Cross Stitch, Gifts TO BE FIXED, Works in Progress

Peeps have arrived in Oz! (plus a bit of stitching)

… or at least they DID arrive, but alas they had to be destroyed due to possible cross-breeding with the local bunnies. The destruction was quick and painless, as I chomped them to death throughout the day at work! 😉

Thanks so much to Monique for this little act of kindness – I’d mentioned to Monique on her blog that I’d never seen what a peep looked like, so it was great to see her photo of them after hearing so much about them for years … Monique took pity on me and sent me this wonderful sample! People must have thought I was bonkers leaving the Post Office, as I changed from being very perplexed at a strange parcel arriving, to cackling like a banshee with a huge grin on my face after opening it up and seeing the contents. Thanks again Monique for making my week! 😀


As for my stitching, I’ve done really well over the weekend and the last couple of nights – I have finished all my Cottage Etui pieces, except for the rooftop, and except for tiny bits of stitching that are done after the interfacing is fused on (eyelets and satin stitches). Now I’ve moved on to the Sailor’s Valentine, and I’ve managed to complete one more side (once again, except for the backstitching of the word “Love” once the interfacing is fused on) – now I’m concentrating on the smallest side of the lot (not much stitching, although a bit of over one) which has a whale’s tail on it and compass markings. That then just leaves me with the boat side to be done (oodles of over-one so it will take me forever!) and the ribbon bands, plus the personalisation (again over-one) on the Roses side … then I can attempt to get the Cottage rooftop started.

Here’s just a wee taste of the “Love” side (CA isn’t keen on full-screen progress photos online as far as I understand it, so I’m trying to be considerate but still share a little bit!):


I’m really looking forward to heading over to Perth again next week for the class – I’m staying with one of the organiser’s lady friends for the two nights of the class, then I’m off to spend 3 nights with Hayley, a good friend of mine. Apparently we’re getting up on Thursday for the dawn service on ANZAC Day, then we have 3 full days to potter around and actually see a bit of Perth this time – it’s going to be great to have some quality time with Hayles and Pete, as they have a long weekend off work yay!

 Of GREAT note is the fact that as of late last night we have ADSL BROADBAND AT HOME!!!!!!!!!!  Yes, I AM screaming … with sheer joy!!!!!  We’ve managed to get my modem set up with Lisa’s wireless router, and we can both connect – in a couple of weeks time you actually might get to see me more online again (and maybe even answering emails, unlike having a humungous backlog like I do now)!! 😀 


Awesome mail days

As mentioned previously, I received some stunning birthday gifts from my stitching friends … unfortunately the thank you emails seem to have disappeared into the ether, so I will write some more again shortly.  That will teach me for trying to use Iinet’s mail gateway while at work … every other time I’d tried to use it I’d get an error message, except that day, but obviously the work firewall or something didn’t like it!).  I’ve had most of this post drafted since 28 February, but was having uploading problems so I gave up … then haven’t touched my laptop for 2 weeks … hmmm.

Anyway, without further do, I’ll show you my birthday gifts from my very special friends – and they can be put out of their misery wondering whether they arrived.  I will write full thank you emails tomorrow, as the screen is giving me a headache (am now on antibiotics from the doctor as from today, yay!!). 

First up is Sharon’ H‘s gift – this arrived the earliest, but I kept forgetting to bring it home from work to take a photo!!  Isn’t this the cutest book you’ve ever seen?  And so perfect for a duck lover like myself … I just love it, and laughed and laughed when I first opened it!  Thanks Sharon, you’re the best!! 😀


Then next came Nicki L with a real bundle of joy in the mail!  (Thanks also for bringing it to my attention at work that my emails had not got through!)  Not only did Nicki send a couple of gorgeous LHN charts (which I adore), but also some threads off my wishlist and some exquisite blue quilting fabrics … my head is already thinking of projects to use these in, including the possibility of a scrap quilt or bag – the hardest decision will be deciding!  I have to admit, KarenV had sent me the chart Winter Wonderland last year, but it was high on my list for stitching, and receiving it from Nicki too was the final spur to get those needles cracking.  Thanks again Nicki for your very generous gifts, I adore everything! 🙂


Then last, but not least, is Carol S‘s gift … the envelope was brimming to the top with exquisite goodies – my eyes got wider and wider as everything was being pulled out of the parcel!  Carol sent the most beautiful biscornu with a design by Just Nan … I can’t believe Carol used to be scared of finishing smalls, but now she is the Queen of finishing!!!  The biscornu is absolutely exquisite!  That would have been plenty enough, but she also sent an issue of JCS with part 1 of a NZ sampler in it, some choccies which arrived with perfect timing, as since then I’ve signed up for Weight Watchers again haha … some chocolate-covered Altoid mints (which are to die for!), and some lovely hand cream and quilting fabric.  Talk about being spoiled rotten!!!  Thank you so much Carol for everything – you rock!!! 😀



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Since the above was drafted, more gifts were also received from Barbara and Katrina … I have to apologise to Katrina J, as I can’t find the photo I thought I’d taken, and I’ve since put the threads away, but she sent some gorgeous blue variegated threads … just perfect for this blue girl!  You have awesome taste, my friend, that’s for sure!! 🙂

From Barbara CL I received a beautiful friendship card, as well as some scrummy blue thread with matching silk ribbon, plus the most awesome duck ribbon for embellishing … thanks so much Barbara for your thoughtful gifts!  Once again, I love everything!!  Thankfully the guys at Customs didn’t like it quite as much as I did and they decided not to keep anything after they opened the envelope for inspection!!


In fact, thanks to all my wonderful online friends for their generous gifts – you helped to make my birthday extra special, and I absolutely adore each and every gift!! 😀

Now it’s time to go take some more Nurofen and get into bed – I’ll get back online again tomorrow for my thank you emails and a stitching update.

Gifts TO BE FIXED, Home & Family TO BE FIXED

Happy social days

My goodness what a wonderful week of socialising this week has been!  First of all our friend Bek came up from Melbourne to visit Wed and Thu nights – we managed to christen a few things during her visit … first of all we christened the sofa bed of my ‘new’ lounge suite, and Bek has given it the seal of approval that it’s very comfy!  Then we christened the pretty comprehensive bar by spending Wed night slurping back numerous Illusion cocktails … which meant Thu at work was pretty low key haha.  Thu night we had antipasto foods and nibbles and a few wines sitting outside while christening our new balcony.  It was really lovely just sitting outside and chilling out with friends!

Friday night we had another ex-Melbourne colleague and friend of Lisa’s here in Sydney, so we ended up heading into the city straight after work to have dinner with him, followed by coffee and dessert at the Lindt chocolaterie cafe at Darling Harbour, before waddling back to the car and drive home.

My birthday started by being very quiet – we were going to go out for breakfast, but I was up at 7am then fell asleep again at 9.45am just as Lisa was getting up … needless to say when I woke up again it was lunchtime and Lisa had gone out shopping.  So I baked myself a birthday cake, and just chilled out for a while.  When Lisa walked in she came in with a big bouquet of flowers for me, then suggested she shout me out for dinner … we went to a local pub called the Intersection or something, and had a lovely dinner followed by a few cocktails.  We toddled in home at about 11.30pm … so thanks to Lisa I had a very special birthday night 🙂

Something else made my birthday extra special too, and that was the parcel that the mailman brought me on Thursday (I haven’t been anywhere near the computer to write about it until now).  There was squishy mail from my good friend KarenV, and I have been spoilt rotten!  Not only did Karen send the remaining Summer Snapperland charts from my wishlist, but she also send the most beautiful pinkeep and floss fob … how gorgeous are these??  Funnily enough, I’d recently kitted up the peacock chart that Karen used for the pinkeep, ‘cos I love it so much, and now I have my own all stitched up!  I absolute adore the little scissor pocket on the back, complete with my very own pair of Putford scissors … yep, you can definitely say I spoilt rotten!!  Thanks once again, my friend, I absolutely adore everything, and the Summer Snapperland series is going to remind me of my new home here in Sydney by the beach (although maybe I should stitch it on grey fabric to match the summer skies we’ve had most of summer haha).




Now I’ll leave you drooling over my gifties from Karen, while I run up to the local shopping centre to buy my Dad some blank DVD’s.  I’ll do another quick post tomorrow, as I need to load up some photos of my plants for Mum and my camera battery has just died …

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In the meantime, I want to wish my good friend KarenV a WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY today – hope you have a fantastic day being spoilt rotten, and may 2008 be a stupendous year brimming full of goodness in every single way!!

Cross Stitch, Gifts TO BE FIXED, Home & Family TO BE FIXED

Happy Mail!

Finally I can share with you a couple of amazing gifts I received last week from two very generous online friends.  After such a stressful time, it was amazing to open up my PO Box and find two envelopes bursting with goodness sitting in there!

First up was a scrummy skein of Gloriana silk from Susan – it might be a bit fuzzier than it originally arrived, as I kept stroking it at work haha.  For anyone who hasn’t fondled a skein of Gloriana before, it’s a sheer joy!  Thanks so much for your lovely thoughtful gift Susan, it’s been a pleasure to call you “friend”, and your gift really touched me! {{hugs}} 🙂


Next up is an absolutely exquisite biscornu from Andrea – this is so perfectly “me” in every sense of the word!!  Look at those scrummy colours and that beautiful finishing … isn’t it a real stunner?!!  This was a gift to welcome me into my new home, and it’s now sitting on display in the lounge with my other smalls – it will always be treasured, Andrea, I really love it to death! I love the personalisation on the back too! 😀



See, I told you last week the piccies would be worth waiting for … and I was right, huh? 😀

Thanks again to my two dear friends for making last week a wonderful one!

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A quick update on the car is that it’s running nicely again – everything requested was fixed … although admittedly it was a bit more than I expected in the end, as the alternator ran into a few difficulties so it ended up costing an extra $100 – anyway, all up it was just over $750 so it didn’t quite hit the $1,000 horror mark … and I’m so happy that everything is now fixed, including the airconditioning and aerial … I’m one happy camper!!! And to top things off I’ll be using it to drive down ‘south’ next weekend to my first stitching weekend in Sydney – I’m really looking forward to meeting a few more stitchers up here 🙂

We have a friend from work coming up from Melbourne tomorrow morning to stay with us for 2 nights until Friday, which will be fun. That means we’re off out to dinner for the next two nights – tomorrow night we’re just popping across the road to the local RSL, then Thursday night we’re heading into the city for the first time. I still haven’t worked out what to do for my birthday yet, hmmm … no doubt I’ll make my decision on Friday night – 24 hours notice is OK right? haha.

I’ve also just been very bad and organised Mum’s birthday gift … we’re now off to see Phantom of the Opera here in Sydney.  Mum’s never seen it before, and she’s always wanted to see the live show, but we’ve never managed to organise it before.  It’s so awesome to finally get tickets for her to see it … and of course I get to share the gift as well (even though I saw it in New York years ago, I’m looking forward to seeing it again).  I hope it lives up to your expectations Mum! 🙂

Rightio, time to quickly run around with a vacuum cleaner before hitting the hay for the night, as I think we’ll be having a late night for the next two nights, and I’ve spent most of tonight in the kitchen cooking … time to quickly cram the entire night’s housework into 15 minutes hmmm 🙂

Cross Stitch, Gifts TO BE FIXED, Home & Family TO BE FIXED

Evil kitty … and squishy mail (picture heavy!)

I’m sure no-one will be greatly surprised when I recite the story of my morning yesterday … it pretty much follows the vein of the rest of the year, and if I could have seen my own face yesterday it would have had me in fits of giggles for weeks on end, I’m sure!!

So, what happened to bring all this mirth on … well, to be honest I didn’t find it particularly funny at the time – and if my day tomorrow is not pain-free I may not see the funny side yet again … but I’m getting ahead of myself already …

Yesterday was like any other day this week, except that I had a slight sleep-in – the alarm went off at 4.30am instead of 3.30am like the other days this week (thanks to Lucien swapping his 6am shift for my 5am one so he could go and play golf after work).  As per usual when I got up it was a hot and humid 4 degrees Celsius (aaarghhh), and the country was in darkness.  Being a lazy so-and-so for the first time all week I decided I couldn’t be bothered walking up to the end of the hallway to put that light on, then come back halfway up the hall to switch the other one off, I decided to just brace myself, study the layout of the hallway, and memorise the lightswitch location in my brain … considering it’s only a few steps away, it wasn’t too difficult to do … or do I thought …

Someone else had other things on his mind, though … “evil kitty” all of a sudden appeared out of nowhere – I assume it was him, but I have to say I couldn’t actually see him, and it could have been Satan himself for all I knew … all I could hear was a whole heap of meeowing going on from the area somewhere near my feet.  Now I was worried I was going to stand on the stupid cat in the middle of the hallway, so I started swinging my feet out with my footsteps … the only problem was that now I’d been distracted by trying to find the cat in the dark with my less-than-nocturnal eyesight, I also couldn’t work out where in the damned hallway I now was!  Aha, I thought – there is a grey patch over on the wall to the left, of course that must be the laundry, as the light will be reflecting through the door … let me just walk out and reach out to switch on that light which is closer than the other one … let me just take one more step and reach ……………

The next thing I know I’m stepping out into mid-air, then with a comical expression of total surprise I find myself tumbling down the couple of steps at the end of the hallway … ’twas not the laundry light at all, it was the kitchen!!  My mobile phone went crashing off across the wooden floor, but the final Harry Potter book decided to just sit crying in a heap as it wasn’t in a bouncing mood … me, I just sat there in a heap trying to work out which part hurt most, and which part of my anatomy I should try to move first … crikey, it would have been a picture and a half with that stunned look on my face!!

Luckily, though, nothing was majorly damaged – I felt a bit shaken up and a bit queasy, which I’m sure was from the shock rather than anything else.  Because I was on such an early shift I didn’t want to let my colleagues down at work, and seemed OK to drive, so I went into work – by the time I arrived, though, my right foot was throbbing like hell.  I ended up tipping a recycling box upside down and elevating my leg under the desk for a few hours, and Lucien got a great deal of mirth out of watching me get up to answer a phone call at another desk when my legs nearly buckled from underneath me … glad I could put a smile on your face Lucifer! 😉

Anyway, today I woke up feeling as though I’ve been run over by a Mack truck – the muscles in my left leg, especially my thigh, feel as though I’ve done 3 hours hard work-out at a gym and are very strained and uncomfortable.  My right foot also started really throbbing again after about 6 hours, but luckily today we were working with Bernie who’s a Nurse in her other role (she does a few hours after work to keep her qualifications current) – she had an ice pack put on it, then strapped it up for me.  I’ve been given orders, though, that if I get any more discomfort from it tomorrow I’ve got to go to the doctors as she thinks there’s a possibility of it being a hairline fracture – so far there’s only a little bit of swelling and no bruising yet … fingers crossed it doesn’t turn to anything more sinister!  I’m currently sitting here with another ice pack on, so hopefully that will help 🙂

So, that’s been the last couple of days for you … on a good note, though, I’ve had some exceptionally gorgeous gifties over the last week that I can finally share with you as I’ve sent off all my thank you emails.  I’ll show them in the order that they were received – and I have to say I love every single one of them, thank you ladies!! 😀

First up is an exquisite parcel I received from Isabelle – I must say I tried to help Isabelle and Seb out by buying one of Isabelle’s beautiful bags from her Etsy shop (I fell in love with this one hook line and sinker), after finding out what the proceeds were going towards … and Isabelle said she wanted to send something extra with it when it came time to post it out.  Here are all my goodies – am I spoilt or what??!  These were actually posted quite a while ago, and I started wondering if they’d gone missing … it turns out they had – they were found at the East Camberwell post office, after I queried it!  They’d been having a lovely quiet holiday over there, with no-one any the wiser!  No doubt Isabelle will be pleased to know they finally turned up safe and sound.  The blue bag with white lace on the left is the one I chose to buy, and the other bag is an extra one made especially for me.  Aren’t they beautiful?  Not only that, but I now have my very own French XS magazine that I’ve been spreading drool over for days – I think I could quite easily become addicted to these!  But the piece de resistance for me would have to be the little bourse at the back – this has extra special sentimental value for me, as this was made from the fabric from Isabelle’s wedding dress … I had a serious lump in my throat when I read that!  I’m going to use it as a jewellery pouch for my favourite pieces of jewellery.  Thanks again Isabelle – everything will be treasured always, my dear friend – I feel truly honoured to own some of your masterpieces!

gift from isabelle aug 07

Next up is something totally different … while Tessa was away in the UK she found this adorable, gorgeous duck and thought of me when she saw it!  I don’t know why?!! haha.  Doesn’t it have the most awesome character??  I just love it to death, and it will be a most prized possession in my collection.  In fact the day it arrived it spent all day sitting on my desk atop my computer base – it put a smile on my face every time I looked at it.  Thanks so much again Tessa – I really love it to pieces … it’s so sweet of you to think of me while you were away, especially knowing the reason you were there {{hugs}}.

gift from tessa aug07

Now last, but by no means least … I received an absolutely exquisite RAK from Dawn in the mail today!  After tumbling down the stairs yesterday, and feeling crappy for two days, this did an exceptional job of cheering me up today!  Isn’t it gorgeous?  And the colour is so scrummy, and my fave … BLUE!  Thanks again Dawn, for a wonderful RAK – I truly do feel thoroughly spoilt, and really appreciate your gift.  I can’t wait to get it on a pair of scissors!  I love the postcard too! 😀

gift from dawn townsend aug07a

Talking of work (well, I was earlier in the post anyway) … I cashed in my bonus payment this week – and bought my GPS/iPaq.  I decided to go without the WiFi and extra 1GB of memory and bought the HP iPaq 5765, and spent the extra $180 on something different … I spent the rest of the bonus money on upgrading my compact digital camera.  I’ve had my old Canon PowerShot for about 6-7 years now, and while it’s been an awesome camera, technology had most definitely improved over the years and my 3 megapixels are a bit lacking these days.  I wanted something with a better macro capability, and I considered getting a macro lens for my Nikon digital SLR, but it was out of my price range … but I got something even better – in fact it’s seems clearer than my SLR lenses, which is amazing!  Hopefully it’ll be better for taking shots of my needlework once I get my head around all the settings.  The camera make I got was a Panasonic Lumix which has a Leica lens and a 10x optical zoom … I shall say no more!! 😉

Here’s a couple of shots taken on it by Lucien … he spent more time playing with it today than I did!!  Here’s one of our office desks in the area I work in … plus one of me actually doing work while Lucien goofs off!! As you can see, it’s casual dress day today yippee!

work1 aug07

work2 aug07

Then there are a couple of shots I took on arrival home in Daniel’s garden – the close-up views when you zoom in are exceptional on the flower stamens in the 2nd photo … wow!!  So much so that Lucien is thinking of buying one now too 😉

daniels flowers 3

daniels flowers 2

daniels flowers 1

So now it’s back on the wagon again spending-wise … time to pull the horns in again and get some $ back into the bank once more.  Bless you, though, work management for giving us a wonderful gift of cash … I, for one, wholeheartedly appreciate the thought! I thought of being very responsible and putting it towards bills, but then thought “sod it” and went spending haha.  As Mum always says, “it’s money you never had, so treat yourself” 😀

Rightio, time to remove the ice pack for 20 minutes … then it’ll be time to sit back down again with it back on again – if this keeps up you might even see another stitching finish soon … I’m halfway through a Christmas ornie, so you never know your luck in a raffle! 😉


Gifts in the mail

I can finally show you a piccie of the wonderful gifts I received in the mail yesterday.  Aside from my big selection of pins that arrived, there was also a bag full of threads that are to be RAK’s in the coming months to those in the RAK Registry (it’s the first time I’ve been able to splurge on the non-essential items for quite some time, and I couldn’t help but splurge somewhat on my stitching pals – even if it’s just a small token) … I didn’t bother taking a photo though sorry.

Anyway, enough rambling … on to the awesome mail … Mel kindly sent me a scissor fob she made, along with some of her famous threads that she dyes herself – isn’t this the most divine fob?  I just adore the design and finishing of this – I haven’t seen anything finished in this style before, and I really love it!  And how scrummy are those threads?  Those of you that know me well enough by now know I don’t “do” pink … except I really love cerise pinks, it’s so luscious.  Thank you again Mel for your generous gifts … I adore everything 😀  Unfortunately the photo doesn’t do the fob or the threads justice – they’re much more scrummy in real life!!

gift from mel jul07

I have to say thanks again to all of you who continue to visit regularly – and especially those who have sent gifts over recent times.  Before I started blogging I never ever received anything hand-made, and that’s the sort of gift I treasure the most, those that are homemade in whatever shape or form – everything I’ve received over the last couple of years I will seriously treasure always … I love everything, and all the love, care and warm thoughts that are conveyed in their giving – every time I think of the wonderful gifts of friendship (not just the physical gifts), it gives me the warm fuzzies inside!  You all make the world a warmer place to live in! {{hugs}}

Now, time to head off to bed … I was awake half the night last night (from 2.30am anyway) as I just couldn’t get warm in bed … tonight I’m fore-armed with a hotwater bottle warming up the bottom of the bed … I’m looking forward to stretching out and planting my fat feet smack down on top of it! 😉

Cross Stitch, Finishes, Finishing, Gifts TO BE FIXED

Quick update

Not much time to blog, as I need to get dinner cracking (aka defrosting and reheating in the microwave LOL) … after having a really horrendous time over the weekend, I’m taking it easy this week.  I spent almost the entire day in bed again yesterday, only surfacing at about 7.30pm hmmm.  Today, though, I feel quite a bit better – and definitely better tonight than I did this morning!

I received some more yummy mail today, but I haven’t had chance to email a thank you yet, so the piccie will have to wait for that … what I do want to post is that FINALLY my gift for Tessa is ready to go in the mail!  Only a couple of months after meeting each other, and I can get it mailed out.  You see, my original drama had to do with not being able to find any suitable pins …

First of all, I thought I had some at home already – when I proved myself wrong, I went out and bought some …

These turned out to be waaaaay too small head-wise, although the colour was pretty good (but they’re incredibly sharp and the small container now fits perfectly in my stitching bag as a handy tool).

red pins 1

Back to the drawing board, and I bought 4 wheels of pins so I could pull the red ones out … well, don’t ask me what the heck I did with them, ‘cos they disappeared from sight until I was packing up the flat last month – but the colour turned out to be wrong (ie too pale for the ribbon, and a totally different shade to the stitching) …

Another shopping trip and two more packets later, and the colour STILL isn’t right …

red pins 2

BUT today the mailman brought me some pins I ordered online (thanks Andrea for advertising that shop on Ebay!) … and FINALLY the pins are just perfect!!  If anyone local needs any pins at any time, scream out, ‘cos I bought a bucketload of different colours (blue, red, purple, beige, and white, from memory – I haven’t opened the box up properly yet) ;P

red pins 3

Here’s the final version of Tessa’s pinkeep … and believe it or not I finally managed to upload the photos off my phone of our meeting in Acland Street – my old PC would never acknowledge the upload cable, but my new laptop seems to play nicely and they’re finally off the phone and into the computer memory woohoo!!  (Thanks to my housesitting job for the lovely interesting backdrop!)

pinkeep for tessa 1

pinkeep for tessa 2


Anyway, my sincere apologies, Tessa for the delay, but it will be winging its way to you some time this week! 😀

Rightio, off to the lounge for dinner and a bit of a tidy-up ‘cos there’s packing stuff all over the place and I need to get everything into storage again this weekend …  It’s getting closer to moving day, and I’d like a week of rest beforehand, if I can.  Plus I need to do all the housework too, of course, and next week I’m on overnight shifts yucky 😦

Cross Stitch, Gifts TO BE FIXED, Home & Family TO BE FIXED, Round Robins, Works in Progress

Sing-along … “Vanilla Ice Ice Baby…”

I don’t know about the Vanilla part, but there was plenty of the “ice ice, baby” this morning when I got up … I woke up totally cocooned in my duvet this morning, and had to get the hosepipe out to blast the ice from my windscreen before I could drive to work … bloomin’ heck it’s freezing!!!  Thank goodness I’m outta that flat, or you might have been chipping the ice off my body for a week! 😉

I’ve been a big neglectful of my computer over the last few days, as I’ve been ready to throw it out the window … not so much the laptop itself, but the associated problems of transferring files and doing jobs that are normally plain and simple on my old PC, but for some reason now require the braincells of a rocket scientist 😦  Hence last Wednesday I walked away from it and refused to do any more transferring until I was in a better frame of mind …

Thanks Ally for the link to the Vista tip site – I’m still having problems transferring my emails across, but I haven’t given up hope just yet … I am also having problems, though, with my old version of Outlook running on this machine (basically it won’t work) – and it won’t let me re-download all the security patches etc … I thought I’d be clever and download the 60 day trial of Office 2007, but even that version won’t play ball with Outlook, so for now I’m waving the white flag and conceding defeat until I’m ready to start tackling it again in a week or so’s time.

Now, where’s my draft email that I started drafting up a blog post last week …??  Aha, here we go … off to do a job of cut and paste, and a bit of editing, then I’ll finish up with the latest update of the week’s events (which are pretty few and far between) …

It’s been a while since I blogged (because the Photo Hunt was created an entire month ago now, I can’t claim the fame for blogging about that recently), and it’s been an interesting week overall.  I’ve been on some mixed shifts, and it tired me out somewhat last week … I did have a huge highlight of the week when I received some wonderful squishy mail 🙂

Nicki sent me a RAK that totally blew me away!  I received one of the charts on my wishlist, “Blessed with Happiness box” by The Cat’s Whiskers … Nicki thought the wording on the box were perfectly suited to my recent life dramas, and I’d have to agree I love the sentiments behind it 🙂  But not only that, Nicki also sent me the fabric, Dinky Dyes silks, Kreinik Blending Filament and Mill Hill beads to kit it up … WOW!!!  My jaw was seriously sitting on the floor for quite a while … thank you Nicki from the bottom of my heart 😀  My apologies it’s taken me so long to blog about it (I’ll explain why soon).

rak from nicki jun07

In fact it was Nicki’s generosity that finally geared me up me get my A into G and have a ‘stitchy weekend’ … I have to admit no stitches were actually done, but I dragged out the boxes of stitching goodies that I’d brought with me that all needed to be sorted out before going back into storage, and I’ve spent the entire weekend (well, my version of a weekend anyway – it was actually Thu/Fri) cutting up fabrics for dozens and dozens of projects.  Each project is in it’s own sealed plastic bag with the chart and fabric, and all I have to do now is to kit up with the threads (which is what I’ve been doing for the last 2 nights).  Then they’ll all sit in 2-3 boxes in storage ready for me to dip my hands in when I need something new to stitch.

Unfortunately with housesitting I don’t have the space and flexibility to travel with my full rotation, so I’m going to become a one-at-a-time stitcher.  I plan to have one project with me that’s a larger/more complex project (such as Bordeaux Sampler and Winter Queen etc), with a couple of smaller projects such as a needlebook or needleroll to break it up a bit. That way I should only have to travel with one set of scrollbars and one of Q-snaps.  I’m lucky at the moment in that I’m only a short drive away from my storage unit (it’s literally within 10 minutes drive from home) … but with future housesitting jobs I won’t have that luxury (for those who know Melbourne well, my upcoming jobs vary from Ringwood, to Airport West, to Seaford, to a ‘mystery location’).  If nothing else, it’ll show me different parts of Melbourne I haven’t seen before! 😉

Rightio, back to my scheduled yapping, now I’ve edited that draft …

The only stitching I’ve been doing has been a few stitches into KarenV’s Quaker RR – this is due to be mailed in less than a week’s time so I thought I’d better get cracking on it.  I just have one large motif plus one tiny one and my initials, so it shouldn’t take much longer to finish whatsoever 🙂 Unfortunately my very bad photo doesn’t do this beauty justice at all!

karen's quaker rr

Unfortunately my car woes have continued to my new place (mutter mutter mutter) … the dashboard light stopped working the night I drove Mum home after the big ‘move’, but I promptly forgot about it until I had to start driving in the dark again about two weeks ago.  I called Ace mobile mechanics (and yes, I’m giving their name for a reason) who did the original job, and asked if I could organise for Nick to come out to fix it during my days off.  He ended up cancelling on the scheduled day due to being stuck on a job, but eventually came round on Friday.  You may remember I got seriously duped and taken for a ride when I got my clutch replaced, well this time I stuck up for myself big time!  When he turned up he said he’d brought the dimmer switch, and it’d be just over $53 to install it.  Um, since when did we discuss installing a dimmer switch??  Apparently I was told if the job didn’t work with the normal switch he installed, then I would need to get the dimmer switch … Um, actually Nick no that’s not correct – the conversation we actually had was that you gave me a choice on the night – if I preferred to have the dimmer switch (which the car is usually installed with as factory standard), then he’d have to order it in … but I could use a normal switch which could be installed immediately, the problem being that you couldn’t then dim the light and the dashboard would be brightly lit all the time the lights were on.  No problem, I say, as I never use the dimmer switch anyway, so please feel free to use what you have to hand …

On completion of the job he tells me that if I change my mind and would rather have the dimmer switch, all I had to do was to call up and tell them, and they’d come round and install it – the only thing I’d have to pay for would be the parts themselves as the labour would be covered under the current job.  Now THAT is not a conversation I had in my mind or with an imaginary party during a dreaming session … admittedly I was under stress at the time, but I remember that conversation very lucidly and clearly, and it certainly isn’t something I could have made up.

So, going back to Friday’s conversation … Nick says I’ll just work out what the final cost will be for you – rightio, that’ll be $120-something.  Picture me turning purple, and just managing to mutter “I beg your pardon??” – where the hell does the extra money come from??  Oh, he says, that’s the cost of the labour … Yep, you got it, Mt St Annie erupted in the middle of the driveway – I repeated the conversation we had, but he declared he never would have said that blah blah blah.  Let’s just say I politely told him to take his dimmer switch away and remove himself from the property because he wasn’t getting another red cent from me!  I said I’d rather pay for someone else to come and do the job properly and he was a disgusting fraud … (phew!!)

Then I took the keys, locked up my car, and walked inside … and phoned Ace up to make a formal complaint about him, and tell them how downright angry and ropeable I was.  I’m sorry to say it, but as a female I’m sick to death of being taken for granted by bl**dy mechanics and thieves.  I may be female, but I no longer have “stupid” tattooed on my forehead … mutter mutter mutter.  Anyway, let’s just say the matter has yet to be resolved, as it turns out Nick hasn’t handed in his invoice for the old job yet, and apparently he would have remarked it with comments (I wish I knew where my copy was, as it’s now buried in storage somewhere hmmm) – hopefully I should hear back tomorrow from the General Manager.  Mt St Annie is still simmering under the surface depending on the outcome …  I have to admit, though, when Nick was playing around with the wires when he first arrived and was looking at the car, I think it might just have been a loose wire, as it’s been working fine ever since (for the last two nights anyway) – so with any luck it won’t be necessary to see his ugly mug on my doorstep again 😦  Karma is gonna get you one day, you big fraud!!

Wow, that was one HUGE vent off my chest … it’s amazing what a good moan does for you 😉  Now it’s time to settle in for bedtime – my hotwater bottle is sitting at my feet so hopefully that’ll make it easier to doze off to sleep.  It’s dreadful that the only place I can find a good connection for the internet modem is here in the bedroom – bless my laptop, it’s wonderful sitting up in bed doing my computing, it’s so much warmer 😉

Actually, the other reason I’ve been lax in posting is that I’ve refused to post until I could post my piccies of both Nicki’s RAK and Karen’s RR, and for some reason every way I’ve tried to download from my CompactFlash card I’ve had to give up. Every time I tried to load up a card reader (I bought a new one 1 1/2 weeks ago as my laptop doesn’t support that card type – the one thing I miss from my PC), and the system froze up and didn’t acknowledge the drive. Then Mum sent my old one from home, and that wasn’t working either … I finally gave up and started up my old PC and tried to download my ‘old way’, but it wouldn’t acknowledge it either. Well, tonight I finally fixed it … I ended up formatting the drive, and wiping everything off my card (losing all the photos in the process, but them’s the breaks), but I can FINALLY upload photos either from my camera directly or from the card reader … it seems the problem all along with the flash card itself 😦 I think it got corrupted during the data transfer cabling, as I’d forgotten and left it sitting in the PC cardreader at the time … but “it’s all good” now yippee!!

Rightio, I really MUST get off to bed, or I’ll be a cranky camper tomorrow 😉 Hope you are all having a good week – I look forward to reading your blogs soon! 😀

Blogging Memes, Cross Stitch, Gifts TO BE FIXED

A great visit and a tagging

First of all, I have to say a huge “Hi” and thank you to Tannia for being such a wonderful hostess with the mostest last Sunday (crikey, I can’t believe it was a whole week ago today as well – time flies when you’re having fun!) … it was lovely to finally put a face to the name and meet for the first time!  It was also really lovely to put faces to the other guests as well – it was great to meet Mel and Junette also for the first time (thanks Mel for mentioning the link on Tannia’s blog, as I now have another great blog to read!), and of course Tannia’s other half – it was great to spend time with wonderful ladies (and gents) and wonderful company, and I certainly hope this will be the first of many visits 😀

I got spoilt rotten by both Mel and Tannia – Mel kindly brought some unloved stash along, and we got to choose any items from the piles that we’d like to give a good home … I came home with two items from my wishlist – a Beyond XS chart by The Victoria Sampler (level 3, number 4 – blackwork … and yes, Mum, I know you’re going to want that one too ‘cos it’s a Christmas one!! haha), and Hummingbird by Elizabeth’s Designs … woohoo!  Thanks again Mel for sharing with us – I’d actually meant to do the same thing myself, and forgot to take the bag into work with me … hopefully next time we meet again I’ll remember, and I can return the favour!!

Tannia spoilt me by giving me an absolutely gorgeous fob she’d stitched … I’d actually been drooling over it as it was sitting on display on the set of drawers in the lounge, as it is stitched in one of my all-time favourite threads (an Anchor variegated one) … I was absolutely stunned when Tannia handed it over to me saying it was for me – thanks again Tannia, I really adore it, and it was on a pair of scissors within hours the next day.  Here are photos of the front and back so you too can now drool, if you haven’t already seen it on Tannia’s blog 😀



I went to the get-together straight from work after a 5am shift, which I normally don’t do because I’m not usually the perkiest person to be around – but I really didn’t want to pass up the opportunity of meeting this great bunch of ladies, so I’m glad I made the effort.  All-in-all Melbourne is becoming an even friendlier place all the time – I’ve truly met some wonderful ladies through the blogs from within my own city, and it brings an extra glimmer of warmth to living here 😀

Onto other things … I got a shock when I logged into WordPress today and saw the “hair” photo for the Photo Hunt … I’d forgotten that I’d already set up a couple of months worth of Photo Hunt photos in case I couldn’t get to an internet connection in advance.  I can’t remember which themes are coming up, or what photos I selected, so it’s as much of a surprise for me as it is for you at the moment LOL.

Now, before I forget, I have to apologise to Georgie for not posting about this earlier – unfortunately I got tagged while I was in the middle of packing up etc, and the timing wasn’t great, but I still like to complete the tags when I get them, so here’s my response albeit a month late!!

Here’s how to play:
1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves
2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules
3. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. In my teen years I used to have dozens of penpals, after advertising for one in a UK magazine (but unfortunately don’t keep in touch with any of them now)
2. I dislike babies and have absolutely no urge to pick one up and cuddle … but once they turn into little terrors (or ‘real people’ as I call it) at the age of 2, I’m happy to spend time with them (I definitely don’t take after Mum, who will happily cuddle any baby regardless of who it belongs to)
3. I love walking around in bare feet – which is probably why I now have very wide, hard-to-buy-shoes-for feet!
4. I used to be the Editor of a Car Club magazine for post-war vintage cars (the Armstrong-Siddeley Car Club)
5. I love trying new foods – and love almost every cuisine … just don’t serve me up boiled limp cabbage or octopus tentacles, and we’ll all be happy (they’re pretty much the only things that leave me cold … although with the exception of kidneys and liver, I can’t say I’m too keen to eat offal such as tripe etc … gag …)
6. I sponsored a child in Sri Lanka before they closed the project down, then sponsored a child in South America for a few years – the only reason I stopped is because I moved here and couldn’t afford to keep it up … I still have regrets and wonder how Aline is doing now …
7. I love nothing better than curling up in front of a DVD (or preferably more than one) with my stitching … and have a DVD player that has slots for 5 DVD’s at once … it’s not unusual for me to work my way through all 5 in one marathon stitching session 😉
8. I used to work behind the Bar of the Marist Brothers Old Boys Rugby Football Club in Auckland, and met a few of the All Blacks because of … including a memorable session of dancing behind the bar with ZinZan Brooke after an all-nighter when our senior team won the championship

Rightio, I think that’ll do it for now … I may have already said a few of those things, I can’t remember … and I won’t bother tagging anyone as I think I’m the last person on the planet not to have completed it (especially as I got tagged back on 11 May!!).

I’m also super behind with the SBQ’s again, with I think about 4 questions outstanding, but I’ll save those for another day, as I think I’ve waffled on enough again 😀  Now I might pop over and do some internet banking while I still have a connection, then with luck I may get chance to check out a couple of blogs … I apologise though that I may not be commenting, as I notice there are currently 911 unread feeds yikes!!

Gifts TO BE FIXED, Home & Family TO BE FIXED

Wonderful morning turning into the day from hell

I’ll start with the best part of the day yesterday … then you can feel free to skip everything else while I have a moan about the day’s deterioration 😉

Yesterday I planned my day out well (or so I thought) to save my petrol costs – I had to drive out to Heidelberg to get my back fixed, so thought I’d call in and get quotes on self-storage, clear my PO Box and get my blood tests done on the way.  When I arrived at the clinic just after 12.30 I was told I had to wait until 1.30 as the Nurse had gone to lunch … I’d been fasting all day so far, so that wasn’t great news, plus my bladder was bursting, but I hung on in case I had to do a mid-stream or something.  Anyway, that was OK, as it gave me time to pop over to the Post Office and I had a little look around the Camberwell fresh food markets to fill in the rest of the time, and bought myself a small treat of a few large green olives stuffed with blue cheese (woohoo, big spender! LOL).  BUT, I had some GREAT treats waiting for me in my PO Box that had me grinning all the way back to the doctors surgery … (this is obviously the good part of the day)

The first thing I saw looking up at me at the top of the pile was this wee ‘just because’ card from Barbara:


Aren’t they the cutest little faces?  That straightaway put a big grin on my face – little duckie faces never fail to make me smile.  In fact, I have a ‘few’ in my bathroom that I don’t think I’ve shared with you yet … every time I see a new one I have to buy it … and Mum always joins me in the hunt when she’s over 😀  I actually saw a giant sized blue one while I was out yesterday that I fell in love with … but that’ll have to wait for another day 😉  In fact, you can see all the designs available on this website of the smaller Bud ducks like I’ve been getting … you gotta just love some of ’em!


At the bottom of the pile of mail I also came across two ‘parcel slips’ – and lo and behold there were two wonderful gifts waiting for me.  The contents wiped the grin off my face, as my jaw promptly hit the concrete in awe!!

First up was a parcel from Paula – with some wonderful fabbies that are going to be so useful (the black/gold quilting fabric is already in mind for finishing “Onyx” by Paw Printings once I get it stitched, it will be perfect!), and I’m always in need of neutral stitching fabrics 🙂  Stationery is always handy, so the pencils will be useful, but the piece de la resistance was that Paula sent me the entire Winter Snapperland series off my ‘ultimate’ wishlist – along with the border chart (which I just realised I forgot to include in the photo), and the snappers … I’m totally blown away by the whole parcel!  Thank you again Paula for a wonderfully thoughtful parcel – I love everything!


Lucky last (but most definitely not the least), I received my gift from Judith – I knew this one was coming, but I had no idea how exquisite the contents would be!  Another gift that finished the job of leaving me speechless … Judith sent me one of her awesome cartonnage creations – isn’t this incredible??  I’ve been getting the urge to try some cartonnage myself after drooling over the contents of this blog, and now this has given me even more incentive (and funnily enough, I was just looking through the book Isabelle sent me for my birthday and pondering future projects).  Along with the beautiful box, Judith also sent some scrummy blue fabbies – and I’d just been killing extra time beforehand (before I went to the markets) at a newsagents flipping through magazines … I’d just seen a log cabin quilt done in a “tropical sea” theme all in teals, turquoises and blues, that I loved and now my mind is ticking over even more with the addition of these new fabrics.  But even if I don’t do that quilt, I have dozens of other ideas to use it for – the difficulty will be in the choosing! 😀  So thank you again, Judith, for an exquisite gift.  (The top picture is pretty accurate of the colours.)

In fact a huge thank again to all three of you for truly brightening an otherwise shocking day.  In fact I started getting all teary-eyed again while typing my thank you email to Judith this morning … your generosity and kindness has truly touched me! {{{hugs}}}

As you can gather from the start of this post, the rest of the day went quickly downhill.  I finally got into the medical centre only to find apparently I’d been fasting too long, so they didn’t do the tests.  I figured I’d just find a lab closer to home and go this morning … but now I’ll be putting it off until tomorrow morning …

As I was driving over to Heidelberg I started getting a bit of a headache – perhaps from lack of food, but it could be a multitude of things, including just general stress.  Anyway, driving into the bright sunlight it was triggering off even more, which made me wonder if it was a migraine starting to take hold.  I picked up a couple of groceries from Heidelberg while killing a bit of extra time, then went to get my back/shoulder manipulated.  All I can say is thank goodness she only does it for about 2 minutes … it’s bl**dy excruciating while she’s digging in and manipulating the nerves around … apparently I’d done a really good job of twisting it, so she had great fun fixing it up … wish I could say the same thing!  Anyway, thankfully that’s all over and done with, and now I just have a stiff neck/shoulder, but that’s perhaps more due to the stress and tension than anything else right now, and a bit of tenderness where she was digging around.

On the way home I decided to make a detour and miss the works traffic and headed to Box Hill – by then I was feeling quite hot and seedy so called into a pharmacy and picked up some Ibuprofen, then called past to say hi to my pal Sharon … she wouldn’t let me have dinner on my own, and told me to come home with her as she’s just up the road.  I picked up a couple of prawn rice paper rolls just so I could take my ‘nurofen’ straightaway, and by the time I got to Sharon’s I was feeling more than just a bit seedy!  After taking my tablets I think I lasted 10 minutes at the most before I was in their toilet with my head down it!  I obviously didn’t end up staying for dinner, but thought it wise I just get myself home as soon as possible and into bed … easier said than done, and in hindsight I would have been better staying there a bit longer!

I felt so dreadful driving home, I ended up pulling over on the side of the road a few times to throw up … and a couple of times felt so bad I was unable to drive, so I dropped the drivers seat down and lay down for a while before driving a few more streets before being sick and laying down again.  The last time I was sooooo close to home and I kept trying to hold on, but in the end had to swerve the car over … I just had time to open the door before I started vomiting again.  It took me about 2 1/2 hours to drive home, where it’s normally about 45 minutes with no traffic … I came home and grabbed a bucket for beside the bed, and just crawled straight in.

Hence the reason I’ve opted not to go have my blood tests this morning, as I don’t have any food in my stomach, and I’m sure as heck not going for 8-12 hours with no food during the day today … I need to try to get some nutrients back into my body.  I have to say I still feel a bit grotty today, and think I may go back to bed for another couple of hours.  But first I’m going to make a big jug of iced tea to sip throughout the day (I’m not a huge water fan, so at least this’ll get some liquids into me).

The great news, though, is that I spoke to Mum this morning and she received her passport in the mail yesterday morning, which means she’s going to be flying over on Sunday, all going well – just in time for Mother’s Day!  I’m so glad I put her on my work benefits, so she can do that easily.  I’ve only been able to get one day off work around the moving time, so it’ll be great having Mum here, and I went in yesterday morning (before going to the PO Box) to work out costs of storage etc, and today I’m heading out to pick up some packing boxes … and I’ve also organised to have my internet and phone line cancelled on 1 June … but everything else can wait, as I think I’m heading back to bed again now …

One good thing is that I’m able to keep my email mailbox open, for the cost of $25/year, so at least once my account has been closed, I can either re-open it again with iinet as my provider when I eventually move into a permanent home, or if I go with a wireless option (eg with Unwired), then I can still access those emails via a gateway – makes it so much easier!  It does mean, however, that I may have to rely on internet cafes and libraries for 2-3 months … it also means I just might get more stitching done that way too 😉

Right, enough waffling … I’m off to bed! 😉