WIP Yesterday-Was-Wednesday #246

Morning everyone! We’ve had a good week, everything considered & the house being full of sick people. Yesterday I worked at home as there was a nationwide Teacher’s strike, and with some friends being teachers, I volunteered to host the monkeys. I did this last strike, which was only primary teachers, and while it was full-on, it was fun. I actually got thru my normal day’s volume by noon, surprisingly, so I’m hoping the same this week.

20190522_205845Last week’s goal was 400 stitches on Jenny’s Four Seasons of New Zealand (available in various incarnations on her homestitchness Etsy shop). I completed the snowflake, and all of the next block (the three mountains of the Central Plateau; Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu). The Maori legend that I grew up hearing goes something like this, with words by James Heremia:

In a time long ago, eight personified mountains were born from the landscape. There lived seven males — Tongariro, Taranaki, Ruapehu, Ngaruahoe, Tarawera, Tauhara and Patauaki — and one female, Pihanga. Their catch cry as children was “We will always be together, and nothing will ever separate us!”

 As millenia passed, the boy mountains grew into powerful male warriors while Pihanga blossomed into a comely fern-covered mist maiden, who each of them desired for a wife.

“Choose!” cried Tongariro “You must choose!”

“I cannot,” replied Pihanga. “I love you all equally.”

“Then we will battle, and the victor will be your husband,” declared Tongariro.

One by one, the mountains came up against Tongariro and one by one they were defeated. Finally, only Taranaki was left to face the powerful Tongariro. Their battle was spectacularly violent as each mountain was evenly matched.

The battle raged on for months until a burning Pihanga cried out “Stop!” as she lay close to death in her scorched and blackened cloak of fern. Rather than lose her, Taranaki conceded defeat — and so Pihanga became Tongariro’s wife.

As countless millenia passed, the landscape healed and the vanquished mountains moved away: Tarawera, Tauhara and Patuauki to the north and Ruapehu and Ngaruahoe to the south.

Many children were born to Tongariro and Pihanga including one, Panitahi, who looked very different to the others. Gossip and innuendo flowed across the landscape until Tongariro, suspicious of his friend Taranaki, decided to lay a trap.

Pretending to be asleep, he caught his friend and his wife in a tender embrace. Tongariro erupted in a gigantic rage that was heard around the world. Huge explosions tore the landscape apart. The crater formed from the largest explosion would eventually fill with water, becoming the lake we know today as Lake Taupo.

Remembering what happened to Pihanga during the previous battles, Taranaki chose not to engage with Tongariro, but retreated instead. Gathering up Panitahi, he fled heartbroken to the west, guided by the stone Te Toka Rauhoto Tapairu.

As he fled, he carved out a deep scar in the landscape.

On reaching the sea, Pouakai — one of five west coast mountains — spread out her arms to comfort Taranaki until the setting sun transfixed him to the spot. He has remained there to this day, with Panitahi at his side, and the guide stone who now resides at Puniho Pa, south of New Plymouth.

In time, Tongariro settled down and began to weep for his lost friend, his tears filling the scar in the landscape that today we know as the Whanganui River.

It is thought that one day the guide stone will release Taranaki to return to his true love, Pihanga.

True love really can move mountains. But for the moment, the mountains sleep.

This week, the challenge is either 200 stitches in designs that match the letters SPEW (society for the protection of elvish welfare) of which I could get 10 points – Shakespeare’s Fairies & a Wentzler design as I have nothing I can think of that is P or E – or I could get the same points for 300 stitches in a penalty. I’m going for the penalty, as again I’m time poor this week. The plan is to work on Mermaid of Atlantis, because she’s my “take anywhere” project and I’m loving how she is working out, especially now I’ve converted half the fish to GAST threads. I’ll continue those thru her tail.

Have a good week!

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May WIPocalypse

Hello everyone! I hope you’re well. WIPocalypse is the monthly check-in SAL hosted by Measi on her blog, and via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers! Click on the icon to the right to learn more.

May Goals:

  • Stitch Hello April AND Hello May AND Hello June APRIL DONE
  • Continue working on Coffee Quaker daily NOPE
  • Finish the second fairy in Shakespeare’s Fairies NOPE
  • Knock off a couple more “ultimate” stitch challenges NOPE

Thru May, with the upheaval at home (and having to tell Mase what is happening with Grandma) I have been very narrow-focussed on #magicalstitches work. Because of this, most of the extra credit Year 4 work is completed (9 of the 11 at the time of writing), every weekly task has been knocked off & I’m working on some Ultimate goals – thanks to my housemates, there’s at least 3 in Mermaid of Atlantis alone.

In May, I’ve completed the following stitch numbers (honestly, these are helping me go wow, look what I can do!)

  • Floral Cat (stitching finish) 442 stitches
  • We’re All Mad biscornu (also a stitching finish) 831 stitches
  • Hello April (also a stitching finish) 511 stitches
  • Mermaid of Atlantis (new start) 2640 stitches
  • Four Seasons of NZ 659 stitches
  • The Guardian (new start!) 524 stitches
  • Shakespeare’s Fairies 130 stitches
  • Fairy Idyll 431 stitches
  • Raven Queen 371 stitches (& I hated them all)

At the time of posting, this is 6539 stitches for the month.

June Goals:

  • WIPocalypse One-A-Day with Coffee Quaker (also one of my remaining EC tasks of 500 stitches on a geometric)
  • Hello May & Hello June
  • Celtic Winter (the last EC task of 500 stitches)
  • Don’t spend!

Question of the Month: Where do you love to shop for stash? I facetiously answered this on FB as anywhere the staff are skilled at diverting my partner/children’s attention from my shopping. This is mostly true, however! Or I time it to visit Ribbon Rose when I have to go to our Panmure branches.

SFS is about to roll over once June is done. Currently I am $7.20 in the red; however by simply not buying anything in June I’ll finish in the positive! I do actually have enough calling to me in any case.

WIP Wednesday #245

Morning! Has it really been only a week? It feels sooo much longer, but that is what being sick does to you. I have a cold, so can’t go around mum for a few days. Plodding along at work. Seriously disappointed in this last season of Thrones. Really enjoyed binge watching the ITV series, The Bay, with Louise. Cleaning thru 40+ years of stuff the MIL has kept (business records from 1984, anyone?). Telling Mase what is happening with Grandma, then having a stroppy child as his aunt told him I’m exaggerating. What? Not helpful. And this is why she’s not the testamentary guardian, Lou is.

Last week’s #magicalstitches challenge was completed on Sunday, my time. It was hard to get thru Raven Queen, much easier on Fairy Idyll (32ct linen vs 28ct Lugana), & then I used Fairy Idyll for the pop-up challenge, so there’s 400 stitches in her, not 350.

This week’s challenge has gone in my “too hard” basket so I am stitching the penalty – 400 stitches on a WIP of my choice. I’ve gone super-simple, and chosen my friend Jenny (home*stitch*ness on Etsy, FB, IG and featured in multiple World of Cross Stitching magazines) & her Four Seasons in New Zealand. There are companion pieces for the UK, Australia, Canada & the States. Super cute. Progress shots next week!

2019 & WIPocalypse Restarts

January 6 – Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!

Well. This is my fifth year of WIpocalypse. It’s the most committed I’ve been to any SAL & I put that down to the pressure free, encouraging environment that Melissa hosts. If you’re a crafter, please join up either on your blog or via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers!

If you’ve not read from my blog before, I’m in my mid-40’s, a working mum to four (ranging from 24-9) & partner. I am book-mad, often found stitching & listening to podcasts or audiobooks, and I wouldn’t mind winning Lotto so that I could stay home and stitch (but I’d have to remember to buy tickets first). We own our home near the base of Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges & can often be found working on it or a friends (my partner was an engineer, he’s bloody handy with a tool belt), walking on the beach or in one of the many beautiful parks Auckland boasts. I’ve been hand stitching since before I was 10, can’t knit an even scarf or crochet to save myself and don’t often pull my machine out (altho I brought a 1940’s Singer recently, purely on impulse as I love the look). I’m a whizz at curtains.

Goals for 2019 (I only have 9 WIPs right now & that’s about right for me) :

  • Finish SFS in the black
  • Complete & FFO the remaining monthly Hello There pieces (Mar-Nov)
  • Re-start Shakespeare’s Fairies & complete one fairy
  • Work on Tapestry Cat, Fairy Idyll, Arezzo, Four Season of NZ

Mini January Goals:

  • Finish Jardin Prive’s Eiffel Quaker COMPLETED
  • Mill Hill Golden Tannenbaum for my Small/Christmas All Year Round
  • Hello There March (& FFO)
  • 341 stitches in Shakespeare’s Fairies for the HP SAL

Hopefully with returning to work/school/other crap I will still feel stitchy most nights & achieve all these goals.

WIP Wednesday #233

Hi everyone. We’ve come to the end of a 12 day hospital stay, & I admit my Stitchy bug was very very absent. The MIL was admitted via the ambulance services (scariest morning of my life, finding her so incapacitated & weak) but she’s making as best a recovery as we hoped. For the next few weeks she will be at ours, regathering strength, then she’ll transition back to hers. I’ve met with physio, occupational therapy, health assessors & we’ve got a plan, and help, in place. Yay!

While I was in hospital with mum, I completed the Rememberance Wreath by home❤stitch❤ness (currently in a world of xs mag, but will be on her etsy site in April 2019):

Then the stitching of a Christmas present is about done, but I can’t show that as the person reads this blog. Boo.

I completed an embroidery freebie from cozybluehome (online, etsy, IG) that I just need to #ffo. It’s cute. It’s whipped back stitch, to look like the tangle of your Christmas lights. It really does look like that in real life!

And lastly, a few stitches on Fairy Idyll. I’m not looking forward to the over one that remains to be done, but the rest of it goes quickly enough.

WIP Wednesday #231

This week hasn’t been very Stitchy at all. We’ve cleared out a third of the garage (for some obnoxious reason, Si thinks we should use the garage for storing more than one of the cars) & there’s been work stress I brought home.

I have some progress on Fairy Idyll. That over one skin on her back is about two hours; I wish now I’d gone for tent stitch but it’s too fine to unpick.

And I have a new start! Those is Jenny home❤stitch❤ness Remembrance Wreath from a recent World of Cross Stitch magazine. I think the chart will be on her etsy mid year next year. It’s a fast stitch; I did the first two items in about an hour, & more at stitch group last night.

Hope you have a good week!

January Smalls SAL check-in

Yay! Another year of Stitch Porn kindly managed by Heather over at Stitching Lotus. To find out more about this low pressure, highly enabling SAL, click on the link button on the right. 

I have a few contributions this month. Partially as I wanted some earnings for Stitch From Stash but also from my choices for other SAL that occur in various groups. 

For the Stitch MAYnia 12 Days I choose to finish the first three of her Chalkboard Christmas ornaments. Be Jolly was finished in December so I haven’t shown it here, but it’s in previous posts. 

For the Magazine SAL that is hosted by Heather Stitches, I stitched a version of Country Cottage Needleworks Merry & Bright from JCS Christmas 2010 edition. 

And lastly, for both the Stitch MAYnia and SFS colour SAL, I stitched a variation of Jenny’s Flowering Poinsettia as sold in her etsy shop, home💙stitch💙ness.


I’m really happy with what I achieved! And happily, with two days to go, I’m still in the black for SFS!!