Sunday 26 June 2011

The 18th Birthday party and the Memory Book

Some of you might remember the Memory Book I made for my God-daughter.   Of Malaysian Chinese ethnicity, my Kiwi-born God-daughter has been a wonderful gift from God for the past 18 years (and hopefully for many many more years to come).
Well tonight we had a Dessert Party at my house for the great handover of the book.   The birthday is actually still a week away but a school trip takes Toni out of the city on the actual day so we decided an early party was better than later!
First there was there ceremonial opening of the birthday gift - and the reading of each page.  The smile of delight that crept across Toni's face was a real reward for the labour on the Memory Book -  she loved it.  Her Kaimah (her name for me) couldn't have chosen better!!

Black Doris Plum Clafoutis, Passionfruit Yogurt Pannacotta, Fruit salad and cream were the first course.   Two helpings for my visitors!!   What a calorie laden Dessert Party this turned out to be.  Toni called it the "Five course dessert party" which is probably a most accurate description.

Toni loved the Apricot Sour Cream birthday cake -  especially the White Chocolate icing.   After all the candles were blown out and Happy Birthday was sung we reminisced over so many events of the past 18 years.  "How can you ever remember so many things about me Kaimah?" she asks!!!   How could I ever forget, I want to reply!   And to prove that I remember what she tells me I produced the 'piece de resistance'- 

Last time she came to my house she couldn't stop talking about Elephant cupcakes and the local cake shop produced these beauties to surprise and delight the birthday girl. 

In 'wow factor' and flavour they were a real success but they were a little difficult to eat!   Those elephants surplus to requirements went home with Toni and her mother as did the birthday cake  - my waistline is already saying "thankyou"!
After such a food filled posting I'd love to show you progress photos on my stitching but that will have to waiti until another day.   Historic Countries Sampler will be finished this week so my next post is sure to be labelled Happy Dance.   Until then,  have a good evening everyone.

Sunday 19 June 2011

And the end is in sight....

This past week has been a mixture of a week - not too busy at work but quite busy at home.  My "little brother" came to see us and we all enjoyed a good time of talking and catching up on each others news.  
I bought a copy of The Troubled Man ( Henning Mankell) and got so engrossed in reading that some nights my bedside lamp was on quite late!

However this past week I have made good progress on The Historic Countries Sampler and tonight will hopefully finish the Italian section.   This is certainly a large piece -  and now that I am working in the last corner there does seem to be a lot of fabric to keep out of the way while I stitch!

Apart from reaching the conclusion that I do not particularly care for Assissi work, this section has been quite fun to stitch - apart from the alphabet!   That I did NOT enjoy.

For the final country I am closer to home -  Australia - and look forward to reading the notes that accompany that chart.  
Vera, you asked where this chart came from.   The Historic Countries Mystery Sampler was a 12 part mystery sampler which was published from September 2007 to August 2008 in The Gift of Stitching.   Their website is here and you can contact them directly -  the have back copies of the magazines and a kit of the whole sampler.

Hope you have all had a good weekend - unspoilt by the heavy rain and gales that came our way!  Talk to you again soon - hopefully to report a happy dance!

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Another earthquake and a progress report

- Edited to correct Mathematical Errors :-(

Once again Christchurch has a major earthquake - the heritage buildings of the central city are now mostly in ruins.   Its a really sad and difficult time for all.

On the embroidery front, I have progressed from Scotland to Italy now and have the end well in sight.   I didn't get the iron out tonight so here's a shot wrinkles and all.   This is a great design -  fascinating to stitch and amazing how each individual component fits to make a wonderful whole.

After some grave deliberation I decided on the initials on the right of the Scotland section -  my parents Roger Philip  and Ivy Madge;  then I changed the spacing to put in the initial of the names of all four children Peter, Margaret, Silas and Heather.   Problem solved with some degree of intelligent compromise!

Don't you just love the little dog?  He was so cute and quick to stitch -  the same could not be said of the gate or the three colour alphabet!   So tonight I finish the Z and start on the Assissi Medallion -  some interesting specialty stitches coming up, much to my delight.
Tomorrow my "little brother" comes to see us for a couple of days.  All six foot two inches (1.9metres) of him chortle each time I say those words but believe me they are definitely a term of endearment.   I truly love my little brother!!   Here's a reasonably good shot of all of us taken last year at my nieces wedding.  "Little brother" is on my right hand so you will see why I have to stand on tippy toe to give him a hug. 

Well, good night everyone.   I'm off to watch Downton Abbey and enjoy the marvellous costumes and scenery.   Have a great evening everyone.

Saturday 4 June 2011

Happy Birthday Your Majesty - and HCS Progress Report 11

Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth

Monday 6 June is observed as the Queen's Birthday public holiday here, even though the actual day is in April.   So for that reason we have a lovely three day weekend.
Well lovely is perhaps not the right word.   This is the view from my window today!

Lots of rain and grey clouds. Just the right weather for stitching though and I want to show you my progress on the Historic Countries Sampler.  

England Pre 1700 is now finished.   The whole piece is getting big and a little unruly so, being afraid that the whitework panel would get grubby I covered it with a liece of white linen as a protector.   That's the white patch in the top right. All will be revealed later.

Here's a closer shot.   Those two half clad men are far from handsome but their clothes are done in tent stitch - one strand of floss over one thread of fabric.   It might not be much of a covering but there were a lot of stitches in those clothes!
Now I am starting Scotland and there is a big house in this one -  the outline of the left hand side of the house is just visible.   There are several specialty stitches in this one and a dilemma about initials.   Two sets are shown - for spouse and children the instructions say.   I have neither so what do I do???   Hopefully inspiration will come as I stitch the rest.  The two more countries to go before the grand finale.   I have just loved stitching this but now the end is nigh am dreaming of what I shall do next.   One thing is for sure - it will not be a framed piece as this sampler will be costly to frame so I will be staying with smaller finishes for a while to recover.

Hope you all have a good weekend