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.

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.

WIP Wednesday #270

Hey everyone! I hope that you are well, have enough TP, & feel peace in your hearts. I’m going to assume that Market oh-I-want-that feels, we all have plenty of projects on hand. I may have ordered a few things anyway!

Stitching wise, I had no progress on the Chatelaine. Given my monthly goal was to get it started, I’m more than okay with this.

Mermaid of Atlantis has had attention every day, and I guess I’m about halfway on the beading now. I’ve also started 3 French Hens for my monthly piece. That was more frog than stitch as part way thru the first letter, I had a brain fart…Take care of yourselves, inside & out.

WIP Wednesday #269

Hey everyone! I am recovering from a flu bug (the same one that knocked #masetheace out for a week) so it was really quiet at ours.
I did try to work on the Chatelaine but after learning some new stitches (nailed the Rhodes!) I decided to drop following the chart & just focused on my #wipocalypse one-a-day project, beading Mermaid of Atlantis. As you can see I’ve managed slightly more than one a day, and I’m about a third in. I might get this done this month & be able to bank the stitch from stash credit before my next order comes in…

November WIPocalypse

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.

November Goals:

  • Keep up with weekly #magicalstitches homework
  • Finish some CF or Mill Hill pieces

I managed to keep up with both of the above – 4 Mill Hill finishes (two each of the Celestial Sleigh and Pumpkin Carriage) and four Cloudsfactory items for Aurora’s parcel – Prince Eric, Oliver, Rapunzel & Ursula. All the weekly homework was done, some to the bare minimum, and I got one Extra Credit in. I’ve completely slowed down with regards to stitching.

December Goals:

  • Keep up with weekly #magicalstitches homework
  • Plan January WIPs
  • No Spend!

November Question: What new stitches or techniques did you learn this year? The short answer is – nothing. I didn’t take any class or attempt embroidery or anything else. A crochet class or at least the embroidery refresher at Liz’s is on my wish list for 2020, but I wasn’t in the headspace to try anything new this year.

Stitch From Stash: I am so far in the red I won’t be climbing out this year. Even with a gift from Mum specifically for my stash budget, I have overspent on Miras and fabric that I may not even touch next year, & I’m a little horrified at myself. I have seven FO’s, but they are all relatively small. At least it’s only stash I have spent my feelings on this year, and not all the other things like previous years. Overall, fiscally I’m in better shape than previous.

August & September WIPocalypse

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.

August Goals:

  • Complete the Year 5 Extra Credit homework (4/11 to go) LEFT ONE TASK INCOMPLETE
  • Complete Mermaid of Atlantis stitching (seriously possible if the weekly homework goes my way) NOT QUITE – BUT USED WHERE POSSIBLE
  • No Spend! NOPE – SPENT $10.40

September Goals:

  • Complete four EC NOPE, just two
  • Complete Mermaid of Atlantis (lined up for a few of the monthly Extra Credit) NOPE
  • Bead & FFO some Mill Hill ornies NOPE

All up, in August I didn’t stitch as much as in July. We finished the car & I spent a lot of time walking & listening to audio books rather than on my butt. Still happy with what I got done tho.

  • Fairy Idyll 231
  • Mermaid of Atlantis 435
  • Shakespeare’s Fairies 1957
  • Tapestry Cat 202
  • Stitchrovia Austen Quote 404
  • Coffee Quaker 1024
  • Jeanette Douglas 2012 Peace 417
  • Four Seasons in NZ 247
  • The Guardian 565
  • Erica Tui (new start) 506
  • MH Santa’s Sleighs 500
  • Un Ricarmo Per Rinascere 509
  • Reindeer Parade 213

That’s over 7410 stitches for the month.

In September I slowed right down (lots of reading & more time with Mum) and got in just over 6000 stitches.

  • Fairy Idyll 1353
  • Mermaid of Atlantis 868 (just beading to go now)
  • Fairy Tales, a new start 3141
  • Un Ricarmo Per Rinascere 321
  • Sampler House, a new start from Blackbird Designs 607

SFS: In August, I didn’t manage a no spend month (again) but it was just a few DMC & two charts at the Hospice shop. Turned out the person I picked them up for already had them, so if you’re into Paula Vaughan they are up on my @pauladestash IG account. I have ordered the new Mirabilia, Garden Prelude, but the bill hasn’t arrived yet so I can’t count it. With the ornie finish, I’m 30.85 in the black.

And then September turned to custard! I was given some money so went wild – $110.10 in 20 minutes at Ribbon Rose. Oops. Luckily I also sold Lady of the Flag for a reasonable (not eBay enormous) amount to a fellow stitcher, so that kept me in the black, at 26.92.

August Question: What do you have on your stitching bucket list? (for example, specific projects, designers, fibers, etc) I have two Chatelaine designs in my stash – but with a few large Mira’s on my WIP list either is a way away from starting.

September Question: What finishing style have you never tried but would love to do? More hand-finishing – Mase wants this Blackbird Designs stocking ASAP – so that’s on the list to knock off. Plus I’d like to take a framing course next year.

See you next week (hopefully!) or at the least, for the October WIPoclaypse.

WIP Wednesday #257

Hello everyone! We had a full on end of week, with time playing at the museum (find me a little boy who doesn’t like dinosaurs), at the beach and game day on Saturday. The Massey team Mase played in won comfortably, but Sho won opposition player of the day with his beautiful tackles. Great day in our household! Sunday was very odd once we got home from the airport and had an emptier house.

The #magicalstitches homework was in three parts, to celebrate the restoration of Dumbledore to Headmaster of the school. Part one was 300 stitches on the 11th WIP in my list, as 11 Death Eaters were captured…WIP 11 was finished, so I rolled over into WIP 12, The Guardian. Part two was 300 in any colour but pink to celebrate Umbridge leaving the school. I skipped the bonus task to focus on a monthly task and knocked off 500 stitches and beads in my Christmas sleighs.

Have a good week everyone – let me know a little something you’re grateful for. Gratitude shared increases happiness all round J

WIP Wednesday #251 & bonus book mini-review

Morning everyone! This time last week I was absorbing the fantastic Becoming by Michelle Obama (audible version, which has the bonus of being in her voice and so with her intonations and emphasis). It was great, for work and playtime and transit time. The only obvious problem is of course the book hangover that results from a great read. Regardless of your colour, creed, race, status or whatever – this one will have some lesson to take onboard, even if it’s just that what’s on someone’s surface isn’t necessarily true. Look to their actions, and be empathetic. Remember that person next to you in the supermarket queue also has problems and prejudices, and work to minimise yours in such a way that others are enabled. Or at least, not inconvenienced or damaged.

Right. Onto the lighter stuff. Last week was the first relating to The Order of the Phoenix. I worked on the actual challenge points:

  1. Boring neighbour – 300 on something that can get boring – I used Mermaid of Atlantis’ borders and you’d think that would be straight forward. EHHHH no. Not when you look at the chart and count the BS line as where a ten block finishes…and it actually doesn’t! I had to frog 70-odd silk stitches (carefully!) and their corresponding BS line as I was two rows out. I’ve now started on the filigree corner for an Extra Credit task.
  2. Unapproved Magic – 300 on a project that’s been suspended for 5 months or your oldest WIP – Teresa Wentzler’s Tapestry Cat certainly qualified, as I started this in Christmas 2006! I worked in the Greek key sections on that top right corner and got in 600 back stitches. Boring but necessary.
  3. Dementor Attack – 300 on a project that has no faces –a new start, the Mill Hill Princess Carriage. As per, I’m making one for me and one for Ms Lou. I managed to get in all the stitching to be at the beading point – 758 stitches at work/training/travel.

This week’s challenge is around the address of 12 Grimmauld Place, the Black house that lies semi-hidden in London & is the home of the Order of the Phoenix. The options were either 500 stitches on WIPs 1 & 2, or 1000 on WIP 12. I’ve gone for the first option so there will be another session on Fairy Idyll and Tapestry Cat, as I just couldn’t face Guardian. I may or may not get this out – we’re leaving on a combo work/play trip tomorrow and neither of these WIPs is something I can take with me, FI being on the floor stand and TC being a complicated blend of multiple threads (plus white evenweave, eep!). At least there are large blocks of colour on the Mirabilia.

Bonus shot is of a mural we found in Point Chevalier, another suburb of Auckland. Not sure who the men are, perhaps the composers? But I liked it anyway.

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Have a good week!