Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hearts are finished

I finished it!! WOO HOO!! I'm so happy with how this turned out. :)

The design is stitched 1x2 on 36 ct Lakeside Light Examplar, using 2 colours of NPI and Gloriana in silk floss and Princess Perle Petite. It's got a ton of specialty stitches, various rhodes stitches, satin stitch, eyelets, queen stitches, hungarian stitches, smyrna crosses, and a variety of pulled stitches... so it's challenging, but I had lots of fun with it. :)

Now I just need to finally decide on a name and finish the chart!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Kaleidescopic finish

Well it's done. Actually it was done on Saturday night, but I finally got Nate to bring the camera down. lol

This is stitched in silks (of course) that I bought off ebay years ago. They're flat, untwisted filament silks from Suzhou, China. I turned the brightness up a few notches - I tried hard to get the colours in the picture accurate, but with colours this bright it's difficult. I took this in direct sunlight and it's about as close as I can get! It's still much brighter in person though. I wish the camera could pick up the shine, it's amazing! For the black I used HDF, and looking at the finish I probably should have doubled up, it's a bit thin in spots. The fabric is 40 count linen from HDF which is supposed to be an evenweave, though as you can probably tell from the pictures, it's not. The design finished up 7 inches by 7 1/2 inches, so there is definitely a difference in the warp and weft. Overall, I'm very happy with it though, and it was a delightfully fun project. Taming the threads was a bit of a challenge with my frightfully rough hands, but I enjoyed it. :)

I didn't stitch last night, just wasn't feeling up to it. It's that time of the month when I curse being a woman, and the cramps were just awful. Plus, I was supposed to go visit mom after work, but the car isn't co-operating. I could smell gas something terrible on the way home last night, and Jon checked it out and we have a leak in the tank. So after his test run at the shoe store today, he's taking it in.

So now to decide... I'm off for the day today, and I want to spend the day stitching my heart out. Should I start Triangles? Should I finish hearts? Hmmm....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

And finally, some good news

Jon and I both had job interviews yesterday. :) Mine was for the full time position in my department that I applied for, and went very well. I think I have a fair shot at it. It wouldn't be a drastic change from what I do now, I generally work almost full time hours as it is, the biggest deal is bigger benefits, better pension and profit sharing, slightly better pay... The store manager is off now for a few weeks, so I'm sure I won't hear right away. Not getting my hopes up too high though, I know what my luck is like!

Jon's interview also went well. It's for a job in retail sales, and I knew he would do well. They've already called him and asked him to come in on Monday for a trial run, probably just to see how he does with customers. I'm sure he'll be wonderful, he's one of those people that everyone just likes instantly - makes you laugh, isn't happy unless everyone around him is smiling - and I guarantee, people will come in for one little thing and end up spending a fortune and coming back again and again just because he works there. Seriously. I know I'm biased, but I see how people -especially women - react to him, he's a charmer. He's very excited.

While he was on his interview, he met a lady in the store who lives here in town and does framing. How did I not know this? He was asking her about needlework framing and she gave him her card and was telling him that she pins and then laces, uses only acid free materials, conservation glass, etc, so I'm curious. He mentioned my business to her and was telling her that I'm looking for a good framer I can trust to do my models. I know there are lots of great framers, but I want one close by - local is even better! So I'm going to give her a call on Monday and have a chat. :)

I'm down to my last four colours on Kaleidoscope, I would have finished it yesterday but I stayed late at work again. So I'll finish it up when I get home this afternoon. I decided I'm going to spend the next few weeks on a finishing spree before I start my next model. I've got several that are getting close. I might have to start Ink Circles Cirque des Triangles though. Just cause.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A little of this, a little of that...

I've been quiet of late, lots and lots of life going on and been a bit on the busy side to take some me time. So as today is a day off work, I'm making me time!

First up, a review.

I finally started using my Carrie's silks for Rhapsody in Red. I already knew I loved Carrie's colours, she has brilliant bold combinations and wild overdyes that I just adore. However, this was my first real chance to dive in and stitch with her silks. Well, the verdict is in. I love them. They're very smooth, no real fuzziness, and have a lot of shine. I've been stitching with them on 45 count Graziano, and there is a little bit of fuzzing, but nothing too terrible. I would hazard a guess that a #26 needle would be better, but with this count of fabric that's not possible. The odd tangle or knot, but nothing terribly taxing. I got my silks from Wasatch Needlecraft, there are a few other shops online which carry them or you can order directly from Carrie. No pics today though, the camera has disappeared into the abyss of my son's room.

I had to take a break from the hearts... I was getting to the point of not even wanting to stitch, which generally means it's time to work on something else. I got quite a bit of Rhapsody done this week, but I knew I wouldn't be able to work for long periods on this one since I've stitched half of it before. I ended up pulling out Ink Circle's Kaleidoscope and have been stitching on that the past couple days. I finished up all the black outlining, now I'm filling in all the colours. Coming along swimmingly - I could have a finish this week if I keep up my blistering pace! Then I'll return to the hearts and finish up the last couple bands. Still not sure if I'll release right away or wait for October.

On the job front, my manager and one of the full time people in my department retired. I was ambivalent about seeing my manager go, she was due for retirement this month but had to go early as she was diagnosed with breast cancer. As a person, I adore her, she's a wonderful lady, and can be a good laugh at times. As a boss, she was moody, domineering and well, bossy - though not in a good way. But I'll still miss her and I do wish her all the best. The other full time person leaving was a bit of shock. She didn't mention it to anyone, she was leaving for a week's vacation and we all thought she was coming back. Turns out she had talked to the store manager just before her departure, but didn't say any goodbyes to us. So anyway, 2 full time positions have opened up in the department. I did a lot of soul searching to decide if I should apply for one. With the needlework designing, I sort of need extra time to do it, but at the same time, the stability of a full time job would be very comforting. So after a week of back and forth I bit the bullet and I applied. I don't know that I'll get one, but I hope I do. If I don't, it won't be the end of the world.

Jon is improving, but getting very restless being around the house all the time. On one hand it's great because I haven't had to do much in the way of cleaning for a couple weeks. On the other hand, he's getting a little down. He had decided a few weeks back that he wanted a change of career, something that won't be so taxing on his body. Labouring for one bricklayer is bad enough, but for two is crippling him. He's scheduled to return to work on May 25th, but he wants to find something before then. He went to the job centre, but they want him to do a week of assessments before he can apply for any jobs they have, and the hours they do them conflict with my work schedule, so it's just not possible. So he's been applying to everything he can find in the paper, online and via word of mouth, but hasn't heard back from any of them and it's quite obviously getting to him. I think what bugs him most is that until he came to Canada, he never had to worry about finding jobs. If he was in need of one he'd have one within a day or two just by word of mouth because he literally knew everyone in the town where he lived.

The weather here has been weird. Last week we actually had a day where it we had a thunderstorm, rain, hail and snow all in one day. This last couple of days have been ridiculously humid, and the temperature has jumped into the 20's. I even managed a bit of a tan on my lunch one day last week. lol The warmer temperatures have brought back the tourists though. I know they're great for the town and the local businesses, but when it takes me half an hour to get home from work because the traffic on Main St. is moving at 10km/h I get a bit bitchy. With the warmer weather, work has also really picked up and we're all trying to work at Speedy Gonzales pace (or at least most of us do, there is at least one who moves like she's got lead feet). I have some awesome co-workers though, and what we manage to accomplish some days on a skeleton crew is amazing.

Hmmm... what else is new? Well the boy has decided what he wants to do with his life and has actually started to try and pursue it. He's a very talented artist, and after a lot of back and forth between graphic design, animation and video game design, he's decided on something totally different. He wants to be a tattoo artist, much to the dismay of my mother. She still sees it as something only bikers do - I see it as a wonderful form of art and self expression. I think it's great, he's really knuckled down at school so he can get into college for illustration, and has been spending a lot of time at the local tattoo shop speaking with the owner about an apprenticeship. I think it's actually a good fit for him and can see him being very happy doing it. I've always said I don't care what career he chooses, as long as it's something that he will be happy doing. When you can get up in the morning and look forward to going to work, you've chosen the right path, and that is exactly what I think he's done. He's excited about something other than a new video game for the first time in ages, and it's wonderful to see. Plus it means I get free tattoos. Bonus.

I think that's about it for today, since the fluffy cat is now so desperate for affection that he's actually trying to hinder my typing and trying to climb up me to my shoulder. I have to hug and snuggle him at least 10 times a day for him to be happy. *sigh*