As Far As I Got With the December 2023 Year of Stitch Sampler

Photo fail. Tilt your head to the side to see what I completed with the final 2023 YOS sampler.

There are some things that went very well with this sampler, but I didn’t love the color of that bird and gave up on the whole thing. The bird is done in raised chain. The branches are in twisted chain. The flower that is filled in is done with reverse fly and square palestina.

What slowed me down was this twisted chain. I liked the effect, but I think my usual MO of stacking thread closer than it needs to be made this take forever.

I also thought the herringbone ladder filling went well aside from that point where they join.

Here’s the back view for those who are interested. It’s also oriented in the proper direction.

New Year’s Day Activities

I wrote my usual yearly letters to myself and took this photo to include with them. I had a cold, and I can tell by my expression in the photo.

On my week off from work, I went to soak at Common Ground and really liked this Turkish towel, so I bought it. First order of business: monogramming. My favorite chain stitch with a variegated embroidery floss.

Doesn’t it look great?

Hims Isn’t a Big Seller at Walgreens

Matt and I have been catching up with shows on Hulu. Because I opted for the Hulu with commercials, we’ve seen a lot of commercials for Hims. We’ve seen fewer for Hers.

Hims is a company that hooks you up with a professional to help with hair loss/erectile disfunction/depression, and Hers focuses on depression/anxiety/weight loss (though hair loss is also a thing for women, though less advertised.) I find the ads’ focus a depressing reflection on our gender roles.

So I was amused to see that the product they are selling in the store was on super sale.

Christmas Celebration 2024

It’s been a tough year with many traditions shifting. We gathered for a Christmas meal. The mission: bring your favorite frozen food item.

We had a good (though salty) meal and Linda smartly interpreted the mission to include Salt and Straw ice cream, which we had for dessert.

After that, Matt and I went home and paid $19.89 to watch the Eras Tour (with bonus songs).

It was a nice, if muted, holiday.

Exit the Advent Calendar

While I enjoy the same felt advent calendar from my childhood year after year, Matt isn’t interested in partaking, even if there is chocolate involved. He floated the idea of getting the advent calendar from Exit, the in-home escape room company. And so we did.

We started the calendar after December 1, and then Matt went to Michigan for a bit, so we had a spreadsheet to catch up and keep us on track. That meant that we often did two days in one setting.

Eric was over for Saturday gaming and he did the last three nights with us. You can see how we really pulled everything apart at the end. That was because one of the rooms early on didn’t work, and Matt wanted to find the tiny emoji thing we couldn’t make appear.

One of the thing I enjoy (while also hating) about the games is that the helping clues are sometimes very blunt. There was a doozy in this one, somewhat mocking us for not getting an element that we had earlier commented MUST be something.

In the end, we found the prize: this tiny button labeling us X-MAS HERO.

It was well worth it.

7611 Work: Linen Closet

The linen closet was a huge ball of crumpled linens. Our task: sort them into like things (tablecloths with tablecloths, sheet sets with sheet sets) and bundle and label them.

I also found this early cross stitch I did. It is a delightful relic of my rudimentary skills: not properly fitted to the frame, and a bit uneven. I do like the rickrack border though. Everything is better with rickrack.

You can see I was not shy about stretching embroidery floss across long distances. I have a vague memory of not liking to knot things off and start again in a new place.

It’s interesting that looking at this I feel trapped and tight, but yet I find embroidering very relaxing at my current age. Is it because it’s so messy?

Liberace and Liza Holiday at the Mansion

Cat interlude. Matt came back from his trip and Antares immediately settled on his suitcase, something that doesn’t happen much with Matt’s things. I correctly diagnosed the cause. Matt’s swimsuit was sitting at the top of the pile of clothing, and Antares loves him some chlorine scented swimsuits.

I made time for this Portland Center Stage tribute, and was I glad I did. David Saffert and Jillian Snow were very funny as the titular characters, and the show was full of Christmas fun.

It was amusing watching the interplay between two large egos who both enjoyed each other’s company while also being annoyed at what large-ego thing the opposite person was doing.

And look at this fun set!