Friday, December 24, 2010

Wow! Another year gone ...

I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by. But I am sooooooo glad it's over. I think as far as I'm concerned the lows were definitely more prominent than the highs. From my Dad almost dying back in January to both my husband and I losing our incomes within six months of one another. But the highlights were our daughter turning 21, getting engaged and then finding out six months later that she was pregnant. We did have some bright spots on the horizon. But I know that someone else has probably had a more difficult year than us. We are all thankful that tomorrow we can all still spend Christmas together and as a rapidly growing family (22 members as of the new arrival in November, my parents, my brother, sister and our families), these times are much appreciated. So to all my readers out there in blogland, from my family to you and yours we wish you all a Merry Christmas filled with love from all those that you cherish and hold most dear.

Until next time, happy stitching

Saturday, December 4, 2010

No more goal setting ....

So it seems I'm not very good at completing goals. So reality check, if I have to set them they are going to be small otherwise I don't think I should touch them with a ten foot pole. We are just not meant to be.

I've been so caught up in my knitting that my stitching has suffered and ultimately I have too. I am so glad that I have completed the baby shawl I was making for my nephew's new daughter. Now I can move on and do my own stuff, which includes stitching and lots of it. This was going to be just a short note, next week I plan to have a few pictures of my progress on Masquerade SK and I've been considering a new start for 2011.

Until next time, happy stitching

Friday, November 12, 2010

Stitching along ....

I finished page 1 of MSK. YAY!!!! That is another item checked off my half year challenge. I have come to the realisation that I am probably not going to be able to complete my half year challenge but if I do some of the things on the list that will be ok.

I wasn't too good with my goals for October (I made an executive decision not to do my hand quilting goal), but I will persist and set a goal for November, even though we are almost half way through the month.

  • Finish page 1 of QS Dragon Luck
I think that will be enough for this month. I probably should have started out small in the first place and then made the list longer as I made progress. See, that is the thing with being in charge you can may changes when you feel like it.

I haven't quite finished the baby shawl for my nephew's new baby. She arrived before I could finish it, but that's ok. I have about half a ball of wool left and it will be complete.

My daughter is now into her 5th month of her pregnancy and everybody keeps asking if she is sure that she is going to have a baby, I keep saying, "SHE IS" I was at her last two ultra-sound scans. The excitement is growing, we have all begun buying things, my husbands parents are really excited because it will be the first great-grandchild, and my wonderful mother-in-law is so over the moon, she couldn't wait to tell her older sister, who has just become a great grandmother at 90, my MIL is only 69. How funny I'm saying "only 69" like she isn't ageing at all.

Anyway, I can't be sitting here all day, I need to get a wriggle on. I want to get page 1 of QS Dragon Luck completed before the end of the month.
Until next time, happy stitching

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Whats happening ....

I brought my Masquerade SK out to make some sort of progress on it and I have managed some. Every little bit helps. I will probably carry on working on this so that I complete page 1, this will help with my half year challenge. I need to get a move on with that, I haven't looked at PBF for a while now. That will have to move up in priority.

I have also been madly making lists because it will be my birthday shortly and I would prefer that my family brought me "stitchy" things, so I have all these little lists stuck on the fridge, so when DH or one of the kids asks, I can just refer them there. Sounds logical, will let you know if it actually works though.

I am one third of the way through the baby shawl I am knitting for my nephew's partner. She had her baby shower last weekend, and when she saw the rabbit I made she was so happy because nobody had given her a toy, but mine was that much better because it was made with love. I had also given her a knitted jacket with a hood for baby and a baby book (sorry, forgot to take pictures). So, hopefully I get the shawl finished for baby's arrival at the beginning of November.

In other news, I am going to be a Nana!!!! YAY!! My daughter is four months along and yesterday we had a visit to the Midwife and heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time. This is going to be such fun preparing for this new little addition to our family. My daughter doesn't realise it but Dragon Luck is for her little one and when we were discussing Train of Dreams and Eldar last week that was also going to be for the little one. Oh Wow!!! So many things I want to do, but only so much time in which to do it.

Until next time, happy stitching

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October Goals ....

It's time to get some order in my life, or I'm just going to be overwhelmed by all my WIP's
  • Complete page 1 of Masquerade SK (this is one of my half year challenges) done
  • Put 1000 stitches into page 8 of Polar Bear Fun
  • Quilt two blocks on Heart Quilt Made an executive decision not to do this
  • Prepare block 5 of Baltimore Reminiscence Quilt done
  • BONUS - kit up "Train of Dreams" or "Eldar" Eldar is kitted up ready to go

Until next time, happy stitching

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Still no joy ....

Well, I haven't had any joy in the allergy department, but the medications that I have been taking are helping a lot and my cough is sooooo much better. Yipee!!! Thank you so much for all your kind thoughts for my recovery they have been much appreciated.

Now on to fun things, I have completed some more on Dragon Luck. I am full steam ahead on this and I am thinking that I really would like to finish this by Christmas of this year (thought that it might be a good idea to say a year, that way it has a finish date. Hehe). He is going to be a present for a special little someone.

When I reach the half way point with this project, I am going to treat myself and add another HAED into my rotation, (I think you can only call it a rotation, if you actually "rotate" your projects - oh well), my daughter and I have been considering two projects - either "Train of Dreams" or "Eldar" by Randal Spangler, I so looove his dragons. Any input you can offer would be appreciated, I do realise that I will probably have to do both charts eventually.

I have to invest in another set of Q'Snaps because I can't bring myself to remove the set that I already have on Dragon Luck, so that I am able to work on my Masquerade Storykeep, I still have my half year goals to achieve and I am feeling the pressure. I was hoping to give my storykeep as a gift to my Mum for Christmas, now I'm convinced that a visit to my favourite ONS is required.

Until next time, happy stitching

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Itching to do some stitching ....

This has been a horrible week. I have wanted so badly to play with my little dragon, but I have had this horrible cough, that just seems to start and not want to stop, and then it just makes my chest hurt. Really uncomfortable, not great when trying to put your needle into little holes, most of the time I end up sticking it in myself and to top that all off I have an allergy that I didn't even know about.

I am madly trying to find the cause so that I can eliminate it from my diet.

So not as much stitching, but I do have progress and he is coming along nicely. (This is how he looks after working on him for 14 stitching days.)

Until next time, happy stitching

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

License to create ...

I don't need another WIP but when the opportunity presents itself, you grab it with both hands. The most recent SAL theme on the HAED BB was "A New Start Stitch a Long", but not just any old one, it had to be one that had been there for a year and you never really got around to it, for one reason and another. But because I only found out about Heaven and Earth back in about May of this year, I think, I was allowed a bit of leeway so that gave me the reason to start another project, (as if I needed an excuse. Haha).
So here is QS Dragon Luck (you can see in my sidebar what he will look like when he is finished). I was meaning to begin this project as part of my half year challenge anyway, and I am so fond of this little guy I haven't been able to resist working on him at any chance I get. I started this on 27 August, I forgot to take a photo after the first week, so this picture is after 2 weeks. I read a book during that time so I didn't do as much as I could have. But  what does that matter, I'm back playing with him again this week.

My son turned 18 over the weekend and this is part of my dessert. It was sooooo YUM!!!!

Until next time, happy stitching

Monday, August 23, 2010

I finished something ....

Well nearly, Polar Bear Fun was in rotation last week and I have completed page 1, so that is one small tick for my half year challenge. I ended up working on this longer than my usual weekly routine because I was so close to finishing the page. So I had to keep going until I did and I am really glad that I did.
Now, that I have completed my first page, I can add another project to my rotation, so I am currently gridding my fabric in preparation to begin QS Dragon Luck. I think I will have to set a goal to make my first stitches once I have completed my challenge for Poppy Night Adventure or Masquerade SK, whichever comes first. That way I am making progress with my challenge, seems fair.

Until next time, happy stitching

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Busy fingers ....

I have been a busy little bee recently and forgot to post my latest updates so I am behind, but I will try to get you all caught up with what is happening, a couple of weeks ago was Storykeep Stitch a Long week with the HAED BB. I am happy with the progress that I made over that week, I had planned to complete the cats eye, but that just wasn't to be. I had other things to do.

While stitching away I have been thinking about what to make for my nephews new baby. The baby shower is sometime in September, OMG that's NEXT month, so I thought about making a sock monkey but DH found this wonderful rabbit pattern at the store the last time I was buying thread, so it could be just the right thing.

I managed to get all the pieces knitted and all that I had left to do was the stuffing and putting together. It was going together really easily, I was surprised, I was really excited because it was completed, and then it happened. I said to DH "I couldn't get the nose right", he looked at me and then he said "The head is upside down. It looks more like a dog, than a rabbit." I wanted to cry. I thought its okay, I won't call it rabbit, I'll call it something else, its for a baby.

But it just annoyed me. So I ended up performing very careful "surgery" to correct the problem and this is what I ended up with. Now I am full steam ahead on a shawl. I will post pictures next time when I have a bit more completed on that. Still early days yet.

Until next time, happy stitching

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I want, I want ....

Recently I have been asked about the cross stitch patterns that I have been working on. Due to copyright it would be wrong of me to forward a copy on to anyone, so I am sorry. But you are able to purchase these patterns from the designers at Heaven and Earth Designs. They have a tremendous amount of patterns to choose from, are really wonderful to deal with and the options that you have available to you when purchasing are really great.

On to other things. I would like to say "Welcome" to all my new followers, now that I have you I must remember to post regularly so that you continue to visit, so here is my latest update on Poppy Night Adventure.

I do think I am "over it" at the moment though, I have managed to complete half of page 1, so that puts me in a good place on that one. Don't get me wrong it still inspires me to carry on with it, but it sure isn't screaming at me any more. So its time for a change, this week is Storykeep Stitch a Long week on the HAED BB so its time to change up and try and get at least half of that first page completed and out of the way. Besides I have to get on to Dragon Luck, I'm almost bursting at the seems to do this one because its for a very special someone, but I will elaborate at a later date. I don't want to jinx it now.

Until next time, happy stitching

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Getting the hang of it ....

I'm working on Poppy Night Adventure again this week, each and every one of these designs seems to take hold once you begin stitching. The problem is you never want to put them down again. I am considering what a few other people "like" to do and that is a "screaming rotation", which means you work on a project for as long as you like until another one screams at you. The problem with that is, I have set challenges for myself and I really would like to accomplish these. Anyway for the moment PNA is "screaming" at me, so maybe I will carry on with this until I have completed my full page challenge. Could be a good idea!!! Who would have thought?

Until next time, happy stitching

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Back to the beginning ....

Seen as I had finished with Polar Bear Fun, it was time to bring Masquerade SK out again.

I completed the top row of 10 x 10 grids, so I have been slowly adding more blocks here and there. I was trying to step each row but as yet I still haven't been able to do that.

Until next time, happy stitching

Friday, July 16, 2010

This week at my place ....

I got what I think is a lot achieved on Polar Bear Fun. I couldn't find my before picture anywhere, so you have to trust me.

I managed to get another 2000 (approx) stitches done, I may have completed more if I had actually sat down and worked at it instead of playing around on the computer. But some progress is better that none at all.

Next week I plan to go back to working on my Masquerade SK. I am making an attempt at forming a rotation, with MSK as my "focus piece", so that I can get my half yearly goal completed on that, and PBF in #2, with PNA at #3 and QS Dragon Luck as the late starter, because that is not quite as important in the scheme of completing my goals. As each goal gets completed I can promote the next most important piece. But I know that when that time comes around I will probably have different ideas. Ideas, those are what always get me in trouble.

Until next time, happy stitching

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My 2nd SAL ....

Yes, I have become a bit of a Stitch-a-Long addict. I didn't expect that. But they have been so beneficial to both me and my love for cross stitch, that all I can say is "When is the next one!"

This is my update from the HAED Freebie SAL, I have chosen to do the Masquerade SK, the full picture is featured in my sidebar, and this is my progress after one week. I thought I might have finished the eye, but, not quite, that will have to be next time. The blue thread that you can see in the "centre" of the eye, isn't really supposed to be there, so just pretend it shouldn't be there, I meant to trim this before taking the picture, but I forgot.

Everytime I start one of these designs I realise that I have learnt a little bit more about the do's and don't's of working a HAED picture. Anybody would think with the way I'm going on that I had completed many of these pieces, but I have only stumbled upon these designs in the past two months and in that time I have started 3 pieces, and I have plans for many more. But I can say, these designs are going to take a lot of patience, but also give a lot of enjoyment.

Until next time, happy stitching

Half year challenge ....

Okay, as I am a fairly new member of the Heaven and Earth Designs Bulletin Board I decided that I would become much more involved in the group and join the Half Year Challenge. So to keep myself honest and so that it is in plain site for ME to see, I will make a note of my list here -
  • Polar Bear Fun - Finish pages 1, 8 and 15
  • Poppy Night Adventure - Finish page 1
  • Masquerade SK - Finish page 1
  • QS Dragon Luck - (New start) - Finish 1/2 of page 1
I needed to include a new start because I knew that I would need it, probably as an incentive, or maybe to feel as though I was achieving something, even if it is increasing my WIP pile.

Until next time, happy stitching

Monday, June 28, 2010

Here it is ....

Here is the photo for the Fairy Stitch-a-Long. I ended up not getting around to working anymore on this today, life always gets in the way.

Never mind, but I think I will continue to work on this until the SK Stitch-a-Long begins later in the week.

Until next time, happy stitching

All things must come to an end ...

Normally when you are beginning to really enjoy them. Today is the final day of the Fairy Stitch-a-Long. So I am just stopping by to make a short note. Things went slowly at first. I was trying to make a plan of attack, but after I had put in the first few stitches, it got better so I persevered. Then the most wonderful thing happened... my Q-Snaps arrived. I quickly unpacked them and put them to work and all I can say is WOW!!

In one afternoon I managed to complete 3x the amount of stitching I had done previously using a hoop, not only that I learnt about a previously unknown phenomenon called "parking", and I like that too. An old dog can be taught new tricks

I am off to do some more stitching before I have to take "that photo". Catch up with you later.

Until next time, happy stitching

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Two days later....

I have just about gathered up all my floss and I even managed to find a piece of fabric in my stash exactly the right size. I've gridded my fabric by page and basically I'm ready to go. Even though I need to get a couple of threads, and I'm waiting on my 8" Q-Snaps, I'm not going to let trivial things like that hold me back. Here goes. See you in a few days when its time to post my photo at the end of the stitch-a-long, I do need all the time I can get to work at this you know.

Until next time, happy stitching

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My First Stitch-a-Long ...

Around the middle of this month, I decided to take on the challenge of joining the annual fairy day stitch-a-long on the HAED bulletin board. The challenge is for roughly 10 days and you must be working on a project fairy related. At the end of the stitch-a-long you are able to submit a photo of your progress. OMG, OMG, OMG!!! I would so love to do this but.... yeah the but's have started

1) I don't have a fairy project or pattern... That's okay, I can buy a pattern - solved
2) I won't have much time to do a lot... That's okay, it's about the participation really
3) I don't think I'm ready to do this yet... If not now WHEN!

So after a lot of thought I brought two patterns. One that I absolutely LOVE and the other that would be loved very much by someone else I know. Can you guess which one I picked. You will have to visit in a few days to find out.

Until next time, happy stitching

Friday, May 28, 2010

You've got to start somewhere...

Rotation is the plan. Now I need to make the list. Boy was that scary. I found out that I have the same amount of quilting projects as cross stitch projects that are in various stages of completion, or should I say just begun. I haven't even begun to count the projects that are all kitted up, just waiting to be given there chance in the limelight. So I pulled out my current favourite quilting project and a small cross stitch design.

I have already run through the rotation once with two projects and the 10 hours progressed so quickly I just had to add two more projects. The upside was I completed my 4th block in my Baltimore type quilt. Next rotation I will be starting on block 5. Fairly straight forward, I should be able to keep this going.

Until next time, happy stitching

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rotations could be a good thing...

Years ago when I first started cross stitching I had a rotation for my projects. It was a fairly loose one, but it had bones. I've looked around at a few blogs, and it still seems like a really good idea.

So, first things first. I need a reality check, so its time to make a list of all those WIP's / UFO's  / PhD's that I know I have in my bookshelves. It's time to get the pile under control and that's where the rotation comes in. I decided that a 10 hour rotation with four projects is a good start. I figure that I need to work it, before I can make a choice about adding other projects.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say "Happy Mother's Day" to all those mothers out there, and a great big hug to both my own mother and mother in law. Thanks Mum.

Until next time, happy stitching

Monday, May 3, 2010

Visiting with old friends...

Recently I have been visiting some bulletin boards that I haven’t been anywhere near in absolutely ages to get myself motivated. I have been so blah about wanting to work on any kind of project (that this the excuse I’m using today). So motivation of any kind is what is required.

It’s time to make myself accountable and blog about it.

I have actually done so many things and yet I haven’t documented them here or anywhere. So, I will drop photo’s of these accomplishments in here and there (even if it is just to keep the ego happy), when there isn’t much of anything going on.

Until next time, happy stitching

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm late for a very important date...

Well, the winter sports season is well and truly under way, and we all know what that means. More time for stitching. I have one quilt that I pieced and appliqued two winter seasons ago, it has it’s batting and backing and is waiting for me to decide it is cool enough for quilting. But before that can happen I still have to finish my daughters quilt for her 21st birthday.

Her birthday actually came and went back in February. She knew that it wasn’t going to be finished, no matter how had I pushed it. Anyway, she said to me, “Look Mum, I know that you can only work on my quilt, when you are feeling good, so it doesn’t matter if it’s not ready on time. I know I will get it one day. Probably because her brothers don’t like pink.” I thought that was really wonderful of her to say something like that. Sob, sob…
So before anything else can be quilted, THE BIRTHDAY QUILT takes priority.

Until next time, happy stitching

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tiptoe through the tulips...

Okay, not exactly tulips but a wonderful garden. My husband decided that he was going to take me out for the day. He said it would be nice for us to just get out and about and see what is out in the great big world. I'm not knocking it in any way. I feel very privileged, that he cares enough to want to go on an adventure with me. So we went to the Wintergarden's in the grounds of the Auckland Domain.

I had actually never been there, I had been into all the other hideaways in the Domain, but never this one. It was absolutely stunning, they are basically two giant greenhouses, filled with amazing plant specimens. This is a really popular place for wedding photos, I even recommended this to my brother in law when he got married, sight unseen. His wedding photos were absolutely beautiful, and now that I have been there... well. I took lots and lots of photos. So every now and then you may see different ones turn up for added eye candy during my ramblings.

After we finished in the Wintergardens we explored an area called the Fernery. This was beautiful. It was like being in the New Zealand bush, it was really hard to believe that we were actually in the middle of the Auckland CBD. It was so peaceful, and serene.

When our garden exploring was over we went out into the main gardens of the Auckland Domain, the old trees, and well manicured gardens were so lush, you would be hard pressed to believe that it is supposed to be Autumn. The only hint that we have of that, is that it is cooler during the night. Need more blankets!!! I have so many pictures to show you. This is definitely going to have to be spread out over a few posts.

I've been so excited about all my extra curricular activities, that I forgot to mention that this has created a creative spark and I have managed to get so much applique done on block 1 of my new project, it is almost finished. I've discovered that I don't have the fabric for a particular part, so I will improvise, but probably after I have done block 2. I feel that once I have done that block I will have a feel for the look of the quilt as a whole and will be able to substitute from my stash much easier.

Until next time, happy stitching

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I found it...

Well, after all the head scratching and hair pulling I am back working on a project again. Sad to say not an old one, but a brand new project. It is a block of the month project that has been waiting to be loved, it has a lot of applique along with piecing and I started with block 7, because I liked it but then realised that maybe that wasn’t the right way to go. So back to block one.

I really love needleturn applique, but as time goes by you are always looking for an easier way to do things, and I happened to be a follower of the Inklingo blog, and Linda has a method for applique called back basting applique. Well, at first, it was a teeth gritter, two appliques later, the jaw tension slackened, four pieces later, I LOVE IT.

Most needleturn applique I have persisted with in my own time, meaning that it takes that much longer, therefore explaining all those unfinished projects, but this method is working up so quickly, it really is enjoyable. Sew, sew, sew go my little fingers….

Until next time, happy stitching