Monday, August 29, 2011

Some progress and some rest (not much of either!)

Thank you kindly, Jenny, for the sympathy!  It's the tiredness factor..  today's a holiday and so is tomorrow, but I had to go to work.  Things have improved a bit, we are pulling 12 hour shifts instead of 15.  I definitely sympathize with those about to be separated from the company... words are difficult...but on the up side, work has been found for them, permanent work, only not at the rate they're used to.  What to do.

Had to attend a breakfast meeting at 7am on a day when everyone else was sleeping in..  all was quiet in my neighborhood! Got home at 3 and have only just woken up.

Anyway, here's my progress on Whimsey and Wit, the baby Jesus square:

Earlier yesterday:

Later that night...The little oval is where his face is going to go.. I'm going to finish this and the rest of his swaddling clothes tonight!

I have a confession to make.. this square is not the same one that I posted a week ago!  I stitched in the wrong square and had to unpick..  I couldn't bring myself to mention it or even touch it for a few days.  I have left the Tuscan Welcome for the time being.

Apart from the progress there, I was able to take off for an hour yesterday and bought these:

They are not new.. the newest is Cross Stitch and Needlework on the left, which is May 2011.  The Stoney Creek is October 2010, the Cross Stitcher is August 2010.  Not all of them have patterns that I want, but hey.. for an average of $2 and because there aren't any cross stitch magazines sold here on a regular basis, I'll take what I can get!

Sadly, the few needlework shops here do not offer any Prairie Schooler, Shepherd's Bush, Bent Creek, Just my Imagination, or Lizzie Kate charts/kits... all they have are mostly DMC and Chinese patterns (or should I say patterns from China) .. No, not copies of the ones I mentioned.. just anonymous Chinese ones!  Some manga-type charts too.  I will just have to wait until I can make a trip over, or order online (never tried it for charts and kits though!)

That's it..  comments welcome..  :)   Here's to a happy and productive week ahead!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

ooof.... (the sound of someone receiving a punch)

What a week.  It's been difficult.  The only bright spot being the comments from Jenny and Ms. Maria.  Thank you for your comments!

I will count the threads per inch on the linen, as you recommended.. so that's why it was on sale lol..   it *is* a pretty color, as you said!

More news. 15 hour workdays because of the planned redundancies.. haven't had much sleep since Monday.  Shocking news of my boss leaving Tuesday.    Colleagues who were in shock over events, then had to submerge their feelings to get on with the difficult task of helping to prepare the papers for those leaving; then on orders, serving the papers (or trying to).  Been lightheaded all week!

Will post an update on my stitching and an old finished project just to keep my hand in. As you can imagine, because of the events this week, not much stitching got done!  I can only hope things will be better next week!

Comments welcome, all the time.

Posting my finished project (the one which got me stitching again).  Ta daaaa!  A Christmas ornament!

Isn't it sweet?

Also found an unfinished project:  

This is a True Colors "Renaissance Madonna" from the "Madonnas of the Old Masters" booklet..  one of the booklets/charts I can't find, that is!   Grrrr...  I haven't finished their faces yet.  All the flesh tones were kind of difficult.  This is stitched one thread over one square (did I get the terms right?)

Lately I've been looking a lot at these...

Hmm.. there's a theme developing, based on my projects.  But I've also done florals and landscapes.  I'll post more as I find my projects (lol)

A safe weekend to all!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The best laid plans...

Oh dear, did not get as much time with my projects as I wanted - I was at work until 5.30pm.  Sad news, that around 1,000 employees are to be 'let go'.  I have friends among them!  I feel for my fellow workers.  It's just a few months before Christmas!  But what can you/I do?  The powers-that-be had decided.  :((   It also means a lot of work for the next two weeks.

My original plans for my Saturday afternoon involved going to the mall to buy some thread for a future project (it's always nice to have everything you need on hand just in case you decide to start the project early!) and check out the latest patterns and kits.  But bang went all my plans to buy more thread from my favorite needlestore because of the sad news.  :(

I finally settled down enough to do a little work on a long neglected piece..  the Whimsey and Wit Advent Calendar.  Ta daaa!

with flash..
 without flash..

And settling down to do it, I realized why I'd set it aside...  I was having difficulty with counting on linen!  :-p    Strictly an amateur, I've only had one other project (the Madonna and child on 22ct hardanger) on non-Aida cloth, and I still haven't finished that one!  !  Feeling all my inadequacies here, I set the piece aside again and read up a few tips on working with linen..  that is, if tattersall is linen?

Then, since the chart specified "Cadet" and "Sea Foam" WD (found out it was Weeks Dye) floss and I didn't have that, I had to decide which shades of blue thread fit best... I still don't know if I got the shades right, but I like what I chose.. :)

All these dilemmas gave me a different focus for a few hours, and hopefully a few more hours today, til W-O-R-K comes round again tomorrow.  My goal is to finish stitching Baby Jesus (yup, that's part of his blue swaddling cloth up there).  I will be stitching away...   :)

ps.  Thank you for your comments; they are always welcome!  Even more so now, as I stitch on linen.. did you know that there is a "good end" and a "not so good end" to each side of your thread?  And you have to do a fluff test to see which side to start with?  I didn't know that!  I just read up on it last night (and I can't remember now where I read it - it's either Cross Stitch and Country Crafts, Cross Stitch and Needlework, or For the Love of Cross Stitch magazine!)
pps. In another entry there was this same project displayed.. blue stitching too!  That was the angel motif on the calendar.. I still can't find the chart, and am working on the photocopy I made- only Days 10-24!  would you believe it!  $%^&**  Anyway, I'm sure the chart will turn up.

Happy Weekend to all of us!

Friday, August 19, 2011

I love Saturday!

It's Saturday, and I'm so sleepy, but  I'm off to work.. I go to work 5 1/2 days a week, so actually 6 days..  Where do we find time to stitch?  I wish there were more days off  in a week (ha.. I was thinking of just writing "more days to a week" but really, more days? Would that mean work 7 days out of 8??  The mind boggles)

At least work's only half day!  Hope to get some sewing done over lunch.  :)  

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I haven't really got much stitching done; I unpicked a few days ago and only really started again a few minutes ago.  This really reminds me of the sewing tip "count twice, sew once" as by this time I've already counted 8x and sewn twice!  Lesson learned.  Anyway things are going along swimmingly so far. 30 half stitches on Tuscan Garden  :)

I spent most of the past 2 days reading blogs and my head is awhirl with all the beautiful projects I've seen, and in between some of the stash the makers have acquired.  Seeing their stash reminded me of mine...  a nice thing happened yesterday, I found some of my old stash -- I'll show some pics of it later!

It's "later" so I've uploaded some pics.. my stash of some linens, 28 and 32 ct - didn't know I had those!  This stash is all courtesy of my dearest older cousin Avey!  She's such a brilliant needleworker (needle artist?).. Everything stitch related comes so easily to her!  And to the right, the Tattersal on which some stitching is visible.. this is the angel on Day 1 of the Whimsey and Wit pattern!  Please pattern, come out, come out, wherever you are!

Jenny, I could do with more stash  :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Oh my!  I put the pressure on; did my stitching, and had to unpick......  ow!  It was the arch on the Tuscan greeting, I didn't count so carefully and found when I reached the other end of the arch, that it wouldn't meet!  Ouch.  To make it worse, when I counted back, I found that I made the mistake not a few stitches back, not somewhere in the middle, but waaaay back.  With arches it's an either-or, no fudging.  The thing either meets at the bottom, or it doesn't.  Ah well, such is life.  You unpick, and you go on.  :)

On the stash - I don't have all that many, I think.  The more I read other blogs, the more I find I'm just like the rest.. the stash first, and I'll find the time to stitch later!  I haven't had a good sortie for stash in years.  The stash I have now (with the exception of the Philippine DMC patterns), I either bought or was gifted (by my favorite elder cousin Avey) years ago (like 15 years ago?).   I realize now that I should have looked around in Vancouver and Seattle a few months back.  I did find some in Singapore last June since I happened to be wandering round Takashimaya on Orchard with my nephew.  The fourth or was it fifth floor had crafts - painting, drawing, some sewing stuff.  Not exactly craft/cross stitch/embroidery country though.  The nearest to a Michaels store in Singapore is Spotlight, which is in Plaza Singapura at the mouth of Orchard Road.  It's got a lot of crafting things, but sadly does not compare to Michaels.

The lovely Advent calendar is still missing in action.  It's a Whimsey & Wit pattern and sadly I don't think it is available anymore, unless you want to try that store in La Jolla or search in Ebay.   I'll ask the store's name from my cousin and let you know.

Now as for ziplining.. I think I'll go for a longer course and tell everyone how it goes.  But let me tell you I think my heart stopped around 20 meters in when I was hanging over the first stretch of forest!  

Thanks for the warm greetings; I don't think I'll ever get over how welcoming everyone is.  :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Many, many thanks :)

Yay! Someone actually read my blog, someone whose blog I follow, too!  Well, I subscribed to her blog, and now I publicly follow it (I didn't know there was a difference til today!)

Thank you Jenny for explaining what TUSAL and ORT mean!  I had a general idea but I didn't know if I was correct or not.  I'd been reading so many stitching blogs and there are so many acronyms to catch up on if you're new..

I haven't had much stitching done, as we went off to a place called Tagaytay to visit with a cousin-in- law who I hadn't seen for years -- she and her husband (who is my cousin) migrated-- in her parent's new vacation home, and I had my first zipline ride..  what a thrill!   I had a great view of the crater lake and the valley full of plants and trees below me.  Thank goodness my cousin-in-law was there or I'd never have had the nerve to ride it!  She said she wasn't going to, and I had no plans to, either.. but when I saw my nieces aged 9-13 doing it with no fear, I said to my cousin, "I'll go if you go".. and she did, so I did, too!

By the way that pic is of my cousin and our niece (I took this picture).

Anyway, suffice to say no stitching was done over the weekend but I'll post what I have so far (the Tuscan greeting kit) and the project I want to do.

Here's the Tuscan greeting:  So far it hasn't been so interesting to do because the thread colors are so subtle that they meld into the fabric.. you can barely see the stitches.  Anyway, I'm keeping at it because a.) my family said they doubted I'd do it and b.) in the hope that I get to the other colors soon (gotta get cracking!) and it becomes so engrossing that I'll finish it next week   :)  I mean in 2 weeks.   Or at least within the month.   I'm kind of slow when it's not so interesting.

Down below is the DMC the-original-is-a-painting by M. Baldemor, and part of the proceeds from pattern or kit purchase goes to Unicef.  Aren't the colors striking?  It's a Philippine harvest scene.  The farmer's families make colorful rice ornaments that they hang from their houses when they celebrate the feast of San Isidro Labrador (in English, St. Isidore the Farmer/Laborer), who is the patron saint of farmers.  It would have been nicer if DMC could have kept the cover simpler, showing more of the painting than the lavender swirls.  A side note:  as far as I know the festival wasn't as well known as it is now in the Philippines, until the ad agency (PAC) of the makers of San Miguel Beer (a Philippine beer known the world over for its Cerveza Negra) promoted it along with the beer, back in the late 70s.

First pic up top is the Christmas Angels kit by Dimensions.  I'm debating whether to show the pattern covers of the Mary Engelbreit "Believe" and the oops, Peaches (not Nectarines) in a Bowl, that I mentioned in the first post.  The patterns got wet years ago and the pages are kind of discolored now.  I bought the Mary Engelbreit pattern in San Diego, I think.  The Peaches and Plums pattern I may have bought locally (I think a store in Mile Long arcade, when there were more stitching shops back in the 90s).

Anyway, my next post will feature progress on the Tuscan Welcome and the Peaches pattern.  I also hope to start on the ornaments (whether the ones above or from the Engelbreit kit).  I'm in awe of the skill level of the stitchers whose blogs I follow...  I mean, WOW.

Here's to a happy, productive week ahead!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

In Trouble.. (in a good way!)

I have so many projects I'd like to start, and I can't decide which!

Since Christmas will be here sooner than we can blink (it's 3 or so months away), I'd like to get started on the Whimsey and Wit Christmas calendar.. if I could just find it!

Then there's the "Believe" Santa from Mary Engelbreit's chart, and the little ornaments that go along with it.

There's the renaissance Mother and Child in 22ct that's not finished (missing True Colors pattern "Madonnas of the Old Masters").

The Dimensions Angel ornaments - six of them!

I'm in awe of how most of the other stitchers I'm following do their own finishing of their work - I wouldn't know how!  I know that there are cross stitch stores abroad that can do that for you..  but there aren't any here!

Anyway, so much for my quandary.. it's a good sort of trouble to be in!  Happy to be stitching.. :)   will post pics so I can track my progress.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My First Finished Work for the Year

I just got back to stitching after a long time- in fact I can't remember exactly the last time I stitched.  I'm pretty sure not for at least 6 years, and even then, sort of on a lackadaisical basis.  Last year, however, we moved house and along with the move, I saw all the magazines, patterns, and kits I'd hoarded over the years - surprise!  Then last March, on a visit to my brother in Canada, we stopped by a Michael's and I bought a little kit that was on sale for $2 - could not resist!  My mom and my brother expressed their doubts as to whether I'd ever do it.

Less than a month ago, I started sewing.. not that kit from Canada, but a little ornament kit from who-knows-when -- a little creche, just the infant Jesus in a crib of straw.  There's some metallic thread to his halo and the rays radiating from his halo.  Viola!  I finished it (woo hoo!)  And now I'm back in the groove.  My stash is kind of old now (heck, from the early 90s) but they are kits and patterns that I really love - among them the Dimensions pattern of Mary Engelbreit's "Believe" Santa.  I panicked at the thought of losing them (did I mention that once we moved, I could not find them?) but anyway, thanks to my mom's help, I found most of them - except for my hardbound books, which I think may be permanently gone.

One pattern that we haven't found yet (and I really want to do for Christmas) is Whimsey and Wit's Christmas Alphabet Advent calendar.  My best cousin Avey bought it for me on a trip to a cross stitch store in La Jolla - the pattern, the linen,the thread, some charms - back in 2005, I think.  She bought 2 sets, one for her and one for me.  Wasn't that sweet of her?  I had only got round to a few stitches - not very far yet at the time of our move.  I'm still looking for it, though I have found the photocopy I did so I could mark off what I'd finished.  I hope I find the whole kit soon....

Anyway.. one down (finished).  And I have a whole list to go:
1.  Bowl of Nectarines, to match the Bowl of Plums that's been framed and is in our dining room.  That's the pic above - as you can see I'm not an expert stitcher  and have yet to graduate to linen - despite an unfinished 22 ct Mother and Child from the pattern in "Madonnas of the Old Masters".
2.  A Dimensions pattern - Christmas angel ornaments - a set of 6
3.  Another Dimensions pattern - a Tuscan Welcome (the one I bought from Michael's, Vancouver)
4.  A DMC pattern - Baldemor's "Pahiyas Festival" - it's a huge painting and it will be more manageable on fabric of a higher count - so, no Aida!  A portion of the pattern's cost goes to Unicef.