WIPocalyse: January 2017

2015 WIPocalypse So far the year has kicked off well stitching-wise … while I may not be churning out the stitching every week like I used to, I’ve managed to finish off a couple of older UFOs – all they need now is the actual ‘finishing’ to be done on them.

It looks like I actually kicked off 2017 with … {ahem} … {cough} … 44 WIPs/UFOs when I went back and counted them. Yikes!!  It’s no wonder I’m making a serious effort this year not to start a lot more, but trying to concentrate my efforts primarily on finishing these once loved projects.

The first finish of the year, though, is one that I can’t count as a previous WIP, as it was the wee Frangipanis kit that Mum started years ago but never finished.  I managed to find a number of substitute threads in my DMC stash that seemed to work OK, and finished this off towards the middle of January.

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I managed to meet one of my year’s goals – I finished the Letter R of Country Threads’ “Paris” kit.  If I don’t get anything more stitching this year that’s OK, my goal was at least to finish this one letter … but I’m sure this one will see the light of day at some point during the year, and maybe I’ll get another letter done … maybe …

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The next piccies are the two WIPs that I slayed this month.  The Red Lace Sewing Case I started two Christmases ago while watching the first 4 seasons of Game of Thrones … strangely enough I’d bought the DVDs of the same later last year, so I had to laugh when I realised that I’d actually finished the stitching while re-watching … you’ve guessed it … the Game of Thrones seasons 1-4!!  This is how it looked before Christmas:

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And the finished pieces since then:

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“Red Lace Sewing Case” by The Drawn Thread
Stitched on 32ct cream Jobelan
with Gloriana silk in Cranberry

Lucky last was this one – it’s became a bit unloved a while ago after realising I’d only bought one skein of the blue silk I needed, and replacement threads were an entirely different colour.  With only the needlebook left to be stitched, I stitched and unpicked three different thread options before deciding on the final one – a premium silk by Hand Dyed Fibers.  Then I also ran out of the beigey thread after stitching the outside needlebook pages … I just may have squeezed it in with the last strand of thread, but didn’t want to take the risk (I’m pretty much 99% sure I would have run out).  So for that one I ended up stitching the inside needlebook pages with another different thread – a Madeira silk this time.  Oh well, it may be a mish-mash of threads, but it still looks OK I think … and better to be a finished mish-mash than sitting in the WIP pile for years and years!

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“Grandma’s Cushions Stitching Accessories” by The Cat’s Whiskers
Stitched on 32ct Blue Ice Belfast linen
with a mix of recommended Dinky Dyes silk threads, and two replacement silks

And now for the February question:

What SALs are you participating in this year?
I’ve decided to have an easy time this year, and just want to focus on my existing WIPs with the occasional new start thrown in.  That means that I’m not really joining in many organised SALs in 2017, unless anything in Facebook groups happens to fit with my normal stitching plans.  The only ‘real’ SALs that I’d like to continue with are the following:

1) Hallowe’en SAL – one of my favourite SALs each year run by Jo, I’ll be doing the same as last year and hopefully choosing a larger project or two that will let me stitch a portion of it each month to match the month’s theme. January’s theme is “Moon”, so I’d better get cracking and work out which design I’m going to stitch on this year! The other themes coming up are Witches, Spiders & Cobwebs, Winged Creatures, Black Cats, Anything Green, Ghosts, Creepy Trees, Spooky Words, Pumpkins, Candy Corns/Food, and finally a Free Choice month.

2) JCS 2016 ornie SAL – a Facebook SAL continuing in 2017 after a successful challenge in 2016, another chance to stitch a Christmas ornament each month, with the aim to stitch 12 ornaments by the end of the year (from last year’s JCS Christmas Ornament issue). The polls were late being put up and the results have only just been advised, so I probably won’t start for a few weeks yet, then I’ll have a mini catch-up.  It was a lot of fun to do last year, so I thought it would be fun to participate again in 2017.

And that’s it for my SALs list … pretty much the shortest list I’ve made in years … and likely the first year it’s been a very responsible list that just may be achievable – maybe! 😉

 

 

It’s a woman’s prerogative…

No sooner had I set out my stitching plans for 2012 that I started to realise I really don’t know how in the hell I’m going to achieve all of those finishes/goals when I really only get to stitch on the weekends (and not every weekend at that) … so I’m seriously thinking of throwing those previous plans out the window, and just going back to a rotation instead.  That means I’ll also be able to focus more on my existing WIPs which are actually starting to bother me, rather than trying to cram in those same WIPs (at a lot slower pace than I’d like) as well as meeting all the SAL and commitment deadlines at the same time … and probably not getting any of them done by the year’s end (but not stressing about it).

Perhaps it’s just that my head is in the wrong space at the start of the year with Dad’s health and some work issues that are still really bothering me.  Both of these issues are slowly getting resolved, with Dad seeing his surgeon this Friday, and I’ve started having dummy spits in the office to voice my frustrations at issues I’m facing (including telling a team member they’re doing my head in and they’re not helping my stress levels … yep, there have definitely been a few dummy spits lately in that respect, and probably a couple of months well overdue at that!!).  Anyway, maybe removing the pressure of having to finish all these projects will help to restore some sanity to my stitching – most of the projects in my list will still remain there as part of the rotation, I will just have no expectation to actually complete them by the year’s end … plus I’ll have the opportunity to change my mind at a moment’s notice, as I’ve also come across some other projects that I really wanted to stitch, but that didn’t make the cut for my initial 15 projects …  I think the stress of only limiting my stitching to a set group of projects also inhibits my sense of freedom, and as soon as that sort of pressure starts mounting I find I don’t end up stitching at all … so perhaps it’s for the betterment of my stitching this year to just ‘let it all hang out’ so to speak 😉

Tomorrow I’m off to the local GP to try and get some antibiotics for my bugs, which will also help to bring me back to a state of equilibrium (and probably less likely to have dummy spits at work LOL) … and perhaps feel more like stitching … but in the meantime I’m going to start my rotation guilt-free just as soon as I’ve finished my Round Robin piece that’s due out for mailing at the end of January … but not before I have fun by adding a few more rotation projects to the pipeline 🙂

And I’m not stressing if I change my mind a million times throughout the year … as the title of this post says, “it’s a woman’s prerogative” … as long as I enjoy my stitching this year I’m happy 😀

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Ooh, before I forget, I heard from Cindy that my little gift arrived safe and sound when she returned from holidays – so I can now share the full goodies … just as soon as I find the photos!!!  I think I’ve shown the finished biscornu before, but I’ve never shown the finished fob that matched it.  It feels good that this is now finished and living in its new home 🙂

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While I’m at it, I think there are also a number of framing jobs that I completed in November last year that I haven’t shared on here yet … the Tiger and Summer Snapperland are both for me, whereas the bears and the Letter S are both for gifts.  I did most of the framing of the Tiger 2 years ago, but couldn’t finish-finish it as the backing board was too high … he’s one of my first ever finishes (stitched on aida) and I love, love, love him!

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Finally here are a couple of yummy things I brought back from New Zealand with me on my last trip – the scrumptious blug electric kettle was compliments of Mum and Dad’s Fly Buys points in NZ, while the bowls are from my ‘glory box’ still in storage over there.  Both have already been christened, and I’m totally in love with the jug in particular!!  And I can’t WAIT to try out the new Orange Truffle Baileys over a bucket of ice … hmmm, in fact I just may choose that for dessert tonight, the ice will help soothe my throat and the alcohol will help to lull me into sleepy submission … hmmm …

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The final photos are of my frangipani plants on my balcony to show Mum – now both plants have finally flowered, although I’m disappointed to see the 2nd plant which has flowered for the first time has the pink frangipani … it’s still very pretty, but I do have to admit to preferring the white frangipani on the whole.

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And I think that will do me for another post … I still have some other things to post yet, but think I’m a bit photo heavy already … and it’ll give me something to write about later (if I get over the shock of having so many blog posts in one month!!!).

Queensland capers continued

Our next full day of sightseeing turned out to be a very full day indeed – driving a lot of the day on one-lane tracks through the countryside and gulping every time a car came from the opposite direction.  A few times I thanked goodness we had taken out additional insurance on the rental car, then thanked goodness again when we didn’t need to use it!

Our day started off by retracing our steps south along the highway past Babinda (after stopping for a quick photo session of one of the local Sikh temples which I loved), then stopped at Crawfords Lookout for a quick peek – this provided a brief glimpse of the distant river, and provided a quick leg stretch for a brief moment.

Unfortunately not long afterwards we passed our first motorbike accident for the day, complete with ambulances etc on the scene … more unfortunately this wasn’t the last we experienced – only about 10km further up the road we came across a newly occurred accident with the biker sitting in the middle of the road, and his motorcycle strewn around the road.  That certainly wasn’t a fun part of the trip, but we turned off the road shortly after that and put our morning back onto a more even and fun keel … we took a detour to the Mungalli Dairy, and we’re ever so glad we did!  Aside from a small tasting plate of their local produced goodies (bio-organic yogurts and cheese), we opted to stay and have an early lunch … oh boy, was it good!!!  The bottom right photo shows our lovely view in the middle of the countryside – sheer bliss 😀

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After we returned back to the main highway again, we headed to a waterfall circuit about 20km away.  Here there are three spectacular waterfalls all within a short driving distance of each other.  Mum declined to walk to the first falls (Ellinjaa Falls) as the path was steep and a bit slippery due to the rainfall – I decided to still do the walk, and I have to admit I was panting and puffing for quite some time on my return back up to the top again … but it certainly was pretty!

Next up was Zillie Falls – the walk was thankfully very short and no sharp inclines, which was great, so Mum joined me for that one.  The view wasn’t quite as spectacular with this one but it was incredibly peaceful standing there watching its awesome majesty.  The final waterfall had a slightly steep incline on the walk, however there was a rail installed so once again Mum could enjoy the viewing experience – Millaa Millaa Falls were certainly spectacular, and a very pleasant ending point of our waterfall circuit.

In the photo below, the big waterfall on right right is Millaa Millaa Falls, top left is Ellinjaa Falls, then the walk to Zillie Falls, and finally at the bottom right is Zillie Falls.

Waterfall wanderings

Our next driving spree took us on a hideous one-tracked drive for well over an hour or so, and not something that I want to repeat again – unfortunately it was an ‘alternative route’, and I hadn’t realised, so next time I’ll wait for the official turn-off signs with the tourist signposts!!  Anyway, in some ways it was better as we ended up at Ravenshoe just in time for the weekly train trip at Millstream Express Steam Railway.  The train takes you on a 2-hour return trip, and we arrived just in time to see it off on its weekly journey – we didn’t have time to take the trip ourselves, but it gave us chance to appreciate some of the stunning jacaranda trees (love, love, LOVE jacaranda trees in bloom) and stretch our legs for a while.

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Afterwards we dropped in to see the Windy Hill Wind Farm (I didn’t realise quite how BIG they are until you get close to them), then continued to our final leg of the journey, Herberton’s Heritage Village.

To be honest we were totally disappointed with the Heritage Village, especially because we couldn’t find it!  There were a lot of older style buildings throughout the township, which were lovely, but it certainly wasn’t what we had expected so we just bought an icecream at the local shops and continued on our way to Atherton, where we had our final stop to see the Houwang Temple.  This also wasn’t entirely thrilling to us, but the carvings were really pretty in the temple, and it was very unusual to see the temple made out of aluminium siding!

Herberton and Atherton

That saw the final sightseeing day for us in Cairns – but we did manage to have an hour at the Cairns Botanical Gardens on the way to the airport on our final morning.  The gardens are quite lovely, although I’m really disappointed my memory card ate my photos as I took loads of detailed shots with my SLR boohoo.  My absolutely favourite plant was the Beehive Plant … just stunning!!!  If you want to see more you can Google Beehive Plant or its botanical name which appears to be “Zingiber spectabile” – I love it 😀

Cairns Botanical Gardens

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And that was our Cairns trip in a nutshell … then it was back to Sydney for a really brief stay before Mum was winging her way back home again to Auckland.  And now, alas, it’s back to work again tomorrow and with some major project work coming to completion, I have a feeling there will be some late nights coming up this week … within 24 hours I will have forgotten I’ve been on holiday!

Sunday stitching & Scenic Sunday

No housework or excitement here today – just my little size 28 tapestry needle, Vikki Clayton premium silk floss, and Season 1 of ER on DVD … can you say “happy as a pig in mud?” 😛

Not a great deal of stitching done, but it’s still one step closer to an actual finish. With any luck I’ll be finished with this one by the end of next weekend, and then soon afterwards my missing threads will have arrived so I can go back to picking up some of my older WIPs once again (although the urge to stitch a million new things is still around!) 😀

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And I’ll finish with something I haven’t done regularly for a while … here is my choice for this week’s Scenic Sunday – a Parisian garden.

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Scenic Sunday

Photo Hunt – Framed

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This week’s theme is ”Framed” – this is the view through a ‘window’ in the Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour, Sydney, providing a natural framed view.

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And here are some Framed photos that are stitching-related, from my very first attempt at making my own frames and framing my own work.

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