Exchanges, WIPs and Finishes

In my overflowing mailbox this week I received an exquisite exchange from Elaine in NZ (this was an exchange hosted by the StitchNZ Yahoo Group).  I’m absolutely thrilled with this exchange – I really adore hardanger, although I still haven’t kicked myself in the pants enough to get back into it myself again … and this one is just gorgeous!  Elaine made it into a stitching pocket so I can hold my needlework tools and supplies – and sent along a matching wee pincushion (so gorgeous!) and packet of needles.  I’ve taken loads of photos so you can share in the beautiful stitching detail of this piece – while photos never do stitching real justice, I’m sure you can imagine that the finished piece is even more exquisite!  Thanks Elaine for a wonderful exchange! 😀

StitchNZ exchange 3

StitchNZ exchange 6

StitchNZ Exchange from Elaine July 2010

StitchNZ Exchange from Elaine July 2010

My exchange piece unfortunately left a little bit late (actually a whole week late, ahem!) … thanks to not being able to get to the Post Office.  As I’m pretty positive the recipient doesn’t read my blog, but perhaps I’d better play it safe and not post details about it yet … I’ll tempt you with a photo of the ‘backside’ in the meantime, and will post more when it’s received 🙂

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What’s next???  Oh yes, yesterday I sat in the lounge with Katie watching Dark Angel DVDs, and doing a teeny bit of finishing – I managed to get the Christmas Ornament tutorial photos completed (very basic ornie) which also means one more ornament off the finishing pile, my Just Nan Ladybug Santa is now in its little Whimzi frame, and I completed the Periwinkle Promises January Sampler Accent into its little pillow, complete with little corner tassels (I ran out of silk for the backing fabric/joining, but luckily had a skein or two in my stash that I was grab to finish this one off).

Christmas Cheer Ornament finished

Just Nan-Ladybug Santa framed

Periwinkle Promises-January Sampler Accent finished

Tassels

As for my WIPs themselves, I’ve done very very little stitching over the last week or so – I managed to put a handful of beads into Chatelaine’s Egyptian Garden Mandala (3 nights of beading and I’m still not even halfway finished the one band of beads – the row on the edge of the lotus flowers) – it doesn’t help that the beads don’t sit nicely with that poxy fabric that I’m using, so I’m having to squeeze the beads in and offset them every 6 or 7 beads:

EGM 23Jul10

Then yesterday I managed to complete some more of the border of the Quaker Huswif, and am now working on the bottom quaker band.  Once this section is finished, I’ll be flipping the design upside down and unrolling the scrollbars to work on the final two sections at the other end – I think at this point in time I’m pretty much sitting on the halfway mark of this piece 🙂

Quaker Huswif 24Jul10

And that’s pretty much it for now … not sure what I’ll be stitching on this week, if anything … I’ve got some big deadlines at work over the next fortnight, so I may be putting in some longer hours, which means less mental/physical energy for stitching …

Weekly Update

Another week has gone by, and not much stitching has been completed in that time – the only thing I’ve been working on this week has been my Halloween Fairy with a few more stitches put in Mon-Thu this week.  I’ve made OK progress on this one, but it’ll be a few weeks yet before she’s finished (not just stitching-wise, but I realised I’m missing two Kreinik braids which I’ve had to order and wait because they’re out of stock – I had a store credit to use up with Needle in a Haystack, so I decided to put it to good use with my braids).  I have to admit I’m enjoying stitching her with her decent sized blocks of colour 🙂

The only other news is that my Scissor Pocket Exchange arrived safely at its destination during the week, and thankfully Lillie likes it, which is the important thing 🙂  It was supposed to be a no-extras exchange (love those exchanges), but I couldn’t resist adding a little pair of scissors that I’d bought at the last craft fair we went to, which I used as my basis to choose a thread from my stash to match.  I didn’t think to take a photo of the inside flap, where I stitched both our initials, so I’ve borrowed one of Lillie’s photos (hope she doesn’t mind).

The Cat's Whiskers-Alyssum 2007 Ltd Ed Scissor Pocket exchange
“Alyssum 2007 Ltd Ed Scissor Pocket” by The Cat’s Whiskers
stitched on 32ct Bo-Beep Pink Belfast linen
with Needle Necessities thread 196

The Cat's Whiskers-Alyssum 2007 Ltd Ed Scissor Pocket exchange

Rightio, time to head off and do something – I need to kit up a Lizzie*Kate Welcome Baby sampler for a colleague’s new daughter, and find a Halloween cape in the depths of the garage for an upcoming fancy dress party for Katie, as well as head out to a shopping mall to actually find a top to wear tonight!

Scissor Pocket exchange received

And oh boy, what an exquisite exchange piece it is!!  I was absolutely gobsmacked when I opened my little parcel at the post office this morning – inside was the most gorgeous stitched and finished scissor pocket ever!  This is a design I have lusted after for years now, and have attempted to buy a few times, but I’ve never managed to get hold of it … well now I don’t have to, as I have an awesome finished piece instead!  I honestly did get a bit choked up when I opened up the box, as it was so amazingly perfect for me.  Thank you Michelle from the bottom of my heart – I will truly treasure this always! 😀

My apologies for the piccies, but it’s almost midnight in a wintry Sydney and I couldn’t wait to publish them 🙂

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The only other photo I have is my latest minimal progress on Halloween Fairy – but this pales in comparison to my awesome new scissor pocket!

Back from a mini blog break

Thanks to those of you (including Mum) who have enquired as to my whereabouts, and wondering why I’ve been absent for an entire week – and also where the photo posts have disappeared to.  To be honest I’ve just felt a bit burnt out computer-wise (and therefore blog-wise), and haven’t felt like sitting in front of the PC much over the last week or three … the Photo Hunt themes haven’t really inspired me much over the last couple of weeks, and I usually sit and post all my photo posts for the week at the same time as doing my Saturday Photo Hunt post … so therefore no other photo posts either.

Anyway, other than that life is OK – just very hectic at work, and there hasn’t been much energy left over at the end of the day to do much at all.  I can’t even say there has been screeds and screeds of stitching done … although I do have two small finishes – one that I can share, and one that I can’t … and one new start.

So, first up, here’s the one I can share:

Whispered by the Wind-Snow freebie
“Snow” freebie by Whispered by the Wind
(freebie is still available here)
stitched on 32ct hand-dyed opalescent lugana
with DMC B5200

Just love the sparkly blue fabric – the photo in no way does this one justice … although the opalescent fabric is a total b*tch to stitch on, and I’m not in a hurry to repeat the experience …

And here’s the one I can’t share:

Scissor Pocket Exchange
Mystery design by Mystery designer on Mystery fabric with Mystery thread … to a Mystery recipient …

Then I started a new project, trying to stitch up some of the projects that I’ve entirely kitted up with DMC, just so I can return all my skeins to my master collection … meaning I won’t be forever “losing” the colours I need to kit up a new start.  Here’s my very VERY minimal start on Mirabilia’s Trick or Treat Fairy (magazine version) … currently also known as “The Blob”.  I managed to add another three whole rows tonight, but didn’t think it would make much difference to the photo!

And lucky last, here is a very very VERY old UFO that hasn’t seen the light of day since, well quite frankly I can’t remember when … all of a sudden I started getting the urge to finish off one of my oldest UFOs, and choose a project to challenge myself, and this is probably the closest to an actual finish of any of my ‘big’ stumpwork pieces … so I’m thinking perhaps I should bite the bullet and finish this little baby off.  It will mean, though, getting my Jane Nicholas reference books out and jogging my memory on how to do all the stitches, but that’s what challenges are for right?  Here are how all the various components look at this stage … with many more little petals and insects yet to be stitched up and finished!  (Unfortunately the fluffed up bee body is looking a bit worse for wear after being in storage for months and in and out of boxes … but it should hopefully all work out once it gets trimmed back into the little bee body shape … fingers crossed anyway!)

So, be warned, and don’t expect too much progress too quickly … the one thing I find with stumpwork is that for me it seems to take an absolute aeon to finish one teeny tiny little piece of stitching, so this is one project that you won’t be seeing finished any time soon!

And on that note I think it’s time to bid you farewell again for the night – no guarantees when I’ll be back online again … but at least you know I’m still alive 🙂

A project returns as a WIP

Last year I finished all of the stitching on Lizzie*Kate’s Boo Club, but I was given the used charts on loan and had to find my own buttons – I’ve eventually narrowed the search down and found suitable substitutes, and thought I’d start stitching them on tonight instead of doing some actual stitching … I’d just finished attaching ribbon hangers onto about 10 Prairie Schooler ornies that Mum gave me to be finished, and couldn’t find my felt for the backings, but wasn’t really in the mood to ‘stitch’ …

Well, I was never entirely sure whether to stitch the border on this piece and instead thought I’d use a ribbon stitched down … tonight I decided it really would look much nicer with the border stitched in place, so back it went onto some scrollbars and I’ve decided to stitching the border at the same time as adding the buttons … what was originally going to be about an hour’s worth of ‘finishing’ to complete this piece has now turned into a week (or more) worth of stitching.  I think I’ll be much happier with it now, though 😀

As you can see from the photo, I didn’t get too far with the border stitching tonight, although not too bad considering … and 2 buttons down, 22 left to go …

I managed to snap a better photo yesterday of the Pin Pillow Exchange that I received (a HUGE yay for finding my little elusive Lumix), so I could finally do justice to the beautiful stitching and finishing.

I hadn’t noticed before how perfectly DMC 927 matches my bedroom duvet cover … I’m thinking a lovely sampler in this colour (along with the beige) just might look ever so lovely in my bedroom and now my mind is starting to work overtime and think of potential candidates!  I’m thinking perhaps a nice Quaker design maybe … hmmmm …

While I had the camera out I also managed to take a better close-up shot of my finished heart from the Beyond Cross Stitch series by The Victoria Sampler – here is a nicer photo of my finish, and the beautiful specialty stitches on this piece.  Sorry scanner, but your scans just can’t compare to the clarity of my little Lumix, even in crappy lighting!

Victoria Sampler-Beyond Cross Stitch 3-1

Thank you to everyone who has voted to date for whether or not I should continue to combine both my loves of stitching and photography in this blog – it seems the majority agree with my gut feeling, which is to leave things as they are … apologies to those of you who prefer to see stitching only, but I’ve decided to leave things “as is” for the time being.  I really appreciate you all taking the time to complete the poll, though!

Have a wonderful rest of the week everyone 😀

Pin Pillow Exchange part 1

I haven’t heard from my exchange partner directly, but I noticed on Becky’s blog today that the list shows that she’s received my pin pillow exchange for her.  I hope she liked it 🙂

Anyway, I’ve decided to go ahead and show the pillow I made for her now I know it’s been received, ‘cos I’ve been champing at the bit wanting to share the piccies.  My recipient was Jayne, and I read on her blog that she likes the colour purple, alphabets and quakers, so this was my choice for her (I personalised one side with both of our initials):

Janice Wood-Quaker Heart freebie

Janice Wood-Quaker Heart freebie

“Quaker Heart” freebie by Piecework magazine
Stitched on 28ct Lavender Bliss Cashel linen
with Carrie’s Threads “Lavender”
finished with a beaded edge

Now I’m considering joining up for Becky’s next exchange – a scissor pocket … I love it ‘cos it’s a “no extras” exchange again, which is really appealing to me, rather than sending extras than people may not want.

Quick catch-up

It was a busy weekend – started by Friday night’s shenanigans being dressed up as a nun for the Sound of Music Sing-a-long.  I only managed to get one paltry photo taken without the flash, while in the office, so it’s incredibly unflattering (like most photos of me) … anyway, it gives you an idea of how I wandered around Sydney train stations and streets for the evening.  We had a blast, and really enjoyed our meal at Retro Cafe next door to the theatre before the show.

Saturday I went with Katie to my hairdressers for a MUCH needed haircut!!  I had to cancel a couple of weeks ago due to my vertigo/virus.  I am now thrilled to be sporting a fringe once again, along with a couple of inches off the length … woohoo!!! 😀

While we were there we also decided to go the whole hog and had a beauty session while the other person was having a haircut.  I got my eyebrows shaped and had my … shock, horror … first EVER pedicure!!!  Oh boy, was it lovely – I enjoyed every minute of the pampering.  I’ve been a tad stressed at work fairly recently, so it was really good to chill out and do nothing for the morning.  Unfortunately, though, I was so exhausted afterwards (thanks to an early morning start) I ended up having a nana nap in the early evening … which didn’t help with the evening sleeping ritual … I ended up getting back up at 10pm and continued stitching my pin pillow exchange piece!

Sunday saw me getting up relatively late, but the entire day was spent in front of the gogglebox clearing up the hard-drive and watching Medium, Ghost Whisperer, Fringe and Good News Week episodes … but I DID manage to get the final stitches into my pin pillow exchange, and made it up in the little pillow … now it’s sitting in its padded envelope waiting for a visit to the Post Office during the week 😀

After finishing my exchange piece, I started a new Christmas ornament from an old JCS issue that I’d already got kitted up from a couple of years ago – I made an OK start into that one while watching TV last night … and I’ll put a few more stitches into it tonight.

Tomorrow I’m heading off to my GP to check a few things checked out – my lightheadedness continues, unfortunately, so I’m going to ask to get my blood pressure checked out.  I’ve also had really bad acid reflux over the last few months, so that’s also on the list … better to be safe than sorry, I guess!  And on that note, it’s time to go get some soup for dinner and settle in front of the TV for an hour or two 🙂

Exchanges are back in fashion

It’s been a while since I participated in any Exchanges, but I decided to join Becky and her group of followers in a Pin Pillow exchange, mailing date 1 April.  I just received my recipient’s name this morning, and the first thing I did was to check out her blog to see what sort of designs she likes and if I could find her favourite colour – anything to help me choose something that he/she is more likely to appreciate. 

Anyway, this got me thinking about anyone who doesn’t know me who has my name in an exchange – it would be difficult for them to find the same information in my blog … especially as these days that I’m not stitching as prolifically.  So, I decided to uplift some of the information from my RAK Registry post, and tweak it a bit, and have now added that as an extra page here – my “Likes” page.  Hopefully this will help any future exchange partners to find the information they need! 🙂

And now I’m off to continue cutting up some more fabrics for the two dozen or so new projects that I dragged out of the stash pile last night … I won’t kit them up with their DMC etc yet, or I might find myself in trouble, but at least the fabric will be cut up ready, as that’s my usual drawback when I’m starting something new … of course it will take me the entire year and beyond to stitch them all, but at the moment for me the fun is in the planning 😉

Scissor Fob Exchange

Phew, Su has received her scissor fob exchange from me, so I can post a piccie. For a beautiful close-up of the stitching you’ll have to pop over to Su’s blog, as mine is just done on the scanner and much less artistic 😉 I was majorly stressed over this exchange, as Su’s stitching and finishing is so awesome, and I had the huge delays with SB&B with the ‘extra goodies’ arriving. Anyway, it’s finally reached it’s destination safe and sound, and I’m very happy! This is my last exchange for a little while, though – and putting the stress factor aside LOL, I’ve enjoyed each and every one 😀



Silken Roses Scissor Fob by The Sweetheart Tree
stitched on 32ct Lavender Mist Belfast linen
with the recommended threads
but omitting the eyelets on the back and personalising
with our initials and the year

Rightio, time to have brekkie then it’s back to my stitching corner … I’ve decided to stitch Summer Solstice by Eventide Designs for my needleroll SAL, and if I have time I’ll also try and finish my Snow Fall needleroll from last month too … oh dear, I guess that means no housework again today, that’s too bad hahahaha 😀

RR & Exchanges … and stuff

Thanks for all your comments and emails of support – I’m still feeling a bit ‘blue’ (which I would normally be happy about haha), but I’m getting there slowly. Anyway, I won’t dwell on my current issues now, as I’m trying hard to keep them from my mind and not brood on things. I just wanted to post a few piccies of the fantastic exchange I just received today.

I received my scissor fob exchange from Cari, and I’m seriously blown away by her generosity … not only did I receive the most exquisite fob in my fave colours, but also a pair of “Julia” Gingher’s scissors, no less, and a VC silk in the most glorious blue … I’ve been shaking my head like a stunned mullet (there’s an Aussie saying for you) ever since I opened the envelope at lunchtime – and 6 hours later still feel gobsmacked by it all. The fob is absolutely gorgeous, and Cari’s stitching and finishing is awesome … I definitely don’t feel worthy … I just LOVE everything, and it will all be treasured for years to come – thanks again so much Cari!! 😀 I’ve taken piccies of the whole kit and caboodle, as well as trying to take a close-up shot of the front and back of the fob, so here goes:


On top of that I remembered to take a photo of the recent RR’s I’ve been participating in … this one is Lynn’s RR so far, with just one more stitcher left to go (I stitched the Winter square earlier – sorry for the out of focus photo).

And this one is the latest RR I’ve received – this is Wendy’s … and I just have to stitch the Winter square on this one before it gets returned home to Canada. I’m hoping to get some quality stitching time over the next weekend, so I’ll concentrate on getting some of this stitched up then (as well as finishing a gift piece now my missing Kreinik braid has arrived). Anyway, I thought Wendy might like to see how it’s looking so far – hopefully I can whip through the stitching quickly so it can be posted back before hitting the pre-Christmas rush.

Tomorrow is a public holiday here in Melbourne – the only city I know where the entire city has a holiday for a horse race! I loved the description I just found on this website (actually the rest of the page is quite a fun read – and some of the Aussie slang is great):

“Melbourne is famous for Australia’s premier horse race “The Melbourne Cup” held the first Tuesday in November at approximately 3pm at Flemington Racecourse. It is a public holiday in Melbourne, and in the rest of Australia and now in many parts of the world people stop work just to listen to this race. Horses from all over the world come here to participate.
The Queen entered a horse in this race a few years ago – it did not win. Generally it will be won by a horse that has been bred in New Zealand.”

Personally I won’t be having the day off, as I’m working (and I’ll be very grateful for it when payday comes, as it’s a double-time day which will be exceptionally handy this coming payday!!). I do have to admit to spending $2 on a non-essential item yesterday, which in 7 days isn’t bad going 🙂 It’s pretty compulsory that you get involved with this infamous horserace and I joined the throng for the work sweepstake … very high roller this betting chick 😉 Apparently the horse that got put against my name is a relatively good one, not that that will make much difference – but it’s all a bit of fun and the entire office gets behind it. My horse is called “Efficient”.

Anyway, that’s all from me tonight – just wanted to post those couple of piccies … and say thanks for all the support – it has really helped to keep my spirits up 🙂 {{hugs}}