04 March 2007

Hold on to your Stitching Frames Everybody......

I've actually done some cross stitch! *Silence whilst everyone steps back in amazement* Yes you can all have a couple of tablets and a lie down to get over the shock in a minute!

'Steady on', I hear you cry - 'this is a stitching blog - you can't have things like STITCHING on here - the very thought of it - I've a good mind to flag it as inappropriate!!' Yes I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to actually talk about stitching on here, but what with one thing or another (Mum being ill, work being a bit topsy-turvy what with getting used to a new boss, a Husband deciding whether he wants to be one or not, with some throwing people around on mats whilst wearing white pyjamas for good measure), my stitching year has got off to rather a bad start, until now.

I've been a busy bee this weekend, or you could say a busy dragonfly........

It's a 'Dragonfly Pin' Kit from Mill Hill that I'd bought from 'Sew and So' a couple of weeks before Christmas. I was going to make it up and give it as a present to one of my relations, but never got round to it. It was such an enjoyable kit to do - I got home from town yesterday at about 1.30pm and by 4pm, I'd finished it!. I haven't added the pin to it yet but I will get round to it. And yes, I've also stitched on 'Phoenix' this afternoon.....

It's not an awful lot, but it's a start! There are lots of half and quarter stitches, so it's something I'm having to concentrate on - no looking at DVDs whilst stitching with this one. I discovered that to my peril this afternoon - I only looked up at the TV once (mind you I was watching 'Van Helsing' - and Hugh Jackman is always worth a look *swoon*) - and before I knew it...'CROOOOAKK!'...I'd frogged two lines!! So with trusty unpicker in hand, and lots of swearing to boot, I had learnt my lesson well. But I know it will be all worth it in the end; I'm really pleased with how it's turning out. I've just got to persevere.

Oh well, back to work tomorrow morning (yack!) - doesn't the weekend go by fast when you're having fun. I hope you all had good weekends too. Watch this space, as I will be talking about stitching again later on in the week - Yes.....stitching!!

Lots of love to you all, my fellow stitchers xxx

01 March 2007

Woo-hoo, I'm a 7th Kyu!

Yes, me and my fellow 8th Kyu's (five of us in total) passed our Yellow Belt grading after a lot of nerves and intense practising. It definitely was a night to remember last night - I've never been so happy or so proud for a long time.

We were going to have an hour of normal training, then straight into grading for the next hour, but Sensei had a change of heart and said that instead we were going to have half an hour of practice, then straight into the gradings. At that point nearly all of my internal organs turned to mush - 'Oh no, half an hour?! That's not going to be nearly enough time to run through the moves!' But I needn't have worried - I got all the moves worked out in my head, remembering the little things, like 'Don't stomp, slide your feet', 'splay your hands' and 'arms slightly bent'. Then the moment of truth finally arrived.

Unfortunately, because we were lower down in the chain so to speak, being 8th Kyu, or White belts, we were up first. I look back now and feel greatly relieved about that, as I don't think my stomach could have taken an agonizing wait. I was worrying that I wouldn't be able to recognise the moves when they were called (they're all called in Japanese). We were called up into our lines, then in the blink of an eye, it was all over! We got a huge round of applause from our fellow 'Aikidoka' and as we sat back down we got patted on the back, with cries of 'well done' and 'you looked great' - I must have looked liked the 'Cheshire Cat' as I couldn't get rid of the cheesey grin that had now etched itself on my face! We then watched the gradings from 6th to 4th Kyu - and it made me realise that it doesn't stop at just getting a yellow belt. How my fellow classmates remembered what to do I'll never know - I thought what we had to do was difficult. But I realise that that is the challenge. Here is what I had to do for my grading:
  1. Migi Hammi no Kamae (basic stance, right posture)
  2. Hidari Hanmi no Kamae (basic stance, left posture)
  3. Seiza Ho (move into seated position)
  4. Shikko Ho (knee walking)
  5. Ukemi (falling)
  6. Tai no Henko Ichi (body change movement one)
  7. Tai no Henko Ni (body change movement two)
  8. Hiriki no Yosei Ichi ( elbow power movement one)
  9. Hiriki no Yosei Ni (elbow power movement two)
  10. Shumatsu Dosa Ichi (fixing movement one)
  11. Shumatsu Dosa Ni (fixing movement two)
  12. Katate Mochi Shihonage Ichi (one-handed grasp, four direction throw one)
  13. Katate Mochi Shionage Ni (one handed grasp, four direction throw two)
  14. Shomen Uchi Ikkajo Osae Ichi (front strike to head, first control, movement one)
  15. Shomen Uchi Ikkajo Osae Ni (front strike to head first control, movement two)
When the gradings were finished, we were called to line up in front of Sensei to receive feedback and to find out whether we had passed or not - and of course because we graded first, we were called up first. So there we were, all five of us in front of Sensei, not quite knowing what to expect, but what he said was unbelievable. Not only had we passed, but we were by far the best 7th Kyu grading in the Dojo's history - what an achievement. I still can't believe it! I'm still on a high - and yes I know this is a HUGE post, but I'm so happy! And P.S. there WILL be a STITCHING UPDATE ON PHOENIX THIS WEEKEND, promise! xxx