Friday, March 31, 2006

Different Ways To Display

I guess there are a lot of stitchers like me who are always on the lookout for ways to display their stitching. Especially small pieces that may be lost in a frame. I got into making small pillows with ribbon on the top as a hanger. I still like the look. Don't ask me where I was looking but I saw someone post that they would make some of their little projects into flat folds. I was sitting there wondering what on earth a flat fold was. I searched all over the internet, and found a book that you could buy with instructions on how to make these things. Looking at the photo, I got a rough idea on how to make one. I didn't see the point in buying a book from the States, that once I read through I would know how to make them and never use the book again. (A bit of a scrooge - and anyhow, I would much rather use the money for extra stash). I asked on forums and was told about the book. Well surely someone out there had made a flat fold and put instructions somewhere. Did another search with a search engine I rarely use...and lo and behold...I found some instructions. From another blogger too. Read through the instructions and now I think I can make one. Much better than waiting a few weeks for a book to arrive.
So thank you Kim incase you ever read my blog :)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Putting The Unpicker To Good Use!

Its been a few days since I last posted, but I have started unpicking old UFO's that I decided I could put the fabric to better use. (Must be the first time I have ever been happy to frog!). I don't even feel guilty about doing it now...whereas a few years ago, I would have been determined to hold onto the project and finish it in the future. A bit hard with one project that was for an ex MIL. Never mind...it clears the box a bit, and I get to reuse the fabric for something else. Today the children were home from school - teachers only day - so to amuse myself, while the children were bored, I carried on unpicking and washed 2 fabrics to get rid of the thready bits. They are as good as new now.

My son surprised me and went next door to help our elderly neighbour pick his grape vines. (Obviously determined not to be too bored) He even pruned a couple of trees for him (must have inherited some of my gardening blood - ***make mental note to myself that I may be able to employ him in the future - but may seem uncool to work for Mum, especially as he wants to be a boy racer and do up cars, which horrifys Mr Plod (DH) ("which bright spark invented The Fast & the Furious movies - the bane of Police all around the world no doubt")*** Now we have a bucket of grapes sitting on the kitchen bench, and lots of peaches and pears from the neighbours fruit trees. My son even brought me a bunch of flowers which included my favourite rose...Dublin Bay.




Found out one of my stitchy friends got a much needed job and she starts tomorrow. Good one Andie :)


I on the other hand have started getting all my tax stuff organised in preparation for when the dreaded tax forms arrive. Eek!!! the end of another financial year.


Only a few hours into my rotation...started with Pukeko Sunset and it is amazing how much progress I have made in 5 hours. I am not a fast stitcher, but I am happy with what I have done so far.
Heres a progress photo...





Sorry about the shocking state of the photo. I guess thats what I get for trying out night time photos. When I used the flash the picture was a blur of white...so I stood in front of a lamp pointed at the picture - hence the white ball of light in the middle.
Well enough computer time for me...I'm off to stitch for an hour or so before bed :)

Monday, March 27, 2006

No Stress

Thats how I feel after putting my rotation plan into action. I feel quite relaxed about my stitching at the moment, which is good, because some of my fellow stitchers on my StitchNZ group know that I tend to leave everything till the last minute...then I start to stress. I am bad with Christmas ornaments, thats why I am going to start them this early, normally they get started in December. Last year I had to finish Cottage Garden Fairy for my daughters birthday, in November. I wont go into the stress involved there. I think I hid it well...but when the framer rang me up the day before to say it was finally ready (she'd had it for 3 weeks and thought she had another week)...well I was struggling with the internal fireworks thing!!!!
One of my resolutions this year was to give myself more time to stitch things and not to stress!

On a different note:
I have really been enjoying other peoples blogs lately - there are some fantastic stitchers out there :)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Time To Rotate :)

Well the UFO box has been explored and I have decided to start on rotation stitching. Firstly I changed an Excel tracking sheet I had saved on my computer. I am going to do a 10 hour rotation and use projects from 4 catagories. The tracking sheet shows the 10 hour blocks and each one of those blocks is devided into 10 squares, so I can mark the blocks off by the hour (and I will use a cross and that way I can also mark 1/4 and 1/2 hours if I only manage to do a bit of stitching. When I have filled in one 10 hour block, I move onto the next project...you all know how it goes.

The catagories are straight forward....
1: Big Project
2: Small project
3: Crazy Quilt Bag
4: Christmas Ornament or small gift

So all my current projects fit nicely into this rotation, but I get to do a bit on each thing. For the Christmas Ornament I will be doing a Kitty & Me ornament from Just Cross Stitch 2002 Ornament issue called Amidst The Poinsettias.

ROTATION:
!: Max's Moon
2: Pukeko Sunset
3: CQ Bag
4: Admidst The Poinsettias

I guess there will be times where I wont stick to the rotation, but that will only be if I want to do a gift in a hurry, then I will finish it and continue on with the normal rotation.

Wish me luck :)

Friday, March 24, 2006

UFO Box - Surprises

After kissing my family goodbye, I dived in to the formidable UFO box. Not too bad, quite tidy but I found packets of needles I had forgotten about....like I need extra needles, I have about 60 already. I found bags full of threads that pals from the States had sent me, some even had packets of beads included.

Now with the new found threads...mainly DMC...it means I have to do a stock-take. I keep a record of all threads on Cross Magic (software for organising cross stitch stash), and I have bags of all the extra threads (keeping them together in colour families). I have the full set of DMC in 4 floss boxes. As I use a thread up from the floss box, I replace it, and make note of it on Cross Magic. I did have a good 2 -3 full sets of DMC, these bags I have found will increase this amount quite considerably. As for the UFOs, I really should get into a rotation and clear a few of them out. For me the thought of a rotation is easier said than done!!

Some of the UFOs were for people I dont even associate with anymore, so these can be unpicked and the fabric used for something else. I have even got the Angel of Cross Stitch by Joan Elliott (in the cross stitcher magazine June 1999) sitting there that used every single DMC thread that was around at the time. I joined a support group and we did really well with stitching that angel. I think most people even finished. It was a real buzz at the time.

I thought I was good hauling out Max's Moon to stitch this year. I am going to have to rethink this now. Either rotation of about 6 projects, or stick to 2 projects, 1 current and 1 UFO. hmmmmm!!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

UFO Box - Time To Tidy Up

Now thats a scary thought. It has to be done though. I have no idea what is lurking around in there. In some respects I can see it wouldn't be a good idea because the guilt I'd feel would be a bit much to bear. I was thinking about diving in all day...and kept putting it off. This may need a therapy session afterwards. I think UFOs have been the cloud above my head for longer than I care to remember. I do remember the reasons UFOs came into my life and it was about the same time I discovered the internet. Searching for cross stitch pattern subjects lead me to a world I had no idea existed. I still remember sitting there with mouth wide open looking at the TIAG website. Blue Moon Angel was the first pattern I saw. I still love Lavender & lace, but the only one I have ever stitched was the 1997 freebie angel. Anyway I think I will make the UFO box the aim for the weekend. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Going Mad!!!!!

Not quite but very close to it. I thought this blogging had me stumped. The last post I did this morning wasnt coming up in current posts. I could only see it in the archives. There was a flurry of emails sent to those in the know, but in the end I emptied the cache thingy on my PC, and everything came up hunky-dory. Who invented this?????

What Will The Day Bring?

Wow, I have comments on my posts...excellent. Mindyou you girls that did comment, I guess it was an inevitable thing as I did let you know I had started blogging.

Nic: My bag will be purely decorative...but if I get into the Historic Victorian thing, it could be used. (Historic week is celebrated in Oamaru...not far from where I previously lived and where I want to eventually live - but thats another story!!!!) Once sewn up, the bag will have a drawstring at the top...to be honest I am moving blindly with this...I have lots of ideas but not even I will know how this will turn out.

Andie: All this blogging is a bit of a hoot. I have read peoples blogs and never commented because I didnt have an account. But I must remember not to spend too long on here...the time just flies.

Kerry: Good to see you Kerry. My bag is my creative outlet at the moment, quite good for destressing.

Anne: I have got Nancys blog already. As with the others, I never had an account to ever comment on it, but its always been in my favs. Maxs Moon really is a sweetie...I love it...should of had him finished years ago LOL

Ok, well today the sun is out. When we moved over here, all we heard about was the rainy West Coast. When it rains, it does so as though it will never stop, but we have had our fair share of fine weather too. The plum tree never got pruned yesterday...it started to rain LOL. I just got another gardening job last night. I have had one already - that took all last week to finish. So I think as my name gets round more people will ring. Its been 9 months in the making but good things take time I guess. I have totally revamped the garden round this house...added a large native garden which will hopefully grow into a forest. Things grow well here. Maybe its the rain.

I did some more to my cq bag last night...just a little bit because I was on here playing with this blog. Just added some lazy daisys to the bottom of the arch.



The lazy daisys are stitched with a dyepot variegated thread. I quite like the look of the oranges against the purple. I think I will have a garden thing happening around the arch. So I can play with colours and stitches.

Better go and poke my head out the door and see where today takes me :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

This Is Looking Better

I am starting to find my way around this blog now. Added a few links to the sidebar. Hopefully I will have a few more to add once I let people know I am blogging now.
Now onto the reason for this blog. These are the 2 cross stitch pictures I am working on at the moment.








Max's Moon


This has been an UFO for some time and I decided last year I needed to work on some of my UFOs...they cant sit in the cupboard anymore. It wouldnt be fairon them and they were once loved quite a lot...thats why I chose to start them.

The plan was to work on the UFOs and not start anything new (other than the ornaments I will do during the year or presents for people). Then came along the next WIP.

Pukeko Sunset


Naughty I know...but one of my stitching friends did this and it looked gorgeous, so I couldnt resist.

As well as these I am making a Victorian Crazy Quilting bag. This has been on my 'to-do' list for quite some time. I am having fun addind fancy embroidery, beads and charms to this. And its nice to do something different from cross stitch for a change. Here are a couple of photos just to show what I am doing on the bag:

This is all the stash for the bag lying on the floor.





This is the fabric sewn together. Have never done quilting before - a totally new experience.

A gold spiders web (stitched with DMC metallic gold thread) complete with spider. In Victorian times ( and today) a spider web is added to crazy quilting for good luck.




This is a mixture of Cretan Stitch, Lazy Daisys (Stitched with DMC floss) and flower buttons.


This was my first attempt at ribbon embroidery. Not too bad. The vine and leaves were stitched with DMC Perle No.5.

Well the sun has come out and I have a plum tree to cut down a bit. I dont think it has had a prune for several years. We have been at this house for 9 months now and a whole heap of changes have had to be made with the gardens and trees.

I Was Never Going To Do This!

I have been looking at peoples blogs...mainly with amusement. I always wondered how people could write about their personal happenings on the Internet. But because I have enjoyed reading blogs from other stitchers, I have come round to thinking it might be a good idea and I will give it a go. You may have to bear with me for a while, until I sort out how this all works. It could be interesting. Most of the time I dont have enough hours in the day to stitch, without having to spend time working this out.