Back Roads to Belonging

Recently I’ve been reading an ARC of Kristen Strong’s latest, which released yesterday. It’s a worthy follow on from Girl Meets Change & I love it. Parts are like I’m actually sitting down with a girlfriend, it feels that personal.

Anyways, I encourage you to pick it up and review. There are always parts of our life where we feel like an outsider & this is about how that’s kind of normal. We aren’t all the same square peg.

There’s a lovely article on Ann Voskamp’s site today. Again, I encourage you to take a read.

When You Don’t Belong – and why that’s Okay

WIPocalypse June 2019

Hello everyone! I hope you’re well. WIPocalypse is the monthly check-in SAL hosted by Measi on her blog, and via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers! Click on the icon to the right to learn more.

In June, I’ve completed the following stitch numbers – which would be a lot more, if it wasn’t for the Toy Car project taking up a lot of evenings:

  • Coffee Quaker 106
  • Celtic Winter 519
  • The Guardian 1291
  • Mermaid of Atlantis 3773 (two more Ultimate #magicalstitches completed & I am well into the bottom half of the design)
  • Shakespeare’s Fairies 1064 (that’s the half way mark appearing!)
  • Labyrinth 113 (Sir Didymus is about to appear)

Wowzers, this is 6886 stitches for the month. That’s more than last month, how did I fit that in?

I also have an FFO – my Cloudsfactory We’re All Mad Here biscornu! My first attempt, and it’s a bit lumpy & in retrospect, understuffed, but if I ever make one again, I know what to do.

20190625_173224.jpg

June Goals:

  • WIPocalypse One-A-Day with Coffee Quaker (also one of my remaining EC tasks of 500 stitches on a geometric) FAIL – I picked it up 3 times. Just did not have the feels for this piece at all.
  • Hello May & Hello June FAIL
  • Celtic Winter (the last EC task of 500 stitches) FAIL – got half way tho, so at least I did pick it up!
  • Don’t spend! ACHIEVED!

July Goals:

  • WIPocalypse One-A-Day with a twist – just stitch every day
  • Hello May
  • Don’t spend!

Question of the Month: How are you doing with your goals so far this year?

Goals for 2019:

  • Finish SFS in the black – HALFWAY MARK ACHIEVED
  • Complete & FFO the remaining monthly Hello There pieces (Mar-Nov) HMMM
  • Re-start Shakespeare’s Fairies & complete one fairy ACHIEVED
  • Work on Tapestry Cat, Fairy Idyll, Arezzo, Four Seasons of NZ ACHIEVED WITH A FINISH

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my progress for this year. My stress levels are well below where they could be, thanks mostly to Si’s understanding, help & affection; a bit of medication & a daily bit of “me” time. I’ve worked on every WIP that I had started, have got several finishes including Arezzo and some framing.

SFS: The one monthly goal I did achieve! No spend, no finishes but I am $17.80 in the black. Woot!

WIP Wednesday #244

20190513_134524Morning! Our week has been pretty good – MIL is back home (on oxygen permanently) but is more able to participate in family life, is great with her friends and we had a lovely Mother’s Day dinner (I cooked, but I left the cleaning J). Ms Louise chose flowers for both of us & did a lovely, slightly unconventional, job of it.

20190510_081046Mase had Book Week and on Friday, dressed as Calvin and Tiggr “dressed” as Hobbes. Yep, we’re all about the classics in our house! On the redeeming front, Zac is chosing to read & study To Kill a Mockingbird.

On stitching, I finished the second part of the biscornu but haven’t FFO’d it (insert chicken noises here). I did start another Mirabilia – Mermaid of Atlantis – and am planning to use this for most of the #magicalstitches extra credit challenges for the Goblet of Fire May/June months. I started with #2, as the shell chandelier/light was approved as something that might be at a fancy ball AND it was the middle of the top; now I’m working on task #1 (500 on something that could be found in the lake) with the fish, and I’m about 70 stitches off completing that challenge (I need to take an update photo), and combined with task #10 (200 stitches on a piece that has something that lays eggs) I’m working on the border, on the theory that fish lay eggs. That’s not quite at the half-way mark. Like a lot of people, I’m very motivated at the start of a piece!

This week’s challenge is WIP list based again – and as I have less than 20 WIPS, I’m allocated to option 2, 350 stitches each on WIP #1 & #7. Seven is actually the biscornu, so I have approval to jump the line to #8, which just so happens to be Raven Queen. Progress shots next week!

WIP Wednesday #243

Morning! There’s not much progress this week, a bit of reverse stitching (does that sound better than frogging?) and a few days where I was too unsettled to stitch.

On Friday, instead of talking to the hospice nurse, my MIL was instead hospitalised. It’s been and up & down week, and I am trying to focus on the good.

20190506_150451

This week, I’m also doing the Ali Edwards Week in the Life project so it’s bittersweet that this may well be the last week she is in.

20190508_063521

Anyway, here’s my We’re All Mad Here progress. Here’s to a finish this coming week!20190502_103737.jpg

10 Things to Tell You Podcast Edition – On Are You Lonely?

Last year in September I took part in Laura Tremaine’s Instagram challenge about 10 Things to Tell You. She’s now expanded this to a podcast (iTunes or if you’re on an android phone, I recommend the Podcast Addict app) and each week, there will be a mini challenge. This week it’s about being Lonely.

Her prompts are ARE YOU LONELY or WHEN WERE YOU LONELY? I’m not ready to talk yet about the low portions of my loneliness except to say – it passes. It has always passed. Life has always gotten better.

A few things I took from this episode:

  1. Former US Surgeon General Viveck Murthy calls loneliness an “epidemic.” You can feel lonely even when surrounded by people. Very true.
  2. I HAVE told myself a false narrative. As in, no one possibly understands what I’m going through. No one loves me. No one will miss me. This is of course a load of bollocks, but remember its ok to go thru a period of wallowing in self-pity – but also remember that you will feel better once you contact with other people. Even if it’s a smile and a thank you at the supermarket checkout.
  3. Laura says a key to connection is having a regularly scheduled thing to look forward to. I totally agree – Saturday morning bootcamp walks are always a highlight.
  4. Are online connections real? Laura’s question and my answer is YES. Totally. There will always be people who are a shadow of themselves, but there will conversely always be people who are real. Supportive.
  5. It’s about belonging. (See further reading: Brene Brown) It’s essential in relationship not only to feel loved, but to feel liked. Much. Truth.

If you want to talk or reach out, I’m here. Note that comments on this post won’t be “public” unless you specifically state that you want your comments out there. X

WIP Wednesday #240

20190202_195150.jpgHello everyone! I’ve been super busy this last fortnight, stitching, walking, reading, cleaning, running around after family members & I can’t wait to take a break! One highlight was a repeat dinner with the Harpur family, who brought Aurora with them. Two weeks ago she was the length of Simon’s forearm/hand – now look at her! She’s 5 weeks here.

I didn’t post last week as my pieces were all over the show as I worked away at the various #schoolofmagicalstitchesandliterature tasks. All up, this last fortnight has seen the start & finish of Hello March (500 for words), 200+ more stitches on Nantucket Rose (enabled), 600+ on Shakespeare’s Fairies (various challenges) and 700+ on Tapestry Cat (two challenges). I have just stitched more on TC in a week than I did in all of 2018. He nearly has a tail! This is a lot of stitching but with our national holiday, Waitangi Day, I got extra walking and stitching in. And market shopping. Nom nom on the Whitestone cheeses and Selash cured meats. And perfection at the Franked stall – imported, handcrafted items from Cambodia where there is a story behind the item, & it’s helping differently abled people.

I also finished my January Project Life pages. I’m choosing to do these in a 6*8 album as it’s more personal to me, not for the family. There’s some stuff that involves others (I asked Mase to fill in the Back to School card) but they won’t get this until I’m passed. Mase does look at it, but he knows if it’s hidden journaling, it’s private to me & he’s not to read it yet.

And on Sunday, Louise & I got up early and walked around the harbour on Tamaki Drive. We started at St Helliers, went up to Achilles Point & watched the sunrise and a cruise ship come into the harbour, picked up coffee at Mission Bay and eventually got collected at Royal Akarana Yacht Club. 7.2km in all of super-quality time with my girl.

Hope you all have a lovely week!

January WIPocalypse & OLW Thrive

Hello everyone! I hope you’re well. WIPocalypse is the monthly check-in SAL hosted by Measi on her blog, and via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers! Click on the icon to the right to learn more.

My January goals were:

  • Finish Jardin Prive’s Eiffel Quaker COMPLETED
  • Mill Hill Golden Tannenbaum for my Small/Christmas All Year Round BOTH FFO
  • Hello There March (& FFO) not started
  • 341 stitches in Shakespeare’s Fairies for the HP SAL ACHIEVED

Additionally, I’ve got over a thousand other stitches in SF and at work, I’ve stitched two Genoa Santa’s (one for me, one for Lou), and started two of the Wales version. I’ve also touched one of my yearly goals and stitched on Fairy Idyll – one of the monthly HPSAL goals was 500 stitches in gold, so I’m used her dress. So far, there’s only 3 days this month I haven’t stitched, & I’m happy with that.

Late last year I asked Belinda (@aussiestitcher) if she wanted to part with her copy of Coffee Quaker (the one that says “first I drink the coffee, then I do the things”) and she sent me a huge haul. Three needleminders (great for holding up copies of charts on the frame), two pieces of Colour Cascade fabric, the chart and her thread remnants, some of which will be enough to complete the smaller portions on the chart! I’m spoilt.

February goals:

  • Bead & FFO Genoa Santa’s
  • Complete stitching on Wales Santa’s
  • Stitch & FFO Hello There March
  • Work on Fairy Idyll
  • Work on Shakespeare’s Fairies

Question: What SAL’s are you participating in this year?

After last year’s abysmal failure, I’m only doing two. One is the #ChristmasAllYearRoundSAL via my Instagram posts (if you don’t know, I’m Christmas mad) and the other is the #HarryPotterSAL via the Facebook group. I’ve completed a few challenges this year & I’m looking for ways to incorporate more WIPs into the rotations.

A LATE EDIT, JUST FOR STEPHANIE January Stitch From Stash has come out positive, despite the NZD-UK Pound exchange rate. Idyll cost quite a bit! And some fabric sales came thru the bank account last night, moving me from my already positive 59cents. LOL.

Jan-19
Budget $25.00
Fairy Idyll for Gail -46.76
Spotlight DMC*6 -11.40
Eiffel Quaker 21.25
Golden Tannenbaum *2 12.50
Fabric Sales (Lani) 70.00
Total Available Budget $70.59

As my One Little Word this year is THRIVE (and Simon has also adopted it when it comes to us as a couple, like he did with YES in 2018), we took advantage of a child & work free day and went to Hamilton on Monday. It was super hot very early on, so we didn’t spend much time in the sun but on the drive, I not only finished the stitching in Genoa but made a start to Wales. I enjoy these pieces when we’re driving. We ended up at the Gardens, a favourite place, and took in the new Katherine Mansfield garden. It’s based upon her short story, The Garden Party, and while I forgot to take shots of the tennis court area, the house had us going ah…

 

It’s just a 3-4M deep facade, but so much detail. In another year, when the garden is that much more established, it’s going to be beautiful.

And of course, in the entry piazza that leads to these extra garden “rooms”, there’s Alice & the White Rabbit:

20190128_104605