Wednesday, May 27, 2015

111 Versus 317

Yesterday I shipped this leftover yarn
to its new home, so in my Raverly stash (which I sincerely hope FINALLY lists every bit of yarn lurking around here), I have 316 entries IN my stash, and 111 either used up, sold, or given away.  I wish I'd started keeping track the minute I joined Raverly, because there would be a lot more "used up" entries, but 111 is pretty exciting.  It would be even MORE exciting if the sewing room wasn't still overflowing. 

The fact that I could have 20 yards of something lurking in my fabric stash was a pretty big shock--even for me.  What else could be lurking in here--50 yards of blue cotton? Fabric for 28 dresses?  Jimmy Hoffa?  I have kept a spreadsheet to try to keep track of fabric (and yarn to begin with), but obviously it hasn't worked that well.  Things that I use a lot and buy in big quantities--white, black, and red quilting cotton, felt--never get listed because I am always using them but often in small amounts at a time.  So, I've started slowly going through the pile and adding them to my project book.  This could take a while...........

For starters,
since the cool purple fabric from yesterday is now for me rather than Andy, I dug this out.  It was fabric Andy had picked out for a shirt a while ago, and I want to take another stab at that casual shirt pattern because there's an issue with the front facing that I might need to change, and I'd like to do it while I still remember.  And it would take 2 1/2 yards out of the stash.  And I can locate it--this is a big thing.

I'm also bagging things up so they won't fade in the sun, since my sewing room faces south and obviously, this is going to take some time to use up--even with MY delusions of fabric/yarn usage.  The top bag is probably the oldest fabric still remaining in my stash.  When I first bought a sewing machine, I made several sets of fan-shaped placemats, and this was from the first set:
It's a blue rose pattern which matches my dishes really well.  I still have all the placemats, but since my table only seats 6, I only made 6, and since then, there have been several times I'd wished for a few more--like when I can't find all 6 or all 6 aren't clean.  So, that gets to be a pretty high priority, because just doing laundry more frequently obviously isn't going to happen. I used purchased doilies for a lace inset at the bottom, so they have to wait until I can find more of them, but aside from that, it's a fairly easy project.

Underneath is some navy microsuede--I believe 5 yards.  It's probably been in the stash for a while as most microsuede was purchased after I had discovered how lovely it was to wear but before I had attempted to work with the stuff.  I think it could make a lovely long-sleeved shirt for Andy, and I have finally learned to work reasonably well with microsuede (except for the latest disaster), but I'll move that one back down the list a bit as I've promised him a different long-sleeved shirt for his birthday this year, and I still haven't made his gift from LAST year (which will move to the top of the list once I locate the fabric.)  But they're all on the list now.

This came down with the things I was tugging on,
and in spite of the blurry photograph, I love this fabric.  I'm thinking shirt for me.  I have two yards of it, so maybe I should make a long-sleeved shirt?  My summer clothes are mostly things I've made, and tend to be brighter and cheerier than my winter clothes, which lean toward solid colors.  What do you think--too busy for a long-sleeved shirt?

This,
I probably bought to make a dress as there's 4 5/8 yards of the stuff.  Actually, I probably bought it on clearance and just bought whatever was left on the bolt, but it's a thin silky-type polyester and I might switch this for Andy's silky, casual shirt.  He loves this print, and it would leave enough fabric for maybe a light jacket or shrug for me--that could be fun.

This:
is peachskin, which I'm sure I bought to make another jacket/shirt/pants combo for me.  Andy really likes this one as well, so we'll talk about it.  My hip is improving, but I still can't wear normal pants.  Things with non-stretchy waistbands, no matter how loose, pull on my hip a bit it seems.  I suppose 40 years of being in one place would be a difficult habit to break, but it leaves me wearing the same 5-6 things.  So, I might co-opt this one, or find the black peachskin which would be interchangeable with the things I already have.  We'll see.  Maybe this will be the year I can finally wear jeans again!

And while I'm sorting through all of this,
I'm embroidering some felt gift bags.  Several pieces of felt came tumbling down on top of me while rummaging, and if attacking fabric isn't a sign, I don't know what is......
 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The last spicy spiral table runner is done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 I love these, and am tremendously pleased with how they turned out, but WOW, are they complicated! 

In spite of a busy 3-day weekend, I also finished the latest socks,
and the second Magic-themed table runner:
 58 finished projects so far this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I still have a table runner I need to finish by mid-June for another anniversary gift, but Andy has been loving the shirt I made him for Valentine's Day, 
so I decided to try to make the shirt I originally bought the pattern to make.  It's been on my project list as "colorblocks peachskin shirt for Andy" for a while, so I did actually remember what the fabric looked like, but when I had Andy help me dig it out,
I don't know WHAT we were thinking when we bought this.  I'd even sent a picture of it to Andy before I bought it, but looking at it yesterday, we both realized this is fabric Andy would NEVER wear.  EVER.  Luckily, I would, so it's no real loss, but this might help explain the fabric stash just a bit..........

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

George Has Been Safely Caught And Relocated

Did I sound at all freaked out that there was a mouse under the bed?  Well, it got worse--he got into my closet!
I am not a bold or exhibitionist sort of person, but if it came down to getting clothes out of a closet containing a mouse or going naked, going naked would win--believe me.  I made an unsuccessful dive (which will NOT be mentioned to the physical therapist) to head him off, but I am not the mouser I once was.  Andy stopped what he was doing and we went ON THE HUNT.

Armed with a cardboard box and a plastic lid to slide under it, we found he had taken refuge by one of my old tennis shoes, so Andy slammed the box down over the shoe, slid the lid underneath it, and we hustled downstairs and outside only to find that we'd captured a sheepish-looking old nylon.  Gathering up the shoe and the old nylon, we tried again.  He darted into another part of the closet, where we caught an old hanger.  And the petticoat to my wedding dress got a lovely airing out on the front lawn.  Finally we changed tactics and boxes:
and finally captured George, who is obviously an Olympic athlete of the rodent set.  We opted to skip the fanfare, but it took us so long to catch him that Andy and I both walked out into the nearby field to introduce George into a new vole colony.  I'm sure I'll be spending subsequent years trying to drive George's offspring out of my garden, but at least the house is rodent-free...........for now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Prabook.org - Identity Theft R Us

So Sunday night I discovered a new "social media" website called prabook.org, and the WAY I discovered it was to find out that someone had created a profile for ME--without my permission or knowledge--INCLUDING date and location of birth, who my parents are (including my mother's maiden name), and they even had a copy of an old resume and had uploaded all the details from that. I immediately contacted them to tell them to take it down, which they did, but they said that since anyone can add information, it could be restored, they would do nothing about it, and they assumed no responsibility for anything about their website.

I know there's a lot of information and public records available online, but the resume they got hold of was from around 1997, so it would have been printed on actual paper and mailed to companies.  It was never emailed or uploaded to anything.  So the copy they have, if not obtained illegally, was certainly obtained in an unauthorized manner via old company files or dumpster-diving.   So aside from supplying more than enough information for someone to have swiped my identity, they're doing it through unauthorized--perhaps illegal--methods.

So, make sure to do a web search on your own name on a regular basis. I had no idea anyone could be quite so clueless, but prabook.org is a real site and their policies are dangerous and inexcusable.

Updated to add:  Since posting these warnings, both my blogs have been hit with surges of traffic stemming from countries so known for identity theft that most American credit cards automatically reject any transactions in them.  If Prabook weren't a scam, why the sudden interest?  And WHY STEAL INFORMATION?  So, it's almost certainly a scam. If your information has been published without your knowledge or consent, please file a complaint IMMEDIATELY with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

REALLY Early Monday Morning

4:30 AM: squeaking mouse wake-up call.

4:31 AM: cat drops mouse, which promptly runs under the bed

4:31-4:35 AM: join cat-human task force work on finding mouse

4:36 AM: cat gets bored and leaves

4:37 AM: sleep-deprived human decides a mouse is likely to stay where it thinks it is safe for at least a little while

4:38 AM: sleep-deprived human decides that the idea of a mouse roaming the bedroom is NOT conducive to going back to sleep

Which is why there are two peanut-butter laced mousetraps under the bed and humans and cats are not currently on speaking terms.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Good News Is.....

.....I found approximately 20 yards of white cotton in my stash:
The bad news  (besides not knowing that I had 20 yards of something squirreled away) is that this is what 20 yards of fabric looks like.  To date, I've used up just over 26 yards of fabric--mostly in cotton--so this is just about exactly the physical stash reduction so far this year.  EKE!  Fleece!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I need to sew with fleece!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The other good news is:  I have graduated to 6 weeks between physical therapy appointments!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That would be even MORE exciting if my backside didn't still ache from yesterday.  To be fair, the spot that has hurt at almost all previous appointments didn't hurt at all, and I had just relaxed and was starting to even enjoy the backside massage until she got to the two unexpected sore spots.  Once she peeled me off the ceiling it did probably help, but that little flicker of hope was cruel, just cruel......

 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dodged A Bullet This Time!

I have my monthly physical therapy appointment this morning, and while by now I have grown used to the idea that I pay another human to rub my backside, I still rather dread the appointments because they generally hurt.  So I make conditional plans, such as "If I can still move, I'm going to go to the grocery store."  Sometimes it works fine, and other times I have to walk around for a bit before I can drive home.  Did I mention that I pay money for this?

Today I had 3 potential stops lined up, because we need groceries, I want to go to the library, and I realized the final spicy spiral runner's backing was going to take up most of the piece of white cotton I've been using, and there was a distinct possibility that I'd be braving Joanns for some extra fabric.  But,
see that white up there?  I think it's cotton!  And, even though I generally try not to do such things before I see the therapist, I'm going to run and grab the stepladder to make sure.  Fingers crossed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Help! I'm Being Attacked By Table Runners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, maybe it just feels like that. Though they don't call that one the "spicy" spiral runner for nothing......

In a rare feat of being ON TIME, I finished a gift for this weekend,
and after 4 hours spent machine embroidering that center block, I have found that piecing is NOT the slowest method for a table runner ever.  That would be 3 guitars.  It does have a few issues, but don't we all?

In my little episode with the credit card and some clearance embroideries, I actually did display SOME sense, and found a "magic" set,
which we thought would work for our niece and nephew who are into the game called "Magic."  We did briefly debate whether or not a table runner was appropriate for those in their 20s, but they generally don't thank us for anything ANYWAY, so we wouldn't know if they have liked ANYTHING we've given them.

LOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The third and final (of this color scheme) spicy spiral runner is cut out and underway!!!!!!!!!!!  After a reasonable break--which will probably involve the cutting out of large, space-consuming pieces of fabric and the attempted sewing of clothing--I think I'll try some in fall colors.  I love the Christmas colors, but it's May and I am planting flowers!!!!!!!!  It's just a bit difficult to get excited about holly and snowflakes.

And my heating pad project the socks are moving along at lightning speed,
or at least lightning speed for something on itty-bitty needles.  WHEW!  I won't know what to do with all the room freed up by that one ball of sock yarn.  Oh my!

Sarcasm is such an ugly thing first thing in the morning........................

Friday, May 8, 2015

Are You Sitting Down??????

In deference to my back, I have made the decision that I shouldn't garden on the days I go to the gym!

Moderation!!!!!!!!  Maturity!!!!!  I know--two words which generally have NOTHING to do with me, and certainly nothing to do with my back/hip issues.  It probably helps that after two rounds through the weight machines, my arms are really tired, but lets not even pretend that such a thing has stopped me before.  Or last Wednesday, for that matter.........

So, rather than being out gardening, I am working on the music table runner and rummaging through the sewing room for fabric for a new summer dress--or ANYTHING not resembling a table runner or even remotely rectangular.  And that will use up stash fabric in greater than 1/2 and 1-yard increments.......


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Days Are Getting Longer!

And I am getting stronger!  It doesn't always feel like it to me, because healing is such a slow process in general, but I'm exercising, gardening, crafting--all in the same day!  I'm still being careful and being very, VERY firm on not doing things like long car rides and too much sitting.  I'll probably never see a movie in a theater again because I don't like movies enough for the risk, but that's okay.  Besides, it's too hard to knit. 

SPEAKING OF KNITTING:
There has been some!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'll wait a minute for you to recover from the shock.  Lately most of my crafting time has been taken up with sewing, which makes some sense as this year I'm trying to free up space in the sewing room and this
shows progress faster than yarn.  Or it would if I were making something besides table runners.  I'm sure there were more time-consuming projects I could have picked for Christmas gifts, but I'm not sure that I didn't find THE highest one for time-consumed for smallest dent in stash as far as sewing is concerned.  At least I've found a few that don't require piecing or stippling:
and if I ever announce that I am making Spicy Spiral table runners for everyone for Christmas, please send the men with white coats immediately.  

Theo joined me for moral support,
so I haven't finished the second table runner.  But I did get a new ornament done:
I never like these quite as well with the darker color for the fabric, but it's still fun.  I'm trying very hard to stay focused on the existing projects and not go rummaging around in my stash for more fabrics to try with these.  If I thought the tablerunners made no visible dent in my stash, these make no dent at all.  Not that I'm not going to immediately fire up Jeeves and make another one, of course.........

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

1/3 Gone

At the beginning of the year, my craft goals were:

  •  Finish 115 projects WITHOUT counting any lace embroidery ornaments unless they are the applique ones 
  • Paint 2 ornaments
  • Try a bargello quilting project
  • Try a braided quilting project
  • Try a stained glass quilting project
  • Make a shoulder bag
  • Make 3 colorwork ornaments
  • Finish 3 ornaments from the ornament kits
 Of which, I have so far only been working on #1.  Technically, the Spicy Spiral table runners are probably bargello, but I'm not going to count them because I want to motivate myself to try the one I had in mind in the first place. 

I'm also not exactly making any real dent in the stash.  So far I've used up:

Yards of fabric: 23.375
Yards of yarn:  4843.1
skeins of yarn: 26.615

BUT, with 50 projects completed, I am REALLY smoking that first goal! 

Now, one might wonder why a (somewhat) sane person would make crafting goals or keep track of tallies or any of this.  While not ruling out the possibility of not being sane AT ALL, it does three things:

1.  It keeps my stash manageable.  In my mind at least--though probably not in person.  I have a very, very large stash, but keeping track of it tells me that I have not yet reached Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy, otherwise known as S.A.B.L.E. And, because I like the things I have purchased and actually want to make them and am NOT going to just give away a bunch of stuff, it makes me feel a bit less overwhelmed.

2.  I love starting new projects.  Love, love, LOVE that new project feeling.  Finishing them?  Not so much.  But, being a complete Type A person, I can become a complete maniac over checking things off list and tallies!!!  Really, this is a Big Thing in my world.  So, having the tallies is the best way to bribe myself to FINISH things.  If one can't control one's inner child, one should at least know how to work with her.

3.  Staying focused on my stash helps to stay away from buying new stuff.  Obviously, this works better at times than others, but I am always thinking of new projects, and of course, new is exciting.  The old ones were exciting at one point as well, and the tallies help add the excitement back into the EXISTING things. 

And there should probably be a fourth:  It helps me show progress when one can't really see progress in the stash itself. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Embroidering

 Sunday morning Andy and I went to the gym, and after that, gardening was out of the question.  So, I worked on a new table runner for some musical friends,
and put together the snowflake blocks I'd worked on earlier:
Really, I'm almost a bit tired of the winter/Christmas theme going on around here.  Almost...........
I did have to try out another of the new free-standing lace ornaments.  It's so nice that I don't get obsessed or anything.......................