February WIPocalypse & a Finish!

WIPocalypse is hosted by Mel at her blog http://measi.net/measiblog/ ; it’s my favourite SAL, mostly due to the host organisation (which is spot on), the range of topics & the wide variety of stitchers participating. There’s always something to oooh over! Click on the link to the right.

February 28 – Gadgets! Show us your favorite stitching gadgets! and How did you do with Olympic Stitching, and what goals did you achieve?


My favourite gadget is pretty and simple – the Clover pendant thread cutter. Most planes won’t allow scissors but this negates the need & they are widely available. An unpicker would be a close second.

My “Olympic” goal was to get the rabbit, topiary and wings done on this RHS of Fairy Idyll. I wanted to be focussed on Bethlehem at work & Idyll at home.

Achieved! Last night (Feb 28th) I put the last few stitches into Bethlehem (for the SM “Christmas All Year Round” SAL). It’s on Silkweaver 28ct Goldspinner Opalescent Lugana as I imagined the Star to have illuminated the stable & surroundings as it says in Luke 2:9 “Suddenly, an angel of the LORD appeared among them, and the radiance of the LORD’s glory surrounded them…” I made some changes; the flowers didn’t fit my viewpoint, so they were gone; the smaller stars got lost in the opalescent, so they are gone; and the crow is now a dove (eggshell plus DMC 168). I’ve just realised I forgot to initial it – doh.


And while the next RR piece arrived mid-month, I didn’t start it. I have until mid-April, so it will now become my home piece until completed. I carried on the focus on Fairy Idyll (she even came to Wellington & road tripping with us) and I got the RHS wing, topiary (less the Kreinik strands) and bunny completed. I even got some of the grass done along the base and am in a pretty good space to continue after the RR witch.

SALS – For the Jane Austen SAL, I listened to Juliet Stevenson read “Sense & Sensibility” (the Jan/Feb choice) but as I am waiting on my LHN Bookshelf chart to arrive, stitchy progress is nil. So I didn’t meet the stitchy portion of the SAL, but not too worried. I’ll make it up when Bookshelf arrives. The next one is P&P – my favourite Austen.

Satsuma Stockings.jpg

For the SM “Christmas All Year Round” requirements, my next purse project was given to me by a co-worker in a not-so-secret Santa two Christmases ago. It’s one of the Satsuma Street/Jodi Rice mini stocking designs. I’m choosing to start with the reindeer and I’m subbing a few threads. We’ll see how it goes! Satsuma St patterns are available thru her Etsy shop – here’s the link to the Stockings https://www.etsy.com/nz/listing/472290722/mini-christmas-stockings-set-of-four?ref=shop_home_active_5

SFS – I’m still in the black! I did buy a couple of things from Stash Unloading but so far am being good. This may be blown as I intend to visit Crewel Gobelin in Sydney this month – don’t you just love that name?

Budget $25.00
Portrait of Columbus chart -4.75
Scent of Old Roses chart -10.86
Spotlight 3 DMC -5.07
LHN Bethlehem 16.15
Rollover $56.10
Total Available Budget $76.57

Wellington, or There & Back Again

NOTE: hover over the photos to show captions!

A couple of weekends ago, we took advantage of a gap in the Tag schedule and flew down to Wellington for a quick getaway. We left Auckland in horrid squally weather (Mase & Si looking at the nearby planes gives it away as to how bad it was) but when we landed in Welly it was much clearer. Perfect for outdoor breakfast watching the seabirds catch fish at Oriental Bay, walking around the city centre & meeting friends for lunch (hello Catherine & Kerry!!).

We took in the Lego exhibit at Te Papa – huge masterpieces with some very clever detail. Si found Jeremy Clarkson’s Robin Reliant next to Big Ben – if you haven’t seen that episode, please PLEASE stop reading now, go to YouTube and search it up. It’s freaking hilarious to see people’s reactions & he even made a live news broadcast! The Mona Lisa is fully made of the 1*1 blocks – like a plastic cross stitch. The boys even made their own addition to the exhibit with a pokeball (I don’t know the name, can you tell?!).

We’d signed on to relocate a car back to Auckland – a dollar a day, plus insurance waiver, 900 free kilometres plus a tank of gas. I’d do it again, but I wouldn’t use Budget purely because of the customer service at Wellington airport. I actually made a complaint & I don’t normally go that far.

The end of day one found us at the Hacienda Lodge in Palmerston North. I do recommend this place; the hosts were lovely, full of useful recommendations; it’s clean & tidy (we ended up with the end unit which is also wheelchair friendly).

Day two & we chose to drive up the lesser roads as far as we could. I found a church I’d love to relocate! Then five minutes up the road, one I wouldn’t – it was one of those 1920’s concrete ones and to strengthen it the contractors had obvs removed the stained glass windows & replaced with plain aluminium, ick. At least it was in use!

We stopped at Waiouru Army Museum (Te Mata Toa) as we do nearly every time we travel SH1. This time they had a new temp exhibition, which consisted of photographs taken in the tunnels under the WWI battlefields in Arras, France. We couldn’t do the Passchendaele exhibit as we were warned that it was too graphic for Mase, but the kids loved the games and graphics in the Food Glorious Food exhibit, especially the game where you caught the ingredients as a rat knocked them off the shelf.

Late lunch in Taupo, then a quick drive to the rental depot at Auckland Airport. It cost me more than either the Jetstar tickets or the car rental to park our car for the 48 hours but we’ve got lots more in our memory bank.

The Hux Part Deux & WIP-yesterday-was-Wednesday # 214

About this time last year, I climbed the Hux with the BBM crew. This year, as a family we decided to do it again, opening up to whomever wanted to meet us but not letting the lack of “me too” hold us back.

The Hux, or Hakarimata Mountain summit climb, can be divided into two portions. There’s the relatively easy walk to the site of the 1922 dam (nice waterfall is just past this) or the more strenuous climb to the summit. 1K almost straight up, 1349 stairs.


Because I haven’t been very active, my personal goal was halfway plus two flights. I kind-of bullied Karl into the same (he originally had halfway) but then we just kept on moving. And moving. And after about an hour, we were there (Si & Mase had done it 1.25 times by then & Louise & her friend A were a little behind us). Woot!

On the way up I’d seen part of the Tuakau and some Rewa league boys & on the way down, some of the Hamilton BBM crew. It’s nice to see familiar faces but even more so, nearly 99% of everyone else on the Mountain is also doing it tough, no matter how you measure them from yourself. There’s a lot of encouragement & good vibes.

On the WIP front, my work/travel piece is still Little House Needlework’s Bethelehem. I’ve finished with the lettering as of last night and YAY it well fits into the fabric with plenty of room. And I got some progress in on Fairy Idyll – not visibly much as it is such a big piece, but counting & double-counting has got me to the far right. Sorry for the crinkles – I am also stitching this one in hand.

Music wise I am slow to the party & have just discovered Sam Hunt. Gorgeous voice and a STORY in the song? Yes please. Also Do Right by The Glades – she has a beautiful voice.

WIP Wednesday #213

Look at me, blogging on the day I should! Almost a grown-up.

Stitching wise, I haven’t got much done at all. I took a half-day Friday feeling unwell, and have been this way since. I’ve been to the GP and have tablets, spray & ear drops – she thinks a combo of inner ear infection & sinusitis, yum – and blood tests for thyroid & iron & other stuff. I’m slowly getting better but it’s 11am & I’m desperate for a nana nap. So slow is the word for today.

20180124_110030.jpgOn Ashley I finished the blend in the bow, the apricot roses and the greenery in her bouquet. Maybe 250-300 stitches? And I didn’t do anything more on Bethlehem.

I did go to the Corsini exhibit on Saturday with Lou & #masetheace. He was pretty awesome for his first classical art exhibit, lots of questions but he was quiet, respectful & didn’t try to touch anything. More than I can say for some other kids. What is up with letting your child TOUCH a 500 year old fabric wall hanging (close up of the stitching below)? Or letting your child scream in an echoing room & ignoring the 50-odd other people who paid to see this exhibit? Rant over. Take in some of the gorgeousness – and if it ever leaves Florence again, take the chance & view. Well worth it.

WIP (cough) post-Wednesday #212

Apologies for the lateness but – yeah. Life.

This past week has been really odd, frantic busy & I haven’t had much stitching time at all. I finally started Little House Needlework’s Bethlehem & this is all I have managed, in between swearing & work, while in my little office.

We finished the work at the MIL’s on Tuesday, just in time to run home, clean up & shoot into town to see Jimmy Carr at the Aotea Centre. Another night without eating (trying to get parking & pre-pay so we didn’t get towed ate up the time) but it was so worth it. I know he’s crass & non PC, but his humour is on multiple intellectual levels. And his reaction to hecklers is spot on. I laughed until my cheeks hurt & very nearly at crying point. And we had a late night visitor – those stripes look odd!

Last night MIL and the boys arrived home – hooray! She kept on saying she’d loved what we had done, but then spoiled it a little by commenting about our wanting to sell it. For the fifty-fifth thousandth time – it’s not us thinking about selling. Grr. She has a lot of trouble just being grateful & that is getting to me. After all, that space was original 1979…it was well past due!

I don’t see much stitching in the next week either – I want to go to the last days of the Corsini Collection at Auckland Art Gallery. It closes Sunday but I plan on going Saturday with Mase in tow.

Blurb: From the private collection of the eminent Corsini family in Florence, Italy, comes this fascinating exhibition featuring Renaissance and Baroque painting by artists such as Botticelli, Andrea del Sarto, Caravaggio and Pontormo.

The exhibition provides a window on the family’s continuing passion for collecting art, their support of artists, and their ongoing loyalty to the city of Florence, which has prevailed through the devastation of WWll and the inescapable forces of nature during the flood of Florence in 1966.

Portraits, landscape, mythological and religious paintings, as well as sculpture, works on paper, furniture, costumes, embroidery, games, kitchen equipment and a lavish dining room set for six, will portray the life of this family at the Palazzo Corsini and their patronage of the arts.

WIP Wednesday #209 & #passthestash

Woot! I have had a bloody good Finish week. Both Jamaica Santa’s are FFO, one on my tree and one ready for Aliese; and even better, Believe is an FFO as well! I found a funky frame at Living & Giving (it’s by Umbra) that was cheap, as one piece of glass was broken. You’re supposed to put the photo between the two pieces of glass, but instead my sandwich is the perforated paper, glass then a piece of thin, sturdy card. Doesn’t it look cool?


I’m also very, very pleased to have nine (now ten!) stitched pieces on display.


My work piece therefore is new – it’s one of this year’s Lizzie*Kate Coffee Time designs. I’ve even coffee-dyed 28ct white Lugana to suit, & I’m using the Gentle Art threads I used for the Mia Mermaid. They aren’t very variegated but they are nice to work with. Progress shot next week!

What this means is that Believe is ready to #passthestash. I use a working copy, so the chart is pristine. The leftover DMC floss & beads are included; some will definitely be enough while others will need to be sourced/exchanged for what is in your stash. Entries are open from now until New Year’s Day 2018 & I’ll get Mase to randomly choose someone next week.

Comment below – do not mention the word G I V E A W A Y or I will delete. Let us know what you would give to someone who doesn’t believe in Santa!

WIP Wednesday #207

So. Here we are again, heading into the silly season. We’ve had a busy week. There’s been a lot of Tag going on (tag is the summer version of league, no tackling but it’s very, very fast flowing). Lou turned 23, & we had a family lunch at hers. Being in retail, work is ramping up so I’m trying to find moments of peace. Like looking at the Pohutukawa (or New Zealand Christmas Tree) at the supoermarket carpark. I even took some stitching into the Shine assembly at school last night – Z was rewarded for having already banked a merit NCEA credit going into year 11 (which is when most NZ children start NCEA/GCSE type standards). He’s got 7, being assessed for another 5 & needs 80 in total by the end of next year.

Stitching wise, it’s been good when I look back. Still too many things for my liking are in the WIP phase, but I got a mini finish – Rose of Sharon for Becca’s RR. I have this one in my stash & Simon has asked to add it to my list – does 2019 look good for you hon?

I have started (at Becca’s noted disappointment that it wasn’t finished) to complete Ashley’s Roses. It took a few hours to mark what had been done on a copy of my chart (yeah, another in my basket of Mira), then floss check to make sure any batch changes wouldn’t affect the overall look. I’d rather frog at this point than later! So this is my start point, I only have a few additional stitches in so not worth showing any progress. I do want to get this way to Melinda in January, so she remains my at-home focus piece.

Also not worth showing any progress on is Jamaica Santa – pathetically I’ve managed only another thread length of beading. But Believe only has one more colour to do before I bead that, and the Honey Pots (work) are taking shape also.

My 2018 plans are starting to come together also – but you’ll have to wait until Jan 7th, the opening WIPocalypse post for that. Are you joining us for year seven? ANNNND Stitch From Stash is opening for sign-ups for the first six months of 2018. Look for the group entitled “Stitch From Stash 2017/2018” to be included in the ongoing saga. There are other groups as well, but Stephanie is such a good admin & this isn’t a pressure point, so I’m continuing where I am.