Sunday, January 13, 2013

EGA Challenge, Part 1

I'm now a member of the duClay Chapter of the EGA in Jacksonville, Florida, since I'm going to be joining them for an Ellen Chester class in February.  I can't tell you how excited I am about that!  I feel as if I already know some of the members from their blogs or postings on bulletin boards and can't wait to meet them in person.  If you know me well in real life, you would know that going to Jacksonville for a weekend is somewhat out of character for me.  I tend to dither about how guilty I feel spending the money and leaving my husband home alone.  But as I near 60 and retirement, I seem to be adopting a new attitude and when this opportunity came up, I decided to just go for it.  I'm sure it will be a fantastic experience.
The deClay EGA seems to be an active chapter and although I can't attend their meetings, I can participate in this year's challenge.  Participants may choose up to 10 projects and assign a value of $1-5 to them depending upon the size and stage of completion.  Completed projects will earn entries in the year-end drawing equal to the dollar value assigned (e.g. $5 values earn 5 entries).  The drawing will be held at the holiday party when the winner will take home half of the money collected.  What a fun way to contribute to the chapter and have an incentive to get some things completed.  I've had a lot of fun choosing the projects and made a happy discovery while getting them ready to be photographed.  When I hung my Advent tree with its Kathy Schenkel needlepoint ornaments this year, there were four left to be put on the it.  I would have sworn that I still had four left to stitch and went into a mild panic when I could only find the three you see above in my project bag.  A search ensued and the fourth ornament was finally found--in my pile of completed projects!  It's time to finish up the rest of the ornaments and get them off to the finisher so I can have a full tree next December.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Start

You probably didn't notice (or maybe you all are just too polite to say anything), but I didn't stitch much this fall.  It was a combination of things including being very busy at work with my new assignment, incorporating more exercise into my schedule, and a persistent problem with my right shoulder.  Not to mention that I tend to fall asleep as soon as I sit down to stitch!  So most nights, I was putting one to two strands into my piece before I had to call it quits.  Not conducive to progress and therefore, not too much to show on this blog. 

The shoulder problem is mostly resolved, thanks to physical therapy.  However, I was still feeling some twinges when I was stitching.  I thought that using a stand would help by changing the motion of stitching slightly and/or allowing me to keep my right arm still if I could learn to stitch with my left hand on top of the piece and my right hand under.  I'm happy to say that the new stand that was under the Christmas tree for me does the trick!  I'll post more on this wonderful addition to my stitching life later, but for now you cam see that I'm making some actual stitching progress!  This is my start on The Scottish Band Sampler from Scarlet Letter (started on Christmas Day).  Even though the start of the "B' is in the wrong place and will have to be restitched, I feel I'm moving along nicely on this piece.  It's being stitched with the recommended AVAS silks and a 30-count linen that was included in the kit.  The linen is a larger count than I would normally choose, but I decided to keep it because the bottom section of this sampler is stitched in the Hungarian or flame stitch.  I figured I would need the large count to see where to place the stitches, as I understand it's a challenging pattern.

Happy New Year to all of my readers!  May it be a year full of stitching fun and finished projects!