Another Painting Shawls Finish

I’ve been working on the Painting Diamonds shawl since August. A lot has happened since August! This shawl was one which I was keeping at work and knitting on during work breaks. So while it would not have taken quite so long if it were at home, I rather enjoy the gentle progress of a work shawl.

I chose a hot pink main color for this and then used handspun yarns for the contrast colors. Predominately those colors are purple and teal. It is exceedingly cold here right now, and snowy, so I did not take a photo outside.

This is the 8th shawl out of the 13 in the book. I have already started on shawls 9 and 10. This is the second shawl I chose a “hot” or neon color as a main color in order to keep things rather interesting. While it’s a rather bold and wild color, I do appreciate the brightness of it!

Quick Stitching Update

I stayed up quite late last night as I was so close to finishing the cross stitching portion of my project. I just wanted to complete it! And that is what I did. I finished the cross stitches, removed the hoop, and carefully took out my gridding thread. This morning I washed the piece and set it out to dry, and that’s the point where I grabbed a photo.

I am hoping it will be sufficiently dry this evening so that I can begin the work of back stitching on it. But I’ve got rather a busy day today so it may not be possible. And tomorrow is rather busy as well. I imagine the back stitching to go a bit more quickly than cross stitching though, so hopefully I can get this completed rather quickly. I also fully expect that I’ll find stitches here and there that need to be added. With so many clusters of stitches and color changes it’s rather easy to miss them!

January 2023 Empties and Inventory Update

Around christmas time last year I did a complete inventory in anticipation of going on a replacements only low buy this year. I knew that I had a few things that were still going to arrive but tried my best to account for them prior to them arriving. I also knew I would purchase a beautylish lucky bag, and I am subscribed to lush kitchen subscription.

So, what came in to my life? a bunch of samples from an order I’d already accounted for, 2 countable items in the lush subscription box, 3 countable items in the beautylish lucky bag, and 2 items that I purchased when Mr. Ink asked me to purchase a certain type of soap for him. The soap is not mine, it doesn’t count. But, I purchased a container of australian gold mineral sunscreen for bike rides, I need something above a 30 and all mineral so it doesn’t bug my eyes. And, in order to get free shipping I purchased a container of sheamoisture body moisturizer. I can’t technically make it work for my low buy, but I did it, I am admitting to it, and I’ll work on that.

In a more productive note, I have had many empties.

As I mentioned in the original inventory post, if it’s a sachet style sample or perfume sample I am not saving it. I am tossing it. But here are the somewhat larger items.

Kenra dry texture spray, I’ve used these many times but I think I am over it, I’ve got other texture sprays I like better.

Nexxus mousse, love it, would repurchase, but cannot until I go through a container and a half of what I already own.

This moisturizer has been in our bathroom for years and no one ever finishes it. So I finished it.

I purchased the TJs charcoal and peppermint shampoo around november 2021 and have been working at it since then. I finally finished.

Clinique take the day off is a fav, would repurchase, but I have a few to work through first and also I like to get this one half price.

Beauty of Joseon essence I really enjoyed and I would repurchase someday when it is needed.

Bedhead thickener, I’ve used this a few times and this is my last time, won’t repurchase.

What was in the Laura Mercier powder was a make up forever powder I finally finished. It was in my project pan last year and I didn’t finish in time. I’ve been working at it since.

I had a perricone MD travel size of the cold plasma treatment. I used it, I have few feelings about it.

There’s a mario badescu clarifying serum, again, few feelings to share.

Pyunkang Yul’s Black Tea Reverse eye cream was lovely. Lasted all year, there’s loads of it in the container and it’s a good price. Would repurchase.

And a gucci sample mascara which I liked far more than I wished I did but I wouldn’t spend that much on a mascara.

So, for inventory, I will only list the categories where there were changes.

Mineral Sunscreen, added 1, now have 3
Gentle Cleanser, added one from lush, now have 3
Cleanser, added 1 from the lucky bag, now have 7
Retinol, added a kit from before the new year, now have 4
Face masks, added an exuviance face polish sample, and also added and used a Dr. Jart sheet mask, I now have 6
Cleansing Balm, used 1, now I have 4
Eye Cream, used 1, now I have 3
Eye serum, added 1, now I have 4
Exfoliating serum, added 2, used 1, now have 3
Vitamin C Serum, added 1, now I have 2
Daily moisturizer, added 2, used 1, now have 7
Toner, added 2, used 1, have 6
moisturizing serum, added 2, used 1, now have 9
Hair repair items, used 1, now have 2
Hair primer, added 1, now have 2
Hair oil/mask, used 1, have 2
Hair mousse, used 1, now have 2
Hair thickening product, used 1, now have 2
Hair texture spray used 1, now have 4
Shampoo, used 3, now have 9. 2 of these were sachet samples
Conditioner, added 2, used 3, now have 11. All used were sachet samples
Added a dry shampoo, now I have 1
Body moisturizer, added 1, used 1, have 6
Body wash, added 1, now have 4
Fragrance, added 2 samples, used 3 samples, now have 43 total items.

Overall, in the past month and then some, I added 25 individual items, most of which are sample sizes. And total used was 22. Not completely even, but close. Next month should be better. As I was updating my inventory, I also took note of the items which I am pretty sure I can count on being finished next month. I can count 10 that I am quite certain will be finished. So next month inventory will look a bit less unbalanced, as I was working against stuff that was ordered already and arriving during the month.

Painting Bricks

I am once again showing off a shawl completed from the Painting Shawls book. This is number 7 out of the 13 in the book that I plan to complete. In this one, I used all handspun from stash. The main color is a red mohair I spun ages ago and I have enough for like 5 shawls probably. Hah. In any case I am glad to have gotten use out of it for this, and I may choose to use this color again paired with something else in the future for another shawl from the book.

This is a very large shawl, and due to the snow I could not just spread it out on the ground so I have Miss Butterfly holding it. To compliment the red main color I chose three different handspun colors all within the warm orangey and brown fall tones family. I think that turned out very well in this case.

I am very close to finishing my painting diamonds shawl as well, though it sits at work for lunchtime break knitting. That’s why it has taken me so long to finish it. I began the painting rainbows shawl for at home and am really enjoying that one as well, but it’ll be ages before it’s done. There aren’t too many shawls out of the book to finish at this point!

Stitching Update

Another weekend has passed so another stitching update is prepared. Last weekend I had worked my way all the way through the left side. So this week I started to work the middle out toward the right. During the week I had finished 2 new jars so on Saturday I worked the flowers and greenery in those two jars. Then on Sunday I began a third jar on the right side along with some of the flowers in it. That’s the point at which I took a photo:

I did manage to finish the jar last evening. Once this jar with flowers is complete there are only two more jars to work and then I’ll get to wash this thing and do all the back stitching and french knots. I am not at all worried about back stitching, in fact while there is loads of it I am excited because I believe it will really draw the piece together. I am, however, worried about the french knots since I don’t believe I’ve ever successfully created one in my life. That being said, there’s youtube in this day and age and I’ve watched loads of french knot tutorials so I feel better prepared than I have in the past.

In any case, this one is just a few weeks away from being complete and I can’t wait to see it fully finished! I am very excited. My first full large counted cross stitch project as an adult.

Stitch In Progress

I’ve continued to work on my stitching over the past week and through the weekend. It’s been really enjoyable and focusing and relaxing. I had very much hoped to finish the first half of the project this weekend and indeed I was able to do that.

The daisies on the left were a real challenge, as I knew they would be. Working with white floss on white cloth is tedious at best. But I think they came out really well! I approached it quite methodically which helped. I am sure they’ll pop a whole lot more once the outlining is done.

Now I work my way to the right starting with a very tall bottle with a fern in it .I also have to continue the pink flowers from the very first jar I worked on as they hang over into the tall bottle space. I did get started on that this weekend but did not get far at all. Which is fine! I am not actually in a massive rush and feel no inclination to begin another project.

Update 2, Perfume Project

Hi all! In October last year I started a little perfume challenge in an attempt to use some of my perfumes in a focused manner. It’s been going really well and I am ready to do an update and a change it up.

Here’s the original photo, I haven’t been keeping empties and I am not intending to take photos of empties.

By the first update I had finished all the Replica samples as well as the Ariana Grande moonlight perfume.

I set myself a personal goal of using the Alien perfume once a week, which is basically the equivalent of 7 uses. I finished the Tom Ford Black Orchid sample, I finished one of the Ellis Brooklyn Bee samples, and I finished the Ellis Brooklyn Apres sample. That’s pretty good progress!

I have now taken a new photo as it’s time for a project focus shift. I’ve got so many tiny samples laying around and while I do want to use them, if I focus only on them, I will not get the use I’d like out of the perfumes that I’ve purchased because I liked them enough to have a larger amount in my collection. To rectify that, I need a shift in gears. This shift will incorporate what is left in this project (Alien and Bee) in hopes to still finish them over time.

From now until the next update which will be end of February I am putting myself on a schedule. Here’s the photo of what I am going to be using predominately:

I did not add the many sample sizes in here but I will list what I finished during the update.

Monday: Alien in hopes to use it up
Tuesday: Bee, in hopes to use it up
Wednesday: A sample, any sample from my collection
Thursday: My choice of one of the YSL perfumes
Friday: Replica By the Fireplace
Weekend: Apres and a wild card. Anything I choose.

Basically this means I’ve got 6 full weeks before the next update. I do not believe I can finish Bee or Alien in those 6 weeks but I won’t burn out on them by using them once a week either. And this will give me a good opportunity to use some of my winter favorites which have been languishing because I’ve been choosing to concentrate on samples.

At the end of February I’ll evaluate where I am, likely keep working on Bee and Alien, but perhaps either concentrate on samples again for a bit or give myself a new set of perfumes on a schedule.

But, as of right now, I’ve managed to finish a full size perfume (with just a bit left in it) and 6 samples while also working on a few others, all in all a pretty good project so far. I am glad I decided to view my perfume collection with a bit more purpose, it helps me keep it from getting out of hand while also giving me the space to enjoy it.

Stitch in Progress

Is it a SIP when stitching instead of a WIP? Probably not, work in progress still seems like the right option. In any case, knowing that I have a rather intense obsession with my stitching right now, I carved out Saturday to just be around the house so I could do quite a lot of it.

I was so excited for the weekend! I absolutely have a lot of renewed energy for crafting right now. I am still knitting! But my focus really has been on stitching.

I managed to finish a jar, then finish a pink flower, and then finish a pretty yellow flower this weekend. Then I began another jar. I stitched a ton on Saturday, but Sunday was busy taking down christmas decor and going for a bike ride, another hobby of mine I am trying to focus on again this year. I still got a fair amount of stitching done though.

Our firestick broke this weekend, leaving us without the ability to watch TV, which worked in the favor of stitching. I can’t really work on my stitching without a magnifier and light so I really only work on that in one room. That is not the room we watch TV in, it’s my craft room. When we watch TV, that’s the point at which I’ve been knitting. So, rather than knitting, that time has also been devoted to stitching.

So, much progress was made this weekend and I am absolutely delighted by the yellow flower. 2 more jars of flowers on this left side to work after the current jar in progress. Though honestly, the flowers for the last jar on the left really seem like they’ll be intense! In any case I am really having a lovely time with this project and am not feeling like I really just gotta start something new. Which is good, I’d like to keep it to one project at a time plus my temperature tree rather than having a bunch of projects going at once.

We will see how long this obsession continues, currently what, like 3 weeks strong?

Stitching in the New Year

It seems like I may have picked up a new hobby. It’s a little too early to tell, technically, but I am of an age to see that all the signs are there for a deep dive into something new.

If we back up a bit to early 2022, I’d seen here on the blog a number of folks doing a counted cross stitch “Temperature Tree.” The pattern, or a kit, was available on Etsy from StitchinMommy so I favorited the kit and waited. The remainder of the year. When the year was beginning to draw to a close I decided to purchase it, figuring I could start the tree part before 2023 and get ready to add the temperature leaves starting on the first. Here’s how it all went down.

The kit arrived. I had learned to do counted cross stitch when I was a teen but had not done so since. But I remembered my skills. I had chosen the kit with 18 count aida cloth. When it arrived, I realized that at the age of mid fourties, I cannot actually see what I am stitching. So, I went on the hunt for an ott light with magnefier, understanding for the first time how critical this was for my grandmother and now my mom. I picked one up. I quartered my cloth with thread and got to stitching. Then, I felt that I was going too fast and I forced myself to put it down and work on something else. Let’s break up this story with a photo:

Here’s the beginning of my temperature tree with one lonely leaf on it. I’ve got January and February branches complete:

I then decided that I needed a refresher on techniques so I started watching some videos on youtube. I also remembered a number of helpful items that my grandmother used to use, like a magnetic pattern board and a needle threader and I picked those up. And a needle minder of course. But none of these things really satisfied the itch I was feeling.

So then I found The Stitchery and I ordered two patterns. Then while watching youtube I started watching videos on crewel embroidery. And I remembered my mom had a big crewel embroidery project that she never finished but I was absolutely fascinated with when I was a kid. There was something gorgeous and interesting about the textures of the stitches. It was so intriguing to me. So, I also ordered a fairly simply crewel kit.

Look, this is just how things work in my brain. There’s no halfway. It’s all or nothing every time. And honestly, I’ve learned to just roll with it somewhat. It’s better to let the deep dive wash over me than it is to try to resist it completely. At this point in my little story I had now ordered 3 kits, two cross stitch and one crewel and none of them had arrived yet. I mean, it was right in the midst of the holidays after all, shipping isn’t the fastest. But all I’ve got to work on is the temp tree, and it’s in a hoop too small for the fabric, and I want to savor the project throughout the year, rather than finish the entire tree immediately and just add leaves all year.

So that’s what New Year’s Eve found me wandering the shops. First a trip to Michael’s crafts where I was able to find some different and more appropriately sized hoops. I also picked up 3 more floss colors to expand out my temperature range a bit. But I was disappointed to see that they did not have kits in the store. Well, I wasn’t interested in going home without a kit. So, off I went to Joanne’s.

Thankfully they still had a wealth of kits in stock. Doing what I always do, I chose two projects that are probably a little out of my skill range while absolutely knowing better. The first is one that will match my turquoise craft room. This is not the project I started immediately. The second also would match my craft room, and this is the one I started on. I then proceeded to pretty much work on counted cross stitch for the vast majority of the holiday weekend. And while I did choose something a bit beyond my skill level, it seems to be going ok so far.

It’s funny because 5 years ago or so I had sworn I was absolutely not going to take up this hobby again EVER. But here we are, I am happily coloring in pictures with thread. And watching videos on the subject, and anticipating trying crewel embroidery as well. Not sure how long this latest deep dive will last but I am just over here rolling with it.

New Year New Project

Happy New Year folks! In the makeup panning community a new year is always super exciting. So much of what we’ve been contemplating over a few months gets to be revealed. It’s a nice way of marking the turning of a year.

This year I am not going to focus on a big project pan. Instead, I am going to do a quarterly stash shop in which I see how much use I can get out of makeup in a quarter. This will prepare me better for panning in 2024. So much of what I have doesn’t have a ton of use so panning it would mean I’d be concentrating on one item per category for an entire year and that’s not so fun.

So, I am going to be picking a full face of makeup each quarter to concentrate on. Sometimes I’ll also have a cream and a powder per category, but not necessarily. The rules are that at the end of the quarter I choose an entirely new full face of products for the next quarter, no leaving an item in for 2 quarters in a row. Also, if I do finish an item during a quarter, no rolling in a new item, a finish means an opportunity to use whatever I’d like for the remainder of the quarter. I’ll do mid-quarter updates. So in example, an intro in January, an update mid February, a finale at the end of March, an intro with the new stash shop in April and so on.

This is what feels fresh and interesting to me this year and I have been really excited to prep for it. I’ve been spending the last few months cycling through my stash and trying to figure out how I want to approach this. Ultimately there will be items that I do want to finish up this year. And one will be in this very first stash shop so that I can really hit the ground running with it at the beginning of the year. Also, in this first quarter I have not chosen a lip product to concentrate on as I intend to work on wearing each of my lip products at least once throughout this quarter. That’ll likely take me the entire quarter but at the end of it I will know if anything has gone off or if I just don’t want to bother with something and want to declutter instead.

Here’s the photo of this initial stash shop for 2023.

I have chosen to weigh some of these items since they are hard to track progress on.

Stila Hide and Chic foundation: I do not like this formula and do want to fully use this up this year. I cannot see through the container at all so I have no clue how far along I am. However I’ve used it almost not at all since I didn’t like it, which means that it is basically new. Weight with the cap on is 87 grams.

Mac fix pus: Love this item, have a back up. I am about halfway through, you can see the washi tape on it to track progress.

Maybelline instant age rewind concealer: I admit that I chose this in part because it’s typically pretty satisfying to track progress on these. I removed the sponge as it got too goopy and I will now use it without the sponge. Washi tape is placed to track progress.

Mac mineralized skin finish powder: I’ve had this in my stash for a while and in other projects as well. There’s good use on it. Currently it weighs 71 grams.

Below the mac powder is Dr. Jart’s cicapear cream. I do not like this item. It’s a travel size and I am hoping to finish it during this quarter. It has spf and it claims to color correct. I don’t think it plays overly nicely with most other products, but the stila foundation is pretty light coverage and this does help tone down the redness in my skin, making the stila foundation act like it has more coverage. No weight on this as I think progress will be reasonably easy to see.

And below that, mac painterly paint pot: There’s no way I’ll finish this in a quarter so this is simply an attempt to concentrate on one at a time, with the lid this currently weighs 53 grams.

The next 4 items are 2 eye liners and 2 mascaras. The mascaras will have to be tossed at the end of the quarter. The clinique eyeliner is a travel size so it’s possible I could finish this quarter. The other is a liquid liner that I doubt will be used up.

I have added my hourglass ambient lighting edit palette as I rarely use it because it’s “precious” to me. The Stila foundation does not accept cream products over it, so this is a great time to really concentrate on it. It has all I need so I am excited to work on it. It weighs 137 grams.

And finally my brow product choices. I’ve been working on the billion dollar brows pencil for a long time. I want to finish it this quarter and that seems possible. The elf brow wax is something I keep saying I need to use but never do. This quarter is my opportunity to use it and toss it at the end if I don’t like it. If I don’t use it in this quarter, it gets tossed for sure.

While when I initially look at this it feels….limiting, I think it’ll give me the foundation I want for the year. It’ll also streamline any day which I feel I am tight for time as it allows a solid choice to use instead of trying to make snap decisions.

I am quite eager to see how far I get before the first update. I am excited to have weights on some of these items this time as I don’t think I’ve typically tracked weights before. And since I know I am only using these for 3 months I get the excitement of also contemplating my next set of products for the second quarter while working on these.