Friday, December 26, 2014

Last Year's Resolutions - How Did I Do?

So, time for me to look at my stitching goals for last year and see how I did.  
2014 GOALS
1.Stitch for 15 minutes a day - every day.  This is the best goal I ever set for myself and has kept me on track more than anything else I have done.  If you stitch for 15 minutes every day (yes, set a timer!) you will likely keep stitching longer on a lot of days.  Even if you don't, you will be stitching 1-3/4 hours a week which isn't too shabby.  Also, and most important, I know that if I don't stitch today, I likely won't stitch tomorrow and before I know it the trend snowballs and I'm not going to be stitching at all.
This continues to be a challenge but I think I do a bit better each year.  Still not happening every day but when it does, it is good.  Can't recommend this one enough!
2.Blog regularly.  I fell down on this hopelessly this year and as a result only a couple of diehards are still reading my blog - thank you both of you!  lol  If I post what I am stitching I can see that I am accomplishing something and that is all good.  It is another tool to keep me going which can be difficult as I cycle in and out of the depressed state which is par for the course for me.
78 blog posts this year so far - still pretty bad but up from the previous year at 58 posts.  Have to find more time to stitch so I have more to write about.  
  1. One show or exhibition this year!  Doesn't have to be big (it won't be) but something to get me out there at least locally.  It doesn't have to crazy quilting either - just some sort of art or craft.  I am dabbling more now with other things which is fun and helps to get all the stash under control!
I was artist of the month at Vulcan County one month this year and had a great time yarn bombing the county office and town.  
  1. Write at least two articles and submit them for publication.  It's another way to get yourself out there and the research is good discipline.  Lord knows I need discipline! lol  Once again, I don't expect to get two pieces published, but I would like to at least write them and submit them - that is the goal.
Actually had three articles accepted this year and two of them have been published already.
  1. Start taking EAC correspondence courses with the goal of getting my Teacher's Certification from EAC.  This will be long and drawn out - there are quite a few courses needed but this year I will actually start!  We'll see how far I get.
My husband reminded me of this last night and I will order the first class today sometime and get going.
  1. On a similar note, I would like to get back into teaching stitching which means getting some teaching proposals organized and getting them submitted in time for fall deadlines.
I taught two mini-workshops at the Calgary guild and am putting together some proposals to get out there for teaching this year.
  1. This year I am going to aim at entering at least two competitions with my stitching.  Not as ambitious as my related goals in other years but for the queen of procrastination it might be more realistic.
I entered a beaded bracelet this year in the EAC Beaded Jewelery Challenge and snagged 3rd place.  Also entered a couple pieces in the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede - got a ribbon for one of them.
  1. One item made and donated to charity each month.  This will be more difficult now that AAQI is over and done with.  I have been making them little art quilts for some time now and it was a charity that was a perfect fit for me. Expanding to other forms of stitching and crafts will make it a bit easier to accomplish though.
Not good at all!  I still have not found a niche for my charity stitching now that AAQI has closed down.  Did manage a donation to the school auction next door, some stitching fabric to the Youth Embroiderers and a large donation of stitching books to the library in Milo.  I donated a piece to the EAC auction as well and numerous items to the charity raffle at CGNFA but all in all, I need to do more.
  1. You get from something the amount you put into it so I will continue to try to "pay back? through my involvement in The Embroiderers' Association of Canada, the new EAC Virtual Threads cyber chapter and The Calgary Guild of Needle and Fibre Arts.  I am toying with the ultimate payback - teaching youth to stitch.  This is pretty scary for me to contemplate - the ultimate commitment because you can't go around letting kids down once you commit.  I will continue to mull this one around in my mind though and see where it takes me.
I continue my involvement with the EAC board as Prairie Pacific Regional Director and sitting on the board, doing Archives and Workshops now at the Calgary Guild of Needle & Fibre Arts, and doing another term as President of EAC Virtual Threads.  I put the offer out there to teach stitching to the kids next door at the school but they weren't interested.  Will look around for another venue for that.  Joined another stitching group in Okotoks and they are a nice bunch of ladies to sit and stitch with.
  1. This next one is totally predictable - "the room".  I will take up a seam ripper and get in there and get it organized and under control so I can work.  Right now it is just the biggest stash closet imaginable!
I am actually starting organizing the room at present.  I have dragged all my stash to one location in the adjacent room and have started sorting through it.  I hope to be able to stitch in there in the new year.

This year has been a challenge.  I did not go work at the lake this year but the much anticipated extra time did not materialize.  I went overboard on the garden and bit off more than I could chew which meant I actually wasted a lot of time there.  In September my son moved back in with his family and although I enjoy having them here, it is actually a lot of extra work - I seem to spend all my time in the kitchen or doing housework.

All in all, not bad and I am looking forward to setting some more goals for 2015.  Has anyone else made any stitching goals for his year?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and all the best of everything in 20`15 - may it be your best year yet!
So, where has this blogger been?  On a series of computer misadventures unfortunately.  First my trusty old computer died and I had to buy a new one.  Got it set up and couldn't get online so after a number of unsatisfactory calls to internet support people, finally they determined that it was a problem with their equipment and they sent someone out... eventually.  Last but not least, I had to purchase a new modem and router.  I am finally back online now and hopefully will get back to posting in the next day or so.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Ornament from Betty

I received my last ornament from this year's exchanges in the mail yesterday.  This one is from the EAC Virtual Threads exchange and is from Betty - an adorable little snowman all ready for a snowball fight!  This one is going on the tree today!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Crazy Quilting Update - Ecuador Block

So, did you think I had stopped working on the Ecuador block?  Wrong!  lol As usual, I have painted myself into a bit of a corner.  I have done this in the past with french knots (millions and millions of french knots) and this time it is bullion stitch.

I thought it would be nice to have a llama on the block so since they tend to look like they have dreadlocks I thought the whole thing should be bullion knots.  After I had stitched an outline of my llama, I started by doing the tail in bullion stitches.  Now I have moved onto the legs.  Next I imagine I will go with the head and neck and then move on to the incredibly repetitive bullion stitch body.  As you might guess, I embarked on this with not one milliner's needle in the house so each stitch is a bit of a struggle...
But, I am stitching away and will continue to post updates!  Did I mention I decided to make the llama BIG?  roflol  - if you are going to go crazy making bullions, why not billions of bullions?!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Upcycled Cross Stitch, Another Gift Bag!

I am still having great fun with this tutorial for Christmas gift bags from So Sew Easy.  For this one, I started out with a piece of cross stitch I rescued from the thrift store - all this work being sold for fifty cents! Some people really don't appreciate the value of needlework.
Even if not everyone appreciates the love and work in embroidery, I do, and was happy to upcycle this hooped design into my next gift bag.
 I used buttonhole stitch to attach the embroidery to the front piece for the gift bag I was making and then continued the assembly according to the tutorial.
 The back was just plain although there is a strip of contrast on the top of the back and front sections..
The inside and handles are another contrasting fabric as well.  I just love how it turned out.  This will hold my gift for the gift exchange at my local stitching guild next week.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

African Folklore Embroidery Project Finished

 I joined a new little stitching group in Okotoks a couple months ago and they do projects together.  So, the first one was an African Folklore Embroidery kit.  The black twill comes with the pattern printed on it and you have a handful of assorted pearl cottons to complete it with.  The challenge of this to me was to keep to the tradition of not paying much attention to what colour you used.  The idea is to be random in your choices - use whatever colour you pull out next and to just switch to another colour when you run out.  Not as easy as it sounds to get yourself to do!  lol
 When my darling daughter saw the work in progress, she laid claim to it as a gift for her fellow nursing student from Zimbabwe.  Poor Mary has no family here and has not been home for several years.  Katie is hoping that this will give her a reminder of home and also a reminder that she has friends here who love her and sympathize with homesick feelings.  I made the piece up into a shopping bag or tote bag for her which I hope she will like.
The inside of the bag is lined with some colourful batik cotton which gives it a pop of colour and fun.  I have to say I used a wonderful tutorial I found online which makes assembly of bags, including Christmas gift bags, so easy! This tutorial from So Sew Easy is a real gem! Very handy at this time or year so check it out!