First of all I should say a rip-roaring and resounding “HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!” to everyone … as we kick off a new year with the first day of 2014. I know I’m not the only one that had some struggles in 2013, so personally I’m certainly not sorry to see it finish! Let’s hope that 2014 is a brighter year for everyone who had a crappy 2013, and that it continues on a positive vein for those who had an awesome 2013 🙂
I just returned home this morning from two weeks holiday with my parents in New Zealand. I say “holiday”, but in truth it’s never really a holiday when I go home … there’s usually a list of chores that my folks want me to complete … and I have to admit I’m generally really happy to help out as much as I can when I go home. This year the chore was to take Dad out to buy a new mobile phone … and teach him how to use it … the first part was pretty simple, and the second part saw me practising “patience” substantially, let’s say! LOL. Then we went out to buy a Panasonic digital recorder (DVR) for both Mum and Dad and set it all up for them in their respective rooms. Sadly Mum’s was a real challenge due to not having a good aerial set-up, so unfortunately they’ll need to call in someone to add a new aerial on the roof for Mum so she can get it working 100%.
Dad has to drink something similar to protein shakes daily, and he’s been really bad at drinking them – he told me he’d missed one whole day because Mum was sick and she couldn’t make them for him … my response was that he shouldn’t have to wait for Mum to do everything for him, why couldn’t he just make them himself? He shouldn’t have to rely on Mum for everything, if she got sick then he’d be stuffed! You could have knocked me over with a feather the next day when Mum told me Dad has asked her to teach him how to make his shakes … and that he needs to be more “independent”. I didn’t expect my little chat to have such a big impact … but I got a HUGE resounding vote of thanks from Mum, as that’s helped to relieve some of the pressure from her every day having to do everything for Mum (and I know it’s been getting her down). I hadn’t expected him to do that, but it’s a very good thing, I think!
While I was in NZ I managed to meet a dear online/blogging pal that I hadn’t managed to meet before. Zeb had chatted to me briefly just after I moved to Aussie to live, wishing she knew stitchers in the local area to have GTGs etc … it seems all these years later there is now an active group of stitchers in Auckland that meet up, and we managed to ‘gate-crash’ the party for an afternoon! I’d called out to the Auckland stitchers to see if anyone was interested in getting together while I was in NZ, and Zeb arranged a stitching day at The Ribbon Rose – what a perfect choice for the venue!!! Not only did we (Mum and I, ‘cos I dragged her along for a change in scenery and a different group of people to chat to to give her a break) get to meet some lovely people on the day, but we managed to kill two birds with one stone by completing a small stash enhancement onsite. I always drag Mum into The Ribbon Rose each trip, so it was extra special this time! I managed to get a group photo in the afternoon, but unfortunately a few of the group disappeared and left while Mum and I were browsing around the store, so the photo doesn’t include everyone that was there 😦 (UPDATED: Photo now removed by request of someone in it.)
Now we’re back onto the subject of stitching, I did manage to get quite a lot of stitching done while I was away – mainly because we couldn’t really go far from home because of Dad, and I made it a priority to do ‘the family thing’ while we could. Dad still has to have two surgeries yet in 2014, and as awful as it sounds I wanted to spend as much time as I could while I could … obviously we all have positive thoughts that he’ll come through the surgeries just fine, but I don’t want to have any regrets if it doesn’t …
Anyway, back to the stitching again … these are the little pieces that I started and finished while I’ve been away – I think I impressed myself which the stitching progress this time round!! Admittedly two days sat in front of the TV in Mum’s room watching Catherine Cookson DVDs really helped … while I’m generally very very patient, and wanted to spend as much time with Dad as I could, we still needed to have a wee break just for sanity’s sake!! Dad has a tendency to make comments that are less than positive and can be quite derogative, so I needed to recharge my little positivity bubble for a couple of days …
“Never Too Big” by Dragon Dreams (2004 JCS ornie issue)
stitched with recommended DMC and Kreinik threads and JABC button
on 28ct light taupe linen (sorry, didn’t write the details down when I kitted it up!)
“Full Moon” freebie by Elizabeth’s Designs
stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Lugana by Countrystitch ~ colour Little Boy Blue??
with recommended DMC and WDW threads
(really love those little sheepies, even if they don’t have legs! LOL)
“Seasons Greetings” by Glory Bee (2005 JCS ornie issue)
stitched on 28ct natural linen
with my choice of threads:
Lettering in Crescent Colours Cupid, Kreinik #4 braid for the star (#002),
DMC for the rest – white, 502 or 503 (can’t remember) and 500
“Gourmet Garden” by Little House Needleworks
stitched on 32ct hand-dyed linen by Countrystitch ~ colour Pipi
with recommended DMC threads
I did start one last project that I hoped to see finished by the end of 2013, but it just wasn’t to be … this one will only take an hour or two of love and it’ll be finished, so it’s likely to be my first finish for 2014. I really did want to start my rotation tomorrow, though, so I’ll have to make a decision whether to finish this one off now, or to wait until the “small projects” section of my rotation … I’m pretty sure I know what will win out tomorrow! 😛
Just have the holly leaves and lettering to go on this one before there is another “F word” … “Finish”
And on that note I’d better call it a night, I think … I managed to pick up a few healthy groceries in readiness for one of my New Year’s Resolutions, that to be healthier and happier. Hopefully all the salads will offset the half a suitcase full of chocolate goodies and Gingernut biscuits that Mum sent me home with! haha.
As to the rest of my New Year’s Resolutions and stitching plans/goals for 2014, well I guess that’ll have to come later once I’ve made some decisions … watch this space … just maybe not for a wee while 😛