Saturday 27 February 2010

Making work for other's hands

Today we went out shopping to "Wild and Woolly" a really great yarn shop across the harbour - well we didn't take the direct route but called at "The Embroiderer" on the way for a yard of Edinburgh linen in Antique White. No that isn't as boring as it sounds because I have an idea spinning in my head for what I will make for the "Christmas in July" exchange with the Crazy Exchange group. More to follow on that later.
Anyway to get back to Wild and Woolly - we went to get yarn so that the "half deaf half blind elderly Mother" (do you remember her? Check this photo - she hasn't changed a bit has she!) is going to knit me a cardigan to wear when the weather gets colder. Despite it being humid and 27 degrees celsius today winter will definitely come and I will need the cheery warmth of this cardigan. Here's a snapshot of the yarn and the picture of what will come
It's a muggy "tropical night" and I'm off for some shut eye. Have a good evening everyone

Thursday 25 February 2010

A surprise

I have been busily stitching but no photos of that to show you. Rotations are helping ensure my unfinished items do not remain that way but I haven't made any progress worth taking a snapshot of! Hopefully this week will see the small pocket I started here completed. Goodness - how embarrassing is that. Such a small thing started on December 20th and it has taken around two months to complete. Just as well 2010 is the year of completing UFO's for me!
However I did win a prize on the intranet quiz at work. My colleagues were veritable "green eyed monsters" when they saw I had won this. I see on the box it says ages 8 to adult but in my eyes these are for "young people" and today I don't feel all that young. Still its always a pleasant feeling to be a winner.
Have a good evening everyone.

Sunday 21 February 2010

A New Start

On Friday night I started Quaker Row (by Midnight Stitching) as a piece to take to the monthly Embroiderers' Guild meetings. Not too complicated, one colour of floss, and the soothingly rhythmic Quaker motifs are just right for stitching while listening to the speaker. However yesterday's speaker had a fascinating tale to tell of her trip to Jordan, Israel and Albania and I found myself laying my needle down many times so as to look more closely at her wonderful photos. Her husband has asked her if she wanted a ruby ring for their 40th wedding anniversary but she declined and instead asked for a trip to Petra - "a rose red city half as old as time" according to the sonnet by Burgon. What a marvellous husband and what a marvellous trip. It was great to share her memories and adventures even though progress on Quaker Row suffered!.
Here's a shot of "piece so far" This I will be taking to Guild meetings once a month so progress will be steady but slow

I am using materials from my stash cupboard, Zweigart linen which looks to be a little "vintaged" but is of colour and description unknown, 32 threads to the inch. I am stitching in Threadworx floss number 1041 over two threads of fabric. So far I am more than satisfied with the way this is turning out. But it will be rolled up and put away until next month as I go back to my rotation.

Have a great evening everyone

Thursday 18 February 2010

Winter Exchange arrived

Today the postman brought me a box. Does this bag give you a hint where it came from?

And inside were all these goodies; a tulip in a pot, a bag of fancy toothpicks with little flags on the ends of a Dutch boy and girl kissing, a sheet of stickers, a notebook, a packet of licorice Dutch clogs ( and little 'bro if you are reading this I am going to eat these myself even though I know you love them ha ha!) and a fantastic needle roll stitched by Ina of Crazy Exchange.

Today it is around 98% humidity and even at nearly 9pm it is still well over 20 degrees celsius so it is great to have a cool breeze from Holland. Didn't Ina send a wonderful exchange? I love it.

Saturday 13 February 2010

Brides Tree SAL

Last night I finished the first of the Brides Tree Christmas Ornaments. You can see the SAL here. I decided to stitch these for my niece who is getting married in August and will either make or buy a fancy Christmas Box for her to keep them in. The idea of twelve ornaments with special meanings really tickled my fancy and believe me this is quite addictive!

The January Ornament was to be a house symbolising Protection. I stitched this "house" from the 2007 JCS Christmas Ornament issue in DMC threads of my own choice on Edinburgh Linen.

The February Ornament is to be a heart symbolising Love and this one is a freebie which I am stitching in Threadworx dark variegated red.

I plan on stitching them all on Edinburgh linen and finishing them as hanging ornaments with the same Christmas fabric on the back. Already I can see the rush to get all twelve finished and ready in December - oops. Maybe I won't leave them all to the end of the year.

I'm off now to watch Antiques Road Show and Monarchy on TV while completing the February Heart. During the week I was really distracted by this intriguing book - have you read it? My friend Kathy loaned it to me and although it's a while since I have been so successfully drawn into the story in any book I've read I was hooked from page one. This is an amazing plot, well crafted and an excellent read. I can see a movie coming of this one too.
Have a good evening everyone

Wednesday 10 February 2010

A winter exchange from summery Auckland

Do you remember this - the riddle?

No one guessed what it was to be but today Simone let me know she had received the Winter Exchange I did for her - I was worried that it might get squashed in the mail but the postman was gentle. So here's the big reveal - a box stitched on blue linen in three shades of silk threads adapted from a chart in The Gift of Stitching. To be fair the snow that falls in New Zealand is very considerate and generally falls in the unpopulated areas of the mountains providing playgrounds for skiers and snowboarders. I have only ever built one snowman in my life and that was when I lived in Hokkaido in Japan!!!

We were asked to include a souvenir of our country and this box was just the right size for our flightless New Zealand Kiwi to travel by Air to The Netherlands.

Last night my friend Kathy took me out for dinner - a very belated birthday gift. We went to La Cigale for their Tuesday Tagine - a first time for me but Kathy is a regular there so Griffith the Tibetan Terrier/Poodle (does that equal a Tiboodle???) met her with ecstatic welcomes at the door. I fell for Griffith and he for me but the meal was far to delicious for me to offer him crumbs from the table! Despite taking my camera I only remembered to take a photo of the entree and now I can't remember the name of the dish. The lamb tagine was spicy and delectable. Panacotta and spiced figs for dessert was bad for the hips but oh so tasty to the lips. I looove Moroccan food!
Have a good evening everyone. I am off to wash my dinner dishes and do some stitching - hopefully to finish my house for the Bridestree SAL and I may have something to show tomorrow night.

Be good.

Saturday 6 February 2010

The Bluebird of Happiness

Today I completed my section of Deb's RR - An Emblem of Love. The tree in which this blue bird is sitting grew - "ungrew" - grew again. Yes, I had plenty of reverse stitching to do this time but all is well now. Deb enclosed an alphabet and asked that all the stitchers include their initials. I'm not sure my choice of thread colour for the initials was the greatest but I am certainly not doing anymore reversing!!
Tonight I am starting a Christmas Ornament - I'm going to do the Bridestree SAL for my niece who gets married later this year. Already I am behind - but the 'house' I have chosen will not take long to stitch. So bye bye I'm off to my stash cupboard to look out a piece of Edinburgh linen. Good night one and all.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

An Emblem of Love RR

Just a shot to show you the progress made on Deb's piece- she is using a pretty pink hand-dyed linen and multicolour floss. I am the fourth person to stitch on this and am doing the two medallions in the middle, so the linen is getting filled up nicely. Last night I stitched with Gloriana Silk - it was beautiful to work with. This is going well - after a slightly fraught start. So I'll leave you now and go to add the beautiful pale blue Swan while listening to my ipod. Aah - bliss.