Friday, June 30, 2006

Around The World In 30 Days - Day 5 - London

Another beautiful day and after a lazy morning we decided to take a stroll through St James' Park to Buckingham Palace.

We then had a bite to eat and then took the tube to London Bridge and the London Dungeons.  Interesting show (Ken and I thought it a bit camp) but the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves and that's the important thing :)

Tomorrow is our last day and we think we might expose ourselves to a bit of culture and visit the National Gallery or V&A Museum :)

Around The World In 30 Days - Day 4 - London

I forgot to mention in the last couple of posts that the weather did indeed fine up and has in fact been lovely and sunny.  We only have a couple more days here so I hope it continues :)
Today we explored the Tower of London and afterwards went up on the Tower Bridge.  It was a great day and after picking up some laundry we stopped in at a nice little Italian cafe/restaurant for dinner before heading back to our hotel.
We have done A LOT of walking (and don't my feet tell me at the end of each day!!) but as Ken keeps telling Liam, not only is it great exercise, it is the only way to explore :)

Around The World In 30 Days - Day 3 - London

Today we had hoped to catch a matinee session of The Lion King but unfortunately there were only standing room or restricted viewing tickets so we decided to give it a miss.

Instead we decided to go to Harrods and have a browse. I had planned to buy a Harrods bag for my WIPs but ended up not doing so. I did buy some books though :)

In the afternoon we took in the London Eye. Given that I'm not a big fan of heights I actually enjoyed it :) Spectacular views!

Tomorrow it's the Tower of London and possibly Tower Bridge!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Around The World In 30 Days - Day 2 - London

Today we did a bit of exploring on foot and on the tube. Saw the changing of the Household Cavalry at Whitehall, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square (the column is undergoing renovation however so we didn't get to see it), Parliament House and the Jewel Tower in Westminster.

After a bite of lunch we jumped on the tube and headed to Madame Tussaud's and spent the afternoon with famous people :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Around The World In 30 Days - Day 1 - London

Well we arrived in a rather cool and slightly damp London mid afternoon on Monday. A bit of a contrast to the weather we've been experiencing in Dubai of late!! I had packed light but thankfully I'd thrown a jumper in for each of the kids and a jacket for myself. Ken had a light jumper and some long-sleeved t-shirts but I am thinking he wishes he had bought a warmer jacket :) There are some sales on so we might be checking them out at some stage :)

The flight over was good and we all actually managed to get some sleep, and I also got a load of stitching in on St Georges, although I miscounted an area so had to frog some of it out - it's all fixed now though. Will try to remember to take a pic later and upload it. I really wanted to work on Snowflake on the flight over but she just took up too much room in my carry on luggage so she had to get packed into the suitcase.

After a minor hiccup with our rooms at our hotel (which was sorted out without raised tempers thankfully) we checked in and got unpacked. We did a little exploration around the hotel ... the kids wanted to check out the pool (thank goodness it is indoors and heated!!) then we went for a little walk around the area to check out restaurants for dinner later that evening. We were meeting Ken's sister and her husband for dinner - they were in London for the evening before catching their flight on Tuesday to meet up with the Trans-Siberian Railway (they are avid travellers!).

We found a nice little Italian restaurant a nice walking distance away so after meeting up with SIL and BIL we wandered down there and had a very pleasant evening. Yummy food and great company :) The kids fell asleep at the table about halfway through dinner though - poor little munchkins - so we didn't linger too long. Walked back to our hotel, said goodbye to our guests and then we all trundled off to bed :)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Not long now ...

and we'll be on the plane to London!  The one thing I dislike about travelling though is the packing!  Ugh!  No matter how many times I've flown I still struggle with getting the right mix in the suitcase.  I hope I've got it right this time?!  I think I've packed and unpacked at least three times before finally zipping up the cases - lol.  Anyway, I think I'm done and if I've forgotten anything well we'll just have to buy it along the way!
I've decided to leave Verdure behind and just take Snowflake and St Georges.  I really don't know how much time I will get to stitch so it's better not to weigh myself down with too many projects.  Besides if I get bored with either of them I am sure I will find something along the way .... :)
Okay, time for me to turn off this machine and pack it away.  I have to be up at 5-5.30am tomorrow so it's also about time I hit the hay ... zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

QS Snowflake, St Georges etc :)

This is my progress over the last couple of days since I picked her up again :) I almost have a nose and mouth!

My progress before this current bout of stitching on her :)

I will be working on her for a few more days (when I can!) for the HAED BB Fairy Day SAL. She will also be accompanying me on our summer holiday along with Verdure and St Georges :)

Monday morning we head off on our around the world in 30 days trip - lol! First stop is London, then New York, Los Angeles, Sydney (I'm going to visit Karen!), Adelaide, Perth, Hong Kong and then finally back here!! Phew! I am glad that we will have another month to recuperate before the children start back at school in September! Tikki is being entrusted to some friends who will look after her while we are away. I will miss her but she will be well looked after and a month won't take long to pass!! Not with all that we will be doing anyway!

I will have my camera and laptop with me so as and when I get access (and time!) to a decent internet connection I will post updates.

Before I head off to put a few more stitches into Snowflake, here is the progress pic of St Georges I tried to upload in my last post ...

The edge is straight - I just took a wonky photo :)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Why I wouldn't make a good navigator!!

I have a pair of these cute little embroidered "Aladdin" shoes on display in my entrance way. My mum bought herself a pair when she was here in January to display on her hall table when she got back home. Of course this has generated interest from a couple of family members so mum emailed me a request to get some more to bring home with me when we visit in July, plus a full sized pair for one of my uncles.

Now, you are probably wondering what this has to do with navigating, right? Read on!

On Saturday I decided that I had better drive in to Bur Dubai to get these shoes since we fly out on our trip next week. Saturday is usually quieter on the roads here as it is still the weekend for a fair part of the expat population. I have probably done this trip two or three times now on my own - it's not very difficult and I have the directions written down in my trusty little notebook that is always in my bag. I dropped the kids off at school, came home, walked the dog, showered, dressed and was on the road by about 9.30am. Figured it would take me about half an hour to get into the city and find a park, 15 minutes to find the stall, buy what I needed, get back to the car and be on my way home. I had hoped to be back home by about 10.45am even a little earlier. Maybe get a couple of hours stitching in before doing the afternoon school run?!

Anyway, I'm tootling along the five laned racetrack freeway listening to my favourite CD and feeling alright with the world. The traffic was reasonable and whilst there were a couple of maniac drivers on the road they were well away from me and things were hunky dory. As I got closer to my destination I made sure I was in the correct lane so I could make the appropriate left hand turn when it came up. This is when things started to go a little pear-shaped - lol! I knew I was getting close to where I had to make my turn but the road started to look a little unfamiliar (there had been some roadworks and there were some signs that weren't there last time) - I checked my notebook to reassure myself - it said to keep left so I told myself I was okay and kept going. If I went right then I was going to end up near Wafi Mall where I buy my DMC threads and that's not where I wanted to be.

After going under one too many underpasses and seeing signs for one of the bridges that crosses the Creek I finally realised that I may have missed my turn! It turns out that I was heading to Sharjah which is the next emirate over! Definitely not where I wanted to go! Okay, I say, no problems, just take the next u-turn or exit and head back the right way! Hah! Easier said than done! There are no u-turns or exits in the direction I need to go (that I was familiar with anyway)! Thankfully, Sharjah is only a 35-45 minute drive and I had a full tank of petrol because that is where I ended up before finally seeing a sign to a road I knew which would take me in the direction I wanted to go. I eventually got back on track, got to the souk and bought the shoes (pic of my haul below). It just took twice as long!! I worked out where and why I went wrong on my second time around though so I didn't make the same mistake twice. With the roadworks they'd changed the last two left hand lanes of the racetrack freeway to go straight ahead so now I have to veer a little to the right before I make my left hand turn. If I stick to the middle lane next time I should be okay. This is why I would not make a good navigator. I am not good with directions and I cringe when anyone asks me how to get somewhere. I am very clearly geographically challenged!!

Now on to stitching stuff :) I managed to ignore Shimmer's pleas and continued working on Verdure. I did not achieve a lot of progress but it is progress nonetheless :)

I also put in a few stitches on The Dreaming. This WIP resides by my computer so whenever I am browsing blogs or the HAED BB I try to put in a couple of stitches on this piece.

I have also made some progress on my Long Dog Sampler, St Georges. It will be my travel piece whilst we are travelling over the first half of summer. I also keep it in my rather large shoulder bag just in case I find myself with a few minutes to spare while out and about :)

Last but not least, I picked up my Snowflake QS! The HAED BB is having a Fairy Day SAL and she will be my project for that as well as Wednesday's QS SAL :) The pic shows my progress before picking her up this week.

Well, Blogger Photos is being its usual pain in the butt self and not letting me upload the last two photos so I will add them later. I'm off to have a drink!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Verdure Update

Finished column 3 sometime around midnight last night :) I am not sure whether I will continue on with column 4 tonight or perhaps pick up an older WIP. Shimmer has been persistently whispering in my ear the past couple of nights so I think I might spend some time with her to quieten her down! She doesn't look it but it seems she's the jealous type - lol!

Next up, thank you for all the lovely comments - I do so appreciate them :)

Kim, I haven't bought anything from the sale yet either :) I do like some of the new Linda Ravenscroft's and a couple of the new Molly Harrison's but I think I might wait and see what else is released before I decide what or even if I buy :)

For those of you who don't know Heaven & Earth Designs are having a 25% off sale at the moment - they've also released a heap of new charts!!

Nicki, I was glad to have enabled - lol!

Carol, thank you *blush* but you should see some of the work from the other talented ladies over at the HAED BB! They are very inspiring and I am still so very new to HAED stitching :)

Leonie, I started off stitching Snowflake in 10 stitch wide columns but then started wandering because I wanted to get to her eyes! Which then lead me to miscounting somewhere and having to frog a section! I've tried stitching by page but again I think the wandering gets me into trouble so I thought I'd go back to the 10 stitch columns again and resist the urge to wander - lol! So far I've managed to restrict my wandering to within that 10 stitch wide column and have only had one visit from the frog I think so far :) Ummmm, and as to how many HAED WIPs I have at the moment ... I think about seven ... gulp!

Nicole, I start from the top of the column, pick a colour and work all the stitches with that one colour within the 10 stitch wide column to the bottom of the page. I then go back to the top and choose the next colour etc and repeat the process until all the column is stitched. It depends on how many colours changes are in that particular column as to whether I change thread more frequently. HAED charts can have anywhere from 25 (for the "black and white" ones) to over 120 colours in them so you can imagine there would be quite a lot detail stitching! Some ladies (and men!) work row by row within the column and park their threads. I sort of do that but usually at the end of the column (as you can see in the pic). I will carry over threads to the next page rather than end them off.

Oh, and my new camera is a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H5 - 7.2 Mega pixels, 12x Optical zoom plus a load of other technical stuff - lol! My old one was a Sony Cyber-shot too but it only had a 3x optical zoom which is not much chop if you are at the back of the hall at assembly and your child is way up the front - lol! My new one is bulkier than my old one too - doesn't really fit in my handbag any more but it came with it's own carry case so it's no bother really. It has a heap of extra modes for taking photos too - like the "burst" (I think it's called the sequence mode on some cameras) and sports action modes and of course the macro mode. It even has a mode for taking photos of beach scenes!

I love it but the dog still hates it - lol!

End of school year madness is starting to hit us big time and things are starting to get busy. I somehow have to start packing for our summer holiday over the next 13 days too. I think it's list time - lol!!

Happy stitching!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

My newest WIP revealed :)

Original artwork by Linda Ravenscroft and charted by Michele Sayetta of Heaven & Earth Designs
Stitched 1 over 1 full cross using DMC floss on 27 count antique white Linda evenweave

I started her on 3rd June but have kept her quiet so Fudgey could use what I'd done so far for the Mystery WIP Pic on the Heaven & Earth BB :) Nicki from NZ very cleverly guessed it so now I can reveal :) I am working in 10 x 10 columns down each page and I think this is the way for me to stitch HAED charts without having to grid :) I'm extremely impatient you see :)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Personality Cocktail and other ramblings :)

Taken from Fudgey's blog :)

How to make a Mel

5 parts intelligence

3 parts crazyiness

5 parts beauty
Add to a cocktail shaker and mix vigorously. Serve with a slice of fitness and a pinch of salt. Yum!


Personality cocktail

How to make a Melissa

1 part pride

3 parts crazyiness

1 part instinct
Stir together in a glass tumbler with a salted rim. Add a little caring if desired!


Personality cocktail

Hmmm, I notice craziness features prominently using either name - lol!

Busy day today so I haven't done a lot of stitching - put a few stitches into The Dreaming while uploading some photos to my Webshots album late this afternoon and that's about it. Tomorrow I need to catch up on laundry so hopefully I'll get a bit done in between loads. I need to squeeze some grocery shopping in there somewhere too as the cupboards are bare :) Mmmm, might put a load of laundry on tonight so it's ready to hang out when I get up in the morning, put another load on, do a grocery run after I've dropped the kids at school, come home, walk the dog and continue with laundry and stitch. Sounds like a plan ... wonder if it will work out that way!??

Oh, and I almost forgot! I FINALLY got around to watching Serenity last week, can you believe it?!! After all the fuss I made about tracking down the DVD and I don't watch it until last week *sigh*! Anyway, I loved it but it did leave me wanting more!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I've been tagged!

Came across this on Barbara's blog and considered myself tagged :) I've never done one of these before but this looked like it could be interesting :)

5 items in my fridge:

Arnott's Mint Slices (a slice of home - I prefer Tim Tams but DH and the kids love these)
Kiwi fruit
Low fat milk
Beer (Amstel Light)

5 items in my closet:

Several pairs of 3/4 pants (I live in these teamed with a shirt or t-shirt!)
Two or three nice skirts that I hardly ever wear
Strappy high-heeled sandals (worn very rarely)
My aircraft cabin bag
Part of my stash collection because I didn't have any room left in my purpose bought cupboard downstairs!

5 items in my handbag/purse/tote:

Mobile phone
Notebook and pen
Pashmina (the a/c in the shopping centres, restaurants etc is freezing this time of year!)
Liam's sunglasses
An origami crane made by Liam at school yesterday :)

5 items in my car:

CDs (which are pretty useless right now as the CD player in my car doesn't work!)
Mobile phone charger
Fire extinguisher
Dubai street directory (which rates up there with the CD player!)

5 people to tag:

I'm going along with Barbara's idea ... if you've read this then consider yourself tagged :)

I have a new toy :)

We went shopping last weekend to buy some prints to hang on our walls. We ended up with three plus I also bought myself a new camera - lol! My old one was starting to go a bit funny and I always seemed to have to recharge it more than usual (I suspect the battery pack is on its way out). Anyway, for quite some time now I have wanted one with a better zoom and one of those "burst" modes. You know, where you hold your finger down on the shutter button and the camera takes five shots in a row. Great for action photos of the kids :) Well, now I have one :) It has a 12x digital zoom, 7.2 megapixels, the "burst" mode that I wanted and the macro mode for close ups which is great for taking pics of my stitching plus a heap of other stuff :) We are off on holidays at the end of this month so I'm looking forward to giving it a good workout!

I took some pictures of the kids having a bit of fun with water the same day I bought the camera. Well, I had to make sure it worked - lol! I love the look of the water in this picture ... poor Caitlin though - lol!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I've been quiet!

Some friends would say that is most unlike me - lol!

Liam wasn't feeling so good (sore throat, blocked up nose) on Sunday when he woke so after dropping Caitlin at school I took him over to see the doctor. Diagnosis ... follicular tonsilitis. He's now on a course of antibiotics to clear the infection, decongestant tablets to help with the nose plus nose drops and Betadine gargle for the throat. It's been a very expensive few days as Ken had x-rays and a MRI on his neck to find the source of his constant neck pain. It turns out he has degenerative changes in two of his discs. We are still waiting on the results from the MRI. Caitlin had a visit with an orthodontist yesterday and it appears she needs a "tongue fence". I may get a second opinion on this though as I am not sure it is completely necessary.

Anyway, I have done very little stitching nor have I been online much - been playing a lot of Sims 2 though!! I don't foresee a lot of stitching getting done over the weekend either but we you never know! If I don't plan on getting any done then I may just be pleasantly surprised. Of course I've now gone and jinxed it - lol!!

Better get some sleep - I need to be up reasonably early to take Liam back to the doctor for a follow-up appointment.