Friday, December 28, 2007

I can't think of a lively title for this post, so this is it! :-)

From what I've been reading on blogs, it sounds like everyone had a good Christmas. Mine started off fairly early with a visit to OH's family to see what Santa left his nephew, then up to my parents to exchange pressies, followed by brunch at my sisters (delicious) with lots of laughs (especially when my younger sister put a bebe gun pellet through my BIL and older sister's garage window - at least I always hit the target!), then back to see OH's family to play with nephews cool new toys, and then everyone gathered at my parents in the late afternoon for our usual evening Christmas dinner. A great time was had by all.

Here's my progress on my Long Dog 18th Century Band Sampler. There are still a couple of bands to go. I've found the bands stitch up quite quickly, even though it looks intricate it's an easy and pleasurable design to stitch.



And finally, here's a photo of JBW Designs French Country ABCs. I finished it the other week, but with all the festivities leading up to Chrismtas I didn't have a chance to post a photo. It definitely needs to be made into something, as it is a bit 'blah'.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Merry Christmas from me and my OH

Click here

Have fun, I'd love to see other stitchers 'elf themselves'! LOL

Saturday, December 15, 2007

New stash and a small finish

Living in New Zealand good stash isn't always easy to come across and I often think the cost of postage is excessive when shopping online from overseas, so when I saw that MaryKathryn was doing free postage on all orders (international included) I jumped at the chance to order some stash. It arrived just over a week later too - I was very impressed!

So here are my new charts -



I have liked these charts for a long time, so have already finished up Faith by Carriage House Samplings. I changed the wording of 'Faith' to 'Hope', and am going to make it into a fob or pincushion for someone I know who is going to be trying IVF next year.



My cats really make me laugh - Tess came home with glitter all over her head the other night. I suspect she must have been snooping around in someone's house under their Christmas tree! Giggsy has FINALLY learnt to use the cat door - we only installed it in May 2006!! And wee Meg, who usually likes to wake us up by scrabbling around under the bed when she wants out, has started taking a more direct approach - walking over me, and then rubbing her face in mine!

Had better finish up, I'm off out for our usual Saturday lunch shortly. OH has decided to take a half day today (the joys of being your own boss) and will be joining us which is great. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Normal service to resume

Although I've been reading blogs, I haven't posted much at all over the past few months. Sorry about that, but normal service is about to resume.

We had houseguests for three months, which I found unbelievably stressful and suffocating. I'm so glad to finally have peace and tidiness restored in my house.

I have been up in Auckland on a work trip for the past three days. My boss and I stayed at a hotel on the Viaduct which was lovely, and on Wednesday night I went up the Sky Tower. I'm not a great fan of heights, so I did wonder as I was going up why on earth I was there. LOL. Unfortunately, I didn't take my camera to be able to share any photos (unless I figure how to get photos from my mobile to my laptop!) - but I will next time!

I found a cross stitch shop near our Auckland Office - but couldn't find anything I liked. I'm too fussy now that I can shop worldwide on the internet from my living room! :-)

When I got home from my trip last night OH had converted one of our spare rooms into a craft room for me. So sweet! I now have my sewing machine, stash, magazines etc etc all in one room. Yippeee. He stayed up really late both nights I was away cleaning the house, moving things around to get the room sorted for me, cleaning up the garden - and he even found time to wash the car! Here's for a relaxing weekend now that everything is done! And my parents are taking us out for dinner tonight (great!) which means no cooking.

I have been doing a little stitching. I finished up my square on Vonna's RR last week.



I've also put a few more stitches into Long Dog, and am nearly finished JBW Designs 'French Country ABCs'. Photos to follow.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Baby Miracle Appeal

Just thought I would draw your attention to the Baby Miracle Appeal

Hope you are all having a good week.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Work stress + home stress = no blogging

Life has been stressful (as the title suggests) since I returned from my holiday to Australia, and I haven't been stitching a great deal - as a result I haven't felt like blogging. So sorry to those who keep visiting and not seeing any new posts. I will elaborate more at a later date.

It hasn't been all bad - my OH opened his own flooring shop this week and it's off to a great start. I'm so proud of him.

Now for a little stitching news-

A little progress has been made on my Long Dog Sampler -

Long Dog Oct 07

Some stash from a LNS I went to recently. I'd seen this one previously and decided it was too expensive, but with feeling like I have been lately I decided what the heck one day and just went and bought it!! LOL

stuff 014

I bought this cute little JBW chart last week (it's called French Country ABCs). I couldn't wait to make a start on it, it's a fun stitch and won't take forever to finish.

stuff 016

Here's a photo of the stash I bought from the USA just after I came back from Australia. I can't wait to get started on it, although I do keep telling myself it would be better if I got Long Dog finished first - as it stitches up quite quickly and I'm not that far from finishing.

stuff 017

My Aunt's (the one who reads my blog) son made the news this week - you can check out the gruesome details here. Ouch!.

Sorry for the rushed post but I'm off out the door now. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I've been found out....

my Aunt found my blog :0) HI AUNTY!!

No stitching lately... we have house guests (indefinitely), including one boisterous but lovely nine year old. We went to a chocolate factory yesterday, and he bought us all a chocolatey-gift of his own accord. What a sweetie (no pun intended!).

I did squeeze in some online stash shopping though, and eagerly await my loot. No idea when I might get to stitch it, but buying it was fun!

Hope everyone is having a great week... Aunty included :0)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Close your eyes Kiwi readers

what I'm about to write might be highly offensive... I LOVE AUSTRALIA! LOL. It was such a fantastic holiday, that we are already thinking about our next trip (maybe an outback adventure).

An Australian winter sure beats a New Zealand one... the weather was fantastic, even reaching 32 degrees Celsius!

The scenery and the wildlife are the most memorable parts of the trip. I got to cuddle a koala, hold a crocodile and pet a whole lot of kangaroos and wallabies. I have a whole new appreciation for snakes, crocodiles and other less cuddly Australian animals.

Australia Zoo deserves a huge mention. If you are ever near Brisbane it is well worth the entrance fee!

We had an amazing journey on the Skyrail in Cairns. It's a gondola/cable car which glides over the rainforest treetops for 7.5 kilometres - you can look down at the amazing view of the Cairns coast, as well as see cockatoos and Ulysses butterflies flying beneath you - there's even a waterfall to admire. You end up at a small village called Kuranda where you can cuddle koalas, go shopping, walk amongst the butterflies etc. Absolutely awesome.

The shopping in Australia was excellent and we picked up some fantastic souvenirs. We even managed to find a cross stitch shop - so I bought 5 kits (as you do) all of Aussie animals.

It was a tiring holiday - we were busy every day and up with the parrots (who would start well before the sun came up). If any Aussie readers could tell me which bird makes a noise that sounds like someone screaming, I'd be intrigued to know! :0)

More photos of my holiday can be found in my Webshots for those who are interested.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Paradise found...

WOW!! Australia was awesome. More photos to follow, but thought I'd share this amazing oasis - the Millaa Millaa Falls in the Atherton Tablelands (near Cairns in Queensland).



Hope you've all been stitching hard, and I'm looking forward to catching up with everyones blogs this weekend! :0)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Back at the end of August...

Australia, here we come!



Take care, and happy stitching!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Swapsies anyone?

I have a couple of charts I'd be interested in trading -

* Ladybugs and Bumblebees by Country Cottage Needleworks
* Rose Cottage by Elizabeth's Designs

I would quite like to swap for Country Cottage Needleworks, Little House Needleworks, Prairie Schooler or charts on my wishlist.

If you're interested, my email address is in my profile. :0)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

UFO bustin'

I finished LHN Bee Pinkeep yesterday. A UFO I started back in January. I intend making it into a pinkeep for one of my sisters.



I bought the latest issue of the UK's Cross Stitcher on Friday. I haven't bought a cross stitch magazine in ages (only two that I can recall this year), but I was very taken with a lot of the designs in this issue. I've already made a start on the freebie Geisha kit.



Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A small finish

Thanks for all your birthday wishes and comments on my last post! :0)

I have finished my part on Debby's RR for the 'Hello Neighbour RR'. I stitched Rose Cottage by Elizabeth Designs, with a few modifications. As usual it's a poor photo when uploaded, but you can click it for a clearer view.



I haven't done any other stitching, and haven't even used my new sewing machine yet because I've been unwell. I had plenty of time to watch my new DVD set - The Forsyte Saga though (which was fantastic). Hopefully I'll have a more productive stitching/sewing week this week.

Tess has also been sick. Here she was last Tuesday morning creating havoc while I tried to make the bed, by the evening she had completely crashed. They don't know what is wrong with her, but she's showing signs of improvement now which is a relief.



Have a great week everyone.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I turned 30 recently...

and (hhhh-hmmm) 33 even more recently :0) (Sorry to Billy Connolly for pinching his joke!). Yep, it was my birthday yesterday. I can't believe how fast they come around, but hey I don't mind being spoiled and spoiled I was...

I was touched to receive a beautiful fob from Carol in the post for my birthday. Thanks again Carol - you are such a generous person, and a constant source of stitching inspiration. The fob is beautifully stitched and finished, and my Mum and sisters oohed and ahhhhed over it last night when they came around for dinner. I love it!



The spoiling continued... look what my family gave me!



We had a great laugh last night getting it up and going. Now to learn to sew :0)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Jack Frost...

Our home ventilation system said it was O degrees in our roofspace this morning, and 8 degrees in the rest of the house. So I kind of knew what to expect when I opened the curtains - ice and blue skies!

So, after checking my neighbours still had their curtains shut I tiptoed out in my pink fleecy pyjamas and took a few shots with my new pressie OH bought me last weekend (a Nikon-D40)! It's so icy I almost went for a skate, I don't remember the last time it was so freaking cold.

As usual, you can click the photos for a nice clear picture.









We are out for our usual Saturday lunch in a few hours, and then I'm going to Nancy's in Wellington (LNS). I've never been before, and whenever I have plans to go they get thwarted. Hopefully today I will actually make it! :0)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hello Neighbour RR Part II

Thanks for all your comments on my last post. Ladybugs and Bumblebees is obviously a popular design! :0)

Cindy asked what fabric I used. It was 32 count 'Limestone' Lugana from Countrystitch. It's a creamy colour, and not at all blue like it is in the photo (that's due to the freezing, awful weather!).

Joanne asked where in Australia I'm going next month - first we are going to Brisbane for a few days, and then we are off to Cairns. I'm really looking forward to visting Australia Zoo in Brisbane, and to all the natural wonders which will greet us in Cairns, where rainforests meet the Great Barrier Reef. I've done a fair bit of travelling, but I've never been to Aussie... so I'm quite excited.

I've been working on Debby's RR for the Hello Neighbour RR. I won't reveal what design it is just yet, as I'm not sure if Debby wants to be surprised but so far I'm enjoying it.



Hope you're all having a good week - and if not, well just hang in there... it's nearly the weekend! :0)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Ladybugs and Bumblebees...

The colours in the photo are not true to life (the weather is cold, wet and dark), but it's finished. It's really pretty, and I'll probably get it framed quite soon.



I also dug out my Long Dog sampler and have put a few stitches in, after a long break from it. I don't know why I felt unmotivated, I adore it and it's so enjoyable to stitch. I'd like to get it finished this year since I have the year stitched already. I still haven't finished Drawn Thread's Lily of the Valley, and it has 2005 on it. :0)



Hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Licenced to thrill...

Some of you may recall that I got my learner driver licence last year. Well, today I passed my practical test and can now drive on my own. Yippeee! I didn't mention it on my blog earlier because I was so nervous. OH kept asking me all weekend if I was OK because I was so quiet, and pale looking at times! LOL. But I passed, and the testing officer even told my OH that he wished more drivers drove like I did. Phew!

One of my sisters sent a congratulatory helium balloon to me at work after hearing the good news. Here's Tess checking it out earlier (she's not usually so brave!).



And double yay, my thread arrived from Karen at Dragonfly Dreams today. I can highly recommend the friendly and speedy service. And of course, I couldn't just buy one skein of thread - that wouldn't have been much fun to receive in the mail. So I bought Miss Mary Mack too - can't wait to stitch this one!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hatched, dispatched & I didn't see a thing!

... that's the butterfly I'm talking about. Glad it made it, but bummed I didn't see it!

Progress on Ladybugs and Bumblebees was halted last weekend when I ran out of one of the main colours. Of course, nowhere in NZ that I could find stocks 'Cottage Colours'... but luckily I managed to find a stockist in Australia. It should be here very soon.



So I picked a UFO to work on while I wait on it to arrive. I thought that Woodland Santa deserved some attention, so I'm plodding away on that.



We were to expect a 'polar blast' this weekend. Well, I took this photo in my backyard today and if that is a blast from the Antarctic... then bring 'em on! lol. Yesterday was exactly the same. Sorry to my friends in the South though, who really are suffering the effects of the wild weather.



This was a photo I took earlier in the week out of my lounge window. We had a flurry of pretty rainbows, so I couldn't resist taking some photos.



I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I was doing some genealogical research. I have made contact with four distant relations (I found them online) - and amazingly, one lady lived in the same English village as my late Great Uncle and actually knew him and his wife - but never knew they were related until she got in contact with me!!! Amazing!

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday again!

Thanks for your well wishes for my new job (so far, so good) and all your other nice comments lately.

Here's my progress on Ladybugs and Bumblebees. I just adore this design and the pretty colours it calls for. It's really cold here at the moment, so it might be a good weekend to sit and stitch by the heater!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ladybugs and Bumblebees progress

In between bouts of my new obsession (genealogy) I've been doing some stitching on Ladybugs and Bumblebees. It is a really enjoyable pattern to stitch. I'm using 'Limestone' 32 count Lugana... and it doesn't slip around in the Q-snaps which is great!



I was offered a new job on Thursday, accepted on Friday and start on Monday. It is still at the same firm, but is far more advanced than what I have been doing - so while I'm excited at the prospect, I'm also quite nervous. They particularly wanted me for the role, and think I'm capable of doing it - oh how I hope I don't disappoint them!! Anyway, I think I will celebrate with some new stash (any excuse, eh!?).

Hope you're all having a great weekend!


P.S. - Just after I published this post I went outside to check how the chrysalis was doing. I had given up hope really because there didn't appear to be any change for a long time, so I was really excited to see that the butterfly wings have formed and have colour!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Cat-astrophe

Thanks for the advice you have all given me on using Q-Snaps (and for your comments on my RR). I might start enjoying using them now!

I bought a basket the other week. The intention was to keep my current stitching project in it, in my stitching spot (ie. the lounge). But you have to be quick around here...



I think this is Giggsy's victory look!



In order to get my stitching mojo back, I'm going to start this design (Ladybugs & Bumblebees by Country Cottage Needleworks) this afternoon. It is one of my favourites.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Sorry I've been so quiet lately

I hate to say it but I am glad to see the back of my Hello Neighbour RR for now. I'm sure it was just a psychological hurdle, but it just seemed to go on and on and on...





I would love some advice on Q-Snaps. I got some last Christmas, and the fabric slides around in them and I can never get the fabric sitting straight - I find them a real pain. BUT I'm sure it's just me using them incorrectly, as I know many stitchers are very fond of their Q-Snaps.

On Thursday night OH became a citizen of New Zealand. Here he is in the Mayoral chambers doing his affirmation.



A child screamed through most of the ceremony, and the dinner at a nearby restaurant was ruined by ghastly service... so it wasn't the greatest of nights. However, he's a Kiwi now and that's what counts. We had some laughs too though - someone asked if anyone wanted their photo taken with the Mayor before he got his gear off! They meant his Mayoral robes, of course. :0)

This week I've resurrected one of my old interests - genealogy. In the space of a few days I've gone back to 1678 on one line of the tree and made contact with some not too distant relatives. Great stuff. I highly recommend the ancestry.co.uk website for anyone else interested in their family tree. Some parts cost, but you can still search for a great deal of information without handing over any money.

Well, must go as I'm picking my sister up to bring her up here for the night. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend (long weekend for Kiwis - yay!).

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Finally, some stitching to share

This is for the Hello Neighbour RR I'm doing with some fellow stitching bloggers. As always, you can click the photo for a clearer view.



The design is a freebie and can be found here along with lots of other pretty houses!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's been a while since my last post

The only stitching I've been doing is on my Hello Neighbour RR. There has been so much going on here - my Dad retired, my OH received the date (31 May) for his citizenship ceremony, we went to see comedian Ed Byrne (he was hilarious) and we got the most fantastic news... OH's sister, BIL (and best friend) and nephew are moving to New Zealand!! We don't have a definite date yet, but we went out for a night and celebrated anyway. Tomorrow we get a home ventilation system installed (to control condensation, temperature and dust... we can't wait!)

I've been tagged by Tannia. I have to tell you eight things about myself that you might not already know.

Here’s how to play:
1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves
2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules
3. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I used to show my cat Benson. I stopped when I realised people who show cats don't actually love cats.
2. Chocolate makes me crazed. The more I eat, the more I want and think about it.
3. I was stalked by an Indian man on a train about 10 years ago over a period of a few months. I wasn't ever scared he was about 4ft nothing (I'm 5ft7"). LOL. My Mum was pretty pissed about it though.
4. My OH's name is Ronnie (I always call him OH on here)
5. I have a really small family - Mum, Dad, two sisters, a brother-in-law and a Great Aunt.
6. I just did my first-ever parallel park on Sunday. The first attempt I abandoned, but OH said the second was perfect! :0)
7. I am a diet-coke-aholic
8. I don't like passing dogs in public. Among other experiences, in Northern Ireland an Alsation stood on it's hind legs and put it's front feet on my shoulders.

I'll tag - Lisa, Kathryn, Hazel, Margaret, Karen, Carol, Carto, and Cheryl.

Hopefully I'll be back soon with a stitchy post!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

No stitching, only scrapping

I haven't stitched since I last posted. My sister and I did some scrapbooking last weekend, so here are some photos of my finished pages for those 'stitching scrappers' out there.





I know I bang on about petitions, but anyone wanting to sign a petition to help get Polar Bears and their habitat listed as 'threatened' please click here. I saw a story on a Polar Bear on Sunday night which moved me to tears. I can't believe I didn't know how dire their situation is.



There's no news to report on the caterpillar/chrysalis front. I check it everday but there has been very little change. Apparently they take longer to emerge in the colder weather. I can understand that... it takes me longer to get out of my warm bed on colder winter mornings too! :0)

Anyway, I must find my stitching va-va-voom asap because the Hello Neighbour RR is due to be sent out 1 June, and I haven't even started yet. I might just go and hem my fabric, at least I'll be getting it moving along.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ANZAC Day

Today is ANZAC Day, where Australia and New Zealand remember our war dead. It is a day off work but always quite a sombre one.

Here is a (very bad) photo of my Long Dog sampler (click photo for a clearer view). I am over half way now, and am loving how this is turning out.



I've been reading up a bit about Monarch butterflies, and I think I've incorrectly referred to this as a cacoon... when it is actually a chrysalis. I read that as they get closer to emerging the chrysalis changes colour, so I checked on mine today and it has gone quite a bit darker. When I look closely I can see patterns reminiscent of wings (check out the second photo)... oh how I would love to know what's going on in there and how it all takes place.





To finish off, here's a photo of my big fella Giggsy. He doesn't know how to use the cat door, so he's enjoying being inside for an afternoon snooze.

Friday, April 20, 2007

If you wait long enough...

I've wanted this book for years. I think I first saw it nearly 9 years ago when I was living in England. It was quite a costly book (as they are), and I've finally scored it after all this time for just NZ$3.50 (roughly GBP1 or US$2) on Trade Me. Apart from a grubby mark on the dust cover it's in brilliant condition.

As usual you can click the photos for a clearer view (I'll work it out one day)!






My fabric arrived today for the Hello Neighbour RR, so I'll be able to get cracking after the weekend (we have visitors arriving tomorrow). Hope you all have a good one! :0)