Sunday, 20 November 2022


 I did go to the embroidery store in Christchurch and spent a very enjoyable morning looking at Every Item In Store:).  It was great.  But I was very modest in my purchases - just these.

Something to look forward to when my current projects are completed.

Wednesday, 16 November 2022


 I am just nearing the end of a quick trip to Christchurch to visit my elderly uncles.   Worthwhile on that side of the ledger.

And as a bonus I got to visit as a tourist the areas devastated by the 2011 major earthquake.   In particular the 150 year old stone cathedral was badly damaged and is now in the process of a major and V E R Y expensive and lengthy restoration.   The bell tower and steeple crashed forward but amazingly the Rose Window survived.  One bell was irreparably damaged and needed to be recast but the others are safe and in storage awaiting the completion of their new home.   

So many of the landmarks I remembered have been obliterated and I got increasingly sad as I wandered around the city centre.   Until, eventually I arrived at the Transitional Cathedral - a “temporary “ structure designed by Shigeru Ban - the roof constructed from large cardboard cylinders reinforced with steel and walls made of steel shipping containers.   

I  was surprised at how beautiful it was but at that stage in my wanderings it all got too much and I sat for some time in the very uncomfortable chairs and attempted to regain my equilibrium.

Tomorrow’s bonus is a visit to Broomfield’s Embroidery which since the earthquake has been operating from “temporary” premises i.e. the owners home.   Hopefully I can be reasonably restrained as I have no immediate needs for any more stash :)

Then afternoon with the remaining elderly relatives and home to my own house and bed!

Friday, 4 November 2022

Long term project

 Having finally managed to procure the necessary yardage meterage, I am making a start on a new project.   Lyn at Embroiderers Guild had this amazing sampler cloth and I’m going to Copy Cat it.   

An interesting way to use up odd bits of thread don’t you think.   But first the hem.  

Then the centre “frame” which in my case will be either a dark blue or a mid blue.  Next I will do the corners and then the centre band on each side and after that I will practise being random!

Friday, 21 October 2022

Fine things

 Over one thread of linen must surely count as a fine thing!   It is taxing the limits of my sight but I am soldiering on with Betsy Morgan’s Four Seasons.  The silk floss is a dream to stitch with and I have only the top to complete tonight.

Three hardanger pochettes are completed and I have decided to take a break from those.   There is enough linen left for a fourth but not enough enthusiasm currently.   I need a change.   Once Betsy Morgan is done my stitching basket will be empty and I can trawl The Stash Cupboard for another project.  

Meanwhile in a weeks time  I’m off on a road trip to Auckland where in no particular order of preference I will visit my gravely ill older brother, eat at the Japanese Sushi-Go-Round, visit my much loved embroidery store The Ribbon Rose, call at a fabric shop or two, catch up with friends and see if Daiso is still in the same location and has survived Covid.   Excitement is building and I have stitched a new blouse and taken in the waistband of a pair of jeans, so ensuring that I will look respectable and not provincial for my “trip to the city”.

Spring is springing here in New Zealand after an unseasonal dumping of snow at the beginning of the month.   The Polar Blast brought snow even to Palmerston North and the temperatures have still not risen much but the days are mostly fine with clear blue skies now and the garden is screaming for attention.   This week I hope to remove a few more weeds and give a general tidy up to the front.   I have been enjoying Sweet Peas, Lily of the Valley, Alstroemeria, Carnation, Iris and a few late blooming daffodil.   

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

A bit of this and a bit of that

While visiting Little Sister recently  I heard myself offering to finish off a small baby cardigan that she was tired of knitting.   So guess what I’ve been doing?   Despite vowing never to do knitting again!!

Not much actually as besides the knitting I brought back a cold from my visit to Little Sister and isolated myself  and lived on lemon and honey drinks.   After three weeks I felt  better enough  to fulfill a promise to my friend to visit her in Tauranga, six hours drive north east of here.   That was a major test of nerve and endurance but I survived!

Now I have stitched a hardanger piece - a Christmas gift surprise for a friend at church.  Don’t worry she doesn’t know I have a blog!  I wasn’t going to line this small pochette but the lace work on the flap really requires a lining so I will have to consider what colour and fabric.  As there is still a lot of the linen left I decided to do another and to vary the pattern on the flap.   Fun but not as wholly engrossing as I had hoped.  And I see that the piece of linen is large enough to do two more!  Apologies for the bad photo -  the linen is a pretty pale mint green and I'm stitching in brilliant white.

It is three months since Mother died and I know I should be feeling more settled but truth be told I’m not.   I feel quite rootless and cannot seem to get absorbed into anything.   Now the weather is improving the garden calls and I need to spend some time out there if I am to win the War of the Weeds and if there is to be any harvest from the vegetable garden.  

Recently while in the city centre I found a small shop called the George Street Collective that sells handmade items on commission.  The very artistic looking lady who was manning the counter was happy to chat and told me she was sure I could sell small embroidery items.   So I might try taking in a sample of some of the items from The Other Drawer and see if they are suitable.   The lady I spoke to makes dangly earrings from beads and told me she likes making them but doesn’t need to keep every pair.   I know that feeling - much of my stitching is like that.  I may begin with Christmas ornaments and some of my small bags.   I need to think about this a little more.  

The weather is bright and sunny and I have been dead heading the irises and lamenting the fact that my asparagus crowns seem to have rotted with the extreme wet winter we’ve had.  But  of the dozen planted only a handful of Lily of the Valley have survived and will give me flowers.  

So today has been a much better day and I think I have earned a cup of tea and a rest!

Monday, 5 September 2022

Catch up after lengthy absence

Goodness.  Over a  month has passed and I’ve not posted here.   The reason?   Not much stitching done. I have finished the Ukrainian Sewing Set and with a huge sigh of relief - reverberating around the world I should think - I have consigned it to The Drawer along with the others and when I am next at a reputable needlework store will purchase the scissors and needles to go with them

From left to right

Ukranian whitework (in blue), Cross Stitch, Frisian Whitework (in beige) , Kogin, Blackwork, Hardanger.   Each set is a bag, a scissor fob, needlebook and pincushion.

Since then I went through my fabric stash and found I had almost a metre of 38 count Graziano Linen which is too fine for me to use for Hardanger, Ukranian or other of my favourite techniques so I decided that Drawn Thread bags modelled on "Christine Bishop's Drawstring Bag" could be useful so I have done a couple.  These two will be gifts for my elderly aunts when I visit them later in the year.   In this way the linen is used profitably and does not strain my eyes so much.

This one has a deep purple ribbon behind the Drawnthread work and I will get some beads to add to the end of the draw cord.  It is lined with off white silk.

This one is so well stitched (pat on back pat on back) that the inside is the reverse of the outside. I've not lined it so my prowess will show :-)

Little Sister came to stay for a night last week and cajoled me into booking a weekend at her place and another weekend visiting Auckland.   Not both at the same time!   So on Friday I will venture off on a road trip to Wellington (about two hours further south) and we will visit The Bead Shop as well as two of my nieces one of whom has a new baby and the other has a new house.   Both good excuses for a visit.

This afternoon I went diving into fabric stash again and found some suitable 32 count linen.   I am going to stitch Betsy Morgan's Seasons cube (from Inspirations Issue 87)   I was given the kit but my eyesight is not good enough to stitch over one for this so I am going to stitch it over two and consequently have a bigger cube.   Nor  will I make it have the scissor pocket -  a plain cube it will be.  I'm hoping this will be a longer term project and will absorb me and thus hopefully dispel some of the dismals which seem to have enveloped me at present.  Besides, I don't really want to keep adding projects to The Other Drawer and the cube will fit into my display cabinet.

Would you like a peek at The Other Drawer?   

As you can see there is space available so I will be able continue with unframed smaller projects to use up stash.

So until next time, and I promise not to leave it so long .....


Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Ta da!!

I promised a photo of the finished zipper purse so herewith.   I think it will be useful and I’m happy to have it completed in time so win win :)

Now I am working on completing another of the sewing sets for my great-nieces.   The needle book, scissor fob and pincushion for the Sollerosom set are mostly done and I need to mark up the linen for the bag.   This is being done on 34 count linen so counting is best done in daylight on a sunny day.  Currently it is mid-Winter in New Zealand so those days are few and far between.   

That's it for tonight - back to my needle and thread.