Sunday, 26 July 2015


The strawberry bag is now finished.
I am pleased with this one and walked around the fabric shop trying unsuccessfully to get a green silk for the lining before coming home and delving back into stash.
This scarlet chinese silk is not an exact match but it looks OK and at least I could do the happy dance!   Now I am working on the red and green blackwork pinkeep.  There is a strawberry scissor fob and a needlebook too but once the pinkeep is done I will put this project on hold as there are two other items of higher priority on the "To Do List".
Yesterday I went to see Grant, my friendly optometrist.   Apparently my eyes are stable but he agreed that my embroidery spectacles could do with increased magnification.  Thankfully I had taken a piece of stitching with me, so I stitched a little while he measured and calculated and in a week or two I will have new lenses.  On that happy note I walked the length of the city's main shopping street and crossed off several items from my list before coming home to the usual weekend chores.
This afternoon I braved the rain to go to the library and now the latest Daniel Silva book is calling out to me.  However so are the dinner dishes and the preparation of this week's lunches, so duty needs to come before pleasure.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Strawberries grow well in the rain

Today it is really wet and windy.   I defied the weather to go out and cross off my list of chores -getting drenched in the process.  
However being confined indoors has done wonders for my stitching and the strawberries are growing. They look good don't you think?
I find it harder to do the cream flowers, aged eyesight etc but they do look effective.  There's a needlebook, pinkeep and scissor fob to complete this set.   In faith I dated this 2015!
My quilted placemats need the binding hand finished and I'll do that tonight.   I'm still dithering over the colour for lining my Sampler Casket so no progress there.   But I do have the buckram cut for my Advent Candles so will soon have those done.
And now my Date and Orange Loaf is out of the oven, the Miso Meat Balls are in baking, Chicken Soup is in the slow cooker and I have a book and a cup of tea.   See you later!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

I will I will... I hope I will

Currently I have two WIPs that I am determined to finish which will give me time to decide on my next project.  My Sampler Casket needs to be finish-finished and there are also two pieces that need construction and some quilted placemats that need a binding.   Sounds like enough to keep me busy doesn't it?
However today the HD3QBEM had a list of chores that needed doing so we went off into the City and I parked her at the yarn shop while I trudged walked up and down Queen Street (the main shopping street) and crossed items off the list.   Profitable day?
Yes, at least for the HD3QBEM!   She came home with some more yarn and oodles of inspiration....and a heavy dose of impatience to complete the current project so she can start a new one.   Maybe my disease is genetic?
While on my walk up and down I stumbled across a new-to-me shop.   Well I thought it was a new one and in a friendly tone of voice said to the lady "I'm so pleased to find a new handwork shop" and her "somewhere from the North American continent" accent popped my balloon,  with a frigid "I've had this store since last November"!   Really?   Anyway it was interesting and I intend to go back and have a more thorough look around in a couple of weeks when I go into the City again.   Isn't it fortunate that my optometrist has his rooms so very near this delightful shop?
This morning was a white white frost here.   Fortunately Auckland is in the north of the country as the polar blast that swept up from the south deposited snow and lots of it but the tank had run dry when it reached our city so we only got the cold and frost.   But the days are fine and the sunrises are breathtaking so I try to make complaints few.   Frosty and fine is far better than rain in my book.
And now I am off to make dinner and settle down for the evening.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

After a short break...

Winter is truly here.  The temperatures have dropped, snow is falling in the South and rain is falling in the North.   Great weather to sit inside with my stitching.   Even so, I haven't produced much.
Currently the little crosses of my stitching are producing Christmas goodies:
Advent Candles for a friend -  these have yet to be made into candles.  My original idea was to make four trapezoid shapes that when placed together on the Sundays of Advent would make a tree shaped decoration.   As usual desire outran performance and I couldn't summon sufficient energy for the mental gymnastics necessary for that one.   So with the aid of buckram, felt, dacron filling and a few other bits and pieces from stash these will become four stitched Advent Candles. The topmost star will become a round tree ornament and the band at the bottom a bookmark.
However I wanted an Advent tree for me so am stitching the same chart but in DMC115 monotone.
And in a lapse of my usual commonsense I started on this.
A finely woven warm scarf onto/into which I plan to stitch a drawn thread band.   The narrow band is the first of what will become more complex series of bands and proved to me that it will be possible.   Some years ago I stitched a similar scarf (Merino) for a friend with a broad 10cm band of Myreschka embroidery. It was successful and well received so that since then I have looked for a similar scarf to repeat the exercise however no such Merino scarves are now available and I settled for this winter warmth viscose one and it seems to be working.   I do need to visit the needlework store for some black DMC perle.   What are the odds that I come out having purchased more than just a ball of that thread??
Work is going well and I'm kept very busy.   Like funeral directors will always have clients, so too will Probation Services.   Next week we have the Minister of Corrections coming from Wellington to officially open our newly refurbished offices, so there has been a scurry of cleaning and tidying.   Apparently my desk is the tidiest in the office!   We have been practicing a Waiata (Maori song) - He Honore, which I am told, is often sung at official functions as part of the welcome to honoured guests. So I will don my uniform, a bright smile and hope to fade into the background on Tuesday when all the honourable big-wigs come to inspect our premises;-)
Six weeks ago I decided to change the supermarket I use and to change to doing a fortnightly shop and amazingly I have saved myself $30 a week!   Of course that cannot all be price and some of the savings are attributable to the logistics of bulk purchase and longer term menu planning.   However I am very pleased with myself:-)   And on the strength of such frugality have decided to book in for an embroidery class next March.   Do visit this link to see what I hope to stitch (scroll to the second to last) - the Alison Snepp Linen Stitch Hussif.
Well that's enough from me.   I'm off to bed with a hot water bottle.   Sleep well everyone.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Sampler Casket is now complete

I have now finished the stitching for the Sampler Casket but need a break so it is put away until I find the right colour silk for lining and then I will construct.
Some simple cross stitch is in order to soothe the soul and I have made a start on this - in a larger count fabric and my favourite DMC 115 this is just what is needed.   I plan on the complexity being in the construction so watch this space.  
And while I am making little red crosses I will dream of my next project.   What shall it be?
Yesterday was Embroiderers' Guild and I took a bag with all the little projects I have made for their sale table as I don't plan on making any more this year.   I'd like to do some hardanger so will need to consult my stash and see if I have fabric and thread for that.   Perhaps I will find a trip to the LNS is necessary?!
The HD3QBEM is recovering well from her surgery and is currently knitting what I call a raspberry ripple hoodie for one of the great grand daughters.   Amazingly enough, the pattern is ever so slightly more complex than usual but there have been less dropped stitches and mistakes so we are both happy!
Well I am off to make dinner now and then have a date with Antiques Road Show:-)

Sunday, 14 June 2015

An unproductive blogging break?

Life and the general administration thereof interfered with both stitching and blogging for a while so I have little to report.
Work continues to be interesting.   This past week on two separate reception shifts I had one offender tell me I am charming and then another tell me I am an f****ing b*****. So you win some and lose some !  Thanks to an intensive training course I am rapidly becoming expert in the electronic monitoring software for home detention offenders.   So not only is the job interesting but intellectually stimulating too.   The first three months have flown by.
The weatherman promised rain each day which thankfully did not come and instead we had clear cold days on which I saw the sunrise on the way to work and the sunset in the way home.   Almost the winter solstice now and I can look forward to summer:-)
Stitching has been boring blanket stitch as I worked on using up linen scraps to make a couple of Mary Stewart Hussifs.   Tonight I will finish inserting the flannel needle pages at the bottom and the final cord. Yay!   Do you like the little wooden bead?   These are made of NZ native timber called Rewarewa and have been in my stash since an impulsive buy some years ago.   great to have a use for them now.
And  I have made a decision re the Sampler Casket and find my enthusiasm for that has returned.  So next up is a sprint/mini marathon to complete that.   It will have initials (of the stitcher-me)  and names of the receiver and her parents (my first great-niece) and I will present it to her for her first birthday in the hope it will become a treasure box for her future.  Inside I am going to place another stitched piece wrapped, beribboned and secure for her to open on her 21st birthday. And inside that will be .... Well I can't spoil the whole secret can I?   I would have loved a mystery like that when I was growing up so hope it will appeal.
My collection of smalls for the sale table at Guild Exhibition is looking good.   Enough at present I think.   I need to get on with other pieces.
Oh and the ruby wedding  pocket is done and now I only need to  print off on small cards the 40 Bible Promises that will be placed inside.   I am well pleased with this one both in colour and idea:-)
Now I am off for a date with a book before I need to think about dinner.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

It's all Jeffrey's fault....

Little progress has been made this week.   I managed to press the trial hardanger pocket and the final result is acceptable and awaiting the ribbon closure.   The needlebook is now fully finished and its maker happy.
And the tassel has the hanging portion complete.   Here it is suspended from the HD3QBEM's Ott lite.

But the ruby red creation??
Not much to show is there.   Jeffrey Archer is to blame.   His Clifton Chronicles became an obsession and I read all five last week which, combined with long hours at work, limited energy levels and dare I confess it, a dislike of the thread(not the colour just the fatness of the floss) meant I didn't put in many stitches.   Only the eyelets and specialty stitches to go though.
This week I have three days of 'training' and for that need to travel an hour to the prison.   Oh joy and delight!  I expect to be very weary by the end of the week but Saturday is a regional gathering for the Embroiderers Guilds and I am looking forward to that.