Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It is time to boot summer out the door...

It has been so hot here lately, that I think it's time for summer to leave now. All the cats are suffering in the heat, as are the humans. Even my postcard thermometer (my old boss brought it back from an inventors convention in the USA years ago) can't cope - it's off the scale (it goes up to 35 degrees Celsius). OH and I managed to find some respite over the weekend - we drove up some mountains (the Rimutakas for the local folks), and then climbed the remaining 725 metres to the top. It was foggy up there and like standing in a fridge, pure heaven!

At the ripe old age of 31 I gained my learner's driving licence yesterday and have had two lessons so far. I always had an excuse in my 20s for not getting it (I was too busy travelling) - but I decided if I didn't do it now, I never would. Kiwi drivers are maniacs, so wish me luck - I am going to need it!

I bought Issue 35 of Cross Stitch Gold on the weekend. I have wanted the book 'Cross Stitch Fairies' for quite some time, but wasn't prepared to pay the $60 price tag not knowing much about it except that I liked the cover design 'Moon Fairy'. So I was chuffed to spot this Issue and see that the pattern for Moon Fairy is in it.

I went to a Fuschia show on Sunday morning... I never knew there were so many different kinds, even a pure white one! Really stunning. I didn't buy any, I have four and they don't get as much love as they should. :-)

I've managed to fit some stitching in, although not a whole lot. Here's my progress on Damask Roses -

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Rule of Four

Since Damask Roses is just a growing blob of blue there isn't much point in sharing a photo at this stage. So, I thought I'd share my answers for this little meme which seems to be doing the rounds on blogs at the moment -

The Rule of Four

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1 Care assistant in old folks home
2 In the cash office of a department store
3 Registry clerk
4 Data administrator

Four movies I would watch over and over again:
1 The English Patient
2 The Mummy (and the Mummy Returns)
3 The Others
4 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (original)

Four places I have lived:
1 Upper Hutt, New Zealand
2 Canterbury, England
3 Ballymena, Northern Ireland
4 There is no fourth! :-)

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1 Escape to the Country
2 Bad Girls (next series starts tonight, yippee)
3 A Year at Kew
4 The Amazing Race

Four places I have been on vacation:
1 Fiji
2 Bali
3 France
4 Singapore

Four websites I visit daily:
1 Stuff (NZ news)
2 BBC (World news)
3 My blog
4 Stitchers blogs I have listed in my sidebar (most days)

Four of my favourite foods:
1 Ice cream
2 Fresh fruit
3 Custard
4 Mum's trifle (which she only usually makes at Xmas)

Four places I'd rather be right now
1 Milford Sound, Fiordland (NZ)
2 At my LNS :-)
3 A tropical island
4 The Amalfi Coast

Sunday, January 22, 2006

No stitching progress...

... that always seems to happen when I think there is a good opportunity to get some quality stitching time in.

We went up to Kaitoke Regional Park again today. Even though it has become a bit of a tourist hot spot because of it's LOTR fame, peace and quiet can still be found amongst the ferns and waterfalls. When we got home you would have thought it was these two who had been out for an exhausting walk...

Friday, January 20, 2006

What a shame...

... I'll have to place another order elsewhere, as Countrystitch only had 4 of the 8 WDW threads I wanted (laughs evily).

The threads they did have in stock were delivered quickly, so a big thumbs up for Countrystitch again!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Damask Roses Update

There sure is a lot of blue in this design....

We've got a long weekend this weekend, and another in two weeks time so I have plenty of stitching time coming up to carry on with her. I haven't even frogged... yipeeee!

Speaking of frogs... I bought a copy of New Stitches today (still debating whether I like this mag as much now it is combined with Cross Stitch Gallery). It has an interesting article on the Bayeux Tapestry and it's replica in England - it says even stitchers centuries ago 'frogged'. So I don't feel so bad. :-)

I relented and did buy some stash from Countrystitch, but I was very good and only bought some WDW and GAST for charts I already have in my collection. I am thinking of stitching Peaceful Forest by Bent Creek for my sister, who is shortly moving to a 29 acre section surrounded by bush and forest. I've had the chart for a while, so what a perfect opportunity to buy the necessary threads with 40% off ('cos they sure ain't cheap!).

Meg and Tess have been struggling with one another for top cat position lately. If only Meg would assert herself more. Unfortunately, Tess and her street-cat ways seems to be becoming the more dominant. Here they are in a rare moment of relaxation together, enjoying the last rays of the day.

Monday, January 16, 2006


I don't know what was up with my blog over the weekend, so if you saw - what sounds like - a mess (like Anne) or not much at all (like me) then my apologies. I seem to have righted the problem with adding another post. Most peculiar!? For those who don't know Countrystitch are having a sale, with 40% off charts, threads etc. It's oh so very tempting... but I really do have enough to stitch (trying to convince ones self!). Yesterday, OH and I spent some time up at Kaitoke Regional Park. They shot some of Lord of the Rings there (and a few other places in Upper Hutt), so for you LOTR fans here is the spot where the Rivendell set was erected -
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
I worked on Damask Roses a little over the weekend. I can see that if I stick at it, it isn't going to take long to grow as there are lots of big blocks of colour.

Saturday, January 14, 2006



Thursday, January 12, 2006

For lack of a better title - THURSDAY'S TIDBITS

As you can see, this week I've worked a little on Damask Roses...

...and bought a couple of stitching magazines. They have some great designs in them. I particularly like the English Rose design in Just Cross Stitch.

I've seen this on a few other blogs, so here's my answers for anyone who is interested -

A is for Age: 31
B is for Booze: Not a drinker, although like a Bailey's or Amarula now and then
C is for Career: I work for a law firm
D is for Dad’s Name: Michael
E is for Essential Item to Bring to a Party: Party poppers and SingStar
F is for Favourite Songs at the Moment: Beautiful by James Blunt
G is for Goof-off Thing to Do: Talk in silly voices
H is for Hometown: Upper Hutt
I is for Instrument You Play: Air guitar :-)
J is for Jam or Jelly you Like: Blackberry jam
K is for Kids: Here's hoping
L is for Living Arrangement: OH and I own a four bedroom house with a view and a pool. We like it a lot!
M is for Mum’s Name: Donna
N is for Names of Good Friends: best friend is OH (he can also be the worst, haha)
O is for Overnight Hospital Stays: Nope, only a day stay (lucky me)
P is for Phobias: Spiders (I dream about them fairly often!) and heights (although I don't let it put me off doing things, maybe I like being scared!??)
Q is for Quotes you Like: My new quote - 'Honeybuns, for the last 5 years we've done things your way. For the next 5 we'll be doing them my way' :-)
R is for Relationship That Lasted Longest: OH - we're together 5 years next month
S is for Siblings: Two sisters, I'm the piggy in the middle
T is for Texas: T is also for Tuis, Tuataras and Totaras, just a few things which make my country great
U is for Unique Trait: A sucker for animals
V is for Vegetables You Love: Capsicum
W is for Worst Traits: Plenty of those
X is for X-rays You’ve Had: Only for my teeth
Y is for Yummy Food You Make: My cooking is very hit and miss, so what is yummy one day might be a flop next time it is made (sigh)
Z is for Zodiac Sign: Cancer (nice one, not)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Fab fabric

Yesterday I received my latest piece of fabric from Countrystitch. It is a Kiwi Patches and is called 'Rose Petals'. It is far prettier in real life than my scan or the scan on the Countrystitch website.

I made a start on Damask Roses last night. It's nice to read your comments (thanks for all the comments lately!) and see that she is liked by others too - I don't think I've ever seen any pics of her posted anywhere. Perhaps because she is an older design (1993), and the internet was only really coming in at that stage. I will post a pic once I've made some real progress, as it's just a small blob of blue at present.

Anne - I just used DMC 115 for the Passione Ricamo freebie. I had looked for a hand-dyed red thread before Christmas at my LNS but they didn't have anything like what I was after, so I gave the DMC 115 a go and quite liked the result.

Friday, January 06, 2006

A small HD

I spent this afternoon stitching this freebie from Passione Ricamo. I am going to attempt to make it into a scissor fob for a Valentine exchange I am participating in. If it works out OK, I'll share a photo.

Usually I would be pleased that today is Friday, BUT not this week. It means I'm back to work on Monday. I like my job (I could never not work, I'd get insanely bored), but I always find it hard going back after a break. Oh well, my little holiday ticker at the top of my blog seems to be counting down the days at a great rate of knots, so I'm sure July will be here soon enough.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

HD - For the Birds

After many frogs and running out of DMC 926 while the shops were shut over New Year, I have now finally finished The Drawn Thread's 'For the Birds'. There are still two charms to attach, but I will leave those until after I have pressed it. I will get it framed eventually.

I have been scanning a few old photos lately, and thought I'd share this one of Meg and Giggsy when they were kittens. As you can see they were lively wee toerags! And yes, toilet rolls did suffer in the taking of this picture! :-)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Damask Roses

I took the head staggers today and went and bought the threads I needed to start Mirabilia's Damask Roses. I've had the chart and fabric in my stash for about two or three years (ever since I discovered Countrystitch), and I also feel like tackling a large project... so let the fun begin!

So tonight I've been winding thread on bobbins (which is fun for all of five minutes!), tomorrow I'll go through them and pull out the ones I need to begin. I have a Valentine exchange I must prepare for, but I have a fairly firm idea of what I'm going to stitch and make for this.

A tip for Kiwi readers - I don't know how long the Spotlight sale is on for, or whether it is because I have a VIP card - but DMC threads were only $1 today. BARGAIN!! :-)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2006 will be a fantastic year for you.

Sorry for the lack of updates. Yesterday was the first day I was able to do any stitching since before Christmas (we had visitors). I started back into things by reverse stitching 'For the Birds'. My Mum found the two mistakes in it for me, which meant I needed to unpull over half of the alphabet border. Oh dear! And then would you believe it... I frogged my frogs, by unpicking a letter of the alphabet which was fine - fortunately I realised my mistake before I got too carried away. My OH has now nicknamed me Wowyn Wong ('cos Rowyn keeps getting it wrong!). Things went smoothly after that and it won't be long until I can post a HD.

I did get a few hours alone while we had visitors. I scanned an old photograph and put it into my cross stitch pattern programme. Although I got the programme to choose sepia colours there still seem to be some pinks and greens in there. I think I will have to do some fairly major tweeking of the colours before I start stitching. OH bought me this programme when we were living overseas in 2002, and I don't think I've ever seen any positive comments about it from other stitchers. Maybe I ought to invest in a new programme. I love antique images and if I could convert them to cross stitch easily it would be a good investment I'm sure. Can anyone recommend a good programme?

Our lovely summer weather went down the gurgler today, we've had gale force winds and rain. The winds broke one of my outdoor ceramic pots, broke a small section of spouting off the house and ripped out some of my lovely Dahlias which were just starting to bloom. It is improving now and I believe the good weather is set to return, here's hoping.

I'm not back to work until next week, so I hope to spend a fair amount of time stitching and relaxing. Hope you're all enjoying yourselves over the festive season.