Practically finished master bedroom

The before we moved in pictures: master master 2 And the after, going from the left to right: Bedroom 1 bedroom 2 bedroom 3 bedroom 4 bedroom 5 bedroom 6 bedroom 7 Some general notes: The sand ceremony stuff (which is right now on top of the low dresser) should be on the shelf above the vanity with the wedding cross-stitch.  There was no way to stud-mount that shelf, though, so we're not sure yet if we want to risk such valuable (to us) glass on it. The photos on the picture ledges are as follows: top, purchased from etsy, middle, taken by me, and bottom, taken by my sister.  I also got a bunch of nice stuff from my dad, which Brad is hanging up in hallways as I write this.  Another day, another post. You  might have also noticed some weirdness over the couch - there are two cross-stitches, one for Hawaii, and one for California.  The empty frame will contain a Massachusetts cross-stitch, which I just started on Saturday. cross-stitch That is two hours of cross-stitch.  I forgot how much slower it is than knitting!

Tons of pictures

I finally wore Salina yesterday, so here's a modeled shot of it: finished salina Project details here. Brad took me for a snow driving lesson this morning. We found a parking lot with snow banks and no poles to run in to: Snow driving After about 20 minutes, a plow driver told us to leave since he didn't want us "to make a mess". I am still confused as to what kind of mess he thought we were making (we weren't driving through stuff already plowed), but whatever. I got in enough time to be at least a little more comfortable. We got back home and gave Lani a walk: yummy snowflakes Cuteness Back inside, I finished the annual ornament: 2008 Ornament Ornament back While looking in my craft room closet for some stuffing for the ornament, I found Christmas stockings that were almost entirely done. I had already hand-sewn the lettering on, I just had to finish assembling the stockings. So, I knocked those out (only four years later!): stockings I also got ambitious and thought I'd finally make the tree skirt I had planned a while ago. I tried to explain to Lani that sewing pins aren't comfortable, but after shooing her away twice, I figured she'd just deal with it if she got stuck: skirt snuggling After serging together the two layers (white felt and snowflake covered organza), I started sewing on sequins. Skirt sequins I'm thinking that hot glue might be smarter.

Annual Christmas Ornament

Last night I stayed up way too late to knock out the cross-stitch for the annual ornament. To be quite specific, this is really all backstitch, but anyway... Christmas Ornament 2008 This year's theme is our awesome European trip, if that wasn't obvious. :) The pattern is from X-plore France, and it took me 2.75 hours to stitch. Now I just need to do the finishing on it, which I'd like to knock out today, so I can enjoy the ornament on the tree before we leave for Christmas. I also have a whole bunch of blocking of knits to do, just to clear stuff off of WIP status, and many, many gifts to wrap. Two week vacation starts tomorrow! :)

New starts

I started the Boteh scarf (Rav link) on Monday, and have been kind of obsessed ever since: Lani scarf It's already Lani sized - and it actually goes well with her, too. :P Using Claudia's Handpainted in Blueberry Toast. Of course, this isn't on my list of goals. :P I've also started a sweater - Manhattan from Pure Noro. (Rav link). I'm using Noro Cashmere Island in 14. Back start And finally, I scored some gym equipment on Craigslist last night - Olympic bar and plates, and bench/bar rack/preacher curl/leg extension set-up. It was one of the weirdest Craigslist experiences so far - our best guess is this guy (who I'm only assuming is 16 because he said he had a job, otherwise I would have said 14) was told by his rich parents to get rid of the equipment, and that he could keep whatever he got. There were some dumbbells lying around, and we asked if he wanted to sell those (with the rack he had for them). He said sure, and then he was struggling to come up with a price, and I offered him the only $20 extra that I had with me, and he took it with great enthusiasm. Made me sorry I didn't have smaller bills. Anyway, we got everything for between 20-25% of what it was actually worth, which made me feel like I was stealing from a child, but this child also lied on the listing (said everything was a month old, which it clearly wasn't from the dust level, but it was all in the barely used condition promised), so whatever. But seriously, would you let your teenager deal with Craigslist people unattended? I wouldn't dream of going without Brad. Anyway, we have some cleaning, laying down of rubber flooring, and set-up to do, but then there will be pictures of my pretty awesome home gym. :)

More staycation

I'm not surprisingly not so good at operating without stress. I have zero deadline knitting, had filled out my timesheet yesterday to take today completely off (my father is here), and I only just now remembered to even look at my November goals (of which I've done precious few of - I totally forgot I even had started the Seascape stole - I think I'm four rows into it). Feeling a little aimless, though I'm now quite enamored with the Dainty Pinstripes Pullover from the current Interweave Knits, and I have yarn that I think will work for it, but I haven't gotten around to swatching it yet. Or finishing up the last hour of work on the Rebecca sweater, for that matter. My hold-up has been button placement, but I have a solution to that problem, which if I'm motivated, I will take blog pics for. :P So I do have one more thing of the deadline nature, the annual Christmas ornament. This year it took me all of three seconds to think of my theme - the most notable thing that happened this year (besides me finishing school FOREVER with my MS) was that we finally got to Europe. So I hunted around for a cross-stitch pattern of the Eiffel Tower that would be ornament size, and then I ordered Eiffel Tower fabric for the backing of the ornament, as well as some back-up in case the print was too big (which I think it is). I also got drawn in by some loud prints that I want to make into bags (Simplicity Pattern 9949, ordered online because I didn't want to set foot in JoAnns at this time of year). I just have to remember that I sew, and that I have a serger and a sewing machine that miss the love. fabrics Thanksgiving tomorrow is in Connecticut, with my sister's mother-in-law. I'm taking the Noro Striped Scarf with me, as it's great for talking and putting down to help cook, and if I have nothing else to knit, perhaps I'll be more excited about it... honestly, I was enamored for a minute, and now I'm wondering if Noro colors are enough to keep me excited about 1x1 rib. Noro Striped scarf Of course, the sweater I want to knit is 1x1 ribbing for the first 8" or so (without lovely Noro striping), so I either need to get over myself, or pick another sweater to knit now. :P

Christmas wrap-up

Better late than never, right? Brad's stepmother asked for a snowman ornament with our names and the year on the back. We're all very sure that she meant something like a ceramic ornament that you get from Hallmark with our names and date put on with a sharpie, but I do have this inate ability to overdo... well, quite a lot. So I spent 7.25 hours from December 23-24 2007 making this: snowman front Snowman back While we're on the subject of ornaments, I finally finished the ornament from last year (I cross-stitched it last year, but didn't do the sewing and cording until this year): 2007 front 2006 back And, on Christmas day, I designed (leaning heavily on Lizzie Kate charts) and stitched our annual ornament (5.5 hours). Every year I pick something that is representative of our year. In 2007, we bought our "forever" home. More importantly, though, we figured out how to be our busy, ambitious, overworked selves and still put each other first and really became a family, thus the "The M*******s" title at the top. 2007 front 2007 back Here's a look at all six Christmas ornaments: six years First year is pretty obvious, the second year is the year we bought our condo (and got a fireplace) and adopted Leilani. The third year, I was in grad school at SDSU while Brad was at UCSD. The fourth year was our last in California, and we were also enjoying wine tasting together. The fifth year was our first real wintery Christmas. The last Christmas gift is from a book that my mother-in-law sent to me. She expressed her appreciation for the feather trimmed tops, so I made one for her for Christmas. peacock top Yarn: 6.5 skeins of Muench String of Pearls in navy Needles: Addi Turbos US 7 Date Started: December 2, 2007 Date Completed: December 28, 2007 Time: 7.75 hours for the front, 7 hours for the back, and 2 hours for finishing for a total of 16.75 hours. The top is finished with peacock feather trim.

Been busy!

I just finished gift knitting/cross-stitching yesterday. I still can't post it all, but I can blog what has been received. First, socks for my sister. Technically, they were her birthday socks, just really, really late (March 8th birthday). Retro Rib Socks Pattern: Retro Rib Socks, Evelyn A. Clark Yarn: Less than one skein of Socks that Rock lightweight in Firebird Modifications: I didn't knit the exact number of repeats stated Needles: Addi Turbos US 1 (2.5 mm) Date Started: October 28, 2007 Date Completed: November 30, 2007 Time: 8.5 hours for the first sock, 8.5 for the second for a total of 17 hours So I made her another pair of socks, her actual Christmas socks: Finished Pattern: Go With the Flow Socks, Evelyn A. Clark Yarn: Less than one skein of Araucania Ranco in 105 (helpful note - do NOT cut off the tag, as they use the yarn from the skein to tie it on. Luckily, the tag was more or less in the middle of the yarn, as I ended up with two balls) Modifications: nothing Needles: Addi Turbos US 1 (2.5 mm) Date Started: December 2, 2007 Date Completed: December 23, 2007 Time: 8.5 hours for the first sock, 8.25 for the second for a total of 16.75 hours Lani enjoyed these socks: Lani I finished Brad's multi-directional scarf too, but haven't blocked it yet. Pictures later. I busted out the cross-stitch to make Ed his gift: truthiness Pattern: Truthiness (available as chart only here), by Julie Jackson Notes: This is one of her most complex charts (her designs are simplistic in nature) and I found her charting style of color, no symbols, difficult for the eagle. I don't see this as being an issue with any more of her designs, but if you want to order this pattern, I would suggest asking her if she could please include a chart with symbols. I have never emailed Julie Jackson, so I have no idea if she would honor such a request - while it's an easy thing to do in cross-stitch software, I have no idea what the volume of her business is or if she keeps any physical inventory (pre-printed charts) or not. Regardless, it would be worth at least asking. Date Started: December 22, 2007 Date Completed: December 23, 2007 Time: 8.5 hours We've been doing a few other things too - here's the picture from the December 15th holiday party: Holiday party The last snow storm brought beautiful trees: winter white Brad borrowed Ed's snowblower to make some paths, which Lani enjoyed: squirrel hole And, we have a snowblower on the way to us (everyone nearby was sold out when we checked last week). It should arrive on Monday, which is also when we're supposed to get more snow. Guess we'll see which one gets here first. Saturday before Christmas, Brad and I went to Brunswick, ME, to participate in Franklin's 1000 Knitters project. Here we are getting ready for my shot - the scarf is huge! 1000 Knitters I'm pretty amazed at Franklin and his project - the thought of having to talk to 1000 knitters makes me kind of nauseated (nothing against knitters - the thought of talking to 1000 completely random people is even worse). I had the added bonus of meeting That Laurie and seeing her amazing sweater in person. Christmas was nice and relaxing - just the four of us (my sister and Ed came over) having a casual day in our house. Leilani allowed herself to be tortured for a bit: Nice present (The other side of the hat says "naughty.") Here are some lamb booties that Brad got her - so cute! She hates them, though (as predicted) but they were too cute to pass up. lamb booties

Marble Arches from start to finish

This post is going to be a bit picture heavy - part of taking an unofficial blog break is losing a bunch of progress pics. My normal sock club photos of the skein were taken, but not posted, and now I have finished socks! I'll put the more interesting stuff up front. :) This was a great colorway and a good pattern - I did adjust the pattern for a smaller number of stitches, as I think 66 is a lot for the medium weight of STR. This pair of socks brings me to 16 pairs for the year. :) This also makes me about caught up with the club, so I can join next year's guilt free. :) (I am waiting for beads in the mail so I can cast on for the December kit, pics of that further down). finished modeled Pattern: Marble Arches, designed by Sandi exclusively for the Blue Moon Rockin' Sock Club Yarn: Less than one skein of Blue Moon Socks That Rock in Pink Granite (medium weight) Needles: Addi Turbos US 2 (3.0 mm) Modifications: Worked two of each mock cable instead of three with three stitches in between - total of 52 stitches. Date Started: December 23, 2006 Date Completed: December 31, 2006 Time: 6.75 hours for the first sock, 6.5 for the second for a total of 13.25 hours I also finished cross-stitching the 2006 ornament today (4 hours). Kind of last minute, I know, but once again, finished it time for the end of the year. ornament The theme this year is clearly the weather - I had the right snow to photograph it against. :) I still need to do the finishing on this, obviously. It will look something like this (last year's CA themed ornament): 2005 ornament So here is my December sock club kit: december sock club The rare gems colorway sent to me is very much my colors - here's a recent stash acquisition (Lorna's Laces Swirl DK in Tahoe) to prove it: swirl Never enough yummy sock yarn! And in case anyone wanted to see my normal pics of the sock club yarn for the Pink Granite, here you go: skein unwrapped ball

Remember that other hobby?

Yeah, neither do I. I used to cross-stitch. I haven't done anything since my Christmas ornament last year - I had to create my 2006 cross-stitch folder in order to upload this picture: pattern I ordered the pattern to stitch the Massachusetts map. I made a Hawaii map as well as a California map in 2003 and 2004. I want this one to match, which is unfortunate, as the California map is basically the last thing I stitched on Aida fabric, before graduating to linens and evenweaves. But, in the interest of continuity, 18 ct Aida it is (kind of like going back to acrylic after knitting with cashmere). Not that I have any plans to start this soon - all of my DMC flosses are in storage, as well as my fabric (not that I think I have any 18 ct Aida) and more importantly, my Q-snaps. And let's be honest - if I manage the annual Christmas ornament this year prior to December 31st at 11:59 pm, that in itself will be a victory. Knitting is way more fun.

Health Goals Week 41

This is going to be pretty weak. I also sorta missed the update last week, so no week 40. Anyway, Brad and I did spin and back/bis on Tuesday, yoga on Wednesday, and spin and chest/tris on Thursday. We were going to go back today, but are both having some back pain that we didn't want to push. For next week: Sunday: off Monday: spin class and shoulders Tuesday: PiYo Wednesday: off Thursday: spin class and back/bis Friday: off Saturday: spin class and chest/tris In non-health related news - as of 5:45 pm today, I'm officially ready for the New Year. Here's the annual ornament, minus the charm for the center that is coming in the mail: ornament The charm needs to be attached and the whole thing finished as an ornament, but since I finished the stitching in 2005, I avoided the feeling of fraud I would have felt had I stitched the 2005 date on if it were 2006. I know that makes me weird - I'm fine with it. :) Anyway, I owe the completion of this piece to Stitcher's Treasures, located in Escondido. My LNS closed in October, which I felt a bit guilty about (I have been spending my money on, uh, yarn). The lack of LNS didn't really bother me until this week, when I received this pattern in the mail, and it called for beads and a color of specialty floss that I didn't have. Stitcher's Treasures had all of it, and not only that, sells the exact size of fabric that you need (my tea dying didn't turn out well). They charge per square inch of fabric (which means they lose money on the scraps they get left over), and they even serge it for you! I have my own serger, but it's still really cool to have a shop that will do it for you.