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.
I haven't managed much stitching lately, but I am back on track with charting for my antique sampler 'Margaret Jagger 1824'. I am about half way through putting it into PC Stitch. Here is Bindi trying to help me out last night!
Progress stalled with Bluebelle Samplings when we moved house. Unfortunately, DH and I are not at all happy in our new location. It's a tough pill to swallow when you realise you've made a big, expensive mistake! Even the park across the road hasn't been wonderful (we've only been three times in two months and each time an unpleasant experience involving weirdos and dogs!). So we are looking to move back to the area we came from which is a more family oriented area, rather than a mixture of the weird and the wonderful which you find in city locations.
Our holiday to Fiji rolled around. I would like to say it was a wonderful, relaxing holiday but little Annabelle was out of her comfort zone. It was a struggle getting her to eat different foods, and dealing with the friendly people of Fiji (who love paying lots of attention to little ones) was too much for my shy little girl. She did love digging in the sand, paddling in the water, the frogs which came out at night and sniffing the beautiful, tropical flowers though. Even though we were only away for 11 days it seemed like a long time, so we felt quite refreshed upon our return. It was certainly a beautiful island we were on!
Woah, hang onto your seats it's another update from me :-)
First of all, my apologies to those of you I still owe emails to. So much has happened in the last four weeks. We've moved house, Annabelle had a nasty virus for 10 days, we went away for a long weekend, we celebrated a birthday and welcomed a new furry family member to the clan!
The house move went well. To our surprise Annabelle settled right in straight away with no problems. Mum (i.e. me) not so much. It's starting to feel more like home now though.
My baby turned TWO! Here's a cute snap I took of Annabelle a few days before her birthday, with her cousin Phoebe (now 6 years old). I am still in disbelief, it seems no length of time since these two gorgeous girls were both babies! That poem about babies not keeping is so very true.
Last Saturday we threw Annabelle a little birthday party. I decided to make the cakes from an idea I saw on Pinterest. Rose shaped icing with edible butterflies. The icing may look a little more like camellias, but I was fairly pleased with my first cake decorating efforts. Annabelle had a fantastic time with lots of extra people to chase her around.
My Mum who volunteers at animal rescue was telling me about a beautiful ragdoll kitten that had been surrendered last week. I didn't think much more of it (she tells us stories about lots of animals) and I was certainly not looking for any more pets. Then she rang up one night and suggest we come and have a look at it, and she'd adopt it for Annabelle if we agreed. So we went on Sunday for a look at her and she ended up coming home with us. Things have gone well so far, so she's here to stay. Her name was Daisy but as we already have a cat called Petal, I wasn't keen on any more flower related names. Annabelle kept calling her Beanie (the name of my sisters cat) so we chose something similar - Bindi. She's nearly six months old, and is very affectionate and laid back. I love her blue eyes and silky coat.
Earlier in the year I had fallen in love with this little kitten my Mum was fostering. Her name was Louise and I was working on my husband as I was keen to adopt her. Sadly, it wasn't to be though as she passed away quite suddenly for an unknown reason. I was very sad, I think she'd have been full of character!
On to happier things. For those of you interested in my other antique samplers I mentioned in my previous post, here's the second one I purchased. It's Olive Smith 1831.
The verse says 'There is beyond the sky, A heaven of joy and love, And holy children when they die, Go to that world above. Olive Smith 1831'.
I will save the third one for another post, so I have something to share (as I haven't managed any stitching since the house move!).
It might seem like I have abandoned the blog ship, but I haven't been a very productive stitcher in recent times so don't feel there's much to share on a regular basis. I still stitch when I get time and I haven't given up blogging, it's just a little slow on those two fronts right now.
I do have some stitchy news to share though. I recently purchased three antique samplers which I am going to reproduce (under the name Bluebelle Samplings). I was hoping to have the first one released this month, but then we put our house on the market and we are moving in two days time!
Here is Margaret Jagger 1824 which will be the first release. I really love the colours in this one and thought it would also appeal to other stitchers. It is wearing thin in places so I would like to get it framed in the very near future. The other two I purchased are already framed, and I will share those in future posts.
Of course, I only planned to buy one sampler and get it charted, stitched and released - but then I couldn't stop looking and over the course of a few weeks bought two more. A very dangerous hobby!
Annabelle is doing great and growing like a weed! Can you believe she will be two years old next month? (I certainly can't!) She's at a really fun age and knows lots of words and their meanings. She loves animals, books, bubbles, a TV show called Baby Jake (she'll say "mote" and plonk the remote in my lap and then say "Jake") and scribbling on paper. She had started grunting at us when she wanted something, but we taught her to say please so now we get "peas... peas... peas" all day! :-)
As mentioned earlier, we are moving house in two days time. I'm a little sad because I love our little corner of the world. It is on the outskirts of town, surrounded by bush and birds (I love seeing the hawks glide over the wee gully below us, low flying Tuis and wood pigeons wooshing over our heads and the little fantails flitting around the backyard), is relatively quiet, has lots of memories attached and is and has always been 'home' from the time we moved in. However, our house has also seemed very small since Annabelle came along. So where we are moving too is far more spacious (for everyday living and for when we have guests), more modern and it has a huge park across the road which also leads to a nice stretch of river where we'll be able to go for long walks. Hopefully we'll settle quickly and enjoy living there as much as we have in our current home.
Here's our little house that we are leaving behind (the one and only time it has snowed in my lifetime).
Thanks to the lovely and talented Lee for the blog award back in April. As I have taken so long to do it I won't nominate anyone else (you've probably already been there and done that), but here are 7 facts you may or may not know about me
1. I met my husband online in 1999! He lived in Northern Ireland, and I was here in New Zealand. We eventually met up on his birthday in 2001 when I travelled to the other side of the world to meet him (the thought of it fills me with dread now, I'm lucky it all turned out OK!)
2. My two sisters and I all had (separate) car accidents within the space of a year. None of us had ever had one before. I had bad dreams about crashing into the back of someone for months after my incident. Funny now (the dreams), but not at the time
3. When Annabelle was five days old we were hit by a series of large earthquakes. The first few didn't scare me, but they continued to rattle us for months and I am jumpy about them now
4. I have worked at the same firm for all of my adult working life. They currently allow me to work from home while I look after Annabelle growing up. I am very grateful for that!
5. I would one day love to walk the Tongariro Crossing and the Milford Track. Two of New Zealand's great walks
6. I currently have two cats (Meg and Petal) and two rabbits (Milly and Cola). Milly my bunny is sadly losing her sight due to cataracts
7. I've had this blog for 10 years!!
Well, this is probably the longest post on my blog in that 10 years, so I will finish up here and hope to be back in the not too distant future.
Today I got out my Growing Like a Tree sampler (it's a Moira Blackburn design). I gave it an iron to see if I could reinspire myself to get this beauty finished. I plan to put a few stitches in this weekend. As you can see I really am on the homestretch, you would think I would just get it done!
Just after I ironed it a certain little lady woke up from a nap. She was very curious. So I laid it out over the footstool for her to look at, and she ran her hands over it and went 'Wow!'. I took that as very high praise :-)
I found this photo of my niece Phoebe's annual Christmas ornament this evening. I forgot to share it on my blog last year. I'm not as happy with it as others I've made in years gone by, but I still quite like it. It's on perforated paper and had a charm and some tassles that needed to be made.
Some of you may recall that last year my DH and I had close encounters with lions and cheetahs, and that we were supposed to meet the giraffes that day too (however, it was a cold day and the giraffes couldn't be enticed out of their heated enclosure). Well, we finally met them a few weeks ago. We didn't think it would be as exciting as meeting big cats, but wow when you are standing at ground level and they walk towards you, you really appreciate how tall and magnificent they are. Even this photo doesn't capture their height or presence. It was an awesome 30 minutes!
Whenever I stop by my blog to look at my blog list I am saddened to see my last post. So it's time for an update!
Unfortunately, I don't have any stitching to share. I put a few stitches in here and there to a few projects but nothing worthwhile sharing. I am kept very busy between work and Annabelle right now. Hopefully in time I will get back to more regular stitching and blogging.
Although Annabelle will always be my baby, as you can see she's a little girl now (19 months old tomorrow). Not a baby at all! She's just so much fun and a happy little thing. She's a real chatterbox and has quite a few words she can say. This last week she's just started picking up objects and saying 'hello' as if it were a telephone and babbling away in baby talk. So cute. We were away recently and I was taking a photo and she surprised us all by going 'cheese, cheese, cheese'. :-) We are taking her away on her first overseas holiday later in the year to Fiji. I can't wait!
I still read your blogs and feel inspired by your stitching.
A sweet and gentle friend lost her battle with cancer. She was just 36 years old.
As if that wasn't hard enough to bear, the same day I got news of my friend we lost our very loving cat Tess.
"What greater gift than the love of a cat" - Charles Dickens
Thank you to those who left messages for me on my last post when I commented about Tess' declining health. I'm sorry I didn't get around to replying to each of your personally, but they were all very much appreciated.
Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it, and to those who don't - happy Thursday!
Free time is a bit scarce these days, but I managed to finish up Frosty Forest a week or so ago. I wasn't sure whether or not to use the buttons, but I loved the little Owl button so decided to go for it. I'm very happy with my choice.
I was very lucky to win a stitchy giveaway on a new blog called Stitched Up!. Thank you Nel for the gorgeous Sweetheart Tree kit, the delicious chocolate (which didn't last long) and the card. I felt very lucky. I'm hoping to get it stitched up over the Christmas break. If you want to check out Nel's lovely blog you can find it here.
Annabelle and Tess (my sick kitty) are still buddy, buddy. Tess isn't doing too well. I know the time will come when we will have to say goodbye and it is going to really suck. :(
On a happier note. We had a trip away a few weeks ago to a fairly remote area of countryside (no mobile coverage!) where we stayed on a farm. We had stunning weather and clear views of the mountains. We took a drive up Mt Ruapehu and it was soooo cold even though the sun was shining. I think this will be our last annual trip away with our shop, as some people were causing problems (repeat offenders). Fortunately the culprits went off in a huff and the rest of us enjoyed some time doing stuff together. :-) Annabelle enjoyed meeting one of the farm horses.
I am currently working on Just Nan's 8 Point Star Garden. It is stitching up quite fast (it's smaller than I was expecting) and I am hoping it will be easy to put together at the end. It's very pretty, as Just Nan pieces usually are.
I hope you have a fun weekend ahead and get some stitching time in!
A big thank you to the lovely Ann in Scotland. Last week I received a wonderful package from her which included this beautiful project pouch, a Prairie Schooler chart, a bar of Caramac (mmm, yum!) and a lovely Fuschia card.
The pouch is going to be great for storing my projects in, and keeping my scissors away from small exploring hands.
It was very generous of you Ann, so thank you again!
Last weekend we took Annabelle to the zoo. She had a fantastic time looking at the animals (she'd have chased them if she could have). One of my hopes for her before she was born was that she would become an animal lover, and that certainly has been fulfilled already.
We had some bad news last week. We were told that things are not looking good for our cat Tess, who has had recurring health problems for a number of years. She was a stray that turned up at our house in 2005. My husband recently confessed to me that he let her into our house, she didn't just wander in one morning while he was having his breakfast like he had me believe all these years. :-) I really don't want to lose her :( and I am not giving up hope. She's always been a feisty little thing and has actually perked up and gained a bit of weight since her last vet appointment.
I hope you have a lovely weekend and get lots of stitching in!
Although my blog posts are a bit sparse these days, I'm still about reading your blogs. I haven't had much stitching time of late but Frosty Forest is getting closer to being finished. I only just received the final part in the mail today, so hopefully in a few weeks I might have it all stitched up (and ironed!).
Of course, Annabelle is part of what is keeping me very busy. She's 14 months old, has two teeth, can crawl at lightening speed and pull herself up onto her feet. She's such a happy little thing most of the time.
I am currently enjoying my favourite season - spring! A tree in our backyard puts on a wonderful display of blossoms every year. It was only about two weeks ago that it looked completely bare, then all of a sudden it is laden with buds and it seems everytime I look out the window there are more flowers opening up. The display only lasts about 3 weeks.
Whenever I am outside I always get company of some kind. The day I took this picture Meg was showing off for the camera. She may be getting old (10 1/2 years) but she still likes to act like a young thing. It is hard to believe that it was this time last year that her brother Giggsy died. We still miss him, he was such a character.
A few weeks ago we headed up to New Plymouth to visit family. We went to a lovely winery for lunch one of the days - from one side of the winery we got this beautiful view of Mt Taranaki.
And from the other side a view of the ocean and the vineyard. The photos don't really do the amazing location justice.
Although I haven't done much stitching lately, my clicky finger has still found time to order some stash - including my niece's annual Christmas ornament.
Also, I see that Carol (iStitch) is planning another Christmas Sew Advent SAL this year. I really enjoyed last year, so will be keeping my eyes peeled for sign up info.