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Gracie progress and Biscuits

It’s been a rewarding day today – sat on my fat bottom pretty much all day watching DVDs and stitching on Gracie … leaving her looking like this at the end of the day:

Gracie 22Aug10

I did manage to get off my fat hiney for a short while this afternoon, and whipped up a batch of coconut biscuits … yummo 😀

Coconut biscuits

And now it’s time to hit the hay for the night, for another week of testing at work …

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Photo Hunt & a new start

Yesterday I felt as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders – my feral and miserable mood finally disappeared, plus I had reconnected with my one and only “regret” in life overnight. 

I had lost contact with a dear friend (who was, in all honesty, the one true love in my life from those early days – and most definitely the one that got away, or at least that I pushed away – he was the only guys I’ve ever thought I could have married … oh how I wish I had the strength of character and wise mind back then that I do now!) – anyhoo, I got a Facebook request from an old school chum from when I was about 11/12 years old, along with links to some old school class photos, and it brought all those childhood memories flooding back, and that old regret came bubbling back up to the surface … as well as the romantic regret, more so the regret that I had lost a rare and special friendship all those years ago. 

Well, I did a quick Google search and found Glen surprisingly easily.  He has his own animal dermatology business in Florida, where he lives with his wife and two kids.  I received an email back from him on Saturday morning touching base and telling me a little about his life since leaving home.  So perhaps that has been the biggest contributor to the weight being lifted from my shoulders, or perhaps it was just coincidence … but I do know it was lovely to share a couple of childhood stories and touch base once again.  Mum always thought of him as the son she never had – I’m really glad to hear he’s OK and happy, and knowing that he’s happy may just let me move on too 🙂

Anyway, for the first time in ages my mood gave me a jolt of mental energy – I had an urge to stitch something ‘new’, and put my hand into the kitted up drawers to find something … that “something” ended up being a stumpwork correspondence course from the Embroiderers’ Guild of America.  I’d forgotten just how long it takes to stitch one little item in stumpwork (at least it does for me!!) – even with chunky Brazilian embroidery threads being used, it took me the entire afternoon just to stitch 1 1/2 leaves!  But I have to say I really enjoyed it, and am about to go and finish off that 2nd leaf.

Here you can see the entire design – called “Gracie”, it’s a big chunky goldfish when it’s finished.  The colours are eye-popping vibrant oranges/reds.  The leaves are outlined with stem stitch (there is LOTS of stem stitch in this project), padded with chain stitch, then covered with sloping satin stitches.  It was quite hard to stitch last night in the poor lighting, so hopefully it will be easier this morning with the natural daylight coming in as well … fingers crossed I’ll get that 2nd leaf finished by lunchtime, to give me time to do some baking (see, I told you I had energy all of a sudden! haha).

Gracie 21Aug10

Gracie leaves in progress

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This week’s theme is ”Numerical” – here are some numerical signs outside a shop in Berrima.

Berrima-4

And in trying to tie-in some stitching into my photo meme themes, here are a few stitched numbers:

Drawn Thread-Sunflower Sampler 4

Theme Thursday – Brush

In continuing to try and find a stitching element to my photo memes when I can, I ended up having a mini photography session this morning after taking the first photo … but hopefully it ties in well with the theme!

Here is my choice for this week’s Theme Thursday, where the theme is ”Brush” – I use an eyebrow brush to fluff up my turkey knot stitches in stumpwork to make fluffy little insect bodies.  This one is my old UFO not completed yet, but pretty much ready for a trim back into the body shape 🙂

Jane Nicholas-Stumpwork

When it grows up, and it’s trimmed back, it’ll look something like this little bee:

Jane Nicholas-Elizabethan Roundel

Here is another piece that is brushed up and fluffy – gorgeous thistles!

Jane Nicholas-Elizabethan Roundel

And while I’m showing you the brushed-up parts, I thought I’d share details of the rest of this piece … this is Elizabethan Roundel by Jane Nicholas:

Jane Nicholas-Elizabethan Roundel

I just love how all the piece stand-up 3-dimensionally on the fabric with the padding and wires.

Jane Nicholas-Elizabethan Roundel

Jane Nicholas-Elizabethan Roundel

Jane Nicholas-Elizabethan Roundel

On a different note, thanks to everyone who has left comments with your preferred ONS.  Unfortunately the ONS I’m currently having issues with (accessory packs ordered in January, charts ordered in March) is one of the ‘good’ ones you listed … so I think I just lucked out.  Never mind, I’m going through a mini financial crisis with some major bills coming up that I can’t afford, so I won’t have to worry about stitching orders until at least the beginning of next year!

It also may mean I’ll finally have to clear out my stash and put a lot of it up on Ebay, along with my scissor fobs … I have about $1,500 to find in 10 days for my car registration, which is hilarious (both the actual cost itself, which is twice as much as living in Melbourne, but I also have to buy local licence plates which bumps the cost up, along with the hilarity of finding $1,500 in itself in such a short time).  So my guess is that my car will be taken off the road until I have the funds available – oh my, I’m sooooo not looking forward to being a bus passenger again 😦  I really need to get my car up and running again by the beginning of October, though, as Mum’s coming over to visit and we’ll need it for running around in.  Oh well, I’ve lived on tinned tomatoes once before, I guess I can do it again for a while!

Anyway, enough of these woes and troubles … time to shake it off and jump in the shower for another day of torture in the office …  I was feeling so stressed yesterday I almost burst into tears at the end of the day when yet another hurdle cropped up, which almost immediately burst into anger with the next email … this PMT is a right royal b*tch, I haven’t missed it whatsoever over the last few years – and now it’s back, it’s back with a vengeance!!  Maybe I should start booking in annual leave every month? LOL.

Back from a mini blog break

Thanks to those of you (including Mum) who have enquired as to my whereabouts, and wondering why I’ve been absent for an entire week – and also where the photo posts have disappeared to.  To be honest I’ve just felt a bit burnt out computer-wise (and therefore blog-wise), and haven’t felt like sitting in front of the PC much over the last week or three … the Photo Hunt themes haven’t really inspired me much over the last couple of weeks, and I usually sit and post all my photo posts for the week at the same time as doing my Saturday Photo Hunt post … so therefore no other photo posts either.

Anyway, other than that life is OK – just very hectic at work, and there hasn’t been much energy left over at the end of the day to do much at all.  I can’t even say there has been screeds and screeds of stitching done … although I do have two small finishes – one that I can share, and one that I can’t … and one new start.

So, first up, here’s the one I can share:

Whispered by the Wind-Snow freebie
“Snow” freebie by Whispered by the Wind
(freebie is still available here)
stitched on 32ct hand-dyed opalescent lugana
with DMC B5200

Just love the sparkly blue fabric – the photo in no way does this one justice … although the opalescent fabric is a total b*tch to stitch on, and I’m not in a hurry to repeat the experience …

And here’s the one I can’t share:

Scissor Pocket Exchange
Mystery design by Mystery designer on Mystery fabric with Mystery thread … to a Mystery recipient …

Then I started a new project, trying to stitch up some of the projects that I’ve entirely kitted up with DMC, just so I can return all my skeins to my master collection … meaning I won’t be forever “losing” the colours I need to kit up a new start.  Here’s my very VERY minimal start on Mirabilia’s Trick or Treat Fairy (magazine version) … currently also known as “The Blob”.  I managed to add another three whole rows tonight, but didn’t think it would make much difference to the photo!

And lucky last, here is a very very VERY old UFO that hasn’t seen the light of day since, well quite frankly I can’t remember when … all of a sudden I started getting the urge to finish off one of my oldest UFOs, and choose a project to challenge myself, and this is probably the closest to an actual finish of any of my ‘big’ stumpwork pieces … so I’m thinking perhaps I should bite the bullet and finish this little baby off.  It will mean, though, getting my Jane Nicholas reference books out and jogging my memory on how to do all the stitches, but that’s what challenges are for right?  Here are how all the various components look at this stage … with many more little petals and insects yet to be stitched up and finished!  (Unfortunately the fluffed up bee body is looking a bit worse for wear after being in storage for months and in and out of boxes … but it should hopefully all work out once it gets trimmed back into the little bee body shape … fingers crossed anyway!)

So, be warned, and don’t expect too much progress too quickly … the one thing I find with stumpwork is that for me it seems to take an absolute aeon to finish one teeny tiny little piece of stitching, so this is one project that you won’t be seeing finished any time soon!

And on that note I think it’s time to bid you farewell again for the night – no guarantees when I’ll be back online again … but at least you know I’m still alive 🙂

WIP’s and UFO’s

This is especially for Kathy of the Blig Blog … here are photos of the current state of all my UFO’s (I could pretend that they were WIP’s but seeing as the majority haven’t seen a stitch put into them in over 12 months, 95% would definitely be deemed as UFO status!):

Macaw by Ross Originals Beaded Fish WIPs
Macaw -&- Beaded Fish

EG-01May07 TW English Garden Sampler
Egyptian Garden Mandala -&- English Garden Sampler

Le Jardin Silk Sampler 21Jan05 Flight of the Bumblebees at 2Jan07
Le Jardin Silk Sampler -&- Flight of the Bumblebees

TW Noahs Ark Winter Queen 01Jun08 1
Noah’s Ark -&- Winter Queen

Designs by Lena Rose-In the Dark needleroll 1 With Love & Affection
In the Dark Needleroll -&- Love & Affection

st-wildflower-needleroll Apricot Elegance
Wildflowers Needleroll -&- Apricot Elegance

Hussif by Monica Hunt XS Bookmark
Monica Hunt Hussif -&- Classical Garden Bookmark

Nature's Resting Place Beehive Needlecase
Nature’s Resting Place -&- Wool Beehive Needlebook

Oriental Poppy & Cornflower Summer Fruits
Oriental Poppy -&- Summer Fruits Pincushion

Pomegranates, Snail & Gold Bug HOCS Hussif
Pomegranates & Beetle – Martha Schmidt Hussif

Thimble Pipkin Thimble Pipkin Thimble Pipkin
Stumpwork Needlework Accessories

Goldwork Pea Pods Wool Embroidery
Goldwork Pea -&- Wool hot water bottle cover

Honesty & Heartsease stumpwork Bullion Roses
Honesty & Heartsease -&- Bullion Rose Facecloth

Frog Longstitch Butterflies & Hearts needleroll
Long stitch frogs -&- Butterflies & Hearts Needleroll

Dragonfly Common Hawker Dragonfly
Stumpwork Dragonfly

Berry Delightful Bag Mediterranean XS
Berry Delightful Bag -&- Mediterranean Village XS

quilting-ufo-2
Vicki’s Cot Quilt

Stitching Leporello isn’t included in the photos, as I’ve been stitching a complete section each time, so no individual section is in progress at the moment. And I can’t put my hands to either a photo or the actual project of GCC Ornamental Delights, so I guess that one won’t be getting stitched in a hurry haha.

Very sad that some of these projects are over halfway and never finished, however there are many there that are barely started … I’m sorely tempted to just unpick the bullion rose facecloth, for example, as I don’t know if I truly ever want to finish it, the same with a couple more projects in there … will see how I feel after one more stitching session on them, I guess, before I make the ultimate decision to turf out. It’s funny when you look back through the photos and remember why you stopped working on them … for example the Lorri Birmingham Butterflies & Hearts needleroll, I really hated the colours used, as I felt the wording etc just faded into the background, so no doubt that whole piece will be unpicked and started again from scratch with my choice of threads 🙂

I’ve already gone out and pulled numbers out of the hat for the first round, and highlighted the text in bold in the main list in the previous post … and I’m really looking forward to starting my rotation – I just want to finish my current piece first … although I guess I could just choose to start at the “free choice” slot and start counting my hours, that way I can continue with my current project and be starting my actual rotation at the same time – ooh, I like it when a plan comes together!!! 😀

That means my new current rotation is as follows:

  1. Focus Piece:  CA Wells class projects
  2. Medium/Large:  Lavenderblue Celtic Knot Quilt – From Nancy’s Needle
  3. WIP’s/UFO’s:  Berry Delightful Bag
  4. Focus Piece:  CA Wells class projects
  5. Small/Medium: Jumpin’ Jelly Beans – DKT Originals (freebie)
  6. Large/BAP’s:  Egyptian Garden Mandala
  7. Focus Piece:  CA Wells class projects
  8. Christmas Ornaments
  9. Finishing
  10. Free Choice