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)

Stash Dash

I picked up Circle of Friends by Mirabilia when it was first released but I truly hated the suggested fabric for it. The brown tone was much too dark for my tastes.

The design is quite large (146w x 238h) and the piece of fabric needed would be expensive due to the size of the stitching and the space required for framing.

I had a rather large piece of 28ct Lugana that was given to me. The color was a peachy yellow pinky color. I know it was a Silkweaver fabric so it was probably Sparkling Sundown Reflections. It was a pretty fabric and my floss toss looked nice on the fabric so I decided to go for it.

What a mistake!

The goddess on the far left matches the fabric too closely. There is no definition between the fabric and the flesh tone. All in all, the color was too light for the project. There was no “pop” of the colors.  I guess those design artists really do know what they are doing. 🙂

I put the project aside for a few months. I had NO desire to work on it. The joy of seeing each stitch come to life on the fabric was ruined. The fabric made the design look cheap – 1980’s chic pastels. I knew I could not continue the project on that fabric BUT I still did not like the artist’s original fabric!!

Picky, aren’t I?

I decided I had only one option. I had to go to my favorite cross stitch shop ABC Stitch Therapy in New Hampshire. I made a weekend of it since I had use of my company’s condo in the White Mountains. During that first weekend in May I was blessed with lovely weather for my three hour drive. There was no traffic and no problems. It was a true treat!!

Once I got to the shop I went straight to the fabric executing floss tosses on various fabrics. After a half dozen options I settled on a length of 28ct Lugana dyed by Silkweaver called Ametrine.

I felt the goddesses would look divine on this! It has a rich brown and gold overall tone (so hard to tell on a digital photo) with purples and blues. Gorgeous! And it really does look like an actually piece of ametrine!

Happy with my new piece of fabric I had to resign myself to the fact that I would have to redo all the stitches I had previously done. It was worth it! What was the point in finishing a piece I could no longer stand. Putting the stitches in the new fabric felt wonderful! I have done a little more work on this since the photo but I have put aside my stitching until I finished my home decor revamp!

The colors really do pop on the fabric and there are some wonderful bursts of blue and purple that will be viewable when framed.

I am happy I made the decision to start over. I figured since I was already at the stitchy shop and had used a tank of gas to get there I should really shop around. I really had to twist my own arm to browse the store!

I just had to pick up Something Wicked by La D Da to whip up for this Halloween.

I also decided I had waited long enough to buy Holly from the Pixie Couture Collection by Nora Corbett. I already had the perfect creamy Belfast opalescent linen but I made sure to pick up the beads and Kreniks there too.

This little Lizzie Kate sweetie was sentimental enough to get me to spend $6 for such a tiny pattern. I grabbed the DMC for this one too since I knew I didn’t have those color in my bobbin boxes.

Another piece of hand dyed fabric from New Zealand made my stash dash complete and I can’t wait to do another one someday soon!!!

New Hampshire Week Part I

Last week was my first real vacation since 2002! My company owns a condo in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and I decided to actually use one of my company perks for a change.
Due to some scheduling issues I had to head up on Saturday the 25th by myself to check-in. I packed a cooler with some Cokes and loaded my ipod with crazy tunes only I would like. I know for sure that my boyfriend would not have been pleased to listen to “Once More with Feeling” cast recording from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical or “The Boy from Oz” with Hugh Jackman for almost four hours.

The drive was relaxing and when I pulled into the resort I was thrilled to see a huge lake and a very quiet, idyllic setting. When I checked into my two bedroom, two bathroom suite I was even more thrilled to find a jacuzzi tub in the master bath. I quickly unpacked the groceries I had brought for the next week and was soon relaxing in the mad swirls of water with my copy of Eclipse to read.

As much fun as it was to have the tub to myself it was much more fun to go up with my boyfriend Paul and his three kids (ages 7 -11). All we told them is that we were going to a water park and the rest of the trip was a surprise!

To be continued…