WIP Wednesday #279

Hello lovelies. I’m going to start today’s post with a bit from the wonderful, gentle soul that is Kristen Strong. Long time readers might remember me talking about her books Girl Meets Change or Back Roads to Belonging. I really do go back to these books, and Change in particular. I am NOT good at change.

Kristen has one passage today that really spoke to me. “This Christmas season may be the most difficult one you’ve experienced to date. If that’s true, then I’m so sorry. Like the people of Israel who didn’t receive what they expected but needed, I pray the Lord shows you today, even this hour, a glimpse of His Light telling the dark corners of your heart  exactly what it needs to know.”

If you want to read the whole blog entry, or see more from Kristen (who is also part of (in)courage) check her out HERE https://kristenstrong.com/letting-go-of-expectations-and-letting-in-the-light/

On Sunday Si & I went back up to Omaha and competed in the half marathon/10K distances. Both of us finished, both slightly slower than Devonport despite the fact the track was flatter as it was HOT! I ended up needing medical attention as (for the first time in my life) my blood pressure dropped like a stone. I don’t know why as I drank heaps during the walk; I can only put it down to eating breakfast which I wouldn’t normally do prior to exercise. I shan’t make that mistake again, as I’m still a little shady.

A sculpture I walked past about half way…

I am planning on scheduling in training times, adding in a few bootcamps, getting proper orthotics for my plantar (on-the-shelf product isn’t working as well as I would hope) and maybe doing a virtual event between now and Valentine’s Day, which is the next event on the calendar.

Stitching wise, I had a thread finish on the Barbados Santas but I didn’t want to take beading away with me, so I took the Hands On Design (Cathy Habermann) Well Rounded summer stitching away with me. I have completed the smaller design of the three and started the middle, which has the beautiful use of negative space that I like. I think I will hoop finish these then put Velcro on the back, so I can hang each season vertically down a wide ribbon.

The first Summer circle is stitched

I am still trying to think about 2021. Do I want to float from project to project as the wind or whim takes me, or be focused via the Magical Stitches list? Or simply pick 21 projects for 2021? That at the least might help reduce my WIP or stash pile, which has grown by a huge chunk (and is about to grow more, as I spent a ton on 123Stitch’s Pre-Christmas sale).  I wanted to stitch a stocking or two this year, but didn’t even start one. I have all those lovely charts that I picked up from Tina’s clearance, and most of the threads, so that would be inexpensive to roll out… decisions decisions!

November WIPocalypse

Hello everyone! 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.  If you’re a crafter, please join up either on your blog or via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers!

Oh gosh. Here we go again with a catch-up post, as I missed October’s. Stitching without real goals means I am not at all as regular with posting as I would like to be, especially as I do use this blog as a form of a diary. Must do better, Paula!!

Since my last WIP Wednesday post, which would have been my last stitching update, I have finished Luce Mia, however she is quite converted from the original. Not so much that it’s glaringly obvious, but more so that she fitted in with the mermaid wall and our overall household aesthetic.

Converted Luce Mia
OriginalUsedfeatured
Luce Mia
722GAST Silver Fern2 skeins
3347987 
33483347body
898/4203078/3852hair
3347/3348987/3347tail
991924ribbon
958931ribbon
993932ribbon
9643752ribbon
1623753ribbon
MH 10030MH 42029ribbon
MH 42031MH 10030hair
MH 42031MH 02007body
3799356skin
3799898brow
3799310eyelash

I have completely given up on Stitch from Stash. I’m sick of feeling guilty about spending this year, and figure that my spend is helping smaller businesses and individuals who are finding it tougher than I am.  I am thinking about maybe next year trying to do it all from stash, as that could be a reasonable way to get thru my list and be a bit more productive than I have this year. I am toying with the Magical Stitchers group challenge, which will be based around the Percy Jackson books. Mase and I were planning on reading these anyway, so it could be a good fit. I’ll have to see which charts I can match to mythology – probably quite a few Mira’s!

At work I have been moving along on the Barbados Santa’s, and these are about three quarter’s done now. I will have new Santa’s for my tree this year! At home, I am working on a Faby Reilly biscornu and sadly, think this might be the first & last time I purchase one of her designs from Etsy. In the UK magazines, her charting symbols are quite clear and distinct from each other but I haven’t found this to be the case here. The actual result tho is amazing even without back stitching, so it might be something like childbirth, where you forget the pain and do it again anyway! I have also sent away for the teaching resources for the Embroidery Guild modules – OMG!! Scary stuff indeed.

October Question: How do you choose what you’re going to stitch on next? Right now, it’s all about what makes me happy. I’ve only got the backing to do for one of my Secret Santa presents; and this biscornu; then I can leap into something else. I’m thinking Holly, or Day Nymph (both by Nora Corbett) or finishing Fairy Tales (which needs those yellow roses frogging and re-doing, as the colours aren’t showing well enough). I just brought a hessian-like tree skirt from Spotlight and am thinking of doing some of Nora’s Reindeer around it…

Hands On Design altered for my Santee

November Question: What new discoveries did you have in the stitching world this year? I learnt that I like the DMC variegated threads when I use them in embroidery; and I learnt how to do French knots finally! Didn’t really venture too much out of my lane, except with the Sirens of the Sea piece and starting a Chatelaine banner. It’s enough that I want to learn more, hence applying to do the EGNZ modules.

I can’t believe that we are finally in the home stretch of 2020. I hope 2021 is a better year; that a validated vaccine against Covid-19 is available (and cheap for developing countries). That we all get to spend more time with family and friends than we do with fear. And so on… My list is growing!

#taskersontour Omaha edition

Recently we had a child free (yay!) weekend away at Omaha, a little settlement on the north-east coast, about an hour drive from Auckland. We’re doing the half marathon/10k events there on the first Sunday in December, so wanted to take a look around the place first.

I rented us a little apartment in the “new” side of the development, which is near the start/finish point, altho really nothing is too far away here. The furniture was a mix of contemporary and antique, including a rocking horse that I’d have loved as a child.

The top row of photos is from the beach at Omaha looking east – the shadow island is Little Barrier. On good days you can apparently see it clearly and further out to Aotea or Great Barrier. I know – to think this wasn’t a good day???

The middle row is just a couple of things that caught my eye at Matheson’s Bay, which is on the road to Leigh. Si learnt to snorkel and spearfish here when he was in the Army Air Corps unit; it was once the home to a thriving boat building business. There’s lots of rock pools down past that twisty Pohutukawa and we enjoyed exploring them.

The nearest town with full services is Matakana; full of gorgeous food, heritage buildings and wonderful people. The war memorial had been part of a service for VE day on the 11th and still had all the wonderful poppies; and this church still has working bells that call the faithful to service on Sunday morning (bottom row).

I’m ready to head back after the crappy “spring” weather we’ve had for the last few days!

WIP Wednesday #278

Morena everyone! I’d say “happy singles day” but what?? I may work for a mainstream retailer but this just looks like another excuse for a sale day – except of course in the actual country of origin, China, where it is both celebration and retail day: Via Wikipedia: The Singles’ Day, or Bachelors’ Day, originated at Nanjing University in 1993. Singles’ Day celebrations spread to several other universities in Nanjing during the 1990s. November 11 (11/11), consisting of four “1”s, was chosen as it represents four singles.

Anyways, back to me. It’s all about me, right? Hmm. Si generously passed on his man flu to me and I ended up needing 7 days off work, plus all the weekend days, to get myself back to anything resembling normal. It wasn’t covid, thank you Lord, but another virus that is almost as heavy. I do the weekly “flu tracker” emails and interestingly there has been a spike in recent weeks. I have the gift of catching every bug that does the rounds!

I haven’t done that much stitching in the meantime. I did suss out the ribbon conversion in Luce Mia – the original is reasonably bright teals, so I went to corresponding blues, which looked awful, so then I went to a colour range that is also used in Mermaids of the Deep Blue. I am now at the part of completing the fin edge so I can blob out this weekend and stitch the one colour of her tail. I have converted that to a GAST for a bit of variety tho. The Barbados Santa’s are coming along, and I have joined the Mill Hill Monday group to keep me motivated there.

Reading has been a lot of forgettable stuff until this last week. I have the ARC of the new Rosalind James; and I’ve been well enough to listen and follow the Peter Robinson DCI Banks book Careless Love. Sadly I am nearly at the end of that series, having made the 20+ books last nearly two years – write faster, Peter!! Not sure what I will move onto after those, as I enjoy both the writing style, & character development and the tones of Simon Slater, the narrator are lovely. Any suggestions?

WIP Wednesday #275

Hey everyone! Look at this, a post with stitching on a Wednesday. Wow.

This week I’ve only dawdled on Fairy Idyll, severely unmotivated as I was worried about the event last Sunday. I have finished around with adapting Cathy Habermann’s Year in Chalk December chart to fit a specific frame, so here it is:

The original, available from 123Stitch
My version, in GAST chalk on Jade PTP Belfast

As for the event, it was my first competitive 10k, based on the Devonport Half Marathon. Si completed the half, just outside the time limit, and I completed the 10k just inside that limit at 1:51. My plantar didn’t give me too much grief (it did hurt at times, and I did cry when the site physio manipulated it after the event) but I’ve pulled up okay. Roll on Omaha in December!

September WIPocalypse

Hello everyone! 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.  If you’re a crafter, please join up either on your blog or via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers!

I am finally back in the office and thinking things should be back to “normal”, whatever that might be. It’s not as nice in the office as it is at home – I work better on my own timetable and without distractions – and I am struggling to find enough to do. The boss has suggested that I go out to one of the stores and work from there…which is always an option, except I couldn’t do on my feet all day like I have previously. But being back in the office has made me realise I’ve really let this blog go… so here’s a long post.

I didn’t upload July or August notes. I did create some July (points for me!!) so here’s a summary: My July should have been quiet, but we’ve had a rush of stuff on at work and in the weekends, we’ve had rugby or escape from Auckland on our minds. We’ve seen some lovely little spots in Northland but I’m ready for some time nesting at home.

My July plans were simple when I started out – beading Shakespeare’s Fairies, put a little into Fairy Idyll and start When Life is Done – but I made them even simpler. I’ve worked nearly every day on When Life is Done, as it feels so good to complete each word. I did take my Chatelaine Castle I with me to Out West (a guild meeting) so at least I picked up another project.

I also found, quite by chance, a framed Elizabeth and the Lavender Sky by Mirabilia. I wonder what happened to the stitcher or her recipient, but reaching out on FB hasn’t netted a result.

The question for this month is What new charts or designers are catching your eye this year? Well – I have brought a few more “new to me” things like a Hands Across the Sea sampler (the fundraiser Jane Marshall 1857) & When Life is Done from Silver Creek, and subscribed to the bi-monthly Sassy Pouch. I am turning to more of my previous favourites from designers and have managed to get my WIP pile back under almost control. My impulse to BUY ALL THE THINGS is really high and I am trying not to submit to that.

August, if I had created a post, would have been a confession that I did indeed BUY ALL THE THINGS. I finished When Life is Done, and that’s at the framers; then picked up several Nora/Mirabilia, so I have Holly and all her seasonal Queens now; plus Silver Moon Tea which I will reverse so it faces Elizabeth; I brought a Just Nan, Sirens of the Sea, and stitched this in September and then sold the chart this month. Shakespeare’s Fairies was completed, hooray, then my order of Princess Elliana +fabric + beads arrived as well as HOD December and the annual Just Cross Stitch Christmas magazine. I am so far in the red it’s not funny…but I don’t really care!

August’s question was Have you participated in any of the mystery SALs on Facebook (or other social media)? What do you think makes a successful mystery SAL? I am NOT a mystery stitch person. Either the designer has to be one that I enjoy or I have to know what the result might look like…so I haven’t done anything. However, if Nora Corbett or Dianne from Silver Creek or Cathy from HOD did one, I’d probably jump on in.

September’s question was Are you a seasonal stitcher, or can you stitch on any holiday/seasonal stitch at any time of year? I LURVE Christmas, and I could stitch on something every month. I used to do the Sandra Cozzolino Santas all the time but I am well behind that target this year. I’ve maybe finished two Wales? I am currently using the older HOD Chalk December and the Mill Hill Carribean Santa for travel/work pieces so yeah. Heading into summer season here in NZ and I’m so ready for it.

June WIPocalypse

Hello everyone! 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.  If you’re a crafter, please join up either on your blog or via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers!

I had no real goals for June. I am still floating around, with little purpose. Work is work; there was Mum’s service; family discord with post service disappointments; more work & then I became very sick (as in covid tests, delays and now antibiotics & working from home when I should be resting). I’m not a happy camper overall. I would like to rewind 2020 and have a do-over, please.

I did a bit of shopping therapy and one chart has turned into a finish – I have amended some of the colours in Pohutukawa and changed the shore to fit the circle of the hoop finish that I intend to complete soon. I also brought Mirabilia Summer Queen as I have long regretted selling this one and Autumn on when I did. I’m waiting on two charts from 123Stitch – When Life is Done by Silver Creek Samplers, which I will do as a memorial piece for Mum and the HOD Stitching by the Sea. I’ve counted them in my June spend as they are charged & shipped, altho I may not get until July. I ended up finishing the half year in credit, $19.70, so that’s looking good.

My other finish was an Emma Congdon quote from the Pride & Prejudice movie. I know it’s not “canon” but I couldn’t get the brain space to re-chart it. This one is available on the Stitchrovia Etsy store.

June’s question is the Half-year recap:  How are you doing with your goals so far this year? Hmm. This is not going too well!

  • Complete all panels of Jim Shore’s 12 Days stopped in March
  • Complete Fairy Idyll (I bead as I go with this one) haven’t touched for at least 2 months
  • Complete Mermaid of Atlantis (which honestly is just the beading to go) YEAH
  • Complete the stitching on Shakespeare’s Fairies YEAH
  • Complete Tapestry Cat (my oldest WIP). Haven’t touched.

This week I start a course about Maori tikanga, or customs. That will take out a chunk of stitching time but I can listen to some of it while driving. I’m a little bit nervous about returning to semi-formal study (it is run by a tertiary institution and counts towards national standards) but I need to get over that. So for July I’d like to finish beading Shakespeare’s Fairies, put a little into Fairy Idyll and start When Life is Done. That’s it. Pretty simple!

All the best to you all. Stay safe, stay well, stay patient. God bless.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” 

– Leo Buscaglia

May WIPocalypse

Hello everyone if you’re still following! I have been deliberately limiting my web activity during the NZ lockdown (I worked thru apart from the one week of bereavement leave, and an afternoon where all I wanted to do was throw this !#$%*$%! laptop out the window) so I cut down on everything else. I read a lot (lots of romance, as I couldn’t follow non-fiction to save myself) and stitched and gardened and Lego. Nearly every cupboard has had a clean out, a lot of maintenance is already done and I’m ready for a long, solitary holiday.

Since I wrote the March WIPocalypse, I’ve had a few finishes. The Antique Celtic Sampler by Elisabeth Designs; Hands on Design covid freebie, Choose Happy; two Sandra Cozzolino Genoa Santas; a mash-up snarky hoop for a friend using a Brooke’s Books Elphaba and lastly, Nora Corbett’s Garden Party Cakes. I haven’t brought much, a Santa from Michelle Bendy that still hasn’t arrived and I spent a whopping buck fifty at the op shop in Paihia this weekend. I’m actually $20.30 in credit, so should finish the first half of the year in the black.

Currently I am beading Shakespeare’s Fairies, and I took Fairy Tales away last weekend. I have been more about finishing all the things rather than starting, although I would have liked it to be about working on 12 Days it’s nearly all Mirabilia. But I’m not beating myself up about goals or haul or tidying up or whatever – simply surviving without a breakdown is the short term goal, and measured daily.  

April’s question was Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO. My oldest WIP is still Tapestry Cat by Teresa Wentzler. It’s still about 75% complete and I don’t think I’ve touched it this year. It’s not something I can focus on as yet…

May’s question was Tell us about a piece that you absolutely loved stitching. For me, this was my first Mirabilia, Stargazer. I adored this piece from when I first saw an image but it would be 10 years before I came across the chart, and I only completed it 4 years ago. She is in my hall so I walk past her daily, and she’s one of the few charts I would consider stitching again.

All the best to you and yours – I’m not sure if I will rejoin as a weekly post yet but I will try to post for June WIPocalypse at the least.

Friday Recommend

This week, I’d like to suggest a return to simpler times. Let’s go back to an old favourite book or song that brings out the “feel good” vibe that the world really needs.

But life is what novels are about. A novel can contain more truth than a thousand newspaper articles or scientific papers. It can make you imagine, just for a little while, that you’re someone else- and then you understand more about people who are different from you. Lisa Kleypass, Chasing Cassandra.

My all-time favourite author is of course, AA Milne. Gran taught us to read on his poetry and Winnie the Pooh and I can still snuggle down in my imagination in the house on Fantail Grove, Wellington, and hear her read to me.

pooh love

Listening wise, I resurrected my old iPod from about 5 years of captivity. I got it in 2003, so it holds YEARS of listening pleasure, as I made a choice not to delete anything once it was loaded, except audio books and podcasts. There’s Nirvana, and classic Nickleback; Back Street Boys and Westlife; Bon Jovi and The Boss, and tucked away, a recommend from Kirsten, a then new-to-me artist called Kate Voegele.

What will you be reading this weekend?

WIP Wednesday #273

Hello! Week three of the lockdown & I’m starting to get wound up. Back on Twitter, which may be a mistake; it’s raining, altho Easter weekend itself was amazing weather;  and I’ve lost all desire to cook. The hubs is looking at rentals (what the actual?) but on the positive side, school started back today. Remote & online, but it’s back.

Since I last posted, I finished both the Genoa Santa pieces from Mill Hill/Sandra Cozzolino,  and got a huge chunk done on Shakespeare’s Fairies. I’ve had to order beads from 123Stitch but I don’t know when those might be sent.Hope you all have a great week.