WIP Wednesday #235 & WIPocalypse catchups

I could quite easily copy/paste the same info as last time we met.

Still plodding away on the reno at MIL’s (deck done, but the weather isn’t conducive to concreting so Mase & I have been planting like mad things)…he took the photos from this last batch. It’s cool to have a gardening buddy. We knew the tags are unlikely to stay with the plants, so at least we have a rough idea of what we planted in this batch. His fav is the Fireworks.

Still radio silence from the SIL (I’m about ready to tell her not to come up, but that would hurt the MIL & actually, I need a break)…

Still working slowly on Fairy Idyll…mostly hour chunks when I can get control of the TV remote from Mum! We watched The Great NZ Bake Off last night, and the guy in the photo was eliminated. GF sponge cake is hard, y’all.

I did start and finish CloudsFactory’s The Princess Bride, as a tribute to William Goldman. If you haven’t seen the movie, you’re in for a treat. And it’s PG, so family safe. I think I want to add his name and dates to the bottom tho. Appropriately, this is on Cloudburst 28ct Lugana from Countrystitch. 

Now, because the stitchy bug has been gone, or superseded with all the other things, I didn’t post in either the Oct or Nov WIPocalypse pages. I’ve given up on Stitch From Stash, as I have been buying ALL THE THINGS and really gone ridiculous (for me. Maybe not if you’re Katy the Stash Queen). I am daily anticipating the first parcel from 123…and the fabric from Catherine at Countrystitch. I went for Urewera Mist (that mottle one). I’m going to return Gail’s Fairy Idyll chart as I have my working copy & will hunt out an original for myself. I really, really want to work on Shakespeare’s Fairies so I will, once the fabric arrives. Stitching & guilt shouldn’t go together IMO, & I also know that if I do park a Mira for a while, I will always return to it. 

So – here’s the Q&A I missed from the last two episodes.

October 28 – Do you prefer to stitch on a rotation or one project at a time? I’ve tried rotation and it doesn’t work for me. I prefer to leave a project out on the bars rather than pop on or off…& I usually have a car project with me to break up the monotony of being monogamous.

November 25 – What new stitches or techniques did you learn this year? Eh – nothing. I brought back some embroidery (two hoops, whoop-de-woo) & perfected my pin stitch, but that’s about it.

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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!

Starting Over Feels Like…

Stephanie has set up a mini SFS group to “dummy run” from November thru to January. Yay for the re-start. Now to be disciplined; October was a month of oh-I-can’t-buy-next-year-must-get-it-all-now and that isn’t sustainable in anyone’s life (craft, chocolate or whatever – do drinkers freak out before Dry July? Curious minds want to know).

After a nasty fall last week I’m starting over with exercise. I did walk to the Domain on Friday (just over 4km, so easy; Si & Biebs are now reffing a weekly tournament there in addition to Watchman Tag on Wednesday); we did the stairs on Saturday & the little ones and I walked OTH on Sunday. Last night I walked from work to Patiki; about 6.3km & then tonight is #BBM bootcamp. My summer routine will be about feeling strong.

I am not starting over with Jenny Craig however. I simply can’t continue to work those sums into the budget but I achieved what I wanted to. My portion size is mostly under control; I try to eat 5-6 times a day & I eat a lot healthier than I did. I’m certainly not eating chocolate every day (sorry for the sales crash, Whittakers) I’ve lost nearly 10 kilos and I don’t get headaches daily, even tho I stopped taking that medicine about 2 months ago. I’m counting all this as a win.

What can you start over to give you that “woo hoo” feeling?

PS – don’t forget to enter my giveaway over in Flosstube! Link in a previous post.

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.

 

Book Review: The Feast Nearby by Robin Mather

The-Feast-Nearby-book

Subtitle: How I lost my job, buried a marriage and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering and eating locally (all on forty dollars a week)

Mather was a food writer and critic for several publications over a long period and the book is essentially a story about her return to contentment after a horror week that involved her husband announcing that he wanted to divorce and being made redundant from her role at the Chicago Tribune.

She doesn’t dwell on the miserable and looks to find the good, even in the little things. Thoughtfully written and thought provoking. My takeaway lesson from the book is that I need to buy local more, grow more and eat more seasonably. Unless I get a glasshouse, it’s not OK to have salads in August.

Author blog (which hasn’t been updated in a while, TBH) : http://thefeastnearbywordpress.com and there’s a Q&A session here: http://www.domenicacooks.com/2011/06/q-a-with-robin-mather-author-of-the-feast-nearby/

Also it’s well worth perusing the blog and book for the recipes included – several have a long family history. You know those will become favourites!