Sunday, 28 August 2011

Hurray for Bank Holidays!

Well, tomorrow is August Bank Holiday Monday, which means the kids go back to school next week and the big 4-0 is only a month away now!

Tomorrow I'm planning an excursion to Wye Needlecraft in Bakewell, just for a look see.  I may or may not come home with stash - it all depends on what they've got.

OK, update time.  I took my Snowman to Slimming World with me this week and made some good progress.  You can now see what he is without needing the picture from the kit :-)  Really, I should have finished him by now, but he's not really my sort of thing - the plan is to make him into a card to sell for Marie Curie.

 Having been away last week and not done anything on the Beetle, I've had a good go at it today.  The middle of the front bumper is done and I've started on the other front tyre.  However I have noticed that there are differences between the chart and the picture on the front of the kit so I'm hoping that it still comes out looking OK.  Also I've checked carefully and I'm not going to go over the edge of the gridded bit of the fabric which is a relief. 

Carnation is coming on - despite the short week due to having been away, I have completed three blocks at the bottom left and done a chunk of a fourth.  I've also had to change the angle of the photo in order to get it all in - quite how I'm going to manage when I've got much more done, I'm not sure.

If you look under the pheasant at the top, you'll see that I've added a new page for my 2011 finishes.  There are only three so far because I need to wash and bead my Poinsettia before it counts as a finish, and then it will have to be finish finished.  

Some sick and twisted person texted the Metro this week to say that it is only 19 weeks to Christmas - have they got nothing better to do - I've got assorted birthdays and Halloween to deal with before then!  A short working week this week between Bank Holiday Monday and having a day off on Friday.  I'm out every night this week doing a variety of things from dinner with friends to babysitting, so may not have a lot to show in my next update.

Anyway, time's getting on and if I want to make an early start, I need to think about getting to bed.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Back in my own bed!

Hi folks, this is a late update post because I have been away for a long weekend at a family wedding.  The title refers to the fact that the past three nights have been spent staying with relatives, then staying in a hotel (where I needed earplugs to get any sleep) and then back to the relatives.  It was a lovely wedding and I got to meet members of the family that I knew of but had never met, but I am really glad to be back home in my own place and really glad to be sleeping in my own bed tonight.

Having been away for four days, I have not managed to do anything on the Beetle at all.  However I have made some progress in my project to create pieces for Marie Curie.  I had in my stash some little Christmas pieces designed by Mouseloft for Hobbycraft.  I took this snowman away with me and managed to get a reasonable chunk done in odd moments.  I did have to sub in one of my own needles because the one supplied was rubbish!

Carnation has also suffered this week but I did managed to get the column on the right finished and start work filling in the first block in row 8 at the bottom.  

Tomorrow I'm back at work.  The boss is now off for a fortnight, but this week will be a four day week because of the wedding, and next week will be a three day week because the Monday is a bank holiday and I have booked the Friday off to chill out.

I also need to do some work on my family tree as a couple of the family members that I met over the weekend are really interested and I have promised to send them stuff.

Right, my action packed weekend is catching up with me.  I need to go make tomorrow's lunch and then crawl into bed for a good night's sleep.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Why are weekends so short?

Its Sunday evening, the day is drawing in and Monday looms ever closer.  The boss goes on leave again at the end of the week, this time for a fortnight.  How I am supposed to account for my time for two weeks when my main work provider is away, your guess is as good as mine.  And the second of the two weeks that he is off, the two other top people in the department are off too, so my colleague will have nothing to do either!

Anyway, enough whinging!  Cross stitch is far more important.

My Poinsettia is now finished bar the washing, pressing and beading.  I have the beads but also have a busy week ahead, so the beads won't go on this week.  I'm really quite pleased with it.  When I first saw the colours with those bright pinks, I was a bit concerned but it has come out rather nicely, I think.

 This is the first reappearance of my Fuchsia piece.  It was Patchwork Group on Thursday night so I took it along to work on and have made some progress - it does look more like fuchsias now.  I am in two minds - either I could take this piece into work to do at lunchtimes or I could take some little Christmassy kits by Mouseloft to do for Marie Curie.  I will sleep on it and see how I feel in the morning.

More progress across the front bonnet of the Beetle.  Its very hard to see the white and pale grey stitches against the white background but we are moving on.  I've got about six and a half months left before my deadline - make that five and a half for framing.  I also need to start thinking about a baby piece for my cousin who, fingers most definitely crossed, will be having a baby in January.  I'm thinking Noah's Ark, but that means that I seriously need to crack on with the Beetle now if I'm going to take time out for that.

 And finally Carnation.  Having got past the halfway stage on page 1 last week, I am now well into block 41.  As you can see, that brings me one block short of completing the right hand column and being able to move on to the bottom left.  Finishing Poinsettia means that I now have all the threads for Carnation safely tucked into their correct ziptop wallets - there were a few doing double duty on Poinsettia.  

 What else?  Well, I went to the Archives yesterday and started working through the railway records that have just been put on Ancestry.  Its fascinating to see how people moved around, what they earned, how old they were when they started work etc.  I have three sisters in my family tree who all married railwaymen.  The eldest sister married a railwayman, had her younger sisters to visit and of course they met hubby's workmates and fell in love and married into the railways as well.

Tomorrow I'm going to give blood.  I believe that if you can, you should.  Its a way of paying forward for all the good things in my life - my family, my friends, having a roof over my head and a job which enables me to pay for that roof.  I also carry a donor card - if anything happens to me, then I want the chance to save someone else's life.

Time's getting on.  I'm going to finish here and go make lunch for tomorrow.  Hopefully the world will be a better place in the morning.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Happy Dance!

Woo-hoo!  I pushed the boat out yesterday and finished block 37!  I even moved onto block 38.  I am officially halfway through the first page of "Carnation Lily Lily Rose"! 

Its taken me 10 weeks and 3 days to get to this point (if I include the most of one week when Dad was fixing my floor stand) which, when I do the maths, means that it is going to take me over 5 years to finish this project - I did say when I started this blog that it was a BAP.  However I am determined that it is not going to take me that long.  It has definitely been quite a steep learning curve so far - using mainly blended threads, using a floor stand (which, having been bought in a charity shop, came without instructions), the blocks which are mainly confetti stitching and just working on such a big project.

Here's how its looking now.  The next step will be continuing to work down the current column on the right hand side to the bottom of the existing stitching, and then starting over on the left and working to the right filling in the part-started row.  I'll get there eventually.

I treated myself to an elephant's foot for completing block 37 - to people who aren't from round here, that's a large round choux pastry bun filled with cream and with chocolate on top.

Moving on, progress has been made on Poinsettia.  When I wrote my last piece, I forgot that there was another leaf to do, so I've completed the leaf and one petal, and started a second petal.  So that leaves finishing that petal, doing one more, some fill-in in the middle and beading.  Possibly a finish not for the next update but the one after that?

Beetle missed out last week due to Mum and I doing the Race for Life.  This week I have finished the headlight and started working across the front of the car.  I must say that I'm not really enjoying this one.  The many, many fractionals are a complete pain on aida - this is definitely one of those projects that you do because someone you care about will love it.

So that's the good (Carnation and Poinsettia), the bad (Beetle) and now for the ugly!  I am so not looking forward to going to work tomorrow.  Although the boss is going to be back, the Powers That Be have changed our working practices as of tomorrow without prior consultation or warning.  We got an email on Friday afternoon just saying that this is what was going to happen.  This went down like a lead brick as you can imagine.  Communication with the lower echelons has always been poor at my place but this takes the biscuit.  One of the people in another department said that exactly the same process had happened at her last place of work and that it had resulted in redundancies.  It's supposed to make us more efficient - how can you judge efficiency in the middle of the summer holidays when half the office is on leave?  Suffice to say I haven't slept well since Friday.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Tell me why I don't like Mondays!

I don't like Mondays - they come round too fast, and I am definitely not keen on Mondays when the boss is off - they herald the beginning of a week of boredom and scratting around for something to do to justify my existence.  This morning I finished his filing, rearranged his cabinets and then spent the rest of the day bitting and bobbing for other people, and I've got another four days of this!

Anyway, update time.  Only two photos this time cos my Sunday was taken up doing the Race for Life so my Beetle piece didn't get a look in.

Poinsettia is coming on nicely (photo as of last night).  I've found that if I get it out of my bag at the same time as I sit down with my lunch and have it sat on the desk next to me, then I do work on it, rather than reading cross stitch blogs all lunchtime.  That is the penultimate petal starting to stick up there, so the last two petals to go and then some fill-in in the middle and add some gold seed beads.  Then I have to work out how to finish finish it into a Christmas ornament that is worth giving as a present, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

And here is Carnation also as of last night.  This photo represents 33 complete squares and assorted work round the edges.  So only another 4 squares to complete and I will be halfway through page 1 - not the next update, but possibly the one after that.

As I said above, I did the Race for Life yesterday.  Mum and I do it together every year and Dad comes along and helps out as a marshall.  It was not a good day for it this year - too hot really for a course with no shade, but at least it is flat all the way round.  The warm-up was quite good though - two hunky guys doing a nice sensible slow warm-up, rather than some Lycra clad gym bunny doing a pounding aerobics workout which is what we normally get.  Mum and I got round the 5km course in about 50 minutes - we do it at a briskish walk due to Mum's health issues - so we were quite pleased with ourselves.  Now we just need to get our sponsorship money in and off to Cancer Research UK.  I've already booked us in for next year's Race for Life series, but will have to wait until January before I can book onto a specific event.

Right, I can see from my sidebar that some of my favourite blogs have updated recently so I'm off for a quick read before making tomorrow's lunch.