Monday, December 31, 2007

Yum, Gingerbread!



Well, I made up for my slow start on CCN's Gingerbread Garden by stitching like a mad woman the past few days, and finished it last night! The colours seem lighter than on the model, but I'm really pleased with it all the same, it's just so cheerful. I think this will be made into a flatfold before next Christmas, but that is subject to change depending on my mood.
I was very lucky that santa brought me lots of wonderful christmas pressies this year, the main one being a new sewing machine! I have had a basic sewing machine for a few years that is very temperamental and lately I just can't get the tension right on it. It got to the point where I didn't even attempt to use it and was scared of it, so on Boxing Day I attempted to set up my new machine with much nervousness. But it works perfectly! The tension wasn't right to start with, but I tweaked and sorted that out, and it's got loads of little extras that my old one didn't have. Once it was all ready to go I couldn't resist finishing something small off, a hardanger sal finish I had in my finishing drawer, which I made into a pincushion. It's not perfect but I'm really happy with it and I will be playing more with my new toy soon.
I also received some of the new DMC Variations, some linen banding, some dmc gingham scissors, a stash pack containing fabric and threads from Karen, a cute little box with a skein of Dragon Floss in from Julie and some gorgeous Thorntons Truffle Xmas Trees (yes, they didn't last long lol).

So I have one stitching day left of 2007 and I think Tomboy deserves some attention. I am determined to finish her as soon as possible in 2008, so any extra stitches I can get in on her in 2007 will be good.

All that leaves left to say is Happy New Year to each and every one of my blog readers and commenters who are very special to me, hope to see more of you in 2008!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!


Sorry I haven't posted in a while, things have been crazy here with the run up to Christmas and although I've been checking some blogs I haven't been able to keep up let alone post. I hope to catch up after Christmas.
I haven't any stitching to show I'm afraid. I did start CCN's Gingerbread Cottage but haven't made great progress on it due to not much stitch time. I am enjoying it though and the bit I've stitched tonight seems to have brought it all together and looks really nice. I'll take a pic after the Christmas craziness is over I promise.
If you look at my sidebar you'll see my stitching plans for 2008 are quite different to 2007. I've signed up for a few different stitchalongs etc in the hope of making progress on some of my older wip's, plus I'm starting the quaker RR, and I will finish Tomboy in 2008! lol I've also decided to start saving for Chatelaine's Egypt Garden chart, fabric and kit in 2008. I've spent 2 years trying to convince myself I don't really want it, but have finally given in and realised I really do. DH's nan has given us each some money for Christmas so that will start my savings off, so watch this space! Other than that I am thinking of going on the wagon for a time in 2008 to try to get some of my stash used up, but I'll give that more thought before 2007 actually finishes.
I haven't had any large finishes in 2007 but I'm very pleased with what I have achieved. I've had more finishes this year than ever before and have tried lots of new techniques, and I'm sure it's thanks to my wonderful stitching friends who I've done stitchalongs with and who've given me such inspiration with their gorgeous stitching.
So to everyone who reads my blog and those kind enough to leave comments, I hope you have the best Christmas ever, and all your hopes and dreams come true. Look after eachother (hugs).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Slow But Steady


I have made more progress on Tomboy, like a snail, but they do say slow and steady wins the race, and at least this way I'm not hating working on her.
I have put her away now for a while as I'm about to kit up Country Cottage Needleworks Gingerbread Garden which has been screaming at me since it was released. The two Crescent Colours needed arrived last week, so just need to pull the dmc and decide on fabbie then I can make a start. I'm really hoping that this has the desired effect of making me feel a bit brighter, because the last couple of days I just feel like taking to my bed. I know a lot of us are feeling the same, with xmas coming up and so much to do etc but hopefully a bit of fun and cheery seasonal stitching may lift my mood.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Another Page Happy Dance


Going back to rotating was definitely a good idea as I finished my third page on Cabin In The Woods last night! That's about 1500 stitches in about 5 days, much better than I was doing on Tomboy by avoiding her lol.
Then today I pulled Tomboy back out to work on, and stitched on her whilst I had a special visitor, Dawn! As I've got the week off work this week and Dawn has a child free day on a Wed we decided to get together for a stitchy session and it was great fun to sit and stitch and chat the day away, and yet again we found we have even more things in common. Dawn constantly amazes me at how quick she stitches and how much she gets done, but I think she's right in that she doesn't spend as much time on the pc and msn as I do. So I'm going to try to turn over a new leaf and see if I can achieve more by spending less time surfing, so watch this space.
Tonight I will start my 10 hours on Tomboy properly (I counted what I stitched today as extra) and see how I get on, then once that is done I'm having a new start! I finally managed to get hold of Country Cottage Needleworks' Gingerbread Cottage which I've been drooling over since it was released, and I've ordered the two Crescent Colours skeins I need from Sew and So this afternoon. I wouldn't usually get them from the UK as they work out quite a bit more expensive, but as I want to start it soon I figured it was best, and to justify it I also ordered my fabric and threads for the Quaker RR which starts in January lol. I've decided to stitch mine on 28ct antique white Brittney using DMC 99 which is a lovely variagated pink.
So I've got some lovely stash to look forward to, and even lovelier stitching!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ok, I Give In!

I miss my rotation too much! I've spent most of the time since deciding to finish Tomboy off finding other things to do rather than stitch.
It's not that I don't enjoy stitching on her, it's just that I miss my other stitching too much and am getting bored stitching on the same thing all the time. I guess that proves I had finally found a rotation which really worked for me! Took me long enough lol.
So I have decided to sort of compromise. I am going to go back to rotating but making Tomboy my focus so she gets every other slot. I know it will probably mean she won't get finished this year, but it wasn't looking that way anyway as I wasn't stitching at all!
My other HAED's have been screaming at me for attention lately, especially Cabin In The Woods as it's coming up to the season for it. I'm going to do a bit more on Tomboy tonight then start my slot on Cabin tomorrow, in perfect time for the long weekend SAL on the HAED BB. I'll stick with this til Christmas then reorganise to fit in the RR I'm starting and see what else is screaming etc.
So you should hopefully see more posts from me again with updates starting soon!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Not Much To Show


Well, I don't think Tomboy will ever be finished at this rate. Since I posted that I had decided to concentrate on her I've hardly stitched at all. I don't know what's wrong with me, it's like I want to stitch on her, but end up just doing other things to avoid stitching when it comes down to it.

I really miss my rotation, but I don't want Tomboy to go on forever so I guess I just need to get my butt into gear, the sooner she is finished the sooner I can rotate again!
I promise to be back with more progress to show soon!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Mummy's Little Pumpkin


Thought you might like to see a pic of Erin all dressed up ready to go trick or treating on halloween. We only took her to the neighbours, but she was a big hit and loved every minute of it.
She collected more sweets in half an hour than any 4 year old can eat! lol

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Made A Decision

First of all I'd like to thank everyone of you who have sent me hugs and kind words over the past few days after my last post. I am feeling a little better thank you, work is improving for now which is much needed, but I've had no contact with my mum since our disagreement and after what happened I am not making the first move.
On a stitching front, as it's now 1st Nov it's time to see what I achieved in October. Unfortunately not as much progress this month. I did however:-

1. Finish a page on Tomboy
2. Resurrected School Of Dolphins from the UFO pile and made some progress on that.
3. Stitched and finished the Prairie School Autumn Pinkeep.

And now to my decision. Although my rotation has been working really well for me, I'm always conscious that I'm desparate to finish Tomboy before the end of the year, and at this rate there is no way I'm going to be able to. I really want to start another HAED soon, but don't think it would be a good idea to do that while I've got this one so near to finishing. So... I've decided to put the rotation on hold for now and concentrate on Tomboy until she is finished. I know I may get bored of working on her all the time, so I am going to allow myself a night off now and then when I need a break to stitch something small, but hopefully this way she'll be finished sooner rather than later and up on the wall on display! I'll post weekly updates of her on here and would appreciate a push in the right direction from you all to keep going with her. You never know, in my dreams I might even finish her in November!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In The Doldrums

I've not been feeling too happy the past week. My boss was on holiday for half term so I was left to hold the fort at work and it was awful. Erin was also away with my mum and step-dad from the Tue to Sat and I missed her dreadfully even though I didn't expect to, so I was very emotional. And then yesterday was the worst day I've had in a long long time, another dreadful day at work and a major run in with my mum who I have a very difficult relationship with unfortunately due to my childhood. Last night I felt completely and utterly drained and like I'd hit rock bottom, but I guess when you hit that point you can either give up completely or claw your way back up, and as Erin needs her mum I can't give up so I only have one option...
So I haven't much stitching to show for the last week. I have worked on Tomboy QS a bit on and off and have done about 700 stitches in total I think, but my heart hasn't been in it at all. So today I've decided I am going to start timing again and do my proper 10hrs on her before I move on, and that might help me feel a little more productive.
Hope everyone is having a better week than I am and managing lots of stitching. Thanks to everyone who visits and to those who leave comments, I really appreciate it (hugs).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Finishing Fun



Last night I finished stitching the Prairie Schooler Autumn Pinkeep that Sally and I have been doing as a SAL, so this afternoon when I got home from work I decided to try to finish it as a pinkeep and also pick something else out of my to finish drawer. I have quite a few things in the drawer to finish off, but I'm not a fan of finishing as I'm not great at it, so I figure if I do two at a time I'll get there eventually lol.
So here is the pinkeep finished off. I meant to take a pic of the fabric I've backed it with but forgot. Anyway, it's the same colours as in the stitching and has pumpkins on it, so matches well.
The chatelaine took me ages to lace and reminded me why I put off doing it before lol, but I'm happy now it's finished and pleased with the way it looks.
Technically I haven't finished my 10hr slot on smalls as I did the stitching for the pinkeep in less than 8, but I'm really not in the mood to start kitting up something else and just getting into it when I have to put it away again, so I'm going to move onto Tomboy. I need to do a load of gridding first but don't know if I can be bothered tonight. Might just put away my threads from the pinkeep etc and get Tomboy out tomorrow night.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Can Ya Tell What It Is Yet?


This is School Of Dolphins after it's 10 hour slot. Please excuse the appalling photo, the sun is still low here today and as it's aida the fabbie is really stiff so shows all the creases etc.
If you look at the outline on the left hand side you may be able to see the start of one of the main dolphins!
I have to say I've not really been in a stitching mood this week but when I have stitched on this I've enjoyed it and I'm really glad I picked it up again. DH is actually showing some interest in it as it's for him lol!
Later today I'm hoping to kit up the Autumn Pinkeep from September's Gift Of Stitching Magazine. Sally and I were talking on msn last night and she said she'd like to stitch it as well, so I talked her into joining me lol. It looks like a quick stitch as it's on 2 1/4 inches square over 2 on 28 count, and I'm really looking forward to it. Hopefully this will be one I stitch and make up straight after! Although I've just had a thought, I hope I've got some suitable backing fabric...
I also need to be thinking about getting Tomboy out and doing some more gridding ready for her slot which is after the pinkeep.
You may see from my side bar that I have changed the smalls slot I had to a seasonal smalls slot for now, and I've suddenly gone seasonal lol. So will stitch autumn/halloween until that urge goes, then move onto winter/xmas. In the New Year I think I will probably add another smalls slot for gifts or whatever, but will leave it like it is for now.
Sally and I were also talking about quaker designs last night, and between us we came up with what I think is a great idea that some of our dear stitching friends may be interested in. If you read her blog she has posted about it today, but in short we are wanting to do a quaker RR, using one of the With My Needle concertina book charts. Each book has 10 pages and we'd do 2 pages each, with you doing the front and back pages of your own book, and each person would incorporate their initials somewhere in the two pages they'd stitch. If you go over and read Sally's blog using the link above there's more info, but if you're interested in joining us or have any advice to offer about RR's please comment or email me.
Hope you all have a great weekend. The weather here is looking like it's going to be a nice day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Nothing To Show

I've no stitching to show this post again I'm afraid. Have not been feeling to great the last few days, really tired and a bit of an iffy tummy, so have spent most of my time just surfing aimlessly or chatting on msn lol. I took myself off to bed early last night and do feel brighter today, so hopefully it's just lack of sleep.
I've only done about 5 1/2 hours on School Of Dolphins so far and it's growing slowly but I'm enjoying it. It seems very strange because I NEVER stitch on aida nowadays but this is aida as it's a kit and I didn't have a suitable evenweave alternative to match the colour.
Yet again I'm so glad I managed to eventually find a rotation that works for me as I don't think I'd ever have picked this kit up again otherwise, and DH would really love to see it on our wall.
I have however decided to swap what I am doing for my next slot, my smalls slot. I was going to start Just Nan's High Hopes but after seeing a couple of gorgeous finishes of the Prairie Schooler Autumn Pinkeep from Septemter's Gift Of Stitching Magazine I've been bitten by the autumn bug and have decided I will do that instead. I've also been thinking that at some point I might add in a specific seasonal slot, but will see.
Hope everyone is having a good week (hugs)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Why Didn't We Do It Sooner!

Quite a few months ago I met Dawn online via a few of the BB's and we found out we live quite close to eachother, about 20 mins drive away. We seemed to like a lot of the same stitching designs and mentioned meeting up sometime. Well with one thing and another we didn't arrange anything until this week, when I found out I was having the day to myself today. So we arranged to meet at a coffee shop in town and bring our wips to show and tell lol.
I was excited but also really nervous about meeting her, as I was worried we wouldn't have anything in common other than stitching. ROTFPML I needn't have worried! We didn't even discuss cross stitch for the first hour and a half, and we have loads in common. She is a lovely girl, nice and down to earth like me and we laughed loads.
We eventually did our show and tell of wips and her stitching is perfect! HAED Mystic Woods that she is stitching is gorgeous, the colours are just stunning. She also has an older wip of HAED Winter Moon and this is just beautiful (come on Dawn, don't let Mr Stick have to come find you lol). And there were also some other lovely smaller projects she's finished which I got to drool over.
So all in all I had a wonderful afternoon meeting a new friend, thanks Dawn ((hugs)), and I hope we can get together again very soon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Finally!


I finished the part page that means the top half of Tomboy is done!!!
The page only consisted of about 2000 stitches, but they were all pale colours and blending filament, and I thought it would never end.
I did get excited thinking that I was really close to finishing her, but have looked at what I have left and I've still got one full page and three part pages to go, so not feeling so confident now. I'm glad I've decided to leave Tomboy as she is in the rotation with a few stitches inbetween the other slots, rather than 10hrs every other slot as I think she would drive me mad. I'm sick of the sight of her after this page I've just finished so don't think I'll be doing anymore on her til her slot comes up 20hrs time lol.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Getting There

Still no pics to show I'm afraid, but I had a good night on Tomboy last night and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel for this nightmare part page.
I still have loads of blending filament to do but I'm hoping if I stick with it I'll have the page finished by the end of the weekend! That's the plan anyway lol. Erin is at my mum's tonight so I'm hoping to have a really good stitching night with no interruptions.
Once this page is finished that will be the top half completely done and I'll be putting her away to start round 3 of the rotation and School of Dolphins.
I'm trying to decide whether to leave Tomboy where she is in the rotation and keep doing a little bit on her inbetween the other slots like I have so far, or to replace her slot with another HAED and make her my focus with 10 hours on her inbetween each of the other slots. Does that make sense? What do you think? I've got it in my head now that I really HAVE to finish her this year, I'm determined, but need to work out the best way to achieve it without getting completely sick of her. Any ideas or advice would be appreciated.
Have a good weekend everyone! And thanks to all my blogging friends who read and comment, you don't know how much it means to me. Hugs.

Monday, October 1, 2007

September Round Up

September was another good month stitching wise for me:-
1. I finished my Eeyore Latch Hook Rug
2. I finished my first needleroll
3. I finished another page of Tomboy QS
4. I worked on Cirque Des Cerles
5. I worked on Cabin In The Woods
So two finishes and progress on three other BAP's, not bad going!
At the moment I'm putting in the odd stitch on Tomboy, trying to get some of the dreaded blending filament and pale colours in the top right hand part page done before I start round 3. I so want to finish her this year and part of me keeps thinking about putting the rotation on hold and seeing if I can stick with her til she's finished, but I think if I do that I might get so I hate working on her again which I really don't want, so I've decided to work on her a bit in between the other slots and see how that goes. I think I'll take her to the stitchy club with me tomorrow night and then start round 3 on Wed with School Of Dolphins.
Hope everyone is having a good start to the month! Hugs.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Smoke, Smoke!!!!!


My random UFO slot this round was my HAED Cabin In The Woods, and when I looked in my albums I last worked on it in April!!! I can't believe it's that long ago, how time flies.
Working on it also timed perfectly with the HAED background SAL which was over the weekend, so I was really pleased to be able to join in with it as I can't often do them.
And yet again having a timed rotation has proved just what I can achieve when I actually sit down and get on with my stitching rather than letting myself be distracted lol. In my 10 hours I managed about 1600 stitches which is great for me as I thought I couldn't even manage 100 stitches per hour.
And the best bit is if you look at the pic, the lighter bit near the right hand side that carries on down to almost the bottom of the page is actually the start of smoke coming out of the cabin chimney! If I move down a page again when this page is finished I'll be starting the cabin!!!!
So that is round 2 finished and I get to start allover again lol. Next round is going to involve a few changes, as I finished the Eeyore Rug and the needleroll. My oldest living UFO is a kit called School of Dolphins which I bought years ago as DH loves them. I only did a few stitches before it went away lol, but I'm determined to get back to it even though it's on aida. So that is taking the place of the rug. Next up in the small/medium slot will be Just Nan's High Hopes which I've been wanting to stitch for a long time. Whenever I look at this design it makes my think of my mum as she has lots of plant pots in her garden, a birdbath, birdhouse etc, so this will be a gift for her, hopefully for christmas. Tomboy and Cirque will stay the same this round, but the random slot this time goes to Celtic Autumn. I have been considering adding in another small/medium slot as I really want to work on some more smaller projects, but will give it more thought and maybe decide after this round.
Thanks to everyone who visits and posts comments here, it's lovely to see people are interested in what I have to say or show lol. For those who gave me wonderful advice regarding Erin I'm pleased to say that things seem to be improving. She did 3 days last week without crying and has done both days so far this week, which is such a relief. Here's hoping the worst is over...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Another Slot Over


Last night I finished my 10 hours on Cirque Des Cercles. The colours in the pic really don't do it justice, I just can't seem to take a good pic of this one. I'm really pleased with how this is coming along, but must admit I didn't enjoy working on it as much this time around as last. Was thinking last night that after next round if I feel the same I might swap it with one of my UFO's for a couple of rounds, then bring it back in. Will have to see how it goes...
I'm going to spend an evening on Tomboy tonight and try to get a bit more of the dreaded blending filament done on it, before I move onto my random UFO for this round, HAED Cabin In The Woods. I haven't worked on this one in ages so am looking forward to it. All the lovely blues are really relaxing to stitch, just wish it would grow quicker lol.
Hope you're all having a good week, it will soon be the weekend!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Any Ideas?

I've hit a brick wall in knowing what to do with Erin on a morning when we leave her at school.
I know it's only her third week at "big school" and today was only her first full day, but it's breaking my heart every morning when I leave her as she is sobbing, clinging onto me and begging me not to go.
We have spoken with her teacher and she says that once she is in school she is absolutely fine, and has said if she has any concerns she will speak to us about them, but it doesn't make me feel any better.
We have tried giving her a bit more attention, tried sitting down with her and explaining things and asking why she cries (she says she just doesn't like us leaving her), and we've even tried being quite strict with her and telling her to stop crying and she is not a baby anymore etc, but nothing is working. Her grandma and we have tried bribery today lol, but that still failed.
I'm leaning towards thinking it's just going to have to be something we learn to live with, but it's so awful seeing her so sad every morning and I then worry about her all day.
She went through stages like this when she was at nursery, she would be upset for weeks and then settle, then be unsettled again, so maybe she will settle in a bit, I just don't know.
Then I got to thinking if anyone else had been through the same thing with their little ones when they started school, so does anyone have any advice?....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tomboy Page Happy Dance


I finished page 4 of my Tomboy QS the other day, but have carried on a little bit to grid the little bit on page 3 and get some of that done. Page 3 is mostly blending filament (yuck) so have decided to keep picking it up between other slots in my rotation to do a bit on it and hopefully it won't be so bad that way. I really really want to finish her this year and had considered giving her another slot in the rotation, but I think I might get sick of her that way, so instead I will just keep doing a little bit inbetween, even if it's only a couple of hundred stitches, and when her slot does come around I might do a bit over the 10 hours if she's going well.
Next up is Cirque, yummy colours and easy relaxed stitching!
Have a good Wednesday everyone (hugs).

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9/11

Although I am in the UK the events of September 11th 2001 affected me greatly.
I have always been interested in anything American and when DH and I got the chance to go to New York for our 2nd wedding anniversary in 2000 we jumped at it. Our wedding anniversary is September 10th (yes, it was yesterday) and we had planned to visit the World Trade Center and dine in the restaurant at the top of one of the towers to celebrate. That day when we arrived the queues were huge, and we were advised that if we didn't want a LONG wait the best time to visit was early in the morning. We therefore decided that rather that spend hours of our anniversary in a queue we would go see some other sights and come back the following morning.
So at exactly the same time of day, one year before 9/11 we were at the top of one of the towers looking down on the rest of New York and taking dozens of photos.....
The following year we were away on holiday to celebrate our 3rd anniversary in a much less exciting but still lovely place, Chester in the UK and were visiting a working farm. We decided to go into the cafe to sample some of their homemade icecream, and while standing at the counter saw on the tv behind what we could only believe was a film. I will never forget the feelings that rushed through me when we realised that it was no film, this was actually happening, two planes had hit the World Trade Center.... We immediately left the farm to go back to our caravan and I spent the rest of the day watching the tv and crying about this terrible attrocity.
I don't even have to close my eyes and I'm back to that day when we visited, and so each year I think about the people who lost their lives, the brave people who went into help, and those families who are now without loved ones....
Please spare a prayer and hope that one day people will be able to live together in peace and without fear.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Bored And Fed Up

I'm bored tonight and not really in the mood for stitching so been playing about with my blog template. Had had enough of the bright red and wanted something a little less in your face. What do you think?
I'm fed up because on Thursday night I had a wake up call. I've had problems before with getting indigestion and heartburn a lot but on Thursday evening within half an hour of having our dinner I was in agony, doubled up in pain in my upper abdomen. I couldn't keep still and was sobbing with the pain, I really thought I was in serious trouble. DH rang my mum and then went and picked her up so she could watch Erin and rushed me straight up to A&E where I waited 2 hours before even being seen by the triage nurse. DH was getting more and more wound up and I kept having to rush into the toilet to be ill. Anyway the outcome, after downing Gaviscon liquid and having an injection in my bum, is that they think I either have gastritis, or more likely a stomach ulcer. The fact that I have had problems for a while makes it more probable it's an ulcer, which means I may have to have tablets for a couple of months to help heal it, but mostly I have to change my diet drastically as I'm so overweight and avoid stress haha!
So for now I'm downing Gaviscon and eating and drinking very plain things to try to calm my stomach and see how I go from there. Yesterday I was scared to eat at all in case the pain came back as bad, but today I'm fed up because I can't help thinking this is NOT going to be fun. Two choices, unbearable pain or giving up most of the things I love to eat. I know I will get used to it and in the long run I'll probably be thankful I had this kick up the bum to make me do something, but right now I'm fed up....

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My Baby Is Growing Up



Well, my baby is growing up. Today is her first day at school and I can't believe it's arrived. She went off with her best friend and her new teacher without crying, and I managed to stay tear free as well which is really good. She looked so grown up this morning in her uniform and so smart. She is only doing 8.45 til 12 for the three days this week, then she stays for lunch til 1.15 all next week, and the week after she is full-time til 3pm. She was scared this morning but we reassured her she will make lots of new friends and she will see her best friend everyday, and she'll learn lots and lots of new things, so we'll just have to see how it goes. I can't wait to pick her up at 12 and see how she got on and if she is okay lol.
Stitching wise I have another happy dance to share, one I'm extremely proud of myself for, as I've finished my first needleroll! I've had this Shepherd's Bush Needleroll kit since Erin was born lol, but decided recently I really needed to try one and this seemed sensible as it was a kit. I've loved every minute of stitching it and am really pleased I've learnt some more new techniques for it, mainly hemstitch (thanks for the encouragement when I was panicking Julie lol). I can definitely see the appeal of them and will be doing more soon I'm sure. Now that it is finished I need another small/medium to fill it's slot, and have decided to do the freebie Chatelaine Xmas Tree Mandala. I got the beads and special threads from Sew and So the other week, so will start kitting that up soon for when it's turn comes up. Figured if I get it started early I might get it framed and up for christmas this year instead of next lol.
So next up in the rotation is Tomboy and I'm hoping to get the current page finished this time round if possible. More of the dreaded blending filament but just got to suck it up and get it done. I'm thinking more and more that I want to get this finished this year, but I don't think it's going to happen. I've considered making it a focus and doing more hours on it somehow, but still thinking on how I could do it. I don't want to risk doing too many hours on it and getting sick of it so will have to be careful.
15 mins and I can set off to collect my schoolgirl! Have a good day everyone!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Big Happy Dancing!


Yesterday and today have been good days! Yesterday was my last day on my own at work, my boss is back from holiday on Monday and I'm SO relieved. It's not been as bad as I expected, I only cried once lol, but it will be so nice not to be on my own again and have to deal with all the c**p myself.
And last night I finished Eeyore!!! Once I got so the length of the rows started reducing it seemed to go much quicker and I thought whilst I was watching the Big Brother final I might as well keep going, but sort of got carried away and ended up finishing it at about 11.30pm. DH has helped me finish the back off today as it's a real pain to do and I always end up stabbing myself with the needle hehe.
I think this will be my last latch hook rug as it's not something I really enjoy doing, I find it quite boring and the size is a pain, but I do like the finished result. Erin has two in her bedroom, one on the floor and one on the wall. Eeyore is going at my side of the bed as our bedroom is all lilacs, but DH has laid bets Erin will have snaffled it off into her room before the week is out.
Looking back over August, it turned out to be a great month with my new rotation. I've got my stitchy bug back, started a new project, made good progress on a couple of my wips, and finished one I started a LONG time ago lol. If September is as productive I'll be very happy. School of Dolphins will be taking Eeyore's slot next round as that's my oldest UFO and is the one thing DH has ever asked me to stitch. I'm hoping to finish the needleroll this round as I've only got the beads to add then I need to learn how to make it up. I'd also ideally like the finish the page I'm working on of Tomboy, get another chunk of Cirque done and put some time in on Cabin In The Woods which I haven't picked up in some time. So looks like I've got a busy month ahead...
Hope everyone has a great September, next Wed is Erin's first day at school and I'm sure I'm more nervous than she is lol. I'll make sure I post a pic of her in her uniform once I've stopped blubbing....

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cirque Update


Julie nagged me today and made me leave my comfy sofa to go get Cirque and finish up my 10 hours on it, so I could show her a pic lol. So off I went to do my last half hour and then I've had to put it away til next time round.... Yes, you read right, I can't leave it out of my new rotation, I love stitching on it too much. The colours are just so cheerful, it's so relaxing not to be changing colours every two minutes and finishing off each circle is like a mini happy dance and so satisfying. This 10 hours has finished up round 1 of my new rotation and I have to say I have loved every minute of it, and have achieved more progress in the last 40 hours than I have in a long time. And the 40 hours seem to have gone so quickly, it's great!
So if you look in my sidebar you'll see the set up for round 2. Not much has changed except I've given Cirque it's own slot, so I now have 5 slots instead of 4. I think I will probably be sticking with it this way for some time, just replacing one project with another when it's finished.
So I'm now back to the beginning and Eeyore! If I can make progress with it this time around like I did last I'm hopeful I might actually be able to finish it, so watch this space.....!
Onto other things, work hasn't been as bad as I expected actually. It has been very very busy and I haven't had chance to stop for a minute most days. Last night I went to bed at about 10.30pm and slept for 12 hours straight! I think it had caught up with me lol Here's hoping the 4 days next week go as well and I'll be a very happy bunny.
It was Erin's last day at nursery yesterday and although she thought it was very exciting I had a few tears. We went school shoe shopping today and it was remarkably pain free. We had her feet measured, picked three pairs between us to try on and all agreed on the pair to get! She looked so smart in them.... She starts full-time school in less than two weeks and I can't believe where the time has gone. I don't know when she went from being a baby to such a grown up girl... But she'll always be my baby and no-one is going to tell me otherwise lol.
I promised myself a reward if I got through the week at work without crying as usually I get so stressed I end up a blubbering wreck when a client has a go at me, so earlier I ordered a chart I've been wanting forever, Chatelaine Taj Mahal Garden. I keep looking at wip pics of it and loving it all the more, but Helen's pic of it this last week tipped me over the edge lol. It was in my inbox within the hour and I've already drooled and panicked in equal amounts. Now don't ask me when I'm going to start it, it's taken me this long to get the chart, but I'm hoping to persuade DH to get me the fabbie for it for our wedding anniversary next month, and then I might see if I can get DH, my mum and aunt to all share and get me the kit from European Cross Stitch for xmas, or give me some money towards it.
In the meantime I've decided my reward for getting through next week will be to order the threads and beads for the Chatelaine freebie Xmas Mandala so I can stitch that and get some practice in hehe.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, an extra long one for us UK'ers!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Back From Hols And Updates



Well we're back from another week away in the caravan and although the weather was poor we had a good time and I'm sad to be home. Seems like the laundry is never ending and the house is a tip with emptying everything out of the caravan, but we'll get there. The next two weeks are going to be awful as my boss is in holiday from work and so I'm doing the work of two people or trying to lol. So if you hear screaming from West Yorkshire or see in the news of someone found hiding under their desk don't worry, it's only me....
Stitching wise the 10 hour rotation has been going fabulously, and I'm back to really enjoying my stitching again. I started the Shepherd's Bush Welcome Baby Needleroll before we went away, carried on with it when we got there, then moved onto Tomboy QS and finished my 10 hours on that last night. I'm really pleased with the progress I've made on both, only need to add the beads/charm and make the needleroll up next time round, and Tomboy now has a shoulder and I got a load more of the dreaded blending filament in the background done.
I've decided that for now I'm going to keep the rotation small. If you look in the sidebar you'll see I've just got the rug, needleroll, Tomboy and then a random UFO. The random one is chosen using a random number generator I've got and it picks one of my other ufo's to work on until there's space in the rotation to add it permanently. Once the rug is finished I'll be adding one of my other non-HAED UFO's and when the needleroll is finished I'll start another small/medium project, and so on. I seem to be working through it pretty quick right now, so I might add another slot in soon, but for now I'm just enjoying it and making the most of it. The number generator chose Cirque Des Cercles for this round, so I'll be picking that up later today, can't wait!
Off now to try to catch up on the boards and blogs a bit.... Thanks to all who visit here and comment, I love knowing people are interested in what I'm doing and it's not just me rambling to myself lol. Have a great week everyone (hugs)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Fingers Crossed


I think my stitching slump might be over!
Whilst I wasn't doing any stitching instead I was reading blogs, message boards etc about rotations and kept coming across people doing rotations by hours, eg 10 hours on each slot. I've always thought there was no way I could work like that, but the idea was bugging me.
So last weekend even though I didn't think I could concentrate on any cross stitch, I decided to pull out my Eeyore Latch Hook Rug as it doesn't take a lot of thinking about, and thought I'd try timing myself just out of curiousity.
What a revelation! Because I was timing myself I made sure that I was actually working on the rug rather than going off and doing other things, or surfing at the same time, and I made so much more progress. So over the last week or so I've worked on the rug for 10 hours as of last night and here he is, peeking out and with the butterfly emerging!
Now it might just be a fluke and when I try doing it on something else it will fail miserably, but it's got me feeling better about my stitching etc again which is the main thing, and I can really see progress in the last week.
Tonight I'm going to start on a Shepherd's Bush Needleroll Kit called Welcome Baby that I've had since Erin was born, and see how it works for that. I'm not saying that I've got a new rotation AGAIN lol, don't want to tempt fate, but I'm just going to see how I go with timing this and take it from there, so watch this space.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Still Here & Some Pics






First of all I want to thank everyone who commented on my last post. You will all never know how much your kind words, hugs, and advice mean to me. I count myself very lucky to have such wonderful stitching friends who are always there to support eachother during good times and bad. (Hugs)
I've now been back in the increased dose of my tablets for almost a week and I think there has been a little improvement. I'm sleeping better on a night which I desparately needed, and I don't seem to be as tearful as I was, so let's hope the worst is over. I went for the ECG on Monday and the result did show that my heart rate is a bit high, but again they stressed that it is probably due to recent happenings etc. I've to see my doctor again next week and we'll take it from there. They have said that it may be that they will just leave it at that, they may redo the ECG in a few weeks once I've settled down a bit, or they may take it further and send me for blood tests etc. So we'll see.
On the stitching front I've not done any actual stitching in about 10 days, but the last couple of days I have managed to do a little bit on my Eeyore Latch Hook Rug as it doesn't take much thinking about. Hopefully now the worst is over the bug might bite me again soon. Before the slump hit I had stitched a few small things. First was a San Man Tuck kit which I did when we were away on holiday called Time To Flutter. Then I stitched a secret pressie for Julie's Birthday, a scissor fob using a Papillon freebie called Tiny Quaker in Julie's favourite colours using Vicki Clayton silk in Meadow, which was my first fob. And finally I stitched my mini mystery for an exchange on Tranquil Stitches. I'm really not happy with how the mini turned out, I just couldn't get it centred no matter what I did and was getting really upset with myself. I had to get it off by the deadline so I just hope my partner likes it as it is. I received my mini yesterday from Amy which is gorgeous, I love the design, the colours and her stitching is perfect. I've put it on my stitching cupboard with my other items to display.
I've also added an updated pic of Tomboy showing the next column stitched, which I did during and just after our hols, but never took a pic of til now.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Having A Rough Time

I've not said much about it in my blog until now, but I've suffered with depression on and off for a long time. This time around I'd had it since DD was born 4 1/2 years ago and have been on and off medication during that time.I was doing a lot better, had had counselling which had helped loads, had reduced my meds by half and was feeling quite optimistic about the future. Anyway a couple of months ago I saw another dr about my meds and she suggested that I should now try to come off them, so reduced the dose again by half and said once my supply ended I could stop them altogether. I wasn't confident about doing this but thought it was worth a try. However I forgot to take my tablet one night and the following day I felt terrible. I had the shakes, panic attacks, was sick, headache, thought I was going to faint etc. Since then I've really struggled, I'm tearful all the time again, have a really short temper and am snapping at DD and DH. I feel sick with anxiety, can't get to sleep on a night and generally don't see any point in anything anymore. Even my stitching doesn't relax or cheer me up at the moment. So I did a lot of reading on the internet and found that loads of people had struggled to come of this type of med, having severe withdrawal symptoms, and had only managed by reducing in slow stages, by breaking tablets in half and then quarters. So for the last 10 days I've been doing this, only to get worse and worse and finally last night I couldn't take anymore. Lots of little things seemed to be going wrong lately and then I guess I had the straw that broke the camels back. I got to work this morning only to be told by my boss to go straight to the dr as I looked terrible and she was really worried about me. I got a cancellation straight away thankfully and my meds have been put straight back up to what they were three months ago, plus I have to go for an ECG on Monday as my heart rate and blood pressure are elevated. I feel like I'm on the verge of cracking up and although I so wanted to come off the meds, I know that now is not the time and am just relieved I could see a dr who is understanding and said I'm doing the right thing staying on them. I just feel like a failure though and that I'm never going to be "normal" again. Plus I'm scared about having an ECG and what it might reveal (although the dr is confident it's to do with my meds and that I'm so anxious right now, she just wants to rule anything else out).
So that's the reason why you're not seeing many stitching updates at the moment, and I'm not exactly interesting reading. Hopefully things will start to improve soon....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wonderful Surprise

Yesterday I got home from work after a horrible day to a wonderful surprise from Sally.
She sent me the gorgeous needlebook she stitched from Papillon you can see in her blog! I just love the colours of this and have put in on display with my other stitchy accessories until I start using it. Thanks again Sally (hugs).
On the stitching front I've not got much to show for recent times. While we were on holiday I stitched up a San Man Originals tuck kit which I've had for ages. I still need to take a pic of it but will post one soon.
I also did a little bit more on my HAED Tomboy QS, I've finished another 10 wide column this last weekend but not stitched since. I think part of it is that all my WIP's are BAP's and I'm getting really frustrated with not seeing enough progress on them. I've decided I need to add a small project to my WIP's to stitch on when I need a break, and I've pulled out a needleroll design I've had in my stash since Erin was born lol, Shepherd's Bush Welcome Baby. It's ready to start apart from I need to prepare the fabbie, which I can't face tonight....
Do you think I've lost my stitching bug??????

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tagged

While we were away on holiday I was tagged by Julie to list 7 things about me:-

1. I'm left-handed
2. I passed my driving test 1st time
3. I'm an only child
4. I'm addicted to chocolate
5. I'm addicted to buying stitchy stash
6. I met my DH on a blind date
7. I got married in the Dominican Republic

I'm not going to tag anyone else as I think at lot have already been tagged.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Back From Hols

We've just arrived back from a week away in our caravan in sunny Blackpool lol. The weather was amazingly mostly nice, yesterday was the only day it rained a lot during the day. The beginning of the week we actually got sunburnt and Erin spent lots of time in the splash zone on the caravan site. I'll fill anyone interested in on more info later.
I have hundreds of emails to read, message boards and blogs to catch up on, but of course I also need to catch up on laundry etc, yuck, and my Sky+ box is totally full lol.
Back soon....!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

June Ends And July Starts

My goals for June were:-

1. Finish Indigo Rose Bee Charmer Biscornu - DONE
2. Finish Heirloom Embroideries Huswif Mystery - DONE
3. Work on Eeyore Latch Hook Rug - 3 ROWS DONE
4. New Start - STARTED CIRQUE

I would like to have done more on the rug in June, but it's still progress, and I did also make good progress on Tomboy QS and actually enjoyed stitching on her which is amazing lol. Overall I didn't stitch as much as I would have like in June, been a bit up and down mood wise and so not stitched some nights, but I'm really pleased that I reached my goals and am ecstatic that the huswif is finished lol.
My goals for July are in my sidebar. I looked yesterday and I have 59 rows left on my Eeyore Latch Hook Rug. The last 15 are also only about half length rows, so they shouldn't take long at all. I've decided that I want to finish it by the end of August, so need to make good progress on it this month. I'd ideally like to do more than 20 rows, but will be satisfied with that. I've got a mini mystery to do for an exchange on Tranquil Stitches and also a small ornament to stitch so they are next priority, and any other time I have I want to work on Tomboy or Cirque.
Hoping to make a start on my goals this afternoon, but which one?! lol

Friday, June 29, 2007

Huge Huge Huge Happy Dance!




The last part of the Heirloom Embroideries Huswife Mystery arrived on Monday and as soon as I saw it I got an awful feeling of dread.
Sewing machines and I really do not get on. I used to be good at sewing when I was at school, but since then it went downhill quickly and now I always seem to end in a right mess when I use it. On Tuesday I got the machine out to have a practice and I couldn't even get a decent line stitched, the tension was all wrong and I ended up in tears I was so frustrated. I left everything where it was and shut the dining room door to stop myself throwing the machine and the huswife in the bin straight away lol. Then my stubborn side started talking and gave me a good slap and told me I couldn't be beaten, if I couldn't use the machine I'd have to sew it by hand.
So Wednesday I stitched the inside satin pockets and backstitched the inside and outside together, then last night DH helped me make the cord and I started adding that, and tonight I finished the cord and added the felt to the inside and voila!
It's not perfect by any means, the seams, corners and folds etc could be better. The fabric and satin are also far too flimsy for my liking and I don't think are ideal for something that's supposed to be used rather than just displayed. But I'm so proud of myself to making it on my own, start to finish! I think this will be displayed with my other stitching accessories, but I think eventually I will make another huswife using thicker fabric for the outside and normal cotton fabric for the inside so I can use it regularly.
So I've reached my June goal of finishing it, and am one very happy bunny!!!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Good Mail Day & Cirque



I received some lovely mail from the postie this morning. My stitching accessory exchange from Ish on the Jayne's Attic BB arrived and I'm a very lucky girl. This is the second set poor Ish has had to stitch for me as the first package is either still in some postie's van or as Ish suggests has been eaten lol. This is my first tiny stitched fob and the pincushion also has a magnetic strip in the back so I can use it as a needleminder as well! I love the beaded edge to them, I'm going to have to try this myself sometime soon.
I also received the Papillon Simple Little Quaker chart from Sally as she has finished with it and knew I liked it, so thanks Sally (hugs).
Unfortunately the last part of the Heirloom Embroideries mystery huswife still hasn't arrived, although we were assured it was sent yesterday. I was planning on getting on with it this weekend so that's my plans out of the window.
And finally here is the first wip pic of my Ink Circles Cirque! This is stitched on 32ct white murano fabric with one strand of Vikki Clayton premium silk in Caribbean Splash, over 2. I haven't stitched much as I've not really been feeling too great this past few days, but I'm loving the colours and the chart is so easy to follow, it's a fun stitch.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend. The weather here is supposed to be rain, rain and more rain so not much planned for us. Erin is going to a birthday party this afternoon so she should enjoy that.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Couldn't Stand It Any Longer

My fabbie for Cirque had arrived when I got home from work today, so I cut it to size, fray stopped the edges.... and left it to dry for all of 5 mins before I couldn't wait any longer to start lol.
I am so excited with this new start. I love the silk I've chosen, the design is fab and the chart is wonderful to work from so far. It seems so simple compared to the things I've been working on lately, no colour changes, nice bright cheerful colours and the circles are so me! I really think I could quite easily get addicted to it!
Will post a pic in a few days once I've got more to show.

Monday, June 18, 2007

My Silks....

For Cirque have arrived!!!!!
I'm so excited, and the colour is just perfect for what I was wanting! I've been and ordered some more skeins to make sure there is no chance of me running out, and now I just need to choose fabbie and I'm ready to roll!
Also in my package was AMAP Victoria's Quaker chart and the silks to stitch that with, which looks gorgeous as well. It's going to be hard not starting that as well, but it will have to go in the to do pile for now.
Here's hoping this week is the start of a much better stitching and stashing week!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Some Stitching To Show


I've been stitching on and off for the past 10 days or so. Some nights I've not picked up my stitching at all, then others I've done a good few hours.
I've been having real problems deciding on my new start so haven't actually done one yet. I am more or less decided now that it will be Ink Circles Cirque Des Cercles stitched using Vikki Clayton silks in Caribbean Splash, but I'm still waiting for the silks to arrive so not 100% until I see them in person. I had a problem with ordering them in that I ordered regular silks but Vikki had sold out and isn't going to dye anymore. She offered to send me the premium silk instead, but then I realised that the premium will need to be stitched over a lower count fabric so it will make the whole thing larger, and in turn I'm going to need more. So I need to make sure when it arrives that it really is what I want, then I'm going to order a few more skeins to make sure I will have enough before I start.
I've also been waiting for the last part of the Heirloom Embroideries Mystery to arrive, but to no avail. It was due out at the beginning of June and I know quite a few people have been wondering about it. Anyway, it seems that Carol has been having more problems with her computer and that's why we've not had replies to emails and posts on her forum. I don't know the reason for the delay in the packs actually being sent, but they are supposed to be being sent out by Tuesday at the latest so we'll see what Wed/Thur brings!
And due to the hot weather we WERE having up to last week, I've also been avoiding stitching on my latch hook rug as it's just too big and I get all hot and bothered with it laid allover me lol. So I pulled out my Tomboy QS for one evening for something to do, and just carried on with it! I've now reached the very bottom in the section I've been stitching so you can see how big she is going to be, and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I am going to get the rug out later to at least do a little bit on, and with the mystery arrives and my silks I'll be busy with other things, but I'm determined now to get her out again soon and keep going, I want her finished this year!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

1st Monthly Goal Finished!



After getting hooked on Indigo Rose's Bee Charmer Biscornu at the weekend I managed to finish it last night after fiddling with learning how to make tassels lol. So that's another new thing I can do now!
I really love this design, there were different stitches in it, different colours, and the plastic pellets for the filling that came in the kit were just great, they make it feel solid and heavy so it sits beautifully. And the bee button just finishes it off nicely. I have it displayed on my unit in the lounge now, it's too nice to actually use lol.
And here is the pic of the Heirloom Embroideries Huswif Mystery I've been stitching. This is after May's part was stitched, which was adding the beads and the clasps for when it's been made up. I must say the beads have really added to the design and they are a gorgeous colour. I can't wait to get the last part and see how it's going to be finished off, although I have to admit to trying to persuade Julie to agree to finish it off for me if it involves using a sewing machine. Don't know why she said no.... lol
And finally, I still haven't decided on my new start for the month. There are just so many designs calling to me right now, I can't make any sense of all the babbling! Every time I think I know which I want to start another suddenly pipes up, so I'm getting nowhere. Last night after finishing Bee Charmer I did a tiny bit on my HAED Tomboy QS and enjoyed it, so might do a bit more on that tonight, or might get Eeyore's rug out and get a couple of rows done on that.
Til next time!....

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

About Turn - Sort Of

Well, I went to hand in my notice at work on Monday and was met with a very unexpected reception. My boss (who has also become a good friend) was in a real state and begged me not to leave! She said that she would do anything she could to get me to stay. I explained that I love working for her, but the stress is getting to me and it's worse when she is not there and I've got to do all the work on my own. I also explained that I don't want Erin to be pushed from pillar to post when she starts school, always being at out of school clubs etc, and that she needs her mum around more. She said to leave it with her and we would talk some more today, but to give it more thought. So last night DH and I talked more and DH said that the only thing really that would make it worthwhile me staying would be for me to do school hours, which I said was no way they would allow as my boss finishes at 3pm on a Thur and Fri to go get her daughter from school.
So this morning I went to work and when my boss arrived she looked terrible. She said she hadn't slept for worrying about it and had decided if she couldn't do something to make it so I would stay then she was leaving as well. She said that she had an idea and was going to go see one of the Partners of the firm and would come back to me. She came back down about 15 minutes later and said that she had got the Partner to agree that if I would stay I could work 9.15-2.30 Mon-Wed and 9.15-5.00 Thur & Fri, which would mean I could take Erin to school everyday, and pick her up Mon-Wed. My mum had already agreed previously that she would pick Erin up from school on a Friday and take her to her house for tea, so that would just leave Thur with Erin going to the after school club.
Soooo, after talking to DH some more on the phone we decided that I would agree to do the new hours starting when Erin starts school, on the proviso that I will give it a try for two/three months, and if I still feel it's not working then I will leave and there will be no hard feelings.
My boss has also agreed that we will have alternate school holidays off, so that we can plan well in advance what holidays we will be having etc, and I've been told by her and the Partner that I am to take on less work generally and when my boss is on holiday I've to pass work to the other Solicitors to deal with rather than trying to do it all myself.
So whilst it's an about turn on what I had planned, I'm hoping that this arrangement will solve a lot of the problems that were stressing me out, whilst still meaning I am earning a wage.
My boss is under no illusion however that this is it, problem solved completely, but I'm going to give it a go and if it doesn't work then I will leave knowing I've tried everything I can, and knowing that I'm meant to stay at home full-time. So watch this space!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

A New Month

Well May was rather a wash out for me stitching wise, I can't even really remember what I stitched on, only that it wasn't much.
I did a little on HAED Always Dreaming QS, stitched my stitching accessory for the Jayne's Attic Exchange, and did the May section of the Heirloom Embroideries Huswif Mystery, but I think that was it.
Now that I've made some decisions about my family's future, although I am worried about the money aspect, I feel that a huge weight has been lifted off me and I am calmer than I have been in a long time. I am looking to the future with optimism and excitement.
I've removed my rotation list from my side bar and replaced it with a monthly goal list at Julie's suggestion, and I feel much happier with that idea.
So for June I want to finish the Huswif Mystery, finish Indigo Rose Bee Charmer Biscornu (had initially just wanted to work on it, but after getting addicted to it last night I want to finish it lol) work on my Eeyore Latch Hook Rug and have a new start (I had put that it would be Papillon Serendipity Freebie, but other things are calling right now so I'll just say a new start!).
Thanks to everyone who reads my blog and leaves comments, they are really appreciated and brighten my day.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Momentous Decision Made

After much stress lately, crying, soul searching and making myself ill, I finally sat down with DH last night and we talked for a LONG time, and have made the momentous decision that I am going to give up work before Erin starts full-time school in September.
I currently work full-time as a legal secretary and the stress is just about killing me, I’m not sleeping properly, I eat junk to comfort myself and am therefore severely obese, and have a very short fuse at home with DH and Erin as a result. I spend far too much time on the pc just to escape as I’m not happy with what is going on around me.
It is something that I never really thought I’d be able to do, but have been thinking about it for a few months now, since Erin starting school became a reality really. What with having to arrange things around school times, holidays etc, I’ve just been sick with worry. My boss also has a young daughter and therefore us both being on holiday during school holidays is impossible. I have been trying to work out before and after school clubs etc as DH works shifts and I therefore cannot rely on him to help on set days each week. I’ve also considered different hours at work but it is not practical and doesn’t solve the holiday issue.
Erin is at nursery three days a week now and goes to my mum’s for two days, and that is hard enough. I feel that I don’t have a proper relationship with her as I’m always trying to get other things done, and she is becoming clingy and tearful whenever I leave her lately which has made me think deeper about things. If I was to carry on as I am she would not know whether she was coming or going.
We have gone through our finances and we can manage on DH’s salary, although obviously we are going to have to make huge changes to the way with live, but currently we end up wasting most of my salary on takeaways, eating out or buying things to cheer ourselves up because we are so tired and stressed anyway.
The plan is to see how it goes for a few months and see if we are doing ok, and if we are struggling or I hate being at home all the time I will look for a part-time job during school hours somewhere local.
I have this inbuilt terror that we are not going to be able to manage money wise, but I have looked into it carefully before making this decision, and it has come to a point where I have realised that I have to put Erin and myself first, and if I don’t give it a try I know I will always wonder what if.
I feel like I missed out on too much with her when she was a baby due to post-natal depression, and I don’t want to waste anymore time. DH has also said he wants his happy wife back.
Sorry this was so long, just needed to get it down in writing to try and clear my head. At the moment I’m veering from terror to elation, worry to excitement, panic to relief.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Another New Finish Tried


Another thing I've been wanting to try for a long time is a cube finish. Well yesterday I finally got some polystyrene and got DH to cut a piece to the right size for me, and I finished off the M Designs 2006 Tree that I stitched last year lol.
Had to go to get some of the right size ribbon at lunchtime today, and doing the bow at the top was rather fiddly (thanks for the help Julie lol) but I got there in the end.
So I can now say I can do a pinkeep, flatfold, cube finish, tin topper, biscornu and scissor pocket. Still need to master a needlebook, needleroll and scissor fob, but ticking them off steadily!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ok, I Give In


After spending the last two weeks feeling thoroughly miserable and hardly stitching at all, I've finally decided to call it a day and say goodbye to my days as a rotational stitcher. I really thought I had it cracked when Helen explained to me how she works her rotation, and at first it went really well, but as is always the case with me other things started screaming and the more I tried to ignore it the worse it got. I've been desparate for a new bright start for ages but have been stopping myself saying that I would allow one only once I'd finished this round of the rotation, which made me even more miserable and want to stitch on what I did have out even less.
So, after not enjoying my hobby for so long and then a good talking to from Julie this morning, I've decided that I'm going to stop feeling so guilty about it and just enjoy myself, stitch on what is screaming at the time, and move on when something else screams. I will still be keeping a tiny amount of self-control over the amount of new starts I have, but other than that anything goes!
I've decided to pull the Heirloom Embroideries Mystery out tonight and get going on with adding the beads, in time for the last part next month, and then I think I'm going to start Serendipity which has been screaming for ages. But I need to kit it up first so depending on time I might end up working on something else til I can.
I've also been wanting to try a tin finish for a long time and this afternoon I finally did it. I haven't done the bottom or insides like a lot do, but as the "tin" itself is actually plastic and green in colour I decided to finish it as I have and I'm pretty pleased with the result. I've stuck some magnetic strip in the bottom to hold needles, and have a tiny pair of scissors which will go inside it. The next time I do one I will probably decorate the whole thing, but for a first attempt I'm happy.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Still Nothing To Show

Afraid I still don't have any pics to show. I managed to finish the exchange piece for the Jayne's Attic exchange last night, and I have to say that although I wasn't really in the mood for stitching it I am very happy with the finished result. The posting day isn't until the 11th June so I won't be able to show a pic until my partner receives it I'm afraid. Hopefully it will be worth the wait lol.
That is all the stitching I've done in the last week. Not been feeling too brilliant lately. Work is so busy and stressful, Erin seems to be going through a funny stage where she's constantly tearful and throwing tantrums which is very wearing, and MIL has been to stay so say I'll say no more about that lol.
I still have this month's part of the Heirloom Embroideries mystery to stitch as the last part is out in June, but I'm just not in the mood for it right now, so tonight I'm going to pull out my HAED Always Dreaming QS which is next in the rotation and give her some attention tonight. Once I've had my fix of her I think I'll try to get the mystery done so that I don't fall behind.
We went out for the day yesterday to Grassington and then The Forbidden Corner. Grassington has a wonderful stitchy shop called The Craft Shop. They have about 4000 kits in stock I'm told, and I spent a lovely half hour in there drooling. I only ended up buying a small Bothy Threads kit that comes in like a CD case, called a SNAPS, as I have to say I'm spoiled shopping online and everything seemed very expensive, but it was lovely to be able to have a good close up look at things I've only seen online before.
As for The Forbidden Corner, this is like a maze and treasure hunt in one with lots of pathways, clues, surprises etc. We did take some pics which are now on DH's computer, and once I figure out how to get them across here I'll put a couple up of Erin posing for you to see lol.
I had a little bit of stash arrive this week. The Carries Creations Cheryl thread that I ordered from Jayne came on Wed and the Ink Circles Cirque Des Cercles chart from her came yesterday. I think I have decided to stitch it in Vicki Clayton Pastel silk, so just need to get that ordered and that will be another new start ready lol.
I have definitely decided that Serendipity will be added to the next round of my rotation, along with Cirque I think, and an LHN or CCN design which I haven't quite decided on yet. I think Serendipity and Cirque will give me the colours and simplicity I'm needing right now, and the LHN/CCN I just can't resist starting one any longer! Mind you, I also want to start a Just Nan and a Drawn Thread soon!
Thanks so everyone who reads my blog and to those who leave comments. I'm sorry there's nothing to show you lately, but I hope to rectify that very soon.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Nothing To Show

This week has been a bit of a non-starter for stitching for me.
I've just not been feeling like stitching for some reason, and when I have I haven't been able to get into it, so no pics to show of any progress I'm afraid.
I have decided on a design for the stitching accessory exchange on the Jayne's Attic BB and made a start on it, but it wasn't until last night that I actually got into it, so hopefully it will grow quickly now.
The next part of the mystery from Heirloom Embroideries arrived the other day and it's beads which aren't really my fav thing to stitch, but I will get around to it soon. Julie and I thought that we might be doing something with the inside of it this month as next month is the last part, so I'm really curious to know what next month will bring as I can't imagine how we can finish it to use.
Now, I want to thank Sally publicly and send her big hugs for helping me yesterday to work out how to strike through items on my rotation list! I've wanted to be able to do it for ages, but I'm not very good with my blog at doing different things, so once I saw that Sally was doing it with hers I decided to test her patience lol. And she really was patient with me and explained it really simply, and now I can do it!!! Yay!!!
I think I must be having a funky week generally as, as well as not stitching much, I've mainly been lurking on the BB's and blogs and not posting or commenting. I will try to start to rectify that this weekend.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Quick Update



Back from the caravan today and still in the middle of emptying it etc so only a quick update.
Had a good time, but glad to be home, and 7pm when Erin went to bed was heaven lol. Peace at last after 4 days of constant chatter from an over excited 4yr old is a bit wearing lol.
Haven't stitched anything like as much as I hoped I would, ended up doing things with Erin during the day and was too tired on a night to do much.
But I do have an update of Celtic Autumn for you. The first pic is the little bit I did when I first started it last year lol, and the second is what I've done up to tonight. I did want to get more done but it wasn't to be, and I'm anxious to move on now as I've got my exchange piece on Jayne's Attic to stitch, the Heirloom Embroideries mystery part for May is on it's way I hear, and Always Dreaming is next on the rotation.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Update But No Pics

Just a quick update before we go away tomorrow for the UK Bank Holiday weekend.
I've been stitching on Celtic Autumn this week and really enjoying it. The colours in the alternative colourway are just lovely and it's a pleasure to stitch so far. I didn't manage to do any last night and it's doubtful I'll get any done tonight with getting the caravan ready, but I will be taking it with me to work on in an evening in the caravan if I get chance. I'll post an update pic before it goes away again I promise.
I was hoping that May's part of the Heirloom Embroideries mystery might be released before the weekend so I could take that with me to be getting on with, but no-one has heard anything about it's release yet so that's not going to happen.
Another long shot was taking the Jayne's Attic stitching accessory exchange piece with me, but we haven't received our partners yet so there is no way I'll be able to decide on a design and get it kitted up before tomorrow morning lol, so that's out also.
Never mind, they are both things to look forward to when we come back.
When we're away in the caravan on the type of holiday we're going on this weekend, some of the time during the day is spend sitting keeping an eye on Erin taking part in various activities that she loves so much, making things, dancing etc. She doesn't want us to interfere when she does these things, but she has to be able to see us lol. So I need to take something that I can do while she's doing these things. DH always takes his book and reads, but stitching addict that I am I always take my stitching. So I've taken the Indigo Rose Bee Charmer Biscornu kit out of my work drawer and that's going with us this time for some attention. I know it's not in my rotation but I'm just having a bit of time out for it and I will be working on Celtic as well.
So hopefully after the weekend I'll have some pics to show!
Thanks to everyone who reads my blog and special thanks to those who comment, it gives me a real buzz to know people are interested in what I'm stitching.
Hugs to you all, and have a great weekend!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Frog Has Left The Building


Well after ripping what needed it out on Friday I decided to start restitching that bit and carried on last night til it was done.
I don't feel to have done much at all this week on it, but looking at my last progress pic I took it has moved on which is the main thing, and I'm glad I've restitched what needed it, so next time around I have a fresh start on a new bit.
Going to get Celtic Autumn out in a bit and get her on the Q Snaps. I started her at the beginning of 2006 and have only stitched the last N in Autumn and a tiny bit of border lol, so hoping to make more progress this time and really get into her.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I Hate Frogs!!!!!

What little stitching I've done on my HAED Cabin In The Woods this week, I realised last night needs frogging.....
I have been doing a large area of the same colour more or less, but last night went to move onto a different colour and realised I'd stitch this large area in that colour! Which obviously is wrong!!! They are two close shades of navy blue, and I supposed I could get away with leaving it, but the shading in these designs is so critical for it to look right that I just daren't risk it, and when I've looked closer at it I can tell that it is wrong.
So last night I started ripping it out and have done about a third of what needs doing, so you know what I'm going to be doing tonight don't you....
I'm not sure yet if I'm just going to put it away as soon as I've done the frogging, or try to get it stitched back to where I was with the right colour before it goes back, will have to see what sort of mood the frogging puts me in tonight and how long it takes.
So it's doubtful that there will be a pic of Cabin this time round.
I think I need stash, or choc, or both!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Huge Happy Dance!


I finally finished the Chatelaine Lavender Garden Mini Mandala that Julie, Sally and I were stitching as a SAL. Of course, as usual with those two super speedy stitchers I was left way behind when they had already finished theirs, but as Julie kindly pointed out I do work full-time and have a 4yrd old menace DD to deal with lol, so I guess there would be something odd if I had finished mine first lol.
I really enjoyed stitching this though, it's not colours I would usually choose to stitch, but it was sort of methodical to work on which I like, and adding the beads at the end has just made it pop.
So that's an item to cross off my wip's list, and I can move onto the next slot in the rotation, HAED Cabin In The Woods! I will hopefully get that out tonight once DD is in bed, although I do need to do a bit of stash tidying so it might not get pulled out til tomorrow, we'll see.
So now I'm onto thinking what will be my next new start lol. Some of you will already have been bored silly with me whining about wanting a bright colourful new start for ages now, but that craving hasn't gone away. Looking through the list of my wip's I realised I don't have any with bright colours and I really need one to brighten me up. I have seen a kit by Bothy Threads on Jayne's Attic called Dessert Alfresco which would satisfy the craving I know, but I've been trying to talk myself out of buying it as it comes with aida and I don't really like stitching on that anymore for big projects. It's also not something I'd usually stitch, but maybe that's why it's screaming at me so much. I've also had a look through my list of stash to see if I have anything that would meet the craving, but I just don't seem to have anything bright enough. I do have the DMC Flower Fairies Sweet Pea Fairy which has pink and purple in it and is very pretty, and I've also considered starting the Serendipity freebie in nice bright pinks and purples, or doing an initial or something in bright variagated silk. I just don't know what to do... so it's over to you! I've set up a poll and I need you to help me decide what will be my next new start! Now I'm not saying it will be started straight away, it might be a few weeks, but I just need to know I've decided and then maybe I can stop going crazy over it!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Turned The Air Blue!


This weekend I've been working on part 3 of the Heirloom Embroideries Huswif Mystery. Whilst I really like the finished stitching once it's done, I really don't enjoy the actual process on this. The fabric is so flimsy you have to be really careful as if you pull even slightly it distorts the stitches.
And last night I ended up frogging the last band THREE times before I got it right! The air in here was blue I can tell you! Anyway, it's been put away again now til next month when we see what Carol has in store for us. Please excuse the creases as I've just taken it back out of the bag as I forgot to take a pic last night before putting it away.
So next up is slot 2 in my new rotation, the Chatelaine Mini Lavender Mandala which I was stitching as a SAL with Julie and Sally. Both of them were super speedy stitchers as usual and finished there's ages back, but mrs tortoise here still has a fair bit to go lol. The plan is to stick with it til it's finished now, but if I'm not enjoying it it will be put away again and I'll move on.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Slot 1 Finished


I've been stitching on my Tomboy QS this past few nights but last night I don't know whether it was tiredness or what, but I suddenly couldn't be bothered to do anymore on her.
So I've put her away for this time in my new rotation and am going to break off to do the next part of the Heirloom Embroideries Mystery.
I really wanted to finish Tomboy last year, and then this year, but there's no way it's going to happen unless I stitch on her a lot more. But I've learned from Helen advice that it's better to do a little bit and enjoy it than force myself to do loads and hate every second. It will get done eventually and I'll be a lot happier in the meantime.
So now I'm onto the Mystery part 3, and once that's done it's back to the rotation and my Lavendar Garden Mini Mandala again!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Thanks Helen!

Thanks to lots of help from Helen humouring me about her rotation and giving me lots of advice, I now have a new rotation myself!
I have listed all my wip's and will do at least one evening but no more than about a week on each one as it's turn comes up.
At the moment I have almost all large projects, and I do want some new starts, but I am going to wait until I have got going with it first then add in some smalls as I go along.
I also have my Heirloom Embroideries Mystery to work in somewhere. It's released on a monthly basis so I think at the moment I'm going to break off from my rotation when each part is released, stitch it, then get back to the rotation again. I have this month's part waiting to be stitched, but after getting myself in a tiz last week about Tomboy when I was having a bad week I have decided to do a little bit on that first then do the mystery.
So watch this space....

Monday, April 9, 2007

Back And Brighter

Hi everyone. I'm back from a few days away with DH and DD and feeling lots better for it. Thanks so much for the comments from Sally, Julie, Jacqui, Kim and Susan, they are really appreciated. Hugs to you all.
I think life just got on top of me for a few days and I needed to take a step back and get my priorities straight again. Won't go into it all in detail but we found out which school DD will start in September and it's not the one we wanted for her. We've considered appealing but have decided after a lot of soulsearching and being told by friends who have children already at school that it is not just the school the provides the education, it it a child's upbringing. So on the plus side she will be going to school with her best friend and it is just down the road from us. I've been looking into the out of school club etc since finding out and I think she will be fine.
Work has also been a pain recently. We always seem to have a few clients at any one time who are a nightmare, very rude, and always on the phone hassling us. They don't seem to realise that when we are on the phone to them we are not able to get on with their matter! I also had had a bad episode with a couple of clients recently which shook me up and made me feel like I'd done something wrong, but this last week my boss also had a run in with the same clients which whilst it was not nice for her, did make me realise that it's the clients that have the problem, not me.
As for my stitching, last week I should have been stitching on my HAED Tomboy QS, but the mood I was in, when it came to it I just couldn't face it, and went back to my Chatelaine Lavender Mandala I'm doing as a SAL with Julie and Sally. I knew that I wouldn't stitch at all if it meant staying with Tomboy, so bang went the rotation again. That upset me as well for a few days. I know lots of people follow rotations successfully and I seem to manage for a few weeks then just lose it which I find frustrating, but I keep coming back to the fact that this is my hobby and not something that should make me unhappy. I have enough things in real life that do that lol. So rather than a strict rotation for now I'm going to stitch on things that are screaming, but keep doing at least one evening on the rug a week which I want to get finished first of my large WIP's.