Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Magazine junkie

I'm finding that I'm prepared to walk further and further for a cross stitch mag fix. Yesterday it was a copy of Stitchers World down one end of the city, and today it was a copy of Cross Stitcher (the UK version) down the other end of the city. I guess it's doing me good, but not my wallet! :-)

There are some nice designs in both, but I'm really looking forward to the August copy of Cross Stitcher - the preview shows some cute Margaret Sherry cats and a Venice design by Michael Powell. Roll on next month. It's great with Cross Stitcher because a couple of the mag shops air freight them in, so I've got the July 2005 issue which is great going - usually we are months behind.

I've been motoring along on the RR, pen-gy just needs his head and a bit of backstitching and he can be sent home. Some of the RRs are already back with their owners which is neat, but the final posting date is another week or so away so there is plenty of time.

It's still freezing down here, and it is still all rugby, rugby, rugby. Wellington is currently swarming with people in red, white and blue - the British Lions sure have a large and loyal following, and I don't think they're even all here yet. But even though my OH is from Northern Ireland, and my Dad is English - I'm still Kiwi through and through - so go the All Blacks this Saturday night at the Cake Tin!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Anyone for a dip?

As you can see it is really cold here... this isn't the worst of the snow.  By the time I had got dressed and went outside to take a photo the thick snow was covered by clouds.  The last time we swam in our pool was in March when the water temperature was just 12 degrees Celsius, I dread to think what it is today!  Roll on summer time.

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Once again, I have managed just a few stitches this weekend.  I wish I had more dedicated stitching time, but yesterday my sister bought SingStar Pop for the PlayStation and wanted to come around for a sing-song.  It's really amazing when you think you're singing like a star it tells you you're crap, and when you are singing like crap you're scoring heaps of points.  Needless to say, I lost every game.  But it was fun!  I even enjoyed watching the All Blacks win against the British Lions last night with my family.

Today has just been too cold to do much and we've just huddled in front of the gas heater all afternoon watching the telly.  I have just finished watching City of Angels on SKY.  I didn't really enjoy this movie the first time I saw it a few years back, but I really enjoyed it.  A bit of a gushy, weepy, lovely movie - I guess what I'm trying to say is that it was a chick flick! :-)

I bought my Dave Dobbyn CD yesterday, so I've got it in the laptop to listen to as I surf the net and so I can upload to my iPod.  I've now got a few other CDs in mind after playing SingStar yesterday.  Roll on pay day!

Off to read some blogs and to try and fit in a few more stitches!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Go the All Blacks

Just sitting here listening to my new CD. I haven't bought a CD in years, mostly because I hate all this modern manufactured music - but I bought Kelly Clarkson's new album Breakaway. It's awesome. I think I feel another purchase coming on tomorrow too - I love Dave Dobbyn's (Kiwi singer) new song Avalable Light. I'll probably spiral into a CD buying spree now to make up for the years I've missed!

Does anyone else out there have an iPod? I've had it since January and it is a bit hit and miss with getting songs on there with their titles. If anyone could direct me to a website like 'iPods for Dummies' I'd be most appreciative. I think of myself as pretty computer savvy, although no expert, but I haven't got the iPod down pat yet. I did have some problems in the beginning because the CD that came with it was a bit of a dud according to my OH, so we downloaded a newer version of the software from the Internet which helped heaps. I've got about 200 songs on it so far, so when I become an expert I can fill up the other 9800 songs it reckons it can hold!

I'm making slow progress with the penguin RR, but I took the head staggers tonight and did all the housework so hopefully it will leave me more time to stitch tomorrow afternoon before my family come around for the rugby.

Have a great stitchy weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Summer here we come...

... well, it was the shortest day yesterday and I'm ever the optimist! Never mind that Winter has really yet to arrive.

I've been stitching away on the RR the last two evenings. I decided on the New Zealand North Island Little Penguin. There are five others in the series, which appeared in the NZ Creative Stitch & Craft magazine (which comes out just twice a year... surely they could do better than that!)... but I decided on the North Island version because that's where I'm from. I may use these patterns for a future RR.

Unfortunately, there aren't a great number of NZ cross stitch designers, but I do love Cherry Parker's NZ designs and anything NZ themed.

Poor Meg got a good kicking last night by yours truly. I was wandering around in the dark at 4am when I kicked something. I thought to myself 'I'm sure I moved the dehumidifier before I went to bed' and then I heard little paw-steps running down the hallway. Everybody say 'ohhhhh'. She has forgiven me for that and the flea treatment she got yesterday - boy does it stink. We should've called her Miffy, because she gets all miffy if there is something that she doesn't like.

There is a great cat food ad on the telly at the moment of a cat sitting on a man's chest looking down at him, and the guy is saying how cats used to be treated as kings in ancient times and that some cats haven't forgotten this. Boy, ain't that the truth!!

I'll share a pic of the NZ penguin as soon as it starts to look like more than just a flipper!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Here's a pic of my wee monkeys

I didn't get around to unbagging all my stash to take a pic of at the weekend, as we ended up having BIL over for cocktails and movies.  But I did manage to get a pic of our two rascals together.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any stitching in this weekend either, but the RR is nearly underway - I just need to get the threads I'm missing.  Isn't it amazing how even with the smallest design there is always at least one or two threads you need to go out and get!  Not that I mind, any excuse to go to an LNS!!

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Friday, June 17, 2005

Not much stitching this week, but plenty of stash

I was miffed on Monday when my Stitching Bits and Bobs order didn't arrive, but thrilled on Tuesday when I saw it sitting in the letter box as we pulled up the driveway. The outer packaging was soaked right through, but fortunately nothing was damaged as most of the charts were in plastic bags and the two that weren't were placed between those that were. Thanks Stitching Bits & Bobs! I will share a photo of my new stash tomorrow.

I also bought two magazines this week. I was going to ease off on the mag front, but hey I needed to go for a walk to stretch my legs and I don't like to be aimless. I got Quick and Easy because the Secret Garden leaflet by Margaret Sherry caught my eye, and the June issue of Just Cross Stitch because I liked the historic looking design by Carriage House Samplings. I love historic stuff... our first house was nearly 100 years old and totally charming (the neighbourhood was not, which is why we moved!). I think I have bought more magazines since my fav magazine shop shut, than I did when they were open!

I actually enjoyed myself at the rugby on Wednesday, it wasn't as cold as expected which was a relief. The Wellington Lions didn't win, but they put up a good defence so the British Lions didn't win by too much. So suck on that OH (who even wore his British Lions rugby shirt to the game, to the amusement of all his Kiwi colleagues!).

I still haven't decided on my RR piece, slack or what? So I am off to go and do that now...

Saturday, June 11, 2005

A small HD

I just finished this tonight (when I should have been looking for a pattern for my RR!).  It is from the Gumnut Babies collection, and is a double-sided bookmark.  Although, I'm not sure if I'll finish it as that yet.

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A watched phone never rings and a cat who likes tabasco sauce

A watched telephone never rings, just like a watched letter box never produces stash. I was hoping my Stitching Bits and Bobs order might be here for the weekend, but nope not this weekend. (sniff, sob)

However, I was very pleased to receive the final piece in a four person RR I am participating in today though. So far it's looking fantastic. The theme is nature and it is open for me to stitch whatever I want. I have some patterns in mind (of New Zealand penguins), but I am hoping to find something a little more unique - maybe a Tuatara or a Kea? I had better get cracking in case I have to order something. I'll post a pic when I've finished deciding and stitching it.

As for the tabasco sauce loving cat - I made a home made pizza for our dinner tonight, and flavoured the chicken and peppers with tabasco sauce. Then little Meg sat by my feet looking hopeful and even tried to stick her face in my plate, until I caved in and gave her some. Her and Giggsy aren't usually scavengers, but I guess the lure of the tabasco sauce overcame her! :-) Cats can be such mysterious and strange creatures. Every life should have nine cats!

I'm off to wade through some of my New Zealand stitching mags to find something for the RR. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Lady Leona progress

Here is a progess pic of Lady Leona.  I am really enjoying stitching this piece, probably more so than any other I have stitched before.  She had to take a bit of a backseat while I stitched the RR, but she's getting my full attention again now.  Even my Dad said it looked nice when he came to dinner recently, and that's a pretty big thing coming from him.  My OH just says 'As long as you like it'.  Cheeky.

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Hopefully I have made this picture small enough to stop my side bar from shooting to the bottom of the page, but large enough so you can see some detail.

Horror of all horrors... I'm going to watch a rugby game at the Cake Tin next Wednesday night.  Oh how I am praying for a heatwave (yeah, like that is going to happen in the middle of winter!).  My OH's boss has tickets for the British and Irish Lions versus the Wellington Lions, and they have invited us to go along.  I feel really sorry for all those fans who would give their right arm for a ticket, when I'll be going along very half-heartedly.  My OH is a big rugby fan and he's from Northern Ireland, so I'm doing it for him (in the hope that one day he might accompany me to a LNS - yeah right!).  I have been to games before and enjoyed myself, but I'd rather be stitching (and in the warm!).

Enough rugby talk - I was also horrified to go out for a walk at lunchtime yesterday for a cross stitch magazine fix to find my favourite magazine shop gone (moved to the other end of town)!  All was not lost though, I recently found another large magazine store so today I took a walk and ended up with a copy of New Stitches and a copy of Cross Stitcher (the UK version), and after my last moan about UK magazines - I take it all back.  There are quite a few projects I would like to do in each of these magazines.  There is a lovely Spring flower sampler in New Stitches, along with the other half of the Planets design - and in Cross Stitcher there is a Humphrey's Corner (I love those little elephants), some cute flying pigs etc.  I'll add them to my ever expanding 'to do' list.

On a final note, I'm so excited - my order from Stitching Bits and Bobs was posted on Monday.  Last time (once it was actually posted) it reached me in about five days, so I'm hoping it will be here for the weekend.  I just hope I don't lose interest in Lady Leona when it arrives. 

Happy stitching!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

I am prepared to swap stash for sunshine...

It's really, really cold here right now. Luckily we don't have it as bad as some places in New Zealand - but it still doesn't make me feel any warmer.

As mentioned in my post yesterday I planned to do some scrapbooking and finish my RR, and remarkably that is exactly what I have done today! I think the scrapbooking will take some practice, but I did enjoy the process. It's good to have the RR finished in advance of next week's posting date too.

Meg caught her first bird today... the little tweeter was dead, unfortunately and with a lot of it's feathers strewn across our lounge it would never have survived in this cold weather without them. We've had lots of little fantails flitting around lately, they're such pretty little birds and they really do 'flit'. We have some flax bushes outside our kitchen window and I do love it when the Tui's (a native New Zealand bird) come and drink the nectar from the flax flowers... they are beautiful birds and they have a lovely song too. I don't like that cats catch any birds, but I would be even more horrified if my cats came home with any native species! If I manage get any half decent photos of the birds around here, I'll be sure to share them in my blog.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

RR HD (Close your eyes Maddison!)

And here is my piece for Maddison's International Bear RR...

I chose to stitch the Chinese bear because I thought he was pretty cute, and a little different. 

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My first scrapbook page

I know I have a lot to learn, but here's my first scrapbook page...

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Friday, June 03, 2005

The start of a long weekend...

Woohoo! I love long weekends, and it is my aim to do lots of stitching and maybe try a little scrapbooking. I have bought some items (at the constant insistance of my younger scrapbooking sister) to give the latter a go, and if my first page turns out any good I will share it here.

This week I've been stitching on an RR which is due to be posted next week. The theme is International Bears and I've stitched a cute Chinese one. He just needs the backstitching then he'll be headed to England where he will be joined by another bear before heading home to his stitching owner. I will share a photo, hopefully tomorrow, of my finished square.

We rented a couple of DVDs on Wednesday night - Two Brothers and White Chicks. Many of you who haven't seen Two Brothers will probably be under the same impression I was - that it will be a nice, family, warm-fuzzy type movie. It ain't! I've always been saddened by the plight of the tiger, and the movie shows it how it is basically with a few laughs and a few warm fuzzies at the end. I think the tiger 'actors' looked genuinely distressed at times also, which saddened me. If you have a soft spot for tigers give the money you would pay to rent or buy this DVD to a save the tiger fund. Both you and the tigers will be happier for it!

As for White Chicks - rush out and buy it. You will laugh from beginning to end!!

Despite warnings of the mass invasion of the Barmy Army to our shores, it's been pretty quiet so far. Go the All Blacks!!