Last finishes for 2012 & First for 2013

We managed to have a wonderful Christmas Day with some of our closest family friends (who are closer than family to us in most respects), and Dad managed to have a good couple of days before he was whisked away to hospital by ambulance late on 28 December.  Here is our ‘gang’ on Christmas Day:

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With Dad in and out of hospital like a jack-in-a-box the last week we haven’t been able to leave home much at all … which has meant a reasonable amount of stitching time for me.  Unfortunately I was incredibly unprepared for this trip home and I just quickly chucked what I thought were some fully kitted up projects that were relatively small into my carry-on bag … only to find when I got here that one was totally missing fabric, and almost all of them were missing half the over-dyed threads!  I had ordered them from 123stitch and they had just arrived a bare 24 hours before I left, but I forgot to pack them as well so they’re still sitting at home in Sydney …

In the meantime, though, I’ve managed to start and complete a couple of small projects over Christmas after raiding Mum’s stash of DMC so I could finish kitting them up (at least I’d brought a couple that used DMC!!) 🙂

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“Blossoms & Bluebirds” by Little House Needleworks
stitched on 32ct Lambswool Wichelt linen
with recommended DMC
(but I’m thinking of removing the 3371 border and just back-stitching it instead
as it has totally overpowered the pretty blue border)

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“Ma Boite a Tresors” by Cmon monde
stitched on 32ct white Belfast linen
with recommended Atalie and DMC threads
(just need to find some ABC buttons for it)

I also made a start on a small Easter one (my first stitching choice for my holidays) but I’m really unhappy with the colours in the kit – I want to change the big pink egg to be blue, but there isn’t enough Old Blue Paint in the kit threads and nowhere to buy from locally over the Christmas holidays.  I’ve looked at some of the other blue threads that I brought with me and some are great, but just don’t suit the other kit colours.  This morning I woke up feeling very tempted to just change some of the other colours as well, but that would probably mean unpicking the entire border … will have to mull that one over a bit further, I think … but in the meantime I’ve placed another 123stitch order with some things for Mum and I with some other threads, so fingers crossed they arrive before I fly home again!

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The final finish I have is my first finish for 2013 – I managed to put the last stitches into it at 12.30am this morning, just after the New Year was celebrated (which for me was me in the bedroom wishing the TV a Happy New Year as the oldies were both asleep).  This has been a UFO for longer than I care to admit … I tried to replicate a biscornu I’d already stitched, but the purple thread was much, much paler than when I originally stitched it and seems to have faded over time as well – the turquoise I’d originally used was WAY too bright so after stitching about half of the first side I chucked it into the naughty corner where it sat forlornly for at least 2 years.  I (well actually Mum) finally unpicked all the bright turquoise and after deciding I didn’t have any well-matched over-dyed threads in my stash I resorted to pulling some of Mum’s DMC out and opted for 597 as my colour of choice.  It’s really nice to finally have this one out of the stitching pile and into the finishing pile – as soon as I get home it will get made up into its final form and sent off to a new home along with some long-overdue promised goodies.

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I still have another few projects left to be stitched, but sadly they really need the missing threads – in the meantime Mum and I popped up to the local Spotlight store for a piece of 14ct Aida and 32ct white Belfast linen so I can at least start my Round Robin which is due for posting out on 1 February and also start a charity quilt square (will have to raid Mum’s DMC yet again, though).  I have a lot of SALs and other challenges to work on this year, but they will all have to be delayed until I return home, as I didn’t bring any of my SAL challenge pieces with me … we find out on Thursday whether Dad can have surgery and if so when that will happen, and will probably work over here for a short while (I brought my work laptop with me just in case).  Either way this week will likely be my final free week for lots of stitching time … it’s been wonderful while it’s lasted, though, and I really need to make more time for it in 2013 to give myself a bit more work/life balance! 🙂

Finally, here’s hoping that 2013 is a better one for many of us who struggled in 2012 … I hope for everyone it is a year filled with stitchy goodness, lots of fun and laughter, love and friendship, not to mention good health and prosperity!

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Dreaded lurgy

I was feeling off-colour most of the day yesterday, and even ended up having a 3-hour nanna nap in the afternoon because I felt so exhausted – when I woke up I had a raging sore throat, and sure enough today it has hung around and I managed to add super-sensitive hearing to the mix.  After croaking my way through a one-hour meeting at work, my boss has sent me home with my tail between my legs to rest up for the afternoon … and truth be told it didn’t take much convincing, ‘cos I’m feeling ‘not too flash’ on the whole.  Everyone at work was driving me crazy noise-wise, so I think it’s very clever that I not stay around any longer or my patience threshold may not survive … yikes!

Last night, though, even though I was feeling crappy I did manage to get a few stitches into a new start – I have about 6-8 Halloween/Autumn projects that I kitted up with the fabrics all cut up, and the threads pulled, so I’ve decided I should continue working my way through those until they’re finished before I move on to something more challenging (and then I can put the threads away again!).  Last night I started The Trilogy’s “October Boo” from their Mini Gingham series – I don’t think it’ll take too long to finish this one off, and it was a really nice change from Just Nan and her squillions of colour changes in one small space!  This one is designed to be stitched over-one, but I cut my fabric larger and I’m stitching it over-two instead.

I’ve been tossing up whether to join a new challenge in 2011, where you pull 15 new-start projects and stitch on a new one every day for the first 15 days of January, then aim to have them all completed by the year’s end.  I love this idea (hey, who wouldn’t love all those new starts? haha), but because I use Q-snaps etc I don’t think this would work for me, because it’d be a right royal pain pulling them apart every night after just doing a few stitches.  Instead, I’m thinking of just pulling 15 new-start projects and kitting them up, then sitting them in a separate bag/basket and making them my challenge to be completed during the year … it’s food for thought anyway!

I have to admit I find it so much better when I have projects fully kitted and ready to be picked up – I’m a real procrastinator when it comes to new starts, and I can go for days on end without starting anything just because I hate cutting up the fabrics and pulling all the threads out … having a basket of ‘ready-to-stitch’ projects means I don’t have to think about it, I can just put my hand into the basket, pull out a new project, and just pretty much start stitching straightaway!  Of course, I do have to get motivated on at least one day to get the projects kitted up in the first place, but I truly do think it’s doable … in fact, I think I may even start working through my list of projects and find at least 15 projects that I really really want to stitch, and find out if I have all the threads (I’m always getting caught out by starting projects and finding out a thread is missing pffft).  In fact, I think that’s a perfect job for this afternoon when I’m vegetating out at home feeling sorry for myself … although just thinking about it has worn me out … so perhaps I should leave the decisions for another day LOL.

Final (?) Halloween finish

I really do think this will be the last Halloween stitching that will get completed, as I’d really like to finish up two of my previous stitched pieces into flat-folds in time for Halloween this year – I managed to cut up one set of matboards yesterday, but that’s as far as I got … this afternoon I’ll go ahead and glue the batting on and the backing fabrics, and with any luck by next weekend I’ll at least have one flat-fold finish-finished ready for display.

Rightio, on to my next finish – I started this when we were on holiday in Cairns last week, and put the final stitches into it on Friday night while Katie and I caught up on a couple of TV shows (the only thing that is missing is the little silver pumpkin charm, which I don’t have, and not sure I have anything suitable to sub for it just yet):

The Trilogy-Halloween Spots
“Halloween Spots” by The Trilogy
stitched on 32ct Pipi hand-dyed Belfast linen by Countrystitch
with recommended WDW threads, except Mascara (subbed DMC 310)

Mum flew home on Friday afternoon, but before she left she managed to stitch the backing fabrics and ribbon hangers onto the 12 Days of Christmas ornaments for me, which means I just have to trim the seam allowances, turn inside-out and stuff with polyfil.  Thanks for your help Mum, it’s really appreciated!

We also frantically got 3 lengths of cording completed for Mum to take home with her … which she unfortunately left sitting on the chair arm when she left, along with her DMC.  A quick trip to the Post Office just before they closed saw them winging their way home again to Mum in the post 😉

We did manage to get one more length of white cord completed for my ornaments – which means I can now get at least one ornie finish-finished very quickly … but the only problem is that a new start is diverting my attention from my finishing duties … a Halloweeny stitch that I’m finding really really hard to resist – hence the reason for the title of this post!  The tempting design is “The Bittersweet Season” by Heartstrings.  I’m soooo tempted to start stitching this one, as I don’t think it’d take that long to stitch being only 2″ wide (although in saying that, it would probably take a full weekend at least as it’s 11″ tall … hmmm).  But I really would like to get at least one flat-fold finished this week … oh decisions, decisions, LOL.

One thing I did manage to do yesterday was to mend my beautiful Greek mug.  I bought this little treasure on a trip to Greece about 11 years ago – due to a mix-up at airport check-in after being rebooked from a cancelled flight (after 7 hours waiting) I was told I had to pack some of my hand luggage into my suitcase (then got told oops I’ve made a mistake, you’re fine, you can go through now but you’d better hurry the flight is boarding) – this poor thing had its handle smashed into 3 pieces during the flight (it had to be put into the suitcase).  I never did get around to fixing it, and it’s been languishing in a box in the Mum and Dad’s garage ever since – I rescued it on my recent trip home, and glued the handle together again yesterday with superglue.  Unfortunately I’ll never be comfortable using it as an actual mug with hot liquids, but it is now happily holding pens and scissors on my computer desk so I can sit and appreciate its beauty every day! 😀

The other thing I haven’t done over the last month is to complete the Photo Hunt posts, so I’ll rectify that shortly and do a mammoth catch-up with those soon!

In the meantime I have some TV viewing I need to catch up on, and a million other things I should be doing rather than sitting on the PC, so I’ll leave it at that for the time being …

Ooh, before I forget, I had a number of questions about the designer for the 12 Days of Christmas ornies that Mum stitched – I’ve updated the previous post with the details in case you’re interested.  If there are any others that you want to know about, don’t hesitate to drop me a comment/email and I’ll give you the details.