Samstag, 23. September 2017

How to take a vacation

I still owe you some stories and pictures from Ireland, and now I finally have the time to write about it. Being on vacation was kind of a 'new' experience for Felix and me - we never had been away together, not for more than a long weekend and without work (in fact, it was about ten years since anyone of us had done that without the other as well), and when we have time off to stay at home, there's usually so much to do we hardly ever get into that really nice, relaxed state of mind - so we were really due that vacation!

We flew to Dublin on Monday morning, got our rental car and on the road we were (after some initial confusion about driving on the right (the left) side of the road) we were off to our first B&B in Kilkenny. On the route we made a stop at Glendalough National Park and took a walk in the beautiful landscape. The next day, we explored the town a little, then went to the Dunmore Cave and then on to Killarney via the Rock of Cashel. On our first day there, we drove down to Kinmare and took the beautiful coast road of the Ring of Beara. Next day, we went to Kinmare again, this time to take the boat - the offer a beautiful cruise around the bay to watch the eagels and seals, which was really awesome. On the last day before moving on, we went to see Mukross house - only the outside, which is a beautiful park full of really big trees and plants. Our next stop was in the Galway region, but a little farther out. Our fist big trip there, we went up to Galway (were I visited a lovely little craft shop - can't have a vacation without a few souvenirs!) and then on to Kylemore Abbey with its beautiful Victorian walled gardens, from where we drove home via the stunning Sky Road. The next day, we had planned to take a boat out to the Aran Isles and to see the Cliffs of Moher from the sea side, but thanks to a storm warning, that wasn't happening. Instead, we visited the cliffs from the land, and then drove around a little, until I saw a sign 'Craft Fair today'. Of course we had to stop for a bit - it was a tiny fair, less then ten stalls, but on one a lady sat hand spinning, and I bought some beautiful onion dyed yarn from her. Turns out she comes from the same corner of Germany that I come from and lives in Ireland now! The next day, we went back to Dublin (via Trim castle) and did a little sightseeing there. Sadly, the exhibition with the Book of Kells had already closed for the day when we got there, so we couldn't see that, but we did see a few other things.

So much for the short version of what we did, now let me just do a big picture dump (in roughly chronological order) to share the gorgeous ;)

Samstag, 16. September 2017

September Gifted Gorgeousness

It's been a while since I posted last, and a lot has happend - a vacation to Ireland (pictures incoming...eventually), a few lazy days at home, lots of crafting and a few check ins I need to catch up on...everything will be talked about eventually, but since I have an upcoming trip to Italy on Sunday, some might happen after that. For now, though, I have a Gifted Gorgeousness to log into, and that's what I'll do!

First thing to mention is a Needle Minder Exchange, hosted by the lovely Ingrid from Mii Stitch! The idea was to send a needle minder, small stitched item and a skein of DMC to a randomly drawn receipent, and also receive the same. I received my parcel from the wonderful Lorynn way ahead of time: A gorgeous little mandala, a cute turtle, and not one but two skeins of DMC Colour Variations! In her letter she wrote that she's going to stitch the mandala again so she can tell everyone it has a twin in Germany, isn't that awesome? She herself is located in Florida, so I really hope she's alright...

Of course I also sent something out, and since my recipient has posted it already, I can now also share with you - it has been hard not to because for some reason I am really proud of it! I bought this lovely little koi needleminder from Jody at Unconventional XStitch (you might have seen the red one I've been using on Snowwhite) and that finally gave my a reason to stitch the fishy frame pattern Magical shared a while ago. I went nuts with some Hand Dyeds I had in Store - Jodyri's Winter Solice and Fiberlicious Rose Petals, both of which are insanely pretty - and also substituted the french knot for some tiny beads Carla sent me a while back. Initially, I only planned to stitch the frame, adding the phrase came natural and now it will look nice with the needle minder removed too :)

I also had to knew starts that I can't show (the usual, because they are gifts for people how might look at my blog), but I also had a new start that I can share, and I took this one with my on vacation. Some of you might have seen it before - it's Inkcircles's 99, with 99 different bottles of beer. Felix' dad is turning 60 next year, and this is going to be  our gift for him. I did not quite meet my goal of stitching one bottle everyday of the vacation, but I did get close!

So that's my GG progress for now...I'll be back with more stitching and other stuff soon!

Freitag, 1. September 2017

August WIPocalypse

I'm a little late for this check-in, but I think it still counts :) The question of the month is How do you get yourself out of a stitching drought?, and I've read some really good answers and pointers on other people's blogs so far. For me, depending on the situation, one of three methods seems to work: If I want to stitch, but feel like everything is just frustrating me, I like to change my 'mode' of stitching - I go from OaaT to rotation or from everything at once to just one, whatever feels right. I cut a few deadlines, maybe have a new start, et voilá, stitching is fun again!
Then again, sometimes I really don't want to stitch. I have some other hobbies, some crafty, some not, and they all seem to operate in phases. So if I'm in a 'phase' were I just want to play a ton of video games instead of stitching, it's best to just go with it - it's never lasted longer than a week or so before I wanted to include at least a little stitching in my free time again.
And then there are times when life gets just too busy for these times I usually cling to every bit of stitching time I can get, so it helps to take a small project with me at all times, so I can make use even of small breaks.

Now for my most recent progress. I had a busy week - first, we went to Felix' parents on Sunday to weeks ago. From there, I went to Cologne on Monday to visit the gamescom, a video game convention. I saw a lot of interesting and fun games there and also met quite a few people I hadn't seen in a long time, and a few I'd only talked to online so far as well! For this week, I took my Halloween Cat SAL with me, but I was so busy that aside from a little stitching on the train there and back, I didn't make any progress.

Saturday morning, I went back to Felix' parents, and spent the day recovering from a fun but exhausting week, stitching on Fire and Ember. I finished my current page some time Sunday. There was quite a bit of confetti - I feel like I have used every shade of orange, red and yellow there is - but so worth it in the end, isn't that dragon eye impressive? I can't wait to get started on the other half.

Sunday morning, we drove back home, which took us quite a bit longer than expected because there was so much traffic! I made good use of the time finishing part 5 of the Arke-CAL, though. This has become quite big, and I'm a bit worried I won't have enough yarn to finish the last part. I'll see how things work out when I get there.

So that's it for this week - just a little bit of busy times ahead before things finally calm down a bit. I can't wait!