Monday, July 29, 2013

Birds SAL Part 5 Progress

I am a bit late for my usual Friday update...but here is my progress.  I started Part 5 this week and last time I had finally completed all of the birds.

And yesterday I finally got in a small stitching session and was able to finish the first "bracelet" like I had hoped for.

Stitching this part has been slow going since lately when my daughter is taking her nap I decide to try to get a little sleep in too instead of stitching!  I am not sure how far I will get this week but the next part comes out August 10th so the clock is ticking...Anyways Happy Stitching Everyone!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Birds SAL Part 4 Done!

Well I got to stitch a bit more than I thought I would this week and I not only finished one of the birds like the goal I set but I finished all of them!!

Here is where I started out last week...

And here is where I am now!

I finally decided to turn the design the right way to take photos since I have so much more of the design completed now.  I am hoping that by next week's progress update I will have at least one of the "bracelet" pieces finished but we shall see :)

I also received some stitchy mail this week.  I ordered a ton of floss to get started on my first ever Heaven and Earth Design Mom and Baby Turtle and a few other designs for World of Charity Stitching.  Here is all of the beautiful floss...

And I also purchased some fabric from Hand Dyed Fabrics from Stephanie so that I can start one the Norway cross stitch on my yearly goals list.  Here is my new fabric!

It is so beautiful!  I picked this Enchanted color because it has both blue and green colors which I thought would look great with the blue ocean and green land part of the design here.  I was also pleasantly surprised when I found out that Stephanie is a Michigan based business so I am supporting someone from my home state.  

I can't wait to finish up Birds so that I can get started on some other projects.  Well I am off to start Part 5.  

Happy Weekend everyone!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Birds SAL Part 4 Week 3?

So I think this is the 3rd week I have been stuck on Part 4 but I'm not quite sure.  I'll admit it I was a little burned out on this design after my big placement error on starting the Birds part of this design.  It seemed like ripping out all of the stitches took forever!  It got a bit better when I found my seamripper tool from my sewing machine to help with the job though :)

Anyways here is where I was last week...

I hadn't quite finished ripping out all of the stitches.

And here is where I am now!

I really don't know how I did it but I think I had set a goal for myself to complete 2 of the 5 birds and I did it!!!  I was dreading starting on this WIP again but once I got started my needle seemed to fly and the birds materialized so quickly.  I am hoping that by next week I can maybe have one bird finished.  I am not sure though because my wonderful Mother In Law will be staying with us for a visit and I don't know how much stitching I will be able to accomplish.  I am very excited about her visit and am eagerly getting ready for her arrival :)

Thank you all for following my progress.  Hopefully at some point I will actually catch up with everyone else on this design.  But until then Happy Weekend and Happy Stitching!

Monday, July 8, 2013

July YOTA a tad late again...

Hello out there!  With all of my other stitching and my little girl skipping naps a few days I didn't get very much done on my Year of the Acronym SAL.

Here is where I was last month...

And I sort of went in reverse again.  I had got maybe 1/3rd of the border done in light yellow when I realized I wasn't going to have enough.  And I also realized that I liked the Chi and Omega sections better in light yellow than red.  So I took out the red in those sections and have started working the border in gold that I purchased locally in Oslo.  It is a bit thinner wool but if I do the same stitch 2 or 3 times it matches my other needlepoint stitches.

Anyways here is where I am currently...

Once again I am hoping to have this finished by next month!  It is such a quick and easy stitch compared to my other current projects I should just bite the bullet and devote some more time to it.  Well I hope that everyone else got more done than me this month :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Birds SAL Part 4 & 4th Finish of 2013!

Happy Friday Everyone!  Well this week I was working on my Birds SAL project and I got about 2.5 of the birds done by Tuesday.  BUT...I kept looking at the birds thinking that they looked a bit off.  They seemed to be not centered like I thought they would be and a bit to the right.  I remember thinking that after I finished the first one but as this design is only given in parts and I cant see how exactly it will fit with the rest of the pieces I figured it would work out.  Anyways after I was about half way I had a nagging feeling that things were off so I thought I would check it on the one little piece the designer gives of each part where you can see how other parts interact...and lo and behold my count was off!  I was so frustrated but still decided to rip out and start over since this is the center of the design and I don't know if I will be able to fudge the other parts around it.

So unfortunately I've gone backwards.  Here is where I was last week...

And here is today as I am still trying to remove all of the birds to start over...

Does anyone have any advice for getting all of the thread fibers out of an area where you have undone your stitching?  That is a really annoying part of undoing my work.  Oh well hopefully by next week I will have taken out all of the old wrong stitching and will have at least 2 birds done as a goal.

But onto some GOOD NEWS!  As I took a break from Birds I was able to finish up my Gingerbread Ornament that I started I think back in March or April?  This is my 4th Finish of the year!!  

Here she is!

This design is called "Freshly Baked" and it is designed by Sue Hollis Designs.  I found it in the 2012 Christmas Ornament edition of Just Cross Stitch Magazine.  I substituted the suggested fabric for some beautiful hand-dyed 16 count Melon fabric from  Stitchn Momma and used as close threads as I could manage from my stash.  I made a few small changes like outlining the rosy cheeks and using 2 threads not one on the writing but I really love this design and may make more for Christmas gifts this year!  I am also excited that this fulfills one of my stitching goals this year towards stitching ornaments.  

Last night I also finally signed up for my two World of Charity Stitching quilt squares towards my yearly goals.  I'll share more about those as I get started though.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

“Le Marché des Valeurs” or "Thieves Market" Kinshasa, DRC

Ok, ok I apologize I really have been promising some African pics for awhile but here goes!  This is one of the many markets in Kinshasa.  It is actually called “Le Marché des Valeurs” or The Value Market but it is more commonly known as “Le Marché des Voleurs” or The Thieves Market.

This was its original location before this area was paved over to make a public square and fountain area for the 2010 50th Anniversary of Independence.  (I'll see if I can find some pics eventually of the Panther made of gold leaf that immediately got the gold washed away by the water, but that's another story...)

This market is located at the end of the main road downtown Le Trente Juin or Boulevard of 30th June, and it is definitely not for the faint hearted whatsoever!  If you hate to haggle like I do its not very fun, but after a few trips there including one where I accidentally only brought $10 I found it a bit empowering to barter for goods.

You can sort of see in this first photo but there is about two rows of shacks lined with vendor tables sort of making two gauntlets.   The first time I went on an extremely hot and humid day (most days were ;)) with my good friend T and her driver Papa Kilutu.  When we told him where we wanted to go he promptly told me in French "Madame guard your purse there."  But he came with us and acted as sort of our guide/bodyguard.  Bodyguard is a bit ironic because Papa Kilutu, (which Kilutu means Older Brother in a local language because he was the older brother of the person who put him in contact with my friend for his driving job) was a somewhat tiny man...standing about maybe 5'3" and possibly 100 lbs.  One day I went on a quest to buy charcoal with him and my housekeeper in their neighborhood and we ended up with a GIANT bag that was about 5' tall and a foot and a half in diameter.  They joked in French that the charcoal was bigger than Papa Kilutu and I laughed at the joke and then they switched to the local Lingala language after that.  But I could communicate with him in French and he could speak quite a few local languages so I always felt safe with him. 

I call the rows the gauntlet because once we as "Mundele" or White Expats showed up we were greeted with shouting in chorus of "Madame", "Madame", and "Mommy".  The Mommy was a bit hard to take from a complete stranger and that I was childless at this point too.  Once you picked up for instance a carved wooden monkey and then passed on it the next tables down the line would all hold up their matching wares to offer you.  The price they would first quote would be quite absorbent usually $50 for something that should cost $5 tops so haggling was quite necessary.

If you look carefully in the middle left hand edge of this image you can see cages.  In this market you could buy very sickly looking African Grey Parrots and sometimes even Monkeys!  If you are an animal lover this visit really wasn't recommended.  The animals looked so sad and sick :(

Here you can see a local bus making a pick up stop and some of the paintings for sale outside of the booth areas.

Here is a small crowd of people and goods waiting to use the local taxi system just opposite of the Market.  On the day I took these photos I saw two women get into a knock down drag out fight where clothes were even ripped!

Lastly it looks like they were doing a bit of repair work on the road or sewer?

Well I have so many more photos and crazy stories to share from my time in the Congo...but I hope you enjoy this first installment.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Follow me with Bloglovin!

Happy Monday everyone!  Today is starting out great for me as my little girl has decided to sleep very well all night long :)

Anyways since Google Reader is going away tomorrow please follow me with bloglovin.