2018: Year in Review

What a year it’s been. I’m sure I say that every year, but this one has been particularly full of ups and downs.

January: Made lots of small cross stitch samplers for friends and coworkers. Went back into therapy for a few months. Matt helped out with robotics, I did not. Made several trips to the local trampoline park with Lizzie. Started winter ballet class. Took one of our cats, Willie, to the vet to figure out what made him lose lots of weight – turns out he had liver damage which didn’t really have a treatment. (He’s less skinny now but whines all. the. time.)

February: Spent a weekend in Florida to see my parents, brother, and sister-in-law. Visited Johnathan Dickinson State Park for the first time since I was a kid. (Finally!) Learned how Instagram Stories works. Spent an entire Sunday by myself in DC.

March: Went on our annual ski trip with friends, probably the last one we’ll ever take to Davis, West Virginia. Threw a St. Patrick’s Day party with decorations Lizzie helped me make. Got a light snow.

April: Lots of letters written – over 50 in total by month’s end. (Note to self: Don’t do this again.)Ate our first dinner of the year out in the porch. Weekend in Shenandoah. Attended the Unicorn Festival.

May: Trip without Lizzie to Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Ran out of craft projects while on vacation for the first time ever. Slimmed down my yarn stash quite a bit. Got a horrible eye infection.

June: Weekend at Great Wolf Lodge with family. Lots of trips to the community pool. Saw Sound of Music sing-along. Homemade super hero cape for Lizzie. Switched up anxiety / depression medication – so, so happy I did so. Got new coffee table and side tables for the living room off Reddit, of all places. Found out my dad had a new cancer recurrence and needed to start chemo, after all.

July: Family reunion in Edisto Beach, South Carolina. 13 people in one house for 4 days – whew! Went off dairy, soy, and gluten in attempt for solution to tummy and skin issues.

August: Stopped elimination diet due to horrible abdominal pain. After several tests, found out I have Crohn’s Disease. Spent a weekend in Shenandoah with friends. Start of birthday party season for Lizzie’s friends.

September: Lizzie started Pre-K (and loves it). Spent weekend in Florida for my birthday. Old friend from LA came to visit – went to Harper’s Ferry, National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and National History Museum during his visit. Lizzie took her first ballet class at school. Off to Italy with Lizzie.

October: Italy trip! Shenandoah weekend soon after. Had first colonoscopy and learned of colonic stricture. Found out my mom has breast cancer. Made our own Halloween decorations for the living room. Lizzie dressed up as Ariel (in a store-bought costume she decided she wanted at the last minute), Matt as Prince Charming, and me as a bee. Handed out candy with neighbors on our driveway, taking advantage of unseasonably warm temperatures.

November: Saw a surgeon to talk about stricture repair options; confirm with second surgeon that surgery was only valid course of action. Spent a weekend in NYC for a friend’s 35th birthday. Several cycles of feeling fine for a few days then miserable for a few. Had family and friends to our house for Thanksgiving.

December (so far): Lizzie turned 5! Had a right colectomy and am home, recovering and trying to use it as an excuse to fully relax.

 

How was your year?

Other Craftyness with Needles

I turned back to an old love this summer, after many years away: cross stitch.

I started back with when a friend was posting her embroidery in Instagram. My first pattern back was one I’d bought two years ago and never made. I manged to finish a bit over half of it before we were heading off to Grand Teton and Yellowstone. I guessed that I would probably finish it while there so it wasn’t worth bringing with me. Of course, I forgot about it entirely until I was going through my pile (yeah, a pile) of cross stitch stuff in my office.

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(Pattern is Crafty Manifesto by Satsuma Street)

On the Teton/Yellowstone trip, I manged to finish another Satsuma Street pattern, Blue Village. I’d started it just before we left so it was maybe 90% complete on the trip.

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(Blue Village, when it was almost done being stitched)

When I finished with Blue Village, I was on my trip and still needed something to work on. I had managed to find two great kits at park gift shops – one of Grand Teton and another of Old Faithful. I decided to start on the later, as it was smaller in size and not completely filled in.

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(Yellowstone National Park kit finish)

I was loving the big projects, so I immediately (this was early July) started on the Lovely Little Washington, DC pattern from Satsuma Street. This is still a WIP but I haven’t touched it in a few weeks.


(Lovely Little Washington, DC)

My current big project is a surprise for my brother and sister-in-law so I’ll just post a link to it. (Click here.) It’s about 80% complete, I’d say.

Lastly, I do work on smaller things, mostly projects that take an evening or two to make. These are mostly combinations of patterns I find online and fonts from Sublime Stitchery or another book I have or got from the library. I have a another one I’ve made but it’s not family friendly (picture is here).

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(Made for a friend who is LGBTQ and, well, pretty awesome.)

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(Made for my husband’s coworker who is obsessed with squirrels as they don’t have them in his native Australia.)


(WIP: Will eventually have a bunch of different sized hearts on it. The unicorn thing is a needle minder and not part of the design.)


(This was my cross stitch project I threw together in England/Wales. I love the look of the pattern but not at all sure about my color choices. This will probably languish for awhile.)

DO you cross stitch? Any favorite patterns?