Wednesday 22 September 2021

After many years

Back in March 1994 I purchased a needlework magazine purely because it had in it the instructions for a blackwork  chessboard.   This has been maturing in my stash for all those years until last week I decided the time had come.   And now I am obsessed, not with the blackwork per se, but with the idea of a hand stitched chess board.   Hopefully my picture framer will be able to fulfill my mental image of the finished piece but meanwhile I plod on one square at a time.

And my new 'M' is framed and hanging on the wall.   I am really pleased with this one and it completes my collection I think.   There doesn't seem to be a need to continue this on and on.... even though I have two Great-Nieces both with the same initial.   Neither share my love of embroidery :-(

Once again it is raining but I am grateful as I planted out some lettuce plants.   A new variety for me, this one is called Drunken Woman.   I also planted a cherry tomato plant.  Ever so slowly my garden is filling up and the potatoes planted in a tub are showing sprouts so it will probably be new potatoes for Christmas.   Lovely.

Friday 10 September 2021

Lockdown project completed

This map of New Zealand was a joy to stitch.  I started it as a lockdown project planning on doing one icon each day during the 1pm TV broadcast of the Prime Minister and Director General of Health giving their Covid update.   But I rapidly became addicted and although we are still in lockdown, albeit at a lower level I have completed the map.   Only one icon remains a complete mystery and as the designer did not provide a list I’m left puzzled.   The DBEM is doing her best to persuade me to have it framed and hang it on the wall but I don’t really have space and the pleasure was in the stitching so this will remain hidden in a drawer for the foreseeable future.

My next project is a floral M.  A month or so ago I purchased a small circular wooden frame and am determined to add another initial to the collection I have hanging in my bedroom wall.   Over the years I have stitched floral initials in many iterations for friends birthdays and other gifts so it is about time I have my own.   

Then I think I will decide on a Betsy Morgan project from my birthday book.  Naomi asked what threads I use instead of Gloriana as those are not readily available here in New Zealand.   Amateur though this sounds I look up in Google to see an image of the colour and then choose a substitute from my DMC collection.   Friends in the Embroiderers Guild are helpful with final advice on colours too (although some of them probably wonder why I don’t just order the Gloriana on line.   I have neither budget nor inclination to do that in present day circumstances).   On the whole this works reasonably well for me especially as the finished project is never destined for exhibition but only for personal pleasure.

Now we are in a lower level of lockdown I was able to get out to the store and purchase the zips to complete the two purses I have stitched.   We have rain predicted for the next few days and really high winds so I'm happy to stay inside and get these done - the one on the top left needs its lining finished.

But tonight a book is calling me...Patchwork by Claire Wilcox which I ordered from the library after seeing it on someone else's blog.   My library kindly kept it for me and I picked it up along with a few others yesterday.

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Spring has Sprung

 We are only 15 days into our second lockdown and I’m already feeling confined.   Some of the jobs on the To Do list have been done and parts of the garden are looking much better..   I have been cooking up some new recipes - two of which proved to be successful and will remain in my repertoire but I am quite unsettled.

I am trying to use up a tin of “origin unknown” embroidery floss and the last oddments of my mono canvas but even that has come to a grinding halt as I do not have the zippers for the closure of the small purses these are to become.   One is done in simple Florentine Stitch using six threads of the floss on 18 count mono canvas (all from stash). Plans are underway for another in a different Florentine pattern but using the same random colours.   

Another was done on some 28 count "Dirty Linen" using threads from this same "origin unknown" stash.   I followed some of the stitches from the recent class I took and tried to have some sort of cohesion in the colour scheme.   

Once lockdown is over I will make these into small zipper close purses.

Currently it is only my sore shoulder preventing a concerted effort to complete these and move onto a more satisfying project.   I had a telephone consultation with both the doctor and the physio and both concurred that with a fracture of the greater tuberosity of the humerus, a tear in the rotator cuff and bursitis, I should not be using my right hand and arm any more than is absolutely necessary.   Wouldn't you all agree that stitching is necessary?   But today I have made some more face masks.   Given the current situation it is likely that the wearing of these will be mandatory everywhere and not just in the present restricted areas so I decided to add to our supply.   

I have started a "Map of New Zealand", constructed of a careful arrangement of New Zealand icons.   The chart came from an Etsy shop after I stumbled across a finished product on Pinterest.  This is the top of the South Island and is so far a Wine Bottle and Wine Glass, a packet of NZ's favourite Pineapple Lumps chocolates and a Rugby Ball.  It is fun and I can do one icon each day without any painful repercussions in my shoulder.   Tonight is a Tui (bird).  This will turn into my Lockdown 2021 project although I'm yet to decide if I will have it framed and give it wall space.

And to improve the shining hour I have been reading aloud to the DBEM.   Just before lockdown I found a promising book in the local Christian Bookstore and while reading it I was relating various portions to the DBEM.   At about two thirds of the way through I realised it would be easier to read her the whole thing so that’s what I am doing.   As a child she read aloud to me Treasures of the Snow, a much loved children’s book written by Patricia St John.  So I am returning the favour by reading to her that author's autobiography.  We are both enjoying it very much and should finish tonight.

And so Spring has begun and we had beautiful weather today to prove it.   Both the DBEM and I managed a walk in the sunshine and we have had a special chicken and chips dinner tonight to celebrate her birthday.   Lockdown precludes us going out for a treat so it is homemade I'm afraid.