Saturday, 26 December 2009

Pre-Christmas High & a Post Christmas Low

The week prior to the Christmas week my DH was home for a little holiday before Christmas. We had a fun time and took Aurelia horse riding. She was lead around on a horse for 10 minutes, but she was a real natural moving around quite comfortably with the horse.

We also went for a picnic and a little walk down to the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains. I took Amelie in the backpack with me and my DH walked with Aurelia. As you can see from the photo, the steps are quite steep, but she happily walked down and back up on her own.

Aurelia and I spent some time during the week before Christmas baking. We made some clove and almond shortbread, espresso shortbread, cranberry and almond cantucci and a Christmas fruit cake. These were for my parents as a Christmas gift. They have so many things, we just didn't know what to buy them, so we thought a whole bunch of baked goods would go down a treat and they did!

Next my Little House Needlework RR has returned. I would like to thank all the wonderful ladies who stitched on my piece and made it look so beautiful. So a big thank you goes to Nicki, who organised the RR, Cathy, Melissa, Joan, Julianne, Joanne and Debbie (even though she was too sick to finish). Here is a photo of how the RR returned to me, it looks great doesn't it!

Nicki had my RR for a little while and as an apology sent me all this wonderful stash. It was completely unnecessary as I knew that my RR was in safe hands, but I really do appreciate it as the fabric, threads, ribbon and pattern are all items that I can really use.

This year I took the opportunity to shop at the Black Friday sales and with the great bargains going, couldn't resist the opportunity to enhance my stash. Similar to Kathy, I have a "naughty clicky finger" as well. This is what I purchased at the first ONS. Lots of Carriage House Samplings and Birds Of A Feather designs and lots of Weeks Dye Works threads and Gentle Arts threads to build my collection. Oh and how can I forget the 2009 JCS ornament issue.

I made a visit to the local quilting store and stocked up on some great backing fabrics. My favourite piece I found was this great piece released for the anniversary of the moon landing, with which I am going to make something for Aurelia.

Finally I made a visit to the local chain store craft store and stocked up on some gingham fabric which I have plans for next year, some ribbon and scrapbooking card which has been put to great use making ribbon holders.

I had seen on Tempus Fugit blog these great ribbon and lace holders which she had covered in fabric. I downloaded the template from Sarah's blog and I gave it a go and found mine were a complete disaster. Instead I decided to use the scrapbooking card to line a thick piece of card on both sides. The card is acid free and doesn't rub off onto fabric and is perfect for the job. It certainly makes it much easier to store lots of ribbon and looks quite pretty. Maybe one day when I have a little more patience and time I will give the fabric ones a go again.

Here are a few photos of the girls on Christmas day and the yummy dessert I prepared for my Mum's lunch, it's a Choc-Cherry Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake.

You are probably wondering the post Christmas low? For almost a week I had my in-laws visiting. It was a busy five days of running around, keeping up with the household chores, feeding the children and entertaining and feeding the guests. I was so busy preparing meals and cleaning up after everyone each day, that this week I have no energy left. The kids have had their routines completely disrupted and have gone silly and are driving me nuts. I feel drained and unenthusiastic. I think I need to buy some more stash and do lots of stitching.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A Merry Christmas

As this will be my last post before Christmas, I would like to thank all the wonderful people who read my blog. I would especially like to thank those people who leave comments. These comments have been inspiring, thoughtful and comforting and I look forward to reading them. Thank you all, you are great friends.

I would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas. I hope that all your wishes for Christmas come true and that you can spend the day with the people that you love.

I have plenty to share after Christmas so keep an eye out for the next post!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

The Last Of The Secret Stitching

I haven't heard from everyone about the PIFs I sent, but I hope that they have been received and that everyone has just been a little too busy. I know I am at this time of the year. This is the design I sent to Heather. Yes, you may have seen it before, but this time I stitched and finished it as a gift.

Design: Bee Hive
Designer: Elizabeth's Designs
Fabric: 32ct Belfast linen - Vintage Country Mocha
Threads: Gentle Art Sampler Thread
Finish: Pinkeep

Finally, I heard from Peg (no blog) that she had received the blogaversary gift I stitched for her. It took some time to get finished, don't know why, I think things just happened. The important thing is that it is completed and in Peg possession.

Design: A Stitcher's Journey Fob Two
Designer: Lody Steward (Gift Of Stitching Magazine, Issue 35 December 2008)
Fabric: 28ct Cashel Linen - White
Threads: DMC
Finish: Scissor Fob

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

More Stitching To Show

I read on Klaudia's blog that she had received the PIF I sent her. This is another design I enjoyed stitching. I made some colour changes as I had used DMC thread and the conversion saw the flowers a not so nice orange colour. I found the cutest little chicken fabric that I just couldn't resist using as the backing.

Design: Life's A Stitch
Designer: Lizzie Kate

Fabric: 32ct Belfast Linen - Dirty Linen
Thread: DMC
Finish: Pinkeep

I also heard from Ellen (no blog) that she had received the ornament I stitched for her for the Year Long Prairie Schooler Exchange. I decided to go the traditional Prairie Schooler finish on the ornament and I really like how it turned out.

Design: Prairie Schooler Santa
Designer: The Prairie Schooler
(Gift Of Stitching Magazine, Issue 34 November 2008)
Fabric: 32ct Jobelan - Sage
Thread: DMC
Finish: Christmas Ornament

Saturday, 5 December 2009

At Long Last Some Secret Stitching

I would like to say thank you to all the people who left words of encouragement and advise about my chore planner it was just what I needed. It has been four weeks now and I think everything seems to have settled into a great routine. The children can make as much mess as they like where their toys are as long as they don't drag toys over the rest of the house. This leaves them with the entire lounge room and entryway for their mess. I have more quality time to spend with the girls and more stitching time (except when DH is home and then everything seems to get out of hand!). I feel much happier about my home and I don't get into a panic when visitors arrive unannounced.

The year is coming to a close and I have finished all my stitching commitments. This means a little more me stitching, I have done very little of it this year. To celebrate, this is the first item I stitched. It's a little needlebook, which has been completely hand finished. I feel so good about it. Not only did I make something useful, but I followed the instructions and found they were quite easy to understand. I tried some new skills (nun's stitch and buttonhole stitch) and they were not as scary as I thought. I used a handmade antique bead for the closure.

Design: Acorn Sampler Sewing Case - Needlebook
Designer: With My Needle
Fabric: 32ct Belfast linen- Ecru
Threads: DMC
Finish: Needlebook

Next is the ornament I stitched for Marie for the Friends Through Thread ornament exchange. This was a new finish for me, as I have never made anything that wasn't square of rectangular. By lacing it by hand, I found that it wasn't as hard as I first thought.

Design: Christmas Poinsettia Topiary
Designer: Praiseworthy Stitches (Gift of Stitching Magazine, Issue 34 November 2008)
Fabric: 36ct Edinburgh linen - Cream
Threads: Gentle Art Sampler Threads
Finish: Christmas Ornament

This is the PIF I stitched for Kathy. I haven't heard from her yet, but she should have received it by now as it only takes two days at the most by post from my location to hers. I finished this little ornament with a beaded trim on the bottom, it just seemed to need a little something else.

Design: Red Winged Blackbird
Designer: Bent Creek
Fabric: 28ct Belfast linen - Putty
Threads: DMC
Finish: Ornament

Finally, I would like to say that I have one more place available for a PIF. If you would like to participate and receive one of my hand stitched items, please leave a comment indicating your interest. If you would like to know more about the PIF check out this post.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Ornaments Received

Yesterday, the most gorgeous little ornament arrived from Cathy for the Friends Through Thread ornament exchange. Cathy has stitched a little Santa by Homespun Elegance and I think it is a very appropriate design for a stitcher. Now who doesn't want linen, floss and time to stitch. I only wish Santa would bring all those things for me. OK, OK just the linen and the floss!

Thank you Cathy, your stitching and finishing is impeccable as always. I really love the tiny little braid you used around the edge of the design.

Today I received this cute ornament from Kathy for the Year Long Prairie Schooler Exchange. I love the Prairie Schooler Santa and so I am really pleased to have received this one. I love how Kathy has finished this one off. Thank you Kathy for this wonderful ornament.