Gifts TO BE FIXED, Melbourne, RAK Registry

RAK’s everywhere!!

Aha, the mystery is solved … Carol, you were right in your comment, the parcel sitting in my PO Box was indeed a wonderful RAK from Deb. Look at this load of goodies, isn’t it awesome? There are some fun friendship sayings in one chart, and some great tassel ideas in the other one, and threads and beads are always handy (love the lemon colour, it’s very very pretty). I really do especially love the little notepad and teabag holder in the blues and lemons – aren’t they just darling? Thanks so much Deb, you’re a real sweetheart 😀


When I said RAK’s were everywhere, it was a true statement … I also had a mystery gift in my email Inbox today as well.  When I say mystery gift, I mean the actual sweet soul who has organised this is a mystery – the actual gift isn’t a mystery, but it’s a wonderful treat that I can’t wait to ‘use’.  I received a Bill Bryson book from Audible, entitled “The Life & Times of the Thunderbolt Kit” – woohoo! It just says “from a Friend” in thanks for my RAK to them … but I’ve done a few RAK’s just lately, so I’m not entirely sure who it is! Whoever you are, thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart – I’ll be having a few giggles over the next few days while I sit and listen to it 😀  And if anyone wants to have a sneak preview of his book “Down Under” (also published under the name of “A Sunburned Country”), you can click here to read one of the chapters … (it took a short time to load on my PC)

Anyway, another round of thanks again to both Deb and my mystery RAK’er, you’ve made my day!

  Talking about RAK’s I wonder if anyone has any suggestions for my RAK Registry blog.  A couple of people would like to see more interaction on the blog, with space to post about RAK’s sent and received, as well as one person that would like updates on new members joining etc.  I’m just wondering what the best way of going about this is … you see, I’d prefer to leave the blog contents as ‘static’, ie the birthday list, and the individual wishlists, and wonder whether to just set up the blog with “pages” with tabs at the top with each topic, then use the ‘main’ part of the blog for individuals to post to, or maybe using a ‘shoutbox’ … but perhaps there’s a better way to go about it?  It’s easy enough to show those that have been ‘new additions’, as I can send an email to everyone, say monthly, with new blogs, as well as adding **NEW** after the details on the blog itself.  Anyway, if anyone has any good suggestions about how people could interact more on it, I’d love to hear them  😀

Even without the wonderful contents of both my mailboxes, today was a pretty good day all-in-all.  I ended up doing 4 1/2 hours overtime today, as it took a while to finish one call with two round-the-world tickets they wanted booking.  I can’t remember the last time I did actual ‘passenger’ calls … it might even be about a year ago!  And I have to say I really enjoyed it – it was a lot less stressful than it was on the supervisor hotline yesterday, and I remembered how much enjoyment I get from helping the general public out.  Some people get a bit frustrated with the ‘doddery’ passengers who’ve never travelled before and need more time and information, whereas they’re the calls I always used to enjoy the most.  Those 4 1/2 hours sped past so quickly, it was amazing!

I decided to go into work today on the train, so that I could call into the city on the way home (I never ever drive into the city ‘cos I don’t know where I’m driving and I’m too wimpy to try dealing with trams and hook turns on my own! LOL) … my most essential piece of equipment fell to bits a week or so ago, and I’ve been devastated ever since!  I tried finding a replacement at Target and other local shops, but couldn’t find one that I liked … so I went to Hudsons Coffee to get the same design as my old one – a bit pricey, but I like drinking out of it … here’s my new essential call centre office equipment … a thermal coffee mug!  There’s nothing worse than getting stuck on a call and having your coffee go cold … especially when you just walk in the door and sign into your phone at 4.55am and your first call is a complaint that lasts 1/2 an hour … nope, gotta have that caffeine kick at 5am, or it’s just not cricket!  😉


Walking home from the tram stop I was reminded how small and insignificant, simple things in life can give enjoyment … walking down the street there were brown leaves scattered over the grass and pavements, and all of a sudden I walked past one bright red autumn leaf sitting like a jewel among the other dead leaves surrounding it – just something small, but it really made my heart and mind go ‘awww’ … yep, gotta appreciate those simple things … 🙂

Tonight I’m going to sit and catch up on more TV programs I’ve had taped during my early shifts last week (I’ve run out of blank tapes now, so I’d better get cracking …), then tomorrow I think I’ll ignore the housework for a day and have a full day stitching – ah, such decadence!  After working 8 days straight, I’ve decided a bit of self-indulgence on my days off is warranted 😉

Cross Stitch, Finishes, Gifts TO BE FIXED, Round Robins

Peaks and troughs (aka highs and lows)

It’s been a week of differing emotions – and challenges – but also also of some extreme highs.

First up I had an emotional low dealing with public transport for my night shifts … it wasn’t much fun leaving home at 7.15pm for a 9pm start (I’d usually leave just before 8.30pm in my car), and sitting around the ‘transfer’ train station for 20 minutes in the cold and dark … crikey, it’s only been a couple of days, and I miss my car dearly already!  It actually wouldn’t normally be too bad, but the shifts I’m on at the moment make it a pain in the a***.  Thankfully I managed to get a lift to work and home and again for last night’s shift, which was a blessing.

I arrived at work on Wednesday night feeling very flat (the first full day without my car) … but I arrived 1/2 hour early for work, so I walked down to the PO Box to check the mail.  There’s a ‘parcel slip’ in there, but I can’t get that until Tuesday when I will be back at work during their opening hours, so I just have to sit patiently until then when I can find out what’s hiding in there.  There was, however, a wonderful surprise sitting in there, and the contents put a huge smile on my face all the way back to work!

Virpi very kindly sent me some feathered friends through the mail, along with some stationery items, in thanks for a chart I sent her as a RAK last month.  Talk about arriving at the perfect time!  I sat the wee ducks on my desk and they kept my spirits up throughout the whole night 🙂  Aren’t they the cutest things?  I just adore them!  Thank you so much Virpi for a wonderful gift … they’re definitely in a loving home, and they seem to be getting on very well with all their extended family 😉


Unfortunately after that shift I had a crappy complaint call before I left work, and it was almost 8am before I got to sleep … that was really bad timing as I’d agreed to meet up with Tessa, so the poor thing had to put up with me looking like Frankenstein’s bride after only getting about 5 hours sleep before meeting.  I have to say, though, after a coffee and some wonderful conversation I felt fantastic … and it was a real pleasure to meet up – I certainly hope it won’t be the last time, as Tessa is a gorgeous person and wonderful to spend time with.  It’s always a good sign when the time passes so quickly, and there was never a lull in the conversation.  Unfortunately I’d had a minor catastrophe with part of Tessa’s gift – the stitching had been finished ready to be made into a pinkeep, but on coming home from Sydney I realised I didn’t have any pins that actually matched in colour … no problem, I think to myself, I can pick some up during the day while I’m on overnight shifts … hmmm, that was good in theory, but of course then my car broke down and I wasn’t able to pick any up – so my gift will now have to be posted … I did, however, take it to show Tessa a quick sneak peek.

Quaker for Tessa

My gift, though, totally pales in comparison to the treasures that Tessa gave me … I was absolutely floored by Tessa’s generosity, and the amazing gifts.  First of all I received some beautiful lilies (which I haven’t taken a photo of yet – I’ll try to remember to take one when they’re all open), and some Haig’s choccies … I’d only tried Haig’s chocolate once before when Mum and I visited Adelaide two years ago, and it’s totally divine!  Then there was a box wrapped in the most scrummy blue and white fabric – what a fantastic wrapping idea, and the fabric is just awesome!  As Tessa said, it’s very “me” 🙂  The piece de la resistance, though, was the amazing bourse Tessa stitched for me … my jaw nearly hit the floor when I opened the box and saw what was inside – I absolutely adore it!  I had to have a lesson how to re-close it, though, as I’d never seen one before in real life … isn’t it amazing?  I just love and treasure everything – you have spoilt me rotten Tessa, and I truly love it all – they’re very special gifts 😀  Neither of us brought a camera, so we’ve taken photos on our phones … unfortunately, though, I have no idea how to upload it to my PC, but once I find my cable and work it out, I’ll post a piccie of the two of us 😀



I have to say that I’ve been really amazed how comfortable I’ve felt meeting up with my fellow bloggers.  Usually I’m incredibly shy, and hardly say a word around strangers (especially in large group settings), but when I meet my fellow bloggers I can’t shut up! haha.  Perhaps it’s having the common thread of stitching to chat about, or the fact that we’ve already started to get to know each other through our blogs, I’m not sure … but I must say blogging for me really is making the world a smaller, kinder and warmer place 😀

During the night shift this week I forced myself to pick up a needle and put a few stitches into a freebie – something quick that I didn’t have to think too much about.  I chose the Quaker Hedgehog freebie from The Workbasket – in hindsight I wish I’d used a different thread, as this one turned out quite streaky, but it did the trick and got me stitching again.

quaker hedgehog

I continued with my stitching trend last night at work and started Becky’s part of our Friendship Quaker Round Robin – I got almost all of one motif stitched last night, then sat all day today in my PJ’s and finished the rest (mind you, I got a pretty good sleep today … I was in bed at 6.30am, and after waking up occasionally I finally woke up enough to actually get out of bed at 2.30pm – woohoo!! – that sounds really lazy, but actually it just meant I managed to get 8 hours sleep for a change).


I’m not sure what’s on the cards for tomorrow – I need to work on my Peacock Needlecase, though, so I think that’ll be my priority.  Until then, I’m just happy I’ve managed to get a few stitches into ‘something’ this week after a couple of weeks of no stitching 🙂

Gifts TO BE FIXED, Home & Family TO BE FIXED

It’s all about me …

Today has been a day of doing stuff just for “me”, and I’ve absolutely loved it!  I know this has all been generated by having this evening function to go to, but I was thinking today that I really should do this sort of thing more often, because it makes you feel fantastic!!

I started the day off with a drive into the suburb where I work (which meant those RAK parcels are also now on their way, as I dropped into the PO Box first), and spent 4 hours in the hairdressers getting a cut and colour done.  I have to admit I was a bit worried when the colourist turned out to be just learning, but between her and Sam (the guy who did the cutting and styling) they did a fantastic job, and I feel wonderful! 😀

When I had my financial woes before Christmas, I couldn’t afford to get my hair cut for a few months, then in January I tried to book in only to find my stylist had left the salon.  Since then I just haven’t had the impetus to find somewhere new … until now (I can’t believe it’s been almost 6 months since my last cut!!).  My hair is now styled a tiny bit differently in that I no longer have the short fringe (it grew out due to not having a regular cut, then a compliment from a girl at work made me decide to try it out that way for a while) … and there’s a lot more blonde in it than I originally had (I can see Mum cringeing all the way from there! LOL) – and I truly love it!  I’ve kept the length in the back, but it’s more shaped in the sides around my face and has more layers … I wish I could get a photo of it for you Mum, but you’ll just have to take my word for it that it’s nice 🙂 

Another great part of this is that during that 4 hours I also managed to get some serious reading in for a change – I took in The Empty Chair by Jeffery Deaver, and managed to get up to page 226, which is not bad going considering the book only has 594 pages, so I almost got halfway through in one sitting … geez it felt good to have the time to read – I usually feel guilty if I’m not stitching at home (which is why I use books on tape so I can do both), and it feels particularly fantastic to have a book in hand again … just a bit more added bliss for the day 😉

From there I went to the local lingerie shop where I was holding a shop credit for some PJ’s I’d bought and returned last year – and bought a pair of black bras by Playtex … something I was getting quite desperate for, as I haven’t bought new bras for, dare I say it, about 5 years.  The extra great news was that they cost exactly the same as my PJ’s so I had absolutely no outlay whatsoever yippee!

Then lucky last I called into Strand Bags where I found a reasonably ‘OK’ smaller handbag that will hold my small digital camera, and a small purse and mobile phone for the evening … on sale at a very expensive $6.99 – I nearly cracked up when she told me the price, as I was quite thrilled with the $14.99 price tag that was originally on it … $6.99 was a steal!!  I also found some jewellery that was lovely, but I don’t see the point of paying $90 for a necklace when I probably won’t wear it that much, so I left it in the shop, along with the $189 black wrap I loved … instead I’ll see if I have time tonight to think about putting something together myself.  If not, I’m happy with the plain gold jewellery I wear every day (ie just a plain gold chain I got as my farewell gift from work in Auckland, and a gold ankh I bought in Egypt), as well as Mum’s gold chain bracelet she gave me last year.

I can’t take a photo of me wearing the outfit, but here’s what my new top and shoes look like.  I’ll be wearing plain black pants with it.

That would a wonderful day in itself today, but the threads arrived that have been on back order from Karen at Dragonfly Dreams, as well as Mum’s aida we ordered for her.  The infamous Rainbow Gallery thread I’m waiting for to start the Laura J Perin canvaswork piece is still AWOL, though … I think they now hold the longest record for the back order of items, as I think it’s almost 9 months since we ordered it from RG.  I haven’t stressed about it at all, though, as Karen has continued to keep me informed along the way, and that’s the key to great customer service … communication! 😀

The other thing that is wonderful is that my ducks came home to roost from Vash – along with a pack of cards and fridge magnet from Cornwall.  Thanks again Vash for getting them finished – and thanks also to Wendy and Lynn for their work on this beautiful piece, it will be treasured for years to come and will be one of the first things I get framed this year! 😀

Lucky last, thanks also to Vee, who surprised me totally by a Random Act of Kindness … I have been stunned by the generosity and love shown by my fellow bloggers, and this gift from Vee is no exception – she sent the most wonderful packet of White Hot Chocolate with marshmallows (a little mini-kit, how cool is that?? – I can’t wait to devour it!), along with a fusible letter “A” that I’m conjuring up wonderful uses for … not to mention a pile of scrummy blue threads – how gorgeous is that little bundle of blue goodness?  Totally scrummy, everything!  Thanks again Vee for truly bringing some joy into a crappy week!  It actually arrived on Friday morning, but I forgot to post about it until today (my mind was pre-occupied with Mum’s farewell).

Well, that’ll just about do me for today – I think I’ve waffled on quite sufficiently for now … see you again in a week’s time, after which I’ll hopefully have some Sydney tourist photos to show, even if there’s no stitching 😉  Now I’m off to start packing … my least favourite part of any holiday, except maybe for the UNpacking ;P

Cross Stitch, Gifts TO BE FIXED, Works in Progress

Bye-bye Etui for a while

Yes, I’ve reached the milestone where I can comfortably put the Pyramid Etui away for a short while – thanks to some kind soul who left a comment that as long as you have the smaller pyramid, base, and one large set of triangles/diamond completed for the class, it will be fine, as that gives you an opportunity to try all the finishing techniques out.  My apologies to the kind soul who said that, as I can’t find the comment again now, but it definitely did put my mind at rest regarding my deadlines for getting the stitching all finished!  I just have 3 more of the larger triangles/diamonds left to go.  Thanks to everyone who’s left hints and tips for me with this project – it’s been really really helpful! 😀  Here are all the pieces laid out together for now: 

Next up is the stitching on my CA Wells Peacock needle/scissor case – I love the colours in this one, and looking forward to making a start on it today.  We’re off to dinner tonight with a close blogging buddy, and my new start will be joining us – I’m sure Sharon won’t mind, although I can’t guarantee there’ll be any stitching done on it, as we’re usually too busy chatting … but best to be prepared ‘just in case’ ;P

Now I have a huge thank you to a couple of fellow bloggers who have been sending me some treats through the mail.  I’ve been off work for the last couple of days (I took an extra few RDO’s – rostered days off – as I still had plenty up my sleeve, and work wanted me to use them up … such hardship LOL), so haven’t been near my PO Box at all as it’s near work – we made a special trip out yesterday to clear the mail, and there was an unexpected parcel sitting in there for me!

Tracy sent me a RAK parcel brimming with goodies – she stitched me a gorgeous pillow roll in blues (I forgot to take a piccie of the backing fabric, but it’s really scrummy – and I just love the little kitty cat at the bottom) … isn’t it gorgeous?  But that’s not all … she also send a packet of Kiwi Snifters yummo (and it got cracked open as a chaser to my morning Weet-bix this morning haha), and the most divine beaded scissor fob ever!  I can’t stop playing with it … the colours and the beads keep attracting my attention and I have to keep touching it!  It’s already sitting on the scissors that I’m currently using, and I’m looking forward to having an excuse to keep fondling it during my stitching session today 😀  Thanks again Tracy – as I said in my email, you’ve made my week! 😀


Next up is some extra pretties that Nicki sent me earlier, and I just realised I’d forgotten to take a piccie – Nicki and I did a trade for a chart (A Cherished Box by Cherished Stitches), plus she sent me a partial skein of TTG Silk ‘n’ Colors for my Etui, so I knew they were on their way … but I got a surprise when I opened the envelope as my goodies had some extra company – I also received some divine Dinky Dyes silks and the most scrummy ribbons (yep, I have to say turquoise is pretty much my favourite of all the bright blues!) … that was a wonderful surprise, and I love everything! 😀

Lastly I’ll finish by saying, yet again, that I love WordPress … this time it’s to do with my Photo Hunt post – sometimes lately I struggle with online time (at the moment it’s more to do with having Mum here, but other times it’s to do with my shifts), and I’m pressed to get my Photo Hunt post done each Saturday.  From memory with Blogger you can publish a ‘forward’ post, but I’m pretty sure it just posts straightaway with that date on it … anyway with WordPress you can write your post, set a future date for posting, and the post publishes at the exact date and time you set.  I tried doing it for this week’s Photo Hunt post and it worked perfectly – I’d actually found the photos during this last week, and I already have next week’s post done this way as well while I was in ‘photo hunt mode’ … yep, luv ya WordPress! 😀

Cross Stitch, Finishes, Gifts TO BE FIXED, Melbourne, Stitching Smalls, Works in Progress

Leporello & more birthday gifts

As promised yesterday, I can finally share Nicki’s beautiful gift with you – every time I’ve seen one of Nicki’s gorgeous over-one stitched letters I’ve drooled … now I can drool over my very own one!  I just adore my pinkeep, it’s stitched and finished perfectly as always … and once again very scrummy colours! 😉  As well as my gorgeous pinkeep, Nicki also sent a really cute notebook too, which will come in very handy! 😀  Thanks again Nicki, I love everything and will treasure my pinkeep always! And I love the clever personalisation on the back! 😀


The other photos I have to share are of my Stitching Leporello – part one is now all finished.  I just realised I had the stitching on a bit of an angle, so the camera has blurred the bottom part of the ‘frontal’ photo as I used my SLR, but you get the idea … also I tried to take one photo on an angle to show up the beads.  I really need to get a tripod so I can take better photos – another challenge for the year, I think, to improve my photography skills!  In the meantime, though, these’ll have to suffice.  As usual with this sort of design, the photos don’t do the project justice whatsoever … it’s just gorgeous in real life!  Unfortunately, though, it won’t see the light of day for at least another 3 months, as my upcoming stitching time will now be spent on the CA Wells class projects plus a birthday gift or two.


And on that note, I’ll shut down for the day, as Mum and I are off to Healesville Sanctuary for the day – and if we have time we’ll call into Emerald Lake Park before coming home.  It will be nice to have a day out in the fresh air.

Thanks again to everyone who has left me birthday wishes – I really appreciate all the comments, e-cards, and private emails I’ve received … thanks for helping to make the day extra special {{hugs}}.

Cross Stitch, Gifts TO BE FIXED, Stitch-alongs

Wonderful birthday today

Today was officially my birthday (the 16th), and I had a very very restful day … it was spent unexpectedly stitching with Mum, watching DVD’s and just generally relaxing – I now only have 15 beads left to go on part 1 of my Stitching Leporello … I was so hoping to have it finished today, but I ran out of time before we had to sprint out the door.  I have to say those little pieces are very deceiving – it’s taken me forever to finish that one square, but I did enjoy having a spot of selfish birthday stitching 😉

This afternoon we drove into Camberwell early to clear the PO Box of its contents, and do a bit of shopping to kill time before dinner at Cafe Platia (my favourite Greek & Mediterranean restaurant).  I bought about 12 big packets of chocolate bars (individual little Mars bars, Snickers, Malteser bags, Bounties etc) and took them into work for my work colleagues … they thought it was crazy me going into work on my annual leave just to bring them in choccies for my birthday when I’m not even there to share them, but I couldn’t wait until my return in a week and a half!  Fraze was almost in the dog-box when he rocked up to dinner well over an hour late, but he redeemed himself by bringing me a birthday card 😉  Mum and I shared a bottle of Yellow sparkling wine, and we stocked up at Dan Murphy’s for a day in tomorrow … with another two bottles of wine for me, and a “slab” of Victoria Bitter beer for Mum haha 😀

During the week I received some gorgeous birthday gifties from Katrina and KarenV – my sincere apologies to you both for the delay in posting my gift piccies … I meant to do it yesterday, then realised the piccies I’d taken weren’t very clear against the blue of the sofa, so I re-did them today against my turquoise pashmina.  I also received another beautiful gift from Nicki this afternoon, but the light is shocking in my flat in the evenings so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to take a piccie.

The first piccie I have to share is of my gorgeous pillow from Katrina … it’s in the most scrummy blue colours, and I just adore the little tassels at the corners!  I feel very honoured to have this beautiful gift, it’s just sooooo lovely!  And to top it off Katrina also sent me a home-made birthday card too, which is just awesome 😀  I love everything Katrina, and feel very spoilt … and how perfect are those colours for me?  Yep, they’re definitely Annie colours! 😀 

Next up is a beautiful pillow from KarenV … it’s quite funny because I’d just sent Katrina an email asking if she would be willing to offer a tutorial in making one of these little flanged pillows for the new finishing blog, ‘cos I’d love to make one myself (and Katrina is the Queen of Pillows, not just Needlerolls!) – and here I have one in the flesh!  The first thing I did was to be nosey to work out how they’re made, and I think I finally have it worked out 🙂  I just adore the fabric and threads used (it’s my all-time favourite Anchor variegated thread), and the design is just so “me” 😀  I adore my little pillow, but to top it off Karen also sent one of the charts off my wishlist, Grandma’s Stitching Accessories, which I can’t wait to stitch (I’m already thinking about silk threads I can substitute for the Dinky Dyes ones) … but there was an added little extra that I truly LOVE – a little ducky keyring!!  How gorgeous and perfect is that??  I’ve been looking for years for a nice duck keyring, and now I have one.  I love everything, Karen, thanks again so much 😀 

I also have a couple of stitching updates for the week – it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve shown my progress of the Macaw SAL with Carina … I can finally show some actual progress after this week’s stitching on Wednesday – it’s even starting to look like something more than a blob!  It’ll be a long long time before this one is finished though!

Next up is my progress on the Bordeaux Sampler – I did my stitching earlier in the week, and there’s not a great deal to show for it … I unpicked the errors I’d made in the previous band and restitched the leaves in green – probably no point showing a piccie, as it looks no different than last week really … aside from band 3’s leaves, I just added a bit more of the green grapevine ‘stems’ on the left-hand side.  Hopefully next week will show more progress on this one.  Carol has now almost caught me up … I told her it wouldn’t be too long before she’s overtaking me on this one, but she thought I was joking haha.

I was hoping to show my Leporello finish today, but that’ll have to wait until tomorrow now after I’ve attached those last 15 beads – then I can also unveil Nicki’s beautiful gift as well.  For now, though, I’m going to check out Healesville Sanctuary online, and see if it’s close enough to Lake Emerald to visit both in one day … as that’s possibly in the pipeline for tomorrow, if I can get out of bed early enough … especially seeing as it’s midnight already! 😉

Cross Stitch, Gifts TO BE FIXED, Stash

Birthday joy & Finishing blog

My face must have told a 1000 words yesterday if you’d seen me open my birthday parcel from Carol  … certainly the girl next to me at work got to share a fair bit of the excitement! 

Thank you so much my dear friend for my gifts – as I said to you via email, I absolutely adore everything!  I’ve never seen a tin-topper in real life, and this one is absolutely perfect in every way!  Carol says the design is reminiscent of New England, her home, which makes it extra special to me.  She was also thoughtful to send the stitching details along with it (what a great idea!) – it is Down East Tin Topper by Samplers & Such, stitched on Dirty Belfast linen with DMC … and I just adore it! 

Not only the tin topper, though, Carol also send a darling pair of scissors and some needles inside the tin (I forgot to take a piccie, sorry) – and I’m going to add the wee scissor fob Carol sent me for Christmas to the scissors, as it’ll fit nicely in the tin … which is going to take pride of place next to me on my stitching table.  The tin topper would have been plenty enough, but I also received a large selection of Crescent Colour threads, which are one of my favourite overdyed threads, and the most scrummy turquoise fabric (that I’m planning a use for already, so you’ll have to watch this space later in the year!) … I still can’t believe it’s all for me!! 😀 

hanks again, Carol, you are a total sweetheart, and I love everything!!


My free time over the last couple of days has been spent playing with my photo editing program to get a header together or our new Finishing blog … and Karen and I have been tweaking it a bit so we’re not far away from being able to publish details about it.  I’m really looking forward to this new venture, and already thinking of finishing techniques I’d like to learn.  Anyway, watch this space for the details soon!

The rest of my time this week has been spent on finishing two birthday gifts (which unfortunately will be arriving belatedly at their new homes), and planning my stitching time for the next two months in readiness for the CA Wells class in April.  There is an exceptional amount of work involved, and I’ve worked out what I’ll need to get stitched by the end of each week between now and then to have everything finished in time … all I can say is I’m grateful I’ve got two weeks off work as at 11pm tonight, as I think I’m going to need it!!  I also have to get cracking on another birthday gift … I’ve got my heart set on a project, but it might be a bit ambitious going by the timeframe hmmm.

And on that note I’ll sign off again – partly as it’s now time to go to work (last day for two weeks, yippee!!), and partly ‘cos I have nothing else to say LOL.

Cross Stitch, Gifts TO BE FIXED, Needlerolls

Birthday Gifts

This is just a quick post, as Mum and I are busy today … but I just wanted to share the beautiful gifts I received in the mail this week from a couple of dear online friends.  I’ll be floating around on cloud nine all day today grinning like a banshee, as I love my gifts very very much!

First of all, from Becky I received this gorgeous needleroll – it’s one of my favourite needleroll designs, and I just adore it!  I was actually going to stitch this one for myself at some stage, but now I don’t need to 😀 And the extra stationery goodies are wonderful too, as I just adore stationery items.  I love everything, thank you so much Becky … and I’ll always treasure my needleroll stitched by you!


Next up is the gorgeous book I received from sweet Isabelle … reading how I’ve been wanting to try my hand at Cartonnage, she chose a cartonnage book that is filled with wonderful projects for stitchers … how perfect is that?  I’m really keen to stitch the button box on the cover, and my head is now getting filled with ideas.  I can’t wait until I can start making one of these!  I really love my gift, Isabelle – as I said to you in my email, it was a perfect choice! 😀

Now I just have to apologise in advance, that I’m not getting much chance to read blogs at the moment while Mum’s here.  I’ll keep popping online every now and then to read, so I can try to keep semi-up-to-date, but I may not be leaving many comments.  As Barbara said in a comment, I need to enjoy the time during Mum’s visit, so my online time will be more limited over the next few weeks.  I’ll pop in and post every now and then when I’ve got something to share though 😀

Cross Stitch, Finishes, Food, Gifts TO BE FIXED, Home & Family TO BE FIXED, Works in Progress

A sip of Bordeaux (updated with finish info)

Seeing as Carol as published her progress piccie of Bordeaux, I can now show my week’s progress as well – it’s a good thing I did my night’s stitching a couple of days ago, as I’ve been too busy yapping to Mum to concentrate on much else 🙂  This week I just managed one more little ‘man’ and a few more Rhodes grapes to complete the hanging vines, plus a couple in the border … I’m now exceptionally close to being halfway, and hopefully in about 2 weeks I’ll have met that milestone!

Mum and I just popped over to The Needle Point (old Bustle & Bows in Malvern) to find a couple of buttons, seeing as they have probably the best selection I’ve seen in Melbourne to date … unfortunately they didn’t have what I had in mind, but I managed to find a couple of charms that fit the bill quite nicely, so now I can put the final touch to my best friend’s belated birthday gift, and the last ornie I stitched.  Vicki’s birthday was in November, but that was when I had my financial meltdown and couldn’t afford to buy bread and milk, never mind parcel postage costs, so I’ve been unable to think about mailing it until recent times.  I don’t know if she reads my blog regularly, but I don’t think she’ll mind a sneak preview anyway, as it’s been long overdue … I’ll post another piccie when it’s finished-finished, as I want to make it into a quilted wallhanging (which’ll be a first for me).  But here it is, with all the stitching completed … I ended up choosing a silver heart charm instead of the recommended button/bead, and it seems to compliment the design well (you can click for a bigger piccie on this one).  On the whole I enjoyed stitching this one, but it took a lot longer to stitch than expected … the only part I didn’t enjoy was the outside borders of smyrna crosses in #8 pearl cotton (yuk!).

Friendship by Calico Crossroads
Stitched on mystery 28ct linen with recommended threads
substituted silver heart charm for Mill Hill glass treasure

You can tell Mum’s in the country … from my meagre pantry offerings from the last few months, the following plate is definitely NOT the norm, and probably won’t be seen throughout the rest of Mum’s stay (after that, that is haha) – but it was a wonderful treat for our first night 😀  Yep, we’re both prawn MAD … don’t they look scrummy? 😀  That was our snack in the afternoon … then the rest of the prawns for dinner along with some Turkish bread and a selection of dips (Tzatziki, hummus, spicy capsicum), stuffed green olives, Kalamata olives, stuffed bell peppers, grilled mushrooms and artichokes … yummo!!!


Now on to the awesome gifties Mum brought with her … I received a lovely sarong from Auntie Trudy in Auckland – even though it’s not blue haha, I love bright colours, so the orange has gone down a treat, especially as I love all the Hawaiian/Fijian style prints like this. 

Then of course there was the usual ‘Red Cross parcel’ from Mum – this time she came loaded up with Twisties, Griffins Gingernuts (sorry, but they beat Arnott’s gingernuts hands down in my eyes), and Malaysian style noodles packet mix that you can’t buy here … and to top it all off some NZ Cadbury chocolate – believe it or not, it’s very different to the Aussie Cadbury chocolate, and is actually a bit creamier.  Bang goes any thoughts of a diet I might have been having! haha. 

Last, but certainly not least – this is my Christmas present from my very best friend Vicki … my jaw hit the floor when I opened up this gift, and I actually felt quite overcome.  I absolutely ADORE this photo of us at Vicki’s wedding – we just look so ‘in tune’ with one another and completely at ease and loving the moment … I have to say it has been my favourite wedding ever, and it brought some wonderful memories back.  I’d just become a poor student before she got married, so I never could afford to buy some of the official wedding photos from the photographer at the time – it’s just wonderful to have one to grace my walls now.  I have to say out of everything, I adore this gift the most … it has a very special place in my heart!  Thanks so much Vicki, with all my heart!!  (Sorry about the poor photo, with the reflections from the windows etc – but it should be clickable) This is also the wedding that I promised the “Dratteds” (Dolphins Domain) as a wedding gift 😀  Also very special is the necklace I’m wearing – Vicki made that herself … the dangling part is from an earring that was her very favourite pair she bought at the Vatican – she lost one of them, and chose to give me the remaining one as part of my necklace … something I’ll always treasure, as I know how much she loved them!

The last photo I’ll show is of a few of the small gifts I gave to Mum … a couple of Christmas XS mags full of ornies for her to stitch, plus a pair of Gingher’s shears for her dressmaking (an early birthday present, even though her birthday isn’t until May it’s unlikely I’ll be seeing her again before then), plus some small Gingher’s scissors for her embroidery.  I also had a pile of Christmas fabrics for us to share, but we haven’t divvied it up yet, so no piccies. 

And on that note I’d better sign off … I’ve managed to get tomorrow off work, thank goodness, as I’m still really struggling to get over my night shifts this week, even more so than normal.  Even Mum commented how dark the circles are under my eyes today, just to cheer me up haha.  Now we’re off up the road to pick up a few more fresh groceries ready to cook dinner … the final lot of prawns we bought (we’re making a Thai Green Curry from half of them, and Garlic Aioli Prawns from the other half).  Then we’re back to having cheap food like spaghetti bolognaise for the rest of the week LOL. I actually received two other birthday parcels, but I haven’t opened them yet … I think the temptation may finally break tomorrow though! LOL.


Clickable photos & an early birthday gift!

Woohoo, I managed to work out how to make my photos clickable for a larger piccie – I remember Isabelle told me you have to have two images, one smaller and one larger, and ‘link’ the smaller photo to the larger one, but I never did work it out in Blogger … I just decided to try it here, and it works very easily yippee 😀  I’ve just changed the 2000 Christmas Sampler ornie below into a clickable one, so you can see the details a bit more clearly … oh, mind you, that means you can see the crappy bullion knots now, though oops LOL.

I had a wonderful day yesterday when I went to my PO Box at lunchtime – there was some squishy mail in there!  Lo and behold there was a gorgeous gift from Barbara for my birthday!  Wow, check out these yummy goodies … Barbara tells me the fabric is a Hungarian technique similar to batik, and I have to agree with her, it’s absolutely gorgeous and has the most beautiful feel to it.  My mind is boggling with the possibilities of using it – the first thing I thought of is whether it would work in my upcoming quilt project this year, as it would be wonderful to have it on display every day (even if it’s just for my own enjoyment in my bedroom), and it would add a sentimental touch to the quilt by using fabric gifted to me by a close online friend.  Otherwise my head is bursting with finishing ideas it can be used for … I love it! That fabric would have been enough on its own, but Barbara also sent some gorgeously scrummy threads as well – oh, I love being a ‘blue girl’ … these threads are totally divine!  Thank you so much for my gifts, my friend, I truly adore everything! {{hugs}}

Funnily enough both Fraze and Mum have been hassling me about what I’m going to do for my birthday this year, ie going out to dinner, and I haven’t been particularly motivated about it, thinking it was ages away yet – it didn’t really register what time of year it actually is until Barbara’s gift arrived, and I realised it really is just around the corner – yikes!  Mum is also going to be here visiting again in just over a week now (the poor love will probably be caught up in the house moving yet again, but it will be wonderfully handy having an extra pair of hands to help with the packing etc) … I really don’t know where the time has gone, though – it seems just yesterday we were saying “only 6 weeks to go!”!

Talking of which, I’d better get my “A into G” and get moving so I don’t waste my day off … I desperately need to get some housework done as I have piles of things everywhere, buy some groceries as the fridge is literally bare, go to the doctors and have another MSU done as the other test seems to have been inconclusive/contaminated, and head out for a unit inspection at Blackburn tonight … then straight after that I’m off out to see Little Britain live 😀  THAT was a last minute decision, as one of the girls from work had her brother pull out of going, and she needed someone to take their spot … I ADORE Little Britain, so I thought it’d do me good to get out and have a really good belly laugh.  I can’t really afford the ticket, so I may live to regret this one … but for now I’m just going to enjoy the moment.  It’s a bit of an early happy birthday gift to myself … and again, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up! Plus after all the crappy stuff I’ve been going through in recent times, I figure I deserve some serious cheering up (my car air conditioning broke down just over a week ago, managing to flood the inside of the car on the passengers side – literally!! – … I forgot to mention that – needless to say, it’s still not fixed, as I can live with a/c for a while until I move out … it did cross my mind at the time, though, that my luck just seems to be rolling on from 2006 into 2007 … but I still refuse to let it get me down – perhaps why I’m so gung-ho about enjoying the positive opportunities that are presenting themselves of late, to give some sense of balance to my little world) 😀