Monday, 22 February 2010

Knight panel finally finished!

Yesterday evening I finally finished the back stitching on the knight panel of FT:

Fantasy Triptych (c) Teresa Wentzler

I love the way the image 'pops' after the bs is done. This seems to have been a goal for months and months, but I've not really been in the mood for TW. Or maybe it's the unwieldy wide frame which has been putting me off! I put a couple of lengths into the maiden panel tonight. I do have itchy fingers for a new start though. I have a Michael Powell kit (which I bought of Michael in person at Harrogate 2 years ago), a Maria Scharrenburg fairy (night) and a cute classic Pooh (Pooh and Eeyore) which I'm trying to chose between.... I'm not feeling drawn to my other WIPs at all.

It was ww again tonight and I lost another 2.5 lbs, a total of 13 lbs so far. I'm losing weight a little more radpidly than is recommended, but am eating all of my daily points over the course of a week (I tend to save a few and have some treats on the weekend). Hmmm. I suspect this week might change the rate of weight loss though... it's my mum's birthday at the weekend and me, mum and Michelle are having a girlie day shopping (with a light lunch out) then in the evening we are going to an Italian restaurant. We've chosen one that's WW friendly - Michelle is at goal weight, and mum has just joined as well (we are a great support network!!). BUT... I've just been asked to take our guest speaker out for a curry tomorrow night. One day of splurging I can manage. Pretty easily. But two??? And one is a curry... nightmare. I need to make sure I go swimming several times this week, otherwise I'll suffer my first gain.

Thanks for all the words of encouragement about my weight loss - it's going so well so far, and I really appreciate the kind comments you all make. My back is all good again thankfully - taking it easy on Saturday really paid off.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

A Welsh Happy Dance

I didn't do any stitching last night - when I was taking out the wheelie bin in the dark I slipped on some ice - didn't actually fall over but I jarred my back. Again. I've only just been signed off by the physio from the last time I did it.... Anyway last night I struggled to get comfortable, and I decided against driving to Sheffield for a day lace making - this seems to have worked as it's much, MUCH better now...

Anyway this afternoon we watched Transformers - revenge of the fallen.... not as fun as the first film (but we did find out, via IMDB, that the man who voices Optimum Prime is also the voice of Eeyore). Anyway, I took the time to get some stitching done, and finished Laugharne Castle:

Laugharne Castle Blackwork, (c) Home Handicrafts

This stitched up very quickly, and I really enjoyed it. I'm pondering back stitching the knight panel on FT, picking up Wild Thyme Fairy or maybe starting something new... choices, choices

Friday, 19 February 2010

Coming along nicely

I've been working on Laugharne castle whenever I've had chance this week, and it's coming along nicely. I took this photo this morning. For some reason it was very dark, so I adjusted it in photoshop. It's still very dark though. I should finish this tonight:

Laugharne Castle, (c) Home Handicrafts

If I do finish it I'll take a photo when it is bright outside!! I'm looking forward to tomorrow, it's a Sheffield Lace Makers working day. I haven't made any lace for ages...

Monday, 15 February 2010

Laugharne Castle

Yesterday I started a blackwork of Laugharne Castle (pronounced Larne). I've done all of the gold and thick backstitch, now I just need to work on the finer outlining and the fill patterns on the castle itself:

It's by Home handicrafts, a small local company based in Tenby in South Wales. I lived in Carmarthen for a year, and Home Handicrafts was my favourite LNS while I was there (and Tenby is still one of my favourite places - we used to stay there for some summer holidays as a famjily when I was growing up, so I have many fond memories of the town, spread throughout my life). I moved away from Carmarthen in 2003, and since then the owner of home handicrafts retired, but one of his employees took on the shop - albeit in a smaller premesis. Since downsizing it's lost some of its charm (it's also much tidier now), but I love the set of Blackworks they sell. I stitched Carew Cross many years ago, while on holiday as a teenager:

I also have a Welsh dragon and Manorbier Castle in my stash. Manorbier has special memories for me too - not only as a holiday destination, and later somewhere I took students to on a field trip, but also because it was used in the BBC's adaptation of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - where the children first met Aslan. I really want a few more of these, especially St Govan's chapel - hopefully the shop will still be there when we next go to Wales!

I went to WW tonight, another 2.5 lbs off - that's 10.5 so far. I've just tried on a smaller pair of jeans from my wardrobe, and they fit, but are perhaps a little snug for lounging on the sofa stitching... but they are so close to being ultra-comfy it's very exciting!

Dani asked where I was ging in the US - nowhere in the North sadly! We are flying to Vegas, and driving to Albuquerque (for my conference) but it will be a roundabout trip - we are taking in the Grand Canyon, Mountain Valley, the Mesa Verde and Santa Fe on the way!!! Only 6 weeks to wait now... I just need to get a few more hotels booked and the car hire sorted and we are all set!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've not had much time to blog this week, mostly because in a fit of madness I decided to stitch this for Eddy's Valentine's card:

Peacock Heart, Freebie by Trillium
I have to thank Lindsay for putting up the link to this. Of course I saw the chart on Tuesday... which gave me just 3 nights to stitch it before Eddy came home for the weekend. On Thursday night I took it over to Louise's with me, and it wasn't looking very likely that I'd get it done, especially as some pesky frogs came and paid me a visit, but I stayed up til nearly midnight, and put in the last couple of lengths over breakfast on Friday morning! I was delighted to find the perfect card in the little stationery shop in Pudsey... and he wasn't sure what I was doing when I banned him from the study while compiling the card Saturday evening.

We had a very relaxed Valentine's - last night we had a curry takeaway (Eddy's choice). I was very good at picking low points options - smoked haddock baked in spices to start, and a vegetable curry (Aloo gobi), but still had the necessary pilau rice (plain just doesn't do it) and naan bread - sharing both with Eddy, and a lovely cold beer. I'd even saved up a few WW points, and just need to save anther 2.5 today... which is going well so far! We watched A LOT of TV - Igor (amusing animation, love the idea of a country populated by evil geniuses) the final of 'so you think you can dance' and the Star Trek. Today was a rugby day, and we booked a few hotels for our upcoming trip to the US... plenty more to sort, but we are getting there.

Last week I did actually finish Postman Pat:

I changed some of the shading on his hands and face, as they looked odd before. Hopefully I can give this to Leanne in a fortnight.

WW went well last week. I weighed in a day late (off excavating on Monday, lots of activity, but as it was for work I didn't count the extra points). I lost another 2 lbs, taking my total to 8. In 3 weeks!! Woohoo!! Not sure how I'll have done this week - excavating meant I ate a little more than I should on Monday, and then a day in Cambridge for a meeting on Wednesday and a Valentine's curry yesterday has made sticking to my points tricky this week. I over-ate a little on 3 days, but compensated and saved points on the other days. But I only went swimming once. We'll see. Tomorrow in fact!

Today I started another new start, this time a Blackwork of Laugharne Castle, but I'll share that in a later post.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Knight progress

This week I've really focused on the knight panel of FT. I've now finished all of the cross stitch, back stitch and over one stitching:

Fantasy Triptych, (c) Teresa Wentzler

The bs looks tricky - I'm struggling to work out what colour goes where, so I've switched to Postman Pat for a little light relief. Last night I finished his head and hair:

Postman Pat, designed by me!

I've just got his hat to finish and then the personalisation. Hopefully he'll be finished by the end of the weekend, it would be nice to get another project ticked off the list - this is the last of my obligation stitching!

WW went well last week, another 2.5 lbs off. That's 6 in 2 weeks. Not bad given I had a leaving do with curry to negotiate. This week I am accruing saved points - I'm just not very hungry, and at work not having time to eat much. I enjoyed a dairy milk on Tuesday (and still saved points). Today I have lots of points left too (plus I earnt some by going swimming -making use of the expensive grym membership!) - which is good as I really fancy pizza! So tomorrow we are enjoying a Domino's... while still on plan. I'm quite impressed. This diet seems so much less faddy than anything else I've ever done before. We'll see if I stick to it though...

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

February goals

At the start of January I was very engrossed with Pommegramates and Pears, hoping to make great progress, but also to actually pick something else up (which took up goals 1-3). I did start P&P (goal 1), make good progress (goal 2) and I did work on somehting else (goal 3)... I also finished it!

My other goals were:
4) finish the knight panel on FT - not quite. I did all of the cross stitch, but none of the half stitch, over 1 or back stitch
5) stitch an ornie - yes, a sticking by Blackbird designs
6) make significant progress on Postman Pat - yes, getting close to finishing him now
7) stitch on another WIP, if I find the time - no. I didn't find time, but more importantly didn't have the inclination!

So, what do I want to achieve in February?
1) Finish Knight panel of FT
2) start the maiden panel on FT
3) finish Postman Pat sampler
4) stitch an ornie
5) work on a different WIP
6) make some lace (not done any for AGES!!)