Thursday, 31 May 2012

Almost there ... and Amy's Tour Part 7

What a difference a day makes.
I took this photo on the way home from work one day and
then this one is the following afternoon.  
It isn't always true that red at night is shepherds delight.We can have a searing red sunset one day and rain the next here!
Last night I finished the stitching on the Strawberry Fields Bag.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this stitching and especially the lovely little flowers.
The top photo is closest to the actual colour.   Today has been a really busy day at work so I will leave the construction until the weekend when I can concentrate better.   There are a few accessories so I'll go ahead and tack up the linen for those.
Now on the third shelf of my cabinet is a basket containing all sorts of odds and ends.
Some date from early in my stitching days (and are kept for pure nostalgia) and others are small but precious.
Here's a couple (I promise to show you more later on)
My LNS had this as a class and as it was in my favourite blue colour and because I like bee hives this was an instant sign-up!   It is stitched on wool blanketing and at present houses my circular needles -  they need the protection of this thick woollen needle case.
This little Indigo Rose Folding Cross Needle Book is sooo cute.   It is done in reversible blackwork (well actually navy blue). The base is a slightly padded cushion and the pages fold over and button down - each page labelled with a needle size.   I love this one so much I have never used it!!   Another story associated with this one... I bought the totally suitable bead at a shop near my sister's place in Wellington.  Almost next door to the bead shop was a store selling Dutch Salted Licorice.  Believe me I spent more on licorice that day than on beads!
Well that's enough for today.   Have a good evening.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Woe is me .... and Amy's Tour Part 6

Yes!   Woe is me.   I seem to have caught yet another cold and must again make maximum effort to ensure I don't pass it on to the HDHBEM.   Today I was to have gone out to lunch with my friend Tomoko and instead have been indoors feeling sorry for myself :-(   The place where I work is a large factory and although my office is cosy the rest of the building is unheated and draughty  - an ideal place for the acquiring of any circulating virus. Monday is wages day and they will all expect me back at work then so I must spend my weekend trying to get better quickly!

There has been quite a gap since the last episode of Amy's Tour -  I hope you are not bored with this yet.
Shepherds Bush Kit  - stitched in 2000 while on holiday.   I remember I exhausted all the projects I took with me and bought this at an LNS while away.
This box by Beardie Designs was stitched in silks and I enjoyed every moment of this.   I was pleased too with the way it all came together -  even though it isn't my normal colour palette.
This Barbara Jackson design was in my stash for many many years before I finally got to stitching it.   I recommend this one to any other stitcher -  it was such fun to do.
I can't really recall which magazine this was from but it was definitely last century that I stitched this!  Inside the coral stitch medallions there were supposed to be wreaths of ribbon work flowers.   As I have a pet aversion to ribbon work these cross stitch roses were an excellent compromise.
Again, this piece is from last century!   The wooden box is made from NZ Kauri wood and sadly the man who made these is no longer with us.  The hardanger design was from a magazine picked up at random from the trading table at Embroiderer's Guild.

This bear was done at a class held by an Embroiderer's Guild in the neighbouring region.   My friend's mother made the bear out of an old coat and I merely provided his floral accessories!  Wool embroidery has not become a great favourite but I love my bear. 

This "Repair Bear Kit" was from Inspirations Magazine and was really interesting with all the various pieces to applique.  
Some years ago our Embroiderer's Guild had classes in Japanese Kogin - my first introduction to this technique.   I was hooked and have since made placemats, coasters and bags - all of which have been given away as gifts.   So last year I stitched this needlebook which proudly sits in my cabinet.
Third shelf of the cupboard -  the Garden Ball is a recent finish.   The Quaker Chicken was done about four years ago.   I love her and every year promise myself to add the Christmas Quaker Chicken but somehow....time runs out.  

This was stitched ages and ages ago - I loved the idea of a circular hussif but it had never been used although once it did get an outing to display at our Guild Exhibition. 
Back in the old days when I stitched on Aida !

Currently I am stitching on Hillside Samplings Strawberry Fields Stitching Bag and Accessories.  Hopefully tonight I will get the alphabet started.   

One side has the alphabet under the strawberry band and the other side has "wrought by..."  There is a scissor fob, scabbard, needlebook and a ruler cover but as I don't have the matching scrimshaw ruler I am going to do a small biscornu pincushion instead.   This is a really enjoyable stitch. I am planning to line the bag with dupion silk.
Have a  good evening everyone.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Back From Holiday Part 2

I promised to show you my purchases while on holiday so here we are:
Some quilting fabric to make aprons (top left), a bag (bottom left) and the Noddy fabric is to line a cross stitch Noddy bag which is on my "to do" list.
Then these were the stitching related purchases -  bottom left is a disc to make Japanese Kumihimo (well actually from the $2 shop and to make friendship bracelets but it will suffice for kumihimo); top left is a Lauren Sauer chart  which really appealed and was on sale; bottom right is a bookmark kit for a gift; and top right is a Just CrossStitch magazine.
'What! A Just CrossStitch magazine?' do I hear you say?   Well look what was inside -  and I have the shaker box to suit.
And a close up of the Paisley Elegance -  can you see why I fell for this?  It is blue, has specialty stitches and won't require framing,
And to prove that I did do some stitching while on holiday
The Mary Stewart Hussif looked like this when I packed it
and then like this when I came home.   Today it left on an overseas journey so I will show closer details in photo when it arrives at its destination. 
And Kelly's Growth Chart has grown!   There is a name to go on top but other than that the top half is complete.   Only a Zebra and a Lion and the remaining numbers to go.   Sure is bright but also quite cute.
 A few final photos tomorrow - meanwhile I am going to enjoy stitching strawberries tonight.   Have a great evening everyone.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Back from Holiday Part 1

I had a great holiday week during which at the insistence of the HDHBEM I did no cooking!   As we ate out each lunch and dinner the extra 1kg on the scales will need to be got rid of now!

I tried the pear, walnut and blue cheese tart which had rave reviews on the cooking shows - my verdict?  Ugh!   The macaroons were a real treat and we had lemon tea with those in an effort to balance out the excess calories :-) The lamb shanks were delicious and that seafood chowder was full of the goodness of the sea which was just out this window.
The weather was cool but each day was clear and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.   I did some exercise -  can you see that mountain in the far distance?   I did walk around that one day - a mini hike of around 45 minutes.
  As to my goals....
1. at least one visit to the hot springs.  Of course and very nice it was too!

2. complete the Mary Stewart Hussif and stitch the giraffe on the growth chart.  Of course and photos will follow tomorrow.

3. go for a half hour run along the beach every day (I am allowed to walk back again if I can't run both ways)
No :-(  One day I did go for a looong walk but the tides were not very cooperative (that's my excuse)

4. read the five books currently in my library bag before I visit the bookshops.  Of course but I didn't visit any bookshops so didn't buy any more -  do a newspaper and a magazine count?

5. take the HDHBEM to the yarn store and stand over her to ensure that stash is kept to a minimum.  Of course.   She didn't require too much supervision this time!!

6. restrain myself from visiting the needlework store or if I do visit, LOOK don't BUY.   I visited two stores and decided that I am better supplied in Auckland.   However I did add to stash but you will need to wait until tomorrow for the photo.  Both stores were more for quilters than for embroiderers which was good for my pocket!

 Well that's all for tonight - I will show you my stash and an update on my stitching tomorrow.  
Have a great evening everyone.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

A great day and some more of Amy's Tour

Good afternoon everyone.Yesterday was the Writers and Readers Festival and I went to two sessions.
First up was An Hour With Peter James.
He was an excellent speaker and responded well to the interview questions so that in my opinion both readers and writers in the audience would have felt well satisfied.   His red silk socks were the first thing I noticed!   Perhaps it is obligatory for male writers of crime fiction to wear red silk socks?   Anyway that trivial item added to my satisfaction.   He was asked if he modelled any characters in his books on real life and I loved it when he said that anyone who really annoys him gets their name included in his books on a toe-tag for a body in the mortuary!

There was a gap of some hours until the next event I had booked for, so I went shopping.   Some chocolate (for gifts) and then across the harbour to Devonport to a favourite shop.

You would admire my restraint - I only purchased two books this time.  But further up the street at a little specialty stationery store I found a new fountain pen.   She is made in France and writes beautifully, so of course there had to be a new notebook to go with her.  

Lunch was at a small Japanese restaurant and my books kept me company.

Before anymore damage could be done I came back on the ferry and settled down with a coffee and a chocolate brownie to write letters with my new pen.  

Ah, bliss!   All to soon the time had passed and I was back at the events centre for 
An Hour With Stella Rimington.
She was interviewed by a prominent New Zealand journalist and therefore the emphasis was slightly more on spies than on her spy thriller novels.   She did admit that Liz Carlyle had been modelled on herself and that her daughters thought Dame Judi Dench in the Bond movies was uncannily like Dame Stella!   Dame Stella herself dismissed James Bond with the memorable "he's nothing more than a good looking paid-assassin".   Turns out that the in-book attraction between Liz Carlyle and her boss Charles Weatherby came to nothing because at a Readers Festival in Australia there was  vociferous opposition that it just wasn't on and Stella decided to change things.   Hence Maurice and the season tickets on the Eurostar.   (Can you tell I have read these books thoroughly??)  
By the way Stella Rimington turns 77 today (I know because she told us that she feared anno domini was catching up on her) and she has the most beautiful porcelain complexion and a bewitching smile.   Her education and background show in her exqusite choice of words and I just loved the way she moved her hands as she talked.   Expressive, to say the least, but I imagine she is one formidable woman.

Anyway, enough about my great day out.   I am off on a short holiday this week so will give you the next episode of the tour first.
This is the only piece on the bottom shelf of my cabinet.   I found the little buttons and immediately had the inspiration of using a strip of Afghan fabric (left over from the HDHBEM's afghanmania) to make a golliwog bag.

Back to the second shelf
This is the last M (at least currently) and was a DMC kit some years ago.  The fabric was printed like that and there was a fine gold thread to outline some of the columns.   I rather liked this series of alphabet but DMC withdrew it from sale.

This sampler bag is done on rather coarse linen but I liked the hardanger top and the strawberry toggles.   Like most of my bags it gets displayed but is never used.

Back in 1996 I stitched this C A Wells Peacock Bag -  I think that may have been what first convinced me I was capable of stitches other than a plain cross!!  I well remember stitching this on the flights to and from Sydney when I went on a business trip and having to search for a shop selling tapestry needles when I lost my one and only.  
Then these smalls are Tricia Nguyen designs circa 2005 -  here's the front and the back of the etui and the slipper scissor keeper.

Well I think that's enough photos and talk about me for today.
The HDHBEM and I are off to Papamoa Beach for a week's holiday and my goals are
1.  at least one visit to the hot springs.
2. complete the Mary Stewart Hussif and stitch the giraffe on the growth chart.
3. go for a half hour run along the beach every day (I am allowed to walk back again if I can't run both ways)
4. read the five books currently in my library bag before I visit the bookshops.
5. take the HDHBEM to the yarn store and stand over her to ensure that stash is kept to a minimum.
6. restrain myself from visiting the needlework store or if I do visit, LOOK don't BUY.

The weatherman promises cool but fine and as I will be without internet I look forward to rest and refreshment.   See you all soon