Friday, 14 January 2022

Robin Redbreast

 And so the second Christmas ornament is completed and the third is almost done.

We don't have red breasted robins in New Zealand but I remember them well from the traditional English style Christmas cards of my childhood.  And I love them!   Possibly this one will find a place on my tree??

The third ornament is all but complete.   I need some gold cord to go around the edge and form the hanger but that requires a trip to "Uncle Bill's Emporium" and I can't fit that errand in for a few days.   Photos of the completed piece will be coming soon,  I promise.

Tomorrow Little Sister is coming to visit so I'm going to go out in the afternoon to explore a second-hand bookshop in a nearby village.   A visit has been on my To Do List for a while but the opportunity hasn't arisen until now.   So despite the large pile of books from the library that are beside my bed I intend having a good browse tomorrow.   What I want is a cookery book specialising in chicken recipes.  Do they even print such a thing?   I'm hoping so.

Friday, 7 January 2022

Getting ready for next Christmas.

 Happy New Year.

While I still have Christmas joy in my mind and heart I made a start on this year's ornaments for the nieces and nephew. 

Last year's Just CrossStitch Christmas Ornament issue provided plenty of inspiration this time and I may even stitch an extra one for my tree which is, I confess, already overloaded.

As these ornaments have to be mailed to their recipients I try to keep them as flat as possible.   And because I stitched this over one thread of fabric it came out quite small so the frame style finish made it a better size.   I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

And I have started ornament number two -  a lovely Robin Redbreast.

But today was spent out in the garden as we had a southerly wind which cooled the temperature to a respectable 26 degrees which made it possible to mow the lawn and weed the whole estate.   Oh I am sore tonight!

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

End of Year Shock

 An email arrived from the library saying that two books I had put on request were now available so after this year's last visit to the supermarket I braved a visit to the library.    Besides the two requests I found another three and confidently logged in to the self serve issue machine.   

Well, what a shock.   A bright red message telling me that these books could not be issued as my library card was about to expire.  What????   How could this be possible?   I could feel tears welling up and crept up to the counter.   The lovely lady tells me this happens once every two years to make patrons come to the counter where their contact details can be re-confirmed.   Ah, the relief!

Today the DBEM has been unwell and spent the morning in bed so I made a start on re-upholstering the third dining chair.   It's not finished but good progress.

Also good progress on the new piece of hardanger -  a traycloth on 27 count "tea" coloured linen sent me as a gift more years ago than I care to remember.   I've done one round of kloster blocks and know that everything matches up and am now almost completed the outer round of buttonhole stitch.   There is no hurry for this and I am enjoying going at a slowish pace.

Saturday, 25 December 2021

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Early New Year Resolution

 The DBEM has made a decision (early New Year's) resolution -  once her current stash of knitting wool is knitted up she will retire.   We estimate there is still sufficient for two sweaters to fit a 2 year old.  

To say I am relieved would be understating it.  While she never says anything I can feel the vibes of frustration which emanate from her chair when her arthritic fingers fail or her eyes miss a stitch.   And no doubt she feels my inward sigh as I reverse her knitting and pick up dropped stitches knowing that I will have to sew in the ends of the countless stripes, stitch the garment all together, put on the buttons and steam the little sweater or cardigan to make it ready for donation.   

Anyway we counted and there are currently 22 small garments in the container so she has done well and her dedication to these knitting donations for the Hospice charity shop has continued for around 30 years so she has certainly earned her retirement.


Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Trying out something new

 This week we’ve had a couple of days of very heavy rain so confined indoors I determined to cross some items off my list.  First up was re-upholstering my dining room chairs.   The previous fabric had been on for 32 years so had worn well:). Removing it was hard and I have the blisters to prove it but eventually all staples were out and I had my pattern.   One YouTube lesson and off I went and am so pleased with the finished product.   Blistered hands mean the remaining two chairs will have to wait, perhaps until the next rainy day?   Meanwhile I’m enjoying my Sanderson ‘Madagascar’ dining chairs.

Tomorrow is forecast to be fine so it will be laundry, lawn and garden (and a trip to the library to pick up the books I've requested).


Friday, 3 December 2021

My head is hanging in shame - a long absence

Today I was reading about a woman who described herself as "my mother's PA'.   Me too, I said, as my diary is full of the DBEM's entries: "Order prescription; Schedule podiatrist; Hearing Aid checks; Knitting yarn top up shop; Vaccine passport" etc etc etc.   Just occasionally I squeeze in "Embroiderers Guild; Stitching Group; Library" for myself:-)   I didn't realise it was so long since I had posted on my blog - no excuse really, just that life got in the way.

There has been lots of activity though -  the garden keeps me busy this time of year but I have had a lot of pleasure from all the flowers.   Our recent rains have ruined a lot of the roses but the Christmas lilies are about to pop, gladioli are flowering well and every day a different colour of Calla lily seems to pop up.   Strange things do happen though -  my deep blue hydrangea is a lovely shade of lilac this year!   I need to find out how to get it to revert to my favourite blue.   Any ideas?

It is fun to watch - even if my neighbour grins and says "Do you know you can't eat flowers.   How are your vegetables doing?"    "Very well", says I.   The asparagus has been abundant; the silverbeet,  broccoli and lettuce provide our necessary intake of leafy green veges; celery and white and red cabbage have made excellent coleslaw and my rhubarb needs to be renamed Red Triffid it is growing so well,   As a trial I grew some potatoes in a tub and they have surpassed expectations so I will have new potatoes for Christmas.   And there are carrots, red beet, runner beans etc coming along too.   

This week I completed the Frisian Whitework sewing set for one of my Great-nieces.   I received Yvette Stanton's book for my birthday and it has been really easy to follow her excellent instructions and teach myself about this new-to-me counted work technique.   

A needlebook, pincushion biscornu and a scissor fob are all contained in a small drawstring bag.   

Here's hoping I be back again quickly.