Let’s Catch Up, Shall We?

It’s fair to say that it’s been an awfully heavy month. I have done little else but work, cry, look after mum, try to keep the family sane, stitch & attend bootcamp. I can report that of all those, only work & Mum is the bit where I can consider it a pass.

If you don’t want to read on, you can take a pass here too. Thank you for your kind thoughts & prayers & comments over the last month. They are very much appreciated.

Let’s divide these up into sections:

WORK: I am up-to-date thanks to Jille taking care of one of my in-boxes for a week. I am currently starting at 6am, finishing just after 2, & picking Mase up from school, & into “normal” stuff after. I have run out of leave, as the rest of the adult family didn’t step up (yes, I am a little resentful here). I have another 4-6 weeks of this routine. It’s hard not having a proper lunch break/walk/escape from the office time. One of the buyers is also not speaking to me, the weirdo, as her work crush has been speaking to me! Umm – he has to, we work together?!! I have little patience for child-like, bitchy actions from people in their 50’s! I am treating this like a game & currently we are at day 12. I wonder if this can last until her retirement? Cross fingers!

 

BBM: I tried going to 2-3 of these a week. Unfortunately I’ve re-injured my wrist last Sat at the Strength HQ morning so can’t do half the stuff. I can’t STITCH either! Slowly going insane…cue the CRY. And the migraine, which is completely stress related. The GP yesterday put me onto Rizamelt, which dissolves in the mouth. So I’m more likely to gain a benefit, as the fast-acting migraine the other day left me vomiting.

 

MUM: So the 4 hour hospital appt turned into 5 days. The surgeon taking the lung biopsy cut thru her lung, & so she needed a chest drain. This gave rise to further complications. She doesn’t remember much, as she was pretty out-of-it, but at one point I honestly thought that she was going to die. Lung illnesses are scary stuff. The funniest point was when (high on morphine) she was glaring at one of the nurses, totally convinced the poor woman had kicked a squirrel! Yeah. We don’t have squirrels down here. Not even close.

The upshot is that we don’t yet have a comprehensive diagnosis. This is making Mum giddy, & it took a lot of talking to get her to understand that YES SHE IS STILL SICK and NO YOU CAN NOT GO BACK TO YOUR NORMAL. She likes to bury her head in the sand and ignore what she doesn’t like, which is one reason she got so ill, because she wouldn’t go to the GP until we forced her.

Her ANA tests are sky-high, which indicates an auto-immune disease. Her body is attacking her lungs. Usefully she tested negative for the more common strains, like rheumatoid arthritis etc. Her lung specialist has referred her to the RA clinic, as they deal with the auto-immune complications more than the respiratory clinic, then we go back to respiratory in 3 months time.

In the meantime, she has to eat regularly (at least 3 times a day, one meal fibre cereal & only 2 pc bread a day, which unknown to us was all she was having a lot of the time). Poop every day (instead of once a week). Take vitamins. Walk daily (cue a multitude of complaints). But she has lost 9kg since starting to see the specialist, so that’s good (it took 6 of us to move her in the hospital, as she was in so much pain she couldn’t help us). In another couple of weeks she can go back to the GP & see about clearance to drive & “work” at playgroup & school reading recovery again.

She will have to keep a healthy routine now for the rest of her life, and avoid people with respiratory illnesses themselves. I know this will be super-hard, as she needs to feel useful, but that should be a worry for another day.

If you got to the end of this, thank you! Well done! It was like a mini-marathon to run, & I guess you can tell that my personal stress level is super-high. I’m thinking I should probably take advantage of the work Employee Assistance Programme & the free counselling. Especially as I can’t stab things…

Sharing Is Caring: Casa Cenina & Italian Rebuilds

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ll know that there are some devastating natural disasters around the world. Needlework supplier, Italian-based Casa Cenina, has gathered together some original designs especially to raise funds for the earthquake rebuild fund. Click HERE to choose. from some awesome designs.

  • Bothy Threads
  • Joan Elliot
  • Nora Corbett
  • Hands On Design
  • Little House Needleworks
  • Lizzie*Kate
  • so many more!

No points for guessing what was my first purchase…

All designers and Casa Cenina will donate the whole sale income of these e-patters to the Italian Civil Protection, for the post-disaster reconstruction.

 

 

Review: We Talk Fiber

fibertalkSo for something a little different, here’s an audio rec. I recently discovered Fiber Talk, a podcast available thru multiple channels, including their website. Gary & Christine are stitchers and knitters so this podcast is all about needles and threads. The first one I listened to was from Nicola Parkman of Hands Across the Sea Samplers (who has revisited the show, and I intend to listen to that one soon) and there are so many more back into January 2017, including Vonna (The Twisted Stitcher), Mary Corbett and her sister Sarah DeBree, ANG Certified Master Teacher Susan Hoekstra & the team from Nordic Needle, who I know a lot of stitchers use for supplies.

I think I’m going to look for a smaller sampler to add to my rotation…which is the whole point, right? Enable the world!

You can listen thru iTunes, their website, Podcast Addict (the android app I enjoy & recommend) & various other sources.

 

WIP Wednesday #199

I have done HEAPS this last week and I am so excited! My parcel has been in Miami for the last two days and I want it to HURRY UP but in the meantime I am pretty excited to continue with my two July WIPs.

Number One is the Mill Hill Christmas Island Santa, from their Tropical Santas line (2012 series). I am re-working parts of this as I go. You’ll note that he no longer has a coconut – I have elongated the shape to an oval and stitched it all in 434, which is the colour of the aged pig-skin rugby ball we have at home. Back story is that Santa played for the All Blacks (the national rugby union team) in his youth, & he still loves a bit of beach touch rugby. Today I’ll hopefully get that bird re-charted or stitched as a seagull, which is found on nearly every NZ beach. This pack has already been spoken for, & will be going off to Michelle #sprinklestitchykindness Garette, hopefully next week!

At home I have Andromeda on the lap stand. I finished her arm last night, and all the back stitch is done for the whole piece (both Kreinik & DMC) except her face, as I still have hair to complete in that area first. At this point I will stitch her hair in the charted colours. I am not yet sure what shade of green I will use for the ribbon in her hair but I think I found the perfect beads in my stash last night. I can tell you I’m adding an extra five bucks to the Stitch From Stash tally just for the frogging portion alone. I also decided that my Andromeda wasn’t going to be placidly waiting out the Fates. Eyes open & looking straight ahead. I looked thru my other Mira pile, found the eye I wanted, reversed it and re-charted to fit the 15 stitches high face (Cassiopeia is 18 stitches FYI).

Now, you’ll note that I now have a post count in the header. I’ve been blogging for nearly 10 years, so it took a while to average out the WIP Wednesday posts (I ignore the FB only ones) & I made an executive decision. Next week, being #200, calls for something special. Keep your eye out for #passthestash & a wee competition!

June WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse is a monthly DIY SAL hosted by Melissa over at measi.net This is my third year of formal participation & it’s something I definitely high-light in my planner. Click on the icon on the right to join up, or see links to other participants.

Let’s review June’s goals:

  • Finish Emi, my portion of Julie’s round robin (Stitch From Stash “Finish it Up” SAL) – COMPLETED
  • Finish Andromeda – or at least get the conversion nutted out & rock completed – ACHIEVED! COMPLETED THE CONVERSION DETAIL & ROCK. And as of last night, Baby Got Back.
  • Work at least one day on MH Believe (Stitch Maynia Whine & WIPs SAL) – ACHIEVED

It’s just as well that I didn’t list “stay in budget” for Stitch From Stash as I’ve blown it. In the last month, too, of Part A, but I should be golden for the whole year. I was out at our Panmure store and just oops! Ribbon Rose was open. All I actually needed was a $3.90 pack of beads for Andromeda (03035, they might not work but they are pretty so I’ll use them somewhere), but I browsed. I never hardly ever get the chance to browse with no-one breathing down my neck or whining that I am spending too long or that they are hungry/thirsty/bored. So I took advantage of that to kit out the Mia Mermaid, the (yucky shop) freebie from the recent Mira meet-up. I had a fairly specific idea about the dyed threads that I wanted to use for the tail, but once I started laying things out I moved from the suggested to other Waterlillies, and then I turned around. A wall of Gentle Arts Sampler Threads (often abbreviated to GAST). Heaven could be a needlework store, right?

Mia-Mermaid-MirabiliaSo here’s my current thought process. Of course I’ll use Kreinik silver instead of the suggested DMC metallic, which goes without saying!

For her hair, sub from the dark DMC 3031 to GAST Dark Chocolate (1170). For the lighter portion, sub from CWL 137 Copper to GAST Toffee (7078).

For her tail, moving from the darker shades to the light:

  • CWL 083 Pine Forrest to GAST Pine (0120)
  • CWL 207 Bermuda Reef to GAST Mistletoe (0113)
  • DMC 958 to GAST Silver Fern (0114)
  • DMC 964 to GAST Evergreen (0150).

I like the subtleness of the dye difference compared to the wilder variations in the Waterlillies. I also won’t be stitching the lettering, but I’m thinking about keeping the year.

I also picked up the Mill Hill/Sandra Cozzolino Renaissance Santa (Florence) with his gorgeous painting but it was $27.90NZD which is a hideous price. At least there are the materials to stitch him at least twice – once for Lou and once for me.

MD151_40284On top of that spend, I purchased some things thru Down Sunshine Lane (www.downsunshinelane.com) who are amazing. They had the 3 new Mill Hill/Sandra Cozzolino Santas for 2017 at a reduced pre-sell, so I ordered those, and a Lizzie Kate Coffee design, and after everything was confirmed, the new Nora mermaid was released so I emailed the team, and they added that one to my package! I am in love with the Renaissance Mermaid. And with the top-notch service. It was so much better than 123, who charged me freight TWICE cause they split an order. I would have preferred an option to cancel as $12USD for a $7USD kit is not really worth it!

So onto July’s goals.

  • No stitchy spend (even framing).
  • Start & complete MH Christmas Island Santa (as that chart & leftovers are going to Michelle #sprinklestitchykindness Garrette, & she’s sending me Hawaii)
  • Finish Andromeda. Before I start Renaissance.
  • Kit up & grid for August start, Nantucket Rose, with Dena (half stitch) & Emily C (eclectic possessions) on Flosstube/IG. Which really means – decide on fabric. Hint of Autumn (mine is lighter than the sample) or blue? Dawn or full daylight?

 

Question of the month: Show us your Stitchy Spot!

So – not a question but the reason I’ve delayed posting this by a week. Si decided that he wanted a new chair, so we went looking. Two weekend’s searching narrowed me down to this: the modern Wingback from Freedom Furniture. High back, short-ish seat (I don’t have long legs and don’t want my feet hanging over!), decent padding and nice feet (that I can change out later if I want). All the frames in the lounge are black so the material will do for now. I’ll likely change it out in a few years tho. Mase helped me put the base on – he’s a natural!