Come visit with me as I stitch and craft my way from one Christmas to the next - I like to have Christmas projects close by me all year. I have a particular fondness for Santas and Angels. If you have the time, leave a comment so I know you've visited.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Five little finishes

Christmas gifts for five little Irish-Aussie girls. The stocking design is a favourite of mine - it's adapted from LA's Christmas Caboodle leaflet (1986). I first stitched it in 1986, and I have stitched it every year since, for different children. My best guess is that I have stitched this design at least 80 times. There are five more of these ornaments on my stitching list for 2011 - but the colours will be different for the next batch.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Home again ...

refreshed and relaxed after a lovely week camping with friends in beautiful Bonny Hills, on the coast just a three hours drive north for me. It's a lovely area, and I always enjoy my time there. This time was a little sad, as my friend who lives there has just recently been diagnosed with lung and spinal secondaries to the breast cancer she was treated for a couple of years ago. She also had a brain tumour removed last November and had radiation therapy afterwards. Now she has just started chemo for the lung and spinal secondaries. It was good to see her, and also to see how positive (but realistic) her attitude is. I hope that if I was faced with the same situation that I would be able to handle it in the same way that she is.

I did manage to get some stitching time while I was away. I stitched up five little Christmas ornaments - for five little Irish-Aussie girls (from 3 families) who will, I hope, pay me a Christmas visit again this year. I still have to add some beads and make up the ornaments. I hope to have a picture to post by the end of this month.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Midnight Journey is home from the framer

I am very pleased with the framing, and relieved to have Midnight Journey home safely. The mount is a red flock - I think it looks very pretty, I think that this is the earliest I have ever had my annual Christmas project finished.
I've started stitching on page 10 of JOF - just a tiny part stitched, but at least it's a start! It's gone away now till the beginning of April. If I get the chance in the next week or so I'll make a few Christmas ornaments for visiting children.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Little HD at my house

I have just put in the final stitches in page 9 of JOF. Yay! This page stitched up much quicker than I anticipated. It did have a fair amount of solid colour blocks, which I notice the next page has little of. I'll have very little chance of stitching on JOF for the rest of this month, but I'll get back to it in April. I have now revised my target, and I now hope to finish pages 10, 11, and 12 (which is a very small page) before mid-May.I am very pleased to report that Maddie has had no further fits, and seems to be pretty much back to her usual self. I am so happy about that.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Progress pic - Jolly Old Fellow

Page 9 is now half-stitched. I hope the second half of the page stitches up as easily as the frst half did - I've really enjoyed seeing it grow. I suspect I've sent way more time stitching in the past week than I have spent sleeping. It's always just 'one more little section before I finish stitching for the night'. I do wish I could be more relaxed with my larger projects, but the desire to see them finished takes over and I become slightly obsessed. For this page, I split the page in half and enlarged the graph, and as I stitched each thread I used a lead pencil to mark off the chart. This has worked for me, and yet I got so frustrated last time I was stitching JOF when I tried to mark the chart with highlighter, and ended up in a fine mess. I've never been one to mark charts, but my memory's not as good as it used to be and I was getting sick of counting threads to find my place in the chart.

My little Maddie gave me a fright last week. I was just about ready to head for bed at 2am, and as I pushed my floor-frame away I saw Maddie was fitting on the lounge. Just half an hour before she had asked to go out, and when she came in she jumped upp on the 3 seater lounge and made herself a nest out of the scatter cushions, as she often does at night. She was perfectly fine then. By the time I got to her she had stopped fitting and was conscious but she was very unresponsive and floppy, and became absolutely white and so cold (usually she has a very pink skin - it looked like someone had emptied a tin of baby powder over her, she was so white). The vet later said she went into cardiogenic shock, and we still don't know why she fitted, and why the fit was followed by cardiogenic shock - according to the vet, it's not what usually happens after a fit. I wrapped her up to keep her warm, and held her close, and it was 4am before she started warming up, and 4.30am before her behaviour became more normal. I was so scared that she was going to die. The fact that it was the day before her 12th birthday seemed to make it sadder for me. I got no sleep at all that night, but Maddie slept from 4.30am till 8am and when she woke it was business as usual - her behaviour was absolutely normal, and has been since, though she is sleeping more than she used to during the day. But when she's awake, she's as active as she ever was. We don't know why she had the fit - we're keeping a close eye on her, and she's had no more to date. I hope I can keep saying that! It doesn't look as if she's developed diabetes (which the vet said is one of the things that can precipitate fitting), and she's not on any drugs which would induce fitting. I'm hoping she has no more fits, and I certainly hope she doesnt go into shock again - that was way too scary.

My Dad is doing it tough right now, too He suffers from dementia, and right now he's very troubled. I've had a number of phone calls from him in the past week, very distressed, thinking he's destitute and about to be evicted, and worrying about where he parked the car (he's not had one since 1985, and gave up his licence in 2002), and thinking the police are looking for him. Sometimes he thinks he's in jail, othertimes he thinks he's in a motel or in someone else's home. I wish he wasn't so distressed. I visit him three or four times a week, and always take him out for coffee or an ice-cream, and he always seems to enjoy the outing, and is happy enough to go back inside when we get back to the hostel. He happily heads for the dining room each time a meal or snack is announced over the loudspeaker, but he won't join in any of the scheduled activities. He's always packing up his belongings in most creative ways (eg turning singlets into carry bags by tying up the ends, and stuffing them full of 'treasures'). I am amazed by what he can pack in his walking frame - tied on by belts and braces, it's truly a work of art. I hope he cycles out of this distressed state soon and returns to a more settled one.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Jolly Old Fellow is back ...

This is where I finished when I packed him away last year: I've all but finished page 8 of 36. Last year I managed to stitch just the one page, and I stitched on JOF for only a bit over one month. In 2009 I stitched on it for 7 straight months, and got 7 pages finished. This project has been a steep learning curve for me. I know know that finishing projects is what I like to do - I'm not that keen on working away on the one project for years and not feeling as if I'm making much headway. Still - I started it, and I love the design, so I will finish it - eventually (God willing). I'm unlikely to ever attempt another project of this size - I'll stick to L&L in future. My current goal is to stitch page 9, and I'd like to have that finished by mid-May. Here's hoping!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Five little finishes

Four button and/or bead decorated trees, and one Christmas wreath - all finished in small frames. I'm packing away the beads and buttons now - and bringing out Jolly Old Fellow to see if I can make some headway on it over the next few weeks.