Blue Coppice Blatherings

Blather and balderdash about stitching, design and domestic life.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Change is good...

In just over three weeks time, I have a free weekend. No bar work or social events have been planned and I hope to spend the majority of it working on the birth sampler. Sheer bliss. Not that I don't enjoy having friends to visit or places to go, but I really need a weekend off! I'm planning to venture out to Manchester City Art Gallery for one of the afternoons so I can drool over the Pre-Raphaelites but I think that will be the extent of my contact with other humans - well, that's the plan anyway, and we all know how quickly things can change!

Speaking of change, in a mad moment a couple of weeks ago, I put my details onto an online dating site to see who was out there. Now I know these sites don't always have the best of reputations, but it suddenly struck me that I'm not the only reasonably intelligent person who doesn't just want to meet people in a bar or club. I'm also not the only one with a busy life with no time to take evening classes! Anyway, I was quite surprised by the responses I received, especially as I didn't put a photograph up to start with, and after weeding out the obviously strange, potentially weird and definitely creepy, struck up e-mail conversation with a couple of guys.

I've since met both and had a couple of really good nights. One I hope to stay in touch with as a friend - a truly lovely man who was incredibly easy to talk to and will make someone very happy, so if you're female, single, based in the North-West, enjoy decent conversation and want to meet one of the few good men in the world, let me know... ;-) (N - if you're reading this, any other requests?)

The other is intelligent, confident, witty & does so much himself that he seems to understand my time constraints! We're going out for lunch on Thursday & I'm really looking forward to it - the venue has been carefully chosen to avoid my colleagues who have been following my singleton adventures with far too much interest...there's not been much other gossip so until the next work night out, I think I'm the current entertainment!

In between all this, I've been busy working away on the next piece which is turing out rather well! I've not got much more stitching to do and then I'll be working on the construction. As usual, this is the most nerve-wracking part...the stitching is linked to the construction so much that if I've badly miscalculated, the whole design might have to change. To give my brain a rest from this on Saturday, I did a little more on the Angel of Love. She's coming along very nicely and is alarmingly addictive so I am having to be pretty strict about the time I spend on her!

After a late night working behind the bar on Saturday night, I struggled out of bed on Sunday morning & headed to the NEC in Birmingham for the International Craft & Hobby Fair. This is one of the largest trade shows and they let me in because I'm a designer - there are some perks! It was a really good day & I met some very good contacts who will be very helpful for some future projects, including Zweigart and the South African floss company House of Embroidery - they produce the most beautiful subtle shades for multicoloured silk & cotton floss and ribbon, some of which are extremely likely to be included in one of the designs to be released later this year.

That's it to be going on with - as usual, all comments gratefully received!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Busy, busy, busy...

Hurrah! I've finally got a spare couple of minutes to catch up...

Well, the Beehive Trinket Box was launched on Monday 31st as planned but as soon as I thought I'd be able to breathe, the day job suddenly got busy & I seem to have been chasing my tail for the past few days! The slight interruption of yet another nasty cold (which left me sounding as though I had a 40-a-day habit until my voice gave out entirely - much to my colleagues' amusement until the boss sent me home before I infected everyone else) resulted in an in-tray heaving with work and I'm only just beginning to see light at the bottom...

This weekend was pretty quiet so it was a good opportunity to catch up on housework & stitching, although I was working on Saturday so I was a little short on sleep that night. One of the bars at the golf club can be hired out by members for parties which gives me a few extra shifts, but it can mean working until the early hours! This particular party was extremely lucrative as most of the male guests were very generous with the tips, and thankfully all the guests were well-mannered when it came to last orders so a good night was had by both guests and staff! The bar manager treated us to pizza when we'd cleared up so it was 3am by the time I got home clutching half a pepperoni pizza......yawn........

As for stitching, well, the next piece is coming along nicely and I'm just finalising the design for a piece that will be out later in the year. I'm going to be designing a band for The Sampler Guild's Challenge 2005 and am keen to keep everything else on schedule so I can squeeze the band in!

I joined The Sampler Guild a few months ago on the advice of one of my customers and can highly recommend it to everyone interested in both the historical background of samplers and modern designs around the world. Linda produces a fascinating newsletter to which members contribute lots of articles on topics such as recent visits to collections, museums or houses, the history of a particular sampler or element of design and who's been meeting whom! I've not yet had time to participate in the exchanges but I've already been to one get-together which I hope will be the first of many. A stitching retreat has been organised for April in Cumbria, and although I won't be able to go for the full week, I've booked a place for one of the day events and I'm thoroughly looking forward to it. :-)

Before I go, this might make you stitchers chuckle - my ex-OH came round yesterday to collect his post & have a chat (yes, we are still being very adult and friendly about everything!). So as I was telling him about the latest designs, I mentioned I was playing around with a few ideas for an afghan but wasn't sure about the size or type to use. Cue blank look from ex-OH.

"An afghan?"
"Yes. It's something I'm thinking about for a winter release."
"But won't Daisy mind?" Daisy being the cat.
"I wouldn't have thought so, I'll just have to be careful about the fringe."
"The fringe?"
"Yes, the fringe would be knotted so it would be pretty tempting to eat."
"But won't the afghan mind? And won't it be a bit big for the house?"
"I'm not sure the afghan will have many feelings! The size is something I'm working on at the moment..."

Can you see where this is heading? Yes, that's right - he was talking about an afghan dog, I was talking about an afghan throw. Deep sigh. I'd forgotten that some things really need to be spelt out to non-stitchers....

Ho hum...back to the salt mines......