Challenge update – 6 month mark

I originally started this challenge in the summer of 2009 BUT I have had a lot of changes which affected where I would be almost three years from now. Since the boyfriend is long gone there were a lot of  “goals” that were abandoned. I still have yet to come up with 101 tasks but I am more than halfway there and will be working on them some more!

The Mission:Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:Tasks must be specific (i.e., little to no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (i.e., represent some amount of work on my part).

Start Date: April 15, 2010

End Date: January 2013

Completed: 30!! as of October 24, 2010

Home: (24)

  • Refinish my 1940’s craft cabinet in a vintage black walnut tone DONE! September 2010 But in white paint with original oil rubbed brass hardware. The wood was too damaged to restore with my budget.
  • Stain headboard – Decided the headboard did not go with my new style direction so I put it in storage July 2010
  • Paint side tables DONE! July 2010 Two were painted white for the bedroom and two were painted black with walnut stained tops for the living room
  • Refinish dinette set – Status Check July 2010 primer is on
  • Sew chair back covers for chairs – Decided that I like the 1960’s charm of the chairs and have now embraced it.
  • Sew placemats DONE! September 2010
  • Repair current bookcases DONE! August 2010
  • Fix and/or discard broken holiday decorations. Donate unused decorations
  • Donate clothing and blankets no longer used DONE! October 2010
  • Go through books and donate as many as possible DONE! August 2010
  • Find an organized way to store music, load favorite music selections onto the computer for long term storage
  • Replace dinnerware and silverware with comparable quality sets DONE! February 2010
  • Invest in a quality set of hard anodized aluminum non-stick cookware
  • Fix bathroom floor and lay down new tile DONE! July 2010
  • Sew new shower curtain
  • Paint bathroom Peridot green DONE! July 2010
  • Refinish bathroom accessories to match new style (paint wicker, wood and metal items, dye rugs) DONE! July 2010
  • Steam Clean carpets DONE! July 2010
  • Paint or stain coffee table DONE! July 2010 stained dark walnut
  • Paint or stain entertainment center
  • Buy new comforter set DONE! May 2010
  • Buy 600 thread count sheets
  • Replace mattress pad/topper
  • New bathroom towels

Travel: (11)

  • Have the Stitchy, Witchy, Bitchy Week in New Hampshire at the Condo DONE! July 2010
  • Finish the second half of the Freedom Trail in Boston
  • Have a picnic lunch at Quincy National Park in Quincy, MA
  • Visit Washington D.C.
  • Go back to ABC Stitch Therapy in Grantham, NH DONE! July 2010
  • Go back to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY
  • Visit Independence Hall in Philadelphia
  • Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and see the Boston Bruins play the Maple Leafs IN Toronto
  • Visit DisneyWorld
  • Go on a road trip
  • Take Mom to bingo

Hobbies: (28)

  • Complete my maternal ancestry documentation (paternal is already done!)
  • Adhere to regular backups of digital photos to cd-rom
  • Finish scrapbooking the past year and half of my life
  • Regularly print and scrapbook photos and/or mementos
  • See the Detroit Red Wings play the Boston Bruins in Boston. Have tickets for Feb 2011 game – Thanks Dad!
  • See the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Boston Bruins in Boston. This will complete my goal of seeing all of the Original Six hockey teams in action (All games against the Boston Bruins: Montreal Canadiens April 19, 2008, Chicago Blackhawks March 7, 2009 New York Rangers April 4, 2009)
  • Complete Marilyn Monroe cross stitch for framing
  • Start and complete Mirabilia’s Circle of Friends Started July 2010
  • Subscribe to Cross Stitch Collection magazine
  • Attend a cross stitch retreat DONE! October 2010
  • Create a better storage system for crafts DONE! September 2010
  • Paint Queen of Cups box DONE! May 2010
  • Paint The Fool tarot box DONE! May 2010
  • Attempt thread crochet again
  • Make a needlebook (TW Dragon) started March 2010
  • Design a matching bead scissor fob
  • Finish scrap granny-square blanket
  • CAL 6″ yellow scarf
  • Take a sewing class
  • Sew scrap bags for crafting DONE! October 2010
  • Go through Gramma’s craft boxes DONE! October 2010
  • Discard old paints that are not salvageable; make room for Gramma’s paints DONE! July 2010
  • Make Fortune cookie “favors”
  • Make Scissor fobs DONE! September 2010
  • New embroidery scissor investment DONE! September 2010
  • Crochet blanket for Alexander DONE! March 2010
  • Crochet blanket for Andreas DONE! March 2010
  • Crochet green car coat sweater

Health: (8)

  • Adopt the glycemic diet back into my life again
  • EA Active 3x week
  • Start Pilates cycles again
  • Begin walking regularly
  • Buy a bicycle and helmet
  • New glasses DONE! February 2010
  • New contacts DONE! February 2010
  • Buy Polarized/UV protection sunglasses

Finances/Work: (10)

  • Begin a “House Down Payment” savings account – contribute a minimum per week to it
  • Find a new place to live for July 2011
  • Learn more abut mortgages and purchasing a house and research any programs that can benefit me
  • Attend a Homebuyer Education Class
  • Convert all paper statements to paperless
  • Find an organized way to file important documents and bills; Use a ledger method to track payments and account number details for paperless items
  • Update resume
  • Follow the “Smile and cash my check” edict from my employer until I can’t take it anymore Working on it October 2010
  • Learn Crystal Reports
  • Stick to a moderate Christmas spending plan

Personal: (14)

  • Visit Mom’s Knitting Group again
  • Find a Book Club
  • Find (or start) a cross stitching group to go to DONE! August 2010
  • Complete the 50 books in a year challenge
  • Get car inspected
  • Replace front tires DONE! September 2010
  • Repair front fender on car
  • Have car detailed inside and out DONE! January 2010
  • Buy myself a Coach bag
  • Invest in new crystals DONE! March 2010
  • Find a new tarot book DONE! March 2010
  • Look into hair straightener treatment DONE! June 2010 Not going to do it! Formaldehyde! yuck!
  • Try to grow out natural nails
  • Attend a class for personal or emotional development (maybe another self-hypnosis class)

2009 Finishes – Cross Stitch

I began cross stitching nine years ago. I had tried the craft back in 1996 but found it too difficult and my ambition to learn how to stitch quickly evaporated.  In 2001 I flew to China for the first time and was desperate to find something to keep myself occupied during an 18+ hour flight. I had never flown further than the length of the East Coast before so I was terrified at the thought of flying “all the way” to China.

I was all about the crocheting in 2000 but that was an awful lot of bulk to pack for China (and for a business trip there is no checking of luggage – you need it, you haul it). I had  to have something small to fiddle with in case the two paperbacks I brought along were boring!

I picked up a small cross stitch kit, a hoop and teensy scissors and somewhere over the Pacific Ocean I set to my task. I had already finished one of my paperback books (I’m a fast reader) and we weren’t even halfway to China.  I had to save the second book for the flight home!!

I read the instructions conscientiously and began my cross stitch journey. By the time the plane landed in Seoul, South Korea I had a small grouping of perfectly laid stitches. I worked on the projects (apples in a basket surrounded by a blue checkered border) for the rest of the trip and proudly presented it to my Mom as a gift.

She was intrigued and impressed and wanted to learn to stitch herself.  Over the past years we have slowly explored the stitchy joys available to us and I still love learning or finding some new treasure!

This year I made some major leaps in my stitching. I had never stitched on anything but Aida cloth and had only experience using 14ct, 16ct or 18ct. Aida.

 I tried my first project on Evenweave this Spring and managed to complete Terea Wentlzer’s Futurecast on 28ct. evenweave.

I enjoyed this pattern because it let you select you own colors (and provided guidance on how to do so!)

I used teals, greens and yellows with a pop of purple metallic for his crystal ball!

I promised myself that if I was able to complete the Evenweave project that I would tackle a Nora Corbett Fairy or Pixie design on linen. After much internal debate I decided to begin work on Nora’s Halloween Fairy from Cross Stitch and Needlework September 2008 magazine. Even though that is her official name I still like to call her Trick or Treat!

 She was stitched on 32ct. Belfast linen in Precious Metals by Silkweaver. This was my first time stitching on linen and it was a slight adjustment but I fell in love with the way my needle flew through the fabric with so little resistance.

It was also my first project that was extensively beaded and I found that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would (after the investment in some beading needles that is!)

I worked on Trick or Treat all through the summer and had her finished (but not framed) in time for Halloween. I was very proud of myself for this accomplishment since it was my first linen and beaded project!

I began Solaria Gallery’s freebie of Venetian Girl with Mask last November. I finished her in time for my niece’s 19th birthday in August. I framed her up in a chunky, black frame and left plenty of white 14ct. Aida around her to act as a built-in matte. “Purple Girl” was funky and fun – just like my niece. I hope she loves it as much as I loved making it for her.

 I love finding freebie patterns on-line and have built up quite a collection over the past year.

It is a nice (inexpensive) way to experiment with a particular designer. For example it was nice to find out that Solaria Gallery doesn’t rely on lots (if any) backstitching. So for those of you that hate backstitching go check them out!

I personally enjoy backstitching. I feel like I am seeing the hidden design come to life right before me.

The little accents and curves placed at just the right spots make my stitches jump right off the cloth. Call me crazy but I like it.

Sometime in the Spring I worked on Passione Ricamo’s Fairy Celebration II freebie on Saphhire Sky 28ct linen. I did her in Ecru DMC and found a frame in the exact same color (and it was on sale!) This was part of my birthday gift to my cousin.

Joan Elliot’s Fairy Alphabet helped me make a quickie bookmark with a touch of blending filament and beads for my sister’s birthday.

 My grandmother received my knock-off Brittercup Kitty for an Easter gift.

I didn’t have the pattern so I free handed it from a picture of the completed project.

Not perfect, but close enough for me!

 

 

 

Dragon Dream’s Tale of Wonder was such fun to do. I used my own color pallete for this one and my Dad made the solid oak frames for it and the pink castle.  

I made the castle pattern in PC Stitch using JC Penney’s Princess baby bedding as an inspiration since both pieces were for a nursery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did Stitchy Kitty’s Meow Spoken Here (another Freebie!) on 28ct. opalescent Lugana in Ocean by Silkweaver. It got whipped up during my SAL group’s weekend SAL in DEcember. stuck to the pattern except I used two peridot beads for the eyes instead of french knots in DMC 3371. Kitties need green eyes not brown ones! You gotta draw the line somewhere!

Another quickie scottish thistle bookmark on Oatmeal Aida for my grandmother’s birthday in June. What better bookmark for the trashy Scottish bodice-ripper novels I bought her than this?

My last finish of the year is also the last one in this post. A cute little penguin from the Cross Stitcher December 2008 issue’s alphabet. I modified the pattern so the penguin’s letter of the alphabet is not included. He got stitched on 28ct. opalescent Lugana in Karma Sparkle by Silkweaver. And I am definitely going to be reordering that color again. Very cute!

He is also my first machine finished ornament with my new sewing machine! My older niece Colleen is getting this with her Christmas presents this year. I hope she likes it as much as I do. Because I REALLY enjoyed having him on my tree for his photo opportunity! I think that is all of my finishes for the year! Now on to 2010!