Wednesday 23 December 2009

Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas to you all and best wishes for a Happy New Year.

This will be my last post for this year as I won't have access to computers until I return home again on 2 January 2010 but I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your friendship and for the inspiration you have been to me over the past year. May you all have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy family, friends and good food.

And now I'm off to do my packing. I know that I need to have a suitcase and take clothes etc !! But first up I have readied the fabric and floss for two small projects I plan on starting during the week I am away. 26 count brussels linen and DMC floss. I plan on stitching over one thread of fabric so this linen should be perfect. Watch this space to see what will result.

And in the mood of Christmas plan on doing some more of my Wiehenberg Christmas Quaker.

So to all - a Good Night and Merry Christmas.

Sunday 20 December 2009

Inside and Outside

My garden is cutting in to my stitching time but I am looking forward to the harvest. This warm weather is great for my veges.

Our warm weather and diligent daily waterings are making my garden grow. This little Butter Bean plant along with a dozen of his cousins sprouted overnight! My Scarlet Runner beans are flowering profusely and making both the bees and me very happy. I have to be careful of the bees when I am out with the hose as I love the job they are doing and don't want to deter them in any way. On the inside I have been stitching a small pocket to hold my "2009 Art Cards" - this year I kept a record of momentous events -slight exaggeration there:-) on small cards and decided to make a pocket to hold them. I'm using Misty Blue Belfast linen and Caron silk floss in Charcoal - this is a progress shot showing the size. Now my designer skills or lack thereof come in to play while I decide what to put in the middle - I am leaning towards a Quaker emblem as I have so enjoyed Quaker designs this year. As to the Art Cards, I'm none to artistic and this has been more labour than love but it is a record of this watershed year. Only December to go now and I have that planned in my head. Nothing momentous happened in November so will give that month a miss.

And finally the New Zealand native Pohutukawa tree blooms red at Christmas time and is fondly called our Christmas tree. We have a small one on the property which is profusely red at present. No doubt all of you, like me, are busy this time of year. I hope you too have time to enjoy inside and outside - even if outdoors is not as warm where you are.

Have a good evening evrybody.

Thursday 17 December 2009

Suzanne's RR - An Emblem of Love

Despite the setback of reverse stitching I have now completed my section of Suzanne's RR. The top right of the picture was the section I chose and although this photo doesn't do the colours justice (too late at night!!) they were a pleasure to work with. The motif at the top with the three red flowers is my favourite I think. Suzanne it took some time to decide where to "hide" my initials - I hope you like them modestly hiding under the flower.
Life is a little too busy pre Christmas to start something else so I will wait until 24th when I will pack to go away for a week. No prizes for guessing what is the first thing I will want to pack - my needlework of course.
Hope you are all having a restful evening.

Sunday 13 December 2009

Oh woe is me - I am the Queen of Reverse stitching!

I had almost completed my section of Suzanne's piece in the Emblem of Love RR when I noticed that I was two threads out! Oh dear. I had to call on all my patience and reverse stitch the whole section - cross by little cross. And then start all over again. But this time all is correctly lined up and your piece is not ruined Suzanne :-) The small branch of three hanging 'flowers' and the incomplete motif on the top right are the progress so far.
Last night Judge John Deed was on TV and I admit to being thoroughly distracted from my stitching by the convoluted plot and the intricate conspiracies. And he's not such a bad looker either! Tonight 'The 39 Steps' is on and for nostalgia's sake I will watch it. The book was a set text during my first year at High School - over 30 years ago. Shall we see if the impression made on me then means I will remember the plot now??
Have a great evening everyone.

Saturday 5 December 2009

Tatyana has a giveaway

Tatyana from Moscow has a beautiful Nativity Scene on her blog - you should go check it out. She has really professional finishing and this is fantastic. I can see that I NEED this chart. Hope you all have a great evening - I'm off on-line shopping.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

The Ball is finished so its back to Anne again

Hello there - a photo to prove that the Ball is finished. I need to get some more DMC 520 to finish a twisted cord and a tassel but the ball and its construction are done. With the instructions in Dutch I had to follow photos and there were a couple of detours en route to completion. Still all in all I am really pleased with this - many thanks Ina for sending me the chart. I stitched with one thread of floss over one thread of fabric on 32 count platinum Belfast linen. And yes, my eyes did get rather tired when it came to whip stitching all this together.

At present there are lots of "year end" activities so little stitching is getting done. However I really want to get my Anne of Green Gables finished over the summer holidays. Watch this space!

Thursday 26 November 2009

Look what the mail man brought to me today!

This box just squeezed in the mail box and what a wonderful surprise. Lisette made this sparkling red Christmas Ball for the HOE Christmas Ornament Exchange. Along with a beautiful handmade Christmas Card this ball safely made the journey from The Netherlands to New Zealand - and well in time to go on the Christmas Tree.
The floss is an iridescent DMC and there are beads on every medallion and on all the seams. The Fabric is an even weave red which is a really pretty Christmas Red and not so tomato red as this poor photo shows.
What a lot of work went into this. Many many thanks Lisette.

Monday 23 November 2009

A New Start

I've put Anne aside for a week while I work on this. Can you guess what it is?
Ina from the Netherlands sent me the chart and I am enjoying very much the stitching of The ABC Ball. Quite possibly the construction will be more taxing on my patience but so far so good.

The instructions are all in Dutch - just as well that charts are a universal language - ha ha. I'm stitching over one thread with DMC floss on Platinum Belfast linen so the ball should be suitably petite.
This week I have Thursday off work - taking a day in lieu owed to me for working on the public holiday long weekend last month. Oh yay oh yay!

Saturday 21 November 2009

Merry Noel Chicken

Some of you have been asking for details of the Christmas Chook!
He's from this chart by Twisted Oaks (which I bought on line from but substituted overdyed Threadworx Floss in dark red 1089 and dark green 1048. I stitched him on 28 count antique white cashel linen. To answer your question Carol R, I didn't measure him but he stood about 5inches high I think. He is certainly not a tree ornament for the 4 foot Christmas Tree I have :-)
Hope you are all enjoying as fine and sunny a weekend as I am.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

The postman came again today!

Today the postman brought me a return exchange from Anita in Belgium. Look at all the treasures. Isn't that Belgian Chocolate tapemeasure just so cute. Anita made a cute flower pin cushion, a lovely yellow needlebook (the lining material is just gorgeous), a blue biscornu and sent a couple of other goodies. I "met" Anita on the Crazy Exchange - I just love the international flavour of this exchange group and have been able to "visit" many European countries this way. Thank you so very much for your generosity Anita.

And Vonna let me know that the chickens had come home to roost at her house. I sent Vonna this Christmas Chook for our Christmas Ornament Exchange. Vonna, it was hard to part with him so I'm pleased he's settled well at your house. I can see a repeat coming here :-) You can see better photos on this site.
And good night to all of you.

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Today the post man was busy!

Today the postman was very busy - he brought two packages to my house. And at lunchtime when I phoned Mother, as I usually do, she excitedly told me "make sure you come straight home tonight as there's two surprises for you" And just so there is no confusion - I don't dawdle on the way home usually so the implied reprimand is unjustified!! But look what there was when I got home - - -

This fantastic strawberry from Marie as part of the Friends Through Threads exchange. Isn't this neat? I have already hung it on the cabinet door where I intend to enjoy it all year round and not just at Christmas. Thanks so much Marie - this was a great gift a real good choice as I love strawberries ; the real sort and these inedible ones too.

Next was this surprise thank you package from Jill. I just love these plastic containers and the contents - well what can I say but "Wow! Thanks Jill" I look forward to 'topping' those Altoid tins and the threads are going to be really useful. I just love everything - and am overwhelmed at your generosity and your good choices. My half blind half deaf elderly Mother who has appeared on this blog before is joyfully helping me eat the chocolate :-)
So from one happy chocolate filled stitcher - good night to you all

Monday 16 November 2009

Some more progress on Anne

I have pulled out my "Anne" book and want to try and get it finished this year. The fun part is deciding on the various quotations that I am putting on each page. There are more pages to finish yet but this is a shot of the ones so far. Oh how I love that book - each time I dip into its pages I have the most wonderful journey down memory lane and am transported back to the comfy chair in my parents lounge where I first curled up to read the adventures of Anne Shirley. Sorry the photo is not clickable - I don't know how to do that.

On Saturday I spent a wonderful hour or two going through my charts to find something suitable for a "winter exchange" and somehow got waylaid:-) I began a list of "what I want to stitch in 2010" but it grew too long too fast so after some deliberation I managed to reduce it to two large projects "Christmas Quaker" from Weihenburg Samplers, "Historic Countries Mystery Sampler" from The Gift of Stitching, and then some smaller projects and exchanges as they occur. This will keep me busy I'm sure. There are two WIP's to complete as well - ABeCeDaire and The Queen's Sweet Bag - perhaps over the summer holidays here I can make good progress.
Have a happy evening everybody.

Monday 9 November 2009

Inside and Outside

This past weekend has been busy. The weather was beautiful so I spent some time in the garden and was 'kissed' by the sun! My small garden is in two halves and the left hand side is all planted out and now I am clearing the right hand side for the next session.
Once inside, cleaned up and with my "gardening hands" suitably smoothed with cream I picked up my stitching. This photo is only a tease - I can't show you the whole piece as it is being mailed off overseas this week and I don't want to spoil the surprise. Now I am back working on Anne and tonight intend to stitch the words "it's a million times nicer to be Anne of Green Gables than Anne of nowhere in particular" and then page one will be ready to construct. I am really enjoying this although progress is slow as I have to think it all up by myself and I am no designer :-)
Have a good evening everyone

Friday 6 November 2009

Another birthday gift!

The post man knows me on a first name basis now! This week I mailed off a Santa to Melissa who won the draw, and a stitched and completed one to my Little Sis who is now trying to blame me for being required to actually put up her Christmas Tree when she won't actually be at home for Christmas. Silly her for always throwing a Tree Decorating Party on December 1st. Sis, you know that when you start something and call it a tradition then a yearly keeping of promises is mandatory!! And you know that Little Bro looks forward to that party all year:-)

Yesterday the post man brought me another box which was filled to capacity with all these lovely gifts from Rachel, my partner on the Stitching Bloggers Birthday Club. I love the little pincushion - and there was such a lot of other goodies too. Many thanks Rachel.
The weather lady on TV has promised fine weather tomorrow so here's my list

Spring Clean the bathroom; Clean the car (why does every bird in West Auckland aim for my vehicle in the car park at work??); Bake some Lemon Biscuits; Dig out the rest of the pesky canna lillies and plant some broccli and beans in the garden, maybe some radishes and salad greens, some red beet and whatever else takes my fancy at the garden store; Do the grocery shopping; Cook my mother the promised silverbeet and feta (egg) souffle and finally ...... collapse in my chair and finish off this motif of the ABeCeDaire - after which it will be rolled up and consigned to the cupboard while I work on something else - and of course watch Antiques Road Show and my friend Inspector Barnaby - ooooh I do so like him even if he lives in a quaint but murderous little village.
Have a good weekend everybody.

Saturday 31 October 2009

Wallet wants to have a whinge

Wallet has gone off in a pout after having a real whinge. I tell you the lack of cooperation today was far from acceptable. In the Saturday To Do List Wallet only featured once. I ask you how much energy does it take to open your mouth once or twice in a day? Zilch, micro nano kilojoules, zero, a great big nought!!!
But I am getting ahead of myself. Today again, yes for the third time this month I went to the LNS. I know I know... but when your sister asks for a small Santa locket charm - stitched mind you - no kitset and DIY for Sis :-) what can you do but go to the LNS. I was skipping joyfully all week at the thought but it seems that Wallet was preparing for the monster pout. But size really does matter and when Wallet and I faced up for our stoush I WON!!!! And back home I came with Little Sisters Santa Kit ( and Sis, I know you're reading this - I'm starting to stitch tonight), a couple of lengths of fabric, some threads and a Clover Needle Threader for the half blind half deaf elderly Mother.

And Sis since you feature so prominently in this post here's a photo of what your Santa locket charm will look like.

Friday 30 October 2009

All the way from Barbados

Today I received an exchange from the beCause its PINK exchange on HOE -all the way from Barbados. Sandra had stitched a cute little pink pendibule and has put pink beads all round the edge. Its great. Thanks for all the goodies too Sandra. And thanks too for the stamps on the package - my young friend Matthew will love to add these to his collection.

Tomorrow we are promised fine weather and I have a long list of jobs that needs be done. Like cleaning the car, digging four bags of compost in to the garden, baking some cookies and a banana cake, grocery shopping - oh yes and visiting my two LNS. So anxious was I to not miss out on my heart's desire I phoned ahead and had them put the goodies aside for me. How's that for cunning?
Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Mini Santa Giveaway Draw on a special day

Today is my (ssssh don't tell the world) 55th birthday. This is a fun way to end a great day. Thank you to all those who left a comment.
Grandma's bowl is prepared. It was a wedding present to my paternal grandmother and is one of the Royal Doulton Shakespeare series - titled Rosalind. The inside is far more interesting than the outside but it is a special piece and I am pleased to have it. I also have a "Rosalind" milk jug and sugar bowl and a "Romeo" tea pot which were wedding presents of my maternal grandmother's. Must have been the wedding present trend in that generation??

Now for the draw. My half blind half deaf elderly Mother cannot remember which eye she covered last time so this time is a "blind drawing"

And the lucky winner is......

Melissa I will send you an email and post this off to you. Happy stitching.
Thank you all for making this special day extra special.

Monday 26 October 2009

Labour Day's Labour of Love

Today is Labour Day in New Zealand and a public holiday - what better way to celebrate than to clean up my stash cupboard. I forgot to take a before photo but here is the cupboard after a delightful morning spent going through it all. Then this afternoon I finished a Christmas Ornament for my ?????? - oops his mother reads this blog!! and have only a little hand sewing to complete on my Joy tree. Next is some more work on the ABeCeDaire - here's a progress shot of that. Once have completed the current motif this WIP is going away for a little while and I will work on one of the others I have on going. This ABC, Anne of Green Gables and my Quaker Christmas are screaming for completion. I also have an RR, a winter exchange, and a Christmas Ornament Exchange to get done. "Prioritize Girl" I hear you say, so that is exactly what I intend to do.
have a good evening everyone.

Saturday 24 October 2009

Mini Santa Giveaway

I have all but finished stitching this mini Santa to fit inside the tiny charm locket. There is just the gold metallic cross on the top of the tree and gold trim on his cloak. I put the John James Size 28 needle in the photo too so you can see how small he is.

I have also bought a second kit and am offering this as a giveaway. My Mother always told me my birthday began the countdown to Christmas and as my birthday is next week the lucky winner of this giveaway will have time to stitch Santa for his/her tree. Please leave your name and email on this post and on Wednesday 28 October my half blind half deaf elderly Mother will once again draw a name from Grandma's bowl.

Thursday 22 October 2009

Look what I won and Look what I've made

Earlier this month the company I work for had an online quiz on the company intranet- to increase product knowledge for the sales staff and customer service personnel - but look what I won! There were a few surprised faces and some jealous comments (obviously accounts and admin aren't supposed to have product knowledge) but I am delighted. I already have some songs on it and am enjoying how light it is to carry. My original iPod is an 80GB monster - too heavy really for the gym or long walks. This tiny 1 GB one is perfect.

I have finished the stitching on the "Joy" Christmas tree which I plan on making into a wall hanging. With that in mind I stitched in 2 strands of floss over two linen threads on 32 count linen in my favourite Threadworx red. It has turned out rather well. I put in a sideways shot too so you can see why its called the "Joy" tree .
Now the plan is to get back to the Abecedaire and Anne of Green Gables but before that there is one other Christmas Ornament Exchange to complete.

Tuesday 20 October 2009

beCAUSE its Pink

I recently participated in an exchange with the conditions that it had to be pink and sent in October which is Breast Cancer month. I made this needlework tin and sent it to Niceville, Florida - now isn't that a great name for a town :-) - and Jayne has let me know it arrived safely.

Here's a photo of the top which is 30 count pale pink linen and a beautiful candyfloss pink colour variegated floss from threadworx. The chart is Carol's Sew Red which turned into Sew Pink!
Inside I put a small pair of scissors with pink breast Cancer ribbons on the handles.

Monday 19 October 2009

A puzzle

I have been happily stitching tonight but can't show you anything of that as it is still top secret. What is they say - if I told you I'd need to shoot you? I'm stitching for an exchange so cannot posibly spoil the surprise.
What do you think these will make? This is a bad photo taken under artificial light and proof positive of my amateur status as a photographer.
Hope you have all had a good day - mine turned out better when the thunderstorms stopped and the sun came out. But it was pay day today so not all bad.
Have a good evening everyone!

Sunday 18 October 2009

Christmas is coming

Just 10 weeks until Christmas and I'm working on Christmas Ornaments - again!
One is for an exchange and I can't even show you a glimpse!!

But this one is for me so here it is. Stitched on 32 count Belfast linen with DMC threads 816 and 777 this is a very tiny Christmas Cracker for my tree. As I won't be home for Christmas this year the tree is not going up so into the box goes this wee one to be brought out for Christmas 2010. My isn't that a record for preparation???
Other news is that I went to my LNS yesterday afternoon and found this. Isn't it cute? I should finish the exchange stitching tonight and will start on this little sweetie next. Santa is stitched in one thread of floss over one thread of linen and fits into the tiny locket charm. On the other side of the charm goes Xmas 20?? Do you think he might get finished in time for me to put 2009??

Monday 12 October 2009

Mystery Biscornu - finished!

I'm pleased to show off my mystery biscornu which is now complete or as the Spinster Stitcher says feenee! Thanks so much for this Hohla - it was a real pleasure to stitch. I love the little "story" on the back too - I won't be able to forget when I did this one!
And now I am off to start another exchange - ingredients in this "recipe" are antique white belfast linen, a holly red and a fir tree green floss and this will make ???? Of course a Christmas Ornament! So ho ho ho its off to stitching I go.
Have a good night everyone. Bye Bye

Sunday 11 October 2009

Update on Mystery Biscornu

The front of my mystery biscornu is almost done now - only four little stars to add. I will try and get the back done tonight so that this can be completed.

Last night I went to a charity concert put on by the talented Balzat family so no stitches added . But I did remember to record Antiques Roadshow and my friend Inspector Barnaby of Midsomer so can enjoy them both tonight. Ah bliss - a night of stitching in such wonderful company!

Hope you have all had a good weekend -the cold Antartic winds seem to have gone now and Spring is back in the air here. Makes for a brighter outlook on life I find!

Saturday 10 October 2009

Look what the mail man brought to me today!

Well, that title is not strictly true as the mail man left me a card and I had to go and collect it. Those pesky cards never say where the package is from so with many "I wonder ifs" off I go and find this!
Kazumi sent me a package for my birthday - which is not for some weeks yet - and what a decorative package it is. Don't you just love all those stamps! I do and so will my little friend Matthew who collects stamps.
But as I say, for another few weeks I remain "youngish" and so will not be opening this until the actual day (ha ha I hear you say! She will succumb to temptation!)
I'm off now to finish the last row of my mystery biscornu and then I will be back with another snapshot. Be good all of you!