WIP Wednesday #223

As you read this, I am enjoying the day off work, as our Primary school teachers are striking for better pay & conditions today. Mase the Ace has his bestie, Noah, staying overnight from Tuesday after school (his mum is a teacher) until rugby training today. I’m likely running on coffee fumes but also having a blast.

WIP-wise, I have been throwing a few hours into Persephone but also a couple of smaller pieces. I am feeling the need to accomplish and finish, so first up was the quick Portrait of Antique Vines. This is the 25th Anniversary cameo from Nora Corbett of Mirabilia designs:

My changes included changing out the white linen for a Crafty Kitten hand-dyed opalescent scrap that was in my stash (thanks to Lynne for including it when I brought some fat Q’s). I’ve omitted two of the three Caron Waterlillies, and changed out the other for 229. I was pretty careful to stitch down from the mirror top down one side then the other so that the blends matched vertically. Then some of the black beads are also omitted (most noticeably in her “crown” as I liked the younger appearance of just a tiara. I changed the beads to the petite black (42014 I think) to add delicacy.

Next up is my Mirabilia Mermaid Round Robin (on Countrystitch Cook Strait lugana). The missing piece was originally planned to be Enchanted Mermaid, but as her face is much larger than Waiting for Ships I’ve happily changed her out to Renaissance (which came out post my original plan). I’ll have to ask Stephanie (HI STEPHANIE!!) to help me work out the SFS credit, as I’ll have stitched two portions plus all the frames plus all the beads…

20180812_203645.jpg

Hope you all have a lovely week!

Advertisements

Scrap Sunday #1

I’m taking part in the Creative Club’s 52 Weeks of Me. Part of the week was too challenge yourself, so I went out of my comfort zone & enrolled in a one-off art class.

Two hours of wandering around Cornwall Park, looking at nature & choosing interesting pieces, then learning some basic techniques. I’ve not done anything traditionally art for decades, can only just draw a decent stickman so this definitely fit the challenge!

I took Lou with me, as she’s very clever with her pencil & I thought it would be singe good time out for just the two of us. Loved nearly every minute!

Book Review – Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts

ShelterinPlace.jpgI kind-of went off Nora books for a while. I found them all too similar, then she delved off into the arcane and frankly creepy.  But the synopsis of this one grabbed me and I am really, really enjoying it. So much so, that I had to tell you even before I finish it!

SYNOPSIS: It was a typical evening at a mall outside Portland, Maine. Three teenage friends waited for the movie to start. A boy flirted with the girl selling sunglasses. Mothers and children shopped together, and the manager at the video-game store tending to customers. Then the shooters arrived.

The chaos and carnage lasted only eight minutes before the killers were taken down. But for those who lived through it, the effects would last forever. In the years that followed, one would dedicate himself to a law enforcement career. Another would close herself off, trying to bury the memory of huddling in a ladies’ room, hopelessly clutching her cell phone–until she finally found a way to pour her emotions into her art.

But one person wasn’t satisfied with the shockingly high death toll at the DownEast Mall. And as the survivors slowly heal, find shelter, and rebuild, they will discover that another conspirator is lying in wait–and this time, there might be nowhere safe to hide.

MY THOUGHTS: While the topic of teens and shootings is being used as a political points scorer,  Roberts is fairly careful not to let you know which side of the fence she sits on (altho, IMO, you’re an idiot if you are voting in lines with the NRA).

There is romance in this book but it’s well worked in with the suspense. You know who the bad guy is almost right from the start, but that allows Roberts to explore the influences fully and actually ramped up the suspense. The writing clearly shows that for the people involved in a shooting, no matter if they survived or were family members or bystanders or first responders – there is a burden and it’s not a light one.

I purchased this title through www.amazon.com.au for my personal library. It’s now available widely and if you can, I recommend at least borrowing thru your local library. Easy four stars for me.

AUTHOR SITE: http://www.noraroberts.com/

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.

20180602_173419

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?

March WIPocalypse

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.

March Focus:

  • Mira RR piece – started, I hates it
  • CAYR SAL – started Satsuma Stocking #3, the reindeer one
  • Flosstube update – Feb’s uploaded in the first week of March

Yep. March came in and stole my stitchy bug. The weave on the RR piece is very tight (32ct opalescent that was then dyed) and I am not enjoying my progress. I have to wear the reading glasses and work short stints, or my head aches. And bc my reading glasses are so focussed, I can’t do my usual and stitch along to Flosstube, as I can’t even focus on the (very large) TV across the room. It’s going to be a daylight only, headphones on, gripping audiobook to get me to the finish line here. I managed maybe 5-6 thread lengths yesterday. Or the skirt train bit, if you’re more visual.

With our Sydney trip happening mid-month, most of my external, non-work, focus was on this. Extra grocery shopping, paying bills early, getting out of my laundry cycle – none of this helped with stitching! This trip was just Si & myself, and we crammed heaps into the two days in Sydney then tried to do a lot of the things on the cruise ship, so even tho I took Fairy Idyll, even she didn’t see much progress. Still, as Katy says, every stitch completed is a stitch closer to the finish. As always, hover or click for captions.

Coming back has been full on too, with a couple of work projects and the netball – Si & I attended night two of the Taini Jamieson Trophy games. Next for these teams is the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia – we’ll be there for Tag later in the year. FWIW Jamaica won the trophy this year.

April Focus:

  • Finish the Mira RR piece
  • Continue with the Satsuma Stocking
  • FFO a 2017 ornament into a flat fold
  • March Flosstube update – even tho it’s going to be very short!

 

SFS – still in the black! The Stash Unloading things I brought on 01/03 still haven’t arrived, so a refund has been supplied, but the Lizzie Kate charts I brought (Red White & Beach and Be Bold & Brave) did. I didn’t manage to carve out the time to get to Crewel Gobelin but as the bug is missing, I wasn’t too upset. Today I brought two “oddball” cuts from Catherine at Countrystitch – because they are unusual cut lengths left when processing orders, she sells the pieces at a discount. I’ll have about 4” to each side of the Renaissance Mermaid but that’s perfectly fine with me!

Mar-18
Budget $25.00
Jodi – HOD Latte Love -6.76
Jodi – Stitching Feeds my Heart -15.21
Countrystitch Orphan A6 Bourbon -37.67
Countrystitch Orphan A9 Cook Strait -19.93
LK Red White & Beach -12.43
LK Be Bold & Brave -12.43
Refund Supplied Jodi 21.97
Countrystitch Credit 6.09
Rollover $76.57
Total Available Budget $25.20

March 25 – What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend? I’m not sure I’ve discovered anyone completely “new”! For fabric dyeing, I obviously love Catherine’s products as the DMC comp is spot on to the actual fabric that arrives, and she allows for shrinkage when she calculates your actual fabric size. Try Countrystitch if you’re looking for something different.

On Etsy, I like Satsuma St, Jenny @ Home*stitch*ness & Stitchrovia. None are completely “new” either but one thing I know about stitching – my tastes change, & every designer has merit.

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.