Sunday, March 7, 2021

February check-in

Well... that was certainly an interesting month! Given the big hiccup in the middle of it, I still managed to get some stuff done! (For those of you who haven't seen old posts, I'm in Texas... more about that below.)

I've continued to experiement with some non-stitchy crafts and I bought a 3-D puzzle kit by Robotime that was supposed to be a British Pub, but ended up being a British Music Shop. Apparently I wasn't the only one who had that issue, as I discovered when I went searching around to try to find someone who was selling the actual British Pub kit. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find one since all of the hits that came up in my searching had people commenting that the item was 'not as pictured' and was indeed the Music Store instead. Regardless, it was a cute kit and I'm glad I gave it a go. I have done a variety of 3-D puzzles over the years but this was the first one I did that was on wood. I also bought one of the dollhouse room kits that I've started to see pop up in crafty circles online, but I haven't started that yet. Here's the British Music Shop all finished:

I've been able to keep up with my Temperature Tree, which is now a record of the incredible weather we had last month. I wrote early last month:
[When] I saw what the temps were starting to look like, I decided to switch to the "Hot Temps" color scheme so I will probably get to use all of the colors. We've had a few days where the high was below the lowest temperature color, but I don't expect we'll have a whole lot more. We're expecting another cold snap next week, but I still think that will only mean 2-3 days with the coldest color leaf. We went through a cold patch a few weeks ago (and had 2-3 inches of SNOW!) and then quickly rebounded back into the 60s and 70s. And I have a feeling I'll be using all of those 100+ colors once we get into the summer months! Of course, with my luck, we'll end up having a polar vortex blast in Dec. 2021 and I'll have a completely pink branch or something.
I'll note that I posted that on February 7, so yes, we already had a good idea that we were expecting some more cold weather at that point. It ended up lasting a lot more than 2-3 days, which you can see clearly in the light pink at the end of the second branch up on the left. So in the end I didn't have to wait until December for a polar vortex blast and a pink branch. We got ice, then lots of snow (about 6" of the light, fluffy kind), then more ice, then more snow, then some melting, but overnight re-freezing... it was a hell of a week. I ended up not having electicity for a little over 80 hours and I had water issues on and off, but I never completely lost water so I was lucky in that respect. We've lost hot water at my apartment a couple more times, including for a couple of days last week, as they continue to do repairs from the storm.

I've also worked a little more on the lighthouse that I started last summer but then set aside to work on autumn/Halloween things. I guess all of that cold weather had me thinking of summery things, so I pulled it out and worked on it a bit more (there's a little more at the bottom if you compare it to the picture back in August 2020). I think I'm going to make it a focus for the rest of this month and try to finish it soon.

I actually managed to start AND FINISH a project in February and early March and I will probably have it fully finished (framed, in this case) today or tomorrow, so I'll show that next time. This is "Lost Opportunity" by SonovaStitch on Etsy - I saw several people posting it on the cross stich subreddit and I knew I had to do it! The was the first time in quite a while that I had done anything on black and I ended up buying a small lightboard to put on my desk under my stand to help me see the holes. I also noticed that black is definitely less forgiving of sloppy stitching, so that is something I'm definitely going to work on more in the future. Even though I've been stitching for 30 years there is still a lot I can improve!

I technically had another start in the month, but I decided to rip out what I had done and start again. I've had Celtic Seasons from the Vickery Colleciton in my pattern stash for ages and I decided to start it on a piece of 18 count black aida but I wasn't happy with how my stitching was coming out so I frogged it (see above about trying to improve my sloppy stitching). I started on the winter section, but after I ripped that out, I'm going to try again on the spring side. I think it's going to look amazing on black so don't want to completely give up on it!

Finally, I did a little brithday shopping from 123 Stitch and got some fabric, some thread conditioner (which I've never tried so I thought I finally would) and a couple of kits. Of course, one of the kits was another little Mill Hill kit! I'm working on that right now, so I'll show it next month since I know I'll finish it pretty quickly. And yes, I already have a ton of fabric but almost all of it is 28 and 32 count and I've decided to start playing around with 18ct aida again because it will make some of the larger projects I've been looking at become a bit more managable (yes, I know I could do 36 count instead but I'm pretty sure my eyes would never forgive me if I did). I've been getting some smaller, inexpensive cuts, such as 9"x13", to see the colors before getting larger cuts if I decide to use it on those projects I've been eyeing. Plus, I like the little cuts for ornaments and other small designs so it never goes to waste!

That's it for the February round-up! Since I'm taking Spring Break off, I expect to get a fair amount of stitching done in March. It's not like there's a whole lot else for me to do since I'm not vaccinated (like a whole lot of Texas) and our governor unwisely decicded to open everything back up starting next week, so I'm going to be extra careful for a while. Thankfully a lot of local businesses are keeping their mask requirements, but I'm still going to be cautious until I get my jabs!