Monday, December 26, 2005

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Tess' first summer...

My wee girl is really suffering in the heat. Here she is trying to find some shade and a cool breeze under the apple tree in the backyard...

I picked up a copy of the December 2005 UK Cross Stitcher magazine today. I was lured by the freebie - a little elephant called Elliot. I'm a sucker for elephants, especially ones as cute as this. I haven't had the chance to read the magazine yet, but with two weeks off I'm sure I'll be able to squeeze it in! :-)

I'm all over the place with my stitching at the moment. I've put down Lily of the Valley and For the Birds, and have made a start on my Ladybug Needleroll. It's looking very pretty already. I'm stitching it in three strands, as two strands didn't give very good coverage on my 25 count fabric. Perhaps my stitching goal for 2006 should be to be more focused, but of course as we all know with this hobby we are absolutely spoilt for choice with charts, fabrics, charms, threads etc - so with even the best of intentions I might not stick to my goal!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Xmas HD

Many thanks to Jennifer at Dragon Dreams for the freebie pattern which was up on her website this weekend. It's a real cutie -

It didn't take long. I started about 10pm on Friday night, then spent a couple of hours finishing it off on Saturday afternoon. I might even have a go at making it into an ornament over the holidays.

I can't wait until Santa delivers my scanner next weekend, it surely has to do better than my camera on the closeups.

I can completely understand that it is hard for people in the Northern Hemisphere to comprehend Christmas in Summer. My OH is from Northern Ireland, and even though he's had Christmas out here many a time (even before he met me) he still finds it strange. I am sure he won't be complaining on the day though, as if it's hot he can open his pressies and then jump in the pool. And of course a cold beer (of which he is very fond) always tastes better on a hot day! :-)

Friday, December 16, 2005

It's a raining frogs...

My stitching hasn't been progressing very well at all lately (hence no blog updates). I couldn't find the mistake in 'For the Birds', so my Mum took it away and managed to locate not one but two frogs!

In the meantime I pulled out Lily of the Valley which hasn't been worked on in quite some time. I decided I'd stitch the year on this sampler as 2005 to encourage me to finish it this year, although as I told OH I'd probably be better off stitching 2010 at the rate I'm frogging right now!

I can't believe that we're only a week away from Christmas now. I'm sooo looking forward to a few weeks off work. I hope I might get a fair bit of stitching done too, although sometimes the hot humid weather (like we are having right now) zaps the stitching bug right out of me.

Here's a photo of my little shadow. I just can't go anywhere without being followed, here she is helping me with my blog surfing (bless her!).

Friday, December 09, 2005

Long before cross stitch....

...I discovered photography (when I was about 8). My favourite place in New Zealand is Fiordland, and I took these photos earlier this year.
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And this is Lake Hawea near Wanaka...
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Hope you enjoyed looking at these photos! :-)

A mysterious frog has come to visit....

I finally started using my new threads last night on 'For the Birds'. I was happily stitching away on the inside border from the bottom to the top, when I realise 'uh-oh' I'm a stitch out. How can that be - when the outside border meets up fine and has the correct spacing between the letters? I can only sum it up as a secret frog! I guess I am going to have to go through the whole thing and find out where I've boo-booed, and compare how much needs unpicking with how easy it will be to redesign the inside border! :-) I have to say I'd much prefer a visit from a Freddo Frog!

Tess has just been rolling around on the floor chasing her tail. It must be the hot, wet, muggy weather we're having sending her berko!

My OH recently told me his work have asked him to redesign their website. I had forgotten that he has created websites before, so I asked him if he could help me spruce up my blog. He tells me it's easy, so here's hoping over the coming months my little space on the web will start to look a little more welcoming.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pretty ... Pretty Expensive

I took my younger sister to a LNS today to see if there was something she wanted to go with her other Christmas present.  Nothing took her fancy, but look what I found while I was waiting for her to browse...
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Of all the times I've been in this shop (which is, as you can imagine, quite a few times) I never knew they did overdyed threads.  They have Needle Necessities and Caron threads (albeit not a great selection).  I'm not sure if these are the exact Needle Necessities shades I need to finish 'For the Birds' - but they are close enough.  They sure weren't cheap though.  I looked for similar colours in the Caron threads which were a few dollars cheaper, but I was drawn back to these two lovelies!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Rainbow Club

I love getting a piece of fabric in the mail each month from Country Stitch If you are thinking about joining, I can highly recommend it. It's great fun not knowing what beautiful colour will arrive next!

This month I received a piece of 'Ocean Blue' Lugana 32 count, as can be seen in the picture below which I borrowed from the CountryStitch website (my camera didn't do it justice, although in saying that it is still prettier than the picture from the website).

I think I will stitch a seahorse design by Cherry Parker (New Zealand designer) on this fabric.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Another week bites the dust...

Thanks for your get well wishes. I decided a new magazine might make me feel better (ha!) so I purchased this issue of Quick & Easy today. Truthfully, I was lured by the cute farmyard animals by Margaret Sherry. They're way too cute.

Quick and Easy has definitely improved over the years, when I look back at other issues I have from 1998/9.

I'm hoping to get back into my stitching this weekend, although my OH and I are going to help my parents tomorrow with their very large garden and then we are having my SingStar-mad sister over for a session tomorrow night - so I don't know how much stitching I'll get in. Every stitch counts though, I guess!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Unscheduled outage

Sorry for the unscheduled outage folks, I've been unwell.

I haven't stitched on For the Birds (or anything) for about a week and a half. But here's the promised WIP photo...

The camera doesn't do the colours justice, so here's hoping when Santa delivers my scanner I might be able to get a photo which portrays the colours closer to what they really are.

And for anyone wondering about Waxy - little Waxy made it. I released it off our upstairs deck (well away from the kitty-cats and while it was still light) and it made a swift exit. I was very chuffed.

OH went and picked up our tickets for our overseas trip on Monday, way way in advance but at least we have them in our hot little hands. I'm already buying stuff to put away for the trip (summery clothes so far, which might not be available mid-Winter next year).

It's hard to believe that Christmas is just a few weeks away. Just two more gifts to organise and then we're done - after that we'll just be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the festive season.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

There's snow on them there hills...

We've had such a mild winter, and some really warm dry weather lately - so it was a bit of a surprise when a southerly blew in on Monday and deposited some snow on the Tararuas!

About 15 minutes ago we had just finished our dinner and there was a thump on one of the lounge windows. If we hadn't seen a few feathers slowly wafting down I don't think we'd have realised what had happened. I went outside to locate the wee beastie, and there was a little Waxeye lying on his back between some bricks. It's still alive at the moment, so I've put it in a box in the dark and quiet of the bedroom. I do hope it recovers, of all the casualties we've had lately none have made it. Fingers crossed!

Speaking of birds, I have just the border to do on the Drawn Threads 'For the Birds'. It's looking really lovely so far. Will share a WIP or HD photo at the weekend.

I didn't get any stitching in last night, as we were shouted out for a meal and to see John Cleese (of Monty Python fame) by OH's boss as a Christmas treat. He's touring here in NZ at the moment. It was a great show and I laughed so hard at times my eyes watered!

So tonight I'll hopefully catch up on some blogs (I've not been online for a few days), get a few stitches in and with any luck release the little Waxeye before it gets dark.

Friday, November 18, 2005

It's Friday again!

Here's a pic of Tess with her tongue out. When she's relaxed and happy she likes to let it all hang out! :-)
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Here's some additions to my magazine collection which I bought yesterday. There isn't much in this issue of Cross Stitcher that appeals to me, but it is a wonderful issue of Jill Oxton's Cross Stitch and Beading. It has a lovely frog design, some very cute Kewpie dolls (I remember having a Kewpie doll when I was young!) and a whole lot more.
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We booked our tickets for our trip today and now have an intinerary (yay!). It always feels more real when you've paid and have an itinerary in your hot little hands. Still 8 months to go mind you! We decided we'd stop over in Singapore for two nights. We went there a few years ago on our way back from the UK, and loved it. Natty - Jems is the only one I know of in Canterbury too. I should have worded it better, as I probably got you all excited over nothing! :-) Have a great stitchy weekend everyone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

For the Birds WIP

Thanks for all the comments on my Tiger Reflection HD.  I do plan to get him framed at some stage Jenna, along with all my other many completed cross stitches.  My Mum, and even my OH, often tell me it is a waste having them sitting in a drawer unseen.  I do hope to get a sewing machine in the future, so that I can learn to finish stitched pieces off in different ways.

I did end up starting on For the Birds last night.  Not a great pic, for some reason when I shrink the photos they make the fabric look checkered!?  The fabric is "Kiwi" 28 count Jazlyn from CountryStitch, and is far nicer in 'real life'.
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Jo asked where I'm going when I go overseas next year. First stop on the itinerary is England, then on to Northern Ireland (where OH is from) and we are having a week in Cyprus with OH's family. We're still deciding whether we should stop over somewhere, or whether we should just use the time to spend with family and friends. One thing is for certain, I already have a couple of stitching shops in Canterbury and Ballymena on my personal itinerary. Tee hee.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Missed out by a cat's whisker...

I was determined to get Tiger Reflection finished before the end of the weekend, and spent some of Saturday and most of Sunday working on it. I just had a few whiskers to do come bedtime on Sunday night, but by that stage I was a bit fed up with it. So it took me about 10 minutes last night to put the final stitches in... and here it is...

After my HD I started the Woodland Santas by the Prairie Schooler, but one over one isn't for me. The concentration was intense, and it was making me squint! I think I would soon fall out of love with it!! I could fit it on the material doing over two, but it wouldn't leave much room for framing or whatever. So tonight I am probably going to start the Drawn Threads 'For the Birds' on the Kiwi Illusions fabric 'Kiwi', and get another larger piece for the Woodland Santas.

I've been reading everyone's 2006 stitching goals. I was thinking about my own stitching goals for next year, and they are simple - stitch whatever takes my fancy and enjoy doing it. Next year we are going overseas for six weeks, so I imagine as the excitement mounts my stitching may suffer in the months leading up to it (and may suffer afterwards as the post-holiday blues set in!).

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Thanks for your comments

on Tiger Reflection. Your comments are always much appreciated.

I picked up this book on Hardanger in a sale today. I've been intrigued by Hardanger for a few years now, so now I've got some instructions I will be able to give it a whirl.

Now I just need to find another coupon so I can get 25% off the 'The New Anchor Book of Pulled Thread Embroidery Stitches', which is another in the series.

I also picked up a DVD in the sale - 'The Terminal' with Tom Hanks. It was cheap as it was, but with 25% off that too it was a steal. I love a bargain!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tiger WIP

Not the best pic, but thought I'd share my progress on Tiger Reflection.  I thought this would be a quick stitch, but I guess there is still a lot of stitching in a 5" by 7" design.  I'm going to see if I can get it finished by the end of the weekend (if not sooner!), hence this short post.  :-)
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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Tell them to fly on by...

... the birds that is. Another casualty today, sadly this one didn't make it and died in my hands. It was especially upsetting because it was bleeding badly and I was home on my own and didn't know what on earth to do for it. So much for being prepared after the last time.

On to cheerier topics... later in the day my Mum and I went tootling around the shops. I bought a couple of lovely Pellegoniums (sp?) - flowering plants - for my pots. I'm trying to create a cottage look on our patio, with lots of colour. I'm slowly getting there and it's starting to look rather nice - everything seems to be so lush at the moment (I even have strawberries growing on my ornamental strawberry plant).

We then took a run into Wellington and I picked up the two threads I didn't have for the Ladybug Needleroll (I don't think I've ever had all the threads needed to complete a design, I always need to go out and buy at least a couple), as well as some fabric and an additional box to keep my threads in. I now have two projects kitted and ready to go - Ladybug Needleroll and Woodland Santas. I hope I won't be too tempted to start either of these before Tiger Reflection is finished, although I am already thinking about it :0). And yes ladies, Ladybug Needleroll is indeed a Lorri Birmingham design.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Small HD and some S.E.X.

Here's the wee All Our Yesterday's freebie which I finished this week. I'm back working on Tiger Reflection now.

Today I was at one of the LNS and came across this lovely little chart for a needleroll. I would love to make things out of my stitched pieces (other than cards and framed pics), so this is hopefully the start of a new dimension to my stitching (all going well of course). Both my sisters and my Mum have sewing machines... so maybe they can teach me a thing or two.

This Ladybug Needleroll comes with a sweet wee ladybug charm and four buttons.

I also got my latest piece of Rainbow Club fabric - Kiwi. It is lovely, and I already know what I plan to stitch on it... Woodland Santas by Prairie Schooler. OH worked out for me that I should get them all on my fabric with loads of room to spare (I don't trust my maths!) - so I took my chart to work today to make a working copy. I bought all the threads I need to stitch these four smallish designs a few months back, so I can start anytime. I must finish Tiger Reflection first though, I don't want to gather too many WIPS/UFOS.

Oh yes, the chart suggests stitching them over one - is this wise, or will it drive me around the bend? Would love to hear advice from anyone who has stitched pieces over one.

I've also had two New Zealand craft catalogues in the post, one yesterday and one today. I was most thrilled to see one of them as I have requested to be put on their mailing list numerous times over the last few years and this is the first time I've had one. In the past I've always looked at my Mums - I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but she is a keen cross stitcher too and loves stitching large pieces. It is lucky she has this hobby as soon she is going into hospital for an operation on both of her feet, and it is going to take her a few months to recover. Just as well it wasn't her hands, eh? :-)

I'm off to water the garden now, it's been so warm and dry lately that I've been watering regularly. Hope everyone enjoys the weekend ahead.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ooh the pretty lights

As an animal lover, home owner and someone who is enamoured by my country's natural beauty this time of year is not my favourite... fireworks time. In New Zealand any person (sane or otherwise) over the age of 14 can buy fireworks for a period of 10 days leading up to Guy Fawke's night on the 5th of November. It's a scarey prospect. I hope one day sales to the general public will be banned, and only public displays like the spectacular one I saw tonight will be allowed. The best bit about tonight's display is I didn't even have to leave home, living on a hill meant I could see it from our dining room.

I've now decided on my Xmas present from my other half.... (drum roll please).... I chose ..... a scanner/printer/copier. No, Stitching Bits & Bobs haven't expanded their stock range - but with all my indecision I decided to go for my other idea and we found just the perfect one today. I already have two printers, it was the scanner part of it I wanted - but they just don't seem to make plain old scanners anymore! I also love old family photos, and want to scan the ones I have and do things with them... be it turn them into cross stitch patterns, make copies, blow them up, scrapbook them etc without having to harm the original. Roll on Christmas.

I started a new cross stitch last night, despite the fact I have several others on the go. It's just a little All Our Yesterdays freebie that came with Cross Stitcher recently... it's such a lovely change stitching on white after the time I've been spending stitching Tiger Reflection on black. It's so much easier on the eye and more relaxing. I think when it is finished I will send it to my Great Aunt in England - she always appreciates stitched items, and she has had a rough time of it lately with the deaths of two friends who she had known for over 60 years. My Great Aunt drove ambulances for the Air Force in World War II, and made many friends during this time who are friends to this day. Pretty phenomonal.

I don't know if summer has well and truly arrived, but tonight after we had been for a swim we BBQ'd a couple of steaks and then had strawberries (yum!) and ice cream for dessert. It sure seems summery!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Please do!

... make suggestions Christine. I have buyers-block, and suddenly all the cross stitching items I want when I am restraining have disappeared. At least I have some time as the sale is on until after the weekend.

It's been a glorious day here today, so OH and I braved the chilly depths of our pool to find out it was quite a lovely temperature after the initial shock. It's always cold getting in, even in the middle of summer. The cats have all had a swim since we bought this house (a year ago in December), it pleases me that they fell in of their own accord and got out of their own accord. I always had a fear that it might not turn out that way.

Tonight I am going to surf Stitching Bits & Bobs some more for my Xmas pressies, and carry on with Tiger Reflection. A little frog came to visit the tiger last night... I think I was laughing too hard and distracted at the movie White Chicks. So I have some unpicking to do. Ho hum!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Nice one honeybuns...

The other day my OH asked me what I wanted for Xmas, and pleaded 'make it easy for me'. I just happened to notice yesterday that there is a 25% sale on at Stitching Bits and Bobs until 1 November... whatever shall I order? :-)

I am beavering away on the background of Tiger Reflection, but shall wait a while before sharing another pic. I just love how this one is coming to life, the colours are fantastic and the shading is phenomonal... sometimes I feel like giving it a pat on the nose it's so realistic looking!

I'm beginning to think that a rotation might be right for me, and might put one into place soon so that I can get Lady Leona and Lily of the Valley moving again. I usually finish the things I start... eventually! :-)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Tiger Reflection WIP Update

I haven't managed much stitching this week, although when I compare the photos it has come along more than I realised. I have completed the tiger face, so there is now only the foliage, reflection and backstitching to do. This weekend is a long weekend, and so far the weather is rather on the wintery side - so a great weekend for stitching.

They say that the weather always improves after Labour weekend, so here's hoping. We are going ahead with our planned BBQ tonight no matter what the weather does!

My sister came over this week and helped me out with my iPod. We downloaded the newest software and reset my iPod to it's factory settings. I usually consider myself pretty computer savvy, but just lately I'm beginning to think that technology is moving faster than I can keep up. Maybe I should stick to cross stitch! :-)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Tiger Reflection again

I'm still highly enthusiastic about Tiger Reflection and it is growing each day. Thank you for all your comments, they are much appreciated. For those that haven't seen this Dimensions kit before, here is a pic of how it will look when finished -

I decided to go for a walk at lunchtime, and ended up in the usual place. I came away with the August issue of Cross Stitch Crazy. I'm not a great fan of this magazine, but I just can't resist Humphrey's Corner charts. This month is Humphrey amongst the Forget-Me-Nots... very cute. (I tried uploading a pic of the magazine cover, but we've just changed ISP and things aren't happening as they should. I see another change in ISP coming very soon!)

I'm glad it is the weekend, and that the weather is supposed to be nice. I think we'll probably work on the garden down the side of our house... we're pulling up a path to make way for a new one - gravel and pavers. The one that was there was more like rocks and ugly old round pavers. It will be nice to be able to walk up this side of the house and not cringe at the ugliness of it. I hope to get some stitching in too, and get some more Christmas presents bought. Fortunately, my OH hates Christmas shopping and likes to get it out of the way early!

Hope to have another Tiger Reflection progress pic with lots more progress soon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tiger WIP II

I have been beavering away on Tiger Reflection, and am finding it hard to put down. The frog came for a visit not once but twice, but I haven't let that deter me. I'm so impressed with how it is looking that I think my next project will be DMC's Tiger on a Rock.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tiger Reflection WIP

Here is a WIP photo of Tiger Reflection (by Dimensions). It may look like flames at the moment, but it is actually a rather striking looking tiger drinking at the waters edge. My camera is awful on the close ups, so sorry it is blurry. I'm going to spend more time on it tonight, so hopefully I'll have more progress to share later in the week.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

JCS Christmas Ornie Mag

Brightneedles 'Welcome' just needs about two birdhouses and then it is done. It is such a pretty design, although I wish I had stitched it on a smaller count. I stitched it on 25 count evenweave and think a more petite version would have been nicer. So I may just stitch it again at some stage.

Thought I'd go for a walk at lunchtime, and of course ended up at the magazine shop. I was thinking that the JCS Christmas Ornament magazine might be in... and luckily enough there it was! I had a quick skim through it when I got back to work (there are some cute kitty ornaments in there), but I am going to spend some time later tonight having a better look.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

All revved up and no place to go...

We are planning an extended trip overseas next year. Part of this trip is going to be a break in the Mediterranean with some of my OH's family. We received some travel brochures from his sister yesterday, and now I'm very excited... but it is still 10 months away. Don't ya hate that!!? :-) (I'm crossing my fingers that we'll all settle on Cyprus).

Cats are so funny sometimes... this morning I heard a yodle and there was Meg sitting at the door with a piece of polystyrene in her mouth. I have no idea where she got it from, but she was obviously keen to show off her 'catch'!

I made great progress on Brightneedle's "Welcome" today while listening to my new James Blunt CD 'Back to Bedlam' (great album BTW). I should be ready to share a HD in a day or two. I could probably finish it tonight if I wasn't here blog-surfing! :-)

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to comment on my blog, I really appreciate it! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Tui Tree

Wow, last night when I got home I looked out our lounge window and saw a couple of Tuis in the Kowhai tree. I love New Zealand's native birds so I went closer to the window to watch them, the closer I got the more I counted... there were about 12 in all! I have never seen so many Tuis at once before, so it was really lovely. Meg was up this tree the other day chasing a Kereru (native wood pigeon), it was bigger and far more solid than her so I don't know what she would have done with it had it not flown away!
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I found out the dilemma my bookmark exchange partner had in posting to New Zealand. It was supposed to be a secret exchange and rather than putting your own address on the back, you had to put the exchange organisers address. The organiser was in England and my partner was in Germany, and when she got to the Post Office she found that she wasn't allowed to send the parcel with a return address from a foreign country. For those who participate in secret exchanges, this may be worth bearing in mind. Here is my lovely bookmark with some gorgeous extras my partner threw in. Thank you Karin - I'm thrilled to bits with my parcel and already thinking about what I can stitch on these gorgeous pieces of band. :-)
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I'm making good progress with Welcome, and with my OH busy this weekend on a course I'm hoping to have some 'me' time to finish it off and decide what I'll stitch next.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Bent Creek's Signs of Winter pic

It's a pretty apt picture, considering we are in the grips of a Wintery blast at the moment. How gullible I was to think it was going to be all sunshine and warm breezes until summer arrives. :-)

I have added a link on my sidebar to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. I used to donate annually, but after coming and going overseas a couple of times over the last six years I got out of the habit. After watching a documentary made by Donal MacIntyre of the BBC last week, and being extremely moved by it... I'm going to give up some stash money. I have a gorgeous gorilla cross stitch design in a Gloria & Pat chart book 'Endangered Young 'Uns', which I might just add to my to do list too. Hopefully by having the link on the side it might encourage others to become interested in their plight.

Tess came back from her operation last Thursday all ready and raring to go. I had been looking forward to her being a little subdued for a while, but no such luck. More importantly, it is great for her sake that she's feeling fighting fit and full of kitten exuberance after such a big op.

My first piece of Kiwi Illusions hand dyed fabric arrived late last week from CountryStitch. I am really chuffed, it's such a beautiful colour - it is called Olde English Lavendar. I have no idea what I will stitch on it yet, but it's a good excuse to go stash hunting! And roll on next month for another colour... who knows if I can keep finding things to stitch on the pieces I receive from the Rainbow Club, I might even sign up for more.

I'm off to work on Brightneedle's 'Welcome'. Will post a pic when done.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Thanks for the offer AnneS

...I'm popping Tess on a plane to Melbourne tomorrow, so she will be with you shortly. Tess is driving us all nuts - she is wanton you could say, so she's off to the vets on Thursday to calm her down. :-) For her own safety she's been locked indoors today and will be tomorrow too. But hey, it's probably not half as frustrating for us as it is for her! :-(

Has anyone out there tried to post to New Zealand lately? I'm in a bookmark exchange, and I've been advised that the person who is posting to me had difficulty at the Post Office because of a change of postage legislation for New Zealand. Thought the politicians would be too busy with the upcoming election to be worried about changing the postage legislation for stitching exchanges. :-)

I have finished Bent Creek's Signs of Winter, and will post a photo soon. I think I might stitch Brightneedle's 'Welcome' next, it was one of the first charts I bought from Stitching Bits and Bobs last year. I just feel like I want some quick finishes at the moment, I then might set about trying to find a better shade of brown to finish off Lady Leona. She's become a psychological hump, which I just can't get over! One day I'll just probably take the 'head staggers' and get on with it.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Quilt Project

I have signed up to stitch a square for the Hurricane Katrina Quilt Project. If you are interested, all the info and guidelines you need can be found here
Thanks for sharing this on your blog Karen.

I'm a bit annoyed today, my OH's brother has a new girlfriend who we have met once. Apparently next time she meets me she is going to give me tips on how to deal with my OH. WTF!!? It is another beautiful sunny day here today, so I am going to try and forget such a DUMB comment and maybe even take my stitching outside for a while.

Thanks for all your comments on Tess, and her new name. She's out enjoying the sunshine today and following Meg and Giggsy around. You can see she wants to be friends. The ice is proving harder to break with Meg though, Meg is obviously top cat around this patch. :-)

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend, wherever in the world you might be.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Yay, the weekend is here!

We finally gave the wee kitty a name. I love period dramas, so she has been named Tess after Thomas Hardy's 'Tess of the D'Ubervilles'. She was a bit of a stray too, so it is rather fitting.
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In between being mauled by the very affectionate Tess and chasing her around when she is doing what kittens do, I've managed a little stitching. Here is Bent Creek's Signs of Winter so far...
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I am disappointed with the chart. It is a small chart and has two fairly major errors. There is one symbol missing from the key, and they have given an incorrect number for another thread. DMC 3720 does not exist, and I believe it should be DMC 3750 (in case anyone else is contemplating stitching this chart using DMC threads). But hey, when you think of everything else going on in the world right now it is nothing.

Friday, September 02, 2005

My girl has changed so much...

over the course of the week.  When she first arrived I noticed that she wasn't very playful, liked to be near me all the time and showed no interest in going outside.  But over the last two or three days she has started acting like a kitten... which is wonderful for her and awful for us (we were pleased when our two grew out of the mischievious kitten stage)!  I think maybe she was recovering from being starving and lost in the first few days, but with some TLC she has regained her strength and vitality.  Yay for her!!

Tonight she (and I say 'she' because we still can't think what to call her, all suggestions welcome!) was being a little naughty, I chased her around to try and pick her up and put her in her room for some time out.  She went into the kitchen and lay on her back (which seems to be her submissive pose - I've noticed this when Meg is about) and I was just about to pick her up and she cried out several times like I was hurting her.  I hadn't even touched her at that stage!?  I think that wherever she has come from may not have been a very happy home, so I made sure I gave her lots of cuddles and a game.  I'm glad she found us and let herself in.

There have been a few high profile animal cruelty cases in the news lately, some too gruesome to mention - but one did have a happy ending.  Some gallah (and that's putting it politely) stole a Kiwi, yes our native endangered national treasure, from a bird park in Queenstown this week.  Can you believe it?  I was shocked and outraged that anyone had the stupidity and gumption to do such a thing.  Fortunately, our little feathered friend was found a day or so after it was stolen hiding in some bushes nearby.  There are some morons about.

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I've managed some stitching this week, and am not too far off finishing Bent Creek's Signs of Winter.  I'll share a pic once done.  Today I bought a copy of Quick and Easy.  I was hanging out for this one as it has an All Our Yesterdays chart in it.  There's a couple of things in it I might stitch at some stage, but for now it is mostly pandering to the new arrival's needs and wants and squeezing in stitching when I can.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Head over heels...

Here's the wee stray who has taken it upon herself to move in with us.  I have completely fallen for her!  (Even if her eyes are too huge for her head!!)

It was just like a summers day here today, so we spent the day out in our backyard.  My OH had a few beers and some wine, and by the end of the afternoon he said we could keep her and was even reeling out names we could call her.  He should get tiddly more often.  :-)

I sent a text to my OH's seven year old nephew in Northern Ireland to see if he can think of a name for her.  He loves cats and will think it is cool that we are asking him for suggestions.  We are quite sure that one of his responses will be 'Blackie'!  LOL. 

I put an ad on a website called Pets on the Net last night, but since we've not had a call from the local vets I don't expect anyone will claim her through that method either.  I don't want to see her go, but if someone does come knocking at the door I wouldn't hesitate to give her back - as someone's heart must be breaking over the loss of this dear wee soul.

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Kitty is still here...

It spent the night in our bathroom, and hasn't shown much sign of wanting outside today. It just likes to be near you and it is so affectionate. It is even toilet trained... good kitty!

Our cats are a little unhappy about it being here, as you would expect - but they're not really disturbed... unlike my OH (which annoys me as he was the one that let it in the house in the first place).

I made up flyers on Friday to put in letterboxes around the neighbourhood, but my heart sank tonight when my OH said we should distribute them and try and find the owner. I guess I'm already attached to the wee critter. I think we will probably do this tomorrow. I know if one of my cats became lost I would like it returned!! But I will be sad to see it go if someone claims it.

I haven't done anymore stitching since Thursday night, as every time I sit down I have the cat on my lap either sleeping or wanting to smooch! But I am going to do some tonight while my OH watches the rugby. So off I go...

Friday, August 26, 2005


Don't you love how they worm their way into your lives? Tonight little blackie has been fed jellymeat, cat biscuits, steak... not to mention he let himself into the house has explored the lounge and is now shut in our bathroom under the warm towel rail with a nice soft basket and a fleecy rug. He's even had some flea treatment.

My OH is waivering. He likes the little cat and it was his suggestion to put him in the bathroom... but he seems kind of miffy too. I think he is just worried about Meg and Giggsy, but they don't seem to mind too much and appear more curious than anything else. They're asleep on the bed beside me here, so they obviously aren't taking it too badly.

I have made some flyers to pop in letterboxes, and my Mum has reported it to the vets in case anyone is looking for it... but I think now I'll be a little sad if it finds it's way home again.

Of course, there has been no stitching tonight.... BUT.... I did really enjoy my stitching session last night, so I think I can safely say I've found my va va voom again!! :-)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Mauled by a cat...

We have a little black cat that has just started hanging out in our backyard, and tonight it bit me on the cheek. It wasn't being vicious, it was more like it was on the love drug and totally over-affectionate. It is now sitting at the door squawking to be let in. My OH is getting annoyed with it because it bothers our two cats, but I'm more worried about why it was here this morning at 6.30am and is still here now at 6.30pm. Hope it has a family of it's own to go to.

I went and bought a whole lot of DMC threads and some fabric tonight in order to recapture my stitching va va voom. But wouldn't you know it one of the threads I require for Bent Creek's Signs of Winter apparently does not exist. However, DMC 3720 appears to be a dark grey going by the picture on the chart... so it's no biggy and I plan to get started after dinner.

Yes Karen, I have just tonight joined up to Countrystitch's Rainbow Club. Yay!! So now each month I will be receiving a 50cm by 35cm piece of Kiwi Illusions hand dyed evenweave. It works out cheaper getting the evenweave only option, so that is pleasing too! I can't wait for the first piece to arrive next month.

The September issue of the UK Cross Stitcher mag turned out to be a good one, but I am looking forward to next month's even more... it looks like it is going to be packed full of cute and interesting designs. Roll on next month.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

No stitching progress... my stitching va va voom has disappeared for now. I haven't stitched for two or three weeks now (I sound like an alcoholic)!!

I'm hoping to stop off after work tomorrow and get some fabric and threads I need for Bent Creek's Winter design, in the hope that a quick finish might restore my stitching vitality.

We did do a lot of work to our back garden last weekend, which was very tiring as we were outside most of Saturday and Sunday. We moved 32 bags of bark and hopefully this is going to reclaim our weekends over summer as we won't have to weed the garden much at all now. Yipppeeee. I spent a gardening voucher I received for my birthday at the weekend - I bought two Hebes and a Daphne bush. I have loved Daphne since I was a youngster, the smell is oh so very heavenly... so I am thrilled to have it growing in my garden now.

I'm on the lookout for the JCS Xmas 2005 Ornie mag. It isn't in the shops I frequent yet... but I did come away with a copy of Cross Stitcher (UK) the September 2005 issue today(I love this airfreight business). Haven't looked at it yet mind you, must have a quick flick before bed. Must find those pesky cats first and bring them in for the night.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Eye spy with my little eye....

Something seasonal which begins with JCS!!

click here for a peek


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Small stash enhancement

I was out looking for some gifts for my partner in a birthday exchange today. I couldn't find anything to fit the bill... but I did pick up this Gloria and Pat book for a 1/3 off the price for myself.

I am thinking of joining up to Countrystitch's Rainbow Club, getting a piece of Kiwi Illusions hand-dyed fabric (probably the 50cm by 35cm) once a month. If you join before the end of August there are a few extra benefits, so I'm seriously thinking about this. I think I would go for an evenweave only option though, as I'm not too keen on linen (although, this may have something to do with needing glasses... tee hee hee).

I'm looking forward to the weekend. We have nothing planned, unlike last weekend where we had all that cleaning up of our garden to do and visitors who stayed overnight. There is a SingStar evening planned on Saturday, but it's not at our place so if we're feeling raucous we might just pop along.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Dreaming of stitching...

I was dreaming I was in a shop looking at cross stitch patterns when the alarm went off this morning. And dreaming of stitching is all I've managed lately! I seem to have my stitching lull back again. Asides from being busy I think I need to put some organisation into my hobby - like kitting up the charts I want to stitch, so that when I feel the urge to start something new I can just do it. Rather than going through my threads and realising I don't have this one and that one... I'm always missing several which tends to kill the enthusiasm.

Yesterday I felt like a fix, so I went out and bought a copy of The World of Cross Stitching (the July issue). There's is a rather pretty fairy alphabet in this issue if you're a fairy-lover or know someone who is.

Right, I might go and pick up my stitching and see if I can get motivated again.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

He wasn't joking...

We are currently having a new fence built around our backyard. When my OH picked me up last night he said the backyard looked like a bomb had gone off in it. I didn't realise how much he WASN'T joking!!
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Still, it is already looking sooo much better so it is worth the mess (guess what we're doing this weekend? Yep, hiring a skip to get rid of it all! What fun that'll be!)
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I couldn't resist these additions to my mag collection this week. There are some beautiful designs in all of them. I am particularly taken with the badger design in Quick & Easy, it's gorgeous! I think Quick & Easy has improved greatly as a magazine from when I first purchased it back in about 1998 when I was in the UK.
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I'm currently working on a small badger design which only involves DMC 310, it's a real cutie and was actually in one of my older additions of Q&E. Will share a pic when done.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Pigggss in spaccccccccccccccccce

Well not quite, but I was really chuffed to see the space shuttle fly over tonight. I was lucky it was so bright, because the information I had for locating it in the sky was completely incorrect! But anyway, I got my thrills and that's the main thing. As promised, here's a photo of my Lily of the Valley progress. I was horrified to read the instructions for adding the ribbon. It involves cutting the fabric!! What a scarey notion.
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I also forgot to mention that last Sunday I stitched this bookmark for a bookmark exchange I am involved in. It was a freebie blackwork pattern from Dumani Designs, (however I recently tried locating the website and it is now gone which is a shame). Anyway, black would be too boring for this project so I used a hand-dyed thread sent to me last year in another exchange.
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Today has been a glorious mid-winter day, we had clear blue skies and 16 degrees Celsius. Fantastic! :-)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Spring is springing...

It's great seeing spring flowers starting to bloom, and over the last couple of nights I have noticed that it is staying lighter longer. It makes me feel great! Roll on summer.

I haven't been online too much this week. The cheek of my OH using his laptop to do his business studies course. :-) He's having a night off tonight, so I'm blog surfing while I can.

I have been stitching away on Lily of the Valley this week and I am nearing the bottom, there are still plenty of french knots and beads to be done after that though. It would be a really quick stitch if I had the time to devote to it, but there's always something that puts a spanner in the works. Last night it was Giggsy wanting a warm lap to sit on!

They're very controlling of us, our cats. Meg knows how to get us out of bed in the morning, she gets under it and scratches away until we get fed up with it and get out of bed. I was really annoyed with her the other morning, and when I finally managed to catch up with her she looked so cute sitting there that all was immediately forgiven.

Because we've had some lovely clear days lately it has made it great for star-gazing. I said to my OH last night that I would love to see the space shuttle fly over, then on the news tonight they showed it going over (blast!)... but it's going to be visible again tomorrow night. So I might just get my chance. Yippeee. One of my little dreams is to see the Earth from outer space, but you'd never get me on a space shuttle! I like my feet firmly on the ground.

I'll share a photo of Lily of the Valley over the next couple of days, but for now I feel like browsing for stash! Have a great weekend.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

For a moment I forgot it was Winter...

Today was relatively mild, my OH installed my water feature for me (thanks Honeybuns), my first spring flower bloomed (an Iris), and I was busy looking at my brightly coloured Polyanthus plants... and then I remembered, it's still mid-Winter. It was a nice almost-summer feeling, while it lasted.

Meg was keen to check out the water feature -

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But Giggsy would only look from afar...
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Meg is especially obsessed with running water. Today I looked out the window and both her and Giggsy were sitting ON the road fascinated by something I couldn't see. Then I realised my OH was letting a bit of water out of the pool and it trickles down the street, and this was what was engrossing them!

I plan to spend tomorrow stitching, it is supposed to be very wet tomorrow and my OH is doing a business course and has an assignment to do, so it will be the perfect opportunity to indulge for the day.

Friday, July 29, 2005

A stitching lull...

I only managed a wee bit of stitching on Lily of the Valley this week as I just wasn't feeling too stitchy, but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things this weekend.

I'm still in a huff with Lady Leona so she's been put away for now. I think the difference in the thread shade has been a major de-motivator.

I said farewell to Casper on Saturday afternoon, and my Mum had to have him put to sleep on Tuesday as his health deteriorated very rapidly. I'll miss going around to my Mum's and being hissed at and smooched, all within the space of 2 minutes. And I'll always be thankful to Casper for years ago bringing me home 'Buns' the epileptic rabbit. You're not supposed to keep wild rabbits in NZ, simply because they are a pest - but anyone with half a heart wouldn't let a teeny tiny bunny wabbit fend for itself. She used to pee orange because she would nibble on the orange carpet we used to have, the joys of having an indoor-outdoor rabbit!

I managed to get the issue of Cross Stitcher (the UK version) I was after this week with the Michael Powell 'Venice' design, the Margaret Sherry cats and the Lilliput Lane cottage in it. I went in on Monday and it wasn't there, and on Thursday I thought I'd try my luck again and lucky I did as there was only one copy left. Perhaps stitching something from the issue will re-motivate me!?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

My employers...

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Scrapbooking attempt no. 2

You wouldn't believe how long it took me to do this simple page this afternoon (over 3 hours!!). Still my sister was still working on hers when I left (and she has masses of supplies to be creative), and my Mum had her first ever go at scrapbooking and came up with something in less than half the time.

I don't think scrapbooking will ever take over my love of stitching, but as they say - variety is the spice of life!

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Friday, July 22, 2005

Lily of the Valley

Here's a progress pic of Lily of the Valley by the Drawn Thread.  I have had a little difficulty with some of the specialty stitches, so I'm going to practice those on another piece of fabric.  It's probably not that the stitches are hard, it's just me trying to understand the diagrams provided.

I haven't worked on Lily of the Valley so far today.  My Mum and I went out for lunch and I did my weekly shop, then we decided to hit some garden shops we didn't go to the other day.  I ended up buying quite a few pots and plants, including a Lily of the Valley plant!  I thought it was pretty apt to buy it when I saw it, I can't wait for it to sprout and flower in the spring time.  It was a very enjoyable afternoon, the best bit being I got quite a few discounts and then when I got home I realised I hadn't been charged for two large pots and four small ones.  Bargain!  I even have them potted already, I finished up just as it got dark.

Tomorrow I am going out for lunch again (that will be three times in four days, the joys of having a few days off work!) and then my younger sister is coming around for a scrapbooking afternoon.  Apparently when she scrapbooks with my older sister, she tries to tell her how she should be putting her pages together and lil sis doesn't like that!  LOL.

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Lady Leona WIP

Here is a progress pic on Lady Leona.  As you can see in the top right hand corner the first four or five rows down are a noticeably different shade of brown from the rows beneath it.  I am going to see if I can find a more suitable thread.

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I started on Lily of the Valley by the Drawn Thread last night, as I watched the movie 'Under the Tuscan Sun'.  I will share a progress photo after I have a few bands in.  I haven't done a band sampler before with specialty stitches, so it will be interesting to see how I go.  I plan to spend this afternoon stitching, so I will continue on Lily of the Valley.

At the moment I have a Caramelised Ginger Pear and Orange cake which has just come out of the oven.  I hope it will taste as lovely this evening, as it smells at the moment.