Personal Update: Jan. 2023

It’s a new year, and I’m doing my best to write more on my blog. It’s a case of time management as I juggle work with my crafting, my writing and my self improvement. It’s still a work in progress as I’m doing things slowly.

Work

I work full time in retail, and I work the closing shift which, currently, is 1pm to 10 pm. During the spring, summer and some autumn months, it shifts to 2pm to 11pm. I don’t go to sleep until an hour or so after I get home. I spend this time unwinding, not doing much at all. I get up between 7am and 8am, and this is the time I try to spend getting some crafting in. My job takes up the most part of my day, even more so than sleep. I work the rest of my days and nights around it.

My job is going well. I’m full time when most of my co-workers are part time. I got a raise not long ago, and I hope to get another small on in May. My attendance hasn’t been the best of late since my depression has gotten the best of me many times in the last six months, but it’s not bad enough I’ve gotten into any trouble over it. I am working on improving it because staying home from work seems to make the depression worse, not better.

Work gives me purpose and something else to focus on so I don’t get burned out. My job is part same thing every day and part new experiences every day so, it works for me.

Writing

I’m getting a new program to help me with my writing. It’s called Atticus, and I have a good feeling about it. As soon as I can, I’m going to buy it and try it out. If anyone has used this program before, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. I’ll be sure to post a review of it when I do get it and try it out.

Golden Knave has been on hold because I’ve been very unhappy with the performance of the program I’m currently using. I need something simpler to use because I don’t have the time to learn how to do a great many of the things I need to do. It’s not really user friendly unless you spend a lot of time learning how to use it.

Cross Stitching

I’ve already begun work on my projects for this year, and I’ve also shared several posts about them as well. I’ve begun a new one just today since I have to restart one, and I don’t want to do it right away. Check my archives for those posts if you’re interested.

Doll House

I think I’ve written and shared only one post on this project so far. It’s an ongoing project that’s going to take me years to complete because I plan to do as much as I can by hand.

I’ve finished plastering the walls and ceiling of the first room on the Ground Floor – my newly renamed Wine Cellar. I’ve begun work on the walls and ceiling of the smaller Basement room next to this room.

In addition, I’m making my first wine rack out of the cardboard used to make cat food boxes. I’m actually using this for most of my work on the doll house right now because it’s do plentiful. I’ve put together most of the frame, and it should be done tomorrow. Then, I have to research how to make the racks which will be diagonal instead of horizontal since that’s how real life wine is stored. It’s a fun project so far.

Crocheting

My second favorite hobby right now. I’m making small stuff out of crochet thread since I have so much of it.

This piece is from an insert pattern I found on Free Vintage Crochet. I’m thinking of doing three more of these and putting them in resin to make trivets.

The thread is 100% Mercerized Cotton Size 10 Color Cream by Red Heart Classic. I’m using a size 1.10mm steel crochet hook. It’s about 6 1/2(16.51 cm) inches wide by 4 1/2(11.43 cm) inches tall.

I’m also making a queen sized blanket out of Bernat Chenille yarn, and I’ll post pictures of it when it’s more than just a couple of rows. It’s a gift for my co-worker and Mentor who has really done a lot for me since I started work at Lowe’s the first time many many years ago. I left the company, and I wish I hadn’t. I’m back now though, and I’ll stay with it until my other personal goals are met.

The last crochet project I have on the hook is a scrap yarn body pillow. I’m using an aluminum J hook and different types of yarn in groups of three.

It also doesn’t look like much, but Mimi is enjoying sleeping on it, that’s her side of the bed. I’m out of scrap yarn for now so, I’ll be starting another project soon – one from my stash of saved patterns.

Other Projects

In addition to the aforementioned projects, I have several others I’m working on as I need to take a break from the main ones.

Sewing

I’m turning a table runner into a throw pillow. It was a rescued stamped cross stitch kit that was nearly complete. Thing is, it was just the table runner with the design printed only on one end. I didn’t like that and besides, I don’t have a table it would fit on. Hence, the pillow idea.

Journal Making

I’m going to be making my first ever journal. I haven’t started yet because I have a great many things going on now, but it’s on the list.

Education

I love learning new things, and I try to learn something new every day if I can.

Tack to Trades is a program offered by Lowe’s which allows you to get basic training in a trade of your choice: Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC and one other I can’t remember right now. This training comes with a link to a job site for tradespeople looking for internships/part time and full time jobs in the trades of their choice in their area. Lowe’s doesn’t require you to seek an internship, they’re just making it available. In addition, I was able to take the OSHA 10 Safety Course and got my OSHA card for completeing it.

Another benefit being provided by my work is the ability to go to college. Depending on the course, Lowe’s will pay 100% tuition costs for it. I’ll be starting school in the Fall to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.

I’m also still planning to continue my language studies and improve my fluency. I just need to find the time…

That’s about it for now. I still have lots of plans and ideas for 2023, but they’re just ideas I’ve actually written down. Nothings has been done yet. Once I’m actively working on them, I’ll let you know.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Stitching Saturday Current Progress on All WIPs #2

This week, I only have two Works In Progress aka WIPs to show because I ran out of room on the fabric I was using for Girl With the Pearl Earring. This means I have to start completely over. I’ve decided not to restart right away and instead, tomorrow, I’ll begin work on Stitchinati by Morti. I need a break from all the color changes I was doing with Girl.

Peppermint Purple 2023 SAL

This project is coming along very nicely, and I’m still enjoying it a great deal. I didn’t do as much work on it this week as I’d thought because I’ve been concentrating a bit more on Land Baby.

Here is where I was last week:

Here is where I am this week:

Sorry about the shadow, I took the picture as my son was stepping up behind me. I’ll be working on adding more detail work in the space between the frames in this center section tomorrow and Monday since those are my two days off this week, and I’ll have the time.

This project is being worked on 25ct Natural Laguna with the called for DMC floss. I’m doing 2 over 1 for the cross stitches and 1 over 1 for the rest. I’m up to 4,454 stitches now.

The Land Baby

This is my long term project full coverage which I plan to complete this year, and I’m on a good track so far this year.

Here is where I was last week:

The above didn’t give you a great deal of context to show you just how much I’ve done so, I took a better one this week:

I think this shows off my progress much better.

This is being stitched on 18ct white AIDA using DMC floss. I’ve done 1,500 stitches on it so far this year. That’s 15 blocks of 100 stitches.each. I think I’m doing quire well.

Next week, I’ll have progress on Stitchinati to show you, and I’m stitching in on the called for 25 ct Black Lugana using the called for floss, or most of it. I’ll tell you more next week. 🙂

Keep an eye out on my Personal Progress January 2023 to find out about the other projects I’m working on and a little bit of personal stuff about me. 🙂

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!!

Stitching Saturday: Current Progress on all WIPs #1

SAL

I have been busy on the Stitch A Long being hosted by Peppermint Purple, and I’m really enjoy learning how to do blackwork. The Facebook group offers lot of support and help so I’m glad I joined it. I am amazed by how many layouts and borders Peppermint Purple has provided for this project too – I’ve seen at least 6!! The fillers are the same, but that’s it. So on to my progress starting with what it looked like last week:

This is the left hand corner of the outer border. Here is why I am now which is all caught up with the two fillers released so far this month. I’m still working on getting the borders done.

I’m stitching this on 25ct Natural Lugana even weave fabric. I’m working 1 over one for the cross stitches and 1 over 1 for everything else. This section plus a little of the border you don’t see brings my stitch count for the month up to 3,505.

Girl With the Pearl Earring

This project is coming along quite well, I just hope I have enough fabric to finish the backside of the girl! Here she is last week:

Here is what she looks like now:

I’m stitching her on 14ct Black Aida. I’m using standard 2 over 2 for the cross stitches, and my count is up to 706. I started in the middle of the fabric, but I think I should’ve started a little further to the left. Just have to see how she turns out.

The Land Baby

This project is also moving right along – right along into a big morass of color changes! In a section of 100 stitches, most of them are single stitches forcing me to change my thread more times in a minute than I blink!! Here is where she was last week:

Here is where I’m at now:

Looking at this picture, I need to add more to give it proper context and dimension since you can’t really tell how much I’ve done. This is being stitched on 18 ct white Aida(I think I forget…), and I’ve gotten 800 stitches done on it so far. I’m only doing a block of 100 stitches every other day. Slow but steady is how this one is going to go.

I think I’ve done some very good work this week. Once I get the borders done on the SAL, I’ll have only blocks to work on which is okay. It will give me time to do more on the other two projects.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful and productive week as well.

I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Saturday Stitching: Starts and the Return of an Old Friend

First off, I didn’t finish Changing Seasons, the 2022 Mystery Stitch A Long from Fox and Rabbit. I’m working on it but not a great deal. I am more focused on my projects for this year. I will eventually finish the MSAL. I am also NOT doing the 2023 MSAL. I had decided not to last year since I have so many projects I’d like to get done this year, and a huge monthly project will keep me from doing so. This brings me to an Old Friend:

The Land Baby

This project is based on the painting by the same name by John Collier back in 1895. I don’t know who charted it, but they did an amazing job! I have links to the chart in most of my previous posts about this project. I did one half of the chart last year:

This is being stitched on 18 ct white Aida using the called for DMC floss of which there is close to 100! I’ve gotten 400 stitches done on it so far this year, and I’m doing it 2 over 2.

I’m only stitching every other day so I have time for my other non stitching projects. I also have two starts:

Start #1: Girl With the Pearl Earring

This project is based on the painting by the same name done by artist Johannes Vermeer 1632-1675. The charter is unknown, but here is the link to the page I found the chart on

: http://www.free-cross-stitch-pattern.com/artistic4/thegirlwiththepearlearr.php

Here is what it’s supposed to look like:

Here is where I am now:

I am stitching this on 14 ct black Aida using the called for DMC floss. LOTS of color changes in this one! I’m doing 2 over 2 as well. I’ve done 354 stitches on it so far. It’s not nearly as big as Land Baby which is why I went with 14 count. I also chose the size because of the color of the fabric.

New Start #2: Peppermint Purple 2023 Stitch -A-Long

This project is year long, but it’s blackwork which is something I’ve been wanting to try. Now, I’m going to be doing a stitch a long, and I’ll have a whole bunch of people to ask questions of should the need arise. It’s a simple project with basic stitches and only a few colors. I’m working on the borders trying to get to the middle without making the huge counting mistake I made with the 2022 MSAL I was working on. Here is my progress so far:

It doesn’t look like a lot, but that’s 1, 828 stitches done on 25 ct white Natural Lugana even weave from Artiste/Zweigart

The first block for January has already been released. It’s done by weeks instead of months so, I’m already a bit behind. I’m okay with that because I know I can catch up once I get the proper parts of the frame done. I’m doing 1 over 1 for the lines and 2 over 1 for the cross stitches.

So, these are my current stitching projects. I think Girl will go much faster than I’d thought so I might get done with her much quicker. If so, I have some other projects already kitted and waiting for me.

One of these projects is Stitchinati by Morti of Mad Morti fame from YouTube. She designed and charted it up herself.

Isn’t this just so cool!! You can get it from her and David’s shop: Hare and Moon Crafts

If anyone else gets this, I’d love to do a stitch a long to share on Instagram and here on WordPress as well. Let me know!

That’s it for today. I’ll be showing my progress every Saturday on my projects, and I hope you will be there!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

YouTube Tuesday: Big Stack D Casting Revisited

When I first started my YouTube Tuesday entries, Big Stack D Casting was either the first or amongst the first I wrote about. Since that time, he’s done some amazing stuff, and his channel has grown tremendously!!

I’m linking to his Community page so you can see some of the things he’s been up to and then, you can choose a video to watch on your own. He is ASMR and has a cute pair of French Bulldogs who get to be in the videos when he’s not actively melting – got to be safe even with the furbabies!

Big Stack D Casting

Check him out and let me know what you think! Personally, I think the guy does some awesome work!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Dollhouse Project – Plastered Walls and Ceiling

No, they’re not drunk 🙂

Plaster was a regular wall covering back in the day, and it was a useful thing since it helped fill in chinks in brick and stone as well as making the walls and ceiling look nice. The plaster was covered in a lime wall to help it look white, and I’m guessing to help protect the plaster as well. I’ll have to do some more research and get back to you.

I’m using joint compound and a craft trowel which is very small and not that easy to use to make a ceiling and walls that look like they’ve been plastered.

I now have a proper ruler and exacto knife to go with my other tools. I’m using a lot of what I have on hand as I have other things I need my money for….

The first thing I did was measure out the first room’s walls and ceiling, the wine cellar, and cut out thin pieces of cardboard to fit over them.

The piece with the white smeared on it is the back wall. I had thought about painting them before plastering, but I decided not to.

These three need to be sanded down to get rid of the lines from the trowel – hopefully – and I have one more wall to do before moving on to the painting. I’m going to do a wash of white acrylic paint and mod podge before I put them all into the dollhouse.

It’s not a lot of progress from the last time I talked about this project, and I will be doing more as the year progresses. This is a long term project as I’m learning and I go along. I plan to make as much as I can by hand too so there will be plenty to share with you as time goes on.

I hope you will continue with me on this journey and feel free to make comments, suggestions and give me ideas for things. It’s not going to be completely realistic, but I’m doing my best.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone had a fabulous and safe weekend as well as lots of fun, love and joy over the Holiday season!!

I just got back from spending the weekend with my special gentleman friend, and it was absolutely the ULT! Ringing in the new year in the country with a clear sky, lots of stars and each other was the most romantic new year celebration I’ve had ever in my life!

I don’t do resolutions because they’re like pie crust promises – easily made and easily broken. Yes, that was a Mary Poppins reference, and I was finally able to use it! Go me!

I do hope everyone has a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious 2023 as well as love, luck and lots of money!!!

I am so glad you were with me in 2022, and I hope you will stay with me throughout 2023 come what may. I have lots of new ideas and plans that I will be sharing, and I welcome all the feedback you wish to share with me. I’ve loved all the comments and likes I’ve gotten thus far.

The only way from here is UP!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Saturday Stitching: MSAL December Pt. 2

I’ve been stitching as much as I can, even up until I called it quits to write this post. I can already tell I won’t have this done by the end of the year, and I’m not going to stress about it. It will be done when it gets done. I’ll keep you updated on the progress of course.

Here is what it looked like last week:

I was hard at work stitching the big flowers in the corners. I’ve since completed them, and I’ve almost completed work on more of the stems. Here is what it looks like now:

There are small buds and half opened flowers inside the new stems and once they’re done, I’ll be leaving the corners. I’ll do my best to be much further ahead next time I post.

Next Saturday is Christmas Eve, and I have to work most of that day before spending the rest of it with my family. This means I won’t be posting an update until after the new year.

I hope everyone enjoys the holiday season to the utmost while staying as safe as possible. Blessed be to you all!!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Saturday Stitching: December Pt. 1

This is December’s design for the Fox and Rabbit MSAL: Changing Seasons. I did mention starting this in my last post.

This design is huge! I’m starting in the corners just to try to make everything link up properly despite having the frames not line up due to stitching errors. To this end, I’ve done the large flowers on either side of the bud I showed in my last post.

This is what it looked like then. This is what it looks like now:

It took me two days per flower with my schedule. I’m sure people with more stitching time could get them done faster.

Here’s a close up of the large flowers so you can see just how much stitching goes into them:

I’ve done these enough I could possibly stitch them in my sleep…

I’m hoping to have all the flowers complete along with more stems by this time next week.

This said, I have to work out of town for 3 days coming up Tuesday. I’ll be helping with inventory. This means an hour on the road round trip plus 11 hours a day at the store itself. I have an hour for lunch so will be working 10 hour days. This is about 12 hours out of my day each day. I’ll try to get some stitching done in the evening, but we’ll see….

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!!

Saturday Stitching: MSAL – November Done, December Begun

I haven’t posted anything since last Saturday because I’ve only been working on two things this entire time:

Class for Work

Fox and Rabbit’s 2022 MSAL – Changing Seasons

When December’s design dropped on 1 December, I was like

“OMG!! It’s so big, there’s so much to do!!”

Then, I panicked

“What colors am I going to use?! How do I choose??”

I walked away to calm down, and I came back an hour later to study the design a bit closer. I became a mumbler

“Well, this could work. I could do yellow here. No, that would be better over here.”

Eventually, I chose a course of action and a couple of colors, and I started work on December right after I finished the last little bit on November.

November

My count was off on the left so I had to do a bit of finagling to try to get the flower to line up properly. I think I did okay.

December

Because my outside frame is off from the inside frame, I decided to start in the corners and work towards the center of each side. This will also keep me from getting bored doing something repetitious. Just using a different color will help me stay focused. The above is work I’ve done since December 1 until today, December 3. I’m not rushing to finish this as this is the last bit in the design.

I am glad it’s not the Name/Date design I was dreading, and I’m also glad it’s not more detailed like the center. Still, there’s a lot of stitching still left to get done.

I’ll be focusing on this project until I get it done because it’s the last project of the year I want to get done. Despite the size of the overall piece and all the mistakes I’ve made in creating it, I still am happy I decided to do this project.

I’ve joined a Blackwork SAL that will last the entire 2023. It’s from Peppermint Purple, and I think it will be a great learning experience for me.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!