Bordering the Rainbow

22 May, 2006

Patting myself on the back

There have been a couple of things that I felt have gone quite well this past week while I was on vacation, so I have given myself a little pat on the back. I know, bragging, etc. is not really the correct thing to do, but as there is no one else to do this for me, I am just going to have to do it myself. Well, that is my story and I am sticking to it.

First of all about my little dog, Rene. The last 2 Sundays we have participated in 2 agility competitions. On the 14th May, it was a rather disastrous day, we were eliminated 3 times and got numerous faults on the 4th course. We had fun, but certainly had some practice to do. So during the week, we managed to get in some additional training, to try & rectify some of the problems that occured.
Sunday 21st May, we went to another competition, we were only eliminated in 2 of the courses, so a slight improvement there, however, in the other 2 courses we succeeded in getting a first place in both, so I was just delighted. It seems it is all or nothing with Rene, but we have a good time no matter what happens.

No real progress on the stitching front, but I did manage to get some framing completed. First off, the “Breeds of Sheep” that I finished last month is now framed. Tried something new, by cutting the top mat in 2 places to indicate gaps in the hedges and using a cream paper underneath that hopefully resembles fencing, perhaps it is not very clear but that was the idea. Once I had cut & papered the mats, I then went to buy the glass & frame. I must have spent a good 20 minutes trying to choose the right frame for this one. I really liked the green one, but putting it right next to the paper, it seemed to get lost; the paler ones didn’t seemed to work either, eventually I put a very thin cream frame inside the green one, making a double frame which seems to work quite well.

Next is the latest technique we learnt in our framing class, measuring out and cutting an oval. This was a right pain, it took me 3 attempts to get it right. I am glad I persevered as I quite like the results, but I somewhat doubt I will be doing many of this style.

Then comes “the bear & the moon” using a technique that I have also recently learnt, but the first time around we only learnt how to do this with square pictures, as our teacher only had instructions for this. Now I really wanted to see if/how it would work with a rectangular picture, I did take a while to figure out the calculations, but it turned out quite well in the end & as I like this technique I will definitely use it again in the future – if I can remember what I did in the first place.

15 May, 2006

A little stash therapy

On Saturday, I received a little package from Sew & So, just a few things that I had ordered earlier in the week. I really only needed the 2 Kreiniks to be able to complete "Pirate Treasure", but as I pay the same amount of postage for one or multiple items it seemed a little silly not to order of few more things. So I got 3 more DMC threads, a pair of bellpull ends for the "Just Nan" piece, the Kreinik Custom Corder + weight, "Giggles in the Snow" and the beads to go with it.

I have now added a third Crazy Cow to my cushion cover, this time it is the "Puzzle" version. These are really quick stitches, so it should not take too long to complete the 9. But then again, that depends on if I get distracted by some other project.

For the most part, it is quite handy being English, this being the unofficial international language, it seems so much of the information on the internet is in English, even a lot of foreign sites have translations into English. Though being an English person in a foreign country can sometimes be a disadvantage. A number of people will come to me if they need something translated from English to French, as quite often I am the only English person they know. Usually it is only a paragraph or two, so nothing too daunting. Yesterday, when I was at a dog competition, one of the ladies whom I see regularly at competitions, asked if I could translate a couple of pages from a sewing book for her. As she used the word "couture", which more frequently relates to regular sewing or dressing making, I asked her what the book was about. She told me she had recently bought it as it was embroidery with ribbon, and the models were magnificent, but she could not understand the instructions. It sounds very interesting, I am looking forward to seeing a couple of pictures, I think she is sending the pages to me tomorrow.

13 May, 2006

Projects during my week's vacation

I am now on a week's vacation, it's a great feeling to be able to get up in the morning & just do whatever I feel like doing and not having to get ready for work.

I do have a few projects that I want to get done during the coming week and 2 of the
m are framing projects. The first is Fairy Moon which I finished recently. I bought the 2 different papers yesterday which I will be using to cover the mats. The light, silvery one will go underneath and the darker one on top. I am hoping to find a way that I can shape & cut the top mat, so that the silver underneath mat shows through like the rays from the moon. We shall see, sometimes my ideas are greater than my ability.

The second framing project is my other recently finished piece, "Breeds of Sheep". Again the lighter paper will go underneath and the dark green one on top. I will probably end up doing this one in a straight forward normal way.

I will leave you here with a couple of photos that I took yesterday of one of my cats, Tuppence, taking advantage of the sun and my duvet which I had hung out to air.

12 May, 2006

2nd Crazy Cow

This "Crazy Cow" project, quite frankly, just makes me laugh. When I am stitching on it, I am smiling to myself, because who would have honestly thought (certainly not me) that I would be sitting here stitching these strange, bizarre looking cows to make a cushion cover.

For the second one, I decided to to the "Spider man" version:

10 May, 2006

Front, back & collar done

I was able to finish the front of the jumper this morning, though not without a couple of hiccups. At some point during the final few rows, where I was decreasing the neck & the shoulder edges, I managed to knit the wrong part of the pattern. There is just no way to "fudge" those kind of mistakes, so I had to unpick about 4 rows, which took more than twice as long as it had taken me to knit in the first place.
As I still had more time before I had to leave for work, I moved on to my least favourite part of knitting, picking up stitches around the neck edges to knit the collar. It never seems to come out as smooth as I would like. Here is the front & back completed along with the collar. I just hope that I managed to cast off loose enough so that it will go over my head when it is all sewn together.

When there is no computer.

So just what have I kept myself busy with while I have not had a computer to play on?

I decided to get going again on “Pirate Treasure”, but unfortunately I ran out of the “glow-in-the-dark” thread that I needed, plus I had fogotten to order one of the gold Kreiniks at the beginning, & was missing that, then I ran out of DMC 3052, so I decided that I should just put it aside and work on something else, as I was getting nowhere fast. This is as far as I got:

So I decided to move onto something different, I picked up my knitting, as it has been at least 6 months since I have had those needles out. I had started a jacquard jumper back in November, completed the back, but did not get any further than that. So it was definitely time to start working on it again. I am quite pleased with the progress, as I have now almost finished the front. As I am not starting work until 14.00 tomorrow, hopefully I can get it completed.

09 May, 2006

The computer is up & running again

I have not been able to write here for at least a week as our computer has not been working. We went to turn it on last Tuesday and it was emitting a rather nasty smoldering smell, so it was promptly turned off and unplugged. It turned out that the motor was on it's last legs and had to be replaced. My son was able to borrow a replacement one from a friend and put it in yesterday. So now I can connect with cyber space again.
The advantage of not having a workable computer, is that I did get quite a bit more stitching and knitting done, I will update that in the next post.