Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A Merry Christmas To All!

I would like to thank all my regular followers and all my new and recent followers for keeping up with my blog. I would especially like to thank each and every person who comments on my blog, whether regularly or occasionally, your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

This will be my last post until after Christmas. We have all been and are still unwell and with a backlog in chores and all the Christmas baking to get done, well I don't have much to share. I am hoping to get the ornaments finished, but I am not too hopeful. The parcel with the last bits I need has not arrived and I have quite a bit of stitching to get done.

I would like to wish you and your families a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year. May the coming year bring you good health and good fortune.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Christmas Ornaments and Other Things

I have completed the first set of ornaments for the children. Following the tutorial on Le Monde de Sucrette for the Little Christmas Socks, I changed out the colours for each of the children. Amelie was happy with my colour selection and well Felix had no say and Aurelia wanted something with lots of colours, beads and sparkly things. I stitched each of the name tags and attached them to the stocking after it was done. It's a pretty easy piece to make and each can be easily done in a night. Best of all these stockings are great for using up lots of little bits of leftover yarn. I have candy canes, individually wrapped biscotti and chocolates to put in them for Christmas morning.

Design: Little Christmas Socks

The other ornaments are almost done, but I am awaiting an order from the US before I can finish them completely.

I have been working away at a very long running WIP. I was determined to complete 'The 12 Blessings Of Christmas' by Lizzie*Kate before Christmas and I can finally say it's done.

Design: Love, Friends, Hope, Charity, Joy, Song, Giving, Caring, Family, Faith, Home, Peace (12 Blessings Of Christmas)
Designer: Lizzie*Kate
Fabric: 32ct Belfast linen - Platinum
Thread: Gentle Arts, Weeks Dye Works, DMC

I recently sent Rowyn a little pincushion as a thank you for sending me the magazine with the CHS chart. Rowyn received her parcel this week, so I can finally show the pincushion off. I tea stained the pillow and rickrack after the pillow had been assembled.

Design: Summer Stars Pincushion
Designer: Blackbird Designs (A Stitcher's Journey)
Fabric: 32ct R&R Reproductions linen - House Blend
Thread: Gentle Arts
Finish: Pincushion

Quite a while back I made a great friend via my blog. Cindy and I have kept in touch for quite some time now. I recently sent Cindy a pillow I made as a little gift and she let me know that it arrived today, so here it is.

Design: Sarah's ABC Pincushion
Designer: Blackbird Designs (Thank you, Sarah Tobias Book)
Fabric: 32ct R&R Reproductions linen - House Blend
Thread: Thread Gatherer Silk N' Colours & Anchor for braid
Finish: Pincushion

I had forgotten that I had stitched this little scissor fob quite some time ago, so here goes another finish. It was a fun and quick design to do.

Design: Collaboration Spring Box (Scissor Fob)
Designer: MTV Designs & Mingiustitch (Gift Of Stitching Magazine Issue 51 April 2010)
Fabric: 32ct Wichelt linen - Lambswool
Thread: DMC & Mill Hill beads
Finish: Scissor Fob

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Felix's Baptism

On the weekend was Felix's baptism and it was a lovely day spent with family. As usual I put on a massive spread of food and we have just finished the last of the leftovers today. I don't want to see another piece of dessert for a very long time! I will leave you with a collection of photos from the day.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

A Day Out!

Thank you to everyone for all the kind comments wishing us all the best. I am pleased to say that the girls have fully recovered and are back to their usual selves.

We had a lovely day out a few weeks ago with a visit to the Rozelle Markets. The markets are a great place for antiques and bric-a-brac and I had a lot of fun exploring. Aurelia spent most of her time taking photographs and looking at all the jewellery. I didn't come home with much, just a huge pile of play jewellery for the children.

We also visited the genius patissier Adriano Zumbo and purchased a small box of his famous macarons. Sadly they didn't last long enough to take a photo and nor did they last long enough for me to get one, but I do have a photo of the girls enjoying them. They tried a few flavours of Watermelon and Orange, Cola, Lemon Verbena and Passionfruit and Tonka Beans.

I have been stitching a little, but as they are gifts, I can't share until they are received. I checked out my WIP list and it's completely out of control. I am going to focus on these pieces after Christmas and try and get the list down before I start the 2012 Cabinet of Curiosities Course by Tricia Wilson of Thistle Threads.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

An October I'd Rather Forget

This month has been particularly difficult on everyone, My DH was away in the US at the end of September and came home sick with some sort of virus. He spent a week at home and then both girls got sick. They just seemed to get worse and worse running fevers of 40C for over a week. Even though they were on antibiotics from the word go, Aurelia developed pneumonia and ended up in hospital for a week and Amelie was there for two days. My DH spent the time with them in hospital as the doctors advised that Felix should be kept away from the hospital because of his age. Felix seemed to get a very mild dose of whatever the girls had and I am recovering from the same bug. It has been an experience that I would rather not repeat!

Here are photos of the children the day before they fell sick.

I have not been doing a whole lot of stitching, but I did start an online class with Robin Laukhuf from Olde Willow Stitchery. The piece is called "My Favourite Scottish Sampler" and I am stitching it on 36ct Lakeside linen with Needlepoint silks. So far I have only done a small part of class one. Those Algerian eyelets took forever and now I have to start the inside border of them.

For those people who are waiting to receive something from me, please be patient. I haven't forgotten, but I may be delayed a little longer until the whole household is better.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A mighty stash acquisition!

This is a very long overdue post!

A few Saturdays ago my DH, the kids and I went for a lovely drive up to The Crewel Gobelin, where I acquired all this stash as part of my birthday present. I can't wait to stitch up some of these A&E charts, I especially love the Catharine Metcalf sampler. I purchased some Danish Flower Threads that I plan to use to stitch another A&E design some time in the future.

Afterwards we all went to lunch at a lovely beach side cafe. My DH and the girls went for a walk on the beach and built some sand castles, whilst Felix and I caught a much needed nap in the car.

My mother gave me all these lovely Japanese quilting fabrics for my birthday. I will be using them for all manner of finishing when I get a chance.

I did have a finish the previous week. I finished off the second class in the hardanger course in The Gift of Stitching magazine. I had a right time with this piece as I made some incorrect cuts and had to sew the linen threads back in (after I counted and counted and checked twice before cutting). Then I cut around the outside before I had done the stitching (by mistake) and so a lot of the outside lace work looks a bit wonky. All in all though I am happy with the result and I learned quite a few lessons in the making.

Design: Beginner's Hardanger Course (HC201, HC202, HC203)
Designer: Meg Shinall (The Gift Of Stitching Magazine Issues, 51 April 2010, 52 May 2010 & 53 June 2010)
Fabric: 20ct Irish linen - cream
Thread: Ginnie Thompson Flower Thread

I  hit the jackpot on eBay a few weeks ago with all these items. I specifically wanted the Christmas Biscornu by Just Nan, but figured the rest of the items wouldn't be too bad as well. What I didn't realise was that the lot included Chatelaine's Egypt Garden fully kitted out by The European Cross Stitch Company. You won't believe this, but I purchased all of this for less than the cost of purchasing all the threads for the Christmas biscornu (oh yeah the fabric was included as well). What a bargain!

This week there has been quite a bit on sale on eBay again and well I couldn't resist a bargain. I purchased all these Just Nan charts with their embellishments for such a low price; I would never spend much on eBay.

This weeks finish is quite a quick piece by Carriage House Designs. I saw the design on Rowan's blog and she kindly lent me the magazine with the chart. It's a quick stitch, but when you have as little time as I do to stitch, it's a weeks worth of work.

Design: Emma Blackwood Sampler
Designer: Carriage House Samplings (JCS Magazine, June 2005)
Fabric: 36ct Edinburgh linen - sand
Thread:  DMC

Today the stash I purchased from The Attic Needlework arrived. I have been waiting a very long time for these items because of back order issues, but Jean has been very helpful and patient with my inquiries. These are bits and pieces I needed to kit up a few different projects. Due to the lack of stitching time, I have been spending money on stash. I think I really need to stop now!

That's all for now, I have a few secret projects I am working on and then I need to start on all the Christmas ornaments for the children. I plan on stitching and finishing them this year and now that I have three to do, I really should start now. I must confess I still need to finish-finish the ones from last year!

I'll leave you with a few photos of Felix, Aurelia and Amelie.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Olde Willow Stitchery Fibres

Edited: Thank you, for your help. I ordered my fibres from Wyndham Needleworks this afternoon.

Can you help?

Does anyone know where I can purchase threads by Olde Willow Stitchery? I have only found a few online stores that stock a very tiny selection and I have a significant number that I require in both cotton and silk.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Aurelia Turns Five!

Thank you so much for all the wonderful and encouraging comments and emails I received. The day I wrote the previous post I was feeling very sorry for myself, but things are much better this week. I am glad to say that everyone is feeling much better and I feel that I am back on top of most of my chores.

Felix is sleeping in a much more predicable way at night, so I am having an hour or so each night to myself to stitch. I am only working on one project each week and I have put quite a few stitches into the Blackbird Designs Mystery Sampler #3.

I recently won a whole lot of stash on the Samplers & Santas blog. Marly sent me a box absolutely stuffed full of lovely items. I spent a whole day playing with all this stash and it was so much fun. I took them all out again yesterday and had another play with everything.

I am happy to say that my two missing parcels finally turned up after waiting for more than a month. I purchased some lovely HDF silks and a whole stack of fabric. Now that I have a little stitching time, I need to finish a few WIPs before I start anything new. Having to wait is killing me, but I have a large enough WIP list for the moment.

As the title says, Aurelia turned five this last week. We had a birthday party for her on Sunday which went quite well. The theme was 'The Octonauts' which is a kids cartoon and she wanted a cake of the main character 'Captain Barnacles'. As usual, I made the cakes and my DH did the shaping and icing. I think he did a fantastic job considering he only worked from a screen shot from the cartoon.

It's my birthday on Sunday, so I wonder if this year I will receive any stitching stash, we will see. That's all for me, so I will leave you with some photos from the party.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Pity Party

I feel like I'm sinking into a deep hole at the moment. Everyday I am falling further and further behind with my chores. I am far behind on my blog reading, I have hardly commented on any blogs, I haven't touched my stitching and even my crocheting has been neglected.

Amelie has a terrible cold, cough and ear infection, Aurelia has developed a tree nut allergy, which now has to be investigated and Felix is suffering from a cold and the effects of his recent immunisation. I don't feel the best either with the beginnings of a cold and feeling the side-effects of my recent whooping cough vaccine.

My DH is helping as much as he can, but has gone back to work. He is working shorter days to help out in the afternoon and evening.

I have Aurelia's birthday party to organise for two weeks time and I have visitors coming to stay in a weeks time.

To top it all off the postal system has lost two parcels coming from the US containing some stitching supplies.

Please accept my apologies if I don't comment on your blog. My plan today is to read through all the posts and make a scattering of comments.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Life Has Ground To A Halt

I would like to thank everyone who left such kind comments on my blog and sent congratulatory emails. I have replied to everyone that I could and if I missed you I am sorry.

Things are not going as smoothly as I had hoped with Felix. He is not the greatest of sleepers and refuses to lay down in his bed most of the time. For the last six weeks at home I have basically held him in my arms during the day and most of the night and I don't have more than a couple of hours of sleep. I haven't touched my stitching since I left hospital, I am really starting to get withdrawal symptoms. I am not getting much done each day as Felix won't lay down in his rocker and hates the baby carrier and sling that I purchased. I get just a few things done each day and on the weekend my DH looks after him and the children while I get the house cleaned. In a way cleaning is a enjoyable thing as I get a little exercise and get moving about.

I realised that my DH hadn't given many details about Felix, so here they are.

Felix Remington
7 June 2011
3440g (7lb 9oz)    50cm

The week before Felix was born, I didn't get any stitching done, but I did do a lot of crochet. Here are all the pieces I made that week.

Design: Easy Chunky Beanie with Texture
Designer: Sarah Belcher (Ravelry)
Yarn: Patons Wilderness - 70% Wool, 20% Acrylic, 10% Viscose (Colour 0505)
Hook Size: 6mm/US J

Design: Patterned Beanie Hat
Designer: The Art Of Crochet Series - Issue 10
Yarn: Moda Vera Pure Wool 8 Ply (Colours 50, 04. 02, 01)
Hook Size: 3.5mm/US E and 4mm/US 6

Design: Scallop Crochet Scarf
Designer: Lion Brand
Yarn: Panda Magnum - 100% Acrylic (Colour 4602)
Hook Size: 4mm/US 6

Design: Margaret's Hat
Designer: Lion Brand
Yarn: Panda Magnum - 100% Acrylic (Colour 4602)
Hook Size: 4mm/US 6

Here is a scarf I threw together using a bunch of textured yarns. I am not really sure what the yarns are, but I made 150 ch, then each row is a row of dc (sc US) in a different yarn. Super easy! 

I am happy to say that Jill finally received her PIF I sent oh so long ago. I sent it months ago and then it came back just after Felix was born and then I sent it again, but this time with success. So here is the little piece I stitched.

Design: Carnations
Designer: The Prairie Schooler
Fabric: 32ct Belfast - Sand
Thread: DMC
Finish: Pinkeep

Now the only craft I have been able to do has been crochet, usually when Felix is feeding or asleep on my lap. Here is my latest project; I have completed one for Amelie and I am currently working on one for Aurelia. This one was a little bit of a challenge sewing together as all the stripes had to match up perfectly. By the way I left off the snowflake on this as there enough going on already.

Design: Snowflake Hot Water Bottle Cover (without the snowflake)
Designer: The Art Of Crochet Series - Issue 14
Yarn: Moda Vera Pure Wool 8 Ply (Colours 50, 04. 02, 01, 54, 08)
Hook Size: 4mm/US 6