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Major Happy Dance!!

I can’t believe the time has come when I have FINALLY put the last lot of beads into Enchanted Mermaid!  Unfortunately my camera is playing up so I can only use my iPhone at the moment for a photo, and it does her no justice whatsoever … she is without doubt the most blingey cross stitch project I’ve ever worked on.  In real life she really sparkles with all the treasures and beads she’s adorned with!

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“Enchanted Mermaid” by Mirabilia
Started October 2009 ~ Finished 20 October 2013
Stitched on 28ct hand-dyed Cashel by Picture This Plus ~ colour Fathom
with recommended threads and Mill Hill beads/treasures (squillions of them!)

Next up I continue to stitch as much as I could today on Acorn Hill … this has to be put aside for now while I wait for a replacement thread to arrive.  I’ve stitched all the other colours, so I have to wait now for more Brown Sugar to arrive, then it’s just a case of finishing up the lettering which won’t take too long at all 🙂

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I think my next BAP focus piece will continue to be TW’s English Garden Sampler.  I’m so close to a finish with that one, it doesn’t make sense to stop … although it’s a real challenging piece for me stitching in the evenings, so it’ll continue to be stitched within a semi-rotation with easier projects during the week.  It would be nice to get it finished before the end of the year, but I’m not entirely sure that’s do-able now unless I stitch on that solely … which for my sanity just isn’t going to happen!

Then I really need to pull my finger out and get a very overdue wedding sampler started … with any luck they’ll get it before their 10th wedding anniversary!! 😉

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Let the beading marathon commence!

Thanks to a lazy weekend, along with a day of sickness at home I managed to put the final stitches into Enchanted Mermaid (inbetween bouts of sleeping) … which means the final phase of this project is ready to commence … the beading marathon.  I swear this gal is seriously drowning in shiny bling!  Aside from 33 packets of Mill Hill glass treasures, there are 3 packets of one colour of Mill Hill petite beads, and another 2 packets of another colour (plus a packet of a 3rd colour) … serious, serious bling!!!

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Let the bling begin!!!!! 😀

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I’m hoping to be able to afford to fly home to NZ to visit my parents over the next month or so, so this one will be going home to visit as well if I can get her finished in time … I think both Mum and Dad will go crazy over this one! 😀

 

More Enchanted Mermaid

Been an interesting few weeks – I finally got to see a Rheumatologist about my back/foot/finger joint pains, and we think I probably have psoriatic arthritis – if it is, then it’s quite possible it is treatable with medication, which is wonderful.  It also seems that it can cause mood changes, so perhaps this has been behind my depressive episodes all this time?  The time-frame since my joint pains started getting really bad is probably around the same time, so it is quite possible I guess – I’ve had really bad pains for at least 3 years now.  Anyway I have an MRI booked in for the end of July, and then hopefully a week later I’ll get a formal diagnosis and I can start a treatment regime … I’m sick to death of feeling so crappy all the time, so anything that can improve my state of mind and pain levels would be just wonderful!!

In the meantime I’ve been spending a bit of time on the weekends stitching (no more time during the week now, seeing as I’m back to murderous commutes again) … I managed to put a pretty good dent into the stitching of one of the tail fins (or whatever the heck you call them).  Sadly I can see I’m going to run out of two of the Kreinik braids, so I have been “forced” to send away for a little order from 123stitch this week to get them replaced (which was shipped inside 24 hrs of ordering, bless them!).  I have to admit the main reason I put the order in straight-away was that I also noticed they had 25% off Christmas stocking kits and I’ve had one of those on my wishlist for months now … perfect time to suck it up and order it at the same time as my Kreiniks (plus a couple more threads off my wishlist).  I must say, though, I really wish they stocked Rainbow Gallery threads, as I have a bunch of those I need to order as well 😦

And just before I head back to bed for a Nana nap (I haven’t been feeling well this week, and my stupid flatmate woke me up when he came in last night then continued to talk loudly on the phone until 11.30pm!), I’ll show you a bad photo of my Enchanted Mermaid as she currently stands … I really need to find my camera cord so I can use my camera again instead of my iPhone, ‘cos I just can’t seem to manage a decent crisp photo on my iPhone (although that could also be because I’ve been uploading them to Facebook then downloading again to the PC hmmm)!!

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The UFO challenge continues

I don’t know what’s wrong with me at the moment, I just seem totally obsessed with getting some older pieces of stitching finished … and I can’t seem to put them down … goodness knows what will happen once these two are completed, whether I’ll feel at peace enough to pick up a new start or a newer WIP, or whether I will continue with the urge to finish older items … but either way, this is my stitching challenge to myself at the moment.  In truth I’ve been battling with depression on and off for months now, and this is what is bringing me ‘stitching peace’ for some reason … so I figure it’s best not to fight it and go with the flow for now …  I guess that also means that my 2013 Crazy January Challenge has pretty much gone out the window, but them’s the breaks!

Anyway, here is my latest progress with two of my old UFO’s – Teresa Wentzler’s English Garden Sampler, and Mirabilia’s Enchanted Mermaid.

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Sadly my employer’s management team have decided in their ultimate wisdom to move our team back into the city once again, after moving us closer to home for the last 8 weeks (hence much more stitching being done that I’ve managed in a long time) … so it means no more 20-30 mins drive to work anymore, and back to 1 to 1 1/2 hr commutes each way … I guess if nothing else I’ll get more books read once again on the train, so perhaps I should focus on that silver lining, but all I can keep thinking of is the removal of my spare time during the week 😦  It’s going to feel a bloody long time until December comes and we can move back out to being near home once again 😦  So pffffft to you management team 😦

2012 WIPocalypse update for March

I started drafting a post during the week, but it seems that the WP app doesn’t automatically store a draft … so I lost the whole thing.  And today I’m fighting a dreadful head cold that I’ve been struggling with since Sunday, so it will be a lot shorter than originally planned.  But there are few things to write about, so I’ll try to get to the point quickly …

First up, though, is my stitching update for the 2012 WIPocalypse challenge.  As seems to be the norm these days, I have had absolutely minimal stitching happening over the last month – I almost need to continually do a ‘before and after’ shot so you can actually see what the progress is … I’ve always been a prolific stitcher in the past, so this is something I’m just not used to.  Anyway, here are the two pieces that have seen slight progress since last month …

First up is Bent Creek’s Winter Snapperland – the entire progress consists of two whole snowflakes and the wording … I know, hardly worth blogging about really, but I guess two snowflakes and some words are still taking it closer to a finish at some stage!

Then the other UFO/WIP to be dragged back into daylight is Mirabilia’s Enchanted Mermaid – this poor love hasn’t seen daylight for an awfully long time … I can’t remember the last time I dragged her out to be worked on.  Anyway, she’s had a tiny bit of love in February and is getting closer to having her backstitching done on her face so she doesn’t look so dreadful (her cheek looks like it has a terrible skin disease!!).  I may also start beading as I go, which just may give me a kick in the pants to stitch on her some more.

UPDATED TO ADD:  Oops, I forgot that last month I also put the finishing stitches into Jardin Prive’s Christmas, and I hadn’t posted a piccie yet.  So, here you go, here is my first big finish for the year …

The next news is that I finally managed to catch up with my dear friend Alison to pick up my Christmas gift to myself – I basically gave Alison $100 to spend during her USA trip last year, along with a huge wishlist to choose from, and I picked it up last weekend.  It was a wonderful treat to see what goodies she managed to find, and I absolutely adore the choices she made … I can’t wait to start on the SB kits, they’re awesome!!  Thanks once again Alison, I really really appreciate you doing this for me, it was a really nice surprise!

The next piece of HUGE news is that I’m heading off on holiday … not just anywhere, but we’re off here:

Well, OK, truth be told we’re not off to see the Doncaster Rovers, but rather just the Doncaster part!!  It was very hard to find a website image that actually has the word “Doncaster” in it!! BUT more exciting for me, we’re also off to visit here, and I’m just ever so bursting with awe and excitement that I’ll be going back to visit my most favourite city in the entire world to date:

Mum’s youngest sister is basically going through her final fight with throat cancer, and Mum and I have decided to head over to spend some time with her, and my other family members, before it’s too late.  Being blunt, it’s much nicer to be able to visit when she’s alive and not to be flying over to attend a funeral.  Then after a few days visiting with our family, we’re off to fulfill one of my dreams to return to Paris once more.  I have cheap airline tickets from my employers in celebration of my 10 year anniversary with them, so we felt it was a good time to cash them in and make good use of them.  The downside is that we have had absolutely zero time to get spending money together so it will be very very budget with whatever is available on the credit cards … but very very fun!!  And it’s all happening one week tomorrow, all going well (we’ll be travelling standby so we just have to keep our fingers crossed!).

Initially I thought of taking one of the SB kits with me to start on holiday, but now I’m thinking I also may take two Parisian charts to start as well … the freebie “Souvenir de France” by Blackbird Designs, which is still available for download here

And the other choice is “Eiffel Quaker” by Jardin Prive, which is available for sale directly from the designer as a PDF here … ah decisions, decisions.   Plus I have an exchange that is due for posting while I’m away, so I’ll be kitting that to be stitched while I’m in the UK visiting with my Aunt.

The other news that I haven’t mentioned yet is that along with my trip to see my Aunt in the UK, we are travelling by train back south to London and apparently have to pass by my dear friend’s home … which means we get to spend a night with Nicki, Martin and their lovely furbabies – it’s going to be wonderful seeing Nicki again after so many years 🙂

A bit of stitching

WOW, did you see the snow in Sydney yesterday?  Yep, I caused so many miracles yesterday, I even made it snow!  The first miracle was that I actually put needle to fabric and did a few stitches on Saturday … and in the end, more than a few, by the time last night came around!

Unfortunately my poor Mirabilia Mermaid has been neglected, and my stitching slump has seen my 10-hour rotation slot dragged out across two entire months … here’s the progress over the last two months – just pitiful!  First up on the left is how she looked on 31 October – followed by how she looked a month later on 22 November:

Mirabilia-Enchanting Mermaid 31Oct09   Mirabilia-Enchanted Mermaid WIP 22Nov09

And now, how I left her before I put her away on Saturday night – I figure I’ve pretty much completed my 10 hours stitching on her, and fingers crossed the next time I pick her up my stitching mojo will have returned a bit more and I’ll get a few more stitches done in my next 10 hours!

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After I put her away, I managed to get a LOT more stitching done on Bent Creek’s Summer Snapperland – I’m really loving stitching on this one, although I’m not overly keen on the fabric, as it’s quite ‘stretchy’ on my scrollrods.  I do, however, really love the colour (the 2nd photo is a lot nearer the actual colour as I took that this morning in semi-daylight), and think it’s a much better choice than the ugly one recommended in the chart.  I can’t guarantee this one will be finished in 2009, as I’ll be pretty close to my 10 hours on it soon – I figure, though, that I’ll keep working on it a bit longer, as so far I’m really enjoying it … I’ll probably stop after completing both of the ‘boxes’ on the right … maybe 🙂

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I haven’t quite met my stitching goals this year, in the fact that I have only stitched 10 out of planned 12 ornies … but who knows, maybe I can squeak in a couple of quick ones before the year’s end, heck I have a whole week left to do it in! LOL – yeah, sure … maybe not.

I think my goals this year were relatively realistic, and were as follows:

  1. Complete at least 3 of my existing WIP/UFO projects (Works in Progress/UnFinished Objects) – DONE – Completed 5 projects 🙂
  2. Complete at least 10 of my kitted up projects – DONE – Completed 11 projects 🙂
  3. Complete at least 12 Christmas ornaments – FAILED – Completed 10 out of 12 as at 21Dec09 😦

Next year I think I’ll keep the same goals, as they seemed to give me the freedom to stitch what I wanted to stitch, with a mix of both new and old projects … and I probably would have met the final goal if I’d been stitching as ‘normal’ over the last two months. 

It has to be said, though, that any amount of stitching that gets some actual stitches into fabric is a positive year, all-in-all, and I’ve had some pretty decent finishes over the course of the year, even if the last two months has seen a major decline in stitching action 😀

This used to be a stitching blog

This blog appears to be a photographic blog just lately, as I haven’t had the energy or the time to post an update – the only reason I have the photographic ones regularly is thanks to “post-dating”, as it means I can bulk publish for a couple of weeks, then go away and forget it! … Anyway, here’s a bit of proof that I have put the occasional stitch into fabric every now and then over the last week weeks, albeit not much!

Last weekend I had an extended weekend and had 4 days off work, and I spent the weekend housesitting on the other side of town (approx 1 & 1/2 hours drive away) for my close friends Brenda and Nigel – I had the distinct pleasure of spending the weekend with 4 furry pals … 3 cats (Comet, Ernie and Obi) and Dusty the dog (border collie).  It was really lovely having animal company again, and lovely to see B&N as we’ve been strangers for most of the year due to my ill health and being too sick to travel far.

Anyway, while I was housesitting I sat in front of the huge TV and stitched away while working my way through B&N’s DVD’s and episodes of The Mentalist and ER that I’d missed.  The main result of that was that I completed all of the stitching of Lizzie*Kate’s Boo Club – now all I need to do is attach some buttons, but that won’t be happening any time soon.  I changed loads of threads in this piece, substituting for those I didn’t have in my stash … when I publish the final finished piccie with the buttons, I’ll add all the substitution details, along with the fabric etc 🙂

I also finished off the back of a little piece of gift stitching that I’ve been meaning to finish for the last two years – I wanted to personalise the back a little bit, which I’ve now done … and now I just have to put it all together – once it’s been received I’ll show a piccie (although I still have to finish-finish it, so don’t hold your breath LOL).

Over the last week I’ve had precious little stitching time, and this week will be even worse!  This is as far as I’ve managed to get with Mirabilia’s Enchanted Mermaid … I think it’ll be an entire month stitching up one rotation slot of 10 hours stitching!  I wish I’d hurry up, ‘cos she looks distinctly creepy to me right now!

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This week, though, my time will be focused on the following:

60s tunic top sewing

Yes, Mum, here’s proof that I’m actually doing some sewing … clothing sewing … on the sewing machine … for real!!!  And as you can see, I’m even following my training and measuring from the side of the fabric to ensure that I’m following the grain of the fabric correctly!  Ha, I guess those gruelling hours of being lectured about how to do things ‘properly’ really did sink in!  I haven’t sewn clothes for over 20 years, so I’m incredibly nervous and reluctant about all this, but I did make a calico ‘dummy’ test to check the pattern, and I’ve been able to adjust the sides to fit semi-OK. 

This outfit is for our work Christmas party which is this coming Friday – I’ve only just decided very last minute (aka this weekend) that I’d give it a go to dress up … unfortunately being a fatty boomba it makes it really difficult to go to fancy dress shops, and op shops are just out of the question … it was even a struggle to find a dress pattern that could be adjusted to my broad rear end, and just as hard to find fabric … BUT it seems this might just work … maybe!  If nothing else, Katie is highly motivated for me to dress up along with her for the party! 😛

The theme is to dress in the decade of your birth … of course I had to be born in the decade of the mini skirt/dress, didn’t I?  As it turns out the tunic top I’d decided to make to wear over trousers doesn’t seem to look too bad as a dress, so I’ve added an extra 3″ to the bottom, and it sits marginally below the knee now – I had to let it out slightly at the hips (thank goodness for the overlocker which will hopefully still work when I try it out tomorrow night), and I had to take it in a little bit under the arms – I haven’t tried it back on again yet since making the adjustments, but fingers crossed it’ll work out OK.  Then I’m off to buy some big black false eyelashes, and a flick-up-bob kinda wig … and I’ll make a chunky purple necklace and earrings, I think – the only problem I have is with shoes – I think knee-high boots were all the rage back then, but I don’t have any … oh well, what am I stressing for, there’s still one night of shopping left, right???!!! 😛

Anyway, time to hit the hay for the night – we’ve been sweltering in a 42C heatwave all day today and I have to say I’m a bit exhausted from the whole melting day.  It’s been a real effort just standing up in our little flat today, never mind anything else, and everything you touched around the flat was hot to the touch … even the stems of my poor ‘fresh’ lilies in their vase.  I think both Katie and I will be sleeping with the electric fans on tonight, and praying for a reprieve from the sweltering heat tomorrow, we have too much to do!