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.

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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.

http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/waikato/places/hakarimata-scenic-reserve/tracks/hakarimata-summit-track/?region=waikato&park=c46c7395-d05d-44ff-b48a-66d228a7e77e&activity=walking-tramping#activitypanel

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.

Book Review: Just Jane by Nancy Moser

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, one of my plans next year is to re-read/listen to the Austen novels and stitch something suitable. By co-incidence, Bookbub popped up a suggestion in one of the daily emails:

20_JUST_JANE-255x375.jpgSynopsis: Growing up in a clergyman’s home gives Jane opportunities to observe human nature at its best—and worst. Vivid and delightful characters pour from her pen—Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Emma Woodhouse, Fanny Price, John Willoughby. . .

Jane dreams of publishing her stories and sharing them with the world, but how can she? She’s just Jane from Steventon. Will anyone ever read her novels?

Excerpt: http://www.nancymoser.com/excerptjustjane.html

As Moser says, “No matter if the book is about Mozart’s sister, a plane crash, a Victorian boarding house, or time travel, one message prevails: we each have a unique God-given purpose. The trick is to find out what it is.”

It was interesting to read & pick the gaps between actual Jane history and what was fiction (& unless you’ve done extensive reading, good luck in picking those bits out). The family is well fleshed out, as is the environment and time they live in. Four and a half stars from me – & I’m off to read more by this author.

Elizabeth – have you read any Moser?

Bowentown & Karangahake

BowentownThis past weekend, we left B at home (he’s too cool for family stuff, LOL, plus had refereeing commitments) & the four of us went out of Auckland to relax. As is always the way, it took longer to get out of Auckland than the rest of the drive but once we were on the way, it was awesome. Dinner in Paeroa & we see someone from Dad’s work *eyeroll* can’t go anywhere in private!

The house we rented was a decent size 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 lounge that would sleep 8 easy – if anyone wants the detail, please hit me up – and in a really quiet spot well away from the usual holiday residences/camp grounds. Bowentown is down the end of the mini-peninsula from Waihi Beach, which is both more touristy and more settled.  It was a few minutes to walk to the beach, tennis courts, petanque, playground etc & the boys wanted to do everything – except petanque, as apparently that’s only for adults who like wine. Me, in other words.

Saturday morning was GLORIOUS. We were out on the beach exploring as soon as everyone woke & was fed. I had woken at 4 & curled up with coffee, stitching & my eReader. You know it’s time to get up when the other half steals all the duvet, right? So I got to watch the sunrise and drink coffee in peace. Once everyone else was up we went for a long ramble along the beach…

After the beach & a snack we headed out to Karangahake Gorge. On the map above, it’s a little bit to the left of Waikino. This is the site of old gold works & battery, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) who manage the site do a great job. Of course the first person we see is someone we know *eyeroll* but this time it’s Z’s rugby coach Keryn & the Year 12 drama class from college. Z’s year 10, but you could tell the kids were eyeing each other up with the “do I know you?” look.

Anyway, I love this region. History combined with water combined with forest. I am never keen on being enclosed in underground & that 1.1km tunnel does stretch my limits! However the boys love exploring, doing boy things like climbing on old bridge supports, throwing rocks in the river, jumping over streams, bouncing on swing bridges so we happily spent several hours walking. Technically, if you didn’t look at anything and just walked on the one track, it’s only 3.2km & that’s less than an hour.

3a82d9c2bbeb4bcbc1d673c1ef300701--cornwall-new-zealandWe dragged the boys thru a couple of the antique/junk shops in Paeroa (I got a rare ash tray from the 1940 Centennial exhibition. I’m collecting the rarer stuff as it’s cooler to me but as often was in everyday use, hard to find). But they weren’t into it, so we headed to the supermarket then back to the rental.

That evening we napped, had dinner then watched the election coverage until about 11. It was clear reasonably early on that we wouldn’t have a clear government come Sunday, and in fact we might have to wait a fortnight for the special votes to be counted. I’m OK with that. I won’t get into how I voted (we have MMP or mixed member proportional system so you get two votes, one for the person you wish to be your local MP & one for the party you want to govern). Interestingly, it would appear that the Maori Party is gone completely with less than 1% of the total vote. All the Maori electorate seats went to Labour Party (the left) representatives. I don’t agree with many of their policies obviously, being of the “white settler” background & also having no time for racism or secularism or many “ism” at all, but I was astonished none of their candidates made it thru.

Sunday was a bit cooler than the day before. Everyone else slept late, as you should on holiday, but we again explored the area. Si & the boys went to tennis, while I sat lazing in the sun. I did most of the packing & cleaning while they were still in bed, so that there was as little fuss as possible. Being boys, there was still fuss!

We walked around Waihi Beach and surprise! Again there’s someone we know *eyeroll* Z’s principal & his wife. Who were not there with the drama group, but staying at their bach. Then the drive home, & the sheer delight of crawling into our own beds…

If you got to the end of this and asked – but what about the stitching? – rest assured. There’s plenty to show you on Wednesday!

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.

You Can Quote Me Part I – NaBloPoMo six

This week’s mini-topic seems to be (by default, I haven’t entirely planned this) Pressure. I said on Tuesday that one of the tools I use to alleviate pressure is inspiration. I use Pintrest to group these in a folder I call “printables” – which also includes stuff for my personal planner.

 

Bethells Tower at Sunset

Bethells Tower at Sunset

To me, a lot of the inspiration also brings back awesome memories as well as getting my thought process back on track. My current favourite is a poem by Victoria Erickson I’ve mentioned before in the blog. Mentally I always combine this with Bethells.

If you ever find yourself empty

from something you cannot know or name,

find a stretch of ocean,

a field, or mountainside,

or even clouds or trees

Because there are a thousand simple ways

to fill your tired soul

so you can remember

how to be,

how to see,

and most importantly,

how to breathe.

 

Photo image isn’t mine; I’m not sharing that until it’s complete as I am planning it to be a gift for S. I intend to over-write a photo of Bethells Beach that I took a couple of years ago and then print this out as a wall paper panel or canvas for the house this summer. This one is also used earlier in the blog; credit goes to Summit Walter Rao. Contact details are on his blog.

 

Where do you go when it all gets too much? What’s your re-inspire place? What poem brings you peace or inspires you to more?