November 29, 2012

Miss Me?

I have had a busy couple of weeks at work. I am in an accounting position and this is the end of the year for us and a lot of our working interest partners. The press is on to complete, adjust, and file everything that is important. I have been continuing to work on my Christmas ornaments for the office in our corporate team colors, and I have a few pictures of the work in progress:

We will see how the completed works look when I sew on a backing, attach a ribbon, and stuff with candy canes. I will definitely post the completed projects. 

this doesn't count toward my UFOs or WIP that I had on my spread sheet, and I am still holding my boundaries on my organization but we will see how the next 26 days progress before Christmas...

November 20, 2012

Unfinished Organization: Day 41 half way there

I have been looking through my back catalogue of magazines, reference books, and patterns for some tips on UFOs and they all say: the need for confirmation of accomplishment. I had to figure out how to tackle the obvious. The only thing I had begun with 41 days ago on my 80 day quest to organize was sheer volume. Volume of patterns, fabrics, thread.....

I seem to have it down to 13 or 14 projects to finish in my 80 days quest (started with 15 UFOs and countless WIP)  and I can confidently say I have only finished 2 since this quest began. The good news? Its kind of like anything you get in order: your pantry, your household, the laundry room, there is always something to work on to keep the accounts balanced at work, always something gnawing at you.

For stitching, I know that a big part of it is completion time, and I know that there has to be motivation to finish things and keep them from gnawing at you. I have been going through my informational stash and found a tip which HAS ABSOLUTELY WORKED! Here it is step by step:

1) I found an old UFO.

2) Found out that it hadn't been completely highlighted for some reason.

3) Dug out the highlighter and started going over what had actually been stitched, mistakes I would need to pull out.

4) Realized I had more done than I had thought so it was less intimidating.

5) Finished the project within two evenings of stitching! Imagine that

6) AND this is the most important part - started another TINY project right on the heels of the UFO. From scratch.

Then I realized that being driven on by the sense of completion and success makes me want to continue on the other 14 UFOs. I knew 41 days ago realistically I could not get all 15 done. 41 Days ago I had no idea how many I even had. 41 days ago I needed to sieve through all of it. Even then I knew there would probably be too much for 80 days, but I didn't think I would be this motivated in the middle of the game. I felt like a snake swallowing their prey - I would have to unhinge my jaw to consume all of these UFOs. What has come out of this project so far? I have actually been stitching more than I have been blogging which is not AT ALL What I thought would happen!

Pictures to come later...

Next post, what is the difference between a UFO and a WIP?

November 16, 2012

UFOs: sidetracked with Mittens

I have decided to temporarily shift my projects to stitch mittens for the office. We have a colleague who is leaving at the end of November for greener pastures and I thought I would stitch him a little memento of his time here. I have done it in our company colors but here is the little sample. It took about one evening and it is approx 3.5 in x 4.5 in so its a quickie but not on my organizational list....

November 12, 2012

UFOs: Day ?? Counting the stitches

Today I thought I would look at the smaller projects I have which, coincidentally happen to be of the Christmas direction. I have an annual tradition of jumping on the Christmas bandwagon immediately after Nov 11.

The thought of soldiers worldwide giving their lives for their cause is a tremendous sacrifice. They deserve remembrance; but they would also want us to focus on the freedoms we enjoy because of their sacrifice. Whether you believe in war, that is not the point, these men and women deserve our respect and gratitude. My grandmother knitted mittens for those in soldiers in World War II. Today I will solemnly finish a chart of Christmas mittens I had started in that same spirit. These are the project I want to finish this week:

November 10, 2012

UFOs : The Organized Stitch Day 31

As you may recall, I am working through 80 days of organization.

In the first few days I cataloged my unfinished objects (approx 80), cataloged my patterns (approx 200) and have inventoried my thread. I procrastinated, I read books, magazines, tried to pick up a project or two but I just didn't feel into it. 

I took a few days away from it and read everybody else's blogs and websites and thought I should take another stab at it! 

Enough with the needlework jokes, I picked one randomly out of the bag and started running my favorite highlighter over the pattern and realized I was about 80% done and I only had 3 colors left to stitch so I just got on it. Now I only have 1 hours left at best, this is the back of the design and I am just so thrilled with its organized intensity. When I complete it, it will be the first if the 15 UFOs I will have completed in the 80 days to organization...

November 9, 2012

UFO : Unfinished Day 30

What is the coolest tool you use for your stitching?

I have my favorites mostly my scissor magnet(seen on previous post),

my fancy German highlighters:

and probably my awesome coffee mug. But I found this graphic yesterday and I felt it was appropriate:

November 8, 2012

UFOs Day 29 of 80 days

Soon I will be contributing as a guest blogger for a site called Stitching The Night Away: see if I come up with anything interesting that you would like to discuss.....

Day 29 UFO
Here are the reasons I decided to get organized and finish some, any or most of the 80 pieces I have "on the go". I have marked them in a spreadsheet in Excel on my computer, and I am tracking their progress by photo. What would be your reasons for getting organized?

1) Don't want to spend money on a duplicate pattern - I have invested  tons and tons of money into magazines, books, photocopies, internet patterns, Etsy patterns, and grid paper.

2) I have limited square footage. I am an inner city urban dweller who doesn't have a basement, lives with a husband and toddler, so I have to keep my stash down to a dull roar.

3) Keeping track of lumps or tubes of fabric swatches and lengths takes up space and I want to make sure I don't have 700 yards of white 14 Count white Aida when I need an 8x10" swatch of  aubergine linen.

4) The people I live with don't want to damage my hard work. My husband would see piles of stitching and fabrics etc and worry about knocking them over or spilling coffee on it.

5) Most of all for myself. Just so I can show a sense of accomplishment. I tend to bore easily - thus the reason I have 80 pieces on the go. The oldest dates back to about 2007 - time to get it sorted out and finished.

November 4, 2012

Baby Girl & Organization UFO:Day 25

I find the only reasonable distraction from my stitching is my lovely little girl. My Baby Girl is too small to coexist properly with my stitching, so I find a tricky balance ensues. Mostly I stitch when she is asleep, but occasionally I can break it out when she is toddling around the house.

Today in the spirit of protecting my projects from her and vice-versa, I have my stitching categorized in Ziploc bags for every project that I have unfinished. In each bag I have the 1) fabric project 2) the pattern 3) sometimes the hoop and 4) the thread.

I always leave my magnet with my needles and scissors separate.

Mostly the projects storage can be standardized, but the threads are always the tricky bit.Sometimes on the projects, the thread can't be easily managed on a thread sorter. On the larger more complicated projects, I use Floss-Away rings with the baggies. If it is more convenient, sometimes DMC threads compactly intact in their original skeins, sometimes I have them on a DMC Floss Bobbins.

This is how I do it:

November 2, 2012

Unfinished Oktoberfest Day 23

So I am not the most consistent blogger in the history of bloggers. I can make excuses about Halloween, my daughter, my day job, yadda yadda yadda. It is in my nature to jump from one thing to another, I am not in the habit of doing one UFO at a time, but rather fulfilling a list....

The truth of it is I am working on my 14 unfinished object projects daily. Not all at once. But they are all getting attention in one way or another. I have stitcher's block I guess. I am working on one particular object and I am struggling with a font. I am working through it and the best thing I can find is a sampler designed by Jane Greenoff that I can draw some inspiration and details from. I don't limit myself to cross stitch or embroidery, or pulled thread, satin stitch or confetti pieces.

Here are some examples of my remaining UFOs: