Thursday, May 30, 2013

An injury, state team selections and a finish!

How's that for a mix of stuff? First off DS #2 injured his right wrist at school. Yes, he is right handed. Yes, it was yet another lunchtime football related injury. After a visit to the emergency department and an x-ray it was determined it MAY be fractured. It was bandaged with a piece of plaster inside and a sling put on it and we were to go back to our doctor 5 days later. We did so, where he said to keep it as is until Friday, which is tomorrow. He can move it a lot more now but it is still tender and rotating it hurts still.

In the midst of all this - 3 days after the injury to be exact - were state team selections for karate. Thankfully it was for kata and not the fighting aspect as he would not have had a chance of competing. DS was keen to perform one armed, so that's what he did and not only did he make the team, he is ranked at #3 which is the best he could get! The state championships were held 3 months ago and the 2 finalists from that were automatically ranked at #1 & #2. DS came 3rd at that tournament, after a very strong boy beat him for the first time to make the final over him. So we are off to Hobart in August for nationals. Brrrrrr.....

I've also got another hand towel finish to show:

  • Name of the design is Nordic "Blue" Towel
  • Chart is a free design from "Cross Stitch and Needlework" magazine
  • Fabric is a black pre-finished hand towel
  • Thread is DMC variegated cotton #57
  • Stitch Count is 31 by however long the towel is
  • Started on May 11th 2013
  • Completed on May 29th 2013 with lots of stitching free days in between

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Few More Finishes

I've been working on these since I finished the hand towel. I decided on the star shaped one as my free choice for May on the Christmas-All-Year-Long blog challenge. The moon one was on the same page of the book and caught my eye once the star was completed. Here they are:

Star one:

  • Name of the design - it has no name, so I've called it "Star Santa"
  • Chart is from the book "555 Christmas Cross Stitch Designs" by Donna Kooler
  • Fabric is 28 count white opalescent evenweave
  • Thread is the called-for DMC cotton
  • Stitch count is 43 x 48
  • Started on May 3rd 2013
  • Completed on May 10th 2013

Moon one:

  • Name of the design - it has no name, so I've called it "Moon Santa"
  • Chart is from the book "555 Christmas Cross Stitch Designs" by Donna Kooler
  • Fabric is 28 count white opalescent evenweave
  • Thread is the called-for DMC cotton
  • Stitch count is 28 x 30
  • Started on May 10th 2013
  • Completed on May 15th 2013

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Blogoversary prize pics - year long and March

I've gotten word that both these prizes were received so I can post pics. Here's what Carissa the year long winner received:
An ocean themed leaflet, plastic canvas, random fabric and a couple of random threads.

Here's what Sharine, the March prize winner received:
My finished pansy tuck plus the original bits from the kit in case Sharine wants to stitch the  design for the tuck, some purple thread, random fabric and an old Quick & Easy magazine from the UK.

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Another Karate Tournament

Just last weekend was another karate tournament - a big one in terms of the fact that winners of the elite divisions won $50 in addition to their medal and that state team positions were on the line for kumite. DS had another big division in kata - 22 girls and boys. The last tournament he competed in was the Australian Open where he didn't do too well, in fact it was the first tournament ever, besides nationals, where he didn't gain a place in kata. Therefore I had him do some practising during the week as well as on the day, and gave him a few motivational speeches to get his head in the right place. He got things together enough to win overall, knocking out the current state champion for the 2nd time since the state championships. :-). I'd like to claim it was all my "talking him up" but I think it was the $50 prize on the line that did it!

Next up was kumite, but before the actual tournament the state team coaches wanted 4 boys to fight off for 3 positions in the state team. Just days earlier they had announced there would be weight divisions in his age group, which meant that instead of 6 positions being available there would be 12 as there were 2 weight divisions. Sadly DS fell into the one with the most kids in it, meaning some would have to fight for a position. DS had 2 fights to get through - the first one the scores were drawn at time, meaning the referees had to vote on who they thought was the better fighter and DS lost the vote. Next up he had to fight his good friend and club mate for the final position. Scores were even at 1-1 until DS's friend scored again in the last 30 seconds to win 2-1, meaning he made the team and DS did not. We were expecting it would be tough to make the team, I just didn't expect it to be so close. The way the weights have fallen I think he is the only one to miss a place on the team as there were 7 in that weight catagory and only about 5 in the light weight one, meaning they all got in. Too bad he's not about 6 kilos lighter! DS is disappointed but he's a trooper. I did try and find the right mix between encouraging him and preparing him for the worst, so it didn't come as a complete shock to him.

Anyway, right after this they had to fight in the tournament and DS had a really strong fighter first round, in fact his opponent went on to take 2nd place. He again put up a good fight and kept at it until the buzzer but wasn't able to score against him.

Next up is another tournament at the start of June - fingers crossed he can perform at his best again and put the errors of the earlier tournaments behind him. Here's his gold medal for kata:

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

A hectic weekend in Sydney


A few weeks back DS #2 & I headed to Sydney for a crazy jam packed weekend of karate. We headed off to the airport after school on Thursday and had a disappointing taxi trip to our hotel after we landed. Long story short, the suburb listed on the email confirmation from the hotel didn't show up on the GPS so the driver got lost and told me he'd fix the price at $80. After a call to the hotel, we found it by looking under a different suburb. We finally pull up at the hotel and the driver asks for $100 - a disagreement ensues and reluctantly I agree to pay that much. I was going to pay by credit card but was told it would cost %11 extra!! Needless to say I paid cash and made a complaint to the taxi company. Late night #1 for DS who had 3 big events the next day.

Friday morning sees us up and at the complimentary breakfast before 7am, then off to the venue and the start of a big tournament. The Schools and Universities Championships was up first - DS had entered kata and kumite as usual. Kata had something like 28 kids and kumite 16 - big divisions as usual. DS made it through the first round of kata only to lose his concentration and lose 2nd round to a boy he'd beaten 3-0 only weeks earlier. Kumite was another tough draw, with one of the best kids in the country as his first opponent. He got a hard kick to the guts which nearly knocked him off his feet, quickly followed by a punch to the head. Contact is not allowed to the head, and excessive force in your body contact is also not allowed but I have seen this kid do it countless times. Needless to say DS lost this match and needed to see the medics afterwards. This same boy did the same kick to several other kids and even took one out of the match as he was rolling around on the ground in pain. As this boy went on to make the final, it gave DS a chance to try for 3rd place. He was due to come up against the boy who was rolling around in pain, but he forfeited. DS then had to fight another boy who is always amongst the medalists at all the major tournaments. This match was for the 3rd place medal and he held his own and put up a good fight, but lost.

Fast forward a few short hours and the Australian Open was due to start, with DS doing kata, followed by kumite the next day. This time there were 36 kata kids I think! DS unfortunately came up against the eventual 3rd place getter and lost, which was disappointing for him as he usually does very well with his kata. We finally made it back to the hotel after 9pm, with a quick fast food stop on the way. Late night #2!

The following day was his final event, kumite. However, prior to his event he had a weird stabbing pain in his throat that saw him freaking out and unable to do much to ease it. He also had a bit of a temperature as he seemed to be coming down with something. Thankfully he was up to fighting and he had a much better draw this time around, against a big, but slow, opponent. He was confident of winning, having seen him warm up. DS was up 2-0 with 5 seconds to go, but suddenly he got a penalty worth 3 points - 4 points and you're disqualified. Then with 1 second on the clock something happened which saw him disqualified and extremely confused and disappointed. We are still a little confused as to what happened but his coach (who only saw the video afterwards) thought he was very unlucky. Later we ran into the head state team coach who agreed, and he showed the video to the head referee on that mat, who initially was silent, but when  prodded by the state team coach said "no comment" but then collected his thoughts and went on to defend his actions. Oh, did I mention that there was footage of him throwing his hands in the air at the end of the fight as if to say "oh well". :-(.

As that was the end of DS's events, we got to "relax" a little. Thankfully we chose to do a Maccas run for the kids, as we didn't get back to the hotel until late again. We ordered food late, and had been warned about long wait times, but we still didn't eat until 10.30-11pm! Therefore it was another massively late night with DS not shutting up until 12.45am! We did get to sleep in a bit the next day though, before heading off to the final day  of competition. However we had another taxi drama - a group of 6 of us booked either 2 taxis or 1 maxi cab, whichever would get to us quicker. We waited for an hour before calling to check and were told the taxi had come but we weren't there - total BS. We decided to book with another company who literally arrived in minutes! We then spent the rest of the day watching the real action - the seniors and the team events which were thrilling and entertaining. Then it was off to the airport and home by 10pm Sunday, "refreshed" and "ready" for another crazy week!

Oh, and if you can't WIN a medal, BUY a medal! LOL These were 24k gold plated commemorative coins.

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hand towel is finished

Here's what I've been working on when I've had time over the last week. Again it was a quickie as it was just a repeat pattern. I did make a mistake but I'm not frogging it as I just can't be bothered and I don't think it's all that noticable. Do you?

  • Name of the design is well, I don't read what I think is Polish, but it may be "motyw" ?? I did cut some of the pattern off the top to fit the stitching area
  • Chart is yet another freebie, this time from cross stitch patterns 
  • Fabric is a sage green pre-finished hand towel
  • Thread is DMC variegated cotton, #4030. It has shades of blue, green and mauve throughout
  • Stitch count is 30 x however long the hand towel is. No, I'm not going to count out the threads! :-)
  • Started on April 26th 2013
  • Completed on May 3rd 2013
Next up will either be my own choice of Christmas design for the "Christmas all year long" SAL, the May "freebie challenge" design over at 123stitch, or another hand towel. I think I'm going to make a hand towel for all the state team managers at karate who give up so much time to make sure things run smoothly each week.
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My blogoversary contest is a bit of a fizzer :-(

Oh dear! The comments and those followers leaving them are getting few and far between, and it's only May :-(. Thank you to all my loyal followers who comment each month, I think you've all won something at some point. If no new people comment I think I'll have to start sending prizes to those who've already received them in previous months. Seems I can't even GIVE stuff away, LOL.
Anyway, speaking of winners, the April winner is Vicky! And I can contact you, thanks to your profile! Even better ;-) I'll be in touch shortly to get your mailing address.
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