TGIF

Yep, “Thank God It’s Friday!!” – it’s been a long week, with some medical visits and loooong working hours.  Not really in a chatty mood, and not a great deal to share, really, except that I’ve picked up an old favourite project once again to try and get closer to a finish.  I’m not sure whether I’ll get much chance to stitch this weekend, as I’ve ended up bringing a big pile of work home with me … depends on how I feel on Sunday whether I’ll do work or have some ‘me time’ instead hmmm.  Here is the latest update photo of where I’m at with Laura J Perin’s Sapphire Star.  I decided I truly detested the pale blue thread that is used, and instead substituted with a pale DMC perle cotton and I’m much happier stitching with that instead 😀  Not much more to go before this one is finished now!  (Sorry, but the photos are really weird – not sure what the camera has done, but it’s certainly not accurate!! – The bottom ‘blurry’ one is the closest to the colour in real life.)

The other news is that FINALLY my border packs have arrived from a certain ONS.  Alas, this is a really popular and well-known ONS, but for me this has been an extremely arduous ordering process and one that I’ll never repeat with said ONS.  Hard to believe that these little items were ordered way back in January of this year!!!  Oh well, it does mean that I can finally now clip in the little snaps and sew on the little buttons and my Summer Snapperland can then come OFF the scrollbars where they’ve been residing for 9 whole months 😀  I really can’t wait for that one to be done and dusted – then I just have to save up to buy some framing supplies for it and get it all framed up to go on the wall 😀

The final good news is that, after about 5 months (!), TiVo have also FINALLY come to the party and replaced my TiVo that was faulty … which means tonight I’m making an effort to get it set up so that it can be taping all my shows while I’m away on holidays … which is now only 3 working days away WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!

And on that note, it’s time to go back to Mr TiVo so I can get an early night … I need to be up at the crack of dawn (yeah, OK, 8am then!) to get my hair cut – it’s all excitement at Chez Annie here 😛

Stash day!

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

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

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

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

A week of highs and lows

Starting with the lowlight of the week … 😦

I was incredibly saddened this week to learn that an old colleague from Auckland passed away this week – every time I go home and visit my old workplace I always make sure I stop by and have a chat.  He was made redundant from his job a number of months ago, which saddened me, but the news this week was really devastating.  The world is an emptier place without you, Toni – I will always remember you fondly and with love, and will miss your beautiful smile and wicked sense of humour … Rest in Peace my friend xxx

This photo of Toni (in the top left with the blue shirt on) is from our last Christmas party before I moved to Australia to work, and that beautiful smiling face is how I’ll always remember him in my mind 🙂

Moving on to the highs of the week … all pretty much postage related!  I haven’t had chance to pick up parcels from my PO Box for a couple of weeks or so now – I did one pick-up the day after I returned from sick leave a few weeks ago, and haven’t done it since!  To say my mailbox was overflowing is an understatement!

I’ll start with the best stuff … I received friendship gifts from two of my close online pals, and I love, love, love everything! 😀  I’ll show them in order of when they would have arrived, had I managed to get to the PO Box sooner…

First up is this wonderful gift from Margaret in NZ, the founder of StitchNZ Yahoo Group, and a dear online friend.  I agree with you Margaret, that I too hope we will get to meet F2F one day!  Margaret treated me with a chart from my wishlist (LHN’s Spot of Coffee), pearl cottons threads in scrumptious colours (oh so me!), and a gorgeous piece of fabric that I’m already matching up with an overdyed thread from my stash in some future stitching plans 🙂  Thanks again Margaret for my parcel of goodies – I love love love everything! 😀

Next up is another wonderful gift, this time from my “northern twin” Jenna in the US.  Jenna was one of the first online pals that I “clicked with”, and remains one of my dearest friends online.  When I stitched my turquoise and purple biscornu a couple of years ago, in my mind it was ‘me and Jenna’ in that biscornu, as that’s the blend of our two favourite colours.  And to prove just which colour was MY favourite, see if you can guess from the scrumptiousness of this photo! LOL.  Yep, you guessed it, turquoises and blues (if you didn’t know already) make me scream with joy (and both Margaret and Jenna know me incredibly well, as they so proved with their gift choices!).  These turquoise threads are scrummy enough on their own (and I just want to keep playing with them and stroking them), but Jenna also included a really gorgeous beaded fob as well.  I’m going to see if itwill fit on my mobile phone so I can carry it with me each day, but if not I have a pair of scissors itching to be adorned too 🙂  Thank you again my dear friend – as always your taste is impeccable, and I love everything! 😀

The next part of my overflowing mail was expected … I went on a bit of a spending splurge on the Bay of Evil, and with the exception of one item none of it was stitching-related, but rather DVD related instead … here’s the biggest piece of exciting shopping (and biggest splurge) … the entire series of ER on DVD – seeing as I keep missing episodes because the TV channels changed or the TV channel just opted not to play an episode or three, I’ve missed lots of the last couple of seasons … so now I get to re-live all the fun from day 1 of the show – I can’t wait! 😀

Of course I had to get the first three seasons of Little Britain as well, plus a couple of movies that Jensen is the main character in (My Bloody Valentine and Ten Inch Hero), and a couple of movies from my youth … of which I don’t think I’ll embarrass myself and spill the details … 😛

The one stitching related item I bought was the set of Valdani threads for Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor … Love, love, love this design 😀

Talking of which, I have to say I’m really loving being “out of fashion” where designs are concerned these days – I think I’m just about the only person in blogland that can’t stand the ‘historical’ or ‘primitive’ samplers and designs out there (with the odd exception every now and again) – and that seems to be the main focus by stitchers these days.  While I enjoy seeing them being stitched on other blogs, I have no great urge to run out and buy one, and it’s saving me lots of money this way!  It used to be that every blog I opened there’d be some new design tempting me – now it’s only one every now and again … oh the joy of not running to update the wishlist on a daily basis, and enjoying the existing stash I have already – such bliss 😀  Anyway, I digress … moving on from my eccentric stitching tastes and back to the mailbox goodies …

The final stitching thing that I had ordered during a recent stash sale at The Stitching Post arrived – a handful of Delica beads, a couple of JABC buttons and a packet of Mill Hill beads for my Halloween Fairy (to replace the packet I already own that have somehow gone AWOL – of course now I’ve bought a new packet they will arrive out of nowhere someday soon …)

Then one last non-stitching item of greatness … I misplaced my glasses that I use for driving, and now the evening are dark as soon as we leave work I was straining my eyes driving home … I finally opted to buy a cheap pair from Glasses Online, not really caring how they looked as a fashion item, and I’m pretty darned pleased with them … AU$150 including the frames, lenses and anti-glare coating, you little beauty!!!  Of course, Murphy and his sodding law proved correct as always, the day after I send my credit card whizzing through the computer cables I found my old glasses sitting in their glasses case under the bed … I’d only been searching for them for 2 whole months!!!  Pfffft……. 😛  Obviously I don’t really “need” them (the prescription is only 0.75 in one eye and 0.5 in the other) otherwise I would’ve been shopping a whole lot sooner! … but boy, oh boy, it feels good driving and having that focus tightened up just that fraction more sharply! 😀

I also have an exchange that I’ve received (and sent) and a couple of small finishes, so I think I’ll open up a new post as this one is getting pretty lengthy!

Sydney Craft Show

On Saturday I spent most of the day with some of my stitching buddies – Alison, Amanda, Rowena and Karen … and as per usual it was a day filled with good times and laughter, and a teeny bit of stash enhancement.  I actually felt like I was buying things left, right and centre, but when I got home I was sadly mistaken … but the wallet was much, much thinner, so I think I did alright! 

I actually didn’t buy too much – in fact, this is a photo of my entire spoils from the day:  Some acid-free double-sided tape, 11″ Q-snaps and extender kit, Yazzi bag (the colour sucked me in and I couldn’t resist!!), Issue 61 Inspirations magazine, pair of turquoise scissors, 1m of large black ric-a-rac, a packet of Bohin quilting pins, some Christmas glass beads for fobs or something, a ‘tombie’ thread winder from The Gift of Stitching, a piece of 36ct hand-dyed linen from Stitches & Spice, and a scrummy heart pendant made of Apatite.

 

 

The only thing I wanted but couldn’t find was a nice thread substitute for the Rainbow Gallery nightmare thread to finish off Sapphire Star … but I did get two things in particular that I really wanted to buy … some more Q-snaps and some 36ct hand-dyed linen for Sampler Cove’s Quaker Huswif (a chart that KarenV gifted me with quite some time ago).  I’ve been hankering to make a start on this one for a while and some weeks ago made a start on 32ct natural linen but didn’t like the thread coverage, then tried again on 36ct hand-dyed Pipi linen from Countrystitch but didn’t like the colour … now it’s like Goldilocks, this new linen is “just right”.  There was another fabric that was probably slightly better, but it was a mix of blues and pinks, and it was just a tad too pink for me, so I went in a different direction. 

The one I ended up choosing is a dove grey colour from Stitches & Spice (thanks to the girls for helping me decide), and it suits the thread colour just beautifully (I’m using a premium silk floss by Hand-Dyed Fibers in the colour of “Midnight”).  I couldn’t wait to try it out, so late last night I put a few stitches into the fabric to start it off again, and went to sleep with a smile on my face 😛

Tonight I stitched more of the pumpkins on Halloween Fairy, and I’ve completed all the DMC stitches and now have to stitch the metallics … I can’t say that’s being my favourite part of the stitching really – I’m looking forward to having all the metallics stitched so I can get on and do the beading, which in my eyes is much more fun!  Seeing as there isn’t a great deal of progress, I’ll hold off taking a progress piccie for another day or two 🙂

Boo!

Boo! Scissors Purse and Fob by The Drawn Thread is my current Work In Progress – so far I’ve managed to get almost halfway down the scissors purse, and about 1/4 of the scissor fob stitched.  I’m still really tired in the evenings, so my stitching is going r…e…a…l…l…y s…l…o…w…l…y.  Here’s my progress to date – once again, very washed out under the daylight bulb and even Photoshop Elements is struggling to get the colours right with a ton of manipulation!  I started this one in about the middle of last year, but hated the feel of one strand of silk, and just never found a rhythm … I stopped halfway through completing the little pumpkin on the ‘flap’, and it’s only this last week that I’ve pulled it from the depths of my WIP basket and decided to give it a little bit of love again.  And before you ask, yes, the “Boo” part at the top is supposed to be upside down … you see, it’ll fold over and then be the right way up again 😀

On Sunday I had a really lovely day out with my favourite Sydney ladies – Alison and Amanda … as always it was a riot, and much laughing and chattering was to be had.  We went to the new craft show that was held out at Homebush at Sydney Olympic Park.  I was on a stricter budget than normal, and there wasn’t too much to tempt me this time, but I still managed to come home with some great wee treasures … more in the shape of BIG floss rings for my threads (which are like hens teeth to find here!) and some more scissors (hey, a girl can NEVER have too many!!).  I also bought a strand of beads that I think will be awesome as a scissor fob for the Gingher Roberta scissors … plus some necklace ‘thongs’ to put together some chunky style necklaces for myself and Katie.  Hmmm, sorry about the green shopping bag that was used for the photography … not the best choice as a background to show off stitching scrummies! LOL.

And just LOOK at my favourite splurge of the day … I’ve been drooling over these Eiffel Tower scissors for the looooongest time, and that was my parting gesture to the show … and without doubt my very FAVOURITE purchase – I love, love, LOVE them, and don’t begrudge the AUD25.00 it took to procure them! 😀

Saturday was spent doing a bunch of tidying up in my pigsty of a bedroom, and tidying up my threads and stitching things – I finally grabbed a few of my kitted up projects that actually have DMC in the bags and entered all those threads into an Excel spreadsheet.  It seems that these days I’m constantly putting projects on hold part-way through stitching ‘cos I’m one or two threads short, so hopefully this will help me know where to start rummaging when I’m hunting for an elusive thread!  One other GREAT thing about tidying up my thread inventory is that I found the teeny tiny bag of embellishment beads for my January Accent Sampler by Periwinkle Promises … which also means I now have no excuse not to get it finished.  All I need to do is to add the little beads, and my initials/year, and stitch the back-stitch border on the backing linen, and I’m all set to do the finishing … not much, right? … well, let’s just say it’ll get done some time soon either before or after I finish Boo! 😛

I’m hoping to take Friday off this week so I can run a couple of errands like FINALLY picking up a bookcase from Officeworks that I bought late last year (they didn’t tell me it had arrived then shipped it back to their warehouse again … bless them!) … which also then means I get to play DIY with my power drill (LOVE that thing!), and I also just might FINALLY finish unpacking those final boxes in my bedroom that are full of embroidery books etc … which will then perhaps FINALLY lead me to putting a bunch of my books I no longer want on Ebay … perhaps 😛

Work has been ‘challenging’ over the last couple of weeks – just for a change LOL.  I’ve had it hinted from my boss that there could be a sort of new opportunity on the horizon that I should put my hand up for as it could be good for my career (and builds on the good relationship I already have with this group) … not really any different to what I’m doing now, just more focused on one area … time will tell if it actually pans out and goes ahead, and if so whether I get it or not, as there are obviously no guarantees.  I have already stated openly to him, though, that I would be interested if it went ahead.

Anyway, talking of work, I guess I should hurry up and post this and get into beddy-byes … an extra half hour of sleep just could make all the difference for me tomorrow 😉

The next finish you see will hopefully be my Pin Pillow exchange piece, which is hurrying across the oceans as we speak, and hopefully won’t be too far away from its destination … 😀

Nunning and … What, more stash????

The parcels have been coming in thick and fast this week … from orders that were placed right after Christmas but finally arriving – these are all from big sales held from two separate stores … and I’m still awaiting for my recent order from SB&B with my missing thread so I can continue with Sapphire Star (gotta make the most of that postage – although I have already braced myself for a looooong wait!!!).  Let’s just say that these orders are what prompted me to declare I’m going on a stash diet … ‘cos when I have a splurge I don’t do it by halves (although I don’t have one that often these days, so perhaps it does me good to have a big blow-out once a year)!!!


Back row:  Heart in Hand-Snow; Imaginating-Seashell Silhouette; The Cat’s Whiskers-Queen Anne’s Lace; Laura J Perin-Halloween; M Designs-Miss Mary Mac’s Pins & Needles Pincushion
Centre row:  Heart in Hand-Wee Santa 2008; Erica Michaels-Random Thoughts of Spring; Cross-Stitch & Needlework Nov 07 & Jan 10; JABC button packs-Christmas wreath & lights, SB’s Be Attitudes, Bent Creek’s Autumn Snapperland
Bottom row:  Heart in Hand-Birds; LHN-Loving & Faithful; LHN-Gentle & Kind; LHN-Queen Bee; LHN-Pear Tree

Prairie Moon-Merry Xmas; Laura J Perin-Mallard Duck Collage; Shepherd’s Bush-Baby Bug Ball; Milady’s Needle-Peacocks Rule (and the ruler needed for it); GAST-Brethren Blue; JABC button pack-Waxing Moon’s Halloween Stack; WDW 30ct Guacamole linen; Shepherd’s Bush-Mummy button

The Prairie Moon design is for my friend/flatmate’s Christmas gift – she’s not quite a ‘goth’, but she loves Green Day and a LOT heavier music than I do, and she loves skulls and goth type stuff … and she joked that she really really wants to have a white Christmas tree with black ornaments on it, with a skull instead of a fairy/star on top of the tree … well, as soon as I saw the Merry Xmas chart, I just HAD to get it for her!!!  Hopefully she’ll like it 😀

One of the orders above, I placed it just so I could receive the Bent Creek snapperland border accessories (ie snaps and JABC buttons for both Summer and Winter Snapperlands) – these were ordered the same night I finished stitching Summer Snapperland … alas the order just arrived this week … withOUT the borders packs – they hadn’t been ordered right from the start, even though I’d sent clarifying emails with the product code etc … hmmm, oops 😦

I picked the second of these orders up a couple of days ago, and haven’t managed to get back to the PO Box since … I’ll now have to wait until Monday before I can go back there again, as Katie and I are taking a cab into work tomorrow … ‘cos it’s Sound of Music night tomorrow night!!! … and I’ll be dressing up as a Nun and getting a little bit tipsy (I wonder if I could hide a hipflask under those voluminous skirts?? LOL).  I’ll get Katie to take a photo tomorrow so I can share it with you all.  Alas Katie didn’t want to come to the store to try on the outfits tonight so I had to try it on and send her photos via the mobile camera – unfortunately she tried hers on tonight when we got home and she hates it, so she’s a bit unhappy about it.  I feel bad that she’s lost her $50 hire fee for nothing … but I’m really happy with my nun’s outfit (I had my heart set on going this year dressed as a nun, even if it meant getting dressed up on my own), and I’m looking forward to the night out 😀

We’ve been really tired this week, so haven’t really been online much at all – sorry Mum, I haven’t obviously uploaded the photo memes this week either – maybe over the next week I’ll load up a few advance ones so I won’t have to keep missing out 🙂

I have managed to get 2/3 of my exchange stitching completed this week, though, and hopefully should see the rest finished by the end of the weekend.  Alas I can’t share until it’s finished and the recipient receives it – fingers crossed she likes it … here’s a teeny tiny sneak peak … really teeny tiny! LOL 😉

And on that note, it’s time to hit the mattress, as my alarm will now be going off earlier than normal and it’s gonna be a really busy day  …

Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone…

…but my trip off The Wagon seems to be continuing haha.  We drove up to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains today so I could pick up my finished stitching from The Stitching Post, and two designs from my wishlist fell into my shopping bag … oops!  I’ve been drooling over Mrs Wadelow’s Hussif since I first saw it on Ellen’s blog, and as fate had it Karen had it in stock already … well, I figured it was right there on the counter, so it just HAD to come home with me! haha.  The other design was LHN’s Fa La La from the latest ornament series.  Going by what many others have said, these ornies are rather on the large side, so I think I’ll be stitching them with one thread on a 40ct fabric (as opposed to the other option of stitching them over-one on normal fabric … yucky!).

 

Anyway, aside from a number of designs on loan that Karen never got around to framing for display, I now have these four little beauties back at home again in their lovely framed state 🙂

Framed Samplers

It’s been a very tiring – although very awesome – weekend … Katie and I went to the movies yesterday and saw two movies back-to-back (Valentine’s Day and Wolfman) – then we finished off the evening with a trip to G.P.K. (Gourmet Pizza Kitchen) for pizza before heading home to retire in front of the TV for a couple of hours watching The Hangover.  Of course then today we head over to the Blue Mountains for the day, so all-in-all I’m ready to curl up and not move for a couple of hours before we have to go to sleep before work tomorrow … ready for 5 days of work before we head out to the Sing-along Sound of Music on Friday 😛

And now I’m heading off to find some fabric to start my exchange stitching on, so we can blob out in front of the gogglebox with Jethro and the gang of NCIS 😀

Needlebook finish … finally!

This has been sitting around since 2007 for it to be turned into a needlebook – how do I know? ‘cos I dated the back!!  I was panicking about doing the finishing, and as you can see from the below photos attaching the lining is FAR from perfect, and well it just doesn’t sit as nicely as I had hoped … but it’s done now, which feels awesome!  I haven’t touched much of my finishing pile since everything got put into storage 2 1/2 years ago, but eventually now I’d like to start building up my finishing confidence once again and get back into the saddle …

Needlebook front

Needlebook inside pages

Needlebook inside lining

I also started doing a quick cushion finish of a few Christmas ornies yesterday, and have been using one of them for a tutorial – that should be completed over the next few days, depending on what time I get home from work this week!

I also started doing a quilted wallhanging of Mum’s Prairie Schooler Santas, but a spool of thread I’d had sitting on the machine fell into the bobbin spooler while I was loading up a new bobbin on the top of the machine, and all of a sudden it started jamming and the entire bobbin spooler popper up … now my machine is just jamming all the time, which is a real bugger … so off to the repair shop it goes, and my quilted wallhanging and all those other finishing jobs that need the machine are once again put on hold, ho-hum.

Oh well, to brighten the day I did unpack my teeny tiny stash splurge from The Ribbon Rose – as you can see I didn’t buy much, just a couple of ribbons, some beads, some size 22 needles (for my canvaswork) and some red fabric for my finishing of Random Hearts into a little cushion – and some hand-dyed pearl cotton for hardanger class I’d like to start this year (for a cushion).  Next time I go I’ll be armed with my wishlist 😉

Ribbon Rose stash 18Feb10

Happy birthday to me! :D

Birthday treats for me … from me 😀  Wagon?  What wagon???

And all because I needed one thread! (although admittedly two were separate downloads that I just couldn’t resist any longer – Eiffel Quaker and Beatrix Potter Quaker) 😛

Gotta love a good sale – and gotta make the most of that postage!! 😛

Thanks … and stash

First of all, thanks so much for your offers of getting the thread I need for Sapphire Star, it’s greatly appreciated.  I have decided, however, to make a small order with Stitching Bits & Bobs as they are showing the thread in stock (or at least they sell it, can’t say it’s actually in stock really).  As I have a couple of Rainbow Gallery threads that I need, I thought I’d order the others that SB&B stock plus a few bead kits while the Superbowl sale is still on (at least I hope it’s still on!) … and I just might have to fall off The Wagon for this little beauty, compliments of Nashville new releases … OMG, I’m drooling all over my keyboard!!!

This is Snow Queens Slipper with Accessories by Carolina House Designs … {{sigh}} 

I’ve decided that seeing as I’m not really celebrating my birthday this year (although I may decide last minute to go to the movies on my birthday night) I thought I’d make myself a little birthday gift of this little beauty … well, I have to make the postage cost worthwhile right? LOL.  Then it’s back on the stash wagon once again (there really is no hope for me, is there?) 😉

Thanks also for your comments about my fabric cutting experience over the weekend – I had a blast, and have started stitching one of the little freebies already.  With luck I should get it finished in time for Sunday … maybe …  I should show you a list of the other projects that have had their fabric cut up for a while now (when everything went into storage 2 1/2 years ago) – there are some stunning projects in there, and over the last two years with a small number of exceptions that’s what I’ve been pulling my stitching from.  There are still loads in there yet (um, probably twice the number of the list I added over the weekend), but some of the projects are quite huge and time-consuming.  There are also loads of needlerolls, so I really should get back into gear and start stitching some of those up – I have the fabric cut up for pretty much all the Sweetheart Tree needlerolls, and they’d look so pretty in a basket with my others … ah, so much stitching, so little time …

And on that note, I’d better jump in the shower so I can go do that thing that makes an occasional stitching stash enhancement possible … work!