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Tag Archives: Christmas

After a week and a half of wrangling with sticky tape, scissors no short-term memory and being forced into limited handwriting, all the parcels for the rest of the year are finally off into the mail. Of course the flip side is no more casual flirting with the cute guy from the town post office but there’s still the Saturday morning mutual T-shirt appreciation with the cute guy at the local library (his wife and I shop similar stores).

The Grey Thing (or walking stomach) is pretty much a fixture around here.  We have to lock her out of the house when we feed Abby bu other than that, she’s moved in.  Abby likes to be leisurely about her dinner.  Eat some, play, do a perimeter check out each of the windows, eat some more, nap, eat some more.  If the Grey Thing is inside, she nabs Abby’s food as soon as she leaves it, so Abby feels stressed and trapped by her food.  We’ve sat next to the Grey Thing and told her no and stamped out feet which usually makes her run in terror but she;s a different animal when there’s food out. So we lock her out until Abby’s eaten her fill then we wash the dishes and let her back in.  Once she knows there’s food to steal, she’s back to being a placid cat instead of a desperate animal. She’s growing fat and been wormed and fleaed etc so I think it’s just psychological from being hungry for so long.

She’s learning to play from watching Abby too – she’s now zooming down the hallways like it’s a racetrack but looks confused at the other end.  She wont play with us humans yet – she will let us pat her, but still bolts if we make an unexpected move or sound.  She’s watched Abby play outside and the Grey Cat was outside playing with a leaf this morning.  Catching it, throwing it in the air, swiping at it as it came down – I don’t think she’s ever done that before.

It’s a cool day today, looks like rain is imminent. It’s all quiet outside, I can just hear some birds and the frogs at the creek.  Abby is outside, mum is at work.  I’ve taken the morning to wrap most of mum’s Christmas gifts and hide them again as well as a little house tidying.  Right now in the clean lounge room it’s just me and the Grey Thing.  She’s asleep on the two-seater couch across from me.  One side has my knitted blanket that Abby sleeps on, the other side is just couch.  She’s sleeping on the couch side.  The fourth and last seat in the lounge room has now been claimed.  Visitors beware 🙂

I received some crap news from the specialist yesterday, and on of my best friends had a really bad morning this morning so on the whole “Fuck you Universe – you can’t treat people like that and get away with it!” I’ve spent quite a few hours Christmas shopping.

Unfortunately my time organisation skills like most other brain skills are pretty much crap these days, dear friends so please listen closely:

Some of you will receive packages in the mail from shops you don’t remember ordering from in the next couple of days.  Do not open them – these will be Christmas presents.

Some of you will be receiving packages between Christmas and New Years.  Never fear, I haven’t forgotten you – it’s just that your fantastic gift actually requires a lead-in time to create or a bigger sacrifice to the International Mail Gods than I was prepared to make.  I’m happy to sacrifice babies but I can’t afford International Global Express.

Some of you will receive little electronic emails and such on Christmas Day or just before (for I am also crap with International time zones).

Finally if you are a regular commenter on my blog and/or my friend and none of the above happens to you, then the International Mail Gods hate you, or me.  Or I couldn’t figure out what to send you – do you know that half of you do NOT have wishlists.  Wishlists people!!!!  How can I send the right gifts without a wishlist!!!! Your homework before 1 January 2012 is to create or update your wishlist and remind me of your birthday!  Each one of you! I have a spreadsheet now and I want it updated!

Now before I get a flurry of “Oh my God Mel – don’t be so fiscally irresponsible”:

1. The money is spent. I do believe in recycling, regifting, bargain hunting and buying local so there wasn’t that much hard cash spent really.

2. I want to do something nice to all of my friends who have been here supporting me through all my of whining and crappiness this year and I just don’t have the “spoons” to it any other way

3. I’m an adult, I can take the consequences of my actions and I choose to say “Fuck you Universe” in any damn way I want.

I just hope you guys like your pressies 🙂


Well Skeleton Crew is still providing headaches.  I’m working on the middle mast and everything is lining up! YAY!  That’s not the problem. Everything is where it should be.

The problem is that my stitches don’t look anywhere near as plump as everyone elses.  I’ve tried loosening my tension but that just looks horrid. Glow in the Dark thread does not forgive loose stitching, it has a spring in it like metallic thread does.

I think it’s related to the fact that I stitch backwards to everyone else so I’ve been stitching 90 degrees so my stitches go the same way.  When you turn the piece sideways my stitches do look as plump, but not when you look straight on.  I’m perplexed.

So I’ve left it alone for a day or two to think about it.

Skeleton Crew Cross-Eyed Cricket

Skeleton Crew Middle Mast

In other news I’ve moved across another two months of old 2006 posts so we have June and July 2006 now.  I do apologise to those who receive this blog on email subscription, I do not know how to turn off the email notifications for the older posts 🙁 Any suggestions from more experienced WordPress users?

I’ve also uploaded a few WIP galleries for pieces I was working on in the first half of 2006 an I’ve started moving across some of the my finished pieces photos.  That gallery will be a work in progress itself for a while to come 🙂

Anyway feel free to have a look through the old posts or the galleries at any time.  The galleries are listed on the top right hand side of the widget area.

Only other area of stitching interest is that I’ve uploaded some photos into the appropriate Google plus area for one of the sneaky Christmas presents I’m working on.  Mum and I did some floss tosses yesterday and these are available for anyone in that circle to comment on.

Now back to figuring out figuring out what to do with Skeleton Crew … maybe I’ll go and bake a loaf of bread.

I’m stitching some Christmas gifts this year. As some of the recipients read this blog, all conversation regarding these presents will be via circles on Google Plus. A different circle per project.

Comment here if you want a Google Plus invite or contact me  if you want to be in the relevant circles. Planning, conniving, secret sharing and fabric selection starts next weekend.

How many months has it been this time 🙂

Back in July-August sometime I finished a JAR designs Christmasproject as a model stitch for Colours Down Under. It was a great little project – stitched up in under a week (it took me nearly three weeks to get it beaded though!)  Unfortunately I didn’t realise until recently that the batteries in my camera were low when I took photos of this one – so I’ll put up a better picture when the I next see the bell pull in Colours Down Under shop.

After that, I stitched the little Inkcircles Halloween design from the 2010 JCS Halloween issue. I stitched it on a piece of Colours Down Under handyed 32ct jobelan. I have enough of the same piece to do up Inkcircles Masquerade when that chart comes in.  I originally thought that the Halloween freebie was a companion piece from Masquerade, but now I realise its actually a small piece of the whole design – oh well. 

Edit: This was completely wrong!  I received a copy of the chart as a surprise in the mail today – thank you so much Tracy!!!  And now that I can see it closely – I see there are differences, the Halloween small is indeed a complementary chart!

I stitched my version with Glow-in-the-Dark thread for the moon, but my little camera isn’t good enough to photograph the luminescence, so you’ll have to take my word for it that the moon looks awesome in the dark – especially as the branches look like assisi work 🙂

Then as a break, I started some canvas work needlepoint. Big chunky 18ct plastic canvas!  I’ve stitched up four of the Needle Delights Colour Delights series so far.

Tangerine was the first I stitched. I adored the different threads and the different types of stitches used!  

Cocoa took two weeks to stitch – my doctor had me on a completely caffeine-free diet for two weeks. That included no chocolate, so I stitched Cocoa instead. 

Pumpkin was so much fun – I loved that it started in the corner and radiated outwards. This was the first one that i didn’t need to double check I had it the right way up.

Bubblegum (gasp its pink!) I survived 🙂

I’ve now stated Indigo. Its another concentric one like Tangerine.  I’m halfway around it and discovered that I’ve already turned it 90 degrees but meh – no-one will know I hope.

Each of these have had small issues, one chart didn’t specify which thread to use in one of the rows, another kit had a couple of threads left out. Indigo has a Watercolour and a Waterlilies the same colour and I used the wrong one, so had to frog and use the other.  But these are small inconveniences. 

All in all – I’m having a lot of fun with these and I think I will do a heap more and eventually finish them into a wall hanging. I have a lot of different black fabric (black wool, black cotton damask etc) from my sewing days, so I thought I would use that to make the wall hanging from – each of these colours (even the indigo) will stand out on the black.


Wow a BIG update from me this time!

Presents Out
I have stitched two presents this year.  Both for friends who read my blog so I wont be putting up pictures until after the presents have been opened.

I took both pieces to the Grand Opening of the Colours Down Under bricks and mortar store yesterday and one was snapped up to put on the wall.  I had to apologise and snatch it back to post to my friend.  I think I might be stitching a second copy of that chart up. Pictures of the new store are here.

I have sent out a few non-stitched gifts and a few more Christmas cards to friends, so crossed fingers they all arrive in time.

Other stitching
On Halloween this year Tracy Horner of Inkcircles designs made available the chart, Four in the Bush.  As she suggested here I am stitching this with Carrie’s Threads: Soot, Peach, Pina Colada, Dried Sage, and Garnet.

I’m using Carrie’s silks! I’m loving these silks! They are the easiest threads I have ever stitched with! They glide through the fabric and no tangles or knots. These are the threads you have dreamed about !!!!  Anyway WIP pictures are here.

Presents In
I have received and opened my first Christmas present this year and by sheer coincidence it is from Tracy!  I purchased Reindeer Games: The Huddle and the Celtic Cat notecards from Tracy last month. When Parcel number 2 finally arrived (parcel number 1 is still lost somewhere) it contained all of these goodies:

  • A Beautiful handmade card – stunning!
  • A “Practice Safe Hex” badge {snicker} Will wear this to work!
  • A beautiful red and silver heart fob (so beautiful!)
  • The Inkcircles chart: Smell of Sulfur (my favourite)
  • Some gorgeous Carries Threads in *my* sorts of colours: Epiphany, Jewel of the Nile, Wildfire, Thanksgiving, Green and Wild Orchid!
  • Inkcircles chart: Mother Maya (which I am tempted to stitch in Wildfire!)
  • Inkcircles chart Celtic Beasties: Christmas … or Knot (one of my all-time favourite charts)
  • Inkcircles chart Much Heralded Sampler (which includes all the medieval motifs I adore!)
  • And finally some MEL chocolate (90% bitter) It must have been made for me LOL!

Thank you so much Tracy! This is completely unexpected and just like you to be so generous! Thank you so much my friend!

Picture of this treasure trove is here.

Wow lots of things happening. How’s everyone else’s last couple of weeks been?

Yes I had to include an obligatory photo of Abby!  Trubs was sensibly away from the sun in this near 100oF heat!  Multiply wont let me just upload a pic to a blog entry at the moment, so there’s a series of five *action shots* added to Abby’s folder.


Merry 25th December – whatever that means to you.

Apologies {yawn} for the brevity. I’m off to the airport shortly to collect M. Teddy tout nu.

Regardless of any religious affiliations, 25th December means I get to spend 10 days straight with my loved one.  And I’m quite OK with that 🙂

Hmmm driving to the airport on less than 4 hours sleep – is it love or masochism?

As performed by the cast of Scrubs.

Needs Sound. Language is not always child-friendly.


Finally have all the shopping done.  Everything to be posted has been wrapped and all bar one last box has been posted.  This box will be posted express post tomorrow.

All that’s left now is to wait for one present for S to turn up in the mail and to pick one up off lay-by for A tomorrow.  Wrap both and presents are finished.

Now onto making the house habitable for three people, decorating and buying food.

The above is a treat I bought myself while at the markets this evening.  I bought exactly what I needed to for presents and nothing more – except the treat 🙂  It is a gluten-free chocolate cake ad I have never seen a gf done up so prettily before.  It reminded me of illustrations out of old Enid Blyton books about fairy cakes and afternoon teas 🙂

I forgot my phone can take pictures so I brought the cake home through a crowded market then on a very crowded tram – so it got a bit squished.  Tasted delicious though.

Time for bed.

As M. de Ours Nus is aware I’ve been battling a few mini-crises in the last couple of weeks.

  1. My new iphone broke and I was informed it would take 4-6 weeks to fix.
  2. My electricity was turned off last week because after 2.5 months my service provider had not connected my account.
  3. One of my stitched projects came out a bit bigger than anticipated and the initial postage/courier quote was over $200.00
  1. Was, thanks to an Apple retail store, fixed within 15 minutes the next day I had off work.
  2. Was, thanks to the Energy and Water Ombudsman’s office, reconnected at 8:30pm the next night.
  3. Was, thanks to some advice from Australian Air Express, posted for $11.50.

So my crises have caused a slight panic and many many hours on the telephone getting the right advice and all is now well.  I kinda felt a bit silly about getting overwrought by such issues that were ultimately, resolved in a short period of time and quite to my satisfaction.

Then I get to work today. We have a whole of unit afternoon tea scheduled for this afternoon.  We meet, the manager tells us we did good, we eat.  Everyone brings a plate.

The place is in an uproar!  Person X bought their food instead of making it!  Persons P & Q both bought chocolate cakes !!!  This should have been planned better – there should have been a spreadsheet !!!!!

Huh?  I work on the assumption everyone brings what they themselves want to eat.  So if all 30 people turn up with packets of Tim Tams then I assume every one of those 30 people want to eat Tim Tams ….   How?  Why is this a crisis?

Do I need to give my section more work to do?  Less work?  Are they that overwrought with “Getting it RIGHT for Christmas ™”?

Hmmm – in the spirit of reducing overwroughtness this season I will no longer fret about Hector II the Zombie Christmas Tree.

Hector didn’t make the transition interstate too well and most of his needles died.  He’s been re-potted and fed fertilizer etc and he’s starting to get new shoots.  Frankly he looks ghastly!  This is the very best picture I could take of him – all the other pics were worse.

But I’m not going to stress.  I’m not going to fret and compromise my principles and buy a cut tree.  Instead, on Christmas Eve I will bring Hector inside and pretty him up as best I can and laugh with my Christmas Day companions on how appropriate it is for us to be sharing a Zombie Christmas Tree.

I wonder if we could get Jonathan Coulton to write a song: Oh Zombie Tree, Oh Zombie Tree …

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