Ruby Tuesday … just ‘cos I feel like posting!

Here is my choice for this week’s Ruby Tuesday – a very old photo scanned from the printed copy of a brasserie in Paris … my favourite city in the world.

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And in trying to keep with the ‘crafty theme’, here’s a redwork exchange I sent to Nicki five whole years ago in 2006 … probably one of my most favourite exchanges I’ve completed! (The photo was compliments of Nicki, she did such a wonderful job of the photography!)

Needleroll Exchange for Nicki Lampon

Ruby Tuesday

The wanderer returns

I’ve been out of town for the last week with work, spending my time in our call centre in Brisbane (Queensland).  It was grueling work, with some days being 14 hour working days, but it was really invigorating and rewarding for me personally, and the feedback I received from the staff I worked with was inspiring.  Not to mention how wonderful it was to sleep in air-conditioned comfort for 4 nights.  This was home for 5 days – and the great thing is there was a full laundry and kitchen, so aside from self-catering to keep the bills down (and healthy food to keep the weight down) I was able to do my laundry on Thursday night so I didn’t have to do it this weekend 😉

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Alas the testing didn’t quite get completed which means I have to do a bucket load more myself this week – I’d booked an RDO for this week from weeks and weeks ago stating there was no way I was going to be doing project testing on my birthday … but alas it looks like that will have to be cancelled and I will indeed be doing testing on that day (unless I put in the hard yards Mon/Tue and keep my fingers crossed both days).

Oh well, I guess it doesn’t matter really, it’s just a day, and I didn’t have anything special planned for the day anyway … the night’s different, though, Katie is treating me out for dinner on Wednesday night to a local French restaurant that I’ve been wanting to go to ever since I moved to this part of Sydney.  They have cheap mid-week set menus, and while the food certainly isn’t Weight Watchers friendly, it looks yummy and I can’t wait!!  We’re also getting a bus up as well, which means I can have a drink or three for a change 😀

I didn’t stitch at all when I was away in Brisvegas, as I was generally found glued to massive Excel spreadsheets on the laptop every night, so yesterday I refused to move from my stitching chair, and cleaned out all the TV recordings from last week (and believe me, there was a LOT) – I may have had numb-butt syndrome, but I did manage to put the finishing touches into this (just don’t ask me when the actual needleroll finishing will be taking place, ‘cos I think that’ll be some time away yet!).

Shepherds Bush-Happy Pumpkin Needle Roll

“Happy Pumpkin Needle Roll” by Shepherd’s Bush
stitched on 32ct Parkside (I think) hand-dyed linen by Silkweaver
with recommended threads
(I subbed my own button and beads as this was a 2nd-hand used chart)

Today I’m driving to the other side of Sydney to Concord for my first visit to a stitching group at the NSW Embroiderers Guild.  I signed up when Mum was over here when I was feeling really motivated about my stitching, but of course they closed over the summer holiday period and this month it is finally reopened again properly so this is the first opportunity I’ve had to pop on over.  I’ve found two groups that are mainly XSers that meet on the 2nd and 3rd Sundays of each month, so I phoned up and found out they both had spaces available … and today is my first visit to the first group.  I’m feeling extremely nervous, as I’m very shy meeting new people, but this is something I just need to push through and get over!  Hopefully it will turn out that I really enjoy it, and it gets me out of the house every once in a while 🙂

Photo Hunt – Stripes (9 October)

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The theme on 9 October was ”Stripes” and here are some stripes on the skirts of a Maori cultural group in Rotorua, New Zealand.  The Maori name for the skirt is “piupiu”, and it is a traditional item of clothing made from flax leaves.  I love the swishing sound it makes when it swirls and the dried flax hit each other.  If you want to see some traditional piupiu, you can find some here on the Te Papa Museum website.

ROT-Maori Cultural group_0002

And in keeping with trying to find stitching/needlework examples of the weekly themes, here is the unmade needleroll that I stitched for an exchange years ago – it was a self-made design by using some elements from other designs and making some parts up … I was quite pleased with the end result.

Melanies Exchange for Paula

Needleroll mania

As mentioned in my previous post, I spent pretty much the entire day yesterday finish-finishing 4 Shepherd’s Bush needlerolls.  Following are the fruits of my labour (including improved photos of my latest two needleroll finishes, as previously I could only scan them and the quality was dreadful).

Shepherd's Bush Needlerolls

Folk Heart Needleroll
Shepherd's Bush-Folk Heart Needleroll

Millennium Roll
Shepherd's Bush-Millennium Roll

Halloween Roll
Shepherd's Bush-Halloween Roll

Pine Needle Roll
Shepherd's Bush-Pine Needle Roll

During my needleroll ‘frenzy’ yesterday I decided to sit down in front of the TV and downloaded a couple of free TV episodes on TiVo, and watched Episode 1 of Season 1 of The Tudors and the same of The Guardian.  After my finishing session I also decided to blob out in front of the gogglebox and did a teeny tiny bit of stitching on a new start … I’m thinking of starting a bit of a mini-rotation of all the projects that I currently have kitted up with DMC, as I’m constantly having to keep raiding them for new projects (although I’ve made it easier now by having all my kitted up projects with all their contents on a spreadsheet, so at least I know which project has which DMC now!).  This was the result of my bit of TV viewing – while watching The Ugly Truth (a truly stupid movie I have to say!) and half of the Taking of Pelham 123.  As you can see, I did a LOT! haha.  (Sorry for the crappy photo!)

This will eventually be Just Nan’s Ghastly Ghostly Ghouls.  I’ve been meaning to start this one for weeks, but I needed to tea-dye the fabric to give it a slightly darker look and it’s taken me this long to finally drag the tea bags out of the cupboard!  The last time I stitched ghosts on Lambswool linen they disappeared into the background, so fingers crossed this time the slightly darker colouration will see them showing up more (I’ll find out soon enough, as they’re getting stitched next).

While I was tea-dyeing, I also threw in a piece of cotton lace that I needed to dye so I can complete my first PIF ready to be sent off to its new home.  I’ve still dickering over what to stitch for my next two ‘victims’, but I do have some ideas brewing in my little mind and have some designs pulled out into a separate pile ready to start work.  I also need to decide on which design to use for my Scissor Pocket exchange, as I need to start working on that very very soon.

As for the rest of my finishing weekend, the question I’m asking myself is “what now?” – I still have a large pile of finishing to do, I just have to decide what to concentrate on first. I have the following to choose from:

  • Christmas flat-fold
  • Tie-on pillow for (next) Easter
  • Bunnies in my Garden set
  • Chatelaine’s Stitching Leporello
  • 3 x Scissor fobs
  • Hocus Pocus pinkeep
  • 2 x picture frames – then the mats cut and projects laced
  • Hardanger needlebook
  • Numerous Christmas ornies
  • Lavender bag (Victoria Sampler)
  • 2 more needlerolls
  • 2 x bellpulls
  • Santa quilted wallhanging (halfway through when sewing machine broke down last time)
  • Canvaswork pincushion
  • Quilt for my best friend’s first born (who’s now at school, and she’s since had two more kids!! ahem …)
  • Quilting bag – pretty much stitched, but needs to be put together
  • and a whole heap more that I can’t remember right now!

I did want to finish off a scissor fob tutorial with one of my pieces, so perhaps I’ll throw that into the mix this weekend, plus finishing off my Christmas ornie tutorial which is almost finished.  If nothing else, I’m certainly not short of finishing items to be done!!  Of course the sooner I get off this PC the quicker I’ll get to make a start as well … so perhaps I’d better leave it at that and go make a start! 😉

Needlerolls galore & Pin Pillow exchange

Before I continue, let me apologise for the dreadful quality of all of these photos – I have mislaid my little Lumix camera, and have had to rely on my scanner to show my latest finishes … and because of the beads etc lifting the fabric off of the glass, the focus is terrible.  As soon as I find my camera, I’ll upload a cleaner photo.

Millennium Roll-Shepherd's Bush
“Millennium Roll” by Shepherd’s Bush
stitched with kit contents

Pine Needle Roll-Shepherd's Bush
“Pine Needle Roll” by Shepherd’s Bush
stitched with kit contents

On Friday I received my Pin Pillow Exchange from Sandra – I absolutely ADORE it.  She chose one of the designs from my wishlist, and turned into the most gorgeous pincushion … I love everything about it, and will definitely treasure it always!  Alas the scanner really didn’t like scanning something ‘puffy’ so this is even worse photography – once again, I’ll take better photos just as soon as I can.  Thanks again Sandra for a wonderful exchange experience! 😀

Halloween Roll

I managed to complete some stitching today – here is my latest finish (my photography tonight was appalling, so I placed this one on the scanner):

Shepherd's Bush-Halloween needleroll
“Halloween Roll” by Shepherd’s Bush
using kit fabric and threads (Tobacco linen and DMC)

Then I made a start on a Christmas ornament by The Victoria Sampler – with any luck this one won’t take too long to finish.

Stitching has been very cathartic for me today! 🙂

Anne, the UFO Slayer

Thanks to my dearest flatmate leaving me her entire collection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVD’s to watch, my eyes are now square, and I think I have almost OD’ed on Buffy over the last few days (I’m now up to Season 5 – not bad going in two weeks!).  For someone who’s lasted 40+ years without having Buffy in her life, I have to say I’ve rather enjoyed it! I’ve shed tears over the ‘Angel-thing’, and laughed out loud at poor old Spike, and slobbered a bit at good ol’ Giles (who I’ve always adored as the Prime Minister in Little Britain – had I known he was in Buffy, I would have started watching years ago haha). Anyway, watching all this slaying has been good for the soul, and good for the stitching – I’ve been doing a bit of slaying of my own today, and managed to finish two old UFO’s – I’m not quite feeling up to tackling the sewing machine just yet, so the needleroll will get finish-finished later.

Sweetheart Tree-Wildflower Needleroll
“Wildflower Needleroll” by The Sweetheart Tree
stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
using recommended DMC threads and Mill Hill beads

This really, really old one just needed to have one heart bead attached for it to be finished (after unpicking and restitching some of the beads in the outer border), so within 1/2 an hour today this one is also finished.  Unfortunately it’s really hard to get a good photo of it, as it’s all pretty much monochrome.  I’m going to attempt to frame this one myself, I think 😀

JBW Designs-Love & Affection 1
“Love and Affection” by JBW Designs
stitched on 32ct antique white Lugana (I think)
using recommended threads and beads

JBW Designs-Love & Affection 2

JBW Designs-Love & Affection 3

JBW Designs-Love & Affection 4

JBW Designs-Love & Affection 5

This “rotation” business is really helping me to keep focused on my stitching goals – no more dithering between stitching sessions, I know exactly what I need to be stitching next … although right now I can’t decide whether to tackle the start of yet another UFO, as I have a few hours of my rotation left, or whether to just move on to my next slot, which is my Boo Club focus piece … ah, decisions decisions … 😀

Still not feeling 100% today, I asked my boss if I could reinstate the two days leave I’d just cancelled last week, so I have the next few days off to recuperate more fully … which means more stitching, yippee 😀