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Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Here's my update on the NH afghan - first stage of block 1 (of 30 blocks ;-)). I actually enjoy stitching on the afghan fabric, it's slightly 'different' to hava a whole lot of fabric covering me - nice for the winter months s'pose. And today was payday, and what did I do? I ordered the remaining DMC colours for the afghan! the best prices are from Tandem Cottage. No, I'm not affiliated to them, but you can't beat 50 threads for £20! They even offer to wind them on bobbins for you, how is this for service.

Today I was in court, and it was quite a funny session. A lot of the witnesses were stark drunk. One of the chaps kept touching his --youknowwhat- and kept leaving (staggering out of) the courtroom to go to the toilet, and he called our coroner 'your honour'. I just had to giggle, and as they were all very friendly, I prefer this sort than the violent type.

This is our house today on Halloween. I'm not going overboard with decorations, but I thought I lead the way for the kids with our little pumpkin.

All 3 of the kids went trick-or-treating and got an enourmous loot. Everyone was really friendly to them, and I had quite a few trick-or-treaters this year, mostly really small kids with their parents.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

I have worked in Greenwich for the past few days (no access to the net! in the year 2007!), but will be back in my old place again tomorrow. Looks like though I will have to help out in Greenwich ever now and again which I don't mind. Travelling is slighly less.

Today I went to a Fingerprint course. Got all dirty with the ink, but it wasn't too bad, it left me confident enough to do it. Car passed MOT yesterday (and I'm £160 lighter for this small pleasure).

Stitching-wise... well, I finished the Christmas Ornament for the Advent Exchange on the Kreuzstich-Liste, but can't show it here yet obviously. The whole of last Saturday I fought with the $%%£$% sewing machine. I hadn't used it for about 10 years - you see, I like cross stitching, but the sewing machine and me don't agree. Anyway, i tought I'll try to overcome my adversery and ordered the missing bobbin case. Well, guess what, the darn thing don't work. I can't get the lower thread to come up, I ended up covered in white thread all over me, the house and the cats. Stuck the sewing machine in a black binliner in protest and showed it the big fat wheelie bin outside... well, I have calmed down a bit and might take it to the sewing machine shop. Can only do that on Saturday unfortunately, the shop is in Welling (abt. 20 mins. drive from here if I get through alright).

Golden, Arthur ' Memoirs of a Geisha '

A wonderful and compelling insight into the life of a Japanese Geisha, spanning from 1929 to the post-war years of Japan. Chiyo grows up in a tiny fishing village and as a young child gets 'sold' into a city geisha house. There, she lives with the 'mother' of the house and the established geisha Hatsumomo who literally tortures Chiyo (out of jelousy, as we later learn), as Chiyo is rather beautiful and extraordinay looking, and Hatsumomo realises this very quickly. Almost condemned to being a servant and cleaner for the geisha house, Chiyo meets the sucessful geisha Mameha who takes her under her wing, she becomes Mameha's 'sister' and gets trained up by her as a geisha, and then takes the name of Sayuri. In order for a geisha to be sucessful, she would need a 'danna' which is like a kind of 'husband' who looks after her, only those men are often married already, so really, it is like a better mistress. Sayuri tells us her story, the good, the bad and sometimes the shocking (for our understanding), as she does start out really young, and her 'virginity' get sold to the highest bidder. I have since read that this is not entirely true of 'real geisha's' - who knows! And we do wonder throughout the book whether she is gonna get 'her man'.
It was a wonderful read, the first time I looked into the whole subject, and it made me really curious and it even made me look up info about Geisha's on the net!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Here the promid update on Spring Queen. Almost done now, I can't believe it. Don't look forward to the beading though... and getting it framed is gonna be soooooo expensive!

And here is a historic moment! here you see my very first 3 crosses on the NH-afghan (Nature's Home)

Oh, I know it's gonna be years till I finish this, but I don't mind. enjoying it, but don't know what to do with all that fabric on my lap, is good for stitching in winter time s'pose ;-))

I went back to East Grinstead today with Ruby to have her finger looked at. the bandage is off, and it doesn't look too bad. Odd, I'd say. The nail is still on, but the consultant said it is gonna fall off in the next few weeks, and a new nail will grow in 3 months or so. The tip of her finger looks kind of bulbous, with all that new skin growing. The doctor said it will take 9 months to a year to regain some feeling in the finger, but it would never go back completely normal, however, she will get used to it.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

nothing much happened this week, i'm just to tired to go on the computer after work. Danial started to go to Army Cadets. I wasn't too sure first, it's just not my thing. but I realised that he loves it, and even if it's not for me, I ought to give him the chance to check it out. Didn't know a lot about it, but from the first looks they offer a lot for children in a safe and structured environment, and I'm glad he is not 'hanging around' in the streets.

Did a lot of cross stitch this week - just because I can! No OU before December or so when I receive my new books, and the new course does not start before January 08, so plenty of time for cross stitch without feeling guilty. I worked on Spring Queen all this week, will show my progress tomorrow. Now though, I will do all my Christmas Exchanges, started a hanger today which I cannot show of course, as the intended recipient might read here.

And I started to go swimming again *sigh*, otherwise I'm just totally getting out of it and all that hard-last weight will just creep on again.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Lorentz, Iny ' Die Kastratin '

Thisa is a historical book, only the second one I read, and really enjoyed it. I have read it in German, and as far as I know, it has not been translated and published in English yet, but it's definitely one to look out for. There are more of her books on my German bookclub, and I will order one next time.
Even though the exact year is not mentioned, the story can be placed accurately because the heroine of the book, Giulia, gets to meet Galileo Galilei as a baby - so the story is set around 1564, in Italy. The title means 'The Eunuch'. It tells the story of Guilia, the daughter of a musician. her greatest wish is to sing in her father's choir. However, in Italy during the renaissance, it is a sin for women to sing in the church choir. But then one day the lead singer of the choir is unable to perform, and having an important performance ahead, her father dresses Guilia up as a boy and she sings - she is a very gifted singer. Quickly, one thing lets to another, and she is forced to travel the country as 'eunuch', dressed as a man and making a career as singer. But the 'angst' travels with her every single step, and she knows the price if ever discovered that she really is a girl would be very high - she would be burned as a sinner. And then she meets the love of her live.

Monday, 15 October 2007

I finished the rosebud heart from Elisa Tortonesi-Siess. It is done 'over one' , and I enjoyed it enourmously. Might try to make a pincushion, or put it into a small frame. it was done so quickly, and is just so stunning.

And here is the update on the cat picture - my rotation from last week. yes, I have picked up my rotatiib again. After hating the cat picture (because the black does not cover the fabric properly, it shines trough), I sort of made up my mind of just continuing with it anyway, and it seems to turn out ok. I'm well into my cross stitch at the mo, no more studying until January, plus my new lamp makes it such a pleasure

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Ruby at Ally Pally - can you see her bandaged finger?

I went to the Knitting and Stitching shown in Alexandra Palace on Friday. There are 2 major stitchting exhibitions (in and around London, anyway), in Olympia around March and this one in Alexandra Palace in October. The Olympia one is much smaller and focuses on cross stitch, papercraft and knitting. Alexandra Palace is - huge - , there were lots of textile arts exhibitions, lace making, everything to do with textiles really. Lots of cross stitch and knitting, all the 'usual suspects (exhibitors). I only ever went to the one in Olympia in March before, mainly because I safe up for it, and can't really safe for 2 shows a year *sigh*. Anyway, I decided to visit Alexandra Palace (or Ally Pally, as it's known) for the first time this year. I was not disappointed and will make it hopefulle a regular feature every year. I went with good resolutions of not spending any money, not a lot anyway, but it never happen's doesn't it.
So this is what I got, the new Jane Greenoff book (and she signed it for me), my usual Anchor colours (I buy a small amount every time I go to a show so eventually I got all colours, some evenweave (28 and 32 count), 2 Bang on the Door kits forRuby, a Eva Rosenstand kit of a tablerunner. and the usual small bits like needles (26er and 28er - I can't get those here in Hobbycraft. Oh, and a seat frame. Tried it out already, it works brilliantly, but only when stitching smaller things.

And this is my new pride and joy. I had decided already a while back that I will treat myself to a new lamp. Saved up for it, saw it in the fair reduced (but was too heavy to carry back on the train), went the next day to Hobbycraft - and it was reduced in Hobbycraft as well - hey presto, the lamp was mine. Stitching seems to be a whole new experience!

Nichol, John ' Stinger '

When a passenger plane is brought down by a Stinger missile over the east coast of America, RAF pilot Sean Riever is enrolled in a critical Special Forces mission. It is known that the terrorists responsible for the attack have an arsenal of Stingers hidden in the mountains of Afghanistan; these weapons must be recovered at all costs. Nonstop action and adventure in an unusual, harshly beautiful setting.
Another read for me from the Reader's Digest book, not my normal type of reading and I probably wouldn't buy it. Special Forces, terrorists, the 'Goodies' and 'Baddies' are clearly drawn. What I like is that one of the main characters, Amica, is female, Afghani and very feisty, not your usual impression of Afghani women. If you are into this sort of stories, you might enjoy it.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

It was my birthday last Monday, and here are some of the lovely things I received from my cross stitching friends. We didn't really do much on my birthday, the schock about Ruby's accident was still with us I suppose, and then my exam on Wednesday. We did go to an Indian restaurant though for a meal in the evening which so very delicious, it was the first time the children enjoyed Indian Food.
Danial is holding the present from Connie. A Fremme Kit, schocolade, bath salts
And this is the present from Barbara, beutifully wrapped.

Ray, Kitty ' A peculiar chemistry '

Ellis Jones is single, pregnant and in turmoil. Determined not to burden her young lover, Joe, with fatherhood, she leaves her city flat and moves into the Suffolk cotage she has inherited from her Great-Aunt Nell. it is the discovery of Nell's journal, and the love story described in its pages, that finally help Ellis to reach a key decision in her life. Past and present are deftly intertwined in this wonderful romance.
I particularly liked how the story of the two sisters, Nell and Violet, tells a wartime-story from the perspective a people living through it. No history lesson, but beautifully told.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Oh Boy, were shall I start, it has been a busy week.

Ruby managed to chop one of her fingers off!! She was at Casey's house, and Casey shut the door on her. Her finger was on the side where the metall hinges are. she came screaming down the road, I nearly collapsed! Once in,Nafees quickly told her to close her eyes and she calmed down. All I saw was finger hanging off, and I was frozen. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we first went to Darenth Hospital (very unfriendly!!) , and we were transfered to Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead which has a special plastic surgery unit and specialises in hand/finger plastic surgery. She's had surgery were they managed to sew it all back together again. She's been so brave, can't believe it. Now she seems to enjoy the bit of attention she's getting. I took her to Alexandra Palace (Knitting and Stitching Show) yesterday, and everyone asked what she's done with her big sling! I'll write more about the show later, maybe tomorrow.

We've got to go back to East Grinstead on 23.10. to remove the bandage and see how its all healed. My boss Tracey had given special leave this week (without even me asking), so that was second to none and I'm very very grateful. Ruby went back to school today for a few hours, and I hope to go back to work on Monday.

I also had my exam on Wednesday! at the end, I just wanted to have it over and done with, I knew as much as I would ever know. I did Questions 1 (crime), 8 (the realists) and 12 (shaming). I would guess that it is enough for a pass, but at what grade -- no idea. Have to wait for 14th December to get the results!

Ok, I'd like to show of my latest finishes. The 2 trees are from Fremme, one was done already and the other I stitched in hospital last week. The autumn leave heart is from Elisa Tortonesi-Siess and stitched with Tentakulum overdyed thread, it's such a pleasure to stitch. as you can see, I decided to take a break from my big projects to finish some smaller designs. the rosebud heard is also from Elisa and I;m doing it 'over 1' thread only - its the first time I'm stitching 'over one', enjoying it but it won't become a regular thing I guess. But it looks so fine!

Deaver, Jeffery ' The Devil's Teardrop '

Parker Kincaid has spent his life examining important documents, seeking clues to authenticity or authorship. But he has never faced a puzzle as daunting as the one the FBI presents him with on New Years Eve: an extortionist has sent a note to Washington's mayor, threatening hundreds of lives if $20 million is not paid to him by noon. The minutes tick away relentlessly in this superb cat-and-mouse thriller.

I love Jeffery Deaver's stuff. this book was read as part of a Readers Digest book, so again, I felt I missed out on the 'fine bits'. Great stuff, every police/thriller reader will enjoy this.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

I'm up to mm neck in revision - and procrastinating! Yesterday, Dan was on the laptop in my bedroom, Iwent upstairs and just sat on the bed to wait for him. Well, that was it, I fell asleep and next thing I know it's 5 in the morning and time to get up! I did some revision on the train though in the morning.

For those on the D315 course - this is what I am revising ( and sort of hope this is sufficient):

1. what is crime

2. media and stats

3. positivism / radical / realists

4. dynamics of shaming (Braithwaite/Katz etc).

Cross-stitch wise - I finished the Langenzenn sampler - it will take it's place next to the one from 2005 to remind me of the fab time.
I am halfway done on the Autumn Leaf freebie from Elisa Tortonesi-Siess. It's only small, and I should have finished it ages ago, but.... see above! It is fun to do. I feel a bit unsure about Elisa's designs, because she does not colour-code, so you have to / can chose your own colours, which doesn't always come very easy to me. However, I have used varigated thread (Tentakulum - German brand)


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