WIP Wednesday #286

Here I am, writing for the second time this week! Hopefully this is a new normal…

Currently I’m binging on The Gulf on Netflix. It’s a police procedural drama, set on Waiheke Island, just off the coast of Auckland, so it’s a bit of home. There are too many little clues to have it going while working, but it’s good for breaks.

I ended up putting Fairy Tales away for a few days. Those yellow roses are annoying me, altho I have the pink conversion worked out. Instead I’ve finally gotten Winter Bear, a Nora Corbett release from earlier this year, and started him on an eighth of Evening Shadows lugana from Countrystitch. The tonal change of white, off white, lightest grey is very smooth.

It’s stitching up quite quickly.

WIP Wednesday #285 & a WIPocalypse update

Hi everyone. Again, long time no write. I am really struggling for motivation, both in work and play. Our clocks went back on Sunday last week, wah, and it feels like summer has up and left. Saturday I was lounging around in shorts, and Sunday I was scrambling for trackies! The rest of the week we’ve been hovering in that almost overcast 21 degrees area, so it’s not quite sundress but not quite a wrap weather.

I made the decision to leave #magicalstitches for the remainder of this year at least. I wasn’t keeping up with the reading, let alone the stitching, and the notifications were overwhelming. It’s too big a group for me and was making me more anxious – the very thing your hobby shouldn’t make you! I did very little stitching for a good 2-3 weeks, just spending (oh boy!) and therefore I’m not going to keep up with SFS this year either. It’s all good as I don’t have a budget as we’re very lucky to not have our incomes affected, and still afford to have teenager appetites scrounging off us.

So no finishes since the last time I wrote, and I’m waiting on one order from Catherine at Countrystitch, two 123Sttich orders, the last Sassy Devils pouch (I cancelled this sub as the quality has dropped over the last two pouches, possibly as they had one of the team leave) and I added on the Spring box from Cotton & Twine as it has an exclusive Emma Congdon/Stitchrovia design that I want to do. Even if it is on the (to be supplied) aida! I could always give that away I suppose.

So, to WIPocalypse and the questions. February was What stitch-a-longs (SALs) are you participating in this year? and March was What is your process for working on WIPs? Are you a one-at-a-time stitcher, a rotation stitcher, or something else?

So. Feb is easy now – absolutely NOTHING (please say NOTHING in your best Sergeant Schulz voice, okay?).

And for the March question – that’s much harder. Right now I am whateverying, or stitching on whatever I have a whim to work on. Last week I pulled out Mirabilia’s Fairy Tales, looked at it for a few days, frogged the offending colours, looked at it again for a few days, then started stitching. I am not a fan of the rose colours here but I can’t get them quite right – hopefully third time will be the charm! I do want to finish this one and maybe Un Ricarmo before I start another – I have several mermaids, plus Holly, Feather Fairy and the Christmas Fairy to start. Or I just start all the things!

WIP Wednesday #283

Top o the morning to ye… happy St Patricks Day to all my fellow Irish descendants out there (clearly, there’s more than a few at Google)! I am about to relax for the rest of my day, the last of my “sick leave” before I have to go back into the office. I’ve worked thru from home and I’m stuffed. There will have to be a conversation with the boss about this, as the office “manager” won’t allocate someone  to even part of my role while I am on leave or sick, unless it’s Christmas. My pay is great but condition wise this sucks eggs.

Because I am so tired, I’m really not stitching. This week I have not even started the prompts; I’ve FFO’d one of the Hands On pieces and that is that. It is pretty gorgeous tho! I also scored some stuff from Hospice shop, two boxes of threads for $30. One half is pretty much Anchor thread, but I can use that for little things or embroidery so all good there.

Anyways, have a lovely week.

WIP Wednesday #281

Hey everyone! It’s a grey, humid Wednesday here in Auckland and I’m doing my best to be focused. I’m kind-of over work, from the POV it’s repetitive but then again, that helps with the anxiety side! There is a lot of noise as people return from holidays (we had two long weekends in a row) and of course, the issues that slow production and even slower shipping have in all retail businesses these days.

Stitching wise I am hitting the weekly #magicalstitches goals with even a little playtime mixed in. I didn’t stitch Friday/Saturday this last week as I had a migraine; but my week started with a small finish and #FFO so all is good!

My wee finish is an etsy seller’s adaptation of van Gogh’s Starry Night. This is one Mase actually chose for himself, and now I’m kitting it up to use as a teaching aid for a workmate who also wants to learn to stitch. I’ve purchased a copy of the Great Wave from this seller also – I might end up with a museum gallery on my work wall!

Last week’s challenges revolved around the first chapters of the book Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief. There was a beach scene, a WIP containing stockings, a WIP that is blue, a WIP that has an animal AND a human, a WIP that has a dessert and a WIP that has an activity I would do at camp. I chose new starts for all the options – Hands On Design’s Stitching by the Sea pincushion for the beach (350 stitches and super cute seagulls), Jim Shore’s Christmas Spirit Santa for stockings (320 stitches), and Mirabilia’s Athena (1249 stitches) for the remaining tasks.

Book one, Week one

This week’s challenge is a little less intense, with 1200 stitches divided between a WIP that’s plumbing related, a WIP that contains a flag and a WIP that has something I could give up. I’m already done with one set and half-way thru the second…

WIP Wednesday #281

Hey everyone! I’ve not had much brain space for stitching as we gear up into fiscal year end/Christmas/oh dear me in Retail land; plus home life isn’t slowing down. I have missed 3 of the last 7 days, but have the middle Summer hoop stitched and a start on the third and last hoop; and some back stitch done on the biscornu. My 123Stitch order arrived and was promptly “hidden” from me (FYI fam, a large yellow envelope down the side of your bed isn’t hidden).

Merry Christmas to you and yours – I wish for you health & happiness.

WIP Wednesday #280

Hello lovelies. I’m writing today from my lovely home desk; looking out at the pruned lavender and roses – that was a Sunday job, in the hope more bloom will be out for Christmas Day. I’m watching Bridgerton promos, hoping these turn out at least half as good as the books. At the very least they seem to be educating a few on the Georgian court/clothing/colours. And I’m mildly celebrating the Electoral College confirming Joe Biden as the next POTUS.

There hasn’t been anything exotic this last week, unless you consider only having to cook a couple of nights as exotic! Not only did we eat out twice (once for work do, once with a very dear friend) but the boys decided not to clean up the kitchen. If there isn’t workspace, I don’t cook! No travel, no adventure – I’m needing to hunker down for a bit until Christmas is done. Irrespective of it being our Saviour’s birth, it can be a very stressful time.

Stitching wise I am slowly moving along with both the middle Summer hoop of Hands on Design’s Well Rounded, but I’ve completed the stitching portion of the top side of the Faby Reilly biscornu. There is a LOT of back stitch in my future…

Stay well – stay home, wear a mask, support your local retailers where you can. x

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!

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 #277

Morena everyone (that’s Māori for Good Morning). It’s another sunny humid spring day down here in Auckland and of course, I’m stuck at work. If there is one thing 2020 has taught me, it’s to be grateful that I’m “stuck” at work. To have the ability to move freely within my country, to have the ability to pay my bills, to have the ability to buy frivolous stuff, go to sporting matches, walk on the beach or in a park, go out for dinner or a show – it’s all so very, very good. There’s a load of shite being posted on Twitter from a group of UK central/right wing activists about how NZ has been transporting people to concentration camps and the like – I can assure you that is not the case!

Next stop, the Australian coast…

On Saturday I went out to Liz’s at Murawai. She lives on the cliff above the beach and the gannet colony, and the view is *chef’s kiss* I took part in an introduction to surface embroidery (I’d forgotten most from a previous course) and am currently blitzing away at a kit of hers, that of course I am converting to my own colourway. The kit can be found here: https://www.thestitchsmith.co.nz/categories/embroidery/embroidery-kits/aotearoa-tree-of-life-2?gn=embroidery%20KITS-preprinted%20fabric&gp=2

I am also working on Luce Mia when the light goes on in the lounge (embroidery is much easier in daylight) and at work, the Barbados Santa duo is coming to life.

Readingwise, I am currently reading the new Eloisa James romance, My Last Duchess, which is the latest in her Wildes series. I have loved Eloisa’s novels for years (yes, I know who she is IRL, not really Eloisa) and have often gone on reading tangents after. I might even be more tolerant of Shakespeare! I’ve also read an ARC of an upcoming title via NetGalley, which will be my Friyay post. I’m trying to get a “new to me” author at least fortnightly. It’s one way of expanding the boundaries I pulled around myself this year.

Anyways, take care, especially if you’re in a covid hot-spot. Let me know what you’re doing to help yourself mentally too – we should all be sharing the good stuff!

WIP Wednesday #276

Well, it’s still Wednesday somewhere in the world, even tho it’s definitely Thursday for me!

Barbados Santa – #3 in the series

I put away Fairy Idyll last week – she wasn’t bringing me any happiness and it felt like a chore. I guess a two week slog every now and again will be the norm with her. Instead, I worked a few days on the Barbados Santa pair (I’d only got the hat/hair part completed before) and then a new start – Luce Mia from Nora Corbett on Countrystitch Cook Strait (cause mermaids always belong in the sea, right?) which is the other half of the fabric used on Sirens of the Sea. This is two of her hair colours complete, and I’ve kind of worked out a GAST conversion for her tail (it’s mostly one DMC which is booooring). She’s about the right mix of size, complexity and interest that I want now, as we head into the busy retail season and all the end-of-year things.

And today I opened a parcel I’d ordered in APRIL from a local crafter. These are the initials of everyone in the family and my plan is to hang from the light garland that will be on the big mirror on the lounge wall. I’ll have to either add new initials as partners/children come into the fam or give the ornament away when child moves out – I like the first idea better! Have a lovely week. If you’re in NZ, stay safe this Labour Weekend and enjoy some time in the outdoors.