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Saturday, 31 March 2012

last 24 hours

Yes, it`s the last 24 hours before our flight and I have not just a couple of suitcases to pack, but all of a sudden a whole house, since I don`t want to leave my poor Hubby to do it all by himself, alone...:( Still, last night, before I fell asleep exhausted, I managed to finish another boy turtle (I`m told, tortoise), like Stripey, and I also made a pink girly one for a friend`s granddaughter.
And for another friend, who has a grandson, I made this wee rocket:

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Stripey, the turtle

I`m beginning to feel a bit guilty about all this knitting... Although I guess I could say - with a generous amount of liberal use of the word - that I`m still using stitches, I just don`t cross them at the moment :) Besides, I could have stopped ages ago; problem is, every time I knit something to take with us on Sunday (as a lot of my friends have children under the age of 5, so I thought fluffy toys would be ideal for not-arriving-empty-handed), but as soon as I finish one, Gregory claims them. Thus "Pandy" has already become a member of OUR household (which, by the way, is moving! I only found out yesterday that we got the house we picked, yay!), so anyway, I made this turtle last night:
Gregory just got up and he instantly declared that it`s his, and after some inner debate regarding names (a toss between Cottontail, Berryhead or Stripey), he decided to choose the latter, after instructing me to make another one for my best friend`s wee boy. So I know what I`ll be doing today: pack boxes for the removal men (the move might happen in my absence, so I want to leave everything in order - so strange to think that I might come back to a different home from Hungary!), and, of course, I`ll be knitting turtle #2 which, hopefully, will indeed end up in my suitcase: unless Stripey suddenly develops an overpowering need for a BFF...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Bear-knitting continued

After the Mr. Bean Teddy I embarked on something a little bit more ambitious: a giant panda! OK, he`s not that "giant", only about 23 cm (9") tall... but he`s sitting, isn`t he? I just finished sewing up (which, by the way, I hate doing, so it took me longer than the actual knitting) and we`re basking in the lovely sunshine at the moment.
My next project will be an ordinary teddy bear, following the panda`s pattern, only this time I`ll use brown wool instead of black and white. As soon as I`m finished, I`ll post a picture - until then, cheerio!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Mr. Bean`s Teddy

One of my son`s favourite sayings is, "Mummy, I know I`ve said this a thousand times but this time I mean it: if I ever say that I want to be something else, don`t believe me coz I only want to be one thing, and that`s a ...", and here he names the profession that happens to fascinate him that particular week. Thus he`s wanted to be a builder, a farmer, a fireman, a ship`s captain (NB not an ordinary sailor, oh no, not my executive Wee Man!) and numerous other things so far. However, I think that, apart from all these passing phases, he`s true calling and secret aspiration is to become Mr. Bean, or as close to being a Beanesque (?) funny man as possible. If you`re familiar with my previous posts, you might remember Bigyi, his favourite teddy, a rather weather-beaten Ikea bear that`s almost the same age as Gregory. I think my son`s been slightly traumatised this past week because according to a new ruling at the school, he can`t take his teddy in any more. Since he only started at this school at the beginning of the school year, he needed some moral support from Bigyi, which he sorely missed this week, especially that the two wee girls who became the closest to Gregory (as Bigyi`s two Mummies) dropped him like a hot potato as soon as their "baby" disappeared from the scene. So much so, that by Thursday Gregory developed a mysterious illness (mind you, this is not too hard these days when the weather`s warming up and all kinds of bugs spread, especially among the children), so anyway, his fever shot up to 38-something, but luckily he`s feeling much better now (actually, he started to feel better almost as soon as he found out he didn`t have to go to school...). Thus it took me a bit longer than expected to make this surprise for him for Easter (since he was constantly hovering) but I managed to finish it just now. I`ll quickly wrap it and put it in the suitcase, so I can take it to Hungary on Sunday, and give it to Gregory as an Easter prezzie - maybe with a wee note from Mr. Bean himself...?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Mousey

I can report (mind you, only report and not illustrate) that I finished both my Mum`s and my Gran`s little present for Mothers` Day, which I can take with me when Gregory and I fly to Hungary in a couple of weeks` time. And when the girls can open their prezzies on the first Sunday in May, then I can FINALLY post some pictures here... Well, a long way to wait until then but just so as not to leave y`all without a photo, here`s a wee mouse I knitted last night:
He`s a wee bit nose-heavy and I realised too late that white mice usually have red eyes, not black, plus I forgot to secure the whiskers so they`re just sitting there at the moment (until Gregory casually pulls them out) but, as far as prototypes go, I think it`s not too bad. By the way, this is one of the first tentative steps towards changing my profile a bit; a few weeks ago I posted my Woody-story to the cross stitch forum I`d joined on Facebook, and you wouldn`t believe the debate it sparked! Silly little me, I just wanted to brag a bit about my achievement, but a few members of the forum went into battle with all guns blazing about illegal pattern distribution and other nasty things. While I was gutted on the one hand, I also had to admit they were right, so I started to look more closely into copyright issues. Up to a couple of weeks ago, I thought that I can just stitch anything I like in my magazines and then sell the pictures in my Etsy shop; naturally, I was aware that the actual pattern in the magazine is the designer`s intellectual/artistic product but I thought the stitched, finished picture is MINE - however, now it turns out that that`s NOT the case: even though I created that work of art, sometimes with several months` worth of work, it`s still not my property and I can`t sell it, unless I ask the designer`s permission first (which, let`s face it, would be a bit cumbersome). So I decided to take every such picture off my Etsy shop (nobody`s interested in buying these big, and expensive, cross stitched pictures anyway), and from now on I`ll concentrate more on smaller items, such as keyrings, bookmarks, kids` toys, etc., that will be all designed by me. And the big patterns I still fancy from my magazines, I`ll stitch for myself. Now, I think my Mum wouldn`t try to read this far with her English (she`s following my blog but I think she`s just looking through the photos) so, without attaching any pictures, I can tell you that I made a new glasses case for her (also my own design), and for my Gran a bellpull with some alpine flowers on it - I hope they`ll like their prezzies! If I don`t write for a while now, it`s because I`m on holiday - oh, and the Celtic birds are still waiting to be finished!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Nana`s gift for Mothers` Day

Just a quick update on today`s update - since I`m feeling rather prolific! The shamrock is not a mere sheet of plastic canvas any more: it`s a necklace-with-medallion type of thing that my son will probably VERY categorically refuse to wear but I`m sick of making badges for him for every occasion. And (drum roll, please) I managed to finish Nana`s prezzie as well:
Actually, this wasn`t too big an achievement after all, considering how tiny the stitched motif is... to be quite honest, it was a bigger challenge to a) find a photo in which all three of us look more or less normal and b) try to squeeze said photo into this limited space. Oh, and in case you think the stitching is SOOO tiny you can`t even see it, here`s a close-up:

St Patrick`s Day

Now and again I seem to arrive at such a busy phase in my life that I almost hyperventilate with panic. Take this week, for example. I just put my Mum on a plane on Sunday (after spending her last day here frantically stitching my Granny`s birthday present!), but not before she dropped a bombshell on me: why don`t we spend the spring holiday in Hungary? So Gregory and I are leaving on 1 April - while my poor Hubby has to stay and work - for ten days in Budapest, including Easter, yay! ("Yay", except for the part where my Hubby`s not coming with us :((( ). Someone a bit less anal retentive than I am would probably not even blink if they were told that they`re travelling in less than 3 weeks; me, I`m blind with panic. I just spent the last two days booking tickets, confirming passport numbers, printing boarding passes, then sending e-mails to a number of friends to inform them re: arrival... and then the REAL panic hit: what prezzies to take, and what`s to be made for here before I go? Well, to keep them in chronological order: the first thing was an Irish shamrock for Gregory for St Patrick`s Day at the school on Friday:
It took me almost a day to get the chart right, I basically copied a tattoo on graph paper and I only realised when I started stitching that I had to put quite a lot of fractionals in it, which otherwise would not be a problem but this time I was working on plastic canvas so that I can turn the design into a badge... well, you see the result, my knotwork is a wee bit wonky at places but hey, at least it`s done, one box can be ticked. My next task will be to stitch something to go in the lovely little poppy-decorated frame that came as a freebie with one of my magazines a couple of weeks ago - this I`ll make for my mother-in-law for Sunday. And then I`ll have about two weeks to make something that I can take in my suitcase (as opposed to posting, cf. my earlier rantings) for my Mum and Gran for THEIR Mothers` Day present - for here`s an interesting (albeit useless) piece of information for you: in Hungary, Mothers` Day is the first Sunday in May, then the last one is Children`s Day, and the first Sunday in June is Teachers` Day - I think this latter is especially recommendable, although we don`t have Fathers` Day and that`s pretty shameful... On the other hand, we still celebrate International Women`s Day on 8 March when men give flowers to women and generally try to be a wee bit nicer, if only for a day... Och, well, that`s the way of the world but enough of this blah-blah, time to go back to my stitching!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Gran`s Book of Memories

This morning I realised in panic that a) my Mum is going back to Hungary tomorrow and b) that 10 April is my granny`s birthday. Now, if you`ve read my older posts, you know that I don`t exactly trust the Hungarian postal service (sorry, I know I shouldn`t generalise but they`ve lost so many of my painstakingly stitched prezzies over the years that I simply don`t send anything to my family any more, I rather wait until we meet in person either in Scotland or in Hungary). Anyhoo, I decided to make something for my gran and make it quickly too. I had this photo album with A5-size pockets (=ideal for not only photos but all kinds of scrapbook-material), and the blue and black leather binding I thought was rather lovely too, so I started to chart "Book of Memories" in Hungarian, plus a border, on some graph paper. And here is the result which, I`m happy to say, I just finished by 7 o`clock tonight:
I don`t know if you can see it in the photo but I used dark blue DMC Variegated thread:

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

We have made it through the Food Festival - actually, it was great fun and somewhat of a success, i.e. we hardly brought anything back home leftover-wise. The past few days I made a total of 6 more baby hats and this key-fob for my Mum... at her special request, may I add before you think there`s something wrong with me (there MIGHT be but that`s beside the point). So anyway, she wanted a cricket for reasons only known to herself, and after raking through about 200 of my magazines plus all the images I could find on the internet that I thought I could turn into a chart by using just a pencil and some graph paper (Ha! How naive I sometimes can be!), I finally settled on this one. If I`m honest, I think the eyes are rather horroristic but my Mum likes it and that`s the main thing!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Woody

I`m rushing to post this because it`s 11.55 p.m. and I want to be able to say: it took me ONLY 3 days to make this Woody doll for Gregory. Tomorrow (today?), anyway, so THURSDAY is World Book Day and the teachers asked the kids to come to school dressed as a character from their favourite book. At somewhat of a push, my son decided that Toy Story HAS BEEN published as a book so he`d dress up as a cowboy (with no actual resemblance to Woody). Last weekend I was browsing the Cross Stitch Forum page on Facebook and found this site recommended there with all these cartoon character patterns, so I made this doll for him to take along. My mum is arriving tomorrow... today... on Thursday from Hungary, among other things to help me prepare for the International Food Festival of St Monans - an annual event for which I should be, if not actually preparing anything yet, at least organise my thoughts, and what do I do? I spend 72 hours stitching like a madwoman, then sewing up, thus creating an even bigger mess with bits of thread and cotton all over the carpet... Tomorrow (now definitely today!) I`ll have 3 hours to clean and tidy up a bit before it`s time to go to the airport - but who cares? My Mummy`s coming, YAY!!!