Turkish Un-delight…

Screen shot 2014-06-30 at 7.08.13 PMI had a total X@#?*&!! moment this evening.

We’re on the road south, and in our motel room this evening, I logged into WordPress to read the latest posts and look at the comments.

And my blog was in freakin’ Turkish. I am not joking. The Husband checked. He got Turkish too. Not the bits I typed in, or the photo captions, but all the admin stuff, the dates, the Like and Comment buttons. Everything in Turkish. Yes, I’m sure it was Turkish, I know what the language looks like… And it wasn’t just the bits you see, but all the dashboard stuff too. Very scary, particularly given the impossibility of speaking to a human being at WordPress Central….

I went to my default solution. Logoff, quit, shut down, restart, log on again. And it was back to English. My pulse has finally settled down, but it was a bad 20 minutes.

Anyone else out there having a spot of Turkish Un-delight this evening….?

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Stitch Along: Wedding Sampler

This is my first Stitch Along post ever, so I hope I have the etiquette right….

A while ago I realised I was simply ignoring my Wedding Sampler, a piece of embroidery I’d started with the aim of having it ready for our wedding anniversary 3 months ago. Quilting has proved to be simply too interesting and productive as an alternative, and the poor thing has been sitting beside my seat on the sofa all that time, untouched.

Until, that is, I realised that two people I already follow were in a Stitch Along, for the express purpose of mutual encouragement to actually finish embroidery projects. I asked if I might join in, the ladies graciously agreed, and here I am.

Screen shot 2014-04-21 at 1.17.00 PMThis is before I recommenced work. It’s been like that for months.

Screen shot 2014-06-27 at 7.44.41 PMThis is since I joined the SAL. It’s definitely progress, even if it’s not that impressive. The amount of empty space in this design is actually a disadvantage, since it increases greatly the amount of counting you have to do to ensure the next stitch is in more or less the right place. There’s nothing like a deadline to make you get cracking…. That, and taking a conscious break from other all-consuming projects, of course. There’s probably another 3 or so SAL posts for this one, and then I have the next embroidery project lined up, involving doing a lot of single colour infill. Hurray for no counting!

Today, I’m linking up with:

Avis:  http://sewingbesidethesea.wordpress.com

Gun:  http://rutigt.wordpress.com

Claire:  http://claire93.wordpress.com

and Jule:  http://fromtheboudoir.wordpress.com

Do hop over and see what they’re working on.

A hazard to sitting

Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 4.49.19 PMWhen I emigrated to Australia 1o years ago, I left behind me the vast majority of my worldly possessions.

I reasoned that it would cost more to ship my furniture, bookshelves, fridge and washing machine than it would to buy new ones here, more suited to the climate and my living conditions. I was right, but it was a spartan beginning. I had 5 cubic metres of stuff. Most of it books, pictures, lamps, household linen, rugs, mirrors, china and glass; all the things that makes a place yours. I brought exactly two pieces of furniture, one easy chair and one Regency mahogany swivel top card table that had belonged to my mother and without which I wasn’t going anywhere. I’d done my homework on that table, eaten off that table, played games on that table. It was coming too.

The result was the Shopping Trip of All Time, when I finally moved into the house I bought the day after I arrived, and subsequently spent 6 weeks renovating. A bed, chests of drawers, tables, chairs, pots, pans. The whole kit and caboodle. But the best buy of the lot was my sofa. It’s handsome, comfortable, sturdy, elegant, has washable covers, and best of all, it came flat packed. Yes, my friends, it came from Ikea. Anyone turning up their nose and making disparaging remarks at this point may go and play quietly in the corner.  It has done sterling service, and continues to do so. But it tempts me to bad habits.

Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 4.49.57 PMWhich brings me to the title of this post. Bear with me, this really is going somewhere. I’m doing a lot of hand sewing at the moment. “No, really?” you cry. That will be quite enough sarcasm, thank you…. I have to change thread colour on a reasonably regular basis, and am surrounded by the tools of my activity: small scissors, papers, fabric, two reels of thread, needle threader, two needles, etc. On two separate occasions in the last week, I have lost a needle in the sofa, due mainly to my bad habit of parking them in the arm of the sofa whilst not in use. And I rediscovered them later. Painfully. In the part of me that does the sitting. Hence the title…

Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 4.50.10 PMI have a pincushion, but it it’s not very exciting. It’s also a bit barrel shaped and rolls about annoyingly. It was time for a more satisfactory solution. One of my many scrap boxes produced the materials, I took a break from embroidery, and suddenly the needles are coralled, my hinder end is safe and I can once again hurl myself into the depth of my lovely sofa with a peaceful mind.

Back to the embroidery hoop, then.

The Gardens of Chiconia 18

Screen shot 2014-06-25 at 10.27.42 PMMy seed potatoes are here!

They went into their spud bags this morning, nestling in a rich dark bed of garden soil liberally laced with compost and blood & bone, watered in with worm tea. As soon as the first shoots are a hand’s length high, I’ll be burying them under consecutive layers of compost and sugar cane mulch until the level reaches the top of the bag. That way, the plants will develop the largest possible root system, and hopefully a generous quantity of potatoes.

Screen shot 2014-06-25 at 10.28.32 PMScreen shot 2014-06-25 at 10.28.01 PMAnd my zucchini obligingly produced a female flower bud or two, so in addition to all that futile male floral flamboyance, there will be some zucchini to enjoy. Look at the wee thing. It’s just the tiniest bit rude, isn’t it? Baby green beans are also making an appearance, the first of many, I hope.

Screen shot 2014-06-25 at 10.29.10 PMI’m eyeing the Chinese cabbage hungrily. It doesn’t know it’s doomed to be a nice stir fry one of these days, along with the rapidly maturing bok choi…

No sign of germination yet from the very elderly pumpkin, bean and melon seeds I stuck in pots on a gamble. I suspect they were a bit past it. They get another few days and then I put something else in there.

I must get some seeds going to stick in the gaps when I harvest some of this green loveliness….

Steampunk Wheel XI: time for a breather

Screen shot 2014-06-25 at 10.26.50 PMI have perhaps been spending a little too much time with this quilt… But I’m loving every minute of it!

So now that it’s complete out to Ring 3, I’m going to put it aside for a while. A couple of days, at least. Probably….

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Detail of the silver bling

I need to do some work on my Wedding Sampler, which has been sitting neglected while I raced through Happiness, Broken Bottles and the start of Amistad. It’s not a big piece, but there’s a lot of counting and rather small stitches, so I need to devote proper attention to it. Plus I’m now in a Stitch Along with three other stitching ladies, so there’s some small but good pressure to actually make progress! I’ll be reserving my tah-dah! photos for the link up day on 29 June.

And after 6 June, I should be in possession of Mrs R’s blocks for Amistad, so I’ll be doing some work on that too. Time to broaden my focus again; too much time doing micro stitches on small pieces of fabric under strong light gives you a sore back and a short fuse!

More soon.

The Gardens of Chiconia 17: winter flowers

I’m not talking about the big, flamboyant stuff that flourishes in my tropical garden.

I’m talking about flowers that mean FOOD!Screen shot 2014-06-24 at 3.17.14 PMScreen shot 2014-06-24 at 3.18.03 PMScreen shot 2014-06-24 at 3.17.46 PMScreen shot 2014-06-24 at 3.17.27 PM

Screen shot 2014-06-24 at 3.18.42 PMOh, there are other flowers too, most notably on things that are not normally known for their flowers…. I’m waiting to see what this is going to do next. I’ve never seen one flower before.

Screen shot 2014-06-24 at 3.18.54 PMAnd the sun is doing a great job of cranking out the rays that are feeding watts into our new solar power system.

Screen shot 2014-06-24 at 3.18.26 PM

Just LOOK at the colour of those new leaves

The avocado tree has replaced almost its entire canopy (rather a grand term for such a little tree), and has almost doubled the size of it at the same time. The lychee is putting on a massive burst of new growth.  I’m quietly hoping either or both of them may show willing with the odd flower or fruit in spring.

Right, outdoor interlude over. Back to the kitchen.

Steampunk Wheel XI: good to go

I took the day off yesterday and devoted myself to having fun, mostly involving the new scooter, sunshine, open roads and a really fabulous teahouse in the country. So today I was back and ready to get cracking with Wheel XI.

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 4.44.22 PM

Detail, Wheel XI. Copyright 2014 Jule Bandholz. Do not pin, copy or otherwise reproduce this image or the original without the permission of the owner.

This photo is a close up of Jule’s version of Wheel XI. That’s 222 pieces. Not one but two rows of the stars I wrestled with. I found it hard to work on all the dark colours in Wheel VIII in artificial light, so I thought for this one I’d give my eyes a rest and work in lighter colours…

This time, it’s going to be silver, pewter, black and verdigris. But mostly silver. I’ll also remind myself not to panic when the stars look awful before the final point goes on.

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 4.43.01 PM

Unfortunately, my cranky insides disagreed about how the day should be spent, so I don’t have a great deal of progress to report. I have sorted and cut a load more papers for the central star and Rings 1-5 and I have cut fabrics for the star and rings 1-4. Everything is bagged and ready for me to get out my needle and thread this evening.

At least I can do some hand work this evening…