Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Let's Make a Deal

I think I've written before that I like to make deals with myself. It's one of the ways I trick myself into productivity rather than just looking at my never-ending to-do list and thinking of procrastination techniques. I'm very good at that last bit. I can even rationalize my behavior quite well. But, I digress. The deal. I've got a boat load of professional tasks needing to be accomplished by the end of the calendar year - annual portfolio reviews, continuing education courses, regulatory filings, etc. All are time consuming, but are required. I need to buckle down and "just do it". So, the deal I'm making with myself is to work as hard as I can to accomplish all of these activities, and then I can take the rest of the calendar year free of professional responsibilities and use that time to stitch/craft! Doesn't that sound like good motivation? I think so. I've already made some progress as of yesterday. If I keep working steadily, I might get to take most of December off. Which means I could really do some crafting damage before the end of the year.

Lest you think I'd post without a pic to share, here is the latest on Medieval Town Mandala. I finished the last town, FINALLY!!!! Go me! Looks like I'm in good shape to finish by the end of the year. :D

Medieval Town Mandala as of 111610

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quilt Festival Stash Report

Might as well call it what it is. lol. And so, it begins. There were saved stash monies. There were saved birthday monies (from June even!). There was much retail therapy in which to indulge. And, I even came home with money in my pocket. OK, so my enabling friends (I'm looking at you, Melissa, Annette, and Amanda!) have seen to it that I've spent some of that since I came home. But as of this writing, I still have money in my pocket! Let us forget that I don't actually quilt. Completely beside the point. I do, however, do many other crafty things with small needles (though Annette is trying to teach me to make crochet button trim with an actual crochet hook and everything) and fabric. And, I confess to have been toying with the idea of making a quilt-like project for some time (my enabling friends are most definitely to blame). So all of that led to all of this:

houston stash 1

These are wool felt applique. You can't see me, but I'm smiling. Cause the colors are *my* colors (autumn palette). The kits make the table runner and table topper from the pattern on the right. It's acorns and oak leaves. Click here for a bigger picture. They were sold out of the Gourdy's Gang kit. But that's OK, because I ordered it from the shop today . I told Annette the shop had one left, so I think I'm directly and indirectly responsible for the shop making their rent for the month. Just doin' my bit for the economy. Gotta keep those small businesses in business!

houston stash 2

Lots of fun in this pic. Fun trims, including some Halloween themed; a wool felt cupcake pincushion kit; a quilted bat ornament; various lampwork beads; old keys to use for embellishments; buttons for button trim; and a cool cabochon to make into a needle minder. And, why yes, those are skull beads in the center. You will probably be seeing those again at some point in the not terribly distant future.

houston stash 3

Y'all know I can't go anywhere without buying scissors. It's an addiction. BUT, these scissors each have a unique purpose (no, really, I mean it. You can stop laughing). The solid black pair Melissa swears are the bestest applique scissors in the world. Bonus, they are great for metallic fibers. So, I needed them. Cause I do work with metallics, and I plan to do some applique, eventually. The other two pair are from Bohin. I don't have any Bohin scissors. The larger pair is the perfect size for cutting smaller pieces of fabric. At least that's what Annette says. I bought her story and the scissors. The embroidery scissors? See (above) the fact that I didn't own any Bohin embroidery scissors. Really, that's a problem that needed remedied. And the needles just jumped in the bag for the ride.

The scissor purchases led to a later discussion about the scissor frogs that Melissa and Annette have (converted use flower frogs). I've had scissor frog envy for quite some time but have never found a suitable contraption locally. Annette to the rescue with some Bay of Evil links that led me to some Etsy links that led me to this:

flower frog 1

You know what is so completely awesome about this? Not only does the frog (the clear part) have 16 holes for scissors, but there are another 13 loops around the outside I can use to also display scissors. I'm so excited if I were I puppy I'd've pee'd the carpet. The Etsy seller, bless her heart, shipped it today. Definitely stalking the postie. Of course, now I have an Etsy account. Danger, Will Robinson!!!

houston stash 4

There was actually one cross stitch booth, The Silver Needle. The Halloween chart needed to come home with me. Yes, I'm participating in the Halloween giveaway next year. Hence there were some Halloween fabric purchases as well as some dupioni silk. And, isn't that key fabric awesome? I'm going to age it.

houston stash 5

Evidence that I actually do plan to make a quilt. Yeah, I know I don't need another hobby. It's a small quilt, really, I promise. Aren't those fabrics festive and fun? The book actually has five different variations of the same basic quilt. Some of the others would make great graduation gifts for nieces and nephews (beginning with 2012, there are one or two graduating each year for the next 5 or 6 years). Perfect size for a college dorm room throw. See, I was practical. And the holiday quilt will be a good practice/warm up version.

houston stash 6

Finally, some additional fabric purchase to finish a variety of completed (and future) stitching projects. The black is hand dyed kohl wool felt for a couple of planned projects.

That's it for the stash report. I may be back tomorrow with a report on the whole Festival.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More New Stuff & Sundry Ramblings

I'm so creative with post titles. Really, it takes too much energy.

I had another happy yesterday. MONTHS ago I ordered new bedding - a quilt and matching shams from L.L.Bean. I fell in love with them and decided after 10 years of the same comforter, I was entitled to new. But, apparently I was not the only one to feel this way. Despite ordering within days of receiving the catalog, it was back ordered, and then back ordered again. You know, to the point they send you that postcard asking if you want to cancel. I decided to let it ride and see what happened. Well, here's what happened:
new bedding 2

It's overcast and raining here, so not the best photo (always have an excuse, don't I? HA!). The throw pillows and dust ruffle are not new. One of the ways I rationalized the new purchase was that I could use some of what I have, thus minimizing the cash outlay. I'm super happy with it, and it was a really nice surprise when I got home last night to see that it had finally arrived. The matelasse bed cover at the foot is old, too. I may put it on the bed underneath the new quilt so the new quilt shows better. We only use the matelasse in the winter time.

Watched the election results last night. I have some mixed feelings here. I should state up front that I tend to the liberal side on social issues, but I'm definitely a fiscal conservative (no surprise to those who know me well). So, neither major party really represents me. Thus, I'm never quite satisfied. The only victory I'm claiming after last night is that I (personally) will not have to put up with Nancy Pelosi in the news regularly. I'll leave it at that so as not to promote any flaming.

So here's where the mixed feelings come in. Why is the media claiming such a victory for the Republican Party? They've managed to gain control of one half of one third of the federal government. As a CPA, I'm pretty good at math, and I calculate that's control of one sixth of the government. Exactly what do they think that's gonna get them? Yes, they can be a big stumbling block for Obama. But I don't see that gives the Republicans the ability to ram through any important legislation.

I started to post some of my thoughts about political issues but thought better of it. Not the purpose of this blog. And, I don't want to encourage vitriol.

Meanwhile, I am off to Houston to the Quilt Festival tomorrow! Get to play with Missy Ann, Annette, Amanda, and Annette's mom Pat! And, I get to meet an new partner in crime, Marie. Much happiness, crafty goodness, stash wagon burning, evil plotting, and general girls' trip troublemaking will occur. Watch for a report next week. But, it won't be a full report. Some things that happen in Houston will need to stay in Houston. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Shopping Excursion

OK, so I lost 40 pounds (and have successfully kept it off for two months thankyouverymuch). Clothes shopping should now be a happy occasion, yes? Well, not so much. See, nothing fits. Or rather, very few things fit. Specifically, pants. After weeks and weeks of trying on countless pairs of jeans and pants, I managed to find two pairs of jeans. The happy part is that I like them a lot. However two pairs of jeans and an ancient pair of yoga pants will not see me through the winter.

So, today I set out with a mission. I. WOULD. FIND. PANTS. THAT. FIT. Don't mess with a woman on a mission. She will be successful! And...I was! I scored four pairs of pants. Go, me! The store websites won't let me swipe the images, so I'll have to link. Sorry.

These from Banana Republic in new trench. Need hemmed, but I love them! Yay for on sale (marked down another 10% in the store).

From Talbots:
These in a brown color not on the website:
These are the most incredible feeling pants ever. I think I could live in them. Which is a good thing because they cost a fortune. More than I normally spend, but hey, I was on a mission! Bought the dark green color http://
And finally, I found black dress slacks on the sale rack that don't seem to be on the website.

I had to post because this is such a victory for me. I was on a mission and didn't get derailed! Only the Banana Republic pants need hemmed, so the others are ready to wear. I have pants!!!!!! Celebrate with me!