Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's my blogoversary - and I'm having a contest!

I will have been blogging for 3 years in 3 days time! Hard to believe I've had that much to say. Anyway, every year I plan to have a contest to celebrate and I've never gotten around to it, but this year I will. There will be 3 prizes, one for every year I've been blogging. This will be first prize, a kit plus 5 skeins of DMC cotton:

Second prize will be this chart, plus 5 mystery threads (only because I haven't decided what they are yet!):

Third prize will be your choice of fabric, the lemon is an evenweave, the purple is aida. I don't know the sizes, but they are at least big enough to do what I would call a medium sized project. I will also add 3 mystery threads to the prize as well.

Ok, now for the rules. All you have to do is follow my blog, and leave a comment on this post. (you also need to ensure I have a way on contacting you, either an email address or I can post a comment on your blog). The contest will close on January 6th, Victorian, Australian time. Remember, we are about 12 hours ahead of the U.S.A/Canada. Winners will be chosen randomly, 1st chosen will win 1st prize etc

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Hot cocoa anyone?

I'd run out of the length of thread I was stitching with on my current project and couldn't find the skein of it, so decided just to start another project instead. Here's what I whipped up over 2 days.

  • Name of the design is hot cocoa.
  • Chart is a free design from sullivans floss, designed by Sue Hillis.
  • Fabric is 25 count white evenweave.
  • Thread is DMC cotton - the chart has a conversion for DMC on it.
  • Stitch count is 48 x 47 
  • Started on December 28th 2011.
  • Completed on December 29th 2011.  I turned this into a trivet for myself.  I thought I had one lying around, and the design was the right size for a trivet, so a trivet it became!

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas cooking, creating & crafting

So here's what I've been up to in the lead up to Christmas:

Individual table setting

Reindeer I painted silver & blue

Personalised bon-bons for 17

Bought cake that I decorated

Cupcakes, "faux"rer roches
& coconut ice

Cookies & cream cheesecake

Tiramisu log

Table setting

13 Initials in pre-made
tuck ornaments 

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Belated Christmas Wishes

It's been all quiet on the blogging front as I've been flat out finishing bits and pieces for Christmas, but I hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends. I hosted Christmas lunch for my side of the family, then Boxing Day lunch for my in-laws. The weather was looking pretty wild and all over the place on Christmas Day, I was concerned we'd lose power and the only thing I'd be able to serve was cold ham! However the power held out until 6pm, when we lost it for 10 hours! I bet that ruined a few Christmas dinners! I served ham with mustard or mayo, turkey with cranberry, pork with apple sauce, roast potato, roast pumpkin, roast capsicums, roast carrot, gravy, corn, peas and stuffing. I also made a yummy fruit punch and served plum pudding and tiramisu log for dessert.

Boxing Day turned into an indoor grill instead of a BBQ because of a few showers, but it turned out well anyway. I served prawns, marinated chicken, lamb chops, mini burgers, two types of  sausages, potato bake, zucchini slice and home made bread rolls. Dessert was a tray of cakes, "faux"rer roches, and coconut ice Christmas trees as well as a cookies and cream cheesecake. Pics to follow in another post.

Also, in the lead up to Christmas we had a few exciting things happen in the family. DS #1 won the academic achievement award for his grade at the annual awards night. They give out 2 per class, one for achievement, the other for endeavour. Last year he won the endeavour one too! DS #2 was chosen from his class to be Michael Jackson for the school concert. They performed black or white and he got to be up the front doing the moonwalk among other things. He was sooo nervous but did really well in front on a crowd of probably close to 1000.
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Some finishes to share :-)

Finally I have some stitching I can share! These 2 finishes are hand towels I made for each of DS #2's school teachers. Both teachers have young kids and they job share so they can work part time - Mrs
Juarez on Monday & Tuesday, Mrs Havelberg on Thursday & Friday and they alternate each Wednesday. Every year I know I'll probably
stitch something for the school teachers, but I always seem to leave it until the last minute then rush something just to get it done. This year was no different, I was true to form! Except I had 2 to do. I couldn't even stitch them at karate class (which is where I get a lot of projects completed) as one of his teachers has a son that does karate and I can never remember which classes he might be at. DS finds out his 2012 teacher on Tuesday, maybe I can start a project then for him/her? LOL. I also ordered personalised notepads for them too.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stash buying :-)

Just because it's Christmas and the season for giving, I gave myself a gift! Or 5 actually. But hey, I'm worth it ;-).
The three fabric pieces across the top are "Sunny Dyes" from Youthful Hands Needle Crafts. I had never heard of them until recently when they had a sale so I decided to try them out. I got "Coven", "Very Snowy Night" & "Strawberry Orange Sorbet". I also picked up a skein of this pretty green variegated thread at a quilt store I was browsing in recently. It's called "Sea Change" and comes from Cottage Garden Thread. Better still, it's an Aussie company! Last, but certainly not least is my favourite piece of fabric. So much so, it's probably going to sit in my stash because it's too nice to stitch on! I came across it on Stitchitandie's blog and fell in love. Turns out it's from a UK company I've ordered from before - Sparklies. This gorgeous opalescent piece is called "Innocent Princess". Merry Christmas to me! :-)

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Just testing...

My new Christmas signature
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Stitchy news - or lack thereof

It's been fairly quiet on the stitching front for me lately, since my last official finish which was the Christmas Bouquet. Since then I have started a project for my mum for Christmas (the project listed as my WIP on the right), stitched 3 small surprise designs which I can't really mention here, and another hush-hush project for an exchange. Therefore I can't really talk much stitching for the time being. Come late December I'll have a lot of stitchy news to share! I also have a few other small projects I want to get done as gifts, time will tell if I can manage it all.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another calisthenics year over.

We seem to spend so much time working hard at class, learning routines, polishing them for competitions - and once competitions start the year is over before you know it. We did have quite a successful year in 2010, entering 6 items in each of the 4 competitions available to us. We managed to place in the majority of them, winning 15 medals out of a possible 24, as well as a reserve aggregate. The year is officially over now following the club concert on Sunday. As coach, I was given a lovely floral arrangement and a pretty necklace and I also got a pretty bunch of flowers for being the class secretary. I also compete as part of the team - you could call me Jill-of-all-trades (mistress of none!). Here's my flowers, aren't they pretty? (sorry for the bad pic - wanted to take one while they were fresh!)

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Warrnambool road trip - for karate of course!

DS #2 & I clocked up another super early start, the earliest yet, for another karate tournament. This one was in Warrnambool and run very differently than the usual ones we've gone to. In kata, there's usually a knockout system in place. A random draw is made, and you need to win against your competitor to stay in the competition. This time however there was a points system. Each person performed their kata once and was given a score out of 10, with the highest 3 taking out the prizes.

Anyway, I entered DS into kata, kumite, the older age group of kata, and weapons for the first time. Hey, it was cheap to enter and made the trip worthwhile! Anyway, he took out 2nd place in his age group of kata, only .2 behind the winner. Kumite was next up and DS did well but narrowly lost his 2 matches to just miss 3rd place. Weapons came next, and DS was a little unsure of this as he has never competed in this section before, and it was under 16 so being 9 he was concerned he might come up against some big experienced kids. However, he performed well to take out 1st place! We were both pretty rapt (and surprised!) as he chose to do a bo kata. He has only had one lesson in this weapon, but decorated his own bo and made up his own kata, all within the last week. Not bad for a thrown together routine, with not much confidence going in. Next up was the older age group of kata, with 11 kids in total. Many of them were quite strong and confident, but DS stepped up his kata to take out 1st place. He was last on the mat too, so was able to see the level of the competitors he was up against. Normally that could have been unsettling, but he really pulled out all the stops! This tournament was also unusual in that 1st place took home a trophy AND a medal. All up, he won 2 trophies and 3 medals from 4 events.

A quick trip to the beach for some karate pictures and home we came!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

L for Lorraine

This is a project for my mum for Christmas. It is for her bedroom, which is a bright lime/apple green. I was originally going to stitch the design in 2 shades of green on white fabric but then I remembered a grab bag of fabric I bought from Stitches & Spice at a local craft fair. In it were 4 pieces of bright fabric - blue, pink, orange and green. The green looked to be just the right colour, and is just big enough, so I decided to stitch it on this - with the L in white and the background design in a slightly darker shade of green.

So far I have just finished the L and only had to frog it once, I'm improving!!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Christmas bouquet is finished

Yet again, I'm not sure what will become of this. Maybe an ornament to keep, sell or give away. Time will tell.

  • Name of the design is Christmas bouquet.
  • Chart is a free design from ABC cross stitch.
  • Fabric is 28 count white opalescent evenweave.
  • Thread is DMC cotton.
  • Stitch count is 66 x 56 
  • Started on September 25th 2011.
  • Completed on October 9th 2011.  

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Sick of karate yet?

Yep, we attended yet another karate tournament on Sunday, miles away from home again. DS performed kata first as usual and did really well to take home a nice big 1st place trophy. He also entered kumite again against a group of kids he hasn't come up against much before. He started out more aggressive and confident than usual and took his first 3 rounds to make it into the final. The final saw a draw, and another minute on the clock. His opponent then hit him too hard a couple of times (light contact to the body is OK, no contact below the belt or above the chest is allowed) and knocked his confidence a little. He kept up the fight though to take home the 2nd place trophy. Here's hoping he can keep his new found confidence and attacking skills for the next tournament, the last of the year.
Here's his winnings:

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Reserve Aggregate Winners!

In the calisthenics classes leading up to our final competition of the year, I have been convincing the ladies in the team that we were going to do really well. I even told them we'd medal in all 6 items and take home the reserve aggregate trophy - I was being realistic and not expecting to beat the favourites to take out top honours! Well, we did pull it all together and work really well, gaining 2nd place in march, clubs and free exercises and 3rd place in rods, aesthetics and revue. It was a bit of a race to the end as there was another team on our tail going into the last two items. They did really well, placing 1st and 2nd, and with our 2 x 3rds, that made us equal runners-up, behind the favourites. The competition committee was on top of this, and had a spare trophy, so both of us got to take one home. Here it is, it represents a hard year of work:

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Butterfly Stitching Exchange

I entered a butterfly exchange on the 123stitch message board a few months back. The requirement was to stitch a little something with a butterfly theme. My partner and I were a little late as we were meant to send in August, but we got there in the end. My butterfly parcel to my partner Monica has been received, and I also have the piece she stitched, so it's show & tell time! Here's the pretty bookmark that Monica stitched for me:

Here's the ornament I stitched for Monica:

Although not required as part of the exchange, I threw in a few extra butterfly gifts as well. There's a hanging butterfly ornament, some silver craft butterflies, a 3D bookmark, 3D stickers and regular stickers. Here they are:

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Anyone having a baby?

I have another finish to show - a pink baby bib. Why, you might ask? Good question! I was sick of stitching things that just sat there once done. In my warped mind, it seemed like a good idea to stitch something with more of a purpose, even though it too will sit here gathering dust. Yep, I know. I am insane! In a good, zany way, not in a put-me-in-a-padded-cell kind of way ;-)

  • Name of the design - well it doesn't really have one I don't think.
  • Chart is a design from UK Magazine Cross Stitch Crazy, at least the cupcake is. I simplified it a little and then added the words myself. 
  • Fabric is a pre-finished bib from my stash. (When did I ever want a pink bib?)
  • Thread is DMC cotton.
  • Stitch count is 31 x 40 for the cupcake only 
  • Started on September 6th 2011.
  • Completed on September 24th 2011.  

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Frantic Weekend & More Winnings

Saturday started out with a birthday party that DS #2 was invited to at the local pool which he thoroughly enjoyed. Straight from there it was off to an extra calisthenics practise for our team as we have another competition this coming Friday night. From there I went home long enough to pack my calisthenics things (for our photo day on Sunday) and get DS's karate things together (for a tournament - also on Sunday). Then we headed out for dinner.

Sunday was even busier, with DS & I leaving for the tournament at 6.45am. He competed well again, going through 3 rounds to gain 2nd place in kata. I had to leave at 12 to go back near home for calisthenics photos, so DH & DS #1 came to the tournament to look after DS #2. I missed his kumite, but he did well, facing up to the Victorian (and almost National) champion - again - in the first round. He lost, but still managed to get a bronze medal for his efforts. I just made it back in the nick of time to see him lose his round of team kumite 1-0. His team lost this time (this is the club the team faced at the Aus Open and beat) but they won a silver medal as there were only 2 teams entered.  From there we went to Pancake Parlour (YUM!!) for dinner then home again. I managed to clock up 321km that day. Yes - I am insane

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Alby Owl is Done

I have another stitching finish to show off. This one didn't take long, or should I say shouldn't have taken long. I spent a fair bit of time frogging, almost as much as I did stitching it seems. I guess grey on grey in bad light makes for plenty of errors. Anyway, here's my friend Alby:

  • Name of the design is "Alby".
  • Chart is a design from a New Zealand designer called Janet Davies of JMD Designs. I took advantage of her "buy 2 patterns get one free" offer. This chart also included a few versions of Alby and a border which would look great on something like a hand towel. Good value for money. I chose a PDF version but she also sells hard copies. I left off a small part of the border on this design as it looked a little messy.
  • Fabric is an unmarked 28 count mottled grey/blue & white piece from my stash.
  • Thread is DMC #317.
  • Stitch count is 72 x 72 
  • Started on August 24th 2011.
  • Completed on September 3rd 2011.  I'm not sure what this will become or what I'll do with it. Maybe a little pillow or wall hanging? 

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A Totally Vivid Dream

It's not often that I can recall my dreams, and even less often that they are really vivid. Last night was one of those nights. The dream started with me catching a glance of several people and their cars/utes (see? I even remember what they were driving!) in our front yard area. The people were shearing a couple of sheep, you know, as you do on a random strangers property. I opened the door and tried to get their attention but they were ignoring me. Turns out they were outraged that we were neglecting our sheep. Somehow they forced their way in to the house and became an angry mob. I called for my husband to dial 000 and next thing I knew the house was filled with SWAT type police and there was a wild and crazy riot going on.

FYI - No need to call the RSPCA - our sheep are doing just fine!

Anyone care to interpret that one? LOL.
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