Sunday, October 7, 2012

Insomnia, oh how I hate it.

But at least I am using the time I have to be productive at least productive enough to finally write an update on this blog. I really thought that this time I would actually get in a good full night of sleep but an hour after I was asleep, my older son was making enough noise to wake me up. I no sooner dozed back to sleep when about a half an hour later the younger son came through the house sounding like a heard of elephants. I still tried to get back to sleep but no such luck. I am awake again. So that being the case, I may as well try catching everyone up on my summer.

We didn't go anywhere so no fun adventures. Well unless you count the wind and rain storms that hit Central Ohio on the 29th of June. It knocked out the power for over 600,000 central Ohio families, with power being out any where from 4 days to 2 weeks. We lost an enormouse branch from one of our maple trees out back and it is still caught upside down hanging wedge between branches. What a sight to see every time I look out the back windows! Our neighbor lost the side of one of his trees taking down his electic line from the pole and damaging our line at the pole as well. We were totally without power for about 50 hours before it was restored to our area however, with the damage at the pole, my home only regained partial power. We called the power company numerous times explaining the situation to them but they kept insisting it was our electric breakers. We spent several more days with this partial power and large orange outdoor power cords running power from the few electric outlets that worked to other areas in the house. We were able to get our refridgerator powered this way but not our oven/stove so we cooked outside on a grill until full power was eventually restored. We were able to power two very small air conditioning units upstairs but not enough power for the new large one we purchased last year for the downstairs. We resorted to using fans. We were able to run the computers but, they added to the heat index and it was extremely hot during this outage. Well sometime around day 5 the power company finally went next door to repair our neighbors downed power line and immediately saw the damage to our power line at the pole and fixed the issue. What a crazy week that was. This was the sum of our summer excitement. The expense of that week, lost food etc., was most unwelcomed to our budget. We also spent the week worried that we would possible have to replace our entire electric circuit board because we found the fuse/breakers for it are outdated and no longer sold. We still need to face making this change but now we can choose a better time for us financially to attend to it. Other then this crazy week, the remainder of the summer was spent with Joe and A.J. working and Jared and I at home every day looking for ways to entertain ourselves.

 I did a lot of cross-stitching and Jared has been tending to me quite a bit. I have had several situations with back issues and I am still having issues with that knee I injured back in April. The hospital did a doppler sonagram test on the knee to check for blood clots and thankfully that came back fine. It just doens't seem to take much to re-stress it and cause it to swell back up. With this being an issue, I spend most of my time at home in the house. So, I cross-stitch and knit and crochet but the knitting and crocheting are causing that stupid bursitis in my right shoulder to flare up so the knitting and crocheting had to be set aside nearly as soon as I started on it. At least I discovered Netflix. LOL! I have really enjoyed having control over what I watch and when I watch it. I love all the programs it has to offer and the variety too. So I sit and cross-stich and watch Netflix oh and I have also been playing that sci-fi computer game I love so much, Anarchy Online. I did purchase quite a few Heaven and Earth Designs for cross-stitch over the summer. I sort of regret doing that. As much as I love the artwork, I strongly dislike all the confetti stitching that is incuded in the charting. They really need to be cleaned up better before being sold. So I really have no clue if I will ever buy any more of their charts or stich half of the ones I bought. Too much confetti stitching takes the joy of stitching away. Also there is a tendancy to make the size of the finished designs far too large for the tiny stitch count they recomend. I have quite a few of the charts already in progress.

Speaking of my needlework in progress, I guess it is time to post a few photos of what I have been working on and some of my purchases.

I do not generally get into Halloween type stuff but I have had this chart since it was published in a magazine back in 1994 and it just sort of caught my attention. I am doubtful that I will have it completed in time to hang up and display for this Halloween but definitely for next year. It is stitched on 14 count Aida cloth.
This is the current completed progress on Diamond Squares design by Handblessings. I did recieve the next 3 squares to add to it but haven't gotten around to adding them just yet.
This is one of my purchases over the summer from Heaven and Earth Designs called "Enchanted Flute"  I love the image of it but wow it will have a lot of "confetti" stitching in it. This is not one I plan to tackle any time soon.
This is my son A.J's cat Galadrial. For some reason she has really taken a strong liking to me lately and is constantly sitting as close to me as she can while I am stitching. She doesn't bother my floss nor attack it while I pull it through the fabric. Nope, she just constantly purrs loudly enough to be heard at least 10 feet away and paws at me to stop and give her a scratch on the head or a stroke down her back. She has become one of my stitching companions.
I was working on using up scraps into these puff stitch granny squares to later assemble into an afghan but have set this aside due to the bursitis in my shoulder.
This is a piece I started that was a free chart. I rather enjoy working on this one as a nice vacation from the busier pieces I have. I replaced the sugested color scheme with some silks in the Caron Waterlillies collection that were left over from another piece I finished last spring.
Two more of the charts I purchased over the summer from Heaven and Earth Designs. "Mini Christmas Wonder" and "Old World Map"
This one is "Mini Fairy Book" and I worked on this a lot during the power outage. This is just 1/16th of the total design complete. I decided to count how many colors were used in a single 10 x 10 grid square and there were over 23 colors just in that one square. That much confetti is just plain rediculous! At least the design is going to be stunning if I ever live long enough to complete it, lol.
And two more Heaven and Earth charts I purchased. I actually have the Sistine Chapel piece in progress but I am somewhat unhappy with this chart as it should have been through some editing in the photo before even begining to be made into a chart. There is a section of the top of the side wall that is included in this chart that really should not be there and is causing a waste of time in stitching as it does look very much out of place. I am extremely dissapointed that this was not both edited better nor was there a test stitching done by the people at Heaven and Earth Designs before marketing this chart. Had they tested the chart first, they would have seen their error right away. I am now debating as to whether I will ever bother to complete the entire design chart.
This is part of the top of the side wall that should not have been included in this design chart. Lots of wasted stitching due to poor charting.
I made this little piece for an exchange that I was in for a Spring theme. It is a portion of a Jeremiah Junction Chart "Live within your Harvest."  The recipient seemed to like it. I wanted to send her something with a cat in it because I knew she loves cats. I also sent some extra goodies of strings of beads and a variety of trims for her projects.
And these are the goodies I recieved from my exchange partner. :) I have really enjoyed that little flower ornament!
I started this piece a few years ago and then came to a screetching hault because of errors in the design chart. I get really upset when there are printed errors. There is a correction page on a website somewhere that I need to track back down and print out. I would very much like to get back to work on this piece as it is a particular favorite of mine.
Now this is a favorite Heaven and Earth chart. I love this piece of artwork, the cross off to one side and the way the king is looking over at it. I was looking up on you tube for videos of people showing thier cross-stitching and found one of an asian women working on this chart. I could only see a small portion of the design as she was stitching but the colors were so lovely and striking that I had to look up the chart and see what the full image was. I did quite a bit of work on this back in August and only just returned to this project 2 days ago. There is some confetti stitching in this piece but not nearly as bad as all the other Heaven and Earth charts I own. The colors were more limited when she produced the chart and I am sure this is what kept the amount of confetti stiching down more compared to other charts.
This is more of "Two Crowns."  I found just a few stitches were off a tad and had to be fixed so I decided to use some bright lime colored serger thread to grid that area where I am working to help me stay on the count better. I will pull the grid threads out when this area is filled in and then grid the next area to be worked.
Well, I think this is enough eye candy for this update. I am sure I will have plenty of other projects to share with you when I next post to my blog. I hope you have enjoyed your visit here and please feel free to leave any comments you desire.