Sunday, 27 March 2011

After a lengthy absence

Good afternoon one and all,
It has been some time since I have posted but I'm back for an update.
We are still enjoying warm and humid weather but the skies are grey and there is a lot of 'liquid sunshine' around.   Autumn is not far away though.
Mid-March I started a self-designed Memory Book for my God-Daughter's 18th birthday in July.   As a result the Historic Countries Sampler is asleep in its box having completed its journey through Scandanavia.  
The Memory Book started with the story, then the tacking out of the pages, finally deciding what colour to stitch the words and this past week I have ventured into adding colour.   I'm stitching on 28 count Cashel linen in Antique Mocha, using DMC 3799 for the words and so far Threadworx 1089 for the colour.  The photo is not true to colour as grey days are not helpful for my photography skills!   However you can see the subtle shading of the fabric.

In the manner of all good children's stories I have started with "Once upon a time" and the story travels from the day when Elaine told me she was pregnant right up to date.   On this first page the decoration is a Wessex stitch which is aptly named Margaret -  a subtlety which will be known only to me as my God-Daughter is not a stitcher.   The alphabet was taken from my Wessex Stitchery book and stitched freehand in one thread of DMC.   My God-Daughter has three names and so each initial will be a different stitch - the first being in Assisi

And finally a closeup of Margaret stitch.   Needleweaving with one thread is not as easy as it sounds and I admit to dissatisfaction with the closeup result but the effect is good so no reverse stitching on this one.

On a scale of one to ten my confidence in self-design is probably a minus three!!   And this adventure reminds me of the time an art teacher at primary school tried to get me to draw a picture using only one colour crayon - all 10 years old of me told him that was impossible.   Everybody knows that pictures are colourful!!
However the pleasure I am getting from stitching this Memory Book is off the scale and I hope and pray that Toni will treasure it and know that her God-Mother has added love and prayers into stitch.

Have a good day everyone

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Flowers from my garden

Today was bright and sunny so I took some photos of flowers
First up are the Lenten Lilies which obligingly bloom in pristine white during the 40 days of Lent -  from whence cometh the name!  In my garden they are in a very shady spot - and here is the shadowy photograph.

Second are the Shoofly flowers in my vegetable garden.   These beautiful blue blooms have successfully kept away not only the flys and aphids but unfortunately also the bees so  the the small flowers on my climbing beans are still waiting patiently to be fertilised.  No bees = no beans and therefore maybe no Shoofly flowers next year!

Today I have been watching with horror the continued news of the huge earthquake in Japan.   Coming so soon after our own disaster here in New Zealand, we all feel very much for the Japanese people.   I was very relieved to hear from my close friends and to know they are safe.   But it is sad to see the awful devastation at Sendai -  I spent a wonderful holiday there one summer many years ago.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Progress Report HCS 6

Hello there everyone.   Life has been a little too busy for blogging this week but I have been stitching.   Spain was finished as planned and I have now ventured into Scandanavia.  

This section is interesting as there are more specialty stitches.   These cute little eyelets were particularly pleasing. 

Here's a close up shot of the eyelets.  

That white satin stitch block to the upper left was accompanied by three lots of reverse stitching and a great deal of frustration but the finished result is worth all the angst.
(All photos should be clickable)

While I have not quite finished this section I fully expect to do so over the weekend.   Then with the sampler half finished I am putting it away for a brief time as I want to make a stitched memory book for my god-daughters 18th birthday in July.   The designing and the wording have all been completed -  I have the fabric and threads selected and prepared so now I need to get my skates on and begin the stitching.   July will come soon enough!

Have a great evening everyone.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Progress Reports

Good evening everyone.   It has been a while since I posted but life has been a little busy here -  I haven't touched my stitching for three whole days!!

Anyway, good news.   The QBHDEM is back home and recovering well.   I told her she needed to provide proof so here's a photo/message.   She is doing well but our hot days and humid nights are sapping her strength so everything here is in slow motion!   And the surgery on her right eye has significantly improved her sight so although the operation on the left eye now has to be delayed for six months she can see better.

And a progress report on the Historic Countries Sampler.   Did you know there are frogs in Spain as well?!?
Yes, last week not only was there the stress of hospital visits but also those interminable episodes of what my fellow embroiderers here in Auckland Guild call "reverse stitching"   I have reversed enough now and am in forward motion again.   Tonight I shall stitch!!   Here's the most recent snapshot I have of the HCS.  

In the two months I have been stitching this I have covered many countries, a lot of specialty stitches and a significant area of the linen fabric.   And what's more my enjoyment of this project is still at high levels.

And here's a snapshot of the two headed eagle!   Spain is about two thirds complete so perhaps this weekend I might get to start the next country, which is.....?    Watch this space.

Good night everyone.