I have a finish already!

Hello everyone! My resolve for April is to be not as inwardly focused, so you should see a bit more of me. It was partially depression, partially feeling overwhelmed that lead to a quiet March, blog-wise. With what happened in Christchurch, while I wasn’t directly affected, it’s been a massive shock and I’m certainly not ready to articulate my feelings there. I will share more of our family time as there’s some scenery later on this month.

As you saw in my last post, I was in the red for SFS. Luckily one of the week’s “homework” pieces handed out yesterday in #magicalstitches was to choose a piece that was 75% done and work 300 stitches on it. I wasn’t actually sure that I had 300 stitches left but luckily – 409 including the backstitch! This is a portion of Little House Needlework’s Captains Inn (2007) on 28ct Haystack from Countrystitch, full conversion except for DMC blanc. Everything is in the Crescent Colours I’ve stashed, except for the sea is a Waterlilly & the anchor is DMC.

Original Used featured
LHN Captain’s Inn Sign
434 Roasted Chestnut sign
434 Fool’s Gold ship
CC Blackbird Hickory Sticks
CC Green Onion Eggshell
WDW Dolphin WL 229 Oasis
WDW Gunmetal 3768
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March WIPocalypse

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a visit to Homestead Framers…

Hello everyone! I hope you’re well. WIPocalypse is the monthly check-in SAL hosted by Measi on her blog, and via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers! Click on the icon to the right to learn more.

March Goals

  • Bead & FFO Genoa Santa’s NOPE
  • Complete stitching on Wales Santa’s NOPE
  • Stitch & FFO Hello There April NOPE
  • Complete & FFO Kiwi 10 Cents FINISHED
  • Complete first fairy in Shakespeare’s Fairies ALMOST!
  • Work on Arezzo FINISHED

With most of my stitching working around the School of Magical Stitches group challenges, I haven’t worked on Shakespeare’s Fairies as much as I would have hoped in Feb. But, I have several starts, two finishes (one of which I am so, so stoked to get done), dropped three off to the framers & there are a few closer to a finish. Bonus points given that one of my “homework” pieces will double as my SIL’s present, as she loves cats.

Arezzo doubled as both my WIPocalypse “stitch every day” piece and for 1000 stitches of an Ultimate Challenge. I worked on her for 24 of the 25 days (the 25th was the day I finished) & honestly, don’t know why I didn’t finish her sooner. She’s so pretty & delicate that I am considering which Mira I will stitch over one next! But as I started Coffee Quaker over one, that won’t be for a while.

April Goals:

  • Use Genoa & Wales for Extra Credit piece (500 stitches)
  • Complete first fairy in Shakespeare’s Fairies
  • Stitch Hello April AND Hello May
  • Work on Quaker Coffee every day in April

Question of the month: What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend? I do recommend (new to me, anyway) Sirious Stitches & KiwiXCrossing designers, purely for the ease of their patterns (both are Etsy); and for fabric I always recommend Catherine at Countrystitch Fabrics – her shop is not new, but the range is ever expanding, the website is fantastic, service is great AND if you want to get an idea of the fabric/design combo, she’s listed on the Fabric Viewer website.

When it comes to Stitch From Stash, I’m a little bit in the red. This would fix with no spend/no finishes in April, but I got a wee bonus so had a binge. Mani di Donna’s Blue Quaker Sewing Basket, Mirabilia’s Mermaid of Atlantis (plus Waterlillies threads) and two Mill Hill kits, the Celestial Sleigh and Princess Carriage. I’ll show pictures as I work on them.

Mar-19
Country Stitch Fabrics Cloudburst -18.11
Country Stitch Fabrics Bourbon -17.39
Floral Cat (Etsy) -5.25
Spotlight DMC*12 -22.80
Spotlight Lugana FQ -15.00
123Stitch Binge -97.76
SamSarah Need to Read 4.42
KiwiXCrossing 10 Cent 13.92
Arezzo Conversion (over one) 32.44
Rollover + Budget $107.01
Total Available Budget -$18.52

February WIPocalypse

Hello everyone! I hope you’re well. WIPocalypse is the monthly check-in SAL hosted by Measi on her blog, and via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers! Click on the icon to the right to learn more.

My February goals:

  • Bead & FFO Genoa Santa’s NOPE but I made a small start
  • Complete stitching on Wales Santa’s NOPE & found a big mistake
  • Stitch & FFO Hello There March STITCHING COMPLETED
  • Work on Fairy Idyll YES just a little
  • Work on Shakespeare’s Fairies YES

Most of my stitching has been for the various # schoolofmagicalstitchesandliterature tasks. I brought myself a Harry Potter notebook & a wand pen (I know, it’s hard to believe I’m turning 45 this year) and started to record my goals in the one location and the counts achieved. I’ve never counted before… Much easier than using the back of receipts! I’m still so happy about the amount I achieved on Tapestry Cat (769 stitches) but I want to work on Shakespeare’s Fairies all the time. All the time. If I brought it to work I’d get nothing done! I’ve done 3201 stitches on that alone.

This month I also started Kiwi X Crossing’s 10 Cents (1253 stitches, most for an Ultimate challenge), and worked on Nantucket Rose (412 stitches), Prancer (526 stitches), Hello March (752 stitches) and a few hundred (I blocked out 1000 for another Ultimate) on Fairy Idyll.

March Goals

  • Bead & FFO Genoa Santa’s
  • Complete stitching on Wales Santa’s
  • Stitch & FFO Hello There April
  • Complete & FFO Kiwi 10 Cents
  • Complete first fairy in Shakespeare’s Fairies
  • Work on Arezzo

 

Question of the month: What do you listen to while stitching? I can listen to nothing or all the things. We watch (and play!) a lot of sport so in summer, there’s cricket and in winter, rugby and league on the TV. I watch British dramas and mysteries – Morse, Midsommer, BBC adaptations, Luther (that last only when it’s daylight), 8 Out of Ten Cats and comedies; I listen to podcasts about whatever I am currently interested in and then there’s audible books. Often I find myself listening to little boys fight, which isn’t much fun but listening to them play is.

My other question of the month is – what on earth happened to the middle of the month? I blinked and missed it!

And Stephanie, you’ll be so pleased to note I’m well in the black!

Feb-19
CF Maurader’s Map -8.05
CF We’re All Mad Here -9.51
NC Baby On The Moon -12.00
Sirithre LOTR Biscornu -5.27
KiwiXCrossing 10 Cent -5.75
O’ Holy Night Bk 1 -3.00
Hospice buys -6.00
Spotlight DMC*6 -11.40
Hello March 12.40
Fabric Sales (Lani) 35.00
Rollover + Budget $95.59
Total Available Budget $82.01

10 Things to Tell You Podcast Edition – On Are You Lonely?

Last year in September I took part in Laura Tremaine’s Instagram challenge about 10 Things to Tell You. She’s now expanded this to a podcast (iTunes or if you’re on an android phone, I recommend the Podcast Addict app) and each week, there will be a mini challenge. This week it’s about being Lonely.

Her prompts are ARE YOU LONELY or WHEN WERE YOU LONELY? I’m not ready to talk yet about the low portions of my loneliness except to say – it passes. It has always passed. Life has always gotten better.

A few things I took from this episode:

  1. Former US Surgeon General Viveck Murthy calls loneliness an “epidemic.” You can feel lonely even when surrounded by people. Very true.
  2. I HAVE told myself a false narrative. As in, no one possibly understands what I’m going through. No one loves me. No one will miss me. This is of course a load of bollocks, but remember its ok to go thru a period of wallowing in self-pity – but also remember that you will feel better once you contact with other people. Even if it’s a smile and a thank you at the supermarket checkout.
  3. Laura says a key to connection is having a regularly scheduled thing to look forward to. I totally agree – Saturday morning bootcamp walks are always a highlight.
  4. Are online connections real? Laura’s question and my answer is YES. Totally. There will always be people who are a shadow of themselves, but there will conversely always be people who are real. Supportive.
  5. It’s about belonging. (See further reading: Brene Brown) It’s essential in relationship not only to feel loved, but to feel liked. Much. Truth.

If you want to talk or reach out, I’m here. Note that comments on this post won’t be “public” unless you specifically state that you want your comments out there. X

WIP Wednesday #240

20190202_195150.jpgHello everyone! I’ve been super busy this last fortnight, stitching, walking, reading, cleaning, running around after family members & I can’t wait to take a break! One highlight was a repeat dinner with the Harpur family, who brought Aurora with them. Two weeks ago she was the length of Simon’s forearm/hand – now look at her! She’s 5 weeks here.

I didn’t post last week as my pieces were all over the show as I worked away at the various #schoolofmagicalstitchesandliterature tasks. All up, this last fortnight has seen the start & finish of Hello March (500 for words), 200+ more stitches on Nantucket Rose (enabled), 600+ on Shakespeare’s Fairies (various challenges) and 700+ on Tapestry Cat (two challenges). I have just stitched more on TC in a week than I did in all of 2018. He nearly has a tail! This is a lot of stitching but with our national holiday, Waitangi Day, I got extra walking and stitching in. And market shopping. Nom nom on the Whitestone cheeses and Selash cured meats. And perfection at the Franked stall – imported, handcrafted items from Cambodia where there is a story behind the item, & it’s helping differently abled people.

I also finished my January Project Life pages. I’m choosing to do these in a 6*8 album as it’s more personal to me, not for the family. There’s some stuff that involves others (I asked Mase to fill in the Back to School card) but they won’t get this until I’m passed. Mase does look at it, but he knows if it’s hidden journaling, it’s private to me & he’s not to read it yet.

And on Sunday, Louise & I got up early and walked around the harbour on Tamaki Drive. We started at St Helliers, went up to Achilles Point & watched the sunrise and a cruise ship come into the harbour, picked up coffee at Mission Bay and eventually got collected at Royal Akarana Yacht Club. 7.2km in all of super-quality time with my girl.

Hope you all have a lovely week!

10 Things to Tell You Podcast Edition – On Reading

screenshot_20180911-214351_instagramLast year in September I took part in Laura Tremaine’s Instagram challenge about 10 Things to Tell You. She’s now expanded this to a podcast (iTunes or if you’re on an android phone, I recommend the Podcast Addict app) and each week, there will be a mini challenge. This week it’s about reading, and we all know how addicted I am to books! I have my childhood favs on the shelf still and made an effort to encourage all of my children to read, & three of the four do chose to read for leisure. Mase even reads himself to sleep like I do!

WHEN DO YOU READ? All. The. Time. I don’t really stop.

HOW DO YOU READ? I read printed, electronically and thru Audible. I consider most written word to be worth having, whether it’s me reading or someone else reading it to me.

WHAT DO YOU READ? Almost anything. I don’t like horror, or sci-fi, but I will devour high fantasy (think Tolken, Eddings, McCaffrey) and love novels that have historical facts woven in (Edward Rutherford, Rosalind Laker, etc). There are some authors I will pick up, almost without prejudice to the genre that they are writing in, and if there’s a bit of humour it is even better (Nora Roberts, Rosalind James, Suzanne Enoch & the late great Georgette Heyer are examples here). I am also quite the aficionado of Sandra Boynton, Linley Dodd & Margaret Mahy.

I’d love to see your answers! Please link to your posts in my comments field x

January WIPocalypse & OLW Thrive

Hello everyone! I hope you’re well. WIPocalypse is the monthly check-in SAL hosted by Measi on her blog, and via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers! Click on the icon to the right to learn more.

My January goals were:

  • Finish Jardin Prive’s Eiffel Quaker COMPLETED
  • Mill Hill Golden Tannenbaum for my Small/Christmas All Year Round BOTH FFO
  • Hello There March (& FFO) not started
  • 341 stitches in Shakespeare’s Fairies for the HP SAL ACHIEVED

Additionally, I’ve got over a thousand other stitches in SF and at work, I’ve stitched two Genoa Santa’s (one for me, one for Lou), and started two of the Wales version. I’ve also touched one of my yearly goals and stitched on Fairy Idyll – one of the monthly HPSAL goals was 500 stitches in gold, so I’m used her dress. So far, there’s only 3 days this month I haven’t stitched, & I’m happy with that.

Late last year I asked Belinda (@aussiestitcher) if she wanted to part with her copy of Coffee Quaker (the one that says “first I drink the coffee, then I do the things”) and she sent me a huge haul. Three needleminders (great for holding up copies of charts on the frame), two pieces of Colour Cascade fabric, the chart and her thread remnants, some of which will be enough to complete the smaller portions on the chart! I’m spoilt.

February goals:

  • Bead & FFO Genoa Santa’s
  • Complete stitching on Wales Santa’s
  • Stitch & FFO Hello There March
  • Work on Fairy Idyll
  • Work on Shakespeare’s Fairies

Question: What SAL’s are you participating in this year?

After last year’s abysmal failure, I’m only doing two. One is the #ChristmasAllYearRoundSAL via my Instagram posts (if you don’t know, I’m Christmas mad) and the other is the #HarryPotterSAL via the Facebook group. I’ve completed a few challenges this year & I’m looking for ways to incorporate more WIPs into the rotations.

A LATE EDIT, JUST FOR STEPHANIE January Stitch From Stash has come out positive, despite the NZD-UK Pound exchange rate. Idyll cost quite a bit! And some fabric sales came thru the bank account last night, moving me from my already positive 59cents. LOL.

Jan-19
Budget $25.00
Fairy Idyll for Gail -46.76
Spotlight DMC*6 -11.40
Eiffel Quaker 21.25
Golden Tannenbaum *2 12.50
Fabric Sales (Lani) 70.00
Total Available Budget $70.59

As my One Little Word this year is THRIVE (and Simon has also adopted it when it comes to us as a couple, like he did with YES in 2018), we took advantage of a child & work free day and went to Hamilton on Monday. It was super hot very early on, so we didn’t spend much time in the sun but on the drive, I not only finished the stitching in Genoa but made a start to Wales. I enjoy these pieces when we’re driving. We ended up at the Gardens, a favourite place, and took in the new Katherine Mansfield garden. It’s based upon her short story, The Garden Party, and while I forgot to take shots of the tennis court area, the house had us going ah…

 

It’s just a 3-4M deep facade, but so much detail. In another year, when the garden is that much more established, it’s going to be beautiful.

And of course, in the entry piazza that leads to these extra garden “rooms”, there’s Alice & the White Rabbit:

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