Sunday 28 October 2012

58 years ago today...

The HD3QEM tells me she was so proud of herself and of me when I (the first Stedman girl child for two generations) arrived 58 years ago.   Hopefully she is still proud now!
This afternoon she took me out for a birthday cake - an Almond Bundt Cake - which was utterly delicious but will equal many kilometres on the treadmill! 

And among the gifts there was a pair of Swarovski Crystal Earrings.   Very nice.   I think I will repeat this next year.
Tonight is dedicated to finishes.   First the back of Shelley's Jewellery Box (which will then be put away temporarily while I work on other things) and second, Kelly's Growth Chart.   Kelly is walking and talking (sort of) and will soon be one so I need to put in the necessary spurt to get this finished.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Wouldn't you know it......

Wouldn't you know it!   Not only does the clock go faster on weekends but the weather is always contrary too.   Today has been a beautiful sunny, warm day and I have been indoors at an Embroiderers Guild class!
No complaints really as I thoroughly enjoyed the class.
My first introduction to Tenerife Lace was meeting a photograph around 40 years ago.   Subsequently I purchased a how-to book in 1980 but until today have never really got going.
A piece of discarded polystyrene from work, covered with a scrap of white lawn fabric, a tin of pins and a ball of crochet cotton and away I go.
Pushing all the pins in requires Grandma's thimble!
Then several frustrating minutes later I have completed class sample number one.
Pulling out all the pins required tweezers.   Tenerfie lace sure is hard on the finger tips.   Can you see the bent needle?   Apparently all the "text books" say a curved needle but our tutor had the idea that a slight bend rather than a full curve would be easier to manage.   She's right!   Her husband heats the needles and gently bends them- hence the blackened tip.
The lady next to me had a beautiful green thread and a much thicker block of polystyrene.  
Our tutor showed how we could add beads (might try that) and how needleweaving gives a different look altogether.
So that's all the news for today.   I'm off now to cook dinner and then it's my weekly TV Fest of Antiques Roadshow and Lewis.
See you later.

Saturday 20 October 2012

Pink and white in October

Usually I don't succumb to advertising pressure but every day for the past month I have driven past a huge billboard displaying this icecream, so today I treated the HD3QEM and myself to a most delicious strawberries and cream confection.  White chocolate, praline and strawberry.  Yum! I was under the impression that a certain amount was donated to Breast Cancer research from the sale of this "limited edition" but I can't see that anywhere in the fine print.   Nevertheless it was delicious!!

This afternoon was Embroiderers Guild meeting and a past president brought along a collection of her stitching to show us.   There were several items that made me think "I'd like to do that" so I added them to the "To Do" list in my little notebook.   I will probably need another lifetime to complete all the items on the list, but dreams are free.  
Tonight, to the accompaniment of Antiques Roadshow and Lewis I plan on completing the cross stitches on Shelley's Jewellery box.  
Meanwhile I have the dinner dishes to do and some sorting out of the side table at my needlework spot.
Enjoy your evening.

Friday 19 October 2012

Oh dear, I don't look as young as I feel!

This week I had a shock.   The 'very young' man at the drycleaners counter asked me how many grandchildren I had.   What!!  Me??  I managed to stutter "none" all the while thinking that I was far too young to be thought to have grandchildren.   I swear his polite comment doubled the number of grey hairs instantly.
But young or old this has been a tiring week and I am grateful we have a long weekend.   Monday is Labour Day when we remember with gratitude our forefathers who fought for a forty hour working week.   Ironic really as I'm contracted for forty two and a half hours in my current job!

So with a nod and a wink to Gretchen Rubin I am happy for the following:
A: Monday is a holiday and as rain is forecast I will not need to wash my car!
B: Downton Abbey Season 3 has begun on the TV and Matthew and Mary are married!
C: I completed part 6 of A Confetti of Hardanger and although this wasn't a new filling stitch for me I confess to a high level of satisfaction with my wrapped bars.
D: The outer case for a small Wessex Stitchery Needlebook is almost completed.  I need to do a few scattered needlewoven flowers on top of the green 'Margaret' stitch.
E: Several hundred more crosses were put into "Shelley's Jewellery Box" without me having a total meltdown.   The front panel is done and maybe by Christmas I will have the back finished???
F: The postman was very kind to me and brought not one but two packages.
Amy sent me some root beer (new taste to me) candy which I am enjoying; this cute little Moon Box; some 40 count linen; silk thread and a chart for a Pansy Box.   Thankyou Amy.
Kazumi knows what I like and she sent me this.    No, it's not a book but a box and I like boxes almost as much as I like books.   Inside were two scarves/shawls and some Japanese food treats.   Thankyou Kazumi.
G: The HD3QEM and I enjoyed and highly recommend this audiobook.
So I finish this week happy but enlightened - I may feel young but I don't look it??

Friday 12 October 2012

The working week is over!

My oh my, the hands of the office clock moved slowly this week but my home clock seems to be on warp speed!
 After three beautiful sunny days, the weatherman forecast a storm for the weekend.   Strangely enough he was accurate in his predictions!  This morning it poured with rain but I managed to get out and visit Patchwork Passion hoping to cross all six items off my list.   Well, four out of six isn't too bad.
So this afternoon I finished The Pear - a warm wool for the back and a scrap to form the leaf.   Here's Edward Bear providing the necessary support!

Then I made a start on the cover for my Needlework Masters Monthly SAL 2013.   I have all the fabrics for the pages and the lining .   You can read all about this SAL here.   I'm quite pleased with this as I only needed to purchase the fabric for the pages and everything else was from stash.   Now that the cover is stitched I can complete that and add the pages. The strip of silk on the edge of the cover (there will be a strip inside too) is from a kimono hand-dyed by my friend Kazumi's husband.  

Of the list I made for the week  -  well....
1. Complete the baby cardigan for little Tabitha. Finished, packaged and ready to be delivered
2. Complete eyelets on the hardanger project.   Finished
3. Commence stitching on The Hussif Project.   Yes!!

4. Make a start on the Clothes Peg project.  This is tacked out, threads selected and stitching will begin tonight
5. Finish piece two on the Jewellery Box from Judy O'Dell  No -  but this was only ever wishful thinking

This week there will be another "episode" in the Hardanger SAL and I really want to get my clothes peg hussif underway.   I am trying to use up the "corners" of the hardanger project with various smalls so as not to waste the linen. Photographs of this experiment to follow later.
I'm off to cook Chicken, Leek and Kumara Pie for dinner .   Have a good weekend.

Sunday 7 October 2012

And the gaps shall become holes!

So far I am keeping up with A Confetti of Hardanger SAL from The Stitch Specialists.   Last night Lewis and Hathaway kept me engrossed long enough to complete the buttonhole stitch and create the gaps that shall become holes.  
Unfortunately my eyes wouldn't stay open long enough for the eyelets to multiply so that is tonight's project.   I am enjoying this SAL so far and find the fortnightly 'cycle' just sufficiently spaced to enable me to keep up without undue pressure.
Tomorrow another working week starts and with it a new 'to do' list
1. Complete the baby cardigan for little Tabitha.
2. Complete eyelets on the hardanger project.
3. Commence stitching on The Hussif Project.
4. Make a start on the Clothes Peg project.
and just because four is not a lucky number
5. Finish piece two on the Jewellery Box from Judy O'Dell
Hope you all have a satisfying and busy week too.

Saturday 6 October 2012

Regional Day

Today I have been to the south of the city to an Embroiderer's regional gathering.  It is always fun to catch up with others and see what everyone is stitching.   Today I determined not to succumb to temptation and purchased only the pair of scissors I need for my next project.   There were several traders there and lots of temptation!   Besides that there were displays from the various guilds of pieces that members had completed.   Now those were temptations of a different nature!   Is it covetous to want to do what others have done??  
Just look at this table of goodies -  there were several pieces there that I would love to try my hand at.  Perhaps when I retire!
While listening to the speakers I finished off the Cricket Collection Santa piece.   He is so cute.  I really love him.  
And as the chairperson reminded us today  -  there are only 12 weeks till Christmas.   Already my local supermarket has a huge display of specialty tins of biscuits and chocolates and stands of the ingredients needed for Christmas Cake!   Isn't it a little early for all that?
Tonight my favourite programmes are on the television and after I have cooked dinner I will settle for amarathon session of TV viewing and buttonhole edging.   Hope you all have an equally enjoyable and profitable evening.

Thursday 4 October 2012

A Pear in Spring

Despite my promise to use only needles with no eyes this week and finish the small jacket for Tabitha, I found the chart for this pear here
I could not withstand the temptation so last night I found a needle with an eye, my DMC floss and a suitable scrap of linen from stash and this is progress so far. 
 I am loving the colours and as my chores for the evening are already done I plan on getting the stitching on this one finished tonight.
While the frenzy took me I also sorted out floss and fabric for a Cricket Collection Christmas Alphabet .... and made a small start.
No, not the whole alphabet silly!   Just one letter for a special friend - but today I was thinking.   She has only four letters in her name so perhaps I should stitch all four letters??
Only one day left of my working week and on Saturday there is the treat of an Embroiderers Day at a nearby Guild.   It is always fun to go to those and to see what others are stitching.   This month I have activities written on my calendar for every Saturday of the month including a one day workshop on Teneriffe Lace on the 27th.   Are you like me and suffer from acute "plan-ahead-itis"?   My Embroiderers' Guild newsletter only arrived in the post today and already I have mentally booked accommodation and participation at a distant Embroiderers Day in May next year!!   Whoa -  that may be one step too far Margaret as you have the HD3QEM to consider too.   Still dreams are free aren't they.  
And on that note of wisdom, goodnight to all.