Friday, 23 September 2011

Autumnal update

Since my previous post, I haven’t managed to get quite as much stitching done as I feel I ought to have done, despite Rainy Day Crafter repeatedly threatening to crack the whip, so to speak. Considering I have a secret project that I had ideally wanted to complete a few months ago, it is rather ill-disciplined of me. However, I am pleased to report that I recently finished an impromptu blackwork project, which I intend to publish a blog post about sometime next week (after the recipient has received it). 

During recent weeks, I have been continuing to keep myself busy with my ITQ/ECDL course, and am due to sit the exam for the Presentations (Microsoft PowerPoint) module on Tuesday. Whilst I am confident that I will (I hope) pass, I have an overwhelming feeling that I will achieve a slightly lower result than the Databases (Microsoft Access) exam. Given the existing knowledge I have of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Access, I had honestly thought that I would find the Presentations module to be an absolute doddle, but this has turned out not to be the case. In my defence, I’m blaming my age and my hypothyroidism, which both contribute to my inability to retain information as well as I was previously able to. Lol.

Several weeks ago, I became aware that the nights were starting to draw in, followed by a noticeable chill in the air, making it feel very autumnal. Although I don’t dislike autumn, it would be fair to say that I always feel sad (and much more tired) when summer comes to an end.  I miss the sun not rising as early, and not setting quite as late. In addition, I miss the warmth generated by the sun during the summer months. For people like me, who feel the cold easily and find it difficult to warm up, the cooler months of the year are quite frankly, a major inconvenience. 

On a brighter note, me and my son were recently treated (by my parents) to a trip to Oakengates Theatre in Telford, to watch a performance of Time Gentlemen Please!  by The Demon Barber Roadshow. The performance cleverly combined hip hop with clog, sword, and Morris dancing. Although I wasn’t sure what to expect, I honestly didn’t believe that combining hip hop with traditional folk dancing could work together. Well, it proved to be one of the most enjoyable performances I’ve seen to date, and I would go as far as to say that I found it to be 100% awesome! The atmosphere inside the theatre was absolutely electric, with plenty of foot-tapping, clapping, and laughter. The souvenir programme states, Clog, Sword and Morris meet Beatboxing, Popping and Krump, in this humorous and unmissable visual feast. Think Riverdance with a false moustache and Stomp with bells on! 

Recently, I have been eyeing up festive-themed Blackwork charts, and have even purchased a few. Thanks to Aurelia at Eglantine Stitchery, I really seem to have developed an intense liking for Blackwork, and now feel it would be fair to say that I'm finding it to be more enjoyable than cross-stitching. To be honest, I hope my love of Blackwork doesn't completely take over, especially as I have unfinished cross-stitch projects, plus ones I've yet to start!

Last night, I treated myself to a collection of nine Blackwork Christmas motifs, designed by Tereena Clarke, and available to purchase and download (as a PDF file) from Artecy.  In addition, I also treated myself to a chart (also a PDF file) for a festive-looking Blackwork Robin, from NeedleworkTips and Techniques, by designer Carol Leather. There are some lovely Blackwork charts available (by PayPal) on this website, but there is one thing that really lets it down. Previously, when I’ve purchased charts via PayPal, I have been notified that I will be automatically redirected to the download page, or that I will be e-mailed with further instructions. However, after I had committed myself to purchasing the Blackwork Robin chart, it was not made clear that I was required to select the option to Return to Merchant, which is what I had omitted to do after purchasing the charts for the Blackwork Star, and Blackwork Bell. I have since contacted Carol Leather, who has kindly supplied me with links to download the two charts. Going by the e-mail I received, it would seem that PayPal is automatically meant to redirect customers to the download page, but has recently been failing to do so. 

Before I get started on stitching any festive Blackwork designs, I really need to stock up on bling (AKA) metallic threads), as my existing supply is somewhat limited colour-wise. When it comes to Christmas and colour themes, it has to be said that I’m traditional and predictable, and am drawn to red, gold and green. However, I feel I need to start experimenting with colours that are not necessarily to my liking. For example, I have a chart for a Blackwork bauble, and I’m thinking that in addition to red and gold, purple and silver would be an excellent combination, along with black and gold. If you can think of any other festive colour combinations (using metallic threads), please feel free to share them with me. 

Finally, I have some exciting news to share with you. Aurelia at EglantineStitchery is hosting a Christmas giveaway (her first), which includes a delightful array of stitching-related goodies. Entry for the Christmas giveaway ends on October 12th, and the winner will be chosen on October 13th. For further information about the goodies, and to read the Rules and Disclaimers, please click the image below.  Unsurprisingly, there has already been plenty of interest expressed.


Aurelia Eglantine said...

Thank you so much for your lovely kind words and for posting about my Giveaway :) I'm so very glad that I managed to "bring you over to the dark side" with blackwork, LOL, as it's wonderful to finally have a friend who shares my enthusiasm for it ;) The Morris-dancing-meets-hip-hop thing sounds like an absolute hoot LOL.

Your idea of experimenting with different Christmas colours is a great one, and something I'm thinking of doing myself, whenever my Stitchy Mojo decides to wander back :) I really love dark, royal blue with gold, and turquoise and silver makes some pretty snowflakes in my experience :) I can't wait to see what you come up with! You have a wonderful eye for colour combinations :)

Good Luck for your exam! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Not that you need it, you smarty pants ;)

CrazyStitcher said...

Aurelia - It was an absolute pleasure to post about your Christmas Giveaway. :-D

I too am glad that I you persuaded me(albeit very easily) to step over to the 'dark side', and I remain incredibly grateful to you for the help you provided me with during the early days.

Combining royal blue with gold is a colour combination that I'd not thought of, so thank you for mentioning it. That's definitely one colour combination that worth be well worth a try! In addition, thank you also for your suggestion of silver and turquoise. I just need to see if I can find a Blackwork chart for a snowflake... It's one of the few Christmas-themed items that I don't currently have a chart for.

Me, a 'smarty pants'? Oh, how I wish I was, but thanks for the ego boost. ;-)