Ackworth Friendship Books

I just realised that I haven’t shown a photo of the final round of our Ackworth Friendship Book/Quaker Friendship Round Robin.  Here are the final photos of both Katrina’s and my pieces – I think they look really lovely 😀

Anne's Finished Quaker Round Robin
Anne’s (my) Round Robin
“Ackworth Friendship Book” by With My Needle 
Stitched on 35ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with Carrie’s Creation thread “Twinkle”

Katrina's Finished Round Robin
Katrina’s Round Robin

One thing that Katrina asked is for us all to provide a quote or two about Friendship – and I thought I’d share my choices here:

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts.  And we are never, ever the same.” – Anonymous

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” – Aristotle

“Friendship is the golden thread that ties the heart of all the world.” – John Evelyn

As for me, for the first time yesterday in two whole weeks I felt closer to being back to normal healthwise, and even managed to get a fair bit of housework done during the day.  I’ve continued to potter around today to try to get the lounge back to normal, so hopefully tomorrow I will just have to run around with the vacuum cleaner and mop, and finishing cleaning the bathroom.  Then Monday it’s back to work – and unfortunately, being a week behind now, I will probably end up working late most nights – gotta love deadlines!

As you may have worked out by now, I opted for Mum not to come over – my first reaction to Mum’s suggestion was that I was worried she would catch this dratted flu bug, and comments received confirmed that that was the right decision to make.  As much as I would have loved to have been pampered for a couple of days, I’m really not much company when I’m sick and prefer to be away from people, so it seemed a lot of money to spend for a couple of days being housemaid!

Anyway, time to walk away from the computer again and get a few more things tidied away while my washing is in the machine – I may even bake a batch of muffins tomorrow ready to start eating healthily next week!  Hopefully next time I post I’ll have enough progress in my Just Nan piece to warrant a photo 🙂

A Little Bit of Quaker

After finally charging my camera battery up on my point and shoot, I can show piccies of KarenV’s Quaker RR – this is round 3 of our RR, which means we’re just over the halfway mark, with just 2 more rounds left to go. Unfortunately not true to life colour, but the best I can do on a dark winter’s night with no natural lighting. I have to admit I found this a challenge trying to work out which bits classed as which bits for the designated colours, and it’s definitely slower to stitch this way, but it really is worth it in the end result! Karen does an awesome job of selecting colours! This is one really pretty Quaker!! 😀

(Sorry, but it’s also quite blurry … my hands obviously weren’t entirely steady at the end of the day!!)

KarenV's Quaker Part 1

KarenV's Quaker Part 2

If you want to see the other finishes for this month and previous month you can check out our blog here.

As well as taking photos of the Quaker pieces, I also snapped a couple of new photos of Chatelaine’s Stitching Leporello, which are as follows (and shows the stitching and colours much more accurately):

Chatelaine's Stitching Leporello 1

Chatelaine's Stitching Leporello 2

Chatelaine's Stitching Leporello 3

Chatelaine's Stitching Leporello 4

Chatelaine's Stitching Leporello 5a

Chatelaine's Stitching Leporello 5

As for what project I decided to pick up next, I opted to make a start on the final ‘large’ piece of the Stitching Leporello as this month’s UFO challenge … which I think means after this one there are only two medium-sized pieces left … and then I have the major challenge of finding some lining fabric and attempting to put it all together – perhaps a job I’ll save up for when the Dragon comes to visit next month, with an excuse to go fabric shopping 🙂

Following is the paltry start I managed on the final large section tonight – woohoo, hold me back! 😛

Chatelaine Stitching Leporello WIP 06Jul09

At the moment I’m struggling to make a decision on my new start project, and the choices in the pile are currently:

  • LHN – Ladybug, Ladybug
  • LHN – Travelling Stitcher
  • LHN – Home of a Needleworker 2
  • LHN – Dear Diary, Abigail Winslow (I think – don’t have it in front of my right now – the one with the lighthouse/ocean theme)
  • Sampler Cove – Quaker Huswif
  • Just Nan – Winter in the Square (just need to coffee dye the fabric first)

Ah, decisions, decisions … Mind you, at the rate I’m stitching these days, I’ll be lucky to get my Chatelaine square finished by month end, never mind anything else … I’m feeling a “stitching RDO” coming up (and definitely a stitching weekend away at the end of the month – yippee!!).

Anyway, time to hit the pillows for the night before the alarm clock screams its head off at 5.30am (yucky!!) – I’m loving my gym workouts already … perhaps next week we may even start doing some of the classes like body pump etc … 😀

Case of the Blahs

I’m just killing time for a few minutes before I head over to the local GP.  I’ve been suffering from the worst head cold I’ve had in years over the last week, which saw me staying in bed for the entire weekend.  I walked into work today, only to have my entire team tell me to go home, making me feel even worse … anyway, after an hour I’ve succumbed to the fact that I’m not welcome at work, and probably time I saw my GP for a quick check-up.  This is also the first time I’ve been online for days.

Over the weekend I did manage to get quite a lot of stitching in – both finishing up the 2nd part of Nicki’s Ackworth Friendship Book pages for our friendship RR, and getting a pretty decent chunk of stitching into Winter Queen.  By hook or by crook I’m going to have this old UFO finished by the end of May!

Here’s the final photos of Nicki’s finished piece – I tried to tweak the colouring in Photoshop Elements on the “whole fabric” photo, as the colour just doesn’t get captured at all with the camera … the colour is definitely more true to life in the 2nd photo 🙂

Nicki's Quaker RR 2

Nicki's Quaker RR

After stitching on hand-dyed 40ct linen, stitching on 32ct Belfast for Winter Queen was a breeze, and even felt like 28ct it seemed such large!  Anyway, here’s Winter Queen as I left her last, along with the progress up to last night … she doesn’t have too much more left on her to go, yippee 😀

Winter Queen 09Mar09a

Winter Queen 26Apr09

Once Winter Queen is finished, I need to decide which UFO to tackle next.  After joining a local UFO XS group online, I like the idea of having one UFO in my ‘rotation’ all the time, so I can finally get some of those pieces finished up.

I did manage to find a website that offers downloads of the Supernatural episodes, so I spent most of last week’s down-time downloading all those, and that gave me something to cheer me up over the weekend – an entire day watching Supernatural Season 4 (right up to episode 17 anyway – the others aren’t ready for downloading yet … and I can’t wait!!).  It’s been years since I’ve been so batty about a TV series, but I just can’t get enough of those boys!!! 😀

Anyway, time to get my A into G and head off to the GP.  Have to admit, if it wasn’t for having a public holiday on Saturday, I wouldn’t bother wasting the GP’s time, but alas coming home from work after a public holiday means I either get a GP’s note or lose a day’s pay … you know what I obviously chose!  But it means now I can get a few more stitches into Winter Queen … and where did I put my Supernatural Season 3 DVD’s??? 😀

Why does this perfect day have to end?

What a way to spend a Sunday … this evening I managed to put the final stitches into part 3 of our Ackworth Friendship Book which is being stitched as a round robin, which means I’ve now halfway through stitching on Nicki’s piece.

Quaker Friendship RR part 3 Nicki's

That in itself is a good achievement at the end of the day, but certainly not what all the excitement is about … Oh no, no, no, it was FAR more exciting than that!!!  No, today was the day that I spent in the company of Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins at the Supernatural Convention … and THAT is the reason I wish it didn’t have to end!!!  I’m still feeling a bit shell-shocked after the whole experience – in a good way! 😀

Supernatural Convention 3

I’ve got oodles of photos, but thought I’d share the experience with you with a select few … well, OK, about a dozen!! 😛

First of all, it was worth going just to get to watch about 5 of the upcoming episodes of Supernatural that haven’t been aired in Australia yet – how awesome to see them up on the huge big theatre screen above the stage!!  Apologies for most of these photos – they were taken in bad lighting from halfway back in the auditorium (although the photo of the big screen below came out suprisingly well!).

Supernatural Convention 1

Then we had chance to ask questions of Misha Collins for an hour – what a superb and fun speaker he is, and a great addition to the show.

Supernatural Convention 2

Afterwards it was time to start getting called for autograph sessions, and I took along my favourite computer wallpaper that I printed off at home, for Jensen Ackles to sign.  After just signing stock standard publicity photos he was apparently really impressed with my photo choice as he hadn’t seen it before, and had to pass it around to his offsiders before signing it … gave a great chance to have a quick chat with him {{insert heavy sigh of dreamy pleasure here}}.

Jensen autograph

After queueing up for an hour in the lunch queue, it was time to head back to the Auditorium where we signed up to buy a copy of the DVD covering the weekend’s events, and had chance to catch one final new episode of Supernatural before we were graced with the presence of Jared Padalecki … this was Katie’s chance to drool heavily, as Jared is her supreme favourite.

Jared 1

Supernatural Convention 4

Next up came my chance to drool and slobber, and I’m sure the reason I felt dehydrated coming home had nothing to do with the fact we hadn’t had a drink all day, but rather that I was sat with my mouth gaping open in awe at seeing Jensen Ackles in the flesh on stage!  {{insert another heavy sigh of dreamy delight}}  Yes, I know, I’m like a love-sick teenager, but I just can’t help myself 😉

Supernatural Convention 6

Supernatural Convention 11

Supernatural Convention 5

Jared and Jensen spoke individually on stage for 1/2 hour each, then we had the pleasure of having the two of them back on stage together, while Jared acted like a child with ADD and the two of them stuffed themselves with Fantales candies.  They did manage to field a few more questions from the audience inbetween clowning around and taking cracks at each other.

Supernatural Convention 8

Supernatural Convention 7

Supernatural Convention 12

The day finished with Misha Collins coming to join them on stage, and Jared and Jensen drew on T-shirts to auction off for charity … at $3,000 a pop I’d say the auction was a huge success, and the Starlight Foundation will be thrilled with the proceeds.

Supernatural Convention 9

Supernatural Convention 10

So, what can I say, aside from “WOW, what an awesome day!!!” – a perfect finish to my fortnight of annual leave … and I’ll definitely be having fun memories for years to come.  Now all we need now is for Channel Ten to pull their fingers out of their proverbial behinds and get Episode 9 onwards onto Australian TV – Misha Collins couldn’t believe we were only up to episode 8, to which he got a thunderous response in agreement from the audience … so, come on Channel Ten, come to the party!!!

A bit of Quaker

I finally managed to put the final stitches into Part 2 of my Quaker RR:

Quaker RR Part 2

And here’s a comparison of mine and Nickis pieces hanging out together this evening – this photo is quite deceiving, as Nicki’s piece is quite a bit smaller than mine, I should take a photo of them side by side properly so you can see the difference, it’s awesome!:

Quaker RR twins

Then I started part 3, which is part 1 of 2 that I’m stitching on Nicki’s RR.  I have to admit I struggled a bit stitching this tonight, as the fabric’s high count is really hard to see … thank goodness for my Ott-Lite, or I don’t think I would be attempting it!  It will look really pretty once it’s stitched, though … it just might take me a bit longer than normal to stitch it! 😉

Nicki's Quaker RR 1

The highlight for me this weekend was having my ex-flatmate up to stay for the night in Sydney.  She flew off overseas this morning, but before she went we managed to have a great day out yesterday.  We drove out to Bondi Junction, which is a first for me – the Westfield shopping centre out there is awesome!  I totally fell in love with Norton St Grocers, and filled my basket up with wonderful fresh and healthy produce … thankfully my basket was too full by the time we came across the deli section, so I couldn’t stock up on non-healthy options … but, I’ll be back LOL.

Tonight I really enjoyed the fresh figs I’d bought yesterday … I can’t believe the difference between dried and fresh figs – fresh figs rock!!! 😀

Fresh figs

Back briefly

Just a quick note before I hit the hay for the night … I’ve obviously been ‘AWOL’ for a while, thanks to an extremely demanding and exhausting (and not much fun, quite frankly) job … and I owe a ton of emails to some wonderfully kind and generous ladies for some exquisite birthday gifts from last month – once I send emails of thank you I’ll post some piccies of their incredible generosity.

I have been AWOL not just from blogging, but from emails as well – I have a new record of 1900+ unread blog feeds and 522 unread emails … don’t think I’ll be getting through the backlog in a great hurry!! Anyway, I have stitched in little spurts now and then just to keep my sanity – usually when I’ve fallen in a heap after a week of 12 hour shifts, and working weekends … and Katie and I have popped in our Supernatural DVD’s for the ultimate in chick relaxation … along with a  bottle of something alcoholic.  I swear before this year’s out, I’ll be signing up for AA meetings!!!

Following are the results of my stitching over the last month – not a great deal to show for it, but then again I’ve hardly been home long enough to put needle to fabric … and this last weekend is the first one in well over a month that I haven’t worked, and spent it all recovering from an exceptional hangover! We cut loose in a BIG way on Thursday night, and suffered well for it afterwards, but it was a great way to let off steam after being so exceptionally stressed all these weeks.

Anyway, on to the sparse stitching – then in the morning I’ll get those thank you emails shipped off, and I can do a longer post, perhaps (I have taken tomorrow off – in lieu of all the extra unpaid hours I’ve done).

First of all here’s the latest update photo of Mirabilia’s Winter Queen … starting with the last progress photo taken:

Winter Queen 08Feb09

And what she looks like now (I took a full length photo as I needed to roll up the scroll bars for the, hopefully, final stitching at the bottom).  I have to admit I’ve made some good headway with her, more from some serious stitching on Sunday afternoons than anything else – just to force myself to relax and chill out.

Winter Queen 09Mar09a

Winter Queen 09Mar09

Then I had two Christmas ornie finishes last month, just in the nick of time (with 30 minutes to spare) for last month’s Christmas ornie challenge on a Yahoo group. The photos are terrible as I took them just before midnight!

Feb 09 Xmas ornie 1

Feb 09 Xmas ornie 2

Followed by Part 1 of my Quaker Friendship Round Robin that I’m stitching with a group of some of my closest online pals. Unfortunately I didn’t get Part 2 finished in time for mailing, but as I’ve stitched mine on individual pieces of fabric it doesn’t really matter.

Quaker Friendship RR 1

And on that note I’ll sign off as my eyes feel like sandpaper – I’ll try to pop online again in the morning to catch up on my personal emails, and thank yous … I can’t guarantee I’ll be blogging regularly again for a while, though, as work is still feral for a while longer … plus I’ve decided to go home for 2 weeks with the family again – just what I need when I’m fed up at work 🙂