Tuesday, February 28, 2006
A Quiet Night
Sorry, not much of a posting tonight. Had a bad headache so did not feel much like stitching. I will post more tomorrow night.
posted by Karen's Blog @ 11:39 pm   2 comments
Monday, February 27, 2006
Almost done

Well, my first house in HOHRH is almost done. I should have house 1 (actually it is House #4 on the design) done tomorrow night and then I can take a break form it and get some more stitching done on Stargazer before the next Chatelaine passwords come in.

Today we lodged our application form with council and should hear if we have been sucessful in around a week's time. Again we were told that the only thing that may stop it being approved will be the design of the car space. The guy who Bren spoke to said if it was up to him he would approve the car park space but that it would be up to the Town Planner as technically there is no "turning circle" in the car space. It seems they are not too concerned with our business as it doesn't really require a lot of parking, but that if they were to approve it for us then it sets a precident on the property. So if we were to get the property and then leave in a couple of years, the next business wanting the property would not have to go through what we are because the re-zoning would have been done by us already. The concern is that another business may be bigger and require more spaces and there is nothing council could do to stop them moving into the property as the re-zoning would already be in place. Not sure if I have explained all this clearly but the main thing is we will know soon one way or the other. At this stage I am trying to think positively but I doubt we will get the approval as we have a rather unflexible council up here in the Mountains. If it is turned down we will see if we can have a meeting with the Town Planner and see if we can convince him to chance his mind.
posted by Karen's Blog @ 11:04 pm   6 comments
Sunday, February 26, 2006
A night of Frogging
Well, I got quite a bit of HOHRH done today but have spent a fair bit of time tonight unpicking a mistake. I was out by one row. Drats!!! I am back on track now and will post a progress photo tomorrow.

This morning Bren and I went to the Blackheath Floral and Craft Show. It was not as good as we had hoped but it was still a fun morning out. Hopefully next year there will be more needlework.

Here is Bren in the park where we had lunch.

posted by Karen's Blog @ 11:44 pm   3 comments
Saturday, February 25, 2006
A bit more on HOHRH
Well, once again the evening wasn't what I had planned. We had a late invitation from our friends up the road to drop by for dinner and drinks this evening. While Bren and I felt like settling in for a quiet night we are glad we went as we had a lovely night. No stitching done though so I have posted a photo of what I did yesterday. There will definetely be more done now that we have 2 days off.

For everyone who asked, we now look like we have found a way to only require 1 car spot at the cottage which means there should be enough room for a car to turn around. We have decided to put the council application in on Monday and take a chance. I will let you know when we have an answer in the coming weeks. Thanks so much for all the well wishes. I'm looking forward to not thinking about it for the next few weeks and letting life get back to normal for a bit.

Well, it's time for bed as I have had a couple of red wines and it's been a long day. I think I will be asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow:)

posted by Karen's Blog @ 11:29 pm   3 comments
Friday, February 24, 2006
Not much stiching today
Thanks to everyone for all their well wishes for our proposed shop move. Today went a bit better than yesterday. Today Bren got a really helpful guy at the council. Now we only need 2 car spaces (which are already there). The bad news is that the cars need to be able to have enough room to run around and drive out. Bren is going back to the council on Monday to see what size space the 2 car spaces actually need to be. If they insist on a bigger space we will have to let this cottage go and look for something else. So we may have to stay where we are for a while and keep an eye out for something suitable. So that's OK. Anyway, enough dwelling on negative things. After a bit of a trying week Bren took me out for an early dinner tonight so I only got a small amount of stitching done. I kept going on HOHRH. Not enough to take a photo so I will keep stitching tonight while we are watching a movie and post a progress photo tomorrow.

I am slowly looking at everyone's blogs and will have a heap of links up on my site, hopefully tomorrow. You are all stitching such beautiful things. I am so glad I took my friend Carol's advice and joined this Blogging community:)

I hope everyone has a great weekend.
posted by Karen's Blog @ 10:49 pm   6 comments
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Not a Great Day
Well today did not go the way I had hoped. I had to trade my day of stitching at home watching Phantom Of The Opera for a day of running around Real Estate Agents and Council. It all started when Bren went to the local Council chambers this morning to drop off our application form to have the zoning changed for the cottage we are hoping to move the Shop into. It is currently zoned for holiday leasing and we want it changed to commercial. We have done so much running around making sure we had dotted all the I's and crossed all the T's with aqll the application forms only to find out this morning that because of the square meterage of the house we need to provide 7-8 car spaces for customers instead of the 4 spaces that are on the property. We can't belive it. The crazy thing is that there is so much on street parking that no-one else visiting any of the galleries in the street ever use the car spaces provided. They just park in front and go in. Bren is going back in the morning to see if there is anything we can do. Because there was a lot of extra research to do today, with Bren in the shop I did all the running around. What a horrid day. Sorry to complain so much, it's just been such a disappointing day. Please keep your fingers crossed that we get some good news tomorrow.

To try and shake the blues off tonight I did a little stitching on HOHRH. I am so looking forward to finishing my first house square. Hopefully I will get there in the next couple of nights.

Thanks for letting me vent guys.

posted by Karen's Blog @ 10:38 pm   7 comments
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Reed's Stocking
Once again, not a lot of stitching done today as it was another busy day at work. I got a bit of progress done tonight on Reed's Stocking but I was a bit distracted by 2 of my favourite shows - House and Lost. Tommorrow is my day off so I plan to have a day of stitching. Glad to hear that a lot of you like Phantom Of The Opera (the movie) as much as I do. I also saw the stage production but I prefer the movie.
posted by Karen's Blog @ 9:52 pm   6 comments
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Stargazer Yet again
Well as it was a work day I didn't get a lot of stitching done. Tonight I worked a bit more on Stargazer. I know it doesn't look like much but I got a good section of her skirt done today.

I am looking forward to Thursday as Bren holds down the fort at the shop and I have the day off (tommorrow is his day off). On Thursday I will have the day at home stitching and watching the Phantom Of The Opera DVD that Carol sent me. It is one of my favourite movies. I adore Gerard Butler who plays the Phantom:)

Bren teaches Silver Clay classes and today gave me a lovely pendant. I just love it. It is made of pure silver and dichroic gass.

posted by Karen's Blog @ 11:22 pm   8 comments
Monday, February 20, 2006
SAL Start
Well today the weather was much cooler. Bren and I had the day off today and had a lazy day at home in the clouds. We live in the Upper Blue Mountains and some days the clouds are so low that you can barely see a metre in front of you. I love days like this at home:) I finally started on the Houses Of Hawk Run Hollow SAL. After more indecison than I have ever had on chosing a fabric I again changed my mind today and am stitching this on a 36ct Edinborough linen. This is not a great photo but I will try to do a better one next time.

A couple of ladies asked me why I didn't enjoy stitching An Open Heart. To be honest I really don't know why but I just found stitching it a chore. There were some rows that took me ages to work out how to do. For example there was a row of a sort of Rhodes stitch in the shape of a heart that nearly drove me around the twist.LOL. Having said all this I am so incredibly happy with the outcome. It really is beautiful and I can't wait for Bren to frame it for me. I am definetely happy that I stuck with it. Sounds like a lot of you are either almost finished it, just started it or are about to start and I can guarantee you will be pleased at the end results.

Stargazer on the other hand is a lot of fun to stitch. It is rare that after stitching for a day on something that I don't want to do something else the next day but with Stargazer I am having to force myself to put it down and not neglect my other stitching projects. Tomorrow will be back to stargazer though:)

posted by Karen's Blog @ 10:34 pm   8 comments
More progress on Stargazer
Once again today I'd like to thank eveyone so much for all their kind words. I was trying to reply to some individually today but I found I couldn't just reply to the emails as there were no actaul email addresses to reply to. Does that make sense? So my question for today is: Do I go into each person's Blog and respond in their comments section? Sorry to ask but I still have a lot to learn.

Today I spent the day stitching. I got some more done on Stargazer. She is really starting to look pretty. I am so glad I chose Sugar Maple's Snickerdoodles to stitch her on. I did also attempt to start my Houses Of Hawk Run Hollow which is the SAL I have joined but I had chosen 34ct Cafe Au Lait linen and found I couldn't decide whether to use 1 strand or 2. I tend to stitch 32ct and bigger with 2 strands and 36 and 40 with 1 strand but neither 1 or 2 looked quite right on the 34ct. 2 strands looked too think and the 1 strand didn't seem to have enough coverage. In the end, and with some much appreciated advice from Carol S, I have decided to use my other option which is an Ivory 40ct linen. I have also decided to stitch it in Needlepoint Silks rather than DMC that I was orginally going to use. I feel much better about my choices now so I will make a fresh start on HOHRH tomorrow. Hopefully tommorrow will be a little cooler here and not the scorching hot day it was today.

Well, it's past midnight so I am off to bed now.

posted by Karen's Blog @ 12:11 am   8 comments
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Thanks so much

Well, what a first day for my Blog. Now I need some advice here. I have received 20 messages from so many lovely people and I am not sure what the Blog ettiquette is. I was going to reply to each of the messages individually but as there are so many I thought I would just thank everyone here. If this is rude, please, please let me know. I was stunned to wake up today to so many warm welcomes and kind words. I was not surprised however to see my very special friend Carol was the first one to leave a message. So thank you all so much. I am still learning about this whole Blog thing so please bear with me as I learn as I go:) I did recognise a couple of people's names. One is Mel who is a fellow Aussie living in Dubai. Hi Mel. I hope all is well:) Another is Carina who visited the shop when she was in Australia last year. Carina, hopefully by the time you come back we will be in a lovely new shop. We hope to move into a lovely little cottage around the corner from where our current shop is. All going according to plan we will move in May. Fingers crossed that the local council approves our move. And finally, Katrina from New Zealand who I realised recently was also a friend of Carol's. What a small world we live in now thanks to the Internet. To everyone else, I look forward to getting to know you all and can't wait to see what everyone else is working on. I see everyone's Blog links are on Carol's site so I will be checking them all out and adding the links to my site (if that's ok?).

Ok, not a lot of stitching today but I want to share my Mother In Law's first finish for the year. Pictured above she stitched "Does My Bum Look Big In This?" I love this cute little hippo:)

Now as I mentioned yesterday one of my goals this year is to keep up with all SAL's and that includes the ones I started last year with Carol, so I got out Petal Fairy to finish. I thought I had done a lot more than I have with this but not to worry. It will go into my stitching rotation and I should get through it fairly quickly (I hope) . This is being stitched Silkweavers 32ct Summer Breeze Lugarna.

Last year Bren and I were in the States on a business/holiday and were lucky enough to have the day in Boston with Carol and Mike. Because of a tight schedule we were only able to have the one day but we had such a good time. Hopefully next trip we will be able to spend more time with them. Here is a photo Mike took of Carol, Brendon (my hubby) and I at a pub in Boston). Fortunately my hair is now longer and I have lost some weight since this photo but it is a nice memory I thought I would share. Carol, as always looks great:) When I reach my goal weight I will post another photo of Bren and I:)

Well tommorrow is my day off so I plan to stitch all day so hopefully I will have some good progress photos in tommorrow's posting.

Again, thanks so much for all the lovely comments:)

posted by Karen's Blog @ 7:40 pm   13 comments
Friday, February 17, 2006
My First Finish For 2006

Welcome to my new Blog. (Hi Carol:) ) Well I have finally got my act together and will try to Blog each day. My friend Carol Sutcliffe has inspired me to start a Blog. Hers is the best I've seen so hopefully I can try to make mine something interesting as well:) My name is Karen and I live in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia. I am married to Brendon and we have a Needlework store in Katoomba called Dragonfly Dreams. We moved up to the mountains about 18 months ago and can not imagine living anywhere else. We just love it.

Ok, onto my stitching. Above is An Open Heart that is my first finish for 2006. I am very proud of it as it feels like I have been stitching this forever. While I think it is stunning now it's finished. I did not enjoy stitching it. This is a SAL I was doing with Carol and Tannia. For the first time I have finally finished a SAL I have started with Carol. I am so glad I have not let her down for once:) One of my goals for 2006 is to keep up to date with my SAL's and Chatelaine projects.

The projects I am currently working on are:

1) Chatelaine - Medieval Town Mandala
2) Chatelaine - Mystery IX
3) Mirabilia - Stargazer
4) Long Dog - Bois De Luc
5) Shepherds Bush - Reeds Stocking
6) About to start a SAL with Carol - Houses Of Hawk Run Hollow

These are all my current works in progress. Following is a picture of my Stargazer progress. I am stitching her on 32ct Lugana in Snickerdoodles from Sugar Maple. I am really pleased with how she is looking on this fabric.

Well, it is getting late so it is time to turn in. I look forward to getting to know a lot more people through My Blog:)

posted by Karen's Blog @ 10:44 pm   25 comments
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