WIP Wednesday #227

Hey everyone! I’m half-way thru my week of solo parenting and am pleased to report no casualties as yet. Not even a ding on the ute – as Si took my car away, I’m driving his brute to & fro, mostly work. I have done a heap of “one little things” around the house and spent a good portion of Sunday working on building a personal album – July-now is completed. There is a small volume of personal writing which is hidden from initial view and that’s just the way I want it. Mase is likely to pick it up from my side table to look at the pictures (I need to wean him from this habit) but he does know not to pull the tabs.

Reading wise, I ended up returning Mythos. It just wasn’t right for me. Instead I’m re-reading (as not much effort is required) the Chesapeake Shores series by Sherryl Woods (try these Elizabeth!) and listening to the 47th (??!!) In Death book, Leverage.

20180911_212120.jpgAnd stitching – some progress on the Peridots during work breaks, a wee bit on Fairy Idyll as I wait for Bran’s physio appointments, and I FOUND THE BOTTOM OF THE DESIGN in Persephone. That’s a huge finish motivator – altho I note that there’s about 3 days stitching the hem, plus 3-4 days on the confetti heavy flower trail that’s on the left plus another 3 days on the beading, but I will finish this month even if I get distracted by something else.

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WIP Wednesday #226

Hey everyone! If you’re on my IG, you’ll know why I’m late posting. And if you’re not – well. My week has been pretty hard. I was grumpy as (actually, read that as GRUMPY – bold, in italics, 72pt etc), Then I woke Tuesday with a migraine. Ugh. Then Mase came home from school very, very hot and short of breath – turns out he has a chest infection so is at home, on antibiotics. Poor kid. My verse of the week is quite accurate. Thanks for the heads up, Lord.

But before that we had a good weekend. Father’s Day for us – the card is from Lou, who made Dad one of his fav dinners/desserts as her gift; Zac & Mase “brought” Si a Lego Technics yacht and Mase so sweetly kept his major present a secret all week – he asked me to take them to the Bridgeway cinema at Northcote to see the Spitfire movie. I am so proud of his thoughtfulness & if you’re into military or aviation history, this documentary has a five star review from Mase. We also found a small, almost private beach below the cinema & plan to explore by kayak in the summer.

As for me, I finished the round robin! Apart from a gift or treasure on the Queen’s outstretched hands, I’m done. Yippee! So happy with the way this turned out, frames and all. I think I need to pull out the one I’m not happy with from 2015/16 and add frames to that, and see if it makes a difference. I suspect it will.

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WIP Wednesday #225 & August WIPocalypse

Hello lovely people! I am in a much better head space this week – had awkward convo with family member & hard convo with the boss out of the way, and on Sunday we (Si & I) completed the Loaded Tough Guy mud run. Exceptionally slow time, but we’d made a decision to stick together so that meant we were governed by my fitness – then on the first downward slide, T injured his back. This was maybe a quarter of the way in? So after that, it was Si, myself, T, Alvin, Mel & Ondrake working together. We picked up Kim (Mel & Kim earworm for you other 80’s survivors hehehe) who had been left behind by her team and while we were the last group to finish, we finished. My shoes are a write-off and my body isn’t that far behind. However – massive achievement, given the course conditions and the mental fortitude needed. My Samsung watch says I climbed 49 flights & did 9.6 km that day. And that won’t count the sliding downhill – I did a lot of that both on my arse and my feet! I recommend Magnesium supplement – it’s made a huge difference.

Stitching has been excellent. I have beaded Deepest Love & Renaissance Mermaids, and have started Waiting for Ships. My work project is two copies of Mill Hill’s Peridot ornament (long time readers will remember I did a lot of these a couple of years ago for family members who don’t appreciate, so now it’s one set for me & one for a gift to a stitchy friend).

As I missed the July WIPocalypse, here’s my answers to both questions (click on the icon on the side to take you to Measi’s site, where the main event is hosted. If you’re a stitcher, please join our motley crew).

JULY – Half Year recap – how are my goals for the year?

Huh. Looking at my points from January this year, not great at all …

So my focus pieces for 2018 (given that I want to end in the black for Stitch From Stash also) are in order of attention (bracket date indicates the start month & year):

  • Mirabilia Ashley’s Roses RR section (Dec 2018) FINISHED
  • Semco Toy Story Sampler (October 2013) – Zac will be 15 soon, & this needs to be done before then! But first I have to hunt it down… I KNOW WHERE IT IS, I JUST DON’T WANT TO DO IT
  • Mirabilia Fairy Idyll (September 2017) – Gail has loaned me the chart, & I want to return it this year MADE STEADY PROGRESS, ABOUT A THIRD THRU AND AM LOOKING FOR MY OWN COPY SO I CAN RETURN GAIL’S
  • TW Tapestry Cat (Dec 2006!) – because it deserves progress NOT EVEN TOUCHED
  • Mirabilia Persephone (May 2015) –because I want to get thru that skirt! MADE A LOT OF PROGRESS, DOWN TO THE LAST QUARTER!!!
  • Jane Austen SAL (December 2017) –because I want to keep up with the readings GAVE UP, I’LL STITCH MY AMENDED BOOKSHELF NEXT YEAR

Too many other things caught my eye! I’m still very pleased with what I have done this year. Not much chance of finishing in the black for this half (altho I did for the first half & should for the whole year) – those Mira 25th Anniversary purchases threw that plan out!

AUGUST – Which is more satisfying to you and why – the process of stitching a piece, or the finish? It’s both by turn – I enjoy the quiet of stitching, the achievement of the finish.

STITCH FROM STASH – thanks in part to some sales, I’m not in as bad a position as I thought. If the person who wants Biancabella does pay, and if I finish Persephone I will end in the black for both the half and (importantly to me) the year. At the least, I resisted spending more this month than just the DMC skeins I ran out of!

Aug-18
  $25.00
Spotlight 7 DMC -11.83
 
Portrait of Antique Vines 11.04
SOLD NC Snapdragon (Maureen) 15.00
   
Rollover -$223.95
Total Available Budget -$184.74

Book Review – The Callaghan & McFadden Series

I re-discovered an author last week. Turns out I’d read the prequel, A Handful of Flowers, a few years ago but for some reason I never moved into the series. I can tell you I’ve certainly fixed that error now!

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Blurb Book 1: This Christian romance novel of 80,000 words is the second book in The Callaghans & McFaddens series from author Kimberly Rae Jordan. A HANDFUL OF FLOWERS (ASIN: B01APAIXM6) is the prequel to this series.

Makayla McFadden has been part of her family’s business since it started. At sixteen, she’d helped her dad by answering phones and doing the filing when she wasn’t in school, and now she’s the office manager for C&M Builders. As the company has grown, they’ve had to hire new people, but the core of the company has always stayed the same. When her father announces his plan to retire, Makayla knows change is coming. Hiring from outside the family will disrupt the way they’ve run their business, and she’s not happy about it.

Upon learning that his father and step-mother plan to move to a new city with his younger sister, Ethan Collins knows he needs to move there as well. The day he gets a call from his first choice for a job, he figures God has answered his prayers. But then he meets Makayla McFadden and realizes that she doesn’t want him there. After they offer him a job on a three month probationary basis, Ethan knows he not only has to convince them he can do the job, he has to somehow convince Makayla that he is a good fit for her family’s company.

When he finds himself falling for Makayla, Ethan tries to fight it since he refuses to do anything that might jeopardize his job and his sister’s future. But when the heart can’t be denied, will Ethan take the risk for love? Or will Makayla be reluctant to embrace change on a personal level and leave him without love or a job?

My thoughts: There’s little risk in trying these books – they are available on Kindle Unlimited (and from memory, book one was free on a lot of platforms). I enjoyed getting to know the characters in depth, from children to adults, and the way the books overlap opens up a realism that often isn’t in a saga. If you like interconnecting books, I can recommend you give this series a try.

Books in The Callaghans & McFaddens series by Kimberly Rae Jordan:

  • A Handful of Flowers
  • A Change of Heart
  • For the Love of Grace
  • The Love of Her Life
  • Believing in Tomorrow
  • Crossing Center Ice
  • A Touch of Romance
  • A Little Ray of Sunshine

Philippians 1 6

WIP (it’s Wednesday somewhere) #222

Yay! I had yesterday off work, and I spent the day in a totally self-indulgent way, reading, stitching or spending time with Mase & Renee while we watch a local musical production, The Wizard of Otahuhu! It was super clever & I’m grateful for the opportunity from Auckland Libraries to go. Mase wants to go again (sorry kid, Mama has to work today).

WIP-wise, I got stitches into the surprise Santa (& now I know the recipient is reading my blog, I can’t show photos until after she’s received it). I am tracking my anniversary Mirabilia purchases (have already on-sold the duplicates I ended up with) and working away on Persephone. I am doing the heavily confetti parts with the flowers as I STILL haven’t been to the LNS to pick up some silks for the hem.

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Hope your week goes well!

Uh Oh. Prepare for a long one, folks…plus WIP Wednesday #218

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote. I have no real excuse, just a general malaise with everything. I guess a mild semi-depression that I am working my way out of.

HEALTH – this is the biggie. The growth found on my annual physical in February has now been excised and a biopsy performed. And the best news – it’s benign. I am so relieved. However I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to boot camp & right now, I’m sticking to walking.

WEEK IN THE LIFE – I have completed my album – which was an achievement in itself! I am not happy with the volume of notes I made, & luckily I have enough in the way of embellishments that I can repeat the exercise in November (before December Daily). Ali’s newest Travel collection is somewhere in the NZ Post system so I hope to get that later this week. Photo post to come!

TRAVELLING – We’ve done a few small trips lately, as you would know if you followed my Instagram. We tried to get to a car wrecker in Whangarei the other weekend but due to an accident (no fatalities but two hours on a 2km stretch of road was frustrating) we couldn’t get there before closing. We ended up staying at Lang Beach, just south of Waipu Cove & did a lot of exploring around Whangarei. I also caught up with a previous workmate Jill, who has Si’s total admiration for sailing around the world (multiple times as long term readers will know) and not killing her husband in tight confines. Last Saturday we got up early, drove up & found the bumper we needed for the Toy Car – and the targa glass panels and covers & some other bits too! Also if you’ve coveted one, I can confirm that a Blunt umbrella is awesome. I got myself the Karen Walker limited edition, as it’s pretty and the odds that the boys will want to be seen using it are low!

OTHER STUFF – the Auckland Photography exhibition is on and Rory, a friend & official Briscoes photographer, has an exhibit on at the Wintergarden Café by the Auckland museum. His theme is birds & flowers & there were some pretty things.

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I went to a number of NZ Comedy Festival events – the 7 Days live screening with Louise, Paul Choudry with Si & then Lou treated us to Jamie Bowen – whose surprise guest was Dai Henwood. It wasn’t comedy as such, more a discussion around a wide range of ideas/events, but it still had laughs and things to ponder. I liked it.

20180530_173025I cleaned and re-stocked the big tank. Tubbs is happier! I do have the smaller tank still set up, much to Si’s disgust, and I think I will get some more mollies and a betta for this one – plus a new light. It needs a light desperately, now its winter and the sunshine hours have reduced.

READING – a lot of trash interspersed with some good writing. June/July looks good for me, with a lot of my fav authors released or releasing for the Northern Summer. I read the latest Rosalind James as part of the pre-release group; there’s a Nalini Singh Psy-Changling & a Tracey Alvarez Bounty Bay next week, a Kirsten Ashley Chaos & Eloisa James Wilde in July, and two LH Cosway to come (all pre-ordered to my Kindle). I had forgotten about the last two Nora Roberts releases so they’re on my Kindle now too.

20180519_065758Non-fiction has been Brene Brown & “The Year of Less” by Cait Flanders & “Slow” by Brooke McAlary. I brought Si “Spymistress” by William Stevenson for Audible and he recommends that one.

I also brought Cocktales, not for the writing but because of the cause. If you are not a romance writer you may be unaware of the huge uproar over a certain author deciding to trademark a word, which in this instance was “cocky”. Her reasons are as shallow as a bird bath is to the ocean, and multiple organisations are now funding the court battle against her, including an union organisation for authors. I don’t believe any one person can TM a commonly used word (it’s not like Xerox or Hoover, where the brand is now also the action) & I think her actions were malicious in intent.

STITCHING – I haven’t stitched all that much since I wrote. 8 instances on the LHN Summer Band Sampler got me to a finish; then 5 sessions on a new start, home*stitch*ness Four Seasons (New Zealand) version which I have quickly fallen out of love with (I think it’s the Cashel fabric, it’s not evenweave & very scratchy); two beading sessions on Mill Hill’s Honey Pot so those are now glued onto felt and ready to cut out as FFO’s; and at work/travel I am working on the two Trinidad Santa’s from last year’s Mill Hill/Sandra Cozzolino release. I’m up to the fiddly parts & making sure thread doesn’t carry on the back of the plastic canvas version. And at home I’m back in love with Fairy Idyll and nearly done with the greenery at the base of the rabbit. My round robin also came back; I need to stitch the square left & bead it all but that’s a budgeted finish for when I’m a little tired of FI.

STITCH FROM STASH – I had my first “no purchase” month in quite some time. This at least brought me back from the brink & I finished in the positive. I’ve also sold (for the same price as I paid) the second copy I had of the Mirabilia Cinderella design so this month looks good too.

Apr-18 May-18
Budget $25.00 Budget $25.00
Melinda – 4*mags -11.04    
Andie – OOP Miras -40.00    
home*stitch*ness 4 Seasons -9.81    
Spotlight Cashel FQ -34.99    
Spotlight 10 DMC -16.90    
       
Melinda’s RR Gigi 12.56 SOLD Angel of Christmas 10.00
Countrystitch Credit (dye) 4.44 LHN Summer Sampler 14.63
LK Be Bold 9.25    
       
Rollover $25.20 Rollover -$36.29
Total Available Budget -$36.29 Total Available Budget $13.34

WIPOCALYPSE QUESTIONS: I’ll post these in the June entry. I need to make sure I post more regularly!

thanks for reading!

YAY Friday.

I’m pretty happy to have got to the end of the week! It’s been fairly chaotic & with the league season kicking off properly for our house (now that Tag has finished) it doesn’t look like Saturday will be a day of rest. I think that for my own wellness, I will need to go back old-school and adopt Sunday as my day of rest. This will mean doing some housework every day during the week to gain a “day off” but long term, I suspect this will be best. What do you think? How do you balance work/home/rest?

My top things for the week include:

  1. It looks like the Screaming Teen has decided his next step & is signing up for an academic course. It’s a combination of sport & management & PT but it’s a step forward.
  2. My new devotional arrived – and thanks to Book Depository, it was postage free & I had a good laugh when it arrived with a wine voucher (I’ve passed that one along already). The devotional is already working for me. I was able to carve out space (even tho I was at work) to shut the door and spend 10 minutes with God. And Pinterest for the last few moments, as visually pretty things are working for me right now. It will be interesting to see where I am at in 40 days.
  3. I re-discovered Ali Edwards and have ordered the kit, an album & some stamps to do Week In The Life. You can go to her blog www.aliedwards.com if you’re curious, but expect some scrapbooking/journalling things mid-May. My parcel shopped from Oregon this morning. Double yay!
  4. I went to Stitch Group on Tuesday & had a really good laugh. Barb & Linda have the best sense of humour. Next month it’s at ours. Eeep. I hope the house elves aren’t on strike.
  5. I’m pretty-much up-to-date at work, after Conference took me out for three days last week. I’ve even passed 39/60 Axonify modules, altho I’m getting very tired of the things. And one more week of my boss being in China equals more time to deep dive into issues.
  6. I love the sounds coming out of this song. Current earworm that I am sharing! Love Spotify. Sorry Elizabeth – you won’t like it but you might have liked the Brene Brown lecture that was on audible instead?