Monday, 29 October 2012

2012 WIPocalypse - October Full Moon

Golly, its gone cold round here! Hope you are keeping warm wherever you are and wishing New York and the US East Coast all the very best of luck! 

Despite having very cold fingers, I have a WIPocalypse stitching finish to show you. Finished just before I turned the computer on, here is Teddy.  Apologies for the dodgy photo - I had to rotate it and the definition went a bit blurry.  However I will show you another hopefully better picture when it is finish finished.  It now needs a wash and to be made up into a little Christmas stocking ornament to go on my cousin's baby's first Christmas tree.  I hope that she will like it.

I finished another couple of blocks on Train yesterday morning and put stitches into several new blocks.  However I think that progress on this is going to be hampered by the clocks going back and the increasingly dodgy weather because I really do need good light in order to work on this one.  I may have to move operations into the lounge where I have a daylight lamp, instead of working in my bedroom where the morning light is usually good and I have plenty of space to spread out on the bed.

Progress on this one includes last week's regulation three blocks and the stitches put into this week's first block before work this morning.  I was really pleased the other week when a friend of mine recognised which painting it was just from the corner of it that I had stitched.  

In other news, I have been enabled, or why blog hopping is a bad idea.  I have a number of blogs which I always visit and then some of these have nice lengthy blog lists on them, so I hop from one blog to another, admiring people's work and reading about their lives.  The problem is that often the bloggers out there have some seriously enticing stash and The Crafty Princess is one of them.  Thanks to her, I am now in possession of a new HAED chart, "Four Seasons" by Jacek Yerka (bought in the Halloween Sale), and a massive piece of 18 count Magic Guide aida.  It is going to end up about 30 inches square so I am going to have to invest in a new 39 inch rotating frame to put this on.  It is going to take forever to stitch and then I will somehow have to frame it and then find somewhere to put it - I must be mad!

My stash buying from the other week has started to materialise.  Not just the fabric for Four Seasons, but also the fabric for Mum's Just Nan guardian angels, the beads and the special threads, and the card blanks for the Delft pieces.  I'm still waiting on the DMC threads for the angels, but as I'm out tomorrow at Pilates and again on Wednesday for Mum's Halloween party, nothing is going to happen until the end of the week anyway.  Hopefully I will have some finish finishes to show you in my next update, but until then keep warm and carry on stitching!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

IHSW - October 2012 Report

Evening all!  Hope all is well with you and yours, and that your stitching progressed nicely this weekend.

Right, I have a new (to me) car.  It is an 03 plate Fiat Punto which I collected on Tuesday lunchtime.  On Thursday morning, the battery was flat owing to me accidentally turning the interior light on (probably with my head) when I got out of the car on Wednesday night.  On Friday morning, I was stood in the office car park reading the manual to work out how to lock the petrol cap.  Talk about a steep learning curve!  Other than that, it drives very nicely and I am quite happy with it.  And best of all, I am no longer dependent on anyone else to get around.  I now need to invest in flowers and chocolate for my colleagues who made my life easier when I was without transport. 

Stitching progress has been good this week.  I took Teddy to my blood donation appointment on Monday amongst other things.  He himself is finished apart from the backstitch.  This week's plan is to stitch the stick of rock that he is holding in his arms and the sweet which is at the bottom left in the foot of the stocking.  That will leave the background stripes, the backstitch and Little Miss Gorgeous' name between the red lines.  Then I just have to wash it, make it up and decide whether to send it before Christmas to put on the tree or with her Christmas present.

Train has also come on nicely this morning.  In another block completing session, I got five blocks completed and put a dent in some fresh ones.  You can now see a green book spine starting to come through next to the red one.  Slow but subtle progress.  However I do think that I might do my next HAED (whichever one that is) on a slightly lower count - 18 count perhaps?

Another three blocks completed on Carnation and if you look closely in the right hand corner, quite a few stitches in the next block.  This next week will see me complete the top row and move into row 2.  A rough and ready calculation at three blocks a week should see me completing page 3 by or before this piece's second anniversary next May.  There is however still my littlest niece's birthday piece to locate and stitch before next June - the problem is that I want something that she will both enjoy now and that will grow with her.

I have Friday off this week and there is another sewing day coming up towards the end of next month, so hopefully things should be looking good by Christmas.

Monday, 15 October 2012

On the Up!

Today I'll start with the good news and then go on to the stitching.

Firstly Dad went back to the hospital last week and they have discharged him back to his doctor.  The biopsies that they took during the endoscopy came back clear and any thickening of the stomach wall is probably due to the aspirin he takes.  They told him to have some coronary function tests because they now think that taking up smoking again (boo, hiss!) may have altered his metabolism and caused him to lose the worrying amount of weight.  Since he has started eating more, it appears that his weight has stabilised.  He has had the tests done and is now waiting for his doctor to come back off holiday.  Basically they have tested everything and found nothing wrong with him that is not normal for a man of his age and general state of health.  So we are breathing a sigh of relief and looking forward.

On the car front, Dad and I went car hunting on Saturday and I have put a deposit down on a car.  I won't say that I have a new (to me) car until I actually have the keys in my hands.  However, it is an 03 plate Fiat Punto in silver with less than 50,000 miles on the clock.  I got a bit of a discount and it is costing me just slightly more than I got back from the various insurers.  I can't wait to be properly independent again and not have to rely on family and colleagues for transport!

Last week was slightly traumatic at work as we have had a new computer system installed.  We have moved to Windows 2010 and have had new PCs and larger monitors.  So I went back to work last Monday straight into a training session.  For the next couple of days, the air was ever so slightly blue as I tried to work out how to do all the things that I was used to doing on the new system.  Things are a little calmer now as the IT folk work through getting everyone up and running and people get more accustomed to the way the new system works.  But it was fun for a while, not!

In my last post I promised you a new start this week and here it is.  This is a teddy bear Christmas stocking ornament from Cross My Heart Inc. which will be a first Christmas gift for my cousin's baby.  I have had this chart for a very long time, along with similar ones showing a toy soldier and Father Christmas.  It should be stitched on ivory aida but I don't have any, so am doing it on 14 count white aida.  It's coming along nicely and is my current traveling piece.

I was determined to complete a few blocks on Train of Dreams this Sunday in the hope of showing at least 1% completed in the side bar.  So I worked on the black section towards the top right and completed a block there.  I also worked on the left hand side and completed a block there.  I probably would have got more done, had I been able to stick to my usual Sunday routine.  Unfortunately because of needing to borrow Mum's car to go shopping, I had to go in the morning instead of the afternoon, and as a consequence lost the best stitching light.

On to Carnation.  I've reduced my target to 3 blocks per week for this page.  There is a lot of confetti and also the festive season looms ahead.  Furthermore I also have youngest niece's birthday chart still to find - she wants to be like big sister which makes it hard to find out what she really likes and dislikes.  I am still enjoying Carnation very much - the charting is so cleverly done that when you see it at a proper distance, it looks almost like the real thing.

There was a 25% off Columbus Day sale at Heaven and Earth Designs last week and I succumbed to another Randal Spangler chart.  This one is called Home is Where the Magic is.  Just when I will get round to it, I do not know as I still have to get to grips with the Just Nan angels that Mum wants as well as everything else on my to do list.

However, I do think that I can say (fingers firmly crossed) that things are generally On the Up!  My best wishes and Zen hugs to all who want or need them.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Definitely short and sweet!

There's nothing much to report this time because I went away for a few days as I normally do to celebrate my birthday.  So there has been no progress on Carnation or Train of Dreams.  However I do have a finish to show.

I took the train to visit my cousin and took Delft 4 with me to pass the time.  While I was away, I completed the inner border and stitched the second flower head.  The outer border and the last of the back stitching got done when I came home.  Now all I have to do is wash all four pieces and make them up into cards.

I spent a lot of daylight hours last week cuddling and playing with Little Miss Gorgeous, and spending time with my aunt and my cousin.  It was wonderful to see them and to get caught up with family news.  I'm hoping to see my cousin again soon as they are planning to come up next month to stay with my parents.

Nothing new to report on Dad at the moment - he has an appointment with the consultant this week so hopefully there will be an update in my next post.  On the car front, I've settled with the garage so have a date with Dad to go car hunting on Saturday.

There will be a new start to show you as I am planning a Christmas ornament for Little Miss Gorgeous' first tree.  I also have to start planning for my nieces' Christmas 2012 ornaments, so I really do now need to use my lunch hours more profitably than I have been doing recently.