WIP Wednesday & the Smalls SAL update AND the new hotel for Travelling Bunny

Is that a contender for longest blog title ever?

I am rocking along with Stargazer. Last night’s progress wasn’t as much as hoped as I tried a couple of different beads for the swag (froggy came a courting) then settled on Kreinik #4 002. It’s more subtle than I wanted but gold beads are too much, and neither 00150 or 03050 or 03014 looked right. The front (white/lilac) part of the skirt is still to be beaded (I will likely use 03044 here) but I had to move onto the threads again as was watching NCIS season 12 kick off here. It’s the first time I’ve pulled that show apart while watching and I hope my love affair with it isn’t waning.


For Smalls (hosted by Stitching Lotus, link here:  http://stitchinglotus.ca/2015-sal/  ) I managed not one, but TWO pieces. First was of course, Travelling Bunny. I used Anne’s finishing technique to complete him, and I’m really happy with how he turned out.


Second was a colour conversion of Not My Circus, which is on my filing cabinet here at work. It isn’t properly laced as I am looking for that perfect Monkey or Circus button or brad to add to it but it serves the purpose as a reminder not to get caught up with other people’s dramas here at work, no matter how entertaining they might be. If you want a copy of my stitching notes, including colours, please flick me an email at paulainauckland at gmail dot com & I’ll get it out to you. I’m really happy with the tones that progress down the word Circus. REALLY happy.


Next month’s Small should be the Lizzie*Kate Stitching Forever piece, as I picked up the chart on a quick visit to Ribbon Rose last week. I’m planning on incorporating some of the jewel threads that Gladrider sent me this month to illuminate it. Yummy!

Now, the last thing is to announce where Travelling Bunny is heading off to! I got lots of lovely comments – awesome to have contact with people who have stitched him in the past and are still following him – and seven entries. Drumroll please…Bunny is heading off to Stephanie42! You’ll be able to catch up with him here: https://stephanie42.wordpress.com/

Congrats Stephanie – check your email later on today!

Feeling – what?

Monday morning & I’m feeling a little off. Today is the day R came back to work & according to the boss, she’s a little unhappy that I am still here & have taken some of her roll. But then the work focus has changed, and it’s def more than one person can handle. A lot more. I’ve just seen her and she seems OK – so maybe I allowed myself to be caught in someone else’s drama. Bad, bad Paula. Don’t think I’ll include that little bit in my first card to my new OLW penpal – I haven’t had an old-fashioned snail mail penpal in how long? – I must stop fluffing around with blogging and working and WRITE. I’m on a deadline – it’s nearly time for my lunchtime walk with Sarah. Yay for having stamps in my folder.

Yesterday was so slow in the household & not what I expected it to be. My rhythm & routine disappeared right from that moment I slept in & I didn’t get my groove back until late afternoon. Finished another ornie (will share on Saturday) and got rid of the mending pile that B created. So domestic. Then to blow out the cobwebs I went for a drive up to the SIL’s to drop her back off at hers with the toy car’s top down & on the way back, blasting music. Sorry Swanson peeps. Hope you liked some Ministry of Sound. If not, well, at least it wasn’t One Direction, right?

Tonight I plan a binge watch of Nashville & some stitching. Or maybe a swim and an early night. I don’t know about you, but I am more than ready for the school term routine to start. Only two more weeks to go! That noise you just heard? My wonderful MIL sighing in relief.


Sunday, Gorgeous Sunday

It’s beautiful here in Auckland today. Well, the West is! Yesterday the cricket was on at Eden Park, so of course it rained. Great for my fruit trees, they could have done with the soak (stupid hose doesn’t reach to this side of the house, so I bucket around). Not great for the cricket – it was rained off. I think the next Eden Park game is v Australia in the ICC World Cup – I want to go to that one.

Si is sick so yesterday was super quiet. M & Z went to Grandma’s quite late in the afternoon, then around nine I got a phone call to say that they were going to stay the night. AWESOME! B got a lesson in consequences; he’s on kitchen this week and has been mostly on strike. So after multiple warnings, I followed thru (& felt like the worst parent in the world) – no dinner was served. Mind you, he’d had two ham croissants not an hour earlier but Ah Ma Gord the circus erupted. Newsflash – the world is not fair to the Screaming Teen. But we’re adamant that he must learn consequences – better now at home than in the workforce. This is safer.

I stitched. And stitched. So excited when I look at the height growing in my thread jar, and the growing yellow on my working copy (I don’t often colour but I find it easier to pick up a stored WIP if I do) then I look at her skirts & groan. Seems like I’m getting nowhere fast! There is so much still to do – and I still need more beads.

But the upside of having God throw patience lessons at me all day yesterday is this: I know what I want to invite into my One Little Word life. And that’s patience. It’s OK to not respond immediately. It’s OK to count to ten. It’s OK to have consequences for my actions or inactions. It’s OK to walk away. It’s OK to say “I am not involved in your story”.

And that feels good.

Travel Recap + WIP Wednesday

Just for Chiara! Here’s a small sampling of our photos from the long weekend.

This is a boutique hotel in Cambridge. I’m thinking it could be the perfect spot for a stitching retreat – altho it would be a pricy one!


This is B – if you’re on my FB, sorry, as you would have seen this already. From our stop in Taupo. Plus the sundial that is in the Rose Garden next to the play park, on State Highway one as you drive through town.

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Junk shops – we probably stopped at about 50% of those we saw, so Z can look for vintage Commando comics. One of my bosses collects old gramophones – this was in an ugly shop in Havelock North.


Also in Havelock – Duart House. As soon as I saw it I recognized the resemblance to the family home in Scotland. http://duarthouse.org.nz/ sadly it was shut when we discovered it, so it’s on the diary for the next time we visit Hawkes Bay.


Day two was in Wellington. We went to Te Papa, the museum where Z started his Lord of the Rings/Hobbit costume search. This is the Elven Lieutenant – love the detail.

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M as a pilot! He’s got his “oh grow up Dad!” face on.


B designed a plan in the AirNZ exhibit.


We had drinks then walked around with one of my brothers. We don’t spend much time together and I’m so sorry R – B & M combined can make anyone’s ears bleed! R helped Z find more costumes. Here’s Gloin – one of the dwarves. His costume was sumptuous yet sturdy. Those boots! Huge.


Day 3 was more Wellington then the drive to New Plymouth. This is one of the houses along the Wellington ocean coast. I have a thing for lighthouses!


Hawera – the water tower. Again, closed – but had we been 30 minutes earlier we could have climbed to the top. Apparently only takes 10 minutes! Yeah, right. Chiara, I’m sitting on the ground about 300m away from the base to take this. Any further away and I would have been on the road! The oaks surrounding it are planted to commemorate Armistice Day in 1918 by the local dignitaries and a VC winner.


And the War Memorial in Hawera.


We didn’t take many photos from New Plymouth to home. Unfortunately we’d done too much in too few hours and everyone was grumpy and ready for their own beds. It was fantastic to get home.

I did get quite a bit of Stargazer done, given that most of this was in the car on the long straights (don’t try to stich thru the Manawatu Gorge. It’s too windy and too beautiful to miss). All that dark yellow was the trip & I’ve pretty much made up my mind to rip the face/hands and re-do it with 2 over 1 tent, to give more detail. One more week of work then I’ll rotate to a small plus some finishing.


Reading – Monica Ferris’ Needlecraft Mysteries. Gentle (Betsy’s no Miss Marple) & I like the stitching references. I also like the way the author is experimenting with the genre. Luckily there’s a few books so far in the series! Next will be a re-read of Unbroken before I see the movie (it’s been a few years since I read an advanced copy).


WIP Wednesday


I’m changing out to Stargazer for the next week – ROAD TRIP – partially as I need to chart some ribbon from Rudolph to the next reindeer. I’m combining a scene from one of M’s fav Christmas books, where the reindeer are practicing before Christmas Eve, so no glowing nose (frankly, that’s one part of this Rudolph I don’t like) and lots of little combined details. The border will be a modified version of Blitzen’s with some Prancer. I think it’s going to look gorgeous. But as Stargazer is completely as charted (I haven’t even changed any thread colours as I want this to look as close to late twilight as possible) it should be easier. Just lots of thread swapping and the old “count twice, stitch once” theory going on.

Anyway, not sure how much will get done while we travel (must buy some wipes to keep my hands clean) as we explore with the kids. I am looking forward to the two exhibitions at Te Papa (our national museum in Wellington). One is 75 years of Air New Zealand (both S & I worked for the company) and there is, as you would expect, more about the Hobbit. There is also a treasure hunt, of sorts, with a Middle of Middle Earth Costume Trail. I love the fabric details in the LOTR movie franchise and I am fan-girling a little. Or a lot. Probably a lot.


So the next few posts will be a mix of scheduled and spontaneous. Hope you enjoy a look around our country!