After all the backstitches, this is done!
I even made a small checklist/timeline of the project 🙂
Here’s the start of a new project :D.
This update was super short and sweet, no? 🙂
Small update: I have finished the background to the Bears project not too long ago. I used the sewing method mainly and I’ve got to say the stitches don’t look that noticeably different than the ones stitched without using method (just if they aren’t looked at too closely, haha).
I did miscount some of the stitches in the ground area with the long rows of different shades of brown. Slight mistake that’s probably unnoticeable, but a mistake nontheless.
Now to the backstitches. I already started today and I’m already dreading them..
I’ve been a bit tied up with renovations at my boyfriend’s new place. There will be a hobby/cross-stitching room for me :). Before he got the place, the room used to look like this:
The place used to be a 3 bedroom and 2 bath, and then the previous owner tore down one of the bedrooms and made an open area to make it a 2 bedroom and 2 bath. My boyfriend put in the recessed lighting and I have yet to get a pic to reflect the painting to the walls that we’ve done. (EDIT: Meant to add that we’ve been taking out the popcorn on the ceiling and the open den was no exception.)
As for the cross-stitching, the blanket took a while to finish up. While I cross-stitch, I like to watch a tv show or listen to music/podcast. I’ve been watching Danny Phantom and listening to Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me. Do you guys watch or listen to something while cross-stitching like I do? If so, what have you been watching or listening to?
I’ve been taking a small break from the Teddy Bear Gathering project (am I done yet?!) and picked up on the “Burrito” cross-stitch I hadn’t worked on in ages. I’ve completed both the taco and burrito. This portion has a bit of meaning to me because my boyfriend calls me taco while I call him burrito because of this poem.
I like how little stitching I have to do. The burrito was a bit of a toughie since I had to find seven different shades of brown from previous projects I’ve completed or from random bits of floss I had laying around.
Small update here:
This was the progress from a week and a half ago. I’ve been using the sewing method here and there and although the stitching has been faster, the stitches don’t lay as flat against the aida cloth as the regular stitching does.
The difference (between the center and the area a little above it) pictured in the center with the black/green stitches is somewhat noticeable and has convinced me to not use this method (despite how it cuts down on time) in my next cross stitch project.
Here are a few pictures (creds go to my boyfriend) from December 2017. There were six of us who traveled to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. I feel like this blog is slowly turning into a travel blog haha.
I guess I didn’t factor in time and rest because I got myself sent to the hospital twice since coming back from the Asia trip. I’ve had to take a medical leave from work and had to take a mental break from things. The hospital provided a lot of resources for me while I’m recovering and I’ve had a lot of time to work and improve on myself. I’m finally going back to work on an as-needed basis thankfully, and will be interviewing at another place early next week. Throughout this whole experience, my mood has improved drastically and am super touched by the support my loved ones have shown me.
As for my cross-stitching progress, got the basket and most of the chair completed. The black half cross-stitches kinda remind me of someone drawing diagonal lines with a Sharpie.
This blog is close to having 100 followers and I think I’ve come up with a small giveaway to celebrate :D. Stay tuned!
Be right back with life updates while I post a belated Q&A from a Mystery Blogger Nomination. Thanks ivyjade234! 🙂
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog,
2. Tell your readers three things about yourself,
3. Nominate people, notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs,
4. Ask your nominees five questions of your choice and share a link or links to your favourite posts.
Three things about myself:
As always, happy stitching! 🙂
Hi ladies! This post was meant to be up much sooner, but it went to the backburner with vacations plans for Chicago and preparations for Hurricane Irma. (I know what you guys are thinking: excuses, excuses!) Might I say I loved how Chicago, particularly Logan Square, treated us? There was such a nice friendly vibe in the community and loved all the pretty flowers and delicious noms!
Credit to my boyfriend for capturing this lovely view of Chicago downtown
Back to cross-stitching, this is a follow-up (and the last 😦 ) post for the Past, Present, Forever kit. I never showed you guys how grimy the aida cloth was from the years I spent stitching the pattern. Please refer to this post about grime guards to prevent what you’ll see in the following pictures from happening!
But say your cross stitch got to the state as mine was in. What then? OxyClean worked for me. I read accounts of people mixing a 1:1 ratio of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda which is pretty much a homemade OxyClean which works just as well. I only let the grimy, stained areas soak. I had to soak them a handful of times to get the stains completely out probably because of the gunk, oils, and dirt that had accumulated over many years. After each time, the stains would become fainter, but would do this weird thing where it’d spread to a wider area. With a little bit of ironing to get the wrinkles and creases out, voilà!
So this happened 😀
Threading the beads and doing the backstitches took forever. I just can’t believe it’s finally all done!
I just wanted to show close-ups of the beads and the shimmery blending filament :). IT’S SO PRETTY AND SHINY!!
It’s taken eleven years to finally say the Cinderella’s Castle kit is done. I don’t know if it’s just me being sentimental and giving more meaning to this kit than it should have, but I feel like since I’ve worked on this project for a good chunk of my life, it’s also become symbolic of that part of my life and metaphor that life can be a bumpy journey and that’s okay.
Before I get into the similarities of this kit and my life, here’s my life timeline when I first got the kit.
WARNING: long potential melodramatic story ahead. This may be one of the few times in this blog I get into detail about my life.
Eleven years ago when I got the kit, it felt like I was at a prime point in my teenage years despite dealing with my parents’ divorce and frequent fights. The main reason I got the kit was from the prize money I received from a piano competition (the kit was priceyy!), and I was accepted by the rigorous high school my parents had set their eyes on. I felt like I was mainly studying to fulfill my parents’ path for me and followed what they said because I truly didn’t know what I wanted for myself (and still don’t know now!). Fast forward to my college acceptance, naively I thought my life would continue upwards.
Boy was college a smack to my face. I was not prepared for the studying required for college. My university also had a huge student body and it brought out what I thought was mild shyness to something pretty full blown, and seeing all my classmates who had their lives together made me feel more and more like I couldn’t keep up with them (In hindsight, I shouldn’t have compared myself to others, but I didn’t know better XD). My grades dropped in my gen eds and I switched through many majors in my first two years and dodged a lot of my parents’ questions about my progress. I never straight up told my parents I struggled because I was afraid of their disapproval and them feeling like I wasted their time and money, but I figured they had a sense of what happened.
I began to feel helpless and hopeless, thinking that I’d take forever to graduate and I’d never find a job. College counselors suggested that I find tutors which for some odd reason I thought was looked down upon at the time. I took tests to find out which careers might be suited for me, but that didn’t really lead anywhere. I went from a pre-pharmacy to an accounting and to a history major. Eventually, I declared a psychology major, at this point still not telling my parents.
Classes in psych became much more manageable. I didn’t think much of how well I did because of the stigma of the difficulty of psychology courses compared to other hard sciences. In my junior year, I searched for pysch internships and got research assistant positions in the applied behavior analysis (ABA) department which sparked my interest. Between my psych classes and working as a research assistant, I felt more capable and things started to look up. I can’t remember exactly what prompted me to see a school psychologist (maybe because it was part of the psych department) but after talking things over with the psychologist about how I was overwhelmed by life and my social anxiety, I was able to take steps to talk to my parents about being a psych major now (it was still a difficult talk!), reach out to people, and not feel so anxious and alone anymore.
Sometime in my junior and senior year, I started wanting to go into the occupational therapy route and took classes and started applying to grad programs. Sad to say by the time I graduated from college, I hadn’t received any acceptance letters. The feeling of hopelessness started again.
In my six months after college, after the typical job search and leaving a few temp jobs not fit for me, I worked part-time as an ABA registered behavior technician and part-time as a reader/secretary for a journalist in a senior living community. My parents floated around the idea of me going to nursing school. After I got over the thought of not having many job prospects with my current qualifications, my dad paying my tuition again (making me feel more even more obligated to him), AND having to go through school again, I started nursing classes.
Working while taking nursing classes and clinicals were tough, not gonna lie. Two years went by quickly, and when I got to my exit exam before graduation, I hit another roadblock. The passing score was a 75% for the school to let us sit for the NCLEX, the nursing licensure test, and we had three attempts, and if we failed the last attempt, the school would require us to take remedial classes and pay tuition again. I scored somewhere in the 50s on my first attempt. I waited a few months, studied my ass off with a group this time, and scored in the 60s on my second attempt. Remember that hopeless feeling from my university years? It returned XD.
I was reluctant about taking a NCLEX prep/review class because of its cost. Since this was my last attempt at a shot to take the NCLEX or go through remedial classes, I dropped $900 from my paychecks, not through my father’s money this time (My guess is that I worked even harder to succeed because I paid with my own money). Between attending this review class and going to work, listening to the lectures on repeat, taking practice tests after practice tests, going to study groups, and cutting back on social outings, I felt like I studied nonstop and had no life. When it came time to attempt the exit again, I was sooo nervous, thinking about how I thought I did well during my previous attempts but ended up failing. It’s an understatement to say that I was relieved and shocked when I got a 76. It was barely passing, but a pass nonetheless. I was allowed to sit for the boards!
I was still a nervous wreck because of the NCLEX. My NCLEX prep coach/teacher said I should be ready to take the NCLEX in a few months. She said that I should take more tests because even though I was passing, she wanted to make sure I was scoring high enough to pass the NCLEX. Welp..so I scheduled the NCLEX one month out because there were few testing dates (I don’t remember even telling anyone the exact date when I scheduled it). I had also agreed to go to a friend’s graduation trip a few months out prior to talking to my NCLEX coach. By choosing a later date, I’d risk taking the exam after the trip and when the information was no longer fresh in my mind. I continued my previous study regimen for the most part, in addition to purchasing a month subscription to Uworld, a question bank to help me even more for the NCLEX.
I probably should have been more worried and nervous, and probably did most of my preparation from the exit, but sitting the NCLEX was a less nerve wracking experience. The waiting game was the worst part. I could get into the details of the exam and what made me think I passed or failed afterwards, but that would just make this story go on much longer than it needs to be :D. After checking multiple sources for my score and refreshing sites like crazy, I got the official pass, a few days after I tested and just before my friend’s trip began :D.
I’ve been working as an RN full-time from October of last year up until now and can’t really complain. Things have been going relatively smoothly and looking up. Had a small scare from my dad’s pituitary tumor diagnosis a few months ago, but he’s recovered nicely. Life’s been pretty good as of yet :).
Thanks for reading all of this longwinded and seemingly directionless writing for those of you who did! Didn’t mean to make it this lengthy, but had to write it all out to make it a bit easier to understand. I guess my point was that the setbacks I thought I had, although I thought they were the end of the world then, are like the knots I made intentionally and unintentially in the back of the pattern. I felt bad and wanted to take all the “knots” out. Even though the “pattern” took a long time to complete and it didn’t look perfect in the back, I continued to work on it and it resulted in something beautiful.
I’m both sad and happy to say that I’ll be starting back up with the “Past, Present, Forever” cross-stitch kit since I just finished reading “The Blinding Knife”. I really enjoyed working on my “Flowers and Lace” kit. A little less than half of the white border is completed along with most of the backstitches for the leaves and the purple flowers.
I accidentally discovered one day while tugging a little too hard on one of the strands that I’m supposed to tug hard on a strand to remove it from the cardboard. No more needing to clip them from the cardboard :).
Although it’s just been a month, I feel like it’s been a long while since I last updated. Haven’t stitched as much as I liked to, some reasons that are on my part: like starting another book in the middle of “The Blinding Knife” and binging on TV shows that require more of my attention (13 Reasons Why, Black Mirror WHICH I’M COMPLETELY OBSESSED WITH, and Westworld), and one that is out of my control: my dad getting surgery to his pituitary gland (He’s safe and sound now ^^) which I’ll probably go into more detail in my following post or two.