My Craft Projects – A Progress Report – Cross Stitch

There has been very little cross stitch done since I got into knitting and I’ve just realised that I didn’t photograph one of my projects.  It can be updated another day.  My longest running project is the “Tropical vacation Window”.  I’m up to backstitching which is making the design really pop but there is SO MUCH back-stitching.  It will take a bit of true grit to get this one finished.

Then I have “Domestically Challenged”.  I’ve got a couple of other pieces by this same designer so I’m envisioning a trio of cushions one day.  I love the bright cheery colours in this one as well as all the black and white.

My most recent project is “Iris and Blackwork” which I started a few weeks ago when I was fed up with endless garter stitch knitting and needed something different. And different it is!  I’m loving the blackwork and beading but am not looking forward to using the metallic thread supplied.  In fact I will most likely substitute some golden coloured DMC because life is too short to fight with metallic threads.

Last but not least is the beginnings of a Christmas decoration for my smallest nephew. Shhhh!



The View from Here

The camera worked for long enough this afternoon to get a shot of my very unattractive ankles in socks and splints.  They look a bit powdery because I need to put on prickly heat powder before the socks so I don’t get driven mad with itching and it certainly makes me glad not to be in plaster.

Today hasn’t been a good day.  I’ve been down, teary and tired all day.  It was a combination of things.  I was still pathetically exhausted after my trip to hydrotherapy yesterday, today was bit of an anti-climax because I wasn’t going anywhere and I’m not going anywhere for the foreseeable future.  Hydrotherapy will only continue once it is approved by Work Cover as I already had had the five automatically allowed physio sessions while in hospital.  It is really my only prospect of getting out of the house because we will be reimbursed for the cab fare.  I’m not able to drive yet and I don’t know how long it will be before I get behind the wheel.  If I was to get taken somewhere like a shopping centre I would have to hire a wheelchair and then have someone to push it.  The potential “someones” are either a bit old to be pushing me in a wheel chair or they have small children to deal with.  We can’t afford to spend any money on cabs that will not be reimbursed as my work prospects are going to be limited once again and for who knows how long.

Dh is working full time 5 days a week and may be doing overtime on Saturday and of course the boys are at school.  They will be off on holidays at the end of next week but we will still be housebound because it is too far from here to get to any public transport and we cannot afford cabs.  The book club girls took me out last night for coffee and book discussion but I came away from that realizing that everyone is still really busy and the fact that I am out of action doesn’t change that.  So while plenty of people have asked, “What can I do to help?”, I’ve really only been able to ask for people to bring the boys home from school and even that was quite difficult to organise.  Life goes on as normal for everyone else which means they don’t have time to stop for visits or cups of tea.  Everyone balances multiple roles and has a busy schedule including me when I’m not on crutches.  So I can hardly ask someone to pick me up and cart me around in a wheelchair and no one really has spare time to spend here with me.  I think all of that hit home for me this afternoon and I felt really black.

The flood of phone calls and text messages that happened while I was in hospital has dried up to almost nothing.  I’m lucky if I get two texts in a day and no one has time for phone calls these days.  There isn’t really much to say either because I don’t know when things will improve with my ankles and there is nothing happening here at home.

I also realised that I wouldn’t be able to get to Weight Watchers tomorrow night as I had planned because the boys have hockey training.  I cannot ask them to miss it as they missed out already last week while I was in hospital and it is on every Thursday so with great sadness I changed my Weight Watchers subscription to “on-line only” even though I need it and the meetings especially now more than I ever have before.  My weight has made this whole injury thing even more complicated and I really can’t see things improving while I am so sedentary and while I am relying on everyone else to supply me with food.

Dh really is doing all he can.  In fact he has been quite legendary since I’ve been home.  He sets up the lounge room each night ready for me the next day with the TV left on stand-by, the remotes all put where I can reach them and most importantly, makes sure that the floors throughout the house are almost completely free of clutter.  We are both terrified of what could happen if a crutch slipped on something that shouldn’t be there and went out from under me.  He gets the bathroom ready for me to take a shower each night with the transfer bench half in and half out of the bath and everything where I can reach it.  Then he puts on my socks and splints for me afterwards in the lounge.  I get a coffee made for me in the morning before they leave and yesterday he left a ham and cheese sandwich in the fridge and the sandwich toaster out on the bench.  I was so glad to find that when I got home from hydro!

As for the boys, the novelty has well and truly worn off.  They are usually very put out when I ask them for anything or to do something for them because it takes them away from their all important computer games.  And of course, their projects and activities must always come first.  Eric was very impatient for me to get to the computer and help him fix a flyer he was making this evening and kept coming out to ask me when I’d be there despite the fact that I didn’t have my splints back on.  The flyer was about him offering his services as a cross country coach for the the other kids at school but that’s another story!

My parents came to help out today but even that is a mixed blessing.  While I truly love that our bathroom got cleaned and the sheets on my bed were changed I didn’t need to be told that I must not apply for any job until I am off crutches, that knitting is waste of money (again!) and that I really must do something about my weight.  (If I didn’t already know the last one it was brought home to me when I had to crawl up our back stairs on the night of my fall!).  I know they mean well and they are really the only ones that are in a position to offer us any help but some moral support and encouragement would be nice once in a while.

That is the end of my whining for now.  There are some good things happening.  Unlimited time to knit, stitch, read and watch TV. Time to read lots of stories to Daniel.  I get to sleep in because there is nothing to get up for and I would be in the way during morning rush hour anyway.  I have a couple of projects to tackle –  writing and researching some pieces for the school magazine and doing the “end of season” achievement cards and certificates for Little Athletics.  The latter is an enormous but tedious job but I certainly don’t have the excuse of not enough time to do it.

It’s awful to say this but I am dreading today (I’m writing this after midnight which shows how ell my sleeping pattern is going).  I’m going to miss a couple of my regular Thursday activities, my ankles will still hurt and I will still have the long day on my own.  But I guess I just have to take a deep breath and think “this too shall pass”.

Focus on Finishing

I often have some friendly discussion with my knitting friends about finishing things.  Many people dislike the process of sewing things together that they have knitted, some are just so busy with so many projects that they rarely get time to finish things and some others are starting things so often that they just never seem to finish them. After quite disciplined start to my knitting career I’ve found that I have a few projects on the go as well as some unfinished cross stitch projects and a few projects that are just waiting to be started.  As I don’t yet have a regular income flowing in I’m going to focus on finishing some things in the next few months so that I’m not spending money on stash and it frees up some of my craft storage space.  I’m doing a little happy dance tonight because this evening I have finished the Wee Wonderfuls Santa Sacks that I started for the boys before Christmas.  I’m just going to focus on the fact that I am very prepared for Christmas 2011.  White pillowcases with red stitching for Daniel and green stitching for Eric has been combined to make something I’m rather proud of and the boys like them too! Here’s what I hope to be “finishing” this year: Cross-stitch – tropical vacation window (will be for Fiona) birth record for Rhys (hopefully BEFORE the child starts school!) Janlynn “Dolly Mama” cross stitch about housework (I’ve got this one and other one that I would like to make into pillows) Knitting – Mikayla’s Yellow Scarf – is measuring about 40cm now so I’m well on the way! Noro Shawl – will be finished very soon Dream Blanket – will take a looong time but is going to be beautiful Citron Shawlette for Trish Z with Malabrigo lace weight yarn – this one is sitting for a while as I wait for lace needles New Job Swing Vest – sigh! perhaps it will be for a new new job! Candy Stripe Cardigan -I have to admit for the sake of accountability that this isn’t officially finished but it is waiting for two buttons.  In theory, I could finish it tonight! Cross Stitch to start Christmas Ornament on plastic canvas for Luke – the surprise nephew who made his appearance after I’d done decorations for his siblings Knitting to start South African Silk Scarf – with silk yarn and contrast yarn. Silk yarn was bought for me by Fiona and Crawford in South Africa. Leaf Purse Lavender bags for Mother’s Day stall “Roar” dinosaur beanies for Daniel and Jed Wonderball scarf in white and pastels – yummy! Knitting that I might start: long cowl type thing that A is thinking of having as a knit along a “flood bear” – I was thinking of a pastel colour with “muddy” feet a cool hat for Eric because Daniel will have his special beanie. Crochet I might start: NONE – I just put that in the get Alix’s attention because no matter what she says I do not crochet!

Just One Piece

I’m playing along with Hellowl’s My Place and Yours this week and the theme is to choose one piece of furniture from your house that you would take if you could only take one piece across t

he country.  I thought about my desk

first which is a


recycled white wooden kitchen table with a green and white laminex top.  I do spend a lot of time here but there probably are better des


ks out there.

I’m such a dag.  I couldn’t live anywhere now without my Ikea storage unit inherited from my boys who used it for their trains and now has been re-purposed as my craft centre.  It is not particularly beautiful but is extremely functional and it makes me happy to sink into the recliner beside it and choose something to play with.

Getting My Act Together

I officially love long weekends and I loved the one that we’ve just had (for ANZAC Day).  Somehow or other I found my organising mojo and went to town!  What really helped was that I acquired a piece of furniture to store my stitching and knitting supplies.  You’ll see from the “before” photo that I had an old table and collection of paper bags and boxes clustered around it with a project in each.  Not only did I have to search through 5-6 paper bags to find what I wanted to work on but it had also been suggested that it was a fire hazard.  I think the fire hazard notion was bit of an exaggeration!

The boys have recently packed away their Thomas trains now that several years of obsession have finally come to an end.  At the height of their train obsession we bought a storage unit from Ikea with blue and green pull out tubs.  Dh had originally put the whole thing under the house with the trains still in its tubs but I recognised its potential as a craft centre for myself and asked him to pack the trains into something else and bring it upstairs for me.  I went to a Tupperware party on Sunday morning and when I got home it was there in place for me.  I spent a very happy afternoon sorting out my stitching and knitting stuff.  Unfortunately I can’t say “all” of my stitching stuff because some still resides in a drawer in the bedroom but another drawer has been freed up entirely.  I’ve also got one knitting project that needs to be sewn up in a shopping bag and my knitting bag which I take with me when I am out and about.  But in the unit itself I have:

  • small tub for current knitting project, patterns and needles
  • large tub for yarn
  • small tub for thread – DMC and speciality threads
  • small tub for thread and trims
  • small tub for stitching equipment – no more digging to find scissors!
  • large tub for fabrics and Q-snaps
  • small tub for patterns and kits
  • small tub for felt projects (shared with Eric)

For years I have just stashed my craft stuff wherever I could in various places in the bedroom and living area and it was really hard to keep track of it all.  Now it is at my fingertips in an easily accessible place and I’m really looking forward to getting into some projects that have laid dormant for too long.

The organising didn’t stop there.  Getting all my craft stuff in order seemed to get me onto a roll but having that extra day on the weekend really helped.  We organised all the homework gear into a tub that can be taken anywhere and has the really important things ready to hand – like lead pencils.  I sharpened  heaps of these so everyone should be able to find on when they need it.  Then I planned the meals for the week, updated I-Calendar, my paper diary and the family calendar.   I also did a few hours of ironing – no where near finished but I’ve made dent in it.  It feels so good to have a handle on things.

Now if I can just process the paperwork on my desk…

Finishing Things

With money being a major cause for concern in our household due to the scarcity of relief work I’ve had to think a lot of the little “extras” in life and to that end I’m going to declare 2010 a “stash free year”.  I’ve got two drawers bulging with un-started projects as well as several projects that are “works in progress” or WIPs as us crafty types like to call them.  I’m really going to focus on finishing some of the WIPs especially as they are mostly destined for people who are good friends of mine.  So tonight I’ve had a good solid session of cross stitching and for a your viewing pleasure I havea WIP photo as well asa scan of that the finished work should look like.  I’m also going to be really up front and list all the WIPs I can think of.

Cross Stitch

  • at least three ornaments that are stitched but need finishing
  • Tropical Vacation Window – for Fiona
  • Train Birth Record – for Megan
  • Domestically Challenged Piece for me
  • English Rose book mark that needs finishing


  • Crocheted cushion cover


  • Patchwork Noro Top – still to be assembled completely
  • Jo Sharp Bath bag – needs assembling – and it is for me
  • Jo Sharp hand towel and face cloth for Fiona in the colours that match her stained glass
  • Lion Jumper for Eric

All of the above is quite enough to keep me out of mischief for quite some time.  The only exceptions to my no stash rule are going to be if I participate in the 2010 Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament challenge (and even then I’ll try very hard to at least use fabric from my stash) and if I finish all the knitting I’m going to start a jumper for Daniel.  I’m going to ask for gift vouchers to my favourite yarn supplier for Christmas, Mother’s Day and my birthday and put those towards Daniel’s jumper.  The craft shows will most likely be off the agenda as it would be too tempting and I’ve got too much stuff sitting in drawers from previous craft shows that I’ve never even touched.  One beautiful piece is a an Angel of Dreaming on beautiful hand dyed fabric with a pattern that includes beading.  That is really a project that I will enjoy sinking my teeth into so to speak.

But for now, please enjoy the pictures of tonight’s progress and I’ll share some more when I can.

Still Stitching

I finished my Christmas Ornament for September on Saturday night with some serious beading withe seriously thin needle but I am very happy with the results. Just the finishing to be done now. And today I received the first of my birthday exchange parcels from Jenny – a beautiful beaded Christmas ornament! There is a lot of bling going on around here!