Saturday, 24 October 2020

Check first!!

The hardanger for the apron is completed and now for construction.  I did not plan out this hardanger for the apron - merely began stitching and then did a general measurement.   Now of course when it comes to construction.....well, let's just say that the lace heart motifs for the top of the bib portion have not been well thought out by moi:-)  Lesson learned.   An hour or two spent in detailed planning is not wasted time and saves aggravation further on.    
The broad lace band for the bottom edge of the apron is perfect and can be attached easily.   But for the bib I will have to restitch a single heart motif and then measure carefully to make the triangle in which to insert it.   Fortunately I have sufficient linen left in this piece and can easily stitch another heart.   The DBEM laughed at me!   She has commented several times today that she thought she had taught me better than that.   "Did I not recall her lessons on the value of preparation", she asked.   Well of course I did but I just didn't want to spend the time!!   Anyway I will have to spend the time now won't I?

In the space left on this piece of linen I have stitched yet another hardanger tassel.   These always sell well at sales table so it will not go amiss.

One of my must-have flowers in the garden was to be Lily of the Valley.   I had the most suitable position; the climate here is perfect - just cool enough and just damp enough; so off I went to the garden centre several weeks ago and arranged for them to get me some to plant.   Sure enough at the appointed time a phone call came - they had plants but these were pink.   Did I still want them?   Well, yes.   Even pink was better than nothing so I planted pink.   Then the next day the garden centre phoned again.   They now had white.  Did I want those too?   I sure did.   So planted some of those too.   Such obliging little plants.   They all rooted well and both the white and pink ones produced one flower each.   Then surprise, surprise.   In the small garden at the foot of a rose bush out the back of the house I spied.....yes!   At least a dozen plants of Lily of The Valley, all obligingly coming into flower right now.   

I am pleased to have them but wish I had checked first and saved myself that money:-(   But the pink is cute, don't you think?

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

President's Challenge

 Each year the Embroiderer's Guild has a challenge, issued by the president, and displayed at the AGM at the beginning of December.   My current Guild in The New City has only around 30 members so an absence of participation would be noted.   But I am not a creative type of person to design my own piece of work; nor did I want to spend a lot of time on something I didn't really want.

The challenge was "Inspired by a Book" so after a lot of thought and the production of several new grey hairs I settled on this after having read the book The Chocolate Tin by Fiona McIntosh.

And inside the tin I will have a stitched explanation.  This is currently straining my eyes and my patience as I stitch all the lettering over one on 32 count fabric.   Hopefully this week I will finish this and put it in a bag to await the great unveiling at Guild meeting on 7 December.   You will probably hear my cries of anguish in the Northern Hemisphere if Covid lockdowns mean that meeting has to be cancelled.   Currently we are at the quasi-normality of Alert Level 1 and long may it continue.

But on the good news front the temperatures are slowly rising and we have had seven days in a row where green has been the colour of choice for my Temperature Chart.   It is good to get out in the garden and feel the warmth of the sun.   My seeds are germinating and I do daily checks to ensure that marauding snails and slugs do not get to them!

Sunday, 27 September 2020

After an absence

 I'm back!   After the DBEM's birthday party she caught a bad head cold and then generously passed it on to me.   It has taken me longer to shake off than I anticipated and even now I'm not at 100%.   Not helping is the fact that since coming to live in The New City, the proximity of farms and forests has given me allergies and I wake sneezing and snorting (yes and generally bad tempered for a short time !)   My doctor says unsympathetically "You're closer to farmland here than in Auckland.   What do you expect?"   Well certainly not this - and a little more sympathy wouldn't have gone amiss either:-)

Spring has sprung here and with it the usual fickle variable weather.   If you look at the bottom row of my temperature chart you will see the colour changes in one week.   It doesn't seem that long ago I was bemoaning the fact that it was all blue -  well we had an orange day yesterday and have had several greens too.   

On the stitching front I've not really got a project that is grabbing my interest.   The hardanger piece is complete and I now need to visit the Quilt Fabric shop to get something suitable so I can complete it.  There's no rush as this is for a gift and not required for some months yet so it can wait a while.

In my stash I found this piece of lovely raspberry linen and am making it into a needle book - decorated front and back with pulled thread work.   However the fine linen (32 count) and the matching floss (perle 12) is proving quite a challenge for my eyesight so progress is slow.   

While I am persevering at this one I am thinking that I need to get my piece for the Embroiderers Guild annual challenge completed.   To be honest I'd like to be a non-participant in that one but with a small Guild every entry counts so I need to persist.   I can see the end in sight but I'm not enjoying the fact that this is a free style embroidered piece, mixed techniques and self designed so no right or wrong which I find disconcerting.   I much prefer to follow instructions and know that I have done what is required.   I will post a picture when the whole object is complete. 

Meanwhile, we have dropped back to Covid Level 1 and life is near new-normal once again.   I need to push the reset button and start activities once again.   The events of this year have not been helpful for getting to know people and make friends in The New City but onwards and upwards:-)

Friday, 4 September 2020

Progress Report as promised

 Angels Song is all but finished.   I left one of the larger bands of Ukranian Stitch incomplete and ploughed on to the end of the chart.   Now I need to go back and complete that band and then stitch on the zillions of beads and buttons.   The end is in sight!   I have no idea what to do with this but it has been fun to stitch and I have thoroughly enjoyed all the specialty stitches.

And the Temperature chart -  you can certainly see that Palmerston North has cool (cold) winters.  There is so much more blue in this year's chart.   Today we were back at the favourite 14 degrees Celsius but are promised 17 tomorrow.    

And with that I need to conclude today's activities and get myself ready for bed.  

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

The Birds are fully finished and framed

Today I collected the framed Birds and found a home for them on my wall.   Considering that it was the DBEM who purchased this kit 25 or more years ago it seems fitting that they should go in her room but we can still both enjoy them,

Thank you to all who sent greetings for the DBEM's big birthday.   We had a super time celebrating her big nine oh and she seemed to enjoy herself (while getting thoroughly exhausted).   This snapshot is of her watching the photo show which my clever Little Brother and Brother-In-Law put together and showed on the big screen.   It was fun for all the generations to look at photos spanning nine decades and we all out-talked each other commenting and reliving shared memories.   It was a fun afternoon.   And as the DBEM said, this birthday has been truly international thanks to all my blogging friends.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have a progress shot of Angels Song which is coming along well.   I am relieved that the piece of fabric is well long enough.   Today at stitching group,  a friend told me of a method to mount pieces onto artist canvas which is what I plan to do with this since it will only be displayed once a year and thus doesn't require expensive framing.

The Temperature Chart is plodding along -  yesterday was a Green Day (over 18 degrees) and today was .... Light Blue (only 10 degrees) so you can see that the weather is still fickle.   I promise a progress shot soon.

Friday, 28 August 2020

Angels Song

I have been conscientiously working away on this but my, oh my, the little houses (castles?) took ages to stitch.   They are most satisfying though I am looking forward to moving on to more specialty stitch bands.   The next row is Step 22 and there are only 33 in the whole project so the end is in sight.
This week I have been busy making masks for the DBEM and myself so we are now prepared.   Currently use of masks is only mandated for public transport which we don't use but I can see that this edict will eventually change and the use become more widespread.   So I am now ready for whatever the Director General for Public Health throws my way.
Tomorrow is the DBEM's birthday party.   I think I am all prepared -  just need to get up earlier tomorrow to make smoked salmon sandwiches.   The DBEM needs to have her hair washed and blow dried too so it will be a busy morning :-)   This afternoon I collected the cake and the Birthday Girl is thrilled with it - so much so that she gave me a big hug!   I am pleased too - it is exactly as the cake shop lady described it.  She has done a great job.   

Anyway I've crossed the last item off today's list so am off to read some more of my book and then to bed.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Magnetic Personality

 For quite some time now I have been growing more and more irritated at this -  wherever I am someone else always wants to be on those exact GPS coordinates.    In the car park -  another driver always wants the car park I have indicated I am turning into.   On the footpath -  if I keep to the left so do all the other pedestrians and I have to move aside.   In the Supermarket -  other shoppers always want the trolley I have stretched my hand out to take and my position in the aisle is always the favourite of the other shoppers nearby.  At the bank - other customers step ahead of me in the queue with a bob of their head which I interpret to mean 'sorry'.   Even at the library - other clients put their hand out for books I have laid on the table beside the checking out machine while I fumble with my library card    Excuse me!!!   That's mine!!!     What. Is. It????   Is it my magnetic personality?   Is it my short-fused temperament?  

Currently I am considering purchasing a bicycle and am aware that this aware phenomena will no doubt pursue me on the cycleways also where I will well feel less protected.   The DBEM thinks I should not get a bike - "you're an adult woman and I shouldn't tell you what to do but...."    However I have problems with my left heel and ankle that are curtailing my walking at present and the physiotherapist has suggested a bicycle.   I may go to the store and investigate.   Currently the weather is not really conducive to such activity.

Anyway - enough ranting.   Today has been a beautiful day despite the weather forecast for rain and I managed to clean some of my outside windows and do some gardening in the vegetable beds.   All is well in that part of the world :-)

Tonight I will help the DBEM with her knitting and finish off one of the books I have downloaded.   So a quiet and restful day