Sunday, 19 November 2017

Projects aplenty

Hi all, I hope you're well. I've been having a strong week this week. I'm enjoying work again and really feel like I'm making a difference. It's the best feeling to feel so content. I've been really into my stitching lately, even browsing the Sew and So website in my lunch break to seek out new projects! I had a lovely time going through my stash earlier this week and surprise surprise, I've got a lot more fabric than I thought I did :)

I've got a finish to share with you first. I'm lucky enough to have a subscription to CrossStitcher magazine and I'm trying to complete each of the cover kits in the same month as the magazine. So here is the card cover kit, Driving Home for Christmas, from the November issue all finished up . . .



This was a nice quick stitch actually, but I really like the effect, especially with the card board button. I've got some one in mind to send it too, alongside a festive parcel of goodies. I found another kit that I had misplaced in my stash for a pin cushion design. I think I'm going to get this one finished before the end of the year too, so I'm all up to date with my cover kits. 



I'm afraid I've made no progress on Cook's Notes lately. The back stitched letters are charted in such a way that I keep having to split aida blocks and really concentrate on it, so it's not one I can just pick up to do a few stitches in to unwind after work. I think it might become my weekend project, and during the week I will work on my latest new start, Love Cats by Brittercup Designs . . .


As I said, I went stash diving this week and unearthed so many lovely threads and fabrics that I haven't had a chance to use. I think I'm definitely to be able to stitch from stash for most of 2018! I'm using a mixture of beautiful variegated threads for this design and I think the finished look will be excellent. It's just whole stitches and a bit of back stitch, so I don't think it will take me that long to get it finished up. Then it will be on to the next project!

Are you doing much festive stitching? I'm thinking of whipping up a few cards with some of my scrappy pieces and odd and ends of threads. It's amazing what you can create with off cuts. Do you save your leftover threads from kits to make cards? It's a habit I got into when I didn't have much of a budget for stitching :)

I hope you're all enjoying a wonderful weekend. We had friends over for dinner last night and today we're off out with Lawrence's family to enjoy a Sunday lunch. I'm sure there will be stitching time this evening, after the baking and the laundry first!

Best wishes,

Bekca
xxx

Sunday, 12 November 2017

First finish for awhile

I'm determined to be more consistent with my stitchy posts, even if it's just for me as a way to document my progress with all my projects. I've certainly made good progress recently, as I've got a finish to share! Yes, Sewing Machine is all finished up . . .



I did originally start this piece in mind of keeping it for me and using it to decorate my stitching corner, but I think it would actually be better suited to my mum. She loves quilting and purple is her favourite colour, which really pops in the little flowers. I keep sending my finished pieces to my mum and now she's got quite the collection on the wall - I hope she's not sick of them yet!!

I did get a new cover kit with the latest issue of CrossStitcher and I've made an excellent start on that. It's an ouch weekend for me at the moment, which means painkillers, hot water bottle and plenty of stitching time. I actually think I'll get this one finished in the next couple of days and I've already got someone in mind to send it off to. 


I've started having thoughts about my stitching plans for next year. I think I'm going to do one big stash shop at the start of the year (hopefully with vouchers that I've asked for for Christmas) and then try to use what I've got for the rest of the year. We're currently trying to save up for a house and a big holiday, so I need to save all the pennies I can.

Lastly, in health news, I've finally got a date and I will be having surgery this year. I'm nervous, of course, but I know it's for the best and will hopefully provide some relief from my endo pains. Recovery time means stitching time, so I'm going to kit up some projects whilst I'm feeling well so I can pick them up after surgery. 

I hope you're enjoying a lovely weekend. I'm off out for coffee with a friend in a bit, then Lawrence and I will be cooking a Sunday Roast for dinner tonight - can't wait!

Best wishes to all,

Bekca
xxx

Thursday, 2 November 2017

November already!

Goodness me! Where does the time go? I've been meaning to take stitchy progress photos for the last couple of weeks and never quite getting round to it until today. As always, there has been a fair amount going on.

I didn't take to my new job well at all. The office was slow, poorly managed and the work was not as rewarding as I hoped. I was going into work each day feeling useless and out of place and it was really starting to get me down. Luckily, I was able to organise a transfer back to my District Nurses team, so I can safely return to my old job on Monday! I'm so pleased I've managed to erase my mistake by stepping back into my old role. It's only a temporary solution, but I'm far happier already.

Still no surgery date, so it's the same old story with my endo flare ups, my good days and my bad days. I now have two water bottles - one for home and one for work, both are extremely necessary! 

I haven't been the best with blogging, but I have been getting my stitches in. I was very kindly gifted with a subscription to CrossStitcher magazine for my birthday and as soon as the first one arrived through the door, I got started on the free kit. I've just got to add the french knot eyes to Scandi Santa and then onto the finishing.



I think it's a neat little decoration idea. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to keep him for my tree or give him another home. I guess it depends on how neat my finishing is!!

I've also been working on my two WIPs, which are coming along nicely. I think I will get Sewing Machine finished this month, as soon as I get my hands on the last thread I need. I thought I ordered everything I needed to complete it, but I seem to be one thread colour missing. A quick trip to my LNS will soon sort that out. So here is Sewing Machine . . .



And here is Cook's Measurements . . .



The next CrossStitcher mag is due in the next week or so, so I'll have another cute kit to work on, I'm sure. I don't think I'll be doing much festive stitching this year, maybe a card or two. I better get cracking!

Best wishes,

Bekca
xxx



Monday, 11 September 2017

Walking the Long Path

Hello all, I'm back again with all kinds of updates to share. There's been so much going on lately, it's hard to judge where to start!

I finished with the District Nurses on Friday, where I was gifted with an enormous bunch of flowers and a lovely card. I was sad to leave the team, but they're actually all being disbanded in a huge company reshuffle, so it wouldn't have been the same anyways. I started with the Community Discharge team today, and I think my first day went well. They seem like a very nice group of people and the work is slightly more challenging (which is a good thing!) and it's close to Lawrence's work, so some days, we can walk to and from work together :) I think I'm going to be perfectly happy with my new team.

I had my consultant appointment at the hospital last week and I will be having surgery for my endometriosis. I thought this was likely, and I'm glad in a way, because although operations are scary (and this will be my first), it should reduce my overall pain. I'm still waiting on a phone call to confirm dates, but fingers crossed it will be in the next couple of months. I know I'm at the start of a very long path, but I'm not walking it alone. The surgery I'm penciled in for has a two week recovery time, so if my upper body is up to it, that's plenty of uninterrupted stitching time! 

Talking of stitching, I've made progress on one of my projects, and not put a stitch in the other since my last post. I think I'll have to change that soon. Anyways, here's where I'm up to on Sewing Machine:


I absolutely love the colours in this design and I'm really enjoying every stitch. I love Cook's Measurements too, so I really should be showing it some love! Here's a picture just for the sake of it :)


My 123stitch order arrived last week, so I've got all of the threads now to finish both of these pieces. There's no stopping my needle now! 
I hope you're all well and keeping safe from the horrendous hurricanes. My thoughts are with you all, I can't imagine how scary it must be. 
Best wishes,

Bekca
xxx



Monday, 4 September 2017

One Finish, Two Starts

I've been having a bit of a tough time of late with endo, but the silver lining is it means more stitching time! I had a mammoth session last week and managed to finish Cocktails:


I'm going to tuck this away with the companion piece, Teacups, and keep an eye out for suitable frames in the charity shops. Then when we move, I can get them both framed up and on display in my kitchen. 

I couldn't wait to start another project, so much so that I ended up starting two! These pieces are both from the same magazine, CrossStitcher Issue 321. The first one is this gorgeous Sewing Machine project, but I'm just stitching the main top half. Here's where I'm up to so far:


And the other piece further along in the mag is called Cook's Notes. I'm going to have a kitchen covered in cross stitch by the time I'm finished! Here's my progress on that one:


I'm quite enjoying having a couple of projects on the go, I haven't done that in so long. I'm thinking I would like to start another large design again, maybe something like Farmhouse, but I haven't seen one yet that I'd be willing to spend months and months stitching on! 
I haven't got all the thread colours for my two latest starts, but my 123stitch order should be arriving this week. I'm so excited! I've got heaps of stickers coming my way for my latest scrap book idea, as well as plenty of threads and maybe a sneaky chart or two that jumped in the basket as well. 

It's my last full week with the District Nurses this week, then I start my new job on Monday. September is a busy month for me, I hope you've all got wonderful plans for the start of Autumn too.

Best wishes,

Bekca
xxx






Friday, 25 August 2017

At last, some stitching!

Thank you for bearing with me as I caught up with my own time line in the last couple of posts. It looks like I'll be writing a bit more about my travelling adventures, thank you so much for your kind comments about it.

But now I've finally got the post you (and I!) have been waiting for - a stitching update! I haven't got much I'm afraid, because I've only recently got back into stitching. But I do have a finish and a WIP to share.

First up is "A Nice Cup of Tea" which was featured in Issue 275 of CrossStitcher. I had just started it on this previous blog post, but I was finding the fabric frustrating, so when I picked it up again, I restarted the design on aida and sailed through it. I really loved completing each section, I think that's a trait of many of the designs I choose to stitch. I'm hoping to get this one framed soon.


When I was browsing through my collection of magazines, I found a companion piece to "A Nice Cup of Tea" and couldn't wait to stitch it. This is "Cocktail Hour", my current WIP, which is so close to being finished. 
Only two more drinks to stitch, and the second header piece and it will be done. I think it would be great to get matching frames for these two and then have them hanging side by side in my kitchen. 

I've so enjoyed catching up with my blog reading. I must admit, I haven't read every single post since I've been away, but I have read a couple of months back. I've found a couple of new blogs to follow, but I'm always on the look out for more, so feel free to leave your blog link in the comments and I'll be sure to check it out :)

I hope the next time I post, I'll be able to share a finish of "Cocktail Hour" and maybe a preview of what I'm hoping to stitch up next. 

Best wishes,

Bekca
xxx

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Endometriosis and Me

I've shared a lot on this blog. I've done posts on holidays, family losses, weddings, graduation and everything in between. So it would be remiss of me not to mention a key part of my life at the moment and one of the reasons that's led me back to cross stitching.


One of my bunches of beautiful Get Well Soon Flowers - I love lilies!

I started getting pains in my hips and tummy in June 2017. In the following few weeks, I went to the nurse and then I went to the doctor and then I had one evening where I was in too much pain to walk. The next day, I had an urgent visit to the GP and left in an ambulance to go to the hospital. I have never been more frightened, I didn't know what they were going to find. After hours in the hospital, many tests and a scan, a consultant came to speak to me. She thought I had endometriosis. She told me to keep a pain diary, keep up with my medication and she'll see me in a couple of months time. 

My necessities during a flare up

I'm sure many of you know about endometriosis and may even unfortunately suffer from it yourself. For those unsure, let me tell you, it's hideous. It's not just period pain, like some naive doctors would have you believe. The endometrial tissues grows outside of where it's supposed to which causes very intense pain around your pelvic area and stomach. You get cramps, headaches, tummy ache, dizziness, drowsiness and you want to cry all the time. This happens for a whole week out of every month. Endo can also effect fertility rates and can have an impact on other organs.

As much as I try to stay positive, having investigations for this lifelong condition really threw me and I'm still struggling with it now. One thing that's really helped me on my bad days is cross stitching. Although I have to keep the lower half of my body still, I'm free to use my hands and arms as I please, so I can at least cross stitch! I'm working more on aida than ever before, because my concentration suffers as a side effect from taking medication. Still, it means I can stitch for longer because I'm not squinting at linen!It's incredibly relaxing, as it always has been for me, but now it has an additional benefit. I'm normally so active and busy that I hate being made to stay still by the pain. It makes me feel a bit useless and a burden. But at least with my cross stitch, I feel like I'm doing something productive and I've got something to show for my days on the sofa. I can't just laze about, feeling sorry for myself, not when there are stitches to be crossed! It's really helping to calm me during this uncertain point in my life. 

I hope I haven't overshared in this post, but I thought it was important to be open and honest about what's going on in my life lately. I know cross stitching has been healing for so many people, so I'm hoping it will have the same magic effect on me :)

Best wishes,

Bekca
xxx