Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bah Hum Bug, Update, Goals

I finished stitching the Bug of Bah Hum Bug by Michelle Lutzen of Stitchy Kitty.

I also finished stitching the Hum last year, but somehow forgot to blog about it. Anyway, here are all 3 parts stitched and ready to be finished.

Now to let you know how I did, or rather didn't do, on my yearly goals.

My goal for 2017 was to finish the following:

Country Quilt Footstool Caddy
Around the Town
Snuggles Quilts Block-of-the-Month (BOTM)
Elements of Nature I
Rose Cross

As I've said in previous posts, I finished Elements of Nature I, Serenity, and the Rose Cross. Then, while I was working on Around the Town, I started feeling very frustrated and stressed out, to the point where I didn't want to do my needlework any more and had to force myself to work on it. I finally sat down and thought things out and realized that trying to finish all of my old projects before doing the projects I wanted to do was a mistake. I was making myself miserable for no good reason.

So, I started working on certain types of projects for at least 30 min. each week and doing what I wanted the rest of the time. That helped a lot, but it wasn't quite enough. I was still frustrated because I couldn't seem to spend enough time doing needlework. I only work at my day job for 15-20 hours per week, and I work from home so I don't have a commute. One would think that I would have plenty of time to do my needlework, right? Yet I couldn't seem to squeeze it in, and I couldn't figure out where my time was going. I call myself an artist, but I didn't seem to be actually doing much art.

Finally, I realized that I needed to get my priorities in order. I needed to focus on what's most important to me: my art. I decided to put in an 8 hour day on weekdays just like most people do, and spend half the day on my art and the other half on my day job. I could do chores and run errands on weekends (except for one errand that does have to be done on a weekday).

Every weekday, I do 30 min. of needlework first thing, so that no matter what happens that day, I will have spent some time on my art. Then, I do my day job. I eat lunch, and then spend another 3 1/2 hours on needlework for a total of 4 hours for the day (except on Tuesdays, when I have to run errands). Then I eat supper, after which I do any chores that can't wait until the weekend and/or rest. Saturdays, I feed my creativity by watching a movie and taking a walk (unless I have to run an errand, then I skip the walk). The rest of the day I do as much needlework as I can fit in, making certain to do at least 30 min. Sundays, I do 4 hours of needlework before lunch, and after lunch I do all of my chores for the week.

So, Mon., Wed., Thurs., Fri., and Sun. I'm doing 4 hours of needlework per day. Tues. and Sat. I'm doing at least a half hour per day. That's 21 hours per week which is more than my day job and a vast improvement on what I had been doing.

I've been doing this for a week and a half, and so far, so good. I only got in 19 hours this week because I had to run an extra errand on Thurs., but that's still more than my day job since I took Fri. off. I'm still adjusting to this new schedule, and of course the holidays will throw my schedule off a bit, but hopefully things will settle down in January and I can get into a routine.

As to what projects I'm working on, I have a set schedule of types of projects for my 30 min. first thing in the morning on weekdays. Mondays I work on UFOs, Tuesdays my designs, Wednesdays quilts that are in the quilting or binding stages, Thursdays projects that are in the finishing stages, and Fridays household items or clothing. The rest of the time I do whatever projects I want to work on. At the moment, I'm trying to focus on my designs on weekdays, but I plan to be flexible about that so that I don't drive myself crazy again. This way, I'm not neglecting any of my projects, but I still have the freedom to work on whatever I feel like.

This seems to be working. I've gotten a lot done this past week and a half, and I'm happy about which projects I'm working on. I'm also managing to get all of my chores done. I don't know where the extra time materialized from, but it does seem to be there, and I don't seem to be overtiring myself.

I haven't given up on finishing my UFOs. I'm still working on them at least once a week (often more), and I'm doing my best not to acquire more. I'm not starting any new projects except for my designs or things I need (such as household items or clothing) until I've finished my old projects. Eventually, I will reach my old goals of using up all of my acrylic yarn (yes, I'm still working on that one) and having only a few of each type of project.

As for the blog, I still plan to only post when I've finished something, but hopefully with the changes to my schedule I'll be finishing more projects and posting more often.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Elements of Nature I

I've finished stitching Elements of Nature I, which is adapted from the artwork of Jennifer Pugh.

This one about drove me crazy. Not only was there a major printing error on the chart (which was also poorly written), but there wasn't enough floss to complete it. Fortunately, I also bought the companion piece, Elements of Nature II, so I was able to rob that one to get enough matching floss to finish this one. Also, the color codes on the chart turned out to be DMC numbers, so I can just buy DMC floss to replace the colors I had to "borrow" and hang onto the leftovers from this kit to be sure that I have enough of the other colors. I'll also know to double check the chart before starting to be sure the sections line up properly so I won't have to do any frogging (I ended up cutting and taping this one together, and I had to fill in a missing column of stitches).

After this project, I'm finished with kits. There have been too many times when I've had to play floss chicken (hat tip to Phil at The Twisted Yarn for that delightful expression) or substitute a similar color because there wasn't enough in the kit to complete the project. Either that, or I end up throwing away a ton of extra floss because it can't be used in anything else. From now on, I'll only buy charts that use DMC colors and buy the floss and fabric separately. That way, I'll know I can buy more floss if I don't have enough, and leftovers can be used in other projects.

My elbow's healed enough to use an iron now (yay!), so I get to work on Around the Town next. See you when the next project's done. :)

Friday, May 5, 2017


I've finally finished stitching Serenity by Joan Elliott. I actually finished it last Thursday but have only just got around to blogging about it.

So far, I'm right on track for my goal of finishing 6 projects this year. I haven't, however, been doing so well on my plan to work on one finishing project, one quilting/binding project, and one of my own designs each week. This year has been so crazy that I just haven't had as much time for needlework as I would have liked. Things seem to be settling down now, but I still think I need to scale back and just focus on my remaining 4 goal projects. Once those are done, hopefully I can start getting into a weekly routine.

I wanted to work on Around the Town next, but I hurt my right elbow (not badly) and until it heals I can't use an iron. Crocheting's a bad idea too, so I'm working on Elements of Nature I even though I'm rather tired of cross stitch at the moment. The good news is that it's coming along fairly quickly; enough so that I hope I don't finish it before my elbow heals as I don't fancy trying to learn to iron left-handed. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Rose Cross

I've already finished one of my projects for this year's goal! Yay! I've finished stitching the Rose Cross by Irene O. Thomas. I actually finished it a week ago, but between work craziness and illness I haven't had a chance to blog about until today.

The remaining 5 projects won't go this quickly. 😉 This one was nearly done when I posted about my goals. So far, I've managed to work on a goal project, a quilting/binding project, and one of my designs each week. However, I haven't been working on a finishing project because that involves digging through my stash and the aforementioned craziness and illness has prevented that. I'm hoping this weekend to be able to get started on my next finishing project and get back on track.