Thursday 28 May 2009

GPA Biscornu #1 is finished

Tonight I finished the tassel on this so can officially declare it complete. Well, to be honest the chart said there was a whole heap of backstitching which I decided was unnecessary hence the declaration of completeness. I just love the way the special button and bead match both the colours and the design. I have started number 2 but the frogs have come to visit so it has been banished to the bottom of the basket.
Only a brief post tonight as I have lots I want to do. See you all again soon

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Just Nan Exchange

Today I received an email from Becky to say she had received the package safely. We had been assigned as partners in a "Just Nan" Exchange with Hooked On Exchanging. This wasn't the first time we had been paired up and I knew that Becky likes biscornu so the 'Big Bee Little Bee chart' from Just Nan designs was turned into just that. And here's a view from the top to show both the bees! Another of Becky's likes is sewing gadgets so I managed to find some locally made odds and ends to fill up the package. Small wooden spools by a local wood turner, beads from a glass worker from the nearby Coromandel region, silk floss hand-dyed by a textile artist in Christchurch, some finishing fabric - all this together with a tiny card was packed inside the Candy Tin. Now I'm sure aren't you, that Becky would rather have had these contents than the candy!Great fun doing this exchange and I am thrilled that Becky liked it all. Do check out Becky's blog to see what else she is up to.

Sunday 24 May 2009

What a great weekend!

First of all I collected a package from the Post Office on Saturday and it was a fantastic RAK from Tammie. A wonderful padded bag with a magnetic fastener and the most amazing fine blackwork on the front. Tammie - you are amazing. How you find time to do such exqusite work I don't know. I am delighted to have this sample of your work - all the more precious as I know you are a busy busy lady.
Next I finished a Marken Marker Mouse Fingercushion. I found this in an article about Marken Embroidery (an area of The Netherlands I think) in an old copy of Inspirations magazine. Sorry I can't tell you which one. This dear little mouse is a pincushion that you wear as a 'ring' on your left hand when you are stitching. Now how convenient is that! Well I'm not sure if it is truly comfortable to wear or not but it was fun to make. Unfortunately the Needlework Shop didn't have black faceted beads for the eyes so my Marker Mouse has red eyes! But isn't he cute.
And then guess what - a surprise package from my little sister. She sent me this for being such a wonderful big sister! Thanks heaps - I love it and it was a marvellous surprise. I've always wanted stork scissors so thanks for those and I love the colours of those silk threads. A wonderful box of goodies - I think you must have been reading my wishlist!!
Have a good night everyone.

Wednesday 20 May 2009

Packages aplenty

Today I took these two packages to the local Post Office - well actually, I did put the addresses on them first! They are both now in the hold of an Air New Zealand aircraft and will be winging their way to .... You will have to wait for news of that as they are both for exchanges.
Taija let me know she had received her birthday gift. I sent her a small Canvas work pincushion -and a few other odds and ends. A Raggedy Ann and Andy bag (and before you all ask I got the fabric for this in Japan five years ago!), some flower clips, a fantastical pen, some teabags and a small wallet from a New Zealand textile designer. I hope you had a wonderful birthday Taija.

Have a lovely day everybody

Sunday 17 May 2009

Quaker Pin Cube is finished - and a day at the Embroiderers gathering

Last Friday night I finished the Quaker Pin Cube so here is a photo. The ecru DMC goes well with the Mulberry linen and I admit to being quite pleased with this. Thanks to Ola and her blog for the inspiration. I will definitely be repeating this - perhaps in a different colourway. Do you like the bunch of grapes behind - that was my first and so far only attempt at stumpwork. Proved to myself that I was more a counted girl!
On Saturday my friend Beth and I drove two and a half hours to Coromandel to a Regional Embroiderer's Day and had a great time. Around the walls of the auditorium where it was all held were several stands of merchants all combining to present severe temptation in stash enhancement! It was fun to chat with others, see what they were stitching, listen to the most interesting speaker and to view the mini exhibition. Each Embroiderers Guild within the region had a small display of some of their work. Some are more traditional embroiderers and others are of the creative textile art variety. One display had a long table runner in exquisite Ukranian Whitework - having tried this myself I was awestruck at the patience that was needed to produce this.I was particularly interested in this Russian Drawnthread Work and the feathery edging to the needlelace panel. Perhaps when I am retired like many of the ladies who produced this work I too, will have the time and hopefully still the patience to do this fine work.
Have a great day everyone!

Thursday 14 May 2009

Yet another package from Japan

Look what the mailman brought me! My friend Kazumi sent me a large tin can - she knows that I love cans and this will hold a tremendous amount of stash! But it arrived filled with a whole variety of Japanese cookies and a pack of miso soups for me to take with my lunch. My what fun it was to open all these up. Lovely lovely. Thank you so much Kazumi I will enjoy each and every one of these.
On the sewing front I have the six pieces of the Quaker Pin Cube ready to join together. This is a terrible photo but it shows the colour of the mulberry linen well.Also the biscornu is coming along too. I love the colours of this one - its a real delight to stitch and aren't the matching Italian beads beautiful. I am so looking forward to this finish.

Have a happy day everyone

Tuesday 12 May 2009

Today the mailman came to visit with an amazing package from my friend Yuko in Japan. What do you think is in this exciting looking package. Actually this bag is not made especially for mailing but is the Mothers Day shopping bag from a Japanese store. Here's the front.... and the back.
And what was inside? Well here we are - two beautiful boxes. The blue one I instantly recognised as my favourite Kibana cookies. But the pink one? Well what is in that? Well here we go - open the lid and oh my golly gosh - two cute little puppies! Yuko's Mother made them for me - and Yuko made the cute card. Aren't these two Japanese puppies just so cute. The live on top of my piano now where I can enjoy their company. Thank you so very much Yuko - tell your Mum thankyou from me too.

As to stitching - I have made a start on a GPA Biscornu. Aren't the colours lovely. And tonight I plan on cutting the cardboard so I can finish the Quaker cube. How come the hours at work go by so slowly but the evening stitching hours just fly by?

Happy stitching everybody.

Saturday 9 May 2009

Half the pair of Pears

The whitework pear is now complete. I did a fancy M on the back and 2009 on the front - overall I am fairly happy with this one and look forward to the Double Running Stitch companion piece.
Unfortunately I have been tempted and have started another piece that I saw on Hohla's blog and from that found the the link to the design here. Its a fun stitch of a Quaker Pin Cube which I am doing in DMC ecru floss on 32 count mulberry linen.

This morning I was invited to "High Tea" with some colleagues from my previous company and arrived to find around a dozen there and that in fact it was an "Arigato" party at which they presented me with flowers and thanks for the small help I was in them getting their permanent residence visas. The flowers are beautiful and I especially love the delicate shade of the roses. Wasn't I a lucky girl!

Tuesday 5 May 2009

A surprise or two

Today our security gate was not functioning and was wide open so the mail man could come in and bring me a wonderful surprise box all the way from Finland.
I had won a draw on Leena's blog and this is what she sent. All the goodies came from her trip to Paris so there is a touch of France in my lounge tonight. Thank you so much Leena for your generosity - and already the tin of caramels is reduced in number! They are delicious and the tin - well what can I say. For someone like me who is a 'tinaholic' this is a superb gift. I am already dreaming of what I shall make with these goodies : lovely checked linen, amazing alphabet fabric, rickrack, red thread, pins, two gorgeous cat buttons, notepad, cards, one chart etc etcAnd here is one of the four magnets - very Parisienne!

And another surprise - Edgar's blog is two years old and is having a give away. Well to be more precise Edgar is giving away a blogaversary gift. Do go check out his blog here- he has snaps of two wonderful pieces of stitching on show today. You will be inspired!

Monday 4 May 2009

A Golden Pear

Here's a shot of the golden pear. Its a chart from the Historic Needlework Guild which I have had in my stash since 1999 - a Tricia Wilson Nguyen design. Although described as whitework it is actually a beautiful pale gold and is done on creamy (almost pale gold) 36 count linen. As you can see its well on the way to finished - except for the third row which is of Queen Stitches - they will wait until last as they are certainly not my favourite stitch! I still have some more four sided stitch and bullions at the bottom before I need to go back to the dreaded Queen Stitches. Meanwhile I am deciding what alphabet I will use for the 'M' I intend to put on the other side.
I'm off to stitch now so have a good night everyone.

Sunday 3 May 2009

The next three projects

Wallet and I went to the LNS yesterday and the threads are all sorted now for the next three projects - fabric and charts came from my stash.

Don't they look colourful? I made a start on the first pear - although its called Whitework it is actually done in a beautiful pale gold DMC 676 and is on a cream Edinburgh linen so I am very pleased with how this is turning out. The other pair of the pears is in the multicolours shown in the photo and once again is a sampler.

Then I plan on doing these two biscornu and even have the spot on top of my CD rack where they will live once finished - the chart calls for Clay Belfast linen but I have substituted Pewter as that is what I had in my stash and part of the object of this exercise is stash reduction!
Finally the fabric and threads for a basket band which will be a birthday gift for someone later on this year. I really love the colours in this and can't wait to get started. Can you tell I have completely lost my determination to only have one project on the go at any one time!!

Hope you have all had a good weekend. Yesterday was cold and wet but in the afternoon I went for a massage using a voucher given to me by an ex colleague. An hour in the calm dimly lit surroundings of the Spa at the Hyatt and the hard work by the masseuse was sure relaxing! I felt as if I had visited a foreign country - unused as I am to such luxury. But my muscles certainly benefited from the kneading and pounding.

In the evening i finished off the second of my exchanges which will go out later this month and this afternoon I took some photos for the record. You can look forward to those later on!

Happy stitching everyone.