Friday, 29 July 2016

Look at this.
I think this is probably a competition from 3M for the most ingenious use of Post It Notes - they have been known to run such things before.   The local office of the Ministry of Education decorated their window in the latest craze and I stopped to take photo on my way home tonight.
I have been knitting on sock number two and should hopefully finish it tonight, all the while dreaming of another stitching project.   To my immense satisfaction they are proving to be identical twins which was exactly what I wanted.
Stitching is finished and the hardanger angel needs construction.   I plan to get the fabric for the skirt this weekend.   Photos will follow.  The holes are for the neck and the ties around the waist although they do look like planned mistakes at this point :-)

Sunday, 24 July 2016

A productive afternoon

Spring is here -  outside it is blowing a gale with squally showers so I rescued the first daffodils and brought them inside.
They are beautiful, although I now see that I must have bought one packet of bulbs of some new mutant variety as it has no trumpet but a double layer of frills.
This afternoon I made a double quantity of the HD3QBEM's favourite lemon honey.   She is happy!
And I completed the first sock so I am happy!
And on that note, Au Revoir.  I am off to make dinner and sort out my weeks stitching.

Friday, 22 July 2016

And the winner is...

Tonight was the official draw for a lucky winner.   Can you hear the drum roll?   Thank you to all those who left comments and helpful suggestions for my trip.   With the willing cooperation of the HD3QBEM the winning name has been drawn.
Grace  if you can email me with your postal address I will mail off your copy of the ANZEG Diary.   There's a block of NZ specialty chocolate to include and.....a few other surprises.
I have been working on the front skirt of the hardanger angel tonight.   Densely stitched areas like this are not a favourite but I admit the overall effect is rather good.   What I thought was a bunch of roses is more like a ribbon tying green leaves but I'm not finished yet.  And I still think red velvet for the underskirt!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

A White Night - with a splash of colour

Tonight I have been stitching white buttonhole stitch around the edge of the angel.   Perhaps not the most inspiring, it is nonetheless very satisfying.  
Another evening and I should be all the way round and can then begin the floral part.   I laid a piece of dark cloth under the lacework wing to make it clearer -  the fabric is still pristine white.   I wash my hands frequently while stitching this
I have pulled the floss for the flowers and think they should look really good.   My idea is to have a deep wine velvet underskirt- but no firm decisions have been made yet.   The HD3QBEM says that bottle green velvet would look good too.   She is of course correct ;-)
Tomorrow I will draw a name from the comments left for the giveaway so do leave a comment here if you wish to enter.   There will be a cake of Whittakers Black Doris Plum and Roasted Almonds chocolate included  - if that is an added inducement.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

And Spring is here....well maybe

Today I dressed in several layers of merino wool, long trousers, hand knitted wool socks, knee high boots and sat at my desk with a wool rug over my knees and a hot water bottle on top of that.   Yes, it was cold!  
This is the sky as I walked into the office at 7:15
And this is at the top of my steps when I walked home at 4:45 tonight
And Spring is here....?   I don't really think so, not yet anyway.
And for that reason I continue knitting this pair of pretty pink woolly socks.
I rather like the stripey pattern that is pre-dyed into the Opal yarn.  The heel is turned and I am racing along toward the toe now.   Just as well, I'm itching to get back to my hardanger :-)

Monday, 18 July 2016

A Trio of Adventures

Tonight is the tale of three adventures.
First up a new pair of hand knitted socks.   It is always an adventure to see how the pattern develops. I'm not very far along with these ones but I'm liking the colour scheme.   A big ball of wool but it will make a pair of socks to keep my cold feet warm.
Another adventure has been trying to reduce my food budget and for this year I decided to only go to the grocery store every five to six weeks.   Which means that on the other weeks it is a quick trip to the green grocer for fresh fruit and veges so saving me time.   But my car boot gets very full.
I invested in three plastic baskets from the $2+ store to carry the groceries in,  as my supermarket Pak 'N Save, is so named because they don't pack your shopping into plastic bags.   However even the baskets are not enough to contain the items necessary so there are two carry bags also -  these were free from a Civil Defence display at the local library a year or two ago.
And the bonus?   I have shaved $10 a week off my food bill!
And the third adventure is that for the past twelve months I have been experimenting with living on what the NZ Superannuation will pay me when I am 65.   It has been a fun adventure and I have proved I can do it.   At the end of this month I will do the final 'sum total' on my Excel spreadsheet but it looks like I will be less than what the NZ government will give me.  Not too bad eh?   I intend to continue this experiment for the next 39 months 8 days until Retirement Day.
And don't forget to sign up for the giveaway here.   The HD3QBEM will be drawing a name on Friday.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

A little giveaway

At the 2016 Embroiderers' Conference on Friday I purchased this small diary which contains photos of some of the amazing work on display in the Exhibition.   The theme was Celebrating Colour and each exhibit certainly did that.   From Wing Chairs in colourful needlepoint to Colourful Crazy Quilting, from necklaces to bags, from framed pictures to 3D objet d'art, you name it there was the whole spectrum.  Indeed one piece was the word Spectrum stitched faultlessly in every colour of the spectrum.

Photographs were not allowed so I won't show a photo of each page of the diary but the 'head' you can see on the cover was AMAZING.   Each of the floral (and animal) decorations was stitched in exquisite Elizabethan Embroidery on a black fabric which looked to be a knit and was stretched flawlessly over a mannequin head.   Where do people get their imaginative ideas?
I went to the Exhibition on my own and didn't quite get my timing right so there were few people to talk to.   This dimmed my pleasure of the experience a little and got me to thinking about how much added pleasure there is in sharing experiences with a companion.   I am planning a retirement trip to UK and will be travelling alone for around 6-8 weeks.   So I have a question -  do you have any helpful suggestions for extracting maximum pleasure out of experiences and adventures when one is alone.   Please leave any comments/answers to the question on this post and on 22 July I will have the HD3QBEM draw one name.  That person will receive a copy of this diary (and a surprise) and will be able to enjoy photos of 13 of the wonderful embroideries.