Sunday, 16 May 2010

Time flies like an arrow

...but fruit flies like bananas!

Have you heard that silly joke before? I heard this decades ago but for some insane reason it has stuck to my brain like gum to the bottom of the shoe! However, time has been zooming by!  I have  been too absorbed in other things and trying feebly to get into the stitching groove. 

Here's what I've done since the last post. I started on Salina Dunwoody by Sheepish Antiques. 

I have really struggled with stitching this one. See the fuzzy stuff on the left side of the house? That's frogging in progress! I have frogged so much on this piece I'm beginning to turn green. I gave up last night while frogging because I was afraid I make cut into the linen by mistake. It's just not flowing so I might pause, leave it on my scroll frame, and start something else on my other lap frame. As long as I don't remove it from the frame, it stands a good chance of not going into the UFO graveyard! 

 We are swinging into Summer time weather here and the flowers are all blooming beautifully. Actually we have to start hand watering now as we forget we have to do that!  Here are some white wisteria blooming off our deck (I love wisteria!) , and always the first to bloom, these old red roses that was planted many many moons ago, before we arrived. 

Thank you for all your kind comments on my last post. Many of you found it uplifting and I'm so glad. It wasn't intentionally done, but I guess that was the mood that I was in.  

I have tried to visit your blogs but not always so successful so please do excuse my absence! Some evenings I don't even turn on my computer when I get home!  I hope you are now enjoying some lovely weather in your part of the world (even if it's fall).  Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful week ahead!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Taken up by the Tornado

-or - "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!"

I haven't been so glad to reach a weekend as this one! First, the flu snuck up on me the day after my last post and I was out of commission for a week! I hadn't been sick for a long time so I guess it was my turn.  Then it was return to work to do catch up, then this week they gave me another project, which was both a blessing and a curse.  

You know how when you have new work, there's a learning curve involved. Well, imagine when you have to squish in 4 weeks in 1 week and it's been absolutely exhausting. But the blessing is that it's a really interesting project and so far I've met some great people so off to a good start! I am very excited when I get to learn new things. I just have to remind myself to remember to breathe!

Meanwhile I've been off the blogosphere for awhile and my stitching has suffered. Hope to fix that this weekend, and I will start with a long post! There's a great video at the end , about 5 minutes long but well worth it, so you might want to get a cup of tea or coffee and settle in!

I did manage to get my Blackbird sampler finished - happy happy dancing!

The name of the sampler is "Hannah Lovina Josalin - 1856" from the Honesuckle Manor book by Blackbird Designs.  I used all the recommended floss but used 35 ct WDW Parchment which really looks like the antique version shown in the book.  

Note of advice - I used 1 over 2 which does give it a delicate old look. However, the colours to start off with are quite muted. If not for Red Pear and Baked Apple the sampler might have just looked very washed out.  You may want to use 2 over 2 as well which will give it a boost. 

Here's the pink house that saved my sanity...

As I neared completion, the question became "who will I dedicate my sampler to?"  Actually, it came quite easily to me. See if you can see it in the following angle shot.

Yes, it's dedicated to the wonderful Jane Austen. The sampler, to me, just embodies her spirit and her books. Think "Pride and Prejudice" and "Emma".

While I was sick I did get back to reading books as all I could do was hang out in bed for a few days.  I read:
  • The Postmistress by Sarah Blake.  I have a love/loathe reaction to this book.  I think it has a lot of heart and quite interesting things to say. I like it enough to wish it was better by (1) not having a misleading title like that - it should've read "the Radio Gal" though that's not so romantic is it? (2) the structure of the book could've been better and (3) I loathe grammatical errors in published works!
  • Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler.  Her books are gentle and takes a giant magnifying glass to a neighbourhood and people in it. This one was fine but I liked "Digging to America" much better.
  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson. This was her first book (1995) and is quite amazing. I have tried many times to read this book and failed. But somehow this time I got through the door and really enjoyed it.
  • I've left the best for last - Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada. To me, this is just an awesome book. This was written by a German writer who lived in Nazi Germany. After the war, he was given a Gestapo file on a middle aged German (non-Jewish) couple who was a tiny thorn in the Gestapo's side, simply by leaving one or two postcards every week in various places of the city. The cards were their simple acts of defiance at a time that non-compliance (to the Nazi regime) was persecuted.  
  • This is the first book that I've read that gave me a sense of what it meant to live as ordinary German citizen, who were not Nazi supporters,  in that time. The writer wrote it in 24 days and died before publication (I think).  This was 500 pages that went very quickly and I felt deeply moved afterwards.  This is the closest to a 5/5 that I want to give to a book.  You won't find happy endings but it will make you feel and think, about the past, the present, and the future.

OK, now onto something lighter.  Look at this cool marble plaque. We saw it before my birthday, at a garden center.  My husband and I read it at the same time, then looked at each other and he said "let's get it".  I call it my "Words to Live By".

Anyone inspired to stitch this on linen? Yeah, that thought crossed my mind, then I said "let's just buy this baby!"

And to follow the spirt of the words above, I bring you the following video. It will absolutely put a smile on your face.  I would suggest that you click the play, then pause it and wait a minute for it to load up, then you can play the whole thing without interruptions. Dance if you wanna!

I just love the pure joy in this video. If you want to learn more about Matt and his adventures you can visit his website to see more.

Lastly, I will leave you with a hug in a Heart. My husband was doing his super he-man power washing of all the walkways and he did this little heart for me! Is he cheap, or just very clever in finding joys in the simple things? 

Have a wonderful week my friends. I will probably still be snowed under with work until I can get every THING and every ONE organized!  I will try and do better with visiting your blogs this coming week. Thank you so much for visiting and your comments encourage me (or guilt me!) with keeping my blog posts up! ;-)  Take Care!