WIP Wednesday

I am shamefully over the Stitch from Stash budget. Shamefully. 63 bucks in the red for October! However I will have a couple of finishes for November, so should pull it back to be clean starting in January. If you want to join, look for “stitch from stash 2017a” in facebook (“a” is because it’s Jan-June, there will be a “b”).

Stitch From Stash Oct-16
Budget $25.00
Expenses L&L Nantucket Rose -8.00
CountryStitch FQ x 3 -100.00
Herschners Sale x 4 -5.65
L&L 48 Firefly Fairies -9.00
TW Wool Cross Tree Rose -2.00
Finishes Mill Hill Lapis x 2 10.00
Mill Hill various FFO 16.00
RR – Queen Mermaid 10.00
Rollover 0
Total Available Budget -$63.65

img_20161025_163214As you can see, I added something yesterday, a Teresa Wentzler design I’d only seen online. I’ve downloaded an Appleton to DMC wool conversion chart, then I’ll convert to standard DMC. I think this might be my summer project. You wouldn’t have this already converted would you, Teresa?

It doesn’t have back-stitch borders – that might change. It hardly seems like a proper TW without the back-stitch *laughing*

I also got a wee bit more of Petal Fairy’s face done last night while catching up on flosstube. And I realised how much Kreinik will be in those wings! Heaps!


I also discovered (which will enhance my Stitch From Stash budget in 2017, as council rate components are not included!) that my library is part of Zinio’s for Libraries app. I can download the UK Cross Stitcher, World of Cross Stitch; UK and US fitness magazines like Shape, Women’s Health, Hers; UK history like BBC History and All About History and plenty more besides. The available titles depend on what your public library subscribes to, and of course there is a paid-for Zinio app, but both are well worth exploring. Have fun!

Feeling Good

It was the first long weekend of the “summer” for us down here in NZ. The forecast wasn’t too crash hot but who cares? Three days away from the desk beckoned…

And it stayed that way. I thought about work late last night & decided that hey, I’m capable of getting heaps done today, so why break into family time when I really don’t need to? So we snuggled down (as much as one can with a sulky teen) & relaxed. I’m so relaxed right now that I have “losted” my work key and sat in my car until (work) Z appeared this morning! It worked out well as I remembered my alarm code & he couldn’t remember his.

Screenshot_20161022-160919.pngSaturday started with boot camp, like it has for the last few weeks. I am enjoying this start to my weekend. We did the other steps at Trusts this weekend for a change; terraces to bear climb (or reverse bear) or run down, steps to run up, ab work on the dock in the sun, listening to the water rush by. I still don’t like being in photos but there is a huge difference between 8 weeks ago and now. I have cheekbones! That’s Loren, Si & myself, with #masetheace above us. Si keeps telling himself (and us!) that he was the rose. Huh.

In the afternoon I surprised the kids with the Lego exhibit that was on at Trusts. I won over cynic Teen 1 AND 2, not bad for seven bucks a head! We probably spent a couple of hours there; didn’t buy anything but I am lusting after both the Disney castle and Hogwarts – I have earmarked part of my bonus on a family holiday, part towards a canopy for the new ute and now part for a Lego castle. I am earning it, I may as well be frivolous with part of it! Mase dug into his pile of Lego on Monday and created a robot – he asks that you note the “glasses” it is holding.

We also went to Waiwera to soak out the stresses. Biebs stayed home so Lou came; Mase and (regular) Z went down the lazy river, had cannon fights and so on; I got very annoyed at a bunch of 15yo boys who had a go-pro, took over the relax pool and talked (loudly) about boners, shaming fat girls & so on. If any one of them had a gf I’d be very surprised – what little sh*ts. Grateful I don’t see my teens in this mode (altho I am very sure they have a sh*t mode too).

img_20161023_133618Sunday was devoted to Grandma’s house. Two sets of steps are replaced; the gardens are pruned/chopped/weeded, lawns sorted. Hard to believe these were puny $2 buxus that I put in 12-13 years ago. That hedge is as high as my waist now.

Monday started at Bethells dunes with Chris & Loren (Paige & her fam were late). For all the time I’ve spend at the beach, I’d never gone into the dune side. Chris had planned a three-step exercise for us and OUCH my calves were cramping very quickly! However apart from the reverse bear crawls up the slope (no-one managed that) & the two-feet-together-jump-up (only Si managed that) & the body drops (I struggle with those as my wrist goes too far, so I sub out) – I managed to complete a set. Si, Loren & Bran were well into their second set at the end of 20. Then we did a final set as nine – Paige had appeared by then – & I think the kids beat us adults hands down. Next time I’ll bring the board to go down the dunes! 20161024_085847.jpg

The rest of the day was devoted to relaxing (we watched Peter Kay’s Tour that wasn’t a Tour vid, totally recommend & I was in stitches for good portions of it and its fairly clean), getting ready for the week ahead (I prep Si’s & my breakfast cereals, snacks & so on for the whole week on Sundays now as a kick-start & did a lot for the kids also), and speaking of stitches, I got in some time on Andie’s round robin. It was a bit awkward as her stitching is the opposite to mine (/// then \\\) and had forgotten that I could turn it 90 degrees to get the same result and use my method. You can tell I clicked yesterday as the progress was so much more! Doh.

Tag starts this week; Si and Biebs are refereeing at two tournaments a week this summer, on Wednesday and Fridays. Then boot camp is Thursday (I want to start adding Tuesday to my schedule); next Monday sees the start of Tag…our weeks are filing up as Monday swim classes started last week. The next few months are going to be an exercise in balance; but only 15 sleeps until the US Elections (I do not envy your selection), 29 until Thanksgiving (the tradition I think I would adopt) and 60 sleeps until Christmas! So that’s 55 until I’m on holiday…


October WIPocalypse with #passthestash link

Ohh, look at me, posting stitchy stuff almost on time!

WIPocalypseWIPocalypse is hosted by Mel over at Measi’s Musings, & is a monthly round-up of all things stitchy.

For October, I’ve been really productive. In my garden, all the summer seeds are sown (including a set of herbs for a girlfriend who’s been the main instigator and supporter of my get healthy kick), the apple tree is now espalier’d along the fence, the citrus are fed, all but one bed is weeded – all this despite being sick for a full week.

img_20161014_201912Stitching wise, I’ve finished my initial Round Robin piece. This is going out in the post today (payday!) to Melinda in Akron. I’m excitedly waiting to receive Andie’s piece (I’d say go check out her blog but she’s as bad as I am recently!).

I’ve FFO’d 8 Mill Hill pieces, 3 of which I actually started and completed this month. That makes 6 ornaments for the Christmas gifts, and 2 Santa’s. I’m supposed to be swapping a Santa chart & as I sent mine in August, and haven’t got one back, I kind-of doubt that will happen.

And I signed up to Stitch From Stash 2017A, which is hosted by Stephanie & can be found on facebook. Since then I’ve gone on a massive haul spend so that I can start things next year. If I’d started SFS in October, I’d be broke until January!!! Eep. This did result in a new start, Tamara by Liz Almond. It’s working up reasonably quickly – this is after about 4 hours work (the colours are crap in flash photography, sorry – this is black and green threads (310, 561, 562, 563) on 28ct Geyser from Countrystitch:


Question of the Month

What online stitching communities do you enjoy?

fb_img_1476767766853Well, I do enjoy watching Flosstube – so much so that I now participate. If you skip back a blog post, you’ll get #5, which has some #passthestash included – but you MUST comment on the video to enter! Entry is worldwide, you must be over 18, blah blah.

I’m back on Facebook, primarily for the Round Robin, Stitch from Stash and Butterbean Motivation groups. I cut back a lot of “friends” and its much more peaceful.

I’m also on Instagram as @sewscrapmuse. Feel free to request there; if you’ve got stitchy posts I will automatically add you.


Sharing is Caring: Include, Embrace & Support — Ali Edwards Blog

My son was diagnosed with autism at age 2.5. Sitting here 12 or so years later we’ve all learned so much (and continue to learn) about life and compassion and kindness and struggle and celebrating successes. Our stories are intertwined. His and mine and ours. Mine wouldn’t be the same without him. I’ve said it out loud…

via Include, Embrace & Support | How To Be A Friend To A Family With A Special Needs Child — Ali Edwards Blog

Long time, No talk…


Mase at the summit of One Tree Hill, looking towards Rangitoto (the island in the harbour).

I have really neglected this blog! No excuses, just busy elsewhere. I am going to Butterbean Motivation boot camps and have ramped this up from once a week to three – and Si is now joining me. He is also enjoying the eclecticness of the group and how welcoming they are. I know I’m getting stronger – last week I was so ill I didn’t do much from Sunday night to Saturday morning (worked from home tho) & I only managed half Saturday’s set. I had lost 8.3kg since starting on June 27th but after last week I’m sure it will be a gain. I’m still sick so I’ve elected not to attend JC for a couple of weeks & will meal-plan with more knowledge, commitment & a scan of some weight watchers books. It will be nice to be eating the same as the kids for a few weeks anyway. Here’s me at my first bootcamp & then earlier this month. I have cheekbones!! And I’m two sizes smaller. Yay for finally fitting that Fleetwood Mac shirt I brought last November. And Loren – she’s amazingly dedicated. I’m so grateful that she thought to include me in this group.

img_20161015_162710Jen & I gave up some time on Saturday to collect for the Breast Cancer Foundation. Jen looked after the kids; I go the weirdo with the “theory” on how women get breast cancer. Eep. Still, we were clever enough to have an inside spot as the rain continued to cover Auckland & helped bring in cash for a good cause. The text link is still applicable if you’re in New Zealand!!

img_20161014_093422I got lots of haul, some of it yet to arrive. My Stitch from Stash is well in the red – so I need to get some finishes done! Ms Oh Sew Crafty (Stephanie) is running this on facebook – search for the group Stitch From Stash 2017A. It was intended to start in January and run until June, but like some others, I am trying to be conscious of what I am kitting up now in anticipation. Right now I’m in debt until January!! And I’m in a bit of a bid war for L&L Firefly Fairies so that’s still to be added. The Herschners list is from their sale (3 Nora Corbetts and one other) & thankfully I had brought from Jenny (www.homestitchness.com or on Etsy) earlier!

Stitch From Stash Oct-16
Budget   $25.00
Expenses Nantucket Rose -8.00
  CountryStitch FQ x 3 -100.00
  Herschners Sale x 4 -5.65
Finishes Mill Hill Lapis x 2 10.00
  Mill Hill various FFO 16.00
  RR – Queen Mermaid 10.00
Rollover   0
Total Available Budget   -$52.65

Stephanie has created a worksheet for tracking spend/finish. I’ve added the column so I know what items I spent/finished & set my budget (fortunately postage costs don’t come into it!) and set a value for each finish. It’s quite a clever way of being mindful.

01526f42940ce85df07067b60366a180I’ve started using one of the fabrics from Catherine at www.countrystitch.com already (Geyser 28ct Lugana). I’ve looked at Save the Stitches and another couple of Liz Almond designs, but this one was in the Spring 2015 issue of Cross-Stitch & Needlework, which I already owned (stash!!). I’m converting the reds to green threads & started last night: IMG_20161016_204145.jpg

And today is the post date for my Mira RR. I finished the Queen on Saturday – there are no thread conversions in this one. I’m planning on beading the whole lot once it returns, as I suspect I will need to re-stitch the borders. If I do I won’t use DMC satin but find a comparable silk or Waterlillies thread instead. On the left will be Waiting for Ships facing Queen; Gypsy facing Bluebeard’s Princess & Enchanted facing Waiting for Ships. This is on 28ct Lugana in Cook Strait from Countrystitch.


I’ve also had a blitz on finishing some of the Mill Hill ornaments that I plan to give for Christmas. One set is for the SIL and another for the FIL & his girlfriend. I’ve kept the patterns in case I decide to re-stitch any for our tree next year. There’s one more to do for each set. If you’re curious, I don’t follow the thread instructions. I only use 2 strands, not 3, and the repeated set are on 14ct plastic canvas not perforated paper.


Production Line! Lapis at the top, the second Holly at the bottom.

Anyway, this is turning out to be a huge post. I’ll try to get back into the regular WIP Wednesday/review/share posts from this week. Thanks for reading, and take care!

Harvest Moon WIPocalypse

Mase took these photos last night, as we headed down the North Western motorway to pick up Dad. A cell phone can’t capture the sheer size and the colour – no wonder the American Indians & Maori (among others) called this a Harvest Moon.

My September has been all about my round robin prep. This was a love/hate relationship for sure and I AM NEVER USING DMC SATINS AGAIN. Until next time. However I am finished with the frames & thinking that they do look amazing – even if I had to dig in my ORT jar to finish the top leg of the last 20 or so stitches! Playing thread chicken is not as fun as you might think.

I’ve also finalised my layout, and the lovely Elizabeth has come to my rescue and has ordered Bluebeard’s Princess mermaid for me (www.stitchnz.co.nz) so while I may have to post the intended portion on the FB group, I will have it in time for someone else to stitch. Just not Mel in Australia – but there’s four others for her to choose from. My start is the Queen Mermaid – but I’m thinking about adapting her “purse” to either a treasure box (Atlantis-type) or a shell, like this one I found on Pinterest:


I am looking forward to Christmas 2017 when I should get this one back! First posting isn’t for 3 weeks, so Queenie will be done by then.


Question of the Month

Tell us a story about the journey you took through one of your completed pieces.


This is one of my favourites – the first I completed and had framed intending to keep! Which was a Big Deal, as it marked 10 years of stitching history. This is Bran’s birth sampler, the Alma Lynne Noah’s Ark Collector. I still have the chart…but I can’t find it in online stores, sorry, so it must be OOP.


It’s the first that I re-charted portions on – I added personalisation to include Bran’s name, DOB. I used Kreinik for the first time (the lightning bolt) and I gave myself permission to stop angsting over those French knots. Beads all the way! This hangs in our hallway and even at 16, B still appreciates it. There’s true love for you!