Thursday, 31 January 2008

More cross stitch, some Japanese and a slice of cake

The mega-cross stitch is still plodding along, here is is so far:

Ignore Me

There's still loads left to do - I'm not even half way through it yet - I have at least another 2 or 3 months stitching ahead of me, assuming that I don't get fed up and abandon it part-way through in favour of new, more exciting and faster projects.

I've got to say though, she's looking good!

I've also been hard at work learning my Katakana (a japanese alphabet) following my first Japanese lesson on Tuesday. It was brilliant and has got me all enthused. So far I can write 8 of the 46 characters without cheating. Yay me! This is my homework so far...

Ignore Me

In other news - I have discovered a fantastic blog that deserves a mention... Cake Toursim is a fantastic blog dedicated to cakes. We like cake. Here is a pictuer of cake. I've blogged it previously, but I have no other cake pictures yet. I will have to take some.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

We've been on holiday!


We went on a little mini-break weekend to Malaga. It was glorious and sunny - just what was needed to beat the January blues, and to refersh the spirit before I start my exciting new course tonight (Japanese evening classes) and job (first day on Friday - eek!).

You can see all of my holiday snaps here - take a look, they're brill.

No crafty stuff to report, I'm afraid. I was banned from taking my cross stitch on holiday with me.


I will update soon.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

I'm going to buy a big, floppy purple hat...

And I'm going to wear it with a flouncy, frilly frock, a flowery handbag and red shoes.

I already have the red shoes.

It'll be fabulous.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Depressing stuff

Today was offically the saddest day of the year and we've only had 11 minutes of sunshine so far this year in Cardiff.

It sounds to me like more than enough reason for a small glass of Baileys.
It's been a little while since my last post, I'm afraid. I haven't really felt I had much of interest to blog about - not that I haven't been busy... Oh, deary me - no. Quite the opposite, in fact.

For example, I am fast developing a square arse due to the number of hours I'm putting into the cross stitch. There's a big, me-shaped dent on the sofa under the lamp.

Ongoing Kewpie Cross stitch

I hadn't really thought how long it would take me to stitch this pattern. I was so excited at having the shiny new software, that I launched straight into making a humungous pattern from the first photo I could lay my hands on. It seems it might take me a long time. Not much has been done on it since I went back to work after the Christmas break - but happily I have another 2 weeks off work now (I'm using up my annual leave from the old job before starting the new job).

There are many exciting things due to happen in the next fortnight, including my first Japanese lesson, a long weekend in Malaga, and preparing the house for the damp-proofing man to come and make my house watertight. I suspect there may also be some time for cross stitch during this time, so I hope to show you some progress by February.

In a recent post I lamented the fact that I can't allow myself to get any other little projects started until I finish the cross stitch beast.

Well, "Pish!", say I. I can't be excpected to plod through a mammoth project like that without some little fripperies to keep me amused and entertained!

So, I covered my diary. It was a miserable, black leatherette diary with "Unison" emblazoned across the cover. It was an ugly diary. The sight of it made me sad and un-inclined to go to any of the appointmets within its miserable plastic covers. (I don't know whether un-inclined is a real and valid word, but I'm using it anyway.)

Here is my new, pretty diary. It's covered in red and cream floral cotton, and is tied up with a purple embroidered pink ribbon, which attaches around a button and an embroidered white felt flower. I replaced the dreary grey ribbon bookmark with a cheery pink one to match the cover. If I had easy access to my entire fabric-and-bits stash, it would probably have looked very different, but I like it very well as it is. And it didn't involve any cross stitch!

Prettied diary

Modelling it for me are Jini (in a hat which I knitted for a friend's baby 3 years ago, but I got the tension all wrong resulting in a teeny-tiny, itty-bitty little hat, so Jini got to keep it. There's a lesson in there, somewhere), and these little monsters that I knitted some time ago. They're good little monsters, and posed very well for me in photomarathon 2006 .

I do have more I want to say... I want to show off the lovely gifts I got when leaving my old job, and I still want to show off the exciting stuff I got from my parents house at Christmas, but I haven't photographed them yet.

And I need to go now to shower and head into town to do some shopping.

(And yes, I do know that it's gone half past ten on a Monday morning, but I'm on holiday and perfectly entitled to play on the computer in my pyjamas if I want to. So I refuse to feel any guilt whatsever.)

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

A present!

I have much to blog, but not much time in which to blog it, so I'm going to make do with this image of a present T brought back for me from LA...

It's a money box! It's fantastic! She also bought me a lovely cotton embroidered tote, but I haven't photographed that.

Next time I will try to upload pictures of my new (old) knitting machine, which I haven't yet worked out how to use, a clock, and any other stuff which might be interesting.

But not tonight. I'm going to have a cup of tea instead.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Happy New Year

I seem to have done nothing but cross stitch this holiday - and it's starting to make me cross eyed. Not least because I keep being inspired by other quick, easy and colourful crafting ideas... I really fancy making a softie or two, and I want to experiment with needle felting, and I want to cover my diary with pretty fabric. But I won't. Not yet anyway. I have too many half-finished projects cluttering the house, and this won't be one of them!

Here's a picture of it so far...

I'm very pleased with it, but am a little concerned that the colours aren't as bright as I'd intended, and that it looks a bit like a Victorian cherub - which is really not what I was after. It's a pattern generated from this photo of Kewpie in my strawberries.

Still, at least it's moved away from beige (I've used pink and brown as well!), and fairly soon I'll be on to green. Which will be brilliant!

I went sale shopping yesterday. I bought some recipe books from Borders for casseroles and stuff (slow cooking's my current favourite) at half price, and a notebook which I'm thrilled to pieces with.

I've already used it to compose a shopping list, copy down a recipe for Cawl, make a note of picture frame sizes and prices, and to price and plan the layout of how I'm going to frame the robot cross stitches. I can't put it down - it's too lovely. There has been nothing particularly impressive of inspired put into the book as yet, but it's only a matter of time. In years to come I expect it to be auctioned for a kerjillion pounds, after I earn my fame and fortune doing something good and interesting. I haven't decided what that thing will be yet. In the meantime, here's a sneaky glimpse of the notebook you might find yourself bidding on in the dim and distant future...

I also bought a lamp. It wan't in the sales, but it was very reasonable (an Ikea purchase), and I'm loving it. You might have noticed that the pictures of my front room in this blog are a bit dark. This is because my front room tends to be a bit dark. This might have something to do with the dark yellow I chose to paint it when I moved in. I'm starting to think about painting it a lighter colour, like white - but definitely not (never) magnolia.

The dark cross stitch in a dark room was starting to strain my eyes a bit - but not any more. Behold, my lovely new lamp!

The room is still dark (this photo was taken at 2pm today), but my corner is gloriously bright and lovely.