Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not one, but two finishes (my mojo is in full swing!)

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. Hard to believe it has been and gone already.

Today I was up early as I was supposed to be off to the zoo to have a close encounter with their Red Pandas. However, the weather is so frightful it has been put off for several weeks. The rain has been torrential overnight and the winds are so strong about 10 minutes ago we saw our outdoor table and chairs go sliding across our deck towards the edge (so we had to coat up and go move it all, lucky us!). Today is without doubt going to be a stitchy/movie/internet/lazy day!

You may recall that before I started on my Christmas ornament frenzy I was stitching Just Nan's Summer humbug. Well the night before last I got all the stitching and beading finished up. I wish you could see just how pretty this really is, the photo is gloomy because of the weather. Hopefully when I 'finish finish' it, the sun will be shining again and I'll get a better pic.

Summer humbug ~ Just Nan

My other finish is My Everything by The Sampler Girl. Tania was recently having a special, and I ordered the e-chart for US$1 (NZ$1.40). I have wanted to stitch this chart for ages and the deal was too good to pass up. It was a quick fun stitch.

My Everything ~ The Sampler Girl

Phoebe seemed to have a wonderful Christmas (apart from when she fell off my deck and hit her mouth on her new trike which my parents had given her). As well as all her new toys she also had fun playing with my nephew (on my DH's side) and enjoyed getting her hands wet in our water feature.

Phoebe playing with the water feature

I hope you are all enjoying the rest of your holidays.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mad rush

My sister-in-law was visiting on Sunday afternoon and commented on all the cross stitch ornaments on my Christmas tree. She seemed quite taken with them.

Sooo... not long after she went home I got busy, found a design, stitched it up and made it into an ornament for her Christmas tree. I am going to give it to her tomorrow night when we catch up to do a tiki tour around my city's Christmas lights.

It is JBW Designs 'Star' from the 2010 JCS ornament magazine. I used the thread 'Turkish Red' by Weeks Dye Works which the lovely Cheryl gifted to me in our recent exchange.

One last Christmas ornament for the year

My sewing skills still need a lot of practice (especially the hand stitching)... but I've had so much fun making ornaments, I'll probably continue and hopefully practice will make perfect.

Thank you for all your comments which you have left recently. It's nice to receive your encouragement and to know there are so many like-minded souls out there who gain so much pleasure from fabric and thread :-)

Hope you are enjoying the festive season. Not too many sleeps until Santa now! :-)

I am working on a non-Christmas design which I'm getting close to finishing, so I'm sure I'll be back soon.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lots to share...

I have more Christmas stitching to share!

Today I received a wonderful package from Cheryl. Once again I was rather spoilt. Cheryl stitched this gorgeous 'Chilly Frillys' design. Cheryl thought I might want to leave displaying it until Winter (since it is Summer here in New Zealand) - but it is far too lovely for that. So I have it on display with our Christmas cards next to the Christmas tree.

Exchange from Cheryl in Scotland

Cheryl also included this lovely Shepherd's Bush kit (I'm planning on stitching it over the Christmas break), a JBW chart (with a gorgeous little love heart charm), some threads and a Christmas card.

What a great exchange! Thank you so much Cheryl.

Katrina emailed me to let me know that she had received my exchange for her. I stitched her Waiting for Santa by Bent Creek.

Exchange for Katrina in NZ ~ it is Waiting for Santa by Bent Creek

And last up, Julie (no blog) let me know that she received the package I sent to her. I stitched up Joy from one of the JCS ornament issues.

For Julie in the USA

A big thank you all the ladies who have exchanged with me. It has certainly got me in the mood for Christmas over the last couple of months. It was also a lot of fun choosing what to stitch for everyone and putting together goodies that I thought they might like.

If I don't post again this week, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and all the best for 2011!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A night of finishing

The night before last I got my sewing machine out and decided to 'finish finish' a few Christmas ornaments.

The first one came out a bit wonky.

An ornament I made... it's a bit wonky!

Next up I finished Phoebe's ornament. This came out very much to my liking. I was happy with the sewing, the corners and the overall appearance. Phoebe seemed interested too for a bit. I asked her if she was taking it home to put on her tree and she said 'Yes'! :-) When I left today she blew me a wee kiss too. So sweet!

Phoebe's ornament.  I am extra proud of this one... it came out to my liking!  Phoebe seemed interested too... for a few minutes at least :-)

Then I had a few problems with my sewing machine. I got thread stuck under the 'teeth' of it. Heck... I didn't know what to do, I'm a novice! I managed to get it out but it was still making funny noises, so I just got some scrap fabric and sewed lines for a bit and that seemed to fix it. lol

So I managed to get this one sewn up as well! I am fairly pleased with this one also.

An ornament I made... it turned out a bit better!

I then hand stitched my recent Noel finish. I love how this one looks. It really stands out on the tree.

An ornament I made, I am very pleased with this one

I might try and finish finish a few more of my cross stitches over the Christmas break. I am going to be off work for just over two weeks, and I can't wait! Roll on next Thursday which is my last day of work before the holidays.

Hope you're all having a great week!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas is coming...

My DH and I put our Christmas tree up last night, so I thought I would show you the lovely exchange ornaments I have received from Katrina, Chris and Kathy hanging on the tree. They look even more beautiful in their rightful place!

Christmas mosaic

I also decided on Phoebe's ornament and am half way there with it, it is 'Britty Christmas Kitty' from the 2005 JCS ornament issue. Phoebe is already an animal lover (trust me, coming from my family, this was inevitable... lol), so the Christmas kitty is probably a good choice.

Phoebe's Christmas ornament in progress

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

An exchange, a finish and some new stash

I got three pieces of mail yesterday. I haven't had that much mail in one day in ages! What fun.

First up I got a lovely Christmas card from Ann in Scotland. Thanks Ann! I hope you are thawing out over there :-)

Then there was a squishy package from Katrina for our Christmas exchange. Talk about spoilt! I received this lovely mitten ornament. It's a combination of cross stitch, felting and a little beaded hanger. Exquisite! My photo doesn't do it justice at all. I also received some Christmas fabric, a Christmas chart and some DMC 115 (perfect for Christmas stitching!). Thanks again Katrina!

I dropped my parcel for Katrina off at the Post Office today so that should be with her shortly (since she is not too far north of here).

Exchange from Katrina

The other squishy package was some stash I ordered from the USA. It is The Queen's Crowns by Plum Street Samplers and the crown needleminder from Kelmscott Designs. I have been a royalist since I was about 7 years old, and despite other memorabilia I haven't ever stitched anything with a royal connection. But I will be soon with my lovely new chart. Is anyone else looking forward to the royal wedding next year? I sure am!

New stash arrived today

I also finished up my version of First Snow by the Drawn Thread. You can find the chart here along with lots of other lovely freebies.

First Snow by the Drawn Thread

Now that I have finished my commitment stitching, I need to choose a design to make my little niece Phoebe a Christmas ornament. Last year I stitched her Blitzen Glistens, but I'm having difficulty finding something I like as much for her second Christmas. I had better hurry up... Christmas is getting verrrry close! Are you ready for it!?

Thanks for reading and your comments! :-)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Exchange for Kathy

I didn't think I would be posting again quite so soon, but I have just received an email from Kathy to say that she has also received her exchange. Yay!

For Kathy I stitched Just Nan's Christmas Wishes. I actually got my sewing machine out for this one and backed it with some Christmas fabric.

For Kathy in Canada

Kathy seemed pleased with it, so... so far so good with all my Christmas exchanges!

Exchange for Cheryl

My exchange for Cheryl has been received, so I can now share what I sent.

The cute reindeer is a freebie called 'Pendouille Sapin Renne', and can be found here. It was a fun stitch and I enjoyed jazzing him up a little with a bell and a red nose!

For Cheryl in Scotland

I am glad Cheryl liked what I sent! (And that it made it through all that snow she has been getting!).

I'll be back soon as I have more to share!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Exchange for Chris

I see that Chris has received the ornament I stitched for her in our Christmas exchange, so I can now share it with you.

It is La D Da's 'Tis Green' - only in red ;-) - from the JCS preview issue (if I remember correctly). I added a little bell to the bottom to make it a little more Christmassy.

For Chris in the USA

I am no great finisher, but my ever supportive DH has been cheering me on saying everyone has to start somewhere!

While many of you have been experiencing a harsh start to winter, down here in New Zealand we are experiencing a very early summer. I don't know if it is going to continue this way all summer, but we are making the most of it! Today we have been out and about and Wellington Harbour was looking rather stunning, so I thought I'd share a photo.

You can't beat Wellington on a good day!

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

For those of you in need of a summer fix

Summer definitely seems to have arrived in my corner of the world. Today DH and I headed to Cape Palliser to make the most of a sunny Sunday.

So I thought I would share some photos in the form of a mosaic for those of you who have been enjoying my summer flower photos and may be in need of another summer fix! :-)

I haven't adjusted the colour of these photos - the sky and the sea really were that blue. DH and I couldn't stop commenting on it, even though we have been there numerous times before and it is always like this.

Cape Palliser mosaic

It has been a terribly sad week for New Zealand with the loss of 29 miners. My thoughts are with those who have been affected by this terrible disaster.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just how beautiful is this...

Late this afternoon my DH brought in some mail and there was another squishy package for me. This time it was my Christmas ornament exchange from Chris.

Wow, spoilt again. Feast your eyes on this gorgeous little beauty...

My stunning ornament from Chris in North Carolina

It is the Drawn Thread's First Snow. Now a funny little story... I have loved this freebie design for many years, and the other day I decided to finally pull it out and get stitching on it. LOL. I'll still finish my version, but then I'll probably give it away as a gift.

Thanks again Chris - I love it! You chose so well :-)

Chris couldn't have chosen better, I'm currently stitching the same design :-)

While I'm here I may as well post another photo or two. Some more ornaments in the making...

Christmas ornies in the making

And this little angel who surely must have fallen from heaven, with those cherubic looks and curls!

Such cute curls!

Finally since a few of you liked the photo of the pink lupin, here's a purple one.

Loving the lupins

It has been really hot here today (my car read the temperature at 24.5 degrees Celsius at 11am this morning, and it seemed to get hotter after that). I think summer has arrived! Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.

Christmas exchange received from Kathy

I was very spoilt and love everything! Thank you again Kathy!!

I've never had a beaded scissor fob before, and it's beautiful. My DH was insistent that it goes on my scissors straight away... he gets tired of hearing 'I've lost my ginghers'. :-) So the gift made us both very happy. lol

I can't wait to get the Christmas tree up and hang my Britty Kitty ornament on it. Isn't it so cute?

Spoilt!  Christmas exchange received from Kathy

Britty kitty ornament from my friend Kathy

I'm on a roll with my stitching at the moment, so will be back soon to share it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Daybook journal

Outside my window ..... the bottlebrush tree is in bloom with it's beautiful red flowers, the pink and purple lupins are also flowering, the sky is blue (but the sun isn't shining brightly at this time of night) and my water feature which sits on our deck is trickling away

I am thinking .... it's not a bad life!

I am thankful for ...... a great family BBQ we had at our place last night. The weather was dry and very warm, and cute little Phoebe came along and provided the entertainment :-)

I am wearing ..... dark blue jeans, a pink hooded sweatshirt, purple socks and my favourite moccasin slippers

I am loving .... my DH, who works hard at our family business and does so much around the house that I really feel quite spoilt (I haven't done housework or grocery shopping in about four weeks!)

I am stitching .... Christmas ornaments (and finishing them too for the exchanges I'm participating in and some for my tree. I am running a little later than anticipated but the overseas ones are going out in the mail this week!)

I am hoping .... that an appointment I have at the beginning of next month brings promising news

I am drooling over .... Siobhan's lovely blog post with loads of past stitchy finishes. Real eye candy!

I am sorely tempted by ...... Just Nan's Sheep ornament pocket. Too cute!

I am hearing ...... birds. We live on the outskirts of town and next to an area of bush which is teeming with birds (Tuis, ducks, wood pigeons, fantails, the occasional Rosella and all sorts of birds - they start early in the morning with a dawn chorus and the Moreporks (owl) take over with their call at night

I am reading ..... blogs, as always!

On my mind ..... Christmas. I'm looking forward to Christmas and a couple of weeks off work!

From my picture journal.... a pretty lupin growing in my garden

Don't know what this is but I love the flower and the leaves are so lush looking

If anyone else does the daybook journal this time, let me know and I'll come and visit your blog.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Just popping in to say hello

I still don't have any stitching I can share, so I thought I would post some non-stitching photos so my blog doesn't become neglected.

Today has been a beautiful day, so DH and I were outside for four or five hours tidying up the garden. We are going to have a go at growing our own vegies, and I am quite excited at the prospect. So here is my gardening mosaic...

Garden fun

Two weeks ago we had a long weekend, so we made the most of it and hired a cottage far out in the Wairarapa countryside. It was very remote and very picturesque. We were also very lucky to have some gorgeous weather (as one day here it rains, and the next it is like summer!). So here is my farm holiday mosaic...

Farm holiday

If you want to see the larger images, feel free to check out my Flickr album (link on the left hand side of my blog).

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just checking in....

... so that my exchange partners don't think I've vanished into thin air. I've been busy stitching Christmas ornies and hope to get back to more regular blogging when they are finished.

As I don't have any other stitching to share, I will leave you with a photo of my niece Phoebe.

Phoebe - 10 October 2010

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Just Nan's Summer Wings

Today is a beautiful spring day. The sky is blue, the sun is out, my mini-daffodils are blooming... I love spring! I even sat outside for a while in the sunshine.

My Just Nan Summer Wings isn't too far away from being finished. A little more stitching, a little beading and then made up into it's final form (a humbug).

Nearly there with my Just Nan Summer Wings humbug

Once that is finished I will get cracking on my Christmas ornament exchanges. I have six to make. I have had out all my JCS Christmas magazines and other Christmas charts out deciding what to stitch. I am looking forward to it.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend wherever you might be.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thanks... and a new blog

Thanks for the interest in the exchanges ladies. I'm already thinking about what to stitch for you all :-) And don't worry, I will 'finish finish' them. lol

Also, my last post has lead to finding a new blogger - Ann in Scotland. It would be great if you could pop on over and say hello. She has some lovely photos of her stitching, jewellery-making and Scotland.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bringing Christmas back ~ Updated

Would anyone be interested in doing any of the following with me -

* cross stitch Christmas ornament swap - CLOSED (I can try and pair up any others who are interested though)
* hand-made Christmas card swap - OPEN
* store-bought Christmas card swap - OPEN

I'm also happy to organise a group exchange if there is enough interest. Just let me know what you are keen for by leaving a comment on this post or by dropping me an email (my email is in my profile).

Once I know if anyone is interested, I'll work out the finer details - but I would think posting would be around early November.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

88

Thanks for all your comments on my last post.

Many of you asked about my plan of attack. Here is what I have been thinking about -

Step 1 - Don't stress, it is just cross stitch and not crucial to survival :-)
Step 2 - Work out which ones I would really like framed by a professional and start getting them done
Step 3 - Work out which ones DH and I could frame by ourselves (His idea after I showed him the photos. He said I should measure them and then we can start looking for frames)
Step 4 - Work out which of the smaller ones I want to "finish, finish" and start working on them as the mood takes me

Although, I did get a giggle out of Nicky's comment about stitching a few more and going for a century! :-)

That century may be closer than I realise. Since I posted yesterday the number has increased to 88. I finished Mr and Mrs Abbott's Daughters last night, and while I was pulling threads for my next project I found another finish hiding in the recesses of my stitching basket. I suspect there may be one or two others hiding in other places.

Mr and Mrs Abbott's Daughters finished

My next project is Just Nan's Summer Humbug. I definitely intend to make this up as soon as I finish the stitching. Such pretty colours.

Next project - Just Nan Summer Humbug

Hope you are having a lovely weekend wherever in the world you might be.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Woah nelly...

Carol recently wrote on her blog that she has 82 unfinished finishes. This prompted me to get out my unfinished finishes and count them.

I guessed I had around 50, but I was mistaken.... I have 86!!!

I decided I may as well lay them out on my dining table and photograph them since I had them out anyway. Here they are.... it certainly doesn't look like 86 to me.

My unfinished cross stitch finishes

My unfinished cross stitch finishes

Is anyone else brave enough to count and/or photograph their unfinished finishes? If so, let me know and I will come and visit your blog!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Where for art thou Spring?

I haven't seen any signs of spring around these parts yet (like lambs or daffodils), but the weather is certainly milder than it has been and the days are getting noticeably longer. Yay.

But... today is still dull weatherwise, so I thought it was a good opportunity to check in again with a bit more progress on Mr and Mrs Abbott's Daughters.

I looked back to see how many WIP pics I've shown on my blog for this smallish design - phew, this is only the third. I didn't want to highlight too much my slow rate of stitching.

Getting there...

For me, the rest of the weekend will be spent entertaining, going to Zumba and hopefully I might even get Mr & Mrs Abbott's Daughters finished up.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Sewing

My family bought me a sewing machine for my birthday 3 years ago and it is hardly used. This often makes me feel bad, so I bought this book last week with some birthday money from my Mum and Dad. It has a good range of easy to more difficult projects.

So last night DH headed out for a drink, my sister came around with her sewing machine and we made a bird each. (Mine still needs eyes). Far from perfect, but I learnt quite a bit more about my machine through having my sister here (her machine and mine are identical).

A little bird I made from this book I bought with some birthday money... I'll never be a sewer

My sister stayed the night and we searched the internet for something else to make this morning. We came across these little chickens (found here) and after a few glitches managed to get these done this afternoon.

My sister and I made these chickens with our rarely used sewing machines

Another thing I learnt this weekend is that I am a stitcher, and it is unlikely I will ever be a sewer!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Day book journal

I saw Fiona's day book journal on her blog. I really enjoyed reading it and thought I would give it a go myself.

Outside my window ..... it is dark. Living on the outskirts of town, it really is very dark

I am thinking .... about daffodils. Perhaps if I had planted my spring bulbs earlier in the year they might be peeking through the ground by now

I am thankful for ...... discovering Zumba classes. They are so much fun – and what better way to exercise than dancing and laughing your way through it

I am wearing ..... trackpants, a hooded fleece and my favourite moccasin slippers

I am loving …. The heat coming off the fire. It has been a cold winter this year

I am stitching .... Mr and Mrs Abbott’s Daughters by Carriage House Samplings. It is probably about ¾ done

I am hoping .... that I have a loss on the scales at Weight Watchers tomorrow night. Despite the piece of raspberry and white chocolate sponge cake I had on Sunday, it has been a good week

I am drooling over .... my new perfume that my sister gave me for my birthday. Circus by Britney Spears. Mmmm…

I am sorely tempted by ...... Marchioness by Jarden Prive. I don’t need anything more to stitch but it is rather pretty…

I am hearing ...... a war programme on the TV that my husband is watching (Generation Kill)

I am reading ..... blogs, of course!

On my mind .....Babies. Sigh… they are so lovely. Especially my little niece Phoebe!

From my picture journal…. This is our grocery alarm. We know we need to do the shopping when the cats start sitting in the fruit bowl



If anyone else decides to follow Fiona's lead and does the day book journal, let me know and I'll come and visit!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Me again...

I thought I would drop in again to show a little progress I have made on CHS Mr and Mrs Abbott's Daughters. I think if I wait until I have finishes, my blogging will become even more sporadic than it is now. :-) (As you can see I have not yet frogged the yellow, but it is definitely coming out).



I am glad so many of you enjoyed my New Zealand photos in my last post. The scenery blew me away, and I couldn't believe that we found a frozen waterfall (I didn't realise it could be that cold in the mountainous areas).

Hope you are having a great weekend with lots of stitching time!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Aotearoa / New Zealand

I turned another year older on Sunday, so DH and I planned a trip away.

We drove north and stayed at the historic Chateau Tongariro for three nights. The weather was glorious for mid-Winter and made for some great photos. On the day it rained we still managed to find some interesting stuff to do... including finding this frozen waterfall (second photo down on the right).



I hope you enjoyed these non-stitchy photos :-)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wintery weekend witterings

Thought I would pop in to say hello and show you what I have been working on since the last time I posted.

First up is Mr and Mrs Abbott and Daughters by Carriage House Samplings. I started this earlier in the week while I was off work with a cold. That yellow has to come out though - although it is the recommended colour, it is far too yellow for my liking (judging by the chart picture it should be more earthen coloured). I am going to stitch the two patterns side by side.



And here is Paddy the Wanderer, my first go at needlepoint. I am sure it will look a lot better when it is finished!



The sun has just come out here, but it's still cold. I think I'll just sit here right next to the fire and do some stitching. Have a lovely weekend!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Some more finishes for the unfinished finishes mountain!

I may not have blogged lately, but I do have some of my stitchy mojo back!

First up is Clara's Christmas Dance by The Sampler Girl. I adore this sweet little pattern. It doesn't quite match the original pattern thanks to a visit from the frogs. However, the thought of ripping out so much to put it right would have been enough to turn my mojo back on it's heels, so I decided to carry on and work around it.



Next up is a French peacock freebie I found online. I purposely diverted from the original on this one, and left out some extra stitching on the inside of the heart which would have made it a bit too fussy for my liking.



I decided to have a go at tea and coffee dyeing a strip of fabric a month or so ago. I was hoping for a more mottled affect, but I did like the end result. So I stitched these Twilight freebies from Paulette at Plum Street Samplers.





I have two new projects on the go - Mr and Mrs Abbott's Daughters by Carriage House Samplings, and a needlework kit (I'm a needlework first timer) 'Paddy the Wanderer'. Paddy is a dog and a piece of Wellington's history. I will share the story of him when I post my finished piece (warning - your eyes may involuntarily water when you read the story!).

I've also been enhancing my stash here and there, so hopefully there'll be plenty to keep my mojo intact :-)

Carol recently mentioned she would like a Phoebe-fix. Unfortunately, this is the most recent photo I have (taken in April). Phoebe is walking well and doing some talking (she said 'Hi' when I saw her the other night, and then said 'Hello' to my other sister). She seems to like music and jiggles about to the TV or Nanna or Grandad singing. We all love her to pieces!



Have a great weekend!