November 26, 2013

S.A.B.L.E. - Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy

Before I start, let me say this is a happy subject!  But let us face facts: would we want more stash than we can stitch? Do we want to leave a legacy of unopened projects for our kids to sell at half price or find homes for after we are gone? In these continuing uncertain economic times, we have to be thoughtful with our money. This led me to think that I should be realistic about my stash. Conspicuous consumption with our stash is counterproductive at Christmas time. (Like my alliteration?)

Life Expectancy for females in the developed world is about 77.1 years of age on average. The majority of cross stitchers are female, so I am basing my math on the female stat. Sorry guys! As someone who has a detail driven day job, and a cross stitch addiction, I have just recently come across this term "SABLE". Stash Acquire Beyond Life Expectancy. A month ago, for the first time in my life, I just realized life is too short to stitch something you don't really like...

Let's say for argument's sake, I am 39. Let's say for mathematical sake, that I admit to aging past 39 going forward. And let's say, for argument's sake, I have done a rough calculation that says in my current stash, I have approximately 2630 hours of stitching to finish. Let's also say, that one can reasonably stitch 10 hours/week. So with my current stash, I will be stitching for the next 263 weeks.  Which, by that reasoning, I have roughly 5.1 years of stitching already in my possession.

5 years seems a long time to go without acquiring any new patterns!!!! YIKES! Say it isn't so!

And because we all like to count, let's say that statistically I have 77.1-39.6 years to stitch= 37.5 stitching years left. Give or take sewing, frogging, designing, injury, debilitation, holidays, failing eyesight, I have roughly a total of 1950 weeks of stitching left in my life. Roughly 19,500 hours of available stitching. 1950-263=1687 weeks worth of stitching would be how much more stash I could acquire from now on. If I were to spend any of that doing something I don't absolutely love, or would have some value about in the end, well, it would be a waste of my inevitably limited and valuable stitching time. Oh no! Say it isn't so!

I did my annual stash review, and I currently own, have, or intend to, stitch 64 projects. All of which are in one form or another are listed/pictured on this blog.  I unloaded a few projects last week, but I think I still have to make some hard decisions. 64 doesn't seem like a lot, but compared to most of my stitching colleagues, but this doesn't count my Stitch by Rachel Pinterest board "Patterns I will Stitch Someday" here. At least it gives me a way to consciously decide what to have in my stash without coming out like a hoarder....and a reason to update my blog!

Let's truly enjoy our hobby and love what we do. Let's be thankful for all we have, and spend our Christmas budgets on the people who matter the most.

November 6, 2013

Fighting Pattern Fatigue Turtle Trot Projects - Please VOTE!

As you are all aware, I have been following a number of Stitch A Longs this year. This is in part because I was trying to broaden my education, expand my online stitching circle, and get some much needed closure on my works. I also made a commitment to myself to not spend any money on any NEW patterns after Feb 2013, and so far I was able to keep to that rule. Who knows how it will go in 2014?

I started out with 15 not so massive and very massive projects on the Turtle Trot, and as of November 1, I have 4 finishes. 4/15 not so bad for 9 months work. Keep in mind I had a few catastrophes this year that prevented me from stitching. Add to that, some forays in other SALs, and a couple of on the spot, up to the minute, projects that came in during the last nine months ending on October 13. I have three months to work through the remaining 9, which I will diligently do, but I am already thinking toward the 2014 SALs and what I would like to pick for those 15 projects.

This leads me to the topic at hand: Pattern Fatigue.

I am one of those people who get pattern fatigue easily, therefore I end up with tons and tons of UFOs/WIPs. I get thread fatigue and want to stop working on that 9th page of brown teddy bears for example. I also have a tendency to buy patterns that are pretty but I hate the colours used in them, so they take much longer for me to finish. In this year's selections, I had a project in mind for a family member who is no longer a family member, and I am at 6s and 7s whether or not to finish it. I am going to fight through my pattern fatigue, and instead of picking 15 whole new projects from my WIPs, I am going to continue with these patterns with which I am so fatigued. If you see my fatigue, you might think to yourself, then put them away for 2014. Well here's the problem with that, some I have already put off for so long they have had several birthdays unfinished in my stash.  Examples of fatigue:

  • I have one pattern in this group that is for a new pillowcase for me, for my bed, with my initial on it, and I still can't bring myself to do it. (2010)
  • There is another that has a tremendous amount of white/9 pages of teddy bears/backstitching (2007)
  • The one I am not sure if I should put the energy into it because of the family (2009)
  • the pattern so detailed I have to frog every mistake because its mirrored (2007)
  • the one that is 3 feet by 3 feet and I am just downright intimidated by (2011)
  • the pumpkin for my buddy - I don't know why I am procrastinating this one, I think its because I have a hard time looking at orange, but I have got a twist for it...(2011)
  • for the other three my excuses are sad and more pathetic that those listed above, and I just need to pull up my socks... (2007, 2011 (for my newborn daughter who is now 2), and 2011 respectively

I have decided in the spirit of fortitude, patience, discipline, and attainment I will carry forward any of the 15 that are left over. This leaves me with a MINIMUM of 4 patterns I must pull out of the ole WIP file which you can find on the TAB on this blog entitled "UFO Projects (40 Photos)".

I would ask my followers to VOTE, by comment which of the following WIPS I should choose for my four open slots. In the interest of fairness, I chose varying degrees of difficulty. Here are the 7 top contenders:

Scarlet Ribbands

Clifftop Poppies

Italian Heart

Wedding Rings 
Triple Heart

Beatrix Potter's House

Tulip Trio

November 5, 2013

So Proud! Hydrangea!

I just got this bad boy back from the framers, 

I am deeply proud of it. I designed it and needle painted it myself, but I was inspired by a colouring page with a similar leaf and flower pattern which can be found on a blog under liudeju