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.

June is that time where we recap our stitching goals for the year.

  • Complete stitching Red Skies at Night; DONE
  • Stitch Autumn/Winter and Spring series from Hands On Design;  NO
  • Stitch couple of Sandra Cozzolino Santa’s; NO but I brought more, does that count?
  • Start a second full coverage piece; NO
  • Work a little bit on Fred (Tapestry Cat); NO
  • Learn some new stitches. DONE, thanks to a partially completed Chatelaine.

I’ve been letting my whims take me along recently; and since the Christchurch stitch meet-up I’ve continued to expand my stitchy horizons. I’ve managed to get to one of the monthly Auckland meet-ups at Te Atatu Library (next one is 17th July, from noon, come along if you’re local & crafty); started a stitch Te Reo class (Te Reo being the Maori language, Maori being the indigenous people of New Zealand) and have brought a few more things, including a reprint of a Dimensions kit, The Finery of Nature; and two recent Mirabilias, Ophelia and Twisted Mermaids. I think I’m reaching SABLE point!

This last month I’ve worked on my Te Reo piece, E pai ana au (I am good) which is the answer to another kit, E pēhea ana koe? These are designed by Gemma Steward, @gbsneedlepoint on IG, and most of the class has completed their design, which is a great indication of how good a tutor Gemma is, as most of the class hadn’t stitched before. I’m there for the language and people.

At work, I’m reading and working on the Mill Hill Sunday Night kit, one for me and one for Louise. For only the second time, I’ve run out of a thread doing the second piece, but as it’s all DMC I’m not fussed. Home has been Un Ricarmo per Rinascere, and I’m into the bottom half of the chart. I’d like this to be done before Ophelia arrives.

I’m going to set some goals for the last half of the year:

  • Complete Un Ricarmo per Rinascere (past half way mark)
  • Complete Bothy “Moonlight” (not yet started)
  • Complete the Chatelaine Castle I (at half way mark)
  • Complete Faby Reilly Fox biscornu (at back stitch mark) ALSO find where I put that, whoops

I’m not making any buy/sell promises or goals. We all know I’m not sticking to anything there!

WIP Wednesday #289

Hi everyone! I’m resonating with the line from a Mariana Zapata novel, where the child has been “ranting for a small eternity”. Anyone else have the feels here?  It’s raining heaps, the household is full, at work we’re all full on, and patience is running out. Yay, Winter. But we need the rain, our local dam has been running very low for quite some time (atho not as low as the Hoover in the States – did you see that news article? The “bath rings” quote was apt). Of course our new water tank (which is not household, just for my gardens & topping up the pool in summer) isn’t installed yet.

There’s a bit of gaming going on, and a bit of Lego. A lot of sport, and for me, a lot of reading (Penny Reid mostly). I have divided up my stitch WIPS to Un Ricarmo per Rinascere at home (last worked on in September 2019), and a new start, a Mill Hill church kit at work. I love Mill Hill for work/travel; easy to pick up where you left off, easy to work on while in the car, or having a conversation; not quite small enough to work on at my desk however!

NOTE: If you’re looking for Un Ricarmo, it’s only available as a digital download from Casa Cenina in Italy. Nora Corbett designed her as a memorial for those who were affected by the earthquakes that rocked central Italy in 2017. Please do not buy second hand or via Etsy/eBay/whatever – the true purpose of the chart will be lost if you do. https://www.casacenina.com/mirabilia-design-nora-corbett/un-ricamo-per-rinascere.html

I reached the finish point of the May Cotton & Twine kit; I haven’t used their border as I want to personalise this once we buy a seaside getaway/retirement home. I did add a French knot for the door handle – perfect with the first attempt! – so it’s to one side for now. No rush. I’m swapping out last month’s chart and threads for a previous release and looking forward to next month’s kit – it’s a new-to-me finish, on a coarsely woven bag. So while expensive, I am enjoying these kits. I didn’t stitch even one of the charts from Sassy Devils (altho for the most part I liked their fabric and extras) so that’s nice.

Anyways, off to look after the sick littlest this afternoon. Hopefully by the time I get there he’ll have finished vomiting and we’ll have a quiet snuggly afternoon.

April 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!

April was a mixed bag for me; I have gone well outside the SFS budget, especially as I found all the things (this particular book is on an airplane as I write, and I totally concur with Mary Corbet’s view of it being gorgeous –

https://www.needlenthread.com/2020/10/a-sea-to-stitch-and-its-gorgeous.html ) I finished stitching Winter Bear from Nora Corbett (he still needs a few beads that I am waiting on), did a little on my Chatelaine, a little on the Faby Reilly fox biscornu, a little on a Mill Hill ornament, a little on Mirabilia’s Fairy Tales – you get the picture. I did get one finish but that’s technically a May one – Merry Berry from Hands On Design/Squareology was finished in a temporary hoop, as I don’t have any 4” ones as yet.

Yesterday was my birthday, so I treated myself to a new start – Princess Elliana by Mirabilia. I plan to convert a lot of her dress to shades of blues but keeping the hair/skin/flower tones as is. This is on Countrystitch’s Urewera Mist, the same fabric that I used for Shakespeare’s Fairies.

April 25 – Have you found yourself to be more or less productive in your stitching during the Covid-19 pandemic? Given we only had a relatively short lockdown and of that, I only had a week off work, I’m actually finding myself quite burnt out now. Life here in NZ is still quite “normal” in most areas, except Tourism, and I find myself impatient with those countries that haven’t seemed to have caught on that this pandemic is horrific, unforgiving and needed to have shutdowns to effectively close if off before we can vaccinate. I was a lot more productive last year when working from home as I kept something by my desk to keep myself calm, but can’t do that in the office sadly! I do manage about half an hour a day at work during my breaks but most is at home, squeezed into my weekend.

WIP Wednesday #282

Hey everyone – sorry for the long delay in writing. We are into another lockdown, and this household is actually in isolation at home, due to sickness. I am hoping to get the covid swab results today for the three of us that had tests yesterday; and also hoping that Mase actually “just” has strep throat and nothing too serious.

I have been stitching away at the #magicalstitches prompts and getting in some finishes! I am ready to FFO both parts of the Hands On Design Stitching by the Sea, the pincushion and basket; and last night finished beading the Jim Shore Christmas Spirit Santa – he just needs felt glued to the back to FFO him. I think he’s super cute, very vibrant colours! Up to this point I have 18930 stitches for the year and am feeling quite productive!

Jim Shores Christmas Spirit Santa

I also started the next Hands On Design piece last night, Oh Say Can You Sea. I have altered the colours and am doing it on the same piece of coffee/tea dyed fabric that I did the other two on, as I plan to put them to work in the same area of my home. I will have to work on something else this week too, as it fits 6 of the 10 prompts and even if I have to stitch penalty stitches (which is on Tapestry Cat) I would still like to keep up with this weekly challenge. At least I am not bored!

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!

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.