Thursday, May 31, 2007


Now I am depressed. I have put my Chatelaines away because I'm too sick to work on them at the moment, but then Martina had to release the new part didnt she and it's incredible. Part 5 (may's) was walls on all four sides of the garden with three windows which were left blank - part 6 fills in the windows with a different blackwork pattern on each side, and gives the walls roofs - including a dormer window and three chimneys, and what looks like the beginning of a border connecting around the outside. We will have to wait and see, but it is gorgeous.

Maybe I could work on both Chatelaines on Mondays? Then Id only have one day a week I was working on them... or maybe JOB on Monday and MX another day...hmmm...I'd have to space them out.

We'll see.

Stupid mystery, why do you have to be so beautiful when I'm too sick to stitch you!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Day 4 of A Restful Night

I have passed the 5% mark on A Restful Night now with 17 and a half 10x10 squares marked off on the chart (not counting randoms from when I jumped down and worked on the shoes because I felt like it) which is really quite awesome. Its so neat seeing even more detail come out. I am getting a bit sick of the pale blue in the wings, but it's quick (big blocks not confetti) so that's nice. I've also lost my skein of 3865 as well, even though I had it when I started stitching today. Presumably it got lost in my covers sometime today and it will turn up *hopefully* tomorrow.

Hannah tried to take a photo of ARN tonight but it came out all weird colourwise, so we're going to wait until tomorrow to get one with the right colours using decent lighting. Should be good.

My arms are starting to ache again though, so I should probably sign off soonish and go have a bath or soak my arms in something warm.

I would like to announce

that I had a bath! ALL BY MYSELF!

Okay, Hannah ran it. But I undressed myself and got in myself and washed myself and let the water out and dried off and got dressed all by myself.

This might not seem like a big thing. But believe me, it is. Ive also discovered that hot baths are wonderful for nullifying the aches, so on the weekend I might have another bath in my old bathing suit and get Troy to wash my hair (hence the bathing suit) and then ask for a massage. And crash out.

But if this continues to work - I cant feel the pain at all at the moment, just fatigue and that will go away with sleep (some of it anyway) I will be able to get my purple dress out when mum comes back. And we can lay the fabric out on the table and cut the pieces together (I have two pairs of dressmaking scissors) and I can take my slow time to make the dress, sewing a seam or two a day. Slowly but surely I should have a dress.

Its so wonderful to feel human, I never realised what a blessing being pain free and well was.

The other thing I have been pondering is the idea of making some pretty nightgowns or house clothes to wear to bed - my pyjamas are all a bit ratty, and given that I wear these clothes pretty much 24/7 it would be nice to have some prettier things. I've seen a few lovely nightgown patterns, that I could make in pastel or printed flanellete (all girly and pretty) and make loose pants to go under and keep my legs warm or something. I just need to find some with minimal seams, because there's only so much I can do. With an overlocker though, it should go pretty quick. And if mum helps me with the dress, pinning seams and things, (and I can always pin seams in bed and sew for a few minutes a day) I could get it done and wear it when I'm up. Its always nice to know that you have something good to wear when you are going to get dressed that doesnt take any fuss - and this dress doesnt.

The other idea I've been toying with is the idea of a bed jacket of some sort, to keep my upper body warm but not be so long that it bunches under me when I sit up in bed. Hmmmm. There's also always asking my grandmother to sew some things for me, if I give her the patterns, or Peta (f-MIL). Hmmmmmmm.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Restful Night

I've been stitching on my fairy'n'frog the last few days, and its been wonderful. The colour play is so velvety when I look at it, it looks soft. Ive almost finished stitching across the top row's worth of 10x10 blocks and it looks fantastic. She now has the tips of both top wings, and a start on the right hand bottom wing, and two shoes. And lots of blue and purple background, but that's alright. This is really the only row where there is a lot of background in this piece, most of the time its detail or at least something to discover. I'm hoping that by the time I get to the next row (and hence have most of my threads already in so I dont have to keep starting new ones) it will go faster and I can get to stitch on her hair in the 3rd row. The other cool thing is that when I get the first 10x10 square on the next row done I'll have it 5% done. This one goes very quick, and I'm hoping to get her done soon then finish up Periwinkle.

Tomorrow is QS Wed so she'll be the automatic choice for stitching tomorrow, even if I didnt still want to work on her, which I do. I'm hoping to get this top row done and at least half of the second one tomorrow, continuing at my usual rate. Usually I'd still be stitching at this time of night but we went out 20min from home to get tea (pizza, YAY!) and its cold, even though I stayed in the car I got cold and now I'm exhausted. But you win some you lose some, and my stitching has been put aside for the night. I will work on her again tomorrow night. Mel found the final connector for my spare small set of Qsnaps too this evening when she was cleaning (thanks Mel) so I will put those together and put either Tranquility or White Musings on it so that it's easy for me to switch between projects instead of having to change what's actually on the frame. It doesnt seem like a big deal until it takes more energy than you'd realise to do it, so I am glad of that. I'd like White Musings done by the 1st, but I dont know if that will happen. It might if I work on it on Thursday, but no prizes either way. These things take their time.

Troy has a lecture tonight, so I am waiting until he gets home then going to sleep once I've said goodnight. Hopefully I will have more energy tomorrow.

Yesterday was a fairly good day, if uneventful. Hannah invited a few friends over, who were here again tonight (hence pizza) which has been fun but tiring. I woke up late today and then Mel came and cleaned, and that was nice. Other than that, nothing much has been happening.

And Im starting to get too tired to type. So I'll stop now.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Breaking point

I should be asleep, it's mid-morning o'clock, but I've got to vent.

I'm just so sick of being sick. It sounds silly but its the only thing I can say, honestly. I wake up mid-afternoon, stay bleary eyed and flopped for a couple hours while I catch up on email, blogs and forums, play a little KoL (kingdom of loathing - I have just discovered it and it is the wonderful anti-drug for a bedridden sick kyrie), turn on KoL radio and maybe decide on what I'll stitch for the day. about five-ish i usually start stitching on whatever it is, and hang around on the net talking to people occasionally, with breaks in between to nap or just rest my eyes, take panamax every so often and eat dinner whenever its served, often in bed. Dishes put on the floor to be carried out by someone else or me next time I go out there (extra trips arent worth the fatigue) I go back to my stitching or crash on the net for a while longer, until late when I finally go to sleep because I've exhausted myself and the exhaustion wins over my anxiety about what the hell I have because noone knows and then repeat process again.

I should read more psalms, the angry ones where the psalmist bitches to God about how his life sucks, but still acknowledges the good in the universe and life. Im just so frustrated.

The girls are good though - I put Jez or Fia on my bed and they run around exploring or snuggling, and sometimes I get Champers out if I have a bit more energy - shes nuts and takes lots of keeping an eye on! Fun though. Rats are good bed-pets, they're small and dont take up much space but have big personalities and are very snuggly. Its fun being able to watch them from my bed too because theyre most active at dawn and dusk and while I don't get to see them at dawn (unless my insomnia is REALLY bad) I get to see them being adorable at dusk. Troy and I gave them lots of tissue paper that was left over from a gift I got a while ago, and they've been happily rearranging it the last few days and moving their nest around.

I guess the hardest thing is having to accept my futility at this point in time - I am so weak that five minutes out of the house is long enough for me to be dizzy and disoriented or falling asleep (or all of the above!) and basically all activities are confined to my bed and I don't like it. Im so used to being a busybody that cant stand not to be doing anything and here I am so weak that theres only a few hours a day that I can do anything. Im having to accept my invalid status and some days i can do that, some days I can't. Today has been a 'can't' day, and I've stopped feeling guilty for that too. As long as I'm not wallowing, ups and downs are natural and I wouldnt be human if this never bothered me - Id be Cousin Helen out of the Katy books (what katy did, et al) though at least she had her human side too. I think I need to reread the Katy books too! I identify a lot more with Katy than with Helen, I have to admit. I'm not a patient invalid, I want to be up and doing things and achieving things and here I have to achieve things slowly, bit by little bit. I get things done on my stitching pieces, and feel the sense of achievement and that helps, but I wish there was more...oh well.

I also hate how hard this is on Troy. He wants to look after me but this is the busiest part of his semester and everything's due so he has to do his work and it kills him not to be able to be looking after me. I hate it too, I wish that he didnt feel this way, or more honestly, that the deadlines weren't all now so he could look after me the way he wants to. Hes done it before and he's an excellent carer, the perfect amount of sensitivity and drill camp sargeant when I need it. He just takes things in his stride, at least outwardly, and its wonderful the way he seems so nonplussed in the moment when everything seems to be falling apart for me. Later he can be human and it can be my turn to hug him, but he looks after me so well. If this ends up being a permanent thing, as is my paranoia...he is so getting a carer's recognition as soon as we find that out, because he deserves to be recognised for what he does.

On a completely different note, I've spent tonight with hundreds of skeins of floss over my bed sorting them so that I get a master set of DMC from all the smaller projects I've had kitted up - I've bought skeins of floss for every colour of a lot of charts, and I can't start them all now and I've never had issues with DMC dye lots. So Ive dumped them all in together, but its a case of sorting them and stitchbow-ing them and putting them in binders. Good fun though, and a good in-bed project because ive got plenty of blank space to use on my bedspread. All those pretty colours :) stash fondling is nice. I ran out of stitchbows and sheets, so Hannah is going to buy me some more tomorrow, but I still made a good amount of progress I think. I've been taking the colours out that I need for this 10 rows across both pages of A Restful Night though, because I'm going to stick to one HAED for the time being unless I get lots of energy to work on the big ones, and I'm going to use the method I used when I was sick last year on hope where I work across the 10 rows, parking, allowing myself to stitch any stitch that was below a completed stitch and also right of one. So sort of working down and across at the same time. Its a wonderful way to deal with confetti, and also very methodical which means it's not at all taxing on my brain which isnt working the greatest at the moment. I pull the colours for the current set of 10 rows at the beginning of each, so that I dont have too many colours to sort though, and it is kind of like weaving. I enjoy it, anyway. Will be nice to see the froggy come alive, I'm a much faster stitcher now than I was then! Especially as I'm stitching on 32ct jobelan which I love as opposed to 25ct linen which I I've knocked off my current WIP QSs and Red Witch, at least, I might give hope another go on the 32ct linen. We'll see. The blues in A Restful Night are also very calming - blue is my hope colour, and my calming colour, so I like working with it. And wearing it, and....*giggles* I actually don't have that much blue clothing though, I wear a lot of browns, reds, creams and pinks instead. Never green except for school (I look atrocious in most shades of it) and not yellow either unless its pale, but all of those colours lots and lots. Especially wine reds...yum.

And to finish off - a couple cats. Because everyone needs more kitty cuteness in their life.

this one is so completely me at the moment...

aaaand this is me now. Goodnight.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cuttting down what I'm working on

The collected household are went out for a few minutes to get Subway for dinner, since I had massive bread cravings and Hannah couldn't be bothered cooking since she did roast for lunch. I just got roast vegies because I couldn't cope with meat, and I ate mine in bed. It was nice, but I couldnt eat the last potato and Champers got it instead, then ran around the cage squeaking to defend it from Jez and Sof the scavengers. It was cute.

Its one of the nice things about having my bed down here, I get to watch the girls run around the cage from the comfort of my bed.

I've got a few stitches into Tranquility, mostly red but I worked some more on the purple that runs along the bottom of the last three pages of the row. I'm getting very close to getting this motif half done, and I cant wait! I think though, when I get this section done I'll go back up the top to make it go all the way across the motif widthwise, so I can start the motif on the last page and break up the monotony. Its got two colours in it, yay! Blue and MORE of this red.

I'm getting my threads sorted slowly so that I can set up my master set of DMC, and pinching the threads for my current section on A Restful Night while I'm at it. I've come to the conclusion that I need to limit my WIPs rather drastically, and work on cutting them down. So here we are: I am not allowed any new starts unless I run out of the things I have that fit a specific category as follows:

Magazine/freebie: TGOSM White Musings Sampler
HAED QS: A Restful Night
HAED: Froggy Frog World
BAP: Mystery X
Monochromatic/motif/sampler: Tranquility

other wips by category:
m/f: Bs present, Ms present, biscornu for Yr, cake for Nana
HAED QS: Periwinkle Fae
HAED: From the Ashes, Hope
BAP: not going to be an issue for the rest of the year, but I guess Noon Basking fits here, and I should combine the HAED/BAP category for all intents and purposes as soon as Im up to date with MX if it ever happens this year
SAL: no idea, will deal with this if it comes up
Monochromatic/motif/sampler: I don't actually have anything started for this, but keeping a sampler in my rotation sounds like a very good idea.

m/f: too many things
HAED QS: red witch, cat nap fae
HAED/BAP: Convents Herbal Garden, A Most Noble Pursuit, Truth, Temptation, Autumn, Wish
SAL: as above
Monochromatic/motif/sampler: not in stash but want - blackstone fantasy garden and cirque des cercles, A most noble pursuit fits here too I suppose.

So if I stitch on whatever I feel like on a non-SAL day, which is what Ive been doing, and celebrate my achievements while setting reasonable goals, I should get there. Eventually I want to get down to only m/f, HAED QS, HAED/BAP and monochromatic. Four projects at once sounds a lot more reasonable, and m/f isnt necessarily a guarenteed.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Invalid kyrie

My lowery stand is now under my bed. My 2ft from the floor bed, as compared to six, thankyou Troy's dad.

And I feel sick again. This is not abnormal though, so I'll just ignore it.

I'm starting to accept that I'm an invalid, and just stay in bed. I doze a lot - not actually asleep, but head on the pillow and eyes shut for ages. Mostly thinking. Its hard to sleep during the day, but my brain likes having the chance to think.

Goals at the moment arent anything so lofty as keeping up with my mysteries, or finishing a chart. Goals right now are things like getting out of bed more than once during the day, doing something that requires standing up or walking rather than lying or sitting in bed, having a shower, sitting in the bathtub in old clothes while Troy washes my hair with the shower head attachment. I cant wash my hair because it makes my arms ache to have them in that position, and my hair gets really gross. I am so glad that I got my hair cut, at least its easy to manage at the moment.

I started the White Musings sampler from TGOSM last night/yesterday (I get times of day mixed up) and that was fun. I now have three rows of specialty stitches done, and it looks good. Having my lowery stand here is really a blessing, I can lie here but do something productive too, and I can just swing it to the side and go to sleep if I need it. I think I need some cute magnets for my chart holder though, the black ones are hardly nice *winks*

My room looking nice matters to me a lot at the moment, since its mostly the scenery I see during the day. The chest of drawers that serves as a nightstand for me has been rearranged, and the end part that I can get to (its quite wide) has had picture frames and my lamp arranged to section it off. Ive put things that I see as pretty or necessary there in front of it, and its fairly simple. Clutter or too many things bothers me at the moment, so I'm going to have to cut my WIP list down too I think soon. OAAT or two at most (gives me a choice) is probably the way I'm going to go, though still keeping up with SALs. All my stitching things are in a basket or my trusty carpetbag under my bed, except for my current stitching (at the moment, white musings) which is in a drawer at easy reach. My couch is currently not in my room because we had to move it to bring my bed down, but I might slowly but surely de-clutter the side of my room that has been taken over by the results of our moving things to put in bed (ten minutes a day maybe?) until I can move my desk out of my room (I can't use it at the moment anyway) and put my couch back there. I have huge floor to ceiling windows there, and either I'll move everything out so I can see straight out the window, or I'll put my couch there so I can sit in the sun and read or stitch. We have a lovely view over the valley here, so it might yet be the first option.

The photo in the frame is of me and Troy at my formal a couple years ago, the half body shot of me (waist up) and the photo of the two of us together from about the hips up. Both professional shots, and its a two photo frame and looks good.

Troy is being an angel in human form at the moment, looking after me beautifully. He has an assignment due Monday, but I think I will write a letter explaining my situation and he can get an extension for it. Even if he wasnt looking after me the way he is, hes still so stressed about it all that its getting in the way of his work. It will all be done, and he is continuing to work, but he cant do what he wants to, and needs to.

I watched scrubs this morning on Troy's laptop, he brought up the episode where its a musical. It was fun, I hadnt seen that one. I like scrubs.

Its funny what is important at the moment, and what my goals are. I dont plan for the future anymore, finally I am learning to take life day by day. Accepting what God gives me and letting life happen. I cant change my sickness, no matter what i do, so I accept it and do what I can.

I overdid it a bit yesterday I think, but it was fun. Troy and his dad took down my bed after relocating me to Troy's bed, and then Troy put me back into my new (old) bed after we remade it with my favourite green sheets. It had had icky whites on it, and things like colours mean a lot to me for some reason. We went up to Ed Harry's and bought Troy winter clothes given that he had no casual ones (all his old ones were bought by his mother on sale and for the most part XL or L at the smallest - troy is S to M, usually and Ed Harry's is great. Cheap, and they have everything. He got a couple striped long sleeved tshirts that look great on him, kind of a navy colour in wide stripes with really narrow pale blue and pale green stripes, a teal windcheater in polarfleece that feels yum, a pair of pale grey/brown - taupe? pants that look fantastic on him and I could never wear in a million years, a corduroy jacket with polarfleece lining that he loves and lots of socks. Somehow he manages to loose socks constantly... They had a sale on socks where they were 3 pairs for $10 so we bought six. Hopefully that will last him for a while!

Then we went up to school to put in my doctor's certificates given that I've been off school almost a month, and I got blood tests taken due to the fact that they have no idea what is wrong with me. Fun fun. Blood tests don't bother me though, I've had so many of them in my life that I just talk to the nurse through them all. Then we came home and I crashed out, and later picked up my stitching. Troy fell asleep on my bed next to me and I stitched, ate tea, stitched and went to sleep. He brought me a pancake for breakfast in bed, and I've just been taking it easy today. I cant believe its 4pm though, seems so strange.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I got out of the house today


(from xkcd)

Also, I met up with Anna and Rach at Riminis, and got pasta and cheesecake and coffee and it was good. Thankyou girls for a very nice night out! Much conversation with people who actually know what I'm talking about when I complain about sparklie thread or compare needle brands. Or complain about 25ct. Or...*giggle*

Anna reccomended Glissen Gloss, and is going to give me some to play with - I'll test stitch a patch, and if I like it it will get used on Froggy Frog World (and I can make some rapid progress on it!) She also recommended that I do what I've been thinking about doing - taking down my bed for the time being and putting my old bed in its place so I dont have to climb up into bed, which takes more energy than you realise until you dont have any. It also means I can put my lowery stand under my bed...and stitch in bed, when I wake up, going back to sleep when I feel like it unlike out here where I stay up regardless. Silly me. She might also have converted me over to scroll rods, if I like the ones she uses...uhoh *grins* I like drum tight tension, and I can't get that on Q-snaps. Scroll rods would mean that I dont get to swap around projects as often, or that I need to keep my smaller ones on multiple frames/do them on qsnaps but if they had the tension, then they would be good. Ugh, Birch ones are horrible! Apparently these are really good, but also expensive...we'll see. They might be worth spending money on, if I really like them. Would also mean getting the scroll frame holder for my Lowery but I don't mind. The only thing I couldnt use them on would be MX, because its already bead and crystalled, but thats ok. Would be especially nice for my big HAEDs, would make stitching much faster. We will see. I would really like to get some of the big projects back out again, and depending on what gets done tomorrow stitchywise (I also need to do some cleaning in my room or Troys dad (who is helping take apart my bed) will have a heart attack - he's a neat freak) I would like to get Noon Basking back to see the light of day. As soon as I get caught up with MX, it will be the first to come out and get stitched on! I miss it. I need to work on A Restful Night though, I will be stitching as a TOW girl because I spent today sorting threads into a master set of DMC instead. Should make life much easier for small designs, or large patches of detail, and means that I dont have to 'kit' every single project for DMC. Especially quickstitches! All those colours, and only a few stitches in each.

A Restful Night should be easier due to me having done this, too. I'd like to get some wing done tomorrow if I can, not just more background. Maybe even start some hair.

Im also seeing Terry tomorrow, so we should be able to figure out something about what's wrong with me. That would be good.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Another zombie day

Not much to write, except that I got some more done on Tranquility today and finished the third corner of Part 4. I've also got most of the cross stitching done for the fourth corner, which is nice. Then onto the deathmarch of stupid filagree! I love it, it looks fantastic, but its a pain to stitch. The beading doesn't bother me anymore, I've got quick at it, but fiddly blackwork type backstitching slows me down considerably.

Here's yesterday's goals - I got the 'if i'm sick' ones given I woke up at about 2:30.
  • Alternate MX and Tranquility, as I can stitch on MX. If I can stitch on it, aim to finish corner 3 and maybe start corner 4. If I cant, aim to get half of red motif of doom done. If I can stitch on MX, no Tranquility goal - just stitch something! I finished the third corner and got most of the cross stitching done for part 4. I also finished crystalling the centre.
  • Eat something within an hour of waking up tomorrow, whether Im hungry or not. There is leftover risotto, and leftover stirfry. Didnt happen. I felt sick for most of today, and took advantage of the one time I didnt feel sick to eat a huge bowl of risotto. Then went back to feeling sick.
  • Have a shower or bath and wash my hair Again didnt happen, despite best intentions. Try again tomorrow. Showers take energy, washing my hair takes even more.
  • Get dressed, not stay in pjs all day like I have the last few Not today, too much effort
  • Read something offline Again didnt happen
  • Print out TGOS Tomorrow?
  • Buy star stickers for Troy Tomorrow again, hopefully

I'll set tomorrow's goals tomorrow, too tired tonight.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Monday recap

I know its late, but I cant sleep. Too much coke, gak. We at dinner at about 9:30pm, go us! Hannah and I are determined to eat earlier tomorrow night... It was spicy pumpkin risotto though, and very very nice. Worth the wait!

Ive decided that the cake (Buttercream Sampler I think?) from TGOS would do nicely for my Nana who loves to bake, and the adorable biscornu might go to one of Troy's lecturers who is originally from Iceland if she'd like it. I want to stitch it (its so cute!) but I dont think I'd want to keep it. Its just not my thing to keep around. And the White Musings sampler I am keeping!

Here's what I'd aimed for for today...
  • JOB SAL - Start stitching day with JOB, work on it and MX on the hour rotation (I use a timer) until its finished. Aim to finish corner 3, start corner 4. I stitched an hour rotation, and I did stitch on JOB, but I alternated it with Tranquility instead. I didn't finish JOB but I have *almost* finished the ornament border cross stitching, about half of the rhodes stitches, and half the ornament.
  • Tranquility - stitch on this when JOB part is done, or when I get sick of JOB if I decide I want to continue on to part 2. Stitched for a couple hours, finished the green motif and added some more of the purple. None of the red though, was more interested in JOB
  • Maths - work for an hour, at least. Eh...heh...heh...
  • English - if Hannah gets the chance, go into school and pick up closed reading and Going Home. Start Going Home. Talk to Ms Lambourne if at all possible. Hannah fell asleep at Uni, so this didn't happen.
  • Spend a half hour in my room just neatening, if at all possible. Rope Hannah in if she's looking aimless. Get rid of all the pots/glasses/gross stuff. Mel said she would clean my room, so I didnt bother.
  • If Troy comes up, strip and remake bed. Add blankets to it so I don't need a sleeping bag on it. Troy didnt come up, so this didnt happen either.
I think I'll set two sets of goals for tomorrow!

If I'm well:
  • Call Peta and find out colours
  • Alternate MX and Tranquility on the hour rotation. Aim to finish corner 3 of MX, and start corner 4. Aim to get the red motif of doom at least half done.
  • If I get thoroughly sick of Tranquility (possible!), clean/do homework or stitch on JOB instead of Tranquility when the hour switches over.
  • Craft - research for essay.
  • Decide on silks, order them
  • Print out TGOS
  • Buy star stickers for Troy
If I'm not well:
  • Alternate MX and Tranquility, as I can stitch on MX. If I can stitch on it, aim to finish corner 3 and maybe start corner 4. If I cant, aim to get half of red motif of doom done. If I can stitch on MX, no Tranquility goal - just stitch something!
  • Eat something within an hour of waking up tomorrow, whether Im hungry or not. There is leftover risotto, and leftover stirfry.
  • Have a shower or bath and wash my hair
  • Get dressed, not stay in pjs all day like I have the last few
  • Read something offline
  • Print out TGOS
  • Buy star stickers for Troy

Monday, May 21, 2007

Eh. Heh. Heh.

I forgot that when I overdo things, usually I don't get payback the day after, but the day after that.

It took me half an hour to get down off my bed this afternoon when I woke up, grabbed my power cable for my laptop, plugged it in and settled back into bed and haven't moved since.
My arms ache, as do my fingers, so I might try stitching later but I'm not sure about that.

Anna and Rach were wonderful and bought me a subscription to The Gift of Stitching for my birthday (as a belated present) which was lovely of them. I've read May's once now, and will print it off later so I can read it again :) I'm like that with magazines, I read them over and over.

I fell in love with the White Musings stitch sampler in this issue which is a mystery band sampler done in specialty stitches, in white threads (one of which is sparkly, yay) on a blue and white hand-dyed jobelan. Its 28ct, but I'm sure I'll survive *grin* Its beautiful, and Troy said I could get it since I'm feeling so miserable. So order is in, and I'll start it when I get the energy and kit. I also like the Quaker Seasonals, but I cant justify the $70 for another kit that I cant start/WIP that I really dont need to add to the pile. It will happily go on the wishlist, and when I finish something then maybe I can buy the kit and stitch it. Silks on hand-dyeds are just so pretty...and of course, I love the autumn one.

Jury's out as to whether I buy the back issues - its tempting, I'll wait until I've got a few more issues and then if I think it worth it to buy the old ones I will. Its pretty inexpensive, and it's only been around for a little while so its not too drastic to buy up all the old ones! Theres only one project that I've seen that kit is available for that I really like, and thats the dutch scissor keeper from December last year. We'll see.

The novelty is that the kits are all available from an Australian ONS, so its cheap for me to get everything (unlike normal) and it doesnt take forever in the post either. I should get the kit in the next few days, which will be awesome!

The other thing with this project is that its ideal for my Methods and Materials for Craft Practical - for CP as a yr 12 subject, you have to do a certain amount of practice/learning in your craft field that is able to be documented. Ive got some, but not as much as I'd like, and a specialty stitch band sampler is absolutely ideal, especially as I've never done any of the stitches that are in the part of it that I've got. Mr Healey will love me.

As to my plan for today...

I will try to stitch on JOB later, but I don't know how long my wrists will cope with it. I can stitch it in hand though, so I could snuggle up in bed and stitch it. At least it's over 2, and in silks, without many colour changes so it would be nice and comforting.

Mel has offered to come clean my room for $5 sometime this week, which takes that task away. Whenever I get really sick, I start needing my room to be clean because I spend so much time up here that a cluttered room is horrible. My room is really pretty, when it's neat - a striking bold colour combination that I still cant believe I came up with when I was 10, and still love nine years later. the walls are deep fuschia with an antique gold sponging over the top, and dark green brocade curtains with dark green sheets. The furniture is all dark stained pine, in a colonial style - desk (made to my specifications, I love knowing people that make furniture), tall bookshelves, chest of drawers and my bed, which is a high loft bed 6ft from the ground over my green, pink and cream couch - the only thing in my room that doesn't quite 'go' but I havent got the money to get it reupholstered. It fudges okay though, so I put up with it. It's basically paler versions of all the colours in my room. The valence over the curtains matches my bedspread, swirls of bright colours (red, rust, browns, greens, blues and pink) with gold that make up abstract butterflies amid swirls. I love my room, its just a mess at the moment with stuff on every surface that you can think of.

When Mel comes, I'll see if I can find/ask her to keep an eye out for the chart for Santa Paws by Margaret Sherry, which is small and cute and seems like the perfect project to throw in a hoop and keep by my bed for when I cant get up to stitch properly. Stitched over two on pretty green linen in DMC - easy. And adorable! I'd like it stitched for Christmas this year, and now seems as good a time as any to do it.

So now I'm going to go back to drooling over charts and things, and waiting for the kit to come. And getting up the strength/energy to get up and stitch!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

This week

The last few days have been rather a write off - I've been so fatigued that its been hard to do much of anything.

My parents are in Florence now, they left Thursday, so Hannah is house sitting with us for the time being, until they get back in a few weeks time. Troy has been up this weekend, he came up Thursday night, and he might be up again tomorrow night. We'll see. He's chosen his subjects for next semester and has his timetable, and it looks good. I am very glad.

We had some of Hannah's uni friends over last night for a BBQ, and that was fun - we watched Robin Hood Men in Tights and The Incredibles, and a few people got drunk but most didn't. Troy and I stayed up far too late talking to Jay and Terri, and then crashed for the night. The upside was, the adrenaline of all the people being around made me be able to stitch, which is something I hadn't been able to do for three days. That was good! I got most of page 3 of the Tranquility Mystery done, finishing it off tonight, and it looks fantastic. Now I've started in on the green motif continuation on part 4. Bindi's lost the battery for the camera, so Hannah will bring hers from home tomorrow and I'll take photos of everything or get her to.

Troy's advice for me with how I'm feeling is that I should sleep when I'm tired and eat when I'm hungry, no matter how nonsensical the times feel. My body is telling me what it needs, and I need to give it to it - so if I go to sleep at 3pm and wake up at 4am (heh) so be it. I'm going to try sticking to this, and see how it goes. I also need to see Terry again, so I will make an appointment tomorrow.

I've been thinking about a plan for the week, and it goes something like this:

goals for this week:
  • get part 4 of MX done, and start part 5
  • stitch on JOB for the SAL, and get most of part 1 done if not all
  • catch up at least two pages of Tranquility (finish page 5 - top row of pages)
  • stitch on A Restful Night for the SAL, and get three 10x10 blocks filled in.
  • sort out my DMC, and put all that aren't spares for a particular project in binders to create a master set of DMC so that I can stitch easier.
  • get two exercises of my Maths done - I'm guessing to finish 5C but there might be a 5B.2 or something in there so I will check
  • get something done for each of my subjects, at least an hour a day of schoolwork
  • Call f-MIL and find out B and M's favourite colours, then decide on silks, order.
So, a plan for this?
  • JOB SAL - Start stitching day with JOB, work on it and MX on the hour rotation (I use a timer) until its finished. Aim to finish corner 3, start corner 4.
  • Tranquility - stitch on this when JOB part is done, or when I get sick of JOB if I decide I want to continue on to part 2.
  • Maths - work for an hour, at least.
  • English - if Hannah gets the chance, go into school and pick up closed reading and Going Home. Start Going Home. Talk to Ms Lambourne if at all possible.
  • Spend a half hour in my room just neatening, if at all possible. Rope Hannah in if she's looking aimless. Get rid of all the pots/glasses/gross stuff.
  • If Troy comes up, strip and remake bed. Add blankets to it so I don't need a sleeping bag on it.
  • Call Peta and find out colours
  • Alternate MX and Tranquility on the hour rotation. Aim to finish corner 4 on MX, start part 5.
  • If I get thoroughly sick of Tranquility (possible!), clean/do homework
  • Craft - research for essay.
  • Another half hour in room - try to get clothes sorted at least into clean/dirty. Get rid of dirty ones.
  • Decide on silks, order them
  • Alternate A Restful Night and MX on a 2hrs then 1 hr rotation (2 on ARN, one on MX) so I get a bit of a break from MX in between
  • Half hour in room - try to clear off couch, start dresser
  • History - read stuff from Mr Zadey, note, start essay if possible
  • Print out B and M's charts, see if I have fabric for them - if I dont, order some.
  • MX and Tranquility, hour rotation. If tranquility goal is finished by now and I'm sick of it, A Restful Night can continue today on the hour rotation. Aim to finish one side of part 5.
  • English - continue reading Going Home, note
  • An hour of Maths, if possible.
  • Half hour in room - continue dresser, put stuff in drawers
  • MX and Tranquility, hour rotation. Aim to get at least halfway done on side two of Part 5.
  • Half hour in room - put stuff in drawers, start desk
  • finish Maths to end of 5C
  • Look for a recipe that looks like fun to cook in a magazine

this is only if I don't get better sometime this week, but the way I'm feeling right now I doubt that's going to happen. I'm still dizzy, and very fatigued - my head doesn't work properly and neither does my body. Everything aches and I'm sleepy, even though I woke up at 3pm and its only 8:30.

I guess we'll see how I go?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My life at home

Part of me is really seriously wondering if I could do my schoolwork semi-by correspondence.

At the moment my teachers are emailing me information to do with my course and the work I've missed, and apart from history...

Maths I definately could, and Im going to do something about it too since there's no point in me going to class when I could do what we do in class (work from textbook) from home quite happily, and show the teacher every now and then. I'm going to get my maths out tomorrow and try to get at least one exercise done, and show the teacher when I get back to school.

As to what I actually did today - quite a bit actually.

Mum called me at some horrible hour - 9.15am I think, which had me tumbling down off my bed (I sleep on a loft, 6' from the floor) to grab the phone and then crashing back onto my bed again for the next fifteen minutes or so. I had a doc's appt this morning, and saw Terry, who is my fantastic GP and even though Im a zombie he wanted to after a mostly braindead conversation on philosophy and sociology (yes, all in a normal docs appt for Kyrie and Terry) for an hour I got out with a doc's cert for today and tomorrow. I'd taken Champagne to see him, because he likes my girls and gets put out if one of the doesnt come with me - which was fine, except then mum wanted to go shopping....

I got dragged around the mall after a cup of white hot chocolate from Hudsons for three hours, almost falling asleep on couches in varying department stores while mum looked for a new suitcase (they're going to florence on thursday) and finally got to Supré where I got three 3/4 length tshirts (brown, black and cream) and a black cardigan because all my winter basics seem to have died or shrunk. And came home.

I crashed on the couch not asleep but pretty much braindead for an hour or so, then picked up the tranquility mystery and got a fair chunk of the blue motif on pg 3 done - a couple hours' work, and part of the green motif too once I got far enough over the blue to connect with it. I love the blue one, but its nice to be able to swap colours and change things up a bit. The blue and the green are both subtly variegated, and its nice.

I've also decided on B & M (future bro&sis in law)'s birthday presents - their bday is on the same day, but two years apart. I've been thinking along these lines for a while but havent seen anything I liked/could afford - but i discovered Passione Ricamo's Arabesque alphabet and its perfect. I'll find out their favourite colours from my f-MIL and then order some silks from HDF so I can start them. I think they'd be fun to stitch, and will look gorgeous.

At about 5:30 I got sick of the plain colours, and swapped my small frame for the massive one that has my chatelaine on it, and slogged away on the corners through the news, current affairs, news again, it takes two (which tries to be dancing with the stars but fails, but is reasonable enough to watch) and all saints (which I thoroughly enjoyed). By the end of it, I'd finished the second corner and got 3/4 of the way through the third. I am very proud.

So tomorrow will be maths, I think, but I might try to get some Chatelaine done too - even if I just finish a corner, though finishing the part altogether would be awesomeness. It's also Wednesday, so Periwinkle gets to come out and play. Sounds like fun!

Monday, May 14, 2007

I'm alive, just

Whether I'll get to school tomorrow or not remains to be seen. If I still feel like I do now tomorrow morning, there is no chance.

I've been working on the mockup for my dress, and I'm definately glad I made a mockup! I'm not even sure that I'll actually wear this one, but it's been an eye-opener to sew anyway. If I still want a dress like this hand dyed when I'm done with my two winter-weight ones, I'll make it then. This one has a couple funky things...and it has holes along one sleeve where I accidetally overlocked a tuck into a sleeve. Yes, Kyrie does very silly things sometimes. setting a sleeve in perfectly, overlocking and pressing it - and then finding out that she sewed it in upside down. ARGH! Thank goodness for my Hannah-friend who actually likes unpicking, for whatever crazy reason. She did that and I plonked myself down onto the floor to cut the last few pieces.

I've got quite a bit of the white cotton left over, and it's too thin to really use for much but it will make a lovely petticoat if I have enough - I think I do. So I'll cut that out and sew it up when I'm done with the dress mockup, and then I can wear it under my (good) dress when it's done.

I've never really worked from a pattern like this before - my grandmother taught me dressmaking and we make our patterns from scratch! Or basic shapes etc ie my semicircle skirts. It's been an eye-opener, but it's been fun. The second sleeve was when I realised just how much I'd learned - the cuffs are gathered and then sewn onto the sleeves, then overlocked and pressed, the bottom 1/4" pressed in, then the whole thing folded in half, pressed, and then a seam sewn across the 1/4" pressed in and the seam from before. The first one follows the instructions, but took me ages and looks a little odd, but passable - the second took me no time at all and looks really professional and neat! I cant wait to see it in the purple and caramel rather than just boring white. The proper fabric should be easier to use, too, since this fabric is so thin and flimsy its hard to use.

I've got a few stitches into From The Ashes this weekend, but nowhere near what I would like to have done. I guess that's what happens when you get sick though.

I've been toying with the idea of an hour based rotation, but for now I just want to concentrate on getting caught up with my mysteries and following my SALs. HAEDs are nice, but I really want Mystery X caught up, and Tranq sampler being caught up would be nice too.

Ive decided that when I find the last connector for my Q-snaps - it disappeared when someone cleaned up *smacks head* and have two small frames that are 8"x10" I'll use one to keep my Tranq sampler on permanently until the end of the year, and I'll use the other for whatever BAP I'm working on or the SAL pieces, if they need it. At the moment I swap my Tranq sampler for my SAL pieces and any other BAP I have the whim to work on, though I should really stop doing that. I want to get caught up, and stitching on other things is really not useful!

I slept until 4:30pm on Wednesday, so I didnt get to stitch on A Restful Night until Thursday. At which point I stitched lots on her, though it doesnt seem it to look at it. Mostly background, though I have bits of shoes now too which is quite fun. I havent actually got it kitted up, but I have a lot of other pieces kitted up that have the same colours so I'm pulling colours from them. I'm thinking very seriously about creating a master DMC folder with all the colours on stitchbows, in order, with gaps left for the ones I dont yet have, and all the spares in their respective bags for the specific projects. Then when I've got something small like a QS I dont have to 'kit' the thing I can just pull the colours I need, as I need them. It would definitely make life easier with A Restful Night!

Even if I just pulled the colours from a master set that I was working with at that point in time (I tend to stitch within a row of 10x10 blocks, or a page) and put them in a stitchbow sleeve to carry around for my QSs on Wednesday and From the Ashes on that SAL weekend - that would make sense wouldnt it?

Hmm. I'll keep musing on that one. It's very tempting.

So, tomorrow is Monday. I would very much like to do the following:
  • cut out belt pieces for dress
  • make belts
  • sew up bodice (and belts in) for dress
  • maybe sew pocket pieces onto each skirt piece
  • stitch at least 4 hours on From The Ashes
  • stitch at least 3 hours on Japanese Octagon Box
  • get better!
  • have a bath to try and soak out the aches

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Still a zombie

So I'm still a zombie, but I'm not dead yet!

I finally got around to printing the chart for A Restful Night, and I'll start it tomorrow for the QS SAL. Hopefully I'll get a couple stitches into Periwinkle as well, but I'm not holding my breath. I think I'll work on Periwinkle for odd weeks of the month, ARN for the even - does that sound fair? I want Periwinkle finished first, as I have looots of Nadia's Faes to stitch, but I want this froggy to be enjoyable, a nice, steady stitch. I'm *very* tempted to stitch this one in 10 row blocks across the top, to see the picture slowly come out, like a typewriter - like I did with Hope. With pieces that take up the full fabric with no gaps, and no glitter, it's possible and it's fun! So it will mean uncovering wings and feet, then hair, and a face, and mushrooms and a body, and eyes, and a mouth, and legs, and a branch! I'm not normally a fan of CC Kuik's stuff - it's nice, just not my thing, but this froggy and fairy call to me and I'm so grateful for Jeannie-Marie (aka fudgey) for sending it to me.

Anna gave me the fabric today at the bank, and some of hers to overlock while I do mine (repayment in trade for the fabric) so I'll overlock the lot tomorrow, along with the fabric for my tranquility mystery which I have *still* not overlocked - bad kyrie!

Troy's happy, unsuprisingly, its another frog, and I'm happy because its so completely adorable.

I went into the uni with dad today because I needed a change of scenery from the house. I met angela, who promptly gave me home-made chocolates (which were great!) and complimented my stitching, and exhausted myself thoroughly. It was worth it though. At home I plonked myself in front of the tv and stitched to It Takes Two (which was as abysmal and hard on my ears as last year, except for the last pair that I cant remember the name of - she did Gwen Stefani really well) and All Saints, and bits of the budget wrapup and a documentary on eco building in China. I didnt achieve all of the goals I set myself for today, but I did achieve a few things stitchywise:
  • I finished the red and the yellow motifs that were carry-overs from the last page, and began the blue one - got the first swirly column done, its so pretty! Ive been admiring this motif ever since week 3 was released.
  • I printed off A Restful Night, and got the fabric
  • I got a crazy amount stitched on Froggy Frog World while at the uni.
  • I beaded 3/4 of the centre of Mystery X - well, crystalled. All the beads were in, but now Ive got it on the massive Q-snaps I figured that I could add the crystals since I dont move the frame very far these days!
  • I also moreorless finished the second corner of part 4, all except the second leg of the blue&purple border corner. It's partly done, but my eyes gave out on me. Oh, and it needs the crystals too. I added the crystals to the first corner and they look GORGEOUS!
Anyway, enough ramblings - I'm zombie-ish now, so off to do mindless things like stare at chart and sleep (and dream of stitching!)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Page 2!

Well, being sick is good for one thing - getting stitching time. It is NOT good for motor control as far as not shaking is concerned, so here is a thumbnail photo of pg 2 - troy will take a better photo when he's up next, cropping out later pages, for my records but just admire the thumbnail ok? the bigger one is really really blurry...and this was the best of all the ones i took...using all the different settings to try and minimise the shaking...



on the upside, that big red motif is mostly done (there's only a small part of it in the next page) YAY!!! It's quite a nice motif, I just detest stitching it. onward to page 3...

Commitment to Loveliness

Ive been meaning to jump in on this for a while, so finally I have! You pick five things to aim for in a week that will add to your and the people around you's lives, and try to work on them.

Here is my list for this week:

1. Meet my weekly goals for my stitching
2. Wash my hair really well, and use the treatment on it each time
3. Spend an hour working on my room
4. Spend an hour cleaning up my stitching chaos
5. Overlock my and Anna's fabric for stitching

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Photo post

Okay, finally got my paws on the camera to take stitchy photos.

First, here's periwinkle after Wednesday:
2nd May

with more wing, including quite a bit of glitter

and here's the tranquility sampler, page 1:
Page 1

I finally managed to get a vaguely good photo - the camera is being spaz today and refuses to focus.
it looks so much better since the restart. Looking at the two next to each other, its just amazing.

Friday, May 04, 2007


Some naughty little fairy decided to RAK me, and sent me this:


I love it, and so does Troy.'s the current status of my QS spot in my rotation:
current: periwinkle
cat nap fae - tate
red witch - dillman
restful night - kuik

hmm....I might be able to rejig that somewhere...but I want to stitch them ALL!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

This is where I stitch

I was bored so I took photos of the place where I stitch, and all the things around it.

This is the view from behind my chair:
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the little maroon bag (it's batik and gorgeous, given to me by an indonesian exchange student) holds all my spare silks for the tranquility mystery, and my marking highlighters and (some) of my spare needles. The red ribbon hanging down off the arm is attached to my scissors.

and this holds all my spare charts, threads, beads, frames, projects......and my uber-awesome lamp, not. It does the job though, not great but better than nothing.
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I have never been accused of being neat or organised, but I can find everything on there when I need to.

this is a closeup of whats on the frame on my lowery stand:
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it's my WIP of Mystery X part 4

and this is to the right of me:
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it also sometimes ends up on the footrest at my feet (I usually sit crossed legged, tailor's seat - its just comfortable for me) wherever is most useful. This way I can use my timer (its a beautiful bell note to let me know when an hour is up) and check the net throughout the day

I love my stitching spot - it's nice having everything to hand. Finally (with the exception of an OTT lamp) I have everything the way I want it.

The places that ache on my body are...

my neck
my throat
my legs
my fingers
my hands
my shoulders
my head
my eyes
my jaw when i eat
my back
pretty much everywhere else?

Im not sure what's wrong with me, but it's really knocked me for six. I just feel horrible and lethargic, and using any muscle hurts. I've been ignoring the ones that allow me to stitch though, because it's better than being bored and able to concentrate on the pain. Distraction is useful. I've got two hours each on Mystery X and my Tranquility Mystery restart today, which has been good, and i'm almost the top way along the first purple motif (ie almost half finished it) which is fun. It looks so delicate and lacy stitched over 1, I'm very glad I restarted. The other just didn't look right, and I hated stitching on it because of the fabric, hence the restart. This time its on 32ct cream linen and it looks lovely. It will be much more reasonable sized to hang on the wall this way too! The other one was going to be enormous. Im hoping to catch up on this soonish, stitching two pages a week at least instead of one so I can stitch the new pages as they come. Im only four pages and a bit make that five and a bit tomorrow as there's no way that I will finish this page in the next 24 hours.

I've got 57 of those 10x10 squares on periwinkle done now, which Im rather proud of, another three from when I posted about her last night. She's tucked away until next wednesday though, unless she screams really really loudly before then. Fortunately enough, tranquility, the frogs and mystery X are all screaming louder at the moment, especially Mystery X - part 5 is GORGEOUS so I want to get this done quick! I've part 4 almost halfway done though, so it shouldnt be too long until I get to work on the walls of part 5.

I'll post a picture of periwinkle soonish, when I get my hands on the camera and more importantly drag myself out of this chair!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Periwinkle Fae

I was taking a break from stitching, and counted up all the 10x10 square on periwinkle that were completely stitched - either blank ones, or complete stitching, or a mixture of both, and then cut all the ones I could get to from the edges out. I got 54!

So, I've got at least 5400 stitches done on her. Thats quite a cool thing to think about, and it's 17% of the whole thing DONE! Very cool, especially since a lot of the remaining 10x10 squares have only a few stitches in them left to do.

I haven't finished stitching on her for the night yet, but I'll post a picture when I am done. It's pretty much been wing today, though I have done a little more of the defining outline between her hair and the wing as well. Lots of blues, almost whites and purples. And glitter!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

yayness for mail

I got mail yesterday!

Troy's birthday present (devil sticks (juggling toy) from threeworlds) arrived, as did the patterns I ordered from commonsense - the dress I bought fabric for a few months ago, and also a set of patterns for three different petticoats - I love ruffly ones, and full skirts don't look right in winter without them. The patterns are on huge sheets of paper though, so I need to cut them out so I can actually use them! The unfolded patterns take up half our living room floor.

So I've got the fabric for the dress mock-up, and I'll have a crack at it either this weekend or when my grandmother is here to give me a hand. Should be fun!

And I also got the fabric for my tranquility mystery restart. So I'm off to measure it up and get a few stitches in!

Goals for May's that time of the month again.... (no not THAT ONE!)

Last Month:


  • catch up part 3 (almost done) and part 4 (small) of mystery X caught up part 3, 1/4 done on part 4
  • get stuck into hope and try to get at least something done! no, but did stitch on FFW instead
  • stitch on from the ashes during the SAL yes, was good fun!
  • participate in at least 2 QS SALs yes, three!
  • keep up to date with the tranquility mystery nope, i've decided that i hate the fabric so i'll restart it when I receive it (should be monday/tuesday)
  • get everything set up for taking my dragon to school and working on him there yes, so I'll be taking him to school soon


  • clean and archive my room well, the cleaning is a WIP...not a
  • get blankets and sheets for my birthday present - yay for practical presents, and yay for my parents! no, actually - decided I needed an overlocker, which I got! yay parents
  • enjoy my and Troy's birthdays yup
  • get everything together for Troy's present by his birthday! yes, all done
  • try and stitch every day not every day, some were slump type days
  • enjoy the holidays very yes

This Month:

  • stitch a page on one of my challenge pieces (ffw, from the ashes, hope)
  • catch up parts 4&5 of mystery X
  • get at least some of the tranquility mystery done - catch up to the beginning of the month, if possible
  • stitch something on Noon Basking
  • finish part 1 of JOB
  • stitch in at least 2 of the QS SALs

  • stay up to date with schoolwork
  • not go mad
  • clean up my room
  • do something about the whiteboard for my room idea
  • get to church at least twice