25 May 2007

'Acorn' Finish and an Overdue Tidy Up

It's finally done......

I finished it on Sunday! Yay, yet another finish to add to the 2007 list - this is so unlike me!

I started to get together the bits and bobs I need for 'Le Coeur Chat' on Thursday evening, which then turned out to be a huge tidy up session. I keep everything in my spare room and I didn't realise just how untidy my stash drawers and boxes had become. There were chart leaflets all over the place and odd skeins of thread intermixed with scraps of leftover fabric. I even found three lots of 'Thread Heaven' that had never been used! Then I looked into my fabric/aida box and found that the lid had come off it - I looked inside.

Let's just say that a certain furry feline of the male persuasion, not too far away from me now as I type, had discovered this rather wonderful little sleeping nook. A 'carpet' of white/fudge speciality fibres had plonked itself all over my nicely folded pile of fabrics. Note to self: Put Lid Back on Fabric Box Properly in Future! Still, I could never be cross with him. It's not his fault that he has a numpty for an owner!

Anyway, to get to the point of my garbling, I'd completely forgotten about a stash box that I had started to put together, for a chart I was going to stitch around about this time last year by 'Just Nan' called 'Miss Kitty's Dragons', but due to obvious reasons, it got pushed underneath my work bench and was eventually forgotten about. Well I have decided that I'm going to stitch this instead of 'Le Coeur Chat'. It seems silly, being that I have the fabric, the charms and most of the threads bar three colours not to start it, so I'm going to have a crack at it over the weekend. Also we've got another Bank Holiday coming up on May 28th so I'll have an even longer weekend to stitch - Hurrah! :)

Have a good weekend my fellow stitchers :) xx

20 May 2007

New Charts and New Project

I hope this post finds you all well and in fine fettle. I've not been very well - I had a cold and sore throat for much of the week, but I'm feeling much better now. It was inevitable really - it's been a bit like the 'Marie Celeste' at work as many of my colleagues have been ill too, and from the sound of it, they've had it a lot worse than I have, so I'm thankful that it didn't totally floor me!

Yes, I've been buying again. I've discovered a brilliant little cross stitch site called Violarium. It's owned by a lovely lady called Leena and it's based in Finland. She specialises in French cross stitch kits and charts, and also supplies cross stitch magazines, books and fabric. I love French designs but for some reason (and it's maybe just me not having the 'knowledge' about where to buy) I can never find them in the UK. There are many charts from leading designers/design houses, such as Isabelle Vautier, Muriel Brunet, Long Dog Samplers, Savoir-Faire Vailly, Reflets de Soie and others. As you know, I'm cat mad and the charts I've bought are all about cats.

Here's the first one, a sweet little alphabet sampler by Isabelle Vautier, called 'Lettres a mon chat'

Here's a cute design from Savoir-Faire Vailly called 'Le Coeur Chat'

I'm so pleased with them. I'll be starting 'Le Coeur Chat' as side project two when I've finished my acorn, which I've nearly done. I've just got two more of the heart/flowers to do and I'm done!

I've lovingly put 'Phoenix' in my WIP box. I made a promise to it that I would tackle it again when I'm in a better frame of mind, but when that will be, I don't know. I feel like I've given up too easily, but I was finding it incredibly hard going. I suppose if I had more free time on my hands I would have been better able to fully concentrate on it. You really have to have your wits about you with so many fractional stitches - and there were loads on practically every line. Oh well, with the next design you could say I'm jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, but at least this design is made up of whole stitches.....drumroll please.......it's a HAED design, originally drawn by Stephanie Pui-Min Law, and it's called 'Cat Knot'

I'm really looking forward to starting it. I've started gridding my fabric and I've got all the threads. Watch this space for updates soon.

Well that's about it for now. I hope you've all had a good weekend so far and lots of love to you all, my fellow stitchers! xxx

17 May 2007

I've Been Tagged!

Yes, I've been tagged by the lovely Rowyn, so here's how to play:

  1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves
  2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules
  3. At the end of your post, you need to tag 8 people and post their names
  4. Don't forget to leave them a comment, tell them they're tagged and to read your blog.
Carto's 8 Amazing Facts/Random Things!

  1. As well as stitching, I also have a passion for glass painting and making cute stuff with polymer clay. I'll post some photies/examples of my work soon just to give you a flavour of what I do.
  2. I originally started out in the world of work as a fully-qualified Hairdresser. Then I discovered that it wasn't all glitz and glamour, plus the pay was rubbish so I decided to re-train as a Secretary instead.
  3. When I got married I didn't just have one priest at the ceremony, I had two! The first was my Parish Priest (I'm Roman Catholic by birth) and the second was my DH's Uncle, who is Vicar of St. Helen's Church in Darley Dale, Derbyshire.
  4. My ambition is to become a published writer. I'm not necessarily looking to be a best-selling novelist, as I would settle quite happily with just being published, but if mega-stardom came along I wouldn't grumble about it!
  5. I have a serious aversion to Wasps - I can't even stand the buzz sound they make when in flight. If one comes near me, I suddenly transform into an incredibly fast runner of marathon proportions!
  6. I'm currently learning Japanese, as I hoping to go to Japan in November with my Aikido dojo.
  7. In 1993 I was in the front row audience enjoying the comedian who had come to entertain us at the Royal Centre here in Nottingham, but not just any comedian....it was Billy Connolly! I was wearing a red shirt with Gargoyles printed in black and he had noticed it (it was very distinctive!). He then proceeded to pester me throughout the entire performance with shouts of "I want that shirt!" and "Pleeeese, pleeeeeese can I have your shirt?!" He had a big bowl of sweets and he kept on trying to bribe me! He was a real sweetie though and remains one of my favourite comedians.
  8. My nickname, as you all probably know is 'Carto', but I can now reveal here exclusively that my name is Heidi Cartwright - now you know why I'm called 'Carto'!
I am going to tag Lili, Stitcherw, Bliss, Ali B, Ann, CritterLady, Lelia and Heidi.

I've bought (yet again) some more lovely charts, which I will show you in my next post, which will hopefully be on Saturday - watch this space! Lots of love to you my fellow stitchers! xxx

14 May 2007

Another Month Flys By....

I can't quite believe just how quickly this year seems to be passing by. It only seems like I was putting the Xmas decs away last week!

Yet again, I've been a very busy bee. I went to a two-day Aikido Seminar towards the end of April that took place at the dojo that I go to here in Nottingham. The instructor was Joe Thambu Sensei, who is of Malaysian descent but lives in Melbourne, Australia. All I can say is...what a guy! He's just over 5'ft tall and weights 58kgs, but here he was, flooring guys who were 6'ft6 weighing 18stone!! It was an awesome event and I learnt oodles and oodles of stuff. I'll post some photos of me in action when I get them, but when exactly that will be I don't know.

I've also been catching up with friends, who I've been neglecting terribly over the last 5 months. One of them thought I'd stopped talking to her - I felt absolutely horrible about that, so I've been putting things right. I've been so wrapped up in my little universe that is Aikido and Badminton, I've lost track of the 'real world. I also have a hang up about going out on my own. Since my marriage breakdown, I've found it really difficult to get back out there and show the world that I'm still here. It seems strange to go out on my own knowing that I've been part of a partnership for so long. It's silly to be like that I know, I'm a grown woman for goodness sake, but I've got a real 'issue' about going out to crowded pubs and bars. I'm finding I like nothing better than to stay in with Fudge on my lap on a Saturday night than going out, dragging myself through the crowds of people and getting smoked to death in crowded bars. If a friend invites me out to dinner in a restaurant, that's different. Hmm...I hope I get over this thing.

I've nearly finished my acorn....

I've only got one leaf to do near the top right of the design and a few of the flowers to stitch, but I reckon I should have it done by the end of this week. I've really enjoyed stiching this design - I shall have to check out 'Cross-Eyed Cricket' again. I've not been so enthusiastic about finishing 'Phoenix' though - I wish I was. It's a design requiring a lot of concentration and my head always seems to feel fuzzy when I look at it - maybe it because I'm thinking of all them fractional stitces that I still have to do! My Sister suggested I started something else, but I don't want to keep doing that - I'll have to look at my WIPs and see if any of them tempt me...hmmm what to do?!

Anyway I've prattled on long enough. I missed you all so much and I shall be commenting on your blogs after I've finished this. Lots of love to you my stitching friends! xxx