Wednesday 29 August 2012

Mid Week Catch Up

Today I had the afternoon off work to take the HDHBEM to the specialist. A highly successful afternoon I must say.
Firstly the HDHBEM was told by her specialist that while her lungs were clear (the good news) her sinus and throat were not, so we now have two more medications and a happy Mother - "it's only my nose dear, not my lungs!"
Secondly I completed Part 2 of the Hardanger SAL on The Stitch Specialists.  I joined this to learn more about my first love, Hardanger and am so pleased I did.   Already on Part 2 I have learnt that stitching double back stitch from the reverse side of the work produces a far more professional result.  This "hint" I shall use when I do Fisherton De La Mare or Ukranian Whitework that use this stitch a lot.  Once again the colour is not good but the stitching is clear.
Thirdly I made a start on Too Reticule -  and found an error in the instructions.   After two attempts at Section 1 of Part B I used the HDHBEM's giant magnifying glass to study the photo close up and saw that "travel over four linen threads" should have been "travel over two linen threads" and now I am away on the Rice Stitch Highway! 
This reticule has strawberries aplenty, much to my delight.  
Each of the small golden smryna crosses will have white bullion petals around it in the final step so creating (hopefully) a strawberry flower!  The large Queen Stitch strawberry has bullion leaves at the top - again in the final step - and I'm looking for a suitable M to put in the gap as my name is a lot more letters than that of the author and so will-not-fit!
Although charted for Linen Band, I am using 28 count Toasted Almond, sent to me by my lovely friend Shiela and Weeks Dye Works threads.   This project is total enjoyment.   Thank you Ann for the chart.
Fourthly, I pulled out linen and thread for my next Hussif project.   Don't you think this thread is lovely and it goes so well with the pale lavendar linen.   I will need to find a perle cotton to match and some lining material too and then it will be ready:set:go!
Fifthly, I spent time at the Gym working off stress, frustration and hopefully a few inches and calories.   And I am still home in time to watch Grand Designs on TV!!
Sadly I need to go back to work tomorrow and Friday but Saturday is the HDHBEM's birthday and we are going here for lunch.

And that's all that has been happening in my part of the world for this part of the week.

Sunday 26 August 2012

Big thumbs + fat fingers +fine embroidery = tears!!

This evening I finally completed the Fob =Strawberrie Illusions from Scholehouse of the Needle.
The title for this blog post says it all!!   Just as well the ever loving HDHBEM was here with her supporting song of "that looks beautiful dear. Well done".   I almost came to grief on the small strawberry at the bottom and as that was what attracted me to this piece I leave you to imagine how frustrated I felt.   It may look like a berry but isn't the correct shape. Sorry, but there is no close up shot of this but I can officially announce that it is complete and has a home in my cabinet!
Progress has been made on the Hardanger SAL too.   With some degree of experience in this I feel more confident and so satisfaction levels and enjoyment are much higher too.
And so another week starts.   The HDHBEM is unwell again; my week at work promises to be very busy; the weather man forecasts rain and lots of it; and next Saturday is the first day of Spring!  To prove it my Little Brother is now the proud father of twin lambs -  the first of his flock of sheep has given birth. Everyone is happy.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Today I felt like Little Miss Muffet!

As I left for work I saw this
And on my way to work is this model of a Delena cancerides aptly placed in Avondale the suburb home  to the beastie.
I hate spiders!
So tonight I am consoling myself with this!
Somehow I doubt that one over one on 35 count will prove to be a consolation.  But we shall see!

Sunday 19 August 2012

Raining cats and dogs

Yesterday I washed my car and sure enough today it is raining -  cats and dogs.   Why is that?  Mammoth effort on unloved chore and then to have the work destroyed in a deluge!  
Anyway, where there are cats there must be mice and that is true.  
The little marker mouse is finished.  

Isn't he/she cute?   I rather like the top decoration too.

Tonight I have a bookmark to finish off and I plan to tack out the linen for Too Reticule.
Have a good week everyone.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Green and Red Men !!

Can you imagine my surprise as I came out of the library to be confronted by these green and red men!  
They thanked me for using the pedestrian crossing, so I am assuming it was part of a safety campaign and that green was go and red was stop.   So subtle that I only got the " colour message" after much thought and reading the card they handed me. 
However they brightened my day considerably.
Today was Embroiderers Guild day and our speaker was the Resource Custodian of the national guild.   As if I don't have enough charts and books at home, I borrowed the folio instructions to make yet another hussif. 
There seems to be an infinite variety of hussif styles and this one has a cute little zipper pocket as well as a tiny thimble holder fob. 
 I'm looking forward to stitching this one and have until November when I need to return the folio of instructions.   Should be enough time to decide on linen and on what design I will stitch as I don't really like the cross stich design the author has chosen.
Currently I am stitching a Marker Mouse - the instructions for this came from issue 59 of  Inspirations Magazine .   Here is the page and also my mouse folded in half.   Hopefully tonight he/she will be stitched stuffed and finished.

Last night I finished the two hardanger coasters and I was really pleased with them until I saw a mistake in the close up shot of one of them.   Never mind -  I'm still a relative beginner at hardanger and practise will hopefully make perfect!

And what next?  
Well, I looked through my stash and selected the linen (Toasted Almond 32 count linen - a gift from Shiela), visited the LNS for the designated threads and will make a start on this project.   Ann kindly sent me the chart and although it is designed for linen band I think I will be able to work this on plain linen.   I'm looking forward to this one.   Jackie's instructions are always clear and easy to follow.
Tonight there are many programs on the TV that I enjoy so I will watch some and record others for later enjoyment.
The car is clean, the HDHBEM has been to the hairdresser, the baking is done, the ironing will be finished immediately I have posted this (!!) and there are no other chores left on the list so I can enjoy a relaxed evening.   Hope the same is true for you.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Spring has sprung - a little - in my garden

The weatherman hasn't been so kind today but there are signs of Spring even in  my city garden.
Daffodils, primulas, a solitary freesia and the abundant Lily of the Valley Tree.   Signs of hope that the cold and sunless days of Winter are behind us.

I have finally reduced the huge pile of books on my bedside table and can now see the Ruskin Lace mat that they were covering.   Of course when I next visit the library this situation will be remedied but at least temporarily I can enjoy my stitching!
Hardanger has been on the menu this week and I have all but completed this small coaster.   I have enough linen left on the piece to make another so will do a "matching pair" with different centre fillings.   I know the chart for this was from a Janice Love book but I have forgotten the name.  I am using "Fundamentals Made Easy" for the centre filling.
The colours are not true as the Perle is DMC928 and the linen is called Confederate Grey - no where near as dull as this photo shows.   This was fun to stitch and has helped cure my desire for stitching that is not crosses!  
Tonight will my needle will be smoking as I start coaster number 2.

Saturday 11 August 2012


A very busy week = insufficient stitching time but I managed to finish all the crosses on Kelly's Growth Chart .   Her birthday is not until November so there is time to find a suitable backing fabric and to construct the hanging.   I don't think much of the zebra!
The other animals are really cute though.   But it is Au Revoir to this piece and it is rolled up and put away.
This is a welcome farewell.    Cross stitches and I will part company for a while as I renew acquaintance with specialty stitches and other forms of needlework.   The HDHBEM laughs at me and says this is always the way.   I can only cross stitch for so long before my fingers itch for hardanger, drawn thread or something other than a straight criss cross.
The Stitch Specialist Hardanger SAL has started and I have completed the foundation kloster blocks.   Confederate Grey Cashel Linen and matching DMC perle thread were from my stash as my intention with this SAL is to improve my technique rather than create a masterpiece (although that would be good too!)
While sorting through a folder of charts I came across a photocopy about Taellesyning which appears to be a cousin of Hedebo.   Although technically this should be white on white I opted for a scrap of the confederate grey cashel linen and a leftover ball of DMC perle and have made a start on the biscornu which was charted in the article.   Already I am loving the basket weave satin stitch.   Of course I really need another biscornu (not!) but the author has the suggestion of including some lavender in the stuffing and I may well do that then bury the biscornu deep in my linen cupboard.  Lavender scented linen and towels have a  moderate degree of appeal even if reminiscent of Grandma's day and age.
The prunus trees on our street are coming in to full blossom and our native Tui birds are having a great time.   In this tree I counted 30 birds gorging themselves on the nectar.   Of course they all fly away when I want a photograph! 
Ann kindly sent me the chart for Jackie Du Plessis "Too Reticule".   The intricate construction and the sweet strawberry design really appeal so that is to be kitted up next.  And while I have my threads and linen out I will kit up a small Christmas Ornament but as that is cross stitch it will have to wait until I have specialty stitch out of my blood!  So I'm off to enjoy my stash cupboard.   See you sson.