Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tartan progress..


Two words describe my tartan plaid progress:  SLOW GOING

Stewart Hunting plaid needlepoint coaster
designed for Scottish teacup & saucer

If I hadn't convinced myself that the charting of the plaid was the ONLY hard part of this project, I probably would have approached the actually stitching more mindfully, BUT, me being me, whenever I've had two spare minutes, I grab the stretcher bars, glance at my notes, rip off some thread and start a new line of color.  It pains me to admit that on more than one occasion, okay two occasions, maybe three occasions, okay, actually four times I've discovered that I didn't follow my notes and had to take out several rows of stitches, each time.  So, I'd be much further along if I would simply force myself to slow down, relax, look at my notes/chart for more than 0.25 seconds before I start a new line of stitching.  I can be a real idi-o-TA, sometimes!  Mom would have said, no dear, just pig-headed.  :-)

It is an interesting plaid, if you ask me, because it is irregular (like someone else I know, like, really really well).  I've learned a lot about plaids since I started my research for this project (check out The Scottish Registry of Tartans if you too have ever had the desire to learn more about them), but I won't bore you with the "clan, set and pivot points" stuff..  I will tell you that when I tested my 7th grade algebra memory and figured the area of the circle in order to discover the number of stitches the coaster would contain upon completion, I about passed out. 

Area of a circle = pi x radius squared, or 3.14159 x (63 x 63) = 12,469

Seriously!  12,469 stitches to fill a 7" circle on 18 count canvas.

To most of you, that may not be a big deal, but it kinda rocked me!  I then started thinking about the hours it would take for me to do 12,469 stitches, and what ELSE I might do with said hours versus making a silly coaster for a teacup.  Then, I shook it off, grabbed my canvas, glanced at my pattern and whipped out another row..

Here's hoping you are having a wonderful early Autumn (or early Spring) week, wherever you are!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Meanwhile, back at the ranch..


And we're back!  It's hard for me to believe that it was a full week ago that we left for Colorado to spend some much needed down time with hubby's brother and SIL.  It went by in a flash!  I'm beginning to believe I need ten days or two weeks away from the office to really relax, but... those kinds of "extended" vacations are definitely not the norm for us.

Here's a quick (photo heavy) glimpse of our week:

River Watching
(where I sat and stitched for many wonderful hours):


This shot was taken from the covered swing where I enjoyed the majority of each day.  The days were long and warm but the breeze was constant and made it feel like heaven on Earth.

Arkansas River
I only worked on this one project (tartan plaid coaster) all week, but to be honest, although I had big plans to finish this while we were away, I (obviously) didn't power stitch at all. 

I took the camera on long walks most mornings and evenings, enjoyed some local sightseeing, antiquing, bird watching, feeding the neighbor's horses, and just plain ol' resting.

Hubby did a lot of this:

The highlight of hubby's week:

19" (maybe 20") brown trout

He wasn't the only one fishing though:

Holy Wing Span, Batman!
Does he look hungry, or is it just me? 

As you may already know, I'm a bird nerd.  I am fascinated by the diversity in the bird world.  And, I saw 9 new-to-me birds, and that was without even trying! 

I know, I know... how do I contain myself?  (New birds: a white-tailed kite, gilded flicker, mountain bluebird, western bluebird, black-billed magpie, red-breasted merganser, white-tailed ptarmigan, Anna's hummingbird, and a yellow bird that I've yet to identify). 

Great BIG thanks to for giving amateurs like me such an excellent, free on-line resource. 

The mountains were spectacular, from every angle:

lonely tree

dusty trail

To close out the week, we visited the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, which I'd never even heard of before, but was so glad to get the chance to see:

Last but not least: 
And, that's all folks... 
Hope you are having a great weekend, wherever you are..