Wednesday 30 May 2018

Slow progress

Little by little the embroidered panel for my bag is growing.   If it weren't for the interminable reverse stitching I would be well finished.   But so far so good and there is no real hurry for this.
So wrinkles and all here's a photo.   There will be three "panels" and I'm debating whether to do a narrow band of drawn thread (woven edge) down each side,
Evenings have been full of chores lately.   The DBEM still uses lawn handkerchiefs.   No tissues for her :-(   And here's the haul from the recent pile of ironing. 
Little Brother and his wife are coming this weekend and I am trying to have everything tidy and organised - the menu is planned, the housework is done and all that remains is a quick flick of the duster and a trip round the house with the Hoover.   I'm tired just thinking about it.   So goodnight to all.

Tuesday 29 May 2018

I remember...

I remember that book, The Day of the Triffids and even now over fifty years later I am still fascinated by them.   What did they really look like?  Where did the author dream up something like those plants?
Well today on my way to work I found what could have been his source of inspiration.   Aren't they some of the weirdest plants?
I think these will eventually become spikes of flowers - maybe by Spring?   Meanwhile they provide me with a dose of nostalgia each morning and evening.
And now back to my Ukranian Embroidery.   Pictures tomorrow night as progress is being made.

Saturday 19 May 2018

Finishing Day

Tonight watching a surfeit of Royal wedding documentaries (while waiting for the real thing) I have finished off two items.
Here's how to use a minuscule scrap of linen - a scissor fob.  And the two sides are different.   Fiddly and unlikely to be repeated.
And Christmas Ornament number one.   Not sure I like this shape for ease of finishing but for an ornament which is only in use briefly once a year this will suffice.
Now I'm back to Harry and Megan ;-)

Thursday 17 May 2018

Slow progress in tiny circles

Ukranian whitework is densely covered and very time consuming.  Last night I was tired and the round eyelets all but defeated me.   I reversed out of the quandary and tonight made a fresh start. 
Yeah!   All is going well at present -  one diamond all but completed.  Those branches come at each corner and are a welcome relief after round eyelets.   Although the instructions say do the satin stitch first and eyelets last.   I'm going to try the other way around on the next diamond.  Might help my patience levels if I do so.
Today when I came home from work I needed to rake up leaves.   It's Autumn here and the landscaper who planted trees on this property loved deciduous.  Above the ramp which the DBEM uses are two large Pin Oak trees whose russett leaves fall gently and cover the path.   How poetic is that?   But poetry still makes a slippery  path for the DBEM and her walking frame. 
Then at the bottom of the steps which I use is a tall Indian Bead Tree which sheds its millions of golden leaves all over the steps and paths.  (This photo taken on a foggy morning as I went off to work). They form a dense carpet that needs raking up on a daily basis.  Apparently in Kenya the farmers use the leaves as fodder for cattle to improve milk yield.   I think I need a cow on site here!
I'll be back tomorrow after some more stitching and raking of leaves.

Sunday 13 May 2018

Mothers Day and another new start

Happy Mothers Day to the DBEM.
She loved the surprise Raspberry Mousse cake.
I always call her Mother not Mum but the cafe wasn't to know that were they?   Whatever, the DBEM loved this.  Today we went out for a drive to sit at the beach and watch the small children and dogs cavort in the cool water.   It is still amazingly warm here - 23 degrees celsius today - and yet in a couple of weeks it will officially be winter?!

As you know Cross stitch fails to hold my interest for long and I need my fix of a more challenging counted project.  So along with this years Christmas Ornaments I am stitching a piece of Ukranian Whitework from the book by Gay Eaton. 
Tacking out the shape of the bag that this will become had me counting over four for several metres (the blue lines)and then I read the book and found that Ukranian is done over a three count!! 
However I have made a start now - being "whitework" this is done in a monotone and the thread is a close match to the fabric so rather hard on the eyes.   This will be a long lasting project but I am looking forward to see it grow.

Saturday 12 May 2018

A coffee date

I promised a friend we'd meet up for coffee and I paired it with this delicious Pistachio and Pear tartlet. 
Then tonight I had to work the calories off so have been busy stitching on a Christmas Ornament. 
Does anyone remember Gift of Stitching - the web based magazine from back in the day?   This is one from there.   I have fallen in love with it, but as I've said before, my Christmas tree cannot fit another ornament.   So this one will go to another home.
I have another new project ready to start so when the green line and the last Rhodes stitch are done I will begin the Ukranian project.   Problem with that is that the DBEM and I have differing opinions on which pattern to choose.   Watch this space!

Friday 11 May 2018

Four weeks at the new office

Today marks four weeks at the new office and I have been able to walk to and from work each day.
Who says that walking isn't good for the legs-  look at how long and thin mine have got? (NOT!)
We are promised a wet weekend so tonight I have kitted up three Christmas ornaments and tacked out a new project.   Photos of the new starts will be available tomorrow.

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Butterflies like flowers

I have been struggling to find something a use for the last of this linen and on a delve into the stash of hardanger books this butterfly flew out.
Today I went to The Ribbon Rose and got this floral fabric needed to complete the project (and thread and bias binding).   Once my new sewing cabinet comes I will stitch it all together and will need to wait for that!
The local council did their biennial inorganic rubbish collection today and my old broken sewing cabinet, a has-been vacuum cleaner, Grandma's borer ridden chest of drawers and two broken suitcases were taken away by the muscle men from Waste Management.   I really appreciate this service and was happy to have these items removed at no cost to me. 
This afternoon I ordered my new sewing cabinet which will be delivered in a week or so.   We have a long holiday weekend at the beginning of June to celebrate the Queen's Birthday so I hope to get some sewing done then - I have three items on the list which may be a little ambitious:-)

Saturday 5 May 2018

Fruits of her labours

This morning I took the DBEM and the collection of small knitted garments to a local Hospice Charity shop where she was warmly welcomed.  "Oh thank goodness you're back.   We've had people asking where the knitteds were this year" and all afternoon the DBEM has been warmed by the kind words of the shop manager and her friendly assistant.
It was certainly a colourful bunch of knitting and the manager said they retail them at around $25 each so at 26 garments it was a good donation to a worthy cause.   It has been a happy day for the DBEM.
I completed the stitching on yet another bookmark and am working on a small scissor fob - using up scraps of linen. 
But I also went through each copy of my collection of New Stitches magazines and bade them a nostalgic farewell.   I shall be finding another home for these as I never refer to them now. 
I helped my friend's parents clear out her house recently.   I had thought her to be quite a minimalist but there was still a lot of stuff for her bereaved family to clean up and I am determined not to be in the same position!   Also I have recently read The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning and thought I could benefit from learning a lesson or two from that!   Over the last three years with retirement in mind I have been practicing living on less (the amount of the national pension ) and now with just over 17 months to go till actual retirement it seems like a good time to start to learn to live with less.