Thursday, 21 January 2021

Getting ready for Christmas

 I’ve yet to decide on a ‘proper project’ for this year so meanwhile have tagged several Christmas ornaments from the 2020 Just CrossStitch ornament issue and have made a start on them.   

This pointsettia will be finished as a flat round and have silver cord and hanger.

I intend to finish Joy to the World as a flat rectangle with a thin ribbon to edge it and a broader matching ribbon as a hanger.

The diamond was three by three in the original chart but I scaled down as I didn't want such a big ornament to finish.   I think a small padded pillow finish for this one.

And the last one for this batch is the Festive Jersey.   I intend to make a small wire coat hanger from florist wire to attach at the neck so that it can hang on the tree with a ribbon - possibly a narrow white ribbon I think.

This is a great way to economically use up scraps of linen (of which I seem to have many) and floss from stash.   I still have spare fabric on the left hand side and will make a couple more ornaments before I call it quits with this piece of linen.   

And I admit to a certain feeling of righteous satisfaction at making full use of a small scrap of linen and in having a head start on this year's ornaments.   But still no decision on the 2021 project :(

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Beading is Over

The Mill Hill Bead and Button kit is now finished.    I backed it with a piece of felt stitched on with a running stitch in toning blue DMC as this piece is destined for a shelf in my display cabinet so will not be framed.

I have to admit it looks quite splendid now all the decorations are on ;)

And today the only named rose in my garden bloomed -  "Mum in a Million" - so here is the DBEM holding 'her rose'. 

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Beading will not become my new obsession

 Last year I won a Mill Hill Beaded Kit as a prize at Embroiderers Guild and immediately felt the pressure to get this stitched ready for the Show and Tell after the summer holiday break.   I didn't immediately feel the love for this kit.   Perforated Paper, Beads (lots of beads) etc etc   But I followed the excellent instructions and eventually reached the point of sorting out all the colours of the beads from the mixed packs.   Then a day or two of stagnation before today deciding to sit down at the table and bead.  So I did.  A good part of the morning and a good part of the afternoon.   Just as well it was not really the weather for gardening:)

And, this is progress so far.   The weather forecast is for rain tomorrow so I am hopeful that this piece will be completed.   As I don't intend to frame it or use it I will be gluing stitching a piece of felt to the back and placing this at the back of the display cabinet.

And now the confession -  I am a little over absorbed and would almost be persuaded to stay up through the night to get this finished.  Not that I love it or even really like it but I have to admit that the beads make it shine and add a certain pizazz to this piece.

Lessons learned -  I will not be adding beading to my list of crafts nor the supplies to my stash.  And it is not a good idea to try to stitch on perforated paper with beads if you have a splint on your right thumb and are right hand dominant :(

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Happy New Year and...

 Happy New Year.   I have trawled through tidied up my stash cupboards and found two forgotten WIP.   One I have decided to continue to forget and the other has been placed in the queue :)   But before I can attend to that or even think about starting anything new I have the temperature chart to mount for hanging, the hardanger apron to complete and the dratted Mill Hill kit won as a prize at Guild to finish off.

I am making good progress on the stitching and now comes the dreaded part -  the beading.

Why oh why do Mill Hill put the beads in mixed bags and expect the stitcher to sort them out only providing generic colour descriptions and the warning "some colours are very similar".   Correct!!!! 

Some of the colours are very similar.   Tonight I spent ages sorting out one bag which is supposed to contain six different colours.   In the artificial light I could only find five colours and am assuming a) from the quantities,  I have mixed up the blue and purple and b) the light yellow and the apricot are probably requiring further sorting out.

Well, that's another job for tomorrow's list.  

Thursday, 31 December 2020

Farewell to 2020

The housework is done, windows are polished inside and out, the car is clean, the lawns are mowed and the laundry is dry and folded away.   The DBEM has had her fingernails cut(!), and there is nothing else on the list.   It feels good to have everything clean and tidy on the last night of the old year.   And a bonus -  I have two finishes to show off.

First the basket band is completed and has been attached to the basket and more importantly, is already in use.

Basket Back

Basket Front

And to ensure that it fitted the circumference I stitched the year!
I am amazed at how this band addition has elevated a humble basket purchased cheaply from Trade Aid (the local fair trade shop).   This basket is deep enough to hold all my needlework necessities as well as a current project.   At the moment it is missing the project as I have nothing chosen as yet -  a pleasant task for tomorrow :)

And the Temperature SAL for 2020 is complete too.   I am going to miss this from my evening programme.

Palmerston North temperatures 2020

Comparison with Auckland 2019
I am going to mount the Palmerston North one on foam core also and both of them will be displayed.  It has been great fun to see the difference - it is certainly cooler down here in Palmerston North although last summer did have several "Dark Red" days but there were more "Light Blue" days in the winter too.  

Now what will I do for my year long project this year?   Already I have chosen the Christmas Ornaments I want to stitch but it seems strange to begin stitching those in January so I have promised myself a deep dive into the stash cupboard tomorrow and I'll choose something new and exciting.

Yesterday I had another pacemaker check and was told that I will have my lead replaced sometime in January when the cardiologist returns from his summer holiday.   Meanwhile I am taking things carefully and as instructed, keeping driving to a minimum.   I am happy to be out walking again and can now manage a 30 minute walk each evening without my heel and ankle giving any trouble.   I did walk to the library too and picked up my latest request 'The Sewing Machine' by Natalie Fergie.   I have a couple of others to finish before I can begin that one but it looks interesting and I have half promised the DBEM that I will read it aloud to her.

Thank you to all who have read my blog and left comments.   Next month will be 13 years since I began this blog and I still enjoy keeping a record of stitching projects and sometimes "life events".
I wish you all a very Happy New Year.  Stay Home, Stay Safe, Be Kind.


Friday, 25 December 2020

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Christmas Eve 2020

 This has been a year like no other and for me, today has been a Christmas Eve like no other.    My power supply company offered a "free power" day so I willingly accepted their offer and selected the 24th as my day.   Up early this morning,  the oven was on at 7am and I finally turned it off at 5pm this afternoon.   In those hours I baked multiple batches of scones, a double batch of gingerbread loaves, two ginger crunch slices, three double batches of biscuits, roasted a piece of rolled pork and then roasted a chicken.   All are now nicely packaged and labelled and in the freezer, saving me both money this month and also time in future weeks and months.   My freezer is almost full to capacity but hopefully we will make some room before I harvest vegetables from my garden.   That's another story:)

Pouring rain outside all day meant cancelling my plans to do several loads of washing (and hopefully the ironing too) but I'm feeling quite smug that I made such good use of this "free offer".   A Merry Christmas to you too,  'Mr Energy Supply Company'.   Please do this again next year.

During all this frenetic activity my brother and his wife called in just on lunch time so it was a scramble to put lunch on the table for them and to sit and have a chat and catch up on photos and news of their children and grandchildren.   Thanks to Little Brother,  and the local courier company (Little Sister sent hers this way) there are now a few presents under the Christmas Tree for us to open tomorrow.   It had been looking rather bare:(

The DBEM was completely worn out and had 40 winks in her chair during the late afternoon only rousing for her dinner at night and to watch/listen to the TV news.   She is now in bed and I'm having a quick cup of tea and reading some more of my book before I too visit the Land of Nod.   There hasn't been a lot of stitching today but I'm almost at the end of the Basket Band and have found a comfortable position to stitch for around 45 minutes duration without removing my thumb splint.   So life is looking good:)