Five Minute Friday: Help

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This week’s prompt is:  HELP

I admit it – I suck at asking for help. For me, asking for help shows weakness and incompetence… and I never want to appear to be either.

Yes, I realize that we all need help sometimes. I get it – I do. And occasionally I do break down and ask for help. And then afterward, I’m either kicking myself for doing so (because I don’t actually get the help I need), or I’m kicking myself out of humiliation… because of my aforementioned feelings about feeling weak and incompetence.

This need to not be helpless, to not be incompetent, is something that I’ve dealt with my entire life. I always felt like a failure in my father’s eyes, and asking for help just justified those feelings. When I talked to him last week, he insisted that he always felt proud of me… and that truthfully was a surprise to me, since I never felt I’ve lived up to his expectations. But one thing I do know – asking for help was something that simply was not done. Not for me – because I was “the smart one,” the “one who could figure it out on her own,” and so therefore help was never given… I was just told to figure it out.

So that’s continued. At work, at home, and everywhere else. I struggle through things alone. Because there is no help – either it’s not given, or it just doesn’t… help. And I’m back to square one.

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Those who’d like to participate in Five Minute Friday will write for five minutes on the topic of the week, post it on their own blog and link up the post here.  This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.

Just write.

July 2016 WIPocalypse Check-In

WIPocalypse ButtonHello everyone!

I apologize for being a couple days late posting this check-in.  It’s been a difficult few weeks here with a lot of coast-to-coast (literally) rushing around. Add in the normal chaos of work and 3-year old parenting, and I’m just losing complete track of time.

A little less than a year ago, I opened up in a rare non-WIPocalypse post about my dad’s cancer.  My dad’s now been fighting Glioblastoma Multiforme for a full year.  The outlook in September was grim, and unfortunately at the beginning of this month, an MRI revealed that the cancer is spreading.  His doctors gave him the timeline of “weeks to live,” and that just put everything into a spin.

I spent last week out in California visiting him – a trip I admit that I really didn’t want to do and dreaded.  Coming back, I honestly feel at peace with how things are.  I’m not sure whether I’m glad I went or not, honestly… but I have a feeling in time when I look back, my opinion will change.  I think for now I’m just embracing a slight numbness that my brain is cushioning me with so I can go about the things I need to do, while also allowing me a bit of breathing space so I can do some emotional sorting, religious contemplation, etc.

The flight out there was very emotional.  The flight back was disturbingly calm.  I honestly might be a bit too calm about it – but I know that the news of my dad’s death will likely hit me like a bag of bricks. I’m working on formulating a blog post about thoughts and such.  I just need a proper sit-down to get it all out, I think.

So really… enjoy your life, all.  Celebrate your connections with the ones you love, shed the ones that bring you pain, and realize that life is just too short.  You just never know what the next day will bring.

Needless to say, this has put a bit of a damper on my own plans for the Olympic Stitching challenge.  I’m definitely still going to participate in it, but my original plans to do a big rotation are instead changing to the distance challenge – one piece for the entire Olympics, to push the piece as far as I possibly can (Blue Ribbon Design’s Blue Jeans & Daisies, in my case).

So what are you planning for the Olympic challenge?  Don’t know what it’s about?  Read on…

Olympic Stitching Challenge!

As we go into the July WIPocalypse, it’s time once again to start thinking about Olympic stitching plans if you’d like to participate in a little extra boost while you watch the sport matches.  During the first year of the WIPocalypse (remember that?  Doesn’t it seem like soooo long ago now?)  The Stitcher Blogging Question this month is two-fold… if you’re not partipating, then there’s a mid-year recap question.  Let us know how you’re doing.  If you do want to participate in the Olympic Stitch-a-Long challenge, we’ll be running three mini “competitions,” and it’s up to you to decide how you want to approach it.  Hopefully one of these options appeals to you!

Here’s how the Olympic challenge will work:

It will run from August 5th to August 21st.  The WIPocalypse check-in is dated for August 18th, but I’m going to set that one instead for the 22nd, so it can capture everyone’s end of competition recaps.  So please update your calendar.  🙂

The three competitions you can choose between are:

  1. a rotation challenge (for those who like to work on a bunch of different pieces)
  2. a distance challenge (for those one at a time stitchers, or anyone else who wants to do some serious focusing on a particular piece)
  3. a color challenge (stitch only in the colors of the olympic rings on your WIP pieces, OR… your nation’s flag).

If you are planning on taking part in the challenge, post in your July WIPocalypse update about which competition you’ll be joining, and what your individual goals or pieces will be for the challenge.  🙂

Question of the Months needed for September & October

Do you have a question you’d like to ask other stitchers to answer?  Is there a previous question you’d like asked again?  We have two open months this year with TBDs for questions, and I’d love to fill them.  If you have one you’d like to add, please let me know!

Anyway…. I’ll end this check-in here.  I hope you’ve had a lovely month, and I look forward to seeing your posts this month.  Happy stitching everyone!

~ Mel.

 

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Question(s) of the Month

If you are participating in the Olympic Challenge: tell us about your plans – which type of challenge you’ve selected, the pieces you’ll be stitching on, etc.  

If you are not participating in the challenge: tell us how this year’s stitching is going for you so far, and if you’re meeting your stitching goals so far for the year.

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Important SAL Announcements…

Next posting date: August 22nd (please note the date change for after the Olympics!)

Topic for next time: Have you ever read any fictional books that involve embroidery?  If so, give us some recommendations?

Please remember that this stitch-a-long is intended to be fun – so if you’re too busy to post, too busy/ill/etc. to stitch – no worries. Post when you can and share what you have going, even if you’ve only been able to toss a single stitch into it. If you miss a few months, not a problem – just jump back in when you’re back with us! It’s not a race or a competition – we’re all just here to cheer each other on with our progress.

Due to different browsing software, some bloggers have found it difficult to check-in with their posts. There are three different ways to check in:

  • Via Auto-link
  • Via comments (make sure you include your blog address!)
  • Via email – to measiwitch(at)gmail.com, only if the other two options are not working. Again- make sure you include your blog address! I’ll add it to the auto-link myself when I have a free moment.


June 2016 WIPocalypse Check-In Post

WIPocalypse ButtonHello once again everyone!

It’s a beautiful Sunday evening here in New England for Father’s Day.  We had picture-perfect weather today, and now there’s a sunset with deep russet and purple colors streaming across the sky.  We don’t get a lot of these types of days here – usually the temperature’s off or the humidity is off in June.  So I do treasure them.  I hope that you enjoyed your weekend, too.

My stitching progress continues to be slow, but I have made progress on something that is equally (if not more) important – wrangling my stash.  Since Max was born in 2013, I’ve been without a craft room.  I lost my office as it converted to a nursery, and subsequently my stash started wandering in piles all over the house.  I promised Erich that I’d get to work on getting it gathered and somewhat organized in ONE place this weekend, and I’ve mostly succeeded in getting the bulk of it done.  I’ve concluded that I’ve not only gone past the point of SABLE (stash acquired beyond life expectancy), but I might be double that for charts.  So if any Doctor Who fans know of a TARDIS I might borrow… I just MIGHT be able to get this stitching accomplished.  Yikes.

I’m going to have to do some serious sitting down to rotation plan at this point – I really do want to stitch a lot of things, but I also have so many projects in some semblance of progress, it’s time to make some hard choice and get things moving in a way where I can be productive and enjoy those occasional new starts without feeling guilty again.

Olympic Stitching Challenge!

As we go into the July WIPocalypse, it’s time once again to start thinking about Olympic stitching plans if you’d like to participate in a little extra boost while you watch the sport matches.  During the first year of the WIPocalypse (remember that?  Doesn’t it seem like soooo long ago now?)  The Stitcher Blogging Question next month is two-fold… if you’re not partipating, then there’s a mid-year recap question.  Let us know how you’re doing.  If you do want to participate in the Olympic Stitch-a-Long challenge, we’ll be running three mini “competitions,” and it’s up to you to decide how you want to approach it.  Hopefully one of these options appeals to you!

Here’s how the Olympic challenge will work:

It will run from August 5th to August 21st.  The WIPocalypse check-in is dated for August 18th, but I’m going to set that one instead for the 22nd, so it can capture everyone’s end of competition recaps.  So please update your calendar.  🙂

The three competitions you can choose between are:

  1. a rotation challenge (for those who like to work on a bunch of different pieces)
  2. a distance challenge (for those one at a time stitchers, or anyone else who wants to do some serious focusing on a particular piece)
  3. a color challenge (stitch only in the colors of the olympic rings on your WIP pieces, OR… your nation’s flag).

If you are planning on taking part in the challenge, post in July about which competition you’ll be joining, and what your individual goals or pieces will be for the challenge.  🙂

Question of the Months needed for September & October

Do you have a question you’d like to ask other stitchers to answer?  Is there a previous question you’d like asked again?  We have two open months this year with TBDs for questions, and I’d love to fill them.  If you have one you’d like to add, please let me know!

Anyway…. I’ll end this check-in here.  I hope you’ve had a lovely month, and I look forward to seeing your posts this month.  Happy stitching everyone!

~ Mel.

 

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Question of the Month

Do you find yourself more productive with stitching in summer or winter?

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Important SAL Announcements…

Next posting date: July 19

Topic for next time: (two options) If you are participating in the Olympic Challenge, tell us about your plans – which type of challenge you’ve selected, the pieces you’ll be stitching on, etc.  If you are not participating in the challenge, tell us how this year’s stitching is going for you so far, and if you’re meeting your stitching goals so far for the year.

Please remember that this stitch-a-long is intended to be fun – so if you’re too busy to post, too busy/ill/etc. to stitch – no worries. Post when you can and share what you have going, even if you’ve only been able to toss a single stitch into it. If you miss a few months, not a problem – just jump back in when you’re back with us! It’s not a race or a competition – we’re all just here to cheer each other on with our progress.

Due to different browsing software, some bloggers have found it difficult to check-in with their posts. There are three different ways to check in:

  • Via Auto-link
  • Via comments (make sure you include your blog address!)
  • Via email – to measiwitch(at)gmail.com, only if the other two options are not working. Again- make sure you include your blog address! I’ll add it to the auto-link myself when I have a free moment.


WIPocalypse Check-In May 2016

WIPocalypse ButtonHello again, all! I know… the post is on time this month! I’m finally getting myself into a groove and actually getting the post lined up about a week in advance (i.e. greetings from May 15th), so I don’t fall behind on things. I’ve been needing to do this for a while, and today I decided to kick my butt in gear. I *will* start posting on my blog more often! I will!

It’s been a crazy few weeks here at the Krueger house, both on the stitching front and mundane life. On the work front, it’s a new position… same company, different job, and all of the adjustments that go with it. It’s a good thing (and I’ll chat about that in a separate post).

I attended the annual Celebration of Needlework retreat up in Nashua at the beginning of the month. It’s crazy… only a couple weeks ago, yet it already seems like ages ago. Unlike last year, I was only able to get up for a quick full day this year – so my entire retreat was crammed into Friday evening and Saturday during the day. It wasn’t enough time for stitching, but I certainly did my damage in the shopping mall. 🙂

I caught up with a couple of folks I’ve known online but just never get together with, which was awesome… and also met some new folks who I’ve seen on message boards but not actually met in person. That was great, too – finally putting faces with online nicknames. AND… even met a couple people who said they followed my blog, but felt it would be weird to say hi in person in case it felt stalkerish. (Trust me, it wasn’t… with how little I post here these days, I’m just flattered anyone is reading!)

It was a fun weekend. I hope that next year I can go for at least a three day stretch, but of course that depends on work, finances, and what’s going on with Erich and Max. It’s a pretty long stretch to be away and leave Erich in charge of everything.

I have been stitching away, making progress. I still owe a WIPocalypse post of my own, and perhaps that will be later this afternoon once I get some updated photos of pieces done! I finished one piece just around the April WIPocalypse post, got a mini-finish on Four Seasons of Mystic (I finished Spring, and I’m close to finishing Summer… sectional finishes are such a great feeling!). I’ve also been doing some work to clean up a piece with severe miscounts and pushing forward a piece that just stalled for absolutely no reason… beyond perhaps baby tending! So it’s been a good year.

My next big stitching project, though, is to wrangle my stash. I think the last time I really sat down to organize charts, get everything on a list, etc. was before Max was born. I have a somewhat organized Excel chart of all of my charts, WIPs, pieces in progress of kitting, etc. I just need to sit down and update it – and also get everything together. It’s going to be a big thing, but I’ll feel so much better when it’s done! (and maybe I’ll *gasp* be able to find things!)

Hey… lookie there! I actually posted a blog post. Funny how that works when you’re not flying and trying to get an overdue post together! 🙂

I hope that you’ve had a good month stitching, too – and hopefully have a had a slightly calmer time of life than I have!

Anyway… onto the monthly stuff. Looking forward to your updates! And cross your fingers… maybe I’ve finally come to a realization that I CAN get this thing updated better!

Hugs,
Mel.

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Question of the Month

What were you stitching this time last year and have you finished it? (via Jo)

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Important SAL Announcements…

Next posting date: June 20, 2016

Topic for next time: Do you find yourself more productive with stitching in summer or winter?

Please remember that this stitch-a-long is intended to be fun – so if you’re too busy to post, too busy/ill/etc. to stitch – no worries. Post when you can and share what you have going, even if you’ve only been able to toss a single stitch into it. If you miss a few months, not a problem – just jump back in when you’re back with us! It’s not a race or a competition – we’re all just here to cheer each other on with our progress.

Due to different browsing software, some bloggers have found it difficult to check-in with their posts. There are three different ways to check in:

  • Via Auto-link
  • Via comments (make sure you include your blog address!)
  • Via email – to measiwitch(at)gmail.com, only if the other two options are not working. Again- make sure you include your blog address! I’ll add it to the auto-link myself when I have a free moment.


April 2016 WIPocalypse Check-In

WIPocalypse ButtonHappy April, everyone! It’s been an amazing day here in Rhode Island. Absolutely picture-perfect weather as I worked from home today. The only damper, of course, was hearing that one of my favorite musicians dating back to single-digit years has passed away far too young. Prince may have been very weird and very much in his own realm of existence, and I definitely wasn’t walking a spiritual path like his… but the man lived and breathed music, and a whole heck of a lot of what he created spoke to me. He did get weird, and he went a little too far for me at times – but that was part of his art… pushing the boundaries and making folks think, all while making a guitar (and oodles of other instruments) do incredible things with sound.

Anyway, I digress… we’re here for stitching! 🙂 I hope you’ve had a great month. Mine has been very, VERY productive. I finally met up with my friend to give the completed wimpel to him for his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, and I also finished one of my Little House pieces last week… so two projects down so far. It’s a miracle!

Next weekend is Celebration of Needlework in Nashua, New Hampshire. As of right now, I’m hoping to be up there for the day on Saturday, and will be joining my normal stitching circle up there. If you’re also coming and looking for folks to hang out with, seek me out. I’m intending on wearing lots of purple, and my group will likely be in the lobby somewhere. But be warned – our group can be a bit dangerous on the wallet. Someone comes out of the shopping area with something newly discovered, and then two others have to go hunting! So if you do come by, you might want to hide your wallet from yourself. We’re horrible influences (in the most enjoyable way possible – stash enhancement)!

Anyway, I hope that the next month is a successful one for you, as it has been for me. Have a lovely rest of April and beginning of May.

Happy stitching,
Mel.

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Question of the Month

What do you listen to while stitching? (via Jo)

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Important SAL Announcements…

Next posting date: May 21, 2016

Topic for next time: What were you stitching this time last year and have you finished it? (via Jo)

Please remember that this stitch-a-long is intended to be fun – so if you’re too busy to post, too busy/ill/etc. to stitch – no worries. Post when you can and share what you have going, even if you’ve only been able to toss a single stitch into it. If you miss a few months, not a problem – just jump back in when you’re back with us! It’s not a race or a competition – we’re all just here to cheer each other on with our progress.

Due to different browsing software, some bloggers have found it difficult to check-in with their posts. There are three different ways to check in:

  • Via Auto-link
  • Via comments (make sure you include your blog address!)
  • Via email – to measiwitch(at)gmail.com, only if the other two options are not working. Again- make sure you include your blog address! I’ll add it to the auto-link myself when I have a free moment.