Here you will often find my thoughts of the day, with the occasional vent - but first and foremost this is where I can share my passion for stitching.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Stash report & WIP

OK, here's the stash report from my Nordic Needle haul ... have to admit, I wasn't as thrilled as I thought I'd be when I opened it - I think I've just been waiting so long for it to arrive, it almost feels like an anti-climax ... weird, I know - I'm such a strange creature! ;) The one piece that kept taking my eye all night, though, was Thea's "Close at Heart" chart - too beautiful!! Anyway, here's the piccie, as well as a list of the charts:

  • Onyx - Blackwork Beginnings Series by Paw Printings
  • Orca Whales - Peter Underhill's Marine Creatures
  • Butterfly Garden Sampler by The Victoria Sampler
  • Close At Heart by The Victoria Sampler
  • Bruce (the Spruce) & Friends by Full Circle Designs
  • Sapphire Star (canvaswork) by Laura J Perin Designs
  • Spring Needle Roll kit by Lorri Birmingham
  • Butterflies & Hearts Needle Roll kit by Lorri Birmingham
  • Teddy Bear Santa mini stocking kit by Lorri Birmingham
  • 18ct mono canvas in eggshell for Sapphire Star
  • Piecemaker tapestry needles (2 x #26; 1 x #28)
And here's today's progress piccie for Summer into Autumn - thanks for everyone's lovely comments on my progress so far ... greatly appreciated :)) I had to frog stitch one strand of the overdyed silk due to a blonde stitching moment from reading the chart wrong ... and I'm also thinking of unpicking the tree foliage, as I think I'd prefer to confetti stitch it, so it doesn't have the really distinct lines. I'm a bit annoyed that the kit contents stated the MH glass treasure in the shape of a maple leaf was supposed to be included ... it's not to be seen! I mentioned this as soon as I received it to Stitching Bits & Bobs, and they're going to send me one as part of my back-order when it comes in.

Summer into Autumn

Well, especially for Karen & Isabelle, here is the first progress piccie of Summer into Autumn that I started today. I was so over-tired this morning due to broken sleep, I frog-stitched the top band a sum total of 3 times and it's such simple stitches!! Anyway, there are some things I don't like about it, but some things I love about it ... The dislikes are more to do with the kit itself - the threads are cut so darned short, they barely manage to stitch across the bands - for example just the short 4-sided bands and smyrna crosses I was left with literally one inch of thread in the needle! That's spoiling the fun of stitching it a bit with me, 'cos halfway across the band I'm focusing more on whether I'll have enough thread to finish, than on the stitching itself :( I would have preferred to cut the threads myself to a reasonable length. Also, I'm not sure how I feel about the single strand coverage with the cross stitches - but with it being a kit, I daren't increase the threads to two strands, as I won't have enough thread to finish ... I haven't decided yet, but I may yet stitch it again with my own threads just to compare it later - and see how it looks with the 2 strands giving it a bit more concentrated colour.

On the positive note, though, the little bands are really fun to stitch - and they're so tiny! Now I know what you meant when you were stitching it, Karen - the bands are only about 2 inches wide, with a nice mix of stitches and techniques. Don't know whether I'll match Karen's finishing time of 5 days, but I might come close ;)

Well, time to think about getting to bed ... it's 1.44am, and I've only been home from work about 10 minutes, but I'm feeling pretty shattered - and I'll be having another wake-up call in about 5 hours, from who I have affectionately nicknamed the "Bin B*stards" ... it's rubbish collection day, and the garbage trucks stop right outside my window at about 7am - mind you, it's better than the last place I lived in ... they came at 5.10am every week like clockwork, which is when they got their nickname! LOL.

Hopefully I'll be able to put some more time into SIA tomorrow, as I still have 8 hours left in its rotation :) Ooh, before I sign off, my order arrived from Nordic Needle today ... some pretty stash enhancements - only missing size 10 short beading needles, which are still on backorder, but they sent me 2 x canvaswork charts by accident, so I'll have to send the spare one back - fingers crossed they'll reimburse me for the postage ... Anyway, I'm a bit tired to post the stash contents today, so I'll leave it for later :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Bye-bye Dratted's

Managed to get a bit more of them done yesterday, but I'm ready to move on ... they're now being taken off the floorstand ready for the next slot in my rotation. It's supposed to be my 'finishing' slot, but I had a pretty rough sleep last night, and my eyes are like road maps, so I think I might wait and leave that slot until the next time when I can concentrate better ... and swap the next two slots around. That means I get to stitch on 'free choice' ... and today's choice is ... The Drawn Thread's Summer Into Autumn :)) I've got 6 days of 5pm-1am at work this week (yuk), but then I've got 5 days off, so I'll be more energised to do my finishing work then I think.

Thanks for all your comments about the Dratted's - I have to admit, they've grown on me again, and I've been enjoying watching them grow ... still can't wait until they're finished, though ;) Gina, in this case they're definitely being framed - but not to hang on my walls ... I offered my best friend as a wedding gift for her and John to choose a chart out of my stash, and I'd stitch it for them - and this is the one they agreed on. Little did I know back then just how hard I would find this one to stitch, and my joke of them getting it for their 10th wedding anniversary is starting to look like reality LOL. I'll probably just send a money order or something to them, so they can get it framed locally, rather than me trying to organise framing for them (they live in the South Island of New Zealand). Hopefully they'll be pleased how it finally turned out.

Thanks for the link to the stitch clips, Carol ... I have to admit I own a set, and absolutely love them! Unfortunately, though, when I first had the Dratted's on my scroll bars I only had a short sidebar available, and my floorstand has a clamp that sits on the left hand side of the sidebar, right where the little clips went, and it wouldn't clamp properly (kept slipping) ... hence the reason I laced it instead, which gives me really good tight tension. Can't remember where I read about doing that - somewhere online, anyway ;)

I have to admit, I'm getting much more time for stitching since moving out on my own - at the last flat I was in, I did almost all of the cooking etc, while now I cook every now and then and the rest of the time just have to defrost (if I cook casseroles etc I just eat one meal then freeze the rest) ... amazing how much time that frees up LOL. And Mum commented yesterday that while she's here on holiday I should get even more stitching done, 'cos she'll be helping out with the housework etc ... love ya, Mum!!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Update on Dratted's

Well, today my recliner has my bum imprint clearly embedded on it ;) I've been super-glued to it all day stitching my little heart out. Actually, saying that, I've just realised it's 11pm and I didn't stop for dinner ... oops! I've been having a DVD-fest today at Shackbuster, watching soppy movies such as Sleepless in Seattle, 50 First Dates and The Sixth Sense. I managed to complete one whole rotation segment in one day ... plus a little bit more - seeing as I also put 4 hours into this piece earlier in the week, I'll decide tomorrow whether I'll continue for the next 4 hours to complete another rotation segment, or just start on my next rotation slot. Anyway, here's the latest progress piccie of the Dratted's ... hopefully it will only be about another 2 rotation slots for them before I can cut the side lacings and move the fabric up on the scroll bars ... yippee!

Rightio, off to bed for me ... was going to sit and blog for a while to catch up on everyone's blogs, but I might have to leave that until the morning - didn't realise the time until I came to send this ...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Nearly the weekend!

For me, I only have one more working day left tomorrow (Saturday), then I have two days off, and can't wait! Been a so-so day today ... didn't get a great night's sleep, which is mainly to do with me feeling a bit flat and very over-tired - we had yet another big thunderstorm during the night, so I had a pretty broken sleep. Mind you, I was still up at 7.30am and straight into work stitching on the Dratteds to make me feel more human - and loved it! Managed to get 2 hours stitching done on it ... isn't it amazing how much more quickly the needle flies when you're really enjoying the stitching? Will be interesting to see if the enthusiasm continues for the next 8 hours of my rotation LOL. I'm now about to leave the 'main' dolphin behind, and head over to the right-hand side of the fabric - I want to finish all the top half of the chart before winding up the scroll bars, as I've got the sides laced, and I hate re-lacing them.

On a positive note I received the first of my long-overdue backorders today - from Wyndham Needleworks. I was very very disappointed to find out, though, that the 2001 JCS Christmas Ornament issue had sold out ... wish I'd known that weeks ago when I ordered it - I was really disappointed when I opened the envelope, especially when no mention had been made of it in emails :( Oh well, the other charts etc were ones I needed for SAL's etc, and the 2002 JCS Christmas ornie issue was there, and I have to say I love quite a few ornies in the 2002 one :) The other charts I received were Strawberries So Faire and Quaker Needlework Treasures by With My Needle, and Quaker Swan Case by Fancy Work.
I also forgot to post I received my back-order from The Silver Needle at the start of the week too ... I'd actually forgotten about my back order from them (!) - plus my back-ordered 32ct natural Belfast linen from Silkweaver, which also arrived earlier. Have to admit, I really love the colour of that linen ... very very nice! The Silver Needle was just one JABC button for an ornament plus some MH crystal treasures and Kreinik braids for two projects I'm really keen to stitch - it now means I have everything in place for my MH stand-up Christmas tree woohoo!!!

And now it's time to head off to bed again, after only being home an hour - want to try to wind down early, as they've just started up a party next door ... at least my bedroom is on the opposite side of the apartment to the party ... phew!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Second post today...

I've been very slack by not answering the SBQ's immediately, so this week I'm answering the last two together ...

Last week's "Stitching Blogger's Question" was suggested by Kimberly and Lili and is:
"How do you feel about staying totally true to a pattern? Do you feel that you have to rip out stitches to fix a mistake or do you feel it's acceptable to incorporate a mistake into the design?"
Hmmm, it all depends. I generally stay true to a pattern, but lately I've got a bit more adventurous and can consider taking different parts of a project out to combine with something else, or especially changing thread colours. There are a few charts I have in my stash that I'd love to stitch, but they're stitched with pinks which are definitely not me, so I intend to switch the pinks over to blues. As for the mistakes part of the question - if the error is minor, and it was stitched waaaay back in the chart, I'll work around it if I can, otherwise I'll frog-stitch it and fix it up ... I'm not as pedantic about my own stitched pieces anymore, and don't mind fudging where necessary, but my first instinct is always to frog!

Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" was suggested by Kimberly and is:
"Do you always sign your projects? If not, why? If so, do you use your first name, initials or what?"
I have to say I'm pretty bad about signing pieces - I do try to remember now to sign and date my stitched pieces, but I generally don't bother with it. Mum was always nagging me that I should sign them, but it didn't seem important. I will usually add the name and date if it's a sampler or ornament where it can be easily incorporated into the piece, but I'm not too fussed about including it on other pieces.

On a different note, between 9-11pm Tuesday night it was quiet on the phones, so I managed to daydream a bit and make a list of stitching projects in my stash that are currently calling to me the loudest for future stitching - just thought I'd post them for posterity ;) ... and to remind me when I have a 'free' stitching rotation which projects to choose from first:

'General' projects:

  • Summer into Autumn by The Drawn Thread
  • Crimson Fire Sampler by The Victoria Sampler
  • Lily Pond sampler by Just Nan
  • Angel of Love by Lavender & Lace
  • Frangipani kit by Just Jude
  • Rainbow Lorikeets by Ross Originals
  • Max's Moon by Cross Your Heart
  • Either Pyramids or Eiffel Tower by John Clayton
  • Walk the Gentle Path by Cross 'n' Patch
  • Royal Holiday by Mirabilia
  • The Queen Mermaid by Mirabilia
  • Deco Spirits by Mirabilia
  • Canvaswork by Jen's Jems (choice of two really bright ones!)
  • Le Jardin sampler (Just XS magazine)
  • Water Tiger by Kustom Krafts
  • Garden Sweet Bag by Forget-Me-Nots-In-Stitches
Stitching smalls (separate to SAL's):

  • Terri's Needlecase by Lorri Birmingham
  • Bee scissor fob by Shepherd's Bush
  • Butterflies & Hearts needleroll by Lorri Birmingham
  • Close at Heart needleroll by The Victoria Sampler
  • Summer at the Ocean by Jeanette Douglas
  • Acorn Needlebook by Periwinkle Promises
  • And Many More needlebook by Just Nan
  • Raphael's Raspberries by FMNIS
  • Just about everything (!) by Twisted Oaks Designs
  • Never Enough Berries by FMNIS

  • Cream button bag (weekend retreat with Shelley Warner)
  • Noah's Ark by Teresa Wentzler
  • Hussif by Monica Hunt
  • Wool embroidery hot water bottle cover
  • With Love & Affection by JBW Designs
  • Summer Fruits pincushion (Inspirations magazine)
  • English Cottage Sampler by Teresa Wentzler
Phew, that should keep me out of mischief for the next 10 years LOL ;) There's a whole lot more, but they're my 'main' wishes ... what a shame we have to work to pay the bills - imagine what sort of dent we'd do in our stitching lists if we had 24 hours of no other commitments ... oh well, I can but dream! :))

Come in 'Dratteds' - your time is up!

What can I say? I don't think I feel well at all ... over the last two days I've been counting down the hours of my current rotation on Winter Queen, as I can't wait for my next rotation slot - which is for those Dratted Dolphins! What the ...??!!! That's a first - me actually looking forward to stitching them ... maybe that last migraine unsettled me more than I thought! ;) Anyway, today I put the final stitches of my 10 hour rotation for WQ, and she's about to be taken off the floor stand, to be replaced with the Dratteds for another 10 hours - I'm sure after 10 hours the novelty and joy of stitching them will have worn off LOL. Actually, I think I just really really want to get them finished so I can replace them with another piece on my rotation ... and there are so MANY screaming to take their place (high up on the list is Angel of Love by L&L).

Sorry I've been a bit slack commenting on everyones blogs - I've been avoiding the computer a bit since Sunday, other than just checking emails every day, to try and make sure I helped to keep the migraines away. Hopefully now I'm all up to date with everyone again, and regular programming can be resumed!

I've also chased up some outstanding mail orders from months ago, when I had my huge stash-fest ... there are still 3 orders yet to arrive :( It looks like my order from Wyndham Needleworks was mailed on 16 Nov, so hopefully it won't be too far away from arriving. I'm still waiting for some needles to arrive for my Nordic Needle order, and a back-ordered chart and Gloriana silk from Stitching Bits & Bobs - I've asked them both if they could send what they have already and send the other items afterwards ... I'm getting worried that closer to Christmas they'll get lost in the postal system, and it's too precious a cargo to go missing! Maybe I should just shove the parcels unopened under the Christmas tree this year for gifts to myself - what a treat ... anybody want to take bets as to whether I'll be able to keep from opening them? Nah, it'd never happen!! LOL.

And I can't believe that Christmas is so close around the corner - this year for me will be an extra special one - my Mum is flying over to spend Christmas with me, for a 6-week holiday. It'll be the first time since I moved here 2 1/2 years ago that I've had a family member to spend Christmas with, and I'm actually rostered off on Christmas Day too, for an even better bonus!! Mum gets to have a holiday here, and I get to have one too ... Mum will not sit down for the life of her - or if she does, she's usually doing something like knitting or mending something! She has the housework all done while I'm at work, so I don't have to do anything when I come home ... she's the best! I wish sometimes she'd take the time to rest herself, but she's happiest when she's doing things for other people ... she's one of the most kind hearted and generous people I know!! And she'll be here in only 3 weeks time - yippee!! I always joke I've saved a pile of ironing for her for when she comes, 'cos I detest ironing with a passion - and she loves it! LOL.

Next week it'll be time to start putting my little Christmas tree up - in our last flat I made sure we had a tree and trimmings up to make it feel like Christmas ... Mum always had the best tree in the world (boy, I miss that tree!!!), and she's instilled in me a love for Christmas with all its trimmings etc. It will be nice to share that joy with her again this year - and she'll also be here in time to see the Christmas displays in the shops ... she'll be in her element!

Anyway, time to get ready for work, I guess - need to head off early to take library books (on tape) back ... then only 3 days of work left (including today) before my next 2 days off. Really looking forward to 2 Dec, when I get 5 days off in a row ... ah, heaven!!!

For those of you in the US ... Happy Thanksgiving! :))

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Winter Queen finally started...

I've been trying to start this project as a SAL with the StitchNZ yahoo group for a while now, but kept putting it off for different reasons - firstly I thought I wanted to use a hand-dyed fabric instead, but then opted for the plain white again, then I pulled the floss together to start kitting up, and realised I didn't have enough skeins of some of the colours, or 3 colours of the MH beads. Well, I finally popped into Spotlight yesterday and picked up the skeins and beads I needed, and made a small inroad into starting her last night. She was just what I needed yesterday, but there's not much progress to show just yet ...

Sunday started off well, and saw me reorganising my threads while trying to work out what to use for my Apricot Elegance SAL in January - I had a slight headache, but nothing more ... by the afternoon it had developed into a full-blown migraine that was so bad I ended up throwing up with it, and sleeping for about 14 hours all-up yuk!! I know what triggered this one - the messy shifts, jumping from one timeframe to another, and not getting a proper 8 hours sleep on any of them ... Anyway, by late yesterday afternoon I finally started feeling a bit more 'human' - I wandered around the shopping mall for a couple of hours, getting a few things I needed (like painkiller tablets!), and it was really nice to just 'potter' with no timeframe or deadlines. By 7pm I was ready to start thinking of getting a bit of stitching done. And last night I had the best night's sleep I've had all week - I feel so much better today. Luckily this week's shifts are all relatively similar, with only 1 x 3pm-11pm today, followed by 4 x 1pm-9pm ... hallelujah!!!

While I was out shopping yesterday I also finally picked up some scrapbooking paper to make an album page in honour of my best friend's Mum who's turning 70 in January. She lost her husband, Ross, just over a year ago, and it's hit her hard, and she's starting to lose her confidence and been starting to ask questions like "was I a good mother?" etc ... anyway Vicki thought it would be lovely to put an album together with everyone donating one page of 'memories' - things about Doreen that you love and happy occasions with her etc ... I think it's the most wonderful idea! So, never having scrapbooked in my life, I'm going to put a page together - with possibly another one for my Mum, as she has some memories of her own to include - in fact, I'd better get cracking, as they need to be posted at the start of December. It's a bit hard in that almost all my photos are back in NZ, but I think I've managed to find a couple that I can use, as well as some stickers etc. Hopefully it will cheer Doreen up, and help to give her a sense of purpose again :) She's been like my adopted second Mum, and the whole family has had such a huge influence in my life - part of who I am today is in direct tribute to Doreen and her family ... love you Doreen, you've impacted on my life more than you could ever know! :))

And seeing as I didn't get my finishing done on my pansy pin pillow, I thought I'd better post a piccie now - I certainly wasn't in the mood to finish it this weekend, so I'll put it to one side until my 'finishing' spot in my rotation, which isn't too far away ...

Also thanks for all your kind comments about the new look blog, everyone - your comments are always greatly appreciated :)

And last, but certainly far from least (!), a HUGE thanks go to Jenna, the computer guru herself, for creating my progress bars so you can actually see them again ... your blood is worth bottling, and while I may not be able to name my first-born after you, I'm extremely grateful to you {{hugs}} :)))

Saturday, November 19, 2005

New Look !!

Well, what can I say, but gee whiz, I really like it! Took a few attempts to get things the way I was happy with it ... and I'm sure Lisa has a voodoo doll made of me (perhaps that explains my ill health issues over the last few weeks?!! LOL) - but the final version I can certainly live with!

My main problem was that I had my heart set on having a paua shell background (you're right, Sharon - that's exactly what it is!), and I'd had some wrapping paper back in NZ that I thought would be perfect ... Mum got sent on a shopping mission, but unfortunately the paper she found wasn't the same - anyway, Lisa obviously managed to find a different graphic somewhere, and it looks pretty good ... I just love the colours of the paua shell, I think the purples and blues are just stunning! So that was the touch of my Kiwi homeland ... as well as starting to fulfil my "blue" fetish ... and the ducks of course had to be on the page to tie in with my blog title. To add a little bit extra, I had the little photo added next to the comments sections, which is a photo we took on holiday driving to Adelaide earlier this year with Mum - it's a photo of the Twelve Apostles, on the Great Ocean Road ... so that's also a little touch of my current home, Australia :)

Now I can play a little bit with the sidebars etc - unfortunately with the colours changing, you can't see the progress bars anymore, so I need to try and work something else out there, plus centre the WIP's etc. Every time I look at this new blog it makes my whole body go "Ahhhhh" - I feel very positive and 'centred' when I see it ... it is definitely "me" :)

I finished the beading on the pansy pin pillow thingo this morning before I went to work, but I thought I won't bother posting a piccie until I've stitched it together into the actual pillow - with any luck I'll get that done some time tomorrow ...

Friday, November 18, 2005

South Park Annie!

I had to follow suit, and have a play on the South Park Studio site, after seeing Jenna's South Park character - have to say, Jenna, very very cute! So here's my "me too" effort ... it really was way too much fun on that site! Kept me amused for a short while when I got home from work LOL.

And yes, you're right, Jenna - that is the pansy needle keeper from Mill Hill ... and I have to say your photo album is divine! In fact, I've also fallen in love with your needleroll from the Classic Stitches site and just HAD to go and download it myself :) What a great enabler you are ... and the needleroll didn't cost anything, so my credit card company loves you too haha. Anyway, I've managed to get a fair bit of the pansy done tonight, but it's time to hit the hay - I don't start work until 1pm tomorrow, so with any luck I can get some more stitching done before I hit the road, and if not, I've then got two days off so I should be able to finish it totally then. :)

And my new-look blog is soon to be unveiled ... woohoo. It's taken a few 're-writes' but the latest version combines the three requisites ... (you'll never guess two of them LOL) ... 1) a touch of Kiwi to remind me of home; 2) ducks (!); 3) blue (!!). Anyway, I've just asked if the comments section can be made one tiny shade lighter to make the text easier to read, then hopefully it can get the final tick of approval and I'll have the new look unveiled next week yippee :)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Great stitching week so far...

The title of the post is perhaps a bit facetious (sp?) and very much tongue-in-cheek! I had huge plans for getting loads of stitching done this week, seeing as I'm on early shifts ... but, alas, Image hosted by Photobucket.comit's not to be ... this piccie is the sum total of last night's stitching efforts, of 1 whole hour! haha. While not stitching, though, I did something else equably as enjoyable as stitching ... if not even better! I caught up with my first 'real' blogger, Sharon, on the phone. Sharon had given me her number weeks ago, but I didn't want to phone until I felt a bit brighter within myself health and morale-wise ... and with her impending operation yesterday I felt a "need" to phone - and I have to admit that usually I don't enjoy spending hours on the phone chatting after being on the phones all day at work, but this phone call was a sheer joy! In fact 3 hours of sheer joy LOLOL. It was really lovely to chat to a fellow stitcher real-time ... thanks Sharon :) As I've said before, blogging really is amazing - what amazing doors it has opened up ... I've found some real friends here {{hugs}} to you all.

Rightio, now I'm off to put another hour's stitching into place - with any luck tonight my body will finally work out that when I go to bed at 7-8pm, it's not my intention to just nap for 2 hours, it really IS bedtime! LOL ... I think I might have to help it along with a glass of Shiraz (might not help the stitching, though) - followed by a hot milky Milo just before I hit the hay ... only one more 5am start, yippee - it will be a pleasure to change the alarm from 3.45am to 8am instead :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Happy birthday Qantas!

Yes, the old dear turned 85 years of age today, and there were celebrations a-plenty. Everyone was permitted to wear casual clothes, with an emphasis on wearing red & white colours of course - there were red & white balloons dotted around the office, as well as party food put on for the staff ... it was a lovely relaxed atmosphere at work today. By the time the celebrations started properly, I was awake enough to appreciate them ... on the 5am shift I have to say I'm not functioning 100% until lunchtime, then the rest of the day seems to fly past - love leaving work at 1pm, I feel like a naughty school girl cutting school early haha.

Also on the work front, we had a very brief glimpse of the new Airbus A380 as it flew by - it's amazing the thing gets up in the air! If nothing else, there is always something new in the airline industry, that's for sure!

On the stitching front, I have nothing to report ... yet. However I have to force myself to stitch myself silly this afternoon just to stay awake - don't think I'll find that too much of a hardship LOL. With any luck, I'll be able to put a progress piccie up tomorrow ... I'm probably going to stitch my pansy magnet Mill Hill kit thingo - geez, my English is great! Maybe I shouldn't stitch at all - I might end up stitching everything backwards how tired I feel at the moment haha. Oh well, my needle is calling me ...

BUT before I go, I have to say ... Barbara, you absolutely crack me up - your comment had me in hysterics!! Although I have to say, I'd probably have to swap the glass of milk in the bath for a glass of bubbly ... come to think of it, the ducks could come swim in the bath as well - nothing like getting close to nature ;) LOL.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

My favourite things

OK, Christine has asked on her blog, in honour of the 40th anniversary of the Sound of Music, what our favourite things are. Off the top of my head at the moment, I've come up with the following few things - no doubt if I sat and thought about it some more, I'd have more to add to the list, but here goes:
  • Anything that makes me laugh
  • Autumn leaves changing colour and falling/covering the ground
  • DUCKS!!
  • A freshly brewed cappuccino
  • Soaking in a bath for an hour with a good book
  • Anything blue
  • Walking on the beach listening to/watching the waves crashing in
  • Cuddling up with a feline/canine pal
  • Chocolate ... milk or white, but not dark ... adore Toblerone and truffles and NZ Cadbury's and UK walnut whips ... drool ...
  • A peaceful sunny day in winter, with the sun strong enough to take the chill from the air
  • Being on the ski slopes in Wanaka - the view is spectacular
  • Frangipani flowers (white/yellow ones)
  • The feeling of peace that comes with stitching
  • Tigers - I can sit and watch them for hours
  • and did I mention ... DUCKS!! ;)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Stitching Bloggers Question

Oops, I'm a bit behind with last week's question ... just forgot about it ... so here goes, before it's time for the next one to arrive LOL.

Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" was suggested by Dawn and is:
When comparing large projects versus small projects, which do you get more excited about finishing?
I'd have to say in this case it's probably the larger pieces I'm the most ecstatic about overall, because there's been a longer commitment to the stitching process ... but then again, I still appreciate the joy of finishing a small piece as well. To be honest, the greatest joy overall this year has been in the completion of a UFO - just knowing that that old project has been released from a lifetime of UFO-dom and taken out of the UFO pile to see daylight once again, this time in the shape of a finished piece! Yup, that is definitely my greatest joy this year!!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

What a wonderful weekend...

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI have to say, the best thing I could ever have done this week was to take those few days off work ... I feel as though I've been on holiday, and feel really refreshed and re-energised :) No stitching done until this evening, when I finally put the final hours of the current rotation segment into the Dratted Dolphins - they're actually showing some progress since the last time I looked, which is great. Next rotation segment is for ornaments/smalls, and not entirely sure what I'll choose to fill the 10 hours stitching time, but I'm sure I'll come up with something haha. This week should be good for stitching shift-wise - I have 2 x 10am-6pm, followed by 3 x 5am-1pm shifts ... I usually find stitching is fantastic on 5am shifts, as it helps to keep me awake until 7pm when it's time for bed :)

The reason I had no stitching done this weekend, is that I've had visitors staying with me all weekend - it's been over a year since we've caught up with each other, so it was lovely to have their company. I can't remember the last time I ate so much - admittedly, I blew approx 3 week's food budget on the weekend's food, but it was worth it. They had a function to go to on Friday night for a few hours, and got back here at about 8pm - we just opted to order in pizzas (which were divine!) and drank a few bottles of wine and caught up. Then on Saturday we had a cooked breakfast (Pete) and bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese (us girls) ... what a way to start the day - yummo - then we spent the rest of the afternoon at Chadstone shopping centre, as they'd never been there before, and the weather was a bit dicey for our beach picnic we'd originally planned. After that, we came home and ate our picnic of dips, olives, and other antipasto's indoors, followed by a Thai beef red curry I'd made - blobbed out and watched National Treasure on DVD, and drank Feijoa vodka ... it was heaven! The feijoa is a fruit in New Zealand, and has the most amazing aroma - the vodka has a very strong flavour of the fruit - boy, I miss it here in Aussie!

Today started off very lazily, with a cooked breakfast again, then we went to St Kilda and wandered around the open-air craft market, then round Luna Park for a while, finished off with an icecream from NZ Natural ... Then my visitors headed off home, and I finished off with a short walk home along the beach front. Just before we headed off today, though, we reorganised my furniture ... I was saying I wish I could move my recliner back into the dining area more, as I love the area by the balcony windows that overlooks the trees (to the right of where my computer sits), and where I sit and watch the birds flying overhead - so we've pushed the dining table and chairs up against the wall by the kitchen servery, and given me the whole space to move around in - it means I can move my recliner back during the day and sit in my favourite area, then if I want to I can move it back again at night to watch a DVD ... so simple, I don't know why I hadn't thought of it earlier!!

So tonight I sat watching Armageddon for the umpteenth time, stitching the Dratted's, and purring like a contented kitten ... life is good, today, that's for sure!

Friday, November 11, 2005

2006 Stitching Goals

Thanks to Danielle and Gina, I've been mulling over what stitching goals I have for 2006 ... to be honest, I've been thinking about it for a few weeks, mainly due to a group of SAL's I'm joining up with, but it's quite fun to actually put thoughts down on paper. Some items are things I've already started this year, and intend to just continue on with ... so, here goes:

1) Finish a few WIP's/UFO's:
  • The Dratted Dolphins UFO (it's pretty slow progress inbetween other stitching, so not sure how this will go next year - particularly as my time stitching on this will be impacted by my SAL's ... but it's a goal - or perhaps a dream - none-the-less).
  • Nature's Rest UFO
  • At least 2 other smaller UFO's (undecided as yet, but probably my Hussif by Monica Hunt, and perhaps my cream button bag from a Guild weekend retreat when I was in NZ ... no doubt these will change by the time I get to the stage of dragging them out of the box!)
2) Continue some just-started initiatives:
  • Keep going with my rotation - seems to be working out well so far, and I'm enjoying the mix of projects and seeing each one progress steadily.
  • Continue on The Wagon - no more stash purchases where possible, by using/substituting threads from my stash - if I don't own the silks listed, and there are DMC substitutions, then DMC will be the thread of choice! The only thing I'm allowing myself is to continue with the FOTM with Country Stitch and Silkweaver even if just for a couple of months - my fabric has been steadily building up, which I really needed, due to the sales on recently, so I may find soon that I don't need to buy much more fabric.
3) Participate in 2-3 exchanges with the SBEBB during the year, and also participate in the following SAL's with the Stitching Smalls yahoo group (months may change, depending on how far we get along with the previous months stitching):
  • Jan - Apricot Elegance by Cindy Valentine
  • Feb - Secret Garden by Forget-Me-Nots-In-Stitches
  • Mar - Bunnies in the Garden by With My Needle
  • Apr - Folding Cross Needlebook by Indigo Rose
  • May - Lavender Thistle Collection by Twisted Oaks Designs
  • Jun - Strawberries So Faire by With My Needle
  • Aug - A December Box by Cherished Stitches
4) Try some new finishing techniques - in particular, an 8-cornered pillow (biscornu/tuffet) and a flat-fold finish. I also want to finish off two needlecases that are stitched, but ready to be finished, as well as making at least one more needleroll, fob and pincushion.

5) If I can find the time, I also want to stitch some new charts next year ... although now I look at the SAL's above, that might not be much of a reality hmmm. Anyway, the main two are L&L Angel of Love now I have the fabric, and Summer into Autumn by The Drawn Thread now I have the kit. I'd also love to stitch one project from my selection of Inspirations magazines, but again, that could be seriously wishful thinking.

Well, that's it for me ... I'm now going to print this off and put it in my diary for Nov 2006 to have a celebration ... or giggle ... at what's been accomplished. If I get really keen, I might even try and work out how to get it into my sidebars - although I might wait until my new template is finished by Design-A-Blog.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Inspiration from Other Blogs

I have been truly inspired by a number of blogs over recent days - so many different discussions have brought memories of my own to the fore, and made me reminisce a bit ... as well as inspiration to look ahead to the future, and appreciate the here and now :)

Barbara posted a piccie of her treasured cat, Dan, which triggered some wonderful memories of our beloved Rio - I swear he was more of a dog personality-wise than he was a cat! He followed you everywhere - and used to sit in the driveway waiting for you to drive up in your car ... it doesn't matter where he was at the time, he'd hear the sound of the car in the background, and be sitting there waiting. He'd also follow you up the long driveway when we checked the mail - and run a few steps in front, flop over onto his back and beg to have his tummy rubbed - then he'd jump up and repeat the process all the way up the drive. He'd more often than not sleep on my bed each night, much to my mother's disgust ... when I had my eyes lasered, and my tonsils out, each time he would lay either on top of me or really close, as though to give comfort in my time of need. When he finally passed away due to ill health, he visited me one last time - I know that sounds a bit weird, but I swear to this day it's true ... I didn't get a chance to say goodbye, as Dad had taken him to the vet on his own, and it was comforting to have that visit. He still has a huge place in my heart to this day. Still love you, Rio!

Then Danielle set out her 2006 stitching goals - I started to think how interesting/fun it would be to plan ahead for the year, then at the end of 2006 look back and see how much of it was accomplished. I love making lists etc, so this really is right up my alley - and seeing as I already have some commitments for some SAL's next year, I can start my goals already to a certain extent ... so, I'm going to work on this over the next week, and see what I can come up with ... watch this space! LOL.

Lastly, there have been a number of blogs showing their stitching spaces ... I decided to jump on the bandwagon, so to speak, and show mine - although being in a small apartment-style place, you'll just about get the whole place in a couple of photos :) So, for better or worse, here they are:

Everything here is very compact - with my dining table that is usually home to my sewing machine to the right, my computer desk to the left, my stitching recliner to the right in the middle of the arch, with the TV etc right in front - perfect for stitching to my DVD's. (Actually, maybe I should have taken the piccie AFTER finishing my cleaning up LOL.)
A closer piccie of my stitching station itself - along with my invaluable accessories, my floorstand and my Ott-Lite! All the blue folders in the bookcase (out of shot) hold charts (although the bulk of my charts are still in NZ at my parents house - they take up almost an entire bookcase in their own right - yikes!!). And my Inspirations etc magazines are in separate holders in the spare bedroom. Then we have my fabrics (now separated into 28ct and 32ct) in the turquoise tubs, with my bead collection in the bottom one, and a box holding my kits on the top. And last, but not least, my specialty fibre/tapestry wool etc tubs and Kreinik metallics, Mill Hill beads, quilting fabrics, polyfill etc.
And that's me all done and dusted!!
Now I'm off to get some sleep before a full weekend ahead - no stitching done today unfortunately, as I've been busy doing housework (at least my guests have a bed they can actually get into now!), then I had a surprise visit from two gal pals from work, which was wonderful ... they've been talking about popping round since I first moved in, but finally managed to do it tonight on their way to basketball - it was lovely company for almost 2 hours ... I don't mind missing stitching for that ;) And my other friends are arriving around lunchtime tomorrow, and not leaving until later on Sunday, so no stitching planned for the next couple of days either - at least no housework needed next week now, so I'll have no excuse then! LOL. Have a great weekend everyone - thanks again for all your comments ... they're always gratefully received :))

What a beautiful day in Melbourne

The weather today is stunning - beautiful blue skies, warm temperatures, and only a gentle breeze ... it feels good to be alive today :) I do feel very positive today. Only spent a couple of minutes talking to friends last night about the work situation - felt good to get it off my chest. The reason I've been taking it hard is that I used to be a Supervisor in the Auckland office for the same airline. When I moved to Melbourne, I had to resign and apply again, and accepted going back on the phones as a 'normal' consultant again - after 2 1/2 years, I've hit the wall as I just get so incredibly bored/braindead - the Hotline role is more a troubleshooting/coaching/challenging role. I received a 'stock standard' letter saying literally the person who got the job had more qualifications and experience (I wasn't the only person angry about that!), and on top of that I was told about not getting the secondment in the middle of the office at my desk yesterday ... very unprofessional. It's just very hard at times being 'back at the start' again, when I've already done the same job plus a lot more - I worked hard to get there in the first place, and it's frustrating being back at the start again - even though they know my history, I sometimes still feel like the 'new kid on the block' in the pecking order. BUT, the good thing about being away from work, is that I'm chilling out about it again ... I love working for the company on the whole, and I love the industry - I just have to grin and bear it, and bide my time ... and I really do feel OK about it all today :))

OK, that's the last I'll mention it - time to move on. One of my friends last night has just split up with her boyfriend of 5 months, and it was quite nice to have something 'different' to focus on. It was so nice to have a girlie night out for a few hours - very soothing for the soul :) Gal pals are great!!

Before I forget - an answer to a couple of comments ...
Nicola - I'm up for a rousing rendition of Ten Guitars if you are - that really IS a Kiwi tradition, isn't it? haha.
Carol - you're wonderful ... never thought of the Dark Tan linen for Angel of Love - I grabbed my chart out double quick when I read your comment and I think you could be right! It would be so lovely to get this stitched, seeing as I have most of the beads already :) I wonder if I could squeeze yet another space into my rotation to fit her in ... LOL. Actually, a beaded piece could be a nice break from the other big stitching - yeah, OK, I can find a valid excuse in anything! LOL.

Well today I'm looking longingly at the dratted's, but I'm not allowed to touch it until I've done my housework ... friends from Geelong are coming to stay for the weekend, arriving tomorrow lunchtime, and staying in the spare bedroom - which currently has the bed etc piled high with unpacking that I never finished ... so, I've got a lot to do today hmmm. Oh well, it needed to be done anyway - I've just always found an excuse not to do it ... I'd usually prefer to be stitching haha.

I received my FOTM from Silkweaver yesterday - yuk, is all I'll say ... I'm so used to their beautiful hand-dyed fabrics, I was very disappointed with my selection - very very drab. Mind you, they'll be easily used in projects because of their neutrality, I guess. I think I chose the wrong fabric selection, so I went online and changed it last night to the Expressions one instead. This FOTM and another one from Country Stitch are the only spending I'm doing now - fabric is the one thing I don't have much of, so I figure this'll help, even if I just do it for a couple of months then pull out. Anyway, we'll see what fabbies arrive into the new year, then I'll make that decision. The fabrics I got this time are:

  • Ghostly Grey 28ct cashel linen (13"x18")
  • Maritime 32ct Lakeside Vintage linen (13"x18")
  • River Willow 28ct Lakeside Vintage linen (9"x13")

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mental health day

Well, yesterday I got more bad news at work, that I didn't get one of the upcoming 2-month secondments to the Hotline, and after feeling so incredibly positive about feeling more like myself over the last few days, I decided "Bugger you!" and opted to remove myself from the negativity and the office environment and take 3 days annual leave before I did or said something I might later regret ... mutter mutter mutter. Anyway, enough said on that.

So, I blobbed out with Tomb Raider on DVD (first time viewing), and started stitching at 10.45pm, finishing at 2.15am ... oops - but it sure got the anger out of my system. It also means I'm now nearing the end of the current rotation segment for those "Dratted Dolphins", as they're now officially termed in my eyes. Doesn't seem to be showing much progress, but there's still 2 1/2 hours to go, then I'll compare with the last piccie and hopefully see the difference.

I also thought the day was exceptional here in Melbourne today weather-wise, and it would be a waste not to get my fat bum into gear, and get out there and do an hour's walking round the bay ... boy, oh boy, was I wrong!! It's absolutely blue skies and scorching where I am - but the closer I got to the bay, the clouds were a bit in the background, and the wind was quite a bit stronger - well, in just the short time of 1/2 hour it felt like gail force winds coming in, which caused me a few difficulties staying stood up straight, along with the sand-blasting coming off the beach. But under all that the heat was tremendous ... I'm sitting here in a big puddle of sweat - sorry, not a very delightful picture! I feel absolutely exhausted, but still glad I got moving and did it ... it's nice to just get out and get the fresh air. There's a canal just a few metres away from my flat, which has got a park bench a short walk away - I'm thinking of taking some portable stitching when I can and just sit there for 1/2 hour in the fresh air and sunshine - ah, bliss!

Anyway, I thought I'd just touch base very quickly before I jump in the shower and head out the door. Catching up with friends from work today who are very sympathetic to my situation, and very supportive, so it will do me good to get my moans off my chest ... aside from that, I'm looking forward to just catching up with 'gal pals', something it's take me a long time to find since moving here - and this get-together has taken 3 months to finally pull together, seeing as two of us work shift work, so it's hard to match up shifts - then tomorrow I will finally finish my rotation stitching on the Dratted's, and start stitching a needlework 'small' - yippee ... can't wait! I'm really itching to start something little again :)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Some Kiwi nostalgia

I rarely put the TV on these days - but over the course of the last week and a half, I've turned it on 3 times for 'company' while I'm doing housework ... the last 2 times I've been pleasantly surprised, but the housework got ditched temporarily. The series of Billy Connolly's Tour of New Zealand has returned - episode 3 was on at the end of last week, and episode 4 was on last night after Comic Relief ... as they say in the UK, "it warmed the cockles of my heart!" Even though I was born in the UK, we emigrated to NZ when I was 6 years old - we survived 2 years there, because Dad hated NZ, then returned to the UK ... only to find Dad hated the UK even more, and back we trotted to NZ again 2 years later, when I was 10 - I think the trauma at that age must have been pretty great for a shy quiet kid, and I have no real memory of my life in the UK, or pretty much any of my life prior to being 10! So, I've grown up loving the Kiwi country, and people, and culture ... as far as I'm concerned, even though not by birthright, I AM a Kiwi (I became naturalised as soon as I was old enough to do it in my own right) ...

Anyway, it was so nice to see on TV a lot of the places I've visited over the years, and I love Billy Connolly anyway ... and I enjoyed the rendition of Pokarekare Ana at the end of the show - I'm not sure my neighbours loved it as much, 'cos I was singing at the top of my lungs ... I'm amazed I still remember the words! It is the most beautiful song in the world, in my eyes - and always reminds me of home ... so, come on Kiwis, let's have a karaoke session ... ready? 1 - 2 - 3 ...

Pokarekare ana
Nga wai o Rotorua
Whiti atu koe hine
marino ana e
E hine e
Hoki maira
Kamate au-i
te aroha e

OK, that'll do for now - time to put my shoes on and get off to work ... still on relatively civilised hours all week - a mix of 11am-7pm (4 days) then 10am-6pm (3 days) and then ... shock, horror ... a weekend off! I have friends I haven't seen for at least 6 months coming to stay, hopefully, for the weekend, so can't guarantee much stitching will be getting done this week! Have a great one everybody :)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

For KarenV

Thanks Karen - I think maybe it's just the photo on the chart ... it just looks so 'drab', all grey/green - when I saw yours being stitched I remember all the lovely golden autumn colours predominantly - but then again, maybe that was my own brain's reaction 'cos I love those colours, and that's what I mainly saw! I'll start stitching it the way the chart intends it on a separate piece of fabric, I think - it's the lettering that doesn't really 'gel' with me, so I might change that to an overdyed as well, in more autumn tonings, and see what it looks like. Thanks for the offer of the silk overdyed - I have to admit, the colours look OK there, it's just the lettering, I think. Mind you, now I'm having a closer look at the threads that came in the kit, it's not as 'grey'-looking as the photo, so maybe it'll be OK as it is ... I just looked at the photo when it arrived, and went "ooh, yuk!" Maybe that's why I've not been a Drawn Thread fan before now - 'cos the colours always look so drab ... oh no, that could open up a whole new can of worms, that means I might have to get more to try them out LOLOL. Thanks for your advice, anyway - I'll start stitching it and see how I go ... Hugs :)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

One day survived back at work...

...and it was quite nice in some ways to be back - I was put in charge of the 'queues' area today, so I didn't feel under pressure on the phones etc. Queues are basically different messages generated in the computer reservations system, and has a huge range of jobs - including flight timing changes, credit card rejects for internet bookings, misquotes, other airlines sending confirmations etc etc ... and I get to do the same thing tomorrow - it's a nice way to ease back into work after my health issues, and boy it's nice to both leave home and come back again in daylight!!

And my floss reorganising this week had an added bonus - now I don't have my floss bobbins in the special little 'box', I now have a new container for all my different teas ... so cute! OK, so it's not as flash as those poofey wooden ones in hotels, but I love it :)

And I'll finish for the night with photos of my fabric haul, seeing as my camera batteries are fully charged up again - and the latest version of my current UFO in progress at the end of the rotation ... doesn't seem to have too much to show for it after 8 hours, but them's the breaks - every few stitches is a step closer to finally finishing the bl**dy thing! (This is one of the very very first pieces I started stitching, and my first effort on evenweave/linen after using aida, and boy can I tell!! LOL.

Silkweaver Fabrics:
Country Stitch Fabrics:

Stitching Bits & Bobs Fabrics:

Also, KarenV, hopefully you are reading ... with your Drawn Thread Summer Into Autumn, did you use the threads exactly as shown in the kit? I seem to think your colours were a lot softer/autumny, which is what made me fall in love with it - the kit when it's arrived seems a lot darker, but I could be wrong! If you're reading, I'd love to know if you substituted any of the colours, as I'm quite tempted to do that ...

Friday, November 04, 2005

The mailbox runneth over... VERY long post!

Not one parcel today ... but four! Oh crikey, that's what happens when you stay at home crook and don't clear the mail! I have to say that today I really REALLY love my stash arrivals - this was the main (& biggest overall) order I placed from Stitching Bits & Bobs, as well as my Silkweaver and Country Stitch orders ... and it's all just too wonderful for words - I think it also helps that my health is coming back under control, and I had a good day out today too ... really perked me up!

My best friend here had really disappointed me and let me down a couple of weeks ago (3 things in a row), which probably didn't help with the migraines on top of everything else - but last night he phoned and we chatted a little bit ... turns out he's had some health issues he's been dealing with, and he's finally come out with it - unfortunately it gave me the impression earlier that he was blowing me off a bit, which hurt and angered me at the time. He was supportive to me when I had my gallbladder removed earlier in the year, so now it's my turn to return the favour - he's just come back from having an ultrasound done - looks like a fatty liver, which thankfully isn't too serious, and will likely be improved by a change of diet and cutting out the alcohol, which he's prone to binge on a bit (which has worried me on occasion, but that's another story). He's had to drop urine samples and have blood tests, and then they find out if a biopsy is in order. Anyway, I drove out to meet up with him today on my last day off, seeing he was off work too, and his Mum drove from Mooroolbark (which they joke is Aboriginal for "Where the hell are we, we're lost?" LOL) - and we had a lovely lunch at a favourite haunt of ours at Box Hill (Vietnamese restaurant), then we forced him to spend his $400 David Jones vouchers he'd won at his last job - trying to get him to walk into a shop and spend money is like trying to get blood out of a stone!! We ended up getting him an iPod (which means I score and get his old mp3 player - I told him to keep it and wrap it up for me for Xmas so he doesn't have to buy anything) - and then had a lovely day wandering round Myer and David Jones department stores just to see their Christmas decorations, followed by a coffee and wine/port tasting at Chadstone shopping centre.

And on the way to picking them up early this afternoon, I called quickly into the Embroiderers Guild and grabbed a couple of SANQ magazines to drool over for the next couple of weeks before they're due back, and picked up some Piecemakers #26 tapestry needles from the LNS (The Needlepoint, ex-Bustle & Bows) ... and I did NOT even look at a chart or thread - just went straight to the needles, picked up 3 packets, walked to the counter, and straight out again ... woohoo!!! Mind you, considering how much stash was sitting in my PO Box, I don't need to buy anything for the next 20 years chart-wise etc LOL :)

So, my anti-inflammatories and $40 nasal spray (!) seem to be doing the trick - I still have my headache, but it's not as bad, and it's back to work again tomorrow - it's a 7-day week this week for me, but at least they're 'normal' shifts, so I should be OK. Now, back to fondle the stash a bit, seeing as I didn't have time to look properly when I picked it up ...

Unfortunately my camera batteries have just packed up - probably 'cos it knew I was going to make it work real hard - so I'll just list my stash haul ... I have to admit, this is the happiest I've been with all my arrivals of late - they're the charts etc that I wanted the most, and I certainly wasn't disappointed! So, here goes the entire list (it's pretty lengthy, so you might want to grab a cup of coffee or something before you start LOL):

* The Flat-Fold instruction booklet - "Just a Thought"/Judy Odell (with plenty of step-by-step pictures ... just what a finishing-phobe like me needs!!)
* Wanted! - Santa '02 - Lizzie*Kate Snippet
* Here Comes Santa Claus - Santa '05 - Lizzie*Kate Snippet
* Sweet Valentines Teenie Tweenie - The Sweetheart Tree
* Apricot Elegance - Cindy Valentine Designs (for a SAL early in the New Year - except mine will be "Blue Elegance" LOL)
* Bee Keeper - Cindy Valentine Designs
* Thistles Needleroll/Pinkeep/Scissor Minder - Calico Crossroads (just stunning!)
* Star Spangled Scissor Finder - Calico Crossroads
* Stitching Treasures Collection 2 - Twisted Oaks Designs
* French Monogram Collection III - Twisted Oaks Designs
* Lavender Thistles Collection - Twisted Oaks Designs
* Nightcap Pincushion - The Elizabethan Costume Collection - The Nostalgic Needle
* The Flame Stitch Huswif - Sampler Cove
* Summer Into Autumn kit - The Drawn Thread
* Raphael's Raspberries - Forget-Me-Not-In-Stitches
* Priceless - Glory Bee

Fabrics: (will try to put photos up later)
* Solo Minis - 5 x hand-dyed 9"x13" 28ct Cashel linens - purply/blue; aqua; vintage/rust; rose pink/lilac; blue/lilac.
* 2005 JCS Ornament cuts - 24ct white congress cloth (for Scot's Bonnet); 40ct R&R antique cotton linen (for Christmas Heart - to be honest, don't like the look of this fabric, it reminds me of muslin/cheesecloth); 28ct jubilee in Christmas Red (for The Gift of the Season).
* Spooktacular Sale - 32ct Belfast in both Bo-Peep Pink and Cream (9"x13" I think); 28ct hand-dyed Cashel in Dark Tan (18"x26" - will be VERY useful); 28ct hand-dyed Opalescent Lugana in Abracadabra (lilac colours); 32ct hand-dyed Jobelan in Jubilation (13"x18" mint/seafoam greeny).
Stitching Bits & Bobs:
* 28ct hand-dyed Jobelan in Blueberry (fat 1/4)
* 28ct hand-dyed Jobelan in Thyme (fat 1/4)
* 28ct hand-dyed Jobelan in Bluebell (fat 1/4)
Country Stitch:
* Kiwi Illusions Grab-bag - a bit hard to describe the colours of these, but smaller (approx 9"x13" pieces in a baby blue lugana; burgundy/olive green (reminds me of camouflage colours LOL); baby pink/blue; tan - plus 2 larger pieces of both a white/green mottled lugana (have no idea what I'll use this for), and a stunning opalescent lugana blue/purple - very pretty!).
* Kiwi Pearls 32ct lugana in sage green sort of colour.
* My Fabric of the Month selection (all approx 9"x13") - this month a nice mix of colours - Cashel 28ct linen in Ice Blue (although I'd actually ordered this in a larger piece for my Secret Garden SAL in the New Year - at least it's BLUE so I'll get plenty of use out of it LOL), and Lilac; Quaker 28ct linen in Light Mocha; Lugana 28ct in Miracle Mint; and Belfast 32ct in Platinum.
* Cashel 28ct in Ice Blue 50cm x 70cm.

* 6 of the 12 ordered Xmas bulb buttons from Just Another Button Company - still waiting on 3 of the colours to arrive, so I can finish my Humbug ornament.
* Rajmahal art silk skein in black (freebie from Stitching Bits & Bobs)

Phew, that's the entire haul - the other parcel contained my Casulguidi class booklet from the EGA.

Crikey, I'm just sitting here gob-smacked - I feel like I've died and gone to heaven!!! Hmmm, might have to add in another segment into my rotation, and have two segments for stitching 'smalls' - I can't wait to get started on some of these! Well, two more orders waiting to arrive - the remainder from Stitching Bits & Bobs, and from Nordic Needle, then I don't leave the house for the next 12 months - and I am officially on The Wagon (yes, there is a Bulletin Board for just that, and I'm now officially a member!! LOL). I think I'm going to be grinning in my sleep all night - I feel shell-shocked, but in a nice way! :)))

Thursday, November 03, 2005

2nd post today...

Cathy, the folded ribbon roses' dimensions are 2 1/2" wide by 4" high - but they probably stand out from the fabric just fractionally over 1/2" ... definitely not an heirloom piece, but I suppose it's quite pretty. I don't want to go to the expense of framing it, and probably too small to make a flat-fold out of it ... mind you, I don't suppose flat-folds have limits in size ... never thought about that before ... hmmm :)

Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" was suggested by Dianne and is:
If you have stitched for a while, can you usually pick out the DMC colors you need from memory when you go to your LNS? (For example, you know that 610 is a brown.)
I have to admit, I do remember quite a lot of the DMC numbers - mainly from using them so much in previous projects ... and partly just from reorganising my DMC stash so many times into different storage systems haha ...

In fact that's what I ended up doing most of yesterday - reorganising my DMC skeins/bobbins all together into Floss Away bags (or whatever little plastic bags I could find at the time, as I ran out of FA bags quite quickly!) ... it made me realise this is a much better way of storing my floss stash - I was stunned what on earth possessed me to end up with so many skeins of some of these colours ... why on earth did I think I'd need about 6 skeins of 321 red?? Goodness knows!! Anyway, at least now I'll know at a glance exactly how much of each colour I have on hand, rather than having my bobbins in one area, one skein of some in my folders, and the 'excess' skeins in separate baggies ... now they're all in one place, and hopefully will play nicely together! It now means I'm going to have go buy a bigger container to house all those baggies in, though - my current one that was being used for my 'excess' now runneth over!! LOL. Was great fun reorganising them all though :)

2nd small Happy Dance

Well, I decided not to bother finishing my 3rd tiny UFO with the re-beading - and thought I'd save it until my next UFO section on my rotation as a treat to get something finished early again. Instead I put my old "Nature's Rest" in the Q-snaps, and I'm in the process of stitching my 10 hours into it before I move back to the Dolphins again. I figure I really do need to get this old UFO done before I do much else, as a lot of the threads that I used have since had colour changes - and without knowing, all those years ago, I was merrily using the same skeins for other projects, meaning I only have a little bit left of some of them ... I think I'm safer getting this old thing done and finished, so I can then move on to something else. So
that project is now officially taking residence in the UFO spot until it's finished ... at least I still have my 'smalls' and 'free choice' rotation spots to give me a break from all these big and boring projects :)

Anyway, here's my other small happy dance reason - I finally put the last stitches into my folded ribbon rose class from some time in 2001 ... the roses have gotten squished quite a bit during their time in storage/relocating to Aussie, but they're passable - not a craft project I'm in a real hurry to repeat, but it's nice to get it out of the UFO folder once and for all! I'm not entirely sure what to do with it now it's finished, though - maybe just turn it into a pincushion ... dunno, really ... any suggestions would be greatly welcomed!

Von, thanks for your lovely comments on my blog - do you have a blog yourself? I tried looking, and couldn't find one ... I'd love to return the favour :)

Thanks everyone as always for your welcomed comments - they really are appreciated and help to keep my spirits up when I'm a bit flat :) You guys rock!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Another happy dance!

Well, I'm off work at GP's orders again today, trying to get rid of these cluster migraines once and for all (apparently that's what they are) - so now I'm doped up with anti-inflammatories etc, and I've been ordered to do no housework etc, just rest and relaxation ... so on Dr's orders, I've been sat stitching, watching the rest of the Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital series on DVD ... soon to be followed by Girl with a Pearl Earring (talk about going from one end of the spectrum to the other - but that's me to a tee!!). Anyway, I managed to force myself to complete a UFO from last year - a GCC (Group Correspondence Course) through the Embroiderers Guild of America, called "Lace & Ribbons" by Dakota Rogers. It only took 1 1/2 hours to finish it off, as I just had to do the filling stitches on the bottom band - and finally I have another set of scroll rods to use for another project ... yippee!!! I'm going to add fabric to the sides, and turn this into a folder cover for my stitching album, I think. You got to choose your own design for the 'centre' piece - I chose an autumn leaf, and in fact picked one up from the ground that I liked the look of on the way home from work one day while I was stitching it - it thought it would remind me of my first autumn in Melbourne, as the leaves were all falling from the trees at that time, which always makes me feel soppy - I just love the autumn colours on the trees.

Now, before I forget, Cathy I do use polyfill for my pincushion stuffing - only because I use them for decoration only. When I was in NZ I used clean wool fleece, but I haven't found a stockist for it here yet ... but then again, I haven't tried that hard either. The polyfill is not good if you want to actually use it, as I believe the pins may eventually rust in there. Another option is to cut up wool skeins (taught that by Martha Beth Lewis in a class once), eg tapestry wool.

Rightio, off to finish off another two UFO's - the next two only have about 1/2 hour's stitching to go on each one ... one just has a few fly stitches to pop in, and the other one was finished, but it got caught on something, and I lost one of the heart beads, so I need to frog it back a bit, and restitch the beads back on again. So, fingers crossed, I'll have another couple of happy dances by the end of the day :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Half a Happy Dance...

Unfortunately I can't post a piccie just yet, as it's a gift for someone - but I finally managed to kick that frog in the ribs and get the stitching finished on my latest piece ... I've had the hardest time stitching this thing, I don't know why - and that darned frog has shown its head on 3 separate occasions today alone, never mind the last 2-3 days ... I'm gonna fry its legs with butter if it comes back this week!!! Anyway, this piece has turned out a bit bigger than I expected, so I'm a bit unsure about how to finish it ... might have to make a bit-bigger-than-normal pillow as opposed to a pincushion - have to hide the back somehow ... unfortunately not my best stitching effort, but the overall piece looks OK - hopefully it will be accepted by its recipient in the way it was intended anyway :) So, tomorrow I will make my decision on finishing - and hopefully in a couple of weeks I can post a piccie ... At least now it no longer looks like a tarantula ... as a major arachnaphobe, this was creeping me out stitching it! LOL.