I got into the planner craze in 2016, big time. I mean, it’s what us 90s kids used to do back in the day, right? So it was easy to fall back into the habit. I still have my DayPlanner from 1997 because it was awesome. I even used it as a purse, I was so cool. I’ve always been the kind of person to remember more if I write it down. A lot of people use their phones, and I do too, but mostly for the calendar reminders. All the fun stuff goes in the planner. Add colorful pens, cute washi tape, and so! many! stickers! It puts me right over the moon.

Buckle up, this is gonna be a big post with lots of planner love and pictures!

I had been using a notebook at work for a long time because it was a nice, easy, and super effective way to keep everything organized. I never used fancy stuff like stickers in it though. Mom gave me a couple of her old school (haha she was a teacher get it) lesson planners that are organized by class and week. I love the size and the layout, so I used it for the 5 working days of the week. Once I left my job, I didn’t want to waste the notebook, plus it’s what I got used to by that point. So I’ve been playing around with layouts and styles, still weekly, and now I’ve been working on getting the next notebook ready for 2017! I filled up the old one so this time I got to plan it out better. I am a pinterest qween, so I pin a lot of cool ideas and inspirations for the planner there, including lettering ideas. (I’m totally going to get into hand lettering, but that’s another post for another day.)

I made a list of what pages I wanted and got those started by writing/drawing the titles. Here’s what I have so far. I put working pages in the back of the book so I can add more as needed. Index is in the front along with a quick reference page – I’m even numbering the pages for this reason. I think I’ll be able to get more than one year in here, which would be pretty nice.

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…you get the idea.

Other supplies! Fun stuff!

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I have a subscription to PipSticks and if you love some sticker awesomeness, you should look into it! They have every kind of sticker you remember and love, as well as some new fabulous designs I’ve never seen before. This little sticker pack is a ray of sunshine once a month in my mailbox.

It helps immensely that I got a new desk over the holiday break. It was my grandpa’s desk! I remember sitting at it and reading comic books when I was a kid, way back when we’d drive to across the west to their place for Christmas. Those were very good days.
This winter we went full tilt and reorganized/cleaned out the office. Our office is our main “adult” space that the kids don’t get to play in, so you can imagine how much we’ve squirrelled away over the years we’ve lived here (thirteen years already?). I found stuff from high school for pete’s sake…anyway, we got a bookcase to hold the stuff that is usually piled on my desk, to make room for the new one. I’m focused on keeping it nice and neat this time. Everything I use is within reach now! What a concept.

I hope the new year treats you well! I’m hopeful and I personally plan to make my 2017 as colorful and fun as possible.

I finished it last week!

I used a pale pink hand dyed Aida and DMC 413 (pewter grey)
I used a pale pink hand dyed Aida and DMC 413 (pewter grey)
Here is the link to the shop again. It’s a delightful rabbit hole of awesome cross stitch patterns! I have a few more from her to get to someday.

My Frosted Pumpkin SAL starts on January 15, so I have until then to finish another WIP, the Yei I started in 2013.
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Honestly, I hope to finish it by New Year’s day! Whew! What a great way to end the year! I am working on my planner for 2017 and have a whole page dedicated to cross stitch WIPs, so I can keep track of what I’m working on. I’m already using it and it has helped a bunch. More on planning soon…

And Happy Thanksgiving!
We watched the last four episodes of Hannibal last night and I made a lot of progress on the Golden Puppy! I finally feel like it’s going downhill, you know? I just have to fill in the head with one more color and finish the half stitches in the corner. Easy peasy.
So I started this one in December 2008, which was before I got big into knitting and crochet. I lost the original pattern and emailed Dimensions about getting a new one. They sent me one for free a couple weeks later! That was in January 2014. I kept putting it away and forgetting about it until this year. I didn’t know what to do with it when it was finished (which makes a difference in my motivation for finishing something), until I gave up on Man’s Best Friend. ta-da! I had almost come to terms with finishing it next year, but after last night I really think I can finish it by Christmas.
woohoo!

from early November
from early November
And from last night!
And from last night!
I also found the butterfly project at the bottom of a project case, under the Dr Who sampler. I did one more butterfly. I’ll make this the next portable project after the puppy is finished.
tiny purple guy near the top
tiny purple guy near the top

Oh, wait. I should probably clarify what I mean by “portable”. I think there are three kinds of cross stitch projects: portable, average, and epic. Portable projects are anything 5×7″ or smaller that can fit into a small tin or pencil box. I can fit them in my jacket or bag, no problem and aren’t too fussy (lots of color changes, blended thread, beads, special stitches, etc). Average is anything that isn’t too big or too fussy to carry around wherever. I use a makeup bag from Thirty-One to carry a few projects at a time and it’s super convenient. Dr Who sampler and Reflections of London are in that bag, along with most of my supplies.
Epic, on the other hand, are not portable. They come with dozens of thread colors, multiple thread blending combos and many pages of patterns. My epics are mostly Dimension Gold kits (like Mighty Samurai) but a lot of people are into Heaven and Earth Designs or Cross Stitch Collectibles. I think these are epic in size alone, even if most of them don’t have more than cross stitches (no special stitches or attachments like beads).
Since I’ve been flying through these old WIPs, I can’t help but think about my samurai. His name is Toshiro, btw. You know you’re a goner when you name something. ;-) I have the Dr sampler to finish too. At least that one is fairly portable. Toshi is not.
I digress.

I hope you have a wonderful day full of loved ones and good food. I hope you treat yo self to something nice, because you deserve it! Not just on holidays, every day, any day. You’re awesome!
Thanks for reading! More stitch madness soon!

P.S. I’m planning a few changes to the blog starting next year: planners, book reviews, lots of rambling, and lots more cross stitch adventures.
P.P.S. Been working on London too, when I get tired of yellow thread.

Almost out of thread again! I think this is my third skein of DMC 413. One more should do it.
Almost out of thread again! I think this is my third skein of DMC 413. One more should do it.

I’ve been cleaning and planning and organizing and getting ready for summer! Kids are almost out, and I’m planning a family road trip to Colorado, plus a trip to ride the Numbers & Toltec Railroad in June. I’m so excited!!

I finished my first pair of socks knit on straight needles. I knit them super quick compared to double circulars, so much so that I frogged about 2 inches of a new sock to start over on straights. Woot!

We went to an Isotopes game on Friday and we all got little overnight/travel/toiletry bags at the gate. Wouldn’t you know it, it fits a bunch of projects just right!

Coffee stored separately.
Coffee stored separately.

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I fit about 4 in there for now. :-D there are lots of pockets for little stuff.

I also got into reading Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner. He goes into how we remember languages and has some neat ways to remember in the long run, instead of short term. I’m excited about it! I want to be fluent in Spanish, right now I’m intermediate I guess. I took classes since 7th grade and being in ABQ I’m surrounded by it. I love Spanish and I hope Wyner’s methods will get me to my goal! Maybe if this works I might get back into German…but one thing at a time!

It’s a beautiful day, I’m going to get back to knitting and reading.

I think a lot of people are multicraftual-they know and practice more than 2 or 3 crafts. In no particular order I cross stitch, knit, crochet, embroider, tat, and sew (nothing major, easy stuff and repairs).

But every crafter started with that One Craft, the one that got them head first into making things with their hands, doing something relaxing and fun, then enjoying the finished piece, whether it is useful or just hangs on the wall/tree/child/etc.

Cross stitch was my gateway craft. I learned from my brother’s friend way back when I was 13 or 14. I’m 36 now, so that’s 20+ years of cross stitching!! woohoo! I’ve learned so much and messed up a lot and I’m still stitching. I learned to crochet and knit in 2008. I’ve embroidered since Jr High (did anyone else take Home Ec? I loved that class) and taught myself to tat in 2012. I think I need to learn a new craft every year or two gotta stay sharp! If only I had eight arms…I could do all of them at once. ;-)

Anyway, I mention cross stitch because it’s my favorite of the crafts, and as such, I have a lot of WIPs and starts laying around. Last year I dedicated time to finishing up yarny projects and I’m happy to say I got it down from 30+ open projects (oof) to under 12. I finished all but one gift that was promised, and that one is coming along just fine. I had a hard time last year-I got really stressed out and my anxiety went through the roof. Crafting usually helped me before but I was so tense, I started lots of projects in 2015, thinking how fun they would be and how fun it is to start something, but then I’d get busy or run out of steam, and never finish them. That would add to the anxiety and I would hear the old “you can’t even finish what you start” nonsense my panic monster loves to talk about.

Well I showed her! Check out my ravelry page to see how much I finished/frogged if you want. So now I’m back to knitting and crocheting for fun, not as a frantic exercise to relax.

And back to the point: this year I’m working through those cross stiches! I collected so many patterns and kits, and then I had a hint of mortality and realized I might not have time to finish them, even if I live to 100, lol. So I gave a way a lot of patterns, a few kits, to make room for the ones I want to do. I have about 10 unfinished objects/projects (UFOs). One is a gift for my folks, but there’s no rush on that. I try to finish gifts first. This one is definitely getting done this year, hell or high water.

Time for pictures! I organized everything into two places: storage for patterns and kits to be done later and a nice project bag for the UFOs.

Picture dump ahead! Hard hats on!

This bag was originally for scrapbooking and works very well for all my patterns and supplies and stuff. The little box is a fake book I picked up somewhere. I added a magnet to the inside so it stays closed better.
This bag was originally for scrapbooking and works very well for all my patterns and supplies and stuff. The little box is a fake book I picked up somewhere. I added a magnet to the inside so it stays closed better. It’s easy to put in my bag for trips and can hold more than one project.
Doctor Who sampler SAL with Penny. DMC thread from stash, pattern and fabric from etsy-I'll list links at the end of the post.
Doctor Who sampler SAL with Penny. DMC thread from stash, pattern and fabric from etsy-I’ll list links at the end of the post.
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Mighty Samurai kit by Dimensions. This was the first “epic” kit I ever bought, who knows how long ago…
Clipper Ship Voyager kit by Dimensions.
Clipper Ship Voyager kit by Dimensions.
Exotic Butterflies kit by Dimensions.
Exotic Butterflies kit by Dimensions.
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Snooze stamped x stitch kit by Dimensions
Masquerade by Ink Circles. DMC thread-I can't find the original pattern...
Masquerade by Ink Circles. DMC thread-I can’t find the original pattern…
Man's Best Friend kit by Dimensions-this is the gift for my folks. I can't resist labradors!
Man’s Best Friend kit by Dimensions-this is the gift for my folks. I can’t resist labradors!
Artista Halloween kit. I'm using a bright blue from Garibaldi's Needleworks. Life's too short to stitch the entire black background! Blue will look very nice, methinks.
Artista Halloween kit. I’m using a bright blue from Garibaldi’s Needleworks instead of the included white fabric. Life’s too short to stitch that entire black background! Blue will look very nice, methinks.
These are all the projects I'd like to do eventually.
These are all the projects I’d like to do eventually. Not shown are my new Victorian houses patterns I bought on a whim. They should come in the mail soon.

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I’ve been posting about Yei, here is my latest progress!

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I have Yei in my roll up bag. Once I finish it I’ll put the Jack (pumpkin) kit in there for my next finish. Yei doesn’t have any backstitch and Jack has very little, making them a lot faster to finish!

All those pictures. Those are just the big ones-I didn’t count all the wee little stitches, Satsuma Street, Debbie Patrick’s Winchester House and San Francisco Rowhouse and other patterns I want to do someday!

Hi, my name’s Kat, and I have a cross stitch obsession.

I love it.

 

P.S. Links:

Chicago and Tokyo

Winchester House

Row Houses

Garibaldi’s Needleworks

Sampler in Time

Masquerade by Ink Circles

P.P.S. I hope you like the blog so far! I’ve had fun writing it. Go forth and craft today!!