Friday, 25 April 2014

Resolutions are made to be broken...

In my heart I am still a one project at a time girl but currently I have too many projects on the go.
My Guild project Ring O Roses,  easily becomes addictive in the week of Guild meetings and gets more attention than one day a month!

My main project The Mermaid Sea Chest, is a long term project so I have scheduled breaks.   At present I am working on the outside lid.   Once that is completed I plan on mothballing this project and starting picking up another.   Possibly next month?  

The planned "net-project" is C A Well's Cottage Etui which I started while away at Easter.   I will construct the fob and pincushion (yeah!   A trip to the LNS is needed to get appropriate ribbon) and hopefully complete the Cottage Roof before this too will be mothballed.

And the hexagons?   So far I have 148 tacked up.   Seems as if two of them must have a double up of the paper templates as I bought 150 of those.   Whatever, I need 262 for the runner so on the next trip to the LNS will get one more packet of templates and continue tacking up pretty little hexagons.

There are three Christmas ornaments stitched and requiring construction.   And the Naxos Necessaire needs to be constructed.   I have all the ingredients for that too, so no excuse.   Possibly at the next long holiday weekend in June?   But today I got my speed skates on and managed to finish one -  a small pillow which still needs a ribbon hanger.

See what I mean?   Too many projects on the go at once.   So I have vowed - no more succumbing to temptation.   I can admire the wonderful work of others but I must not covet!   I have knitting projects and dressmaking projects and a couple of requests from the HD3QBEM too so probably need to chart up dates and times like a true project manager would.   Oh dear, that sounds too much like a rotation for me.

This weekend I have promised myself a new dress for the winter and today I made a start on that - there is just the hand sewing to do immediately after I push the publish button on this:-)

And guess what.... while I was compiling this list and in the middle of my dressmaking, the HD3QBEM found three items of mending she required.   Truly, of making lists there is no end !  

Monday, 21 April 2014

What a weekend!

Easter - eggs, a holiday away and bad bad weather.
This year I received one egg only and I generously gave the calories to the HD3QBEM!   This small egg cup is a remnant of my childhood -  cute isn't it but eggs must have been bigger in those far off days!
We traveled down to Lake Taupo, through torrential rain and gale force winds and were most thankful to arrive safely.  
Our hotel was near the first geothermal power station in New Zealand.   We drove past the warning signs
and up to the look out.

The water needs to be cooled before it can be released back into the Waikato River and so a Prawn Park was established to use the water at one point in the cooling process.   They produce prawns of amazing sweetness and size and have a thriving restaurant and fishing establishment which appears to be on the must-do list for every tourist!   
I indulged in a Mud Wrap Thermal Spa and massage.   It was a wonderfully relaxing two hours and my skin feels super smooth still.
Good Friday we drove through to Rotorua, another city describing itself as a thermal wonderland.   In wet wet weather it merely smells of sulphur!   We did find this yarn bombed tree though.
And in between showers and excursions I found time to finish tacking up all the hexagon templates I have - 150 of them.   This isn't enough to complete the runner I want to make but as I only need another 50 or so I have decided I will start sewing these together and free up some templates to re-use.
Then I made a start on C A Wells Cottage Etui.   This is pretty and enjoyable but will now get put aside while I finish off my other projects.

I have stitched the pincushion/pinroll with its appropriate ends, the scissor fob and the lid of the cottage.   The satin stitch saw tooth border was easy compared to the cross stitch over one.   My aged eyes don't really like that too much but I am determined to persist.
Here's a closer shot.

And then on the way home my car mileage turned over to 100,000 kilometres.   Probably significant only to me but I wanted to record the event.   Unfortunately it all happened in a place where I couldn't stop and take a photo!
All in all we had a happy time away and both feel quite relaxed after the break.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

What a day!

Today was a long and busy day but I mostly crossed everything off the To Do List and managed to clean the car as well!
This evening I have been busy stitching
A start to the Cottage Etui -  four sided stitches for the roof
My homework for Embroiderers Guild -  this is a representation of a New Zealand Pohutukawa, the tree that flowers in December.
and several hexagons
I need to have a minimum of this tin full to overflowing so there is long way to go yet.
Next weekend the HD3QBEM and I are going away for a few days to Taupo.   So far in reply to the question "what clothes are you going to take?" my answer is that I haven't thought about it.   Of course not.   I have been too busy planning what stitching and what books I am taking!!   But I have booked in to have a Thermal Mud Wrap and Massage so that should be fun.  My oh my, I am looking forward to a break away.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Three bags full...

Over one stitching doesn't grow very fast does it?   I love the colours of this Vintage Brown silk floss but feel as if I need a break before attempting the remaining two panels.   A small anchor, in pearl beads, will go over this completed panel.  Thanks to those who made suggestions for sourcing a simple anchor chart.   Currently I am working on the staves.
Somebody asked me who was the designer of The Mermaid's Sea Chest.   This was a teaching piece by Lauren Sauer and she kindly sent me the chart some years ago in response to my begging email request.   It has taken me some time to source a suitable substitute linen as I couldn't buy what she recommended but I am thoroughly enjoying this project.   However I admit to being a little wary of what looks to be complicated construction.
On Saturday the HD3QBEM and I have a long list of errands, at the top of which is the delivery to the Hospice Shop of her knitting for the past twelve months.   Three bags full!   Despite her valiant efforts, too many dropped stitches and sewing in of ends on coloured stripes used up time which would otherwise have allowed for the completion of the 40th garment.   I'm still awarding her an A triple plus though as even with her failing eyesight and ill health she managed to knit more than last year's total.

She wants a new pair of shoes for the winter so we shall visit her favourite shoe store also and then possibly indulge in a sushi lunch.   After that it is my turn for shoes,  and a new pair of jeans.   I'm wondering whether in all this there will be time for cooking, washing, grocery shopping, a hair cut and all the other weekend chores.   I'm planning to cut out fabric for a new winter dress and a pair of trousers too -  hopefully the hours will be elastic enough to allow for all of this :-)

Saturday, 5 April 2014

A short stroll? I don't think so!

Our Auckland Super City Council try their best to show that they are truly interested in the community.   I love them for their libraries (super service) and the Art gallery (super building) and then last week I saw advertised a 'guided walk' around a newly developed coastal pathway scheduled for Saturday 5 April.   Sounded good to me (weather permitting) so I registered, bought suitable snacks, charged my camera batteries, checked my sunhat and walking shoes and felt my anticipation grow daily.   Then, wouldn't you know it?   After no rain for two months it poured down on Thursday drenching both my garden and my hopes :-(   However Saturday dawned bright and clear and at 9am off I went-  bright eyed and bushy tailed.
 Described as an Epic Coastal walk  it truly lived up to its name.  
Up the hill, down the hill, round the cove quickly to beat the tide, up the hill again and down the hill again, then 285 steps in one zigzag stretch!   On and on it went until hot, tired, sweaty and with very aching leg muscles, at 5pm I was no longer so bright eyed nor bushy tailed!
On the stitching front  I am back on The Mermaid's Sea Chest.   Dark grey studs are all complete and now I am on to the over one cross stitches.   Tired eyes and late nights make progress slow but I a determined to persevere with this one.   Perhaps there will be scheduled breaks for smaller quicker projects but by years end there will be a completed Sea Chest.
My April small finish is to be comprised of these ingredients.  I won't be getting to this tonight but there is little left to be done so I am confident of a month end finish.

So it's sayonara from a tired Margaret!