Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Time for a change ...

Got tired of the look of my blog so have changed it ... as you can see :) One day I may get my act together and get it designed properly!!

My parents are here!

Mum and dad arrived last week for their very first visit to Dubai :) So far we've been to at least four shopping malls (!!), done a Big Bus Tour around Dubai, visited the Dubai Museum and Al Karama Markets, and checked out all the supermarkets in the local area - lol! My dad loves supermarket shopping ... actually any kind of shopping!! He's one of those rare males that enjoys a good dose of retail therapy on a regular basis :)

We've crammed a lot into their first week (with a lot more to come!) so not a lot of stitching has been happening but I did manage to kit up Small Things during one shopping trip - lol! Not sure when I'll start this but I'm sure it will be soon! I also managed to put in a few stitches into Fire (yes, I gave in to my urge to start something new!!) over the last couple of days but nothing major.

We gave the kids the day off school today so we could get up early and drive to the Hatta Fort Hotel for breakfast :) It's about an hour's drive away heading towards the UAE/Oman border, and is a popular place on Fridays and public holidays for brunch. It was a bit chilly so we did a quick photo shoot after breakfast and then jumped back into the truck and headed home.
After an hour or so's pit stop at home in order to get ourselves tizzied up, we headed to the seafood restaurant at the Burj al Arab for lunch!!! (Mum and dad are treating themselves to a couple of nights there - only way we get to go in otherwise!)

Wow! Is that place spectacular or what!! Truly amazing :) Lunch was delicious - Ken and I shared a hot seafood platter between us and I reckon it would have feed all six of us! I'm glad I didn't have a starter :)

You enter the restaurant via a simulated submarine ride which was pretty cool. In the centre of the main dining area of the restaurant is a large ceiling to floor aquarium - every table has a view of it. There are smaller private rooms leading off this main area each with their own aquariums.

Yes, there is a diver in the tank :) He was in there cleaning the glass! I'm sure he's used to people waving to him and taking his photo but he was a very cool guy and happily posed for our photos as you can see :)

Tomorrow should be a quiet day! It's a public holiday for the Islamic New Year so Ken and the kids will be home (they are getting an extra extra long weekend!). Mum and dad are going to have a leisurely day wandering around the Burj and surrounding area and just generally relaxing as there are a couple of busy days coming up!

Thursday we will meet mum and dad for lunch and then bring them back home. We will probably have a couple of hours at home before we head off to the races at the Nad al Sheba Race Course. I'm not particularly into horse racing but mum and dad are (they are in a race horse syndicate) and with the Dubai International Racing Festival being on at the moment it should be a good night. Gambling is not allowed here but you still choose which horses you think will win and then you go into a draw to win prizes. It's a bit like a raffle except no money is exchanged :) Ken went to the Dubai World Cup last year and had a great time.

We had to pick up the tickets/badges for Thursday night's outing this afternoon from the race club and we had to give way to a few camel trains. There is also a camel race track nearby and we arrived at the end of a training session :)

Friday afternoon we are planning to go into the old Souk area and then jump on an abra (water taxi) and head across the creek to the Gold Souk!! All that gold hurts my head so I usually only last five minutes in there but even if you don't buy anything it's certainly worth going to see :)

Saturday the kids will have another day off school as we are going wadi bashing - lol! I bought Ken the UAE Off-Road Explorer book a week or so ago so he is keen to go on one of the trips :) We'll probably head to Al Ain which is up in the mountains and is a trip we can do in a day.

I think that will do for tonight - I'm going to see if I can put a few more stitches into something without nodding off :)

Before I go however I'd just like to thank those who leave me comments! I appreciate them all :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Stitching Plans

I was reading HAED Addict's blog earlier this evening and it made me think about what I want to accomplish stitching wise this year. In the past I've not been very successful at setting goals and sticking to them :) I've made lists at the start of the year, and every year at the end there are very few crossed off!! I've tried different forms of rotating and I start off full of enthusiasism with it but it usually doesn't take long for me to get bored with it :)

So, this year I've decided to do things a bit differently and not make a list :) Just go with the flow. Sure, I'd like to see some steady progress on some and maybe even get some things finished but I'm just not going to get myself in a pickle if these things don't happen. Stitching is supposed to be my stress relief therapy, not the cause of it!!

So, in honour of this new plan of attack (and to appease the uncontrollable urge I've had to start something new!) I've started a new project - lol! Fire ACEO by Sara Butcher in fact :)

I'm loving the different colours - they are not what I am used to stitching as I tend to go for designs with lots of blue and purple in them :) I'm thinking this will be a relatively quick stitch but then again I'm still only on the first page!

Writing about it has made me want to go and stitch so I'll finish up here for now and do exactly that!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

It's been a while!!

I don't know where the time has gone but I have been very slack with regards to my blog over the past few months! It might have had something to do with the fact that I joined the newly formed Parent's Association at the kids' school and was volunteered to be the Class Mum for my daughter's class and the Class Mum's Assistant for my son's class! That's what I get for lurking too long in the corridors at drop off and pick up times !

Of course I've also made a couple of friends and have found it is much nicer exploring a new city when you have company :) It also helps that a couple of these wonderful ladies know their way around and are great navigators - LOL. We found a terrific bead store one day - three floors of wall to wall beads. I kept going "Oh wow" every five minutes when I'd discover something new much to the amusement of my new friends :) There are treasures for crafters to be unearthed in this city - you just have to dig around a little to find them.

The lead up to Christmas was hectic - there were loads of activities happening at school plus we were heading back to Australia for Christmas and New Year so there was Christmas shopping to be done as well.

My stitching has suffered too with not a lot of progress being made on any of my WIPs and I am so far behind on Medieval Town Mandala!! I also failed to meet my goal of finishing Merrick by the end of the year too. Probably would have made it with flying colours had I not been distracted by other designs (namely Heaven & Earth Designs!). Oh well, there's always this year :)

My rotation has fallen in a heap as well but now that I'm back home I'm hoping to find the right balance of WIPs in a new rotation. Just haven't had much of a chance to sit down and work it out yet ... something to do with the piles of washing and ironing that suddenly appear after you've been on holidays!! Was the push I needed to finally organise a part-time maid this afternoon. I don't know why but I had been resisting the normal practice of having home help but I've had an upside slap to the head and have come to my senses. So, in theory, there should now be no excuse in me now not finding time to stitch.

Our trip back home was good - lots of socialising, eating and drinking ... too much eating and drinking really!! It was mine and DD's birthday while we were home and my mum organised a surprise lunch with a lot of family and friends I didn't expect to see - it was a real treat! Also managed to go stash shopping - mostly threads, a bit of fabric, lots of beads, some yarn to knit a poncho, and various other bits and pieces that I haven't seen here yet, oh and a portable Ott-Lite so now I can stitch finer stuff at night. I also raided my stash back home in Adelaide and bought loads of fabric back here with me plus my overdyed silks and more beads! I think I'm going to have to buy myself another cupboard to store it all :) I also had to borrow a suitcase from mum and dad - knew I should have bought an empty one out with me! They are coming out here for a visit in just over a week's time so no doubt they will need the extra suitcase to go back with after they've hit the sales here!

We also caught up with our best man from our wedding - I don't think I've seen him for about 10 years! He's a country boy so we flew him over to spend a few days with us in Adelaide. It was really nice catching up with him and I think he enjoyed his time in the city :) He had barely changed at all - maybe just a little greyer around the temples :)

Dubai has been very dusty and windy today so I haven't ventured very far outside the house - just the school run. I did plan to go to one of the shopping malls nearby but I only got as far as the exit out of our neighbourhood when I turned around and headed back home. The dust had made visibility rather poor on the roads so I figured whatever I needed could wait another day. I came home and in between bouts of ironing I stitched on my Snowflake QS - she has been seriously neglected in recent weeks. I will work on her for a few more days before posting an updated progress pic and then I will put her aside to catch up on MTM. I have a little of Part 2 to complete and then all of Parts 3 and 4. No doubt Part 5 will be out before I'm done with that lot!

Now to respond to some kind comments! Sorry it's been so long :)

Yes, Anne, online shopping is fun - haven't done much lately though - give me a few days to settle back into Dubai and I'm sure I'll be back in form - LOL!

Hi Sandra! Nice to meet you and thank you for your lovely comments :) Have you joined MTM yet? As you can see from my comments above I am very behind and poor Egyptian Garden hasn't seen a stitch in ages! I hope you've had better luck than me in catching up on your projects :)

I don't think I had a blog when I made my first comment on yours, Carol :) I finally received An Open Heart just before I left for holidays so I will be starting it and joining in on the SAL soon. Just need to decide on a fabric for it - don't have a shortage of that around here any more - LOL!

VirginiaNZ, has your niece lived in Dubai long? I have not come across her but then it depends what part of Dubai she lives - you are welcome to pass on my email address to her. I haven't come across many stitchers here yet - couple of quilters though :)

Hi Keryn, nice of you to say hello :) You'd love An Open Heart - it's a Drawn Thread design. I got mine from Wyndham Needleworks because I wanted a couple of Long Dog Samplers as well, but Karen from Dragonfly Dreams has it I think :)

Well, this has turned into a bit of a novel so I think I shall end the chapter here for now, go and make myself a cup of tea and settle into some more stitching for a couple of hours.

Till next time, Happy Stitching!