Christmas Ornaments, Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Finishes, Jane Nicholas, Stumpwork, Works in Progress

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 🙂

Christmas Ornaments, Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Finishes, Lizzie Kate, Victoria Sampler, Works in Progress

A project returns as a WIP

Last year I finished all of the stitching on Lizzie*Kate’s Boo Club, but I was given the used charts on loan and had to find my own buttons – I’ve eventually narrowed the search down and found suitable substitutes, and thought I’d start stitching them on tonight instead of doing some actual stitching … I’d just finished attaching ribbon hangers onto about 10 Prairie Schooler ornies that Mum gave me to be finished, and couldn’t find my felt for the backings, but wasn’t really in the mood to ‘stitch’ …

Well, I was never entirely sure whether to stitch the border on this piece and instead thought I’d use a ribbon stitched down … tonight I decided it really would look much nicer with the border stitched in place, so back it went onto some scrollbars and I’ve decided to stitching the border at the same time as adding the buttons … what was originally going to be about an hour’s worth of ‘finishing’ to complete this piece has now turned into a week (or more) worth of stitching.  I think I’ll be much happier with it now, though 😀

As you can see from the photo, I didn’t get too far with the border stitching tonight, although not too bad considering … and 2 buttons down, 22 left to go …

I managed to snap a better photo yesterday of the Pin Pillow Exchange that I received (a HUGE yay for finding my little elusive Lumix), so I could finally do justice to the beautiful stitching and finishing.

I hadn’t noticed before how perfectly DMC 927 matches my bedroom duvet cover … I’m thinking a lovely sampler in this colour (along with the beige) just might look ever so lovely in my bedroom and now my mind is starting to work overtime and think of potential candidates!  I’m thinking perhaps a nice Quaker design maybe … hmmmm …

While I had the camera out I also managed to take a better close-up shot of my finished heart from the Beyond Cross Stitch series by The Victoria Sampler – here is a nicer photo of my finish, and the beautiful specialty stitches on this piece.  Sorry scanner, but your scans just can’t compare to the clarity of my little Lumix, even in crappy lighting!

Victoria Sampler-Beyond Cross Stitch 3-1

Thank you to everyone who has voted to date for whether or not I should continue to combine both my loves of stitching and photography in this blog – it seems the majority agree with my gut feeling, which is to leave things as they are … apologies to those of you who prefer to see stitching only, but I’ve decided to leave things “as is” for the time being.  I really appreciate you all taking the time to complete the poll, though!

Have a wonderful rest of the week everyone 😀

Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Finishes, Freebies, Piecework magazine, pincushions, Quaker

Pin Pillow Exchange part 1

I haven’t heard from my exchange partner directly, but I noticed on Becky’s blog today that the list shows that she’s received my pin pillow exchange for her.  I hope she liked it 🙂

Anyway, I’ve decided to go ahead and show the pillow I made for her now I know it’s been received, ‘cos I’ve been champing at the bit wanting to share the piccies.  My recipient was Jayne, and I read on her blog that she likes the colour purple, alphabets and quakers, so this was my choice for her (I personalised one side with both of our initials):

Janice Wood-Quaker Heart freebie

Janice Wood-Quaker Heart freebie

“Quaker Heart” freebie by Piecework magazine
Stitched on 28ct Lavender Bliss Cashel linen
with Carrie’s Threads “Lavender”
finished with a beaded edge

Now I’m considering joining up for Becky’s next exchange – a scissor pocket … I love it ‘cos it’s a “no extras” exchange again, which is really appealing to me, rather than sending extras than people may not want.

Christmas Ornaments, Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Home & Family TO BE FIXED, Works in Progress

Quick catch-up

It was a busy weekend – started by Friday night’s shenanigans being dressed up as a nun for the Sound of Music Sing-a-long.  I only managed to get one paltry photo taken without the flash, while in the office, so it’s incredibly unflattering (like most photos of me) … anyway, it gives you an idea of how I wandered around Sydney train stations and streets for the evening.  We had a blast, and really enjoyed our meal at Retro Cafe next door to the theatre before the show.

Saturday I went with Katie to my hairdressers for a MUCH needed haircut!!  I had to cancel a couple of weeks ago due to my vertigo/virus.  I am now thrilled to be sporting a fringe once again, along with a couple of inches off the length … woohoo!!! 😀

While we were there we also decided to go the whole hog and had a beauty session while the other person was having a haircut.  I got my eyebrows shaped and had my … shock, horror … first EVER pedicure!!!  Oh boy, was it lovely – I enjoyed every minute of the pampering.  I’ve been a tad stressed at work fairly recently, so it was really good to chill out and do nothing for the morning.  Unfortunately, though, I was so exhausted afterwards (thanks to an early morning start) I ended up having a nana nap in the early evening … which didn’t help with the evening sleeping ritual … I ended up getting back up at 10pm and continued stitching my pin pillow exchange piece!

Sunday saw me getting up relatively late, but the entire day was spent in front of the gogglebox clearing up the hard-drive and watching Medium, Ghost Whisperer, Fringe and Good News Week episodes … but I DID manage to get the final stitches into my pin pillow exchange, and made it up in the little pillow … now it’s sitting in its padded envelope waiting for a visit to the Post Office during the week 😀

After finishing my exchange piece, I started a new Christmas ornament from an old JCS issue that I’d already got kitted up from a couple of years ago – I made an OK start into that one while watching TV last night … and I’ll put a few more stitches into it tonight.

Tomorrow I’m heading off to my GP to check a few things checked out – my lightheadedness continues, unfortunately, so I’m going to ask to get my blood pressure checked out.  I’ve also had really bad acid reflux over the last few months, so that’s also on the list … better to be safe than sorry, I guess!  And on that note, it’s time to go get some soup for dinner and settle in front of the TV for an hour or two 🙂

Cross Stitch, Exchanges

Exchanges are back in fashion

It’s been a while since I participated in any Exchanges, but I decided to join Becky and her group of followers in a Pin Pillow exchange, mailing date 1 April.  I just received my recipient’s name this morning, and the first thing I did was to check out her blog to see what sort of designs she likes and if I could find her favourite colour – anything to help me choose something that he/she is more likely to appreciate. 

Anyway, this got me thinking about anyone who doesn’t know me who has my name in an exchange – it would be difficult for them to find the same information in my blog … especially as these days that I’m not stitching as prolifically.  So, I decided to uplift some of the information from my RAK Registry post, and tweak it a bit, and have now added that as an extra page here – my “Likes” page.  Hopefully this will help any future exchange partners to find the information they need! 🙂

And now I’m off to continue cutting up some more fabrics for the two dozen or so new projects that I dragged out of the stash pile last night … I won’t kit them up with their DMC etc yet, or I might find myself in trouble, but at least the fabric will be cut up ready, as that’s my usual drawback when I’m starting something new … of course it will take me the entire year and beyond to stitch them all, but at the moment for me the fun is in the planning 😉

Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Finishes

Scissor Fob Exchange

Phew, Su has received her scissor fob exchange from me, so I can post a piccie. For a beautiful close-up of the stitching you’ll have to pop over to Su’s blog, as mine is just done on the scanner and much less artistic 😉 I was majorly stressed over this exchange, as Su’s stitching and finishing is so awesome, and I had the huge delays with SB&B with the ‘extra goodies’ arriving. Anyway, it’s finally reached it’s destination safe and sound, and I’m very happy! This is my last exchange for a little while, though – and putting the stress factor aside LOL, I’ve enjoyed each and every one 😀

Silken Roses Scissor Fob by The Sweetheart Tree
stitched on 32ct Lavender Mist Belfast linen
with the recommended threads
but omitting the eyelets on the back and personalising
with our initials and the year

Rightio, time to have brekkie then it’s back to my stitching corner … I’ve decided to stitch Summer Solstice by Eventide Designs for my needleroll SAL, and if I have time I’ll also try and finish my Snow Fall needleroll from last month too … oh dear, I guess that means no housework again today, that’s too bad hahahaha 😀

Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Round Robins

RR & Exchanges … and stuff

Thanks for all your comments and emails of support – I’m still feeling a bit ‘blue’ (which I would normally be happy about haha), but I’m getting there slowly. Anyway, I won’t dwell on my current issues now, as I’m trying hard to keep them from my mind and not brood on things. I just wanted to post a few piccies of the fantastic exchange I just received today.

I received my scissor fob exchange from Cari, and I’m seriously blown away by her generosity … not only did I receive the most exquisite fob in my fave colours, but also a pair of “Julia” Gingher’s scissors, no less, and a VC silk in the most glorious blue … I’ve been shaking my head like a stunned mullet (there’s an Aussie saying for you) ever since I opened the envelope at lunchtime – and 6 hours later still feel gobsmacked by it all. The fob is absolutely gorgeous, and Cari’s stitching and finishing is awesome … I definitely don’t feel worthy … I just LOVE everything, and it will all be treasured for years to come – thanks again so much Cari!! 😀 I’ve taken piccies of the whole kit and caboodle, as well as trying to take a close-up shot of the front and back of the fob, so here goes:

On top of that I remembered to take a photo of the recent RR’s I’ve been participating in … this one is Lynn’s RR so far, with just one more stitcher left to go (I stitched the Winter square earlier – sorry for the out of focus photo).

And this one is the latest RR I’ve received – this is Wendy’s … and I just have to stitch the Winter square on this one before it gets returned home to Canada. I’m hoping to get some quality stitching time over the next weekend, so I’ll concentrate on getting some of this stitched up then (as well as finishing a gift piece now my missing Kreinik braid has arrived). Anyway, I thought Wendy might like to see how it’s looking so far – hopefully I can whip through the stitching quickly so it can be posted back before hitting the pre-Christmas rush.

Tomorrow is a public holiday here in Melbourne – the only city I know where the entire city has a holiday for a horse race! I loved the description I just found on this website (actually the rest of the page is quite a fun read – and some of the Aussie slang is great):

“Melbourne is famous for Australia’s premier horse race “The Melbourne Cup” held the first Tuesday in November at approximately 3pm at Flemington Racecourse. It is a public holiday in Melbourne, and in the rest of Australia and now in many parts of the world people stop work just to listen to this race. Horses from all over the world come here to participate.
The Queen entered a horse in this race a few years ago – it did not win. Generally it will be won by a horse that has been bred in New Zealand.”

Personally I won’t be having the day off, as I’m working (and I’ll be very grateful for it when payday comes, as it’s a double-time day which will be exceptionally handy this coming payday!!). I do have to admit to spending $2 on a non-essential item yesterday, which in 7 days isn’t bad going 🙂 It’s pretty compulsory that you get involved with this infamous horserace and I joined the throng for the work sweepstake … very high roller this betting chick 😉 Apparently the horse that got put against my name is a relatively good one, not that that will make much difference – but it’s all a bit of fun and the entire office gets behind it. My horse is called “Efficient”.

Anyway, that’s all from me tonight – just wanted to post those couple of piccies … and say thanks for all the support – it has really helped to keep my spirits up 🙂 {{hugs}}

Cross Stitch, Exchanges

Mail Art Exchange

I know Zohrah hasn’t received this yet, seeing as it only got sent out last week, but as far as I know she doesn’t read my blog, and I’ve decided to post a piccie of it anyway while I’m waiting for my dinner to reheat. Here was my 2nd attempt at the same design thanks to Mr Postman … I made a pretty crappy attempt at the buttonhole closures, and definitely need a lot more practice, but it looks OK, I think. The buttons were bought in Auckland while I was visiting in May … funnily enough, I bought 4 of them at the time … perhaps I knew something way back then!!! The names have been taken out for privacy reasons. The design was from one of the XS magazines that I can’t put my hands on right at this minute (mainly ‘cos I can’t be bothered to go looking – if anyone is desperate to know leave me a comment and I’ll track it down for you later).

(the front)

(the back)

Cross Stitch, Exchanges

Redwork exchange received

Just a quick note to upload some piccies, and say a HUGE thank you to Leslie for my Redwork exchange piece … isn’t this the most gorgeous thing? I just love it! It’s just so rich and scrummy … I have most definitely fallen in love with redwork – I just can’t get enough of it now! (Don’t worry, though, I’m still most definitely a blue girl at heart, and that won’t change LOL.) As well as the beautiful stitched ornament (which I adore), Leslie also sent some extra goodies along – some GAST threads and a fat 1/4 of some lovely quilting fabric … all very very useful! 😀 As well as that, she also sent the chart and remaining charms that she stitched mine from – which I also love, and it’s going to be very very handy as you’ve just given me a great idea for an upcoming gift 🙂 This poor exchange has been sitting at the Post Office since just before last weekend, but this is the first time I’ve been anywhere near work during daylight hours to pick it up.

Before I forget, for Cindy – I used the flat-fold instructions from Judy Odell’s book, which is wonderful … but Kim has put very good instructions on her website here – the only major difference is that Judy attaches her ribbon before the pieces are put together, and she stitches the pieces together instead of using glue, using a ladder stitch – hope that helps 😀

And here is the before and after photo of the Kitty Pi Mum knitted for me … I’ve conned her into making another one (one for the lounge, and one for the bedroom), but I’ve found where I can buy the proper wool (ie Noro Kureyon) here in Melbourne, so we’re going to get some of the ‘Real McCoy’ to use next time. As you can see, the ducks are seriously impressed with it! 😉 Just for a change, I thought we’d go “blue” LOLOL – the actual colour is more muted than the photo looks.

As for today, nothing much done except for housework – the lounge is tidy now (including my stitching corner, will miracles never cease??) … the next job is the dining table which is a pigsty, but I figure just doing a bit every day will eventually get the clutter put away – after that, I start decluttering the bedrooms, and that’s a full-time job haha. I had a shocking night’s sleep last night due to horrendously high winds making a racket, so I’m just taking it very very easy today, and I’ll have an early night tonight … hmmm, I wonder what rocket fuel cocktail I could make tonight to knock me out? LOL. Other than that today I managed to get Zohrah’s replacement mail art exchange in the mail … I haven’t felt too creative this week, so I’ve just re-done the original mail art I did (praying this one turns up, as I don’t think I could stitch it three times!!).

I think this arvo I’m going to drag out the Dratteds and put a few stitches into them … I really wanted to get them finished by Christmas, and that date is looming really really quickly!! After that, I think Egyptian Garden Mandala will be replacing them as my focus piece on my rotation … I can’t wait to stitch on this one again 🙂

Cross Stitch, Exchanges

Needleroll exchange from Sylvie

WOW!!!!! That’s what came out of my mouth as I stood on the pavement at the back of the Post Office today … I was too impatient to get home to open up my parcel, so Mum and I opened it up together there and then 😉 Inside the parcel was my needleroll exchange from Sylvie, and I can honestly and truthfully say I am totally blown away by it all – I just adore everything! The needleroll is stitched and finished so beautifully, and the design and colours are incredible … I’m lost for words as to how beautiful I think it is 😀 And if that wasn’t enough, inside the gorgeous bag (that is going to be oh-so-useful for my stitching bits and bobs next to my chair) there were Gloriana silks in the most dreamy and heavenly colours for a blue girl like me … serious drool material – I adore Gloriana silks! But there was even more yet … a lovely little address book, and cute turquoise bracelet, and a postcard from Normandie … and I love it all!! I still can’t believe that I get to keep it all, that it’s all mine! I’ll say it again … “WOW”!! 😀 Thanks heaps and heaps Sylvie for an exceptional exchange 😀 {{hugs}}
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
(I give up on Blogger tonight, so I’m using Photobucket mutter mutter mutter)

The other squishy mail I had today was my next round robin piece – this is Lynn’s seasonal round robin … I’m really enjoying stitching on these, and I’ve been looking forward to the next one arriving. Now I just have to decide which season to stitch, Winter or Spring … oh decisions, decisions … 😉

Rightio, off to work I go again … but not ‘real’ work, though … Mum and I are going to try ornamentifying a few of her stitched ornies so she knows how to do it when she gets home. Which will be interesting, as I’ve only ever made the two square ones last year … we’ll be dragging out the magazines again to get some ideas, I think – mind you, seeing as Mum’s flying out tomorrow, I don’t think we’ll be getting too creative – nothing like leaving it until the last minute haha. We’re going to finish off her holiday tonight with king prawns (on sale at Safeway today), and breakfast out at St Kilda tomorrow morning and a trip into the city for some last-minute sightseeing/shopping … thank goodness for stitching, ‘cos I’ll be feeling a bit lost for a few days afterwards having the place to myself again … not for long, though, as I’ll be kept busy catching up on all the blogs!! 😀