Thursday, 12 May 2011

Big Progress on Two Projects

I've been continuing with my rotations despite not posting and have made big progess on both the New England Sampler and Sydney. On the Sampler I've completed the band with the flowers--I think these are the state flowers of each of the New England states. I've then done just over half of the band below that with some more New England historical and cultural scenes. I am getting very close to finishing this project which I bought in 1996. I can't believe it. Without the rotation system I don't think I would even have started it yet. Rotations are amazing!

New England sampler with flower band finished and half of cultural band done.

Close-up of left side of bands worked on.

Close up of right side of bands worked on.

I also bit the bullet with Sydney Rocks project which never seemed to really get going. I've nearly finished half of it now! I breezed through the large tree in a few days and previously I thought I'd never get through it. Then I went on to another page and have done the bulk of that with only minor bits to finish it off.

I'm now backstitching Cottages at Oak Bluffs. I did some at a gymnastics competition but it was hard to follow sitting in a folding chair without anywhere to rest my pattern. I'm back to dragging my feet again but at least I am on the second house of this project. Too many of my projects are at the backstitching phase!!!!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Doing a bit now and then

I finished my Verandas rotation then didn't do any work the next week. That's bad. The backstitching on House #1 is coming along and you can see the progress in the photo.

I also finally bought some blanket binding for a new fleece blanket for Jade. It's in a beautiful cherry red and I just love it! So this small project has the dubious honor of being my first finish for 2011!

Nimbus fully approves of it as well!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Slow progess but finished backstitching 1 house

I think I'm not in the mood for fiddly things or for undoing mistakes so that's part of my problem in getting back into stitching. I had a bit of taking out on the backstitching on this to do as I'd used the wrong color under the jade window arches. I've undone and re-done the backstitching under the ground floor window arches. For now I've left the upstairs window. Maybe when this rotation comes around again I'll decide to undo it--or not!

Anyway, I'm on to my next rotation--Verandas and have started the backstitching on that and have made a few mistakes and undone them too. I seem to be really worried about what color to backstitch where. I've started on the house on the far left--the one I just finished cross-stitching--and it's shaping up nicely so far. I really want to finish a few of my projects that are close to being done so I can move on.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Still dragging my feet

This year has been a tough one as far as adjustments go and that has left little time or energy for crafting, never mind getting all the everyday things done. Both kids have had big steps up to take and I've had to spend quite a bit of my energy helping them.

My son Jarrah has changed schools, gone from a public school to a private school where academic expectations are greater and entered senior school. He's had to adjust to new travel arrangements to his new school which involve taking up to 3 buses the few times a week when we don't drive him. Initially he wasn't happy about changing schools but is now settling in well, making friends and improving his grades.

My daughter Jade has gone into Year 5 which is a big step in primary school. She has also taken a huge step up in gymnastics to the top International squad at her club, adjusting to 3 new coaches and to working along-side girls who are on the Australian national team. She's training an additional session and up to 29 hours per week. She's also started studying in an intensive scholarship test preparation class on Sunday mornings. This class gives her up to 5 hours of homework per week. So she is getting very skilled at micro-managing her time.

So for me there has been additional driving for both kids and providing much more homework help then before. So you can see where crafting time and, more particularly, available energy has gone.

As the kids are settling in I'm also potentially taking on two more part-time jobs this year. More on those in time.

It is frustrating to be so close to finishing a number of projects and to not be actually finishing them off. I think I'm backstitching 3 projects at the moment and I've never done that before.

I pulled out Cottages last night and finally worked through my backstitch problem with it. I used the wrong color to backstitch under the eaves of the windows on House #4. So I undid that stitching which was very fiddly and started to re-do it and I also stitched other areas. I just need to keep up some momentum and keep going.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

When she was good she was very, very good . . .

When she was bad she was horrid. So goes the nursery rhyme. Well here I am trying to get my crafting back on track and trying also to make up for being so bad.
Firstly to the photos!!

Here is where I am up to on the New England Sampler. Kind of gave up/put aside doing some of the fiddly patterns and went for the simple outer and inner borders. At least I got some work done. Most of my recent progress was completed while on holiday in Sydney including on planes and trains so easy borders were the go. At any rate it is coming along nicely.

Since returning home from holidays I've hardly picked up my cross-stitch. When I have it's been this one--The Rocks, Sydney. I'm stuck in a tree at the moment. I've mainly worked on this while at Jarrah's baseball games. Oh, bad Mum again not watching the game!!!

Now I'm ready to go on with a new rotation and to get back into the swing of things. Next in the rotation list is Cottages at Oak Bluffs II where I'm working on back-stitching. That sounds easy enough! Let's knock that off before the next two weeks is over!!

Since I also blog a bit about what I'm reading I'll mention that I'm on the third book of the Millenium trilogy--The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest. Brilliant books. I put off reading them for a while despite the hype because I was worried about having to read/pronounce all the Swedish names. It hasn't been a problem at all and I'm loving the series. I hope one day his 4th book will be finished and published.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The longer I stay away, the harder it is to get back

Yes it's been a long time since I've posted. Three months in fact. The end of the year is just such a crazy, busy time. For those of you in the northern hemisphere I don't think you can appreciate the chaos that occurs when both Christmas and the end of the school year coincide. Add to all of the shopping and preparations for Christmas all of the end of year school concerts and celebrations plus work functions plus, in our case, preparations for our main summer holiday away. Then top it off with birthday celebrations for one of our children plus attending other children's parties. Then add in a minor day surgery (for me) with recovery.

This past year we also had my mother-in-law's ill health and hospitalisation and then finding a nursing home for her. She moved in to the nursing home in October but from August onwards we made an effort to visit her very frequently and since she is 30-45 minutes away from us this took up a lot of time. She's settled now and doing well but with her dementia she really has no idea where she is. At Christmas we took her out of the nursing home for the first time and she was confused especially when we brought her back.

Another extra function which occurred in October last year was deciding to change my son's school due to dissatisfaction with the education he was receiving. I was very fortunate to find him a good private school which had a general intake at his year level. He's not happy about this change so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

So does life get in the way of crafting.

I have lost a lot of forward momentum but have tried to pick projects up at random and keep going.

We had our end of year holiday in Sydney this year and I decided to take the New England Sampler with me and I actually worked on it! (How many trips have I taken including long cross-Pacific flights where the stitching never made it out of my carry-on?) I got it out on both plane trips--which were only 1 hour--and a number of evenings and mornings in the room where we were staying. I've continued with it since at home but have decided it is now time to put it away and to get back into my rotations.

I chose to take this project rather than the obvious Sydney one because it is on Aida which is much easier to work on when on the go and because it has simpler regular areas of pattern to do. So I stitched straight lines and finished the alphabet area at the top. Photos to follow.

I just checked to see what my current rotation should be and it is Sydney which follows the New England Sampler so I have to steel myself for working with linen, and on tree branches with half stitches all over the place. But first I'm going to really finish LaTrobe Terrace which only needs to be initialled and dated.

Oh and I forgot to say I framed a few projects myself just before Christmas! Photos coming.