TGIF

Yep, “Thank God It’s Friday!!” – it’s been a long week, with some medical visits and loooong working hours.  Not really in a chatty mood, and not a great deal to share, really, except that I’ve picked up an old favourite project once again to try and get closer to a finish.  I’m not sure whether I’ll get much chance to stitch this weekend, as I’ve ended up bringing a big pile of work home with me … depends on how I feel on Sunday whether I’ll do work or have some ‘me time’ instead hmmm.  Here is the latest update photo of where I’m at with Laura J Perin’s Sapphire Star.  I decided I truly detested the pale blue thread that is used, and instead substituted with a pale DMC perle cotton and I’m much happier stitching with that instead 😀  Not much more to go before this one is finished now!  (Sorry, but the photos are really weird – not sure what the camera has done, but it’s certainly not accurate!! – The bottom ‘blurry’ one is the closest to the colour in real life.)

The other news is that FINALLY my border packs have arrived from a certain ONS.  Alas, this is a really popular and well-known ONS, but for me this has been an extremely arduous ordering process and one that I’ll never repeat with said ONS.  Hard to believe that these little items were ordered way back in January of this year!!!  Oh well, it does mean that I can finally now clip in the little snaps and sew on the little buttons and my Summer Snapperland can then come OFF the scrollbars where they’ve been residing for 9 whole months 😀  I really can’t wait for that one to be done and dusted – then I just have to save up to buy some framing supplies for it and get it all framed up to go on the wall 😀

The final good news is that, after about 5 months (!), TiVo have also FINALLY come to the party and replaced my TiVo that was faulty … which means tonight I’m making an effort to get it set up so that it can be taping all my shows while I’m away on holidays … which is now only 3 working days away WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!

And on that note, it’s time to go back to Mr TiVo so I can get an early night … I need to be up at the crack of dawn (yeah, OK, 8am then!) to get my hair cut – it’s all excitement at Chez Annie here 😛

Current state of WIPs

Alas, my wee Lumix is still in hiding – so yet again you are stuck with crappy scans of my current WIPs.  The GREAT news is that my elusive back-ordered Rainbow Gallery thread arrived on Friday, so the last two nights have been spent doing the first part of the fill-in stitches on Sapphire Star.  Here’s the latest scan of where it’s up to … I’m now in the process of doing little upright cross stitches in the centres of the ‘main’ part of the design – once that is done it’s time to re-do the centre long stitches, followed by the final parts, which is all long-stitch.  Every time I pick this project up the colours blow me away and I savour every minute spent on it – I think this one will be finished by the end of this weekend, if not this week!  😀

Friday nights are “Dawsons Creek” nights in our little flat – we have finally finished season 5 (which I’ve probably enjoyed more than the others to date), and this Friday I get to drool over a younger version of Jensen Ackles for the final season of Dawsons.  Then I can give myself a HUGE clap on the back and a resounding cheer of “Well Done, Lass” … that I managed to survive the whole series – and once I’ve finished drooling over Jensen (I just have shut out the fact that he will look about 12, and concentrate on that dreamy voice of his – another great thing about stitching!), it means we can finally move on to a different TV series for Friday nights.  It seems our next choice is either going to be series one of Fringe (my choice) or Dark Angel (which I’ve never seen before) – or the entire series of Buffy … or perhaps all three in that order!  I guess that ties up Friday nights at our place for the rest of the year! LOL.

Anyway, back to stitching … next up is a little freebie I started at the start of last week, but I can’t find three whole DMC colours, and therefore can’t go any further until I find them!  Perhaps they’re off having a little soiree somewhere with my Lumix camera – hopefully they’ll take photos of their little antics hmmm.  Anyway, I guess this one is now on hold until I can make a run out to Spotlight to pick up some more DMC – so much for being a quick stitch to whip up in a day! 😛  (I’ll add all the chart details etc once it’s finished.)

Lucky last is a piece that I started working on on Sunday afternoon.  I decided to take up a Ghost Trappers challenge (one of the two Facebook games that I’m stupidly addicted to), which pretty much meant being chained to my PC for the entire weekend … or at least all of Sunday anyway.  I ended up setting up my little lapstand on my computer desk, so I could click my mouse every 4 or so minutes … yes, demented, I know … but I enjoyed having some “me” time in my room and enjoyed killing three birds with one stone – stitching, playing games, and reading an audiobook!  Pretty much summed up in one word … “Heaven” 😀

Anyway, here’s the WIP from my Sunday stitching session (Lizzie*Kate’s Hocus Pocus) – this may not get touched now until Sapphire Star is finished, or it’ll remain my ‘bedroom stitching’ project until I can pick up my missing DMC skeins for the acorn freebie.  Either way, it’ll probably just take one more day or two nights’ stitching and it’ll be finished.

Reading-wise, one book I managed to finish last weekend was The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – I don’t know of a single person who hasn’t raved about this book after reading it, and I have to admit I really really enjoyed it.  I even shed a tear or two in a couple of places, and very glad I took the time to read it.  Savage and raw in places, touching and tender in others – this was a really enjoyable read!

Next up I started and finished reading Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell.  I’ve read all the Kay Scarpetta novels over the years, and enjoyed every single one of them, and this one was no exception.  I have to say, though, I was glad that I’d read the previous book first, as Scarpetta referred often to an incident or two in the previous book – while you could have still followed the storyline easily, it was much better knowing the full background to the situation being discussed.  The only books I’ve ever disliked of Ms Cornwell’s were Hornet’s Nest and Southern Cross, the Andy Brazil series – I disliked them so much I didn’t even bother getting the 3rd book in the series, Isle of Dogs, and it took me a while to get back into buying her books again.  Thankfully Kay Scarpetta et al continue to provide me with good reading fodder with her forensics expertise and thrilling crime writing!  Way to go, Ms Cornwell, you kept me hooked for another 13 1/4 hours! 😀

As for the next book, I decided to try a different style of writing, with a shorter story, and clicked the play button on Ruddy Gore by Kerry Greenwood.  Set in the 1920’s the awfully English accents and dandy characters are quite fun and are easily wiling away a few hours.  This one has been very easy listening, and I’m only 1 1/2 hours away from the book’s ending.  I have to say for stitchers audiobooks are yet another of life’s great inventions … while it takes a while to get ‘into the mood’ of an audiobook, once you are ‘in the right mind space’, it’s a wonderful way to combine two loves – a love of stitching and of reading 🙂

And I guess on that note I really should get into bed – as much as I love audiobooks when I’m stitching, my actual preference is to hold a physical book and devour its pages one by one … these days, though, my stitching has been taking a priority while I’m in the mood, and physical books have been well and truly lowest on the list.  I’ve decided it’s about time I got further than the first chapter of J.R. Ward’s first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and I’m going to put my stitching down 1/2 an hour early each evening and read a few pages before bedtime … sounds like a reasonable plan, except I know that once I get my teeth into a good book I get into true reading mode and end up propping my eyelids open with matchsticks while glancing at the clock in the wee small hours of the morning and thinking “just one more chapter …” 😉

Which is a good point … perhaps I should just switch the light off and go to actual sleep before midnight … that’d be an interesting change 😀

Resurfacing old U.F.O.

We spent the evening watching some TV and Supernatural episodes while I split my time between trying to resurrect my laptop (it keeps dying) and my stitching.  I managed to stitch as far as I could on Sapphire Star, and realised I am missing yet another thread somehow … will have to check my stash to make sure I haven’t just forgotten to add it to the ‘kit’.  Anyway, it’s looking great, if I say so myself!

Then I decided not to start anything new, but to pick up a very VERY old UFO that hasn’t been touched since … um … well … since April 2007 … yikes!!!  I haven’t touched any of my old UFOs since I finished Chatelaine’s Stitching Leporello last year, so I decided it was time to put a few stitches into it … I didn’t manage a great deal, but did manage to finish the stitching of the ‘bird band’ on the outside.  I still hate the over-one section in the middle, and would dearly love someone to wave a magic wand over it to make it be “finished” … perhaps I’ll make myself do one strand of over-one stitching each time I pick it up before I stitch more on the fun parts – but then again that may put me off picking it up full stop – hmmm, maybe I should just leave it until the end, so it has to be done before the beading, that should be incentive enough!  The “Before” picture shows the fabric colour more accurately.

Before
EG-01May07

After

Today I’ve been struggling on and off all day with a nauseous migraine, so have been in bed most of the afternoon.  I was getting restless so thought I’d tempt fate and sit up for a few minutes – but now I think it’s time to go back to bed again …

Sapphire Star Update

I didn’t have the energy and attention span to start a new project tonight, even though I’ve got a few kitted up and ready to go … so after rummaging through my WIP basket for a while, and finding nothing else that took my fancy, I pulled out Laura J Perin’s Sapphire Star. 

I managed to complete the filling stitches of most of the outside border, and will probably fill in the little squares next with the relevant metallic threads … then it will have to go to one side yet again, as I’m still awaiting my thread to arrive from the US.  This is from a ONS who is notoriously slow in posting, BUT they did have the thread in stock at the time (and not many places stock Rainbow Gallery threads), and of course they have regular 20-25% off sales, which is what I used at the time … alas, according to the order status online we’re still awaiting the arrival of back-ordered embellishment kits (teeny white buttons from Lizzie*Kate so I can finally finish my Boo Club piece from last year – as the charts were used, on loan from a friend, I’ve had to find my own embellishments and let’s just say it’s been an ongoing challenge, so I was excited to see them for sale on sale ONS site … of course now I’m playing the waiting game … still … ho-hum …).

Anyway, without further ado, here’s my latest update of Sapphire Star – I still drool over the colours in this one every time I pick it up and have started to fantasise about how I’ll get it framed … assuming my thread turns up while I’m young enough to do the framing! LOL.

Sapphire Star Update

Alas, I probably won’t get too much further once I finish the outside border until my missing thread is ordered and arrives.  The only other blocks I can probably complete at this stage are ones that have long-ish satin stitches, and I’d rather leave those until the very last to make sure I don’t snag them.  In the meantime, though, I still have a wee bit of border left to go yet, so that’s OK.  Here’s the progress as I left it last night:

Laura J Perin-Sapphire Star 05Feb10

I must say, though, I have got a SERIOUS case of startitis … I have a major urge to start many different designs at the moment, all relatively small ones though – I’m quite honestly thinking of giving myself the rest of the month to just pick and choose and start what the heck I like … I’ve opted to have a low-key birthday this year and not celebrate (to be honest, my mind is more on the sadness of the memorial service and not my birthday beforehand) … so perhaps this can be my birthday treat to myself – and on that note, I just may spend the rest of the weekend throwing fabric and threads together and kitting a few things up 😀

In the meantime, though, I have to now hit the road and drive my elderly neighbour to a travel agent … long story, but this is certainly the better option than the alternative 😉

I also haven’t decided yet whether to bother doing the Photo Hunt today … the theme of “average” leaves me feeling … well … “Average” 😛

Moving forward on Sapphire Star

Even though I’ve spent more time tonight frog-stitching (I swear, I think I’ve had to frog-stitch something in every single block of this chart – I’m so out of practice following canvaswork charts!!), I decided I was in the mood to stitch a bit more on it, and I’m pleased I did … I managed a reasonable bit of forward motion on it 🙂

I ADORE the colours in this piece – the blues, greens and purples are so lush! 😀

Insert expletive here!

‘Cos it’s not appropriate that I print what I just uttered when I found out I’d miscounted in yesterday’s stitching session on Sapphire Star … and of course I had to find out after I’d almost filled in the top sections – only to find that I started the blocks about 7-8 rows too low.  Here’s how it looks right at the point that I found the mistake:

So that means I either have to fudge it by missing out the dark diamond above the main blue one (in the centre – not stitched yet), or I have to unpick the bottom block lines, along with the entire big centre blue block and move it down those 7-8 lines … oh crap 😦

Funnily enough my stitching urge just went out the window … I think I might read a book tomorrow instead 😛