Thursday, 23 December 2010

Merry Christmas To One and All


I would like to wish you and your families a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year.

I would like to thank all my readers for visiting my blog throughout the year and thank everyone one of you who have left comments. I apologise for neglecting my blog and everyone else's blog these last few months. I am feeling much better now and I am tyring to catch up on all the housework that has been sadly neglected these last few months.

I hope that you will all continue to visit my blog as I vow to get back into my stitching and blogging with the new year. That's all for me for this year and I hope to be back better than ever on January 1.


Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Long Time Missing

It's been quite a while since I last blogged or even commented on a blog. I have barely stitched or knitted or crocheted for nearly eight weeks. Why you ask!!!

I have been suffering morning sickness from morning to night and then into the wee hours when I can't sleep. I barely sleep, I have a permanent back ache and I don't even have enough energy to lift a crochet hook. It's times like this I wonder what on earth was I thinking. I am hoping that I start to feel better soon, I just miss my stitching and I am sick of feeling sick. Today I am into the second trimester, so I am hoping that the energetic feeling hits me soon.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

A Blanket for Me

The weather has warmed up and I have lost my stitching mojo. Every night I have been sweating terribly and haven't touched my stitching for at least two weeks. Before my slump I did get a little bit done. Actually I have been in a mega slump for a while. I haven't been commenting on blogs very much, although I have been reading them and I haven't posted for so long.


Here is where I am up to with Margaret Pence by The Goode Huswife. I have completed Adam & Eve and started on the fig tree, but this is where it's going to stay until I get my mojo back.


I pulled out my 12 Blessings Of Christmas by Lizzie*Kate and finished another block. This leaves me with only three more blocks to go. (I really hope this is finished for this Christmas, only several years late!)


My knitted squares blanket is coming along well enough. I have been having trouble with blocking some of the squares. Although I have not touched the iron to the blocks and have only very lightly patted the squares into shape with my hand, some of the stitches look a little squashed and flat.



I have a few more blocks completed for my crocheted squares blanket as well. Sorry I haven't blocked all the squares out  before I took the photo.


Finally, here is the project I have been working on most of my time. It's an octagon blanket that I am crocheting for myself. It's a free pattern that I picked up at the Lionbrand website. I sewed a few blocks together to see what it would look like, but I think I will need to block all the pieces first, they look a little bit wavy.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Never An Idle Moment

This post has been a long time coming. My DH purchased a new computer for me, so this last week has been spent getting it to how I like it and making sure that all my software is loaded and works correctly. I am very behind on my blog reading and posting. But I am sure that I will get back on top of it this coming week.

My order for my birthday arrived this week. How fun to open the package and find all this. I received some excellent service from the ONS that I ordered from. They were able to get a number of items for me that were not on their website.


With my DH back, I have a photo of the great items be brought back for me from Japan. I love all those Japanese bowls and these ones have a cute little cat on them and the bottom of the bowls has the cat paw prints. My DH very kindly searched in many bookstores for a few crochet books I was after. Although they are in Japanese, the diagrams are in standard international format and quite easy to follow. I have done a little research and discovered what various different symbols mean, so they make much better sense now. If anyone is interested in more information, just contact me as I have a little cheat document to help decipher these Japanese patterns.

I would like to show you what I had stitched for Ronel in the Friends Through Thread Little House Needlework exchange.


Design: Necessities Sampler
Designer: Little House Needleworks
Fabric: 32ct Belfast linen - Ecru
Thread: DMC
Finish: Pillow

Although my DH had been away, I didn't stop stitching. In actual fact, as the house had been cleaner than usual I had been stitching, knitting and crocheting more than ever before.

My knitting skills are a little ordinary, so I have decided to start knitting a basic throw. Each square teaches a different skill. I have finished three squares, but I am trying not to look too closely at them. I know that I am improving with each square and discovering my mistakes, but they still look a little rough. The only problem I can't seem to work out is why my yarn is getting all twisted up. I have tried taking the yarn from the centre of the ball and then the outside with no difference. I have checked that I am doing all my stitches correctly, so what am I doing wrong?


I have also decided to do the same kind of throw, but in crochet instead, so here is my first square.

I have lots more stitching progress, but that's for another post.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Blackbird Designs Mystery Bonus #2

Design: Rites Of Spring Mystery Bonus #2 (Loose Feathers #31)
Designer: Blackbird Designs
Fabric: 30ct R&R Reproductions - Irish Cream
Thread: Gentle Arts and Weeks Dye Works

I have finished the Blackbird Designs Mystery Bonus #2 that Danielle and I have been working on in a SAL. I really want to start the third one, but I am awaiting my order from overseas to come in with some of the threads that I have started to run quite low on. In this design I couldn't decide on which initials to use, my initials are quite boring (SS). Then I wasn't really sure if I should use my husbands (TP) or my daughter's first letters of their names together which would be AA (not really the right ones to use). In the end I used AP as both of their initials are the same, so two daughters, one initial, yeah! (The stitcher in me must have subconsciously thought of this dilemma when we named them.)

I have been really getting into some crochet and knitting lately. Too much time on my hand with my DH gone. By the way he is back and he bought back some lovely things for me and the girls. I will post again this coming week with lots more to show.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A Little Stitching

I can finally show some finishing I have completed recently. The first is a pinkeep I stitched for Nic in the Hooked On Exchanging For The Birds exchange.

Design: Wee Rooster
Designer: Heart In Hand
Fabric: 36ct Sew-It-All linen - Brown Cloud
Thread: DMC
Finish: Pinkeep


One last little push and here is my very first hardanger piece completed and finished into a needlebook. It wasn't anywhere near as hard as I thought and once I got over the fear that I was cutting the fabric so close to the stitching, it was a breeze.


Design: Beginner's Hardanger Course (HC101, HC102, HC103)
Designer: Meg Shinall (The Gift Of Stitching Magazine Issues, 51 April 2010, 52 May 2010 & 53 June 2010)
Fabric: 20ct linen - cream
Thread: Ginnie Thompson Flower Thread
Finish: Needlebook


Here is a cute little pillow that my MIL stitched for me on my birthday.


My DH gave me some money to make a purchase of some items from my favourite ONS. I made this order and I am now just waiting for items to come in. I have picked up some threads, Blackbird designs charts and a few JCS issues, including the ornament issue. Can't wait till it all arrives! On a sad note, my DH had to leave for Japan for work on my birthday. He will only be gone for 10 days, but I must say that I have been a little on the lonely side and the girls and I are missing him. On the upside, the house is spotlessly clean and I am super up to date with all my household chores.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Aurelia's 4th Birthday

As you would have read in the last post, Aurelia turned 4 on the weekend. I will leave you with some photos of Aurelia and Amelie enjoying the party.

Monday, 16 August 2010

This and That

First I would like to say sorry to Gwen, she sent me a beautiful exchange piece for the Hooked On Exchanging For The Birds Exchange. It had been held up in quarantine for a week or so and I finally received it last week. I promised to post a picture straight away, but with cleaning and organising a birthday party, time slipped away from me.

Here is the pillow Gwen sent me. It's a design called Pumpkin Blossom by Blackbird Designs. Gwen sewed some beads on to it and filled it with crushed walnut shells (that's why quarantine held it). It's such a beautiful pillow and I love it. Thank you Gwen. I also have to thank the quarantine officer whom I spoke to. She very carefully unpicked the stitching of the pillow so that she could examine it's contents and then taped it back up. When the pillow arrived it took me five minutes to sew the pillow closed and you would never know that anyone had touched it.



Yesterday was Aurelia's 4th birthday and we had a lovely big party for her. I cooked a mountain of food over two days and I must say that I am now exhausted today. She had a wonderful time and was the perfect child, with lots of thankyou's, please's and making sure that everyone was fed and happy. I can see her being the perfect party hostess one day. My DH hasn't downloaded the photos yet, so I will post them in the next day or so.

In between all this work for the party, in the evenings I made some time to sit, relax and sew. I finally finished Aurelia's Christmas ornament. I am mostly pleased with how it turned out, although I had a really hard time turning this piece out once I had sewn around it. I had to unpick and restitch some of the inside corners, so I don't quite know what I did wrong. Does anyone have any advice on how to sew this odd-shaped pillow ornaments?

Design: Noel
Designer: Prairie Moon (JCS Ornament Issue 2008)
Fabric: 28ct Cashel Linen - Platinum

Threads: Belle Soie Silk
Finish: Christmas ornament

My Emblem Of Love RR made it's way home on Friday and I am so excited. The piece looks beautiful. Sorry it looks so wrinkled, but I want to finish stitching the date and then I am going to give it a good iron. I would like to thank Carol, Margaret, Edgar, Wendy Jo and Deb for stitching on my piece, you all did a fabulous job.

Design: An Emblem Of Love
Designer: With My Needle
Fabric: 36ct Edinburgh Linen - Cream
Threads: DMC, The Gentle Art, Olde Willow Stitchery

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Exchange Received and a Little Trip

I received this beautiful ornament from Marie in the Friends Through Thread LHN exchange. This is a beautiful design and I love the ruched ribbon edging Marie has stitched on. Thank you Marie, I really love it.


We took a little trip to our nations capital Canberra on the weekend. We spent two lovely nights in a great hotel and saw some great sights. The girls were particularly excited that they were able to sleep together in a double bed. However, Amelie migrated out of the bed and onto the floor so many times. I can't begin to count how many times I got up and put her back onto the bed. When I tucked her in she crawled under the covers to the foot of the bed.


We took the children to the science museum Questacon and the girls loved it. I think the thing they liked the most is that they could touch most of the exhibits and there were lots of buttons to press. Aurelia was most impressed with the animatronics dinosaurs they had on display. The two of us went for a ride on the roller coaster simulator and I don't think I have ever heard her laugh so much.


We also went for a drive out the the Canberra Space Centre. Aurelia loved all the small models of the space exploration satellites and needed to know the name of all of them and their mission. She loved the display of the Mars Rover as well, although Amelie was a little scared of it for some reason.


The day we took them up Black Mountain Tower, the weather had turned particularly cold and a very strong wind was blowing. The wind was so strong, it was almost difficult to walk up on the tower. Aurelia though it was great and I think she liked the feeling of the wind blowing her along.


Our final destination was the Parliament House. I explained to Aurelia that this was the place that the people who run the country come talk about what they want to do. She exclaimed back "Oh, this is the house where the people who talk to much come from". When parliament is sitting, it is broadcast on TV in the time slot before the children's afternoon cartoons. If there is something very important being discussed or someone important is speaking, the cartoon are often delayed. Aurelia is always upset and tells me to "make the man who talks too much stop talking". At least she knows what she's talking about!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Updates

First of all I would like to thank everyone who left comments and sent emails wishing us a speedy recovery. We are on the mend, but the girls have this really annoying cough that won't go away. In all it has been five weeks that we have been unwell. The children are coughing in the night and keeping DH and I awake. The last few nights have been particularly difficult, but the coughs are improving.

I have made up for lost time with my stitching. I have started the kit by Midsummer Nights Designs that I purchased at the craft show. The design is from the Gift Of Stitching magazine and the kit included everything required to finish the project.


I have almost completed the first part of the hardanger course, also from the Gift Of Stitching magazine. I have found the hardanger is quite enjoyable and not as difficult as I first thought, although the cutting of the linen did make my heart race a little faster.


I have some more progress on my Blackbird Designs Mystery Sampler. There are quite a lot of colour changes in this portion, so it's taking a while. The circle is another thing that takes a long time. Lots of counting going on as I really do want the circle to join eventually.


I made a new start the other day as I found the most amazing Babushka fabric and Aurelia would love me to stitch a pillow using the fabric. Gazette94 has some beautiful patterns, so I am using three of these and going to stitch her a long pillow.


While I was sick, concentrating on stitching gave me an enormous headache, so I did a little crocheting. I made the girls a pair of slippers each using leftover yarn. Amelie's are quite plain, but Aurelia wanted fairy slippers and chose this amazing textured hand-dyed yarn. The only problem the colour of the yarn changed as I went along, so one slipper is quite purple and the other more pink. I also had a hard time getting the strap across the top to line up. I measured and measured and measured and still I got it wrong. The girls loved their slippers until Grandma bought them pink fairy slippers and now these are considered yucky.


I made a start on The Scarlet Letter's 1800 Gift Pincushion. I haven't got very far because it's all over one. Believe it or not, this is one nights work, pretty lame!


Aurelia thankfully changed her mind about her Christmas ornament for this year and has decided on an angel, the original one was the Snow Globe from last years JCS ornament issue. So here is the progress on Noel by Prairie Moon from the 2008 JCS ornament issue.


Here is the progress on my Folk Art Pincushion by Carriage House Samplings. I have stitched it over two using DMC on 40ct linen. I basically only have the background filling to finish, but it's taking so long.


I have made a pitiful restart on Margaret Pence by The Goode Huswife, but as you can see from the photo, there is very little done. I was quite annoyed that I had to frog this design out three times before I got it right. Serves me right for stitching when I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open.


I have also made a little more progress on Hannah Lancaster. I have stopped working on her though, as I wait for Sandra, Deb and Sandra's friend Tawny to catch up. She is really hard to just let go and not touch. Despite the fact that I hate stitching borders, this one is not too bad and I am actually enjoying it.


Apart from all that I have two exchanges that I am working on, but can't share for a while. I also have two PIF's that have to be mailed, one just needs the final finishing and I will share those once they have been received.

All in all, I think I have way too much going on and I need to get some of these pieces finished and out of the way. Perhaps starting so many projects was not such a great idea.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

I Am In Heaven

Last Thursday my parents returned from their seven week European holiday. I had asked my mother that if they happened past any needlework shops that if she could buy me a few bits and pieces. Well I have to say this is so much more than I expected. She thought to buy extra as a nice early birthday present.


Some thimbles to add to my growing collection.


Some 45ct Graziano linen and a beautiful bag to carry all my needlework. A few Italian cross stitch magazines


Great buttons, a lovely pair of larger scissors from Germany, ribbons from Austria.



My parents specially sought out Des Fils Et Une Aiguille whilst in Paris and purchased this great haul.


The charts are from Lili Points and are some Christmas designs. DMC stitching accessories, eight different pieces of linen and a spool of Soie Surfine thread.


Look at the beautiful ribbons.


Decorative pins by the French designer Butterfly Couture.


Some Kelmscott owl scissors and thread keep, mother of peal buttons and an Eiffel Tower charm the owner gave as a gift.


To say that I have been spoilt is an understatement. It's not often that anyone in my family purchases me anything for my stitching, but when they do, they don't do half measures.