Saturday, December 31, 2005

2nd Christmas Elf Progress Picture

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I'm loving stitching her - it's so nice to stitch a quick Mirabilia! ... um, but Carol ... you mentioned red and not putting it with purple in your blog ... so now I'm worried, I thought I had the colours pretty good - but she is definitely on a purplish fabric ... with all that red! LOL ... the fabric is called Evening Shadows - a hand-dyed from Countrystitch, I thought it looked perfect (and hey, I still do ... and that is what counts - so in all seriousness, I'm not worried ;))

I'm not sure I'll get time to stitch at all today - I promised the girls I'd teach them how to sew - I'm going to cut some squares and let them sew them together on my sewing machine into a quilt top for their babies - not sure how we'll go, I figured that was the easiest and simplist way to give them a go and actually make something "real".

We also want to start swapping the girls' and boys' room around - at the moment the boys' room is the smaller one and they are in bunks, but they're just growing out of them (they're 11 and 10yo) - so I've been working at clearing out our big wardrobe in the family room so I can fit a lot of the girls' toys in there - meaning they will fit in the smaller room - confused? ... I'm hoping it will give the boys a bit more space, they're really ready for their own rooms, but that isn't going to happen for a few years yet - so hopefully more room, will give them a bit more personal space.

Mia asked me how my 2006 goals/plans were going ... well, I sat here yesterday - created a new blog entry called "2006 goals" ... and saved it as a draft ... and that's as far as I've got! LOL

I think I'm going to work out a rotation of "types" of stitching - and then list what I want to stitch/I've started to stitch and put it under each category - and then work slowly through each category on the allotted day/days.

Do you ever wish you could just start again? I've been stitching for 20yrs and have SO many charts, so much fabric, so much stash ... and I love it, I really do, but I also have so many things to finish, so many things ready to start, so many things I really really want to get kitted and stitch ... sometimes it would be just nice to go - oh here's a clean slate, just start again ... does that make any sense? Can you tell I'm overwhelmed right now! LOL

I really really have to get back to my sister's wedding gift - unless I do some serious stitching on that over the next few weeks there is no way it will be finished on time ... I think I've been avoiding it. So for January my rotation will definitely be mostly that - with a few fun days thrown in :)

New Years Eve today ... friends of ours (the ones with five kids, two of which are best friends with two of ours) are having a very family orientated BBQ - lots of families, and hopefully lots of fun - not sure if we'll make it to midnight, we'll see how Miss Charlotte goes - I'm hoping she'll maybe just drop off when she's really tired and we'll be able to pop her on a spare bed somewhere ... considering that lately she's not asleep before 9.30pmish - she'll probably stay awake until midnight anyway!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Mirabilia Christmas Elf - WIP

Did you even contemplate that I wouldn't start it? LOL

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... we're going out to a New Years party for the first time in years this year ... pity, I could have pushed myself to finishing it before 2006 if I was home for that extra evening! LOL

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Happy Anniversary to me!

... well two days late ... but it's my blog so I don't care!

I can't believe I've been blogging for a whole year - gosh, I've been trying to keep a diary for about the last 36 years ... and never get past a few days, so this is obviously the best alternative!

Thank you everyone for your comments and really just reading and having an interest in my little world.

My anniversary resolution is to try and keep up to date with comments on everyone elses blogs - I read a LOT of them, and admire a lot of stitching but often do the "I'll comment later" and later never happens ... so hopefully you will see lots more of me on YOUR blogs over this year.

I'd like to say another resolution is to up-date daily, certainly I'd love to try, but I know full well that life gets busy and it isn't always possible ... but I'll certainly try.

I finally got my Mirabilia Christmas Elf Fairy today ... wooohooooo! of course I don't know whether to say stuff my other WIP's and just start it ... or to wait ... oh decisions, decisions ...

I'm still trying to work out 2006 goals, my biggest problem is that I have just way too much I want to stitch - how do you all break it down? I'm going to have to come with some plan ... I'm just really not sure how yet! LOL

I'm thinking you might see a progress picture of a little Christmas Elf tomorrow though ... see you then ...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Holiday Stitching Update!

I love this time of year for stitching ... no rushing off to work in the evenings, no after school sports practices, no meetings ... means I get EVERY evening, plus some afternoons for stitching - I love it!

Here are some progress pictures, mostly from the last week or so -

Celtic Summer - I've stitched this the last few days over Christmas etc ... I can't finish the cotton stitching yet because I still haven't organised the beads LOL ... I think I'm going to change them to Delica beads because I used hand-dyed 32ct so I'm pretty sure the required ones just won't fit and Katrina has assured me the Delicas are wonderful :)

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Mirabilia RR - I joined this RR months ago and am only just now getting around to organising my stitching - and it's due to be sent next week! Eeek! ... I've decided on a fairy theme and I've drawn and cut out working copies of 40x100 parts of the fairy, making sure the face and some of the wings shows on each one. This is my piece - Adia ... I haven't got the krienks or the beads (well I probably have got some of the beads, I haven't looked, I'm still trying to decide whether to have everyone add the beads or not, or leave it until it gets back and I'll wash it and then add the beads - my preferred way of doing Mirabilias anyway). So here is Adia - minus the glittery parts! (I think I will just backstitch each section with a gold metallic).

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and lastly, I started Faery Tales (heck I'm crazy ... I had the fabric, so figured, why not! - wow, it is a huge piece of fabric though LOL).

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I'm trying the parking method ... and so far I've only had to use two colours, which is actually quite nice I feel like I'm getting into the rhythm slowly :)

As for Christmas activities - we had a fabulous time - Christmas Day we keep it pretty low key, just our family - we open all the Santa things (the smaller things in this house), sit around and relax a while, make a lovely brunch - including having the table more festive ... then clean up (about the only time of year the kids are enthusastic about helping! LOL) and then open our other gifts. One of the traditions we've started in the last couple of years is the kids putting their names in a hat and each one draws one out - we give them $10 each to buy that person a gift - it works really well, and I hope it is something they carry on as adults :) ... it's fun watching them enjoy seeing the thing they bought being opened ... and hopefully realising that the giving part is just as important, and feels just as good, as the receiving - we try anyway ;)

Deb and Jim and Deb's parents (Aunty Betty and Uncle Gus) - DH's cousin and parents - came for a BBQ later in the afternoon, which was pretty nice and relaxed too - Deb and Betty LOVED their boxes :)

Boxing Day my family gets together - I have 7 siblings, so it's a pretty big get together now! I organised it so we could use the soccer clubrooms this year - the "boys" (well, and a fair few of the girls, including mine of course!) enjoyed a great game of cricket on the cricket pitch next to the clubrooms and the littler kids could enjoy the playground while the rest of us adults could enjoy eating and drinking. I've got to say though, that as the years go on and the nieces/nephews get older, my siblings have less "little" children - it is becoming boozier and boozier, which, me not being the biggest drinker and knowing my parents don't drink at all, I'm not sure I like as much as in the previous years when we all had littler kids and it was more about family ... it IS still great to get together and things always change, but I suppose it just feels a bit sad.

Today we are off to start the 1000 piece Christmas puzzle Santa left for the family and probably off to the beach this afternoon ... then back to Faery Tales this evening - although I really should start back on my sister's Wedding gift ... and I've got to check the post box later to see if my Christmas Elf has arrived ...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

A very quick note before I go to bed :)

Kids are asleep, Santa has been ... kitchen is ready ... and I'm ready for bed!

We are having a no-computer, no-PS day tomorrow, including me ... so I'll wish you all the best of the season ... relax and enjoy yourselves, your friends and your families.

See you in a couple of days (hopefully with a good progress picture!).

Friday, December 23, 2005

Ohhhhh nooooo ... I've caved

I don't like HAED (and similar over one "print") designs.

Why not buy a print, rather than go to all the trouble to stitch one.

But the bug has been slowly weedling it's way in, I keep looking at WIP's and thinking ... gosh wouldn't that be a challenge ... No! No! No!

... then I go and see this and that's IT! I'm well and truly sucked in, soooooo sucked in that the grand total of $15.25 I had sitting in my Paypal account for a rainy day is now 25c.

Merry Christmas to me! LOL

... and talking about Christmas stitchy gifts - my Stitching Bits and Bobs order was sent one week ago - fingers and everything crossed it's in the Post Box tomorrow! If not, I'll have to keep stitching Celtic Summer the few days over Christmas ... and I can't say that would be a terrible hardship! What I do REALLY like about SBB is their ordering system where you can check the status of your order ... and despite having to wait this time, I knew the whole time what was happening - I've always said the lateness doesn't bother me, as long as they're honest and keep me updated - so big plus for them :)

... and I'm at work right now - so I should do something useful!

Swiped from Jo's Blog :)

I'd rather have money!

Your Christmas Stocking Will Be Filled With a Stuffed Animal
Either Santa got your Christmas wish many years late...Or he secretly thinks you're a bit immature!
What Will Be In Your Christmas Stocking?

Of course I'm nice :)

You Were Nice This Year!
You're an uber-perfect person who is on the top of Santa's list.You probably didn't even *think* any naughty thoughts this year.Unless you're a Mormon, you've probably been a little too good.Is that extra candy cane worth being a sweetheart for 365 days straight?
Were You Naughty or Nice This Year?

... and no surprise here ...

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas
For you, it's all about sharing times with family.Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.
What Movie Is Your Christmas Most Like?

Monday, December 19, 2005

One last picture ...

Okay ... I lied, it's actually two - but it's of the same thing!

Charlotte brought me home her little gift from daycare today ... and it is so sweet I have to show it off :)

Here is the closed box ... (sorry it's rather blurry!) -

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and once opened ...

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The little verse on the inside of the lid reads ...

This special box I give to thee
Holds the magic of the sea
When life seems to be amiss
Just lift the lid and make a wish

Charlotte tells me she sprinkled the sand in and stuck the shells in :)

Lots of pictures!

... and I know from reading answers to the Bloggers Question of the Week that you ALL like pictures ;)

Firstly - here are the Take Time to Quilt pieces finished into boxes - the Spring one is a bit blurry sorry, but maybe just as well - it was the first one I did and I learnt a few tricks while I was doing it, which made the second one much nicer looking!

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Then we have a wee ornament, this is from an Ornament RR - I won't say what one in case the next person wants to be surprised. It is from JCS Ornament Magazine '98, by Victoria Sampler - I can't say it was a favourite, but I made myself stitch it :)

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... and next the piece I'm going to make into a needlebook for my evil MIL, can you believe (okay, if you know me you probably can, all too easily! LOL) that I finished it, took it out of the Q-snaps and realised I stitched it on the left hand side, instead of the right ... major DUH! ... I'll cut the extra fabric off the right-hand side and sew it to where it should be - it will just mean there is a seam on the outside of the needlecase, I don't think that will matter. I'm hoping to make it up this afternoon.

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and last, but definitely not least, an update on my Celtic Summer - I stitched some on the border on Saturday night, and then some more of the dress last night, I had real trouble keeping my eyes open last night so didn't get as much done as I would have liked - I hate it when that happens. I notice a few updated pictures of the Celtic Ladies ... we must have all finished our Christmas ornaments and obligations :) I'm going to have to put mine away again while I get this Mirabilia RR ready to go, hopefully that won't take to long and I can get CS out again, very soon.

Anyway - here she is -

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Thanks for looking everyone :)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Yah ... a doormat ...

scoot jpeg
You are Scooter.You are a loyal, hardworking person, better known
as a doormat.
QUOTE:"15 seconds to showtime."
LAST BOOK READ:"300 New Ways to Get Your Uncle to Get You a
Better Job "
NEVER LEAVES HOME WITHOUT:Coffee, clipboard, and Very Special Guest Stars.

What Muppet are you?
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Friday, December 16, 2005

One hair wrap!

All that extra DMC and Krienk comes in handy!

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... and now I've gotta run, I've got lots of housework I should have been doing!

Busy, busy, busy ...

... it must be Christmas time! December is always a really busy month for us - actually, it hasn't been too bad this year, busy, but manageable.

I finished one of the Take Time to Quilt boxes yesterday - it turned out "fine" - not perfect, but looks pretty good - definitely went as planned, except the pre-made box lid of course didn't fit once I'd covered the bottom with fabric, so I had to make the lid. Then again, definitely a good learning curve, because I now know I could make the whole box quite easily - so more boxes just might be in my future! LOL Sorry, no pictures, I'll take some once I've finished the other one as well.

I DO have a picture of the ornament I made Katrina, we did our wee Doris exchange on Wednesday night - I received a beautiful ornament from Pat (once again, photo to come ...) and a lovely frame and some Christmas candles as my wee gift - I felt very spoilt (or spoiled - can never remember which is the right one - I'm either rotten, or well looked after LOL). Katrina had made some gorgeous felt Christmas tree ornaments as well - they're adorable Katrina! We've got such a lovely group of ladies - we always have a lot of fun when we're together - and I know I always appreciate the support we give each other.

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Rejoice - The Workbasket, from this year's JCS ornament magazine - I'm really pleased with how this turned out, I didn't have any 40ct fabric, so I stitched it over one, on 28ct (I think it was) - with a Needle Necessities over-dyed thread (I love NN - I always seem to be able to find the "perfect" colour when I need a substitute for an expensive silk!). The finishing was fun to do - not too hard at all :)

Thank you again for all the comments - Kath, you make me blush! I'm sure I'm not *that* clever ... but I am enjoying having more time and head space to be creative now the kids are all getting a bit bigger.

Talking of kids ... that little angelic (ha ha) Charlotte found the Christmas gifts yesterday ... I think she only saw the Polly Pocket she brought out to ask if she could play with, but I still sat her down and had a wee chat about how Mummies and Daddies sometimes help Santa by looking after some of the toys before Christmas ... I swear that child will send me grey long before any of the others do! I can laugh now, but I wasn't yesterday ;)

I'm off to try doing a hair wrap in Charlotte's hair - a few girls have come back from holidays in Australia and paid good money to have them done at markets over there - I've looked at them and I'm sure they're not that hard ... so she's going to be my guinea pig today :)

Happy stitching and happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Some photos ...

Firstly, a big Happy Birthday to my now 7yo Rhiannon - her birthday was on Sunday, she had a lovely party with her friends and hopefully a nice day with her family :) Hard to believe my little girl is 7yo ... I can still remember the excitement and wonderment at having a girl when she fell out (and yeah, she literally fell out - such an elegant start to the world LOL) - don't get me wrong, I love my boys and was never disappointed that they were boys, not girls ... but after three of them, you can only imagine the wonderment of a girl.

Anyway - here she is with her birthday cake -
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and with her fairy friends at her fairy party (at a party place ... so worth it, NO hassles or stress!).

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and lastly, her funky fairy cake - I'm pretty darn pleased with how it worked out, she loved it - and even mentioned how lucky she was to have a mum like me awwwwwww ...

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and now some stitching photos - this IS a stitching blog ...

Take Time to Quilt -

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and all my ornaments from years of stitching friends/exchanges :)

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I'm sure I had lots more to say ... but can't think what now! No doubt it will all come back to me as soon as I walk away from here.

Meanwhile - I hope you're all having a great week!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Lots of rambling ...


Thank you everyone for all the comments lately! I really do appreciate them, and love knowing that there are people out there interested in my ramblings and stitching :)


I'm still working away on Take Time to Quilt - Autumn, I'm hoping to get it finished tonight. I bought fabric for one box yesterday - I forgot to take the other one with me, so couldn't match colours - duh! I have no idea when I'll get to a good fabric shop again, maybe Monday if I can get some work done tomorrow.

I'm thinking I'll "just" do a needlebook and fob for MIL - I think two boxes to fiddle with will be enough, and I know I can make a needlebook and fob pretty quickly.

I kinda forgot, but not really forgot, more put out of my head and was thinking I had lots more time ... that I signed up for a Mirabilia RR - the mail out date is January 3rd! whoops! I sat last night at work and figured out what I'm doing, I just need to make sure I've got a good piece of fabric, some of the Krienks that I'll put in with the charts and then do the borders, hopefully I'll have time to do my square, but if not - I'll definitely get borders done and it ready to send by then. I went through my fairies and outlined the faces/wings in 40x100 blocks, I'm quite excited about it now - I think it will look good!

Ornaments Received

Here are two ornaments I've received from exchanges -

A Santa from Leah for a PS exchange

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(isn't he lovely! Thank you Leah :))

and Noel from Lara for a board exchange -

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Love this one too - thank you Lara!


Rhiannon's 7th birthday is tomorrow, Cameron's 10th on the 20th. I've booked and organised both their parties, I need to go out and buy one last gift for Rhiannon today (some swimming togs) and they're pretty much done. I also need to make Rhiannon a cake today, ready for tomorrow, and haven't really set in my head what I'm doing! ... I've got the day though ;)


We're decorating today :) We don't go all hard out (I think that is quite an Amercian thing, not a NZ thing ... although that is changing), but will buy a tree today and put it up and decorate it - I've got a couple of ideas for hanging all my beautiful ornaments too - I've got quite a few special ones from various exchanges over the last few years, it's always nice to bring them out and remember where they've all come from - so they need a special place :)

I'd also like to make a quick (it would have to be quick!) table runner for the coffee table, then do a centre arrangement for it ... still thinking about that, maybe tomorrow ... between birthday girl celebrations.

I've got most of my shopping done, just a couple more things to add to the stockings and Josh's telescope and then I'm basically done - yay me!

Kids' Sport

Cricket has been cancelled this morning due to wet weather - poor Cameron is having quite a sulk about it (like we're supposed to talk to the rain Gods or something?). I'm sad for the kids - they love their Saturday morning sport, but happy to have an extra bonus morning to get things done! David came back from his cricket camp yesterday which involved me leaving the house at 10.30am, stopping at Thimbles and Threads - I don't get over to Upper Hutt a lot! - driving to Masterton, picking him up, driving to Wellington to make it in time for work - although I was a good half an hour late, would you believe I got held up by TWO accidents on the way back home! ... all in all I spent about 5hrs sitting in the car, what a waste of a day ;) Anyway, David had a great week - learnt lots, made lots of new friends, I'm proud of him, I'm not good in that sort of situation but he is and I love that he is :)

Kids Generally ...

The younger kids brought home their school folders yesterday, the school does this twice a year, it has samples of their work, spelling tests with age grade, and a comment from the teacher. We got some lovely comments and their work is looking really good - Josh (11yo) has a spelling age of 14yo, Cameron (10yo) has a spelling age of 12.5 - I think they're doing fine :)

David missed his prize-giving because he was away at camp, but apparently won a prize - I have no idea what for though, it doesn't seem to interest him, but I'm impatient to an extreme, and just have to know LOL

Weight Watchers

I was disappointed to the point of being really bad tempered yesterday to find I'd only lost 200g - I thought I'd had a pretty good week - so what did I do? ate crap all day. Urgh - like that is going to help. Back on track today, hopefully this week will be better.

I just found out that my work offers a $200 subsidy for gym membership! I need to check it out properly (whether it is for part-timers as well, whether it covers Paraparaumu gyms, and to the same value etc) ... but I'm thinking, definitely over winter when I struggle to keep going, that I might look at joining. My legs, although still way too big, are definitely improving from all the biking - but my middle needs some serious work that will take more than dieting!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Take Time to Quilt

One down, one to go :)

Here is Take Time to Quilt (Spring) - with very different colours from the original!

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I love the texture of this - I used two threads, rather than one like the chart suggested, mostly because I was using 28ct fabric, rather than 32ct and the single thread just didn't look right.

and here is the start of Take Time to Quilt (Autumn) - again with very different colours from the original -

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I've pretty much decided I'm going to try and put these on box tops - I'm going to look in Spotlight on Friday and see if I can find the perfect sized boxes there, as well as the perfect fabric - then fingers crossed I can get them to look like I imagine they will in my head! If I've got time (and I should have) I'll make a small needle book and scissor fob to go in each one as well.

Then to decide whether to bother making one for my evil MIL or not ... part of me wants to, just so she has to open it in front of a couple of relatives and friends who I know they are spending Christmas with, and knowing that she would have bitched about how awful we are (I'm picking, especially me ;)) ... it would give me great satisfaction to have her open it and everyone see the work that goes into it and wonder why this awful DIL would do such a lovely thing, and yes, I'm evil, LOL! Plus, to be fair, she does do a lot of lovely needlework and it would be a nice gift for her (albeit I swore I'd never make her anything again after the remarks she makes about cross-stitch being too "boring" and "easy") - but the in-laws are a whole big story that isn't worth going into!

Here I am at 9.00am sitting on my butt, still to tidy up the house for the morning ... why? you ask? Cameron and Rhiannon are going to the NZ/Aussie cricket game this afternoon with friends, so I didn't bother sending them to school - which also meant no before school rush - yay! gosh roll on holidays when I get 6 weeks of the same :) We're going to my parents for dinner tonight, but it will only be Charlotte, Josh and I - so quiet :) ... David Jnr is away at his cricket training camp, DH has a dinner to go to ... so I'm hoping for a quiet, stitchy filled afternoon/evening (although if I don't get off my butt and go tidy the house and do some work, I'll still be doing that!).

I managed to do some Christmas shopping yesterday, and now don't have too much left to do at all :)

I need to sit down and plan some baking and food for Christmas day so I can start stocking up the pantry now (I hate the shops the couple of days before Christmas so will only leave the fresh stuff until then).

We're going to get our tree and put up decorations this weekend - the girls are really excited about it this year, so it should be fun. Girls are defintely lots different than boys - they tired of making ornaments and decorating pretty quickly - the girls definitely seem to find it a fun thing to do, which makes it more fun for us too.

and last but not least!

Happy Birthday Kath - I hope you have a wonderful day!

(here is the link to Kath's blog ... I know she'll be thrilled if she gets lots of birthday wishes :))

Sunday, December 04, 2005

All about stitching

Well, this IS a stitching blog ... so I figured I should do a stitching entry :)

First of all a couple of WIP's -

Celtic Summer as of last Thursday when I put it down again to work on Christmas gifts -

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I'd really like to get this finished so that I can think about inviting myself along with Carol and Katrina's SAL of Mermaids of the Deep! I don't think I will get it finished that quickly though ... too many things to stitch, and not enough time :)

and here is Take Time to Quilt by Jeanette Douglas - I've completely changed the colours, there is no way I could afford the silks (or had time to order them), so I tried converting them - then went looking in the LNS for the perfect Needle Necessity thread for the border (and they have a limited selection, in fact I don't think they've had any new ones in for a long time - I'm probably the only one buying them!), I had to fiddle with the colours so they went with the border colour, so it's now completely different to the original! LOL - anyway, here is a picture -

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I'm hoping to finish this one (which is Spring) and also stitch the Autumn version, in time for Christmas gifts for David's cousin Deb, and her mother Betty, who are both quilters. I was going to finish them into bags (like the fairy ones I made for the girls), but I'm thinking about making them into boxes, using the stitching as the top and then maybe stitching needlebooks and fobs to go in the box ... but then again I only have three weeks, so we will see how I go! I can picture it in my head, but I'm not sure whether the moving from head to reality would work so well.

In other stitching ramblings - I ordered Mirabilia's Christmas Elf from Stitching Bits and Bobs when they had their Thanksgiving sale, plus a couple of other things including some speciality threads - and of course, the threads are on back order ... grrrrrrrrr ... I really really want the Elf by Christmas, DH is going to wrap it and give it to me, and I'd planned that as my Christmas holiday stitching - but from past experience I'm not sure I'll get the order on time ... fingers crossed I suppose. I'm not the most patient person, had you noticed? LOL

I'm still thinking about 2006 goals and plans. I really want to set some very realistic ones and try to stick to them ... so I need to put a lot of thought into it ... and heck, isn't that half the fun of stitching - the planning? LOL I definitely want to finish a few UFO's and WIPs, I definitely want to stitch and finish lots of ornaments, I definitely want to start and finish a lot of the kitted things I've had sitting there for over a year. BUT can I do ALL of that??? probably not - so I need to plan what I can realistically do :)

... and as I said this was a stitching entry, I can't tell you how I'm stuffed up with a cold, or how it's only a week until Rhiannon is 7yo, or that it's only 2 weeks until school finishes, or that it's only 3 weeks until Christmas and I've hardly done any shopping or, or, or (oh, and I'm not stressed, honestly! LOL).

Friday, December 02, 2005

Conquering the Maungakotukutuku Road

While I was training for the Taupo Cycle Challenge Fiona and I started biking up Maungakotukutuku Road (otherwise known as the Maungatooks!), a couple of times I've been up there I've thought I *must* remember my camera, will I finally remembered yesterday! So yes, I'm going to bore you with non-stitching, but beautiful scenary, pictures :) It is a 2.5km climb up to the top - one day I will get all the way up without stopping! Yesterday I finally made it up the first steep 500m or so - from there I can make it the 2km up to the top without stopping. I just need to put the two together now! Apparently, if you can do the Maungatooks twice, you're ready for the Akataras, another windy road leading up the hills.

Anyway, the photos :)

The bottom!

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The stop at the first 500m (well, I had to take a photo, right?)

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The top!

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The view :)

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The houses you can see by the see way in the distance, by the sea, is where I (and Kath!) live. The road in between is Valley Road - where the Maungatooks turn off from - it's a bit of a climb to make it to that road too!

and a better view of Kapiti Island ... and the blueness of a beautiful day!

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It's worth the hard slog on the bike just to stop and look at the view!

I promise that I'll have stitchie pictures in my next update! I need to take a photo of Celtic Summer, I did a wee bit more a couple of days ago. I started "Take Time to Quilt" last night at work, and should have more progress of that in a couple of days too.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A year sure goes by fast - 2005 Stitching Review

Okay, I know - there is still a month to go, and in that month I should definitely finish Rose Arbour, and maybe even Celtic Summer ... maybe.

I was thinking about what I've stitched this year, and even more what I haven't! I went back and found my post from the end of last year where I listed all the projects I wanted to do - it wasn't really a goal setting process, I knew I wouldn't get everything done - but I'm amazed (and embarrassed!) at how many I haven't even touched in that year, some of them very longstanding WIP's - it sure doesn't feel like it's been that long!

Here's the list from 27 December 2005 - and next to it what I did/didn't achieve :)

Mirabilia WIP's/UFO's
Ashley's Roses - didn't touch
Rose Arbour - should finish before end of 2005
Sleeping Beauty - didn't touch

New Mirabilias
Lily the Dreaming Fairy - No
Petal Fairy - very small start
Cottage Garden Fairy - No
The Dreamer - No
The Kiss - stitched about a third
Madonna of the Garden - No

Stitch NZ (canvas work)
Gay Day - No
and another - I can't remember it's name. - No

The Silver Lining
All the single roses - started Love, about a third

Indigo Rose
Needlebook - No
Desiderata (a longstanding WIP I haven't worked on for quite a while) - No

Dollhouse - No
Seasons - No
Merry Christmas - No

The Drawn Thread
Perennial Border - Yes, but for ebay - still want to stitch for me
The Sanctary - No
Prairie Garden - No
Marriage of Minds - No
Sampler Gameboard - small progress

Little Mermaid kit - No

Just Nan
Black Magic - No

Elizabeth Designs
Gardens - No
October Sky Sampler - No
In the Garden of my Heart - No

Plus -

Summer Bouquet - No
Amish Quilt Sampler (TIAG) - No
TW - 12 days of Christmas - No
Applique piece from a magazine - No
Bent Creek rows series - No (although did do one for ebay)
L*K - Summer and Winter snippets - No
Victoria Sampler - Sweet Pea Gazebo - Yes, and finished!
L&L - Celtic Summer - Yes, started as a SAL with Blogging friends

and this is what I DID stitch, and finish :)

14 Ornaments
17 RR Squares and Exchanges

Live Laugh Love
Summer ABC’s
Friendship Grows
Friends Make Life a Little Sweeter
Santa 2002
When We Love

Little House Needleworks
The Bookshelf
Peace and Plenty

Victoria Sampler
Sweetpea Gazebo

Shepherds Bush
Violet Sampler

The Drawn Thread
Sunflower Sampler
Perennial Border
Spot of Spring

The Trilogy
Friends Gather

The Prairie Schooler
Garden Sampler

Bent Creek
Bee True
Spooky Row

Setting Sail Kit

So, in summary? I'm disappointed that I don't have any "big" finishes (except the Sailing kit for friends), I'm hoping to change that by having Rose Arbour finished by the end of the year. I seem to have had a bitsy year - lots of ebay things, which is great - but takes up precious "me" stitching time - I don't see that changing next year, through pure necessity, and I'm fine with that - by 2007 I'm hoping we'll be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel - and maybe then I can *really* enjoy my "me" stitching.

Look out for my 2006 goals/wishes ... I'm going to start working on them, and hopefully work out some specific goals I really want to stick to - I think 2006 will be a finishing off UFO's and WIP's year for me :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Apache Wedding Progress

It's coming along, albeit slowly :)

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The exciting bit is that I've just about hit the bottom of that side - just the wood things across the bottom and I've only got to "fill in" that side piece.

I'm going to switch to Celtic Summer for a night or two now - then I really have to start looking for a couple of things I want to stitch as gifts for Christmas ... nothing like working to the last minute LOL - I have finished all my exchange obligations though.

Oh! and more good news - I fiddled with the bobbin from my sewing machine yesterday and have fixed it, it did take a bit of tweaking though *phew* ... and I finished up a couple of ornaments, with it working fine.

I've got to drive up to Levin today to sort out some banking things for the Cricket Association, they have a great adventure park up there so I'll stop and Charlotte can have run around - so she'll be happy.

I also want to go for a bike-ride later, not sure when though - possibly after dinner (darn it, that will cut into CS time!). Now I'm doing the eating thing right, I can't let the exercise lapse.

My last lot of ebay items have sold - they didn't the first time and I had a wee panic, I put them on for 99c and got more than I originally put them on for - I hate taking those sorts of risks, but sheesh, maybe I should more often! Good news is I have enough in my Paypal account to transfer over to pay for David's Cricket Camp next week - that is a good feeling.

Talking of David - he's off for a trip into the city today as recognition to the top English students ... we're very proud of him - he's had a great first year of high school :)

Okay, off to do the mundane ... waking up children, getting them dressed, fed and out the door!

Monday, November 28, 2005

I'm back!

I had a wonderful weekend! I biked my 40km, I think, in less than 2hrs - my little bike computer broke about 5mins into my ride, which was a bummer - but going by the rest of the team and their times, and the total time - I'm pretty sure I made it in just under 2hrs, including walking part way up the huge hill. The atmosphere, organisation and sheer number of people AND bikes (about 12,000 competitors) was just absolutely mind blowing, amazing.

I only met the other two members of our team as we left on Friday (a friend had asked me if I wanted to join her and two other teachers from the college to make up the team of four) - they were really good value, Tomo, in particular, had the most hiliarious stories and great sense of humour.

We stayed in a cabin with four other guys - two did 80km each, and the other two did the WHOLE 160km (wow, and just under 5hrs!) - and had a great time.

Of course, I didn't touch my stitching all weekend - so no updates from me today!

I have managed to finish the stitching for our little NZ group ornament - I might try and finish it into an ornament today, but I can't give you a picture of that until after the 14th :)

Tonight I plan on stitching on my sister's Wedding gift - and then maybe the rest of the week I might spoil myself and stitch on Celtic Summer - I'll be looking forward to it.

I started counting points for WW today - so far so good :)

Friday, November 25, 2005


Just some quick notes - no time for rambling today :)

I'm off to Taupo in two hours ... and I haven't started packing yet, need to get to that next (waiting for some clothes to dry in the drier first).

I re-joined WW this morning ... I need to lose the weight I've put back on since I last went in August ... I've been doing the exercising, but can't keep to the eating. I'm hoping this is the kick start I need.

I'm nearly finished with the stitching part of an ornament for our Doris exchange. Can't peep though - it might be for one of the NZ ladies that reads my blog ;)

I just bought a knitting pattern and wool - partly to take with me this weekend, I have a feeling I might be sitting around a lot (besides the time sitting on my bike LOL) ... and I can't "just" sit ... and my stitching is often too fiddly to do in those situations. Plus all this sitting at the kids' cricket matches does my head in as well - I need something to do with my hands!

Kids are good :)

Now I need to go pack!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Two more ornaments

Firstly - I think my sewing machine is okay, I was directed to an on-line page explaining all about the tension of the bobbin, and turns out there is a little screw on the bobbin that adjusts the tension, it was definitely pretty loose, loose enough for me to tighten with a fingernail, so I'm hoping that was all I needed to do - I haven't had time to actually set up my sewing machine and try it yet (have I mentioned lately how I'd love a craft room where it could be set up ALL the time! yeah, that's right ... I mention it all the time LOL).

On to the two ornaments - they are both for the ornament RR's I'm involved in -

I can't remember the names, but they're both from past JCS issues :)

Image Hosting by This one took a couple of nights to stitch - LOTS of green! - but he's very cute :)

Image Hosting by I've stitched this one before, a couple of years ago, with the required DMC colours - I think I like the hand-dyed look better.

I'm not sure when or how I'll make these up yet.

In other exciting news ... I cleaned out our pantry today! (oh yay, you say LOL) ... gosh it looks empty now though - I didn't realise how much junk was in it, or how little actual food was in it - I seriously need to stock up, maybe over Christmas when we'll have less petrol costs, and less daycare costs.

My biggest boy has just finished his first every exams - they aren't particularly important this year (first year of high school) but good practice, he also wanted to do well enough to make sure he gets in English and Maths extension classes next year (he is in a Y9 "general" extension class this year). He did really well :) - English 82%, Maths 80%, Social Studies 63% (his weakest subject - and naughtest at not studying for!) and Science 69% (his other weaker one). He's very pleased with himself, basically that was what he was aiming for, so he's happy. We're very proud of him too :)

Time to go find an ornament to stitch for our wee Doris exchange, and some charts I can put on bags for Christmas gifts.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends :)

Sunday, November 20, 2005


I stuffed my sewing machine up *sob sob sob*

I tried to put shirring (is that the right word?) elastic in the bobbin, trying to be smart, it didn't work - and now the bottom stitches, from the bobbin are all loose, and I can't get them right - I've fiddled with the tension, re threaded the machine, re wound the bobbin ... everything I can think of. I *think* I've maybe stretched the clippie thingee on the bobbin with the too thick elastic? and maybe, hopefully, I just need a new bobbin.

I'm so bummed.

I'm loving my sewing and really hope it is a quick (and cheap!) fix.

So, anyone else got any bright ideas of what might be wrong with it? Something that I can add to my blonde moments? (oh, and I tried changing the needle too).

*sigh* ... I suppose I'll go cross-stitch.

Stitching Update

I've been really busy the last few days and haven't had a lot of time to stitch at all ... I hate that! I plan to make up for it today and definitely finish one ornament (from the Ornament RR), and work on the Wedding piece - we got our invitation the other day, which must mean I need to get moving on it! February 18th is the dead-line :)

I finished off Prairie Schooler's Garden Sampler, from the Band Sampler booklet - this took a week to stitch and is stitched on 32ct Belfast - Putty.

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It is now for sale on ebay (link to ebay items)

Today is definitely going to be a "nothing" day, I feel like I haven't stopped for a few days, with work (which has been busy), trying to clean and tidy the house for Charlotte's birthday BBQ last night, the kids' sport, biking etc ... I'm feeling like a deserve a break! So today is baking for lunches, and then stitching - I will fit in a bike ride as well though.

My biggest boy had an awesome day at cricket yesterday - I know most of you who read this find cricket a totally foreign sport - but for those who do slightly understand the game - he is an opener and the last two games has managed to stay in for quite a few overs, but only scored 1-2 runs. Yesterday he got 47 runs (seven 4's), survived through five other batsmen AND caught somebody with an awesome catch AND bowled the last over for two wickets and 3 runs! He is understandably full of himself today LOL

... and now that it is nearly 10.00am - I should go get dressed and this house in order!

Happy Birthday Sweet Charlotte!

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I can't believe my baby is 4yo already! ... and a sweet little girl she is now too (most of the time!) ... she was a busy, active baby, a hell-raising toddler ... but is becoming easier and easier as time goes on :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mirabilia's Christmas Elf

Christmas Elf

I have been seriously drooling over this ever since it came out - spoke to DH last night and he agreed it would be a good idea for me to buy it, give it to him and he'll wrap it up and give it to me for Christmas :) ... I'm planning on making it my Christmas stitching project - over that two week break I won't be doing my word-processing job, will be ignoring all soccer and cricket work ... so I plan on having lots of time to stitch, and want to stitch a treat ... and this will be it.

I'm pretty excited now!

Another whoops ... and Princess Bags

Can you believe I've done ANOTHER dumb thing? Gosh, I wasn't called Dottie as a child for nothing! LOL ... I went to a meeting last night, put my purse in the car so it would be safe ... of course I took DH's car, and he's gone to work - over an hour away, not to mention he wasn't planning on coming home again until Saturday - and yep, I left my purse in the glovebox of his car - so instead of grocery shopping I'm sitting here! Luckily - he is flying out of Wellington at about 7pm, so he should be able to leave work a bit earlier and stop here to drop it off on his way through to the airport - and meanwhile I'll borrow big son's eft-pos card, transfer some money on to it and be able to do the groceries. Of course, he's in an exam until after 11am, but he'll wait outside the high-school after that and I'll pick it up off him - gosh texting and phones (although they're not supposed to use them in school!) are great :) I suppose I could do some housework to fill in time for next couple of hours ;)

More importantly - I made up the Princess bags yesterday, and am really really pleased with them, they were pretty easy to make, they're not lined, but have french seams - another new thing to learn, and done successfully :D The girls love them - Rhiannon has taken hers off to school with her library book in it, and Charlotte has a couple of nightgowns in hers (maybe she's planning on spending a few nights away from home? LOL).

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I'm planning on making up a couple with a couple of cross-stitch squares for the pockets, and maybe making a needlebook that will attach somehow ... Dh's Aunt and his cousin are quilters and I thought they'd make great Christmas gifts.

Today I plan on stitching the Prairie Schooler Band Sampler, maybe even finishing it - if you're observant you will have noticed I've gone off my rotation, yet again, but once the sampler is finished I'll probably spend a week stitching MY things, rather than ebay things.

Okay ... off to make use of the couple of hours I should be shopping, I'll go do some cleaning.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Seriously Blonde

Oh gosh - I have had some very bad blonde moments lately ... and just so you can have some smiles and laughter in your life, I'll tell you about them! LOL

No. 1 - after getting my brand new sewing machine three years ago, I was reading through the instruction booklet looking up something the other day, and came across a part where it mentioned the quarter inch foot. Yep, sure enough - I have one. For the last three years I've been following a line by the usual foot ... with out being nearly as precise as I could have been. I made up a couple of ornaments last weekend and was amazed at how much easier it was with the amazing quarter inch foot!!

No. 2 - remember I commented that my camera just wasn't taking pictures like it should? Um, I cleaned the front lens today, and they look sooooo much better again. In my defence, there is one setting on the camera that is definitely not working, and I can hear the shutter working or doing something and I'm pretty sure I never used to - so I still think there is something else wrong with it!

... there is nothing like laughing at yourself ;)

More importantly - here are the couple of progress pictures I took - with the newly cleaned lens!

Wedding Apache - I worked on this on Sunday, it doesn't look like a whole lot of progress, but I did a lot of backstitching which took a while.

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and one of Praire Schooler's Band Samplers - I'm planning this as an ebay sale.

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... oh and another we blonde moment - I remembered that I could inter-mix my Q-snaps - they are a wonderful fit for the sampler like that!

Talking about ebay - I often get people ask whether it is worth it etc (someone in my comments did, Heather?).

I don't think you ever get back the time you put into the stitching. But for me, it's an "extra" source of income, for the "extra" things that always seem to come up with five children! I'm lucky in that I seem to stitch pretty quickly (or so everyone tells me ;)), I have a heap of stash, that I'd never get my money back on selling as "stash" and I LOVE stitching - I'm definitely a process person, I love the finished product, but seriously, after 20yrs of stitching I have a huge pile of unframed things that in all realty, will probably stay that way for a few years yet. So, I choose charts that I like, knowing that I'm going to sell them I don't become too attached, and I know that most of them I stitch I can always stitch again for me one day, and plan to with most of them. I find that the medium sort of size get the best value, people don't seem to buy the really small ones as much, large ones sell for a lot less than they should (I think because of the Indonesian (is that the right place?) cheap laboured ones that are always for sale). I'm not always successful, I just had six up for sale, and only three sold, with only one bid on each. Occasionally I'll manage to stitch something that obviously more than a couple of people are interested in and will bid against each other. At the moment I'm $50 away from having enough to send my oldest boy to a cricket camp in about a month - it's US$200 which is a lot of money for us to find at this time of the year with Christmas gifts etc to buy, so it's a definite weight off my shoulders to know I've nearly paid for it. - way more than you ever wanted to know? LOL

In other ramblings ...

I just went and visited a friend (mother of 14yo's best friend) who had a hip replacement a few weeks ago, she is still hobbling on one crutch and very frustrated at her lack of movement and being more housebound than she'd like, and on top of that they have just found out that her mother (early 60's) has breast cancer, luckily they seem to have caught it early, she will lose her breast and then have radiation. Makes me remember how blessed and healthy my family and I are!

In stitching ramblings ...

I've had this insane idea of stitching ornaments from the JCS Mag ... starting from the first one in the book and carrying on through it ... it would be interesting to see how many I'd get done over the year - I'm thinking of spending 1-2 days a week on them next year. Something I love about the ornament RR I'm in is the lack of making a decision and having them all kitted up ready to go. So I thought if I sat down and kitted up say five at a time - it would be fun to just pick up the next one in line and go for it - I'm always amazed at how I can pick up something I never thought I'd like, or normally try and find it's easier, or nicer than I thought.

I'm off now to try sewing up a simple bag - I'm going to use Princess material and hopefully stitch up a couple for the girls as an experiment ... if it works I've got ideas of doing the same for project bags :)

... so I should run and do that, because it's only an hour until I have to pick up kids from school etc!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

All I want for Christmas

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are my two front teeth! LOL ... poor Rhiannon is VERY happy to have a toothless gap. For the past year or so she has had to explain that "no, the gap in her teeth IS NOT from missing teeth - just a huge gap".

Friday, November 11, 2005

You Should Get a MD (Doctor of Medicine)

You're both compassionate and brilliant - a rare combination.
You were born to be a doctor.

More pictures

I'm surprised at myself, at how prolific I seem to have been with my stitching lately - I think it probably shows that shooting season is over, soccer season is over, and cricket is more organised - meaning I have a lot more time in the evenings now than I did in the winter. It feels good, my stitching is definitely a stress release for me.

Yesterday I was feeling very tired and lethargic, and looking for something to stitch for my next ebay project, and I felt totally unmotivated - I actually thought maybe I've been doing too much stitching and was heading towards a slump. I got a chart and it's cottons ready (one of the Prairie Schooler Band Samplers) and thought I'd take it with me and see how I feel. By the time I sat and started stitching it - I of course enjoyed it and didn't want to put it down to come home! ... so my slump must have lasted all of about 3 hours ;)

Anyway - pictures! Firstly, a few ornaments -

PS - Miniature
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Another PS Miniature
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I can't remember the designer - but this is from my Ornament RR group, I *loved* stitching this one - but must say, the heart template and finishing off was hard work! I'm pleased with the result though :)
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and a PS Santa (from Kris Kringle booklet) for a PS exchange
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The Drawn Thread - Spot of Spring - I did this to sell on ebay, I've previously stitched all four as one bell pull - I'm tempted to stitch all four again as pin cushions like this for ME :)
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and, last, but definitely not least - a progress picture of Celtic Summer (as requested by Carol ... but I was going to take a picture today anyway LOL)
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- not the best picture really, it's still in the q-snaps and I think my camera needs servicing, all my cross-stitch pictures have looked faded lately.

Nothing exciting to report on in life ... and it's time to get kiddoes ready to head out the door for school!