Saturday, March 31, 2012

Eilonwy, Part 3

It's the end of another month which means it is time, once again, to do a stitching update.  I always have fun with these because I usually go back and look at the previous progress pictures and then I feel like I've accomplished something.  So without further ado, here is this month's Scarlet Quince project:



Sophie Gengembre Anderson's Take the Fair Face of Woman, or as I have nicknamed her, Eilonwy.  And here's what I have done so far (click to embiggen):






Ladies and gentlemen (hi Lee and Dad!), we have butterflies.  I know I whined about this at least once this month, but it was A LOT of confetti stitching, which means lots of time spent changing out colors and thus a very full needle board.


Yep, Eilonwy has joined The Accolade in having two needle boards; I only have one more spare piece of foam board so I'll have to buy another piece once the next project expands to two boards (probably The Quarry).  I bought what I thought was a gracious plenty of needles but now I'm starting to think I should buy a bunch more just to be sure I won't run out at the rate I'm going.

So anyway, the confetti takes a lot longer to do than large blocks of a single symbol, so this time I only managed 4,143 stitches for a grand total of 24,200 finished (19.21% done, I'm a dork I have a spreadsheet).  At the start of the month, I'd hoped that I would do enough stitches to break 100,000 left to do, but I'm 1,800 stitches shy of that.  I have a feeling I'll be much more excited one day in the (very distant) future when I break 100,000 stitches *done* on a single project, but hey, I'll take what milestones I can get.  And this time I did a good portion of her butterfly crown and managed to finish the first two pages of the chart, so next time I'll scooch over to the right and work on the third page and the last bit of her butterflies.

I'm hoping the next page is a little bit easier to complete than this month's work was; I'm kind of happy to be changing to a new project.  Not that I expect The Accolade to be easier, but it's something different, which is kind of the point of rotating projects the way I am.  Otherwise Miranda at least would be done by now : )

It's noon here and so far no one in the house has managed to get in the shower yet; there's something to be said for lazy Saturday mornings.  However, I think it's time I get cleaned up and tidy up the giant mess of cookbooks I've got going on in here; I've got a bunch all over the desk and the floor and the floor ones at least are getting a nice dusting of dog hair.  Guess I should vacuum too...ta-ta for now, peeps, have a great weekend!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Strawberry Pie!

I know, I know, two recipes back to back!  I've got recipes on the brain thanks to this cookbook project.

So the last time I was at my parents' house for a few months and I cleaned out their kitchen (what?  I was bored), I found several recipes, including one for strawberry pie that Mom says she thinks was my grandmother's recipe.  She remembered something about going to pick strawberries at a farm when she was a kid and they got the recipe from the farm, and went home and made this pie.  I think.  So then I read the recipe:


5 cups whole strawberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Crush 2 cups berries in saucepan.  Stir sugar, salt, and cornstarch in saucepan with crushed berries.  Bring to boil, remove immediately.  Stir in lemon juice and cool.


Whaaaaaaaaaaa?  That's like HALF a pie recipe.  The funny part was, I found TWO copies of this recipe and they both stopped at the same place, what's up with that?  I gave Mom the third degree (What do you remember about this pie?!  It's important!) and she said she thought it was a double-crust pie and she was sure it was baked.  So okay.  To that half a recipe, I added the following:  Put remaining 3 cups strawberries on bottom pie crust; top with cooked berry mixture.  Put the pie crust on top and bake for an unspecified amount of time at an unspecified temperature and hope you don't get food poisoning.

Then I looked up other strawberry pie recipes on Taste of Home (I love Taste of Home) and copied a few that looked similar so that I could guess as to what the rest of the directions should be.  Then the recipes sat for like a year and a half, until this weekend when I saw strawberries for cheap at the store, which immediately made me think PIE.  So I made it!


It looks like a crime scene, but this is when I'd squished 2 cups of strawberries sliced with a fork (easier to squish once they're sliced).  It was kind of fun in a pseudo-destructive way.


Yummy, yummy strawberries.  I know the recipe says whole strawberries, but I cut them in half because I figured they'd lay better that way.  And I had one giant mutant strawberry that got cut into quarters.


Yummy, yummy strawberries with crime scene strawberries on top.  Excuse me, I gotta go grab some leftover pie...


I can make a pie, but I can't make it pretty!  This picture is just so you can laugh at my pathetic attempt to flute the edges.  It's sad, really.  I need The Piemaker to come help me out.


Hey, it actually looked better once it was baked...'cept for that part where it barfed out crime scene strawberries all over the oven.  Hmm.  Then we cut into it...


And it's ALLLL crime scene-ariffic!  It was like strawberry pie SOUP.  But still yummy.  So help me out here, expert pie bakers, what can I do to make this less soupariffic?  More cornstarch?  Inquiring minds wanna know.  Even if it looks funky, Lee and I are happily eating it.  'Cause it's yummy.  And he'd eat anything involving strawberries I think.  We also shared with our neighbors, who came over for dinner on Saturday night.  But anyway, here's how I ended up making it:

5 cups whole strawberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 pie crusts

Crush 2 cups berries in saucepan with fork.  Stir sugar, salt, and cornstarch in saucepan with crushed berries.  Bring to boil; remove immediately.  Stir in lemon juice and cool (except I somehow added the lemon juice with the rest of the stuff before cooking.  Oops.).  Put remaining 3 cups strawberries in pie crust; pour crushed strawberry mixture over the top.  Top with second pie crust and seal & flute the edges (or try hard to do that, anyway).  Cut slits in the top for steam to escape.  Bake at 425 for 35 to 45 minutes.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and/or Cool Whip.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cherry M&M Cookies

I do not like this new Blogger thing.  It's being even more annoying than usual about uploading photos sideways, it takes me forever to find the button do do a new post, and I just DON'T LIKE IT.  Grrr.

But anyway, this week I've been working on compiling a cookbook which is going to be a huge project for the next several months, so I have recipes on the brain, which means I have a cookie recipe to share today.  I'm a little ADD, so I get bored making the same kinds of cookies over and over, and this was a new recipe I tried out a couple months ago.  Somewhat to my surprise, they got rave reviews from Lee's coworkers, more than any of the other cookies (I'd sent some butterscotch apple cookies at the same time, which were my faves, but the guys were all about these cookies).  So okay then, this recipe will go in the permanent file.

Cherry M&M Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups M&Ms mini baking bits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup well-drained chopped maraschino cherries


This is me well-draining the cherries (isn't that tiny strainer cute?); I don't really see the point in it too much since hello, you're putting a tablespoon of the juice in the cookies anyway.  And I just cut each cherry in half, I didn't chop them into tiny bits.  One bottle of maraschino cherries ended up being more or less the amount I needed (what? so I ate a few).  And the store here doesn't sell M&Ms mini baking bits, so I used regular M&Ms...well, the first time I used cherry-flavored M&Ms that they had out for Valentine's Day, which were conveniently all red and pink, maybe that was why the cookies were such a hit.  Anyway, on to the directions.

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy; beat in sour cream, egg, cherry juice and vanilla.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture.  Stir in M&Ms, walnuts and cherries.  Drop by heaping tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake about 15 minutes; cool 1 minute on cookie sheets and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Store in tightly covered container.


I wonder if the baking bits M&Ms have a different kind of candy coating where it wouldn't run colors all over the cookies, but I kinda liked the rainbow effect anyway.  This recipe won't take an entire bag of regular M&Ms, so you can save the rest to like put on ice cream for sundaes or something.  And you'll be left with quite a bit of cherry juice, so you can make your own cherry vanilla Cokes if, like me, you don't live within a thousand miles of a Sonic.

Monday, March 19, 2012

If you give a mouse a cookie...

Ok so really, WHAT THE HECK did Blogger do?  Everything looks new and strange and I wonder if I can still figure this whole bloggy thing out.  I dislike change.  Which is funny, 'cause that was pretty much what I wanted to talk about today even before Blogger went all weird and futuristic.

So, like my high school French teacher, I'm a bit of a technophobe.  It took Lee quite a while to convince me to give up my 35mm camera in favor of a digital one, though I liked it fine once we finally made the switch and I grumbled about it a while.  Then he got me an iPod and it took me a while to warm up to that, though now I can't imagine life without it (I must have a soundtrack for everything I do.  Really).  I still buy CDs sometimes...I like to check prices between iTunes and actual CDs on Amazon and it's kind of 50/50 which one's cheaper for a given album.  Then again, iTunes = instant gratification = LOVE and I didn't realize how many movie scores* I bought while Lee was gone but I wonder that he didn't tell me to knock it off since he gets the emails every time I buy something on iTunes.  Either he's really, really nice to me or those emails go in his junk email folder and he doesn't see them.  Oh darn, now he's gonna read this and like, change the iTunes password or something.  I should quit giving him ideas.  So anyway, now I love my iPod, and Lee's happy not to drag around several gigundor binders full of CDs every time we go on a road trip.

Onwards and upwards.  This year for my birthday, Lee bought me a Kindle, which is funny because he told me he knew I didn't really want one but he got it anyway.  And I let it sit for a couple of weeks until one of my friends on Facebook mentioned that she'd just finished reading Robert K. Massie's biography of Catherine the Great, so I thought oh why not and downloaded it on the Kindle.  This 650-page book downloaded in under a minute.  DUDE.  Instant gratification = LOVE.  I was pretty impressed.  So I've been slowly working my way through that for the last several weeks, but I got slowed down when Patricia Briggs released a new book and I couldn't resist getting that on the Kindle too.  Then Lee told me he had some money attached to his Amazon account from a gift card (what the heck he has a different Amazon account than me?  How come I didn't know this before now?) so he said I should register the Kindle to his account and spend the gift card.

At this point, I wonder if Lee realizes that he's totally given a mouse (me) a cookie (instant gratification of BOOKS).  He's in serious trouble and it's all his fault, because I have, like, no self-control.  I've always been a dangerous person in a bookstore (even more so in a used book store, hellooooooo cheap books!).  And instant gratification = total impulse buy.  Since he told me to go bananas, I've bought another Massie biography (Nicholas and Alexandra) and the Castle tv show tie-in Heat Wave (what, I was watching Castle last night and it sounded like a good idea at the time).  I know that Lee *does* see emails from Amazon when I buy a new book because he was asking me why on earth I would want to read more Russian history.  Truth is, I'm a total history nerd and I've been interested in Russia since I was about 14 and Mom took me to this big museum exhibit that came to Dallas and was all stuff belonging to Catherine the Great (hence my first Kindle purchase).  Honestly I don't remember a whole heck of a lot about the exhibit beyond this jewel-encrusted carriage that was just mind-boggling, it was like it was rolled in diamonds and sprayed with gold.  Girlfriend knew how to arrive in style.  But anyway, that exhibit kindled (haha, punny!) an enduring interest in Russian history; I even took a class in Slavic and Eastern European studies in college FOR FUN.  I may be slightly crazy in the brain pan.

Back to the book choices.  I'm over halfway through Catherine's biography, despite stopping for Patricia Briggs...my problem with her is that every time a new book comes out and I read it, I immediately want to go back and re-read all the previous installments in the series.  So, I did go back and read two other Alpha & Omega books (her werewolves are WAY cooler than the ones in Twilight, and she's got a vampire who owns a VW bus painted like the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo.  LOVE.) and I'm currently trying to resist reading the entire Mercy Thompson series again.  I have other things to do than re-read books...like an entire list of things to do.  And a big stack of books from my friend Sarah that I need to read and send back to her.  But Patricia Briggs' books are like printed crack.  Anyway, I'm liking the Kindle, except for it makes it so much harder to read the last couple pages of the book before reading the rest, which I know is a despicable habit but I've been doing that since I started reading Nancy Drew books many moons ago.

Well, for now I shall resist the siren call of good books, and soldier on with my list of things to do.  I think I'm due for a visit to my craft room and quite possibly a handful of Cadbury Mini Eggs...yummmm.  Peace out, peeps.




*You want to know, don't you?  It was EIGHT full albums (Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2 {the only track that has really popped out at me so far is Xenophilius Lovegood's theme, but I like them}, Sherlock Holmes {awesome}, Prince of Persia {similar to Mummy Returns, which I got for like two bucks at a used book store}, Captain America {my new personal favorite}, Superman Returns {surprisingly good}, Buffy the Vampire Slayer {surprisingly meh}, and Memoirs of a Geisha {John Williams is the man}) plus overtures from quite a few more (G.I. Joe, Mary Poppins, Beetlejuice, Pink Panther, Edward Scissorhands, Back to the Future, James Bond, Sound of Music and Wizard of Oz {I already owned the scores, but iTunes had several tracks that my old CDs did not}, When Harry Met Sally, Gone with the Wind, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves).  Yes, I have a thing for movie scores.  LOVE THEM.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I found some more Ireland pictures

Since today is International Eat Lucky Charms for Breakfast Day (darn, I knew I forgot to get something at the store), I thought I'd post some more Ireland pics.  From like three months ago.  I've been a bad blogger, huh?  Well anyway, our first day in Dublin, we bought all-day tickets on this bus line that takes you around to different sites around the city and supposedly tells you historical stuff while they're driving around, though between the noise of the engine and trying to decipher the accent we didn't really get much of that.  The major thing I wanted to see in Dublin was the Book of Kells, so our first stop was Trinity College.


D'awww, it's Bennet and Missy.


And hey, I know those people too.  Apparently the weekend we were there, Trinity College was having some kind of like open house thing or something because they had all these tables and brochures for prospective students and tours around the campus.  (Dude, how cool would it be to go to college here?!)


I included this pic just 'cause I think it's fun to see the English and Irish Gaelic names on it.  All their signs are like that, done in both languages.  Some words are really similar and others...are really not.


Hey look, a butt shot!  It's like I was channeling my mom when I took this!


And I got Missy's butt too.  Mostly I wanted the sign for the Book of Kells.


Of course you can't take pictures of the book itself, but here you can see the style of the illustrations.  They had a neat exhibit before you see the book itself where they talked about how the book was made, how the inks were concocted, symbolism used, etc.  The book itself was totally amazing.  It's just mind-boggling to think it's over 1200 years old, and it's absolutely beautiful.  Awe-inspiring to think how much time it had to have taken to produce it, but that's what people can do when they don't spend hours every day surfing the Internet ; )  I could have stayed at Trinity College all day, trying to absorb the awesome history there, but alas, we had other things to do.


We stopped by Dublin Castle, which is a misnomer because it's much more like a 18th-century manor house or something, not the kind of place that really screams "castle" like Blarney.  Plus it was kinda expensive to tour, so all we did was take a few pics in the courtyard, including this one of Justice who is facing away from the city.


This dude was on the other side of the building from where Justice stands.


Hey, it's those same people again.


And we had like a dozen pictures of us being silly but this one I think is the funniest.  Other than the one where it looked like Lee was going to smack my rump (but didn't, 'cause I'd've smacked his back).  I think we might have stopped for lunch after this but those pics are from the other camera so they'll have to wait till next time because I'm throwing chronology out the window for the Ireland pictures.  I also never caught up with writing about our adventures in my lil notebook that I carry around with me, so all the details are now quite hazy about this trip.  And I don't even drink.


This is a famous church in Dublin that I don't remember the name of.  I didn't go in but the other three did; I found several souvenir shops right outside so I wandered around there and found out just how many things they can put shamrocks on.  I think I found some Christmas ornaments for Missy while I was shopping too, but anyway, I digress.


Obviously Lee took this photo because a.) it's not crooked and b.) I didn't go in the church.  I think I was a little churched out that day; we've seen quite a few churches and yes, they're extraordinary and beautiful, but after a while they kind of blur together.



I have no idea why there were fancy clothes in this church, but I kinda seriously want that dress on the right, that cape is off the hook.  The red outfit on the left makes me think of Tim Curry as Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers.  I love Tim Curry.  And Chris O'Donnell, he's awesome in NCIS:  Los Angeles.  And whatever happened to Gabrielle Anwar anyway?  I loved her in Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.  Hello, tangent.


More fabulous outfits.  Which look really cool so they're probably terribly uncomfortable to wear.  But sometimes I wish I'd learned how to sew, 'cause it would be really cool to make awesome clothes like that to wear for Halloween or to go to Comic*Con if I ever went to that or something like it.  Though I think it would be totally awesome to dress up as Tristan and Yvaine from Stardust (as if I could get Lee to a.) go with me to a comic book convention and b.) dress in costume *at* the comic book convention), I'm still kinda sorta a little bit obsessed with that movie.  Hello, second tangent.  Really, I don't drink.  My mind just works like that all the time.


There's another angle on that same church.


And just 'cause Dublin architecture is really cool.  I saw a couple of horse-drawn carriages go by while I was looking around the souvenir shops (or else the same carriage was doing laps) but I think those pics are with the ones from the place we went for lunch, so they'll have to wait till next time.  In the meantime, enjoy your green eggs and ham or your green beer or what have you, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Got Your Sunglasses Handy?

I know I still have a bunch of Ireland photos I could be posting, but I haven't felt much motivated to go through them.  Actually, this week I've been doing some stamping just for funsies, and maybe because the weather has been kinda gray and gloomy I've been using lots of bright colors.  Like this:


I kinda wish I'd used some subtle white patterned paper instead of plain white, I think that would have kicked this card up a notch.  But I looooooooove the colors, which I borrowed from a card I saw on Jen's blog. That same card convinced me I needed to get the SU hostess set Array of Sunshine, so here's what I made with that:


This was the card I made for Liz's birthday yesterday (happy birthday, Liz!!!) and I gave her the set of Vampire Academy books by Richelle Mead.  Given the vampire books I couldn't resist making her a bookmark to go with them:


The stamp is from a set by Artful Inkables called Fictionally Inspired I think. I bought it probably a couple years ago and it's the first time it's seen ink at all.


This is for this week's color challenge on Splitcoast, loving the bright colors.  I'm trying to get back in the groove of doing the challenges over there because I really need to build up my card stash; with that in mind I made two of everything I'm posting today.  Anyway, I'm happy that the color challenges on Splitcoast are now actually colorful; I was so tired of week after week of one color plus two neutrals, which to my mind does not a color challenge make.  Not to say that doesn't happen occasionally, but at least not near as often as before.  Yay.  I like LOTS of color.


And for today's sketch challenge, I thought a little kid birthday card would be fun.  I got this stamp set, Dinoroar, because I thought it would be good for the next time I have to do a big baby book.  Here's the inside:


I like it even though Lee told me one of the panels on the front is crooked.

Well, the timer just went off so I'd better go get dinner out of the oven before it burns.  I'll get these cards and all the ingredients added to my Splitcoast gallery later.  Have a good evening, peeps!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

This & That

So it's been a week since my last blog post....just been kinda busy with this and that.  So today all I have for you is a jumble of random thoughts sure to make you question my sanity by the end of this post, but that's ok.

1.  Lee is home, YAY!!!  Blogger won't let me post that "yay" in a font big enough to really capture the joy embodied in those three little letters, but trust me, I'm very happy to have my sweetie pie home.  Though I will admit that it was a little difficult to be enthusiastic when he woke me up at 5:45 on Sunday morning.

2.  Single car ops totally sucks.  Lee's car isn't running right now (a. the battery is dead; b. something else is wrong with it so it wouldn't move even before the battery died) and mine is making this super-loud and embarrassing squeal periodically.  Lee said it needs a new tensioner (umm....okay) so guess what we're doing this weekend?  Looking forward to having two cars again so I'm not dependent upon others to get places.

3.  Liz and I discovered anew last week that English in Britain is not the same as English in America.  We went to Sainsbury's (sorta like a British Wal-Mart, only it's decorated with Home Depot orange instead of blue) where Liz was looking for suspenders for her 6-year-old daughter.  She asked these two ladies who worked there, who gave us surprised and slightly horrified looks until Liz described what (American) suspenders are.  I'm thinking that British suspenders have to be what Americans would call a garter belt, and suddenly Monty Python's Lumberjack Song got even funnier.


And we now know that the straps that go over your shoulders to hold up pants are called braces here.  We manfully refrained from making any orthodontia jokes upon learning that.

4.  Cadbury Mini Eggs are evil, I love them so.  I'm talking about the ones in the royal purple bags, they're in pastel colors with bitty freckles on them and it's just solid milk chocolate with a crisp sugar shell.  Vader would dearly like to try one but they're MINE.  I was not happy yesterday when all I could find was dark chocolate ones (WHY would you ruin the perfect Easter candy by making it in dark chocolate?  Ewww) but I have proof that God loves me, I found four bags of the good stuff.  They've replaced peanut M&Ms as my inspirational crafting candy.  My parents love the Brach's eggs that are malted milk with the hard candy shell, and I'll eat those too, but these Cadbury Mini Eggs are my favorites.  Wonder if I could make up a cookie recipe using these...nah, I'd eat 'em before I got cookies made.  Nom nom nom...

5.  Because I am totally crazy, I bought yet another Scarlet Quince pattern this week even though Mom tried to stop me.  I just couldn't resist the psychic resonance any longer.  Let's ignore the part where I have four patterns in the works right now and already had two other patterns and most of the supplies for them; I had to get this one:


Isn't it pretty?  And hey, practically everything that Lee and I own is blue, green, and/or purple, so this would fit right in.  And it's "small", only 60,300 stitches!  You can tell I've lost my marbles when I think that constitutes "small".  (For comparison, my orange crate label was 34.144 stitches and Miranda is 39,894.  The largest pattern I'm working on right now, The Accolade, is 150,000.  And it's easy for me to figure that out as Scarlet Quince kindly puts on their website how many stitches tall and wide each piece is, and knowing that it's entirely stitched in, all I have to do is multiply.  I didn't count.  I'm not *that* crazy.)

6.  Eilonwy is being recalcitrant this month.  I'm working on her butterfly crown and it is going SO SLOWLY because it's all confetti.  And really, after a few days, it kinda starts to hurt my hand doing confetti stitching; the back of the piece gets really tight with all the different colors so it's hard to get the needle through to end my threads.  It takes so much longer when I'm constantly switching out colors, too.  I keep telling myself that the butterflies will probably be the hardest part of this pattern...except maybe the dealybopper in her hands...because they're probably the most confetti-riffic part of the pattern.  I hope.  I'm whining, I know.  Well, today I'm concentrating on making a little baby book and some cookies, so I'll put Eilonwy out of my mind for now.

7.  Sadie is attempting to use her mental powers to influence me into taking her for a walk.  We didn't go yesterday since I spent a good part of the day volunteering to help out at a bone marrow drive, and then it was raining for most of the day, so I suppose I have to take her today.  Looks like it's a gorgeous day out there so at least the walk will be pleasant today.  I must admit, though, I'm still miffed at Vader for eating the button off the dishwasher.  The stupid power button would pop off the dishwasher midway through the cycle every time I turned it on, and I forgot to shut the door on Monday when I left for lunch, so when it popped off, Vader grabbed it.  And yes, we know for sure it was Vader.

With that lovely thought, I'm off for my walk.  Ta-ta for now, peeps!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Quarry, Part 3

It's the first of the month, which means it's time for a cross stitching update.  February's pattern was Scarlet Quince's The Quarry:


And here's what I've gotten done so far (as always, click to embiggen):


Dang, even my cross stitch photos are crooked!  I need a V-8.  You can see earlier progress photos if you click here.  I did 7,955 stitches this month, and even though that's a lot less than I did in January on Miranda, I'm pleased with my progress.  Compared to Miranda, this pattern has a lot more confetti stitching, which always takes longer, so my goal was to finish up one entire page, which I did, and there are a lot of commas in this sentence.  My strategy was to pick out what symbol I wanted to work on, then take a colored pencil and highlight every occurrence of that symbol on the whole page.  Then I'd go back in and fully color in the symbols as I worked them so I knew for sure what I'd already done.  That helped a lot to keep me from missing bits of color, though I'd be lying if I said I never had to go back and fill in a missed stitch or two.  I did some on the surrounding pages too, because you'll get ridges on your fabric if you stop on straight lines like at page edges. That's why there's some uneven bits done to the right and below the main part I worked on.


And that gives you an idea how much more I have to go : )  I'm a little more than 15% done, with 20,121 stitches completed.  The only pattern on which I have less than 20,000 stitches done is The Accolade, which is (of course) the biggest one I have in the rotation right now.


And there's the needle board, you can see I did much more with darker colors this time and the needle board kind of echoes the pattern itself with the lighter colors on top.  I'm doing one page at a time working vertically because this pattern is wider than it is tall, and I wanted to work on the bluebonnets without doing over half the pattern first.  So next time, I'm going to try to do the next page down and the partial one that makes up the lowest left corner; hopefully it'll go a little faster than this month's page because it looks like it's got some wider bands of color and a bit less confetti.  And I'll be working with some more electric blues, which will be fun.