Saturday, August 31

A Witch's Best Friend Update

I worked on this for 2 days and boy did I want to pull my hair out.

It's Joan Elliott at her best!
Each part consists of many colours and the design is very busy.

But I love the finished design and I am sure it will be worth it, if I survive.

Saturday, August 24

Too Many Distractions!

Firstly 99 Bottles is coming along great.  It's such a fun stitch as you feel accomplished everytime you finish a whole bottle, and it makes the fact that you have 99 to do, much more manageable.

I cheated a bit and worked on it for 3 days, but shhhh don't tell my other projects that:-)

I then worked on A Time For Giving for 2 days and lets just say that not much happend in those two days.



It looks like I accomplished a bit over 2 days, but honestly there was a bit more added after my last update and I never blogged about it so it just looks like more.
I didn't do much stitching the last two days as I have had far too many distractions.
Distration One:
I was watching S1 of the TV Series Arrow.
I love the story line of the series, but I tend to love any of the Superhero movies, so it was a given that I would enjoy this.
My problem was that I would put on an episode with stitching in hand and would all of a sudden realise that I have watched the whole episode and my stitching was just left lying in my lap.
I just enjoyed watching the main character of the series way too much to miss any of it.
Distraction Two:
It started out innocently (as it always does).  I was just looking around for new blogs to add to my reading list when I came across one that does English Paper Piecing.
I thought that it looks interesting and so I read some more. 
Then I thought:  Wow I would love to make a table cloth for Christmas with that technique.
A couple hours later I had read blogs and watched you tube videos and technique pages.
And today I popped into the fabric shop and bought some quilting fabrics:
I am not sure about the brown one on top working with the colours, but I really just couldn't resist those cute and tiny motives on it.
I really don't need another project and probably spent a bit too much money on the fabrics (sorry hubby) but I really just couldn't resist.

Distraction Three:

I spent a big part of yesterday sorting out all my WIPs and new starts.
I have put them in their own individual folders, which includes my working copy, the fabric and any threads needed for that project.
Now at any given time I just have to pull out the file to be ready to stitch.

I still have the last 3 projects to sort out and will show a pic of my storage solution on my next update.

I had grand plans for today with my stitching.
Daughter has a friend visiting so she is happily occupied, hubby left very early this morning to help a friends nephew move.   This meant that I had the whole day to stitch with very little interuptiions from daughter and absolutely no guilt from feeling like I shouldn't be stitching because hubby might think I am being lazy.

Instead I have tidied house, being sorting out my projects and spent a fair amount of time at the fabric shop and then this update has taken forever.  Hubby should be home in about 3 to 4 hours so hopefully I can get my butt in my chair asap.

PS I apologise for the weird spacing in this post and the previous one.
I have no idea why it is doing that and the extra line spaces don't show up under the html and that means I can't fix/change it.

Friday, August 23

Attempting A New Rotation

If you look on my right side bar you will see a new list up.

This is a list of all my WIP's and also any new starts that I already had set up (already had fabric for).

I will stitch each project for 2 days and will work down the list in Alphabetical order.

I worked on 99 Bottles for the 2 days, also worked on A Time For Giving yesterday and today.

I will do a update on both of those tomorrow morning.

I am hoping that this will allow me to stitch guilt free as all projects will be worked on and I will only have a short amount of days between the times that I stitch on them.

I have decided to resurrect my projects on 18 count.
I spent the money on the fabric, and also spent a bit of time on stitching and I just don't like to see them being wasted.  The progress on those will be slow and I am sure not much progress when it's time to update but at least they are not gonna be chucked.

Honestly I also like the size of the christmas stocking on 18 count.  It's nice and big to put things in but not so big that I have to have alot of stuff to fill them with.

Tuesday, August 20

Hocus Pocus Update and (yet another) New Start

I have been working on Hocus Pocus for a few days now but it was mostly catching up on half stitches and backstitch so it would of been more like "spotting the difference" than anything else.
So I waited until I had a significant difference to show in my update.

I last worked on her a few months back when we were on holiday.

This is the last update pic: 


And this is her now:

I have been watching Debbie as she stitches on her 99 Bottles wip.  I have had this for ages and I finally gave into starting it after seeing her progress.

I didn't have 14 count so I am trying 18 count again.  I have solved the issue (hopefully) by making this a daylight project and working on HP in the evenings.

I was planning on doing 1 bottle a day but these take more time to stitch then I thought they would.  Yesterday I finished a bit of the shelf and one bottle.

I planned on doing one bottle a day but today's bottle had a few colour changes and I never managed to finish it.  So I think I won't push myself and will just do an update once I finish 2 bottles each time.

I have a bit of frogging to do on the first bottle though.  I am used to designs that have the symbol . which means white.  So I subconsciously just grabbed the white when I saw the symbol but today when I worked on the 2nd bottle I realised that white is actually : and . is a yellow.  So the white you see in the pic needs to be frogged and replaced.

I am sure I will be back tomorrow night with 2 bottles correct and finished.

Friday, August 16

Cute Cat Update

I have been working on Hocus Pocus for the last few days but it's slow.  I am adding half stitches and backstitch etc and so the photo doesn't look much different from the last time I worked on her.

I will wait till significant progress has been made to do an update.

But I thought I would share a few cute pics of my darling kitty, who is going through the "teenager" phase atm:-)

Remember this bundle of fluff: 

Oh how I miss those big ears!!
Well she is growing too fast even though she isn't even close to a year old yet.
She has already had her operation so that she can't have kittens.  It was bittersweet sending her for that one, as I would dearly have loved to have seen kittens being born just once in my life, but there are too many stray cats and abandoned cats at the SPCA that I just couldn't send out another few kittens into the world and not knowing what would happen to them and wondering if I chose good homes for them when I gave them away.

Monday, August 12

31 Day Blog Challenge Days 9 &10 and a Finish!

Ok lets get the challenge done first.

Day 9 is "Worst Habits"

This is a hard one as a person doesn't like thinking of their own bad points.
1.  My temper is a bit too short (can one call this a bad habit?)  I always think of how to make myself better in this way so I would think it's a habit because one can work on changing it.
2.  I leave everything to the last minute.  I always tell myself that there is time, until there just isn't any time left.
3.  I don't have much money sense.  I spend before I think about it and always regret if I overspend.

Okay even though there is probably more, I will leave it at 3:-)

Day 10 is "Best Physical Feature"

I am not a "pretty person".  I would say I am on the average scale.  My face is round and I have no bone structure but I must say my best feature would have to be my mouth ( at least in my eyes).  I have a bottom lip that is much fuller than my top lip.  I know that a few years ago it was all the rage to have your bottom lip made fuller by collagen and I was always chuffed that mine were like that naturally.  Think Angelina Jolie's lip and thats what I mean.

I have another finish as of today.

My Glass Aglow is done!!!

I made a list of all my WIPS and planned starts (that I have the fabric for) and ther are a total of 8.  I ran the numbers through the Random Number Generator and it gave me # 1 as the result.  So next up I will be working on Hocus Pocus until it is done.

I am hoping to get all the wips completed this year so that I can start 2014 fresh.  I plan on making a list of at least 14 things I want to stitch in 2014 and will add them to my sidebar closer to the end of the year and will use the RNG to choose one each time I have a finish.

Saturday, August 10

31 Day Blog Challenge Day 7 & 8 and new stand (sort of)

I missed yesterdays blog challenge so I will do both today:

Day 7 is "Pet Peeves"

I think my worst one is when someone invades my personal body space.  You know if you are standing in a line somewhere and someone literally has their body shoved up to you and is actually physically touching your back or keeps on bumping you.

I also dislike it when you go to the bathroom only to realise that theres no toilet paper in the holder because the person who was there last finished it and never put a new one on.  The worst is that you usually only realise this once you actually need the paper.  Sadly my family does this all the time:-)

Day 8 is "whats in your handbag"

Okay luckily for me I cleaned out my handbag awhile ago, and this is not as embarrasing as it would normally have been.

My wallet
Cross stitch

I am such a happy woman right now.  I have been wanting a proper cross stitch fame/stand for ages now.
I have looked into getting one from 123 stitch but the import tax that the post office would charge was a bit too much.
I looked at ordering one from DMC until the local shop told me that it would cost over R2000.00 and I couldn't ask hubby if I could spend that much on it.

I was looking at a online auction/buying site a few weeks ago and saw a scroll frame for a measley R80.00!!! I bought it immediately and yesterday hubby spent the day in his workshop and made me a stand for it.

Now I have this absolutely stunning thing:

I am truly happy right now with this that I keep on just walking past it and looking at it:-)

Thursday, August 8

31 Day Blog Challenge Day 6

Today's challenge is "Your 5 senses right now"

Sight:  I see the dog and cat having a snooze, my stitching calling my name (though I have worked on it today) and my daughters presents needing wrapping (yes left to the last minute) and then I have to hide them for her to find in the morning.

Sound:  I hear the fish tanks pump and the wind outside.

Smell:  The fish tank leaks a bit when you lift the lid to feed the fishes.  In summer it's not a problem as it dries very quickly but obviously not so quick in winter.  Now I get that damp musty carpet smell.  Luckily we will be putting tiles in here soon so this will be the last winter that I have to smell that.

Feel:  I feel my eyes burning and envious of the animals, hubby and daughter who are all asleep already.  But I am up late as usual:-)  I have been up late for a bit too many nights now and am starting to feel it.  But all you moms out there know how we relish that time in the evenings that are just for ourselves and usually I stay up late enjoying that time.

Taste:  I still taste the cuppichino (did I spell that right?  Too lazy to go to the kitchen to see if it is) I had a few minutes ago.  I love Nescafe for bringing out a instant cuppichino that one can make at home although the real deal is much better.

Wednesday, August 7

31 Day Blog Challenge Day 5

Yesterday I pictured myself having a lovely relaxing time stitching.

You see today is my 32nd birthday and as a present to myself, I decided to do only basic cleaning and also clothes washing, and the rest of the day would be spent lazing around with stitching in hand.

When in actual fact my day has been cleaning, a bit of reading and then I did a tiny little bit of more soapy goodness.  And yet still not a stitch done...

But I will remedy that in a few minutes.

Okay todays challenge is "10 songs that I love right now"

3 Doors Down - Be Like That
3 Doors Down - Here Without You
Cold - The Day Seattle Died
Daughtry - Crawling Back To You
Daughtry - It's Not Over
Evanescence - Further Away
Evanescence - Hello
Evanescence - Where Will You Go
Prime Circle - As Long As I Am Here
Prime Circle - She Always Gets What She Wants

Now I am off to go do a bit of food shopping and then go pick my daughter up from school.

She is super excited because they will be having a 4 day weekend, as the teachers are going on a course so the school is closed tommorrow and will be closed on Friday as it's a public holiday.  Friday is her 9th birthday and then on Sat we are having a party for her and all her friends will be there.

Tuesday, August 6

31 Day Blog Challenge Day 4

Thank goodness that today is an easy one.

I am so totally exhausted right now.  I have stood in my kitchen since 12 this afternoon till 9:30 tonight.  I spent a few hours making soap goodies and had a great time doing it.
But by the end of that my feet were killing me but I had to make supper, then the after supper washing up, then making lots of cupcakes for my daughter to take to school tomorrow and then the cleaning up after that.

I really was in no state to still be standing when it was time to make the cupcakes but its a yearly birthday thing I do for my daughter.  She always has her birthday on a public holiday so usually the last day of school before her big day, I send cupcakes for her to give to her class mates as a mini celebration.  This year there are two days of no school before her bday so they had to get done tonight.

Now I am doing my update and then I am going to fall into bed with my sore feet and aching back and do a little bit of reading.

Okay Day 4 challenge is "What I'm Afraid Of"

I am afraid of heights.  Not in the usual sense though because I can go up high but what scares me is the falling down from that height.

Hope that makes sense considering how muddled my brain is right now.

Sadly I didn't even get one stitch in today.  But tomorrow is my special day, and I am going to celebrate it by only doing the basic cleaning and washing and the rest of the time I will spend it with my stitching in hand.

Monday, August 5

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 3

Todays challenge is at least something easy.  Share your favourite quote.

So here is mine...

" In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away. "

- Shing Xiong

And now for a stitchy update.

I am still working on Glass Aglow and here is the pics from a few days ago.
I am further along now and hopefully will have a finish by the end of the week or so.

My package or soapy goodness arrived this morning, so now I am off to go play with it.

Sunday, August 4

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 2

Okay todays challenge is to tell 20 things about yourself, so here goes:

  1. I was a very premature baby.  After spending months in the hospital, my parents put me in a shoe box for the drive home.
  2. I am a socially awkward person.
  3. I have lived in 5 different cities or towns.
  4. I only got my drivers license at the age of 27, even though we are able to get our license at the age of 18.
  5. My husband is 9 years 11 months older than me.
  6. I am a short person and look younger than I am.  This causes embarrasment as 3 people have thought I was my husbands child.
  7. Fact 6 has greatly amused my husband, especially when the 1 man patted me on the head when he greeted me:-)
  8. I love fantasy.  Any movies or books.  My favourite authors vary from the weird fantasy (Darren Shan, Mercy Thompson etc) to the more nomral fantasy (Trudi Canavan, David Gemmell) and for a very good laugh I love Terry Pratchetts Discworld series.
  9. I am a Pagan in my beliefs.  I am drawn to the Wiccan aspect of it.  Although I do not practice it due to my husbands family being very Christian and they would be horrified.  It just makes things easier for my husband and daughter.
  10. I would love to take part in the TV series Survivor.   I think it's an amazing thing to experience and to know that you have done something that tests you so much.
  11. This list is driving me nuts as I am having a hard time coming up with the stuff to put on it.
  12. I am a terrible cook.  Being a stay at home mom for the last 6 years, it is obviously my job to cook, and my food still tasted the same as when I learnt.  I am one of those people who will just never get it right.
  13. I get cold very easily.  Winters drive me nuts because no matter how many layers I wear, I am still cold.  I could never survive in a snowy climate.  Our houses are not built with any heating and so we rely on a heater in our lounge for night time use.
  14. I studied to be an interior designer and yet never got a job in the field.
  15. I am now studying accounting.
  16. I am an organ donor.
  17. I like silver jewellery to gold and would rather have a coloured stone than a diamond.
  18. I have a black thumb.
  19. I like rock music like Live, Nickelback, Prime Circle, Draughtry etc and even like Metallica.
  20. Even though I have tried doing stitching rotations I have come to realise that I am a one at a time kind of gal.  I hate the idea of a project taking me 2 or 3 years to do.  I wish I was a person who could handle rotations, but they just stress me out.
And thankfully this is done.  I found this challenge extremely hard and am just glad it's done.

I will be back tomorrow for Day 3 and a stitchy update.

Saturday, August 3

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 1

I saw Measi doing this on her blog and thought it looked interesting.  It took me awhile to search out the actual challenge list and I found it today, so I am starting it today.

Day 1 is to introduce yourself and to share a picture.

Ok so lets get the picture out of the way.  I don't think it is cheating putting up a picture from 2007 because I pretty much still look the same.  You see I hate pics of myself as the camera truly hates me.  I never seem to look decent in them and so I have very few pics of myself, and this is the most recent one that I have on my pc.

It is a pic of myself and my daughter when she had to dress up for a concert.

I tought myself to cross stitch when I was about 16 but only did 3 projects.  Then life got in the way when I finished high school and went off to study.  My first serious boyfriend, my studies and just life in general got in the way.
I then got taught how to knit and met my husband when I was 21.
We kind of put the cart before the horse and got pregnant before we got married but I was married and a new mom at the age of 23.
I started cross stitching again and made my daughter 3 Teddy Bear Projects:

Then I bought myself a  spinning wheel and taught myself to spin and for a few years I did't touch cross stitch at all.
For the last few years I have spent way too much time cross stitching and I love every moment of it.
Now I am 31 (just about 32 in a few days), I have been married 9 years and my daughter will turn 9 two days before my birthday.
I live in South Africa and most of the time feel lucky to live here.
We have large houses compared to what I have seen of the overseas houses on TV.

We are blessed with a beautiful countryside and the chance to go visit game reserves whenever we want and to be able to see animals like lions, elephants etc.

The sad things living here are basically the school education that is not very good compared to overseas.  A person who is highly qualified here wouldn't really be able to get a job overseas easily, even if they were lucky enough to be able to immigrate.
The politics also puts a damper on living here.

And my major gripe is as far as cross stitching is concerned.
Because everything is imported here it is expensive.

I have a full set of threads that I have accumulated over the last few years.  I once sat down and worked out how much I had spent on my set and was shocked to realise that it pretty much summed up to the same amount as a decent jobs monthly salary.  Fabric costs an arm and a leg here and so I usually only buy 1m or 2m at a time.

Luckily the hubby has his love of tools and so we have an agreement:  He sais not a word about my spending on my hobby and I say not a word when he comes home with yet another tool or woodworking machine.  It works for us because he knows his tools cost way more than I spend on cross stitch:-)

I have Scottish and Irish blood in me from my great grandparents and am married to a South African born German.  His whole family speaks the language and one day I would love to learn the language.

I think that is enough rambling for now.

See you tomorrow for the next day's challenge.