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Hi all, it’s pretty obvious by now that I’m super-crappy at keeping this blog updated 🙁

However I have created a new venture, a follow-on from my 2012 Project-a-Day blog. I’ve learned a lot from my old blog and I’ve expanded the reviews and hopefully polished up whole process a bit more. I also have some shops come on board with  discount codes and upcoming giveaways etc.

Cross Stitch Review

Anyway, please check it out and if you like it, please mention it to your friends or in any groups you are in. I’d like this to get a broad reach to repay the store owners and designers who have put faith into my little venture.

Thanks and I promise to update this blog soon!


Julie and Ian Dollery, some of my closest friends who for some reason seem happy to feed me two, three or more times a week.  I’m not sure it’s because I fulfil the role of ladies companion for Julie, making her tea while she works from home, or keeping her company on lunches out at swanky restaurants (it’s such a hard life some weeks!) or whether because I provide an excuse for Ian to make dessert, discuss outrageous political theories and watch animated movies with 🙂

All I know is these two have fast become two of my best friends! And this year, in a few weeks, they are taking me on a one-week all-expenses-paid trip to Phuket in Thailand!

Yep – an all expenses paid overseas holiday. I’ve never left Australia so this will be an exciting time. Also I’m feeling quite nervous about being well enough for the Dollery’s to get their monies worth ( Julie has informed me that I’m being quite silly).

This is the resort we will be staying at:  Mandarava Resort and Spa Karon Beach

Overview of Mandarava Resort

Overview of Mandarava Resort

They have massage facilities .....

They have massage facilities …..

Also I have been promised tigers!

Kay Jones is my internet mum 🙂 She’s on social media, cross stitch groups and has known me for years.  She’s never afraid to tell me to pull my head in when I’m being a doofus 🙂 🙂

As she knows I’m on a stash diet this year, Kay has bought me access to the Alessandra Adelaide Christmas Mystery Stitchalong (SAL) for my birthday.

The design is a Mystery ....

As it is a Mystery – here is the design teaser ….

Kay bought me option 2 for the mystery, which includes the chart, five ceramic ornaments, 1 ceramic button and four jingle bells.  All of the buttons and what not will be hand-crafted by Alessandra herself!

I am sooo excited! Thank you Kay mum!  Expect to see pictures here as I do floss tosses and choose fabric 🙂


There is a popular meme going around that says something to effect of “Good friends are those you may not talk to all the time, but when you do it’s like you spoke yesterday” or you know, something of that nature.

Debbie Lord is one of those friends. We don’t chat often, but when we do the phone calls last for hours 🙂  Many many thanks for my birthday presents Debbie!  Cross stitch charts of course 🙂 🙂 🙂

Ciro Marchetti – Heaven and Earth Designs

Armada - Ciro Marchetti

Armada – Ciro Marchetti


Bubble Telescope - Ciro Marchetti

Bubble Telescope – Ciro Marchetti


Randal Spangler – Heaven and Earth Designs

Computer Catastrophes - Randal Spangler

Computer Catastrophes – Randal Spangler


Hi all,

I know I’ve neglected this blog in favour of the immediacy and informality of Facebook, but I thought it was time I got back on here for those who avoid FB.

Not much has changed in the past six months.  I’m still in pain every day, I still sleep, watch TV, stitch, play Warcraft and obsess over my cats as distractions from every day pain.

It’s my birthday on Friday and the usual week of night terrors has begun again.  From my limited understanding of my psyche, these are a manifestation of grief.  I still miss my Trouble Cat who died on my birthday several years ago.  I suspect I will miss her for every day of my life.  She was my constant furry companion for 18 years, for at least half of those it was her and I alone against the world 🙂

When I quit work in early 2011 due to Bruce the migraine, there was an overwhelming feeling that drugs or surgery would fix the issue and I’d be back in a job by my birthday. Yet another birthday is coming and that hasn’t happened.  I grieve for the life I lost; the career ambitions, the financial independence, the feeling of making a difference in the world, of paying my taxes and being able to grumble about all of it.

Yet it is not all doom and gloom. Due to new meds I have been able to deal with the everyday noise of the neighbourhood without wanting to go postal on all of them. I’ve even started listening to music again, although in very small bursts, just a few minutes in the car when driving. I’m watching TV more now, instead of reading it 🙂

And of course I am still alive, the cats are all well, I’m affording the increase in my rent and still able to keep the car on the road and covering the winter heating bills.  Life could be so very much worse.

I couldn’t be where I am without the support of my parents, and my close friends the Dolley’s and Stephen (all of whom keep the cats and I fed each fortnight).  I was going to type fed and sane, but well sanity is over-rated 🙂

So what about the rest of you?  Bring my up to date on your life – especially if you are not one I chat to on FB regularly.


Time for yet another overdue blog post. This time it is the March WIPocalypse check-in. All of the sub-headings are links to the various albums for more photos and information on each project.

Vervaco WIP – Moscow

New Years Day 2009 I started this kit.  I was well on my way to a quick finish (the combination of Holidays from work and Summer Cricket working its usual magic) and then the kit ran out of floss. It was a specialty LANA floss that, like Whisper, fuzzies up after you finish stitching with it. I have finally found the replacement thread, stitched it in and am now waiting for more thread to arrive.

Vervaco Kit Moscow

14 Feb 2014 – Vervaco Moscow


Stitchalong SAL – Any AAN design

I spent the last half of February stitching on this so there’s been some progress 🙂 Cuor di Fiocco (Snowflake Heart) is a great little project to stitch up while watching TV or when you are simply not feeling the best.

AAN - Alessandra Adelaide Cuor di Fiocco25 Feb 2014 – AAN Cuor di Fiocco

Brodeuse Bressane SAL – Fleur de Lys

I love Brodeuse Bressane designs and decided to stitch this quick 7 part, 7 week stitch-a-long Fleur de Lys stitchalong. I finished only two weeks late. So very happy, first SAL begun and completed this year.

Brodeuse Bressane Fleur de Lys

6 March 2014 – Brodeuse Bressane Fleur des Lys

Stitchalong SAL – Any Long Dog design

I started Kells Kritters a couple of years ago when I was gifted the chart.  However, I didn’t have all of the GAST threads and got a little discouraged as I had nowhere to go with the threads I had. So I joined The FB Stitchalong Long dog Samplers SAL (1 Feb 2014 – 31 Jan 2015) to get this one out and started on again.

Long Dog Samplers Kells Kritters

7 Mar 2014 – Long Dog Sampler Kell’s Kritters

Topic: Show us your favorite places to stitch.

I have two favourite places to stitch. One is here – my favourite comfy lounge chair, with lamp and footstool.  Facing the TV and in the perfect places for the heater and air-conditioner.  One of the benefits of living on your own is that you can have the perfect space.  The cats share my lap or choose from other spots 🙂

My stitching arrangement

My stitching arrangement

My other favourite stitching spot is the lounge at Julie’s place. Julie has a perfect stitching set up for herself and a guest stitcher – usually me 🙂

The big goal for 2014 is for me to stitch from my stash and not buy anything other than what I can get from my local Spotlight (Joanne’s style shop).  Unfortunately Spotlight has decreased its range so I’m only picking up DMC thread.  I thought they still stocked Mill Hill beads but I was wrong! This has made the goal a little more difficult but it’s still worthy given the amount of WIPs and already kitted or partially kitted projects in my stash.

To be completely open and honest, Julie has bought the two sets of beads and two pieces of fabric I’ve so far needed as gifts.  But she did wait until I absolutely needed the items Right Now.  For that I am grateful and very appreciative.

I have also been gifted charts by Ronnie Douglas, Tammy Pollard and Michele Anderson.

However it is now late-March and I feel my resolve weakening.  There are some fabulous designs on Etsy that I would love to get my hands on stitch to now such as:

I Cross Stitch - by Clouds Factory

I Cross Stitch – by Clouds Factory

Wash Your Hands - by Alicia Watkins

Wash Your Hands – by Alicia Watkins


and of course gorgeous new charts by well-known designers such as this:

Eleganza - by Alessandra Adelaide (AAN)

Eleganza – by Alessandra Adelaide (AAN)


So I have been feeling my resolve weakening.  When/if I cave in and buy cross stitch stash then I must give a generous gift from my stash to the person who guessed closest to the date.

So far I can give my commiserations to  Tammy Pollard & Kim Howe who guessed I wouldn’t last past early January, Mel Clyne, Niina Kroger, Heather Cartwright &  Ee Koon Goh who guessed I wouldn’t make it to the end of February, and Mariangela Caligiuri, Kay Jones, Lynda Garrett Melanson-Orme, Em Jay, Emma Joseph, Kenny Layer & Deborah Sharp who thought I wouldn’t make it this far into March.

To “help” me stiffen my resolve Julie has “offered” to be the one to select the generous gift from my stash for the winner. Being a recipient of Julie’s generosity on many occasions, I’m a bit afraid of how much stash I might have left at the end of her gift giving (on my behalf).

Julie has said “It will be truly epic!”.

So after being doused with that metaphorical bucket of ice water, I feel I’ve got a good chance of making another month or two!

OK so I didn’t write this post on 1 March. I decided on my goals for the month, but I didn’t do much reflection as to why some goals seemed to be so much easier for me than others ….

I felt really buoyed by the progress made in February, I achieved three of my four goals. So I decided to keep focus on the same area – food and fitness.

So the goals for March are:

  1. Walk for 1 kilometre each day
  2. Do my Basic Bodyweight Fitness three times per week
  3. No junk food
  4. Reduced desserts


I achieved this last month, so I’m continuing it this month, just increasing the level a little.  It takes around 10-12 minutes to walk 1 kilometre (0.6 of a mile). So this is a small increase on last month.

Motivation for this habit: I’ve given another $50.00 to the Bank of Julie.  If I walk every single morning in March I get my money back. If not, she gets to keep it. This is my choice, my stick that will make me get out of bed.


To attempt the Beginner Bodyweight Workout (Nerd Fitness) every second day.  This is the basic beginner workout that requires no equipment and just a determination to start.

Motivation: Having difficulty figuring out a good prod for this one to make it stick.  The lose weight and feel better seems to be amorphous and too lengthy.  Julie has suggested an immediate reward system.  I’m having trouble finding an instant reward that will motivate as well as a chocolate biscuit would. However a non-food based reward would be preferable.

Junk Food

Working on the adage “I cannot outrun my fork” the next step is to remove all junk food from my eating plan.  Garbage in does not help achieve my results.  So no hot chips, no McDonald’s, no pizza from the local pizza shop, nothing from a food court that has been sitting in a bain marie.


Similarly, I’m reducing desserts back to an occasional treat.  If I am out at a restaurant / fancy café / dinner party with friends then it is okay to indulge.  If not, then no desserts.  I think this is a sensible decision in terms of willpower and a healthy eating plan.


So that’s it.  Any thoughts? Suggestions?  Anyone want to share their life goals for this month?

OK so it is the 19 March.  I did do a Feb recap and plan March’s goals but I didn’t post them here.  So here it is!

How did I go with my plans and aims for the month:

  • Walk for 5 minutes each morning before breakfast
  • Do my Angry Birds Workout three times per week
  • Cut out all soda from my diet
  • Shop my stash when stitching

Well I passed three and failed one.

What Worked:

I have not  bought a single item towards my cross stitch hobby.  Miss Julie has helped by buying items to finish off WIPs I have been working on recently; a couple of packets of beads.  She also, before I even knew the list was available, bought all of the beads and embellishments needed for the new Passione Ricamo SAL. She bought for both of us so we can share packets of beads where only a few is needed of each colour.

What really made this one difficult to stick to this month is of course all of the glorious new charts that keep coming out and my wanting to ditch my WIPs to start these new ones immediately; of course that impulse is what got me into a position of overflowing WIPs in the first place!

I also walked for a minimum of 10 minutes every day.  I  tracked my walks each day via Runkeeper, so anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook can see and verify that the walks actually happened. The caveat suggested by Julie that I do not touch social media until I have completed my walk has helped enormously in the “just get out of bed and do it” stakes.  It also helped that it didn’t rain this month and often it was a great idea to get the walk in early before the temperatures rose to horrendous heights. And yes I have therefore “won back” the $50 I gave to the bank of Julie 🙂

I cut all soda/pop/soft drink from my diet.  This wasn’t a difficult one to do as I don’t obtain soda for myself except when out buying junk food.  Reduce the junk food and cut out the soda and everything works.  I do allow soda water in my new food outlook as it is merely water and CO2 and it makes other people comfortable in a social setting if I have of something fizzy while they are drinking fizzy drinks.

What didn’t work:

I did not complete my workouts this month. In fact I did not complete one single workout.  I really don’t know what the psychological block is with the strength workouts but I can come up with 100 different excuses not to start.  So I can’t spend my hard-won $50 on anything useful.  At this point I have left it with the bank of Julie.

In Summary:

I’ve learned there are three types of willpower:

  1. I will do this … (walk every morning)
  2. I won’t do this … (buy stash, drink soda)
  3. I want this long-term …. (workouts)

So I seem to be pretty good at the WONT willpower, I’m doing OK with the WILL willpower,  but I’m absolutely rubbish at the WANT willpower.  Thinking long-term (not that strong to begin with) has disappeared completely since the onset of chronic pain.

How to increase my WANT willpower requires further thought, maybe some reading.  Any suggestions or thoughts? How do I stop sabotaging my long-term goals for immediate gratification?

Woo Hoo Second WIPocalypse check-in and I’m on time – well I was on-time until the laptop froze taking my post with it. So here I am a day late with a replacement post.  All of the sub-headings are links to the various albums for more photos and information on each project.

Stitchalong SAL – Any AAN design

I’ve found the threads for my WIP of Cuor di Fiocco (Snowflake Heart).  I was using “Cranberry” by Gentle Arts Sampler Threads!  So in between other projects, I got a couple of good days in on this project!

AAN - Alessandra Adelaide Cuor di Fiocco

25 Jan 2014

Brodeuse Bressane SAL – Fleur de Lys

I love Brodeuse Bressane designs and decided when the Fleur de Lys SAL was announced late last year, that I would stitch this one on black.  After a number of floss tosses and false starts I finally got a good start on this one on the 25ct evenweave black.  Parts 1-4 complete. 12 Feb - Fleur de Lys

Jardin Prive SAL – Positive Thinking

This is a SAL put together by the girls of the Aussie Stitchers FB group.  We do one part every two months starting February 2014. Part one is complete.  I’ll get back to this in April 🙂

Jardin Prive Positive Thinking SAL

Part 1 Finished


AAN SAL – Halloween Town

Halloween Town is a Alessandra Adelaide Mystery SAL for 2014. One piece will be released each month starting February. Here is part one complete.

Alessandra Adelaide Needleworks (AAN) Halloween Town SAL

Part 1 Finished

Maggi Co’s Village WIP – Night is in the Air

Stitch-a-longs appear to be my kryptonite. I don’t know why I sign up to so many of them especially as I don’t complete *any* on time, but I just cannot resist …. especially Mystery SALs. This was a SAL in 2012 and I somehow stopped after part 3 of 5.  I think all the stars did me in.  Anyway, a few days of stitching and it is now finished!  With the exception of 4 beads.  They are supposed to be French knots, but blast it, I’m going to use beads. I need 4 Mill Hill 00347 Garnet beads to really finish this.

Maggi Co's Village Night is in the Air SAL

24 Jan 2014

Topic: How many projects do you generally feel comfortable having in progress at a time?  Tell us about your one-at-a-time or rotation habits!

One at a time??  I don’t think I’ve ever stitched one at a time since I started back in the 1990s.  Strict rotations don’t work for me either as I tend to find them restrictive and I chafe and find them a chore and then I lose interest in my stitching altogether. So I tend to stitch on something while it interests me and then change to something else.  This year I am focusing on finishing some of my 50 o so WIPs that have come about because of the way I stitch 🙂 🙂  Of course as can be seen, I have also signed up to new SALs too – I never learn.  But hopefully I will stick with these and get them finished on time for a change.

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