Sunday, 2 August 2020

Shepherds Bush progress

I am plodding along with the Shepherd's Bush Angels Song.   All was going well and enjoyment levels were high until the current band -  somehow the counting involved in getting all these leaves and vines correct is too much for my brain.   There has been some reverse stitching and some diversions into other pastimes.
Anyway, a progress shot - I have decided to leave all the beads until the very end so this is very much unadorned.
On Friday the DBEM and I went down to Foxton -  a small village about half an hours drive south west from here.   They have a splendid new library/community centre in which there is a marvellous display about the Dutch migrants to New Zealand.   The DBEM took her magnifier and we pored over all the items there were to see.   One huge carved sideboard had drawers that could be opened and the smell of the spices used in creating the wonderful Dutch Speculaas biscuits was amazing.   We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and as the cafe was closed early that day we came home for a slightly overdue afternoon tea.   The DBEM was so tired she promptly fell asleep and nodded off for most of the next day too:-)

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Next Project

After the millions of crosses in The Birds I needed a palate cleanser of speciality stitches and what better than this Shepherds Bush kit.   If my memory serves me correctly this was a gift from an overseas stitcher but it has languished in my stash for several years.   However the combination of linen fabric and silk floss is irresistible and I am enjoying this.   The bands of specialty stitches give interest although I have reservations about the rose pink angel wings.   There are a multiplicity of beads and sequins to sew on at the end and the sparkle may well dilute the heaviness.
I have a couple of Christmas Ornaments on the hoops at the moment too as they are a good size to take to Guild and to Stitch Group.  A further three ornaments are needed to meet family 'obligations' and then I want to make four initialed notebook covers for friends at my KYB group. 
And as a reminder myself I will document here the current state of my 2020 Presidents Challenge.   Explanation to follow when I have more to show.    This is my first time to stitch on "wash away" over top of the final fabric.   I will eventually make the piece into a top for .... a chocolate tin (and perhaps stitch some imitation chocolates for the inside) but learnings so far from this - I can follow instructions well; I can do near faultless counted work BUT I cannot design or create free embroidery/creative pieces :(    The oval cameo, currently loose, will be appliqued on after the lettering and cording are done.   But I needed to stitch that first to get the size and relativity.     By the way I'd recommend the book which was the inspiration.

Saturday, 18 July 2020

And another finish

The Birds is finished and I will be able to take it to the framer on Monday.   I decided that I wanted to remember the last stitch I put in on this one so made sure it was the eye of the bird in the air on the extreme right.   Probably such minute detail will quickly fade from my memory but it felt good at the time.
This afternoon I explored stash and found a Shepherds Bush Christmas Sampler kit (received as a gift some years ago) which has specialty stitches as well as the cross-stitch-I-am-so-tired-of.   Another attraction is that the floss in the kit is silk and that is such a pleasure to stitch with.   Progress shots will be uploaded in due course:)

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

And a finish

A month or so ago a friend at Embroiderers Guild loaned me her copy of Inspirations which featured this pocket and biscornu done in Swedish Sollerosom 
Counted work and in my favourite blue and white combination!   I was hooked.   So I searched through stash and substituted what I had to make do and finally this morning I completed the little pocket.   I had returned the magazine before I realized the construction notes were on the foldout so had to do as I saw fit....still a reasonable fascimile was possible.
 28 Count linen from my stash, DMC Perle #8 floss from stash, silk lining from stash and a button from the DBEM's button box.   The only cost here was time :)
And.... there is even a space for this in my display cabinet.   Happy Dance here tonight.  (and I am on the last bird of the Lanarte Bird sampler so might even get that finished this week)

Monday, 13 July 2020

More Birds

It is amazing how much an audiobook has helped progress on The Birds.   In the middle of last week I downloaded an audiobook from my local library site and the DBEM and I were entranced.   Tracey Chevalier speeded up my needle and I am coming to the final stages of my Bird project.   Yes!!  The end is in sight:  the current bird and the feed box to complete and then one free flying bird on the right hand side.   I must remember to stitch the year into the corner too -  I don't want the designer's initials as is charted.
Besides that, the DBEM has completed another small cardigan and is well on the way with a second one.  We shall have to get some more audiobooks ;)
Our Embroiderers Guild has an annual President's Challenge and I decided to participate in this one.  The challenge given was "Inspired by a Book" and after some delay and deliberation I am on the way with this one.   And.....it is not counted work.   Well not all of it.   I was reluctant to take time to stitch something I didn't really want but in a small Guild everyone's efforts count.   I'm not spending money on this one - all the ingredients will come from the stash cupboard.  Even the chart for the central cartouche is from Pinterest:).  I have until the beginning of December to complete this one so I'm not having to rush.
In searching for the necessary charts etc I flipped through the folders of The Gift of Stitching.   Anyone remember that resource?   And I have found the Christmas Ornaments for this year's stitching.   So after The Birds I will be making 2020 Christmas Ornaments and on my finest linen as I need to use that before my eyesight will forbid anything lower than 28 count;)
And now I am off to do some exercise  and the evenings chores.

Friday, 3 July 2020

Signs of Spring

This morning was a hard, white frost but a glorious fine day followed.   The miniature daffodil bulbs I brought down with my from Auckland and planted here have grown and are certainly no longer miniature.  They have taken to their new home and produced buds way too early so I took pity on the them today and picked the "just burst" buds and brought them into the warm room where they obliged by opening up and reminding me that Spring will surely come.
In the afternoon a friend visited and brought a bunch of Paper White Jonquils which I am also enjoying.   The DBEM says she cannot smell the fragrance but I can and it is pleasant.
And tonight I stitched some more on the bird.   If I can maintain momentum tomorrow I should finish this one and that leaves only four birds to go.   I see it is three months since I began this piece so all in all progress is good although this may not be completed this month :(
This week lunches have been soups :  Leek and Potato, Curried Parsnip, Pumpkin and Apple and then today I made miso flavoured vegetable soup.   The DBEM has a very delicate digestive system and little agrees with her so it has been chicken soup and scones for her until today when she happily tucked into the miso soup.   I on the other hand have enjoyed trying our some new recipes and combinations.   Next week I plan on trying a Smoked Fish Chowder.

Until next.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

The DBEM's knitting

Today was another freezing cold day here and I steam pressed the most recent two knitted garments and delivered the total so far to a local charity shop.   The DBEM has been busy and there were 11 garments to take.  Not a bad total for six months work, especially fighting poor sight and arthritic hands. (I should confess that the guernsey at the top left was completely my work but the DBEM bought the yarn)  Mostly for one and two year old size and all pretty colourful.   But they are warm and that is surely what counts in winter-wear.  The three in the front have random fronts of the small left over scraps and knitted as two rows of each.  My oh my.  I do have many ends to sew in on those cardigans.
I am back onto The Birds and making good progress on the current one.  Hopefully there will be a photo to share tomorrow.