Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Hit and miss

It has been hit and miss with updating my blog over the last few years.  I'm not sure if many still read it.  I won't make any promises about updating regularly, but I don't plan on giving up on it either.

Back in February our lives took a sad turn, when my Mum passed away.  Although she had been ill, we were not expecting such a dramatic turn at that time.  I still feel some disbelief, and then at other times the reality feels very overwhelming.

My Mum would have hated her face being on the internet so here are a couple of photos of my Mum and I which she still wouldn't have approved of, but that I might have got away with.  :-)  In the first I am around 2 years old, and the other is at my wedding in 2009.


My Mum worked tirelessly as a volunteer for our local animal rescue shelter for nearly a decade, and helped hundreds of cats, kittens and rabbits in that time.  She particularly liked the very small kittens that needed to be hand reared, and was still doing this two weeks before she passed away.

Not long after she died I went stash diving for something to work on.  I ended up pulling out Alpine Garden by the Drawn Thread which I'd had in my stash for nearly a decade.  As I was working on it I realised that many of the flowers and their meanings were words that described my Mum - compassionate, strong, loyal and courageous.  Needless to say it went straight off to the framers once I had finished.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A little later than expected...

but the winner of the Margaret Jagger 1824 chart is.... Barb from the Wicked Stitcher blog   Congratulations Barb!  I will get the chart into the post for you this week.

I visited my younger sister (who is an occasional stitcher) the other day, and she was busy stitching on her Margaret Jagger which was nice to see.  She got off to a great start originally, and then lost interest but some recent atrocious summer weather has spurred her on again.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Happy new year and a giveaway

I was going to do a blog update to show my latest stitchings, but at present I can't access my Flickr account where I store my photos. 

So, lets have a giveaway instead.  If you'd like to win a  copy of Margaret Jagger 1824 which I reproduced from the original - please leave a comment and I'll throw your name in the hat.

I will draw a winner on Sunday 22 January (NZ time).

Hope your 2017 is off to a great start!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Strawberry House

After we moved house in January life threw a few lemons my way, and I didn't stitch for quite a few months.

The first thing I stitched when I got my mojo back was Strawberry House by Tanya at the Scarlett House.  I think this is quite possibly my favourite design ever.  I just love the design and the thread colours.  I had put it off for ages because I didn't have the exact fabric called for or anything similar (such a silly attitude!).  I eventually decided a piece of WDW Cocoa fabric would be just fine.

When I won the generous gift voucher on Sharon's blog back in May the main acquisition was the fabric, threads and chart for La D Da's  Honeysuckle Birth Sampler.  Although I stitched a couple of things for Annabelle before she was born, I never got around to a birth sampler.  It was a pretty quick stitch, but has been languishing unfinished for a little while as I have yet to decide on the lettering for this piece.  Unfortunately, I don't like what is charted and I want to fit her full name in the middle portion not just her first and second names.  (I've just spotted I missed a honeysuckle flower on the vine!).

Annabelle has become very interested in my crafting lately.  "What are you making me today?" she asked yesterday as I was rifling through my crafty drawers.  Then this morning she asked "Are you needle-ing me a hat?".  lol.   Her and I started making her a scrapbook yesterday - she really enjoyed rummaging through my supplies and spreading them all over the floor.

At the end of July we said goodbye to my bunny Milly.  Obviously I was sad, but I believe she was probably old in bunny years as she went blind with cataracts soon after I got her (here she was the first day I adopted her from animal rescue).  I had her for a little over two and a half years.

My other bunny Cola is getting on in years, I've had him for about four and a half years and he was also a rescue bunny (so real age unknown).  He will have to make do with our company as, as much as I love bunnies I don't plan on getting anymore.  However, I may take him to see my Mum's bunnies on occasion for something different.

It is a miserable, cold day here with lots of hail and sleet.  Parts of the country have been really battered by storms and snow.  Winter is giving us a final farewell, as it gives way to spring.  Wahoo!

Sunday, September 04, 2016

National Parks Birthday Club

Thanks for the warm welcome back to blogging everyone!

This weekend I managed to finish up part 1 of The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's National Parks Birthday Club.  Part 2 will be released at the end of September.  It will be interesting to learn about US national parks.  New Zealand has many too, my favourites being Fiordland (awe-inspiring/jaw dropping/out of this world beautiful in my view) and Tongariro (a few hours north of where I live, with a couple of active volcanoes).

Some of you might recall that last year we moved house and totally made a big mistake in doing so.  In January this year we moved back to our old neighbourhood.  One of the things that attracted us to our current house is it's lovely large garden, which even has it's own stream. It is a great time of year to see what is popping up in the  garden.  Fortunately the previous owners liked spring bulbs and there are many, many yet to bloom.   I can't wait!

We also have some unique garden visitors, including this endangered New Zealand falcon (Karearea). Annabelle and I were home alone one day and there were a lot of banging and crashing noises.  I could not understand what was going on at all.  We went outside and found a white dove which we sat and talked to for a while, before noticing the falcon in the tree watching all of us.  We had interrupted the falcon chasing its lunch!  First things first I got the camera (as you do!), then I rang my husband to see what he thought I should do - either let nature take its course or save the dove from becoming lunch - however before I told him the whole story the dove flew off with the falcon in hot pursuit.  I don't know how it ended.  Maybe that's a good thing!

Back soon with part 2 of the local sampler history.  I am glad that some of you commented that you enjoyed part 1!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Local sampler history - part 1

Earlier in the year I purchased  'New Zealand's Historic Samplers' by Vivien Caughley .  I had borrowed the book from the library several times, so figured I must quite like it so I may as well just buy my own copy.  :-)

I was surprised that there were so many samplers stitched in New Zealand.  The few samplers I have seen in person all have their origins overseas.

As I was reading the book one sampler in particular caught my eye because it was fairly local to me. It was stitched by a young girl called Jane Tonks (age 8).  Unfortunately, she died aged 22 in 1867 and is buried in Bolton Street Cemetery in Wellington.

I am quite familiar with the cemetery, as it forms part of the botanical gardens which Annabelle and I frequent.  I particularly like to visit the cemetery at this time of year because I love to see the spring bulbs blooming amongst the historic graves.

Anyway, back in March Annabelle and I headed out on a little mission to see if we could find the grave of Jane Tonks.  We had to veer off the main path a little but eventually found her headstone.

Unfortunately, the headstone does not mark the grave of Jane Tonks.  Her remains were disinterred from her original resting place in the 1960s to make way for the construction of the motorway.  Jane's remains now lie on the other side of the motorway in another part of the cemetery, along with the graves of many others.

A little while later I was again reading the book and found an even more local to me connection.  I will save that for the next post.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Back to blogging

For a while now I have wanted to start blogging again - so here I am dipping my toes back in the water.

As Annabelle gets older I am starting to find a little more time to get back to stitching.  At the moment I am working on Merry Christmas, My Deer from Country Cottage Needleworks.  I was lucky enough to win a very generous gift voucher on Sharon's blog back in May and this is one of the designs I purchased with it.

A few days ago I saw the hashtag #nationalparksal on Instagram, which picqued my interest.  A quick search and I found a sneak peek of the National Parks Birthday Club from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, and immediately knew that I was going to sign up.   The first part was released today.  I have the majority of threads required, but still need to decide on the fabric.  Annabelle has already claimed it as her own.  "What is it Mummy?" she asked.  I told her it was a cross stitch chart and she said "Thank you... thank you".  

Annabelle turned 3 in July.  Definitely the fastest three years of my life! She's now going to kindy a few days a week.  The kindy has a farmyard theme, so she even gets to ride the pony and feed the chickens.  Such fun for her.  Three is such a fantastic age, and I love the funny and sweet things she comes out with.  Every time I pick her up from kindy she says "I love to see you Mummy".  I never tire of hearing that.  I always enjoy it when she brings home her creations too - this one last week was quite different than the usual paintings.  A 3D tree!

The weekend is finally here.  Hope you have a stitchy one!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Bluebelle Samplings - competition

Hi everyone

If you'd like the chance to win a copy of my first reproduction sampler (Margaret Jagger 1824), please head over to -

Bluebelle Samplings blog

Bluebelle Samplings on Facebook

Bluebelle Samplings on Instagram

Please share, like and let others know to help spread the word about Bluebelle Samplings for more chances to win.

I am going to draw a winner on Monday 28 March.  Good luck!

Also, I now have an Etsy shop which can be found here - Bluebelle Samplings on Etsy

A more personal blog update to follow! :-)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Bluebelle Samplings Chart No. 1 - Margaret Jagger 1824 - NOW AVAILABLE

Chart information -
'Margaret Jagger 1824' is a beautiful reproduction of a 192 year old sampler.  I purchased the original sampler in 2015, and have reproduced and stitched it to look as close as possible to the original.

The reproduction has been stitched using DMC threads on Weeks Dye Works 30 count Cocoa fabric.

The stitch count is 174 wide by 170 high.

Charts are now available in hard copy or in PDF format.  Hard copy charts are printed on high quality paper and will be sent in a protective sleeve.

Costs -
PDF file - NZ$15 (approx AU$13, GBP 7.00, US$10*) sent via email
Hardcopy - NZ$25 (approx AU$22, GBP 11.50, US$16*) plus postage (NZ$3.60)

*Currency conversions are approximate only and subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations

Payment information -
To order your copy, please send me an email at rosie_kiwi@hotmail.com stating whether you would like a PDF or hard copy.   If you require a hard copy please include your mailing address so I can mail your chart promptly.

For overseas customers I will send you a Paypal invoice.

For those ordering from New Zealand I am happy to accept payment via direct credit or Paypal.

Please feel free to email if you have any queries.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

My Mother Margaret 1828

Hi everyone

Thank you for your supportive and kind comments on my last post.  We are currently making very fast progress on some improvements to our house in order for it to go on the market in the coming months.  Hopefully we'll be able to move on and find a sense of home again in the nearish future.

I remembered recently that I hadn't yet shared my third antique sampler with you all.  It is not the prettiest sampler, but I fell in love with the verse which says 'Who fed me from her gentle breast and hush'd me in her arms to rest and on my cheek sweet kisses prest.  My mother Margaret 1828'.  When I chart this one I think I will play around with the colours and see if I can joosh it up a bit.

I finished charting my first antique sampler (Margaret Jagger 1824) tonight, so although there is a way to go (checking, stitching and printing) I am feeling quite pleased with myself.  I have really enjoyed the process so far and I'm excited about charting future samplers.

Hope your week is going well!