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, December 30, 2006

Bordeaux Sampler

Just a really really quick post, as I'm pretty shattered - just wanted to show Carol and Leslie that I haven't forgotten about this SAL we're doing ... I just haven't had much progress to show. Anyway, seeing as I'm supposed to post a piccie each Friday, I figure I might as well show where I'm up to so far - I think Carol might be catching me up quickly, and at the rate I'm going will be overtaking me very soon! ;) I'm really not enjoying this band at all, so it's slowed my enthusiasm and my stitching speed down - perhaps the sooner I finish it the better, so I can move on to a more fun band. (Sorry for the poor photo quality.)

We had a couple of people off sick at work today, so I ended up with 3 1/2 hours overtime which will be absolutely awesome in the pay packet (Mr Taxman may just see his money at the start of the year!) ... but on day 6 of work, doing an 11 1/2 hour shift has wiped me out and I'm pretty exhausted ... it's my last day tomorrow, with another 6am start, so no more stitching for me, I don't think!

I was also supposed to post a Photo Hunt piccie, but I'm too exhausted to go hunting ... I had a quick look through my online piccies, but nothing jumped out at me, so I'm going to flag the exercise this week - instead I'm going to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet in the 1 1/2 hours I have between getting home and having to get to bed again ;)

Friday, December 29, 2006

My mailbox runneth over!

Imagine my surprise when I went to my PO Box to clear my mail yesterday morning before work, and the mailman came out with a HUGE box of goodies for me - he even laughed at the look on my face, bless him! Cindy went crazy and put together the most incredible selection of stitching goodies for me ... I'm still in awe of everything, and feel like one of those plastic dogs that sits in the back of the car with it's head shaking with every bump, except mine's just shaking in the sheer amazement at Cindy's generosity. Thank you again, Cindy, I'm still totally blown away and don't know what I've done to deserve it! I love it all ... and you may have noticed the Kahlua choccies didn't even survive 24 hours - I was kind and shared them at work yesterday with my closest colleagues, and they were totally delicious! And the notebook is already in use for some stitching lists I've been wanting to do for a few weeks now, and the page sizes and lines are just perfect for it. I'm always running out of Floss-away bags, and all the charts are awesome, and the fabric, and the threads, and oh my my head is spinning again! :D Thanks so much for making my day! :D

On a down note I finally cracked it with a certain ONS (SB&B to be exact) ... after waiting since August (!) for some backordered items for Mum and me, I finally got the advice they were ready to ship ... I quickly sent off an email asking if they could add two skeins of WDW for Katrina to save postage, plus 2 Kreinik braids, and no answer ... when I went to the library to check emails (my phone line was down at this stage), I'd received a refund notice from PayPal - not even SB&B themselves - for an amount for the Aida Mum had had on backorder ... no explanation or anything, and no answers to the previous emails I'd sent re the extra threads. I finally sent an email from work cracking it about their lack of communication and demanding they tell me what the hell was going on ... a very quick response then, stating they'd apparently sent me emails etc, but then just shipped the parcel "as is". I wouldn't mind, but we've been waiting 4 months for the fabric, that was then refunded (and for a totally different amount that I'd been invoiced for too!) ... 4 months for Floss-away bags and WDW threads for Needle Nick (which of course is now too late to stitch for this Christmas anyway). It's amazing how invoices have no problem reaching my email addy, but answers to queries have a major issue ... sorry about the vent, but it makes my blood boil! I don't usually like to bad-mouth a specific company on here, and the last time I vented I didn't name names, but this time I've reached my limits ... mutter mutter mutter. I've been signed up for the Monthly Bits for a while now, but I'm starting to reconsider that option as well.

In this instance Karen at Dragonfly Dreams came to the rescue, as I've ordered the other threads through Karen now - from one extreme to the other, the service is exceptionally quick and communication first rate ... it's a shame we have to pay so much more 'down under', but I'm starting to think it's perhaps a better option when taking service levels into consideration. Food for thought for me for the New Year ... not that I'll be buying much for a while yet anyway, as my finances are still in tight check for a while longer hmmm.

Rightio, that's my venting out of my system ... phew! Now I'm off to think about what to stitch next - I think perhaps it's time to start on a birthday gift I want to stitch ... either that or maybe start that canvaswork pincushion from the Inspirations magazine and try to knock off another goal before year end haha. I'm actually quite excited, as I only have 2 more working days left (from a total of 7), then I'm on a 5-day break yippee ... gee whiz, I wonder what I'll be doing next week?? LOL ... although it'll take me 1-2 days just to catch up on blogs from the last couple of weeks!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006 Finishes & 2007 Goals

Yes, it's that time of the year again when we look back and see what we accomplished during the past year, and set our goals for the next one. I have to admit, I had a fantastic year for stitching finishes, even though most of them were 'small' projects. Here's the entire list:

1. Love needleroll ornament (Jeannette Douglas Designs)
2. Spring needleroll kit (Lorri Birmingham)
3. And Many More needlecase (Just Nan)
4. Merry Yule ornament (Erica Michaels Designs)
5. Becky’s Bees mirror
6. Oriental flowers 1 – charity quilt block (design by Sue Page)
7. Oriental flowers 2 – charity quilt block (design by Sue Page)
8. Thistle Treasure Bag (M Designs)
9. Shooting star scissors fob for Jenna (DMC freebie with modifications)
10. Home for Christmas ornament (Brightneedle)
11. World Trade Center charity quilt square
12. Star of Wonder ornament (With My Needle)
13. Herald Angels ornament (The Prairie Schooler)
14. Peace*Joy*Love ornament (Lizzie*Kate)
15. Echidna charity quilt block
16. Golden Garland ornament (Paw Printings)
17. Pinkeep (Indigo Rose freebie with modifications)
18. Melanie’s Exchange needleroll (mix of many designs - SBEBB)
19. Batman logo charity quilt block
20. Biscornu Exchange (Indigo Rose freebie with modifications – SBEBB)
21. Strawberry needleroll (The Sweetheart Tree)
22. Santa’s Stash ornament (Full Circle Designs)
23. Scissor fob exchange (Hardanger – StitchNZ group)
24. Redheads ducks square for round robin (Wings of the Wild Afghan, Stoney Creek)
25. Racing Cars charity quilt block (internet freebie)
26. Peace needleroll ornament (Jeannette Douglas Designs)
27. Blue needleroll for Isabelle (own mix of many designs)
28. Christmas Tree ornament (Elizabeth’s Designs)
29. Teddy Bear Santa Stocking (Lorri Birmingham)
30. White Christmas ornament – Beyond XS kit (The Victoria Sampler)
31. Fire Breathing Dragon charity quilt square (Pegasus Publications)
32. Summer at the Ocean needleroll (Jeannette Douglas Designs)
33. Parula Warbler for Vash’s RR (Vermillion Designs freebie)
34. Needleroll in redwork for Nicki (own design mix – Robin’s Nest BB)
35. Redwork exchange for Nancy (online freebie with changes - SBEBB)
36. Thisbe’s Needleroll (Shepherd’s Bush)
37. A Stitcher’s Needleroll (Lorri Birmingham)
38. Mail Art for Zohrah
39. Bumble the Bee: Waxer Pocket (Moss Creek Designs)
40. Cherry Blossoms Fob for Katrina (The Sweetheart Tree)
41. Winter Sampler Snippet for Lynn’s RR (Lizzie*Kate)
42. Dolphins Domain for Vicki & John (Cross My Heart)
43. Scented Keepsake lavender sachet for Jenna (Classic Stitches freebie)
44. Just Jack freebie (Just Nan)
45. Silken Roses Fob for Su (Sweetheart Tree – Robin’s Nest BB)
46. Winter (Country Seasons) by Prairie Schooler (Lynn’s RR)
47. Starry Starry Night ornament (JBW Designs)
48. Summer Solstice needleroll by Eventide Designs
49. Coffee Menu by Little House Needleworks
50. Winter’s Eve ornament by Country Cottage Needleworks
51. Christmas Tree ornament by Elizabeth’s Designs
52. Merry Yule ornament by Erica Michaels Designs
53. Pacific Pohutukawa by Jen’s Jems
54. Christmas Eve ornie by Elizabeth’s Designs
55. Bunnies in my Garden by With My Needle
56. Snow Fall needleroll by Shepherd's Bush

My 2006 goals didn't seem too bad at the time, but life got in the way and my accomplishments were quite poor. Here's how I went:

Dolphins Domain UFO (yes - completed)
One more UFO (yes - completed)
Participate in 2 exchanges on SBEBB (yes - completed 3)
Christmas Ornie exchange RR (yes - completed)
Learn to make flat-fold (yes - completed)
Learn to make a biscornu (yes - completed)
Stitch a needleroll (yes - a couple completed)
Stitch a scissors fob (yes - completed)
Summer Into Autumn by Drawn Thread (yes - completed)
Bunnies in my Garden SAL by With My Needle (yes - stitching completed)

Started but not finished:
▪ Apricot Elegance SAL by Cindy Valentine ... started, but not finished
▪ Nature's Rest UFO ... did a few hours, but not completed
▪ Continue with my rotation ... um sort of, off and on
▪ Continue stitching from my stash ... again sort of, off and on

Not touched:
▪ Secret Garden SAL by FMNIS ... still waiting for the SAL to start
▪ Folding Cross Needlbook SAL by Indigo Rose ... um, no
▪ Lavender Thistle Collection SAL by Twisted Oaks ... um, no
▪ Strawberries So Faire SAL by With My Needle ... SAL didn't happen, unless I missed it!
▪ A December Box SAL by Cherished Stitches ... um, no
▪ Stitch a pincushion ... um, no but still hopeful!
▪ Start Angel of Love by L&L ... there are still a couple of days left yet!
▪ One project from Inspirations magazines ... um, no but still hopeful! (a canvaswork pincushion is kitted up to kill 2 birds with 1 stone!)

Seeing as I did so badly with my 2006 goals, my goals for 2007 are quite simple -

▪ Participate in Needleroll SAL weekends
▪ Participate in Christmas Ornament SAL weekends
▪ Participate in Quaker Friendship RR
▪ Complete my 50 Project Challenge
▪ Build my confidence by actually 'finish-finishing' a few things (eg And Many More needlecase, Bumble the Bee Waxer Pocket)
▪ Enjoy my stitching and not set too many goals!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

SBQ - Finishing Links

(Edited to add a few more links I tracked down, as the original pages had been moved...)

Today's SBQ was suggested by Carol and is:

"Do you have any good internet links to tutorials for your favorite finishing techniques that you would like to share?"
Funnily enough, I've been thinking for a while now to have a page set up on my blog dedicated to my finishing links! Here goes my list of finishing links and tutorials - there are loads here that others have no doubt already listed, but there may be some other unknown ones (I thought I had some others too, but I can't find them at the moment):

Different Techniques:


Needleroll instructions:



Scissor case:

Scissor fobs:



Fabric Book Covers:





Cording, Tassels, & Miscellaneous:

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Gifties

As promised, here are piccies of the beautiful gifts received from my stitching pals - I apologise for the poor quality of the photos, as the light is almost as bad this morning as it was last night ... and I ended up taking them on top of my clothes that are drying (or in this case a bedsheet ... guess who will be ironing again soon? LOL). Piccies are not in any particular order :)

First up is a beautiful biscornu from Jenna - I have to admit, I knew what this one was, but it was still a wonderful surprise to see it first-hand and hold it :) And Jenna's stitching and finishing is perfection in itself - I just love it! :D It's going straight on display in my basket!

Next up is my gift from Katrina - how cool is this?? I adore the frangipani memo board, and it's really going to brighten up my fridge ... it's just perfect! And that would have been plenty enough, but I also received a gorgeous needlework roll ... funnily enough I have the chart bought all ready to make one for myself, but I just haven't pulled my finger out to give it a try yet ... and now there's no hurry! I just adore it!! And how perfect is it going to be for all my unfinished ornies to keep them in one place before they get finished? Thanks Katrina - I love everything! :D

Next up is a beautiful wallhanging from Sylvie - how did you ladies know I love blue so much? LOLOL. How gorgeous is this? I've never had a wallhanging before, and it's taking pride of place hanging up on the side of my computer desk so I can admire it every day - I just love it! Thank you so much Sylie, I adore it! :D

And last, but not least, here's another stunner - this time from Nicki. What a stunning ornie, and not one I'd attempt myself (mainly due to the finishing) - once again perfect finishing and stitching, and the colours are just beautiful. I've got two photos this time so you can see more of the stitching. Thanks Nicki, I truly love it!

And finally my gift to myself - bought just before my finances went bust ... I can finally drool all over my Gingher's Alyssa scissors - they're just so beautiful! Thanks to Jenna's ingenuity, I had to wait until now before I could see my little purchase ... and they were definitely worth waiting for!

Thanks again ladies for making my Christmas Day so special - I love all my gifts, and I'll treasure everything always {{hugs}}.

Ooh, I almost forgot ... this gave me a giggle ... how appropriate!! I obviously love the tree so much I turn myself into one!!! LOLOLOL.
You Are a Tree
You love every part of the holidays, down to the candy canes and stockings. And you're goofy enough to put a Christmas tree ornament on your tree!

Now it's off to work again - it's freezing outside (I'm sat here in my winter PJ's and dressing gown, go figure!), so I'll be bundling up in my jeans and polar fleece for the day ... what happened to those 43C days? LOL.

Have a wonderful day everyone! :D

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Stitching

I had a wonderful Christmas Day today - even though I worked all day, we made it a special event. We were allowed 1 hour for lunch (instead of the usual 1/2 hour) and we were treated to a meal of ham off the bone, chicken, smoked salmon, pasta salad, pumpkin and coriander salad, potato salad and Greek salad, followed by chocolate ripple cake for dessert ... we could hardly walk back to our desks afterwards! It was a wonderful way to spend the day - the phones were also pretty quiet, so I'm glad I went in prepared and took some stitching. Usually the only shift I can stitch on is the overnight shift, but today was special ;)

Yesterday I put the final stitches into Bunnies in my Garden - but I won't be finishing it for a while yet, as I need to buy some wool batting and decide on the lining fabric and ribbon for ruching. For Chelle, I have to admit I had the same thought as you, and put aside some Flax linen to use instead of the Summer Khaki, but when I put the threads against both, the Summer Khaki was much better for my skeins as it made the colour stand out more - the Flax was too pale, and the paleness of the threads just looked bland. I surprised myself and ended up using the Summer Khaki, and it looks OK.

Main body of the sewing case (most accurate colour)

Scissor fob - front (on the left) and back (on the right)

Then today I put the final stitches in my Snowfall Needleroll by Shepherd's Bush ... finally! So I guess that's two more items off my 50 Project Challenge yippee :)

I was going to post my list of finishes for 2006, but perhaps I'd better hold off haha. Mind you, I'm now on 7 days straight at work, so not as much stitching will be taking place between now and the end of the year ... but there might just be one more small finish yet … maybe ;)

It's bizarre, but in the middle of summer we've had a weather change - they had snow in the hills not that far from us and the coldest Christmas Day on record ... yep, a white Christmas in Australia, whatever next!!?

This morning I cranked up the stereo with Christmas carols, then called home and had a chat to Mum and Dad while opening my gifts. I have received some beautiful gifts from Sylvie, Nicki, Jenna and Katrina - and I'll post some piccies of everything tomorrow ... the light's disappearing quite quickly tonight, and it's hard to get a nice photo :( It's worth waiting for, though, as they're really lovely and everything will be treasured :D

Rightio, time to crack open the stocking (ie the Asti that's hiding within it), and settle in for a quiet night - I hope you're all enjoying your day, in whatever way you celebrate! :D

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas to All!

Just a short post to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and the best of wishes to you and your families for the festive season - I hope 2007 sees all of your hopes and dreams come true!

It's been a pleasure knowing you throughout 2006, and I look forward to continuing the association in 2007!

Now, on to the WIP piccies I promised yesterday - this is my progress to date on the Chatelaine Leporello, but it's now on hold until I touch base with Jenna to work out our SAL schedule.

Next is my latest WIP, Bunnies in my Garden by With My Needle - Chelle, I was supposed to do this with the StitchingSmalls SAL too, but didn't find the time to fit it in ... it's actually quite a fun stitch :) I switched the nun's stitch thread from the horrible dusky pink, and replaced it with the light blue used in the bird, but in hindsight after stitching the bird I should have used a darker blue for the nun's stitch, never mind. With the bird you're supposed to use the light part of the skein for the belly, and the darker part for the top/main part of the bird, but my skein barely shows any difference in the colour variegation at all - in the end I pulled out my Needle Necessities threads and stitched the main part of the bird in 101 (Desdemona's Violets), and I think it looks OK. I now just have the main piece to stitch and the scissor fob - with any luck I just might get this one finished before the end of the year :)


Pinkeep - front (left) and back (right)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

PSH - Lines

This week's theme is "Lines" ... I just love the lines of the bamboo in the rooftops of this temple. Short and simple this week, as time is short - and Blogger has taken forever just to load up this one shot!

Spoilt rotten ... piccies galore

I have so much to show and tell from the last week or so, I just don't know where to start! I do want to say, though, a huge thanks to everyone for their friendship and support, especially during recent times - you've all helped me to stay positive and keep my head up above the water line, and I'm extremely grateful :D Thanks also to all the ladies who have spoilt me rotten lately ... and here are the spoils ... (to try and placate Blogger I decided to use the 'small' photo settings - just click on each one for the bigger piccie)

Dearest Carol, who sent me the beads for AoL I needed ... as well as a most exquisite fob with a beautiful wee blue bird on it - on Christmas Day they will be sitting on my Alyssa Gingher's in prime position :) I'm also considering using the darker DMC variegated thread for a Quaker RR I'm about to start with some wonderful blogging pals :D I love everything, thank you Carol :D

Thanks also to Christine, who sent me the most gorgeous Santa ornament - and look, he's in blue!!! :D I just love him to death, and he went straight onto the tree as soon as he arrived :) Thank you so much for your caring thought, it's awesome and he'll be treasured every year when he graces my tree! :D

Thanks also to Nicole (aka Elanor) for this wonderful parcel of goodies ... how awesome is that fabric??? I think I'm going to try and make a quilted wall hanging out of the duckie squares ... I just love it! And another exquisite ornie that's now gracing my tree - a beautiful quaker in my favourite colours that will be hanging from my computer desk year-round until next Christmas. But if that wasn't enough, which it was, there was also some scrummy threads and beads, and {{drool}} choccies (although please note the numbers in that bag have seriously dwindled since taking the piccie haha). Thanks again Nicole!

And last, but certainly not least, I was gobsmacked by a parcel from KarenV yesterday - I have to admit I knew this one was coming (although it still surprised me when it did), and I knew there was something off my wishlist in it ... but I was floored when I opened the envelope and found a HUGE selection off my wishlist. LHN's Winter Wonderland was pretty much at the top of my wishlist when I saw it recently, and I may just have to start that one as my 1st project for 2007 - and the Beehive NR has been on my wishlist for quite some time now. And the threads are almost all for a specific ornie both Mum and I wanted to stitch, so Mum and I will have to do a SAL when she arrives in February. Once again, I'm gobsmacked, and I really love everything thanks Karen! {{hugs}}

Seeing as there are so many goodies to share, I thought I'd have a separate post for them - tomorrow I'll do the stitching updates (not that there's much to show haha). The other gifties I received were wrapped up, so they're sitting under the tree until Christmas Day ... although the temptation is getting harder and harder to resist LOL.

Thanks again to everyone for their gifts - I feel a bit bad that I couldn't reciprocate this year, but I am very grateful for your friendship and support and I just adore everything! {{hugs}}.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I'm Baaaaaack!!!!!

Just in the nick of time before Christmas ... the phone technician very kindly came in to visit me on his day off, just so he can try to rectify my problems before Santa's visitations, and because it could be quite some time before my shifts allow him to come see me inbetween public holidays. Anyway, we thought we were up for a major rewriting job, then at the last moment he managed to access a line, and I have phone access again. Woohoo :D

This is just a really quick post to let you know I'm back online again, but it will take me a while to catch up on the 460+ unread feeds, and 200+ new emails, so please bear with me :) I'll post properly when I'm a bit better organised ... I don't have much stitching to show for my 'spare time' - what is that about "the best laid plans..."? haha. I did do a tiny bit on the Leporello, but didn't want to do too much as that would spoil the SAL with Jenna ... but I just couldn't resist making a tiny start ;) So instead I put a few stitches into Bunnies in my Garden ...

Anyway, I'll post more tomorrow with piccies, as well as piccies of all the lovely gifties I've been receiving this week. I've been grinning from ear to ear all week from all the lovely items that have been appearing, and my spirits are positively soaring! :D More details to follow tomorrow ...

Now I'm off to kick back with some egg nog (first time I've tried it, and I think I'm hooked!! - but this is the Aussie version, on loads of ice! :D), and an old DVD (as an aside, oh what a blessing, I can access the TV Guide online again now woohoo), and my stitching ... life is good! Especially as I now have two days off, the supervisor on duty also let us Hotliners go home 1/2 hour early tonight, and I got two more Luv Ya Work awards today ... life really IS good :D

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Great news for a change!

Sorry about the really rushed post yesterday - I've managed to book a spot at the library today, and have a whole 30 minutes to play with woohoo ;)

First up a big thank you for Christine D ... sorry, but I forgot to bring your email addy with me to the library ... I wanted to say thanks so much for your beautiful ornie - I love it! It's look stunning on my little ornie tree ... I'll post a piccie as soon as I get up and running properly again. Just wanted to let you know it arrived safe and sound, and it's awesome :D

The way I'm going my first post after Christmas is gonna be laden with piccies haha.

Now, on to the GREAT news ... I couldn't wait until later to announce it to the world haha. Today I was told I was one of the nominees for an "Excel Award" - which is basically when people think you've gone 'above and beyond the call of duty' and given excellence in service ... and I won it! I don't know who nominated me yet, but apparently that also gets me nominated for the overall yearly award (I doubt I'll get that though) ... and the best thing of all, I get a $150 gift voucher from David Jones to spend, as well as a certificate of excellence. How cool is that? Can you tell I'm rapt?? LOL. After struggling so much financially these last two months, it's going to be wonderful going shopping for something totally non-essential yippee ... and I think I may have already spent it in my mind. I've been dying to get an iPod for ages, and they've come down in price recently, so I think that's what I'll get ... I'm grinning from ear to ear! :D

I also heard from the phone technician today - he wanted to come and visit this morning, but of course I was at work - he's going to 'try' to get to my place late tomorrow afternoon, but no guarantees. That'll pretty much be the last chance he'll get before Christmas, so my fingers are seriously crossed he can make it ... that would be just awesome!

Aside from that I got a whole hour of stitching done last night on the Leporello ... it took me two nights gridding the fabric (not helped by Silkweaver cutting the edges on an angle, so I had difficulty getting everything in OK) ... so right now I just have a tiny blue blob on the fabric - by the time I'm internet-ready again, I might have something worth seeing ;)

Rightio, better run - I still need to do some internet banking and email reading, and my minutes are counting down rapidly ... (PS: Ally, I might have to check into your options of McD's - will have to check the yellow pages to see if any of them here have internet access ... I'm sure I could survive buying something to surf for a while LOL.)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Out of Action

Unfortunately my phone line at home is as dead as a dodo ... so I can't access emails or the internet/blogs ... fingers crossed it will be fixed before Christmas, but I'm not holding my breath :(

If this doesn't work, and doesn't post, I'll try to access the internet from a library or something somewhere ... what am I going to do at home now?? I guess I'll have lots of stitching piccies to show and tell by the time I get back! LOL.


My apologies to those of you who read the previous post and got all the info about my work :( Obviously that's something I won't be repeating ... but at least I know it works!!

It turns out it's unlikely I can get the phone line checked before Christmas, which means I won't be able to access blogs etc very easily without going to an internet cafe or library (which is where I am now). If you need to contact me urgently regarding the RAK Registry or anything else, please try contacting Nicki (Plush) or Carol (Garden of Stitches) and they could let you know my work email address. Otherwise I'll try to pop into a cafe or library once a week to check incoming emails.

Apologies for the quick post, but I only have 15 minutes of access allowed here, and need to pop into my ISP website to see if I can access my emails. If I don't get chance to say so beforehand, all the very best to all of you and your families for a wonderful festive season!

I'll quickly close saying I have received a wonderful giftie today from Carol (Garden of Stitches) ... and I adore it! I'll post properly when I get chance, but Carol will no doubt give you a taste of the contents on her blog :D I'm sorry this isn't a proper thanks, but I'll write more when I have more time :D (Luv ya Carol!)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Back to a Rotation

Well, so much for my plans to grid up the Leporello last night ... it was quite late, so I thought I'd just stitch on an 'existing' project for the rest of the night, and start the Leporello today ... um, well, that was the "plan" ...

In reality, I started stitching Chatelaine's Egyptian Garden, and I couldn't put it down ... so I ended up putting an entire 10 hours into it, and thus starting back into my rotation, which is well overdue :) Here's my progress to date.

And now I may have a partner in crime stitching with the Leporello - I'd love to do a SAL with you, Jenna ... I'll drop you an email shortly and we can work out how we want to do that.

Which also reminds me, I also have to get my Macaw or Rainbow Lorikeets kitted up for a SAL with Carina ... as well as the Bordeaux Sampler with Leslie and Carol, it's gonna be a busy time coming up :) But what a wonderful group of projects :D

I've actually been getting over a small dose of a virus since Thursday (I had to come home from work early on Friday), so it's been a perfect weekend just blobbing out and stitching ... heavenly :) But tomorrow I'm on 6am shifts, and there's a loud party going off next door ... not quite so heavenly :/ But then I look back at my Egyptian Garden, and that heavenly feeling comes back :D

I am thankful for stitching - and all the sheer pleasure, peace and joy that comes from it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Another ornie stitched

I can't believe it's been a full week since I've done any stitching, but today I was lazy and sat and stitched up another ornament ... I don't have the Mill Hill Treasures, but I figure it looks OK without them :) That means project 18 crossed off the list - down to 32 left woohoo :D I also washed and ironed my cream Belfast linen ready to start the Chatelaine Leporello, now I just need to grid it up and start stitching ...

Christmas Eve by Elizabeth's Designs
from JCS 10th Anniversary Collection
stitched on 28ct lambswool linen
with recommended threads and beads

PSH - Annoying (& Silly)

This week's theme is "Annoying" ... there wasn't much I could think about this week for annoying that I could actually take a photo of, so this is the best I could come up with ... it was incredibly "annoying" finding this great big bolt head sticking up out of my tyre driving home from work after night shift - and even more "annoying" having to buy two brand new tyres out of it (although admittedly I'd been thinking the tread was getting low on them anyway). Sorry for the poor shot, but my camera battery died and I couldn't take a clearer one.

And an archival one just in time for the festive season - here's my Dad, the Christmas fairy ... my choice for the "Silly" theme. It's amazing what a party at the local RSA will make you do!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Take THAT Beta Blogger!

Aha, I think I've finally worked out the very simple solution to be able to post on Beta blogs ... after giving up trying to post on many blogs (some would allow anonymous comments, some wouldn't etc) ... I finally opened up a Google account, which was super simple, and it's allowed me to comment everywhere so far ... although I have to admit I've only made a few comments so far this morning before work. Anyway, anyone who's still having problems commenting might want to try doing that.

After seeing Nicki's blogs copy across just fine, I decided to bite the bullet last night and migrate mine ... but apparently one of my blogs can't be migrated yet, so I have to wait in line for longer - I don't mind at all ;P

Nothing else to post today, really ...

Except to say today I'm thankful for fresh clean sheets and bedding ... how lovely is it to slip into bed when you've just changed all the linen? Ah, heaven :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ornies and RAK

I was thinking what a great mix of nationalities we have so far in the RAK Registry database, and just in case you were interested I thought I'd share ... so far we have a total of 38 stitching bloggers taking part, and they're from the following nations:

15 - USA
4 - Canada
4 - United Kingdom
4 - The Netherlands
3 - New Zealand
3 - France
2 - Australia
1 - South Africa
1 - Switzerland
1 - Finland

A couple of quick replies for Nicki and Lisa ... the dress isn't that 'light' to wear, I have to admit - it has a separate skirt underneath with curtain wire hoops. Mind you, I said yesterday if I keep filling out my body any more than it currently is, I soon won't be needing the hoops! ROFL. The dress itself was made from some plain green homespun cotton fabric by Mum, then I added all the decorations onto it - in fact the tinsel needs to be replaced now, I think. The tinsel and string of balls are pinned on from the inside with safety pins, so it can be removed for washing - next year, though, I'm going to superglue the caps to the balls, as a couple of the new ornaments I put on this year to replace missing ones aren't as robust. I do love it, though, and I have another stupid idea in the back of my brain as well ... making some felt 'boots' that have a flat inner section up my calf, with the outside part pushing out, so when I stand with my feet together, it looks like a plant pot ... or hanging some presents from the hoops ... yup, gotta love that festive season, it really does bring out the child in me! ;P

Now on to really FUN stuff ... I was given the OK by Katrina to open one of my little gifties from under the tree - and now I understand why ... I am now the proud owner of the most gorgeous ornie with beautiful stitching and finishing, and I'm absolutely thrilled with it! Thank you so much Katrina, I truly do adore it! And it's on my little 'ornie tree' already! :D Doesn't that sad little tree look so much better now? Mind you I still have to make up the two ornies Mum gave me (she did the stitching, and I'm doing the finishing), and then that'll possibly be it for the year ... depends how keen I get between now and Christmas hmmm.

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The next two days are going to be quite social - we have a team meeting for all us 'Hotliners' (Seniors), and we're doing it over breakfast for our Christmas get-together. Brekky is at 8am and I don't start work until noon, but I thought I'd potter around in the neighbourhood until then, as there's no point coming all the way home again. Then on Saturday I've been invited to a friend's place for a party (J), and I'm driving to B's house first then we're going there together, then I'm staying at B's house for the night - which means we can let our hair down for the night ... it'll do me good, I think :D

Today I'm thankful for my best friend's Mum Doreen - her apricot slice went down a treat yesterday, with a few people coming up to me especially to say how yummy it was (most people brought in supermarket cakes, so I guess the home-made stuff really stood out LOL) ... I'm also thankful that I made a double batch and that I still have some sitting in my fridge (my hips won't be thankful though) ... but not just that, I'm thankful for Doreen for giving me so many wonderful childhood (and adult) memories, and being one of the people that has helped shape me into the person I am today - I love you loads, Doreen!! :D

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Updated to add an apology to many bloggers - I'm trying to catch up with blogs, but for some reason the last two nights I've been unable to leave comments on beta blogs ... it just keeps rejecting my blogger ID. Anyway, I've opted to leave it for a day or two then I'll try to catch up again - I don't want to just 'read and run' ... hopefully I'll be able to get back to commenting again soon :) I was doing so well, too - I'd managed to catch up at the weekend after getting through over 650 unread feeds! :D

For Carina and Cindy, and anyone else who's wondering what Babycham actually is ... here's the Wikipedia info ... and the official website :D I was reading the History section last night, and found it very interesting, and I love the 'product lines' ... when you run your mouse over the sparkling bottle, the cork pops out haha - I didn't realise quite how old Babycham is, but then again I have been drinking it since I was very young hmmmm ;)

Well, it's been an interesting day today - not anything to do with my 'personal' situation, but rather one for Melbourne city on the whole. As the Yahoo news team puts it ... "Melbourne was shrouded in a thick blanket of smoke throughout today with levels in the city reaching 10 times the acceptable limit. Some city workers found the air difficult to breath in with others more concerned about the cause of the ominous sky." That kinda sums it all up, really!

It really is quite eerie, and I've been tasting smoke all day - I had to shut off the air vents in my car on the way to work, and then by the afternoon it was so bad it was circulating through the air conditioning at work and we've all been complaining of headaches and sore throats. We did do a very pitiful rendition of 'Smoke gets in your eyes' at one stage ;) I bet the respiratory departments are run off their feet today, as it really is dreadful - even in bad weather I usually have a lovely view of the skyline on the drive home, but tonight it's just blanketed in a thickish fog of smoke. I feel very sorry for those who are closer to the 'action' and have lost their homes during this disaster.

So today, I'm thankful that I'm not in the path of that fiery destruction - I really hope they get it under control soon so no more property (or worse) is lost. But I'm also truly thankful that today was the first day of an entire month (13 Dec-14 Jan) where we're allowed to wear casual clothes to work ... jeans and trainers for an entire month - I'm in heaven! ;)

Today was also dress-up today at work ... apart from a few Santa hats, as usual I was the only one to be fully decked-out in my Christmas tree outfit, and we have some great ideas for my outfit for next year - including getting a load of cheap 'flashing' brooches/earrings to attach like lights hahaha ... too funny! Two of the Supervisors tonight came and gave me a Luv Ya Work Award before I went home "for bringing some festive cheer and joy into the office" ... I have to admit it is a great morale booster, and brings a smile to everyone when they see it ... and that's what it's all about! :D I didn't take a new photo this year, as I had my hands full with my plate of food etc walking from my car, so couldn't juggle my camera as well, so last year's photo will have to suffice ;)

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I am thankful for ...

That heading is what I'm going to be focusing on for a while ... I'm sick of being full of misery on this blog, and I'm sure you're sick of reading it. Anyway, after my emotional meltdown last night, I think it had a bit of a cleansing effect on me - my fighting spirit is back again, and I'm going to try to focus on the positive things in my life. There are many people worse off than me ... while it may be stressful and depressing at times, I need to keep looking ahead :)

So today I'm thankful for all my online friends - your cheering on comments both here and in personal emails has given me a lot of strength to deal with the issues I'm facing. As the old adage goes, "a friend in need is a friend indeed" ... and I really and truly appreciate you all hanging in with me while I've been struggling and less than positive on here.

This morning I spent some time checking out house sitting sites and self storage etc, but I've been thinking of leaving any major decisions until the New Year. I have Mum visiting for six weeks in February, and I'd rather have everything 'as usual' during that time at least ... and it will give me plenty of time to get my head together.

Tonight was a different task ... I've been sending emails to the UK, to the manufacturers of Babycham! I don't know why, but since this morning I've got it in my head that I want to make up my own stocking. Why?? Because my stocking is the one Christmas tradition Mum did for me every year until I was 'too old' for it (I repeat for you again, Mum, I'm never ever too old for it hahaha). Such a simple thing - a stocking was waiting under the tree every year ... nothing glamorous and expensive, but filled with love - Christmas just wasn't Christmas without my stocking! What was in my stocking that made it so special? ... There was always a handful of nuts in their shells (brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts etc), maybe an apple and an orange, and a couple of chocolate bars and sweeties, and the piece de resistance ... a small bottle of Babycham! When I was in my teens there would be some additional treats in there too, like a pair of 'fashion' earrings or something similar. I don't know why, but that stocking tradition has remained in my heart as something very very special about Christmas.

When I moved to Australia the first 8 months here sharing were abysmal for many reasons (a couple of you know those stories from personal emails, but I'm not going into it now) - when Fraze and I moved out to our own place in Box Hill, it was going be our first Christmas 'on our own' ... by the time Christmas came, we also had Andrew living with us too - and I decided to do the Christmas stocking ritual for them ... although instead of Babycham they got cans of beer haha - they also got a few 'silly things' like car polish and DVD cases and things. While I didn't have my own stocking, watching the two boys unwrap everything in their own stockings was wonderful, and I really loved it. Andrew said that that was the most special Christmas he'd had, and even though he spent the rest of the day with his family, the morning with us was the most magical. I do have to admit I did feel the same way too at the time (shame the rest of our living arrangements with him weren't quite so magical in the long run haha).

Anyway, being the first Christmas on my own, I'm making my own stocking ... and I'm trying to track down whether Babycham is available for sale locally somewhere, as I'll be treating myself as my big Christmas Day treat. We used to be able to buy it in New Zealand, so I presume you can buy it here somewhere too, and it's pretty cheap to buy even though it's imported. If not, then I'll substitute with a $3.99 mini bottle of Asti Riccadonna instead ... woohoo, big spender LOL. Add to that my fave Christmas song playing loudly on the stereo (ie Snoopy's Christmas - it gets me singing at the top of my lungs every time!), and I'll be all set! ;)

I'm actually working on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day, which will be a financial boost thank goodness - and someone at work actually cooks up a Christmas dinner for us all, which will be a lovely treat :) I can't believe how close it is to the 'big day' already ...

Ooh, I didn't realise how close midnight was either - better run and hit the hay for the night, as I need to be up early tomorrow. The Christmas tree dress is back out again ready for dress-up day tomorrow, but I have to get up early to get a 'plate of food' to share with everyone ... so I'm making Doreen's Apricot Slice again (cheap ingredients, and so very comforting for me, as it brings back all those wonderful happy childhood memories again - the perfect blessing for my day!).

Will it never end?

For goodness' sake, GIVE IT A REST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Today I finally open what I considered to be 'junk mail' ... one from the NZ Inland Revenue Department - seeing as I don't live in NZ anymore, I didn't bother rushing to open it ... today I did ... and today I found a bill for NZ$50 for a late filing penalty ... for the non-filing of a tax return in NZ when I reside in Australia, and have done for 3 1/2 years now - I haven't earned taxable earnings in NZ since 2003, for goodness sake!!! ... payment due 07Feb07 ... With any luck I'll get this one reversed just for stupidity's sake, but then again it's a Government department, after all, so anything is possible!

It's a good job I'm a relatively strong person, or I would've sunk into the murky mire of serious depression ages ago ... but I am definitely reaching my limits now, that's for sure!! If nothing else, though, it's stopped the tears and brought that fighting spirit back again :/ (mutter mutter mutter) I must say, though, it's starting to feel like I'm starring in some sort of comedy farce ... except the sense of humour's a bit warped and not all that funny!

Sorry, no stitching piccies - I'm just not in the stitching mood right now (plus these shifts aren't very conducive to it).

I am, however, very grateful to see the beautiful blue sunny sky outside my windows today, followed by the cooling breeze coming through the windows (as opposed to the fiery heat pouring through on Sunday at 42C!).

Monday, December 11, 2006

Feel free to skip this post ...

This post may be exceptionally boring and draining, so you may want to skip it today! Don't say I didn't warn ya!!

First off, though, this piccie is for Wendy ... I keep forgetting to answer your question about where my stitching spot is (from the lounge Christmas photos) - in fact I don't sit on any of the lounge suite at all, but rather in my recliner which is facing the TV and the rest of the lounge ... I have a special stitching corner which is permanently made up all the time, just ready to plop down into - and my 2nd most critical corner of the flat is off to the right of my stitching chair in this photo - my computer desk :D

Well, today was an interesting day, and I've had some very interesting discussions. I finally pulled my head out of the sand today before work to get my tyre replaced (I was on a 2pm start, so plenty of time) ... lucky me, though, ended up having to get not just one, but TWO tyres replaced!!! Yup, it seems the right-hand front tyre was getting rather bald and needed to be replaced ... what can I say, but life just keeps on getting better and better! LOL. I had to get on my mobile to transfer over the $100 Mum had paid me back from a credit card charge I did for her as my emergency food money if I ever got totally desperate (thanks Mum, love ya!) ... I had refused to touch it, as I may need it down the track ... well that day was today. The rest of Mr Taxman's money I'd put to one side plus the emergency money has totally wiped out my bank balance yet again - woohoo!! I had to warn the sales guy I'd just had to transfer the funds across, so hopefully it will go through ... leaving me $5-10 in the account double woohoo! So now Mr Taxman has to wait longer, and I'm back to square one again trying to find $500+ ... and in my rebellious mood today I say "b*gger you Mr Taxman, I'm going shopping for veges this payday, and I don't care less what you think about it!" {{big raspberry}} Thank goodness Payday is overnight tonight!!!

I've also come to the realisation that I just can't get ahead living on my own, and I've started putting out some feelers about options. Sheree from work, who was looking for a flatmate months ago, is apparently looking at moving out yet again, as her new male flatmate is really inconsiderate with her being on shift work (at least we have that in common, so there's a basic understanding there between us). The only problem is that she's really fussy and wants a really 'flash' place to live, so it wouldn't necessarily be a 'huge' saving overall (she's paying $200 per week for rent at the moment in a sharing situation as opposed to my $245 on my own yikes!!). Anyway, I've set the seed for her today and I guess we'll chat about it more at some stage after Christmas.

The 2nd alternative is to pack up all my stuff into storage and go house-sitting for a while. One of the girls from work is doing it (she's the one who used to flat with Sheree before), and the outgoings are very minimal, but the downside is that you're constantly on the move to different places. Still, there's no rent to pay, and unless it's a 'longer term' sitting job there are no other bills (apparently most people if its 1-2 weeks sitting don't charge you for electricity usage etc, but she's in one now where she's there until February and the charge is $30 a week to cover bills ... that's pretty minimal considering there's no rent to pay as well!). I used to do house sitting for my boss back in Auckland every now and then when I was younger, so that's not a major issue for me - the big downside would be not having internet access regularly, and I'd have to go to a library or somewhere to get online ... and a major part of what's kept me from going insane here is the support and friendship of you guys online!

Then again, if I'm saving that much I could look at buying a laptop and signing up with "Unwired" which is wireless internet - and my internet connection would travel with me ... while it may be incredibly inconvenient for a while, it would also give me a better chance of getting ahead financially for the longer term, and I'd definitely have to take that into consideration, I guess. I'd have to cost up putting my things into storage etc too ... anyway, it's all food for thought I need to mull over ... 'cos at the moment I'm just going backwards every month. This option would still give me the sense of freedom in that I'd have 'my own space', but there would be the odd day where I wouldn't have a roof over my head (although Ali at work has said I'd be more than welcome to stay with her in Seaford during those times - that's incredibly sweet of her!).

One thing that almost brought me to tears today was the generosity of a fellow blogger ... I have some extra Christmas prezzies now sitting under the tree - and after the shock of having to buy two brand new tyres this morning, opening my mailbox afterwards was a huge morale lifter. I'm being good, though, and not opening anything until Christmas Day - then the contents will be revealed both to me and you :D But I have to say, Katrina, you really really made my day today - you're just gorgeous, and it couldn't have come at a better time! {{hugs}}

In fact, I'm now sitting here in tears writing this. So much for that fighting spirit, huh? I think I'm finally reacting to the stress I've been feeling just lately, but repressing ... and just writing about Katrina's generous gifts has sent me over the edge emotionally ... but in a nice way haha.

Anyway, sorry for the waffling - just the thoughts running through my head today ... as is typical of me, I don't hide anything, and you get the full story with everything - putting things in writing is a great method of 'purging' for me, so this all helps. I'm so sorry I'm not as full of life as I usually am ... and I was hoping to get over all this negative stuff a lot more quickly than I have - I think I'm coping really well, then something else happens to knock me sideways ... hopefully I'll get the fighting spirit back again tomorrow, 'cos tomorrow's another day!

Thanks for all of your comments, and hanging in there with me through all this 'cr*ppy stuff' - it has really helped! {{hugs}}

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It never rains, it pours ... & I'm flooding!

Edited to add this positive news:

Tonight I decided to start a new project, being Sapphire Star canvaswork by Laura J Perin ... after getting everything out, and making a working copy of the chart, I realised I'd goofed ... I thought I had everything aside from the one thread that's still on back order from months ago, only to find I don't have any 18" stretcher bars ... doh! Oh well, it's not as if I don't have any other projects to choose from ...

Instead I frogged the bottom band on my A Stitcher's Needleroll by Lorri Birmingham ... actually I ended up frogging part of it twice! Firstly to fix the error in the chart by removing the extra space between the body of the design and the bottom band (it was bugging me, and I couldn't just leave it in) ... then because I'd thrown all the kit threads out, thinking it was finished at the start of September, I re-kitted using the colour key ... the second bit of frogging was due to misprint in the colour key (geez, I love Lorri Birmingham designs, but I seriously HATE all the chart errors!!!) - I ended up dragging my 500 series of threads out and colour matching with the rest of the finished stitching. I also subbed the bright pink ribbon, thinking a nice purple one would blend nicely, and it's finally finished into an actual needleroll - which means I can finally add it to my 50 Projects tally ... the stitching was done just prior to signing up, but it was within the official starting date of the rules - my compromise was that I wouldn't add it to my tally until it was finish-finished ... and now I can woohoo :D
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A Stitcher's Needleroll by Lorri Birmingham
stitched from the kit contents
Photo compliments of Photobucket ... bah humbug Blogger!

Well, the good times just keep on rollin' in my neck of the woods! Today I was worried I hadn't heard from Mum and she said she'd phone today ... so I thought I'd give her a quick call, only to find the home phone not working. The phone line is fine, as my PC is working with the internet with no problems ... but I can't get a true dial tone and use my home phone. A quick test using my mobile phone and it's ringing on my mobile, but not ringing on the home phone ... which means it's likely my home phone needs to be replaced! I just cancelled my 'messaging' service on my home phone to save money, so the next phone will have it's own answerphone ... I guess my new phone will be my next 'essential' purchase. I could actually do without a home phone if it wasn't for keeping up to date with Mum, and that's critically important for me.

Anyway all I can say is "bring it on!!!!" ... perhaps you can think of something else to add to the ever-increasing list of crappy events before the holiday season is over ... well I'm not caving in!!! OK, that's my rant for the night ... now I'm off to sulk in my stitching corner to focus on all the positive things in my life right now ... I refuse to let this latest event get me down! Mind you, with the way my financial situation is going, my 50 Projects Challenge may end up as a 100 Projects Challenge haha ... although I'm likely to run out of DMC by then LOL. Right, I'm off to start something new to cheer myself up!

And on another negative note, I can't believe it, but some thieving scumbag has stolen quilts from Amitie Textiles in Bentleigh ... I'm absolutely gobsmacked that someone could do this. Here's the link to the announcement on their blog ... I thought I'd mention it in case any of my Melbourne readers are interested. I'm still shaking my head in disgust!

Now I also have a request from you - do any of you have any wonderful tried-and-tested bread recipes for a breadmaking machine, that don't use a million different ingredients (or even those that do)? I have used a couple of recipes from the machine's instruction manual that are good, but I also have a cookbook especially for bread machines, and the three loaves I've made so far have been dismal, and the book's going out in the bin! I'd love to find some good recipes out there for trialling :D And another apology to Mum - if you don't hurry up and get over here for a holiday, there'll be no beer left ... I have another loaf of Wholemeal beer and mustard bread baking ... my fave recipe so far - guess who's having cheese and pickle sandwiches for lunches next week again? haha.

Happy Dancing!!

And a great big happy dance it is too! Today I put the final stitches into Pacific Pohutukawa ... and seeing as the Pohutukawa is the New Zealand Christmas tree, it's finished at an appropriately festive time of year :D I have to say, though, my right thumb is quite tender after dragging the thread through those corner Pohutukawa flowers ... and if I don't see another skein of DMC Rayon or Metallic thread over the next 12 months, it'll be too soon!! LOL. Actually the scan doesn't do the colours justice - they're extremely vibrant! :D

Pacific Pohutukawa by Jen's Jems
stitched as charted
with recommended fabric and threads

It also means my stretcher bars are now freed up ready to start my Laura J Perin piece woohoo :) And seeing as Blogger photo uploading is playing nicely today, here are the next two ornies I put the finishing touches into yesterday.

Merry Yule by Erica Michaels Designs
2005 JCS Christmas ornament magazine
stitched on 32ct natural Belfast linen
with recommended threads and embellishments

Christmas Tree by Elizabeth's Designs
2005 JCS Christmas ornament magazine
stitched on 32ct white Belfast linen
with recommended threads and beads

That means another 3 projects off my 50 Project Challenge ... leaving me with 34 left to go, I think - woohoo! :D

Saturday, December 09, 2006

RAK Registry & Ornies

Thanks to everyone who has supported the RAK Registry database (for stitching bloggers) to date - this has been a really fun project to coordinate. For those who have asked, there is no deadline to sign up for this, as it's an ongoing project - you just need to send me an email with your details, and I'll enter you into the blog database immediately. You can either send me an email requesting the questions, or just copy and paste the following and email your answers straightaway to :). Then if you want to send someone a RAK just drop me a line and I'll send you their full contact details. Likewise if there's someone you'd like to send to, and they're not in the database, drop me a line with their blog details, and I'll approach them with a request to sign up, or to get their contact details ... then they still don't know who it's coming from so there's still a surprise element attached :)

A link to the RAK Registry blog is in my sidebar, if you want to check it out. Thanks again for the support, my fellow stitching pals.

First/screen name:
Blog name/URL:
Fave colour(s):
Fave designer(s):
Fave styles of designs/stitching styles:
Fave thread types/brands:
Fave fabric(s) (eg count/colour/type):
Any dislikes (eg colours, design styles etc):
Withlist URL:
Any small RAK's that would be enjoyed (eg tea sachets, stationery, chocolate, fridge magnets, postcards etc):
Favourite holiday(s):
Holiday(s) not celebrated/liked:
Full name and mailing address:

As for me, while I was in ostrich mode with my head in the sand yesterday it left my hands (and mind) free to stitch ... I managed to put the finishing touches into an ornie I started during the night shifts (the only reason to love that shift is that I get chance to pick up a needle very now and then inbetween calls 'cos there's no management around haha) - I didn't have the right overdyed threads, so I substituted the WDW Kudzu for NN Grecian Olive, and Crescent Colors Blue Moon with NN Blue is Blue - I also swapped 28ct fabric for 32ct to make it slightly smaller ... I think it still turned out OK.

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Winter's Eve by Country Cottage Needleworks
from JCS 2006 Christmas Ornament magazine
stitched on 32ct natural Belfast
with thread substitutions

I also managed to put the final stitches into two more ornies as well that have been sitting here just waiting for the embellishments to be added. I haven't taken any piccies/scans yet, though, so they'll have to wait until later and I'll add them in. Hopefully by then Blogger will be playing ball with photos again, as I've been having to use Photobucket for the last two posts :( Perhaps they're giving me the un-subtle hint to hurry up and move to Beta haha.

All these ornies are destined for a home elsewhere ... unfortunately they won't be gracing someone else's tree for this Christmas due to financial constraints, but they will be sent out some time in the New Year ready for next Christmas ...

And talking of ornies, Nicki and I are discussing having a Christmas ornie SAL on the 4th weekend of every month, and wonder if you'd be interested in joining us? I've cheated and copied most of Nicki's post to save me being witty and thinking something up ... and Nicki's is perfect already

From the words of Nicki:

"Christmas is nearly here and I've realised that trying to do all my Christmas stitching in two weeks isn't a great idea! So Anne and I are thinking of organising a monthly Christmas ornament SAL for next year.

The idea is to stitch one ornament each month, so at the end of the year we'll have lots of pretties to give as gifts or put on trees. We'll stitch on the fourth weekend of each month. (That seems to be what works best for everyone who's answered so far).

If you'd be interested, let one of us know. You wouldn't have to stitch each month of course. It'd just be a fun way of getting some Christmas ornaments stitched through the year and relieving the pre-Christmas rush!"

I've really missed doing an ornie SAL for the latter half of this year, and hopefully this will motivate me again into stitching every month ... I'm actually thinking of making my own personal goal to stitch two every month so I get to keep an odd one or two as well as give them away, but I'll still be happy with getting one done

PSH - Red (& Old)

This week's theme is "RED" ... going by the current festive season, I'm sure there will be a few Santa suits on the blogs, but I opted for something different. This is a friend 'Sha' at her wedding not long before I moved from Auckland - my first Indian wedding, it was a wonderful cultural experience and this photo in no way does her stunning outfit justice! :)

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My second choice for this week's theme is a scene from outside the Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tsai Temple in Hong Kong ... I took this photo just because of all the red colour that was predominant :)
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And lucky last, here's another archive theme - this one is "OLD" ... again I had a few choices for this theme, but I opted to use this one, which is one of my all-time favourite photos I've taken ... "keeping OLD traditions alive" - starting a fire in Fiji :)
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