not that this needs to be sent out to everyone –
but Baba Yaga is finished.
Pattern from Witchy Stitcher. 14ct Fiddler’s Cloth. Threads converted to Sulky.
not that this needs to be sent out to everyone –
but Baba Yaga is finished.
Pattern from Witchy Stitcher. 14ct Fiddler’s Cloth. Threads converted to Sulky.
Not much happened and little to report.
I stitched, George got some work accomplished. We took out the trash. One of those kind of weekends. Then there were the Tampa Bay Rays who slid past the Yankees. That was a positive. The Minnesota Vikings who, as a result of really stupid coaching, lost their game on Sunday.
There was minimal organizing and cleaning other wise –
I have a lot of Zoom on the schedule for this coming week, along with a run to the Apple store since I need to replace my phone. I have had it for a number of years (replacement for the one that went down the waterfall in Iceland – or perhaps the one that was stolen in Nepal). In any case, the battery lasts 3-4 hours which is enough to drive any reasonable person totally and completely nuts. George has conference calls most of the week as well.
Bleh – it feels like ground hog’s day…. *the movie.
This is a discussion that will not interest many. Inside the world of crafts (not Minecraft, or Witchcraft or whomever craft) meaning stitchers, knitters, crocheters, sewers and the like about whether someone is a process person or a product person.
This battle often rages fiercely with each side putting forth arguments and claims about the validity of their stance.
All of which is pretty silly when you really think of it. Other than when dealing with digital – very little in life is binary. Certainly, most crafting is not binary. It is more than “I do this or I don’t do this,” Why? Because there are stages of doing. One can collect the materials needed and just have a stash (the fancy name for a hoard). Or, supplies can be put together ready to be made into something or another. In cross-stitch it is often referred to as kitting up a project.
From there you can move on to starting things. One thing, several things, a dozen things. If you are a serial starter – obviously your pleasure comes from starting something new and when that particular project gets to be difficult/repetitive/boring you just move on to something else.
Then there is the discussion which centers around those who have dozens of projects and those who are monogamous and finish each project before stating the next.
I because seriously tired of listening to the arguments. I am a progress person. It isn’t quite loving the process for me, it is seeing that I am accomplishing something. The product? Meh, it may sit without final finishing for months. What I have also noticed is that having too many things underway starts to make me nuts. It means that no progress is made, or the progress is so glacially slow that it hardly counts. I actually like having things organized, but I hate keeping notes.
These two projects are excellent –
The first being Stitchonomy’s Halloween 2020 and the second pattern is from Tiny Modernist – Halloween Calendar. I am happily stitching a square on each every day. Nice, bite size piece, each complete in its own and not overwhelming.
However – there is also
Pattern by WitchyStitcher that I am attempting to put in at least two thread lengths a day. The great thing about this one is that, altho there might be seven or so colors, it is really almost all black which provides large solid areas to stitch.
and the fourth and final project for today was Halloween Sampler (also by Tiny Modernist) –
yes – progress is being made
Well, it was a good effort – at least through the first of the wild card playoffs – the As managed to squeak by the Chicago White Sox. Then, down two games in the second series, they managed to pull it off yesterday. Not so today. They tried, at least some of them did, and some of the time. It just didn’t click – with the final score being 11-6. Ah, maybe next year?
Meanwhile, I can completely ignore baseball from here to February. Or perhaps later – it all depends. Basketball (Women’s) is also over. I am not for football (American).
So I can go back to my audio books – and stitching….
is being shed on me.
Ok, I decided to not get too far into the puns. Just to relate that I purchased (thank you Amazon) a new small lamp to sit next to my chair in the living room.
Oh, of course it was on sale. But it has several important features – like a long cord, two outlets and 4 USB plugs besides having a lovely and bright light which I can direct toward my computer, reading, or stitching.
Otherwise, it has been a Webinar day – starting at 0600 which is too early for any reasonable human being (but corresponds to a reasonable time for the speakers in the Philippines and South Africa). I guess I should just be glad that I am not living in Hawaii…
Tomorrow will be more of the same. The great thing about virtual meetings? Among others of course, is that I can listen, learn, and stitch or knit at the same time. Multi-tasking!
Speaking of which –
Since the start of the SARS-COV2 Pandemic, the regular Medicine Grand Rounds have been co-opted by COVID-19 epidemiology, research, medications, treatments, and the like. Thursdays at noon saw hundreds of us linked in by Zoom to hear the latest which was not always the greatest or good news.
UCSF stands for University of California – San Francisco and is comprised of a hospital system, dental, research, and the affiliated professional schools. Where I did my undergraduate and medical education – University of Minnesota – everything was more or less located on the same campus. As a result, there was a lot of cross-course work between basic sciences, public health, and the medical/dental/nursing schools. Not so here in the Bay Area where much of the basic science graduated programs and the School of Public Health are at UCBerkeley (aka CAL) across the bay and about an hour + by public transportation.
Prior to the pandemic, there was little participation from my side of the Bay in UCSF weekly educational activities – the travel time just made it prohibitive. Now? Zoom, my friends, ZOOM.
Anyway – the usual Tues Grand Rounds were preempted today by a discussion of current status of COVID-19 as it relates to certain events of this past week and weekend. It was a moderated, good, free wheeling discussion of actions, testing, current treatments, and how you manage all of those.
The link is here
If, for any reason you happen to think that wandering around (at least anywhere there is ongoing transmission) without a mask – you might want to watch and see a discussion of what happens when people blatantly disregard common sense and medical recommendations.
(FYI – the rounds are posted on YouTube that evening if you are interested in a bit of pandemic history as it developed in the US).
In more fun stuff – stitching progress –
There wasn’t much accomplished today – a bit of stitching, a bit of watching the As manage to blow their first game of the American League Division playoffs. George and I are trying to decide if they are going to lose three games in a row or will manage to win one game in there before losing the fourth (this is a best of five series).
But anyway –
progress on the Tiny Modernist Halloween Calendar – where in I stitched the Day 5 little monster, along with the outline of his square and a start on part of the header outline.
My plan is to keep up with the square for each day along with working on the frame and title so that the whole thing is complete by the end of the month. Each of the day squares is 32×32
The other calendar sampler is by Stitchonomy – and same as far as stitching one a day – 18×18 squares so these are a lot quicker. Today’s item is an eyeball.
And, as is I didn’t have enough else – managed a few more stitches on Baba Yaga – from the WitchyStitcher
take from the Russian Fairy Tales where the witch travels in a house with chicken legs…
We survived the drive from San Luis Obispo to La Jolla. I am smart enough to know that I didn’t want to be on the road prior to 0830 or so – my intention being to miss as much traffic as possible (neither morning nor evening rush hours – thank you very much,).
Good ‘Ol Maps gave me two choices – stay with HWY 101 South, or head east and pick up I5. The difference? About 2 hours and 100 miles. Not seeing any reason to take a route any longer than needed, I picked the HWY 101 route. Admittedly, it is not freeway most of the time. The road did have construction, there were uncontrolled exits on part of it. All of those = not very much fun. But the lovely part? For some reason maps took a jog on HWY 154 which travels through incredible scenery to include Las Padres National Forest
Once we returned to HWY101 the traffic started to pretty much suck for the rest of the way. All of it was made marginally tolerable in some sections. Southern California considers 2+ as HOV. So I was able to avoid a fair amount of idiocy by being able to bypass the worst of a few sections.
Even with a fuel stop, we rolled into La Jolla about 1330 which I considered not bad at all.
Had a lovely afternoon invading Noah’s place and sent the guys out to pick up supper.
I survived listening to the As game – I think it may hold the record for number of pitchers used (The White Sox were even more excessive than the As, for the number of times the bases were loaded, and general frustration on the part of the fans. For a 9 inning game – it lasted well over 4 hours with a final score of only 6-4. This is the first time in over a decade that the As have won anything in the playoffs. They just might even survive the Astros…
Finally – today starts Halloween Month. Embroidery.com is once again running their Stitchy Witchy Challenge. This year the requirement is 30 minutes a day – but a minimum of 27 days have to be completed with the 31st required. I can manage 30 minutes easy – and will be using two projects
The Halloween Calendar by Tiny Modernist –
so, square a day. Each square is 32×32 internally… so more than 30 minutes….
and Halloween 2020 from Stitchonomy.
I can’t post it yet, since it is a present for a birthday at the end of Sept.
Imagine that – something finished – ok, the main portion done, now just the final finishing to go – this far ahead of a birthday.
Taking deep breath, I took an hour out from stitching and sorted out
two three bins of supplies so that I might actually be able to find something/anything when I needed. Dumped most of my fabric supplies a bag which was then added to the bin of those which come in those long, stupid wasteful plastic tubes. OTOH, that is probably no worse than the tendency of just about everyone to mail off supplies in plastic zip lock bags.
But I digress – not that you wanted to hear me rant about organizing or anything.
Then I went and counted stitched but not finished projects. Several are years old, some this year. There are an even dozen of them. Leading me to decide that tomorrow will be a multi-prong attack
1) finish part 1 of a Halloween stitch along before the next section drops on Monday. 1-2 hours
2) do a color-a-day on Blackwork SAL – which will get me caught up in about two weeks
3) finish the critters on this segment of the Weaver Band before Tues so that I am ready for the next segment to drop. 1 hr
4) finish the Aug section of Family & Friends SAL (also Tues, but it really is Monday in California since we are talking 17 hours time zone difference between the designer and me). 1 hr
4) sort out what I need to finish all those unfinished cross-stitches – and perhaps get the missing supplies (unknown time)
5) and then there is the family stuff, baseball and other insanity.
But small goals are do-able!
ok, there is the small issue of cat in the lap…
which sort of stopped this evening..
It may be late in the evening – but it is DONE!
A not small sampler stitched on 18 ct Fiddler’s cloth with various shades of 12 ct Sulky, mostly blendables.
The pattern is courtesy of Tempting Tangles, originally issued in 16 parts as a stitch-a-long back in about 2011. It is more or less stitched as the pattern suggests, except for me inserting the creamer and sugar bowl instead of one phrase – “Chai Latte” which doesn’t have to do with coffee. Deborah, the wonderful designer, came up with a couple of other graphed alternatives. But the problem is that anything else would be out of alphabetical order. So, I faked out the creamer and sugar bowl – and “borrowed” the graphic on it from the Tea Sampler she has…
I was thinking that tackling all the cleaning and organizing that needs to be done is overwhelming. I just look around, take a deep breath, and then go bury my head in stitching, sewing, knitting, audiobooks, webinars, or more than one of the above.
So I considered the old elephant story – how do you eat it (hello? Who in the world would want to eat an elephant anyway?) but the principle of “one bite at a time” would be most certainly applicable.
That would mean one drawer at a time. Once the drawers are done, I can tackle the closets. And bins. And piles of stuff. And stacks of puzzles and books. Let me count – there are 10 drawers in my small living room cabinet. Six drawers that I claim between our two dressers plus a night stand drawer. Do I count the hanging clothes compartment divider in the closet as drawers? How about the bins in my cabinets in the sewing/craft/disaster room? Two sets of three under the one table, three in the sewing cabinet, three in each of the two small rolling white cabinets. 12 in one sorter and six in another (all of these are tiny) plus six in the tall storage cabinet in the corner. I don’t have to count the three drawers in the cabinet that I gave to Miriam. Oh, yes, there are also two drawers in the corner built-in.
That is somewhere upwards of 60, which now seems like an insurmountable task. I have been avoiding dealing with the bedroom because I know that there are things that I need to donate, but the charity shops are still pretty much closed.
And we are still not speaking about the garage.
I would much rather be stitching or sewing or reading….
I think if I kept at is solid for a month, I could probably embroider all the towel and clothing blanks that I have which would free up a couple of bins which would let me get better organized. Of course, the reasons that I haven’t gotten things organized are not knowing where to start and having the challenge of decreased ability to function in disorganization.
at least I have made progress on Coffee Compendium
which shows complete through page six plus some portions of 9&10 also complete
As of last night, completed through p 7 and all but the word “Turner” on page 8. And, in case you (just like me) have no clue what “Mary Turner” has to do with coffee – turns out (ouch) it is a beauty product with coffee and blueberries.
I am thinking it is a waste of both….
Yes, I am more than comfortable, sitting in our back bedroom/guest room/TV room with baseball on the television, but it just is not the same. Not like sitting the ball park. Not being surrounded by fellow noisy (and noise making fans) and most certainly not bothering to wear As logo gear.
Admittedly, I don’t miss the PITA of riding BART to and from the game. Nor cmoming home late. But I miss my game day friends, cheap food & souvenirs, and the pleasure of driving the occasional opposing side right fielder out of the game.
But all of that is not stopping me from watching the As play. without yelling, cheering, or cowbell it is just too quiet. I am also keeping an eye on the Twins as a back up team to support. Angel informs me that the Mets have to figure out their bullpen before they have a chance – the absence of a closer is costing them.
So that is the update.
Game stitching is the Linen & Threads 2020 Mystery SAL
Which, as you will see over the next week – is not a clock.
Otherwise I am making relatively good progress on my Tempting Tangles Coffee Sampler. Originally released in 16 parts, I have parts 1-4 completed (except for a small blank spot) as well as 5 & 8. Now to finish up parts 6&7 to claim 50% completed…
Back last winter, I found this lovely coffee sampler at Tempting Tangles. Deb, the designer, does a lot of SALs (stitch-a-longs). This particular one was originally released in a 16 part series back in 2011.
After getting through the challenges of figuring out how I was going to manage the fact that the fabric I really liked and had wasn’t big enough for decent margins (stitch on what you have and add binding later) and closing colors to shift over to Sulky from the original Dinky Dyes or DMC I was ready to go.
Pages 1 & 2 were fine,
but then I hit page three…. and there it was – Chai Latte …
So I worked around it and shot off an email to the designer.
Latte refers to the milk, not the coffee. A Chai Latte that includes coffee is an Espresso Chai Latte. This leaves me with a challenge: I can’t see my way to include a tea in the coffee sampler. The list is alphabetical… and there is no where enough room to add Chai Espresso.
So, we shall see, and have to think…
Considering 76k+ stitches, I am rather pleased.
Started 1 Jan 2020 (on Gold Coast NZ time) and finished 30 June 2020 – PDT. Artist is Leonid Afremov, design executed by Heaven and Earth Designs. Stitched on 16ct gridded Aida with ~ 90 colors.
that if I am feeling stuffy, or pretentious, I can always put more initials after my name. Or just for the heck of it.
I am not really sure who, if anyone, I might need to impress – but there you are – MD, MPH, MSL, MFTM (RCPS-Glasgow). Said string could also include COL USA (ret) if I would want.
In a more sensible vein – Noah and I put in a small bit of time in the garage. Excess boxes and the plethora of books are the low hanging fruit at the moment.
And then there is stitching
and new puzzles from Nautilus
This came in the mail yesterday –
Shipped from Calgary.
But let me back track first.
Like many people with various hobbies, I am a tool and toy junkies. Not a total and complete hoarder of same, you have to understand. I have divested myself of various bits and bobs (some of them significantly large) over the years. After all, I live with other people and they just would not understand if I took over the house for a weaving and fiber studio. So, I no longer have my Glimakra, AVL, or Harrisville looms. Sewing machines have been upgraded over the years and I haven’t kept all of the old one.
I will admit to probably having a few too many spinning wheels. In fact, when I stop and think about it, I haven’t done much in the way of spinning or knitting since the move to California. Since wool is my fiber of preference, that might make a small bit of sense. It is not all that cold here. But I “might” want them in the future. I am not counting the two that I “re-homed” before leaving Germany or the one that I gifted (along with the Harrisville and several dozen cones of yarn) after settling here.
Since moving here, I have been doing more sewing, machine embroidery, and cross-stitch. Like any other crafter, I have been accumulating supplies (aka Stash) against a future want, the apocalypse, or an acute shortage of whatever I might fancy at the moment. I don’t spend beyond my means. And I haven’t quite run out of storage space.
Anyway – for the couple of years, I have been searching for the perfect cross-stitch stand. Functional is important – and so, frankly is esthetics. I had three various stands (System-4, Lacis, and ???) which do work, for some projects, but ran into the challenge of trying to sit comfortably while stitching so that I don’t get a sore back. There is also the challenge of width of the project. The System-4 stand can adjust to quite a wide width – but it has a three point braced foot that makes it impossible to use with any kind of a lounge chair or foot stool. The Lacis stand is lovely, adjustable, and a max of 50cm wide. The ??? which I think might be a Charles Craft has split rail rods, and goes to 60 cm, but doesn’t work well with a chair/footstool combination.
All of this lead me to Hearthside Craftworks – which is a home based Calgary couple. After thinking about it from January on – I ordered a Mark 2 stand near the beginning of March. My stand went in the mail on the 20th of March, checked into the Calgary post office. And then it seemed to sit there on the tracking display for day after day after day. Suddenly on 29 March my stand showed as now being in Richmond, BC which is an area (town/suburb/whatever of Vancouver). Apparently Canada Post only logs packages in, and doesn’t log them out – so in transit can mean anywhere from the originating post office to the door of the next. On the 30th it was marked at being at customs.
And it arrived yesterday.
which rapidly turned into this –
I am more than a happy bunny
And yes, that is exactly how I meant to spell it!
was sent to me by my friend Jill who lives is Australia.
And it is what I have been doing this week….
And this is day 8.
And if there is any question or not in your mind as to whether or not staying home, shutting down everything and social distancing makes a difference – look at a comparison as to where New York is as apposed to California. Our cases are rising, but not at the same rate. Not that there is not fear, some panic, and increased burden on the health care system. CA population ~ 39M+, NY ~ 19M+. NYC is dense, so is LA and the Bay Area.
OTOH – it perhaps could be just an artifact of inadequate testing. Grossly inadequate testing. And not sure why that can’t be solved. But that doesn’t explain the difference in death rates. The NYT is putting in a lot of coverage. As are all the other newspapers as well as TV and radio. No matter what your political affiliation – listen to the medical experts – and stay home as much as you can. If you are an essential person – take care of yourself. This whole mess is going to get much worse before it gets better.
And next week is NOT a time to back off on restrictions.
Cal is on spring break, so I have no lectures around which to structure my day
Otherwise – it sit, stare out the window. Wash and repeat.
I now have an extremely hard deadline for my paper. It is not the end of April. it is 3 April. The 4th is when my free access to MS Word (the mandatory software) provided by UCHastings is going to want money out of me. I am a MAC person. I otherwise want Word why?
Valentines Day is long over – but I started this small cross stitch on a bit of 14ct white Aida with a Threadworx #12 Perle cotton.
Because – of course, I need another WIP….
To sum up this day –
The Chinese are now seeing more imported cases than local transmission… which means vigilance but not hysteria.
The Germans & French are having increasing numbers of cases (exactly as one would predict based on transmission curves. The numbers, I think, also accurately reflect an extensive amount of testing.
The Italians are in a world of hurt. Not only are they out of hospital beds, intensive care facilities, but illness is now breaking out in health care workers. The two main tracking sites –
Worldmeter site – by country breakdown
and Johns Hopkins University – if you really like maps rather than tables
no longer have updates from Italy.
The world total will be over 230k by the time you read this. The US is now over 10k in cases. This is probably a gross underestimate – you can get tested if 1) you know someone 2) you are a celebrity 3) you are “important” politically. Believe it or not – there have been challenges for ill health care worker getting tested.
The same idiots are proposing to activate the USNS Mercy and the USNS Comfort. No surprise, it would be at least a month; non-active ships are non-active ships. Secondly – exactly where are those health care workers coming from? The answer, of course is Navy military facilities in DC, VA, CA which are currently supporting active duty, families, and some limited numbers of retirees. It is not like the local community is going to have any capacity to absorb these patient populations.
[edited to correct ship names on 20 March, thanks to Steve, my upstate NY navy buddy who also notes that “Mercy was in the midst of an overhaul, and I think Comfort is too. They are owned by the Navy, staffed with Civilians, and a combo of medical personal.”]
Ignore any SPAM you get which promises a cure, a medication, or supplements, vitamins or any other “sure fire way” to cure your ills. Snake oil is snake oil.
The same way – all the surfaces tests have documented that viral PARTICLES can be found for hours afterwards. Infectivity hasn’t been proven. If we test any surface, we can find virus and bacteria. So be smart, take your shoes off at the door, wear sensible clothing, keep your fingers out of your month. But don’t wash your books, hug strangers or cough on people.
Family & Friends
Thank you to everyone who has checked in. It is good to know that people are ok, keeping themselves entertained (all of us old folks are hunkered down, while the younger generation is busy taking care. of themselves, their families and the community around them). So far I have heard from France, Germany, the UK, Canada, Australia, with further reassurance about family members in far flung regions (Korea, Indonesia, Central and South America). We are a small world, thanks to electronic communications.
UCBerkeley has moved all courses on-line that it can. Some courses (science labs, theater, art, music) just don’t lend themselves as well. We are still waiting to hear what UCSan Diego is going to do at the quarter start. Since Noah has both physics and engineering classes – completely on-line just isn’t a possibility.
For those of you who enjoy classical music – this data base covers a wide range of free streaming options from chamber orchestra to opera to full up symphony.
I wrote a whole page on my paper – then spent the rest of the day on various cross stitch projects. I am now 20k/76K completed on Farewell to Anger
the several Stitch A Longs (aka SALs) are caught up and I should not start anything new….
As like many cruising itineraries, the first full day after leaving dock is a day spent at sea. With three ports and three sea days, at least the Cruise Director doesn’t have to jam all of the sea day activities onto one day. Tonight has been designated Formal Night (not bothering), a reception around lunch time (might go – tasty snacks), and various scheduled entertainments (now why would I be interested in karaoke or a belly flop contest).
I left my cabin early and headed up to one of the lounges. Last night I scouted out both key card lounges and picked a nice location to work. Out of traffic and right next to both 110 & 220 outlets. Did I mention the presence of the coffee machine? Essential for keeping sanity while working my way through I don’t know how many pages of notes.
This particular ship carries way too many passengers for my comfort. One of the larger ships, but not the largest, she carries over 4k worth of passengers including way too many children and a lot of adults in flip-flops and beer in hand. I am sure that noise cancelling headphones are going to be a serious help.
For those who care about such things, there are 22 Pineapples (Pinnacles) on this cruise, most of whom seem to be local to the area and have earned their status by cruising around and around and around the same routes out of Galveston, Boring,….
And back to my paper, interspersed with detours into cross-stitch and pattern design on MacStitch.