Friday, 31 October 2014

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

On Going and Going On

Despair today, my saga with the 'icky dirty little sods (idls)' (thanks Leeanne, aptly named!) is ongoing. I had a wee lull during the week as they stopped raining down on me and then the smell kinda amped up again...I think the whole extended family ate the poison intended for them and this was their death wish....a haunted October!!!! Unbelievably now that we are into what must be the second week of this drama, the flow of 'idls' down from the ceiling has increased not decreased. Today is the worst day ever. They have forced my out, I have evacuated my studio for the dining table this past week, I only go in to 'collect and squish'...can you hear me screaming from your house!!!!!!!!@#$%^&*....maybe not over the noise of DIY and power tools and mess added into the mix here!!!!!!

Anyways, I am becoming less squeamish, no choice really, hardened to this disgust fest now...but still pretty much only stitching in the evenings....that's the going on bit....going on with my life as they lose theirs...



Of course it has also been an unusually long weekend here, Labour Day and then the kids are still home today as it is a day in lieu for the calf club Saturday. Not much project wise is getting done! I should be starting work on a commission for a scrapbook album for a friend but I need my studio...I don't want to relocate all the bits needed for that.I was hoping to start this week but I think it will be the next....at least I have managed to do the gathering for the specific bits needed. The album is for a work colleague of my friends, her boss who has now left, an eccentric character who I knew when I worked there so I can have some fun with this one.




I am loving working on some Stacy Nash projects at the momment. They are delightfully primitive. I finished the stitching on the 'Old White Farmhouse Sampler'. Just need to  distress it and age it and decide just what I am going to finish it into.


Then I started work on the Pins, Needles & Scissors....this was a Stacy Nash kit I got from Broomfields when I went to the Stitches and Craft show in Hamilton in September. It's stitched on Weeks Dye Works linen - Cocoa and using Gentle Arts Threads. I love the variation in the overdyeds.


Well that's been my week, hope, hope & hope that I will not be mentioning bugs in my next post! That pile of commission supplies may, just may have begun to morph into something more attractive than what I have been dealing with....LOL through gritted teeth!




Tuesday, 21 October 2014

October House of Horrors and Missing Mojo

I have been absent for a while, maybe you have been wondering where I have got to! Well I am still here but not so much in a happy place in my happy space for the last week or so.

I have been experiencing an early halloween, a week horribilis and I certainly don't have any enemies I would wish this experience upon. 

Warning, some gross details lie ahead before I post a photo of a somewhat relevant finish. A last day in October type finish, just a small finish.....my desire to work in my studio has taken a battering!!!

You see, we live in a 130 year old church and for all or most of those 130 years I imagine, all sorts of insects, rodents, possums and birds think that even though they don't pay the mortgage they have a right to squat here! Over the 4 years we have been here we have had our fair share of invaders and most of them want to park up in the roof of my studio, a roof that is impossible to get into the cavity of. When we first moved in it was the possum, he thought he had existing occupation rights but the .22 gauge thought otherwise so he went almost straight away. Ok, I dealt with that! Then we have had loads of ants and ants on the wing on and off, they seem to have (fingers crossed) decided they needed a change of scene. Ok, they were soooo annoying but I dealt with that! The birds can be incredibly persistent and they have a keen eye for the ammunition once you've used it once but you eventually outwit them. Dealt with that too! But the rodents, the rodents suck, they  go into all sorts of places and all through these old walls scratching away. You see this old build isn't built like houses these days, it is built out of gorgeous kauri but the rodents can run straight up inside the walls, one floor to the next. The rodents, now that the possum, ants and birds have gone have decided that my studio roof is a pretty cool place to hangout permanently and this unappreciated relationship has been going on for a while. Because you cannot get into the roof cavity there is only one option to rid yourself of rodents, yep the nasty stuff that gets them from the inside. But the rodents like to draw their last breath it would appear, in their own bed!!!!!! Yep, it's happened more than once to me already, but this time , this time, it was in the ceiling right over my desk. Now no amount of scented candles can deal with that putridity and neither could I. Then, just when you think it cannot possibly get worse.....the ceiling in my room is.....tongue and groove.....yes, that means it has gaps......the repulsion just got ten times worse when the food supply started to diminish and the crawlers dropping from the ceiling began!!!!!

I have been at my total wits end with it all this time. It was unbelievably disgusting!!!! We do have plans to rip off the roof and replace it whereupon we can address this problem but we have so much else on renovation wise my husband can't do that job yet. Please, please, please don't let another rodent shuffle off this mortal coil above my head before that happens!!!!!

So the up shot of it all is that I didn't want to sit in there doing much of anything and my computer is now on the dining table. I had to move loads of stuff out of the 'drop zone' and so my room is everywhere. I have decided to take this opportunity though to reorganise my room and to finally paint the two bookshelves in there with the Annie Sloan chalk paint that I love so they match my other furniture. I was putting it off as I have to move all my craft books but now I was forced I have at least got mojo enough for that task!!!


What a mess!

And yet more mess spreading into the lounge!

My painting work today has been rather cathartic!

Paint on, two coats of wax to go...looking good!

So due to the horrific ordeal I have gone through this past week not much has been produced. My only stitching has been in the evenings in my stitching chair well away from my studio. I managed to put together my Pineberry Lane primitive that I finished stitching just a little while ago. It is quite appropriately halloween-ish and befitting this creepy crawly situation imposed on me. 

May I present to you, one very cool witch called Fancey Blackett and this pattern is called Fancey Blackett's Brooms...love it!



Love that little painted wooden snail button from Theodora Cleave



Ya'll will have noticed that I have been playing with the graphics on my blog. It's a work in progress...got stalled by other appalling events in my life. But now ya'll will know why my mojo vanished as did my blog posts. I am on the way to starting to feel like a happier camper in my what should be  a happy space.




Wednesday, 1 October 2014

International Inspiration and Meeting a Friend

It feels like it's been a right good while since I shared what I have been getting up to so here's where it's at....

School holidays are upon this household so lots of kid related tasks are on the menu in this house for the next two weeks. Not so happy kids at the momment though, the eldest has a cold!!!!  The weather has turned to beautiful sunny spring days and the couch is still in full use!!!! Man!!!!

Last week, before all this latest fun kicked in I spent a whole three days of me time quilting. Having the opportunity to meet and to quilt with the expert Yoko Saito was just such an awesome opportunity despite the language barrier. Yoko does not speak English, but she speaks a lot more English than I do Japanese! She was travelling with her companion Saitomi who speaks a little more English and so between us all we nutted it out. Besides the language of quilting is international!

It was fantastic to be able to see first hand all her techniques, her tools and to see how she works and there were loads of 'aha' momments over the course of the three days.

I'll let the photos do the talking....

She has such fine and dainty hands and fingers and not a single callous to be seen. She uses a heavy weight to stop the piece she is working on from slipping off the table. It works much better than trying to hold it all and stitch...I am converted when working at a table.





The reason her hands and fingers are in such pristine condition is that she always wears thimbles and lots of them. I always wondered how she kept the bigger ceramic thimble on her finger when she is quilting. Well it's because there is a rubber one underneath it...so simple and so 'aha'....




Thimbles galore! and that gold coloured needle threader was  a beauty. Much better than any available here for small needles I reckon. I have ordered one off he website The Quilt Party


She also brought along two of her quilts and several smaller pieces for us to see her work in person. The detail is just amazing and the little applique pieces get so teeny tiny. The neatness of her work both applique and quilting is breathtaking.


I also got to meet my blogging friend Raewyn on the course. So it was  a win win all round. That's Raewyn staring in amazement at the work in that quilt just like I was. Raewyn has also posted on her blog about the workshop. Scroll to the bottom of the post to check out two very happy Raewyn Anne's in red!!!


And of course I had to take the opportunity to have my book signed by such an accomplished quilting artist as Yoko.


Just look at that signature. A work of art in itself.


So glad I partook of the opportunity to attend this workshop. I did manage to get a wee bit done on my own course projects....just a bit though and plenty more to do!!!



A few other things have also had my attention over the last little while....


I finished and completed a quick little stitch into a pin keep. This is the Hannah Birdwell sampler and the hand painted box that it came  with from Liberty Hill. 


I ran out of Patchwork of the Crosses hexies and so needed to make some more 'kits' up. Here's the production line....eight blocks awaiting glue basting.


I have been really enjoying doing a little primitive cross stitch of an evening of late. It's simple and goes quick and I am rocking the primitive theme seeing all that primmy goodness on the Prim Stitchers Society. This finished piece features the coolest witch called Fancey Blackett, and is a design from Pineberry Lane. Just need to put my finishing hat on and she will be complete.


Happy Stitching


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