Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Well, that was a surprise

I'm feeling a little better now. Things seem to have settled down to the way I felt when I had morning sickness (and before anyone suggests it, I know I'm not pregnant). So not nice, a kind of perpetual state of queasiness, but at least I feel vaguely human again.

I spent a quiet day with Marcus at daycare today (apart from the interlude, where I had to go and get him, treat him for headlice - which really, really stinks when you've already got a grumbly tummy - and take him back again). I watched some TV and caught up on watching CSI and CSI: New York, which I have to watch when Marcus isn't around as they've got pretty graphic with the gore these days.

I wanted to stitch something simple and not too complicated and I'd got out my Celtic Horse to do just that. To my surprise, I found myself working on Mirabilia's Cinderella instead. I'd thought to put this away as a UFO for a while, and instead here I am stitching it and loving it. I've hardly done any (I've put the link back in the sidebar if you want to see where it was up to yesterday) so any progress seems significant. Now I have a little bit of castle and some lighted windows as well as a few trees.

I think I'll keep working on this as I get back on top of my health. It's going to be really pretty (I'm doing it on Evening Dreams from Silkweaver so it's fairly dramatic) and I'm glad to discover I'm stitching on it again.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


I'm sick.

I've got pretty much the works - vomiting, diarrhoea, aches, pains, headache, exhaustion - although I don't seem to have fever (let's be grateful for small mercies).

So I guess that explains why I've been feeling so awful for the last few days.


I've been making use of other people's blogrolls to go exploring various stitching blogs. There are lots of people out there creating the most beautiful things. So I added a whole bunch of people to my Newsgator feeds and I've happily been watching their entries. I haven't commented much yet, as I'm a total stranger to them, but occasionally I say something I feel might be relevant.

I've been enjoying Christine's Coffee Cup Thoughts and when she posted that she was struggling with her current rotation, something I understand all too well, I said "hello" and told her my own strategy (which is basically a screaming rotation, but kept down to a pool of six to seven designs so I don't get stressed by too many projects). I then thought nothing more of it.

Until I found that I had accidently enabled her with my mockup of Illuminated Medieval Sampler on the Tiger's Eye linen and she's now drooling and trying to decide if she really needs it or not.

Christine, I don't know if I should be feeling smug or very apologetic. But if you to decide to take it on, I'm sure you'll love it. I have to keep telling myself again and again that I cannot start another Chatelaine project until I finish Alpine Seasons.

As for Alpine, I'm feeling pretty rundown and unwell at the moment, so I think I'm going to have to take a break. If I want to stitch I'll do a little bit on my Celtic Horse instead. This is why I try to keep a small, less challenging project among my WIPs for times when I want to stitch, but can't manage the big projects.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Lastest on Alpine Seasons

Nicki came over on Wednesday and we had a lovely time chatting and stitching together. Her Alpine is looking amazing and I'm confident she'll get it finished by her deadline, even if she isn't.

Here's my latest. I took this on Wednesday before rolling it further up the scroll rods so I could do the next lots of trees and their mountains. I've had a couple of rest days since this was taken as I've hit another tired patch and I think it's more important to take a break than struggle along.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I was a bad, bad girl

The materials list went up for Chatelaine's Illuminated Medieval Sampler today. Luckily it has lots of DMC which will keep the cost down and it all sounds so very pretty.

I WILL NOT start this until Alpine is finished, but my parents are giving me some money towards the materials kit for my birthday at the end of the month and I stashed away some more out of my PayPal account in the shape of a gift voucher for myself from European Cross Stitch so that I'll be able to get everything and have it ready for later in the year.

That is all sensible and reasonable. Here's the bit that's not...

I chose what fabric I wanted to use for this long ago. It was mocked up on black and looked good, but I fell for it on Tiger's Eye Belfast from Silkweaver. (This isn't a perfect representation because the image was cut out of black and that's left black edges on everything.)

I ordered the fabric from Silkweaver this afternoon. Yes. Naughty. But it still feels good to know this beautiful project is starting to happen.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Keeping on stitching

I'm still working on Alpine Seasons. I am so enjoying this - it makes it very frustrating when I feel like stitching by don't have the physical energy to do so. Still, I am making progress.

Nicki is coming over to do some stitching on Wednesday and bringing her Alpine Seasons, so I'll aim to get some photos taken of them both then and share my progress.

I'm always a bit afraid of posting goals in public, because I know better than many how easily plans get altered. Still, my current small goal is ...

... to finish part 7 of Alpine Seasons by the end of next week.

Please do send positive stitching thoughts.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

No stitching

I haven't done any stitching the last couple of days. I've been very tired lately and, much as I'd like to be stitching, I just need a few days off to get some energy back.

Dave tells me it's all my fault for staying up late and watching the Opening Ceremony for the Commonwealth Games. While I'd like to disagree with him, I'd forced to concede he may have a point.

I'm hoping to get back to the stitching soon as I'm loving Alpine Seasons all over again and want to share another picture. However, I refuse to take one until I've at least finished that central range of mountains in part 7.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

WIP pictures

At long last, I got out the camera and took some photos.

Here's my progress on Alpine Seasons - into part 7 now...

And on Defender of the Kingdom...

I had been going to finish the big block of navy blue I'm working on for Defender, but I got lured away by Alpine. I've decided that if I'm stitching and haven't added a new WIP before I finish something else, then I'm happy. I will gradually make progress on everything.

And for something completely different, this blue dyed child is the one I picked up from daycare today - check out his feet and hands...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Gallery updated

I did an outrageous thing today and updated my Online Gallery. It's been a while!

The main changes are adding a page for Celtic Horse and updating my "Next" page. It'll be a very long time before I get to stitching anything on the latter, but it's nice to look at everything and imagine.

That picture at last

Dave had a chance to photograph The Ice Dragon's Kingdom for me today. Here's where I got to during the Winter Olympics.

The colours are all darker here than real life - it's all just a little softer, but with all the sharp contrast it's really hard to get a good photo.

I loved getting to stitch Alpine again and love it at the same time, but I think I got a bit carried away about how much I thought I'd get done and I started to do this tight focus thing I do where something is the only thing I want to pay attention to. Bad enough when you've only got a husband to ignore, worse when you have a two year old who doesn't just want your attention but needs it too.

So I need to pace myself better and be satisfied with whatever progress I make.

Part of the problem is that I'm starting to imagine all the other Chatelaines I could stitch (can we say "Pompeii" and I haven't even seen it yet - maybe I'll hate it) and that means I need to finish Alpine first so I think I want to stitch and stitch and stitch and stitch to the exclusion of all else. I couldn't do that even if I tried and it wouldn't actually be a good idea. All the same, the inner border for part 7 is done, I've done the waterfall at the top and started on the trees.

Friday, March 10, 2006

I'm doomed!

I've been browsing the Chatelaine bulletin board this morning. After getting back to Alpine Seasons, I'm all in Chatelaine mode at the moment.

I headed into the "Ask Martina" forum in the hope there might be a question and answer there about the materials list for Illuminated Medieval Sampler (there was - hopefully available next week). There I found an innocuous little thread titled "More Patterns Please". Oh, maybe there will be a hint in there about upcoming designs, I thought innocently.

Martina is promising a POMPEIIAN mandala garden. I'm so doomed. This just catches my imagination right off. She said later in the year, so I'll have to curb my enthusiasm in the meantime.

It doesn't help that I still want to stitch Egyptian Garden and Watergarden, both of which I have patterns for, but no supplies. Not to mention other ones I haven't actually bought - like say, Taj Mahal or Medieval Town Mandala or Persian Garden, just to name a few.

I guess I better a) keep on stitching my Alpine Seasons and b) win lotto this weekend.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Good Stitching Day

A good stitching day today for a change.

Recently, I had the good idea that I could put Alpine Seasons on my scroll bars. It would be a compromise between mobility (the reason I wasn't happy with using the floor stand and I kept me stuck in one place and not necessarily able to protect everything from Marcus) and a good way the fabric taut. I knew that my fabric is wider than the 50cm scroll rods, but I've got away with that before by folding over the extra.

I opened up the files for parts 10, 11 and 12 and worked out that there are only 13 more stitches out from the top of the pine trees to the edge of the design. That much fits into the 50cm and even if the crease settles into the fabric, it will end up under the mat. It was a bit complicated to sort out - I had to mark the middle of each scroll rod and stitch the fabric on out to the sides from the centre so that the fabric will stay straight vertically as it is rolled through. The first time I rolled it up, there was so much extra layer at the sides that the middle, where there was less wouldn't pull tight, which defeated the whole purpose. In the end I got some pellon and put that in the arest that are rolled up. Now the thickness is about the same all through and it's working pretty well. Not perfect, but pretty close.

It's only been a day, but I think I might have solved the Chatelaine problem. Around giving Marcus all the TLC he was demanding (he's been a bit under the weather today), I got working on the octagonal border. Previously, all I had stitched was the green outline for part 7. Now I have all the stitching done for that bit or boderer in part 7. I've gone back and done the beads for part 6 and half of the beads for part 7. I don't have that much more beading to do, but I had to acknowlege I was getting tired and it was time to stop. Barring the unexpected, I should be able to finish the beads tomorrow and start work on the mountains. I'm really hoping I've got over the barrier and I'll be able to carry on with the project now.

The only catch is that, in typical fashion, now I'm dreaming of all the other Chatelaines I could stitch. Basically, I've found my desired fabric for Watergarden (Starquest Reflections 32-ct Lugana from Silkweaver) and I'm imagining that I could start Illuminated Medieval Sampler when it begins next month. The materials list isn't even out for it yet, so it's not like there are any kits available for it or that I could order my fabric (will be Tiger Eye 32-ct Beflast from Silkweaver) because we don't have a size yet. I think the whole thing will run late, which I'm not really complaining about. I am considering buying myself some European XS gift vouchers whenever I have some spare money in the PayPal account so that I can build up some funds for the kit. I'd love to get the Watergarden kit too, but Illuminated Sampler is my first choice.

More drool

I got an update email from European Cross Stitch the other day, announcing a couple of new designs from Papillion Creations.

These aren't usually my sorts of designs, but I love both of these, especially the Quaker Game Board. Hmmm, if I had more time and more money and less WIPs...

Quaker Game Board