Sunday, February 27, 2011
Catching Up Again
I have not been feeling great the past couple of weeks, nothing serious, just a total sickness of winter and bad weather... every time it looks as though it is going to improve, the weather has a relapse. We even had snow this week, and right now it is raining heavily, with a strong wind, so any idea of a Sunday walk is out. I may go out for a drink later with Giulia, my Italian colleague, who is returning from Rome today - normally she has the same weekends off-site as I do, and we travel to Schiphol together on those Fridays, but she has been kept at home all week for family reasons.

Yesterday I went to the Handwerkbeurs in Zwolle, and I bought myself a few presents, as it was my birthday. Well, a lot of presents actually, including five Blackbird Designs Reward of Merit charts (new ones from Nashville!), some Kelmscott Elizabeth scissors, some French General patchwork fabric, a few issues of "Handwerk Zonder Grenzen", a Dutch magazine I really like, and the latest SANQ. It was very crowded of course, as these things always are, and it took me about three hours to make the rounds - I've got quite a list of shops to go and visit at a later date. I really enjoyed it, and thanks to Harmien for alerting me to its existence!

I did need cheering up, because work has been really dire. There are a couple of people there who are, frankly, unpleasant. They do things like verbally savaging their colleagues, which is bad enough, but in front of the client as well, which is a no-no. Of course the client manager reported this to our manager, and we all got hauled in to explain ourselves. The three of us who were the savagees, so to speak, were honest about our thoughts, in the face of some more savaging from the two colleagues, who I think have probably dropped themselves right in it with the boss. If I were her, I would be having a word later with one of them in particular, whose manner was so incredibly aggressive.

We don't normally have these problems on our projects, but this one is different...... sigh...... I wonder how long I will have to stay here?

Amazingly I have managed a bit of stitching, although I haven't photographed it - I am about halfway through Mademoiselle Paris, but will not get it finished by the end of February, which I had thought I might.
posted by Ally at 3:10 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I'd Rather Be At Pemberley
This is the second finish for the Crazy January Challenge, it's been completed for a few days, but I only pressed it today, as I had the iron and board out for other things. It is prettier in person, I think, and I can hardly wait to find a good frame for it and make a choice of fabrics for the top and bottom strips.

Actually I would rather be at Pemberley, pretty much anywhere apart from Apeldoorn, in fact. It has poured fairly much all day, plus practically everyone I work with is mad, and those who are not mad are totally irritating. This is why I am sitting here at a time when I should be in bed - I can't sleep, so have had (decaffeinated) coffee and some toast, and I may go to bed soon. Or I may not. There is a plumber coming tomorrow at 8am, to do something with my sink, so I have to be awake and dressed for that. I am impressed that the plumber here speaks good English, a plumber in France would most likely not, and an English plumber would be most unlikely to speak Dutch. My Dutch is no use for this sort of thing, as all I can say is "Apeldoorn is a ghost town" and "this train will not depart", plus a few useful words like "assessment", "fine", "customer" and some other technical terms related to work. My attempts at pronouncing any of them give much amusement to those around me.

I haven't decided which of my Crazy January pieces will be the next one that I target to finish - I've done a bit of aimless stitching on various ones over the past few days, but now I need to decide what will be finish number three.... I might go and look at them now, since I can't sleep.
posted by Ally at 12:18 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Crazy January Finish
This is the first finish - the "Bluebird" pincushion from Blackbird Designs, transformed into a Pink Bird, by means of Belle Soie "Rosebud" silk:

Here are the finishing materials for it, laid out so that you can see the colours and how they match:
I haven't yet decided how many buttons to use and where they should be, but it will have the Sajou lace around the edge. I got this at Le Bon Marche, they have a lot of Sajou things now. The backing fabric is just a scrap I got with a packet of different fabrics at Petra Prins in Zutphen, to be used for such eventualities as this.

I have also finished Pemberley, but have not ironed it yet, so it will get a post to itself. It's a miracle I did finish anything, because it has been a busy and rather depressing week. I did have a good weekend in Paris, and obviously I have a new camera battery, bought without fuss at the FNAC. I still can't get over that young man in Apeldoorn, who lectured me about losing the old one - maybe he was crossed in love, or something, and taking it out on the world?
The bad things started on the way back, when I injured my back practically falling out of a German train - these have very high steps, and I sort of slipped, not very seriously, but enough to give me some twinges all week. Quite a lot of the trains that go from Schiphol to Apeldoorn are German, they go on to Hannover or Berlin (which would be a good idea for a weekend trip), and normally I like them, but I have gone off them a bit now.
Then we have had a very trying week at work, our manager has had hell from her manager on the client side, not that she takes it out on us at all, but it is depressing, because the same man also comes into our room and gives us hell. I unfortunately have to deal with him, too, as I am the lead architect for a new release and have to give estimates for various pieces of work, which may or may not happen. The latest thing that happened was that he held an impromptu all hands meeting where he said he was making a list of who should stay and who should go, if the team had to be reduced. This does wonders for morale, of course.

I am also missing L'Aiguille En Fete in Paris, which is taking place this weekend, and I am rather sad about that. I will however probably go to a Handwerkbeurs, which is a similar type of event, in Zwolle, about 30 kilometers from Apeldoorn, in two weeks time.

And to cap it all off, the supermarket here is closed for renovation, so it has been very hard to buy food all week... it will not open again until Wednesday, and I hope it will be much improved. I did go yesterday to an outlying area, where there is another Albert Heijn, which was like heaven in comparison with the one in the centre, so I hope they have made it more like this one after the renovations. As a consequence of this excursion, I am making a stirfry of shrimps, with coconut and lemongrass sauce, so I suppose life is not all that bad!

posted by Ally at 12:33 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments