Tag Archive | Gifts TO BE FIXED

Profitable day and gifts

I’ll start the post off by showing off some exquisite knitting that I received from my beautiful and talented friend Nicki as my birthday gift – and I totally adore it!!  How could I not?  The knitting is perfection itself, and the colour is so very “me” – it’ll be perfect for our Sydney winter for that extra bit of neck warmth.  Thanks again Nicki 😀

Also, I just realised that I haven’t posted my earlier birthday gifts yet – they arrived while I was flat out at work in February, and didn’t realise I hadn’t uploaded the piccie yet!  That doesn’t mean I love the gifts any less, ‘cos I absolutely adore everything … they’re all duckies!!!  I can’t believe Tessa found all these little lovelies on her travels – they’re fantastic additions to my duck collection, and they really put a smile on my face.  Thanks once again Tessa, for your beautiful and thoughtful gifts – I especially adore the framed duckie button, that’s an awesome idea, it’s just wonderful 😀

Both Nicki and Tessa were initially online friends, but then became real-life friends after meeting face-to-face (Nicki in Auckland, and Tessa in Melbourne) … life is a much brighter place with friends such as these lovely ladies 😀

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Now, before I get on to today’s achievements, here’s the latest stitching update of Merry Xmas by Prairie Moon – not sure if they look more like aliens rather than skeletons with those big eye sockets haha … alas I need a skein of Old Crow before I can fill those eyes in, so I’ll have to continue sticking with the white, cream, pink and red for a while longer 🙂

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After spending the day yesterday blobbing out playing computer games, watching TV and doing a little bit of stitching, today was a different story … partly helped by the extra hour in bed thanks to the clocks going back last night.  Today there has been no stitching to be had, but instead plenty of time spent in the kitchen … baking of all things!  Trying to use up some cupboard stocks (why on earth I have two big bags of coconut, etc I do not know!), I opted to bake items where I had to buy next-to-nothing and came up with the following (I know, Mum, this is ME … baking … whatever next?!!!):

Cinnamon Ginger Cake ready to go into the oven

Cinnamon Ginger Cake keeping company with Caramel Walnut Slice

The ultimate sin … cutting the cake before it’s 100% cold … but oh so scrummy!!!  😀
Another 1/4 of the cake went to my elderly downstairs neighbour as a treat

Then another quick trip over to the supermarket for some ‘odd’ items I didn’t have in stock, I sliced up some rump steak and whipped up some Asian-style marinade so it can stew in the fridge overnight … which means I’m having stir-fry tomorrow night – yum (admittedly the pre-mixed beef doesn’t quite look so yummy in the photo thanks to lumps of lemon grass and garlic LOL) 🙂

I can’t wait to cook this up tomorrow night!!! 😀

And to top the kitchen chores off, I pulled my finger out and prepared a couple of salad lunches for work Mon/Tue this week, and also chopped up some honeydew melon and rockmelon … hmmm, me thinks that a good start to eating more healthily this week! 😀

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More Baby Bug Ball and squishy mail

I don’t know where the hold-ups have been, but Christmas mail this year has been absolutely shocking – this week I received an Air Mail Christmas card from the UK that was posted 18 December (!) … just crazy!  Yesterday’s mail, though, brought lots of lovely squishy mail – my final outstanding order from SB&B, which left in early December – and a couple of wonderful fabrics from Sandra.  The fabrics were totally unexpected, and I absolutely adore them!  I can’t wait to find the perfect project to use these on!  Thanks so much Sandra for really making my day yesterday! 😀

The expected mail contents were as follows – and this was in many ways a treat for me too, as I couldn’t remember what I’d ordered (I threw in some things in their sale bin that weren’t on my wishlist).  It’s hard to see the contents in the photo, so I’ve broken it down underneath:

32ct Thunderstorm Belfast linen (for Prairie Moon’s Christmas chart for Katie)
~ Halloween and Christmas buttons from JABC
~ Kreinik metallic threads mainly for canvaswork designs
~ Mill Hill beads so I can finish Bittersweet Season (yippee!!) + a packet of Treasures
~ A couple of WDW and GAST threads
~ 4 x Lizzie*Kate embellishment packs mainly for Christmas ornies
~ Whimzi frame for Just Nan’s Pretty Wicked (I stitched mine from a gifted used chart)
~ Ghosts and Goblins by Dinky-Dyes Designs
~ Heart In Hand wee birdies ~ Summer, Autumn, Spring, St Patrick, Halloween, Easter
and the final splurge that I just couldn’t resist……
~ Just Nan’s Spooky Spirits of Tombstone Hill

And lucky last, here’s the latest update piccie of the final pudgy bug in Baby Bug Ball – not much stitching left to go on this one now – not entirely sure I’ll get it finished this weekend, though, as it’s a busy one … thanks to Alison and Amanda for offering up their stash to help me out with the silk thread, that’s a fantastic help, thank you!!!

And now it’s time to get back to the grindstone and get off to work …

 

Christmas decorations

Before I show piccies of the decorations, I want to say a heartfelt “thanks” to one of my closest stitching pals Katrina who has been spoiling me for a number of years now with a handmade ornie – each one I treasure dearly, and this latest one is absolutely no exception!  (Excuse the silver lametta sitting on the top!)

Don’t you think this is just so “ME”? 😀 Unfortunately I forgot to bring the other part of the gift home with me, and it’s still sitting on my computer at work … it’s the cutest little yellow rubber ducky with little santa hat and scarf on … too, too cute!  He was keeping a smile on my face all day at work on Friday.  Thanks again Katrina, you have once again spoilt me rotten, and I totally adore it!  I feel very blessed that the internet has enabled such a lovely friendship to blossom 🙂

Unfortunately I haven’t been in the brightest of stitching moods throughout the year, to be honest, and my own ornie plans pretty much went out the window – instead I’ve been focused on stitching whatever I’ve felt like just to keep my momentum up as much as possible and keeping the feeling of being ‘overwhelmed’ at bay. I think I’m finally coming out of that blue phase, so fingers crossed in the new year I’ll get a few more ornies stitched up and sent to some of my best online pals, as well as fulfilling some outstanding stitching commitments!

Anyway, back to the decorations, it was receiving Katrina’s ornie on Friday that made me start thinking of bringing up my ‘little’ Christmas tree from the garage instead of the huge 6ft one and having only my stitched ornies on display. Even Katie gave it the thumbs-up when I’d finished and said she really likes it, so I guess it gets the official seal of approval 🙂

Rightio, enough of the waffling, here are this year’s lounge decorations in all their glory (I personally think the tree’s a bit crowded, but I didn’t want to leave any ornies out! – I think maybe next year I need to buy a tree that’s just a little bit taller and fuller, and it’ll be a perfect size):

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And this little tree (which stays up all year as a backdrop to my ornie finishes) is look a wee bit bare as it’s waiting for Mum’s 12 Days of Christmas set to be finished and added … not entirely sure that’ll be completed before Christmas, but it definitely will happen before I have to put them all away again! 🙂

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The next year I also want to make a table runner for the lounge and/or the table under the tree – I bought this fabric a few months ago in readiness for when the urge of quilting creativity struck (which will hopefully be some times prior to December 2011!) – this is from the 12 Days of Christmas fabric range by Moda:

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And on that note, I’m off to sip on my iced Paull’s Egg Nog (that’s the brand on sale in supermarkets over here) and perhaps do a bit of stitching … perhaps … unfortunately Bittersweet Season will continue looking like this for a while longer, as the threads I need are still lost in transit, but I do now have the threads to finish “Valentine Bird”, so perhaps that will suffice for now and may even get some of that stitching mojo back … ?

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Christmas has arrived … finally

Ever since my flatmate made a comment about my Christmas tree being up when her Mum was here visiting I just haven’t felt like putting decorations up, and definitely had the “bah humbug” feeling. On Friday night, though, I decided to put a few things out and decorated the lounge – a lot more understated than normal, and I have to say I think I really like it!

Because my flatmate is away for Christmas (she flew out today), we had Christmas morning early on Friday night and I refused to swap gifts until we at least had some sort of Christmas decorations up. I’m usually cracking the decoration boxes open on 1 December (or the closest weekend afterwards), so it’s really really unusual for me this year! Even when I lived on my own, I still had my own little tree and made myself a Christmas stocking each year – it seems a little silly, but I still bought myself a little chocolate bar and some nuts in their shells and popped a little baby bottle of champers in there (and for the first time ever something I’ve neglected to do for myself this year yet). I’m tossing up whether to approach a LNS next year and see if they will bundle up some surprise goodies from my wish list and then get someone to wrap them up for me so I can have something of a surprise in there – I was originally going to do my own 12 days of Christmas and parcel up 12 little items early in the year so I may have forgotten about them by Christmastime, but it’s not really the same, is it? haha.

Last year Katie said she was going to buying a white Christmas tree with black balls to put up this year, with a skull instead of an angel/star … sigh 😉 Let’s just say it hasn’t happened yet, and if it does happen next year then I will sit my own tree up in a different corner to be a bit more traditional!! Anyhoo, earlier in the year I found the most PERFECT gift for her … I was going to stitch her this chart and frame it up for her – I had my heart set on it, because it is just so “her” haha.  As you can see, it was the Christmas tree that made it think it was so perfect!

Unfortunately I’ve had various items back-ordered for over 3 months, and the Belle Soie threads that were sent along with my other parcel goodies an exact month ago still haven’t arrived – not to mention I was really unhappy with the fabric I ordered from NZ for it, so I ended up placing an extra order for the recommended fabric listed on the chart, and that was also on back order for a while. The fabric finally left about 1 1/2 weeks ago, but the first parcel is still AWOL, and there was no insurance on the parcel {{sigh}}. I’ll wait for another few weeks, then I’ll have to save up and re-order everything again, I guess 😦 I was then in a quandary as to what to buy my flatmate, but my heart was still set on this chart, so I ended up wrapping just the chart up and saying the real version would be coming whenever I can get it together.

To say Katie was over the moon with it is an understatement! She loved it so much she’s been taking photos of the chart and showing all her friends and family and can’t stop talking about haha. The great thing now, I guess, is that I can actually stitch it in the lounge without having to hide away, so she can watch it grow each week once I finally manage to get it started 🙂  I also gave her two Jared Padalecki movies on DVD to fill her horror quota for the year (Friday the 13th and Cry Wolf).

As for what I got, I was truly spoilt – I knew in advance what I was getting, but it made it not less thrilling – I got a ticket to see Tap Dogs next month with Katie, and we’re only a few rows from the front so we can drool over Adam Garcia without squinting haha.  I’ve always loved him in the movie Bootmen, which is so similar to Tap Dogs – if you haven’t seen it yet, I can definitely recommend it as a great Aussie drama/romance (but make sure the tissue box is handy) … love, love, love it! 😀

Today I actually started one of my 101 Things in 1001 Days – I’ve been playing with this list for the last month or so, and have finally published it live.  Seeing as I’ve started feeling a bit more positive over the last 48 hours, I’ve started making a move to see some of the goals happen. Today’s effort was in relation to #23 in the list, which is to make something out of every recipe book I own in Sydney – considering there are 130+ books, that’ll keep me busy for longer than the 1001 days, but it’ll be fun anyway!  Today’s recipe was from “Simple Delights: Coffee & Tea” book – and the chosen recipe was “Bonoffee  Coffee”.  Perhaps not the ‘best’ thing I’ve ever tasted, I have certainly enjoyed slurping it down this afternoon while I’ve been pottering around – here’s the full recipe if you’re interested:

BONOFFEE COFFEE

3 teaspoons instant coffee granules
150ml (5fl oz or 2/3 cup) boiling water
450ml (16fl oz or 2 cups) vanilla ice cream
1 large banana
300ml (10fl oz or 1 1/4 cups) milk
Few drops vanilla essence
85ml (3fl oz or 1/3 cup) Tia Maria
2 teaspoons drinking chocolate
Chocolate flakes, to serve (optional)

Mix together coffee and water and set aside to cool.  Place all the ingredients, except the chocolate powder, in a blender or food processor and process them until completely smooth.  Pour into tall glasses and sprinkle the chocolate powder over the top.  Serve with chocolate flakes, if desired.
Serves 4-6.

Alas I couldn’t find any drinking chocolate in the cupboard, but I did find some Lindt chocolate shavings … score!!! haha.  I even broke out the super-duper expensive hand-blown glassware to drink it out of.  I was given a pair of these by my very best friend Vicki, and I’d hate to think what they’re worth today – they’re hand-blown by Hoglund Glass, and apparently are quite the collector’s item … I personally don’t care, because I adore them to death, and will never sell them, I love them too much! 😀

I really should show the results of my decorations, but I think this post is getting waaaay to long by now, so I’ll create a new post shortly 🙂

Awesome squishy mail day!!

Today I braved the surface flash flooding and pelting rain of a late afternoon storm and cleared out the PO Box, and was thrilled to see a little card in the box – ‘cos that means there’s squishy mail waiting for me inside the building.  Sure enough, I was absolutely THRILLED to open the parcel sent from Marnie, as it contained my prize winnings from her recent prize draw.  Unfortunately the photos don’t do this little beauty justice – this little vampire stitching case is seriously awesome!  The finishing is absolutely stunning, and there is even the most perfect little pincushion and scissor fob tassel inside!  All I need to do now is decide on the perfect pair of scissors to live in this beauty permanently, and it’s going to be on display all year round … I mean, seriously, could you put this away until next Halloween?  I definitely can’t! 😀

Not only did Marnie provide the stitching case itself, but she also added a little vampire Pez dispenser (so I am no longer a “Pez virgin”) – alas, the pieces inside the dispenser didn’t survive the drive home, which was a marathon due to the surface flooding, as I scoffed the lot during the drive!  Also in the parcel was a few really cool Halloween freebies, that I can’t wait to stitch up.  I’ll be cutting up fabrics for them this weekend, and adding them to my Halloween “to-do-pile” for the coming weeks.  Thanks again Marnie for an AWESOME parcel of treats – I love, love, LOVE everything! 😀


The other mail was compliments of Ann in Scotland having a stash sale – I’m now the proud owner of 4 Drawn Thread charts (Toccata 1, 2, 3, and Chatelaine and Scissors Keeper), along with some of the threads needed (plus the chatelaine fabric).  I’m looking forward to starting at least one of these soon, once I’ve procured the remaining threads.  They look like they’ll be really fun stitching a motif or two each night/weekend 🙂

And on that note it’s time to switch off the “fun” side of the computer, and switch on to the “work mode” side … things are beyond hectic at work thanks to someone’s oversight in another department at the 11th hour, and having an unstable test system … I’m days behind in my own work, so I’ve brought it all home with me tonight to try and get at least 1-2 hours done at home.  I just have to force myself to keep away from the fun stuff on here, which is really really hard … 😛

Humble apologies

The humble apologies in the subject line is for Clare, who sent me an absolutely exceptional package in the mail an entire year ago, and it seems it was never acknowledged.  I feel absolutely mortified about this, as I’m usually really good about sending an email of thanks and posting piccies immediately on the blog.  I do remember around that time that we were having computer problems at home, and I’d been really sick, but somehow I’d managed to convince myself that I’d sent the email etc and all I had to do now was to sit back and look lovingly at my gifts for the next 12 months (the gorgeous little Loon sits pride of place in my bedroom so I can see it every day, and the exquisitely stitched and finished hedgehog ornie sits on top of my basket of smalls in the lounge).  So my sincerest apologies again to Clare, and I can now share the wonderful goodies that she sent me.

Gift from Clare 1

Gift from Clare 2

Gift from Clare 3

Well, it appears Halloween has been and gone, and alas, even with good intentions of lots of Halloween stitching being done this year, my Halloween table display has been pitiful.  Thrown together really quickly late on Saturday night, this is the sum total of my Halloween decorations this year.  One whole pinkeep completed, and what is destined to become a flat-fold on display with just it’s laced section propped up {sigh} (the backing sections all have their spooky cobweb fabric coverings, I just didn’t get as far as gluing or stitching the various sections together!).  Alas I’ve been too tired after work the last week and a half to do much of anything – much less stitching, and even less finishing.  I think I need to take a week off work just to focus on some finishing!!

Do you see my little Halloween tree that is just all bare branches above?  It lights up with teeny tiny dark purple twinkly lights, it’s really cute!  Of course the plan was to have it covered with teeny tiny stitched ornies, but that also didn’t happen!  But hey, there’s another 12 months before Halloween 2011 so I’ve got time to change all that 😛

Even though Halloween is now technically over, I still have the urge to stitch Halloween designs … I don’t have the urge to stitch much at all these days, so I figure I should just stitch what interests me.  Of course, even when I haven’t been stitching, I have been tempted big-time with some new designs out this year, so I’ve been filling my wishlist even higher even though the needles haven’t been flying … here are the latest trifles that are taking my interest and causing a little bit of drool here and there (as you can see Halloween is definitely still high in my sights!) 😛

Blackberry Lane Designs-Rest ye Pins-The Pin Keeper
Blackberry Lane Designs – Rest Ye Pins-The Pinkeeper

Just Nan-Hagatha's Purple Hat
Just Nan – Hagatha’s Purple Hat

Just Nan-Hagatha's Orange Hat
Just Nan – Hagatha’s Orange Hat

Just Nan-Spooky Spirits of Tombstone Hill
Just Nan – Spooky Spirits of Tombstone Hill

Just Nan-Tricky Tweets
Just Nan – Tricky Tweets

Victoria Sampler-Bargello Biscornu
The Victoria Sampler – Bargello Biscornu

Victoria Sampler-Winter Box finishing
The Victoria Sampler – Winter Box Finishing

I have some more stash coming through the mail, thanks to Ann having a de-stash sale containing some to-die-for items, so I’ll be fondling some more stash soon (I know, as if I NEED any more stash!). 

I was also exceptionally lucky enough to win Marnie’s prize draw for a little halloween coffin (Vampire stitching case), which should be arriving shortly.  Even if I don’t manage to get any of my own stitching finished next year, this already shows that my Halloween display is already greatly improved with Marnie’s stitching and finishing, and I just adore it already without even receiving it!  If you haven’t seen it yet, pop over here and check it out – while you’re there make sure you take the time to admire her wonderfully exquisite stumpwork blog header, it’s superb!

And on that note I’d better sign off and get my A into G to get ready for work, then tonight I need to force myself to watch a bit more of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo … loved the book, but I hate subtitled movies so it’s been a real drag for me focusing on it (in all honesty if I’d known it was subtitled I wouldn’t have bothered hiring it from Quickflix) – even though I don’t have any particularly big desire to stitch, the biggest drag with subtitled movies is that you can’t stitch to them! :/

Actually, I forgot, I do have one final thing to share … the sum total of my stitching endeavours for the last two weeks … I started stitching this only to find straightaway that yet again I’m missing two of the key threads (GAST Forest Glade and Kreinik #4 braid in 027) … pfffft 😦  Probably not helping my urge to stitch this week, as I had my heart set on finishing this one quickly … which obviously now isn’t actually going to happen – see ya stitching mojo, please come back soon!

Heartstrings-Bittersweet Season

Stash day!

I had some wonderful mail arrive on Friday night that I drooled over on the weekend.  First up is a gorgeous and very thoughtful gift from Karen.  I’ve never seen a Hinzeit design ‘up close and personal’ and this one definitely looks like a perfect design for me – I love the colours, and love all the little charms that go with it!  That design is perfect for just about every stitcher, I think!!  The notepad is already hanging off the fridge ready to be used, and I love the extra little touches of postcards and stickers from Canada.  Thank you so much again Karen for a really awesome parcel that brightened up an otherwise very dull week for me – I love everything!! 😀

Next up was a parcel containing the JCS Christmas ornie preview magazine and the missing Kreinik braid that I need for Halloween Fairy.  The other Kreiniks and Caron Collection threads are an added treat for me for Laura J Perin’s Mallard Collage (gee, I dunno why I want to stitch that one! – Duckies!!! haha).  The final part of the order was some Gloriana ribbon in Cranberry to complete my ‘ingredients’ for Strawberries So Faire by With My Needle.  Seeing as I have everything else kitted up ready to go, I figured I really should start thinking of stitching this one up sooner rather than later!  Yeah, OK, I could say that of many projects really, but I really am trying to make a priority of those projects that I’ve spent the most money on in getting them kitted up, especially as most of the threads etc aren’t used in other projects.  The only problem is there are still LOADS to choose from LOL.

And that’s it for me really – I’m still waiting for my buttons to arrive for Summer & Winter Snapperlands … while Summer is just sitting here patiently in the corner of my WIP basket waiting for the border buttons to arrive (since being ordered in January no less hmmm), Winter Snapperland isn’t started yet, and I don’t want to start until the border buttons are in my hot little hands.

My flatmate is off work at the moment with tonsillitis etc that she’s had since last week … and this morning I’ve woken up with a touch of vertigo … thankfully the longer I’m sitting up, the vertigo is wearing off, so I’m going to attempt to go to work shortly … fingers crossed it stays at bay, ‘cos I can’t afford time off work at the moment!  Plus I have stitching deadlines to get my exchange into the mail next week, so vertigo is something I definitely do NOT want or need right now!!