Sunday, September 30, 2007

Goals for October

Well... lets just say I didn't achieve what I wanted to, stitchy-wise. I did quite well with my life ones though, especially the ones pertaining to Orthodoxy. I'm being a lot more conservative with them this month!

Last month:
Stitchy goals:
  • Make progress on FFW during the Challenge SAL this month Didn't happen. At all.
  • Participate with same in the background SAL - ugh, a whole weekend of stitching glitter! Good for me though. Didn't happen either, I'm not in the world's best mood with that piece. Maybe I'd be better off buying the print.
  • Finish pages 1 and 2 of A Restful Night Sadly, no. Life got in the way.
  • Finish part 2 of JOB, make progress on part 3, try to finish and start part 4! This didn't happen either
  • Participate in JOB SAL each week to achieve the above.
  • Make progress on White Musings Yes, actually. Not a whole lot, but a bit.
  • Start *gulp* the new mystery sampler This one I achieved!
  • Make progress on MX, aim to get the main part of the house done Nope
  • Finish the motifs on page 6 of Tranquility Bloody frogs...
  • Buy stitchbows and stitchbow-ify another binder's worth of my master set Nope
  • Overhaul my 'what threads I have' list for the above Nope
  • Start a list for the fibres that I have, unused (non DMC) or are left over from kits ...nope.
Life Goals:
  • Attend DL twice, more if possible Every single week, yay!
  • Stick to the fasts I've been sick. If I fast when sick, I get in serious trouble with my Spiritual Father. Hence, no.
  • Read a book on Orthodoxy Yuppers, The Orthodox Way by Bishop (now Metropolitan) Kallistos Ware
  • Meet with Father Yep
  • Get rid of boxes, or sort them and put them under my bed not really.
  • Get desk out of room It's still there
  • Argue some more with Centrelink No arguing whatsoever. I just haven't been bothered.
  • Work towards getting my licence again Yes :) I got the book again, and now I just need to do some more reading and retake the test.
This month:
Stitchy goals:
  • Finish part 1 of Historic Countries Sampler
  • Finish part 2 of above
  • Finish pages 1&2 of A Restful Night (carryover from last month)
  • Make progress on one other WIP
Life goals:
  • Attend DL at least twice on Sundays
  • Make the spidery gift
  • Get all my clothes AWAY and pack the heavy winter ones in boxes for the summer
  • Finish godsister's dress on time
  • Make a bag for church
  • Buy damask fabric for a new semi-circle skirt for church
  • Finish green dresses
That sounds achieveable, right?

Lots done

But not enough to meet my monthly goal. Oh well.

Stitchy update: My second stag is now almost done, with just half of his antlers left to go. Everything else on him is done, and he looks very regal. The second (and last!) four-sided stitch block is done too, along with the area above it - zig-zag running stitch which looks very 3D and pretty. I'm not quite sure which motifs I'm going to pick next - I work on two at a time, a length of thread in each (breaks up the solid colour motifs). I'm thinking of going with the motifs next to the stag, the top right ones, and just working down now. This side is going much quicker, so hopefully it will be done soon to start part 2 - it comes out (or should) tomorrow!

I'm going to a picnic tomorrow too! An outdoor Divine Liturgy in the wine region about 40min from my house, and a picnic after - mmm Greek picnic, I'm not going to be able to move when I get home tomorrow from all the food! Classic Jeremy though - he only rang me about half an hour ago to tell me! Labour day, so public holiday Monday. And two Liturgies in two days - lucky me!

...he's picking me up at 7:50 tomorrow morning. I am trying not to think about that hour of the morning. It is a horrible idea, but it will be worth it.

Now... off to do a goals recap. Not looking forward to this one...

My fingers are starting to hurt from stitching

So I'll post for a while instead, give them a break before I wear a hole in them!

I forgot to mention the other day - god-sister-creature has asked me to make her a gothic-y medieval dress for a party she's going to. Ever wanting to be helpful (and also because I couldn't resist the chance to make said dress) I said yes. Well, I then had to convince her to come with me to buy a pattern and fabric, because I don't like the idea of making something that the other person doesn't like, and we got a beautiful wine red damask for the dress itself, which is a wide A-line (I think) with fitted sleeves that flare out into bells at 3/4 length, and a black satin ribbon for the trim. Very pretty. It promptly got cut out, and has been taking over our living room floor for the past few days, except for when I had to pack it up for the football yesterday when we had people over. There was 3.6m of fabric! It's nuts. Beautiful though.

I have the front done, panels sewn together and trim added, along with the loops to thread lacing through, but no neck facings yet as I'll add them when the front and back are sewn together at the shoulders. I sewed the back sections together into pairs, but then in the morning I realised I'd sewn the pieces together wrong - the right side and the wrong side on the one side, argh. So, much unpicking had to happen, and I haven't fixed it yet! Tomorrow. It's coming together well though, I think.

I misread the instructions for how to finish the sleeve edges too, but I like how it turned out so I'm keeping it. Much neater, in my opinion.

I dragged myself out of bed this morning when I wasn't feeling at all well, dragged an even more unwilling Troy out, and took my never-experienced-Orthodoxy friend Hannah (who got called Anna and Anne, much to her confusion, by everyone) to church, as Jeremy had to take his godmother.

Was worth it. Oh yes, it was worth it. We got asked to do the readings at the beginning, which was confusing as we stumbled our way through, but Jeremy came and rescued us and we settled into it and thoroughly enjoyed it. But it clicked for Troy today! He read the Liturgy with me during the arabic, and listened and prayed during the english. He's been struggling with the liturgical side of things for a while, and he's always had issues focussing in church services in general. But...the joy as it all clicked in and the two of us joined in the Liturgy was just wonderful. We're home, just settling in before we can be called residents :)

Hannah enjoyed it too, almost more for aesthetics than anything else but I don't mind. I like that she didn't hate it, and she wants to visit St Nectarios' in a couple weeks, so if I can borrow a lift off a parent this weekend (Jeremy might be going to the UK, lucky) then in a fortnight maybe we can go there with her. She'll love Father Silouan, I think.

So I'm very pleased. It's been a good day - I've been working on the Historic Countries sampler again, I've finished the rice stitch block, and one of the two four-sided stitch sections, and my stag now has everything from his neck down done. This one is going much faster than the last one!

So now I've settled in to watch the news, and it's Aus Idol tonight too so I'll spend the night stitching I hope.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Stitching progresses

Well, it has...

I've been working on Historic Countries Sampler the last few days, and it looks beautiful. The backstitched section is done now, and I've made progress on the rice stitch section (which is a lot of fun) and the stag, which now has three and a bit legs.

The footy grand final was on today too...*sigh* we lost, miserably. But c'est la vie, I suppose.

Hannah's coming to church with us tomorrow, which should be fun - lets see how many people try to talk Greek to her :)

So, I'm going back to what I'm working on. Life is steady - nothing really seems to be changing much, it just keeps going. This is okay, but it worries me - something might happen to change that and I'm not sure how I'll react!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A photo! About time!

I know, I know, stitchy blogs aren't fun without photos. But I lost the camera, and then I didn't have anything that I saw as worthy of a photo. But I finished the first half of Part 1 of the TGOSM historic countries sampler (minus the gold braid that I don't currently have), so here's a photo for you all!

Part 1 (half)

It's a lot more washed out in the photo, which is a shame, and the white on the lady and the man's socks doesn't show up properly. Oh well. It's stitched 1x2 with Dinky Dyes silk, on 32ct cream linen, and it's mostly cross stitch with the exception of the diamondy design which is solid queen's stitches, the checkerboard which is algerian eyelets and the blackwork design in the middle. I'm enjoying stitching it, most days, but I do get a bit fed up with it at times.

I've had an interesting day. Dad and I drove down to Hallet Cove and he went for a walk along the cliffs while I sat in the car in the surf life savings club's carpark, watched the waves and worked on A Restful Night, who has been feeling neglected. I hadn't realised how much I missed her until I got her out to play again today! I finally finished the left wing, and got a lot more hair done today (all confetti, ugh) and she looks beautiful. Dad had a specialist appt at the hospital too, so I tagged along and sat in the waiting room to stitch purely for the change of scenery, it was just so nice to be out of the house.

I am feeling very tired now though. My body is achy, especially my arms - I desperately wanted to get this bit of the sampler done tonight or I would have quit a few hours ago. I will possibly pay for it tomorrow, I'm not sure.

So, photo is up. Please admire the pretty, I am!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Life is so weird at the moment. I woke up at a strange time this morning, with the sharp ache inside my bones. A few prayers to anyone I could think of later, I sat up and tried to forget it on the internet, but eventually just gave up and lay back down to try to sleep.

I had the strangest dreams involving children, my old boss and a greek festival. No, I don't understand it either.

My memory is scrambled though, I can't remember what was a dream and what was real. I give up?

I have a book. I will try to read it. Hopefully it will make more sense!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Not a bad day, all up

I got goal #1 done, and started on #5!

I sat down and worked through the first lesson, and it wasn't hard. I don't know that I took it all in, but I did get a lot of it and I can always go back to look at it later. It mostly involved the alphabet (which I already know), and transliterating into english characters. Easy enough stuff, but good practice for me as I was a bit rusty. The two passages that I had to translate characterwise were Genesis 1:1-4a from the Septuagint, and John 1:1-4. They correspond, it's beautiful :) Both starting with "En arche..." - "In the beginning..."

I copied out the vocab list for Lesson Two, but I'd had enough - my attention span was flagging. So I quit for the day, and I'll try again tomorrow.

As far as #5 is concerned, I tracked down a lot of the books, but have yet to buy them. On the other hand, Dad went into the Catholic (!!) bookstore in town and bought me 'The Orthodox Way' which was one of the books, along with another one by Metropolitan Kallistos and one I've never heard of which I'll ask Father about on Thursday. Mmmmm tasty books. Of the list, which he gave me an order to read them in, TOW was the first, so I'll sink my teeth into it. I usually read theological books twice - first I devour them, and second I read them slowly to get the gems out. I've started the first run, but not got very far yet. Maybe tomorrow :) I love books!

Dad's cousin John was here tonight, which was nice. It's both of their Name Day on Wednesday, which is kind of neat, and we had a chat about that, and he and Dad talked and I listened and stitched. Working on this TGOSM sampler still, I got a lot done on the skirt of my lady and most of the blue working on the top bordery bit. And some green on that too. I'm so close to finishing this half that I can taste it, and God-willing (and health permitting, though they're sort of the same thing sometimes) I will finish it off tomorrow and start the second one. It stitches up quick and easily, and that's nice. Definitely a change!

I got a message to tell me that my fabric for Dance of the Graces shipped today, which is good, and I've been in contact with my floss fairy. So hopefully soon I'll have the stuff and I can start it! I don't like that I'm not finishing things, but it's nice to have a bit of variety. Just six days left of the month now, less than a week. Scary thought, I'm not sure where this year has gone.

I'm also curious to see what the new parts of the Chatelaine and TGOSM mysteries are. The Chatelaine I have absolutely no idea on as we just finished up a section - a border maybe? TGOSM will be a country or culture, but all the same it's mysterious and I can't wait to find out!

I do think that I need a proper finish sometime soon though. So I'll have to get back into White Musings, and get it done, so that I can do a complete finish HD. I haven't had one in a long time!

I'm catching up with my godsister on Wednesday, we're going fabric and pattern shopping for this dress. That should be fun too! dressmaking project...also tasty. Which reminds me, I really should just grit my teeth and finish Bindi's dress. All it needs is the zip (why I'm procrastinating) and a hem, the hem being the easy bit. I need to sew the bodice back onto my green dress too, but that's less of a priority.

It will all happen, right?


And as I predicted, I'm dead tired physically today. But that's okay.

I'm trying to get myself into some kind of structure. I've got so much I could be doing, and I waste so much time. So - Greek.

I have a textbook, and it's great. So I'm planning to spend an hour on it each day, at least, and try and get through a 'lesson' or chapter each week. We'll see how that goes, I really want to learn Greek, and it bugs me that I don't know as much as I want to.

So, plans for this week. I haven't set weekly goals on Mondays for a while, so here goes:
  1. finish lesson 1 of Greek
  2. work on JOB sometime
  3. begin to frog the green motif on tranquility that I messed up
  4. convince Dad to get ink for our printer
  5. order books that Father recommended
  6. finish mystery part before the end of the month
  7. work on ARN at some point
  8. clear dresser
  9. work on cleaning room again
Okay, we'll try this. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I am going to be dead tomorrow. And I am under strict orders to be good, and sleep in tomorrow, from Father Silouan and Jeremy!

But it was worth it. :)

I woke up early today, about 7, even though I didn't need to leave until 9:45. Finally deciding that I couldn't get back to sleep, I got up, had a shower and got dressed. About 9:45, when Jeremy usually gets there, Troy - who was dressed and ready to go - started feeling really ill. Jeremy finally turned up at 10:15, and by then Troy was feeling really really sick. He was told to stay home, and Jeremy and I screamed off to try and get to church vaguely on time. Jeremy later remarked that it's God's providence that he was late, or Troy would have been out and sick and miserable. It turned out that Abouna (Father Nicholas)'s car had broken down and Jeremy had had to rescue him to take him to church and then come grab us/me.

There was almost noone there when we got there anyway, just one lady chanting and Father. Jeremy jumped in to chant, and I settled into my place for Orthros and the Liturgy. Liturgy over, most of the regulars had run off straight after Communion so no coffee hour today. We grabbed Abouna again, and went to the markets held at the drive-in to grab some vegetables and eggs for him, and then to St Nectarios to find out what Father Silouan was doing. He had a baptism this afternoon, so we wandered off again to Scuzzi's in North Adelaide (yum) for lunch. I got my favourite again, and we ate - long Orthodox prayers in a restaurant is definitely new.

After escaping from there we went to find Nikki's house as we were taking her with us that night, and Abouna lives near the church who was holding the quiz night. Picking her up, we chatted all the way (about an hour and a half I suppose) to Abouna's house, and then to church.

We ended up on a table with just the our of us - Jeremy, Nikki, I and Andrew, another St Nectarios' friend. Father joined us, but much, much later. We launched into it, and had great fun, especially with the religion questions - we didn't miss one! And I answered one I didn't know that I knew on feast days, so I was pleased. We ended up winning by about 150 points which was nuts, and won the usual - a bottle of wine and something useful. :)

In our case it was a bottle of Shiraz that looks nice, lindor chocolates, and an icon of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary for those who don't speak Orthodox). Mine is now hanging on my wall next to my bed (there was already a hook there), but I asked Mum tonight and it turns out that the wall above my junk-covered dresser faces East...hehe. There is nothing hanging there, and its a beautiful space, so I'm going to attempt to clear the surface and set it up for my morning and evening prayers.

We came home, listening to a beautiful CD of the Liturgy in English that Jeremy has - it has all the Resurrection Troparia one after the other, with pauses in between, and we were listening to them and chanting along. I love today's:

You descended from on high, O Compassionate One; and consented to burial for three days, that You might free us from suffering: O Lord, our life and our resurrection, glory to You.

That's the 8th tone (tune, rhythm and key, of 8 total). I don't know if Jeremy's trying to teach me to chant, but it's fun anyway. I'm starting to learn, and chant along quietly where I stand.

So I've had a wonderful day except for Troy getting sick which is not wonderful :( I am hoping that he gets better soon.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I might not make having the first half done by the end of the week, but I'm going to be close!

I got the first (big, involved) snowflake done, and the second smaller one too. And my man is all done except for half a shoe and his hat, which will be done in the next few minutes. I'm hoping to get serious progress into the top ornamenty band and the lady tonight, and we'll see how we go.

I'm also being seriously tempted by the Chatelaine Christmas Mystery for this year.

From the yahoo group:
The color scheme will be utterly elegant, subdued and feminine :

Shades of cream, pearl, white, gold and silver with a few pale and muted pastels....
sparklies and beads in matching transparent and and metallic colors...

Ornaments and rich work with a little bit of "Angel" as decor.... but not more in means of info ;-)
That is just the teaser to have you imagine a bit of the overall color idea.

Imagine the soft and shimmering silks on a background of unbleached linen, or on an old blue or even black background..

Oh dear. Sounds exactly like my cup of tea. And Dad just said that he'd pay for it, as long as it's not too expensive...uhoh... *grin!*

Let's get a few things done first Kyrie!

But I seem to be able to keep up with this TGOSM mystery, which I'm pleased with, and I'm going to try and make that the goal each month and keep to my focusses otherwise, we'll see how I go. The other thing is that the Christmas one is released towards the end of the month, so it's not quite as much to get done at the beginning of each month like the ones I've got. I'd like to make MX my focus when I get ARN done I think though, I just really want it done - so beautiful.

Anyway, back to attacking this thing :) It looks wonderful!

Friday, September 21, 2007

I am terrible

...and weak. I bought Selina Fenech's Dance of the Graces when it was charted by's just stunning.


and now, a floss usage chart (for a floss fairy) request of Fudgey off, and fabric (30ct burro linen jobelan from Passione Ricamo) ordered... oh dear. I predict a new start. Soon. But it's just incredible, and it looks like a chart which I will actually enjoy stitching - I find glitter backgrounds just a pain, and I want to work on the frogs but the glitter seriously gives me a headache, and I've got to the point where I just don't like working on them. It's sad, as I really like them, but I think I will just have to buy the print at some point.

On the other hand, I've been thinking seriously about the Angels project again - the Faith Hope and Love ones by Ann Massiker. I want to do them all on 32ct Days Gone By by silkweaver, I just need to figure out the dimensions and actually start them again. It will happen, I can't start yet another new project yet but it's there lurking in my mind.

On the other hand, my stag is now finished as are the queens stitch blocks, and my man has a lot done on him. I might get my floss fairy to pick me up a card of PTB to use on this sampler, as I couldn't get the kreinik and I hate the stuff anyway. Or maybe I should just ask them to get the kreinik. Not sure. Anyway, the man doesnt have the gold on him that he should but otherwise he's doing well.

So I'm back to working on my two current motifs, the man and the first snowflake!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


It is the 19th of September. That means there are 11 days left in the month.

That means, in order to achieve my stitchy goals for the month I need to:
  • take part in the background SAL this weekend, which may or may not happen
  • do 4150 stitches-ish on A Restful Night
  • do half of the current panel on JOB
  • do a lot on MX to get the house done
  • do a lot on tranquility
  • go to the LNS, buy stitchbows, stitchbowify thread
in the next week and a half.

This would have been possible when I was well, perhaps. I'm not sure if it still is, and I really should try and set more realistic goals! Aim high and all that, but I haven't stitched a whole lot this month.

Here's my plan for the rest of this week:
  • work like mad on TGOSM sampler, aim to have it half done
  • work on JOB at some point, try to get a chunk of the panel done
  • try to get to the LNS for stitchbows
  • work on ARN, try to get it done at least to the end of the current (8th) row, try for half of next
  • try to get to Tranquility
If I can do that, then I can have some hope towards the rest.

Bindi's dress progresses, it's almost done! All it needs now is the zip down the back and the button to fasten it, and a hem. The sizing chart must have been wrong, because I made the arms too big, but I just took it in at the sides and it's fine now. I had to chop the excess out of the seam allowance though, as they were really bulky, and took a chunk out of my finger too. Ouch. Oh well, it looks beautiful.

I'm also thinking about buying this cute little lady:

Her name is Julie, she's 10 years old, and an American Girl doll from 1972-6ish. And absolutely adorable. I've got two of these already - Felicity (1774) and Amanda (modern) - Amanda's a lot like my alter ego. They're 18" tall, and gorgeous, and kind of addictive.

Amanda needs new clothes too - I'm thinking about a dress made out of scraps from Bindi's dress in the same style as Bindi's dress, I'll see if I can pull it off. The print is small enough that I could get away with it, but I'd have to create the pattern small enough, and flatten the bust. And I want to buy her some jeans and stuff like that when/if I get Julie, and a summer outfit for Felicity who currently only has winter clothes from when I was younger and first got her.

No stitching stash for a while in that case, but that's alright - I'm happy stashwise at the moment.

It's Wednesday - The Chaser's War on Everything in on tonight, yay! It also means that tomorrow is Thursday and I get to go out, which will be good.

Anyway, back to working on this stag. I want this sampler caught up!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dressmaking fun

I actually ended up having quite a productive day. Bindi was home sick, and the dress is for her, so I took her measurements and cut the dress out that I bought fabric for the other day.

This is the dress style:

I'm making the long pink one, but it's pale green instead.

I weirded Bindi out by sitting there on the floor cutting (we have a floating floor which is excellent for cutting) the dress out, listening to Orthodox Chant, and singing the Trisagion:
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal have mercy on us
and absentmindedly putting the scissors down to cross myself each time.

My family already think I'm mad though, so that's alright!

The dress is mostly done now. The bodice was fiddly, but I got it done, and it's all done except for the gathers at the bottom which join onto the midriff section and the zip at the back, which I'll put in when the dress is sewn together since the zip goes down into the back of the skirt. The skirt itself is done too, just needs to be gathered at the top to be joined to the bodice and hemmed at the bottom when it's done - they say to hem it before you join the pieces, but I can't see the sense in that - how do you know how long to hem it?

Hopefully I'll finish it tomorrow, and I can fix the gathers on my green dress and hem it and the purple one and I'll be pleased. My godsister wants me to make her a medieval dress too, so we're going to Spotlight soon to grab fabric and a pattern and I'll make it up. If other people comment on it and she mentions that I made it, maybe a few people might pay me to make them one...we'll see. It'd be fun to be paid to do this!

Either way, I see a lot of dressmaking in my future. Embroidery is wonderful, but it's so much fun to watch something come together this quickly.

My parents and I went to dinner tonight at my favourite pasta place in North Adelaide, where I got my favourite - again - pasta, their Zingharella which is wonderful. Chilli and honey butter sauce and prawns... yum. I had a really good chardonnay with it, which was nice since I never order wine when I eat out. I'm glad I did, it was delicious. Tonight was a beautiful mild night, and we sat outside.

I've come home to crash now though. So, so tired. I think I'll say my prayers soon and sleep.

Still sick

But my body thinks that waking up early is practical. I think its annoying, because I run out of things to do much earlier in the day this way.

My body is back to doing the aching all over thing, and muscle bands, and ow. And it took me a whole day to respond to someone on a forum yesterday - granted, they did break it into 9 parts as it was so long! It tired me out halfway through and I slept part of the afternoon, with the curtains open and music on. My body makes no sense.

I'm constantly hungry at the moment, but have no appetite. I do not like this, it worries me.

I haven't stitched in a few days. I might this afternoon, hopefully...I miss it. My stag needs work, he needs a head. I'm just hoping that the pain in my arms fades a bit, it's starting to hurt just to type.

I don't like days like this. Lord have mercy.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I've been really sick today - I woke up, fed the yowling cats, and crashed back into bed, and my body wasn't happy with me. About 11:30am I woke up again, this time with crazy muscle pain - I've been almost able to forget the fibromyalgia aspect recently...NOT today. Anyway, I got up deciding that I may as well grin and bear it, and found that someone I know online had sent me a link to a copy of the Akathist (a kind of hymn) to St Nectarios, which is here. Orthodox people often ask him to pray for us for healing, and my church is named after him! I had the spare time, so I thought - why not go through it? I got to the end, not expecting anything, but suddenly realised that the pain was gone, completely. Doxa to Theo - glory to God. It's still not back, though I'm starting to feel tired so my body is aching a little. Completely different though, which was very, very nice!

I've just had a lazy day. Troy and I watched Save the Last Dance this afternoon, and I stitched, and got a lot done on the TGOSM mystery, carrying on from where I left off yesterday. I've now got another row of four-sided stitch done, and a whole chunk of a block of queens stitches - solid queens stitch blocks! Very strange, but has a very awesome effect. I like it, an interesting texture, it's done in pink and a greeny-blue. The stag now has all four legs and a tail, and I'm working my way up his body towards his head. The whole sampler is stitching up very quickly, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It's nice to know that I'm actually quite a fast stitcher - usually I do such intricate, colour changey things that I don't make a huge amount of visible progress - this it all comes together so quick and simply, and it looks great. I think I am going to enjoy this mystery!

With the mystery, I planned to do half of this section, then the other half, but I've got it centred on the Q-snaps and I'm reaching the edge-ish with the stag, so I'm going to have to move the Q-snaps to continue leftwards. I think what I'll do, if I don't have a reason to take the fabric off the snaps beforehand, is work as far left as I possibly can, and then when I run out of space work in the other direction until I need to move the snaps for some reason. The chart is pretty good though - more or less all the motifs are on one page, so there's no real reason to swap across pages much. I'm going to do as much on this page as I can before swapping though, it will just keep it simple.

Ive got church tomorrow, though I forgot to ask Jeremy which service we're going I'll just get up and ready as if it were the one we need to be ready at 8 for, and if he comes an hour later he comes an hour later. Troy will just play his computer game and I can stitch for an hour, no problem.

I have to link to an awesome WIP of Chatelaine's MX that is actually caught up, too - here! It's Margit's from the yuku board, and I'm so, so looking forward to getting mine caught up to this point. Its 3/4 done, and I love the weeping willow trees - the whole thing is just incredible, I'm so glad I'm stitching it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

No Title Tonight

I can't think of one. So, none it will be!

I've been a bad blogger recently. Mostly because since Monday morning I've had no internet, being at my grandmother's house. Nine hours away, and she doesn't have a computer from this century, let alone the internet...her computer was purchased in 1995, and she's yet to upgrade!

I got a package that I thoroughly enjoyed opening last week, lots of beautiful Dinky Dyes silks for the new TGOSM mystery sampler. Which I promptly went to Spotlight and bought fabric (at a stupid price) for. I couldn't get enough for the chatelaine as well, as there wasn't enough on the roll, but when I finish up this month's part on the sampler (I'm determined to stay up to date on this one) I'll tack outlines for the pieces that I can fit on the piece I got and I'll buy some more when I need it. This months chatelaine piece is nice and small - a clover cutter case, so I'm not too worried about it, but I'm going to try and keep up with the chatelaine each month too.

For those who don't get TGOSM (and should, it's awesome and cheap!) the twelve parts of the sampler each focus on a different culture/country's style of needlework and history. There's a big article with information on it all, and then a chunk of the sampler. This month's is Germany, and gorgeous. My Dad likes it, because it's a lot like what my Grandmother (his Mum) used to stitch. The central motif in this section is a heart with flowers growing out of it, with two stags either side and then other motifs beyond that - borders, and a couple in court dress on the left, with more borders and a man carrying grapes on the right. Add to that some sections of specialty stitches, and snowflakes at the bottom, and it's very pretty.

So far I have the flowers done, part of one stag, half of a blackwork section (flowers, very pretty), a section of algerian eyelets done in two colours and a band of four-sided stitch done in white. It looks great - no pictures yet as I have no camera, my sister took it with her away for the weekend. I'm looking forward to the other parts!

I worked on my other pieces a little while I was away, but mostly on this.

I was over with my grandmother since we had to visit my grandfather (on the other side, two died a few years ago)'s house to collect up the last few things before we sold it. Finally. Long story, which I won't go into here. Anyway, I got some fantastic books on dressmaking (including some that show, really clearly, how to make your own patterns), a dryer, a tv cabinet, and a TV!! It's quite big, too, and it is going to live at Troy's house until we get married as the house currently has no TV, and we've got one here. I also got some random pots and pans, and a steamed pudding basin, and a little baby saucepan for making chai with. In return I did a bit of cleaning, and kept my aunt company.

We went to visit my great uncles and aunt as well, which was enjoyable - I love visiting them, they have a farm with one of the classic Australian stone houses, with the kitchen separate from the house so as not to heat it up in summer, etc. My great aunt is wonderful, a grand old country lady, so we have lemonade and tea and cakes and sandwiches and.... whenever we go to visit her. Dad played guitar and sang with my great uncles (who used to be in high demand when they sang with my grandfather at country shows, dances and rodeos back in the day) and then I jumped in and Dad and I sang a Carpenters song. If we'd had the music we would have sung stuff by The Seekers...shame, I love that stuff, it's what my voice naturally likes.

We came back yesterday, and I went from the car trip straight to Jeremy's work, where I got changed and we went to church for Divine Liturgy as today is a feast in the church - The Exaltation of the Holy Cross. So we had the DL, which was beautiful, but different - I'm not used to the differences on feast days yet, and I got a stalk of blessed geranium from the wreath that the Cross was laid on during the Liturgy. It's now in water in my room, and I plan to plant it when I get the chance. We had a study afterwards, and got fed, and came home.

I've been sick today though. It's been sneaking up on me, and then today it decided to sink its teeth in. I'm not enjoying it, but it'll pass.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Dressmaking again

Yep, its that time again. Mum and I went down to spotlight yesterday and bought 3m of a beautiful green fabric with white flowers embroidered on it, in one of the two shades of green in the world that I can wear. I am pleased. I can't, however, get a photo of it that shows the true colour. It's a springy pale green, and this is probably the best colour photo I have - Kringles decided that she wanted the fabric (my sister's neurotic but darling cat)
Kringles Claiming Fabric
Sorry about the random objects around it - I needed to get the photo before she saw the camera and freaked out - cameras are thing #329082910321 on the list of things Kringles is petrified of.

Here's a picture that shows the design, its just really dark:
Fabric for Green Dress

I'm making the purple dress I made a few months ago - remember this one?
look, a dress!

But as that was made in 100% cotton (which creases like mad but hangs nicely and is very cool - and cheap) this one will drape a bit differently, it's polyester. I'll be interested to see how it comes out. I'm also going to taper the skirt a bit, as the pattern just gives it as two rectangles - makes it very comfortable at the bottom, but bulky at the top.

My sister has also claimed a dress in potentia in this fabric (good thing there was still plenty on the roll when we left last night!) but I'm thinking I'll do a lined bodice with buttons down the front and no sleeves on that one. We'll see, I'm going to find a pattern if I can when I go to get more fabric but if all else fails I'll just modify this one.

I love dressmaking, and people keep suggesting that I do it professionally...I don't know. Maybe one day! I'd also like to make some skirt and top sets and stuff, and learn to make pretty blouses and things to wear with jeans. And maybe I'll tackle a denim skirt...denim just scares me. I really want a long denim skirt though, makes a change from jeans and I can wear all my jeans tshirts with it.

Anyway, back to it. I'll post photos at some point - either in progress, or at the end, depending on how long it takes me! The last one only took about 3hours total, so we'll see if I can beat that this time.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A good stitchy day, if nothing else

Today's been very slow. As usual, my body decided that it still hated me when I woke up. Noticing this, I decided to sleep as long as possible, but a string of phone calls by different people, all looking for my dad (who wasn't home, and hadn't taken his mobile (he always forgets it) and no he hadn't told me when he was getting home - wonder how long until he pays me to be his secretary) kind of interfered with that. Finally I gave up at about 10ish, and dragged my laptop up onto my bed again.

I've discovered that cyberspace is an incredible place to waste time. Seriously. I don't think I got off the net for another two hours, despite almost noone being on (and the one person who was on was only on for about twenty minutes), and then read a book for a couple hours, and plonked myself on the couch.

Like I said, slow. But I did settle down to work on A Restful Night, and got 300 stitches done, which I'm very pleased with, especially since most of them were confetti - major confetti! I've finally finished the head of the grass stalk that she's holding, which looks incredible but has more colours than I like to think about in it. Aside from that, and finishing up listening to GP Taylor's Shadowmancer (which I thoroughly enjoyed, almost more in audiobook than I did in book form a few years back) I didn't do much for the rest of the day, though I did get referred to sewandso... and realised that buying from them was cheaper than buying from Australia...

Remember that Waxing Moon chart I bought that I'd decided to do in just plain DMC and buy the buttons only? Somehow that all flew out the window when I realised that WDW and GAST (which I've never had reason to use before now) were both variegated threads. Drat... 20 pounds later and I've got a nice big fat parcel being sent over to me. At least I can keep most of each skein (there's quite a few colours and it's only a small design) for later projects...right? I told my sister how much I'd spent offhandedly, and she went 'mmhmm' like she normally does to any talk of stitching (or Orthodoxy) and then a beat later 'you spent WHAT???!!!'

The reaction was priceless, and made my day.

I'm loving working on A Restful night at the moment. I've only got another 200ish stitches left before I'm 35% done, which is very encouraging, though I feel like it should be more since I've only got another 18 rows of the current pages left when I'm finished with this row of blocks.

Much as I love my HAEDs though, I think I should make something else a focus when I finish her. I'd like to keep a QS in my 'rotation', and I still plan to do Cat Nap Fae next for Meg (I promised her it ages ago) but I think I'll keep it for QS Wednesdays and other random 'screaming' times. It's only 2pages, really, with a few rows left over as change (about 10?) so it shouldn't take too long, and it's nice and small, just big enough to tuck into a letter and send to New York to its recipient. On the other hand, it has a lot of glitter thread. Yetch. Definitely subbing glissen gloss for the kreinik, and I might leave the sparkle until last, we'll see. Most of the sparkle seems confined to the sky though, so it's about 1/2 page worth at most. Thank goodness for small mercies? She's adorable, I'm just not so fond of sparkle.

On the other hand though, I have so many things started and not finished. And I really can't justify starting something new as a focus - if I start something new it will be in the background, and not as a reward for finishing - not this time, I've got enough started already!

Candidates include:
  • White Musings - about 25% done. This is, of course, if it's not finished by then - and if I aim to get at least a few rows a week done, it will be.
  • Froggy Frog World - 1000 stitches done of goodness knows how many (20 pages!). This would keep Troy happy, but I couldn't keep it as focus indefinitely. Maybe if I set the goal for it being focus at four pages or something, it might work.
  • Noon Basking - unsure as to how much done. I'd really really love to get back to working on him seriously, he's so beautiful. He's currently winning. He's also not as big or as complicated as most of my others, even though I used to think he was really big - he's not. The chart's just complicated, but I'm used to reading it now.
  • Mystery X - About 4.5? parts of 12 done. Again, hard to keep as focus, though it might be fun to try and catch up again. Those houses are beautiful, and I really want mine caught up.
  • Japanese Octagon Box - 1.5 parts of 12 done. Would be fun, but I'm SALing with Tash and I'd kind of like to keep it as a SAL piece. Especially since the borders start to drive me nuts after a day or two's work!
  • Tranquility Mystery Sampler - I really have no idea. 5%? This one would be a fantastic candidate, it's beautiful with lots of colour changes between monochromatic designs. And its something completely different. On the other hand, I'd only really be able to work on it if I was concentrating, given my tendency to get really really frustrated with it if I have to frog.
  • TGOSM countries mystery - not started - yet! I'm planning to keep this one as one of my screamers for a while, knuckling down on it every now and then. It seems pretty straightforward, and I really like it - and it's stitched over 2 in Dinky Dyes. How could I not love it?
So, any votes/opinions/advice welcome :)

By the way, here is White Musings with five rows done (the top row is being cut off by my q-snaps) and row 6 half done:
3rd September 07
I'm off to take my medication, and hopefully my body will settle down with it now and not feel sick. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Another photo post!

The menu for Father's Day was as follows:
  • Pineapple, apple and mint juice
  • Chive omelette with smoked salmon
  • Brunch bake
  • Potato has with bacon
  • Feta and tomato topped mushrooms
  • Barbecued asparagus with pistachio and lemon dressing
  • Bread and butter pudding

And here are photos:
This is the first plate - the omelettes, mushrooms and asparagus.

And this is (L->R) Me, my dad, and my sister Bindi

Brunch bake - chipolatas, tomatoes, and capsicum, baked together and delicious. There was supposed to be turkish bread in it too, but Bindi has coeliac disease so we left it out and ate it on its own.

And finally, see - bread, juice, oil, empty plates!

We didn't get a chance to get pictures of the rest - everyone just wanted to eat it.

In other photos:
A non-blurry photo of FFW, taken by my sister. Unfortunately, she doesn't understand the art of this - like moving gridding threads out of the way!

And best of all - A Restful Night, with 7 rows (10,500 stitches) done. Look at that sweet little face!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Feeling like death

My body hates me again.

It's probably due to the fact that I spent all of yesterday morning making food for lunch, but I think it was worth it. I made an absolutely crazy amount of food, but we enjoyed it. And I got photos, so I'll post them when my sister's camera decides to play nice again - I've also got a non-blurry FFW picture!

Dad's been feeling sick so he claimed the couch where I usually sit to stitch (and has my frame) yesterday, so I pulled out JOB and got an early start on it. I had to do a bit of frogging, but mostly it came out right, and I'm pleased. Yesterday's work saw a lot more of the grass/sea bit, even more tree, and a lot of black border. Now all of the ornament border down the bottom is done, and I took the bottom snap off for a while to work on the very bottom edge and made progress there. So the borders are almost done for this panel, which I'm pleased about, and I'm thinking that when I finish the black borders for this I'll put my lengths of black every other thread length into the next panel over, getting it ready to work on when I finish panel 2. I'm also tempted to alternate the 'border length' bit, and make it a black one time when I do it and then the slate blue for the ornament borders/gold for the same alternating times until they're done as well. This panel is coming together well, and I'm very pleased with it. I hope to finish the picture's cross stitching for this panel today, and maybe start on the specialty stitches for the pine needles and the backstitching for the reeds. I've decided that I'm going to leave all 3D stitches on this until the end, or at least until they are no longer likely to come into contact with the qsnaps - ie, can start filling in the rhodes stitches for part 1 when the qsnaps are on a part of the piece to the right of it. I'll probably leave them all until the end though, just like the beading.

I'm being tempted to leave the beads and crystals for the successive parts of MX off
now too, until the end, since it's starting to encroach on the edges of the frame. I'll add the beads for part 4, since there's only one corner's worth of it left unbeaded, but the houses and gardens can wait to get beaded until the end.

Speaking (typing?) of MX, I think I'm going to have to set a dictate that Fridays I will work on it. It's a beautiful piece, but I don't work on it nearly often enough, and I'd like to get at least somewhat caught up. If I could keep at least one side of it somewhere near current, that would be awesome. The latest part is just beautiful - and what's even better, it covers the mark on my fabric that has been there since very early in my start...I don't know what it is, and you can barely see it, but it bugs me and I'm glad that it gets covered with stitches! The only thing that is bugging me at the moment is the rhodes stitches in the wall, which I don't really understand - they're fiddly, and I'm not enjoying them.

I plan today that I'll work on A Restful Night a bit, see if I can get 300 stitches done in any reasonable amount of time, and then jump back into JOB. If ARN isn't going anywhere fast, I'll just stick to JOB and make some progress.

It's grey today. Very grey. And cold. I'm hoping that with some heating on my spirits will lift somewhat!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

I have pictures!

Finally found the camera, so here I am.

I had a vigil at the Greek church last night - Six hours of church service, and it was great. And I've never enjoyed chicken soup so much as at 1am after the vigil. Was fantastic.

And here: pictures!

First up, Japanese Octagon Box:
1st September
The edge of the fabric is a little frayed from trying to hold it in my old q-snaps, but I think it'll be okay. It wont matter by the time I get to making it up into the box anyway.

I've almost got part 2 half done, and I'm loving the stitching. It's just beautiful. This panel has another tree in it, but no leaves on it this time, and a bonsai tree in the bottom part.

And here's my Froggy Frog World after the SAL:
27th August
about 1000 stitches, sorry for the blurry photo. It seems impossible to get a clear one, I'll try again later.