October 20, 2012

Unfinished Objects Oktoberfest Day 12

Ok so I have been diligently working on my lists bags, markers, materials etc etc. Here is the work in progress from my most urgent project, The Rooster Cat Commission:

This project will be completed on 11 x 17" 16 count white AIDA in DMC 414 Grey with three DMC variegated thread colors orange variant, blue variant, and a possible red variant. There are two distinctive blackwork patterns, and the font work. I am at the point where I am stalling out, getting side tracked, and procrastinating.

I have sharpened my stork scissors, organized my thread, bagged projects with floss, arranged & rearranged the 15 UFOs in order of priority, and rearranged storage.

I have been consumed by the designing process for the other million projects I have seem to be floating through my head which haven't been morphing into concrete projects but will eventually be completed.

Finding yet another stash of patterns, I revised my project list and get this; coincidentally we are slightly short of 80 projects. There is no way in my mind that I thought I had 80 pcs I could work on. And in no way had I thought I would 80 in 80 days. By my estimates I have over 350 hours of stitching and 15 UFOs (unfinished objects). Impossible to complete with a full time job and a toddler at home. Tomorrow I will be further cataloging by photo on this blog the top ten most urgent projects so I can set my goal and complete my UFOs in the next 68 days.....

Until next time.

October 12, 2012

UnFinished Oktoberfest, 1-2 skip a few 99-100

So I missed a day! So what?

I did do some evaluations and continued my stash list. According to my calculations, i have 55 patterns I can potentially complete without having to buy or download anything else. 14 of which are UFOs. Unfinished Objects are the scourge of my stitching basket(s).

I also figured out that with a reasonable time estimate that if I stitched everyday for 3 hours, I could easily stitch for 2+ years without buying another new pattern. I would have to refill on supplies, but not a new pattern. 

Being an avid stitcher and saving it for mostly when my baby girl is asleep, 3 hours a day is actually achievable. But I think I would get sick of stitching and its tricky to do on a transatlantic flight.

I will focus on these first 14, make sure I have the supplies and go forward. I will have a work in progress on Twitter @stitchybrachel and here on this blog.

October 10, 2012

Unfinished Objects Oktoberfest - 80 days to organized: Part II Day 2

As promised, I began to collect and sort my stitching. There were some "A-ha!" moments and "Oh Right!" moments but mostly I am concerned about my commitment to my hobby. In part to save money in this terrible economy, but also to streamline my modest living space.

When I initially began to learn to  stitch, it was a vision I had in the manner of older ladies sitting around a patio or dining room table together drinking tea, eating scones & finger sandwiches, and some would be knitting, and others stitching. Not necessarily Victorian doilies and lace surrounding us, but a community of women that wanted a completed product to show for their time other than watching television. I soon learned that food and stitching didn't really work, and that I get nervous drinking tea as I am clumsy and it stains the work badly. Thus my fantasy was destroyed.

At the time, I was newly married, childless and about 29. I had a difficult time trying to find peers that stitched (still do have a problem) so I settled for anyone who crafted in general. I was teased a bit by my family about pursuing a hobby that didn't include fitness/sport, a hobby for old ladies, and overall that there was only "ducks and bonnets" type results from these projects. I laughed over and over but devoted my energy despite their misunderstanding of my intentions. I never took it personally, it just motivated me to look for projects I was deeply interested in.

I felt then, as I do now, stitching is an art form. I started with a stamped bib kit for a newborn child of one of my friends. Finished it and promptly gave it away. I cringe now at the result and am glad I haven't seen it at anytime in the last 9 years. I realized the product wasn't necessarily interesting to me but that I could expand my skill level and interest and  do some research at my local library. I purchased expensive British stitching magazines because they seemed to have a better design selection than the American counterparts at the time.

To consoled myself with my independent hobby, and lack of information about the stitching community around me. During my next visit to London, I looked around at the Victoria & Albert museum on my own one day. I was thrilled and in love with their collections of costumes (including embroidered details) and fascinated with the tapestries which I knew would be way beyond my capabilities.  At the time they had several former dresses of the late Princess Diana on display. Most had tremendous details up close. The bead work! Not typically interested in beading I could still appreciate the fastidious work. Unfortunately, the textiles wing was under renovation so I was unable to look at any of the embroidered samplers that have been restored and maintained in their collection from hundreds of years of the embroiderers before my time.

After I left the museum, I walked down through the neighborhood and came across Harrod's. It happens to have a memorial to the late Diana in the basement, and not really being a fan of hers or the royals in general, but just having seen her dresses I thought I would visit it. And next to this, is the gift shop that carries the bags. I found my first of many that day, and it was the green and cream toile one on the left in the below photo. Thus the tradition began of Visiting the V&A and off to Harrod's on every trip.

Last night, as promised, I began my 80 day quest to organize and complete as many projects as I could as a personal goal to finish my UFOs. I found 3 of my special stitching stash bags, I know there are more, I just have to find them.... 

I realize my tradition is a bit weird and costly. It is something I take satisfaction in these, much like those who travel far and wide to attend World Cup every four years. Nevertheless, I began to rummage through to re-evaluate my unfinished projects. 

In what I would consider 1/3 to 1/2 of my current stash, I started pulling things out and the catalogue spreadsheet. I discovered about 30 projects in varying states of completion and here is the result of my first night of spreadsheet work. This list is intentionally blurry as I am trying to keep the recipients names somewhat confidential. Laughs! I still have to categorize them under the four items but at least I have started estimating stitching times and have a better idea of what is available for me to complete. And how much work I have in these three little bags.

Until tomorrow...

October 9, 2012

Unfinished Objects Oktoberfest - 80 days to organized

Today I am going to take stock of my stitching life... even though we should probably leave our livestock alone.

Taking Stock of my stitching stash. I am going to catalogue my unfinished projects. Like most stitchers, I accumulate. We are crafting hoarders of a sort. 

This is becoming a problem because I have a toddler and her and I are competing for activity space. I have Tupperware containers full of projects, large Ziploc bags, projects still in the QSnaps, in towels, in envelopes, in drawers, I have counted, stamped, iron on, hand drawn personally designed patterns, everything, but the real treasures are in my stitching bags. 

Every so often I visit my sister in London, England. During those visit I make a point of visiting Harrod's. For two reasons, one because the area in London (Knightsbridge) is beautiful and ritzy, and secondly always for a new stitching bag which I find in the basement. Those are the laminated bags they sell to tourists for outrageous prices and they change the design frequently to reflect Harrods' history and elegance. It is a way for the plebs to get a shot at something brand named. They always remind me of tea and clotted cream. Which I think goes well with stitching. Alas I stash a lot in those bags. I think I have 4-6. Ill get the full count in my stash catalogue.

In following posts I will post photos of the stash bags.

As far as the actual stash is concerned, I think I will categorize them in the four following ways:

1) Work in progress (WIP)
2) Unfinished Objects (UFO)
3) Not Opened (NO)
4) What Was I Thinking? (WIT)

I am certain I will become overly ambitious and try to take a picture of each project and make a spreadsheet with color complexity, material availability, and estimated hours of completion but I know that is a long term goal to work toward. 

When I come up with recipients and or deadlines I will post my progress on those also... hopefully

I have recently seen a blog that had 365 days of stitching, and I want to see what I can accomplish in the next 80 days.