Hello everyone! I’ve been super busy this last fortnight, stitching, walking, reading, cleaning, running around after family members & I can’t wait to take a break! One highlight was a repeat dinner with the Harpur family, who brought Aurora with them. Two weeks ago she was the length of Simon’s forearm/hand – now look at her! She’s 5 weeks here.
I didn’t post last week as my pieces were all over the show as I worked away at the various #schoolofmagicalstitchesandliterature tasks. All up, this last fortnight has seen the start & finish of Hello March (500 for words), 200+ more stitches on Nantucket Rose (enabled), 600+ on Shakespeare’s Fairies (various challenges) and 700+ on Tapestry Cat (two challenges). I have just stitched more on TC in a week than I did in all of 2018. He nearly has a tail! This is a lot of stitching but with our national holiday, Waitangi Day, I got extra walking and stitching in. And market shopping. Nom nom on the Whitestone cheeses and Selash cured meats. And perfection at the Franked stall – imported, handcrafted items from Cambodia where there is a story behind the item, & it’s helping differently abled people.
I also finished my January Project Life pages. I’m choosing to do these in a 6*8 album as it’s more personal to me, not for the family. There’s some stuff that involves others (I asked Mase to fill in the Back to School card) but they won’t get this until I’m passed. Mase does look at it, but he knows if it’s hidden journaling, it’s private to me & he’s not to read it yet.
And on Sunday, Louise & I got up early and walked around the harbour on Tamaki Drive. We started at St Helliers, went up to Achilles Point & watched the sunrise and a cruise ship come into the harbour, picked up coffee at Mission Bay and eventually got collected at Royal Akarana Yacht Club. 7.2km in all of super-quality time with my girl.
Hope you all have a lovely week!
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
Initial Start of SF
Frog of SF
Hopefully with returning to work/school/other crap I will still feel stitchy most nights & achieve all these goals.
When I look back at my January post, I think “you plonker”. I was far too ambitious!
The rotation plans were loosely worked around the following:
- StitchMaynia’s monthly SAL e.g. Feb is “fandom” SOMETIMES
- StitchMaynia’s colour SAL (this is only on the 15th of each month). SOMETIMES
- The Never Ending Band Sampler. NOPE
- The Magazine SAL. NOPE
- The Round Robin piece, whatever it is and whenever it arrives. YEP
- Focus on a Finish – whatever needs completing from the above or a current WIP that is nearly there. Mermaids of the Deep will be high on that list. UH HUH, REALLY? FOCUS?
Going into 2017, I had the following starts (listed in age!!):
- TW Tapestry Cat (Dec 2006!) WORKED ON IN 2017
- Semco Toy Story Sampler (October 2013) STILL RESTING
- Nora Corbett Arezzo (March 2014) WORKED ON, FROGGED, WORKED SOME MORE, IN TIME OUT
- Mirabilia Persephone (May 2015) BARELY WORKED ON – JUST A COLOUR DAY
- Nora Corbett Blitzen (as part of my reindeer parade, Rudolph started in July 2015) FINISHED Blitzen, started Prancer
- Mirabilia Mermaids of the Deep Blue (December 2015) FINISHED
- Mirabilia Raven Queen (January 2016) NOPE, RESTED ALL YEAR
- Tamara Blackwork (September 2016) I THINK I WANT TO FROG THIS ENTIRELY
- Never Ending Band Sampler NOPE
- Lavender & Lace Celtic Winter (December 2016) A FEW STITCHES ONLY
While I got some new starts & finishes in 2017, most excitedly the Mirabilia Andromeda, I think that I will work on focus pieces for 2018, and dribble in the odd new start that I have kitted. I’ll ignore the SM & SFS themed SALs except where my focus piece matches the theme e.g. in the FB Teresa Wentzler group (also run by Mel!) January is animals, April is nature & both of those would match Tapestry Cat. I’m taking the two-monthly Jane Austen SAL and I’m going to mix & match different pieces to make a unique sampler of quotes & icons. More on this in the next update!
So my focus pieces for 2018 (given that I want to end in the black for SFS also) are in order of attention:
- Mirabilia Ashley’s Roses RR section (Dec 2018)
- Semco Toy Story Sampler (October 2013) – Zac will be 15 soon, & this needs to be done before then! But first I have to hunt it down…
- Mirabilia Fairy Idyll (September 2017) – Gail has loaned me the chart, & I want to return it in 2018
- TW Tapestry Cat (Dec 2006!) – because it deserves progress
- Mirabilia Persephone (May 2015) –because I want to get thru that skirt!
- Jane Austen SAL (December 2017) –because I want to keep up with the readings
I’m going to throw in a few Small & Medium pieces, along with the Mill Hill Santa kits that I already have (Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Barbados, Trinidad, Venice & Genoa, remembering that I do two of each of these)
- Lizzie*Kate Don’t Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle
- Lizzie*Kate Wise Men Still Seek Him
- Lizzie*Kate Coffee Time – Today’s Good Mood (already started)
- Fancy letter P (I forget the designer)
- Little House Needlework’s Bethlehem
- Plum St Sampler’s Patriotic Freebie
I’m going to try to limit my purchases also. Any planned stuff must come from a local supplier, no more overseas blitzes! I’m also pulling out of an international sales group (most participants wouldn’t post to NZ in any case) & removing myself from mailing lists. Wish me luck!
Important bit – none of the links below are affiliate. Deerskin is actually to a review, not the purchase.
It feels so good to be back writing, and reading, and stitching, and (dare I say it) work! I spent a good portion of the last fortnight ill, five work days away from my desk, and it’s only yesterday that the sleep-deprived me felt kind-of-normal.
SO about the above..
- I started & finished Deerskin, by Robin McKinley. I’d not read any of her novels but I got hooked in by the cover. And the price (it was free that day). Now I’m adding Sunshine to the Kindle, as @aragonsgirl72 recommended her on my IG post.
- For those of you that liked my version of Not All Those Who Wander, Emma Congdon has now uploaded this to her etsy site.
- I brought myself the Palace Cinema from Lego. Loving it. Construction kept my mind tired and from being overwhelmed with solo parenting & worry. I finished it and brought the Bank set. I might have started a new obsession…
- Mase “helped” with the construction. Cars are still a little boy favourite. Look how long his fingers are now! I miss the true little boy chubbiness.
- And last night was my first night at a stitch group in far too long. I laughed and really enjoyed myself. It was in Grey Lynn, an older established and PRETTY suburb of Auckland. Love the way the trees grew to form a canopy.
And stitch-wise, I am well into March’s Stitch MAYnia designer SAL, which was Teresa Wentzler. My goal was to back stitch and fill in a lot of the gaps in the top floral border of Tapestry Cat. I’m really happy with the progress.
And as for the other, that’s for an Instagram swap. My partner loves How to Train Your Dragon, so as one of the pieces I am making her a needlebook with the two main characters front and back. Cloudsfactory make such easy, cute designs for this sort of thing.
What have you been up to?
This month my focus piece is Teresa Wentzler’s Tapestry Cat. I brought the kit waaaaay back in 2005…one lesson I’ve learnt since is to back stitch her pieces as I go!
The goal for this month is to back stitch and fill in the gaps on the top border. I’m getting there despite not stitching on the nights I go to boot camp. I’ll have to sort that somehow.
He is so stinking gorgeous.
It’s March first here in NZ so it’s also time to check in for Stitch From Stash. Let’s do that first because I AM STILL IN THE BLACK! & yeah, quite chuffed with that.
This may not last into April, with Andromeda to come hopefully this month. I’m splitting the cost with hubs tho. That will help.
Last week I put in a few days on Mermaids of the Deep Blue as my #focusonafinish piece. I’d love to have this up on the walls by next summer. A lot would depend on the next few round robin pieces. That PR took ages!
This month’s theme for Stitch MAYnia is Teresa Wentzler (how handy is it tho that for Stitch From Stash it’s M for Mirabilia?) so I pulled out my eldest resting WIP, Tapestry Cat. Since this photo I’ve put in a couple more threads. My goal is to get that top row back stitched and any gaps filled in.
Hope you have a gorgeous stitchy week!
I am shamefully over the Stitch from Stash budget. Shamefully. 63 bucks in the red for October! However I will have a couple of finishes for November, so should pull it back to be clean starting in January. If you want to join, look for “stitch from stash 2017a” in facebook (“a” is because it’s Jan-June, there will be a “b”).
|Stitch From Stash
||L&L Nantucket Rose
||CountryStitch FQ x 3
||Herschners Sale x 4
||L&L 48 Firefly Fairies
||TW Wool Cross Tree Rose
||Mill Hill Lapis x 2
||Mill Hill various FFO
||RR – Queen Mermaid
|Total Available Budget
As you can see, I added something yesterday, a Teresa Wentzler design I’d only seen online. I’ve downloaded an Appleton to DMC wool conversion chart, then I’ll convert to standard DMC. I think this might be my summer project. You wouldn’t have this already converted would you, Teresa?
It doesn’t have back-stitch borders – that might change. It hardly seems like a proper TW without the back-stitch *laughing*
I also got a wee bit more of Petal Fairy’s face done last night while catching up on flosstube. And I realised how much Kreinik will be in those wings! Heaps!
I also discovered (which will enhance my Stitch From Stash budget in 2017, as council rate components are not included!) that my library is part of Zinio’s for Libraries app. I can download the UK Cross Stitcher, World of Cross Stitch; UK and US fitness magazines like Shape, Women’s Health, Hers; UK history like BBC History and All About History and plenty more besides. The available titles depend on what your public library subscribes to, and of course there is a paid-for Zinio app, but both are well worth exploring. Have fun!