First finish for 2014

Yesterday I spent the afternoon getting all my first rotation projects onto scroll rods and Qsnaps and they’re now sitting in a but with their charts and threads … maybe my rotation is finally off to a good start this year!!

I made a tiny start on L&L’s Angel of Love, but had a slight mishap so she had to be put away for a while … it was super humid here yesterday in my room, which for me means having to get up and wash my hands regularly … well I was in the middle of a TV show so I was too lazy to get up and go to the bathroom, and grabbed some hand sanitizer to keep me going until the next ad break … or that was the plan!  I ended up accidentally dropped 3 gloops onto my stitching!!  Thankfully I had only done a teeny bit of stitching, and it was DMC threads only, so I rinsed the area under the tap and popped it onto the balcony to dry.  A few hours later I went out to check on the progress, only to now find I had a lovely ‘tide mark’ where the water had spread.  Time for the whole thing to come off the scroll bars and it went for a thorough dunking in cold water, and once again put out on the balcony for an overnight drying spell.  It looks OK this morning, and has been ironed ready to go back onto the scroll bars once again.  Guess who will put my TV show on “pause” next time instead of taking a supposed “shortcut”?!!!  I had managed to get a teeny bit more than the below shows, but it’s still not really worth warranting a photo … but I figure at least it’s a start!! 😉

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After yesterday’s stitching disaster I decided this morning to finish off JBW’s Plum Pudding … freeing up the last set of Qsnaps I need for my Christmas Ornaments rotation slot.  This means this is my first finish for 2014, and it’s time to get back to my rotation again (but not until I’ve pulled my finger out and got some housework done, seeing as it’s laundry day for me … gotta love having dedicated laundry days in our shared laundry).

Plum Pudding by JBW Designs

“Plum Pudding” by JBW Designs
stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Belfast by Countrystitch ~ colour Pipi
with my own choice of threads:
GAST Roasted Chestnut, DMC White, Needle Necessities 153, WDW Holly

Last finishes for 2013, and Christmas at home

First of all I should say a rip-roaring and resounding “HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!” to everyone … as we kick off a new year with the first day of 2014.  I know I’m not the only one that had some struggles in 2013, so personally I’m certainly not sorry to see it finish!  Let’s hope that 2014 is a brighter year for everyone who had a crappy 2013, and that it continues on a positive vein for those who had an awesome 2013 🙂

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I just returned home this morning from two weeks holiday with my parents in New Zealand.  I say “holiday”, but in truth it’s never really a holiday when I go home … there’s usually a list of chores that my folks want me to complete … and I have to admit I’m generally really happy to help out as much as I can when I go home.  This year the chore was to take Dad out to buy a new mobile phone … and teach him how to use it … the first part was pretty simple, and the second part saw me practising “patience” substantially, let’s say! LOL.  Then we went out to buy a Panasonic digital recorder (DVR) for both Mum and Dad and set it all up for them in their respective rooms.  Sadly Mum’s was a real challenge due to not having a good aerial set-up, so unfortunately they’ll need to call in someone to add a new aerial on the roof for Mum so she can get it working 100%.

Dad has to drink something similar to protein shakes daily, and he’s been really bad at drinking them – he told me he’d missed one whole day because Mum was sick and she couldn’t make them for him … my response was that he shouldn’t have to wait for Mum to do everything for him, why couldn’t he just make them himself?  He shouldn’t have to rely on Mum for everything, if she got sick then he’d be stuffed!  You could have knocked me over with a feather the next day when Mum told me Dad has asked her to teach him how to make his shakes … and that he needs to be more “independent”.  I didn’t expect my little chat to have such a big impact … but I got a HUGE resounding vote of thanks from Mum, as that’s helped to relieve some of the pressure from her every day having to do everything for Mum (and I know it’s been getting her down).  I hadn’t expected him to do that, but it’s a very good thing, I think!

While I was in NZ I managed to meet a dear online/blogging pal that I hadn’t managed to meet before.  Zeb had chatted to me briefly just after I moved to Aussie to live, wishing she knew stitchers in the local area to have GTGs etc … it seems all these years later there is now an active group of stitchers in Auckland that meet up, and we managed to ‘gate-crash’ the party for an afternoon!  I’d called out to the Auckland stitchers to see if anyone was interested in getting together while I was in NZ, and Zeb arranged a stitching day at The Ribbon Rose – what a perfect choice for the venue!!!  Not only did we (Mum and I, ‘cos I dragged her along for a change in scenery and a different group of people to chat to to give her a break) get to meet some lovely people on the day, but we managed to kill two birds with one stone by completing a small stash enhancement onsite.  I always drag Mum into The Ribbon Rose each trip, so it was extra special this time!  I managed to get a group photo in the afternoon, but unfortunately a few of the group disappeared and left while Mum and I were browsing around the store, so the photo doesn’t include everyone that was there 😦  (UPDATED: Photo now removed by request of someone in it.)

 

Now we’re back onto the subject of stitching, I did manage to get quite a lot of stitching done while I was away – mainly because we couldn’t really go far from home because of Dad, and I made it a priority to do ‘the family thing’ while we could.  Dad still has to have two surgeries yet in 2014, and as awful as it sounds I wanted to spend as much time as I could while I could … obviously we all have positive thoughts that he’ll come through the surgeries just fine, but I don’t want to have any regrets if it doesn’t …

Anyway, back to the stitching again … these are the little pieces that I started and finished while I’ve been away – I think I impressed myself which the stitching progress this time round!!  Admittedly two days sat in front of the TV in Mum’s room watching Catherine Cookson DVDs really helped … while I’m generally very very patient, and wanted to spend as much time with Dad as I could, we still needed to have a wee break just for sanity’s sake!!  Dad has a tendency to make comments that are less than positive and can be quite derogative, so I needed to recharge my little positivity bubble for a couple of days …

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“Never Too Big” by Dragon Dreams (2004 JCS ornie issue)
stitched with recommended DMC and Kreinik threads and JABC button
on 28ct light taupe linen (sorry, didn’t write the details down when I kitted it up!)

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“Full Moon” freebie by Elizabeth’s Designs
stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Lugana by Countrystitch ~ colour Little Boy Blue??
with recommended DMC and WDW threads
(really love those little sheepies, even if they don’t have legs! LOL)

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“Seasons Greetings” by Glory Bee (2005 JCS ornie issue)
stitched on 28ct natural linen
with my choice of threads:
Lettering in Crescent Colours Cupid, Kreinik #4 braid for the star (#002),
DMC for the rest – white, 502 or 503 (can’t remember) and 500

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“Gourmet Garden” by Little House Needleworks
stitched on 32ct hand-dyed linen by Countrystitch ~ colour Pipi
with recommended DMC threads

I did start one last project that I hoped to see finished by the end of 2013, but it just wasn’t to be … this one will only take an hour or two of love and it’ll be finished, so it’s likely to be my first finish for 2014.  I really did want to start my rotation tomorrow, though, so I’ll have to make a decision whether to finish this one off now, or to wait until the “small projects” section of my rotation … I’m pretty sure I know what will win out tomorrow! 😛

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Just have the holly leaves and lettering to go on this one before there is another “F word” … “Finish”

And on that note I’d better call it a night, I think … I managed to pick up a few healthy groceries in readiness for one of my New Year’s Resolutions, that to be healthier and happier.  Hopefully all the salads will offset the half a suitcase full of chocolate goodies and Gingernut biscuits that Mum sent me home with! haha.

As to the rest of my New Year’s Resolutions and stitching plans/goals for 2014, well I guess that’ll have to come later once I’ve made some decisions … watch this space … just maybe not for a wee while 😛

Autumn Harvest

The last couple of weeks have been really stressful at work, so this weekend I made a special effort to chill out and relax – and spent most of the weekend with needle in hand, either catching up on recorded TV or watching DVDs in the lounge (including getting bored stiff watching the 2nd to last Harry Potter movie … yawn …).  The result is that I have one more finish from my Crazy January Challenge list, and decent headway into one more (plus a whole lot of frogging as I need to change one of the listed conversion threads to something much lighter).  Anyway, I’m a bit too tired to yap on any more, so I’ll just show the piccies … first up is my latest weekend finish:

JBW Designs-Autumn Harvest
“Autumn Harvest” by JBW Designs
stitched on 32ct hand-dyed linen in a mystery colour (perhaps Limestone)
with recommended Weeks Dye Works threads

Now on to my WIP (after frogging the outline of the ghost and cat) … I’m well about 2/3 through the stitching on this now, so it won’t be too much longer before it’s finished.

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“Halloween Short Stack” by Waxing Moon Designs

Autumn Exchange

This month I took part in a private Autumn Exchange, and Lisa V was my ‘victim’ for some autumn goodies. I just heard from Lisa that my little parcel has arrived safe and sound on the other side of the country, so I can now share my finishes. As this was a no-extras exchange, my little postal box to Lisa contained two items … the little humbug REALLY wanted to stay home here with me, so I’ll just have to restitch this one for myself I think 😀

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“A Very Merry Autumn” by JBW Designs
stitched on 28ct Antique Ivory Cashel linen
with Crescent Colours threads

Just Nan-Hootzi Humbug
“Hootzi Humbug” by Just Nan
stitched on 28ct Antique Ivory Cashel linen
with recommended DMC threads and Delica beads

Prancer

Here’s my latest wee finish – I was able to complete the stitching last night after picking up the elusive DMC 368, then I put the beads on this morning.  It was supposed to be stitched 1 over 1, but I wimped out and stitched it over-two on 28ct, then just increased the bead size from 40123 to 00123 instead.

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“Prancer” by JBW Designs
from 2004 JCS Christmas Ornie issue
stitched on 28ct white Cashel linen
with recommended DMC and Mill Hill beads

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Now I’m off to find the ever-elusive bag of beads that I’ve already lost once, then I found them last weekend and put them somewhere safe … I should have known I was in trouble at that point, as “somewhere safe” usually means the equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle … only I can lose something twice in as many weeks!!! … ho-hum :/

In fact, I might just hold off the search party and go and have some brunch across the road first, then I may even put together my bookcase … and then I’ll decide whether to start the search party again for my bead bag, or whether to sit in the lounge and finish off Boo! 🙂

Updated:  Hmmmm, I’ve just decided to check out my camera settings to work out why all my photos seem to be washed out just lately … sure enough at some stage I’ve managed to change my exposure settings permanently … now I’ve put it back to “0” adjustment, the photos are coming out more more crisply, so I’ve re-uploaded the Prancer photos – slightly darker fabric, but definitely a lot clearer on the beading detail!

First finish for 2010 & Snapperland

Well, I have gone as far as I can with Summer Snapperland – the stitching was completed last night, and now I have to sit and wait for the buttons and snaps to arrive so it can be ‘finish-finished’ … then I will throw it place it gently into the framing pile for a few months time when I can hopefully afford to order some more frames and mattboards 🙂

Summer Snapperland whole

Summer Snapperland 15jan10

After I finished the stitching of Summer Snapperland last night, I pulled out a Christmas ornie I started stitching in about November time, and did a couple of stitches in when I was in Auckland at Christmas … I figured enough was enough, time to get it finished, as it’s only a wee thing – and sure enough two episodes of Dawson’s Creek later and it was all finished … FINALLY an actual “finish” for the year 😛

JBW Designs-Christmas Keepsakes II Tiny Motif Tree
“Tiny Motif Tree” from Christmas Keepsakes II by JBW Designs
Stitched 2 over 2 on 32ct natural Belfast linen
with WDW Garnet and GAST Dried Thyme
Stitch count 41W x 45H

Anne, the UFO Slayer

Thanks to my dearest flatmate leaving me her entire collection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVD’s to watch, my eyes are now square, and I think I have almost OD’ed on Buffy over the last few days (I’m now up to Season 5 – not bad going in two weeks!).  For someone who’s lasted 40+ years without having Buffy in her life, I have to say I’ve rather enjoyed it! I’ve shed tears over the ‘Angel-thing’, and laughed out loud at poor old Spike, and slobbered a bit at good ol’ Giles (who I’ve always adored as the Prime Minister in Little Britain – had I known he was in Buffy, I would have started watching years ago haha). Anyway, watching all this slaying has been good for the soul, and good for the stitching – I’ve been doing a bit of slaying of my own today, and managed to finish two old UFO’s – I’m not quite feeling up to tackling the sewing machine just yet, so the needleroll will get finish-finished later.

Sweetheart Tree-Wildflower Needleroll
“Wildflower Needleroll” by The Sweetheart Tree
stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
using recommended DMC threads and Mill Hill beads

This really, really old one just needed to have one heart bead attached for it to be finished (after unpicking and restitching some of the beads in the outer border), so within 1/2 an hour today this one is also finished.  Unfortunately it’s really hard to get a good photo of it, as it’s all pretty much monochrome.  I’m going to attempt to frame this one myself, I think 😀

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“Love and Affection” by JBW Designs
stitched on 32ct antique white Lugana (I think)
using recommended threads and beads

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JBW Designs-Love & Affection 3

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This “rotation” business is really helping me to keep focused on my stitching goals – no more dithering between stitching sessions, I know exactly what I need to be stitching next … although right now I can’t decide whether to tackle the start of yet another UFO, as I have a few hours of my rotation left, or whether to just move on to my next slot, which is my Boo Club focus piece … ah, decisions decisions … 😀

Still not feeling 100% today, I asked my boss if I could reinstate the two days leave I’d just cancelled last week, so I have the next few days off to recuperate more fully … which means more stitching, yippee 😀