Sunday, 15 April 2018

Constructing a Marken Mouse pincushion

Some time ago Deb asked how a triangular piece of stitching could turn into a mouse.
So starting from this....
I back stitch a square around at the required distance (note to self -  accuracy is important here.  Must be square!)
Behind the open work slip stitch a piece of bold coloured fabric.   This time I have used cobalt blue silk.
Then fold in half to create a triangle and stitch almost closed - allow a space to insert sufficient stuffing.
Close up the gap and join together .
Satin stitch a black nose, add whiskers and french knot eyes.  This is a pin cushion so toning pins are necessary.   Tonight's mouse still needs two tiny pink ears but I haven't fetched the box of felt yet:-)

Clear as mud?   I've not used one of these pincushions but the mouse is a cute addition to an embroidery display -  and they sell well on sales tables.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Final Day

Today was my last day at the office and from Monday I start at the new one - just fifteen minutes walk down the hill.   My colleagues put on a wonderful morning tea and presented me with two great gifts.
Pandora sparkly earrings

and a Westfield Gift Card with some healthy food (dark chocolate is said to be healthy!)
So it was a strange day as I completed tasks, reassured my boss that she would survive the change to a new PA and signed off.
Now I have a wet weekend to survive.   Wouldn't you know it - the weatherman says Monday is to be wet too.   Just when I will be starting to walk to work.  Fortunately I have a good raincoat, large umbrella and boots:-)

And a confession -  Arabian Nights has been put into respite care and I am back to enjoyably counting linen and using up a scrap of cream linen to create four Marken Mice and three Aztec Stitch bookmarks.   I have mastered the dratted Aztec Stitch bookmark chart.   Thread groups have to be in a multiple of four + one.   Worked perfectly this time.   Progress shot tomorrow as there are decisions to be made.  I'm trying a variation of style and may need to poll comments to help me decide.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Three Blind Mice

I'm enjoying my "diversion from planned route" into Marken Mice.
Three are in the process of escaping from needle and linen.
Stage one is the foundation - not your normal Kloster Block but over six fabric threads.
Stage two is cut threads, woven bars and eyelets.
Stage three is filling stitch.
Apart from one frustrating episode of reverse stitching these have been a therapeutic diversion but will soon be complete and it will be back to Arabian Nights:)

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Lenten Lilies

Today was bright and sunny but the DBEM has caught my cold so didn't get out to church.   We did go for a drive to the seaside though and enjoyed the view over the mudflats:)
After completing one piece of my knitting I have returned to Arabian Nights and made a small amount of progress.
But I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms from my favourite counted work so made the decision to have another project in tandem and have started a new collection of Marken Mice.
Tomorrow is another public holiday here and I have only two items on my list of chores so will have time for another long walk as the weather lady promised it would be fine!   Hope she's correct:)
Our Lenten Lilies have bloomed prolifically at just the right time.  For a rather plain flower they make quite a display.   We are entering the season of leaves and today I swept up a large pile as well as three buckets of chestnuts from the neighbours tree.   I'm going to search for a recipe to make the wonderful chestnut puree I used to eat in Japan as the DBEM would enjoy that I think.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

My best friend...

My best friend Kazumi sent me a package from Japan.   She told me it was coming.  She told me it was chocolate.  Then the postman left a card in the mail box and this afternoon I collected the package.
Look what was in it....two tins and a box. 
Wonderfully pleasing to the eye, tempting to the taste and guaranteed to add centimetres to the hips.
Want a look inside?

And let me tell you, the DBEM has already gratefully accepted two of the chocolates from the blue Hotel Okura box.   An orange flavoured dark chocolate (bottom left in the box)and the one with the writing on it in centre right.   Both equally delicious she tells me.   No Easter Eggs for the DBEM this year - she will eat my Japanese chocolates:)
Thank you very much Kazumi.   Both of us are very very happy.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Catch up

My kind, courageous, gentle, calm 'boss-become-close-friend' lost her battle with cancer and last weekend I went down country to the small country graveyard where she was laid to rest.   A little over a six hour drive each way was very tiring and it has been a hard few weeks.  How I am missing her!
This weekend I am taking quietly as I have a head cold.   No energy to knit or stitch but I have read a book or two.   Coldrex makes me sleepy, lemon drinks keep my throat happy and the evening walks are on hold.   But this morning the scales were my friend - a total of 5kg lost.   And an email from Kazumi says she has mailed a package of chocolates:( Will I survive that temptation?

Anyway, the Aztec Stitch bookmark is completed and the knitting is started.   Yes, just as the weather is getting cooler I am knitting a short sleeved cardigan.   My efforts to clear my wool stash start with this and then it will be two pairs of wool socks.   I like having projects lined up ahead and once this piece of knitting is done it will be back to Arabian Nights.  Sounds like I am converted to a rotation??

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Almost there

Last week has been well occupied with activities other than stitching but this afternoon I did complete the Aztec Stitch on the bookmark.
Then I tacked out lines so I can do the mitred corners and finally complete this "simple job".   It has been a bit of a nightmare.   One thing I will be doing is taking some close up photos and rewriting my copy of the instructions so I don't have a repeat of this time's reversing and miscounting,
I'm thinking of doing some knitting next as a respite from the stress:)