WIPocalypse update

Sadly this year to date I haven’t managed to put a single stitch into any old WIPs, but I have managed to get a little bit of stitching done on two projects that were originally on my Crazy January Challenge list … first up I managed to finish the stitching on Shepherd’s Bush Spooky Fob:

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Then I managed to start and finish my choice for an Aussie-based Round Robin group – I decided to stitch an old freebie by Passione Ricamo:

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Lucky last I used up the rest of the rotation slot from stitching Spooky fob by starting the Shepherd’s Bush Little Witch:

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Work is mental busy, so I haven’t had much stitching energy this month – although last weekend I had a stitching marathon for 2 solid days, when I managed to stitch my RR piece.  Next week I’ll be flying home to be support for Mum and Dad after Dad has surgery – I’ll be working over there, so probably won’t have much down time either, and not much time for stitching … I’ll still be packing a few projects, though, just in case … I fully intend heading home with a much better prepared suitcase than I did last time!  And on that note I’d better hit the hay for the night, as I need to spend the day in the office tomorrow catching up on work before I fly out …

Stash galore – and a new start

Over the Christmas period while I was at my parents’ place Mum and I went a little crazy with some major sales (ie 40% or more off) happening.  In some ways you could say this was my Mum’s Christmas gift to me, as she gifted me with a “Visa card repayment” which meant I had some additional play money while I was there.  I hadn’t realised really just how much I’d ordered until it all started turning up last week! LOL.  There is still one parcel yet to see, as I sent it to Mum’s address, thinking I was staying there for Dad’s surgery – so I’ll have an extra little treat waiting for me when I return (assuming Mum hasn’t put it somewhere “safe” never to be seen again LOL).  Anyway, without further ado here is the MASSIVE pile of stash that arrived, which also managed to clear off a number of items that have been on my wishlist for years!

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As for stitching, my needle has been very scarce these days – I did have a sudden urge to stitch a few nights ago and opted for the first thing I could find that was already kitted up, was relatively small, and basically could be ready to stitch at a few moments notice (considering I made my “let’s stitch” decision at 9pm at night!!) … I ended up choosing one of the Shepherd’s Bush scissor fobs from my original Crazy January Challenge list.  I still haven’t finished it yet, but I was very good and marked up my rotation spreadsheet to make sure I’m still allocating the right times to each slot.  The front is completely finished, and I just have to complete the back and it’s done 🙂

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Next up, though, is to start (and hopefully finish) my Round Robin piece – which are the Seasonal Topiaries by Passione Ricamo.  This was originally published as a set of freebies on the internet, but I think they’ve been long since taken down, and the design has since been published in a magazine.  I’ve decided to stitch mine on a piece of hand-dyed Pipi Belfast by Countrystitch … and seeing as it’s due to be posted out on 1 February, you know what I’ll be doing the entire long weekend this weekend (thank heavens for that extra day so my goal feels slightly more achievable!).

And on that note, I’ve ironed my piece of fabric tonight ready to start, so I think I’d better so drag the tub of DMC out and start finding the colours I need.  Mind you, in actual fact it doesn’t really matter if I don’t 100% finish my section, as long as I complete all the border pieces … “she’ll be right”!  This is a link of what my round robin will look like – and I love the added verse at the top of the sampler so much that I’ve ‘stolen’ the idea and will be doing the same thing with mine too … the only difference is that I’m moving the Winter tree to be on the left to make the sampler a teeny bit more balanced 🙂

Into the Night

Thanks to Shepherd’s Bush sending me replacement threads recently, I managed to put the final stitches into one of my favourite projects tonight.  Sadly, though, the photo is totally washed out thanks to a late night photo taken under the bright Ott-lite lamp – I’ll try to take another photo next weekend during daylight, if I remember.

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“Into the Night” by Shepherd’s Bush (kit)
stitched with kit fabric and threads

During the last week I’ve also managed to start and finish a couple of other small projects … I think perhaps my stitching mojo is returning properly … it’s certainly been helping me to keep my sanity in recent weeks.

Paw Printings-Penguin Hugs 2012
“Penguin Hugs” by Paw Printings
stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Jobelan
with recommended DMC threads, but without the Kreinik Blending Filament
(this is the 2nd time I’ve stitched this one, and still love it to bits!)

Prairie Schooler-Fall Fields Mallard duck
“Duck” by The Prairie Schooler from the leaflet Fall Fields
stitched on 32ct Shell Belfast linen
with recommended DMC threads

Into the Night – new start

My new start yesterday turned out to be Shepherd’s Bush’s kit, “Into the Night” … sadly, though, the kit contents were extremely frugal and I’ve managed to run out of two of the threads – even though I stitched right down to the last 2″ of thread of each of the strands.  So much for thinking I could get the whole project completed this weekend because of having ‘all the threads’ required.  Oh well, it means it’s now put to one side while I contact Shepherd’s Bush for some replacement threads 😦

For now I guess it’s time to return to an older WIP for the rest of the day – I can’t be bothered working out a new project again today so I figure that’s the easiest thing to do to keep me in the stitching mood for my last day of proper recuperation.

Next week my job will be to sit up at my PC and catching up on emails, of which there are well over 1000 unread emails 😦  I really do need to set up my laptop for my emails, as it’s so much easier to sit up in bed to catch up … it’s a real pain to sit up at my computer desk late at night when I get in (and when I’m not feeling well), so I find I tend to forget about reading them 😦

 

The wanderer returns

I’ve been out of town for the last week with work, spending my time in our call centre in Brisbane (Queensland).  It was grueling work, with some days being 14 hour working days, but it was really invigorating and rewarding for me personally, and the feedback I received from the staff I worked with was inspiring.  Not to mention how wonderful it was to sleep in air-conditioned comfort for 4 nights.  This was home for 5 days – and the great thing is there was a full laundry and kitchen, so aside from self-catering to keep the bills down (and healthy food to keep the weight down) I was able to do my laundry on Thursday night so I didn’t have to do it this weekend 😉

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Alas the testing didn’t quite get completed which means I have to do a bucket load more myself this week – I’d booked an RDO for this week from weeks and weeks ago stating there was no way I was going to be doing project testing on my birthday … but alas it looks like that will have to be cancelled and I will indeed be doing testing on that day (unless I put in the hard yards Mon/Tue and keep my fingers crossed both days).

Oh well, I guess it doesn’t matter really, it’s just a day, and I didn’t have anything special planned for the day anyway … the night’s different, though, Katie is treating me out for dinner on Wednesday night to a local French restaurant that I’ve been wanting to go to ever since I moved to this part of Sydney.  They have cheap mid-week set menus, and while the food certainly isn’t Weight Watchers friendly, it looks yummy and I can’t wait!!  We’re also getting a bus up as well, which means I can have a drink or three for a change 😀

I didn’t stitch at all when I was away in Brisvegas, as I was generally found glued to massive Excel spreadsheets on the laptop every night, so yesterday I refused to move from my stitching chair, and cleaned out all the TV recordings from last week (and believe me, there was a LOT) – I may have had numb-butt syndrome, but I did manage to put the finishing touches into this (just don’t ask me when the actual needleroll finishing will be taking place, ‘cos I think that’ll be some time away yet!).

Shepherds Bush-Happy Pumpkin Needle Roll

“Happy Pumpkin Needle Roll” by Shepherd’s Bush
stitched on 32ct Parkside (I think) hand-dyed linen by Silkweaver
with recommended threads
(I subbed my own button and beads as this was a 2nd-hand used chart)

Today I’m driving to the other side of Sydney to Concord for my first visit to a stitching group at the NSW Embroiderers Guild.  I signed up when Mum was over here when I was feeling really motivated about my stitching, but of course they closed over the summer holiday period and this month it is finally reopened again properly so this is the first opportunity I’ve had to pop on over.  I’ve found two groups that are mainly XSers that meet on the 2nd and 3rd Sundays of each month, so I phoned up and found out they both had spaces available … and today is my first visit to the first group.  I’m feeling extremely nervous, as I’m very shy meeting new people, but this is something I just need to push through and get over!  Hopefully it will turn out that I really enjoy it, and it gets me out of the house every once in a while 🙂

Free day Thursday

I decided to have an extra loooong weekend, and have taken today and tomorrow off work … next week starts our next round of project testing which normally means really long hours and a lot of grey hair at work, so I figured I’d take it easy for a couple of days beforehand before the mental onslaught begins.  It also means I’ll by heading out of town in a week’s time to do project testing in our Queensland call centre – our fingers are crossed that the flooding stays contained to ensure we can get through the workload that we are planning to get through!  It’s really sad to see so much devastation and personal loss on the news each day in Queensland, and I know a few people that work for my employers have lost everything … it really makes you appreciate everything that you have, that’s for sure!

Anyway, I thought I’d take some time out to complete the ABC’s of me that seems to be doing the blog rounds … mainly because it’s just too bloody hot to stitch at the moment, even with sitting smack bang in front of the electric fan – it just makes you have no energy to do anything at all.  Today is apparently 30C with 72% humidity … thankfully it isn’t quite as hot as it was yesterday, but quite frankly it’s hot enough for me, in fact too hot!  I could quite easily migrate to Siberia during Sydney’s summer months, I absolutely hate it here in summer … give me the moderate temperatures of winter any day!!! 😉

A – Age: 44 (about to add another year very very soon)
B – Bed size: Queen
C – Chore you hate: Pretty much all of ’em, isn’t that why they’re called “chores”??  If I had to choose one I guess it would be ironing … but then there’s the dusting … and … and … 😉
D – Dog’s name: Don’t have one, but I sure do WANT one! 😀
E – Essential start of the day item: Coffee (especially Mon-Fri!!) – and preferably a skinny cappuccino (yum)
F – Favorite color: Blue
G – Gold or Silver: Definitely gold – don’t “do” silver much at all
H – Height: 5’4″ (165cm)
I – Instruments you play: Used to the play the recorder, and the viola at High School very very badly – probably couldn’t read sheet music now!
J – Job: Business Analyst for an international airline
K – Kids: None
L – Living arrangements: Renting with a female friend/work colleague
M – Music you love: I have very eclectic tastes … ranging from AC/DC to Baroque classical, REM to the Beatles
N – Nicknames: Annie, Shacks, Shakatak … and my nickname from Mum growing up was “Butch”, until we moved to New Zealand and my Mum had it explained what “Butch” meant in slang terms … I’m no longer called Butch!  Although another term of endearment from Mum was “Pesty” … I’m pretty sure she DOES love me, but one would wonder with those nicknames! 😛
O – Overnight hospital: Tonsillectomy in my early 30’s and Gall bladder removal in my late 30’s/early 40’s (the date escapes me)
P – Pet Peeve: Impatient drivers and disrespectful people … plus add lying into the mix as well
Q – Quote from a movie: “No harm ever came from reading a book!”  (The Mummy)
R – Right handed or left: Right
S – Siblings: None
T – Time you wake up: About 30 minutes after my eyes open (I’m NOT a morning person)
U – Underwear: Sensible (too old and buxom for anything else)
V – Vegetable you dislike: Boiled cabbage and okra – otherwise everything is fair game
W – Workout Style: Tae Bo when I’m fit enough to get back into it again
X – X-rays you’ve had: Dental, back, legs, head, spine
Y – Yummy food you make: Onion Dip (Kiwi style – mix a can of reduced cream with Kiwi onion dip mix and a tablespoon of lemon juice/vinegar … the Aussies at work go crazy for it, which makes it easy for shared morning teas!)
Z – The best place to visit: OK, this is a tough one … Paris and Greece are at the top of my list so far, but so many other places have also left wonderful impressions too … but yeah, I guess Paris and Greece are outstanding in that regard

The only stitching update I can give you is from a couple of nights ago – whoopee to the progress is all I can say haha … and now I’m going to attempt to thread a needle and pop a few stitches into a Christmas ornie and see how long I last in this heat … don’t expect miracles, is all I can say 😛

Although I guess there is a bit of progress in this one since the “before” picture from the Crazy January challenge:

Baby Bug Ball … kinda finished

I was too impatient to wait for some additional light green silk, and managed to complete the final wing with just a half cross stitch – not entirely sure about it that way, I think it will look better with a full cross … but I couldn’t resist stitching it anyway!  Hopefully the replacement silk will be close in shade so I can just complete the remaining half cross … in the meantime, I guess you could say it’s ‘kinda finished’ – and I love it! 😀

 

Now my fabric has arrived, I guess I’ll be putting Prairie Moon’s Christmas onto Qsnaps as my lounge stitching project so that Katie can watch it grow … which means I’ll be continuing my Crazy January projects in my bedroom until Katie’s gift is finished … starting with Happy Pumpkin Roll by Shepherd’s Bush – I did a few more stitches on this a couple of nights ago, but not enough to really warrant a progress piccie.

Plus I lugged all my finished stitching down to my neighbour’s flat for a show and tell to my elderly neighbours, and ended up getting rid of one piece that I don’t particular love, but in doing so ended up saying I’d sew it into a cushion for her, so that means I now have two separate sewing jobs for Norma (not to mention another job to climb up and take her net curtains down for washing) … I really need to learn how to keep my lips together and my voice mute when I go down there! LOL 😉