Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This afternoon

Well, I had a CAT scan of my sinuses. When I see my doc he'll explain, I'm sure. I hadn't been able to eat for 2 hours before, and I'd woken up within those two hours so I hadn't eaten all day, and was starting to get lightheaded. So mum bought me McDonalds - a NameIt burger, bottle of water and a cookie sundae. Both the foodstuffs were REALLY GOOD, and I wasn't expecting them to be anywhere near as good. I definitely hope they keep the NameIt, it tastes better than anything else they're currently offering. Yum. It actually tastes like a real hamburger. The sundae...well, sundaes are sundaes.

After that we trekked off to the mall, to do a mad dash to try and get everything done. I dropped my jeans that I bought in Melbourne off at Just Jeans to get them to alter them (too long, pants always are) and then mad dashed to Big W to try and get some pyjamas. Ha. It's too late in the season to get pyjamas in a size smaller than 12, and mostly they just had size 24. Not exactly my size, but they had some very cute pyjamas. So we set off again to Kmart, who thankfully had a few things I'd actually wear left. So I now have two sets of pink and black pyjamas, and one set of old blue ones that hasn't fallen apart. One is really a nightie, and bright lolly pink, with minnie mouse on it, but it only comes to mid thigh despite having long sleeves so I grabbed some stretchy black pants from a clearance rack ($10 yay!) to go with it, which matches the black stitching on the cuffs and neck. The others are snoopy, pale pink but the shirt is one of those that looks like it's a layered one. The pink overshirt is short sleeved, and the undershirt is black and long sleeved, and the pants are pink with black snoopys. So I now have pyjamas that will (hopefully) keep me warm.

I got home and started Ariel's present, who is here:
at this point in time. Pretty, hey. Going to look great with a bit of backstitching.

The obligatory goals recap

I've got another 200 or so stitches done on ARN last night, and might get some more done tonight, but there is no way I'm finishing this row this month! Oh well.

Here are my goals from last month:

  • participate in the challenge SAL with my restarted From The Ashes :) I did, but ended up scrapping it. Oh well.
  • reach the 60 row mark on A Restful Night Nope, but got to 50!
  • finish the top row of pages on tranquility, and at least one page of the second row I started the next page, but didn't finish it. Other things have been calling instead.
  • enjoy my stitching yes, I did.
  • participate in two QS SALs
  • participate in Tash'n'my JOB SAL yes, I did, and it was fun!
So, now to setting goals for next month.

Stitchy goals:
  • reach the 70 row mark on A Restful Night
  • stitch present for Ariel
  • enjoy my stitching
  • finish part 1 of White Musings, make progress on part 2
  • finish page 6 of Tranquility
  • stitch something on Mystery X
  • stitch on Froggy Frog World for the Challenge SAL (even though I've bowed out, I can still SAL, and the frogs need love)
  • finish part 1 of JOB, make progress on part 2
Life goals:
  • clear the surfaces in my room ie desk and chest of drawers
  • find something that isn't a suitcase to hang my 'pull on' clothes ie dressing gown, jeans on
  • stay positive
  • get to Divine Liturgy at least twice
  • read a book on Orthodoxy
  • look into moving desk out of my room
  • try to keep the floor at least vaguely clean
  • get rid of stuff I really don't need, be ruthless

Monday, July 30, 2007

Other update pics

And I've been promising pictures of my other WIPs, so here we go:

Here's my JOB after today:
30th July 07

and White Musings:
30th July 07

Five rows done

which means 7500 stitches done on A Restful Night. Here's my baby:

row 5 done, 29th July

New this row: the eyebrow (isnt it delicate?) and the beginnings of an eye, and most of her ear. She's so lovely, and I love the new camera.

I still feel ugh, and have sores in my mouth, which is strange, but life goes on. I got an invite to my friend Ariel (from the high school I was at this year)'s 18th party which is Saturday night, which should be fun - it's at a chinese restaurant near here, so I can go, and come home easily. It finishes at 9, too, so I can get home at a good hour. She's an invalid too, so understands. I rang her up to RSVP this afternoon and we had a good chat about doctors and illnesses and other fun things, and lots of talk about food.

I'm also catching up with a friend of mine, Tessa, who I haven't seen in about 8 months, on Wednesday - she's coming down here. It should be good, I miss catching up with her!

I'm now on the lookout for dragon freebies, to see if I can find one for Ariel's birthday. One that I could hope to stitch in time, that is!

Anyway, picture posted, and happy dance, and I've got the colours written down for this row...so off to stitch again.


is what I answered Tessa when she asked me how I am.

I'm okay, still alive, just out of sorts.

I think it's partly hormonal, partly weather, and partly just feeling blah. Oh, and the fact that Im sick. Yeah, that too.

I have a cat scan appt on Tuesday, so that should be fun, and Tuesday is also the last day of the month. For all my ideals this time last week, I didnt get to do the amount I thought I would on A Restful Night, though I did take it with me tonight. I'm almost done with this row though, which I am very pleased about. Only 50 or so stitches left, and I'll take lots of photos tomorrow - I found the camera.

I went to a movie night tonight, which was enjoyable - they ordered 5 pizzas for 20 people, which wasn't enough, but Troy said about not being able to eat cheese so people piled in the car and bought more pizza - six more, and Troy got his dairy free pizza as part of that. And Jeremy bought a seafood one as a random one, and Father Silouan discovered he liked it a lot, so he ended up eating a few slices. After the movie, when we thought we were all stuffed, they brought out the cornettos (icecream...nummm....) and a frosty fruit for Troy who was rather chuffed to be remembered, he usually goes without. The movie was An Inconvenient Truth, which was good - I hadn't seen it before.

Jeremy also gave us some antidoron as we got out of the car because we hadn't been able to attend Divine Liturgy. It meant a lot to me, and I plan to eke it out a little over the course of the week.

I desperately need new pyjamas, as I live in them day in day out unless we have visitors or I'm going somewhere, and being able to change them once a day would be nice. I have two pairs, and one of them needs to be thrown out - no elastic, even in the knit top, and they're so thin... oh well. We are going to raid kmart, because so far they make the most reliable and long lasting pyjamas! Them or Big W.

Anyway, enough rambling.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Alive again

Today has been considerably better. I've been good, stayed off my feet, filled in my recording charts, taken my fish oil tablets, only complained a few times about the fact that I can taste the fishyness still hours later, and stitched.

I have realised that there is actually some half decent stuff (like reruns of All Saints) on in the middle of the day thanks to my Nana who is staying with us, so that's been good to watch while stitching.


I am almost out of the hair confetti! Which is very awesome. I've started the blue again, but its above the hair, and Im just finishing off the hair now, it's all done in the next block. But its been worth it - her hair is beautiful, she has most of an ear, an eyebrow, and the slightest teaser of an eye. I can't wait to finish the row, and post a picture.

I've also discovered an islamic clothing site that just happens to have some of the most beautiful skirts...I'm a sucker for long skirts, and these are lovely. So I might be buying some soon, especialy since they have a massive sale on!

Mum and I got stuck into my room, and cleared all the clothing and random stuff off my floor that's accumulated since i got sick, and vacuumed it. I'm very appreciative, its so nice to have a clean, sort of uncluttered room. The floor is uncluttered, I mean - there is a pile of things to be sorted (mostly books) by my desk, which i will sort out in the morning, and a pile of boxes under my desk, which I will sort out this weekend (into plastic crates to go into storage) and ltos of stuff on my desk and chest of drawers/dressing table that will also go into storage or get put somewhere useful. My desk is going to go hide in storage too - I dont need it, and it is just accumulating junk and dust at the moment. when I move it from my room I will be able to see out the (almost) floor to ceiling windows that run along most of that wall, looking out over the valley. Lots of trees, and sky. And if I have my curtains open in the evening, the sunset make my (bright fuschia with metallic gold sponging over the top) room glow. So I can't wait.

I'm very tempted to get Greg to make me a dark stained low table, and to get some bright blue or similar floor cushions, and put them over by the window. Then I can sit in the sun with a cup of tea and read or stitch. Sounds nice!

So all in all today has been quite a good day. Hopefully tomorrow will be similar.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I was doing okay-ish yesterday, got about 220 stitches done I suppose. All well and good, until I went to have dinner... and fell asleep on the table. I'd had a flare-up, everything ached, but I'd been stitching. Troy put me to bed, at 8pm, and I fell asleep, waking up at 12noon today. And I feel like death.

So no stitching so far today, though I am going to have a shot when I finish this entry. Even if I only get ten stitches in, I will have achieved something.

Went to see awesomedoctor tonight, who is a specialist in CFS, and his daughter has it - she's my age and we've known the family FOREVER. I then got blood taken, for a bazillion tests, and I have to have a CAT scan of my sinuses and yay, not. We also have to take apart my bedroom. That means taking all the furniture out (some for good, like my desk which currently gathers clutter and dust), cleaning everything really thoroughly, washing everything that can be washed, boxing up everything I don't need and storing it in what serves as a shed/storage area for us. We also have to wash ALL my clothes, and I have to find somewhere else for the rats to live - sob!

But, we will see how it goes. Lord have mercy.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jumping projects

I've had a lot of fun stitching today, jumping between three different projects!

I got up and did my greek stuff with Dad, and have a few exercises from the book to work through, and we started translating 1 John. The workbook we are using for pretty much everything else works from the Septuagint, which I am absolutely thrilled with - *orthodox squee* So I will do some practice with the alphabet and things, most of which I already know but is good practice regardless.

After that I started work on my daily quota of A Restful Night - the current stitch tally stands at 6,399. I need 9000 by the end of the month! Hopefully I will get there. I've finished the wing for this row, and completely finished the overlap on the left wings, and now I'm getting into the confetti of her hair which usually is a bit slower but doesnt seem too bad at the moment. Its broken up by a big expanse of white which is her forehead in the middle though, which will be a good break before starting confetti again. Only 1,101 stitches until I get the row with her eyes *wink* I am starting to get tired and might have an early night, but I'd like to get a bit more done on her. At least I have her 20% done now.

After I got my quota on her, I jumped to Japanese Octagon Box, which I have been neglecting. See Tash! I stitched on it this week! I put it on my q-snaps, and with a bit of playing, and taking it off to fiddle with the very side border, it fit. So now the majority of the black border around the first frame is done, and I worked on the lantern a lot too. Everything I stitched today was black! I may actually get it out again before next Monday, I'm not sure. My aim is to finish the borders and first frame, and then start the second, but we'll see. I may get impatient! I'm doing my usual trick of alternating between a thread in a border and a thread of the picture, and it seems to be going well. Next time, I will alternate border - picture - rhodes stitch (there are lots), and see how that goes. I will try to have a picture of it, and all my other projects (except A Restful Night, I'll wait until I finish this row to take a photo of her) tomorrow.

My last project of the day was White Musings, which I have been missing, and is a fast stitch. I'm now aiming to get it done by the end of September to enter in the country shows - wish me luck! I have four rows completely done now: star filling stitch, two sided Italian cross, open herringbone variation and oval darning pattern. The fourth (in pattern) row is diamond rhodes, with a cross stitched border connecting them, and the rhodes stitches are done with just the border around the last two to be finished. I also started the sixth row, and the last for this part (May's) tonight which is a triple cross stitch variation and looks beautiful - like a star! I don't think I've taken a picture of it yet, so I should take one soon. I've seen it done in other colours too, which is very pretty - my favourite is one in pink that I saw posted on the TGOSM group.

Otherwise, not a lot happened. The day goes on, and I'm tired. Troy went back to uni today, and had a class in medieval and renaissance literature which he loved, and needs to buy an $80 textbook for, eep! It's nice just to have some slow days though.

So my goals for the rest of the week are:
  • send chart to Rachel
  • stitch 300 stitches minimum each day on A Restful Night
  • work on White Musings each day, aim to finish up these two rows before the end of Sunday.
I really do look forward to my happy dances!

My plans as to when these two are done are as follows:
When ARN is finished, I'm going to replace her with another QS, Cat Nap Fae - for Meglet. She's small, so shouldn't take me too long, I hope. I want to keep a QS an option constantly, so I'm always stitching a HAED, and the turnover is frequent enough to that I don't go mental. The other thing I was thinking the other day is that as long as I don't start anything new, I can swap over what is in my options list at the end of each month so whatever sleeper WIP that's calling to me gets a chance. I want to keep my focus as my focus until I stop enjoying it as much though, swapping it out with one of my options or even another sleeper WIP. My focus piece is staying ARN though, until she's done, and White Musings isn't going anywhere either. But when they're done...

The QS will not stay focus though. When I finish ARN something else can become focus, or perhaps my new start - Temptation by Sara Butcher (HAED) who I am planning on starting when I finish White Musings. It will be stitch on on Wednesdays, and whenever I feel like it, but the focus will be either Tranquility or WM/Temptation for the time being. They need love too. The goal based thing is really good too, I swear I stitch faster when I have a set goal mark for each day. It works especially well for HAEDs, which I stitch in a very organised fashion.

Anyway, enough blathering from me! I'm off to put a few more stitches into A Restful Night, see if I can get that total up to 500 for the row - a third of the way across. Maybe even get a bit futher? We'll see, it's only 10pm.

Update: squee - 512 stitches, but now my eyes and arms are tired so i'm giving it a rest for the night.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Chatelaine, life and other randomosities

I realised that I havent blogged in a few days. I'm not exactly sure why, it just didn't strike me as a time for it.

I havent worked on ARN since I got back, would you believe? A week without stitching her, yikes. I have been working on MX again though, mostly cross stitching on the houses - I continued a little on the one I'd started (south) but then thought, well, I haven't finished the gates yet, and turned the piece the other way up so I could reach the gates and I've been alternating lengths of thread between the gates (which just need backstitching and beading) and the house, which is looking thoroughly incredible. It's going to be a stunning piece when it's done. I especially love the pale, pale purple flowers and leaves trailing down from the windows. I'll take a photo tomorrow, and you can see!

My stitching goals for the month have been somewhat forgotten, mostly because it's been such a weird month. Here they are again:
  • participate in the challenge SAL with my restarted From The Ashes
  • reach the 60 row mark on A Restful Night
  • finish the top row of pages on tranquility, and at least one page of the second row
  • enjoy my stitching
  • participate in two QS SALs
  • participate in Tash'n'my JOB SAL!
comment on them:
  • I participated, but scrapped it after realising I hated the chart. So, achieved i suppose!
  • this one might be achievable still, I'm not sure. It means an awful lot of stitching in the next nine days, but I could do it if I put my mind to it I think. 3000 stitches in nine days - 334 a day.
  • I achieved this one! I'm very proud of it.
  • yup, been enjoying it
  • yes again
  • not yet...but tomorrow I'm going to try.
On that note, I'm trying really hard to work on JOB but struggling because it doesnt seem to want to fit on my q-snaps and I can't stitch it in hand.. I'm going to try tomorrow though - SAL day, to see if I can create a Q-snap frame that I can use for it, and get as much done on it as I can tomorrow as well as attempting 300 stitches...lol. I'm planning to get up quite early though, as Dad has a new Greek textbook that I am going to crack and he's going to oversee my learning, and we're starting at 10:30am. This is early for me! So I should have a bit more time than usual. I love JOB, I really want to get it done. I'm going to aim to do what Tash has done, and get all the frames done, though I might get the first frame filled in first then do the rest, so that it looks 'finished'. I hate half-done things left on my work. If I get 300 stitches done tomorrow, I will put ARN down for the rest of the day, and if I haven't started JOB by 3pm (unless i'm close/on track for 300 stitches) I'll start it then.

A Restful Night has jumped back onto my stand, and I've got about 20 stitches in on it tonight so far - I've been mostly stitching on MX. But I'm going to try for at least 100 stitches of this row done before I go to bed tonight, and see how that goes. It shouldn't be hard, mostly just the blue background. I might even get more than that done - wing, too! I stitch her forehead and the smallest teaser of an eyebrow this row, which is frustrating because I want to see her face already, but its very little in the way of confetti stitching so I should be grateful. Hopefully it will go quick!

Anyway, in life trivia:

St Elias' Day was friday, and he is the Patron Saint of the church where I have been attending Liturgy so we had the Liturgy that night, and then a feast in the true middle eastern form - much loud, lebanese music, food, dancing and laughter. It was so alive and wonderful, I really enjoyed it.

Otherwise I've mostly just been hanging around. Life happens as it happens.

update: I have my 100 stitches done. So 2900 to get done in nine days instead - 323 a day instead.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I maded a dress

And it is VERY purple. I have photos, but they in no way capture the irridescent purpleness of this dress :P

I love it!

I ended up not using the cream fabric I'd bought for trim, and just using purple. I think it came out better than using the cream would have.

From the list I made last night I:

  • set up my frame again
  • got my sewing machine repaired
  • got as much done on my dress as possible
  • stitched on Mystery X again
  • actually worked from this list!
It turned out that I hadnt threaded my sewing machine right - oops, and it had slipped out creating the thunking. And I worked on the houses for MX and thoroughly enjoyed myself, its just such a lovely piece to stitch.

I only woke up at 12ish, and then got up about 3 - I have felt like lead and everything ached today (along with having no appetite) so it was just one of those days. But, I did stitch, and Mum and Dad brought my sewing machine home so I set about putting the last few seams into the bodice, sewing the pockets on and then sewing the whole thing together. The last few seams took no time it all, it was the smaller ones that took the time.

Anyway, here you are:
look, a dress!

I'm standing funny though, so it makes it stick out on one side. Please forgive that!

And from the back:
back of dress

There's a side pic too, but look in the album for that :)

It's too long, I need to hem it, but it's otherwise finished. I love it! Now to go to spotlight and buy fabric for another one...and back to commonsense patterns (where I bought the pattern - it's their square neck dress) for an apron pattern or something. But this will be a nice spring/summer dress, its cotton so nice and light. And the ties mean I can make it loose on a hot day. I am pleased.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tomorrow I really need to...

  • spend at least an hour sorting out my chaos of a room
  • get rid of the suitcase in the middle of my floor
  • clear the floor so that I can at least get to my bed without tripping over/walking on stuff
  • move the big cushions out with the couch they belong to
  • sort all my charts and put them on the shelf where they belong
  • set up my frame again
  • get my sewing machine repaired (more on that later)
  • get as much done on my dress as possible (ditto)
  • get all the crockery/glasses out of my room
  • stitch on A Restful Night
  • stitch on Mystery X again because its calling and why would I not stitch on it when it's calling to me, given it has its own set of (enormous) Q-snaps... and within that, work a little on the house I've started (top one) and work lots on the last gate/corner thing (which I was avoiding when I last worked on it because I was so sick of them)
  • work on my wishlist again, since the HAED site one hates me currently
  • decide on whether I want any of the Durweigh charts or not before they are retired (I am thinking about the LOTR ones)
  • put at least one length of thread into the ancient sampler WIP that I have been procrastinating finishing for two years and only needs about an hour to be done
  • actually work from this list!

After going through my charts, I have found that only one will fit on the fabric I have for From The Ashes (RIP - lol) and that's Sara Butcher's Temptation, which I have been thinking about stitching anyway. So I might have a new start *sometime* soon, but it won't be until I have finished at least one of my current three WIPs. I am thoroughly enjoying stitching on A Restful Night at the moment, but I am tempted somewhat to make White Musings a focus to get it done since its so pretty and quick. We will see, if it starts calling louder than ARN then that's what I'll do, ARN will wait patiently for my return (and get stitched on on wednesdays regardless). I saw a WIP of it done in pink threads on white the other day and it was so pretty. I also have another two parts of it since I last worked on it, so I should do something about that! I think there will be either four or five parts to it, should be quite spectacular when its done.

I also got stuck into this purple dress of mine. After much deliberating, I decided that I'd do the cuffs and sash in the same purple fabric, rather than using the caramel colour. Everything is now cut out (except the sashes) and I have the bodice assembled except the side seams (they are done with the sleeves) and one sleeve put together more or less, it just needs the cuff finished sewing up. So there is a massive pile of purple fabric on my sewing table! It looks good though, I wondered if the purple might be too 'busy' but I am really liking how it is sewing up. Because its such a plain dress the purple lifts it. All was going well, and I'd taken a break to eat dinner, when...

my sewing machine threw a hissy fit. I have NO idea what's wrong with it, but after changing stitch length & width, changing stitch type, adjusting the tension several times, going slow, going fast, cleaning out the bobbin case...

it'll do one or two stitches then go CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK and refuse to work. And all the thread will be cobbled up on the back, with none on the front whatsoever. Fortunately, my parents are going to the mall tomorrow to get Dad new clothes (his last pair of jeans ripped unceremoniously across the backside on our way back from the Grampians - luckily it was during our last stop and his shirt was long enough to cover the gap) and some other things, and the sewing machine place is just across from there. So it should get fixed then, the guy there is pretty awesome about it all. I want my baby back and fixed...this dress is screaming even more now that it's all cut out!

I hate cutting, but it's awesome to see the big pile of purple fabric take shape. This is going to be an around the house dress - just a nice dress to wear without worrying about how I look, or even what shirt to wear, or where my jeans are... and because it pulls over my head and ties in back I can leave it loose or tight depending on the weather and my mood. I've been wanting some 'house' dresses for a while, and this is perfect - full skirted so I can do pretty much anything in it, but not fussy at all so ditto.

My grandmother is currently staying with us, so she's helping me out with things.

It's nice to be back, but I'm not feeling the greatest, and not exactly sure why. Hopefully it will pass though. My room has got to the ARGH stage, so I will attack it tomorrow, and hopefully that will calm me somewhat!

I'm also trying to figure out how to go about stitching JOB - sorry Tash, I know I haven't participated for a while! I love the piece, but it doesnt seem to fit in any of my Q-snaps and I can't stitch silks (or almost anything) in hand. I have been trying, but it just doesnt work. If I had something to stretch it on, I'd quickly do Tash's thing and stitch all the borders, than have fun each week working on filling in the panels, but Im sort of avoiding it because I have no way to stitch it, really.

Anyway enough rambling from me. Hopefully I will have a dress happy dance soon!

I got RAK'd!

by our lovely Fudgey.

Look what I got:


The ACEO is a Nadia Tate - Ladybug Kitty Fae (who I have loved for ages) and the thread is Colour Streams silk - Musk Rose. Its a much pinker pink in reality and very very pretty!

I'm not sure what the fabric is, but I'm guessing it's a Passione Ricamo in 32ct. So pretty!

EDIT: turns out, the fabric is Passione Ricamo's jobelan, close to 30ct, in burro. Now just to decide what to stitch on it...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Back home again

Dad and I decided to run off to the Grampian mountains in Victoria.

Now we're back.

We ate so much food...and so didn't do anything all weekend, unless you count driving to Horsham for lunch (about 1+1/2 hours each way) each day as something... believe me, the food was worth it. There's this place there called Cafe Jas, and they make fantastic food. Lunch Saturday was a chicken burger (done gourmet style) for me and chicken noodle soup and lasagna for Dad, and I got their fruit punch - best drink ever, and they use frozen fruit chunks as ice-cubes. I got a whole (massive) frozen strawberry the first time - it was yummy, but bled on my jumper (sweater to the USA-ians) when it fell off my spoon. Oh well. Dad had a milkshake, but I converted him to the fruit punch and that was what he had the other two times. Second day Dad got soup again and we got a ploughmans platter to share - three kinds of bread, gourmet ham, smoked salmon, varying kinds of lettuce, pickled onions, cold chicken, branston pickle, swiss cheese, cheddar cheese and camembert. Not bad for $22 total for both of us! So much food we couldnt eat it all, but we definitely enjoyed it. Todays was strawberry pancakes for both of us - pancake, layer of strawberries, pancake, more strawberries, and cinnamon and vanilla flavoured yoghurt to go with it. Very yum.

The pub (which is the only reasonably priced place to get good dinner there) makes enormous serves - I got chicken parmagiana the first night, and ate about 1/4... I forget what dad got but he didn't eat his either. The next two nights we shared a single meal, roast pork Saturday night and chicken parma again last night - with two of us we got through just over 1/2 of it! We also had brandy snaps Saturday night.

Yes, I just spent a lot of time raving about food. I like food.

I also stitched - I took my lowery stand, and put it under a chair so that I could get a fair amount done. And I did! I restarted From The Ashes, and have come to the conclusion that I hate the chart. As I posted on the HAED board:
I restarted From the Ashes, got about 100 stitches in, and realised that no matter what I've tried, I just can't enjoy stitching this particular chart. I love the artwork, and I love HAEDs to stitch in general, but I don't love or even like this chart - it's just too crazy with the background which consists of several different colours EVERYWHERE which means that there is no real background stitching, and what is 'background' is harder to stitch than the detail.

So I hereby bow out of the challenge.

I'll keep stitching on this weekend each month with you all though, Froggy Frog World will come out to play!
On the other hand, I took A Restful Night with me as well and finished the row, and made a small start on the next (fifth) row of blocks while watching the third Harry Potter and Goldmember on TV. Here's a pic (with the wonderful camera which I am SO stealing from now on, even I with my shaky hands can take good stitchy photos now!) of the first four rows:
4th row of blocks finished (13/7)

And now, just photos. I'll explain them all as I go! They're all in thumbnails so as to make this blog entry not too image-heavy.

View from lookout on road to Halls Gap
The road from Horsham (the large rural centre) to Halls Gap (where we stayed) is long and windy (and narrow) up through the mountains. This is about halfway there, looking out towards the reservoir that I forget the name of, but has very nice tasting water.

First Day, road to Halls Gap
Me, at the same place.

Our Cabin
And this is where we stayed! They're not very big, but they seem much bigger on the inside. Very comfortable too.

View from Cabin
This is the view from the front (main) room, looking out across the large grassy space. The road connecting the cabins goes around this, and the kangaroos keep the grass down. No need to mow the lawn!

Inside Cabin and Dad
This is our living room. Dad's wearing a Princeton sweatshirt because that's where the Karl Barth conference he just came back from was held, and he likes college sweatshirts. He has a few of them, but most have holes now.

My dad. Being himself!

My room
My room, complete with a queen size bed - luxury for me, I've got a single bed at home!

Stitching setup
This is my stitching chair while we were there, while I was still struggling away at From The Ashes.

We saw a lot of these, they dont mind humans at all.

What I look like actually stitching.

We had a fire
The cabins have both reverse cycle air conditioning and wood stoves. Guess which we picked? I like fires.

Our Kitchen
This is our little kitchen. We only used it for making tea (the drink) and glasses of water though.

Another kangaroo
This kangaroo was outside our car and quite happily stayed there.

Kangaroos on the lawn
There were a lot of kangaroos on the lawn

Dad says hello
And Dad went over to say hello!

Out on the lawn
And the last - me with the sun in my eyes, but you can see the mountains. Aren't they beautiful?

Anyway, I'm glad to be home and looking forward to a good night's sleep!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

No dress, but stitching

Okay, my sister had hysterics today due to her meds making her overly (and i mean OVERLY) anxious about her exams. After a couple hours of that, and ringing the doctors, and finally making her sit in bed and not run screaming through the house, I wasn't up for dressmaking.

So I did a lot of nothing online instead.

Tonight I stitched, and worked on confetti some more. Got about 250 stitches done, I think, and here she is for you:

11th July 07

The photo is blurry in the full size, so just enjoy it this size instead :)

I'm going to see Anna tomorrow, give her back her frame and lowery attachment, and get the fabric for this weekend's restart - From the Ashes. Mum and I also plan to work on this dress, and I have bible study. All sounds good.

I also hope to finish this row sometime tomorrow!

I might be being a bit ambitious, but it would be so much fun to have it done. Only 6oo stitches though, and much of it is large blocks of colour. Should go quick, so hopefully I can do it.

I've also been knitting away at a dishcloth with some cotton yarn that just screamed at me - it's so loud, I couldnt miss it. I forget what the name of the stitch is, but it's knit1 purl1 and then the opposite in the following row, to give an alternating all over pattern. Makes good dishcloths, and they'll be nice and bright to do the dishes with - I have three different variegated yarns to use. This one is mostly bright pink, blue, green and orangey yellow. Another one is mostly that yellow colour, with pink, green and blue as secondary colours. And the last one is shades of purple, pink and red. Nice and bright.

Also, Dad and I are going back over the border - lol - to Victoria this weekend, to stay in the Grampian mountains in a cabin we've rented a zillion times before. The kangaroos are so tame there! It's lovely country, and will be nice to get away. I plan to take my stand in the car, so that when we've set up shop there I can put From the Ashes on the stand to work on her. I'm working across the width, so that will be important. I'll take her in the car anyway, and if nothing else grid her so that I don't get lost in the massive blocks of colour in the background.

I've also been bad and contemplating what to replace in my list of allowed projects when I'm done with A Restful Night (if I can get a row done a week she'll be done in fifteen weeks, and some rows might take me less than that...) and I think it will be Periwinkle Fae QS, if I don't scream at her because of the way that I stitched her - cross country, which I hate. I'll possibly be bad and throw her out again... in which case I'll tuck her and the chart away, and put another QS in my rotation, since I like having a HAED and something to stitch on Wednesdays. Presumably it will be Rose Fae, who I love, and have been wanting to stitch for a long time. But the focus project will be White Musings or Tranquility, depending on which is screaming most when I get there. White Musings is probably the better option, as I will finish it much sooner and have another finish!

The worst thing is all the HAEDs calling, especially the ones that I haven't started yet. But I have two started that are big ones - Froggy Frog World and From the Ashes, and when I have at least one of those finished I'll let myself start a new one. But not before! Big WIP-wise I'm not even going to speculate what will end up in my rotation next, I have so many WIPs that need doing, and there are lots of small-ish things from TGOSM that I've wanted to stitch for a while. So who knows.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Confetti hell

Been steadily plodding along through A Restful Night today and tonight - confetti, confetti and more confetti. I timed myself at one stage, hoping to encourage myself - it backfired, 29 stitched in 30 minutes! Part of it is having to add all the new colours, which means finding them, cutting them, securing them and then stitching. There are just so many.

I have finished the part of her hair though - the line goes all the way to the bottom of the row, so now I am just finishing up the other side, which is slightly less confetti-y.

Today has been fairly uneventful. My sister is panicking about her exams, and I woke up late (again) but otherwise nothing much happened otherwise. I went to see my Nana in the rehabilitation hospital where she is after having a knee reconstruction. She has been doing hydrotherapy - in a bikini! I've never seen my grandmother in a bathing suit at all, much less a bikini - she's 70something, almost 80.

Mum and I are going to get to my purple square neck dress tomorrow, making it short sleeved. Mum is on holidays, so if the two of us cut the pieces for the dress, and I sew the seams while mum irons them and pins them, then we can get it done nice and quick and I can wear it *grin*

I want that dress done.

It will be fun to wear it, knowing I made it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

And another one!

Just a quick update because I'm dancing a bit.

I've been working on A Restful Night tonight, and got about 400 stitches done, 100 of that confetti in her hair. All of the left wings are done for this row (and they look wonderful) and a good chunk of her hair which is very confetti-y but very beautiful.

I've got half this page's worth of this row done which is awesome. And most of it tonight! I might make it a goal to see how quick I can get this row done. After the next row of blocks I will have a full page done on it - wow.

I love the row method. It means that the whole piece looks 'complete' as you finish the row of blocks, but then you add the next row and it looks amazing all over again. You never get holes that make it look weird, and you get to uncover all different bits. Fun!

I also passed the 15% mark tonight. Got a 6th of it done now! That is a really cool thing to think about. The first sixth has the background, shoes and hair, the second her face and beginning of her chest, the third her arms, some mushrooms and the beginning of the frog, the fourth the frog's eyes, the fifth his body, the sixth his feet and the log. Roughly. Something new to look forward to each time.

I know I'm mad for doing this, but it's just so much fun! Now to just ignore the babies calling... too many HAEDs waiting to be started, and WIPs screaming for love. Ack.


Monday, July 09, 2007

Tranquility Mystery Sampler

Here's my Tranquility Mystery Sampler after most of the top row of pages (five) and a little start on the next row. I love this new motif - cream on cream. I finally got the red motif done, and most of the last one. I left the last red parts and the blue side column to be done with the next one because its something the seems silly to keep working on and breaking up into pieces when its just the same thing over and over.

Here it is!
9th July 07

Now back to A Restful Night - row four currently has about 160 stitches done.

Went to Divine Liturgy yesterday

I wrote in my spirituality blog (unconnected to this one) about yesterday in more detail, but here's the summary (because not all of you are theologically minded/christian)

Divine Liturgy is the communion service in the Eastern Orthodox church, Sunday morning service, and I can't even begin to describe the effect that that had on me.

Half the service was in arabic, but the other half in english, and what I didn't understand (due to it being arabic) I had the book as an interlinear which let me understand. And it was beautiful. People talk about it being like being in Heaven, and I don't know if I understand that - yet, but I think I will when Im a little more used to it.

We were conspicuous, but people were kind, and we stumbled through happily. The book that Jeremy lent us for the Divine Liturgy (the matins/orthros one wasn't as helpful) was wonderful, with directions for crossing, standing, sitting, kneeling, bowing heads... that helped a lot. I think I need to find a copy of something similar on line and learn it, if I can, so that when I go next I'm a little more familiar with it all. I've been to all the major services now - Vespers, Orthros, Divine Liturgy. And loved them all. I kind of got over being self conscious, it just seemed stupid to be. So I stopped, and it helps! I can cross myself easily as breathing now, in the right directions. Jeremy mentioned that some people come back to the middle after doing it, and I asked why - he said they just do. And now I've found that I do it! It just seems to complete it.

We got through to the end, and Jeremy said that we didn't have to kiss the Cross as we left, but I did - why not? I have no problem with it, so I kissed the Cross and the Priest's hand as I left, and it was nice. It just felt right.

We had fantastic coffee - Lebanese, strong but good. And someone called Troy my brother...lol...we dont look alike, but the Khouria (Priest's wife) thinks we do.

Came home to have soup, and bread, and butter, and feed Jeremy lots of sponge roll, then crash for the afternoon. He went to visit his cousin who lives near here, and I stitched. He came back at five to pick us up, and we went out to the quiz night at the Monastery near where he lives, which was fun. It was run by a Greek church, so a lot of the people there were Greek, and most of the questions related to Greek things... which was alright, because we roped in a couple Greek guys and a girl for our table! We had the two Greek guys, Alexei and Demetrios (sp?), and Maria who I think was a sister to one of them, and two Lebanese girls from Jeremy's usual DL church (he church-hops a bit), me, and Troy. Was a good table, and we came THIRD! Each of us got a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, with a label to say we won third prize, and a prayer rope around the neck - a bracelet sized one, and it fits me perfectly. It might stay on my wrist now :) Black, with a black bead. We taught Troy the Jesus prayer, and we had good fun explaining it all. My new goal is to go through my bracelet once a night, and once in the morning if I remember. I want to get something of a prayer rule going, and this one works. It's easy at least!

I had everyone do the so what's your name thing, find out what it was - and go HEY AWESOME! which was not the usual reaction, and kind of nice. Of course then they all wanted to know how I got that when I wasn't Orthodox, and that was all fun, and then they said so when's your name day and I said um...and Jeremy jumped in and said Kyriaki, and they said HEY that was Saturday! So I got wished happy name day by everyone. It was fun :)

Anyway, I got invited very firmly to Bible Study on Thursday night, the same place - a youth one, that people from all of the city go to - and a lot from a fair way so I assume it's good. So Jeremy is taking me and Troy, and Demetrios will take us home. I am very very very looking forward to it. I also want to buy books. I am wanting to devour EVERYTHING I can get my hands on now.

Yesterday was fun, and I'm very tired now but it was worth it.

Dad came home today, and it was wonderful to see him again - it's been two weeks. He brought presents too - a photo frame of New York each for Bindi and I, and a pen with a flashing light in the end from a jazz bar - it's a blue light, and there are different settings so it flashes to different jazz beats. Very cool. He brought Mum a tshirt with a greek urn design on it (she's a classics teacher so adores it) and some very sparkly silver jewelry, and Troy some things as well but they're still a surprise as he hasnt seen them yet.

Troy's house has been more or less a tip - the guys he's been living with aren't much for cleaning. But his friend Steven moved in, and vacuumed everything, and got rid of all the junk in the communal areas, and cleaned the bathroom (!!!!) which was previously covered in black mould. He also brought some large prints in frames - I think they're Waterhouse's that are in the living room now and they look great. The house is actually starting to look pretty good!
Troy's been using a sheet as a curtain, held on with bulldog clips, but its starting to irk me that I haven't made him proper curtains yet. So I thought I'd buy two sheets from Coles (like $10 each I think) and sew them over at the ends to make pockets to slip onto his curtain rod. They're cheap and they'll do until we have our own house, and then we can probably use them somewhere. He's also on the hunt for a chair for his desk (probably second hand) and a lamp to paint with (probably about $20 from bunnings) and I'm campaigning for a heater for his room ($25 from bunnings again) as well since it gets very cold. But he and steven have been having fun sword fighting and things, and he's starting to enjoy living where he is. They're also going to share meals so they can cook for two which is much more practical.

So life is good. My room is a mess due to my getting back from Melbourne and not having unpacked, but I'm planning to change that soon. And Mum's on holiday now, so she and I are going to attack my purple dress and make it up. I think I'll make it short sleeved, too.

I've stitched a little on A Restful Night, but not enough to take a photo of. It's coming together well though so I'm hoping to get to the hair and things (eek) soon. Wings always go quick.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

And I overdid it, the last few days, so back in bed. Oh well, you win some you lose some!

After spending all that time organising the threads for A Restful Night, I didnt put a single stitch into her. Instead I stitched on Tranquility, and got all of the top row of motifs done, and started the second! It felt good to make serious progress again.

I also got some stash while I was gone in the mail - a mother of pearl thread winder shaped like a flower and Ink Circles' Blackstone Fantasy Garden's chart. Was nice to open when I got back!

I did a bit of shopping in Melbourne too - new jeans to replace the pair I've got since the knees are wearing through - I'll wear them until they do wear through, then switch to the new ones (I'm hard on my jeans, but they're the easiest thing to wear while sick - just pull on jeans, a tshirt of some description and a jacket/sweater and all's good.) I also got two tshirts - priced at $25 each, but scanned at $10 each! from Giordanos who make wonderful, comfy shirts. One is pale pink with a brighter pink peacock with its tail folded trailing down, and the other is the colour of raspberry gelati. Very edible looking! Added to this I got some of the cutest magnets ever to hold my charts on the stand (the magnets that came with it are ugly) and some coppery coloured earrings, to go with a ball shaped pendant necklace that troy got me - it's reminiscent of a cat bell, so fits me well (just read the address of my blog!)

Was good, but writing about it all is hard now. So I wont.

It was good to see the girls again after being away - though only Champagne will talk to me, the others are all snubbing me because I left. They'll get over it, eventually.

The one last thing to say is that Troy and I are going out tonight, to Vespers at an Orthodox church :) I've been investigating Orthodoxy for a while now, and now I'm officially labelling myself an inquirer - should be fun!

Anyway, that's all for now - I will post pictures of everything soon.