Sunday, 19 April 2009

First sampler stitching

First stitching sampler style :)
Figured I'd start out making these postcard-sized. I'm sure I can change my mind later if I don't like that format any more.
This piece is on white 28 count evenweave using DMC 125 (variegated green), DMC 103 (variegated blue), and DMC 741 (orange).
It (so far) features in order:
running stitch,
running stitch doubled back onto itself to create slightly stripey backstitch,
threaded backstitch with varying tension and 1 and 2 strand experiments
threaded running stitch
threaded double backstitch
interlaced double running stitch
stepped threaded running stitch
interlaced running stitch
whipped running stitch
threaded running stitch experiments in placing to create 'waves'
big block of cross stitch because I felt like it needed a splodge of orange, I don't know where this came from as I don't usually like orange!
interlaced double running stitch variations
stepped threaded running stitch variations
interlaced double running stitch

I plan to couch some ribbon on in various ways and add a few more backstitch/running stitch variants to finish this postcard off.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Monkey World

Thought I'd show some of my favourite photos from today, we visited Monkey World in Dorset.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Altered Skirt

DB's gran bought a skirt for the upcoming wedding, but it was ballooning around the hips, nervously I proclaimed that I could alter it for her...

It actually went relatively smoothly... here are the steps:
Ignore the lining for small alterations, alter the lining for larger alterations.
Unpick a small amount of the hem (enough to sew the new seam). Those pins are marking the amount to take the skirt in by.
I used my new 48hr disappearing marker pen to give a guide and pinned along the new seam line. I was only a *tiny* bit worried this wouldn't disappear...
Sew the new seam making sure the layer behind is behaving itself - especially near the top of the skirt.
Unpick the old seam
Take care near the top to ensure you don't unpick the new seam you just sewed!
Make lots of new bobbins for the overlocking - don't scrimp on the amount wound onto bobbins, especially if like me there is a constant battle between the overlocker and the operator.
Serge some new edges so theres not lots of excess fabric around the new seams of the altered skirt.
Steam the new seam flat.
Look... the disappearing pen is already fading, and is hidden behind the seam allowance anyway :)
Hand sew the hem again at the sides, I used a simple slip stitch taking care to pic just a few threads of the front showing fabric.
Voila, hopefully it will fit much nicer now :)

Purple Bag

I whipped this bag up the morning DB came home. I couldn't sleep and was fretting over accessories. No WIP pictures, but the above pattern is what worked. I've been wearing the bag ever since!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

New Hair

...just the cut today, colour tomorrow.  Amongst ironing, folding and the gym, this took up all my evening tonight. DB also managed to call. He has finished all his flying in Afghanistan and will hopefully be returning very very soon :D

I received an email from DB's mum tonight about RED FRIDAY. It seems this started in the US and Canada. It means everyone who supports our troops should wear red every Friday 'until they come home' - I guess I'll have to try to remember this every Friday for a long time :)

Its a good thing my outfit for picking up DB has good chunks of red in it :) I'll have to accessorise with lots of red too :D

Oooh, all air traffic exams passed, all 'tickets' bar one re-gained. Just one more short session for the last. A very successful week work wise :)

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

:D Plans

I've just booked here to whisk an unsuspecting DB to when he gets home.

'WHAT?' You ask... 'With the unpredictability and inevitable delay on embarking on any military journey?!' 

'Ah' I say, 'I made enquiries at several venues and this one just happened to have an ex-army receptionist who is married to an ex-army husband and celebrating the return of a friend from Afghanistan this very weekend. Not only did she completely understand that I might want to delay the two booked nights, but she gave me a discount and found the best room she could offer'

And it just happens to be very close to DBs parent's home, so I won't be stealing him away completely... in fact, I'm trying to call DB's mum now to tell her the news and make plans :)

Lucky DB doesn't read this blog huh :)

And in other news... I *thought* I resolved the gym problem today but turned up to a Body Pump class to find my membership has been suspended! The receptionist however was very kind - evidently this company causes A LOT of problems for members so she gave me the class on a 'complementary' ticket :)

Oh, and I passed my exams fine :) Hopefully ready to get all my 'tickets' back tomorrow and be able to control some air traffic in the UK again!

Monday, 6 April 2009


So today I felt really really rubbish. I've been very emotional, mainly thinking about DB and how he comes home soon but NOT SOON ENOUGH. I also came home to a letter informing me that I had missed a payment due three days ago and was getting a charge. All because I've changed bank accounts and have allowed the new bank to automatically change over all my direct debits. There is enough money in both accounts to pay all direct debits so I queried over the phone and asked a) Why can you not use the new direct debit (it needs ten days) b) Why can't you take money from the old account (because we've been instructed to use the new one) c) Can I please NOT be charged a penalty as this seems to be a bank fault, not me blatantly trying to get out of paying a fee (No, you didn't pay, you were late, so we're charging you) d) Shouldn't you have sent me a warning or a letter or phoned me to get the money a different way (Are you telling us how to do our job) e) Is there by any change anyone else I can speak to as there seems to be a bit of an issue here, and I don't really appreciate your last comment and the tone it was delivered in (

So I've been charged, hung up on, and when I called back 'the office is closed, please call back...' I realise now the girl was probably at the end of a long hard day but I'm still upset. I've put my complaint about the charge in with the financial ombudsman and emailed the company to complain about the conversation and the hanging up. But sometimes stuff like that opens a big emotional wave that makes you feel pathetic about caring what other people say :(
So I call up my gym (the direct debit was for the gym... the financial company deals with direct debits on their behalf) and ask if I can still come to class tonight, thankfully my membership hasn't been 'switched off'.

On the way I pick a parcel up from a friend returned from Iraq...

I open it when I get to the gym early, still emotional, still stressed, ready to do a yoga/pilates/tai chi style class....

I smell a faint soothing smell...
I see my favourite colours (blue-green)...
and a beautiful arching, plant-like-tree-like spread of gorgeous stitching....

I'm always amazed at how many people receive exchanges at the end of particularly rubbish days. I felt so happy and calmed and soothed when I saw this package by Cari who blogs Seaside Snippets. She must have known what colours I loved and she knew I was embarking on a quilting project - thank you so much for looking Cari!
What a beautiful biscornu, it really is perfect, I can't stop staring at it! She also sent me a tin of soothing balm (the faint relaxing smell I detected when opening the package), some Gutermann threads in a sweet tin and a quilting magazine which I've already flicked through once-fast-to-see-all-the-pictures and then again to read the articles and pour over the details :D

So after my class and looking at the biscornu and goodies again I feel so much better, best get some sleep before tomorrow :) night xx

Quilt Pieced


Lining up and pinning...
Sandwiching and tying.
Heres the back...
Very few words, but thats what I've been doing craft-wise in the last week as well as getting back into work, I'm an air traffic controller so I've also been revising laws and remembering controlling at my home base - very dull and boring! This quilt has been my 'reward' in the evenings. I can't wait for DB to be back and we can watch a DVD or just a fire snuggled beneath it :)

My leaf-quilting pattern might not work as the batting I bought is very very thick. I'll experiment with that but this tied version looks nice enough to leave. I'll hopefully get this edged finished before Friday (hopefully that's when I have him back) but not sure how anymore. The extra wide cream satin ribbon must have been one of the parcels that was returned while I was away :( I'll have to get in contact with them and see if they can rush-deliver it.