Sunday 28 December 2014

Adam and Eve at Year's End

Today is the last of the four day holiday weekend we have for Christmas.   Most people will now have three days work before another four day weekend for New Year.   You'd think I would be rested and refreshed after that amount of time off wouldn't you?   I'm not!   I feel tired, hot and frazzled. The past days have been a blur of cooking, dishes, guests and poor sleep.
And to cap it off I had to reverse stitch almost everything I did on Christmas Eve and have been busy this afternoon repairing the damage.   The HD3QBEM laughed and told me I shouldn't have made a new start when I was so busy with everything else.   But at this time of year I invariably get enthusiastic about Christmas and having completed the stitching on two other projects a new start was legitimate.   Mary Beale's Christmas Wreath seemed perfect.
Tomorrow when the shops open again I will need to go to the LNS for a DMC 3345.   Otherwise everything is from stash.
Reverse stitching was so unappealing, I searched for another small project and found this little Adam and Eve Sampler that Phyllis from Austin sent me some years ago.   I stitched it over one thread of 24 count fabric so it has come out really tiny and is therefore likely to find a home in my curio cabinet which is getting rather full;-)
Our Christmas weather was perfect and together with Little Brother and his wife we went to the beach on the 26th.   Little Brother's wife has a sea kayak and she went off on her adventures while the rest of us relaxed on shore.
The Pohutukawa blooms red along the northern coastal beaches this time of year and is aptly named our New Zealand Christmas Tree.   Very pretty.

Monday 22 December 2014

Advent Calendar Blog Hop

Today's stop on Serendipitous Stitching's Blog Hop Advent Calendar is at my house.
I want to share my favourite handmade Christmas Ornament.    These sweet little mittens are totally out of season for a mid-Summer Christmas here in New Zealand but I love them and have displayed them on my tree every year since I first stitched them.   They are always given an especially prominent place.
Jo asked that we share a memory of our best present ever.   I have had so many lovely presents over my life but I think the Christmas surprise that was the most lovely was when I was six and woke to find black footprints right beside my bed!!   Tracing these back, I found them starting at the fireplace beside which was a real pine Christmas Tree with a pile of presents underneath it.   Santa Claus had actually been to our house and what's more he had come down the chimney!   Details of the presents have faded over the intervening years but the wonder of that Christmas morning is a delightful memory..
And so I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Saturday 20 December 2014

Progress on the Acorns

In between cleaning, cooking, gardening and the 1001 pre-Christmas chores I have managed some more stitching on the Acorn Sampler Reticule.
The scissor fob stitching is finished
The scissor keeper stitching is finished
But there are still thousands more stitches to be done on the bag and then the Squirrel needlebook to stitch and fit to the base.   The florentine should be fun as the middle row of diamonds are stitched to be stitched to look like acorns -  what else:-)
I love the row of little acorns.  
They were fun to stitch but perhaps I was over enthusiastic in stitching the date on the scissor keeper??  However there are still 11 days until the end of the year so perhaps a final sprint will get me over the line.   Sure hope so.

Monday 8 December 2014

And it's Queen Stitches again

Friday night I didn't have the energy for Queen Stitches in The Sampler Chatelaine so threaded the needle and opened the instructions for Acorn Reticule.   Yes, the scissor fob would satisfy the new start I was craving.   But what's that?   Yes! Queen stitches again.
Here's a progress shot.   I rather liked the Woven Stitch square in the middle but found the instructions sparse and ended up using two needles - one of each colour thread - which seems cumbersome.   The result is good though.

Now I'm working on the scissor keeper and after that there will be no excuse, I will return to The Sampler a Chatelaine and finish that off before Christmas.

Baking is underway with several varieties of cookies in the freezer.  The menu for Christmas Day and for Boxing Day is all planned.   This morning I made a start on the other DIY job on the HD3QBEM's  list - a reprint of the ceiling in the bay window.   Amazing even myself I managed the preparation and undercoat thus morning before fatigue and bright sunshine called a halt.   No photos as it's only a white ceiling:-).  Now I'm off to the gym for some physical jerks and turn plan on baking a batch if chocolate and cranberry cookies.

Friday 5 December 2014

Doesn't look like an Acorn Reticule does it?

I had sorted out all the ingredients supplies to start on the Acorn Reticule recipe chart when a roadblock came into view.   The HD3QBEM asked for a hardanger book mark to include in a Christmas Card so another quick rummage through the stash and voila!  Looks good doesn't it, but nothing like acorns.

In between kloster blocks and wraps I have been encouraging the HD3QBEM to type up some mini-memoirs that her grandson had asked for.   Although winning prizes for speed typing back in the day, it was rather more agonising on a modern keyboard.   But I'm proud of her.
She did well and the 30 point font meant it was possible for her to see what she was doing and then Mr Gates performed his miracles of spell check and font reduction. Today I put the letter in the mail, complete with Grandma's shaky signature, and hopefully the postman will do his job quickly.
And now having temporarily lost interest in the Acorn Reticule I am going to make an effort to complete the Sampler Chatelaine.

Tuesday 2 December 2014

My bathroom's a mess.

Last week the HD3QBEM and I moved out of home for four nights so the tradesmen could renovate my bathroom.   Now this week we have been put out of the house for two days while they complete their task.   I am sick and tired of feeling rootless.  Tomorrow we stay home:-)   Last night the shower looked like this but today it is all completed and able to be used once again.  Hallelujah!
So today while sitting at a small sunny cove on the southern harbour, I tacked out a piece of 36 count linen for a new start.   I needed something pleasant to think about and this project is just that.
Nice that I had the linen and threads in stash too.   Less expensive and more conducive to an immediate start.   Although, saying that, I am indulging in a feast of Laurie R King's Mary Russell novels at present and my attention is diverted from stitching to books.   But first I need to go and cook dinner before I can think of either stitching or reading.  
Have a good evening.