Summer – so many memories, but which is the favorite?

The first time I went to the Matthew Street festival, August 2004. The weather was fantastic, sunshine during the whole event. We'd just sit on the green by the old ferry terminal with a few cases of beer and enjoy the music. I even managed a late summer fling. It was simply perfect

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New Cross Stitch WIP – Stitcher’s Sampler

The other day I finally made a start on my newest project, The Stitcher’s Sampler. The chart is from World of Cross Stitching (WOXS) issue 146.
This is what it will eventually look like, with a few changes to make it more personalized to me.
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I’m stitching my version on a piece of 14-count hand dyed aida I got in my grab bag from Polstitches. I think it’s ‘Rustic Rhubarb’, but can’t be sure. I’ve only managed to stitch the middle words so far, and for this I used Polstitches Dragonfloss – Outragous. Just love the colours in that floss.

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HAED QS Rose Dreaming – Another Update

With our A/C misbehaving I haven’t managed a lot of stitching this month, my HAED for example has been left untouched since the last update and until Wednesday. But then I felt the need to stitch on it again, and did the whole background for Page 1. I’m so in love with the evenweave, it’s so soft and really easy to stitch on. I was really worried before I tried it, having read other peoples accounts of working with evenweave. Next I guess I’ll have to try linen, but with it being uneven-weave I’m even more scared of it.

Anyway here is my update picture, next update should have some of the full cross stitches of the face 🙂

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My First Round Robin

As I’m sure you’ve figured out (since the majority of of my posts these days are stitching related) I’m sort of hooked on cross stitching. Any time there is an exchange etc I’ll sign up, always eager to try something new.

This is why I found myself signing up to two Round Robins about a month ago, one unthemed on aida and a Christmas themed one on evenweave.
For those who don’t know, a Round Robin consists of a group of stitchers usually from 4-12, and each member has their own piece of fabric (aida or evenweave) which then gets sent around for the orthers in the group to stitch on. Once all members of one Round Robin has stitched on a piece it goes back to it’s owner who can then finish it into whatever they want.

As I said, my aida RR is unthemed, so you can basically stitch whatever you want. Before I send it out into the world I’m supposed to stitch my square and I could not decide what to stitch. Each square is 4 x 4 inches or 56 x 56 stitches, and I’ve found loads of designs to fit that, so after some deliberation I decided on this design.

Round Robin Turtle Large

My square is not complete yet, I’m still adding some smaller designs and of course my name, but the RSI is still lingering so I have to break up my stitching time.
The design is stitched on 14 count white aida and the design can be found here.
I used Polstitches Dragonfloss – 206 Wood Elf for the head and feet, and Polstitches Dragonfloss – 123 Flippin Frogs for the rest 🙂 Have I told you how much I LOVE Dragonfloss (and my birthday is coming up next month, hint, hint!)!!!!

This RR has it’s first posting date next Friday so I will complete it tomorrow. The next Christmas RR’s first posting date is towards the end of the month so not sorted that one out yet, but think I’ve decided on my theme (this ones rules are a bit different so I’ll explain them once I once I’ve put some pictures up).

A Very Unproductive Day

Woke up this morning just as hubby was leaving for work, and felt like absolute crap. Was sure I was going to be sick, so just stayed in bed listening to audiobooks, trying not to move too much. By midday the nausea was mostly gone, I made myself some porridge which seemed to help a lot (I love porridge!!!), and then sat down to do some stitching.

I have quite a few things that need to be stitched ASAP, the FIFA ATC, birthday cards and other occasion cards, Lovequiltsuk squares and 2 Round Robins (RR).
I started stitching on the ATC, but the fractionals were driving me mad, so I started on the RRs instead. I signed up to 2 Round Robins at Craftbubble, one is an unthemed RR, on 14 count aida with 6 participants. I was stressing a bit about getting the fabric since I didn’t have any in my stash. I had gone to by some a few weeks back at my craft shop, I had wanted cream 14 count and 16 count. Then when I got home and had a good look at the pieces the craftshop guy had cut for me I realized he had sold me 11 count and 18 count. Fumed for a good while when I figured that one out, 18 count I didn’t mind but what on earth was I going to do with even more 11 count? In the end I did of course find a solution, the Aida is now being used for the Lovequiltsuk squares.
But back to the issue, no 14 count. Well my brain finally kicked in and I realized I have some 14 count in the kit I bought in Bangkok, got it out, measured it and it was more than big enough. Huge sigh of relief! And it’s even been sewn around the edges to prevent fraying 🙂 So my job today was to grid up the six 4×4 inch squares and stitch my square. Easier planned than completed, half way through my left hand started complaining, RSI kicking in full force. I decided to ignore it, just took some Tylenol arthritis pain killers and kept stitching, BAD idea. I only managed to finish the gridding and do some housework before the pain was back again, with vengance!

I still had to do the weekend shopping though so just went off to LuLu with gritted teeth and got it over with.
Since I got back I’ve been sitting down watching a film trying to ignore the alternating throbbing and shooting pain down my arm. Now it’s luckily down to a dull throbbing, and hopefully by tomorrow it’ll be fine again. It has to get better, after all I’m off out on a girls night and it would really suck if I can’t hold my cocktail.

So yeah, that was my useless day, completed about 20% of what I set out to do 😦 Might as well have stayed asleep!

So what am I doing NOW?
Dulling the pain with some Makers Mark and coke

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The ‘C’ word

Some people hate the ‘C’ word, prefering to spend most of their time not thing about it. After all it only happens for a short period and then the world is back to normal again. The ‘C’ word I’m referring to is of course Christmas.

Usually I’m part of the group that does not want to think about it or hear about it January-October (November if I can manage it). This year though I’m breaking my own rules and today I stitched my first Christmas Tree ornament. As soon ad I assemble it I’ll post pics 🙂

Any one else started their Christmas preparations?

Crossstitchforum ‘SUMMER’ ATC Exchange

We’ve just started sending out our Summer ATC’s on Crossstitchforum so my recipient doesn’t have it yet, however we haven’t kept them a secret so I can post a picture of mine without ruining the surprise.

I had a hard time deciding on the design for this one as summer is so many things, I had sort of designed one with a deserted beach, palm trees and a boat moored away in the distance (elements taken from different charts) as that is what summer in Abu Dhabi reminds me of (or rather all year except the summer, but you get my meaning). Anyway as I was about to start stitching I came across the perfect chart, it’s sort of beach themed and the motif was perfect for a stitcher.

I modified it slightly as the whole design with original wording would have been too big for an ATC on 16-count, basically kept the main motif but used my own text.
I then mounted it on cardboard and wrote my details on the back.

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The design is from Brooke’s Books Publishing and can be found here (at the bottom left).

I stitched the design on 16-count white aida which has been coloured lightly with crayons to get the sketchy blue effect. I used the colours in the chart as much a I could, but there were a few of the greens I didn’t have so subbed them for different colours. Quite like the effect of it actually, he looks like a camo frog.
The words are stitched with Polstitches’ Dragonfloss – 123 Flippin’ Frogs (I thought that was quite appropriate).

I’m really getting into the whole ATC thing and have recently joined a group on Facebook where they do two exchanges a month, for June the themes are the letter ‘N’ and FIFA/Tennis. The letter one is completed, and the FIFA one about to be started, but I can’t show you any pics of those until they have been received, so you’ll just have to wait.

Crossstitchforum Easter Egg exchange – Received by Recipient

Yes I’m aware Easter was quite some time ago, but the poor recipient of my effort only recently received her egg, and only after I stitched a replacement egg.
It’s the first time something has disappeared for me on an exchange and I hope it’s the last time, not because I had to stitch another one, but because I feel really bad that my recipient had to wait to much longer for hers.

For those who don’t remember this is what the first egg looked like,

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and this is how I finished it, as a felt needle book. I’m almost glad it got lost as I was entirely happy with this finish

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The new one looks nothing like the old one, it’s 16-count instead of 11-count. I dyed it pink, with Dylon Flamingo Pink. And I finished it as a Floss keep. I put the two sides together using whipping stitch, like with a biscornu, it was pure hell though, much more fiddly than my mini biscornu (which I get to send out soon!!!)

Here is the front of the new one –

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and here is the back –

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I should add that the bunny in the Easter egg was taken from this design at Cross Stitch Happy

For more info on the exchange check out this post from a while back.

Falling off the wagon

Oh no, yesterday I messed up almost a week of uninterrrupted posting. I’m so ashamed, and feel like I’ve let myself down so much 😉

So today you get two posts just to make it up.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to complain more about the heat here in AD. Not the outside heat mind you, that is totally expected and understandable, we are in the Middle East after all. No my issue is with the inside heat.

Last year we had a problem with the air con all through the year, we were sharing with our neighbours and it was a constant case of them turning it off, us turning it on, turning it higher, turning it lower, and it not working at all. Summer was hell, I spent a lot of time in our local mall. Finally the ‘thing’ died completely in October and we had individual aircons install, and instantly felt like we had gone to heaven, I actually used to sit with blankets on me during the day, and we both had to use quilts at night.

Then a few months back it started getting warmer, no matter how low we put it the flat never seemed to cool down. Now the heat inside the flat is like the outside in the evenings, slightly warmer in the day time but not as bad as the actuall outside temperature. Today for example I was cleaning the fridge, not a particularly arduous task, just spray and wipe really. Within 5 minutes the sweat was pouring off me, I’m pretty sure my pathetic attempts at exercise don’t even come close to making me that sweaty. The only reason cross stitching doesn’t have the same effect must be because I sit right in front of the floor fan when I do it, I’d rather be annoyed by charts flapping in the breeze than soaking my stitching.

We are trying out a few theories as to why it’s so hot, but if none of them pan out in the next week we’ll have to call our landlord (who doesn’t speak any English) and get him to send someone. I’m so glad hubby is the one talking to the landlord, I give up communicating when people don’t know English at all. Quite bad really when I’m not a native speaker myself, oh well.

What do I want NOW? Ice Cream

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Procrastination Addicts Anonymous

I love to do everything but what I should be doing. Think that’s true of quite a lot of people. I remember when I was studying with the OU for example, when ever there was an assignment my house would end up spotless, I never cleaned as much as I did when I had essay deadlines.

These days I have self imposed deadlines, like my August submission deadline for my M&B manuscript. I gave myself 8 months to finish it and edit it, and with 2 months to go it’s been a journey with both ups and downs. Finishing the story wasn’t really a problem, there were some holes here and there that needed filling, but that was about it. The hardest part was the wordcount, I had written the novel during NaNoWriMo and it was quantity not quality that mattered. Consequently I was left with about 120k words, by the time the holes were filled it was closer to 130k, and M&B Historical has a word limit of 85k. Of course there was a lot of dross amongst those 130k words, and getting rid of the majority of the 45k I had over was no problem, the last 10k was hell. But it got done, the ms is ok-ish and off to my beta readers at the moment, before I get it back and can craft it into something great.

So this is where the procrastination comes in, I don’t expect my ms back for a month and I’m banned from working on it till I do. What to do with my time? Unfortunately I came across a great way to spend my time – Harlequin’s BI3M (Book In 3 Months) challenge. You are supposed to write your novel in 2 months, then edit for 1 month and then submit. Sounds like great fun to me, plus I have a plot which I’ve been wanting to write since February. But once my current MS comes back I need to be focused on that and not have my head full of other characters and plots. So I’m trying to be good and not participate. I’ll just pop by each week to read the articles. I’ll let you know how it goes…

If you want to try the challenge yourself, head over to the eharlequin community site and get involved.

What do I want NOW? Some willpower would be just super…

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