incidentally is bad for me as it makes lines on my forehead which then makes me look old!!)... "WHERE'S THE BLOG LINK??!!!"
Looks around all bewildered, and trust me, me bewildered is not a good thing. For some weird reason, inanimate objects choose these exact moments to run into me! ;)
Here's how to make sure your blogs are displayed on your Profile page. :D

I try to reply to all your comments via email. It always makes my day to read what you have to say and I'm blessed to have gotten to know some of you really well. :D Sometimes, your contact emails aren't listed with blogger and as a result I get a "no-reply" address to blogger.

To add an email address to your blogger account, go to EDIT PROFILE and select SHOW EMAIL ADDRESS. Be sure to enter your email address in the space allocated a few lines below this selection.

I'd recommend not using your main email address but instead use another address set aside for your blogging demands and needs. :)

A while ago, I had a poll about changing the look of this blog. The votes were pretty unanimous on the option to keep it the same. There were two votes for change... I wonder who you are. ;)

What I did change is the look of my FINISHES BLOG. (This link is located on the tab bar at the top of this page.) After playing with different options, I decided to go with Blogger's new dynamic view option, but keep my linen background. What I love about it is while I've set the page to a SNAPSHOT default, you as a user can select different viewing options. :) The MOSAIC option is quite cool. :D

Sara challenged me to a Mermaids of the Deep Blue finish this weekend if she finishes her Mystery Project by today. Well, her end is met. She sent me a picture of her Happy Dance and it's STUNNING!!! Since it's a gift for her mom, she won't be posting a pic till after November, but check out her blog anyways. :D My end of the challenge... hrmm... maybe I should take tomorrow off? LOL!!!

My friend, Jen, started blogging again after a long hiatus. I think she got sick of me bugging her about it all the time. ;) Stop over and say hi... she's an amazing stitcher and has the most hilarious dog.

October 26, 2011

Random Afternoon Question

If you won the lottery, what is the FIRST thing you would buy YOURSELF? Save the taking care of parents, significant others, kids, doing good, etc. for later. This is about YOU!! ;)

I would go out and buy me a Lexus RX Hybrid SUV. Top of the line, throw in everything AND the kitchen sink, and in a sexy metallic pearl color. :D

October 24, 2011

Good Stitching Intentions...

I had a stitching weekend all planned out. I was going to try and finish up the stitching for Mermaids of the Deep Blue, since the last X of the left mermie went in on Friday night. I thought, surely 2 full days of stitching will take care of the right mermie, so I took a quick pic with the iPod before scrolling it up on the frame.

HAH!!!! I underestimated the pull of S. Florida's gorgeous fall weather. You see, except for the summer months, when I only go out when I absolutely have to (yes, I intensely dislike the hot weather and I live in SFL... that's the story for another day, hehehe), I love spending time sitting on the balcony or the front patio. Since I don't have a floor stand (yet), that means stitching is out of the question.

So, Saturday was spent cleaning the outdoors. I vacuumed the carpets, threw all the pillows into the wash, and wiped down the french doors... all the while listening to the splash and gurgle of our self-built fountain.

Where was hubby during this clean up craze? Well, he had to fix a leak in my toilet. *giggle* Apparently the filler whatchamacallit thingy decided that instead of just doing the mundane filling thing it was made for, it also wanted to be a fountain! It's now in the trash... how's that for initiative? ;)

Then, he worked on putting up a picture light for my TW Peacock Tapestry. I have always said that this piece is the one I am most proud of and the poor little thing has been hiding in the dark all this time. Last week, we found the perfect LED picture light at IKEA. He spliced the wire into a wall switch and VOILÁ!!! All weekend long, I kept turning on the switch just to look at it. LOL!!!!

Sunday, we sat out in the patio drinking coffee and listening to the palm leaves rustle and almost fell asleep, it was so relaxing.

So, at the end of the weekend, I am still left with the overlit mermie picture from Friday night. Maybe it will get some attention tonight...

October 21, 2011

Friday Randomness

Fancy a cuddle anyone?

Tsk tsk, were you expecting to cuddle up to some stud-ly stuff? ;) Maybe next time.... hahahah!!!

Happy weekend, my dears!

October 19, 2011

Random Afternoon Question

I'm home today... waiting for the a/c guy to show up and he's running late. Why is it that maintenance appointments always runs late. I just hope that he'll be able to make it today and we won't have to reschedule.

I'm still playing catch up on blog reading, but I'm happy to report that I'm more than halfway through the IHSW blogs! :D I'm trying valiantly to get to #84, so that I can work on my blog roll list. It seems like every time I catch up, I'm behind again... is there some new law of the universe that dictates is has to be so? ;)

Sometimes I'm so far behind that in the back of my mind, I think I should just start over but I haven't been able to do that yet. I find that I have to catch up on each post, even if it's just a skim through. Perhaps that's my anal retentiveness showing through... LOL!!!

Which brings me to today's question...

How much time do you spend reading blogs and if you're behind, do you try to catch up?

October 17, 2011

IHSW October Pics

Hey there, Hermitters!!! :D How were your weekends? We had 84 little Hermies stitching madly away and I can't wait to check out your blogs and drool at all the eye-candy!!!

Mine went pretty well. I didn't get to hermit for the entire weekend *pout*, but all in all, I got quite a bit done.

Finally finished Part 7 of Chinese Garden Mandala.... wheeeee!!! Using the rayon for the leaves was no fun and I ended up with achy fingers from working them gently *snort*... more like tugging and pulling... through, but the 3-D effect is amazing!! I also finished all 4 of the lotus borders. :D

Autumn Falling Leaves Pond

Close up of falling leaves

Chinese Garden Mandala - Parts 1-7

With CG taken care of, Mermaids of the Deep Blue went back on the scroll stand, and I started with the skin and backstitching. Not too much done as yet, but I hope to finish them by the end of the month. *EEEK!!!*

Sara (Xeihua) has been working on a mystery project for a few months now and since she can't show the picture on her blog, I'm posting it here. Isn't is gorgeous? :D

Last, but not least.... BLOGS TO STALK!!! *nya-hahahahaha*

October 14, 2011

Friday Randomness

Hello Hermitters!!! I know some of you are already deep into your weekends, and some of you are looking forward to it. I know I, for one, can't wait for this work day to be over. ;)

Whatever time zone you may be in and whenever you get to stitch, have a fantastic HERMIT AND STITCH WEEKEND!!!

Hey... wait a minute!!!! How did those pics get in there??!! In case you're interested in more than the *ahem* face, his name is Matt Bomer. ;)

October 12, 2011

Random Afternoon Question

It's only Wednesday afternoon stateside and we are at 56 Hermitters for this weekend already! How awesome!!! I am giddy with anticipation, first of all to be able to just ignore everything and stitch, and then to see your gorgeous WIPs. :D

We have quite a few first timers... WELCOME!! :D
And to the repeat offenders, *giggle* YEE-HAW!!! It's HERMIT TIME!!!

Taylor, if you see this, comments on your blog are not working. :( Sorry, I couldn't email you directly as there isn't any email attached to your blog.

Mon, do you by chance have a blog we can stalk? I couldn't find any links on your profile page. :)

Now, for today's question... it's a loaded one and no cheating!! LOL!

How many WIPs do you have and feel free to list them all. :D

I've always been a one-project girl, that is until the Chatelaine classes got a hold of me. I've been told that just because I'm taking a class, and technically can't stitch on a project until a new part it released, I still have to count them as WIPs. How is that fair, may I ask? *stomps foot*

So, taking that into account, I have 4:
  • Chinese Garden Mandala
  • Spring Knotgarden
  • Mermaids of the Deep Blue
  • Regal Tiger *shudder just thinking of the yucky hard aida*

October 10, 2011

IHSW - October

Here we are at the precipice of another International Hermit and Stitch Weekend. It seems like we just had the last one, doesn't it??!! :S Pretty soon here, Christmas will be upon us and then it will be time to greet 2012. YIKES!!!

I, for one, hope that this weekend will find me able to stitch much more the the last two weekends. This past Sunday was spent helping our neighbors move and I didn't get around to putting at stitch in till after 10pm.

Today, Monday, we took the day off, but ended up doing things around the house. As I blog this, nary a stitch has yet to go in, so I'm sorry to say, I don't have any viable Chinese Mandala Garden pictures to show. :(

If I don't manage to finish the Fall Scene of Chinese Garden Mandala by the weekend, that's what I'll be concentrating on. If it is finished before the weekend, then it will be Mermaids of the Deep Blue all the way.

So, who's in??? :D What will you be stitching?

We had 67 Hermitters last month. Think we'll top 70 this month? How about 80?... ;)

October 7, 2011

Friday Randomness

While it had been expected for a while, it still came as a shock when news broke a couple of days ago that Steve Jobs has passed away after years of fighting pancreatic cancer.

I won't take up too much time echoing all the sentiments that has and will be said about him, other than that I agree with everything and I'm very much saddened with his passing. He was a true visionary and has forever changed the way we communicate, and I can only imagine the heights and depths that technology could and would have gone if he had won his battle.

What I will get into is the fact that in the 21st century, with all our medical and technological advances, cancer still runs rampant. Diagnosis seems to multiply faster than breeding bunnies, and every second more people are having their worlds turned upside down and inside out.

One of my friends was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer last year and they did a mastectomy on that breast. Months of chemo and radiation followed, but she came out of it with her positive outlook intact. A few weeks ago, they found "something." They sent her for a CT scan, which was non-conclusive, so an MRI followed. After days of waiting for the results, and not getting promised calls, she called them. Long story short, "Not sure what it is," they told her, "could be lymph nodes, could be something else, so come back in 6 months and we'll see." Okay, like.... WTF???!! How does that even make sense???! This is someone with a history of cancer (her dad died of cancer too) and their answer is 'wait and see???'

Hubby was reading about a colon cancer patient's experience, and how he went to see two specialists: an oncologist who wanted to do radiation and a surgeon who wanted to do surgery. Neither was willing to discuss other options. Now, I realize that those are their fields, and that's where they make their money. But when did it happen where doctors have a complete disregard for the welfare of their patients and only think about the bottom line??! When did it go from a healthcare profession to seeing patients as numbers?

There is a believe out there that the cure for cancer exist. I agree with that. I know there are all sorts of cancer and each one is different and would need a different cure, but there is something out there. *cue X-Files music* ;) But as long as pharmaceutical companies can charge upwards of $500 for one pill and with the foothold they have as lobbyists, it seems hopeless to think that the cure for cancer would ever be allowed to see the light of day.

And yet.. hope HAS to spring eternal, or else, where would we be?

Do you know what hope is?
It's magic and it's free
It's not in a prescription
It's not in an IV

It punctuates our laughter
It sparkles in our tears
It simmers under sorrows
And dissipates our fears

Do you know what hope is?
It's reaching past today
It's dreaming of tomorrow
It's trying a new way

It's pushing past impossible
It's pounding on the door
It's questioning the answers
It's always seeking more

It's rumours of a breakthrough
It's whispers of a cure
A roller-coaster ride
Of remedies unsure

Do you know what hope is?
It's candy for the soul,
It's perfume for the spirit,
To share it makes you whole

~Author Unknown~

October 5, 2011

Random Afternoon Question

After last week's mooning fiasco, LOL, how about a subdued stitching question today? ;)

Where on the fabric do you start stitching? Corners? Center?...

I always try and start on the bottom left corner. I work best going upwards and my stitches sit better when I head in that direction.

With Chatelaines though, I start smack in the middle, but try and work my way upwards as soon as I can...

October 3, 2011

Summer Lotus Pond

Part 7 of the Chinese Garden Mandala was released last Friday. Martina included both the Summer and Autumn scene, as well as the lotus borders that envelops the seasons, *squeeeeeee* and all my intentions of finishing Mermaids of the Deep Blue first went flying out the window. ;)

I'm working on the lotus borders for the Spring and Summer scenes in tandem, and still have backstitching to do. However, I finished the Summer Lotus Pond... with over 1 kois!!! They're so darn cute and I just couldn't resist sharing this gorgeous scene with you guys. :D

Summer Lotus Pond

Close up of over 1 kois

Close up of lotus flowers and lily pads