SBQ and a bit of Bordeaux

Thanks for all your wonderful comments about Su’s scissor fob – I’m still blushing from all the lovely words of praise πŸ™‚

Last night I decided I still wasn’t happy to put the needles down for the night, so did a couple of hours on Bordeaux Sampler – seeing as I didn’t do my stitching on it before Friday, I figured a couple of days late would be OK πŸ˜‰ For the life of me I can never get a good photo of this one – but I just have the bottom band left and the two sides, all of which are a combination of backstitched leaves/vines and Rhodes stitch grapes, then band number two is completely finished. I’ve been looking ahead to the upcoming bands and my heart is sinking already at the sight of all the over-one grapes coming up {heavy sigh} LOL. I’d really like to get this piece finished by the end of 2007, if possible.

It’s finally time to answer the week’s SBQ before the next one comes out! Today’s SBQ was suggested by Jan and is:

“How many different brands of “complete” embroidery floss sets do you own? How do you keep track of it? (ie, spread sheet program, indexcards, palm pilot, etc)”

That’s very easy to answer – the only “complete” collection I have is of DMC. I’m slowly adding to my over-dyed collections as I come across colours I need for projects, but I’ll never bother getting the entire collections, as I simply won’t use them all. I used to keep an up-to-date inventory on my Cross Magic database of my DMC, but since I gave about 80+ skeins to Mum as a gift to start up her own collection, I haven’t updated things … maybe I’ll get around to that again … one day πŸ˜‰ Other than that all my other threads are catalogued in Cross Magic – it makes it very very handy when kitting up new projects, as I can see at a glance what I have/don’t have.

On a positive front, today is finally pay-day, and I’m sooooo grateful! I’ve only spent $15 on groceries over the last fortnight (and that was only recently seeing as it was close to payday and no more working days left, so I knew I could go without any further spending), and I’m looking forward to getting my car checked out tomorrow, and my tax bill paid, so I know what money (if any) I have left over for the next fortnight. I’m no longer stressing over it – I figure if the tax bill has to be paid in two hits, so be it … it would be really nice to get some fresh food this week, though πŸ™‚

SBQ with Chicken

Today I’m cooking a roast chicken for dinner … shhhh, don’t tell Fraze, or he’ll be round on the double … this is by far the easiest roast chicken recipe ever, and without a doubt the most delicious I’ve ever tasted. Called, funnily enough, “Easy Roast Chicken”, we nicknamed it to be “Salt and Pepper Chicken”. Here’s the recipe:


1 small fryer or broiler chicken (basically just any frozen chicken – I prefer Inghams)
Fresh ground black pepper
Fresh ground Sea salt

Preheat oven to 425F (210C). Rub chicken inside and out with sea salt and pepper. Roast in oven 45-55 minutes, basting frequently with its drippings. Chicken will be golden brown and very juicy, and leg will move easily when it is ready.

See what I mean when I say it’s easy? And it’s divinely yummy!! And the great thing about it is that this will do me for about 3 days of eating, both lunches and dinners … woohoo!! I’ve also made up a big pan of brown rice today to go into the freezer ready for lunches – one of my fave meals is rice salad with Tuna Tempters with a few chopped veges like celery, corn etc. There’s no excuse not to take lunch to work when it’s already half made up! πŸ™‚

No stitching piccies today, so here’s the last two SBQ’s:

Today’s SBQ was suggested by Carol and is:

“If you were to come across a sampler chart that caught your eye and appealed to you, would you or would you not stitch it if it had a morbid or “creepy” saying on it? If not, why?”

That’s pretty easy, if I still love the design, I’d just remove the saying. If we’re thinking about HOHRH that whole design doesn’t tempt me to stitch it and has nothing to do with the saying. In fact, I’m not really into ‘historical’ style samplers etc and that’s where you’d find most of the morbid stuff, so there’s no chance I’d ever have to worry about it πŸ˜‰

Today’s SBQ was suggested by Lee and is:

“How did you decide on the title of your stitching blog? Was it random, or does it have a special meaning to you or about you?”

Initially I started off struggling with a blog name, and just came up with “Stitching Shack” just because Shack is part of my surname and often a nickname at work … when I sat down and started thinking about it more a few months down the track, I wanted something that would include my love of ducks … ideas that got tossed around was “On the Pond”, “Shack by the Sea” (due to my new location here) … in the end I came up with “Feather Stitching”, as well as being an actual stitch itself, it refers to the duckie side of me … and I think I still like it as it’s quite simple, a bit like me …

I tagged myself & SBQ

In an effort to wind down after work (it wasn’t a good night, but I won’t go into that right now, or I’ll go back to focusing on it again), here’s another series of questions/answers I grabbed from Annette’s blog. I think I may have answered something similar when I first started blogging, but here goes anyway …

48 Things You Could Care Less About

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Not as far as I know
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? About 3 weeks ago after Mum had gone home – a combination of being hormonal, sleep deprived and missing my Mum
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I always gets compliments on it, but I don’t think it’s anything special – depends what mood I’m in as to how tidy it is!
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes, I’d say so, except I’d avoid being around myself on 5am shifts
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? This blog is it for now
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Nope – got them taken out in my early 30’s
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Only if I was pushed … basically no!
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Depends on my mood – Frosties when being ‘bad’, muesli when being healthy, and Weet-Bix for simplicity
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Mentally and spiritually yes
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Orange chocolate chip or coffee
14. SHOE SIZE? 8
15. RED OR PINK? Definitely red – basically anything BUT pink … yuk!
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My Mum when she’s not here
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Blue jeans, denim-blue T-shirt, two-tone purple polar fleece jacket, and powder blue Skechers (I love weekend dress code at work!)
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Scone with jam an cream (someone at work made them and dished them out just before 11pm)
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Traffic noise outside
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Blue – that’s a no-brainer!
23. FAVORITE SMELL? Depends on my mood … frangipani flowers or vanilla
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Some moron telemarketing for ING before work … and a travel agent on the phone at work
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Yes
27. FAVORITE DRINK? Jim Beam bourbon and L&P … sheer nectar!
28. FAVORITE SPORT? None, I hate them all equally … OK, if I HAVE to choose I’d have to say Rugby Union (but I usually only watch NZ vs Aussie matches anymore)
29. EYE COLOR? Blue
30. HAT SIZE? Large – I have a big skull!
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Nope, not anymore – had my eyes lasered
32. FAVORITE FOOD? Depends on my mood … love lemon meringue pie, smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers on bagels, and king prawns … I just love food generally
33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Mainly happy endings – but enjoy a scary movie every now and then
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Lemon meringue pie or pavlova
38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Not really applicable
40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? The Closers by Michael Connelly (audiobook)
41. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Penguins – from a painting by a NZ artist
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Nothing – didn’t switch the TV on … the night before was Jamie Oliver’s ‘Fifteen in Melbourne’
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? The final beep from my headset when I’m signing out at work πŸ˜‰
45. THE FURTHEST YOU’VE BEEN FROM HOME? Depends which home you’re referring to … the Greek Islands from NZ will be my choice for now
46. WHAT’S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Don’t think any are particularly ‘special’
47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Doncaster, South Yorkshire, UK
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I took it from Annette

And now for the SBQ …

Today’s SBQ was suggested by Vash and is:

“Which way do you stitch, i.e. do you stitch /// followed by \\\ on top, or the other way around \\\ followed by ///? Are you left-or right-handed and do you think that this affects the way that you stitch?”

I stitch /// then \\\ … probably because when I was teaching myself the little kit showed it done that way in the instructions, and I continued the same way ever since. I can’t say it has anything to do with being right-handed at all, just that I didn’t know any other way back then …

A little bit certifiable!

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 …

Now it’s time to do the last two SBQ’s … I finally managed to do an approx count-up of finished pieces from over the years, so I can answer the questions …

Today’s SBQ was suggested by Elisabeth and is:

“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).

Today’s SBQ was suggested by Sharon and is:

“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 πŸ™‚ 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.
Serves 4

Needleroll exchange on its way

Yippee, there was a cheer of relief today as I returned from the Post Office – into the mail went a chart I’d promised Katrina, as well as my first of two exchanges … my needleroll exchange is winging its way across the oceans. I have to admit, I was really looking forward to doing this one as I know the recipient quite well, but it took me a while to work out what I wanted to stitch. All-in-all, though, when it was finished I was pretty pleased with it – with any luck the recipient will like it too πŸ˜€

Nothing else to report, really … I still have to do the final touches to the finishing of my redwork exchange – after my 6am shifts last week I was too mentally exhausted to attempt it, but it should hit the mailbox by Monday afternoon as I’m working all day Saturday and from 6pm-2am on Sunday night … but that leaves me most of Sunday to put the final touches on it. I’ve never ever attempted this sort of finishing before, so I’m a teensy bit panicked about it, but hopefully I’m worrying for nothing!

I’ll finish this short post with the SBQ … Today’s SBQ was suggested by Anna M and is:

“What do you keep your WIPs and other stitching supplies in when traveling?”

I have some tote bags made out of calico that Mum made for me, or use a plastic folder either with a ‘zipper’ glider on the top or with a flap and press-stud closure. At the moment I’ve got a pile of the plastic folders on top of my books in my bookcase, which is right next to my stitching chair, and they house all my WIP’s I’m stitching on at home (I don’t honestly have travelling WIP’s that often as I drive to work, and don’t have the time to stitch at work that often).

This week’s SBQ was suggested by Carolyn and is:

“How do you share your finished pieces with others? Do you frame them, scan and/or photograph them, or do you have another method that you would like to share?”

I wish I could afford to get everything framed, but that’s just not an option – I am starting to think about finishing alternatives to framing, though, such as quilted wallhangings etc. I blog about any finishes I’ve had, and always scan them or take a photo and keep an electronic record. I keep a Webshots album that I keep relatively up-to-date, plus I keep a printed record in a ringbinder. I print a copy of the photo/scan plus info on the chart/designer, who it was stitched for, when it was started/completed, and any notes that might be of interest. In case you haven’t seen it before, here’s an example of one of the pages.

SBQ and ‘stuff’

Just for a change, I thought I’d answer the SBQ as soon as I received it … I actually wrote this post, then saved it as a draft, and forgot all about it until now, two days later!

A busy couple of days, with not a stitch in sight – I did a whole pile of hemstitching on 5 different needlerolls on Wednesday night, as I couldn’t concentrate on much else, but I still have to get the sewing machine out to do the seams before stuffing … and there’s too much clutter around to do that at the moment hmmm …

On Thursday morning we were up with the larks, to let in the ‘odd job man’ who does the maintenance on my unit – I’ve been having problems with the front door lock for quite some time, and finally decided to mention it when I had my recent inspection … it turned out Paul had to go out and get a new lock to fit, so we had to spend a bit of time waiting around at home – but at the same time as Paul being here, the delivery van arrived with my new lounge suite. To be honest, I was really disappointed with it when it arrived, but it’s grown on me since then … I only saw the colour on a wee swatch, and it looked a lot darker when it arrived, and not quite as ‘blue’ as I thought. It’s got a bit of a violet tinge to it, in some lights … then looks ‘french’ blue in others (a bit more french blue than DMC 792). I have to say, though, it’s 100 times more comfy than my old one, that’s for sure! Here’s a piccie of the new suite … I’d take a piccie of the whole room to show it off better, but it’s a shambles at the moment (I’ll say why in a minute …) … I’ll take an ‘overall’ photo once the lounge is tidied up and finished. In fact the photo makes it look a lot bluer than it actually is – it has more of a ‘792’ tinge in real life …
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We’ve had a drama trying to work out what the hell to do with my old lounge suite. Fraze decided that he didn’t want it after all (I only found out the night before the new suite was delivered), and the Salvation Army won’t take it because it has a tear in one of the arms (that happened while it was in the old flat – I let them hang onto one of the chairs for a while after I moved out, as they only had a sofa … so now I’m stuck with this bloody thing). I found an online Yahoo group to give away ‘free stuff’ for the taking, and I posted a message earlier this afternoon for my old sofabed and chairs “free to a good home” – and within an hour I’d already got a response saying someone would like it, and will pick it up on Monday. At the moment it’s piled on top of each other between my lounge area and dining table (hence the difficulty in getting to the sewing machine at the moment, as it’s on the dining table) – with the size of my flat, that’s the last thing I need piled up in a ‘corner’! 😦

To top it off my mother has been a very very bad influence … she’s helped to drain my bank balance in its entirety (as at yesterday I have $20 to my name again!) – but it was for a good cause πŸ™‚ We went to Ikea earlier in the week to check out some storage ideas for my future wishlist, and I found some bookcases etc that I love … well, after coming home to my lovely new lounge suite, we ended up going back to Ikea and picking up a few things … my last two days have been spent playing DIY Queen, and I’ve made up a bookcase with doors for a new china cabinet (so a lot of my glasses have been able to come out of storage yippee), plus a CD tower to match (I previously had 4 x mini CD towers that were a bit rickety in front of the lounge windows, but decided they had to go in readiness for cat-proofing my home), and a new coffee table to match as well. On top of that, we also got 4 sets of mini drawers for my flosses etc to go into, also freeing up some cupboard space. I spent last night and this morning staining them with wood stain – white for the outsides, and blue (surprise, surprise) for the drawers – and hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to fill the first lot (I’ve only painted two sets so far, ‘cos we didn’t have enough room to do the whole lot, as it’s covering the last remaining space in the lounge).

Today I’ve got Rogan Josh marinating in the fridge, so we can have an Indian curry for dinner tonight … unfortunately no stitching will be done again tonight, as I can’t get to everything in the shambles that is currently our lounge, and I managed to put my neck/shoulder out lifting the DIY stuff – I’m just a walking disaster area healthwise these days! hmmm …

Now onto the SBQ … Today’s SBQs were suggested by Ami and Anna and are:

“Do you have an organizational system for your fabric? If so, what is it? If not, what do you store your fabric in? How do people store their fabric, especially those small but potentially usable pieces? Do they sort by count? How do they label it or otherwise know what each piece is?”

Basically I just have all my fabrics in three separate plastic storage bins – one for 32ct, one for 28ct, and one for everything else … I just keep them in the original bags with the labels on them, and regardless of size it all just gets lumped in together – definitely not very flash! πŸ˜‰

SBQ’s and small finishes

Between Blogger and my stupid modem, it took me almost 5 hours to load up the Hong Kong photos and blog post yesterday … hopefully this post will be a bit quicker!! (And as it turns out, Blogger won’t upload piccies today, so I’m having to use Photobucket mutter mutter mutter …)

Firstly, here’s the little ornament I stitched while I was away – it’s Teddy Bear Stocking by Lorri Birmingham … just for a change there were errors on the chart, which drives me crazy, so a bit more frogging than normal while trying to fix it hmmm – but all-in-all, I think it’s quite cute, and I enjoyed stitching it. Mum’s decided she loves it so much she wants to stitch one for herself as well … way to go, Mum, you’re almost more addicted to stitching than I am now! πŸ˜€
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I also managed to finish one more ornament last night that I started while in HK … this is the first in the Beyond Cross Stitch series of Hardanger designs by The Victoria Sampler, “White Christmas” – the photo doesn’t do justice to all the sparkles of the metallic thread.
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Now on to the backlog of SBQ’s …

20 July – Today’s SBQ was suggested by Cathy and is:

“When you get a project professionally framed do you get glass inserted into the frame? Why or why not?”

I’ve always had my framing done professionally, and with glass – but to be honest, I prefer the look of embroidery without the glass. I left the glass off my “Waiting for Ships” mermaid to do more justice to the metallics and beads, and I’ll probably do the same with future pieces as well. Seeing as I don’t smoke, and hate smoking in the home, it’s not as much of an issue to leave the glass off. It’s also then less of an issue when moving house so things don’t get broken … I learnt that by personal experience very recently when my Wessex Sampler was sitting in the aircraft hold with fragile stickers all over it, and well packaged up … hmmm.

26 July – Today’s SBQ was suggested by Von and is:

“Many of us have a few pairs of embroidery scissors and some even have a “collection”. How many pairs of scissors do you have? Feel free to share a photo of your favourite pair or pairs with us!”

I don’t really have many scissors anymore (two pairs have mysteriously disappeared!!) – one pair is really half-dead, and I just use them for my metallic threads now (and an odd embroidery thread when I’m desperate to find another pair). My absolute favourites were my Gingher’s, which I’d ordered from the USA about 7-8 years ago, but very stupidly left them in my carry-on bag last year when I flew home, and they got confiscated 😦 (I didn’t realise I’d packed 2 pairs – very conscientiously popped my crappy pair into the suitcase, and left my good ones that were in hiding at the back of the needlework case boohoo). I bought a new pair about 6 months ago, but when Mum started stitching in May I gave them to her to start up her stitching kit. When I come to think about it, I really really need to get some more, as I only have one good sharp pair anymore – which is the one I’ve taken a piccie of 😦 The only other pair I have are more for ornamental purposes – they’re too small for me to use comfortably, but I love the little hanging sheath for them – too cute! I keep thinking about ordering another pair of Gingher’s from Nordic Needle (plus I really want some of the coloured scissors too), but their postage scares me too much haha. One day I’ll get around to it again … anyone know a good source for them that has reasonable postage?? πŸ˜‰
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3 August – Today’s SBQ was suggested by Carol and is:

“Do you have a favourite needlework tool that you like to work with? What is it and why do you like using it?”

Only one??? Hmmm, that’s a hard call … personally I’ll be hard pushed to decide between my floorstand and my Ott-lite – both of which are almost essential for me. I have difficulty holding a hoop/Q-snap in hand, and can’t stitch in hand, as I get cramps, so anything that holds my scrollbars or Q-snaps is the most essential item for me (come to think about it, you’d better include those scrollbars as my favourites too!!). Coming up next are my Do-lolly for feeding in those tiny threads on the back (great for boo-boos when you don’t have much thread left on the back to play with!), and
my Tacky Bob which is wonderful for beading (thanks to Carol, who sent it as a birthday gift – I love it!).

9 August – Today’s SBQ was suggested by Ami and is:

“For those of you who use hand or over-dyed floss, how do you store it?”

I use Floss-away bags for my over-dyeds, with each type of thread (eg GAST, WDW, NN etc) on their own small metallic ring – then all the small rings are put onto a large ring so all my over-dyeds are grouped together … I do that with all my types of threads, including metallics, rayons etc – then all the rings are stored together in plastic tubs.


I’m hitting the floor running this morning … I’ve just fallen out of bed, checked my emails very briefly, and now I’m heading straight over to my stitching corner to get cracking on that 2nd NASCAR – won’t be moving much over the next 48 hours as the deadline is upon me and I only have 1 square inch stitched of the 2nd car yet hmmm. Lack of sleep severely threw out my stitching plans over the last couple of days … b*gger!

But before I do, here’s the latest SBQ which suggested by Carol and is:

“Since you started blogging, have you noticed any difference in your stitching habits? Tell us about them.”

The answer is “definitely” … I’ve bought more stitching items than I have in years (you enablers, you), and I’ve found my tastes changing in that I’ll drool over someone else’s finish then want to stitch it too – it’s definitely broadening my horizon stitching-wise. I also notice that I’m stitching more regularly, as it’s nice to see the WIP piccies in progress – it’s also nice to get encouragement from my fellow stitching bloggers when I hit the wall, as well as being nice to cheer them on too through their own blogs. Thanks ladies, you’re all an inspiration to me! πŸ˜€ It’s great to see some pieces getting finished for a change … blogging rocks!!

SBQ – on time! LOL

Yep, the weather will be changing all around the globe, because today I’m answering the SBQ on the actual day it has been received in my inbox!! Will miracles never cease?!!!

Today’s SBQ was suggested by Vash and is:

“What is the biggest mishap you have had with your stitching material (ie spillages)?”

In actual fact I’ve been really lucky so far and have had no major spillages – the worst thing is not having quite enough fabric to have the borders as wide as I’d like them, but I still haven’t actually run out of fabric at all, and it’s all been workable … so nope, no major disasters to date (… touch wood!). Actually, I take that back … I just thought of one … when I was first learning to stitch I had Graham Ross’ Tiger chart on a tapestry frame for ages, and went overseas for a while, and when I finally moved it off the frame I noticed there were not-so-lovely stripes on it … Dad had been smoking in the lounge back in those days, and it was covered in nicotine stains … then to top it off when it was off the frame I left a needle in it, and it all rusted – that piece was a testament very early on to learning what “not to do” with your projects! πŸ˜‰ I never did get all the rust marks off – it will always serve as a reminder of those learning days …

I was just reading online last night, that you can buy cheap optical goods (ie glasses) in Hong Kong, so I might wait a month to see what I could buy some from over there … it looks like we’re off on holiday! This is Mum’s 70th birthday treat from me – I’m paying for the airfare (using my staff discount) for us both (compliments of my debt consolidation), and we’re sharing the cost of the hotel. Probably heading off for 4 nights, which should be plenty of time to wander around and see the sights. Neither of us have money to burn, so we’ll just be walking around everywhere and soaking up the cultural differences – but I’ll definitely check out some optical places over there, as it says most can grind the glass for the lenses in approx 24 hours, so it could be do-able at the right price πŸ™‚

Shock at the Post Office

Well, my little ducks are now flapping their wings across the Pacific Ocean on their way to Canada. I got a shock at the Post Office today – I understood I could insure my parcels so that they’re ‘trackable’, and it costs an extra $7.50 to do that … today, though, I find that Canada is one of the very few countries (along with Germany) that you can’t insurance parcels to … the only option for tracking purposes is to send it as a courier parcel … for $43.00 aaaarghhhh!!!!!!! I wish I’d been told that earlier, as we could have jiggled the mailing list somehow so I was posting either to the USA or UK, as they’re both insurance option countries … bl**dy hell, is all I can say – definitely takes the shine off the RR in a way, as I’ll potentially be up for almost $150 in postage throughout the RR postings {{picture forlorn face here LOL}}. I’m looking at other options, to see if it’s worthwhile for a friend in the USA to receive them, then forward on over the border … but time will tell whether that’s an option or not. Today, however, my little ducks are winging their way over the pond uninsured and definitely not in a courier bag … I figure if they go missing, it’s just my work that’s been lost – I wouldn’t dare do that with someone else’s masterpiece, though …

Mum also has a parcel of DMC on its way to her, seeing as she’s now officially addicted to stitching Christmas ornaments … I told her to make a list of colours she needed for her entire wishlist, and I’ve managed to fill her request with about 60-70 skeins of DMC from my stash – that should keep her out of trouble for a while!! πŸ˜€

Now because I have no stitching to present, here are the last three SBQ’s (oops, didn’t realise I was so far behind – story of my life where blogging’s concerned just lately!!) …

14 June – Today’s SBQ was suggested by Angela and is:

“How many cross stitch books do you own and how often do you use them?”

If we’re just specifying “cross stitch” books, I have a few that have been bought in various bookstore sales, but I don’t honestly use them at all, as they’re too simplistic. I do have quite a large number of embroidery books, some of which I drool over regularly, and some I’ll eventually make a project out of … one day πŸ˜‰ I regularly use some of the books that have stitch instructions, eg A-Z of Embroidery Stitches etc … there are waaaay too many to list here, though …

21 June – Today’s SBQ was suggested by Vash and is:

“Have you ever used a magnifying glass while stitching? If so, did you find it helpful?”

Nope, not yet – I haven’t had a great deal of difficulty to see while stitching yet, although my best stitching tool is my daylight lamp. The small desktop version one I have has a magnifying glass on top of it, but I don’t use it.

29 June – Today’s SBQ was suggested by Cheryl and is:

“What do you do with your charts once you’ve stitched them? Do you keep them or dispose of them? If you keep them, do you organize them in a way that is different from the way you keep your unstitched charts?”

I used to have a separate folder for “stitched” charts, so they were quick to lay my hands on if anyone asked for details from them, or I decided to put them up for trade/give away … now everything is just lumped in together.