Sunday 29 June 2014

Why do hours in the day run out before the list is complete?

Full of good intentions I made a list on Friday of the weekend's chores and errands.   An excellent list it was, not too long and not too short.  But the hours of the weekend are almost gone and the list is not all ticked complete.   Oh dear.
However I have made some good progress on construction of the current stitching projects so here is the "show and tell"
First up the almost completed needlebook.   The empty space on the top right will have a mattress pincushion - yet to be constructed.   And I need to decide how I am going to stitch down the spine - shall I make the stitching show on the outside or the inside?   Ah...decisions decisions!   This needlebook is on Antique White Cashel linen and an assortment of floss to tone with the lining fabric (kindly sent to me by Ann of Beadlework).
The pincushion and the scissors fob to go inside the Cottage Etui are all complete.   Here's a montage of these two pieces.   The ends of the pincushion are indentical to the scissor fob.   I have given myself this week to finish the needlebook and the roof of the Cottage and hopefully next weekend to build the actual cottage.   Perhaps I am over optimistic- we shall see.
Anyway it is time to cook dinner now so I had better close this.

Saturday 28 June 2014


Today the HD3QBEM became the proud owner of a new vehicle.   Do you like it?  She does :-)
Fortunately for her, our apartment is built with wide doorways and passage ways so she can drive with ease which is a good thing considering she has never had a drivers licence!
And progress for me too.... I completed these small Christmas ornaments.
The JOY ambigrams turned out much smaller than I expected but were fun to do and used up odds and ends from stash.
HOPE was also stitched completely from stash.   The plain red silk backing doesn't exactly match the wine red ribbon but this will only be on a Christmas Tree for a short period so I can live with the colour variance.
O Come Emmanuel was also stitched from fabric and floss in the stash cupboard.   The rectangle at the bottom was supposed to have three initials but I never use my middle name if I can possibly avoid it so changed that to the two you can see.  The white tassel came with a gift at some stage and seemed to suit this ornament.   I like this one and it will go on my tree.   The others all go to different home.
Ornament construction over and I now move on to Needlebook and Cottage.   Another update tomorrow.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Swanning along...

I am now almost finished page four of Ring O Roses.   The swan motif was fun to stitch although I think there was a tiny frog hidden there as I had to reverse stitch several times. At halfway through the year I am only one third of the way through this project -  oh dear!   Never mind, once page four is complete this too will hibernate and I will become friends with cutting board, iron, sewing machine et al and complete my other projects.
A huge pile of books beside my bed are proving a temptation (and there are a further 20 on my request list at the library).   I'm wondering if I should take a day off work next month to catch up on some reading??
The HD3QBEM has been unwell this week so has been confined to quarters.   Outside it is raining and blowing a gale so home is probably the best place.   I, however, have to dash between the spots to get to work and to the gym.   After the gym I don't bother dashing as I am usually wet through anyway;-)
Well that's the mid week catch up.  I'm off now to finish the page, put the date on the Christmas Ornament and sort out finishing materials.

Sunday 22 June 2014

The HD3QBEM and I have just been to the thermal wonderland of Rotorua for a long weekend.  The hotel was lovely and warm - heated by the thermal waters and the restaurant produced delicious meals so I didn't have to cook :-)
Both of us enjoyed the break away and were delighted that the weather was fine.   The HD3QBEM added to her stash of wool (with some degree of moderation) and I managed to keep the mouth of my wallet closed while in the store.   I was rather taken with a class they were advertising (see here) but at 2 hours travel time this is a little far for me to go!
We found another quilting shop and the owner graciously allowed me to take a photo of her hexagon Christmas Tree.   Don't you think this is a wonderful idea?   I am thinking I might try and make one for Christmas this year - BUT (Note to self) not until I have completed the three stitched pieces which require construction!!
She had also made a great bag from hexagons too.   I particularly liked the way she had done the handles and can see that I might try and imitate this one too.
I took my iPad and read a couple of books as well as stitched  some Christmas Ornaments.   Fun indeed!
Three are the same and already the HD3QBEM has begged for one of the JOY ambigram ornaments to take to the sale of work at her Probus Club.  I want one for my tree and the other will go to the sale table at our Embroiderers' Guild sale table in September.
I managed to complete another two small medallions on Ring O Roses so am about half way through the fourth page.   However this will be put back to sleep for a while as I keep to my resolutions.
So it is now back to washing, cooking, dishes and work tomorrow.

Sunday 15 June 2014

Field Days

Every year in June, the National Agricultural Field Days are held at a place called Mystery Creek.   I have wanted to visit for some time and so included this on my list of 60 Things To Do!   Despite the dire predictions of rain and acres of mud the day dawned frosty and cold but clear.
It was wonderful.   Gumboots and checked woolen shirts as far as the eye could see!  
But I didn't need to wear my gumboots and as the temperature warmed up shed my wind proof anorak as well.
Monster farm machines for sale intrigued Little Brother
but I was more interested in the tractor races.
And I was very grateful that Little Brother had not parked in the muddy field.   This poor vehicle would have had more difficulty getting home!
But it wasn't all large toys for big boys!   I enjoyed the Food Hall and found fudge for the HD3QBEM and plenty to look at for me.   There was a cooking demonstration with one of New Zealand's Masterchef judges who is generally deemed to be hot.
What do you think?   I was completely repelled by the fact that apart from technical cooking terms his vocabulary seemed to be restricted to swear words.
I wasn't too tired last night to stitch yet more Nun Stitches and hopefully tonight will complete those.   Aah -  the end is in sight and it is now time for Antiques Roadshow so progress photos will have to come later on.

Thursday 12 June 2014

Entwined initials???

When the artistic genes were being handed out I must have been absent for the day!   It seemed simple, in a logical kind of way, to graph out two letters of the alphabet, overlaid so that they would appear entwined.   That's just a simple mathematical exercise n'est-ce pas?  Well.... the end result is precisely the sum of the parts but is definitely on the 'dis' end of the satisfaction scale. 
However I am not undoing this.   I am declaring the stitching for the Cottage complete and I have moved on to the Needlebook.
Here I have hundreds of nun stitches ahead of me as I outline the needle pages.   Hundreds and hundreds of them.   I will not count, just doggedly stitch.   Being of the mind that a trimmed four sided stitch is not structurally stable, I opted for nun stitch as the page edges.   Each page has the name of the needle and a small floss bobbin.
And...when the stitching on the needlebook is finished I am going to have a marathon construction time.   The Cottage, the Needlebook and the Naxos Necessaire all need construction and I vowed, hand on heart, to the HD3QBEM that I wouldn't return to either The Mermaid's Chest or Ring O Roses until all three WIPS have been finally completed.   Five projects on the go (and that's not counting my EPP Hexagons) is just too much to cope with.
This Saturday I am going to the National Agricultural Field Days with Little Brother.  Unfortunately the weatherman is not cooperating and I think I will need my waterproof anorak and knee high gumboots.   Last weekend I had a dress rehearsal.   Do you like the look?
Given heavy rain for the past three days, I can guarantee that the boots at least will have changed to mud colour by Saturday evening!   But I will be gloriously tired, happy and able to cross two items off my 60 Things To Do list (new gumboots and Field Days).
Right.   I'm off to more nun stitches now.

Saturday 7 June 2014

Sorry I got distracted

Despite rising early, doing the weekly baking, the shopping, the washing, the ironing etc etc I got distracted and haven't any photographs of stitching to show tonight.
This book proved irresistible - so much so that I was reading it in the advertisement breaks of the six o'clock TV news!  I don't want put this book back into the return slot at the library.   I want to re-read it, ponder over it.  
In summary, Will Traynor meets with a tragic accident and is left a wheel chair bound despondent quadriplegic.   Louisa Clark, hired by Will's mother as a care assistant, bounds into his life full of colour, wit and bright ideas.   Several weeks into her six month contract she overhears a conversation and realises why her employment is fixed term.  Subsequently all her efforts go into an "anti-Bucket List" for and on behalf of Will.   Some escapades are comic (the visit to the races), some are moving (the classical music concert), some are heart wrenching (Will's pneumonia), some are familiar (Louisa's birthday party dinner at her home) but nothing prepared me for the final scene or the emptiness I felt on Louisa's behalf.   Me Before You definitely falls into the category of a weepy love story but manages at the same time to be most thought provoking.   Read it for yourself but be warned you will be engrossed and like me, will be totally distracted from your stitching.

Sunday 1 June 2014

And the Cottage has a front door and a window.

Tonight I managed to stitch the eyelets for the lace window curtains and it only took three attempts.   I have to say that the chart for this C A Wells Cottage Etui almost needs a doctorate to decipher it.   Eventually I used the HD3QBEM's hand magnifer (recommended by the Foundation of the Blind no less) and consulted the coloured photograph.   Better luck that way and the front porch is now finished.  
Hopefully tomorrow I will graph out and entwined M and S for the base and the cottage will be considered finished but not completed.
Why not you ask?   Well I want to use the remainder of the linen and have made a start on the Needlebook which, with its accessories, will be stitched in the spaces.   I am using odd floss from stash and attempting to blend with the fabric I have chosen for the lining.   Not a 100% success but neither is it an epic fail :-)   I like this -  the cover is a sampler of stitches.   So far, Palestrina knots, Rice Stitch, Montenegrin stitch, Smyrna Crosses, Satin Stitch and the promise of more to come.   Great fun to have the variety.   I didn't like the long and short stitch for the floss bobbins so changed that to satin stitch on top of cross stitch which gave a far better coverage.

Now I am off to bed.