Sunday, 18 February 2018

X marks the spot

X is now complete and has to be placed into the box lid, packaged carefully and sent to Xanthe.  That may take another week!!  This is only 7cm by 6cm so it was hard to get a variety of flowers and still ensure a good colour balance.   But it is what it is...I was restricted by the aperture on the box lid.  I'm pleased with the lavender and the Solomon's Seal on the top left swirl.
The DBEM tells me she has some knitting jobs for me so there will be a hiatus until I can start stitching again.   But I cannot say no to this request as she has been knitting up scraps of wool into covers for some new coathangers for me and turning the long narrow rectangles of knitting into a padded curve on a hanger will require my eyesight.   After that is done I will go back to Arabian Nights and make a concerted effort to do another section.  Then psst.... I have a hardanger project already prepared:-)

On the work front I have been successful in obtaining a transfer to the same type of job at an office only 17 minutes walk from home.   Once the two managers(current and new) have negotiated a release date I will start at the new office.   Yeah!  No more hour and a half commutes home. No more 5am starts and whats more no more 9pm lights out.   I will get some evening back.

It's two months now since I started my evening walks and I have clocked up 200km.   Some time soon I will have to map out a new route as I'm tiring of the current one.   However the increasing fitness and the decreasing number on the scales makes me happy.


Saturday, 10 February 2018

Bottoms - of shoes and bags

Today has been pouring with rain and I got a thorough soaking when out doing the grocery shopping.
After drying off I realised that I needed to go out again to pick up a prescription from the pharmacy.  By this stage it was a fine drizzle, enough to frizz the hair but not drench the clothes and I decided to walk down the road.
Off I went.   Something seemed to be sticking on the bottom of my shoe.  Oh no, chewing gum I thought and scraped my sole along the path.   A few more steps and I felt a wet squelching.   Looking down I found, to my horror that my shoes were disintegrating.   These shoes were not cheap; they are a reputable brand; they should not fall apart!!   And then I remembered they are around 20 years old and nothing lasts for ever.   So the bottoms fell off and they are no more.
However on a positive note I am well on the way to completing the Hardanger Bag.   Indeed I have only the bottom to do. 
Hopefully tomorrow afternoon will give this bag a bottom (stitched), a draw cord and toggle beads and a good press.
Then I can move on to Xanthe's X for the top of her box.   I am successfully finding many other "want-to-do" projects which will delay the return to Arabian Nights. 
Tonight the weatherman forecasts 21 degrees celsius and 96% humidity for us so it could be a restless night.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Now for the construction

I have all the ingredients ready and am about to start construction of the Hardanger Bag.   Well, I will start it on Tuesday which is a public holiday here so I'll have plenty of time.
Over the weekend I made the decision to face the lacework with some extremely fine Dirty Linen which I had in stash.   It is too fine for me to ever stitch on so can be sacrificed to the bag without any pain on my part.   This afternoon I went looking for lining and found this floral design on the right which is exactly the right colours and has a hint of my favourite blue in the teeny tiny dark flowers  The cord and beads came from Geoff's Emporium down the road.   Stash provided some iron-on Giggle Cloth for the stiffening.

So with all my ingredients ready I will start construction.

I have begun the arduous task of cutting the edge of the Hardanger Christmas Angel but at one-thread-at-a-time it is a slow process.   I don't want to slip and cut the stitching so only do a little at a time.   Meanwhile I continue the search for a suitable "body".   With some months left until next Christmas there is no hurry.

As I am not anxious to return to Arabian Nights too quickly I have traced the X onto fabric to begin a box top for Great-Niece number four.   Her older sister got a box for her first birthday.  X will be two this year so I am already running late :-)

Monday, 29 January 2018

Better late than never

My Christmas Lilies have finally flowered.   Just one month late but still they give both pleasure and perfume while I continue to stitch on the Hardanger Bag.   The end is in site.\for the stitching and with another public holiday next week I may well get that all completed.
We are presently sweltering in 90% humidity and temperatures hover around 30 degrees Celsius by day dropping to 20 degrees at night.   This is sapping the DBEM's energy and appetite.   Mine too but I am still persisting with the long walk each evening and the scales are currently friendly.  So all good down here.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Hardanger Anonymous

My name is Margaret and I am a hardanger addict.
There I have said it!  What was to be a short therapy break from free style embroidery on Arabian Nights has turned out to be a "let's get this project completed" full on episode. 
I see that I have photographed the wrong side of the second piece (top of photo).   Apologies.  It is hot and sticky and I am tired and cranky so am not going to take another photo. 

The first side is complete and while debating whether or not to do both sides of the bag or leave one plain linen fabric,  I stitched the handles.  Then having got that far -  I told myself 'well I may as well complete this one'.   And another inner debate. What colour should I put behind the lace 'windows' to best show the stitching.   I wear only blue in all shades from cobalt to navy during the summer and this is definitely a summer bag.   Could either of those work?  I have fabric suitable for either in my stash so may toss a coin when the time comes:-)   I'm in full hardanger mode at present and unfortunately am already dreaming of the next hardanger project.   Oh dear.   The DBEM says I need to get Arabian Nights finished while I still have good eyesight!

The DBEM isn't very well at present and we are gaining frequent flyer points at the medical centres around town.   But each night I go out for a long walk to clear my head, aid my fitness and shed some of the Christmas calories.   The mileage is going up - 73 kilometres so far this month - and the scales are going down so I'm happy. 

Friday, 12 January 2018

An unexpected interlude

During my two week break from work over Christmas New Year I took the time to go and do my six weekly shop.  All good and lots of bargains, so the freezer got stocked with meat, bread etc
Today, barely two weeks later, I go to said freezer and.....oh woe is me!  The freezer has broken.  It is kaput.  Every item inside is no longer frozen and all is a soggy mess.   So tonight instead of a brisk 5km walk in the cool twilight, I am in the heat clearing out the mess.

And today the DBEM was far from well and went spent four and a half hours at the emergency department with a side trip to the radiology unit.  Home again now but not with a totally satisfactory diagnosis.  

So no photos tonight - this is merely to record the minutiae of life chez moi.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Not a lot of progress

By the time I get home, prepare dinner for the DBEM and me and go for my daily walk there is little evening left to put needle to fabric or even read my pile of library books.

So rather than tussle with Arabian Nights I pulled out the half started Hardanger Bag and have made a little progress on that.   The border along the top is the last for this piece of the bag.
While I laughingly said I would need Hardanger Therapy now I had embarked on a free style embroidery project I didn't imagine it would be so soon:-)

The DBEM hasn't been well but is a little better tonight so I promised her that if she keeps well for Saturday I will take her out.  She is doing her best but our current heat and humidity are not easy to tolerate when you reach the decade beginning with an 8.