Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back after a looooooong break!

Hello, readers!  First, my sincerest apologies: it has been approximately one month since I last updated.  I have been super busy!  I have been spending a TON of time working on my thesis proposal, and it has literally sucked the life out of me.  I have been stitching, but not blogging!  So, here is a long overdue update.

First of all, I spent a week in Kiawah Island, South Carolina with my fiancé and his two daughters.  We stayed at a lovely beach resort.  I stitched, I sunbathed, and I RESCUED BABY TURTLES!  There is a group of volunteers that goes out every morning at 7 a.m. to check loggerhead turtle nests on the beach and make sure any stragglers are able to get out of the sand.  The nests are about a foot and a half deep, so getting out can be a challenge.  When the volunteers found out I am a vet, they invited me back to help out next year!  I am stoked already!  Oh, my gosh, the babies were so cute - here is a picture of one of them.

Hatchling loggerhead sea turtle
Hatchling loggerhead sea turtle
And, of course, while I was on the beach, I stitched away on "Christmas on the Beach."  It is almost done - I just have a teeny bit of sky and all of the backstitching left to do!  Here is how it looks so far.

"Christmas on the Beach" from the Dimensions Gold Petites collection
"Christmas on the Beach" from the Dimensions Gold Petites collection
I also collected a bunch of seashells from my beach vacations this summer.  My plans for them are to put "Christmas on the Beach" in a wooden frame and paint the frame white, then glue white seashells all around the edge, and maybe brush them with a tiny bit of gold paint for an accent.  Maybe something like this.

Seashell picture frame idea
Seashell picture frame idea
I still haven't started the other beach pattern I bought ("A Day at the Beach" by Nikki Leeman), and I haven't decided yet if I will stitch that one this year or turf it until next year and start on Christmas projects instead.  Oh, and I still have "Celestial Dragon" and "All Things Bright and Beautiful" to finish, too.  So many projects, so little time.

The good news is, I have inspired three of my dearest girl friends up here in Boston to start cross stitching, too!  A few of you have said that you are happy to see someone in the "younger" crowd picking up needlework, so consider this me doing my part to keep the craft alive!  I am really happy that the four of us will be able to get together and stitch - previously, our crafting nights usually consisted of me cross stitching and the other three girls knitting, but I am really excited to have started a trend.  :)

I have a couple of what I like to call "stitching trips" coming up, too.  This is when I am stuck in some sort of conveyance traveling somewhere, so I hope to be able to get a lot of stitching done.  The first stitching trip is this coming weekend, when I will be moving my fiancé to Houston (!) for his new job.  He lives in West Palm Beach right now and we have been long-distance engaged since January, so it's not too much of a change (well, not for me, anyway).  It's about an eighteen-hour drive between West Palm and Houston (plus the flight back to Boston), so I will be diligently navigating and stitching away.

My first stitching trip - moving my fiancé to Houston
My first stitching trip - moving my fiancé to Houston
The second "stitching trip" is a little more... complicated.  First, I have to admit that I really enjoy air travel (despite the TSA's best efforts to convince me otherwise).  I have Silver Medallion status on Delta and am trying to maintain it through next year, so I needed a few extra SkyMiles to bump me over the threshold.  So, I snagged a cheap fare from Boston to Oakland, CA for about $260 round trip, and I will be flying from Boston to Detroit, to Salt Lake City, to Oakland, to Los Angeles, to Detroit, and back to Boston, all in the span of about twenty-five hours over one looooong Saturday/Sunday.  I will definitely be blogging about that trip - 5800 air miles of cross stitching!  Yikes!  :)

Oh, and for a closing thought... completely random, but worth sharing... well, I think it's safe to say that a lot of my readers (myself included) enjoy cats, so I found this really awesome infographic that explains all of the possible color combinations for cats.  My own kitty, Julius, is a red tabby with grade 2 white spotting ("white" nose and toes, which are in reality pink, instead of brick red like they should be with a red tabby).

Orange and tortoise shell kitties - my Julius is a red tabby
Orange and tortoise shell kitties - my Julius is a red tabby.
If you have a kitty, try to find its color on this table!  You may want to view the full-size graphic here.

Every cat color you could ever imagine...
Every cat color you could ever imagine...
Okay, if you actually read through all of this, thank you very much for sticking around.  I am sorry I was gone for so long - things should be back to usual after this hectic month!

Cheers!  :)

Less Bitching, More Stitching

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another free monkey pattern - and Christmas on the Beach

Hello, readers!  I have returned from my beach vacation and am trying to catch up with all of the things I have missed at work.  I hope everyone is having a lovely summer!

I looked back through my old posts and decided I wasn't quite happy with the squirrel monkey cross stitch pattern I had posted earlier, so I made a new monkey pattern that is much cuter and cartoonish!  He is holding a banana.  Here he is:

Cartoon monkey cross stitch pattern (with banana).  For personal use only.  (c) Erin E. Turowski, 2012.
Cartoon monkey cross stitch pattern (with banana).  For personal use only.  (c) Erin E. Turowski, 2012.
And here is the key:

Key (DMC floss colors)
-     869 (also for French knots for the nostrils)
o    422
*    972
X   224
+    310
=    blanc

Finished size (37 squares wide x 27 squares tall)
14-count fabric: 2.6" x 1.9" (6.7 cm x 4.9 cm)
16-count fabric: 2.3" x 1.7 " (5.9 cm x 4.3 cm)
18-count fabric: 2.1" x 1.5" (5.2 cm x 3.8 cm)

And I have been working a little more on Christmas on the Beach, too.  The sky, waves, and beach are all filling in!  I had a bit of trouble because I stitched the base of the tree trunk and the little pink ornament underneath it one square to the right of where they should have been, but that has been remedied now.  Here is a photo:

"Christmas on the Beach" - the water and beach are starting to come through!
"Christmas on the Beach" - the water and beach are starting to come through!
I am still chugging along on "All Things Bright and Beautiful" and "Celestial Dragon."  I am expecting to have the former finished this weekend!  The latter... well, the dragon is kind of a b*tch to stitch.  :-D  But I will keep you posted until the bitter end - I am just having fun stitching the small stuff for now!

Have a fantastic Wednesday, and thanks for stopping by!