Back to your regularly scheduled programme…

Important bit – none of the links below are affiliate. Deerskin is actually to a review, not the purchase.

It feels so good to be back writing, and reading, and stitching, and (dare I say it) work! I spent a good portion of the last fortnight ill, five work days away from my desk, and it’s only yesterday that the sleep-deprived me felt kind-of-normal.

SO about the above..

  • I started & finished Deerskin, by Robin McKinley. I’d not read any of her novels but I got hooked in by the cover. And the price (it was free that day). Now I’m adding Sunshine to the Kindle, as @aragonsgirl72 recommended her on my IG post.
  • For those of you that liked my version of Not All Those Who Wander, Emma Congdon has now uploaded this to her etsy site.
  • I brought myself the Palace Cinema from Lego. Loving it. Construction kept my mind tired and from being overwhelmed with solo parenting & worry. I finished it and brought the Bank set. I might have started a new obsession…
  • Mase “helped” with the construction. Cars are still a little boy favourite. Look how long his fingers are now! I miss the true little boy chubbiness.
  • And last night was my first night at a stitch group in far too long. I laughed and really enjoyed myself. It was in Grey Lynn, an older established and PRETTY suburb of Auckland. Love the way the trees grew to form a canopy.

And stitch-wise, I am well into March’s Stitch MAYnia designer SAL, which was Teresa Wentzler. My goal was to back stitch and fill in a lot of the gaps in the top floral border of Tapestry Cat. I’m really happy with the progress.

And as for the other, that’s for an Instagram swap. My partner loves How to Train Your Dragon, so as one of the pieces I am making her a needlebook with the two main characters front and back. Cloudsfactory make such easy, cute designs for this sort of thing.

What have you been up to?

 

WIP Wednesday 

Look! Aren’t you proud of me? I am posting on the proper day! 😎

I have a couple of things on the go right now. This is Emma Congdon’s Home Sweet Home from an issue of Cross Stitch Crazy. I’m not in love with the colours yet but it’s a good project for work (I finished that Mill Hill fireflies & it’s ready to bead):

At home I am working on Jacqui’s round robin. She’s chosen Passione Ricamo for her designer, and I’ve chosen the least fussy chart from the selection. It’s Into the Darkness but maybe it won’t look so witchy as the original when I’m done. 

Andrea’s stitched the one on the right. I wish I could show you the sparkle; those roses are back stitched in Kreinik or a Rainbow Gallery.

I can’t wait tho to get back to something Mira.

Lastly, here’s some Stitch Porn. This is amazing. I want!

Decisions, decisions…HOLP!

So I brought some haul, as Andie was preparing for a serious move. It was my civic duty, right? Yeah, let’s hold onto that thought.

But now I have a dilemma. I want to start Celtic Winter RIGHT NOW but I am at work, and no threads handy. Not ones that would suit! And I need to finish A-Team. And I brought two pieces of fabric, and I’m at a loss as to which will be best. Keep in mind that I am planning on changing the golds to silvers…

celtic-winter

The StashCache file is already uploaded onto that tab 🙂

 

What do you think?

It’s not all bad news out there…

I sincerely don’t understand the American voter right now. I’m supposedly the equivalent of the Trump voter – white, Christian, middle-class, married (ish!), with children, working outside the home – and yet I wouldn’t vote this way at all. Not saying that HRC is a better citizen, but his divisive, ridiculing, temper-inducing, lying, misogynistic rants are disgusting to hear. So his speech last night was a surprise. Who had his leash and why hasn’t they been in control the whole way thru? I can only think that as world citizens we’d be a lot more confident in the next four years if the campaign had been run like this.

To the good news – Corrections boss Ray Smith has recommended to the Parole Board that they reconsider releasing Vicki Letele under compassionate grounds. Common sense! I hope this sets a precedent for how we as a nation care for terminally ill prisoners in the future.

Here’s hoping for the decision today.

 

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:

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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.

 

The Cousins are Over

And if you’re a FB friend, you’ll have seen that we have been very, very busy each evening. Combined with the fiscal year end here at work, I’ve barely had any space to stitch. However, we do have a finish! My second for #16in2016. This is the Mirabilia 2004 Cherub with Tree freebie, with lots of conversions:

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The changes are:

Original Used Notes Original Used Notes
310 823   500 319  
356/758   1/2 strands 502 320  
356/434   2/1 strands 598 932  
839 938   926 931  
3052 3022   3756/3811 3753  
3768 930   Kreinik 009 2 strands

Backstitch: 2 strands 844 for border & wings, 356 for skin & 310 for lashes.

Beads: N in the border 02026 to 03050; O in the border/hair + collar went from 02010 to 00161; tree is all 03050 except the star is 03016; O in the dress is all 02026.

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Orewa beachfront

On Saturday we escaped the mugginess of the city and went for a tour north of the city. We did Waiwera pools to relax (I want this place, but Ben says 650-700K and I just about choked, so that’s a no https://www.barfoot.co.nz/562286 ) and ended up at Orewa for dinner. There’s a good takeaways on the edge opposite Hillary Square, and we trudged across the road to the beachfront. We drove home via Riverhead (which is where I wanted to live, but now I’m thinking the village vibe is going to disappear in the new subdivisions that are spreading out).

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the boys at Arataki, looking out towards Manukau Heads

Sunday was a bit easier – Sharon’s place, then Arataki, down across town to Devonport (proper lager at the pub, apparently) and home for dinner.

 

20160208_201656_011.jpgYesterday was recovery day, so Si & his dad chain-sawed pine trees for the gf & grandma to last them a couple of winters, then BBQ at Grandad’s – and no summer Barbie is complete without a game of cricket. See Mase in the front left, in blue? From that spot he threw the ball to the far wicket and ran Zac out. Amazing arm on that kid.

Today is the first day all three boys are at school – hallelujah! –  so of course I’m celebrating this by being at work. Hmm. Something is wrong with this picture. At least I have Rahenna’s piece to stitch on. By default I’ve ended up with Lily of the Valley, which I haven’t stitched before.

Poppy reminds me of Anne, as it was one of her finishes last year. Hey, Anne!

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