Stitching and Life in the Company of Pets

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Dogs and Gecko's

Another week has flown by, I really don't know where the time goes sometimes. I didn't get much done on Garfield this week. Work was very hectic, and there were various meetings and things going on in addition to the regular schedule, so only had one lunch where I could get any stitching time in, so no picture this week. Hopefully I can get more done next week, he's really getting close to being finished.

Dogs on the other hand did get a fair amount of time in this week.
With both my daughter and I enjoying movies, I've had a couple evenings this week to work on this. We both like science fiction/fantasy, so have been watching the old TV series Firefly (which was later turned into a movie Serenity) in the evenings. I'd seen the movie, but not the TV series when it was on, so it was fun to get the background, and be able to watch it on DVD so didn't get all the commercial interruptions. In addition, it gave me quality time on Dogs. The two smaller dogs are done now, and all of the fence. I just need the top of the middle dog, the flowers and wording around the edge, and then......the backstitch :(
The backstitching coming up on this is why I'd really like to get Garfield done soon. Two of them in the backstitch only phase will not be a good combination.
It's been a while since I posted a picture of what Dogs will look like finished, so here it is. As you can see, not a whole lot left. Timing wise it looks like both Garfield and Dogs may be May finishes. Garfield will be a magnet, but haven't yet decided how I want to finish off Dogs. Framed it would look cute in my kitchen, although it really wouldn't go with the food theme I've been stitching for that. Or, done as a pillow it would be bright and cheery for in the living room. Hmmm decisions, decisions.

My daughter and her pets have settled in well. In some ways it is like she never left, as I'm now finding things laying around that I keep needing to step over, pick up, or tell her they need to be moved, just like when she lived at home before. However, she has picked up the habit of hating having dishes left in the sink, which is a very nice side benefit as I don't have to worry about the kitchen clean up. :)

Her cat Isis, while seeming to be happy enough upstairs (and she's even ventured downstairs a time or two now), still won't stay out long enough for us to get a picture for me to post. However, Isis is very small (about 5 lbs) and all black. So... you can probably picture her fairly easily.

I'll close with some pictures of my daughters Gecko's. As you can see from the first picture, the cats are still finding them verrrrry interesting. They enjoy watching not only the gecko's, but also the crickets when we have them. Funnily enough, my one dog Jazmine is also fasinated by both the gecko's and the crickets, seems they are entertainment for everyone. The one with the spots on her back is Indi (after Indiana Jones) and has quite a personality. Indi is generally running around the cage here there and everywhere. When out, she loves to take off and explore, and seems to have a death wish as will run right off the edge of things if you don't watch her. In the terrarium she loves to climb, and seems determined to get to the top and get out. We keep telling her that gecko's are not supposed to want to climb on the decorative trees and such that we have in there, but she doesn't listen. Oh well, typical teen. :)





Sunday, April 22, 2007

Garfield Speaks, and Crickets Sing

I can't believe a week has flown by since my last post, it doesn't seem like a whole week has past. My daughter got home from Colorado without any problems.I received a call from her Monday morning at 3:45 am saying she'd be home shortly. Ok, I did ask her to call when she left Co. to start her drive, but she didn't want to call then and have me worry the whole time she was on the road. She was right on that thought, as I would have, and probably more than I should that's just my nature. So.. she left Co. at about 9 am on Sun. and figured she'd call me when she was closer. Based on that, in my semi-coherent state at that time of the morning, I said ok but since you waited this long why couldn't you wait till about 5:30 when I normally get up instead of calling so much earlier. Well it turns out her "shortly" was in about 4 minutes. She was calling so that I'd be awake enough to understand what was going on and not flip out when the front door started opening (or have a heart attack expecting bad news if she rang the doorbell). Hmmm good thought. So, still holding the phone I could look out my window and see her pull into the driveway.

So...at 4 in the morning we unloaded a good portion of her car. We got the two gecko's in and set up in the terrarium that I had picked up for them, pictures to follow in a later post, they are really cute. Then we got Isis her cat settled in her upstairs room with a bunch of the blankets, stuffed animals, and such that would smell familiar to her and hopefully help her feel better, then we talked a bit. I ended up leaving for work and Amber went to bed. Being up that many hours was a bit draining to say the least. Although driving straight through when she did probably worked out for the best. At 23, she still has enough energy to do that, and by leaving Sun. morning early and driving straight through, she missed weekday/commuter traffic (especially around the bigger cities). It made for a quiet drive, and the shorter time in the car made it easier on her pets. The gecko's are fitting in fine (kitties love the new TV, LOL). So far no problems with Isis either, although we really haven't allowed much interaction yet between all the fur babies.

This has been a long week at work. Very tiring on Mon., as I was running on only a little sleep. I'd stayed up later than normal Sun. stitching, as had spent the earlier part of the day cleaning and shopping and getting ready for Amber to come home this week. Then work was hectic as usual. However, even with only having a couple of the days work out to stitch on Garfield at lunch, his backstitch did move along.
As you can see I finished all the wording on top and some more of his nightcap. I think the next area I need to work on is his face, as he looks kind of strange with no eyes and such yet. The other area I want to finish getting in is his bunny slippers. The little slippers are my favorite part of him, they are just so cute. I'd love to think this week at work will be quieter, and so I could make more headway there on him than I have been, but I'm not hopeful. I already know that two days this coming week will not be an option, and a third probably won't work either. Oh well, little by little he's moving along.

I did make some good progress on my Dogs of Duckport piece.
My DD loves movies and I do as well. Movies are much more fun when you have someone to watch them with as well so...we've watched movies three evenings this week. That resulted in some decent time on Dogs.

With putting the wording in on Garfield, the "Garfield Speaks" part of my title is fairly obvious. The part that isn't is the "and Crickets Sing". I have had singing crickets pretty much all week. Nope it isn't from it being spring outside, although spring does appear to be starting to stay, finally. The crickets singing is from inside the house, and those little buggers can be loud when there are a bunch of them. DD bought crickets for the gecko's, 40 crickets to be precise. Most of the crickets are gone now, however, in the meantime, we were treated to a cricket serenade most evenings.

Also, wanted to thank you all so much for all your comments that you leave me. Getting and reading comments is such fun, and it really helps in keeping motivated to stitch and make headway on my projects. Your taking time to read my blog and comment is truly appreciated.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dogs and framing

This weekend I did a fair amount of running around. My daughter is moving home from Colorado this week and will be staying with me for about 1 1/2 to 2 months while she is between places. It will be so nice to have her home again. Other than a couple of holidays, she hasn't really been home for a couple of years. It will be a little challenging integrating her pets into the house though, as she will have her two gecko's and her cat Isis coming with her. Watching how they interact with my 3 cats and 2 dogs should be interesting. Basically the upstairs is her room, so pretty much Isis will be the upstairs cat, and hopefully we can keep the others corraled and downstairs to minimize all their stress levels (and ours) while everyone trys to adapt. This weekend I went out and got some of the terrarium set up items so that when she gets home the gecko's can go right into the terrarium we had here. The geckos will be downstairs in the living room, actually right by my stitching corner. They should be able to fit in fine, and my cats will probably enjoy them, their own personal kitty TV, LOL.

In addition to running around for terrarium supplies, extra groceries, and such, I went frame shopping. I'm still waiting for Chocolate Shoppe to get done at the framers, but had Chocolate Covered Cherries that I was going to frame myself. I knew I wouldn't be able to match the frame I found for Chocolate Shoppe, so was really looking for something that would be compatible. Chocolate Shoppe is being done in a dark wood, so that was my guide line. I lucked out in that the first shop I went to I found a cute frame. It took a bit of digging, as Chocolate Covered Cherries is square 3x3, so really needed a square frame. I soon found out that there are not a whole lot of square frames out there. However, I did find this cute little one. It is 5x5, so size wise worked great. I was worried with Cherries being so small it could get lost in a frame, especially as I wasn't going to use a mat. While not a dark brown, I thought the black seemed to go well with the dark browns in the pattern. And the last bonus.....I had a coupon for 50% off at the store, so this little frame only cost me $8. Needless to say I was pretty happy with my find. So even though I can't enjoy Chocolate Shoppe yet, I have Cherries up and am enjoying seeing one of my finishes framed.

And last but not least, here is my update for Dogs of Duckport. I didn't get a lot of stitching done this weekend, so it doesn't look like much headway.
The grass line on the bottom is now complete, so I have my base line in. Also a little more is done on the center dog. While he is my favorite of the three dogs in this piece, all the grays and whites in him are a bit tiring.

Well it is back to work tomorrow, and Garfield will be the lunch project again this week. This should keep his backstitching moving forward.

Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Garfield

Unfortunately not a lot of stitching going on this week. Work has been pretty hectic, not as bad as what some of you have going on, but enough I couldn't get much stitching done at lunch. Then when I got home in the evening lots of different things kept cropping up this week so stitching kind of went on the sidelines. However, the nice thing is since I just had little bits of time, and I haven't started a new project yet, I decided to work on Garfield.

Garfield is so cute, but he has been around as a WIP for a long time. I finished up the regular stitching of him quite a while ago, than all that was left was the backstitch. Well if you've read any of my earlier entries you know how I feel about backstitch.

Needless to say poor Garfield borders on a UFO at times. Well I pulled him out figuring if I only had 15 minutes or so I should be able to backstitch for that amount of time and not go nuts, and that would move him forward a bit. So here he is, pretty much all the backstitching you see is what I've done this week. I'm really going to like him when he is done. He is on plastic canvas, and when he's finished I'm going to turn him into a refrigerator magnet. Looking at the colors and his grumpy face (which is a little to close to my expression in the morning as well) will make me smile when I stumble into the kitchen in the morning looking for my caffeine fix.

This is what he'll look like when I get him finished. While there isn't a ton of backstitching, there is still enough for me that he'll be around a while. Oh well, at least he does get worked on and hasn't turned into a complete UFO. Size wise he is a good lunch project, so maybe if he stays in there for a bit I'll get him done by the middle of summer. :)
While that sounds good, the poor little guy has been around now for almost a year, which given his size is pretty bad. However, he's out now so we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Quick Finish

Just a quick entry today. I finished Chocolate Covered Cherries. Of course there really wasn't much left to do on this. The only part left from before was the bottom border and the confetti stitches in the middle. However, given the other stuff I had going this holiday weekend I was pleased to have gotten it finished.

This gives me 5 finishes so far this year. 1 tiny, 1 small, 1 medium, and 2 that are fairly good size (at least for me). I don't really have very many stitching goals, but two that I did have were to try and finish at least one more than last year, and try to have a couple of larger projects in the mix. Since last year I had 12 (not counting my camp badge and a knitted scarf) having 5 so far this year, and two of them a little larger than normal (again at least for me), is doing pretty good along that goal. For purposes of this I decided not to count my camp badge, as if I did I really would need to count it for last year as well, so I'd end back up at the same place.

Still haven't settled on what my new focus project will be, so at the moment I'm still working on Dogs of Duckport. I'll post a picture of that later this week.

Hope everyone had a safe and fun filled holiday.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Almost there

I'm not quite done, but I'm most of the way there. All that's left now is the bottom border and some confetti stitches up in the wording area. This should be done if not tomorrow than Sun., depending on how much stitching time I have in the next couple days. I'm glad I picked this one to work on, it has been fun doing a little one that has gone so quickly. While I'm not going to frame Chocolate Shoppe myself, I will do this one.

I'm taking Chocolate Shoppe to the framers tomorrow. Once I've decided on the type of frame I want on that, I'll find a small similar one for Chocolate Covered Cherries. Since they won't be right next to each other, just close, it won't have to be an exact match.

I finally gave up on trying to get a good shot of Chocolate Shoppe with my camera. I don't know what I was doing wrong. I figure it was the lighting somehow, but the color never came out quite right. I'm sure it is user error with me and the camera, as I'm so new to the camera and taking pictures. Hopefully with more practice I'll get better at it.
Anyway, I decided to try one more time before it went to the framers to get a better picture. Since I'll be having glass put on it, figured if I didn't do it now it wouldn't get done, as trying to take a picture through glass doesn't work to well.

Cherries turned out so well on my scanner, that I decided to try that instead of the camera again. Chocolate Shoppe just fit. So.. I finally have a shot of it that shows what it looks like, without it being the darker color that otherwise kept turning up. I'm glad I did it one more time, this way I can put a nice, true color picture of it in my webshots to have a record of.

It's funny, these last two projects have been on brown fabric. I never used to like brown, and then I saw this country mocha color and I changed my mind. I can think of several other projects that I think would look good on this color, and the 28ct is easy for me to see and work on. Isn't it interesting how our tastes in colors and styles continue to change.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Snow and a new start

We have snow again, I can't believe it. A couple of days ago we were having weather in the upper 70's, I think it even hit 80. Then today, high winds, a little sleet earlier, and this evening snow. There is about an inch out there now. I'd take a picture, but it is to dark. Listening to the forecast, they are saying snow showers (excuse me, but I think having an inch, even if it is only on the grass since isn't really sticking to the pavement, is not a "snow shower"), anyway, they are saying snow showers off and on for the next couple of days, YUCK!!! I WANT SPRING!!!

Well enough of my whining, especially since some of the areas north of me I think got as much as a foot of the stuff. Since at least I don't have that to deal with, I'll move onto a stitching topic.

I just couldn't decide on a new project. There are several I like that I have kitted up and ready, and a couple on order that hopefully I'll have soon. In addition, there are the ever present WIP's, and UFO's, that are crying out to be worked on, I just couldn't pick one. So...I didn't. Instead of a new larger project I've decided to do a small freebie design, Chocolate Covered Cherries. I really do seem to be in a chocolate mood don't I, LOL.

I've seen this one done a couple of times, but each one was on a pinkish colored fabric. Since I was thinking it would be fun to do this to go near my Chocolate Shoppe that I just finished, didn't really think a pink hued fabric would work to well, and it really wouldn't go to well in my kitchen. I went and gathered the floss and decided to see if it would work on the country mocha that Chocolate Shoppe was done on, as I had just a little bit of that left and it would fit perfectly on it. Here's a picture of what I have done so far, and it looks like it will work fine on the brown fabric. This is actually a really good picture of the fabric, I used my scanner. This is the color my Chocolate Shoppe is really on. Somehow with my camera I never could get the coloring right, I could get close but not exact. This lets you see the really pretty shading that is in the fabric too.

I was worried that I might lose some of the lighter browns on this one, but it doesn't appear that I will. This should go really quick, I might even have it done by this weekend. Maybe by then I'll have figured out what I want to start work on next.

I found the free pattern here Casey Buonaurgurio it is at the bottom of the page. Isn't it cute? I like it a lot on the pink fabric as well, and since earlier I found some wonderful pink material with all kinds of chocolate items on it, I'll probably do it again and turn it into either a tuck pillow or a flatfold. Both my mom and my daughter are chocolate nuts, so either (or both) would be fun for them too. It actually has the potential of getting done three times, once for each of us. I've done that one other time, when I did a little freebie pattern by Bent Creek "GroundHog Day" three times, as each of us wanted one. Casey does have some fun patterns. I have the Hot Chocolate pattern that is on her site already in my stash, and I'd like to get the Chocolate Cake (there goes that Chocolate theme again, LOL) and the Carrot Cake one at some point. Since size and style wise they are close to Chocolate Shoppe, I think as a group they would be fun scattered around my kitchen. So that's what I'm working on now, I'll wait and see what grabs my attention to work on next this weekend when this one is finishing up.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I got it done - Chocolate Happy Dance

Yesterday late afternoon and evening around here were rainy and cold, resulting in not wanting to do much outside and needing to turn the heat back up. So most of my furry household was curled up various places sleeping, like Bug here who managed to snag himself a prime spot in front of the heat register. This is the most popular register in the house as it is in the front room entrance, therefore you can doze, keep tosty warm, and still see and hear pretty much everything that is going on. In addition, it is fairly close to my stitching area, so if you decide you need a bit of extra attention, or to go over and help mom stitch, you don't have far to go.

With it being so quiet, I decided to focus on Chocolate Shoppe, and turn a blind eye to the various dust bunnies and such that really should be taken care of. I lined up several taped programs I hadn't had a chance to see, and got settled in my stitching chair quite comfortably. I am paying for that this morning, as I am soooo tired now. However, at least it is Sun. and I don't have to work, I'll just make an early night of it tonight. I stitched through two episodes of the TV show Monk (a funny detective show), two episodes of the TV show Psych (another funny detective show) and a Miss Marple mystery that our local PBS station had ran earlier. All together about six plus hours of stitching last night, and getting finished well after midnight. That might not sound late to some of you night owls, but my normal time to go to bed is about 9:30 as I get up so early, much after that is pretty late for me. Plus, since I stopped after midnight, everyone else woke up (as they'd been sleeping most of the evening). Therefore, dogs wanted to go out one last time, cats wanted a snack, etc.. needless to say, it was a while after that before everyone was settled and into bed. However, it's done. I'm going to count it as a March finish, as while I finished up after midnight it was before what I really consider Sunday morning, so that's close enough. I am so happy with how this turned out, and I enjoyed each part of it. This one will be for me, so now I just need to get it framed and then it will go in my kitchen.

Only problem now is to actually make a decision what to start next. While Dogs of Duckport is my travel project, I need another home project. I can be good and work on one of my various WIP's, or, I can start up a new one (or two), hmmmm decisions decisions, but what a fun one to have to make. :)

This has been a good stitching weekend, as my DSIL Kim had two finishes as well. She found a really neat site that will spell out letters and words in a lovely Celtic script, and it is even free. So she did a great bookmark. I'm going to print off several names as I think it turned out lovely. Actually I may print the whole alphabet just to have on hand. She also finished Faith, a fun punchneedle crossstitch piece. I have a couple punchneedle projects in my stash as well, but other than a small learning piece haven't finished anything larger as yet. All around a good stitching weekend for us both.