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.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Canvaswork rotation over

I've been sat up since early this morning stitching the rest of my rotation slot for this piece - I was up early to drive out to the airport, but Mum's flight has been delayed due to the late arrival into Auckland from Los Angeles, so she's now approx 6 hours late leaving, and consquently arriving. Seeing as my plans have been upset for the day, I just decided to keep on stitching on Pacific Pohutukawa until my slot finished, or until I got fed up ... which just so happens to be right at the same time! The main reason I'm feeling fed up is that the thumb on my right hand is quite red and sore from pulling that damned rayon through the threads on the back to hold it secure - so now it feels a bit uncomfortable to stitch with. Oh well, at least I got my rotation commitments finished for this piece, and now I can move on with the next thing on my agenda ... Bordeaux Sampler, followed by my next (and final one with a deadline) charity block, which is due to be received 15 August. After that I have my redwork exchange, needleroll exchange, and round robin to complete ... me thinks my rotation won't be looked at for a while again now hmmm ... ;)

Time to go check the arrivals info again, and see if it's time to start driving to the airport :)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Psychedelia is back ...

Yup, my canvaswork stitching has just got even more psychedelic - oh boy, those colours are bright!! The photo is very poor again, as it's taken without the flash, just under my ott-lite ... I'll wait until it's finished, then I'll try taking a daylight shot to get the colours and stitches nice and crisp. I've managed to get a wee bit done tonight, to keep my awake after my 6am start this morning ... Mum arrives tomorrow, but I'm hoping I'll get more chance to finish my rotation slot for this piece before we go to 'Honkers' :)

This piece is definitely interesting with the threads used - there is Colour Streams silk (the variegated thread), pearl cotton #5, DMC metallics, rayons and cotton floss (all with 6 strands used of each) ... the rayon is a challenge, that's for sure!! There is a wonderful sheen that isn't evident in the photo :)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Glad my pal has just left ...

... Well, to be honest, I'm not "really" glad on the whole, but my liver certainly is! haha. We had a reasonable 'session' last night (and an inhouse session the previous night at home) and went into the city to the Transport bar and had drinks and dinner with another couple that used to work in Auckland with Jenny (and now in Melbourne with me) - had a great night out, with much laughter, then we got home at about 11.45pm, and had a 'nightcap' of Glayva for me and whisky for Jen that turned into a couple and we didn't get to bed until 1.30am oops ... we're up early this morning for Jenny's cab arriving to take her to the airport, and I'm trying hard to stay awake for another hour before I head off to work ... perhaps I'll go in early and get a very large cappuccino before I start haha. It's been lovely having Jenny here for this short visit - and it was a great opportunity for her to spend the day in the office seeing our procedures etc, and catching up with news from people I used to work with and have high regard for.

The nice thing is that Jenny really likes my little flat ... I don't know why, but I do feel a bit self conscious about it, and it's taking me some time to invite people back here from work - it's not that it's not 'nice', but it is very old, and certainly not 'flash' compared to where a lot of other people I know live, so I guess I'm a bit self-conscious about it ... mind you, I have made an effort to make it a home, and the more people that have been coming and saying how lovely it is, is making me more comfortable about having other people here from work ... and I'm even in the middle of organising a dinner and cocktail party for half a dozen of my absolutely favourite people from work over in September ... a big step :)

As for stitching news, I only managed to get 2 hours done into my current rotation slot of canvaswork and specialty stitches on Monday night - I'm working on the Pacific Pohutukawa piece by Jen's Jems (a NZ designer), and it looks like a relatively quick stitch overall. In fact, I think only two rotation slots will see it all finished woohoo! Then it's a toss up between the Golden Garden Sweet Bag by FMNIS, Walk the Gentle Path by Cross 'n Patch, and Onyx by Paw Printings to jump into that rotation slot ... ooh, decisions decisions ... Anyway, here's my progress to date (excuse the threads showing through that are carried over on the back - they're covered by other stitches that I haven't put in yet!). The colours are extremely bright, and I just love them - unfortunately not a great photo due to the flash, but once it's finished I'll try to get a photo in daylight. Probably no stitching now until Friday afternoon, when it will be time to pick up Bordeaux Sampler for the week - then Mum arrives on Saturday, and we're off to Hong Kong for a few days ... we've agreed that even if we have to live on plain boiled rice every day due to no money, we're still going! haha.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Another rotation slot finished

I finally put the final stitches into my 10-hour slot for smalls/ornaments etc today, and had two small finishes. First of all I finished the stitching of my 'draft version' of my Melanie's Exchange stitched in April - it was already half-stitched, so I just had to finish it off ... I just have to do the actual finishing yet. Secondly, I finished off the Christmas ornie I started during the week - I think I actually liked this one better without the beads, but I couldn't be bothered frogging them off again - this design is Christmas Tree by Elizabeth's Designs, from the 2005 JCS ornie issue. I'll have an ornamentifying session next month with Mum to get some of our ornies "finished".

Aside from that it was an uneventful day - I was very keen and made a big pan of pumpkin and potato soup, as well as a tuna pasta bake for dinner ... finished by a total disaster - let's just say it's been such a loooooong time since I cracked open my breadmaker to make fresh bread, that I didn't think to check the yeast expiry date etc ... yep, you guessed it - my bread turned out to be a solid mass in the bottom of the breadmaker, and didn't make my little flat too aromatic this afternoon haha. Oh well, I have to do a big lot of shopping this week, so I'll have to pick up some more flour and yeast and try it again ... oops.

Probably won't get much chance for stitching this week, with Jenny arriving from NZ on Tuesday night for two nights visiting, then only a couple more nights before Mum arrives again on Saturday - yippee :D

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Annemieke Mein ... bliss!!

I've just returned home from the most wonderful day out with a lady from work (Wendy) - we left my place just before 9am, and set off for Sale in the Gippsland area of Victoria. It was a gloriously sunny day, only marred by some heavy fog about an hour away from Sale. We met a close friend of Wendy's called Deb there, with her 7 year old son Andrew, who'd driven down from Paynesville to join us. We had a toasted sandwich and coffee in a small coffee shop in town, before heading over to the Gippsland Art Gallery for "Annemieke Mein - Wildlife in Textiles Retrospective Exhibition" ... oh boy, I can't tell you how amazing it was to see almost an entire gallery filled with Annemieke Mein pieces!! Unfortunately photography wasn't allowed, but I ended up buying her book from the Gallery before leaving ... the book has a number of pieces in it that were on exhibit, so it will be a wonderful souvenir for years to come, and it will always make me relive my happy memories of the exhibit today. Here are a couple more of her pieces from a Gippsland tourism website that were on display:

My jaw was permanently dragging along the floor from one piece to the next - it's a shame Mum couldn't be here for it ... just mind-blowing! Annemieke includes machine embroidery with textile painting, and her pieces are three-dimensional and exceptionally life-like. Some pieces on the walls are over 6ft tall, and it just blew me away ... There were also some 'samplers' on display which showed step-by-step the designing process Annemieke follows, and it's awesome to see the original black and white pencil drawings gradually coming to life as the "real thing". Wendy doesn't do embroidery at all, but was extremely enthusiastic about it all, and it was a joy to spend the day with her today - all in all, it was a wonderful day out, and I'm so glad I made an effort to go out of my way to get there. Admittedly, now I'm home again, I'm quite weary, as it's about 3 hours each way driving, but I'll be smiling sweetly in my sleep tonight :D

I even managed to get one of my bedroom curtains fixed last night ... I'm doing you out of a job, Mum haha. I'm too tired to do the second curtain tonight, so that'll be a job for me tomorrow - tonight I might just kick back with a glass of port and 'veg out' for a bit ;)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Very contented ...

The title describes my mood today ... I got up early and vacuumed most of the flat (still have to do the lounge, and that's it), then mopped the kitchen, bathroom and toilet floors, cleaned the bath, and started a bit of a tidy-up effort in the spare bedroom - until I can afford a new bookcase and storage cabinets (my latest plan for the spare room ... one day), I made use of the file boxes I freighted my last lot of books over in, and turned them into a makeshift book storage area - not very flash, but it's a lot tidier than having them all piled up on the floor!

Today is a most glorious day in Melbourne - it's still a bit nippy, but the sun is shining, and it feels good to be alive :) After my morning housekeeping, I treated myself at lunchtime to a walk into St Kilda and a brunch of bacon, eggs, and mushrooms at a local cafe, plus a couple of lattes to wash it all down ... it was glorious to sit outside in the sun, with a gas furnace heater taking the chill out of the day, and reading a book, sipping lattes without a care in the world (insert contented sigh here ...) ;)
Then I took my time and strolled up the St Kilda Pier, which I've never done before, and dawdled off home again taking the beach route. I really do feel very much 'at one with the world' today - and it feels good :) Catching the train this week has been very beneficial - it's got me back into the mode of enjoying walking again, so I'll have to keep it up ... better bring your walking shoes, Mum, 'cos you're coming with me! haha (yeah, I know you love walking, which is a good thing!). The next photo is a street very typical of my area with elm trees lining each side of the street - they're looking very bare at the moment, but it won't be very long before they're starting to sprout spring leaves again - I just love these avenues of trees, and they make me feel really peaceful to see them :) (And with my flat being on the 3rd floor, I get a birds-eye view of the ones on my doorstep!)
Nothing else to report, really - just felt like blogging about what a wonderful day it is :) I only managed an hour of stitching last night, so nothing new to report. I actually did 2 hours on a Christmas ornie a couple of nights ago, but decided not to post a piccie until it's all finished ... hopefully next weekend that'll all be done (won't have much stitching time this week due to visitors) - but then I have 2 1/2 weeks off work when Mum first arrives woohoo ... just think, it'll be stitching heaven at my place, now there are two of us stitching haha :D (we might be fighting over the Ott-lite, though haha).

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bordeaux Sampler

I'm supposed to post my update piccie on Fridays, along with Carol, but I've decided to cheat and put it up a day early, as I may be busy tomorrow. I managed to get a good night's stitching (4 whole hours) into this last night, and I just have the over-one lettering and bottom band plus the rhodes grapes in the side borders to do, then part one is all finished yippee! :D I'm soooooo tempted to sit and do some more tonight, which would probably see part one finished, but I'm going to resist the temptation. For our SAL I said I'd stitch for one day/night or a total of 3 hours each week, depending what my shifts were like, so I guess I've already stitched my quota on it for this week ... I have to admit, though, I really enjoyed stitching on it and I'm looking forward to finishing part one next week some time :D (mind you, I'm not a huge fan of over-one stitching, so that lettering band might be slow going).

I also have more stash to report - this is yet again from an order that was made a number of weeks ago, in a 30-75% off sale from Margaret Lee's website ... I never had confirmation of the final cost, or that the order was complete, so I totally forgot all about it ... I was surprised to come home to a LARGE box with a postage cost of US$29 (ahem!!), just for a few charts, fabric and two pairs of scrollbar side frames - there was a long piece of 'plastic bag' stuff filled with air to fill out the box ... would it not have been better to just parcel the damn stuff into a flatter box to save postage? It's not as if a couple of charts etc are breakable! Oh well, the main reason I placed an order was because they had selected aida fabric on sale at 50-75% off, and I wanted to order some for Mum's stitching stash, seeing as she's still on a mad Christmas ornie stitching spree (go Mum!!). Still, that extra US$20 spent on postage costs has really marred the savings on the other items ... oh well, c'est la vie! At least you have some more fabric, Mum :)

The charts in this haul were The Gathering Room by Little House Needleworks (not in the photo); Those Darn Accessories by Hillside Samplings; A Little Blackwork by Drawn Thread; Sitting Pretty by Valerie Pfeiffer; Birdie Holiday by Lizzie*Kate; Stitching Friends by Lizzie*Kate; Honey Bee by Elizabeth's Designs; Life's a Stitch by Lizzie*Kate; Bluebells and Violets by Shepherd's Bush; and Teenie Hardanger III by The Sweetheart Tree.

For Mum ... I also got the following aida for you - 14ct lambswool, 16ct antique ivory, and 16ct navy. This lot was all pre-Wagon spending ;)

Now it's time to get the washing out of the machine and hang it out before settling down for the night - it's day 6 of work today, and I feel pretty wrecked (especially as I was stitching until midnight last night oops haha), so I thought I'd give myself a good start to the weekend, by getting some housework out of the way quickly ... now I'm going to be self-indulgent while watching Big Brother (sad, but true, I do enjoy it!), followed by Medium and Lost ... ah, bliss! :D

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Over the hump ... almost

Today is day 4 of my working week - and with any luck I'll be allowed to take Friday off as an optional RDO (rostered day off) ... if that's the case, then I'm officially sitting on the 2/3 mark of my week ... if not, I still have 3 days left. Saturday I'm heading off with a lady from work to Gippsland Art Gallery in Sale (about 3 hours drive away from Melbourne) to visit the Annemieke Mien Exhibition. This is exciting for two reasons - 1) I've never been to Gippsland before, and 2) Annemieke Mein's work is absolutely stunning, and it will be fantastic to see it first-hand. I'll take my camera with me just in case we're allowed to take photos :) Here are some links to her works: here and here (this is the exhibit I'm going to) :D

Another quiet night tonight, but I feel really relaxed - on the 9am-5pm shifts the traffic to and from work is horrific ... with no traffic it's a 20 minute drive, but on this shift it can be 1 whole hour - I got so fed up and uptight in the traffic yesterday that I decided to leave the car at home today, and walked to the train station to take the train to work ... how wonderful, I arrived at work totally unstressed, and feel the same way after coming home - I think it's going to be a permanent arrangement on this shift yippee! (It also means I have to get my fat bottom in motion and get a bit of walking in to and from the station, so yet another positive! haha)

Today more stash arrived in my mailbox - my subscription to the Australian Inspirations magazine from Country Bumpkin (actually, my subscription must be due to expire soon hmmm) ... this month has a lovely surface stitchery bag on the cover - I probably wouldn't have the patience to stitch it myself, but it's absolutely gorgeous! :D And not just that today, but my magazine arrived complements of KarenV from the UK, with the Margaret Sherry booklet I wanted - including the 12 days of Christmas charts. But there was an added treat, with some gorgeous Egyptian designs in the magazine as well - a definite added bonus! Thanks again Karen, for helping me out - your blood is worth bottling!! {{huge hugs}}

Now I'm off to do a spot of stitching for an hour before I hit the hay for the night - seeing as I didn't get chance to get any of the Bordeaux Sampler done last week, I want to get an hour each night for the next 3 nights so I can post a progress piccie on Friday for my SAL with Carol :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

You've got mail !!

BUT it's not stitching related ... it IS related to my OTHER passion, though ... welcome to the Annie household three more little treasures - compliments of the Big Brother TV show ... from left to right "Outback Duck", "Darling Duck" and "King Duck" - woohoo!!! haha :D

It's only a quick post, as I have a few things to do at home tonight - I am celebrating, though, as today is the first day since Friday (ie 4 days ago) that I haven't been chewing Nurofen all day - I've had a splitting headache since stitching those racing cars, so no blog reading etc being done. I've also just received the news today that my favourite person at my old place of work in Auckland is coming here next week for two nights on business (same company), and she's staying at my place ... the spare room looks like a tornado zone, as it's got my boxes unpacked all over the place - um, time to get it all squared up a bit sooner than I expected ... hmmm. It will be wonderful to see her again - and it will be awesome to be able to show her 'my office' :)

Rightio, off to do a few chores - time to put the laundry etc away before bedtime ...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Peace ...

The title doesn't mean anything profound ... just that I've finished the Peace ornament from the 2004 JCS ornie magazine - finally one finished in line with our designer SAL on the Friends Gather BB ... this month was Jeannette Douglas Designs :) A HUGE thanks to Jenna for sending me the Needle Necessities overdyed braid I needed to finish this one - muchly appreciated! :D

I'm now halfway through my smalls/ornaments/SAL rotation slot ... just have to decide what to stitch in those last 5 hours - perhaps another small ornament ... I'll have to decide later, 'cos it's time to run off to work. Hope you're all having a lovely weekend :)

(Sorry, but the scan doesn't show up the lovely stitches very well - I might try and take a digital photo later some time.)

Friday, July 14, 2006

DMC on sale for Aussies

Just a quick public announcement in case you're interested (for my fellow Aussies) ... I happened by chance to pop into my local "Riot" art & craft store near work while I killed time in my lunch break, and found they had DMC on sale until the end of July for 59c each - time to drag out the floss bags and see what I'm running short of :)

The other news is that as of 10 minutes ago, my latest charity quilt block was finished ... I really didn't enjoy the deadline for this one (my own fault, though) so I've decided once the next block is finished (which is due 15 August) I'm not signing up for any more deadlines months in advance. I've got a charity block rotation slot, and the week that I come to it, I'll check the website to see what blocks are required, then I'll sit and stitch it straightaway ... that way I'm not governed by timeframes too much, but I still continue to contribute to the quilts. I've decided deadlines just don't suit me. I may also pull out of the SBEBB for the same reason - I love the whole idea of exchanges etc, but I've found the deadlines too stressful ... perhaps because I had so many things on the go at the same time. I'll see how I feel after the redwork exchange is completed ...

So, with no further do, here is my racing car block ready to jump in the mail.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I'm hitting the floor running this morning ... I've just fallen out of bed, checked my emails very briefly, and now I'm heading straight over to my stitching corner to get cracking on that 2nd NASCAR - won't be moving much over the next 48 hours as the deadline is upon me and I only have 1 square inch stitched of the 2nd car yet hmmm. Lack of sleep severely threw out my stitching plans over the last couple of days ... b*gger!

But before I do, here's the latest SBQ which suggested by Carol and is:
"Since you started blogging, have you noticed any difference in your stitching habits? Tell us about them."
The answer is "definitely" ... I've bought more stitching items than I have in years (you enablers, you), and I've found my tastes changing in that I'll drool over someone else's finish then want to stitch it too - it's definitely broadening my horizon stitching-wise. I also notice that I'm stitching more regularly, as it's nice to see the WIP piccies in progress - it's also nice to get encouragement from my fellow stitching bloggers when I hit the wall, as well as being nice to cheer them on too through their own blogs. Thanks ladies, you're all an inspiration to me! :D It's great to see some pieces getting finished for a change ... blogging rocks!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Here Kitty Kitty!!!

Did I do any stitching yesterday? Nope ... nil ... nada ... zip ... zilch! I kept active as long as I could - and as soon as I sat down my eyes drooped big time, so I just kept doing a few things around the place like putting my last load of washing away etc and general tidying around my computer area - I fell into bed early at 7pm, but had a really rough night's sleep compliments of shocking high winds making a racket ... I think tonight is the first night where I'm going to succumb to taking 1/2 a sleeping tablet, as I feel almost dizzy from the lack of sleep (aside from looking like Frankenstein's bride!). I'm taking the risk tonight in taking a tablet, as I don't start work until 9am, so it's OK if I sleep in a bit. Then it's my two days off (Thu/Fri), before working 7 days straight.

Anyway, I have to put the record straight with my latest spoils ... the only things I went 'off the wagon' for was my Ebay win from Ashleigh - everything else was from previously ... which is what prompted me to get back on the wagon haha. Admittedly, that money could have gone towards a new lounge suite, or my holiday, or a new feline companion, but I really enjoyed spending it that way, and have no guilty feelings this time whatsoever :D

Talking of which, I think I've made a decision to go ahead with the feline companion ... I just need to get a few items that are essential first, ie scratching post, litter tray, kitty litter, ping pong balls etc. I've also been checking out the RSPCA adoption website, and I absolutely adore these three critters ... especially the black and white one, as he's the spitting image of our last cat Rio :) Second runner-up is the grey tabby, but I really love the look of all three of these ... I can't do anything about it until after we come back from Hong Kong, but I have to admit it would be perfect timing to get one then, as I'll be at home for about another 1-2 weeks on holiday, so it would be a great chance to get a cat settled in and house trained etc then ... I'll take a trip out to Burwood when we get back, and have a look, I think ... mind you, it depends if I still have any money left over, as the cat itself is $110 plus all of the essentials I'll need. I really need to buy some glasses, which is probably more essential at the moment for me, so we'll see ... but the seed has definitely been set ... :)
Age: 7 months; Sex: Male (N); Colour: Black Tabby & White
Name: "Molly"; Age: 4 years; Sex: Female (S); Colour: Grey Torti
Age: 4 years; Sex: Female; Colour: Tabby

Monday, July 10, 2006

Itchy stitcher fingers

I've decided to answer an archival Stitching Meme, because it's relevant for the first time today ...
"Do you have a case of startitis?What projects are you dying to start? Which would you start today if you "allowed" yourself?"

Um, the answer is well and truly "yes" ... today I received my latest Mystery Bits from SB&B, and they included threads for three projects that are very high on my "wanna start it now" wishlist - both the Golden Garden Sweet Bag and Never Enough Berries by Forget-Me-Knots in Stitches, and the Summer at the Ocean needleroll by Jeannette Douglas Designs ... I am seriously itching to start the sweet bag and the needleroll BIG TIME! I've had to keep putting them to one side until I had all the threads, but now I've got everything for the needleroll, and just missing 2 Soie d'Alger silks for the sweet bag ... I can barely contain my excitement!! :D I also just need one Waterlilies silk for the berries set, but I don't have all the fabric for that one, so a slightly longer wait ... but I have plenty to keep me out of trouble in the meantime haha. The needleroll will get started during the next SAL ... and I might just have to find a spot for the sweet bag in my rotation ... ;) Mind you, it's quite a 'varied' chart and the FMNIS charts are never that easy to follow, so it may become an ongoing project and push my rotation a bit out the window ... time will tell ... ;)

Today I'm feeling very jaded, and my eyes are like little slits at only 3pm - I came off a 6pm finish last night, onto a 5am start today, and I never sleep that well doing that - after the previous bad sleep due to the rugby, it's definitely caught up with me. I've just put a load of washing in the machine, and trying to keep active to keep me awake ... in a short while I'll sit down and try to stitch some more on the NASCARs piece, but I think I'll be in bed at about 6pm tonight as it's a 5am start again tomorrow yuk!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Go All Blacks!!!

I may regret it tomorrow, but last night I stayed up to watch the first game of the All Blacks vs Wallabies (ie New Zealand vs Australia in Rugby Union for those of you not in the know) ... and I'm pleased to say the ALL BLACKS WON!!! I have to admit to not being a sports fan, but the All Blacks are the only team I follow ... I get a ribbing at work for being a Kiwi all the time, and today I intend wearing my All Black scarf and T-shirt just to wind one of the guys up ;)

I have to admit, I love living in Aussie, and the majority of the people I've met and dealt with are wonderful people, and I feel at home here ... but sometimes the sports commentating here is very one-eyed and rude. I was really shocked to hear a commentator last night, while the camera was on a toddler being held up by its parents covered in All Blacks face paint - the commentator said "look at that poor kid - it's amazing what parents will do to you these days ... it's unfortunate enough that it's a New Zealander without doing that to it as well" - now is that really necessary??? I can take a joke as much as the next person, but that's really inappropriate, and it really got my ire up last night for a short time hmmm. There is a friendly rivalry between the two nations, and a zillion of Kiwi vs Aussie jokes etc, and I can handle that easily ... but that public comment made me angry :(

So partly because of that attitude last night, I was SUPER happy that we trounced the Aussies 32-12 (sorry Aussie pals), and my neighbours got a taste of their own medicine after midnight as I was cheering my team on loudly (they did the same last week or so watching the soccer until the early hours haha). Of course, the game is still not over as such - there are still two games to be played for the Bledisloe Cup ... go Kiwis!!! ;)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Huge stash fest!

I have to admit, I went off the wagon once since my vowing not to buy stash ... and it's all Ashleigh's fault - Ash put some of her stash up for sale on Ebay, and I fell in love with the Friendship Sampler by Aion Designs, plus a couple of other charts ... they arrived today - so when I took photos of my stash haul over the last week or two that adds up to a HUGE stash haul ... part of it was from a SB&B backorder, plus another Ebay win for Victoria Sampler kits I won previously but forgot to post about, as well as my order from Elegant Stitches. I've taken piccies of everything ... it's a good job I'm now on the wagon!!! (although I still have the one order I'm waiting for from SB&B) ... it's amazing what one extra pay packet can make - and one reason this is the last stash, as it's back on my limited budget again ... b*gger! :)

Dunno whether you'll be able to blow up the piccie, so I'll put the contents underneath each piccie.

Paradigm Lost - Long Dog Samplers; Vineyard Sampler - Periwinkle Promises; Joy - Lizzie*Kate; Friendship Sampler - Aion Designs; Red Lace Sewing Case - Drawn Thread; Attic Collection - Just a Thought; Buzz 'n' Round Glasses Case - Keepsake Stitches.

Summer Hearts - Wendy K C Designs; Bees' Garden - Wendy K C Designs; The Lavender Rose Sewing Case - Fancy Work (plus fabric and silks I didn't have); 4 Wishes - Just Nan; Snow Faces - Just Nan; High Hopes - Just Nan; 2005 Limited Edition Here Comes Santa Claus - Prairie Schooler

Who's Hiding in the Garden? series - Patricia Ann Designs (originally for my RR, but it didn't turn up in time to be considered); lambswool and lavender bliss linens and threads I needed; Thread rings - Kelmscott Designs; Lavender Sachet - The Victoria Sampler; September birthday needleroll - The Victoria Sampler (don't want September, I just love the colours LOL); Happy Mothers Day - The Victoria Sampler (sent free with an Ebay win); Lisianthus Accessory Pocket (for a Clover cutter) - Periwinkle Promises; Simple Elegance - a Working Needle Book - Just a Thought

So, anyone want to come over and fondle? ;) No more now (apart from my SB&B back order and the 2006 JCS ornie issue when it comes out) at least until my birthday in February!!! And if I break that rule, you're welcome to come over personally and give me a public flogging ... but I have to admit, I can't wait to get stitching on this lot! ... usually I receive my goodies and I get a 'ho-hum' feeling, but I just love everything I've been receiving recently! :D

Rightio, enough putting off the inevitable ... I have to put a few stitches in this racing car block ... if nothing else, I might try to finish the backstitching in the one car tonight - have to admit, I'm really tired tonight after work, so that's probably why I'm taking the time to blog my stash haul ... but I can't put it off any longer! (I didn't actually realise this design was based on actual cars - I've learnt something new overnight! LOL)

Friday, July 07, 2006

The pressure's on! (Updated)

I nearly wrote "the heat is on" as my title, but that was too close to yesterday's happy post ;) The fact is I was getting very organised yesterday and getting my rotation in order, to set up the new few upcoming rotation slots, making sure everything was all kitted up and ready to go ... when I spied something at the top of my list ... Racing Cars charity block due for mailing 15 July ... my little mouse rushed off to the corner of my screen to see the date ... aaarghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! So last night I went into total panic mode - today was my final catch-up day for the last 5 blogs outstanding, but they're going to have to wait a couple of days again now ... in fact all blog reading is back on the backburner again for a few days - seeing as I hadn't started this project yet, and it's got a LOT of stitching in it (I've had to cut a few things out just to get it to fit on the fabric hmmm), so as it is I'm going to be struggling to get this one finished ready for post ...

So, with no more ado, I'm off to pick up a needle, as I'm going to try for a full 8-10 hours stitching on it today yikes! Then I have a dragon one due on 15 August, so I'd better start doing some stitching on that too afterwards so I'm not in the same predicament next month!

Here's my progress for 3 hours yesterday - which is why I'm panicking ... this is only about 1/8 of the total stitching for this block, with loads of backstitching (excuse the crappy photo, as it's not in focus - but I figure there's no point taking another one, as there's not much to see yet! LOL). OK, enough yapping ... off to my stitching corner I go!

(Updated) Well, I managed to stitch for a solid total of 11 1/2 hours today ... and oh boy am I feeling it now! But I managed to get almost one of the cars finished. I wish I took more time to think about the project yesterday - if I was really clever, I would have just used one of the cars, and added a chequered flag border to fill it out ... I thought about that when I was about 1/3 through the first car - a bit late by then! Would have made the deadline a lot easier though. Oh well, c'est la vie ... here's my progress to date anyway - I'm back at work tomorrow and not on great stitching hours, so there probably won't be much progress over the next couple of days. Thanks for your supportive comments ... it's much appreciated :)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I have the power!!

Well, actually I have the "heat"! Woohoo!! My landlord has just been in - I now have the vent reinstalled in the toilet ceiling, and the ducted heating has been re-lit. He's very impressed with my tenancy, and has said it's OK to add a couple of picture hooks in the lounge ... AND it's OK for me to have a cat!! Now I have to make the decision whether to go ahead or not ... it would be so lovely to have the company - I really miss having a cat around, as I adored Rio, but I also have to weigh up the extra costs etc too. He's also asked me if I intend staying here long term, as he's thinking of getting rid of the real estate agent, and I can deal with him directly - which is fine by me, as the landlord seems really nice, and very fair and easy to deal with. I have his email addy and mobile number so it's easy to contact him, and he only lives just around the corner, so it's very handy. He's most impressed that I'm putting up curtains too haha.

So, that's all my news from this morning - not very exciting to anyone but me, but I'm rapt! Now I'm off to The Warehouse to check out cheapo glasses, if they have them - and tonight I'm off to a Hotline team dinner at The Curry Club in Richmond ... which will be fun :)

SBQ - on time! LOL

Yep, the weather will be changing all around the globe, because today I'm answering the SBQ on the actual day it has been received in my inbox!! Will miracles never cease?!!!

Today's SBQ was suggested by Vash and is:
"What is the biggest mishap you have had with your stitching material (ie spillages)?"

In actual fact I've been really lucky so far and have had no major spillages - the worst thing is not having quite enough fabric to have the borders as wide as I'd like them, but I still haven't actually run out of fabric at all, and it's all been workable ... so nope, no major disasters to date (... touch wood!). Actually, I take that back ... I just thought of one ... when I was first learning to stitch I had Graham Ross' Tiger chart on a tapestry frame for ages, and went overseas for a while, and when I finally moved it off the frame I noticed there were not-so-lovely stripes on it ... Dad had been smoking in the lounge back in those days, and it was covered in nicotine stains ... then to top it off when it was off the frame I left a needle in it, and it all rusted - that piece was a testament very early on to learning what "not to do" with your projects! ;) I never did get all the rust marks off - it will always serve as a reminder of those learning days ...

I was just reading online last night, that you can buy cheap optical goods (ie glasses) in Hong Kong, so I might wait a month to see what I could buy some from over there ... it looks like we're off on holiday! This is Mum's 70th birthday treat from me - I'm paying for the airfare (using my staff discount) for us both (compliments of my debt consolidation), and we're sharing the cost of the hotel. Probably heading off for 4 nights, which should be plenty of time to wander around and see the sights. Neither of us have money to burn, so we'll just be walking around everywhere and soaking up the cultural differences - but I'll definitely check out some optical places over there, as it says most can grind the glass for the lenses in approx 24 hours, so it could be do-able at the right price :)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Stitching Meme again

Possibly the last day or two before I'm picking up my needle again and getting back into my rotation ... yippee! I'm officially on my weekend starting tonight, and certainly ready for it ... dunno why, but I feel really exhausted tonight :(

I went to see an Optometrist yesterday as they had a sale on selected frames - I chose something I didn't mind, then sat down to make the order ... it turns out the frames I chose couldn't have 'plain' lenses in them, they had to have some sort of strengthener etc, which brought the total cost up to $448 ... let's just say I almost had to lay down after the shock, and no, I didn't complete the order!! I'm off to The Warehouse tomorrow to see if they have some 'stock standard' cheapo glasses instore to tide me over, and I'll keep an eye open for different frames that I don't mind that don't need all the 'bells and whistles' on the lenses. I was expecting to be able to get something cheap for around $200 - yeah, right!! :(

I have some stash to report from back-orders and Ebay from the last few days, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow. I was very disappointed to see my Mystery Bits haven't arrived yet from SB&B, after seeing what everyone else has been receiving, so now I have to wait until next Monday to find out what's hiding in my PO Box, as I won't be at work (at least while the PO is open) until Monday now ... b*gger! Oh well, at least there's more chance of it definitely being there :)

In the meantime, here's another archival Stitching Meme:

"Have you ever ...

1. stitched a sampler?

2. stitched the same pattern 2 times?

3. designed a project yourself and stitched it, or even had someone else stitch it?

4. managed to get anyone else hooked on cross stitch?"

1. I take this question to mean a 'historical' sampler, to which the answer is no, as I don't like them - if we're talking about 'band' samplers, then the answer would be yes, and I intend to stitch many many more :)

2. The only time I've stitched the same design twice is for my trial run for the Melanie's Exchange on the SBEBB recently - I wanted to make sure my design would work out OK in real life rather than just on paper.

3. I can't say I've ever designed a piece from scratch, but I have added elements of my own design to something else. The biggest one of my stitching career is probably this one - the farewell song in Fijian, that they always sing when you leave, and it always leaves a lump in my throat, it's so beautiful. I even visited Fiji so often that I knew all the Fijian words off my heart, much to the amazement of the locals (the other Fijian I know shouldn't be repeated in public ... and let's just say I've caught a local out on more than one occasion by 'changing the lyrics' of a song at a resort haha - and yes, Fijians do blush! haha). In this design, I played around with an existing chart for the top panel, then designed the side and bottom borders to be like the designs on local 'tapa cloth'. I also designed the 'kava bowl' myself, which is stitched over one - I was very proud of that little effort at the time :) I presented this all framed to our timeshare on one of our visits.

4. Dunno if I'd say I got anyone "hooked" on XS, but I did spend a few lunchtimes at College about 6-7 years ago teaching about 4 other students how to XS, and even got two of the Asian students along to some other embroidery classes as well. Not sure if they still stitch. The only downside was loaning some very good, and expensive, hardanger and whitework books to one of them, and never getting them back (including my Janice Love books mutter mutter mutter - let's just say I'm loathe to lend books out anymore, as that's not the first time).

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

Another quick post to wish my American blogging buddies a Happy 4th of July - hope you enjoy your celebrations, whichever way you decide to celebrate :D

Nearly caught up ...

... on blog reading, that is! I just have 5 more of my favourite blogs left to catch up on, which will take some time as I will be ploughing through the archives ... I can't believe how far behind I managed to get so quickly - and it just seemed so overwhelming every time I thought about catching up, so I ended up leaving it even longer ... well, this week my mission was to catch up again before I'm allowed to pick a needle back up, and it's been working so far - I've been on 3pm shifts, and still waking up relatively early, so I've had chance to read a few blogs each morning ... one more day should see me caught up yippee!! :D

So, no stitching yet again - which means it's back to the Stitching Memes as a back-up to keep it in stitching mode ... plus I've decided to answer some of the old archival SBQ questions from before I started subscribing. Here goes ...

From the SBQ Arvhives:
"What are your thoughts on craft and/or needlework shows? Have you beento one or are you planning on going to one this year?"

I love them - I attended a Stitch & Craft one here in Melbourne the first year I moved here, which I had a bit of spare cash, and loved it - since then funds have been tighter, or shifts haven't worked out, but I intend to return again. I also attended a Heart of Cross Stitch festival in Sacramento, CA and adored it - had some exceptional teachers, and bought LOADS of stuff to bring home (different job = bigger salary = huge spending spree, ah the good old days LOL). I'm very keen to attend CATS in Hershey next year, if I can get the funds together - it would be an awesome chance to meet some fellow bloggers, as well as soaking up that stitching atmosphere. Carol has invited me to come to another Retreat in May, but I'm not sure if I could get the $ together for it ... Hershey's timeframe could be more realistic ... but if not next year, there's always the year after, right? :D

And from the Stitching Meme Archives:
"Do you visit other stitching blogs? If so how often and do you ever leave comments? Name anything you have seen on other blogs that you like or think is well-done."

Yes, I do visit other stitching blogs - I find them an absolute inspiration, and very very bad for enabling! :) After having a hiatus from reading, I'm getting back on top of it again, and do try to leave comments often, as I know how nice it is to receive comments. There are too many things to list of things I've loved on other blogs, as there is something on every single one I read ... otherwise they wouldn't be on my favourites list :)

Thanks to all my fellow bloggers for sharing your world with the rest of us - you truly are an inspiration, and it makes the world a cosier and nicer place to be in! :D

Now I'm off to pop sliced mushrooms in the crockpot for dinner, and thinking of heading to work early to go shopping for some glasses - I tried someone's glasses on yesterday to see the TV at work, and it made a huge difference, so I think I need to do it ... might help with my headaches, and stop me squinting at everything when I'm driving/watching TV hmmm (my script is only 0.5 so I thought of getting some el-cheapo ones from the chemist to tide me over immediately, then I'll see how much it will cost to get some new lenses put into my frames that I've had for a few years but don't use ... I got them for stitching, but they actually don't help at all). That will also be one thing ticked off my 101 checklist ;)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Amendment to 101 Things

OK, I think I was perhaps a little over-enthusiastic with my list, and to be honest a little bit unrealistic about my travel plans ... so I've removed three items that are the least likely to be met - there's still a lot of travel in there, though, but at least they're more 'possible' within the timeframe ... maybe if I win Lotto anyway (although my odds would be highly improved if I ever bought a ticket) ;) I've removed the travel to Bangkok/Phuket, Greek Islands, and Paris - and replaced them with the following:

  • Attend a Stitch & Craft needlework show in Melbourne
  • Try a SuDoku puzzle
  • Put curtains up in the lounge and fix those in the main bedroom
I've also created an new 101 Things blog so I can keep a track of my progress in one place. So far I've met the last two days of my daily goals - drinking water, and taking my multivitamin tablets (which I've had for months, but keep forgetting to take them!) ... drinking water makes me 'gip' (there's a pommie/Yorkshire saying for ya!), and I've struggled with it, but I know it's for my own good {shaking head with horror - I HATE plain water}.

The GREAT news this week is that my landlord is coming on Thursday morning to finally screw in the vent in my toilet (it fell down months ago, and still hasn't been fixed - I've got a piece of cardboard shoved up there to try and stop 8-legged visitors, but it keeps moving with the breeze hmmm) ... and best of all, I'm hoping he'll be able to relight the ducted heating pilot light for me, so I can have HEAT once again in this icy flat woohoo!! I also asked if it's possible to have extra hooks put up on the lounge and dining room walls, as I'd dearly love to have more of my embroidery and pictures on the walls (especially some Greek prints I have) ... and lucky last, if it's possible to have a cat here, if I make the decision to go down that track. I figure there's no point in considering it more if it's not allowed ... (and Nicki, I forgot to mention, Sheree doesn't like cats 'cos they leave hair everywhere ... another reason/"con" for flatting with her).

Which reminds me, there were a couple of comments I need to reply to ...

Tannia - would love to go to the footy one day ... I have to admit I've been to two Hawks games before I moved to Melbourne, but it'd be nice to see another game, and I think you definitely have to go with someone for it! Another friend is a HUGE Hawthorn fan and suggested I go with Dawn when they play in Launceston, so I can see a bit more of the country (actually, that would cross another state off my list too, just thought about that haha). If you let me know what team you barrack for, I can check the footy listings and see when my shifts would work against the game times :)

Ally - an "ice bar" is literally that ... everything is made of ice - literally! The bar itself, the glasses (!!) ... everything! You have to wear big fleecy coats and boots etc to go in, and you're limited to the amount of time you can stay in there because it's so cold, and it affects the way alcohol hits you - I'd love to do it just for the novelty of trying it. There's an ice bar in Auckland (and I have a funny feeling one was opening here somewhere, but I'm not entirely sure on that) - Fraze and I tried to get in last time he came with me for Dad's 70th, but we didn't realise you had to make a booking, so missed out. All I have to do now is find someone who's daft enough to come do it with me! LOL.

And because there are no piccies to share, here's a photo sent by my best friend in NZ ... welcome to the world Jayden Ross! He was born 17 June at 8lb 5oz ... I'm not a baby person, but he is cute ... and will be even better in two years time LOL (those who really know me, know me well enough to know how I feel on that score LOL).

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Stitching Meme

Seeing as I still don't have progress to post (and probably won't for quite a few days yet, as I'm going to concentrate on catching up on my blogs this week), here's another archival stitching meme:

1. Do you enjoy backstitching?

2. Do you do it as you go or at the very end?

3. Does the amount of backstitching in a project influence your decision to stitch a pattern?

1. I don't mind backstitching - I like the fact that it brings a piece to life in many cases ... I wouldn't say it's my 'favourite' thing to do, but it doesn't really worry me too much.

2. Depending on the design, and the way I feel at the time - sometimes I'll backstitch as I go, and sometimes I'll leave it until the end ... it really does depend on my mood on the day.

3. Backstitching would never influence my choice of design - if I love the design, but it has 20 million backstitches in it, I'd still stitch it ... likewise, if it has no backstitching at all, I'd stitch it - backstitching is just 'part of the package' and no influence whatsoever.