Sunday, March 30, 2008


We're now halfway through Lent. WOOHOO!

I have a huge list of things to do, but insh'Allah all will work out. I've got a shortlist of things to do tonight - writing an essay and finishing my green dress, I hope.

I have some really interesting ideas for my baptismal robe - I need a dress to be baptised in, but I'm planning to make it out of plain white cotton, the same style as my purple one. But there's plenty of lovely blank canvas there... I'm thinking some butterflies embroidered, and maybe some drawn thread work? :) We will see. There's just so much space to work on, and I've got plenty of white cotton.

We had Church this morning, and being the third sunday of Lent it was the Adoration of the Holy Cross. So another procession, yay, and then we all filed past to kiss the Cross and accept a blessed flower from the wreath from the priest. I got a carnation, Troy and Jeremy got geranium leaves, and the whole lot makes a pretty posy which is now in a vase on my table.

Jeremy came back here after for lunch, pumpkin and chickpea curry (yummm) and we sat around and talked. Now I'm just killing time and procrastinating, bad Kyriaki. Jeremy's scared me into getting a couple things which were overdue done last night (finished the last one at 3am this morning) and he mailed them today, and insh'Allah I'll get the draft of an essay done tonight. We'll see. I'm not really in a motivated mood with regard to school, but oh well.

Oh, and I have a cute little girl's dress to make as a baptismal robe for my godmother's great niece, too. Who is getting baptised on Tuesday. Oh yay. The dress should be cute though, I've got a lovely soft fabric to use for the overskirt :)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday night

So, this time tomorrow night I'll have made it through three weeks of Lent. Cool!

Today I'm tired, as usual, but more at peace, thankyou God. I've been furiously lighting candles and asking the help of any Saints I can think of, and it seems to be working - I might be feeling sick, but my soul feels lighter.

I've had plenty of opportunities to light candles and pray, too. Church last night, and then again tonight - the Akathist (hymn to the Theotokos/Virgin Mary), and then a vigil, much to my delight when we found out about it Thursday night - I love vigils! Last night's was amusing though, as the choir got mixed up and they got lost, and Father got lost, and everyone got lost, and it took some serious sorting out. The Greek ladies adopted me again, and I got given little books with the text of Great Compline (evening service that isn't Vespers) and the Divine Liturgy (Mass) - in Greek, but I can figure out what's going on most of the time, with Greek text.

Afterwards, we sat around and talked, ate huge amounts of soup and baba ghanoush, and laughed a lot. There's a new-ish guy that's been there the last few weeks, called Nick, and he and I are apparently a match for each other in the amount we talk, how fast we talk, how much we laugh and they way that we sidetrack even ourselves in our conversations. Yay, someone else like me! The soups were pumpkin, and a tomato one with big noodles in it. Yum. Both were delicious.

I got home at 3am to find Troy sleeping in my bed as my grandmother is sleeping in the spare bed and he doesn't fit in the couch, which was a surprise but was ok, I just slept on the couch in a sleeping bag. I, on the other hand, am 5'0" and fit perfectly on a couch!

Tonight was Vespers, and afterwards we got dinner - felafel for the two guys, and a hamburger for me, which still feels weird, but I am supposed to be getting used to it, so I'm trying. Much laughter in the car too, except I am now supposed to be finding the envelopes to mail in my assignments and they're nowhere to be found. Ugh.

I've been stitching, too, especially on the borders and sky of peaceful paradise as I've had plenty of time. They're getting there. I got sick of blue and black so I filled in the red background on the flower ornament, and added some red letters with the leftover thread. Slowly, surely, it's getting there.

I have so many WIPs to slot into the focus space when I'm done with this one, but I'm trying not to think so much about that as I'm not even half done yet. Maybe when I'm half done I can start to think about it :)

Oh, and I bought a new scarf tonight for Church. I don't really like babushki scarves, and they never stay put, so I am always on the hunt for pretty rectangular ones that aren't too heavy. This one satisfies me on all counts:
Peach scarf 1

And it was cheaper than the yarn would have cost me if I were to make it myself! It reminds me of a very fine, sparkly fishing net. Troy thinks I look like a gypsy. Maybe I need to add nice big earrings, too?

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I'm notoriously bad at not doing these, but this week I'll actually do it.

When you stitch a pattern that you have downloaded do you print out the pattern or do you stitch directly from your computer screen?
I always print it, with the exception of Chatelaines. I can't stitch b&w from computer screens, I just can't focus properly, and I like to be able to highlight the symbols as I stitch them. I only print them as I stitch them though, I see no sense in having a massive stash of paper freebies/charts when I don't need them. Chatelaines are the exception because I like having them blown up really big on my computer screen to work on them. They're also the only colour charts I like. It's just much easier to follow a Chatelaine on the screen, I think, and it's easier when it comes to the backstitching, too. But generally I like having the chart on my chart holder, and highlighting as I go. Just easier.

On strike from being sick

I've been sitting and stitching away, filling in the sky and adding to the border down the right side. I've got far enough down the 'page' now that I have to turn my frame each time I swap from sky to something else, which is interesting. It's nice to work the right way up, at least.

I've decided that I will make my focusses the sky and the border, a length of thread on each to each length of thread on anything else. The sooner I get the sky done the better (I am so sick of it, though it looks good) and if I get the border done I can get down to the scene at the bottom, and start filling in the green when the sky is done. I think I'm going to be as sick of the grass by the end of this as I am of the sky now! It's coming along well though. If I finish the sky I'll take a photo, otherwise expect one on Monday.

I'm tired, but fed up with being sick so I pushed myself through tonight so I could get to Church. I'm glad I did, the minute the priest says "Blessed are you Lord..." (the opening words of most services) I am at home, I am at peace, and all seems right with the world. And most importantly, my focus is off myself, which is the important thing. We had a grand total of two in the congregation tonight, me and Jeremy, without even an altar server this time. Usually there's at least us two and his godfather who is often the altar server! But nope...and Jeremy was getting me to chant, which was interesting. He'd take a line, then make me take the next. Things like the litanies (responses are just "Lord have mercy", though we alternate the languages between english, greek and arabic) are easy, but psalms? Yiiikes. Reading them is fine. Chanting them is something else! We did a few bits line by line that I knew how to chant already, but Jeremy made me chant them in arabic - that was scary, but I did alright, I think. Anything I had no idea how to chant I just left to him :) Abouna (Father) seemed to think it was okay though, so that was nice. We were a bit less lost this time around - by the end of Lent we should be doing things pretty much right, but we won't do this service again for another year!

I have a bit of an interesting 'to do' list - an essay, an article to interview people for tomorrow night, fabric to buy for a dress for my godmother's great niece, that dress and a robe for the same girl to make, homework for all three subjects, and a dress to sew up, among other things. I'll be fine, it's just a bit daunting!

It's funny though, how it'll take me just getting fed up with my illness to get me out of the house and doing things. I just decide to refuse to be sick anymore - it doesn't change me being sick, but I get on with life. It's good.

Bindi's sick, so I asked her if I could light the candles in front of her icon. She laughed and said sure, and I passed her the icon, saying 'humour me?' She smiled, kissed it, and gave it back. I lit the candles, said a prayer, and left it be. It's nice doing the devotional things - we are not simply our minds, and to do things physically helps too, and I think I like the physical things best of all sometimes. Bows, prostrations, lighting candles, kissing the Cross, icons, the priests' hand... everything means so much. I love the Church.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I've started reading Les Miserables. My sister read it a few years ago, I love the story, she acted in the musical, and I've recently got back into reading classic literature. The most recent of those I've read being The Count of Monte Cristo (Dumas) and The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoevsky) both of which were fantastic, and recommendations from good friends - well, the Brothers K was recommended by Jeremy who is more than just a friend :) So far I am 35 pages of absolutely tiny text in, and have come across none of the major characters. I do, however, know an awful lot about the bishop...and a lot of random stories about what he did in the years leading up to meeting Valjean... hopefully I'll get to see Valjean soon :) It's good stuff though! But it's classic (heh) classic lit - looong backstories, and that particular style of writing. It's been easier for me to get into it this time than the other two books though, I think because I've had more practice reading this kind of thing recently. Very good stuff.

And it is the 27th. A month 'til Pascha...and a month less a day until something else. Lord have mercy, may I be ready...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


This is going to be a photo post a bit. For those that don't know, Australia's in the middle of a crazy drought, especially in my state (South Australia). We haven't really had rain at all in two months!

So imagine how cool it is to see this:
After the rain (front yard)
That's my front yard - see, no grass, nothing green except native trees ('cause native trees don't care whether they get watered or not). Rain is good. I love the grey sky, I just wish I could have captured the 'wet'-ness more. If I had a comparison photo it might be more obvious - that was so dry before, it's incredible.

From the back door
Here's from my back door. You can see the difference where the verandah isn't. The thing in a pot is a geranium (which also doesn't care much about water), the green stuff that's still alive is a weed that refuses to die, and the trees are a lemon and mandarin tree which we've been watering by hand to keep alive (no other forms of watering are permitted). The tank up the hill we used to drink from, until it went way too rusty and we built a new one. I wouldn't be wanting to try drinking from there now! Next to it is the other house on our property, where I lived until we realised that house was falling down around our ears as my great-grandparents hadn't thought that putting foundations in was important - building on clay! It was cheaper just to build a new house, so we keep stuff up there now. Nice big shed.

And this is something else altogether: my sister's icon. She was looking for things to make sure it stayed upright, so picked candles! I found that wonderfully poetic.
Bindi's 'icon corner'

Again, something completely different - this made me smile:

Teehee. Tonight, being Annunciation, we are eating fish and chips. 'Cause we can. Whenever a major feast and a fast coincide, the compromise is that we get to eat fish. I might not be following the strict fast anymore, but I'm eating fish in honour of the feast.

To Thee, the Champion Leader, we Thy servants dedicate a feast of victory and of thanksgiving as ones rescued out of sufferings, O Theotokos: but as Thou art one with might which is invincible, from all dangers that can be do Thou deliver us, that we may cry to Thee: Rejoice, Thou Bride Unwedded!
- from the Akathist hymn, also the kontakion (hymn) for the feast of the Annunciation

(I am rather fond of that hymn, actually. Friday is Akathist night, yay!)

My bed is a nice place to be

My room on the other hand is a tip, and that's bugging me. Maybe later today I'll go around and clean it a bit, if I have the energy.

I woke up today as sick as I expected to be. At 12:30 I finally woke up, got up to grab my laptop cable and came back to bed. I don't plan on moving much for the rest of the day, I'm just so tired. One of these days I will learn humility, I will learn to look after myself. I will! I'd got complacent - because I'd got myself into a good routine, I barely felt like I was sick anymore. I felt like I could do anything.

...ahahahahaha, NO. Now I am sick as a dog because I didn't pay attention to the signs, and made myself this way.

Today is the feast of the Annunciation - the angel Gabriel coming to visit Mary and announcing (hence the name) that she would give birth to Christ. I love the icon for this feast, there is a big copy of it in the narthex of the Church I most often attend, and etiquette says that you reverence (kiss and say hello to, basically) the icons as you walk in. It's always been one of my favourites of those. One of these days I'll remember a camera, and I'll take photos of my Churches!
Here's the icon:

The hymn for today is part of the Akathist hymn, too.

I have a math class today, and I have never been more thankful for having already covered this topic before multiple times (this is my third attempt at the same subject). This way I don't have to try and grasp any new concepts, just remember the old ones. God-willing my teacher will be kind to me, I'm just...ugh, sick.

But it could be worse. And I do have a lovely warm bed to lie in. This too will pass.

Monday, March 24, 2008


A good friend of mine and fellow catechumen gave this quote to me recently:
"Despondency is a paralysis of soul, an enervation of the mind, neglect of asceticism, hatred of the vow made. It calls those who are in the world blessed. It accuses God of being merciless and without love for men. It is being languid in singing psalms, weak in prayer, like iron in service, resolute in manual labor, reliable in obedience. "
- St John Climacus (of the Ladder)
It's kind of a kick in the teeth, but so many things in the writings of the Fathers are. They weren't writing to make us feel good about ourselves, though much in encouraging. If it's not a situation you find yourself in, the challenges would mean nothing to you, just be interesting. But, like scripture, they make you bite your lip and say ouch occasionally when they hit home.

I'm not well again, mostly my own fault, and one of these day I'll learn a bit of humility and learn to look after myself. To quote Father the other night: "Κυριακή [Kyriaki] must look after herself. There might be 52 κυριακήs [Sundays] in a year, but there is only one Κυριακή!" I know what he's saying, and as first glance I would say "well, I am, aren't I?" but when I wake up as exhausted as I have been today, I know that's a lie. Lent is hard on me, not because of food (especially now that I must eat normally, as I'm losing weight for health reasons and everyone's paranoid, probably for good reason - I'm down to 45kg (99lbs)) but because instead of the very sleepy life that I live normally, I've been going out to services. All that really changes is that I must learn to look after myself differently - eating more, going to sleep earlier, etc which is simple enough but I've not been doing it!

Today was a wakeup call - normally Mondays are my day where I get up at a reasonable hour (usually about 10), eat something (maybe!) and get a lot of schoolwork done, with stitching in between and the odd bit on the net. Today I got up at almost 1, finally dragging myself out of bed. I've been lying in bed most of the day, just wandering around the net or staring at the wall. I've wanted to stitch, but not been able to get the motivation to come back out to the living room, settle down and stitch. So it'll be an early night (probably 10:30-11ish) tonight, and taking it easy tomorrow. If I have any sense I'll be good, get some work done, stitch a seam or two if I'm well enough, maybe eat fish and chips (it is Annunciation after all!) and just generally be quiet. If I get to Church tomorrow night that'd be a bonus but I'm not holding my breath.

To those that are interested in these things, the stitching has been on Peaceful Paradise, and I'm so close to finishing this page it's not funny (with the exception of the sky, which I'm still working away at - BORING!) so I'll be definitely taking a photo when I do that. I'm cheating a little and filling things in outside this page, but that's just to break up the monotony. I'll be glad to be finished the sky though and have the piece the right way up - it's too much strain on my arms to reach the top of this frame, so I'm working upside down, and there's not enough spare fabric to put it any further down in the frame. It looks wonderful though, and it's a nice treat to turn it the right way up again and see how much I've got done!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Western Easter

I am so tired that it is not funny, but that's ok. This too will pass.

I got up this morning, had a shower, got dressed, and went egg hunting with my sister - and then Jeremy came, so he helped out.

We were very tired
Before the hunt

but chocolate eggs are fun, and there's plenty of hiding places in our yard (3/4 of an acre).

And we found them!
Successful hunters

But there was one more 'egg' to find and open, so we went inside and found it, and my sister couldn't understand why I was giving her a present, or what it was...
What is it?

but when she opened it she was pleased.
Maximus and 'Maxine'

A bit of background - Bindi is 'Belinda', but that's not a Saint's name, and both my parents are named for Saints, as will I be when I'm baptised. She's not, though, but when I was reading the story of St Maximus the Hut Burner ages ago she was intrigued, asked when his feast day was, and marked it on the calendar. While I was at my grandmother's house, she rang me on January the 13th to remind me! I wished her Χρονια Πολλα (many years, ie good luck) and she said 'it's not my name day!' I commented that it might as well be...

Well, a month or so ago her friend and I were talking about name days and Bindi came in. Her friend asked when her name day was, and she said 'January 13th - St Maximus. I'm Maxine.' I just about fell over, but I thought...and bought her an icon. If Maxine she'll be, that's fine with me!

She liked the icon a lot, and it's now pride of place on her dresser.

As to today - it's been uneventful. Just Church (which was wonderful) and a fish BBQ for Annunciation (on Tuesday, but we cheated and celebrated it today instead), and came home to talk with Jeremy and random family. Now I'm just tired, and having a sleepy afternoon/evening. It'll probably stay that way.

Easter Bunny

Hmm, there's a very odd shaped 'egg' been left at my house. Wonder what it is?
Easter egg?
I mean it says it's an easter egg, and it has the stripes...

I'll let you all guess what it is! C'mon, guessssss :)

In other news, I've had a reasonably busy day. I got up, threaded new elastic into winter clothes of Dad's for the very cold weather that he hasn't worn in years (so the elastic has perished), and got things sorted out for his trip - off to England, lucky thing. We took him to the airport, and took photos - this is my family:
Family before Dad's flight

My sister is odd, and wanted her own photo, so here you are - here's a face to the name 'Bindi' -

We went to the hospital after seeing Dad off, and I tied the blessed cross (knotted in cord, on a long cord for a necklace) I was given a while back to his bag he took on the plane. May God keep him safe! My grandmother is doing well, and I saw my Mum's two brothers and one's wife, and my cousin and her two kids (who are adorable). Her little girl who is almost 2 shares my birthday! There's a beautiful garden, and I liked leaning on the rail along the window-wall looking out into it. Very peaceful. I was tired though, and we came home. I didn't get much done - tired out, took a break for a few minutes then caught the train to the city to meet up for a youth council meeting, met Jeremy there, but we had to leave 30ish minutes after it started, which would have been fine if we'd started on time but these are Lebanese people...start on time? What do you mean!?!? So about ten minutes in (and a soy latte later, much to Jeremy's disgust as he hates soy milk) we left for Vespers, and I yanked my long blue skirt out of my bag, pulled it over my head and walked into Church. I love clothes that I can get away with wearing over jeans! Thea Maria (not my aunt, we all call her that though) was there, with a few other lovely ladies, D, and a few other regulars. I love Vespers.

D, Jeremy and I talked for ages after, sitting, on Jeremy's car, and finally it was too cold and dark so we left, and went in search of dinner. Meantime, everyone's been at me to eat...and Jeremy made me call Father and say about the fact that I've been losing weight (medical, not fasting related). The order was to eat normally again...well, ok. So Jeremy ate his felafel and supervised me eating all of a cheeseburger with pineapple from a fish and chip shop. It tasted wonderful, first meat in three weeks, but it was weird being watched! Eating healthily though, so things like chocolate that I don't need and aren't nistissimo are still out, of course. Right. Now if I can just worry about getting Troy to eat right...

I'm home now, and very tired, so planning on going to sleep in a minute. I have Church in the morning, after an egg hunt with my family.

Before I go, here's one final photo - Bindi got this one while I wasn't looking. She's a good photographer, I think. It's me, by the window to the garden at the hospital.
Quiet moment

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Middlename Meme

stolen from someone's blog:

The Rules:
1) You must post the rules on your post before you answer the questions.
2) You need to list one fact about yourself using each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name use your maiden name instead.
3) When you are finished with your answers, you tag one person for each letter of your name.

L is for laughter - I laugh a LOT. Life's too short not to laugh when something's funny, and joy is a blessing, a gift.

O is for oxymoron! I contradict myself in so many ways, ie. I'm disorganised and a mess but I hate clutter. I break most of the rules for what 'person A' is supposed to be like - my labels describe but do not define me. The one time I suppose I do fit it is my Christianity - but that's easy, as in Orthodoxy there's a lot more scope for individuality as the individual person is important, as part of the community. That's a mystery in and of itself - emphasising both the importance of the individual yet it not being about 'me', but about the community. Uhoh, I'm rambling. Which leads to...

R is for ramble. I get sidetracked very easily, and my conversations are often very messy. Most of my friends can keep up with me, but I've learned the ones that I can be myself with and the ones I need to simplify things somewhat with. Confusing people is not usually a good thing.

R is also for romantic. I'm a hopeless romantic, and I've no shame in admitting that. I will forever love being swept up in the moment, and it's the little things that are important to me. I also have odd ideas about love winning over all, but I also know that it takes a lot of work for that to happen.

A is for artistic. I've been told a thousand times that I have an artistic temperament. I think that's usually a conclusion people come to after seeing the mess that is whatever space I inhabit and my stitching! I'm the sensitive creative dreamer, and this gets me into trouble a lot but I wouldn't change it for the world. Life just seems to 'taste' good this way.

I is for intelligent. This gets me into trouble on a regular basis. Part of this is because intelligence =/= wisdom, and showing off/being proud or arrogant is NOT a good thing. It also caused me trouble all through school - being the kid who can read, write and count three years above what you're supposed to and reads books for fun (and does a 7th grade level assignment on the Victorians during fall break in grade 2) is not the way to have happy teachers. Finally though I'm having a bit of fun with it - it makes it easier to think, read and understand stuff, and have great chats with people. It also appears to make learning language easier.

N is for names. I'm a sociology geek, so I love things like the meanings of names - and I think names are important, too. I like how names were once given specifically for their meaning, and plan to do the same for my children. Mine mean "Lord have mercy" - Kyrie-Eleison, and "for the Lord/the Lord's day"- Kyriaki. Some of my favourites are Eleni/Helen (light), Susannah (rose or lily), John (gift of God) and Daniel (God is my judge).

E is for exact. I'm a perfectionist, and will happily stitch and restitch things until I'm happy. I drive my family nuts restarting projects, but it's always worth it.

I tag...well, anyone that wants it. I hate tagging.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Progress and Despondency

The weather has now swung around to being grey and cold. So it's gone from one extreme that's bad for me to the other! I'll settle down soon enough I'm sure.

My illness is acting up, but I suppose I should be used to that by now. I'm planning to spend a lot of today just resting, I need it. Yesterday I woke up late, pottered around a bit, had a lesson and realised that it was Wednesday and we had Pre-Sanctified Liturgy (Mass, but they keep the communion from Sunday instead of doing the consecration again) that night. A few phone calls later, and we figured out Jeremy couldn't take us, as he had something else he had to do and had gone that morning to another Church (at 7:30am, the nutter). So we rang Abouna, the priest from the arabic parish. His english is pretty good, but on the phone, with people around? Ha! It took a few goes, but finally he figured out who I was, understood what I was asking, and got the address to pick us up from. Fixed. Troy was feeling particularly grumpy and staring at the wall so I dragged him out of his house for a walk to the store (a km or so I supppose? I'll have to measure it) to get some bread and juice to take to Church for after. Was good for him, but not really for me - I was dressed for Church so my shoes weren't walking shoes, and I'm sick. Oh well, I'm still alive! We got back just in time for Abouna to pick us up, and went to Church.

Weeelll....none of the usual choir were there except one lady, and no Jeremy! So we had the service book (in arabic), the one lady who knows how to chant but not the tones (different tunes that you chant to), me, because Abouna had asked me...and a lot of prayer. Like I said last week, noone really knows this service very well as we only really do it in Lent, so it was interesting. We made it through though! It was kind of fun, in a weird way. We had one particular visitor that's been coming a few times, who is not Orthodox but is arabic, and he smiled at me and was following what I did - as if I'm an expert on these things! Weird, but I think I did alright. He's nice. I was clever, too, and wore a very full skirt - I remembered stepping on my hem as I got up from prostrations each time the other day! Prostrations are...well, the way we do them is like the final bow with forehead to the floor that the Muslims do and is always shown on tv. You do that, and get up again. Do that, and get up again. Usually in sets of three. Stepping on your hem is NOT fun while doing that! As my friend said though, you know it's Lent when you've got rug burns on your forehead.

After that, we got ourselves dropped off at the netball courts in the parklands that surround the city where Troy's brother's girlfriend was playing, watched half the game, and then all four of us went for pizza. There's a pizza place near there that does wholemeal pizza, and they do a mushroom one which is delicious. So we got that with no cheese (Mushrooms! Yay!) and ate it rapidly. Mushrooms and chickpeas are my new favourite foods now I've got to Lent. Oh, and real baba ghanoush...yum...

Troy's brother brought us home and now I'm still tucked up in bed, avoiding the cold, and my homework. Eventually I'll get up and do it I'm sure!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A cooler day

The change came. Finally. We have set a record for the longest heatwave ever in my city now - 16 days of 35*C+ temperatures, most of them around 40*C. Ugh. Today is much more pleasant, currently about 26*.

I'm procrastinating, as usual. There is so much that needs doing and I feel overwhelmed, which is not the way to do things...bleh. It'll get sorted out I'm sure!

Sally and Chiasmata - thanks for your comments. As to being addicted to BAPs - yup! I know that, I seem to totally fail at picking small projects. That's why I have so many, this way I can swap around easily. Speaking of small-er projects, I'm thinking I might take JOB (which I love but has been driving me CRAZY because I can't get it to fit in my q-snaps up with me to Troy's parent's place, and get his dad (who is a carepenter) to make up a frame to stretch it on, like a canvas. I don't think it'd hurt it at all (he'd be good with it, his wife is a mad crafter and embroiderer) and it'd make me able to work on it, and get it done - it's been sitting partly started for ages. Again, I don't want more current WIPs, but I would like to know that it has the possibility of being worked on easily. Besides, it's not hard if it's on a frame like that to tuck it in my bag and stitch at appointments etc, or just put a length of thread in every now and then. And I'd really like to get it done! It's so pretty. Chatelaines are so annoyingly addictive :)

I've got this backlog of started projects too...I finally have a sort of 'STRIP' list, though it's hardly long. But I have found my rhythm - have a focus piece, and then a couple other pieces that I work on for a break. Mystery X only works as a focus piece, really, so I'll leave it be unless I get totally fed up with Peaceful Paradise or finish it - I've got a number of people on my back to finish this one SOON - but A Restful Night comes out to play sometimes, as do other things. JOB could happily be an 'other thing'. I don't really do rotations, but this works.

Here's the backlog of started things:
  • Japanese Octagon Box (parts 1 and 2 done of 12, sans beading and rhodes stitches)
  • Mystery X (about 50% done)
  • Tranquility Mystery Sampler (15% done?)
  • Historic Countries Sampler (1st part of 12 almost done)
  • The chatelaine if i get around to stitching it (not sure that I will, I don't really like smalls or have anything to do with them) (not started)
  • Noon Basking (a chunk done, maybe 20%?)
  • A Restful Night (about 55%)
  • White Musings, which I have a love-hate relationship with (the first few bands)
  • Dance of the Graces. (not even 5% yet, I learned I don't cope with more than one HAED at a time)
Ugh. And I love them all! I've also got Convents Herbal Garden and Nuts About Autumn kitted up, plus a zillion charts...

Oh well.

I should go do some work. I'll finish this length of thread and go tackle some math.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hey, photos!

I found the camera charger. Yay! And now, editing to add that I'm somewhat more awake now so now you get commentary with it.

Here's the frog'n'fairy:
17th March 08
I deviated from my mental parking ways this SAL, which was kind of fun. I'm still parking, sort of, but this is much faster to do it this way. The way I used to do it was...well, insane. I will probably still use that method sometimes, but I wanted to make serious inroads and I did. About 500 stitches I think, all told. I love the fronds coming through, and I'm starting to outline the frog's legs, but you can't really see - yet. Maybe next time I pick it up.

and here's Mystery X - I got heaps done while I was in Tumby but never got around to taking a photo!
Part 6 WIP - 17th March 08
It's starting to get too big for decent photos. I'll have to start taking photos of the areas I've worked on soon, rather than the whole thing! And it's only half
I miss this piece, I'll have to get back into it again - maybe when I've got peaceful paradise done? At least when there's a lot more done on it!

And, this icon I keep talking about. It's only a start, and only the border, but it is pretty. The photo doesn't do it justice, as usual. I wasn't expecting it to 'glow' this much from the computer generated image. She's a brilliant charter, from what I've stitched so far. Instead of just being brown wood-esque stuff, this actually looks nice!
17th March 08
There are two 'rubies' started in there too. This one's a nightmare to park, so I'm not - just at the edges of pages, as trying to work across the A3 pages with this would be nuts. I've actually folded the pages so that they're A5, and I'm mostly working within the top left section, obviously. It simplifies things, these charts are intricate! I gridded like mad, and I've been using it a lot. This is a lot of fun to stitch, but I'm finding myself missing Peaceful Paradise so that's back on the frame tonight. I'll have to figure out a schedule.

I'm tired, and I'm slightly manic because I'm stressed. But I will be okay, I hope.

Being tired

Well, the math assignment is done, except for neatening it up and writing an introduction and conclusion, which is easy stuff and I will probably do it after dinner. I think dinner is going to be cold meat (for them) and salad, and I'll probably have a peanut butter sandwich with it. I've discovered that a sticky homemade orange marmalade we have is brilliant with peanut butter, so that shouldn't be too bad :) I have also discovered the wonders of ramen! I didn't realise it was lenten...

I went with Mum this morning (morning, ugh), and settled down to work. The first few hours I spent on my math, then in the long lesson after recess (all schools here have a break for half an hour at about 11) I sat down and did the history piece. Which wasn't too bad, and I have a 'supervisor' for the rest of the year for my subjects now. So every time I have to do something under test conditions, I just go up to school with Mum. Easy.

The afternoon was the struggle. I'd worked for hours, and my brain had had enough. Trying to write history notes just wasn't happening for me, so I went up to the library, sat in the sun and read a book. Much better.

I've got quite a bit done on the icon for the little I've worked on it, but I'm thinking I'll take it back off and put peaceful paradise back on. I miss it, and having an extra project is throwing me out of whack - so I'm thinking I'll work on it on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (Church days) when I'm not working on schoolwork or something - on Wednesday and Friday I have a lot of free time so not usually an issue - and work on my current WIPs other days. This commission is beautiful, and I love working on it, but I need to find a way to make it work. I need to find this camera to take a photo!

The fabric from the other day has had its second bath now, so I'll rinse it through clean water and hang it up in a few minutes. Lovely and green, should feel cool even if it's not! The weather should finally cool down after this stupid heatwave soon though, so that'll be nice.

Oh - I mentioned the Northern Lights last night. I found a photo album on Flickr of it, so go have a look if you have a few moments - I promise it's worth it! All the historic buildings on this main street of the City (museums etc among other things) are lit up, as if someone painted them, and they change!
Here's the link. And here's a pic for a teaser:

None of that greenery is really there!
Now I'm just settled, it'll be good to have a quiet night. Hanging out fabric, writing up a neat copy of this assignment, and maybe stitching some psalms. I am looking forward to it.

First week

I've survived. Hooray! Four more to go, then Holy Week, then Pascha. Oh, goodness. It's starting to sink in now (getting called Kyriaki almost constantly by Father helps there) that I'm actually going to get baptised soon. After so long waiting... wow.

Rachel, I did see you comment about the veil. Sorry I haven't mentioned it, I keep forgetting! My camera is currently dead, and I can't find the charger. So when I do, you'll get a photo :)

My goodness.

Well, Friday didn't go to plan. Mum needed to do stuff, and needed my help, and then we went shopping for stuff...and I bought fabric...and cooked dinner...and then had to catch a train so I could get to Church for the Akathist (hymn to the Theotokos, aka the Virgin Mary), and then got home really late...

Let me explain that one. The stuff Mum needed to do is boring, so I'll leave that be. Shopping - there were a few things that needed picking up, a few exchanges needed to be made, and I bought myself possibly the cutest 20s style hat ever. I will get a photo of that, too, I promise! It's brown felt and gorgeous. Then we dropped into spotlight (think michaels or joanns) to pick up the floss for this icon as I didn't have a lot of colours in my stash and it was bugging me, and noticed that they still had the fabric I made the purpledress in...well...

I am now the owner of another yard and a half of the same fabric, in emerald green. When I get a spare moment (tomorrow is going to be WORK) it'll become a dress like the purple one! The purple one needs mending, too, so it'll be good to get my sewing machine back out.

The Akathist was beautiful, though does anyone know the meaning of akathist? It translates to 'don't sit down!!' Ow, my feet. Then we picked up vegan chinese as it was the only place open that we could eat (no mcdonalds for us lenten waifs) and went to see Father, 'cause we could. And stayed there for hours. We love him.

Saturday was sleepy and quiet. I had terrible cramps and curled up in a ball for half of it, and made soup in the other. It was good to have some downtime, and boy did I need it because...

Today I got woken up by a bouncy Troy announcing that his friends from Uni were coming to Church with us as they'd rung him. So, dragging myself out of bed and into clothes, we went to Church, then hung around to talk to these friends and one of them's wife, which was lovely, grab lunch after finding a lot of places shut (it was midafternoon) - penne napolitana, and crash at Jeremy's place for a few minutes. The guys fell asleep over their books and I stitched on St Nicholas and kept an eye on the time, waking them up in time to go to a christening, so Jeremy could chant and we could see what we were in for...and then vespers with a congregation of five, and choir of two. It was lovely. Church gives me such peace. Then we grabbed dinner at an Indian place in the city (yummy - dahl, vegetables and fried potato chickpea things, and a bucket of saffron rice), looked at the lights on North Terrace (one of the major streets in the city, all lit up with projectors on the buildings - google North Terrace Northern Lights Australia and you'll see what I mean), and came home. Now I'm dead.

Tomorrow is going to be math assignment, a history summative (source analysis, so no studying, just writing lots), and maybe some stitching when I need breaks. I'm going to school with Mum (a high school teacher), so less distractions that way. Should be good. I have to be supervised for this summative, which is why I'm going there - yay, school.

Troy's brother is home before going away again on duty in the Army, so we bought him an icon of St George to take with him when he goes - he knows enough about icons to appreciate it. We should see him this week - Jeremy and I are going to Troy's place for dinner, so they can meet Jeremy and we can catch up with Matt (brother), his sister, his parents and the nieces. Should be good.

Now though? Now I'm tired. It probably shows in the writing, but I wanted to get all this down while I could!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Slowly, surely...

The last few days have been slow. I was going to write about Lent here, but I won't - not at the top. Most people don't come here to read the religious stuff, and the fact that I'm in Lent doesn't change why everyone else comes here :) It just changes me, or at least how I think.
The fun thing is cooking. Jelly is a good thing - just find some that's vegetable derivative, add fruit, and set in plastic cups in the fridge. Fassolada is always yum, the beans are soaking now, to be made into soup tomorrow. I've discovered a wealth of yummy vegan cooking, and it's fun. It's just also hard. I used to skip meals all the time, and it was easy. Now that I have to consciously think about what I'm eating, I always feel hungry!

School is starting to actually get busy. Mum was home today, and I had a video that needed watching before class - you know how in school you'd spend a lesson watching a video? Well, we only have an hour a week for each subject in 'class', so we watch the videos in our own time. On VCDs. Mum's a history teacher, and it was a history video, so she and I watched it, and that was good. Lent is a good time to spend in Church - we have three services on weekdays (at least), as well as the Saturday evening and Sunday morning services that we always have. So Church last night - like Mass, but without the consecration, done instead with the Eucharist kept from Sunday because the rules say you can't do the consecration on weekdays during Lent, tonight was the long evening prayer service (which I love), and tomorrow is the Akathist - hymns honouring the Theotokos (Mary) for being the Mother of God. Yay, Church. I'm always so much happier having been to Church.

I have a huge amount of homework to do tomorrow though. And it really needs to get done tomorrow, Saturdays always get busy by accident, and it needs doing soon. Sundays are not for schoolwork - it just doesn't happen. I end up at Church for too much of it! I'd like to do some sewing too, but I don't think it will happen.

Here's my list:
  • do math homework from textbook
  • do practice Maths test
  • sort out Jeremy officially being my Maths supervisor
  • do the second half of the calculations for a big assignment, and then write it up as the assignment after getting Dad to check it
  • do history notes from textbook (a couple chapters)
  • do history notes from workbook (a few pages)
  • do the questions on one page
  • do history notes from the next video
  • find another source for an essay on the home front during WWII
  • interview my grandmother for the above essay
  • photocopy the other source I found
  • start writing it!
  • write interview questions for studies of society
  • ask Dmitri if I can interview him, and someone else (Father? Nikki? Despina?)
  • interview people
  • write notes
  • draft article
  • do s.o.s. homework.
And that's just the homework!
Other things:
  • make fassolada
  • make anzac biscuits for me, and for dmitri
  • work on cleaning my room
  • throw out junk
  • feed + water the rats
  • plan a menu so I don't end up eating pasta every night
Wish me luck!

Lent is...interesting. You wouldn't think that just changing how I eat would make such a difference, but I think part of it is that it's more than just what we eat. There's a quote from one of the Fathers (Saints of the Church who we refer to, and quote, a LOT, and yes, there are Church Mother's too), St John Chrysostom who lived in the 4th century. It says:

The value of fasting consists not in abstinence only from food, but in a relinquishment of sinful practices, since one who limits his fasting only to an abstinence from meat is one who especially disparages it. Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him! If you see a friend enjoying honor, do not envy him. For let not the mouth only fast, but also the eye, and the ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all members of our bodies. Let the hands fast by being pure from avarice. Let the feet fast by ceasing from running to forbidden spectacles. Let the eyes fast by being taught never to fix themselves rudely upon handsome countenances. For looking is the food of the eyes, but if it be unlawful or forbidden it mars the fast and overturns the safety of the soul; but if it be lawful and safe, it adorns fasting. For it would be an instance of the highest absurdity to abstain from meats and unlawful food because of the fast, but with the eyes to feed on what is forbidden. Do you eat flesh? Do not feed on licentiousness by means of the eyes. Let the ear fast also. The fasting of the ear is not to receive evil speaking and calumnies. "You shall not receive an idle report," it says. Let also the mouth fast from foul words. For what does it profit if we abstain from birds and fish, and yet bite and devour our brethren?

Especially that last line. I knew this quote, and then Father read it out tonight and it's just so poignant. This season is about more than food, and I'm learning that rapidly.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning - my body was not cooperative. I did, though, and I'm glad I did. I actually had a very productive day which was nice. My Mum has hurt her back, and spent the morning sitting down, so I sorted out things for her that needed doing, dried up a sink full of dishes and put them away, and cleaned up our formal lounge room. It...well it's a formal lounge room, apparently. It has a lovely fireplace and leather sofas. On the other hand, it also has a collection of embroidery stuff that has escaped my room/couch where I stitch/basket I keep stuff in, a bed that whoever is staying at our house sleeps on (or not, in Troy's case - he prefers a sleeping bag on the floor, weirdo), my crockery+glasses+engagement gifts+stuff, a lot of random junk from varying members of my family, and a lot of mess usually as Troy sleeps there every weekend, and we often have other randoms stay the night there too. And when everyone gets paranoid about my room making me sick, I sleep there. It's a nice room, lots of big windows, but I prefer mine.

Anyway, it was a mess. And my grandmother is staying with us. So, before she came, I got rid of rubbish, a teapot, assorted glasses, mugs, pairs of socks, clothes, least it's passable now. I vacuumed the floor and stripped the bed, but forgot to remake it because Mum had a physio appointment and I had to drive her up - yay for logging more hours of driving 'practice' (I could quite competently drive on my own, I just need to do the formalities of the next few months). I had a sort of list in my mind, and we went shopping as we were early and down the street already. Well...really, Mum gave me the money and I went shopping. No-egg (egg replacement stuff, a lifesaver for cakes etc), lots of vegies, bread, peanut butter, the makings for fassolada (yes, again, though this time from the greengrocers so much nicer than usual), peaches, nectarines, bananas, and lunch meat for my mum. I took my maths coursework to Mum's appointment, and sat in the waiting room doing my homework. Eventually we figured out a list of things we'd forgotten at the supermarket and went back again.

We came home, I put stuff away (Mum can't bend at the moment) and had class. As would happen, my grandmother got there just as the class started, while my Mum was lying down and not capable of getting up easily. I don't think my teacher noticed me sorting stuff out...I hope not! Class was long and boring, and I have an assignment due on Monday. Fun stuff. I should around to doing it, maybe tomorrow. Noone knew what to cook, so I grabbed my recipe books (and the opportunity) and found a couple nestissimo recipies. We decided that grape tomato pasta looked good (and it was, btw), and I had a recipe for rice pudding made with coconut milk that I wanted to try out. So to the supermarket we went again (much to my friend Daneal's amusement, she works there), grabbed the stuff for dinner and came home to cook again. Pasta was yum - everyone but me and my grandmother added tuna to theirs. My grandmother doesn't like fish, and I can't eat it at the moment!

It's starting to feel like Lent. There's just something different in the air, and I like it, I think. It's hard though. The title of my post is greek (obviously) and it says 'siychoreeste'. We said it a lot on Sunday night, it means (roughly) 'please forgive me'. I guess I'm conscious of how careless I can be, and end up hurting people. So, forgive me please if I have wronged any of you.

Speaking of Church stuff, I've got a scarf for my baptism! Background here because most people who read this aren't Orthodox. Tradition states that women wear dresses in Church, and scarves on their heads for Communion, at least. I always wear a skirt, but not usually a scarf - I don't take Communion, not being baptised yet, and it just seems awkward and like I'm trying too hard. I did the other night though, and it was nice. Helps me focus. ANYWAY, off topic Kyrie, Tradition also states that baptised converts wear white for eight days after their baptism. I've had a beautiful white cheesecloth dress (which I may or may not have to wear long sleeves and tights under if the weather stays hot through April like it is now) for months, but the problem has been a scarf - I *will* take Communion that night, for the first time, at Pascha. Wearing white. But I'm not likely to use a white scarf again. I mentioned it to my Mum, who had a brilliant suggestion. She grew up anglican, and had a lovely veil for her confirmation, white net with edging and a cross embroidered at the centre back. It's round, and still white as it's been carefully kept safe. We found it today, and it fits perfectly, so I'll sew a few narrow ribbons on so that I can tie it under my hair to keep it in place, and it'll be wonderful to wear a family heirloom of sorts for this.

Oh yes. Stitching! I got two things today. One is a gift for my sister for Easter, which I have stashed away carefully, and won't talk about here even though she doesn't read this blog - you'll find out at Western Easter when I give it to her, and the other is an icon. Well, sort of :) It's the chart for the St Nicholas icon Solaria Gallery has made. I've mentioned before that my friend Nikos wants to pay me to stitch him an icon - well, it's that one. I've been gridding the fabric tonight, and sorting out threads. Maybe in the morning I'll start stitching, we will see. The border is incredible, I think I am going to have a lot of fun stitching this.

It's late, though. I should go sleep. So I will end this, and try to post photos tomorrow of Frog'n'fairy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wanting to write

I'm tired, more from emotion than from actual physical activity, I think. The last few days have been hard. If this is indicative of Lent, it's not going to be the food side of things that is hard! Hopefully I will learn something though, and it will be better.

I have been happily stitching away on A Restful Night, cross country! It's slightly textured, but not in a way that bothers me, I think :) Hopefully a good press will fix it. I've got 700ish stitches done, which I'm pleased with, and have basically finished the mushroom on this side. Froggy's eye is outlined and rapidly being filled in, and there is an outline of his legs on that side now. I'll take a photo when I finish stitching for the night, or tomorrow. Not as much work as I might have liked, but I also haven't been home for a lot of this weekend. All in all, I am pleased. She is beautiful, and I will be so glad to have her finished. I am thinking about working on her until I finish the page, or go mad from confetti. One or the other! It's all gridded now, which makes it easier.

Tomorrow I have class, which I don't want to go to, and a sale at Spotlight (habadashery store) which I do want to go to. Maybe I'll get to both? I'd like to make a twin of the purpledress I wear all the time in summer in another fabric, and get some more interfacing as I am running out. And my γιαγιά is coming to stay. It's always wonderful to have her here, and she can help me fix the collar on this shirt that is refusing to play nice... :)

Today was a public holiday here, which was nice - my family was home. We had a bbq for lunch (and I raided the freezer for veggie patties) and ate a lot of potatoes, bbq'd and crispy, yum. I sat and stitched, read a bit, wasted time. I had a meeting tonight too for one of my Churches, they have a council to set up a youth group so I ended up there for some reason, and got nominated minute-taker as I can write shorthand. It was a lovely cafe, I will have to go back another time. Bindi would like it, lots of (fancy!) gluten free pasta dishes. Hopefully we'll set something up and all will go well. God willing :)

Now, I am just tired. It is only 11, and I want to stitch, but my eyes are saying no. So I think I'll go eat some more soup and fall into bed.

Κυρίε ελεήσον.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Forgiveness Sunday

Wow. It's 10:38pm as I start to write this, but it feels so much later. I'm so tired.

In the Orthodox Church, we have a few weeks of preparation before Lent, the last of which is called Cheesefare Week (and means no meat or fish, but LOTS of milk! Got to use it all up, right? *wink*) and then the last Sunday is called Forgiveness Sunday. This year, that was today.

It's an intense day, not really from the services - it's something 'in the air' I suppose. Church this morning was just a normal Divine Liturgy (Mass), though it was HOT (40*C, ugh), but with only a few people because when it's hot most people at this Church stay home. We had been asked to help at the Greek festival, but as it was so hot there were very few people there. The minute we walked in the sun we just about died, and I turn red really easily so I was beetroot coloured by the time I got to the stall! People threw cold water at me and I cooled down. Eventually we got bored, and after some yummy food and thickshakes (c'mon, last day to eat dairy - THICKSHAKE!) we dropped Troy at his house and I went back to Jeremy's house to wait the afternoon out (another four hours, ish) before Vespers. He gave me a book called Dancing Alone by Frank Schaeffer which is wonderful...but he pulls no punches so it's hard going. Very true, just...ouch! He napped, and I read, and worked on memorising Psalm 50 (51 for everyone not Orthodox) which is one of my goals for this Lent.

Vespers We had a packed Church, and the Bishop came, and we had every greek priest from the state, I think! It was incredible. And I'm used to Vespers, but this was something new. Halfway through the service they all processed through the Church, and then went inside the altar (there's a screen in front) and shut the doors. When they came out again, they had swapped their light coloured vestments for dark ones, and it was time for Lent to begin. The music changes, too - much more solemn, and we said Kyrie eleison (Lord have mercy) 40 times in a row! All the lights were turned out, and we finished the service in the dark. At the end, we lined up and the Bishop and priests were in a row, in order of rank, and we kissed each one's hand as they asked us to forgive them anything they might have done against us, and we asked the same in return. Then we went around doing the same to all our friends, and wishing each other a blessed fast!

Lent isn't as hard for us, I think. We all do it together, and it's a communal thing. Lots of chickpea curry for me, I think, and fassolada - bean soup with lots of vegies. We'll see if I still think it's 'easy' in a few weeks though!

The other thing for me is that it's a harbinger. At the end of Lent, 40ish days from now, I will make my vows before God and my Church to Orthodoxy, and be baptised. Which is wonderful, but kind of scary. As Father said tonight, this begins the time of earnest preparation.

May God help me :)

I know this is all a bit religious for my blog, even though I talk about religion a bit. It's just... so much part of my life, and today is so significant.

As we do this for all - to anyone reading this, all my friends and those I don't know, please forgive me anything I may have done to offend or hurt you in the past year, and to any Orthodox readers - have a blessed fast!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I finally got sick of sky

...and it's the 2nd weekend of the month, so I took a photo, and got out A Restful Night again :)

Here's Peaceful Paradise as of this afternoon.
7th March 08

I did the commentary on it last post, the only things I've added since I wrote that was some more lettering and sky.

It's looking nice, I just wish I could get the creases out. They come out, eventually - about the same time as I put it back on the q-snaps!

Oh well. I'm back working on A Restful Night and eating as much chocolate and date loaf as possible, before Sunday night. Hope you're all having a good weekend!

Something interesting happened

I promised to blog again when something interesting happened. Well, here you are.

Thursday night we went fridge-buying. Troy...well, their fridge just didn't work. At all. The freezer worked...but the fridge, if you left a lettuce in there for a weekend it turned to slime. So, I've been eagle-eyed looking out for a fridge that he could afford, or some other option for the past six months or so. On the livejournal community for my city, someone mentioned looking for a second hand fridge, and a girl said well we're trying to sell one... and put photos, specs, etc. The original person didn't want it as apparently it didn't have enough freezer space for their icecream maker, but I put dibs on it, and after borrowing my dad's trailer and Jeremy (and his car), we headed off about 40minutes down south from where I live, to buy a fridge for $50AU (equivalent pricing would be about $25US, regardless of the exchange rate). We got there, and the fridge was there - seriously 'vintage' looking, but reliable and not particularly noisy. And the freezer is quite big so I'm not sure what the other person's problem was! Problem was trying to get the massive (and heavy!) fridge onto the trailer, which didn't have a ramp attached, with just two guys (seller's fiance and Troy, Jeremy's back is currently hurt) to get it on there. Eventually after much moving of cars and trailers, and a couple boards, and a trolley... and a bit of swearing... it ended up there, and we tied it down firmly. Money paid, we then had a race to get to a place half an hour NORTH of my house in half an hour. Thankfully, it wasn't a straight line including my house but instead the long side of a triangle, so we made it in 40 minutes, but without dinner. Bible study was...itself. Good fun, great discussion, and wonderful people. Troy got given the promise of a free haircut/style (as long as he was the model for a hairdresser taking her final exam, but our friend had had his hair cut by her and it looked great), and I helped make greek cookie/cake things. I forget what they're called (even though I was told a few times), but they have lemon rind in them and they're like a fat oval cookie with nuts in the middle. Learning to make greek food is mostly done by example, and it's fun to do. And then Father decided that since it was cheesefare week (think shrove tuesday/mardi gras without meat and lasting a week) we needed icecream and sent D out with money to purchase said icecream! He came back with boxes of cornettos and magnums and we happily munched our way through them. Eventually we got kicked out (after being given a letter from the Bishop to say we could be baptised, YAY) and went home. We realised that it was 10:30 and we hadn't eaten dinner, so we started in search of somewhere that was still open and sold vegetarian food. Not a common occurance, believe me! Finally we found a service station that also had a subway, and ate salad subs, then went back to Troy's place to grab all his housemates (he lives with two other guys and a girl) and his mate, who was also there, to unload the fridge (which they were very impressed with). And then Jeremy took me home. I got inside after midnight! It was a fun night.

The last few days, on the other hand, have been slow. I have become allergic to *something* in the air, not sure what, and it's made me lose my voice, not be able to breathe properly, and sneeze a lot. So I just settled down to stitch and do some homework as I was useless for anything else!

Last night we watched Stardust, which I loved in the theatres, and Troy hadn't seen. He loved it too - it's a great movie. I filled in a lot of sky, stitched the last few stars, and added another ornament to the text. I think I stitched some text in there too, but I don't remember what. I've now started the next page down, too, as the border extends there and I had thread in my needle when I reached the end of the page, and this ornament that I added goes over the page too. It's nice to start a new page! I think the next row of pages will go quite quickly, it's all text rather than the huge blocks of sky which have slowed me down. I'm not looking forward to stitching the grass in the last row though!

God-willing we'll get to Vespers tonight (I miss it, haven't been in three weeks), and Church tomorrow. There's a Greek festival on tomorrow, and I'm helping to sell stuff, so that should be fun!

Oh yes, I forgot to mention. My computer came back to life last night, too. It decided to die and refuse to come back to life a few days ago, but after removing the battery and reinserting it it decided that maybe it'd give life another shot. I immediately backed up every chart I own, as especially Chatelaines are VERY expensive to replace!

Is it a sign of mad-stitcher disease that when your laptop goes down with the data of the past four years on it, you worry about the charts, rather than anything else?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Argh (retirements)

Apparently HAED are retiring Sara Butcher's work. This isn't that surprising, but it does mean I need to do some shopping. I have a bunch of her stuff yet to be started, but I want to complete at least one 'set', and buy a few more! Her stuff is beautiful stitched up.

So here is my list (for personal reference):
  • spring
  • summer
  • winter
  • crown of creation
I have autumn already.

As to life - well, it's slow, and my illness is still playing up. Not fun. But that's okay. I'm enjoying eating large quantities of dairy for cheesefare week, and making cakes (which vanish rapidly).

I've been beavering away on Peaceful Paradise, and it's coming together well - the sky is slowly filling in, and everything else is getting done and is a lot of fun. I'm still enjoying stitching stars, and I'm close to having the lettering done for the first 'row' of pages, yay!

When something interesting happens, I'll post again.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


The last few days have been...well, different. Saturday I spent in bed, Sunday was long and exhausting but wonderful - Judgement Sunday, the second Sunday before Lent. It was also the last day we got to eat meat before Pascha - Easter, on April 27th. I love the icons for this feast:

Everything there should make sense to most people - it's the icon for the story of the Last Judgement in Matthew 25. To those not used to Orthodox iconography, the two people with Christ (closest to Him) are the Theotokos (Mary) and St John the Baptist. I remember the first time I saw an icon of St John and wondered who it was - it seemed logically to be St John the Baptist, but he had wings! Why was he an angel? It turns out, it's a pun of sorts. Angelos means 'messenger' so it can mean angel, but it can mean another messenger too. No wings in this icon though. The men on thrones either side are Ss Peter and Paul representing the apostles, and the people bowing at His feet are Adam and Eve representing the human race.

Jeremy, Daniel and I went for lunch after Church (and we all had meat, naturally - Jeremy asked for the biggest schnitzel they had, and when the lady figured out we were Orthodox - she was married to a Greek guy - she put ham on it too) and sitting down with a bottle of red Jeremy made a toast to 'a good defence before the dread judgement seat of Christ' - a phrase from the Liturgy, one of the things we ask God for at least once every service. It was an odd toast, but a good one - and thoroughly memorable.

We had a quiz night that night at Church, and my table won, which was fun. I like quiz nights, they're a fun kind of crazy.

I've spent the last few days recovering though. Just settling and stitching. My sister bought her formal dress (formal = prom, minus the politics) yesterday and it's so sweet, rosebud pink. She looks lovely in it.

Here's my weekly update on Peaceful Paradise, anyway. Less got done this week - last week's seems to have been a marathon update!
3rd March 08

The first two rows of lettering are totally done now, and I'm working on the rest. Again, I'm getting bogged down in the sky, but I'm alternating a length of thread in that with a length of thread on anything else and that's helping. When I'm not sick of blue I'll often do two lengths. It's worth it, I love the effect that it has with the stars - and the stars are wonderful, so much fun to stitch! The moon is new this week too. And I've just reached a point where I need to stitch an ornament amongst the text, which is nice - always good to stitch on something different. I'm not sure what I'll do if I finish everything else before I finish the sky - I think I'll just start the next page down, while finishing the sky. I learned from last time not to try and just stitch sky, I got so sick of this piece I couldn't look at it for a while!

Saturday, March 01, 2008


I don't know how it's suddenly become March. It was the beginning of February only recently!

I'm really not well. I spent most of today in bed, and went to bed very early last night. Tonight will probably be early too, when I've had a bath as my hair is gross. I could wear a scarf perhaps, but I think I just really need to wash my hair. I think I'll dig something 'fashionable' out of my wardrobe too, though I honestly don't know what is at the moment, since I feel terrible and it's always nice to dress up when you feel bad. Or else I'll just wear my favourite outfit and be done with it!

I haven't set goals in ages, and I don't think I'll set impressive ones this time. But it is fun to set a few and see how I go.

  • Peaceful Paradise: finish the final two pages for the first row and make a good start on two from the second.
  • A Restful Night: finish the next row, row 13
  • Finish Jo's gift
  • Make Jeremy's present
  • Learn to cook something nestissimo other than fassolada
  • Get to as many lenten services as possible
  • Buy all my chocolate before western Easter
  • Try not to be put out by not being able to eat chocolate with everyone else
  • Keep up with schoolwork
That should do me. Now I'm going to get back to stitching starts on Peaceful Paradise, and make some more inroads on the sky (again, this sky will be the death of me...)