Ornament time

Things have been quiet on the stitching front this week – instead I’ve been going to the gym and getting a program organised.  I’ve now got both a cardiovascular program and strength program, and I have to say after doing my strength program yesterday I thought my arms were going to drop off!!!

Today, though, I’ve made a bit of an effort to try turning an ornie or two into an actual ornament – here is my April ornie challenge piece all finished up (I knew those sexy Gingher pinking shears would come in handy one day!!):

Prairie Schooler-Snowy Night ornie

I really love the finished look of this style of finishing, and can definitely see more of these in the future!  In fact, I got straight into it and finished off an ornie that Mum stitched and gave to me while I was home last week.  Here’s that one all nicely finished up:

Mum's PS ornie

As for stitching itself, I only managed to get a tiny bit of stitching done on my Acorn Needlebook last night – the photo is terrible, as there’s no lighting on for it … Two more little bands of long-armed XS, and the start of the backstitched vines and leaves for the centre of the front cover of the needlbook:

Periwinkle Promises-Acorn Needlebook WIP 17Apr09

I’m also putting Winter Queen back on her scroll bars today, and have managed to find and attach my magnifying lens for my Ott-Lite so I can make a second attempt at Nicki’s Quaker RR piece.  Unfortunately with the hours I’d been working, my eyes are really tired in the evenings, so I was struggling to see clearly without straining on the 40ct hand-dyed linen … at least it means if my eyes are tired now, I can use the magnifying lens (never had to use it before, so it will be interesting to see how it works!).

Anyway, back I go to the creative corner … I’m hoping to at least get one more item started on the way to being “finish-finished”, as well as cranking my sewing machine up and learning to use it … 😀

Gotta make the most of it, ‘cos I’m back into work for 6 hours tomorrow, then out all day Sunday drooling over Mr Ackles and Mr Padalecki at the Supernatural Convention – I can’t believe the day has finally rolled around, and we’ll be seeing the stars in the flesh this weekend.  I feel like a teenager all over again LOL 😀

Back to sweltering Sydney

After a whirlwind trip back home to Auckland where I froze my buns off, it’s back to Sydney and the hottest day in the history of April since time began apparently … oh yay, LOL (sorry Zeb, I only got your email when I got home Sunday afternoon, so didn’t get chance to catch up – will definitely give you a holler the next time I come over, though, so we can arrange a meeting!).

It was really lovely to go home again and Dad was happy that I managed to clear out about 2 suitcases full of clothes to go to the Salvation Army plus about half a big wheelie bin full of soon-to-be-shredded papers.  Ah, I so love going home for a holiday haha.  The weather was shocking, so we didn’t get to go sightseeing at all around Auckland – and unfortunately the flights were really full out of Wellington, so at the 11th hour Mum and I cancelled our flights, as it had the potential to be an extremely costly trip … of course we forgot about Easter and school holiday traffic … doh!

I didn’t get too much stitching done, although I did stitch up my April Christmas ornie for the ornie Challenge … and I’ve since started the Acorn Needle Book by Periwinkle Promises, which is a kit I’ve had in my stash for way too many years now.  It’s been really fun doing every stitch except XS so far in this piece, although I’m a bit wary of the upcoming acorn cap completely made up of french knots {{shudder}}.

Prairie Schooler-Snowy Night
“Snowy Night” by The Prairie Schooler
from 2008 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue
stitched on 32ct Merino hand-dyed linen by Countrystitch
with recommended DMC threads

Acorn Needle Book 1
“Acorn Needle Book” kit by Periwinkle Promises – first WIP photo

Acorn Needle Book 2
A bit of rice stitch, satin stitch, double holbein stitch, double back-stitch (or long-armed XS), and finished with a smidge of normal back stitch

Mum and I managed to catch up with my Auntie Trudy (who’s not actually an Aunt, but a family friend that I’ve grown up with in NZ), and it was lovely to see her again.  I came away being spoilt with a lovely blue scarf she knit for me, so I feel very special 🙂

The highlight of the trip (and our final night) was a visit to my fave family, the Smiths … Auntie Heather (again an extremely close family friend that I adore) has known me since I was six weeks old in the UK, and our two families have grown up together when we both emigrated to New Zealand.  There are only a few years difference between the age groups of myself and their two children, Tracey and Carl, and now they both have their own children and we have our own “Granny Smith” (she hates being called that!).  It turned out to be Danial’s birthday during our visit, so we were able to visit on Saturday afternoon/evening on his birthday – it was great fun!  Tracey and Glen live out in the country south of Auckland, and it was great to finally visit their property and play with all the animals.  The only ones I didn’t get to pet were the cows! 😉

Here are a number of photos from our visit – including some very special Easter bunnies, that were part of Danial’s birthday present.

Danial's birthday 2
Danial, Bradley and Heather (with stickers on her forehead compliments of youngest grandchild Danial!)

Danial's birthday 3
Tracey hard at work in the kitchen preparing dinner

Danial's birthday 5
How many men does it take to put together a racing car set? Four, apparently! ;P

Danial's birthday 4
Maybe we should read the instructions, Grandad!

Danial's birthday 7
Easter bunnies country-style

Danial's birthday 8
Awwwww……. Somebunny loves ya Heather!

Danial's birthday 9
The Dragon having a bunny cuddle

Danial's birthday 6
And this bundle of fun I just couldn’t wait to have a cuddle with, I love him to death … poor Dodge got so excited that he kindly peed on my leg … I think that means he likes me! haha – he’s such a soppy soft dog you’ve gotta love him!  This is him begging me to come outside to play with him – I kept leaning out the window to give him a pat! 😀

Danial's birthday 1
And to finish off, here’s the birthday boy with his icecream cake – with Dad (Glen), and the Dragon (Mum)

Now it’s back to the heat of Sydney, and I’m over it already after 48 hours!!  Will summer never end??  Bring on those cooler autumn days with blue skies … keep your pelting rain and humidity!  Oh well, at least I can laze around at home over the next few days indoors … inbetween going to gym sessions each day this week … I’ve finally joined a gym to get my fat A into shape and feel a bit healthier.  Going to the chiropractor all these months has been wonderful, and I’m ready to make a healthy change – going to the gym will hopefully help me reach that goal … I just need to get back into the routine of going regularly before work!

Anyway, I’d better skedaddle and put some laundry washing in while it’s still daylight and the laundry nazis don’t chase me out (we have to be out by 8pm sharp!) … can’t guarantee there’ll be a stitching finish any time soon, as I want to put a few hours into Mirabilia’s Winter Queen (thanks to me joining a UFO challenge group) and also get some decent stitching time into Nicki’s Quaker RR 😀

Look forward to catching up on your blogs over the next few days as well … ah, the joy of still being on holiday!! 😀

First finish for 2009

I now have huge bags under my eyes and bed sores after stitching my little heart out for the entire weekend, and I enjoyed every little minute of it.  I watched so many movies I lost count LOL.  Anyway, I managed to put the finishing stitches into a Prairie Schooler sampler I started on Christmas Day – I’d managed to stitch about half of the bottom village scene while I was away over Christmas, then stitched the rest of it over the weekend … a bit mental, but it feels like a great accomplishment.  Of course now there won’t be much stitching done tonight, ‘cos I’ll have to be in bed by 8pm to catch up on sleep haha.  The photos were taken at midnight last night, so not quite as rich in colour as it is in daylight.

Prairie Schooler-Good St Nick
“Good Saint Nick” by Prairie Schooler
stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with recommended DMC threads

Prairie Schooler-Good St Nick top

Prairie Schooler-Good St Nick middle

Prairie Schooler-Good St Nick bottom

As you can see from the bottom photo, I was going to post this part finished on Saturday, but decided to just keep on stitching … Next up is probably finishing off a Christmas ornament that just needs a few beads to be added, and my In the Dark needleroll which also just has the beading to be done before it’s finished, then it’s back into the rotation properly again.

Lazy day stitching

It was a perfect Saturday – sitting up on my bed all day stitching my little heart out.  I started stitching The Prairie Schooler’s “Duck” last night, and put the final stitches into it today – I just love this little fella!!  It’s intended to turn him into a tin topper, but I think he’d look nice in so many different finishes I’m now undecided!

Prairie Schooler-Duck

After my Duck finish, I also polished off part 3 of Chatelaine’s Stitching Leporello – this was just a small design, but it still took me a wee while to stitch.  Thank goodness for Season 1 of Supernatural to keep me company all day (thanks to Katie at work for loaning it to me).  I must say I think the colour choices for this one are quite “strange” … hmmm.

Stitching Leporello 3

I also put a couple of stitches into part 8 of the Leporello, which will eventually be the pincushion – I might even get that one finished tomorrow, as it’s quite a small piece to stitch.

Stitching Leporello 8 WIP