Bordering the Rainbow

28 April, 2006

My decision

So what was my decision after a night's sleep?
Well, I did not even wait that long, I made up my mind before I even went to bed. It was to be the "Crazy Cows". I am taking 9 different cow designs and I will make it into a cushion when finished. Even though it was late, I put a few stitches in the first cow last night, and then the rest I finished today.
So here is my first cow.

Now this really is the last new start for the time being, no more being sidetracked. I am now getting back to the Marquoir, section 15 is where I currently am, and in May (just a few days) section 21 will be released, so I am sadly behind schedule with this piece.

Winter section done

Just a short progress report, nothing much else going on at the moment.
I have completed the winter section of "4 Wishes". It appears much smaller than I imagined it would, even though I had both the picture & the measurements, I thought it was going to be larger. All the better I guess, as it should mean that it will be finished sooner, rather than being a WIP & sitting in a to do pile for a few years as happens with some of my projects.
I will be putting this aside now, to work on something else. Now while I do have 4 other WIPs I can (or rather should) be picking up next, I am sorely tempted to start something else new. What I really want to start, is the Crazy Cow designs, I would love to make it into a cushion, I already have the fabric ready & divided into 9 squares, so it wouldn't take much to get going on that one.
I will sleep on it & make that decision in the morning.

24 April, 2006

On to "4 Wishes"

I started right in with “4 Wishes” by Just Nan, as soon as I had finished “Breeds of Sheep”. This is quite different, plenty of bright colours and specialty stitches – I am a little out of practice on some of these specialty stitches, so it is slow going for the moment.

I am stitching it on 28 count Permin linen, probably my least favourite fabric to stitch on, it is very stiff and the threads are way too irregular for my liking. So why did I chose it, well it was in my stash and was the right colour, count and size for this design. I am trying to use up elements from my stash as opposed to continually buying more; I have quite a few pieces of fabric, plenty of charts to choose from, many of which are “crying out” to be stitched, so the goal is to match up fabric and patterns and stitch those first. Once all those have been stitched – many years down the road from now – then I can start buying some more fabric.

I don’t know who names the colours of the fabrics or how they decide, but the colour of this linen is “Champagne”, now if I poured out a glass of champagne this colour, I would have serious doubts on the quality of the product – I can only assume this unfortunate, unknown person has never had the chance to raise a toast at any of the celebrations that one normally attends during ones life. They should come over here, as I live very close to champagne country, and I will introduce them to the real stuff.

23 April, 2006

The sheep are finished

It is not often that I have such a productive week. This is my second finish, and unfortunately, it will probably be the last now for a while.
It is always great when the final stitch is completed and one can sit back & look at the piece. I enjoyed stitching this, and it was easy to break down into small sections, quite simply one sheep at a time. It was a good piece to stitch on inbetween other larger peices.
Now I think after 2 finishes, I deserve to treat myself to a new start. Oh yes, I already have one sitting in the wings prepared to go; quite a different style, Just Nan's "4 Wishes".

In the garden

You will not often find me writing about gardening, because this is simply not my thing. I do not particularly enjoy it, although I do admire people who can encourage their plants to grow and I do appreciate beautiful gardens full of flowers. Another excuse is that I have 3 dogs and very little survives along with them, the only things that have withstood the dogs antics over the years are 2 rose bushes.
As yesterday was such a gorgeous day & this is certainly the time of year to get out there and do something, I did manage to spend some time tidying up. I had a good old weed pulling session and manage to give the lawn - or rather, the irregular patches of green - a trim. Then I remembered that I had 2 packets of seeds sitting in a drawer; now as they were certainly not going to produce any flowers whilst staying in the packets, I thought I might as well go ahead and plant them. I had cleared all the weeds from 2 sections of the borders, so there was now space for them.
One lot of seeds are Sweet Peas, which are really pretty and one of the few plants around that still have a scent; the other packet was named "Japanese grass", that's the literal translation. The picture on the front of the packet was just a collection of various flowers and greenery, so it is probably a mix of a variety of things. Now I always thought that Japanese gardens had a lot of stone areas in them, and not wild flowers growing, so wouldn't it be just my luck to find that nothing actually grows, but I end up with a nice little pile of stones instead.
Well, we will just have to see over the next few months if anything sprouts up.

22 April, 2006

On to the next project.

Now that Fairy Moon is finished, it is on to another piece that is also close to being finished. I am trying to reduce the number of projects that I have on the go at any one time. Since the beginning of the year I have finished and framed 3 other pieces, Fairy Moon should be up on my wall by the end of May, & hopefully this next one as well.
It is "Breeds of Sheep" by Amaryllis Artworks & I am stitching it on 28 count Beige Brittney, which is quite nice to stitch on.
Actually this photo is not quite up to date, since I picked it up again on Thursday, I have finished the sheep (2 Rambouillet) in the bottom left hand corner, so I now only have the last 2 left to stitch. Let's see how much I can get done over the weekend.

Fairy Moon is finished

I can't believe that it has been 7 days since I last wrote here, so much for my good intentions of writing twice a week. However, I have been busy during that time.
I am delighted to say that all the stitching & beading on Fairy Moon is now finished. I love this design. I was pleasantly surprised that the beading needle was relatively cooperative during the whole process and I did not have to “fight” with it too much at all. The biggest headache was the fact that I had to do the beading with the fabric on my scroll rods, I find them rather large & cumbersome to handle. I really prefer to stitch using a hoop, but with so many beads on this piece, it just wasn’t going to work.
Now I just have to figure out how I am going to frame it. I have a couple of ideas, but need some time to work out how I am actually going to do it. I don't want to do regular mats, I hope to be able to give them a little more shape. I have a week off during the month of May, so I will try out my ideas then.

14 April, 2006

Simple Pleasures

When you leave your native country and go & live in another one, at first you miss some of the foods from home. But gradually you get to know the local equivalents, and then that longing for cetain foods from home goes away. However, there are some foods that do not have a local version, I try to stock on these when I go back to the UK in my car, because weight restrictions on the airlines do not allow for a suitcase full of groceries.
Fortunately, a hypermarket near me is now selling some of those products the I miss, so last Tuesday I was able to buy some Heinz baked beans, some HP sauce, some McVitie's digestives (original & chocolate) and some cheddar cheese - that evening I felt like I had a real feast.
It doesn't take much to make me happy, does it.

11 April, 2006

Enough of red for the moment

Now that parts 13 & 14 are completed, I am going to stop here with the Marquoir. Granted I am at least 5-6 months behind schedule, if I were doing each section as it was released, but there is still a chance that I can finish on time, which will in August. All this red is just getting a little too much. I will get back to it again towards the end of the month.
I am now going to move on to “Fairy Moon”, I am on the final stretch, just the beading to do. I am stitching it on 28 count Silkweavers Romantic Interlude. There are a lot of beads on this piece, which means I will be threading (read fighting with) that beading needle numerous times. I just don’t get on with beading needles, they take me forever to thread, it’s like that tiny, little hole just closes up every time I try to thread the thing. I should probably stay with this piece until it is complete, because this piece has been a WIP for quite a while now and it is about time that I got it finished, framed & up on the wall.

10 April, 2006

101 things for 1001 days

Well, finally I have my list together, an idea that was blatantly “stolen” from Joy. I am very much a “list” person, I love writing out lists, and it really does help me get things done, because I cannot forget them, nor can I ignore them. This took me much longer than I thought it would, anyway, now it is done and I have until the end of 2008 to complete it, or as much as is possible.

Editing this list on the 22nd April, 2006. There are a few things that are done, I am borrowing an idea from someone elses list, and changing the colours on the things completed or in progress.

Green = completed

Purple = in progress


1. Find 101 things to put on this list
2. Less procrastination
3. Lose 4 kilos & keep it off
4. Get to all 3 French agility finals with Rene
5. Set up training programme to do so
6. Get to French HTM finals with Penza
7. Set up training programme to do so
8. Get to French Obedience finals with Penza
9. Set up training programme to do so
10. Go to Crufts for International agility finals with Rene in 2008
11. Give up smoking
12. Train at club minimum 2-3 times a week
13. Get into "Guess" jeans
14. Get eyebrows & nails done professionally every 3-4 months
15. Drink a litre of water a day
16. Keep a "Fitday" journal
17. Buy another dog (import from UK)
18. Try a new haircut
19. Find a new perfume

Family & Friends

20. Write bi-weekly to Heather
21. Be on time sending out birthday & Xmas cards
22. Visit grandparents graves
23. Go to a GTG in the UK
24. Send an e-mail to a friend 3 times per week
25. Make a photo calendar for parents
26. Do a RAK per month
27. Update birthday book


29. Stitch an afgan
30. Finish 2 Fair Isle jumpers
31. Finish Marquoir sampler
32. Make it into a table cloth
33. Finish the 2 hardanger projects
34. Find more creative framing ideas
35. Make more Xmas presents
36. Make Wildlife RR into cushion
37. Make a "Crazy Cow" cushion
38. Do ceramic painting kit
39. Knit a pair of socks
40. Make a quilt
41. Finish Fairy Moon
42. Frame Fairy Moon
43. Finish Pirate Treasure
44. Frame Pirate Treasure
45. Finish Breeds of Sheep
46. Frame Breeds of Sheep
47. Finish Rune Sampler
48. Frame Rune Sampler
49. Make a summer dress or skirt


50. Learn basic Spanish
51. Learn to write better French
52. Learn to spin & weave
53. Learn different functions on camera
54. Learn to take better photos
55. Take agility instructor course
56. Take puppy class course
57. Take course for difficult behaviour (dogs)
58. Look into an Online degree
59. Take a yoga class


60. Try a new recipe a month
61. Make own pasta
62. Cook fish more frequently
63. Sort preferred recipes into one file


64. Read 1 book per month
65. Visit Luxembourg
66. Visit the Fjords of Norway
67. Visit the Shetland Isles
68. Visit 2 new cities, eg. Dijon & Provins
69. Visit more of the museums in Paris
70. Start a blog
71. Write regularly in blog (twice a week)
72. Buy a video camera
73. Visit at least 2 more chateaux
74. Read the chronicles of Narnia


75. Clean out my son's & my clothes & give to charity
76. Improve recycling habits
77. Decorate office/spare room
78. Decorate my bedroom
79. Re-seed lawn
80. Plant 1 or 2 more rose bushes
81. Plant a pot of herbs
82. Rearrange or redecorate dining room
83. Get the moss off the roof
84. Get into a home cleaning routine
85. Grow some tomatoes
86. Clean car inside & out more frequently
87. Paint the bathroom
88. List all books
89. List all videos & DVDs


90.Find another way to support favourite charity other than donations.
91. Get car radio fixed
92. Get new car seat covers
93. Put remaining photos in albums
94. Get financial papers in order
95. Check bank statements on arrival
96. Try to put more into savings account
97. Win a large lottery
98. Get passports for the dogs
99. Get bicycle repaired
100. Then ride the bike
101. When 1001 days are up, update this list,then make a new list, including carryingover any of these not completed.

I think I am off to a good start, as already one of the points on my list is already completed, I started a blog – well that is rather obvious isn’t it. Probably the points which are not financially based should be easier to complete. With the amount of time it took me to write this list down, I think I should start on my next list right away. So now the count down begins.

04 April, 2006

Another of my interests -Framing

I started framing classes to learn how to frame my stitching projects. This was back in the Spring of 2004, & I am still going to these classes every Friday evenings. They are a lot of fun, half the time we just chat & don't do much work at all, most of us use this time to wind down from a week at work. I have learnt a number of techniques, some relatively straight forward, some extremely fiddly.
Here is a photo of some of the people in my class, along with our teacher. This was taken in June of 2004, I don't think we have aged too much since then.
I have a few projects that I need to be getting on with.

The first is the boy and the dog, and it is going to be inside an oval cut, this is the technique we are currently learning. I have cut the ovals, and covered the card with paper, for the most part, but I have not yet put it all together. Must get it done and finished this Friday, it is our last class before the Easter break.

Next in line is this card of a bear looking out at the moon. I think it is rather cute. I am going to try and cut a series of mats rotating. I have done this on square pictures, but never with a rectangle, so the calculations are different & a little tricky.

Last but not least, is this chicken card (right in theme with the bird flu going around). Everyone of us in the class was given the same card, which we have to frame using any technique we feel most appropriate. In a few months time, there will be a competition for the best. I have a few ideas, I have already got some chicken wire, some plastic eggs and some straw, now I just have to plan out my idea.

02 April, 2006

Marquoir Progress

I started the Marquoir - Terre de France - by Annick Abrial, back when it first came out in September 2004. I was most diligent at the beginning, completing each month's section as it was published, this lasted for about 6 or 7 months and then it got put aside for a multitude of reasons - none of which were life threatening - so I have no real excuse for ignoring this piece.
Well I have recently picked it up again and am now slowly catching up, but still have a long way to go. In theory, I should be able to finish when the series ends in August of this year, but you all know what happens to theories, they "practically" fly out of the window!

So the reason why?

So what was the reason that I decided to start up a blog after all these months (years) of resisting. Well, I spotted a great idea in Joy's blog, the 101 things in 1001 days, which if my calculations are correct, will give me until the end of 2008 to accomplish them (or at least some of them). I had written similar lists/ideas like this in the past, but was forever loosing them, you know how it is with bits of paper, they are always going amiss; but hopefully this will not go astray and I will be able to check back from time to time to see how much I have accomplished.
My main interests are stitching and dog training, I thought it would also be rather interesting to see the progress in these areas over the next couple of years. I am sure there will be at least a little, won't there?

01 April, 2006

April Fool's Joke on myself?

Well, apparently I have just created a blog. It doesn't look anything like I imagined, but then what do I know about blogs anyway? I will just keep trying and hopefully it will all turn out correctly in the end. This may well turn out as an April Fool's joke upon myself, like creating it and then never or rarely writing in it.