Monday, February 28, 2011

Storyteller progress 1/31/11

I guess that post about the hole I had to fix didn't really call out that I have been stitching on this piece again, a few hours each day and have made a bunch of progress. Here it is as of 1/31. In a few days I'll post the February progress picture and it looks so different. But the border may be a big slowdown. It is awkwardly shaped and there are more empty spaces that means I won't let the thread cross, so I will have to start and stop a lot more.

I've added a couple of detail photos to show the large number of colors used in the wings and in the storyteller.  There's a section that is all half crosses to indicate a castle on a hill in the background.

I do all the backstitching last.  I know there are some out there who hate backstitching.  I love to do it, bringing the indistinctness of color patches into greater focus as the people or animals or objects in the scene.

Storyteller detail
Originally uploaded by polyrhythmic

Storyteller detail
Originally uploaded by polyrhythmic

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Location of hole.
Originally uploaded by polyrhythmic
In January I noticed that there were two broken threads in the linen of my Storyteller WIP. I had to fix them. Look at the pictures in this set to see the whole story.

Flickr set showing the fix.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

WIP #6

Originally uploaded by polyrhythmic
This one may very well remain a UFO. It is a Christmas stocking kit, The Night Before Christmas from Bucilla, designed by Bonnie Smith Disotell. This may be the first cross stitch kit I purchased for myself. I am sure my grandmother was involved in the purchase of everything I did before this one. Not so sure on this one.

I have the whole kit, put away while I was in high school. Maybe worked on in college, but certainly not for long after 1990 or thereabouts. The kit materials are fine, its just that the instructions are long gone. Should I ever decide to finish this one, I'll have to figure out how to get them again. Bucilla customer support? eBay? Who knows. I have many other projects. THough it would be a shame to officially abandon anything, this may be the one.

Monday, February 21, 2011

WIP #5

Originally uploaded by polyrhythmic
This piece is a Dimensions Gold Collection kit, Angel of Elegance by Laine Gordon. The copyright date on the bag is 1994 and I am pretty sure I bought it in an after Christmas sale in 1995 to have something to work on when I was visiting my parents. I bought it in one of their local needlework stores. At the time I was probably working on Teresa Wentzler's Father Christmas as a surprise Christmas present for my mom, so I needed something else.

Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum's angels were getting really popular around then, so this was probably Dimensions' answer. I distinctly remember preferring this design to the MLI Christmas designs available at the time. Today, I can't figure out why. I mean, I still love this angel, but there's no reason to say she's better than the others.

WIP #4

Originally uploaded by polyrhythmic
I'm a Teresa Wentzler-oholic. I own most of her designs, even the ones in magazines. The ones I am missing are either the very newest, released after I stopped stitching in around 2000, or the very oldest, in old magazines that are hard to find and the designs didn't have her name attached so I needed the TW bulletin board to tell me which the were.

For all that collecting, I have only completed one of her designs, Father Winter, which I think I finished in 1998, because that is the year I sewed into it. If I remember correctly, it was a Christmas present for my mom and I just missed finishing it for 1997.

This WIP is Storyteller. I've chosen this one to work on since I decided to do more cross stitch. The picture, like all the WIP pictures so far, is progress as of January 20, 2011, but I've put a lot more into it since then. Its also progress as of probably June 2000. I will guess that I basically stopped stitching in June because I know I moved that month (into a much smaller space) and I probably packed everything up and never unpacked it. It was stored in big plastic bins, so its not like there was much difference between stored stash and packed to move stash.

Storyteller is being stitched on some sore of linen. The directions say the model was stitched on platinum Cashel, so I'll go ahead and say that I'm unlikely to have varied from that.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

WIP #3

Originally uploaded by polyrhythmic
This is the last of the WIPs where I have finished he stitching, but need to frame or otherwise complete the object. The pattern is Misty Morn from a Cross My Heart leaflet called Artistic Landscapes. It is done all in half cross stitch to look more fine and misty. I must have stitched it in early 2000, but I don't exactly remember. I also have no idea why I'd have cut the aida to about a half an inch margin. Now what shall Ido with it?

I really like this booklet. There are 8 landscape designs, any of which I'd like to stitch.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Goal: Exercise

2011: not great with the getting regular exercise.  But I had to do something:  In 2008 when we were training for the Boston Marathon, my friend Ben pointed out a brand new event happening in Jacksonville, Florida.  26.2 with Donna: the National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer.  They were holding both a marathon and a half marathon in February; the half would be perfect timing for our marathon training.  So three of us went down, escaped from winter and ran 13.1 miles.  Ben and I have been there every year so far and I can't break the streak.

On Sunday I lined up with thousands of other runners.  My usual approach to distance runs is to walk one minute, run for 2-4 minutes, depending on how fit I feel.  With no training in the past year, I wasn't sure if I should even run at all.  I had 7 hours to finish 13.1 miles, which is plenty of time to walk the whole thing.  But it seemed I should work for the medal, so I decide to walk 1 minute, run 1 minute, repeat until I can't do that anymore, then walk the whole thing. It is my tradition to run (well, jog) the mile that takes place on the packed sand of Jacksonville Beach.  So I did that, and ended up maintaining the 1/1 intervals for the whole race.  I finished in 3 hours, 33 minutes and 8 seconds.

My feet hurt.  No surprise there.  But then a new thing happened: my left foot kept hurting, even with advil and ice.  I slept only in snatches all night, trying to make it feel better.  But it still hurt in the morning, so I went to a doctor, just to be sure.  Thank goodness it appears to just be tendonitis, with no fracture.  This is new for me in all the running and biking I have done.  It's now Tuesday night and it still hurts some.

I have a series of shorter races coming up.  I hope I can do them.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Goal: More money. Some teensy progress

The registration and first day of classes deadline passed, ending the possibility that i would change my mind and take more classes rather than apply for jobs.  That's kind of an oops.  I would have preferred to make that choice more actively rather than think the deadline was 1/30 when it was really 1/23.  There was a moment of considering that I still had time, because the late registration deadline had not passed and I had only missed the first week of classes.  Then I considered that I was out of the habit of thinking of myself as a student, and would not easily switch gears.  So I stuck to the plan that having a job is better than continuing to take classes which, while fascinating, are draining my savings and I'm no longer taking them seriously enough that I remember any material past the exam.

It has been a month since I got home after Christmas.  Here is the sum total of progress toward getting a new job:

1. I have looked at one university's job posting board and entered my profile information, and basic education and employment history to the account I created there.   THis is a step forward, because normally I have looked at that board but not created an account.

2. I have browsed craigslist enough to believe that there are jobs that might be interesting.

3. I have considered whether I want to do straight biology or computational biology.  Computational would combine my original degree with the new studies, but I am afraid it would lead to the same uninspired miserable feelings that corporate application programming led to.  Straight bio would not pay as well and has the possibility of my losing interest in doing lab work after it becomes routine.  Also, what if I got sloppy and ruined someone's years of research?

4.  I opened my last resume, changed the education section, and attempted to add my last job.  Of course, it has been 18 months since I did that job and it wasn't all that interesting in the first place.  So I've forgotten all the description and jargon to include.  Oh well.  I guess the important part is that I was employed there.

I think the most important thing I need is a cover letter explaining how the resume of a database developer and application programmer fits with a job posting for an entry level research assistant.

February TUSAL

Originally uploaded by polyrhythmic
I spent the snowstorm at a friends house. When I got home yesterday, there was a drift as tall as my snow shovel to get through. Then I slept.

So finally, now that I've gotten to it, is the Totally Useless StitchALong bowl, with substantially more orts in it than before. There are some scraps of the blue yarn from the hat I finished knitting, some red, and green and blue and white from a tiny ornament that took me days to finish, and some more subtle yellows, brown, purples, etc from much work on a Teresa Wentzler WIP.

What's missing are the orts from the small Daydreams kit I took to the friends house for snowed in stitching.

Pics of new projects and progres since I pulled out the WIPS will appear after I get through the pics of the WIPs themselves.