SBQ … part two (3rd post today!)

OK, 2nd time lucky for my stitching nest piccies …

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The second request comes from Singular Stitches, and she is asking for “a pictorial tour of [the] special place that you go to create your wonderful stitched creations.”

The first piccie is my permanent stitching area – only a few of my stitching folders are in the bookcase, with the rest of my stash in my bedroom closet, and spare bedroom (still unpacked since I freighted it over at the start of the month). The plastic tub holds my DMC collection, with my stitching tools etc in the basket. My essential tools are there – my floorstand and my OTTlite … as well as my cuddle blanket for my legs now the colder weather is here. Then I have a couple of WIP’s tucked in the corner on scroll bars, and my latest addition, a bin to hold my empty scrollbars (they won’t be empty for long once I get back to my rotation!). Lucky last is my little folding table with other essentials … my ort-bag from Toby, highlighter pens, Tacky Bob from Carol, tub of udder cream and wet facecloth for my hands. The great thing about living on my own is that I can have everything cluttered in the lounge without annoying anyone haha. (You should be able to click on each piccie for the up close and personal versions …)

Straight ahead of me is the other essential tool for stitching – my TV for watching DVD’s LOL. As you can see, one cover is missing from the furniture, as it’s still in NZ (I forgot to bring it home with me oops). My next spending when I have the money will be a new lounge suite and table – although, our $150 garage sale lounge suite has tided us over very well, and the sofa bed is very very comfy (shame the sofa itself isn’t the same!) – and I’m using the table that Frazier made at high school in woodwork class (his Dad sold it to me for $20 hmmm). As you can see, at the moment that little table is housing my basket of smalls.

From where I sit, off to the left is my little nest of tables, where my Melanie’s exchange from Jenna is currently residing happily πŸ™‚ It’s joined with a ‘seed’ picture I gave Grandy a few years before she passed away, so it’s now back with me again. I brought it back with me from NZ, so it will always remind me of her when I see it. I had a bit of difficulty getting it through Customs – but once I told them it was of sentimental value, and why, they let me through with it without any further problems – go Customs guys!! πŸ˜€ My poor sunflowers have seen better days, but I haven’t found any nice ones to replace them with yet.

Behind my stitching chair is my dining/balcony area – when it’s a nice day, I can pull my stitching chair right back in front of the windows to make the most of the daylight – but it’s usually where my laundry ends up drying every week πŸ˜‰ You can see my new ‘short’ curtains πŸ™‚ The colour’s really dark, though – the blue is a bit brighter than it looks. My computer desk sits here, directly off to the left of the photo – my chair is basically where I was standing to take the piccie … I get to look out the window and enjoy the view πŸ™‚

Lucky last, this is the view as you look back from my stitching chair … back to the dining table and the kitchen. See, I wasn’t joking when I said you’d get to see half of my entire flat!! The only thing you can’t see is the two bedrooms, the bathroom/laundry and toilet haha. As you can see throughout my piccies my theme of “blue” is definitely very present … and you have probably spotted the odd duck or two around as well LOL.

So, that’s it in a nutshell … end of tour πŸ˜€

SBQ … part one

Well, I still haven’t picked up a needle today, but I’ve done really exciting things like scrubbing the toilet and unpotting 3 of my dead plants out on the balcony, and getting a load of washing done – after all that excitement I think I need a lie down ;P

I also finally managed to get a host of photos taken to show my ‘stitching nest’ … of course by doing that, you get to see half of my entire flat! LOL. So, here goes for the SBQ’s: (actually, it seems that Blogger is only being half accommodating tonight – it’s amazingly let me upload six stitching piccies, but no stitching NEST piccies, so I’ll try again in a separate post for them …

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The first request comes from Vash who is requesting pictures of
the back of your stitching … are you brave enough to give this one a shot?

Here’s the front and back of one of my very first XS attempts years ago … um, things have improved just slightly since then ;P The Tiger design is by Ross Originals.

Here’s the front (on the left) and back (on the right) of one corner of my Chess Anyone piece … if you think they look similar, you’re right, as it’s stitched using reversible blackwork ;P

And my final ones – my Prairie Schooler ornament, and my Zebra (aka my Giraffe LOL).

SBQ’s and a very quick update

And still no stash photos – just haven’t had time … have hardly spent any time at my PC all week, but have been working hard to get my exchanges finished instead, as well as trying to unpack after my holiday, and tidy up a bit (my little flat looks like a bomb has exploded in it).

Anyway, just quickly I’ve managed to get my scissors fob exchange into the mail to Nicola (I’m safe to post piccies, because she doesn’t read my blog) – the stitching was all finished before I flew to NZ, I just had to whipstitch it, make the tassel and cording, and put it together … then while I was in NZ I just never got around to getting it done, and ended up bringing it back home with me (geez, I’m useless!!). Anyway, it’s finally in its little envelope and on its way back to NZ again phew!! And just for a change, blogger is having a hissy fit about posting photos, so I’m giving up … here are photos uploaded from Photobucket – and if you want to see a close-up of the front click here, and the back is here.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

My mail art is all finished with the stitching – I hope the recipient likes it, but I have to admit to being a bit worried about it … I think I struggled as I couldn’t work out the recipient’s preferences, as there is no online album that I could find, or wishlist, so I feel like I’ve been stitching ‘blind’. Today I have the job of putting it all together into it’s envelope shape etc – I was going to do it yesterday, but it was day 7 of work, after doing the last 3 days with 5am shifts, and I was worried with my tiredness I’d stuff it up … best to leave it until today … although I still feel half asleep, so I don’t know … haha.

This weekend is our needleroll SAL, but I don’t know whether I’m going to manage to get one stitched, as I really do need to get that mail art 100% finished – maybe I’ll get some time tomorrow to put a few stitches in. If I do, I think I’ll be working on my half-finished ‘sample’ one I was making for the Melanie’s Exchange, and try to get a little bit more stitched on it.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Rightio, lastly on to the SBQ’s before I sign off … I now have 4 SBQ’s to catch up on, so I thought I’d bite the bullet and get them all out of the way today, ‘cos before I know it there’ll be another one being posted πŸ˜› I’ve decided to just answer the first 3 initially, as the other one needs photos, and I’m not yet organised for that one.

17 May – Today’s SBQ was suggested by Jenna and is:

“Lately, it seems that many stitching bloggers have experienced a loss of their stitching mojo. Have you ever lost your stitching mojo? If so, how did you get it back and how long did it take?”

I lost my mojo when I first moved to Melbourne, due to appalling living conditions that just weren’t conducive to stitching – but as soon as I moved out with Fraze and we got our own place I bought a cheap recliner, set up my stitching station, and never looked back … in fact I’ve stitched more in the last 24 months than I’ve ever stitched, I think πŸ™‚ I did get a bit overwhelmed with my commitment stitching etc over the last couple of months, which has been detrimental to my overall stitching … I think sometimes it’s a bit of a carry-over from when I had concussion years ago – even now if I get over-tired, I struggle to ‘focus’ on things – I find I have to make lists etc to keep on track, but when I get overwhelmed with ‘stuff’ my head almost gets too cluttered and I lose track. I can sit in a chair, knowing I have lots of things I must get done, but half an hour later I’m still sat there, and don’t know where the time has gone hmmm. Now I’m realising that I need to be more realistic with my stitching time, especially as sometimes I get really tired with my shift work, so I can be more in control.

24 May – Today’s SBQ was suggested by Nancy and is:

“What is your favorite specialty stitch? Which one is your least favorite? Why?”

I don’t know what my favourite stitch is at the moment – I enjoy doing Rhodes stitches in whatever shape or form (which is probably a good thing, seeing as there are so many in the Bordeaux Mystery Sampler!), and I really enjoyed doing the Waffle stitch for my Melanie’s Exchange needleroll – I just enjoy the variety of loads of different stitches. Probably my least favourite would have to be bullion knots and french knots … definitely a lot easier to answer! haha.

31 May – Today’s SBQ was suggested by Carol and is:

“Do you collect charts by one particular designer, yet have never stitched anything by that designer? If so, which designer and why do you collect the charts but have not yet stitched any of them?”

Perhaps the designs that come to mind here are Teresa Wentzler … I went through a phase where I had to buy every single design that TW had put out, and continued to do so for quite some time, including trading and tracking down copies all over the world (prior to knowing about Ebay!). I’ve never actually stitched any of them in their entirety, although I do have two of them that are currently UFO’s, so I do expect to eventually finish them both. I doubt I’ll stitch much of my collection, but it’s the only one I’ll be hard pushed to part with. Even if I never stitch them, I love flicking through the charts in my folder like a book of fine art – it’s uplifting for the soul to just feast your eyes on such beauty πŸ™‚

I also started doing the same with Mirabilia charts, and used to received her new charts automatically – but the designs changed and I no longer loved them as I used to, so I stopped … I’ll still buy one if I fall in love with it, but it’s more rare these days, and I’ve even been putting a few up for trade that I know I’ll never stitch in a month of Sundays. They’re probably the main two designers I’m guilty of collecting.

SBQ and thanks

Thanks everyone for your generous comments about my needleroll(s) – a bit more explanation about Paula’s needleroll … the exchange was organised in two different parts – firstly you’re told what colour preferences (if there were any) the final recipient had, then we had to send some thread and embellishments to the next person, and that person then had to stitch something for the final recipient using those items. Elanor, the thread that was used was a Gentle Art Sampler Thread in the colour of “Blueberry” – I had a skein of the same colour in my stash but it was almost grey when I took it out to compare … the exchange skein was much more vibrant and beautiful in colour. The embellishments I received were some Mill Hill beads in blue … it was definitely a challenge thinking of something with the threads and beads sitting in front of you – as I’d never tried anything like that before!

After my stitchfest yesterday, I’ve woken up this morning with a throbbing headache … I seem to remember that happened last time, too, so I think I’m going to have to stop doing it 😦 Once I get back into my rotation again, I think it will be better, as I’ll be stitching more regularly again. Mind you, I also slept for just over 11 hours last night, and woke up a bit sinusey, so that might be the other reason I have a headache. I’ve just taken a couple of tablets, so hopefully that’ll nip it in the bud so it won’t spoil my day off today.

I was going to drive into work today to check my PO Box, as apparently there’s mail there that won’t fit into the box … but curiosity will have to wait, I think – with the price of petrol never going down, it’s an expensive exercise if I don’t have to go out for anything else – I’ll just have to settle myself until tomorrow, then my curiosity can be put out of its misery LOL.

I forgot to answer last week’s SBQ, so here it is for this week (better hurry up and get in before the next one arrives haha):

“When you stitch from a kit and use the supplied floss do you have leftovers? If so, how much and what do you do with them? If not, do you usually have just enough or do you have to dig into your stash to finish?”

I have to admit, this is one of the reasons I hate kits and will only rarely buy them – I often end up with leftovers of some of the flosses, but some of the colours invariably run out … I’ve had that happen on three separate occasions, and it’s as frustrating as heck! On each occasion the manufacturer sent me some replacement thread, but I had to put the projects on hold until it arrived. Some of the threads are appalling too, such as the Bucilla kit I did for a friend’s baby – the yellow kept shredding, it was such poor quality. I swore blind I’d never buy another Bucilla kit ever again, and I’ve stuck to my guns there. As wasteful as it sounds, if it’s cotton floss left over, I just chuck it out – if it’s silks, then I keep it ‘just in case’. In the case of the M Designs Thistle Bag that was gifted to me by Toby, there was just enough of the silk threads for Von to stitch another one, which was awesome! I love Moss Creek Designs’ kits – they have full skeins of each thread (mind you, they’re also extremely expensive!).

Help requested

It’s been a while since I posted (and even longer since I read anyone’s blogs), and I still have no stitching to share, but I’d like to ask your advice about something, if that’s OK …

I’m almost ready to start the Bordeaux Sampler with Carol – I’ve been drooling over this one ever since she mentioned it, and finally succumbed to the arm-twisting I’d been giving myself … the VC silks have arrived, but now I’m struggling over my fabric choices. The chart calls for 36ct Magnolia Lakeside Linens, which according to the LL website is equivalent to DMC 3865 … which according to another webside is also the equivalent to 36ct Antique White Edinborough linen. Aside from the fact I would have to buy a huge piece, and it’s incredibly expensive, I’m also eager to start working on this very very soon, and don’t want to wait for months for a hand-dyed fabbie to arrive (and the LL would be over US$40 plus postage!). The design is 131 stitches wide x 394 stitches high – if I include a 4″ margin on each side, this makes the fabric needed to be 16″ x 30″ … the stitching itself measures 8″ x 22″ … hence my dilemma – I have sitting in my stash a piece of Edinburgh antique white linen that is 18″ x 27″ – if I use that it will mean a margin of only 2.5″ on the top and bottom … do you think that would be OK?? I really don’t want to have to buy more if I can get away with it – and I was thinking I could add a small strip of calico to both ends, to help give more space for lacing/framing … anyway, I’d love to know what you all think, before I commit myself to buying more fabbie πŸ˜€

With actual stitching, I’m almost finished with both my exchange pieces, so that’s my priority this week and weekend, along with my Batman logo for the charity quilt block, as the deadlines are next week for all of them! Hence part of the reason I’ve been avoiding blog reading etc – I’m trying to devote all my free time now to getting those finished. I thought I had plenty of time, but all of a sudden the deadline is around the corner without me realising it had snuck up on me! After those commitments are out the way, I still have two more exchanges to finish (scissors fob and mail art) – then I’d really love to catch up on my Bunnies in my Garden SAL piece, and was thinking I could take that with me to NZ during my visit in case I get chance to have some quiet stitching time in the evenings. All this talk of commitment stitching brings me to the SBQ’s, as I forgot I hadn’t answered the last one yet …

19 April’s SBQ was suggested by Jenna and is:

“Do you do obligation or deadline-based stitching? Why or why not? If you do, do you tend to get in over your head and why?”

I’ve only just started doing deadline-based stitching – by joining the SBEBB I thought it was a good chance to increase my confidence in stitching ‘smalls’, and a wonderful way to exchange stitched gifts with others. To say I’ve stitched a number of gifts for other people, my close friends don’t stitch, so I’ve never received a stitched gift especially with me in mind in return – the first thing I’ve ever received that someone else has made was the Christmas ornie from Jenna last year, so it will always be treasured πŸ™‚ I’ve also been stitching my first charity quilt blocks for Quilts4Kids this year (3 finished and posted so far, with another one due this month, and two more I’ve signed up for over the next couple of months), as well as the panel of names for the World Trade Center charity quilt. I think in my enthusiasm for joining in with everything, I’ve definitely bitten off a bit more than I should have done in one hit – I’m dying to get back to my rotation, and find I can’t until I’ve finished my deadlines. That’s not to say I’m not enjoying doing my commitment stitching, it’s just that I’ve found it hard juggling that and my own stitching mainly because everything seems to be due around the same time. With the next two charity quilt blocks, I’ve chosen projects more around the stitching deadline than around the actual theme, to give me a break. I’ve also added a charity block “slot” into my rotation for when I get back into it, so that I can stitch a block as part of my normal rotation – much easier to stick to the deadline that way. I’m also supposed to be doing a number of SAL’s with the Yahoo Stitching Smalls group, but with all the other commitments happening, I’ve had to put my participation to one side, which is disappointing – hence in future I’ll be more limited in what I sign up for! My problem at the moment is that I want to join in with everything, so I keep signing up … then struggling to meet the deadlines ‘cos I want to do everything else as well!!

Now I want to make a list of my actual commitment deadlines coming up – this is more for my own use and memory than anything else … and it seems like the perfect place to jot it down – and that’s not including the SAL’s that I’ve committed myself to (at least one a month yikes!!):

* 12 May – Melanie’s Exchange (SBEBB)
* 15 May – Biscornu Exchange (SBEBB)
* 15 May – Batman logo quilt block (Jordan B)
* 25 May – Scissors fob exchange (StitchNZ)
* 5 June – Mail Art Exchange (SBEBB)
* 22 June – final Christmas RR ornie (Ornaments RRBB)
* 1 July – Round Robin first posting (my first real RR)
* 15 July – Racing cars quilt block (Jay B)
* 15 August – Dragon quilt block (Caitlin R)

3 May’s SBQ is:

“Do you or have you stitched with over-dyed threads? (Weeks Dye Works, The Gentle Art Sampler Threads, Six Strand Sweets, etc.) If so, what is your opinion concerning them? If not, why not?”

Yes, I’ve stitched with a number of overdyed threads, especially WDW, GAST, Needle Necessities and more recently Carrie’s Threads – I love the look of overdyed threads in stitching, but I have to admit to not enjoying doing the actual stitching … I don’t like stitching every XS cross individually, as I find it slows me down considerably, but that’s the only downside. It’s interesting how each thread feels so different – I love the feel of Carrie’s Threads and NN more than the WDW/GAST when I’m stitching with them. I’ve been using them quite a bit just lately with exchanges etc, and just love them to bits! πŸ˜€

And just a little photo from my collection from a friend’s wedding out by Bethell’s Beach in the countryside of Auckland, New Zealand (seeing as I have no stitching piccies to share yet again – geez I’m getting boring LOL). Actually the weather in this photo matches our Melbourne weather today – grey, overcast and drizzly!

Stitching Bloggers Questions

For some reason my Yahoo group emails keep bouncing, and I’m not receiving a lot of posts, including the SBQ’s, so I just remembered to go get them from the website …

Been off colour the last two days, so took the day off today, and probably will tomorrow as well – I feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck … I don’t have a head cold yet, but I’ve had really bad chills at work, and my muscles really hurt especially in my thighs, along with a mild headache, and my concentration was appalling at work yesterday … after calling in sick to work today I managed to finish off 11 hours sleep! Crikey!! To say I’ve done no exercise whatsoever this week, my muscles are killing me, and I’m walking around like an old geriatric. I couldn’t even bear to put on a DVD to watch, so I obviously am not well in the slightest! LOL. I tried stitching for a couple of hours later tonight, trying to work out what to stitch for my Melanie’s Exchange gift on the SBEBB, but haven’t had much inspiration yet … it ended up turning out to be a great project for a biscornu, but that’s a different exchange … back to the drawing board again. Maybe I should leave that one until my head is back on my shoulders properly!

Anyway, I thought I’d jump online and check emails, and just remembered the SBQ’s, so here goes …

22 March – Today’s SBQ was suggested by Carol and is:

“Have you ever participated in a needlework mystery (ie, a design that you started before knowing how it will look in the end and by which you receive parts of the design via the internet, magazines, or leaflets at spaced intervals)? If so, why did you decide to do the mystery? What appealed to you about it? Did you enjoy it? If you have not done a mystery, would you ever do one?”

I can honestly say my first ever mystery I signed up for was Chatelaine’s recent Sea Quilt – I signed up for the first 4 squares, thinking the description sounded perfect for my best friend who’s a fish nutritionist (among other things) and loves diving … but I’m sorry to say I was definitely disappointed when I saw a glimpse of the whole project, and it stopped me signing up for any more – it was totally different to what I expected … I expected everything to be ‘underwater’ things, but there are ships wheels and lighthouses etc, and not an actual fish in sight. It’s still very nice, just not what I want to stitch. No doubt I’ll make one or two of the squares up one day, and probably turn them into pincushions for my smalls basket maybe. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about mysteries on the whole – I do like the idea, and as long as the outlay isn’t too bad for the materials, I’d be keen to try another one. I love the idea of receiving a set amount of stitching every month, or at a specified interval – and I love seeing everyone else stitching the different mysteries …

5 April – Today’s SBQ is:

“Do you stitch “on the go?” (On the commute to and from work, during your lunch break, waiting for the kids, etc) If so, do you have aspecific “travel” project or do you just grab whatever you happen to be working on and take it with you?”

Unfortunately I only get 30 minutes lunch break, so I don’t get time to stitch during the day as I take the time to walk down to my PO Box to get my mail on weekdays, and I drive to work so don’t have time during commuting either – I also get really travel sick, so stitching during a commute probably wouldn’t be a great option anyway. The only time I can get away with stitching at work is on the overnight shift, ie 9pm to 5am – if the calls are quiet, I can take a small project into work to put a few stitches into it – I usually have a small project in a plastic pouch that’s ready to be picked up and taken with me, but I rarely have the opportunity to stitch it.

Mixed bag of ‘allsorts’

Daft title, but a bit of what this post is all about – a little bit of everything …

First all I want to send a HUGE thank you and {{{hugs}}} out to BeckySC who sent me my final birthday gift – I have to admit, I knew this one was coming, but it was still a lovely surprise to open my PO Box door this morning and find that envelope sitting in there πŸ™‚ And not only that, but there was a gorgeous packet of cards as well, with bright blue butterflies on them – and this was extra special for me, as it reminds me of a trip I did with Mum to Cairns, Queensland when we visited the butterfly farm especially to see those big blue butterflies! Brought lovely warm fuzzies and memories flooding back – thank you so much sweet Becky, I really really love my gifts … thanks from the bottom of my heart!

Today’s SBQ is:

“Do you have an organizational system for your patterns? If so, how do you organize them? If not, have you considered organizing them?”

My physical charts are all in ringbinders, in plastic sleeves – they’re mainly organised by theme, ie samplers, beading, hardanger, canvaswork, etc, and XS charts are organised by theme as well, ie marine, scenery, birds/animals etc – my ringbinders are on bookshelves. I have one ringbinder for freebie charts, and they’re semi-organised into themes as well. Where I have a lot of designs for a specific designer, eg Mirabilia, L&L, TW, they all have their own ringbinder each. I used to keep a spreadsheet in Works that listed every single project/XS chart I owned, so I could do a search by topic etc, but I haven’t kept that up-to-date for years … and don’t ask what number entry I got up to!! LOL.

Next subject … dieting! Last week I did a blonde thing, and fell asleep on Tuesday night at 5.30pm … and missed the sign-up for Weight Watchers – so last night I made sure I didn’t miss out again, and am now officially a member of the clan. We’ve re-nicknamed it “Fat Busters” … after one of our favourite UK comedy shows, “Little Britain” – very very sick humour, but extremely hilarious. One of my favourite characters in the first series was Marjorie Dawes, the leader of Fat Busters, which is like WW … she’s a right royal cow, and very rude to the members – I’d offer to share some episodes with you, but I think it would lose itself in the translation to just tell you about it. Let’s just say that it had such an impression on our household, we still keep asking if we want a bit of cake, … “cos we all like a bit of cake, don’t we?!” And don’t forget the wonderful game of “high fat … low fat … high fat … low fat … Dust!” As well as those other wonderful characters … “Computer says no…”, “Margaret … Margaret … Have we got any pirate memory games?”, and Daffyd “The only gay in the village”. Not to mention the non-stop talking Vicky Pollard, and the hysterical Lou and Andy (“I want that one … I want THAT one … I don’t like it!”) – and my latest favourite, because it’s so incredibly ‘bad’ – “Just call me Bubbles!” If you like really funny characters, have an open mind, and want to have a very adult giggle, check them out if you haven’t already done so – it might take a sketch or two to get into the characters, but once you do, you’re hooked! It’s the only TV series I have to buy the entire series on DVD as soon as it’s released! These two actors are insanely clever and funny – hurry up and come out on DVD, Little Britain 3 … I can’t wait!!!!Anyway, back to the story, I’m now keeping a track of my eating etc, and trying the points system out for two weeks, to see if it works for me – otherwise I’ll skip over to the no-count system instead. I’m paid up for 3 months regardless, so plenty of time to get into the routine of getting healthy again … and I kicked it off well last night by coming home and going for an hour’s walk up the beach (approx 3km).

Now on to something totally different (sounds like a Monty Python sketch) – do any of you clever Aussies know what this creature is? About 10cm in length, it has a caterpillar-looking thing inside that is bright orange with black stripes … unfortunately, a noise startled it and it shot back in its cocoon while I was trying to take a photo. When I got home from work it was hanging by it’s ‘top’ from the roof – obviously some sort of moth larvae or something, but I’d love to know what it actually is!

Well, I think that’s about it for now … still haven’t shaken off my headache yet, but at least it’s not a full-blown migraine yet. Took some Nurofen this morning to try to nip it in the bud, and it had eased off a bit by this afternoon – at least I get a sleep in tomorrow, as I don’t start work until 11am yippee. Then I just have to work 11am-7pm Saturday (my 7th day straight), and I get two days off woohoo. I’ve got friends coming to stay for a week from Sunday, which will be OK – just a bit difficult as I’m on 5am shifts for a couple of the days. They wanted to bring a family member from out of town to stay as well while I was on 5am shifts, meaning they’d be sleeping in the lounge, but I put my foot down … I just don’t think I could cope with it even just for a few days. It means I probably won’t get much stitching done again next week … then H&P will be leaving, and I’ll just have time to change the bedsheets etc, when a close friend will be arriving from Auckland, NZ for a couple of nights, followed by friends from Christchurch, NZ over Easter … blimey, it’s starting to feel like a Bed & Breakfast haha.

Anyway, off now to see if I can get motivated to pick up a needle – my eyes are like little slits, I’m so tired, but it’s only 6pm and I really need to stay awake a bit longer …

Stitching Bloggers Question

Image hosting by Photobucket Today’s SBQ was suggested by Cheryl and is:

“What cross-stitch magazines or other publications (as opposed to blogs) do you read on a regular basis? What do you like about them? What do you not like? What would your perfect publication include?”

I have to admit, my tastes are changed substantially over the years I’ve been stitching – I used to be magazine crazy, and bought quite a few, but now very very rarely buy any magazines. The only one I subscribe to is the Australian publication “Inspirations” magazine – mainly because it offers more than just cross stitch, and I like to try different techniques (although I’m back in XS mode again right now). Inspirations also show you finishing techniques, which other magazines don’t offer. I’ve started flicking back through magazines again in the newsagents looking for charts that would be suitable for charity quilt squares, but I still haven’t been tempted to buy anything over the last few months since I’ve been looking.

As for what the perfect magazine would have – larger projects, as well as a few smaller ones, with more ‘grown-up’ designs. It would also have other techniques, not just XS, and finishing ideas/instructions.

SBQ’s and a Meme

I’m soooo behind with the SBQ’s so here goes, with everything all at once! Most recent is first …

15 February – Today’s SBQ was suggested by Heather and is:

“Comment on your comments (giving and recieving): Do you love comments or hate them? Do you check them every day, never check them, or find them helpful? And finally, are you convinced no one is reading your blog if you don’t get any?”

I love this question, and it’s one that’s very easy to answer … I LOVE getting comments. That’s the way I’ve found some more wonderful blogs to read that I wasn’t already aware of. When I first started blogging last year I clicked on other peoples links and found new blogs that way, but when people started leaving comments I didn’t do it that way anymore (or rarely) – I always pop over to a new commenter’s blog to read it, and most of the time have found some real treasures that way. In fact, I know there are people out there who read my blog but don’t comment – I’d really love it if you left a quick comment – even just to say who/where you are – so I can return the favour πŸ™‚ I’d love to know who reads it, and where you’re located!

I feel guilty at the moment because I haven’t been reading blogs much, and now have 410 unread posts, but I don’t want to miss anything and will still go back and read every single one, even if I don’t comment on each post (in fact I’m allocating 3 hours of today to get through at least some of them). I think leaving comments shows you care/support the other stitcher, and I like to give back the support and love that I’ve been given. If nobody comments on my post, I don’t feel as though no-one is reading, just that it’s not a post that generates a response – sometimes I’ll read a post and enjoy it, but it doesn’t drive me to respond because I have nothing to contribute, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed reading it.

As for reading them, I have it set up that I receive all my comments via email, and it automatically gets sent to a separate folder in my inbox – I read everything else, and leave my comments folder until last … ‘cos it always leaves me feeling positive at the end. So yeah, I love ’em!

8 February – today’s SBQ was suggested by Nancy and is:

“Describe your “perfect” project. (Include the designer or specific pattern, the fabric, the floss, and anything else that would make that project “perfect” for you.)”

OK, the ‘perfect’ design would be a stitching ‘small’ of some sort, incorporating bright turquoise and cobalt blue silk threads (Gloriana would have to be the ultimate brand), stitched on 32ct linen. In the ultimate fantasy, it’d be stitched on a balcony somewhere on a balmy day where the sun is just bright enough to give the perfect light, without being hot, and your fingers never getting ‘sticky’ – rainbow lorikeets would be chattering in full view, and ducks swimming around in the pond below the balcony. My floss wouldn’t tangle, and frogs would be non-existent …

Alternatively, I would be sat in a comfy recliner, with my favourite DVD’s on, and a daylight bulb giving the perfect light, and stitching whatever was on my scroll bar at the time – oh, hang on, that’s what I usually do … hmmm, maybe my normal stitching area isn’t too far from my own version of ‘perfect’ after all πŸ™‚

1 February – Today’s SBQ was inspired by Renee’s visit with Dawn and is:

“With the exception of your online stitching friends, do you have any other stitching buddies?”

I’ve never had stitching buddies in real life – none of the people I know stitch, and the only way I’ve had interaction with other stitchers in the past is to sign up for classes. Since I’ve started blogging, though, I’ve met some amazingly talented and generous/kind natured stitchers online, and more recently met two of those face-to-face in my own fair city, so hopefully in the future I’ll be able to give a different answer as relationships get forged πŸ™‚

18 January – Today’s SBQ is:

“Have you had a happy dance yet this year? If so, tell us about it! (Or just point to the entry that talks about it.) If not, when do you predict it will be?”

Yep, I had my first happy dance quite quickly … in fact I’ve had speedy needles for the early part of the year, but more recently had a bit of a stitching slump (just starting to make up for it again, though). My first happy dance was here – it was the Love needleroll ornament by Jeannette Douglas Designs, in the 2005 JCS Christmas Ornament issue.

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Also, I got the following from Jenna’s blog, which started in Melissa’s blog, and it seemed like a fun thing to do … so anyone who reads it, count yourself as being tagged πŸ™‚ You have to list 5 things that make you happy, right at this moment.

Five things that make me happy today
1. Looking at my birthday scrapbook from Vicki, with the sentiments and colours – it’s giving me warm fuzzies.
2. Knowing I’m now living in a relatively stress-free environment after 2 1/2 years of mentally ‘surviving’ – I can do what I want, when I want, and enjoy doing it. I’m happy just enjoying the silence.
3. Sat at my computer watching the birds fly past outside my window, and having a dedicated stitching chair/area where I can stitch whenever I feel like it – I’m happy about where I live.
4. Happy about all the birthday well wishes I’ve had from near and far (mostly from afar).
5. And like Jenna, I’m happy about all the wonderful friends I’ve made online – it’s teaching me to open my heart again and be the ‘giving’ and happy person I always used to be.
All-in-all, today I just feel “happy”! πŸ™‚

Stitching Bloggers Questions

Oops, forgot last week’s question, so you get a 2-for-1 deal this week πŸ˜‰

Image hosted by The 28 December’s SBQ was suggested by Nancy and is:

“How do you balance your stitching time with your other obligations such as work, household chores, etc?”

What do you mean? Are we supposed to still do chores as WELL as stitching?? Oops … haha. I have to admit, work always comes first – but as a shift worker my hours are pretty erratic, and affects my energy levels (both mental and physical) which affects how much stitching I get done, which can be negative or positive depending on the shifts. As for housework etc, now I live on my own I’m much more lax with housework than I used to be – I don’t cook every night, and can easily ignore the dust, which helps to allow more free time haha. My biggest downfall for stitching time has, to be honest, been my blogging/computer time – I can lose track of hours at a time, and sometimes look at my stitching and think about how much progress I could have made if I hadn’t been looking at that computer screen πŸ™‚ But if I hadn’t been blogging or sat here, I wouldn’t have met such wonderful online friends – so it all balances out :))

Image hosted by The 4 January’s SBQ was suggested by Renee and is:

“Do you do your stash shopping at your LNS, ONS, or both? Which do you like better? Why?”

Aha, an easy one to answer – I shop from both, but predominantly from offshore ONS. The reason for both is easy – I prefer to shop from my LNS where I can see first-hand the colours of the threads etc before making a decision, but the only problem is for imported threads (which is 90% of them) we pay almost double what people pay in the US … so I tend to buy most of my supplies (except DMC, only because it’s easier, and I usually need that ‘now’ – DMC is still a lot more expensive too at up to AU$1.00 a skein) from ONS such as Stitching Bits & Bobs. I buy when they have their 25% off sales, which then offsets the postage costs, and I still save money overall. I would much rather support my LNS and keep them in business, but can’t justify the extra cost (especially now my finances have changed dramatically, and every cent saved is a good one!).