Don’t ask me why, but last night I ended up staying up until 3.30am last night … reading blogs!!! That’s one reason I don’t have a sleep in the afternoons when I’m tired (especially on early shifts), as I can’t usually sleep in the evening, and I was just plain wide awake after 11pm. It’s strange too, that once I’d made the decision to wipe out all the unread feeds and start from scratch, that it felt like a burden had been taken off my shoulders … and I felt more relaxed and in the mood to tackle ‘a few’, which ended up being a few hundred!! I actually read through just over 650 unread feeds last night/this morning and pretty stunned I managed it. I’m left with just 89 left to go today (I’m not going into the archives), and it feels pretty darned good! That also means no stitching was done last night … oops …
“How many pieces have you stitched? Out of these, how many have been for you? How many have had specialty stitches or other techniques besides cross stitch?”
According to my photo albums I’ve done about 142 pieces in total (finished ones, that is – and I might have missed a few earlier ones). Of these 89 have been either for me, or have yet to be allocated a recipient, and 53 have been gifts for others and already given away. Out of these about 70 have been pure XS, and the rest have included specialty stitches or are specific techniques such as stumpwork (4), canvaswork (8), silk ribbon embroidery (2), hardanger (6), blackwork (3), and almost entirely beaded (7).
“When you find yourself making a lot of mistakes in various stitching projects do you find it better to muddle your way through or do you take a brief break from stitching? If you do take a break, how long do you take?”
That depends on how bad the errors are – if it’s something quick to fix, I’ll usually do it straightaway … if I keep doing it on the same piece time after time I’ll put it away for the rest of that day and come back to it the next day … if I’m still having a difficult time with it, and there’s no deadline, it gets thrown in a corner never to see light of day again. And that’s one great way UFO’s are born! haha. Actually my Waiting for Ships was one of those great examples … I’d frog-stitched the metallics on the tail a few times when I finally threw it in the corner and had a hissy fit with it … picked it up about 3-4 months alter, and fixed it in 10 minutes, then finished it off without any further mishaps 🙂 I have to admit, I’ve never taken an entire break from stitching for longer than a month, and always have oodles of projects on the go (also thanks to those dreaded UFO’s).
And for those of you who are curry hounds, I’ll share my new recipe with you from the weekend (and it’s not really hot, unlike normal vindaloos):
1kg (2lb) chuck, blade or skirt steak (I used blade)
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
3 onions, sliced (but I ended up thinking it was too much, and halved it)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 cinnamon stick
3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup (80ml/2 3/4 fl oz) brown vinegar
1/2 cup (125ml/4 fl oz) beef stock
1 teaspoon sugar
1) Cut the steak into bite-sized cubes. Heat the ghee or oil in a large pan and brown the meat in two batches. Transfer to a plate.
2) Add the onion to the pan; cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until very soft and lightly golden. Add the spices, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 more minute. Return the meat to the pan and stir until well coated in the spices.
3) Add the vinegar, stock, sugar, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring just to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Discard the cinnamon stick. Serve with plain or basmati rice. Garnish with a little finely grated fresh ginger.