Flossy is finally finished!!!

21 April, 2014

I haven’t been doing much of anything at all while staying with my parents, as I just don’t have the mental energy to “get up and go” … so the last few days I’ve been glued to the TV re-watching The Tudors DVDs while doing a tiny spot of stitching.  The weather has been abysmal over here, so it hasn’t been the weather to get outdoors (even the waterfront was flooded last week thanks to the tail end of a cyclone), and we’ve all been stuck in front of the TV in various rooms.  My Dad watches his TV at number 63 on the volume, whereas I usually have it between 10-15, so I often run away to the bedroom to avoid a migraine and frayed nerves … which also means not spending time with my folks as there isn’t enough comfy room for both Mum and I in the bedroom … not the best use of an airfare really, but I suppose if nothing else I’ve had a very lazy relaxed time I guess …

In saying that, though, I did spend a couple of days being a ‘techno geek’ for Dad and writing up a 28-page user guide for his mobile phone.  It’s a real ‘mobile for dummies’ with lots of screenshots and captions and step-by-step instructions for how to use his phone.  I guess if nothing else at least I’ve managed to do that for him this trip, so it wasn’t all wasted time :)

I also made a batch of my favourite Red Velvet Cupcakes for a treat, but I was really disappointed with them – not sure if it was the batch of flour Mum had, or the fact they don’t have digital scales making it hard to measure the 10g of cocoa properly, or the fact that the Organic Buttermilk here is quite ‘clumpy’ and a totally different texture to the buttermilk we have in Aussie … but whatever it was that was different, they were quite heavy compared to how I make them at home, so not a great treat really :/

The GREAT part of the trip so far, though, has been having a ‘stitching day’ with some Kiwi stitching pals … while not much stitching actually happened, it was lovely to have show and tell of people’s stitching finishes, and just having a general fun chat.  If I move back to Auckland again, I know this is one group of ladies I’ll definitely be spending more time with, they’re great fun!  Thanks again to Zeb, Jennie and Paula for a really fun day … and to Zeb for some really scrummy Trifle :D

While I’ve had minimal stitching time I have managed to “almost” finish Fern Pixie by Nora Corbett.  I’ve managed to finished all the actual stitching, but I hadn’t realised there was one whole green bead on one of her shoes, and I didn’t bring those with me to NZ, so she won’t be 100% finished until I get back home again …

But one piece I DID manage to finish was the stitching of Nora Corbett’s Valentine Fairy – I finally frogged the different dyelot in her legs and restitched, then did the remaining metallics and beading … and now she’s 100% finito!!  I still don’t particularly love her, as she’s WAY too pink for my tastes, but I haven’t decided yet whether to throw her on Ebay or not.  Mum’s actually said that she likes her, so it’s quite possible that she’ll end up staying here in NZ and living the rest of her days in Mum’s bedroom … maybe ;)

Mirabilia (Nora Corbett)-Valentine Fairy

“Miss Valentine Fairy” by Nora Corbett (Mirabilia)
Started 6 Nov 2013 – Finished 20 Apr 2014
Stitched on 28ct Lavender Bliss Cashel linen
with Crescent Colours kit threads
(exception: replaced the Crescent Colours thread for the skin with DMC)

Unexpected visit home again & WANTED!

16 April, 2014

So much for enjoying my 3-week break at home and de-stressing from work and everything else that has been getting me down.  Sadly my Auntie Betty passed away last week, and I had to break the news to Mum over the phone.  As we were chatting I was telling Mum of my upcoming break that I couldn’t wait for and had so many plans of what to do on my days off, only to have Mum ask me to come over home and she’d pay for the airline ticket … not just once did she mention it, but about 5 times in total.  I figured she obviously needed me at home, so I’ve sucked it up and put my own needs to one side and have flown home to spend time with the family again.

As much as I love my family, and on the whole enjoy being able to do things for them when I can when I come home, I don’t know whether it’s just that I wasn’t mentally ready for this trip or what, but their arguments and moaning are really getting to me.  It usually takes a lot longer for it to wear me down, but this trip is a real struggle for me, and I find I just don’t have any energy to do things like I normally would.  Then of course I feel guilty when I get those “I wish I was at home” moments, which of course doesn’t help my motivation levels.  Don’t get me wrong, we’re still having some nice moments and even just doing ‘nothing’ can often be nice at home … I just felt like having a whinge, I guess, as another day is passing me by without making the most of being here.  I can’t even be bothered cooking or shopping, which is usually my first chore when I come home … and certainly can’t be bothered stitching … although perhaps if I forced myself to do something it may kick me back into gear again.  I really don’t know why I feel so down over here this time round, but I do know I need to kick myself in the backside and get over it!  I do know, however, that I’m going to make sure I get a full week at home before heading back to work, to get some small smattering of ‘peace’ into my days before getting back into the grind!  Thanks for letting me vent for a while … :)

The other thing I’ve been doing, though, while I’ve been here is building up my wishlist … and trying to track down a kit that I fell in love with years ago but have finally decided I really really need to find it.  I’ve been trying to locate an email address for the suppliers, but having no luck so far.  I have managed to find a ‘dodgy’ version on a Russian website, and found a blogger that has stitched it, but no luck in tracking down a real kit or used chart.  Anyway, I’ll keep looking, but if anyone has a copy laying around somewhere unloved, I’d be interested in buying or trading for it … :)  The designer is Elizabeth de Lisle and the design is called Blue Rhapsody (with Anchor threads in the kit).


Enjoying two days off work

6 April, 2014

Oh boy it’s been mental at work lately … the bosses asked if we could bring the deadline forward by a day for a project that was already pushing everyone to their limits to get it completed by the original deadline … which ended up seeing a small handful of us working through the night (literally) for a couple of days beforehand.  I think my worst day was finishing at 3.30am the night before launch, and being back in the office at 7.00am again the next day (launch day).  It seemed OK at the time, but by the following Monday I felt like death warmed up and couldn’t concentrate at work.  I ended up waving the white flag on Tuesday and asked the big boss for 1-2 days off as days in lieu for all the extra hours … and he gave me 2 days, which I’ve just taken.

You would think that with a 4-day weekend I’d be stitching up a storm, but alas not a needle has been seen for the last 4 days … instead I’ve been superglued to my home computer 12 hours a day, uploading a lot of my old stitching finishes into Flickr, and adding copyright symbols onto every photo.  I haven’t bothered doing anything with my old photos since losing them all when Webshots closed down … but even though it’s taken a heck of a lot of effort (and I’m still not finished), it’s felt very rewarding.

Have you ever taken the time to go back through your old stitching photos and amazed yourself at just how much you’ve achieved during your stitching lifetime?  Well that’s been me the last few days!  It’s also been interesting seeing stitching trends over each year – for example 2010 for me seemed to be the “Year of Just Nan” … and also the year of the Great Pumpkin Challenge that I enjoyed so much.  I’d also forgotten how much detailed and varied work I did in the earlier years, and it’s given me the urge to revisit those days by choosing some challenging pieces for upcoming projects.  All-in-all it’s been such a wonderful trip down memory lane for me!!

It also means that eventually over time I’ll be updating a lot of the photos on this blog too, as most of the piccies disappeared when Webshots shut down.  I’m slowly working my way through 2011 and 2010 at the moment, and just focusing on the stitching finishes … I’m not sure if I’ll bother updating with the WIP piccies, but “never say never” I guess ;)

In the meantime, though, I can show the latest progress on Fern pixie at the end of last week’s stitching efforts from 30 March:

Fern by Nora Corbett @ 30 March 2014

Fern by Nora Corbett @ 30 March 2014

Still around … but without my mojo (& March WIPocalypse)

22 March, 2014

Well, it seems my mojo has totally deserted me over the last month or so – I haven’t touched a needle, literally, in over a month!  Work stresses and personal stresses have just seen my head too cluttered to stitch … while normally stitching would bring me relief at times like this, it had reached the stage where the thought of stitching just felt overwhelming for some daft reason.  Instead I’ve been spending lots of time on my laptop checking out stitching websites and just being generally lazy and doing ‘nothing’.

As for work, I still have a job but there are lots of people who have been in the company for many years that I worked with really closely that have now left, and they still haven’t worked through all the levels of the company yet, so many more heads yet to roll.  Even though I know my job is safe, it’s still very disconcerting and upsetting while other colleagues and friends still wait for the decision affecting them.  They haven’t given me much time to ponder it, though, as I was given a new ‘project’ to work on with an exceptionally tight deadline, so it’s been back to working 14-hour days again over the last couple of weeks, and next week will be “the week from hell” where I’ll be planning to pretty much sleep there for the week!!  At least now we’re back working closer to home I know I can be home in 20 minutes at the end of the day, so that’s a blessing if nothing else.

And as for today … well, would you believe it, today I’m going to FINALLY break that mojo curse, and I’m going to pick up my needle and do some stitching to try and get back into my stitching routine.  I have a huge list of TV shows I need to watch on my DVRs (so much that one has stopped recording because the memory is full!!), seeing as I haven’t been keeping up-to-date with it much, so that’s a perfect excuse to chill out at home with the TV on and my stitching on my lap :)  It will be interesting to see how much I can get done this weekend after not doing anything for so long!!  Here is my skimpy progress on Fern since my last WIPocalypse post, which was done a month ago now in the last week of February …

One good thing, though, is that I’m being forced to take annual leave and long service leave before the end of June … as I can’t afford to go anywhere, that means having 3 1/2 weeks of leave between now and then … I think I just may enjoy a couple of 2-week leave blocks around the home lazing around stitching – there’ll be no excuses not to get my mojo back then, that’s for sure!!! :D

UPDATED TO ADD:  Oops, I forgot that the question for the March WIPocalypse was where our favourite stitching spots were … I have to admit since my new flatmate moved in he’s pretty much taken over the lounge and my favourite stitching spot in there is no longer my favourite unless he’s gone out for the weekend … instead you will now only ever see me sat up in bed doing my stitching, so this is now my favourite (actually I’ve always enjoyed sitting up in bed stitching, anyway, so it’s no hardship!).


My stitching mojo is AWOL

22 February, 2014

The last couple of weeks have been quite stressful … while there have been highlights that have been really positive, there is the underlying stress at work as the company I work for makes some big decisions on reshaping the business drastically.  This of course means a lot of jobs are about to get axed or restructured, and we’ve already been given the hard line to expect that our team is going to be hit badly along with everyone else.  While everyone is still continuing along with their day-to-day business, and taking on new work etc, there is still that underlying ‘tension’ that is ever-present as people leave and positions are not filled, and you witness numerous meetings being held with the most serious faces you can imagine.  This is the 3rd time I’ve experienced this since moving to Sydney, and this is perhaps the biggest one we’ve faced yet … and quite frankly it is a bit emotionally draining continuing to witness the events and still keep working hard and trying to ignore the atmosphere …  I keep trying to tell myself not to think about it, as the outcome will be out of our hands either way – and stressing over it isn’t going to change the outcome.  I guess either way, we’ll all find out over the next week or two whether we still have a job (albeit a very different one, no doubt) or whether the grim reaper has arrived at your desk and has come to help you pack up your belongings.  In no way do I feel badly towards my employers though, it’s something that they really do have to do, and probably should have been done a long time ago … and I’ll continue to feel proud to work for them and support them in whatever decisions are made … but from a personal perspective, it’s obviously unsettling for now …

Add to that I’ve been just generally feeling really run-down thanks to my B12 deficiency, it’s lead to a very ineffective week’s worth of stitching – I’ve just not been in the mood to stitch whatsoever over the last week or two.  That mojo that was going great guns has just dwindled down to nothing … which is not good, seeing as I have my pixie that I wanted to give as a gift to my penpal in the first week of March … have a strange feeling that’s not going to happen, especially as I’m missing 2 skeins of Kreinik #4 braid and 2 packets of Mill Hill Magnifica beads!  I still have a couple of canvaswork threads that need to be posted by Nordic Needle (they were on backorder since before Christmas), so I’m going to ask for those to be added to my order seeing as I’m already paying an exorbitant price for shipping from them!  Then it really is a case of being really frugal with money for the rest of the year where stash is concerned … plus I’m going to go through and try and sell off a lot of my stash that I know I won’t stitch – I’ve already managed to offload some charts for a song through an Aussie Facebook group, but there is still lots left that I need to get rid of, so I guess I should finally learn how to sell on Ebay and get rid of them!

Anyway, enough of the doom and gloom … here is the progress so far on Fern by Nora Corbett … pretty sad really!  Here is the before photo from my WIPocalypse post, and how she sits now …

On a more positive note, however, I put my hand up to volunteer at a recent CEO Cookoff charity event – it was an amazing night and I really enjoyed the opportunity to help out and see the joy on the faces of the guests and feel like you were making a difference to their lives, albeit it for such a short time.  There were about 900 guests who are predominantly from homeless shelters etc, and some well-known local chefs donated their time to cook for the guests, along with some high profile CEOs (including our own) cooking as well and who raised funds through sponsorship for the event.  It was incredibly hard work, but incredibly and exceptionally rewarding – and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!!  I’d be happy to wear my red “Community Champion” shirt again with pride!!

February WIPocalypse

15 February, 2014

It’s been a reasonable month for both stitching and blog posts … probably the most regular I’ve been in quite a few years!  Who knows how long it will last for, but I’m enjoying it so far that’s for sure!

As for my stitching progress, here are the progress piccies from the last month’s efforts, and comparing how they looked last time vs this month:

First up is a new start, which is a gift for someone if I can get it stitched up quickly enough!  Unfortunately, though, I just noticed a mark on the fabric so it’s off to spend some time in a tub and hopefully it will come out … if not, I guess I’ll be ironing up some new fabric and starting again …

Fern by Nora Corbett

Fern by Nora Corbett

And my other WIPs/new starts were:

And then there were a couple of new starts that were also finishes:

All-in-all it was a pretty amazing month of stitching … my work department moving closer to home again is doing wonders for my productivity, that’s for sure!!

And now this month’s topic:  “Topic: How many projects do you generally feel comfortable having in progress at a time?  Tell us about your one-at-a-time or rotation habits!”

I have to admit the high number of UFOs I have has started to bother me in recent years, so I’ve been making an effort to slowly work through them.  I’m starting to become more of a one-at-a-timer, but then when I get bored with a project I tend to just stop stitching, or I put it down and never come back to it again because I feel burnt out with that particular project.  This year I’ve tried to be more disciplined and have gone back to a formal rotation once again, and it’s really working on the whole.  I have 10-11 project slots, with a Focus Piece slot every 3-4 slots so that I can focus on one project to get stitched up more quickly (generally assigned to one of my BAPs or SAL commitments).  I’ve managed to stick to my rotation really well so far, although I’ve just decided to start a new gift for someone that needs to be stitched up really quickly before we meet up in early March, so my rotation has been temporarily put on hold.  It’s funny, though, I already miss my rotation and the discipline I’d built up, and I’m almost ‘resenting’ this project because of it … isn’t it funny how our minds work?  So far I’ve managed to finish up one old UFO this year thanks to my rotation slot and being disciplined … I’d like to see another 1-2 of my UFO list joining the finishing pile this year, but either way I’m just doing to enjoy working through my stash pile on a regular basis! :D

As a matter of interest, here is my “rotation tub” … all of my projects are on their own scrollbars or Qsnaps, and sit in order of being stitched, along with their chart/threads in a plastic envelope or mesh project bag … this really helps me to keep organised during the rotation and I’m not running around each 10 hours trying to find the next project kit …

My rotation 'tub'

My rotation ‘tub’

More Angel of Love

8 February, 2014

I managed to finish my current rotation slot for Angel of Love today, after taking the day off work.  I was originally going to work from home today after having my latest cortisone injection in my foot, but it wasn’t particularly pleasant today and it started throbbing quite early on when I got home … I sent a note to my boss to tell her I was going to curl up in bed for the rest of the day, and ended up cheering myself up on and off with a bit of stitching.

Angel of Love by Lavender & Lace after 30 hours of stitching

Angel of Love by Lavender & Lace after 30 hours of stitching


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