I have a finish already!

Hello everyone! My resolve for April is to be not as inwardly focused, so you should see a bit more of me. It was partially depression, partially feeling overwhelmed that lead to a quiet March, blog-wise. With what happened in Christchurch, while I wasn’t directly affected, it’s been a massive shock and I’m certainly not ready to articulate my feelings there. I will share more of our family time as there’s some scenery later on this month.

As you saw in my last post, I was in the red for SFS. Luckily one of the week’s “homework” pieces handed out yesterday in #magicalstitches was to choose a piece that was 75% done and work 300 stitches on it. I wasn’t actually sure that I had 300 stitches left but luckily – 409 including the backstitch! This is a portion of Little House Needlework’s Captains Inn (2007) on 28ct Haystack from Countrystitch, full conversion except for DMC blanc. Everything is in the Crescent Colours I’ve stashed, except for the sea is a Waterlilly & the anchor is DMC.

Original Used featured
LHN Captain’s Inn Sign
434 Roasted Chestnut sign
434 Fool’s Gold ship
CC Blackbird Hickory Sticks
CC Green Onion Eggshell
WDW Dolphin WL 229 Oasis
WDW Gunmetal 3768
Advertisements

March WIPocalypse

20190319_131535.jpg

a visit to Homestead Framers…

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.

March Goals

  • Bead & FFO Genoa Santa’s NOPE
  • Complete stitching on Wales Santa’s NOPE
  • Stitch & FFO Hello There April NOPE
  • Complete & FFO Kiwi 10 Cents FINISHED
  • Complete first fairy in Shakespeare’s Fairies ALMOST!
  • Work on Arezzo FINISHED

With most of my stitching working around the School of Magical Stitches group challenges, I haven’t worked on Shakespeare’s Fairies as much as I would have hoped in Feb. But, I have several starts, two finishes (one of which I am so, so stoked to get done), dropped three off to the framers & there are a few closer to a finish. Bonus points given that one of my “homework” pieces will double as my SIL’s present, as she loves cats.

Arezzo doubled as both my WIPocalypse “stitch every day” piece and for 1000 stitches of an Ultimate Challenge. I worked on her for 24 of the 25 days (the 25th was the day I finished) & honestly, don’t know why I didn’t finish her sooner. She’s so pretty & delicate that I am considering which Mira I will stitch over one next! But as I started Coffee Quaker over one, that won’t be for a while.

April Goals:

  • Use Genoa & Wales for Extra Credit piece (500 stitches)
  • Complete first fairy in Shakespeare’s Fairies
  • Stitch Hello April AND Hello May
  • Work on Quaker Coffee every day in April

Question of the month: What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend? I do recommend (new to me, anyway) Sirious Stitches & KiwiXCrossing designers, purely for the ease of their patterns (both are Etsy); and for fabric I always recommend Catherine at Countrystitch Fabrics – her shop is not new, but the range is ever expanding, the website is fantastic, service is great AND if you want to get an idea of the fabric/design combo, she’s listed on the Fabric Viewer website.

When it comes to Stitch From Stash, I’m a little bit in the red. This would fix with no spend/no finishes in April, but I got a wee bonus so had a binge. Mani di Donna’s Blue Quaker Sewing Basket, Mirabilia’s Mermaid of Atlantis (plus Waterlillies threads) and two Mill Hill kits, the Celestial Sleigh and Princess Carriage. I’ll show pictures as I work on them.

Mar-19
Country Stitch Fabrics Cloudburst -18.11
Country Stitch Fabrics Bourbon -17.39
Floral Cat (Etsy) -5.25
Spotlight DMC*12 -22.80
Spotlight Lugana FQ -15.00
123Stitch Binge -97.76
SamSarah Need to Read 4.42
KiwiXCrossing 10 Cent 13.92
Arezzo Conversion (over one) 32.44
Rollover + Budget $107.01
Total Available Budget -$18.52

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!

WIP Wednesday # 217

Whoa. I haven’t been around for far too long. Life has been super busy and I didn’t realise I’d let this slip. Sorry!

IMG_20180415_215221_667.jpgSo in the last month (since returning from Sydney) I’ve completed Gigi, on Melinda’s round robin. I will probably never buy Under the Seas 32xt opalescent for my own work – this was too tight for me, & I don’t like the unevenness of linen. However I like the mottled effect! This colourway is Yorrick.

IMG_20180417_183208_988Because I’m more than a little stressed I decided to start one of the smaller purchases from this year instead of heading back into Fairy Idyll. Lizzie*Kate’s are easy enough (there is a mistake here that I left in!) & this one whipped up in about 6 hours total. The colours are as charted except for the pink. I used a stash find for that one & didn’t even record it. What a rebel (insert roll eyes icon). It’s on 28ct Haystack Lugana from Countrystitch & I will probably op-shop frame it myself.

IMG_20180418_092158_004My next new start is enabled by seeing a Spring version completed on Instagram. This is Little House Needlework’s chart #112, the Summer Band Sampler (also a stash purchase this year). It’s on another portion of the same Haystack Lugana (I have enough left for Autumn). I’m using the fancy floss that I have to hand, rather than the suggested DMC & I’m kind-off changing it up as I go. I’m thinking of doing actual specialty bands as the divides, rather than the single row of cross stitch – but I’ll have to choose something narrow, as I’ve already cut the fabric. Oops.

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?

clover

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.

20180228_194453.jpg

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?

Feb-18
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

WIP Wednesday #216

Very little progress this week – some days I can get a few threads in, other days I can’t. Last night I was the only guest at #stitchandbitch, so I got the manger, second sheep, the angel and started the tree leaves. Look at the French Knots on my angel! Pretty stoked with those, TBH.

Hope your week is going well!

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.