Cross Stitch, Rotation, SBQ, Stitch-alongs, Works in Progress

Bordeaux, Winter Queen and SBQ

Australia Day logo

To my fellow Aussies, Happy Australia Day to you all – thanks for letting me stay in your beautiful country and letting me call it my new adopted home 😀

Australian flag

Here’s my latest progress piccie of Bordeaux Sampler – I’m loving stitching on this more regularly each week, and normally have difficulty putting it down after my two-hour stint working on it.  Yesterday, though, it was a bit easier due to the fact my concentration wasn’t really up to par.  Unfortunately I won’t be reaching the halfway mark by the end of the month like I’d hoped, as I’d forgotten this band has more of that wonderful over-one lettering … mind you, that’s not as bad as those darned over-one single grapes floating around in the middle of the band … grumble grumble 😉  Please note I still haven’t frogged those golden leaves from the previous band, either … that’s a chore for one day when I’m more in the mood … at some stage before I finish band 7 😀 (Sorry, but this photo is quite dark, as the flash wouldn’t work!)

Bordeaux at 25Jan07

I’ve also finally managed to finish my 10 hours rotation slot on Winter Queen.  Here’s the “before and after” shot – I did my first 10 hours on this back in November 2005, and it hasn’t been touched since, which is shocking … it’s nice to see her come back out of the woodwork again.

 Winter Queen at 24Nov05

Winter Queen 26Jan07

I think the 10-hour rotation really works for me on the whole – I tried doing one project per night, and it just doesn’t work with my shifts, and I feel as if I’ve only just picked something up when I have to put it down again.  At least with 10 hours you can really see some progress at the end of it, and the 10 hours can be spread out over a weekend, or a full week, but you have time to get into a rhythm with the project.  I still give myself some flexibility with those 10 hours, and they’re not always 100% rigid at that mark – if I get close to the 10 hours and I’m still loving the project and don’t want to put it down, then I’ll keep doing an hour or so more before I move on to the next project.  Having my little ‘tub’ of WIPs next to my stitching area has also helped with that too, with everything ready to start again for the next rotation.

  Now, on to the SBQ’s that I’ve been seriously neglecting for the last 3 weeks:

“Do you dream of running your own LNS/ONS? If so, tell us about your dream. If not, tell us about your cross stitch dream … maybe you dream of designing, dyeing your own floss or fabric, etc.”

Nope, I can’t say I’ve ever had the desire of running my own LNS/ONS – working in one, perhaps, but not running it.  To be honest I figure running one would entail so much work that it would impact on my stitching time, and that’s more important to me.  I have to admit, though, that I was having a few ideas about designing my own needlerolls before Christmas, but if I ever do that I’ll offer it as a freebie online here instead of doing it ‘properly’ – but I’d love to learn how to dye my own fabric and floss one day, especially floss!  My main dream is to be able to give up work and still have an income and stitch to my heart’s content every day … hey, we can dream, can’t we? 😉

“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, that was done on New Year’s Day … the post is here.

Today’s SBQ was suggested by Danielle and is:

“What company produces your favorite hand-dyed fabric? Are there any companies whose hand-dyed fabric you do not like? If so, why?”

I like Silkweaver fabrics, but the one I have for Egyptian Garden has quite a lot of fluff on it, and I’m forever having to pull off pils etc from it while I’m stitching, which is really frustrating.  The only other fabric I’ve tried is from Country Stitch, and I have to admit between the two I really love Linda’s fabric (Country Stitch) the most.  Her customer service is awesome, and she’s a sweetheart to deal with – it’s one of the few things I refused to give up during my penniless phase, my FOTM from Country Stitch.  Her fabrics have a lovely feel to them, and the colours aren’t blotchy but subtly blended … love them! 😀  Unfortunately I haven’t tried other products yet, so can’t compare.

And to finish, another quote I really like:

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

Cross Stitch, Quilting, Stitch-alongs

Case of the Blah’s

I managed to get 4-5 hours sleep last night (I didn’t get to sleep until nearly 3am thanks to my snoozing yesterday afternoon), and still feel like a train wreck. My ears are sore, and I still have the queasy feeling, as well as just wanting to sleep all day again, so I’m about to take myself off for a wander up to the local doctors. It annoys me having to go, because I know there’s nothing they can do about it if it’s a virus, but I need to get a doctors note for work, I guess. C’est la vie … another $30+ down the tubes ho-hum. At least the Woolworth’s bladder has eased off quite a bit, and it’s relatively cool in the flat, which makes it a bit more pleasant. 

I can’t wait until next week, though, when there’ll finally be something worth watching on TV … thank goodness for my DVD player and home library of cheap DVD’s, that’s all I can say!  Not being a sports fan, it kills me to look through the TV Guide to see the selection this week … at the moment one channel has the cricket, one has the tennis, and one I never watch anyway, leaving one channel to choose from – and because of the cricket/tennis my fave programs aren’t on … But as always there’s a silver lining – I’m getting to watch movies I haven’t seen in months, and I also have some audio books I haven’t listened to yet either (although I have a splitting headache at the moment, so that’s not a great option).  Actually, I’ve just remembered I’m on night shifts next week, so I’d better get ready to videotape all my fave shows that are coming back on again (House, Medium, and NCIS especially).

I’ve made a tiny bit of progress on Bordeaux today, by adding one golden ‘basket’ and about 6 Rhodes grapes, but that’s it – I’ll probably do the last Rhodes grape on the left-hand side, then call it a day … I’m trying to do about 2 hours work on it each week so I don’t jump too far ahead, and I’ve done those 2 hours today already … albeit very slow stitching!  I’ll post a progress piccie later on.

Something else I meant to show a few days ago, and that’s two new quilt designs that I really like … I’m seriously going to have to try doing one quilt at least this year, or at least start one anyway – I’ll have to look through my fabrics and see if I’ve got anything appropriate already, without having to buy too much more … but that’ll be another day when I feel more up to it.  I don’t need to tell you, I’m sure, that of course my quilt will be in blue fabrics 😉

December Rose quilt
December Rose quilt

Winter Carnival quilt
Winter Carnival quilt

Now it’s time to throw some clothes on and wander on over to the GP’s office … although the way I’m feeling, perhaps it’d be safer to drive hmmm …

(Updated to add GP results – I’m now off work until Sunday, and if I don’t feel OK on Sunday then I just go back to see him on Monday … also I may have an added bonus of a bladder or kidney infection, so I’ve done a mid-stream urine test as well – at least I can now relax and not think about having to go back to work for two days, and just focus on relaxing and chilling out.  Fingers crossed it’s nothing but a virus, although he also talked about diabetes as well hmmm.  time will tell, I guess.  I was very naughty and treated myself to hiring two new release DVD’s from the video store nextdoor to the GP’s – something I haven’t done for months and months … I thought it would a nice cheer-me-up to help with my stitching.  Even though I’m not getting too much done, a few stitches is better than nothing!)

Cross Stitch, Stitch-alongs

Macaw update

Well, it wasn’t quite the night I had planned … I ended up getting halfway to work today and turning around and coming home again, as I got really queasy and wanted to throw up.  I went straight to bed and slept on-and-off for 3 1/2 hours.  I also had an entertaining dream where the cracks in the lounge got too big, and the front of the lounge collapsed … hmmm.

Anyway, after having a light supper of scrambled eggs on toast (which seems to be sitting quite nicely, thank goodness) I managed to put a few stitches into my Macaw, seeing as it’s my SAL night with Carina.  Here’s my progress today, and now it’s put back again until next week – the blue and dark grey blob is now a blue, dark grey and green blob! 🙂

Macaw at 25Jan07

Cross Stitch, Rotation, Stitch-alongs, Works in Progress

SAL revisited (updated)

My apologies to Carina, but my SAL plans for last night were thwarted somewhat … thanks to the bushfires still raging in rural Victoria, it attacked transmission lines to the national power grid in NSW, causing massive power failures throughout the state of Victoria.  We lost our power at work just before 4pm yesterday, killing our lights and air conditioning … with a temperature sitting at 39C, that wasn’t much fun (but luckily I only had to survive 1/2 of that).  Then driving home all the traffic lights were out as well, causing a delay in travelling anywhere.  When I finally got home I had power on for one hour before losing that … I figured even though I had to have an early night due moving back to a 5am start today, I’d still get an hour’s stitching on my Macaw … then the power died while I was checking emails, and put paid to all those plans – it was way too hot to stitch without an electric fan on, and too dark in my stitching area without my ott-lite … so no stitching done at all for the night.

Tonight, however, I’ve also decided to change my mind yet again – and I’m going to unpick what I’ve done and do everything over-one … yeah, I know, I must be stark raving bonkers, considering I hate over-one stitching normally!  I’d opted to stitch over-two because there is one blended thread in the chart, but I’ve decided to just choose one of the colours used and stitch that part in just one colour … fingers crossed it’ll still look alright hmmm.  So, tonight I’m going to spend at least one hour getting a couple of stitches put into my Macaw to make up for last night … I just have to work out which fabric to use now …

Then tomorrow night I need to decide whether I continue a bit more with the Leporello, or whether it’s back to the Bordeaux Sampler for this week’s stitching session ready for a progress piccie on Friday/Saturday.  It probably all depends on how shattered I am this time tomorrow, I guess …  I have to admit I had a dreadful night’s sleep last night thanks to the shocking heat, and no power (it came back on during the night, but I was too dopey to get up and switch the fan on, just kept waking up every 1/2 hour and going back to sleep again) – it also appears my neighbours downstairs have had their baby, as the last two nights have also been spent listening to it screaming its lungs out while I’ve been trying to sleep … to say I’m little Miss Cranky Pants today is probably an understatement LOL.  One of the benefits of living on my own that I’m soon going to miss … not having to smile and be friendly when you come home feeling like death warmed up – there’s no-one to think about and impress, and my ducks don’t care if I look at them with baggy eyes and scowling frowns 😛

Actually, talking of the Leporello, I can probably show a progress piccie from the other night – I got very little done on it, but it’s a bit more than before so any progress is good progress 🙂  I’ll continue with this one now until I’ve completed 10 hours, then the next rotation slot is Mirabilia/L&L so I’ll put some more stitches into Winter Queen (which hasn’t been touched in an entire year … very very bad!).

My current rotation is as follows:

  1. Focus piece – Egyptian Garden Mandala
  2. Smalls/ornaments – Stitching Leporello
  3. Charity blocks/Free choice
  4. Canvaswork/Hardanger – Flight of the Bumblebees
  5. Focus piece – Egyptian Garden Mandala
  6.  UFO (Mystery – ie randomly picked by drawing a number out of a hat!)
  7. Smalls/ornaments/gifts – Strawberries So Faire (but doing Leporello instead this time)
  8. Mirabilia/L&L – Winter Queen
  9. Focus piece – Egyptian Garden Mandala
  10. Band Samplers/Specialty Stitches – Le Jardin Silk Sampler
  11. Finishing items
  12. Smalls/ornaments – My Treasures Workstation or Lavender Rose Sewing Case
  13. Focus piece – Egyptian Garden Mandala
  14. Kits & Classes – probably Ete en Grece (French kit of Greece)
  15. UFO (Chosen) – Nature’s Resting Place
  16. Quilting/Stumpwork – GCC Gracie stumpwork or The Blue Collection quilt
  17. Free choice – (not decided yet – whatever screams loudest at the time)

Crikey, I have a lot of projects in there – hence the reason I’m thinking of reworking my rotation, as it takes too long to get to some projects.  Maybe I’ll just work my way through it in its entirety once or twice then decide … I’m almost keen to become a one-at-a-time at the moment to get a few projects finished, but then again with a rotation I don’t get bored on the whole.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the latest unimpressive update of the Leporello … now I’ve got to get that fan on and find some fabric to restart my Macaw!

Last week’s blob has been replaced by an even smaller blob – I decided to just stitch the Macaw on some 28ct white Lugana.  It’s pretty slow going, but I’ve managed 2 hours stitching on it tonight anyway … and now I’m off to bed.  I thought I might as well show a piccie of the blob, otherwise it’ll be another couple of weeks before it resembles anything, and Carina will wonder if I’m actually stitching along with her! 😉

Macaw at 17Jan07

Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Finishes, Needlerolls, Stitch-alongs

Finally able to post a piccie :) (updated)

It appears from the SBEBB that Paula has received her Melanie’s Exchange I stitched for her, so I can post a piccie. I have to admit, I really really struggled with the choice for this one … I was originally going to stitch a pinkeep for Paula, and had the design all mapped out, then Jo beat me to it by stitching a pinkeep for the Spring exchange (which was beautiful!), so it was back to the drawing board again (but at least I got to keep the mock run one, which you’ve now seen!) … in the end I decided on a needleroll, and the design is a collaboration I made from various design sources – there are bands from Just Nan’s Evening Star, Dragonfly Stitches freebie needleroll (for the blackwork ‘flowers’ and other bands), Indigo Rose online freebie for the Rhodes hearts, as well as another freebie online chart for inspiration for the beaded bands. The only thing is that I struggled to find some narrow ribbon to match for it, and ended up using something that I had on hand … and I wished I’d waited to check out a few more stores before posting – but it looks OK. Here’s a photo of the actual stitching, and the finished needleroll. I tried stitching our names inside the back ‘flowers’, but it’s very teeny tiny LOL. I really enjoyed stitching it 🙂

I should also have another photo to share a bit later on today – I’m in the middle of stitching The Sweetheart Tree Strawberry needleroll, for our weekend needleroll SAL … I started it last night, and slept in this morning so missed the charity walk (oops! – mind you, it turns out we were all doing it ‘on our own’ so it probably doesn’t matter – the money is still being donated anyway) … so I’ve been sitting up in bed catching up on taped TV programmes from during the week and doing a bit more stitching. I was originally going to start a Shepherd’s Bush one, but I needed to stitch some calico to the sides as the fabric is quite small, and I can’t stitch in hand … the Strawberry fob was the only one basted up and ready to go 🙂 It also means that I’m now inadvertently copying Katrina, as that’s the needleroll she’s planning on stitching too 🙂 It’s really pretty so far – the colours are lovely … the DMC 816 is such a rich red, it’s gorgeous! I’m about 2/3 finished, so should be able to post a piccie by the end of the day 🙂

I should be stitching my fob for the scissor fob exchange on StitchNZ, but I just wanted to take some ‘time out’ from commitment stitching and stitching something else – and the needleroll SAL is the perfect thing to a quick “me” stitch 🙂

(Update before day’s end) And here’s the final piccie for today – the finished stitching of my strawberry needleroll … which also means I met the 24 hour challenge on the FGBB as well yippee! 😀 Leaves me tomorrow free for working out my scissor fob yay 🙂