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 #288

Hello everyone! I had quite a productive week, but not stitch-wise. A very dear friend had the unenviable task of cleaning her family home, preparing for the sale, so we helped out there; I went for a couple of long walks then snooze-crashed; there was a LOT of laundry as we transition to the winter wardrobe; time with the kid and time reading. I only watched my Rabbitohs play this week, not even the TV could keep me awake!

Bear is now sitting on part of his floe. Maybe a finish this week?

WIP Wednesday #287

Hello everyone! Well, we’ve definitely found winter here in Auckland. I’ve pulled out the long sleeved tops and found my Ugg like slippers – all I need is for my Snag order to arrive and I’ll be set.

I haven’t stitched most days but as I said last week, Winter Bear stitches up fast. Fortunately the reds that I chose to sub for the more pinky scarf tones worked perfectly first time out, so that helped!

I just have the ice floe and water to complete, then beads. I’ve already sorted out how I’ll #ffo and can’t wait to get to that part.

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 #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.

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.

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.

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.